Wednesday, September 02, 2015

The dog isn’t looking too bad:

It still needs its other ear — the ears seem too big to me, and I don’t know which way is meant to be up — and a nose and eyes. The latter features need black wool and are applied by means of satin stitch, on the one hand, and French knots, on the other. How on earth was life managed before YouTube? I’m not absolutely sure I’ve got any black yarn, either. Everything I pull out of stash turns out, in natural light, to be very dark brown or very dark blue. I’ve found something, but it might be charcoal grey.

Our friend says that all she requires of a knitted dog is that it stand up. That I seem to have achieved. The back legs tend to splay, but he’ll stay upright if you arrange him carefully and then tiptoe away.  

I can’t venture out to the LYS because I am expecting both the copper saucier and the yarn from Jimmy Bean today.

The really bad news, on the needlework front, is a hideous rent in one of the net curtains in the front of the house. The curtain was old and frail and no great loss. The hole was clearly made by a furry person who shall be nameless, who wanted to sit there and look at Drummond Place. But it must look dreadfully slummy from the outside. From the inside it is concealed by a real curtain which is normally kept drawn to protect works of art from direct sunlight, thus forming a nice little concealed space for kittens. (Direct sunlight is very bad for almost everything.) I will have to devote quite a bit of needlework-time today to attempting a clumsy repair.


Knitty is appealing for sponsors. Advertising revenue has apparently fallen off sadly of late. I think I’ll probably chip in. I had a nice time this morning tracking down the patterns the Editor/Publisher mentions by name in her appeal — the Clapotis I have actually knit. I wonder what became of it? The Dunfallendy blanket is an interesting thought, if great-grandchildren ever appear. The Dunfallendy Stone from which it derives is a Perthshire landmark.

The Skew socks are terrific, although I am sort of scared of anything that begins with Judy’s Magic Cast-On. I mastered it, more or less, when I was having a big Sock Session a few years ago. But I’m still scared.


I’m getting on nicely, if uncomprehendingly, with “Life’s Greatest Secret”. It’s sort of fun replaying my own life at the back of my mind while reading. The double helix was discovered while I was at Oberlin, unbeknownst to me. Everything happened pretty fast after that. The book has now reached the mid-sixties (all four of my children have been born) and the genetic code has been cracked.

I am surprised to see that I am only about 1/3rd of the way through the text but have concluded, thankfully, that much space must be occupied by appendices and indexes. (I’m reading on my Kindle.) There are four more chapters bringing us up to date — the human genome, I presume, and I hope a discussion of evolution. Then I am going to re-read “The Genome” by Matt Ridley which I remember as much more ignoramus-friendly.


  1. Anonymous9:28 AM

    The pooch looks great!

    He is so small. I wonder if black beads for the eyes might be a better choice than fiddly french knots.

    If y need to go to the store for yarn anyhow, maybe consider getting one of those curved needles doll-makers use. The satin stitch will be easier.

    Beverly in NJ

  2. I've never been able to make those curved needles behave, but that's just me. What I would say is, whatever you do, use the longest needle you can find, and when putting the eyes in, do at least one long thread from eye to eye, through his little brain, and pull taut so that the eyes sink in a bit - you will see what I mean if you do it. I would have thought charcoal would be suitable for eyes and noses - not quite so stark pure black.
    Another of Matt Ridley's many was about Nature v Nurture. He is always worth reading.

  3. My first thought when reading about the hole in the curtain was: If the real curtain is mostly kept closed, you could take the lace curtain down without any problem.

  4. Anonymous1:03 PM

    The dog is very perky!
    I think it looks excellent.

  5. Great work on that dog, Jean. Toys often seem only to come to life, as it were, once they have their features.

  6. You could use embroidery floss instead of yarn to make his eyes and nose.

  7. Anonymous3:22 PM

    Dog looking delightful in your photo - all the best for successful final touches. Thanks for drawing Life's Greatest Secret to my attention. I read The Double Helix in high school, an invaluable start to my interest in genetics and in its insight to another big secret, how much fun scientists have, doing what they do.
    - Beth in Ontario

  8. Perdita is a lively kitty! I'm dying for another photo of her!
    Your dog looks very good! Well done!