Thursday, October 10, 2013

Joe is safely here, and we will be off to Strathardle later this morning. I am in the near-panic-attack state which is becoming familiar. Greek Helen has prescribed valerian – it does help. What’s in it?


-- I’ve had a nice letter from the bride-to-be: she wants to wear the Princess! So next week when we get back I will move all those books off the chest in which it is stored, and have a look. Moths? Even more worrying, has it yellowed? We saw an interesting contraption in Shetland, a sort of smoke box such as might have been used to kipper a herring, which was in fact used, we were told, to whiten fine lace with sulphur smoke.

I don’t think I want to embark on that.

This will be the church. Thomas wrote to the parish priest (Lucy is not a Catholic) and they are now in touch and everything seems set fair. I’m sort of against photography during a religious service, but it is irreligiously pleasant to think of how well the Princess will look in that setting. Someone can take a picture on my behalf.

 -- Yesterday’s knitting belt session went very badly. I have decided to take Rams & Yowes along today, without the belt. I can still practise the Tindall way of holding the yarn and needle. I need to get acquainted with the pattern without the nervous pressure.

 I’ve never read any of the Harlot’s books, Genny (comment yesterday), but am much attracted by the passage you suggest in Free Range Knitter, about the different ways people manage yarn and needles.

 -- I find I am enjoying the Milano so much I don’t want to finish it. I can’t remember ever feeling like that about a piece of knitting before, and no doubt part of the feeling stems from the difficulties of the knitting belt struggle. I remember feeling like that about Brideshead Revisited, the first time I read it, in the mid-50’s. I don’t want this to end. It seems a bit overblown, these days – as it did to Waugh himself before he died.

 -- Don’t miss Kate Davies’ post about Foula wool, with wonderful photographs. Kristie and Kath, we’ve got to go to Foula next time, as well as Fair Isle.

--     Liz Lovick’s book “The Magic of Shetland Lace Knitting” turned up yesterday from Amazon. Its value is as a how-to-design book. (There is a workshop on that topic on Unst this week, I believe – candidates got the organiser out of bed with their phone calls on the first day of registration.)

I feel a bit calmer for having spent this time with you. Back here Monday, insh’Allah.


  1. Safe travels. I prefer Passion flower to valerian, it doesn't make me sleepy, but is a very good anxiety reducer. I have been having trouble commenting from the iPad lately, but read every morning.

    1. I always have trouble commenting from the iPad, what I've started doing is composing my reply in notes and then copying and pasting it into the comments. My trouble always seemed to be in the editing/correcting my typing so this solves that problem, the actual posting is OK.

  2. I am so glad that the bride-to-be would like to wear the shawl :)
    If it's yellowed could Greek Helen take the shawl back to Greece and sun it white again?

  3. I thought the same thing when I read Kate's post yesterday about the Foula wool! Foula and Fair Isle definitely need to be added to our "next time" list. Is that yarn the same one I was looking at at the Bod? I was very tempted to buy it, except they only had one ball of the black and I needed two for the project I had in mind for it. Now, of course, I am kicking myself for not having scooped up some of the other colours.

    Have a wonderful time in Strathardle. I'm sorry to hear going there now makes you feel so anxious. Having Joe there should be a great help. And that is great news about the Princess!

  4. Valerian seems to be an extract from the root of the valerian plant, commonly known as Jacob's ladder. You should research drug interactions before you take it! That said, it is commonly used for insomnia and anxiety about insomnia; it helps you sleep.

  5. Thank you for the link to the church. My first thought was, my, you'd really feel married after a ceremony there. I sort of edged into marriage myself. Thanks for the mention of valerian. I googled and found this amusing valerian tidbit: "In medieval Sweden, it was sometimes placed in the wedding clothes of the groom to ward off the "envy" of the elves." My husband is Swedish but no valerian was involved in his wedding attire.

  6. Anonymous10:46 AM

    Hello Jean, yes, wonderful news about the shawl and it will be spectacular in that glorious church.
    When I'd be "beside myself" I'd take the Bach flower essence, Rescue Remedy. It seemed to me to give access to my resources and a feeling of "Oh!, maybe it's not so bad, I can handle this."
    Looking forward to the report from the Centre of the Universe.

  7. Anonymous2:08 PM

    Jean, I realize you are away - and I hope having a relaxing time. I just wanted to write and let you know that I miss your blog when you are away. I never realized that it is the first think I check every morning, after my email, and when it is not available, I am disappointed. I am following your progree on the Milano. I am in love with that sweater, but would need extra yarn. I want it longer and possibly wider. The largest size would fit in wodth but not in length. Not sure if I would have enough yarn to lengthen each stripe and not run out....
    Hope this trip is a safe one.
    Leslie in NJ

  8. Hello Jean--I've never commented before, but reading about your anxiety and near "panic attacks" reminded me of last year when my Doctor changed one of my prescriptions. After about 2 months I became more nervous, and then I thought I was having "little heart attacks" when it occured to me I was having panic attacks. I did a web search and sure enough that pill listed those symptoms as a side effect. I stopped taking that med and the anxiety went away almost immediately. I think before you begin self medicating you should see a physician. Herbal medicine can be dangerous when mixed with meds or even alcohol, so please see a professional.

  9. Just catching up here Jean ... I know I couldn't manage this time in the end - it is to be remedied, I am planning a Shetland trip next year - but please don't leave me out of next time!