Friday, June 04, 2010

Strathardle today. Back Thursday or so. Has frost got the apple blossom? Did the salsola soda ever come up? Have caterpillars stripped the current bushes? Many an interesting question. This is the stretch of the year during which it feels a bit frustrating, after all one’s hard work, not to have anything to eat as the result of it. But there’ll be more rhubarb and another sorrel soup and perhaps even an exiguous salad. We shall see.


The compulsiveness of the Green Granite Blocks is something akin to the border of the Princess shawl. Despite the vast expanse of the task ahead, it is exciting – not too strong a word – to accomplish each row because it is unique and it carries the story forward, by however small a step.

In this case (unlike the Princess border) the overall pattern repeats – but the colours are constantly changing.

I’m getting on nicely with the second rank of blocks, and can hardly keep my hands off it. And to think that I felt I was running out of steam, only a couple of weeks ago. There’s much to be said for digging in the stash cupboard.

To move on: the Faculty Meeting Knitter is full of enthusiasm (June 2) for the new Pine-and-Ivy shawl. She says it has created a great stir on Ravelry; I’ll have to have a look.

At Theo and Jenni’s rehearsal dinner last summer, my sister wore the shawl I had knit for her 70th birthday – Amedro’s Cobweb Lace Wrap, with patterns substituted from “Heirloom Lace”. Greek Helen said she’d like such a shawl.

The one aspect of my stash which hasn’t even been touched upon yet, is my vast assemblage of lace yarns. I hope when Helen is here soon to choose a yarn and a pattern. Amedro’s shape is eminently wearable; I’ve knit it several times, with different lace patterns. But Pine-and-Ivy is similar, and might be worth the venture.

It looks difficult.

The Faculty Meeting Knitter has done a Princess. I feel our names ought to be inscribed on a roll of honour somewhere. It is surely the largest and most elaborate lace pattern ever published in English.


To finish off the account of our happy weekend in Argyll: the problem with pig-keeping (in case you’ve ever wondered) is that they are affectionate and intelligent animals to an extent that eventually makes eating them unbearable. So I am told. I am a bit suspicious of them, myself.

Alexander thinks he has solved this problem. The Pig Man on the other side of the loch is raising a litter. Alexander has bought one of them – but he doesn’t know which. Every so often they go over and feed their pig, along with the others which aren’t theirs. This is supposed to make it easier at the end.

So on Sunday we did that, and then Rachel and Ed and my husband and I went on to Inverary to Mass while the others went back and cooked a delicious lunch. This is the scene that met us when we got back – champagne left over from Alexander’s recent 50th birthday. That's Ed with the little boys.


  1. Jean,

    I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your writing. I have read you blog for . . . actually I don't know. I'm trying to count in my head in Calcutta Cup knitting. Perhaps three years? I recently reduced the number of blogs I read regularly down to just a handful as Big Things Going On meant I only had a very little time for blog reading, but I kept yours on my very short list. I love your writing for its intelligence and detail and I enjoy your problem solving skills.

    Because of the time difference (Canada), I looked for your post first thing each morning. It was a daily ritual and a good start to the day as you always motivate to be less lazy than I might otherwise tend to be ;)

    But just this week, my family and I have moved from Canada to India. Each morning, I come online as usual, trying to keep routines the same as much as possible. And only today did it dawn on me why you were posting hours later than usual. lol I'm going to go ahead and blame the jet-lag ;)

    I am also enjoying your grandson's blog very much. I briefly considered suggesting he might want to take on your habit of posting daily, but that would have been a purely selfish suggestion.

    Enjoy your trip. I wish you good luck with the garden. I'll be living vicariously through you in that regard as I have left my beloved gardens behind.


  2. Oh gosh the lace is incredible. 'Looks" hard is a relative term, relative to me and usually means ' is so hard you will be disgusted with your own inabilities!'


  3. Anonymous11:49 PM

    Roll of honour for Princess knitters - yes, definitely. Green Granite Blocks looking very good. Enjoy your week in the country.
    - Beth in Toronto

  4. =Tamar4:20 AM

    Pigs... What could make it easier is knowing the other side of what pigs are like. They will eat anything, and once they start chewing on something, you literally have to kill them to make them stop. This includes living human beings, who have been killed by pigs they had raised, simply because they slipped and fell in the pen at feeding time.
    [change subject]

    The lace shawl is beautiful!