Saturday, August 29, 2009

Holly, those leads on jabot design you posted yesterday were enormously interesting and potentially useful. Stacey, yours too.

I don’t think there’s any difference between a man’s and a woman’s jabot. I saw some attached to women’s blouses – and gorgeous they were – at Kinloch Anderson that day.

I spent yesterday’s knitting time, despite intentions, fiddling with the jabot. My corner-to-corner lace square, full of mistakes, is now declining towards completion. The lace strip, meanwhile, is currently off the needle, stitches well-secured. That let me play with it on the newly-tea-dyed jabot, and I think that maybe after all I could make something of it.

But I’ll finish the square and see how it looks with something else underneath. I’ve got the Christine Duchrow incomplete jabot I knit a while ago, to fill that role temporarily.

Today I really will knit the stole, though.

I felt very restless, knit-wise, this morning. The fall Knitty doesn’t seem to be up. I went to Ravelry and found that other people are missing Franklin and that a post in a lace-for-boys group mentions my jabot! So I’ve got to persevere.

However, for here and for now, I’ll talk about Strathardle.

Lisa, we use the word “commonty” just to mean “land-held-in-common”. Which it isn’t, any more. Our house and its three fields used to be a croft, supporting a numerous family. The fields are now tenanted by sheep. In addition, there is a strip of land down by the burn (and occasionally flooded by it) --– I think it would qualify as a haugh -- which was once held in common by three proprietors. Well before we bought our house, it had been formally divided. We had the first bit, nearest the house.

We immediately bought the next section, allowing the former owner to continue pasturing his cows there in perpetuity rent-free. I wish we had pursued an attempt to secure the third with equal energy. The cows and their owner are long gone and our four specimen trees stand in that part. “Down the commonty” is part of the mysterious family vocabulary which incomers (such as the people our children marry) find so difficult at first, although all have mastered it by now.

I’m glad to hear there are metasequoias in America. It is an easy-going, fast-growing deciduous conifer, also known as a Dawn Redwood. The real-life modern ones in China were matched to the fossil shortly after the war, and thereafter widely distributed. It likes to have its feet wet, and our mistake was to plant it on a slight slope. If it had been a few yards further forward, nearer the burn, it would have been much happier. It even suffered this year in that freak drought of the early summer which carried off my seedbed roll. I thought it was big enough to look after itself, and didn’t go down the commonty to water it as I have in many another summer.

The other two trees are a pinus nigra, the Black Pine, planted in memory of Helen and David’s eldest son Oliver, who died at six weeks. Helen wanted a big tree. We put it in the winter of Oliver’s birth and death, and have never had a tree which hit the ground running with such enthusiasm. Here is this year’s poor picture, with Oliver's three brothers.

The fourth is an abies koreana, whose party trick is blue fir cones. It was planted for Rachel and Ed’s 40th birthdays, more than a decade ago now. It doesn’t always do its trick, but it did this year. Helen took its 2009 picture, with the young Ogdens. I’ll post it when she sends it to me.

1 comment:

  1. We have a Dawn Redwood! Like you, we planted ours on a slight slope and if my husband hadn't been diligent about watering it the first few years, I am sure it would have died. It is looking fit this year, and seems to actually be thriving.

    Thanks for the info about it.