Tuesday, September 29, 2020


It’s been another lovely autumn day. No doubt the weather will turn tomorrow, when Rachel and Ed get here from London and we are forbidden to sit together indoors.


I made some progress with finishing the EPS. The underarm grafting is done, and the inevitable corner holes closed. The grafting has produced a line of purl bumps. That’s something to do, I think, with not having both sets of stitches at the same stage of their life cycle before grafting. In this case, there’s no difficulty in calling it a design feature. Here we are:


I’m terribly pleased with it, not least because I have actually used a pack of gradient yarns, and used them, if I do say so, rather well. I still have all the ends to tidy up. It’s time to start thinking about hat design. And I’ve been slightly wondering whether I could knit Carol Sunday’s Machu Picchu sweater (I’ve got the yarn, remember) as, essentially, an EPS design. I have arranged things rather badly, to have all this thinking come at the same time, with nothing soothing to pick up in the meantime.


Shandy, I agree that managing a whole sweater while knitting the sleeves would not be a pleasant experience. But the EPS system has one knit the sleeves separately. Twirling the whole sweater around while knitting the yoke is fun. I do agree with you and Karen, that this sort of thing is inappropriate for Aran. I've never been much enamoured of top-down. Indeed, have I ever done it?




This is a picture Helen took of me yesterday, outside the post office where I had just dispatched my ballot. The miserable expression is because she made me put the mask back on for the photograph. I find it hideously uncomfortable. Would an expensive cloth mask be better? A reluctance to wear one for 13 hours – a reluctance to spend 13 hours in a church basement, with or without a mask – seem to me excellent reasons not to be an election judge this year, Mary Lou. As long as somebody does the job properly:


I sort of hope I will have the oomph to get up and watch at least some of the debate tonight. It starts at 2 a.m., here. I watched them live last time. Somehow streaming on YouTube tomorrow doesn’t quite cut the mustard.




I continue to flounder there, too (as well as with knitting projects) although forging ahead with “I Malavoglia”. I thought I had mentioned it here before – Verga, 19th century Italian, Sicily. I’ve read it before. My Italian doesn't seem to have improved much in 35 years despite all this one-to-one tuition.


  1. I love the picture of you voting. What does your sweatshirt say? My Northern Irish husband is approximately your age. Sadly he has dementia and doesn't really grasp what is going on in the world. Nevertheless we watch television a lot and can moan together about the affairs of state. If he had a vote here I'm sure he would know where to put his X.

  2. The EPS sweater is gorgeous! I love the colors and the way the gradient yarns work. It is so cheerful in these gloomy covid times.

    And the Bernie sweatshirt is fetching. Thanks for voting. My Melbourne (AU) daughter got her ballot to the consulate for their dispatch and we will vote early in person in Manhattan.
    I'm not sure what my San Francisco daughter will do about voting. I think she will vote by mail as the virus is still raging there.

  3. I'm also usually an election judge here in Maryland but my daughter pleaded with me to pass this time. After much thought, I've decided to vote in person, but early. For one's absentee ballot to be counted your signature must match what's on file according to whomever is doing the deciding and as my signature has had variations over the years I am taking no chances.

  4. Re: masks, I'm thinking fabric is more comfortable and breathable than paper. And those with metal nose pieces allow for some personal adjustment.

  5. Your sweater looks good - as do you - sturdy and resolute.
    On the Alice Starmore Facebook group, Jade, her daughter has just shown the finishing of a wonderful jacket with triangular inserts. She seams superbly using very tightly placed running stitches. Then she presses her seams, something I don't do.

  6. I was cheered to learn today — during a presentation by our campus’s non-partisan voter and education group — that 100% of my students in that course were already registered to vote. Now fingers crossed that they all be go to the polls or fill out their mail-in ballots early and with no errors!

  7. I much prefer cloth masks - and they can be washed of course.
    I like top down, in the round and I have done Arans that way - but then I am much too lazy to knit other people's patterns and like to make things easy for myself with respect to sewing things together!

  8. The EPS sweater looks amazing!
    I have made a lot of cloth masks to wear - one daughter uses them, the other prefers something shop-bought; we all find that the metal nose piece is a boon for those who wear spectacles. My tuppence for the environment is that my masks have to be washable/reusable.

  9. Anonymous11:54 AM

    Personally I find it easier to breath with those flimsy disposable masks. Congratulations on voting! Chloe

  10. I think the green at the neck is a fabulous touch. Nicely done.
    I hope you were able to sleep after last night’s shitshow of a “ debate”. I couldn’t watch or I wouldn’t have slept.

  11. =Tamar5:11 PM

    It depends on what causes the discomfort, the thickness or the ear-loops. I'd say try a fabric mask and compare them. I made a bunch of them with different types of ear-loops: middy braid, ribbon, different weights of elastics. Some people use long ties that go around the head. I put a tube for a removable nose-shaping wire (a twist-tie from a vegetable bag) which helps keep it in place.