Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Can't You Hear The Wild - It's Calling You!

I can't believe how all of you are so supportive on this insane idea of mine to enter two items (as yet nowhere near finished) for Bantry Show (deadline Sept. 2). It's a lovely warm feeling to get all those positive messages. It's two-way, you know - any daft notion you have in mind, let me know and I'll be right there backing you. Angeluna, thank you so much for the link to sockblockers on eBay - I love them, especially the drop spindle design and the moose. But thanks also for your brilliant idea re making my own and stencilling on a Celtic motif. You're a genius! As you say, presentation is all. A large piece of cardboard has been located and earmarked for making a preliminary template. When it looks about right, I'll get something stronger and more durable. And Anne, I am more than grateful for the timely warning about the possible bleeding of that Interlacements yarn. I think I'll take your advice and just steam and block for the show, and worry about washing afterwards.

Peg of course it's a huge prize at Bantry, why else would I be bothering? The first prize in each category is - wait for it - €12!!! (Tthe entry fee was €2, and if you take into account the petrol for driving down and back... )Well of course it's worth it. All of you know perfectly well why we put ourselves through these tortuous hoops.

The socks, by the way, found their rightful place right down at the bottom of the craft list in the show programme, tucked away in a little category of their own - a cap OR gloves OR socks. I am almost certain that nobody else in Ireland will enter socks. Caps yes, maybe even mittens, but I think socks are a definite no-no in a country where up to only too recently knitting them was a compulsory chore in any family. I might be wrong, though. We have quite a few recent settlers from Germany and Holland who are very keen knitters, so my LYSO tells me.

Now - everyone who wanted the pattern for that wedding coat (see earlier posting, Newsflash! Other Crafts Claim Equal Rights With Knitting!) I've recalled the foolproof and safe way to exchange email addresses if you're shy about that. Register on Knitter's Review Forum, find me (Celtic Memory) and you can send me an email to which I can reply with the images and pattern. There may well be a nice complicated Blogger way to post the pattern, involving lots of codes and adjustments, but this way is far simpler. Besides which, Knitters' Review Forum is a fantastic site and service if you don't know it already. It is run so really really well. I pop in there every time I have what I regard as a difficult problem and somebody solves it within minutes. Plus when I'm travelling to an as yet undiscovered (yarnwise) corner of the globe, I put a query in there and have a list (usually plus introductions, reviews, the lot) in no time. What a great facility. Take a bow, organisers of KRF! (No, they didn't pay me to say that. It comes from the heart of someone who, in rural Ireland, felt rather marooned until broadband changed everything. Just don't cut off my link, nice helpful Irish telephone controllers, please!)

The Seasilk yarn has arrived from friendly helpful Evelyn at Knitty-Noddy and it is so heartstoppingly beautiful. I could never have imagined any yarn looking and feeling so lovely. I find myself picking it up and holding it against my neck or face several times a day.

So often you find that a yarn (or even the label in a sweater or blouse) is scratchy or a little irritating. I'd like to make everything I wear next to my skin from Seasilk from now on. The dilemma facing me right now is what on earth (in heaven?) to make with these two skeins that will do honour to their beauty and glorious combination of silk and seaweed? A shawl of course is the first choice - but I am wondering about a fine ribbed sweater - even a polo neck. (They do a superb colourway in ivory shades as I recall). That would take time and lots of stitches (not to mention more yarn - well why should anyone else have it? They don't deserve it, wouldn't appreciate it like I would), but it would feel so divine that it would be worth the epic task. Still, NOTHING, but NOTHING gets even looked at until both the Elann and the socks are finished, tidied, blocked, and off to aforesaid Bantry Show. No, I really mean it this time. I don't have any other choice (well there is the one of making a cup of coffee, putting my feet up, saying, 'What's the point, life's too short,' and opening a trashy novel, and don't think I haven't considered that option. but this is a path on which I have set myself and I have to complete the journey or face the conclusion that I'm one of life's failures.)

Wouldn't you love to live next door to Fleece Artist/Handmaiden? Get to work there? Get to take secretive sacks home after hours when no-one is looking.... No, no, no, scrub that thought. But have you seen their merino sock yarn?

This is the Autumn colourway on my other favourite yarn site, Simply Socks operated by the lovely Allison. There is already a glorious skein of Cherry Tree Hill awaiting my winter attention in the stash, not to mention the Interlacements on the tiny rosewood dpns, awaiting their hour at Bantry, so I shouldn't really be considering more, but this interpretation of autumn's colours (why is there an n
in autumn? Doesn't seem any need for it really - how come you New Worlders haven't got rid of it? Oh you have - you call it fall, don't you?) is almost impossible to resist.

We're definitely getting towards autumn here now, notwithstanding that we're not finished with August yet. I was down in Gougane Barra the other day when the mists were low on the surrounding hills. The montbretia was flowering in swathes along the road verges, damp with moisture and enjoying itself thoroughly.

Hey, all of these are in the same sort of colourway, aren't they? Hadn't planned it like that. Been in a blue mood all summer with the Elann lace crop and the Interlacement socks, but now the call of autumn is hard to resist.

I have heard the beat of the offshore wind
And the thresh of the deep sea rain.
I have heard the song, How long, how long?
Pull out on the trail again.

What is it about September that makes us want to up sticks and go travelling? Show me a harbour or an airport and the urge is there again, insistent, pulling, demanding.

I know the airport hassle is going to be worse than ever, the baggage restrictions don't bear thinking about, the jetlag - but if you're born with the wanderlust, you can't do much about it, other than follow the call.

Here's another quote from a favourite poet of mine (I make no apology for preferring writers who are actually understandable):

They have cradled you in custom, they have primed you with their preaching,
They have steeped you in convention through and through.
They have put you in a glass case, you're a credit to their teaching,
But can't you hear the Wild - it's calling you!

Let's hear some of your favourites.


Charity said...

Oh, the Seasilk is so very lovely ;) I've been eyeing it up myself.

I've recently discovered Fleece Artist/Handmaiden, and am drooling everytime I bring it up on the web. Which is far too often. But hey, I don't really need to get my housework done, anyway!

Peg-woolinmysoup said...

Jo - I think from your profession as a writer that you love the pressure of a deadline! That would not be enough euros for me to deal with that kind of pressure.
Isn't Sea Silk just the best! I knew you would love it, but I thought you might buy it here - never mind, I am happy you're happy! The price is the same! I have a shrug in mind for my Sea Silk - that is once I buy it!
I am still working on getting to the Fleece Artist factory. They do not see wholesale out of that building, but I would just love to see it! Wish me luck!

Jo at Celtic Memory Yarns said...

Peg, what on earth makes you think that is the only time I'm going to buy Seasilk? Did I use one single word that indicated such a decision? Come on, girl, let's be reasonable here. The purchase from Knitty Noddy was simply a trial run, to get my eye in for BC. Where Seasilk is concerned,believe me, I have not yet begun to stash!

rho said...

I am lusting after the Seasilk and have a feeling that it would sit by my chair so I could fondle it and rub it against my face -- I don't know what I would make with it but I sure would enjoy it until I decided wouldn't I?

btw you have to try my friends online shop I have a link on my blog to it -- it is Hampton Knitting Yarn -- she has wonderful yarns and Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn - wonderful customer service and she gets the orders out the same day. I think you will love her. In fact I am getting ready to head over to her place for a knitting circle now.

Did you figure out how to put the things in your sidebar? If you did tell me if there is an easier way than I did it - which I sent you but I have a feeling my explanation was as clear as mud. Not unusual for me - hehehe....

Anonymous said...

That sea-silk is gorgeous .Travel..oh dear I loathe it .I'd rather leave it to Michael Palin so I can sit in comfort and knit."Get Knitted" have some new "Alchemy"yarns that are rather gorgeous but I am still waiting for the new seasons "Noro".

Anonymous said...

First, Thank You for your message a couple of days ago with the whole hearted support for my daft notions. It is nice to know the like mindedly odd and encouraging are out there, isn't it?

Ah, the Sea Silk. I bought some to play with myself, for that Shawl of Alice's the Harlot talked about on her blog. My LYS is the one that carries the pattern, so say the word and it'll be winging its happy way to your side of the world.

Anonymous said...

Jo - You do have a way of making me wish I were on the Esmerald Isle rather than the Parched Plains. Actually, I do have wanderlust and voyaged the world over for forty years. Have slowed down now due to an aged parent, but still hear the siren songs.

So, you have been seduced by Seasilk. And Fleece Artist. Well, join the club. Have at least 15 FA projects waiting (I won't admit to more) and socks don't count. There are five of those. At a Cat Bordhi workshop on the Oregon coast, FA sent a whole roomful of their yarns. No LYS carries them, so I felt I might never see them again and filled a suitcase. Have started a sock with cables in FA and it is just a joy to knit. The yarn has a lovely sheen to it. Their Kid Aran felts thick like cast iron, the best I've worked with. FA cashmere is dreamy. For my first Seasilk project, I'm using their Stormwater Shawl. Have seen the idea before, perhaps EZ?
I happened to be on Elann's site yesterday and looked up your Lace Cropped Cardi. Really lovely. May you sail through the rest of it and present it to Bantry on time. Our HUGE State Fair is coming up soon but I never thought of entering something. Although a famous blogger moved to Texas recently and entered socks and won. There is a "man who knits" on a ranch near here where his father raises buffalo. He has been spinning it and "buffalo is beautiful". Natural colors and soooo soft. That might be a project for the Fair next year. Hmmmm.

As for Knitter's Review, I check it often, but it will not allow me to register, something about how my computers are set up. Tried and tried and tried. So will put my e-mail here in that esoteric code:

Fiberjoy said...

The urge to roam the world at whim pulls strong,
Sorely dampened by terror of flight.
If Currents of jetstreams could carry me along
By sheer power of will, I might,
Speed quickly across the Altantic pond.

No, please don't laugh. Okay, I really don't mind if you do.

Stay the course and you'll soon be carrying Elann, and socks proudly displayed on cleverly carved shoe form, to the fair.

Only 10 days!!! Get knitting! Go Jo Go.

Anonymous said...

i think sea silk might also have to go on my list of ways to spend my unexpected windfall from sales of the moth shawl pattern. you re baiting me with it at every turn, jo!
i want that flower, montbretia! i love that. i could look all day at my yard if it were planted in that . . . instead of the swaths of weeds we have now!

Anonymous said...

Have you looked at Ilga Leja's designs? Urban Goddess would work in SeaSilk, I think. Or that gorgeous Antique Lace Vest. Either might be next year's entry for Bantry.

I've already gotten the Urban Goddess and Lady of the Forest patterns since many months, lined up the yarns, just looking for time. The usual "so much yarn, so little time".

Connie said...

Jo, thanks for your nice comment about my rather plain blog. The scarf is from a book called One Skein by Leigh Radford. I have also had Fleece Artist on my list and have been searching for a deal on Ebay for a long time. Its the hunt, you know. As for poems, one of my favorites is your own Yeats, "I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree........