Friday, January 30, 2015

Good news from Athens. They had David out of bed yesterday, tottering about supported by orderlies. The hope is that he might get home on Monday. He is in a fair amount of pain – a bit stingy with the morphine, perhaps?

So now I can move on to worrying about sepsis.

Yesterday was stressful, and my feelings of panic were bad. Getting those heavy boxes down the icy steps and across the icy pavement, to begin with. The plumber's visit. Then my husband had an unexpected and unexplained low-blood-sugar crisis at lunch time. He was snatched back from the brink without medical help, but it was a close one which left me nearly prostrate.

I am supposed to go for a walk with our niece tomorrow. I doubt my own strength somewhat, and the weather is unappealing, and I worry about leaving my husband for so long. But I could do with a walk. I've found a nice easy-sounding one in the book, involving a river and a ruined castle. We shall see.

But we're meant to be talking about knitting.

I've got to get photography going again – you need to see Archie's sweater. There are now only three decrease rounds to go in the first sleeve – and the stitch count is still right. I haven't measured yet to see how much more there will be to do, once the decreases are finished. Not far, I think.

And today's resolution is to ring up Loop and consult them about yarn for the Pocket Squares, which were completely forgotten in yesterday's excitements. I am seriously tempted by the link you sent, Hat, for beautiful pure silk yarn. But linen is an interesting alternative idea. I should at least ask. At least I won't – I hope – be responsible for folding them. I think you're right, that madelinetosh pashmina would be a tad too heavy.

And I must, at least mentally, pencil in the finishing and blocking of the Unst Bridal Shawl.

I think I've mentioned our New Yorker problem: we used to reserve them for reading in Strathardle, no newspapers, no television. A back-log has accumulated, now that I refuse to go without support. I try to read the current issue as it arrives, and also to chip away at the pile. This process finds me, at the moment, reading Joan Acocella's article about hoarding, in the December 15 issue. “Hoarding”, of course, = “stash-acquisition”, to a knitter.

And it's not quite the same thing. We buy hoping to knit, meaning to knit – but life rushes on, and it's too short. Do I have an inventory of what I bought in Jamieson & Smith that day, now a year and a half ago? I've done the Unst Bridal Shawl – more yarn had to be ordered. I am endlessly about to do the Fair Isle vest. I have cast on the Northmavine Hap. I have finished the Rams&Yowes blankie, Kate Davies' 80th birthday present to me. I think that's everything. A lot of conscientious knitting, but the end result (so far) is Stash Augmentation.

The thrust of the New Yorker article seems to be that hoarding has been promoted to the status of a Recognised Psychiatric Disorder. Maybe I will have some further knit-related thoughts when I have finished reading it.


  1. If hoarding has become a "recognised psychiatric disorder" it must be because some company think they may have discovered a pill to cure it. No thanks, I won't be taking that one!

  2. Anonymous11:22 AM

    Councils in England provide help to people who are elderly/disabled/infirm whereby the bin men will collect from nearer to the house - but you have to be 'on the list'. This may be worth exploring for bottles/papers weeks even when it's not icy.

    I know what you mean about general anaesthetics - my son had three when he was in primary school and each time I convinced myself that he would not come round! I had one once and felt that I was being awakened from the most beautiful and blissful sleep.

    My late husband would often say to me over many years that all you need to knit is one ball of wool! He could never understand why anyone would 'need' a stash which by its very acquisition created a backlog of work. I never managed to convince him that it was just lovely to have and to hold and to smell and to fondle. He once expressed his frustration to the owner of a wool shop when I was buying yet more! She told him it was an illness! He would be pleased to know that I have now cleared the loft and am working through the garage and using my healthy ebay income to create the nucleus of a new and extremely discerning stash!

  3. Patience11:58 AM

    Massachusetts Housing Councils are trying to combat hoarding in public houses because of the risk of fire and the hoarding preventing firefighters from getting to the tenants. Every so often newspaper reports of fire mention owners possessions getting in the way of firefighters.

  4. We've done a lot of reading on hoarding (family member problem). The literature points out the difference between hoarding and collecting. The collector's acqisitions are specific and goal oriented. The hoarder's issues are the inability to part with items and nonspecific acquisition of "stuff". Parting with just about anything causes the hoarder great anxiety.

    I think you are safely in the collector category when it comes to yarn

    1. Anonymous1:23 AM

      I like your explanation of the difference between hoarding and collecting. I feel so much better that I am merely a collector of yarn (and fabric)!

      Mary G. in Texas

  5. As part of my job I have seen lots of photos of hoarder's homes - not collecting, I assure you. People are helped, then begin hoarding again. There doesn't seem to be a medical solution. The big fear is fire and safety access. Last year several people here died in fires because the firefighter rescue folks couldn't access the interior of the house, or find the person. Very sad.

  6. Ellen2:30 PM

    Keep in mind that linen is harder on the hands, and hence slower to knit. My arthritic hands have given it up, although I love my knitted linen items dearly. If you go with linen, I will send you tips for making it less of a battle. Linen, pressed and blocked, will make a nice grisp pocket square. Silk, also lovely, will have a softer finish, whatever type of silk you choose. It lacks elasticity and tends to feel a little "dead" in the hands as you knit it (Can you tell that I used to work in an LYS?). I suspect that you might find either a bit sloer to knit than the wools you are used to. You might ask loop about fine cottons as well; they can be starched up to a nice finish, if thats the goal.

  7. Speaking from experience of having my digestive system rearranged, pain is to be expected. Likely it's from the gas used to inflate the abdomen, and will pass, but yeah, the morphine doesn't touch that pain for some reason. Best thing to do is move as much as you're able to help the gas work its way out.
    Hoarding-wise, that's something I've always been a bit afraid of, but I've come to the following conclusion.... Yarn is always useful, and I have no problem handing it off to a good home. Yarn and books don't count for hoarding (imho) especially if it causes no emotional distress for you to give them away to good homes (aka other people who will read/knit with them).

  8. Hester from Atlanta6:03 PM

    Pocket Squares - maybe a yarn that has a blend of wool (for easy of knitting) with a bit of silk or linen to make it a bit stiffer for wearing in the pocket?

  9. =Tamar7:03 PM

    As a member of a generation that was taught to lay in provisions for winter, prepare for the future, buy things that will last, and expect to leave heirlooms, not to mention emulate the wise ant and not the flighty grasshopper, I find it annoying that we are all now expected to be grasshoppers who are ready to flit with a single suitcase at the drop of a job offer. I feel there is a happy medium that is being eroded by the companies that want us to have to buy new because we fell for their labelling us and got rid of our supplies.