Thursday, October 20, 2016

Very little to report.

I got up in the night again to watch the third debate. It was ugly. I was sad to think that one of those people will, in all likelihood, be president of the US for the next four years. On the other hand – this is a terrible thing to say, when so many of you are living in the middle of it – I am finding the whole story fascinating, and will miss it when the election is over.

Archie phoned: the first time I have heard from him since he became an undergraduate. He says he’ll be in Edinburgh soon for his 20th birthday, and invited me to lunch. He had just been participating, he said, in an Autonomous Learning Group which I deduce to be a seminar without a grown-up. UK universities are often criticized these day for taking so much in fees and offering so little in tuition. This sounds like a brilliant solution.

I told his mother later. She hadn’t known he was coming.


I’ve nearly finished turning the heel of the second Mosaic sock.

I did three rows of Uncia yesterday morning, which took me through row 369. In the afternoon, when synapses are not firing on quite the same level, I had trouble with 370 and put it promptly aside. I don’t think anything’s wrong. I thought then, and think now, that it just needs a morning brain. I was having difficulty relating what-I-am-supposed-to-be-doing with what-I-did-in-the-row-below. Looking at the chart now, it seems straightforward. We’ll soon see.  

During the debate, I knit a few rows of the half-brioche. There was some trouble there, at one side, but I think it’ll pass the galloping horse test.


That squirrel is back this morning. How did it know? I’ll have to stop feeding birds altogether, at least for a while. I, too, thought “rat” when it first appeared, Green Mountain Girl, and had a good look at its tail before deciding not to scream.

Mary Lou, we were much plagued with squirrels in our garden in Birmingham. (Not in Strathardle – there, we are still, precariously, in red-squirrel country. We love them.) You don’t want to know this: we used to trap and drown them. It made no difference. Neighbours approved but tended to regard us with suspicion.


  1. re Uncia. I passed through row 370 yesterday. The problem that I found was trying to M1 by lifting a strand between stitches from a YO on the previous row. There was no strand to pick up. I solved this by knitting into the front and back of the YO, but this has had the effect of making a purl bump on the right side at the start of that stitch. Soon you will be twisting these same stitches on Row 371 and 372 to create acute angles for the sepals of the flower emerging in the lace. 372 is a wrong-side row, so I kept turning it over to check that my crossings were going the right way.
    As someone on Ravelry remarked, Uncia is more like a piece of sculpture, or a wall-hanging, than something you might actually wear.

  2. Good for you in your way of dealing with the Birmingham squirrels. Did you know that if you trap them, you are obliged by law to kill them. It is illegal to release the grey ones.
    Lucky you with the Stratardle ones - I have only once seen a red - about sixty years ago, on the Welsh border

  3. I'll be happy when this election is over. I remember candidates debating the actual problems in our country. Now it's only personal mud slinging...we need to pray for this country....

  4. Anonymous12:24 PM

    Excellent to hear of Archie's plans for lunch.
    Sounds fun!

  5. we have trapped and drowned as well. We live trap and relocate to the barn. We try it all. We have a neighbor who feeds them...

  6. Oh dear. I am the neighbor who feeds them. The birds, my squirrel visitors, and my cat live in harmony and I get great entertainment watching their antics.

    1. Different for you Janet - you live in their natural home. The regulations apply in the UK, where the are alien imports of long standing, and have done so much harm to the native squirrels.

  7. Anonymous8:00 PM

    I had thought the debates were a waste of time, but now I'm beginning to hear that people find them entertaining. That's wonderful. Yesterday I heard that they are a priceless source of internet memes. This is changing my whole perspective.
    Gail in NC

  8. It's too bad that personal mud slinging is not banned at debates. Unfortunately, when one side starts, the other must respond or the press fills in the blanks!! I don't bother watching any more, we have to live with the consequences of whatever the Americans choose right up front & personal here in Canada. On some days, I wish they'd just build the damn wall, cancel the Trade Agreements, expel the undesirables & get on with it. This poisonous election is taking over the world. I'd rather be knitting.

  9. Oh, by the way, Squirrels are just Rats in disguise!

  10. Anonymous11:27 PM

    How lovely that you were the first to know of Archie's plans. I do hope he is settling in at Lancaster. My daughter is applying to both Lancaster and York for 2017 to study English Language and Linguistics.