Friday, January 14, 2005

Home Again, Again

We're back. Our village got off lightly in the storms this week. My husband lost a larch tree, and the lights flickered so ominously that evening that we got the candles out, but they weren't needed. We were lucky. All the rest of the glen, downhill from our village to the point where our river loses its identity in the next one, lost power and were still without it yesterday, two days later.

I finished the basic knitting of the ribwarmer, and have brought it back for finishing-finishing. I'm edging it with attached i-cord, perhaps too tight, but it looks very neat. It's not as awful a job as it sounds, either, probably because the work never has to be turned. Certainly much more fun than knitting the dreaded ribbed button band for a cardigan. "Work until the band, slightly stretched, reaches..." That one. I've never mastered knit-back-backwards. I can do it, but I don't like it, so when that unpleasant chore presents itself, there's nothing for it but to turn and turn again.

Sad news from Thessaloniki. This from our son-in-law:

"Fergus looked marvellous in his pullover.  Neither of us think that any item of clothing has ever suited him better and he wore it continuously while clambering over Mycenae, Tiryns, Epidavros during our recent trip down south. It somehow enhanced his boyishness. Very tragically it has met with a disaster in that it has shrunk to half its size.  To be direct on the issue, is there any chance of another one?  This one will not go to waste as Helen intends to send it to Alexander for baby Thomas but we would love another one sometime.  Our washing machine has a habit of being hotter than its settings so it might be a good idea to make it for a 4-5 year old to allow for shrinkage."

That's the Wallaby, of course.The yarn is supposed to be machine-washable at 40 degrees.  I bought a pack of it -- Rowan 4-ply Soft -- in the Liberty sale last summer, and so I now have left-overs too few for any major project but too many to ignore. No better use could be made of them than to knit Fergus another, larger Wallaby. What shall I tell them to do with Mungo's Koigu sweater, washing-wise?

While we were away, the package of dark Koigu arrived from which will form the background for our daughter Rachel's striped sweater. That'll be the next country project.

Last night I sank gratefully back into knitting the Fair Isle jacket, but for the next few days, I think the thing is to alternate evenings between that and ribwarmer-finishing.

The deer have been down and finished off my kale. It really is no use trying to have any greens standing through the winter, without deer-fencing, and I shall abandon the attempt. I finished my seed orders while we were there, and sent them off, and look forward, as one does in January, to a golden year with no frost after May 15 and no weed suffered to gain a foothold. I read somewhere that some supermarket was selling pea-shoots -- baby plants about four inches high -- as a stir-fry vegetable. I have some left-over pea seed from last year, and will certainly try that. Some things, and peas figure on that very short list, actually like to grow in cool, damp Strathardle.



1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:39 PM

    Glad you escaped a power outage. We had a mini one ourselves this morning (only a few minutes, thankfully). FYI, pea shoots are a very typical green used in Chinese cooking. They must be picked very very young, just the tips. Otherwise, they will be very tough and stringy. Also, like spinach, the whole mess tends to cook down to virtually nothing so you need vast quantities at the start. But they are a very sweet and tender treat if you go for that sort of thing and quite good for you. Thanks for sending P511 back home to join its fellow skeins! Definitely advise handwashing for Mungo's Koigu sweater...once is enough to feed that washing machine! Janis