Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I’m sorry about the interruption – it sort of breaks the flow of conversation. But the car is MOT’d, and today I can tax it on-line. A great improvement on the days when one had to queue in the post office (after getting to an appropriate post office, not just any old one) with a sheaf of documents and a chequebook in hand.


Greek Helen wrote yesterday to say that her cleaner brought her some excess-to-requirement chilli plants. They will grow like Jack’s beanstalk in Greek heat. I wrote back with a paragraph of grandmotherly advice (=keep well watered). Variety unknown, of course, but chillis are great at cross-pollinating, so maybe they aren’t any particular variety.

And here, there is now no doubt that first Apache flowers have set fruit. So exciting! And reddening is going forward at an increased pace (?because of doorstep days in the sun) on Big Nameless. I can’t see on what principle the plant selects the next chilli to redden.


I now have the bit between my teeth about  Mind the Gap sock yarn. TrailingCloud seems to be the only source (she dyes it), and she’s on holiday.

Marilyn, thanks for the reference to EZ on double knitting: it’s February in the Almanac, as you say, and of course she doesn’t go off into Post-Quinn-like explorations of colour patterns. She is knitting a baby blanket, and says that she would rather do it in the round.

Looking up the passage, my eye was caught by the instructions for a centre-out square shawl on the facing page, nothing to do with double knitting: “Some people even like to work the first six to eight rows on two needles, and sew the seam later and fairly invisibly. Suit yourself: I like to do the job properly.”

That sounds uncannily like the voice of my late sister-in-law.

I have gone happily on with Stephen West. He hasn’t actually set any work since we mastered the yo, so I feel no compunction about watching the next lesson. (I don’t dare face Franklin until I’ve done some mattress stitch, and Herzog wants me to have made some embarrassing measurements.) I’ve ordered Westknits Four (Made for Movement) from Loop.

We’re hoping to go to Strathardle on Thursday – this is relevant. I have pretty well decided to abandon the practice of a separate Strathardle WIP. We are fading; we’ll be there less often. I am scared to be there alone with my husband in our mutual states of frailty. This time, I thought, I’ll just take along the Pakokku socks.

But then I thought, what about reserving Strathardle knitting time for wild experiments –  for improvising a Stephen West of my own, for example? It’s a thot.

I’m well into the underarm increases for Relax2, and I think my conscientious M1R’s and M1L’s are the next best thing to completely undetectable. But I’m doing them.


  1. As much as EZ told us to be the boss of our knitting, she had some pretty strong opinions on how to do it properly, didn't she? I still think of her aversion to zippers in sweaters (which I like) and never mixing crochet with knitting. I'm teaching a crochet for knitters class next week, flouting that particular rule.

  2. Hello Jean,
    I thought you might be interested in this application of knitting alphabets.
    I followed a link from Mason & Dixon - so glad I did.

  3. Anonymous2:44 PM

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  4. It's sad that your Strathardle jaunts are becoming fewer and fewer but you're wise to be cautious. Socks are the perfect knitting project for those times.

    It is funny how EZ did have her moments of "must dos." I think it was because she couldn't abide fussiness.

  5. Anonymous2:36 AM

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  6. I had a peek at that Mind the Gap sock yarn yesterday and fell in love with it. I think I will order a skein as soon as I get settled in our new home. It will be my knitter's housewarming gift to myself.

    Now here's the big news! When I checked Zite tonight for the latest knitting stories your blog popped up! I think this officially makes you famous! I gave you a thumbs up. :-)

  7. Anonymous6:10 AM

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  8. Dear Jean,
    Just checking the comments this morning, (7am) and I found a "This comment has been removed by a blog administrator" I regard that as slightly special!

  9. Anonymous7:33 AM

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