A pile of dirt

I’m copping out today and not fighting for charming insight or brilliant knitting or spinning. This is largely because my big plan to show you the finished fronts of the Erle sweater have been dashed by knitter error. I got up this morning and trooped the wee sweater out to the garden for it’s photo shoot and discovered that I had artfully executed the neck hole over the armhole. Since I’m really hoping that this is not the configuration of the baby that this is intended for, I’m re-doing it.

In the meantime I shall distract you from my sucky knitting with mirth and questions from the comments yesterday.

Luna wrote:

Am I the only one who counted 12 skeins in the photo? Don’t count yourself short! and, I have to add: if you missed that, might it make your total amount of yarn “mileage” different?

No, no you weren’t the only one who noticed that. Many, many of you wrote to tell me I had miscounted. (I shall not digress into commentary on what it implies that you all are wasting knitting time on skein counting accuracy and simply be glad that you whack of obsessive compulsive fibre manics are on my side.) It was an intellectual error. Two of the skeins, these two…


are half sized. Therefore, even though there are technically 12 skeins, they really only add up to 11. Pity though. My heart soared for a moment. (Actually, it didn’t. When I got to thinking about it, I would have been really pissed if the last great ply-fest resulted in a total amount of yarn that was only one skein short of a sweater.)

Katy wrote:

You know, the whole gansey thing would be much simpler if you had just fallen in love with a smaller man.

I’m just saying.

This advice falls right in there with what my mother always said about spouse selection. “Honey, it’s just as easy to love a rich man as a poor one.” It’s something a knitter should take into consideration when deciding a spouse is attractive. Single knitters take note, no matter what gossip you hear about the advantages of a mate with large hands or feet (and you all know what I mean) don’t forget that you will at some point in your relationship be called upon to express your love in wool. It can’t be worth it.

S.Kate wrote:

Um. Small detail, but, have you designed the gansey yet?

No. I was going to start knitting anyway. (Insert hysterical laughter/ foreboding music here) What can go wrong?

Stephanie wrote:

Wonderful raised bed.

Why thank you. Unfortunately for me, I have committed the raised bed equivalent of putting the neck over the armhole. The old raised beds were made out of 2X4’s and plywood. (Total width of bed wall – 4 inches.) I have replaced them with very sturdy beds made out of stacked 4X4’s. (Total width of bed wall – 8 inches.) The new beds cover the same area as the old ones, but our critical planning error was discovered when Ian was done putting the soil that came out of the old beds back into the new ones.


They do not have the same volume. By several cubic metres actually. Having already distributed as much of it as I can on my own property, I have spent the last two days stalking around the neighbourhood with shovelfuls of soil offering to fill in low spots in other peoples gardens. Lucky for me, my neighbours already think I’m a complete lunatic (- it may have been photographing yarn in the bushes almost everyday for the last two years that did it.) and nobody has said a word to me except for “No thank you.” (I think they are whispering about me.) I’m contemplating distributing it under cover of darkness or stuffing it down the sewer grate one handful per day for the next year. I’m open to other ideas.

191 thoughts on “A pile of dirt

  1. I photograph most of my knitting in the mornings, usually while I’m still wearing my bathrobe. So far none of my neighbors have asked me what I’m doing out in front of the house taking pictures of wooly things on the stoop, but it’s only a matter of time.

  2. Oh, c’mon now…Joe is totally worth it. Any other man (exluding my father because I’ve already promised him his sweater) might not be, but Joe? Totally.

  3. Dirty ideas… hmmmm. Well, you could fill pots with it and plant cotton or flax to give to all of your fiber-y friends. Or maybe plant zuchini to give to your enemies?

  4. I vote for distributing the dirt at night. You could put it in little piles in front yards so it appears as if a very busy rodent has been attacking the neighborhood lawns- all except yours.

  5. For starters, wait until the dirt settles in your raised beds, as it will do. Then you can add some of the “extra” to the beds and not feel silly for having gotten rid of all of it.
    Potted plants — get some containers and throw the dirt in them with some herb seeds. It’s easier to give away potted herbs (with dirt) than just dirt…if you decide later to give them away. You can put these potted plants on your front porch.
    I wish I were your neighbor. I need all the dirt I can get since I never seem to have enough for the plants I’ve got.

  6. Knit little sachets. Combine a few lavender buds with dirt. Cram fistfuls of dirt into lovely knit sachets. Give to unsuspecting neighbours as gifts. Laugh maniacally.
    (Yes, it will be time-consuming. But poetic.)

  7. Perhaps it was the Shawshank Redemption where he got rid of the dirt from his tunneling….in the commonyard, it trickled out of his pant legs. Does anybody else remember that? So walk to the park (this will take many many trips from the looks of that dirt pile you have there) and distribute the dirt….you asked for ideas…more raised flower beds elsewhere in your yard? Good luck.

  8. If I had only been knitting when I met my husband I would have known better.. I am doomed..
    doomed doomed!!
    he has spent the good part of the last week hauling dirt to even out part of our yard that has been washed out.. so just box the rest up and send it down!

  9. Where I come from people pay good money for “clean fill”. I’ll bet you could sell the dirt and then buy yarn. Just saying.

  10. It was The Great Escape that trickled sand out of the pant legs. I think you should create a berm. Perhaps in the front yard? I can’t imagine serious gardeners turning down earth. I wouldn’t, but trekking your earth all the way here (Stouffville) is likely out of the question. I’m sorry about the sweater – how’s the mom-to-be doing – knowing she’ll have to wait a bit longer?

  11. I saw this prison movie one time. . . the prisoners were digging a tunnel, and they’d hide the dirt in their pants (I have no idea how) and they’d go for walks, leaving little trails of dirt behind them, but nobody noticed, because it was the same as the dirt they were walking in (or was it because it was a movie???) Anyway, walks – lots of loooooong walks through the neighborhood – they’ll never know what happened! πŸ˜€

  12. I think you could take more 2x4s and create a semi-circular raised bed that would attach to the one just made and the hexagonal (??) one in the upper right of the photo. I think that would use all the dirt you have left over.
    Or . . . another, stepped down and narrower raised bed just in front of the one just made — have this one go all the way to the hex-bed. That should also be about the right volumne. Just tell people you really planned it that way from the beginning. πŸ™‚

  13. If you’d married me, you’d need to spin approximately 1,000 yards of DK weight for a pullover with long sleeves.
    Of course, then you’d also have a gay husband, who would probably be really super fussy about the yarn and the color and the shaping and whatnot and turn it into a drama.
    So on the whole, it seems that where men are concerned There’s Always Something.

  14. A lot of people round here would call that a “burm” as is, plant ornamental grasses and trees in it, and cover it with mulch. Similar to calling a neck over an armhole a “design feature”, I think.

  15. “Large Men” Hmmmmm. . .My husband has size 14 feet and it is true what they say, “It’s stinking diff to get a man with big feet any good looking shoes.” I’m considering socks just so that he can have something spiff on his piggies. We have excess dirt at out house too. I was knitting on the front step the other evening when my husband asked if I was going to just watch or help. I told him I would be happy to “supervise.”—-He said nothing more. Don’t dispair the Erle. It will be finished and it will be as darling as all the other stuff you’ve shown us. (mentally wishing you to Wisconsin)

  16. hmmmmm Plant cotton… one can always use herb garden… call your city? ours accepts extra dirt to fill in places where they have messed up yards….. just an idea…..
    It is nice to know that I’m not alone when I end up with a really unique way of knitting things….(not mentioning the fact that the sweater ended up w/ 3 armholes & 1 neck… don’t even ask….)

  17. I’m mildly chagrined to report that the large hand/foot thing is not always correct. And that the size of the person you marry may or may not correspond to the size of that same person 10 years later. Just sayin’.

  18. Too bad your girls aren’t tots anymore. Maybe Hank knows what to do with your dirt pile — build tunnels & roads & play in it until it magically disappears (or all gets tracked into the house.)

  19. The movie is The Great Escape with Steve McQueen. Perfect way to get rid of the dirt. No one leaves the house without a pocketful (or sockful)of dirt to let trickle out along the way. Was there any kind of hidden access left under the new porch? You could always shovel some into hiding under there…

  20. Too bad that hole under the bay window is porched over.
    Container plantings. Half barrels, clay pots, window boxes. The new front steps are wide enough to accomodate a few cascading planter boxes that could double as seating. Just some ideas.
    I could *so* use that soil, but for the small matter of its location…
    Lovely raised beds. Ian done good.

  21. Ship it to me in MA! My husabnd went crazy last summer digging out CINDER BLOCKS he found in our front yarn. The cinder blocks are gone, but sadly, the huge holes he created are not.

  22. Sure. Now you tell me. After I’ve been with my 6’3″ boyfriend for three and a half years. I don’t think he would take kindly to “We need to start seeing other people. Specifically, I need to start seeing shorter men with smaller feet” at this point.
    Put up a sign that says “Free fill”? That seems to work for people who have excess dirt around my mom’s house.

  23. If I had been a knitter before I met my husband (6’4 and built like a linebacker) I might have given it a second thought. He keeps asking for a sweater, I keep making up reasons I can’t. The old it’s bad luck to knit for a man you’re not married to only lasted so long, he started asking about his sweater on the honeymoon. It’s been two years since then and he is getting antsy!

  24. Excess dirt? Down the pants and across the neighbors’ yards a la “great escape,” of course! πŸ™‚

  25. Stephanie, that is too funny. You know you blew your chances of being able to anonymously distribute the dirt under the cover of night now that you’ve asked all your neighbors if they want it. Sorry.
    And I may be nuts, but I think you are right on with your idea to just start knitting Joe’s gansey. Just do it, get ‘r done, and all that jazz.

  26. For a moment, I thought earnestly “large hands and feet”? What DOES she mean? Ha, ha. Silly lesbians, always missing the dick innuendo. Of course, as it happens my lady friend has such large feet that I fear I may do myself a harm knitting her socks. If only I’d listened to your keen advice!

  27. Next time you are at the garden store, post a little sign that says “Free Dirt- U Haul” with your phone number.
    Or post it in the local paper/craigslist (www.craigslist.org)

  28. I seem to be knitting more baby gifts these days. What would you recommend as a baby book(s) for quick gift knits? I printed your pattern from Knitty and also plan to knit a baby surprise sweater, and then????
    Looking forward to the gansey knitting.
    I’ve noticed with DH that as he gets older he seems to be getting broader thru the shoulders and longer arms, or maybe it’s the shoulders being broader that makes the arms seem longer. I dunno. So far I have knit him a sweater that was way big, and one with a strangly neck out of horrible yarn (these were back in the 70s) and now plan to take on the challenge again. A gansey sounds nice……

  29. Extra dirt? Well, gee gosh golly ma’m, sounds like an excellent reason to build another planter!

  30. Right up there with selecting smallish mates so it’s not overly tedious to knit for them . . . we all warned my little (literally) sister against breeding with her wonderful fellah, who also has a ginormous head. He comes from a family of people with giant heads, and she comes from a family that produces twins. On the day of his birth, my nephew’s head was a few inches larger in circumference than mine is as as a full-grown adult. My twin neices’ heads, we are all happy to say, seem to be sized like their Mom’s.

  31. Okay, Stephanie, you asked for it:
    1. How about a trundle flower bed under your raised bed?
    2. How about more raised beds, also known as hanging baskets?
    3. Wait for the next downpour and dump all the dirt in the gutter out front.
    4. Divide the dirt into 4 equal piles, push each pile into a nice sloped triangle in each corner of your garden to round the corners, plant with grass seed, and enjoy your improved Feng Shui. Then check on eBay for a miniature lawn mower.
    5. Consider the possibility that your dirt may be a good dye stuff. At least whatever you dyed wouldn’t ever show dirt again.
    6. Build up the sides of your new raised beds until they will hold the dirt.
    7. Ignore the dirt until your daughters are out of the nest. During this time, no only will your daughters grow in ways you do not expect, but so will the dirt. All are likely to sprout much beauty, and some weeds.

  32. Oh no no. You don’t evaluate the size of the man before committing. You have to question them at length about their feelings toward knitted goods. I learned pretty early on that mine thinks sweaters make him look fat, hand-knit socks are too thick, mittens are for women and he’s too hardcore a Newfoundlander to submit to a hat or scarf in winter. I’m home free with this guy! More knitting for me! Mwah, ha, ha!

  33. I missed your blog yesterday ( been sick ) and I just have to say hooray! for you on ALL that spun yarn! Just keep going, now that you can tanatlize yourself with the planning of the sweater. By the way, I got a charge out of seeing the Mother of the twins tummy. Isn’t it amazing what women can do?

  34. LOL! I’ve just realized the advantage of knitting slow… I wouldn’t get very far before noticing such a “design feature” as the mis-placement of the neck. Makes me feel better about being a bit slow. =)

  35. All this talk of dispersing dirt in the middle of night has me thinking about the movie “Fun with Dick and Jane” when he took all of the grass from the neighbors in the middle of the night.

  36. I need the dirt up in Aurora – however, no car + distance = no chance of getting it…
    Luckily my husband is not a huge sweater wearer, although he is dropping the dreaded “I like cotton sweaters” hints. Ack! It’s bad enough that everytime he tries on the socks in progress, just when I think I can start the heel, he says “maybe a little longer – I hate them too tight”. Sigh.

  37. I agree you’ll want to keep some of that dirt for when the rest settles–some of that is genuinely displaced, but the rest is just reflecting the newly loosened status of the dirt.
    Of course, loose soil=happy plants, so don’t go patting it down just to make the dirt fit.

  38. i could use some of that dirt, and another crazy ‘wool in the trees’lady in my neighbourhood….
    don’t waste that dirt. put it in some pots and use it!!!!!
    i think the dye lot idea is good too, you could always have dirty socks….

  39. put small amount in with your garbage at every pickup.. or with yard waste. that outta get rid of most of it..
    or simply pile it in one big heap, put some sod on it and call it a hill. everyone wants one of those in their backyard πŸ˜‰

  40. Interesting that you mention spouse selection… on the radio this morning, the book “Mathematics and Sex” (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1741141591/102-5843896-1726505?v=glance&n=283155). FYI, they said that mathematically, you date a dozen guys (presumably of all sizes) before Mr. Right comes along. (I may have jumped the gun, personally, but so far so good.) I just wonder if reading “Mathematics and Sex” would shed any light on “mathematics and knitting.”

  41. If you stuff the dirt down the storm sewer, you’ll get to see the sewer sucker truck. It’s big, like the size of a dump trunk, and it has a vacuume hose big enough to suck up a dog. They use them in Pittsburgh to clean stuff out of sewers. Terrible, scary, horrifying stuff. And also some rather interesting rocks that I don’t have the courage to pick up and examine.
    Just don’t let them catch you doing it! And if the sewer sucker truck does come, could you post some photos? Those things are just spiffy. I bet you could get them to hold a sock for you, though you might want to give the guys tongs to do it with.

  42. Here’s what I did with my extra gravel from self home improvement project:
    Put in trash barrel with wheels (so I could move it after I filled it!)and use it for icy sidewalks during the winter….oh yeah, it only snowed twice this past winter–I STILL have trash can of useless dirt and what didn’t fit in the trash bin is also still in my driveway. Plan B is to create another home improvement project to dump the excess dirt into and cover it with crushed stone, instant patio….it never ends.
    Erle isn’t going to get into a car wreck like Grenyn did is it?

  43. Plan for extra dirt:
    Option 1: using same materials used to build raised bed, build one or several movable planters. Put dirt in planters, place planters in areas that need planters: stoop, deck, hole in fence, weird stain on siding of house…
    Option 2: same as option 1 but purchase planters at gardening outlet and save self the trouble of building lopsided, uneven planters that have a distressing tendency to roll down hills.
    Not that I’d know anything about that.
    Suggestion: place planters where you want them first, then fill them up with dirt (transport dirt in ice cream pails if need be). A large planter full of lots of dirt is a royal pain to move and you’ll get awfully sick of explaining to folks why you have a planter in the middle of your yard.
    Not that I’d know anything about that either.

  44. Try sculpting with it.
    Mud pies for Hank.
    Make another, smaller raised bed.
    Start and earthworm farm.
    Advertise it on Craigslist. Someone wants it.

  45. You should make “draft dodgers” for your doorways; you live in an old house, right? You want to win the Who Will Turn on the Heat Last battle, right? Well, a few well-placed dirt-stuffed tubes around doors and windows should definitely add some insulation. Wait–you could patent this idea and make some extra money…selling the things until you run out of dirt!
    Just a thought…

  46. Being a knitter and being in a relationship can be problematic no matter what – your significant other will either be A)small enough to easily knit for but unable to appreciate the wonder that is knitting and spend the entire time you’re together trying to curb the amount of time/money/love you spend doing it or B)adore your fibre-arts talents but be part giant and spend the entire time you’re together asking when they’re going to be receiving one of your lovely hand-knit items.
    Is it wrong to wish for somebody really rich and emotionally detached who has a home with lots of potential yarn storage?

  47. The new bed will settle some, so you will probably need more to top it off, and use the leftovers for some pots or another raised bed. But don’t put it down the storm drain…you might block the drain, then your street will flood, and your yarn stash might get wet!

  48. When I first moved to Seattle, my parents didn’t believe that the molehills in my yard could possibly be created by an animal (we didn’t have molehills like that in NC). They were quite sure one of the neighbors had come by in the night and left a pile of dirt…I have always stuck to the mole theory, but now I kind of wonder…

  49. Maybe Joe needs a few plants at work? Or you could send some potted plants to school with your kids to give to their teachers. Or you could start a new patio project and offer to pay them in dirt! πŸ™‚

  50. You know, if you turn it into a dirt sculpture in your front yard then the neighbors may get so desperate to make the “art” disappear that they’ll beg for you to gift them with dirt. Just a thought.

  51. “I’m open to other ideas.”
    So whatcha do is you get some PJ pants, and cut the legs off. You attach the legs together with a long cord, to hang around your neck, under your clothes. You close the bottom ends of the tubes with a string-and-pin system, then run the strings into your pockets. Fill the tubes with the dirt, then pull on the strings as you walk. The dirt will be released and the guards neighbours will never be wiser.
    Failing that, you dig three tunnels, and call them Tom, Dick, and Harry…

  52. Window boxes? For you and all your neighbors? Install window boxes on all of the neighboring houses inhabited by at least two people while no one is home. Each will assume another inhabitant did it, they will feel morally obligated to plant colorful flowers in the boxes, and you will have made the world a brighter place while dishing out dirt. Who else can do that, except maybe Jon Stewart?

  53. I’m dating someone who’s skinnier than me! Knitting for him is faster, it’s definitely the way to go πŸ™‚

  54. Maybe you could get a couple of those big oak wine barrels. They hold alot of dirt.
    Or you could form it into the shape of a grave and put a headstone on it……

  55. About the gansey…knit a vest. And the dirt…offer it for sell, seriously people will buy fill dirt. Put up a sign at your local farm store, give it away just to get it moved. Trust me people want dirt. diana

  56. If you have any builder/constructor/contractor-type friends, you might tell them that you have some clean fill for them. I never knew about this until I moved up to the Northeast, but apparently builders will trade dirt with each other when one makes a hole but doesn’t have a use for the resulting pile of dirt and the other needs to make a pile of dirt but doesn’t want to make a hole. Apparently they can’t just dump the dirt wherever they please, so it’s a nice solution to that problem. However, you might not have enough dirt in the pile for them to be interested. Worth a shot, though.

  57. I look forward to your gansey progress because I also have a large man for whom I’d like to knit such a thing. I’ve actually made a gansey for myself from a Penny Stracher pattern, but I’d like to have a pattern for his gansey in had before I start, and that one isn’t big enough.

  58. about the dirt. Do you have enough room to put in a center box with benches so you can knit outside? you could plant a dye garden or something pretty!

  59. Invite a bunch of little boys over for “play” time. I’m sure at least half the pile will go home with, I mean, on them.
    *Okay–I know this is a sexist suggestion, but no matter how many Tonka trucks I bought my girls, they still neglected them for Big Boob Barbie. Dirt was just icky to them. So sue me.

  60. We’re going up to the local Wally World tomorrow and buying dirt to put in our new raised veggie bed in the back yard. We really need to perfect that teleportation thing, Steph, as that looks like a good start for my 96 cubic foot that I have to *buy* dirt for.

  61. Having had Dear (also very large)Husband build me four raised beds last year for the vegetable garden I wanted to put in, I’m always open to receiving more dirt … but California is a long way from your neck of the woods! How about Gansey-loving husband building you one freestanding raised bed to grow herbs or flowers in and even a small raised table to photo more garments. You could even color-coordinate your chosen flowers to match various knitting projects. (If its any comfort, I get people talking in my neighborhood too about my predilection for photo-ing my quilts on the side of the house, the sweaters on the various hedges, and singing grand opera to all my projects. Can’t understand why they look at me strangly. And sometimes run away …

  62. I don’t feel so bad now about the armhole on the buttonband of the cotton baby cardigan I’m finishing up. Maybe we could start knitting for “slightly irregular” babies with misplaced appendages? Heck, there’s a cause for everything else.

  63. As an educator, I know the true value of getting kids outdoors and letting them get their hands dirty…learn about the magic of growing a little garden. So, when the twins are born and you are still frogging the Erle sweater, bag up some dirt for babies first garden!

  64. I like the Shawshank Redemption/Great Escape idea (goes more with the latter as it’s dirt, SR was wall materials), but Sarah had a great idea making molehills.. you could use the naughty yarn to make little knitted moles and your neighbors would be really perplexed..

  65. I didn’t count how many other comments said that they would love to have you visit them, show you their LYS, and accept much needed soil for their gardens along with copius amounts of Tim Horton’s tins of coffee. We could even have a contest for farthest distance travelled.
    Signed running out of Timmy’s in Pennsylvania!

  66. You could always take up container gardening… Grow your own herbs, that kind of thing…

  67. Unfortunately, I don’t have a yard. I do, however, have a big hole in my yarn pile from my stash de-enhancement project…
    Stephanie, please come to Los Angeles! There are some really great yarn shops and people who would love to show you about. As an added enticement I will make sure your hair looks perfect before every photo (I work in film/tv). I’ll even last look the sock so it doesn’t feel left out.

  68. I’m with the planter contingent. And then fill them with spinnables (flax? Is there such a thing as hardy cotton?) and dyestuff (Indigo? Tansy?)
    Oh, drat! I’ve just given myself ideas — like I need more of those!

  69. > What would you recommend as a baby book(s) for quick gift knits? I printed your pattern from Knitty and also plan to knit a baby surprise sweater, and then????
    I’m loving the baby wrap cardigan in “Mason-Dixon Knitting” that I’m working on right now.
    Stephanie, as a new reader, I’m enjoying the blog a lot and am envious that you’ve got that much gardening done, especially after all the rain. This weekend, honestly, I’m going to get some stuff in the ground.

  70. Ah, but there is no choice when the man who loves you dearly and wants your love for him expressed in wool is your father. So sayeth the girl who just knit her father a sweater with a 52 inch chest, at 6sts/inch.
    ‘Course, I haven’t done much better with the size issue in my choice of a mate. *sigh*

  71. Ok, let’s try posting again, this time using words.
    I vote for more raised flowerbeds. Possibly in the front on either side of the sidewalk?
    Oh and I knit for a guy with 12″ feet. I feel your pain.

  72. Somehow, by some luck of the universe, my size 13-footed husband has no interest in wearing handknit socks, nor does he want any gloves or mittens aside from the greyish brown (taupe?) fleece ones purchased on a whim one day. He’s not a sweater guy, either. This leaves hats & scarves. Given he only wears black and grey and blue (so boring, especially given his beautiful Latin coloring), my knitting choices are frightfully limited. Thankfully.

  73. Have you looked at the weather forecast for tonight and tomorrow? Get appropriate channels dug in the pile to divert rain induced run off under the gate and out to the alley. When the city dries out again, use what you need to top up the beds, then call me. I’ll stick a tarp in the trunk of the Dadmobile and head over with a shovel. I seriously need fill for my back yard before I attempt to lay sod.

  74. You may have to resort to a “free dirt–inquire within” sign out front.
    Either that or about 100 hanging baskets. Go for it.

  75. I don’t know if anyone else has noticed but since your comment on the Regia Canadian sock yarn, I have noticed that some of the colours have different names. On the site you linked to, Edmonton is the same colour as Mary Maxim’s New Brunswick (28), Montreal is the same as PEI (30) and Toronto is the same as Saskatchewan (32). There may be others but these were the ones I was interested in and was happy to find that Mary Maxim has Toronto colours but called by a different name. Now you can be even more bemused by the colour names.

  76. Remeber the movie Great Escape? where they have these tubes filled with dirt inside their pants and they pull out the pins holding the tubes closed they ‘kick’ the dirt into the groung? You could do that..huh…huh…couldn’t you?

  77. First? No…
    I unfortunately fell in love with a large man-tall and big feet.
    He’s still waiting for socks. I have a feeling he’ll be waiting a long time.

  78. do they have a craigs list in canada? if so that’s a great way to get rid of it, just say free topsiol you haul :]

  79. Sounds like something I would do! If you were closer I would come over to your house and cart away your dirt for my garden. Alas, Ontario and North Dakota don’t really qualify as “neighbor” status.
    Good luck though!

  80. Oh! I’ve got it! READY MADE had a grass-covered dirt couch for your backyard project a while back, a lovely green and dirt piece of living furniture! Well. All right. Maybe it called for sod. Also a couch might not mesh with the feng shui idea so much…
    Anyway, I don’t think you really have to have a design for a gansey before casting on, do you? Just some good measurements and gauge estimates.

  81. stephanie:
    as a handspinner, i have been enjoying the ongoing progress of the gansey. but, i’m a relatively recent reader of your blog, i think maybe since last christmas, and it suddenly occurs to me, um, i don’t know what a gansey is. you may need to update for the newer yarn chicks in the house.
    best of luck with it. my 6’2″ 220 husband is not getting a sweater anytime soon.

  82. –Sigh– I went and married a 6’4″ guy with extra long (read this as chimpanzee) arms. After making 2 sweaters, I swore off ALL men’s clothing other than mittens, hats and socks. The socks for him are a relatively ‘long term’ project since he’s got the size 13 boats. Even though he’s deprived of knitwear, he supports my yarn addiction and loves to make suggestions for things I should make for our five year old psuedo-granddaughter. Gotta love him.

  83. Your dirt redistribution plan is similar to one my neighbor has. There are certain times of the year when she fills my car with zucchini if I haven’t remembered to lock it. Try putting dirt in the automobiles of others.

  84. In a mildly sulky moment, I teased my husband by saying, “I can’t believe you don’t want me to knit you socks. I’m hurt.” He replied, “I’m saving you. What if I love them so much I can never wear anything else, and you have to knit me socks for the rest of your life?”
    Good point. Thanks, babe.

  85. Oh yeah, and when you’re at work and you CAN’T knit, counting other people’s skeins is as close as you get to fibery pursuits. I suspect that’s why so many of us counted your skeins. I counted yours because I couldn’t play with mine.

  86. Oh, and I forgot to mention that B is 6’7″ tall, and while I have yarn set aside to make him a sweater I haven’t been able to stockpile enough liquid courage to get started.

  87. Open up the hole under the bay window and shove the dirt in there πŸ˜‰ Just saying.
    My sympathies about the neck hole. I think the boy twin will start crowning first as you are furiously sewing the last button in place.

  88. When I commented the first time, I swear there weren’t any comments up yet.
    Rather scary how much alike we all think…
    I’m almost having second thoughts about my bf now. He’s 6’1, 200 lbs with size 13 feet.
    It gets worse though – his oldest son is 5’11 and 195 lbs. And he’s ONLY 12!

  89. I vote for bag it and sell it. People will buy things that you can’t *give* away!

  90. My sympathy on the neckline thing – we won’t dwell on it.
    The neighbours – go about your business. They will talk about you no matter what and if you don’t give them fodder for the grist they will make something up. Better they talk about you in the context of actualities.

  91. The idea of a green couch has promise. There’s an old tradition of making a “Green seat”. A small (2feet by 1.5 feet ,oops! 60 cm by 40 cm on the top and about 2 feet darn! 60 cm high) raised bed. Plant with camomile and sit on it in the sun and enjoy the full sensual experience while knitting!
    As for the size of the mate: I married a guy 3 inches shorter than I and then we had two sons. They take after my family. Elder Son is 6’5″ and wears size 14 shoe, The Baby is 6’1″ and wears size 12, so far. Just knit for those you love.

  92. Your point about mate selection is well taken. My boyfriend is a pretty slim fellow and has about the same chest circumference as I do. Not bad, right? Except he has ridiculously long, ape-like arms. Tailors have told him they have never seen arms as long as his. Imagining the sleeves he would need gives me the shivers.
    Thankfully, of his own volition, he asked me to make him a vest recently. No sleeves!

  93. It’s really quite comforting to know that there is at least one man on the planet who understands that with men there is ALWAYS something (that Franklin is one smart cookie). As for the dirt – I’m voting for pots (which will mean less dirt to sneak into the neighbors’ yards at midnight).

  94. I-scrolled-through-all-the-comments,so-someone-else-may-have-had-the-same-idea-of-what-to-do-with-the-extra-dirt:ANNOUNCE-on-your-blog-that-you-are-offering-bags(sandwich/ziploc/size)to-be-auctioned-off-on-EBAY.The-draw(?):You-are-now-a-knitting/global/force/phenomenon(think-of-your-Knitting-Olympics).You-have-created-a-global-knitting-community-that-loves-you.”Proceeds-from-selling-Stephanie’s-backyard-dirt-will-be-donated-to-a-charity-of-her-choice.”

  95. Get the girls to roll around in it, then show them how to use Mr. Washie.
    By the time the dirt is gone, they’ll know how to do their own laundry!

  96. During the first year of our marriage I knitted my husband a cabled vest. He never wore it. I learned early on that a, he doesn’t like knitted stuff, and 2, why bother? After 30+ years, he is no longer a size I care to knit for (of course, neither am I, so I’m NOT pointing fingers). I haven’t given up on hand-knitted socks, though…
    I vote for the additional raised planters and/or the feng shui grassy triangles in the corners. The latter would probably involve less work.

  97. Maybe it’s all the talk about the size of “hands and feet” or maybe my filthy mind but….What the heck is that “phallic” object sticking out of the dirt pile?
    The raised beds look beautiful and congrats on the gansey spinning!

  98. I can’t believe you didn’t post my comment about the belly. πŸ™‚
    But in all seriousness, if I was called upon to knit my mate (which, thank god, I don’t have right now) a sweater, AND spin the yarn, I would probably have to be hauled off babbling via long-sleeved jacket and men in white to a round padded room where they take my shoelaces and won’t let me knit.
    So I salute you, oh brave one, by raising my pointy sticks to the sun and going to get myself a beer from the fridge.
    Good luck. πŸ™‚

  99. A knitters’ mudwrestling event? Charge admission? You would SO mop up. If not literally.
    Change of subject: Is it just me, or is there a rampant knitting fug afoot lately? Seems like most of my favorite bloggers have run into catastrophe or gardening or some other distraction. Me, I’m not sure what exactly my excuse is, but … what IS it? Spring, maybe?

  100. Raised beds! Does that mean there will be room for yarn storage underneath?
    I agree, we wouldn’t want it said that you are one skein short of a sweater.
    As for the dirt, if it’s anything like the dirt in our yard, perhaps you could consider pottery as another artistic outlet.

  101. You know, here in Alaska we only have unsightly yard problems for a small fraction of the year. The rest of the year that would make a great, but short, sledding hill (hey it would keep my kids entertained for all of 15 min.). Great amusement is had up here by driving around in the spring, ok, beginning of summer, and seeing just what those bumps in the neighbor’s yard REALLY are.

  102. Oh don’t worry about the dirt . Get thyself a couple of lovely urns for your front steps and put some annuals in them for the summer. Then you can sit on the steps surrounded by them and knit and laugh at the neighbours that didn’t think of it first. as for erle oh oh another little mistake to fix PRONTO. Me thinks you have too much on your platter right now to give full attention to each thing you are doing. SLOW down and smell the flowers my dear. I too have a large man and he doesn’t want socks sweaters etc as he’s always too warm. Clap ClapClap

  103. seems to me alot of us knitters have mates over 6′ tall with long arms, hmmm, where do they all come from ? I vote for window boxes with herbs. have fun and think Wisconsin would be a lovly place for summer get away, the girls might like Wisconsin Dells for thier water parks and other attractions, Hope to see you Kris

  104. Well, if you added straw and water to all that dirt, couldn’t you fix that hole in the foundation?

  105. Um, hello? Not too early to be thinking about Christmas! People love getting dirt. I vote that you knit one of those hanging plant holders out of the goat yarn, fill a pot with the dirt to go inside it, and make someone’s holiday a little more dirtful.

  106. I love hearing about your errors in knitting, it keeps me ever hopeful of my own knitting glitches..and you always seem so casual about them, at least at the point of writing…thanks for the inspiration..lol..cedar

  107. I’m so glad someone else finally asked you what a gansey is–I was too embarrassed to ask myself. But I assume it is some sort of a sweater.
    Am I right??
    Definitely planter boxes for the new porch.

  108. I like the suggestion to make a sculpture from it.
    Make a sock. A half-finished sock, cabled (cables use more yarn, er, dirt, and you will need to go with texture rather than colorwork because..well, it’s Dirt), with some thick galvanized wire for dpns.
    You can then photograph all your future knitted socks with the sculpture. Should you have to knit for someone with huge feet, this will have the added bonus of making your sock-in-progress seem relatively small.

  109. The premise is: we LIKE to knit. So knitting big things is just fine. Spinning, maybe not. Keeping an extra sheep, maybe not. But the knitting should be just ‘more of your favorite hobby’ as EZ said.
    What I don’t understand is who would turn down free dirt. You people take self-sufficiency too far. xox Kay

  110. When I was married my husband had something like a 60″ chest. He asked me to knit him a sweater. He didn’t want wool though. “It’s itchy.” Whine whine whine. He wanted cotton. No way in hell I was spinning that much cotton. Shoot me. So I bought yarn. Knit him a fair isle pullover. He wanted it loose, he got loose. Nice sweater. After he got a CPAP machine for his sleep apnea he lost a bit of weight. Then the sweater was really way too loose. Eventually he asked me to make him another one. Unfortunately I chose an intarsia pattern. Oh, it was beautiful. But the longer I worked on it, the more ends there were, and I realized that when it came time to work them all in, I might have to shoot myself. I just couldn’t make myself work on it. I knit on it off and on for…two years? I got about 2/3 of the way through the front. And then I divorced him. But I’m sure it had nothing to do with the sweater. Heh.
    My partner now is really thin. Knitting a sweater for him wouldn’t take long at all. But he’s so warm-blooded he would melt in a sweater.
    Here’s the sod couch people are talking about, though I think thyme or something else you wouldn’t have to mow would be less likely to drive you insane: http://www.readymademag.com/feature_6_sodcouch.php

  111. another dirt removal method you might consider. a hole in the floor of your car’s trunk ..shovel in the dirt …as you go round the corners, a little bit will seep out, and then in a few weeks/months..it will be gone..just a thought..might be quicker than the sewer grate….the neighbors are onto you already, so they will know it was you, when their flower pots are overfilled…

  112. A berm is an artistic mound of dirt that one plants grass or flowers on. You can add contour to your landscaping! (Like an aran sweater is more interesting than plain stockinette.)

  113. As for the dirt, I say let the kids handle it.
    At night pack it into the grooves of their sneaker soles and send them off to school. They will be able to find their way home easily.
    Put up some little brown dirt bags and set up a roadside table and let them sell it. Labels saying ‘new dirt’, ‘dirt cheap’, ‘new and improved’, ‘private stock’, ‘antique’, ‘grab bag’, ‘send two little girls to music camp’, ‘buy one get 45 free’. Encourage by saying they can keep all the money they make. The bags that don’t sell can be taped to your ankles and used as exercise weights.
    Secretly put piles of it under parked cars, make up some kind of insect/earthworm story and point at it.
    Or offer it as the prize for the person that gives you the best idea of how to get rid of it.

  114. I have a hole in my backyard that needs to be filled. My darling husband removed a patio last fall and there’s still a gaping hole where the deck will eventually be. I’m sure it’ll be cheap and easy to get the dirt to Kansas. πŸ˜‰

  115. Wrong subject, wrong time. I spent my whole day yesterday digging an asparagus bed. It ended up being 20 feet long, one foot deep, and 15 inches wide. When I laid out my octopus/spider asparagus roots I was six feet short. I just plopped the six where ever they looked good! Then, it was supposed to be lovingly, place two inches of soil over the octopus/spiders, there was no loving to be had at this point, shovel that crap on there and get into the house to collapse with an ice cold beer. Quite a few people gave you the correct idea, wait for your dirt to settle and after filling in pot the crap up throw some herb seeds in and get rid of it.
    Although, remembering some of the WWII movies, I would opt for putting a small hole in your pants pocket and filling it with dirt and letting it seep out where ever you walk or ride your bike.
    Good luck, have some Screech.

  116. Free dirt? Good dirt? Can you send it down to Queen Victoria school in Parkdale? We’re building a rooftop garden and paying for bags of the stuff. Just pop it on the streetcar……

  117. I vote for pots of flowers/herbs/veggies for end of year teacher’s gifts (not that I ever remember in time). You could even get the kids to do the work/take the credit.
    Hasn’t anyone married the oddly proportioned mate? Mine has small feet and hands, but doesn’t want socks or need mittens in coastal North Carolina. Though of average height, his torso is that of a pro ball player, and I’d hate to measure his head if he had hair. I may never finish his Einstein modified to be a Pea Coat, and have thrice pulled out the only hat pattern he likes (Lewis and Clark). Resizing short rows for a large brain is giving me a headache. Meanwhile he complains that I never knit him anything. He does, however, appreciate that I tell people my toe up socks in progress are condoms for him!

  118. I wish you lived in my neighborhood. I’d take ALL that dirt and more! I need about 10-20 trucks full to adequately fill the backside of my pool, from erosion and the previous miscalculation of the pool builder. (and no, I don’t want to talk about it! :))

  119. I hear you on the neighbors/knitting photos thing! I was outside the other day thinking, “I wonder what the neighbors are thinking of me, out here taking pictures of my feet and a pair of socks hanging in a tree?”

  120. Have you seen the movie “Shawshank Redemption”? In the film, the main character is planning his escape from prison. He is digging a hole through the wall. Every day he takes a handfull of the wall bits, and as he walks in the prison yard, the bits fall out of holes in his pockets. You could do this in your neighborhood or on your travels. There could be little bits of the Harlot’s mojo all over the U.S. and Canada!
    Oh, you could also sell little bags of “Harlot soil” for charity and . . . and. . . never mind, that may be getting a little weird. Oh well, it was a thought.

  121. RE: the dirt redistribution issue
    Have you seen The Great Esacape? The POWs dig a tunnel system out of the camp and dispose of the dirt in an ingenious way (shawshank totally stole their mojo, but didn’t do it justice). I think it might work for you given your unhelpful and insensitive neighbors.

  122. i SWEAR to god, i saw this while riding my bike to the yarn store yesterday: this woman was pushing a wheelbarrow of excess dirt across the street and dumping it at the edge of the cemetary! i don’t suppose anyone complained either . . . maybe you could take her cue?
    p.s. riding one’s bike to and fro offers SUCH good blog fodder . . .

  123. bag it up and offer it for sale: If you can’t move to Canada like you want, let Canada come to you. Genuine Canadian soil. LOL
    a Gansey is a sweater. google is a search engine.

  124. I feel comforted with your misjudgements. These are the kinds of things I would do.
    Such as start knitting a baby sweater and think “Wow, the yarn looks a little loose, but I’m sure it’s okay” then you proceed a little more and you hear yourself say “This could be cuter if knit in a tighter guage – the concept is there”\ it’s nice how we console ourselves. Few rows later and you take a look and then 10 ton of bricks fall on your head and as you lay there flattend on your bag, people come over to see you and instead of checking if a) you’re alive, or b) are you hurt, they respond with c) “what the h$($ were you thinking that looks like alsolute crap (this last comment sounds more interesting when read by someone with a scottish rogue accent)
    As the FINAL SIGN has passed and jacob Marley hasn’t shown up with his chains yet, but will more than likely, you start ripping it. Frog it to the bone. Shuff said project in handy back of the closet box and pretend you never knew him. It was just a little fling and decide you need a new fresh relationship. You cast on an Alice Starmore and there’s the love you’ve been looking for. A project with real depth and sense of history. You’re matured and moved on.
    In lieu of all that.Have a piece of real dark chocolate, a drink and fondle other balls.

  125. I feel comforted with your misjudgements. These are the kinds of things I would do.
    Such as start knitting a baby sweater and think “Wow, the yarn looks a little loose, but I’m sure it’s okay” then you proceed a little more and you hear yourself say “This could be cuter if knit in a tighter guage – the concept is there”\ it’s nice how we console ourselves. Few rows later and you take a look and then 10 ton of bricks fall on your head and as you lay there flattend on your bag, people come over to see you and instead of checking if a) you’re alive, or b) are you hurt, they respond with c) “what the h$($ were you thinking that looks like alsolute crap (this last comment sounds more interesting when read by someone with a scottish rogue accent)
    As the FINAL SIGN has passed and jacob Marley hasn’t shown up with his chains yet, but will more than likely, you start ripping it. Frog it to the bone. Shuff said project in handy back of the closet box and pretend you never knew him. It was just a little fling and decide you need a new fresh relationship. You cast on an Alice Starmore and there’s the love you’ve been looking for. A project with real depth and sense of history. You’re matured and moved on.
    In lieu of all that.Have a piece of real dark chocolate, a drink and fondle other balls.

  126. What to do with the extra dirt? Get yourself a dog. Then, when the beloved brute digs holes all over your yard, you’re well fortified and can fill them back in. Man, I wish you lived closer….I could really use that dirt (my Dalmatian Franny is currently starring in her very own production of “Journey to the Center of the Earth”).

  127. As a single knitter, my main specification right now is finding a mate that’ll: 1) put up with said knitting, 2) help pay for said knitting, and 3) wear the misshapen sweater (however large or small) that I lovingly knit for him. Who cares about size, when you need someone who doesn’t think you’re crazy?

  128. I think that your neighbors are really lurkers on your blog and know that you are an international knitter superstar. Surely they understand.

  129. If I didn’t have to work tomorrow (in Colorado) I’d help you shovel into the back of my Bronco and we’d drive it over to that school that needs it. And if that school REALLY needed it, I bet there are some Dads who could be volunteered to move it….
    Thanks for letting us know about erle, I think the babies told the sock they needed a little more time, and so the word was sent to the sweater. You more more than we do that babies have their own schedules!

  130. Everyone has great ideas on the dirt; just a couple emendations:
    1) When you advertise free fill, make sure to add, “Quantities limited”. Just watch out for anxious people banging on your door at 4 a.m., worrying they haven’t beaten out the others.
    2) If you do the ‘souvenirs’ bit, make sure to take along just a few lbs. at a time on the yarn cra– er, book tour. Hand out little baggies of Yarn Harlot Dirt. The only problem with this might be the TSA. And however many states/provinces are paranoid about importing strange organisms. Skip doing this on trips to California, for instance. You might get impounded while they mutter suspiciously about possible dangerous seeds, insects, nematodes, etc. Bonus: As you get rid of baggies of dirt, the luggage room for yarn grows.
    3) That dye suggestion was really good. African mud-dyeing!
    Ok, I’m shutting up now…

  131. Well, damn. But hey, more knitting! Whee, fun! Right?
    As for the soil, well, there’s always someone who needs a little somewhere. I suggest a wider berth of investigation. Or an ad in the paper.

  132. I’d have something to say about the size of husband thing. I have the opposite problem. My husband has a 90 cm chest (about 35″). It is next to impossible to find mens sweater patterns that would fit him with out looking ridiculously big or childish. Though I will concede that once I do find a pattern, it should be a snap to make.

  133. i would be THRILLED to come over to your house for the dirt to fill Steve McQueens pants with!!!!

  134. Thank-you so much for “At Knit’s End” it is the funniest thing I have read for ages…my neighbours think I’m nuts too.

  135. Hey hon,
    we’re doing the gardening thing, too, and have an enormous raised bed out front, so we can relate. Anyhoo–hubby suggested using the dirt to topdress your grass……just sayin’. i like the “distribute to neighbors at night and make it look like rodent infestation” idea myself

  136. About all that leftover dirt…I have one word for you…POTS!! Get yourself two big, I mean GINORMOUS, flower pots and throw some flowers or tomato plants in them. And your neighbors, Ingrates!

  137. Years ago I knit overalls for a newborn that had feet on them. My husband chanced to see the new baby before I did, just before I noticed my mistake. Before I ripped it out, I asked him if he had noticed her feet. As in, did they both face forward or did I have to rip out the whole thing to turn the toes around to the front of the overalls! Alas, she was a perfectly formed (now beautiful 16 year old) young lady and I ripped!

  138. I’m lucky, my girlfriend is small, she loves my knitted jumpers, and keeps finding jumpers in the men’s section that she loves but will be way too big. So knits are (relatively) quick, and I get to try to copy something with no pattern! Woohoo!
    I’d take the dirt too. But Brighton UK is a long way to ship it, isn’t it? Definitely containers. Herbs are easy, and useful. Rosemary is really pretty too…

  139. “one skein short of a sweater”
    Is this, perhaps, the title of bookbookbookbook4? πŸ™‚
    When knitting obsession truly becomes psychosis, her friends began to say that she was “one skein short of a sweater”.

  140. I’ve been following your blog for a few weeks. I really enjoy it, but haven’t ever commented because I haven’t had anything significant to say that dozens of other people hadn’t already said. But regarding your dirt… Have you ever heard of Freecycle? It’s a system whereby people desperate to get rid of stuff, offer it to people in their neighborhood desperate to have said stuff. It’s a great system. Go to http://www.freecycle.ca and follow the links to your country (they list several), province and city. Then just post whatever you’re trying to get rid of. (unfortunately, no one here in Fredericton has ever offered yarn, other than cheap nylon stuff – but one can always hope)

  141. Do you have Freecycle.org in Canada? If so, you can list the dirt on freecycle and someone will certainly come and haul it away FOR YOU!! You won’t have to do anything at all. Its the greatest thing in the world. Plus, that’s garden dirt…no doubt about it, someone wants it. Its better than fill dirt.
    And about size…I see there’s no comfort from you for us large knitters…it takes me two or three times as long to make a sweater for myself as for virtually anyone else. Bummer man, but its all about process, right? If I can do it for MYSELF, surely you can do it for Love, sweet Love.

  142. You figure out how to get that dirt to PA, and I’ll take some! I could use it to fill in a raised bed I want to build (that hasn’t actually been built yet…or planned yet – I’m putting the cart before the horse, or the yarn before the gansey!) πŸ˜‰

  143. Extra dirt = 2nd raised bed -or- lots of pot plants -or- filling in the hole under your house?
    perhaps it can be used for some kind of natural dyeing of yarn?
    (sorry if this repeats others’ comments – I just couldn’t wade through 160 of them this morning!)

  144. Ok, speaking as a large tall woman who cannot find a big tall man anywhere around here, YIPEEEEE! for big tall men! Ok, now that that is said, can you find and ship one to me!??!
    As for the dirt problem. I would recommend putting it in a trashcan and keeping it for potting soil, covering compost, and refilling the beds as they settle (and we know they will settle, they always do!). Otherwise if you get rid of all of it, the beds will settle about 4 inches down and you will have to go buy soil (and won’t you feel like doing murder over that situation!)
    And you can also make up baggies of dirt and give then out during your travels to your adoring fans who can plant a tree in your name so a bit of Harlot and Sock will be all over the US and Canada being green and wonderful!
    Just an idea! πŸ™‚

  145. The beds look nice! I’ve thought of doing that but I guess I’m just too lazy. Plus I live in the country, we just plow up a patch of the back field and plant whatever we want back there.
    My darling hubby has big feet and ape arms, and zero interest in knitted items for himself. He is, however, completely supportive of my growing knitting obsession. He even feigns interest in my self-striping sock yarn and first ever lace project. I, of course, return the favor by oohing and aahhing over his precious motorcycle, and we’re both happy. Ain’t marriage grand? πŸ™‚
    Oy, Margaret Atwood AND Cat Bordhi??? Pretty soon you’re going to be too famous to spend time with the little people (sniff….sniff…)and we’ll be watching you walk through hotel lobbies and thinking “Oh my gosh, that’s the Yarn Harlot and I want to meet her but I just don’t have the nerve, oh man, oh I really wanta, do you think she’d be offended? No, I can’t, but oh wow, there she IS..” Sigh. At least I can whip out my copy of Knitting Rules! and say “Look! I have her signature!” and pretend to be someone important in the world of wool. For a minute. Maybe.

  146. sigh. You could have my problem: a smallish husband who Does. Not. Wear. Sweaters.

  147. You could get rid of the dirt like they did in the movie “shawshank redemption” Put a handful in your pocket, that has a hole in it, and walk around. alot. Eventually you’ll run out of dirt!
    I never took into account the size of my Husbands feet before I married him. Now, knitting a size 12 sock is…. slowly killing me. Thank god he doesn’t wear sweaters. The man is 6 foot 7 inches!

  148. Our municipal officials are evidently tougher than yours if you’d even think of disposing of your dirt in the storm sewer–ours won’t even let us divert the water from our swimming pool down the storm sewer! I suspect that they give God a hard time when it storms!

  149. My hubby is 6′ 2″, has size 13 1/2 shoes, and very broad shoulders. But to my credit, I didn’t start knitting until long after we were married. And when I started knitting, I never thought I would make anything wearable other than scarves. But then again, he has a large neck circumfrance too.
    As for the sweater, you were probably so upset with your left out button holes that you didn’t notice your mistake. It will take you no time to fix it.
    And for the dirt, take bags of it with you on your book tours. You could probably get rid of it the first day.
    Sign at book signings:
    “Buy Yarn Harlot’s new book and receive a bag of the earth she trods upon. It is sure to make your knitting more enjoyable. Sink your feet in and feel her presence. Your knitting will be forever fruitful.”

  150. Somewhere a math goddess (probably a god) is laughing her/his head off. And that same goddess/god will be laughing at me when I try to teach Algebra II in the fall to a bunch of 11th graders when their teacher has a baby.
    Beautiful raised beds, and I love the color of the spun yarn. Oh, to have the patience to do that, but hey, in Texas we don’t wear much wool. My husband still can’t wrap his head around the idea of my knitting him a pair of socks. He still can’t understand why I do it for me and our daughter. Son will have nothing to do with handwork right now, but he’s at THAT age.

  151. I could use a small shovelfull of Canadian dirt. I am concerned that it might be damaged during shipping; could you please surround it with lots of wool as packing material. Of course you would want to carefully wrap the dirt first so the lint from the wool would not contaminate it.

  152. I see a number of other people have seen those old WW2 POW movies too, but you seem to have too much rain to make that a reasonable method – people would notice the muddy pants right away. I like the trundle raised bed idea, but why not just leave the dirt where it is and build the second raised bed around it – you should leave sleeping dirt lie.

  153. Do you have a spot (or 2) somewhere else around the house? May a new flower bed where there isn’t one now? What am I saying? If you did, it would be done already, shame it’s not sand, your kitty would set for life.

  154. I think that the size of teh man is irrelevent. It is teh nature of yarn that you always have *just enough* or *not quite enough* regardless of the amount youa ctually need. If you have a shorter, smaller husband, you would have less yarn and be in the same position.
    But what do I know? My husband has the limbs of a grasshopper, I always feel I need an extra 50-100 yards more, and it doesn’t matter how much yarn I start with.

  155. Sorry about that whole sweater thing. I started a sleeve for the sixth time last night. Apparently I am not as bright as I think I am. Bummer.
    Dirt . . . under your new porch would have been good? Sorry again!

  156. My brilliant suggestion–to lift up a board on your new porch and stuff the excess dirt under it–was just written by the previous commentator! Rats!! I thought I was so brilliant. Cindy B and I have a lot in common, it turns out. I am starting a sleeve for the third time, and she is on her 6th time. Hmmmm, maybe we’re not so brilliant after all….

  157. Sounds like you have a budding (heh-heh-snort!) potting soil business…
    Either that or get yourself a hose and you have a backyard spa: mudbath followed by a brisk shower. Think of the yarn money you could make with that one!

  158. I too have love for a bigger man. Who happens to love handknitting and is bald and likes hats. why he wants a horizontally striped sweater however – is beyond me. Luckily I’m not married to him – so I can remind him of the boyfriend curse (that’s why it’s lucky – not because of other reaons).

  159. I too have love for a bigger man. Who happens to love handknitting. And is bald. And likes hats. why he wants a horizontally striped sweater however – is beyond me. Luckily I’m not married to him – so I can remind him of the boyfriend curse (that’s why it’s lucky – not because of other reaons).

  160. Y’know, I’m with a combination of Jean and Micky. Auction a bag of soil and the winner gets a complimentary skein of yarn that you have spun. Maybe the proceeds can go to Knitters without borders? It can be one of those “touched by a celebrity” things (which is why I can’t seem to knit the laceweight yarn Meg Swanson handled).

  161. I love reading you.
    I have nothing satisfactory to contribute because a) I don’t have children and can only stifle laughter because one day I will and the laughing will bite me in the butt; b) I have not yet attempted my own raised beds in my yard but will soon because I really do love homegrown tomatoes and c) I’m scared to start photographing my yarn in my front yard lest my neighbors think I’m nuts but my hydrangeas are already blooming so prettily that I think their beauty will make me overcome my fear.
    That’s all. πŸ™‚

  162. Just started dating a guy who’s 1.9m… fortunately he’s skinny. The urge I have to show him how much I I flove him by knitting him a fair isle sweater in fine gauge yarn is worrying me… I keep reminding myself of the sweater curse. We’re currently negotiating socks.

  163. oh my – how i wish you lived in montreal! i’d take all of it! we need a bunch of dirt to fix the grade in the back yard. right now it slo[ed toward the house. it should not do this. it should slope away from the house (said the inspector 4 years ago when we bought it and yes we’ve done nothing about it ever since. every time it rains i feel a heart attack coming on.)
    p/s/i till haven’t recovered from you finding a hole in your house. i have nightmares about it!

  164. Large hubbies? It does seem like many of us have got over-sized hubbies, at least according to the clothing industry. Perhaps it’s because we like challenges….knitting and large spouses.
    I could use some extra dirt; however, I am no mood to haul anymore than I have to this weekend!

  165. How far are you willing to go to get rid of your excess soil (we hortheads don’t call it “dirt”)? I have a large hole in my front yard where I hand dug (for hours and hours and hours) the roots of a tree I had cut down. The neighbors, who take much more pride in appearances of their yards than do I, would be very happy if that hole were filled in.

  166. I vote for the “trickling down the pants leg” method of soil distribution.
    Cargo pants are especially useful for this type of project.

  167. Surely, there must be some community garden/program you can donate that soil to.

  168. put the dirt in a bunch of cheep potting pots and set them out front with a for sale sign in front of them and someone will steal them

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