Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Today was fairly productive, as days go around here. Greek Helen and I went up to Magnet to talk about new-kitchen plans. They are the people who did a kitchen for Kate Davies and Tom, when they moved away from Edinburgh to their Highland fastness. KD was very enthusiastic about their service. I have saved that blog post of hers.

Then I walked home, perhaps a mile, perhaps a bit less, and felt weary and therefore worried again about Palermo. Helen found and retrieved from Kirkmichael the sitting-stool I gave my husband. I think it will be useful, and I’ll take it along.

Walking meant I could pop in to Valvona & Crolla, a famous Edinburgh Italian delicatessen. A friend recently spotted the Princess Royal there.  I bought two presents, one of them a paperback, “Dear Francesca”, by Mary Contini, a member of the original V&C family. It is partly recipes, partly family history. I’ll take it along to Palermo as a regalino for my friend the Duchess.

Then, after a period for recovery, I gathered together photographs and correspondence related to my husband’s work – various people are coming to see me tomorrow with a view to publication. Tomorrow morning I must make sandwiches for them, so tonight I must leave the kitchen fairly tidy. It is a bond, and not entirely a trivial one, between my husband and Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, that both died before their life’s work was accepted for publication.

As for knitting, I have done three more scallops – I should reach the half-way point tomorrow of the fourth side of the edging for the new baby shawl.

The new Fruity Knitting is extremely interesting – I  think I say that every fortnight. I am a patron, and am proud to be – but it’s free for all over on YouTube. Do have a look, if you don’t know it already.

Andrea is a dazingly skilful and meticulous knitter. She showed us some interesting things, this time, about finishing steeks. I was happy to remember that Hazel Tindall said (EYF ’17) she didn’t bother – just cut them, and let them be – when she was knitting a sweater for herself. For competitions, she did a bit more.

The star attraction this time is Sue Blacker of Blacker Yarns. She looks like a Boring Old Woman – rather like me, in fact. She knows a lot about sheep and wool and spinning. For the moment, I’ve even got “woolen-spun” and “worsted-spun” straight in my head. How very wise of the Fruitys to include, every so often, an interview not with a knitter but with a yarn-producer. 


  1. Jean I finally started a Fruity Knitting, the one on Shetland Wool Week that you recommended. I haven't finished it because I want to do it all in one go. I look forward to more.

  2. Anonymous10:41 PM

    A hint for keeping "woolen-spun" and "worsted-spun" straight: "woolen" is woolly and springy like the wool on the sheep, whereas "worsted" is slick and smooth like the cloth in a tailored jacket.


  3. I really enjoyed this episode of "Fruity Knitting" because Sue Blacker was so informative about how different sheep breeds lead to a different end product - and why she includes mohair in blends. I was surprised that she had not chosen to wear a jumper which made the most of her wonderful yarn.

  4. Can recommend Magnet kitchens especially the classic Shaker cream design. We have oak work tops, they do need special oiling in the early days, worth it as the effect looks good and is practical. I may have blogged about our kitchen in July 2015.

  5. Agreed! This was one of Fruity's best episodes:)!