Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sorry about yesterday – I had to take the car in for an overdue service, and found myself driving before dawn in freezing fog. I haven’t done anything like that for years, and it was scary.

The day went on like that – a real diet-breaker. I wanted only to eat chocolate, drink cider, and buy yarn. But I held out.

This morning was forecast to be as bad, but the dimly-discerned gloom beyond the window doesn’t look foggy to me. Anyway, by the time I set out to retrieve the car this morning it will be what is laughingly classed as full daylight.

“A Serious Man” is a good film – highly recommended. My husband sounded a bit sniffly on the way back, and by yesterday had a full-blown cold. His chest is clear, I think, and there is no fever, but everything is scary at 84. Especially in December.

The big news here – Rachel rang up on Thursday, just after we got back from the film – is that Hellie has a job with Greene & Heaton. A proper job, with a contract. Hellie is bright and personable and extremely hard-working. She has been determined to get into publishing. But it’s a hard nut to crack at the best of times, and these are not the best of times. The quest has had its thoroughly depressing moments, including some this week.

She has been keeping costs down by living with her parents, and keeping body and soul together with temping jobs. She never signed on as a "job-seeker". The official unemployment statistics must exclude a lot of people like her.

Dawn, I cannot adequately thank you for tracking down the phrase I imperfectly remembered, describing the wines of Savigny-les-Beaune: “theologiques, nourrissants et morbifuges”. Having that right will greatly enhance the experience of drinking the wine. I’ll report back after the hols.

“Morbifuge” is translated on several sources provided by Google – probably one source, repeated – as “death-preventive”. I don’t know French but I do know Latin and I’m going to risk my neck here by venturing the opinion (without looking it up) that it means “disease-preventing". “Morbus”, not “mors”. It's a wonderful word. I suppose you could spoil the whole thing and translate “healthy”.

And, oh yes, knitting.

I’ve picked up stitches for the first ASJ sleeve and am knitting merrily on, tapering the sleeve. 100 stitches are a mere bagatelle. Charlotte, casting on more at the beginning would widen the ASJ body and deepen the sleeve, but wouldn’t have much effect on length. I’m getting good at the geometry of this thing.

I didn’t like the picking-up, and wound up with six extra stitches. But it looks neat, and it’ll be OK if I can pick up the same number on the other sleeve. If the sun ever reappears around here, I’ll seize the moment and do the job. Artificial light, dark brown stitches to pick up, and poor eyesight are an unhappy combination.


  1. i meant to write this to you the other day. Janet Szabo has an excellent formula for figuring out decreases of sleeves - its in her SON OF A.R.A.N. pattern.

    that is the link to the relevant section for sleeves which has the formula

  2. Dawn in NL8:07 PM

    Only too happy to help, my raison d'être.

    I think the confusion with regard to the translation of morbifuge is over moribund and morbid, I only recently got them sorted out.

    Congratulations to Hellie and good luck to you in your further adventures today.


  3. Leslie Bagatelle10:32 PM

    I thought I was the mere bagatelle!

  4. My eyes are quite young and I don't enjoy trying to knit with dark colors. And my oldest child has asked me to make her black legwarmers. I prefer to sit out in the sunlight when I deal with black or the darkest blues and browns.