It’s been a lovely few days in Caithness, blue skies, light winds and temperatures up into the high teens. The town is full of tourists, easy to spot both by their cameras and the looks of slowly dawning horror on their faces as they realise the bars don’t open for another six hours, and every time they turn around there’s another dozen seagulls perched on the wall behind them, flipping coins and sneering.
Summer also means the funfair’s back in town, down by the river. Each evening the peace is shattered by flashing lights and loud music, as though the mother ship from Close Encounters had arrived—always assuming that the aliens, instead of abducting people, just wanted to put them in centrifuges decorated with pictures of skinny women wearing only bikinis, Stetsons and cowboy boots.
With a whoop and a holler, embracing my inner cowgirl, I’ve finished re-knitting the first sleeve, so that now the gansey has two different sized arms; when I try it on I look like Quasimodo’s stuntman. The new sleeve hasn’t been blocked yet, so the crinkly reused yarn makes the stitches look a bit uneven—though I know this will all come out in the wash, so to speak, and even up.
I didn’t like the way the pattern continued right the way down to the very cuff before—with such a busy pattern I felt it was a kind of overkill—so I stopped a few inches short this time and had a stretch of plain knitting before the cuff, an effect I’ve always liked. Plus it’ll be handy if I ever start wearing gauntlets.
Our copy of the Fall issue of Knitscene magazine arrived this week, the one in which our blog is featured on the back page. Thanks to everyone who flagged this up last week, and a warm welcome to anyone who’s visiting for the first time. Because ganseys take a while to knit, it’s probably best to think of the blog’s archives as a sort of time-lapse snapshot of a gansey nursery.
And of course many thanks to Linda and her team for such a splendid feature, and for sportingly agreeing to use the archive picture of me taken while I still had a waist.
In parish notices, Gansey Nation will now be taking a short summer break. We’ll be back on Monday 11 August—by which time I might even be feeling strong enough to tackle the other sleeve…