Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Helen is now back in Strathardle. She said on the phone last night that – no surprise, here – it’s terribly dry. The weather forecasting page that Lorna told me about, says that there is a thunderstorm in Blairgowrie right this moment, with more showers to come. So I’m hopeful. (A thunderstorm in Blair doesn’t necessarily mean a drop of rain in Kirkmichael, 12 miles away.) I will be tempted to drive up for the day on Friday just to water, if the heavens don’t bring relief.

It’s hot here. Not USA hot, not even London hot, but hot enough to create sweat and inefficiency and bad temper.

I’m glad you like the Farmgirl, Lee. She’s got a great-sounding recipe for tomato salad this morning. I can’t get outdoor-ripened tomatoes here, let alone grow them. And one of my theories of life is that things ripened under glass or (more likely these days) polythene Don’t Taste the Same. Still, I can get British-grown tomatoes which are better than the ubiquitous leather-skinned Dutch ones and have something of that heavenly smell, and try the salad with them.

Anyway, knitting.

I decided to make the v-neck pullover vest in the green Malabrigo, rather than the red Debbie Bliss “Maya”, because the green is somewhat less wonderful and should probably therefore be knit first. Here is my swatch, and the pile of yarn. I seem to have an unconscionable amount.

I generated a pattern in the Sweater Wizard, and have packed it with the hard-backed Vogue Knitting book to take north with us next week. The SW pattern has me cast off the shoulders straight across, which would, I know, make me look as if padded up for football. The Vogue book is to assist in the creation of a gentle slope.

(There must be hundreds of copies of that book on the second-hand market. My request for “Vogue Knitting” produces messages about it from Abebooks and eBay pretty well daily.)

I’ve started on the third repeat of the center section of the Paisley Long Shawl, glad to have lace to knit in this weather. The sticking-out ends show the point of the join. I think it would pass muster even from a slow-moving horse, but I’ll do a better one for Hiawatha.

Helen and those boys will be back here on Sunday, to meet their husband and father off the plane from Thessaloniki. They’ll go north yet again on Monday, and we will follow on Tuesday or Wednesday when we’ve recovered. This is not a suitable house for rampaging about in.

Mungo – the middle one, eight years old – is trying to learn to knit. He’s dead keen, and I’m making a poor job of teaching him. We haven’t got anywhere with the grip – he wants to hold the needles at the end, like oars. I went to John Lewis yesterday and bought some better, shorter needles than the ones Helen got him in Blair, and I’ll look in my stash today for some cheerful multi-coloured yarn. But what I really need is to know how to teach technique. An appeal to Judy Sumner, perhaps?

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