Monday, November 07, 2016

I shall talk wildly, to try to keep our minds off tomorrow.

Have I been the victim of a previously-unknown Literary Hacker? Mary Lou, I don’t think I’ve ever read Naomi Mitchison. I’ll be interested to hear how you get on. My only literary references yesterday, surely, were to Rudyard Kipling and R.C. Sherriff. If you have me mixed up with someone else, I’d be glad to know who it is so that I can read her too.

At first I thought Herb Caen was an equally puzzling reference – I’ve never even heard of him – but then I grasped that you were commenting on a comment, Maureen, in which he was indeed mentioned.

And, Loretta, Pat Paulsen – another I don’t think I had heard of. At least you didn’t suggest that I had mentioned him.

Now: the new VK is here, bigger and better, but can they keep it up? Lots of good reading. None of the knitting quite grabs me, except for the “Knit Kit on a String” on page 10. Loop has got it. And my Christmas spreadsheet reveals that neither of James’ and Cathy’s daughters have had a knitted hat for a good many years. I do love stripes.

Shandy, your blocked Uncia is simply beautiful, a lesson in doing-things-properly. I’ve unpinned mine, but haven’t got anywhere beyond that. For me, it doesn’t matter what it looks like draped about my person, since it’s destined for elsewhere.

Shandy, again, you’re quite right that the Carol Feller Craftsy class called Celtic Cables isn’t exactly that – it’s much more about carefully-measuring-for, swatching, planning, knitting a cabled sweater. In the episode I watched last night, she had cast on all the stitches for the cardigan (fronts and back) and knit the ribbing and then went along the long row inserting stitch markers for the pattern repeats before even attempting to knit. Not at all a bad idea.

But for actual Celtic Cables, you want Melissa Leapman’s class on “Infinite Cables”. Trust me – I’m a Craftsy junkie.

I’ve been thinking, restlessly, and without much success, about c=2 pi r. I have never cared for EZ’s paragraph in the Almanac: “Have you begun to see the well-known geometric theory behind what you have been doing? If you are a man, you will have spotted it right away. If you are a woman (sorry, lib) you probably expunged such theories from your memory the minute you finished high school…”

The point is that the circumference of a circle will double whenever the radius does. Much the same is true of a square, but squares don’t involve the mysterious entity “pi” which is the answer you get whenever you divide the circumference of any circle by the length of its radius. It was pretty clever of the ancient Greeks to work that out all those years before calculators were invented. “Pi” is an irrational number which can never be completely expressed.

Anyway, I much prefer the Harlot’s treatment of the subject in “Knitting Rules!”


  1. Pat Paulson was an American comedian from the 1970's(?) who specialized in political humour.I seem to recall he "ran" for president.

    1. Yes, he ran for president. I voted for him.

    2. I didn't realize he was a real candidate. Do you think the third party candidates will do better in this election?

    3. Anonymous2:06 PM

      Pat Paulsen was a presidential candidate in the late 60s. He ran as a 'joke' but people then, as now, were unhappy and he actually got quite a few votes. Considering our choices this year, he may have been my vote. (I'm at work, so anonymous today...Loretta)

    4. =Tamar4:40 PM

      Yes, Pat Paulsen was a real candidate. He registered as a joke, then discovered that because it was a real registration, he couldn't get airtime unless all the other candidates got equal time for free, and no network would go for that. So he decided to run for real.
      I think he would have made a good president, too - intelligence and a sense of humor are needed qualities.

      Not only did he get votes, some of them weren't counted - I know because my mother voted for him, and her vote wasn't listed in the vote count as published in the local newspaper.

  2. Anonymous11:34 AM

    What a charming baptismal picture, with your great-granddaughter (sorry, is her name Julia?) wrapped in your beautiful shawl. I love how you feature your family in your headers, Jean. Knitting Rules is full of useful and fun information for the knitter, isn't it ? One of my favorite knitting books. Chloe

  3. Now I have no idea who mentioned Naomi Mitchison - I thought it was when you were reading to your husband. I must have looked up the Vicar of Wrexhill and then wandered into feminist historical fiction somehow. Odd, but amusing. She is even Scottish.

  4. Lovely new header picture, Jean!
    Thinking of Pat Paulsen does make the elcection more bearable. Even though he ran his campaigns as satire- after all, he announced is candidacy on the Smothers Brothers show- he frequently made some good points! Now we have people talking about third party candidates and whether or not a third party candidate can influence an election. John B. Anderson, a Republican who ran as an independent, certainly did that in 1980. Boy, I can hardly wait for Wednesday; I have had to set my knitting aside for the duration, my tension was getting so tight!

  5. Patrick Paulsen:

  6. Patrick Paulsen:

  7. Love your new Header picture!!! Babies & knitting always brighten the day.
    One thing about this election, it won't be a 'ho hum, who cares, I won't even bother to vote' type election!!

  8. Love the new header, and I have to admit that Zimmerman quotation makes my blood boil. Most people don't remember that equation unless they've used it since they stopped taking math classes. Sure, women were more likely to stop taking math earlier than men at the time (and probably now as well but I'm not sure on that), but what she said could be very easily reworded to remove gender bias entirely.
    There are days I can read stuff like that and not mind too much, and there are days I throw the book across the room in disgust. As I get older I have more of the later.
    I'll just go look at the cute header again, and here's some cute Athena pics if anyone else needs more cute... (yup, that's a tweet of mine, was the easiest way to link 'em)

  9. I do like the new header but miss the previous one; that baby had such a look. Could call it "worldly" I guess. (or Machiavellian?)

    1. Anonymous11:03 PM

      Yes I agree. Worldly wise I would say. I think she is one to watch.

  10. Anonymous12:06 AM

    The new header is lovely indeed!

    If you are going to knit that charming hat, I am a recent convert with new-to-me ways to deal with ends. I think it is a Russian join approach. You probably know these efficient methods already!
    Susan Rainey, of the Rainey Sisters blog, has a helpful video.

    I am on a trip to China this month. I had to find a VPN service - really to read your blog.

  11. Carol M, San Diego2:32 AM

    The baptism photo is beautiful especially with your shawl at center stage with adorable Julia (Juliette?) . sorry, cannot recall. Which one of the stylish ladies is her mom? Congrats to you and Shandy who have BOTH finished AND blocked your gorgeous Unica shawls! (thanks for the tip to Shandy's blog which I'm now following). As to our Election tomorrow....I'm very scared. My highly worried sis-in-law urges me to watch Trumpland tonight; it's a Michael Moore view of what might happen, although sis says it's a feminist documentary that made her laugh and cry. For an immediate chuckle, did you hear about about his campaign spokesperson's blunder this week: speaking about a Molotov cocktail, she pronounced it Mazel Tov.
    May God have mercy on the USA tomorrow.