We’re getting a new water heater and boiler installed just now, and from the state of the kitchen I imagine the builder decided to take out the old one with hand grenades. It looks like a set from Saving Private Ryan, in fact I had to dislodge three German soldiers from the utility room this morning just to do a load of laundry.
Ours is an old stone house, and although built near the turn of the twentieth century seems to have been designed to repel a medieval army (well, you can never tell when the trebuchet is going to come back into fashion). The walls are surprisingly thick, and the builder kept having to fetch a longer drill to get through, until finally settling on something which was last used to find oil on the North Sea seabed.
Every surface in the house is now coated with a layer of fine dust, and so, I find, is my morning toast. Sometimes the dust gets up my nose, and the resulting sneeze resembles nothing so much as an explosion in a talcum powder factory.
At least we’ll hopefully get an efficient hot water system out of it; that, and a shower which is more effective than a plant misting spray. (If you want to know what our current shower is like, take a baked bean tin, make some holes in the bottom, fill it with lukewarm water and hold it over your head. It’s a bit like being baptised on the instalment plan.)
Still, if the kitchen is a no-go area, the lounge is so far unscathed, and I’ve retreated there and got quite a lot of knitting done this last week.
As you’ll see from the pictures the welt is but a distant memory, and the body is fairly begun. I’m not sure whether to call the pattern “Flambraser” or “Fraserflamb”, as it’s a cross between elements of Flamborough (the seed stitch and cables) and a Fraserburgh pattern recorded in Michael Pearson’s “Fisher Gansey Patterns of Scotland and the Scottish Fleet” (the diamonds and ladder).
I’m cabling every 7th round. I won’t really know till it’s finished, but as the pattern is going to run the full length of the body, welt to shoulder, it should be quite distinctive. I like the colour, too—it’s Frangipani’s Denim yarn, and like so many gansey yarns seems to change hue depending on the light, from warm sky blue to a sort of steely grey (this being the far north of Scotland, mind you, I’m expecting rather more grey than blue).
Meanwhile, spring continues to edge its way into Caithness. How can I tell it’s spring? Because the rain actually stops every now and then…