Tuesday, November 28, 2017

This has been a good day on the knitting front. I had a date with Greek Helen and an old friend from Kirkmichael, to have lunch in the Portrait Museum. I took life as easily as possible (= knitting) in the morning, in order to have the necessary reserves of strength to ascend Dublin Street. It nearly killed me.

But I got four scallops done, and another later in the day – ¼ of the third side of the edging for the new shawl. And I have also moved smoothly on with the Soutache. Perhaps it’s time we had another picture of that.

I have been keen to buy Hazel Tindall’s new video lesson, “50 Tips from Shetland Knitters”. At first I got tangled up in unfamiliar terms – “Vimeo” – and scarcely better-known ones – “streaming” – but eventually discovered that I could buy an old-fashioned DVD from Jamieson & Smith, so I’ve done that.

I discovered in the course of all this, that she is going to accompany a knitting cruise on a Holland-America Line ship next August-Sept., from Copenhagen to NYC, with generous time in and around Iceland en route. I have a soft spot for Holland-American, who first brought me to England in 1953. I'd like to visit Iceland. But on the other hand, I have a deep and passionate antipathy to huge cruise ships. And if I do anything at the fag end of ’18, it ought to be to go back to Italy, to justify all this learning.

I got two emails from EasyJet today, and could feel the nervous tension collecting in my chest as I spotted them in the mail list. They were just trying to sell me hotel space in (a) Palermo and (b) London, to go with the flights I’ve booked. We’ve already booked a well-located hotel in Palermo, and have family to take us in in London. And all will be well – Archie is strong and calm and cheerful. And it’s useful to have something else in the vicinity to worry about, besides Christmas.

I’m glad to hear (comments, yesterday) that I am spreading the news about Aga cookers. They’re on all the time – and least, the old-fashioned ones are – and therefore wouldn’t be suitable at all for the North American climate. They are a wonderful source, here, of warmth and comfort all year round – never mind cooking.

Thank you for your comments, too, about hot water and magic taps. I’m learning.


  1. I fell down the 'google rabbit hole' :) I knew Aga was a stove but I've never seen one in real life.. so I went to google! They are beautiful and I'm sure, very reliable. I hope you get an Aga that pleases you... I'll be watching. Enjoy your kitchen reno

  2. Anonymous3:36 AM

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  3. Anonymous3:43 AM

    I’m sorry to say that some households here in southern Ontario, where summer days can be hot and muggy, seem to rely on air conditioning to counteract the constant warmth from an Aga. (Agas are uncommon here but some monied households have them,)

  4. Anonymous12:58 PM

    Just came from the Aga website and have concluded that it is one of the seven wonders of the modern world and I'd buy one in a heartbeat if ever I won the lottery. Even If only to roast a juicy turkey every Thankdgiving. Just love the whole idea of them. Chloe

  5. I read Beth's comment. Here in Minnesota that wouldn't surprise me. With so much central heating the Aga doesn't make much sense. They do look like the perfect thing for a cool, damp climate. Jean, maybe more regular (non-exhaustive)walks can get you prepared for Palermo. Do you get ever annoyed with group of world-wide bossy big sisters you have here?

  6. elginknitter2:12 PM

    Chiming in on the Aga question -- I live in eastern Ontario and I have a traditional Aga (which are no longer imported into North America, by the way), and yes, it's on all year round including through the summer, and yes, we have air conditioning but not just because of the Aga -- we consider it a necessity to keep the whole house comfortable during hot muggy weather. We're not a "monied" household but we decided to invest in an Aga for our dream home. I can't conceive of living without it. I don't even turn it down during the summer months because I'd lose the functionality of the Roasting Oven if I did so. And anyway, it adds a cosy ambience even in summer. I would never willingly trade my Aga for any other kind of range.

  7. I dont have an Aga, but I do have a multifuel Rayburn, which runs on coal and wood. It does the heating, hot water and I can cook in the oven and on the hotplate.