What The Blog wants

Usually when I sit down to write this, I know that no matter what I write, some element of the amorphous mass that I think of as “The Blog” will be disappointed with my performance, knit wise. (Did you know that’s how we think of you all? If I have a knitting dilemma I’ll say to Joe “Do you think this fits right?” and Joe will reply “I don’t know…What does The Blog think? Does The Blog like it?” and I’ll maybe reply “I haven’t asked The Blog yet. I’ll talk to The Blog about it in the morning.” That’s you. The Blog.) If I knit the mittens, part of The Blog will say “hey! What happened to the Sunrise Circle Jacket?” or if I knit on the Jacket then the other side of The Blog says “Show me more of those ribbed socks” and if I knit the ribbed socks some faction will surely ask me where my Tuesday spinning is. Today though, I have something for everyone.

1. I have attended to the Sunrise Circle Jacket until I ..er….ran out of clean yarn again.


Apparently, I cannot be taught.

2. I finished a mitten


(NHM #7 from Selbuvotter)


and started the next one.

3. I worked on the Rotating Rib sock.


Pattern mine, yarn is STR lightweight in “downpour”

4. I did indeed spin on Tuesday.


Rachel H., Denny and Laura came over for a drink wine/eat soup/ spin evening on Saturday, and I started spinning this beautiful roving called “copper penny” I got from Steam Valley Fiber Farm at Rhinebeck. (All purchases will be revealed in the fullness of time.)


So smitten was I with this roving, that I didn’t ask what its content was. I would suspect mohair/wool, but whatever it is, it has a wee bit of glitzy stuff thrown in that is going to make it the best present ever for someone on my list. (I am not so much with the sparkles, but I know someone who will LOVE it.)


I finished spinning and plying this Tuesday and now I have three skeins (which should be enough for a Christmas scarf) all good to go.


5. I continued to participate in the Furnace Wars. I’d like to thank global climate change, factories and SUVs everywhere for making it possible for Ian and I to compete into November for the first time in McPhee history. We aren’t even really suffering, and that’s stunning. (Todays temperature is a little colder, but still it’s a balmy 12 degrees (56 Fahrenheit) and that’s not very hard to take.)

6. I did not work on the Gansey, but that’s only because Joe still has an office set up where I would put the drumcarder. I have clean wool ready to go….so It’s not my fault this time.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got dinner for 16 (just the immediate family) to pull together.

It’s my darling Joe’s birthday, and I’ve got to figure out if I even own 16 plates.

255 thoughts on “What The Blog wants

  1. I’m flattered you talk about us at all. Certainly saves having to remember everyone’s name…

  2. That mitten is beautiful. Now I very desperately want to knit some for myself, regardless of the fact that I’ve never made a mitten before. Maybe after Christmas….

  3. Better than calling us The Blob.
    Happy birthday, Joe!
    Steph, go to the store and buy some “Chinette” plates (or whatever they call them). They are paper but have nice designs and you don’t have to wash them after dinner. Score!

  4. You did all that in one day? I consider it pretty good if I can even get some knitting in. Of course if I don’t, I get pretty pissy. Good thing you don’t crochet…you’d totally run out of time. Have fun at the party, have a few beers for me. I’m not that picky, any kind almost will do. Just pick yours, and say you’re drinking the others for “The Blog” (insert evil laugh here)
    PS…guess he doesn’t get the gansey for a present this year. Don’t feel bad. I’m making mine a Buccaneer blanket. He designed the pattern himself using a cross-stitch software thing (I married a techy too), and the only promise I made him was that I’d finish it before I died. Me. Not him.

  5. This small part of The Blog wishes Joe a very happy birthday (we share the month, if not the day).
    My immediate family on Husband’s side is also 16, so when you add my side of 6, we can be up to 22 with “just family”. And I wouldn’t have it any other way…

  6. Happy Birthday Joe! The Blog thanks you, Stephanie, for the updates. Although I’d have to say I absolutely LOVE those mittens. Daniele

  7. Happy birthday to Joe =) Any chance we’ll see that sock pattern on this blog at some point?

  8. Feeling honored to be one of the masses (or should I use the singular “mass”) anyways… Happy Birthday to your Joe.

  9. I recall one dinner party where I ran out of plates. Untroubled by this, some guests went digging through the cabinets and ate dinner from cake pans and storage container lids. Such resourceful people would make good knitters, yes?

  10. That is a beautiful, beautiful sock. Hope you have a wonderful birthday night with the fam.

  11. Happy Birthday to Joe!
    Despite the lack of additional yarn, the sunrise jacket looks lovely!
    That mitten alsmost makes me want to wear mittens. How do you knit colorwork so quickly?
    I am drooling over the Copper penny yarn you spun. It’s gorgeous!
    Blog is very happy indeed.

  12. Oh dear – you still missed one!
    *What gauge did you get post wash from the tweed? I am sure I will find this out for myself soon. (Hopefully soon….need hubby to make me a skein-er)
    I am not that big into ‘sparkles’ either – but that is a very pretty roving with it thrown in!

  13. I think those mittens are stunning. What size needles are you using?
    All four pictures of your new roving/the yarn it has become show up as different colors on my monitor — how would you describe the color? In the photos it looks first magenta, then brown, then brick red, then mauve!
    And shouldn’t the phrase, “it’s not my fault this time,” be capitalized for proper emphasis? (I.e., “It’s Not My Fault This Time.”) It’s important to make the most of moments when We Cannot Be Blamed!!! ;->

  14. There are some people in the world who seem to do it all. What a great ending to October.
    Remember – if you get cold, just start doing jumping-jacks!

  15. Happy Birthday Joe! Good progress on everything Steph! Welcome back Blog! I am glad I am not the only spinner in the world who has no interest in sparkly things in my yarn. And those mittens are spectacular. I may have to go run out and buy that book.

  16. Love the Furnace War. We have our own at our house except it is my “Mister” who will not turn on the heat. There have been years that we didn’t have heat until Thanksgiving. And this was before there was knitting going on in the house. We live in PA and have not been hit with our usual cold weather just yet.
    I finished my first pair of socks, so I am now prepared for no heat. They are made of Trekking yarn, so they will keep my tootsies warm.
    Shopping tonight for yarn to make hats to send to the troops in Iraq.
    Good luck with the birthday dinner, and Happy Birthday, Joe!

  17. Calling for near freezing temps tonight but a houseful will keep the place warm with body heat. I was coerced into going into an Eddie Bourgeois, sorry Bauer store yesterday and they had DOWN blankets on sale, couldn’t help but think of the furnace wars and well, keeping warm in general.
    Happy Birthday to Joe. One of these days Joe, a gansey for your birthday, Christmas, solstice….

  18. Honey, you just knit whatever you want. Whenever you want. We’re (speaking for just one of The Blog) just glad you talk to us nearly every day.

  19. Stephanie, HOW do you knit so much so quickly? Is it just that you don’t work full time outside your home? I wish I could knit at work …
    If you don’t have enough plates, I’m right there with whoever suggested Chinet. Or borrow some from a friend.

  20. Isn’t there a part of The Blog that’s just happy with what they get from you? I think it’s a personal favor that I don’t have to wait until another book is released before I can enjoy your stories, knitting, and humor. Thanks!

  21. Happy Birthday to Joe!! I think this is my De-lurking! Just for Joe. And to say that I am getting closer every day to the Selbuvotter try. They are so beautiful.

  22. Happy B-Day to Joe!
    The copper yarn is lovely – and you do, indeed, get a pat on the back (or head) for being extremely productive and displaying Something For Everyone here.
    The Blog appreciates it.
    (So do I. Thanks for all the color to brighten an otherwise extremely irritating day; why is it that everytime my husband’s Open Enrollment period comes around, his account freaks out and implodes, requiring his spouse to spend eons [well, at least several endless hours] being aggressively put On Hold by HR in order to reset everything – just so his employer can continue to hijack huge chunks of his paycheck?)

  23. Global warming might just put us knitters out of a job! Happy 1 Nov. Very pleasing projects, all.

  24. Happy birthday Joe!
    The blog appreciates all the pretty pictures. That spun roving is the most beautiful copper colour.

  25. The Blog wishes Joe a happy happy birthday. And The Blog adores that new coppery shimmer yarn.

  26. The Blog is pleased.
    Oops, momentary delusion of grandeur. Well, shucks, I like it. And I like to pretend that I could make the quantity and variety of stuff you do if I weren’t herding a flock of three under the age of five. Yeah right, there goes that delusion of grandeur thing again. *sigh*
    Happy Birthday, Joe!

  27. Wow, I’m part of an organism!
    Happy Birthday to Joe! (still waiting for you to clone him, by the way)

  28. What an awesome productive day! I think I knit a single row on a surprise scarf for my hubby….or finished the row I stopped mid-way the last time I tried to knit with my little ones around.
    Happy Birthday Joe!

  29. Happy Birthday Joe!
    Seriously, I’m lucky if I can find time to knit on one project a day for 10 minutes. You are officially my hero.

  30. Steph,
    Happy B-day to Joe!
    I am amused every year at your furnace wars! I live in Southern California, and my blood is laughably thin. I’m VERY environmentaly consious, and every year I try to make it as long as I can without turning on the heat, and when I do I try to set it as low as I can tolerate. But you are going to have a heart attack when you hear that I have turned on my heat (though only for 1 hour each morning to chase away the nighttime chill). Last night’s low temp was about the same as your high temp, and my thermostat is set for 68F (but again, just for that one hour in the morning). And I’ll still be in jeans, socks, and sweater to be comfy. How ridiculous am I?
    I’m rooting for you to go as long as possible in the furnace war. It’ll make up for my wussiness! : )

  31. I’ve been practicing yoga lots longer than I’ve been practicing knitting, and drinking beer (practice not required, though knitting and drinking merits precaution) for longer than I’ve been practicing yoga. I’ve been a parent for a length of time in between drinking and yogiing (should that be yogini-ing?). I had a husband, but got unmarried (I was really bad at “obey”). THE POINT is that this particular facet of The Blog likes to hear about it all from your perspective.

  32. The blog thinks you should show it the inside of those most fantastic mitten ever. I’m sure the blog will swoon from their wonderfulness and need to have a lie down on the chesterfield.

  33. What, no kid pictures?
    Sorry, just yanking your chain. You do have beautiful kids, though, not that you need The Blob to tell you this. Happy birthday, Joe!!! (wait, I need to do that a little louder so he’ll hear me from here) HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOE!!!

  34. I hope the blog can send you some yarn for your jacket. Some part of the blog must have some in stash!

  35. Thrift stores are a great source for extra china, if you are short of plates. I haven’t had to use paper plates in years, even though I entertain a lot.
    Love the roving. I wouldn’t even spin it; I’d just drape it over my neck.

  36. Happy Birthday, Joe!
    This member of the Blog recognizes that usually what you decide to post is better than what I thought I wanted.

  37. Wow, you’ve been working hard. i love those mittens, and that yarn, and that sweater, and, well you get the picture.
    Happy birthday to Joe. Enjoy the time with your family.

  38. Happy Birthday to your guy!
    And you’re *killing* me with those gorgeous mittens! This is some evil plot of yours, isn’t it? You knit mittens like these so beautiful that I will dream of them at night instead of Amitabh Bachchan.
    And such will be my despair over a)losing the hotness that is Amitabh in my dreams and b)my unfulfilled lust over the mittens, I will be pushed into knitting a pair for myself.
    You’re truly nefarious.
    No wonder I like reading your blog.

  39. Happy Birthday Joe! Stepanie, I’m overwhelmed with the amount of things you get done. Wow! The Blog is happy.

  40. The mittens are lovely in their new incarnation, but I really love that copper penny yarn. Mmm. (Really, knit what you want. We’ll be happy to see it, whatever it is.) Happy birthday to Joe.

  41. Tell Joe “the blog” says “Happy Birthday!”
    I *love* those mittens!
    Fabulous job on managing to ‘do it all.’ Sure wish *I* could….

  42. Mercy, it all looks so good. You’re having right around the same temp there as we’re having in Tulsa… quite doable.
    Happy Birthday to your darling Joe, good luck with those plates…

  43. Wow such gorgeousness – it was all I could do to tear myself away from looking at the photos to read your words. Somehow, being part of the Blog makes me feel like part of a huge, roiling amorphous mass (I think ’cause it sounds so much like The Blob, an early Steve McQueen movie – one of those laughable ’50’s horror movies that still gave me nightmares). Sort of like an enormous glob of plastic bubbles. Happy BD to Joe!!!

  44. Birthdays come but once a year
    so I send this message clear:
    Happy Birthday, Joe, my dear,
    Happy Birthday till next year.
    With appreciation and fondness from my corner of the Blog!
    PS. It’s better when it’s sung!

  45. If you don’t have enough plates, make it an admission charge – “BYOP” – Bring Your Own Plate – or “BYOS” – Bring Your Own Service – in case you don’t have enough service either!! You will probably still have to wash it, but you won’t have to put it away! Besides, it makes for a much more festive table setting, and maybe you’ll get design ideas (you never know where inspiration will come from).
    I also take this opportunity to put in another request for that rotating rib pattern – it looks like it keeps the interest….
    Happy Birthday Joe…not a November baby, but my man is, so long live November Men!

  46. I’ve never commented before (and I’ve been reading for months!) but I had to say that those mittens are fantastic! I have serious mitten envy.

  47. So nice to be part of The Blog. Reinforces the importance of that whole blogiverse-community thing we online knitters have built for ourselves.
    Happy Birthday to Joe!

  48. Happy Birthday Joe! (and my mom too!) have a good time at the party – and who needs plates, have finger foods & napkins – no plates to wash! πŸ˜‰ hehehe
    beautiful project progress on all!!

  49. Happy Birthday Joe! My mother’s 84th birthday is today also but we’re taking her out for dinner so I don’t have to cook. I love the mittens too. I never thought of doing mittens in sock yarn. I definately have to get that book. Let’s see – my birthday is coming up soon. Glad the blog problem was resolved.

  50. Hah! I thought of you this morning when my son tried to turn on the gas fireplace heater thingy, and the New England mom in me roared “NO! PUT ON YOUR SOCKS!”
    Speaking as The Blog, I like the mittens. Almost enough to lemming ’em and do some colourwork mittens. Seems like a far better idea than finishing something else, you know? Mittens.

  51. Happy Birthday, Joe!
    I have visions of us as the lead monster in a B-level horror movie. Knit, Harlot, knit, or we shall do despicable things to your family! And don’t let up on the spinning either, or we shall mangle your postings. (No, wait, someone else already does that… πŸ˜‰
    The roving (and resulting yarn) are absolutely gorgeous. Someone’s going to be thrilled on Christmas morning.

  52. Hey, just thought I’d leave you a comment, not sure if someone else has already told you but… make sure it’s the OTHER glove this time. Ya know, thumb placement is more important than you’d think… πŸ™‚ Happy Birthday Joe!

  53. We are the Borg, I mean Blog πŸ˜‰ Happy Birthday to Joe! And heck, we feel like extended family being part of the Blog. Good think you are doing dinner with the immediate family though, not enough plates for the rest of us! LOL!

  54. love those mittens! that variegation just makes it perfect – in my view anyway. Love the the roving and the yarn with the little bit of sparkle. Interested in the socks too and the jacket, washing the yarn, the squirrel! – whatever you write about is interesting and all your project pics too
    Happy B’day Joe! Have a lovely party!

  55. Happy birthday!
    Also, wow you get a ton done! Even when I’m on vacation I don’t manage to get even half that much accomplished.
    Also also, please for your own sanity, don’t knit two of the same mitten again. That’s enough sadness for a lifetime.

  56. I was so impressed by the furnace wars that I told my family about it on Halloween. I am one of those people who can never get warm so the heat has been going here for a bit. It is always 74 in my house and I am still wrapped in an alpaca blanket.
    P.S. Happy Birthday to Joe

  57. Happy Birthday Joe! Make sure when you do the second mitten that you put the thumb on the other side. I will never forget you making two mittens for one hand. It’s part of why I still haven’t made mittens.

  58. Happy, Happy, HAPPY Birthday Joe from Oklahoma! I hope you are as healthy as my granny whose birthday is this month (17th). She’ll be turning 99 and is still kicking all of our butts, er arses!!!!
    Stephanie, what size of yarn do you usually knit with? It is so small and lovely, especially your mittens. I can’t seem to stop myself from buying lace yarn but want to knit it up for sweaters. I hope this is possible ;o) I’m diving into sock knitting, you are inspiring me, but I’ve never so much as thought of knitting socks and I’ve finished a summer sweater so I’ve only got one project going. Keep writing what ever you want, you make my day at work! Nat Alea

  59. I love all of your knitting as it inspires me to learn more and do better.
    Happy Birthday to Joe.

  60. Kudos to the Scorpio!
    The mittens are stunning. The thumb alone is a work of art; good job.
    And I will always say that you should knit what you want, post what you want, and do what you want.
    The blog, if disappointed, will adjust because all of us originally came here because we liked you just the way you are.

  61. Maybe my parents were competing in Furnace Wars with someone when I was a child. I don’t think our house ever got over 55F. A couple years ago I told my roommates that I would be willing to go up to 63F and they thought I was nuts! I told them to put on a hat. Right now it’s 55F outside and my apartment is around 75. Our heat is not on so I am blaming the people downstairs since we have three outside walls. They must live int a sauna! I keep opening the windows.

  62. Please tell Joe this portion of The Blog wishes him a very happy birthday and conveys hopes for a healthy & fully employed (no lack of opportunities)year ahead.
    I hope he realizes he has to move his stuff out of the way of the drum carder if he wants his gansey to ever get done.

  63. This blog unit and this blog unit’s currently-on-a-break-from-knitting-because-of-tendonitus daughter both wish Joe a VERY happy birthday!

  64. Happy Birthday Joe! You’re going to need to clear off the table/your office for those 16 plates, (and cake?).

  65. Those knittens would look so amazing with my winter coat!! LOVE THEM!!
    (er – mittens – I have a head cold)

  66. Happy Birthday, Joe!
    And I’m with all the other posters who are happy with whatever you care to share with us. – And so impressed with what you’ve done in today’s post!
    Just a thought about this dinner for 16: That’ll mean that the kitchen & the dining room table will need to be cleared of Joe’s electronics, right? I say, once this dinner is over, you should immediately reclaim the space with your carder & whatever else is needed!

    I am hoping you’ll release the pattern for the spirally socks. I love them. I have yarn that would look great in them. Or I imagine it would, anyway.

  68. I confess I’ve only commented on your blog a grand total of once because I’d always wondered, “Does she really read 200+ comments?”
    And by the way:
    “I’d like to thank global climate change, factories and SUVs everywhere for making it possible for Ian and I to compete into November for the first time in McPhee history.”

  69. Happy Birthday Joe! I started to ask you about Joe’s Gansey, but you even remembered that, so from this tiny portion of the blog, no more questions and we’re all good!

  70. And, a very happy birthday to Joe!! The pix of you in N.J. in that glorious sweater were wonderful!!Looks great on you. Thanks for sharing all your fabulous projects. Those mittens are amazing! Knit on!!!!

  71. Brave you cooking for 16. Hope it goes well.
    I know have a hankering for the Sunrise Circle Jacket – well I always did but when it looks so beautiful I want it more. Trouble is it’s summer here and I’m stuck on knitting socks and Chrissie presents of course. Great idea for a sock – most intriguing.

  72. Happy Birthday to Joe. I love the big family get togethers. Ask someone to bring extra plates – it’s family.
    We’d have 16 for dinner just with my side if the immediate family. Greg’s side is bigger.

  73. Happy Birthday Joe! Eat, Drink, Love & Let Your Freak Flag Fly!
    Stephanie – The Blog is so pleased that you choose to share with us. No complaints here. All is lovely. Keep On Truckin’ >*.*<

  74. We too are still in the midst of the furnace wars. I almost caved one morning when the inside temperature was 54 degrees (F), but a good stretch of sunshine during the day brought it back up. I may be wearing a wool sweater and socks to bed, but dammit, I will win!

  75. Happy Birthday Joe!
    PS – The Blog does not buy the “office getting in the way of drumcarding” story either…milk the birthday guilt.

  76. Happy B-day Joe – hope the family gathering is wonderful.
    Also hope that you might be making the rotating rib sock pattern available (for purchase?) somewhere, sometime? Maybe? Please?

  77. How can anybody say anything about how much you knit on what? I’m just amazed at how much you do with and for your family, job, friends, and still produce so much knitting. I figure you’ve got to have really skinny fingers, since you’ve worked them to the bone!

  78. Yet another portion of The Blog wishes Joe a very happy birthday and a great year to come.
    Stephanie, I think whatever you knit, we’ll keep coming back for more to bask in the glow of whatever it is. (We all hope that the glow is not another yard fire, though. =P) Great job on everything! The mittens are gorgeous and so is everything else.

  79. “Knittens.” I like that. It evokes mittens, knitting, and kittens, all at once.
    Best typo since I told a friend, who was entering into a new romantic endeavor, “Good lick.”

  80. Apparently,(and I am not making this up) the planet Mercury is in retrograde right now. I am not sure exactly what that means, but according to the announcer on the radio station I listen to, this retrograde thing has been responsible for a lot of computer screw-ups in the last few weeks. So maybe that is what happened to yours. Anyway, whatever Mercury is doing, I just love those beautiful mittens. And the socks.

  81. Happy birthday to Joe! I would also go with the paper plate suggestion. Not only do you not have to wash them you can burn them later for warmth.

  82. Happy Birthday Joe!
    I love those mittens so much that I sent the link to my DH and told him I would like the book for Christmas. And I live in Arizona.

  83. PS – what makes the rib rotating? It looks to me like you’re just shifting the ribs one stitch over every so often, but I can’t tell if that’s what’s making them look twisty. If you’re not going to post a full sock pattern, could you at least do a little bit on the stitch pattern?

  84. Good luck with the plates! I know all about big family dinners. My parents both had 4 brothers and sisters, and of course they all got married and had a couple kids each, so any family event is a big deal. Going home for Thanksgiving or Christmas isn’t really going “home”, it’s going into the tornado that is family holidays, but it always made holidays and birthdays fun, and I’m sure it’s the same with your families. So have a Happy Birthday Joe!!

  85. It cracks me up that we are The Blog.
    Have fun at your party (Happy Birthday, Joe)!
    And, if it gets colder, remember: laptops are very warm. Surf with your laptop on your lap, and you won’t miss the heat for at least another two weeks…

  86. 1) Happy Birthday Joe!
    2) can the Blog truly be happy? What! No birthday picture of Joe? I’d like to see him with strawberry waffles πŸ™‚
    3) Heads Up, Stephanie! Christmas, this year, will arrive on Dec 25! That suggests that starting to spin yarn for presents inNovember is problematical.

  87. Here’s guessing that 16 at dinner (both the body temps and the cooking involved) is going to help with the Furnace Wars. Is it cruel to have Ian for dinner and co-opt his body heat for the evening?

  88. Happy Birthday, Joe! Enjoy your party! (And hopefully a drink or three.)
    As one part of the collective (The Blog. I do love it.), I’m just glad you keep writing, Stephanie! Heh – nothing like a little pressure there… Everything is looking seriously gorgeous. Love the copper yarn (if there was ever a yarn to typo as ‘yearn’, that’s one); the mitten is beautiful; the socks are cool; the jacket looking good (I’d never get around to washing it all at once, either). Good grief, now *I’m* tired! Good luck with that plate thing; right about this time, you’re probably running around like a mad woman, surrounded by family. Breathe once in a while!
    And must agree with sravana at 5:11. T-shirts with “The Blog.” Yep, we wants ’em! (The Blog is indeed a demanding bunch. Sorry.)

  89. Happy Birthday Joe πŸ™‚
    Er..for some reason this part of the Blog trembles every time she sees the Harlot casting on for gloves..cause i still remember the fateful lefties ( or were they righties? my brain is menopaused)

  90. Happy Birthday, Joe! It’s easy to remember because it is my birthday too! πŸ™‚ Have fun!

  91. The BLOG loves your mittens, you inspire us. The BLOG wants to be your new best friend in hopes of getting that beautiful scarf for Christmas!
    Enjoy dinner…maybe you can Kinear the family for us?

  92. Wow, I hope your enormous productivity and the fact that your server/blog thingy went down are not related. It’s my biggest fear/sneaking suspicion that my productivity went down by some enormous percentage the day I started my own blog! Many happy returns to Joe. –Barb

  93. Wow! You’ve been a busy gal! I absolutely LOVE that mitten. It is beautiful. Happy Birthday to Joe. Good luck with the dinner.

  94. Woah, that perspective makes me feel like part of…the Borg. Some serious and disturbing parallels: humans integrated into a larger thinking organism, with important and sometimes complex metal parts added as integral to function…(shall we say knitting needles? scissors?) Sorry–bad Startrek flashback moment…
    LOVE your newest spinning efforts–yummy!

  95. I have a similar community that I “talk” to and my husband and I reference it. It’s nice to feel that there are these people out there that will listen and give you honest opinions.
    I’m in love witht he mittens!!

  96. I’ll have you know that here in Korea (where I’ve just recently moved from Canada), the whole COUNTRY seems to be participating in the McPhee Furnace Wars. It’s hovering between 12 and 3 degrees right now, and the only place I’ve been with the heat on seems to be my yoga studio, and there only when people are actively lying on the floor doing classes.
    I am knitting furiously.

  97. Ha, “The Blog.” Reminds me of the “Borg” or whatever it was, from Star Trek. Hive mind and all that. Those mittens are incredible – just beautiful. Wow. I am also refusing to turn on my furnace so far- but it has been unusually warm, like you said.

  98. Happy birthday, Joe! I hope you all have a great time at the party.
    I made a happy yarn discovery today. Last year I bought some beautiful heather gray alpaca yarn from the people who raised the alpacas. They told me there wouldn’t be any more like it, because the whole herd had contributed to it. I saw them again at a craft fair today, and they still had some of the yarn, so of course I bought more. I still have what I bought last year too, but one can never have too much alpaca, right? πŸ™‚

  99. I thought my husband and I were the only weirdos that tried to wait as long as possible to turn on the heat. I have to say, though, that we don’t consider the fireplace cheating–we love fire!
    I was very impressed by the mittens–everything else, too, but especially those mittens!

  100. Your post spawned two-t-shirt ideas:
    “I am the Blog” and
    “WWTBD?” (what would the blog do?)
    You are free to use those to raise money for charities πŸ˜‰

  101. What a nice posting for the bloggers.A little bit of everything is right !! HAPPY birthday Joe have a wonderful year ahead .

  102. Gosh, it has never once occurred to me to want something “else” or “besides” what you post…I’m just happy when I click the link and find that you’ve posted! It’s a treat, every time. Thanks, Yarn Harlot!
    and Happy Birthday, Joe – wishing you all that you would wish yourself!

  103. Happy Birthday Joe!
    The blog is very glad that there was a mention of Joe’s gansey today. It has been sorely missed. However, the blog does enjoy the other pretty projects that have been shown in it’s place. Especially yarn that sparkles.

  104. Hah.
    Now that I am a grownup, and have the luxury of a heater, and grew up where inside the house is frequently colder than the outside in winter …
    … 12C is nothing. It has be down to 5C before the heater goes on overnight.
    Yay for Aussie weather πŸ™‚
    Also, I like the socks lots. How do?

  105. Those are the cutest mitten thumbs that I’ve ever seen. Ever. Is it legal to be that cute and not even baby sized?
    And I love the furnace wars! I grew up in Alaska and we almost never turned the heat on. I’m even converting my husband (who’s from Down South) to the habit.

  106. Stephanie
    Wonderful work on all projects. I love the mittens. Too bad I never need to wear any here. Phooey.
    Happy birthday to Joe, and many happy returns. But, dude? Move. Your. Office.
    dee near Berkeley

  107. Happy birthday, Joe. I just passed a milestone on Monday (and am now on the downhill slide to 50. Yippee.)
    Steph, you make me feel better that I have so many projects on the needles. πŸ™‚

  108. Happy Birthday to Joe!
    This part of the blog rents dishes, glasses, silverware, tables and chairs from the local rent-all place whenever the extended family comes over for holiday dinners.
    Everything matches, and after dinner, you just pop it into the dishwasher and back into its little compartmentalized boxes and the nice men from the rental place come and take it away. Not very expensive either, and I don’t have to surrender precious yarn storage for tableware.

  109. All the work of your hands is really lovely. It’s amazing how much can be done when you aren’t writing a book! Happy Birthday Joe, from another part of the collective.

  110. Happy birthday to Joe! I’m pretty sure he doesn’t want the sparkly wool, but hope the birthday fairy is kind anyway! Love those mittens, almost enough to make me want to live in the frozen north again – not!

  111. Did you really think you could satisfy The Blog? We can appreciate, we can approve, we can applaud. But we are never sated.
    When you do carding, we want spinning. When you do spinning we want knitting. When you knit we howl for the gansey. And when you think you have silenced us on all points… we point out that with all that knitting done you probably have a mountain of laundry to be getting on with.
    Happy Birthday to Joe!

  112. I love looking at whatever you put up. All of it. Every single bit. Sometimes it encourages me to do things that I wouldn’t normally have considered.
    I hope that Joe has a happy birthday, but mostly I’m hoping that catering for 16 doesn’t knock you around too much.

  113. Stephanie, I don’t spin, don’t knit, but I absolutely LUV reading your Blog. Your choice of words is wonderful, and the read is soooo easy. Thank you.

  114. Happy Birthday to Joe!!!
    Your projects are just marching along, though never as fast as you think they should. Hope you found enough plates and have a GREAT party!!!

  115. I love everything that you do with knitting AND writing. Your words are, in fact, what keeps me coming back day after day after day. Your humor and command of descriptions are totally refreshing. Could you tell us HOW you get so much done??? Knitting, writing, parties, family….I am in awe.

  116. You misjudge me. This particular cell of the hive-brain which is The Blog doesn’t really care (all nagging to the contrary) which specific project you take up, as long as error, havoc and widespread discombobulation are the true product.Anybody can produce a finished object.

  117. Happy Birthday, Joe! It’s my husband’s birthday today as well. I hope you have a wonderful year full of laughter, good food and great friends. (You’ve already got the fabulous family part taken care of, methinks.)

  118. Happy birthday to Joe!
    perhaps you could use some equipment that’s lived in the kitchen too long as a plate? (what, it’s not a plate dear? sorry, it’s in the kitchen, I just assumed…)
    did you say wool/mohair/sparkly? love it, though it’s not quite my color. but thanks for thinking of me. (oh, you weren’t thinking of me? oops)
    still love the mitten. resisting buying the fancy mitten book though, until I knit something from the other fancy mitten books on my shelf…
    oh, and well said by rams there. love ya, no matter what you show us

  119. Happy Birthday Joe,
    From just one small part of the Blog!
    All pictures appreciated for any and all of your work!

  120. My dear, how can you possibly have sixteen people for dinner? You don’t even have a dining room table! Perhaps you will serve patch bays!! Tee-hee!! Oh, and happy birthday, Joe

  121. “Copper Penny” is 50% adult mohair (from goats named Grace, Carmin and Curly); 45% wool; and 5% glitz (polyester or mylar, I suspect)

  122. Happy Birthday dear Joe….
    and Steph… some of us don’t come here to see you doing.. “this” or “that”… we just come to enjoy you.

  123. woman rule in furnace wars… (we have a bit more insulation as a general rule) heh heh – go grrrl.!
    love those mittens.
    Heh – did you see the Madrona class list? are you going to show up at Suzannes class with completed mittens?? or all her previous students (like me) gonna flunk this test ?

  124. Joe, there’s nothing better than a birthday that falls on a day the blog is working properly.
    Have fun!

  125. That is the sweetest little thumb on your new mitten… I’m smitten, but not quite enough to try one of my own yet.
    Happy Birthday Joe!

  126. The Blog are happy whenever The Harlot posts her thoughts, trials and tribulations, knitting, pictures, pictures of her knitting and random ruminations. The Blog are most definitely NOT happy when denied The Harlot, even for a day.
    On a complete different note, your computer problems were just the start…my husband’s laptop blew a gasket (well, the backlight for his screen) and our monitor at home has blown up. Might be something to this Mercurian influence after all…
    And, The Blog would like to wish Joe a very happy birthday! And The Blog hopes that The Harlot retains her sanity and good humour throughout the party for 16…and we look forward to a review of it in tomorrow’s blog.
    I am 5 of 175 [you will have to be a Borg fan to get this reference]

  127. The Blog says “Happy Birthday Joe!!!”
    I’ve never used STR yarn before because I have a phobia about ordering yarn over the internet, but those socks may just convince me to get over it…they’re awesome! =)

  128. Does this mean we get our own horror movie? “Run! – Don’t Walk! – From — The BLOG!”
    Love the mitten, and happy happy birthday to Joe!

  129. You know, I had a comment all set to go, then Rams’ use of discombobulation set my wee heart all a flutter and I can’t think of a damn thing I wanted to say.
    So just under the wire, let me add Happy Birthday, Darling Joe to the other birthday wishes here.

  130. Happy Birthday Joe!!
    You’re still getting “up” to 12*? Lucky. No wonder you can do the no furnace thing. It isn’t all that cold yet. We’ve been averaging around 2* and night is getting to around -8*. My friend up in Nunavut has had the furnace on since the middle of August. She would like some global warming, please.

  131. Because I remember the mitten disaster of aught five, and because it upset me almost as much as it upset you (okay, probably not quite that much, but it was pretty upsetting…), I want to say, with the utmost gentleness and love:
    Be careful about the second mitten, eh? Just… y’know, take an extra peek before you go for the thumby part.

  132. I am thrilled with anything you decide to post! I’m sorry to hear others have been giving you a hard time. I love the variety of projects you work on and talk about. Everything is so beautiful!
    As a spinner, I must admit I have a fondness for your Tuesday spinning. But I truly enjoy it all!
    Thanks for allowing me (us all) to be a part of “The Blog”

  133. Lovely mitten. Delectable sock. Clever and intriguing jacket. Scintillating spinning. And dinner for 16!? What a woman!

  134. So glad you are making beautiful mittens I can adore from afar. Not much use for them in my part of Texas where I’ve seen snow twice. Pass on Happy Birthday to Joe from a happy bloggee.

  135. First Happy Birthday Joe!
    Secondly,,,, Ha Furnace Wars! I’ve got one better,, its called How long can we hold out till we have to call for an oil delivery War! 16 inches down from the bottom and holding so far!
    That fiber is absolutely gorgeous! Sorry I didnt go for something like that at Rhinebeck! Oh, and with help in the Furnace wars,, spinning furiously does wonders to heat a body up!

  136. Don’t WORRY about the “blog.” Use the Blog to your advantage, and forget about it when it doesn’t.
    You have proven yourself many times over as a knitter, and I have knit for over 40 years–I have more to master, but I don’t think I am a slouch when it comes to knitting, or other work for that matter.
    Anyway, your writing brings a smile to my face everyday you have a new post. And, I LOVE the mittens. They are gorgeous.
    Don’t be afraid to cut yourself some slack in your schedule–your Blog is human, so are you. And just for the record, this part of the Blog enjoys you as you are–a good knitter and a good writer.

  137. I think we’re like this massive, shapeless collective, kind of like IT in A Wrinkle in Time (L’engel) or Big Brother in 1984 (Orwell). WE KNOW ALL!

  138. this blog says…. Well done everything is lovely. I just love those mittens and the only question i have (yep always someone to spoil the moment ;)) how did it go further with the squirrel?? Did you went for the ransome note?? I hope you didn’t…before you know it a whole bunch of squirrels would be on the porch with ransome notes…just wondering…just wondering… πŸ˜€
    Take care
    and greetings from a dutch blog πŸ˜€

  139. I have to tell you that your commitment to riding a bike has inspired me. I told my hubby that when we move, which will be soon, I want to live somewhere close enough to my job that I can ride a bike. (I prefer exercise by default) I was looking at a Hybrid vehicle and the salesman said, “You know you won’t ever make up in gas money the extra price you pay for a hybrid”. Dummy, it’s never been about the price of gas, it’s about the cost of the gases.

  140. You continue to amaze and amuse me. And, I am smitten with your mittens. The rhyming and alliteration thing is a side effect of the headache stuff I’m taking. I hope.

  141. Happy, happy birthday Joe! I hope it is wonderful (even if your meanie of a wife won’t turn the furnace on and still hasn’t knit you the gansey that might keep you warm! ;p) Just joking, Stephanie – I hope the dinner went swimmingly.

  142. That Sunrise jacket looks more tweedily gorgeous every time you photograph it! Don’t give up! I know I speak for The Blog on this.
    (The mittens and spinning are beautiful too.)
    Happy birthday to Joe!
    Amy S.

  143. I love the mittens and am so enthralled with them- I ordered the book and am waiting (okay impatiently but still) for them to arrive.
    I totally love the furnace wars! You have encouraged me to turn down the heat and keep my woolen things closer.
    Happy Birthday Joe!

  144. Happy Birthday to Joe! He seems to be a great and kind man.
    As a wee small voice on the BLOG – I enjoy reading your blog. The humor makes me laugh (and my husband – who is hoping you win the furnace war) and I learn tons about knitting. Thank you for sharing mistakes etc.
    Enjoy your weekend and may you win the great 2007 / (2008???) McPhee clan furnace war!

  145. Love your blog. It’s the only one I care to read. Your talents amaze me. I’ve read all your books too. Looking forward to see what’s next.

  146. Happy Birthday Joe!! And may you have many, many more delightful birthdays.
    All the knitting and yarny stuff is lovely. *sigh* it always is.
    Hurray for the Furnace Wars!! We play along too, but always lose as we live in an elderly trailer with poor sun exposure and no insulation. I think we make up for our early furnace use by the fact that we keep it at 55 F all winter. However, we’re going to start on our house next spring (working on the cellar hole now), and then we’ll be some stiff competition! Hurray for passive solar and insulation!
    (BTW — if anyone wonders, I am usually quite cosy all winter with a 55F home as I sit completely cocooned in a down sleeping bag with only my fingers and face sticking out to knit. Anyway, if it ever feels cold IN my home, then I just go stand outside for a few minutes. Works like a charm!)

  147. This is The Blog speaking. A collective consciousness has grown out of the individual consciousnesses here, We are a New Entity.
    We are pleased at the Harlot’s knitting progress. But we are hungry….so hungry. Feed us more knitting progres, mooorrrree…..

  148. Thanks for giving us all something to appreciate and enjoy! The sunrise jacket is coming together beautifully, the mittens are just awesome (you’ve inspired me to get off my arse and do some colorwork again), and love the sock (hope you make that pattern available somewhere — I have LOTS of STR in the stash). Oh, and once it gets much colder and you are still holding out to compete in the furnace wars, and Joe wants a new warm sweater, perhaps he’ll find the motivation to relocate the office so you can use the drum carder so you can finish his sweater. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JOE FROM THE BLOG!

  149. Well.
    I was going to wish Joe a very happy birthday on time, yesterday, but I hit Rams’ comment and it caused some disruptive introspection on my part–“This particular cell of the hive-brain which is The Blog…” my goodness. I was attributing that hive-like feeling to my eating Nerds for breakfast but I guess the problem goes deeper than that…
    Very Happy Belated Birthday Joe!

  150. 1) A very well-rounded post, sure to have satisfied the majority of The Blog.
    2) I covet the copper penny yarn you spun up; the gift recipient is quite lucky!
    3) Happy Belated Birthday to Joe! I wish him a fun year filled with happiness, good health, and love.

  151. 12Β°C and you have no heating on? Isn’t that horrible for the house (as a structure)? Granted, we waited until it got below 15Β° on a regular basis, but still, 12Β°? I am a wimp. The heating would be on.
    Happy Birthday to Joe! Hope he enjoys his day!

  152. Very productive on all fronts. I love it all, but I’m smitten over the mittens. I see a purchase in the near future for moi. Best birthday wishes to your beloved.

  153. Happy birthday to Joe!
    You overwhelm me with your productivity. I’ve been down all week with a cold (which I’m pretty sure is the one you had before Rhinebeck, except I did not come within ten feet of you at all that weekend, and that was weeks ago already. I will have to blame someone else. Like my landlady.) so I’ve gotten a grand total of, well, nothing done.
    I think I need to pick up the pace.

  154. Happy Birthday Joe!
    Have I mentioned that I firmly believe Joe must be a good guy (not only because of your praise of him) but because my Dad’s name is Joe, and both my Grandpa’s names are/were Joe. And they are all great guys!!!!
    Long live Joes!!!

  155. Happy Birthday Joe! Can my husband come and play with your electronics gear if we have to go to TO for our visa interview? He isn’t much interested in yarn crawling…

  156. I’m still trying to remember when/where we first met,Joe.But it seems my brain has a blog in it.
    Hippy bird day,joe. You 30 yet?
    Hi Abby, hows the cold? (hats and now mittens)
    Hi Rachel H. I’m going to play a game with you today.
    I’ll say hi to you all over blog land in the comments.
    Did every one know that you can watch POSH NOSH on the You Tube?
    Oh hi steph.(yougoddamFurnacewarbitch) (Iamsonotplayingthisgame)
    Heats on.

  157. Joe still working at home? Time to wash some fleece!
    Mittens are gorgeous! So’s the scarf yarn, but I am so NOT a spinner.

  158. I love that fleece, Copper Penny is surely the most fitting name EVER.
    I also thought of the borg when reading that post, I feel the urge to look perplexed at the fragile and chaotic nature of humankind, whilst wearing skintight leather.

  159. Happy Birthday to Joe!
    Immediate family for me would be…13. And I’m not married. I don’t have that many CHAIRS, let alone plates. My solution? Order pizza & the youngsters (children and grandchildren) sit on the floor!!
    Wow you knit fast (as everyone else has already noticed!)

  160. Northern Calif here, and I second Rachel from SoCal- I popped the thermostat to 68F when the am temp was 56F- but just to chase away the chill! Then it’s heat off and sweater on!

  161. Sorry I’m late… Happy Birthday Joe!!
    Also, I covet that roving. It’s probably best (for my wallet) that I couldn’t make it to Rhinebeck this year. I can’t wait to see the scarf that comes from that yarn.

  162. Happiest of birthdays to Joe!!! I’m sure everyone got fed. This piece of The Blog loves it all, whatever you do. But that mitten, that mitten is just awesome kick a*s gorgeous. It makes me so want to make one, and even though I’ve made mittens, I’ve never made a mitten like that. Scared. Keep going, maybe seeing 2 will spur me on.

  163. A day late (and a nickel short based on today’s currency prices) but Happy Birthday to Joe.
    That handspun is gorgeous. Can I fit a spinning wheel in a one-bedroom NYC apartment?

  164. Hey, I didn’t know Joe was a Christmas Baby.
    Maybe they don’t start to celebrate Xmas till December in Newfoundland.Do the have the Hallmark there?
    RachelH. you keeping up with me today? or you working or something?
    heats on. but you can’t come over.

  165. A late happy birthday wish to Joe (I think my dial up connection is responsible for the “late”). You never cease to amaze me with your talent and ENERGY (and put me to shame). My gosh you get a lot done! Any chance you will post your pattern for the rotating rib socks?

  166. The plates are under Joe’s stuff, I’m sure.
    (I didn’t read the comments. How many folks said the same thing?)
    Happy Birthday Joe! For your birthday gift, you seem to be getting the blame (for no gansey work, the plates, whathaveyou)

  167. And I forgot to mention – the bottom of the mitten thumb looks like a little demon smiling. The good kind, of course.

  168. This blog units sends ‘Happy Birthday’ to Joe; hope the dinner party was terrific fun. Also, I simply love the tweedy Jacket.

  169. Hello from the blog-o-shere. Love the mitten, but I’m particularly smitten with the very cool sock. can we have the pattern? happy (late) birthday to joe. My husband has already turned the heat on, but all he really needs is a good hot flash.. who needs heat when in the throes (throws?) of menopause! -pattio

  170. wow, i love those mittens. and happy birthday to joe!
    tina sent me some sock yarn in the downpour colorway and it is so up my alley . . can’t wait. i think she also sent me stormy weather. hmmm . . .

  171. Yay! That mitten is gorgeous! Though this part of the blog wants to see a modeled FO of the Kauni Cardigan, please!
    Pretty please…

  172. Keep in mind that the opinion of The Blog is not impartial. Many of us do not leave critical comments. We have seen too many bloggers burst into flames when they get negative comments.
    Dinner for sixteen? You are in luck, paper plates come in packages of eight!

  173. I too, was struck by The Blog : The Borg relationship. We are much warmer and friendlier collecive however! I imagine everyone communicating thoughts from our needles through an incredibly complex network of (invisible) yarn wound all around the continent/world!

  174. Happy birthday, Joe!
    (This may be one of the few times The Blog agrees with itself – other than the mittens being simply wonderful)
    65 of 12,738

  175. We opine just like sports commentators do, and we are right jsut as often as they are. Ignore the blog except when we back up your side. Well and when we are right of course.
    I am going to stare at your rotating rib pattern, until I get it in my measly little brain, and then I am going to try to copy it. It looks easy enough, but I have said that before and lied to myself. Thank you for the close up photo. I’m going to have to get out some other yarn though, because the green I am working with right now isn’t going to do a thing for that nifty effect.

  176. a very happy birthday to joe.
    furnace wars are quite fascinating in this bizarre new environment we have going. we turned the fan on a few days ago and i opened the window this afternoon because the oven made it too hot. sure, some heat leaks from our hvac but i’ve yet to properly turn it on.
    yarn and spinning and socks and all are beautiful as always.

  177. I am who? I am Hugh! Hugh are you? Hugh is the blog! (Sorry…riffing a little bit Star Trek NG there…)
    There is also “We are the blog…you will be assimilated like fiber in a carding drum.” (*snork* that is so not funny but I’m totally cracking myself up…)
    Anyway–for the record, this percentage of the Blog has never, not once, been disappointed with what you have knit…
    And Happy Birthday, Darling Joe!!!

  178. as “the blog” I would like to demand a theme song. Oh, and I’d like to know how to dress as a blog for halloween next year.

  179. I am “the blog”. Hear me roar.
    Okay, that’s pretty funny Steph. The roving is gorgeous, and resulting yarn stupendous. It seems to have just enough glitz to glow.
    Happy Birthday, Joe!!
    And I agree with Laura — theme song, and costume ideas.

  180. Oooh I didn’t realize we held such sway. The Blog. Sounds quite solid.
    I swear, each post I read here has such comedic gems! You would never hear/read this anywhere else: I’d like to thank global climate change, factories and SUVs everywhere for making it possible
    Wish it was a balmy 12 degrees here – it’s only 5.

  181. Stephanie, the mittens are so SO pretty! I love the way the colours change. Also, the yarn is absolutely gorgeous. Someone will love it!
    Joe, Happy Birthday! Obviously there’s no cleaning up on your big day… but maybe this weekend? Just a thought! πŸ™‚

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