Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The courier didn’t come until late afternoon, causing some anxiety and lack-of-nap. However, eventually he turned up, and my passport is on its way to London. (Why not Edinburgh? The consulate is just around the corner.) And the world should soon be my oyster – when I’ve figured out how to dispose of the cat.

Helen had a grand time in Chicago. The course was just what she needed, she says – very technical, about grouting and such. The people were nice, and interesting, and she got to spend time with a cyber friend. She says that it cost her twenty-five dollars to visit the Art Institute of Chicago, and then they compounded the crime by asking her if she was over 65.

My husband was a life-long and passionate advocate of free museum entry, and would have been horrified.

The visit was worth-while, however. She saw some mosaics, long familiar to her from photographs, which she had thought were hidden away in a private collection. But there they were!


I continued to make good progress with the Northmavine Hap. I’m ready to start the fifth and final full 24-row repeat. I switched to a longer needle yesterday, and took a nice picture for you this morning – but I’m back to the old problem. The picture sets off with a promising “whoosh” but never arrives at its destination. The friend who helped last time will have to try to explain to me what the trouble is.

I’ve had some difficulties – getting the colour of a stripe wrong, which meant getting some more wrong before we were back on track; getting confused about which stripe was the last of one repeat and which the first of the next – that affects the position of the chevron of eyelets in the centre. Neither problem is going to make the slightest difference to the rider, even at a slow trot.

I got my Ackerworks Swatch Gauge in the post the other day. I love it. Those little teeth that bite into the fabric! I can use it on the Fair Isle swatch-scarf, and, goodness knows, there’s plenty else here to swatch for.


  1. Anonymous11:49 AM

    Dear Jean, Your husband's goal sent me scurrying to the Internet (why not at 6 a.m.?) to research non-government-funded major U.S. museum admission prices and they were all over the map. Cleveland and the Getty in L.A. are free. Boston and LACMA are like Chicago. Philadelphia is "free" with a City Pass which is not free and the New York Met is free but strong arms, as I remember, Donations. Also, there are now about 36,000 private museums in the U.S. Just another fact to gum up the works. So, I guess, like a lot of things, it's complicated. (Sigh). Chloe

  2. Anonymous12:43 PM

    Sorry about the Met info. It now has a "suggested" adult admission price of $25 per ticket. Not quite the same as a completely voluntary donation but leaves it open to pay as much as you can. Chloe

  3. We used to use a cat hotel in Connecticut; cats were obviously very happy there. If you google "cat boarding, Edinburgh" you'll get a lot of choice but my favorite, at a quick glance, is the Dalkeith Cattery:
    Cats only is preferable to mixed boarding.

  4. Well Chloe saved me from myself this morning. Locally, the Minneapolis Arts Institute is free. I am a member to help support that, although i don't go often. The Walker Art Center is $14, but free to members. $25 seems extreme. Our local libraries have passes you can check out as you would a book to other local museums. Won't work if you are a visitor, though. I haven't seen that swatch gadget. I'm curious.

  5. Anonymous3:19 PM

    Dispose of the cat?! Surely you jest? Too many family pets are treated as disposable already.

    1. I was hoping Jean was joking and I'm pretty sure she is! Just a not so good choice of words I hope!

  6. Long time reader, first time commenter. I followed the link to the Ackerworks Swatch Gauge and ordered one as soon as I saw the photo. Brilliant invention! Thanks for the tip.

  7. Oh I feel for Helen. I think she and I are the same age, so I suppose I should expect (young) people to start asking me, any day now, if I want the senior discount.

  8. Anonymous4:54 PM

    In Paris, Rome, Florence or Venice I used a tourist museum pass to maximize visiting many museums (or Venice churches) in a short period. I liked carrying a Friends of the Uffizi card in my wallet - hoping maybe I could get back there within 12 months (didn't happen).
    it is sadly not common for large North American museums to be free outside of Washington or Ottawa. In Toronto the larger institutions may offer free/pay what you can evenings or special free student hours. Yes the public library system also offers free family passes - an excellent service.
    I do have memberships which can have very good reciprocal benefits. The Art Gallery of Ontario card can be used at the Guggenheim and Whitney in New York - that is a big savings.
    I tend to pay $5 per visit to the Metropolitan and I try to get there two or three times per NYC visit.
    Chinese provincial museums are mostly free as is the National Museum on Tiananmen Square in Beijing. (The Forbidden City palace is very pricy now though.)
    I wish these institutions received more government funding as in Europe!

  9. =Tamar4:58 PM

    Could the nice lady who comes to clean come to clean the catbox and feed the cat? Someone would have to do it for short weekend trips (knitting workshops etc) if you don't take her with you, so something will have to be arranged eventually.

  10. The road trip with Helen sounds wonderful and I'm sure you will find suitable lodgings for Perdita.
    I have a travel companion daughter and we have seen Bejing, Badaling, most of Korea and a good deal of Thailand. She now lives in Australia, so we have added that to our travel list along with New Zealand where we visited a High Country Sheep Station. Lots of Merinos. I cherish my time with her.

  11. Did you not say once that Helen has inherited prematurely white hair? That's probably all there was to the question about her age.

    How lovely to be planning a major trip this year.

  12. As for the mail, try opening the mail app on your iPad.

  13. Anonymous4:33 AM

    The Met Museum in NYC does have a suggested admission price (I remember it being $20 not $25 from when I was there last month). But you can pay less. It is easier now to pay less (meaning less attitude form the people working the desk) than it was 25 years ago. A lawsuit or two might have adjusted their attitudes… - In my experience the worse in NYC was the Neue Gallerie: rudeness compounded upon rudeness, all before entering into the collection. I may never return.
    - CKP

  14. Anne C. in Bethesda2:42 PM

    I've lived in the Washington, DC, area my whole life. Annual school trips to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the National Art Gallery were de rigeur, and not appreciated at the time. When I moved to Boston for college in 1971, and went to a museum that charged admission, I was shocked! Pay? you have to PAY to go to a museum?? Ah, youth. And I visit the Smithsonian on a regular basis now, knowing what gems they are.

  15. Anonymous1:34 AM

    Sadly, the Met now charges mandatory fees for most. You ticket is good for 3 days, and is good at the Cloisters (highly recommend!) and the Breuer as well. There is a senior discount.

    Residents of NYS are pay-what-you-wish and students from the metropolitan area are free.

    Beverly in NJ