Monday, January 07, 2013

Not much knitting, yesterday, but the sleeve of Ed’s Gardening Sweater must have advanced an inch or so.

You’ll have seen that Franklin has a pattern in the new VK, which must be scheduled for the doormat this very week if I’m lucky. There’s glory for you, beyond even being clever and funny and wonderful.

But I am worried about his observations about sweaters for men – that they should have not much ease, and be tapered from shoulder to waist.

I suspect he’s right on both counts. That’s what comes of being an art historian (his major at Harvard, I believe) and learning to look. It’s not as easy as it sounds.

Consider again the two pictures I posted the other day – Thomas-the-Elder’s ill-fitting Brownstone, and Joe’s much more successful Grandson Sweater. I think Franklin’s point is made. And my anxiety, of course, is about the Gardening Sweater. It’s not tapered. It probably has too much ease. Ed is, like Franklin himself, short of stature, trim and fit. I’ve missed the boat.

Maybe one wants a bit of ease in the garden. This isn’t a sweater for the office, even on dress-down Friday. And anyway, there’s nowhere to go from here but on.

Thank you for the tip, CSJ0423, about the Big Rubble. I like it a lot. I don’t think it will do in the present case, because the yarn I’ve got is so fine. Not that we can’t plug our own gauge into any schematic, these days. But I think I’ll keep this one up my sleeve as an excuse for actually buying some of Jared’s Shelter yarn one day soon. I did buy and print the “Boxy” pattern yesterday.


Helen fetched Archie from the airport last night, and soon both will be gone. We met the Polish cleaning woman yesterday – young, pretty, business-like. I feel hopeful, in a battered sort of way.

I have a half-feeling – can anyone help me here? – that my favourite cartoonist, Roz Chast, once did a page in the New Yorker of cartoons which showed an energetic middle-aged woman swooping down on her aged parents and putting things to rights. The only one I can specifically remember, and this isn’t guaranteed, had the parents looking abashed while the daughter admonished them: “A whole drawer full of ball-point pens, and none of them work!”

I’ve tried looking through the Chasts on Google images, without success.

Helen will take Archie to school at midday and then go on to the airport, thence to Athens.


  1. Is it one of these?

  2. That was me posting above. I read your blog via a feed, and don't usually comment. Hi. :)

  3. A friend of mine - in the scenario you suggest, "Swooping down" - was constantly frustrated by her father cancelling the arrangements as soon as she left, on the grounds that he was managing fine by himself, which he clearly wasn't. Get the cleaner to do all the heavy work, so that you can focus on the cooking and caring.

  4. I have two very bright, competent, and caring middle-aged kids (and their spouses & offspring). How do I get them to "swoop"? :>)

  5. Gretchen1:34 PM

    My Mom and Dad moved into a retirement community and got a cleaner. They looked at their situation with joy, as they had so much more time to do the things they love. Let the cleaner do her work (how lovely that she has a job!)and enjoy the extra time you now have.

  6. All of my men require lots of room in their sweaters. Mind you if any of them had Franklins physique they might want to show it off with a more fitted line too!

  7. Anonymous5:53 PM

    I don't remember that cartoon scenario, but a favorite Roz Chast featured a magazine cover: "Bad Housekeeping" with such splash lines as "I let my houseplants die - one woman's story". My mother and I each sent the other that cartoon clipped from the New Yorker (pre-Internet days)- the clippings crossed in the mail.

    -- stashdragon (who used to sign myself Gretchen until another Gretchen joined the party)

  8. I would love a cleaner - or just someone to vacuum! - or maybe clean the bathroom?
    As for the fitting of the male garments, my father has "gardening jumpers" made from left overs. They have moderate ease and go straight up and down. According to him "you need to room". I think you may be right about their shape.

  9. I think the guys I know would all prefer a bit of room in their sweaters. And if it is a gardening sweater you are making I think it needs to be roomy so he can layer underneath it on cold days. When I picture the Aran sweaters that men would wear roomy sweaters is what comes to mind, not something form fitting. That seems more appropriate for the office.

    I wanted to let you know the news has been reporting a bad outbreak of Noro virus here in BC. The provincial medical health officer was saying that this year's strain is a new one and people don't have a lot of resistance to it, which is why they are getting so sick. That might explain why so many of your family caught it. I'm glad to know you are better. And I am very happy to hear you are going to have a cleaning lady. I hope it lightens your load in 2013 so you have more time to do the things you enjoy!

  10. The ball-point pens made me laugh. My Mother has a house-full, and it drives me up the wall that none of them ever work. I think my father long ago gave up worrying about it and just carries a working pen of his own at all times!

    As others say - enjoy the time freed up by having a cleaner. Once you get used to the idea you may wonder how you ever managed before!