January 14, 2016

Post-memorial placeholder

 

One day at a time is a good idea when you’re a little more plugged into the concept of ‘day’. I was planning to post another piece from the memorial last night, but I’d had a really nice day out with a friend* followed by supper at a pub** and when I got home . . . home was darker and colder and emptier even than usual since 16 December, despite the presence of a hellmob who were more than happy to join me on the sofa for some mutual support*** and I couldn’t face posting more remembering-Peter stuff.  This evening I got home from my interview at the abbey to become an Ornamental Laic Doohickey appended in some mystic and numinous manner from the monkish community†, firmly opened my laptop and addressed myself to the next memorial piece and . . . realised I needed to ask its author a few questions before I posted it and he didn’t get back to me by return electron what is the MATTER with the man.††  My sensible alternative was to hang some photos—there were posters full of photos at the memorial service, most of them patiently loaded and tweaked into available digital format by the tireless Philippa—but I can’t face that right now either.†††

So you’ll have to make do with this for tonight. Tomorrow is another day.  For better or worse.

* * *

*Fiona. We went to a YARN SHOP.  That was a no-brainer, wasn’t it?  But it’s a yarn shop that specialises in small indie spinners and dyers where if you see something you like BUY IT IMMEDIATELY BECAUSE IT WON’T BE THERE IF YOU GO AWAY FOR A CUP OF TEA TO THINK ABOUT IT AND COME BACK HAVING DECIDED ‘YES’.  The problem with going in there even having decided in advance to kill on sight—er—I mean snaffle and stuff in basket on sight is that these frelling itsy bitsy indies—I mean the tinies, doing it in their kitchen sinks^, seem only ever to produce one middling-sized skein of anything. Which does make for a highly engaged day out, scampering around the shop looking for something that complements the single unique skein you have fallen in love with, which alone has about enough yardage^^ for a bow tie and one earring.  This matching trick is likely to be impossible however because you’ve got to get the same gauge—the thickness of your yarn—and the mix of fibres similar if not identical between or among your skeins or your knitting will come out a gnarly ramshackle mess.^^^  This odds-against pursuit also goes some way to preventing you from buying more yarn than will fit in the car.#

^ You can tell what mum or dad is dyeing by the colour of the food on your plate. Orange meatloaf.  Green bread speckled with dazzling yellow pumpkin seeds.  Red peanut butter.  Pink brussels sprouts.  All finest wholesome vegetable dyes of course.  That’s probably beet juice in the peanut butter and maybe in the brussels sprouts too.

^^ or meterage

^^^ Fiona, who has been at this scam a lot longer than I have, is also a lot braver. I keep looking at the percentages of stretchy (wool, etc) and non-stretchy (cotton, silk etc) and wanting them to match if I’m going to try to knit them together, and sometimes frelling teeny indies don’t even give you the percentages, so you have something that says wool/silk and something else that says wool/silk but THEY ARE OBVIOUSLY PERILOUSLY DIFFERENT and then you see something that says wool/silk and something else that says alpaca/cotton and they actually look pretty similar and you’re sure you’re losing your mind as you’re kneeling weeping on the floor when Fiona drifts by says, no, feel it—rubbing various yarns briskly between her fingers—it’ll be fine. She also has some INSANE ideas about holding double a 4-ply yarn that matches your unique skein of 8-ply colours in paradisical perfection, to make up the weight.  AAAAAUUUUUGGGGHHHH.  Maybe she could do this without inadvertently stringing herself and three local hellcritters from the rafters but I’m not going to risk it.

# It’s probably a good thing Fiona has a small car.~

~ I have ANOTHER yarn day out planned with ANOTHER friend. This however will be to a serious, sober yarn shop and I shall go armed with a LIST. As Fiona and I were agreeing yesterday, when you go into a random yarn shop you buy . . . random yarn which goes in your stash. If you have a PROJECT in mind . . . of course you have to buy yarn for it because your stash is . . . your stash. You don’t knit from it. Of course not.

** I think I’ve told you that the Troll and Nightingale used to be the brawlers’ pub, the presence of which haven of misbehaviour in deeply staid New Arcadia used to amuse me to an unseemly degree.^ Well it got a refit a year or three ago and has blossomed into quite the many-petalled flower of the art of the gastropub.  I’m a tiny bit nostalgic for the bad behaviour of yore, but mostly I’m happy to have another option for a glass of fizz and some food to hold it down within walking distance.  New Arcadia is so well off for foodie pubs that you can choose your atmosphere by your mood of the moment and you can indulge in a permanent snit with one of your locals and still have plenty of alternatives.  For a cranky person the availability of a righteous snit that doesn’t cost anything in pleasure or convenience is as delicious as . . . well, Niall’s chocolate brownies, say.  Anyway.  The Troll and Nightingale wasn’t expecting much business on a wet Tuesday night in January and were understaffed and service was SLOOOOOW.  But Fiona and I just got on with our knitting.  Knitting rules.^^

^ except when the spilling into the street and the tops of their lungs and breaking furniture+ thing was happening very late at night on a summer evening when your windows are open. I won’t say I would be trying to sleep, but if you’re propped up in bed on six pillows in the wee hours reading, part of the pleasure of the entertainment is the you’re-the-only-one-awake silence.

+ You probably know it’s actually quite difficult to break furniture that hasn’t been Hollywoodised for filming scenic altercations, but it can be done.

^^ Even if I did have to rip that multiply-damned sleeve out again. I would suspect myself of not wanting to finish the last project I’d started while Peter was still alive but since I never finish anything anyway this seems superfluous to requirements.  I’ve done a lot of knitting since 7 September because it keeps me off the ceiling^ and pretending to be calm and sane, knitknitknitFOCUSknitknitknit, but I think it’s all lying around waiting to have some kind of finishing element applied.  Mostly this involves weaving in ends and sewing up seams but I’m also experimenting with making bags for handbells which require felting. Oh, and I made an adorable scarf with my last two skeins of indie yarn.^^

^ Unless of course I’m trying to knit with a double strand of 4-ply to match the every-two-rows swap with the other single-indie-skein of 8-ply.

^^ You’re allowed to knit randomly out of your stash.  You just can’t knit planned projects.

*** And snoring. The hellterror is a redoubtable snorer.

† The monk who is Master of Ornamental Doohickeys said to me kindly that signing up was a significant thing to do at a crisis or turning point in one’s life. Oh.  I thought Alfrick was just stampeding me into something he thought would be good for me.

†† Possibly he has a life? Some people do I believe.

††† The posters themselves, at my request, were handed over to me at the end of the memorial, and they are leaning up against a corner in the cottage sitting room. I want them, I just don’t want to look at them quite yet.

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