Sunday, September 07, 2014

The news that Federer and Djokovic each lost his semi-final match in the US Open, so that the title will be contested between a Japanese man and what's-his-name, increases my sense that Disorder is loose in the world.

News about the Referendum is not good. The entity known up here as rUK has, at last, awoken to the fact of what is happening and discovered that there is nothing much they can do about it. Mr Miliband came last week to try to persuade the Labour voters in the west of Scotland that if they stuck with the Union, Britain would have a Labour government after next year's general election. If I were an unemployed Glaswegian with no savings and no mortgage, I would prefer Mr Salmond's promised Socialist Paradise to that unlikely scenario.

I think I heard Nicola Sturgeon on the news last night promise that a vote for independence would mean “free education”. Whatever next?

One of my favourite columnists referred recently to the days when a referendum on Scottish independence was about as likely as the chance of the Bank of Scotland going bust.

Let's zero in on knitting.

I've started the second stripe on my homeward journey on the Rams and Yowes blankie. I can't put the yarn for the first stripe away altogether, because it will be needed for the final round of applied i-cord, but the sense of heading for home is nevertheless strong.

I was bowed down with gloom last night, even before hearing about Federer and Djokovic. This is a brilliant pattern, and my knitting is at least adequate. But is it worth these weeks and weeks and weeks? Will the baby get any use from it, in so warm a place as DC? Will his parents be more than politely interested? If I live to see a great-grandchild, what will I knit for it? Not another Rams & Yowes, that's for sure.

I read the IK article about brioche stitch and fisherman's rib, and am not much the wiser, except to learn that doing it the way I described yesterday, k1, k1b on every row, produces garter stitch fisherman's – which must have even more the effect you mention, Valerie, of four-steps-forward-three-steps-back. But the ribs don't look garter, because they are only being knit every-other-row.

It's all too much to try to think about on this gloomy morning.

On a happier note, I found Deb Robson's account of her Shetland trip with no further difficulty thanks to your help, Valerie, and am enjoying it a lot. Kristie, weren't we lucky with our weather? I haven't tackled the e-book yet, but I will.

Ann Cleeves has written a new book, called Thin Air. It will be published this week. I'm afraid she and I have drifted apart. I read her first two Shetland books with some pleasure, and then got bogged down in the one set on Fair Isle. I tried the television adaptation of her first book, but was so irritated at the way they had filmed a story which incorporates Up Helly Aa, at a completely different time of year, that I gave up on that, too.

This new book is set on Unst. But Cleeves is no knitter, so what's the use?

I will try to be more cheerful tomorrow. It has only just occurred to me that the Queen will be here for the referendum, at Balmoral for her annual holiday. She must be waking up each morning with my same sense of dread.


  1. I wonder whether you have caught the first episode of something called "The Zoo," supposedly about the setting up of Chester Zoo? The story is the usual hokum, but the knitwear is sensational. sSome looks to be vintage, but some must have been commissioned.

  2. Fear not, the DC area gets plenty cold: I can remember multiple winters with more than 6 inches of snowfall on the ground.

    1. =Tamar12:14 AM

      I remember shoveling two feet of snow, more than once, in the near-DC area.

  3. I must agree with wren to reassure you that DC gets a fair share of winter woollies weather. My MotherInLaw is quite close to DC and assures me that there are cold times. It's a bit relative, though, as I understand it. They may not experience the cold winter as some of us know it, but I believe they feel their fair share of the season.

    Perhaps an amusing story for you: when my children were smaller, Mr. A and I packed them and an entire Christmas-For-Small-Children into our car and drove to Baltimore to celebrate the holiday with my inlaws. I packed snow pants and boots and heavy winter jackets and mittens and hats. After all, in a house not used to small children, surely I would have to take them outside a few times a day for a good play. We arrived and I felt foolish to discover that Baltimore's late December was more like my idea of early November. I had to run to the store and buy running shoes for outside as all I had brought for them were boots. It seems - that year at least - their 'winter' didn't really get going until sometime in January.

  4. 1. In addition to winter cold, DC has the phenomenon of over-air conditioned spaces in summer.
    2. I did not see much of the Federer match, but Nishikori played very well indeed against Djokovic. He is worth watching, although perhaps not worth watching at 2:00 a.m.

  5. I will have to google the pros and cons...and try to understand both sides of this Referendum.

  6. Anonymous3:32 PM

    I quite enjoyed Cleeves until I reached the end of the fourth book. I still find that plot twist to be an utter abomination. And yet I have come to care about Jimmy Perez so soldiered on when the fifth volume of the Shetland Quartet appeared (and I reached the head of the queue for the library’s copy). But my ardor has certainly cooled after what she subjected her poor characters to. - Cheers.