Sunday, January 09, 2011

No more snow, but it has turned colder and is now icy underfoot – just when the city people have finished sweeping up all the grit from last time. When I opened the door to go out shopping yesterday, I found a neighbour on the doorstep, shovelling away our snow.

My husband is going to see his sister on Tuesday. She sounds weak, and is suffering badly from fatigue. She has been in bed for a few days with a chest infection, which doesn’t help. Our niece phoned in the afternoon and brought me up to date, but there is little to add. C. isn’t gaining strength as we had all hoped, but she’s not losing much ground either. She says herself that it’s like the Phoney War – those months between September, 1939, and May, 1940, when Britain was at war with Germany but nothing much seemed to be happening.

She’s old enough to remember it. It seemed to me rather a good analogy.

As for knitting, the cowl pattern didn’t arrive, although Shandy had it in the post before midday on Friday. She has posted some pics on her own blog of completed cowls, to make me all the more impatient.
But there was nothing to do but press on with Round-the-Bend.

I got to the point where I had short-rowed the first square down to three inches-worth of stitches. The next instruction was to cast off those three inches, then cast on four inches-worth to replace them, and then “complete the corner”. Did that mean, go on short-rowing on the new stitches to the end? Or turn around now and go back?

It wasn’t convenient to have another look at the DVD just then, so I trial’d-and-error’d. The first hypothesis soon proved to be wrong. The second is working fine. There is a little hole in the corner between the cast-off stitches and the new ones – it looks almost like an intentional completion of the row of little holes on my unwrapped short rows.

I spent a little time yesterday with the books that might suggest the next project, in my current fairly desperate stage of stash-busting: “Swing, Swagger, Drape”; Sally Melville’s “Styles”; and the Koigu “Painter’s Palette” book. Am I brave enough to tackle the Koigu toreador jacket? I really ought to do something with that treasure chest of beautiful yarn.

I made a bit more progress with the income tax. The great thing is to keep at it. I’m going to need a printer before the end of the month, so I might as well get cracking on that.


What my mother taught me to do, in examples like the ones I gave the other day, was remove the who-or-whom clause from its context and turn it into a sentence on its own. “I knew he was in charge…” “He”, not “him”, therefore “who” not “whom” in “The man who I knew was in charge…” Likewise “him”, not “he”, in “I suspected him to be in charge…” therefore “whom” not “who” in “The man whom I suspected to be in charge…”

I think one could construct a rule if one exerted oneself, in fact I think Tamar has pretty well done so, but meanwhile one has a fairly straightforward and useful tool to apply.


  1. Thanks for the grammar lesson Jean. That makes it easy to remember.

  2. Anonymous4:10 PM

    My favorite grammar rule is to remember this: His, hers, its...... no apostrophe on his, hers or its. I hate to see misplaced apostrophes!

    As for who/whom, your rule makes very good sense. But when I taught English as a Second Language, I used to explain to my students that even Americans who understand the proper usage prefer to "rearrange the sentence to avoid using whom." Most Americans, I find, seem to think "whom" sounds too formal for our determinedly informal culture.

    Barbara M.

  3. Your jacket seems to be working out. It is not clear whether you are picking up to join the sleeve to the body at this point. Sock yarn is very light for a whole garment. This is going to take a while.

  4. =Tamar2:07 AM

    I've never knitted a sweater with anything smaller than a heavy worsted weight, so anything done with finer yarn impresses me no end. Also, the finer the yarn, the less it matters if there are small holes.

    The latest mistake I've noticed online is the misspelling of "whose" as "who's" -- it actually makes sense as a regularization but then it is too easily confused with the contracted verb. I still prefer the standard form.