Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Continued progress. They had my husband walking about a bit yesterday, and are talking about delivering him home in a week.

I must continue assiduously cooking my way through Nigella's new book while I can. Waitrose did her well on ingredients yesterday – ancho chillies, cold pressed coconut oil, maple syrup, dried black turtle beans, coconut milk yogurt.

There is a new man in my husband's ward, the size of a sumo wrestler and as scantily clad. A smoker and quite likely a drinker as well – he has a funny voice, as if recorded and played back at the wrong speed, so I didn't hear the answers to the questions about drink (and they might not have been truthful anyway). It must be very difficult to be a doctor, sometimes.


I finished the back of the sleeveless vest yesterday – except that I think it would be a good idea to take back a few rows and slope the shoulders. You will remember that I am trying to reproduce a favourite which disappeared into the clutches of the NHS, and the notes I made when knitting the original are less than adequate. Did I slope the shoulders? I don't remember.

And the earlier figures for the v-neck decreases don't make sense – I seem to be telling myself to decrease more stitches than are available in the mid-section of the garment, when the shoulder stitches are subtracted.

Once I am satisfied with the back, I'll lay it aside for a couple of days and knit one, or even two, of the eight triangles I need for the Dunfallandy blankie.

Thank you very much indeed for your help with Curls (the book) and with Rimu possum yarn. Provisional Kitchener, I had never heard of Hulucrafts and Google was in no hurry to mention them when I asked for Zealana Rimu in UK. Even if they turn out to be importing it order-by-order like LoveKnitting, at that price the thought of duty to pay on the doorstep is bearable.

So I'm keeping myself firmly focussed on the idea of a possum Christmas present for someone. But I must finish something before taking action. I begin to feel I'm drowning in a sea of WIPs, and the fate of poor Kaffe's pattern, still in my sidebar, shows what can happen despite the best of intentions.

I bought some fine lace-weight possum at a Stitches market once. (?Stitches East in '06? Or even '02? It was an even-numbered but non-presidential year for voting, I remember.) I never did anything about it, and it must still be there in the stash somewhere. The idea is extremely attractive – an animal which is a thoroughgoing pest, and so freely available for slaughter, which produces a luxury yarn. And I have read that New Zealand possum has evolved more and better fur than its Australian grandparents because it's colder there.

I'd like to see New Zealand. They have no native mammals – it was Margaret Stove's husband himself who first told me that. So evolution, especially of birds, has gone off in some interesting directions. Rats and dogs came with the first human beings, relatively recently in the evolutionary scale of things.


  1. My best friend moved to NZ in February. I miss her so much and just know I will never get there now. Thank goodness for Skype.

  2. I knitted a wrap from Rimu and washed with a pair of jeans as the yarn shop suggested. It fluffed up nicely. It lives in a drawer at work for those days when the air conditioning has been set to frigid.

  3. Anonymous1:07 PM

    When we were in NZ a few years ago, I bought myself a "possum silk" zipped front vest, with 2 zippered pockets beautifully set into princess style seams. It was quite expensive although as it was January (midsummer there, and out of season ) it was only around half of the original price. I have worn it often in cold NH and even colder Michigan, and love it..... I consider it one of my better clothing investments.

    But what I remember best was how very tactfully the attached tag was written. It described how the possum was not native but an invasive species to NZ and declared how helpful your purchase was to helping keep NZ birds safe and protected. What it did NOT say was "we kill the damn possums to get their fur. We would kill them anyway, to get rid of them, but now we've finally found a way to make it pay." That copywriting was masterfully done!

    Barbara M. In NH

  4. We went to New Zealand this summer and I was cold so I bought some possum gloves. They weave the short hairs in with merino. The wool there was very expensive but the wool shop I visited was wonderful. The friend we stayed with for a few nights writes for their equivalent of our National Geographic and she knew a lot about their bugs and birds.

  5. The meat from the possum is used in pet food BTW

  6. The possum was imported from Australia (not sure why) and is a protected species there. We do in fact have one native mammal - a bat! The possum fur is lovely - the hairs are hollow so it is light but very warm.

  7. The possum was imported from Australia (not sure why) and is a protected species there. We do in fact have one native mammal - a bat! The possum fur is lovely - the hairs are hollow so it is light but very warm.