Sunday, June 10, 2012

All went according to plan yesterday – is that a first? I finished my sister’s socks, except for the briefest of tidying of ends. I did a Turkish cast-on for Alexander early in the day, in front of the video. It isn’t the neatest of jobs, but I think I’ve got the idea. At least, I understand what the book means when it asks me to rotate the work. I’ll do the next one fairly soon, once I’ve made a good start up the foot.

And next time I will, I hope, follow your advice, Leslie, and rip it out again and again until I can not only do it, but do it neatly.

In furtherance of this goal, I have bought myself another set of 2 mm KnitPro Cubics. No use giving you the link – I bought the last set in the shop. I love those needles. I would be very hard put to say why. I am not sure my fingers are even aware of their squareness while knitting is going on.

I cast on the new socks with Ketki’s yarn, and hope there is enough to do both toes. She likes a long sock, so not much remains.

Thank you for the dizzying compliment, Elizabeth, about the ribbing. No, I use the same size needle throughout, always have for socks. Maybe it's the Cubics!

And, Ron, I love your airport story.


Some Welsh onions I had ordered arrived yesterday – perfect timing, as we are going north tomorrow. They look very sprightly. The lettuce and broccoli plants which – you will remember – spent a week in the care of the post office recently, have recovered fairly well. Certainly not a total loss.

On the first six of the days after our last return from Perthshire, frost was forecast for the highlands five times. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention, on the sixth. “The highlands” doesn’t have to mean “Strathardle” (but it might). A brief frost probably wouldn’t do much harm, except possibly to the little courgette plants. But it could carry off the apple harvest, as it did last year.

Fishwife, I do lime my plot, but haphazardly and with no reference either to a soil test or to what is going to be planted where, next year. Also, the lime is very old. Can it “lose its savour”, as salt is improbably said to do in the New Testament? All that will now change.

I have ordered a fertilizer called Perlka, mentioned in my newest book. It’s got lime in it and can be used right now for the beetroot and brassicas.

I like the idea of mulching with mushroom compost. Where do I get it? (Look it up, Jean.)

Non-knit, non-vegetable

Rachel sent this picture this morning. It was presumably taken early in the afternoon of the Jubilee regatta, before the driving rain set in. That’s Hellie on the left, who works for a literary agent, and Joe, the recent graduate, on the right.


  1. I am fascinated by your gardening exploits - so different from how we need to do things Downunder!

  2. Re, square needles: CAT of the (now defunct) Let's Knit2gether vidcast talked about square needles in episode 97 when she talked to Susan Moraca from Kollage. Apparently, square needles are more natural and fit our hands better than round ones do.

    (Even though the vidcast is no longer producing, the videos are still online at CAT's site, if you'd like to watch: )

  3. Mushroom compost? The nearest proper garden nursery, the kind that sells plants rather than endless garden knick-knacks and scented candles. Usually comes in big sacks like potting compost, for about £4 a bag. I get 15 bags a year through the allotment bulk-buy scheme and I've never had to use lime. I belive, btw, that if you put lime on light sandy soil it will wash out before it has a chance to work. It's better on clay soil.