I’m afraid it’s a shorter blog this week, as I’ve cut the index finger of my right hand. I don’t mean to say that it’s bleeding so heavily that I’m faint from loss of blood—though the plaster does rather resemble the Japanese flag, and if you want to know what bath time was like just think of David’s famous painting of the Death of Marat— ‘tis but a scratch, as the Black Knight said. But it lies right across the knuckle and typing’s not altogether easy.
I was cooking at the time and sliced it on the lid of a tin of kidney beans. It was a few moments before I realised blood was dripping; luckily, chilli’s supposed to be red. (Memo to self: won’t need so much salt this time.)
And it’s officially autumn now: we’re past the solstice, there’s early morning dew on the fields, the cricket season’s ended and the weather’s all over the place. On Wednesday we had driving rain and winds up to 60 mph—on Tuesday evening our plum tree was heavy with hundreds of soft plums, ripe for the picking; 24 hours later the tree was bare and the gravel underneath seemed to have been smeared with plum jam.
But it turns out we used up the week’s allocation of wind in one day, for by the weekend there wasn’t a breath, not a cloud, just blue sky from horizon to horizon and that dazzling, thin autumnal light that tells you it’s time to start thinking about dusting off the old thermal underwear.
Still, come rain or shine, there’s knitting to be done. Somehow, without my noticing, I’ve reached the gussets and—be still my beating heart—almost finished them. In a couple of days I’ll be dividing for front and back, and then watch out. (The gussets are my usual increase of two stitches every four rows, but starting four rows earlier with a single increase of another purl stitch on the fake seam, to make the first proper increase easier.)
Incidentally, out of curiosity I looked up words that rhyme with gusset, and it seems there’s only one: russet. You can do it with two or more words, like fuss it, but that’s cheating. So, if anyone feels like writing a sonnet in praise of gussets anytime, maybe think about haiku instead
And now I face my latest challenge: how to knit with a plastered finger sticking out at right angles like the gun barrel of a tank; given that when I tried earlier I was about as adroit as someone learning to untie knotted rope with a marlinspike.
The other challenge, namely how I do the washing up without all the dishes coming out pink, can wait till later…