Sunday, October 20, 2013

A new week.

That Baby will be Christened. We’re all breathlessly waiting to see the shawl. My copy of “Shetland Textiles 800 BC to the Present” came yesterday – in it, Oliver Henry says that a shawl has been presented from Shetland. Do I vaguely remember that New Zealand has also sent one? And no doubt the Royal Family have some of their own in a drawer. We’ll be watching. It had better not be store-boughten this time.

And Amy Herzog has gone live with CustomFit, launching it at Rhinebeck. I haven’t looked yet. Greek Helen will be here at the weekend. Maybe I could face up to having her take the necessary measurements.

Yesterday was strenuous. My husband had a bath – a process which now involves both of us, full on and bad tempered. It was very hard work, and I didn’t even get much credit for it on the pedometer. We aren’t going to be able to manage this much longer.

As for knitting, I got my two rounds of Rams & Yowes done. If I can keep it up, one day I’ll finish. I increased the needle size (thanks to the usual prompt service from Meadow Yarn), so far with no result. The fabric still seems stiff. I’ll give it a few more rounds before I go up another notch.

Meanwhile, the second rank of sheep should acquire faces today.

An informal sitting-room-floor measure of  Milano/Relax3 gauge suggests that I’m knitting tight there, too, although it doesn’t look or feel like that. A whole 7 stitches to the inch.  I am now judiciously sticking in some increases so that when I get to the shaping, I will have exactly the number of stitches I have worked with before.

Kristie urges me, in an email yesterday, to go ahead and buy that Carol Sunday scarf. She – Kristie – was the one who persuaded me (without much difficulty) to get the yarn for Kate Davies’ Northmavine Hap when we were in Jamieson & Smith together. She may well succeed again this time. So when am I going to knit all these things?

“Shetland Textiles”, mentioned above. Very highly recommended. It’s a big, coffee-table book, written by many hands. Museum curators, scholars working for PhD’s, native Shetlanders whose family histories go back generations. With a certain amount of overlap among those categories. Wonderful photographs, both old and new.

As the title suggests, it’s not all about knitting, although knitting predominates. I haven’t really got very far with it yet. There’s an article by Hazel Tindall – the fastest knitter in the world, mentioned here recently, with the help of whose YouTube video I still hope to master the knitting belt. She writes about the pleasure of Fair Isle knitting, and I remember thinking, in my own Fair Isle phase, Why do I ever knit anything else?

The sooner I get on to that vest, the better.

Annie at Knitsofacto – she should have been with us on Shetland, if things had gone according to plan – says that she has “refused some fabulous offers lately” to include advertising in her blog. I will certainly never have ads here – but why don’t I ever get any fabulous offers? Or any offers at all? Does Annie have 207 followers?


  1. Re: baths. Having once encouraged my elderly mother to take a bath, then found it almost impossible to get her up again, I would say, "Shower, and then soak feet in a bowl."

  2. I had heard that NZ had sent a shawl, and quite right too from a country with so many sheep (disclaimer: my mother is a Kiwi!). I have been feeling the same about Fair Isle knitting lately, it is so enjoyable and I find it absorbing and helpful for focussing my mind and not dwelling on things

  3. Jean, I concur with Shandy. You need to figure out another bathing method - showers work. Can you procur a transfer bench? This was a lifesaver for my back when caring for my dad. He could sit down outside the tub, slide into the tub and take his shower with a handheld showerhead, then slide back out again. He only needed help getting his legs over the side of the tub, and for balance while moving. Don't hurt yourself! You won't be able to help anyone then!

  4. Perhaps you could find some home help who would come in to bathe him. It might be a lot easier on both of you, they are pros.

  5. =Tamar6:47 PM

    Transfer benches are a major help. So is a hand-spray shower nozzle, not to mention the old method of washing "bits when available" - a sponge bath, a sitz bath, and soaking feet. This also allows less-frequent washing of areas that don't need it, and the use of different products for different levels of dryness of skin.

  6. Could your GP refer your husband to the Community Occupational Therapist? They are usually very helpful and may be able to provide aids or carers to assist.

    Years ago when my mother needed assistance getting out of the bath I found the best thing was to get in and lift her under the arms from behind. Non slip mat essential!

  7. Anonymous12:58 PM

    I noticed your comment on slipping in the shower, Jean, and just wanted to add that I use a shower stool. It's plastic with 3 legs and I can sit down and wash without worrying about slipping. Something like this or a bench and a hand held shower nozzle might help.

  8. I see you have 211 now Jean :)

  9. The bath. My daughter has spina bifida. She is 43 now. Hard times. She is married now and has an aide who only wheels her into the shower two or three times a week. Not the best solution, but she perseveres. Sigh.