Sunday, January 29, 2006

If I had given the matter any serious thought, I would have realised that the veil would photograph better if I pinned it out on a coloured sheet. There is a contemporary artist, Scottish I think, certainly British, who paints folds of fabric and is particularly eloquent doing white-on-white. By this time tomorrow – no, I’ve got it. Alison Watt. That’s what this photograph looks like, sort of: an Alison Watt.

I will photograph the veil again on a more useful background, after I unpin it and before DHL’ing it to Beijing. I tried to send the photograph there yesterday evening, but all of a sudden decided to “refuse” my emails. I was invited to write to their postmaster and ask why. I felt that the enquiry was unlikely to lead anywhere. A copy got through – at least, didn’t come back – when sent to James’s Economist email address.


I had a sort of interesting and rather depressing time of it during last night’s knitting session, after a day of thinking about random, and downloading a useful Random Number Generator which Helen pointed me to. What I discovered, actually knitting, is what Tamar hints at in her yesterday’s comment: random doesn’t work, at least with colours. You’ve got to think what you’re going to use next, and why.

I’ll show you a picture tomorrow, and hope it will illustrate the point.

Meanwhile, in the swatch, I have switched from KF’s Roman Stripes (1), where both stripe width and colour are supposed to be “random”, to Korean Stripes, where broadish bands of neutral colours – 8 or 10 or 12 rows – are separated by three or four one-row stripes of brighter colours. This provides me with a bit more structure (=less thinking) and Alexander, perhaps, with a less gaudy sweater. We’ll see.

I remain rabbit-in-the-headlights about what actually I’m going to do, tonight, tomorrow, Tuesday. Three days swatching (four, counting last night) is far too much. My sister will be here tomorrow and Tuesday: that rules out Princess Shawl knitting. Nothing else is ready. The choice comes down to socks, or actually casting on for Alexander’s sweater.


The Linklater fire was caused by electric Christmas tree lights, Lorna. Or at least, so we are told. I thought they were supposed to be safe these days. By the 31st of December a rootless tree would be a tinder-box waiting for ignition, of course.

We always have candles on our tree, an affectation of my husband’s which I have never met anywhere else. I remember being taught in Safety Lessons at Hampton Elementary School in Detroit, Michigan about Christmas tree candles, and thinking it very odd to have such lessons, since nobody had anything of the sort. But the grown-up world was odd, in those days. It still is.

If you keep an eye on candles, and don’t light them after Boxing Day (or, as in the days when we always had Christmas in Strathardle, if you have a rooted Christmas tree) there’s little or no danger.

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