Oh, never mind the future of the blog for a minute*, I want to tell you about tower practise at the abbey tonight.
We were kind of a scrappy crowd, with too many of us middling-or-less ringers and not enough of the lofty and resplendent.** I did get to ring a touch of Grandsire Triples, and it was not a great occasion but I held my line when other people were losing theirs, which is always very good practise if you survive. And we rang some plain old plain hunt on lotsa bells which is not exciting*** but is useful for grinding away at learning that too many frelling bells rhythm for us rhythm-challenged.
And that was beginning to look like that was going to be that for me, and I was thinking sullen thoughts about the plain course of bob major I could have rung in but wasn’t asked† when Scary Man called for Cambridge major. Siiiiiiiiigh. Only the lofty and resplendent ring surprise major. And they all seized their ropes, Scary Man taking the treble . . . when they realised they were one short. Oh, we can’t ring it, said Scary Man. There was a brief pause and then he turned round to us: Gemma, Charlotte and me. Unless one of you would like to ring the treble.
Gemma had just rung a practise touch of Stedman Triples†† and Charlotte is being a little cautious about getting to grips with ringing at the abbey. Also, Gemma, who is generally a better ringer than I am†††, hasn’t quite caught on to treble-bobbing, which is what you do on the treble to surprise methods. I, on the other hand, am relatively secure treble-bobbing to minor (six bells) and have been LOOOOOONGING for the chance to treble-bob to major (eight bells). I have never treble-bobbed to major. Never.
I stepped forward and grabbed the rope from Scary Man. Yes, I said.
Well, you see where this is going. I wouldn’t have headed it YAAAAAAAY if I’d bollixed it up or broken a stay or otherwise humiliated myself, and was signing up right now for a bookbinding course.
YES. I DID IT. I TREBLE-BOBBED TO A FULL PLAIN COURSE OF CAMBRIDGE MAJOR. AND FURTHERMORE I DID IT AT THE ABBEY. YAAAAAAAAAAAAY ME.‡
I’m not hopeless. Even at the abbey.‡‡
* * *
* Although in answer to the anxious emails about KES . . . not to worry. I have every intention of going on with it. KES indeed is one of the reasons I feel I can risk messing with the blog’s format. Saner, more intelligent people than I am—Blogmom and my agent for example—repeat that they don’t understand why I keep saying I have to post every night, that if I have the self-discipline to post every night why can’t I expend less self-discipline and post less often? Because I’m an all-or-nothing obsessive, is why. Next question. But KES really wants me to write it. So that’ll help keep me coming back to the blog, however the New System shakes down.
** Marilyn, looking around, said, I think a lot of people made a New Year’s resolution to come to tower practise more often. Including me, she added. —I haven’t seen her there since I started coming regularly some time last spring. But her two daughters are now old and tall enough to start learning to ring—Isolde, the older one, has wanted to learn since she was about two and shorter and lighter than a hellhound—so they may indeed start coming regularly. Aglovale was (kindly and patiently) teaching them tonight and Marilyn was standing at the opposite end of that vast room with her hands over her face saying I can’t watch! I can’t watch! (Which seems to me entirely sensible.) Isolde has inherited her mum’s Maths Brains and will be ringing Spliced Surplus Surplice Maximus by the end of the year, and I will have taken up bookbinding.
*** Except when you screw up and have to fall on your sword again
† Generally speaking if it’s something you’re learning or can’t ring reliably you wait to be asked. You only ‘fill in’ if you know what you’re doing.
†† Yaaaaaaay Gemma
††† She’s rung a quarter of Grandsire caters. TEN bells. Aaaaugh.
‡ Mind you it was not the most perfectly struck plain course of Cambridge you have ever heard. And most of the clanking was me. But I never got lost—I never got yelled at—and while when we’d started Scary Man had said, Be nice to the treble, catch her eye when you’re bobbing with her, almost none of them did: only Scary Man himself and Aglovale. Mostly I was On My Own.
The thing about treble-bobbing is the pattern is minimal: for every two steps you step back one before you go on. You do have to cling to that like mad but that’s all you have to remember. It’s all in the frelling RHYTHM which as I keep saying I have not got. I’m used to the rhythm of six bells, so I can treble-bob to minor. Probably the biggest reason I’m taking AEONS to learn to ring Grandsire triples reliably is because I’m not used to any eight-bell rhythm, either triples with the tenor-behind or major when all eight are working bells. I have stood behind the treble’s shoulder for a lot of surprise major on practise nights at the abbey and I have thought I should be able to do it—as I say, I’ve been longing for a chance to try—but—frelling eight bells.
But I DID IT. I DID IT FIRST GO.^ And even if I screw up next time I’ll know I can do it.
^ Although one other point I need to make in all this unseemly gloating is that this was a good band. I was the weak link. When you’re essentially being shuffled along by all the other bells being in the right place it does make it a lot easier.
‡‡ And Scary Man came round at the end and congratulated Gemma for her touch of Stedman triples and me for my treble-bobbing to major. You never looked like you were in trouble even once, he said to me. ::Beams:: He must be taking sensitivity training. He didn’t even scold me for my ragged striking.
Last Sunday afternoon at the abbey I was the second person into the ringing chamber.* The first person was Albert, who is Someone with a Key to the tower, and I was very glad he was there first, because it’s a life-threatening wind tunnel, waiting for Someone with a Key at the foot of the tower stairs. You could find yourself in Madagascar with hypothermia (and very messy hair).
Albert said, We’re due to do a local quarter** next Sunday, and I wondered if you’d like to ring in it?
Okay, drop back and regroup. I don’t ring quarters because I’m an easily overwrought coward with ME. I have stamina issues anyway and as soon as I’m stressed about anything—like, for example, worrying about getting through a quarter peal, because if you mess up you’ve ruined it for the entire band—my brain goes all lalalalalalalala and I start having to lean on things and sit down a lot. Arrrgh. But I’m longing to ring more at the abbey first because I just need more PRAAAAAAACTISE and also ringing quarters is a bonding thing and I can’t forget that I’m not really abbey material, it’s just the abbey is going through a thin time when they need all the hands on ropes they can get, and have to let people like me in if we want to come. If I can ring even a stupid baby quarter without screwing it up too badly I will feel a little less hopeless. It also occurred to me several months ago that in terms of my erratic stamina, service QPs at the abbey are a better bet than they were at New Arcadia because they’re earlier in the day—the New Arcadia service quarters are rung at 5 pm, after you rang that morning—and I don’t even try to ring morning service at the abbey.
Yes, I said to Albert. I’d love to.
The man first offered me bob major. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Er, I said. The first touch of it I’ve ever rung successfully was at the education day a couple of weeks back. I don’t think I’d get through a quarter.**
Oh, okay, said Alfred. I can see how you’d want to work on it a little more first.
Mmmrrrggmmph, I said.
Bob minor? said Alfred.
Oh, yes, I can do bob minor! I said, hoping I was telling the truth. I jolly well ought to be able to ring bob minor, upside down, asleep, or in the abbey, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I can.
Fine, he said. We start half an hour early when we’re ringing a quarter, just in case anything goes wrong.
I assumed this meant in case it fires out, there’s more time to start over and have a second try. Okay, I said, Two o’clock next Sunday. Thanks.
My pleasure, said Albert.
At Wednesday practise Scary Man had me ring a touch of bob minor as a little warm-up, which is very sensible and all that. But we were ringing on the front six which are TINY bells and eezum cheezum they go, as the saying is, like the clappers. My hands were smoking, and my brain felt like a hellterror trying to catch a fleeing hellhound. We don’t have to ring on the front six on Sunday, said Albert and Scary Man. We have an assortment of sixes—you can choose.
Not the front six, I said. Something a little heavier so we don’t go quite so frelling fast.
I have, of course, been WORRYING ABOUT THIS QUARTER ALL WEEK.
Today, finally, my life is or is not going to end. I’ve been TRYING TO TELL MYSELF that if we fire out—no, if I fire the rest of the band out—it is NOT the end of the world, I will NOT die, etc. But I don’t believe me. I’d like to get the quarter, but I chiefly DON’T WANT IT TO BE ME IF WE FIRE OUT.
It’s now officially the run up to Christmas, and there are frelling craft fairs and trinket stalls and blah and blah littering the landscape. I allowed myself fifteen extra minutes for finding parking. When I hit the beginning of the abbey’s medieval town’s one-way system there was a tailback to Dorset. I turned the other way. I had TIME. I could park at the edge of town and lollop the rest of the way on foot.
The multi-storey car park was closed.
The other multi-storey had its top two floors closed.
The other other multi-storey had so extreme a tailback—farther than Dorset, maybe Cornwall—I didn’t even bother to try.
It took me thirty five minutes to find . . . the LAST parking space anywhere in town, ‘in town’ being used fairly loosely, since it was nearly a quarter-hour sprint to the abbey. Those quadruply-frelling stairs to the ringing chamber ARE EVEN MORE BOUNDLESS AND IMMODERATE when you’ve just sprinted a quarter-hour across town.
I fell across the threshold and gasped, it took me thirty-five minutes to find a parking space!
Don’t worry, said Albert. Leandra and I only got here about five minutes ago for the same reason.
Gasp, I said. Gasp.
Sit down and catch your breath, said Scary Man. We have time.
Which was nice of him, although we only sort of had time. We did ring on the thrice-blasted front six . . . because they go faster.
Well, I wouldn’t be telling you this story like this if it didn’t have a happy ending, right?
WE GOT THE QUARTER.
. . . It was even not too bad. I was even not too bad. I am so much better on six bells, which is what I’ve mostly rung in my life so far, and which comforts me that I MAY YET EVENTUALLY LEARN to ring on eight and ten and forty-six, which us abbey ringers are expected to do. And there is absolutely no way I’d’ve survived forty-five minutes of bob major after spending thirty-five minutes looking for a parking space, fifteen minutes sprinting across town—and having wound myself up into a complete frenzy in the process. And if we hadn’t theoretically been starting half an hour early we wouldn’t have had time for a quarter, even on the front six.
* * *
* Pant, pant, pant, pant, pant. You have to REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY WANT^ to ring bells to climb all those FRELLING stairs on a regular basis. GAH.
^ Infinitive splitting is allowed under stress of extreme emotion.
** Quarter peal. The abbey band rings a quarter for Sunday afternoon service about once a month, I think, although I don’t pay attention beyond checking the web site to see if I should turn up or not, since quarters never concern me. And visiting bands clutter up the schedule ringing quarters on Sunday afternoons with some frequency. It’s all part of the NATIONAL CONSPIRACY to prevent me from getting enough time on a rope to LEARN anything.^
^ There’s been a mixed response to our bob major half-day a fortnight or so back. One of the helpers left early, almost in tears, saying that it was too confusing and she couldn’t hold her line through the method. I’ve heard from several other helpers that they were having difficulty holding their place because there were too many learners per touch—there were as many as four learners ringing an eight-bell method. This does not, it’s true, offer good critical mass for keeping the whole shebang moving in the right direction—and yes, once we got beyond plain courses and were trying to ring touches we crashed and burned kind of a lot. Yes, it was pretty shambolic.
Was it worth it? Yes. Absolutely. The point is IT HAPPENED. And those of us who only learn ANYTHING by grind had time on a rope. There were enough helpers—ie people who knew the method really well—that there were spares for minders—standing at learners’ shoulders while they rang. No, it was not beautiful. But IT HAPPENED. Education days and half-days are a big tiresome pain to organise, and people have lives, and as a result there aren’t nearly as many education days as us grinders want or need. So full points to the organisers.
*** SIIIIIIIIGH. The problem is that the very best way to finish learning something is by ringing a quarter of it. Forty-five minutes non-stop of a specific method really does grind it into your synapses. But you need to know it well enough^ to have a prayer of surviving forty-five minutes. I don’t think I have more than about half a prayer of surviving forty-five minutes of bob major even under optimum conditions. Forty-five minutes pulling on a rope is a long time, especially if you’re a stress freak.^^
^ ‘Know it well enough’ means have rung it enough that you have some familiarity and a few clues to fall back on if you have a brain failure and suddenly have no idea what you’re doing, including where you are and why you have a rope in your hands. ‘Enough’, however, varies from ringer to ringer.
^^ Three and a half hours is even longer, which is about what a full peal takes, but I’ll never ring one so it’s a bit moot in my case. I flatly don’t have the stamina. Colin, on the other hand, is only interested in full peals. He thinks quarters are boring, and will only ring them if someone is short a ringer.
Even I admit this pales in comparison to getting SHADOWS sent in and the decision on who is to be my bull terrier puppy** but it’s still big news to me:
I’M AN OFFICIAL MEMBER OF THE FORZA ABBEY TOWER RINGERS. YESSSSSSSSSS.
Last Wednesday week** at practise, and entirely out of nowhere, I had two different people say to me, perhaps not quite in these words, you’re here all the time, why don’t you frelling JOIN? The first one, Landon, hadn’t realised I’d quit New Arcadia—well I’m not ringing at the abbey Sunday mornings so I might very well be ringing at New Arcadia, except that I’m not. And I said, I’d love to join, but I’m not really abbey material, and he said on the contrary, you keep showing up, we need ringers, and as you know perfectly well you’re not the only sub-Doohickey Dingdong Frabjous Super-Maximus ringer in the band. Um, I said.†
But only a few minutes later Pardulfo got up on the big tenor box†† to exhort us to vote in the abbey council elections, because bell ringers are under-represented in abbey council deliberations. All you regular visitors! he said. You should join. And then he looked straight at me, and said, You! You should join!
Eeep, I said. Certainly. Happy to. Er—how?
I’ll email you the paperwork, he said.
And then he didn’t.
A week went by. I sighed a lot. Last Wednesday practise I sidled up to Pardulfo and said, um, you were going to send me the paperwork about joining the band—?
He looked stricken, and rushed off to consult the tower captain who—I thought, watching, while standing in the middle of that FRELLING GIGANTIC BALLROOM FLOOR and feeling about two inches tall—looked at me and the expression that crossed his face might politely be described as nonplussed.
Oh well, I thought.
He did send me the paperwork the next morning. But it was all about getting put on the abbey rolls††† and voting in the elections and nothing about being accepted as a tower ringer. Oh well, I thought again, and, elections being imminent, printed everything out, filled in the forms and posted them that afternoon. Brooded for a bit, and then emailed my putative future tower captain back, saying that I’d done as instructed, but my real goal was to join the tower, and there must be some further document involved.
He didn’t answer.
. . . And then over the weekend I discovered the self-addressed stamped envelope you’re supposed to include to receive the postal voting form still on my desk at the cottage. ARRRRRRRRRRRRGH. Since I’m trying hard to be a good doobie here, which does NOT come easily, I decided I’d go in today‡ and vote in person.‡‡ Shining with prospective virtue, I turned my computer on this morning . . . and there was an email from the abbey tower captain, welcoming me as a member of the band, and wishing me many happy years ringing with them.
So I also went to evensong after voting and stuffed a little money in the ‘retiring collection’‡‡‡ as a thank you. §
I HAVE A HOME TOWER AGAIN. §§
* * *
* These things go in threes, right?
** http://www.puppytext.com/view25364MAZRGW With thanks to Peter for finding puppytext.com in a silly-item-round-up in the GUARDIAN of all places.
*** So two Wednesdays ago
† They rang Cambridge surprise major on Sunday, and I went to stand by the treble and watch. The treble does something called treble bobbing for—well, all the surprise methods I know about, it wouldn’t, ahem, surprise me if there were exceptions—and while I can treble to surprise minor (six bells) trebling to major (eight bells) requires that you count higher and dodge more times and seven, as you’re counting your place in the row rhythmically to yourself, has two syllables. One-two-three-four-five-six-SVN-eight. I’ve never trebled to surprise major but anywhere but the frelling abbey I might, at this point, have a reasonable shot at it.^ But ring Cambridge major inside, when I can barely limp through a plain course of minor on a very good day? Forget it.
Wild Robert, on the three, said, Never mind the treble. Come stand by me.
^ Maybe I’ll ask to try it some time at Fustian, if all continues to go well there.
†† Big tenor bells tend to have big tenor boxes for the ringer to stand on. He, or she, is less likely to get enmeshed in the 1,000,000,000 miles of rope to go around a big tenor wheel, when the ringer is above floor level. The abbey’s tenor is humungous, so the box is correspondingly humungous.
††† I noticed they want all your details which no doubt means I’m going to be harangued for donations for the rest of my life. But it takes oceans of money to keep something the size of the abbey not merely open for business, but the walls vertical and the roof nailed on—and yes I think it should be kept alive and running so, fine, whatever.
‡ And possibly stop at the knitting store for a pair of 7 mm needles. I used to reject automatically all patterns calling for any needle smaller than 4 mm because I’m still too twitchy a knitter to deal with anything that finger-tanglingly teeny. But since I have yet to get gauge on anything smaller than one or two or even three needle sizes larger than suggested my attitude has changed. It is of course possible that now that I’ve FINALLY GOT SHADOWS TURNED IN^ my knitting will LOOSEN UP A LITTLE.^^
^ Even if I’m still working on it
^^ Although not, please fate, in the middle of anything I’m knitting right now.
‡‡ And it’s a good thing I did, since they had no record of me or any of those painstakingly filled-in forms. By which we learn that however lofty the abbey spiritual attainments, bureaucracy rules there too in its usual bumbling fashion, down here at grub level.
‡‡‡ Ah, the British. In America, you go to church, some body passes a plate while you’re still trapped in a pew, and glares at you. All right, I have attended C of E services where they pass a plate—or, more often, a little bag, the better to disguise how much or how little you’re putting in it—but in this case there was a discreet tray at a tactful distance from the exit from the small enclosed area where the service was held into the vaster territory of the abbey generally and it would have been easy to miss it.
§ The bell tower, after all, is part of the fabric of this ginormous churchy building that needs to be kept upright and working, and our membership dues are pathetic and, furthermore, some organising body—and I am embarrassingly uncertain whether it’s the C of E admin or the central bell council admin—will pay it for you if you don’t jump in the breach and wave money.
§§ I have really hated being ‘unattached’ as it’s called. Makes me feel utterly lost and alone in a hostile universe^. Bellringing is a team activity. You need to belong somewhere, even if you ring elsewhere too.
^ Just like the SWD, although I don’t tell sad stories of the death of kings with my tail much.+
+ Note that Kes does not share my allergy to Shakespeare.
I went to Birmingham on the train again today.* Southdowner picked me up at the station and took me off to Tiptoe on Cludge to play with Lavvy and her puppies . . . again. I’m spending kind of a lot of money and travel time on some random litter of puppies, aren’t I? Even if they are southdowner’s grandpuppies** and as cute as a box of Green & Black’s.***
So . . . Olivia rang me up out of the blue this week. Oh hi, I said, puzzled, since even if she were coming to Hampshire again with a load of the small, furry and four-legged, New Arcadia isn’t that much on her way, and it’s not like I’m one of her . . .
Olivia believes in cutting to the chase. One of my buyers has dropped out, she said, and I might be able to talk her into changing her mind, but I don’t want to. I want my puppies to go to people who really want them.
Oh? I said, my mind instantly leaping off its flywheel and spinning till it smoked.
And I wondered if you might be interested, she went on.
My mouth fell open. I may have said ‘aaaaugh’.
You don’t have to decide immediately, she said hastily. But—well—you seemed fairly serious about wanting to be put on the list for next year, and I just thought . . . if you wanted to think about it and get back to me. . . .
I don’t have to think about it, I said. I want one.
Olivia laughed. Southdowner seemed to think you might say that, she said. But you really can take some time to think about it. Talk to your husband or whatever.
My husband will be delighted when he gets over the shock, I said. He’s worrying about what to give me for my sixtieth birthday this autumn. He can give me a puppy.
So of course I had to go look at them again. Olivia works insane hours, and pretty much my only opportunity to see them before they get much older was this afternoon.
So I went this afternoon.
Oh my gods I’m about to have a BULL TERRIER PUPPY.†
I can’t go on calling them ‘white girl’, ‘coloured girl with broad blaze’, ‘coloured girl with narrow blaze’, and Little Prince Charming. So in keeping with the food theme in this family . . . Scone is the white girl, Croissant has the narrow blaze, Pavlova has the wide blaze, and the boy is . . . Fruitcake.
I do have some puppies-in-action photos, but they’re mostly blurry: this was indoors in poor lighting. But I might post a few more anyway . . .
* * *
* Which was amazingly fine for a Saturday, until a bunch of drunk out of their gourds football hooligans got on at Barnstorming on the way back to Mauncester. I hate Barnstorming. Barnstorming is where the famous occasion when Peter and I nearly never made it home at all happened. . . . Train staff? Are you kidding? They didn’t want to stick around to deal with this lot either. Arrrrgh. At least they were the friendly end of drunk.
** In Fiona’s admirable phrase
*** Anybody here not know that G&B makes my FAVOURITE DARK MINT CHOCOLATE, without which I CANNOT LIVE?
† And no, I don’t even know which one!!!^ I don’t hang out with show dog quality much. I’m used to the see-which-puppy-comes-up-to-you-I’ll-have-that-one school of choosing, plus performing a few probably bogus tests to help you avoid the pushy thug and the cringing neurotic. Darkness came up to me immediately and started untying my shoes, and Chaos . . . you’ve heard the story of how I ended up with Chaos, haven’t you? So as I’ve told both Olivia and Southdowner, I’ll love whoever I end up with, and two or three years from now I won’t be able to imagine anything else, like I can’t imagine life without Chaos (so to speak). But apparently this is an unusually nice litter—Southdowner says that if you’re looking for breeding/showing quality you usually choose by discarding, and there are no obvious discards here. So the head of the puppy-acquisition queue hasn’t quite made up their minds yet—and Olivia and Southdowner are both a little anxious about me as a first-time bullie owner, so of whatever’s left they’re going to give me the quieter one.
^ Where am I going to PUT IT in my miniature book- and yarn-stuffed cottage? I can’t move around in the kitchen now, because of the hellhound crate. And what will the hellhounds think?
The puppies will be ready to go to their new homes the beginning of October. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGH
I have SO no excuse for BUYING MORE YARN.* And I was therefore appalled** when On Line Yarn Store from Some Location Out of HP Lovecraft or Possibly Arthur Machen sent me a THIRTY PER CENT OFF come-on for the Bank Holiday weekend just past. Now how is any mere mortal*** going to RESIST a THIRTY PERCENT OFF proposition?
Reader, I didn’t.†
Some day, when I am feeling like embarrassing myself further, I’ll show you my Leg Warmer Stash. One of the ways I pretend to be in (some kind of) control of my Yarn Acquisition Addiction†† is by fobbing myself off by buying two skeins of Something Pretty for leg warmers. Something pretty and (usually) cheap.††† I began my Bank Holiday weekend survival tactics by running up a shopping cart of leg warmer yarn. But in the first place I ALREADY HAVE ENOUGH LEG WARMER YARN FOR THE ENTIRE CHORUS LINE AT THE FOLIES BERGERE‡ AND THE ROCKETTES and in the second place . . . hey. This is thirty per cent off. I need my two-skeins-for-leg-warmers trick to keep me from expiring from a lack of new stash over the rest of the year when I’m paying full price.
So I conceived an Evil Plan.
I like bulky yarn. But the bulky yarn I like—ie wool rather than acrylic/nylon/polyester/naugahyde—I can NEVER AFFORD, especially when what I want is enough to make a cardigan or a jumper with. I got New Cardi’s nice fat yarn as a discontinued remainder. At thirty percent off Rowan or Debbie Bliss or Louisa Harding is still too expensive. But it’s not as too expensive.
A big bulgy soft parcel arrived yesterday.
This green stuff is recommended for 6.5 mm needles! Big! Fat! Yaaaaaay!‡‡
This is only 5 mm needles but hey. (Furthermore, the way I knit, I’ll probably need 6 mm anyway.) It’s also very tweedy, with flecks of black, red and the tiny odd glint of orange.
But those of you who have also been tempted and fallen to ordering yarn on line . . . you know how sometimes stuff arrives and you think . . . oh. That’s not quite what I was expecting. NOT THIS TIME.
. . . However, speaking of multicoloured yarn and discontinued remainders . . . one of the tangential advantages of being a small size and liking cropped things is that I can squeeze‡‡‡ v-neck three-quarter-sleeve cropped sweaters out of bin ends.
This is my first Louisa Harding. Mmmmmm. They were having a sale anyway, and this was cheaper yet, I think because it’s not a popular colour, but I like it. Dunno how it looks on your screen, but it’s a very pale yellow, with LUMPS, which I believe are properly called slubs. I was hideously indoctrinated to Yarn with Lumps last year with various secret projects, and while the secret projects crashed and burned I did learn to deal with Lumpy Yarn, and I like the effect it makes. But this is merino, alpaca and silk and . . . mmmmmm.
This is 100% WOOL§ and it is MULTI. COLOURED. I’m failing to do it justice—since I am, as usual, taking photographs indoors late at night without the flash because the flash always makes things worse—so you’ll just have to take my word for it that it is scarlet red, russet orange, plum brown and white with purple splotches. Yum. And enough other people liked it that this was a bin end.
Knit faster! Knit faster!
* * *
* And have I mentioned that Fiona and I are getting together next week? Of course we don’t have to go on a Yarn Adventure.^
^ And the pope isn’t Catholic.
** No, really. Appalled.
*** That is, knitter. I daresay people whose cough-cough leisure activities extend no farther than golf and stamp collecting would not whimper if offered a thirty-percent-off yarn voucher. Although I’m sure they’d love knitting if they tried it.^
^ Stamp cosies! Golf ball hats!
† Which is why I was appalled, of course. I knew I was doomed.
†† Some madwoman on the forum a little while ago was accusing me of ruining her perfect system by introducing her to the concept of stash. ???!!!!!??!?! I didn’t know there was a knitter on the planet^ who didn’t have stash. Who taught this person to knit? My introduction was: knit, purl, stash^^. I caught on to stash first.^^^ Granted my Obsessive Collector lobe was already well grown and established, not to say dominant.#
^ Or off it, for that matter. There has been some evidence that the Gflytch do something like knitting, although it involves tentacles and eye-stalks.
^^ Fiona, I’m looking at you.
^^^ Knit second, and purl a poor third.
# Okay. Dominant. ::Eyes book shelves::
††† Somebody tell me why the vast majority of the really fabulous mixed-colour yarns are acrylic or some other human-contrived substance? Aside from my beginner’s phobia of relentlessly solid-colour yarn which will relentlessly display every foible, not to say error, I do have some really nice muted or tweedy multicolour wool—the yarn for First Cardi among these, and my new Bank Holiday transgressions—but the loud stuff tends to be not natural fibres. I resist the idea that people who want to knit merino and alpaca and silk and cashmere merely suffer painfully from good taste.
‡ Leg warmers being all they wear in that revue so the leg warmers need to be . . . um . . .
‡‡ The main failure of this devilish plan is that this yarn in particular is SO UNBELIEVABLY tactile and seductive (85% wool, 15% angora) that I now want it in several other colours. Desperately. Want. If I’d never FONDLED it this yearning wouldn’t be nearly as formidable.
I’m already a Rowan junkie. Sigh. I bought this a little while ago because . . . because . . .
‡‡‡ If believing what patterns tell you isn’t too foolish
§ Of which some unspecified percentage is merino, which means it waved to a merino sheep on its way out of the factory, like those CASHMERE BLEND sweaters that turn out to be 98.2% cotton.