Thursday, September 03, 2015

Finished. He is the 6th FO of 2015 — that doesn’t seem very many. There’s still time for a couple more major ones, and once my husband gets home we’ll watch television again and that means knitting.

I spent the rest of yesterday’s knitting time, swatching for Franklin. Not Portuguese-fashion, either, just peacefully swatching. I’m doing the one where all the colours are from one chroma, which means, from one wedge of the colour-wheel pie. I like the effect.

The Roasted Hatch Chillies are here. Yesterday was, indeed, rather a good day for arrivals — the saucier is also here, and I think it’s probably wonderful. It’s certainly gloriously heavy. I hope to hansel it today with Nigel Slater’s “A Simple, Useful Sauce” from his book “Appetite”, over a piece of fish. It’s a sauce I often make and I am sure the new pan will take it to new levels. And Amazon contributed Diana Henry’s “A Change of Appetite” and Lovick’s “Exploring Shawl Shapes”.

Here’s the saucier:

I suspect the Roasted Hatch Chillies are too bright for my husband’s vest. I’ll take a skein to him in hospital today to see what he thinks. It’s all right in dull light, but slightly alarming in natural light. 

I’m not sure about “A Change of Appetite”. It’s more approachable than Jamie’s equivalent book all right, but it’s hard for me at the moment to concentrate on anything except the diet of soups and slush which will stretch to the horizon when my husband gets home.

“Exploring Shawl Shapes” is a lot of fun — and useful, too, for an overview of possible shawl shapes and some very sound preliminary advice about knitting them. I don’t think the Fantoosh gimmick is mentioned, but I may not have studied the book carefully enough — namely a bottom-up triangle with increases not only at the edges, but on either side of the central spine as well.

(And that reminds me — I trust we’re all following Kate Davies’ brilliant account of the making of the yarn she is about to launch. I don’t know how to pronounce it, either, but I can see that stash-enhancement looms.)


Beth, I was grateful for your comment about what fun it must be to be a scientist. Matthew Cobb in “Life’s Greatest Secret” is clearly rather cross at President Clinton for mentioning God in his speech at the ceremony celebrating the unravelling of the human genome, when the point of the ceremony, Cobb feels, was to honour human ingenuity.

I think Cobb is wrong here. I will transcribe for you a paragraph from a lecture by A.E. Housman, who was a great classical scholar as well as a poet:

“It is the glory of God, says Solomon, to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. Kings have long abdicated that province; and we students are come into their inheritance: it is our honour to search out the things which God has concealed. In Germany at Easter time they hide coloured eggs about the house and garden that the children may amuse themselves in hunting after them and finding them. It is to some such game of hide-and-seek that we are invited by that power which planted in us the desire to find out what is concealed, and stored the universe with hidden things that we might delight ourselves in discovering them. And the pleasure of discovery differs from other pleasures in this, that it is shadowed by no fear of satiety on the one hand or of frustration on the other. Other desires perish in their gratification, but the desire of knowledge never….The sum of things to be known is inexhaustible, and however long we read we shall never come to the end of our story-book.”


  1. Dear Jean, the dog looks perky, I hope your friend likes it. Kate provided a sound file for the pronunciation of Buachaille in her first post on the yarn.I think it comes out as Boo-ah-kyle, I am a bit ashamed that I always pronounced the mountain as something between Bauchel and buckle.
    Regarding science, I am with Cobb but sympathise with other's viewpoint,

  2. Dawn in NL has pinched the word I was intending to use for the pooch - perky is just right.
    The saucier has its handle at such a strange angle that it will almost certainly be just so. Good kitchen things are such a pleasure!

  3. Thank you for that quote from Housman/Solomon. It expresses perfectly my feelings about science and the world.

  4. Another new word for me: hansel. Thanks.

    The dog is wonderful! The recipient, your friend, is Lucky!


    1. Anonymous6:06 PM

      Re: "hansel"...I, too, love learning new words

  5. Ipad didn't let me finish! I agree with Housman, though I was unaware of him until now. Thank you again for broadening my awareness once again!

  6. I like the dog very much. Well done to you.
    And your quote.

  7. A great looking dog. My neighbour has one that could be the model of the one you made. I was unaware of the quote. Thanks for including it in your post.

  8. Anonymous2:46 PM

    Jean, thanks for the quote from Housman, my mother's favourite poet and several of whose rhythmic ballads are lodged in my brain. Even around age 10 or so I didn't understand a "science vs religion" stance (less of a thing in Canada, of course, than in the US) - and grew up to have one master's degree in science and a second in theology. Misunderstandings on both sides - my jaw dropped when a fellow seminary student proclaimed that science is missing metaphor. You probably know that Francis Collins, an eminent US geneticist, is a devout RC. "Perky" definitely the word the dog brings to mind. Saucier looks like a delight to use. Thanks for the mention of Nigel Slater - just looked up one of his recipes, which calls for "a glug" of olive oil - the kind of playful language that makes me nostalgic for my years in England.
    - Beth in Ontario

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Sorry for the delete Posted below as Knit Potion.

  10. The dog is wonderful!! Great job! :)

  11. Congrats on the dog!
    I don't know this shawl trick either (rather alarming as I'm working on a book of shawls), I must go discover it. After Dragon. Everything is "after Dragon" at the moment, which would be great if I a) felt well and b) was actually packed and ready to go.
    See you guys after the con, I shall return with amazing stories, probably not too many amazing pictures but I'm hoping the Bearded Disney Princesses will be there, and probably con crud.

  12. The dear pup turned out very cute indeed!

    Loved the quote by A.E. Housman, thank you so much for sharing it! Well said.

  13. I had to look up hansel...and now I know a new word. I doubt I will use it as it would fall on ignorant ears....but maybe I will try and see the effect.

    The Housman quote is beautiful, and although I know his work, this was continue to educate me as do all the commenters.

    Nice pup!