Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Here we are.

January is in fact a good deal darker than November. I worked it out. The difference is entirely due to hope. Today will be a sort of winter solstice for the whole world – the worst is behind us; things will get better.

Yesterday shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland, of which we own a fair number, became valueless. I thought of a tsunami-survivor who said she looked out of her hotel window towards the sea, and it wasn’t there.

The United Kingdom is in a very bad way – Iceland-on-the-Thames. And there is no hope at all for us unless the American economy improves. So our wishes for Mr Obama are more than brotherly good-will.

I hope to watch the inauguration, like everybody else in the world. I have never heard more than tiny snippets of his speeches, although I read the great speech about race in full the day he gave it. I read somewhere that inauguration speeches are traditionally short; that’s good. I’ll get on with that sleeve.

I bought far too much yarn for this project. (Not the first time that’s happened.) I’m going to have two whole skeins of the body-colour left, plus a sweater’s-worth of the greenery-yallery-Grosvenor-Gallery colour I bought to go with it, the original idea having been an all-over two-colour pattern. But I’m a bit concerned about whether I’ll have enough grey for the neck placket and collar.

I could do them in the body colour, of course. Or in Calcutta Cup pink; that’s maybe the answer.

Tamar has posted an interesting variation of the three-needle bind-off to HistoricKnit. I hope I’m not violating copyright by mentioning it here. I’m going to use it on the shoulders: namely, knit the shoulders together and then, on the next row, bind off. It makes a stronger seam and sounds as if it might be better-looking, too.


  1. A winter solstice for the world, what an appropriate image. Biden quoted Seamus Heaney "History teaches us not to hope on this side of the grave. But then once in a lifetime now that longed for tidal wave of justice rises up and hope and history rhyme."

    Sorry to hear about your bank shares. That extra yarn will hold its value, so think of it as an excellent investment.

  2. "Winter Solstice for the world." Wonderful words. And so very true.

  3. Anonymous3:50 PM

    The bind-off is from Gladys Thompson, Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys & Arans, page 8, and she says she got it from Messrs de Cartaret and le Patourel of Guernsey, who said they got it from someone unnamed who left it to them years ago and it's traditional. So the method itself isn't trademarked and the phrasing was my own. They give one further detail which is that you start at the neck edge, go to the shoulder, work back binding off, knit across the back of the neck and do the other shoulder, then use the live stitches to knit the neck gussets. This is why the beginning of the neck is one-third the total width - the gussets fill in the rest.

    I've been collating the various directions in different books for "the" guernsey and it's quite schizophrenic. They all give one set of directions for the traditional form, often scattered over many pages as short comments, and one that is quite different in their written-out pattern.

  4. Anonymous3:57 PM

    P.S. By "the" guernsey I meant "the Channel Islands guernsey" - obviously there are very many guernsey patterns.

  5. I love using a 3 needle bind off for shoulders. I think sewing my shoulder seams looks terrible. Maybe I am overly critical of my sewing, but the seams never look unsightly when I use the bind off. In my opinion, it is firmer and has the plus of all the columns of knitting lining up perfectly.

  6. Anonymous6:05 AM

    I have visited your blog throughout the election season. Your connection with Obama has been a great inspiration. So, today, I think of you. Congratulations for getting there and for getting us all to today.