Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The suicide at the end of Dead Poet's Society distressed me. I can't remember the story at all, the setting only dimly. But that distress clung to my feelings about Robin Williams ever after and gives this morning's news – what? a sharper sadness; a dreadful appropriateness.

Deep breath.

I got the swatch done. 50 stitches, but I realised (I think) that I only needed stitch gauge so I only knit an inch and a half or so, Today, arithmetic. I've been back to the passage in Artemiswolf's blog. It would be nice if my gauge should resemble hers closely enough that I can just use her figures. Meadow Yarns said yesterday that my great long needle is on its way, but I can always start picking up without it, using more than one needle.

I'll start off knitting grater stitch in the round the “proper” way, purling alternate rounds. It may not be too bad.

All that refers to the border of the Rams & Yowes blankie, of course.

I'm knitting the 70th bump on the Unst Bridal Shawl. A long way to go.

Kathleen Dames (herself!) left a comment suggesting her Honest Woodman's sweater for Archie. I like it a lot – and it's got everything I particularly like: that delicious EZ bottom's-up seamless construction, saddle shoulders – and it's actually written for a madelinetosh yarn. It makes the list.

Life and horticulture

Our wedding invitation is here. Don't worry, I'll be there (insh'Allah) to see the Princess in action, although that is the least of my thoughts. The only issue is whether, if my husband persists in his reluctance to make the attempt, we can go to next year's wedding without hurting Thomas' and Lucy's feelings. Unlike this year (and assuming our states of health are substantially the same in a year's time) I couldn't possibly go to Loch Fyne without him.

But, hey! It's not at all like what happened a generation ago. Nobody is being kept away from a wedding by deceit. Nobody is staying away from one to make a point. The history of Europe begins with a wedding invitation not sent, to the marriage of Peleus and Thetis with results that led directly to the Trojan war. The subject has always been fraught, clearly.

As for horticulture, it hadn't occurred to me to wonder how to get rid of my Strange Plant if it does turn out to be Japanese knotweed (Jean's comment yesterday). Except for thinking that I might chop it up and give it to my next door neighbour in Strathardle. That would be a crime, literally, and Alexander thinks it would be unwise to have it so near our house.

He's got some, about which he seems remarkably calm. There is a dirt road below their house, and beyond it a bit of rough foreshore before Loch Fyne itself begins. That's where the knotweed is. Alexander says that in Argyll it confines itself to hugging the coastline, of which there's plenty. Occasionally it tries to cross the road, he says, and when that happens he cuts it down and keeps on cutting and eventually it gives up.

I've been reading about it, in the hopes that I've got some in my pot. Do google it if you are unacquainted with Japanese knotweed. The leaves are sort of leaf-shaped (there must be a technical term for that) with a characteristic flat edge where the stem attaches. I am watching my little leaves closely as they unfold.

If that's what it turns out to be, I'll have fun writing to B&Q who sold me the compost. They ought to be told.


  1. I have this sweater on my to do list. Would Archie like it?

  2. I rather hope it isnt japanese knotweed because it is such a brute to get rid of.

    Persistent pulling/mowing/chopping does get rid of it in the end, but then you have to dispose of the cuttings which can themselves become new plants. Technically all parts of the plant and any soil contaminated with the rhizome are classified as controlled waste and are required legally to be removed and disposed of by a licensed waste control operator.

    You should definitely tell B&Q!

  3. Good morning, Jean! I look forward to seeing how your border works out. My Rams & Yowes will continue well behind the progress of yours and at a slower pace....but I have hopes it will be done before Christmastime. I feel a little guilty as I'm waiting for you to do the work and will move forward on my blanket based on your findings.

    Your Japanese Knotweed is very interesting. It reminds me of the invasive Purple Loosestrife we have in the area. There was a huge fuss about managing it as it became established. Now, we have hogweed and parsnip that will give you boils, burns and blindness yet there is nowhere near the fuss there was over the loosestrife....its only crime is sucking up the water and looking nice.

  4. The shirt yoke EZ sweater is fun and classic. I made one for an old boyfriend (30 yrs ago??!!) and he wears it still. Sent me a photo of him winning a fishing contest wearing it. Is Knotweed the stuff that can take a house down? I hope it doesn't end up here, we have enough invasives. The wicked winter we had at least put paid to the Japanese beetles for this summer.

  5. Sad to say we have the knot weed here in coastal New York. have had for years. grrr.

  6. Anonymous2:49 PM

    Not that I wish Japanese knotweed on anyone, but if it is I do hope you will share the “delightful” letter to B&Q. - cheers!

  7. I tried to post this morning and it didn't go though. Re the wedding, could your husband be persuaded to participate in some way via a remote connection like Skype (with technical support)? No replacement for being there, but maybe a solution.

    I too hope you will share any correspondence with B&Q.

  8. Anonymous2:22 AM

    the woodsman's sweater is interesting but looks far too fussy for a person Archie's age. Mary in Cincinnati