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Mrs Laidlaw 2: 2 – 8 September

ML0908aBah – another autumn, another cold. (This is, of course, one of the occupational hazards of working with the public, typhoid Maries to a man and woman, but short of asking our researchers to go through a decontamination process before entering and wearing a sterile suit like a cross between an astronaut and the Michelin Man, there’s not much we can do.)

Faced with a cold, we all have our favourite remedies to get us through the day. Mine is paracetamol and codeine tablets, which act on my brain much like a defibrillator on a heart attack victim. (I probably shouldn’t shout “Clear!” before I take them, though.) Problem is, the tablets are soluble, and a sort of milky residue floats on top and can stick to the lips; so the unwary drinker ends up walking around with a ghastly white smile, like Jack Nicholson made up as the Joker (and here’s Gordon, modelling this year’s archive look, “creepy undead undertaker”).

The pills do weird things to my sleep, too – some of my recent dreams have included walking through a house which contained a total vacuum, being impaled with a stake through the heart by a vampire, and watching a giant machine dredge mashed potato out of Wick harbour.

ML0908cNow, I’ve got a question for you. We’re running out of space on our server, which I assume means that the internet is finally filling up. So we have to prune our orchard, as it were, and we’re thinking of converting some of the archived blogs into e-book format (and hopefully hard copy publish-on-demand too) and making them available on Amazon, before gradually deleting them from the site.

There are two ways we can do this. One way is to package the blog posts by gansey, so each gansey would in effect be a separate book, complete with photos, pattern charts and the blog posts that covered the knitting thereof. The other way is to have (a) one book for all the instructions and pattern charts and photos, and (b) another book (or series of books) for an anthology of blog posts.

Any thoughts?


At the river

Meanwhile, owing to colds, laziness, and a delightful visit from Song of this parish and her partner Chris, I haven’t got a huge amount of knitting done this week. But I have finished the first tree, so all you have to do is imagine another 6 of them on top of each other, and then come back again after Christmas.

In parish notices, Nigel’s sent me some pictures of the progress to date on his gansey, which you can see here. It’s a very effective combination of Flamborough patterns, and I’m sure you’ll all join me in wishing him well for the next stage, dividing front and back.

Now it’s time for some more medication, and I expect some more weird dreams. You know, when Yeats said, Tread softly because you tread on my dreams, I really don’t think it was mashed potato he had in mind…


The view from Tesco car park on a good day . . .
(translation for Americans: The view from the supermarket parking lot on a good day . . .)


. . . and the view on a bad day


11 comments to Mrs Laidlaw 2: 2 – 8 September

  • Carolyn

    re the server issue, I would miss the wonderful “how to” section being easily accessible (or should that be findable?). It’s saved me many a heartache.

    • Gordon

      Hi Carolyn,

      No, the “how to” section will always stay on the website just as it is now. It would be the archive of old blog posts and some of the patterns that would be affected.

      Tbh, it’s also partly that maintaining this website has a (small) cost involved, and so we’re looking for ways to bring in a little bit of income to cover our running costs.

      But the how-to section is more than half the point of the website, so that’s not going anywhere!

      All the best,

  • =Tamar

    What a terrible choice to have to make. Would the all-blog-posts book include your responses to comments? Some of them are prime writing as well. I’ll have to think about this a while.

  • Freyalyn

    You could leave excellent footprints in mashed potato.

  • Judit M./ Finland

    “Tbh, it’s also partly that maintaining this website has a (small) cost involved, and so we’re looking for ways to bring in a little bit of income to cover our running costs.”

    Gordon, could we members of this “Gansling club” take some part in the costs? How?
    Best regards !

  • Gail

    I love the blog and keeping up with you and M, but IMHO, I’m not sure you want to include that part in a more public e-book. You might want to save those bits in your own journal. I think publishing gansey by gansey makes sense, perhaps with a great picture of the finished produce on the cover.
    Or, you could just write a book about knitting ganseys, include all you have made, various notes, techniques, etc., as a supplement to the “How to Knit a Gansey” tab.

  • Well, I’d be willing to chip in to help pay for the site. However, I sort of like the idea of two separated out books: one for instructional stuff and one for the blog posts. I think that there’s a market for both, but they’re separate markets.

    Mostly, though, I wanted to say that we had a great time and can’t wait to invade again.


  • Lisa Mitchell

    I agree with Songbird!

  • =Tamar

    I think I agree with SongBird – in two volumes: e.g, Volume 1, Knitting The Ganseys Themselves, Volume 2, The Experience of Knitting The Ganseys… I’d have said “creating” the ganseys because it includes the design process, but people will reach for the title with the word “knitting” included.

  • =Tamar

    P.S. Maybe the part of the blog posts that deal with the adjustments you chose to make for a given pattern should be included in the technique section of the gansey book.

  • Gordon

    Hi everyone,

    Many thanks for the feedback, and apologies for being “offline” for a few days, but I’ve been zonked out (and off work) with a bad cold, or some such lurgy.

    I’m still catching up, but normal service will – hopefully – be resumed tomorrow.

    All the best,

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