Saturday, January 28, 2006

you meet them in the oddest of places*

If you are a woman, you will know that every so often, you have to trot along to have a rather intimate part of your body poked with what can only be described as an instrument of torture (which is usually either too cold, or too hot, if it has been under the tap for too long), have bits of your flesh scraped away, and all while lounging in a truly undignified position, under a scrap of tissue paper, if you are lucky.

Now in the UK, your local health authority sends you a letter, suggesting you call in for this periodic humilitation. So dutifully, you call, book in with the nurse (GPs are far above this sort of thing), turn up, and are escorted down the hall to the one room which has a curtain over the door. Up you pop, dear, I'll be back in 2 minutes.

Now, I was ready. I got there on time, to be told there was a half hour wait. So out came the makings of the second Oriel sock (no, I will not succumb to the dreaded SSS), and I cast on, and knit a couple of rounds. I checked against the completed sock (told you I was prepared), and cast on again, getting the colour sequence right, this time. I even managed to co-ordinate being called in when I had just finished a row. But this will be over quick, I thought, so the sock got stuffed in the bag.

I 'disrobed', arranged the sheet of covering paper, and waited. And waited, and waited. So I hopped down, grabbed my sock, and was caught, deshabille (forgive the lack of accents), as the door opened. Oh, but sweet knitterly saviours, she was a knitter too. (As an aside, and after some serious googling, I could invoke the name of St Fiacra, who some claim is the patron saint of knitting - though Richard Rutt, in his 'History of Hand Knitting' disagrees - and, as it turns out, venereal disease and haemorrhoids, but I won't.) And she perfectly understood that I might have a sock with me, and we looked at the yarn, discussed the pattern, I fished out the finished sock, she admired, I blushed, we debated the merits of dpns vs circs, had a little natter about knitting baby clothes, the virtues of having something to do of an evening, how knitting has become so popular recently, where the best local yarn shops are, and on and on, and all the while I am trying desperately to maintain my modesty. But, in the end, what is modesty between knitters, anyway?

Olympic Training

Swatches are now being made of potential patterns, but due to yarn economy (and my fear that 2,000 yards may not be enough for the shawl), they are being made, stickily, in a found acrylic. Oh, my hands.

And for light relief, I am learning how to read Japanese patterns. Because if I have to go and be all cultural down in London that first weekend of the K.O. (I don't think they let you knit in a theatre in the West End) I want something spiffy to wear, and Habu kits of linen and silk mohair are surely spiffy enough for the great and good of them down south. I also figure that if I can figure out Japanese schematics (3 hours with pen and paper and mental maths to work out where I went wrong twice already, and that's only for half the back) then a bit of lace charting will be a doddle.

Hmmm. Memo to self, pride goeth before....

Have a fun weekend, folks.

* you didn't seriously expect a photo of this?