Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A new approach -- I'm writing an email to myself on my iPad, to be edited and uploaded, perhaps, later.

Well, what? We've had a good weekend in many respects -- the birthday party was fine:

It got harder when everyone (except, thank God, Helen) went away yesterday. Aspects of the last two days have been very hard indeed. I think my current resolution is to stick it out until Xmas and then decide among various unappetizing options.

Knitting -- various

The poor socks have been totally abandoned, but the first sleeve of the half-brioche progresses nicely -- I'm knitting the shoulder strap, and will soon have finished. The Whiskey Barrel DK has held out -- I won't need to order more or cannibalize the Sous Sous. I might need to knit the neck placket and collar in Roast Hatch Chillis but there's no great harm in that. I like how it's looking.

Norah Gaughan's "Knitted Cable Soucebook" turned up this morning.  It’s definitely a keeper, in the sense of being one of the books to take along to one's final lodging. It rekindles the excitement I felt in the -- surely it must have been the Sixties -- when Aran was suddenly everywhere. Now I want to knit a big crunchy Sweater.

There has been an answer from Susan Crawford about the Vintage Shetland project -- the new date is "sometime in the new year" which certainly sounds more realistic. I could wish that she had managed to broadcast a couple of sentences with this information before rather than after the deadline she had herself set, of November 14 for dispatching the files to the printer. It shouldn't have required any more effort than her endless tweets. 

(A well-known British journalist, Susan's sort of age -- one of those people you read every week and feel you almost know – told us last weekend that he has cancer: "...the full English. There is barely a morsel of offal that is not included." It's a hell of a thing.)

The BBC is showing a programme next week -- or perhaps even the start of a series -- about Fair Isle, "Britain's most remote inhabited island". That surprises me a bit -- remote from what? It's not all that far from Lerwick, in the direction of Orkney rather than further out to sea, although the crossing (by water or air) is often impossible. Certainly that will be one to watch.

Is it of interest that the two knitting traditions for which Shetland is most famous, derive from two such remote outposts, Fair Isle and Unst? No one on Unst could suggest to us, when we asked, why it had become so well-known for lace. Presumably the answer is a genius knitter who took things to new heights and whose name has been forgotten -- although that itself is odd in a place with so retentive a memory.


No one in my family has much time for Andy Murray, so I feel I must say here how pleased I am that he beat Djokovic last weekend in London and is therefore established as the World Number One at least through the new year. And we are agog -- at least, I am -- to see what the Queen will do for him in the New Year's Honours. 

I trust everybody knows that Andy Murray was a little boy in the Dunblane Primary School the day in March, 1996, when Thomas Hamilton came in and perpetrated the Dunblane Massacre. It is a bizarre coincidence, given how relatively rare such atrocities are in GB and how totally remarkable it is for a British man to be the World Number One in tennis. I can't think of any conclusion to be drawn. You win some, you lose some.


  1. Prayers are with you. Corinne

  2. Anonymous10:52 PM

    So glad to know the party was a success, and you were surrounded by family.

    And yes, thank God for Helen!

    I truly hope it gets easier to manage once you fall into a routine. The alternatives might be unappetizing but at least exist.

    Good to hear about the progress on the half-brioche. I'm anxious to see progress on the yarn that lived in New Jersey temporarily.....

    Beverly in, yes, NJ

  3. I hope you are not doing too much by aiming for "until Christmas" Be good to yourself!
    When they say 'most remote' inhabited island, they must mean remoe from London - the one and only place in the universe that a right thinking civilised person could consider worth living in. As opposed to these dreadful places where the native people have not got an ounce of good taste in them. Meeeow!

  4. Welcome back, Jean. I missed you, and am glad that the birthday festivities were a success.

    Cancer is horrid. My female colleagues -- some a smidgen older, and one or two an alarming number of years younger -- have been stricken at a terrifying rate these past few years. We have all come to our workplace from areas across the US, so a very localized environmental cause seems unlikely. And we do not work with carcinogens.

    On that somber note -- apologies for the turn taken by my note -- I will sign off!

  5. So sorry to hear it's been difficult, glad the party went well.
    - Beth in Ontario

  6. The photo looks like a Vermeer or Rembrandt the way the light is coming in. The Pater Familias at home? I do hope things get easier, including decisions. I bought the knitted cable sourcebook but have hardly given myself the time to browse. Norah Gaughan is a genius with that sort of work.

  7. I was very upset today when I came across an ad by PETA showing a naked young woman and saying that we should not wear wool since it belongs to the sheep - the ignorance of that stance is truly breathtaking. Did they not register that poor NZ ram that had to be captured for shearing, before the weight of wool killed him. Vey few breeds of sheep are self shearing nowadays.
    And if we can't wear wool, what should we wear? Product made from crude oil?
    Sorry about that!
    Rant over!

  8. Anonymous6:09 PM

    Just in case you hadn't spotted it:

    Kate (W. London)

    1. Thank you for this. Only today I googled for a Bryer obituary, but for some reason Google failed me on this one. It's good to have it.

  9. https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/nov/20/aa-gill-opens-restaurant-review-with-cancer-diagnosis