Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Another good day, I guess. My husband was in much better humour, although still miserable about not getting home. The hospital is fast-tracking his homecoming: he is to have a hospital bed here, and a “samhall” – a wonderful machine; I must look up its etymology – and two carers four times a day, for transfers from chair to commode and that sort of thing. They will be provided by the council and all we have to do now, is wait for them to be arranged. It may take a while; it may not.

The idea, which is of course preposterous, is that I will have nothing to do.

I knit onward with the ribbing of the second Whiskey Barrel sock – past halfway.

And I’ve done a few more rows of the Uncia – I’ve now finished 203 of them. I think it is close to being the most difficult thing I have ever knit. I’m not complaining – it’s beautiful, and I am dizzy with admiration for Lucy Hague. But it’s tough. I was very grateful for your comment yesterday, Bettina. I had sort of been afraid that my problem was more old age than the pattern

In Ravelry – where I spend a lot of time these days, looking for news of the Vintage Shetland Project in the Susan Crawford group which I have recently joined – in Ravelry, the difficulty of the Uncia is rated at 66% or so (there are no actual numbers on the difficulty-line). I would put it in the 90’s. But the rows are short: that helps. I do want to press on as urgently as possible: it is going to be even more difficult when my husband gets home, whereas sock-knitting and hap-edging will be do-able.

The new “Knitter” is here. I am much taken with the Debbie Bliss ad for a cowl on the inside front cover. The pattern looks like good fun, and the yarn, a mixture of yak! and cashmere! must be sheer heaven on the fingers. A Christmas present? In fact, an expensive pre-Christmas present for myself, in the doing of it. The yarn, and the pattern-book, are called “Lhasa”. I’m thinking about it.


I remain obsessively interested in this story, although there’s still no news that couldn’t be condensed into a brisk paragraph. Yesterday – alas! this morning I can’t find a link to prove this – a woman was interviewed on the World at One (Radio Four) who was purportedly a former editor of the New York Times. She said that obsessive interest in Hillary’s pneumonia was a form of sexism.

I have never heard anything so preposterous. If Mr Trump had buckled like that at the World Trade Center on Sunday, I am absolutely sure the world would be astonished and even more interested. This is so absurd that it wouldn’t be worth mentioning except for the position in the frame of the New York Times. The New York Times. Maybe I’ve got it wrong.


  1. I read the sexism as being because Mr Trump would be allowed to have a few days to recover, and Hilary is being expected to keep going, as are all sick women. I could be misreading that though.

    Interesting about the Samhall. Can your husband stand for a few minutes, holding on to the sides, while it moves into position? If not, I cant see how it will help.

    Much sympathy from here for your situation.

  2. My mother used a Cricket to transfer and be wheeled around, a very helpful piece of kit and here though there are plenty of places to buy or rent from
    The Sam Hall is similar but you need to be able to stand whereas with the Cricket it is a sit and move item. Hope it goes well.

  3. Don't just think about the Debbie Bliss cowl, buy the yarn and pattern. You need to give yourself some treats to keep your spirits up. In general I'm not fond of retail therapy as a crutch but this is different, this is knitting that will raise your spirits.

  4. I think the comment about Hilary comes in the context of the rest of the coverage about her. She is described in very different terms (shrill, manipulative, secretive, bossy), and there is scrutiny of every detail of her behaviour. One day commentary about her not drinking any water, and another day coverage about her drinking 9 times in one speech. It's not just Hilary of course - Nicola Sturgeon and lots of women politicians face this problem all the time.

  5. I doubt the media would be as obsessed by her bout of illness if Trump hadn't been relentlessly casting dark and unfounded doubt on her health for months. It seems a pretty undisguised effort on his part to portray Hillary as weak, and I think there may lie the sexism the journalist noted. She, a woman, is too frail for the job.

  6. You're right, Jean -- had Trump been the one to fall ill and stumble, the media would have been not only reporting it, they'd be reporting it with glee. As for Clinton's claim she didn't think her illness was going to be a big deal -- come on. A president's health is always going to be a big deal to the media, especially two months before an election. That's why they're picking at Trump's health, too. Nothing personal or sexist about it.

  7. Jean, in your travels through Ravelry, you might find the arnall-culliford knitwear group's very active KAL chat threads or the Uncia pattern discussion thread in Kate Davies group worth a look. There are potentially useful nuggets of information in the threads, and both groups include number of Uncia knitters who are very ready to offer help and encouraging comments.