Sunday, July 30, 2006

James phoned, reunited with his family in Cheltenham. We’ll see them next week, in Strathardle. On the journey north, they plan to have a look at Hadrian’s Wall – which will be a disappointment, or at any rate, nothing to compare with the Great Wall – and a steel mill, an experience I would like to share. James is fond of the Great Wall. One of the best days of our Chinese holiday three years ago was when he drove us about through dusty villages to see un-famous bits of it. Women in the villages were sitting by the roadside doing some rather interesting knitting, too, but they didn't want to be photographed.

I made a bit of progress with Flickr yesterday, perhaps, and will attempt to post today’s picture through them. (It seems to have worked, although I didn't expect it to be so big. I can correct that in future, I think.) It shows potatoes growing on the doorstep. They arrived in early June by post in the form of “microplants”, tiny little spindly things some of which then proceeded to lose their top leaves through damping-off. As you see, they flourish.

We have had the geranium on the right for years. It even got stolen off the doorstep once, but was miraculously recovered.

The potatoes represent varieties which, we are told, growers are not allowed to sell in the form of seed potatoes because they aren’t on the EC Approved Potato List. That may or may not be true, but it makes one feel grown-up. This year’s plants will produce little potatoes which will be next year’s seed potatoes in Strathardle. The varieties are “Shetland Black”, “Fortyfold” and “Witchhill”.

I also signed up with Photobucket, Lorna – they say I have won a free laptop; I don’t believe it – and it looks do-able. But I’ll try Flickr today.


Thank you for a most illuminating comment, Mar. In the old days, before books started to be published in quantity, I always did left-slopers sl1-k1-psso. I moved on to ssk for the most part, once I got the Walker books. But the Long Shawl includes a lot of decreases of which one member is a YO, and it is indeed awkward, and I will this very day take your advice and try working them the old way.

I didn’t get as much done as hoped yesterday, but I have at least begun the sixth and final repeat of the centre section.

Lene, I am touched that you are looking forward to the resumption of the Princess, when blog entries will consist of nothing more exciting than “I finished row 65 yesterday!” for quite a long time. I was wandering around the Heirloom Knitting site yesterday and suddenly found that I was really keen to get back to it. It won’t be long, but I think I’ve got first to fight my way through the current treacle to the end. I’ve got my new blocking wires to look forward to, after all.

On a wholly different matter, I have been corresponding a bit with Myrna Stahman, now safely back in Boise and dreaming still of Lerwick. She says that Jamieson and Smith were bought out, two years ago, by someone called Curtis Wool Direct. She introduces this statement with “as you may know”, so I don’t think I’m betraying a commercial secret.

I didn’t know, and I am distressed to hear it.

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