Sunday, November 26, 2017

All well. I’m sorry for yesterday’s gap.

I have pressed on with the edging for the new shawl, and am now four scallops along the third side. I’ve put an openable stitch marker on the scallop side, and I move it up every scallop – so at least I know without having to smooth it out on my knee, which direction I’m going in. That ought to prevent a repetition of the recent disaster, when I found three scallops on the wrong side, but still leaves the danger of forgetting whether I am meant to be increasing or decreasing at any particular moment.


Patience, yes, I saw Susan Crawford’s Instagram about the Vintage Shetland Project, still without the promised publication date. It was interesting, and sad, to learn that she “blamed” the Project for her cancer and that that’s why she has found it hard to resume work.

Kirsten, concerns about the floor bedevil my Aga plans. We have neighbours underneath, rather than a void like yours, and there’s no doubt that the kitchen floor runs slightly downhill in the direction of the Aga. It has been a constant, if minor, worry ever since we moved here. We recently had a Man come and look at it. He doesn’t think the slope is the fault of the Aga, but still, who knows. I'll keep you fully posted.

Here is another cat picture for you. Again, things are not quite as pacific as the image suggests, but I feel we’re making progress. I don’t think Perdita will entirely forgive me, and be my cat again, until she accepts Paradox.

This picture clearly illustrates one of the many differences between them: I have always felt that Perdita has an unusually short and stubby tail. Paradox has a particularly long and splendid one. I have wondered – perhaps I’ve said this before – whether Perdita could be 1/64th wildcat. (Wildcats have short, stubby tails.) We would have to ask her mother, who probably wouldn’t say.

Wildcats are near extinction not because of anything people have done to them or to their preferred environment, but because of their own promiscuous ways. They interbreed freely with domestic strays. 


  1. Anonymous9:09 PM

    I managed to get a feel of your shawl at the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate yesterday. J&S were there and had it knit up in off white/cream. It was wonderfully bouncy yet light. I've read in some very old Shetland shawl patterns a suggestion that a light starch could be used as part of the 'dressing'. I'm not sure what the finished result would be.

  2. Well I finally watched Il Gattopardo, all 3 hours and 6 minutes of it. It was certainly gorgeous to see (must have been better on the big screen) and Burt Lancaster was wonderful. However, it felt disjointed and I couldn't figure out much of what was going on. Why was Tancredi no longer a Garibadini? Why were he and Claudia Cardinale running around vacant rooms in a palace? Who cares if a General from Turin is viewing the frescoes? Now I have to read the book. Also, many of the voices were dubbed, even Claudia Cardinale, who is Italian. I wonder why? Accents?

    1. Anonymous4:50 PM

      Do read the book. It's stunning, and the translation by Archibald Colquhoun (how very Scottish) is beautiful throughout.
      -- Gretchen (aka stashdragon)

  3. =Tamar2:04 AM

    According to an old article I read years ago, Scottish wild cats are almost all crossbreeds with domestic cats now. At least it's not our fault this time. I do wonder how much of the wildcat personality crosses over. I was once acquainted with a large clowder of very interrelated cats, and there were distinct elements to the personalities that seemed to be genetic. Instead of a general level of approachability, there was 1.) liked being petted, 2.) liked being picked up, 3.) would approach to be petted, 4.) would ask to be picked up, 5. would voluntarily sit on lap instead of merely tolerating being picked up, and so on - all in different combinations. One kitten, of about 40 over the years, had a completely unexpected long-hair coat and a classic nasty-persian personality not seen in any of the other 39.

  4. Love the picture of the two calicos! We've had several calicoes over the years and all have been such characters, and very different from each other. The one constant with all cats has been that "cat time" is much different from "human time," that is the sense of time and how long it takes them to accommodate to change, new introductions and changes in the household.
    Also noted the litter box near the food dish and wondered if that was the regular siting of the items. Cats really dislike having their food and water near the litter box, and thought surely you must know that as well. Rather like how we dislike being seated near (or IN!) the loo at a restaurant.