Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Very successful weekend in Argyll. Driving through Glasgow is no fun – they have a hideously crowded motorway on which the slow lane keeps morphing into a slip road. We came back by the Scenic Overland Route, through Stirling.

Alexander’s vegetables aren’t terribly far ahead of mine, just somewhat. His radishes are bigger and bushier (but look at Roger’s), and his parsnips substantially ahead in that mine hadn’t appeared above ground at all, when last viewed. His maiden apple trees – Kingston Black, a traditional cider variety – have all survived the hard winter and are looking well.

There are 25 of them altogether.

Friday was James-the-Younger’s 7th birthday. A Mystery Project mentioned here in recent weeks turned out to be a Calcutta Cup hat. The match this year – the annual rugby match between Scotland and England – ended in a draw, so James’s hat has half a Calcutta Cup, flanked by the year and the score,15-15. It’s a good fit, and I’m beginning to get the hang of pom-pom-making.

The heavy package was a slow cooker for Rachel. She now works full time, and also hosts language students at home from time to time and cooks for them in the evening. We’ll see how she gets on with it.

I knit very industriously and am well down the foot of my husband’s second large grey sock.

The main event of the weekend was a visit to Pollphail. I’ll postpone the report and pictures, but you can Google “Pollphail graffiti” if curiosity overcomes you. It is a most extraordinary place.

Back here, I’m about to finish the first rank of Green Granite Blocks. Things are going pretty well. I’ve found more flaws in the chart, as predicted by Ron. Areas with no colours specified, and one where the colour was so out-of-keeping (but one never quite knows, with the Master) that I didn’t do it. Not a chart for a beginner.

In other KF’s I’ve knit, it has been possible to cut off a length of wool appropriate to the size of the block of colour about to be knit, and use the Master’s technique of just letting it hang, and pulling it through the tangle where necessary.

This time, that doesn’t quite work, because the blocks are big. The front panels are 15 stitches across, on big needles, yarn held double, so even two arms’-lengths are soon exhausted. My friend had wound a lot of the yarn into little “butterflies”. I tried to use them at first, but they got tangled.

Now I wonder if maybe I couldn’t use them at least for the front panels of the blocks, of which there are only five across the width of the sweater. A little googling produced this delightful video illustrating the technique. I could even think of winding two yarns together into one butterfly. If I weren’t quite so constantly joining in new yarn, there would be less waste, fewer ends to deal with finally, and the knitting would go faster.

Report tomorrow.

And watching the video led to the discovery of this eBay shop selling original KF kits with the proper, now discontinued, yarns.


  1. I recently acquired a slow cooker and love it. Not that I'm out of the house working at the moment, quite the reverse, but the baby tends to be far more self-sufficient in the morning than the evening, so I cook then and we eat when my husband gets home.

  2. I must add to Vivienne's comment: it is rather a disappointment to arrive at her house mid-morning and know that the enticing aroma is not going to end up on my dinner plate!

  3. Anonymous4:59 PM

    I too ran across that Rowan kit shop while browsing eBay some time ago. Entertaining, isn't it?
    -- Gretchen