Saturday, August 16, 2008

Here we are briefly back in Edinburgh between one busy week and the next.

The weather has been abominable – rain every day. Individual days of this sort are common enough, but I can’t remember so consistent a run of them in August. Friday the 8th was a nice day – I didn’t feel up to getting the lawnmower out, but Helen took her sons for a deer walk, up Glen Derby half way to Pitlochry. They saw dozens, including an antlered stag. Just waiting up there until the Games are over, when they’ll come down and eat my vegetables.

We dined splendidly off them -- the vegetables, not the deer, alas -- and with variety. We’re up to date with courgette-eating, and indeed production is slow: lots of flowers, but most of them male. Is this a response to the lowering, sunless weather? Can a plant change its mind that fast? Such courgettes as there are at the moment are being grown on for their role in the Collection of Four Vegetables which I hope to enter in the Games.

There’s nothing like a freshly-dug potato.


I didn’t do much, but the Araucania sweater was a great comfort when I did pick it up. It’s looking large, and at one point I tried it on, popping a third of the stitches off the circular needle as I did so. It’s fine. I’m large, too.

Here, I press on with the Liesl, although I don’t know for how much longer. I’ve come to the difficult bit of which other knitters have spoken, when I’ve got to decide whether it’s long enough to reach the armpits. (It’s top-down.) Since it will eventually be fairly severely blocked, to bring up the lace effect – it’s essentially feather-and-fan – the problem is compounded.

I can’t actually start designing the swallowtail coat of a beautiful blue for a teddy bear until I’ve wound the yarn and swatched it. So I think I’d better press on with that. I bought the teddy bear yesterday. That’s a start.

While I was there in John Lewis, I looked at the autumn Rowan magazine, but left it behind. I might have bought it at half the price. I’ve got the new IK. Not too bad. What about the Estes vest in Rowan’s new Colorscape?

I felt of the last issue – can’t remember whether I said it here or just thought it to myself – that Eunny’s editorial eye preferred designs that would look well on Eunny Jang. This issue looks as if others complained to her of the same thing, and she is trying, against the grain, to suit the Fuller Figure.

The Curmudgeon says the new VK is good, and links to this brilliant site where Vogue has had the bright idea of showing some of the designs in motion.

Family News

Grandson Joe – Rachel’s younger son – got the A Levels he needed for university. He’s going to Nottingham to read politics. I know everybody gets good grades these days, but on the day, “everybody” can’t be guaranteed to include one’s dear grandson. He got three A’s.


  1. We subscribe to IK, so I got to peruse it when it came last week. My lament, as usual, is the lack of designs for men. I do think that the Fair Isle mitts could be adapted easily with a change of yarn and colorways, and may consider making a pair for the winter months. I have yet to see the VK, but I had planned to get it and Mar's review just solidified that for me.

  2. Anonymous2:06 PM

    Welcome back - and I'd love some of that rain. This morning my plans include dragging the hose around every hour to water the beds. The new Rowan is ok, but I agree, a bit pricey.

  3. Anonymous2:25 PM

    Like you, we here in southwestern Vermont are nearly submerged! I don't remember such a rainy summer.
    If we don't get some hot sun soon we'll be dining on fried green tomatoes and green tomato relish rather that the hoped for lucious ripe red ones. I walked out to the garden yesterday to pick some basil and the water around the base of the raised beds was up to my ankles!!

  4. I too was pleased to see a larger model in IK. Then I noticed that it was the 39in she was wearing, not the 52in. So she isn't really that large.
    What does surprise me - and I'm not a colour expert - is the use of similar, but not identical colours. It was a sort of pale orange in the previous issue and this time two shades of mid-blue on the same page.
    The real shame, of course, is the loss of the verve Eunny brought to her blog designs. Can it really be the same girl designing those mitts? And what about the instructions for that scarf with its three strands of yarn?

  5. Re: Liesl, I ended up blocking the yoke on its own to check for length (and I realize as I type this that I may already have posted this information in a comment here--sorry if I'm repeating myself). It did stretch an astonishing amount (I've knit lots of lace, but not feather/fan, so perhaps that's why I was surprised).

  6. Anonymous4:16 AM

    Courgettes and such plants depend intensely on the length and quality of daylight for their flowering and fruiting. If you got the first set of flowers but not the second, it might actually help if you could set up some "false daylight" with full-spectrum lights. It was such observations that led Ott to his discoveries of the importance of full-spectrum light. He was photographing plans and needed to get them to flower, but the indoor lights weren't right.

  7. Well done Joe! A levels aren't given out all that casually, Joe's definitely earnt them. Besides, the amount of nervous tension and stress that goes into just sitting the buggers and getting to the end of the scholastic year without bloodshed amongst the family deserves celebration!

    I've been looking at the staff gallery on intereweave knits where some of IK staff model the same piece of knitting to demonstrate the negative and positive ease each garment has on different figures. It's been a very interesting exercise and made me revise my ideas about knitting one or two items.

    You could always pinch off and stuff the male flowers. Lots of yummy recipes for courgette flower stuffing!