Tuesday, January 23, 2007

It is a truly remarkable week for birthdays – more about that tomorrow. I seem to be one of the very few people in the world who was not born in the 4th week of January. Nevertheless, I’ve been doing rather well…

My recent blogging on the subject of cashmere bed socks launched a correspondence with Barb Brown of Wild Geese Fibres. I have now received – without having to pay any duty! – a package of her cashmere/bison down/merino blend. It feels firm and durable. I can hardly wait to get started.

We’re going to London on Friday, for a whole week. The current travel-socks are not very far advanced. but I’ll edge them forward a bit at a meeting of the Drummond Civic Society this evening, and if I then press industriously forward while we’re in London, I just might be able to get them done. I’ll take that ball I’ve already wound along, in hopes of casting on.

And look at this:

It’s a dp needle-holder which my friend Janis in CT sent me. Just like that, out of the blue, because of reading the blog. It’s not only useful, it’s beautiful, and I look forward to a very happy time putting needles in it and taking them out again, like Eeyore with his honey pot.

Janis and I met at Camp Stitches on Lake George in ’00. I wanted to get from there to the mouth of the CT river, when camp was over, to visit my mother and my sister. I did a lot of online work on the problem, and found that by any means of transportation, it was easy enough (but very round-about) to travel down the Hudson to NYC and then back up the coast to CT, but not easy at all to cross overland from the Hudson Valley to the Connecticut one and proceed downstream.
So I advertised for a lift on the Knitlist and Janis answered. She lives almost within walking distance of my sister.

We had a wonderful day. We went via Northampton, where my husband and I lived in 1960-61. Rachel celebrated her third birthday there, Alexander learned to walk, and James was conceived, although we got him back to Glasgow in time to be born.

Webs was a new feature in Northampton since my day. Janis and I had a very happy time there, and later she took a picture of me on the steps of the house where we lived that year, and we had lunch in a place which claimed to be the birthplace of the graham cracker (if memory serves) and where I bought this mug, which often holds my morning coffee as it does today.

So the needle-holder is full of memories already as it will be full of needles soon.


  1. Hello Jean,

    What a beautiful account of the new needle holder and of your time in Northampton.

    I think these surprise gifts, from unexpected places and for no specific reasons, are the best to give and to receive.

    Take care,


  2. Last week of january? I think that week caused all of my siblings, my father, my SIL & various relatives... to be born 9 months later.

    What a kind gift. Unexpected gifts are always so heartwarming, especially if you are in the middle of a time of distress and sadness - though I certainly hope you are not.


  3. Anonymous7:13 PM

    Lovely story. I'm looking forward as to how the sock yarn works.

  4. Anonymous9:52 PM

    Lovely memories of Northampton. Enjoy your trip to London. I'm just back from a 3 day tripto Hampstead. Almost went to the exhibition at the Tate Modern (having read your account earlier) but went to The Royal Academy instead. Not much happening there. Discovered the joy of hopping on the bus/tube with an Oyster card.

  5. The gift of memories is lovely! I have thought of making myself a needle roll. Maybe I will, it sounds so handy!

  6. Dear Jean,
    Thanks for your advice on carrying up yarn in Fair Isle; very reassuring. Not that I've got much further with this jumper as the baby rush is in full swing and I'm still trying to figure out how to knit the cot blankets I want. Dithering, I think its called : )
    Cheers, Kate