Saturday, August 05, 2006

Here we are again, however briefly.

earlyAug 001

We had a nice time in the country. Here is a picture of part of the 2006 heroin crop, with potatoes and broad beans also visible. Helen and David and the boys left yesterday morning, for a week with his mother. I tidied the kitchen and then we left, too. The next thing is to get in touch with the Beijing Mileses, currently in Cheltenham, and pin them down as to plans.

I bought Mungo some children’s knitting needles – his mother had rejected them when she originally laid in supplies for him, as “too girly” – and chose a variegated yarn from my well-padded stash. We started again from scratch, and things went swimmingly. The new needles are shorter and lighter than the ones we were struggling with before. Lorna's advice, to tell him specifically to hold both needles with his left thumb while wrapping the yarn, was particularly helpful. I’ll take a picture of Mungo knitting, when I see him again.

I cast on my Malabrigo for a plain sleeveless vest, and that went well too.

earlyAug 008

The size looks OK so far, and as you can see, I have hoovered through almost all of the first skein so fast that the amount of yarn I have no longer seems absurd. Just lavish. I have knit with both Manos and Debbie Bliss “Maya” in my day – the Malabrigo isn’t quite as silky, but it’s nice, and I’m enjoying this.

Non-knit in Strathardle

We have planted some specimen trees down the commonty, one for each family. Every year, ideally on Games Day, I take a picture of each tree, with children, and put them in my Tree Book. Helen and David aren’t going to be here for the Games this year, so I have already taken their picture. The tree is a Black Pine, pinus nigra. It was planted ten years ago to mark the brief life of their first child, Oliver.

earlyAug 004

From left to right, Fergus, Archie, Mungo. The cage around the tree is to protect it from Dolores and her friends, who graze the commonty. They have nibbled the lower branches, as a careful inspection will reveal.

Meanwhile, in Edinburgh…

My updated Sweater Wizard arrived just as we were leaving. I installed it yesterday when we got back, and at first glance can’t see how to slope a shoulder or knit in the round, but I’ll keep at it. I gather that there are new issues of both VK and IK out there somewhere – not to mention the monthly “Knitting” – so I await the postman with more than ordinary anticipation.

I am within a row or two of the end of the Small Paisley Pattern on the Long Shawl, and should move on to the Large Paisley Pattern today.

A pre-war VKB has turned up on eBay!


I am reading John Le Carre’s “The Little Drummer Girl”. It’s terrific. It’s also very odd to be reading it now, with the news from the Middle East as a background. I have never in my life read so eloquent an exposition of the emotional case for both sides. Don’t tell me how it ends. I have just reached the point where the central characters arrive in Thessaloniki.

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