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.


Frogdancer said...

I'm staying away from Noro. I tried knitting a scarf with the silk garden yarn and it kept breaking.

I remember I said lots of ...words.... before giving up in disgust.

Anonymous said...

So good to hear from you!

Funny, but some parts of the copied-in text have different font sizes when I view it through Bloglines vs when I visit the blog directly.

Bloglines will be closing shop on Oct 1st; I need to find another RSS aggregator. Any suggestions?