Friday, April 21, 2006

80th Birthday of H.M. the Queen

There have been lots of pictures of the Queen in the papers, and I love looking at pictures of the Queen. The only knitting I spotted was in one where she was holding the infant Prince Edward, partially wrapped in what appeared to be a bog-standard white hap shawl, simple edging, feather-and-fan border, presumably garter stitch in the middle. I was hoping for formal Christening pictures – does the Royal Family have anything to rival the Princess shawl?

We’re set to go to Strathardle today. We’ll come back when I’ve got my tatties in, and enough other ground preparation done that I can face May. It may mean staying on for a day or two after my sister-in-law leaves, and I don’t know when that will be. Back next Thursday, maybe?

I continue, I think, to lose weight. Our bathroom scales are very old, and the needle oscillates wildly, so it’s not entirely easy to tell, but I now feel that I’m lugging less around. My diet, apart from cider-drinking, is largely as-recommended, because of my husband’s diabetes. No refined sugar, pretty low-fat. I don’t eat bread. I’ve made no other effort whatsoever, beyond dropping cider. I continue to snack on cheese and smoothies, when I’m desperate.

Here’s a picture of the state in which I’m leaving my sister’s shawl, looking not much different from the last picture of it. I like that centre section. I’ve now passed for a second time the row that’s wrong in the book. The ball of yarn, as you see, is much reduced, but it still has a lot of life in it. I am beginning to be afraid that two balls will see the shawl finished – I bought three. Thus do stashes increase.


Thank you, again, for those interesting remarks, Ted. I’ve got Hazel Carter’s invaluable book, but I had completely forgotton what she says about short rows on either side of the point of a scallop, in a lacy edging, and am now eager to try it. Perhaps in my dreamt-of Jade Sapphire cashmere wrap. I often think that traditional knitters have the jump on us, just by doing the same thing over and over for life, and thinking about it, and refining it. Here I am flinging my unfinished shawl down and cantering off to the country to work on a fisherman’s gansey. They don’t behave like that on Fair Isle, or Unst.

Eleni, I was working with my husband’s Palm yesterday, identifying a last few documents to Documents to Go – that’s the slow part. Once that’s done, Documents to Go will update them automatically of course. And thinking again what a wonderful little machine it is, and how I wished I could think of an excuse to have one of my own. But I don’t think knitting will do. I don’t really do much yarn shopping on the hoof these days. I have my stash more-or-less catalogued in an electronic Filofax, with a section for WIPs and a section for Thots and so forth. I buy most yarn from my computer screen.

Beadslut, thank you for your reflections on the smallness of the world. My sister’s husband has a theory that there are only about 125 people out there; the rest are cardboard cutouts. Sometimes it certainly seems like that. Karin, who has dispatched in my direction an oddball of Jade Sapphire cashmere-and-silk so that I can experience it on the fingers, grew up not far from where I grew up, in Detroit – although, alas! we went to different primary schools – and went to the college where my mother taught. Karin remembers her, although she never actually took a course from her. Small world, as you say. I have made a picture of Franklin sitting before Ruskin’s gravestone into my computer wallpaper, to make it all feel real. It’s a lovely cool image to start and end the day with.


  1. Anonymous11:35 PM

    I'm another Palm fan - there's no way i have enough time to catalogue the stash but it does come in handy for the books, magazines and patterns to stop me buying yet another copy of something I already own. there's also a nifty bit of software that helps calculate all those evil pattern bits - like place buttonholes evenly etc.

    How the weather stays kind for the gardening

  2. Anonymous11:15 PM

    Hi Jean, I found your blog from a friends blog, and love it - read it most days.

    Thanks to you I now read QueerJoe and Franklin's blog - they, along with yours both enliven my day!
    The shawl is looking beautiful ,and I love the shade of blue. I am attempting a very pain/simple Sharon miller design for the first time , and am going slowly as I haven't got into any rythm for it yet.
    Having two small boys makes it hard to concentrate, so it may take some time.
    I think Viscount Linley's son had a victorian shawl at his christening which had been passed down , it looked kinda Shetland, but I'm no expert.

  3. Just had to stop to give you a congratulatory hug on the weight loss. *hug* Any victory in that area deserves commendation as far as I'm concerned, particularly after the cider sacrifice!

  4. Hi Jean,
    Hope the spuddies are sprouting and you have a lovely crop for next autumn. My daffs and jonquils have started and I'm trying to sprout one in a bottle for an indoor flower this year.

    Some weird colonial humour for you. Jejune in Canberra, Australia, inherited a pattern book from her 91yo grandmother that has a Scottish family, complete with Westie that rounds up the... (wait for it):
    HAGGIS! Bizarre yet oddly cute.