Friday, September 08, 2017

I’m virtually at the armpits of Miss Rachel’s body. I discover that I am several stitches short of the desired number, despite having made careful and explicit marginal notes in the pattern. Therefore much of today’s knitting time has been devoted to counting, but we’re nearly there. If I can find something televisual to watch before I go to bed tonight – “The Normans”? – all will be well. I’ve finished “Cuckoo’s Calling” and don’t entirely fancy Dr. Foster. I could always hope to improve my Italian by revisiting Montalbano.

I went to see Kathy today to get the dp’s I’m going to need for Miss Rachel’s sleeves (and which I’m sure I’ve got, if I just pulled myself together). A costly replenishment, but it was good, as always, to chat with her. She asked if I was finding time hang heavy. That is certainly not the case, but I’m not getting much of anything done, either. My sister and her husband will be here soon, and I am trusting her to take me in hand. I had always assumed I would have my husband’s sister here, at this juncture of life, to give me sharp advice which I could disregard. But she preceded my husband in death, despite being several years younger.

Amongst my “promotional” emails this morning was something from Loop about Triskelion yarn. It looks wonderful.

Shandy, thank you again for Duolingo. I am finding it almost as compulsive as Freecell, and surely better for my Italian. How is it done? How can it be free? The software is extremely clever – I am assuming that Mr Duolingo is not sitting there in California grading my answers as they come in. Cui bono? as Cicero might have said. Perhaps it is all aimed at getting the program into schools -- where it might well be very useful.

Tamar, I am grateful to you for sending me back to December, ’16, in pursuit of Selbuvotter. There it is, sure enough, but I was also glad to be reminded (by my own prose) of the Blue Sky Fibres striped slouch hat kit, which I found so uplifting in the darkest days last year, and knitted two of. I gather both Loop and Delamores expect to have it again, but don’t yet. I’ll be hunkering down with Carol Sunday’s Soutache myself, but recommend the hat heartily to other SAD sufferer-knitters.


The question of how to pronounce “clothes” is another that had never occurred to me. Nor am I sure how I normally do it, if I’m not paying strict attention to the position of my tongue. In our family language, “clo” is the singular, coined, I think, by Rachel. Family language is the one unbreakable code, Marjorie Allingham says somewhere, although that one, at least, is pretty obvious.


  1. Family language is, indeed, unbreakable. My sisters could guess many passwords in one go!

  2. Anonymous3:04 AM

    My favourite family word was my mother's term for her sons-in-law - my and my sisters' spouses - "my daughters and their spice".

  3. Yes, Duolingo. The only thing that annoyed me about it was being penalised for random typos. I reached 20% competence in German before our trip last year. What it did not reveal was that that meant 20% of any sentence you might actually need to say - not so useful.

  4. I think Duolingo is great for improving vocabulary, both breadth and speed of recall. I am using it for Italian for myself, and am working on setting up activities for Russian, which I teach. I cannot see Duolingo working as a standalone solution, but I also do not see the developers promoting it as such, though they are indeed keen on having schools adopt it. As far as I can tell, it is still free, whether used individually or through a school program. I suspect that the data mined from users generates some (potential) income.

  5. =Tamar3:08 PM

    "Clothes" - hmmm. I seem to have three ways to pronounce it: "Cloze" (vide Joan Aiken's Dido Twite) when I'm being lazy, "clothes" with the full 'th' when I'm using it in a non-habitual way for me (as in "bedclothes"), and habitually with a kind of 'soft th' with the tongue against the lower teeth instead of the upper. It is very hard to say something habitually and pay close (!) attention to it.

  6. Regarding the "Blue Sky Fibres striped slouch hat kit" of which you knitted two last winter (as did I), our LYS just got in the companion mitten set and they, too, look like fun to knit.