Dunbeath is another small harbour down the coast from Wick, built around 1800 and once the home of upwards of a hundred fishing boats all crammed tightly into the shelter of the bay, now open to the sea and the sky and the kittiwakes nesting in the cliffs—and to the occasional busload of shivering New Mexican tourists stopping off on their way north to Orkney.
We were there on Saturday, and it was cold and grey, with a bitter east wind (early summer, in other words). I have a friend who tricks her dog into going out in the pouring rain by standing in the doorway and throwing a tennis ball; the poor New Mexicans had much the same look of betrayal as her dog as the wind hit them like a hail of machine gun bullets and they realised the tour guides had shut the bus doors behind them.
It’s another beautiful Caithness coastal location, not hemmed in by cliffs like so many of the little coves used for fishing, but spaciously wide and open. Visibility was exceptional, offering a fine view of the North Sea oil platforms, plus another large, square building like an offshore multi-storey car park I haven’t noticed before. (It’s either another oil installation, a James Bond supervillain headquarters, or a secret military base; if this blog mysteriously vanishes in the next few days you can draw your own conclusions.)
Dunbeath is still a working harbour, but only for the odd creel fishing boat. There’s a large fishing store, a salmon bothy and an ice house back from the days when they used to collect ice from the river to store the salmon. It’s another great place to visit, perfect for wandering along the pier and thinking of the good old days—unless perhaps you’re from New Mexico, in which case you add another pullover and plan a messy and painful revenge on your tour guides.
On the gansey I have now finished the back, and started on the front. As I mentioned in the comments last week, I decided at the last minute to opt for the traditional rig ‘n’ fur shoulders, as opposed to a Scottish patterned shoulder strap. I was concerned that the jumper was already quite intricate, especially with the double diamond lattice patterns; I think a shoulder strap would be too much, and detract from the overall effect. The simpler knit and purl ridges will hopefully offset the body and sleeves and allow them to shine.
Finally, I see we’ve been getting a number of visitors referred this way from the Knitting Paradise website, and the excellent gansey group. I’d just like to say welcome to new readers, and I hope you find the website useful. If you ever want to get in touch directly, or want to query anything in the ‘Knitting techniques’ section, just drop us a line via the contact form.