Monday, July 20, 2015

Again, not much. I finished the bridegroom's pearly-white pocket square (and am pleased with it) – but got an email from the Man Himself, saying that we need one more blue one, for the Master of Ceremonies. (Joe performed that function for his brother Thomas at last year's wedding, and did it very well.)

I wasn't quite sure whether the left-over ball of blue yarn was enough for a whole square, so virtuously wound another skein to avoid the possibility of extra ends. Unfortunately, Perdita had by then awoken from the nap that had let me finish the bridegroom's square, and was determined to help. She managed to break the yarn in three places. I will have to shut her out of the room the next time I'm winding. She is always where I am, the most faithful of companions, and I hate even to think of doing that. Fortunately, the first ball, before she really got going, is clearly going to be big enough to finish a single square. I'll start it today.

Yesterday afternoon, feeling hollow, I ordered a pair of socks' worth of madelinetosh from Webs in Whiskey Barrell and another in Chicory. Not madelinetosh Sock, which is pure wool, but something else – does the word “Twist” appear in the title? – of fairly recent issue, with the usual 25% acrylic. Webs didn't have Arne & Carlos, to my surprise, but I easily found a British supplier and ordered a pair of unknit socks in one of their shades, the strong, dark one.

Liz, thanks for the reminder about Kate Davies' Machrihanish. I say “reminder”, although I'm not really sure I remember it. In any case, I've bought the e-book and am now (I hope) printing it. I like the other, non-KD, pattern, too, a cabled hoodie. The knit-related skill I would most like to acquire is the neat setting-in of a zipper. What I need is a Craftsy class from Franklin. I believe he has something of the sort in his teaching repertoire.

I assumed, before I googled, that the pattern would be in Colours of Shetland, and spent some pleasant moments with that excellent book.

I'm spending a lot of time with Craftsy, these lonely evenings. Sympathy not needed; I love solitude. I have become a passionate fan of Lucy Neatby's. I am nearly finished with her class on Double Knitting – then I'll be ready to tackle Alasdair Post-Quinn. (I've just googled him, and was astonished to discover that I spelled his name right first go.) I went to Lucy's website, and was most interested to discover that she won't send things to the UK because a new EU regulation about VAT is too much for her.

I wonder if that explains that yarn store in Houston which wouldn't send any order for less than $10,000?


I took the pictures of Alyth to my husband in hospital yesterday. He was sorry, as am I, that we weren't there for the flood. Greek Helen will be there next week – next week. My husband says that I must set her to take a sequential series of pictures of the high-water mark of detritus which the flood is certain to have left in front of our house and down the commonty. An excellent idea.

Helen and two of her boys will also be here next week, before they go on to Strathardle. They are eagerly anticipated.

I saw something in some magazine the other day about Summer Pudding and realised fully for the first time, with what can only be called a pang, that we have lost 2015. Birds will have stripped the red-currant bush by the time Helen gets there – it needs to be carefully netted.

No medical news. I will have another blood test today.


  1. My redcurrants are smothered in berries again this year (mostly neglect I think, they haven't been pruned for at least 3 years!) and the birds don't seem to bother with them too much. Mind you on an allotment there are lots of other things to tempt the local birds no doubt.

    Given the cold spring, you might find things are a bit behind compared to other years, and Helen might get there in the nick of time. In any case, I am sure I could spare you a punnet or two if you'd like some Edinburgh currants for your pudding.

  2. There is an interesting tutorial with respect to zippers on a site called Splityarn - can't get the link to work but she uses blocking wires to hold the knitting in place. I have never tried it myself but a friend says it works.

  3. I overcame my nervousness about inserting zips into knitting when I discovered Wonder Tape, a wash away double sided transparent tape that you can use to hold the zip in the correct position while you sew through it. As in this tutorial -
    I bought mine from Amazon.

  4. I don't mind putting in zippers, but there are folks who will take it on for a fee. I'd be glad to do it for a friend, but the shipping back and forth would surely be more than paying someone locally should it come to that. Don't kittens go to bed, like babies, so you can get things done?

  5. Anonymous4:38 PM

    So good to know that health matters seem to be a bit better in hand for you and your husband. Continued good wishes for more progress.

    Ah, Perdita - not only a fine blogger but an eager knitting assistant. When we had kittens in the house, I picked up my knitting whenever they were napping. Couldn't be done otherwise!
    -- stashdragon

  6. Glad my suggestion was helpful. I'm about to embark on the sleeves for a Northmavine Hoodie (from Colours of Shetland), so there will be Setting-in-a-Zipper in my future, and I'm grateful for the pointers.

  7. Anonymous9:02 PM

    Franklin does teach a course, at knitting expos, called "Snips And Zips". The class covers steels and sewing in zippers. It's a very popular class which in which I have twice tried to enroll, but the class is always full before I can sign in. I do wish Franklin would do a Craftsy class on that.

    Mary G. in Texas

    1. Anonymous9:04 PM

      Oops, I meant "steeks", not "steels"!

      Mary G.

  8. Lucy Neatby lives down the road from me. If there is anything you would like, I would be happy to bring it to the UK with me when I visit in September. Just let me know.