Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Business first: Gerrie in St Paul, thank you for your donation to the Obama cause. Now that we are inspired not only by enthusiasm for him, but also by the pressing need to prevent Sarah Palin from becoming leader of the free world, it’s all the more important.

But the previously brilliant Obama system has changed – in the past, they would have notified Theo (who owns the thermometer), he would have written to thank you and also to alert me, who would then match the donation.

He says that your donation shows on the “dashboard”, but he hasn’t been sent your address. And when I tried to make my matching donation just now, I find that I now have to go to a special page for Americans Abroad, and include my passport number. That last will involve a certain amount of search; but I’ll do it soon.


The post continued its Week of Excitement yesterday: Cathy’s new book arrived, "The Slaughter Pavilion", and the fall Woolgathering. Comments to follow.

Meanwhile, the big news is that I have successfully resumed Princess-knitting, and the experience is little short of exhilarating. I tried to photograph it this morning, but the camera expired (battery needs charging) – it’s clearly going to be a day of you-can’t-do-that-until-you’ve-done-THIS.

The structure of the thing is that first you knit 85 points of a fiendishly difficult edging – I was fully half-way through before I managed to memorise it. Then you pick up 850 stitches from the flat edge, and knit 220 rows of an intricate and fascinating border (easier than the edging, in many ways).

Then you fiddle about with something called the Laurel Leaf Panel Pattern, which reduces the stitch count somewhat.

And then, feeling that this-must-be-about-over-now, you start the centre. That’s where I am. You begin in the middle of the border, an enormous rectangle, by picking up the five stitches in the absolute centre. Then you knit back and forth, adding one more border stitch each row, and knitting a really-pretty-easy pattern with a 46 row repeat.

I’ve done three or four repeats. The rows are getting longer, but are still finish-able. I did ten yesterday, I think, and another two this morning while I digested my weekly osteoporosis pill.

Then at the end, when the whole thing has been transformed into an enormous triangle, you must finish the entire top edge with that fiendish edging.

So it’s not nearly over, maybe not much more than half done. It was a bit of a struggle, starting again yesterday, and I distinctly felt myself a year older and clumsier than when I last worked on it. I really mean to resolve to try to finish in ’09.

There are two important bits of business outstanding – LaurieG and Omsafeeya. Tomorrow, I hope.


  1. For information on the VK editorship, allow me to refer you to your post for 1 May, when the previous editor seemed to have been sacked. Reading between the lines of the emails I receive from VK and their website, I would guess that VK wanted to move into the interwebs and was experiencing resistance. Their website is technically very fancy but it's short of content. They're miles behind IK, who send out Knitting Daily by email. It must be a real problem for the knitting mags, given the vast numbers of knitters who choose not to join us, chattering away here.

  2. You make the Princess sound so ... appealing. Well, for those of us who like a challenge anyway. Thank you for mentioning Woolgathering. I've been meaning to subscribe and have just asked for it for my birthday. The current sweater looks lovely.

  3. Did you see Sen. Obama was in Lebanon, VA yesterday? And he even stopped in Abingdon for a vanilla milkshake before going on to Lebanon. I've now had the privilege of getting to hear him speak twice.
    Yes, I'm still excited. :-)
    Phooey on the media and people who've never heard the saying about you can't put lipstick on a pig, it'll only get you dirty and irritate the pig. I sometimes wonder what they're teaching in the schools these days that no one seems to know simple sayings or where quotes originate from.