Thursday, December 20, 2007

Here we go. I am sorry not to be here tomorrow to wish everybody a Happy New Year on the darkest day. I don’t know when we’ll be back; in time, I hope, for the Iowa Caucus on January 3. At that point I’ll start knitting hard on the gansey, and hope to carry on right through New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Which should get me to the point where I put it on waste yarn and consider with care my options for how to proceed. Much as Clinton and Obama and Edwards will be doing, in a different sphere.

Apart from politics, I am always surprised by how good January feels. Most of it is every bit as dark as December, but the darkness feels different, right away. Pretty soon now!

I finished the Linked Ribs all right, and should have no difficulty polishing off the little hat tonight or tomorrow in the country.


Fishwife, funny to think of your being in D. Place yesterday and we wouldn’t have known each other if we’d passed on the pavement. I hope we’ll meet in ’08. It’ll be on my list of “achievables”.

Shandy, that is interesting news indeed about EZ’s neice. There were three sisters, EZ the eldest. The middle one was epileptic and, for whatever reason, died in her early teens. So this must be the daughter or granddaughter of the remaining one, Pringle. I would like to have the details, although I would never have the courage to get in touch.

I suppose EZ is getting better known on this side of the Atlantic in recent years, thanks to the Internet. But she is undoubtedly an American phenomenon. Like the phrase “Kitchener stitch”, once completely restricted to North American knitters. I first heard of her in an article in the Sunday Times more than 20 years ago – you could send for a copy of the Baby Surprise pattern, slightly modified to make it double-breasted. I did, and have knit that mimeographed sheet almost to death. I have noted all of the recipients on the pattern – I think the first one was my granddaughter Hellie, under her pregnancy-code-name of Bernadette. She has just turned 21.

Calantha, how nice to hear from you. I’m sure you’re right that I’ll feel happier in the country, in the natural light. It is good to get away from television- and computer-screen. Sort of soothes the mind. Life always seems more manageable there, too, largely because we don’t get much mail so it’s all piling up here to be managed when we get back.

An old friend of Alexander's was with us at the Games this year. He sent me this picture the other day, and Sam seems a very suitable image to close out 2007:


  1. As I said...if I'd seen a woman with a camera and a Noro scarf on the steps of D. Place, I'd have absolutely stood on the brakes. Accompanied by whinging noises from Hubby, but I'd still have stopped! I'm quite often around that way, incidentally. Hubby's uncle and aunt live in Fettes Row, and there's McA's....;-)

    Have a lovely Christmas and best wishes for the New Year. And yes, we should definately meet up next year. :-)

  2. Anonymous10:46 AM

    I saved those articles from the Sunday Times and have been looking back at them. I can't find the offer of the Baby Surprise anywhere. The article on EZ just has the pattern for the Prime Rib Watchcap. Was it on a seperate page? It is bugging me now, though I certainly didn't think I needed the pattern at the time.

  3. Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year Jean!

  4. I lived in Dundonald Street several years ago, and your photographs are very amusing to me!
    I'd certainly stop to talk to someone photographing knitting on their front steps.

  5. oh when we take photos of our knitting. how weird for the people who watch.
    merry christmas jean and a happy new year to you. i shall follow your blog with great interest the coming year.


  6. Anonymous3:14 PM

    Have a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year, Jean! I'm so glad we had a chance to meet this year and it's fun to see Sam as the year's closing photo.

    I, too, always wonder what people think as they drive by when I'm being photographed with my knitting...

  7. hope you time away is restful (unlikely) and restorative.

  8. Jean -- thank you for sharing your knitting life with all of us, and have a good holiday!

  9. Anonymous6:15 PM

    Happy Christmas!
    What a good photo of Sam the Ram. I'm almost inspired to imitate (but probably won't).

  10. Hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

  11. Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year to you and your family, Jean! I hope you share stories of your holiday once back home. I always like to read about the family and St**thardle. I like to hear of other's holiday traditions.

    Interesting that EZ's niece is involved in knitting classes in the UK.

  12. Happy Christmas to you, and all the commenters!

  13. I hope you had a happy Christmas and Boxing Day over there across the pond. It's always a delight to read your entries and look forward to your return after the holiday brouhaha.

  14. Thankyou for your wonderful blog, Jean. It's been a lovely year and I look forward to the next! Wishing you and your family a peaceful, joyous and productive New Year.

    (From an ex pat down-under who misses Edinburgh v. much!)

  15. Anonymous2:57 AM

    Happy New Year. Hope all is well and look forward to your return.