Friday, December 19, 2014

My husband's hairwash was easier than expected. Alexander will give him a haircut – one of Alexander's many talents – on Boxing Day. But I think you're right, we need more help. I feel myself sinking.  I don't know how to set about it. Greek Helen will be here towards the end of January. She is strong and energetic and may be able to think up a plan.

My dental appt also went well. The practice rang up the day before to say that the hygienist would like to see wedding pictures of the Princess shawl in action. I must have babbled about it in our June session, to keep her off the subject of flossing. So I took one along.

And it was only then, after a whole year of knitting, that I thought of a serious problem. Hellie doesn't want to wear the Princess, because it would feel sort of second-hand. That's why I'm knitting the Unst Bridal Shawl. But if she wears any Shetland lace at her wedding, 94.7% of the guests who were also at Thomas' and Lucy's wedding will assume it's the same shawl.

I will raise this point with her when I see her at Loch Fyne. We're not going to be there as long as I had hoped, but we should overlap Hellie by one night. She could keep the shawl to wrap a baby in.

The actual knitting continues well, except that last night I got another hole between the edging and the shawl – not a Fatal Error, dropped stitch, all-will-now-unzip hole, just a hole.

I may have figured out how this can happen. Every outward row begins slip 1, knit 1, then YO, k2tog for the column of faggoting. The inward rows end yo, k2tog, and then another k2tog which actually joins edging to shawl. If I should accidentally throw in an extra YO on the outward row, between the slip 1 and the knit 1, that YO would then figure as part of the k2tog at the end of the next row instead of the wanted next stitch from the border.

And thank you enormously for your help with Archie's sweater. You are of course right, that I must stop and wait for it to be tried on when I get to the bottom, either before knitting the flaps or after knitting at least one of them, but before adding the fold line and the inner hem. (The red yarn hasn't arrived yet, but now I don't need to worry.)

I have a five-mile-long dp that I bought just the other day, for the edging of the Rams & Yowes blankie. I could leave the whole sweater on that, but I think it might be better to divide and start a flap. It had never occurred to me that the defining factor in the length of men's sweaters is their need to get things in and out of their trouser pockets – but once you've pointed it out, it seems obvious.

I'm about 12” below the armpits at the moment, Slow, as I've said – but I could always pause the Unst for a day or two if need be, to finish off the body of Archie's sweater before the Boys' Weekend I mentioned, in January, when he will be here to try it on. I think I'll take those poor Pakokku socks to Loch Fyne instead – they've waited long enough. I am doing the second heel flap at the moment. We should have just enough time there to let me polish them off.

Today's excitement is my own hair appt, always a pleasure. Charles has superb coffee, and at the worst I'll come out looking better than when I went in.


  1. Enjoy your coffee!
    Why would it occur to you about men needing to get into their trouser pockets? I have been weqring trousers in the winter for years, and cannot cope if they don't have pockets. It goes without saying that I have to negotiate the bottom of a sweater, or something, to get a hanky out. Poor dears can't cope with that. All of a piece with they way they put a jumper on.

  2. Enjoy the coffee and having someone wash your hair. That's my favorite part of a haircut, it feels rather luxurious.

  3. Anonymous1:07 PM

    Second the thought to enjoy the haircut. If one likes one's hairdresser (and the results) then it is very empowering to receive a good haircut and be pampered.

    Best wishes for a lovely holiday as well as a happy and healthy 2015!
    Your cheerleading squad in the comments is here to back you up as required. Collective experience can sometimes help.

  4. Ellen1:31 PM

    A personal care assistant (in the US, this is called a home health aide) may be covered by the NHS. You might start with your clinic to see if its a covered service, although that night also mean that you have no choice of provider. In the years that I was a medical social worker, I found that people often resisted getting help with bathing and personal care until I reminded them that if they fell in the bathroom, they would most likely be naked when the paramedics found them...that usually changed their mind. (Just in case he is stubborn about it)

  5. elginknitter2:04 PM

    I wouldn't worry if the guests at Hellie's wedding think that she's wearing the Princess shawl. One can't control what other people think! Hellie will know that she has a shawl made just for her, and that is what counts.

  6. skeindalous3:05 PM

    If you wish to continue the Archie sweater, even though he has yet to try it on.......start a sleeve. Soothing MadTosh and no fevered pattern watching. Perfect! A very Happy Christmas to you and you family.

  7. Hi Jean,
    If you look on the Age UK website it gives details of how to organise care. I appears that you can request an assessment of your husband's needs, and your own, from Adult Social Services. They will either organise it for you, or refer you to a list of approved agencies. Since you live in Scotland it may well be that personal and nursing care will be free, without even a means test.

  8. "to keep her off the subject of flossing" - I need a conversational gambit for that. And Ellen, I will keep your excellent point in mind for future (hopefully far) years when family members (and myself!) need extra help with these things.