Friday, March 18, 2005


We got back yesterday to find the package from Meg -- The Opinionated Knitter, Jamieson 3, and "Knitting With a Smile" by Inger Fredholm. Wow! Sometimes books one has been waiting for are a disappointment -- I am afraid Martha Waterman's Shawls and Scarves comes to mind in that category, and more recently Hoxbro's "Shadow Knitting" although I may warm to that one once I start knitting the famous alien scarf from Stitch n' Bitch. Not her pattern, of course, but the same technique.

But all three of these new books are simply sensational, in their different ways, making one regret anew the shortness of life.

Country Life

Above (I hope) is the promised picture of my kitchen garden, to be published every time we come back from Strathardle. Despite the caption, there is a change. The previous one shows a winter scene, this one, spring.

In fact, it happened while we were there. On Monday when we arrived it was so cold that the refrigerator wouldn't go on until the kitchen had warmed up a bit. It snowed that night, and Tuesday was bitter cold (although the birds, recognising equinoctial light when they see it, tweeted away regardless). Wednesday was spring, warm, grey, damp and drippy. Yesterday as we were leaving, there was sunshine to boot. We'll be back in Easter week, DV.

Nothing is happening, so far, with my seed potatoes. Why is that? Supermarket potatoes, this time of year, develop strong and healthy sprouts within days. The kitchen is warmer than an upstairs bedroom at Burnside, of course.

The Scarf

More about the new books, and about Burnside knitting, in days to come. For now, back to the alpaca scarf. I am beginning to think the project is cursed.

I decided last night that there was no hope of achieving the length I want with the yarn available if I persevere with brioche stitch (which is hungry for yarn). I have been wearing all winter the "Shape-It" scarf from Sally Melville's (excellent) book "The Knit Stitch" -- I want something long and narrow like that.

So why not just knit a Shape-It with the alpaca? Because it's in garter stitch, which is also hungry of yarn, and because it's knit sideways, with the whole length of the scarf on the needles at once, so it's awkward to break off if you run out of yarn.

I've started again with fewer stitches and the "Italian Chain Ribbing" pattern from Walter I, p. 47. Success, I think. Picture soon.

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