Friday, February 17, 2006

The big excitement yesterday was that my seed potatoes arrived.

Normally, I take them to Kirkmichael for chitting. It’s colder there, and it’s bracing for them. But we have had mouse trouble this winter, as previously chronicled. I think we’ve dealt with the problem, and there are ways of protecting the potatoes such as balancing the trays on empty bottles, but I don’t want to risk it, this time.

Fisherman’s Sweater

I was in John Lewis’s yarn department yesterday, and – yes, I know I had been there only two days before, with Helen, but I had errands at the bank, the post office, and Boots, so it lay directly in my path. And I found this, and was tempted. (Blogger is refusing to upload my nice scanned image, so I had to photograph it -- but you get the idea.)

Why go further and fare worse? All the work done for me, no charts to struggle with, I could change the neck, colours good and the yarn delicious to handle. I bought the book, as you see (I don’t often buy patterns these days), and felt like a rabbit in the headlights. But as soon as I got home, I decided that I wouldn’t be able to stand the faux-ness of it.

Thank you for your comments, Mama Lu. Alexander is worried by that pink, too. I’m pretty sure I’m going to go for claret (colour-wise, I mean). His wife Ketki gets copies of the emails we exchange, and rarely intervenes – she’s got a bank to run. But she did step in this week to say that she’d like a sweater in Herring Girls Pink. It would suit her, too. So we may be here for a while.

[And it’s all down to Franklin. I sent the URL for his cartoon of November 9 to my four children, and Alexander replied rather sourly that it didn’t have any relevance to him because I hadn’t knit him anything for decades. Which was true.]

As to seeing my knitting, I can see anything with my new plastic eyes (after two cataract operations last year). I knit the Princess Shawl edging on something conspicuous, perhaps even ebony, and was really worried – this was pre-operation – about how I was going to see the stitches when I had to switch to a long grey Inox. No trouble at all.

The Princess is getting on fine. I don’t know when I’ve had such fun. A snail would laugh at the rate of progress – currently, row 38 – but even at that pace, motifs are completed, other motifs introduced, and I am led ever onwards as if Sheherezade herself were dictating the pattern.

My current plan – if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans for tomorrow – is to lay it aside next week (Calcutta Cup week) and test-knit Lorna's nudibranch pattern. Then I will resume the Princess at least until I finish the current chart-page (row 62), perhaps a bit more if it’s no later than April. Then lay it aside again to knit my sister’s shawl. And that may have to be interrupted to knit the shrug which will be my Games entry (4th Saturday in August). Then when shawl and shrug are finished, it’ll be Princess, Princess, Princess.

I’m enjoying the joint blog of two Princess knitters, but from the nature of the thing it isn’t updated very often.


Cat, I sent you a reply to your question about rhubarb, from your website.

Mama Lu, my edition of Thompson is the Dover one, too, but it says it’s unabridged. I remember when that book came out – it’s one of those memories that locates itself in space: where the book was on the shelf, where the shelf was in the bookcase, where the bookcase was in the bookstore. But I couldn’t afford it, then.

Janet, thank you for your work on the “jersey” and “guernsey” problem. It really does sound as if we could stop worrying.

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