Saturday, March 21, 2015

The eclipse was something of a disappointment. I thought, with 92% of the sun obscured, the light would be a bit crepuscular. It wasn't -- it was just slightly eerie. This picture was taken at the maximum moment. There's not much point showing you the others.

However, I did see it. One of the neighbours, as we gathered on the street, had a piece of dark brown polythene, A-4 sized, fairly solid but still pliable. I can't think what its use might have been in real life. He had folded it over and was looking at the sun through two layers. He said it was perfectly safe and invited me to look. I took his reassurance cum grano salis but still allowed myself a quick keek. There it was! – the sun's orb obscured except for a glowing crescent bottom right.

A total eclipse such as you have experienced, Shandy, must really be something. I think James made an expedition to see one once, in the Gobi desert.

Later, I went up the hill as planned. I now have a reliable watch strap and some sound and comfortable tights. My husband has enough medicaments of various sorts to see him through his week in London.

Knitting went well. I am all but finished with the fifth Tokyo shawl band. The next one is another of the four-row accent stripes. The plan is to go on with it for today, including winding the next – and last – skein. I am sort of worried about this multiple-WIPery, afraid that something will slip through the system and languish unknit despite my best intentions until I wake up one day and realise that it has become a UFO. I will certainly return to the Tokyo with a lighter step if the winding of that final skein is behind rather than before me.

And it's a good job for doing as I watch rugby. Scotland play Ireland today, here in Edinburgh. It's the last weekend of the Five Nations tournament. The Loch Fyne Mileses are coming over, but I don't think we'll see them. It could be a good match.

Skeindalous, have you any suggestions as to how to label the balls of Tokyo yarn? I have already spotted the danger. They are all so sub fusc, and of course carried with the grey alpaca, that it's virtually impossible to decide which is which even by comparing them with what has already been knit. I am keeping them in strict order on the floor:

My husband isn't nimble enough to get over there, the cleaning woman has too much sense to disturb them, and we don't (alas!) have a cat. So far so good.

I got the first skein of luxurious pocket-square yarn wound. I have bought four skeins, venturing all. It seemed foolish to go on buying one trial skein at a time when I was ordering from the US. I think, after the experience of winding it yesterday, that four is going to be too many (I need eight squares). And if Matt chooses one of the other, heavier yarns in the end, it will all be wasted.

Since the Bridal Shawl is already blocked, I hope to use some time this morning (where that job was pencilled in) to unpin it and attend to loose ends and ahem! a couple of holes. Maybe even get it packed for its trip to London a week today.

Hat, you're right – and well remembered! – Hellie is tiny, although so dynamic that one doesn't notice it. A small shawl will cover more of her than it would have done on a more substantial bride.


  1. I wonder if putting the balls in plastic bags might be an idea - by which I mean,a bag large enough for the ball to slip around and rotate inside, but with some kind of mild restriction around the top, so the ball doesn't leap out when you pull out some more yarn.. Even in a cat-free environment that would be an bit of a bad idea.You can then label the bags.

  2. I agree that the near eclipse darkness wasn't very exciting - but the event itself was. My not quite 2 yr old toddler wasn't very interested - but I was! The cloud cover helped too - meaning you could look directly at it and see the smiling sliver of glimmering sun peeking out.

    I am glad to say my children's school took them out (into the playground and the meadows) to see it.

  3. I use freezer/sandwich bags with a 'zip' for the multiple-similar-colours problem. They often have a ready made spot for writing the label, and you can easily open the top as much or as little as you. They also offer some resistance to m*ths during long projects.

    1. This is exactly what I do!

    2. Sometimes I cut a small slit to advance the yarn through, so as not to open the "zipper."

  4. skeindalous11:17 AM

    I use a ball-winder to make center-pull balls/cakes of yarn. Then slip the string of a small hang tag through the outer layers of yarn, and slide the tag through he loop. You might try this with the hand-wound balls you make, pinning the tag to the ball and removing it as you knit. I also use plastic sandwich bags sometimes, although am trying to lower plastic intake/use here! They can be repeatedly used for several projects. Have a couple of simple fabric bags I slip yarn into, also. Less easily visible, but less plastic!

    Too bad you do not have the 'problem' of a cat. That would be a loss for me.

  5. A pack of stitch markers in various colours might help. The ones which resemble a safety pin without the sharp bits. Eg as you wind the yarn into balls, pin a red stitch marker into every ball of colour A then a blue marker into every ball of colour B and so on. Because these markers fasten and unfasten it is easy to attach a small label if needed. If you have a centre-pull ball it can stay in place, with an ordinary outside-inwards ball, just un pin it from the ball and put it around the working yarn.
    Hope this is useful, Helen

  6. Anonymous12:34 PM

    Re: multiple WIP's. You might keep a journal on your Ipad, or if you enjoy written journals, a small notebook. That way you can note progress, and not loose a project. Of course, one can do the same thing on Ravelry.

  7. I notice your Green agranite Blocks project hasn't progressed. Has it bcome a UFO? I have many of thos

  8. Here in Essex we had heavy cloud on Friday morning, but it did get darkish.
    In 99 we were out on a headland just south of Newquay, along with several hundred people. It was cloudy, but just before the key event the cloud dispersed. It got really quite dark, and eerie as you say. The most dramatic moments were followed by cheering from the crowds on the opposite headlands. We all felt that we had witnessed something supernatural, even those who had been waiting for that moment ever since reading about it in "Look and Learn" some forty years before.