Friday, July 27, 2007

Slogging across row 9. Today’s knitting should be different, at least – rows 10 and 11 are the half-way point where everything gathers itself in and starts off again in the other direction. Picture soon. I’m pleased with what I’m getting, but I’ll be awfully glad to get back to what might be called real Princess-ing.


Knitting, first. Go Knit In Your Hat says that Jaeger Yarns has gone belly-up. Google knows nothing about this, nor do I. Does anyone? She also mentions RYC yarns as if one should know about them, and I don’t. But I’m sure Google could help there.

Stash Haus, there will certainly be Games Day pictures of me in my Dolores sweatshirt, with or without Sam’s winning card. Games Day pictures should carry us all the way through September.

It’s not just Sam. I will be entering the “Three Potatoes” and “Collection of Four Vegetables” classes. Small children – the Thessalonikis and the Beijing Mileses – will do things in the children’s section. “Plasticene model” “Cardboard picture frame”, that sort of thing. Son-in-law David (a Thessaloniki) is planning to attempt “Mint and Rosemary Jelly” and I think granddaughter Lizzy is going to do a “whiskey cake”.

(Strictly, you are supposed to be a resident of the show area, or a child, to enter classes in the Home Industries tent – which, strictly, would disqualify me. I wrote to them some years ago explaining about Lizzie, and she was allowed through. I’m not going to tell them about David: his wife is a part-owner of our broad acres, and I think that suffices. Theo’s girlfriend wanted to do some baking, too; I wrote to the secretary about her, and didn’t hear anything for weeks so we thought it was all right. But she has been disallowed, and we all feel rather sore about it.)

And then there are the field events, open to all: races and Tilt the Bucket and the Pillow Fight and Musical Cars. My brother-in-law worked out the secret of the Pillow Fight – a savage sport – and came second a few years ago, against competition a third his age. I hope he’ll pass his secret on this year to granddaughter Hellie’s excellent boyfriend Matt. I’m not telling.

(In the background, meanwhile, real Highland Games unfold, with beefy gents in kilts tossing cabers and a piping competition and endless children's highland dancing.)

In ’04 we amused ourselves by taking pictures of various subsections of our party – “people wearing Kerry-for-President tee-shirts” “People named Edward”, etc. I don’t think we’ve ever taken a Winners picture. Maybe this year.

The afternoon ends with Musical Cars. We’ve never won, although we’ve notched a couple of Seconds. It is our supreme ambition. Cars drive round and round the field while the music plays, and when it stops, the passenger leaps out and runs into the centre and seizes a stake. There are fewer stakes than cars. Passengers are meant to keep both hands on the windscreen while the music plays, but some of them don’t. The passenger door is also meant to be securely shut, but some of them aren’t. A lot depends, too, in the final stages, on whether the music-stopper-and-starter likes you.

I am impressed, and touched, that you (Stash Haus) have read your way through my archives. Someone – Graham Greene? – wrote a short story in which a life was told backwards, beginning with the mournful journey home from the cemetery. Reading a blog in reverse order (if that’s the way you did it) would be much like that. Sometimes I’m tempted to look back in Annie Modesitt's blog for the first signs of Gerry’s illness, but I don’t. I am in awe of her strength and courage.


  1. The final in the Great British Village Show is being shown on BBC 1 this Sunday - have you been following this programme? Growers of monster marrows etc. all vying for the chance to go to Highgrove for the final.

  2. Jean, RYC is an offshoot of Rowan; I think it means Rowan Yarn Collection. I was never really clear on the distinction between that collection and Rowan Yarns, so I guess a marketer somewhere hasn't done their job very well.

    Hang on a sec:

    "The RYC Classic Collection is a range of handknits that are designed to be a joy to knit and a pleasure to wear, for the woman wanting to boost her wardrobe with those key handknits that compliment every outfit."

    I can't find a matching description for Rowan Yarns, but then I'm getting over the flu and not thinking very clearly ;P

  3. I have read somewhere that Rowan lease the Jaeger brand name from jaeger, who have decided that they no longer want to deal with yarn. The lease is up for renewal so Rowan will be selling off the Jaeger yarns as bargains.(I can't remember where I heard this from and if it is true) I like Jaeger yarn though and it is sad that they will be no more.

  4. Anonymous1:22 PM

    Jean, I just got an email from yesterday announcing the discontinuation of Jaeger, so I wasn't surprised to see it on Carole's blog. I confess to being more of a Rowan than a Jaeger knitter, but still, I've knit a few nice Jaeger garments over the years.

    I'm following your Princess knitting with interest -- I keep looking at mine at thinking I really ought to get back to it.

  5. Anonymous2:57 PM

    I've heard that they have a bunch of Jaeger closeouts at, if you are interested in getting some before it is no more.

  6. I find that one of the oddest effects of the arrival of the Internet in my life is that I sit here, in Chicago, feeling quite concerned and interested about the outcome of the games in Strathardie.

    And also I am delighted that you selected Dolores for your festive attire. I would be very willing to ship the genuine article to you if you'd like to put her up for week. (Lock the liquor cabinet.)

  7. I had heard from my LYS owner that Jaeger was no longer going to be available. A shame as I love Matchmaker 4 ply as shawl yarn.

    I can just see Dolores amongst the caber tossers and giving pointers to the highland dancers.

  8. We attend to Erin Fall Fair (Ontario, Canada).
    Last year, our 42-year-old-son entered his Dodge Ram (a mighty vehicle) in the Truck Pull.
    Imagine his chagrin when he was beaten by a slip of a girl, driving a FORD.
    It gave me weeks of teasing material.

  9. I second Franklin on the interest of the games. I will be seriously ticked if Sam doesn't win. The closest thing we have are county fairs - and the Wisconsin State Fair in August. I have yet to enter any knitting in either my county fair or the State Fair. I have an afgan that my grandmother entered in the state fair and won first place - I also have the prize ribbon. She entered knitted and crocheted items until the year before she died at age 98. I really should continue the tradition.

    I read your blog entries from oldest to newest. I do this on all blgos I start reading, otherwise much of the stories on the blogs don't make much sense. Let me tell you, it is a tough thing to avoid reading the newest entries - especially when I wanted to see what was happening with the Princess.

    You'll have to watch for RYC at HK Handknit. I got some there on sale when I was in Edinburgh at the end of June. (And I'm so sorry we were unable to meet in person - but I will return to Scotland - love that country!) I believe it is a Rowan product - but I haven't looked closely at the label since I bought it. They may have more at reduced prices in the back room.

  10. Jean, I wish you well in your fair entries. I am working on mine for our local fair (here in Pennsylvania, USA) which happens in a mere 4 weeks.

    Good luck!


  11. Hi Jean! Rowan, Jaeger and RYC are all companies now owned by Coats. RYC is a new line that is an offshoot of Rowan, I think to carve out a demographic distinction between the younger, trendier Rowan and the next age group up for RYC, although this is just guessing on my part based on the fact that the Rowan patterns now seem trendier than they used to and RYC seems to have picked up the slack with more "classic" designs. The "Cashsoft" yarns, which have been very popular at the knitting shop I work at in Philadelphia, are from RYC. The labels are all different and there are separate pattern booklets under the RYC name, and I think there is a separate website devoted to RYC, as distinguished from the website.