Thursday, February 02, 2012

Feast of the Purification

a.k.a. Groundhog Day. Around here, it’s going to be a day to send the little fellow scurrying for cover, although there wasn’t yet much blue in the sky when I went out for my Sky Scarf reading. Groundhog Day was a puzzlement to me when I was a child – obviously, on February 2nd, winter had a long way to go. (We’re talking Detroit and later NJ.) But in Britain it makes sense, and is indeed an old English folk-belief, rather like St Swithin, associated with this day in the religious calendar. But without groundhogs.

In 2007, I collected pictures from Strathardle month-by-month to make a 2008 calendar. This was the February one -- clearly we had a dull Groundhog Day that year:

Again, little to report. The leg of the second outré sock is progressing nicely.

Yesterday I gathered up the messy heap of Sky Scarf yarns from the floor and put them in the salad bowl. A great improvement, except when we want to eat salad, as we may on Saturday.

I don’t know what I’m going to do with the edge, but I have started breaking the yarns. I tried at first to loop them up the side as the designer suggested, but it doesn’t work and I was spending too much time untangling. Maybe a simpler palette is adequate for the California sky, or maybe I’ve got a bigger stash.

Perhaps my very first Fair Isle, 30 years ago or so, was for Greek Helen (as she has since become) in greys and blues. It turned out too small, but she gamely struggled into it a few times. I think I’m probably using oddballs from that effort now.

As if adding mind-reading to its other features, there is an item about charity knitting in Zite this morning, woolly hats for sailors. I like the idea, and I suspect I ought to do something about it, after all my high-minded talk.


Thank you for Mr. Visser’s name, Knitlass. Rachel rang up the other evening, after Edinburgh’s famous Heineken Cup win, to tell me about a Dutchman who actually scores tries and who would qualify soon, but not yet, to play for Scotland. Visser must be the man.

Kristie, if you want to listen to the match on Saturday, I suspect it could be done from the BBC website. Kickoff at 5 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time, I believe.  I hope all is going well with your mother’s move.

Neither knitting nor rugby

I am reading Helen Dunmore's  "Talking to the Dead" on the Kindle app on my iPad. Very highly recommended. Her new book, "The Greatcoat", is published today and has already come whizzing down to me from the ether.


  1. Anonymous10:04 AM

    The woolly hats for sailors looks like a good idea. And what better pattern to use than Myrna Stahman's Seamen's church institute Christmas-at-sea watch cap, Appendix F of "Shawls and scarves"?!
    Looking forward to seeing the Moor socks - I'm still working my way through hundreds of stripey pairs with the yarn mountain left over from those cupcake mitts! S x

  2. Hello Jean,
    About the sky scarf, would it work to do an odd number of rows per day (1 or 3) and then the yarn ends will be on alternate sides and can be made into a fringe?

    I like the look of the scarf so far.

  3. Dear Jean,
    St Swithin is a summer saint - last time I looked anyway. Candlemas Day - "If Candlemas be fair and bright, winter shall have another flight." But only in the UK climate.

  4. Yes - a dutchman in the Scottish rugby team - you do realise that you would be eligible to play for Scotland too, on account of living here for so long! Visser is the one all right - my husband and son were there at Edinburgh the other week, and reported good things about him. We look forward to that.

  5. Thanks for the tip about the Calcutta Cup Jean. I will try listening to it on my computer.

    Things went well down at my mom's. She moves on the 17th, and there were many jobs that needed to be done ahead of the actual move date. We managed to get all of them done in two short days (I lost a day due to the blizzard).

    Groundhog Day has a special place in my heart. It is the day we got the call telling us there was a little girl that needed a family. That was Rebekah, some 24 years ago. :-)