Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I feel perhaps a bit brighter this morning. I am deeply grateful to the commenters who stick gamely with me on the dullest days.

I've started the 10th repeat of the centre of the Unst Bridal Shawl. I had to fire up Old Slowcoach the Desktop Computer yesterday to do some formatting for my husband in Microsoft Word, and I seized the opportunity to deal with some pictures over there and post them to myself. Here, then, it is:

No, it isn't. Blogger is struggling to upload a perfectly simple snapshot. Maybe we can have it tomorrow, when it will be well out-of-date. Poof.

It doesn't look anything like nearly-halfway-to-a-square. It looks like about a third, if that. I anxiously did some arithmetic, but everything seems to be all right. We're aiming for the old twice-as-many-rows-as-stitches formula for a garter stitch square. Or, as many ridges as there are stitches, to put it another way. And I have undoubtedly knit nearly half of the required number of rows. So I guess it'll all depend on the blocking.

But my first job today must be to get the Milano out of hiding so that it can plead for itself.

And while I was taking pictures: here's the bag where I'm stowing the reserves of Jamieson & Smith's Shetland Supreme lace yarn. [Only, of course, it isn't here either.] The longer I go on not-feeling-quite-well and wondering if it will ever end, the more extravagantly grateful I am to Kristie and Kath and my daughters who made that trip to Shetland possible for me.

Of formatting for my husband, mentioned above: life is an interesting to-and-fro, these days, between the list of things my husband nags me to do and the parallel list of things that have got to be done, that he wouldn't think of. Such as getting a Man In to transfer programs – if that proves possible – from Old Slowcoach to the new laptop, so that I can retire it altogether and appropriate the monitor and mouse and desk space for my own purposes.

I can sympathise with Hercules in his struggle with the Hydra.

Zite came up with this, this morning, an article in Scientific American called “The Stunning Symbiosis between Math and Knitting”. It's worth following the links in the article to see the whole exhibition of the knitting (and crochet). I love that sort of thing, I who struggle to knit a Marmite jar. You'll notice that Norah Gaughan was there, among a lot of unfamiliar mathematical names. I think that's one for Evernote.


Waitrose produced a slice of veal shin last week, so yesterday I went in search of Marcella Hazan's “Classic Italian Cookery” for an osso buco recipe. I found a nice, simple one – onion, anchovies, white wine – and the result was enjoyed. Books I have to go in search of are in a cupboard in the spare room; the ones supposed to be in active use are in the kitchen.

Yesterday's experience made me think I might embark on the cookery equivalent of shopping the stash – switch a few of the interesting members of the reserve for a few of the long-unopened ones in the kitchen.  


  1. I hope today's sunshine helps to lift your spirits further. The crocuses are now carpeting Edinburgh's parks & gardens again, a sure sign that winter must come to an end soon....

  2. Ellen1:41 PM

    A few years ago I went to an event at the Walker (Minneapolis's modern art museum) to hear a lecture about "hyperbolic crochet": crochet used in the service of creating models for use in hyperbolic geometry (a newer area of study in mathmatics). The lecturers were the creators of the "Coral Reef" art installation which was written about in a couple of knitting magazines a few years ago (and ultimately was displayed at the Smithsonaian). Beginning crochet was taught before the main lecture, along with an explanation of hyperbolic geometry and fractals. The whole evenet was attended by both those who were there for the craft, as well as a number of mathmaticians, mostly male, there for the math. It made for a very interesting mix, and certainy the oddest fiber event I've ever attended.
    Remember: blocking is everything, especially in lace. I always have these doubts, and it almost always is okay.

  3. Anonymous1:56 PM

    The idea of swapping out the cookbooks is brilliant. Although mine are all in one spot, the ones on the higher shelf see less service.

    If Marcella ends up it the spare room again, you can just post here the recipe you need & I'll happily email it to you. CIC is my most-used, most-loved cookbook, surpassing even Joy of Cooking and Pie.

    Beverly in NJ (I'm Irish not Italian, but I love Marcella!)

  4. Gerri2:20 PM

    I keep thinking I have enough cookbooks and plenty of Italian but now I'm thinking another one couldn't be all bad-CIC. Stash expansion happens the same across all craft, including cooking.

    Off to find Scientific American and pull out my mathematical knitting book. ( well, not off right now...after work, after the evening meeting...)

  5. Hello! I am a knitter from Minnesota and in physics grad school. My professor suddenly announced that I get to spend the month of August in Scotland for a summer school / conference (first in St. Andrews and then in Glasgow)! So ... do you have any suggestions for "must do in Scotland" for someone who has never left North America? (Already inspired by you, I am trying to convince my work friends to make the trip to Shetland!)

  6. regarding photos - an idea for a temporary solution until you get the MAN IN or Alexander helps you - what if you plugged the camera into the older computer and then load your photos into DROPBOX and then on your new computer you would have them available to add to your blog posts?

    a bit of work but maybe less frustrating until the transfer process is sorted out.

    just an idea.

    do you have any of Patricia Wells's cookbooks? they are fabulous! http://www.patriciawells.com/ i have BISTRO COOKING and the Trattoria one (but it had a different title when first published and its at home and i am not). anyway lovely wonderful recipes (also lots of basics with suggestions).

  7. I have been hoping that it was the drug side-effect that was dragging you down. Did the doctor say how long it might take to feel yourself again? Perhaps it takes a while for the drug to clear the system.

  8. I downloaded the Barbara Vine on to my Kindle, following your lead. I wondered what you thought of the ending. Placing the historic attitudes in a book within a book was an interesting conceit - but why do this? As you say, Ruth Rendell is of an age to have lived through these changes in her own lifetime. Have you read "The Stranger's Child"? That deals with some similar themes in an interesting way.

  9. Anonymous9:06 PM

    Wow crocuses already? Toronto still has snowbanks 3 or 5 feet high at the sides of the roads.
    I was lucky to see spring flowers last week in Paris - some pink flowering trees and primroses mostly. I think we saw a forsythia shrub.
    More flowers sooner!
    Cooking can be very therapeutic - all of those repetitive chopping or stirring movements plus one can eat the results.
    have a good week!

  10. Hello Jean
    The mention of crocuses in a comment made me wonder if you know the Artsy Abroad blog. She is an American doing an Master in Art in Edinburgh. She posts lovely photos of everyday Edinburgh. (yesterday she posted photos of crocuses in Princes St Gardens). I found her through her mother's blog Knitorious.
    I hope you continue to feel better. The increasing light plus the snowdrops and crocuses have been improving my mood and giving me more energy.