Friday, September 23, 2022


A grey day. I didn’t go out. The big news is that VK came – how and why did I ever let it lapse? I’m glad to see that Meg is still there, and Norah Gaughan still at the helm.


I’ve started Fergus’ sweater. Progress is slow, so far. First of all, casting on 256 stitches involves a fair amount of counting. Next, it turns out that the ribbing is not entirely straightforward. There are occasional bands of four stitches amidst the k2, p2 ribbing. That requires very close attention and anxious counting. From there on, for a while, you just knit the knits and purl the purls. But even that requires fairly close attention, especially for the first round. All that is done, and the next round. I’m just making excuses for not having accomplished more.


Normally, when I knit a Calcutta Cup sweater – who would have thought I would ever write those words, in the desolate Noughties? – normally, I simply abandon the sweater pattern above the ribbing, and knit a Calcutta Cup band. This time, after today’s struggle, I think it might be better to fit the cup and the date neatly between the cable patterns which have been so elaborately prepared with those four-stitch bands. That would involve developing the cables as per the pattern, even while the cup and date are being inserted between. We’ll see – and indeed we’ll have to see fairly soon.

An example from long ago.

 Wordle: an honest word today. No complaints. But I didn’t do very well. TWO for Alexander; three for Rachel, Ketki, and Mark; four for Theo; five for me; six for Thomas, who got stuck without a first letter and guessed wrong twice. I used Jean-words in lines three and four and they eventually, as often, guided me to the answer.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

 Fergus’ yarn is here, and of course the cider from Amazon. Whether one approves of Amazon or not, they do deliver. VK remains outstanding.


The yarn is beautiful. I finished the current random-Shetland stripe and laid it aside. I wound the first ball of Fergus’ yarn and got quite a long way with the cast on – 256 stitches needed – before Amazon rang the doorbell. Since then I’ve been sitting around happily, or napping, or suppering. I didn’t feel entirely well this morning, and it was raining. No walk.


Thank you very much for yesterday’s comment, Anonymous. I think I’ll probably buy KD’s new book. Having a pattern in a nice book is a different level of pleasure from having a pattern on-line even if one can persuade one’s printer to print it out.


Wordle: my two starter words gave me five browns this morning. Nothing to do but solve the anagram. Believe it or not, I thought of two separate solutions – but both were Jean-words, in that some of the browns remained in their original positions, which is not allowed. If that had been the right position, they would have been green. Then I thought of another possible solution to the anagram, everybody in different positions, and it was right. So I scored three.


Anonymous, your experience was very like Mark’s: he had the last four letters as greens, and guessed wrong twice. His final score was five. Rachel was also five, but she came at it with the first two letters green. Theo, likewise, scored five, but his missing letter was in the second position and he only guessed wrong once. Ketki and Thomas scored three like me, Alexander had four. I think that’s everybody.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022


Nothing arrived today – all the more anticipation for tomorrow. I did get an email from Amazon to confirm that cider and cat litter are on the way.


It was a glorious September day. Daniela and I got all the way around the garden – gratifying, after a series of non-walking days. And I knit a few more Shetland stripes. And re-located Kate Davies’ Argyle Coast book, in which Fergus’ pattern appears. That book tends to come and go, like a lot of things around here. It’s now in a secure place.


Her new book, Sark, is now available. It’s all about travelling stitches, which I adore. A wonderful sweater and cardigan (two separate patterns) are included, but it looks as if the rest of the book is accessories and Tom’s photography. That makes it expensive for the two patterns I’d quite like. On the other hand, the accessories (wrap, hat, cowl, slippers) are nice too in their way. I’ll think about it.


Wordle: I scored five again. I was the class dunce today. My starters gave me three browns. By means of heroic mental effort I entered a qualifying word in line three. It left me with the same three browns, although indeed with a bit more information. Heroic mental effort refused to yield another, so I gave up and entered a Jean-word in line four. It worked a treat; I now had four letters in position (three greens and a brown which couldn’t be where it was and so had to be in the empty position. Thomas scored two, Mark and Ketki three, Rachel and Theo and Alexander four.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022


Much anticipatory excitement: Kate Davies has shipped Fergus’ Calcutta Cup yarn. Unique Magazines has dispatched my newly-reconnected first issue of Designer Knitting (which =’s VK for some mysterious publishing reason). AND my monthly delivery of a week’s cider is due from Amazon on Thursday.


Today itself was pretty quiet. Daniela came back. The house really needed her after 48 hours away. (Normally she comes for two hour six days a week. This time she had the normal Sunday off, followed by the royal funeral yesterday.) She administered my weekly bath. I didn’t attempt a walk, as hair was still damp.


I pressed on with Shetland stripes. I’ve done about nine inches, of a desired fifteen to the underarm. I’m knitting random stripes from yarn bought at Uradale Farm when I was on my Shetland Wool Adventure whenever that was. 2019, maybe. In the Dathan hap, which I’ve knit twice, both the colours and the width of the stipes are random, but that involves a surprising amount of nervous strain so here I’m making all the stripes three circuits wide. That leaves me only the random colours to worry about, which is bad enough.


Here is a picture from my happy visit to Roslyn last Saturday. Left to right: me, Manaba, one of the kittens, Manaba’s son Hamish, C. It’s a shame my walker occupies so much of the foreground. Imagine it absent.


Wordle: another five for me (blast!) again involving a wrong guess when I had four greens. Assuming there are only two possible words with that configuration, four others in my little group made the same mistake, with different results depending on how long it took them to reach the four greens. Theo was worst with six. Thomas (who now logs in from Birmingham University) shared my five. Rachel and Alexander got four, Ketki and Mark three.



Monday, September 19, 2022


I’m exhausted after watching only some of the royal funeral on television. What must it be like this evening for the actual royals? It was all awfully well choreographed. I think my only other comment would be that Carrie Johnson’s black dress revealed a little too much bosom for my taste.


Archie came to see me, and put the rubbish out for tomorrow: an important job done. He says that people his age are totally indifferent to the royal family.


I knit resolutely on during it all, but the random-stripe Shetland has rather fine yarn and lots of stitches, so I didn’t make all that much progress, measured in inches. Coofle would have been no better.


Comments yesterday: That’s a good idea, KirstenM, to have a box with notes for the people who will clear out your house when you are dead or otherwise incapacitated. They all know where to find my will, and that some of the books in the Glass Fronted Bookcase are valuable. More, however – those with titles like “Soccer for the American Boy” – are there only because written by a family member.


Wordle: When you click “Share” on the screen that comes up when you finish the game, and then paste the result somewhere as I do every day for my little group, the grid comes across headlined with its number – useful to ensure that you are all talking about the same thing – and your score in numbers. There are no letters in the grid, of course.


I scored a maddening five today. After my two starter words, I had four lovely greens, but I could think of three possible letters for that empty fifth slot, and I guessed wrong twice. Rachel had the same configuration, and failed altogether. Four for Alexander and Ketki, three for Thomas, a dazzling two for Mark. Theo in DC got five, like me. He has taken to posting a result at about the same time as we do, 8-9 a.m. British Summer Time, or a bit earlier. Is he staying up until the small hours? Or getting up unconscionably early?

Sunday, September 18, 2022


Inspired by your comment, Tamar, I redoubled my search, and I have found the missing Knitter’s’s. I haven’t looked at the Adult Surprise in Issue 60 yet. I don’t need that, anyway, because I’ve got Cully’s book, The Complete Surprise. (It’s here somewhere, at any rate, if I could just put my hands on it.) Nancy Thomas was editor in those days. Knitter’s was never better. It’s sad to think that when my unfortunate children come to clear out this house, they’ll throw away valuable knitting magazines with abandon.


I have been all alone today, therefore no walk. I need someone to get my walking aid up and down the steps, before I can strike out on my own. Archie will come tomorrow, when the whole country shuts down for the royal funeral. I have given Daniella the day off; the least I could do. I enjoy my own company, and can still totter about the kitchen sufficiently to cook simple things. KirstenM (comment April 6) I made your Sausage Supper for my lunch today, and it was delicious. But it must be tough on old folks at my stage of feebleness who see no one at all from week’s end to week’s end.


I gather there is some feeling in the US, spearheaded by the NYT, that the Queen must be held responsible for all the evils of imperialism. Today’s news here, in the interstices of funeral news, is of serious riots in Leicester between Hindus and Muslims. The subcontinental communities are large and well-established there (we used to live in Leicester, before Birmingham), dating back to the days when citizens of the Commonwealth had free access. The trouble this time started with a cricket match some days ago between India and Pakistan. The Empire is certainly responsible for the world-wide dissemination of cricket.


I went on with the random-striped Shetland sweater, to celebrate finding those Knitter’s’s. I'm prepared to fling it aside again as soon as the yarn from Fergus' Calcutta Cup sweater turns up. And I’ve found the Coofle pattern in my Ravelry library.


Wordle: I am totally mystified by your comment yesterday, RedH, that you have different words. The time difference creates some confusion, since the new word comes up, I believe, at midnight Your Time which is not necessarily mine. Don’t the numbers keep it straight? We did 456 today, and it’s still current. My nephew Theo in DC has joined our little group, and he seems to have the same words as we do. There was a bit of discussion amongst us all about PARER the other day. That is interesting, Diasporette, about its being used for a pencil sharpener (comment yesterday).


We were strung out along the track today: Ketki 2, Rachel 3, me and Alexander 4, Thomas 5. Silence from Mark, which is very unusual. Theo also scored two.

Saturday, September 17, 2022


C. and I met Kathy of Kathy’s Knits this morning as we were setting out on our adventure. She said she had had a tour group in yesterday (Friday the l6th) and that two of its members had asked after me – but she didn’t know who you were. So I want to know:

         a) Who were you?

         b) What was the nature of the tour?

         c) Did you go on to the Ginger Twist Studio, not far away? (Or had you just been there?)


Kathy’s speciality is British yarns. The excitement of Ginger Twist (a very small shop) is Ginger’s own yarn colours.


Then C. and I went to Roslyn where we had a wonderful time. Quinn is nearly four weeks old and a very bonny baby. His parents seem to be bearing up pretty well considering, and so is his brother Hamish. There are two kittens left, eight weeks old I think someone said, leaving for their new hones next week. They are bonny too.


Knitting: not much done. The main problem is finding patterns. At the worst, I could buy them again -- Coofle and Macchu Picchu are both missing. The severe-est loss, however, is four consecutive issues of Knitter’s Magazine containing Meg’s expansion and elucidation of the EPS. I’ve got the original EPS in one of her books somewhere. And I’ve got a page of my own notes and numbers (largely unintelligible) from a recent knitting of it. But where are those magazines?


Wordle: We’re all back in the saddle today. Three for me, Rachel, Alexander, and Mark. Four for Thomas. Two for Rachel.


Yesterday’s unsatisfactory word was PARER. If it means “paring knife”, that is the term which would be far more commonly used in this country. Not that American solvers seemed any happier with it than we over here were.