Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Vivienne, I certainly hope you get your baby before you get swine flu. You’ll still qualify for the vaccine as a new mother, won’t you? I hope you'll let us know what happens, even though you won't have time to blog.

I've been reading your last blog entry, back in May. How the Pregnany Food Fascists have spread their nets since my day! I didn’t drink alcohol during pregnancy because we couldn’t afford it. I did (horrors!) smoke. I must have drunk coffee. Do statistics show that babies are better off these days?

Dawn, I’m sorry to hear you’ve joined the diabetic club. It’s an awful nuisance. The consolations are that the diet is what we should all be eating anyway, and drs can now keep you alive and well until something else kills you. It was not always so. Interesting, that you, in the Netherlands, already have appts for the swine flu injections. The nurse told us yesterday that our practice doesn’t know when it will get the vaccine, and doesn’t know who will qualify when they do.

I’m scared of swine flu, as I may have said. And the more people whose science I doubt assure me that old folks are immune, the scared’er I get. I did have one inspiriting thought recently: they said that swine flu would be back in the autumn, and that it might have changed into something worse. Well, it’s back all right, but it seems to be just about as bad as it was before. That’s bad enough, but it's not yet 1918.

But we’re supposed to be here for the knitting.

I love my ASJ. I’m going to be knitting it forever, and I don’t mind. It’s sort of the Basement Cat counterpart to the Princess: endless, and, in contrast to that project, utterly simple. I have concluded the initial Andersonville stripe and started on Tuscany. I’ve been a bit worried about whether I'll have enough Charcoal for the final edging, but that’s silly. This is sock yarn, for heaven’s sake. I can find an equivalent-weight dark brown or grey sock yarn.

I’ve got the architecture more or less clear in my head. You begin by casting on for a rectangle which runs along the top of the sleeves and across the shoulders in between. You knit, obviously, downwards, creating two mitres, left and right, which make the sleeves hang down at right angles to the back. When you have decreased a specified amount, you are at the underarm. Then you start increasing along either side of the stitch at the centre of the mitre.

I don’t yet grasp how the lines of those increases can possibly run down the front, as they do, whereas the original mitres are in back. It’s fiendishly clever, as I and the world have long said.

I’ve been reading the interesting chapter about fit and shape in the Melville book, “Mother-Daughter Knits”. (Helen C.K.S. and I agree on hating that title.) Maybe I should aim my ASJ at the Ideal Short Sweater Length – except that the contortions necessary to calculate it for one's particular self are probably beyond me. Maybe I'll add a collar.

Still no decision on the Grandson Sweater. We went on to the Gallery of Modern Art to see “Artists’ Rooms” yesterday after our flu injections, and when we came out there was a young man sitting on the steps of the gallery wearing a vaguely Nordic sweater with seeding on it, not nearly as nice as the one I have in mind. But if he was meant as a Sign, I don’t know which way he was pointing.


  1. I heard a report last week about data from Canada suggesting that getting the seasonal flu vaccine actually slightly increased the risk of getting swine flu, but I understand it's very preliminary data and not necessarily gospel. Since I work with the general public and have to worry about matters of public health, I'll be getting both vaccines when they're available and I have a chance to pop over to my local family practice.

  2. Dawn in NL10:30 AM

    Dear Jean,

    I understand that the idea of this flu can be frightening, but from everything I have read, this swine flu is only serious in younger people. The couple of people I know of in work who got it, were neither up nor down with it.

    To be honest, we are seeing a lot of sick leave here at work with non-swine flu bugs.

    Regarding my recent diagnosis of diabetes - it is in my genes. Mother and her 6 sisters all have or had it. Elder brother got a diagnosis around the same time. I am not in any other risk group for diabetes. Anyway I am doing pretty well and enjoying the 2 monthly pedicures that my health insurance pays for ;-)

    All the best,

  3. Hey Jean-- I saw this article about the Kindle and thought of you. Turns out Amazon will soon be selling a version that can download internationally.

  4. My 9 year old nephew had swine flu last week. Very sick for about 3 days, but according to my sister no sicker than one gets with regular flu. He was back to school in less than a week.