Friday, January 17, 2020

I had a delicious Italian lesson this morning – one of the very few in which I felt I might be getting somewhere. And at the end, when we were talking about next week’s lesson, my tutor spoke a phrase I have just learned – non posso farcela, I can’t do it, in reference to next Friday. Helen’s family gave me a calendar with a phrase a day, and that was one of the first.

And I have knit onwards with the edging of Gudrun’s “Hansel” hap. I now have three bumps left to do on the second side, and I still don’t know whether the present ball of yarn will get me there. It’s very exciting.

I’m knitting very badly. Has there been a single scallop without a mistake? Most mistakes, I think, are absorbed in the blue. But the scallop I was knitting during “Pointless” just now was so awful that I ripped it out. I am particularly irritated at myself when my errors distort the line of faggotting that parallels the edge of the shawl. I love faggotting, but it's got to be done right. 

Miraculously, “Heirloom Knitting” was where it belongs on the shelf. I found Sharon’s statement that the symbols / and \ mean the same thing, namely k2tog, but I couldn’t find a discussion of the subject. I must put “Heirloom Knitting” back before I do much else, or it won’t be on the shelf next time.


We’re planning a family-lunch-out next week to celebrate Helen’s birthday. She came within a whisker (half-an-hour, if I remember rightly) of being born on Burns’ birthday. A near miss! In the draft of my Will which I wrote to the lawyer about yesterday, he had included some provision for the possibility that some of my children might not have come of age before my death. I told him we didn’t need to worry about that. Those that aren’t yet 60 will soon have that condition thrust upon them.

A letter in the Times this morning points out that Burns Night and the Chinese New Year coincide this year. The Chinese are welcoming the Year of the Rat, I believe, but I also think that smaller rodents are subsumed under that title. So, as the letter-writer suggests, we can welcome a wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie along with the Ode to the Haggis.

I’m doing fine with Lively’s “Family Album” and have made a note to look at “The Photograph” next. Thank you for that, Valerie.


  1. My Bookgroup just read A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles and I think you’d really enjoy it, Jean. It’s set just after the Russian Revolution and is about a count who falls foul of the new regime and is sentenced to “house arrest” in a grand old hotel.

    1. We read in our book group - I loved it too. So witty, and cleverly historical.

  2. There was a piece in the Times travel section today, mentioning a cooking day in Palermo. I preferred your description!

  3. To my (perhaps small) mind, / means K2tog and \ means SSK or K2Tbl.