Support Gansey Nation -

Buy Gordon a cuppa!

Many, many thanks to those of you who have already contributed!

Wick Fergus Ferguson Revisited: Week 5 – 21 March

I get a lot of spam email via this blog, most of it from China, most of it rather optimistically suggesting I could improve my sales with a better web design. Occasionally I’m approached by people looking for an outlet for clothing—mostly harmless stuff like bags or woolly hats, though I was tempted by one this week offering me discount bullet-proof vests; the seller had evidently done his market research and so had a pretty good idea what daily life in Wick was like. But I was genuinely delighted to receive an email the other day from a Mr Sauron representing a Chinese shipping company. And I thought: you what? You mean the Dark Lord wasn’t defeated after all, but instead has taken up a new career in sales?

First catkins of spring

Now, I know what you’re thinking: you’d expect the embodiment of ultimate evil to pop up in banking, if anything, or possibly real estate—well, that or the [insert name of political party of choice here] Party—but a modern corporation is probably the perfect cover. Or would be, if it wasn’t for modern HR developments…

“My Lord, the creature Gollum’s been captured.”
“Excellent! Take him to the dungeons and torture him to find the location of The Shire.”
“Er… We can’t. Sorry.”
“Why in middle earth not?”
“It contravenes our Harassment in the Workplace policy.”
“What? You mean it specifically forbids torture by the rack?”
“Yup. Section 4, paragraph 7. Just after the bit about not swearing at people.”
“Oh, for f—”

Gone fishin’

“Oh, very well. At least tell me the ladders are ready for the siege of Helm’s Deep.”
“Oh, they’re ready all right…”
“We just can’t use them yet.”
“We have to do a risk assessment: it’s in the Decapitating at Height policy. And there’s another thing.”
(Wearily) “Go on.”
“Well, your plan to cover all the earth in a second darkness has been ruled out.”
“What the actual? And note I didn’t swear just then, though I am being pretty explicit on the inside.”
“Light pollution. Not to mention it’ll play merry hell with our environmental targets.”
“At least tell me our sales are on schedule.”
“Afraid not, squire, I mean sire. Your latest ad campaign’s been rejected by Marketing.”
“Oh, come on! What’s wrong with it?”
“They rather feel that “Nine rings for mortal men doomed to die” isn’t exactly the most alluring slogan for your line of jewellery…”

First daffodils of Spring

But let us draw a veil over the sorry scene. As for the (presumably) real Mr Sauron, I did find his sign-off a little creepy: “I’m always here for you”—something I normally expect from the ghost of Obi-wan Kenobi, or possibly Winnie the Pooh, but from a sales rep not so much…



So I’ve started the first sleeve. As ever Margaret’s done a sterling job translating the original into a workable pattern. I’ve said before that the original is very fine, and if I tried to replicate the pattern exactly it would be over seven or eight inches long (i.e., too long). So we’ve compromised to achieve something that captures the flavour of the original but doesn’t dominate the sleeve. You’ve got to pay attention, too, because the alternating tree and diamond patterns are very easy to mix up if your mind wanders, as mine does, if you can call it a mind. Anyway, we’re over the worst for now, and can freewheel down the sleeve all the way to… (insert ominous organ chords here) the cuff.

10 comments to Wick Fergus Ferguson Revisited: Week 5 – 21 March

  • Dave

    That’s a good looking pully Gordon.

    • Gordon

      Hi Dave, it really is a cracker, isn’t it? And the yarn is rather lovely too, makes it look like the sort of gansey Mary Queen of Scots might have worn when out fishing. I hope to knit a few more of these amazing Wick patterns over the next few years, if I’m spared…

  • Sarah

    It is a cracker! Love the pattern and the post. Thank you!

  • =Tamar

    I dunno, shipping seems to be a Sauron type activity. All those overloaded transports getting stuck – first Suez, then the Chesapeake Bay. Not to mention the 18-wheeler truck that fell on its side on an elevated 4-lane highway at an intersection. All owned by the same company.

    The gansey is looking fine and delicate, and I just this moment realized – the design of diamonds and tree at the center front gives an effect a bit like the ruffles of 17th-18th century shirts. I wonder if that was intended.

    • Gordon

      Hi Tamar, I think it shows how the law of finishing returns applies even to the powers of darkness – you start off with world domination, but after a few thousand years you end up as the god of minor irritations – traffic jams and canal blockages (which reminds me uncomfortably of my last trip to the hospital…)

      The gansey looks like it should be wrapped in acid-free tissue paper – far too nice to wear! I see what you mean about the ruffles, but the original’s a pretty tight fit so it’s smooth across Fergus’s slender chest, so may just be coincidental.

  • Lois

    That is indeed one handsome gansey! How you ever kept all those k1,p1 in the correct order must have violated some of the swearing prohibitions for sure!

  • Meg Macleod

    wel now..I am wondering if there is anobel proze for knitting? you and maxxrgaret surely qualify for when the roof falls in
    there you will be approaching th cuff with caution and perfection

    • Gordon

      Hi Meg, if there was a Nobel prize for keeping a craft tradition alive I’d probably be in with a shout, but its not the sort of thing the political world notices, alas! As for the cuff I approach it the same way Yeats poem said man viewed the approach of death, “dreading and hoping all…”

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.