Saturday, January 19, 2019

As so often, these days, there’s nothing to report. I haven’t even done any more knitting. I had an Italian lesson this morning, and as usual it flattened me. We are struggling through the sequence of moods and tenses in indirect speech. Then the supermarket, then a long nap with my dear cats.

Thank you for all your helpful suggestions about our desert island. This is a difficult one indeed. I would hate to leave Sharon Miller’s “Heirloom Knitting” behind. But that restricts one to lace. Or what about Debbie New’s “Unexpected Knitting”? – that would keep one making interesting discoveries for quite a while. Cat, I agree that a Japanese stitch dictionary has a lot to recommend it.

As for yarn, it sounds as if we can agree on J&S jumper weight. I like your idea, Cat, that one could un-ply it to create lace-weight.

Mary Lou, Mary Thomas’ books were an important stride forward for me, too. It was from her that I learned how to catch the unused yarn in two-colour knitting in all four situations: when you want to catch the left-hand yarn when knitting with the right hand; or the right-hand yarn when knitting with the left. And so forth, for the two manoeuvres needed when purling. This discovery came at a crucial moment for me, when I was getting interested in Fair Isle.

But I wouldn’t take her to the island.  I can’t stand those cartoons.

As I said yesterday, thank goodness it’s a decision we don’t have to make.


The Duke of Edinburgh has had a new Range Rover delivered, and has been spotted driving about in it. There’s something to be said for being impossibly rich.

Shandy and Southern Gal and Beth, I do absolutely agree with you in admiration for Mrs May. Don’t forget that she’s got Type One diabetes to manage – no joke of a disease, requiring constant attention. It would be more than embarrassing to have a hypoglycemic episode on the floor of the House. 


  1. What I don't understand about the Duke's accident is how he was able to emerge unscathed, by his seatbelt, if by nothing else. My sister was involved in a collision some years ago and the deep bruising left by the seatbelt was very painful. How was he able to get back behind the wheel so quickly?

  2. I think i’ve read somewhere today — but I can’t find it — that the police had to speak to him about not using a seat belt. That could mean that he was indeed deeply bruised, like your sister. Or that he doesn’t always wear one, like me.

  3. Anonymous11:57 AM

    My seatbelt wasn't securely fastened one time when I was in the backseat of a large van. Moments after getting on the road the driver had to make a very sudden stop which sent me flying across to the other side of the car while the other van occupants were barely ruffled. That's when I started being serious about a seatbelt. Chloe

  4. I have become so accustomed to wearing a seat belt that if I even drive across a parking lot without one I feel untethered, as though I might fly out the door. The cartoons in Mary Thomas, while of the time, are horrible, and I didn’t intend for her to be my book. Just rambling. I know we have discussed Odham’s before, another early one for me, but not for the island!

  5. having had to see how someone looks after flying through a windscreen, I can only wonder at people not wearing seat belts at all times:( you can die without one, even if you have an accident at very low speed... or you can survive, but kill someone else in your car! and for the Duke - I think he should show more responsibility and ask someone else to drive - shouldn't be too difficult to find someone:(

  6. =Tamar7:24 PM

    I grew up riding in and driving cars that never had seatbelts installed. When my brother first told me about seatbelts, he indicated that only a few race car drivers used them, and the other drivers thought they were sissies. As soon as I had access to a car that had seatbelts, I began using them faithfully. Perhaps the Duke is of a similar age and experience but never got the lesson before.

    I have decided that my books are my property and if I dislike something in a book that can be eliminated without ruining the rest (and if not, why do I still own it?), I can use plain white labelling stickers to cover it. If it's a full page, I can tape a piece of typing paper over it, or even a Xerox copy of a picture I prefer. If it's a few lines of type, there is typewriter correction tape - do they still make that? I found some at a thrift shop and used it recently to cover some tiny drawings that annoyed me in a book I otherwise enjoyed.
    It hadn't occurred to me to do that with the Mary Thomas book since I hadn't gone through it recently, but I might. By the way, I've heard that her publisher wouldn't let her do the scholarly thing and include the sources of her information, which she had wanted to include. He said it would never sell if it seemed scholarly. I can easily imagine that the cartoons were entirely his idea.

  7. Anne C. in Bethesda, MD7:35 PM

    Another believer in seat belts here. When my daughter was 17, while driving my car, she was hit nearly head-on by a driver trying to get past a stopped schoolbus. If she hadn't had the belt on, she would have died. Yes, she had incredible bruising from the belt (and her nickname became "Seatbelt,") but she survived. My car didn't, though.