Oh happiness is a small yellow hard-shell suitcase! At last, at long last, the much-travelled weary adventurer touched down in Cork and toddled into my eager open arms.
I'd made yet one more call to the baggage handling agents in Amsterdam. A minor miracle. First of all I got on within three rings and had to grab the receiver hurriedly to reply (usually it takes about forty to fifty before someone picks up and you can get in a round or two on the current sock while waiting). Secondly, the girl actually sounded friendly. She checked, checked again, and then said brightly, 'Oh yes, it has been located, it is coming to you this morning, from London.' Now call me suspicious, but I'd heard that before, so I asked for the flight number. It was an EI. That's Aer Lingus. Our national airline. Well that sounds tentatively more promising... Let's forget that it was supposed to come with Aer Lingus from Amsterdam a week ago. Let's bury the past, look to the future.
My yellow suitcase
Is it coming to me
From out of the skies
Will it be here for tea?
Rushed up to the airport. Aforementioned skies had opened in the meantime, in one of those customary monsoons we tend to get here in summer (that's why it's so green, you see). Left DH manning the car on the sidewalk to ward off officious clampers (it used to be far more relaxed but they're trying to train us here in Cork to be good thoughtful citizens and it's taking longer than they expected) while I tore into the building.
Another minor miracle. The girl at the Aer Lingus enquiry desk was also friendly. What's going on here? I'd had my fill of pursed-lip couldn't-care-less-ers, but here was someone sympathetic and optimistic, even to someone dripping all over her counter! The plane wasn't in yet, should be here any minute. Unless it had to divert to Shannon, that is, because of the high winds. I stared at the arrivals board, willing that flight to land, storm or no storm. Rushed out to the car again. 'Don't know how long I can stay here,' said DH worriedly, eyeing a uniformed figure immobilising a huge BMW across the lane. 'Try!' I urged, wading back through the flood waters. Caught a glimpse of the familiar green and white coasting on to the runway and shouted 'It's landed! That has to be it!' Tried to peer round the building to see them offloading luggage just in case I could see the longed-for bright yellow, but the storm drove me back indoors, looking more like a survivor of a shipwreck than a seasoned sophisticated traveller.
A large family of cross people besieged the enquiry desk with hundreds of questions. I waited, tensed like a coiled spring. Remembered the current sock. Hauled it out and started to knit feverishly. People glanced nervously at this drenched, bedraggled creature muttering to herself as she twisted lime-green yarn around dangerous-looking needles, and made wide detours to avoid her.
Then I saw the friendly girl signalling wildly over the heads of her irate clients. 'Go down to the arrivals gate! Someone will meet you there! I hope it's good news! Crossed fingers for you!'
I flew the entire length of that airport, trailing the forgotten lime-green yarn (no, I tucked the needles in my pocket, there are some things you do automatically, whatever the crisis. Can't afford to lose any MORE needles). I arrived panting at the arrivals gate. The security men looked at me, amused. Then - THEN - I saw -
A smiling member of staff coming through the security doors, wheeling a trolley, and on it - MY YELLOW SUITCASE!
I rushed down to her, hugged her, hugged my suitcase, said something incoherent about wonderful people, wonderful airport, wonderful world. The security men guffawed. Hauling it out past them happily, I said, sotto voce, 'You can laugh, but I've waited a month for this.' Not strictly true, but it ruddy well wiped the smiles off their faces pretty quick.
And so to the car, still mercifully free of the clampers' attentions, and home. To be lovingly attended to (had a pretty nasty gash in one corner but it was being brave about it), questioned, queried, and at last unpacked. There were stickers from British Midlands (British Midlands?) and Lufthansa (LUFTHANSA?) on it but none from American Airlines. Or Aer Lingus for that matter. Who cares. Little Yellow Suitcase was home. Some day it will tell me the whole story. For now, there was yarn to be taken out, cooed over, photographed (the rain had stopped for a while, and it seemed somehow right to picture them in the cool open air on grass after the trip they'd had).
Here are those Estonian yarns. Evilla may be the name, or it might be an indication that they are wool. (Note to self: brush up on Estonian.) On either side are two which I calculate are about worsted or sockweight, one in variegated greens, the other in variegated blues. They are flanking the central skein, laceweight in, I think, long gradations of blues. No idea of the yardage in any, and the weight varies from one to the next, which is nice, indicating handspun you think?
Here are four lovely jolly thick Norwegian yarns, two shades of green and a red/white combo, both destined for happy holiday gift items.
A rather lovely skein of silk in shades of turquoise and blue (it may be recycled silk, if I remember correctly it was with some of those big recycled sari-silk skeins in the shop in Vadsoe) which will make a glorious lacy neck scarf.
Had actually forgotten I'd bought this - five balls of a delightful white fingering weight which will make a very nice evening top in a lace pattern. Maybe the Frost & Flowers one I saw somewhere on Ravelry? Or Karabella's Feather & Fan? (Don't bother asking myself if I actually need an evening top, the yarn is gorgeous, OK?)
Here is the lovely big ball of Norwegian sock yarn gifted to me by Aurora when we met at Tana Bru on the Norwegian trip. That will make lovely winter socks, Aurora, and you're a darling.
And the socks! At last the socks in progress came home!
Here is Lonely Norwegian, lonely no longer, on the left, with his much-travelled brother on the right (you can see how much furious work got done on Lonely while we were waiting for his sibling to show up).
and here are the beloved Koigu, half done and reminding me in every stitch of that wonderful Norwegian trip. Gosh, am I ever glad to have them all home safe, not to mention their Addi Turbo needles.
There were lovely parcels from friends this past week while I was worrying about the fate of Little Yellow Suitcase and its contents.
Alynxia sent this mouth-watering package of goodies in exchange for some of my yarns. Just look at what's here: Sea Wool, Somoko and a tiny skein of vintage SeaSilk from Fleece Artist, Mission Falls buttons, Algonquin tea bags, and the most delightful original booklet of knitting instructions for wartime projects. What a creative girl you are, Alynxia, to think up such a gorgeous package.
And this package came from Raspberry, also in exchange for some of my stash yarns. Restrain your envy while I enumerate with glee! Kraemer with silver, destined for the most amazing black lace stockings; Wollmeise (yes, Wollmeise!) in shades of scarlet, some exquisite Fleece Artist cashmere/silk, and, as a final lovely touch, two knitters' coasters, one, as she said, for my tea, and one for the Baileys! You're a lovely person, Raspberry.
It's been said before and doubtless will be said again, but the world of blogging and of Ravelry is a wondrous place. It's opened up possibilities, made links, created friendships that simply could not have happened otherwise. I raise a glass to you all. Thank you for being you. And for being there.