Sunday, December 21, 2014

Here we are – the shortest day! We made it! Happy Winter Solstice to all northern hemisphere readers, and sympathy for those down under. I think this would be a good point for a seasonal pause in blogging, perhaps to resume on Tuesday or Wednesday next week, in time for the New Year.

My sister wrote a Suess-like poem recently about a local (to Old Saybrook) beloved wooded spot which was scheduled to be developed into a golf course. I have (I am ashamed to say) forgotten the details of the story. The collapse of Lehman Bros comes into it, and the land is now, I believe, owned by a local trust and safe for trees and dog-walking at least for the time being.

Rachel Miles, James' and Cathy's daughter, has illustrated the poem and designed the book. My sister sent these pictures yesterday. I think it is sensationally good.

My sister and her husband are coming for a visit in the spring, when they will deliver a hard copy.


I went back to that hole – between the edging and the border of the Unst Bridal Shawl – armed with my own logic in yesterday's blog: and sure enough, dropped stitches! Four of them! They didn't include the crucial k2tog that joins edging to shawl – that one, if dropped, unzips very promptly. They were simply border stitches which must have flown off the needle unnoticed when I turned at the end of an incoming row. They were sitting there quietly (biding their time?), showing no eagerness to escape. I have secured them with a safety pin. The hole will eventually be easily repaired with a needle.

Still no red madelinetosh, although it was said to have been posted from London on Tuesday, first class. I had a word with the postie yesterday – she is used to conversations with me about consignments of yarn. She says it'll turn up, and it probably will. And anyway, we have decided to leave the bottom of Archie's sweater unfinished and go on to the sleeves, until he can try it on for length in January. (The red is for the inside of the terminal hem.)

I got my knitting sorted out and packed for our brief trip to Loch Fyne. I'm taking the whole Queen Ring pattern, and will try to understand how the edging is done. Sharon M. seems to be saying that some repeats must have more stitches than others, in order to make the count come out right. I will try to think through a simplification of that.

And I've also packed the Pakokku socks, and another skein, just in case. Ambitious, for 72 hours.

Happy Hols, everybody. See you later.


  1. I hope you have a relaxing and anxiety-lifting time with your family dear Jean. I read on the BBC website this morning that sunset has in fact been getting later for over a week even though today is the shortest day.

  2. Anonymous10:55 AM

    Now you can put your feet up and relax and look forward to the Spring. I was reading yesterday that at this time of the year there is only about 4 or 5 hours of daylight in Iceland and the street lights will still be on as we speak!

    Here is a video of an Icelandic man knitting.......

    Happy Christmas Jean

    Jan, North Yorkshire

  3. skeindalous12:16 PM

    A very blessed Christmas to you and your family! We will miss your daily notes. Best wishes with the knitting.....and with all family dynamics!

  4. Happy Holidays, Jean. But more importantly, Happy Solstice!

  5. Happy Christmas! Safe travels!
    You're just like the rest of us, packing extra knitting for a short trip.

  6. Anonymous2:00 PM

    A blessed Christmas for you and your family is my wish.

  7. Happy Solstice, safe travels.

  8. Anonymous2:40 PM

    Happy Solstice and a very Happy Christmas to you and yours!

  9. Happy happy Christmas!
    Have a relaxing time and let the youngers do the work while you sit and knit and regale them with stories and wit.

  10. Taking too much yarn is MUCH preferable to running out of yarn!

    We will miss you. Enjoy your time off and don't forget to bring stories when you return.

  11. Your granddaughter's illustrations are delightful! Have a wonderful Christmas with your family on the shores of Loch Fyne, Jean.

  12. I'm with you Jean in rejoicing the solstice. Have a lovely holiday with your family. I am looking forward to your return.

  13. Anonymous12:46 AM

    Love the illustrations - they're charming. Happy solstice, Blessed Christmas. Always a pleasant surprise how quickly the days seem to start opening up, across January.
    - Beth in Ontario

  14. What lovely illustrations. Very talented niece.
    Best wishes for a happy and joyous Christmas to you and to all you love.
    Ron in Mexico

  15. Great you found your 4 stitches and were able to secure them! I would be like you and try to simplify a pattern. It's much easier to knit something when you can memorise the pattern. I would also bring far too much yarn, patterns, needles etc for a short trip!

  16. Happy Holidays. The book looks marvelous.

  17. Merry Christmas, Jean! This has to be the year when nothing untoward happens, surely.

  18. =Tamar4:51 PM

    As always, I'm impressed by people who actually travel while I celebrate my personal holiday, Hibernation. Happy winter solstice season!

  19. Anonymous5:25 AM

    The book looks fantastic! Happy holidays to you and your family.

  20. Lol...many thanks for your thoughts to those who live down under. It is about 37C here today and expecting 40C in a couple of days time. Oh boy! lol. It doesn't stop me from knitting though.
    Cheers, Anita.