Tuesday, July 07, 2009

There you are. Finished. Four years and two months.

Not an FO yet, of course. There’s the grafting of the End to the Beginning to be done, and the repair of that moth hole, and loose ends to be tidied, and finally the blocking. I must do the grafting and moth-holing next weekend when we get back from Strathardle, while the edging pattern still precariously lodges in my mind. And I think I see a window of opportunity for the blocking: I’m due back from CT on the morning of Tuesday the 28th. Granddaughter Lizzie is going straight on down to London. My husband won’t return from London until the next day. That should leave me an unencumbered afternoon, on one of those days or the other, even allowing for sleep.

And my job in Strathardle this week, apart from my dear vegetables, is to knit the cardigan with single-minded fury.

Thank you for the advice about those sleeves, Lorrie. I always found when my children were small, that designers made sleeves too long. Or else my children had exceptionally short arms. And they (the children) weren’t terribly clever about rolling sleeves. Don’t worry here. If I shorten at all, it will only be by an inch or so, and shouldn’t be obvious to a judge as a design peculiarity.


Yesterday’s excitement was the arrival of my driving license.

We oldies have to re-apply every three years, and a good thing too. My old license expired, I think, at the end of June. I applied in April. My honest answers to the medical questions prompted them to send a supplementary medical questionnaire, which I answered in detail (with names and addresses of medical personnel) in May, on the day it arrived. All about eyes and Retinal Vein Occlusion and laser treatment.

So I’ve been anxious lately, hearing nothing, the more so because one of my magazines (cooking, not knitting) has recently failed to arrive. But here is the license. All is well. And the publishers are sending another copy of “delicious”.

So, we’re off to Strathardle and the vegetables. This is the big one: success or failure will be obvious, and it's essentially too late for remedial footwork. It was a long, cold, dry spring on the whole. When we left a fortnight ago, things were in great need of some warm weather to let them put on a growth spurt taking them forward to a stage where the slugs could wound but not kill. We got it (the warm weather) but so dry as to be thoroughly alarming – see the Fishwife’s report. These last few days have been warm and showery, perfect growing weather. What will I find?

Opium poppies grow as weeds among my vegetables – they seek out bare, cultivated ground as unerringly as pussy cats do. I love them, and always let a few grow and bloom. And wither in situ, so that there’ll be seeds for next year. (They’d probably get through even if I tried to root up every one, there are so many.) This year, I haven’t seen a single one. I know the tiny seedlings well and can recognise them from a very early stage.

Climate change?

See you Sunday, insh’Allah.


  1. Sigh of relief re the driving license. Congratulations re the Princess. What a mammoth project.

  2. Congratulations on the Princess!

    And don't worry about the poppies. Like true opportunists, they'll only start growing when they think the conditions are right. They need a good dose of rain to get them started off. I bet your beds will be covered with them in a couple of weeks.

  3. Catriona10:48 AM

    Congratulations on almost finishing the Princess!

  4. Congratulations on the Princess, it is quite a feat to have accomplished!!

    (and, as one who is also awaiting her license, on that too!!)

  5. Hurrah for finishing the Princess! As you say, there is still work to be done, but finishing the knitting is definitely a milestone. Hurrah again!

  6. Congratulations Jean, I have followed the progress of your Princess for the last couple of years like an expectant Aunt! Looking forward to seeing her in all her blocked glory. You've inspired me to take on some lace projects of my own.

  7. Anonymous1:34 PM

    The shawl is lovely. Can you let us know how and where you will block it. I am afraid to start anything like that since it might end up bigger than a bed and I would have no idea what to do if that happenen. could you use a frame? Lucky you with all those lovely vegetables. Feliz viaje.
    Ron in Mexico

  8. Congratulations on such an achievement - I can't even imagine knitting something like princess. My poppies seems to wax and wane, some years abundant, others not. Spinningfishwife may have it right.

  9. Congratulations on the Princess! I can't wait to see her in all her glory.

  10. Brava, Jean! I'll wait anxiously, along with the rest of your readers, to see the grafted, mended, and blocked masterpiece in its full glory.

  11. So happy to see the Princess looking knit - I have wrapped up a couple of long projects so I know how satisfactory that feeling is!

  12. Congratulations! what an accomplishment! i have been following your progress for quite awhile and share in your joy at completion.

    big photo soon?

  13. Anonymous11:46 PM

    Yay! Congratulations on the Princess, you're yet another of my inspirations. Someday I'll cast on...

  14. Yes, congratulations on finishing the Princess. How does it feel? And will you start another serious lace project?

  15. Wow. What a triumph.

    Just like that, one final stitch; and it's finished.

    Did you stop and savour that last stitch? Or did you just zip through the last row and then turn the work and say 'that's it'?

  16. =Tamar8:04 AM

    Finished! Whew. Just a little tidying left, as you say. Congratulations!

  17. Wow- it is amazing to see it completed. Many congratulations for sticking with it and finishing!

  18. I'm looking forward to when the Princess is fully dressed.

    Thank goodness for the driver's license finally being found. What would you have done if you were denied?

  19. Anonymous4:50 PM

    How lovely this just-about-finished Princess is looking. I'm going to miss her lovely presence. Lots of pictures of her blocked glory, please. Glad your licence came through.
    - Beth

  20. I have been following your progress on the Princess and I'm pleased to see you're so close to the end! What a project. Good luck with the blocking strategy.

    And have a wonderful trip to Connecticut.

  21. Wow. Just wow. Does life feel a bit empty now or are you still in the afterglow? I've been living with the Princess in your posts for so long now, that it's weird to think that there's only the penultimate post to go - the repair & blocking post. Is the connecticut bride interested in the shawl as a veil perhaps? Mind you, July in CT is probably a bit warm for a wool shawl!