With a vengeance

Oh yeah. I knew that weird feeling would go away. You know, that feeling where I briefly consider finishing things and only having a couple of works in progress. Turns out that not only was I completely validated by the blog, but that destiny is totally on my side. ( I was particularly moved by Sock Jedi Sandi’s comments.

“A Sock Harlot are you. Deny it you cannot. Your destiny it is. Knit you must.”

As a matter of fact, I had just about decided to cast on for a pair of socks in the Feather and Fan pattern from “Socks, Socks, Socks” that Cassie used, and I was only trying to decide between two different sock yarns (A or B?)


(Cherry Tree Hill/ tropical storm)


(Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock/ Seaside)

when the doorbell rang. Now, we have not spoken much about this, because I prefer my excesses to be inferred rather than graphic, but you can imagine that over the course of the last leg of the tour I may have bought some yarn. (Let’s let the *some* be vague.) Laurie (That Laurie) met up with me on my last day of said yarn extravaganza book tour, and did the best thing that a yarn buddy can do. She mailed what wouldn’t fit in my suitcase. The doorbell was the package arriving. Since I was tired and hopped up on merino when I packed the box in a dark parking lot, it was a pleasure discovering what was inside.


This made me forget about socks. Kid Silk Haze for Birch. Two balls. Yup. Two balls. At the Stitch ‘n Bitch it turns out that Birch takes three. I’m crushed, but notice that Megan has two balls in stock so I call home to get Amanda to read me the lot numbers.

They don’t match. (Of Course they don’t match. Why would they match? Would the fates be that kind? No. The fates don’t knit. The fates are toying with me through lot numbers and a viciously bad memory that won’t let me buy correct amounts of yarn. Dumbass.)

Plan B. Buy three balls of new Kid Silk Haze from Megan, trade her my two and pay for one.

No. Megan only has two balls.

Plan C. Knit a Birch that only takes two balls.

No. Birch is a top down shawl. If I miscalculated I would run out of yarn and want to kill myself or a nearby innocent bystander.

Plan D. Knit a Birch that only takes two balls but knit it from the bottom up so that I can quit when I run out. This plan involves writing a chart for Birch and then turning the chart upside down and knitting it that way. (Sounds too simple to work doesn’t it?)


It does work, but the idea is abandoned anyway because if I’m going to knit a Kid Silk shawl then I’m not going to skimp. (Feel free to note the date and the time. I don’t often resort to swatching.) I’m going whole hog. Why feel bad about having a smaller than average Birch for the rest of your life (and end up compensating with really big needles or something…) when you just had to hunt up another ball. I bet Jill at Kaleidoscope has more, and besides….even if I have a third ball I don’t want to knit this shawl in a way that means that the rows get longer and longer. That’s begging for crushing defeat.

Plan E. Knit it the regular way, get another ball of yarn and carry on. Yup sirree. I cast on for Birch (299 stitches…but I’m not bitter) and knit two rows before it occurs to me that I’m a moron. I should totally not knit even one more stitch of this until I know I can get more.

This morning I called Jill at Kaleidoscope Yarns and cheerfully asked her to nip another wee ball out to me. Jill, just as cheerfully, told me they have no more of that dye lot.

Plan F. I’m mailing Jill back my two balls and she’s mailing me three of a new, but matching dye lot. I’m pretty fond of Jill today. Despite the fact that this plan means that I have to wait to cast on…(you know me. Instant gratification takes too long.) I will be able to knit Birch the fun, full sized way….Soon.

I’m going back to the sock plan as soon as I decide which yarn to use.

For those of you who voted yesterday for Option C: knit whatever you want but put more eligible knit-friendly bachelors on the blog…I give you Tim’s profile. (The following profile was not approved by Tim, who is so charming that he would never say he was.)

Tim is a 37 year old guitar player who has recently returned to Toronto after escaping a really great record deal in LA which threatened to leave him a hollow broken man with no soul or will to live. Luckily, he fled his rock n’ roll lifestyle and the perils of incredibly thin women and very expensive accessories and is now a desperately charming Harbour Captain with a stunning gift for literary reference and bizarre music lyrics. We know that all this makes him sound like a good catch, but caution you to seriously think over the words “guitar player” and all that they infer before this goes even one tiny step further.

76 thoughts on “With a vengeance

  1. Good choice on Birch, it’s too pretty to skimp on. I’m sure Jill will have you your yarn in a jiffy. This Tim sounds like quite a catch for some lucky lady who thinks guitar players are hot. Harbour Captain sounds hot too.

  2. Ok, did anyone else have “The Dating Game” theme music play in his/her head while reading Tim’s profile?

  3. Well, if Mary in Boston turns out not to like the “guitar player” aspect, I’ll take him.

  4. Oh, I should also say, I love all of the yarn in your post today….the Lorna’s Laces…whooo hooo!

  5. Wow, I keep hitting you right when you’ve just posted. I’m not stalking you, I swear. That’s Angie’s job.
    My point, though, is that Polly at All Tangled Up created a Birch-like shawl that is “scaleable” so to speak–Kiri. I’m sure you’ve seen it around. http://www.alltangledup.com/movabletype/my_images/my_patterns/kiri.pdf She has a little chart with approximate measurements for 1, 2, or 3 balls of Kidsilk. It’s on my to-knit list.
    I hate delayed gratification too. πŸ™‚

  6. Hey, Sweet Caroline…Mary in Boston loooooves guitar players…hee!

  7. Red Bird Knits in Toronto recently started carrying Kid Silk Haze… check with Robyn to see what she has available for your Birch dilemma.

  8. If it doesn’t work out for Mary or Caroline and the kintter-friendly Tim, let me know! πŸ™‚
    This could be a whole other blog or book or website or something: men willing to date knitters…hmmm…

  9. I am glad that you are not skimping-it is way too darned pretty to deny its full intended beauty. My vote is for A) Cherry Tree Hill. Nice and bright and “springy”. Tim’s cute, but I’m taken. His lost too. πŸ˜‰

  10. Thanks for the free plug Mamacate! hehe
    I’m sure whichever sock yarn you decide upon will turn out to be a lovely pair of socks that any Royal person would be grateful to have grace their tootsies. But personally? I want to see how that Lorna’s Laces knits up and patterns out. It sure lookes to be pretty. I’m just sayin is all.
    Hope you have a great day!

  11. Oh my, why must the guitar players act like guitar players? Because he looks like a delightful person and I’m very sure he is. Alas.
    You and I are both caught by sock-knitting. However, my excuse is that my mother sent me 7 pairs of socks that she bought for very cheap on some website (they’re very nice and soft on the inside). And I am suddenly burning with the need for retaliation. Good thing I’m starting now, they just might be done by Christmas. *sighs*

  12. Dear Stephanie- I have just finished the Kiri Shawl from All Tangled Up- because Birch is nice, but if you try to frog it- fagedaboutit!!
    Mine took 3 balls of KSH on 5MM- and it’s really big. Two balls will give you a decent size, but if you can get 3- even better.

  13. Kiri! I third the notion! In fact, I am currently working on my third–it’s a lovely pattern and leaves (pardon the pun) allows you the room to juggle yarn amounts/number of repeats as necessary.
    But whatever you knit will be fun–enjoy it.

  14. WOW – How does Tim feel about older women? Really bright cute guy….Now the yarn KSH -love that yarn. Like to really make it totally expensive and use it in combination with other extravagant yarn – Used Schaefer 50% wool 50% tussah silk to make a vest with KSH – my good friend adores the vest. Right now am making Birch with Cherry Tree Lace as the carry along….(also lets one frog if need be a little easier)….while making the item a little more substantial…but I do love it….enjoy once you get the right combo – PS the vest only needed 2 balls KSH and one skein of Schaefer….only 450 yards….just a thought make the vest and then the shawl?????

  15. Oh, If only I weren’t (very happpily married) I’d snap a harbour captain up faster than a whore’s nightie goes up or down (sorry to steal your reference. Next time post pictures so at least we know what we’re missing.

  16. Umm, why not cast on one sock in the Cherry Tree Hill yarn, and one in Lorna’s Laces?
    For the record, my sock-washing technique is to do one machine load of hand-knit socks every week. I have two kids. Somehow, this comes out to a laundry requirement of about 30 pairs of hand-knits a week (three are mine). So I bung them all in the washer together on cold/delicate, regardless of yarn composition or colour. This process has not caused any serious sock mutations yet.

  17. I’ll third (fourth? fifth?) the Kiri suggestion. Lovely pattern, and you can stop whenever you feel it’s large enough or when there just isn’t enough yarn left.
    Oh, and guitar players are dreamy. Love those artistic types.

  18. I say Nay! to Kiri. Birch is way better. if you cast it on, I’ll maybe do mine finally (yeah right – when will i have time to do that?). But yeah – seeing you do it will make me do it. Sure.
    I’m suprised to see you’ve returned to Socks Socks Socks – and Lorna Laces’ once again. Are you tempted to find the Entrelac Sock? To start another perhaps?

  19. Doesn’t ‘guitar player’ mean something like ‘charming but unable to earn a reliable living’? Or possibly incapable of getting up early in the morning?
    Both those sock yarns look great. Knit with them while you wait for your KSH. That sounds like an awfully small package though. What else was in there…

  20. Hmmmm….Guitar Player….Hmmmm. If not older women how about younger men?:)
    I would go with the Cherry HillColor is wonderfull.

  21. Go with the Cherry Tree. Remember that entrelac sock or have you completely blocked it out?
    Poor Tim, have we scared him?

  22. Did a lace stole in two balls of Kidsilk, measuring 16×74″ with some yarn leftover. It does go a long way, though my pattern was a bit more open than that one.

  23. I’ve been a lurking fan for several weeks now and felt compelled to post…
    Your friend Tim is so very handsome, i might have been lured back from “the other team” if i weren’t already attached permanently to another fellow Gemini. I’m sure he’ll find himself a lovely person with which to share his life, without any trouble at all.
    I’ve been so inspired by you and other knitters that at the end of my current short list of crochet projects, i will relearn (is that a word?) to knit. I’ve already come home with a HUGE amount of knitting supplies from Mom, only missing some circular needles, so not bad at all!
    I’ve also never been known to work with anything but the Lion Brand or Red Heart i pick up at the local super store, but i am feeling the pull (maybe it’s ‘the force’?) to branch out…any suggestions(from anyone) on my first venture out into natural fibers would be greatly appreciated. Please send to: ScatteredGemini@comcast.net
    Happy knitting!!

  24. Oh, what a hottie! If Tim ever decides to come to the states, I’ll snatch him up!

  25. Dearest Harlot,
    Now that you have been home for a few days that exciting yet seemingly mythical world of limos, excited crowds and sore book-signing fingers probably seems like a dream-world, a world that does not actually exist but seemed real at the time. I beg to differ. Your readers, or rather, fans, or…seriously…GROUPIES would be more than happy to scour their LYSs for any yarn in any dye lot that you may desire. Using your powers for good does not preclude having your many happy minions do your bidding. Next time you need some yarn, a simple mention in a post would probably get it for you.

  26. Harbour Captains probably need lots of really warm ganseys. That should be the criteria for him to choose – he can take a look at submitted patterns and decide which knitter he wants to marry. BTW, how did he get to move to Canada? Has the flurry of anguished American immigrants subsided so much that you’re taking in MUSICIANS?
    Lorna’s. I like the CTH, but the LL will be more exciting for us all.

  27. He is awfully cute though. I’m glad we talked you into the socks. The yarn choices are so great though, I’m not sure I can choose… What a dilemma with the birch, glad someone was able to help you πŸ™‚

  28. Digression:
    Having listened to and been convinced of the ultra-pure pine-scented Canadianosity of “arse” (as opposed to the wimpy, flabby, nasal American “aaaass”,)I find myself curious about the etymology, derivation and rational behind the trademark-Harlot (all rights reserved) “Dumbass.” Discuss among yourselves.

  29. Tropical storm is my absolute favorite of all the CTH colorways, so I vote for that. And all this talk of lace knitting is about to convert me from socks, too!

  30. I married a guitar player so I second the caution! Lol!
    I like the Lorna’s but that’s probably because I haven’t seen that colorway before and naturally I am intrigued. πŸ™‚

  31. CTH I actually knit a lace shawl in this colorway several years ago and it still looks fabulous and gets lots of compliments.
    So has Tim turned red yet?
    It’s starting to sound as if you could do another blog of eligible guys;-0

  32. What does it say about a mother? if she is ready to offer up her daughter to a guy, guitar player, whatever! This guy could be priceless. Ooooh starting to sound weird. Okay, back to knitting. do the Kiri, it’ll work with those 2 balls of KSH and Polly has helped all of us out there who never know why we are buying yarn for what and then never have enough. Can’t wait to see where the sock shows up next. Love your happy trails commentary….

  33. I vote for the CTH yarn because that’s what the pair I made you were out of and I think the Lorna’s won’t be as squishably soft. Save the Lorna’s for project that suits it better.

  34. I’ve already got one, but I’d take Tim too. Having moved to the land of Mormons and their extra wives, I’m really trying to win friends by quoting the “extra spouses are like flowers” speech while stumping for polygamy for women. It’s going over big here, let me tell ya.
    I can tell Ms. Norma’s color palette influenced you as well. She is SO that way.

  35. inspired by yesterday’s post i cast on a sox and knit four inches of it at work today. four inches in between six hours of call taking…not bad.
    man oh man…that birch shawl is lovely
    stop tempting me with lace and handsome quitar players (my dad was a drummer btw).
    marie in florida

  36. does Tim have a (perhaps more stabley employed) younger brother? I’m all for an older boyfriend, but I think 12 years difference might lead my parents to question a bit too much.
    I second (3rd? 4th?) the Kiri idea, but understand why you’d wait for birch. I’m finally going to dive into lace knitting (after boards!) and think I’ll start with Kiri. (however, not having yarn for such a project means I will probably change my mind…)

  37. That Tim – cute, artistic and brainy and a harbour captain, oh my!
    as for socks, the more socks the merrier – I’m with whoever it was that said you should start one in each (cherry tree hill and lorna’s laces) – might as well go whole hog after all (or would that be whole sheep)!

  38. Rams is right! Arse sounds so much better than aaaaasss. What’s up with that?
    Tim is definitely a keeper! I like guitar players.
    My brother is a commercial fisherman, so I understand all that boat/ship business.
    Does he like older women? I’m blonde (but not dumb), 5’3″, about 140 lbs., single, and I can cook! Now, how do I get to move to Canada???

  39. You didn’t have to say guitar player. I’ve got a squishy spot for guitar players (and kid silk haze). Cute, literate, single, in my age range and a guitar player. Toronto’s not so far from New York is it?

  40. I absolutely MUST find a way to work the phrase “hopped up on merino” into a conversation. That line is brilliant! *giggle*

  41. Also, on the sock yarn, I don’t think it’s A or B, I think it’s C – all of the above.
    They’re both lovely, and now I’m feeling the need to run to my LYS and hook myself up.

  42. I guess 37 might be a tad bit too old for me … and, um, oh yeah, I have a boyfriend. Nevermind.
    (The fates may not knit, but one of them spins, right?)

  43. I love a guitar player. Last night we spent several glorious hours together where we were not knitting (me) or playing guitar (him) and watching TV that will just about compensate for practice on Monday and Tuesday and a show tonight and — we’re thinking — many, many more scheduled at the last minute practices and shows and (god forbid) tours and then there’s the times he tells me at midnight he’s “done” recording and just trying to get the levels right and he’ll be up soon–
    Well, I am totally happy with my guitar player. What can I say?

  44. You see, this is why living on the other side of the world and being on a different time zone doesn’t work. By the time I read this post – obviously Tim has been well and truely snapped up.
    However, I can offer him the wonderful climate that is Australia…great weather, great beaches…bribery is everything.
    To me his biggest drawback is not that he is a guitarist – but more that his name is Tim. My ex is also a Tim. arghhh

  45. Damn, and I swore off guitar players for good after my last crushing defeat. Actually they’ve been something like a weakness like a good silk yarn or that Birch shawl (you’re gonna love it! after the first 50 rows it goes really really fast).

  46. Good call. You *so* need that third ball. Because two small balls just aren’t enough. It is impossible to have a respectably big p…..Birch without it.

  47. excuse me, I need to wipe the milk off my keyboard. “…seriously think over the words “guitar player” and all that they infer before this goes even one tiny step further.”
    Oh my god that’s funny. And so seriously true. Hee hee.
    All musicians should have a warning like that tattooed on their arse. Not that they are all bad, but what’s that beer ad say? “You have to live here to get it.”

  48. As a sock rookie (I have about 4″ on my first sock), I am still in the happy place of searching for the *perfect* sock pattern. Something simple, easy to remember and absolutely transportable. Will you possibly share the source of the pattern for the “travelling sock”? It appears to be relatively simple stockinette at the top…and *that* I can handle!
    My yarn collecting ways have already rated comments by the family, so I’m on the way there πŸ˜‰

  49. *waves a caution flag*
    I am engaged to a guitar man, and yes, what they say is true…most of it. The good news, he does not complain about the stash because he has a graveyard of guitars and amps :o)
    I can’t wait to see the new colour for Birch. Oh, and I vote for the Cherry Tree.

  50. Oh, for the day that I actually have the time to wade through your comments. How you do it, I’ll never know. Good choice on Birch, take it from me, the more KSH, the better!
    Please, if you haven’t already, cast on with the Lorna’s Laces! Aside from dying to own it myself, the entertainment value in watching you deal with possible pooling alone will make it worth getting up every morning. πŸ™‚
    BTW-I figured you were serious about the reworking of that heal. I’m not kidding when I say that my pulse slowed down when I finished. Now, getting the second sock to identical twinness? Yeah, I find myself looking through my sock yarn stash more than knitting lately…..

  51. The lorna’s laces…FOR SURE! BTW where is the rest of the haul from the book tour? Since I’m on a limited budget and live south of the Mississippi, I don’t get to many fiber extravaganzas. I must satisfy part of my yarn lust vicariously through you, Yarn Harlot, I am counting on you!

  52. i hope that extra ball of kid silk haze comes winging your way soon! i have run into the same problem, only the kidsilk haze that i have was aquired so long ago, i am not even going to try and find a ball of the same dye lot. unfortunately it will have to become something else instead.

  53. In general, guitar players are over-rated, however, occasionally you encounter one who is a true Renaissance individual. When you do, marry him/her. They make wonderful spouses. And I will confirm that they do tend to forgive the stash for the precise reason Keri stated. You’re lucky it’s only guitars & amps. DH has a bass, 3 guitars, 3 (?) amps, and a keyboard. All in our bedroom.

  54. Can Tim be in the TSF giveaway? He wouldn’t mind, would he? I’d sworn off musicians too, but a guitar player who’s also a harbor master is too good to pass up.

  55. Now, if you had said “bass player” that might be a whole nother story …

  56. I hardly dare mention this but when I made Birch I had to go into a FOURTH ball of yarn – mind you I did not swatch beforehand. Sorry to sow the seeds of discontent.
    P.S. Am I alone in thinking Tim has a look of Dennis Quaid? MMMMMMMMM!! And a guitar player too – speaking as an “older” woman, he would do nicely.

  57. Well, knock me down. I’ve just started “Birch”, too! I’ve got a bit of that kidsilk haze in Jelly (that’s the colour, no?)left over from one of the many shawls in my life. I don’t suppose the lot numbers would match? Let me know and you’re welcome to it.

  58. Hmm, I’ll be *in* Toronto in July. And 37 is only a half-year older than my husband!
    Lovely CTH yarn, must go investigate this Birch stuff.

  59. I know I’m a bit behind the pace here, but should Tim fancy a glamorous European lifestyle here in lovely London town I’m sure that could be arranged. Yum πŸ™‚

  60. Stephanie,
    What is the dyelot? I work in a yarn shop & we carry KSH. I will gladlay check if we have some to match for you. We also have a service where we will contact other shop owners to find a matching dyelot.

  61. Go for the CTH, it is a beautiful yarn and I love that color. Be sure to do the Lorna’s later though, that is a fun yarn too.

  62. I was going to suggest the Kiri also, and certainly there must be someone among your groupies who can locate the missing dye lot should you run low. That is what we are here for, dying to help our Heroine at any available opportunity. Glad you solved the missing skein problem, but don’t hesitate to post the lot number if you need more. Daryl

  63. I really, really like the Lorna’s, but knitting lace with a yarn so strikingly variegated makes me nervous. Then again, Cassie’s feather and fan pattern seems to work no matter how wild the yarn is…
    I’m so pleased you’re going to knit Birch. I have KSH in “Jelly” stashed away for this project, and it looks like you chose the very same shade. That makes me ridiculously happy. πŸ™‚

  64. Um, Harlot?
    Not the jinx anything but your MSF total has topped Willie Freaking Nelson (he’s a swell guy I’m sure he’s ok with it).
    See? You do in fact rule.
    Hey at least Tim isn’t a drummer πŸ˜‰

  65. I have to vote for the LL because I just bought some to attempt the feather & fan socks myself – I know I won’t get to them until July, and I’m eager to see a pro do them first!

  66. There’s always plan J (for my name, I know you’re technically at G): Do a rectangular birch. You can stop whenever you like and it’s plenty big. Mine took only 1.5 skeins. I have pics in my gallery if you think it’s a possibility, though I know it’s hard to miss out on that cute triangular point. I know whatever you come up with will be lovely (and probably agonizing as well!). xox

  67. I did my Birch just like the pattern in the color Majestic. It’s very simple, but I get more compliments on it than I do any of my other shawls. It’s one of my favorite wraps to carry with me in case it’s cold in a movie theater or restaurant.
    Sadly, my prince charming came along before you posted Tim’s profile. Should my honey turn out to be a frog after all, though, I might still be interested. πŸ™‚

  68. Tim’s birthday is the same as mine. So he is obviously a winning catch…
    Happy Birthday, Tim, and I’d come over there and catch you myself but I’m already married to a…
    Guitar player.
    I’ll go away quietly to knit now and contemplate my insanity…

  69. Tim’s resume’ actually made my loins ache…ACHE I tell you!
    Now all I need to know is how he feels about meeting someone interesting for coffee, and I think we may have something! (Not me, sillies, I married a singer…a SINGER of all things. Christ. The nerve…with all those perfectly decent guitar players out there, I know…my loss!)
    She is seriously funny (on par with Madame Harlot), exceptionally smart, and just another mid-thirty-something gal looking for an interesting chat with possibilities. Oh, yeah, cute too. She shops rather than knits, though, and I believe that is her only defect. She just spent a stint in Africa setting up computers in schools, so you KNOW she’s a good gal, and a Torontonian to boot. πŸ˜‰ Let me know if he’d be adventurous enough to give it a whirl.

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