Monday, July 13, 2009

This is my 1,500th post.

It’s rubbish-collection day, and the gulls are making an almighty mess of Drummond Place. So far I have protected our own black plastic bag by rushing angrily out the door from time to time, but I can’t keep it up all morning.

Nor is it conducive to blogging.

So, guess what? I cast on a Christine Duchrow jabot in Cashsilk yesterday. Heavenly stuff, finer, I think, than the Princess’ Gossamer Merino, but so far I can handle it. I didn’t even try to rechart the pattern. It occurred to me that I am not attempting an historical reproduction, I am trying to knit a jabot for James. So it doesn’t matter if I misunderstand the chart here and there, as long as I proceed symmetrically and plausibly.

I used to have a reading knowledge of German – that helps somewhat. But it wasn’t Knitting German, it was Ancient Historical German, so it doesn’t help all that much.

Tamar, there are people who have knit the Princess twice. Like climbing all the munros in Scotland again, after you've climbed them once. But I don't think it's for me. The Unst Bridal Shawl and the Wedding Ring Shawl, as written, both require purl rows in the border -- not for me, either. If I knit one of them, I'd wrap a stitch and turn around at the starting point. I've done that once -- it leaves a line.

And the Queen Ring Shawl, as written, has lots of sewing at the end.

So I'll confine myself to the jabot for the moment, and think about that stole in Heirloom Knitting.

I didn’t get much further with the cardigan sleeve. And today is the day I mean to tackle lace-grafting and finish the Princess, if I can keep my eye on the ball.

Vegetables (reprise)

The Fishwife was right. The opium poppies have appeared among my vegetables. And MaryLou is right, too – it isn’t a bumper year for poppies. A few fell to the hoe last week, but I tried to preserve as many as possible.


I am almost paralysed by fear now that the CT adventure is so near. We drove back to Edinburgh last Saturday, as you know, and summer Saturdays are great days for weddings. It was easy to spot the Wedding Guests in pairs in the streets of Blairgowrie – the elegant, uncomfortable clothes; the slight air of anxiety – they clearly weren’t going shopping; and, a dead giveaway, him in a kilt.

After all these years of co-dependence, am I capable of acting independently? is part of my anxiety. The other part is, how are we all to move around Old Saybrook? From hotel to sister’s-house to Griswold Inn to wedding-venue to breakfast-picnic-on-the-beach? It’s not like K*rkmichael, where you can walk from anywhere to anywhere. There will be a lot of “us” with few if any cars – three of my four children, 9 of 12 grandchildren, 2 spouses, and I think one girlfriend and one boyfriend. And, no doubt, an awful lot of everybody else. I remember taxis as rare and unreliable, in that part of the world.

The thing to do on that one is to print out some Google maps and start calculating the distances which could be walked if need be. I’m good for five miles or so, as long as I don't actually have to walk to the wedding looking anxious in my new clothes.


  1. can you rent a car/van?

  2. Dawn in NL9:59 AM

    Hello Jean,
    Please don't be anxious. You will have a lovely time. For one thing you will be with Helen. Regarding transport, I am sure that with all the family gathering, someone will be able to shuttle you around.

    When reading your posts, I get the idea that you are the logistics manager of your household, so you won't miss your husband that way, I'm sure.

    I am looking forward to reading about some of your adventures in CT.

    All the best,

  3. You shouldn't underestimate your nephew so badly. His specialty is logistics and, compared to getting the international press corps on the bus during the inaugural, getting his family to the wedding is really easy. There will be a shuttle from your motel to and from the wedding. Many things are close to one another. (Your motel is a bit cut off by a highway so walking isn't as easy an option for you.) Various family members will have cars. Other people are worrying about this so you can focus on getting here.
    (Sister Helen, obviously)

  4. At my niece's wedding last summer there were many volunteers enrolled to shuttle guests, so I'm sure that will be taken care of. It is hard to sit back and let someone else do the figuring out though, isn't it?

  5. I was going to say that the wedding planner has probably though of that. Also many guests may have renatal cars. I see that it's taken care of. It's not your party, relax!

  6. Gerri3:18 PM

    This is your chance to see what it's like for others, when you present them with everything planned out, organized and managed for a stay. Enjoy it! I have piles and piles of houseguests most years, mostly in-laws. After years of that, my cousin had me for an overnight. "Oh," I thought, "I can see why people enjoy being guests."

    Relax, you are a guest.

  7. It will be fine. In the world of the cell phone (mobile), people leave more details to the last minute. This can be unnerving, but it seems to work.

  8. I do see where you are coming from on the co-dependence issue. I was a long time single and enjoyed my independence, holidaying alone in European capitals. Now, after twenty years of being with my husband, I feel as if something is missing all the time when i travel without him. The fact that he is a very timid traveller makes no difference.
    I,too, am looking forward to a full account and pictures.

  9. Congratulations on your 1500th post! I'm a relatively new reader (2 years or so) and will gladly cheer you on to 2000 and beyond. Thank you, Jean!

    It sounds like all you will need to do in CT is turn up. If you will be using a cell phone, make sure you keep it charged.

    And never leave your hotel room without a small knitting project! One never knows...

    Bon courage and bon voyage!

  10. Congratulations on 1,500 posts - quite a milestone. I like your comparison of knitting the Princess to Munro-bagging - my husband has 60-odd Munros to go and it will probably take him four or five years. I wonder whether I could knit Princess in that time?!

  11. Congrats on 1500 posts, Jean! This, in addition to completing any of Sharon's patterns are quite the milestones.

    I see (sister)Helen has already responded. I can only chime in with the others that I hope you relax and enjoy your time in the US. (Yes, much easier said than done.) I, too, am looking forward to reading all about your trip.

  12. Anonymous11:41 PM

    Just discovered your blog.. . 1500 posts. Holy cow! I have some catching up to do.

    Anyone with THAT kind of record has a right to feel quite smug. . . no anxiety!

  13. =Tamar3:44 AM

    Re CT - there are also such things as wedding limousines, which some people have been known to use.

    I hope Fleegle posts the pattern for her "slight revision" - I mean "Harry's" slight revision - of the Queen Ring shawl. I think she's taken care of the purl row problem but I'm not sure.

  14. If your family is as resourceful as I understand them to be from your wonderful blog postings, there is nothing to fear in the transport department.

    Congratulations on your 1500th post!

  15. Anonymous8:21 AM

    Don't forget... I volunteered to be your personal driver for the wedding, and the offer still stands.

    I'm sure your family has everything under control, but I'm still willing and able, if needed!

    Just e-mail me if you need transport, Jean.

    Barbara M.

  16. I can relate to so much in this entry. e.g. seasoned traveller uneasy about travelling without her husband. Don't worry, it will all go well and you will have a new feeling of "I can do it".

    It sounds as if New England is having a terrible summer. Lots of rain and cool temperatures. On this side of the Atlantic we are well used to that.

  17. Anonymous9:20 AM

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