Tuesday, February 05, 2013

I was going to take a picture for you of the Gardening Sweater in daylight, being blocked, but I didn’t get it done. Here instead is one that just came in:

That’s your Reversible Cable scarf, Mary Lou, on Cathy. Kirsty’s hat is the Twelve Cable one – can’t find the pattern without waking my husband. Edinburgh this morning looks much as Beijing did yesterday.

I much enjoy the post-project tidiness phase: books back on shelves, scraps of yarn up off floor, tools back in cupboard, notes and printed pattern if there is one and swatch if there is one, in the “Knitting Actually Done” file in the bedroom. I made a good start on skein-winding, and got back in the saddle, sock-knitting-wise. Not as difficult as I thought.

A very Happy Ninetieth Birthday to your father, Cat – although, by now, most of it must be over Down There. I love the idea of the odd-ball sweaters your mother knit for him, for gardening. Kaffe would approve.

I think I have enough left over this time to do something for one of the Little Boys, even though it won’t represent the Calcutta Cup. We’ll have to consider that, when I see them at Easter. And the handing-over of Ed’s sweater will have to wait until then, too. I don’t trust the Royal Mail.

All the dimensions have emerged remarkably on target except length –it was two inches too long. I got rid of one in the blocking. We should be together on the shores of Loch Fyne long enough for me to shorten it if necessary (cutting off the bottom, picking up stitches, knitting the ribbing downwards). I’ll take along equipment. But I can’t take such drastic action until I see it on the man.

Tom Lehrer

If my 1954 self could have been told that she would pitch up in Edinburgh, she would have been delighted – I came here first for a week of the Festival in ’53, and was enchanted. And that she would have on her desk in 2013 a machine on which she could hear and watch Tom Lehrer, and communicate (by simply typing) with people anywhere in the world who also remembered him fondly… Preposterous, surely.

I doubt very much whether I had even seen colour television, in 1954.

When I read your comment, Knitlass, about “everybody hates the Jews”, I felt sure it would have been airbrushed out of the canon in these politically correct days. But I went to YouTube and typed “Tom Lehrer everybody hates the Jews” into their search bar. At first I thought I was right – “National Brotherhood Week”, indeed. Just as I feared. But then I listened to it. Please, everybody, have a look. Little has changed in the last 60 years.

And the backs of those young heads in the foreground could have been me and my friends. Was it filmed in the very theatre?


  1. Anonymous4:55 PM

    Scarf and hat both look great. Kind of disconcerting that Beijing looks so much like any other city. Somehow I thought it would be more exotic or sinister.

    Beverly in NJ

  2. Didn't he write "National Brotherhood Week" for "That Was the Week That Was" in 1962-ish? I remember his work by album (remember those?), and that's the one I know best.

  3. Thankyou. He had a wonderful day!