Friday, February 16, 2007

I continue to feel good, as if recently released from prison. We’re planning to go to Strathardle today, back probably on Fat Tuesday.

I was briefly in John Lewis' yarn dept. yesterday, where I looked at the new Rowan magazine. I had heard that Sharon Miller's shawl was wrongly attributed, but they seem to have straightened that out. On the other hand, one of the designers listed on the cover was "Kaffe Fasette". Incredible!

Here’s today’s progress-picture of the second sleeve. I’m going to need more yarn at some point pretty soon. I am determined not to buy more than is strictly required – my whole Shetland stash, which is considerable, was formed by buying an extra skein or two to-be-on-the-safe-side. And it’s much harder to get it right now that the yarn is put up in 25 gram balls instead of two-ounce skeins. But service from Lerwick is good, and I’ll just have to stop-and-start, if need be.

Thank you for yesterday’s references to URL's where the Danish prince can be seen, wrapped in his hand-knit shawl. It looks very simple and homely, and prompts me to risk the wrath of the Thought Police by scanning in this picture from Vibeke Lind’s “Knitting in the Nordic Tradition.” It shows the D*nish R*yal F*mily on a visit to Greenland in 1952 and is right up there among my favourite knitting pictures of all time. Presumably one of the boys pictured is the new prince’s grandfather.

Non-knit and Pretty Pointless

On the ship which brought me back from Britain to America at the end of the summer of 1953, we must have had some sort of Talent Evening at which I remember a little boy, wearing a kilt, who sang “Bonnie Dundee.” I was electrified, and got myself a record of it which I often played during the ensuing year at Oberlin.

And I often think of it, as we drive out of Edinburgh towards the Bridge, as we will this morning, and see Fife on the other side: “And it’s Ho! for the west coast, and let us gae free…”

Last night I looked it up and discovered after all these years, that I had it wrong. Not “west coast” but “west port” – which is just down the way. Graham of Claverhouse was himself leaving Edinburgh, and glad to be going. He died at Killiekrankie which is not all that far from Kirkmichael as highland distances go. I have visited his grave at Blair Atholl.


  1. Anonymous10:28 AM

    Despite the haircuts, the children are all girls - the oldest and tallest would be Margrethe, now queen, and the little prince's grandmother.

    Here is a link to a picture of Queen Margrethe wearing a Faroese shawl:

  2. Anonymous11:48 AM

    Jean, pardon my nosiness as a newer reader of your blog, but I'm wondering what you did at Oberlin; my husband teaches music at Ohio State University, and has for over 50 years; he keeps saying "one more year". As a child he had a similar electrifying moment when he heard an older boy play "Danny Boy" on the clarinet, and he promptly signed on for lessons, leading to a long career in music, both classical and jazz.

  3. Anonymous12:28 PM

    How can you not love a country with a place named Killiekrankie? It's so much better than Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.

  4. Anonymous3:07 PM

    Thanks Vivienne, for sharing that link.
    I love that picture of the Danish Royal family. Thanks for posting it.

    I am liking how your sweater is coming along...really attractive colours, and something a man will probably wear.
    Barb B.

  5. oh i love that picture of the queen as a little boy. no pun intended. yes they are girls. i have that vibeke lind book myself and knit the aunt anna cardi in it. your cardigan is proceeding and it looks wonderful. i will need to go to gb soon and check out the wool shops.

  6. Anonymous4:01 PM

    Jean, I wanted to tell you that Swapna was here to visit last weekend. We had more fun than is legal in some states. She cooked an incredible Indian dinner one night and my mother joined us. She was asking how we'd come to meet, and after a bit of thought we realized that you had recommended her blog. So a Southern artist became friends with an East Indian living in Saskatoon via a knitter from Edinburgh. You gotta love this virtual culture.

    Can't thank you enough for the introduction.

  7. Anonymous7:36 PM

    I am pretty sure that the Danish Prince's Shawl is the Pattern from Patons numbered PBN 8008. This pattern has been available for many, many years, I own an old copy from the 1950's but I think that was a reprint then. It is still currently available in a variety of shops and Mavis Crafts sells it online
    It is a pleasant knit and the pattern has details for both the circular and the square shawl.It is 3ply or 2ply but as with all shawls could be done in 4ply if you accepted the size would be larger or you did fewer rounds. It is easy to read but no charts if I remember correctly!
    Best wishes from Judith in Oxfordshire

  8. Anonymous5:00 PM

    Yes, the three royal children are all girls. The youngest is now married to ex-King Constantine of Greece and is also a grandmother several times over now.

  9. Well, I finally had the head space to look at your website. I'm no longer wondering at my feeling bewildered - so many names 'kept in the family'! Confusion is now abated. I must say, all your grandkids look such bonnie kids: )