Saturday, August 08, 2015


Could be worse.

Helen and I, yesterday morning — goodness, it’s good to have her here — found my husband in bed, weak and uncomfortable, still suffering from diarrhoea but no longer vomiting, perfectly crisp mentally. They have sent off samples somewhere, and may know more today. Or may not, with only a weekend staff available. He was oddly flushed, but apparently not feverish.

I phoned at the end of the afternoon and spoke to Manuel himself (of Fawlty Towers fame). He had never heard of my husband. The report I eventually extracted was that the situation was unchanged. Visiting is from 10. Helen and I will go in early today. I usually go around 11:30 and sit with him while he has lunch, but there is not much point in that under present circumstances. He is eating a bit, they say.

I have mastered the spelling of “diarrhoea”, I think. The secret is to start out d-i-a-r-r; the rest will take care of itself.

These symptoms are complicated in a diabetic (this for Melfina, with thanks for her kind wishes) by the need to worry about blood sugars. I am very glad to be spared that.

And I am grateful for all your good wishes.


I’ve reached the 19th band (of 29) on the Tokyo shawl and hope to finish it (=the 19th band) today so that I can move on to the dog. The target there, this time, is to do the left side, wind the Greek wool to provide markings for head and tail, find some pipe cleaners (Amazon will probably have them), and face up to the kapok situation. I may still have some, left over from Sam the Ram and that Marmite jar I knit for James. If so, I must find it.

Dawn, this time I did fine with the link to New Scientist. The idea sounds and looks fun. Presumably you use the random number generator again and again across each cable row. Thanks for that.

I would still like to know (if not too much mental effort is involved) about swirls in nature, snails and things, and whether there is a mathematic formula for them which a knitter could use.

(All this scientific talk has led me to buy Watson’s book about the discovery of the double helix. It is pretty low-brow and gossipy, and I am enjoying it. It was the basis for a movie? television drama? which I would like to see again, with Jeff Goldblum as (presumably) Watson — it must have been Watson whom Goldblum played, as he was the only American on the Cambridge team.)

I got the new Rowan book when I was up the hill the other day getting rat poison. I like the scarf on the cover and some of the cables — “Glacier” “Nippy” “Frosty” -- in the Frost section.  I’ll have to have a look at the “brushed fleece” in which “Glacier” is knit. I don’t know it. No wonder Rowan yarns keep going out of production, as more and more are constantly added.

Trouble is, even Britain is warm enough indoors these days, all winter long, that such a thing could only be worn by energetic outdoors types


  1. I hope your husband makes a good recovery from this latest episode. I'm glad you're not having to deal with it at home! Woolly Thoughts Group on Ravelry may provide ideas on mathematical knitting.

  2. relieved to see you here...would second Hat on Woolly Thoughts too!

  3. Such a relief that things are under control in the hospital. These bugs are such a tricky thing when diabetes is there in the equation.
    As for pipe cleaners - I know just where to get them here - and there is parking just outside the shop! No help to you but - they are in a Wilkinson's a shop that has all sorts, and the pipe cleaners are included in the display that has all the "fun with glue" stuff - eg lolly sticks, glitter, polystyrene balls, blank greeting cards with envelopes. If you are passing a place like that, do try a look. Good luck.

  4. skeindalous11:30 AM

    Are you familiar with 'Knitting Nature' by Norah Gaughan? '39 designs inspired by patterns in nature'. She talks about spirals and hexagons and vortex streets, the pattern of eddies that form as water flows around an obstacle. Another interesting set of books is by Philip Ball: Flow, Branches, Shapes. They are a reprinting in smaller volumes of a now OOP book of his called 'The Self-made Tapestry'. More technical than Gaughan, but still approachable by a layperson.

  5. Hi Jean I have made the dog you are knitting and found when stuffing I could do it firm enough not to require pipe cleaners. I used Dacron hope your husband is feeling better soon thinking of you.

  6. I was also going to mention Norah Gaughan's book. We went to see an exhibit featuring the Leonardo DaVinci Codex this week. Lots of sketching and ideas on flowing water and how to alter it. (The bits that were translated, anyway.) It did have me thinking of knitting, of course. Happy to hear 'could be worse' as the diagnosis.

  7. Let's hope the next report is much better.

  8. That word you cannot spell is hard enough in American English, without that superfluous "o"...

  9. I'll 3rd Knitting Nature, and not just because I'm a bit of a Norah Gaughan fangirl (her, Evelyn C. Clarke, and Nancy Bush are my 3 favorite designers/authors/knitting experts). I know there's blogs and things discussing math and knitting, mostly because I have a friend fascinated by such things who never got beyond very basic algebra, so I end up using my mostly rusty physics math skills to translate as best I can. After she started finding stuff with the Hamilitonian in it, I found some free math courses online for her, as all I remember about that thing is that it exists, is a H, and nearly made me fail Analytical Mechanics. Stupid thing :(
    And diarrhea has an o? Oh, right, British spelling. I tend to remember how to spell it as diary - y + rhea, but that doesn't work so well with the o. But the first part still works, so maybe that'll help?
    Glad that your spouse is compos mentos (possibly misspelled) and feeling better, may the getting better continue!

  10. New reader here - live in Thailand so would be thrilled to be able to supply kapok!

  11. Agree with Kate, you're making it harder on yourself if you insist on the UK spelling for diarrhea. Or you could go with the even easier Swedish: diarré.