Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sorry for yesterday. You probably guessed that it was a case of sitting-over-breakfast, and also of wanting to put Helen’s brief visit to the best use. We got both of us measured and into CustomFit  yesterday morning. And changed some lightbulbs. She has organised someone to come tomorrow morning and assess us for mobility aids. She is searching for a new cleaning woman, since our wonderful Polish girl recently got a proper job and left us. Helen is something of a whirlwind.

She is waking up in Strathardle this morning – she’s there to refill the little trays with mouse poison (I ran out, the last time we were there) and drain the water for the winter. Her middle son, Mungo, is spending the night at a relatively nearby boarding school, Glenalmond. The night before he had been at Fettes, here in Edinburgh, and his younger brother Fergus at Merchiston, where Archie is. I look forward to the boys’ reports on all this when they get back here this afternoon.

I’ll show Helen the basic CustomFit sweater shapes if we have a quiet moment, and see what she thinks about yarn weights. I am increasingly impressed with the solidity of the CustomFit website. Herzog has planned carefully and worked hard. I could use Relax2 as a great big swatch – do I know what size needle I used? I assume if anything comes of this, that I’ll be going on with madelinetosh. In fact, I’ll swatch anew.

Then they’re all going back to Athens tomorrow.

On-the-spot knitting has reached crucial moments for both projects. I have finished the first set of Yowes, knit the six-row border pattern again, and am ready to start the big Rams’-Horn section which fills the middle of the blankie. Kate D. says that it is more knitterly than the Yowes. I am doing my best with the colours and trying not to worry too much. By now, every ball has been employed so all – all! -- I have to do is match the colour-symbol on the chart to the choice I made for that symbol last time. But several shades are close to each other, and I don’t have a Ott light.

And I’m ready to start the underarm increases for Milano/Relax3. Helen admires it.

Yesterday I had to be up in St James Centre to get something weighed at the post office – great for my pedometer score. I have ambitions for a piece of silly Christmas knitting from Knit Your Own Britain, and although I am sure I could do it all from stash, I allowed myself, extravagantly, to buy some of the yarn specified by the pattern. It shouldn’t take long to knit, this thing. It has to be finished with quite a bit of embroidery, which is not my forte. But I think experience has shewn that if the desired end can be hinted at, the eye of the observer will do the rest.


I have just finished Susan Hill’s novella, Black Sheep. I always read Alan Massie in the Scotsman book section on Saturday, and often follow his recommendations. This was one. It’s very good, very grim, about a pit village. No fictional date or place is specified – pre-WWI, I think, and they seem to be English rather than Scots or Welsh. I wonder if I would have read it if I had known how very grim it is. Still, it’s also very good.

But, goodness gracious me, Susan Hill is the only person in the world who can tell us how Simon Serrailler is getting on and I wish she would. There's a thriller recommendation for you. 


  1. Anonymous11:55 AM

    We missed you yesterday, but I'm glad you & Helen had such a productive day.

    Your comments about your Christmas knitting are very mysterious and are piquing my curiosity.

    Beverly in NJ

  2. Was so glad to come across your blog again today. It has been months since I last visited, then forgot your blog name, etc. etc. So now I'm a follower and won't miss you again.

    I took a tour this summer and spent three weeks in Scotland, including the Outer Hebrides. Just loved everything we did and saw and am convinced my Scottish heritage goes back eons.

    Nice meeting you again.

  3. That's why Susan Hill's name rang a bell. More Simon, yes please. Glad you were just busy yesterday, I worry when I don't see your post. I have signed up for CustomFit, but that's as far as I've got - do you think having a friend measure is best? (Not trying to do it by myself, that is.)

  4. I'm very happy that Helen is there to help you with the winter chores at Strathardle. I imagine it gives you much comfort as well to have such attentive children and in-laws.

    I'm looking forward to the boys' reports of the schools. How jolly it would be to have Fergus and Archie at the same school, though I imagine Fergus would have to contend with living in Archie's shadow. It would make Fergus's transition to boarding school easier, seeing a familiar face who can show him the ropes that only boys know.