Monday, March 04, 2013

You will have heard by now about Cardinal O’Brien’s statement admitting “sexual misconduct”.

Professor Warren, in our Shakespeare class at Oberlin 60 years ago, defined the word “tragedy” down to the point where – in Shakespeare, anyway – only Antony & Cleopatra filled the bill. (I have forgotten why Othello, Lear, and Hamlet failed to qualify.) For full-scale tragedy, you need a protagonist of heroic stature, and you need “the retrospective awareness of irrecoverable loss”.

“Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight”: that sort of thing.

The Cardinal has given up hope even of serving as an assistant priest in Dunbar. His last public Mass was there, nine days ago, on Saturday February 23, the day before the storm broke.

Profesor Dawkins and large swathes of the world’s media will rejoice this morning. It’s just a guess, but I suspect the Cardinal has more sympathy in the parishes of St Andrews and Edinburgh – his episcopal see – than he might imagine.

Use every man after his desert, and who should 'scape whipping?


I have embarked on the dolman increases of the Relax. The pattern distinguishes m1R and m1L. Meg says somewhere that she mirrors increases in this fashion and wonders whether it is not a perfectionist obsession too far? At any rate, the pattern doesn’t say how to do it. One is referred to a website.

It was late, I was tired, the computer was off (and it didn’t occur to me to find out whether the wi-fi signal reaches my knitting chair – I might have looked it up on my iPad). So I just increased. I’ll look it up today and do better this evening.

Zite pointed to a tantalizing reference this morning to a sock yarn called Into the Whirled Pakakku. (Scroll down past the baby pictures.) It pools deliciously on 64 stitches. I love pooling, as you know. I followed the link the blogger gives to the Loopy Ewe – but they don’t have any. The dyer’s shop on Ravelry has lots of unbearably beautiful yarns, but they’re almost all DK, and no Pakakku. She has a yarn club – that would be ridiculous. I haven’t time. And you don’t get Pakakku every month.

Anyway, the club is sold out too. I put my name on the waiting list. A very few Ravellers are willing to part with a skein or two. I wrote to one of them, hoping to buy her skeins of “Vampires of Venice” and “A Musing Anecdote”. Now I’ll have to haunt my Ravelry in-box.


We had another fairly good day yesterday. I learned that when Word screws up entirely – one’s text in a small window occupying ¼ of the screen while the rest is empty, for example; or no File in the upper left-hand corner, so no way to save one’s work – the secret can be to tap the upper right-hand corner of the screen. I can’t remember how I stumbled on that one.


  1. Might it be worth a chat with Natalie Fergie at the YarnYard for some sock yarn that is designed to pool? I've certainly had some of hers that have been very pretty on a 64 stitch sock.

  2. Ravelry has a very useful feature if you do not want to log in all the time but want to get your messages. On the my message box page there is a row of tabs: inbox, sent, saved and the magic one email notification. Go into the e mail notification tab and you can set Ravelry up to send your e mail notifications and messages to any email address you choose. Hope that helps.

    1. Utterly brilliant -- it certainly helped.

  3. Anonymous12:54 PM

    The Loopy Ewe updates Monday evenings. (you can also get on their email list to get notifications of which brands will be added...) If the Pakakku calls to you, you could try stalking whatever time (your time) would be Monday night in Colorado...

    Beverly near Yosemite

  4. Anonymous1:35 PM

    Loopy Ewe is the fastest delivery I can imagine. I live a few states away, and if I get my order to them before 2 pm their time it goes out that day. Once I got my yarn on Wednesday after ordering Monday!

    So sorry about the sad state of your Cardinal. I keep thinking about yesterday's appointed gospel, (my paraphrase): give the fig tree one more year, and with some plowing and fertilizer it might bear fruit.

  5. I've been following your blog for a while now, after I saw a link to it somewhere. I like your occasional references to Oberlin, since I'm an Oberlin grad as well -- only 40 years ago for me. :-) When I heard the news about Cardinal O'Brien this morning, I thought of you. So sad. Prayers for him and the Catholic church.

  6. Anonymous2:44 PM

    Somehow I posted on yesterday's comments instead of today's. Loved it that 2 posts above was a spam from "Facebook for Sox" only the o was an e.

    I have seen Into the Whirled at various festivals I've been to. Rhinebeck, Maryland, not exactly sure. Do you have overall color preferences? I'd be happy to pick you up a skein or two of Pakakku next time I see it. Buying for you would keep me from adding to my own stash.....

    Beverly in NJ

  7. I am probably not the first to mention to you the planned pooling calculator:

    But in case I am, there you have it.

  8. I seems to me that the seriousness of the sexual contact has to do with consent. If it was not freely consented to by the less powerful person, then the contact is a betrayal of power and a victimization.

    If the contact was consented to freely (by equals) and agreed to be kept silent by both, then the (perhaps lesser) betrayal is done by the breaker of the secret. In that case those who betray a common secret need to say why they broke silence.

    I personally find the keeping of such secrets has to do with shame and fear and is a power issue.

  9. I've been away, and catching up on blog reading. I finished book one of the Cazalets, but no library or bookstore had two or three. I will have forgotten all of the character by the time they arrive from an online source. I hope the technical problems are being solved.

  10. Anonymous7:48 PM

    Sad news about your Cardinal, but isn't the Internet WONDERFUL? I read the news in this morning's San Francisco Chronicle and thought of you, in Scotland - and although we've never met, I know you through your blog. Truly, this is "the age of miracles and wonders"!

    Jan, in California

  11. Anonymous8:25 PM

    Hello Jean,

    Here is a link for Into the Whirled's web site.

    It looks like many of her yarn are dyed to pool, not just Pakkoku. If you click on the picture of the one you want, the description of the yarn & colorway comes up. It looks as if the is one sock weight color way available at the moment. the rest are mostly DK.

    Jeanne in Rochester

  12. Am not in the least bit sad for your cardinal. I will keep my support and sorrow for his victims. If this man was a teacher or doctor or just a member of the general public he would no doubt be vilified in the community but under the banner of the church he gets sympathy and support. Unsubscribing.

  13. Jean, I hope the previous comment will not stop you from voicing your opinion on your own blog - whether it's about politics, religion, or any other topic.