I think it must be summer. How can I tell? Well, I’ve opened a window a crack – just enough to let the wasps out, nothing too dramatic – and worn t-shirts for more than one day in a row. Edinburgh is filling up with tourists, each of whom looks lost in a vaguely worried sort of way, like they’ve just misplaced their wallet but are sure it’ll turn up any minute. And the television networks have given up trying in the face of too much sport, and decided to fill the airwaves with programmes about loggers who fell trees with their teeth, or babies who hold up convenience stores, or vets with laboratories who are creating bionic cats. (Actually one of these is true; see if you can guess which it is.)
As it’s summer, and the end of a long, fairly difficult period (as well as being unreasonably hot, so it’s not really gansey weather), I’m going to take a break for a few weeks. During this time I plan to try to teach myself to touch-type, or at least to do so better than I can now (my typing currently resembles nothing so much as a tarantula delicately picking its way up a slender forearm); read some Kant and Schopenhauer, on the grounds that life is stern and life is earnest; and to re-work this website to include a proper “how to” section.
I finished the other sleeve, and so the rest of the gansey yesterday, and spent a happy half-hour darning in the stray ends. Then this morning we washed it and Margaret blocked it out as you can see in the photos, like a pioneer staked out ready for torture.
A couple of points – first of all, you can see a small, cancerous lump on the right-hand side of the centre diamond. This is very galling – it’s not a mistake as such, but it’s where I joined 2 different balls of wool. The few stitches where both ends are knit together inevitably make for a thicker stitch, and this is what you can see. I usually try to avoid joining balls of wool in important places in the pattern for this very reason, but this time I took my eye off the ball, as it were.
Ordinarily this wouldn’t matter anyway, because the blocking is usually at quite a stiffish tension and that tends to even out any kinks, but as it happens this gansey isn’t stretched very taut. And this is my other point to note: because there are no cables in the lower body of the pullover, the stitch gauge is slightly bigger than usual. It works out at 9.2 stitches per inch, instead of my usual 9.6. So it looks like it might fit me after all, if I decide to hang on to it.
And before I bid you adieu for a few weeks, I shall share with you something I heard on the radio last week, which should put an end to any ideas you may have had that mankind is God’s last word. A man emailed in to say that he had shown his wife an atlas, on two pages of which were spread out a flat representation of the world. His wife had then demanded to know where the rest of it was, on the grounds that she was obviously looking at the front of the world, so where was the back…?
Have a very happy summer break, and I look forward to seeing you again soon,