Still Singles

I could show you a picture but it would look almost exactly the same, so let’s skip it. Imagine that just under this text is a brilliant picture of beautiful singles with just a little more done than yesterday.


There were lots of wonderful questions yesterday, so let’s do a little Q&A.. yes?

Karin asks two questions:

Where’s the skirt? How’s the foot??

Very direct and efficient. Skirt is upstairs, waiting for me to buy and sew a slip in it… also it needs to be reblocked because I have moments of stupidity that are virtually unparalleled in the fibre world. The foot’s ok. It feels great, but I still have another few days of brace/cane to do before I can get it re-imaged (that means another x-ray, although every time I hear “re-imaged” it goes to the same place as the word “re-imagined” which I like better.) I am hoping to resume walking next week when I am re-imagined. I think it would be best for everyone involved.

Laura is somewhat perturbed.

Only 750 yards of yarn? That makes you an XXS. I knew you were petite, but that is just downright *annoyingly* petite for a tall, no-longer-svelte knitter like me! No wonder you make so many sweaters; it only takes you half the yarn I need.

You betcha. Tiny knitters have it made in the shade – since not only does it take less time to knit small sweaters, it takes less yarn to buy for them too. I’m perpetually grateful (and working to stay a size small) so that I can continue to live on the knitters equivalent of easy street. For the record though, I’m not really as small as all that. I’m 155cm tall (that’s about 5’1″) and my chest measures 37 inches with my bra on. I’m choosing a smaller size than I usually would for the February Lady sweater because I hear it runs large and that’s what I should do.

Cathy wonders:

When you have skeins of yarn with no label and forget what size you bought the yarn for, how do you measure the yarn? do you lay it out on the floor and all over the house, or is there a better way? I’m not crazy, I just got carried away at the Sewing Festival a year ago and my memory is not what it used to be. It’s not the same yarn as in the pattern, so weighing it won’t help.

Weighing always helps. If you don’t know what yarn it is and are wondering the yardage, get a tape measure and a wee scale that handles tiny amounts. (If you don’t have one, you can go to the post office. They are usually really helpful.) Using the tape measure, count out 10m (or yards). Cut the yarn. Weigh it. Let’s say (using made up numbers) that 10m weighed 5g. We want to know what one metre weighs so we divide that 5g by 10. 5 (total for 10m) divided by 10 (the number of metres) = .5g. Now weigh the whole ball. Let’s say it’s 100g. We know that .5 is one metre, so 100 grams (100 divided by .5g) is 200 metres. Get it?

(Thank you grade 10 math. I am sorry I mocked you.)

Patti wonders:

I know you are really busy, but is the cowl pattern coming out soon???

Ask the test knitters. Actually, ask this one, because I happen to know her kid’s on his third snow day and she’s a woman on the edge. It might be fun to see what happens if she snaps.

Nancy ponders my mad toilet roll skills,

When you have time, could you share how you do that with the squished toilet paper tubes? Do you put them on my ball-winder as is, and squish them later? Do they stay put or do you have to tape them on? Or do you need to squish them first?

Any tricks to get them to feed smoothly from a lazy kate when plying?

I wind the singles (after they have rested and the twist has gone to sleep) onto the ball winder, then crunch the toilet paper roll so that it fits into the hollow on the top of the shaft of the winder, and slide the singles up onto them. Works great. When it’s time to ply, I don’t bother putting them on a Kate (ask me why I don’t call it a “lazy” kate sometime. I dare you. It’s rant #56B.) If you wait a while (a few days) before plying, the twist is no longer active and a loosely wound ball of singles won’t collapse on itself and complicate plying. (Mostly.)

Alicia queries:

What’s a green bin?

The details on the green bins are here, but mostly, it’s a compost service provided by the city of Toronto. Organic waste of all types (diapers, meat, veggies, cooked leftovers, paper plates and towels etc) are picked up by the city once a week to reduce garbage. A small pail with a lid stores it in the kitchen, and that’s empties into a larger bin on wheels outside. That bin goes curbside. The green bin, together with our cities extensive recycling program mean that this family only makes a tiny bit of garbage, which is picked up once every two weeks.

Lauren says:

I’m sure your FLS will turn out better than mine … it’s hitting the frogpond this weekend hopefully, and then the two of us have a date with a coffee dyebath. Sounds romantic, yes?

Yes, it does. Isn’t that normal?

Alicia wonders about fibre becoming yarn.

How much fiber did you start with? I just started spinning and have no idea what kind of yardage to expect from 4, 8, 12oz of fiber… so far, my couch is covered in 100-200m skeins, ready to make… hats? Trim for other projects? One skein wonders, if I’m lucky. How much fiber does it roughly take to spin enough for a sweater?

Generally speaking, it takes what it takes if you’re buying yarn, only measured by weight rather than yardage. If I would usually buy 5 skeins of 100 grams of yarn to knit a sweater (I’m making that up) then I would know that I would need at least 500g of processed fibre (like roving) to spin for a sweater. I usually add half as much again, because handspun tends to be denser than commercial yarn. (Especially for a new spinner.) If I’m starting with raw fleece, then I get double (at least) because I know that I’m going to lose fibre (and dirt, and grease) in the washing and carding.

Kristy is having a flashback. She says:

Am I the only one that was reminded of the end of an episode of SOAP with that last paragraph? Am I the only one that remembers the show SOAP?

No, you’re not, and what a great show that was. Remember the final line? “These questions – and many others – will be answered in the next episode of Soap.” I so want to end this blog entry that way…but now it seems derivative. So let’s just stop.

133 thoughts on “Still Singles

  1. When the hell did you have a bra on and a tape measure in hand at the same time? Or are you as delusional as the rest of us?
    (Am I first again?!!!)

  2. The yarn math is fun for some of us but a McMorran Balance will do the trick much faster and easier.
    Lise at the Yarn Source or any other spinning/weaving supplier will have them

  3. I remember SOAP! I’m humming the theme song even as I type. 🙂
    Hope everything goes well when your foot is re-imagined next week!

  4. I do like the answering of The Blog questions. It’s nice to get info on our questions sometimes. We know that you have a life and can’t do this all the time.
    Thanks to all of the good questions/comments!

  5. volunteering as a test knitter – I have references if you want them. Any time, any yarn, any pattern.

  6. SOAP! My all time favorite show. I got my kids hooked on it, and the best part is, the humour STILL holds up after all these years.

  7. How can I only be the 9th comment if you blogged 3 hours ago? It makes no sense. I am impressed by the fact that the city of Toronto provides composting ability to it’s citizens. It is too bad more municipalities don’t provide that service.
    I have a feeling your “lazy” Kate rant would have ties to mine concening the name hysterectomy. How lazy was Kate, spinning, knitting, cooking, cleaning, raising children, taking care of her man, doing laundry by hand, etc. etc.

  8. Those toilet roll holders are artistic! (Not to mention funny Ü) I’m looking into spinning this year (as we now have sheep) but it all looks too hard!
    I’m sure I’ll manage to find the time, though. My poor neglected kids. (When will they go to school?) He he.

  9. Unparalleld moments of stupidity, huh? 5″1″ and 37″ chest, huh? Sounds like you’d be a perfect fit for my pure alpaca, totally georgous Equinox Yoke Pullover that I knit – and made too small for my 5’8″ body!!! harumph.

  10. I came by to comment on the last post and (whoosh) there’s another. I shall be imagining you with a functioning foot, it’s the very least I can do. The signage at our hospital says “medical imaging” with “X ray” very obviously taped on afterwards for all those of us who came looking for the X ray department and wouldn’t know medical imaging if it fell on us.
    Do they really take nappies?

  11. I love your photo of extra singles! Every once in a while I am tempted to do something like that (though mostly on projects like the garter stitch blanket I’m working on)…
    they would all say: Imagine another square in a pile here. Or, look this square isn’t a light chartreuse! When did that happen?
    Losing weight has done amazing things for my ability and desire to knit. I was getting tired of knitting accessories, and all of my sweaters and tanks were quintessential knitting mistakes (armholes too big, needed a better swatch, grew 6 inches in each dimension upon wearing). At least now if I have a knitting mistake it took me much less yarn and much less time to figure it all out.

  12. i loved soap. and taxi. and while we’re at it, WKRP. I don’t think the humour would translate into french tho. ah well, i will leave hubbo his ‘les bronzés’ — which make me feel parTICularly humourless — and i will keep my ’80s TV shows Kids of Degrassi, Facts of life, Diff’rent Strokes– i’ll keep ’em all.

  13. Oh yeah – I remember SOAP!! Too funny. That’s great that Toronto has so much recycling. I sure wish that more cities in the US would get on that bandwagon. It’s a win/win. Less garbage, more recycling, reduces strain on resources, more jobs, better for the environment, etc. I guess that makes it a win/win/win/win/win.

  14. Thank you for describing my reaction to your yarn yardage for the FLS as “perturbed.” I think “jealous” might be more accurate. It certainly is a good motivation for losing weight, however. When I had my last child, I was about 10-12 inches less around everywhere. That’s a lot less yarn to have to knit. Hmm, you may have finally succeeded in persuading me that my formerly svelte self is still within my grasp!
    I miss SOAP. I loved that show. Does anyone know if it’s available somewhere like Hulu? That would be a wonderful trip down memory lane.

  15. Love the TP holders! I use a drop spindle and have been winding my singles (by hand because I am extremely silly) onto empty tp holders. Then I ply from them. No Kate in my life. I use an odd contraption called a shoe box. I want a Kate in my life! She would work hard…

  16. My dad was an escort at the hospital and always referred to Imaging as “Imogene”. The ladies were all atwitter.

  17. Not to sound snarky but I hope your teens read this: Do twenty minutes of chores around the house minimum a day. Your parents shouldn’t do all the boring stuff. It’s not fair and there is just so much of it to run a house. Definitely put on some cool music to make the time fly and maybe even dance a bit while you load the dishwasher, sweep the floor and take out the trash. Just look around and do what needs doing for twenty minutes. You won’t miss that little bit of time a day, but your mom will notice her burdens are a bit lighter. And when you move on your own one day, you’ll be much better prepared for the responsibilities of an apartment.
    Forgive me if I sound preachy but grown-ups really don’t like housework either. If it wasn’t for music, no one in my family would do any!

  18. Yeah, I’m requesting the lazy kate rant too. (Abby can’t be the only one to snap this week – she’d be so lonely.)

  19. Thanks for answering the question re amount of yarn; math was never my strong subject but you have explained it very well.
    Someone called Mary the Digital Knitter sent me an email re my question; how would she have got my address (I always tick “no” re personal info). This makes me nervous.
    Anyway, love your stuff and be careful on the ice when you start walking again!

  20. I’m glad to hear that the foot’s feeling better, and I love the idea of re-imagining; so much more fun to reimagine one’s foot as any one of a number of things… And yes, why is it that anything that makes a woman’s job easier is somehow supposed to be indicative of laziness? (Lazy Susans come to mind, too.) When it’s something that makes a man’s job easier, they call it a “wife” or a “secretary” (I crack myself up).

  21. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for linking me today.
    I really truly was (am!!) concerned about your welfare. Plus also I just read that chapter in your book (What I learned from knitting) about the secret wish to be laid up for a few weeks so you could just knit and not have to do much else…
    I hope the re-imaging goes well and it turns out that you healed. Vegetarians always heal better, anyway…:)

  22. Thank you so much for the instructions for figuring out how much yarn I have!!!! I bought a little scale this week, so I can measure grams or ounces, but hadn’t figured out how to do length!!! And I got good marks in grade 10 math, too. :/ Thanks for sharing the way to do it! 🙂

  23. “Tiny knitters have it made in the shade – since not only does it take less time to knit small sweaters, it takes less yarn to buy for them too.”
    Can I get an “Amen,” sister? I thank goodness for my tiny feet, tiny hands, and little personage when I go to knit something for myself. We are “fun sized” but in the way that a sweater costs less, we are also “economy sized.”
    Blessed are the tiny, for they shall knit things like mad!
    Are you wearing the “tall shoes” today?

  24. Regarding tiny knitters… I just hope that now all the bully-knitters feel just a wee bit bad about poking fun at those of us girls who never developed. A 33″ bust means just that much less sweater, AND I get to sleep on my tummy!
    Horray for littleknits!

  25. HA HA HA HA—-tenth grade math still eludes me. I’m sure it’s because I’ve used up so much brain power on literature, yeah, that’s it. That’s the ticket.

  26. I am newly asspinerated (assimilated into spinning), but purely spindle spinning at this point. The concept of sweater amounts of yarn is still far beyond me.
    Loved “Soap”! What a rush. Haven’t thought about that show in years.
    So glad your foot is feeling better. You must be (mostly) being good. I am imagining you being reimagined totally healed and ready to dance.

  27. I have to laugh at putting yarn on TP tubes. We call them “toot-toots” in my house. The child plays the horns on them and then forgets them somewhere and the dog then plays with them and then consumes them. The dog will also fish them out of trash cans. I shudder to think what she’d do with yarny toot-toots!

  28. Do you have an archive of your rants, wondering about rant 56B? I know I was on the younger side of watching Soap when it was on, and I also know I am older than you. How do you know the ending of the program?
    I am sure you are healing well, and the new x-rays will show that, when it is time.

  29. Here in the UK I’m too tired to say anything appropriate… except I love this … it sends me to bed happy …will dream of Tp tubes, sized down tops and spinning – in my dreams I get better at spinning – but only in my dreams

  30. People are asking……. you said not to ask, but people are asking about the whole Kate/Lazy Kate thing, and my observation is this…….if you are already up to at least #56B with your list of rants, that’s almost enough for a book, surely………and since your rants are likely to be poetic and beautifully written and funny in the way that real life can be, when retold in that entertaining but truthful way that you have, I think it’s time we demanded “The Yarn Harlot Rants, Book 1”.
    You could work on it in your free time (I only say that to invoke the start of rant number 24, parts A thru G. I do realise that there is no such thing as ‘free time’ when there are daughters in the house. I’m still laughing about the babysitting interrupting ‘personal time’!!!!)
    Hope the foot heals soon enough that you’re up and about but not so soon that it’s you who has to trudge through snow to get groceries when no-one else is willing to go! Say, when are you heading off to the cabin to write in silence again?

  31. Wow! I’m totally impressed with your green bins! Diapers! Meat! Paper plates! That’s brilliant. I want to send my city leaders to come talk to Toronto.
    We do a lot of composting here, but it’s all our own stuff, and we don’t have the ability to do anything more than basic vegetable matter.

  32. It is only a matter of time before we all have worm gardens on our kitchen counters producting the best compost ever, for our summer gardens. Until then, keep recycling.

  33. The tp roles are a great idea. By the way, did you get my email about my Brilliant Idea that involves you coming to the Estes Park Wool Market?

  34. One, I read it as re-imagined and had to go back and check that you’d typed re-imaged. It’s no wonder we’re friends.
    Two, I’d love to hear rant #568.

  35. Well. Now I have to take up spinning. I have always wanted a use for empty toilet paper rolls, but I can’t stand the thought of gerbils

  36. Steph, I am majorly impressed at Toronto’s composting program. Here in Los Angeles, only garden waste– lawn clippings, tree prunings, etc.– go in the green bins. Meat scraps, soiled paper, etc., go to the landfill. There even seems to be a loophole about pet waste; it’s illegal to put kitty litter anywhere, including compost or landfill.
    When you get your ankle re-imagined, make sure you do both the same. You wouldn’t want one leg longer than the other.
    I envy you your tiny, quickly knit sweaters.

  37. Ugh. I hear you on the 10th grade math. Never in my life did I think I’d need algebra. Then I started playing with dye formulas. I looked at one of my calculations and realized how frighteningly closely it resembled the dreaded A word.
    Good luck with the re-imagined foot. Perhaps a nice pair of re-imagined socks would help?

  38. Dear Steph…. I’m a long time member of the Blog. I’ve bought every book you’ve written. I knit my heart out for the knitting olympics. I’m a firm believer in MSF. I brought you my Nana’s butter tarts when you spoke in E. Rutherford Public Library several years ago. And I love it all… the blog, the books, (Boookbookbook…. and on and on)…. the calendar. All of it. The twittering: Not so much. I couldn’t take that much info about myself or my own kids. Please reconsider. Thanks! (But keep writing!)
    Barbara M.

  39. Rant 56B…pleeeaaaseeee!!! We can take it. And yeah, a book of rants would be so cool!
    Rant on!

  40. Here in Dublin, Ireland, the Green Bin is for dry recyclables (paper, cardboard, tin, aluminium, plastic…) and the Brown Bin is for compostables (food leftovers, garden waste, etc).
    I find sorting the recycling very calming. Also, it has made me think about the waste I bring into my home and now packaging influences my purchasing decisions.
    Oh, and nothing beats a trip to the glass recyling Bottle Bank (smash!crash!smash!) to de-stress.

  41. Don’t they make little electronic doodads that will measure the yardage of your yarn as it is being wound? I have no idea how much they cost…I bought a skein of handspun at a small LYS in my small town, and I wanted to know how much was in it (and if there was enough to make a hat with just one skein) and she used such a doodad to tell me the yardage.

  42. Hey! You’re taller than me! By about half an inch… Making socks for others is always frustrating, it just takes so much longer than socks for me!
    Haven’t done a sweater yet (the yarn for my first one just arrived, eeps!) and I’m hoping it’ll work out. My chest measurments are rather large while the rest of me is a medium (headed for a small, used to be XXL, yay!).

  43. Why not put the toilet paper roll directly onto the ball winder (it’s a little bit big but just shove in a folded bit of card to wedge it temporarily) having cut a small snip in the cardboard to hold the start of the singles – and then just wind straight from bobbin to TP roll?

  44. Thanks for solving a problem for me!
    I got some wonderful old Australian Merino at a swap, but the ball bands only give weight, not length. Now I know what to do (-:
    (The other option was to buy one of those machines that measure as you wind.)

  45. No, you’re not the only one who remembers Soap.
    I used to work for a real estate magazine, and one of our customers was named Chuck. As a gimmick for the ads, he used a puppet named Buddy for the photos, and titled them “Chuck and Buddy.”
    My boss used to ask me why I always laughed at Chuck’s ads, and why I persisted in calling the ads “Chuck and Bob.”
    I will never forget Burt opening the refrigerator door and screaming because Bob was inside.
    And I’m periodically tempted to wave my hands from left to right (and vice versa) and snap my fingers to become invisible.
    Nobody ever gets that, either.

  46. Thanks for the very informative post. Every day I check to see if the cashmere lace neck warmer pattern is there and it is not. I appreciate the update today AND will gladly volunteer to be a test knitter if you need another one! I need to make one of these soon for the perfect gift!!

  47. WHAT! You mean to tell me that I have a use for those bazillion (I am not exaggerating) toilet roll tubes I have saved up? I don’t have to give them all away on freecycle for kids projects? Really? Really really really really?!?!?!
    My sweetheart is going to be SOOOOOOO disappointed!
    BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!

  48. I do the same kind of thing as you did with the toilet paper cores but I use those annoying postcards that they always stick in magazines. Instead of crushing down the toilet paper roll, I roll up the postcard thingy so that it’s just slightly smaller than the top of my ball winder and tape it completly down the seam and into the inside. This is also convenient when two-plying from both ends of one ball of yarn because you can stick your thumb in the center of the roll while holding it.

  49. For all of you with extra toilet paper rolls, give them to someone who owns a parrot or a hedgehog. They will be your friend for life.

  50. Dear Stephanie, have you ever heard the phrase “to go postal”? Well, I am afraid that if I go to my neighborhood post office and ask them to weigh some yarn for me, the lady will truly go postal on my arse.

  51. I’m running a worm bin but the beasties can’t eat all my vegie scraps quick enough. We eat a lot of vegies.
    I remember Soap. Especially Benson. And the demonic baby banging Billy Crystal’s head with its crib. Oh gosh we laughed.

  52. Sorry if this is a little on the weird side of a random comment, but: My husband (adorably) mis-pronounces things ALL the time, sometimes annoyingly, sometimes humorously. So when he walked up to me while I was reading this post, and asked while looking over my shoulder at the screen: “What are you doing? Yarn-a-lot?” I paused for a second and said, “yeah”

  53. Thank you so much for answering my question about the green bin. I am very impressed with that program – here in D.C., we’re lucky if people chuck their trash in a garbage can at all.

  54. “Ask the test knitters. Actually, ask this one, because I happen to know her kid’s on his third snow day and she’s a woman on the edge. It might be fun to see what happens if she snaps.”
    I see being laid up for too long brings out your sadistic side. . .

  55. Whoa. I’m 10.5 inches taller than you. Or 1’1″ taller in heels. Hello from Amazonia!!!

  56. Hmmmm… We are the same side (I MIGHT have a cm or two on you but barely). Any, uh, spare sweaters… feel free to send them this way. 🙂

  57. I read “re-imagining” before you talked about it… wow. Glad to know I’m not the only one!
    Thanks for the amazing Q&A section this time. Hmm… I like it =)

  58. Green Bins: Oh damn. Another reaosn I need to move to Toronto! Pittsburgh actually has a pretty good recycling program, but no composting (except for yard waste you haul in). Hmm….

  59. Cathy at 6:36 – If I click on your name, Yahoo’s mail program automatically fills in your email address for me. I don’t even have to use Google.
    I’ve tried to wedge tp rolls onto my ball winder, but they slip. Maybe I’ll try taping them on. I wish someone would invent a ball-winder with extra spindles that have ends that attach later, for those very slipper yarns that won’t stay wound.

  60. The green bin is almost enough to make me move to Toronto, except for, you know, the weather. Your singles look just beautiful. Continue taking care of your foot.

  61. Two more questions about your mad toilet roll skills —
    When you’re plying (from balls with toilet paper rolls in the center)do you pull the singles from the outside of the ball, or the center?
    If from the center, do you take the toilet paper tube out first? And after resting, they don’t twist around each other in a big tangled mess?! (I believe you, just haven’t experienced that yet.)

  62. Maybe the *Canadian* Post Office is “usually really helpful” about requests that have nothing to do with giving them money to send mail. American knitters are advised to hit a kitchen supplies store and blow $30 or so on a scale that reads down to tenths of a gram.

  63. Elementary question from newbie blocker:
    I’ve read that sometimes you get an FO all wet and then pin it out, and sometimes you pin it out and then just spray it – how do you know when to do which? The one time I tried pinning and spraying, the edges curled right back up again when it was dry.
    Are there Rules?
    Is there a Book?

  64. Regarding the “how do you measure a ball of yarn?” thing – a NIDDY NODDY measures yarn (it’s the weird thing you wind the plied yarn directly onto before you wash it – you must have one). One round on mine measures about 160 cm, and I assume the yarn springs back to 150 cm (1.5 metres) when it’s taken off the niddy noddy and washed. (Or else my niddy noddy was poorly made)
    Just count the number of strands on one side and times it by 1.5 and you got a ball o yarn measurement.
    I’m not sure if a niddy noddy was made with this additional measuring feature in mind, or it’s just a fortuitous discovery of mine.

  65. Again to Cathy at 6:36: not sure if you’re even going to check comments for an answer, but your address showed up because you filled in the “email address” box while leaving a comment. The “remember personal info” check refers (I think) solely to whether or not you want your browser to fill in that information (your name, email, etc) for you automatically when you next comment.

  66. I know fullstops are there for a reason, but “Skirt is upstairs, waiting for me to buy and sew a slip in it… also it needs to be reblocked because I have moments of stupidity that are virtually unparalleled in the fibre world. The foot’s ok” had me wondering what sort of skirts you knit or if I was missing some vital skirt lingo. Foot of skirts?! probably just me 😉 x

  67. Go on, give us rant 56B (although I can probably guess but you’d do it so well). H**l, give us Rants 1-56A.

  68. I always love it when you take blog questions (plus Karin is a very cool, extremely talented friend of mine and I know she’s on cloud nine at this moment. Hero worship and all LOL!) It’s so much fun to see what other knitters ask you. I can’t wait to see the skirt. As for the toilet paper tubes, they work well but there is something I found that works even better. You know the subscription cards that come in all the magazines. If you carefully roll them up without bending them, they are perfect for inserting into the center of a ball of singles off the ball winder. It’s kinda amazing. They’re the perfect size and the paper has just the right stiffness. When you roll it up, starting with the short side facing you and roll down the length, the whole thing acts like a giant spring to keep the center from collapsing. I ply off them all the time. It works really well when you’re plying from both ends of a center pull ball at the same time. As the center gets larger, the paper expands to make the hole bigger. You also feel great to actually come up with something useful to do with all those subscription cards! Happy spinning!

  69. Yes, please do tell why a Kate isn’t lazy. I adore the language of spinning (maidens, footmen, niddy-noddys, who wouldn’t?) but I’ve always struggled slightly with the term ‘lazy Kate’. You can probably guess why…

  70. I loved SOAP so much, one Xmas my kids gave me a saeson (two the whole thing?) on DVDs.
    I am not a spinner, IS Kate related to Jenny and Susan? (as in spinning and lazy?)
    The other thing HS math was good for (well, except that sine -cosine stuff, what was with that?) was figuring out the yardage needed for wallpaper when you were wallpapering a room.
    I wasn’t knitting then, but I did thank Mr. Madigan (7th & 9th grade math) many times for putting up with me.

  71. Redundant moments coming up, but I’ll say it anyway: Hope the re-imagined foot is up and running again soon (hmm hmm) and can’t wait to see that pattern as well.
    Non-redundant (Well, slightly) is that I just purchased my first drop spindle and was so happy to accidentally get a link to such a great spinning blog! Thank you! 🙂 It’s just entered my Must Read list. Nice to know that I’d been doing some things correctly before I even began. (Like reading Spin Off, though seriously I’d just thought that a clever avoidance of the first spinning muck up on my part.)
    Thanks especially to the couple of posters before me who mentioned using rolled up magazine subscription cards too, as I was wondering how I would ever manage to get the TP tubes from my daughter and her rampaging herd of gerbils.
    Soap was great–and did anyone ever watch Benson? I adored that show…

  72. Gah! Talk about redundant–the first time I sent a comment, it said movable type experienced an error so I sent again.
    I’m still trying to figure out how the 3rd post got there.
    Sheesh. Sorry to anyone who may read/post after me (insert little embarrassed emoty face here.)

  73. Diapers? You lost me there. There have been periods of time where we composted seriously at our house, but all vegetable material. The usual reason for not including meat in home composting is that it is hard to break down, and worse, it attracts scavengers of various sorts that will just tear into your composting arrangement. If they’re doing serious industrial scale composting, that might not be an issue.
    But diapers?

  74. Really? You can put diapers in the green bin? Huh. That is one handy bit of info there. I wonder if they do that here in Nova Scotia. Going to check that out.

  75. Just on account of I’ve got a fascination with gadgets I got a catalog from Knit Picks and they have an item called a yarn meter, $49.99 U.S. (reason I’ll not order from them, anyone know interesting Canadian Knitting mail order catalogs? other than Mary Maxim). Description says”get an accurate yardage count as you wind a ball”.
    You, my dear, are a Medium Petite (in Canada. US sizing is different, you could be a Small or even an extra small depending on the manufacturer). I too am one except I have narrow shoulders so I’m a small above the bust and half the time I make myself a large in the hips (although I seem to fit into size 6!!! pants Huh?) and need to petitify the sleeve lengths. Makes for interesting knitting adjustments.

  76. My Mom used toilet paper tubes for winding yarn, even when it was the lucky who were the holders of the yarn. She would tuck the end into one end, lay the first line down the middle and tuck the edges around that line, start winding and when she was done would pull the tube out and would have her inside pull right there. Silly me, I never thought of putting a tube on the winder before I started or when I was removing the ball from it.

  77. The “green bin” sounds like a great idea. I bet it gets very ripe in the summer at the end of the week. Do you have to bribe the kids to empty the kitchen bucket into it by that time?

  78. Finally had time to catch up on my blog reading – happy belated blogiversary! Its funny because my fiance and I decided to elope to Vegas, and got married on Jan 23 (last Friday), and I kept telling him “I think this day is important, I think this is someone’s birthday or something.” Glad to see I wasn’t just making it up. So congrats!
    Also, in case anyone is wondering what may be the best way to show the handknits a good time and/or freak the muggles – knit your own wedding dress then go get married in Vegas. Everyone will look at you because you are wearing a wedding dress, but then be kinda confused when it looks like you knitted it. Great combo! Congrats again and I wish you many more happy years of blogging!

  79. Thanks for the A to Nancy’s Q…I’m just about to start learning how to spin with a drop spindle and am trying to get educated…hadn’t thought about letting it rest, though it makes sense so the tension it gathers from winding has a chance to relax. Hope the reimaging goes well…make those teenagers wait on you!

  80. I love SOAP! They’ve got the first few seasons on DVD if you’re interested. Check the Loblaws DVD bins.
    (Hehe, I’m fourteen, and I love SOAP.)

  81. Dearest Steph,
    Your Odonata cowl is providing me with moments of breaktime from my writing work, which is full of excitement and interruptibility at the moment. I’m totally using a random short skein of handspun fun. So far it is full-on perfect for that.
    And I’m afraid we’ll need to talk today, because as it happens, it is now DAY FOUR. Many roads, ours included, remain sheets of ice. It’s not the 26-28cm of snow all told, it’s the 2-3 cm of ice, and the almost-melting followed by refreezing. It has to get above -7C and stay there for a while for salt on the roads to melt said ice, and it keeps refusing to do that.
    Fortunately, we made an emergency beer run on Tuesday, and are thus not completely screwed. Yet.

  82. Another good way (depending on your ball winder) is to place the TP roll over the shaft of the ball winder, having placed a rubber band around the shaft, and then ball wind your singles onto the the roll, but even crunched the TP rolls work wonderfully on a “Kate”, much less expensive than buying a lot of bobbins.

  83. Thank you so much for explaining the toilet paper thing. I always thought that you somehow put it on the winder first, which never worked!

  84. HOORAY for us little ladies – although you’re two inches taller than I, and therefore, from my perspective, “tallish”. I understand that if (when?) I shrink another inch I’ll be required by law to use a booster seat in the car. If that happens, it may make the news…. and I’m sending all manner of Jewish Bubbeh Bone-Healing vibes your way (and some advice: no break-dancing or marathons for another six months). OH! we also were loaned all three seasons of “Corner Gas” on dvds, and I have to say, there may be something somewhere in recorded history funnier, but *I doubt it*!! Canada-funny is funnier than any other funny. I wanna live in Dog River, please.

  85. I read ‘re-imagined’ also, but then I always read ‘uninform’ for ‘uniform’ as well. Can’t wait to see the skirt!

  86. I am both thrilled and unbelievably sad that since I started the FLS, I have lost two sizes. I stalled out on the sleeves wondering what to do. I’m not a slow knitter, just un a kickboxing program that is crazy, its only been 3 weeks.
    I loved Soap.
    I an bookmarking this entry for your 10th grade math.
    I hope your re-imagining goes well!! Here’s to ditching the cane and brace!

  87. Just finished Feb. Lady Sweater. Was a quick knit and I’m a slow knitter. Seeing as your xxs, should be a snap to get done.

  88. Being small is a great thing when you’re a knitter, especially when you’re usually a little bit brokish. Everything takes less yarn. The only problem is when you get those little leftover amounts that are almost impossible to use!

  89. Soap=funniest show ever. I am also a 37″ bust, but i have 2 inches on you Steph! (Not that it makes much difference, I am the shortest in my immediate family.)

  90. I’m not in the City of Toronto, but to the north. We aren’t allowed to put diapers in our green bins. Or any animal or human products–not even empty the vaccuum into it. But we can put dryer lint in.
    I’ve been working on the FLS for a long time. If you want to know everything that can go wrong, check out my blog. Quick knit, my foot. LOL!

  91. Now see– I’ve got to tellyou that the primary reason for my drive to lose weight is that someday, I’d like to make myself a sweater without a year’s commitment and six sheeps of wool…

  92. try having my foot size. people love/hate me. i have a 33/35 or uhm.. US that’s a kids 2.5/3 or 8″ long or about 20.5cm long. it doesn’t take much to make me a pair of anklets. even regular socks can be knit quick.
    but it’s also tough. i have even more sock yarn hanging around than other knitters because i can get 2 pairs when most normal feet get one pair. by the time i finish one pair i want to try different yarn. eventually i come back but it takes a while…
    i wish nyc had green bins. i miss composting.

  93. I like the comment about being teased for being small busted. Gotcha! I hope all the big busted snots that teased me are knitting sweaters right now. I’ll keep my 32″ bust, 5’1″ and 105 lb frame. Thank you very much.
    I also like the idea of a Book of Rants. Perfect. I’m positive it would be a totally funny read.

  94. I remember SOAP! I loved that show, and now I’m itching to see if Amazon sells DVDs of it.
    Promise you won’t laugh? The sole incentive right now keeping me on my diet is — yarn. Yep. I bought 2 skeins too few for the sweater I want in the size I need. I should lose weight anyway, so the lovely brown-black Green Mountain is sitting there in a basket, right next to the scale. The sweater pattern is tacked overhead. And yes, so far it’s working.
    It just shows the power of knitting!

  95. I remember SOAP! I loved that show, and now I’m itching to see if Amazon sells DVDs of it.
    Promise you won’t laugh? The sole incentive right now keeping me on my diet is — yarn. Yep. I bought 2 skeins too few for the sweater I want in the size I need. I should lose weight anyway, so the lovely brown-black Green Mountain is sitting there in a basket, right next to the scale. The sweater pattern is tacked overhead. And yes, so far it’s working.
    It just shows the power of knitting!

  96. I’ve wanted to knit a FLS ever since I knit the real February sweater for my baby girl. I adore it every time I see it on her. (I don’t feel that way about too many of my knits.)
    I thought maybe I’d do my own ‘knitalong’ and knit it with you. I’m thinking that If I start right now, while you’re spinning your own yarn, then maybe, just maybe, I might complete mine a year from the time you complete yours.

  97. In case anyone with gerbils is still reading comments this far along, look for empty cardboard tubes from plastic bag dispensers in the supermarket produce section. I used to scavenge them for my son’s gerbils. Whereas the gerbils can go through a toilet paper or paper towel tube in no time, it takes them days to get through a plastic bag tube.

  98. I remember SOAP!! I was so sad when they stopped making new ones. What a great show.
    Yep, I’m glad to read you know about the sizing issue with teh FLS. I found out about the allowance or need for negative ease just in time. I’m starting it on Sunday out of BMFA Peru in the Jasper colorway. I actually did 2 gauge swatches – one with Denise and the other with Addis and Addis won. When I poked these tips through my needle gauge, I found the Denise ones to be a wee bit under size – they slipped in and out of the hole with no friction, and I’m sure that is enough to throw off gauge, as it did. I’m so glad I checked my gauge with 2 different needles!!
    And you’ve motivated me to work harder on the healthy diet to lose weight… so I can actually make more than 2 sweaters a year.

  99. Well, I will “re-imagine” your foot totally healed, and with luck it will be!
    P.S. I’ve used TP rolls for hand-winding skeins at home (broken ball-winder)…you’re not alone!

  100. I am also wondering about diapers in the green bins. Does Toronto really compost disposables? Do you have to use a special kind? I know that some are supposed to be completely biodegradable. Shoot, if MY city would do that, I could almost justify using the things! You know, except for the fact that they cost a fortune. When my baby was born in March, I had three children in cloth diapers. I was so grateful when my oldest potty trained this past summer!

  101. Well, I must say that being quoted on your blog was the second-proudest moment of my life … the first being the time I was pictured on your blog :]

  102. You are not alone! I, too, always do the re-imaging/re-imagining switch. My re-imagining takes me to some very strange places sometimes.
    Love, love, love your blog, except I get so caught up in it (following links to other links and so on) when I really should/want to be knitting. 😉 Cheers.

  103. Can I add to the echo in here and ask: ‘Diapers’? Really? Do they have to be the ‘eco’ disposable kind that allegedly composts (we haven’t dared try it in our compost bin!), or the contents of washables? Either way, I’m impressed. Are they doing clever things with methane/biogas, I wonder?

  104. i am a very very very very very very new knitter i was wondering how u conntect the ends of your knittering if u are say making a headband. please get back to me

  105. Thought you might like a laugh.
    London is currently paralyzed with the storm of the century, more snow than they’ve seen in eighteen years. Buses have ground to a halt, all classes have been canceled, the tube service has collapsed!!
    Did I mention there’s only about 6 inches on the ground outside??

  106. I have a pretty easy way to measure yarn. If it’s in a skein I put it on the swift, count up yarn “rows” from bottom to top, and then measure around the swift with a tape measure. Multiply the number of “rows” times the circumference. That’s how much yardage you have. If it’s already balled, I rewind it on the skein anyway and count. This is how I split yarn for a pair of socks, because I always knit them at the same time.

  107. Thanks for the info on the green bins. I emaialed our local garbage collector to ask if there’s a similar program in the works for us here in Eugene, OR. No word back yet.
    Thanks for bringing back memories of Soap–I loved that show, and a dear friend of mine (who died from AIDS clear back in 1994) was an extra on the show–and it’s always nice to be reminded of him.

  108. Don’t feel too badly Laura, Stephanie may be an xxs size but she went and married an xxl mate, which balances the scales a bit to the amount of spinning and knitting she has to do. Don’t you think?

  109. Don’t feel too badly Laura, Stephanie may be an xxs size but she went and married an xxl mate, which balances the scales a bit to the amount of spinning and knitting she has to do. Don’t you think?

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