Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Nod to the Ancestors

Five months have passed without a word on the blog. I've no idea why I've been so mute. There has been a lot of knitting, as usual, a bit of traveling, some time spent on genealogy. But none of that fully explains the lack of blog time.

Speaking of those ancestors, I tripped over this interesting article in an old, old newspaper:
From an English paper Jan 5, 1740 - "The Dolphun of New England, Nathaneal Coit, Master, from Cork, is wrecked on a great rock called the Roane Corrigs, in the Bay of Bantry, about four leagues from town. The vessel was staved to pieces and a passenger drowned, but the captain and crew, who were six in number, got upon the rock. The bad weather continueing, nobody would venture to save them, but nine brothers, sons of Marten Sullivan of Beershaven, who, after obtaining their father's leave and blessing, boldly ventured forth and brought the captain and sailors ashore."

Nathanael worked the Irish trade routes and later the West Indies from his home in Connecticut, evidently maintaining a residence in Cork. In later life he opened a "house of entertainment", the Door of the Red Lion, in his father's house in New London. I popped an e-mail to a friend, Richard Mills, who is a photographer for the Cork newspaper and asked if he knew of that rock. Within five minutes of my e-mail, he sent this photo.
So I can picture my Capt Coit and his crew waiting on this forlorn rock, battered by the storm and wondering if they will ever be rescued. There was no lighthouse then, and there are many wrecks to be found around Roancarrig.

The story gets better. Descendants of these nine brave Sullivan brothers from tiny Bere Island were most certainly the five Sullivan brothers from Castletownbere who served - and perished - together in the US Navy in WWII. They had asked not to be separated, and their wish was granted; but afterwards the rules were changed so that such a total loss within one family would not happen again (remember Saving Private Ryan?). The US named the battleship USS Sullivans in their memory.

History is indeed incredible.
And here is proof that I come by my love of fiber naturally. This is my Great-Grandfather with his beloved prize Angora billygoat. West Texas around 1930. The family were among the earliest importers of Angoras to the States. I wonder what he did with the fiber?

And here is proof of knitting. A test knit done for Mimi Kezer, Double Striped Moebius Redux. Great fun and very quick, all things being relative.
Another test knit in progress, this one for EinsteinsLogic, 9 Pearls. A scarf full of holes and loaded with beads. Can you see them?

For Kay, who lives in Vermont, we have a warm hat. The pattern is a variation of Aidan's Hat from Module Magic. The lovely model is Taya.

All the above were knitted with Noro, Silk Garden, Kureyon and Kureyon Sock. Nice to knit down some of the stash (did you hear that stash?).

Then speaking of the above Richard Mills and his partner, the delightful writer Jo Kerrigan (CelticMemory to the knitters), they have just published their first book together, West Cork, A Place Apart. They invested all of their passion into this book, and it is a beautiful marriage of stories and photos. I couldn't wait and got my copy direct from Ireland. You can take a look inside here. I'm just dreaming of packing a small bag and heading over to this magical corner of the Emerald Isle.

See you next time with a report on Vermont and a few of the ubiquitous yarn shops up there. And some more knitting. I've no idea what this is going to look like as Blogger seems to have a mind of it's own tonight with my text, but I'm pushing the publish button for better or worse.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Not Holding a Wake for the Blog, Not Just Yet!

Blogger is making changes and I'm not sure just what to do about it. So the above mentioned wake may be a forced one. Plus, on three different browsers, I'm having a heck of a time posting, going from one computer to the next. Move photos a bit with one, then go to another to add text, but can't move photos. Etcetera ad infinitum. Already, it was getting more and more difficult to find the time to catch things up. Now to worry whether it is all going to disappear. We'll give it another chance.

Mustaavilla just said one day that she couldn't think of one more thing to say about hand-knitted socks, so her blog said bye-bye. Everyone seems to be talking away on Facebook and Twitter, but I must say I can't seem to find the time in my day to find out what my friends (love 'em) ate for lunch.

As to the blog issues, Blogger still doesn't want me to move my photos around, so this may be another strangely disconnected posting. But here goes, lots to catch up on.
Valentines? Yup, it's been a while. Strange to say, but I've never even met the man who sent the champagne and chocolates.

Then, there was the Valentine's snowfall. It was utterly beautiful while it fell, a strange otherworldly light. I could have read a book outside at 3AM with a totally overcast sky and snow falling. About 15" here, unheard of. The branches moaned a groaned and creaked...and broke.
Most of the snow had melted off by the time I took these photos.


Stulpen Fingerless Mitts in Wollmeise. Can I tell you how I love these? Let me count the ways.
And I managed to string up an old Indian pendant I'd had lying around for twenty plus years.
Fetching in Socks That Rock, Dutch Canyon. These went to Jana to keep her hands from freezing (they are always cold). I would not do this pattern again. Although it is modified and is better, those thumbs are just hideous.
And here we have a finished Clapotis. I had plenty of yarn (Elsbeth Lavold's Silky Wool), so I just kept knitting. And knitting. And knitting. For years. And ended up with a ginormous comfy cozy wrap that should do three seasons. Love it.


Sock One, a sideways number by MountainMom. A fast knit, very effective.

Knew these weren't going to fit, so used her favorite colors and shipped them off to Jana. Who loves them dearly.
Sock Two, Cool Beans. This was my first cast on. The yarn just wasn't working at all. So I frogged and started over.

Being a novice at colorwork in the round, these took a while. But I came up with multiple methods for handling the two colors. Learned about dominant color. And really downright enjoyed them.

Knew they were going to be too small for me, but thought I would give this pair to Kay. Well, they wouldn't even fit Kay. Jana got these, too.
Sock Three: GAMs designed by our very own Taya. Made sure these would fit me by adding 7 stitches. Used Noro Kureyon Sock, which I loved working with. Now let's see how a single holds up. I knitted the soles so tight, I had almost negative row gauge.

With round 4, I dropped out. A knee sock that went on, and on, and on. Just the idea of me in knee socks reduces me to giggles. So...I wandered over to Sock Knitters Anonymous and cast on for the CookieA Mystery Sock.

And here we have Clue 1. Clue 2 comes out tonight. So these should look very different in a few days. Wollmeise Twin in Amethyst.
I felt so badly about Kay not getting any Sock Madness booty, that I cast on a pair in Opal Hundertwasser just for her.

And for me, pulled out a skein of Dibadu Wild Funnies and started a very simple ribbed sock, which may turn out to be my favorite of all to wear. Thin and fits perfectly.
Just for the sheer beauty of it, here is a shipment of Wollmeise from my friend Doris in Germany. The joy of opening such a package is hard to describe to a non-knitter.
And here are my helpers. Pandora, who manages to sit on two copies of the same pattern at the same time, preventing knitting.
Big old Galatoire, who does disturb the printing process, even if it doesn't disturb him.

And Bad Boy, who was supposedly helping me file...until he pushed over the stack of folders to the floor, then knocked off the stack of CDs waiting to be mailed as he leapt down and pretended he had nothing to do with any of it.
Whenever I hear a crash in the house, I know exactly who did it.

Now to press the button and see if all this publishes. Hold your breath.