Friday, October 30, 2009

I'd Write a Haiku, But I'm Too Damn Tired.

When last we commiserated the Mollywobbles family was leaving to spend a weekend with the Royal Family. We had a wonderful time at St. George's Castle, and the Principessa was thrilled with her shawl. She's looking great for someone who has been under the weather, and we had a celebratory birthday feast -- my first Peking Duck! -- and a fabulous, relaxing weekend with the de Rumball-St. George's and the adorable Infanta, Little Bird.

It was hard to drag my tuchas in to work on Monday morning, but I did. And it may have been the worst day I've ever had in the office. We were informed that a big case had, overnight, become a BIG CASE and would require Herculean effort to accomplish. And they laid off one of the staff that provides me and my boss with a huge amount of assistance and has been working on our stuff for the last 8 months.

I don't know how I'm going to manage the amount of work we have. I feel lucky that we have identified some able people who can give me some of their time, but I could use a LOT more people. I feel so close to panic all the time.

I'm still trying to get in at least one hour knitting a day. I can usually bank on getting half an hour in the morning and I try to get another half or a whole hour when I get home -- 8:30 or 9:00. Sometimes I'm just too tired, though. (And knitting lace isn't something one should do when drowsy -- a lesson I learned after some oral surgery.)

The Cathedral Window shawl is up to 544 stitches in a row. I'd post pictures, but right now it looks like a placenta. I won't know until I've finished the 49 rows of 1088 stitches if it will need another increase to 2176 stitches. When I've finished the 49 rows of 1088 stitches I plan to run a huge lifeline and then take it off the needle and pin it out to see how bit the sucker really is. Then I'll make a decision.

I'll post again when I can. Stay well. Be good. Have fun.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I grafted the hem on the Lace Dream shawl on Saturday evening, and I blocked it this evening. It is prettier than I imagined -- even with my wanting skills and poor blocking.

I knit this shawl for my dear friend, the Principessa Maxine de Rumball-St. George. Maxine spent the greater part of this year very ill, and I was very worried about her and felt very impotent, being far away from her. I knit this shawl as a vehicle for focusing prayers for her health and well being. I wanted something really spectacular for her. As I neared the end of the shawl I received word that the Principessa's health was, finally, making improvements and that she had passed the first, most important milestone on her way to a full recovery.

I don't know if it was seeing the pattern finally revealed and realizing that it was even more than I imagined, or if it was a sense of relief and gratitude for the Principessa Maxine's recovery; whatever the reason, I was moved to tears.

I couldn't wait to show it to you. It may well be the most beautiful thing I've ever made. I still can't believe I could make something so beautiful. Tomorrow morning it will be off the wires and I will take more pictures. I will probably be working a great number of hours between now and Friday -- when we leave for the de Rumball-St. George's -- so I may not get to post more until after the weekend.

Monday, October 12, 2009


I recently made this Brown Butter Pound Cake and can't stop thinking about it. It was so, so delicious. It kept well. And it doubled well. Reviews mentioned it being too dry, but I didn't have that problem. I think it is important not to overbake. Leftovers were yummy for breakfast.
I'm now looking for reasons to make pound cake.

Thursday, October 08, 2009


As my regular readers will attest, I am incredibly fond of buying things. I reserve a greater fondness still for buying books. One of the few things I like more than buying books is knitting lace. And one of the things I like doing most of all is buying books on knitting lace. This, however, is a rare sort of treat, as good books on lace are few and far between. I have only a couple books devoted solely to lace. (I am still looking for an affordable copy of Gladys Amedro's Shetland Lace. Myfanwe refuses to let me spend that kind of money on a used knitting book. But please don't judge her. She's a muggle. She just doesn't understand. )

I recently -- ok, today on my lunch hour -- purchased a copy of Marrianne Kinzel's 1953 book, First Book of Modern Knitting, which has a few interesting patterns. I've already read all of the substantive text and the line by line of a couple of the patterns.

What did I think? Well, it's mostly stuff I would never make -- doilies and tea cloths, each knit out of crochet cotton, starched, then blocked withing an inch of its life. But her technique is good, and her method of blocking is interesting. And I'm thinking that the same pattern for a 64" square tablecloth, knit in a drapey alpaca or silk blend, would be a wicked shawl! And who knows. I might find it in me to knit a doily or two some day. They look to be quick and would make lovely gifts for the 80 year old women on my gift list. (Wait. I'm the only 80 year old woman on my gift list. Hmm.)

The book is a little anachronistic. It was written for housewives. Housewives in the 1950's. Kinzel's stated aim was " inspire the needlewoman of to-day [sic] to take up, in a new fashion, the old and fascinating art of lace knitting which enjoyed a tremendous popularity in the 18th & 19th century." (I'm not imagining it, am I? She did just call me a needlewoman, didn't she?)

The dedication of the book reads thusly: "A Dedication to ENGLAND, refuge through centuries of the persecuted, the proscribed, the people without a country, where my husband and I sought haven in exile and found most happily a welcome, a country, and a home."

I don't know where she was from originally, but I'm willing to bet it wasn't Ireland.