Friday, September 25, 2020


Chloe, bless you, you saved me at the last moment from a comment-less day. Maybe that’s because there was no knitting in it. Mary Lou, yours came in while I was actually composing.


Yesterday I had reached (but forgot to tell you about) the point where the neck ribbing of the EPS was about enough to bind off – or else to knit double and then be folded inside. The trouble with that, it sounds so easy, is that I can never do it, when I try to sew it down. It comes out skewed.


So there I was this morning, about to look up stretchy bind-offs, when the first pattern in my new Kate Davies club arrived. Its name is one of those unpronounceable Scottish words that she’s so fond of. It’s rather good, except I’d have to knit it with a bit more ease, not having a Kate Davies figure. However, the point here is that it has a folded in ribbed neck, and KD has persuaded me that I can do it after all (it’s just a matter of picking up purl bumps) so I am ribbing peacefully on with that end in view.




Helen came this morning and cut my hair. I had washed it before she arrived. She was sorry, as she had wanted to take a “before” picture of me in my mad-scientist hair. “After” looks more like new-arrival-in-the-prison-camp. Now she has gone off to take her youngest son Fergus to Bristol University. This morning’s paper is full of news of the disease spreading among university students and how they won’t be allowed to go home for Christmas.




I continue with the joint-biography of The Mitford Girls, and it continues interesting. I’ve been reading today about Unity’s (and to a lesser extent Diana’s) friendship with Hitler. They were more than just groupies, but probably Unity didn’t have a full-scale affair. But golly, even so. I wish I had my parents to ask whether anyone in the US thought, in the early 30’s, that Hitler might be a good thing for Germany. It was a long way away, and they had the Depression to worry about. They probably couldn’t have told me much. The anti-Semitism was there from the beginning plain to see, even if not yet in its full horror. But a lot of English people seemed to have been willing to swallow it.


  1. =Tamar6:40 PM

    Apparently the secret is to use the new 'edit' button and then 'preview' to comment without being forced to use a google account. Let's see if it works this time.
    Yes, purl bumps are the secret.
    One of my favorite hat patterns involves the strands between stitches on the final sewing up.
    I think the universities will be stuck for hugely increased costs if they have to house the students the entire time.

  2. Anonymous8:38 PM

    I think a lot of us have had mad scientist hair lately. I pin mine up and can't be faffed to dye out the grey, suddenly I'm not the only one in our little circle!


  3. Here in the US the universities are going mad with the virus. They all have some rules about numbers in gatherings and social distancing, but several are suspending students, without a refund of their money, if they violate the rules. Fraternities have passed around the "secret" of having illegal parties without getting caught. Here in NC, UNC opened classes, had a significant outbreak of cases, and then went viral with classes. It is a mess! And all amid the absolute horror that is this election. Just be glad that you are in Edinburgh and are spared the day-to-day of the awfulness.

    You have inspired me to read about the Mitford sisters. I have looked at several books about them but have not picked any up, but will be sure to now.

  4. I've just finished the Cormoran Strike book. How you read that all in one gulp I will never know. I thought the excessive length ill-advised. Too many red herrings and an awful lot about Cornwall which was redundant. As for the denouement, it was like the ending of a completely different story. But I enjoyed most of it.

  5. Wryit from Kate Davies - yes, it's rather good, pleasing to see this kind of cabled pullover in a contemporary silhouette. I trust your own foldover neck ribbing will work well.

  6. Anonymous11:26 AM

    Reading Tamar's comment makes me think sometimes others have trouble commenting as have I. You are not alone, Jean. In the last few years I have completely lost control over my hair. Prison hair vs. mad scientist vs. occasionally presentable to the public at large - it's a toss-up every day. No wonder Blixen/Dinesen wore a turban. But I don't look good in those either. Chloe

  7. Instead of sewing the bound off edge to the purl bumps I believe that I have also picked up a row of stitches along the base of the collar and the treated it as a three needle bind off.
    So there is a bit more give to the seam.

  8. Another method is to pick up the purl bumps at the beginning and rub a couple of rounds, then do a round of K2tog, P2tog (presuming K1, P1 rib), then continue as usual. This “seals the neck edge inside a tube of ribbing.

    1. Rib a couple of rounds, not rub.

  9. The one EZ suggestion I have never mastered is sewing down the live stitches. They go all wonky on me. Purl bumps and three-needle bind off, or sewing down the bound off stitches are what I use. At any rate, if you want a good easy stretchy bind off in the future, I have a favorite.