So I rang the garage again yesterday morning*—Friday. There was this electrician specialist bloke who was supposed to come Thursday morning who by the end of the working day had still not shown.** Blaze said he would assertively pursue the issue*** Friday morning. Late Friday morning, like maybe one o’clock in the afternoon, the electrician was still somewhere else. I’ll ring you as soon as I talk to him, said Blaze—the idea being that since he is a wayfaring sort of electrician, he could come here and pay Wolfgang a diagnostic housecall.
Hours passed. I drank (more) tea. I worked on SHADOWS.† I hurtled hounds. I staggered to Oisin’s house carrying my sheet music and then he had house guests and . . . well, you don’t think I’m going to sing with Other People one flimsy hollow modern presswood door away, do you?†† I didn’t have time to limp home and unload, so I staggered straight on to Niall’s for handbells. ††† Where Gemma was sympathetic and, more to the point, gave me a ride back to the cottage after.
And Blaze did, in fact, finally ring. The perambulating electrician is not coming New Arcadia way, so would I please bring Wolfgang in for Monday morning??
And so, some time tomorrow‡, hellhounds and I will be setting out for Warm Upford . . . at least theoretically. I’m thinking I’d better start trying in the morning, in case Wolfgang doesn’t start in the first place but might eventually get into the mood later on. We will take our heavy mountaineering harnesses, of course, in case we have to get out and pull.
* * *
Meanwhile . . . I finished my second second swatch—after ripping out the wedge-shaped one, you may remember? I switched not merely from 6 mm needles to 6.5, I also switched from rosewood to bamboo needles. And as I readjusted to the bamboo, my rows started shrinking. So I ripped it out and started over. Arrrgh. AND GUESS WHAT? THE NEW SWATCH IS STILL TOO SMALL. AAAAAAAAUGGGGGH. The first swatch, on 6 mm needles, was six and a half inches. The swatch on 6.5 mm needles, is seven inches. AAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUGGGGGGH. I’m not sure I want to knit on 7 mm, they’re huge.
It was at this interesting juncture that I read an interview with Meg Swanson, daughter of the legendary knitter Elizabeth Zimmermann, who is totally carrying on the family tradition.‡‡ And they were talking about how Elizabeth started her famous newsletter, basically because the knitting admin in those days only wanted to publish stuff that approached knitting their way, and her way was not their way.
Then the interviewer says: What else would Elizabeth tell her readers?
And Meg answers: That ripping is a part of knitting. That you are the boss of your knitting and can do what you like. For instance, I don’t like to swatch; I will cast on 300 stitches‡‡‡ and work for several inches—then if I don’t like it I’ll rip it out and start again, rather than knit a 30-inch swatch. Knitter’s Choice! . . . Elizabeth was a great proponent for the idea that there is no ‘wrong’ in knitting: if you get the results you wanted, it is right. . . .
So, ratbag it. I’m tired of frelling swatching, and I’m still near enough the beginning of my Knitting Journey that it’s all educational anyway, and 6.5 mm is big enough, I don’t want to knit on anything bigger right now. So I cast on for First Cardi—and since I am of course bang between two sizes, at least it meant my choice was clearly for the larger—and I’ll knit a few inches and see where the awful frell I am. . . .
* * *
* Not too early. Ahem. They had lots of time to have got themselves sorted in a suitably garage-like way before I rang.
** So garages have their little frustrations too.
*** These may not have been his exact words.
† I am having to make up my tiny mind about things like how many Japanese phrases Maggie and her friend Jill—have you met Jill? I can’t remember—have hooked off the internet equivalent, called the webnet there. Short answer: not many. But how many is not many? So I put in Kaeru no ko kaeru because it amuses me, and some Japanese site or other claims it’s a proverb^ and then I take it back out again because generally speaking amusing yourself is not a strong criterion for inclusion.^^ Also if Takahiro opens his mouth—I can’t remember if you’ve met Takahiro either?—he’d better get it right. Sigh. Remind me to send a note to the Story Council to add to my file: Does Not Do Known This-Earth Foreign Languages.^^^ Meanwhile I am not enjoying schlepping my grammars and dictionaries back and forth to and from cottage and mews in my knapsack, since it is guaranteed whichever one(s) I leave behind will be the one(s) I want at the other end. Now.
The fact that I know that it’ll be like every other spasm of research/reading up/studying I’ve ever done and that 99% of it will not show in the finished story—like all those books on bees I read for CHALICE—is not helping.# Also, when I was reading books about bees I had a car.##
^ ‘The child of a frog is a frog.’ Besides, the Japanese cultural attitude toward frogs may not reflect the small, green and icky sensibility of, say, The Frog Prince.
^^ Which is one of the things KES is for. If it amuses me it’s in.
^^^ I’m keeping a wary eye on the chief cook at the Eatsmobile. His fondness for classic American diner food comforts me. But I can’t feel easy about his background and he may revert under stress or something. Also I suspect he may have a sister who . . . . mmmph. Well, you’ll find out in due course. Or not. Depending on whether I find out.
# Although I’m still hoping to take some language lessons. In my copious free time.
## Do Vespas come with two-hellhound sidecars?+
+ Not recently, apparently. http://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C310368
†† They were supposed to be out. Last Friday he promised they’d be OUT this Friday afternoon. We were thus betrayed into discussing cars. Oisin actually knows about cars. How very alarming. He started telling me things in CAR LANGUAGE. The one factoid I plucked out of this terrifying display, however, is that he doesn’t think I have to give up on Wolfgang yet. YAAAAAAAAY. Which is what our so-far-as-I-know-only practising mechanic on the forum, Gomoto, says also. One of the things I’m thinking is that Wolfgang is flapdoodling German engineering. Flapdoodling German engineering is supposed to be good for decades. Wolfgang hasn’t even reached his majority yet.
††† Usually this happens at the cottage. The fates conspire. Although I was still going to have to get hellhounds and sheet music back to the mews. But I don’t have to carry hellhounds.
‡ Since I don’t really do mornings, the deal is that I take it out the night before and put the key through the office door. And hellhounds and I have a nice walk home. If we’re not exhausted from pulling.
‡‡ Although I feel that her Schoolhouse Press exists to appall the beginner. http://www.schoolhousepress.com/ Look at the stuff these people claim to knit.
‡‡‡ Note: yeeeeeeeep.
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