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Flamborough III: Week 12 – 9th August

Well, here it is—the Flamborough gansey in all its glory, washed and blocked and with the pattern properly exposed. The alternating rows of knit and moss stitches running up the length of jumper look like a bead curtain but act as pleats; and these, together with the purl stitches either side of the cables, naturally pull it in and make it narrower. One of the reasons I choose this sort of pattern when I’m knitting a gansey for someone who isn’t me, is that it gives us some flexibility in terms of width: we can block it as wide as it needs to be, without stretching. It wasn’t an easy project to knit, requiring a little too much concentration to be entirely relaxing, but it was, I think, worth it (so long as it fits!). And the colour is, of course, to dye for.

Sunday at the coast

But lo! Others have been busy a-ganseying besides me: notably Camilla, who has finished a rather stunning red gansey. The yarn is Frangipani, but the patterns are taken from Alice Starmore’s Charts for Color Knitting and converted, not only to monochrome knitting but also with an element of re-sizing. The end result, I’m sure you’ll agree, is very impressive, and not just for how the patterns were translated. (Camilla’s also sent us a picture of an earlier gansey, knit from patterns in Beth Brown-Reinsel, so if you click on the link you’ll see two for the price of one.) Many congratulations to Camilla!

Saturday at the Trinkie

Here in Wick the summer continues cool, grey and mostly dry—so dry in fact that we’re in danger of being officially designated a drought area, which seems absurd considering how wet, flooded and generally be-thunderstormed the entire rest of the country’s been. Eagerly we watch weather forecasts, which show heavy bands of rain heading our way, only for them to veer off to either side, or mysteriously evaporate before they make landfall. The river’s so dry that anyone wishing to down their sorrows is now officially advised to bring a straw; if I threw myself off the bridge at low tide I think I’d bounce.



Meanwhile we’ve been rewatching the three Lord of the Rings movies, which hold up very well, considering we now know the trick was done. But one thing has bothered me ever since I first read the books getting on for fifty years ago: the fact that the king’s duplicitous counsellor is called “Wormtongue”. I mean, you’d think someone might have wondered about that a bit sooner, really. But I suppose we should be grateful that this sort of naming convention more commonly associated with The Pilgrim’s Progress doesn’t apply in detective fiction as well:
Watson: “Good Lord, Holmes, how’d you do it?”
Holmes: “You mean what first led me to suspect Sir Jasper Dastardly Arsenic-Poisoner?”
Watson: “Yes Holmes.”
Holmes: “It was elementary, my dear Watson. But what really puzzles me is this other case, the deadly assault upon Mr Innocent Victim whose fortune will now be inherited by Lord Henry Bludgeon…”

9 comments to Flamborough III: Week 12 – 9th August

  • Mrs Nicola Bielicki

    Gorgeous colour ! Well done on finishing.

  • Congratulations to both of you Camilla and Gordon! Fine colors and patterns.
    Greetings from Finland and happy knitting !

  • Lois

    Very fine, both of you! Lovely colours too, as well as the designs.

  • Dave

    Amazing ganseys from both of you. Keep up the good work.

    I’m not surprised at Wormtoungue thing. If they were looking at us, they would be asking: “‘De-pfeffle’ really?”

  • Rebecca Wheeler

    I think I may suffer from gansey lust – I love this sweater!
    Had to order Helford Blue from Frangipani,
    but have to finish Cordova Blue first.
    Lucky person, who get this one – BEAUTIFUL.

  • Meg Macleod

    beautiful gansey…you will ost likely be written into history.i just hope they add in the bit sbout your sense of unfailing humour which matches your unfailing patience

  • Lynne Brock

    So lovely, Gordon, I do love the full patterns of Flamborough, but, oh how tedious all that seed stitch.

  • =Tamar

    Some writers still use those naming conventions. They’re just a tiny bit subtler about it. If there’s a ‘Mal’ in the name, be cautious. Of course, some people reverse them, just to be sneaky, so you also have to be suspicious of Victor Goodfake.

    Hurrah for completed ganseys!
    I wonder if there’s a vertical equivalent to your width adjustment, for children’s pullovers. Perhaps a band of garter stitch?

  • Gordon

    Hello everyone, many thanks for all the kind words. There’s too many to reply to individually, but thanks!

    The moral in the story for me is that those little pattern chart fragments in Gladys Thompson may not look like much on the page, but translated into a fully knit-up gansey they turn out to be really most impressive.

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