Saturday, August 17, 2013

Catdownunder, I need your email address so that I can write to you about your contribution to my birthday. Important. I should be able to find it, but I can’t.

Big Party

It wasn’t just my 80th birthday in 2013 -- it was also 50 years since we bought our little house. I had, in the excitement of the day, forgotten all about that aspect of things. But Greek Helen had had a wonderful cake made. It was produced at the end of the meal and set before my husband.

It was a while before we dared cut into it, as you can imagine. It proved to be much tastier than expected. At the end, though, we had to steel our hearts and throw the rest away. The Little Old Man and Little Old Woman on their bench in the front garden have been preserved in a mouse-proof box on the mantelpiece where they look rather spooky.

Greek Helen was terrific throughout. She organised things to keep life as calm and normal for my husband as possible – everybody out of the house at lunchtime, and in the evening she cooked and a rotating, selected group of relatives were allowed to come and eat with us. The rest were forced to roister on their own in the village.

One evening we even sat down as Just Us Chickens, as we used to do every day, long ago. Rachel, Alexander, James and Helen, each in the place he or she used to occupy around the table. It had been a long time, and will certainly never happen again. It’s too late, though. By now it seemed odd and incomplete to have them around without their dear spouses.


I got my sister’s darning done, and cast on a new pair of Pakokku socks last night, colorway Catskill Pines. It’s time to go back to Relax2, but I think maybe one more evening of sock might be allowed. It would be (a) interesting to compare the swirling to that of  the finished socks, before I send them off and (b) nice to have the ribbing done.

The socks I was set to darn seemed to be Zauberballs. They’re rather shrunken and felted. It’s not a yarn I have any experience of washing. I must ask other recipients how they’re getting on.

The news on the sock front was the arrival yesterday of a skein of Qiviut Sock Yarn. It cost a million pounds, as you would expect, and doesn’t seem quite as transcendentally wonderful as one might expect at the price.

There was something in Knitting Daily recently about knitting socks to fit. Toe-up, I think. Elongated heel flap? I’ve let it get away, although I think it might be in a new issue of Socktopus. I mean to do these for my husband, and concentrate on fit.

The colorway is called Chokecherry Leaves and at least he likes it.


  1. I was once given just enough Qiviut to make a bookmark. It was soft. It was interesting but I wondered what the fuss was about. Prudence Mapstone had some of the sock wool for sale at the craft fair last year. I was working for her but neither of us managed to sell the last remaining skein. (She had only imported six and said she was unlikely to bring in more.) Again it was soft and interesting but I would not have knitted socks from it. Anything that expensive needs to be seen properly.
    The cake is amazing!
    I have e-mailed you at the address on the side.

  2. Ruth in Ontario, Canada2:24 PM

    I'm surprised that a quiviut sock yarn even exists. It's an extremely short fine fibre (like cashmere only more so) and I would have serious doubts as to its durability and washability, even if it's blended with something else. That said, any socks knitted from it will be very soft and VERY VERY warm. I'm curious as to whether your yarn is a product of Alaska or Canada.

  3. Elaine in NYC5:26 PM

    There's a good article on pooling in the new edition of Twist Collective (free on line) which I think you'd enjoy.

    I agree that the cake is amazing and am glad there was a wonderful gathering!

    From a long-time lurker and very faithful reader,
    Elaine in NYC

  4. Anonymous5:47 PM

    What a lovely celebration, complete with charming cake. Many, many good wishes to you and your family.

    Why not make a scarf from that qivuit yarn? It's soft (probably too soft for socks) and VERY warm - something that could be properly appreciated in Scotland, I would think.
    -- stashdragon

  5. I am SO glad that you had such a wonderfilled birthday! Hope the next year is good to you.

  6. somehow i missed this post til tonight. love the house cake and what auspicious celebration!

    Missed on sending my celebratory greetings to add to the rest. Happy Happy Birthday and many happy returns.

    The joy and delight that comes from reading you everyday - like the daily cup of tea with a dear neighbor.

    looking forward to many more cups .... onward!

  7. I'm thinking bed socks. They could replace the hot water bottle.