Well, that could have gone better. I spent part of last week in bed with what I assume was a cold, finally giving in after a couple of weeks of generally feeling like something the cat had brought in and left on the mat for you to discover (usually a fatal couple of seconds after you wished you’d been wearing slippers).
I call it a cold, but if so it was a strange one: I wasn’t congested, or sneezing, just very tired. I simply had no energy at all, and got out of breath doing such strenuous things as brushing my teeth or waking up. It was like being visited by a frugal vampire and having a bit of blood siphoned off each night, like the butler sneaking whisky from the decanter when the master’s back is turned.
Anyway, I knew I was in trouble when I had to stop and set up base camp while climbing the stairs, and hire some local sherpas who knew the terrain to get me to the top. My chest felt like God was gently squeezing it, like someone feeling to see if a tube of toothpaste is empty.
So—in case you were wondering—that explains my absence from the website last week. Apologies to those who posted who didn’t get a response, but thanks to everyone who responded to my question about turning the website into books. My current inclination is to go with the majority opinion and release a gansey book that includes all the how-to information from the website, as well as photos and pattern charts for selected ganseys I’ve knitted, about half a dozen or so. That way, the information will always be available no matter what.
That will hopefully be out in time for Christmas. But—I stress—all the information will still remain free of charge here on the website.
And then, sometime next year probably, I’ll go through the archive of blog entries back to the very beginning (or in my favourite legal phrase, to ‘Time whereof the memory of man runneth not to the contrary’) and see if I can edit the more interesting ones into a single anthology. This may, of course, result in a very short book!
One thing about being ill, it means that in your lucid moments you can sit up in bed and knit—and so, I’ve made rather more progress this week than usual. I’m now on my third tree, and the pattern is settling down nicely—and so are the stitches on the needles, which no longer want to curl themselves inside out like a gansey entering a black hole, which can happen in the early stages with plain knitting until the pattern achieves its own rigidity (“Look out: those are load-bearing chevrons!”).
Oh, and speaking of vampires, there’s something that’s always intrigued me about them: how do they drink the blood of men with bushy beards? Do they still go for the neck and just accept there’ll be a certain amount of collateral follicle-ness involved, like trying to drink a Bloody Mary through a wire brush; or do they select an alternative spot to bite, such as the wrist, or perhaps an ankle, or even—for a be-kilted Scotsman in a strong wind—a knee?