Random because I want to be

1. Laptop has gone to the Apple store for fixing. I miss it more than I can say, and feel chained to the desktop computer on the main floor, which I cannot pick up and take to my office or room. (We should all hope this doesn’t last long, because I’m not good with the lack of privacy that this creates, and leaves me yelling things like “Why are you BREATHING LIKE THAT”. Good times.)

2. I have to go renew my passport, but have successfully managed to procrastinate on this at the Olympic level. Today I managed to convince myself that I couldn’t go because we were out of toilet paper and for the love of all things holy, that was way more important and fixing it could have taken all day. That may not seem like some fancy procrastinating to you, but it takes some serious denial to believe that when the corner store is 30 seconds away and has toilet paper a-plenty. Still, I accomplished it.

3. Turns out that even though Tuesdays have always been for spinning, that actually spinning on Tuesdays totally resulted in… er…actual spinning.

Beautiful batt (Gold Dust Woman) from the Enchanted Knoll.


Beautiful singles, spun long draw and a little thicker than usual to show off the remarkable fibre content.


This batt contained wool, tussah silk, recycled sari silk and angelina. (Angelina’s the sparkle.) I thought that all that stuff would show up better and be funkier if the yarn was a little on the chunky side – and so it is.


It’s a wee skein, only about 64m (70 yards) but I quite like it and think it will make killer mittens. I like the idea of them sparkling away in the snow like a personal sunshine supply. (I also like the way I can actually think romantic, fun thoughts about the Canadian winter as long as it’s August.)


4. I though this was so much fun that I am still spinning something else.

5. Except I’m stopping because I’m going out and taking my wheel on my bike sucks.

6. I know this because I tried it.

7. Maybe I’ll knit mittens.

111 thoughts on “Random because I want to be

  1. Well it IS a little personal supply of sunshine! What a rewarding spin. Beautiful yarn, too. I’m eager to see the mittens. No pressure or anything….

  2. I hear that mittens would be a perfect idea, because summer was two days in Canada and now it is fall … so I have total empathy, because despite all promises there has been little summer in the UK and Hurricane Bill has blown my favourite hammock over.
    Your spinning, even on a Wednesday, is a credit to all Tuesdays!
    PS could swap loo paper for milk … always running out of milk, but have loo rolls aplenty!

  3. Beautiful yarn. That is epic procrastination. I am not writing staff reviews – I am reading your blog. Procrastination is my middle name at the moment.

  4. Seasons are always more attractive out of season.
    And your handspun would make lovely mittens.

  5. I’m travelling to Canada for the first time next week, and now you’ve got me wondering if i need to knit some mittens to bring with me- it can’t be cold in Toronto already, surely?! Will i catch some sunshine before the snow sets in?

  6. Wow. I cannot imagine trying to take a wheel on a bike even with a basket. Though it would be tempting to take my loom. It’s one of the smaller ones on the market (all 16 inches of it).

  7. I am *so* looking forward to what you do for mittens, because I am knitting mittens all winter for my niece who goes to school in Andover, Massachusetts. Last winter I knitted her a hat every week for about 9 weeks — she was famous with the mailroom personnel, they made her open her box every week so they could see the new hat!

  8. Oh, that color brings on the fall for me. I have also just finished a big project (summer lace afghan) and am at that strange place where there is nothing(!!!) on the needles having also just finished some socks this morning. Have spent the whole day eyeballing stash, cruising through knitting books, making little swatches, thinking about the next big or small thing to make, but not making any commitments. Isn’t that what a long, hot August day is for? All the best to you.

  9. I love their fiber! Did you pick it up at their Sock Summit booth? Make sure and show us pictures if you decide to make mittens. Good luck with the passport renewal.

  10. Eheheh.
    I like to use lacy scarves in warm fibers to help me REPRESS AND DENY the reality of five months of five hours of sunlight a day.
    It’ll be ok, I say, as I knit up my little nothing cashmere scarf with magenta and lime green. Bright colors will keep me company!
    It could happen.
    Great yarn, btw. I’ve only ever spun my EK to a thinner weight, so seeing some fun and chunky yarn really opens my eyes to the possibilities of my languishing stash 😛

  11. That batt is beautiful. It reminds me of some fairy tale about spinning straw into gold (? I should know this…). Anyway, really pretty. It spun up with more raspberry than I expected, and is also very pretty. Do you really think it’s enough for mittens?

  12. Oh, and I still want to see a close up of you and the wedding-going dress. Don’t think we have forgotten…

  13. Heheheheheheh about the fairy tale! Sorry about that, Deb, but the fairy tale in question in Rumplestiltskin, and since the Princess had to guess his name (or give up her child to him), the fact that you drew a blank on the name gives me a chuckle. Says the woman who forgot her own phone number this morning.
    Re the lovely batt: OOhh sparkly! It would make lovely mittens.

  14. Lovely! But, from one spinner to another, can you repeat the weight of the batt? Also, did you chain-ply the single?
    I’m starting to think that maybe I’ll like little sparkly bits in my spinning. I’ve not tried them yet, but I’m getting tempted …

  15. That is sooo pretty. I think mittens would be perfect. It really does resemble sunshine.

  16. @Deb: rumpelstiltskin?
    and lovely yarn. somehow never imagined tussar silk in a chunky-esque yarn, having always seen it only in paper-thin, transluscent saris! it’s lovely!!

  17. I was wondering about that sparkle. I thought I saw it in the fiber, but then thought perhaps I was imagining it.
    Second, I love stream of consciousness blogging. Your post today was like Alice’s Restaurant, only shorter.

  18. hahaha! I can’t believe you tried to put your wheel on your bike…hilarious!
    I have tried to ride safely with a large adult sized hula hoop on mine with little to no success.
    Not sure I would try putting my Traddy on a bike…seriously funny.

  19. That is some beautiful handspun! It will make gorgeous mittens! And I’m glad I’m not the only one who is annoyed by my family’s BREATHING. 🙂

  20. I have little ones who constantly want a drink of water/snack/cookies… for me it’s “Can’t you wait until tomorrow!” when it’s three in the afternoon! (Lovely handspun!)

  21. Beautiful yarn!
    About the passport, I procrastinated getting mine renewed for a long time (long enough that I cut all my hair off and no longer look at all like the pictures I had taken in March). But when I finally went to the passport place, it was so fast and easy! I went really early, and I got my passport by priority post less than a week later. I travel much less than you do, so this is clearly less of a priority for me, but I recommend just going. Its not nearly as bad as you think.

  22. The yarn is absolutely wonderful. I had wondered what was in it, and can now see the sari silk! What a beautiful combination!!! I could likely take my Little Meggie on my bike, if I wished to. Hmmmmm beach spinning!?

  23. Ohhhh, I love the yarn you spun. When I try to choose a fiber, I have trouble picturing how it will spin up. This turned out wonderfully.

  24. The yarn is so nice spun-up, though it also looks so pretty as a batt….enjoyable both ways! Your speaking of sparkley sunshiney mittens in the snow reminds me of my first trip to Toronto for New Years last year; we went to Lettuce Knit (one of the sites we had to visit while there!) and purchased some bright, rainbowy yarn to make a scarf, because I thought it would cheer me up on the dull days a-comin’. And so it did – it kept me warm (and will again) and reminds me of Toronto!

  25. NO WAY you took the wheel on your bike! You need a camera person to follow you around all day just for the blog.
    Pretty, pretty yarn. I don’t see mittens there but I bet I will.

  26. I think you should do another conference and call it ‘Spin Off’. I’m not a spinner (YET), but I keep looking at all the prettiness and think I may have to start soon.

  27. The way I see it, you use the TP a whole lot more that you use the passport, so of COURSE it’s more important on a daily basis. Though of course the TP won’t get you across the border, while the passport could be used in a pinch if you’re out of… never mind.
    The fiber is gorgeous, and so is the yarn.

  28. Love the yarn. Love “personal sunshine”. But I would still like to see you in the dress that Sam picked out. I will continue to request the photograph. I am persistent, just ask my husband.

  29. I once let my driver’s license lapse for…well…two years doing this same sort of procrastination. Unfortunately, then I had to take the actual DRIVING TEST like a nervous teenager. It was…well, I don’t recommend it. (I did PASS, however!) Please renew soonest as the US cannot live without you.

  30. I had to read this sentence 3 times to understand it: “I’m stopping because I’m going out and taking my wheel on my bike sucks.” It reminded me of my very favorite Tom Swifty: “My bicycle wheel is melting, he spoke softly.” And that interfered with my ability to recognize that the wheel and the bike are two different objects. I’ll get over it.

  31. Yes, procrastination is king lately. I’ve managed to procrastinate enough that I’m going to have to do something magical to get my site name back. I love the batt and the yarn. And if it wasn’t going to take me 4 – 6 weeks to unearth my wheels from behind the looms I’d totally buy some of it. I managed to accidentally shrink my mittens last year. Now they fit my granddaughter. I just dyed some wool/silk blend, tho. That’d make nice mittens. Especially the one inspired by my flowers (red, orangy-yellow and purple).

  32. Even here in the US, renewing your passport really is a piece of cake, so you may have minimal knitting time.
    Relax, your laptop is at computer camp, so you can play for a few days!

  33. Anything that allows you to think happy thoughts about winter at any time is a good thing. But that yarn is double-extra good.

  34. Hmmm. Hubband just let me know he has to go to the Apple store tonite. Should I be concerned?
    No matter. I will sneak in and steal your beautiful, sparklie (looks way better spelled that way) piece of heaven. You can keep the hubs.

  35. With my very first Mac, a MacBook Air, I am just beginning to learn about freedom like that.
    Lovely yarn. Amazing how yarn can even lighten winter, and I mean real winter, not the stuff we get in California (remembering New Hampshire and shivering).

  36. What is it about August that our thoughts turn to mittens? The thought that summer is slowly winding down and winter is much closer than we ever want? (Oh, wait, here in central NY summer just arrived 2 weeks ago. How can it be almost over?)
    Last week I started knitting charity mittens. I took a short break this week to knit some preemie hats but now I’m ready to knit mittens again. I can’t wait to see mittens knit up from that gorgeous yarn!

  37. A spinner-powered bicycle… The treadles turn the drive wheel which doubles as the front wheel of the bike… Which turns the drive band… Wtih a seat that has a slight backward incline to give you a thigh workout…
    Hmm… As long as you don’t have to turn, you’re set!

  38. Stephanie, after a vacation week at the shore (if I were a true Philadelphian, I’d say “down the shore”) when the nighttime temperature did not go below 76 American degrees (24 Canadian degrees) and the screens streamed with moisture even though it wasn’t raining, a Canadian winter sounds delightful!! Mitten on!

  39. I like to think that knitting mittens in the summer traps a little sunshine in them to be saved for when we need it the most. Otherwise, I can’t explain why I get the urge to knit with bulky wool in the middle of August.

  40. Fabulous yarn. Mittens: yumm. Love the personal sunshine idea. Reading your blog instead of registering my car on line, or myriad other end-of-August chores to which I should be attending.

  41. The I Knit Mittens! group on Ravelry is having a MITTEN MAYHEM knit a long! We’re focusing on stranded mittens… perhaps another pretty batt waiting in the wings to compliment the pretty, pretty yarn?

  42. Transporting a spinning wheel on a bike = you are the most amazing person ever, just for having tried it.

  43. I recommend completing the online fillable forms at the Canadian government website.
    The simplified renewal really does seem that (rare in bureaucracies).
    I was slightly disappointed though when I last renewed my passport, as they were so efficient I didn’t have any time to knit!
    Just remember not to smile in your photos …

  44. I may have to try knitting mittens this year. And I agree that the thought of knitting mittens in August sounds whimsical! I’ll have to dig through the stash for a bright color that I will want to see/wear in December.

  45. I went to the Enchanted Knoll website and ordered 2 types of fiber. One was the one you blogged about; the other was a silk. The odd thing about that is that I do NOT spin. Hmmmm!!!! However, I do knit mittens. Do you suppose I could use this fiber as thrums for thrummed mittens? Maybe I could start making thrummed socks. I think I’ve lost it. I’ve become totally suggestible. Arghhhh! Cheers, Hazel.

  46. Hi Stephanie,
    With the onset of fall here in the northern states and thinking about wool sweaters and cold days ahead, is there any possibility you will have your neckwarmer pattern (that you made last winter) available.

  47. If your current wheels don’t fit on your bike you obviously need another wheel. One that can travel with you. I’m sure those of us who read your blog and spin can convince Joe of this. Just let us know when you need overwhelming support on this issue.

  48. Is 70 yards enough for mittens? It’s very pretty. I’ve been out of toilet paper for 3 days..and live right between a Walgreens and a CVS.

  49. Beautiful spinning! Can’t you just renew your passport online? Much easier. Just did it this past fall.
    Great work on the sock summit1

  50. Delightful fiber, Delightful yarn, and Delightful having you back to brighten our days! Thanks!!!

  51. Passport: VERY IMPORTANT, if saving time and not sitting at the passport office for hours is important to you–do fill out the forms on-line, then print them out and take them in to the passport office if you need the thing back faster than the all-online option…this was so much faster than taking hand-written forms to the counter last time, it was a joke. They even had a special (much, MUCH shorter) line for those who had filled out their applications using the on-line process…
    We’re talking 30 minutes total, vs. 4+ hours, same day, same Winnipeg office!
    I’m jest sayin… =)

  52. The yarn is amazing! I don’t spin (yet), BUT…. I’ve been stitching for long enough to appreciate beautiful fiber when I see it, and lovely threads (or yarns) when I see them.
    Glad you survived Sock Summit 09, hope to meet up with you at a future summit!

  53. If you were to gift me mittens made from that beautiful yarn, I wouldn’t be mad at you.

  54. You sound like a woman without all those responsibilities and deadlines hanging over her head. When that happens… well, procrastination rears his ugly little head.
    And your computer will be home before you know it. Don’t you love how Apple takes care of their computers?

  55. It’s beautiful!
    You know, a bicycle has two wheels, that spin… I saw a bicycle that converted to a drum kit the other day, surely a bicycle that converts to a spinning wheel would be much easier to devise than that!

  56. I hope you get your laptop back quickly. My little macbook went to the service centre last week and as soon I dropped it off I felt empty and naked and didn’t know what to do with myself. So I knit and spun.
    That yarn is really lovely. And I can imagine taking the wheel on the bike isn’t easy. Couldn’t you turn your bike into some sort of moving spinning wheel? I mean the wheels do go round and round. 😉

  57. Spinning wheel on a bike??? That is what spindles for isn’t that so???
    Beutiful fiber, gorgeous yarn! Is that much really enough for mittens? I was wondering if my sport/DK handspun (I was just bitten by the spinning bug, ahhh…)135 meter would be enough for fingerless gloves…
    Can’t wait to see the mittens.

  58. I, too, was wondering if/when you are going to make your neckwarmer pattern available to us (See Laurie’s post at 10:06pm as well)…I’m already behind on my Christmas knitting (aside–it’s AUGUST, how the heck can I be behind for something that’s 4 months away?!), but am dying to make myself that neckwarmer out of some qiviut that my darling husband (who complains I have too much yarn, then buys me what I want–god, I love that man!) bought me…
    And we are all still waiting for more pictures from the wedding–specifically of you in your dress!! 😀

  59. Sorry about the laptop and I hope your computer feels better soon. I hate it when my netbook gets messed up because I just love my little computer. Fortunately my husband can fix it so it doesn’t have to go to computer camp. Great yarn! Every so often I just have to spin something up with a little glitz for a change. I’ll spin a beaded yarn with really neat 6/0 beads spun in it if I’m in the mood to spin something fiddily. If I’m feeling less patient, I’ll spin something up with Angelina, silk, or both! What fun! Then I’ll make something for my one of my nieces with it, or give it to a friend who has little girls. Is 70 yds really enough to make mittens because mittens made with that yarn would definitely be bright and cheery.
    I love the wheel on the bike thing. You know that when you try to take your traditional wheel on your bike, it’s definitely the sign of a true spinning addict. This is exactly why I have a Majacraft Little Gem. I actually could carry it on a bike if there was anyplace with in biking distance that I wanted to go. That is, if I just forgot the fact that I live in the mountains, on a mountain, in a rural area. I’d be biking for miles before I actually got anywhere LOL! The trip down the mountain would be a piece of cake. The ride back up to my house would suck LOL! That’s why I take either knitting, a spindle, or both with me pretty much everywhere I go.
    I love the comment made by Nancy, just before mine. My husband is the same way. Isn’t just wonderful. I don’t ask for much, but if I really want something he’ll get it for me. I’m in total agreement with you about the love part!

  60. Everytime I see one of your spinning posts it makes me want to try it more and more.
    Also, that would make gorgeous mittens!

  61. Beautiful batt and singles and skein! I must overply but yours looks lovely. Is it hard to renew a passport? The last time I did mine in the US (hmmm prior to 9/11) I just got a new photo, filled out the app, wrote a check and mailed the whole shebang in.

  62. Canadian winters romantic? Bwahahahaha! I wonder how well that yarn/mittens would hold up to shovelling untold amounts of that romantic Canadian snow, regardless how pretty and sparkly it may be. Just saying.

  63. This is going to make beautiful mittens. What about the matching hat and scarf? Have you forgotten the fashion lesson learned last winter?

  64. I was surprised to see the reddish bits in there!! It’s bloom and the angelina give it an ethereal glow that will perfect for twinkling winter mittens. Long have I admired your skill at the wheel.
    And a bike!?! That’s amazingly die-hard! I’d have loved to see the response from your fellow pedestrians.

  65. Knit Mittens! At least Elizabeth Zimmerman says it’s the best time for it (and I believe in most things she said). No hurry in the summer and you can take them anywhere. I’m knitting some mittens myself right now- Squirrelly Swedish Mittens!

  66. I love that yarn, it’s so beautiful! I’m so glad you’re back to regular blogging schedule.
    By the way I’ll be in Toronto next week and I’m planning on going to Lettuce Knit and Romni Wools. I’m so excited I can hardly wait!

  67. Got a brand new passport last month, and it only tool 15 minutes – renewing should be a breeze. The yarn is gorgeous. Seventy yards is lots, and if you don’t want to knit mittens, you can keep it as a pet.

  68. Got a brand new passport last month, and it only took 15 minutes – renewing should be a breeze. The yarn is gorgeous. Seventy yards is lots, and if you don’t want to knit mittens, you can keep it as a pet.

  69. If only you could figure out how to attach a mother of all to the bicycle and use the pedals as treadles and the wheels as…well, the wheel. How great would that be? Maybe a switch to turn the spinning part off when you’re in heavy traffic and have to concentrate. I can definitely see it!

  70. Oh.. my.. I almost spat out my tea all over my work and the computer monitor this morning when I read about your reason for not going to renew your passport. Thank you so much for the daily giggle and reality check. Happy knitting.

  71. My mouth formed an involuntary “ooooh” when the spinning came up. Beautiful and amazing to me how the red comes through when spun that I don’t see in the roving.
    Perhaps the Blog could serve as some kind of passport-getting accountability. Want to put any government-document-getting goals out? (happily over-hyphenating!)

  72. I’m on a bit of a mitten spree myself. My wee baby sister has demanded and so I heed the wild call of a three year old. I think that yarn will make lovely mittens. Makes me wish I could spin!

  73. Oh! When I saw your handspun it made me cry a little bit… So lovely. I’ve got to get my spindle out.

  74. I applaud you on your procrastination skills. You should write a book on that too. Lol. And the yarn in gorgeous!

  75. Isn’t Josette’s fiber amazing? ::loves EKF:: Interesting, though – that looks more like Pumpkin Juice than Gold Dust Woman – the GDW I have in my stash doesn’t have any red in it.
    Your yarn came out pretty, though (the mitten, too – now I want to spin mine up for tiny kid mittens. Too bad I live in the deep South where mittens are wholly unnecessary.)

  76. I can’t belive you haven’t figured out a way to make your bike an alternate spinning wheel…

  77. Stephanie, I sent you an email but I bet it got lost in the post Sock Summit exhaustion. Would you please, pretty please with wool on top, visit http://ibol.wordpress.com and see if you would be willing to mention this project on your blog? It only lasts until Sept 7 and would mean so much to the knitters of Iraq. Thanks for reading and please forgive me for hijacking your comments.

  78. Do you have any of that pretty handspun left over from your February Lady? mmmmmmm….pretty..

  79. Last year I renewed my passport (it was early September) and it literally took 15 minutes. Filled in paperwork, took it down to office on Victoria. Had knitting ready but arse didn’t hit chair before my number was called. Paid, chit chatted with woman at the desk about how quiet it was and was at work early (instead of late as I planned). Passport arrived at home 4 days later.
    Just sayin’

  80. (Mitten: Impossible, funny) That looks like a very simple mitten pattern, right down my alley…Hmm, is that your own design? Hey, how about a photo of the “room-o-wool” you know, so some of us can mock and/or be terribly envious.
    Hope/glad you are feeling better. What does Toronto have 2 weeks of hot weather only? Just wonderin’ down here in Ohio of USA.

  81. I just renewed my passport (simplified renewal total breeze) here in TO at the Victoria St. office. Plus I had 2 kid passports to do too! My daughter was miffed because she lugged Harry Potter Order of the Phoenix and she barely got to read one chapter.
    I beat my last record of 11 minutes to get to the wicket. I heart the passport office. They even did some sleuthing to make sure I wasn’t stealing my kids and gave me some signature tips to avoid potential hassles with the US customs/Homeland Security folks.
    Go get that task over with so you can get back to knitting. Heh. (I see my sister has posted her passport office love story too – the family that reads blogs together…)

  82. Our 250 member Knitting Guild in Houston, Texas would like to have The YarnHarlot come to Houston in 2010 for an evening talk and book signing. How do I get in touch with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee? I googled for an hour and did not find a contact. I need to know her fee and of course, we pay air/hotel/meals –any chance she teaches too?
    Mary Lee Heald
    Knit At Night Guild
    Houston, Texas

  83. I practiced knitting but unfortunately it is very hard for me… I have to have more patience. I will make just one Gloves and Mittens. That would be my task for today, hope you will post here any easy tutorial. 🙂 I am looking forward to that. 🙂

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