Monday, January 14, 2008

Largely non-knit…

…although I did get that gusset started last night. Brown-Reinsel mentions the possibility of doing it in reversed st st (as I will be doing) – I just hadn’t noticed, the first time through. It’s a seriously good book. “Knitting Ganseys”.


On the theory that knitting a gansey for Theo is not really much use to Obama, in the last analysis – indeed, in the first analysis -- I made an actual donation yesterday, the first time in my life I have done such a thing. I expected the acknowledgement to come in the form of a “personal” email from the candidate, but it didn’t. I am torn between rejoicing in the triumph of common sense over sentimentality, and the urge to tell them they’re missing a trick here.

I remember visiting my mother in a retirement community in NJ, late in her life, and her telling me she had made a contribution to Jesse Jackson’s bid for the nomination. I said I didn’t think he was of presidential calibre. She agreed, and said she had sent the money to encourage him, because he was black.

She was devotedly liberal, but spent some of her formative years in the Confederacy. Perhaps for that reason, perhaps just because of her generation, her attitude towards blacks was condescending, although she’d have been furious if you told her so. I wonder what she would have made of a black presidential candidate towards whom condescension was impossible.

She was also an ardent feminist, and a great admirer of Bill Clinton – I think her last vote must have been for his second term, in ’96. I wonder if she’d have favoured Hillary just because she’s a woman, an attitude which seems to me equally condescending.

Lots of people loathed Mrs Thatcher, and lots of others admired her extravagantly, but no one ever accused her of being a woman.


No VKB’s lately, but I bought this gem last night. Not just Kirkmichael, but Balnauld, Kirkmichael – the little group of houses including ours, down that dead-end road. We’re pretty sure this building isn’t standing any more. Could it have been the mill? That looks like the burn – our burn – in the foreground.

Spinning Fishwife, thanks for the raspberry-growing tip. Noted. I’ve got lots of catalogues (and Google) – I’ll find it.


  1. I shouldn't fear getting a "personal" e-mail at some point, now that you're in their database. I got one just the other day because John Kerry had me in his database, which he has handed over to Obama.

  2. Wonderful postcard. I always think it's strange seeing photographs of buildings that no longer exist; it's like seeing ghosts.

  3. Anonymous7:58 PM

    But our mother was condescending towards women as well. She once, fairly late in life, described a cousin of ours as having gone to medical school "for the reason women go: to catch a husband." Since I was at that point a physician it was a very condescending remark all around.
    The cousin proceeded to drop out of school, which I found shocking--and very rare. I don't think I ever knew another woman medical student follow that particular course.

  4. oh mothers say a lot of things....
    i have been wondering about the gansey book since it is one of the classics i havent knitted. right now a machine knit version that has been on the market for ages and ages is a bestseller here both in navy blue but also in pink and even in silver and gold. each sweater has the machine knitters handknitted signature on and i regret i didn't save the one i got at fifteen. not a stitch is altered.
    i am looking very much forward to seeing the theo sweater once finished.

  5. Jean, I don't find people in my area mentioning Hilary being a woman. They're much more apt to mention disliking her brusque manner. As for Mr. Obama, it's very unfortunate that I'm hearing some racial slurs made that I've not heard spoken so openly since I was a child in the early '60's. It's shocking to me, even from the uneducated, still backwards, Confederate-flag flying area I live in. I personally am distressed either of them are even bothering to engage in this debate about who did what for civil rights. There's still way too much to do about the issue! Get on with it already before we end up with another Republican.
    Frankly, I've come to feel kind of like your gansey has talismanic abillites. Knit on, please.