Tuesday, February 07, 2023

 Nice bath. No walk. C. is coming tomorrow – maybe she can get me moving.


Knitting went well. Encouraged by Joe’s cheerful reply, I embarked on the Calcutta Cup panel for the centre of his baby’s shawl. I could never be a designer. Charting, counting, counting again – it’s all too much for me, when all I want to do is knit. However, I got it done. I am too far advanced (but not by much) to have the panel be in the exact centre, vertically speaking. It’s in the centre, counting horizontally. My main problem at the moment is not to forget, in the excitement, that I’ve got to turn and go in the other direction (= start decreasing) when I’ve got 144 stitches.


At the moment I’ve got what feels like a Fassett-like accumulation of yarns. I had to add another ball of the colour I’m using for the shawl centre, since the Calcutta Cup panel is too broad to carry anything across. Then the two-row-two-stitch border needs two balls for the same reason. Then a new colour for the background within the panel. Well, I guess that’s not so many. One more tomorrow, when I start on the Cup itself. It is very satisfying to be doing this so near the actual event.


Kate Davies has sent us the last pattern for her Allover club. Nice stitch pattern, but the cardigan is too short for my taste. That could be remedied, of course.


I’m reading Sylvia Plath’s letters, prompted by something in the Sunday Times. Riveting. I know the end of the story, of course, but have no idea how it evolved. Her life and mine started out in a sort of parallel – we were within months of the same age, went off to college in the same year (1950), then to Britain, then to marriage. The differences are far greater than the similarities, quite apart from the fact that she was a genius and I am not. But as I was reading today, I discovered a similarity which is truly startling: both the Plaths and the Smitses had a family cat named Sappho. How often can that happen? My father chose the name in the hopes the cat would take the hint and refrain from motherhood. It didn’t work. I was young enough that I had never head it before, and have ever since felt a personal affection for the poetess and for the island of Lesbos.


Wordle: Another three! Alexander is the only one of our little group to equal my achievement. Mostly fours elsewhere, but Big Rachel and Mark needed five. I found it difficult. Yesterday my starters gave me four browns. Today it was one green, in the final position, and one brown, both vowels. You’d think it would be easy to think of something from the letters remaining, but it wasn’t. I heroically resisted a couple of tempting Jean-words, and finally thought of an unlikely candidate that met all the requirements. It was right.



  1. Mary Lou11:06 PM

    Goodness, Jean, I'm going in the opposite direction, 6,5,5, 6. Such fun to put the cup in the shawl!

  2. =Tamar8:28 AM

    Place markers are an under-appreciated invention. Good work! And how neat, to combine the two projects.
    Our family cats had fairly random names; my favorite was Sam. A later one, also a gray tabby, turned out to be Samantha.