Sunday, December 06, 2020


The weather was kindly today, at least as far as December can be expected to go. C. came, and we got around the garden. No walking tomorrow, as I mean to have a bath and hair wash while my cleaner is here (I’m afraid of falling) and then will steam gently dry.


You’re absolutely right, Tamar – I didn’t mean, yesterday, to suggest that thalidomide was a vaccine; only that it was a spectacular case of British regulators getting it wrong whereas the more cautious Americans were right. I listened to Americast today (while knitting); they played Fauci’s remarks with a bit of context. It certainly didn’t sound like a “mis-speak”. It sounded as if he thought the British were a bit precipitate.


Your remark about the possibility of a “bad batch” is interesting, too. This stuff has to be kept at a seriously low temperature. What if it warms up a bit, in the course of being transported from place to place and from hand to hand? Would it just become useless? Or something worse? We had a woman who is head of a public health body – I’m afraid I’ve forgotten the initials – with Andrew Marr this morning. She tossed out a line about people who are taking blood-thinners, saying that it was perfectly all right for them to have the vaccine. That’s ME. It’s the only medication I take. Apixiban, it’s called, or something like that – at least no longer warfarin, on which I started out, after my pulmonary embolisms four years ago.


I found the relevant  paragraph on the website of the public health body. It said more or less the same thing. But why mention it? Lots of people take lots of drugs. Why reassure us, in particular, that the vaccine is Perfectly All Right?


Sometimes, in the evening, when I weary of whatever I’m reading and of Italian cookery shows, I re-read my blog. Last night I went back to December and November of last year, and was horrified to discover how much more energetic I sounded than I feel now. And how much more knitting I was doing than I seem to manage now. I was already well advanced on the centre square of Hamish Myemi’s hap in the colours of the South African flag.


I went to the Craftsy website with the thought of looking at Gudrun Johnston’s hap pattern, at least to see what quantities are required, but Craftsy has changed hands a couple of times recently, and my password didn’t work, and they haven’t responded to my request to set a new one. I went to Jamieson & Smith anyway, and was slightly alarmed to find that (a) Gudrun’s pattern, which they sell as a kit, is “out of stock”. How on earth? All they have to do is press Print and pluck a few balls of yarn from the shelf. And (b) several shades of jumper-weight red (which I had sort of thought of majoring in) are also “out of stock”. I had a look at Jamieson’s of Shetland and also Uradale – they seem to be all right for reds, although one was missing.


I must have printed the pattern. I’ve knit it twice. I’ll have a look tomorrow, when they turn the light back on.


Meanwhile, today, I dug some 4mm dps out of the stash cupboard and switched to them for the Evendoon sleeve. A vast improvement. I had been having trouble, with my two-circular system, in moving the stitches from the plastic cord to the needle. Is that join called the “hasp”? And it had to be done twice for every round. Now I’m whizzing around, and hope to finish the first sleeve while I’m steaming dry after my bath tomorrow.


  1. Anonymous9:56 PM

    There is a Wikipedia article on Dr Frances Oldham Kelsey, the Canadian employee of the FDA and her role in saving the USA from the scourge of thalidomide. Anne M.

  2. I too am taking Apixaban - it had never occurred to me that it might interact with a vaccine - it worries me a lot when someone starts to issue reassurances about something that I had not been worried about in the first place. Makes me suspicious that there is something I am not being told. I hear that the Japanese government are planning to indemnify the vaccine suppliers against all damages.

  3. I met an Irish pharmacist once,who told me that thalidomide was the best muscle relaxant he had ever seen, and that it was a shame that the birth defects were so dreadful, because men, and women past childbearing age, could have used it to great effect. All I knew about it was the birth defects, which were, indeed, dreadful.

  4. Jean, I looked at my copy of Gudrun's full version hap and it says the same thing as the Ravelry page: Fingering weight yarn in the following amounts:1100 yards of MC, 164 yards of CC1,164 yards of CC2,132 yards of CC3 and 132 yards of CC4. I've made it 3 times for different babies, skipping the edging lace, in Sandness Garn Baby Ull Lanett and/or the previous Sandness Garn Lanett - was using up old stash for numbers 1 & 2.

  5. =Tamar2:12 AM

    Blood thinners don't interact, they just prevent the damaging clots that covid can cause. People on blood thinners actually have a better survival rate for covid. Maybe they've just been getting a lot of the same questions and wanted to answer the most-often-asked one.

  6. Tamar, I suspect that you have hit on the answer there. Thanks for that. I am old and cynical enough to suspect a lot of things - perhaps because I have been lied to by medical chappies too many times.