Sparkle queen

Yesterday, despite all of the dry thoughts that you all sent my way, things went from bad to worse. The sketchy drizzle of the day broke loose into a downpour of biblical proportions, complete with raging hail, seen here defiling my new porch.


I resumed my position at the back door waiting for the water to rise enough to spill in (I’m not sure what good I think watching it will do – scare it off?) and sure enough, soon I heard the sound of indoor running water. I looked down at my feet, expecting to see the river of water that I could hear, and was stunned to see nothing. Odd that. I went to the front door. (Which is actually much higher than the back door, I don’t know why I even considered it) and found it relatively dry.


Still I could hear running water, then it hit me.

Basement. Thus began several hours of weeping in the basement, using buckets, towels and a wet-dry vacuum on high, trying to stem the tide. Lucky for me the basement slopes to one side, so there was a place to shift stuff too, and also lucky for me, only one wall of the basement (sadly, the leaking one) is dirt, so the water was only as filthy as that chick in 8th grade and not a total quagmire of murky swill. Eventually, the water, both indoor and out slowed to a drizzle, the leak stopped and I came upstairs and recalled Rachel H.’s comment from the other day.

“Even though it’s not Tuesday, spin something. Treadling will help you work out your frustration. And I’m just not sure today’s a good pointy stick day for you.”

Right she was too, now was not the hour to be armed. I spun some beautiful Spinderella roving that was a gift from Julia.


(Not so much a gift as something that wound up in my suitcase when I came back from her house. I love how that happens when you visit spinners.)

I don’t know if you guys have noticed, but I’m not so much of a sparkle girl. (What gave me away?) This roving has a bit of Angelina in it, and I surprised myself by finding it completely entertaining. I don’t like sequins, satin, all the shiny stuff leaves me cold, but this little hint of purple sparkliness in the roving? I was enchanted. I made the whole family watch me spin it. “See the sparkles? There’s another one? Look? See the sparkles?” They loved it. (Well. They loved it more than the topic from the rest of the day. “See the rain? Is it leaking? Is the rain stopping? Is that rain?”)


All three girls expressed polite disinterest, which didn’t surprise me. What did surprise me was that the minute it was actual yarn, Amanda and Sam had a huge honking fight debate over who should have a sparkly winter hat.


The fight debate ended instantly when I suggested that the girl who removed the most water from the basement would win.

The silence was deafening.

143 thoughts on “Sparkle queen

  1. Amazing how that works, isn’t it, when you ask for help around the house?
    Sorry about the leakage. We’ve been dealing with lots of rain here in Boston as well. Finally saw the sun again yesterday. Yay.

  2. You know, it’s a really good thing you had all girls – just think how frustrated you’d be if your kids were all boys and none of them wanted to knit or fight over your knitting (despite Ken’s excellent example of exemplary manhood).
    By the way, if I come mop out the basement, can I get the hat? It’s, like, so totally MY colors and Same and Megan ALWAYS get ALL the good stuff. Whine, whine… or whinge, whinge, if that’s the correct translation.

  3. Incredible how the mere mention of labor silences the children.
    Pretty yarn, and is it soft too? That is what I dislike about sparkley stuff-it is usually scratchy.

  4. Oh dear. So sorry about the inadvertant indoor swimming pool. But hooray for the gorgeous roving-into-yarn! Purple and green. What could be better? You definitely win the hat after your pool eviction project.

  5. What? No sump pump? Even though we live on a hill, ours was rather busy. We still fared much better than a lot of folks, even when our county was declared a disaster area.
    The new porch is very nice, indeed, but it is doomed to weather. It is simply the nature of things. Let it go. Let it go.

  6. Sorry to hear about your basement. I hope the weather clears up soon so you can keep your front porch nice and clean.
    The girls sound like me when I was younger. Nothing was worth helping Mom clean. Even though I would have helped for a hat made out of that!

  7. If I were Rams, I’d be worried. You’re sucking up to her with a reason, aren’t you?
    Lovely sparkly stuff, and sorry about the basement. We had the hail as well, but stayed remarkably dry. So far.

  8. Hahahhaha! I guess you deserve your own hat, thankyouverymuch! Good luck with the basement, hope everything is flowers soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Ummm,
    “…so the water was only as filthy as that chick in 8th grade…”
    I love it when these parts of your sense of humor creap in.

  10. Ugh, flooded basements! I’ve never had a basement before and I sure hope the one in the house I’m buying is dry, since Portland certainly isn’t. I’m with the others – keep the awesome shimmery yarn for yourself! All the time you’re knitting for others, and we know perfectly well which girl is going to remove most water from the basement.

  11. Aren’t old houses fun? I hear those newfangled houses that are less than a hundred years old have these fancy devices called “sump pumps.” I think I want one of those. (A pump, not a newer house.)
    Billy and I spent the morning of our wedding trying to bail out a quickly flooding basement with a shopvac and a bucket. Nothing brings a couple together like standing in their own home in ankle-deep water, having just woken up and wearing nothing but underwear. Ah, good times. Our first flood of many.
    Sorry about the flood. Us too, but last week.

  12. Oh I hate when that happens…fortunately we haven’t had basement water problems since we sunk sump pumps in each and every window well. It used to pour in through the windows!
    Beautiful yarn too! The sparkles are very sedate and pretty all spun up. How much do you have? It might make a really pretty scarf or wrap.
    And now I’m off to try my hand at spinning hemp…just for fun.

  13. Oh I hate when that happens…fortunately we haven’t had basement water problems since we sunk sump pumps in each and every window well. It used to pour in through the windows!
    Beautiful yarn too! The sparkles are very sedate and pretty all spun up. How much do you have? It might make a really pretty scarf or wrap.
    And now I’m off to try my hand at spinning hemp…just for fun.

  14. Sorry about your basement. I rented a place that did that a few years ago. The first time was quite a surprise. But definitely a drag.
    I have an even better idea for the newly spun… I’d love a new winter hat!!!

  15. This rain has been surreal, hasn’t it?
    Amazingly, our basement has stayed relatively dry (only one weepy corner) For us though, with small children, the rain serves as bars on the windows and door. Just how do you get across to a 4 year old that thunder and lightning is um, DANGEROUS? And that a trip to the zoo is absolutely out of the question (nevermind that it would rate a zero on the fun factor if we’re dripping wet and freaking freezing cold!)
    and the spinning is lovely. I’m not much for sparkles either, but its a nice occasional surprise as you spin.

  16. Clean sunny porch, grey hail-driven porch. No use complaining about the weather because it is sure to change –

  17. Oooh, I remember my parents’ basement flooding like that when I was in high school. Then it was a result of the weather suddenly turning warm and raining, melting the four-some feet of snow that had been on the ground. My mom stopped bailing long enough to pick my sister and I up from school so we could help, and then my dad left work early to buy a wet-vac on his way home. I recall that we stopped counting after about 60 gallons of water removed…

  18. I put lots of angelina in my blends and love what it does when you felt with it. I have some pink/purple yarn in my shop right now that felts so well…I’m thinking of taking it out so I can make a bowling bag :o)

  19. When I was a very little girl, during a really bad rain,the storm sewers on our street would back up through our basement drain. Unfortunately, sometimes the toilet sewer system got mixed up in that too, giving a whole new meaning to “HOLY SH*T, the basement is flooded!”
    Love love love the yarn!

  20. uh, yeah, that chick in the 8th grade?!uh huh, dirty girl? Sorry about all that rain collecting in your basement, what a bother. Sweet jeeze louise! that yarn, on the other hand, is absolutely gorgeous, love the colours, mmmmmmm, yummy, if I lived closer I’d be cleaning your basement even as I write this.

  21. Been there, done that with the buckets and it is mightly awful. Good luck with the basement – and the teenagers.

  22. For about 10 minutes on Tuesday night the already torrential rains seemed to take on a strength I’ve never seen before and literally DUMPED water on Halifax/Dartmouth. The storm drains couldn’t hold the water and it was forced back up the drain pipe in our basement.
    Luckily the storm didn’t last nor was there a lot of water (just a small puddle), however, our basement is now rather, uh, malodorous.
    I think I need to take up spinning.

  23. Yes, the curse of basements. We can’t live with them and we can’t live without them. The worst house moments I can remember involve water and basements! It’s almost like childbirth in that the pain pales over time, but there is no sweet babyface to help ease the pain memories!

  24. The first thought that came to mind when you mentioned water in the basement was, ‘OMG, I hope there wasn’t any yarn down there!’ (Not that water would destroy it but it could get awfully messy).
    The spinderella is very pretty. I’ve decided I cannot take up spinning until I reduce my stash….you are making difficult with pictures of pretty roving like that!
    Stay dry!

  25. There must be a major age-related allergy to work amongst the teens. My nearly 21 yr. old is *almost* past it. Helps that she’s been at university for 3 years and has had to deal with the clean-your-room-yourself aspect of life, since nobody will clean it for you.
    “And it came to pass …”; it didn’t come to stay. Be very thankful for that reality of life as a mother. It keeps changing, just enough to keep you off balance.

  26. If you make the hat for yourself your girls will stop fighting over intended ownership and instead start fighting over who gets to “borrow” Mum’s hat. This problem could be easily fixed.
    You should send the hat to me ๐Ÿ˜‰ I love sparkly stuff. In exchange I could visit – I’d be happily transfixed by your spinning…and you might get quite a lot of work in the basement out of me before the novelty of it being a basement wore off. I’ve never seen one, let alone a flooded one.

  27. Oh no, not Toronto too! This has been a sopping wet week all around. I’m so sorry about the basement, but your front steps look like they held up admirably.

  28. The spinning thing amazes me. What beautiful yarn! Such a tempting idea… Must walk away now! ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Oh I’m so sorry about your basement! Here I was feeling sorry for myself when the hail decimated my garden.
    Never fear though, I take the rain to Seattle with me next week. ๐Ÿ™‚ Your basement shall be safe.
    And that scrumptious yarn has got to make you feel better.

  30. I would say whoever spins the yarn and knits the hat gets the hat. Yes, that would be you. (I think I am channeling Henny Penny here. Or was it Chicken Little? No, she went with the hail.)
    May your waters recede.

  31. Bailing out basements, I have done that. At least it wasn’t at 3:00 a.m.? Right!!! So if you don’t like sparkly . . . why the gold shawl?

  32. I love it. I love it so much that I would bail water all day for a hat made of that, and that’s with me being allergic to wool. (Yes, really, it’s been medically tested. I promise, it’s true.) I would bail water with a shot glass for that hat.

  33. Hail, huh? I live fairly close to you and we got all sorts of thunder and lightning and rain but no hail. How does that happen? The weather in Ontario still amazes me.
    Bummer about the basement.

  34. Poor you! Poor basement! Ours is pretty leaky too (though not as bad as the car).
    The sparkly winter hat prize idea is worth investigating though…what house chores _would_ your daughters do for the yarn?

  35. So is that where Brad’s fish ended up? Did you see them swimming around down there yet? When we had a major flood a few years ago, our neighbor checked out his front door to see if the water was coming up to it yet. His koi from his backyard swam past his feet just at that moment.

  36. “The silence was deafening.”
    I probably shouldn’t find this so funny, but that definitely hit the humor bone today. Now that I’m all set on fibers (I did a count of my fleeces the other day and had to have a lie down), I’m starting to ponder things to blend and/or dye with. I too am not so sure about the sparklies, but may give them a try. I’m a wee more interested in blending with a touch of silk.
    Lovely yarn! I can’t wait to see what it’ll look like all knit up into The Hat That Sparked a Great Debate.

  37. I now feel quite blessed that I live in a third-floor apartment. Thank you. Love, love, love the yarn.

  38. I feel your pain. I turned off our sump today. It had been running since Saturday. While it was running we had a constant 4″ of water in the basement (pause with me to shudder at the thought of what it would have been WITHOUT the sump).
    It seems the people who poured the concrete slab in our basement (which has fieldstone walls) failed to put in a DRAIN. (sorry for the shouting, but between the basement issues and the water coming through the roof I’m feeling a wee bit exasperated.)
    The person who did the pumping/moping/wet vacing deserves the hat.

  39. Nothing like work to shush up teens. ๐Ÿ™‚ Very pretty yarn you spun up there; Purple and green are so pretty together. Sorry you had a flood in the basement.
    happy knitting

  40. Oooh. Sorry to hear about the flooding basement. But take heart. At least it’s not raw sewage. Yes. I have had raw sewage in my basement. Not a day that I want to relive anytime soon. The roving and the yarn is lovely.

  41. The more I hear about this house the more I love it. It sounds like the one I had before getting married. The hubby would never let me buy a vintage home. He likes code, engineering and recommended building materials. I like old houses with personality, maybe an old granny ghost knitting in the corner, doors that don’t shut when it’s muggy, and uniqueness. The last one I owned had a basement that was cracked and starting to collapse. I had to sell or watch the whole house fall in. Hubby never tires of asking me, “how’s that cracked foundation working for you?” Sooo not funny. I recommend that you consider another book. Foundations that get wet and leak are not easy or cheap. Good luck and I’ll be thinking happy thoughts for you.

  42. Please feel free to suck up to me all you want (roving, yarn, knitted garments, books and cash are all graciously accepted — daughters, I’ve got) but you and I know that only Joe’s gansy counts as appeasement spinning. I am looking forward to Cast-On Day there, but first I’m looking forward to The Final Plyfest. Disappointed in the girls though — I was hoping for a scarf fight to accessorize The Scarf Heard Round the World.
    But who was that saying “let it go” on Day THREE of a glorious new porch? I dun THIN so! If we ever get the red squirrels out I’m planning to run guided tours of the hole-patch (the carpenter ants are currently running said tours) in our back wall. The bronzing will be by invitation only.

  43. I’m so sorry to hear about your basement. But, it could have been worse. I mean, how long would it have taken for them to notice that sound if you were out on your tour???

  44. Could you possibly, maybe? send some (not all!) of that rain this way? See, here in New Mexico, it hasn’t rained in about 27 years, ok, 10 months – but still! It’s very dry here, and we could use some – I’d even help bail out someone’s basement! ๐Ÿ˜€

  45. Sending you hugs….The yarn is beautiful… when (& it will .He promised no more 40 days of rain) it stops raining… and things dry out… consider walling the dirt wall w/ concrete & installing all the sump pumps everyone has talked about. Meantime.. advise daughters of new rule… work for your keep, lol .
    Love your books & blogs… they make even a bad day bearable.

  46. Your posts almost always make me smile and laugh. Sorry about the rain, but the yarn is FABULOUS! I will try to send some of our Sunny Colorado weather your way….

  47. I feel your pain and the water in the basement. Ditto. I didn’t offer the kids knitwear though but they did help. It was some downpour.

  48. Is it raining absolutely everywhere? I’m in Northwest Illinois. After last year’s drought and this year’s rain, one of our trees just dropped. Just laid down. Just like that. With it’s entire root system exposed. Forty fifty feet of lie down. Pretty scary.
    Ah well. Your new “Room of Your Own” is on ground level, is it not?

  49. Absolutly fantabulous yarn!!!Colour and sparklies . At one time in my life I had two toy poodles and I was out all afternoon at a great craft exposition. Unfortunatly I had left the washing machine going in the basement and when arriving home the two little dogs greeted me SOAKING wet.Poodles DO LOVE water and they had there own swimming pool downstairs. The pipe had popped and it ran all afternoon The insurance we had at the time came and cleaned EVERYTHING up—took 4 days with high power fans going day and night after they had sucked as much water out of there as possible. The noise of the fans was unbearable so I ended up in a very nice motel with dry dogs and my knitting . I have very fond memories of this event . I hope you have as good as luck as I had, but for goodness sake don’t go out and leave washie going. No comment on the girls getting the hat —you know what to do.

  50. I must say that your house adventures do NOT make me long to abandon my lovely NYC apartment for a home like that of my youth – we had a leaky basement too and had to push the water out with brooms by way of the garage. And then there were the three-inch long waterbugs – ugh! Although I could do without my heavy-footed upstairs neighbors…the yarn is splendid. And listen, you must really STOP (not) putting in links to all of these places where one can pick up yet MORE one-of-a-kind yarns…my stash is going to be flowing out onto the fire escape soon. Just ordered some yarn (with sparkly angelina!) from the Spinderella folks. At least yarn isn’t heavy – I’d be in my downstairs neighbors laps by now. AND WHEN ARE YOU COMING TO NEW YORK??? the Knitty City folks said they were going to contact you – did they?

  51. You don’t think……could having sparkles in your near future have set the universe on it’s edge and sent hail and water your way. Nah. Couldn’t be.
    I am SO SORRY TO HEAR OF YOUR WATER. I thought you were safe. I wanted you to be safe from a flood.
    Bah humbug on too much rain.

  52. I’m not the sparkly type, either, but they might just float my boat if I’ve got flooding in my basement. (Unintended pun, but now that I look at it, I kind of like it.) :0)

  53. This is perhaps my most favorite message from the YH blog yet! Endearing, sympathy-making, and totally charming. Best regards to you and yours, Stephanie. Stay dry and sparkly.
    Linda from Ann Arbor

  54. Mmmm, love the yarn. For some reason I’m really having a green-and-purple phase here lately – are you sure that’s not for me? ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s rained so much here lately that I’ve considered changing my name to Mrs. Noah and fitting pontoons on my van. Icky, icky weather. The sun has been shining today (rather sporadically) so maybe there’s an end in sight. Hand the girls each a bucket and you go someplace quiet and knit. If they come bug you, threaten to run the garden hose into the basement to keep them busy longer….I imagine they will quickly rearrange their priorities. Think dry thoughts!

  55. I, too, know the agony of indoor weather. Once, in our former home (a vintage condo building), someone “adjusted”the pressure on the boiler causing the radiators on the third floor to overfill, literally making it rain on the second floor. Guess where I lived? We also had a sewer backup in the basement after a big rain. Not pretty…Good luck and hang in there. The yarn, the by-product of your woe, is lovely.

  56. Yup, here in the Northeast of the USA, too, up to our ankles in dirty water in the cellar for the first time in 31 years. Lots of bailing, unaided by two daughters. At least the floor is cleanish now.

  57. I’m so sorry about the flooding! With hurricane season right around the corner here and a lake behind me I’ll be feeling your pain in no time.
    But really, I HAVE to say that is really really really pretty yarn.

  58. Vinca Minor!
    oh, and the yarn is pretty too. : )
    Sorry, I have a thing for vinca minor (the plant with the pretty purple flower in the last picture). It only grows in “disturbed” ground. *sigh* A plant after my own heart!

  59. Oh, no! Is Mr. Washie okay?
    The yarn is lovely and you are setting my spinning urge to overdrive but seriously–my first thought was of that hardworking basement-dweller. Perhaps _he_ should get the hat. Knob-cover? Sparkly greeny-purple doily?

  60. Having endured a flooded basement (the groundwater rose so high and so fast that our sump pumps couldn’t keep up!) this past weekend myself, I sympathize completely. The flood has mostly subsided now, though I just spent some quality time down there wetvaccing the last few puddles. I wish I had some sparkly yarn, especially in delicious colors like that, to fondle…I think it would be enough to make it all better. ๐Ÿ™‚

  61. The yarn is lovely! I spun some once that was black with purple and green sparkles. It turned out wonderful but I never knit it up ’cause I’m not a sparkly person either. I do get it out every so often and hold it though.
    Sorry about your basement and all of the rain. I suppose I shouldn’t mention that it was in the 80s today and clear blue for fear of an angry crowd showing up in my yard holding pitchforks and clubs like the villagers in Frankenstein.

  62. Lovely yarn. Two of my favorite colors.
    So sorry about flooded basement and resulting nasty mess. Over here on the east end of Lake Superior we had 10 straight days of rain, fog, slop, and general dampness. Ugh! Had suggested to DH that we dig out ark plans and then decided that we could make do with a small pontoon houseboat, since the only animals coming aboard would be the two cats in residence.
    We are very thankful to live on a hill way above the lake, but we have recurring ponds in our lawn. Also mudholes where DH mowed the low spots. But the dandelions are blooming beautifully.

  63. “I have a thing for vinca minor (the plant with the pretty purple flower in the last picture). It only grows in “disturbed” ground. *sigh* A plant after my own heart!
    Posted by: Annabella at May 18, 2006 06:26 PM”
    How perfect is that? If you ever think to name your yarns, this MUST be the name for your lovely angelina mix — spun to relieve you of the frustration of the wretched water that disturbed your happy home! Wishing you many wonderful, warm, and dry thoughts.

  64. Basement flooding? Watch out! A few years back we had a mega-rainstorm in Minneapolis (According to the weather people it’s called “training,” where as soon as one thunderstorm fizzles another forms in the same spot.) This went on for 4-6 hours, and our neighborhood got 14″ of rain. That’s roughly 60% of our annual rainfall.
    Anyway, I told you all that to tell you this: an elderly gentleman was in his basement unloading the food from the freezer and handing it to his wife on the stairs. Their basement was flooding, and they wanted to save the food. As she watched, one wall of the basement collapsed and the man drowned. In his basement. Yikes.
    So watch out. I’m just warnin’ ya.

  65. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!! I have that same fiber from Spinderella! Their thrums are my all time, absolute, cross my heart favorite fiber. So easy to spin, so beautiful and sparkly when it’s done. You have really good friends if they gave you Spinderella stash.

  66. What a moment! You are brilliant! So, I’m guessing that you win the prize of sparkly winter hat?
    I spun today, too-how come I didn’t get a whole bobbin to show for it? Maybe moorit Corriedale isn’t as mesmerizing as your Angelina blend. It turned out beautifully!

  67. I hate that running water sound! My basement tries to flood every couple of years.( I’m not going to tempt fate by saying any more, after my last comment to you when you were sick, and I believe I said I hadn’t had a cold in 2 years. Well The next day I was sick as a dog, still recovering.)
    I do have a plee, although I know you’re a busy lady. Can you point me to a web site that can tell me how to use the folding Lendrum spinning wheel my friend Stephanie (a rug hooker not a harlot!) gave me. The Lendrum site appears to be down, she hasn’t used it in so long she can’t remember how and it doesn’t seem to want to spin no matter what I do! I’m really frustrated and the wine hasn’t helped so far.

  68. Living on one of the driest continents in the world and currently suffering through one of the worst droughts in our history (our city is about to run out of water!), I’m not sure I can drum up the sympathy over your water problem, but I can admire your lovely yarn. Just gorgeous!! :o)

  69. laugh…laugh…snort…snort! Priceless, that deafening silence!!
    Deepest sympathies on the flood and hail. I have a stone foundation under my century-old home so I can relate every major (and not so major) down-pour. Last fall even my sump pump couldn’t keep up and we were hauling buckets so our wood furnace wouldn’t flood…

  70. So…with regard to the winter hat winner (the girl who retrieved the most water from the basement…does that mean then that YOU are the one going to have a new hat next winter? ;o)

  71. Is the yarn stash dry? You know, first things first.
    The genius of a raised foundation just saved my basement from a similar fate.

  72. Stephanie, you brought back memories today! Four children and two adults crawling around the basement scooping water into pails with coffee cans, cut up bleach bottles and margerine containers, trying desperately to keep up to the waterfall coming in the basement door. Who puts a door in a spot that’s six feet lower than half of the yard?!!! We used to shut up and fade into invisibilty when ever we heard my mother saying things like, “the worst of water’s gone, where did I put that mop?”
    I love that yarn by the way!

  73. I’m with Ms. New Mexico! Send that rain south to TX! We’ve gotten some good rain recently, but our lakes are still pretty low, and we’ve got a hot summer ahead, if the winter was any indication (very, very mild).
    We don’t have basements here in Nort Texas – the sand and clay in the soil don’t really allow for basements, except in very, very large buildings.
    We in Texas would gratefully accept your excess rainfall.
    I hope you get a respite soon, and have a safe trip on your booksigning this weekend.
    When are you coming to Dallas/Ft. Worth?!!

  74. Oh what pretty sparkles!! When I was in high school we had an ice storm in Michigan that put our power out for four days – which meant that our sump pump in the basement was not able to work (electric, duh) so we had to bail water day and night (not just an ice storm – it kept raining, freezing, thawing, freezing, thawing, raining). What a nightmare. I really feel for you – thank goodness it didn’t last four days. ๐Ÿ™‚

  75. Wow, Stephanie. First plague, then house repair, then flood, then hail… I’m thinking locusts are next. But I don’t remember any mention of spinning and Angelina as an antidote….

  76. Where is all this water coming from??? I hope you don’t store yarn in the basement!

  77. OK, so I won’t mention that is has been in the 70’s and 80’s in SEATTLE.
    Sorry about the leaky basement, but the yarn in beautimus! Makes me want to learn to spin even more.

  78. I am so sad to hear about your flooding. I hope everything is ok, and that no yarn was harmed…And of course the remainder of the basement.

  79. I think that same rain hit Holland this morning… I’m on the third floor, so no waterworld issues, but still, have to get to work…
    Can I hop on a plane, empty your basement and can I get the sparkly hat this winter?? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  80. *PANIC* Oh God, I think i remember you blogging that the stash cupboard was in the refurbished basement – the stash didn’t get wet did it? Was it on the upslope side? Have you found any drowned stash weasles?

  81. Ick. Sorry about the basement. But at least you’ll have a nice, sparkly hat (sounds like the odds of one of the girls getting one are pretty slim now) to wear this winter!

  82. Somedays we all need a little sparkle.
    Even – perhaps especially – those of us with uncooperative hair who lack the ability to accessorize. (I am an authority on this).

  83. I’m finding it really odd that we’ve been completed surrounded by areas getting huge amounts of rain and we haven’t gotten that much. Don’t get me wrong, it has rained, just enough to keep it damp, but not enough to flood. Usually it’s the other way around. Hope you’ve drained out by now.
    Lovely, lovely Spinderella! It’s much fun to spin something in colors that you would never choose for yourself.

  84. This is one of the few times I’ve been glad to live in a second-floor apartment…there’s no relief in sight from the wet crap in Montr๏ฟฝal until Tuesday. Bleah.
    This is also one of the few times I’m so with you on the sparklies…I’m not a sequins girl either, but wow, that stuff is gorgeous! I think if you’re the one who had to weep over the dirty water, you’re the one who should get to wear the sparkly bits.

  85. Send those nasty rain clouds out here – we need it! I seriously hope that it has stopped by now, and your basement is beginning to dry out. Thank God for spinning.
    Sparkly yarn looks wonderful – and my vote goes with the rest of them, it’s obviously YOUR hat!

  86. Don’t you love the rovings from Spinderella? I have bags and bags of them in the stash and always turn to them when I’m a little blue because they’re SO PRETTY.

  87. The yarn is gorgeous! And I am so sorry to hear about your flooded basement. Is it perhaps in cahoots with the sweater?

  88. Hi Stephaine,
    Beautiful yarn. I like the unusual color combination.
    As for your wet troubles- Isn’t it wonderful that you were there to stem the tide? Hopefully it will be dryer in DC while someone else is standing watch over your yard and basement at home. Maybe you can take up mushroom farming?

  89. So sorry to hear about the flooding – it makes me happy to live on the top floor of an apartment building that sits atop the highest hill in the area.
    The sparkly yarn is gorgeous, much too nice for anyone who wouldn’t help you bail out the basement. Keep it for yourself.

  90. Flooding sounds scary! I hope I don’t have to deal with that when I move into my new apartment (with a basement)! This definitely was a no pointy stick day for you.

  91. She who does the work gets the reward. Awesome yarn (and I don’t usually like purple, green or sparkly, so you should know it must be good . . .) and equally awesome parenting skills. Hmm, wonder which comes first — patience with yarn or patience with children?
    On that note, I’m thinkng that if you find a few more things your daughters would like, and sortof hint that they might be made/given IF somebody starts doing (insert name of task you hate), then you might solve the work-flow problem at home.
    Or not.

  92. You have a basement!?! If we had one it would be permanently under water. Of course, that’s what you get for living 8 feet above mean high tide.

  93. Nor-Cal tends to not do basements…but we do know a thing or two about flooding–sooo sorry about that. I’m glad you found a way to achieve peace in your house… I’m going to have to wall my pre-teens in their rooms with wool and make them knit their way out… by then they’ll be ready to move, and I will have succeeded as a parent because they will still be alive.

  94. Yep. It’s sneaky like that. I had no idea. It’s stealth fiber. I’m thinking that that yarn may achieve peace in the Middle East.

  95. Hi there yarn harlot ! Spinderella here- no where can i find your email address so I thought I would post – shame the girls have to fight over the sparkley hat- so tell me how many ounces you need and I will ship you some so that Sma and Amanda can get a reprive from the leaky basement! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Send an address please-
    hugs Spinderella and Spinderfella
    aka- Jim and Lynn

  96. Sorry to hear about the basement! That sound you hear is Oregonians everywhere cringing and offering condolances for what is a regular occurance every winter here! At least the porch held true to the rain test! And such a pretty yarn came out of your weather adversity!

  97. Sparkly yarn. Mmm.
    I’ve done the bailing of the basement, in a previous house – in winter, when the exit pipe froze up so the water was forcing its way out of the pipe inside the basement. We had to carry the buckets upstairs to dump them. I had a concrete walkway-width poured around the outside and carefully slanted to shed the water away from the foundation (and had to have them come back, rip it out, and do it right, the slobs. Good thing it rained right away so I could check). It helped a lot. Better budget to replace the dirt wall with a sealed one, and exterior drainage systems installed. (So far, so good in this house.)
    Ah, the yarn. Ooh, shiny! It goes to the one bailed the most water.

  98. Oh my God! I can picture myself in a few months from now, weeping in the basement of my new-old-little house. Because of course, it’s raining in the basement (what would be the fun of a new house?) It’s raining right now. It was raining the day before. It will be raining tomorrow. Heck, that’s Belgium!
    The spinning is so beautiful. I love purple with green!

  99. We’re recovering from the rains here in the Ohio valley as well, although I don’t have the torture of a basement. Man, I LOVE that yarn! I wish I could spin.

  100. thot you’d get kick out of this recent mention of you and your “groupies”. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    “Stephanie Pearl-McPhee of the Yarn Harlot knitting blog came to speak at the Fiber Art Center in Amherst, MA last fall when At Knit’s End came out. I went to hear her read. She and I have the same publisher and they alerted me to the event. I had never even heard of her, nor her blog, but they told me I would enjoy the talk. I met her and she seemed okay – and the knitters that came to see her talk seemed okay too – maybe a little bit excessively crazy over knitting – but okay.”
    as blogged about here

  101. The yarn is gorgeous.
    As for your basement, we have a sump pump too. And a generator (portable from Canadian Tire), for when the power goes out and the rain is coming down, hard. Which is the way it seems to happen here.
    Hope you’re drying out…..

  102. Steph i finally did it.. i created a blog.. so excited.. sorry i told Kerstin first.. but you are second ๐Ÿ™‚ next on to a number of my other blogging friends that i adore reading ๐Ÿ™‚ karola

  103. You brought back very unpleasant memories for me–I too have suffered a basement flood recently. However, instead of nice muddy rain water, we had a backed-up sewer caused by invading roots from a maple tree we just can’t cut down. So after thousands of dollars for new pipes, lots and lots of trash that used to be clothes, yarn and other things, and stuff too ghastly to mention, our basement is once again back to having the one eternal leak that doesn’t really do any damage! And I don’t even spin!

  104. Oh, I totally feel for you. My parent’s finished basement was filled one evening with over three feet of water. The very nice local fire department helped us pump it out, but it took us weeks to clean up. Plus, we lost most of the baby pictures, books, etc. My grandmother, parents, my brother, and I all stored things in that basement. To this day, we live in constant fear of the sound of running water. Plus I hate the feel of wet paper. Anyway, now we laugh about it because “stuff is just stuff”.

  105. Too funny! Great advice for Moms to be… or those that want kids in the future!
    Make ’em work for what they want!! haha.

  106. Oh UGH! Nasty wet basements. I feel and share your pain…I did live in a rental once that had an earthen basement/root cellar. It flooded during a torrent of spring run off/melt. I was poor and the landlords dis-interested in helping clean up the mess. I bailed as best as possible in mud and who knows what. The stench though….
    I moved a month later and they kept the damage deposit. Grrrrrrrr.
    Lovely yarn! Green and purple are my favorites and a little sparkle is chic!

  107. I’m so sorry about the flooding, but I empathize with your girls on this one. My mother draws floods. Cleaning up flood water is one of the chores I hate most, because the futility is so obvious anytime my Mom is in the same region as the flood. The woman makes the floods come somehow, but for whatever reason can’t make them leave again, and then we kids are called in to make the water that wishes to surround our mother go hang out in a creek. But it just comes back. Over and over. Seeking its creatrix. Southern California should pay her to visit so she can replenish their reservoirs.

  108. its 415p on monday why havent you updated yet….?
    going through harlot withdrawal… *twitch* cant knit at work…*twitch*
    who knew there was harlot withdrawal?
    is everything ok?
    i hope mr washie is ok – i hope you have lots of knitting stories.
    i hope the new porch is ok…

  109. You have a dirt wall in your basement? Wow – I didn’t even know such things still existed.
    It makes me think of my Little House on the Prairie book – On the Shores of Plum Creek.
    My did I love those books.
    Your house sounds charming – minus the flood of course! I love that porch – I don’t blame you for sweeping so often, part of the fun.
    Is your natural house the reason you write of moths so often in At Knit’s End? I have never seen a moth in my house, let alone near my wool.
    I was starting to think that way myth…but sounds awfully real in your book.
    Maybe the key is to mix in a very unhealthy amount of acrylic and 100 % Unknown Fibre with your stash.
    BTW – that label 100% Unknown Fibre makes me laugh every time. In fact if I had bought it, that would be the only reason I would have needed!
    Good for you for setting the standard for the home spun wool = Shiny Hat!

  110. I hope you’re not blogging ’cause the babies waited for your return. Or maybe the cold and rain is too much for you. It’s been nasty here. But I am knitting socks at the computer. Are you going to Cummington this weekend for a fiber fix? Might be time!

  111. Just and FYI for those concerned about the lack of a post yesterday. It was a holiday Monday here in Canada and I suspect Stephanie was taking a well deserved break.
    Liza {who hopes the rain has stopped and the basement has dried out}

  112. De-lurking long enough to let the Harlot know that a fleet of arks has been dispatched from the United States of Oregon Knitting Squad (Naval Division) to rescue said Harlot, family and stash. Knitters in the state of Oregon (North of the State of Denial) are particularly concerned about the Harlot Stash.
    The Ark Captain will provide certificates certifying that the vessels contain no stash-eating moths or other vermin, and are well stocked with adult beverages, snackies and DPNs in a variety of sizes in case the Harlot DPNs have been lost to the basement flood as well as an assortment of yarn in case the Harlot stash has been (gasp!) lost in the flood.

  113. That fiber is gorgeous! and so is the resulting yarn. I am getting closer and closer to learning how to spin – at least with a drop spindle.
    Ugh, I hope the flooding situation abates and all is back to normal. My aunt in New Hampshire has been barely bearing up under their rainstorms!

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