Monday, April 29, 2013

Nothing much ever gets done on Sunday, but I did finish my homework for Franklin and so was qualified to start his next lesson, about sewing edgings on to things. The sort of thing I flip past, in a book. I prefer to knit edgings on – Franklin will reach that topic in due course. It’s a long lesson – I’ll need to watch some more of it before I even begin sewing – but I found in it something new to want: bamboo marking pins. I’ve ordered some.

A twinge of guilt: Sally Melville at the very beginning of her book mentions those of us who fail so often at producing anything wearable that “eventually we decide we weren’t meant to make garments and so restrict ourselves to knitting socks and shawls.”

I’ll get back to Herzog and to Melville herself, I promise. My husband will have to do some of the measuring – art historians are good at that. 

I’ve also signed up for the Craftsy class on Buttonholes and Button Bands, but I won’t begin that until both of these other classes are finished. Then what? Double Knitting with Alasdair Post-Quinn, purely for the wonderfulness of his name? I’ve got his book but have shrunk from attempting the technique.

So the first Pakokku sock still isn’t quite finished. Today, surely.

Historical Oddities

1)      Franklin twice mentioned, in the lesson I’ve just watched the beginning of, standing in line at the bank as an opportunity to do some knitting. Here in GB, we don’t queue in banks any more. Used to, all the time, to draw out cash. Nowadays cash comes from machines and when we do, rarely, need to talk to a teller we find the branch totally empty except for ourselves, and don’t have to wait at all.

2)      I’ve just been reading, or re-reading, can’t remember which, Terrence Rattigan’s one act play, “The Browning Version”. Old public-school-master retiring, young newly-married successor and his wife come to see around the accommodation.

Millie (as they move to the door) And the kitchen is in a terrible mess. I’m in the middle of cooking dinner.

Mrs Gilbert (breathlessly) Oh. Do you cook?

Millie. Oh, yes. I have to. We haven’t had a maid for five years.

Mrs. Gilbert. Oh, I do think that’s wonderful of you. I’m scared stiff of having to do it for Peter. I know the first dinner I have to cook for him will wreck our married life –

Gilbert. Highly probable.

This was written shortly after the war, admittedly by a man. But still, it startled me. I had long since forgotten that cooking wasn’t always what everybody did all day long.


  1. Anonymous1:19 PM

    Ah, as soon as I count on being in and out using the automated teller, it breaks down or runs out of money. Luckily, our local branch has friendly live tellers and they move things right along.

  2. i find i actually carry very little cash these days - the few commerce places i frequent IRL (local deli and grocery store, etc) use my "debit/credit card" and i bring my lunch to work including milk for my tea (nothing provided at my office)...

    i buy many things online - including cat food and other items that are large and bulky and whose stores are a considerable drive (i can not stand doing errands)

    so i rarely need cash during my weekdays - except for the parking meter - for which i get rolls of quarters and dimes every couple of weeks.

    of course not working in Manhattan and working in a spot that is several blocks from the "high street" helps keep that wallet in my purse and my money in my account

  3. The cooking quote reminded me of House-bound by Winifred Peck. It's set in WWII when ladies found it difficult to find domestic servants in the UK. The protagonist decides to manage on her own. She is generally thought to be foolish to make the attempt.

  4. Janis in Lyme11:06 PM

    Jean, so pleased you are enjoying Craftsy. I ignored it until a member of my knitting group was raving about it and got my curiosity up. Craftsy classes are now mounting up like yarn stash. You are good to do your homework before starting the next class. I just plow on through promising to go back and do the homework later. Hah!

  5. Have you read "Kitchen Essays" by Agnes Jekyll? It's a collection her food columns for The Times of London in the 20's - they are quite entertaining, mostly about how to get your cook to cook...