I was in despair, total despair, over that blue cabled jacket where a cable cross had been omitted. I thought there was nothing for it but the Black Hole of Failed Projects. But you came through. Did you EVER come through, bearing not only comfort and consolation, but reviving hope and finally hugely practical suggestions. Heidi's advice on using a larger needle to reknit was invaluable. Katie K (sorry, can't find your blog address, Katie) rowed in with the most practical advice re using lifelines for the top needles, pinning down the working area, counting odd and even rows, and more. Helen emphasised working s-l-o-w-l-y, and not even thinking of a stiff drink until it was done (how well you knew I needed that advice, Helen!) My dear long-time blogging friend Pacalaga assured me that any uneven tight/loose bits would sort themselves out over time. And everybody else was so supportive and encouraging it almost made me cry. But I didn't. I resolved to be worthy of all this support and get down to the job.
AND IT WORKED!
You would never know anything had gone wrong. It just needed time and care, not my usual lightning-smash-grab-with-the-nearest-crochet-hook-and-if-it-isn't-sorted-in-ten-seconds-I'm-giving-up approach.
It's done, it's beautiful. But... I'm not sure after all about the side and back slits. They make it a bit too floaty. Designer catwalk stuff, possibly, everyday use, no. So I tried sewing them up.
What do you think? Vents or no vents? Cuddle factor or floaty effect? Still undecided. But grateful, so very grateful, that you were THERE. Take a huge collective bow and make yourselves individual mugs of hot chocolate.
That second picture of the jacket was taken indoors. This is because it hasn't stopped raining for more than half an hour for the last two weeks. I had to time it to the second to dash out with my latest Celtic Memory Shawl Kit and take photographs.
This neat little kit is the Mermaid's Garden colourway, with fourteen different 50yd skeins so that you can create your own work of art.
One of Jane Thornley's vest designs would look wonderful in these. They're up on eBay now. The next one, Forest Magic, with all the greens and greys and soft shades of the deep woods, will be up at the beginning of December.
That same constant rain, allied to the successful completion of the crop cable jacket, led to an uncontrollable desire to START SOMETHING NEW. And as chance would have it, Ruth had just started a gansey KAL on the Pennyroses group in Ravelry. And it was just a week before Thanksgiving, she happened to mention. So of course Celtic Memory, who has no sense WHATSOEVER, decided she'd try to make a gansey. In one week. And wear it at Thanksgiving (we don't actually celebrate that particular event here, preferring to wait until late December, but I've been observing it since blogging and Ravelry opened up such a wonderful world of friends in every corner of the globe).
Now I'm not completely daft, only partially, so clearly a sweater knitted with thread on toothpicks wasn't appropriate for this particular deadline. No, Polperro, from Country Weekend Knits (and included in a few other books too, I think) was the ideal choice, worked as it is with chunky yarn on large needles.
Here it is so far. A chunky 50/50 merino and baby alpaca blend, hand-dyed by me, on 6.5mm circular. Pockets are inset, I'm almost up to the armhole divisions. Will we make it? Read the next instalment.
(No, I don't need reminding about the book deadline. I'm trying to forget it.)
The constant rain, allied to quite frightening gales, has brought disaster to a great deal of West Cork, and DH has been out and about at all hours, recording the floods and flood damage.
This is a little road I often drive when going to Cork city. The water rose to a point where it simply poured across with immense force, and broke down the wall at the other side. No going that way for a while, then.
This view, taken from the bridge by the Angler's Rest country pub, should show sweeping green fields, with the winding River Lee way over to the left, where you can just see a white dot on what was the river bank. It's now a raging Amazon of a river.
This rather expensive hotel on the outskirts of the city was having a bad time, but DH couldn't resist the car park notices.
Guests were being evacuated to the backs of lorries with all their bags. Some Americans that DH met were being exceptionally good natured and amused about it all. Another Cork hotel (on higher ground) took them in and looked after them. Shouldn't be surprised at all if hot toddies and Irish coffees were in demand.
These houses look so beautiful, seeming to float on the tranquil water. However, this isn't Venice, and their ground floors don't bear thinking about.
Now I realise, of course I do, that other parts of the world get far far worse flooding and indeed far harsher weather conditions than we do in Cork. It's just a shock when it happens here. It's not uncommon to get some flooding in a wet winter - a deep pool or two on a country road, maybe even a street or two under some inches of water in the city. But to this extent, never. To make things even more worrying, the gales and torrential rain are set to continue for at least the next week. Fortunately we're safe and snug on our hillside here, but others are not so fortunate. Ironic though it might seem, thousands are without water supplies and don't seem likely to get it back for some time.
It will come around. It always does. The soft wind will replace the gales, and the water will fall back to its usual path. The fields - Irish fields are most competent sponges - will regain their normal green grass in no time at all. While it's here though, it does make you feel more at one with those who live in, for example, New Orleans. (You OK there, Dez?)
Incidentally, does anyone else have current problems with placing pictures on their posts? For some reason, Blogger no longer lets me move images around the page to put them in the right spot. Is it something I've clicked or failed to click? One of life's reminders that nothing stays the same? Advice welcomed. As it is, I have to put all the pictures on first, in reverse order, and then add the text between the images. Which is adequate, but not particularly conducive to stream-of-consciousness writing. (I had a student once who called that 'steam of consciousness'. Love it!)
And while I think of it, the Hit Counter has put itself back almost to 0. Well to just a few thousands anyway, nowhere near what the actual total was. No way of sorting that, I imagine. Ah well, these things are sent to try us.
Strewth, it's raining again. I was almost certain it had stopped for two whole minutes there...
Here is a view from my study window this morning, as I type. I'm surprised those russet beech leaves have hung on with the high winds we've been having. Glad I topped the eucalyptus last year though - they're as high as they used to be, but it's only light branches rather than heavy trunk, and they'll be fine.
And to finish, a nice warm little story. For this hopeless romantic anyway. We were at the local recycling centre, bringing in all our glass and plastic and cardboard and such, and DH suddenly pointed out a tiny object at the top of a heap in a lorry, about to be tipped into an enormous container about fifteen feet below on another level.
'Isn't that a little waggon? See its red wheels?'
I was over there like a streak of lightning and grasped its pull handle just as the small object was about to fall into oblivion. The man looked surprised. 'Don't know where that came from. D'you want it?'
It was wet and full of decaying leaves. The tyres on its little red wheels were in a pretty bad way. But it was solid, and sturdy. And it came home with us. It's drying out slowly and carefully right now, in the garage. Not too quickly, in case it damages the wood. And then it will come into its own at Christmas, piled with presents or yarns or other lovely things.
But I took it down to the grove first, and placed it in the very centre of a fairy ring under the crabapple tree, to have its picture taken.
Ta failte romhat, a leanbhain. You are welcome, littlest one.
Anybody know where I might get some spare tyres for a little wooden waggon?