Wednesday, March 26, 2014


The dr phoned as promised, and said he would write right away to refer me to a cardiologist. I should hear within a week. Sinking of heart. But in fact the BUPA hospital rang up within the hour – “writing” no longer involves quill pens, I gather – and I have an appt late this afternoon. I trust we will get some action. He can't charge that much for saying “hmmm”.

I have to find something called Shawfair Hospital. It opened in 2010 in what appears as empty fields in our Old Folks' Edinburgh A-Z. Google Maps is fully apprised of its position, of course, and it looks easy – out past the new Royal Infirmary, a familiar drive.

My husband wants to come along. I hope he can be deterred, although the outing would be good for him. He likes the last minute approach to appointment-keeping. I don't. As Ogden Nash says somewhere, Each other is what they always marry.


was a catalogue of disasters. I'm not sure I can remember the order in which they occurred. The worst one was when I gave a gentle tug to my circular needle, as one does, and it flew apart, releasing some dozens of stitches into the void. I recovered the stitches and stuck the needle back together. It seems secure, but I can never trust it again. I've transferred the whole thing to another needle which is too short for the purpose, and will order a replacement.

When I got back to the starting point after the first Fleegle circuit, I found the two balls of yarn seriously tangled and fuzzed together. I extricated them. It will have to be wrap-and-turn after all if that keeps happening, but in fact I managed things better after that. The point where one turns and switches balls of yarn is a bit tricky and needs to be handled with care.

On the second Fleegle circuit, despite all my fine talk, I got 30 stitches or so into the new round before I discovered I was knitting with the wrong ball of yarn.

The disaster that did the most damage was trivial by comparison – a few stitches escaped while I was trying to release the yarn from one of those damned not-ring stitch markers, and the pick-up was messy.

All of this, as Lady Bracknell would say, begins to look like carelessness. I begin to suspect that old age has blunted my skills. I should begin the actual lace-knitting part of the borders today. Will things improve?


My Kate Davies tea towel arrived. It's as wonderful as advertised. She and a designing partner have started an e-book series called Cross Country Knitting. The first pair of patterns don't say anything to me, but I'll keep watching.

The tea towel came with a card advertising Shetland Wool Week 2014. It has a nice picture of a sheep on it. The website doesn't have much in the way of information yet, but I'll keep watching that, too.

For the sake of some colour: Rachel's daughter Hellie (the eventual recipient of the accident-prone Unst Bridal Shawl) ran 20 miles the other day, practising for the Paris Marathon which she is going to run in a fortnight's time. (She failed to get a place on the London one, I think is the story.)

That's Hellie on the left.


  1. Sympathy for the knitting problems! You are coping well on the surface, but there is bound to be underlying anxiety about your condition, and this is where it shows itself. Hope that this afternoon brings some help and comfort.

  2. Blimey, nearly £10 for one tea-towel!That's a bit steep. Good Luck with your appointment - your doctor must have pulled out all the stops to get you in so quickly. Head for the ERI, past Danderhall, SQA, watch out for those pesky roundabouts en route (the road well-travelled by myself lately!). I'm in complete awe of those girlies who can run such distances. Good Luck for that too.

  3. So glad you have an appt today!
    I agree that your stress level might be causing some of the knitting difficulties. Remember that blocking will even out the knitting.

  4. I find that I often mess up the simple bits because I am paying less attention, thinking it isn't necessary. Fingers crossed for the appointment.

  5. Good luck at the cardiologist, private appointments can move very fast, my mother saw a neurologist same day recently going private. Sad that we have to though :-( Will pray for you x

  6. Esther3:19 PM

    Jean, I hope all goes well today at the cardiologist and will be awaiting news tomorrow. Yours is the first blog I read every morning. I don't usually comment but couldn't help but tell you how delightful I found your reference to Ogden Nash. I didn't know that quote and so googled it, only to discover that it describes my husband's and my approach to timing so perfectly. Thank you. You've made my day.

  7. I do hope they get to the bottom of your health woes. You've suffered long enough. I'm another one who thinks stress may be at fault for your knitting woes. I had to stop knitting lace because I had too much unpleasantness mucking things up in my mind.

  8. =Tamar8:12 PM

    Yeah, stress, but also: the needle falling apart is not your fault. The wrong kind of stitch marker was because the right kind wasn't available. And the yarn bras were supposed to keep the balls of yarn separate, weren't they? That was a bold experiment, and if experiments always worked, we wouldn't call them experiments.

    Hooray for speedy appointment-getting!

  9. I too have had a needle pull apart. The heart stops! And you surely don't need that. I have put a bit of glue on the cable and jammed together again. And I followed it up with a gentle squeeze on the join with a pair of pliers. But I don't trust it any more either. Good luck with your health and lace.

  10. Anonymous1:46 AM

    I too, look forward to your posts every day. You have come to mean a great deal to me :) I do hope you will be feeling reliably better very soon. Prayers and good thoughts coming your way from Seattle!