Thursday, February 28, 2008

I wonder if I am going to get so swept up in Comments and Politics today that I still won’t have time to talk to Shandy about blogging or Catriona about Godparents.


Fiberqat – this is important – asks about the Games. I wonder if there is some way I could get them into the sidebar, because they are a leit motif in my life, I hope that’s spelled right, like Christmas and more fun.

The Strathardle Highland Gathering is held on the Bannerfield, K*rkmichael, Perthshire, on the Fourth Saturday of August, always. It’s a public event, a jolly outing for the whole family, to coin a phrase, and I hope that one day a blog-reader will come and say hello, identifying me easily by my new Dolores sweatshirt. I’ll pour you some cider from the ample supply in the back of our car.

(The link is to last year’s shirt, which I am wearing as I sit here typing. I’ll have a brand new one on Games Day.)

For us, as for many locals, it’s Family Reunion Day. This picture, from ’03, gives something of the flavour. My husband on the left of the bench, son-and-law Ed and daughter Rachel and various grandchildren filling the rest of it, Alexander and his wife Ketki behind. I knit Alexander’s hose.

Knitting comes in because there is a Home Industries Tent – something, perhaps, like a very-small-beer county fair. Cooking, flowers, vegetables, children's classes, and handicrafts, including knitting. I usually compete, and until last year, never win.

Here we segue towards politics.

Dorie, you said in a comment a while ago that Hillary’s tale would make a good opera. I read this article from the Wall Street Journal this morning, comparing the story to a tragic film. My own thought had been that it resembles one of those scenes in Shakespeare or Greek tragedy where messenger after messenger comes in with bad news. Act V Scene V of Macbeth, for instance.

I am reading voraciously on the subject of American politics. iGoogle offers some good suggestions every morning. My sister pointed me to the RealClearPolitics site, which fills the rest of the day. And the indefatigable Helen, knower of all things web-connected, told me about Justin Webb’s blog – he is the BBC Washington correspondent, and I think I’m enjoying him most of all. He provides a link today to this wonderful article about Ohio. I went to college in Ohio.

We’d better have a bit here about knitting. Ruth wants to know if I invented the pattern for Theo’s gansey. No: it’s in Brown-Reinsel’s book “Knitting Ganseys”. It’s on the cover, in fact. Her exemplar is for a small child; I did the arithmetic to scale it up more than a bit, for Theo.

I picked up stitches for the neck last night. B-R says to pick up 45% of the body stitches. By the time I had incorporated the live stitches front and back, and picked up a reasonable number on each side, I had more than that, so I spent some time ensuring that a k2 rib straddled each of the four corners, and I will mitre it slightly. Picture soon.


  1. Much as I am enjoying the discussions and links on politics, I was really looking forward to your ideas on the philosophy of blogging. Maybe tomorrow?

  2. You never win a ribbon for your knitting??? Good grief, how can yu lose? Scotland must be a land of awesome knitters indeed!

  3. Thank you, Jean, for the commentary on Brown-Rinsel's technique of using 45% of the body stitches for the sweater neck. I may yet venture again into the land of sweaters, and I'll keep this in mind if I do.

    Donna Wingfield

  4. Any hints as to what you are going to knit for the competition this year?

  5. Anonymous4:38 PM

    Do you find designing a gansey difficult? I have been wanting to make one for a while now, but am a bit leery of all the math. Do you think that Brown-Rinsel's book is a good place for a rank beginner to start, or would you have another suggestion?

  6. Thanks for the link to the Justin Webb's blog. Very interesting...and I like BBC news best. It airs on our public TV station but I'm usually coming home after it has aired in the early evening.

    Like Janet, I'm watching with interest to see your games knitted item.

  7. Anonymous12:54 PM

    Hi Jean: When I'm not knitting what's turning out to be my all-time slowest sock (and just a little mock cable at that!) I've been reading "Hillary's Choice" by Gail Sheehy. A little dated now, but I'd recommend it as an honest account of her life and relationship with Bill.

  8. Thank you for the explanation on the Games. It now makes more sense on the categories. Good luck! Wish I could make the jaunt up to say hi and share a bit of cider but I'll most likely be recovering from an international chorus festival in Miami.