Thursday, January 07, 2016

I scarcely did any knitting yesterday – and there aren't many days like that. “Scarcely” – I did take the current sock along to the dr's waiting room when I went for my INR blood test (rather high, although not disastrously so; I have to go back next week). But then I got talking to someone.

Not before I had decided that I don't entirely like the current socks. I'm knitting them on 54 stitches for one of the dainty-footed on my list (Rachel, James' wife Cathy), at at 54, it doesn't swirl. And the colour is sort of purply.

I don't get much sock-knitting done, now that we don't travel. I must make a spot for them in the rota and get them done and move on to something more exciting, like Arne & Carlos.

Later in the day, a bit weighed down with hospitals and gloom, I set myself to wondering what I would knit if I knew I hadn't long to live. Not much point in a half-brioche Roasted Hatch Chillis sweater for myself under such circumstances. I think I'd go for the sleeved v-neck for my husband.

On that score, Mary Lou's comment yesterday may have solved a problem. There is a remarkable charity here in Edinburgh, the Royal Edinburgh Repository on North Castle Street. Well worth including in any Edinburgh itinerary.

It's a charity dating from the late 19th century. It must have been very well endowed, and its trustees must have managed the money well. The idea is simple: it's a shop where makers sell their wares – knitting, crochet, sewing, baking. Every penny of the proceeds goes to the makers. The charity provides the premisses and staff and heating and lighting and taxes.

And we're not talking Oxfam in the suburbs, here. The shop on North Castle Street (within sight of the Castle) must be rather valuable by now.

The relevance to my problem is, they take commissions. In fact, I had them knit a sweater for my husband once before. What happened to that one? And when I knit a Calcutta Cup Christening shawl and dress for Kirsty Miles, James' and Cathy's daughter, I bought a pattern and some material and took it there and had someone make me a slip to wear under the dress.

Today I will take a tape measure when I go to visit my husband, and tomorrow, if I'm strong enough, I'll go to North Castle Street. I'll let the commissioned knitter use her own wool – after I have chosen the colour and thickness – and save the pleasure of knitting madtosh for myself.

My husband is reasonably well, and reasonably resigned to his fate. He's now in a neurological ward, not because he has anything wrong with him neurologically but because they have an empty bed. We're going to make energetic efforts to get him out, much as I am enjoying my little meals devised by Nigella. Alexander and Ketki are on their way over at the moment. Official visiting isn't until 3 p.m. I'll wait for that.


  1. It's good too hear that your OH is a bit more resigned to the hospital this time round. Maybe because he's found that being at home isn't quite as he imagined it was going to be, what with all the carers dropping in and out? The hospital routine probably feels smoother and less intrusive in a way.

  2. "the next time you are in Edinburgh" I like that attitude. Glad to hear that your husband isn't rattling the bed rails to get out. That makes it so much harder on everyone. And that there are no loud neighbors.

  3. Anonymous2:25 PM

    Dear Jean,
    I'm adding my prayers to those of all the others, that your husband will continue to recover and be back home soon. In the meantime, I am happy to hear about your time with Nigella, and hope you are catching up on your rest.
    Any news of the Socklady? wasn't she the one who knitted you those wonderful gloves?
    I hope she is feeling better too.

    Carol from Long Island

  4. That's an amazing charity, indeed.
    I'm glad your husband is in fairly good spirits and I hope the company cheers you.