Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I’m about an inch and a half into the Calcutta Cup ribbing. It’s interesting to see how the colours like each other when they are actually knit together in stripes. I’ll go on for perhaps three inches altogether – so pretty soon I’ll be knitting the Cup itself.

You’re absolutely right, Pamela, that Alexander wouldn’t thank me if I managed to reproduce that neckline. (See yesterday.) Yet what skill must have been needed to do it! Was it steeked? Or agonizingly knit back and forth? I read somewhere once that Shetland knitters, in extremity, would cut the yarn at the end of each row and slide the stitches back to the other end and re-attach, rather than have to purl. Which is pretty much how I feel about it. I have in my time – including the pheasant-sweater for my husband, mentioned yesterday – simply cut out a v-neck afterwards, no steek, picked up stitches, and done some ribbing. But I couldn’t have cut a scoop like that.

The Drummond Place Civic Society meeting last night saw not much progress, but at least a ball of sock yarn finished. I knit during the business part of the meeting, but thought it ill-mannered to carry on during the talk by the local poet.


Judith, that’s a wonderful ANI story.

And Jennifer, what glory! when Mr Gorey created an art work for your agency! What was it? Who got it? I worked very briefly and very humbly for Life Magazine in the summer of 1954. They did a feature on the Lake Isle of Innisfree or if not that something very similar, and we got a wonderful letter of appreciation from one of those Irish poets we had all heard of and had thought was dead by then. There was much competition in the office as to who would get to keep that letter.

Non-knit (Christmas-related)

I spent a gloomy afternoon yesterday ordering Christmas presents on the internet. I did it last year seriously for the first time, and thought the system wonderful. Everything arrived promptly, quality never disappointed.

This year of course catalogues have been flowing on in every tide, from the companies I ordered from then and from others to whom they have sold my name. There seems to be nothing under £20 and everything at all prices is rubbish, the sort of thing left broken or despised on the bedroom floor when one’s Christmas party disperses three days later.

The one comfort, I feel, is book-giving. It was once the last refuge, the great-aunt’s boring choice, but now that DVD’s and computer games rule the world, the giving of a book seems rather retro and classy. Or so I tell myself.

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