Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Ever onward. I’ve turned the first corner of my edging of Gudrun Johnson’s “Hansel” hap. The blue yarn is holding out well. The big question, of course, is whether it will reach to the next corner. If so, I’ve got enough yarn. If not, not. I’ve got four balls still of Main Colour – that’s what the pattern intended for the edging. I certainly won’t need that many.

So much left-over yarn. Have I done something wrong? Will the shawl turn out to be absurdly small? It’s hard to get a sense of size since I picked up stitches around the centre square on a circular needle.

No one has spoken up to say that Shetland yarn comes up smiling from a cold wash on a modern machine. So perhaps a small child would not be the best target for my abundant leftovers.


Alexander didn’t come over from Glasgow today. His son Thomas – the one badly injured recently playing soccer – is now out of plaster and hobbling about somewhat on his own. But he’s not very mobile and he’s having exams and needs to be ferried to and from school at odd hours. Helen dropped in, however, and we walked around the garden together.

I finished “The Three Clerks”. The last chapter isn’t quite as odd as I remembered. Charlie is a reformed character with a better job, and making some money with his writing – that absurd novel that Shandy and I were bored by. He must be Trollope himself. That doesn’t explain how he could afford to remodel Surbiton Cottage, where much of the action has taken place, into “Surbiton Villa or Surbiton Hall or Surbiton House”. On earlier pages he is deeply committed to the moneylenders of London. And Katie has recovered from her deathbed – but the doctors always said that her lungs weren’t affected.

Now I need a book.

Tonight it is Paradox who is driving me to distraction, walking up and down on the keyboard where she, like her sister, knows all manner of key-combinations which are a mystery to me. She turned on a blue square which followed the cursor around and spoke to me in a condescending voice whenever it paused, to tell me what I was doing. What on earth?


  1. One of my cats finds things on my computer I've never seen before or since! I'm never sure if it's Moxie or Della doing it, because I only find out it's happened when I return to my laptop after some time away and discover these mysterious pages and features. Once my keyboard had been turned to Portuguese or Spanish characters, and it took me ages to figure out how to set it back to English!

  2. My girl cat puts her head on the screen and closes my browser. But mostly both cats just spread cat hair all over the keyboard. My previous laptop had gone in for repairs and the tech told my husband he had never seen that much cat hair inside a computer before. I hope these cats are proud.

  3. =Tamar5:28 AM

    There's always swatching... swatch a bit, block it, measure it, wash it in the machine, measure it. I believe it's recommended for any project that must fit properly.

    I don't even have a cat and I occasionally find that I have struck some combination of keys that has produced an unwanted effect. The voice telling you what you did sounds like it must be some form of assistant for the visually handicapped. (Come to think of it, although it would be annoying, in the case of odd accidental keystroke combinations it might even be helpful, especially if it could be induced to go back and repeat what it said.)

  4. Jean it it is the iPad keyboard, it’s called voice over and can be turned off in settings/general/accessibility. I can’t remember if you have windows laptop, but in windows it is called Narrator, and can be turned off in accessories/ease of access. There are shortcut keys to do these things, I don’t know them, but apparently Paradox does. I am not hopeful for baby clothes in Shetland, but I think that Tamar’s suggestion is a good one. At least you’ll know that way. I ruined a sweater using cold/gentle on my machine this spring. It was Cascade EcoWool. Not truly ruined, but too tight now for me.

    1. Years ago, I knit a sweater in Brown Sheep wool. It shrank every time I washed it, in both directions. I stopped wearing it. Then I bought a jumper board, what they use in Shetland to dry sweaters. I adjusted it to the size I am, put my wet sweater on it, and changed the sweater to larger in both directions than it was when I knit it. I highly recommend my beloved jumper board!

    2. Oh thanks for this, Cam! I googled jumper board and saw pictures; looks like just the thing for a couple of sweaters I have with too-snug underarms.

    3. The other thing you should know about using it: your sweaters dry in no time! A third to a half faster, by my estimation. I was a bit concerned about the initial cost, but that simple piece of equipment has paid for itself many times over!

  5. Anonymous6:40 AM

    Back in the days when Shetland Trader was new, and ran using small adverts in the national Sunday papers, my mother ordered a made to measure sleeveless vest for a 38 inch bust woman, height 5 foot 6 inches. She wore it happily for years, always hand washing it, but still it gradually shrank and shrank until the only person who could wear it was a 4 year old grand-daughter (my eldest). I hand washed it in barely lukewarm water and it shrank no more (maybe it could shrink no more). It was not felted in any way - just much reduced in size. It was ratehr lovely, in natural shades. I wonder if it is still stored away upstairs somewhere?