Friday, April 11, 2008

A day of good news. My husband came through his dental ordeal in good order, and we found a home at last for a little sofa which has been surplus to requirements for months, but the reeely good news is that the gansey has arrived safely in Denver -- just in time for a six-inch snow fall. It’s too cosy for normal social wear, I think, but should be perfect for ski-ing. Theo promises pictures soon.

So we’ll attempt Strathardle today. The weather forecast isn’t entirely good, “showers” and even “snow”. But I ought to be able to get something done, although clearly not seed-sowing. Blogging should resume next Thursday. The dentist said that my husband’s mouth will continue to improve now that the locus of infection is gone. That ought to mean that he may soon feel as well as he did before all this started, and that in turn probably means that we will go to London before the end of the month.


I got a fair amount done yesterday, with the dentist’s waiting room thrown in. I’m going to carry on sock-knitting in Strathardle, contrary to my usual practice.

Thank you for the remark about ribbing, Mel. I think I am going to try it. It is time, anyway, that I knit a pair of socks for Thomas-the-Elder, whose request precipitated the current sock-a-thon. Gents are so boring compared to KF stripes and Yarn Yard colour, but it must be done. I’ve found a couple of balls of an episcopal purple which should minimise the tedium.

I’ll try knitting the initial rib as usual, and then switching to k6, p2 for the rest of the leg. That is essentially how the gansey was knit, and it wasn’t too painful. I remembered while thinking about all this that I wouldn’t dream of knitting kilt hose without ribbing the legs. (How are you getting on with yours, Mel? Hmmm?)

As for that gusset hole, Else’s solution (comment yesterday) of knitting that horizontal thread together with the last (or first) heel-flap stitch sounds simple and elegant. My way involves, however, getting hold of two or even three horizontal threads and making a stitch in them. I usually twist them, too, by knitting into the back.

I don’t understand your question, Callie. You go down the heel-flap picking up one stitch in each stitch of the edge. In my memorised pattern, that will be ¼ of the original number. Then there you are at the point where a hole is likely, and, as always, there are horizontal threads to be seen between the last-stitch-knit and the next-to-be-knit. That’s where I slip a needle under two or even three of them, front-to-back, and then knit a stitch tbl-fashion.

(Callie's blog, as per the link just given, is in French!)

Why is it that the second hole, when you have knit across the instep and are ready to start back up the far side of the heel flap, is always harder to eliminate than the first one?


  1. Slowly, though working them in worsted weight helps.

  2. Your remark about the second hole being worse is right on the nail. I'm not sure why this is the case, but I usually deal with it by picking up the second thread down, twisting it, and then laddering it up using the top thread - just as if it were a dropped stitch. This seems to work fairly well - it fills in the would-be hole quite nicely.

  3. When the sock students ask about the second hole I take a line from my grade school nuns - it's a mystery.

  4. I am glad to discover that I am not the only one who has to deal with those pesky holes. I thought, for the longest time, that my technique was lacking something.

  5. Anonymous2:32 PM

    Your husband may find that he feels better than he has felt for the past year. I just went through the abcessed teeth ordeal and found that I really didn't have an ongoing impossible to cure sinus infection.

  6. lol@ Mary-Lou. The infinite mystery of the sock holes.
    Thanks for re-explaining, Jean. I get it now! :)

  7. I'm de-lurking to say I hope your husband is feeling quite well and has left his debilitating dental dilemma behind him. He has my complete empathy.

    Are you working on any lace? I need inspiration...or maybe just a kick in the trousers. I seem to have a distinct need for Spring this year.

  8. Anonymous2:30 AM

    I'm glad to hear that your husband's dental situation has improved so much. Abscesses are not fun.

    If I have this right, you create several new stitches in the stretched-out thread next to the heel flap. Or is it that you knit two (or three) rows-worth of stretched out threads together to make one new stitch? Or do you do Fiona said and pick up and knit a short column of new stitches?

  9. Anonymous11:23 PM

    I know it's a bit like cursing, but have you considered wordpress or typepad?
    Both will import your entire blogger blog (and leave it on blogger in case you change your mind or you just want to experiment with the new platform).
    Wordpress is free and typepad (which I use) is very low cost and pretty spam-proof.
    Having used both I think typepad is better, but then I would, wouldn't I?


  10. Hi Jean -- thinking of you when I saw this when I was going through old items:
    (lighthouse gansey socks)

  11. So glad to hear that all is dentally improving. Let us know what you've managed to plant for the summer crop. Was watching Jamie Oliver on the idiot box and noticed his comments about potato crop yield. What's your average yield/lb of seed potatoes? Am deliberating on what to plant in pots for winter greens. Should be intersting to find out what is successful. Some chard would be good...