Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sorry chaps. All is well. Our friends from Birmingham were here over the weekend, and although they weren’t required to sleep on the floor of my computer room, they did deserve some breakfast. Once that blogging hour is gone, the day dissolves.

R., the husband, has Parkinson’s. They told us when they were last here, perhaps a year and a half ago. There was nothing to notice, if they hadn’t mentioned it. Now, his life-long fitness has tipped slightly towards too-thin, speech is slightly slow, hands tremble. It’s a bugger. Sunday was his 70th birthday – they had come to celebrate with their son and his family, who live in a tiny house with no spare bedroom. I hadn’t known in advance, but got him a silly birthday card and a lottery scratch card in Tesco’s. He won £20.

Alexander is coming over from Loch Fyne today to see his Aunt C. Telephone reports from our niece last week were at least, no-worse.

Today we are going to Strathardle. We should we back by Sunday. I am a bit apprehensive – can I do it? have I fully recovered my pre-solstice pep, such as it was? And, did the severe cold affect our water supply? I’ll be fine this evening, with the water on and the fire lit and knitting in hand – I think I’ll start Joe’s 21st-birthday socks. But just at the moment it seems a long way from here to there.


Here’s the cowl, being blocked. It’s not as severely stretched as I usually do lace – I was working with the pattern to get the dimensions more or less right. The bottom edge and the overall height are fine. The top edge is a bit longer than specified.

And here’s Round-the-Bend. I am, as you see, turning the bottom front corner. I find the mitred squares puzzling, even as I sit there doing them. The next one must be started as soon as this is finished. But started from which end of the row? I think I’ve worked it out (I got it wrong on the current square, and had to rip a few rows) and should be fluent by the time I finish. The fact that I am knitting top-down and will soon be knitting bottom-up does nothing to relieve confusion.

It’s going to be a very peculiar-looking object, especially with those sleeves.

My sister wrote to say that the Wurm Hat, her Christmas present, has stretched after being out in a blizzard. It shouldn’t – it’s trustworthy sock wool. I think that essentially means that it’s too big; I’ll make a note on the pattern.

And she sent me this link to inspire me to knit her one of those. I thought I knew it all, but that’s a revelation. There are plenty of patterns on Ravelry, although none I liked as well as the cover pattern on the book. We shall see.

Alexander has contributed a recipe for Thai scallops – this is about knitting, in the end; hang on – to a local recipe book called “Mother’s Messages”. We’ve tried it, and it’s good. There are some other nice things in the book, too. You can order a copy from their website.

There is a reference on page 36 to “Lady Gainford”, indeed an old recipe of hers. I am sure that must be Lady Veronica Gainford of Lochgilphead, who wrote “Designs for Knitting Kilt Hose and Knickerbocker Stockings”, reprinted by the Schoolhouse although I don’t know if it’s still current.

I got my copy out to check details. I keep cuttings there of gents in kilt hose, mostly Prince Charles, but among them is this gem, with which I’ll leave you.


  1. Anonymous9:00 AM

    Have a safe journey, Jean, we'll all be waiting for you on Monday!! Stella x

  2. Cowl looks lovely.

    I will be thinking of you and that first check to see that water is all in order.

  3. Jean, we can knit coffee cozies together. My plan is to make it up as I go along. I will be making a large one, for my thermal carafe. In the bitterly cold weather we've been having, in my underheated apartment (I'm pretending I'm living in a French or Russian garret apartment, 100 years ago), it keeps the coffee hot for only an hour or two.

    Safe travels!

  4. Glad to hear everything is fine. That picture could almost put one off kilt hose for life! Have a safe journey.

  5. Those must be done in twisted Bavarian knitting. I don't think I want a close up. Safe travels.

  6. =Tamardo4:54 PM

    Fortunately they're only done in ribbing. Twisted traveling stitch designs remain untainted, whether Aran, Scots, Krotasokkar, etc.

    All hats stretch, but I find they generally return to their original shape when washed.

  7. =Tamar4:59 PM

    P.S. I like the looks of the trinity stitch coffee cozy, but I think a good solid guernsey stitch would hold the heat better. I believe Aaron Lewis found that the "Lizard" stitch worked the best, by wrapping ice cubes.