Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I finished the edging.

I learned from “Stahman’s Shawls and Scarves” that when a pattern says “Slip the first stitch purlwise”, it means, “Slip the first stich purlwise with the yarn in front, and then bring the yarn to the back between the points of the needles.” This makes a lovely chain along the edge, and for shawl purposes all you do is slip the needle through each stitch in the chain. I’ve done that.

The next row consists of knitting into the back of each stitch. That’s slightly awkward, but produces a nice row of openwork with the legs of each stitch crossed – just the sort of thing one tries hard to avoid when picking up stitches around the neckline of a sweater. That’s the row I’m doing at the moment. It consists of only about 500 stitches, nothing to us Princess-knitters.

Concern for the precise number of stitches seemed inappropriate either for the picking-up, so clear was that chain, or for the knitting-in-the-back row where it would be unwise to interrupt the openwork. I’m counting carefully, and putting in markers every 50 stitches. There follow three rows of garter stitch during which the stitch count can be adjusted. We shall see.

Then we have some roundels, which will reappear at the top – and then finally the lace patterns I have chosen can be established.


The weather has declined into Much Rain, and the forecast promises more. The people who have been fussing about the dry winter might have thought of Chaucer. We went out for our first serious walk yesterday since my husband’s cold started, splashing our way down to the glorious Botanic Gardens. It doesn’t seem to have done him any harm.

Can anyone help: I am now very near the end of the task of getting my husband’s Magnum Opus into his Palm. The problem, you will remember, was 1) to translate his hundreds of files from the antique DOS-based Word Perfect system he uses into a modern version of MS Word, which is all the Palm can understand; and 2) to copy the numerous endnotes into the text of each file, since Documents to Go, the bridge to the Palm, doesn’t do notes.

Well, I’ve done that. There’s lots of tidying-up to follow, not to mention updating the files my husband has been working on while I’ve been sitting here doing all this, but the end is in sight.

The next big job is Something Completely Different. My mother wrote several books during her lifetime, thrillers when she was young and scholarly books later. But she left behind unpublished the manuscript of her first book, called “27 Wives”, an account one-by-one of the wives of the Mormon leader Brigham Young. She wrote it when we were living in Salt Lake City in the '30's.

My plan is to publish it on the internet. Alexander has offered space on his server. So what I need now is advice on software which can translate a scanned image into text. My sister thinks it would be fine just to put up the images of the scanned pages one by one, but I want it in a form that can be searched. I know that such software exists. Does anyone have any experience of it? Or recommendations?

And when that’s done, I’ll get to work on HTML and revolutionise this blog.

[Italian radio seems to be talking about Berlusconi in connection with the killing of babies in China. Not just killing – I can understand enough to grasp that it is being suggested that the Chinese boil and eat them, although if there was a reference to Jonathan Swift and his Modest Proposal, I failed to catch it. How does Berlusconi come into this? Alas, a veil of incomprehension descends just at this interesting point.

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