Sunday, July 15, 2007

St Swithin's Day

…and he has chosen rain, according to the early weather forecast on the BBC, which mentioned him specifically. On the other hand, it’s a beautiful morning here in Edinburgh, cloudless blue.

Here’s the new Yarn Yard club offering – Natalie’s strawberry patch. I had it unfurled over the back of a sofa all day yesterday, as is my wont, and loved it more and more as the day progressed.

And here’s the melon stole. I’ve rounded a second corner, and now begin to see what the finished thing will look like. It will be very interesting to see what the final size is – clearly far smaller than the VLT exemplar. The one in the book is knit in “fine weight” yarn. There is a useful section in the back where the terms are not so much defined as illustrated with a list of yarns – “fine weight” includes Kidsilk Haze. Most of the designs in the book are “fine weight”. The yarn list will be less useful in 25 years' time.

But there’s also “super fine weight”, including Helen’s Lace. I think the Yarn Yard lace merino is finer than that, more like Shetland cobweb but far stronger (because plyed) and more interesting colour-wise.

Miscellany, including comments

My friend Helen wrote to me yesterday about her father’s gansey, knit on Eriskay. She has, through an intermediary, shewn photographs of it to an Eriskay knitter, who recognised it at once, named the knitter (her treatment of the gussets was unmistakeable) and identified some of the stitch patterns. More to follow.

MoMo, love the blog. Congratulations on doing it, and fingers crossed for the move to Colorado. Where in Michigan are you? I spent important youthful years in Detroit, with many visits to a grandmother in Constantine, towards the west of the state, near Three Rivers and White Pigeon. James and Cathy had a happy year in Ann Arbor before they had all those children.

Janet, I don’t think I was the one who mentioned Frances Partridge recently, but it sounds so plausible that I mistrust myself, saying that. We have them (all, I think); my husband has read them, I have only dipped – after all, one must have time to knit. But if it wasn’t me, who was it? That’s a blog I’d like to read.

Julie, I can’t grow other poppies, either. Just papaver somniferum, which grows itself.

Donna, yes, I will certainly go on with square-foot gardening. I plan to add a second raised bed next year. In a dry year, there’s reason to worry, because our soil is basically fine and sandy and will dry out fast. We shall see.

Julie, [a different Julie] I have heard of the sort of companion planting you mention, but have never tried it. I think I should. The trouble with the beetroot this year was, however, firstly poor germination, and then – with the help of some re-sowing – plants that came up and then just sit there, teeny tiny, not advancing.
The square of sky visible from my study window is still pure blue.


  1. I mentioned Frances Partridge's diaries in a comment on your sister's blog, on 13 June. I said that one of my ways of cheering myself up when I feel hard-done-by, is to say, Well, at least I don't have to go to Naples with Julia Strachey.

  2. The melon shawl is lovely. You will have completed it very soon, without a doubt.

    Thanks for visiting my newly launched blog. I live about 30 miles north of Ann Arbor in Hartland, MI (one of those "if you blink you miss it" small towns). Hoping to move to Colorado to be closer to grandbabies.