Saturday, January 05, 2008

Happy New Year, everybody, and thank you for your messages.

I’m feeling pretty good about Iowa.

We’re back in Edinburgh. The holidays were good, although not entirely stress-free. On Friday the 28th, we all had lunch at the Strathardle Inn: all of us, 22 people, my husband and I, our children, their husbands and wives, all of our grandchildren. It may never happen again.

Yesterday’s return was an epic struggle. The last of the party, the Beijing Mileses, departed on Thursday morning, by limo to Edinburgh airport, thence to Heathrow, thence to the Middle Kingdom. It went smoothly.

Within an hour, snow started falling seriously. Our house is several metres below the level of the road to the village. I drove the car up to the flat bit of driveway before the final short, sharp ascent. I couldn’t take it the rest of the way and leave it beside the road because it – the road – is too narrow.

On Friday morning there was lots more snow and it was still falling. The car wouldn’t move for the sheer bulk of the stuff. We shovelled. It got going, moved along pretty well, and then stuck a couple of feet below the level of the road.

We went back to the house and finished up, closed the outbuildings, drained the water, turned off the electricity, and went back up to the car with sacking, in a state of close-to-terminal exhaustion.

We are near the end of a dead-end road. It was not the day for casual travellers. G*les from the big house might have gone by in his big car, or Jake on his tractor. Either would have stopped to help, but between them they scarcely constitute traffic.

As we were tucking the sacks under the wheels, and I worrying not a little about the immediate prospect of my 82-year-old husband pushing the car, some strangers appeared. They offered to pull us, we said a push would do it, they pushed, we got up. You can’t call it a miracle, but it was certainly providential. Maybe they were angels in disguise? The rest of the journey was not without its difficulties, but here we are.

This is supposed to be about knitting. Here are some pictures of people wearing things I knit.
Helen's husband David, with their son Mungo:

Rachel in her striped Koigu:

Cathy, in a fun pattern from Knitter's whose name I've forgotton, with James and their daughter Kirsty:

Thomas Miles, with his brother James, in a recent little-boy sweater:

There's more, but Blogger seems to think that's enough for today, and they're probably right.


  1. What a snowy adventure! And such beautiful knitting!

  2. Welcome back Jean and right away I thought both of you should NOT be shoveling snow! Thankfully you were rescued! Your Xmas knitted presents are divine -- lucky people!

    I'm off on a few other tangents, including still having to put away holiday glitter, but have started the Earth Stripe wrap. It truly is lovely to knit with doubled, but right away I didn't care for some of the "dark" blendings, so I'm changing things a little. We're watching last year's season of "24" in the evenings, so that's when the wrap gets picked up. It may take me a while.

    And what is next knitting wise for you in the New Year? Maryjo

  3. Welcome back and Happy New Year to you both. I had been wondering if the snow had caused you any problems - thank goodness it wasn't any worse than it was.
    I hope you got a fully deserved glow to see so much of your handiwork on display, as well as the joy of being with the people wearing it!

  4. Here's hoping 2008 is as good a year for you as possible! Glad you made it back thru the snow, and all knitted gifts were well accepted.

  5. Welcome back! I missed reading your daily musings.

  6. So glad you are back, safe and more or less sound. Making fingerless gloves out of some just found Koigu. Nice stuff that.

  7. Anonymous4:16 PM

    Glad to see you back! Happy New Year!

    Was that Knitters sweater the Mitred Mozart? I did that one in Mission Falls cotton and it's too bloody heavy to wear comfortably. Never again.

    Working on a J&S fair isle as my hols wind down. Best wishes from Canada!

  8. Anonymous4:41 PM

    welcome back, and happy new year! lovely to see people wearing and appreciating your knitting :)

  9. Anonymous7:47 PM

    Happy New Year! I'm glad you are now home safe and sound.

    What a delight to see so many of your family donning your hand-knits!

    PS You and your cashmere were the first things I thought about upon hearing the Iowa news!

  10. Anonymous8:23 PM

    I thought of you often through Thursday evening as they were projecting the winners in Iowa and I knew you'd be happy. I'm still undecided myself but not unhappy...

    I missed you while you were gone...we spent New Years Eve with the friends we traveled with in Scotland and I thought of you then too as we reminisced about the trip. It was definitely the highlight of the year and meeting you was one of the highlights of the trip (meeting Liz Lovick was the other one!).

    Happy New Year!

  11. Anonymous9:18 PM

    Hello, Jean - Joe, in Wyoming, wishes you and yours a New Year of peace and many Blessings. Glad your Holiday Season was wonderful. Good to know that all went well with the snowfall. Take care -

  12. Welcome home! I've missed you, but was confident that you were enjoying a wonderful Christmas with your children and grandchildren. I suspected that you were subjected to a dumping of snow, but what a set of circumstances! I'm glad that the two of you are none the worse for wear after that adventure.

    Donna Wingfield

  13. So glad you're safely back. We've missed you.

  14. Good Gravey! Perhaps it would be good to time departures with folks more fit for shovelling snow? The althernative view would be compliments on all the shovelling and hiking through snow you both did. Quite the accomplishment to start the new year on!

    Loved the link scarf - did the recipient love it too? Looking forward to modelling pictures. Loved the little boy sweater as well.

    H.I. and I cheered mutedly when we heard about Barack and then got into a subdued debate on the likelihood of success. We shall be watching with interest as well.

    Hope 2008 is filled with gentler exercise and chuckly amusement for you both.

  15. Goodness, what a struggle to get home.
    I'm glad you are backs safely.
    Nice to see that little boy sweater on a real life little boy!


  16. Anonymous6:15 AM

    Wow, all those great sweaters!
    I especially admire the chevron pattern.

    Thank goodness for the passing strangers! I'm glad you made it back safely.

  17. Welcome back. It sounds like you had a lovely holiday, and what a lunch! I have a vision of your entire family sitting round the table clad in your hand knits. Lovely....:-)

  18. Anonymous1:21 AM

    Jean, so glad you had a grand time together with your family. Glad you made it home safe. May you have many blessings in this New Year.

    I, too, am feeling pretty good about my home state. Record turnouts, it was great, hope this continues through New Hampshire and South Carolina also.


  19. Anonymous6:43 PM

    How fortunate you are that some strangers came to the rescue. You must be living right. So glad you got home ok!