Saturday, March 25, 2006

Urraca, thank you for those Italian URLs. I have added them to my Favorites list. I was amused to see in the first one, the word “Franklin” appearing, early on. It must be one of those words like “bank” and “taxi” to be found in all European languages.

There is a survey on China in the current, March 25th-31st, issue of the Economist. What’s more, you can listen to an interview with its author, sounding very Economist-ical, at I am normally terrified of asking my computer to do things like that, but motherly something-or-other overcame fear yesterday. So maybe I’ll be brave enough to go on and listen to Franklin’s Podcast.


I’m up to scallop 17. Yes, I guess the colour is pleasant after Princess-knitting, Jean, but this edging is also terribly boring. I chose the patterns for the body of the shawl yesterday, in the intervals of cooking: “Bead Loznge”, Heirloom Knitting p. 88, for the side panels, and “Antique Centre”, p. 147-8, for the centre.

The centre panel, over 71 stitches in Amedro, remains constant throughout. I wanted something vertical-looking. The side panels, which start out on 202 stitches, are gradually decreased to nothing.

This is effectively the fourth time I’ve knit this shawl – the shape is wonderfully wearable, I think. The last time I did it, for granddaughter Hellie, I also substituted HK patterns, Mirrored Fern and Fern Lace, for the original Amedro ones.

“Mother’s Day”

Tomorrow is Laetare Sunday. I wonder how many people are left in the world who know what that means, and why it is celebrated as “Mother’s Day”. The celebrfation has become utterly Americanised, like Halowe’en and Valentine’s Day, but at least – unlike the American Mother’s Day – has been left in its place in the liturgical calendar. I was in the corner grocer’s yesterday when he took delivery of his normal Friday quota of flowers, and complained with some vigour at the sudden hike in the price. I hate forced and commercialised displays of affection with a passion bordering on the maniacal.

But Laetare Sunday is also observed as a mid-Lent relaxation. I have, as you may remember, eschewed cider for the duration, and have reluctantly decided that when Lent is over I’m going to have to go on abstaining to a considerable extent. I feel better this way, and what’s more – the clincher – I’ve lost weight. Perhaps a cautious sip tomorrow.

Yesterday I had a miniscule glass of sherry before lunch, and we divided a bottle of white wine among three – and lots was left over -- during the meal. I’ve given up cider, not drink, so that was all right. Then in the afternoon I walked up to Boots to pick up a prescription, and cruised the yarn department at John Lewis as I usually do when I’m up there, and bought some yarn. I am so ashamed of this ridiculous purchase that I won’t even describe it until perhaps tomorrow, and I am sure that if I had lunched on bitter lemon, I wouldn’t have done it.

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