Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Stalker’s report: No, I’m afraid Franklin was still in Chicago yesterday evening. He was packing. That’s something. He warns that we won’t hear much from him in the next fortnight. That’s something. If he flies tomorrow, he’ll still have a moment to catch his breath before Sunday.

He posted something yesterday about the student who insists on knitting with black Kid Silk Haze when he has specified white or near-white worsted.  Sending me into a bit of a tizzy (not really) about whether I will show up as Ethel the Unready. In fact, all I have to take is needles of the right size and gauge. I have bought new KnitPics – my husband says that is pretentious, everybody will see that I’ve got brand new needles. But I didn’t have KnitPics in the sizes required, and I love them, and I thought, OK, this is the moment.

But if you think I am extravagant when it comes to knitting – and you would be right – you should try buying underwear at Marks & Spencer. How do people afford it? I thought everybody from duchess to dustman bought underwear at Marks & Spencer. Clearly I am at least 40 years out of date. Cost was not the only surprise.

The Ladies’ Lingerie Department had rack after rack of brassieres (or “bras” as we must now call them). Each rack had, at its lowest level, knickers to harmonize with the bras above. It was easy enough from a standing position to spot the sort of thing one wanted, but in order to secure one’s purchase, if one was at all uncertain about one’s flexibility or balance, there was nothing for it but to get down on the floor and sort through the available knickers.

I can’t see 80-year-old duchesses crawling around on the floor of Marks & Spencer. I won’t again. My husband’s underwear is ordered on-line from Sunspel. There must be some such solution for women.

And, yes, I complained. I got the impression – it was all perfectly pleasant -- that knickers-at-floor-level is simply the Way Things Are Done.

Still, that’s over, and ticked off the list.  Next week, when life resumes its normal course, I will rather miss flipping open the iPad to see what I’ve got to do today. Today’s job, in fact, is to try to download a movie onto the iPad (and I mustn’t forget to pack the earphones, if successful). Things hot up a bit tomorrow and Friday.

As for actual knitting – I’ve done 15 inches of Mary Lou’s Reversible Cables. Only 5 ¾ feet to go. It’s looking great. The red element in Colinette’s Vatican Pie varies in intensity from time to time. It is plyed with something silvery – is that the 20% bamboo? I’ll attempt a pic soon. It is of heavenly softness.

And the pattern is great, too. One has an odd number of 6-stitch ribs. They are cabled alternately on one side and the other. Simple, brilliant.


  1. Hello Jean
    I am enjoying reading your day to day activities around your trip to London.

    Re M&S and your complaint, it is a bit frustrating to get that kind of response. It would leave you feeling much better if they just said, I understand what you are saying and I will make sure that it is passed on to our management.

    I must admit even though I live in NL, I still buy my knickers in M&S, when I am over visiting my mother.

    Enjoy your trip!

  2. Hello Jean.

    Surely what you want is

    And buy your undergarments online sans crawling ;-)

  3. I don't think new needles are pretentious. Knitters are always buying needles, no matter how long they have been knitting, as far as I can tell. And I have never understood the desire to match one's undergarments. Thanks for the kind words on the pattern. Simple it is.

  4. Have a wonderful time in your classes with Franklin. I have been lucky enough to have taken three classes with him. All have been great, both in educational content and fun factor. Although he doesn't bring them up, if prompted, he will discuss Harry and Delores.


  5. I highly doubt you would be one of those "speshul snowflaykes" who try to make the teacher make an exception for them. Have a delightful time!

  6. Does Franklin actually take planes? He did mention QM2...

  7. Anonymous11:24 PM

    For the first time ever, under strict instructions, my husband ordered some new knickers for me on line as I was overseas. When they arrived, they were not what I wanted. He bravely went to the women's underwear section in the local shop where a helpful assistant sugggested they were not what the mature woman usually wore, and replaced them with what I wanted. On-line purchasing is not without its perils too.


  8. Please tell your husband from my husband that the menfolk in our lives can never really KNOW precisely what we do, or do not, need in the way of equipment. My OH has even given up glancing at my needle collection and looking quizzical when a new item comes through the letterbox.
    Do I query when he comes home with a new garden tool? Of course not. I say "That's a good idea."

  9. If you order from Marks and Spencer online you can have your order delivered to your nearest shop for free then you can collect it and try on and take it home or get an instant refund without crawling on the floor! Also the online catalogue often has items that are out of stock in smaller shops.