Sunday, May 17, 2020

Not a bad one. My beloved cleaner Daniela came and has as usual reduced all to order. Helen came, and we walked once around the gardens, not talking about trees. Helen and Daniela talk to each other in Greek, the first language of neither. (Daniela is Romanian.) They met in Athens, and Helen encouraged Daniela to come here. It depresses me a bit to hear them. I can’t imagine being able to speak Italian so fluently.

I had a bath and washed my hair this morning, as soon as Daniela arrived. That was nice.

I had cooked all of last week’s Mindful Chef packages already, so today for lunch I braised some sausages with potatoes and carrots and onions and moribund French beans from the vegetable drawer. Lovely to cook, delicious to eat. I think I will suspend Mindful Chef for a while. All that chopping. All that quinoa.

          Persicos odi, puer, apparatus.
          Bring us a chop and a couple of potatoes.

Knitting went well. I am adding gradient stripes to the EPS sweater – now well advanced with the second stripe. I’m slightly more anxious about the circumference, now that the ribbing is finished and stitches added to bring us fully up to “K”.  Perhaps I’ll involve the tape measure tomorrow and see what the current stitch gauge actually is.

Helen added a video this morning to this famous Instagram account, of my hands knitting. I am embarrassed to reveal to the world how clumsily I do it – drop and throw. I was somewhat encouraged the day I went to the launch of Kate Davies’ hap book,  just around the corner at Kathy’s Knits. And KD told me that she knits slowly too, and relies on a colleague to produce samples for photography.

OK, so that’s the weekend over. What I must do is get down to the Guelphs and the Ghibelines tomorrow and not leave them to Thursday evening.


  1. Jean, I was delighted to see you knitting on Instagram. I knit in a very similar way, a wee bit awkward but rather quickly. I have never joined a knitting group thinking everyone else would have a more refined style. Alas, I now have a new confidence. Thank you!

  2. I thought, that time I saw you knit (in i-knit) that you did a properly organised drop-and-throw. Quite good enough to give a reliable tension. I am lucky that when I was getting going sixty years ago, my Mother managed to get me throwing without having to drop. I am eternally grateful to her for that!

  3. you are much faster than I am!

  4. My knitting moves are very much like yours but very much slower. That yellow yarn is lovely. And thanks for the Instagram; I really like all the knitting and cat pictures. Which one of the men in your life is that gazing up at the cat on the top of something, back in October I think?

  5. I would love to follow you on Instagram! Your account is private though.
    Jenny from Ontario.

  6. I can do continental style knit, but find that I can't do purl without strange contortions. So I revert to laborious 7-year-old me for purl, not so much drop-and-throw but drop-and-wind-the-yarn-round-the-needle.

  7. I was really pleased when I saw you knit using drop and thro. This is what I have always done. it never ceases to amaze me when I remark on something like preferring straight needles to find how only knitting with circulars, in the round, top-down and Continental are regarded as in vogue. People become quite heated about their preference, for no good reason that I can see. Likewise: knitting Fair Isle flat and not using two hands is seen as somehow primitive. It works for me though.

  8. Anonymous12:25 PM

    You knit pretty fast. Jean! Was that Perdita kneading your chest in "Adoration"? No wonder you love her. So interactive compared to our former beloved but somewhat detached kitty. Although I can be fascinated by how others knit, I am never judgmental about it. Especially compared to My 'style.' In all my former knitting groups many individuals knitted uniquely. One woman actually wound her yarn several times around her forefinger, just like me. Our fingers, sometimes, just tell us what to do. Vive la difference. Chloe

  9. =Tamar1:07 PM

    I am also a slow and awkward knitter, switching between various methods as different fingers get tired.

  10. After years of teaching and working with many knitters, I can assure you and all of your readers that there is no "one way" - If you are happy, get an even tenstion, and don't injure yourself, that's all there is to worry about. Curious to know if you knit fair-isle two handed or one? And yet again, more learning. Read the translation of Horace by Gerard Manley Hopkins. Perhaps I'll have some chops for dinner!

  11. Anonymous3:07 PM

    Your new sweater project sounds like a lot of fun!
    Looking forward to next photos whenever available.
    Thanks to Helen for dropping by to see you and for posting at Instagram.
    Your amazing level of knitted output, quality and quantity, speaks volumes about how effective your knitting techniques are. You are still researching and trying new things. That seems rare in the world, no matter the knitter's age.

    Finally feeling springy over here in Toronto.
    We need it!
    Lisa RR

  12. You knit such lovely things - does it matter how fast or what way you do it? I'm probably a VERY slow knitter, but as long as I'm a knitter who is still knitting, I'm okay with that ;)