Friday, May 03, 2013

Thanks for all the kind words about Shetland. We are now, all four of us, booked on the same flight north from Edinburgh, or so we hope. Your story about not being able to land for fog, and being diverted to Orkney, is a bit worrying, Shandy. Look on it all as an adventure. Now we can start thinking about what we want to do after the Museum and Jamieson & Smith.

It occurred to me yesterday that late September should be a good time for this-season’s seaweed-fed lamb, if it can be had without venturing into too fancy-schmancy a restaurant. And, even so, it may be obtainable from a butcher and I could bring some back for us and for Rachel.

I’ve just watched the Herzog lesson which I couldn’t stop yesterday, and it was indeed interesting. I had trouble persuading her to start again from the beginning of the lesson, but not as much trouble as I had yesterday.

It is much, much easier to get hold of what she’s saying than in the pages of her book, lucid though that is. I think the knitty-gritty is that you should choose a sweater size as if your torso measurement – circumference at underarm – were your bust measurement.

That will ensure shoulder fit, and bust size can be accommodated by darts.

The Relax is, as we knew, not at all suited to this sort of rigorous analysis. “The sizes given are just suggestions. Please choose the size that will suit the wearer best,” says Amirisu. But I think Herzog at least offers a nudge.

Kate Davies has just issued a lovely pattern called Catkin. My first thought was, it’s a stunner, if you have a figure like Kate Davies’. Then I thought, this could be the perfect project to apply Herzog’s principles to. We shall see. The yarn used, baa ram ewe’s new Titus, sounds terrific.


My chilli-growing book came yesterday and I don’t think I learned anything from a speed-read except that (a) heat is fully established in a mature green chilli so you don’t have to wait for it to turn red if you don’t want to; and (b) the little ones I bought at Tesco the other day to grow on a bit and give to our neighbours, called Apache, are easy and hot. They seem to be growing with enthusiasm. I need to get them into proper pots.

There was no clue as to what variety the Waitrose chilli might be. Its fruit grow upward from the stems, whereas most of the illustrations show chillis hanging down. That might be a clue, in a more comprehensive book.

The plant had a good few chillis on it, both green and red, when I bought it in the winter. The green ones briskly turned red. Then there was a gap when there was no fruit at all. Now I’ve got half-a-dozen or so green chillis, with more coming on, but no reddening.


  1. If you Google "Shetland Arts and Crafts" there is a site by that name which has a craft trail you can follow - one of the categories is knitting and textiles but there are others as well. Might it offer some ideas? But perhaps you already know about it?
    Kate's Catkin is a very sensible sort of pattern . If I knitted other people's patterns I would be tempted by that one.

  2. I have a skein of Titus in each of the three undyed 'colours' here, and no idea what to knit with it. It is absolutely delicious stuff and feels almost too special to use. But I'm thinking maybe a small graduated Pi shawl. We shall see.

    I'm on the opposite of the plane to you, so no glimpses of the fair isle through the clouds for me.

  3. Sorry to have misled you yesterday. We went first to Shetland from Aberdeen and had a good flight. While in Shetland someone told us that it was possible to be delayed for several days waiting for the fog to clear so that the plane could land.
    After our week in Shetland we flew on to Orkney and it was on that leg of the journey that we flew over Fair Isle. The ferries over to Yell and Unst were fun too.

  4. On a completely unrelated topic I wonder if you had seen this blog post about the now long gone Art Needlework Industries shop and Heinz Edgar Kiewe in Oxford. It has some interesting background details.