Three knitters.

I’m working on an idea over here and I’d like your help.

(For anyone who suspected that it was only a matter of time until I roped you all into helping me write a book…today is your day.)

If you could have a knitterly dinner at your house, and any knitter, dead or alive would come…which three would you invite? Why?

Elizabeth Zimmermann? Mme DeFarge? Debbie Bliss?

I’m looking to come up with the three most famous or influential knitters of all time – according to knitters.

PS. Shelly has made a very big mistake. She has asked me to ask you to send her your leftover sock yarn. Since I am a horrible, terrible person with a fair bit of leftover sock yarn and a vivid imagination, I am suddenly possessed of a very funny image of Shelly getting “some” sock yarn, I’ll ask you this..

Who wants to try and bury her house?

A full and round understanding.

I should have seen this coming. I have said before that it is my personal belief that the universe seeks balance. That for every right there is a wrong, for every stop there is a start and for every completely brilliant weekend, well. I should have seen it coming.

This weekend:

1. The weather was smashing. Truly glorious. It was really hot, but I like the heat. (There’s this beer ad that points out that the average length of a Canadian summer is only 58 days long. Since that means that 307 days aren’t summer, I can take whatever the summer wants to dish out. The contrast is nice.) Perfect cherry picking weather.

Cherriespicked78

2. The children were lovely, and polite, and did their math without being asked, and Megan came downstairs on Saturday, looked at herself for a moment and then said “oh yes, that’s too much makeup” and went and washed her face. What are the odds on a teenage girl doing that?

3. I finished my trekking socks,

Trekking90Do78

(Trekking XXL, colour 90. 2.25mm needles, using my basic sock recipe. Before you ask, yes. Yes, I wrote the recipe down here. ) and I put them into the LRPD box. (Long Range Planning Department)

Trekking90D78

4. I cast on new socks with this yarn.

Lucymerinoskiris87

It’s a Merino/tencel blend hand dyed by Lucy at Minds Eye Yarns, and I think it’s all of the colours of foggy iris. This pleases me more than I can tell you.

5. The sock got to go to see Great Big Sea on Saturday.

Greatbigsea78

It was a seriously good time. I have a not-at-all secret crush on Alan Doyle, love me a good kitchen party, and got to go with Joe and his Mum and Dad.

Mumdad78

Turns out that Joe Sr. is a pretty good date. Claps in time, knows all the words to “Rant and Roar”, isn’t embarrassed by flashing around a sock. It was pretty brilliant.

6. In my continuing TV-less coverage of the World Cup…

Italywinswv78

I have a sneaking suspicion that Italy did very well. (Besides the Italian street party that went until 2am, French flags are now deeply discounted at my corner store. Not a good sign for the French.)

7. To top off my weekend, I had a really nice dinner last night with an old friend. My daughters were charming, the wine Cabernet, the pasta al dente, the dessert cherry upside-down cake, and the conversation went late into the warm evening the way that all the best summer dinners do.

Then, Midnight came, Monday began…and the universe sought balance.

1. I couldn’t sleep. I was completely sideswiped by this, since normally I can sleep anywhere, anytime. (I don’t sleep much, but I do sleep well.) This infuriating and inexplicable wave of insomnia kept me awake until 5am.

2. At 5am, Joe snored. I shoved him.

3. At 5:05, the cat danced on my head for a while. (It turned out that the cat only danced on my head for a while because that was really all the time she could spare away from shredding the bookcase in the kitchen.)

4. At 5:30, someone nearby remembered that Italy had won the world cup and exploded in a nocturnal expression of car-honking joy.

5. 6:45, my alarm went off. I wept softly, but got up and started making the girls breakfast and lunches. I drank an enormous amount of coffee.

7. 8am, Megan and I get on our bikes so that we can ride over to her summer program. Last week I led Meg, and this week Meg is to lead me. Towards the end of the week I will trail her like a stalker, not helping or directing her so that we will both know that she can manage the urban ride by herself. This morning however, Megan explains to me (sort of loudly, or that could just be the sleep deprivation) that she cannot, yay, WILL not ride without me. That she will surely be lost or hit by a car if I am not with her, and that I am a very, very poor mother for trying to make her do this.

(I would like to take this moment to point out that it is not the work or the discipline of teenagers that makes them exhausting. It is the contrasts. It is that a child who spent an evening last week screeching about needing independence and needing her mum off her arse, could now refuse to ride her bike to school if her mummy doesn’t come with her.)

8. 8:25. Megan enters the school, and the moment her precious little head is under cover, the sky opens and nine-thousand-million litres of water are poured on my head. I ride home on my bike in the driving rain, contemplating that I have never been wetter in my entire life. I have been drier while I was in the bath. I was as wet as a human being can get before they actually begin to dissolve.

9. While waiting to turn (I had to wait for all of the cars to have a turn, because if you are in a nice dry car, you should TOTALLY get to turn before the drowned lady sitting on her bike. ) I was splashed head to toe up and down the left side of my body by not one, not two, but NINE cars. Luckily, I had reached a certain peace with my lot by then. Except for the mud and the street filth, things were already as bad as they could be.

10. Come home and strip of my remarkably wet clothes, take them down to the basement to toss them in Mr. Washie, and discover that the basement is leaking….again. Actually, leaking would be the wrong word. Leaking sort of implies a slow influx of water. Pouring. That’s what the water in the basement is doing. Luckily, I had a colony of ants take up residence on the kitchen counter to distract me.

In the face of this preponderance of evidence that the planet is balancing things out, I am going to go and sit quietly in a corner, drink a very great many cups of coffee, try to work in a manner that doesn’t attract attention to myself, (lest I be hit by lightning) and wait for the balancing phase to be over. Despite being wet, filthy, flooded and overtired, I had such a good weekend, that I regret nothing.

Nothing except that I’m going to have to go back out on my bike in the rain to pick Meg up, since Joe had a pretty great weekend too…and now he’s locked his keys in the pick-up.

New and Improved

So last week when I was at Lettuce Knit, it was raining. Really, it was raining very hard, and this normally wouldn’t bother me, (I try to accept Nature and all it’s variability) except it was raining inside the shop.

The store has always had a little wee bit of trouble with leaking, it’s an old building, it has a flat roof, the landlord is perhaps not as committed to worldwide dryness as is possible….but in the end, it didn’t leak anywhere that there was yarn or books, and the problem was solved neatly with a bucket on rainy days. So it was that when the rain began while we were all sitting around knitting that evening, that Megan and Laura brought in a bucket, and we discussed ways to put the bucket to minimize splashing from the drips (one of the techniques suggested was to run a string from the ceiling to the bucket for the water to run down. Very funny moment when Laura was in a yarn shop… looking for string. ) and nobody worried very much.

Nobody worried very much until Mother nature decided to up the ante. Rain did not fall, rain pelted. It sheeted from the sky in colossal overwhelming waves of monstrous rain, and the ceiling began to leak. Laura duly placed a bucket, the knitters knit. The ceiling began to leak in two spots. Another bucket was nervously placed, knitting continued. Suddenly, a third spot began, and this time…this time it was over the yarn.

The room erupted. Seven knitters sprang up and bolted for the yarn. A brigade formed to move the yarn and books to safety, furniture was shoved, fibre was stowed…no knitter would let yarn suffer so much as dampness on our watch. While we moved yarn, placed buckets and laid towels (and completely trashed the store in the process)…a fourth spot started. (Not coincidentally, right over one of the spots that we were moving the yarn to. No system is perfect.) The ceiling began to bow, full of water…and I began to feel a little panic. (Yarn was threatened. It’s my instinct to feel nurturing towards it.) “Poke it” I said. “What?” said everyone…

“Poke it, make a hole and let the water out, before it spreads all around.”

Rachelstick76

“With what?” Said Rachel H. (Please take a minute to register where Rachel is standing while she asks this. She’s in front of a wall of needles. Hundreds of pointy sticks. Hundreds.) It was classic. All of these knitters standing in a yarn shop, holding their knitting while standing in front of a needle display saying “If only we had some kind of pointy stick!”. (I’d tease Rachel worse, but mere moments after a metal straight was procured from one of the knitters, I leapt up onto a chair, super-hero style, needle swung bravely aloft, ready to impale the ceiling and save the yarn…..only to suddenly find that my outstretched arm (attached to my five foot body) came quite a bit short of the ceiling.

As I stood there, arm up, needle high, ceiling far away, Rachel looked at me, looked at the gap between my needle tip and the sagging plaster above me and said, with complete seriousness and an air of incredulity that will never be repeated on this earth,

” Steph? How tall do you think you are?”

The rain continued the next day, and despite heroic efforts by people taller and smarter than me….

Lettucknitos76-1

This is what the shop looked like yesterday. Closed. Our little Lettuce Knit, gone forever. Now the good news.

Newwlk76

The new Lettuce Knit! It’s bigger! It’s the same great shade of green! It holds more yarn! It’s got a patio! (It’s inspiring me to a ridiculous use of exclaimation points!) That’s right. In the span of less than a week, Megan and her crack team of yarn pro’s moved the shop into the bottom floor of this awesome little house. The best part?

Lkbathroom76

Be still my heart. Lettuce Knit now has a washroom. (There wasn’t one before. We all coped by planning bathroom breaks before we came and limiting fluids while in the store.) I was so excited about this that I had a cuppa tea before I left the house to go to the shop, just because I could. When Megan’s done fixing it up there will be a kitchen too…thus removing the last few barriers to me actually moving into a yarn shop.

The very best part?

Oldandneww76

Look. On the right, the old Lettuce Knit, and just down the street, just a smidge down, the new store! Same wonderful neighbourhood, same streetcar stop in winter, same bike ride in summer. Perfect.

Megans76

I’m so proud of Megan, the owner. She’s been bright and ethical and warm and lovely and firm all at once, and I’m really impressed by the way she combines her family and the shop. It can’t be easy, but she’s such a good person that I can’t help but be happy for each and every nice thing that happens to her. (This may have something to do with why I keep spending my money there. Ethics in business is a real attractant for me.)

Not only was it the Yarn Shops big leap to a new place, but Amy’s big leap party too. (There’s a great set of photo’s over at her place.) Amy’s quit her day job and is becoming the full time writer/editor/knittylady that she’s dreamed of being.

Amybigleap76

This was the look on her face when I said “Smile Amy…You’re unemployed!”

There were many knitters of note there last night (including FiberTribe Caroline, who sailed in while I was tied up and was gone by the time I looked for her…Caroline, I wish we’d had some time!)

This is Diane.

Dianeknit76

I know it looks like Diane is holding an ordinary sweater…she is not.

This is a sweater begun by Diane in 1996, and finished…well. Just now. 10 years. I can’t believe she went back and finished it…I mean, we all talk about it, but nobody really does it….

This is Veronica. You’re not going to like her.

Veronica76

She’s holding a sweater that she’s knitting out of wool she dyed herself, she’s knitting it brilliantly, it’s beaded beautifully…..

and she learned to knit two months ago. TWO MONTHS. She’s knitting a beaded sweater out of her own handpaint. (And she’s nice) Can you imagine what she’s going to be knitting in a year? No, no, no. We don’t need this sort of a person hanging around a yarn shop making the rest of us look bad. Brilliance should be reclusive.

Finally…I have a partial solution to the cherry problem.

Kidinatreech76

I sent the tall teenager up there. (Doesn’t she look happy to help?)

Up a tree without a paddle

For years now, I have been doing battle with a Montmorency cherry tree in my front yard. It’s major plan of attack has been to produce 100 000 000 000 000 cherries that much of humanity considers inedible, and then fling them onto the sidewalk in front of the house. Then the tree invites 100 000 birds over to it’s branches to peck juicy holes in the cherries and defecate a truly remarkable and astonishing amount of bird crap onto my sterling lilies, then the juicy holes in the cherries attract 100 000 000 000 wasps and fruit flies to terrorize me and invade my home. When the tree is in top fighting form, the cherries which it throws on the sidewalk are tracked into the house, down the street, into the backyard, are thrown around the entire street by hoodlums in training local children, and the tree attracts the attention of every single resident of my neighbourhood, who either try to steal cherries (Note to cherry thieves: I can hear you. You are right outside my living room window and you are fighting very loudly in Lithuanian. This is not a subtle crime. There is no point in running off like that when I come out to offer you a chair to stand on.) discuss cherries, or taste the cherries, discover they are sour and discuss this loudly, complete with spitting noises, four feet away from where I am spinning and watching “House”.

Cherriesmm74

The cherry tree is a formidable enemy. Also in it’s arsenal is the way it sends up sucker trees all over my garden. It is a slow felony, but after 10 years I am certain that only the cherry tree and it’s minions will occupy the front garden.

Two years ago, in an attempt to fight back, I picked cherries. They are a huge pain in the arse to get out of the tree, and an even bigger pain in the arse to de-pit. (It is faster now that I use a dpn.) I spent days picking, pitting, freezing and baking and despite dedicating all of this time to cherry battle, the tree still threw millions on the ground and threw a wildlife cherry orgy in my front garden. That summer though, somewhere, in a desperate attempt to use up all of the cherries, I had discovered the bright, shining, glorious true light of joy that is the Sour Cherry Upside Down Cake, and the tree had me in it’s grips. I started to look forward to cherry time.

The next year, the as soon as the tree realized it had brought me some happiness, and knowing that it had failed to bring only foul expressions and work to my life, the tree managed to arrange a horrible heat wave, where the cherries literally steamed and rotted on the tree before they could ripen, and then, taunting me with a whole summer of cake-less-ness….

Then it threw 100 000 000 000 000 rotten cherries on the ground.

This year I have watched the cherry tree like a hawk, determined that at the first possible cherry picking moment, I shall descend upon the tree like a plague of locusts. Every cherry will be picked, none will fall on the sidewalk and a years worth of cake will me mine. For the last few days, the tree has been close and this morning I the hour was upon me. I took my cherry picking bowl outside and I walked up to the tree and I started to pick.

It was then that I realized that the tree has a new trick.

The perverse rat-sucking-bark-arse has placed 90% of the cherries at the top of the tree. It mocks me with it’s unreachable fruit.

Cherrieshigh74

(There’s a cherry sky for Sandy.)

Now I am not easily defeated (I want the cake) and our bedroom window is near the cherry tree, and there’s a little roof there.

Outthewindow

I took down the screen, opened the window and squeezed myself out onto the little roof. I waved to my incredulous neighbours (who are all about 5 seconds away from offering to buy me some stinking cherries if I will only please, please stop being so freaking odd) plunked myself down on the roof and picked what I could reach.

Upatreesok74

Since the neighbours already thought I was as crazy as a soup sandwich, I took the opportunity to show the travelling sock the top of a cherry tree.

Sockupatree74

Two cakes worth of cherries are mine. (I am developing a plan to get the rest. Thus far, it involves two chairs, a rope, and all of the courage I learned playing D&D as a teenager.) I shall prevail.

While I formulated a battle plan yesterday, I spun some really neat new fibre. This is “Hot Mama” (I think. The cherry war has me so discombobulated that I can’t find the label) from Farm witch.

Hotmama74

A rustic batt that’s a really neat combination of Cotswold and recycled sari silk… I found it interesting to spin. I had to let go of the idea of a perfectly smooth single. This batt has lot’s of personality and I had to just. Let. Go (Really, my best thing) and let the fibre be itself.

Hotmamasing

The resulting single is completely charming, and I’m debating whether or not it even needs to be plied. (Can you do that? How do people spin a single for spinning? What about the twist? Do you have to plan to spin a single?)

Then I spun this one.

Ladystarbat74

“Lady Starlight” (also from Farm Witch). 70% Cotswold, 29% silk, 1% “Glitz”. Again, I surprised myself by having a really good time with the unexpected nature of the spining. I usually like a really smoothly prepared, well blended fibre, but these batts are a lot of fun. My usual fibre is to this fibre, as vanilla ice cream is to Rocky Road. I loved coming across the little nuggets of neat things, and I’ll be darned…

Ladystarfin5

If it doesn’t really look like the night sky. I was thinking that it would make pretty neat mittens for someone who owned a navy coat. I’ll think about it more while I make cake, pick cherries and win wars.

(Anybody have a really good way to get the high ones too far from the window?)

I can’t stand to watch

Icarus continues to drag along.

Icarussl74

I’ve working out why it’s making me batty. The yarn is fine enough that I can’t “feel” what I’m knitting, so even thought the pattern is simple right now, I can’t just zoom while I watch TV or read. I have to watch every stitch to make sure that everything goes as planned. I don’t mind this when there is tons of intrigue in the knitting… like with patterned yarn overs and charts, but it turns out that if all I have to do is watch plain columns develop, I can’t stand it. I’m slogging through this. I think I should download a whole bunch of podcasts to listen to while I work. Take the edge off. Maybe drink heavily. I don’t know. It’s got to be almost to the lace part. It’s got to be.

In an email, Patty asked me how to do the crochet-cast off I suggest in the poncho pattern on the sidebar. I tried to send her an email about it but I’m going to be typing forever, when a picture (or fourteen) is worth a thousand words.

Crochet Cast-Off

Advantages: It takes (get this, you’re going to plotz) NO YARN. Yup, no yarn. You can knit and knit until you are totally out of yarn and then cast off. Suck at guessing how much you need to cast off? Ever run out of yarn while casting off? Ever piss yourself off because that silk was not cheap and you could have done another 3 rows because it didn’t take that much to cast off after all? This is for you.

Disadvantages. It’s a very firm bind-off. If you want it a little looser, you can try knitting the last row onto a bigger needle, but you’re still not going to have something elastic. This is not recommended for the tops of toe up socks unless you have a burning curiosity about gangrene of the human foot caused by poor circulation. On the other hand, for a sweater and stuff, it’s totally awesome, and on a scarf, shawl, wrap, or anything you’re going to fringe, it’s very nice.

1. Begin (and this is sort of important) working AWAY from the end of the working yarn if you are on circs, or, if you are on straights, slip all of your stitches to the other needle so that you can begin at the end opposite the working yarn. (Pardon the untidiness of my swatch. I’m under caffeinated. )

Beginccoff

2. Slip the first two stitches (purlwise) to the crochet hook.

Twoabccoff

3. Pull Stitch “a” through stitch “b”, leaving “a” on the hook.

Pullingtccoff

4. Slip another stitch (the next one would be your best bet) to the crochet hook, and pull that one through.

Halfwayccoff

Repeat all the way along (or around, if you’re on a circular) until you get to the last stitch.

Laststccoff

5. Pull the working yarn through the last stitch. Congratulate yourself for cleverness.

Finishedccoff

While we’re being useful, Vicki’s got a great tutorial on another way to fix a miss-crossed cable. (This way needs scissors.)

Happy 4th of July to American readers, I hope it doesn’t rain on your fireworks. Me? It’s Tuesday. I’ll be spinning.

My new hobbies

Welcome to summer vacation with teenagers, or, as I have decided to call it, the long dark tea-time of the soul. (With apologies to our sainted and not forgotten Douglas Adams.) Gone are the days when summer vacation was a lovely time of family activities and togetherness. Gone are the days where I spent the days studying, writing and knitting under a tree while my wee girlies played together in the park and wading pool all day. Now my kids are big, and they have an agenda that is all their own and I have new hobbies this summer.

Here is how I spend my time.

1. I say “Stop that. ” (You may imagine whatever you wish for what “that” may be. Everything from shaving your head to poking your sister with the eraser end of a pencil is possible, as is blasting music and running the house out of hot water every ten minutes as you change outfits again.)

2. I turn the tv off. There is no tv from 8-4 in the summer, but this does not stop the girls from testing the rule every six minutes. Apparently, having the rule in place for 17 years is not consistent enough for them to predict my response. Let’s see what they think when I gnaw the freaking plug off of the power cord.

3. I tell them to read books. They tell me they have no books, (The lies, the lies, the lies.) and I remind them that the library is AT THE CORNER, close enough to phone and ask the librarian to THROW a book at your house.

4. I open the fridge to get cream for my coffee and discover that the teenagers have eaten their own body weight in fresh produce when I foolishly abandoned my post of defense in the kitchen for three minutes because I had to pee. I have no idea how it is possible to eat a kilo of fresh spinach and a whole bag of portobello mushrooms while I was out of the room, but while I was in the washroom I discovered that the 12 rolls of toilet paper I bought at the same time yesterday are also used up…so who knows what’s going on.)

5. I try to figure out why there is always the wrong number of kids here. I’m either short a few or up a few all of the time. (This may be related to the food and toilet paper issue. Perhaps they are inviting friends over for salad and a bathroom break.)

7. I scream “GET A JOB.” This is the response to all requests for money. It is slightly unfair, since all three children are working this summer, even though two of them are picking up credits in summer school, but it is a reflexive answer burned into me by my own parents.

8. I stand around different parts of the house trying to figure out what the smell is. (Running shoes? Abandoned bathing suit kicked under the couch? Half a now liquid plum in a leaking ziplock in a backpack?…Teenaged boy looking for teenaged girl?)

9. I try to keep that vein in my forehead from exploding when, after prying the telephone from the hands of a teenager (Who has receiver shaped hands from prolonged exposure) so that I can make a call for work, am asked by said teenager if I can “be really quick”.

10. I point out that if anyone plays “Panic! At the Disco” even one more time, I shall be forced to retaliate by alternating only the great songs “Raspberry Beret” and “Love Cats” until one or all of them moves out. (The 12 year old can stay, but I’m not letting her plug anything in.)

11. Finally, I make appalling progress on the icarus shawl.

Icarusnothtere

When there are 300 and something stitches i get to start the lacy bit. For a while I was counting them from time to time, you know…to see how much further I have to go? I’ve stopped now. It doesn’t matter how much I increase. I’m never going to get there. I understand.

12. I count days until until the first day of school. (There are 63)

Baby hat Q&A

Where do I send the hats?

For those of you who have not yet received an address from me, Jeanne has some company… Ilene would like to give some hats away at her WIC office Breastfeeding Week celebration too. Hats can be sent here:

Ilene Fabisch

c/o Brockton WIC Program

795 Pleasant St.

Brockton, MA 02301

As soon as I hear from Jeanne about if she minds me posting her address (I think it will be ok.) I’ll post that one here too.

When is the deadline?



The end of July.

What should I make the hats out of?



You’ve all heard my rant before about acrylic on babies. Since acrylic melts and burns posing serious risks to babies in the event of a fire, for safety’s sake my personal preference for all baby items is natural fibres, but you can do as pleases you. (I don’t mind acrylic on people old enough to “stop, drop and roll”.) I think the California babies would probably get more use out of cotton, and the Massachusetts could go wool, cotton or anything, but there are no wrong answers. The mums are going to be grateful no matter what.

What size?



Newborn to 1 year.

Is crochet ok?



You bet. Knock yourself out.

Do you have any patterns?

Sara has a beaded watermelon hat and an apple hat.

Janelle has a her fruit hat pattern to share.

Kathleen sent these links..


Knitty’s “Baby tart”

An apple hat

Fruit caps from Brook

Knit Chicks tomato hat

Chile con yarne pineapple hat.

My own watermelon hat

KathyMarie has some patterns on her blog here.

Anybody else? Toss ’em in the comments.

Canada, eh?

It’s Canada Day, and it’s become a tradition here at Chez Harlot to do a little Canada praising on it’s birthday. (More information about the hats, including where to get patterns, on Monday.)

Before we get going, last year an American reader wrote to me after my post on Canada and told me that I was a terrible American and a horrible patriot and that I should be ashamed of abandoning my country and becoming a “Canadian Wanna-be” just because I’m a Democrat. To head off any further confusion, I’m not a Democrat. I’m a Canadian. I was born here, I was raised here, and I live here now. (Technically, I guess she does have a point. That would make me a pretty terrible American, what with not even being a citizen.)

The last year I’ve had wonderful opportunities to travel all over the States and learn lots about it. (You should see the Mississippi from the air, or the Olympic mountains, or this park in the middle of Portland, or eat a real Southern bisquit, or drink Peet’s coffee, or see the Lincoln monument. Very nice.)

Today, I return the favour. Here’s stuff you maybe didn’t know about us.

1. We invented baseball, basketball, washing machines and insulin.

2. We have Homo Milk,

Homommilk

and until I went to the grocery store with an American I had never seen anyone giggle when they bought it.

3. Since the North Pole falls within our borders, Santa Claus is a Canadian. (His address, should you wish to write him this year, is Santa Claus, North Pole, Canada, H0H 0H0. He writes children back all over the world, thanks to a huge group of volunteers with Canada Post.)

4. 18% of Canada’s population was born outside the country. This is the second highest percentage in the world, after Australia.

5. The United States invaded Canada during the war of 1812. The Americans were defeated by the Canadians (with help from Britain, although more than 60% of the forces were Canadian, as the British were busy at another war) and driven back as far as Washington, where we burned the White House. The war ended with the Treaty of Ghent, in which the parties agreed to both go back to the way things were before and play nice. This treaty re-established the border and independence of both countries. This war is a very important part of Canadian history, and most Canadians are very proud of repelling the invasion.

6. Yonge Street is the longest street in the world, running 1896km, or 1100 miles and beginning in Toronto Ontario, and ending in Rainy River, just about in Manitoba.

7. 91% of Canadians are satisfied with their personal safety.

8. 97% of tea in Canada is consumed hot; in the United States, 85% of tea is served iced. (This should be a warning to travellers from both countries. Just asking for “tea” can be very surprising. (As an aside? When I was in the American south a while ago I discovered that asking for iced tea gets you an unsweetened one. Very nice.)

9. Canada has a surplus economy.

10. Canada adopted it’s flag in 1965.

Canflag2

Before that we used the Union Jack.

11. Same-sex marriage is legal. Nothing bad has happened as a result of this decision. Despite warnings of divine retribution or the ruination of opposite-sex marriage, absolutely nothing has changed.

12. Our Five dollar bill has hockey on it.

Fivedollarback

and our one and two dollars are coins, respectively called a loonie and a toonie.

LoonieToonie

13. Canadians are famous for: apologizing, embracing technology, hockey, being polite, eating more Kraft Dinner than any other country in the world, peacekeeping, saying “eh?”, beer, humour and sarcasm. (Those last three may be related.)

14. Canada has the largest English population in the world that has never withdrawn or surrendered to anyone during a war.

15. On July 1st 1916 on the first day of the Battle Of The Somme, 800 members of the 1st Newfoundland Regiment went out of the trenches to fight the Germans. (A regiment of this size was remarkable, considering the small population of Newfoundland at that time.) Despite a reputation for excellence and extreme bravery, only 68 of them were able to answer roll call the next day. 710 members were dead.

“It was a magnificent display of trained and disciplined valour, and its assault only failed of success because dead men can advance no further.”

— Major-General Sir Beauvoir de Lisle, Commander of the British 29th Division, speaking of the first regiment.

In Newfoundland, this day is Canada day, and Memorial day.

16. I still really love this.

Canada produces a disproportionate amount of knitting genius. Sally Melville

Debbie New

Shirl “the purl” Scott

Fiona Ellis

Lucy Neatby

The Fleece Artist

The Handmaiden

Koigu

Mission Falls.

Kate Gilbert

Knitty

Véronik Avery

Fiddlesticks Knitting (Dorothy Siemens)

Wannietta Prescod – the fastest knitter in North America

Cabin Fever

Briggs and Little

Elann.com (be careful with that one.)

Needle Arts Book Shop

Philosophers Wool Company

Shelridge Farm

Maureen Mason-Jamieson

Sivia Harding

Ram Wools

NONIA

Robin Melanson

17. Canadians don’t say “sophmore” or “freshman”. We just say “grade nine” (minor niner) or “grade 12”. As in “She’s a grade 12”.

This means that sometimes when we watch American sitcoms, we don’t know how old the kids are.

18. Mounties don’t always wear the hot outfits. That’s dress gear. (They’re also not always mounted.)

19. On December 6, 1917 a Belgian relief ship and a French ship carrying munitions collided in the Halifax harbour. A fire started and the French ship, the Mont Blanc, exploded and virtually flattened then entire city of Halifax.

Until Hiroshima, it was the largest explosion, ever. The state of Massechustts was very generous to the survivors of the explosion, sending an enormous amount of aid, very quickly. To this day, the city of Halifax sends the city of Boston a huge Christmas Tree for the Boston Common as a thank you.

20. Your turn. Tell me your most interesting things about Canada!