Reversal of fortunes

My attempt to regain control of the weekend was, well… Let’s recap.

Friday: Friday night was spectacular. Beyond all expectation. Friday night I sent Lene these two pictures and the following note.

The sock at 8pm


The sock at 10pm


Do not tell me that I cannot warp the time-space continuum. Do. Not.

The children were away. Joe was at work. I was alone. I danced, I knit, I celebrated the joy that only a knitter making good time in the week before Christmas can feel. I had rum. I had eggnog. I watched CSI and “The Best of What Not to Wear”. I watered the tree.

I knit until 2am and it was good.


I got up early and drank coffee and did the crossword while knitting. (I also ate Christmas cookies for breakfast. It was not nutritious. I don’t care) Not one single soul spoke to me during this time. I knit. I had a bath. I celebrated my aloneness with an uninterrupted phone conversation and a long soaky bath. I spoke to no-one during the bath. This is remarkable. Completely remarkable.

I finished the socks. (Details to follow post-gifting)


Saturday night Joe and I left the house together. Alone together, at the same time.

We went to Chinatown and had noodles. We saw a guy in a cape on Spadina Street (and I think it was his regular clothes. Very festive. ) Then we went to the Horseshoe Tavern for The Skydiggers annual Christmas Concert. (It’s that Record Producer thing again. Joe is so cool.) Gord Downie sang a Gordon Lightfoot song with them. The Skydiggers at the Horseshoe singing a Lightfoot song with Gord Downie while it snows. That’s such an incredibly Canadian moment that I think you might have to be Canadian to get it.

(Here’s something funny. I went to the bathroom after the first set and this chick (I cannot even dignify her with the term “lady”) asked me if I was the girl knitting. I thought about that for a minute. “What are the odds that there are two of us” I thought? “Yes” I said, pretty sure that she was going to ask me to make her a scarf or something. “Don’t you think that’s pretty offensive to the band? Don’t you think they would mind?” she asked.

I was stunned. I’m here to tell you that I was knitting in the most Hip and Musical way possible. I was watching the stage, I was dancing a little, I was on my feet clapping and cheering at the end of each song. Offensive? I resisted the urge to tell her that what is actually offensive is a 35 year old woman in a pair of jeans six sizes too small for her drunkenly attempting to hit on a 20 year old hottie while wearing a shade of lipstick that should be banned. Instead of saying that, I just told her that when I was backstage after the show I’d ask the band if they minded.)

We did go backstage after the show and Gord Downie was just leaving. He said goodbye and I said “Bye”. I didn’t say “Bye Gord”, since I thought that would be too familiar. (It’s so hard for me to be cool.) He looked at me and said “Have a Merry Christmas” which is so nice because he has no idea who I am. Then I said “You too”.


(and Andy said that the band was honoured that I was knitting at their concert. Honoured.)

Sunday: Again, making excellent time with the knitting.


(This is three finished Sophie bags. This is all of them. There are two knit since the last time you saw me. I am a force in the universe.)

I decide that I am ahead enough to go to a staff party. My sister owns The Old York Bar and Grill (Niagara and Wellington. Good food), I bartend sometimes, and she throws an “it’s so bad it’s good” Christmas Karaoke party. I truck down there in the -20 weather. (Yes. -20. It’s so cold that the minute you go outside you have an involuntary gasp. Then all the hairs in your nose freeze and you wonder why you live here. This wonderment gives way to absolute fundamental shock as you step away from the protection of the house and realize that it’s actually -30 with the windchill. It takes a lot of gumption to leave the house when it’s like this.) I once again affirmed my position as reigning Queen of Karaoke Avoidance and timed my escape just as several drunken bartenders took to the stage and microphone proving that the problem with drunken Karaoke singing men is the same as with drunken men in general. It’s easy to get them up – and really hard to get them back down again.

I came home, I knitted some more,


Joe and I watched Dodgeball and I fell into bed thinking that I was really, really lucky to have so much knitting done, and two parties, and such nice friends and that I couldn’t believe that I was having such a good time…even though the whole Christmas knitting thing is looming so big that I can scarcely breathe….and that maybe, just maybe….it wasn’t going to be like that this year. Maybe.

Monday: I wake up an notice we have no water pressure upstairs. Odd.

I go downstairs and as soon as I am in the kitchen I can here a funny noise in the basement. Odd. It sounds like water.

It is water. It is a lot of water. It is a basement full of a lot of water. I live in a very old home. This means that we have no drain in the basement, that a couple of the walls in the basement are dirt, and that when a pipe freezes and breaks because it is an unholy and vicious sort of cold outside….the resulting scene in the basement will be some sort of incredible Arctic mud slurry thriving in the basement. (I would like to assure you that wading to the shut-off valve was an experience that cannot be described without suffering a flashback so horrible that I could not endure it. Let us simply say that it will be a long time before my feet are ever warm again.) We can be grateful for waking up in time to catch it before the water rose high enough to flood the furnace and water heater and be additionally grateful that the basement is considerably lower at one end, thus giving us one almost dry corner. We can also be grateful that there is a separate shut off for that pipe, so we don’t have to go without water in the rest of the house until we can hunt the elusive urban plumber.

(We can only hope that Mr. Washie will survive. It’s too soon to tell.)

I am behind schedule, again.

Gifts for knitters returns tomorrow…when my house is drier.

80 thoughts on “Reversal of fortunes

  1. I bow to the knitting goddess you are and cry tears for your flooded state. That’s what you get for showing off (?) Just asking.

  2. I get it because I AM CANADIAN. Gord, eh? Way cool.
    BTW it was -28 here this morning!

  3. You are right- the universe seeks balance. After I was bragging shamelessly about my husband making cookies for a Christmas party, I got home to find eight (yes – 8) cookies. He was proud.

  4. Stephanie sounds very busy, would someone else please let me know what a Sophie bag is? I just know I want to make one (blindly following the Harlot).

  5. Oh my god. It was such a happy story, and then it all went so terribly wrong. Good luck keeping those socks and mittens dry!

  6. I STILL have nightmares about the house we owned in Michigan with the sump pump in the basement. I waded through that basement more times than I want to remember — even the BATTERY-operated sump pump failed once. And ONLY when I was overrun with kids. Yikes. You have my heartfelt sympathy —
    However, that is SUCH an amazing amount of knitting that there may be some Karma thing going on. I even suspect that there is MORE knitting that you are not showing because Joe and the kids actually read this blog as does Ken. Will we get to see the secret Xmas knitting after the gifts have been handed out???

  7. Steph –
    So sorry to hear about your basement!
    re: drunken men. The problem isn’t getting them up – the problem is that they don’t realize that what they’re doing usually isn’t worth the trouble.

  8. argh. Our basement flooded last winter;6 inches of freezing water only made worse by the fact that our sewer line backed up…and exploded….on me….I’m still recovering..
    Now, if you can warp the time continuim…*If????ah…silly me……AS you are able to warp the time continuim, I myself am able to make all Christmas cookies..(not just my own mind you, but all the cookies is my superpower) very nutritious and a well balanced meal unto themselves. So please, go on, enjoy them for breakfast…..heck..lunch and dinner, too! Much goodness in a small nibble. Happy (dryer) Holidays to you and yours!

  9. I’m sure that the gods are just trying to set up obstacles (floods go with plagues of locusts, I think) to make your triumph over holiday knitting ever more victorious.
    Or something like that.

  10. i’m so sorry at the unfortunate turn of events.
    1. eggnog (with rum)
    2. christmas cookies
    3. stay on upper levels of house.
    while it’s not nearly that cold here, it’s unusually cold (4 degrees this morning. actually that’s fahrenheit. so -16 C. are you on C? almost the same!) and we had no heat at work this morning. it was 51 F inside (11 C).
    i went home (around the corner) for a long lunch and brought liquid courage ( with me but it warmed up considerably.
    ok i’m really rambling but its cold. to me anyway. (i am reminded of a time i was outside in maine waiting to meet a musician, it was around this temperature and most of us were miserable. except a canadian woman who was CAMPING in this weather and called it “mild”. there’s something in the water up there. it just ain’t right. cold enough for nose hairs to freeze is NOT mild.)
    back to work… glug glug…

  11. Have you ever clocked your knitting speed? I’m sure you’d be up for the Guinness Book of World Records or something. I am in awe of your knitting prolificness.
    Good luck with the basement and Mr. Washie. Hopefully he’ll survive since he’s used to being wet. How’s Mr. Dryer (Dryie?) doing?

  12. Oh, Steph, I am so sorry to hear of your frozen pipe. We nearly had one of those last year in our bathroom, but fortunately I caught between the freezing and bursting stages. It would not have been pretty to flood our first floor of our house. We had the bathroom torn apart for a good three months until my DH could put the walls back in. We are hoping that it doesn’t freeze again this year after we added extra insulation.
    Good luck getting your holiday knitting done. I have faith in the Harlot that she’ll continue her time/space continuum and finish in the nick of time.

  13. Am aghast to hear the Mr. Washie is in peril. Am even more awed with your knitting prowess.
    Am mostly glad we dont have basements in TX (or freezing weather, at least in this area).
    Fingers crossed that Mr. Washie survives.

  14. It’s the curse of December 20. We had our basement flood on December 20 (or was it the 21st? Either way.) of 2002. Now known as “The Great Flood of 2002.”
    It was followed up in May by the “Not-So-Great Flood of 2003.” That one didn’t flood the entire basement, just a small part of it.
    I still expect to see the garage (which is on the same level as our basement) full of water when I pull into the driveway and open the garage door every day.

  15. Oh no! Your poor, poor feet. Here’s hoping that gets fixed right quick.
    As for the knitting… if anyone can do it, it’s you. You are a Knitting Manaic, and you will knit the crap out of your schedule. I have faith in you!

  16. You are a knitting goddess. I can probably knit a couple of inches of ribbing on a sock in the time that you can churn out an entire Neruda sock.
    I can’t even begin to imagine what -20 weather would be like. We got down to freezing here in frigid north Florida last night & I could barely handle that. I suspect that if I had to go down into your basement this morning, I’d still be bobbing around in the water like a popsicle. I hope an affordable plumber was promptly located.

  17. I cannot fathom that wicked a cold. Though I have lost pipes to freeze, yes, even in TX. About those frozen feet…might I suggest thrummed Fuzzy Feet. Of course more rum can’t hurt either. Do tell us you have a cozy fireplace to prop them on, yes? Frozen feet are not to be dismissed. But the knitting is coming along swimmingly. Ugh, poor choice of words.

  18. Your knitting is awe-inspiring! I’m sorry about your basement. There’s still time. Ch……. isn’t here yet.

  19. I thought waders were for this exact scenario. Who cares about fishing.
    I’m in major awe of the progress photos. My eyes bugged out. Really. Wow. You should borrow a camcorder and have a “watch stephanie knit” show. We’d all tune in. And applaud at the end!

  20. Can I be you for a day? Preferrably this past Saturday. I have a great list of knitting to finish in time for Christmas and I could use your speed. And meeting Gord? A “Merry Christmas” from GORD DOWNIE?? And you got to say “You too”?! I think I might be swooning. I am so Canadian. 🙂
    Sorry about the basement, I have been there too. Give my best to Mr. Washie. I hope he pulls through.

  21. My little elves are no match for you, my dear. Wow, you’ve been productive! Hope the flood won’t slow you down too much.

  22. Hmmm… a web-cam would be better than a camcorder. Call it a knit-cam. I see a great need for this.

  23. You. Are. A. Force. In. The. Universe.
    I’m intrigued – what colour lipstick? I’m thinking Orange. It always goes well with jeans which are too tight.

  24. I’m writing to you from balmy Southern Canada. Oops, I mean Northern Vermont. It’s only -11 here. The good news: I don’t have a flooded basement and the heat is working. The EXTRA-good news: Because of you, Dear Stephanie, I have a pair of thrummed mittens that got their first serious road test today. And I love you for it. LOVE. I-wish-I-were-there-to-rub-your-freezing-feet-type love.

  25. I knew it. You admitted it, but I already knew it: you do have a quantum doorway where you go to knit. And if you don’t believe me, I’ll dig out the post from when I wrote it.
    It’s still impressive anyway, time warp or not.

  26. Great progress!
    The basement issue – ick. (seems to bring back shades of Have you SEEN the back of my house…)
    And, your concert comeback – best.

  27. I think poor Mr. Washie needs a cozy for Christmas (I’m sure you can easily manage, with your powers). Just think of him, standing down there in the cold, with wet feet!

  28. I got such a warm glow reading today’s entry, even the basement. Not because I am happy about it happening, rather I am once again assured in my believe that every yin does indeed have its yang. Having such a wonderful, knit-ful weekend, I hope that dealing with a basement of water in the coldiest of cold is a little easier to handle. If not for weekends like yours one would be tempted to jump into a flooded basement and never emerge. It is all good, in the end.
    And that whole thing about knitting while attending a public function? I briefly entertained the idea of bringing my knitting into the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert I attended last night, but decided agaisnt it at the last minuted. However, it was not in fear of offending the band-it was my fear that I would have some type of stroke between the laser lights and strobes. WOW. Fantastic show-glad your Gord was too. And your comeback was great…just great.

  29. -20… you know that could be why Vancouverites never move back East unless they have to.. The mittens are fabulous by the way. I’m still floored by the amount of knitting you get done in such little time! Way to go Harlot!

  30. I haven’t even finished reading you post yet because I had to stop to say how JEALOUS I am that you saw Gord Downie over the weekend!! So very very very jealous!

  31. Oh Stephanie. My face wasn’t big enough to contain my grin at the beginning of your post – I was actually chair-dancing with glee a little – and now I’m not breathing. Oh.
    I am going through my personal plumbing connections in my mind, and finding nada in the helpful department. I will keep good thoughts for disaster recovery and continued deserved knitting progress against all odds. I have only one measly braided cable scarf to crank out in the next three days, so I have knitting wishes to spare.
    (And I. Am. Canadian. Great. Gord. Story.)

  32. Sorry to hear about the bursting pipes. I woke up to no cold water in the kitchen. This always happens on these days but the pipe has never burst. (wait did I just say that outloud?) The experiences in total : knitting, Gord, pipes : TRULY CANADIAN – for better or worse. And can you possibly BLOCK all those commenters from Vancouver who are so mean to us? We can’t all live in the warmest place in Canada.sob.

  33. Oh no! And things were going so well!
    About that warping of the time/space continium — my friend Rob accomplished it last night while wiring his unheated shell of a house for the electrical inspection today. He wonders why noises are amplified during said warping?
    And about the pipes — I feel for you. My hubby, on the other hand, is dancing. Our pipes did NOT freeze this year. I suspect the goddess of plumbing will be paying some special attention to him soon. (Do you think she will spare me? I moaned in sympathy and my toes are still cold.)

  34. I’m freaking out. I haven’t even finished reading the post. I’m too stuck on Saturday. GORDON DOWNIE!?!?!?!? The only singer I have ever considered that has turned me into one of those screaming girls you see in Beatles documentaries? NO WAY. I’m in love with him. I’m so jealous. I think I would faint if he talked to me. I can’t wait for my husband to get bald. And btw, I’m not Canadian… yet.

  35. Can you tell us where you found the pattern for the Sophie bag? I’m just starting your Harlot poncho…by the way. Sorry about the basement. What crap!

  36. Good job on all of your successes and fun stuff! Hopefully the basement is only a hiccup, and not a turn of the tide. Knit on!

  37. Ah, the wonders of a Northern winter! I spent 15 of them in Alaska (10 in Fairbanks, 5 in Anchorage) and know of which you speak : ) Best of luck to you…. if it’s going to happen, it will happen at the most inopportune time!

  38. Congratulations on the fantastic (supernatural) knitting. Condolences on the flooded basement. I feel your pain. Our place in Mass flooded with the freakish coincidence of sudden warm temperatures=rapidly melting snow, the still-frozen ground=unable to absorb run-off, steady, torrential rain for 2 days. As for frozen pipes, we’ve had those, too. There is a really cool electrical heat wrap tape that your plumber or electrician can put on the pipes to keep them warm. Perhaps you could make thrummed wraps! Good luck both with knitting and basement clean-up.

  39. Dear Harlot – I may have to set up a shrine to the wool pig in my house now. I am in awe. You knit for 6 straight hours and you complete things with lightning speed! Your house is like a knitting Tardis, thereby making you the Dr Who of the knitting universe…which may or may not be a good thing, depending on your perspective. But amazed and v. jealous of your ability to be so productive even while things in your basement are learning to backstroke!

  40. We have old house, we do have drain in basement (we even have concrete walls strapped with steel straps to the floor – it don’t freeze, but it do shake here in Seattle). If it makes you feel any better, even with the drain we have the fall really nasty backup situation unless we remember to keep our annual date with Mr. Rotorooter. All Hail Mr. Rotorouter

  41. If one could but harness your knitting power with some sort of turbine, energy crises across the globe may be avoided.
    Sorry to hear about your water problem. Cold weather and too much water definitely don’t mix. I wish I knew who this Gord guy was. He sounds wonderful, and most likely very honored by your knitting prowess (if only he knew he had a celebrity in *his* midst!).
    p.s. it will be 60 degrees here tomorrow.

  42. Now I know why you prefer metal needles– wooden ones would burst into flame once you got up to cruising speed! I would love to watch you work sometime, because I just can’t imagine what such fast knitting looks like. Good luck, Merry Christmas, and a very dry basement to you!

  43. I understand your basement struggles..and am sending you warm thoughts to thaw out your feet. The night before our Thanksgiving Day here, at midnight, 4 1/2 hours before my girls were to be on a flight back to their grandmother’s funeral, the water heater in the garage burst, sending all the water into the garage. As I live in a rented far too small house post divorce…all 3,000 square feet of ‘stuff’ is crammed into the 900 sq feet of said rented house. The bright side? I found the water gushing into the boxes, etc…while retrieving yet one more suitcase for the girls and I was not scheduled to be making the trip…as it was for the funeral-post divorce. Had it been any other time I would have never known the water heater blew. I wasn’t able to have a shut off valve to the heater…so I waited for 3 days for ANY water to the house…including…toliets.
    I wish for your feet to feel better soon. I’d send you some warm socks..but I don’t think they’re dry from my water heater isssues, yet.

  44. Well, thank you very much Ms. Harlot. After looking at your pictures, my daughter said, “I used to think YOU knit fast.” I forgive her however, because the next words out of her mouth were, “Is Mr. Washie OK?”. This, dear Harlot, is from a girl who thinks that if she hides her laundry under the dresser, is doesn’t count as dirty. Theoretically, couldn’t you get a new Mr. Washie if you completely dismantle said machine?

  45. Hi Stephanie — I’m so glad you got out this weekend. I was thinking of you while at a holiday party on Sat. night, hoping social time was included in your schedule. And the knitting – really amazing. Maybe you will give brief knitting demos on your bookbookbook tour?
    Seems everyone has a busted pipes story so I will spare you mine. As for the chickie in the bar, clearly jealous.

  46. I can actually see the basement situation. Also live in an old house and got stuck in the basement (complete with dirt floors) during a blizzard while attempting to shut off a broken pipe. reminder to self– shovel off root celler doors before entering basement. After I managed to force doors open and get inside with only min. signs of frostbite my loving husband stated he would have helped me but he was in his jammies. Got to love him. the Knitting gods have smiled on you I have never seen any thing of yours thet is not BEAUTIFUL

  47. Well I don’t know which I’d rather have. The flooded basement or the mouse that was trying to make a nest under the Christmas tree using stray bits of yarn from my stash. Water everywhere, possible damage, financial repurcussions or a mouse dipping into my stash….toss up I think.

  48. Knitting with the Skydiggers, huh? I pulled out my knitting in a locally famed Halifax pub last Wednesday night. I was there with colleagues from across Canada and got a laugh from them when I pulled it out, but there I sat, in the Lower Deck with McGinty wearing Santa t-shirts on stage. Feeling very Canadian. I also had my knitting with me in the bar when my husband’s band (2005 ECMA nominees, Yay!) played on Saturday night. Knitting is the new smoking in Halifax – what with the new no-smoking by-laws… That chickie needs to get some perspective. Nice job with the “I’ll ask the band when I’m backstage.” I love using my “I’m on the guest list” thing in front of poorly dressed bimbos.

  49. Way to honor the band! And not lose your cool (although the chick desperately deserved to be gone off on it sounds like)
    And you are making excellent time with your knitting. And those mittens are still as gorgeous as the first time I saw them! Great work Steph!

  50. Oh dear. My sympathies! I know what water problems are like. We went away for the weekend, and a toilet tank upstairs cracked. This meant that we came home to a flooded upstairs AND downstairs, since it seeps through the ceiling.
    And that was one MASSIVE cold front, wasn’t it? The temperature up here in the Northern part of our province was -34, with a -42 windchill. For two days! Thankfully it warmed up today to -20 so we went out sliding (or toboganning, if you prefer).

  51. There I was, rejoicing in your knitting productivity and thinking “Great, that should relieve some of the stress,” but then there was Foreshadowing. And sure enough, Bad Things had happened. So heart-felt Woots! of congratulation accompanied by equally heart-felt condolences. I think a good strong snort of screech is definitely called for.
    Meanwhile, today, in our basement, we found a shed snake skin, somewhat troubling since we don’t know where the originating snake is but he’s gotta be inside somewhere since there’s 5 in. of snow on the ground outside and the temps are dropping like a rock. Oh well. I’m sure either the dogs or the cats will find an Exciting New Toy at some point but hopefully not before said new toy scarfs down a few mice.

  52. A Skydiggers concert WITH Gord Downie SINGING a Gordon Lightfoot song?! I fear I am too jealous about this to be a good person. What song was it? If it was the Wreck of the EF or Sundown I’m going to have to have a small hissy fit.

  53. I’m truly in awe of the fact that you made time to write a post today after the whole damp basement ordeal. I hope you win a BoB award!

  54. I Am literally cheering for your knitting- absolutely amazing! Incredible! How on earth do you do it!?!?! But oh my goodness- I’m so sorry about your basement- what a nightmare- I hope this is fixed and toasty warm soon. Saying a prayer for Mr. Washie and the doors to your basement…

  55. Wow. just Wow.
    And you bartend, too. I am intending to have Tom and Jerry batter at the house this year. A happy warm memory from my childhood in the 50’s. My children are old enough to enjoy the booze during cold weather. I’ve been known to knit in church… not during “regular” services, but during concerts and annual meetings. If people don’t like it, they should say so directly rather than pretend they’re looking out for somebody else. Hmmph.

  56. Oh, Harlot, so sorry about your pipes!
    But, I now think I have a solution. The fact you can knit so much sock (with WORDS on them, mind you) in only 2 hours does prove you can warp space and time.
    SO: You must knit fast enough to make time go backwards, and maybe you can stop the pipe burst. Like when Superman turned time backward when flying around the sun, that kind of thing…

  57. Damn, girl, you can crank out the knitting! Beautiful stuff, all. Have you received the handles yet?? I hope so…

  58. I’m so sorry about the basement. As much as I symphathize with your predicament, all I can’t think is. . if I don’t find the pattern for that Sophie bag I may stop breathing.

  59. I am so jealous that you got to see Gord Downie perform a Lightfoot song with the Skydiggers!!!
    The socks are beautiful and I’m amazed at your fast progress. You leave me in awe.
    GL with your pipes and the basement.

  60. Steph, I am in awe of all of the knitting that you get done!!! I wish that I could get that much kntting finished, but I get such pain in my wrist and arm when I push too hard. My hat is off to you! You are amazing!

  61. Oh my god, that’s my biggest (New Orleans) nightmare! I’m so afraid these uninsulated pipes will freeze and explode that I wake up several times each night to check ’em. My sympathies. And yet, your knitting speed, grace and productivity is one of my biggest aspirations. Hmmmm.
    Happy Holidays!!

  62. …do you think it’s rude to knit…
    Your reply was subtle perfection, Stephanie. Your knitting skills are truly a gift from somewhere – aliens? When you knit, do you hold the right needle ON TOP of your hand, like my friend AnneMarie? (She’s an irish gal…learned to knit in school there, and I thought, you know, the whole English influence thing might be in common with you two) We were knitting together at our girls mini Christmas recital and I’ve noticed that she knits at warp speed. I tried it her way and think it will work, with my shorter needles, but am currently working on horrible long 2s and it does NOT work with them. Well, it would if my arms were longer or my boobs were flatter, perhaps. As it is…I knit plenty fast the regular way, I guess. Have finished one scarf, have 1/2 repeat of the brutal beaded scarf to go, and STAYED UP ALL NIGHT the other night to make a schnerenschitte angel, just because. Seven hours, start to finish. See, you aren’t the only crazy one. I only have one more scarf and 5 more angels to do before Christmas. I just keep reminding myself of the pajama martini party my friends are throwing on New Years Eve…I can make it til then. I can! At least you can knit while waiting for the plumber…and no water means no laundry – that’s gotta be worth a pair of socks in the meantime!

  63. I am sending good vibes in your direction. I hope that the basement dries out, your ‘lost time’ magically reappears, and the elusive urban plumber appears at your door, on time, with all his/her tools and repairs the pipe in record time AND gives you a Christmas discount.
    Keep on truckin’

  64. Stephanie — I was so excited to watch your miracels unfold, and then suddenly my feet got so cold. . . are you thawed yet? You know, most summers I make it up to Rochester, NY. There’s a ferry now to Toronto. I may have to come over just to watch you knit, because my imagination is blocked. Are those 10- or 14-inch needles that make you go so fast?
    And, for all you looking for the sophie bag, remember, google is your friend — check out this link:
    Elizabeth in southeastern PA, where the wind chill yesterday was -20 (even in Fahrenheit, that’s unusual way down here) and I’ve given up on knitting that had been intended for Christmas 2004

  65. Some. People.
    do not recognize a first class dispensation when it bites them in the backside.
    NO ONE could expect everything to be done on The Day now. I realize that The Harlot will manifest herself, (kind of like Hunk-Ra taking over Boopsie) and that they will be, but they now don’t HAVE to be. People you’re not seeing until Boxing Day, for example, can move to the back of the line. Lene, are you revising The Schedule?
    (Et ego in flooded basement vixit. My fifteenth least favorite part was when people simply refused to believe I didn’t have a floor drain. “You must.” Um. Guys? It’s not just my opinion — the water agrees.)
    And it made for a wonderful post — which, she observed ruthlessly, is what matters.

  66. (In my best Homer Simpson voice) mmmmmm…Gord Downie.
    What Lightfoot song did he sing? This is important to those of us (OK me) with serious fantasies about living somewhere snowy (I live in Arizona where we have no snow and I miss it) with someone singing Lightfoot songs to me. Preferably Lightfoot himself but I’m not that delusional.
    I think a digital video of you knitting would be a swell idea. Webcam wouldn’t work since we wouldn’t be able to see your actual knit-speed. My husband gave me a fancy digital camera for Christmas (don’t know how it works cause he won’t let me open it til Saturday), so if you want I’ll come over after I figure it out.

  67. I feel for you and your flood. Last year my husband and I watched as a wall of water came from our upstairs neighbor’s apartment. It was one of the coldest days in Chicago…I hope everything gets back to dry for you and on schedule with the knittng!

  68. Oh Stephanie, So sorry to hear about your basement.
    You continually amaze me with your knitting and wit. I can’t believe you finished that sock in a day! You are a machine!
    I MUST thank you!!! Because of you, I am a MOTHER!!! Run to my blog! I adopted a sheep!!!! Somehow, I don’t think she’d appreciate knitted booties….

  69. If it makes you feel any better, MY curse of December 20th is being robbed (burglarized? No one was hurt) twice on that date (different years). Someone could have stolen the socks.
    The socks that had me in tears of awe… god help me I want to knit those. Forget that I still have three hours worth of mitten, five hours worth of scarf, and six hours worth of sock left to knit – oh, and 4 hours of knitting time – before Christmas. I want to knit those damn poem socks. Really, my 13 year old cousin won’t mind not getting a gift because I was inspired by you…

  70. Oh, those days in the basement with the shop vac are never good ones. I’d suggest you move to a warmer climate, but I have to say I’ve had two houses with floded basements right here in sunny California. Why oh why does this kind of thing always happen when one is totaly maxed out and have absolutely no time to deal with even another tiny thing on your list?
    My thoughts are with you. Maybe next year you should consider outsourcing some of your holiday knitting projects, so that you have plenty of time to deal with unforseen household disasters. I’m sure there are lots of willing knitters who would lend a hand. You wouldn’t even need to go as far as Bangelore.

  71. I adore your writing and cried to read about your soggy basement. My basement flooded one morning years ago. If I recall, I was trying to get ready to go to church…quel desastre! However, mostly, you cheer me up with your hell-bent straight-ahead attitude! You’re a funny wonderful inspiration!

  72. I’m a few days behind on my Harlot posts, but I just had to comment. I can’t believe what happened! That wading must have been bad. Hope it’s all straightened out by now. How cold is it there??? Sakes!!

  73. Whoa, Gordon Downie? That’s it, I’m moving to Canada, just as soon as I can figure out how to import my Northern California 60-degree winter weather.

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