Saturday, January 17, 2015

Ruth Rendell has had a stroke.

We had a successful day yesterday. A friend drove us. That helped a lot. Half an hour straight into the low winter sun. My husband's blood sugar – they test on arrival – turned out to be alarmingly low and most of the appt time was spent getting him right again. We came home by taxi and my feelings of panic persisted all evening. Better this morning.

Our friend would like me to knit her a dog. I have ordered Best in Show, the pattern book in question. It will be an ornament to my Curiosities shelf, along with Knit Your Own Great Britain and Knit Your Own Royal Wedding. Once it's here, I can at least consider the feasibility of the project.

The big news is that I have filed the income tax. It's done, on Thursday,  for another year. They say we owe them some money, not an inordinate amount. I'll wait a week or so to see if they are going to explain why.

On Thursday evening, exhausted by this exploit, I wanted some plain-vanilla knitting and found there was none. Archie's sweater has arrived at the point where it really needs to be tried on for length, and the shawl needs grafting and tidying. I just sort of sat there.

But last night – this really won't do – I took things in hand, despite feelings of panic. Archie's sweater has been divided fore and aft onto long circulars. No back and forth knitting (for the terminal flaps) has been done, however – it will be easy to continue in a circle. I then recovered the stitches for the first sleeve and have made a good start on that.

Archie himself will be here at the end of the afternoon. I hope we can stage the trial.

Do any of the books have a good passage on recovering stitches from waste yarn? I always find it slower and more difficult than I think it ought to be. Madelinetosh is fairly loosely spun and many stitches split.

On Thursday, as I was reeling from the emotional effort of filing the tax, the post arrived with the new VK. A glorious moment! The actual issue is something of a disappointment, especially for a winter one. But the articles are good. What a mysterious and interesting woman is Barbara Walker – to be that good at knitting, to write a book essential for every knitting library, and then just to abandon the subject and more on to something else.

Sorry – at that point Alistair rang the doorbell, and the rest will have to wait for tomorrow.


  1. I've got nothing for panic, except...cute dog?
    My tumblr with dog pics and knitting

    I've gotten in the habit of using the cables from my interchangeable needle set rather than waste yarn whenever possible, since it's such a pain in the neck to get stuff off waste yarn. Only suggestion I can think of is blunter needles to help prevent splitting then knitting onto the needles you want to use with the next row/round.

  2. Interesting that you mention Barbara Walker. I have just bought her book on top down knitting where she always refers to putting stitches on a string to hold them. String would be smoother than yarn and less likely to meld with the stitches.
    It appears that she was first a journalist, published those wonderful stitch directories and then became a feminist writer. I love how she says that numbers make her feel sleepy - I'm with her on that.

  3. I use some narrow-ish ribbon instead of yarn. It holds the stitches open, and slips out easily. The, use a needle that is several sizes smaller than the one used to knit with, it makes the putting back on so much easier. Knit from the smaller to the lager and you are back where you started. I was sad to see the news about Ruth Rendell, and the story barely mentioned Barbara Vine, my favorite side of Ruth.

  4. Anonymous9:19 PM

    HI Jean I have knitted a dog from the book mentioned. As a gift for the custume design of the Hobbit. Think it is on the cover. He "joking" said you can knit a dog so did as a leaving gift. They are smaller than you realise but thick needles and yarn would create something larger. I did years ago knit a "pound puppy" for my youngest son as I wasn't going to pay the huge price for the one in the shops. Must have that pattern somewhere still. I agree a smooth cotton is what I use to pick up the held stitches and a smaller needle. Hope the fitting goes well. Cheers from a much too hot NZ Beverley

  5. Anonymous9:21 PM

    Hmm I meant of course "costume designer" !! is it possible to edit haven't blogged in a couple of years.

  6. Anonymous10:43 PM

    Congratulations on the tax return! One big burden off your shoulders. So sorry to hear the news about Ruth Rendell.
    - Beth in Ontario

  7. I didn't know who this Ruth Rendell person was, and then opened my Amazon account to check something I had in my cart and realized I had a book of hers on my wishlist.

  8. Anonymous5:32 AM

    Sorry to hear about Ruth Rendell--I've enjoyed her work for a long time, but glad to know you've finished the taxes.

    I usually unzip the held stitches very carefully, one by one, and have had little difficulty that way.

    Elaine in NYC