Wednesday, April 13, 2016

I had a good day in Strathardle, but a very strange one. The house is fine – the water went on without difficulty, and there were no leaks. There have been mice but not too many  –  the house had been empty for seven months, after all. 

The garden is ragged. My husband and I, even tottering on senility, had been able to accomplish quite a lot just by being there and helping out one plant or another with weeding and feeding and mulching. Several had perished – including, alas, the pinus bungeana, perhaps for lack of that attention in 2015. I devoted the time and strength I had to rescuing from beneath the weeds a little, late-blooming rose my husband is fond of. It is almost the last survivor of the roses the last full-time occupant of the house loved and tended, and one I have not been able to find in the books: a red floribunda with clusters of single flowers. It suffered from last year’s neglect, but it’s still alive.

Here's the rose, when I had finished with it:

And here’s a recently-planted white lilac, as an example of a plant badly in need of a similar session:

(We're famous in the village for our daffys -- those aren't all, by any means.)

Maybe we should replace the bungeana with another pinus sylvestris aurea. But for the moment, we’ll wait to see whether it pulls itself together. Spring is a wonderful season.

It was odd being there alone. And, odder, walking down the drive and feeling weak and remembering how I didn’t feel this weak, the last time I was here.


The first half-brioche sweater was, as it happened, lying out in the sitting room when I got there, much reduced by moths and perhaps even mice. But enough remains to make it clear that, as I thought, it is a straightforward number with front attached to back at the shoulders; no saddle. I can’t remember the source of the yarn – as with the present effort, it was one solid and a toning variegated. I was very fond of it, but it tended to shed and my husband eventually forbade me to wear it in Drummond Place.

VK was waiting for me when I got back, the perfect end to the day. I don’t need another project but I like what I see, overall. Yoko Hatta’s duster, no. 16, perhaps top of the list, but there are a number of other things of interest. I don’t remember an issue where a single designer has had so many things as Hatta does here.

Does anyone know anything about Color Wheel Knits by Veera Valimaki? There are no reviews yet on I don’t want a book that’s “just patterns” unless, like early Kaffe, it’s one I’ve got to have. 

As for actual knitting, not much of which has been done lately, I hope to resume the Sous Sous today.


  1. Anonymous11:15 AM

    Glad you had a safe trip To Strathardle. Did those naughty keys turn up (I'm dying to know!)?

  2. I was thinking of the keys as well. Glad you had a fine trip.
    Ron in Mexico

  3. Anonymous12:28 PM

    Thank you very much for the photos and report from Strathardle. Those daffodils are stunning!

    I have enjoyed knitting Veera scarves (and maybe will try one or two of her hats) but have not knit any of her sweaters. A list of the patterns in Colour Wheel Knits is here

    You may also want to check out her collaborations with Joji Locatelli - Interpretations.


  4. I expect your visit was emotional in many ways, how lovely to be there when the daffs were in full bloom. I like the soccer ball for effect in that shot! Glad it was a safe trip.

  5. Anonymous2:27 PM

    Thanks for filling us in on your day trip - glad you got there and back all right. Good effort on the rose. I too, liked the daffs and the early-blooming soccer ball.
    - Beth in Ontario