Saturday, October 31, 2015

I think we've got “half brioche” nailed, including the discovery of a name for it.

Jeanfromcornwall, do you mean that article about EZ in the Sunday Times magazine, long, long ago? How I wish I'd kept it! It was the first time I had heard of her. I sent in a stamped, addressed envelope (that dates it a bit) and got back the mimeographed pattern for a double-breasted version of the Baby Surprise. I have knit it many times, and that tattered sheet has been annotated with the pregnancy-code-name of many a dear person.

I cut out and kept the pictures of the Baby and the Adult Surprise, but alas! alas! not the article. Why on earth?

As for half-brioche, I prefer the version I typed out here on Wednesday or Thursday, where alternate rows are plain knit or plain purl. The alternative, producing I think an identical result, is to do yarn-overs in the “off” rows. My way has k1b in the “on” rows instead, where the next stitch on the needle, the one you might have expected to knit if you hadn't been told to go below, settles down to serve as a yo.

I didn't get to Kathy's Knits yesterday, so no progress on the hat, but I have finished the v-neck ribbing on the vest except for binding off and ought to progress to an armhole today.

I won't forget to be poised at the keyboard when registration for the EYF begins today.

Friday, October 30, 2015

I fear I'm too late, this morning, to finish writing before the day crashes down on me. I'll do my best.

We had another power cut last night. No harm done, in the end, and fortunately the computer had already been turned off. There was a potentially bad moment when my husband tried to get to his feet, in near-pitch darkness, while I was outside on the pavement conferring with neighbours. Fortunately he was caught in time.

The big news is that the v-neck vest fits beautifully. I didn't get very far with the delicate task of picking up stitches for the ribbing but should, nevertheless, actually begin knitting the neck ribbing today.

I spent another, too-brief, time at Kathy's Knits. Kathy is a member of Kate Davies' Seven Skeins club, and showed me the actual yarn. It's rather nice, very bouncy. She says that it will be sold from KD's website, not from LYS's, early in the new year. I made good progress with the Greystone hat while there. I'd better add it to the sidebar.

I made no progress, however, with half-brioche, as described yesterday, where alternate rows are plain knit or purl. I can't find anything of the sort in Walker. Swatching may be the only course. And if I wind up in her class next year, I can ask Marchant.

Two people have recently sent me links to the V&A's fascinating knitting pages. It has been rather a while since I visited them. There is some very good stuff there.

I have ordered IK's current “Knitting Traditions” for the sake of the article on Kitchener Stitch. Perhaps the whole mystery will be laid bare.

I'd better post this much while the going's good.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

That's a gloomy thot, Nana Go-Go, that we might not get the Edinburgh Yarn Festival classes we want, even by bounding in on the first day; and even gloomier, that we might have to sit there clicking and re-clicking and getting nowhere. Still, I'm sure I'll find something. It's a happy thot, on the other hand, that you might come into Kathy's Knits one day soon and find me there.

I had a lovely time yesterday. Classic FM, peace and quiet, comfortable sofa. I worked on the hat. I've now finished the basic ribbing, and done 2 of 12 repeats (I'm doing it slouchy) in the main section.

As well as excellent and interesting yarns (all British) Kathy does a remarkably good line in books. I was much taken with “The Rhinebeck Sweater” – not so much that I was particularly struck with any of the sweaters, as that it provided wonderful fuel for my dream of going there one day. Looking at everybody wearing their Rhinebeck sweaters must be a good part of the pleasure. There are lots of pictures and little gobbets of advice – take some food (there's plenty and it's delicious, but the queues are long); plan ahead; don't plan too rigidly; whiz round first and see everything; and so forth.

The price seemed high – perhaps £25. So I took the coward's course and went home and looked on Amazon. Abebooks is much worse – one copy, for £171.50. So maybe I'll go back to Kathy and buy it.

I finished the body of the v-neck vest as hoped, joined the shoulders despite discovering that the waste yarn holding the stitches at the back had mysteriously disappeared, and we'll have a try-on when the carer gets here to help my husband get up.

And I thought about brioche. Marchant says somewhere, as I flip through, that a brioche sweater (or whatever) uses about twice as much yarn as one would otherwise need. Have I got enough of those Roast Hatch Chillis? Then I remembered the simple and effective way of knitting brioche in vertical stripes. What about striping it with left-over Whiskey Barrel? They'd go rather well together.

Then I began to wonder: are there two sorts of brioche? I may be reduced to swatching!

I have done vertical stripes in the past this way (odd number of stitches, circular needle):
  1. RS Using A, *k1, p 1 below* to last stitch. P1.
  2. RS Slide stitches back. Using B, purl.
  3. WS Using A, K1, *p1 below, k1* repeat to end
  4. WS Slide stitches back again. Using B, knit.

Surely doing it that way, with alternate rows plain knit or purl, the result would be less dense and fruity than if you were knitting below on every row? Marchant seems to concern herself only with the latter approach, but I certainly haven't read her thoroughly.


Rachel phoned last night. Thomas and Lucy have had their 20-week scan. All is well, and they and Rachel now know the sex of the child. I don't want to know, at least not yet. I'm slightly hoping for a girl, couldn't say why. I dreamt last night (after the phone call) that it was a boy. I think I'll do another Dunfallandy triangle or two when the vest is finally done.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

I spent some happy time with the Edinburgh Yarn Festival website yesterday, and finished with the same classes I had chosen on the first delighted run-through: tomofholland, Woolly Wormhead, and Nancy Marchant. The first two because I'm a t'riffic fan, the last because I'm not. I can't remember which one is on which day, nor does it matter.

I've got Marchant's books. I love brioche stitch – at any rate, I love fisherman's rib which I am sometimes told is the same thing. (=k1, k1b forever, where k1b means “knit 1 in the stitch below the next stitch on the left-hand needle”.)

Presumably the way Marchant does it is more complicated in order to extend the range. I have never had the mental energy to master “brk” and “brp”, abbreviations unique (I believe) to her. At the EYF, she is going to talk about combining brioche with lace patterns, a bold move indeed. I think I'll try to master “brk” and “brp” before the day, although I am also sure she won't assume mastery.

Registration starts this weekend. Worst case scenario, this wouldn't be the first (or even the second) knitting event I've paid for and failed to attend. I didn't even read the schedule of the afternoon classes – I am not at my sparkling best in the afternoon, and it will be much easier to get away from here in the morning anyway.

Actual knitting continues well. I am now sloping the shoulders of the front of the v-neck vest, and should therefore finish it today except for the ribbing. Ready for a try-on.

Here it is, not exactly posed for optimum photography but you get the general idea. The size looks good – and I've still got blocking up my sleeve. It is delicious to be approaching the actual end of something. The balls of yarn, upper right, are for the current homework in Franklin's Craftsy class on colour. I am not going to let myself go on with the class until I've done the swatches.


Alexander says he might pop over today.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

All well. The delay and brevity due merely to the pressure of routine events.

I saw Kathy, of Kathy's Knits, when I was out getting the newspaper, and told her of my plan to park myself on her sofa. She was very welcoming -- what else could she say? The v-neck vest, despite its adventures, has reached a stage where I need to count and calculate to make sure the shoulders come out the right width after the right number of rows. And then my husband must try it on before I add the ribbing. So I won't take that.

But I can go see Kathy tomorrow and take the hat. Or the Sous Sous or the Tokyo shawl. Plenty of choice, I'm afraid. Dunfallandy is too complicated for public knitting.

I haven't been back to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival to choose my classes, but things are looking good.  In some ways, my present situation makes it easier to get away than before. The mid-day carers just have to come a bit earlier. I checked yesterday that that's possible. The Festival sounds wonderful -- everybody except Kate Davies (does she ever teach?) and Franklin -- and maybe they're there and I just haven't looked carefully enough.

I hope to tell you of my choices and thoughts tomorrow.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Little to report. The first event today should be the district nurse coming to have a thorough look at my husband's rash. In a few hours he will have been home for a whole week, on the whole successfully.

We had a power cut yesterday for over an hour. It took this computer (a portable which I run on electricity, without even its battery in place) a long time to recover from the blow.


I did take the v-necked vest back to the “v”, and had quite a good knitting day thereafter. I have recovered most if not all of the lost ground, and am being very careful. Patience and Judith, I have joined the two sides as you do – it certainly helps. Mary Lou, I had considered, even before your comment arrived, doing the two sides separately, and may well try that solution another time.

I keep looking at those Roasted Hatch Chillis and thinking about a cosy fisherman's rib for myself. Somehow or other I keep seeing cosy fisherman's rib patterns, not that one would need much of one. I nipped over to Jimmy Bean just now to refresh my memory yet again on the phrase “Roasted Hatch Chillis” and was gratified to see that they only have three skeins. I've got a whole sweater's-worth.

But first I've got to finish something. And then preferably something else.

I tried yesterday to buy Viveka Overland's new book about Bohus in Swedish and English, but – as has happened before – I got mired down in the Schoolhouse's new website. Amazon lists it but “we don't know when or if this item will be back in stock”. I first heard of Bohus in Sheila McGregor's “Traditional Scandinavian Knitting” and have meant, ever since, to find out a lot more.


What happens here is that American commercial holidays creep into the system, in some cases overlaying and threatening to destroy a simpler local tradition. Mother's Day at least is still observed on mid-Lent Sunday here, but is otherwise more and more American. Halloween – which has deep roots in Scotland – is going the same way, pumpkins replacing turnips as the vegetable-of-choice for jack-o'-lanterns, and currently being offered for sale on a transatlantic scale. Easier to carve, I guess.

What we don't have is an American St Patrick's Day. That's strictly for the Irish.

I half-like the idea of standing up to Christmas, but it has to be done thoroughly. We tried, last year, resolving not to give presents but then exceptions crept in and by the end it seemed worse than doing it properly. If I ever have a Christmas when I can please myself and am still on my feet, I'd like to help serve lunch to the homeless. An energetic Polish neighbour does that, having celebrated Christmas Eve in proper Polish style. I could join her.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

This day is called the feast of Crispian.

Both my husband and the cat failed to re-set their watches, so my hopes of an extra hour's doze this morning were frustrated.

A knitting set-back yesterday. I am knitting both sides simultaneously of the front of the v-neck vest. That means that in every row there is a precarious moment when I have finished one side and not yet started the other. Last night I discovered that one side had one more stitch than the other. That's easily fudged, but I counted and found that the corollary was also true – one side had more rows.

I think, given a calm half hour, I could rip back to a point where both sides were at the same point of development. But interruptions are constant here and I may not achieve it. Going back to the point of the “v” wouldn't be an absolute disaster. Can I think of a system for bridging that mid-row gap more securely?

I have thot of an idea: to take my knitting around the corner to the local LYS, Kathy's Knits, during part of the mid-day time when our private carer is here. The problem might be that I'd be taking up space (she offers a sofa) and not buying much, day after day. Her stock is first rate, so buying would be a temptation, but I could deal with that. Partly by buying.

I think she's closed on Mondays, so I've got two days to think about this.

Someone has left a comment on an old post – that usually means junk, but not this time. The subject under consideration was provisional casting-on, and she asked what we meant by the “eensy-weensy spider” cast on. The answer would be just to Google “provisional cast on”. I suppose I should think of a more adequate answer and go put it with the question.

I read a bit of the relevant blog. It was three years ago, I think, when our dining room was being re-constituted after the flood. I was surprised at how peppy both I and my husband seemed, me fretting about getting the tatties in (=planting potatoes in my vegetable garden in Strathardle). Decline has been swift.


If we all hate Christmas so, why do we put up with it? Partly, in the northern hemisphere, I feel it's the price we have to pay to get out light back. What happens in the antipodes? Cat?

Saturday, October 24, 2015

This morning's problem is a lapse in internet connection. I have little doubt that I will be reconnected soon, but meanwhile valuable minutes have been lost.

Beverly, it's a date: Rhinebeck in 20??. How does it work? A day trip, or do we stay overnight and have a whole weekend? Or go twice? How far is it? Bless you and thank you for the invitation!

I tried to take a picture of the sleeveless vest for you this morning, but the iPad doesn't have a flash or maybe I just don't know how to make it go. I'll try again when there's more light. It's looking good, but seeing it spread out for photography I worry very slightly about whether I've made the “v” deep enough. I started on the first row after the 16 rows of underarm shaping. There are 80 rows in the underarm-to-shoulder section altogether. Should be all right.

On a painful subject: I have signed up for a mailing list – I may have told you – called 101 Days To Christmas. So far, not of much use, but it's a good daily reminder. Here's a suggestion from me: when a catalogue comes in that's worth flipping through, and you see something that's not absurdly expensive and you think, so-and-so might like that, order it.

I bought three presents yesterday, and thought of another (and have ordered it) while lying in bed this morning. The next thing – even better advice – would be to wrap them on arrival.

When I was young, the thing about Christmas (except that I never did it) was to get going around the time of my husband's birthday towards the end of November. Nowadays, that's far too late. The shops are full of Christmas now, and the crowds aren't there yet. Does Thanksgiving still hold the tide back a bit in the UsofA?

I seem to be back on-line. I had better seize the moment.

Friday, October 23, 2015


These beautiful gloves arrived in the post yesterday. No message. I knew at once who had knit and sent them, and the return address on the envelope confirmed it. Identifying works of art is much like that – all those x-rays and chemical analysis of paint comes second; first, you look and recognise, much as (in the old, pre-electronic days) you recognised your mother's handwriting on an envelope.

This must be by X, because n other artist could have done it. 

Thanks, Lynn.

As well as being beautiful (and as well as fitting), they are immaculately knit. No strained threads at base of thumbs or fingers. No knots where yarns were joined. How does she do it?

Another day, here. My husband has a painful rash in the groin area. Yesterday, at last, we got a serious ointment for it, prescribed by the GP during his visit on Wednesday. We hope for results soon. It is possible that if he were in less pain, my husband's temper would be better. As it is, things continue tough.

I attached the second ball and started knitting the v-neck shaping for the vest yesterday. I would hope that by tomorrow I might be far enough along that a photograph would be meaningful. And I got as far as establishing that Loop doesn't have madtosh Whiskey Barrel, as I must have known all along. Order to Webs today, I hope.

I got up to John Lewis yesterday while the private carer was here at midday. Asymmetry is everywhere, ladies! I love it! However, I was in that dept determined to press on through and look at gents' sweaters. Nada, as expected. Racks and racks of merino and cashmere and lambswool for wearing in offices. Tables of heavy, bristly wool for mountaineers. Nowhere could I be more usefully employed than in knitting DK sweaters for gents.

Another year, another Rhinebeck. One day!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Another reasonably good day yesterday, but this is tough. The GP swung by and struck two medicaments off my husband's long list – one a painkiller for pain he doesn't seem to have, and one a vitamin (?thiamine) for alcohol-withdrawal which is also something he is not suffering from. (He drinks one 330ml bottle of beer, 1.8 units, with lunch and another with supper, and never anything else.)

My husband hopes that without the painkiller, which the dr said was rather strong, he might feel peppy enough to skip a nap. I dread the thot. I need that hour when he is safely lying down, to re-charge and even knit.

Alexander also dropped by. It was good to see him. The conversation turned to Lockerbie. I knew, and indeed I'm sure I have mentioned here before, that he had a ticket for Pam Am 103 five days after the event. He was working in NYC at the time, and had come home for Christmas. That was to be his return flight.

What I think I didn't know was that on the NYC-Heathrow leg of this journey, before Christmas, he flew on Maid of the Seas. He saw her name painted on the fusilage as he disembarked, and a few days later there it was in the news photographs of Lockerbie. (The nose of the plane was relatively intact.)

I don't know about the timing. Was there another round trip to NYC between Alexander's arrival in London, and Lockerbie? Or was he on the doomed plane's last successful flight? She was an old one, who had crossed the Atlantic thousands of times.


I launched the front of the v-neck vest. I've finished the underarm shaping and am ready to divide for the v-neck itself. That has involved winding the last skein of madtosh Whiskey Barrel. It is time to order some more. I think I have enough to finish the vest. It is therefore mostly a matter of deciding how much more the Sous Sous will require, and trying to strike a nice balance between not having baskets-ful left over, and having enough that there is no need to worry.

Not much was achieved on the Thinking front. But Flipboard did come up with Joseph's Asymmetric Off-the-Shoulder sweater. All yours for $295. It looks fun. Ribbing winds cleverly around the body.  

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A good day, yesterday, I guess, but exhausting. I'm sure you're right that things will settle down. It may be that I will need to build knitting-time specifically into the program. I got only a row or two done yesterday. Sitting with my husband, even watching our soap opera, involves being sent on errands.

My Hussain in the corner shop, who scarcely knows my husband but always asks kindly and with interest about his progress, told me yesterday about his own experience looking after an aged uncle. His description of getting the pillows right, and lining up the shoes beside the bed this way and not that way, was so like my husband as to make me laugh aloud.

I'll try to think about knitting today, as well as doing some of it, so as to have something to say to you tomorrow. Alexander is coming over, and our GP will be here at midday.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

We had a good night. My husband seems well. Now we are waiting for the first carer. Morning and evening, the visits need to synchronise with the district nurses who are now in charge of insulin. In the morning, one doesn't want too much time to have to elapse between his being ready for breakfast and the nurse arriving; in the evening, one wants a good interval between insulin and the bedtime carer, to allow for an evening meal.

It doesn't always work, to judge from the week when he was home recently.

Perdita loves to help and advise while all this is going on – and to nip into the sitting room and attack my yarn, while attention is distracted elsewhere. And some of the carers don't like her. So the best plan is for her to be sequestered in the spare room when help comes. She doesn't like that.


Not much, yesterday, but I did finish the fourth Dunfallandy triangle. Maybe when the whole thing is done, I'll write to the designer congratulating her – the horizontal cable is an unvention worthy of considerable note – and offering my little correction to that final triangle row.

I did a bit more hat, but only a very little bit. You are absolutely right, the designer of the Greystone hat is Melissa Thomson-without-a-p. Where did I get “Leapman” from?

I hope to resume the sleeveless vest today.

One of you wrote to me yesterday about a crowd-funded project to teach knitting to Shetland children. It used to be taught in the schools. That was dropped relatively recently, I think because of funding problems. It would be tragic indeed if a new generation doesn't learn at the only age when it is possible, at least for most people, to acquire the necessary speed and skill and have it become second nature.

I've contributed, as Tayside00. And speaking of crowd-funding, the Vintage Shetland Project book should be with us in the foreseeable future, now that November looms. I'm keenly looking forward to that – a great incentive to clear some of these WIPs off my plate.

Monday, October 19, 2015

The match ended sadly. You can find the details easily: I will not rehearse them. For some of the time, I was able to knit the ribbing of the Leapman hat. It's a slightly fancy ribbing, but only slightly – do-able, even in stressful circumstances.

Now I've got to press on with the hat so that I don't find the sad afternoon forever tangled up in it. This was what I was knitting when.... As sometimes happens.

I got a bit more of the Dunfallandy triangle done before the match started, but it's not finished. (Thomas and Lucy and the unborn great-grandchild were there at Twickenham, Thomas wearing his kilt.)

Skeindalous, I think you can safely pencil in “?p6” in the middle of that final triangle row in your Dunfallandy pattern, where it says “p4”. That's the point in both the first and the second triangles where I realised that something was wrong – the instructions may not say “sm”, but my centre marker was still in place and “purl 4” means that the triple decreases, one on either side, are not balanced.

Also, it occurred to me as I was driving along to the hospital yesterday, if adding two stitches to that row makes it come out right, stitch-wise, that means that two stitches are missing somewhere.

Now I must get cracking on this and that, because, needless to say, I didn't get as much done yesterday as I should have. I don't know when the ambulance will appear with my husband, but I must try to be ready. I will also try to be here tomorrow morning, and henceforth, but it may not be possible. You mustn't worry.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Another last day.

There is a good deal of tidying up to be done – Perdita loves helping with that – and of rearranging the house back to invalid care. I mean to cook myself a farewell paella this evening, from a chilli book. I'll probably be too tired, and go to bed on a sausage.

I am sorry for what I said yesterday about the Man in the Corner. (I have amended it slightly.) I am no expert, but we saw a good deal of dementia during my husband's long weeks in the Royal Victoria and of course I have seen it in real life. My husband's own short term memory has faded noticeably.

I don't think the Man in the Corner qualifies, either for Alzheimer's or autism. I take him for one of those show-off oddballs who desperately needs love while actively repelling it, a personality defect rather than a definable mental illness. I can remember one or two when I was a student. He was reciting bits of the Waste Land yesterday, rather well.

Theologically, the sumo wrestler is a much more serious problem. There is a man of whom it is almost certainly true to say that he never had a chance. He has probably never had a job. His mother may once have loved him, but it is hard to believe that anyone does now. Doctors, nurses and fellow-patients were unanimous in their relief when he left Respiratory.

But if one is going to believe anything, one has to believe that God loves him and has put him on earth for a purpose. If one is going to believe in Christianity, one has to believe that God died for him.


Mary Lou, I took your advice and knit more Dunfallandy triangle yesterday. There remain eight rows to do on the 4th triangle, and if tidying-up and rugby are not too demanding, I might even finish. Then I can present myself to my husband tomorrow with the vest virtuously back in-hand.

I think I have found a mistake in the final row, the one that only triangles have. I think there is a “purl 4” in the middle of the row which should be “purl 6”. It's all rather confusing, and there is no mention that I can see of errata, either on Ravelry or Knitty. Confusing, because the row involves two triple decreases. They are easy enough to do, but it is not entirely easy to work out in one's head exactly which three stitches have been eliminated.

Also, the work has a marker in the centre which is extremely useful as a star-to-steer-by. But on this last row, the vital “sm” instruction is missing.

I also knit a couple more rounds of the Leapman hat. The yarn is, as advertised, deliciously cosy and warm and soft. But it is not luxurious and silky like cashmere or alpaca. There's something more homey about it.

Now, to work.

Go, Scotland! Go, Ireland! The southern hemisphere is having things all its own way so far. Granddaughter Lizzie reports from Australia that no one Down There seems very interested. Could that be true?

Saturday, October 17, 2015

C was right – Colin the sumo wrestler was gone yesterday, his bed filled by someone named Kevin. My husband never did get moved. He says that he settled himself for insufficient sleep in his chair on Wednesday night (it must have been), as his only way of honouring his vow not to spend another night with Colin, and was persuaded into bed by the fact that someone, perhaps a policewoman, was delegated to spend the night watching over Colin and preventing him from getting up and getting partially dressed and wandering about, as was his wont.

The whole ward was glad to see him go. Now there is a quiet, well-spoken lonely eccentric in the bed in the other corner -- like Colin, fairly young. He suddenly remarked yesterday, to no one, “In China, the bat is regarded as a symbol of happiness. Not so to me.”

My husband is set to come home on Monday, and all systems are in place, I think.

Well, the Zealana yarn turned up yesterday, as did “Curls” – I hadn't mentioned to you that I also ordered that during my day of delicious idleness. Skeindalous, I am extremely grateful for your comment about size with the Leapman hat. Lest I forget, I immediately cast on 120 and have done the first four rounds of that interesting rib. The size looks perfectly reasonable so far. The yarn seems fully as cosy as advertised, and the colour is very good, something close to terracotta.

I have a theory that knitting with red is helpful for SAD-sufferers during the very dark days of a northern winter. Here we are not even a month past the equinox. I fear I will have finished my reds before the crunch comes. Maybe not – the Dunfallandy border is going to involve a lot of knitting, and with the baby not due until March I can afford to string it out a bit.

Melfina, you're right that that blue cabled hat in the new VK is very attractive. I have an irrational and deep-seated prejudice against bobbles, but they are very small here and the cables are very interesting. I have a prejudice at least equally strong in favour of cables.

The pattern doesn't seem to say what weight of yarn the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino is meant to be. I notice that that hat casts on 136 stitches, even more than I have cast on for my hat. There will probably be some lovely Zealana left over (I have three balls) and the VK hat might make a good sequel. I'll know more about size at that point.

I spent some time with Curls, at first totally baffled but I think I'm getting it, and am of course tempted to cast on a few stitches just to see what happens. I have some left-over madtosh sport weight which might be just the thing...

As for actual knitting, I am within a few rows – but they are slow ones – of finishing the third (of eight) Dunfallandy triangle. I should be able to polish that off today and figure out what has been going wrong with the final row. Then – one more triangle? Or back to the sleeveless vest?


James rang up last night to talk about arrangements for my husband's 90th birthday, which falls next month. He had tried last weekend but I slammed down the receiver because the Scotland-Samoa match was in its crucial last 12 minutes. I apologised, but warned him that Scotland was playing another crucial match this weekend (which we will probably lose).

He said, “I won't even ask what sport we are talking about.”

Friday, October 16, 2015

I enjoyed my Day hugely. I didn't go anywhere, or do anything except read and knit and talk to my cat.

    My husband was reported to be in good spirits, and C. said that Colin the sumo wrestler was gone. But she also said that the curtains were drawn around his bed, and that she thought there was someone there named Kevin. Like Doubting Thomas, I'll need the evidence of my own eyes on this one. The main thing is that my husband is bearing up.

Everything is more or less in place for his release. I will try to find out from the hospital today, what their plans are.

Back here at the ranch, I knit a whole other triangle for the Dunfallandy blankie:

That picture was taken when I had knit only one. Notice, if possible, how some of the cables seem to run from one square or triangle across to another.

Here are pics plucked from Google Images' Dunfallandy Stone page.

The triangles have a final row unique to themselves. Both times, something went wrong with mine. I don't think it shows. Most of that row is purl. The mistake means that some of the increases and decreases (there aren't many) will be in somewhat the wrong place. I emerged with the right number of stitches. But the fact that it has happened twice means that I need to examine the instructions with some care – they are stitch-by-stitch, not charted – to see where either they or I went wrong.

The whole pattern has been so meticulously planned and proof-read that it didn't occur to me, after the first mishap, that the fault could be other than my own.

I think I might try to knit a third triangle today, while the iron is hot.

Nosenabook, I do agree that Powiwi Pink would be a fun colour of Zealana Rimu DK, just to have. Hulucraft said yesterday that they have dispatched my package, so I may have more to tell you soon.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

When I got to the hospital yesterday I found that my husband had been moved along the corridor to a slightly smaller room, still four-bedded, for men who no longer needed to be immediately opposite the nurses' desk. And guess who was in the opposite bed? – Colin, the sumo wrestler.

My husband was exhausted and furious. He said he had had no sleep at all and refused point blank to stay where he was another night. Colin was to blame, but I never did hear the details. When I left in the early afternoon, it seemed as if the problem was in hand, although no solution had been found. When I phoned at the end of the afternoon, another shift had taken over and the charge nurse seemed unaware of my husband's incandescent fury.

He is getting better. The course of antibiotics is nearly finished, the catheter is again out. And I suppose with no clothes and no money he can't very well discharge himself before the weekend when his release is expected. But I dreaded today's visit – and our niece C., my companion on a couple of notable recent adventures (Greece, the wedding), has heroically stepped up to the plate (as they say).

She will visit today. I will phone the ward soon to ask them to tell him that I'm not coming, that I don't feel very well, that C. will be there. And so I've got a whole day of my own. Maybe I'll go to the Botanic Gardens and look at their cactusses.

Skeindalous, I like that Greystone hat pattern of Melissa Leapman's that you referred me to yesterday. I've been browsing hats, and nothing else has had similar appeal. So I bought and printed it just now, and ordered three balls of Zealana Rimu DK from Hulucraft to knit it with. I wanted to do something special to mark My Day.

(And, hey! It won't count as a WIP until I cast it on.)

I've ordered Rata Red. I seem vaguely to remember that the leaf or (more likely) flower of the rata tree appears somewhere in Margaret Stove's lace.

The pattern is written for a worsted yarn. Adjustments may or may not be necessary for DK. But they shouldn't be beyond the wit of man.

As for actual knitting, I've got another four rows to do to finish off the first Dunfallandy triangle. They are slow, tough rows in which a horizontal cable appears. But I should get them done today and start the next one.

First, I must deal with the kitchen.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Colin, the sumo wrestler, was gone yesterday. Completely gone, including his bed. That corner of the room was empty. My husband says he walked out (as opposed to being wheeled). The other two men, John and Robert, have been the same ones all along. Both seem worse off than my husband, who continues to improve.

He rightly points out, however, that his release isn't up to me. I'm sure they won't let him linger a moment more than is necessary in an acute-type medical ward. I will try to talk to a dr today. I need to discuss the catheter, and "transfers" -- i.e., how he is at getting in and out of bed.

I got down to the post office yesterday and gathered in the Chicken Shop chilli sauce. Hellie says not to use it as a marinade, which weakens it somehow. Just slosh it on. So I will absent myself from Nigella for a moment and roast/bake a couple of chicken legs for one of today's meals.


Here is the sleeveless vest. You can't really appreciate my sloped shoulders, but they went well. Madtosh DK, as I must often have said before, stands up for itself well and is easily recovered after a frogging. Not a single stitch had to be laddered up from the row below.

The size looks good. That doesn't prove a thing, but it's better than not looking good, as I'm sure you'll agree. I'll join the shoulders and have my husband try it on before I add the ribbing. Last time I had to re-do it right down to the armholes because the shoulders were too wide.

I then started the first of the eight Dunfallandy triangles, as hoped. It doesn't get any easier.

On Monday evening I watched a television program about the three northernmost British isles: Yell, Fetlar, and Unst. It was disappointing, although wonderful to see pictures of that magical treeless landscape. There was the briefest of moments when they showed an old film of women knitting, at absolutely unbelievable speed. Could it have been speeded up? I don't think so.

But the account of Unst didn't even mention lace, and the pictures of Muckle Flugga somehow missed the point. (I am sure I have told you that Kristie and her cousin Kath are lighthouse buffs, and that after we had been to the Unst Heritage Centre to be shewn the lace, they wanted to go on a bit for a glimpse of Muckle Flugga, so on we went. We saw it. It was an electric moment. The television program managed to make it look like any-old-lighthouse.)

I continue to think about Zealana Rimu and about hat patterns. I enjoyed your comments about NZ. And I agree, Barbara, that that tag about the possum was most tactfully written! It is interesting that both you and Pom Pom testify to how expensive possum is even in NZ itself. Could it not be farmed, like silver foxes here in the old days?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Continued progress. They had my husband walking about a bit yesterday, and are talking about delivering him home in a week.

I must continue assiduously cooking my way through Nigella's new book while I can. Waitrose did her well on ingredients yesterday – ancho chillies, cold pressed coconut oil, maple syrup, dried black turtle beans, coconut milk yogurt.

There is a new man in my husband's ward, the size of a sumo wrestler and as scantily clad. A smoker and quite likely a drinker as well – he has a funny voice, as if recorded and played back at the wrong speed, so I didn't hear the answers to the questions about drink (and they might not have been truthful anyway). It must be very difficult to be a doctor, sometimes.


I finished the back of the sleeveless vest yesterday – except that I think it would be a good idea to take back a few rows and slope the shoulders. You will remember that I am trying to reproduce a favourite which disappeared into the clutches of the NHS, and the notes I made when knitting the original are less than adequate. Did I slope the shoulders? I don't remember.

And the earlier figures for the v-neck decreases don't make sense – I seem to be telling myself to decrease more stitches than are available in the mid-section of the garment, when the shoulder stitches are subtracted.

Once I am satisfied with the back, I'll lay it aside for a couple of days and knit one, or even two, of the eight triangles I need for the Dunfallandy blankie.

Thank you very much indeed for your help with Curls (the book) and with Rimu possum yarn. Provisional Kitchener, I had never heard of Hulucrafts and Google was in no hurry to mention them when I asked for Zealana Rimu in UK. Even if they turn out to be importing it order-by-order like LoveKnitting, at that price the thought of duty to pay on the doorstep is bearable.

So I'm keeping myself firmly focussed on the idea of a possum Christmas present for someone. But I must finish something before taking action. I begin to feel I'm drowning in a sea of WIPs, and the fate of poor Kaffe's pattern, still in my sidebar, shows what can happen despite the best of intentions.

I bought some fine lace-weight possum at a Stitches market once. (?Stitches East in '06? Or even '02? It was an even-numbered but non-presidential year for voting, I remember.) I never did anything about it, and it must still be there in the stash somewhere. The idea is extremely attractive – an animal which is a thoroughgoing pest, and so freely available for slaughter, which produces a luxury yarn. And I have read that New Zealand possum has evolved more and better fur than its Australian grandparents because it's colder there.

I'd like to see New Zealand. They have no native mammals – it was Margaret Stove's husband himself who first told me that. So evolution, especially of birds, has gone off in some interesting directions. Rats and dogs came with the first human beings, relatively recently in the evolutionary scale of things.

Monday, October 12, 2015

My husband continues to improve. He was out of bed and sitting in his chair yesterday, although I still don't think he has done any walking, even across the ward to the bathroom. He's still coughing up a lot of darkish phlegm. I had forgotten to tell him that Matt & Hellie were coming. Their visit was therefore a surprise as well as a great pleasure.

They said they had sent me some chilli sauce from When I encountered it at the wedding feast, and was, as they say, blown away, I assumed that I could get it on-line like everything else in the world. But no. You have to go there. So that probably explains the dread Something-For-You card I had from the post office the other day. I have been on-line and arranged to collect it from a local post office tomorrow.


You people are almost as good as my husband at talking me out of things.

I got so wrapped up in my thoughts about Rimu yarn and that VK sweater yesterday that I decided to order a couple of balls just to see what it was like. I got quite a way through the process at, at £27 per ball. Twenty-seven pounds sterling. But at the end they said that it would be shipped from the US – presumably meaning that I would have to pay duty as well. That was too much, even for me.

I then had a look at Webs and Jimmy Bean. They both have it. $18.60 a ball at Webs, comparable or identical at Jimmy Bean. United States dollars. You could pay duty on that and still be quids in, compared to ordering it from LoveKnitting.

I think I will take your advice and think along the lines of a scarf or cowl or something.

As for VK itself, it's interesting to learn that the covers are different. That cabled wrap, number 1, presumably the US cover, is very nice indeed. We've got No 14, John Brinegar's pattern for the Mixed Media section. I'm not very keen on the whole section. I don't think mixed media works. And I'm afraid I think that pattern is the worst of the lot. I hope that remark constitutes fair-criticism and not libel.

And as for the sweater, I reminded myself this morning that I'm keen on Pam Allen's “Sophie”. Perhaps the two patterns could meet halfway somewhere. Would the Roasted Hatch Chillies overwhelm Allen's interesting cable arrangement?

I also like her “Anneke” pattern. Could that be my new Relax? I've added it to the queue.

And here's a question for you: VK likes a book called “Curls” by Hunter Hammersen. Smallish, shawl-like things, I gather, which stay on the shoulders and can be knit with any yarn. I had a look on Amazon and I think I have never seen such discordant reader opinions. Knitters with 40 years experience said they couldn't even get started with it. Others said it's absolutely wonderful and they are knitting their way through the whole book.

It's charts-only, I gather, but I don't mind charts. I'd be very glad to hear if any of you have attempted it, and if so, what you think. Maybe there'd be something in there I could knit with Rimu.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

It was the most exciting rugby match I have ever seen in my life. Not just a few breathless moments at the end – although it had them, all right – but ding-dong exciting from kick-off to final whistle. I haven't been out for the papers yet, and have completely forgotten the score. I can tell you that it was high, and that Scotland won by three points.

My husband was better yesterday, complaining (a healthy symptom) and eating well. We saw a dr who said that his bloods show that he is responding to the antibiotics. There are problems ahead – I don't think he has been out of bed yet; muscles, already feeble, will weaken fast. The catheter is back.

Young Mr and Mrs Kiernan – Matt and Hellie – are coming to see us this morning. They were at a wedding in Peebles yesterday. It is dreadful to think of all those people (not least Matt & Hellie themselves) being kept away from their television sets by mere merry-making. Rachel says that there was a good moment at the Kiernan wedding when the news spread around the teepee that Japan had beaten South Africa.


There were moments during the rugby (not many) when I was able to manage simple st st, and in the evening I curled up with Downton. I think I'm about half-way from underarm to shoulder, at the back of the sleeveless vest.

I am trying to make a nice chained edge for myself by slipping the first stitch of every row. Purlwise with yarn in front, I thought. It works fine at the beginning of purl rows, not so on the other side. This is absolutely elementary stuff. What could be wrong with me? I did some googling later – the last stitch of the preceding row must be knit. That's the answer. I'll do that henceforth, and also try to have a good look at what is actually happening to that stitch.

The new VK turned up yesterday. I think the cover is the ugliest VK sweater (let alone cover) I've seen for a long time. On the other hand, I am totally enamoured of No. 3, Debbie Newton's oversized cabled sweater. Who could wear it? I certainly lack the Dame-Edith-Sitwell panache which would be required to walk around the Second New Town in such a thing. Greek Helen, maybe, once she moves back to Edinburgh? Thomas Ogden's bride Lucy?

The yarn is a New Zealand mixture of merino and possum, said to be deliciously soft. It is available in England, at a price which makes even my extravagant eyes water. I'll try to keep an eye on the progress of the pattern on Ravelry.


Nigella's new book also turned up yesterday, by far the best of this season's crop of light-eating. (Jamie, Diana Henry, and others.) I must make myself a few of her not-for-my-husband recipes while the course of antibiotics lasts. The chilli is a tempting one. I think we may have some bourbon (which is required) in the cupboard, although it's mostly scotch in there.

The carers had brought much of the house into an unusual state of semi-cleanth last week, so when the young Polish woman who cleans for me (a dear friend, by now) came on Friday we spent much of the time clearing out kitchen cupboards, a most satisfactory task. Gosia has a sharp eye for sell-by dates – it can take me ages to find them. So we got on briskly. I hope we can proceed this week.

If we could throw away enough stuff I might be able to organise the kitchen to the point where I would have room for the cast iron slow cooker Nigella recommends. It, too, is eye-watering-ly expensive but at least would be in no danger of being added to stash.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

My husband was listless when I saw him yesterday – most uncharacteristic. A nurse said that he had been trembling, or shivering, in the morning and they had given him diazapam (=valium; I won't check the spelling), which probably accounts for it. Things seem to be more or less under control. The fever is down. He is being given oxygen, and a course of intravenous antibiotics. Alexander and Ketki and the boys were over – still are, at a grand hotel – but didn't get to talk to him because he was asleep. They'll call in this morning before dashing westward home to watch the rugby.

We have been worrying, like you, Shandy, about whether the care package will stay in place. He may need even more care. We can't have him bunged up for weeks again, just waiting for carers. We may have to work out a deal between Lothian Council and our private provider. The Occupational Therapist is a key figure – (s)he it is who pronounces on how much care is needed.

He is in a nice, quiet respiratory ward. Four gents. Three of them, like himself, on oxygen yesterday. Three of them, like himself (but a different three), in bed. All quiet. Nobody singing folk songs as in dreadful Urology back in May. The television wasn't even on. I wonder if they'll watch the rugby?


I have renewed my subscription to IK for two years, and am grateful to you for straightening things out for me. I cannot believe that I am the only knitter in the world who leapt to the conclusion that a subscription running until Winter 2016 didn't need to be renewed quite yet.

And I have been happily weighing yarn. I am grateful to Liza for searching the blog and telling me that I ordered eight skeins of Whiskey Barrel, and to others for telling me how to do it myself in future.

The back of the Sous Sous used about 350 grams – that was a surprise. I thought I had used just about exactly three skeins. I think I am probably about halfway through that pattern – the front is substantially smaller than the back, and the sleeves are very small.

It is harder to estimate how far along I am with the vest, since front and back have been knit together up to the armholes. Two/third's? It weighs about 270 without its attached ball of yarn, 320 or so with it. That's including the needle, of course.

Despite that mysterious extra 50 grams in the Sous Sous, I have used three skeins so far for it, and am nearing the end of the third skein to be employed in the vest, and have two complete skeins to go. It is very satisfactory indeed to know that much. I may have enough already to finish the vest. I will need another three -- call it four -- for the Sous Sous.

I don't really need to order more until the eighth skein is wound and joined in. I will order generously, as always, but I shouldn't need to have a whole bagful of leftovers.

I keep eyeing the beautiful package of Roasted Hatch Chillies – madtosh DK – that my husband judged too bright for his vest. I've left it out where I can eye it regularly. It brightens my day. Something for somebody for Xmas? An infinity scarf, perhaps? A knock-about-the-house sweater for myself (it's said to be washable), perhaps a fisherman's rib?

And speaking of actually wearing sweaters one knits, I find that the Relax is almost always the one I reach for. A bit of warmth, just the right amount, and delicious ease. Hellie Kiernan has my first attempt, and I believe wears it often. Gauge wasn't the difficulty. It came out the size I was aiming at – I hadn't grasped that the pattern needed far more ease. Hellie – she was Hellie Ogden in those days – is tiny; my first attempt is just right for her. I'm awfully glad I went ahead and did it again.

Go, Scotland!

Friday, October 09, 2015

Here we are. I'm sorry for the gap. My husband is back in hospital with a chest infection.

We were doing pretty well, with lots of help. On Tuesday afternoon, after his nap, he was a bit droopy. On Wednesday morning the diabetic nurse took his temperature and found it somewhat up. (No figures, because I still can't think in New Money, when it comes to body temperatures.) She phoned the practice and the GP came zipping around and prescribed a strong antibiotic, hoping to keep my husband at home.

He was well the rest of that day, but started vomiting in the night and by yesterday morning was very weak. Temperature even higher, and oxygen saturation poor. So they took him away.

I am finding the peace and quiet rather welcome this morning. And a good night's sleep has repaired the ravages of the night before. I'll phone the ward soon for more news.


I had the wit to grab the Pakokku socks before we set out in the ambulance. I found I couldn't remember them at all. My electronic Filofax (Lotus Organizer, very second millennium) says that I started them in mid-March. I might learn something if I turned back to the blog. Hospital examination and admission is a tedious business, and I got quite a bit done.

And the day before, I got the underarm decreases for the back of the sleeveless vest nicely started. Mary Lou, it hadn't even occurred to me to resort to weighing to determine how much yarn I have used. Brilliant! Even more useful was the commenter who told me how many skeins of Whiskey Barrel I ordered in the first place – except that I can't find that comment, and would be glad to have it again to spare me trailing back through the blog myself.

Thanks to many of you for advice on heavyish v-neck sweaters. There's a real possibility at LLBean if I can sell my husband on a Henley neck (like Archie's). And I mean to explore the other excellent-sounding suggestions. I think lambswool is going to be too light and office-y.

Carol Feller's new book on short rows turned up yesterday – I must have pre-ordered it. I'm only a few pages in, and it looks interesting.

I keep getting letters from IK urging me to renew at once so as not to miss an issue. My address label seems to show that the subscription expires with the issue of Winter 2016. I had better examine my records and the old-IK-issue pile to make sure they don't mean 2015. Winter 2016 is far too far away to think of renewing now. I could be dead by then. Quis scit an adiciant hodiernae crastina summae/ tempora di superi?, as Horace has it.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Another good day. The private-care woman was wonderful at finding things that needed doing (there are lots) and doing them, instead of constantly having to be set the next task. Cathy and I went out to lunch – l'Escargot Bleu, Broughton St., highly recommended. She is now back in Sydenham, much missed.

I finished the fourth Dunfallandy square, still without mishap, and have moved back to the sleeveless vest. The underarm is now perhaps five rounds away, and should be reached today. Soon I will have to try to estimate with accuracy how much more yarn to order.

I bought this stuff (madtosh DK “Whiskey Barrel”) in the first place for the Sous Sous, and I'm sure I bought too much. My husband liked it, so the vest is being knit of it, too. I'm half way through the Sous Sous, I think, and the yarn I've got at the moment will carry me well past the half-way point of the vest. That's not the issue. How many skeins did I order in the first place? How many have I used? It would be nice to have it come out more or less right, this time.


You may remember that I paced out my six-month sentence to rat poison and no cider, into four Lents and eight days. (There's no guarantee that the sentence won't be increased to life, but six months is what it says in the little book they gave me.) Well, today is the last day of the second Lent. Weight loss is about 10 pounds all over. Most of the second Lent was spent on one of those plateaus familiar to all dieters, with a nice little drop at the end.

I'd better move on with the day.

Monday, October 05, 2015

All continues well, although without much knitting. Private care for three hours a day is to be added to the mix this morning, and Cathy, who is still here, is fully engaged with the problem. Not of knitting specifically, but of free time for me. My husband likes to have me standing around observing when carers are helping him.

I have, however, nearly finished the fourth Dunfallandy square, still without an error. And I have finished the first skein and wound the second – that always feels like progress. Extrapolation suggests that the centre squares and triangles will use just under half the available yarn, leaving plenty, I think, for the border.

There is not much to add. Kate Davies has posted a luscious description of the initial dispatch of her new (unspell-able, unpronounceable) yarn, to people who have signed up for the Seven Skeins Club. I wish I could be part of this, but there's too much going on.

My husband needs a new heavy-ish long-sleeved v-neck sweater. I was surprised yesterday at how difficult such an item is proving to find on-line. He has an old and highly satisfactory one from Woolovers, but the one currently showing on their website looks as if the “v” is too low. Cables are absolutely out, and so is blue – that limits the choice somewhat. Fisherman's rib would be acceptable, I think.

It's enough to drive one to the knitting needles. I think I'll resume the sleeveless vest, anyway, once this fourth square is finished. I'm in reasonably good case for a March baby.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

I'm grateful for all of your messages, and sorry to have left you in the lurch yesterday. The main difficulty was an Unexplained Connectivity Problem first thing in the morning.

Things are going quite well. I am finding it difficult to keep nimble and keep thinking, but otherwise the burdens are not unmanageable. I need to make more lists and to keep them by the calendar. My husband is pleased with his new cat:

The carers so far are young and pretty and kind and helpful. I had expected grumpy, middle-aged, underpaid.

Alexander and Ketki were here on Friday for the homecoming itself. James and Cathy came up from London for the weekend – Cathy is still here. Everything is being done to spare me effort.


Not much, but I have finished the crunch bit of the fourth Dunfallandy square. It went very smoothly, with the help of the designer's tutorial (link on the Dunfallandy blanket Ravelry page).  I should have looked at it sooner. 

I have been all right from the beginning with the first horizontal cables, when cables already established make a sharp turn and set off on the horizontal. But I was making a bit of a mess of the next ones, which run parallel a couple of rows later. They spring into existence out of nothing.

The difficulty turned out to stem from the instruction to knit 2 and then insert a crochet hook into “the first of the two sts just worked” and pull the working yarn through. Repeat with the second stitch (which will be the one most recently worked, at the tip of the right-hand needle). Put the two new stitches on a cable needle, rotate it, and knit them.

Not entirely easy. My basic mistake was to insert the crochet hook through the loops on the right hand needle. She doesn't mean that. She means “the sts just worked”, exactly as she says – the ones which have just become the-row-below. If you remember that, and keep the crochet hook and the cable needle in front of the work, and rotate it counter-clockwise when the moment comes, everything goes remarkably smoothly and the result looks good.

I'm not going to re-knit the first three squares, although the idea crosses my mind. The forthcoming triangles aren't affected – they're finished when you've done the first horizontal cable.

Rugby didn't go very well for the northern hemisphere yesterday. Scotland at least are still in with a chance. England are out of the World Cup.

Friday, October 02, 2015

You must never go down to the end of the town/ If you don't go down with me:

Well, I'm as ready as I'm going to be. My husband will be delivered home by ambulance sometime this morning. I'll go out in the kitchen any moment now and make Nigella's vegetable soup, which we often had for lunch in the past. Then people will begin to arrive.

Perhaps it will all go smooth as silk and I can spend my days knitting. We have also been thinking along your lines, Shandy, and I believe Greek Helen got back in touch with our chosen nursing home this week.

But we've got to give this a very good trial first. The one thing which has sustained my husband through all these long weeks, has been the hope of coming home. I can't take that away from him without an extremely good reason.

Helen (anon) – that's a good point about the Magnum Opus and the danger of my husband's deleting it all. His fingers are deadly when dealing with technology.

It's all up there in Dropbox. It's also on this computer in a non-Dropbox form. And there are earlier versions hither and yon, including a complete CD in Strathardle. And there is a whole row of physical files with the print-outs. In all this, the very latest changes could go astray, but I think for the last couple of years they've only been fairly minor verbal changes. Except, of course, for the discovery of “Woman at Prayer” in NYC last year.

What will he think of his peculiar cat?


I didn't get quite as far as I hoped, yesterday. I'm a few rows short of the mid-section of the fourth Dunfallandy square. No further mistakes, that's something. I must try to peer at it to see whether I can distinguish all these M1L's and M1R's so conscientiously executed. There's a big difference between K2tog and SSK. I ought to be able to see something like the same difference here if it's really worth all this trouble to do them right.

I'll try to be back here tomorrow. That's the best I can say.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

The last day.

I was wrong about the rugby – the Scotland-SA match isn't until Saturday.

All is in reasonable order, I think. The tables I ordered (bedside, chair-side) have arrived at the disability shop. I'll pick them up today. My sister – still in London for a few more hours – has bought a zimmer frame which James and Cathy will bring with them tomorrow. Care seems to be in place.

The (impossible) idea is that the care provided by the City of Edinburgh will make my husband able to live on his own. The private care we have bought in, is icing on the cake and may not even prove to be necessary. My husband said yesterday that they keep asking questions, now that his release is immanent, implying that he lives alone. Unfortunately, he couldn't think of examples.

The downside to this pie-in-the-sky notion is that I may be cut out of some valuable instructions from the hospital about my husband's care. How are his blood sugar levels? I don't look forward to resuming that mental burden. Continence? That is greatly improved, I know, but he has been suffering from some diarrhoea this week, due I think to a laxative administered on Monday, and I need to talk to someone about how to deal with that.

I'd better buttonhole them when I'm in today.

My husband is slightly confused – “some mental impairment”, in their language. That doesn't help, but may be better when he's back here.

I'll keep you posted.


Dunfallandy went well yesterday, with no further errors. I finished the amount I had assigned myself: the third square is done, and the fourth well started. I hope to reach its centre section today – maybe I can even press on to the second horizontal cable. Halmom, I'm glad to hear you're going to do it too. What yarn will you use? We can have a little KAL of our own here.

My husband asked yesterday how his sleeveless vest was getting on, but seemed to agree that concentrating on Dunfallandy while the house was empty and quiet, was a good idea. To my surprise.

I am slipping the first stitch of every row purlwise now, except for a couple of rows where it's impossible. That happens when cables reach the edge, to join up with other cables in other squares. It certainly makes a smoother-looking edge, and I may discover at the end, when I try to sew everything together, why the designer didn't do it.


I said I'd attempt to post a photograph today. Here is Perdita in the catalogue room.

Whoopee! I don't know whether to credit Google Chrome or simply the Advance of Technology, but it's nice to have photographs back.