Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Dear cat, I didn’t think you’d find any beans to look at in the dark midwinter. Beans for which the evidence points in both directions, twining-wise, are far beyond expectation. I’d love to hear more.

Mary Lou, pretty well as soon as I had framed the question, I realised that you must knit Aran sleeves top-down and thus saddle-first. That’s the great thing about framing questions. Thank you.

I’m getting on with my own Aran, despite grumbles. A couple more sessions will get me to the shoulder, especially now that it has been lowered a bit in expectation, to make room for the saddle. I took half-an-hour off yesterday morning, when the mind was clear and the television set off, to plan the sleeves.

I’m going to do them in the round, for the sake of keeping the folding ribbons which can’t be knit any other way. The meandering cables are far too big for a sleeve, I think, so I’ll have a fairly simple panel of plaited cables in the middle which can continue as the shoulder strap. I looked for something more Celtic, even looking in Lavold, but everything I found was too wide.

I worry a bit about how steep the angle of the increases is going to be. I am a great believer in erring on the side of shortness for children’s sleeves. That’s going to mean a lot of increases to be packed in, in a short distance.

I won’t have quite enough stitches above the cuff to add EZ’s Ribbon Cable at the outer edges, but there will be room for them soon and I plan to introduce them, although all advisers seem to think that all the added stitches should be plain. EZ just purls them – I’m still talking about an early Woolgathering, reproduced in “The Opinionated Knitter” – whereas Starmore wants seed stitch, which I think I’ll go for.

I have curiously not enjoyed doing moss stitch at the sides of the body, although the movements of the hands are almost the same as for the panels of ribbing, which I have enjoyed.

Meanwhile I have dispatched my swatch for the Japanese shirt to my designer-friend. I think we’ll go to Strathardle tomorrow for a couple of nights – maybe I can finish off the knitting of that Araucania sweater and clear the decks for the shirt.


Kristieinbc remarks in her latest blog post that she has “never been able to figure out how being gone for just four days can result in almost the same amount of chaos and neglect that being away for a couple of weeks does.” How true those words! A pall of dust covers everything (as always, of course, but one notices it more when one has been away), the mail is ankle-deep on the mat, there is nothing in the house for supper. The problem weighs heavily on me this time of year, when I need to be in Strathardle a lot for my vegetables.

When we were there last, I got the dread poisoning-of-the-driveway-verges done. Like many dreads, it wasn’t so bad when I got down to it. But from the nature of glysophate, the weeds still looked entirely unaffected when we left and I long for another sight of them.


  1. Have you seen Dorota's cable work on Ravelry? That may give you ideas. (Just type in the name and it should come up with her work.)
    As for the beans - my father planted some late beans and they ceased to produce about a week ago. He has been too busy mending chairs for neighbours to pull the plants out. (He is, after all, 88 and things take a little more time these days.) I think the problem may be more to do with the way he tied them up than what happens to them naturally!

  2. I like the thought of beans but it is too hot here. Would have to grow them in the fall/winter.

    It is already too hot for my tomatoes to set. Over 100 every day. My spinach bolted in March, before I could even bring in a decent crop.

    And on the sweater, whatever you do will be brilliant, I am sure Jean-- you always figure these things out.