Home again, home again

While that was one of the nicest trips we’ve had we’re home today, and properly sad to have left and thrilled to be back. I’d been aiming to finish the Hibiscus for Hope socks on the trip, and totally would have done it too, except for the days that the yarn spent travelling from Toronto to St. John’s. My fault. I knew I would forget something, I always do. These socks are knitted toe up, so I divided the yarn into two balls, put both in my suitcase – then decided I would start them on the plane and took one ball out and put it in my purse, then started to think about how the plane could get delayed, or since we were flying standby, we could maybe not get on that flight and have to wait for the next flight with open seats… or maybe I would suddenly knit way faster than I usually do, and I would finish the first sock in the first two hours of the flight and be unprepared for the last hour, so at the very last second I took the other ball of yarn out of my suitcase and put it on the chesterfield beside my purse, and apparently then, walked out the door. I knew before we were even halfway to the airport that I’d forgotten it. I emailed Ken when I got to St. John’s and asked him to send it, but it was a couple of days before he could do it. Apparently he has one of those lives to live, and he doesn’t just sit around waiting to mail me yarn.

In any case, there was a bit of a lag while I waited for the yarn to turn up, and that put me behind schedule and the socks didn’t get finished in St. John’s, but on the flight from St. John’s to Montreal. I did the bind off while we waited for the flight to Toronto, and got Sam to model them in the terminal.


She was thrilled to comply, since modelling knitwear in public places while your Mum takes close up pictures of your feet is every teenagers dream.


In fact, she was so thrilled that shortly before I took this picture, asking her to please extend her feet a little more into the meagre light in the departure gate, she said “Mum, you’re ruining my teenaged years” which I know is a joke because aren’t those pretty socks?


I’m sure she meant to say something along the lines of “Darn I’m proud of you mum. You’re just the cleverest” because I happen to know that there are way more embarrassing things that this. Things like your mum standing outside the change-room at The Bay and yelling in, so every person shopping in the whole store can hear her “How are those pants in the crotch? Are they too tight in the CROTCH?” Ask my how I know. Modelling socks is small potatoes.

I’m thrilled with these socks.


That’s a shot from when the first one was done, but the colour’s way more accurate.

Hibiscus for Hope socks, a pattern for the fight against breast cancer (follow that link and pledge Ramona in the Toronto weekend to end breast cancer if you want it.) knit on 2.25mm needles from STR Rosebud lightweight.

Why the rush? Why ship yarn all over Canada and knit like the wind? Meet Elsie.


Elsie is a dear family friend, staying with Joe’s mum and dad in St. John’s while she has radiation treatment for breast cancer, since where she lives in Newfoundland doesn’t have a machine. (Small town.) She’s going to be fine, but it still totally sucks, and I thought that deserves some special socks to wear while she’s there. Old Joe flew with us to Toronto, and right back to St. John’s last night, so by this morning, Elsie should have her socks.

It’s a real pity that I can think of more people to knit these for.

166 thoughts on “Home again, home again

  1. Haha!! First comment???
    Thanks for the wonderful stories of your holiday. Had great fun reading all about it.

  2. Those socks are way beautiful. However, I’d say that it is great that you can’t think of more people to make those socks for. Best wishes to your dear friend.

  3. I saw you in Austin TX the Saturday after the Monday I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It touches me deeply that you are knitting these socks for an affected friend. You made me laugh that Saturday, and I really needed it. Thanks for all you do.

  4. It’s a real pity that I can think of more people to knit these for.
    You know, my feet get pretty cold in the winters. 😉 j/k Beautiful socks!

  5. Well, all good things come to an end…but your vacation was so terrific…and those socks are just gorgeous…wish a complete recovery to their recipient…it was truly a joy to be along on your exciting trip…thanks for having us…

  6. How wonderful of Old Joe to fly to Toronto and back so that Elsie can have the socks today. I agree, it is so sad that probably most of us can think of at least one person to knit these for.

  7. Beautiful socks… So glad you can’t think of anyone else to knit them for. I am a 2 time breast cancer survivor and I know Elsie will love the socks. When I was first diagnosed my friends and family surrounded me with love and prayers and sweet little gifts that really helped to keep my spirits up.
    Thanks for sharing all the pics of your trip. Being in sunny, humid Texas, I can’t imagine having to wear sweatshirts and pants on the beach in August!

  8. I’ve wanted to visit Newfoundland for a while now….and with the encouragement of two “Newfoundlander” friends, and now your blog, well, that’s it…..decided….2009 here we come. Planning starts now as I gather it’s hard to get a rental car there in the summer (July/August)….but your photographs are totaly gorgeous…..I hope you took some without the sock (no offense to the sock but well, some day you might want a photo to display somewhere without a sock LOL!). And I totally adore those socks…unfortunately, I have a DF who needs a pair…..

  9. You made me cry!, You are such a thoughtful person.
    I too tend to forget things when we go away, my bathing suit 3 times, but I figure its better than leaving the iron, stove, curling iron, or other hot item on for the days that we are away.
    (I always feel better when I realize that I have forgotten something, like the camera, knowing that ‘that’ is the thing and not one of those other nastier things.) I could never go away knowing that I have turned everything off, and have everything I needed.

  10. I’ve followed your awesome vacation from my office chair. What unbelievable places! Beautiful pictures! Fabulous Socks!

  11. The fact that you actuall got your teenager to model the socks, for mom, in public, is a testamente to the awsomeness of those socks.
    They are truly lovely. And so is Sam.

  12. Just tell Sam what I always told my kids: “I have to embarrass you. I’m a parent–it’s part of the job description.”

  13. I’m glad you had such a lovely holiday and very sorry to hear about Elsie’s illness. I am always and forever touched by the kindness of knitters, who will devote hours and days of their precious time just to make someone in pain a little more comfortable. I wish Elsie the quick recovery she deserves and all the knitters who help people like Elsie a place in heaven. (Contrary to popular belief, heaven is full of looms and hooks and knitting needles – not harps. And those clouds are really wool. I have this on excellent authority.)

  14. Yes, cancer sucks. And socks, knit with heart, are like wearing a hug – an effort that makes a huge difference. If I could knit socks, I would for this cause. Once again, Sam is a looker (as we used to say) and quite a dry sense of humor. You made me laugh with the dressing room conversation. LOLOL. Moms and daughters – tee hee

  15. What is it with mothers and the word crotch? They just love to say it at the worst possible time.
    Those are beautiful socks. Elsie is a lucky woman to be surrounded with such love.

  16. The socks are beautiful, and you’re a beautiful person for knitting them for your friend.
    Thank you for your ever-present kindness, generosity, and generosity of spirit. You are an inspiration!

  17. My personal favorite, “Do you need a size BIGGER in the BUST??? I think you need more room in the HIPS!!!” It always seemed like she was speaking through a loudspeaker at those times!
    Fortunately, I do not know anyone I can knit those for. Good for you for being so thoughtful in your gifting. They will surely bring her some comfort and peace of mind.

  18. It’s a Parents’ duty to embarass their children. It’s payback for childbirth.
    Lovely socks. I hope to never be a recipient, under the terms described, but I hope to be able to be the knitter for others.
    PS. – Your Daughter has stunning legs and a model’s feet. Lucky one that girl is!

  19. Travel knitting is always tricky. I just flew flew from Peru to California…. having fits about the 17 kilos of yarn in my luggage and if I had enough for the flight. Glad your giving, people always need socks especially when they don’t feel well or have to be in hospital.

  20. If you want more people to knit them for, you could knit up a bunch and donate them to your local hospital. Or ship them to a non local hospital. Again with the mailing yarn all over the place.:)

  21. Those are lovely, lovely socks.
    Sam is a lovely daughter.
    Your friend is a lovely woman.
    Your vacation trip sounds lovely too.
    Love all around!

  22. Those are the sweetest, prettiest hand knit socks I think I have ever seen. I love both the yarn and the pattern, and the model did a great job.
    So dear of you to make them for Elsie. She is in my prayers, and I know the socks on her feet will help tremendously too.

  23. To Sam: All I can say is “Suck it up, Buttercup.” The requirement to embarrass teenagers is clearly stated in Clause 6, Section 2.51 of the Mum’s code. It’s in the job description, we gotta do it. So deal.
    Oh and beautiful socks.

  24. Socks are gorgeous! I’m sure your friend will love them.
    I really laughed at the scene I imagined in the local post office when they had to search for a parcel containing pink yarn … but all for an excellent cause …
    BTW, is good that you are getting in some preparation in bad weather for your trip to London … bring your rain gear! Although MAYBE the weather will be nice while you are here (don’t hold your breath.)
    Can’t wait for I Knit Day!
    nina x

  25. As a 4 time breast cancer survivor I KNOW that Elsie will feel love and comfort while wearing those incredible socks during some notsonice times in her treatment. She’ll cherish them forever.
    Thank you for sharing you wonderful vacation. I think that New Foundland is a must see before my time here is through!

  26. Those socks are beautiful. You are so lucky to have a daughter comply with minimial complaint. She looks happy in the picture…
    As far as the crotch thing goes (there’s a statement), when I recently reminded my mom that she used to torture me with that same dressing room query, she replied, “You are lucky I didn’t go in there and tug on it the way my mom did.” Indeed, I felt lucky.

  27. i see your crotch and raise you a rubber! my mom used to always go to the shoe aisle, in goodwill to boot, and yell “hey dawn! look! rubbers!” the only thing worse than that was when she did it in wal-mart!

  28. Beautiful socks for beautiful Elsie, and yes, I know what you mean, and it is a sad state of affairs.
    Good man, nay, good exceptional man that Old Joe for riding in and then riding back out to deliver :^)
    Glad you’re all back home.

  29. Lovely socks! I’m sure Elsie will be very touched with your gift and love them. I too can thinkof too many people deserving of a pair of these. I made a donation and printed out the pattern, then I met a kind, vibrant lady this past weekend who is undergoing radiation. Her positive outlook and courage has totally inspired me to knit her some socks — these or another pink ribbon sock pattern I have. I need to get cracking on my knitting – the gift knitting list keeps growing.

  30. Loved your vacation pics and stories! I live in NYC, so you might not see me cliffside (too scary), and I live in mortal fear of being attacked by birds (it could happen even in NY! Try the parking lot at Key Food – full of dangerous seagulls, I tell you!)
    The socks you made are lovely. Socks for any worthy cause is just one of the many reasons why everyone should make socks.
    For Elsie, I’m sure it’s not just the socks, it’s the patience and effort that went into those socks. It’s that someone put a little hope and thought to their troubles and ultimately wishes them well. The socks are a symbol of that. I’m sure she’s grateful.

  31. Those socks are just gorgeous. I’m sure your friend will feel the love knit into them each time they’re worn.
    Happy re-entry into the real world, Newfoundland is a very magical place.
    Thanks for a look into Joe’s home world.

  32. Some of the commenters have misread the following line:
    “It’s a real pity that I can think of more people to knit these for.”
    Yup, there’s way too many people dealing with this disease. On the lighter side, I clicked on the link for the socks, and laughed out loud at the name of the organization–Knitters for Knockers!

  33. Welcome back to rainy Toronto…your holiday photos were spectacular and I love the socks. Will check out that pattern but I don’t like toe up generally…ciao

  34. Sam, I used to tell my daughter than embarrassing her in public was like a baton passed from mother to daughter, from Grandma to Mom, from Mom to me, from me to her, so she should start planning how she’d best embarrass her own daughter someday. I’d get an eye roll and a half-smile. Your day will come!
    Oh, great vacation and awesome socks. You go, Elsie!

  35. If you wanted to knit them for women in the Canadian Forces who have (or have had) cancer, I can get you a contact. I work for the US Air Force, but we’ve had several (very nice) Canadians work with us.

  36. Lovely socks. I’m pretty sure I could never have gotten one of my daughters to model like that. My mother did something worse to me than making me try on socks. In a public washroom she yelled into my stall, “Are you having your period?” And since, being a shy teenager, I chose not to answer her, she repeated herself, louder. I’m sure each time Elsie slips on those beautiful socks, she will think of the love and care you knit into them. I wish her a complete recovery.

  37. I was certain your drive to finish the socks was your native Harlot obsessiveness. Sorry to have misjudged you: you did good! Proud to know you, knitter!

  38. Thanks so much for sharing your vacation. As a fellow Newfoundlander living in Toronto, it made my day to read along each morning. I really miss being there, and this was wonderful. Best wishes to Elsie too. A lot of women in my family have had breasts removed from cancer so those socks are definitely on my order list.
    My mom was always partial to the crotch yelling too.

  39. Summer vacations! Just back from a few days on Vancouver Island…now i need to get to the east coast! Its so good to be by the ocean.
    Handknit socks can’t be underestimated My mom has been dealing with ovarian cancer for five years. The pairs of handknit socks I made as gifts for her are a huge comfort. During weeks and months of many chemotherapies she wore her favorite handknit socks all the time. The favorite pairs wore through the toes and needed the toes to be reknit.

  40. The socks are beautiful. I’m going to order the pattern. Every year, I participate in some manner in the Breast Cancer 3 Day (60 Mile) Walk in the States. This year, I’m crewing as a nurse. It’s important to raise money and awareness; it does make a difference in outcomes. Thank you for doing your share.

  41. Those socks are absolutely beautiful. And your description of the trip, along with Newfoundland cropping up in other places at the moment, is inspiring to plan that as the destination for our family holiday next summer. thanks!

  42. I will definitely be buying the hibiscus for hope sock pattern. A bit over two years ago my dearest sister was diagnosed with a stage 4 tumor, went through all the treatment only to be diagnosed with a very large metastatic tumor on her femur.
    Whether or not she will be ok still remains to be seen, but it doesn’t look too good at this point. I sure hope this sock project will help offer a wider swath of hope for another family!

  43. Not only are the socks an incredible gift that I’m sure will warm Elsie’s heart, but it was incredibly thoughtful of Old Joe to fly round trip to Toronto to deliver the socks! What a FIL!

  44. I am in total awe of your knitting prowess! You make it look SO easy!!! I’ve yet to complete even my first pair of socks and am not at all confident that I ever will ~ but you sure make me wish I could.
    If you’re really desperate for someone to knit socks for, I could send you my adress…
    P.S. Your daughter is a DOLL!

  45. I’ve really enjoyed your trip; it reminds me of my one trip to Nova Scotia (where I acquired my first spindle and roving). Someday I’ll make it to Newfoundland or PEI.
    I have a question about process. Do you divide the yarn into two balls by yardage or weight? I’m imagining rolling a ball and then putting each side on the scale in turn.
    For my current (first ever) pair of socks, I considered starting one sock at each end but it looks like this little bit will only be enough for one and a half socks. Guess I’ll be back to the store for more. Maybe I’ll make knee socks.

  46. One of my grandmothers was an avid knitter and crocheter who kept going despite rheumatoid arthritis. She knit a dozen hours a day and more during the War, heading the Red Cross chapter for knitting for the troops, trying to knit her sons home. She died before I got a chance to know her well. And her name was Elsie. The sweet face of your Elsie in that picture made me instantly remember, love, and miss mine–and I am grateful. Best wishes to her in her treatments.

  47. Hmmm, Sam is smiling. She certainly doesn’t have the grumpy face that my DD would have had if I would have taken a photo of her wearing socks in an airport. Clearly Sam knows how to roll with the punches. Good for her.

  48. Darn it Woman! I was zipping through this post and there you go blindsiding me with the destination for the socks. You never fail to get a laugh, a tear, or like today both out of me. Keep up the good work.

  49. Your vacation blogs would make a splendid booklet for Newfoundland’s tourism department; both words and pictures are entrancing. On the other hand, they might not want too many visitors … It’s a fine line. I certainly enjoyed an inspiring mini-vacation. Clearly, you did too — the real deal.

  50. I was bra shopping with my mother one time (Ive got large breasts, she does not) and she took the bra out of my hand and put one cup on her head laughing and telling me “look! its big enough to be a hat!” this still has the power to embarass me even in momory.

  51. Hey, I’m a teenager and I’d totally be begging my parents or sister to model handknits for me at the airport! (Although they probably wouldn’t comply…) I knit an Unoriginal Hat on a plane one time and had the flamboyantly gay flight attendant model it, though 🙂

  52. Yeah, as I tell my kids, “If (x) is the worst thing in your life, then you’ve had a pretty easy life.” Fabulous socks, and what a sweet gift to what is obviously a sweet lady. Best wishes to Elsie for a swift recovery.

  53. Beautiful socks.
    Best wishes to Elsie for successful treatment.
    I’m getting a bit peeved with how they deal with women’s health care in Nfld. [i.e. chance of losing the current gynecologists due to pay/space inequities]. Argghhh.

  54. Welcome Home! It was great fun reading about your holiday adventures. You’ve made some very pretty socks for a lovely lady. I’m sure she will cherish them, and hope all goes well for her, health-wise.
    So, I am curious. Did Joe “clean-up” for the trip home, or is this an annual thing, or what? He looks great, btw (of course, you know that). And the girls are beautiful. So grown up!

  55. Gorgeous socks. Sad that there is a need for them. I’m sending my best wishes for Elsie.
    And really, if modeling knitwear in public is the worst thing you ever make your teenager do, you’re a darned cool mom.

  56. When I was a teenager my mother was the type of Mom of which any 13-19 year old girl could be proud; beautiful, creative, funny, didn’t say weird things in front of my friends…BUT she farted at the beginning of every aisle at the grocery store.
    Not once, or twice, but every time that we were at the grocery store she farted at the front of each aisle – sometimes audibly.
    I have no idea how but somewhere along the line it just became this warped tradition, and it cracked her up how pissed off I got about it because, after all, everyone farts.
    I swear, the woman did it for YEARS! For years I lived in dread that one of my boyfriends would walk by right as she did it, or one of my friends, or one of my teachers, or you know, just about anyone.
    Trying on socks in an airport lounge is WAY less embarassing…seriously 🙂

  57. My husband went through cancer treatment – the whole 9 yards of chemo, surgery, and radiation – when my children were 2 and 4 years. He is cancer free now. Lung cancer claimed my Dad’s little brother (yes, my uncle) 5 days ago.
    The socks are beautiful, but the pity is that you needed to knit them at all. Best to Elsie and all out there dealing with difficult times.

  58. The socks are beautiful and I’m sure greatly appreciated. All I was was cold when I went through treatment and I could have used a lot more socks. I didn’t learn to knit until I was in recovery (desperately needed something to do while waiting to get off the couch). And probably couldn’t have knit for myself at the time (too stupid). Very, Very clever indeed.

  59. A)maybe better than my mother in laws habit of saying at every meal, including their 50th anniversary party at a swank resturant, “eat your fruit Ronnie, it will make you poop good!” Our daughters used to take bets on how long it would take for her to say it.
    B) Bought the Hibuscus pattern, then felt guilty for donating for Canadian Breast Cancer research, so I turned around and joined a walking team for Race for the Cure!
    Love the sock, and the pics!

  60. She totally needs these socks! I can’t imagine a better way to lift one’s spirits.

  61. I’m glad you had such a fabulous vacation. So, are you doing MS4? Did I ask you this already?

  62. It’ll be a grand day when you can’t think of anyone to knit those particularly themed socks for.
    My Mum got up in front of everyone I knew (I was 10, it was the local Sailing Club Musical Revue) and sang (with a friend) a rousing rendition of “Nobody loves a Fairy when she’s 40”. And she asks me where I get my lack of embarrassment from? Years of practice Mother, Years of Practice.

  63. Those are some seriously great socks! I can’t believe Sam didn’t run through the airport showing them to people well exclaiming “My mum knit these!!!” What are we going to do with this generation of young people?

  64. Loved the socks and what a kind, thoughtful gesture to give them to your friend. I’m sure she’ll feel comfort, reassurance and love each time she wears them.
    I have a saying – “Live long enough to embarass your children,” which I made sure I said in front of them. Well, a LONG time ago, my 4 kids informed me I could die anytime as I had fulfilled my prophecy.

  65. You made me snort out loud with your “How’s the crotch” scenario. I have done something similar to my teen daughter only we were bra shopping. I will let you fill in the blanks on how that might have gone….
    As for reasons to knit socks for friends and family with breast cancer, I have waaaay too many. Now that just isn’t right!!

  66. I rarely comment. I rarely laugh out loud in the company of only myself. I’m doing both right now. Now, for the rest of day, all I’ll have to do is think “crotch” for a split second and I’m going to get a major case of the giggles.
    Thanks for brightening my day.

  67. thanks for sharing your wonderful vacation! those are places I’m not likely to get to myself, so I’m very grateful.

  68. I agree, it does totally suck that you can think of more people to knit those for. A couple of years ago I went through 6 months of terror over what turned out to be (Thank you, God!) an enormous benign breast tumor. Three surgeries – because the first surgeon was a complete idiot – and one nipple later I count myself damned lucky that that was all I had lost.
    During that whole process, I can’t tell you how many women came up to me at our guild meetings or how many conversations I had at the LYS with other women who had not been so lucky as I was, or who had friends that were going through treatment or who had died.
    There are too many women out there with this disease, and we need to do all we can to wipe it off the face of the earth.

  69. What an amazingly thoughtful gift. And they’re lovely! (Of course.)
    My sister just had a fund raiser for a US based breast cancer foundation. It was wildly successful. And I agree, it’s a real pity that there’s still a need for the socks, the fundraising, all of it.

  70. Sweet story. Sweet Sam. Sweet socks.
    My best to Elsie from another BC Survivor!

  71. Cancer sucks. All kinds. Please though, don’t ask me how I know.
    On a brighter note, your post today was so full of great one-liners that I don’t even know where to comment on, so I’ll just say wow. Your wit astounds me. As do your knitting skills. As much as my typing skills do not astound me, since I just tried to spell “skills” like “skliis”. Twice. Again, wow. I’m chalking it up to it was 2 of my kid’s first day back to school and I didn’t want them to go especially not on the bus for the first time and isn’t 1st grade way too young to be riding the bus anyway but the 1st grader didn’t think so but thank God I still have the 4 year old for another month before he starts preschool so we spent the morning playing checkers and he won. So there.
    Pretty socks though. I bet she’ll love them and wear them often and think of you every time.

  72. NONONO! It’s WONDERFUL that you can’t think of more people to knit them for (if cancer is a condition of receiving these beautiful socks, I mean).
    Love the socks – love the blog – love the books – I’m blinking in love with everything today.

  73. Not a pity at all-someday we hope you never have to knit another pair for this cause!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Bet it was hard to leave that beautiful place and head home–what a place.

  74. I am so sorry that I read your last line incorrectly, and that you can think of someone else to make those socks for. I didn’t mean to be critical in any way–I was hopefully celebrating a good thing. I hope I didn’t offend you with my misreading.

  75. Wow – what a great idea for knitting such beautiful socks! Being the only knitter in my family, I won’t be getting anything handknit for my birthday (Saturday) and it’s sad sad sad. But I’m really happy for Elsie! You’re so considerate…

  76. I have to take Miss B to the airport next week to spend a week with my SIL’s family. Given how slow I am, I probably can’t get a pair of socks done by then, but it sure is tempting to try.
    Those are gorgeous socks, and if anyone deserves them, Elsie does. I’ll be thinking of her.

  77. I love the pictures of the evolving socks against the Maritime landscapes. I’m off to PEI on Sunday and in a rush to get hold of a pair of 9.0mm needles before I go-it’s a long car journey.
    Beauty socks, btw.

  78. Don’t worry Stepanie! Your time will come. When she turns 22 and you want to take her shopping she’ll don a t-shirt that says “Sex, drugs and Christian Rock”. Ask me how I know.
    Loved the blog. It made me laugh!!

  79. warm wishes to elsie
    i wear pink have for a few years
    have enjoyed the postings

  80. So we have no children, can you tell me? Is there a class parents take on this embarrassment thing? I’m sure it’s mainly focused on creativity so that each parent can meet their own child’s specific needs in the area of maximum embarrassment. Lovely socks. Too bad for the reason they exist. A pair of handknit socks can only help in the recovery, no?

  81. it’s so lovely that you made these socks for Elsie!
    on another note, my mother made me try on my first bra (a training bra), on top of my shirt, in the middle of the store. i was 12. so embarrassing.

  82. Those socks are so gorgeous! That is wonderful that they are for such a good cause.
    You have such a fabulous model, too. My little girl is only three, but I hope I’m as calm, with as great a sense of humor, when she enters those teenage years! I always love your great motherly insight.

  83. In our family, the teenaged daughter is just about unembarrassable (a byproduct of living with her mama I suppose). A teeny little thing, built like a Commodores song, she would make you, my Harlotta feel tall and very thin. I will bring her around next time you speak in he DC area so you can bask. She is personable, but not at all obnoxious…however…
    She has been known to torture her father in the midst of large chain department stores like Target(Daddy does shop…and cook…and do laundry…and is a heavy equipment mechanic who throws beautiful pottery. Yep, the last Renaissance Man) Herself has been known to do things to Daddy (I am immune) like yell across 100+ yards of popluated by shoppers store “Hey, Dad…don’t forget Mom’s Monistat” (yeast infection cream for those blessedly not in the know) That being said, I DO want to hear the tight in the crotch outside the Bay story. I’m pretty sure we’ve done something similar outside the dressing rooms at Old Navy.

  84. oh yes, mother stories. i’m sure we can all relate. but let’s not forget dad stories… like the time your dad shows up in the high school parking lot to pick you up from camp, wearing….. a SPEEDO!!! cos it was just too hot and he was in a hurry… i still writhe at the memory!!!
    otherwise, beauty vacation story steph! and yum to the socks!

  85. Haha. My mother isn’t the type that will yell at me while I’m in the changing room, unless she thinks that I should try on more clothes. The only time she says something is something like, “Isn’t that shirt a little low? Skirt a little tight? TOO SHORT!!” Let’s just say that her sense of style and mine are drastically different.

  86. You got to use a changing room? You’re lucky! My Mum would make us try things on between the racks of clothes while shouting “Hurry up, nobody’s looking at your bottom!”

  87. i love reading about your family adventures, and you have me wondering…………why would Old Joe fly to Toronto with you only to turn right around to go back??? is this some kind of Newf escort service???

  88. Amen. I was in the Relay for Life again this year. Lots of luminaries in memory of loved ones, but lots of them encouraging those who are successfully battling cancer. May they all have the love and hope stitched into those socks for Elsie.

  89. Lovely. I will knit a pair in memory of my Mom, who died at 95 from pancreatic after surviving breast cancer at 92– she would have loved the pinkness of them, her fave color. And I’ll pass them on, because I too know way too many warrior women. Thank you for knitting them and showing them to us.

  90. I’m so glad you made it home safe! My Mother put me through a traumatic training bra episode. Check out Drunken Monkey Knits when you get a chance. Brooke has made new Sheldon costumes!

  91. So, I added a ‘t to the word can !!! I am so old I can’t read the small print anymore. But I wish you had said “can’t” and hope you can change it to can’t very soon!!!!!!!!
    I think we all like to embarass our kids in sly little ways-like putting tampax in the cart when grocery shopping with boys–or singing along to a song on the radio with their friends in the car.
    Another perk of parenthood- to get even with them for things like pulling her dress over her head and asking a stranger if they like her new pink panties she got for not pooping in her pants for a week. Ah, the memories.

  92. For a teenager, “Mum, you’re ruining my teenaged years” is very, very mild &, in fact, quite equivalent to “Darn I’m proud of you mum. You’re just the cleverest.” And Sam does have a smile on her face in the photo (& she is an exceedingly lovely young woman, I might add).

  93. When my mom would take me bra shopping, she would make me walk out of the dressing room so she could see if they fit, and then would exclaim “This one seems like it’s hiding your roll of back well” and things of that nature. To this day I prefer to buy bras, take them home, and return them if they don’t fit.
    Lovely socks as well. 🙂

  94. I didn’t ever want you to go home. Your vacation was lovely and I really enjoyed experiencing it through you.
    Also, I want to thank you for your blog in general. I don’t have breast cancer, but I’m very ill and mostly housebound. Living vicariously through your life has become a lovely daily ritual.

  95. With all the love and caring and strength that is flowing through those socks from you and your family and from all of us out here in blogland to Elsie she’ll get through this cancer treatment with flying colours. You go Elsie!

  96. Noble knitting cause, and what a beautiful finished product! Your daughter(s) has (have) grown up so much since I started reading this blog. It’s insane that she can fit your socks. You know this means she can steal them, right?

  97. As for the embarrasing comments, I have a friend whose son was dragging his feet one morning and missed the school bus, so when she dropped him off at school she shouted after him “I love you, Ben, make good choices today.” He never missed the bus again.
    I am also a breast cancer survivor, in my magic 5th year!! and still cancer free. I’m happy to hear from all the other survivors. All the best to Elsie. Hopefully her radiation treatment will go quickly, and easily.

  98. AS a BC survivor, I can attest to the fact that a pair of magic socks, pretty, warm and cuddly, are just what your friend Elsie needs! I know more than a few people now who should like some, so will pledge support and receive pattern. Just wish I’d been back into knitting when going thru chemo myself; would have been good to knit one’s way through the issue at hand . . . Mary Sue

  99. To answer Maxine’s question (earlier in comments) – whether Old Joe flying to Toronto and then flying back was a Newf escort service.
    No, it was a sock escort service.

  100. Cancer of all kinds is just horribly devastating. Hopefully she will recover well and the socks will provide a measure of comfort while she is undergoing treatment.
    I just count my blessings that no one I know right now has cancer.

  101. My mom recently went through a battle with breast cancer. It’s so comforting to know that people actually care about that fight. So, thanks for making those socks for someone who really needs the thoughts of someone who cares for her.

  102. My mom used “Rise” instead of “Crotch”. I’ve never been so glad, although that was embarrassing too.
    My mom died 11 years ago as a result of breast cancer. I hope Elsie kicks cancer’s ass to the curb wearing those lovely socks.

  103. At least Sam will have something to tell her therapist. My 13 yo will have horror stories of me threatening to show up at his school in ripped jeans. In fact, when I tore my hamstring, I kept my jeans that they had to cut off jsut for that reason.
    The socks are beautiful. My mom is a breast cancer survivor, so I do knit for her, too.

  104. The socks are beautiful and an equal beauty shines through the face of their recipient.
    If we didn’t ruin our kid’s lives who would they have to blame when things don’t turn out perfectly for them?

  105. LOVEd the ideas on how to make my kids’ lives more *special* during the teenaged years. I still have a few years to go, so I must collect these nuggets. Any more ideas, ladies and gents?
    Love the socks. Unfortunately, i know way too many people to knit such things for, and I’m keeping to chemo caps presently.

  106. I grew up in the 70’s, and my family was a fan of the TV show Happy Days. My mom heard the term hickey, but misunderstood what it meant. To this day I remember walking through a department store and hearing my mother say quite loudly “When did you get that hickey?”. She meant that I had a pimple, which I suppose is embarrassing enough, but having my mom ask about a non-existent hickey was mortifying.

  107. I would really love to get this pattern but for some reason I can’t get the donation to work I have also tried e-mail .If anyone out there could/would act as a go between I would send them the money for the donation .
    Thank you,

  108. If your kids are embarrassed by modeling socks in airports, tell them about the time that my dad took me to a high-school football game while wearing a hat made out of a Jock Strap that said “Oak Ridge High School Athletic Supporter” on it. If you got a hat like that, your sock-modeling requests would be a piece of cake.

  109. Good luck Elsie! My mom is a 23 year breast cancer survivor… come to think of it, she’s been bugging me for socks… and those would be good… hummmm

  110. Oh, Sam, we all have to live through that. I remember very clearly wanting my mother to drop me off a block from where I was to meet my friends for a movie. (No public transport where I grew up.) Instead, she drove right up to the entrance to the theater and as I got out—grumbling—she yelled after me, “Have a nice time, honey! Mommy will be back to pick you up at 9:30. Or would you rather have daddy pick you up?” Mind you, I didn’t call my parents “mommy” and “daddy.” I thought for sure I’d die on the spot of embarrassment, but I’m here 20 years later to tell the tale. Hang in there!

  111. The socks are beautiful! I’m sure you are paying dearly for “making” your daughter pose for the picture. Just tell her that some modeling agent might happen along your blog, see her picture, and sign her up to a billion dollar contract. I’m sure that’s what happened with Christie Brinkley.
    At least all you did is put a pair of socks on her. My mom used to pass gas while shopping in a store and turn around and blame me. Not nice. I still bear the emotional scars from that one.
    Glad you’re home safe and sound.

  112. i remember making a donation for ramona’s pattern last year. i don’t usually make a lot of donations, but this is one that i think i’m going to do on an annual basis. a beautiful pattern, and money towards a good cause that every woman out there should be concerned about; it’s a win-win situation if there ever was one.

  113. oh, and nathalie-
    my mom used to fart in stores alllll the time (she probably still does?). she didn’t blame it on me, but it was always loud enough that people would just stare at us and she would be totally oblivious while i stood there wondering if it was possible to suffer a hemorrage from blood rushing to my face.

  114. a third comment-
    shelda, if you’re still having trouble making a donation, i can help you out. i’ll be making one myself, so i can add yours for you, if you’d like (and email you the receipt thing so you know i did indeed make the donation). or maybe just email ramona herself and see if she can work something out with you?

  115. Oh my gosh, I laughed so hard at the CROTCH story!! Too funny. I so enjoy your stories, your knitting amazes me and your spirit inspires me. Thank you so much!!

  116. Hello again, I was at the first sock camp with the chickens! I had bbreast cancer 3 years ago, and had surgery and radiation. So far, so good. Do I still qualify for a pair of socks, because I can’t imagine anything better!

  117. My daughter thinks I’m ruining her teenage years because wherever we go I need to take my ‘seven socks of doom’. Well, we do what we can…

  118. This post totally weirded me out with its coincidental…ness. Just the other day, I (a teenage girl) modeled one of her socks in a public place. (Wal-Mart, yes, it’s difficult to explain, but it was an anti-Wal-Mart thing, sort’ve. I felt that juxtaposing a hand-knitted sock against a Wal-Mart background was pretty ironic, but then, I did buy a Wal-Mart coke when I was there, so I am a cheerfully hypocritical critic. Sigh. Anyway, it’s on my blog, along with some observations on attractive cologne and the attractive people who wear it…sigh…)

  119. I was listening to the radio yesterday morning, and a commedian was doing a routine that included “what if teenagers could actually die of embarassment? The parents would be on trial for involuntary manslaughter.”

  120. I wish I lived in Toronto. The yoga class sounds great. Also, I’m sure your sweater will continue without troubles to better ensnare many unwary knitters who might think it worked wonderfully for Steph.

  121. Lovely. And it spurs me to buy another ball of Calmer to make Shedir for a woman in my church.
    Love the pattern, hate the reason for knitting it.

  122. Beautiful socks! There must be something about pink yarn and vacation knitting. I forgot my second ball of pink yarn (February Baby Sweater) at home when I went on vacation last week. There was no mailing it to me, though; I was on a boat in the Caribbean!
    Glad you finished yours.

  123. If you’re looking for someone else to knit those socks for, as you said, knit them for Not Plain Jane (http://notplainjane.blogspot.com/) – who is getting ready to undergo chemo for endometrial cancer. She is incredibly upbeat, and uses knitting for therapy of sorts (and has been an incredible knitter before cancer) while she goes through this. I’m sure she would love to wear those socks during chemo.

  124. I tried this already and it didn’t post, so I’ll try once more.
    If you’re looking for someone else to knit those socks for, try Not Plain Jane (http://notplainjane.blogspot.com/) who is an incredible knitter getting ready to undergo chemo for endometrial cancer (she has just concluded rediation). No one else deserves them more. Check out her blog.

  125. Thanx for taking me on vacation with you! great way to see the sights when your housebound. Absolutely loved the socks. Getting pattern!

  126. Indeed, the number of women who I could knit those socks for increases every year. And I could knit them in teal for my darling daughter who is dealing with her third tumor in less than three years from ovarian cancer. And she’s only 27.

  127. The pictures of sam are great the socks are gorgeous you are such a warm and thoughtful person I know Elsie will love them:)I have donated to the 3 day walk for breast cancer.Hugs Darcy

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