Thursday, May 17, 2012

Two new followers! Look out, Queer Joe -- here comes Jean!

I should finish Lizzie’s socks today.

I’ve just been reading the instructions for Judy’s magic cast-on. Sounds exciting. (When I typed the word “Judy’s” into Google just now, they suggested, as ever, a list of possible ways I might want to finish the phrase – and “Judy’s Magic Cast-On” was top of the list.) The plan is to knit a pair of Candace’ socks, toe-up which will be a first for me, but to use Judy’s instead of the Channel Island Cast-On Candace recommends.

That’s the plan, anyway.

My sister has been worried by all this talk of plyed and unplyed. She rang up yesterday to suggest that I use a plyed Crazy Zauberball for her socks, instead of the cranberry-coloured non-Crazy, as a bit of insurance if hardwearingness is going to be an issue. A good idea. 

She also said that they have lots of “volunteer” potatoes already. Those are the ones you missed when you were digging in the fall. They survive the harshest winters and put in an unwelcome appearance in the spring. I can be sure that I will have lots, too, but not for weeks and weeks yet. Clearly the Connecticut climate has shot ahead towards steamy summer.

But what she didn’t seem to have, is moles. (Voles, yes.) We didn’t have them in our largish suburban gardens in Leicester and Birmingham, earlier in life, but we live cheek-by-jowl with them in Strathardle. I have never seen one. They were being particularly active and insolent last week – no sooner had we raked a molehill down and picked the stones out of it, thinking of the lawnmower to come, than they threw up another one.

They have never actually disturbed my vegetables, though. Perhaps the soil there is too soft to make a safe roof for their tunnels.

Dining room

Mr ChemDry persuaded me that the ceiling must come down. He’ll look at the “deafening” when that has happened.

What the Upstairs insurance broker actually said was that his buildings insurance won’t pay for our losses, but his contents insurance might. This sounded like a runaround to me, but our solicitor thought it might work. I have applied to Upstairs for details of his contents insurance, in the form of the name of another broker, I hope. They are easier to deal with than actual insurance companies.

The solicitor also said that if we go for the jugular as you suggest, Jean, we would need to sue not Upstairs himself, but the foolish old woman who left the tap running and the plug hole blocked. I was horrified at the thought, but it might be just as well. He might pay up all the faster if it was to spare his granny distress.

I am miserable about the whole idea, and would rather hide under the bed. It occurred to me that if we had proper contents insurance, we would have paid out far more in premiums in the years since we moved to Edinburgh, than the low four-figure sum we are now out-of-pocket. My husband would be unimpressed by that argument, and I won’t advance it to him. It was a horrible day, leading to a pretty horrible spring. He wants vengeance, or at least reimbursement.  

(Jean, tell us the end of the hedgehog story. Has she come back to you?)


  1. Anonymous9:12 AM

    You have persuaded me to get back to sock knitting. I have been knitting one or two 'Magnolia' scarves (ruthandbelinda) to put away as Christmas presents.(I usually get to November and wish I'd done more knitting for gifts-this year I'm ahead) I've just finished 'Sheldon' by wendyknits, and enjoyed it so much, I've cast on another. Then I think it will be socks for the various men we get gifts for. Liz Phillips

  2. GrannyPurple11:58 AM

    The Zauberball wears very well as socks. My husband has had a pair of them for several years now (bright colours, I call them the parrot socks) and they wear as well as the two-ply yarn. The difference is that in the 2 ply, you get tweedy areas in the colour changes, whereas the singles change "solidly". And of course, both versions of the yarn contain nylon. And, if you're nervous, just go down a needle size...