Monday, March 27, 2006

Thank you, commenters, for the kind wishes about Mother’s Day. I had a nice time. My children know me well enough to give me a wide berth, but my butcher gave me a bouquet of daffodils by which I was secretly rather pleased. Good ones, too, not the florist’s leavings: nine or ten tight buds.

I was grateful, too, for your uncensorious remarks about my yarn indulgence, Debbie Bliss’ “Pure Silk”. I think the question, Mandella, is not whether you’ll like the look of it; you will. But whether it will be pleasant to knit – I have no idea about that, yet. Silk is unyielding, like cotton. I’ve now got to do it, and the fancy stitch pattern is just the sort of thing that judges like. So we’ll find out. John Lewis didn’t have the rich purple shade that the prototype shrug is knit in, in the book. I would probably have gone for it, if they had. Silk takes dye brilliantly, of course.

Angel, I hope your life will have some sunlit financial uplands towards the end, like mine. When I was pregnant with Rachel, our eldest child, I knit a Shetland shawl for her from a Paton’s leaflet. “Patons Beehive 2-ply, Patonised” was the yarn specified, and I bought one ball at a time from my local LYS on the Byres Road in Glasgow because I couldn’t afford the outlay involved in getting the whole eight oz. at once.


I’ve finished scallop 25 of my sister’s shawl edging. There are only 29 altogether. My husband still isn’t in sparkling health so departure for Strathardle may well be postponed long enough for me to get this part of the job finished. Everything is much more fun, post edging. I like getting edgings out of the way first, as Amedro always does.

I was reading ahead in the Princess pattern the other day, and discovered, with a chill at the heart, that when everything else is done, I’m going to have to knit edging across the top, working off the live stitches as I go. The pattern begins, you may remember, with 85 repeats of what was the most difficult lace knitting I’ve ever done. The Princess Diarists are still struggling with it. How long will it take me to re-learn it? By the time I get there, the original edging may be two years or more in the past.


I was a model of sobriety yesterday, Laetare Sunday. I’m still struggling with the main problem, and am glad to have three more weeks of guaranteed abstinence before I have to address it again. I’ve been Googling on Weston’s Special Vintage Cider Reserve without being able to find out precisely how many calories there are in a bottle, but what I found out about vinage cider generically is enough to make me realise I’ve been drinking well more than 1000 calories a day of the stuff. This can’t go on, any more than if my vice were boxes of chocolates in the desk drawer.

Rachel’s husband Ed is in somewhat the same position, except that he’s not carrying extra weight around: he puts away a good deal of sauce, normally, and is enjoying, like me, the benefits of Lent. He suggests perhaps drinking only at weekends. It’s a thought. But I look forward keenly, Lorna, whatever I decide, to propping up your bar one day and trying that draft Weston’s.

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