Monday, September 16, 2019

Not much, again today. I did a row and a half of Spring Shawl borders, though.

This afternoon I went out with Helen and all her family to a famous fish restaurant in Newhaven. It was pretty good, but the chips were soggy. When I got back I found a nice email from the next-generation Helen, Ruby’s mother. She says her husband still wears, on special occasions, the pocket square I knitted for his wedding day – and it was recently lost in France during a disastrous trip involving delayed flights and a crashed hire car. Could I knit him another?

I found the spot in the blog, and toiled rather sadly through the account of that summer. They were married four years ago. My husband was in hospital, desperate to escape. I was complaining of weakness, although a hundred times stronger than I am now, and getting much more knitting done. My pulmonary embolism happened. Perdita was small, and extremely naughty. I had forgotten that I resorted to water spray to deter her from some of her naughtiness. Poor little cat. We loved each other.

But I found the account of knitting the pocket squares. The yarn – at least for Matt’s white one – was Baah Aspen LaPerla, a luxurious wool-silk-cashmere blend. With some difficultly (and considerable expense) I found someone who would send me a ball of it. I was knitting pocket squares while I was in hospital myself, humbler blue ones for the groomsmen.

It remains to figure out (again) how to knit a pocket square, but I should be able to do that. It’s got bobbles or loops or something around the edges. Basically, it’s garter stitch, corner to corner.

So that will be fun.


Tamar, thank you for your comment about language. “Where” “wear” and “were” is not a confusion I was aware of, and is distressing. I am particularly irritated by “lie” and “lay”, so often mis-used. I had an English teacher in Asbury Park High School who didn’t understand the distinction. She didn’t know that blank verse is unrhymed iambic pentameter, either. I must have been a particularly irritating adolescent.

“The Prime Minister” continues well. Phineas is Secretary of State for Ireland, and spends a lot of time over there persuading them that they don’t really want Home Rule.  If only he had succeeded! Stashdragon, it was grand to be reminded that I’ve still got “The Duke’s Children” to look forward to.


  1. I was interested in Tamar's comment. I can't remember ever seeing that particular confusion. Where wear, I would guess is a peculiarity of some English accents, like whales wales. A confusion that doesn't occur in Scots accents. The one I see a lot is then than and that is probably due to the vowel being unstressed in most cases.

  2. I think being asked to re-knit some treasured thing that's been lost is probably the best complement a knitter can be paid. I re-knit a small blanket for a child after the original was left in a hotel and thrown away (it WAS pretty ragged as being much loved). The stitch pattern was an annoying one but I didn't even think of that as I was so flattered at having hit such a home run with the original, as you have done. At least your project is a small one!

  3. How lovely that he wants another pocket square! Such a sweet request. I have been listening to a podcast called “Lexicon Valley” by a Columbia University professor of linguistics. (Not as stuffy as it sounds, at all.). He frequently mentions how language evolves and we must let go of some things we believe as that happens. I tend to be on the conservative side of that argument, but appreciate his illustrations. (Can’t call one to mind at the moment.). Here in Minnesota the words Merry, Marry, and Mary all sound the same. Unless you are from NJ. I have to spell it out to folks sometimes.

  4. Anonymous1:45 AM

    That is indeed cheering that the pocket square has used and is missed when lost. Was it in fingering weight? I have a ball of white 20% silk sock yarn I could send over.

    Yes I have enjoyed John McWhorter's books and also the podcast.
    I don't like "impacting", for example, except for wisdom teeth - but I agree that Prof McWhorter would say modern English is changing.
    Merry, marry and Mary sound the same in Toronto too ...
    even bury and berry at times.
    And yes I have a friend from New Jersey who can say them all VERY distinctly.
    Lisa RR

  5. Anonymous5:16 AM

    IN German we have "liegen" and "legen", which are exactly the same as your "lie" and "lay". Of course they are often mixed up, too. But much worse are the influence of the people with "migration background", and of course the horrible combinations of German and (sometimes even wrong) English.
    I like your blog not only for the knitting content, but also for your language and the occasional references to the "classics".
    Hilde in Germany

  6. There is surely a difference between regional pronunciation and confusion of words which sound similar but have different meanings. As a Cumbrian, I can't distinguish between "where" and "wear", but "were" is a different vowel sound to me. Recently, however, I stumbled upon a fan-fic related to a book I am fond of. I suppose it must have been self-published, although the writer had quite a following. It was certainly self-edited because there were instances on every page of words with similar sounds but quite distinct meanings being confused eg "Affect/effect".

  7. Anonymous4:21 PM

    We Californians pronounce "Mary", "marry" and "merry" identically; "Barry", "berry" and "bury" are likewise homonyms rhyming with "Mary". "Wear" and "where" are pronounced alike, but "were" is a quite distinct vowel sound here as in Cumbria.
    -- Gretchen (aka stashdragon)

  8. I started following your blog while you were knitting those pocket squares, hard to believe it has been 4 years. I'm afraid I am one those people who can’t remember how to use lay /lie, so I just try avoid them. I put things “down on tables” or “take a wee rest”. Please don’t judge me harshly ��