Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Knitting first, because I don’t want to get too far behind. Then I will try to write about the funeral. It was great, and a great funeral does help.

Clare, I was so excited to learn that Joyfulknitter in Cicero, NY, is knitting my First Holy Communion veil! Thank you for that. I feel as Cathy must when she spots someone on the subway reading one of her thrillers, or as Kaffe somewhere describes himself when he first saw someone walking down the street in one of his designs.

She seems to be having a hard time, and it is sort of tough. Kinzel’s fault, not mine – the mesh that the cross floats in is perfectly simple, in one sense, but it lacks the rhythm of ordinary lace knitting and demands endless counting.

Grannypurple, I will pass on what may prove your valuable tip for judiciously shrinking cashmere, namely a brief turn in a tumble dryer. Presumably while damp? I knit myself an alpaca sweater once, fisherman’s rib. After two or three wearings it was below knee length, and I suppose I must have thrown it away. It was delicious to knit, though.

I’m sizzling down the foot of Ketki’s 2nd KF sock. I’ve knit with self-striping yarn before without much enthusiasm. This is a whole new experience. I’ve got one other colourway in stash, and may order more. I’ve found a British source which stocks them all, in a good website where you have pictures of the socks as well as the balls of yarn. Only problem, three of the six stripey colourways have the same code number. Since the colour names – “fog”, “fire”, “earth”, etc. – don’t appear on the ball band, ordering would be a bit of a lottery. I’ve emailed them and had no response, which is somewhat ominous.

Duncan Ellin’s funeral

Standing room only in the little church. The coffin covered with the Red Ensign – a white flag quartered with the Union Jack – on which were Duncan’s naval officer’s hat, his sword, and his medals. His widow perfect in black except for the beautiful beret she wore at their wedding 13 years ago – silk, I think, in sections of antique-y gold and red and green. The Last Post at the graveside, and a naval officer in uniform saluting. My husband sighed a bit heavily when I told him all this.

There was a remarkable eulogy from a colonel in the Royal Marines, in which he laughed at Duncan for his faults. It could only have been done by a man who loved him, and who knew that we did too. Duncan was a great story-teller, but he did tend to go on even as his hearers’ eyes glazed. And he was sort of a snob, in a sense. The speech ended with the thought that Duncan, in heaven, was pointing with pride to the splendid turnout for his funeral, and identifying each one of us to the heavenly host with our status and achievements. There’s no doubt that the cherubim and seraphim now know that I am James Miles’s mother.


  1. Much better that sort of eulogy than the hagiographic kind. With this you can all be fondly remembering the real man.

    The beret sounds rather wonderful, too.

  2. I am currently using 4253 -fog, nice blues and a bit of mauve and bronze. The Regia site lays out the color numbers and names pretty well:

    I much prefer that sort of loving eulogy. I was an honorary pallbearer at a funeral where the minister said something like - we all know some good stories about Dick - and never said another word that reflected on the person himself. I was waiting for stories. Much better to have a loving laugh or two, for me at least.

  3. Anonymous4:21 AM

    I would be very cautious about shrinking cashmere in the tumble dryer. I once worked at a place where clothing donations were accepted, and a tiny cashmere sweater came in, sized to fit a one or two year old infant. The label read "Women's size 38." American size 38 means a 38-inch bust. The only way I could tell it had shrunk was the label; the knitted cashmere was still lovely and soft and the garment was perfectly proportioned.

  4. I'm glad the funeral offered the comfort a good funeral should.

    Can't wait to hear about the Obama sweater's journey to the US. I think there is still sweater mojo - Barack raised 40 million in March, compared to Hillary's 20 million.

    At the same time, isn't it disgusting how much money is wasted in campaigns when there are so many other causes that could use just a fraction of that money to improve this world?