Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Yesterday went well, except that I am increasingly assailed by feelings of anxiety bordering on panic, for no credible reason at all. Much like my mother in her old age. Yesterday, to begin with, a new cleaning woman came from the agency – I like her a lot and I think things will go well, but preparing the kitchen for an 8 a.m. knock on the door is still slightly stressful.

Then my husband's dental appt – getting him to any appt is hard work. But not that hard, and I'm used to it. The wind was strong and fitful and he was worried about balance as we started back, but we were rescued and carried home by the kind friend who drove us to the Referendum vote not all that long ago.

I was worried about whether ParcelForce had tried to deliver my package during our hour's absence. No, that was all right – it turned up an hour later. The yarn is beautiful – this is the madelinetosh DK in Composition Book Grey.

Then I couldn't find the book “Knits Men Want” which contains the pattern Archie had chosen. I've got a lot of knitting books, many in piles on the floor where I have exceeded my shelf space. I rarely have any trouble finding a particular one. But this one had been taken from its home-space to show to Archie, and then left lying around waiting for the yarn. I could pretty well have recreated the pattern without the book – it's fairly basic. But then I found the book.

None of that sounds worthy of anxiety bordering on panic, does it? I think the approach of the wedding is weighing on me.

In the evening I started Archie's swatch. I had nicked the index finger of my right hand and the little wound kept opening and bleeding a bit, quite painlessly. But I couldn't risk blood on the Bridal Shawl, could I? So I devoted the evening to the swatch. Wonderful stuff, this yarn.

One of you warned me that it's really more purple than grey, and that's true. But the idea of taking it along as wedding-knitting -- a comment from someone else; I'm sorry to be so vague -- is perfect. There's time to do enough before then that Archie can judge the fabric, and anyway I can take the swatch along. But not too much time -- I can still back-track at that point. I think he'll like it, but it's best to be sure. My husband didn't recognise the concept of “composition book grey”. British education must proceed along different lines.

And then, talk about cups running over, the new VK turned up. It's a stunner.

Does anyone know the book called “The Knowledgeable Knitter”? It's all about getting gauge right and not casting off the ribbing too tightly at the neck and things like that. It sounds good. Do I want it, or do I know it all already?

And speaking of books – Kristie sent me a link just now to the Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook, privately published and sold by the author. That one I'll go for.

There's much to be said about the new VK – I could knit from it from now until the next issue comes out and be nowhere near the end of the things I admire. More tomorrow.


Rachel sent this link yesterday, no message, with the subject-line “It's Real!”


  1. Jean,please accept that a missing book is one of life's little essentials in our later years. I have a permanently changing population of them. As soon as I have found one of them, in a place that I have looked a hundred times, another will spring into my mind.
    The present candidate os one my husband says he has never seen - but senior daughter can tell me exactly where it was on the shelf in our previous house.

  2. Patience12:00 PM

    I have the Knowledgeable Knitter, but haven't had a chance to really go through it yet. This may be a push is that direction. Thanks!

  3. I haven't seen the Knowledgeable Knitter, but surely you are one. I participated in the Kickstarter for the Colorwork book and look forward to its arrival. I misplace books every day it seems. Last week I spent an hour searching for those little cotton yarn ball panties, and gave up. I know I put them somewhere sensible. Or not.

  4. As I get older I find that anticipation and excitement over a future event increasingly reads as anxiety. The current thinking on this is called "mindfulness" ie bringing your thoughts back to the present moment, and where you are now. I also find that a few rows of plain knitting helps, so that sweater for Archie should come in handy.

  5. I would take a look at an actual copy of The Knowledgeable Knitter before buying it. I have some of her books and have taken classes from her. She is very good and explains things clearly. That said, reading the description of the book without having seen it, it sounds as though you already know how to do most of what is described and if you don't the topic could probably be found in one or more of the books you already own.

  6. I took a flyer and just ordered the book, always find bits I thought I was doing OK with, and sometimes it opens my eyes to many new ways to do the bits.

  7. Anonymous5:28 PM

    Oh Jean, what a happy coincidence! I know the church. It is in my diocese and I spent two very happy Spring days there in 2006 and 2008. I was there with my late husband and our two children when they were each preparing for their first holy communion. There is an attached retreat centre which is used by primary schools for first holy communion preparation retreat days. It is in a very rural location and sits, quite literally, at the side of a country lane. The retreat centre was run by a lovely couple called Hilda and Michael who are retired teachers. I don't know if they are still there but they were extremely good with the children who attend with their class along with teachers, catechists and parents. Michael talked to the children about how he had spent time in China and talked about the popularity of kite flying for Chinese children and how this was a way of releasing worries and troubles, this was being used in the context of reconciliation. One of the activities on the retreat day was for the children to sit in the church and decorate pebbles and then carry these across the adjacent fields to a pond where they were thrown in. The 1st of November is my late husband's birthday so I will be thinking of him and remembering Wycliffe where we spent two very happy days. And at this time you will be sitting in that very church! How lovely. This has cheered me immensely.
    Jan, North Yorks

  8. Anonymous5:49 PM

    Where to start - I could comment on almost every paragraph of this post. Thanks for sharing. Anonymous aka Janet of Janet's Thread

  9. Anonymous8:31 PM

    Link to said couple (what was I saying about not missing Windows? I don't know how to insert URL with Mac!)

  10. Perhaps your anxiety is just the excitement of getting the yarn and readying to knit Archie's sweater!
    I've been following a blog, Julie W at She's just posted more photos of her Shetland tour (Burrastow & Unst) and the Shetland Musuem - all so beautiful - and even includes a group with Hazel Tindal. You might enjoy - they had gorgeous weather.