Monday, September 06, 2010

Bless you, Shandy.

I knew nothing of the I Knit Weekender. I’ve now booked myself in for Starmore’s Saturday morning session of Celtic knottery at 10 a.m. I also paid £8 for the day itself, although I have no idea of what that entails. Starmore has another session at 11:45 which should mean that the first one will end promptly, and I’ll have time (sigh) for some subsequent art.

But it is the weekend, and maybe patient Rachel will come up with a scheme for entertaining my husband thus allowing me to linger. He is perfectly compos mentis, but breathless and very slow and pretty dependant these days. He doesn’t like wandering about alone, although he survived several days of it last summer when I was in CT at Theo’s wedding. He carries identification – he would eventually be Returned to Sender if anything happened, but I would not be happy sending him off alone. His first academic boss and dear friend, the head of the Art History Dept at Glasgow in the 50’s and 60’s, dropped dead at a London art exhibition, so it does happen. Turner, I think.

Should I take along my first-edition-with-dust-jacket of The Celtic Collection to have her sign it? No, that’s a bit girly and the weight of a needless book is what we don’t need. We always come back with a great load of exhibition catalogues. I just looked it up on Abebooks with the vague feeling that Starmore sometimes fetches silly prices, but there are plenty of copies and even the first editions aren’t very dear.

I was tempted by Ragga Eirikdottir’s class on Lopi knitting, scheduled for the same time on Saturday morning. But it lasts longer, and doesn’t sound as if it includes much that I don’t know. I would love to meet a genuine Faroese with a matronymic (if there is such a word). Do they have patronymics as well – people named Eirikson? I could look that up, I suppose.

As for actual knitting, I’m on the declining slope of the 9th scallop. There has been more trouble, but again I think I have redeemed myself fairly successfully. Perhaps a goodbye picture tomorrow.


  1. Icelanders are named for their fathers - the "surname" is their father's given name, plus -dottir if the person is female, and -son if they are male. I don't know what happens in a case of "father unknown" - maybe the second name is made up of their mother's given name plus dottir or son. Perhaps someone can tell us!

    Do enjoy the rest of the i-knit day - they have a good marketplace, and I hope the Dutch knitters will be there, as they were when I went. They are such good people to sit down and have a natter and knit with. Plus they have waffles.

  2. Oh - sorry about that bright green flash on your screen. It was me feeling envious! It sounds marvellous. I have always been curious about Starmore's knot making!

  3. The Starmore class sounds wonderful Lucky you. I hope you have the chance to spend the day. Looking forward to a full report.

  4. Dawn in NL1:56 PM

    Interesting, I just had a look at Wikipedia for Icelandic surnames

    I am glad that you will be able to fit in something for yourself while in London. Enjoy!

    Dawn in NL

  5. My roommate from college (Wellesley) lives in Iceland now. She is American-- from good solid Vermont stock--but she moved there for a really neat job and she loves it.

    Did you know that in Iceland all the names in the phone book are listed by first name? The country is so small and with the odd "last name" situation it is apparently easier to list people by first name. My friend's name remains"Americanized" but should she chose to live there long-term many transplants "Icelandize" their names (actually I think you might have to if you take citizenship) So what they do is their American last name becomes the middle name and then (in her case) it would be her father's first name with "dotter" for her new Icelandic last name. I always thought the whole system was pretty neat...

  6. How wonderful that you're going to an AS class! Have an amazing time. About Icelandic/Faroese names: They follow the same rules as old Scandinavian ones, which had a lot in common with Russian ones -- remember keeping track of all the names in _War & Peace_? Patronymic means the name comes from your father, so both "dattir" and "son/sen" are patronymics (unless it's "Annassen" or "Annasdattir"!) A person also had a family name, the one recorded in the church baptismal record, that was usually derived from the farm the parents worked or lived on. Thus my husband's ancestors who came to the U.S. from Norway in the 1860s had several names to choose from to give the U.S. immigration folks! The parents chose the family-farm name (Brendigen, spelled about 5 different ways); the grown daughter chose the patronymic; and yet another relative made up his own new last name, Lee, as a homage to Robert E. Lee.

    I see someone is wondering what your name would be if your father's identity was in question. There's a Norwegian joke about that: "Hansen" (= "his son"). (-:

  7. I am so glad that you were able to book the Starmore class. Just for a moment, I thought I might bump into you - but I am booked for Friday at 11.45. Starmore's "Aran Knitting" has apparently been reissued, and will be on sale there.

  8. Maureen in Fargo12:26 AM

    One of the few famous knitting people I want to meet before I die is Alice Starmore! Her book Aran Knitting was my first knitting book when I restarted knitting back in 1998 (I wanted to knit myself an Aran so I bought that book) and I have loved her work ever since. I'm so glad that she's back teaching and I hope she'll come to the US again. Aran Knitting had been reprinted by Dover and it has two new patterns and the Starmore world is all abuzz, so there will be a lot of excitement in the air when she's there. Please enjoy it all for me!!