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What happened to Wednesday?

Chantal Ratnam

Posted on April 04 2019

Hey guys, welcome back! First of all let me apologize for posting a day late.  Yesterday my cousin on mat leave called me in the morning with a crying baby in the background and I thought to myself, “it’s Tuesday, you’re not doing anything else today, you should go keep her company”.  So I went and cuddled the baby and didn’t realise that it was actually WEDNESDAY and I did have something to do, namely, this blog post. 

Normally in those circumstances, (and I’m not ashamed to admit that this isn’t the first time that I’ve lost track of the day of the week) I’d just skip the week and post in the following one but I’ve actually been looking forward to speaking with you, largely because LOOK WHAT I KNIT!  I’m so excited about the progress on my Harlow hat!  First, I promise that the blog is not just going to be about Harlow for the next 10 weeks but I can’t believe how well this looks. 

I’m not going to lie, I know I said I was ready as of last week but I was still pretty sceptical going into it.  I will admit right now that I tried the two colour tubular cast on and didn’t bat an eyelash when I failed at it.  I figured that learning brioche was the skill we were trying for and it was ok if that was the focus for the moment.  Instead, I went with the twisted German cast on that I fell in love with when I knit Andrea’s Nurtured sweater (which, by the way, I still haven’t had the photoshoot for – long story short, it’s looking like I need a new model.  I just don’t rank high enough as a priority on a teenager’s social engagements calendar.)

About four rows in, I could feel my scepticism slowly abating as the very beginning of the brioche pattern started to show through and by row six I was deep into the rhythm of it and loving every minute.  Of course, as soon as I started loving it I had to spend some time analyzing just what it is that I love about it.  It all boils down to a couple of things: first, learning and mastering something new is always fun when it works out (I’m sure I’d feel differently if I hadn’t been able to figure it out) but the second thing is really the real reason.  Have you ever craved just brainless, monotonous knitting but then was kind of sad that all you had to show for it was plain stockinette?  This is that brainless, monotonous knitting but in the end you have something with a really cool pattern in it.  I shouldn’t say brainless and monotonous.  It’s not really the truth. What I really mean is that really simple rhythmic motion that calms your mind right down.  THAT is what this. 

(Ashley's Harlow Hat - yes, I couldn't decide what colours I liked and then ended up choosing colours pretty similar to Ashley's)

Every once in a while, I stop and marvel at the beautiful patterning.  I showed my crafty aunt what I was working on and she said that it looked like the scales of a hassa fish and I’m not going to lie, it made me love it even more.  Hassa is a type of freshwater catfish with hard scales that kind of look like herringbone. If you look it up on Google, it’s actually known by a different name in every country in South America.  It’s pretty bony, which means it’s not very fun to eat but I love it. One of my favourite memories of eating it also falls into the category of Best Meals I’ve Ever Eaten In My Life.

When I was 18 years old my parents took my brother and I back to Guyana for my grandfather’s funeral. It was the first and last time that John and I had been back to Guyana since moving to Canada as babies.  That trip was largely unremarkable for me.  Being a teenaged girl, I was not allowed to wander very far and my North American wardrobe of spaghetti strapped tank tops and too tight jeans was wildly frowned upon by my older, conservative relatives. 

One of the major highlights of that trip was travelling to the countryside to visit our cousins in Berbice where the Creole they spoke was thick and unlike anything I’d ever heard from our Georgetown relatives.  While we were there, the fishermen who had gone out in the morning were walking through the fields selling their haul out of metal pails.  Our cousins bought an entire pail of hassa off of one of them and made hassa curry over a fire in their kitchen.  While it was cooking, one of the girls shimmied up a mango tree that was easily 30 feet tall and picked a whole bunch of green mangos that we gorged ourselves on with salt and pepper sauce.  It was an amazing meal.  Fifteen of us gathered around a table under the hot Guyana sun feasting on green mango and pepper and fresh hassa curry and rice.   Few other meals in my life stand out like that one.

So, the hat is going well and I now have a serious craving for hassa curry, which only my mom makes and only on very rare occasions since I’m the only one who likes it.  I’m going to keep working on the hat but I may have to put it down for a bit since I’m also working on having some notions pouches available for Frolic and I make those incredibly slowly.  Everything will get done in it’s own time I’m sure.  If I’m very lucky I may even get a chance to wear my hat before it gets too hot for that kind of thing.

That’s it for me for this week!  We’ll talk soon! Until then, peace to you and yours, and as always, happy knitting!

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