Monday, November 20, 2017

I’ve always been rather glad to be relieved of Thanksgiving – all that cooking, and all that family pressure. Although I enjoyed it, the one Thanksgiving in my married life (1960) that I spent in the USofA; and it does take some of the pressure off Christmas. I am horrified, however, to find that Black Friday has made its way across the sea, this year for the first time, as far as I am aware. Poof.

I remember the Queen’s wedding day, the 70th anniversary of which we are celebrating today. I would have been 13. We were able to listen to the tail end of it on the radio in NJ before I went to school. “The Duke of Edinburgh turns to his wife…” the commentator said, and I was quicker than my mother – devoted though she was to the Royal Family – to grasp what was being said.

I knit a few more scallops today, without incident, and will perhaps knock off a few more before going to bed. My guess is that this first 25 gr ball of yarn will last most or all of the way around.

I’ve finished reading “Jamieson & Smith: A Shetland Story” and would highly recommend. There are some pleasant Fair Isle patterns attached, too. I was surprised about several things I learned. For one, the change from “wool broking” to supplying yarn for knitting seems to have happened only in 1967.

I used often to shop at a place in Perth – I can’t remember what it was called, although I could lead you to its former site without difficulty – which claimed to have been the first to import coloured Shetland knitting wool to the mainland. They must have been doing it before 1967. I bought some choice 1930’s patterns there.

Jamieson & Smith’s is a story of survival, where others have fallen. The business was sold in 2005 to Curtis Wool Direct, I was horrified to learn. But that may be the price/cost of survival. Oliver Henry submitted the text of the book to a senior person there, who replied: “I found it very interesting, but would that apply to the wider textile world? Also, the writing is a bit ‘croftery’.” Oliver felt hurt, at first, but then decided that it was a fair judgement.


That’s a brilliant idea, Tamar (as ever, from you) (comment yesterday)  – that I should take a portable folding seat to Palermo, for moments of weakness. I bought my husband such an item, towards the end of his active exhibition-going life. He never used it, but I am pretty sure it can be easily found in Strathardle, where Helen is going next weekend. 


  1. Jean, I am appalled to discover that Black Friday has made it all the way to Italy — and in English, no less. That was not the case when we were here in 2013. Alas.

  2. Anonymous9:18 PM

    Jean, please check Amazon for the health walking forms an X shaped seat, similar to the seats available in many museums. It is much more stable (especially on uneven ground) than the more common tripod type. I used mine today in London, at the Museum of London, although they had their own for people to borrow.

    Another advantage to this seat is that it slides over the handle of a rolling suitcase and is much easier to maneuver through airports or train stations.

    Barbara M., usually in NH

  3. I do not remember the Queen's wedding. My Mother went to Penzance on the bus, to stand in the Greenmarket square where the local radio shop had rigged up speakers to relay the broadcast. When she got home she got a sound telling off from her Mother-in-Law for going so far from home "so near your time" I arrived three days later.

  4. Anonymous7:28 AM

    Black Friday . . . in Canada also. Especially silly and irrelevant in our country, where Thanksgiving is the second Monday in October.

  5. My friend Beverly organizes a Craft Friday in opposition to Black Friday. She has a Craft Friday pinterest board, and invites friends to spend the day working on projects. I may join her, virtually that is.

  6. I don't mind Small Business Friday, where we support our local yarn shops and small businesses, but I absolutely positively DETEST Black Friday - think of all the people who have to work that day when they should be enjoying their holiday. I have boycotted it since it began. Up until my young adulthood, there used to be "Blue Laws" that kept most businesses closed on Sundays. Well, that wasn't fair to people who did not observe that particular Sabbath Day (or any at all) and it was appropriate that the laws were taken off the books, but there was something wonderful about the peace and quiet on Sunday. Now, very few stores are closed any days - the competition is too great.
    Thanksgiving should be a time of reflection and gratitude - not a race against the clock to see which of your fellow citizens you can beat over the head to save a few dollars.
    On behalf of those of us across the pond, my sincere apologies!

  7. Anonymous3:57 PM

    I refuse to participate in Black Friday. Nothing for sale would tempt me, they can have it all at whatever price. It's a plague of greed here in the US. (says grumpy me...) Loretta

  8. Gail Martin4:19 PM

    I, too, detest Black Friday as a monument to malicious marketing and stupid consumerism. However, there was one especially purse-pinched year when I got in the six AM line at Montgomery Ward to snag one of the deeply-discounted toys for my children. The first fifty in line got a free copy of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

  9. Anonymous4:31 PM

    So agree with everyone here who despises "black Friday". I don't buy anything (other than necessary groceries) then. I will buy from small local businesses on the Saturday.
    -- Gretchen (aka stashdragon)

  10. I, too, detest Black Friday, but I have everything I need...and more. My children, however, are buying gifts for their young children and stretching their dollars goes a long way to making the holiday season a pleasant time. When I was newly married it was a shock to find out how expensive it was to ‘put on’ a Christmas.