Quiet Time

 Some stress is going around here,  ripping through the house like  a flu bug and flattening everything in its wake, throwing off reaction times, and messing with peoples ability to shrug off difficulties without tears or frustrations.   (Difficulties like having a big hole in the house – though the contractor’s finally back today and Joe’s taken a day off work to do something mysterious about "getting the house jacked up", which I don’t understand and don’t want to, considering the aforementioned stress.  I do know that he is using it in a way that the Urban Dictionary does not, and that their page was less than helpful. I digress.) As always, I’m fixing stress the way I always do.  I’m thinking about making soup and banana bread, and I’m knitting more than most people do.  (Present company excepted.) Actually, while I’m knitting more than most people do, considering that most people don’t knit at all,  I’m probably knitting less than you, since coping with stress has me doing more thinking about knitting than actual knitting.  Fantasizing really.

This here’s the Swirl Scarf… mostly stalled out as I await delivery on a ball of yarn I need to finish. The pattern called for two, I needed three, likely because I ignored gauge every way that it was possible for a person to do so.  I don’t even know if my gauge on this one is okay, because I. Didn’t. Check.   Mostly, scarves fall into my "who cares" category of gauge.  How could a scarf not fit – therefore… who cares? Turns out I do.  Different gauge means different amount of yarn, which means me sitting around waiting for the postie to deliver what I need to finish which is bloody infuriating because I have no one to blame but myself, because I knew I only had two balls, I knew the pattern said that it took exactly all of two balls and then I ignored gauge.  Nothing worse than a problem you created for yourself that you can’t blame anyone else for.  I hate that.

Unsatisfied by that (considering the aforementioned yarn shortage) I’ve worked on the current socks in progress

Trudging along exactly the way that socks should,

and just to keep things interesting, I started the snowflake scarf I’ve imagined and charted –

-although it turns out that I’m not smart enough for my own plan- since I need a quiet uninterrupted environment to execute it, and that simply isn’t where I live right now.  (Says she, as the sound of a band saw drifts up from the basement…) Maybe these things together are the reason that I keep finding myself back in the stash, looking for something else… 

Or maybe that’s because my office is trashed, which puts the stash in the kitchen where I can see it. (The heart wants what the heart sees. Also, it temporarily looks like I have a hoarding problem.)

In other news,  I think I got Christmas figured out.  Everyone’s getting these.   

291 thoughts on “Quiet Time

  1. Are you providing the feet? Hang in there, and remember that you can’t control anything about the big hole in the house right now, so don’t let it control you!!

  2. Yipes! Those are rather horrifying….although grey squirrels are considered vermin here in the UK…

  3. Squirrel feet earrings! Good Lord! I almost spit my dr. pepper out on the keyboard! The irony. I love love love it!
    Sorry bout the hole in the house. I agree with you. That can’t be good. You are handling it better than I would. (I know I don’t know exactly how you are handling it, but I’m fairly sure it would be with a lot more sobbing…)

  4. Thanks, Stephanie! I’m feeling SO MUCH BETTER about not going out on Black Friday to do my holiday shopping. Gotta love the internet!
    Too bad these are sold out on Etsy, but just imagine the relief of your giftees, knowing that the squirrel feet were “Professionally freeze dried” and not something some do-it-yourselfer dreamed up in the middle of the night.

  5. Ummm, thanks, but feel free to leave me off your list. No really, I insist. Although, I have a SIL that those would be perfect for…

  6. Yes, cast something else on. That’s what I’d do with the stash in the kitchen in plain view.
    Oh and thanks for the laugh…..did you place a special order? They’ve been sold out a LONG time!! 🙂
    No seriously, how is that Christmas knitting schedule coming along?

  7. 1) Isn’t there a pub calling your name? Or a knitting shop? I think you should abandon ship. Women and children first.
    and
    2)Thanks for that last link. Just the image I needed stuck in my head. You know, once it’s in there, it’s not coming out.

  8. Love those socks!
    And don’t fret about getting your yarn; I’m convinced Loopy Ewe sends their yarn by magic, it gets there so fast.
    Totally not about knitting for a minute – does anybody have the little recipe booklet that came with the old Cuisinart food processor? I got mine in 1980, and eventually passed it along to our daughter, when we upgraded to the newer model a couple of years ago. I discovered too late that I like the original pie dough recipe a whole bunch more than I like the recipe in the new one, but our daughter no longer has the recipe booklet.
    If anybody has that old book and would be willing to send me the pie dough recipe, I would be so grateful.
    Thanks

  9. I can’t get my face out of the ICK position after those earrings. Can you imagine those horrible little feet hanging at each shoulder? Shudder. (Note… I started out trying to write something diplomatic… someone made these little things and is likely proud of themselves, but I just can’t. Ew.)

  10. I agree with CaraCara – eew!
    I happen to like squirrels. They keep my cairn terriers exercized and fit.

  11. What a relief that the contractors are back. It’s a relief that your husband it there to see that things are done right!
    Seems to me that the more stress, the more knitting… makes plenty of sense to me.
    However, it’s not surprising to see some evidence of getting a bit squirrelly!

  12. Ah, the farming version of ‘jacked up’. When you feel like you are in an elevator as you are sitting knitting, you will know they have made progress in the ‘jacking up’ department.
    I am wondering if there is a bounty on squirrels where that jeweller works. They could be making money at both ends. We still have a 10 cent bounty on a pair of starling feet here. I haven’t heard of anybody actually using it, but I doubt it is off the books. (Actually, in my circles? – I wouldn’t hear about it.)
    Hang in there. This too shall pass.

  13. Hey, gotta remember those Cajuns in Ville Platte, Lousiana don’t like to waste any parts! It’s absolutely hilarious and it SOLD OUT!! Hilarious! Put it up on my Facebook as the present for all the females in my family and just sittin’ back waitin’ for the responses! Should be quite amusing!

  14. See, and you guys didn’t believe me about the freeze-drying!
    It is A Thing. Even for squirrel feet rather than whole dogs.

  15. OMG!!! Squirrel jewellry!!! Perfect gifts, considering… 🙂 I’ll scout the part for some! The scarf is gorgeous and so is the sock. I’ve been missing my stash which is all boxed up and across a room full of furniture and stuff that ended up in there “for now”. Last time I tried to get to some yarn I caused an avalanche which ended up on my spinning wheel. I missed stash so much yesterday, I bought more. I can see it. I can touch it. I can knit it!!! It’s in my knitting bags in the den. 🙂 Now I feel better. Hope you do soon! My mantra right now is “This will be over soon…this will be over soon…” Maybe it would work for you too??

  16. Odd gift choice, coming from a vegetarian.
    I love the unblocked scarf. The texture of it reminds me of ancient Irish stone carvings, or maybe those Polish pastries that have a million layers of dough, separated by poppy seeds.
    A third ball of yarn will let you make a more lavish version of the scarf, if not an absolute shawl.

  17. Three? I thought it called for FIVE balls of ms27. I have that pattern and have been royally intimidated by it. You make it look so easy! It’s gorgeous seeing it in the making!
    Take care and hope things are better soon with your house.
    You’ve already had yours, but Happy Thanksgiving from this side of the border:)
    Joan in Ellicott City, MD

  18. That’s pretty warped in a non-spinner kinda way. Come south of the boarder, Steph. Day after Thankgiving here so there are leftovers and football games on tv everywhere. Destress with other peoples fams. This jacking up the house… We ALL know you don’t want to be there for it, whatever he means by that.

  19. Isn’t your other darling daughter coming home soon from Down Under? That is a happy thought or better yet, a ticket to go visit her and leave the house with the big hole!
    Eve from Carlisle

  20. I would tell you what they mean by jacking up the house, but you don’t really want to know (suffice it to say, when men say something, that’s actually what they mean). 🙂 It’s not as scary as it should be and as it sounds. Squirrel feet jewelry … horrifying. Thanks.

  21. Just like you are on one end of the remodelling-while-living-in-a-house spectrum, I am at the other. I’m thrilled for you getting a new foundation that will actually participate in supporting the house! I hope it feels really sound when done. But for now, a pub sounds right. It will be warm. Beer and knitting can flow. Let the boys do it!

  22. Just like you are on one end of the remodelling-while-living-in-a-house spectrum, I am at the other. I’m thrilled for you getting a new foundation that will actually participate in supporting the house! I hope it feels really sound when done. But for now, a pub sounds right. It will be warm. Beer and knitting can flow. Let the boys do it!

  23. Geez, Stephanie, I sure hope you finished your shopping and bought enough of those — because now they’re listed as Sold Out!

  24. Those squirrel feet earrings are just nasty! and what did they do with the heads and tails and oh, you’ve make me go all kinds of places I don’t want to be. Always thought provoking, that’s you – thanks so much for taking care of my brain;)

  25. I just recoiled from the screen. Eew eew eew. Please don’t show that to anybody who might actually have me on their gift list.

  26. I have to ask.. what kind of search criteria do you plug into Google to even FIND those exist? the next question has to be why look? Thanks, had a laugh out loud at those.

  27. Harlot,
    It’s been almost a year and I still can’t get your pretty cowl off my mind. Will you please share your pattern?

  28. This is one time where I am so glad to NOT be on your gift list.I don’t mind squirrels myself,but those things are just downright CREEPY.(I understand about your basement.I,too,have heard the words “jack up” in reference to our foundation.)

  29. Your selected Christmas present for everyone is a great candidate for the Regretsy site! Have you seen it?

  30. May I officially declare those as gross and disgusting. I know you have issues with fleece-stealing squirrels but really!

  31. Thanks Steph, I really needed a laugh and those earrings totally hit the spot. I love how they are sold as part of the whole “make do and mend” craze, you know, hey, these are just by-products and they would be thrown away afterwards! Brilliant.

  32. But your wool-stealing squirrel only has four feet. That means you can only gift 4 neclaces. Sorry to break the news but I don’t think that is going to cover your whole shopping list. (I think your sister would love one, though).
    Seriously, just keep in mind the end goal: a house with a strong foundation and a new, healthy furnace for winter. Sorry it is currently so difficult.

  33. Oh. My. God.
    I suppose a personal plea to the artist (hmmm) might net you some of those suckers. You could attach them as tassels to your scarf! No third ball of yarn needed.

  34. Unfortunately, I have a pretty good idea of what Joe was talking about. You’re right, you don’t want to know. I sympathize about your frustration over the yarn, but gotta tell you that I started that thing 2+ years ago and haven’t finished the first row of spirals. I have found the Hidden Squares Wrap in the same yarn to be much more fascinating for me.

  35. I was doing fine until I clicked on the link.
    I then spewed pumpkin roll all over the laptop.
    You should warn people!

  36. My husband and I were on vacation once and the guy in the hot tub near us had on some very interesting jewelry. He finally told us he worked in a morgue and that he could keep all the scrap items. His earrings were made from IUD’s. The ony upside I see to all this is that people are being crafty with what they have instead of purchasing and that they have skills I don’t possess. It’s Win/Win I suppose.But I’ll pass on wearing squirrell.

  37. You must keep a pair of those earrings for yourself. Wear them out in the backyard when you put fleece to dry. Freak out their little rodent minds. Oh yeah.

  38. Holy mother of pants, those are horrifying.
    Would you get the earrings, necklace, both, or would it depend on the person. “I can tell Stephanie loves me more. I got 3 squirrel feet!” ::shudders::
    I worry about the people who actually bought him/her out. Or maybe they just gave up. I think that may be what I choose to believe.
    Total regretsy material.
    Oh, hi, everyone. I just finished reading the archives and look forward to keeping up in real time.

  39. Ewwww. Really, that’s all I can say.
    To the Susan who wanted the pretty cowl: you clearly missed the October 7th post. It was listed then, and it’s available on Ravelry. It will cost $5.00, which will give Steph more money with which to buy more squirrel feet so that more people remove her from their Christmas Exchange.
    Really. Ewwwwww.

  40. I too, am undergoing renovations in my house, and although we don’t have a big hole anywhere, I still needed the laugh. At last, a use for squirrels. Actually, our reno is going rather well, except that the guy who was supposed to come and install our glass shower door (three days ago) has apparently disappeared off the face of the earth, perhaps carried away by acorn-bloated squirrels, (the ones whose feet haven’t yet been made into earrings) and we will now have to wait till Monday to get the door. It will be a different guy, our contractor promised us, as he has cancelled the no-show. In the meantime, I am knitting kneesocks.

  41. PS…to geniaknitz…there are two recipes at cuisinart.com. Go to recipes…desserts…basic flaky pastry dough. Maybe one is the original.

  42. I’m curious as to how the squirrel feet can be considered as recycled. Do squirrels know they are recyclable? And more importantly if I put squirrels in my recycling bin will my local authority take them away?

  43. ooh – they’re gross! on a lighter and happier note – all knitting looking good, hope the house survives being ‘jacked up’!

  44. My eyes nearly bugged out of my head when I saw the “present.” I’m sorry you’re stressed out-I hope it all clears up quickly and cleanly.

  45. If you could get a quick set, you could hang them in the hole of your house and that should keep out the unwanted guest (well any of them that wanted to keep there feet). Keep knitting!

  46. Please tell me you wouldn’t be able to make them yourself from visitors from your big hole! 🙂

  47. The socks…I have a pair in that exact same yarn (purchased back in 2000 at Stitches East…) that I call my “epiphany socks.” They’re an all-over 2×2 rib put together a la Priscilla Gibson-Roberts’ short-row heel and toe method. The epiphany comes from finally realizing that there was getting gauge to make the garment come out to the size it was “supoosed to” (then feeling bad when it didn’t really fit anyway) and there was getting gauge to figure out how to make the garment come out to the size you actually wanted it to be. Gasp! It’s also the first pair of socks I could actually wear, because the short-row heel fits my little duck feet without getting all bunchy. I love those socks. 🙂

  48. Thank you dear Harlot! That was exactly what I needed. I now have a mental picture of taxidermied squirrels missing their widdle feet.
    I am, however, wondering what crazy search term found those for you?

  49. Obviously, the spiral pattern is making you squirrelly. If you start craving nuts, it may be time to contact a professional. You know, like rams.

  50. AAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! that is both the most DISGUSTING and HILARIOUS link you have ever posted before!!! what kind of jewellery maker sits around one day going “hmmm, what should i do with all these extra squirrel feet? i know! i’ll put some sparkly stuff on them and trick people into wearing them in their ears!” eeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

  51. Well you can have the 15 squirrels that run across my porch roof all day and all night.Our cat just sits at the window and makes eyes at one of them, they just sit and stare at each other. As to the jacking up don’t let him try to use the one out of the car trunk. Bad day here at the Fair street nut house.
    Kris

  52. You are NOT alone. I too, thought gauge didn’t matter on a scarf until I made a beaded scarf as a sample for a store and ran out of yarn. The remedy entailed unraveling hundreds of yards of yarn (with the beads already loaded) back and forth across my kitchen floor, then finding something to wind it around because the beads prevented it from making a ball. I wound up using a needle 3 sizes smaller than “suggested”. The first,last and only time I will knit with beads.

  53. Eeeewwww. I’m trying to figure out how many different kinds of ‘wrong’ those squirrel earings are, and I’ve lost count. And I don’t like squirrls.

  54. I have had a Jojoland Swirl scarf hibernating for many months now, I keep getting confused on which direction the pre-existing hexagons attach to the current hex. I keep casting on backwards, get frustrated, put that project away and find inspiration again later. Thank you for being this go-around of inspiration, maybe I’ve got everything cast on correctly this time!

  55. Hitting your link shocked me and made me laugh out loud. Then even MORE shocking is what’s written on top: Item sold out. Some lucky dude has this pair of earrings. Ayayay

  56. LOL – those feet!
    I think my place is more trashed than yours, barring the hole in the floor/side (we do have two in the ceiling though!) but most of my stash is now less accessible, being in space bags. And I’m not knitting enough either cos stress plus cold = brain strain and inability to do simple maths.
    (And I think I know what Joe meant by jacked up but I am not saying)

  57. I remember our house being “jacked up” when I was about 14 years old – we got a basement with a real fireplace and a BAR! Too bad that I was too young to appreciate it! Is that a Canadian term?

  58. Oh dear, the shock and then the laughter upon seeing those squirrely earrings threw my back out. Damn! Hurts, but it was worth the laugh.

  59. Those earrings are wrong on so many levels and the fact that they sold makes me lose confidence in humanity. Or were you the one who bought them? 😉

  60. Elizabeth D at 4:30, I agree that the chullo hat pattern is really appealing, and I would probably buy it if I hadn’t just moved to sunny California from Michigan. However, if stress is driving Stephanie toward the grotesque this Christmas, how about the free pattern for the Gruesome Knitted Eyeballs available on Mucklestone’s site? http://maryjanemucklestone.com/cabled-chullo-%E2%80%93-a-family-favorite/. She could probably make earrings or string ties for everyone on her gift list in a couple of days!
    Just kidding, Stephanie, and I hope your house and all within it come through this trial in good order. If you can make us all laugh out loud about squirrel-foot earrings, you must be doing something good for your mental health. Meanwhile, hie thee to a pub or a yarn shop and take a deep breath . . .

  61. O…M…G…!! Those feet are too freaky!! Maybe you should get a pair and leave them out as a warning to the squirrels in your neighbourhood when you are drying yarn?
    As a total aside (nothing to do with knitting), thanks for the phrase, “The heart wants what the heart sees.” Karma has been kicking my arse 6 ways from Sunday this week, and I can’t even begin to tell you how much that phrase just totally fits!
    As a knitting aside, since I couldn’t sleep last night, I perused through my “Harlot-a-day” calendar, and happened upon the “2 Hour Scarf” page (sorry, don’t remember the exact date, but it was in December). As there are no knitting shops open at midnight in Toronto (that I know of!), I had to use 12.75mm needles, but had some burgundy and some pink roving (it may be super-bulky, not bulky) in the stash. Well, just over 2 hours later (allowing for 15 minutes of untangling and some very unladylike language), I have a fantastic very trendy looking scarf! Of course, now I want to knit one for everyone on my Christmas list, instead of giving them what I had planned…well, we’ll see if the insomnia kicks in again tonight (hmm, for some reason, I’m betting it will, LOL).
    Thanks Harlot, and enjoy the pub (have one for me, I’m working until 11pm).

  62. I appreciate the fact the feet were “professionally freeze dried” none of that amateur work for us!

  63. Necklace or Earrings! YOU CHOOSE! You get to choose which of these little horrors would delight you the most! Hang in there. Socks are a salvation at times like this.

  64. YOU ARE TO BLAME! I HAD to pull out my Jojoland and the swirl scarf pattern.
    Yours is looking good!
    BTW, those squirrel foot earrings are right up there with the cicada earrings that my sister made. They found a permanent home with the lead singer (male) in a local rock band.

  65. Coal in my stocking is looking pretty good. Though, on second thought, the feet would have been a great gift for one of those dreadful gift exchanges at work, the secret Santa ones.

  66. I felt shocked and dismayed and somewhat nauseated when I clicked on that link. I assumed it would be some knitting pattern. Next time would you please include some kind of public service notice such as “the following link may contain images objectionable to some viewers” ?

  67. I told myself not to look, dont click on the link! I knew better! Now I’m really sorry to know that if I google “squirrel foot earrings” I will actually get a listing! Horrid!!!

  68. Love the scarf…(she says as she burns her copy of Knitting Rules which clearly states on page 154 “You can skip the gauge swatch with a scarf and have it matter not at all. How could a scarf not fit? (Don’t answer that. I’m sure I’ll find out.)” and on page 158 on the subject ‘How Much Yarn Do You Need?’ “I don’t worry about whether I’m right about it, because I don’t mind the scarf presenting a small surprise”.
    Surprise!
    RE: Squirrel jewelry – 1) Icky 2) What gives? Has Lene refused to do the Christmas knitting schedule?

  69. Love those earrings. Reminds me of home, but they would be some less plentiful animal around here. Love the socks, too–I have some just like that, and they are among my favorites for plain knitting.

  70. I clicked the link and my entire family is sitting here in shocked horror.
    I’m sorry to say, though, that you will have to find alternate gifts, because (wait for it)…they are SOLD OUT!

  71. Good grief – all I can see is a herd of footless squirrels shuffling along.
    Please feel free to remove my name from your gift list. I’m sure I’m allergic to squirrel.

  72. How in the world did you find that very special jewelry????
    And who on God’s green earth would actually have a squirrel. well multiple squirrels, taxidermied…stuffed…and why in the world do they remove their feet??
    Love the swirl scarf,and the socks.
    Sorry about the house issues. It will get better….

  73. Really, you MUST warn us to–swallow first, put down the beer or coffee, make sure we’re in a private setting, etc. before such links or comments. Cleaning up my computer screen after spitting all over it is getting old!!
    Unbelievable!

  74. Love your idea for Christmas gifting – and thy aoffer free shipping everywhere in the world! My shopping may be finished now (earrings for the girls and necklaces for the boys – done!)
    Thanks!
    how did you ever find them?! LOL!

  75. I was SURE that was a link to “The Onion.” Wow. I hope the little footsies of your little backyard friends were included!

  76. Steph, hon, (pardon the familiarity), you might spend too much time searching the net. Just sayin’
    P

  77. Brunswick stew is a famous and I’m told delicious traditional dish made, originally, with the rest of that squirrel. Nowadays it tastes just like chicken. Odd, that.
    Nope, I’ll pass on the chicken feet earrings too…
    Still holding out hope that the phrase “How firm a foundation” applies to, not makeup, not lingerie, but your house and in quick order.

  78. Ewww, on the earrings. I think I prefer my squirrel feet ON the squirrels that inhabit my 50yo spruce tree.
    The scarf is pretty and now I understand the tweets about the yarn, a little bit more. It’s so hard to wait for something you desperately want. I’m with you, on the the guage issue, for a scarf. You can just keep knitting to make it long enough, but I guess that doesn’t work if you run out of yarn.
    Hope the house gets fixed pretty soon. You’ve been in limbo a long time already.

  79. So just what would the person look like and what would they be wearing with the squirrel jewelry? Creates even more interesting pictures in one’s head, doesn’t it?
    Hang in there, renovations always come to an end!

  80. Okay, Most important: So sorry for the chaos, and for the seeming inability of your usual coping mechanisms to be 100% effective. It’ll fix soon!
    Most amazing: The squirrel jewelry is Sold.Out. Yes, it is IMHO disgusting. Yes, it is astounding that someone would think, “You know, I could make the coolest jewelry out of those scrap taxidermy squirrel feet. But the most astonishing is that people are BUYing them.
    Speechless.

  81. And just as I was getting ready for bed – Now I’m afraid of nightmares of little footless squirrels!

  82. You didn’t read down far enough … number 7 explains what is going to happen to your house. Quoted below with the changed words in brackets:
    “The state of (a house) when (repairing one’s basement holes), … with a jack.
    I (repaired the hole in my basement) once (the house) was jacked up and the (upper part of the house) was off the ground.”
    I thought MY parents were the only ones who repeatedly had houses which needed jacking up. The first house needed jacking up in order to return it (the house-part) to sitting on top of its foundation. The movement and the re-uniting process was so we could actually move into this newly purchased home.
    The second house required jacking up so that a basement could be dug underneath it, and cemented in.
    Have you thought about the extra expenses?
    Jacking up the house causes realignment of walls and floors. Therefore wallpaper has a tendency to wrinkle and rip. Doors are no longer plum – they will probably not shut all the way. (Most troubling when they are bathroom doors or outside entranceway doors.) Or there are now gaps along the bottom to allow entry to squirrels, etc.
    A entry way for squirrels could be a troublesome problem!
    Especially if they recognize the feet in your earrings! (“How did Aunt Jennie’s feet get here? Where is the rest of her?)

  83. Those squirrel feet are something else!!! My question is, who is killing squirrels and getting them stuffed?! On the upside, free shipping!!! 🙂

  84. Should not have clicked on link…
    By amount of knitting, are speaking in amount of time, or amount finished? Because you crank it out at speeds I’ve yet to witness, and I’ve witnessed some rather impressive knitters.

  85. Ok…well I guess for the gal who has everything…why not squirrel feet! Seriously…what about the men??? I contemplated this and came up with ….Bull Penis Walking Sticks!!! There you go! Now all your loved ones can really appreciate the thought behind the gifts! (They really exist…google it!)

  86. YH – You are so right up my alley! I laughed so hard I accidentally disconnected my pc! I’m still laughing! What a great way to tame that Christmas knitting list.
    As for the stress around the house – isn’t there a pub just down the road? Lettuce knit? your mother-in-laws? If I lived in your neck of the woods I would give you the key to my house. Well, actually, come to the San Francisco Bay Area and I will give you the key to my house. It comes complete with cat, heat turned on and if we get too much rain at one time the sump pump backs up and I have a 4 foot deep swimmin’ hole in the cellar! Almost like home for you! Knit on!

  87. I hope you have oversized skeins of yarn for your scarf. The pattern listing shows it taking five!
    In re: the squirrel feet…yikes! I can’t decide what’s weirder, the fact that they exist or that they’re sold out.

  88. Love the jewelry. Can’t wait to show the rest of my family.
    I was the same as you a few months ago when we decided to paint our house. I noticed what looked like a bit of dry rot at the end of a support beam. The contractor checked it out — by the time we were done, we had chopped three roof beams back to the wall, replaced 2 vertical support beams (which required removing and replacing a 2 story wall of windows), put in new steel support braces on top of the vertical beams, and added new (fake) ends to the support beams. Every day for 4 weeks, I was biting my nails about what new problem would be discovered. Knitting kept me sane.
    Our house is finally painted (except for the double paned sliding door which blew out — from the inside — and can’t be painted until after the glass is replaced), but the repair to the beams/wall more than tripled the cost of the job.
    You probably don’t want to think about the money side of things just yet…

  89. Those earrings are so far beyond anything I could ever imagine that I am totally gobsmacked. I have all these images in my head now of poor little squirrels running around on little prosthetic feet or trying to hold an acorn with little hooks for hands.
    Love the socks and that sparkly white scarf is going to be utterly lovely. The swirl scarf is gonna be awesome. Well worth the wait.

  90. Looking at the ‘these’ at the end of your post gave me my biggest laughing fit in days. 🙂 Thanks for the uproarious fun! 🙂

  91. Oh boy! You’re REALLY under stress if you’re even checking out those things with the toes and nails attached! Ick! Hang in there. It’ll all be over before you know it, including Christmas.

  92. Ewwww! I thought to myself, “Self, what is it? What is Stephanie giving this year? Will there be a run on a type of yarn? Will a pattern sprout like rhubarb on Ravelry queues? I was unprepared. Ewww… I’m going to have to stare at the swirl scarf for therapy.

  93. Scarf is lovely! I am starting the Pretty Thing pattern,next,as I just finished some lovely gray and black alpaca and wool socks. Pretty Thing yarn choice: Iris hued cashmere.
    The squirrel earrings find me pondering what the person must be like that a)thinks rodent parts are suitable for accessories and b)decides to make several pairs of rodent foot earrings that are sure to please friends and family alike, and c)is probably planning something equally “interesting” to sell in another medium.

  94. (cough) *temporarily* looks like a hoarding problem! These little throw-away lines are the best!

  95. Wow !!! That Christmas gift is sure to please the person who has everything ;)…. Damn shame they are sold out, I could have used a pair to send to my father’s new wife 🙂

  96. It’s 2:30 in the morning – and I just clicked on those earrings. Now I’m afaid to go to sleep! They’re listed as sold out – so that means – some people really are getting them for Christmas/Channukah.

  97. Despite some, ah, interesting colour combinations that I’ve seen, I thought that Etsy could do no wrong…But squirrel feet earrings, that’s pretty darn wrong! (I know that rabbit’s feet are meant to be lucky, but how do you make the jump from lucky charm to ‘paws of cute furry thing’ to jewellery? How?!)
    I hope your yarn arrives soon!

  98. I’m a huge fan but have never commented before… it was the squirrel jewelry that finally did it. “Well, it’s getting late, I’ll just check Yarn Harlot and go to bed…” Whoops! I can’t stop giggling/squicking…
    (Think of this, everyone- the earrings could probably be converted into stitch markers!)

  99. The knitting looks wonderful.
    I get it about the house. Our kitchen is still under construction after being in the house for over a year.
    However…
    I think the squirrel feet might be taking neurosis a bit too far.

  100. I wouldn’t go so far to say that greys are considered as vermin over here – but they are a serious threat to our natiev reds – this could be one solution!!

  101. eww you need a warning for that link Steph… 😉 may your christmasses be filled with them 😛
    have you not got somewhere you could escape to during the day where you can knit and have someone else make the coffee??

  102. My husband asked why I was laughing at the laptop just now. After I explained your issue with squirrels, he said I should tell you about the avocado –
    Having been seduced by cute acrobatics the said husband started feeding squirrels in the garden. They felt so at home that they decided to nest and devastated several precious plants including an avocado grown from a stone. It was two feet high and quite an achievement for southern England.
    Needless to say, husband now feels the way you do about squirrels! (The avocado has recovered and is thriving.)

  103. I usually skim the comments but this time I read ALL of them! Laughed so hard I went through three peices of kleenex just to wipe tears out of my eyes so I could keep on reading. (the other five were for the rotten cold.)
    I periodically fantasize about being on your gift list – scarves and hats don’t get big workouts here in southern Portugal but living in concrete houses, another pair of wool socks is always welcome and everyone, young and old uses shawls – all of a sudden the fantasy has disappeared.
    Speaking of living in concrete (block and stucco) houses. It’s not only wood houses that suffer. In late summer I discovered little piles of sand in the back of my pantry. They were the result of thousands, or maybe hundreds of thousands, of ants looking into my larder. How many of those before the house (new) starts to fall down?

  104. I love the projects! I almost wet myself with the Squirrel feet! Hilarious!
    My dad gave his buddies a “bullie bag” once. They all used them for holding their whiskey flasks. Plus, after branding calves in the spring, they would use a calf “bag” for their gear shift covers! Gotta love that!
    Another way to cope with stress is to read about someone else’s. That always puts mine into perspective.. lol

  105. you know, I’ve made it a personal style decision to wear funky/unique earrings but man I draw the line way before those squirrel feet. There is just a major ICK factor to having those hanging from your ears aside from the fact that I like squirrels (mine behave themselves for the most part-but then there’s the one pinching my strawberries hmmm)
    I was wondering where your annual Xmas knitting freak out was. Have you given up? gotten totally organized? traveling on da Nile?

  106. Darn, the squirrels’ (squirrel’s?) feet jewelry is all sold out! Does it make me feel better to know that they were freeze dried? Is there anything in my freezer, currently suffering from freezer burn, that could be made into a necklace?

  107. Oh, there should have been a warning about the squirrel feet — I hadn’t even eaten my breakfast and of course now I’m not hungry. Ugh. On an upnote, your swirl scarf it looking gorgeous even if it’s a little short on yarn at the moment. The socks and snowflake scarf are off to a decent start too. Keep knitting — hopefully you get a finished basement for Christmas!

  108. When we lived in a 200+ year old house in Maine my husband announced one day that we had to jack it up. I had visions of all sorts of horrible problems but he said that it was natural that, like people, houses sag after some years. We bought the jacks and he jacked it up and it was fine. It was even rather painless although it wasn’t an immediate process … it had to be jacked slowly … a little at a time. Let Joe Jack … knit on !!

  109. I am sorry the hole in the house has got you down. It will all be over soon. I think the projects are looking great.
    I am just not sure what to say about those squirrel feet.

  110. I am sorry the hole in the house has got you down. It will all be over soon. I think the projects are looking great.
    I am just not sure what to say about those squirrel feet.

  111. I don’t know what’s more disturbing…that someone would make them into jewelry, that it’s sold out, or that it’s “recycled”…*sigh*

  112. First real laugh I’ve had in a few days!!!!!
    Love them – hang in there, you’ll be so happy when the house does get finished. Love your writing.
    Phyllis

  113. How can one have that wacky a sense of humor amidst all the chaos ? I guess it’d either that, or completely crack up. Hang in there Steph

  114. That is the most awful thing ever! Oh my icky poo – I can’t imagine one of those dangling from your ears or anything like that. I never liked those lucky rabbit foot thingy-s that people had either.

  115. Ya know, even after having a commando grey squirrel creep down my chimney (cue theme music from Mission Impossible here) and then procedure to trash my house while we were away at work and school (little infiltrator was discovered after he ran across my daughter’s feet) I’m not so sure I could wear squirrel feet were anyone ever to gift them to me. Just sayin’.
    Still kinda blinking (and laughing, ’cause I’m bad like that) over that link. I mean, seriously?
    And everyone else is right. Hit the pub until the jacking up is complete. Feeling your house rise beneath you can be a bit off-putting…

  116. Just the thought of those earrings make me cringe and rub the feeling out of my neck. Funny though. So hoping you haven’t ruined someone’s Christmas surprise.
    Love the socks and scarf. I will not make that scarf, ever. Hate picking up stitches.

  117. The squirrel feet things are creepy. My stash is, once again, in the dining room because I’m painting the craft room and all the shelves are down. I have 3 christmas projects going… but I have this stash, and it’s all here and available and I want to knit something different.
    So I’m using the opportunity to think about the knitting olympics, which I assume you’re doing again especially as the Olympics are actually *in* Canada this time… right? Or if you aren’t, maybe I’ll just do it myself…

  118. Wow!!! For the first time in my life I’m glad I’m not – on someone’s Christmas list. I love jewelry, but don’t think that’s what those things are.
    On the other hand, I love the scarf but don’t think I could concentrate on it this time of year.
    And, we’ve been having some house renovations done lately and I know exactly how you feel. All I want to do is FLEE! No water for 2 days, new roof, 2 1/2 days, odds and ends, forever. Even the cat was ready to run and she won’t go outside.
    Hang in there, drink something??? it’ll be over eventually. really.

  119. This makes me so very happy that I’m not on your Christmas list!!! 🙂
    “Jacking up the house” = “not only do you not want to know, it’s probably just better that you don’t.” Unless you want to leave home for say, a month or so.

  120. Thanks for the big laugh. Mr Squirrel meets Steph. Too bad they sold out a year ago. Are you thinking of supplying the maker with more?
    Jacked up. Ahhh we had that once. Skinny poles with flat metal on each end that crank up and actually keep the house from falling down. Scary scary but I lived to see the actual foundation placed under it and the jacks lowered until the house sat on the new foundation. They work!
    Breathe! knit drink knit knit

  121. Stephanie, my son has volunteered to hunt squirrels for your Christmas presents. I did inform him you do not eat meat, and I am sure it is only anger that has allowed you to choose this jewelry, because wool theft is serious. This involved a long discussion about wool sheep not being very tasty, and mutton sheep, which are eaten, not being good for wool. So, my daughter asks, “Does she need them poisoned or shot?” I have insisted you do not need squirrels, poisoned, shot, or naturally dead, but my children truly like that dead animal jewelry. But they will not hear me as I reach for stomach medicine and camp out in the bathroom, because they’re going to my sister’s.
    And, next time, buy an extra ball, my dear. It is so hard to put aside a project you adore because you failed to plan.

  122. Stephanie, I love reading your blog. YOu make me feel more normal :>)
    Ok, your swirl scarf looks different than the one on the pattern page. I think I like yours better. It’s fluffier! The pattern page said someting about five balls of yarn. Maybe for a shawl??
    Very creepy Christmas present!! Love the socks!

  123. I think the earrings need some hand knit socks, gee if we only knew who actually bought them we could smother them in squirrel socks———-

  124. Ah… sadly, they are sold out. Oh my!
    Keep saying OM and deep breaths. Christmas knitting.
    BTW, just sent in my Tricoteuse Sans Frontieres donation for this year!! 🙂

  125. Yup. Best laugh I had this week. Sort of on a par with getting a Wisdom Tooth yanked. Uh huh. I feel the pain of the reno. Honey, it’s like labor, you want to kill everyone around you when it’s happening but the end result usually justifies the means . . . well, for about 14 years or so!!

  126. Oh, just about forgot . . . . I was away working about 25 years ago & came home to find the man of the house & his buddies had “jacked-up” my house to put in a new foundation all the way around. They decided to raise it up about 4 feet to make a nice crawl space for plumbing & insulation. Nice plan. The house was at a 45 degree angle with one end on the foundation & one end in the driveway. Apparently they lifted it up with a big strap on a crane & it tilted. Now why they wouldn’t use TWO straps with beams or put it on four jacks while they raised it, I don’t know. I just told them I’d be back in TWO days & it had better be back on the foundation & drove away! At least, you’re only getting one wall mended & they’re using the “JACK” word inside & not “crane”.

  127. Oh my………..
    Wouldn’t that be a conversation piece?? You’d be the hit of the party!

  128. You’re knitting way more than I am right now. I always want to knit and am always thinking about knitting. Except now. I am on day 3 of a 4 day weekend and haven’t knit a stitch. Somehow, the approach of the holidays with their attendant deadlines makes me not want to knit. This is bad. A recipe for trouble.

  129. All I can say is, I think this would be about the only occasion I WOULD NOT want to be a recipient on your Christmas gift list.
    Thanks, but, No Thanks. :O)

  130. I’m not sure which is most disturbing — that people actually make these or that they are all sold out. UGH!
    I have, btw, apologized on behalf of the seller to the pair of squirrels who scamper in the trees in my back yard.

  131. OH. MY. GOD. I think the neighbors are afraid I ahave been mauled, I screamed and laughed when I saw that picture of the earring. Good on you.

  132. Oh my goodness! Those are too funny! I’m glad that I am not on your Christmas gift list!
    I’m hoping that your stress level comes way down and the house gets done soon!

  133. thanks for the squirrel feet : ( reminds me of my neighbors’ son. several years ago i shared with him a very ishy story off NPR (could it have been?)about someone who made “power shakes” in his blender that included hunks of raw squirrel he’d shot. several weeks later i offered this kid a sample of a smoothie i’d just made in my new “vita mix”. his response to my offer? “does it have squirrel in it?” eeeuuwww!

  134. Your gift idea had me laughing for a long time! Just got back from some Christmas shopping today and those don’t look too bad….

  135. Dear God:
    For the love of all that is holy – please, please, PLEASE, do not let my husband get me those earrings.

  136. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for that gift idea! It made me laugh out loud on a really crappy day!

  137. Couldn’t Joe’s GANSEY come out of time-out after all this?! Just four rows a day??? Love the socks!

  138. Put me in the ick and eeew list re: squirrel feet earings (shudder) the scarves and socks howerver lovely – focus on them – just see the knitting (whew, I am feeling better!)

  139. Ewww! Glad I’m not on your Christmas list. Waiting on the mailman, think of it as a chance to start new projects.

  140. Doesn’t everyone de-stress by baking banana bread? It definitely brings divided families together – until the discussion about who gets the last piece divides them again…

  141. Bwaahahaaa! 🙂 Not sure I could wear them though – imagine the feeling of little claws against your cheeks as they gently swing to and fro…
    I was going to post an even better squirrel-related item here, just in case the earrings are now unattainable (t’would be such a shame!), but going by the decidedly humourless tenor of some of the posts here, I think I’ll leave it! 🙂 Suffice it to say: lampstand.

  142. Hi Steph,
    Sorry to hear you’re having a shit time. If it helps, you are certainly not the only one.
    We’re having a team meeting here and there’s something very important we need to check with you and/or Tina. Please reply and then we’ll leave you alone!
    Take care, and hope weather in Toronto is better than here,
    Jo, Doug, Kate and Cheryl

  143. Ok, that is the grossest thing I’ve seen today LOL. Thanks for the morning loud outburst of laughter, it is going well with my coffee! 🙂

  144. Poor you! Hope things improve at home asap. It’s so stressful. How on earth did you find those earings? Does anybody actually wear them?! Yuck!

  145. No threat about too many clementines, Vitamin C is a soluble vitamin so any surplus will pass through the system. ( But I expect you already knew that)

  146. Yikes! I’m not usually a squeamish person (generally) but I was eating cereal when I clicked on the squirrel link and I think I almost threw up. :S

  147. I’m so relieved to hear that She-Who-Harps-About-Gauge in her books is always so willing to share the same lesson learned over and over again with the rest of us who also ignore the gauge when they shouldn’t. 😉 Still…have to agree, scarves should be exempt, but happy to get a tip on why there must be a caveat in that exemption as well.
    Here’s hoping Canada Post delivers within its service levels and provides you with the diversion required to stare down that hole in the wall.
    …And all this just when the weather is about to get chilly in the tropical environs of T-Oh.

  148. Oh, Steph! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
    Good luck with the house. The scarf is lovely.
    another Stephanie

  149. oh YAY i was just woken up by a JACKHAMMER….AGAIN…..and its 8am and I’m on HOLIDAYS…and the person doing this torture, my own mother. So i greatly sympathize with you about the hole. where the heck are the renovation faeries?!?!

  150. So um, maybe I should send you my recipe for BOURBON banana bread? That might help with your searches for scary things like squirrel feet in any form. Maybe you should skip the bread even and just go for the bourbon?
    Perhaps – as an alternative – you might like a total subject change (well from squirrel feet) to look at Fleegle’s blog and the Shetland Lace project she just posted about.
    Just because….it’s something pretty and fun and knitting…..and no squirrels.
    (http://fleeglesblog.blogspot.com/)
    The house project will come to an end and you will have a foundation. It will be good. In the mean time…..knitting and spinning are highly recommended so nobody gets hurt 😉

  151. Maybe if you had a necklace outside it will make your own obnoxious squirrel think twice about touching your fleece.

  152. I can’t even believe that squirrel feet (in your choice of earrings or necklace) exist, let alone that they sold out!!!!!Now, squirrel fur yarn……….ok, that I would believe….

  153. You should, um, totally just skip the gift thing for me this Christmas…..
    Really. Don’t even give it another thought.

  154. Oh dear, you’ve done it. You’ve finally taken up hunting!
    Squirrel feet jewelry? I know I left my Sierra Club membership card around here somewhere….

  155. 1. socks: cool looking
    2. scarf: lovely start
    3. house: sorry, about the house.
    4. stress: sorry about that too. (see #3)
    5. esty link: Ewwwwww.

  156. Ok, your life is in chaos but why take it out on the squirrels-think how bad you would feel if they used the feet of your personal roving squirrel thief?
    My husband wishes he had thought of the earring idea as we have a hundred million of the little “bastards” as he calls them and many are black which he thinks would make really classy evening versions of the earrings.

  157. Yuck………Looking forward to your and Rachels Christmas plan. Good luck.
    PS. Try not to be TOO ambitious considering the house being all jacked up and all.

  158. Yuck………Looking forward to your and Rachels Christmas plan. Good luck.
    PS. Try not to be TOO ambitious considering the house being all jacked up and all.

  159. I am sorry life is dealing you some crap stress cards at the moment and I hope the house gets fixed soon, but I may just about be in love with those earrings. They are the most horrific things I have seen in a while. Straight on to the Christmas list with those!

  160. not only those earring ARE on sale, but they are actually SOLD OUT… now, that really bothers me…
    Your knitting is pretty. As always.

  161. I’ve been there, done that and survived because the house really needed it. (think plastic surgery because gravity works :)) BTW those earrings really are “jacked up ” lol

  162. Oh, there is always someone else to blame for your woes. For your blaming needs, I offer my cat.
    Saru-chan(tm) is a yarn eating, blame receiving system, allowing you more time to enjoy free of recriminations. Just simply state your problem, enter name of cat, and then go about your business. Amount of time free of recriminations varies based on severity of problems.
    Try it! It works!

  163. Ew.
    Two questions leap to mind: 1) who thought of squirrel hand earrings and 2) if someone received them, what did they do with them?

  164. That is one of the most disgusting things I have seen recently, and I have three children (with varieties of bodily functions).
    Unless, of course, they knit. That would totally make sense then.

  165. Oh, man! It looks like the 252 people commenting ahead of me bought out all the squirrel-foot earrings! Darn! They’re SOLD OUT! Perhaps there’s a market for gopher-foot earrings. So much daintier.

  166. I can see you with a live trap baited with washed wool in the back yard then in the basement with the hot glue gun. Of course this means you have to have two squirrels for 4 pairs of earrings.

  167. I can see you with a live trap baited with washed wool in the back yard then in the basement with the hot glue gun. Of course this means you have to have two squirrels for 4 pairs of earrings.

  168. “Jacking up the house” means just that. You get a jack, and jack up your house like you would jack up a car to change a flat tire. It will help your house sit even. Had to do that to our front porch a while ago, because it was sinking in. Now it isn’t. Good luck! P.S.- The squirrel earrings are… unique.

  169. They are SOLD OUT!!!!!!!! I am soooooooooooooooo disappointed. Just what I always wanted, vermin feet to hang from my earlobes!
    The scarf is glorious, as are the socks.

  170. A house can be raised with jacks and as a previous commenter noted – straps & cranes. I hope it doesn’t come to that. I recommend garter stitch projects and beer, lots and lots of beer.

  171. Maybe you should put a warning up before putting up links to animal body parts made into jewelry, just in case someone who happens to think the aforementioned animals are actually quite cute and amusing, and is now rather disturbed. That’s just not a mental image you can choose to get rid of.

  172. Squirrel feet: grody to the max! (unless it’s the evil stash-stealing squirrel). Although, come to think of it, the feet might make a great companion piece for my lucky rabbit’s foot key chain…

  173. Ah yes, stress is a bad thing..All that noise and dust and dirt, and the yarn in full view….makes one do strange things…Do remember when women wore fur stoles with the feet and head attached..I shrieked and ran from the room when I saw such a stole the first time.I was five..I’m no longer five, so I didn’t shriek and throw the computer across the room, but….now really…So glad I’m not on your X-mas gift list…..unless it comes with a big box of dark chocolate…
    Mareva

  174. I have those SAME EXACT SOCKS! And I love them, just love em. My Mom made them for me few years ago, I don’t knit socks yet, only lace. (I know I know!) Scrolling through your post was like seeing my socks in a pile of clean laundry on my bed! And what a lucky person indeed for striking gold in the untapped taxedermy/jewelry market. There are no words…

  175. I have those SAME EXACT SOCKS! And I love them, just love em. My Mom made them for me few years ago, I don’t knit socks yet, only lace. (I know I know!) Scrolling through your post was like seeing my socks in a pile of clean laundry on my bed! And what a lucky person indeed for striking gold in the untapped taxedermy/jewelry market. There are no words…

  176. Probably a lucky thing you looked up “jacked up” at UrbanDictionary.com, but not “tossed salad” from the previous post.

  177. Judging from the comments, I’m not the only person who thought of regretsy when I saw the squirrel feet earings. Maybe if these are popular enough, your fleeces will stop being stolen from the backyard.

  178. Err, sorry about the triple comments. I wasn’t sure if the computer I used submitted them properly. Love your mathcing socks, by the way!

  179. My very first pair of sock weight socks were knit with that same yarn. It holds up well and they always make me smile. Wish they still made that pattern in other colors because I’d love some.
    Yeah for Stephanie! Yeah for Self Patterning Sock Yarn!
    hey – you started the Christmas knitting yet??????

  180. Dude, you can totally blame your yarn shortage on the pattern. Just say that you were in a really dimly lit area at the time and that the materials were printed so small that you couldn’t see them very well unless you crossed your eyes. There, problem solved. xD
    As for the squirrel feet: That’s hilarious. I might have to get one of those for someone in my family…I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.

  181. ROFLMAO – you must have stashed those on purpose – loving Squirrel as you do – sold out Dec.2008, good planning on your part!
    come on back to Edmonton one day, we miss you!

  182. Dude – you rock! That link to the Squirrel Feet Earings made my day, the belly laugh I needed.

  183. Am I the only one fainlty nauseated by the thought of a dead animals claws as jewellery!?!?
    Seriously?? And they’re sold out?
    I worry about the internets sometimes…
    I TRULY pity people on your X-mas list!

  184. Holy Cr–, I bout peed my pants. I have been so stressed for so long and didn’t even realize it until I laughted for the first time in I cant remember how long. Thank you. Squirrel feet, who’d a thought? You’re too much.

  185. Squirrel feet earrings have another name, you know. They’re also called ‘knitter’s revenge’ — as in, you touch my stash one more time to make a nest, I’m volunteering you for this project.

  186. Yeah… i remember when I needed a house jacked up once. My kids tried it one way, my father tried it another.
    I was less than pleased with either result, truth to tell.
    Excuse me, I spit water over my keyboard when I saw those earrings… must clean it now! lol!

  187. O.O …Dear gods, that is the most disturbing thing I’ve seen in quite a while…and I just had a baby, so there was some imagery there with the potential for some serious scarring.
    Jaw literally dropped open…holy crap.

  188. And I thought I had carried things too far by knitting a tiny hat for my workmate’s ceramic squirrel … I could instead have given the perfect gift of squirrel feet earrings!

  189. You should at least get one, vegetarian or no. It might scare your gray friend away from your fleece. Mua-ha-ha-ha . . .
    (As a farmer’s daughter, I have a high tolerance for animal gore.)

Comments are closed.