Freakin’ muggles

You’re probably going to see this all over the knit-blog-o-sphere, and that’s exactly the way it should be, so astonishing is this story.

What follows is a copy of a letter that I received from Blue Moon Fiber Arts, home of Socks That Rock, the revered and esteemed handpainted sock yarn of so much acclaim. I got it because I am a member (last year and this year) of the Sock Club, where you send them some money and they send you several fixes kits, with yarn and a pattern to make fantastic socks all through the year.

What has happened, and I confirmed all of this in a phone call with Tina, is unbelievable. Blue Moon needs a bank to accept their credit card orders. (Be warned that when I run the world, banks will be in charge of far less…but I digress.) When Blue Moon started accepting orders for the Sock Club recently, the bank flinched.

They contacted the Blue Moon and questioned the possibility of this being an actual business thing. Blue Moon explained to them the concept of a sock club, and the bank held a meeting.

Now, I was not a fly on the wall at that meeting, but oh, how I wish I had been. Over the course of said meeting, the bank decided, with the business information of Blue Moon in front of them and the concept (and CASH) of a “Sock Club” laid out, that…..and here is the incredible thing… (Perhaps you should take a deep breath or sit down or put down your cup of tea.)

They decided that it was not possible that this many people could be this interested in sock yarn (I know…I know) and that therefore, considering the complete impossibility of this being a legitimate business concept (can’t you hear them? “This many people just can’t want sock yarn!”) that Blue Moon must be running a SCAM, and (holy moths I can scarcely type it) Shut. It. Down.

They rescinded Blue Moon’s ability to take credit card money (that’s right, a bank turned down money…) and (breath deeply) REFUNDED to customers all of the money that they had received for the Sock Club.

You ok?

I will assume, since I know that you are not stupid, my lovely readers, that I do not have to spell out for you what the emotional and financial consequences of a bank deciding to refund money to your last several hundred customers would mean to a business. Let’s just have a moment of respect for the fact that Blue Moon is still coherent at all.

Now, the ladies at Blue Moon (and they are ladies, so my sister Erin, owner of a small business and the lucky recipient of several inexplicable bank decisions herself, would like to take this opportunity to ask you if a bank would have done this to a group of men?) are a clever and tough bunch, and they have already fixed it. They have sent out a letter to all of their customers (and asked bloggers to help spread the word) explaining that they need to make sure that they have received a refund, and sign up again for the Sock Club…with the new bank, which seems to have no issues with accepting money.

That letter is below.

The ladies at Blue Moon also (and this demonstrates to me the depths of their class) have declined my offer to provide each and every one of you with the address of the bank and the Bank managers email address, so that you (ALL of you) could provide him with an expansive email detailing your feelings about sock yarn, his behaviour and the relationship between the two.

I would not have had that amount of class.

Knitters…say it with me. Freakin’ muggles. They have no idea who they are messing with.


Please read this for IMPORTANT credit card information.

The sign-up for the Rockin’ Sock Club 2007 has been a resounding success. So much so that our bank thinks we are running some type of elaborate yarn scam and is refusing to accept our members’ money! So, you know what they are doing? You are not going to believe this. They are sending all of that money back! Unbelievable and astounding!

Here are the details. Within the next ten days, all of you who signed up for the Sock Club by paying either $210.00 (domestic) or $240.00 (international) between December 31 and January 5, will be getting a credit back onto your Mastercard or Visa. It is the Sock Club only, all other yarn orders placed will go through and you will be receiving your yarn soon.

Do not panic!

Everyone affected by this incredible situation is guaranteed their spot through the end of January, including those on the wait list. After you receive your credit, just go to our website and use your same registration number to pay for your Sock Club (yet again). The website is temporarily under construction in order to install the new bank’s (who has guaranteed us they will have no difficulty accepting your money!) system. The site should be back in full swing in the next couple of days. In the meantime, you can view products and place phone orders.

If you have any problems, call or email us and we will gladly help. Keep in mind that there are a lot of you involved! It is going take us some time to sort through the mess the bank has so graciously created for us. Remember, those of you that ordered other products from the Blue Moon website during this period are fine. It does not affect your orders! It is the thought of a Club for knitting socks they cannot get their heads around.

This certainly is NOT how we envisioned starting the New Year, the launch of our website upgrade and the 2007 Rockin’ Sock Club! We cannot apologize enough for any inconvenience this causes you. To honor all of your dedication and patience, we are including a coupon in your first shipment to help compensate for this.

So, knitting comrades, we can choose to look at this in many ways (and believe me we have run the gamut on this one). Disbelief, shock, outrage . . . it has been a surreal experience for us. This is not just about us here at Blue Moon. It is about knitters as a group. We are extraordinary people. We have seen our power when rallied . . . large fundraising for great causes, KAL’s across the planet, and standing room only at knitting-related gatherings. Because of this, the Rockin’ Sock Club 2007 will prevail! We will have a blast and knit awesome socks that will be the envy of all nonbelievers!

We thank you so very much for your support, and community. There will be more (much more) to say about this saga in the first shipment’s dyer’s notes!

Our socks are still rockin’,

Team Blue Moon


phone: 1-866-802-9687


There is no joy in Plattsville.

Well. That’s not true I’m sure, it looked like a lovely town to Rachel H. and I as we wound up there last night as a direct result of shooting straight past Kitchener-Waterloo (the home of the Kitchener-Waterloo knitting guild) where I was to speak last night.

It would seem (as we found ourselves in Plattsville), that there was certainly no joy in Rachel’s car at that exact moment. It turned out that there was a missing link in our instructions, something that would be totally obvious to any other two women in a car in Ontario that inexplicably, despite our age and experience, Rachel and I did not know. (Tip. Conestoga does not run off the 401. Continuing to look for Conestoga despite all hints that you are not going to find it lands you in a snowflurry in Plattsville, a charming hamlet really quite far past Kitchener-Waterloo.) It was at this point that Rachel and I really quite cleverly realized that we were unlikely to find an offramp that led to Kitchener now that we were really quite far past it (and headed in the direction of London….even further from our goal, but a darned nice city as well) and we pulled off in Plattsville and re-organized. (Or, we reorganized as much as two lost knitters in Plattsville nowhere near where they needed to be, hopelessly misguided, mapless and with an eye on the clock can possibly reorganize.) We turned right around and took a second swing at Kitchener-Waterloo and our destination….a restaurant on King Street where we would meet up with the executive of the guild.

Car neatly pointed in the other direction, hopes high, we sped along until we saw a sign for Hwy 8, which I remembered (somehow) turned into King Street. Gloriously we took the turn, happily found ourselves on King Street, just as predicted and noted that we were at 3200 King, a far cry from the 15 King we were looking for, but we didn’t let that deflate us. We were in the right city, on the right street, headed (wonder of wonders) in the right direction. We drove on, Rachel watching the snowy road and me gleefully calling out the ever diminishing street numbers.

Our joy was short lived when just as we pulled up to an intersection (King and Weber I believe) and were suddenly no longer on King street. We cursed. We turned around, we tried again, suspiciously discovering King Street in another location and again made a run for #15. We failed. (Near what seemed to us to surely be another, different intersection of King and Weber.) At this point we pulled into a convenience store where my Vietnamese language skills failed me (or so I thought) as the owner pointed us in the direction of Kings Street….opposite where we knew it to lie.

We gave up. We called up the restaurant and asked for directions (and apologized to the starving guild executive) and set off with our new help…which quickly ended in a “no exit” version of ….you guessed it. King Street. Accepting defeat and humiliation, we called the restaurant back and this time, got an assisted landing, as the helpful waitress on the other end of the phone took us turn by turn into the parking lot.

Once seated, a peculiarity of Kitchener-Waterloo was revealed to us. Apparently (and I still don’t know how this is possible) King Street runs (I swear that at least 30 people confirmed this) North, South, East AND West, and intersects with Weber no less than four times. (The guild put it in terms we could understand, explaining that King and Weber are, essentially…..cabled.)

Once we were through that, the rest of the evening was delightfully fun. Behold! The directionally brilliant knitters of the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitters Guild!



That isn’t even all of them. This, my wool-hoarding friends, is a big guild. I gave my talk and then chatted with the knitters. I was standing there, speaking with knitters and feeling like it was a very good day, when lo, I looked up and what knitter stood before me?


Debbie New. (I am not at all surprised that she didn’t come out blurry.)

I don’t mind telling you, I was breathless. If you don’t know who Debbie New is, then you’re leading a poorer life for it. Debbie is the author of Unexpected Knitting, the knitter who knit a seaworthy lace coracle (scroll down), a ticking grandfather clock, the swirl socks and So. Much. More. She’s some kind of freaking genius and, just to make sure we have you good and impressed, also raised 8 children. (I am not worthy.) It was a complete pleasure meeting her.

Now meet Angela. Angela has won the prize (I nominated and voted on it all by myself last night) for the funniest present ever given a washing machine.


See? Angela has created “Mr. Washie’s 2007 Pin-up Calendar, and it’s just chock full of all the beefcake washers a tired old washing machine wants to see. Behold.


Sexy young washers posed in exotic locations…not even a towel covering their firm enameled bodies…


December is even a little risque. See?


Her door is open.

Mission accomplished, my face hurting from laughing about appliances and boggling at genius our lady Lynne (Sadly, blogless)rescued Rachel and I, and in exchange for a beer…


(That’s Lynne, me, Rachel H.,Julia and Lisa)

made us a map with only one King Street on it so we could get home, since it turns out that Rachel and I are really only good at navigating one thing. Knitting.

Next time Rachel? The bus.

Dear Daughters

If we, or rather you, since I am beginning to entertain ideas unbecoming a mother, are to survive this time while the additional parent usually present in the home is absent, (Joe has gone to Newfoundland) then the following rules and regulations are to be observed.

1. The soup is not ready when it explodes. The soup is ready right before it explodes. While I am grateful for the time saved by having daughters old enough to make their own dinner, please be more vigilant in your microwaving habits, since time is not saved by me having to scrub disgusting little flecks of carrot soup of the interior of the thing every time one of you has a bowl.

2. I am not interested in the fight about whether or not your sandwich is “cheesed” to the same level as your sister. Cheese is not a symbol of love and affection, it is a dairy product, nothing more, nothing less. The fact that you have 1.2 grams more cheddar than your sister has nothing, I repeat NOTHING to do with my love for you, or my feelings about cheese. I can’t even begin to tell you the ways in which slices of cheese don’t freaking matter. Let it go.

3. I know we have been over this before, but clearly it bears repeating. Dishes go IN the dishwasher, not ON the dishwasher.

The only difference between the two choices is that with one, the job is done, and with the other, your disparaged mother has to either move your soup bowl (devoid of exploded soup) into the dishwasher or call you into the kitchen and start that fight again, and with the other, she (and you) can move on.

4. Do. Not. Talk to your mother until she has had at least one cup of coffee in the morning. Feel free to check my cup and divine my progress, or note that if I am ready for communication, I will speak to you.

5. Further to item 4, please note that any attempt to get money/notes for school/ clean laundry/ the cute hairband you have misplaced since last night BEFORE your mother has had that single glorious brown elixir of life will likely be met with a negative response.

If you really want money/notes/laundry/hairbands, you may increase your odds by bringing me coffee or wiping something….hell. Anything, with a damp washrag.

6. Soap dissolves in water. This is why the soap in the tub is always gone. You’re smart kids. Put it together.

7. Teenage boys want to have their way with you.

Please do not speak to me of their purity of soul and intent. I am too old and skeptical to believe any other motive. (I am willing to entertain that when they are 35 they may have another goal. Not before.)

7b. This does not mean that I think that boy is a jerk. He seems to be a very good boy, I even like him. Unfortunately, he is also teenaged and that means that even if he is the best boy alive he has suspect motivations, even if he doesn’t think so himself.

7c. I know about your motivations too.

8. I pay for the phone. If I want to make a phone call, I’m not mean, insensitive, or calloused to your needs. I am the lady with a JOB. Hand it to me, or I shall devote every single moment of time that I can wrench the phone from your hands to calling boys your age that you think are hot and telling them stories from when you were breastfed and how I made the decision to cloth diaper you. I will not leave out the part about the rash.

9. The internet does not actually supply oxygen. If the router quits again there is absolutely no need for that high pitched keening. Or for you to shriek “Fix it! Fix it! MUM! THE ROUTER!” like it was the life support system of The Starship Enterprise.

10. Since, further to that JOB part up above, I have to go and speak to the KW-Knitters Guild tonight I expect that during the time that the three of you are alone in the house you will not look for ways to make sure I need to go completely bonkers when I get home. This includes, but is not limited to –

-Dying your hair a strange colour. I actually could care less what colour your hair is, since hair colour is not related to goodness as a person. Covering the bathroom in hairdye is, however, related to goodness and how much I of it I believe you to possess.

– Drinking, between the three of you, 4 litres of milk in one evening.

-Using three towels per bath. There are three of you. Either do laundry, bath less or have a load in the washer when I get home. I’d be happy to move it to the dryer for you.

-Creating, through unknown means a “mystery smell” that I will neither be able to identify nor locate.

-Immediately tuning the tv to a banned show like “Next” “Flavor of Love” or any show that has improving women through plastic surgery as a theme, any show that is having a good day when there is a “catfight” between contestants or any show that has women competing for the attention and affection of a single male who is allowed to choose between them for his own purposes. I don’t give a crap how trendy a harem is, all the women I know (including you) are worth more than that.

Thank you for your kind attention to these matters. I will be lying on the couch with a cool cloth over my head until the parent that you say is nicer than me and actually claim to like and respect returns in a few days. (Please note that the irony that you will dump all of this crap on him ten seconds after he comes home is not lost on either of us.)

Your mother.

PS. Since a wise mother giving three teenagers nine hours alone provides some measure of supervision, I have arranged for a series of relatives and friends to look in on the three of you tonight. They will arrive at random intervals. I am not going to tell you when, or for how long. Look alert.

Here is…

Quickly now, since I’ve got something to do on a deadline that I forgot all about. I constantly speak to Joe about the advantages of reading the family calendar that hangs in the kitchen so that he can know what’s going on around here and damn if I shouldn’t have taken my own advice. Especially before the bank guy showed up at my house for an appointment and a rather surprised me had to have a conversation with him in a dirty living room, bra-less and unwashed. Idiot. I’m sure I made a grand impression. (The only good news there is that I only had to move two knitting projects for him to have room to put his papers on the table. Could have been worse.) After he left I checked that calendar and …well. I’ve got things to do.

Here is me on the TV yesterday, not looking like too much of an odd duck.


(My hand is up in that twit-like manner because I am knitting, which sort of looks less elegant than I imagined it would.) I managed to be mostly coherent (I stumbled once or twice, which isn’t too bad considering the rising gorge of my own terror screaming in my head.) I watched the tivo of it and I seem incredibly dorky to myself, but Joe’s mum said I was good and the girls didn’t refuse to go to school today, so the dork must be something only I can see.

Here is the almost finished phase of the eggs…


after they have been through all of their dyebaths, including the final black. You can see that they are quite dingy, with all the wax clinging to them.

Here is me melting the wax off the finished eggs.


You hold the egg near (but not in) the flame of a candle long enough for the wax to melt, but not so long that the egg inside begins to cook, since the final step is poking holes in the eggs and blowing out the contents. I have very good evidence that you can practically burst a lung trying to blow cooked egg out of a wee hole. As the wax melts in a little area, you wipe it off. The final sheen of wax is removed with lighter fluid, which…in a miracle of chemistry I don’t understand at all, leaves behind the dye, but also removes the original pencil lines UNDER the dye.

Here is the very, very nearly finished eggs…


These have now had the wax and pencil removed and a thin layer of oil based urethane rubbed on. (Tip: you’re going to want gloves for that part. Really.) Now all that remains is to poke holes in the tops and bottoms and blow the contents out. (That’s a grand opportunity to break them.) When they are dry inside I’ll affix a ribbon or some such and the will be personalized ornaments for the tree. (Um. Next years tree. Running a little behind.) Nifty…yes?

Here is the yoga mat bag.


Just a few centimetres to go. It’s the one from Knit Wit, and in the original pattern was knit in stripes out a bazillion colours of Mission Falls 1824 cotton. (You can see it on the cover of the book if you click. I had A) no burning desire to knit cotton, it bugs my hands. 2) No burning need to weave in so many ends that you would be ill to think of it. and C) No Mission Falls cotton. My cop-out knock off (adapted to knit flat.) is being knit in Noro Kuryon, to almost the same effect. The straightforward back and forth of stockinette on straight needles is the perfect counterpoint to bugging my eyes out by candlelight working on the eggs.

Here is… Well there’s no picture, but here’s me whipping off to move my knitting off the dining room table and maximize the professionalism of the next appointment. What the heck, I may even go look for my bra.


For anyone interested in hearing me talk about you (I promise I’ll only say nice things) the CBC tv interview has been moved from today to tomorrow at about 10:45 – 11:15ish on Newsworld. It’s five minutes, it’s live…it’s scaring the daylights out of me.


Now if you’ll pardon me, the eggs are waiting, and I’ve got a tree to take down. It’s the 12th day of Christmas, Epiphany and the end of Christmastide. All the decorations come down today to avoid bad luck…and since I’m doing a live interview tomorrow, I’ll be sweeping up the pine needles pronto.

Early morning light

I got up really early this morning to do some work and was surprised at two things. Firstly, how much I got done. I worked on the introduction to the new book. (This one. I’m almost sorry to be linking to it, considering my hair and the thousand other terrors that picture of me my unleashes in my soul. That’s apparently a temporary cover, which is good, since that photo of me gives me the screaming heebie-jeebies. I can scarcely speak to you of how much I dislike it. Still, authors aren’t in charge of things like titles and covers, so cross your fingers that on the next one I get hair that looks like my hair. Actually…on second thought? I wouldn’t mind if I had someone else’s hair…but it needs to be hair better than mine. Upgrades only.) The new book is another useless book about knitting (no patterns or technique) about the idea of knitting as a destination…a place. I like it, but I didn’t like the introduction. It’s better now. After I worked on that I bashed out another 400 words for something else, worked on revisions for half an hour, ate a very nutritious breakfast, booked my flight to Madrona Fibre Arts Retreat, arranged a news thing with the CBC for tomorrow (I’ll be on the noon news talking about you guys and your incredible powers of fundraising.) tossed a load of laundry in and payed the bills while outlining a new essay. It’s been so long since I had a little time to myself that I forgot how effective you can be if nobody speaks to you for four hours.

Secondly, I’ve been having a vaguely panicky feeling for a few days now that I can’t seem to kick. I’d attributed it to falling behind on work during the holidays, but it wasn’t until I had some time to myself this morning that I realized that it’s not from being behind on my work, it’s from a lack of quiet time and privacy and the space to think things out. As Joe is still “between opportunities” and has all of this time at home and the girls have been on vacation for two weeks I think I hadn’t really had time to acknowledge that the lack of time in which to work and think is really making me wild with anxiety. I learned a good lesson about myself this morning, and one that I thought I had figured out. Time alone = sanity. People speaking to me through the crack in the bathroom door while I try to hide in the bathtub = nervous twitch over right eye.


The Egg Harlot

Franklin said yesterday in a comment that he hopes I’m not turning into the Egg Harlot, and I assure you, I’m not. The egg thing is temporary, and I hope to finish today or tomorrow. I could never be the Egg harlot. I travel too much to have a fragile and slimy hobby.

For right this moment though, it’s all about the eggs.

Once I had penciled the plan onto the eggs, I needed to apply the wax. I’m using the same technique that pysanky does, although I break a lot of the rules. (I know that’s such a shocker. Me being me and all.) The tool that you use is a kistka (or stylus) and it’s like a little bowl with a hole in the bottom. You heat up the bowl in a candle flame, fill the bowl with beeswax and touch the tip to the egg. The wax flows through the hole and you cover all the areas you want to have stay white.


See? (Please note: the over-consumption of caffeine is not recommended during this phase. You don’t want shaky hands.)


The next step is to dye the eggs yellow (traditionally, you move from lightest to darkest in a dye progression) and cover the parts you want to have stay yellow.


There are 12 colours in my palette, and by the time I’m done the eggs will be almost entirely covered in wax. (Then you take the wax off.) It’s fiddly, but not difficult. I’ll take some more pictures as I go, and it’ll be clear what these are for by the time I’m done. The astute among you will notice that yesterday there were 6 eggs I was working on…and today there are only 4.

Another good reason not to be the Egg Harlot. Yarn doesn’t break.

And the horse it rode in on.

I am not smart at all. I have written books in which I speak of gauge and it’s perils. I have experienced gauge issues first hand, I have personally felt the burning, bitter twist of the knitting needle when the cruel mistress that is gauge smacks me down so hard that a cardigan won’t zip up over my perfectly reasonably sized breasts….or endured the teachable moment of having the sleeves of a pullover sweep past my hands and brush my so-much-lower kneecaps. I have suffered…I have learned. I have come to place the myth of gauge in a position of respect.

I acknowledge now that the whims of the gauge over-lords are dangerous and I do not taunt them. When I care about the size of a finished object, I knit a swatch. I do not cheat. I do not knit tiny little squares and call them swatches.. .. I even wash the swatches that the water may reveal the true nature of my swatch and not leave my soft knitterly underbelly free to the sharp talons of the gauge beast lurking in the darkness waiting for the moment when I will be vulnerable. I now know that even if you are a careful knitter you can still get totally screwed for reasons you will never truly understand. I know this the way (most days) I know the names of my children. I understand.

Why then, oh why, am I surprised and upset that this yoga bag,


Which I swatched for deeply and honestly,


Will not go around the yoga bag in any way, shape or form and I have to pull the whole thing out? Can you say “slow learner”?

Idiot. What was I thinking? Why didn’t I measure it sooner? How come I knit up a whole ball of Noro into that thing before I checked? Have I not been screwed before on this? Seriously. SLOW LEARNER. Right here. Gonna get a tee-shirt. I am not surprised that I was a gauge victim. I happens to the best of us. I am surprised that I fell for it. Screw gauge and the horse it rode in on.

We hates it.

In other news, Eggs do not have gauge, and now they have guidelines and notes penciled on.


Everyone guessing the next stop is wax, is right. Gonna be cool.

(And no. I’m not early for Easter. I’m very late for Christmas.)

Finally, I’ll be speaking at the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitter’s Guild on January 9th (that’s next Tuesday) at 7:30. They meet at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex, and non-members (like me) can come to the meeting, but they need to bring a toonie. I hope I see you all there.

I think I’ll bring the eggs that night. Clearly I can’t knit my way out of a paper bag.

Surprises today: A list

1. I felt a little better, took a look around and realized that I am way, way behind on errands and laundry and email and phone calls and that there are no groceries. (I have talked Joe into fixing that.) Further to those problems, today was the last possible day I could go to the passport office and still get Sam’s passport in time for her trip. (She has a babysitting gig in Mexico. How is it that all of my babysitting gigs were on my block?)

2. All time record line up at the passport office. Just over three hours. Probably has something to do with this, (I’m positive it does, actually.) but still…Dudes. Three whole hours? (I have never resented the “no food or drink” rule in the office more. That is a long coffee/water free period for a knitter recovering from the flu.)


This is three hours of a Jaywalker. (Vesper sock yarn, in Tartan.)

For that matter:

2b. Starting a Jaywalker. That sock pattern has wicked mojo on it or something. The minute your resistance is low…There you are. I shouldn’t be surprised that a bout with the flu has resulted in this sock turning up again. I think it’s a viral pattern.

3. Bead stores. The new Sivia Harding sock pattern that came with the STR sock club calls for beads. (You can see a wonderful example here, on Pink Tea.) I thought about putting them on there, and then I got a hold of myself. I don’t even know where a Toronto bead store is. Answer….Queen Street West. I was taking the streetcar home from the passport place and all of a sudden there were a million beadstores all over the place. I had some sort of involuntary twitch, pulled the bell and the next thing I knew…


Yeah. Whoops.

4. Bead stores are not for the weak, recovering, or anyone with a single magpie gene in their bodies. It was only that I was tuckered out by the Passport office and couldn’t stand for very long that I only came home with hundreds and hundreds instead of millions and millions. Bead stores are wonderful little shimmering dens of temptation.

5. Beads are CHEAP.


See that? Less than two dollars, and it’s enough to do a pair or two of socks. (Note: There were other beads, beads that were not for knitting. Those beads cost a lot more money. I averted my eyes from the burning glory of the beads that were not for knitting and thanked my lucky stars that I am a knitter and that I don’t know what the seven dollar bead was for. If you do not have a one track knitting mind, you should maybe not go to the bead store.)

6. Almost thirteen year old daughters in bead stores is a bad idea. They make that high pitched shriek thing that means they want you to spend all of your money on something shiny. Go alone. Go strong. Go without a credit card. Wear garlic.

7. I asked the lady if these were 8/0 seed beads like the pattern says, and she (without looking at me or the beads) said “Sure. Why not.” (Apparently customer service in bead stores is as touch and go as is is everywhere else. I thought the tiny glass art would purify their souls.)

8. I didn’t get very far with the eggs.


These have been brought to room temp, washed with water and vinegar and had any little lumps or bumps carefully pared off with an X-acto knife. (Almost. I can see one I missed.) Any idea what comes next?

9. This was less than 1/4 of what I usually get done in a day and I am so absolutely tired I could go cross eyed.

10. This makes me want to figure out how to get beads onto yarn anyway. (Threading it like a needle doesn’t work. My yarn is too…flaccid. ) Sivia recommends dental floss threaders, which I don’t have, and all reasonable (and unreasonable) attempts to substitute dental tape has failed.

Perhaps I need to cut back on the passport office and the decongestants.

Hey that’s me!

It turns out that whatever viral bad guy knocked me arse over teakettle last week was just the nucleic acid equivalent of a warning shot over the bow. I was feeling better, I really was. I bucked up, trouped myself over to my Mum’s for The Big One….

Wait…hold on. You want pictures from the big one?

The big hit this year was “Photobooth” on my MacBook. A few samples of the big fun…






It would appear that the urge to photograph oneself with a computer camera is overwhelming and spans generations. (Erin really got the hang. There are several shots that I can’t show you. We have standards here at Chez Harlot.) The universal reaction to seeing oneself in realtime on a computer screen? “Hey…that’s me!”

For Auntie Rams, one of the dancing pictures…


This year we focussed on teaching the next generation of dancers. Get ’em young, that’s our motto. A very good time was had by all, yours truly especially. I felt like I had really kicked the virus, was feeling way better and then whammo. Saturday morning woke up and could hardly move. Misery abounded. I remember very little (blissfully) of Saturday and Sunday…and only the vaguest miserable patches of yesterday. Last night I took three extra strength cold/flu pills and lost consciousness, and today I’ve almost regained the will to go on. (I may not have regained the ability to write coherently or with any real wit, so forgive the lack of entertainment in this post, will ya?)

While I don’t remember doing it (bless Neo Citran and it’s amnesiac fog of decongestant twilight) it would seem that I finished the Rock and Weave socks. (Yarn: STR Pink Granite mediumweight.)


I’ve always suspected that knitting was pretty much an automatic function for me, and here we finally have proof. Knitting I don’t remember doing.


The tally continues to rise, really slowly…thanks to our good friend Mr. Influenza. (This flu is absolute revenge for the conversation I had with Ken last week where I totally dissed the flu shot. Never let it be said that viruses don’t have a sense of humour and a poignant grasp on irony. They totally do. I am weeping, feverish, snotty proof.) I’m almost finished with the emails up to the 19th December. (Sorry, sorry…I suck.) If you haven’t had a confirming email from me, then your contribution isn’t recorded yet. This means the number is headed for epic, epic things. Be amazed.

Happy New Year. More tomorrow, when I am theoretically less sick, more engaging and playing with eggs. (You’ll have to wait and see what that means.)