Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The last day. Scary. I’ve done the final, perfunctory Christmas cards (a bit late, according to the official post office deadline); I’ve got another session to face in a post office queue this afternoon after all; and an appointment to have my hair done. I haven’t measured the linked ribs in the last 24 hours, but feel pretty confident that I can cast them off today.

I didn’t need much more than the yarn I originally started out with, after all; but it was worth getting more rather than leaving the scarf slightly-too-short. Tying in a new ball (as I did last night) is fun. Half of the knitting, although it may not appear so, is a simple st st tube. All you have to do is arrange for the new ball to be joined while that is going on; knit one stitch with two yarns together, and tie a tidy knot on the inside of the tube.

In a trice, the knot will have disappeared forever – I hope you tied it properly – inside the next set of flanges.

I think it looks rather nice.

So what to do with the nearly-two-balls left over of Silk Garden? (Just add them to stash.) Sean has been knitting dickeys lately, from EZ’s “Knitting Around”, and I’m tempted. A dickey would certainly be cosy, and should be almost instantaneous to knit.

So I got the book out, and read about dickeys, and then wandered about the pages for a while. It suddenly occurred to me – I’m pretty slow on the uptake – that “Stretham” where EZ was sent to live with some aunties during the Great War, might be “Streatham” (pronounced “Stretham”) where my daughter Rachel lives.

I got out my London street guide and, sure enough, found “Mount Nod Road” on Streatham Hill. It’s in a classier part of town than Rachel’s bit, but it would not be impossible to make a pilgrimage if I ever felt inclined.

There are things about that book that make me uneasy, most especially her treatment (or non-treatment) of the Second World War. Why did they emigrate to America, with no money and no job, a land EZ “hated and feared”? She says that the winter of Pearl Harbor was a cold one; otherwise, the war is scarcely mentioned. Did she feel guilty about abandoning the old country? There must have been Lloyd Joneses in London and Zimmermanns in Munich who occupied their thoughts. The Old Man says, in his own stirring account of his escape on foot from Hitler’s Germany, that he never saw his uncle or father or brother again.

It’s none of my business, but I feel she made it my business by writing an autobiography.


Knititch, where exactly did you bump into an Enid Blyton who wrote stitch dictionaries? I can’t find anything to back this up on Google on in the Wikipedia entry on her, but it’s very hard to believe that there were two Enid Blytons.

I will remember what you and Vivienne say about the Book Depository.


  1. How very nice the scarf looks now you have managed to get a little sunshine to show the colours!

  2. I feel like an idiot -- have not been following THIS scarf making and so of course went "huh?" when I saw the picture. Must go back and read past posts again.

    Found another use for leftover Silk haze from Earth Wrap I haven't started yet/mohair I didn't use at all -- the candy stripes stole from the Holiday Interweave Knits. I'm only thinking though -- too much Xmas stuff/bad cold to knit. But after the 25.... yahoo! Your scarf is lovely, and the colors fabulous!
    Interesting about EZ -- maybe someone will ask Meg S about this. EZ, as I am sure you know, is an "American" phenomenon, or was, when she was first published. I asked British friends about her, and they said, "who?" But we Yanks love her, as she taught us to think a little about what we actually do. Sorry -- I sound ancient here! MaryjoO

  3. i think the scarf is great and that dickeys are most fashionable as are bowtie scarves. in danish we call them balaclavas (klipfisk) which is a whole different story in english. and all of a sudden it struck me thata balaclava is not a middle-eastern cookie but a portuguese dry fish and everything made sense (shapewise).
    i think i looked up stitchionaries on bookdepository and then my old heroine enid blyton emerged as the writer of a mon tricot oop stitchionary. and she has written a children's book called the magical knitting needles or something like that. so it may be the same enid blyton.
    i always felt a bit confused about ez's digressions, and of course it is none of our businesses to make logic of her story, but as you say, she published her life-story which is quite unusual for a knitting goddess.

  4. Anonymous4:27 PM

    To knititch: I think you're confusing balaclava with baccala (stress on the last syllable). Balaclava is a hat that can be pulled down to protect the face and neck; baccala is dried and salted cod. It’s fun to think that both of these could be knitted items!
    These two wikipedia articles illustrate:

    To Jean: It sounds like you’re very much affected by the short, dark days of winter. I encourage you to get outdoors in the sunlight when it’s available. And take heart – the days will start getting longer very soon.

  5. I drove along D. Place this morning. I'd have stopped dead if I'd seen a woman taking a photo of a Silk Garden scarf, belive me! It's lovely. :-) (The scarf, that is, though D. Place is pretty nice too.)

    Mc.A`s have a sale on, did you know? I went in for some Rowan beads, and left with all sorts of tastey titbits.

  6. Hi, Jean,
    Reading your plans for a pilgrimage to EZ's london dwelling. I was amazed recently to pick up a leaflet advertising workshops in Colchester run by EZ's niece, on two colour stranded knitting and the like. She claims to have samples knit by EZ herself and doubtless would be able to shed light on family history. Would you like the phone number?

  7. Full spectrum lights work wonders for SAD! I agree about January though ...just knowing the days are getting longer is a boost.

    The scarf looks great in those changing colors.