Tuesday, August 07, 2012

A new follower! You can't imagine how the heart leaps!

I finished the red socks – the 8th pair this year, so we’re proceeding at the fairly leisurely pace of one-a-month. There was time off, of course, for the madelinetosh sleeveless for my husband, and for the Games-entry snood.

I’ll wash them, or at least soak them in warm water, a couple of times to ensure, if possible, that they won’t turn our niece's underwear pink.

And I started some Italian flag socks (Regia) for Rachel’s daughter Hellie, using Candace Strick’s system. As I suspected, I didn’t like snipping the Channel Island cast-on out stitch by stitch. Not one bit. The result is satisfactory enough, after a bit of fudging, but the process was not satisfying.

I had a look at my new “Cast On Bind Off” book, mentioned here recently (Leslie Ann Bestor, Storey Publishing, spiral-bound). She includes the standard provisional cast-on’s, of course – with the sensational idea (I think) of using the cable of a circular needle as the “waste yarn” in that cast-on that is sort of like a cat’s cradle.

It’s also sort of like Judy’s Magic Cast-On, in fact, except that only one needle is involved – a similar up-down movement, first one yarn and then the other. I have done it successfully once, in the distant past. It was fun. Now I am determined to do it again. I have a very short, fine-gauge circular which will be perfect for the purpose. If I can master this one, I will have made a great leap forward.

Essentially what Candace has done here is start at the point where toes join foot, with a provisional cast-on of half the final number of stitches. You then knit down, decreasing as you go, to the point of the sock, and then back up again, increasing by picking up a stitch at the end of each row from the initial wedge, forming a nice little pocket. Then re-claim the provisional stitches and on you go.

(I can’t quite visualise it myself, even though I did it yesterday. Three-dimensional geometry is where mathematics and I parted company.)

It’s a good deal less fiddly – except for the Channel-Island-cast-on business – than other toe-up’s. Even when a Turkish cast-on, or a Judy’s Magic if I’m lucky, has been executed successfully, the succeeding few rounds are pretty agonising.

Real Life

I got most of the books into the dining-room bookcase yesterday. They are mostly mine, a motley collection from the enthusiasms of my middle years, a bit disconcerting now. Today’s ambition is to do a bit of hoovering and then replace the three rugs, between dining-room door and front door, which were removed to facilitate the tramping back and forth of workmen.

Alexander turned up on the doorstep yesterday, a totally unexpected treat. He had come to Edinburgh to see an old friend and had an hour to spare. We’ll see him next at the Games.

Our plan is to go to Strathardle tomorrow – Helen and family will join us on Thursday. We need to be there in advance to get the beds made. Ten days ago, we and the Beijing Mileses left on the same morning, stripping the beds as we went.


  1. Anonymous10:35 AM

    I think that's the Milan colourway. Not the Italian one.

  2. Anonymous10:35 AM

    Sorry. I meant Rome!!

  3. Best of luck to all at the games!

  4. Looking forward to the Games report.
    I really enjoy the children's crafts and the vegetable arrangements.

  5. =Tamar10:04 AM

    It must be something in the season. Several of my friends are in the process of moving things on and off shelves and in and out of cabinets. Good health to all!