And no, I don't know how to find those cunning little accents to put over that penultimate 'e' here on Blogger. If an expert does know, you might tell me. But you can get the gist, can't you. Baby Kromski, little Mazurka, is here at last, at last, at LAST!
Thanks in no small part to Margie of Moondance Wools who went out of her way and well beyond the call of duty to track it down, contacting suppliers, couriers, everybody, and then ringing me long distance to give me reference numbers and phone details. Margie you're a cuddle bundle! Anybody living within shouting distance of the Scottish Borders, go along to the Christmas Fair at Coldingham this Saturday and give Margie a hug from me. If you're not within hallooing distance, then the next time you're browsing her site for all those delectable fibres, send her a nice message and tell her she's the kind of person who makes this world worthwhile.
The wheel was shipped last Tuesday week. By Friday I was worried, by Monday frantic. Then on Tuesday, through Margie's magic I got the name and address of a warehouse at the other side of Cork - about a 50 mile round trip. Late afternoon and gathering dusk, who cares. Into the little jeep, Sophy Wackles riding postilion (riding shotgun for Statesiders, OK?), and off to brave the hazards of the city traffic to get to Little Island. Which isn't. Little, I mean. We roved up and down commercial routes, searching side roads, looking frantically, stopping lorries to ask drivers who were as lost as we were. Eventually tracked down the business park, found the warehouse, rushed in and begged for baby Kromski.
He was a lovely young man and hunted high and low on the computer, looking more and more worried (the fact that I was hammering on the counter with my head at this stage probably didn't help him to relax). He went off and searched the warehouse, upstairs and down. 'I am very sorry, but I don't seem -' That was enough. I ducked under the counter flap and headed into the warehouse myself. 'But you are not allowed -'
Rightly ignoring the protestations I scanned the entire place with burning eyes, floor to roof. There, there, there - THERE! Standing forlornly on a shelf at chest-height, all by itself, a big box labelled 'Mazurka'. Alleluia!
'That's it, that's IT!'
He carried it out - I was trying to grab it, to cuddle it, and he was explaining that he really had to do the paperwork first, see some ID, that kind of thing. Finally he completed the details and asked a little shyly what it was that had got me into such a state. I explained.
And what do you know, he was Polish! I was so happy to be able to tell him of the beautiful craftsmanship that goes into these spinning wheels, and how right-minded spinners everywhere are yearning to get their hands on them. He was smiling as I left, reassuring Sophy that no the box wasn't a narsty monster and yes, it was quite OK to be out after dark (sometimes I worry about that dog, really I do.)
Here it is arriving home, with Muffy the Yarnslayer coming to check Sophy out (do your home dogs check out the one who's been for a trip when she arrives back? Mine always do, in case she'd been taken by the fairies and a changeling put in her place who would of course have quite a different scent so they'd know).
Here it is being unpacked.
- and here is the long and arduous task of staining being started. That's the ancient bottle of Brou de Noix there in the background.
And that's all you can see of petite Mazurka for the time being. Staining is now finished, and after a night's drying, the beeswaxing has begun. (Heaven bless my little country store in Macroom, Frank Twomey's, where, when I asked for real beeswax, not this silicon and lavender spray thing, hunted out a jar of the genuine stuff . Good man, Frankie!). It's going to be a few more days before she's assembled and ready for her christening (still can't decide, thanks for all the suggestions, especially yours, Angeluna, I knew you'd come up with a comprehensive checklist!)
The days of waiting for the baby to arrive were tense and nervous, and as a result a lot of projects got started.
I couldn't resist downloading the pattern for this from Simple Knits - it's the Firebird Shawl and I like the shaping which would make it hang well. The original used Noro sock yarn and I had a ball of that, which seemed provident, but I'm not sure I like it. Love the pattern, still can't quite like Noro sock yarn. This one just could be heading for the chilly frog pond.
And here is the Noro cardigan, about the third (or is it fourth) time I've frogged and reknitted this yarn. Hopefully this personal make-it-up-as-you-go design will work. I've put in little pockets on the front, and tried that technique of adding the button to the ribbing band as you go, which is fun - yes I will remember to strengthen it with added stitches at the end.
Had promised to join in an Elsebeth Lavold KAL but time was getting scarce so found a fairly short-term project.
Haven't got too far wth that yet but soon, soon. There has got to be some way of stretching the hours in the day.
And on top of all that, I really hadn't expected the shawl/scarf kits I put up on eBay to sell so quickly. I'd only made up one or two, so the quick sales meant nonstop skeining, gentle washing (takes time, and the drying takes far far longer at this time of year, but they look so much nicer when they've had that prewash) and stitching up the fabric project bags into which to tuck them. And making up the packages and taking them to the post office.
You'd think I'd learned my lesson, but then I remembered the nice organic fingering weight kits I'd made up earlier in the year and decided I'd list those again.
I'd have at least a week to get them made up, I reasoned. But again, maybe it's the season that's in it, they started selling instantly and the merry-go-round moved into a faster gear. Anybody who missed out on these, email me and I'll make up some more.
KiniaCat said charming things about me on her blog, and mentioned that I didn't post too often. Have a heart, KiniaCat! Do you want to drive me over the edge altogether? From dawn to dark and well beyond it's a frantic rush chez Celtic Memory just to survive! I've been rising at six every morning for the past week to meet writing deadlines, and well after bedtime I've been either bending over the Kromski, applying beeswax, or cranking the swift and trying to keep count of how many metres of organic fingering weight I've wound, or slapping customs labels on packages, or casting yearning glances at the exquisite Gotland combed top just begging for me to spin it. And not a dog in the house combed! I tell you it's a wonder anything gets posted at all, ANY time!
Here's a picture of the scene from the sitting room window at this time of year. No sunshine, no leprechauns (all, if they're sensible, sitting round a jorum of punch underneath the roots of an old oak tree). Driving clouds and rain.
And here's one of the Little House on the Prairie, through the mist. Do not adjust your monitor, that's what the weather looks like. Through the glass - I'm not about to open the window in this weather, even for you.
I have to dash. More another time. Deadlines beckon.
And they wonder why I don't post more often...
EDITED MUCH LATER
It's evening now in West Cork, with all the stars glittering in a clear dark blue sky. That means an unusually chilly night - the forecast even suggested that there might be snow on the hills! Triple exclamation marks should be used for such an unusual occurrence - DH is already hauling out the tripods and polarising filters for a possible trip to the Magillicuddy Reeks tomorrow morning if there is snow.
Nothing, I realise, compared to the weather up where Lene lives in Lapland, or indeed further north again, with Marianne in Vadso or Else in Batsfjord. And we still get daylight for half the day which is more than you do up there. But hey, it's almost Midwinter, and soon the days will be drawing out again.
I came back in here to wish all of you Stateside (Canadian friends, I know you had yours earlier, and I hope it was lovely for you too) a very very happy and cosy Thanksgiving, surrounded by family and/or dear friends. DH and I (and the dogs of course, and the Orkney wheel and the new baby Kromski, although she will have to go to bed early with only a little glass of oil) are going to celebrate specially in honour of you and the pleasure you have given me over the past couple of years, by having our own Thanksgiving dinner. I am being completely sincere when I say that I will give thanks over a glass of wine for bloggers everywhere and for Ravelry. It brought us all together, didn't it?
And I will try to post more often...