Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It’s all over, and this will be a poor report.

I wasn’t feeling very snappy on Games Day, and thus lack the pictures I need: of the knitting, especially the cardigans that beat mine; and of the Collections of Four Vegetables, where the winners all entered great big cabbages.

The saddest photographic miss of all didn’t involve me – the winning entry in the Knitted Hat section (deserving of the Glenisla Shield for the best handicraft entry, although I don’t know whether the knitter got it) was done from Katherine Misegades’ “Picture Hat” pattern on page 142 of a Gathering of Lace. Or if not that, a near-identical rip-off. Spectacular.

The winning cardigans were beautifully knit, with cables 'n' things 'n' buttons 'n' bows. Mine may have been more wearable, and indeed fits the intended recipient well and she loves it. My consolation in the vegetable section was that no one else entered runner beans – as I’ve said, they’re not easy in Strathardle and I’ve never before had them ready so early.

I made a Collection of Four Vegetable soup the next day, and very tasty it was.

Our triumph was Alistair Miles of Beijing’s First Prize in the “bookends” category. His entry was based on a split log which he had been sanding and varnishing for days. He has left it behind, so I can produce a picture of it next time.

I didn’t even get new “Grandchildren” or “Rachel, Alexander, James and Helen” pictures taken for the sidebar. It could have been done, it should have been. Everybody was there. We had a good time. The weather was amazing: it had been as rotten an August as anyone could remember – here we are all rushing out the back door to see a rainbow, only the day before – but Games Day was fair.

Earlier in the week, we had a chain saw session to cut up wood for the winter. My husband says we haven’t done enough, but it’s a good start. James worked the chain saw, I steadied the logs, the children took turns handing me the next log. Then we formed a chain gang to stack it all up in the byre. Those are the Beijing Mileses on the left, the Athens Drakes on the right.

Then my husband, inspired at the idea that the chain saw was in action, with James on hand to wield it, decided to take out a sycamore tree (they’re weeds) which was overtopping a favourite chestnut. Here he is, with his sons, working on it. Alexander, on the left, is wearing a KF creation from a Rowan kit, dating from the days when Rowan made kits. I rotated the pattern somehow, I seem to remember.

Sunday was overshadowed by the news of the fires near Athens. Helen and her family now live in a northern suburb of that city, adjacent to Agios Stephanos where the fires were bad. Her husband (who had been weedending on Mt Pelion) went to the house with a list Helen had drawn up of the things she wanted him to take in the car if it was necessary to evacuate. She felt rather sorry, as things calmed down, not to have the chance, after all, to start life fresh.


  1. Welcome back Jean, looking forward to reading about what knitting projects you have planned for the winter.

  2. GrannyPurple12:35 PM

    The wonderful thing about a games day is that the collection of 4 vegetables is still fresh for use when the day is over. If a fair goes for more that 3 days, all the veg and flowers end up looking rather sad. Congratulations on having the only runner beans!
    It's good to have you back.

  3. The rainbow photo is really dynamic. Thanks for sharing it.
    I like the idea of the Four Vegetable Soup after the games day.
    Welcome back
    Lisa in Toronto

  4. Anonymous4:48 PM

    The four-vegetable soup sounds delicious. How nice that you had the camera ready for the rainbow. Welcome back,

  5. =Tamar5:03 PM

    What lovely pictures you did get.
    I particularly like the rainbow photo.
    Good food is the real reason for growing vegetables, and pretty sweaters that fit are the reason for making them. Congratulations all around!

  6. Welcome back, Jean. While prizes and ribbons are nice, I think it's even better to have family who appreciate, and like to wear, what you've knit for them.