Friday, February 06, 2009

Still no snow in Edinburgh. Bitter cold. Another walk-that-left-me-reeling, yesterday afternoon. My husband came through it in better shape.

It’s not an FO until that final wretched third button is in place, but I’m very happy with the result so far. Size in all directions is absolutely centre-of-the-target. Could it have something to do with swatching?

I made some progress on the Princess last night, but not much. That sentence will do as a daily report (I hope) for months to come. Perhaps this evening I’ll work out roughly how many stitches there are. Enough, certainly, that adding one more at the end of the row – as one does, every row – couldn’t make any appreciable difference. One feels. I think even at the top of the centre, which seems a long way off at the moment, there will be fewer stitches than there were in every row of the border. And there were hundreds of rows in the border.

There’s something about lace knitting that makes every stitch significant, even when one is knitting one’s way through half-an-acre of Princess centre, and thus creates the temptation to sit down and knock off a few pattern repeats – half-a-row is by now too ambitious for a little mid-morning break.


My sister is pressing for definiteness. Even though there are more than five months to go, I may phone the travel agent today and try to book Lizzie and me in to Hartford via Amsterdam. I must give some thought to knitting, too. Socks, I think. I want to have a serious look at Kaffe’s new range for Regia.

Who was it said that you can buy tulip bulbs in Amsterdam airport? Perhaps I can spot the shop on the way out, and call back five days later to pick up a few for Strathardle. Neither my husband nor even Alexander quite grasps that tulips will bloom once, or maybe twice, and then fade away, here in Scotland, whereas daffodils go on forever, and multiply. My husband likes tulips, though; and they would be a bright souvenir of the wedding, next spring.

Here’s a question: I had thought of getting myself a Kindle for this trip. What the hell, since I am going to be spending so much anyway. (If enough people would just get married, the credit crunch would surely be at an end. I will buy airline tickets, clothes, a hotel room, a wedding present, and so will dozens of other people, while the families at the centre of it all will spend vast sums – crede expertae – on everything else. I’m not complaining. It’s fun.)

A Kindle would reduce the bulk I will have to carry, and would completely obviate the problem of finding that the books I had brought weren’t proving satisfactory.

The price is more than a bit breathtaking. At the moment, I can’t get one anyway. in the US is out of stock, and won’t send them abroad when they become available. doesn’t seem to have them either. Other eBooks are about. Is it worth getting one of them (money no object, for the moment)? Or better to hold out for a Kindle? Or forget the whole idea and buy a couple of well-chosen paperbacks? I think Eudora Welty’s “Delta Wedding” ought to be one of them.


  1. I think I mentioned the tulips at Schiphol. I saw them in December, at a shop on the way to the outpost of the Rijksmuseum. Definitely the more international terminal, I was flying to/from the US.

    I don't know if tulip bulbs are seasonal.

    As far as the books go, I would fear losing the Kindle; it's no serious financial loss if I lose a paperback, I can always consider it a kind of involuntary anonymous participation in BookCrossing, after all.

  2. The jumper has turned out quite lovely, of course.

    With tulips, I believe it rather depends on their variety as to their longevity, and whether they're getting eaten by rodents. Here in Maine we can usually expect them to come up for several years, at least, and I tend to think that the species tulips last longer, generally, than the cultivated varieties. Personally, I'm partial to the species varieties and those with lily-type blossoms.

  3. This website says you can buy tulips at See Buy Fly but I have no idea how current it is. It also tells you other things you can do at Schiphol.

    Amazon UK never sells Kindles: something to do with rights, I think, which is why Amazon US won't send them. You could get one off eBay but it mght not be supported for the same reason. None of the other ebook readers touch the Kindle, apparently, so it looks like you're stuck with paperbacks, unless you like listening to audiobooks. Audiobooks are good when you want to knit at the same time, but sometimes one has to have the real thing.

  4. Sister again. I can buy and ship the Kindle without difficulty. Let's discuss off line.
    Also I didn't mean to urge you to get things set--it's just that if you want a specific flight and day, especially on a route with no competition, there is less of a chance of a good discount in a few months. But I could always be wrong.

  5. Anonymous1:37 PM

    I actually have a kindle- I got it in November during my mad academic job hunt. I actually really love it. I took it with me on all my interviews and when I flew home for Christmas so I could have something to read. It is a bit clunky (the old one- I heard that they eliminated that with the new one) but once got used to it I was sailing.

    I read in bed all the time- you do need a light to read it (it is not backlit) but it is easier on the eyes that way. I love that you can change the font size, and it is great for waiting in airports. Plus you can read total trash and no one will ever know.... I use it for all my trashy books--the ones I don't want anyone to know I read (I'm a big fan of the well-written trashy historical romance novel- I think its because I read all day- and read academic stuff that isn't always fun.)

    One thing- I think the wireless doesn't work overseas- but you can download all the books into your computer and then into your kindle. I read somewhere of an American soldier in Iraq who does it that way- and other folks overseas. They might have addressed the wireless problem with the new one though..

    I love it for travel and reading in bed. There are also message boards on the internet where you can go and ask specific questions- I can find you the links.

    E-mail me Jean if you want to know more about the Kindle.

    Also-- I love the sweater. Gorgeous.

  6. Anonymous1:59 PM

    The sweater is beautiful.
    Ron in Mexico

  7. Anonymous4:29 PM

    I too have looked at the Kindle but have rejected it for an audio book player.
    I download audio books from Net Library for free and of course there are lots of places to buy audio books for download.
    The advantage is that I can "read" and knit at the same time. That is my idea of heaven.

  8. (Long post-relocation silence broken by Kindle-related advice)

    I have a Kindle. I got it as a birthday present last year. I love it. The choice of material to download from Amazon was excellent, and the prices were fab. I shuddered when I saw what Waterstones was charging for its e-books.

    The problem with using it in the UK is that you need a credit or debit card with a US address linked to your Amazon account in order to download anything. Before I left the US I stocked up accordingly.

    I read before Christmas that Amazon were planning to launch it in the UK in 2008, but no definite news has been forthcoming.

    If you're still interested, I'm in Edinburgh, and would be happy to meet up somewhere and let you try it in the flesh.

  9. Just another Kindle lover stopping by with her two cents worth. I use mine all the time and just adore it, but the wireless feature is one of the things that makes it so cool. I think I'd wait until the same feature is available in the UK - I know Amazon is working on it.

  10. Anonymous9:28 PM

    The dark collar makes the sweater!
    Every once in a while swatches tell the truth, just to keep us off balance.

  11. I can't comment on the Kindle, but I have a Sony eReader and I love it. I've discovered that I can get many old favourites from Project Gutenberg free of charge, and I can put knitting patterns on there too, which is very useful indeed.

    The jumper, of course, is beautiful.

  12. the rumor is that there is a new kindle coming out possibly on February 9th- which could be behind the shortage.