Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Not a bad day. This time I got everything done except the walk. The Dathan hap stitches now number about 370. The needle is getting crowded – I’ll have to look around tomorrow to see if I’ve got a longer one.

Today’s Andrew&Andrea is about Shetland lace, one to watch again. The first interview-ee was asked the question I asked myself, when I first got to Unst: why there? Her answer was partly that the harsh weather means that Unst sheep have peculiarly soft wool under their chins. The other part, I feel pretty sure, is the accident of genius.

The other interview-ee was Carol Christiansen herself, curator of the Shetland Museum and Archives, talking about the lace project currently underway. I’ll have to stay alive along enough to see the resulting book.

I’ve finished “Vanishing Fleece”, with a bit of speed-reading at the end. Do see Maureen and Shandy’s comments of yesterday, if you haven’t already. Maureen, yes, my Shetland Wool Adventure included Jamiseon’s – what? – factory. But I was weak, dedicated to standing upright throughout; and I hadn’t read the book yet.

Three things to say about it:

                   The ending is dreadful.

                   I am afraid that Parkes commits the verbal sin which I particularly abhor these days, namely “One of the only…” That’s absurd. Either you mean “The only…” or you mean “One of the few…” I think it is the refuge of a lazy writer who wants to write “The only…” but doesn’t quite dare and doesn’t want to do the spade work. In that case, sir or madam, “Perhaps the only…” will suffice.

                   I was surprised that there was no mention of Brooklyn Tweed, who have worked so hard for American production of American yarn. Perhaps I missed it during my speed-reading. The BT website is interesting on the processing of their yarn.

But the reading left me much in need of Trollope. What will I do when I run out of him?


  1. Your criticism of Clara Parkes seems rather harsh, but then we all have our pet peeves. I was going to mention one of mine, but I fear turning the comments into a list of pet peeves.

    1. Anonymous4:21 PM

      Thank you for your restraint. A good reminder to me, as I am too often inclined to pile complaint upon complaint.
      -- Gretchen (aka stashdragon)

  2. Your forbearance is very wise! And Parkes is only one of many offenders with “One of the only...” Could it be that I am being too harsh?

    1. "only one of the many"
      "One of the only...."

      ;) I see what you did there. Brilliant word play, Jean

  3. Anonymous10:28 PM

    And let's not even mention subject-verb agreement on singular vs plural, which seems to have gone completely. I'll stop there. Yes, Jean, always good to have some guaranteed good writing awaiting you. My current nightly treat is listening, for the 2nd time, to Juliet Stevenson reading Middlemarch. Looking forward to this latest Fruity Knitting.

  4. Anonymous11:17 PM

    You are not being too harsh. 'One of the only' makes no sense.

  5. ‘These ones’ is like nails on a chalkboard to me and it has become very common to hear.