Grip Getting

Whenever I start losing my grip (like yesterday, thanks for the reassurance and encouragement. It really helps) I look around for what’s missing, and opportunities to do thing that shore me up. Normally, when I’m this stressed out I would take a day off, read, watch a movie or some TV, (I have just discovered Stargate SG1. I’m such a dork.) and spend a day knitting and recharging the batteries. Works every time. This time though, if I take my eyes off the prize for a whole day, I’m going to blow it, so I’m opting for some mini-breaks. Last night I went to yoga (good move, that one) and today I’m going to at least fulfill the knitting component necessary to my mental health.

Everything I’m knitting right now takes looking and attention, so I just haven’t been able to do it, and it’s starting to make me crazier than a bag of wet cats. This morning (I’m so messed up I just thought of this) it occured to me that I could start something new and simple, something that could just chug along in my hands on autopilot while I read and revise the manuscript.


This is a new yarn from Lion Brand called “Sock Ease” that I don’t think is out yet. They sent me some so I could try it (this is a great week to remember that this job has it’s privileges). I prefer natural fibres, so Lion Brand isn’t a yarn I use a lot (although Megan is knitting an afghan with their Homespun right now) but this is one that I thought might be right up my alley. I don’t have an unlimited yarn budget (although sometimes I like to pretend otherwise) and so I’m a big fan of basic, good yarns that don’t cost the earth, and this one had some potential. It’s 75% wool and 25% nylon, which puts it in the same fibre content group as a lot of other brand name sock yarns I’ve thought were good like Regia, Fortissima Colori, Trekking, Knit Picks Essential, Opal, Valley Yarns Franklin, and my longtime friend Patons Kroy – which while not the softest yarn in the world, wears like IRON and lasts for as long as forever can be in a sock yarn. (That’s the nylon.) Like Austermann Step (which I haven’t used yet) the new sock ease is “finished” with Aloe Vera, and I’m not sure what that means or if I like it, but if it does what it says it can for my hands, now would be a good time to try, and try it I am.


No full review yet, since I’ve only knit a wee bit but so far it’s quite pretty, soft enough to be pleasant and it doesn’t suck, that’s for sure. It’s no handpainted merino, but that’s not what it’s supposed to be, and if it’s priced like I suspect it will be, it could be another affordable and decent yarn to have in my arsenal. If nothing else, it’s definitely going to be the reason that I don’t end today sitting in my yarn closet gibbering, rocking and chewing what little cashmere I own, and for that, it will always have my thanks. (Plus I’m sort of low on socks. The cobblers children and all that. I need to give fewer pairs away for a while.)


Sock Picture Scavenger Hunt.


1. All pictures must be taken with a sock in progress.

2. All pictures must be taken on April 1st.

3. All pictures must be on your camera to show to Rachel at the event, where, like in Bingo, she will see if you’ve won a prize the way you think you have.

4. It’s up to you to add up your points, and tell us what you have, so maybe print this out and check off what you’ve got, and bring it with you so you can do the math.

5. Don’t hurt yourself, break any laws or upset anyone. (Any more than sock pictures normally upset people.)

Ready? Your mission, should you accept it, is to gather photos of your sock with the following items (should you be able to) in the fine city of Toronto.

-at a Tim’s, 1 point. (They’re everywhere.)

-at a Tim’s held by an employee of said establishment, who is also holding the donut of our people, a maple glazed. 2 points. (Drive through accepted, even encouraged)

-with Canadian Tire money, 1 point.

-at a Canadian Tire store, being held by an employee who is also holding Canadian Tire money? 2 points.

– At the ROM with the new crystal. 1 point.

-At the ROM with the T-Rex, 3 points.

-At the Hockey hall of fame. 1 point.

-With a hockey player. 1 point for amateur (everybody knows a hockey player) 5 points for a pro. 6 points if he’s a Maple Leaf.

-At Skydome. Rogers centre.1 point.

-Held by a TTC driver (subway, bus and streetcar all accepted.) 2 points.

-With the CN Tower 1 point. (It’s big.)

-on the glass floor of the CN Tower, 3 points.

-With a pint of beer. 1 point.

-With a pint of beer brewed in Canada, 2 points.

-With a pint of beer from a local (Toronto) indie. 3 points.

-With a sign in another language, 1 point for each language. (Considering how diverse Toronto is, that one should be easy. )

-with the neighbourhood signs. (You know the kind with the neighbourhood name on top and the street on the bottom) 1 point for each one.

-At City Hall. 1 point.

-At City hall, held by an employee, 2 points,

-Held by the mayor – 10 points.

-At Union station. 1 point.

-At Allen Gardens 1 point.

-At Queens Park. 1 point.

-With your MPP. 3 points.

-At The AGO, 1 point.

-with a group of seven painting. 2 points.

-with a Henry Moore sculpture, 2 points.

-on the ferry to the island. 3 points (It’s cold.)

– at St Lawrence Market. 1 point.

-At St. Lawrence Market with one of those really good eggplant sandwiches from Mustashio’s, 3 points.

-At a head shop. 2 points.

-With an animal at Riverdale farm, 2 points. (3 if it’s a sheep.)

-At The Shoe Museum. 1 point.

-On the boardwalk in the beaches. 1 point.

-At The Textile museum. 1 point.

-In any Toronto yarn store. 1 point.

– Held by any yarn shop employee who is also holding a hot chocolate you bought them, 3 points. (multiple points for multiple shops. )

-At The Prince’s Gates. 1 point.

-At Ontario place. 1 point.

-At The horseshoe 1 point.

-At a legion hall. 1 point.

– At a legion hall with a veteran 3 points.

– With the geese at the Eatons Centre. 1 point

-With actual Canada Geese, 3 points (they can be mean.)

– With your boss. (If you are a parent at home, your kid can be your boss.) 1 point.

-With your office photocopier. 1 point. (2 points if you bring a photocopy of your sock.)

-At The map of Yonge street on the ground at the southwest corner of Yonge and Dundas Streets. 1 point.

-With one of Toronto’s finest. 2 points. (4 points for a mounted officer, and I mean on a horse.)

-With a street meat vendor (Veggie dogs accepted.) 1 point.

– With those warm roasted chestnuts that the street vendors sell downtown, 2 points.

-At Casa loma 1 point.

-At The Castle playstructure at High Park. 1 point.

-At the Duckpond at High park. 1 point.

-With a bartender at the Old York Bar and Grill. (My sister owns the place.) 1 point.

-At Honest Ed’s 1 point.

– At The Bay. 1 point.

– with any star on the Canadian Walk of Fame, 1 point for your choice, two points for getting Gordon Pinsent, Margaret Atwood, or William Shatner.

– With another sock belonging to a scavenger hunt player, 1 point. (No multiple points for multiple players.)

– With any Toronto Knitblogger, 2 points.

Finally, there will be a Freestyle category. You can take any sock picture (In Toronto, on April 1st) that you think will amuse or entertain me, because there have just got to be a thousand things that are a killer sort of brilliant that I didn’t think of. Entries for that category (one each please) won’t be judged that evening, but you can email them to me at my regular address (make the picture small so it doesn’t cripple up my inbox) which is stephanie AT yarnharlot DOT ca (change that stuff) before midnight April 3rd, and I will choose a winner from among them according to my entirely arbitrary whims and mail you a little prize.

Good luck, my stalwart knitters. Go forth and sock.