It’s a bank holiday, it’s Margaret’s birthday, and outside the sun is shining brightly, lasering in through the windows like some alien death-ray and threatening to incinerate us like ants under a magnifying glass. And yet the last couple of days we’ve woken up to find the cars covered in snow. It’s all very confusing: the weather’s gone bipolar, when we want it to be bi-tropical. (Hey, here’s an idea for new children’s tv series helping to highlight the issues around depression – Brian the Bipolar Bear!)
I’ve been aware for some while now that I’m not seeing as well as I used to. You know the way the old Star Trek television series would go all soft focus whenever a pretty girl was on camera? It’s a bit like that, it’s as if my eyes have been fitted with a soft focus lens. (So that’s why all the local girls suddenly look so much more attractive! Well, that or the whisky.) It makes night driving difficult as oncoming headlights just become a distorted blur, and everything is slightly murky, like looking through cobwebs.
I’ve been expecting this. You see, sometimes after you have cataract surgery, a thin film grows over your new lenses. It’s easily fixed – you just pop down to the hospital and they zap it with a laser, clearing the lens. It’s quick and painless and only takes a few seconds (my Dad had it done). Unfortunately for me, I have to wait a while longer till the film has grown to a point where it’s worth firing up the laser. So it sounds like I have a fun few months in store (the optician said, “I’ll see you again in April”; yes, I thought, but I probably won’t see you…)
Luckily I can still knit. You should be able to date progress on this gansey by counting the steps, like rings in a tree. I’m about a foot up the body now, and will probably start the gussets in a week or so. There’s not much to comment on a pattern like this, except to say that it’s going like a breeze, it’s delightfully tactile, it’s very red and I haven’t made any major mistakes (yet); and the Wendy yarn is definitely knitting up softer and bendier than the tighter Frangipani.
The prolific Judit from Finland has kindly allowed us to add another one of her splendid ganseys to the Gallery, here. As she says the tree of life represents the importance of the forests to the people of Finland, so I suggest you play a piece of music by the great Sibelius while you look at it – possibly the finale of his 5th symphony – to get you in the mood. (At least our snow melts!)
Finally, I’ve had an enquiry from Jeanette Baker looking for a traditional gansey pattern associated with Arbroath, just up the coast from Dundee. I’ve found mention in Gladys Thompson (p.109) to marriage lines from Arbroath, and Rae Compton (p.84) has a diagonal line, or bar. But I was wondering if anyone out there knew of any other references or patterns…?