Friday, April 18, 2008


I finished off the KF socks for Thessaloniki. Helen's feet are of different sizes -- I always add half an inch to one of her socks, to accomodate this oddity. Hence the bright stripe.

I started a Yarn Yard pair for Rachel, and in fact finished the initial ribbing.

Still no new KF yarn.

There was major, sad news on the knitting front in the paper this morning: the England cricket team is to abandon cabled sweaters in favour of "fleeces". I have always lamented the fact that cricket sweaters aren't given the place I feel they deserve in the histories of British traditional knitting. They go back well into the 19th century, like fisherman's sweaters, considerably before anyone was wearing Fair Isle in public. Perhaps there was be interesting articles on the historical background in the Sunday papers this weekend.


Shan, thank you.

Beverley, I am excited that you have family connections with Alyth. I love it. We go there not only for my husband's haircuts, but also to buy meat from Mr Dorward who is probably the best butcher in the world, and to nip in to Sim's the ironmonger -- there aren't many proper ironmongers left anywhere -- and to buy pinhead oatmeal from the baker. There's no LYS, but there is a local group that knits for charity. I donate stash from time to time. That's a lot of reasons to visit a small place.

I'll take pictures for you the next time I'm there.

Tamar, I am also excited by your idea that Don Quixote's fixation may suggest an underlying fear of windmills. I wish I could think of an analogy to express the terror our new windfarm inspires. Like meeting a tyrannosaurus rex up there? At least that would have been a living creature.

The fire we saw couldn't have been a vehicle fire -- it was down by the river side, and too widespread. The land drops quite sharply over there from the level of the road, and then there is a flat bit beside the river. My husband kept saying of the fire as we stood watching, "It's in the haugh." It wasn't a word I knew, and it didn't seem quite the moment to ask for elucidation. I found it in the OED yesterday, a word in use in the north of England and in Scotland:

"A piece of flat alluvial land by the side of a river, forming part of the floor of the river valley. The original sense was perh. corner or nook (of land) in the bend or angle of the river. A northern stream usually crosses and recrosses the floor of its valley, striking the base of the slope on each side alternately, and forming a more or less triangular haugh within its bend, on each side in turn."

What does a southern stream do, then: just plod on remorelessly to the sea? The course of the Thames through London suggests otherwise.

So that when we drove within a few yards of the scene, on our way to Edinburgh on Wednesday, there was nothing to be seen except wisps of smoke rising from down by the river.

I have made no progress in finding out what happened. The friend I kept phoning yesterday must be away. I'll try a different tack today.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I think 'haugh' is often translated as 'glen', but English doesn't have a word for that either; 'valley' seems to be used for everything. I suspect there different words for it in different parts of the country. Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow was originally the Saughie Haugh, the glen where the willows grow.

  3. Anonymous1:22 PM

    Such memories 'the haugh' brings back .. When I was living in Inverness 30 years ago our local pub was The Haugh!! - located on the east side of River Ness where Island Bank Road begins the climb to The Castle.This section of town was also called the Haugh -
    And, as I learned from my next door neighbour, a dear wifey (looked like Mts. Claus) from Aberdeen, to make a true Scotch Broth, you must "sweetly simmer the haugh till half is gone" ... In answer to my question, I learned that 'the haugh' was the neck of the sheep????!!!!

  4. I do hate to see any traditional knittng fall by the wayside, do let us know if there is cricket sweater history around. The only history I know is that one Dr. Who wore one! BTW, if it interests you Jean, I am knitter 620 in Franklin's recent post. Since I found you via his blog, I thought I'd mention it.

  5. Anonymous2:18 PM

    Hi Jean

    Thought I'd let you see a couple of pictures of the Gladys Amedro Christening Shawl you recommended I make - in action, finally! No photos of the actual Christening, as it took place during Mass (the Whole way through, from being greeted at the door by the priest, to joining him at the altar for the Final Blessing), so we took a few photos later...

    Next time you're in ravelry have a look here:

    More here, in the MArch set:

    xxx Catriona

  6. Hi, Jean

    I added into the Obama-meter. The debate just pushed me over the edge. again.

    Mary Lou is 0620 and I followed much august company to arrive at 0622. I believe I also arrived to this enjoyable spot via Franklin.

    Gerrie in St Paul

  7. Anonymous4:47 PM

    Elizabeth's comment brought back memories and sent me to Google and Chambers dictionary, so I have spent a pleasant few minutes in research.

    I think it would have been hough in the soup - shin bone. A look in Chambers confirms a link with the word hock.

    A recipe for Scotch broth that I found on Google called for a neck and hough of beef.

    I think it was the marrow in the hough that was the special ingredient. It was certainly important in Potted Hough, a Scots delicacy, my mother used to make every Hogmanay until quite recently.

    A butcher of her acquaintance used to bring some of his for her to taste, but they always agreed that hers was better ;-)

    Thanks for providing me with the motivation to look this all up today!

    All the best,

  8. Anonymous7:53 PM

    Extraordinary that you mentioned 'haugh' in that sense today! This very afternoon I was looking up some surnames during genealogical research and came upon Haugh, with the comment 'this appears in many place names but no-one knows its meaning' Ah, I thought, but I do know, because Jean told me just this morning. Coincidence is a wonderful thing.

    And I remember being taken to Alyth by my grandmother to buy oatmeal, back in the late 60s and early 70s.
    I know K*rkmichael well too.


  9. Well, don't dispair about the kitted cricket jumper. A friend is busily knitting a cabled vest for her husby to wear in the early spring for his cricket games. Our climate is too hot for the full jumper but we quite enjoy the vest for the early cricket season. She's knitting it, at his request, from an old Australian Patons pattern, circa 1960. It will look quite lovely : )