Got a two-four?

I’m here, I’m here. Besides making the trip to BEA and going to a part of a wedding, it was also Victoria Day weekend in Canada, so yesterday was a holiday. Victoria day, is, I admit, somewhat difficult to explain to people who do not live in this country. May 24th is the Queen’s official birthday in Canada (even though her birthday is April 21st and her name is Elizabeth.) We celebrate it on the Monday closest to May 24. (So we can have a long weekend. Canadians are a practical people.) Even though that won’t always be May 24th, we will always call it May 24th, and this is further complicated by the Canadian habit of referring to it as the May “two-four weekend” even if it is actually May 18th. (A “two-four” is a case of beer, giving you a hint about the intentions of many Canadians for this weekend.) Victoria Day (or the May two-four weekend) is also the spiritual beginning of the Canadian summer, and in many parts of Canada, coincides closely with the safe planting date. This can be confusing because many years, like this one, it certainly doesn’t seem like the beginning of summer. (Is anyone else thinking about turning their heat back on?) Traditional activities for the May-two four weekend include:

(Canadians…feel free to add to this list that we may enlighten our friends to the south.)

– Gardening. Victoria Day weekend is the biggest gardening weekend of the year. Even where grocery stores are closed for the holiday, garden centres are open.

-opening the cottage, if you have one.

-helping your buddy open the cottage (to secure future invites) if he has one.

-plugging in the beer fridge out back.

– drinking beer.

– setting off fireworks in fields, backyards or parks near your house if you live in the city, and possible bonfires if you are rural or at the cottage.

-barbecue and eat outside. (Regardless of temperature.)

-Drive from Oliphant to Wiarton in a Pinto with a boy named Shawn and a bunch of your friends, sunburned, eating Timbits, wondering if you have enough money for a poverty pack and singing “Take On Me” at the top of your lungs. (That one may just be me. Best Victoria day ever though.)

While I wasn’t bemoaning the lack of warm sunny weather (lack of a two-four too, now that I think of it.) I was all over the place. We shall do it quickly, in pictures…before I bore someone half to death.

4:00pm Friday, Flying into Dulles, the sock spots Air Force One.


(Trust me. That’s it. I was a little slow with the camera.) I was surprised to see it there, just like it was a regular plane, but the guy sitting next to me said it was because Andrews Air Force base was having an Air show. I have no idea why I thought this was so cool.

(Harrison Ford association, likely.)

5:30 Friday, The sock is impressed by the Washington Monument.


(Did you know that it has an elevator and you can go up and look out those little wee windows at the top? Me neither.)

7:00pm Friday. In my never ending attempts to amuse the sock, I point out that the dinner we are at…


the yarn centerpieces match the guacamole.

10:00pm Friday. While we are chatting in the lobby of our hotel, Margaret Atwood walks by. The Canadian rules of engagement prevent me from approaching her. I curse them, but am ethically unable to pursue her.

7:00am Saturday. I may or may not speak coherently at a breakfast meeting. No way to know.

9:00. The sock unsuccessfully stalks Stitchy McYarnpants.

12:00 While looking for Stitchy, I find Michael!


(Let this be a lesson to you. Bloggers are everywhere.)

2:30, I speak on a panel with Deb Stoller, Candi “Slick” Jensen and Rachel Ray. (Not that one.)


3:45 Stitchy! Stitchy and an advance copy of her book!


(Her badge actually read “Stitchy McYarnpants”. I can’t tell you how much I love that. Her book is a wonderful kind of funny.)

4:00pm Saturday


Pam from Storey Publishing holds the sock aloft. It is a complete coincidence that Rush Limbaugh is behind her. Odd, that.

(Stop the presses. My sources tell me that it is possible that this is actually Newt Gingrich and I am stupid. No way to tell about the former, the latter is certainly possible.)

11:30pm Saturday. The sock (having being transported back to Canada) goes straight from the airport to Jody and Jeanette’s Wedding.


It couldn’t happen to nicer folks.

11:40, The sock finds the handsomest man at the party.


Dado, Jodi’s dad. (It is worth noting that the sock has achieved such fame and station that the Bride and Groom were looking forward to their “sock picture” and when I started to explain to Dado about the sock, he took it from me gently and said “I know what the sock is.” I’m starting to think this is the strangest tradition ever.)

Now home, I have returned to my regular activities. Making stupid knitting mistakes and avoiding the laundry. Seen here, the two fronts of the Erle sweater….


right before I realize that one of those two sides should have buttonholes.

Miss me?

252 thoughts on “Got a two-four?

  1. I was starting to worry that you had drown in your stash! (I’m not a blog stalker I swear.)
    Welsome back

  2. I have to note that Western Canadians call the weekend May-long, not May two-four. We do have dialect differences!

  3. That sock sure has some great travels!
    I used to see Margaret Atwood quite frequently on my street (as we both shared a geographic region). Once I transcended the Canadian silence and said “hello!” as I walked past in an attempt to break down the politeness barrior. I’m still not sure if she actually responded.

  4. Miss you? Of course! But I figured you were taking the holiday weekend off. Some of us here in the lower part of what should be Canada realized it was a very busy weekend πŸ™‚

  5. Always miss you, check every day, love you and all of your 2-4s! Keep it coming as I am a junkie.

  6. I look forward to the day that I am brave enough to take my sock everywhere…I’m pretty close, believe me! I got stuck on those silly dishcloths, though, because I am avoiding about 4 pairs of socks…all started to bless my sister-in-law and none of them perfect enough. I am not sure how long I am going to get away with ignoring at least one of them!

  7. So all I have to do to make my socks famous is:
    (1) Write some funny books
    (2) Get invited to cool places
    (3) Bring the sock
    (4) Take pictures with the sock
    (5) Blog from the perspective of the sock
    Good. Got all of that.
    Wait. The sock-schtick is taken.

  8. Forget buttonholes… babies love zippers, or even those froggy things if you can find a couple small ones.
    Glad to see you ended the whirlwind on such a high note… top hats are soo cool.

  9. Well no buttons, then put the “snaps” on ‘er then!! I used them just recently (pics on my blog) for a sweater for my 1 yrold gd! the ones you P.O.U.N.D. in like a she devil is after you. Then sew buttons over top for pure deco reasons!
    nice sweater though, I guess you could put a zipper in it but damn they are a P.I.T.A.!
    Oh and the May-Long? It always surrounds my birthday so I love it! beer or no beer.

  10. Missed you…yes! Lovely and cheery sweater. It is so nice. I say zipper also. Blessings, Julie

  11. As far as Erle is concerned, I’m of the “add a different closure method” camp as well. Why rip when you can improvise?!!
    Of course Jody’s dad knew of the sock. We all know of the sock. Some would say that the sock is more famous than you are.

  12. Victoria Day (or the habitual spending of the day) sounds sooooooo Finnish! Like our First of May or even Midsummer – even though by Midsummer everything is planted. But the beer and cottages and so on.

  13. Silly me! I forgot that babies don’t arrive till the sweaters are done. Glad you’re back.

  14. For the western Canadian contingent don’t forget camping!! Rain or shine everyone heads out camping for the 2-4 week-end. Luckily this year was more shine than rain. And yes, beer is usually involved.
    Margaret Atwood — Canadian Lit icon. I would also not be able to overcome the Canadian way to talk to her.
    Sounds like you had a great 2-4 week-end, even if not a traditional one.

  15. Snaps. The sweater was designed for snaps, right? Or those big magnetic snap things. Good for fussy-baby-dressing. Or, maybe those silvery Celtic (Norwegian?) clasp doo-hickeys. Or wooden toggles with the corresponding leather loop whatchamacallit to stick the toggles into. Any way you cut it, I’m sure it was a design element so that you could use something far more creative than a plain ol’ button, right??

  16. I missed you so much I started reading your entries from May 2004. So I was already prepped on Victoria Day and the start of the gardening season. The beer is a new twist though. It must go great with poutines. Good lord, fries and cheese AND gravy?

  17. Miss you?
    Of course! Messed up my morning routine at work! Can’t begin until I’ve had tea, checked in with you, WendyKnits and MasonDixon. Bad things happen if I don’t.
    Glad your back. How’s your cellar?

  18. Dado is the coolest ever, and I love the sock picture tradition. Please don’t ever stop, but next time, Canadian rules of engagement be damned, please get a picture with Margaret Atwood.
    If that really was Rush and you didn’t poke him repeatedly with your pointy sticks, I’ll never forgive you.
    As for Erle, I’m thinking tiny buttons that can be worked through the actual fabric. Or, stitch the edges together up to mid chest height, and call it a henley pullover. Henleys are manly and make room for big baby heads.
    We missed you.

  19. Can you say zipper? Boys dig zippers. or snaps. Or anything that says “you don’t need no stinkin’ buttons”… buttons are for girls. πŸ™‚

  20. Another vote for snaps – I remember my mother pounding them in when I was a child. And easier to get snaps done than buttons, especially on a wiggly baby.
    No trip up the Washington Monument? How is the sock with heights?

  21. You are greatly missed. Perhaps a zipper is in order for that cardigan? Sounds like Book Expo was great fun. Enjoy the kick-off to your summer!

  22. Yeah, I thought about turning the heat back on but DH is pretty hard core about that sort of thing. Imagine my shock when he came to me yesterday morning and said “I did it. I turned the furnace back on. I feel like I failed”. I tried to made him feel better by telling him the toddler looked “chilly”.
    Back in Newfoundland we used to curse on the remaining patches of snow on May 2-4.
    I vote for snaps too. You can always tell the mom something about buttons being a choking hazard….

  23. ACK! Darn your Canadian reticence – you let MARGARET ATWOOD escape unscathed? I think I speak for all of us lit geeks in the knit geek ranks in saying “How DARE you not get MA and the sock together?” πŸ™‚ Man, I would have tackled her and babbled incessantly, probably mixing up characters and books in good measure, just to say I SPOKE TO MARGARET ATWOOD! I am stunned.
    Oh, and Rush Limbaugh? Should have poked him with a sharp stick. Hmm…bet you had some of those! πŸ˜‰

  24. P.S. I’m completely shocked that the Washington Monument has windows and an elevator. I always thought it was just a huge, solid concrete phallic symbol. I have new respect for the thing.

  25. You know Rush looks forlorn. I’ll bet he’s pouting because he didn’t get to hold sock for a photo-op. Oh, and thanks for sending more Canadian info our way…. way I figure it, I’ve learned something new today so I can go home. Right?

  26. Can I be Canadian instead? Please? We have Memorial Day here, but if you ask most people, they don’t know what we’re supposed to be Memorializing. It usually involves most of what your 2-4 weekend involves, especially barbecuing.
    Snaps on the sweater or clasps. Buttons aren’t the easiest thing on a little squirmer anyway.

  27. I’m sad that I missed seeing you in my town, but I’m glad that I also missed Rush Limbaugh.
    You and the sock should come back to DC soon.

  28. hehe i would have loved to see a pic with Rush holding a sock but i dont think i trust him with the pointy sticks.
    anyway you have the nerve to ask if we missed you?
    i was twitching from withdrawal!

  29. Missed you terribly! Love all the Canadian education, especially now that my aunt is moving to town with her Canadian mother. Won’t I feel smug when we have scintillating conversations about Canada!

  30. It gives me great comfort to know that simple mistakes can happen to even the greatest knitters. Enjoy Vicotria Day; we’ll be celebrating Memorial Day here below the 49th Parallel.

  31. I’m a sucker for a handsome older man in a tux – top hat optional but always appreciated. His good taste only enhanced by his aquaintance with the sock. Sigh!

  32. Loving the top hat and tails. But you should have “accidentally” stabbed Rush with a pointy stick.

  33. Yes, you were missed. I kept checking for a new entry. It looks like the sock had a great trip and met such interesting people. (Rush Limbaugh?) I’m glad all went well. It rained here in Alabama. In fact I checked the weather almanac and found that this part of Alabama actually gets more rain than Portland Oregon, which is known for being wet. I attended a baby shower and I can’t think of what to knit for a baby living in this humid climate. Maybe something out of cotton? Anyhow, I’m glad you are back safe and sound.

  34. The vision of Dado in the top hat, gently admonishing you about the sock cracked me up. He looks like he’s going to start knitting it!
    Victoria Day weekend is the start of the silly season here; tourist season. Our community gets invaded on this weekend by party-goers who believe in celebrating the Queen’s birthday by getting as drunk as possible. I stay at home and hide. So for me it is the start of hibernation season.

  35. Of course miss ewe missed you. (yuck yuck)
    Sounds like quite a who’s who. Betcha if you check Margaret Atwood’s blog, there’s a picture of you walking away with a caption like “I can’t believe I was this close to the Yarn Harlot! Canadian politeness prevented me from chasing after her, but I really wanted to tell her how she has inspired me”.
    Glad to have you back.

  36. We Murricans do something similar with Presidents’ Day, or is that President’s Day (I think it’s the first one, but owing to the total collapse of punctuation rules in this country I can’t say for sure), which I lack the energy to explain. We do it in February, though, when there’s no way of even pretending that summer might be starting.
    That sock sure gets around. Of course, snaps. Of course we missed you.

  37. D.C. is made for strange path-crossings. Heck, Chief Justice John Roberts and Carol Channing had a little encounter on the steps of one of the major buildings on my campus. He was coming to talk and she was there to visit a theater appreciation/criticism class taught by the critic for the Washington Post. GW’s great like that.

  38. Thanks for the Canadian vocabulary lesson…but you didn’t gloss “poverty pack.” May we all assume it has something to do with beer?
    And hey — forget the buttonholes and finish the darn thing! Remember what happened when you hit the wall with Erle last time?

  39. I grew up in the west and we did fireworks on Halloween, when it’s dark before bedtime. Now we do them on May 24, and the kids have to stay up till 10 pm. Darn. This is also the weekend for washing snowsuits and allowing the baby to be out in a sunhat rather than a woolly one. Or so I was told when my kids were smaller. Take the snowsuits off and plant the tomatoes. This year I am in the UK, home of the queen, and they don’t celebrate it!

  40. In the spirit of cooperation between our two countries, I believe we should all celebrate both holidays. This, of course, would mean two long weekends in a row. Any objections? I didn’t think so.

  41. Yes, missed you terribly! And what is a poverty pack??

  42. Take on me… sigh. What a great video. Thanks! Brings back memories before marriage and kids!

  43. What about poppers, quick escape on baby garments, or more fiddely hook and eye. For goodness sake DON’T RIP IT OUT my sanity would never stand it.

  44. no buttonholes?
    use velcro and sew the buttons to the side that will be on top. it will work. i promise. PLUS, when it’s worn, it will make fun sounds when being removed.

  45. When I was in Washington/MD for MSWF, I found out that the Washington Monument has no mortar–weight holds it together. Eeek. Just a little semi-useless D.C. trivia…

  46. Aaack! You were talking someplace in DC and I missed it?? Why didn’t somebody tell me? Clearly my ‘when is the Harlot going to be somewhere is my area’ radar is not functioning properly. In order that I may prevent such a disaster from occuring again, please Ma’am, where may one obtain advance information as to your whereabouts? It’s hard to stalk you without the proper intelligence.

  47. Sorry I wasn’t able to make it down to BEA to see you! At least you had some wonderful weather while you were here – last year at this time it was already way too hot and humid. I’m getting used to it but the Canadian in me still recoils at the high temps and unbearable humidity (that usually results in a halo of hair).

  48. Register my vote for Norwegian pewter clasps. They’d go nicely with the texture.
    Next time, take a laptop with you, so you can blog from the road.

  49. Please ask The Sock, that the next time it’s that close to Limbaugh to do us a favor and jab him real hard. Happy Belated Victoria Day!

  50. Oh my god. Thank you for bringing me back to the age of 14 and the MOST womANtic music video ever made. Ah, the 80s… MTV, hormones, bad-ass hair, synthesizers… Good times.

  51. Cruel twist of fate that just when we discover there is, indeed, still a sun, we practically need to wear long underwear to go out and tolerate it…
    That Norma. Not only has she got a Shit List, but she’s got a Fart List too. I commend you on your restraint, m’lady. I would have, at the very least, flipped him the bird.
    Welcome home. I raise my coffeepot to you.

  52. Ohhh, Dado with The Sock has me melted into a puddle. Your Gentle Readers may have to start a fan club and The Sock should be the president.

  53. Did you also know that if you go up in the monument to look out those windows you can feel the whole thing sway in the wind? It’s crazy.

  54. OK, my boy’s name was Donny, we were driving from Mississauga to Parry Sound, and it was “Magic Carpet Ride” by Steppenwolf. (Donny was into oldies). I still love that song, but not that boy…
    Dude! You stalked Stitchy McYarnpants but not Margaret Atwood??? Damn the Canadian Rules of Engagement! (I would have done the same).
    Poverty Packs are 6-packs, and Timbits are doughnut holes, made by Tim Hortons. FOr those who were askin’…

  55. Yes, we missed you, not nearly enough laughs in our day without you. DH keeps asking, “Anything new from YH?” Glad your trip went well even though short. Here in northern Minnesota we haven’t even thought of turning the furnace off, nights are chilly!
    U.S. Memorial Day weekend is very similar to your two-four. Camping, opening cabins, beer, fishing, lots of gardening, or at least preparation for same. Still may have frost here in zone 3. No fireworks though, wish there were, I love them at a distance because of the noise.

  56. Oh NO!!! Make it have snaps instead!
    I find it SO amusing that you saw Margaret Atwood, AND that you recognized her! The Handmaid’s Tale is the BEST BOOK EVER!!! Well, best book not about knitting and/or yarn! : ) And the juxtaposition of then seeing Rush Limbaugh. Ugh.
    Glad you’re ok (I was starting to worry just a bit) — sounds like a fun way to spend your two-four weekend.

  57. What someone else said – think of it as a design decision. I like the idea of snaps – it IS a baby sweater. I used large snaps on a knit set of bloomers for my daughter – they worked great.

  58. The sock pictures are *not* the strangest tradition ever. They at least tie with my tradition–I have pictures of a small, stuffed Elmo *everywhere* (don’t ask why–it’s a long story)–Elmo “visited” The Bruce in Scotland (he was tossed high into the air–it’s a great picture), he has been photographed with the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles at the British Museum, in Savanna, Georgia, in Moab, Utah, at Edinburgh Castle, with the Rocky statue in Philadelphia, PA, at Niagara Falls (Canadian side)–the list goes on and on. The best reactions to Elmo’s pictures were from the Scots–they took note of my friends and me balancing Elmo on a canon, decided that we were mad, and also decided that they were completely ok with that; this is different than most people in the US or Canada who observe this ritual, decide that we are mad, and very quietly avoid making eye contact. Your narrative for the sock is much more amusing, though.

  59. Over here the Queen’s birthday weekend is in June. Our Victoria Day equivalent would have to be Labour Weekend near the end of October. Outdoor swimming pools open, daylight saving starts around then, gardeners get into gear, people go away for the weekend, summer is just around the corner. Love your blog!
    Pam, Wellington NZ

  60. I missed you so much I made myself stop looking at your site to see if you had posted. I was afraid you might be able to tell how many times I had checked for new news and would start to feel sorry for me that I didn’t have more of a life….I was knitting while I checked though so hope that makes it less pitiful. I am glad you are back. You always bring a smile to my day and I appreciate it. I’ll admit I forgot about Victoria Day. We used to go to Canada (Ontario) to open our cottage over the U.S. Memorial Day. I will, forever, love Canada and hope to get back there soon.

  61. Yes, we in the West do tend to call it the “May-long” although I enjoy the term “May-2-4” as well. The Prairie tradition is to go camping. Even though there is a 90% chance you will get rained or snowed on. Part of the tradition is to fail to bring enough warm clothing and be very, very surprised when it isn’t magically summer. So, I guess I should say that the tradition is more like get to the campsite, freeze for a night, give up and head for indoor shelter.
    It is, however, one of my favourite holidays. πŸ™‚
    (P.S., for those who asked, Timbits are little balls of doughnutty goodness. From Tim Hortons. You could also call them doughnut holes. And yes, we spell “donut” as “doughnut” here in Canada.)

  62. The Yarn Harlot and Margaret Atwood were both in my city and I’m back in soulless Maryland for the summer. Life isn’t fair.

  63. Yep, you were missed. My browser kept wandering to your blog and wistfully studying the sparkle yarn. Gotta admire your timing on the holiday, though; what better thing to have when you hit home after a trip? (If you get two 2-4’s, do you call that a 4-8? Just curious. Actually, in mulling on that, I’d say no. Trying to keep track, such as whether the gang was up to an 8-16 yet, could interfere with drinking the beer…) And ok, I’m now officially envious of the sock. Not only exciting traveling and meeting interesting bloggers, but has anyone else noticed that it really cuddles up to handsome men? Even if they don’t knit, even if they’re nonplussed at the request, the guys always seem to instinctively glom on like it’s their best beloved. What is this strange power the sock has?

  64. Can you say Zipper?
    I love that the sock has a following, and if you ever get over to Calgary, I so want to be part of the fame.

  65. I just finished another kid’s sweater from the Knitty pattern called “Childhood” and the designer has cleverly used snaps for the closure with buttons sewn on the outside.
    I don’t know how everyone else feels, but as a mom of 2-year-old twins, I’m all about the simple and secure closures on sweaters — zippers are my personal fav, but snaps come a close second.
    Buttons are my personal nemesis because:
    1) they take forever to do up and after spending ten minutes finding and putting on shoes, who needs the hassle?;
    2) they inevitably come undone and the sweaters fall off my wriggly little ones;
    3) this causes much crying and “mommy, put on sweater!” calls. Not as much fun after the first 3,000 times.
    The baby sweaters are beautiful. Such lucky babies!

  66. Of course the washington monument has an elevator, no American in their right mind would walk up all those stairs to look out the tiny windows.
    I can’t believe you saw Margaret Atwood, I am just about giving up hope of ever seeing her read.

  67. I sometimes worry that I’m going to crash your blog by checking several times a day for a new post…

  68. What’s up with all you people hating Rush? You either don’t listen to him enough to understand his bedside manner, or are a bunch of weird liberals. W don’t agree with him on everything, but he is right on a whole lot of stuff.
    YH – sounds like you didn’t get to spend time at BE picking up free copies of all the new books. They had you hopping.

  69. You need to let go of the Canadian Do Not Disturb Celebrities thing enough to point an AMERICAN at Margaret Atwood and then they could have graciouly introduced you! I’m pretty certain that that stays within the rules of celebrity engagement.
    And oh yeah, you’re clearly just in an alternate closure design element thing. Clearly.

  70. I’ve done the same with cardi’s. Instead of rip back, just drop down the 2 stitches that would have been the “k2tog,yo” and add them in after the fact.
    Interesting Canadian celebration. I think I didn’t know about this one because I left T.O. before I was old enough for a two-four.

  71. I did miss you.. I keep checking my bloglines for you!
    My hubby broke down and turned on the heat whilst he was at lunch.. ick.. it stinks!
    I am not sure if that IS Rush.. too much and too white hair.. hmm
    I have a sad sock picture up.. my one and only hand knit pair got a hole!! Bwah!
    And.. I am still small..hehhe

  72. Victoria Day sounds very much like American Memorial Day. Planting, grilling, beer, random fireworks, beginning of summer, Monday off work, BUT we also have local parades complete with kids riding their bikes with crepe paper (red, white and blue – natch) woven through the spokes with a playing card clothes pinned on the bike fork to click in the spokes. God Bless Memorial Day!

  73. Zipper – yes. Snaps – sure. Velcro – no way. The hooky things will catch on the yarn and make a snaggy mess (no matter how careful you are, it will happen.)
    So glad you’re safely back again.

  74. Oh!!! The Pinto!!!! What wonderful times I had in my own ugly mustard-colored, wood side paneled Pinto wagon!!!!

  75. Canada sounds a lot like Minnesota, only we have cabins instead of cottages. It’s probably the same principle, though.

  76. Wow!! There must be a parallel universe between T.O. and Winnipeg! I had a Pinto when I lived there and we cruised about singing eighties tunes while counting out enough money for poverty packs, king cans and gas. We were generally eating Robin’s eggs though since I worked for them and got day-olds for free.

  77. No cottages on the west coast – just cabins. However, I don’t know anyone with a cabin. I did end up going to a wedding this May-long. I seriously thought about taking my knitting along, but I think my boyfriend would have prentended he was not with me if I did. I left the knitting at home. πŸ™
    Most May-long’s including a BBQ, definitely camping even though it’s raining and in Victoria, BC, the parade. The largest (and longest running I think?) in BC!
    Many east coast-ers have moved to lotus land and the May 2-4 is quite well known now. πŸ™‚ Cheers!

  78. I have to say that I love your blog.The only problem is that I cannot knit. I have tried and tried and I cannot get the tention right…to tight…to loose??? I have many books but I find there is nothing to help me figure this out. Until I get my tention right…I can’t move on.Please help with any advice at all that will get me to at least knit some of those socks!!!
    Thanks a big bunch!

  79. Margaret Atwood!?!?!?! I would’ve fainted. I almost did the time the U.S. Poet Laureate (at the time)Robert Pinsky brushed past me in a hotel line at an English teachers convention. I about died. *sigh*
    Hey, you could’ve asked her if she’s suing the US government for copyright violations. πŸ˜‰

  80. Well to be fair, Victoria’s birthday actually was May 24 and since it’s just so darn convenient (start of summer) and she was pretty popular overall, they probably just kept it. And it’s my birthday too!

  81. Yup, missed you. I checked the blog for updates like 20 already this week at work :). I just had to finish reading Knitting Rules as compensation and well, it was great! I laughed when I read it and I had tons of “oh, I know that feeling” -moments. And I think you are absolutely right about scarfs, I still cannot bring myself to finished them really… the first thing we learnt to knit in school was this simple garter stitch lamb, that looks bit light H with notch on one side before it is sewn into a lamb. And oh, it is lovely to see that I’m not the only knitter in the world with “oh, did I just knit two left fronts” -syndrome.

  82. I had to share my experience last Thursday because when it happened it made me think of you and what would you do in the same situation. I just started a knitting class on Thursdays the beginning of May and last Thursday I was locked in the yarn shop, by myself for half an hour. It was a little overwhelming, me and all the yarn, alone.
    I’m so very glad you’re back.

  83. Funny, in Ottawa, I never think of it as May 2-4, but I’m not sure what I would call it either. The gardening I wholly agree with, except that this year is so chilly that I haven’t bought a single plant so far.
    At least this is good weather for knitting, even warm stuff.

  84. Canadian Rules of Engagement be damned! That’s Margaret Atwood, woman! When in the presence of greatness one is supposed to grovel and fawn or you know, be polite and respectful and let her have a moment’s peace. Oh, and retain some level of personal decorum. Yeah, you’re right. Good call. Not one I would have made (which, you know, explains the several signed Margaret Atwood hard covers), but good call nonetheless.

  85. I’d say make it a one-button sweater. Put one gorgeous button at or near the top, make a crochet loop on the other side.

  86. Let me tell you about the Washington Monument — they may be wee little windows but if you have a fear of heights it hits you just the same — I made DH walk around and take pictures out of each window while I quaked in one spot —

  87. An alternate May-long activity for those living here (Calgary/Banff) is to go skiing. As in downhill, on snow. Folks figure they’re going to get snowed on no matter what they do, so instead of freezing their backsides off while camping, they might as well get those last couple of runs in. Or is that just my family?
    Liza {who adds, okay maybe not this year~+30 C most of last week}

  88. Alright, my question is, was Queen Victoria’s birthday May 24? If not, then this particular holiday is completely confusing to me. And yes, I did miss you. And the sock totally cracks me up! Does it do autographs?

  89. Suggestion as eldest of five kids (read: babysitter my folks could get away with not paying)– zippers and snaps are a blessing to new parents (and older sisters) everywhere. The little buggers have to work harder to wriggle out of clothes that come eqipped with them. Also, they’re safer- buttons can come off and find their way into little mouths. That’s not a criticism of your ability to sew a secure button, I just have observed that small children are adept at finding trouble in even the most baby-proofed environments.

  90. The one librarian I knew was out of town that weekend. OF ALL WEEKENDS! And I taught her how to knit. So I went to the Gem and Mineral show and bought bling instead. I had to comfort myself some how…

  91. Are you sure that guy isn’t Newt Gingrich? Looks like a little too much hair for that drug addict Limbaugh. I love Washington. I bought some homespun at the farmers market on Dupont Circle in November. Who knew??

  92. Forgot to add: Canadian rules of engagement be darned! Since I’m a dirty American, if I ever saw Margaret Atwood in the wild I would SO stalk her. In fact I think I might gasp, breathless, and gush a little.

  93. Of course, I missed you. How’s the cellar?
    You should have poked Rush with a pointy stick or two.
    I think the sock should have said hello to her. ;^)
    Oh, and I vote snaps.

  94. I was a sewer (as in sewing, not as in dirty drains) before becoming a knitter, so forgive me if this is a horrible mistake to even suggest it….but, what about sewing buttonholes with a machine and then sliting them open as one does when working with fabric? The tight stitching of the machine keeps fraying and unravelling from occuring.

  95. If you tell me you can hit the same notes Morten Harket can, then I’ll really be amazed at your neverending basket of talents! πŸ˜‰

  96. Camping is also another big event, going to Wasaga or Algonquin for the weekend. I like to tell my American friends that our summer is longer – lasting from Victoria Day to Thanksgiving and the American summer (at least in the North East) is classified as Memorial Day to Labo(u)r Day. So I figure our summer is one month longer.
    As a fellow Margaret Atwood stalker she will be at the Eden Mills writer festival in September. The only books that I own that have been autographed are your books (all three) and 1 Margaret Atwood book.

  97. you. . .
    you were near . . .
    me, and I didn’t know it?!
    I checked the Harlot on tour link and there was nothing listed about you being in D.C. I want my money back!! Well, I couldn’t have come to see you anyway because while you were here, I was in Canada – first time ever. Lovely country! Come back to the DC/Maryland area soon please!

  98. Wow. YOUR sock gets to eat guacomole? My socks are jealous–at my house guacomole is forbidden as it always results in extreme pain to the mom-unit. Also, just for the record, we have Canadians AND Americans in residence. We celebrate all the long weekends! And yes, we all missed you.

  99. Do the Canadian rules of engagement apply to the quintessential guru of Canadian wonder — William Shatner? I wouldn’t be able to control myself.

  100. I love A-ha’s “Take on Me” (one of the coolest videos ever, too). It’s even the ringtone on my cellphone. I don’t like a single other song they sing (sang, really), but that one I still like!
    And yes–I vote for the clasp or snap contingent. Either of them. They’d both be good!
    Welcome back. Enjoy your 2-4.

  101. The trip from Oliphant to Wiarton? Not in a Pinto, but we’ve gone on many last minute runs to the government dairy in Wiarton…
    Sunday of the long weekend rolls around and the boys look at the beer stocks and each other – if there’s a mismatch between the number of beers and the number of boys, there’s a dash in to shore and a trip in the car to restock the beer. Usually something is sung on the trip as well, but the song is not fit for the internet.
    That road is the most marvellous one as it means the cottage is near!!

  102. I heard this weekend that there was a possiblity that you might make it to Oklahoma next year. Pleeaaassssee come! You can stay at my house, you can drive my car, anything you want– just come. We’ll buy beer. P.S. Snaps– behind the button bands, then sew the buttons on for decoration.

  103. Thanks for introducing the uninitiated to Stitchy McYarnpants. And, small blog world that it is, just a few days ago she blogged about my knitting friend Jessicaem at Livejournal!
    This whole sock thing reminds me of Amelie’s gnome.

  104. Shut up, Margaret Atwood!!?? I love her.
    I understand that Canadian rules on engagement don’t allow you to approach her but man, that must be hard. I find it interesting that Canadians (my dad is one) know which famous people are Canadian and which are not. Just ask David Rakoff.
    I turned my heat back on yesterday morning but in my defense my blood has been steeled by years of Vermont winters and generations of hearty stock but my 5 year old isn’t quite there yet.

  105. Wow, we were stalking each other! I’m glad I knew where to find you in the afternoon, it was great to see you on Saturday. Honestly, with all the knitting (and croceht) books that were there, the woman knitting the amazing lace in the Sally Melville booth, and the free (but slightly – abrasive – yarn being given away at Interweave Knits’ booth) I’d say it was closer to a fiber festival with some other books there, too.
    I wish one of us (you, me, or your sock) had been able to meet Tracey Ullman. Man, I love her. Did you see her upcoming book? Some really cute stuff.

  106. I’m rofl at your straightforward explanation of the May 24 long weekend.
    I saw Margaret Atwood and a companion years ago in a downtown movie theatre bathroom here in Toronto, and the same thing applied – I saw her, applied the “freeze face” and walked past to the toilets. I sat on the can and thought “Wow!” When I came out, she was gone, lol. But William Shatner? I would soooo say “Hi, Jim!” coz he cracks me up.

  107. I just. I just. I just have a crush on all of Canada, ok. I hope it isn’t going to affect my marriage. Because my fellah was born in California, which is decidedly un-Canadian.

  108. Next time I’d appreciate the opportunity to be in a “sock picture” too!

  109. Love how famous the sock has become. I agree with some of the other comments that you should just put a zipper in the cardigan. Or in one of my knitting books they crochet a chain and sew some to the cardigan and then space it out for buttonholes. And that probably makes no sense since i didn’t describe it very well…anyways, it’s cute in the book.

  110. Rush, Newt . . . whatever, same difference. the only way you can tell them apart is that, if you poke Rush with your sock needle, all the Oxycontin will keep him from even feeling the pain. πŸ™‚

  111. Stephanie,
    I think it’s funny that you were flying around in the air during the Air Show! I attended the air show this weekend (picture proof on my blog), and was thinking during the show – wouldn’t it be really funny to be a passenger on an airline right now, and see some of this out my window! I had no idea that they moved Air Force One during that time, though, but I guess it makes sense! Funny!

  112. See, and in NH, Memorial Day is the unofficial kick off to summer, and the frost out date.. (though yes, I am thinking of turning my heat back on as it’s currently 59 degrees in my house) so your May 2-4 weekend sounds like what we will be doing this next weekend.
    Can’t wait!

  113. poverty pack! i haven’t heard that since high school! is it just a bruce county thing?
    your knitting mistakes make me very happy. i vote for toggles πŸ™‚

  114. Sounds like you and the sock definitely had a good time!
    Count me among those voting for snaps or a zipper, you really don’t want to have to re-do the front. After all, look what you got yourself into the last time you set this’un aside…

  115. I haven’t heard anyone calling it “May-long” here in Victoria, BC but I’ve certainly heard “May long weekend”. No one calls it May 2-4 here but I remember the days of May 2-4 from growing up and camping near the beach as a wild teenager in Ontario! Well, maybe not that wild. πŸ˜‰ Ah, the memories!

  116. Not since a freaking hellish last August steamer day when I got stuck next to a homeless dude dosed in MUSK aftershave on the E train have I been propelled with such velocity back into my youth…TAKE ON ME!!!!…holy smokes..pinch me…it’s 20 freakin years ago and I’m with cute boys!!!
    Thanks for the kharmic shot of B-12!!!

  117. I thought maybe you were spinning. I never thought of checking the Harlot on Tour. I am not very bright either. I forgot the button holes on a jacket . . . is there an easy fix? Probably not!

  118. oh, and from the profile, I’m casting my vote that it was Newt, especially given the paperback version of “Never Call Retreat” was released this month (so says Amazon). In either case, a photo with the sock & a quick poke with the stick (by accident of course) would have been my first inclination.

  119. Oh, dear. Sorry Elise. I appear to be the only reader old enough to have *climbed* the Washington Monument. This would, I’m afraid, be 1960, 1962 tops. They used to let you climb it, the climate was no cooler than it is now, and they had not run water pipes for a drinking fountain up to the top. I have never been so thirsty in my life.

  120. Stephanie,
    I have a Harrison Ford – Air Force One story too! I am in Idaho and when Clinton was president he visited Jackson Wyoming several times. The airport there is not big enough for the plane. So they park the plane at the Idaho Falls Airport and helicopter the president over to Jackson. Yes I did go to see the plane. I thought it was an interesting thing to see. I also once saw the plane of King Hussein from Jordan. He parked his plane here too! Anyway Harrison lives in Jackson which is 90 miles from here. This was before he filmed Air Force One. He came over to do research for the movie while the plane was here. No I did not get to see him or anything. It was on the news, sorry no juicy details. He sometimes helps with search and rescue and did rescue a hiker who got heat exhaustion on one of the local Mountains. The joke after that was we were all going to climb Taylor Mountain so Harrison Ford could rescue us.

  121. Well, I was going to ask what a timbit is – but found the answer in the comments. Now, I just want some. Thanks for putting doughnut holes in my head today.
    I don’t think the Canadian rules apply in the U. S. – so next time you see Margaret down here, you go right up and give her a big hello. (She may have a sock that she’d like to take your picture with, so that she can blog about you.)

  122. One of my favorite Harlot posts ever. First, you explained the whole 2-4 thing. Second, the BEA and all it entails! Third, the sock with the most charming wedding ever. Amazing.

  123. Hey Stephanie,
    So glad you’re back!…Yes, that is definitely Newtie, not Rush (the hair is the tipoff)….I just found out about the most wonderful sounding (haven’t tried it myself)new (new to me, anyway) product and thought of you. It’s the Knit Lite knitting needles at La Knitterie Parisienne. Check out the website: www. It’s straight needles that light up- perfect for knitting in dark auditoriums, etc….When are you coming to Alabama (I suggest the cooler winter months)?

  124. Lordy, yes, we missed you – although it makes for interesting conversation when one announces “I need my Harlot fix!” to the uninitiated. The sweater? Snaps, baby, all the way. That red is too cool for buttons. πŸ™‚ And you know, I’m pretty sure that is Newt Gingrich, not Rush. Although I doubt that’s an improvement. Why isn’t there a picture of YOU at the wedding? I’m sure you were stunningly elegant in some one of a kind knitted something-or-other. You should’ve posed with Dado and had someone else snap both of you. He looks very intent on the sock, is he a knitter as well? If not I smell a potential convert…

  125. Neat, I want to go back to DC! Your trip looked like a whole lot of fun. Looks like Newt to me, and I saw him in person when I lived in DC.

  126. Hi, I’m new to your blog, and to knitting in general, but I aspire to half your talents!! I’m going to try my first sock in the next day or so (working up the nerve – I know, I know, it’s only knitting), right after I sew up the seams and weave in the ends on a sleeveless shell I knitted for a friend’s birthday next week (can’t believe I actually finished it on time – well almost finished, but there’s still time to finish on time!). I’ve only ever done seams once, and they were ugly, so I’ve been putting this off…
    Anyway, love your blog and all of your books!!

  127. Curses! I knew Saturday would be the best day at BEA. All I got out of Thursday was an advance excerpt of Carly Fiorina’s book.
    Good on you for not acosting Margaret Atwood. I would not have been so cool.
    You had to mention Timbits, didn’t you? I’d finally gotten over not having Tim Horton’s in the U.S. … now I have to start all over!

  128. mmm… Timbits. I go to Canada every summer (8 years and counting) with my family and we LOVE LOVE LOVE Tim Hortons. I’m wondering why there are none in Virginia, even though they’re owned by the same people who own Wendy’s. Mysterious…

  129. OK, so Rams already told you all that you used to be able to climb the stairs all the way to the top. Sooo… did you know if you go in the door left of the stairs at the Lincoln Memorial you can see the stalactites growing under it?.. Did you know DC natives used to be called “cave dwellers” (haven’t heard anybody say that since my grandparents, tho’ – ooh, I found a google citation from 2001, so I’m not the only one who remembers!).

  130. I had to read comments to know what a Timbit was. There are Tim Horton’s in Ohio…I shall be stopping there one day to sample them.
    Thanks for the blast from the past with the A-Ha video!!

  131. There’s no explaining Victoria Day, or the whole idea of a Royal family, on this side of the border!
    Darn… the people we could meet if Canadians weren’t so reserved and polite. I missed talking to Maya Angelou in the Toronto airport, keeping my head down and peeking over my book and listening to her very fine and distinctive voice.
    You are having much too much fun for just one person!
    Happy Victoria Day, a day late!

  132. Glad you’re back.
    Living in Florida, we try to see how long we can go before turning on the air conditioning….let me just mention that it was in the 90’s over the weekend and today. Actually, been running the a/c for over a month now. Every summer I ask myself “Why do I live her????” I have the body temperature of Satan!! *grin*

  133. And how could you forget Newfoundland and Labrador? (Spent a couple of years there in the early 90’s.) In the immortal words of Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers: “It’s the 24th of May and we likes to get away – up in the woods or a goin’ out the bay. There’s all kinds of places, but the place we likes to get – is up on the highway in the gravel pits.”

  134. Hmmmmm, Timbits! If you don’t want your fanny to grow to mammoth proportions, STEP AWAY FROM THE TIMBITS!!!!!
    They are the crack of the donut world.

  135. Yes you were missed. Zipper! Too cold in Northern Ontario to camp. The 2-4 was enjoyed by dh.

  136. How about crochet loops on the edge to go over the buttons on the other side? It looks a teensy bit off-center, but I like it.
    For the first time I read ALL of the comments to make sure someone had said this. I didn’t see it.
    The first trip I took with the man who is now my husband involved singing “Take on Me” with the windows and sunroof open. What a wonderful memory to be reminded of!

  137. May two-four? You forgot investing a small fortune in bug dope. And holy cow!! Margaret Atwood left you a comment? You are famous indeed!! Too famous to have done any spinning today??

  138. Missed you??!! Yeah! OK Stephanie, not only have I missed your bloggerly presence, but when I was in TO last week for a one-day conference, my first thought (ok, after “will I make it to Romni Wool before they close?”) was, like, “geez, how close am I to Stephanie’s house right now?”
    Cheers, from Kim in Chelsea QC

  139. Yes, I missed you. Perhaps you could use snaps or velcro (Heaven forfend!!) on this one, instead of buttons?
    P.S. *Some* parts of Canada had warm weather, sun mixed with clouds, and *some* knitters were able to garden… πŸ˜‰

  140. 1. 2-4 Day traditions sound very familiar to Memorial Day traditions in Maine – could it perhaps be a latitude issue? No great memories…that I can recall…
    2. I used to work as a tourguide/educator in Washington DC – we used to have great fun telling teenagers that the two different colors of stone on the Washington Monument was either a) because they lowered it every night so the planes could fly by, or b) because of the Flood – you’ve heard of the Flood, haven’t you?
    3. It’s Newt, not Rush – similar politics, different hairstyle.
    Happy return!

  141. Stef,
    Leah’s Sock, Suz’s Sock, Sarah’s Sock, St John’s (Memorial) Sock, and Scott’s Sock cordially invite Your Sock to:
    A Sock Convention
    Guemes Island
    Friday, May 26 to Monday, May 29
    Everybody’s Sock Who is Anybody’s Sock will Be There
    Trip to Ana-Cross Stitch included at no cost (sly laughter)
    If you can figure out where Guemes Island is, you’re in!

  142. Wait a minute, wait a minute. Timbits I figured out. That a poverty pack is a six-pack is amusing.

  143. Brrr…Even here in Atlanta, I turned my heat back on last week. It’s back to AC now, though.
    This morning I finished reading Knitting Rules! and want to tell you that it’s such a great book. I’m getting ready to knit my first sweater and I was going to make it a bigger size than I probably should. Then I read the sweater chapter in your book. You’ve saved me a ton of trouble! Thanks for a great book and for being so, so funny.

  144. It must be an odd alignment of the planets. I have been “reading” “The Blind Assassin” on the way to work for the last 3 weeks. Yesterday I heard a discussion of the new MA book, today I read of your near miss, and now she-who-must-be-read comments on your blog??!! Too cool!

  145. Um, I’ll admit it. The heat went back on last night here (Pennsylvania’s central mountain region), when temperatures dropped to freezing. Next weekend is our local planting date, and the official opening date for the public swimming pools, though I dunno, this year May 29 might not be late enough. I am still wearing wool socks — a good climate for knitters!

  146. Dado, Jodi’s dad may know the sock, but it looks like he’s torturing it…like maybe sticking it with -(shutter)- needles !

  147. PHEW! I was starting to worry . . . images of the sock lying forsaken in a ditch haunted my dreams, but I’m glad to hear you’re both alive (as much as a sock can be alive, which, I guess is not very much) and well. πŸ™‚

  148. Oh dear. Well, now I don’t feel quite so bad about the socks I made for my daughter. One of them fits her and the other one, um, doesn’t. I’ll be frogging soon. Anyway, I vote for crocheted loops, yes, crochet comes in handy sometimes. Maybe just one loop and button at the top, and the rest of the sweater is open. My son had a sweater like that when he was a baby. It makes the baby more accessible when you need to do stuff with it.

  149. Also, snaps can be moved to the other side if people insist, and zippers are always unisex.
    I enjoyed the Book Expo panel. You made a good point, that knitting books are tools.

  150. ewww newt gingrich. i’m sorry you had to look at him.
    how exciting about margaret atwood and stitchy mcyarnpants though.
    go stitchy go!

  151. Miss you???
    YOU are who we appreciate!
    And please don’t touch my underpants.

  152. Of course you were missed! But now that May two-four has been explained, I understand. At least, as much as an American possibly could…I’m equating it to our long May weekend this coming weekend – Memorial Day. Meant to be a tribute, in reality it’s become the first official beach weekend. It may be 50* this weekend, but by God, I will be at Coney Island soaking up the sun. I just might be soaking up the sun through twenty layers of clothing. Good thing beer’s de rigeur for our holiday, too.

  153. It’s possibly even harder trying to explain Victoria Day to the English, who have something like “spring bank holiday” instead. “You what? You celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday?”

  154. Your 2-4 weekend sounds like Memorial Weekend in North Carolina. It’s always grand opening of the pool (instead of the cottage) and involves beer and picnics and cookouts and such. Oh no, that means I have to get in a bathing suit in 4 days! CRAP – I better go put down the knitting needles and take a run outside.

  155. And in the pre 9-11 days… one could walk up or down the Washington monument and on each landing there were neat stuff carved in …about the states.. etc… We did miss you… glad you had a great holiday….hugs

  156. And in the pre 9-11 days… one could walk up or down the Washington monument and on each landing there were neat stuff carved in …about the states.. etc… We did miss you… glad you had a great holiday….hugs

  157. For the past 7 years we’ve celebrated the Victoria Day weekend as a birthday holiday. My daughter was born May 23 and she just loves having a long weekend for her birthday, this year she was even luckier and had a 4-day weekend ending on her b-day. πŸ™‚

  158. You can still see some of the stone carvings from the elevator. There’s even room for a wheelchair-well, a manual one anyway–for Lene up there, although the windows are too high for sitseeing. And after living through the Loma Prieta earthquake in California, where at the epicenter we had the force of gravity but in the wrong direction, going up the Washington Monument later and being told it was held together by–but, but what if… I was trying not to freak out, thinking, but gravity isn’t always in just one direction!
    Good to have you back. Sock on!

  159. Thought I’d throw this info into the mix – in Australia we celebrate the Queens Birthday on the second weekend of June. It is boringly called the Queens Birthday long weekend!! The only thing that seems to happen is the opening of the ski season (snow or no snow – more often or not the latter!!)

  160. No worries about the Newt Gingrich/Rush Limbaugh confusion. I’m a politically aware American, and I still can’t tell the difference. They are both big republicans, only one has committed a felony.
    As for the button holes. It is for a baby right? Don’t you think snaps with decorative buttons on top may be soooooo much easier for a sleepy mom to put on? Heh heh heh! I’m a sneaky one . . . Just a thought. πŸ™‚

  161. Margaret Atwood!!! Love her! When I read The Handmaid’s Tale I had the distinct impression she was writing in response to the kind of politics and world Newt/Rush would set up if they didn’t have democracy in their way. By the way, a famous person would probably happily receive you if you began “I respect your work so much.” and were brief.

  162. I love how everyone was awaiting their sock picture!
    In my humble opinion *ahem* Buttons are really, really hard to undo on a recently spit upon sweater and not smear it on anything. Wow. that sounds really gross. Sorry! I’m going to go back to knitting my sock… and maybe have a two-four (that’s a beer in Canadian talk, right?)

  163. I vote for clasps, afterthought buttonholes ala EZ, or frogs. Velcro and knits never mix well at my house.
    And, holy smoke Margaret Atwood reads your blog. Did you have to junp up and down and run around the house when you read her comment, or did you sit there at the computer staring in disbelief for a good long time? Her books are wonderful, but you know, so are yours.
    And it’s probably Newt. I’ve met him before at a booksigning, and he is a very nice man. I don’t agree with everything he or Rush say, but valid points are made by both. Then again, I don’t agree with everything anybody says, how boring would that be?
    Glad to have you back!

  164. The first time I did that (consider knitting a sweater with buttons) I said “EZ must have an afterthought buttonhole so that I don’t have to plan out where the buttons will be or how many I will have”. And I flipped through one of her books, and there it was. Snip the yarn, unravel, do a sewn cast-off.

  165. I absolutely ADORE the TuxedoDadWithSock photo. Classic.
    And when I was maybe 5 or so, I got to look out of lthose ittle windows in the Washington Monument…and I still recall that being the very first time I recognized the fact that when you are up that high, people look like ants.

  166. At the risk of being redundant:
    Margaret ATWOOD?! I’m not Canadian, and I would have HAD to approach her. Wow.
    Uh, that’s Newt, not Rush. Understandable. Just claim your Canadianity…Canadianness…Canadiction…just claim ignorance b/c you’re a furriner. ;->
    Pewter clasps. Clasps, for sure.

  167. That Newt Gingrich sure gets around. I remember seeing him when I was in high school, having a birthday dinner with a friend and her family. Newt was chillin’ at the bar with a ladyfriend. Ah, the scandals of Washington! Hello by the way, this is my first ever comment–I had to make it through all the archives before allowing myself to post. Love your journal!

  168. Hmm. Victoria Day sounds suspiciously a lot like Memorial Day weekend… It’s neat you got to see Air Force One- I wonder if it was the real and actual one? I can’t see our government just loaning it out…then again, maybe I can! I’m glad the sock and you had such a blast this weekend!

  169. For a moment I was worried that you were talking about two-by-fours… I’m glad the post wasn’t about heavy construction work following the flood in your basement. Were are thinking about renting some basement space from our apartment building, so that the kids would have more space to spread their legos, and I would have space for my stash and sewing machine. But today when I was inspecting the place I noticed a leak from the water pipes running along the ceiling…

  170. Hey Harlot, I checked your blog five times a day not to miss anything… and I almost thought you dead. Don’t you plan to come somewhere to Europe?
    And, importantly, I happened to discover your website when someone at my fennomane mailing list posted a link to that Finnish mitten post and I became adicted to you.. and started knitting again. As I spend quite a long time on trains, I realized that it’s much more fun to knit than to doze off or read trashy magazines and I really enjoy it.

  171. OK I was going to write about the May Long here on the West Coast but DAMN Stephanie – MARGARET ATWOOD reads your blog AND comments!!
    Of all the things.
    Somehow I have never thought of knitting and Margaret Atwood – look what happens when you are legendary, people still don’t know you.
    I like to think I would overcome Canadian reticence if I passed her but it is unlikely. Though perhaps on holiday in a ‘foreign’ country two Canadians can politely meet?
    I still would have just smiled and then kicked myself for days!
    What a celebrity filled weekend you had! Love Sock at the wedding – Dado makes me miss my Bugga (grandpa). What a gentleman.
    Apparently I know nothing about Rush Limbaugh other than his name and his silhouette! Not too many posters fond of that fellow – I am almost curious enough to read up on him. How he has inspired so many knitters to want to poke him with their sharp sticks! Hilarious.
    How is your basement?

  172. We Aussies are still waiting for our Queen’s birthday. Most states ‘celebrate’ in June, and, amazingly, also make it a long weekend. It usually coincides with the start of the snow season. Convenient, isn’t it?

  173. I forgot to put my buttonholes on a striped, three yarn child’s cardigan and realized it 3/4 of the way up. Difference between yours and mine…mine was knit as ONE PIECE (left front, back, right front). I talked to everyone about how I could make buttonholes out of the fabric that was already there and then just bit the bullet and ripped out 7 inches of knitting!!!
    Funny thing is…I was making them for a set of twins also, and, I had already finished the first one so I KNEW the pattern and I KNEW one side needed buttonholes…Alas, it’s the process, right?

  174. Newt, Rush, who cares? They’re both mean-spirited hypocritical Republicans (oh, is that redundant?).
    I’m sorry I couldn’t go to BEA and stalk you (and maybe Margaret Atwood, too). That would have been fun.
    Next time give us poor southerners a heads-up about Victoria Day so we can celebrate it, too! That sounds like fun. Our comparable, I suppose, is Memorial Day, this weekend–

  175. I am totally crushed that you were in DC and “we” (the public, as it were) weren’t allowed to come see you! We could have lined Constitution Avenue and waved our socks at you as you passed by!

  176. OH! did we miss you! Glad your travels went well.
    Back in prehistoric times, when I was in 8th grade, our class went to DC. We went up to the top of the Monument in the elevator. I let some pin-headed clown talk me into doing the stairs all the way down. Not one bit fun.
    Clasps would look smashing on your sweater, but as mom of baby I have to vote SNAPS.

  177. On May Long (up in Northern Ontario we call it May Long too) my family…mostly me, my Dad and our friends, has a tradition of jumping into the lake at the cabin (it is NOT A COTTAGE PEOPLE! Cottages are the fancy white-picket fence thingys built on Georgian Bay, aka “The North” to no one but Southern Ontarians). Although this may not sound impressive, firstly our lake is fed by cold underground springs, several of which originate under our dock. Also, usually the ice has only been off the lake for a few weeks. Ergo it is very frigid!
    You have to make sure not to dive in head first, because you can actually cause your heart to stop, no kidding.

  178. Mmmmmm-beer. Cold beer. Yum.
    And I feel for you. I was 26 rows into my sweater last night before I realized I was supposed to have switched colors. That is why it is striped-duh.
    Pass the beer….

  179. Hmmm, sounds like one of my latest mistakes on a baby cardigan… only I made buttonholes in BOTH fronts…..

  180. I once made the same mistake on a child’s cardigan. There was nothing fun about re-knitting the entire piece. I feel your pain.

  181. Stephanie- Thanks so much for making me LOL. I am always guaranteed a good chuckle from the Harlot. It’s so nice to know that a woman who, writes books, mother’s 3 girls and a husband, hates laundry, contiunues to obcessively knit and forgets buttonholes. I love the fact that you tell us about forgetting the buttonholes.Thank you for not becoming “Stephanie McBigBritches”

  182. Snaps were invented for the “forgot the button holes in the sweater” situation. At least that is what I told myself when I was finishing off the sweater.

  183. Don’t worry about the Air Force One fascination. When the President was in San Diego a couple of years ago, I actually ran outside of my work place to snap of shot of Air Force One flying over our building. Thank goodness for zoom! And thanks for the buttonhole story–I’m doing a baby cardigan right now and that’s a good reminder for me!

  184. It’s funny to hear tourists get so excited about DC. It took me a half an hour to pass the Pentagon today and I was grumbling that I shouldn’t still be able to see The (Washington) Monument. Nothing like a fresh perspective to remind you that your city is pretty cool.
    Not when you took and hour and 15 minutes to get to work today, but I digress…

  185. Whew! I was beginning to wonder if you had drowned in the basement or if the crazy flooding of the back yard had swept you away. What a huge relief!
    If it is Victoria Day, and it takes place in May … is that because that was when Queen Victoria’s birthday was? And the holiday never moved after she left the throne?
    In the Northern US, planting season and the “kick-off” of summer starts at Memorial Day weekend, just a week or so later – this coming weekend, as a matter of fact. Beer is a big tradition for that weekend here. We save the fireworks for July though.
    In Houston, Texas, summer started back on Groundhog’s Day, I think – and when it is already in the 90s here, I think it will never end. *sigh*

  186. Well, explaining Victoria Day can’t be any worse than trying to explain Groundhog’s day to the rest of the world.


  188. Yes, we did miss you! For what it’s worth us northern Montanans loved Victoria Day weekend. My family would go to Radium Hot Springs and on the way up stop at a Canadian fort and admire the Mounties and the clydesdales. It’s 30 years later and I still love Mounties and clydesdales. Oh and Rish Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich? Same thing. Except Newt has a T-rex skull in his office and Rush has a .., well.

  189. The other cool thing about the Washington Monument is that, when you get to those wee windows at the top, you are actually HIGHER than the aircraft coming in for a landing at National Airport. Just something for your (inner) 8-year-old.

  190. I don’t know about anyone else but my ideal two-four weekend is some nice cotton blend yarn, a summer shell pattern and a couple of cold beers…ah…heaven…

  191. Yep, it was Newt. And while I disagree with both Newt and Rush, I actually think Newt might have enjoyed the sock.

  192. I hate to be a stickler for details but… The May 24 weekend is not to honour Queen Elizabeth but to honour Queen Victoria. Queen Elizabeth’s offical Birthday is April 21, but is celebrated in England in June, as the weather is nicer. Victoria Day was first celebrated in 1901 the year she died; Queen Victoria that is. Thanks Lulu

  193. Dado cool. Groom handsome. Bride beautiful. Sock lucky to attend such a great wedding.
    Okay, didn’t get to read all the comments yet, but here in the US, Memorial Day weekend traditions also include one or more of the following: a) drive to the beach or mountains to join large throng of frazzled people packed into small space; b) daylong shopping excursion to megamall to continue conspicuous overconsumption of Americans; and c) two hours stuck in traffic while attempting one of the above.
    And thanks for explaining Timbits and poverty packs. And no, I don’t think your Canadian spelling is weird — coming from a country that uses odd abbreviations and no punctuation, I have no rights to comment on your spelling!

  194. Newt and Rush are the same jack*ss in different pants. Mags Atwood! Now that’s something. I wish the sock had hurled itself into her path so you could at least have apologized for your impulsive American sock-friend’s brazenness. Your Canadian rule about not bothering famous people would have to have retreated before your Canadian good manners, right? We *did* miss you!

  195. In the US they would have called it “6-pack Liz Day”. We are a crude people.
    Newt or Rush – a fat man is still a fat man (and aren’t they both silly names?). I think the sock tricked you into thinking it was Rush.
    The sock looks very happy, with the father of the bride!

  196. I don’t know which is more enjoyable: your entries, or the pithy and entertaining comments afterward! The smartest women in the world must read your blog because I never cease to be amazed at the funny entries. Love reading you, love reading them. And Frog Princess is right – Newt and Rush are cut from the same cloth – Big Dumb Doofus, 100%blow hard full of crap.

  197. Martin Short was on Letterman last night talking about May 24, and I was so happy to know what he was referencing. Who knew that knitting blogs would quickly become my source of information on almost everything?!!

  198. Here in Quebec the Birthday Queen is call in french “La grande fin de semaine ” (The long weekend), and many peoples make a garage sale, sale anything and this is the moment to find anything you need at ridiculous prices ;)But the rain are with us this weekend ha ha !!

  199. The 24th of May is the Queen’s birthday,
    If we don’t get a holiday we’ll all run away.
    Some people do “The May Run” on the May long weekend – put loads of beer in car. Pack camping gear around it. Go to campsite. Get drunk.
    That’s why I don’t go camping on the May long weekend (it’s way too cold, usually, anyway)

  200. We spent the long weekend moving…almost as bad as camping on this weekend…the weather was the same crap.
    So, I haven’t had time to read all the responses….but isn’t the holiday to celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday, not the current Queen Elizabeth, or her mum (The Queen’s Mum), but the queen before that (and I know before the Queen’s Mum there was a king or two who created a scandal). Don’t know when Queen Vic’s b-day was either, but I think that’s who’s b-day we ‘celebrated’ (if guzzling Dave’s Spiked Lemonade–cause it’s been over a year since I drank–while holding a screeching babe at arms’ length–while searching for lost pacifiers, wipes, and cursing the missed cable connection hook up appointment on moving day–can be called celebrating).

  201. This May-long was actually really warm for once. I wanted to turn on the a/c except.. we don’t have any. Who needs a/c in the house in Canada?

  202. Ummm – I think that is actually Newt – but I still think you should’ve stuck him with a DPN – carefully avoiding the green slime he must surely have instead of blood.

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