Oh, Canada

Happy Canada Day, and welcome to the somewhat traditional Canada Day Post!  It’s almost traditional for me to write a post about the amazing country I live in on this day, and I say almost, because since I began blogging, I’ve only missed two years. There are Canada Day posts from  20042005, 2006, 2007, 20082009, 2010, 2011 and  2013 for your reading pleasure, if you are really, really that interested in Canada.  Today is also traditionally the day that I get the weirdest comments. Some of you just take leave of your senses when someone talks about their country, so it’s also become traditional for me to post a little reminder up here, at the top, where I point out a few things.

1. Yes! I’m Canadian! I live in Canada and everything. You didn’t know that? I’m sorry.  I try to mention it from time to time so that it doesn’t sneak up on you on this day, but if you’re disappointed or inexplicably angry about my nationality, I think you should just breath through your nose for a minute.  It’s not personal.

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2. If I say “My country is fantastic” that is not the same as “your country is crappy”.   When I say “Canada has the best reputation in the world“, “Canadians are the most educated people in the world” or “Our healthcare has been amazing for us”  I am saying just that – not anything about your country.

3. While we’re mentioning healthcare, I think it is very bad manners for someone who does not live here, and does not use our healthcare to explain to us how it is very bad.  I know you saw on the news or read an article or met a Canadian once, or just know in your heart that it is terrible, but the fact is that 86% of us think it is great, 91% of us think it is preferable to private systems, and less than one percent of us ever seek care in the US – and that includes having to use it in emergencies while travelling.   Even our doctors like it. Only .5%  of them leave to practice medicine in the US and that number has been declining for years.  It is comparatively inexpensive, and we live a long time, and have very good infant mortality rates. We are healthy and happy, for the very most part, and so please don’t drop by to tell us that you know more about it than we do.

4. The reason I am not “fair” and don’t do a July 4th post is…. well heck.  See #1 above.  If you’re American, you should totally write one about the charms of your country on that day.

Ready? Sure you are.  Over the years I’ve done Canada, A-Z, trivia, facts, quotes- this year? Jokes.

How many Canadians does it take to change a light bulb?

None. Canadians don’t change light bulbs. We accept them the way they are.  *

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How do you get 50 drunk Canadians out of a swimming pool?

You say “Please get out of the swimming pool.” **

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What is Stephen Harper’s favourite food?

Prorogies.***

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How do you stop bacon from curling in the frying pan?

Take away their brooms. ****

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It’s game 7 of the Stanley cup final, and and a man visiting Canada on holiday makes his way to his seat right at centre ice. He sits down, noticing that the seat next to him is empty. He leans over and asks his neighbour if someone will be sitting there. “No,” says the neighbour. “The seat is empty.” “This is incredible”, said the man. “Who in their right mind would have a seat like this for final game of the Stanley Cup playoffs and not use it?” The neighbour says “Well, actually, the seat belongs to me. I was supposed to come with my wife, but she passed away. This is the first Stanley Cup we haven’t been to together since we got married in 1967.” “Oh … I’m sorry to hear that. That’s terrible. But couldn’t you find someone else, a friend or relative, or even a neighbour to take the seat?” The man shakes his head sadly. “No, they’re all at the funeral.”*****

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 What do you call a Canadian firefighter?

A hoser.******

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* This is actually pretty true. We were the first country in the world to express multiculturalism as a an official policy. (1971.) We have more immigrants from more places per capita than any other country, We legalized same sex marriage ten years ago, and we are the most tolerant people in the world, apparently.

** it’s true. As a nation, we are very polite.  If it makes you feel better though statistically speaking, we also swear like truckers.

*** This is an inside joke. Here in Canada the Prime Minister (that’s who Stephen Harper is) can be fired by the people of Canada anytime his party loses the confidence of the house. (It’s called a vote of no-confidence. If one is called, and the governing party loses, then they’re not in charge anymore and we have an election.) Stephen Harper is famous for proroguing parliament to avoid this vote taking place – and for a few other things. He’s into it.  (Calling for a prorogue is closing Parliament without ending the session.  Like a pause.)

****Curling is a wildly popular sport in Canada. A full half of us have watched curling on TV in the last year – Top Curlers can be like rock stars here, we have highways named for them, and we think movies about them are awesome. (We admit the TV series was not very good.)  We all know what “hurry hard” means, where you’re going if you’re headed for a bonspiel or a briar, and secretly, we’d like to be a skip.

*****I just put this one in so that Hockey wouldn’t feel bad because I said something about curling.  Did you know though, that Hockey isn’t our only national sport? The other one is lacrosse. Together, they are pretty much our only outlets for aggression and violence.

******That’s another inside joke. “Hoser” is a Canadian word for a guy who’s kind of dim or uncultured. There’s lots of Canadian words. Chesterfield, eavestrough, keener, touque, runners, homo milk, icing sugar, mickey, pablum, freezies, housecoat, loonie, toonie, chinook, toboggan… I’m sure a Canadian can translate all those for you in the comments, and add a few more.

Happy Canada Day!

Blankie Status: 3

Blanket: Unfinished

Katie: Still pregnant. Barely.  I’m pretty damned sure I’m going to be robbed of some expected knitting time. I’m pretty sure this thrills Kate. I am trying to be supportive.

Number of stitches on the needle: Approximately 500. I’m honestly afraid to count. I don’t know if I can take a really accurate countdown right now.

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Number of skeins so far: 7 and about a third. (So much for whatever wild dream I had about this blanket being smaller than the others. I’m not sure how it happened either – I really did try to make this one smaller. I swear it.)

Number of skeins remaining:  A not quite as comforting 2 2/3.  I feel a little sweaty, though my math tells me it should be just fine. That said, I’m trying to not to think about what my math skills are like in general, and when it comes to blankets in specific.  It gives me a horrible cramp.

Number of foul words I’m using right about now: I am running out.

Number of repeats of the edging I’ve knit: 24.5 of about 60.  I knit the first 10 in two days, then bashed out the second 10 yesterday in a massive sprint, and I’ve somehow managed 4.5 today. I’m trying hard not to give into the urge to cancelling commitments like meetings, work, training rides (although I did do a rather spectacularly hard 130km one on Friday, which is totally what’s best for the ride, and cost me a whole day of knitting time) and sleeping and eating.  This weekend I have to do my “back to backs” which is two rides, both over 100km, done on consecutive days.  I keep hoping there will be a small flood or tornado so I can knit instead, but realistically – I think I need this done by then. The whole thing is giving me the willies.

What I muttered to Joe yesterday when (while I was taking a short break) he said “Hey, get back at it, that blanket’s not going to knit itself.”: I won’t repeat it here. He’s adopted a more supportive posture.

Attitude of knitter: Slightly desperate.

Status of Bike Rally Prep: Rough. I’m not yet at my fundraising goal (public, or private) but I’m still working on it, and thank you, thank you, thank you for all your help so far. I’d be beyond sunk without you. You’re amazing, and I’m so grateful it makes me a little bit weepy.  The donations are still trickling in, and on Friday when I did that 130km ride, and there was wind and it was hot, and I was trying to ride with fast people (I remain about as fast as you’d expect a slightly dumpy 47 year old knitter to be) at one of the little breaks we took, instead of weeping in the bathroom,  I took some advice Pato gave me. He’s got his phone set up so that when he gets a donation from one of you, his phone dings. I’ve done the same now, and I’m here to tell you, that little “ding” as you’re trying to climb a hill and your legs are burning – that ding makes it all okay. It’s easy to forget what’s really happening, and that little sound puts the focus right back where it should be. I heard it, and remembered exactly what I was doing it for.   I’m so grateful.

Let’s do presents before I go knit again, okay?

Lauren Sarah has a very pretty pattern to give away, one copy each of her lovely Sea Dragons and Cockle Shells (a very nice one-skein project) that she’ll be sending off to Jane M, and Louise D.

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Sarah House is a potter (and a knitter) and she’s donating the mug of Anne K’s choice to the greater good.  She does beautiful work.

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Big thanks to Cedar Hill Farm Company, who’d releasing 2 hanks of of  Calliope, one in Pink Seahorse and one in French Lilac in to the wild.  Well, not really the wild, I hope Amanda L makes good use of it. (It’s silk noil.  Lovely stuff.)

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Mindy Wilkes would like five helpers to have the pattern of their choice from her shop.  She has so many pretty things to choose from I know that Liz R, Janice M, Susan M, Amanda B and Nora H  will all find something they love.

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Ruth is a lovely, lovely spinner and she’s parting with this beautiful skein of her very own handspun BFL.  It’s about 490 yards, she says (and over 5oz) and so  Laura G will be able to make something really great. Thanks Ruth!

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Melissa, from the Prairie Dye Studio, makes gorgeous snag-free stitch markers, and she’s written to say that four lucky knitters will choose their favourites from her shop.  The lucky helpers are Julie S, Emily W, Michelle C and Amy M.

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Almost at the end (the blanket beckons) how about two little gifts for the spinners? Akerworks makes some very nifty things for spinners, including a bobbin for your wheel that packs flat – which now that I think of it, is darned handy.  I hope that  Kelly Y   agrees, because the bobbin of her choice will be on it’s way to her.

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They also make a drop spindle that’s pretty nifty.  It comes together in parts, and you can add more whorls to make it heavier, which is handy, to say the least, but also – the whorl can be removed – even while you’ve got yarn on there, which, as a travelling spinner, I have to say is also pretty wild.  I hope that  Lisa K chooses a beautiful one.

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Whew! That’s it for today – though I think I’m going to have to pick up the pace on these to get all the way through them before the Rally. (That’s just less than four weeks away. Not that I’m counting every minute.)  Thanks so much for everything. I’ve got to knit an edging now. That baby is in a hurry.

Status 2: Blankie

Status: Unfinished

Katie: Still Pregnant, and hopefully fixing to stay that way.

Number of stitches on the needle: Approximately 850. I’m not counting those wee bastards again.

Number of skeins so far: 5 and 3/4

Number of skeins remaining: A rather comforting 4 and a quarter.

Number of rounds to knit before I start the edging: Zero! I actually should have started the edging last night, but suffered a crisis of faith in the edging I chose, and had to pick another. The one I really liked was worked close, that means that there’s lace patterning every row, and I started it, realized that it took all of my focus to do it, and was really, really slow, and imagined my future, and got promptly off the one way trip to crazyville.  I chose another, but it was charted in the wrong direction, so I spend some time figuring out how to photograph the chart, flip it in my photo software, convert it into a pdf, and get it into my ipad where I can use it.

Number of foul words used while figuring that out: Approximately 346.

Number of repeats I have to work to edge the blanket: About sixty – plus whatever fancypants manoeuvre I’ll figure out to get round the corners. (I’ll have it figured by the time I get there, I think.)

Attitude of knitter: Less excellent, but I think I can fake it. (Would someone please go to the beer store?)

Surprise, No Surprise

No Surprise: Thanks so much for the tremendous amount of experience, advice and support for the trouble with my foot.  I appreciate the advice to: listen to the doctor, ignore the doctor, see a PT, see a chiropractor, put ice on it, screw ice and put heat on it, stretch it, keep it still, rest, exercise, take supplements, take arnica, take anti-inflammitories, avoid anti-inflammitories like the plague, and get or don’t get a brace. I read them all, I’m grateful for them all, and it should surprise you not one little bit that I’m going to go with the advice of the doctor who has actually examined the foot in question. Partly because the foot was in his presence (and that has to be a help in diagnosis) and partly because it feels right, sounds right, and appears to be helping.  I’ve got a huge advantage over you guys in that it’s my foot, and that makes it easier to tell what to do.

Surprise: While walking continues to be absolutely craptastic for my poor foot (and I am avoiding it, following the “don’t do it if it hurts” rule) I was shocked to discover that riding my road bike is almost fine. A more experienced rider said that he thought it was because the cycling shoes are tight enough to add support, and maybe he’s right, because my foot feels so good in the shoes that when I put them on, I thought about wearing them all day.

Surprise: I rode 116km on Saturday (that’s almost 73 miles, for my American friends who are as good at Kilometres as I am at miles) and it wasn’t awful.  I was tired afterwards, and I made liberal use of my E-Tomic balm that evening, I won’t pretend I didn’t, but I was surprisingly not too sore or stiff the next day, which bodes pretty well for the Rally, except for the part where I have to be fine with that for six days in a row. I’m trying not to think about that part, and really, it’s not my foot, but my arse that’s worried.

No Surprise:  On Friday night, rushing to make some real progress on the baby blanket, I re-proved a law I’ve been spouting for years, which is that more experienced knitters don’t make fewer mistakes. We make larger ones faster – which is exactly what happened when I decided to convert trinity stitch into the round without giving it enough thought.  I pulled the stitch pattern up out of my brain, thought about how it alternated active rows with purl rows, decided quickly that the purl rows were the wrong side rows, when you work it flat, and replaced them with knit rounds to work it in the round. Easy. I might even have chortled a little.   This chortling was replaced with despair about FIVE six-hundred plus rows later, when I realized that this simple “fix” had indeed broken the stitch pattern.

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Yup. My quick and easy solution was so quick and easy that I didn’t realize it would face the little trinity bobbles the wrong way.  The whole stitch pattern was reversed, because (dammit) those purl rows I replaced were actually right side rows. Not wrong side rows. It took me more than an hour to fix it, and at the end of the night I was further behind than I’d been at the beginning of the evening.

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I’ve fixed it up now, realizing what has to happen (those purl rounds need to stay, it’s the active rows that need to be altered) and I’ve got the whole thing working again.  I’m almost ready to move to the next pattern – or maybe the edging. I’m going to see where the spirit of the blanket moves me at the end of this section. There’s one more thing I’d like to add in, and I don’t think we’re approaching bedspread size yet.

No Surprise: There was no time over the weekend to get the Karmic Balancing gifts up, unless I took a pass on Father’s Day, which seemed like a super bad idea. Let’s do it now, shall we? Everybody remember the rules of the game? You help with the rally, any way you can.  You can donate to anyone on Team Knit:

Me

Jen

Ken

Pato

Or if donating isn’t in the cards for you, you can tweet, link, tell a friend, send an email… anything you can do to help is amazing. After you help, you send me an email to stephanieATyarnharlotDOTca (not the .ca NOT .com) with the subject line “I helped” and  your name, address and whether or not you spin, then every so often, I re-allocate great knitter and spinner stuff, drawing from amongst those emails.  The four of us appreciate this help more than we can tell you. (For more info on what we’re doing and why, if you’re a little late to the party, read this.)

First up, great gifts from Denise at Neese’s Pieces.  She’s got a whole group of beautiful little quilted bags that she made with her own two little hands – and inside each one is a co-ordinating set of stitch markers – also made by her, right down to the lampwork beads.

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Aren’t they lovely? I hope that Sherry M, Dawn H, Lisa B, Debra T, Margaret C and Christina D all love them.  Thanks Denise!

Riki has two presents, both lovely.  First is two 200gm cones of pure Thai silk (Riki lives in Thailand)  either lace or fingering weight, in the colour of  Carolyn Sue J’s choice.

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Then there’s this bit of amazing, 500 gms of local (to her)  mercerized cotton, about DK weight …

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and Brooke M  will choose the colour for that too!

 

Next up, a different sort of gift, but perfect for this. Who can appreciate something hand made better than a knitter?

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Lauren writes: “I used to own a yoga studio, and we had these quilted hangings decorating the studio walls. When we closed I sold some and gave some away, but they have soaked up their share of good karma over the years. They are made from recycled cotton saris, different on each side, made by Indian woman employed by the fair-trade folks at Asha Imports.”  I hope that Lisa D loves it completely.

Lauren also has this beautiful laceweight to pass along. (She’s feeling generous today, I can tell. Isn’t she nice?)

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2 skeins Claudia Handpainted Laceweight, 100% Silk about 1100 yards/appx. 100 grams, Pink colorway: Lipstick, Blue colorway: Antique Jeans. They’re both headed to live with Jeanette W.

Next, Tanja Lüscher went nuts.  She’s got 10 copies of her Stories of Inspiration Ebooks. The ebook contains 7 beautiful shawl patterns. She’ll be sending those to: Mikayla M, Shellie S, Amanda H, Kat K, Leslie C, Martha M, Cindy C, Laura C, Erin D and Lori B.
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She’s also got 2 free patterns for anything in her Ravelry Shop (except for Daddy’s Prayer Shawl) for ten other knitters, and those are: Kate G, Mary Kay C, Kimi W, Anne W. Laura R, Christine L, Athena D, Cathy W, Rosane M and Elaine T.

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Finally, last but not at all least, Katie Weston is here to make some spinner very happy.  She’s offering a 6 month subscription to her Time Travellers Fibre Club – the 100g option!
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This picture is “Tudor Dress” and it’s from a previous month.  Isn’t it lovely?  I sure hope that Jennifer K thinks so.

Whew! That’s 31 gifts, and I’ve emailed all the lucky knitters. This one is going to go put her foot up and knit the heck out of a blankie.

The Game is A Foot

Ah, knitters. Here I sit, with an ice pack on my foot, thinking about how I’ve always said that I thought I would sort of enjoy a minor injury that necessitated sitting around, resting and knitting.  It turns out that while I was sort of right, and I do like being admonished to sit and knit, I should have been a little more specific about the timing.  My foot started to hurt last week after a ride, and then over the course of the retreat became really sore.  I was successfully ignoring it (despite the rather embarrassing limp) so lovely was the company and the work, that I only realized how much it was bothering me on the flight home, when there was no vegetarian meals left on the flight, I’d seen all the movies, and the light over my seat wouldn’t work … and I burst into tears – right there on the plane.  Neither of those things are exactly worth a breakdown, and I’m really, really not the crying in public type, and it was then that I I realized that the foot was really wearing me down.   I saw a Doctor yesterday, and there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that it’s a simple case of tendinitis, probably caused by some overuse, and it will get better.  The bad news is that the treatment is ice, elevation, some anti-inflammatories, and rest. Rest isn’t exactly easy to come by – five weeks out from the rally like we are, and I’m not really the “rest” type anyway.   As crazy as it’s making me, I’ve honoured my foot’s rather ill timed request for a rest yesterday and today – but tomorrow I have a 114km ride that I just can’t miss.  We’ll see how it goes.  I can bail if it’s really hurting, and live to fight another day.  I’m hoping that really, really taking it easy in between rides will mean that the riding isn’t too much of an insult – but in any case, it’s not a life (or rally) threatening thing – just really, really freakin’ annoying.

On the other hand, the good news about being asked to sit and knit a little is that it gives me a running shot at beating the little person inside my Sister-in-law Katie to the finish line.

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I think it’s pretty clear that I don’t have much time left.  Only that kid knows how much time I have for sure, but right now, every time I look at her, something in me screams KNIT. KNIT NOW.  So I am.

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I’ve got all the stitches picked up around their blanket, and I’m about six (really long) rows into the border.  Tonight is for knitting with my little ice pack, and we’ll see how much progress can be made.  (KNIT. KNIT NOW.)

If I can’t make good headway on the riding part of the Rally, I can at least do my part with the Karmic Balancing gifts – so stand by to see those up on the blog over the weekend. Right this minute, I’m going to KNIT NOW.

A woman on the edge

Today I’m travelling, all the way from one side of the continent to the other.  I left Port Ludlow at 8:50 this morning, and I’ll arrive home tonight at about 2am – and the only good thing about how long it takes to get from one side of this continent to the other is the knitting time. I’ve been working on the blanket off and on while I’ve been here, and while it’s slow going when I’m working long days, I’m still within a row or two of being finished the centre section.  This morning, after I had coffee and organized my life into a suitcase, I actually realized this, and managed to get myself really well sorted for the day ahead.

First, I really cleverly took the circular needle I’ll need for the border out of my suitcase and put it in my carry on.  (Rather proud of that moment, since the blankie has been on straight needles until now, and that rather important realization could have easily come somewhere far, far up in the air, when I clued in that I had hours of knitting time and no needles. Two points for me.)  Then I remembered that I should really block at at least a corner of the blanket – so that I have a decent shot at figuring out how many stitches to pick up on the sides of this.  I put down a towel, laid a corner of the blanket down on it, and placed a wet washcloth over that.

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I touched a hot iron to that washcloth, holding it in place to generate steam that would get driven down through the wool.  I was careful not to apply pressure.  I want the steam, not to press the fabric beneath.  (Squashed knitting is usually not pretty.) I lifted the iron and cloth, spread the fabric a little more, then hit it again with the steam.

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It’s not a perfect system, but not a bad way to get a quick and dirty idea of what I’ll have when I properly block the knitting.

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Now, all I need to do is knit the stitches on the straight needle onto the circular, then do a quick bit of math to figure out how many stitches to pick up along the sides.  I’ve never been happy with the standard advice as a regular rule. I’ve long been told that I should pick up 3 stitches for every 4 rows on straight edges (or 4/5, or 2/3, depending on who’s telling me) but the truth is that when we’re told that, it’s a generalization to avoid you coming up with a “custom” number when you’re knitting a pattern – one that won’t work with the numbers the designer had,  or because it would take to long to explain the rule that’s based on your individual gauge.  I know the rule though, and it isn’t even hard – so that’s what I’ll use.

Stitch gauge over Row gauge,  then reduced = the ratio you use for picking up.

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In this case my blocked stitch gauge is about 7 stitches per inch, and my row gauge is 9 stitches per inch.   I can’t reduce that, so I’ll just use it.  7/9 means that for every 9 rows, I’ll pick up 7 stitches.  (That’s pick up one in each of three rows, skip a row, pick up four, skip one.)

I’ll do that along the side, then unpick my provisional cast on at the bottom (that’s the blue yarn) and then pick up and knit stitches along the other side. Then I’ll be in the round, and ready to start the border. I’ll also probably also be home.

I’m pretty excited about both.

Postcard from over the edge

The last knitters have gone, and Debbi and I are tidying up, paying the bills, having meetings – going to debriefings, and essentially weaving in the ends on our retreat. I’ll have a little more time tomorrow, as I make my way home, all the way from one side of the continent to another, but for today, a few snapshots. It was a lovely, lovely time.

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Like it’s your birthday

I have a little policy.  I don’t work on my birthday.  I’ve had this deeply personal policy since I was about 14 – much to my Mother’s chagrin, because it meant that I skipped school that day.  Just didn’t go. I did whatever I wanted to instead of science or history.   I’ve explained this at job interviews, I’ve blown off tests – I don’t work on my birthday, and I felt strongly enough that I’ve prearranged that, and I haven’t. If it was optional on my birthday, I haven’t done it unless I wanted to.

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This policy has brought me a lot of happiness. It’s not that I think that birthdays are all that, and I’ve never particularly wanted a screamingly huge party, or a thousand presents, or anything like that – but I do like the idea of a day where everyone (including you) are just happy you’re here, and everything goes your way, if it can.  Your favourite breakfast, your favourite things to do, your favourite people around you.  It’s my idea of lovely, and I’ve always arranged to have just that on my own Birthday – until today.

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This year is the first time in all my 47 birthdays, that I am working on this day. I admit to trying to have a bit of a pout about it when it was first arranged, but it was me arranging it, so I couldn’t really get too bent.  There was no other weekend that it was possible to have this retreat, and so I put on my grown-up pants (what the hell, I’m turning 47) and I did it.  It’s just one day, I said. It doesn’t matter. (I was lying a little bit.)

Last night though, I was sitting with Judith and Debbi, and we were having a glass of wine after a beautiful day – I mean, a really beautiful day.  I don’t know what’s going on with the retreat this time, but everyone here is so lovely, and the weather is perfect, and the vibe is fantastic, and I realized that if I thought about it right, this is almost exactly where I want to be.

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Sure – would I rather be with my family, yes.  I love them, and let me tell you, I’ve been waiting months to hear Luis sing me “Feliz Compleanos.” Joe would make (or arrange, to be more realistic) my favourite foods, I’d sit in the garden and knit – it would be a pretty spectacular day. This though – being here, and doing this work instead? It’s suddenly filled me with a pretty overwhelming and slightly mushy sense of gratitude.

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Yeah, I’m going to work a 12 hour day on my birthday – but oh man.  I’m so lucky that this is my work. I’ll be surrounded by people who have set aside a whole weekend to learn to make things, and celebrate being someone who makes things, and the whole day we’ll talk about knitting, and how it works and every person here, every one of them, thinks that’s not stupid. They’ll spin and weave and paint and stitch and knit and ….

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It’s not what I would have chosen, and last night, I realized that was too bad.  I’m glad I didn’t get to pick, because this IS a day I’ll spend doing so many of my favourite things after all, and I think it’s going to be an awesome day.

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Make way for the makers, and Happy Birthday to me.

(PS. Thank you all for the good wishes. All I really want for my birthday is to spread the love around.  If you’re so compelled, I’d love to make my goal for the bike rally. A donation would be a great gift. )

Up in the air

Dear Person who saw me this morning with my knitting in the airport, and said that thing.

flighttime 2015-06-11

I’d like to take a moment to apologize to you for the way I looked at you when you said what you did, like you were stunned as a bat.  I know it was probably a moment of weaker reasoning on your part, but really, I’d like you to think through what the H-E-double hockey sticks came out of your mouth.  You looked right at my knitting, waved an incredulous hand at it,  and then you said “Did they let you through security with that?”

I know, I know. That’s the moment that I stared at you that way, and it really wasn’t super polite, but I was busy shoving down what I wanted to say to you, and it was really taking quite a lot of concentration to do it. Now that we’re not face to face though? Let’s unpack it.

Did they let me through security with that? Did they? Let’s think about that.  You’ve asked a polar question. One with only two answers. Yes, and no,  and since I am sitting there, with knitting needles, after security, we can presume, can we not, that the answer was affirmative? That yes, the ladies and gentlemen with the full body scanner, the X-rays, the trace detectors, the bomb dogs… the same people who made me take off my shoes and little cardigan, and then had me lift up my feet so they could check the soles of my feet and patted over the bodies of about a million people so far today, let’s assume that those people did not overlook my knitting. They made the guy in front of me take of his fitbit and then take another run through the body scanner, and they ripped up the bag of another lady in line because she had a tiny bottle of hand lotion in it that she’d forgotten, so yeah. Let’s assume these super vigilant people who are responsible for the safety of a whole lot of people didn’t just take a look at my knitting on the X-ray and think “What the hell. I just don’t care.” Let’s actually assume that they have a policy, which they do, and that they are careful, which they are, and that they allow knitting, which CLEARLY, since I re-iterate, I am past security and still have my knitting (which cannot be said of the hand lotion)  they do, and it’s YES. I was allowed through security with THAT.

Furthermore, let’s discuss the other choice, shall we? The other possibility – the one that you seem to be leaning towards, with your arching eyebrow and judgmental tone, is that I have somehow run a very fancy scam on Airline security, and NO – I was not allowed past security with my knitting, but I have somehow managed to do it anyway.

What would that look like? Instead of coming through security just like everyone else in this airport, I had to come up with an extremely complicated plan. This morning, before I left home, I positioned the needles on my person and then when I passed through the x-ray machine I told them it was a steel plate I have from the war. When they looked suspicious and snapped their latex gloves, I ran. I bolted past the desk, deliberately abandoning my things in the search machine (having strategically removed all identifying materials ahead of time), and streaked through the airport, hiding briefly in a Starbucks to elude them. When I saw them pass, I used the door codes I’d stolen from a pilot I shagged last week to open the gates, and slunk through the back corridors of the airport, stepping in every puddle I could find to avoid leaving a scent for the tracking dogs. I backtracked, made only left turns, and briefly rappelled until I made it all the way back to my original gate where I used a counterfeit German passport to sneak through the locked door. Now, I’m sitting here, knitting, and celebrating the fact that, even though I have certainly secured myself at least fifteen years in federal prison, if not a violent shooting death any freakin’ minute – I have at long last met my goal of sneaking needles past security so that I can at long last knit in an airport and NO. THEY DID NOT LET ME PAST SECURITY WITH THAT.

Seriously. Now that you’re thinking, do you see my point?

Cheers, and sorry for the staring

Stephanie