Sunday, January 14, 2007


I’ve been very good, so far in Ought Seven. No cider except on Sundays, and January 1.

Andrew Marr, writing in the Waffy the other day, reveals himself as one of the Smart Set who abstain from liquor in January. I first met this practice in the person of a rather grand Man from Christies who came to see my husband about a picture by His Artist, but declined the offer of a dry sherry on the grounds that it was January. Since then, I’ve learned that everybody-who-is-anybody does it. With the exception, presumably, of those few who observe Lent.

Marr said: “I’m back in the thrall of an annual illusion, which is that, without the wine and occasional whisky, the days will be longer, more will be achieved and I will feel flinty-sharp, bushy-alert. Each year it turns out that no, this feeling of perpetual queasy tiredness, as if I’m living inside an elderly washing machine, is just the way things are.”

That’s how I feel, I’m afraid. But today is Sunday.

Just as well. Readership was down yesterday – that’s always true at the weekends; no problem – and there were no comments. It’s been a while since I had a day with no comments.

Here, for a change, is a picture of the Calcutta Cup sweater lying on top of its wine-stained paradigm. There’s still a long way to go.


  1. Anonymous11:26 AM

    Hi,Jean, Really enjoying your thoughtful progress on the sweater.
    I too took a look at the Yarn Yard site after seeing your comment. That's the beauty of blogging for me - the links and connections. Is thirty three pounds a lot for three pairs of socks? I did pay hand-painted prices for sock yarn from Pieces of Beauty - she's in Scotland, I think. But then you could see what it looked like, and it was lovely.

  2. Here in Chicago, January abstinence is unheard of. Folks use liquor to deal with the cold. I don't drink, but the prospect of freezing to death walking half a block to the dry cleaners has made me consider whether I ought to start.

    What's the length of the single circ you're working the sleeve on, if I may ask? My smallest are 16" and my sleeves won't go round, but those are the smallest I've ever seen. Have I overlooked an even shorter length?

  3. Anonymous12:58 PM

    My intention was to leave a comment when I was up the middle of last night, but I put it off until today. Does that count?

    Watching your progress has inspired me to start Rose's elephant and mouse project, which is now to be a hat and mittens for the tail end of this winter, and a vest for next year. I was wondering what you do with your ends? On the vest, I will be able to hide them in the steeks, but on the hat and mittens I will have a line of fringe. Could I see a picture of the inside?

    I wish I could show pictures, but I have neither blog nor digital camera. And the learning curve for both is beyond me just now. Perhaps one year during summer break I will get myself into the 21st century.

    And Franklin? I have a tiny pair of what I think of as sleeve or sock circulars that just measured to be 12". They came from the dismantling of the material aids room at the Friends Meeting House, though, so I have no idea where to get more. These are a size 3 and have the smoothest join of any of my circulars. The needle itself is so short, 2", that I think thye would be very fiddly to use for any length of time.


  4. I've been reading you every day, I promise. Yours (and the Harlot and Franklin) are three that I never put off until the next day.

    I have actually been busily finishing off a waistcoat/vest for my 6yo daughter. Have a look at my latest post for progress pics. I'd appreciate your expertise on corrugated ribbing :)

  5. Anonymous2:42 PM

    Give up drinking in January? Cold Turkey after the holidays? That could kill a person!

    Let Franklin know that Addi makes 12 inch circs, very handy for sleeves, and Clover imports some that are maybe six inches(?). They are a bit fiddly, but great for cuffs.

  6. No comments? Can't have that!

    I did not read your blog in the weekend because I was stuck out somewhere in a forest freezing off my dainty behind, but I did enjoy reading your posts with a warm blanket wrapped around me today. Your blog is one of my most favourite, and it makes me very sad that I am not going to England this summer anymore to come and stalk the pretty front door and the glorious Princess Shawl :-(

  7. Anonymous12:05 AM

    Alcohol is a very bad way to deal with cold. It expands the blood vessels and you lose heat even faster, while temporarily feeling warmer. Once you're indoors in a safe warm place for the night, maybe a little after-the-fact nightcap would help celebrate having survived another day.

    Ahem. Knitting... It's very interesting to see the sweater laid atop the previous model. The progress is visible. That looks like what, 50% done?

    I don't think the button-front and collar design is old hat; classic, yes. They're still making knitted polo shirts that way.