Monday, October 05, 2020


I tottered out and got my flu injection this morning, at a local chemist’s. I thot you had to pay a pound or two for the convenience, but no, it was free. I got tangled in the zipper of my jacket. Daniela was here, and succeeded in freeing me when I got home, and in fixing the zipper, at least for now. I remember that happening to my husband in the National Gallery in London. I remember him struggling like Laocoon although I don’t know how we solved the problem.


I knit a bit more of the Machu Picchu ribbing. I found a pattern on Ravelry for a sock-weight watch cap: all I wanted was a number of stitches to start off with. And indeed the ribbing I am knitting can serve as a sort of swatch. (Most watch cap patterns are for heavier yarn.) I think once I am launched with a reasonable circumference, I can wing it the rest of the way.


I had not thought ahead to winter gloom, but you are right, yesterday’s commenters. No, I don’t have an Ott light, and it is probably time to think of one. It was noticeable this morning how much better I could see, ribbing by natural light. But it is also important, I have come to believe, to knit bright colours in the darkest days. The Orkney hat will be perfect, as long as it lasts (red, blue, yellow). And Machu Picchu will be fine, once I get to the colourful yoke – but that’s a long way away.


Judy, I failed to thank you for the link to the NYTimes on Cat Bordhi’s death (comment, Saturday). The name is familiar, but she is a designer who seems to have passed me by.  Even when I was doing my year-of-socks. I read, with interest. I don’t fully understand the moebius scarf trick, achieved by a twist at the cast-on which means that thereafter you can just knit around. As opposed to knitting a flat scarf and twisting at the end.


But I wondered if that is what Carol Sunday has done, with the brioche cowl which I still might take along for cruise knitting. Maybe my two don’t-quite-understands sort of coincide here. (I wish I had chosen brighter colours for that cowl.) Presumably the trick is just what happens accidentally when you start a bottom-up sweater in the round. Or a border-inwards shawl.  




I heard from wee Hamish’s mother Christina today. The neurosurgeon seems happy with her x-rays. She must do another nine weeks in her apparatus, but that’s better than surgery. There’ll be more x-rays along the way. I think an Aunty, C.’s sister, will take over nursing duty while C. and I waltz off on our cruise.




I have finished my latest Mitford book, a biography of Nancy by Harold Acton. It’s time to give the Mitfords a rest. My tutor and I were talking about translation last week, and I mean to read at least a few pages of Middlemarch in Italian (which Helen, per fortuna, gave me for Christmas last year) and try to write a few sentences about it. But I think I’ll need something easier for evening reading, at least.


  1. Hello, Jean! Cat Bordhi's moebius cast-on is completely different from anything you have done before (probably). You start with a very long circular needle, wrap it in a loop so you have the needle and the cable together, and then use a unique cast-on. It is so much fun that it is hard not to cast on hundreds more stitches than you need. After the cast-on, you begin knitting from the center of the scarf; you are knitting two rows with each pass, both sides of the center line. Hard to describe, but infinitely fun to do. I did mine in seed stitch so I wouldn't have a line down the middle with knits on one side and purls on the other side of the center line. It came out beautifully! Cat's YouTube video is here:

  2. Oh wow, that Möbius cast on looks fascinating! Thank you for the link. CJSansom's DarkFire (Shardlake series) is 99p on Amazon Kindle at the moment if you like them series. I keep a watch as they are occasionally on offer.

  3. Anonymous12:40 PM

    Cat used to have a video where she does the cast on behind her own back. I think when you have an amazing mind like Cat's you want and need to use it, but I think the twist before you connect the two ends gives the same result. That video is worth finding seeing, though. A lot of fun. Chloe

  4. Anonymous12:42 PM

    Cat will be missed. An inspiring spirit. Chloe

  5. Such good news about Christina. Wee Hamish seems to be interested in the contraption. The Ott lite or it's ilk are really needed in the winter by the aging eye. Also, you can easily see which color is which when doing colorwork with murky yarns. I hope you didn't feel sick after the flu shot. I felt miserable for a day and my arm was really sore.

    1. Thank you, Mary Lou! My arm has been sore for a week, and I'm beginning to wonder if it will ever feel all right again. Of course, she hit a vein or something giving me the shot -- I've never had an immunization draw blood! Could be why it's taking so long to heal.