I'm not very good at Ebaying. I'm too timid for auctions (unlike my mother, whose arrival at charity auctions is met with a collective rubbing of hands. We have a shed full of motley furniture and a jumble of housewares brought back from her auctioneering. Sometimes she takes my sister Emily with her. Representatives of the local Lions Club and the St. Vincent de Paul throw their hats in the air when the pair of them saunter in, purse strings flapping and nostrils flaring at the scent of a bargain. Did I mention that Emily also has a shed crammed to bursting with a hodge podge of orphan items? Apparently the women in my family don't come with baggage, they have sheds.)
In any case, when I do win something, I usually surprise myself. I made a token bid on a kilo of grey wool and then, to my shock, won it (I must add that no one bid against me, just in case you had visions of me pounding the keyboard shouting, "It's mine! Mine!") In any case, I had to promptly get rid of it because it simply wouldn't do, having batch of idle skeins hanging around, bullying all the oddbods and scrappy balls of yarn that normally fill my basket. Goodness knows, a gang like that might even organise an uprising: we might wake up one morning and find ourselves knitted into our bed. Uh-huh. It could happen.
So I made another Réalta. Every time I make this afghan, I get annoyed with myself before I even start sewing it together: the colours look horrible together. Why on earth - no, how on earth did I make 42 octagons without noticing the fundamental ugliness of the colour combination? Then I sew it all up ... and realise that it's actually okay. Sometimes even quite nice. Magic, I tell you, it's magic!