Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Jean, if you go out in the rain this morning and cut an armful of that Cornish forsythia, I guarantee that you’ll have a better vase-ful than mine this time next week. Nothing forces so wonderfully as forsythia. My mother always loved to do it. It lights up the winter.

Tamar, you may be right about fertiliser. In its early years, our bush lived in my vegetable garden, to protect it from rabbits. And therefore was exposed to the manure I spread, and that’s highly nitrogenous, I think. Now we have banished the forsythia to a conspicuous but hard-to-reach spot in the wilderness, where it seems to be doing better.

Anyway, knitting

I joined the Calcutta Cup ’06 sweater into one piece yesterday and, sure enough, it’s fun. My husband admired it last night: a rare compliment. I finished a skein of yarn, so today I’ll have to get in touch with Jamieson & Smith in Lerwick, making a strenuous effort not to order too much to-be-on-the-safe-side. The ball I polished off was one of the four background browns. I’m using them at random, so I can go on without it for a while.

Alexander, for whom it is destined, is 47 today. Happy Birthday, Alexander. He was born in 1960, as some simple arithmetic will reveal, so that from February 27th onward every year, his age ends with the same digit as the current year. When I have to remember how old anyone else is, I count forward or back from Alexander.

And I ordered Sharon’s Nesting Shawl, at least partly for its lovely name. I can’t see life being long enough to let me get around to knitting it, but you never know.

VKB No. 41, autumn ’52 I think, sold for £22 on eBay yesterday. I wasn’t involved. That’s three times what I paid for No. 36 the day before. There seems to be little or no rhyme or reason to the prices, as far as I can see. It turns out that my No. 41 has its cover, anyway – I’d like to replace it because it’s in bad shape, held together with dried-out and yellowed Sellotape, but at least it’s complete. And I’m only here for the knitting.

Janet (comment yesterday), I don’t think I’ve ever attempted a top-down design. I’m wary of them, for some reason, although I’ve got Barbara Walker’s book. It’s not an absolute no-no, like bobbles. Maybe one day.


  1. the nesting shawl is very very pretty. i love the challenge of knitting lace. music and laceknitting what a bliss. next time my nieces or nephews are expecting (or in my nephew's case his partner) i will go for some intriguing lace like this instead of the more simple crownprince one i already knit and which we were talking so passionately about last week. i love your fair isle knitting too. it is so pretty and a lot of discussion is going on on steeking at various knitting blogs right now. not so scary and after all i tried it in the 80's when knitting a norwegian lusekofte that still is worn by the owner.

  2. Anonymous6:55 PM

    I wholeheartedly agree with you about bobbles. Can't stand 'em!

  3. Anonymous12:21 AM

    Hello Jean, have you considered backing the VKB with transparent sheets? a roll of same is available at most stationer's

    happy birthday to Alexander