Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I saw a heron just now, standing on the wall between two of our neighbours’ gardens. Not entirely uncommon, even in Edinburgh, but I’ve never seen one in Drummond Place before. It stood there quite a long time, long enough for me to discover that the camera needed new batteries, before elongating itself and taking off calmly on a flight path over the Milligans’.

Google was helpful with symbolic meanings. Everything good, is the answer  -- strength, wisdom, purity, long life. Making it a good morning to announce that I am to be a great aunt: Jenni and Theo are expecting a child in October.

(I pinched that picture from Theo's Facebook wall. I don't know where they got that baby.)

I’ve known about this for a few days, but the news embargo was only lifted this morning. In fact, it is for their baby that I plan to knit the Tulip Cardigan. (Modern pregnancy being what it is, I should be told which side to put the buttons on pretty soon.) I now feel rather mean about the subterfuge, and may have to do something for Iona G. upstairs as well.

I heard from Coldwater this morning, too, to say that the kit is on its way.

The bad news is that Mr ChemDry came back yesterday, spent a desultory half-hour picking at the ceiling paper in the dining room, and announced that we need a new ceiling. Even before we get to the stage where everything in the house is covered with plaster, we have to move all the furniture out of the dining room. It’s a big room. There are some big things in there (and lots of smaller things). There is not a great deal of space to spare elsewhere in the house.

I could wish myself back in that care home, with nothing to worry about except the date of the next Occupational Therapy session.

So we will go to Strathardle today to get away from it all. Back at the weekend. The weather forecast is fairly horrendous, but I will take along a few potatoes to plant in case there is a window of opportunity. They have been quietly chitting in the dining room all this time.

As for actual knitting, the snood progresses nicely. Yarn B has nearly finished its first appearance – the next stripe after the current one is three strands of C. That’s far enough along for me to feel happy about yarn quantities, always an anxiety, including enough for those extra inches I mentioned yesterday.

And I finished my first Gibson Roberts heel. It’s not very good. I hope I’ll do better on the other one. It’s not a heel I’ll ever use again, because of those double decreases. They are awkward and difficult; there’s always the danger of losing a stitch – and, indeed, of breaking a needle. I’ve done a better job, as it happens, with the p3togtbl’s than with the k3togs on the other side.

(When I have to do a double decrease in lace, as often, I almost always centre it: insert the right-hand needle in the first two stitches as if to knit them together, slip them both at once like that, knit the next stitch, pass the two slipped stitches over, both together still. Since the needle entered the middle stitch of the decrease first, that’s the one that winds up on top, on Margaret Stove’s Principle, enunciated here often before. But in the case of the heel, the centre stitch is a slip stitch already, and I don’t know whether I’d be allowed that approach.)


  1. If it was not so far I would invite you to come out to Downunder until the ceiling is fixed.

  2. Anonymous11:50 AM

    Jean: Why don't you frog the Gibson heel and put in a different one? If you're not happy with it you'll never wear them, and that seems a pity given that you like the yarn so much and it's the first pair of socks you've knit for yourself. Just a thought....

  3. My sympathy on the ceiling news - I had to live through it but with a small dining room and only a table and chairs which were easily relocated. Euwf!

  4. That particular baby happens to be Cam's little Evie. They are also expecting another little one in August. A boy this time.

  5. Sarah JS3:33 PM

    What news about the ceiling -- I guess it's better to have it done & then know that it's good (rather than waiting for it to come down), but the fuss & bother of moving everything. Perhaps you could round up a couple of your grandchildren to come spend a day or two to help schlepp things about?

    Congratulations on the new family addition!

  6. Gerri5:19 PM

    You are allowed to do whatever you want with that heel-it is your knitting! As far as paired decreases, I've never had anyone look at the heel of a sock on my foot that closely. Enjoy your knitting!

  7. =Tamar10:46 PM

    K3tog can be done in easy stages. Knit the first stitch normally, but then slip that newly made stitch back onto the left needle. Then pass the next two stitches over it and off. Then put the newly made stitch, which now projects through its three stitches, back onto the right needle. I suppose the move could be called sr (for slip-right) which would make this KSrSr. (hmm. "kisser" for short?)

  8. Maureen in Fargo4:55 AM

    In the case of the PGR heel, the first two stitches in the double decreases are actually yarn overs. I think it works best to do the K3tog as written, then the actual stitch sits on top.

  9. I know a very nice and experienced removal guy who will pack up the room, take it away and put it in storage, and bring it back when the ceiling's finished. He's done a lot of work for Lyon and Turnbull so he won't put his foot through the paintings. Let me know if you want his number.