Tuesday, February 05, 2019

I’ve been feeling fairly rotten, as I hope you deduced. Perhaps a bit better today. And I’m writing earlier in the day, so that at least you will have some news of me. I am grateful for your suggestions about my health. There are some good ideas there, and I will address them soon.

I’ve done no knitting at all, since you last heard. Maybe today.

There are tidbits of knitting news, however. Ella Gordon has a new design, an enchanting hat encircled by rings of those Scandinavian dancers, of diminishing size. She says she tried to do it in a sweater yoke, but couldn’t make it work.

It’s encouraging to hear that she doesn’t  like working corrugated ribbing. I’m terribly glad that I persevered with it on the recent Calcutta Cup vest.

My daily communication from the New Yorker has an article this morning about knitting, from Alexandra Lange. I don’t know whether it’s going to appear in print. Perhaps not. It sort of skips about, beginning with the attraction of great, big, expensive, shapeless sweaters, moving on to the current agitation about Racism in Knitting, then back to big sweaters and the author’s determination to learn to knit.

The riveting thing in today’s New Yorker assortment, however, is Ian Parker’s article about Dan Mallory, who wrote “The Woman in the Window”. That one will be in the next print edition – don’t miss. (I’ve read the book. I didn’t think it was that good, but I find it sticks in the mind, unlike many another thriller.) I forwarded the article to granddaughter Hellie (Rachel’s daughter), who is a London literary agent. She replied – so promptly that she must have already seen the article; it’s long – “I know him well. Absolutely astonishing. I’m glad this has finally come out…”

But I am determined to pitch my reading on a slightly more elevated level, at least some of the time, in 2019. Kristen, I’ve read the first section of “Cousin Phillis” and stopped for fear of devouring it in a day. What a treat! The character who stands out from that first section is not so much the first-person narrator, nor even his cousin Phillis with whom he is greatly taken, but her minister-father.

A good friend took me and Archie and their dogs to the seaside yesterday, at Portobello. They walked on the sand. I mostly sat in the cold sun and looked across the Firth of Forth to Fife. That sounds like a joke, but isn’t.

On the way home we saw the fanciest funeral I have ever seen in my life – like the ones you see in the newspapers when a gangster dies. A glass-sided hearse with flowers spelling out words we couldn’t quite decipher, drawn by two black horses wearing black plumes, followed by at least six long grey sinister limousines and many humbler cars.


  1. =Tamar5:11 PM

    Those huge, sloppy sweaters look to me as though they wouldn't actually be warm, there's so much empty space for heat to leak out.

  2. Sorry to read that you have been feeling unwell. I hope you improve quickly.

    I've finished Cousin Phillis - yes, the Minister is an outstandingly honest man, so gentle and thoughtful. It is (to my mind) a typical Victorian ending, although it doesn't seem to end, just reach a stop. (Some facets of the ending reminded me of Charlotte M Yonge's 'Daisy Chain' which actually made me very cross at the selfishness and thoughtlessness of people, how they can 'imprison' their children in bonds of love)

    I knitted myself a sort of 'swatch scarf', inspired by yours, but not proper fairisle. I chose two versions of Riot, a grey shaded one, and a multicoloured, and just added whatever patterns I felt like and let the colours in the yarns do the rest. Almost the last pattern I added was of Scandinavian Dancers! It is brilliantly warm and I wear it indoors and out.

  3. I hated those big sloppy sweaters the first time they came out & they haven't changed much since. I always thought it was a plot to sell more bad yarn at the time.