Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The courier didn’t come until late afternoon, causing some anxiety and lack-of-nap. However, eventually he turned up, and my passport is on its way to London. (Why not Edinburgh? The consulate is just around the corner.) And the world should soon be my oyster – when I’ve figured out how to dispose of the cat.

Helen had a grand time in Chicago. The course was just what she needed, she says – very technical, about grouting and such. The people were nice, and interesting, and she got to spend time with a cyber friend. She says that it cost her twenty-five dollars to visit the Art Institute of Chicago, and then they compounded the crime by asking her if she was over 65.

My husband was a life-long and passionate advocate of free museum entry, and would have been horrified.

The visit was worth-while, however. She saw some mosaics, long familiar to her from photographs, which she had thought were hidden away in a private collection. But there they were!


I continued to make good progress with the Northmavine Hap. I’m ready to start the fifth and final full 24-row repeat. I switched to a longer needle yesterday, and took a nice picture for you this morning – but I’m back to the old problem. The picture sets off with a promising “whoosh” but never arrives at its destination. The friend who helped last time will have to try to explain to me what the trouble is.

I’ve had some difficulties – getting the colour of a stripe wrong, which meant getting some more wrong before we were back on track; getting confused about which stripe was the last of one repeat and which the first of the next – that affects the position of the chevron of eyelets in the centre. Neither problem is going to make the slightest difference to the rider, even at a slow trot.

I got my Ackerworks Swatch Gauge in the post the other day. I love it. Those little teeth that bite into the fabric! I can use it on the Fair Isle swatch-scarf, and, goodness knows, there’s plenty else here to swatch for.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

It’s a really rotten day – grey, cold, sodden.

Helen should have reached home a couple of hours ago, f her mosaic week in Chicago.

My major activity yesterday and today has been applying for a new passport, essential to our tentative plan of driving from Thessaloniki to Edinburgh later in the year. It wasn’t really so difficult – I’ve got the old one; I haven’t changed my name; getting an American-style picture taken wasn’t as tricky as I anticipated. Now I’m waiting for the courier specified by the Embassy to collect the envelope and take it to London.

I knit stoutly onwards with the Northmavine Hap. I suspect I’ve got a few more stitches than I should. How could that happen? I’ll face up to a count when the fourth – the penultimate – full repeat is finished, which should happen today.


Thank you for the temptation to embark on Carol Sunday’s Pueblo Shawl, Chloe (comment yesterday). Do we buy too much yarn in the misplaced hope that we are somehow buying the time needed to knit it?

I have subscribed to the British magazine “Knitting” since the first issue without ever being greatly tempted to knit anything. But the little girl’s dress from Bergere de France in the July issue may be the pattern that breaks the mould – for a great-granddaughter next summer?

(We’ve already had the August issue – it’s no wonder one gets confused.)

Wimbledon next week!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Perdita and I had a lovely time with C. The cat was a bit surprised, and stayed a bit more closely than usual with me (while feigning not to), and is glad to be home: but she did well. I moved about a bit more than usual but still feel weak.

I took the Northmavine Hap along and am making good progress. I’m halfway through the fourth repeat, if you overlook the 36 stitches still to be added. But I discover that there are five and a half repeats to be done, not four as I had thought from a hasty reading. I wondered why I had so much yarn. So there’s a long way to go.

I am finding this simple pattern curiously hard to read. In lace as in colour knitting – and, indeed, stitch patterns of all sorts – one keeps track of what one ought to be doing by looking at what one has done already. I am finding it hard to decide which are the stitches to be knit together on the pattern rows. But the overall effect is OK.

6767                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         /’.HJ)@~?~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~H?’dr67d[1]

That’s an interpolation from Perdita, who has even contrived to add a footnote.


A new Fruity Knitting episode is promised for tomorrow! Poor Andrea is still not knitting.

Jared’s Look Book 11 is (as ush) full of good stuff. I love the Boundary Pullover. He’s got a new lace yarn.

And I love Carol Sunday’s Pueblo Stole, each colourway more tempting than the last.

[1] e

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Perdita and I are going off tomorrow to spend two nights with my husband’s niece C. in south Edinburgh. Back here Friday, I hope. Then we must think, she and I, of going to Strathardle.

I knit on. We are having what passes for a heat wave here, and Shetland jumper weight is slightly uncomfortable on the fingers. I was first in this country in the summer of 1953 and I remember my amusement at newspaper headlines proclaiming that temperatures were mounting towards the 80’s. It’s happening again.

I’m still engaged with the third 24-row repeat of the Northmavine Hap, although nearing its end. One and a half to go, after that, with each row longer than the last.

I’ll take my new telephone along tomorrow. Our niece is a mere 60, and like everyone else in the civilized world except (until yesterday) me, has a smart phone. I have ordered “iPhone for Dummies” from Amazon and since I have, for reasons recently urgent but now forgotten, a temporary membership in Amazon Prime, it’s going to be delivered this evening, between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. It’s now 8.  Dare I go to bed? We’ve got a big letter box.

Monday, June 19, 2017

There is very little to report, but that is no excuse for not reporting it.

I am well advanced with the third repeat (of 4 ½) of the 24-row pattern of the Northmavine Hap, and I sort of think I might as well plough on. Every row adds two stitches. Still…

Guess what I did today! I bought a telephone! And have thus catapulted myself into the third millennium. My dear friend G. who was at my elbow in the shop then spent at least an hour cursing and swearing in my kitchen as she tried to set it up for action.  I think she has done so. I’m sort of scared of it, as it lies there on the kitchen table. I can always give it to Archie.

I do regret the days when an expenditure of that sort would have secured an instruction book which one could read in the bath.

I have discovered an author, new to me – Salley (sic) Vickers. Highly recommended.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Sorry about yesterday. As you suspected, I was too exhausted after the lawyer’s visit – so exhausted, as it proved, that I couldn’t sleep. I remember that happening after a transatlantic flight. At any event, all well today. I went for a walk, and must keep on trying to do that.

I think the lawyer left with a good idea of my husband’s estate, and I with a good idea of what I’ve got to do. “Probate” isn’t called that in Scotland – it’s “Confirmation”. Live and learn.

There’s not much to report on the knitting front BUT a dear friend came round and solved the problem of the missing photographs sent from the iPad. It has something to do, I think, with the fact that I don’t use the iPad mail system but rather Googlemail, accessed through Safari.

And then the next problem was that the iPad wouldn’t charge. I seem to have solved that one myself by re-booting.

So, here’s Perdita on the Himalayan shepherd’s shawl:

And here’s the current state of the Northmavine Hap, at the beginning of the third 24-row repeat. I'll soon need a longer needle:

Cats: Rachel and Ed and their children used often to join us in Strathardle after Christmas, bringing their cat Romilly. She and our cat Poussin were not at all pleased with each other, but eventually adopted a modus vivendi and finally slept together peacefully enough, one on each chair on either side of the wood-burning stove in the sitting room. (Same make and model of chair, same distance from the stove.)

After Poussin’s death, Romilly moved over to the Top Cat’s chair. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Not much tonight – very tired.

Orla is tongue-tied. She’ll have her snip on Tuesday.

I can’t imagine what’s wrong with the iPad and photographs. I tried sending it again (Perdita on the chair with the Himalayan shawl). Off it went, with that nice whooshing noise. Arrive, it did not. I tried sending a different picture. I tried taking a new one and sending that.

Tomorrow I’ll try sending it to someone else, who could forward it back to me. This is a distinct set-back, as I use the iPad for all photography these days.

I finished the second 24-row repeat on the Northmavine hap, and started the third. I think the important thing is to stop (if I’m going to stop) immediately after a pattern row.

I have heard nothing from Shetland about the lace course on Unst, and I suspect I’m better without. It’s probably booked up; most of Wool Week is. My sister and her husband are coming in October – it would have been a tight fit. And at the end of the month I hope to fly to Thessaloniki and then drive back to Edinburgh with Helen.

I toyed, today, with the idea of knitting another bridal shawl. When I knit the Princess, I had romantic notions of them passing it fondly from hand to hand. But of course no bride wants to come down the aisle in last year’s bride’s shawl. For Hellie I knit the Unst Bridal Shawl (Sharon Miller, again). If I do another, it’ll have to be straightforward – Hazel Carter’s Shetland shawl from “A Gathering of Lace”? Eugen Beugler’s frost flowers from the same source? Sharon Miller’s Lerwick Lace Shawl?

It’s fun to think about, anyway.

A lawyer is coming to see me tomorrow, to get started on the business of death. Helen will be here too.