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Flamborough (Carol Walkington): Week 1 – 23rd August

Well, here we are, a new week and an exciting new gansey to explore. I’m knitting this one in Frangipani Moonlight, one of my favourite shades. It’s for another work colleague (and bearing in mind that my place of work now employs over sixty people, if your next question is, Are you going to knit a gansey for all your colleagues, the answer is, Possibly not). The pattern is inspired by another gem from Flamborough, illustration 79 on page 58 in Rae Compton’s book (Amazon affiliate link). It’s a standard Flamborough combination of ropes, moss stitch and diamonds, but with a heart pattern running up the centre. I’ll post the pattern next time when hopefully it’s a little more advanced.

Meanwhile, last Saturday dawned cool and damp so we decided to go for a walk under the shelter of the trees of Dunnet Forest. We took along Legolas the Elf, as you never can tell when you might run into a raiding party of goblins if you travel too far from the sanctum of Wick. But this proved a big mistake, for almost at once he turned all fey and eldritch; it seems there’s nothing quite like a forest to bring out an elf’s inner drama queen.

Spider’s Web after rain

We hadn’t gone more than a few yards into the shadow of the trees before Legolas stopped and held up a warning hand.
“This forest is old,” he said. “Very old.”
“Uh, I really don’t think so. I mean, they literally grow those trees to sell them every Christmas.”
He narrowed his eyes, which made me wonder when he’d last visited an optician. “It’s full of memory… and anger.”
“That’s a squirrel.”
“The trees have feelings, my friend.”
“You mean, like those passive-aggressive Christmas trees over there?”

Forest Trees

Just then a deep note resonated through the forest. Legolas tilted his head to listen.
“The trees are speaking to each other,” he said.
“Um… Pretty sure that’s a wood pigeon.”
“The elves began it. Waking up the trees, teaching them to speak.”
“Still a wood pigeon, mate. Look, tell you what, let’s forget about the forest and just go get an ice cream.”
So it was that twenty minutes later we three stood at John O’Groats, backs to the wind, looking out to sea, ice creams in hand.
Legolas held up his double scoop with extra sprinkles.
“This ice cream cone is old,” he said. “Very old. It’s full of sugar and modifying agents… and anger.”
“I thought mine tasted funny.”
Suddenly he turned to stare inland. “A red sun rises. Blood has been spilled this night.”
“Oh, you’re giving us the Elf weather now? Hang on a minute though, that’s Thurso over there, isn’t it? Fair enough, then…”


6 comments to Flamborough (Carol Walkington): Week 1 – 23rd August

  • I do love me a Flamborough gansey and have recently charted up one myself, basing it on charts from Rae Compton.

    Over the weekend I actually finished my Alcie Starmore Stornoway Gansey, knit from Frangipani in the Aran colorway. https://ravel.me/wendyknits/s8

  • Mollie

    Ooh so lovely to see the Stornoway, I have just started that one in frangipani Moonlight, having got in a muddle trying to knit the Matt Cammish pattern. Got all the way past the gussets and realised that I’d have half a diamond at the top of the shoulders all round. Heartbreaking to frog the whole thing and I’m enjoying just following the Starmore pattern now, knowing that it’s all been cleverly worked out and there’ll be no nasty surprises. No idea how you do it perfectly every time Gordon.

    • Gordon

      Hi Mollie, I don’t get it right every time, so I can sympathise! I do try work out my row gauge (it varies) before I divide for front and back, and try to make an educated guess based on that to get a complete pattern by the top of the shoulders.

      But I’ve seen old photos of half-diamonds at the top too, so it’s not like they were infallible in the past. And sometimes you can get out of it by extending the pattern into the shoulder strap for as many rows as you need to finish the pattern (I’ve done that more than once and everyone just assumed it was deliberate… 🤨)

  • =Tamar

    I can tell already, that’s going to be a pretty one.

    Did you see the post on the physics of elf vision? They have a special dispensation– when the flat earth was made round, it’s still flat to them, and they can see all the way across with no loss of clarity.

    • Gordon

      Hi Tamar, I hadn’t seen that – that’s very neat. (“What do your elf eyes see, Legolas?” “I spy, with my little eye, something beginning with L.” “It’s bloody Lothlorien again, isn’t it?” “ Not necessarily. It could be, ooh, I don’t know, Laketown.” “Yeah, but it’s Lothlorien, isn’t it?” Sheepish pause. “Yeah.”)

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