Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Yesterday was an unexpectedly good knitting day. The eye appt went on all afternoon. I had finished off the second pocket square at home, and by the time optometry was over, I was nearly halfway through the third (eight are wanted). I pressed on in the evening, counting up to 62 stitches and then beginning the decreases, before reverting to the Sous Sous.

The simple and excellent pattern I am using begins every row with k2, YO. Or K1, k2tog, YO, SSK, for the decreases. It makes a very nice little edge. But what about something just slightly fancier for the bridegroom himself? I'll think about that, and perhaps turn back to my Craftsy class on lace edgings with Franklin.

(I wish he'd do another class for them. He offers several in real life which I'd like to attend, and he is the most exemplary of teachers.)

And then a bit of Sous Sous. I am poised to do the fifth of ten cable crossings for the back. It is a good thing the yarn – madelinetosh DK in the shade called Whiskey Barrel – is beyond wonderful. Otherwise I would find the knitting tedious – a cable panel embedded in double moss stitch, nowhere to kick up the heels and just knit. But I love it, love what's happening. A picture tomorrow might be nice. Franklin's class on photographing one's knitting might be nice, too, although perhaps not enough for a whole Craftsy course.

Non-knit – a) loss

I was most encouraged by your story of the found keys, Mary Lou – spotted from the back of a galloping horse, indeed (more or less). We're going back to Strathardle this weekend for only the second time after that famous loss. I haven't much hope. Greek Helen asked once if I found I was putting things in odd places – she has clearly been reading the literature on demented parents.

The answer, I think, is no. And anyway, that day, I had no motive to “put” them anywhere. I was pacing about, with the keys in my left hand – Archie confirms that – waiting for my husband to emerge from the bathroom so that we could head back to Edinburgh, leaving Helen and her boys to clean and close the house. The keys dematerialised. I suddenly realised I was no longer clutching them. And they haven't been seen since.

The disappearance of the iPad is equally, although differently, puzzling. Observing my behaviour with its replacement, I don't see how I could mislay it, it is so constantly in use. Could a Bad Man have got in here and snatched it after all? But how? how? Don't forget the near-contemporaneous appearance of that baseball cap on the bedroom floor. That remains unexplained.

Non-knit – b) Scotland

One of you has written to ask what to do on a two-week trip to Scotland next summer. A wonderful question, solutions invited. It depends, of course, on whether you want to eat, or walk, or look at art, or visit gardens, or...

Repairing my own failures, I would want to fit in a mini-cruise of the Western Isles. I don't know if such a thing is offered formally. It could probably be constructed from the ferry schedules. The Isle of Bute would be high on my list. Until I went to Shetland with Kristie and Kath, I had never been to a Scottish island. That's shameful.

Knitting again

Is anyone going to Maryland Sheep and Wool? One of you was planning to buy a couple of skeins of Vampires of Venice for me, but family health problems have prevented her from going. Email me – address in sidebar – if you can help. I can reimburse you with a check in USD.


  1. I agree Jean - a cruise around the Western isles would be a great thing. I'd say Scottish islands are a must for anyvisitor with enough time on their hands. We have just come back from a wonderful week in Islay - 2 hours or so by ferry from Kennacraig. We stayed in the south of the island at/near Port Ellen. We had a fine view of the Laphraoig distillery from our window, with the Mull of Kintyre to the south and Northern Ireland a bit further round. Who knew it was that close?

    I have been to Jura, Mull, Iona, Shetland and Orkney (but there are many more fantastic islands to see). All of them have a wild and rugged beauty combined with other things of note - on Islay there is whisky (lots of famous distilleries: Ardbeg, Bowmore, Lagavullin, Laphraoig etc); in Shetland there is knitting; on Iona its the Abbey and so on - and golf is found almost everywhere. Plus all of the Scottish islands have fantastic wildlife to see - which in the Western Isles include Golden Eagle and White tailed Eagle. But you are also likely to see otters, seals, deer and lots of seabirds (e.g puffins, gannets, shags, guillemots). Islay also has hares - which are astonishing for their size when you are used to seeing the much littler rabbit.

  2. Stella10:47 AM

    Had you thought about putting a second row of eyelets on the groom's pocket square? Something along the lines of: K2, yo, K2tog, yo for the increases, then K1, (K2tog, yo) twice for the second half, replace the K2tog with ssk if you prefer.
    On the subject of memory loss, I wouldn't worry too much about it. A few weeks ago I returned from a trip and put my silk scarf away in an unusual place, thinking at the time "I'll never be able to find that! Never mind, it will be a nice surprise when I do." You guessed it: the said treasure has completely disappeared!
    Have a great weekend away and don't let those keys know you're looking for them - it will only indulge their ensconced pleasure and they're more likely to present themselves if they think you've forgotten about them ;-)

  3. Anonymous11:56 AM

    Stella's suggestion of a second row of eyelets for the groom's pocket square is as fancy as I would go. I think it would be nice if he could use the square for dress occasions (anniversary outings?) throughout the years. If it is too fancy, he won't every wear it again.

  4. Thanks, Jean, for putting my inquiry on your blog. My question was vague but I do want to know what you and others think is the most memorable. My husband and I are both very interested in history so Skara Brae is at the top of our list. The cruise sounds like a wonderful idea or I may just have a look at the ferry schedules and design one as suggested. We are going to try and trade time share weeks so I need to have some sort of idea so I can figure out what part of the country will be "home base" or maybe one week in one spot and the second week on another. Early days but thanks for your and Knitlass's thoughts.

  5. Re trips to Scotland. I'd like to put in a good word for both Galloway and Fife. There is plenty to see and do in both these southern corners of Scotland. It's a huge country.

  6. I was lucky enough to spend three weeks in Scotland last summer - it was amazing! Whatever is planned will be sure to delight. I actually found walking to be the best part of the trip. We took a walk that started in Falkland and crested East Lomond. It was a perfect jewel-box of a walk -- amazing views, waterfalls galore, palace buildings nestled into the landscape, stone bridges and tunnels, heather and sheep ... pretty much everything an American girl dreams of finding in Scotland!

    The other best thing to do in Scotland is have tea and sandwiches and dessert around 3 pm, after one's tourist outing / walk for the day. It hits the spot!

  7. Anonymous12:44 AM

    If you have any interest in bagpipe music, you might want to seek out a Highland Gathering. When I was in Scotland in the mid 90's for a week in May, it seemed they were being scheduled every weekend in a different town. Teams of pipers play and are judged throughout the day, and at the end of the games they all parade and play together. The sound of it was beyond thrilling. The memory of it still makes me smile inside.

    MLM, Rochester

  8. I love the Kingdom of Fife! It has everything.

  9. If you are going to Skara Brae, I would advise staying in Orkney for your entire holiday (or a day or two en route to airport at the most). Orkney has masses of archeological sites and the landscape is superb. Each region of Scotland is worth more than a few days visit. Dont spread yourself too thin, and then you will have an excuse to return to Scotland time and again.
    Dawn (who was pleased to see the praise for her home county, the Kingdom of Fife).