Friday, December 14, 2012

Archie is in Athens, and today I’ll get back to work on Christmas. Maybe even make the pudding. Cards are nearly finished – there are always a few stragglers. People we didn’t hear from last year, probably because they are dead or demented, but deserving of one more try.

(I rang up one such friend the other day. Not dead at all, just 85 and very arthritic. She’s given up sending cards. We’re going to Do Lunch in January.)

Archie seemed in fine fettle. He told me on the way to the airport that, early in his Merchiston career, he was required to run a mile and couldn’t do it. He broke down in tears half-way through, he said. This week, he ran two miles.

I told my husband when I got home and he harrumphed that that was what you would expect of any good boarding school. I think he misses the point. Prince Charles went to a sporty, outdoors-y Scottish boarding school and no doubt did lots of running. He was notoriously miserable and his own sons weren’t allowed anywhere near the place. It is obvious that Archie isn’t miserable.

I told Helen about this when she rang at the end of the afternoon to say that he was safely home. She knew about the earlier episode, not about the two-mile run. There was no harrumphing in Athens.

The needles turned up yesterday at last – so much for first-class post at Christmas time – and I resumed the Sixteen-Cable Hat (Ravelry link). It’s looking good. There are only four cable rounds altogether – or five, if you add some optional extra rounds to make the hat slouchier. I don’t know whether I’ll have yarn enough for that. But the cables are eight over eight, so the cable rounds themselves and the immediately following rounds are pretty slow.

Still, it won’t take long. I did two of those four cable rounds yesterday.


Tricia, I thought of magic-looping when the needle problem first presented itself. I watched a video and decided this Wasn’t For Me. Maybe I’ll come back to it. Thank you for the link.

Needle sizes: Yours is an interesting tale, Sarah JS. So the old British sizes didn’t go out with pounds, shillings and pence as I thought. There was a rule – I don’t need to get it right since the British numbers are no more – that if, for any given needle size, you added the British and American numbers together, the answer would always be 14. Or maybe it was 16. So there's an overlap in the middle (obviously, there would be) at size 7 or 8, where the numbers were the same.


  1. I don't know anything about doing maths with the old British needle sizes and the US ones, but I do know there was a crossover with the British and the metric.I seem to remember there was something along the lines of 7 is 6 and 6 is 7, which caused a fair bit of hair tearing when the pattern couldn't be bothered to say which scale it was using! Of course that was back in the days when we were just supposed to do as we were told, and forbear thinking about things that were beyond our ken.
    Daughter-that-knits even found a how to knit book from that era which strictly warned against reading ahead in the pattern, as it would only cause confusion!

  2. I'm happy that Archie is doing well at school and is getting along despite the sportiness. Kudos to the school for making him feel better about himself for being able to run two miles now and not hating the process.