Monday, July 30, 2012

I am grateful for your messages – I’ve missed you too.

Thank you for the suggestions about managing life in Strathardle. We’re due for a routine hospital appt in August and I can discuss some of them – including the blood sugar monitor you mention, Kristie. James has made some notes for us, too (he is a Type I diabetic himself).

So here we are back in the real world  = grappling with the dining room. The first of the decorators has already presented himself on the doorstep.

But I promised some pictures. Here is a summer pudding in posse

in fieri

And in esse.

(That middle phrase is a coinage of my own, meant to mean, by analogy with the other two, “in the process of becoming”. Notice the weight on top of the bowl.)

Every year on Games Weekend I take pictures of grandchildren with the trees we have planted down the commonty, each tree associated in one way or another with one of the four families. Since the Beijing Mileses weren’t going to be here on Games Day, I took this one in advance:

The tree – I must have mentioned this before – is a metasequoia glyptostroboides. One of those tales of a fossil described in a learned article, and after WWII when such things became again widely circulated, the Chinese said, oh, yes, we’ve got one of those at the bottom of the garden.

Our one was planted to commemorate James’ and Cathy’s wedding and struggled at first for being planted on a slope. It is a water-loving tree, and our soil is basically very sandy, and there were a couple of Sicilian summers in its early years. All seems to be well, now, and it is at last taller than the children.


Here is Alexander, trying on his Bedroom at Arles socks.

I finished the first sock last night, of the current pair I am knitting for our niece,  and have succeeded in casting on (Judy’s Magic) the second. It was a titanic struggle.

I’ll have to carry on with this. I don’t understand what I did right. And I didn’t do it entirely right, at that –- there is a little row of purl bumps. Did I not execute the turn at the end properly?

I watched several videos as I struggled, nearly in tears. (I don’t have time for this.) Usually, that is the solution that makes all clear. Not this time. In the end, it was Wendy Johnson’s “Socks from the Toe Up” that did the trick, as I think was the case with the first sock. But what did I do differently, that time, to make the top and bottom stitches lock together? Perhaps the solution will be to take an afternoon, like Kristie – but where am I to get one of those? – and cast on the Longitudinal socks from Knitty.


  1. There's been a lot of technology advances in treating diabetes, especially Type I. I love my pump and got the CGMS as soon as it became available. My mother is a labile 50-year medalist and her control improved greatly when she got her pump. Greater accuracy of dispensing insulin and continuous dispensing of very small amounts of short-acting taking the place of long acting insulin peaking whenever it cares to.

    Try a look at to see what's available.

    Their guy in Athens was fantastic when my mother got sick on vacation and landed in Athens hospital the other weekend.

  2. Anonymous2:23 PM

    Love the currants in all their states of being. Need one at the end with a small child with a big smile on his/her face and currants all around the mouth!

    Beverly in NJ

  3. Good morning, Jean, I missed you!
    the trick to no purl bumps with JMCO is to knit into the back of the stitches on the 2nd half of the first, do the cast on of x number of stitches over the two needles, then turn the work and knit into the first half of the stitches (needle 1, as it were) as usual. Then turn to knit the 2nd half, the stitches on needle 2, but knit into the back of each stitch. That results in utterly smooth toe, no purl bumps.

  4. Jean, I read your blog religiously, comment rarely, but feel compelled to put my two cents in today.

    As for Judy's cast-on: a few of my students have mastered it only after completely eliminating any left hand movement. Try sitting at the table, resting your left wrist on the edge of the table(and planting it there for the duration). Now, work the cast-on with a rocking right wrist motion, moving only the needles. Having the flat surface in front of you also helps when you commence with the first row. Keeping the needles (and the knitting) parallel with the table, rotate into knitting position, and then you will sigh and appreciate the magic.

    My husband has been Type 1 for several years. I empathize with you on the scariness of hypoglycemic episodes. We had a few very serious episodes last summer which prompted him to get a continuous glucose monitor. They are not fail-safe, but being able to see 'the numbers' in context rather than as isolated quantities is so helpful in managing the day's food intake and insulin use.
    Pamela S

  5. What catmum said. If nothing else, we can have you skype with Judy Becker. Let me know.