Friday, 28 June 2013

Bootee Binge

You're absolutely right, jeanfromcornwall, it's knicker pink, a colour which haunted our youth, plainly. As far as I can see however, later generations aren't scarred in the same way so I took a deep breath and handed the blanket over and it appeared to be very welcome. I also handed over a rabbit, one of the Jellycat soft toys, which I find irresistible, and it appears to be very popular.

The baby is a beautiful little girl and the first time she met me she slept happily in my arms, so she's obviously perceptive and intelligent too. Then I got sidetracked into bootees. I like Elizabeth Zimmermann's pattern in The Opinionated Knitter and I couldn't resist casting on a whisper of Kidsilk Haze in Cream.

And then another one.

Impossibly cute. I followed these up with another pair in madelinetosh Merino Light which I think is called something Rose.

I must do another pair soon.

I'm sorry to have taken so long to post, Amy - I got the idea into my head that I really must finish Rubble before I could do another post here, but I've decided that doesn't matter. The second half has taken much longer than the first; I'm not sure why because I like the pattern and I want to have it finished but somehow it keeps sitting there and not growing. But now it's nearly done.

This is a very bad photograph but it's late at night: you'll have to forgive me. It's nearly done, just one more cuff to do and the neck. I'm not going to do the ribbed neck: I'll just pick up the stitches, knit a round, and cast off. It looks huge but every time I try it on it looks about right, which is worrying in that it means that I'm huge but reassuring in that it means I've made it the right size.

I've been called away for some emergency cat-sitting or I would have got it finished this weekend. I'll take something smaller and lighter, perhaps the denim Shetland Triangle which you all thought I'd abandoned. I've been thinking for a while that after all those lacy shawls I used to do, I have recently had a long spell of being a project knitter. Franklin has obligingly written an article about this in the latest issue of Twist Collective. Although I've enjoyed a lot of these big plainish projects, my thoughts have secretly been turning to froth again and it might be nice to test my enthusiasm on the Triangle.

And matinee jackets. Yes, Mary Lou, I think it's more a British expression. After some consideration I don't think it's the same usage as a matinee at the theatre, but more a distinction between nightwear and daywear. A baby at the time of my Granny's knitting pattern book would have worn a long flannel nightie which tied at the back, and been put into knitted garments for daytime.

The Past
I have had this photograph for a long time, since my mother died and I acquired her collection of family photographs.

It shows my mother's mother's parents, outside their house. Do click. They were Jessie and Robert Forrester. I like their vegetable garden. Jessie died before my grandmother married so I've never heard anything about her: my mother didn't know her as she did her paternal grandparents. I've wondered from time to time where the house was but I thought I didn't know, until one weekend recently when it occurred to me to google a couple of names that have cropped up in family stories. And what should I find?

It's at Mill of Torr, Stirlingshire. The vegetables have vanished from the garden and it all looks a lot tidier now.

These were taken on the doorstep.

My Granny is the dark-haired girl on the right. (She's not the knitting Granny; that was my father's mother.)

Her brother Jim is the handsome man at the left in the top photograph. I don't know who anyone else is. You can see that country people didn't buy new shoes that would only be worn once for a wedding, but they did polish their boots very well.

This is Granny and Jim many years later. I'm almost certain this was taken against the wall of the outbuilding in the first two pictures.

The walking sticks are Jim's. He had very bad arthritis. You can see he still has his moustache and his lovely smile.