Sunday, March 10, 2013


This lively item  - I hesitate to call it a scarf - is Spectra by Stephen West.  I'm using Noro Silk Garden Lite and Sirdar Click, istead of the sock yarns called for in the pattern.  I have a feeling that this will affect the drape, but my LYS had no Noro Sock.  It is certainly an entertaining knit so far, and the many renderings of the pattern on Ravelry suggest lovely alternative colour combinations.  I saw this first on Not Just about the Knitting, so thankyou.

The Cazalet chronicle continues its serialisation on Radio 4.  What I loved most about it was Elizabeth Jane Howard's ability to empathise with such a wide range of characters.  For example, Miss Millament, the elderly governess, lost her fiance in the Boer War but still cherishes his letters.  The writer gives this ancient affair as much attention as any of the many other relationships in the novel. Guilt is also done rather well.  Food is described in unusual detail, as are clothes.  "Somewhere between Tolstoi and Maeve Binchy" - was it Martin Amis who said that of her work?

This week's task has been redecorating our bedroom.  We moved into this house in 1991 - over twenty years ago.  The people before us had spent their four years taking the front of the house back to its timbers and renovating from the ground up, so every room was freshly decorated.  The only thing we really hated was the bathroom suite - a full-on rendering of "The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady," and a bath which somehow narrowed just at the point where I broaden.  "It will have to go," we both said, but it was eleven years before we got round to it.

So, now we have time to look around us, we notice that our room has not been redecorated in over twenty years.  One advantage of failing eyesight is that you simply don't notice the grime, but that does not mean it is not there.  We shifted a lot of dirt.

Styles in wallpaper move on with the years, too.  The one we have used here has a ruched surface, with the effect of pleated moire silk.  It's in oystery tones, so the effect is quite delicate.  I was also drawn to the Farrow and Ball shade-card - just the names and descriptions: Elephant's Breath, Mouse's Back and so on. These are likely to put in an appearance on some painted furniture, although elephants are scared of mice, so perhaps not those two together.

More on our beams.  These are the beams in our bedroom wall, the upper part of the end-wall of a hall dating to about 1400 - about the time of Chaucer.  A hall was a large  room open to the roof, with a central fire but no chimney.  The experts who visited explained that the upper horizontal beam would have been installed in 1636, when the roof was raised and the first and attic floors put in. 

The thicker vertical timber has filled-in slots where timbers for the front of the hall would have been, some three feet back from the current front of the house.  A detail which I had never noticed before is that these timbers in our bedroom are smooth, whereas the ones in the dining-room have been hacked all over to take a rendering of plaster.


1 comment: said...

I love the "scarf". I haven't knitted for ages - I have just been too busy sewinng.