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Filey 10: 21 – 27 May

Well, it’s back to normal, almost, after the travails of last weekend when our website was sucked into a very small black hole, localised in Miller Avenue in Wick. (I sometimes think Moses missed a trick with the plagues of Egypt; if he’d just threatened to take away Pharaoh’s website, instead of all that mucking about with locusts and frogs, the Children of Israel would have been on their way a damn’ sight sooner.)

Anyway, all we have to do now is reconstruct the handful of pages and comments we weren’t able to recover right away. In future, I think it may be safer to publish the blog as a hardback book each week.

Margaret’s sister Gail and brother-in-law Bill from the States have been visiting. They brought with them unbelievable sunshine and fine weather (not sure how they got it through customs, but still) so that summer has not only arrived, it’s staked its tent down by the river and is sunbathing topless, the little minx; unfortunately they also seem to’ve smuggled in something from a chemical warfare laboratory, as first Margaret, then I, succumbed to Yankee colds.

As a result, I’ve spent much of the last few days in bed being haunted by tantalising visions of the sun, which hangs around just outside my window like the ghost of a lost love—so the rest of Wick may be deserted now for all I know, filled with unburied corpses of people less hardy than I, wiped out by Bill and Gail’s deadly virus. But I suspect not: somewhere in the distance I hear an ice cream van. (Damn! When will they offer proper home delivery?)

Still, in my lucid moments—which are pretty rare, as you’ll have gathered—I have managed quite a bit of knitting and some writing. I’m preparing a collection of short stories for publication on kindle at Christmas, some of them inspired by Caithness, and as I want to expand the collection I have to write some more, which is fun. I’ve always enjoyed writing short stories, setting myself a challenge of so many thousand words, and then seeing how much story I can squeeze in before the sides burst.

As you will see from the photographs, I’ve finished the bottom half of the gussets and divided for front and back. Usually when I do a gusset, I start with the (purl) seam stitch; on the first row, I increase that by one knit stitch and increase an additional border purl stitch out of the adjacent body stitch, so that I then have purl-knit-purl. (After that I increase on every fourth row: the first time on either side of the centre knit stitch to give me 3 knit stitches; thereafter on the edge stitches to give me 5, 7, 9, etc.)

Bass Rock from Barns Ness

This time, I decided to let the purl seam run all the way through the centre of the gusset (so it can run unbroken from the welt to the cuff, always a neat effect). This meant I had to create my purl border stitches by increasing on the first row of the gusset (if you look at the photo taken from the reverse side you can see them more or less “floating” like little worm casts); and after that I just increased each half of each gusset by one knit stitch on every fourth row.

Finally, we’ve added another natty project from Judit to the gallery. It’s a small bag made using gansey patterns, big enough, she tells me, for a mobile phone and a set of keys. I hadn’t thought of using gansey patterns like that, being locked into the mentality of jumpers, but they’re really neat, aren’t they?

I meant to post these pictures last week—so apologies to Judit—but then our website got sucked into another dimension of time and space. I hope the people who live there find it useful—if we ever make contact with a gansey-wearing alien species, I may be to blame…

7 comments to Filey 10: 21 – 27 May

  • Judit M./ Finland

    Hi, Gordon
    Many thanks for the pictures in Reader´s Gallery !
    Best regards !

  • Marilyn

    Dear Gordon, you have my vote for “most droll” blog. I so appreciate your sense of humour and fanciful digressions- I go right there with you! Happy Day to you. M.
    p.s. not to mention the Knitting!

  • Gordon

    Hi Judit, you are, of course, welcome, and apologies again for the delay!

    Marilyn, thank you as ever. Every week i promise I’ll stay on track and resist being so self-indulgent and then the imagination fairies spike my ginger beer. (It’s not my fault! They buzz on the same frequency as fridges, that’s why you don’t usually hear them! Little devils.)


  • =Tamar

    The imagination fairies get to me, but usually in the middle of driving somewhere or a complex conversation and their gifts vanish like fairy gold. Sometimes I think I need a voice-triggered recorder, but I’d probably forget to turn it on.

  • Gordon

    Hi Tamar, this is why it’s so important to carry a notebook and pencil so you can make notes while driving…


  • Gail

    Sorry for the colds. We had a great time with you. Gansey I was working on is finished and after blocking will send a picture. Keep writing!

  • Gordon

    Gail, it was great to see you both. Looking forward to the return fixture next year!