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.