Saturday, September 26, 2020


I’ve done a bit more ribbing at the neck of my EPS. Perhaps I’ll devote tomorrow morning’s Andrew Marr show to picking up purl bumps. Kate Davies then proceeds to a three-needle bind-off, as you say, Phyllis and Mary Lou. You give me hope that I will be able to do it without things going skew.


I wish I could go on forever knitting EPS yoke sweaters of one sort or another. But I’m going to have to face up to designing an Orkney-flag hat. I wish KD’s new yarn Schiehellion had the colours, but it doesn’t. I’ve probably got them in stash.




I don’t suppose you could tell me how to wind a Blixen/Dinesen turban around my head, Chloe? I have often thought that that might be the solution. It just falls off, when I try. Then I could go on to dress colourfully and eccentrically.




You’re right in every respect about the new Cormoran Strike, Shandy. I read it so fast because I do nothing else, other than write to you and a bit of ribbing. Daniella cleans up after me. (Well, I made kimchi this week, and plan to start another batch next week. The present one isn’t effervescing all over the kitchen counter as I might have hoped, but I think it’s all right. Koreans often eat it fresh, but I prefer to wait for a bit of fermentation-bite.)


Julie, I think maybe starting with the book of their letters is the best way to approach the Mitford sisters. You gradually figure out who they each are, and get a sense of family feeling amidst all the confusing nicknames. However difficult the family situation, they kept on writing loving and funny letters to each other (except for Jessica, the communist, the prickliest of them all). The joint biography that I have gone on to, is filling in a lot of gaps.


Somewhere in all this – and of course now I can’t remember where I read it, or of whom – one of them (perhaps Diana, the beautiful fascist one) was faced with an American form on which she had to enter her father’s occupation. She had to explain that he didn’t have one, and added that the English aristocracy had made so much money with the slave trade that they never had to work again. Naughty. (And not entirely true, in case anyone is worried.)


  1. That bit about an American form sounds more like Jessica who eventually, happily, married an American and lived in Oakland.

  2. Pam W in Minnnesota7:46 PM

    There are stretchy turbans on Amazon that you don't have to wind yourself.

  3. I was curious about turbans anyway, and found this:

  4. About the bind-off, I'm pretty self-taught, so when I have a ribbed crew neck to bind off, I fold it to the inside, trace the rib down so I know I'm in the right place, and knit the purl bump with the first stitch to be bound off. Then I bind off three or so stitches, and do it again. That way, the collar is attached (without any sewing) and it's stretchy enough. It works quite well for me; I hope it helps you!

  5. I see women wearing scarves around their heads looking beautiful or elegant, or at least bohemian. I try it and i look like I showed up to scrub the floor in a film noir.

    1. Whenever I attempt a headscarf, I look like I need directions to the nearest hospital.