We drove back to Southport this weekend (900 mile round trip, 2 days—but still 3 days shorter than a cricket match) with a view to collecting our now repaired car. On the map the final stage seemed straightforward: down Road A for a mile, then left up Road B for another mile, garage on the left, sorted.
But like one of those fairy will o’ the wisps that lure unsuspecting strangers onto the moors at night, never to be seen again, the sat-nav seduced us onto little known byways, into housing estates, up people’s drives and in one instance, unless I was hallucinating by then, into someone’s front porch. (I couldn’t swear to it, but at one point I thought I heard the computer’s tinny voice sniggering.)
Of course, it’s also possible that Wigan is the secret location of Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry and the roads rearrange themselves when you’re not looking. (I did see some odd-looking people in fancy dress who I naturally took for wizards but, disappointingly, they just turned out to be football supporters.)
In the end we found our way to the Renault garage by the simple expedient of winding down the windows and driving towards the sound of the howls of anguish from the other customers who’d just been presented with their repair bills.
So once again, I’m afraid, we haven’t been able to turn our attention to the cardigan and the ancient ceremony of the Cutting of the Steek—usually done to the accompaniment of a noble bagpipe pibroch—but we’ll do it next week, hopefully. Till then, I’ve been working on and off on my new Filey project, and have now reached the point where I’ve started the pattern.
This is based on Matt Cammish’s gansey recorded in Gladys Thompson on pages 21 and 24 of her book. I’ve always liked the look of it, and the fact that a member of the Cammish family wore it in the Navy in the Second World War gave me an extra reason to want to try it.
The pattern is in two sections: one of a diamond of 13 stitches and the other of ribs flanking a central cable, comprising 28 stitches. I wanted to keep the ribs and cables exactly as they were, so that meant that any tweaking of the pattern to fit would have to be done with the diamonds. In order to fit my total of 210 stitches per side, I ended up with 5 panels of ribs and cables, and 4 panels of 19-stitch diamonds (see charts).
Nigel has alerted me to the fact that Eyemouth Museum currently has an exhibition on called Casting the Nets, part of which involves a “gathering of the ganseys”—see their website. Eyemouth is a lovely little town, well worth a visit anyway, so if you’re in the vicinity it would be rude not to drop in.
I’d love to go myself, but at the moment I’m frightened that if I programme it into my sat-nav I’ll end up plunging off a cliff into the North Sea, on the grounds that it’s probably slightly quicker to float there…