Friday, September 01, 2006

I got the Long Shawl blocked yesterday – and not much else done; it’s a slower job than I expected.

Longshawl 003 Longshawl 001

I have a curious lack-of-love relationship with this project, which I don’t entirely understand. I’m pleased with the result. I liked the pattern, loved the yarn, but something’s missing.

Using blocking wires was an interesting first. They’re great, not least because you can tug on a whole side at once, and the stitches on the sides at right angles to it will slide along their wires to some extent, because so few pins are involved. Whereas with the old crawl-around-dining-room-floor-with-pins-in-mouth system, every single pin has to be displaced outwards, often several times.

But I love crawling around the dining room floor with pins in my mouth, whereas I didn’t enjoy this process much.

It’s all very odd. I’ll have to set aside a whole day (and a whole dining room) for the Princess, if I ever finish her. Lene, you’ll have to carry her off needles and all next summer, if you hope to steal her. (Thanks for comment.) This is one big project. I don’t think there’s any hope that the current interval of working on her – two months are planned – will even finish the border.

I got to row 78 last night, however, and have turned the first spadesful for the big “feathers” which are to be the dominant motif. For the time being, alternate rows are almost plain, and (in Princess terms) I’m sailing along. I am sure that when The Princess Diarists resume work, they’ll sail even faster. (Ted once did ten rows in a weekend: that’s knitting.) So I’m glad to get a few rows ahead of them now.

Back to the Games

We fared even worse on the field than in the Home Industries tent.

Grandson Joe -- he who recently came home with the good GCSE results and who is, in addition, fleet of foot – ran in several races, without success. Alistair tried running, too. Our only achievement, and that not to be despised, was in Tilt the Bucket. (One person sits in a wheelbarrow and wields a long pole; another person pushes. Everybody gets wet except the ultimate winner.) Thomas-the-Elder pushed, and granddaughter Hellie’s boyfriend Matt wielded the pole, and they came third. We’ve never won that one, although James and his sister Helen were second once, decades ago.

Tilt the Bucket

Thomas on the left, Matt on the right, with the Third Place Envelope. I think they won 50p.

Another event we’ve never won is Musical Cars at the end of the afternoon. A certain number of pegs with flags are fixed in the centre of the ring, and a greater number of cars circle the field until the music stops. If your runner can’t reach a peg, you’re out. James drove, and Joe ran, with no luck.

My weight

Thank you, thank you, commenters who think I look slimmer. I’m happy to report that a month of serious cider-drinking has not put any weight back on, and equally happy that it seems easy, so far, to re-introduce the regime (no cider except on Sunday, porridge rather than bacon and sausage for breakfast, no sugar). I backslid on the breakfast front in August, too. Sugar is no longer a temptation.

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