The Lion Sleeps Tonight

That’s what Meg has been playing on the piano for the last 45 minutes. I am sitting in my office (with the door closed), trying to string together coherent words and all I can hear is The Lion Sleeps Tonight, over and over and over repeating itself ad nauseam until I think I am going to be forced to lock myself in the dry goods cupboard mumbling “Wim-a-weh” under my breath and hugging sock yarn until normal thought returns to my mind.

(Two weeks until the summer activities start. Two weeks. Wim-a-weh)

As some of you may remember from last year, this week, the second week of June is Birthday Week in the McPhee Clan, and the good times just keep on rolling. My charming brother Ian celebrated an undisclosed number of years on Sunday,


and my wonderful mother Bonnie celebrates an even more undisclosed number of years this very day….


Happy Birthday Mum! As an enormous gift, I am recycling last years photo of you, and sparing you the image that I took on Sunday. It looks nothing like you, though I really do think you have better hair this year. )


My birthday rings in tomorrow, when I am pretty sure that no matter what my plans may have been last week, I will not have managed to turn this yarn (Alchemy silken straw)


into this tank (Roundabout leaf tank from Knitting Nature) Into a tank top before my birthday party/book welcome tomorrow night.


I got held up by my own raving incompetence as I tried to figure simple knitting maths. My thoughts went like this.

If the pattern is knit at 18 stitches to 10 centimetres, and you cast on 24 stitches to start then the width of the strip that you would be knitting would be…. Wait. If it’s 18 stitches to 4 inches, then one inch would be 4.5 stitches so 24 stitches would measure…Hold on. This doesn’t help. If I’m getting 28 stitches to 10cm and the strip is supposed to be 24 inches, no….stitches, then the number of the stitches that I need to have how many inches? Where do I get the inches? (For the love of wool someone get me a drink.) Look. If 4.5 stitches is one inch, and 7 stitches is one inch when I knit it, and an inch is 2.5cm and I ….. Oh (*&^%$! . Fine. 24 stitches divided by 4.5 stitches should give me inches for the width of the strip so I can multiply….Didn’t I ask someone to get me a drink?

At some point in this, Dibble must have felt my cosmic pain and being adept in the dark arts of numeric manipulation, mailed me an excel spreadsheet where all I have to do is pour a glass of wine, enter the gauge I’m supposed to be getting, the number of stitches that you cast on, the gauge I’m getting now, and whammo-bammo, before you can say “Mr. Lancaster’s grade 10 math class sucked” Dibble’s excel spreadsheet of glory spits out the number to cast on and the whole thing comes together. I love her.

That let me make a start, which I confirmed with Tree, who happens to be knitting the same thing, only she’s getting gauge. Now that I’m not getting gauge, but am getting the right width, the only thing left to worry about is trying to knit the leaves into places that will not strategically position them precisely over my nipples, stripping me of the very elegance that I seek.

Good times.

I leave you with this picture of summer in my city.


If you live in Toronto, you don’t need to turn on the tv to know who is winning World Cup Soccer games, you just need to know your world flags. I don’t know what the score was…but I can tell you that Portugal definitely won something on Sunday.