I find it difficult to believe now that back in the early days of blogging I demanded severely what on earth was so interesting about knitting socks. I didn't get it, I said. What was the draw, the attraction that created such obsessive behaviour among my fellow-bloggers?
Ah well, we all grow and look back on our childish foibles with amusement.
This is by way of reassuring you that Sock Madness is still very much on the go. As I write, there are about three and half hours to go to the first possible time for release of Pattern 3. Back in those early foolish days I simply would not have believed that knitters all over the world - hi Snidknits in Bangalore, hi Linnakat in Kenya, hi Norway Kate! - could or would be poised at their computers, yarn wound, needles at the ready, waiting for the moment that the pattern dropped into their email boxes. But they are, we are, and the pressure and tension and excitement that the whole thing generates has to be experienced to be fully comprehended.
It's going to be laceweight this time round, and Celtic Memory is ready - well, as ready as she'll ever be.
Here are eight tiny balls of cobweb-weight yarn wound and eager for the start. It's going to be one of those multi-stranded patterns, we think, where you move gradually from one colourway to the next by changing one fine strand at a time. We think. We don't know until we SEE THAT PATTERN.
Which should be here any time from 3 hrs 20 minutes on.
Celtic Memory has to fly off somewhere tomorrow morning extremely early - so early in fact, that it is a matter of some conjecture whether the pattern will arrive in time. Extreme gloom will result if it does not, especially as it passeth man's knowledge when said pattern's and Celtic Memory's paths will cross again for a few days. Enough time for everybody else to have passed her out on the racetrack and crossed the finishing line in the meantime. Ah well, let's be philosophical. No, let's not. GIMME THAT PATTERN RIGHT NOW, Y'HEAR?
The weather has returned to winter here in West Cork with shockingly unseasonable ice, sleet and even, on one occasion, a veritable blizzard.
The dogs have been much disinclined to venture forth, preferring instead to watch the antics of birds and baby rabbits from the comfort of the rocking chair.
Oh I have to tell you something so exciting about the nesting birds! Don't have a picture of this one, because it really was so unexpected and to have picked up a camera would have shattered the moment, but just listen to this.
We had, as you know, put out lots of dog hair for the birds to take for lining their nests. This little coal tit - don't know what you'd call him in America, but he's one of the smaller chickadees - had come in to get a bundle. I noticed that he was taking ages tugging at the hair and wondered what he was doing. Do you know what he WAS doing? He was standing on a small pile of it, holding it firmly underneath one claw on the branch, while with the other claw he pulled out long fine strands. When he'd got a fine strand, he took it carefully in his beak, keeping it at full length, and went back to pulling out more. Eventually he had a whole light as air bundle of finely combed wool, and he flew busily off with it, well content with his work.
That coal tit was carding the wool! He was doing exactly what I do with my carding combs, only he was using the two claws nature gave him and making an excellent job of it. Why take home a big hard lump of fur when you could please your mate mightily by bringing soft lofty batting? I was so thrilled to have seen it, I had tears in my eyes. Of course the chance of seeing him doing it again is slight, but we're ready with cameras if he does.
Have you ever seen a bird doing that? If you have, tell me all about it. I love to see that instinctive behaviour which we had to learn painstakingly.
When the weather did improve slightly, took the in-progress Falling Rain socks out for a drive and thought I'd give you some Socks With A View.
Here is one of them sitting happily on the dashboard, looking down at Upper Lake, Killarney.
and here is the other reclining on the moss further down the road. I realise it's rather small in the picture but I thought you'd appreciate the background rather more.
You can't see them in this picture because they're in my hands. I was wandering back across the lane from admiring some lambs in a field, and saw this adorable little ruined cottage absolutely begging for a kind owner.
And here they are back home again, somewhat more progressed. Isn't this a lovely pattern?
Enough. Celtic Memory is off to bed, to rise again at the ungodly hour of 3.45 am. The email will be checked before she has to leave for the airport. Here's hoping that pattern is there. (If I got up at 2 am, it just might have arrived...)