Thursday, June 04, 2020

Interesting comments, yesterday…

Cam, you’re brilliantly right about the way a sweater – especially, I am sure, one knit in the round – sticks at 11” for day after day after day, and then suddenly achieves the 15” one has been hoping for. I got a certain amount of knitting done today, while David was here going through papers. But I didn’t measure.

And, Tamar: all the sourdough recipes nowadays dwell on the need to slash the top (artistically, if you re so inclined). There’s a special tool for doing it, with a fancy French name. I just used a knife. It happens at the very last moment before you put the loaf in the oven, and you’re supposed to move fast. It is very interesting to learn that this was not always so.

I gave David yesterday’s loaf to take home to his family. I don’t really eat bread, and I’m stout enough as it is. If they enjoy it, it will be a great incentive to go on. This is certainly fun.


I’ve finished speed-reading Shriver’s “So Much for That”. The end was familiar, so I must have speed-read the whole thing before. I have embarked upon Virginia Wolff’s “To the Lighthouse”.

I did “Mrs Dalloway” my first year at Oberlin. It was my first serious exposure to modernist literature, and it made a great impression. I have read and re-read some of her since, but never, I think, this one. It makes, if nothing else, an interesting contrast to speed-reading Shriver. In Wolff, every syllable counts. “…here Mr Ramsay would straighten his back and narrow his little blue eyes upon the horizon…” That word “little” is, as they say, pregnant with meaning.

And what about this: “Disappearing as stealthily as stags from the dinner-table directly the meal was over, the eight sons and daughters of Mr and Mrs Ramsay sought their bedrooms…”

“As stealthily as stags…” Magnificent!


  1. Anonymous10:55 AM

    Somewhat coincidentally (I had just discovered hard-to -find buttermilk) I was reading a recipe for Irish soda bread yesterday which said that making an X in the loaf helps to bake the bread evenly. The website was in my favorites list from years ago and was one of the more entertaining soda bread recipes that I had ever read: Knitting if it's still there and you are interested in a chuckle or just the recipe. Chloe

  2. Anonymous1:53 PM

    Hi Jean, if you haven't already watched it, I think you might enjoy the PattyLyons podcast on YouTube of May 27th..Quarantine Live 9 - YARN HARLOT DAY. I thought it was just so enjoyable. Eileen

  3. =Tamar6:42 PM

    I'm not too surprised to learn that Woolf wrote her books the way she wrote (modern) poetry, in which, as you say, every syllable counts.