My one and only



is exactly how long the train ride from Ottawa to Toronto is. One half sock. It struck me, as I rode the train the 400km through the Ontario countryside, that as a knitter, I measure distance and time in knitting. The subway station is four rounds on a sock away. “As it Happens” is two inches on a sweater long, my doctor is a fast one, and usually only makes me wait three rows on a cardie front. I wonder sometimes, as I think about measuring this way…if I keep knitting this much, will I eventually give directions like this?

“Knit four, purl 2 cable 3 left, turn right. Drive for 3 inches on a sock then turn right and work a short row.”

The ride back was (despite pondering the mysteries of knitting and trying to figure out how I could standardize this system to allow for the varying speeds and gauges of knitters and yarn) a lovely quiet thing. This was the first train ride of my life (I am a woman of little experience) and I am in love with the train. The whistle, the rocking…the knitting time. It’s a romantic way to travel and beats the pants off a plane.

Have you been on a train?

Safely home, I wondered what awaited me in the house. There had only been one panicked phone call to an Ottawa hotel (concerning whether or not a certain teen daughter should be allowed to attend a certain party and how to deal with the fact that Joe’s (appropriate) refusal to allow the aforementioned teen daughter to do this had exacted a rather inappropriate noise level and heated statements about Joe’s commitment to “her life” and his attempts to ruin same). Overall, one phone call for 54 hours of absence seemed like a pretty good record, so I wondered if there was something I wasn’t being told.

Joe and the ladies met me at the train station and all of them were wearing clothes. (So far, so good). We drove home and I opened the door with trepidation. I was shocked. Shocked off my feet. I sat in stunned silence in the living room and surveyed it with alarm and horror.

It was great. It was tidy. When I could stand, I ran to the kitchen. More of the same. Clean counters, food in the fridge, leftovers that spoke to a minimum level of nutrition being met. The girls told me stories of going for walks in the park, there was no sign of a housefire that had been extinguished by the fire department moments before our home was consumed. No-one had sold all my yarn to bail anyone out of jail, the cat, hamster and new fish (Wanda) were all alive and there were no notices from the sheriff on the front door. I went upstairs and the girls had (be still my beating heart) cleaned their rooms. In short….

they do not need me.

As I sat quietly pondering this, and other matters of astonishment, and feeling decidedly romantic feelings about my charming husband (who seems to have finally taken the old adage “No man has ever been shot while doing the dishes” to heart…) Joe approached me with a cold beer extended.

“How did I do?” he asked, beaming with pride.

“Joe…good job dude. Seriously good job. I’m impressed.” I took a swig of the icy beer (Joe knows I like ’em real cold) and said nothing about this trip being two days and the next one being the real test of his fortitude. I picked up my sock and worked a round while Joe puffed out his chest and surveyed his mighty domain before he sat down beside me.


“Yeah Joe?”

“You’re going to tell the blog about this right? That I did ok?”

Who knew. Reporting to you is a behavioural tool. Who knew?

I, Stephanie, do solumnly swear that Joe is to be congratulated, and that I have nothing about his homemaking performance to complain about. He is a god, walking the earth disguised as man and I am lucky, even honoured to be knitting him socks.

Although… checked the laundry pile…and Mr. Washie and I do still have a completely monogamous relationship.

You can’t have it all.