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Flamborough (Carol Walkington): Week 2 – 30th August

Well, here we are, the end of August and autumn is, if not actually knocking at the door, at least paying off the taxi and trying to figure out the lock on the garden gate. Morning windows glisten with beads of condensation, while evening windows are shrouded in darkness as the nights draw in. The plums are ripening on the bough, or would be if the local avian population didn’t regard it as a sort of sparrow delicatessen, and hosts of spiders and woodlice appear to be recreating in our living room the great folk migrations of Goths and Vandals that did so much to lower the standard of spoken Latin across the Roman Empire. Summer’s lease seems about paid up, eviction notices posted.

Hawthorn berries

The last Monday in August is a public holiday in England and Wales, but not in Scotland (which takes the first Monday instead; hence that famous line from Braveheart, “Our enemies can take our lives, but they’ll never take our bank holidays!”). Nevertheless, I’ve taken a few days’ leave. The plan was go off and explore the north Highlands, parts of which we haven’t seen since the before times, pre-pandemic. Alas, our car had other ideas. Turning the key in the ignition produced a rapid series of click-click-click-click noises, which I now realise is the sound of my guardian angel sniggering, but nothing else. Reader, the battery had died. (Though, as it was the one it was born with nine years ago, my only real complaint is the timing.) To make matters worse—fate showing the kind of fickleness that Thomas Hardy, had the idea occurred to him, and had Jude the Obscure driven a Kia and made plans for a motoring holiday, would have got 20,000 words out of at the very least—the garage was sent the wrong battery, so the car’s been off the road the whole time.

Stacked creels

Meanwhile, in parish notices, we’ve been sent pictures of another couple of splendid ganseys this week. First up is Hannah, in Frangipani Moonlight with a pattern adapted from Beth Brown-Reinsel. As Hannah explains, “the pattern bands and bottom plain section are all the same size on the body (sleeve patterning also adjusted to match). Garter edges were swapped for ribbing (personal preference) and seam stitches were reduced from 6 to 3 but otherwise the pattern is largely intact. The bands appear to take their inspiration from various different patterns from Yorkshire and Scotland, but adapted to run horizontally rather than vertically in bands.” Many congratulations to Hannah for a cracking gansey, which shows just how effective these pattern combinations can be.

The other is from Judit, a gansey knit in “Betty Martin” pattern. Now, this is interesting in a different way, for Betty Martin is a feature of Yorkshire ganseys, and elsewhere, but it’s usually part of a wider combination of patterns, or used with cables. But Judit has given it its moment in the sun by making it the centre of attention, standing alone. It works really well and the yoke, which isn’t divided into bands, resembles the classic Scarborough pattern, which is one of my favourites. Well done as ever to Judit, and thanks to both Judit and Hannah for sharing.

Thistle seedhead

One good thing about the car being off the road, I don’t feel guilty about occupying the couch and watching baseball knitting. So my own gansey is settling into the pattern nicely. (I’ll post the chart in a quieter week.) The shade (Frangipani Moonlight) shows the pattern distinctly, one which is easy to remember and keep track of.

Autumn has always been my favourite season: and, like the North Ontario town in Neil Young’s song Helpless, it feels as though “all my changes were there”, so it’s tied up with a lot of memories. Mind you, in the same song Neil sings about how “in his mind he still needs a place to go”: but then, drat him, he probably has a car with a working battery to take him there…

2 comments to Flamborough (Carol Walkington): Week 2 – 30th August

  • =Tamar

    It must be going around. I have what I laughingly called a spare car, which needs a new battery. It didn’t last nine years, though!
    Handsome ganseys. Suddenly I wonder – were the first multi-patterned ganseys actually samplers to show off which patterns someone might choose for a single-pattern gansey?

  • Judit Mäkinen

    Hello Tamar, I have knitted a single-pattern gansey. The reason is in Gladys Thompson´s book. She writes like this : Whitby pattern I -Betty Martin is “often used for sleeves and worked as a panel for yokes, or used as an allover pattern “. I just wanted to see itas an allover pattern, and I like it.
    This would be a very good pattern for beginners.
    Happy knitting and regards from Finland

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