Thursday, July 17, 2014

We're going on our postponed walk today, our niece and I (and we've got good weather for it). So I'll be brief here -- often the preface to an unusually long post -- as I must leave my husband breakfast and lunch and generally tidy up. I've chosen an absurdly easy walk, to be on the safe side – the circuit of Linlithgow Loch with changing views of the ruins of the Palace where Mary QofS was born. We can do something more strenuous in September if this is a success.

Knitting went well yesterday, on the new system. I did three rounds of Rams&Yowes, all the more eagerly for knowing I would then allow myself to stop, and then managed another bump or so of the shawl edging. Thank you for your kind words about it. They are undeserved – there really are too many mistakes. Wait 'till you see the Queen Ring, or the wedding pictures in November with the Princess in action.

I have thought – am thinking – about all you have said, on the subject of casting off (or not) before picking up stitches for the edging. I suspect Kate Davies knows her craft rather well, and must, therefore, have a reason for that cast-off. At the moment, all I want for this project is to FINISH it and have it be reasonably acceptable-looking. I will continue to ponder.

And while on the subject of knitting, and before I forget, I tremendously like Woolly Wormhead's “Asymloche” hat. And the yarn employed, from Juno Fibre Arts, sounds interesting, too. Bluefaced Leicester – are those the sheep with dreadlocks? Christmas is coming, my friends.

Thank you for the remarks about Jane Gardam. Stashdragon, I will certainly search out that ghost story. And finish the Filth series. And then Bilgewater. I'm set for a while.

Catdownunder, I liked your story about meeting JG – and I like your blog entry, link just provided, about global warming and the environment, Have you read Germaine Greer's recent book about trying to restore her own tiny fragment of Australia to its primitive state?

Gardam says in the introduction to the edition of Old Filth which I am reading, that she met Stevie Smith at a party and was asked who she was.

“A Wmbledon housewife,” I said, “who writes novels.”

“But,” said Stevie Smith, “Who are you really?”

That's rather good. 

My husband's father, then employed by a publisher, worked with Stevie Smith on the editing of Novel on Yellow Paper. Somewhere we have his copy, with a grateful inscription from her. He would be 120 now, if he had been spared, but in fact died young of a brain tumour not long before the war. Gardam's anecdote seems to syncopate the 20th century in a marvellous way.

But it works. Gardam is very old now, and the anecdote is not recent. Stevie Smith was very old then.   


  1. I tried on Asymloche (on the Juno Fibre Arts stand) at Unwind Brighton last weekend and although it doesn't suit me (flat head, short forehead!) I can't resist the challenge of the construction and have it in mind for one of my grand daughters. It's knit at quite a tight gauge but it has a really cosy feel when it's on. I've only knit with BFL once before and found it softened beautifully after blocking.

    I'm another Jane Gardam fan. I read a number of her novels a while back but didn't know about the two novels connected with Old Filth. I've put my reservation in to the Library!

  2. Re. The binding off of the blanket. I expect it is to give all the edges a similar tension, and feel. The one with the not bound off sts would be looser than the others.

  3. this is the fourth time entering a comment ... blogspot is really a pain.

    any way
    for knitting the garter stitch on the binding of the blanket in the round.. i would try knitting back instead of purling - i use it for all purl rows in circ knitting as well as sock heels!

    EZ has a great pithy explanation i just have to find it.

    and too many books are being added to my must read list from this blog and comments!

  4. knitting back (instead of purling)