Saturday, July 21, 2007

The weather is very, very odd. There’s no doubt about it.

The radio is full, this morning, of tales of people stranded all night on motorways because rivers burst their banks. Rachel had a day of it yesterday, trying to get to Heathrow with her younger son Joe, off to Washington to spend a fortnight with Theo (his first cousin once removed). She abandoned the car in torrential rain at Clapham Junction – it was later clamped – and proceeded by public transport. They got there an hour late, having set out with an absurd amount of time in hand, but the plane was late too, and Joe will presumably wake up in DC this morning.

Then in the last moments of Rachel’s dying phone battery came a call from Cathy (her sister-in-law, James’ wife, Alistair’s mother). She couldn’t get from Cornwall to London because of flooded rail lines – and Alistair was about to arrive at Heathrow, an unaccompanied child, after his happy holiday in CT. (He's the one in the middle of the picture of Various Grandchildren in my sidebar.) Rachel phoned me from a public box, and was then going to settle down with a trashy novel and a glass of wine to wait for him.

I phoned back at bedtime. All was well. Cathy even turned up in the end.

This isn’t normal for July.


Here’s the melon scarf, before and after blocking. I tried to do it with pins, I like pins, but the scarf kept trying to be narrower in the middle and I was clearly going to be moving pins all morning if I persevered.

The finished scarf is about 1/3rd smaller than the VLT prototype. It’s 50” long and 14 ½” wide, as opposed to 72” and 17” for the original. I think the yarn must be equivalent to Shetland cobweb weight, as I’ve said before, or to Sharon Miller’s merino lace. It is The Yarn Yard’s merino lace, and it’s super.

Blocking done, I returned to Sam.

He now has his second ear, and I have knit but not yet attached the first horn. It gave me some trouble, but I’m pretty sure I’ve got it right. The instructions were fine; some of the parentheses at the ends of the lines – “3 st left” “20 sts worked” – baffled me to the end. I ripped it out a couple of times, thinking I’d lost count somewhere, but finally gritted my teeth, ignored the parentheses, and Blindly Followed. Sometimes it’s the only thing to do, and I’m very pleased with my horn. Sam’s horn. Maybe I’ll finish today.

Elliott, winning cards are red in the Home Industries Tent at the Strathardle Highland Gathering so that won’t do. I think you are the first non-knitter ever to leave a comment here and I feel very grown-up.


  1. I saw on the news tonight the continued efforts to make the British Isles soggy. Good grief - I don't know how well any of the crops at CotU will be going this alleged summer. Maybe you were right. V. relieved that all children were able to be picked up/dropped off appropriately. Rachel probably could have worked on commission for several anxious parents!

    I'm doing the BSJ for the first time at the moment and I'm having to use the Blindly Follow technique myself. Not feeling too confident about it but will persevere.

  2. Your melon scarf is lovely, I am surprised at the difference in the finished dimensions. The color variation quite makes it, I think.
    Am eager to get a look at Sam. We're watching The Open, it looks truly cold and dreary at Carnoustie. I hope to finish the Hedera socks this weekend, although we will be needing air conditioning with the threatened 80% humidity and temps in the high 80's.

  3. 2 friends of mine drove from Devon to Staffordshire on Friday night - what should have been a 3-4 hour journey took them 12 hours, and they were among the lucky ones NOT to have to sleep on the M5 all night. They had some amazing tales of floating cars in the motorway services! Luckily for me, the journey from London to Staffs on Saturday morning was uneventful, and perhaps even quicker and queiter than it might have been...

    I like your melon scarf, I'm coming close to the end of my first piece of lace knitting with fine yarn and itching to start the next :-)