Sunday, August 17, 2014

Again, not much. I'm halfway through the gaulmogot stripe on the Rams and Yowes border, still busily counting and adjusting stitches. I have appreciably more stitches top-and-bottom than I do on the sides. I didn't block the centre before I took a gauge reading from it – just a bit of the steam iron on a quarter of it or so. So I don't know how square (or not) it is.

My guide and mentor for the gauge-calculating-and-picking-up process was Artemiswolf, to whose excellent blog entry on the subject I have linked before. She doesn't mention that phenomenon, although her text doesn't exclude the possibility. Too late to worry about it now. Square isn't essential, is it? Finishing is.

Maybe I'll lay it aside today and get on with the edging of the Unst Bridal Shawl. Nothing much gets done on Sunday anyway.

So, here we are at the dawn of Games Week. I tremble slightly. Lizzie – the granddaughter recently returned from her year at the University of Kansas – will be here on Tuesday for a bit of Festival, having travelled up overnight on one of those superior buses where you can stretch out and sleep. We'll proceed to Strathardle with her on Thursday. The rest – Rachel and Ed and the Sydenham Mileses minus Alistair – will arrive on Friday by train and hire car.  Joe (Lizzie's brother) will come up late on Friday and stay overnight here in Drummnd Place before proceeding north. No Thomas & Lucy, no Hellie & Matt. A depleted party, compared to some years.

You didn't really need to know all that.

The Festival passes us by, these days, which is really rather sad. But I did notice on a lamppost yesterday a poster advertising a show called The Sweater Curse. It clearly referred to what we know as the Boyfriend Curse. I'd like to see that one. It is being done by a woman from Texas.


The weather has turned – our lovely summer is no more. Whether in response to slightly chill winds, or (more likely) because they recognise the change in the light, the plants on the doorstep are slowing down. The lollo rosso lettuces have perished. The courgettes are still flowering, and little courgettes are growing, but there don't seem to be very many buds to come. The carrots and beetroot are more or less all right.

It hasn't been a very good year for the chillis indoors – but there's still time. My Mysterious Plant, bucking the trend, continues to grow briskly – surely too fast for a tree? It now overtops that stick I put in on which to measure its progress.


I have fled from high culture – I'm halfway through a re-reading of Middlemarch – and have embraced the new Ruth Rendell, out last week. The Girl Next Door, it's called. That woman is good – and she's older than I am. This one is about old age, and it's good enough to cut seriously into knitting time. There is also (wonderful how life fits together sometimes) a new BBC sitcom on the subject of old age, called Boomers I think. Very well written, very well acted. (" Shut up! This is a funeral. We're meant to enjoy ourselves.") I'm not sure it quite gels (jells?) but we'll go on with it.


  1. I don't think square should be an issue. My instinct with blankets is that there should be two sides shorter (or longer) than the opposite two. That's what makes it a blanket. Square is a shawl. Then we come to double duvets, which are square, and I find that slightly distressing.
    Gels would be the spelling that I would go for, but I daresay both are right.

  2. Oooo - a new Ruth Rendell. I'm on it . Her writing, as Ruth and Barbara Vine is so good. I had no time for Old Filth at all this week. I hoping for a rainy week so I don't need or want to do anything in the garden.

  3. Thanks for linking to my blog. I'm hoping you are finding it helpful. My blanket wasn't square - it's slightly wider than it is long. Personally, I didn't mind this too much as it has pride of place over the back of a chair and fits this perfectly.