Tuesday, February 09, 2021


More snow. More cold. Still nothing to compare with winters I remember in Kirkmichael, Detroit, Oberlin, but quite a bit for Edinburgh by the standard of recent years. . I didn’t venture out, but have got up to 2339 steps by walking diligently up and down the hall. There is an article in the Times this morning about the benefits of walking – my totals are ludicrously small by their standards.


Archie came, bringing me some sausages. I was going to set him at clearing the front porch and steps – but found when I opened the door that a neighbour had done it. That was touching. I got Archie to sprinkle a bit of rock salt.


Maureen, I was glad to hear that the Calcutta Cup match was watched with such enthusiasm in Johanesburg – and that it won you a lunch. The hero of the day, previously unnoticed by me although I gather he joined the squad last year, was a Mr van der Miewe, who scored the only try. South African, I understand – what goes round, comes round.


He endeared himself, a few moments before the historic try, by failing to catch a ball which bounced off the tips of his fingers when he was in the goal area– and he is 6’5” tall, and was jumping. He seemed to find it funny.


That brings me to a question. It has always seemed to me rather tentative, that goals in rugby are called “tries”. Especially when, in American football – and this is the point on which I would be glad to be corrected – they’re called “touchdowns” although the player does not have to touch the ball down at all, just to cross the line while carrying it. In rugby, touching-down is all important. Countless tries are subjected to camera scrutiny from all angles, when there is a heap of young men and a ball just over the goal line, and it has to be decided whether the ball was under the control of the attacking team when it touched the ground.


Only two more scallops remain to be done of the edging on the fourth and final side of Gudrun’s hap. Baring disaster, tomorrow should see it done. I’ll miss it.


Thank you for all your encouragement about leg warmers. No, not Hamish – these will be full-length, grown-up legwarmers. Chloe, I think I would knit them with dpn’s. I have always found very short circulars painful. But that’s a lot of Fair Isle to be shifting from needle to needle. We’ll have to see.


I agree with your conclusion, Jenny and Tamar, that they wouldn’t need to be shaped like (for example) kilt hose. Ribbing at the top, for grip. Corrugated ribbing at the bottom, for effect. I am thinking of setting forth with the number of stitches I use for men’s socks and see what happens. Perhaps a few more – Fair Isle tends to pull in a bit. I’ll study some of the many examples on Ravelry.


  1. I was a bit shocked by those counts given in "The Times". We manage over 10,000 most days by going for a sizeable walk late morning, but with snow covering the ground here we are down to half that. they made no allowances for age. i think you are doing really well with your totals, but the key thing will be not to sit for long periods without moving at all, which is all too likely with the weather bad outside.

  2. =Tamar9:16 PM

    I, too, think you are doing very well. As shandy said, the key thing is to keep moving every so often. Some days I use the spam phone calls as a get-up-and-walk signal.

    Most people's legs are rather larger above the knee. Will you be starting the leg warmers from the ankle? That would allow size adjustments along the way, and whenever you feel done with them, that'll be the appropriate length!

  3. I am a die hard DPN user for socks, except if there is color work. Then I go magic loop. I will have to look at the Times article. It has been bitterly cold here, well below zero F so I haven’t got my morning walk in for a few days. Today there was no wind so I went out and a mile or so, shorter than normal. And in American football there are all sorts of close ups to see if the man carrying the ball had full control. I don’t know much about it, but the reviews are excruciating!

  4. Could you knit the leg warmers as one large tube with steeks to separate each leg? I know you'd have a seam up the leg, but it might work.

    1. =Tamar7:24 PM

      Brilliant idea! That could even allow some after-the-fact shaping, if desired.

  5. Anonymous10:48 AM

    Oh, I forgot about those very short circs since I no longer ever use them. I was thinking about Magic Loop. Can feel quite clunky at first until (or unless!) you get into a nice rhythm. But if you are used to dpns as many people are, no real reason to change. (My LYS owner almost refused to teach me since she hated it so much). I was just curious, Jean. Chloe

  6. I love the idea of fair isle leggings. I was looking around for inspiration for another project and found a couple of people who had made Elizabeth Zimmerman’s nether garments in Fair Isle. That might be a good starting point.