Wednesday, March 26, 2008

That picture is 25 years old. It shows a shooting party about to depart from the back door of our house in Kirkmichael: James, Alexander (in the moustache), Ed (in a Fair Isle sweater of my manufacture belonging, I think, to his wife Rachel), our tried and trusted friend Captain Duncan Ellin, R.N., and Duncan’s son Julian.

If memory serves, they didn’t hit anything.

Julian phoned on Monday, just after we got back from Loch Fyne, to say that his father is dead.

My husband isn’t very well – the kind of sub-flu, we think, which can afflict old people who have had their precautionary injection. We’ll get medical help today. I hope at the very least he will be well enough for me to leave him behind for a day and go up for the funeral.

It hasn’t been a good month.

We had a grand time over Easter, though.

Here are Alexander and Ketki’s sons, James in the Wallaby adaptation I knit for his birthday last year, Thomas in the new Araucania sweater which has turned out not as big as it should be. Their parents say that the boys are tall for their ages. I’ll have to aim higher next time.

Ketki, in her gansey.

Rachel, in her striped Koigu, roughly the design I mean to imitate, without stripes, in the pink Araucania sweater I have just cast on for myself in Kirkmichael.

And here’s what I got done – KF socks for Ketki. I cast the first one on, on the train to Glasgow on Friday. It shows what can be achieved, even by a slow knitter, in an idle and irresponsible weekend.


  1. Anonymous8:45 AM

    Dear Jean,
    I am so sorry for your loss, and for the illness of your husband. Sterkte as the Dutch would say (Fortitude).

    The gansey looks very good on Ketki.

    All the best,

  2. what wonderful family knitted treasures. I making my way through the crocheted directions of a 12-sided snowflake in a version of that KF yarn.

    And "achhhh" to your sad month. Glad to see you back here though! Hot toddy for your husband?

  3. I heard James on the radio the other day and said to the people I work with "I know his mother!" Then I thought again and had to say "well, I don't really KNOW her.... " Thanks for letting me feel like a friend of the family.

    I wish you strength and peace through the tough times.

  4. Another condolence note, this has not been an easy winter for you. I am sorry for another loss. It was wonderful to see all those knitted items on the assorted family members.
    It looks as though they are worn in a relaxed, easy manner, so they get regular use, not just for photo ops! The pink gansey looks perfect.

  5. Jean, I'm sorry to hear of your difficult month (and know somewhat how you feel). I hope your husband feels better soon. Everyone looks lovely in their handknit sweaters, and I'm glad Easter was enjoyable. Best wishes for a better April.

  6. beautiful sweaters! I am sorry for your loss I hope april brings you better times. Hope you Husband will be on the mend soon!

  7. I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your friend.
    You'd be interested to note that Flu vaccinations do not actually protect you from getting the flu; only a small number of strains are vaccinated against, according to the predictions of a small number of specialists. Therefore, your husband may very well have some other strain. Best to check with the doctor!

  8. What a wonderful picture of some very handsome men. I am sorry for your loss and I do hope that your husband gets to feeling better.

  9. Anonymous3:26 PM

    Best wishes for your family's health. Can you get someone to look in on your husband while you are out?

    It looks as though the gansey fits Ketki perfectly.

  10. Anonymous4:38 PM

    Sorry to hear about your friend Jean - there's something about this time of year, my parents have been to an alarming number of funerals this year already.

    Love the socks - I made a pair for my husband in the same KF yarn for Christmas. It's so nice to see him wearing something with colour in, and not complaining that it's too girly!

  11. Anonymous5:20 PM

    I am so sorry to hear about the death of your friend. This has been a sad time for you, and I'm keeping you in my thoughts.

    Good thoughts to your husband, too. I hope he is soon well.

    I love seeing all of your knits in action. Ketki's sweater is lovely!!

  12. Oh Jean, I'm so sorry for your hard month and the loss of your friend.

    I do hope your husband recovers and things start looking up for you.


  13. All this is getting a bit relentless for you both. What a grim winter and spring this has been. It must seem like it's getting difficult to open the mail/newspaper without reading about another friend gone. I hope that this is it for quite a while.

    Best wishes to your beloved and I hope that he feels better soon and whatever it is doesn't mess with his BSLs too much. I'm glad you got some knit therapy in with those beautiful socks.

  14. There is something about the time of year. My father, a retired minister, always had numerous funerals during Lent and Eastertide. So sorry for the loss of your friend. It's hard to take one loss on the heels of another.

    Hope your mate feels better soon. My father got his flu shot this year and promptly came down with flu. My mother opted not to get a flu shot - and has been healthy all winter.

  15. Anonymous3:07 AM

    You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Ron in Mexico