Lene can’t get enough lists, so today there is another.

These are true confessions, bits of business and pieces of flotsam.

1. My house is so messy right now that I am starting to think that when the doorbell rings I should lie down on the floor under my desk and be very still and quiet and pretend not to be here. The combination of the renovation, work, the flu and, well….my natural talent for really not giving a crap about housework has reached critical mass. Something must be done. There is a compound mitre saw in the dining room.

2. I absolutely must reign in the mess on the dining room table. There is a mountain of yarn. A mountain. There are pattern books, leaflets, excel spreadsheets (You didn’t think I could pull off this much Christmas knitting without a spreadsheet…did you?) needles, notes and boxes. A little bit ago Judith (the original) asked Is that your dining room table, underneath your nouveau stash? How come it’s NOT O.K. to pile it with electronic thingummies, but yarn is allowed? Don’t bother – I have enjoyed your blog long enough to have worked out the answer. “

I hope so. The answer is that we have a complete double standard. I may trash my home in any way that I want to, with any objects I would like to, and may leave aforesaid mess there with absolute impunity. Joe may not.

This is because I clean up my messes and Joe does not.

(Besides, yarn is artistic and environment enhancing while electronics are stupid).

3. After an extremely careful and scientific process of randomization, (Sam pulled names of a hat)


Denny has won the scarf from Afghanistan. Cool eh? (I know you can’t read the name on that paper. I have a 10 year old witness who will say it says “Denny”. We must try not to think about how much Sam loves Denny and trust that my 10 year old can run a decent law-abiding scarf draw.)

4. The mitten is finished,


AND I actually wove in the ends instead of just carefully placing them inside the knitted object so everyone who reads the blog would think that I wove them in when really I didn’t. I do that. It’s blog pressure. I can’t take it.

5. Norma is pulling a Sandy and wants us to show her our favourite cookery book:



6. Tuesdays are for spinning but I cut loose and spun on Monday. See that? I care nothing for the rules. This is some awesome Moorit that Laurie (yes, that Laurie) sent me.


It was so beautiful that I couldn’t wait until Tuesday.

She said that I should be able to spin it as thinly as I wanted, and she was right. It will be about a million metres of laceweight when I’m done.

I love spinning yarn so fine that it makes me squinty. I’ll show you the squinty wee yarn tomorrow because the picture I took sucks so badly that I can’t put it on the blog.

7. When Norma got a postcard from Nathania in Italy I was totally jealous. I wouldn’t have said anything, but I did sort of think about how I wished that I got a postcard too. I also wouldn’t ever say that I sort of thought to myself “Well. We can see the way things really are, can’t we”. Then I spent a good long time convincing myself that I didn’t really care if I got a postcard from a woman I have never really met, and wishing Norma well and hoping that Nathania was having a really good time (It certainly sounded like it on Norma’s postcard) and letting go of petty small feelings and wishing for peace and happiness in the world.

Today I got this,


and feel compelled to confess that I am FREAKING THRILLED. (I also feel compelled to phone Norma and dance a little bit, but that would be wrong. Satisfying….but wrong).

9. Margene is comitting herself to a Yarn Non-Buying Agreement. YNBA.

Monica has even provided a song. I want to join. I need some control. I little yarn-non-buying might take the edge off the stash. I like the idea of making a little room, saving some money and actually using all the really great yarns that are in the stash. I mean, it’s not like the stash is junk yarn. The stash is made up of yarns that I own for a reason. (Well, except for the Dump Yarn. You know about Dump Yarn…right?) There was a time when each and every ball of yarn in the stash was cherished, wanted and procured with a purpose. I want to recapture that feeling. I thought about signing up, putting the YNBA button on the blog….then it hit me. I can’t join.

What if I need to buy yarn?

Clearly, I need to spend a little time with the concept.

38 thoughts on “Confessions

  1. BookBookBookBook! And there is more of that roving for you any time you want. I have about three pounds left and will NEVER spin that much. Please do NOT join the Yarn Nonbuying Agreement. I mane, think about your loyal blog-readers who follow where you lead — ponchos, thrummed mittens, please NOT into non-yarn-buying! If you do, well, I will just have to try to make those fiendish socks you keep showing on the blog…

  2. I love your list. I see so much of myself in a woman I have never met face to face, but I take comfort that there is someone out there who does not care about housework as much as I don’t. Yet somehow it still looms in our minds that it should be getting done. I can not see my kitchen table-the knitting is multiplying like rabbits. I have no idea where my spreadsheet of Christmas knitting is-I lost that weeks ago. And I live by the double-standard of what I allow my husband to leave laying around-and it is the same logic-I clean the messes, so I get to say what gets left around. Your mitten is gorgeous though-I am in awe.
    BTW, after the kids finish lunch I am off to buy (more) yarn.

  3. How exactly does one NOT buy yarn? What kind of self-imposed craziness it that? Obviously, if you have too much stash, you just aren’t knitting enough. The mit is stunning! And I am jealous that you have a compound mitre saw. They are sooo cool and my husband just doesn’t understand why I need one.

  4. We share the same favorite cookbook! Why am I not surprised? Only problem here is, I can’t find mine under the renovation mess, yarn and unfinished projects, schoolwork and children. Oh well, if I find it, they might actually expect me to cook something…

  5. How to make space in stash without a YNBA or completely neglecting family/food etc. (neglecting housework is fine and should not be given up — how about a Housework not doing agreement?). Anyway, back to the how to… Organize a bunch of people at work to knit for a worthy cause (I picked the snowsuit fund because kids in Ottawa need warm things in winter). Then bring in all the dump yarn and share it around. Help folks who’ve forgotton how to knit or always wanted to learn by casting in a scarf for them and sending them off.
    Works for me. My yarn stash box now has room for more NICE yarn…

  6. Well, my doorbell just rang and I hid in the office. That’s because I’m still in my husband’s old t-shirt and pajama bottoms, haven’t brushed my teeth yet (it’s 12:57 PM here), my hair is literally standing on end, and I’m an all around disgrace. I know who was at the door – the water guy – I always miss the water guy. Because I’m too gross to answer the door.
    My house is kind of okay right now because we had guests last week. But there’s yarn everywhere anyway.
    I’m going to try fair-isle next and your mittens are an inspiration. Thanks!

  7. I don’t think I could do this if it wasn’t near the end of the year and time for Christmas shopping. I’ll be at the LYS tonight….we’ll see if this agreement holds up!

  8. Julia, quick, register that phrase as a trademark, then start cranking out plaques, t-shirts and totebags — you’ll make your fortune on items which say “If you have too much stash you’re just not knitting enough.” Brilliant.
    (RhineBECK, RhineBECK!)

  9. We seem to have the same house rules regarding messes. Mine are artistic. I clean up. My husband tries to make a Pleasing Tableau of things like new HOCKEY SKATES, and computer equipment, in the living room, for goodness sake – I throw them down to the basement. This is the kind of thing that balances the universe. And don’t stop buying yarn. I am monetarily challenged at the moment and need to live vicariously through others.

  10. I, for one, refuse the join the yarn non-buying agreement. A grrl always needs more yarn.
    As for the cookbook, have you ever eaten at Moosewood (the actually restaurant in Ithaca)? It is yummy beyond belief. My daughter got a peanut butter and jelly sandwich which consisted of two thick slices of whole grain bread, a little container of freshly ground peanut butter, and a little container of homemade jam. I believe she slapped my hand away more than once.

  11. Now, you know that it is a non *yarn* buying agreement, and says nothing about fiber for spinning. At least, that is what I tell myself as I sneak more lovely top into my craft room when my husband isn’t looking

  12. Don’t think of it as merely yarn. It is extra insulation for the back porch when it gets done. And for all of those people who say they are on a no-yarn-buying thingie, that just means more yearn can make its way home with me.

  13. I went out and bought yarn after reading Margene’s post. Not because I dont love and respect her, but because I have to be true to myself. It’s a matter of principle.

  14. Awesome mitten! I hear you on the blog pressure thing. Every time I slip on my Banff sweater (and that’s a lot) I remember that there’s one last end that I never wove in ’cause I wanted to get the picture taken. Oops!
    Good luck with that dining room. 🙂

  15. Don’t do it. Don’t join the YNBA! I have to live vicariously through you and I wouldn’t want to watch you suffer like I’ve been.

  16. Hello,
    i just got the order not to buy anymore yarn until my last orders arrived and are knitted.
    And I also see it the way, I clean the mess so I am allowed let my things lie around.
    If you are so thrilled by postcards from foreign countries give me a note I will send you one from Germany.

  17. Love your list. You shouldn’t join the YNBA. Someone still needs to have fun buying yarn. I’m a neat-freak, and I literally have no place (out of sight) I can store yarn. I need to start using it.
    But you should buy……..BUY!

  18. Your house and my house would be good friends.
    And your favorite cookbook is near the top of my list. We love the Sweet Potato Quasadillas and the Six-Minute Chocolate Cake. What do you recommend?
    Beautiful mitten. I am drooling. Good thing that wool resists water.

  19. Moosewood, eh? Suspicions confirmed. You are a woman of impeccable taste (no pun intended).
    I suppose I ought not to tell you that I live close enough to Moosewood to eat there on a somewhat regular basis, on account of the ensuing potential for envy…
    And in that vein of logic, I suppose I also ought not tell you that there is a yarn shop about 2 blocks from Moosewood that is filled to the gills with yummy delights for the fiber glutton…
    By the way, your mitten is fantastic, and your effusions yesterday about Nancy Bush and the amazing new knitting information were wonderful 🙂

  20. Well, the vacation from laundry has ended. With a thud. Now I’m jetlagged and trying to get my clothes from the trip washed as well as taking care of the remains of laundry that was dirtied while I wasn’t here. In all honesty, Kevin was a sweetie and did the laundry while I was gone, he just didn’t fold it….
    Anyway, I’m thrilled that you’re thrilled. It makes me all warm and fuzzy (in a twisted kind of way) that you got all jealous of Norma. Mwah!

  21. The mitten is beautiful. I don’t think I could follow that pattern. The roving looks so soft, do you have it spun up yet?

  22. Way to go on not caving in on so many issues: the yarn on the table, the mess…. I caved. Two days ago. Been a cleaning maniac for approximately 60 hours or so. Yes, I am counting. I am losing sleep. I could NOT take it anymore. But, if I am confessing, must confess completely: it’s only because December 1st I am officially allowed to decorate for Christmas! This season is so #%&$*&% dark and depressing that it just makes me want to crawl into bed and resurface in, say, May? Yeah, sounds about right. So, eventhough I don’t go all wonky about Christmas shopping and all that, I do like to see all those Christmas lights. And then there is the Egg Nog…. 🙂

  23. moosewood then a trip to the homespun botique(sp?)
    come visit my neck of the woods Tompkins County New York. PS 2 miles away is ANOTHER great yarn shop Knitting Machines etc.

  24. Gorgeous mitten! And timely, as I just started a pattern from the Latvian Mittens book… dare I tell you that I love braids? They’re so cool! they look like magic!

  25. NYBA? Good luck with all that! Why would you torture yourself in that horrible way? I spend more on yarn than I do on rent.. that’s perfectly acceptable, right?
    The mitten is beautiful!

  26. Don’t be so hard on yourself about the piles of yarn. I’m in the same boat, but after having turned 40, I just don’t give a flip anymore. How deep are my fiberous piles? WHen my brother’s birthday came around, I looked everywhere for the gift I’d bought him a month earlier. I just found it this last weekend under a particular stash mountain in my bedroom closet. My brother’s birthday was in July. I figure I’ll give it to him for Christmas. Why not, right? 🙂

  27. You can have a postcard from Loughborough in the East Midlands, UK if you want. We make bells. And have some steam trains. Oh, and a university.
    Is the compound mitre saw yours (in which case you can put it where you frickin’ well please) or Joe’s (in which case he can put it where you frickin’ well tell him)?
    Can you not declare the table ‘My Table’, akin to Tracy Emin’s ‘My Bed’? 🙂

  28. ROTFL! Last night (right before the storms came) I decided to read some blogs because my house was too much of a mess to even think about. There’s yarn, fiber, and stuff everywhere and a router being put together in the living room.

  29. Stephanie, you crack me up, as I just metaphorically slapped my husband’s hand when he tried to add a new pile to MY pile on the project table. How dare he. And now I have just realized that the Christmas tree needs to go in the spot I have only recently set up my project table. Hmmm.

  30. So, yesterday when I arrived at Abigail’s campus, I went in her room to check my email. Cassie was online, and she was keeping track of my wellbeing in my travels. She IM’d me and said, “Go read Harlot. Go now!” So I’ll have you know that I read Harlot at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, and I only have one observation: One, I laughed my ass off, and two (oh, wait, I lost my focus there — this is TWO observations), you look much prettier in Rhinebeck blue than in Envy green. Mwah, mwah!!! I’ll send you some of that suet pudding. Wait, the Customs guys might not like it. So you’re saved. You won’t have to eat it!!! Mwah again!

  31. YNBA?! No Way! I recently tried a yarn diet that lasted all of two weeks! Saturday I got to spend two hours exploring a new yarn store in Littleton, MA. So many fibers I’ve never touched, a friendly staff, and wonderful customers. They invited me to join them at the table to knit, which is exactly what I did! I bought something new and yummy to make a scarf for myself. It was a perfect way to spend an afternoon. It didn’t matter what housework needs to be done or how much yarn I had sitting here at home waiting for my attention. There’s always room for more yarn. This weekend, I’m going back! My niece is home from college for the weekend and we’re taking the ride together!hehehe

  32. hahahahahahaha – i can’t stop laughing – this post is so hilarious. my new method for putting away the laundry is to put it on the bed. when it’s time for bed? the whole pile goes on the floor. and when my doorbell rings, i’m slipping out the back door.
    -Queen of Piles,
    kelli ann

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