Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Here we are, although not for long. James and his family -- the Beijing Mileses -- drove to Strathardle from London yesterday. We hope to join them as soon as we've caught up with mail and sleep.

We had a successful week, although painful on my part, heel-wise. I think my next move is to buy a new pair of shoes, the current ones being slightly elderly, just in case that's where the trouble lies, and then go see a doctor. But I covered the necessary ground, and there was a lot of it.

Above is the ever-cheerful Thomas-the-Younger at the photo-call after his baptism last Sunday. He is wrapped in the Calcutta Cup shawl (http://www.jeanmile.demon.co.uk/gown.htm) as his "white garment". It smells slightly musty, and my husband says I must wash it before putting it away. Will I? This is almost certainly its last outing in this generation, so it'll probably have to be washed before its next use anyway.

There is much to report, but I'll stick to knitting news for the moment. I just ordered the Wedding Ring Shawl. A kindly comment-er pointed out that this limited edition, although larger than the Princess Shawl one, is likely to sell out fast. I was relieved to find it still on the website this morning. I also ordered the Gossamer Merino I need for the rest of the Princess Shawl. I was pleased to see that the discrepancy in the yardage between the yarn on the website and the sample ball Sharon had sent me, had disappeared during our week in London.

One day last week we went to the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich with James and his children, because my husband for some reason wanted to see the Nelson exhibition. (This year is a significant anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.) He went round it with James's son Alistair, and I think they both enjoyed themselves, while James and I and the little girls cruised the rest of the museum.

In the Gift Shop -- a crucial port-of-call at any museum -- I bought for an absurd price a French Knitting kit, an updated version of those nails the aged among us used to hit into empty cotton reels back when cotton reels were made of wood, and then use the resulting implement to knit i-cord. The price was absurd, but the actual object -- a stout twig, hollowed out -- and the accompanying leaflet were rather good. Yarn was included, and I started Alistair and his sister Rachel off in the car on the way home.

At the baptism three days later, I asked how the knitting was going. To my delight, they produced a completed cord, using all the yarn which had been provided with the kit. I had, meanwhile, accelerated the knitting of my current travel socks so as to finish the first one and give them the rest of that ball of yarn. I hope to see great things when we meet in Strathardle soon. 

I told Rachel and her sister Kirsty that I expected them to write a book about Chinese knitting when they grew up. James said, interestingly, that now that his attention has been drawn to the subject by my visit two years ago, he sees knitting everywhere in China.

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