Random Friday

1. I am trying to make the Roundabout Leaf tank from Knitting Nature (beautiful book.) out of Alchemy Silken Straw (100% silk).

(I would show you pictures but I sent the camera to Sam’s track meet with Joe. I thought about keeping it, but my maternal instinct prevailed.)

The pattern is written for a gauge of 18 stitches to 10cm, and the yarn knits up to 26 stitches to 10cm. Although this plan made a great deal of sense to me while I was in the yarn shop (I have no explanation for that now…) I am having some technical difficulties ( No? Really?) with the plan now. I think someone should do some research into wool fumes and figure out what comes over me in a yarn shop that makes me think that all things are possible.

2. Sara knit a really cute watermelon hat, and it struck me that those beads would be a really good way to do a strawberry hat too…

3. For all Toronto based book types, I’ll be at Book Expo Canada this weekend, signing books between 11 and 12 on Sunday. Please drop by and say Hi if you’re anywhere in the neighbourhood.

4. Yesterday was Amanda and Meg’s last day of school, marking the beginning of an entire summer of teenagers standing around my office (which is actually the living room) asking for food and trying to get me weakened enough to allow insane ideas like “co-ed camping” or a puppy. Phrases like “everyone is doing it” and “nobody else’s mother is a lunatic” are already being bandied about. May the force be with me.

173 thoughts on “Random Friday

  1. Go for the puppy. They generally don’t eat wool, and it will be cute enough to keep them busy for much of the summer.
    Plus, you’ll be able to cajole them to get out of the house and take it walking in the park, and then maybe you’ll get to be alone, however briefly.

  2. Why not a puppy? As an acquisitions librarian for many years, I’ve bought several books on making yarn out of pet hair.

  3. For the first two weeks. Then Steph will be the one walking the puppy. Though, she could train it to guard fleece drying in the backyard.
    I don’t even have kids and I feel for you every summer. I can only suggest buying lots and lots of lipgloss and for very desperate occasions, sparkle lotion. Hide this hoard and dole it out when needed.
    When is this year’s bike ride?

  4. Wow! School ends early up there!!!
    And seriously, may the force be with you! (Have you thought about making them do community service to get them out of the house to help preserve your sanity, while doing good deeds?)

  5. Random Comments:
    Beads! Brilliant! (You’d think with all the beads around my house, I would have thought of that…)
    Don’t get the puppy – the girls will look after it for the first month, then it will become YOUR dog. I did it to my mom, and I fully expect my son to do it to me one day.
    Wish I could come to the book expo, but we will be at the local Horse Show and Fair – too much fun!
    I have the same reaction to wool fumes – I wish I could explain it.

  6. Let’s see, I’ve had one dog who I could “harvest” wool from and now I have one that steals wool (usually raw…she loves the stuff). Choose carefully; however, the co-ed camping trips may be easier to deal with!
    Or…have you considered summer school? For either yourself or the girls?

  7. Trust me… a puppy WILL eat yarn, needles, stitch markers, possibly even your chair. It will also eat up your knitting time. I cried for a whole week when I got my first puppy because she was keeping me from the quilt I wanted to make. “post pup-dom depression”?
    RESIST the cuteness!

  8. A puppy is a good idea because they love you like nobody’s business. But oh! so much work! Today is Friday and my doggy day…I never do anything outside of being with my little Maltese, Sophie. I get lots of reading, knitting, and laundry done on Fridays and feel so content. Or at least moreso on doggy days. I’m a pretty happy person most days,feeling blessed and loved by my daughters, husband, and loveable pets. Blessings, Julie

  9. Don’t worry, you aren’t alone with the wool fumes. I lose all sense of reality, fiscal responsibility, and control over my senses of gauge and yardage in a yarn store.

  10. Dog? But you already live with a Newfoundland
    (Don’t weaken. Do. Not. Weaken. There are better ways of finding love. Besides, I’d say right now you’ve got about all the love you can handle.)

  11. We used to have a Samoyed named…are you ready for this…Sam!! Yeah, really original. We saved her “fur” and had it spun. Very, very warm.
    A nice cuddly Samoyed would definitely help you win the heat wars.

  12. Rent a puppy. They are a lot of work. Rewarding, but you already have kids. If she still wants one at the end of the summer, get one then.
    Patience. Take your time with the guage to guage conversion and it will come back to you. I just did the same thing and it just take some planning (and no one jabbering in my ear.)

  13. Regarding wool fumes…I frequently leave the yarn shop having spent twice or 3 times the amount I meant to spend on yarn that is on sale that I have no idea what I will make out of it…I tell my hubby “the yarn will tell me what it wants to be when it’s ready”. He thinks I’m crazy too.

  14. A dog’s love is unconditional… how about adopting one that’s out of puppyhood from your local shelter? You’ll not have to deal with the messiness … and as someone so smartly (smartly… is that a word?) mentioned above, you can train it to guard your yarn and knitting drying outside. There’s nothing like a GREAT 4-legged squirel & bird chaser-awayer … I’ve got 3 of them!

  15. Mum and I will be at BEA as well. We’ll wave as we walk past what is sure to be an obscenely long line!
    PS I’m spinning at work on my lunch hour. This is a good way to pass the time…

  16. Now’s the time to implement your strategy: every time they nag you about something (EVERY time), give them a chore to do.
    After the first week, you won’t hear a peep from them.

  17. Stand strong against those teenage entreaties! It may feel good to give in (for about .6 seconds), but great angst comes very quickly (in about .7 seconds). Don’t ask me how I know.
    I think it’s time to retreat into The Room and close the door. Since it’s glass, everything one of the girls starts to come in, give them “the look” and hopefully they’ll back off. It’ll be safe to come back out in September.

  18. Puppy sit for someone elses dog. DO NOT get a puppy. As for the Summer and teenager problems.
    I have you beat, hands down.
    The daily whining and arguments…Today she is upset with me because I nixed the idea to clean something on the carpet with….BLEACH!
    Yarn store delusions. IT is the phermones coming off the wool. A yarn store is such a place of possiblities that it is easy to get caught up in the excitement.

  19. Stephanie, the whole problem with the world is that it’s true, nobody else’s mother is a lunatic. Just think how much better things would go if all the moms were like thee and me . And you can tell those girls I said so. . .

  20. Ah, yes, the lunatic mother. That’s me. You can add overprotective, uptight, dictatorial,… *sigh* I’m not sure which is worse, being the teenager or being the parent of one. Having been both, I’m leaning towards the parent side.

  21. I go for the borrow a dog for a week, and give them TOTAL responsibility for it. They’ll change their minds….
    And that line “everyone is doing it” – I think I tried that one 35+ years ago. Didn’t work on my parents either.

  22. The hat is the coolest. Kudos to Sara. Just might have to try that one myself – although I have no girls in my house to wear it……oh nieces…..where are you?????…..I want to experiment on your heads….
    Go for the puppy! My new one comes next Friday. A little black labrador girl. We haven’t come up with a name yet. Hubby doesn’t like my suggestions, (Ruby, Daisy, Lucy – labs need people names). Labs don’t eat yarn, but almost everything I knit has my dogs’ “contributions” in it. Black hair everywhere!!
    My current puppy-girl (Rosie) goes with me almost everywhere. Only when it gets too hot in the summer to ride in my car does she stay home (and pouts!). We also have a boy-baby (Otto). He is a genuine dope, but a loveable giant. Yes, if you are counting, with the new puppy, that will be THREE black labs in my house. Did I mention that I am almost as crazy about my dogs as I am about knitting? Hmmm, maybe the dogs come before the knitting. Haven’t got the priority order figured out yet.
    I will pray for you Steph, if you pray for me. Mine get out on the 20th, then we have the big family 4th of July celebration, then the summer doldrums begin. If I can get my kids to even look at a book this summer, I will consider it a success!

  23. “Get out of my office, go outside and go find a job and do not come back here until you find one”
    My mother made us get jobs when we were sixteen.(for the record, we weren’t allowed in her office unless we were bleeding profusely, the house was on fire, or the lunch we had made her was ready. Not necessarily in that order.)
    Isn’t Amanda old enough to work now? I think she should work in a yarn shop since she seems unfazed by the wool fumes. She’d be ace at being able to recognize a knitter under a yarn spell and be able to sell accordingly. Plus, you’d get her discount.
    The funny thing about the line my mom said is that a few years later she said it to my dad after a month of early retirement.

  24. How about a cultural exchange for the summer? My rather needy dogs can go live with your kids and you can come stay here. We’ve got a spare room, a backyard, a park two blocks away, and no teenagers (yet).

  25. Aaahhhhhh summertime!Best of luck with the “family fun” this summer…I have 2 of those too. As for the tank? Yesterday was the last day of school, the tank will be the least of your anxiety! We know you, you’ll find a way and we’ll all be admiring you tank next week.

  26. Hannah has 6 more days of school and Dale has 5. Then they are BOTH home for the summer. Sympathies are welcome.

  27. OH! Get a Boston Terrior! They are the best inside dogs ever and mine loves to chase squirrels up a tree! No more of that pesky yarn/wool thief in your back yarn hauling off the fruits of your labor!
    I always told my kids (now 23 and 30) of course I’m crazy and I embarass you! I’m your Mother, it’s my job! The Boston Terrior (Emmy) was my empty nest filler when they both left home within 5 months of each other. One to college, one to the police academy! Now both are married and I have a Granddaughter to knit and sew for! THis is just one more stage for you and this too will pass!

  28. OH! Get a Boston Terrior! They are the best inside dogs ever and mine loves to chase squirrels up a tree! No more of that pesky yarn/wool thief in your back yarn hauling off the fruits of your labor!
    I always told my kids (now 23 and 30) of course I’m crazy and I embarass you! I’m your Mother, it’s my job! The Boston Terrior (Emmy) was my empty nest filler when they both left home within 5 months of each other. One to college, one to the police academy! Now both are married and I have a Granddaughter to knit and sew for! THis is just one more stage for you and this too will pass!

  29. Hey – I’m making the Roundabout Leaf Tank too, but with Denim Silk. My stitch gauge is on but row gauge is off and I’m sure it’s going to effect something once I join the piece together… anyhow, there’s a KAL for the whole book at knittingnature.blogspot. I love this book, and plan/fantasize making about 1/2 the stuff in it.
    As for the girls, no advice. Just love ’em.

  30. When my daughter was born 12 years ago the Dr. pointed out to me that I was going to have teenagers for a full 20 years (her oldest brother is 13 years older) the summer is barely begun and every one is bored? How is it that Mom never can say there is nothing to do? PS Kitten would be worse than puppy my 10 monthold cat has eaten 3 sets of DPN in the last week.

  31. May the ‘force’ be with you indeed, at times that is certainly what it takes. I go with the rent a pup, if a pup is what they want, or not, I also agree with the save a dog, who’s a bit older, they are forever grateful, usually, and so very loving. Can they do volunteer work at the local library? Oh! better yet, have the girls volunteer at your local shelter, most shelters welcome the extra help and loving attention young people can give the animals. I have my grandchildren, Conor,9, Gracie 3, year round except Conor when school is in session, but now that the session is out…..we spend time in a lovely shaded back yard, and at the library. It really never ends…..and that’s alright. Conor has already agreed to learn to knit! Gracie has been holding ‘her’ needles and a ball of yarn pretending for the past year. Won’t we have fun.

  32. Isn’t there a breed of miniature sheep? Get a few of those and a miniature collie and get your kids to do the herding – and let them sell the wool.
    Stop laughing, it wouldn’t work with my kids either.

  33. Let me say first, I love dogs, and have had at least one most of my life.
    However, aren’t these the girls who can’t put their clothes in the hamper – or at least keep them off the floor of the hallway? And you think they’ll actually take care of a dog? (maniacal laughter)

  34. Stephanie, my heartfelt and deepest sympathies. Co-ed camping is definitely a no-go. Tell them I said so. And NO means NO. As for the rest of it — if everyone else was jumping off the CN Tower, would your girls do it too? I thought not. They have been raised better than that. (This argument always works for my kids.) And if they are so bored that they need to stand around and hound you — I am sure you could find something better for them to do. For instance, bathrooms need cleaning, houses need vacuuming, gardens weeded, dishes washed … You get the idea. Nothing gets rid of bored teen-agers quicker than a chore list. Good luck and bless you. Your summer started a week earlier than mine.

  35. Oh, I agree that Steph will do most of the care (and really, in a house where she cares for 4 beings, what’s one more small one?) BUT, the puppy is cute and sweet, and they will enjoy playing with the dog for some of the time that they enjoy standing in the living room saying, “I’m hungry”. Also, when a dog misbehaves, you can lock it outside.
    (And for those who have destructo-puppies, just remember what my vet said: “A tired puppy is a good puppy. A tired puppy is a good puppy.” She made me repeat it five times.)
    My dog only destroyed one skein in the years she’s lived with us, and it was only acrylic. (She’s definitely my dog, though – she’d unwound the skein and was rolling around in it, wrapping it around herself. A request for a sweater, perhaps?)

  36. 1. I agree… you’ll end up w/ the dog..
    2. Be firm to the kids… unless the house is on fire…or there is blood… do not disturb.
    3. Insist they proove they can be trusted…ie.. room clean every day by 10:00 a.m.
    4. When I said above… I …
    a. Had a golden retreiver who “bonded to me”
    b. Came in w/in 2 minutes… scrapped knee..bleeding
    c. She made her bed… (as a 6 yr old could) and then was sooo proud!, lol
    But in the end the dog was a lot of company…so
    good luck and do insist they do some chores and if they gripe… take away priviledges.. ie tv or phone time…
    Good luck.. ( I know we’ll see the tank my Monday)

  37. What about a project for the girls–like a Podcast?? Seems everyone is doing one… They could think of a name,figure out what to talk about, lookup music on podsafe, get notes together- then put it on itunes or wherever, and they’d have a ready made audience in all of us who read YOUR blog…lots of feedback from people OTHER than Mom!!
    From what Brenda Dayne at Cast On says, podcasts take up a LOT of time……………
    and as for you, I’d advise to begin drinking heavily………..
    Elizabeth (whose 2 teenagers have been out of school for 3 weeks…………….)

  38. I’ll be at Book Expo, so I’ll do my best to drop by and show a little knitterly solidarity, what with all the book-industry types who are sure to be around =)

  39. I thought you’d moved your office from the living room into that gorgeous room in the back of the house? If not, now might be the time to consider that, and get a padlock for the door (so you can lock yourself in and the girls out). Everyone in the entire world is sure their mom is the craziest ever. Eventually they’ll see that you are awesome and they’ll appreciate you (college seems to be the optimum time for that revelation). Good luck with the gauge thing – sounds pretty horrific to me.

  40. I’ve been asking for a puppy for three years and my parents still haven’t given in. Frankly I’m amazed. Three years is a long time to keep saying ‘No.’ As for the co-ed camping, its a bad idea. Boys are only good for keeping away drunken tourists (who happen to be a major problem in Alaska during the summer.) Other than that they cause mothers to worry (for good reason of course) and me personally to get really upset with them. You try to explain to them that the ax is not for throwing nor is the bug spray for spraying on the fire to make bigger flames. Its a headache and makes you realize you are challening your mother (at the age of 18 too!) Be strong and say no. It’ll save people all around. That being said, my mother took the smart way out this summer and went to Boston for the rest of the month leaving us alone with Dad.

  41. My cats agree on only two things: 1) it is entirely my fault that it has been raining for the last two weeks 2) you should not get a puppy.
    Getting consensus among 5 cats is like getting teenagers to agree to equitable sharing of the sparkle gel. Do not get a puppy. Get some dye and some undyed yarn and tell them to go wild.

  42. I’m the cool mom because I tell them to “just go away so I can clean house…” Of course, going away means going into their own filthy rooms so that always turns into “Get your stuff we’re getting the hell out of dodge so I don’t have to deal with this mess.” It’s a nice, insane way of spending my summer.

  43. Why don’t you send the kids to the animal shelter to volunteer? You get them out of the house, they get to hang out with animals and learn something about taking care of animals. It’s a win-win situation.

  44. I have 1 child out and 1 child in still – so basically I have 1/2 of my sanity still.

  45. The Laws of Dogs:
    1. If you give in to the child begging for the puppy, the puppy will be a one-person dog, and it won’t attach itself to the child who wanted it in the first place.
    2. The child who actually wanted the dog will register many complaints, very loudly, about this situation, and demand some sort of compensation for the fact that a sibling/parent “Stole my dog!”
    3. This compensation (READ: other pet) will end up being lots of work for the parent in the house who least wanted the dog in the first place.
    Of this, I know. Don’t give in. It’s a slippery slope! Stay strong!

  46. NOOOOO. DON’T get them dye! you’ll never get it out of the furniture. At least puppies can’t stain carpets, curtains, clothing, or random things strewn about. I vote puppy.

  47. You know how the laundry fairy is fickle? Meet the dog walking/dog feeding/poop scooping fairy. Although in the interest of fairness, my Boston Terrier likes to nap underneath my sweaters and afghans as I knit them. And she has never eaten or otherwise destroyed any yarn or notions, although there have been occasions when a particularly energetic jump into my lap has resulted in some dropped stitches.
    As for wool fumes, well, some of us are just sensitive to them like that. I can often be found huddled in a corner of the local yarn store with pattern, swatch, and calculator in hand and grumbling. I think it provides comic relief to the more, er, sane ladies in the shop, and it would be wrong of me to take that away from them.

  48. Message for the daughters:
    “You don’t know anyone named ‘Everybody’ and even if you did, I am not ‘Everybody’s’ mother. Go clean your room.”

  49. How you survive the summers is beyond me. Time to go lay in a huge stash of hair bands and lip gloss.
    I distinctly recall my parents requiring summer camp or summer job. Dog? Tell them to go babysit Hank and when they can keep him happy for two weeks, you’ll consider getting them a full grown (and housebroken) dog. Puppies will eat needles, yarn, and I’m guessing the chesterfield.
    I’m sure you’re hiding in the mud room now. If you pack the coffee in a thermos, you could also work in the basement with Mr. Washie.

  50. My son is out in 2 weeks (graduating grade 8) I asked him last night what he was going to do all summer, and the reply was “lay around” well at least he’s honest! He does also plan to make a 1/2 hour stop frame animation movie which thankfully will be very time consuming, and since I know nothing about them, means he won’t be asking for help. I too work out of my house and though I love having him around, I find it very hard to work when he’s asking for snacks every five minutes!
    Maybe we should start a summer camp for mothers called “The Lunatics retreat”, I don’t think there’d be any problem finding willing participants!

  51. My girls asked for a puppy for years and years and we finally gave in… but we chose wisely and accepted a temporary dog into our lives: We became a foster family for a puppy owned by the Seeing Eye (in Morristown, NJ, http://www.seeingeye.org/AboutUs.asp)
    We got her when she was just 8 weeks old and she left for training when she was about 16 months. In that time span, the girls were in charge and had to follow all the rules set up by the Seeing Eye — NOT BY PARENTS! So… THEY were the ones standing outside in the rain when the puppy needed housetraining and THEY were the ones who had to get up early in the morning, etc., etc. What did we learn? One daughter is a dog lover who will do anything for puppies; the other one is not that interested. And my husband and I? We found that we are dog-lovers! Our first puppy has been matched up with her new blind owner and they are happy together. (We are sooo PROUD!) We are in the midst of foster-parenting our 2nd puppy…. And… the third one arrives on Monday! (And just in time: our last day of school is Wednesday.)
    But, if it didn’t work out… we could have been done after our first puppy-experiment!
    Good luck with the silk… I can hardly wait to see it…
    Tina (who sat in the front row in Doylestown)

  52. The girls are lying. My mother is a lunatic. I do go on co-ed camping trips though, as do most of my friends. I promise not to tell your daughters.

  53. Stand firm on the puppy!!! You will almost certainly end up as it’s chief walker, feeder, trainer & have to clean up after it after about a week when the novelty wears off & it turns into work. Co-ed camping is OK if there are responsible adults along (mummy type sleeping bags are a great idea – can’t possibly fit more than one body in them). Are they old enough for part time jobs? They might like extra spening money & it’ll get them out of the house for a while. Maybe you could suggest going to the library. Schools around here all have a suggested summer reading list for each grade (class). And, if they are teenagers, they are old enough to feed themselves & clean up afterward.

  54. I echo the others-stand firm on the dog front!
    And a strawberry hat sounds fantastic. Maybe in a bumpy stitch pattern to mimic that berry texture?

  55. One summer Morgan changed her hair color and texture 5 times (until it turned into straw and broke off. Remind the kids that the bleach in purple hair dye does not mix with perms.
    Get some eye shadow palettes and let them learn something about makeup. It can take weeks to figure out all the possible combinations from 20 colors of cheap eye shadow.
    Can’t you just kick them out of the house in the summer? That is what my mom did. I never succeeded with Morgan, but she does have the ability to sit quietly and knit.
    Community service sounds good to me. At least two of them are old enough to do volunteer work.

  56. I think what came over you in the yarn shop this particular time was a lovely, soft spoken blond woman telling you how things like how beautiful it would look at sure that would work.
    Mind you, you pretty much held up your hand and said, “oh, Me! Please lead me astray!” the moment you sat down…

  57. Try the always supportive approach, “We’ll talk more about a dog when you have your first paycheck.” “Do you need help filling out the forms?” and “Are your hours going to be spent on a volunteer job or a real paying job? It’s your choice, of course.” My daughter spent one summer volunteering at a nursing home. She learned a lot about older people. First, they are people, not just beings in a facility. They are very funny and smart and likeable. She finished the summer saying she had made friends with several of the ladies. She chose the hours she wanted to volunteer and what activities to participate in. We kept track of the hours she put in and I allowed her so much for schools clothes next fall based on the hours. She was ready for a real job the next summer. Of course when the clothes buying came along, it was her money and I had less to say about what she was picking out…. another problem, for another day.

  58. Yes, good questions above – how old are they? Time for FT summer employment. I worked FT from age 15 in the summers, and before that, babysat every weekend.
    [Also walked barefoot in the snow 27 miles to school uphill each way with a refrigerator on my back – you know the drill.]
    Worth noting: All mothers are lunatics. The only kids going on co-ed camping trips are those whose mothers aren’t around to give or withold permission. The “If everyone else jumped off the CN tower” will not convince them. You WILL end up with the dog, especially when they go off to school. We are all affected by those mysterious wool fumes.

  59. Summer began May 24 for us, but they go back Aug. 16. I am sooo counting the days. They are already driving me nuts. If we weren’t in the midst of ozone alerts (keep the kids indoors because of the smog), I’d kick them out of the house and make them go play while I knit a sock on the back patio with a cool drink.
    As for bothering me- in addition to the a previous post’s blood and fire, I add vomitting and bones showing. They know where the pantry and fridge are,but act like I am the only one who can find it.
    As for a dog, we have a lovely old sheltie who sheds like crazy, named Sam, too. He’s named for our son, Ben, whose grandpa called him Sam for the first 6 months of his life. I have him shaved annually (it’s Texas and he has a really heavy coat). I save the fur and have it processed. Sam has never eaten wool, sticks or any knitting paraphenalia, but my 4 yo likes to hide them. I think she is trying to start her own knitting supply bag and yarn stash. But, the dog will be your responsibility once it has done it’s business for the 100th time on the carpet and the girls refuse to clean it up because it’s someone else’s turn. You’ll do it yourself, cursing them the whole time and then you’ll loose valuable knitting and book time because they don’t want to walk the puppy- again.

  60. You tell those girls that you know a whole nation of mothers who are lunatics and they will all back you up. The puppy would end up being another baby for you, and nobody under the age of 21 ever cleans up dog barf, dog pee, or other assorted pleasantries that emanate from dog.
    Ask me how I know.

  61. I’m trying not to be upset that you favoured your daughter over your blog readers… Just teasing. Good luck with summer break.

  62. Aw, what’s wrong with a puppy? Granted, they’re a bit of work at the beginning, but they outgrow the infant stages MUCH faster than humans and have very little by way of adolescence. They do not stand around whining about being bored or arguing about who gets to be on the phone or in the bathroom. Once they’re housetrained, and with just a little care, they grow into lovely dogs who want nothing more than to just be with you and adore you. It’s nice having someone run to the door to greet you when you come home! And, as others have said, there are breeds whose fur can be spun AND they’d help keep the bored teenagers occupied for the summer, by which time the puppy would be settling down anyway . . .
    Of course, I may be considered to be biased in this area, as my love for dogs (especially MY dogs)is pretty well-documented.

  63. About getting a puppy – Don’t do it unless you really,really want one! Don’t get one for the kids – you’ll end up being responsible for it’s care. They are expensive, take lots of time to train, and need lots of companionship. My heart goes out to all of them who spend their lives alone and forgotten in a back yard.
    That being said, I love dogs and can’t live without them. They love you whether or not you dress or comb your hair, they’re always glad to see you and they are the best companion you can have. My dogs have always been ‘family’. I’ll do anything to insure their happiness and health but when nothing more can be done, I’m with them, holding them, as the doctor eases them out of this world. When I lose one they leave a hole in my heart that can never be filled but I will always have dogs. If you feel this way then get one as soon as you can. But if you don’t, don’t feel guilty, don’t feel pressured to get one anyway – just don’t get one, they’ll thank you for it.

  64. When my kids used the phrase “but everyone else can” my response was always, “I’m not everyone’s else’s mother. And if I was, they wouldn’t be doing it either”. I didn’t want them to think I was biased against them……..lol

  65. You could do what my mother does in the face of such requests from my 17-year-old brother: Say “sure, you can go camping if I can come. Or better yet, why don’t you just have the sleepover here?” You have offered reasonable alternatives. You have not said no. And if the teenager agrees to let you come camping, it may actually be just the bonding experience you need!
    (Don’t fret– the teenager will not agree to let you come on the camping trip.)

  66. Stephanie,
    No dogs. Dogs never get beyond toddlerhood. You don’t have room. You don’t have time. But then I am not a pet person. We have a cat but it isn’t “mine.” Supposed to be my younger son’s, but is my husband’s. My kids are both out of school, but have jobs and are older (18 & 21), but they’ve always gone off to camp, work, or something. But then I am not at home during the day to be bugged. The dishes, however, could get done in my absence. What are the odds? Not high.
    Yarn Fumes – I wouldn’t doubt their existence one little bit.

  67. By the way, if you ask if you can come, and they say no, you can reply “If you won’t let me go, why should I let you go?”

  68. My son won’t be 10 until October and I am already hearing that kind of stuff….my knitting pals favorite one after they visited here for a knit together was “just what planet are YOU PEOPLE from??”
    go to your room kid… only 80 days til school starts!

  69. The puppy would keep them occupied. Isn’t one of them old enough to get a job? If you give them enough chores they may disappear for long enough for you to get something done.

  70. I made a watermelon hat, too. I was so charmed by yours I had to make one for a young friend. Tell your girls my mother was a lunatic when I was their age. Fortunately my mother outgrew it as I got older. Funny how that worked out!

  71. No puppies! They think that knitting needles are sticks to play fetch with and they demand to be walked/petted/played with/cleaned up after … All that cuts into the knitting/spinning time.
    No co-ed camping! Your husband was a boy once, he knows what they think like!
    God help you now.
    We’re all pulling for you.

  72. They’re teenagers. Make ’em work. The rule for anyone past fourteen is if you work you get some really cool privledge that you want.
    Yep, my eldest is only 11 and a half, so I only have crazy theories and no practical experience. And your problem is?

  73. Well you now have enough advice abou the insane ideas you’re familiar with. What I’m wondering about isn’t puppies or boys. It’s the stuff that you haven’t thought of yet (and hopefully, neither have they). I was going to give an example and then thought better of it. No need to give them new insane ideas.
    As for wool fumes, I like to call it That New Yarn Smell . Kinda like That New Car Smell only sheepier. Either way, it’s the fumes themselves that work the magic.

  74. i heartily recommend that your kids volunteer at a local animal shelter– dogs will always need socialization and they will learn a lot about dogs. also, a good rule of thumb about taking care of dogs is, if they can spend 2 hours everyday volunteering at a shelter then they are capable of giving enough time for a dog.
    i volunteer at a shelter walking dogs (puppies included) for 3+ hours everyday, including training, playing, and socializing. I usually come home plain too tired to move, especially in the 90+ F hot summer. So tired, in fact, that I usually fall asleep while knitting.
    (and yes i have a dog. luckily she doesn’t get along with other dogs or i’d have brought a dozen puppies home.)

  75. I love using the classic line from Roseanne when my kids tell me someone else’s mom let’s them do something I won’t let them do, or someone else’s mom is not a lunatic . . I tell them . . . “‘s mom is a drunken slut”

  76. I’m with Stephanie, what happened to your little office? It was so beautiful and looked like you could barricade yourself away from the kidlets.

  77. Maybe you’re book tours should be scheduled during the summer break.You can put those ankle things on the girls to keep them out of trouble. . .

  78. Did you say the girls want a POOPY?? Oh oh oh !! One thing for sure it would keep them VERY busy for at least a month. AND if they can’t find the laundry hamper –WHO is going to clean up the back yard in the rain and snow ?? If they REALLY want the responsiblity of a POOPY, how about getting a seeing eye pup and they would be totaly responsible for its rearing and puppy training. An idea anyway.
    As for wool fumes ((OMG you are funny)) is it possible that the fumes are sent over the internet ? I’ve spent two hours ( the longest i’ve ever been on here at one time) just looking at yarn shops and yarn . Good thing for me that I don’t live near Lettuce Knit as those owners would have been able to close shop and retire today !! I’ve turned into a YARNAHOLIC!!!!

  79. Eunice also has the answer for puppy love and the girls –a very GOOD idea

  80. I have to tell you that the 15 year old is out all day today,and we just have the 12,9 and 3 1/2 year old. I cannot begin to tell you how peaceful it is. They are making forts, playing in the frog pond and and just generally wet and happy. The 15 year old is getting a job!!

  81. Wheneve I said “everybody else is doing it” to my parents, they responded with “you’re not everybody else.” Took me till I was 30 to really appreciate that.

  82. p.s. if you do decide to get a puppy, make sure it’s one who eats socks and underwear and any clothing lying on the floor. i’m sure your girls will definitely put things in the hamper after that.

  83. They can do co-ed camping… in the backyard with their brother and/or father.
    If they can’t bus their own laundry, there is no way they can take on the care and feeding of another life. If they argue, put them in charge of their brother for a week.
    I always leave my Visa at home when I go to the yarn store. There is something about friendly helpful people and the smell of wool…
    The Force is strong with you. You’ll get thru this.

  84. They’re wrong. Every other teenage girl’s mother *is* a lunatic, due to the fact of the teenage girl. I have seen it happen in my own mother.

  85. My gosh, what kind of school is that when they’re out this early! Someone commented that “school’s out early up here”, but trust me, elementary and secondary schools up here usually don’t end until the 3rd or 4th week of June. Elementary and Secondary schools run from the very beginning of September to the end of June, with approximately 2 weeks in December for Christmas, and one week in March for March Break. I’ve noticed a lot of American schools end at the end of May, with 3 months of summer. Must be nice!

  86. Let me tell you – the dog will live 10-15 years. All dogs are
    Mom’s dog. Unless the kid is one of those who gets a dog and
    suddenly becomes a dog club member deeply interested in showing, training or agility or something (got several of those
    in our dog club – great way to get scholarships, BTW) then
    after the kid is out of the house, YOU will have 100% ownership of dog.
    And unless you have a spare credit card for trips to the emergency vet – you do NOT want Fido to eat a sock. Now, while my own pooch has an iron constitution and has eaten many an inedible object without ill effect, even he made a trip to the vet for a glove that he ate. Whole. Straight down the gullet. Your basic sock stuck in the interior of a dog will cost you significant amounts of money that could otherwise be spent on yarn. Not to mention that no one wants to wear a sock that has passed through the pooch digestive system.
    My little relative got out of school today. Hence forth until she gets relief by going to camp, she is on dog show detail hauling stuff around for me. So there. Put the kid to work. Remember my Dad’s motto for summer – you are either in school, at work or on a swim team….preferably one that starts practice at 6 am and goes until noon. So there.

  87. Just another vote for two hours a day volunteer work at the animal shelter for the girls, starting at the time in the morning that they would have to be up and ready to walk a dog.
    Oh, and wool fumes? It doesn’t have to be wool. Any fiber gives off those fumes. They even penetrate through the Internet: did you see the current eBay auction for knitting needles and wool that just happens to include 15 100gram skeins of sage-green worsted pure Irish wool all the same dye lot? For US$10 starting bid, and the seller is Canadian? Sage green isn’t my color. *sigh*

  88. “If you’re that bored, go scrub the floor. At least you’ll have something to show for it.” Amazing how fast mine disappeared.
    “You think I’m a lunatic? Let me show you!” His friends laughed a lot, and he got through the ‘Mom, you’re embarrassing me’ stage in just a few months.
    Astonishingly, despite this harsh treatment, he has grown into a completely satisfactory 23-year-old. He even loves his mother.
    Hang in there.

  89. Co-ed camping for teenagers??? And they said this out-loud to you? With a straight face? Dear Lord, I wonder what sorts of things my daughter will be asking permission for in 10 years. My oh my….
    As for a puppy, there should be some sort of test-run robot for that. Like the dolls they give out in high school health class. The ones that require nightly feedings and constant attention for a week.
    Good luck Steph, I’ll be prayin’ for ya. :o)

  90. If they have to say ” Everyone else’s Mom lets them. ” then they already know it is a bad idea. Teenagers can be very creative when it comes to the stuff Moms worry about. Hope you had a nice B’day!

  91. Calling a person a lunatic when you want something from them is bad strategy.

  92. My sympathies are with you Steph, I have already heard the following line (six times) “but, do you know how unfair this is…” or how about (four times) “I’m bored” and mine have only been out a day and a half! As for the puppy, it’s like adopting a child; he/she will be with you a long, long time, take this decision slowly. Suggest your girls get a summer job dog sitting, dog walking or volunteer at the humane society – with all proceeds to go toward the care of a possible addition to you family. Stay strong, and remember a lunatic mother would not be so without the loving support of her children.

  93. I loved it when my kids told me I was crazy. I told them I’m their Mom and that’s my job! I got a dog when they both left my home within a few months of each other. One to college one to the police academy! I believe that’s called an empty nest filler. Get a Boston Terrior. You wouldn’t have to worry about that pesky squirrel that swipes the wool that’s drying. Mine chases them up a tree! BT’s are great pals and wonderful indoor dogs. Low maintanence! Very little shedding and not very big.

  94. I feel your pain. School ended today (some mothers are thrilled, I know that, yet is it wrong to want year round schooling?). I am home for the entire summer with 3 teen boys. I would write more, I just have not yet had time to let that last statement sink in. May the summer go by quickly.

  95. oh. my daughter’s mother is a total lunatic. TOtal. Just ask my daughter. I mean, she’s, like, 15!
    Anne Lamott fans (and mothers) (and anyone with a heart) (especially if it’s a bleeding, liberal one) (and a sense of humor): She has a recent piece at Salon.com called “My Son, the Stranger” —
    If you’re not a member, then view the 15-second (generally well done) ad and get a daypass thingie. Worth it.
    Stephanie, I’m sorry school’s out. I feel your pain. But you know what? I love it when you write about your girls, and in summertime, more’s inevitable.
    You know you’ll miss it one day. In a sick, backwards sort of way.

  96. oh, and think carefully about the puppy. Some of them think they’re cats. And you know what THAT means.

  97. I used to go coed camping with my friends on weekens, across state lines. But we also all did our own laundry!

  98. Keeshond, collie, samoyed… anything that sheds will also be spinnable. Years ago, at the MS&W festival, I saw a cardigan knit with collie handspun. Fuzzy puppy — booyah.

  99. This year my youngest will be 20 and I’m proud to say I’ve survived the teen years. My 80 something father also lives with us. To smile my way thru comflicts, I’d always admit that compared to my teens and my father that “I know nothing”. If you beg ignorance and admit that all others are obviously wiser than you…it leaves no room for discussion. My other favorite
    “mom-ism” that I used to answer questions like
    “why can’t I go to that overnight party” was…
    “…because it’s my time to be the boss, soon I’ll be old and you’ll be taking care of me and then you’ll be the boss and can do whatever you want but until then…I’m the boss”. My kids laugh about this now so I guess it worked. Now that they have flown the coop and complain about their daily trials my new favorite line is “…it sucks to be an adult doesn’t it”
    Please feel free to use any of these phrases whenever necessary.
    Regarding the puppy…I have two rescue border collie mixed companions. Border collies herd sheep so they do have a nose for wool. That said, I believe they donated enough fur for me to send to http://www.vipfibers.com. Hopefully they will be able to spin it so that I have enough to make a hat that will keep my husband warm on cold winter nights when he’s out walking them.

  100. One twin finished on Monday, the other finished yesterday (lo and behold, she got a 93 on her chemistry final …how in the world did that happen???) I checked out from the HS today where I teach and have two weeks off until I start teaching summer school. Living at home with two 17 yr olds now is a piece of cake. It’s the 20 year old I want to toss out on the street. She leaves tomorrow to spend the summer with her father, two hours from here. This may be my best summer yet. 🙂
    Just remind them…you control the food they eat (what you buy). Do not, I repeat myself, do not allow them to go to the grocery store with more than an extra $3 for whatever you send them to buy.

  101. hmm…i believe i would like to spend my summer at camp harlot. an entire summer spent rolling in wool (in my fantasy life, canada, unlike deepest alabama, is not so unforgiveably thought that even the idea of wool in the summer means you could fry your brains on the sidewalk) and knitting intricate and wonderful patterns, with a mom who clearly understands important things like traveling socks.

  102. Find an excruciatingly, brain meltingly complicated looking knitting pattern in a foreign language. Tell the girls that if they want a puppy, they have to either have to volunteer somewhere like a nursing home they can make contacts fluent in this language, or do enough research to make really, really good headway on translating this master work for you before school starts. The only rule is they can’t just get a friend or friend’s parent to do it for them, nor can they pay someone to do it.
    I’m pretty sure that’ll put the kybosh on the puppy idea. But if it doesn’t? you’ll end up with a great new pattern to play with, and damn they’ll have deserved the puppy.

  103. The Jedi would not like you to know this, but I have a very reliable source who has assured me that the Force is available at an LCBO near you. Hours may vary, so if you don’t have them memorized, call ahead to avoid running out of the Force.

  104. Stephanie – saw you might be in Seattle, WA this summer. If you’re there, you should make a quick zip up to Victoria, BC to see your fans here. The Victoria Clipper ferry goes between the downtown of both cities. Love your blog!

  105. Um. That “volunteer at a shelter” thang? It sounds good online, but around here they euthanize critters who’ve been there past a certain limit. How many dogs/cats/puppies/ferrets/hedgehogs/greenalligatorsand longneckedgeesehumpetybackedcamelsandchimpanzees do you have room for, either physically or guilt/psychically?

  106. And that cuteoverload.com squirrel? The vest is crocheted. Absolutely. Not my problem.

  107. I may have a solution to your gauge difficulties – or at least why it made sense to you in the yarn shop.
    I read somewhere that doubling the yarn decreased the stitches per inch by .7 (not by half as one would logically think).
    Ignoring the fact you are measuring in cm and not inches … my calculator says that 26 x .7 = 18.2.
    Maybe that’s why you thought it was possible?
    But please do not take my calculator’s word for it – it is a non-knitting calculator – a swatch would be better proof.
    Of course it is probably much too late at this point – because, speed knitter that you are, you are just about to bind off, right?

  108. Attention Harlot Children: Every mother is a lunatic. It’s quintessential to the whole “being a mother” thing.
    But if you were to say, “hey, I think there’s some kind of yarn sale at a nearby yarn store and while you’re in there spending us into the poor house, us and some friends will just go hang out in the park. See you tomorrow.”

  109. yes, i agree, no dog!! too much work and you already have enough to do. loved the watermelon hat with the beads, clever! i am dying to make one. i have a sister that is pregnant and 3 cousins all set to deliver between june and oct!! I better get busy knitting!

  110. When your girls say that everyone’s doing it, going there, etc., etc., just say, “give me a name and I’ll call his/her mother and see what the arrangements are.” I used this response frequently and NEVER got a name of a kid whose mother I could call.

  111. I went for the puppy with my college age daughter. She took the little guy off to Kansas State University and it lasted two weeks. He now resides with me and his grandfather. We love him terribly. I am knitting him capes which should have been scarves.

  112. assure the kiddos that, actually, they are not the only one who thinks their mother is a lunatic. oh, the thoughts of mine asking for co-ed camping makes me want to cry. mine have been out for a full 2 weeks and so far, the biggest whine i get is to go swimming – a gagillion times a day. i put a boredometer up on my site…. so far we’re still at just 1. but the food…. how can their little bodies go through it so fast?

  113. OK, whatever you do–don’t let your daughters ask you about co-ed camping or puppies whilst you are in a yarn store and under the (apparent) influence of wool fumes.
    That said, I recently became the proud owner of a Lab puppy, so who am I to talk? I might as well tell you that she is the best puppy in all creation, though, so there’s no point in you even looking for a decent one.

  114. I’ve been making and selling rolled brim fruit hats for years, complete with stems, leaves, and the apples have worms. I’ve also made watermelon hats, but they’re backwards to yours, pink brim and green hat with no seeds. Never thought of doing it the other way.
    Re puppies, we have the “silly Lab sisters”, Poppy & Daisy, one for each daughter (or so I thought), and you’ll never guess who does 95% of the work. The constant refrain is “but I didn’t think they needed walking a million times a day”. To the daughters, a “walk” is standing in the driveway for 8.3 seconds (when it’s raining or cold it goes down to 2.3). I’m constantly being maligned as a cruel mother because we only have 2 dogs, 5.75 cats (down from 13), 2 bunnies, 7 sheep and 3 goats. Someone asked me if I didn’t find the animals a lot of work, and I said quite truthfully, that if I got rid of the people of the household, I could quadruple the amount of animals I had and still have time to spare. They eat what they’re given, and are appreciative of it, they don’t produce laundry or other mess, and best of all they don’t talk back. They are also, dogs at least, pure love. Maybe you should compromise and get a needy adult (housetrained) dog from a shelter, but only if you really want it, because it will be YOUR dog.
    (As to co-ed camping, my daughter wouldn’t bother asking, because she knows what the answer would be)

  115. I just got out of freshman year of high school yesterday. I’m already driving my mum nuts. Hee hee.

  116. My kids think I’M the lunatic. After leaving the yarn store, I often stick my head in the bag and take a big whiff. It’s my form of huffing, and it’s much less dangerous unless you poke yourself in the eye with the needles you also bought. Do not get the puppy. Do you have any idea how fast a German Shepherd puppy can run while she has a ball of yarn in her mouth that is still attached to a WIP? Neither do I, I’ve yet to catch her.

  117. When they say everyone else is doing coed camping, point out the teen pregnancy statistics, and sit tight.
    then say, trust me… how do you think I wound up with you guys? it seemes like a good idea at the time…

  118. No to the puppy an NO NO to co-ed camp/sleep overs.
    Lunatic Mothers unite!!!!
    Oh and yarn fumes….New store opening today in my town called Harmony Yarn….Gotta go my hands are starting to shake and I feel woozy…Need yarn…

  119. be strong! while, as a teenager, I love summer, I tend to see the strain it causes on my mother. I’ve got a job this summer though. Maybe you could try “get a job so you can pay for a puppy as well as all the expenses it incurrs.” that could work.

  120. Maybe you could send them outside to talk to the nice man with the jackhammer? Convince him to move somewhere else?

  121. Hey Stephanie. I will help out your daughters with the puppy part. We have 7 very cute Scotty Terrier/Lhaso Apso puppies that will be available the middle of August.

  122. Happy Birthday from Virginia. I think the knitting party sounds fun. I’ll try to have a margarita that night in celebration!

  123. Hi Stephanie ! I teach high school English, and I think you’re a fabulous writer — a real talent on the fast track in a terrific career! I know you love to spend quality time with your kids, but you also need some time to collect your thoughts and to work.
    At my school, we offer the teens elective credit for choosing to learn one new fun thing over the summer (not co-ed camping, LOL) and keep a journal, blog, or make a podcast. The city of Toronto must abound with fun summer lessons for teens in sports, arts and crafts, music– for a few hours a day at least.
    Challenge them, just exactly as you challenged us to expand our horizons during the Knitting Olympics. And thanks again for sharing your great talent. Can’t wait to read your blog each day! Cheers, from Daryl Lynn 🙂

  124. My sixteen-year-old daughter recently tried to convince me to allow her to get her tongue pierced because she is not expressing herself by using drugs or having sex like her classmates. Getting her tongue pierced would be her form of self-expression and rebellion. All together now, “uh no”. Her charming mother, (that would be me), informed her thus “Your form of self-expression can be not following the crowd by using drugs or having sex, but nice try though.”

  125. I did love summer with my girls when they were younger, although sometimes it was hard to decide which was worse – when they squabbled horribly between themselves or when they ganged up against me! Since we live in a tourist town, it is easy for kids from the age of 12 up to get summer jobs as babysitters, housekeepers at inns, salad makers in reataurants, garden weeders, etc. for a little spending money. That pretty much takes care of the teenage summers. Plus, I suspect you might be exaggerating a bit for dramatic and comedic effect – aren’t you?

  126. Puppies do eat yarn. When our dog was a puppy I was working on a beautiful crocheted blanket. I left one of the squares on the arm of a chair and when I came back I could not find it. I searched the whole house & thought I was crazy. A few days later as I was mowing the yard, there it was, felted by doggy “process”, still whole and laying in a pile of …
    This is a unique way of felting, but I wouldn’t recommend it!

  127. rams, euthanasia is often an unfortunate result of pet overpopulation, which is whole another issue on its own. Many shelters have to take in as many animals as possible in a finite amount of space. And frankly, if animals had to die, I’d much rather they be euthanasized than to be out there slowly starving to death or being hit by a car. Most of the time, shelter euthanasia is about making the death as peaceful as possible when it is absolutely necessary.
    Volunteering at a shelter at least gives homeless pets 1) basic care (food and water and love) and more importantly, 2) a fighting chance of being adopted.

  128. Co-ed camping, definitely not. Puppy? Definitely yes. It will keep your kids occupied and exercised (because they’ll need to take that cute little thing for daily walks), it will be an additional “security feature” for your house (just make sure it will have a scarey-sounding bark when it grows up), and you’ll have a whole other subject to blog about. Tempting, eh?

  129. Trish – Only ONE Lab puppy?? Heh, Heh, Heh, THAT won’t last long! Our #3 comes home this week! I Love puppies, love them better when they sleep through the night and are potty trained! (a lot like my kids!)

  130. Ah, summer….the teacher’s reprieve! As a teacher and mother, I feel your pain. However, my daughters are both out of high school, pursueing higher education and working–they do grow up!
    And yes, everyone else’s mother (worth her salt) IS a lunatic, they just don’t know it! You will survive this summer as you did last summer. Yeah, a puppy, …that is just what you need when the new puppy syndrome wears off and you are left with one more chore to do! Stick to your guns (knitting needles) girl!

  131. News Flash! ALL Mothers are lunatics. If we weren’t we would not have had children in the first place.
    Besides we all know, (as the bumper sticker says) “Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your kids”. But we love them with all our hearts.
    But be strong. You can do it. Get earplugs!

  132. Well… my mother was so patronizing that when I was in my teens I wasn’t even allowed to go out for a coffee with my friends (in the afternoon), all of which she knew, because one of them was ugly, the other had highlights in her hair, the third wore colorful clothes and idunnowhat. So I spent most of my teenage time at home reading, painting, sewing and other solitary activities and the friends were coming to our house which didn’t make my mom too happy because they would leave fingerprints on the door handles or something. I grew up to my late teens with serious depressions and no self esteem and sorry to say, but my otherwise nice and intelligent mom added a a lot to my problems.
    Try to manage somehow. All the advices above can work:-)
    However, I got a puppy when I was 16 – a really sweet husky, now it’s an arthritic grandmother.. and I have several balls of dog yarn and some wool, although my parents would always throw it away when they found my bag of assembled shedded hair (becuase it’s rubbish.)
    Today I got some knitting magazine, in general full of crap, but I wanted to know how to make those lacey patterns. So I did a swatch with leaves and I plan to make a nice garden-inspired sweater of the cool silk yarn I discovered in an internet shop… the only problem is that the yarn is too thin – i use it double on 3mm needles and it comes only in a few shades of browhish color or undyed – grayish something. Silk dyes nicely but I’d welcome any advice from the readers how to make it white…. chlorine bleach? or whatever. There’ll be pics on my blog someday, now I’m studying for my university exams, writing some half-idiotic papers and knit less than I’d like to…

  133. Straight from my six year old son: A woman walks into a pet store and says, “I’d like a puppy for my daughter.” The owner answers, “Sorry, lady, we don’t do trades.” School’s out here, too….

  134. Maybe a guinea pig? Less work for you when they are back in school in the fall and it becomes *your* job to take care of it. Then again, with a puppy, you could knit cunning little dog sweaters…
    I like the beads as seeds idea on the hats!

  135. I must weigh in on the con side of puppies. Puppies love to chew anything that your hands have been involved with, and they especially love sheepy smelling things. I once woke up to the sound of my Newf puppy romping up and down, up and down a long hall. I got up and found that the thing that was bringing him so much joy was an intricate Kaffe Fassett intarsia throw project. It was a nightmare of tangled bobbins, chewed through yarn, and slobber.
    Dogs are great. So many grown up dogs need homes.
    How about suggesting that the girls start a dog sitting or walking service? Lots of dog contact plus spending money…

  136. Ah yes … happy Summer holidays! You made it through last summer without losing your marbles, you can do it again. The Force is strong with you.

  137. I haven’t read all the comments, so someone else has probably said all this, but…
    Do NOT get a puppy, unless you would like to have a dog and be responsible for its care. Because that is what will happen. My theory is that teenagers need a “job”. It can be paid or unpaid. Think volunteer work, babysitting etc. It gets them out of the house and they might learn something too. Also, them they can buy their own bottles of sparkle body lotion.

  138. I feel for ya, Steph. Mine don’t get out for the summer for another week and a half, but already feeling stressed just thinking about it. I think I may be alergic to my kids if in their company for any period over 24hrs. Anyone want to trade? One teenager for a couple babies?? Anyone? Please???

  139. My mother was a lunatic…still is actually…
    But she did manage to raise two inteligent (ok, at least one…the jury is still out on my little sis. Married 3 months, and BAM preggers with no insurance and dropping out of school to get a job for insurance)(don’t worry, we still love her…hehehe BABY SWEATERS FOLKS! I GET TO KNIT BABY SWEATERS!!!) fun daughters who are at least as crazy as she is!

  140. Yes, my kids are out on Friday and my office is in my living room too. I will do my best to help you through this summer if you return the favor!

  141. As for pets: My sweet, nice, well-behaved (as only they can be) and full-bred Siamese named Tähti (we Europeans are weird) today puked all morning. Noticeable was that for the first time she chose the hallway floor with its easy to wash plastic surface and not my white carpet as usual.
    I’m studying as hard as my tortured brain can bear it for my tomorrow’s Renaissance exam and the cat spent most of the day in my knittting basket peacefully lying among the silk balls – not eating them.
    I wonder, is that worth to make yarn out of Siamese hair? She’s sooo soft….

  142. I went to the convention center on Sunday but was told the expo was only for authors, booksellers, etc. and they wouldn’t let me in! I was so disappointed. I love your blog and your books–keep writing.

  143. ha!!!!
    love this blog!
    so much so i had to wrangle up my own.
    that tank is so pretty.
    schools out for my sprouts this week.
    i go for gecko.

  144. Puppies are probably safer than coed camping trips but I feel sorry for the cat. Have a happy summer. If you need a break from the girls’ break come to MD, heat, humidity and bugs. Summer is so lovely here.

  145. LOL – you really make me laugh! Thank you!! Here are my thoughts – trivial as they may be.
    1. Glad to know that others also are over taken by “wool fever” when in a yarn shop.
    2. Stand firm in your “no” to co-ed camping – this is the way of disaster! Say yes to the puppy – our “pups” love to sit with me when I knit! They have been known to beg for me to knit, just so they can sit down with me.
    3. Okay, maybe the begging is not quite right, but they never say “go wash dishes” when I sit down to knit, and they never ask “what’s there to eat?”
    Yes, may the force be with you!

  146. Hey Steph! I finally finished my sister’s shawl. Huzzah! Now I can start something else [hand rubbing coupled with bwah-ha-ha cackles]. Something for me, I think.

  147. My 12 year old has “the list” of everything that EVERYBODY else has in her class. She just makes it so easy to torture.
    No DOG. Repeat: NO DOG, NO DOG, NO DOG.
    Children lie when they say that they will take care of it. But then they don’t consider that feeding, walking, vet visits, poop patrol as taking care of it.
    p.s. My personal private time is in the bathroom and my kids (ages: 5, 12, 20 and 54) all think I’m crazy when they hear the laughing . . . my new favorite bathroom reading is the Yarn Harlot! Thanks.

  148. Dear Harlot, I just paid you the highest compliment one writer can pay another. I went to the bookstore and paid full retail price for all three of your books. And I’m glad to have them!
    Write on!

  149. Well, a bit late but here goes —
    A) Make them prove they can care for a dog by spending one summer pet-sitting. They’ll either tire of the dog idea or be good pet owners.
    B) Um, how old are they? You can keep teenage girls busy for an entire summer with a subscription to a teen magazine and bundles of makeup. They want to look great for that new school year.
    C) No co-edding. Those campouts seem to create more havoc in the class social structure than the ‘who’s dating the football captain this week’ rumors.
    D) All else fails? Ear-plugs and ignoring ’em for a day seems to really make a big impression. So does the ‘everytime you bug me for food/a ride/whatever, I’m charging you $5’.
    Actually that last one works best of all!

  150. Um, it’s 1:12 AM EST on Monday and I’m dying here without a Harlot fix – help me! Write something!

  151. I know. Me too. Like Lynn I’m waiting for that lift that your writing gives me: a laugh, self-recognition, an idea, some color… Why is that? This blog is like a good book I’m reading but I can’t just pick it up and read it. I have to wait and that makes me want to read it even more.

  152. “nobody else’s mother is a lunatic”
    Oh that’s a really funny line. Because i’m sure that every daughter has used it.
    Really funny.

  153. Stephanie, thanks for the shout-out about my hat! It’s gotten enough interest that I’ve written up a more traditional pattern and posted it on my blog, at http://explaiknit.typepad.com if anyone else is interested.
    Thanks also to Rachel for the mention of my pineapple hat! Yeah, the fruit hats have been something of a theme this year. 🙂

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