Saturday, July 07, 2012


As I believe they say in football: Here we go! Here we go! Here we go!

Yesterday was exhausting, but it came out right in the end. Murray has been in Grand Slam finals three times before (I think: today’s papers will be full of accuracy on the subject, I won’t look it up) and has yet to win a set. But this is Wimbledon. Wimbledon is different. Stuff happens. Our Birmingham neighbour Ann Jones won the women’s title in 1969 by beating Billie Jean King who was undoubtedly the greater player.

And if the worst happens, as it probably will, Federer is a nice guy and one won’t begrudge him another win.

Everybody in the world seems to be at Wimbledon this year. I have seen Sachen Tandulkar and Kylie Minogue (they weren’t together). It is disconcerting to see how cruel the years have been to some of the great tennis names I remember loving or hating – Rod Laver, Steffi Graf, Tracy Austin. But Boris Becker looks all right, a bit bulky, and Sue Barker is an inspiration to us all.


I am comforted by your comment (Thursday), Fishwife. (The link is to her garden blog – follow it and you will see why comfort flows from her words.) I had been half-thinking what you put into words, that the plants, in this extraordinary weather, have been unable to get up any momentum. When growing strongly, they can shrug off a certain amount of pest attack.

I discovered yesterday, while pursuing something else on Google, that slugs like “walking onions”. Someone has been at mine, certainly, but I didn’t think slugs liked that sort of thing so I didn’t think to blame them. They never touch the chives, and the bunching onions I put in in early June are also fine. I’ll remember that.

We always complain about the weather, but 2012 has been beyond weird.


The tennis was too exciting yesterday to allow for much, but I am well into the ribbing of Alexander’s second sock, even so. I thought it might be a good idea to start today by sitting here calmly and watching a video and doing Judy’s Magic Cast-On so that I’ll be ready for the next pair when the moment comes.

But even with Judy herself instructing me, I have failed again. For whatever reasons, my stitches are not locking themselves together in the back. There is a gaping hole between the two needles. I am determined to master this.

Kristie wrote to me the other day with a link to these wonderful socks in Knitty. They, too, start with Judy’s Magic Cast-On and Kristie says it took her two hours on a (presumably) calm and uninterrupted afternoon, to get it. But she succeeded. I will too. These socks are definitely going on my HALFPINT list. Would it be difficult to get the size right?

Now -- another ten minutes of Judy’s Magic Cast-On before breakfast?


  1. RE onions. We have never seen slugs on our onions - until this year. Brown slugs were eating the tops off our onions, perhaps because of all the moisture. we lost all our potatoes, which rotted in the waterlogged ground. And it looks like some of the fruit was unable to set properly because of bad conditions at blossom time.

  2. Christine10:34 AM

    When Judy's Magic Cast On 'clicks' it's a magic moment, and eventually (sadly it took me several more mucked up goes before it was right every time!) it's sort of intuitive. It's a bit like getting the flick in tatting, you suddenly go "Oh THAT'S what you do!" Worth sticking at. Good luck

  3. csj04231:31 PM

    Try looking at the photograph's of Judy's hands in the original Knitty article about the cast on back in 2005/2006 while watching the Cat Bordhi video on YouTube. I can't tell you how many times I tried and failed to get that cast on going over the years. This was my solution. Now I think I could do it with my eyes closed.

  4. Try watching Cat Bordhi's YouTube video of Judy's Magic Cast-on. She explains in a way that helps me remember - silly as it sounds.

  5. For another version of "up and down" socks, have a look at

    Nona gives VERY clear directions for several sizes.I've made a few pairs of these, in different sizes and they all fit very well.

    The recipients seem to like them when one sock of the pair is vertical and the other is horizontal.

  6. Anonymous11:29 PM

    I second Lou's recommendation of Nona's "sidewinders". Her blog posts walk one through the process with clear explanations, and the socks look great.
    -- Gretchen