Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The v-neck vest passed its trials with flying colours, making me feel actually happy about the re-knitting. The narrower shoulders look good, and don’t want be augmented by much in the way of sleeve-hole ribbing, which is fine by me. I’ve done the first sleeve-hole, it looks very tidy, and have started picking up stitches for the second. Two more sessions should finish this baby. The higher starting-point for the v-neck opening is a great improvement, too. It can have a bit more in the way of ribbing if it wants.

I’ve enjoyed thinking about a Concept Scarf for next year. Standing on the doorstep every morning at 8:15 and looking upwards is quite enough in the way of daily discipline – I don’t want to add the requirement of having to go anywhere, even across the road. So what about the garden just outside our kitchen window?

(You’ve seen it before. It is tended by a Little Old Man and Little Old Woman who are endlessly out there tweaking it. “It’s a wonder they have any garden left,” my husband said the other day.)

Picking up your suggestion yesterday, Gerri, it could be divided mentally into seven sections, one for each day of the week. Or, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays could be devoted to the most striking current colours, and the other days to representing greens. [Currently, there is a conspicuous blue flower just below the steps, to the left. You can scarcely make it out, in the picture.] I think the Shetland yarn stash – so far untouched by the current purges – will produce a good range of greens. That would be essential.

Here is the Sky Scarf. Helen said when she was here for Archie's "taster" week at Merchiston school that it looks much better in real life than in its photographs.


I just stumbled across a reference to garlic mustard in one of the blogs I read. Have I ever heard of it? It sounds delicious. It looks rather like a nettle.  I gather it is a serious, invasive weed in the NE of the USA. It seems to be widespread in the UK, too, but perhaps because we’ve got so many other weeds, no one seems greatly agitated about it. It prefers a heavy, calcareous soil. Strathardle is light, sandy, and acid which may be why I don’t know it. I hope I can keep it in mind long enough to look it up in Sturtevant’s Edible Plants of the World when I get back there.

Thank you for your comment, Anonymous, about the wonders of the Internet (comment, yesterday). Yes, indeed. And how easily we have come to take its miracles for granted. 


  1. I am learning a great deal from your garden ramblings but I have never heard of garlic mustard! I doubt it grows here Downunder.

  2. JennyS10:20 AM

    Looking at your Sky Scarf, I'm very struck by how much grey-er it is than mine. We must have had a much sunnier late winter/spring down here in Kent.

    I'm considering an "evening"/sunset scarf next year - of course the time of sunset changes through the year so that might add complications.

  3. Donice1:04 PM

    Here in Ohio, teams of volunteers are constantly deploying to public spaces and parks to pull out garlic mustard! It is not native, and chokes out other native plants needed by native birds and animals.

  4. Garlic Mustard - We were surrounded by the stuff along every verge when we lived in Hampshire. Common name Jack-by-the-hedge. I suspect it is edible but like a lot of these - the resort of starving peasantry when they needed something green in the spring. There are a lot of weeds in that category, and although they are edible, you should question why you would bother.

    Now I have laid myself wide open to being told it is delicious!

  5. I may have a relative of your Little Old Man and Little Old Woman across the street from me. He mowed his grass for the first time this year at the start of March, at which point it might have grown a centimeter since last November. Although it is possible that he just vacuumed the yard then and didn't do a full mowing. In any case, his yard always looks immaculate. We have opted for a much 'wilder' look ourselves.

    Good to hear that the vest is a success!

  6. Anonymous4:49 PM

    Your garden scarf idea is excellent - I look forward to watching it grow next year. Of course it could incorporate Strathhardie, when you're there, as well as your view of the neighbors' yard.

    -- Gretchen

  7. Anonymous5:48 PM

    Re: the next scarf. Since you are using such fine yarn, would it be possible to knit a tube so that all the ends would be inside? Not double-knitting, just a long stockinette tube...a row or perhaps 2 rows each day. I have been mulling this over for myself.

    Beverly near Yosemite

  8. Anonymous11:55 PM

    We are being invaded here in Ontario, Canada by garlic mustard as well. Almost impossible to eradicate! I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog everyday.