Spare a thought this week for my Dad. Went into hospital to have a pacemaker fitted, a short operation under a local anaesthetic. It’s your basic in-out op… Except in his case, they went in over the heart, and discovered the veins were in the wrong place. So they had to back out, open a new seam over on the other side of his chest, and pull the pacemaker across and into position by wire – all under local anaesthetic. And bear in mind my Dad is in his eighties.
And then, if that wasn’t bad enough, when we visited last week he insisted on pulling up his shirt and showing me the scars. Just after dinner, too. He looked like a gaffed salmon. (I asked him if it wouldn’t be easier just to get a zip fitted, since he’s already had two bypass operations before this.) He’s already pretty active, so once again I’ve missed my chance to arm-wrestle him for my inheritance.
So here we are at last, the gansey is finished, all the ends have been darned in, and it’s been washed and blocked. (Not that this one took much blocking, since there were no cables to pull it in, or other distorting patterns. Just endless knit 2/purl 2, the knitting equivalent of breaking rocks). And, who knows, with psychiatric help I might even be able to knit purl stitches again one day.
Thoughts are already turning to the next one, not that I have a waiting list exactly. But Margaret has set me the challenge of a gansey cardigan, a terrifying prospect (warning: contents may involve sewing), which sounds like something different to try. But I’ll need something to keep me occupied while listening to the Ashes down under (i.e., test cricket from Australia) over the next few weeks. Mind you, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that “steek” rhymes with “eek!”.
In response to popular demand (I’m generously assuming two people counts as popular demand) I am posting the novel I’ve been revising on the website. It naturally falls into 3 parts, and will continue over the next 3 weeks. Please do not feel any obligation to read it. It’s a fantasy story, set over one Christmas in Wales, which I think can best be summarised as a blend of Twin Peaks, Stephen King, Alan Garner and Ted Hughes, so you have been warned. (A friend of mine who has read it, while searching for something to say, tentatively offered, “It’s not very cheerful, is it?”) Certainly the tone of whimsical persiflage that permeates this website is disappointingly absent, as is any discussion of knitting in general and ganseys in particular.
If it’s any consolation, Part One is about half the length of the total novel, Part Two (in which hardly anybody dies, honestly) is a relatively short pastoral interlude, and then Part Three rounds things off with a custard pie fight followed by a song. (Caution: your experience may differ.). It’s available in two formats:
as a PDF File: Click here for the PDF file,
but also as an eBook for anyone with an iPad or iPhone and the iBooks application, or equivalent (maybe a Kindle, I don’t know). Click here for the eBook.
[17.11.2014: The Wraiths of Elfael is now available via Amazon: The Wraiths of Elfael (Elfael Trilogy Book 1), so the above links have been removed.]
If you do read it and want to comment, please feel free to drop me an email or use the comment feature on that page – I think it’s best if this main blog doesn’t get sidetracked too much from knitting…
…and bread, of course. This week’s bread is a sourdough that didn’t quite work, just to prove that I’m not lifting the bread pictures on this blog from books all the time. It didn’t want to rise, even after 3 hours, and when it went in the oven the bottom half stubbornly refused to budge while the top half went up like a bouncy castle. This made for an interesting texture, Terry Pratchett’s dwarf bread on the bottom, cavernous holes in the middle and a sort of roof on top. Very strange.