Thursday, August 02, 2012

I’ve done the second Sweet Tomato Heel, and very nice it is.

The heel consists of three wedges, stacked on top of each other. Each is done, knitting back and forth, by stopping two stitches short of where you stopped last time, turning, slipping the first stitch, and knitting or purling back. No tedious wrapping.

When you come to knit across the whole row, the stitches will present themselves in little bunches of two. One of the two you just knit; for the other, you lift the stitch from the row below onto the left-hand needle, and knit it together with the stitch already there.

Watching the video again yesterday, I finally made explicit to myself the fact that the stitch on which you perform the operation just described, is the one that was slipped. I don’t think Cat Bordhi ever says so, in so many words. Her video suffers a bit from cuteness, talking of mother stitches and daughter stitches and horseback-riding. Her attempt to teach me Judy’s Magic Cast-On had the same fault – never mind “tick tock”, I need to knew exactly how the yarns wrap around the needles.

Which is not to detract in the slightest from the brilliance of the Sweet Tomato Heel.

So I’ve done my best one yet. I had failed to write down, however, the numbers which I deemed to be two-thirds and one-third of 56 on the first sock; or how many stitches I left undone in the middle of the wedge. So this heel is slightly different, I feel, from its friend. Not a fatal error.

I have been buying knitting books as if they were hog futures, and I should tell you about them, but instead I will write about

My husband’s sister – C., who died last year – and I went to Turkey together, oh, perhaps 30 years ago. Part of the holiday took place on the south coast. Excursions were offered, including one to Termessos, but no one was interested except me. So the only way to get there would have been to hire a car and driver. The exchange was absurdly in our favour in those days – it would have cost very little. But C. didn’t want to go. She said she’d go along, but would insist on paying half.

An Offer I Couldn’t Accept, as she knew. (We were better off than she was.)

So I have never been there. But just lately, Greek Helen and her family have been touring western Turkey. Go to Termessos, I kept telling them. I recently had this email from her:

 "I never made it. Something terrible had happened to my back and I could scarcely move, Fergus was fraught with exhaustion and Archie refused to move, so David and Mungo went alone. They said it was like coming across an Inca city in the jungle. Astonishing and silent. Next time I'll go on a stretcher if need be."

Here is a picture of Mungo in Termessos:

It is wonderful to know that it is as wonderful as I have always imagined, and that it still doesn’t have a car park full of tour busses.

We’ve got on dining room back. I’ll show you tomorrow.


  1. I've taken a class from Cat B (not the heel) and her teaching Style is similar, years of teaching math to kids I think. Yet another lesson from Magistra Jean (if I remember that right.) off to look up Termessos..

  2. Hooray for the dining room!

  3. Anonymous7:40 PM

    How wonderful that your dining room is finally finished. I know that has to be a load off of your mind.

    Thanks for sharing the photo of Mungo at Termessos. It's great to hear that it is as wonderful a place as you had always imagined.

    I watched one of Cat Bordhi's videos a few years ago, and I found her manner of delivery quite irritating, which is a shame, since I've read that she's a very nice person. I quit the video after a couple of minutes, as I couldn't listen to any more. I have always wondered why she talks in such a childish manner, and if she talks that way when she's teaching classes.

    Mary G. in Texas

  4. I had not heard of Termessos previously - wow it sounds amazing indeed. Now added to my hope-to-visit-someday list.
    Did you hear about the new new-Hittite statue discovered in SE Turkey? I used to want to be an archaeologist until I realized you spent years sifting dirt in hot weather.