Wednesday, March 30, 2011

That is a picture of my husband and our niece, approaching the open grave.

The day went well, full as one might expect with the awe-fulness of death. The funeral Mass was exactly as C. would have wished, with Rilke read in German and all very nil nisi bonum. Alexander said afterwards that he would hope his faults would be mentioned at his funeral – I think that’s easier for men. (He also said that one of his Little Boys asked, “Is there a vampire in the coffin?” – fortunately not loudly enough to carry to the entire congregation.)

But, as I have always found with funerals, C.’s personality and presence permeated the entire day, the more so because the party was held at her house. Everybody there knew her partly – some more, some less – and the reflections from all those different lenses added up to something like the whole.

Thomas-the-Elder asked me during the course of the day to knit him an “electric red” sweater to celebrate England’s forthcoming victory in the Rugby World Cup. [Where did he get that phrase? Has he been reading this blog?] I said I would. A promise given under such circumstances – or indeed, under any – must be honoured, and I have been giving some thought to design. I won’t be entirely disappointed if England are knocked out in the quarter-final, but that’s another matter.

As I wait impatiently for publication, I have gone back many times now to the picture on the Schoolhouse Press website of the forthcoming EZ book. [scroll down a bit] “Not actual cover” it says, and then it says that what is shewn is “Betsy Wyeth’s rendition of EZ’s New Zealand sweater”. I have never heard of a New Zealand sweater, EZ’s or anybody else’s. But yesterday I searched the site, and found that they sell a Spin-Off of the pattern. I love that curve in the yoke. I like that neck, too, although I should probably run that past Thomas before attempting it. Finding a yarn should be easy, a symbol or logo for the World Cup victory might be more difficult.

Back at the ranch, I have finished the second side of the edging for the Mourning Shawl. The second half of any task goes faster than the first, so we’re making progress. And I’ve not only measured Joe’s foot but turned the first heel and am happily Oliver’ing down the foot [Ravelry link].


  1. I am glad all went as hoped. I made the New Zealand sweater from a woolgathering over 20 years ago in unspun icelandic. I then got married to a man who does laundry and didn't understand that hand knit sweaters don't generally go in the wash. It was so felted that it was not salvageable. Some day I'll make another, as quite liked it.

  2. I agree with Alexander's thought on funerals. It reminds me of a quote from Garrison Keillor - "They say such nice things about people at their funerals that it makes me sad to realize I'm going to miss mine by just a few days".

    My late father-in-law donated his body to a medical school. Apparently they use it for a year and at the end of the year there is a memorial service put on by the medical students. I've read about this, but this will be my first time attending such a service.

  3. I am sure you must feel a great sense of relief to have that day behind you. The picture of your husband and niece filled me with sadness, then I read about the vampire comment your grandson made and choked on my tea.

  4. Anonymous2:55 PM

    I like that New Zealand sweater, too. It would be a perfect grandson-rugby-victory sweater.

    Beverly in NJ

  5. Hard to get thru a difficult day but sounds like you and family handled it with dignity and grace.

  6. Sarah JS4:09 PM

    Bless the younger ones to ask questions that bring some levity to the day. So glad the day/service went so well.