Thursday, July 24, 2008

We got the postcard, and I divided the front of the dinosaur sweater for the neck. I should finish the basic knitting today.

The postcard auction was pretty exciting, and pretty expensive. Until the very end, it looked as if I would get it for £6.55, expensive enough for a postcard. In the final seconds, someone put in what he must have thought was a killer bid of £17.50. My killer bid was even more lethal – don’t mess with Tayside00.

I think maybe if we had seen this card at that price in a shop, we’d have decided it was too expensive – and then regretted the decision.

Now the same seller has offered this one, again rather choice. Balnauld is our own particular corner of Kirkmichael. We’ve got a postcard of the Old Mill, but I rather think this one is a different view. We’re going up for a two-night’er next week to pick courgettes. As it happens, we'll be just in time to check our postcard collection before the deadline.

This one is just the sort of card for which the memories of our friend Jean B. could be interesting – she may have seen the Old Mill. We know where it was, but there’s nothing there now, and there hasn’t been anything for the 45 years our memories cover. But Jean’s got another 30 years of memories.

The thing that puzzles me about last night’s purchase, is that the seller says with some emphasis that it dates from 1910 although it looks to the innocent eye very Great War. When was the Boer War, exactly? It has been through the post – we much prefer postcards in that state – so the object itself will answer some questions when it arrives. In those days, postmarks were legible.

Anyway, knitting

My plan is to do all the boring work on the wrong side of the dinosaurs next, then join the pieces, and only after that, knit the neck ribbing – sort of like the delicious half-glass of wine one finds one still has on hand after finishing one’s pudding.

I toyed yesterday with the idea of knitting a quick Liesl when this is finished. I surveyed my stash in Ravelry and found some Debbie Bliss “Maya” which I had completely forgotten about. It took some effort to find it in real life, but I did; and it might be just the thing. We shall see.


  1. I can't reach the book to look it up, but the Boer War did span the turn of the last century, so not so very long before the 1914-18 war.

    I have to say that one look at the postcard made me quite homesick! There are so many house in West Cornwall that look like that - dressed stone and bay windows. It could have been St Just.

    Update - have found the book and the dates are 1899 to 1902.

  2. The Boer Wars were at the very end of the 19th century, and ended in 1902,so uniforms would not have been very different from that point until the Great War. And I suppose career soldiers wandered around villages in uniform no matter what, just fewer of them. It will be interesting to see the postmark.

  3. The First Boer War was 1880-81 and the Second Boer war was 1899-02. People who talk about the Boer War usually mean the latter. Nowadays historians usually call it the South Afican War and refer to the first one as the Transvaal War. After all, I don't suppose the whole thing was the fault of the Boers.

    Your soldiers may be members of the local Volunteer force. If you send me a scan of it when you receive it, I can let you know more about the uniforms.

  4. What colour Maya do you have? I have a pile of the pink/orange, and not sure what to do with it, but a Liesl might be the answer - I had thought to do one in some RYC Cashsoft aran I have in black, that has been reclaimed from its plans for an unworthy recipient.

    I loved the Maya colours and texture; a real gleam and softness to it, quite alive, unlike the SoHo replacement!