Sunday, December 17, 2017

Now we begin the darkest week. Courage!

I have had not so much an unproductive day, as a deliberately idle one. The outcome seems much the same. I posted the Christmas cards, and was interested to discover the pillar-box not to be overflowing, on this of all days (the weekend before Christmas, and the box not emptied since yesterday noon). Maybe they slotted in another collection. Or maybe Christmas-card-sending is really on the wane.

I worked out (not difficult) how much I will need in cash (euro-wise) to pay for our “Gattopardo” walking tour and to pay the Duchess, our first two days in Palermo. We’ll need food and bus fare as well. I gather one can put one’s card into an ATM as readily in Palermo as in Edinburgh. How did we manage in the old days? (Ans: traveller’s cheques, money belts)

I bought a pocket Italian phrase book. Despite all my learning, such things have proved to be very useful in the past.

And I knit ever onwards on the borders of the baby shawl. I’ve done another decrease row – 16 stitches down, now, on the original count.

I went back and re-watched the Fruity Knitting episode with Gayle Roehm. It turned out to be the EYF one, and therefore particularly interesting. She didn’t go into any detail about how to decipher Japanese patterns. I gather from the Ravelry group that there was a lucid article in Knitter’s Spring ’97. I must look tomorrow to see if I have it in my pile. But I suspect I’ve got all I need anyway, from my Japenese Knitting Phase.

The new book has a particularly interesting section of wedge-shaped patterns, which could easily become the yoke of a sweater. Well, somewhat easily…


  1. =Tamar9:51 PM

    It's been a long time since I traveled, but I used to get traveler's cheques in the currency of the country I was going to, which meant I could use them even when the banks were closed and the ATMs were turned off for the night.

  2. If you are going to use a card (debit or credit) when away from home, it's a good idea to call the bank and let them know. Some people who didn't have had problems with the bank thinking the card was stolen.
    I am very envious of your trip.

  3. Having spent all my dollars in a fantstic wool shop I needed more cash while in San Francisco, and the ATM in the hotel lobby wouldn't play. I went to see the Bank Manager when I got back and he said sorry, and that he was spending lots of time keeping his daughter solvent, since her card kept getting blocked while she was backpacking in Thailand. At that time there was no way of telling the bank but I believe that there is now at least for some of them - so do find out and do the form or whatever.

    1. Anonymous7:35 AM

      Marsha White of Needle Arts Knitting wrote a document about interpreting Japanese patterns. The link is Be aware that a symbol can mean different things to different designers.

  4. Anonymous12:05 PM

    Glad to hear you took a deliberately idle day!
    And the Sicily trip sounds so exciting. A good antidote to these long dark northern hemisphere days.

    I agree on the pocket phrase book. There may be times one doesn't want to wave a phone around to look up a word.
    I usually try to use the ATM in the airport on arrival to withdraw cash. You may want to ask your bank if they have a partner in Italy which does not charge any or as many withdrawal fees.

    I am really looking forward to hearing your reports on Palermo. If you like blood oranges, I think you will be there in peak season.


  5. Do they still have Traveller's Checks? My credit card keeps promising no foreign transaction fees, must be the modern equivalent.

  6. how exciting that your trip is nigh!
    Do call your bank and let them know of your plans... who is going to take care of the kitties?