Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sure enough, I'm having a lot of fun thinking about “pocket squares”, Ravelry offers a choice of patterns – all by men – and I like the one you liked, Lou – a little bit fancier than the others. It's knit in silk, in seed stitch. You don't need me to tell you that it is difficult to achieve perfection in garter stitch. Phyllis, I'll look at washcloth patterns. Maybe, as you say, Lou, st st would do.

Rowan Truesilk? Ideally, I'd like to buy this one over the counter so that I can see the colour, and fondle it a bit, but I haven't time or strength for much wandering about. “Navy blue” is the specification. John Lewis has a lot of Rowan yarns – do they have that one? Madelinetosh Pashmina is another possibility – that would have to come by mail from Loop. (I was sorry to see, as I pursued the matter yesterday, that Loop, in describing that yarn, uses the word “infamous” in the famously wrong way beloved of knitters. Or maybe lexicographers now consider the meaning to have shifted.)

The thing I must do is to get some yarn and knit a trial square and send it to London for criticism. Maybe I could ring Loop up, after a further study of their website, and discuss the question of yarn choice.

Archie's sleeve progresses. The bulk of the sweater is now something of a hindrance. I'm knitting round and round on five needles, and need to turn the whole thing in my lap – or else fling my arms heavenward and let it turn itself – after every needle-ful. The second sleeve will be worse. But it's looking good.

I must try to listen to that program about Shetland again before it goes away. It's really terribly good. The presenter knows nothing about knitting, but his interest is intelligent and sympathetic. There is a nice passage in the museum in Lerwick where he is being shown a case with the sort of underwear you sew yourself into in late October and remove, perhaps, in April. Then he turns to the lace opposite – I know exactly where they were standing – and says, “What about this? This isn't knitwear.”

One of the charms of the program is that the speakers have been encouraged to speak in dialect. It is generally the practice – all over the UK, presumably – for people to speak in standard English to the outside world and reserve dialect for each other. I remember once, long ago, queuing for milk at the farm door in Kirkmichael. Mr Crighton assured me that it was a cold day – it was – but I heard him tell the next customer that it was cald.


Thank you for your continued help with care of the elderly. We have an appt to be assessed by Edinburgh Council on the 6th of March.

My husband's sister was not an entirely easy woman to please, and the process of dying didn't improve her temper. She very much liked the carers who came to help her with washing and dressing (except for being put to bed so early). They came to the funeral. That speaks well for Edinburgh Council.

I am sure you are right, Knitlass, that my husband would prefer a male nurse. And I will look at the Carers' Support Service website, Helen, and forward the link to Greek Helen.

I think we are beginning to see a bit more light around the edges of the day.


  1. "infamous" - I like that! I am still treasuring the way a young, enthusiastic school head referred to the hot meals her pupils were now getting - they were "fulfilling".So much more expressive than being correct would have been.

  2. Have you seen this site? They do pure silk lace and sock weights.
    Many of the male carers in our area are African graduate students trying to pay their course fees. I found that they did not have the same attitude towards the work (or my husband) as his favourite, a Polish carer - extremely well trained and proactive and a nice guy to boot.
    I loved the comment on the Shetland programme from the lady who saw her knitting as 'wearable art' and so didn't sell much. When asked what she did with it she said, with a laugh, "I'm amassin' it!"

  3. skeindalous11:56 AM

    I do love the Luxury Beaded Pocket Square on Rav. Without the beads! Isn't Pashmina a worsted weight? Maybe drop down to fingering for less bulk and more suppleness? How nice to know that your skills are in demand!

  4. I think the infamous pashmina might be too heavy and soft. What about Linen? I did enjoy the speakers on the Shetland show, and recognized dialect words from the Ann Cleeves Shetland books.

  5. I knew exactly where they were standing in the museum too, Jean, and those underwear fascinated me. I still can't imagine being sewn into something in the fall and not released until the following spring.

  6. re dialect - I enjoyed the Shetland programme - thank you! However, I found it a bit strange to hear the dialect in that context. When I return to Cumbria, which has a similarly distinctive accent and dialect, it always amazes me to hear assistants in a department store speaking "broad" between themselves, in a manner they would not use to customers. For example, "water" is pronounced with a short "A", as in "Cat", and "one" is "Yan" in the dialect. As children, we were stongly discouraged from speaking "Broad". My father, who had travelled the world, definitely saw it as limiting one's opportunities not to use Standard English. Has that changed in the last fifty years, I wonder?

  7. Anonymous5:02 PM

    I like the sentence with which you ended your post. It sounds poetic!

  8. have you looked at the Colourmart site? They sometimes have pure silk.

  9. Jean - maybe now would be the moment to visit Be Inspired Fibres in Marchmont? Mei has some really nice yarns, and plenty of things that are silky

  10. I can't remember if I've made this suggestion before.

    With Archie's jumper being large and unwieldy, place it in a large bowl (a salad bowl) in your lap. To rotate the jumper, simply give the edge of the bowl a spin.

    I have used this many times, with a metal mixing bowl which is very lightweight.