Sunday, 3 February 2008

'Snowed in'

There was an actual proper blizzard in progress when Chris came back from choir practice on Friday night. Howling winds and snow being hurled all over the place. When I woke on Saturday morning and was struck by the unusual brightness of the light I was certain that I'd been snowed in. There might be whole centimetres of snow out there!

Turns out I'd overslept by an hour or so. There might have been as much as half a centimetre of snow in discrete patches, separated by grey icy pavements. But I was determined to be snowed in. My body craves cold (unlike Franklin, my genetic inheritance was designed for windswept western rocks. Cold makes me feel alive. Briefly, before my extremities cease to function). If I squinted at the garden the snow patches almost joined up, so I refused to go out, and wrapped myself in a blanket on the sofa with a Time Team marathon and my hap shawl.

Have you noticed yet that we've seen this picture before? There's a reason for that. Apparently I can't do simple lace. Four rounds before picking up the hap again, I had missed a yarn-over, and only noticed it in this next patterned round. "No problem", I thought, "I'm a confident knitter. I shall simply drop down a stitch and manufacture a yarn-over somewhat after the event. It'll be easy". So I carefully converted one missing hole and a one-stitch shortage into an cats cradle of loose threads, still one stitch short, and with no idea what went where but a painful awareness that whereas the previous error might have passed in a dim light, nobody could possibly miss this. It takes a very long time to unknit four rounds of around 400 stitches each, especially when you have no real conviction that you will be able to fix the problem when you get there, such is the mess.

It is fixed. The tension is not all it might be, but the holes are all present and correct, there are no random loops, and all the knits are knits and purls purls. I am now slightly past the point where all my troubles began, and I have almost forgiven the hap.

For those who were concerned, the book piles have been reprieved for the present, because this week I finally achieved a noticeable reduction in the height of one of them by finishing a lengthy biography of Mrs Simpson, which has left me with the conviction that the Establishment that rejected her as Queen may just possibly have had a point, what with the multiple affairs and spying for Nazi Germany and so forth. I am now reading Rosamond Lehmann's 'Dusty Answer', stating firmly in period.

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