Thursday, May 05, 2011

Rain is forecast for today – alas, not yet falling.

We have had spring droughts in recent years, followed by summers so soggy that the watering of my vegetables needed no further thought. But this year’s spring drought has been extreme – soil trickles back between the tines of a fork in a most un-Strathardle fashion. Rain is badly needed.


Kristie, I was going to be too modest to mention it until I read your comment yesterday. I wrote to Franklin and told him how I had been too late to sign up for the photography class because of my struggles with a steam-powered computer; could he pull a string? And he has written back to say, sure. I haven’t heard any more yet, but as he said himself, if it’s all right with him it ought to be all right with the Knit Nation organisers.

So whatever happens, the organisers will know that I’m not just any old knitter, I am a knitter for whom Franklin Habit will make room in a class.

All well here. I am halfway around Row 39 of the Mourning Shawl border – a decrease round at last. 5.8% of the stitch count will be removed – not enough, I fear, to create a perceivable increase in speed. My current plan is to finish the first page of the chart, 54 rows, slightly more than half the border. And then stop and knit an Aran sweater for the Games.

I’ve just (gulp) ordered the yarn from Starmore. I decided it was pretty silly to go for “Schiehallion” just because it is a dear local mountain, when I actually preferred a different colour. I’ve ordered “Wyvis”, named after a mountain I’ve never even heard of.

I didn’t get much knitting done in Strathardle. We have embarked on the delicious weeks of the year when there is so much light that it is entirely possibly to spend all of one’s waking hours out of doors. The downside is a state of such total exhaustion that even simple knitting is too much. I finished off the first sleeve of the pink Araucania sweater, and cast on the second. A few rows, in all.

Yesterday’s diabetic appt was, however, very productive of knitting time, and Joe’s 21st birthday sock is in a state where a couple of evenings should polish it off. I’d probably better fit it in in between half-the-shawl border and the Aran sweater.


We ate some rhubarb.

The summer pudding bush promises a good crop – those are tiny flowers, rather than tiny red currants, so it is too soon to net the bush.

The bunching onions (top) are doing fine, although there’s not much bunching going on. I bought the parsley plants – they simply won’t grow from seed for me. We tried eating Good King Henry (right foreground, next to that plastic pot) and still don’t like it much – I’ll try soup next time. The strawberries promise well.


  1. I'm so glad you have permission from the man himself to join the class. And your garden looks full of spring promise in spite of the drought.

  2. Try letting one parsley plant go to seed and self sow. I get much better germination that way. Even better are the masses of tiny plants that have appeared in the applied compost layer on my asparagus.

  3. Good work on the pulling of strings to get in to Franklin's photography class. That class is probably going to be similar to one he gave here just a few blocks from our house. Remember? I did the lace knitting class instead. I think any class with Franklin is worth every penney (or pound).
    I wonder if Franklin will finally get that photograph of you for his 1000 knitters book - London will be his chance.

  4. Re Latinate diction: do you attribute this trait to your subject specialism or is it an American characteristic? I'm thinking of that famous remark about "refurbishment" - was it an ambassador?

    So, you will definitely be at Knit Nation on the Saturday, as well as the Friday? I would love to say hello in the lunch-break, if possible.

  5. I was hoping you'd inquire of Franklin if he could do a little behind-the-scenes help.

    I took his class when he was in Madison in March. It was SO well-done. I am a rank amateur at photography, but found the class to be enormously helpful. Now I just need to actually practice what he taught us!

  6. Ben Wyvis is in Ross&Cromarty .. north of Dingwall. It always lifted my heart when I would walk into town (Inverness) along the River Ness and there he would be in front of me... so large as to seem to be on the Black Isle ... sighhhhhh.

    Elizabeth A.

  7. =Tamar7:31 AM

    May I suggest acquiring some clean hay and using it to mulch the garden? Ruth Stout never had to water her garden; she just kept it six inches deep in hay, with more added every year. She wrote several books about it.

  8. =Tamar7:32 AM

    P.S. I love rhubarb.

  9. Anna D7:53 AM

    The strawberries look lovely -- did you get any berries on your Mara des Bois plants last year?