Monday, December 01, 2014

Thanks for al the comfort and advice.

Sunday is a good day for getting things done – in fact, the only one. We have lunch at lunchtime, on Sunday, when we get back from Mass, then an hour's nap which has become an essential for both, then there are still a couple of hours of Doing Time before Television-and-Knitting Time. Other days, my husband's getting-up, and breakfasting, and bathroom-time take all and rather more than all of the morning, and then we go for our little walk, and then have lunch in what is getting dangerously close to mid-afternoon.

Yesterday I spent those precious hours sorting piles of paper and securing them with paper clips. I feel quite a lot better. My account-keeping has gone to hell of latel, and papers keep piling up, and some sort of order will be needed for the income tax in January. For the moment, it actually seems do-able.

Income tax is where your several words of comfort fail, I'm afraid. OK, if I don't write the Christmas cards or think of presents for the Little Boys at Loch Fyne. Too bad, but life will go on. But if I don't get the tax filed in January, they'll come and get me. And it won't be me – it's my husband's tax I'm doing, in fact. It'll be all right if I die, I suppose – Alexander will just have to arrange a postponement. He'll have a lot to do, in that case, and I'd rather spare him that one.

But things tend to seem better in January, post-solstice. And the day one files the tax is exhilarating, with a whole delicious year stretching ahead and more light every day.

I haven't given up on the Apple Mac idea, indeed am negotiating about one for Christmas. I wonder if this would, after all, be the solution of my husband's wish for a simple word-processing program – meaning, one with the features he needs and nothing else? There are programs, I know (even dedicated computers?), for Silly Old Fools who only need to send emails to their grandchildren. But my husband also needs footnotes, and a program which can move a footnoted paragraph from one place to another and have everything smoothly re-numbered.

Why did I ever let him abandon his DOS-based machine? Why didn't I make him face up to what was going on – file structure, formatting – when he was young enough perhaps to take it in?


Don't miss the link in Jean from Cornwall's comment yesterday. Here it is, to save you turning back: Tjipeter Mystery. Scroll down to fifth picture. I have forwarded it to K.D., just in case she missed it.

All went reasonably well with my own knitting yesterday. There was a dropped stitch in the Unst Bridal Shawl edging. It has been safely recovered, and I doubt if you could find the place, but it's not up to Shetland Museum standard. Only eight stitches remain between me and the third corner – I should round it this evening. Each scallop eats up six stitches, but two return rows will be unsecured, one on either side of the corner stitch – that is, they will advance the scallop but won't consume a border stitch. I can't remember what I did about that on the other corners. Something similar.

The whole thing, as it increasingly emerges from the confinement of the needles, looks awfully small and mean, especially as compared to the Princess. Blocking will transform it (and reveal all the disasters), but even blocking can't be expected to double its size. Hellie must understand that she doesn't have to wear it on September 19. I will see her at Loch Fyne at Christmas and we can discuss this in depth. She could just keep it for her babies.

And Archie's sweater is now 7 1/2” (of 17) below the armpits. I'm relaxing about the yarn-quantity question. Skeins four and five (of 12), currently employed in tandem, will clearly last a long time.

Again this morning, Zite's knitting section is full of thngs I've already seen. What's gone wrong?


  1. Don't despair about the size of the shawl Jean. Cobweb yarn seems to double its size easily. Could you block it with a helper so that you can give it a good stretch? Maybe good to have someone else around too if you are worried about sections that might cause difficulty.

    Thinking about your tax deadline, would it be possible to impose a personal deadline in, say, June or July when you feel more up to it? By then you should have all the bits of paper required to do your 2014/15 return and think of the relief that it won't be hanging over you at the end of the year.

    1. Oh dear! I can't even spell my name correctly.

  2. Re: the corner.
    I seem to remember when going around the corners on Euny's Print o' the Wave, I was instructed to go into each of a certain number of corner stitches twice so joining two passes of the border to each one.
    However, if leaving a gap works, good. Best to keep to the same way at this late stage.

  3. What a fun story and photos of Rams ans Ewes. I have bits of gotta perch in mumouth, as they used to use it for root canals. I second the professional blocking idea if you are in doubt.

  4. Anonymous2:11 PM

    I should mention that the Tokyo shawl comes with instructions in English (and Danish) if ordered as a kit from

  5. I agree about the tax , I do ours by September at the latest, all the receipts seem to be in by mid summer and it is so much easier doing it when you have plenty of time to spare and light evenings to feel you have more time by. January always seems to be like dicing with chance and worrying about a penalty payment. I also thought that if you file early they take money, if you owe, from next years income on a pro rata basis rather than demand an instant payment?

  6. I'm sorry to hear that once again you are feeling anxious. However, if that is your regular day it is not surprising that you feel under stress, particularly when it gets dark so early. Now might be a good time to activate your plan to get help with personal care for your husband. It could free you up to keep on top of your other essential tasks.

  7. Anonymous11:39 PM

    Hmm it is hard to search for a Marina of Out Skerries - I am led to links about boats! I hope she reveals her Ravelry name so we can go read about what may be her projects. I am very fond of the Marius pattern on her sweater.
    Thanks for the link about the Tjipetir blocks. I had heard the story on the BBC news but somehow they omitted the knitting info ... wonder why!
    I can hardly wait to see the photos of the shawl. It is going to be stellar.