Last week brought with it all the magnificent wonders of Rhinebeck, and what a great time it was. I can’t tell you how much I love that time of year, and the people I spend it with.  Both days of the festival turned out to be sweater weather, brilliant for people watching (I took a lot of notes about the beautiful things I saw people wearing) and for wearing my own sweater – finished and blocked on Rhinebeck eve.

bootswool-2016-10-20 allofus-2016-10-20 licksheep-2016-10-20 llama-2016-10-20

I did the festival with a bad cold this year, and though I fear I was patient zero for the annual Rhinebeck Crud that seems to make it’s way around every year, me and my box of tissues managed to have a pretty good time. (Apologies to any of you I met on the weekend and refused to hug or shake hands with – I swear I was just trying not to spread it around. Extra apologies if it didn’t work.)



baa-2016-10-20 sheep1-2016-10-20-1

littlewave2-2016-10-20 sweaterdetail-2016-10-20

Sweater: Little Wave, Yarn: Blackwater Abbey in Pippin. (5 skeins) I love how it turned out – it’s a bit big, but I wanted a workhorse of a sweater, a cozy grampa kind of thing, and it suits perfectly. (Photo Credits to Caro)

littlewave1-2016-10-20 littlewave3-2016-10-20

(As an aside, I didn’t know my hair was that grey until I saw those pictures.)

When Rhinebeck was all said and done, I went back to Boston with friends, and awaited some papers that need to come through before I leave the US. I had big plans to rent myself a cheap spot for a while, hunker down and work, and have a good look at Boston. I thought it would be lovely. Apparently I’m not the only one who thought so, because when I went looking for a place even slightly affordable, it was a total bust. I got on the phone with Joe, and while we were chatting, we had a crazy idea. We looked for cheap flights and cheap hotel rooms, and well.  It was Las Vegas.  In a move that was totally and completely unlike me in every way, at 3pm I bought a ticket to Vegas that departed at 6pm, booked a hotel that had a sale, and left for the airport.

All the way to the airport, I couldn’t believe what I was doing. I’m a planner. A person who thinks ahead, a person who absolutely doesn’t buy a same day plane ticket and who certainly doesn’t buy a ticket to Las Vegas. Still, there I was… the plane was a little delayed leaving Boston, and I worried about missing my connection in LA- but we made up the time in the air, and landed in plenty of time to make it, and I would have made that connection too, except there was no gate to pull into. We sat there on the tarmac, with me anxiously checking the clock every fourteen seconds, until I watched the plane I should have been on push back from the gate, taxi away, and take off without me on it.

Now, despite lacking spontaneity as a personality trait, I am a pretty seasoned traveller, so I didn’t panic straight off. Heaven only knows what time the last flight goes to Vegas. I’ve seen lots of movies and it seemed to me like anything would be possible. I sat there on the plane for 75 minutes, until we pulled into a gate, and I disembarked, and hustled straight to the help desk. I won’t tell you the whole thing, but suffice it to say that it had been the last flight to Vegas that I’d been booked on, and they were very sorry, but there were no flights with room on them the next day either – the best they could do was to bump me to another carrier, and put me on an 8am flight out. I sighed, accepted the vouchers for the shuttle and the hotel, and went to find my luggage.

Things got worse from there. It took a long time for them to retrieve my bags. There was no shuttle, and when I got to the hotel, there was a problem with the voucher that took a while to resolve. I stood there, leaning on the desk and finally convinced the guy that maybe he could work on the problem while I was sleeping? If I gave him a credit card as insurance? He agreed, and I fell into a bed of questionable quality at 2:30am.

When my alarm went off at 5:45am – just three hours and 15 minutes later, I couldn’t help but wonder if spontaneity was for me.

Back at the airport, I lined up for my new flight, and when I found myself at the front of the line, I presented my ticket, issued the night before, and stared blankly and somewhat dumbly at the clerk as she told me I wasn’t booked on that flight at all. I showed her the ticket again – pointed at the place where my name was clearly indicated, showed her the time… and she agreed that all of those things were right, but that there was no record that matched.  I’d have to go back to the other airline and figure out what happened, she couldn’t help me.  I went outside the terminal and waited for the bus (because I am of course, at the wrong building) and thought about what my approach would be when I got back to the offending airline. Would I start with the gate delay that had wrecked the connection? Maybe the problem finding my luggage, or the 3 agents that were there to help 40 people who missed connections, or the vouchers for the shuttle that wasn’t running, or the messed up voucher for the hotel, or would I just focus on the fact that they’d not properly fixed any of that. I got angrier and angrier as I wrestled my two suitcases off of the bus, and was close to tears of fury when I finally made my way to the right desk.

Unbelievably, right when I was about to lose it all over this unsuspecting clerk, I remembered that she hadn’t done anything wrong at all. She’d just gotten up and gone to work, poor lamb, and here I was, about to rip the living snot out of her. None of this was her fault. I took several deep breaths – literally, and then I told her that. I told her that I was so sorry. I told her that I’d had three hours sleep, and that I was going to try and be as nice as humanly possible about the problem I was having, but that I couldn’t have any more problems. I really needed help, I told her, and then I blurted out the whole thing, inserting as many apologies as I possibly could, sprinkling it with as much gratitude as I could find, and generally tried to be as charming as I know how to be.  She listened carefully, and then she said “that sounds like a pile of ****.” (Accurate.) Then she apologized, and started typing and making phone calls and figured things out, and I kept thanking her and telling her she was wonderful, and somehow, magically, I was on the 8am flight to Las Vegas that they had told me was impossible the night before.

I could have kissed her on the mouth, and if I didn’t still have a cold and there wasn’t a counter to tall to scale between us, I probably would have. I’m so glad I managed to contain the rage that was seething inside me, heard my mum’s voice telling me that you catch more flies with honey, and remembered what it was like to be in the service industry when someone was feeling … like I felt. It paid off.

So… long story short, greetings from Las Vegas. I’ve got a couple of days on my own here, and then Joe’s taking the plunge and meeting me for an adventure, and bringing some more appropriate clothing, which will be a huge relief, because I packed for autumn in Boston.

Until then, if you see someone knitting, wearing jeans, wool socks and boots while googling “what do you do in Vegas if you don’t gamble” know that I’m doing the best I can. There’s four sweaters in my suitcase. It’s hard to fit in.

(PS to Joe: Bring sunscreen.)



My Rhinebeck sweater is not done, but it is almost done. All that remains is a single pocket and that’s only 28 tiny little rows, and then there’s a little bit of sewing, and I’m done. I’ve even got most of the ends woven in – and I remembered to pack the buttons, and a needle and thread.  All of that seems like a small task, and absolutely doable tonight, and then I can wash and block it tomorrow, and it should properly be dry by Saturday.  I am so confident in this that I decided not to bring it on the plane. It’s too big, and too unwieldy, and people are bothered enough by knitting on a plane without bringing some ginormous thing that’s going to be spilling out of my lap all over the place. There’s little enough room on a plane without the sweater, and besides, it’s only 20 minutes worth of knitting, so I’d need other knitting for the flight and… well. I did something radical.


I checked it. I put it in my sweater, and I gave it to the Air Canada gods, and now I am truly obsessed with the idea that they’ll lose it. I check bags all the time and I never, ever worry about them, but there’s something different about packing your knitting, isn’t there? I’m obsessed, and worried, and I can’t stop thinking about it. Is this the thing that goes wrong? Can you have a Rhinebeck sweater without drama? IS THIS THE DRAMA?

Anyway. Me and my sock are thinking about it.


Rhinebeck ho!

Under the wire

I’m just going to say it. I know that I’m probably supposed to say something really beautiful here about Thanksgiving, and how lovely it was and how much I love my family and all of that, but stuff it. It’s almost Rhinebeck, and I think it might be my favourite holiday.  I know, I know, I’m supposed to gush about the sanctity of family, and how nothing is more important than being with them, and that’s true, but dudes.  RHINEBECK. That most glorious of fall weekends, full of friends, and wool, and chips on a stick and sheep and sweaters and by day I will walk among our people, and by night – well. That will be my people too.  I love my family, but they don’t know this part of me, and there’s only so enthusiastic they can pretend to be about an amazing skein of rare breed yarn, and they are yet to meet any conversation about knitting needle types with any authentic zeal. I appreciate that they fake it (when they do) but …. Rhinebeck.  I’m totally on track this year too, I think.  The detour to make my little niece a sweater went beautifully. I think I broke a land speed record on this one, going from yarn to sweater in just over 48 hours.


(I did sew the buttons on in the car on the way there. It took a while to dry after blocking.)


Pattern: Demoiselle Arc-en-ciel (Little Miss Rainbow) Yarn: Galway worsted #435, exactly two balls, and assorted scraps of Cascade 220.


The gauge for this pattern was 17 stitches to 10cm/4″ and Galway is pretty sleazy* at that gauge, so I knit it where it wanted to be, at 20sts, and adjusted the pattern accordingly, working the size 4/5 for my petite little Myrie, but with the appropriate lengths.  I had a minor setback when it turned out that Myrie’s arms are longer when she’s awake when asleep, and after her mum re-measured I ripped back and added some length.


It fits perfectly, and the buttons are just the thing, and the little Miss liked it quite well.  (She’s pretty easy to please, considering that the gifts she requested for her birthday was “flowers and leaves.” A sweater was over the top.)

It did put me a little behind on my Rhinebeck sweater, but I still think I’m going to make it. I’ll be blocking it at the last minute, I see that, but I’m one row of the buttonband/collar away from done, and then there’s the i-cord bind-off that I’m really not married to at all. This yarn is a little heftier than the suggested yarn, and I think it might make it too robust. We’ll see.  After that, there’s just the pockets, and the buttons (note to self: pack buttons) and I’m home free,


If you call blocking a sweater in a car speeding towards a sheep and wool festival home free… and I do.   I’m off to pack. See you tomorrow.

*Here’s your fibre trivia for the day, “sleazy” is actually a textile word, referring to fabric that is particularly loose and open.  You can see how it got borrowed for its other use.

I know how it looks

Okay. Fine. I know that this is going to look unreasonable, but the Rhinebeck sweater really is going so well, and there’s tons of time and I feel really good about it, and I swear that this isn’t at all crazy, and it doesn’t feel at all like I’m lighting the world on fire, and I can usually tell when that’s happening, I just ignore it is all.


I’m going to turn that, into this, by Sunday morning.  If I do the yoke today (which is sort of almost done)  and the body tonight, and the sleeves tomorrow… boom. A day for it to dry after blocking even. It’s going to be fine.  Rhinebeck is ages away. It’s a little sweater. It’s worsted weight. I shouldn’t even break a sweat.


Hold my beer, and watch this.*

*That was for Rams.

Fate is starting to pay attention

I could feel what was happening while I was at Knit City. It began the morning I left, when I had just cast on for the first sleeve of my Rhinebeck sweater.  I knit in the airport lounge, and on the way to Vancouver…


and when I arrived at Savannah’s, I’d finished that sleeve, and was just beginning the next.


Fast forward through three days of teaching and speaking, and somehow, even though I just about knit a pair of socks at the same time, I had two sleeves.


Now, let’s be clear. This pretty much isn’t how a Rhinebeck sweater goes. You don’t just cast on and knit the thing without anything going wrong. Nature abhors deadlines and does her level best to see me crushed in the face of them, so that I can be perfected in my humility. That’s how Rhinebeck sweaters go. This one? I don’t know what to think.  I was worried I wouldn’t have enough yarn, so the universe granted me a seventh skein. I was committed to getting gauge no matter what it took, so I got both stitch and row gauge on my first try. I was worried I wouldn’t have time, and now it’s flying along, practically knitting itself, and get this… I finished the body of the sweater, and I knew that I wanted it to be longer than my brown sweater, so put it aside until I could measure and knit the extra. I did the same with the sleeves, knitting them until they were just short of where I thought I needed them. I knit some socks until I could get to the brown sweater in question, and measured both and do you know what?

They were perfect. Not just shy, not almost… not close enough for company work, they were bang on. I was so shocked I measured three more times and then actually laid the green sweater parts on top of the brown sweater because I thought maybe the measuring tape was malfunctioning.  I had guessed exactly right, and I was ready to join the sleeves and the body to start the yoke, and I don’t want to freak you out or anything, but that was Monday morning that I was just starting that part,  and now… well, I’m almost done.


I still have to do a bit more of the body and upper sleeves, and the saddle shoulders, and I don’t want to get cocky and ignore the giant collar or the pockets, but I’ve pretty much got ten days to do that. Ten days!

It’s like a Rhinebeck miracle. Everything has been so perfect and pretty and worked out so entirely without flaw, that I’m starting to think that I should be keeping this sweater in the back garden at night, in case it bursts into flames or lightning strikes it.  I have noticed a few things though… Monday night I tried to get out of a cab without it, and only the driver noticing saved me. Today I just about left it in a shop, having put my bag down to pay. That first time my passport was with it, and today my wallet was in the same bag, and that got my attention. It’s like nature’s finally figured out it’s a Rhinebeck sweater, and doesn’t care if she takes out my other possessions or my short term memory to do some harm to the thing.

I’m going to start being more careful, and you might not want to stand to close to me for a bit. You know. Because of the risk of lightning.


I rolled into Vancouver yesterday – a day early for Knit City, because a few months ago my niece Savannah moved here with her Fiancé Kosti, and I miss her. (Them.) Sav’s a midwife, and so when I decided to tack an extra day on to this trip to be with her, I kinda knew I might not be with her. There’s always a chance she’ll be called to a birth, and I knew she was on call, but the odds were great – and the worst thing that can happen is I end up hanging out with Kosti for the day, and I like Kosti, so it was totally worth the shot.

Yesterday, when my plane landed, there was a text from Sav – saying that she’d been called to a birth. I sighed, took the train to her house, Kosti let me in, and I knit, chatted, answered emails and we went to lunch and it was lovely, and against all odds, Savannah walked in the door just before suppertime.  We sat, and had a lovely talk, and we thought about where we’d go to dinner, and Sav started bringing out the knitting projects, things that haven’t worked out quite right, and asking me about them.


Now, this is part of our relationship, me and Sav. I “help” her with her knitting projects all the time – if by “help” you understand that Savannah will inquire about what could possibly be done to rescue a project in trouble, and I’ll start to tell her what needs doing, and then she’ll look at me and I’ll realize that she just wants me to fix it, and then I do, because I’m her auntie and I love her.  Yesterday she had an extra good one though. About a year ago, Sav dropped by my place and asked about gauge, and borrowed a needle, and I “helped” with another knitting project, and she was starting the Grace Cardigan. She had some great yarn, it was all wound and she was off to a good start.

Well, I guess something came off the rails at some point, and her mum Kelly was in town, and Kelly’s a very good knitter, and Sav got Kelly to “help” with the sweater, which means that Kelly took it home with her to Vietnam, and knit it. On her last trip back here, Savannah got the sweater, all done, with just one little glitch, which is that Kelly was too far away to exactly nail sleeve length, and they were a little long. “What can I do?” Sav asked, in exactly the way that means “What can you do?.”

What could I do indeed.  Well, it’s a top down cardi, so I unpicked the cast off on the sleeves, ripped it back, picked up the stitches, and re-knit the cuff. I got half of one done, and then it was time for dinner. The three of us (four- if you count the cardigan) headed out, and we were no sooner at the corner than Savannah’s phone rang, and she was gone. Kosti and I had a nice dinner, and came back to the apartment, and hung out and I worked on fixing the sweater, and then I went to bed. This morning – still no Savannah (birth can be slow) and Kosti was asleep and I got up, sorted myself out, and tried to finish fixing the sweater.


In walked Sav, we had a quick chat, and then – having been up for more than 24 hours, she fell into bed.  I sat there, by myself again, and decided to sew the buttons on the sweater, and I was thinking a little bit.


I was thinking that here my niece lives far away from me, and I don’t see her much, and then I’ve come to see her and the fates have decided that might not totally work out either, and I still feel good about it. I feel like I’m with Sav, doing something nice for her, contributing to her well being. When I leave here today to go do Knit City, Sav will have a sweater that fits, and is cozy, and as the fall advances and she’s chilly she’ll shrug it on, and that’s a connection between the two of us. I sewed those buttons on.

I was thinking about her mum Kelly too – Kelly’s really far away, and I don’t see much of her, and this – unpicking sleeves and re-doing them, sewing seams, finishing sweaters… Kelly and I have been doing this together for a long time too – it’s not the first time we’ve worked together to make a project happen, and that made me feel connected to Kelly too – Maybe it’s just jet lag, but even though I can’t be with Kelly and Sav, I felt like I was with them as I worked (and reworked) their stitches.   It was re-assuring – the more things change, the more things stay the same, and we may not be in the same city or country anymore… but we’re connected, as long as it keeps taking three women to make one sweater, like it always has.


PS: Savannah, while you were sleeping, I fixed the edge of that blanket you knit. You’re welcome. See you next time.


An extra toothbrush doesn’t solve it

I got home from Calgary last night and I’m leaving for Maine tomorrow, and I had forgotten, in the few months I had off from work travel, how much I dislike these fast turnarounds.  It always makes me wish that I had a go-bag, like they do in that tv show where they’re always flying off at a moments notice to investigate a crime because they’re they only ones who can do it. They have a private plane, too, so it’s become a well developed fantasy of mine. The call comes – and off they go. They just say “I’ll get my go-bag”, and it’s pre-packed, and they all look so good all the time.   (What show is that? I only get to watch it in hotel rooms in the states where I can’t resist the allure of US Netflix.)

I like the idea so much that I’ve done what I can. I’ve got duplicates of all my toiletries, and they stay in my suitcase so that I don’t have to rustle them up, and there’s chargers and a few other things, and truthfully I’ve thought about having a few sets of clothes in there, but I go all over and the weather’s always different and sometimes I need nice clothes and sometimes it’s jeans and one year I sort of tried it, but I stopped when a really nice knitter came up to me in the airport and said she knew it was me because she recognized that shirt from lots of pictures.

The big problem is the knitting stuff. Speaking engagements – now I could totally have a go bag for that – but if there are any workshops or classes, now we’re talking handouts and tiny balls and we have not yet begun to touch on the problem of my personal knitting.

This last trip – the one to Pudding Yarn in Calgary (I had a wonderful time there by the way, thanks for asking. It was hard work but the shop owner is awesome, and the students were really clever and kind, and the weather was gorgeous and I got to visit the Bow River. What more could I want?) I took the sweater I’d just started, and some socks that I’d been working on for just a little bit (and two balls of sock yarn and some extra sweater stuff in case I knit faster than I ever have before.)  Calgary is pretty far away, so I got some great knitting time in as I travelled…


and I had two evenings on my own…


Pattern: Girl on Fire  Yarn: Two Grey Dogs


Needles: 2.25mm. Model: Sam. Worlds greatest Knitwear Model.

More than that, the Rhinebeck sweater (Little Wave) saw lots of action.


That’s about 20cm of the whole sweater – and that’s about half of the body done. Then there’s just the sleeves, and the yoke and I have 23 days until Rhinebeck. I hate to say it, but it’s all going so well that I feel like I should put tons of yarn in my suitcase for this weekend.  I can see now that it’s the knitting that’s going to stand between me and a real go-bag – but I can’t see how it’s workable if part of your scene keeps changing and getting used up? I feel like the police in that show just don’t knit.




Here’s how much I’ve got of Little Wave…


A very pretty cast on and seven long rows of the whole sweater, front, back and front,  and you should have a good look, because this evening when I sit down, it’s going to the frog pond for a lovely swim, and I’d feel bad about it, but I’m actually pretty happy.

When I went to cast on last night I did something a little dumb. I made the executive decision to cast on the second size, which has a finished bust measurement of 36.5″/ 93cm. I did this despite knowing that my bust is 37″/ 94cm, and despite getting gauge, and so knowing that the sweater was going to come out smaller than my bust, while hoping for at least some ease. I did it because I didn’t have enough yarn for the next size up, because inexplicably, I only bought six skeins of that yarn, and that’s not quite enough for a sweater.  To tell you the truth, I was pretty surprised that I would make the decision to only buy six skeins, and for a day or two I’ve been trying to figure out why I’d do it.  Were there only six skeins at the shop when I bought it?  Why would I buy it if there were only six? Could I only afford six, and when the yarn budget ran out I was so besotted with the yarn that I just bought what I could so that I’d have it it anyway? Was I thinking about a huge vest? Did I think I’d ever make this yarn into something for someone else?

I looked at the pattern, and saw that I didn’t have enough to make the size that I wanted -  and decided that the difference in sizing wasn’t that big a deal, berated myself again for only buying six,  and cast on something doomed. I can’t explain what I was thinking – except that I last night I had convinced myself it would “block out”* and had decided to rely on my short arms to take less yarn in the sleeves, which is ridiculous, never works and I know it.  The short arm thing is bull too. I’m just petite, not built like a T-rex with tiny vestigial arms.

This morning though, something  amazing happened.  I woke up, stretched, put my feet on the floor, and realized not only that I did buy seven skeins, but also that I wound one of them into a ball for swatching years ago.  More than that, and even more fantastically,  I knew exactly where it was. I got up out of bed, went straight to a particular cubby, and pulled it out – big swatch still attached, and not even cast off. (Before you ask, I have no idea what I was swatching. Looks like I was trying to make a sweater front a swatch, but I have no idea what sweater.)


So, back it goes, and I get the size I want, and the sweater will fit the way I want, and I’m starting to feel like this is charmed, which is not at all how I usually feel while pulling out a couple of hours of work, so isn’t that lovely.

* Knitting rule: If you’re hoping something will “block out”, it most likely will not. Corollary to that rule: The more important it is that the problem “blocks out” the less likely it becomes that blocking will do anything. Yeah, verily, if a project hinges on blocking to be big enough to fit, this will be the time that blocking makes your project smaller. So say we all.

Maybe this year will be easy

This morning before I went downtown to do seventy five things and ended up buying shoes and yarn (some days are perfect) I knitted a little swatch for my Rhinebeck sweater and set it out to dry. I wasn’t planning on getting gauge for any particular sweater, although I did have a short list of candidates for this years epic, I was just having a first date. A flirtation. A chance to hang out together a little bit and see if we were going to get on.  It was a pleasure, and the swatch looked like all was going to be well – and off I went.

Truth be told, when I left this morning the list of sweaters I was considering was really short. So short there was one on it.. Little Wave. I was pretty sure it was the one I wanted, but I knew the new Brooklyn Tweed collection was coming out today, so I didn’t want to commit until I saw that. You never know – and I usually love that stuff, so I left room to change my mind.  While I was out I perused the thing, and you know what, it’s lovely (I especially love the options for guy fit vs ladies fit… very neat) but there were none I loved so much as the Little Wave that was already alone on my list.

I trundled home to have a look at my swatch, see what my gauge was, and start experimenting to get gauge… except you know what?


I have gauge. Perfectly. Both stitch, and row, and without fudging, fussing, or thinking about it. It’s like a magical unicorn with a comfy saddle just decided to live in my backyard so I don’t have to take the bus anymore.

Stitch, and row. Without trying, on the first go. Beat that.

PS. I do not have a tatoo.

Didn’t even hear a bear

We’re back, and sorry for the radio silence my pets, we arrived back home safe and sound, and I was going to post and tell you all about it, and then bright and early Monday morning, my laptop (perhaps sensing the big plans I had for it) completely bricked. (I use the term bricked here to mean that the thing did a brick imitation, with all the abilities a brick possesses.)  It’s taken several frustrating days, but I’m back up and running, and thanks to what I’ve learned from previous computer incidents, I lost nothing this time. Not so much as an email drifted off into the ether, and although some stuff I needed was trapped inside a dead laptop (I guess, since it’s okay now it was more like it fainted) I’m hooked back up again now, no harm, no foul. Just three days of trying to get things done on an ipad, and really, those things are made more for tracking a knitting chart and surfing Ravelry than they are actually doing work stuff.  Ever tried to do some real typing on an ipad? It’s about as effective as using spoons for knitting needles.  Still, I’m here now, and all that is behind us.

Attached please find several pictures of our wonderful trip, because I know you’re all just dying to see our vacation snaps.  (I have got to get someone working on that sarcasm font that I need so badly.)


We drove up to Algonquin Park and went in through Achray access point, near Petawawa. (That won’t mean much to most of you, but Algonquin Park is huge, more than 7000 square kilometres, so saying that you “went to the park” could mean a lot of different things. It’s big enough that the west and east halves have different animals and climates. This is Canada. We have a lot of room to make parks.)


We packed everything we needed into our canoe – and off we went.


This is backcountry camping. That means you get around by canoe, and you bring in all that you need, including all your food and water. There are no facilities. Nada. This time of year you don’t even really see people.  We had a little stove to camp on – just one burner, and other than that, our cooking was over the fire, and you have to find and chop your own firewood.


We have a great water filter, so we can drink lake water, so at least we don’t have to carry all that in – and we can’t run out, which is really great, and at night your food and garbage go into a bear barrel and a special cooler that doesn’t let any smells out, and you hoist the lot of it up a tree. It’s to keep the bears from finding you interesting – or finding you, really.

waterfalls-2016-09-13 joeandi-2016-09-13 campcanoemap-2016-09-13

We had a map, and a compass, and we travelled all around the lakes, portaging between them as we went. (Portage is a fancy word that means “carry your stuff and your canoe”.)



It all went very well, with the exception of one extremely rainy night and day, when Joe and I asked ourselves the question that everyone in the backcountry of Algonquin asks themselves at some point, which is “Is the closest Fairmont in Ottawa, or Kingston?”  We almost paddled out that day, but at the last minute, right when we were about to abandon the whole thing, the rain stopped, and we were able to get a fire going, and after that, everything seemed possible again. The backcountry is sort of like an episode of survivor. Fire is life. (Or, at least happiness. I can do almost anything as long as I’m getting whiskey and a fire at the end of it. Almost.)


It was lovely, and everything we own is almost clean again, including us. (I found a pine needle floating in my bath the second day we were home. I wouldn’t have been too bothered about it, except that it was my third bath. I’m hoping it was in my hair.) We’re both back to work – and it’s time to settle into the productive time that is September.

I’ll be in Calgary this weekend (at Pudding Yarn, great shop, and I think there’s a spot or two free in one of the classes yet) and I’ve chosen the yarn for my Rhinebeck sweater.


Blackwater Abbey 2-ply worsted, in Pippin. I thought I’d chosen a pattern, but I’m waffling. Tomorrow. I’ll decide tomorrow.

It’s September. The unofficial start of the year if you’re a wool person, and I’m ready. Let’s go.