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(Navy) Week 1: 29 May

My father passed away last week, and we went down to be with the family for a few days. Strange how the house I did most of my growing up in, which had seemed smaller each time I visited it, should now feel so much larger again; and, of course, emptier.

Down south we discovered the country was experiencing a heatwave—temperatures 24-28ºc—which caught us out rather: it was a brisk 12º when we left home, so we arrived incongruously dressed in jumpers and scarves. I’d forgotten just how inescapable heat can be, how it comes at you from all sides (when I’d removed all the clothing that decency allowed, plus a little bit extra just to be daring, I found myself starting to dissolve into something resembling a sunburnt strawberry blancmange). On the drive back I noticed all the animals in the fields aligned in geometric rows wherever there was shade from hedges, trees or pylons: I found myself wondering if they shuffled round as the sun moved, like a living farmyard sundial, so balloonists could tell the time.

The Hebrides cardigan has necessarily had to be put on hold—hopefully we’ll get to it this week. I took a cone of Frangipani navy yarn with me though, and cast on the stitches for another gansey. This one will be for me, so it has the regulation 336 stitch welt, increasing by 32 to 368 stitches for the body. It will have a plain body, but I honestly don’t know what the yoke pattern will be yet—I can’t make my mind up between four or five patterns. At least I’ll have a few weeks’ plain knitting before I have to choose one.

Finally this week I’d like to share with you some of my favourite lines written by Philip Larkin:

The first day after a death, the new absence   
Is always the same; we should be careful
Of each other, we should be kind   
While there is still time.
(In memoriam George Reid, 1926-2017)

22 comments to (Navy) Week 1: 29 May

  • Annie

    Many good thoughts to you, Gordon.

  • Julie

    My sincere condolences to you, Gordon. You had your father for a good long time. Keep the good memories close to your heart.
    Victoria, BC, Canada

  • Lois

    My condolences to you and your family. I hope you have many good memories of him for consolation.

    And here you are, on to another gansey already! I hope to see the besteekening of the cardigan in the near future. I want to see how Margaret works her magic, with the thought in mind that maybe I should tackle a cardigan next time.

    Take care of yourself

  • Jane

    Very sorry to hear about your Dad. I hope you can cherish all your good memories of him and go about with kindness, especially to yourself.

    The new one is a very nice colour, a lovely change, and don’t we all love a mystery, take care.

  • June Jones

    My condolences to you and your family Gordon. May good memories outweigh the sadness.
    Very wise of you to start a new gansey, I hope it turns out well. Is Betty’s Martin too plain? It looks as though it has a soothing rhythm to knit

    Take care.

  • Jane Dale

    So sorry to read your sad news Gordon, my thoughts are with you and your family.
    Look after yourselves
    Kind regards

  • Judit Mäkinen

    When we lose a loved one here on earth, we gain an angel in heaven that watches over us. May you take comfort in knowing that you have an angel to watch over you now. I extend my most sincere condolences to you.

  • =Tamar

    My condolences to you, Gordon.

    You have a good start on the new gansey already. I don’t know whether it’s my monitor or the light here, but that navy yarn looks almost slate blue to me.

  • Linda Abraham

    Losing a parent, or any family member is always sad. May your thoughts and memories of him be kind and good and bring you some joy. Sending sympathy at his passing….

  • Freyalyn Close-Hainsworth

    My condolences to you and your family. So sorry to hear this.

  • elizabeth

    I’m sorry for your loss & for your family.

  • Gordon

    Hello everyone, just a note to thank you all for your condolences and kind words. They are very much appreciated. (Normal service will resume in due course, as they say in the Hitchhikers Guide, once we’ve worked out exactly what “normal” means…)

    Thanks again,

  • Ruby

    I’m so sorry to hear about your dad. My condolences to you and your family.

  • twinsetellen

    My condolences on the death of your father, to you and all of your family. May your good memories grow stronger and bring you comfort.

  • Gordon

    Hello both, and, as with everyone who’s been in touch, thank you so much for taking the trouble to post here. It really is appreciated.

  • Sharon in Surrey

    I just learned of the loss of your father, Gordon. Have a cuppa on me.

  • Jenny

    I just read about the loss of your father, Gordon. My deepest condolences to you and your family.

    I was bedridden all of May with a mysterious virus and still recovering from it.

    Take care.

  • Dee

    I’m so sorry to hear about your father, Gordon. The close of your post is beautiful, true, and made me cry. My mom just passed suddenly, and I am also trying to find “normal”.

  • Gordon

    Dear Jenny and Dee, and thank you for your posts. It’s been a few weeks now and it still doesn’t seem real. Dee, I hope you find peace in fond memories of your mother; Jenny, i hope you feel better soon.

    Best wishes,

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