Are you sure we are friends?

That’s what I thought when Norma gave me this yarn.


It was a profoundly confusing moment. On the one hand, here we have someone I like giving me yarn. Yarn giving is (at least in my world) a special show of affection and an excellent hint about the sort of person you are dealing with. Someone cannot be a bad person and be giving you yarn. It’s not possible, it doesn’t make any sense. When it comes to yarn related behavior I am a predictable simpleton. If you are giving me yarn, then we are friends.

On the other hand, she was giving me Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock. I love this yarn, but it drives me to distraction. Feeling the way that I do about flashing and pooling, yarn dyed in very regular intervals can drive me around the bend, leaving me a few jalapenos short of a zippy salsa, if you catch my meaning.


The trouble is that yarn dyed in regular intervals DOES things at regular intervals, and it’s a complete crap shoot about what that might be. Alison got Shazaam lightning bolts. Sheila got beautiful swoops. Me? Blotches.


I can forgive a yarn many things, but not blotches. The offending yarn was stolen out of my car stuffed in the back of the linen closet in a fit of frustration, though I have many times considered sacrificing it down by the old river under a willow tree and a full moon in an attempt to ward off future variegation insurgencies.

When Norma gave me more yarn that will not obey my will, I was perplexed. Here we have Norma doing something I love, giving me yarn in colours I adore, at the same time as she’s clearly trying to drive me berserk.

I could see what was going to happen laid out in front of me like a vision. I would have to knit the yarn, because Norma gave it to me, and she would be eager to see it knit up because it was such a generous gift and I don’t want to hurt her feelings. Then, despite all my best efforts the yarn is going to blotch or flash or do something incredibly unattractive, because I am me and I covet Lorna’s Laces and so it must vex me, and then I’m going to do something horrible that will make Norma hate me, something like complain on the blog, or, in my desperation to get out of knitting blotchy socks without hurting her feelings….. be reduced to lies about a large bird.

That’s it…a really big bird. I was sitting in the back yard, knitting on the socks (which I really loved because suddenly I was all about the blotchiness) drinking coffee and really reflecting with fondness on Norma and all she does for me, when suddenly, a shadow fell across me. Startled, I looked up and horror swept over me as I saw an enormous bird (freakishly large really) careening out of the sky with wings as wide as a trailer, eyes as red as blood and a dark evil soul that read like murder.

I ducked, instinctively covering my head with my sock holding arm to protect my eyes when it hits me…..I must save the sock yarn Norma gave me. I twisted then, arcing my yarn holding hand away from my head toward the ground and safety. As I did, the mammoth raptor snatched the back of my sweater (which really gets me mad, since it’s an aran.) and suddenly lifted me from my feet. As I was rising through the air toward the clouds and certain death, I panicked and in a terribly moment I will regret for all of my life, I did something that I will always remember with shock.

I wound the yarn, Norma’s precious special gift to me, around the birds talonous leg and lowered myself to safety, defending myself with my DPNs and my upper body strength. Which totally explained why I still have my favourite super sharp sock needles, but sadly, the blotching sock yarn is lost to me…lamentably carried away …having saved my life.

Right after I tell Norma this, Norma is absolutely going to tell her blog about it. Someone is going to be a bird expert and they are going to be all “Hey Norma…I don’t want to stir up any trouble between you and Steph, but really, for the sake of accuracy, the biggest bird in Toronto is a stupid pigeon.” Norma is going to know then that I couldn’t take the Lorna’s Laces heat and she’ll know its a lie and that will be it.

We won’t be friends anymore.

I could see all that stretched out in front of me when Norma handed me the Lorna’s Laces, and I took it…sort of choked up because it was so beautiful and it looked so innocent and it was going to ruin everything and there was nothing I could do. I brought it home and then yesterday I got to thinking that I might as well get it over with. The only thing worse than these socks ruining our friendship is having Norma bug the hell out of me for 6 months beforehand, so I dejectedly cast them on, wondering to myself how many rows it would be before the blotching would be so bad that the bird would arrive. I knit around and around…each stitch bringing me one step closer to the moment that it was sealed…feeling weepier with every round. Why me? Why had Norma done this? Was it innocent? Why couldn’t my Lorna’s laces be as beautiful as everybody elses? Why does yarn taunt me with it’s regular intervals and unattainable patterns? Why couldn’t I get swoops or stripes or…or…


Oh. Ahem. How embarrassing. Never mind.

PS. Thanks for the sock yarn Norma.