Saturday, April 15, 2017

Kirsten: it’s wonderful to meet a fellow Freecell fan. I can scarcely even begin to imagine the force of character necessary to give it up for Lent. Although I, and perhaps you, gave it up for years between its first Microsoft incarnation and the current one.

In the blank years in between, I never found an implementation that came near what I needed. The present one is pretty good, but no more than that. I miss the way the original one (original, as far as I was concerned) numbered the hands and let you go back to a specific one. There was a horror that I never mastered – 1941 or 1945 or some such number, significant as a WWII date. There seems to be no way to recall it, now that I am so expert.

I remain grateful to Mary Lou, who taught me that CTRL-Z works as well in Freecell as in Word. So I never lose. I won’t allow myself to give up, and there have been moments when it has looked as if I would be stuck forever and therefore free of the obsession. But, so far, I’ve always solved it in the end.

I’ve had a pleasant end-of-Lent, with the first glass of cider in my hand as the Greenwich Time Signal sounded noon. Rachel rang up thus morning, and said that her son Thomas (Juliet’s father – above – the barrister) was going to do it that way too. I’m not sure whether he has been reading the blog – he’s not a knitter – or has arrived at the same conclusion by another route. In either case, I’m glad to have my thinking approved by a legal mind.


I had a very happy day with Fair Isle knitting, too. The new grey yarn – which I feared was too light – is disastrously so. You’ll see soon. I whizzed down to Kathy’s Knits when our cleaner came this afternoon – she, Kathy, specializes in British yarns, and has a reasonable range of J&S Shetland. She has sold me one which looks, if anything, too dark – but dark is what is needed. Results here soon.

Kirsten, yes, Jen A-C’s Year of Techniques is the same as the Mason-Dixon one. I assume it originated with Jen. But why do I assume that? Mary Lou, your note encourages me. I very much enjoyed Kate Davies’ Inspired by Islay subscription – patterns and essays and photographs and no required yarn. I’ll look again at the Techniques.

Shandy, we must keep this problem in mind, and eventually solve it. 


  1. I think the Year of Techniques is joint trans-Atlantic project of some sort. Jean, I miss the Mahjong version I had on my old computer, and haven't found one I like either. (I had my own names for the tiles.) I have so far avoided looking very deeply because it is a giant time suck for me. Hope you have a lovely day, or did.

  2. Year of Techniques is being run on MASON DIXON KNITTING. The website was relaunched last year and they are now publishing smaller books more frequently and running KALs via the website... various different kinds. you can look at the projects. many of the projects use kits that they sell exclusively (pattern in their new books, yarn for the project only available on their website). lots of new content and many contributors.

    Jen Arnall-Culliford created the Year of Techniques. If you sign up you get a new pattern emailed and at the end of the year a book with all of the patterns. She had yarn for all the projects in one big bag but sold out of it very early on (she is in the UK). more at her website

    its interesting to see MDK change as much as it has. i am of several minds, none of which i would share except to say bravo to them for their enterprise.

  3. Will be interested to know what your Helen, now that she is back, makes of Prudence's yarn mosaic

    1. Cat, i've got it ready to show her on the iPad when she comes to,lunch today bringing boys and bread and cheese.