Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Family pictures today (and I remember I’m meant to be working on a webpage to explain all the relationships).

Rachel is our eldest child, elder daughter. Her son Thomas-the-Elder is our eldest grandchild. He graduated from Cambridge last summer and is currently spending a few months in Leningrad polishing his Russian and generally relaxing. He went straight to university from school, skipping the traditional “gap year”, so we can forgive his idleness. In the fall, he’ll live at home and do a year’s course in law. Years of poverty loom.

His whole immediate family went to see him in Holy Week. Rachel and her husband Ed are great givers-up-of-drink-for-Lent. I doubt if I ever would have done it if not inspired by their example. This is a picture of the whole family, day before yesterday, having a shot of vodka for breakfast.

That’s Rachel at the head of the table. From left to right, Joe, who’s doing his GCSE exams right now; Ed; Lizzie, the youngest; and on Rachel’s left, Thomas-the-Elder himself and finally Hellie, who’s coming to the end of her first year at Newcastle University. Joe and Lizzie are too young to be drinking vodka for breakfast.

Here is a picture of Ed and some ice:

I heard a talk on the radio once, long ago, by a Russian emigree who said that the sound of the ice cracking on the river Neva in the spring fills the whole city. This looks too narrow to be the Neva.


All goes well.

Sue, thank you for that link in yesterday’s comment. Gosh, this stuff looks wonderful. I think for now I will simply wait until the oddball Karin is sending turns up and I can find out for myself what it feels like on the hand. Cashmere-and-silk is a bit cheaper than pure cashmere, although “cheap” is not the word. “A bit less expensive”, let us say. And I feel sure by now, the colour must be a bit more wonderful. But I still need to know about the feel, and the cosiness.

When I was browsing “A Gathering of Lace” the other evening, looking for inspiration for my imagined Jade Sapphire yarn, -- and did I mention? that I am tired of Xenakis photography -- I found this remark in Hazel Carter’s pattern for her beautiful Sampler Stole: “Do not slip stitches at beginning of rows unless specified. The knitting will be subject to considerable stretching during dressing; slipped stitches decrease elasticity.”

I didn’t know that. Is it true? I always slip stitches at the beginning of rows when I’m knitting lace. At the moment, slipped stitches are providing a nice chained edge for my sister’s shawl, to be picked up later to make the side edgings. But I do it even for the outer edge of scallops. I block lace to hell and back without any problem.

But Hazel Carter ought to know.


  1. Good morning Jean, back from Can't berra and all the wonderful pollies for 2 whole weeks! Thanks for the picture of the 'Family breaking of the alcohol fast' (sorry, that makes the photo sound very Breugel or Bosch) and commiserations re the cider calorie revelation. Cider's my favourite tipple next to wine. I'd lost a nice amount of weight over Lent but I think I put it all back on over the Easter weekend through devastatingly good chocolate and red wine : )

    The shawl's looking lovely and I'm very taken with the lovely blue colour. How many shawls do you have in progress at the moment?

  2. Anonymous3:40 AM

    Jean, I made the Sampler Stole last fall and loved the pattern. It was a very nice way to taste some of the Shetland patterns in small doses. Although saying that, I did add several repeats to the centre portion, so I upped the total dose!

    Truly negligent knitter that I am, I made no notes about the frequency at which I joined the edging to the body, but slipping edge stitches would halve the easily available spaces, and I'm sure I joined with higher frequency. Looking at the stole (a good opportunity to refold it) I think I joined to 3 of every 4 bars on the edge of the stole. Approximately. I think.

    But it is a lovely piece, a compliment not to my skills as a technician but to Ms. Carter's design.