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Wick Trees and Diamonds Revisited: Week 1 – 3 January

Well, here we are, a brand spanking new year just out of its wrapping to play with. Sometimes I look for a sign from Fate to indicate what the new year might bring, so there was great anticipation when we turned on the tv the other day. It was a nature documentary on ants, and David Attenborough declared, “The males will soon achieve their purpose and die”; and I thought, wow, bit harsh there, Fate. And what, I wondered, is my purpose anyway, and how will I know when I’ve achieved it? In the ants’ case it involved mating with the Queen, which seems rather a long shot; though I’ve written to Windsor Castle and am just waiting to hear back.

Snow in Sunlight, the Cairngorms

One of my purposes is obviously knitting ganseys, and I know I’m not done yet because I still have patterns to try and plenty of yarn to knit them with. Or else I get a commission which comes with its own yarn, as in the present case. I’m revisiting the celebrated Wick “trees and diamonds”, one of those marvellous Caithness patterns, last seen when I knit it in Frangipani Cordova a few months back. I’ve reworked the pattern slightly, as this one will be somewhat smaller: I’ve kept the centre panel roughly the same, but have scaled back the flanking trees and lost a couple of cables and the edge panels. It’s a rare treat for me too, as I’ve been given some vintage Poppleton’s navy yarn to make it with: a real blast from the past, which feels a bit like attending the Last Supper and being presented with a bottle of wine someone had saved from the wedding at Cana.

Willow by the path

In parish notices, Rebecca has sent us a selection of pictures of ganseys she’s been knitting, some familiar patterns and others less so. They look amazing, and if you ever wanted some inspiration for your new year’s knitting you’ll find plenty there. Many congratulations to Rebecca, and many thanks for sharing them with us all!

We had a slightly truncated Christmas away as I had to be back in Wick for another scan, this time of my chest and throat. I was duly hooked up to yet another needle—this took a while, as I’ve had so many tubes inserted recently it’s a challenge finding a patch of unpunctured skin—so I could be injected with a contrast dye to enhance the images. I was then slotted into a device that resembled a miniature Stargate while the nurses left the room. 

Redshank on the search

The scan itself only took a few minutes. An automated voice like a Dalek sergeant major barked out helpful instructions (such as “BREATHE!” and “STOP BREATHING!”) and then it was over. Once the images were checked and approved I was allowed to leave, taking with me, apart from some indelible memories, the contents of my stomach (something of a first in my dealings with the medical profession), a migraine, a queer metal taste in my mouth from the dye, and a bruise on my arm roughly the size and colour of an eggplant. (The migraine and taste wore off next day; the bruise will take a little longer, as I watch it spreading slowly across my forearm like an exploding supernova.)

I don’t know the results of all these tests and biopsies yet, but “sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” is my current motto; or in other words, as I’m not (or wasn’t the last time I looked) a male ant, I shan’t tempt Fate, but will keep my head down for now and carry on knitting. Here’s to healthy and happy 2022 for us all!

8 comments to Wick Trees and Diamonds Revisited: Week 1 – 3 January

  • =Tamar

    MRIs are odd that way. Here’s to many more ganseys to come!

    • Gordon

      Cheers Tamar – I’ve got enough yarn to last me about 5 years, and I know which patterns I want to knit for about 60% of it…

  • Lois

    Here’s to your health, while you await your summons to Windsor Castle!

    • Gordon

      Hi Lois, at this rate the only summons I’m likely to get is one involving shackles and a couple of Beefeaters – and I don’t mean the gin!

  • Meg Macleod

    some images remain embedded…please do let us know all is well..fingers crossed..and all that..
    on alighter note..the queen would be foolish to deny..well…you started it !!

  • Wendy

    I’m a little concerned that they tell you to “Breathe” then “Stop Breathing”. At what point did you realise it was the best course of action to return to the first suggestion/command ?

    • Gordon

      Hi Wendy, it was very strange. The “stop breathing” commands always seemed to come when I’d just exhaled, causing me to gulp in a quick lungful of air and then hang on desperately, inflated like a bullfrog!

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