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Vicar of Morwenstow 11: 28 December

M141228a As promised, here are some photos of the finished heather gansey based on the pattern worn by Stephen Hawker, the quondam vicar of Morwenstow in Cornwall. (I was unable to recreate the pose from the rev’s celebrated photograph, as every time I stood outside a church and stretched out my arm a parishioner would appear, look pitying on me, press a shilling into my palm, call me his good man and tell me not to spend it all on drink.)


A Taste of Things to Come

I hope you had a happy Christmas, and that Santa was kind. Alas for me my cold developed rapidly, so that I spent quite a bit of the festive period in bed with my brain taking the sensible decision to go somewhere else and hibernate like a bad-tempered bear. Well—it’s mostly passed now, except for a lingering cough which starts out innocently like a cat sneezing but ends up rumbling more like an underground rock slide.


The “Purple Emperor”

I’ve been doing plenty of knitting, though, much of it lying on my back, and having a ball with the Lopi jumper kit I got for Christmas, which is the ideal kind of present (even if, as they say, your present may require some assembly). But I’ll say more about that next week.

M141228dIn the meantime, I’ve cast on my next gansey project (another Wick pattern, as it happens) and set it aside—casting on isn’t my favourite occupation, and this will make it easy for me to pick up again when I’ve finished playing around with colours on chunky needles and am back in the stern and earnest world of single-colour ganseys.

janetamBy way of encouragement and inspiration, Jane has sent me this picture of a splendid tam hat she knitted in delicate pastel colours. Just the thing for a cold winter’s day! (And jolly useful for the more folliclely-challenged among us…)

And now it only remains for Margaret and me to wish you all a very happy New Year, and here’s to a warm and colourful 2015 – and whatever’s on your needles, may it bring you, if not tidings, then at least comfort and joy!

15 comments to Vicar of Morwenstow 11: 28 December

  • =Tamar

    A handsome gansey just in time for New Year’s. I hope you’re wearing a proper knitted nightcap; it makes a great difference on those cold nights.

  • Lynne

    Oh, what a nice finished product, I love the color, and I’m glad you showed the blocking wires, I would never have thought to run that wire above the welt and will certainly do that when I do my next gansey. I’m going to copy that photo so I can refer to it in the future.
    Is that cast on Navy?
    Lovely tam, Jane!
    Happy New Year to you and Margaret and all your readers.

  • Gail Donkin

    I think it is a good color for you, Gordon. And your pose is perfect.

    Happy and Merry to you both.

  • Lisa Mitchell

    Very nicely done on the gansey! Wish I could convince my dad he needs one so I could start knitting one. Might have to start with the smallest nephew and work up to a dad sized one… Colds’ve gone viral here too – feel better soon. Happy New year!

  • Gordon

    Hi all, and thank you—it came out rather well, and the colour hides the bruises, so it works as an ensemble too.

    I don’t have a nightcap, alas—I covet Michael Caine’s from The Muppet Christmas Carol, but we don’t have a pattern. I have had some success training budgies to perch on my head at night to keep it warm, but the seed gets in between the sheets and makes mess. (At least I think it’s seeds…)

    The next gansey will indeed be navy, using a leftover cone-and-a-bit from previous projects. It will be a small Wick-patterned gansey and I’ll donate it to the Wick Heritage Museum again, if they want it.

    My pose in the photograph is a combination of two factors. First of all, I made the mistake of taking off my gloves, so my hand is actually stuck to the freezing ice on the railing, and had to be freed by the fire brigade with an oxyacetylene torch. Secondly, owing to an excessive dose of Boots’ patent cough medicine I was hallucinating wildly at the time, and had a vision of a giant winged sea serpent rearing up out of the river over Margaret’s shoulder just as she was taking the picture, so that I was rather in need of support at the time. The next shot (which didn’t come out, being a blur with a lot of screaming) shows me trying to jump off the bridge and hide.

    Back to bed,

  • Freyalyn

    Many good wishesfor 2015 to you and yours too – thank you for sharing all your knitting with us.

  • Jane

    Excellent gansey, it has worked out superbly well, and the colour is magnificent! Not at all dissimilar to the learned gentleman, very impressive.

    I look forward to the Lopi sweater with great anticipation.

    Thank you for including the tam, it was my first attempt at a multi colour hat and great fun to do, and thanks to Lynne for her kind comment!

    Jolly cold in the South, minus 7 last night, and the cold virus running rough shod through this household too! Happy New Year and enjoy your knitting.

  • Sue

    Lovely gansey. Don’t think you will like my night-time head gear but he keeps me toasty – one large tabby cat!

  • Judit M. / Finland

    Happy New Year to Margaret and Gordon and to all of the readers of this blog. Best regards from Finland ! Keep knitting :).

  • =Tamar

    The Michael Caine Scrooge nightcap is utterly simple. It seems to be about gansey texture from the pictures online. It begins with a tube that is long enough to go from eyebrows to crown twice (folded up when worn), then decreases in four places with what looks like a double decrease with the middle stitch on top (slip2, k1, p2sso), done probably every third or fourth round. End with elegant tassel. I’m fairly sure the colored stitches around near the very edge are sewn on later. The hat doesn’t look thick enough to be a double layer, so the stitches are merely decorative, or possibly stay-stitches to prevent the brim from stretching out.

    But it’s just as warm to wear a Lopi beanie which takes me about six hours to knit.

  • I’m surprised at how becoming that purple is on you! You do look very POSH in it even if you are sick. I love purple. Your sweater gives me an idea for a bin of Dalesman yarn in Magenta that I’ve been hoarding. Please get well soon. You’ve had that virus for much too long!!

    Lovely Tam, Jane. Keep up the good work.

  • Gordon

    Happy New Year Everybody!

    As I type this, fireworks are just being let off over Wick in a desultory sort of way, as though people had stayed in to watch the fireworks on tv, and only then gone outside to let off a few of their own. Makes me feel curiously proud, we’re a canny folk up here.

    Thanks again for the comments and all. The cold is definitely on the way out, helped tonight on its way by copious quantities of Stone’s Ginger Wine.

    And remember there’s only 357 days till next Christmas!


  • Marilyn

    Hello Gordon, goodness I am late in commenting this week. I would be remiss if I didn’t wish you and Margaret all the best in 2015. I so appreciate all your knitting, wit, gorgeous photos and have come to feel a part of the “parish”. Gansey, Lopapeysa, Fair Isle,lace- it’s all good.
    Good knitting to you!

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