Saturday, September 06, 2014

The kilt-courier turned up in mid-afternoon, about what I expected I guess.

I've turned and headed back towards home, on the border of the Rams & Yowes blankie. I've knit the first decrease round. Exciting!

I had a grand time when H. visited yesterday. She's younger and prettier than I expected, fully as congenial. We covered a lot of ground. She's another Mac-user. I am beginning to suspect kismet. Jan, I've ordered “Switching to the Mac”.

H. was knitting a pair of brioche-stitch socks, lovely and fluffy. Bring on winter, with socks like that! They're a simple tube, with toe. The stitch simply accommodates the wearer's heel. She said the pattern came from a little book called “Knitting Brioche-Stitch Socks”. I've ordered that, too.

It was only after she had gone that I reflected that brioche stitch has to be knitted back and forth, at least as I learned it in the pages of EZ. I vaguely think Meg figured out a way to do it in the round, and I vaguely think I tried and failed. H. was certainly knitting in the round. I look forward to learning something when the book arrives. What a lot there is to do and learn in knitting! even if one never ventures into doing or learning anything else in life.

The first thing to do is actually to read the article about brioche stitch and fisherman's rib in the current IK. I promised it to myself some time ago. I knit a whole dress in fisherman's rib from the VKB in 1955 or '56. I have no recollection of wearing it – it must have stretched out of sight at once. But I loved the knitting. It was done by a simple k1, k1b, on and on, row after row. No yo's. No purling. I've been fond of the stitch ever since.

I have a cosy sweater in it, now much reduced by moths. It's got vertical stripes which are simply achieved by using a double-pointed needle and sliding the stitches back to the other end and knitting the next row with the other colour, with the same side facing. I think we'd better look up the instructions before you rush out and try that. But I knit that sweater in a yarn that turned out to shed. My husband banished it to Strathardle, where the moths found it.


Another day without PUP-FOP. It really must have been an attack from outside, as McAfee kept saying. Pop-up advertising is as bad as ever.

Valerie, I'd like to read Deb Robson's posts about Shetland. Initial googling attempts cast me into a time warp – she was hoping to go, and the eBook “Dreaming of Shetland” was soon to appear. Have both these things now happened?

The first of the 2015 seed catalogues turned up yesterday. This time I'm going to put some effort into choosing what to plant on the doorstep. A pot each of sorrel, lettuce, and spicy salad leaves, that's for sure. But what about more interesting vegetables? Courgettes have been rather a disappointment. Are beans possible? I'd like to try “walking onions” – they'd need a trough. And I still dream of a quince tree. All these things need careful thought.

I've nearly finished a re-reading of "Middlemarch". Goodness, what a book! It would have to be my choice for a desert island. Someone has recently publushed a book about re-reading it every ten years. I'd read that, too, except alas! it is not available for Kindle.


  1. A sugar snap pea such as Sugar Ann would be possible I think. You might need to put in twigs for support. I have a few Hestia bean plants (left over seeds from my DIL) and they are producing some short runner beans preceded by very pretty red and white flowers. French beans would do all right too as long as you limit the number of plants in the pot.

  2. Hi Jean,

    I sent you a message on Ravelry that will take you to Deb Robson's Shetland posts. It seem much less cumbersome than trying to put links in the comments.
    If the links in the message don't work for you, let me know, and I'll try to get you there some other way.

    Brioche Stitch: I've tried to like Brioche stitch but on each attempt I kept thinking of it as the kntting embodiment of that old math story problem: If a bug climing a 50 ft telephone pole is able to c limb 2" in an hour, but slides back 1" for every three inches gained, how long will it take for him to reach the top?
    That knitting into the row below just feels like sliding back down that pole!