Saturday, July 30, 2011

Miscellaneous knit-related

We tried the Games 2011 Aran Sweater on Fergus.

The sleeves are a bit short. I do that on purpose with children’s sweaters, on the same principle as fishermen’s ganseys -- they used to have shortish sleeves, in the days when they were worn by actual fishermen actually fishing. I’ve overdone it a bit this time, perhaps.

I’ve reached round 80 of the Mourning Shawl border. The decades feel particularly significant. There are 102 pattern rounds, plus another four in which more stitches are eliminated and what I think are called break holes introduced. So I’m making progress.

I approach the next topic with diffidence, because I find it uniquely horrible. Not like Oklahoma City, not like anything, except a horror novel. But there was a letter in the Telegraph earlier this week saying that the madman in Oslo complained about knitting being taught to boys because it feminised them.

I didn’t feel like trailing back through earlier pages to find the source. The letter went on to expound the tradition of men knitting in terms familiar to all of us. But what I thought was, what very good news, that boys – and, presumably, girls -- are taught to knit in Norway, especially now that Shetland has dropped the subject from the primary school curriculum.


We in Edinburgh are a bit cross about today’s festivities. Our tourist attractions shut, our streets blocked, a huge bill for extra policing, and it’s a “private event” so we’re not even allowed to stand there looking at them and doffing our cloth caps – the time of the ceremony has been kept secret. I suspect I could find it on-line if I were clever enough.


Catdownunder, please tell your father how much I appreciate his sympathy.

Kristie, I strongly suspect you’re right about plants just not bothering to carry on, when the weather is too cold. March and April were very dry, and unseasonably warm. May and June, wet and preternaturally cold (even for Scotland). July has struggled.

Alexander over there on Loch Fyne is feeling pretty demoralised too, despite his 12 raised beds and west-coast climate and abundant manure (a friend’s horse used to live in their stable). His idea is to grow things that actually want to grow, like the raspberries I showed you yesterday.

It’s a thought. The one person I can trust not to read this blog is my husband, so I can tell you that I have arranged with one of my children to be given a small vegetable cage for my birthday next month. In it, I hope to grow brassicas (starting with the Brussels sprouts you saw yesterday) safe from the deer which come down in the winter. Kale and cabbage, perhaps, next year. Such things flourish in Scotland. I could perfectly well go out and buy one for myself – my husband would grumble, but not for long. It’s more fun this way.


  1. What an excellent ploy re. the vegetable cage :) I have no idea if my husband reads my blog - he never mentions it. Perhaps I should find out, I could use the same ruse when there are things I want to buy that he might not see the need for ... more yarn, for example ;)

    The sweater looks lovely!

  2. Anonymous2:38 PM

    Great looking sweater.
    Ron in Mexico

  3. Same effect on gardens here in Seattle. Summer has been long in coming but it arrived approx. last Monday.

  4. I hate to tell you but my plot is bursting with produce. I've never had better tatties or carrots or peas. Some stuff is struggling though...sweet corn, beans, courgettes, even the tomatoes are a bit behind. Odd year.

    I am trying to persuade DD that she's too old for her modular climbing frame, so I can use it as a fruit cage next year. No luck so far!

  5. I usually have luck with tomatoes in pots, but this year they scorched. Even though I watered them every day, two months of 95-100 degree heat just did them in. The only thing I have left now is my pepper plant, which has been prolific and enjoying the heat. So maybe I should only plant peppers from now on. The don't seem to mind the heat.

    we have only had three days of measurable rain here in Texas since March. Everything is brown, the ground is cracked in these huge fissures and it is so incredibly hot.