Oatmeal On a Cold Morning

That’s what this new scarf is like. Like a bowl of steaming hot-before it starts to cool down and turn into glue, perfectly right oatmeal with brown sugar and milk on top and maybe raisins. (Maybe not. I’m 40 years old and still not sure of my position on raisins.)


I cast on for this scarf on Thursday night and it was done by Saturday and for one of the first times ever I was sad to be done with a project. Usually, by the time something is finished, especially something simple, I’m done. Way done. I’m either bored and ready to do something else, or sick of it because it’s just gone on too long and I can hear the siren call of other yarns, or I’m just excited to have it finished and have moved entirely past loving it as a process and am ready to see it as a product…


Not this time. I feel like I could have knit this forever and ever and ever, and I’d say that 80% of that was the yarn. The other 20% likely represents the brain cells I haven’t grown back after the last tour, and the fact that I wasn’t feeling well at all this weekend, and was therefore very, very easily amused, even by a simple 2X2 rib. I re-watched part of the Thorn Birds too, while I churned away on this, and do not even start to diss that miniseries. I love it. It’s a work of art and an epic. Also it has a young Richard Chamberlain as Father Ralph De Bricassart and forbidden love and Meggie Cleary in the ashes of roses dress, and a rampaging wild boar, and thousands of sheep. What more could you ask for? What more could you want?



Sorry. Back to the yarn. I got this yarn as an extremely good present years ago on a visit to Kalamazoo and it’s been haunting me a little bit since then. It was love at first sight, and I’ve been waiting to knit it. It’s Marr Haven Merino Rambouillet – Mule Spun yarn, and I think it’s quite possibly one of the cushiest rides I’ve been on in a long while. It’s lofty, it’s bouncy, it’s dense without being heavy and fluffy without seeming fragile. It’s still got some of the lanolin in it so it really smells right, like it came from a sheep and it’s rustic like whole grain bread is. I loved this yarn so much that I was asked by several people to kindly refrain from asking people to squeeze it. (I forgot that not all non-knitters think it’s fun to play with balls of yarn, although we all agree that asking people if they would like to squeeze your balls is always funny, and is only compounded when they say things like “wow, those balls are softer than I thought they would be” or heaven forbid “bigger”.)

I loved this yarn so much that I actually thought of ordering more as soon as I finished, which cracked me up a bit because the point of this scarf was stash busting, not test driving, and if knitting two skeins lands you ten more you’re sort of defeating the purpose… you know?


Marr Haven scarf. 1.5 skeins of Marr Haven Worsted Weight yarn in Medium Grey and Natural. 6mm needles. 28 stitches in 2×2 rib, slipping the first stitch of every row.

When that was done I cast on for a vest, but more about that tomorrow. Tuesdays are for spinning.

(See how everything falls into place when I’m home?)

PS. While I was in Jacksonville I met a knitter named Renee doing her thesis on knitting. (I bet some of you who were there remember her.) She needs volunteers to fill in her survey so that she can validate her theories. If you have a minute, can I ask you to help her out here? It’s interesting work, and good for all of us.

208 thoughts on “Oatmeal On a Cold Morning

  1. Swell. First time ever I’m the No. 1 poster and it’s about raisins. I have such an exciting life. Guess I’d better go knit something quick.

  2. Lovely warm scarf… could do with one like that here, getting cold, but not as cold as it gets in Toronto I think.
    I’m not sure about raisins either, depends what they are eaten with. Prefer cinnamon & honey & walnuts with porridge.

  3. Rasins – i can take ’em or leave ’em. The Thornbirds on the other hand – it’s like a religious experience (no pun intended). What ever happened to the “mini-series” anyway? Now we have “must see tv”, & “appointment television” – I miss the “don’t bother me for a week – I’ve got to see this” (no DVR, or watching on the computer) I miss real tv!!

  4. I love to read you daily. You are right soft balls are a no no. Please include your spinning tails on Tuesdays. I would love to get pointers on spinning from you.

  5. It’s definitely cold today, and up here (north of you in Toronto) it is, gasp, flurrying…… Good time for a new scarf, though I already have two on the needles.

  6. I made a scarf just like that for my first boyfriend! Only it took me 3 months working on and off and was my first usable project. It was also six feet long. But of course we broke up and I never saw it again. Funny how these things work really…

  7. Yeah, after 30 years I’m still not real sure about raisins, either. I know I don’t like them plain, but I do like them in Raisin Bran, not in cookies, though. I was always a pariah in elementary school, though, because I loved (and do still love) prunes.
    Will be going to Netflix and requesting the Thorn Birds now. Thanks for the recommendation.

  8. It’s nice to hear your relaxing at home for a bit. That is the perfect Canadian cold weather scarf for wrapping around the neck. I keep knitting scarves that are either too squishy or too wide and stiff. Thanks for the yarn link.

  9. Hey, Laura Pyle! That’s your gift-basket yarn she’s talking about!!! The Marr Haven folks will be glad, too, no doubt, but Laura moved heaven and earth to get the hotel to have that basket waiting in Stephanie’s room, and considering the trouble Stephanie had getting herself in (She pitched a Canadian tantrum. Honest. When the idiot clerk told her for the third time, after four hour’s wait and multiple phone calls to the publisher, that the fax hadn’t arrived, Stephanie said — brace yourselves — ready? — Stephanie said…
    “Would you look again, please?”
    I know, I know. Right up there with “Aw, come ON!)
    But Laura? Look. Worth it.

  10. whoa.. i’m doing my thesis on knitting and technology in the knitting community. going to have to get in touch with her!

  11. I love, love, love that scarf! It looks so snuggly and warm, plus the colour is perfect for a scarf too! I’m with you on raisins, I’m 40 too and still not sure about them … and if we’re not sure now, I don’t think we’ll ever be πŸ˜‰

  12. I had a weekend to myself a few weeks ago when The Boyfriend was out of town and I spent it knitting and watching The Thorn Birds.
    Father Ralph is such a wonderfully bad priest!

  13. (I once made my 14 year old laugh for hours by asking her to ‘spin my balls’.)
    Anyway–Sometimes simple, hearty, and good for you is EXACTLY what you want. I want to come squish your scarf, Steph–it’s that good.
    (And raisins are good in oatmeal cookies…other than that, I”m sort of on the fance about them myself.)

  14. I’m not keen on raisins in porridge, but I’m a Scot and only salt will do for us diehards… my partner on the other hand is Canadian and *has* to have raisins on his…

  15. Raisins, yes, but you MUST put them in with the oatmeal while it’s cooking so they will be plump. Milk- NO! That’s what turns the oatmeal cold and gluey. Of course, you also have to use at least the 5-minute kind of oatmeal, rather than “quick” (one-minute) or instant, to avoid that gloppy texture. Best to go a teaspoon low on the amount of water you use to boil the oatmeal, again for improved texture. Dark brown sugar is best; let it melt into the oatmeal, then stir before eating.
    Oatmeal lecture over, I will now resume reading your post.

  16. I seriously hope Renee is very good with processing data or has Rachel H’s phone number for help.
    Let the deluge begin!
    PS that scarf looks so soft and squishy, it’s everything I can not to cast on.

  17. Oh, are you looking forward to the upcoming “Australia” movie with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman? If you like sweeping romance and wide-open spaces, this could be a must-see.

  18. Dude. It’s snowing. In NJ. In October. Must…knit…socks….
    Oatmeal for lunch sounds yummy warm and filling. Definitely with raisins. What would oatmeal cookies be without them?

  19. In my world, Father De Bricasarrt is forever young, nubile, and madly in love with ME. Great yarn, love the crunchy look…

  20. Brown sugar and dried cranberries, cooked along with the oatmeal. I wonder how many oatmeal comments you’ll be getting?
    Only 57 days to Christmas! (sorry, couldn’t resist…).

  21. I’m sure how I feel about raisins. I don’t like them. Why do people insist on ruining rice pudding by putting raisins in it.
    Love the scarf. It looks nice and warm and soft, something I could use right now. We (Massena, NY) have a winter storm advisory in effect until tomorrow morning. I want to start sobbing-it seems a little early for such things.
    I hope you are feeling better. Sometime knit 2 purl 2 is just what we need to do to help us get through the day.

  22. Love the colors on the scarf! I saw the first picture and immediately was interested in squishing it. And oatmeal! This morning was so gray and foggy and chilly that oatmeal for breakfast (with some tea), calling in sick, and a 2×2 ribbed scarf seems like the perfect way to spend the day.

  23. thanks for the link to Renee’s survey.
    It is even cold in Florida today and we have a freeze warning on for tonight in Northern Florida and south Georgia! I’m inspired to knit a wool hat asap!

  24. I just took the survey, rather thought-provoking and fun at the same time. I love the scarf – I am knitting a little baby sweater right now, but it is threatening to SNOW outside and it’s more of a knit-a-woolly-scarf kind of day. So…. oh, I don’t do raisins. They are okay alone once in a while, but I personally don’t care for them -in- things. Like oatmeal cookies – no raisins! Anyway. I’m glad you are having some time to slow down, relax, and get your life back in order. And maybe this scarf is a stash-equalizer rather than diminisher; if you buy more of this and don’t put it in your stash, then it’s okay, right??

  25. Not raisins! Dried cherries or dried apricots (and steel cut oats…the quick cooking variety). Plus honey, not sugar.
    I’m often easily amused…I love simple knits. I must admit, though, that the very simple cable wrap I’m making for my mother is driving me nuts…on the other hand, it’s Mindless Knitting, which can be a good thing.

  26. Okay:
    raisins on oatmeal – Nope. Brown sugar, or maple syrup, and milk. My MIL puts salt on hers. Just salt. Ick.
    the scarf – lovely stuff. Must stay away from ordering some, though…
    Survey – done. Pretty interesting stuff – I hope it heps Renee.

  27. Not sure about raisins? Try blueberries (or raspberries) seriously – you would not believe how heavenly yummy fresh berries in hot oatmeal (with a generous dash of cinnamon) taste. I decided to try it one day when I was having oatmeal for dinner (one of the perks of being retired with no children to please) & wanted to make it a bit more filling. I have now converted my grandchildren. That yarn looks cushy – just the photos make me want to squeeze it. You would love my granddaughter’s (she’ll be 2 in a few weeks) appreciation of squishy balls of yarn – she just gets this gleeful look on her face & stands there just squeezing away.

  28. Love the scarf, love raisins, hate oatmeal (wish I did like it), did the survey. I’m so happy you get to say your book was on the NY Times bestseller list!

  29. Raisins in oatmeal – yes. And since I’m diving headlong into middle age I have recently started eating Red River cereal – adding cranberries to it too. But no brown sugar – I add honey.
    Is it just me or does that wool look like it would have made an awesome sweater?

  30. Scarf if lovely — but I’m the same age as you and remember the Thorns Birds — love Richard Chamberlain and Rachel whatshername… nothing better to watch if you’re just going to sit on the sofa, knit and watch TV!

  31. Did the survey. Don’t do raisins, instead add maple syrup or honey and blueberries to oatmeal.
    The scarf is lovely — and appropriate for today. Here in Philly (north of the city) we have an inch of snow on the ground and whiteout conditions on the road. Makes me want to go knit.

  32. I’ve been trying to convince the non-knitters/spinners in my life about the rightness of yarn smelling a little bit sheepy. Any tips would be appreciated.
    The scarf looks super-duper snuggly!

  33. I hope Renee has success with the survey…I just completed it and I would love to find out what the results are or how she uses the info. Will you keep us posted on her progress?

  34. I am decidedly against raisins. I love love love the ThornBirds – one of the best miniseries ever!
    Yay for squishy scarves!

  35. I think currants might be the answer. I make awesome oatmeal (IIDSSM) with steel cut oats, whole cinnamon, currants and banana. Doesn’t need sugar. So good, and so not-gluey, that you can make a big pot at the beginning of the week, and have it for breakfast with your almost-three-year-old for several mornings in a row, heated up in the microwave. And your toddler wakes up every morning saying “we have oatmeal?”

  36. Raisin alternatives: dried cranberries, chopped dried apricots (with walnuts), or our fav–cut up pear with ginger. Seriously–try this as an alternative to the more obvious cinnamon…you can get us talking about ANYTHING, can’t you, Stephanie?? Oh, the power–good that you have not started (noticeably) abusing it yet! =)

  37. That yarn sounds — and looks — like the yarn I just bought from Bartlett Yarns of Harmony, Maine. It smells nice and sheepy and is rustic and springy, and I think i’m in love. It’s funny: the longer i knit, the more I’m attracted to rustic yarns that are minimally processed. Great stuff.

  38. I’m with Gretchen — put the raisins in the pot to cook with the oatmeal. Snipped dried apricots are nice, too. I put some soy milk on mine — but I like my porridge on the thick side. And maple syrup is nice, too. Oooh, and some cardamom…and maybe a few slivered almonds…
    The scarf looks wonderfully snuggly. Enjoy it. πŸ™‚
    And I’m going to follow Thumper’s advice, re: The Thorn Birds.

  39. Ha, the Thorn Birds! I’m proud to say that I own the DVD set! I grew up with it – my mother loves it – and I was just thinking about re-watching it. Don’t have time to re-read it right now.
    Yes. That’s what I’ll do. Thanks, Stephanie, you make my Tuesday night!

  40. I love that scarf. I love your description of the yarn even more. Makes me want to get some! As far as oatmeal, when I lived in Scotland I learned to love it with cream and salt. Mmmm.

  41. i watched the thorn birds for the first time in its entirety a couple of weeks ago (i’d seen bits and pieces before.) i think i cried for 3 days.
    nice yarn…. i’m a sucker for grey.

  42. Hi-
    I just wanted to thank you for the opportunity to take that survey. Lately I have had some health issues that are affecting not only my ability to knit, but also my ability to make a living. I keep looking at my “collection” thinking how much I have spent- and wondering how I’m going to pay for the next doctor appointment. Will the doctor take yarn?
    Anyway, the survey helped me remember why I knit. That it is a wonderful past time, that has helped me through some life horrendousness, and that my life is made better for it. It was kudos, positive affirmation, a pat on the back type of feeling.
    And the scarf is lovely- I think I will cast on some stashed Noro wool, silk and cashmere for my ex-boss who deserves a medal for my health related slack that she is picking up.

  43. Raisins in oatmeal’s a 50/50 thing for me. It has to be one of those cold, wet, dreary mornings in which nothing else will do. Milk is oft added, but along side with butter, sugar, and [very rarely] a dollop of chunky strawberry jam.
    Love the scarf. So nice and fluffy.
    And, lets be honest here, I have two balls of vivid colors. *snickers*

  44. Well I am sure Rachel will have a large enough sample size now. Survey done. Oatmeal would have been very good this morning…why didn’t I think of it?!

  45. Oatmeal: with dried cranberries and apricots is the way I’ve been doing it. And the steel-cut oats; I’ve gotten so I prefer them.
    Survey: glad to help. I hope we get to see the results.

  46. Loving the scarf! Sometimes something simple and wholesome is all you want and is far more satisfying than all the fancy-schmancy stuff. I’m currently doing your One-Row Scarf pattern on some of my handspun and am more in love with it every row. As to raisins–love ’em. I throw ’em in my oatmeal along with mixed nuts, shredded coconut, maple syrup (the real thing) and anything else I’ve got in the cupboard. Sometimes I put in so many add-ins I can’t taste the oatmeal itself! So what’s your position on raisins in rice pudding?

  47. I’ll be 40 next month and know EXACTLY where I stand on the raisin issue- they’re gross. And they look like sheep poo. Which I suppose could be considered a redeeming quality if one likes sheep a great deal and does not mind sheep poo, or something that looks like it, staring up at one from one’s morning bowl of oatmeal. The thought of a bowl of oatmeal, with or without raisins, gives me the shudders all by itself. The only way it could be made worse would be to add bananas. Bananas are all that is evil on this planet. And they smell funky.
    Raisins (and grapes), unlike sheep poo, can cause acute kidney failure in dogs. I have celiac disease and 4 large greyhounds. Consequently, I have neither oatmeal or raisins in my cupboard. But cheers to you if you like them!
    I very much like the look of the new scarf and the yarn sounds wonderful. Perhaps I’ll use the money I save by skipping the raisins/oatmeal/banana aisles to buy some snuggly yarn for a similar scarf!
    So glad you survived the tour!

  48. Young Richard Chamberlain. Sigh. Am I the only one who remembers him as Doctor Kildaire? Am I seriously dating myself?
    Raisins in oatmeal. While I don’t go out of my way to put them in, I don’t take them out (usually Quaker Instant). I do like some brown sugar on top, but don’t require it.

  49. Have you turned the heat on yet? I’m in Ky and I’m frrreeeeeezzzinggggggg!Mine has been on 70 degrees for the last week.:/

  50. That scarf is brill, I made one nearly the same for my husband years ago. Hes not a big kint fan, but every time it get a little bit cold, he pulls the scarf out and wraps it around his neck. Thats the best part of giving knitted gifts. Dawn999. PS Oatmeal with honey is yum.

  51. Raisins – I think they look more like rabbit poo than sheep poo, but regardless they don’t belong in oatmeal! Best way to eat raisins is when they are covered in chocolate. Oatmeal is best with brown sugar. Thanks for the survey and the yarn link.

  52. Craisens! Craisens are the answer. You want dried sweetende cranberries in your oatmeal. And cranberries are also healthy. P.S. Love the scarf.

  53. I would squeeze your scarf or balls… I make my friends hug rolls of wool, is that wrong?
    Good survey, the results will be interesting!!!

  54. Your oatmeal comments are making me hungry. Me, I prefer apples/cinnamon/brown sugar kind of thing. Raisins I can take or leave.
    And I know what you mean about the 2 x 2 rib. That’s my recipe for the hats I do for charity and for my boys. I have 2 on the needles right now for when my other things get too hectic and I just need to vege.
    The scarf looks really squishy, and thanks for the survey link; it was quite interesting to think about my responses to the questions.

  55. The only thing better than that miniseries is that book. I’m on my 3rd copy because the pages and binding keep disintegrating from being read.

  56. I throw in sliced apples while the oatmeal cooks. Yummy.
    I’m now having awkward remembrances of my pre-teen crush on Richard Chamberlain in the Thorn Birds. I may have to rent it, but I also think it will feel embarassing like (what I suspect it feels like) renting porn.
    Nice scarf. Perfect for today.

  57. I like dates in my oatmeal. If you want to be very classy, serve it with maple syrip instead of brown sugar. EXCELLENT!
    Excellent wool needs simple pattern. Lovely pairing.
    (I spent my coffee break looking at pitures of sheep and Angora goats to figure out if my favorite baa was a goat or not. I need to get a life!)

  58. Steel-cut oats with raisins (add the raisins when you put the water on to boil for nice, plump raisins – it doesn’t affect the end result), brown sugar, and cream or half-n-half. I am out of enough steel-cut oats right now, and feeling the pinch. Must get more tonight while I’m out….
    Do you use a wheel to spin? I’ve recently taken the drop spindle back up with a top whorl this time, but I’m finding it a bit difficult. My left hand won’t play nicely and draft like it did before.

  59. I love it when a project leaves you wanting more.
    That looks like one of the most comforting, fall-in-love-with-it yarns.
    Beautiful scarf.
    I’ve been getting into that sort of rustic look/feel with my knitting lately, too.

  60. Ixnay on the aisins-ray. My oatmeal is consumed with brown sugar and butter so it tastes like oatmeal cookies. MMMMmmmm. Lovely scarf. It looks toasty warm.

  61. LOVE the scarf!! It’s flurrying here today and it would feel S-O-O good. Raisins – only way to go in oatmeal!!! Love them, plus love them in warm bread pudding – used to make my kids gag, but they cheerfully pulled them out and ate it without.

  62. Ok, a thesis on knitting? Where do I sign up? The best question was definitely the one about what hobby I would take up if I could not knit. My initial response something was along the lines of “become a serial killer” but I toned it down in the interests of research.

  63. OMG. I’ve always suspected you and I were twins separated at birth, Stephanie, and now you’ve confirmed it by outing yourself as a Thorn Birds fan. I’m a bit shy about disclosing here in a public forum exactly how many times I’ve watched it, but let’s just say I know the dialogue of pretty much every scene by heart (“There’s one thing you’ve forgotten about your precious roses, Ralph…they’ve got nasty, hooky thorns!”)
    Love the scarf!

  64. I especially love raisins in my oatmeal when you add them before cooking, so they soften up a bit. Yum yum YUM.
    Maple syrup is also nice, instead of brown sugar. AND, you don’t need to add any butter if you cook the oatmeal in milk instead of water. It gets all nice and creamy, AND you’ve got one less glass of milk to get down for that day. Fantastic. (And no, I have no idea whether it works with soy/rice/almond/non-dairy milk.)

  65. That scarf reminds me of the iconic Canadian wool socks… you know, the one they make sock monkeys out of. All it needs is a thin red stripe at the beginning. πŸ™‚
    Have you turned on your central heating yet? I’m still holding out, but my family is none too happy with it. The snow expected tonight (in Ottawa) might just do me in.

  66. I could feel and smell the wool – wonderful descriptions! Raisins – who cares, but Thornbirds -ummmmmmmmmm!!

  67. Your blog is the best of the knitting blogs I’m following. Thank you! Love oatmeal. Husband hates raisins. Took the survey! Bought the yarn. Congratulations on getting on the NYTimes best seller list! Wow!!!

  68. Rams, didja see that? Steph said “Tuesdays are for spinning” all by herself, without any pokes or snarky remarks from anyone. Maybe she can hear our voices inside her head. Is that wrong?

  69. My oatmeal: long-cooking oats, raisins, dried cranberries or dried cherries, CINNAMON, brown sugar
    My scarf: just finished a mistake rib scarf in red wool for the Red Scarf Project; contemplating another one for my sister
    My weather: chilly in VA!

  70. Yummy scarf! Took the survey…thought it was funny that on questions like “are you married” and “do you have children” there were options of “don’t know”. Hmmm…maybe some people do knit too much if they can’t figure those out.

  71. The Thorn Birds is my all-time most favorite movie in the world. I read your blog everyday and love all that you show us; now I know that you also have excellent taste in movies. I have to go watch it again soon!

  72. The Thorn Birds is my all-time most favorite movie in the world. I read your blog everyday and love all that you show us; now I know that you also have excellent taste in movies. I have to go watch it again soon!

  73. The Thorn Birds – an all time favorite. Every time they do the funeral procession across the top of the hill, I lose it. It is also my favorite genre – the only kind of love that really works out is the kind that doesn’t work out. They stay in love forever because they never have to deal with the day to day trivial issues of living together.

  74. I have a technical question about the scarf – why slip the first stitch every other row? Thanks!
    BTW, a few raisin are OK in a cookie or trail mix, but otherwise I much prefer dried cranberries

  75. Best line ever about raisins: “they are like humiliated grapes” (Mary Stuart Masterson in Benny & Joon, to Johnny Depp, as they both pick raisins out of their rice pudding.)

  76. Oh god yes Marr Haven yarn. I make the om NOM NOM NOM noise just thinking about it. Squishy happy goodness, and of course now I want some. I shall resist!

  77. I never did like oatmeal, except in oatmeal raisin cookies. For hot cereal I like grits (with margarine and salt), but I haven’t had it in a while. I kind of got sick of it after eating it too often. I’ve been thinking about it again recently though, thinking of eating it again just once in a while.
    My current breakfast is a cinnamon raisin bagel. If I have time, I toast it and spread peanut butter on it. It’s good.

  78. The next time you are down in the Boston area hopefully there will be enough time to take you to Johnny D’s for breakfast. They have the best oatmeal in the greater Boston area hands down: never gluey, served with brown sugar and milk, and with really plump raisins. My husband doesn’t like raisins, but he likes this oatmeal.

  79. Totally off topic, but I know you like Chex Mix and today I tried Quaker Cheddar Snack Mix. It’s quite good. Give it a go if you can find it. If you have trouble let me know and I’ll ship some your way. πŸ™‚
    Love the scarf. It looks so warm and squishy.

  80. Fantastic scarf! I just frogged a scarf I was making my father for christmas as the yarn was crap….maybe I should rethink my approach as yours is fab.
    I’m so jealous you got to watch Thorn Birds. I actually have owned the entire mini-series on DVD since August and have yet to watch the entire first episode…such is the life when you’re chasing a toddler! Watch another episode and have a beer for me!

  81. Definitely not raisins. I have manuka honey with my porridge (it’s medicinal!)
    It’s suddenly turned very cold here, which has got me wondering whether you’ve turned your heat on yet! I caved and turned mine on last night. It’s off again now though.

  82. LOVELY scarf, Stephanie. I’ve never tried that yarn. Now I gotta (thanks ever so much). It isn’t like I ‘need’ any freaking more yarn. I have so damn much yarn I’ll never use it all up, not if I live to be 500 years old. However – I’m with on that raisin-thing. I was ambivalent as a kid – still am. I’m with Amy: gimme the craisins!
    FOR AMY: The reason the 1st stitch of each row is often slipped is to provide a smooth “chained” edge to the item you’re knitting. It makes it handy when you need to pick up stitches for a sock gusset, or when making up a garment – or just making a smooth, neat edge on a scarf πŸ™‚

  83. Lovely scarf and needed today for sure. Please explain what the heck “”mule spinning”” is. thank you

  84. I just started the Irish Hiking Scarf,and I feel the same way about it.. warm, cozy, touchabe. I might even keep this one for myself, I’ve knit several and gifted them away. Raisans… they have their place in the world, but NOT in chocolate chip cookies.

  85. This has nothing to do with your post (nice sturdy looking yarn by the way…) but I ran into Joe Flaherty in the lobby of the Cambridge Suites on Friday night and deeply regret I had neither a camera nor a sock in progress on me. He looked like he’d have been totally into holding a sock too, very nice fella. Though I might have blown it when I said “Hello! I know who you are but I can’t remember your name!” (that was the Alzheimers kicking in.) Fortunately he corrected me after I referred to him as “Count Floyd”.
    Ooooh, scaaary.

  86. Beautiful scarf. I think I can imagine how wonderful the yarn feels and I totally understand wanting to knit a perfect yarn forever.
    I’m a big proponent of dried cranberries in hot breakfast cereal (although for me it’s Cream of Wheat instead of oatmeal). Also delightful is to toss in some dried apples with the dried cranberries.

  87. I love Marr Haven πŸ™‚ I have a sweater’s worth in natural waiting for me to get up the nerve to use it!

  88. Raisins are a must and I am only 20 years old! πŸ™‚
    thanks for the link to the knitting survey.

  89. I think it’s hilarious that you mentioned the Thorn Birds. I rented it from Netflix and just stayed up all night last weekend watching it. I never saw it the first time it was on TV. I think I am about to go on a miniseries jag from Netflix…there are so many oldies but goodies.

  90. I knew we were kindred spirits – Thornbirds is my all time favorite mini-series. Oatmeal done in the crockpot overnight is lovely with goodies tossed in – try dried cranberries, walnuts, pecans, orange peel, especially golden raisins if you don’t like the darker ones. Brandy-plumped raisins are particularly decadent.
    Hope to find that nice Jacksonville yarn shop next week when I go to meet my soon-to-arrive granddaughter! I’m sorry to have missed your visit there.

  91. I could use that scarf AND the warm bowl of oatmeal right about now.It’s been snowing here all day and took me an hour and twenty minutes to get home from work.(It should only take me 30 minutes.)Hmmm…I have some oatmeal in the cabinet…and I have a scarf on needles right now…I think I’ll go have some and knit and watch it snow some more…

  92. My Canadian mother-in-law called it porridge, I called it oatmeal and always made it for her when she visited because she liked it.Like raisins but not in my oatmeal. I just want a little Splenda and either a dollop of butter(not oleo)or real cream.Probably why the oatmeal did not lower my cholesterol.

  93. My verdict isn’t in on raisins, of course I really haven’t gotten into the oatmeal yet. Here in central MA we seemed to have missed the snow, but my western MA neighbors may have gotten some? Along with my family in NY.
    Ribbing drives me batty after a while, however I am working quite well on a YO/K2T repeat that I am enjoying.

  94. One of the purposes of going through your stash is to become acquainted with different yarns. If you really LOOOOVE something, there is nothing wrong with buying more. Just don’t buy more of something that is only so-so. That way you can still achieve stash reduction.
    Raisins in everything except cookies. Imagine biting into a cookie, expecting a chocolate chip, and instead getting a raisin . . . .

  95. Balls – always receives gales of laughter. When I worked for a urologist he had a string of incremently increasing-sized pink plastic balls he kept in his drawer – they were testicular prostheses. I used to call them his worry beads – his wife chortled about that. (When a man needs a testicular prosthesis, they are always sure they want ‘big ones’ which unfortunately is not a good idea from a comfort point of view).
    Raisins aren’t your raison d’etre? Porridge (for absorbability), oat bran (for non-asborbability) with berries (blueberries or boysenberries for antioxidant input) microwaved with milk is my breakfast.
    Currently using a 100 gm sock wool ball for doing physio with my daughter on the deck – she is in plaster for recent leg surgery to help the effects of cerebral palsy. The ball of sock wool is nice and soft and squishy – but I find that even people at knitting group don’t get into smooshing yarn, there seems to be some reticience.
    “Vool” and then “Dirty Vool” were my neices’ first ‘words'(her mother is a spinner).

  96. “…Richard Chamberlain as Father Ralph De Bricassart and forbidden love and Meggie Cleary in the ashes of roses dress, and a rampaging wild boar, and thousands of sheep. What more could you ask for?” What more could you ask for?? Bryan Brown! Woof!

  97. Partway through that survey it dawned on me that “knitting” was supposed to be a “leisure activity.” I always forget that. I just always think of everything textile-related as not so much leisure (though I enjoy it all) as “similar to breathing.”

  98. Ah. It snowed here in Asheville, North Carolina today. Also, Richard Chamberlain in Dr. Kildare was actually the catalyst for my mother telling 10-year-old me the facts of life (an episode with an out-of-wedlock pregnancy.) Mom: “You DO know how that happens, don’t you?” Me: “Um well I know about periods but I don’t know the rest…”
    As for oatmeal, I think it isn’t so much what you dress it with as a) the salt and b) the texture: I like mine flaky, not slimy.

  99. I have a complicated relationship with raisins, I can eat them dry, but put them in something that will cause them to rehydrate, and I can’t cope.
    Thats a beautiful scarf.
    I have to remember about making people touch my yarn, for some reason, they think it feels the same each time I make them touch it, don’t they understand, its alpaca!!!

  100. What could be better?
    A 2-parter with Shogun for the next show and if you really want to max out on Richard Chamberlain add Centennial for topping on the TV cake. Now back to reading the rest of the post. Happy Knitting, Alice

  101. Just finished the survey… I loved the question about how many children do I have, and the option to answer, “don’t know.” πŸ™‚ There wasn’t a question for the knitters with kids to answer if their kids were also knitters, though, which could be interesting
    The scarf looks lovely. I would have happily squeezed the ball of yarn.

  102. 1) Raisins? No, I am sorry, that is just wrong. Cranberries are what you want.
    2) I LOVE that scarf – the colors, the rib, everything. I must go and cast one on immediately
    3)Took the survey – very interesting, I love surveys.
    4) It is almost November. You do know that IT is coming….

  103. I read the book some years ago and I liked it but I did not watch the serie. But I heard a lot of good comments about it.
    I hope you’re felling better!

  104. Now you’ve got me wondering, what do you do with your leftover little balls of extra yarn? I’ve never seen a project (that I can remember) where you use “scrap” yarn.
    Are you gifting the scarf for Christmas? Put it up and you’ve got one checked off your list.
    p.s. I like a spoon of crunchy peanut butter stirred in my oatmeal. Gets me through til lunchtime.
    Carolyn in NC, USA

  105. I have to agree with Gretchen, cook the raisins with the oatmeal. Nice, plump wonderful raisins in steaming hot oatmeal. No better way to start a winter day, with toast with real butter.

  106. If you have the ability to contact Rachel the thesis writer, can you tell her that Survey Monkey is stuck on the “major life events” page and won’t advance forward? I had to exit the survey and couldn’t complete it.
    I couldn’t find an email/contact for her. I also dont’ know if this is just a right now thing or a more permanent issue with the survey.
    I hope her data collection is okay.
    best wishes to her.

  107. No raising in oatmeal…now cranberries, currants, or apricots, all good choices. And I REALLY like Carolyn in NC’s idea of a spoonful of cruchy p-nut butter! And yes it snowed today in NC, the earliest I can remember and I’m older than dirt. So to celebrate I knit socks all day. And on the survey question about what I would do if I couldn’t knit, I said “I refuse to contemplate a world in which I could not knit”

  108. No raisins ever… in cookies, at the very least.
    I love Marr Haven yarn too — not that I want to enable, but I did a log cabin in the yarn, and it’s lovely… really lovely… ;^)

  109. Love the scarf and love raisins in my oatmeal. Ever since I discovered steel cut oats, I have craved oatmeal and raisins every fall and winter…of course with cinnamon. Gotta go cook some up…………..

  110. No raisins in oatmeal – I like brown sugar best. Love raisins in rice pudding, granola and my dad loves a sour cream raisin pie at Thanksgiving.
    Love the scarf and will check the stash tomorrow for suitable candidates. Isn’t yarn all about how it feels? I wonder sometimes wonder if the lys should have handwashing stations at the door.
    I completed the survey. Glad to help out in a small way!

  111. The Thorn Birds. Oh my, my – I love The Thorn Birds. Haven’t seen it in 10-15 years or so – but still remember it vividly. It’s on my dream list of “one weekend I will look myself inside for 2 days with yarn, needles and 12 hours of The Thorn Birds and just ESCAPE”
    Ever since I saw it the first time in the 1980’s I swore I’d name my first son DANE – it’s still my plan.
    Love the scarf.
    I am knitting my first sock this week thanks to you. Love your site…

  112. Lovely scarf. And you’re right about the scarf. Perfectly oatmealy. (In the best of ways.)
    No raisins.
    Dried Cranberries. Or Apricots. Or green apples. With perhaps a dash of cinamon or vanilla. On steel cut oats. Yum!

  113. Stephanie, that scarf looks wonderful. Very nice for this time of year.
    Also nice this time of year? Mittens. Any chance you could someday write out your “recipe” you mentioned for mittens a few posts back? I’ve always loved your basic description of how to make a sock in “Knitting Rules” and it’d be awesome to have something similar for mittens.

  114. I used to have oatmeal with raisins and a dash of freshly ground nutmeg, now I usually fix it with a dash of sea salt and a spoonful of honey. Either way it makes a great breakfast for chilly mornings. My dogs like it too. Love the scarf. I prefer the natural colors myself. We are fortunate here in West Michigan to have the Marrs and many other local sheep breeders who provide us with so many fine wool products to choose from. I know, my house is overflowing with wool!

  115. Oh snap, it comes in sport weight. I may have to check it out.
    Personally, I like raisins in things, to break up the consistent texture. Raisins on their own not so much. But there are always alternatives to experiment with.
    Also, Kalamazoo is a real place? I feel bad for not knowing that. It sounds like a Dr. Seuss place. I want to visit.

  116. That scarf looks fantastically squishy and warm !
    It’s not quite cold enough here yet for oatmeal (Central California).
    Soon, though, it is going to rain this weekend.

  117. Hi! I filled in the questionnaire (hard word, did I get it OK?) but when I wanted to ask RenΓ©e a question my letter bounced from her given emailaddress. Does she exist?
    Bryan Brown yes, Mr Chamberlain no, except for a very old one, Portrait of a Lady.
    Oatmeal should have a few hazelnuts and almonds, one spoon a maple syrup, two spoons of nice whiskey and some milk, not the one lowest in fat.But that is for evenings, definitely not mornings.

  118. Hello,
    I heard you were coming to Jacksonville when we were visiting in October from Upstate NY (very UP).
    I was sorry to have missed you. I visited Webs and heard you were there, sorry to have missed you……someday! But I laughed with you all the way to Buffalo one day (I listened to your book on CD).
    Keep up the good work,
    Cindy (Cindy on Ravelry as well)

  119. Ah, The Thornbirds. I’m especially fond of the series, since it was the only decent thing to watch the entire time I was in labor and recovery back in 1983. The nurses would come in and sit on the edge of my bed and watch it with me for awhile.

  120. Once someone served tacos with raisens in their meat. Simply stated, I was gobsmacked. She went on to serve raisens in rice at another meal. She released me from my raisen reservations. They are a must in my oatmeal with cinnamon.

  121. I’m pick about raisins. They have to be just right. Not hard and crusty–I don’t care for currents that are all hard and crusty either. But dried cherries on my oatmeal–yummmmmmm. Heaven.

  122. Lovely scarf, I wouldn’t mind being asked to squeeze it. But hold the raisins.
    What happened with Furnace Wars this year? Did your absence from home prompt and early defeat?

  123. How about porridge with some roasted almond flakes? You can roast them while the porridge is cooking. Lovely!

  124. That’s it! That’s the scarf I need to make for my XFIL for Christmas. It is time to go stash diving!
    After I put some dried cherries in with my raisin bran, that is (I’m out of oatmeal).

  125. The Knitting Survey was fun. I don’t think I post comments here often, but I read a lot, and love your books.
    …trying not to be stalker-ish, but I have to share…
    Last night I dreamed I met you at a Crayola festival. Not really sure why you were there, and I was apparently the only knitter in the room, because I was the only one looking to you for an autograph. You were very polite and friendly to me even though I was a gushing fan-mess. It was actually the best dream I’ve had in a week or so. Thanks for putting in the appearance – sorry to keep you up though.

  126. Thanks for letting us know about the knitting survey. I completed it but had a suggestion about one of the questions so tried to contact Renee at the address given at the end of the survey. Alas, my system just bounced back the message as “undeliverable” and I can’t get back into the survey to check Renee’s e-mail address again. Do you have it? Many thanks.

  127. That scarf looks rad. I have a hankering to actually finishing something (anything!) that I have on the needles right now. A three day scarf would totally do the trick.
    And also: raisins = no. craisins = yes!

  128. If you aren’t feeling the raisins, try dried cherries. Very yummy!
    I love the scarf – very pretty and I’m sure very soft! πŸ™‚

  129. Obviously the only way to eat porridge is to cook it very very slowly (preferably overnight)in milk and then serve it with lots of cream and a slight sprinkling of sugar. Never boiled! Definitely no raisins!
    This is the way my old Dad used to cook it for me because I refused to eat it with salt.
    And it snowed in London last night, just so you don’t feel isolated out there.

  130. Love the scarf – Love raisins in my oatmeal – Love, Love, Love, Love The Thorn Birds – I read the book when I was in 8th grade and still think it’s the most romantic thing ever…

  131. Survey completed for Renee. Thanks for the reminder, Steph; I’d forgotten to go searching for her.
    The scarf’s great! πŸ™‚
    BTW, I’m glad you finally told the rest of your readers about the Times listing. Those of us that you previewed the announcement to in Jax are really proud of you.

  132. As a good Scot I can only contenance salt in my porridge but I also have to admit I never eat it anymore(probably ‘cos I ate it every winter’s morning as a child). It’s a beautiful scarf and leads me to thoughts of North Ronaldsay Yarn I have in the stash. We will not discuss the Thorn Birds.

  133. Love the scarf,raisins in oatmeat(yuck)no,brownsugar and maple syrup Yes! The warm weather has left Jacksonville too now! I finished the survey for Renee!

  134. Oh, I haven’t seen “The Thornbirds” in ages! And raisins belong in raisin toast, not oatmeal, not rice pudding. Completed knitting survey. Lovely scarf, looks very similar to one I knit my husband a couple of years ago using some of my first handspun Shetland. And congrats on the Best Seller List! Awesome!

  135. Love your blog, have your books on my wish list, can do raisins in the oatmeal or not-do I have any raisins in the house??? The scarf looks great although I never wear one–feel like I am being strangled…love knowing your weather up ther..helps me remember it is Not that cold here and try to whine less…not a winter person, cold and draft old house, thank God for all the people back centuries ago who figured out what to do with animal hair and sticks!!! We should build a monument to the first knitter–and to those who keep alive the skill and craft…Maggie in central IL, usa

  136. Read Thorn Birds twice and enjoyed the miniseries but was disappointed they didn’t film it in Australia. I make my oatmeal porridge overnight in the crock pot with all different kinds of dried fruits (I vary them), wheat germ, and flax seeds. It’s really healthy and yummy. Just got back from 5 weeks in Ireland and now I can eat porridge without raisins. I don’t know how they make it so tasty in Ireland and Scotland.

  137. Love my 5 minute oatmeal with milk and dark brown sugar — that tan colored stuff. But I also cook my oatmeal in milk instead of water. No other additions thank you.
    I thought raisins were dead flies when I was a kid — not taking any chances. However, being I’m in Michigan a dried cherry or two is good — but not in my oatmeal.
    And you would think I’d own some of that lovely Marr Haven yarn since I only live about an hour away. Where’s my credit card. . . . I need to correct that situation. I was just in Otsego last Saturday — like about three spits from Marr Haven. Fine, just fine.

  138. I’m totally Pro-Raisin, also I love a good neck warmer. It makes me want to go knit winter woolies.
    Also I loved Ram’s comment about the “Canadian Tantrum” I’ve had a few myself.

  139. Frozen cranberries in my oatmeal / porriage / Red River Cereal are wonderful and beat raisins hands down! Scarf on, Sister! Got a few on the needles myself, for Xmas gifts

  140. Hello all. I’m Renee with the Survey. A huge thank you to all the respondents. My email address, should anyone have any future questions, is rphil001@fiu.edu
    I currently have a 94% completion rate on the surveys, so the “stuckness” that a few people have noted in the comments has not been a consistent problem, but I appreciate knowing that it has been an issue. Again, many thanks!

  141. I have been reading your blog daily for the last 2 months and enjoy it very much!
    Today, where I am in sunny Florida, it is a frigid 65 degrees at noon.
    I have to hurry and knit now.

  142. Steph, i took the survey and tried to send her an email and i keep getting a message that the email address she has posted is invalid… can’t send the email…. ???????????
    and i LOVE the scarf…sometimes simplicity is bliss.. you know?

  143. I love my oatmeal with dates, no wrinkled raisins!
    Love the scarf, it is almost cold enough here in southwestern florida for one this morning (48 cool degrees).

  144. Hmmmn. This soon after Rhinebeck and I had to talk myself down from immediately ordering some of that yarn before I’d even finished reading this post. That’s kind of scary.

  145. Thanks for introducing me to Marr Haven yarn. My folks live about 25 miles away from them (I left home ages ago) and we spend a week or so on Lake Michigan every summer. My husband hates the beach so now we have a new activity for him – visiting Marr Haven. I know he’ll be thrilled.

  146. Darcy- again, yep, it’s real! Not nearly as exciting as one might hope it would be with a name like Kalamazoo, but hey, Rams and I are here, it can’t be all bad πŸ™‚

  147. If you only used 1.5 balls that means you have left over yarn. Right? I think that is an excellent reason to get more yarn. Especially since is was so nice.
    Filled out the survey. Thanks for the info.

  148. Dried cranberries. Much better than raisins.
    Did the survey. I didn’t realize how boring I am. Thanks for the moment of abject clarity.

  149. Hello!
    I am contacting you because I am working with the authors of a book about blogs, and I’d like to request permission to use a photograph of yours in this book. Please contact me at hannah@wefeelfine.org, and I’d be happy to give you more information about the project. Please paste a link to your blog in the subject field. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

  150. I have actually been to Mar-Haven since I live near there. They are really nice people and their yarn is so homey and rustic that it begs to be knit into something warm for a Man. Manly yarn,but I like it too!!! They have great slipper liners made of fluffy wool that my husband loves.

  151. Stephanie, I’m a 13 year old with a knitterly problem. I just started knitting about a week ago and I am making some armwarmers for my sister. I’m using the magic loop system and I wanted to include some holes for my sister’s thumbs to go through. The only thing is … I have no idea whatsoever how to do this. If you would give me your advice I would be eternally grateful.
    Moira Wright

  152. I *totally* had oatmeal for supper last night!! I dreamed about it all day after reading this post for the first time yesterday. You are a very bad influence, but in the best possible way!! :o)
    And mine was raisin-free, it just had a generous sprinkle of brown sugar. Raisins are okay, but I wouldn’t ruin a special thing like oatmeal with them.

  153. “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” that raisins are good, and even better with oatmeal.
    Love the scarf

  154. on your post of Oct. 28th you said your scarf takes 1.5 skeins of marr have worsted weight, was that of each color?
    thank you

  155. I love oatmeal too – at any time of the day. It’s often the best supper at 9;30 at night after working late. I am bad tho’ because I put brown sugar and cream on mine. But no raisins. No those go with rice pudding.
    BTW, I am casting on for another of your scarves. They are perfect for men and so easy to knit. Thanks.

  156. *tips the hat* Had a Ravelry-er share this post.
    I love raisins, I love oatmeal, I love Kalamazoo… Simply said, I feel that I must knit this scarf. The stars are aligned and… bah! Kismet, karma, whatever; it’s gorgeous and you used K’zoo yarn; good enough for me!!
    I completely the survey as well. Being a newer knitter, I hope I didn’t skew things too much!

  157. Raisins…black ones by themselves only or chocolate covered. Golden raisins better in stuff, but not oatmeal. Oatmeal is for milk & maple syrup or brown sugar, maybe a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg.
    Now then, off to bed & will consider having oatmeal for breakfast tomorrow. Cold, windy & flurries is a good reason for a hot breakfast.

  158. Love the scarf!! Love “Thorn Birds”… just finished watching it myself. Wanna go to Matlock Island for a vacation if there is such a place. Oatmeal? With raisins cooked in the oatmeal to plump them up. Milk. Craisins even. And chopped macadamia nuts for a local Hawaiian touch. Or dried mango or papaya. Brown sugar.
    You can take the girl outa Hawai’i, but you can’t take Hawai’i outa the girl!

  159. Oh, that’s funny. I made oatmeal this morning, and hadn’t really realized why until I saw this entry in your blog again. What do they call that, a *something* suggestion?
    You naughty Harlot. (Congrats on winning the furnace wars.)

  160. Marr Haven is in the county in which I grew up! Allegan County, Michigan. Small towns. Cows and corn. A great place to live until you’re about 13 or so (when you get bored and restless). It’s a more peaceful and less complicated place than where I am now. Thanks for the nostalgia!

  161. I’m with you about those raisins. Sometimes I think they taste good, but other times they remind me of dried up bugs. So generally I avoid them. Oh.. and the Thornbirds is next on my Netflix queue. Can’t wait to get it.. I’ve read the book but never watched it. Perfect watching for while I’m reskeining miles of yarn I think.

  162. I absolutely love the scarf, though I am with you on the raisins. πŸ™‚ Can I ask, though… when you say “1.5 skeins of Marr Haven Worsted Weight yarn in Medium Grey and Natural” do you mean that you used 1.5 skeins of each?

  163. No raisins cooked in food, and that includes sprinkled on top of hot oatmeal, for me! Texture problem.
    I spent my teens listening to my twin pine away for an ashes of roses dress – ugh! Loved RC, I might have to rent that for some nostalgic fun. Never ever heard anyone else talk about that ashes of roses color outside my family!!

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