Thursday, October 15, 2020


Worse than yesterday, better than Tuesday. I’ve cancelled this weekend’s Italian lesson – Federica is going off on a walking holiday anyway – and am greatly looking forward to the non-event. Helen, who walked with me this morning, is going to Kirkmichael, so I’m on my own, walk-wise, until next week. C. is still pretty fully occupied looking after her daughter and wee Hamish.


Thank you, commenters, for drawing attention to the effect of air pressure, and weather in general, on health and vigour. I’m sure you’re right. I didn’t realise until quite late in life, how much I am affected by the loss of light at this time of year. I dread it more than ever this year, with the world in the grip of the plague. It sounds as if Helen’s son Fergus has got it, at Bristol University. Most or all of the boys on his stair have symptoms. Three were chosen for testing, and came back positive, so the whole stair is in isolation. (The university is feeding them lavishly, unlike some universities.) But we don’t know, pace Mr Trump, whether having had it confers immunity. Will I dare join them for Christmas?


But as for knitting, all is well. I am progressing with the – still tentative – ribbing for a new EPS in Shetland stripes. And stripes certainly make the initial ribbing a good deal less tedious. Shandy, yes, you shall have a picture tomorrow if we get decent light, or even if we don’t. The yarn is all, or almost all, from my Shetland Wool Adventure. Was that only last year? Everything back there in the Real World seems incredibly remote. I bought a couple of balls at Jamieson’s of Shetland (not to be confused with Jamieson & Smith), and a few more at Uradale Farm (highly recommended). And I was just beginning to congratulate myself on how little yarn I would be carrying home.


But one of our last appointments was a Fair Isle lesson in Wilma Malcolmson’s studio. And there I succumbed to a grab-bag of autumnal Shetland colours. And that’s where we are. The bag has been diminished by my second Dathan hap, and augmented by the other yarns mentioned above. I’ll show you tomorrow.


So far, I’m knitting 3-row stripes. I think Kate Davies is right, that it’s more interesting to vary the width a bit. But I found it a bit of a mental strain, knitting my Dathans, to decide the width each time. I know that’s ridiculous. The results are very successful. So I don’t know yet what’s going to happen here.




I’m reading Barbara Vine’s “Minotaur” (that’s Ruth Rendell, of course). I found it on my Kindle – sort of like knitting from stash. I remember teeny tiny bits of it, enough to be sure that I’ve read it before. But the cast of characters and the plot, no. “The House of Mirth” ended badly, as predicted.


  1. Anonymous10:47 AM

    Reading from stash. That's funny, Jean. Oh! While just typing that it occurred to me that all of us might benefit from some daily laughter - watching a TV comedy for instance. Here in the US(of A) there are several that are rerun daily. Might that also be true in the U.K.? Enjoyed perusing the Uradale site. Something to keep in mind. Chloe

  2. There is a nice library app called Libby which I have been using since lockdown began. You can use it to borrow books and audiobooks from the library - it helps to have an Edinburgh library card, but I think you can do that online if you dont have one already. Not everything is available, and you often have to reserve things and wait for them to be delivered. But its FREE and I have read/listened to so many books this year because of this app.

  3. =Tamar4:10 PM

    Masks and hand washing seem to be sufficient for most meetings. Dinner may have to be in small groups.

  4. If you want totally random-width stripes you can roll a die (or two dice) and use that number. I've done it and it's fun.