Tuesday, October 01, 2019

I feel a bit better, I think. Like yesterday, I started off shaky and have come together as the day progressed – rather the opposite of what one might expect.

I’ve done 45 rows of the Spring Shawl borders, and may well be up for a couple more later today. I think I’m going to have to tear myself away at 50 – and it’s a good stopping point. The pattern has no breaks, but it’s roughly three-part and 50 rows will mean that I’m a third of the way there.

I have discovered, to my horror, that “Heirloom Knitting” isn’t on the shelf. It couldn’t have been mis-shelved, I don’t think. So it must be lying around somewhere. When I was in Shetland in May, I saw a second edition and was rather tempted. If it doesn’t turn up soon, I’ll go for that. I think it’s my snatch-when-the-house-goes-on-fire book, but if so I have to know where it is.

All this thought of lace: I spent some time this morning with the Shetland Museum Lace Project, which I would recommend. I can’t figure out how to send a link. Just type those four words – Shetland Museum Lace Project – into a browser. There's an interesting essay, among others, about the difficulty of finding names for lace patterns. Too many, rather than too few.

And last night, deprived of “Heirloom Knitting”, I spent a few pre-bedtime moments with Crawford’s “Vintage Shetland Project”. Interestingly, in view of recent musings here, there is a picture on page 54 of a lace chart from the notebook of Ethel Henry, a well-known Shetland designer. She was born in 1905, the same year as my mother. The chart is clear enough that one could knit from it, and it looks as if it’s but one page in a book of squared paper.

Henry was a native Shetlander: it isn’t a case of fancy ideas from without. Although Shetland is, in fact, very receptive to such ideas, it seems to me.

The “Vintage Shetland Project” doesn’t have any shawls, although there are several lace garments.

And speaking of garments, Rachel rang up today. The “Overlap Baby Sweater” has been delivered to Ruby. Rachel is no knitter, but she is an adept and devoted grandmother. She said what a pleasure it was to have a sweater which goes so easily over a baby’s head. Thanks again, Mary Lou.

While I have been sitting here, I looked across the room and saw “Heirloom Knitting”. Why on earth? But, thank goodness!


I’ve finished “The Spoils of Poynton” – a fairly easy introduction to Henry James, if anyone’s interested – and, on your recommendation, Mary, bought “Unsheltered” for my Kindle. I loved “The Poisonwood Bible”, but haven’t been back to Kingsolver since.


  1. =Tamar6:00 PM

    I've had that experience, of looking straight at something and not seeing it properly for a while. That's why, when I'm searching, I touch things as well as look at them. It seems to break the mindset.
    Thanks for the tip on the Shetland knitting site.
    Be well!

  2. Funny, I'd been enjoying Kingsolver up to and including The Poisonwood Bible but have not really loved anything of hers since.

  3. My husband calls it a 'forensic search' when he looks for something that I've lost;
    I joke that I married him because he is a good looker. (Still is).
    Is it something in the air this Autumn? I wake up feeling off-colour shaky and improve as the day goes on. In that case it's a strong breeze that blows it all the way between Scotland and Sussex. My Grandmother, a GP in the 1920, would have blamed it on changes to barometric pressure. Or the equinox.
    I've never managed a Henry James. Perhaps Poynton will be a way in. I want to like him, because he lived in the same house in Rye that E F Benson set his Mapp and Lucia stories in, and I adore them.

  4. You people waking up shaky should be sure your blood sugar is checked at your next physical. I used to have low blood sugar and those were my symptoms.

    1. I second this comment, especially if you feel better after eating something.

    2. Was going to say the same. Maybe a little protein before bed. Or right when you get up. Peanut butter on toast is good for a quick infusion or a small protein drink. There are good powder protein Mixes that mix easily with milk or there are protein bars which I keep on hand and in my purse all the time.

  5. Sorry I did not look for you yesterday as I pictured you plucking ripe fruit from the laden branches. We have a neighbour on our allotment ground who has a cooking apple tree literally bent down with fruit but he has virtually abandoned the plot. I'm afraid that I regard windfalls as exactly that - fair game. As for "Portrait of a Lady", I would not like to offer a spoiler for anyone who has not read it, but essentially it is a question of whether the heroine returns to the dreadful man she has married, and if so, with what in mind.

  6. Happy to hear that the sweater was well-received. I recently received a beautiful photo of a the first grandchild of a friend. That mother, who is a stranger to me, put herself in the knitworthy category!

  7. Photo was of baby wearing a sweater I knit, if that bit wasn't clearn...

  8. I too have purchased Unsheltered but not yet started it. I like her generally.

  9. I guess I better order Unsheltered for my Kindle. I get the best book suggestions right here! I do like Kingsolver.