Sunday, November 27, 2016

Stripes continue well. I should reach the crown shaping tomorrow, and will be sorry to finish. This delicious hat fits in with my strongly-held view that bright-and-cheerful (and, especially, red) is what to knit during these last grim weeks before the winter solstice. It's just as dark in January, but I love the sense of light returning, and February is a strong candidate for being my favourite month. Nov-Dec are the tough ones.

Next will be to finish off the most recent pair of hospital socks -- I think I was somewhere in the vicinity of the second heel flap. And to finish-finish the other socks languishing in my sidebar (I.e., graft toes and tidy loose ends). 

And then the new great-grandchild's shawl. Colour? Not pink. Not blue. Does the 12-week scan reveal the answer to the implied question there? But if so, I don't want to know. An Irish friend told me more than half a century ago that it's bad luck to knit in green for a baby, so that's out. Red was fine for the Dunfallandy blankie for the first great-grandchild but I can't do that again. That doesn't leave much except yellow. I’ll keep you posted.


Isabella, I don't know what we're going to do. My husband is so much happier at home, and so much clearer-headed, that I don't see how I can consign him to a care home. The children are enormously supportive and ready to converge on the poor man and tell him he must go. But can I do it? My inclination at the moment is just to wait for the next crisis -- it can't be far away.

My father, whose 3rd and final wife was an Englishwoman, said once that he thought these things were better done in Britain. I doubt it, at least for the relatively affluent. A retirement community such as my mother lived in, and such as my sister and her husband have recently moved to, seems to me a solution in many ways better than what is available here.

We have retirement apartments, but they don't seem to offer the same community facilities, such as dining, and nursing care when needed, and book clubs. We buy the apartments, and our grieving heirs can sell them on in due course to other over-60’s. Whereas Americans make a massive capital payment which they lose entirely after a few years. Is it because the British are obsessed with the ambition to preserve the capital represented by the family house for their children?

In an alternative universe, I see myself withdrawing to Kendal at Oberlin, but it will never happen.

I get the impression that middle-range care homes here in Britain are closing fast -- the ones which take both private patients and the ones the Council sends along because they can no longer fund their own care. The trouble is, the Council doesn't pay very much, and it is difficult to find staff to do the demanding work required for the minimum wage (or less). Even if the care homes make up the difference, as I gather many do, by charging the private patients more than the Council pays for the others.Whereas high-level care homes, with gourmet chefs and gyms and gardens, are actually opening. Helen is going to look at one this week. 

Again, I’ll keep you posted.


  1. =Tamar5:02 AM

    Perhaps peach color would work.

  2. Scans don't answer that question until 20 weeks, and then not definitively. (although some boys are unmistakeable - mine was).

    The two blankets I knitted while expecting were a rich chocolate brown and fawn. The second was better at hiding the evidence until it could be washed again.

  3. The room colors for the last baby in our family were grey, rich brown and cream. Seemed so grown up, but I gather it is the new thing. I knit a Jared Flood blanket in Madelinetosh grey pashmina. It was lovely, but it does pill.

  4. Anonymous8:11 AM

    Elizabeth Zimmerman was a great fan of soft grey for babies and from experience, I agree. Carol

  5. Turquoise?? I've made blankets in soft light green or mauve, trimmed in grey. Brown & cream sounds delicious.
    And - if it's working for you, I'd wait for the next crisis. But you could also get on a list in the meantime.

  6. I second the brown/beige/grey suggestions. Or a purple if you want something cheerful?

  7. Anonymous11:18 AM

    Splendid colour suggestions! Though you do rather enjoy stripes... and several of the hap patterns show a striped border. Perhaps, if the idea appeals, you could make a striped shawl and have a delightful time choosing several colours?
    Helen (anon)

  8. Anonymous11:29 AM

    Love all the color suggestions especially the stripes. So fun to knit. Also ran across a soft orange once in a washable Baby yarn by Rowan. What a delicious dilemma. Chloe

  9. For the non-affluent here in the US, the situation can be pretty grim. The same problem exists with underpaid staff, constant turnover. In my day job I help finance affordable rentals for seniors and the waiting list for affordable units is miles long.

    Sorry to go off on that - I am glad your husband is seeming better, which must help you somewhat.

    What about a striped baby blanket?

  10. I have always knit in shades of purple when the baby's gender was unknown. Everything from palest lilac to royal purple. Buntings and blankets. Enjoy the fun of planning for the new child.