Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Soutache continues well. This 12-row centre section, repeated over and over until the crack of doom, is very easy. It would, indeed, have made a good preliminary swatch. And it should mean that the final section, which gets a bit complicated again, should find me the complete mistress of two-colour brioche.

It’s very pleasant to knit. I am self-taught, slow and clumsy, as I’ve often said, and I find ribbing and patterns (seed stitch) derived from ribbing, tedious and unpleasant. But brioche, although it involves bringing the yarn forward between stitches, doesn’t seem to have the same effect.

The order from Jamieson & Smith is on its way, I am told. Will they really have sent fawn although I originally clicked (as instructed) on white? And how shall I interleave it with the Soutache?

We are only days away, now, from Kate Davies’ West Highland Way Club. I’m going to go the whole hog this time (if I get in on time) – Option 1, with the yarn sample pack. Although the last thing we need around here is more yarn. I am not familiar with the West Highland Way, but we’re in territory which is at least somewhat familiar from driving up along the west side of Loch Lomond before turning left and over the Rest and Be Thankful to Alexander and Ketki’s house on Loch Fyne.


Mary Lou, I was immensely touched by your comment about the Cenotaph. Did you just happen to find a soldier there, or was he stationed? I think I have said several times that I did not grasp the extent of the WWI slaughter until I first came here in 1953 and travelled about and saw the war memorials in village after village (starting with Grantchester itself) with three times as many names for the “Great War” as for the Second.

When I was growing up, it seemed to me very odd to celebrate “Armistice Day” when we were totally at war.

It has left deep scars. I often think how peculiarly dreadful it must have been for people of the age of my husband’s grandparents.  They must have been born, roughly, in the 1860's. They were lucky, in a sense. Their only son, born in 1894, came back, although he then went on to die of a brain tumour. And then the war happened again – twenty years is the twinkling of an eye, in adult life – and could well have claimed my husband, their only grandson.

But he came back, too. 


  1. Thank you for your thoughts on the losses of war. I am of the Vietnam generation myself, but I think that we Americans forget the losses of that war and all the others. I know that at the end of his life, my father talked often of his experiences in World War II and we will be donating his photographs to a museum.

  2. Jean I flagged down a man in uniform on the sidewalk near the Cenotaph. It was on the wonderful trip where I met you, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI. The whole ranks of young men of a village, wiped out. I can't even imagine. The 'spinster' as a character and image surely came from all those women who lost their potential mates in the war. I've read some interesting writing on that topic. And as you say, 20 years later, nothing in the timeline of an adult life, all over again.

  3. Anonymous1:24 PM

    i guess it takes witnessing all those memorials to realize the awful suffering of World War I. Glad you helped us to remember the sacrifice of all those heartbreakingly young soldiers as well as the civilian population.
    No wonder you didn't respond to my enthusiasm about the new seed stitch book. I actually find seed stitch just as tedious (although beautiful). And yet this book had me really excited because of the interesting innovations. Of course I haven't actually tried them yet:-). Chloe

  4. Hi Jean - so sorry the link did not come through with my prior comment. Lets try again: https://www.saveur.com/duchess-palazzo-silician-cooking