Random Monday

1. On Friday I kidnapped my youngest kid and took her to the woods for the weekend.  I didn’t even tell her where we were going until we were pretty far from home. 

2. I thought she might freak right the frak out when she found out that we were going somewhere with no computer, no tv and no phone and only her mum for entertainment.

3. She didn’t.  (That was pretty cool all by itself.)

4. We read, we canoed, we played a thousand games of Sequence (we love that game) we did mortal battle with a woodstove, since we were in an un-insulated cabin when it was 5C outside, which pretty much means it was 5C inside without the stove.

5. Taking your  16 year old to the woods with no contact with their friends feels a lot like kidnapping your own kid from a cult and deprogramming them.

6. We saw loons. We walked in the woods.  She spoke to me in nearly complete sentences and made eye contact with me.  We had actual communication.

7.  There’s only so much communication and mum time a kid can take, so sometimes there was knitting. 

8. It really paid off, since now I have this year’s first pair of dress mittens, all finished.

La Joie de Printemps, knit in lovely Gauja wool. 

Sitting in the cabin with the cold trying to sneak in against the fire was the best possible way to finish these mitts.  The whole heat wave thing we had going on in Toronto when I started them was sort of demoralizing, in the mitten department.

9. On the way home yesterday, Sam and I both noticed that the trees are starting to turn. 

10. This makes me want to put down the sweater I’m working on and make more mittens.

11.  That’s dumb.  A sweater will keep me way warmer than mittens.

136 thoughts on “Random Monday

  1. Good for you and Sam having actual conversations – not text messages, not e-mail, and not twitter 🙂
    And oh my, what a beautiful set of dress mittens!!

  2. I wish…. glad you had a wonderful time with your daughter!
    Definitely on my plan for next possible chance ;))
    Oh, and gorgeous mittens, too…

  3. Beautiful, beautiful mittens! Our trees in western Washington are turning, too, in spite of unseasonably warm temps–also makes me want to knit warm things! It sounds as though you and Sam had a great weekend–what a nice way to slow down and connect. Are the other two off to school already? Our four were in and out, in and out for a number of years, and then all left at pretty much the same time–quite an adjustment, but I quickly got used to being able to find things–they didn’t just mysteriously walk off anymore! Best, randmknitter

  4. What lovely mittens, and what a lovely time it sounds like you had with your youngest. Fantastic.

  5. “that’s dumb” – hahaha – and true!
    I’m a beginning knitter, and inveterate mitten loser, so I’m working on things that are harder (and not so demoralizing) to lose – but those sure are pretty!

  6. Just how cold is 5C? I can never remember the relationship, between what degrees F = how many degrees C, so it means nothing to me. I’m in TX and it is definitely NOT 5, C or F! Happy trails to you, anyway – sounds like a nice time!

  7. I’m so glad you had a wonderful weekend with your daughter! I’m sure it strengthened your already strong relationship with her. (And, yes, a sweater will keep you warmer than mittens. Or even socks AND mittens!)

  8. Angela, to convert °C to °F, multiply by nine, divide by five, and add 32. 5°C is 41°F.
    Here in central Arizona we are looking at 40°C today. I’ll save you the trouble: that is 104°F.

  9. Sounds cosy! And the leaves here are already turning, despite the fact that we have had NO warm weather preceding the turning. Despite the cold (3 degrees C this morning and snow in the mountains) I am still struggling to finish my summer knits – so I can legitimately start my warmer knits, including mittens!

  10. Note to Sam: You think you had it bad with no computer (internet), no tv and no phone. Let us tell you about the time your mother stayed there (the cabin) ALONE with no internet, no tv, no phone and NO CAR!!!!! She had to walk miles just to get TP (ok, it was beer). At least your mother had the decency to bring the car.

  11. Yes, the leaves are turning here too and we had frost last night and we’re not that far north at all. I can’t decide if winter is coming earlier every year or time is just going faster as I go slower. Is it unreasonable to hope for 3 months of Indian summer?

  12. So cool that you can kidnap her. My stepson freaks out (literally – crying, yelling) when we separate him from the computer for dinner. Sigh. I hope, if we ever have another between us, I can shortcircuit that programing before it starts.
    The cabin looks enchanting. Yes, a sweater will keep you warmer but my, are those lovely mittens. I wish I could fair isle.

  13. Ooooooo….how fun! I like to be away from my computer from time to time – I love wild spaces, and there are so few left.
    Those mitts look lovely! I’d rather have mitts than a sweater – I tend to knit small things anyhow! 😀

  14. The changing colors in the hills makes me sad now that I have no children at home. I feel unanchored in the fall when others are getting back into the school schedule and I am still doing my own thing.
    I was always determined to live in a rural area where I would be forced to drive my children various places. The driving time was usually spent talking, and I would not have missed that time with my teenagers for anything in the world. We turned down all carpool invitations so that I could have the pleasure of the company of my very own children. A trip to their school was 22 miles round trip and I was happy to make it.
    It was my very own of kidnapping – it worked!

  15. Already with the trees? We love Qwirkle over here – just taught the kids to play over the weekend. Congratulations on time with kidlet!

  16. The last time someone took me camping and didn’t tell me the specific destination until we were en route I ended up at a nudist resort. There were no loons.
    Beautiful mittens. I need to learn how to do those thumbs. All my mittens of that style have sore-thumb thumbs, because that’s what I know how to do and I like them, but I really should bite the bullet and learn the genuine Scandinavian ones already. They make me nervous because I know they’ve given very excellent knitters trouble.
    Sweater vs. mittens: depends how many mittens you make.

  17. Yes but mittens will warm the hearts of gift recipients. At least, that’s what I’m thinking as I’ve started knitting mittens for Christmas.
    Plus, my budget isn’t allowing for new yarn purchases, so I have to use up my stash.

  18. Sounds pretty perfect to me! I’ve not heard of Sequence before, but have just googled it, and think that I’ll be buying a set for Christmas! Thanks! And I love the mittens too!

  19. You can never have too many mitten or socks for winter.The leaves are turning here also in northeast Indiana and the geese are starting to fly south in large numbers. Time to really get knitting.

  20. Those mittens are stunningly pretty. I recently started a pair of fair Isle mittens to gift at Christmas & mine are not nearly going so well – thinking of frogging & starting over – because some of my floats are not long enough.
    Brilliant on the kidnapping thing though – complete sentences & everything.

  21. Wow. I wish my mom and I had done something like that when I was younger. I think it might have staved off some (just some) of the rip roaring arguments we had when I hit my teens.

  22. I have knit many pairs of mittens;however, none of mine even compare to the beauty of yours. Love the pattern and the color. And I so wish we had a fireplace so we could have wood burning fires.

  23. Wonderful! I once agreed to drive from NJ to Michigan to attend a college reunion because an adult child wanted to go….. My 35th reunion, his 10th. It was great to have him trapped in the car for 11 hours each way!
    The mittens are lovely, and inspirational. Thanks!

  24. I think if I were to do this with my daughter it may end in bloodshed. Don’t get me wrong, I love her. The problem is that we are both knitters and when she comes to visit (she’s married and living about an hour away from me) she often wants to borrow my scissors, measuring tape, “spare” yarn, knitting needles…….

  25. Can I ask an awkward question – wasn’t there a fit issue with the mittens? Do they actually fit you? Or is this a horribly awful question to ask another knitter? If so, I retract it now.

  26. Awesome. Totally awesome. As a mom of five, I cherish the one-on-one times that occassionaly get. Way to make it happen.
    And, beautiful mittens!

  27. OMG BEAUTIFUL mittens !!! Too bad more parents can’t do this little kidnapping trip with their teens. I feel that machines are going to be the death of us all one day and teens are loosing their social skills because of them.

  28. Oh what lovely mittens!!
    You could always split the difference and make a 2 color cardigan based on the mitten pattern…. all the joy of the color work, all the joy of a sweater to keep you warm.
    Such lovely work!

  29. I adore the fact that you make dress mittens. I can’t even really fathom doing that, seeing as how it’s cold enough to wear mittens down here for approximately one week per year (and then we just shove our hands in our pockets), but it really delights me that people live in places where the idea of dress mittens can exist! Hooray!
    I’m glad you two had a lovely weekend! =)

  30. Beautiful mittens. I love that blue tweed too!
    It’s amazing how the aliens can return our teenagers for a short time (replacing the pod creature) when we get them totally away from outside influences.
    Glad the two of you got this important time together. Thanks for sharing.

  31. Dear Steph,
    Did the cooler temperatures make you think about knitting a snowflake scarf, like you mentioned last winter in your blog? I’m still waiting (with yarn purchased) for the pattern, which I know would be pretty stunning……..just sayin’! 🙂

  32. Oh, lovely mittens! I really want to try pointy fair isle mitts. It just really bugs me when the two colours of yarn tangle up, which they always do. Maybe when I finish my sheep sweater, and my daughter’s hat, I will try mittens like those. By the way, thank you again for your helpful advice on short rows and sweater bust shaping. I found in my closet a knitting book I’d forgotten I owned, Katharina Buss’s Big Book of Knitting. It has very helpful information about short rows. It’s really an excellent reference for all things knitted and it shall not get shoved in my closet again. It is now in the bathroom, also known as the reading zone in my house. So nice you could spend that precious time with your daughter.

  33. . . . mittens? sweater? Either way, it’s a win/win since quality time with your daughter will keep you way warmer than ANYTHING! What a lovely blog post. (What a wonderful Mum!)

  34. But mittens are still better. My fingers get cold easily, even if the rest of me is warm.

  35. Hmm. How about a sweater to match the mittens? That way, you can have both! A selbu sweater, perhaps?

  36. What a lovely idea! I’ll have to borrow that one with my daughter sometime soon! She’s only 8, but sometimes she gets missed around all her big brothers. It would do us both some good! Thank you for telling us all about it.

  37. I’ve finally gotten the hang of toe-up socks on one cable needle, and now you’re tempting me with mittens!
    But the dress mittens are beautiful, and I have family members in New England. Maybe plain mittens this year, and socks, and then on to more complicated things next year, inspired by your wonderful blog!

  38. Love the mittens! I wish someone would kidnap me for a weekend in the woods…I might finish *something*, after weeks of finishing nothing.

  39. Oh – Stephanie – your mittens are just lovely!!! I started these as well, but am embroiled in a battle with my calendar that has all the dates filled in and little time for knitting allotted. Space eases up for me the 2nd week in December – Maybe I’ll make them for my own Cmas present from me to me. Not that it ever really gets that cold here in the Pacific Northwest, but I’ve always wanted a great looking pair of mitts regardless of the temperature. Mine are white and cherry in Jamieson’s Spindrift
    Naomi – aka Crystalbelle

  40. I always loved taking my girls [4] alone in a car. That way they could not be “busy” and take off…
    Well done, Stephanie!
    My girls are all grown and my eldest grand-daughter a Freshman at a University.
    Their childhood is gone in a moment, just when I am ready to start my second [or 3rd, or 4th, et.al.] childhood.

  41. I heat my home with a wood stove. It looks like you had the doors open? Once the fire finally gets going, next time shut the door and close the flue flappy thing about halfway (45 degree angle). You’ll sweat yourselves right out of the house within an hour, I promise!

  42. Hooray for cabins and the woods! Hooray for Sequence, the favorite of my grown girls and their mum. It’s our New Years Eve game, after the fireworks, accompanied by ice cream with real hot fudge sauce, usually at -20 to -40 outside with the wood stove burning inside. This is, after all, Fairbanks. Where gorgeous fingering-weight mittens are marginally warm enough until spring.

  43. Lovely mittens and lovely time had by all. You deserve(d) a break (today). Sorry, I think that last one is trademarked.
    Hey, your newest book is available for pre-order at (urgh) AMZN and is due out in May. It also says the publisher is Andrews McNeel. Things that make you say “hmm” – whoops, I think that one might also be trademarked (plus, I’m dating myself).
    So you are going to be on another book tour rampage, and you have to grab these weekends and memories when you can. Since you seem able to warp the time-space continuum only around the holiday season.

  44. Glad you had a wonderful time. The mittens are beautiful. Also I found the pattern for that sweet little baby bonnet(Siofra)you knit a few months back. I cant wait to knit it up. Thank You!!! Ü

  45. The mitts are beautiful! Have you done these before? (or something that looks similar?) Isn’t it lovely to be out in the woods AND be able to knit?! I can just smell it. Glad that your kidnapping went well!

  46. Memories for a lifetime.
    And I love the blue above and the mittens below, but I love best that you did that–not to mention the good example you set for all of us mother/daughter pairs out here.
    (Dang. Where am I going to find me a loon? To which you know one of my daughters could only reply, Right where you’re standing, Mom!)

  47. so jealous! I am afraid my “soon to be” 16 year old would knock me out… stuff me in the wood stove… light it up using my wool as a starter… grab the keys and run for the electronics!

  48. I am kidnapping my daughter in a couple of weeks. She knows about it. We are both steeling ourselves.

  49. Ah yes, but the mittens are more about instant gratification. A good pair of mittens can allow you to live in “winter denial” for a lot longer than just slipping on a warmer sweater can.
    Or is it just me?

  50. …my youngest would have seen my doing such a thing as a kidnapping and attempted teenager abuse and would have promptly run away. I would have been left alone to knit, drink wine and be at peace…
    The mittens are…too beautiful.

  51. As the (often slightly loopy) mother of a 2 year old, your posts often give me hope for how much fun a relationship with a civilized child will be! Glad you guys had a good weekend, and I love the mittens.

  52. What an awesome weekend! I’m sure both you and your daughter will remember it forever. It’s only when we realize that life is so wonderful and passes by so fast that we really appreciate those moments! Great post!

  53. Oh, yes, very lovely mittens. I don’t know why I’ve never thought of ‘dress’ mittens. I’m only a little south of the border. Fancy, fussy alpaca dress mittens. I will add that to the projects-for-me list!
    Your weekend sounds wonderful. Good for you both to be making such good memories.

  54. As someone who has rheumatoid arthritis, I find that the temperature of my extremities determines whether I feel cold or not. Cold toes, cold fingers? Chances are the rest of me is cold. It’s also the quickest way to cool me down when the weather is too hot as well.
    LOVE the mittens.

  55. OMG those mittens are the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. Good for you to go where there are no machines with your daughter. I do hope more parents are able to do this.

  56. A jumper might keep you warmer, but it doesn’t have the instant gratification of mittens….which look awesome! Sounds like a fabulous weekend with your daughter.

  57. Nice to know you have your priorities straight. What a precious gift to share time with your daughter. The very beautiful mittens are just a wee bonus compared to that. OK, maybe more than a wee bonus.

  58. I bet this little gesture is something she’ll remember for the rest of her life. What a good mama.
    And time to crank out knitting mileage, too. Perfect weekend if you ask me.

  59. Ahhh…16 year old girls…not too keen on conversations. How well I know.
    Now, take a 16 year old boy…well, that’s another story. My son is incredibly conversational with me, his mom. Boys. Sigh.
    You should kidnap your husband, take him out to the woods, and try to a boy…just to see the difference, oh ye mom of three girls. 🙂
    (“Someone” is up way past her bedtime, I think…hence the lack of propriety.)

  60. Sounds like a perfect weekend. I miss loons! My family has a cottage in Georgian Bay, but I haven’t been back east in a few years. Don’t miss the mosquitoes or bears but the loons and great blue herons are beautiful.

  61. Great mittens!
    And what a great idea to “kidnap” your daughter. I must remember to do something like that whit my kids 😉

  62. They are lovely! I just wanted to say that Im very happy I found your books. I now know the name for the malady that affects me. Startitis. Even the women at my knitting circle did not know what was affecting me and why I felt the need to start so many things. Although maybe there is something wrong with them yes?

  63. Our trees are well past ‘starting’ to turn, though we’re well south of you. Less from temperature, though we’ve been having cool nights, than from a too-dry summer. Oh, well!
    Nice mittens! Does your family go back after you’ve gifted knits and look at them on the blog?

  64. OOOh beautiful mittens. Lovely mother daughter time. The beginnings of a crisp fall color change, it just doesn’t get better than that.

  65. My 14 year old has Aikido 3 nights a week. We’ve had some really great conversations on the way back and forth– it’s only 40 minutes or so a day, but last night we talked about gods and beliefs and how he feels and how I feel… it was pretty cool, driving thru the dark, having an adult conversation with my middle child.

  66. That is SOOOOOOOOoo cool! I just finished a pair of mittens by the same designer! I JUST posted them up on my blog not a day ago! studentknitter.blogspot.com . Unfortunately, the weather guy is calling for up close to 90 degrees (32 C) for the rest of the week. UGH!!! Totally demoralizing in the mitten department for sure.

  67. Wow! What great mittens! I have to tell ya, I would have loved to spend all that time alone in the woods with my children, or even just alone. It sounds heavenly and I’m really glad you had such a good time. Some of the best memories I have of when I was a child was when my family went camping and there was no electricity, no cell phones, no TV and no camper. We played cards, went fishing and swimming, and just had a blast in general. What fun!

  68. What a great weekend for you both. It makes me homesick for the mountains. I moved to Missouri 5 years ago from the Rocky Mountains (Montana) and not a day goes by that I don’t miss them. I think a weekend retreat is the perfect getaway – especially when you can communicate and knit. The mittens are lovely, by the way!

  69. As a Florida girl, the concept of “dress mittens” has never occurred to me. As a North Carolina resident, I can totally see the value. Off to the yarn store!

  70. Thanks for sharing. It is so much fun to spend one to one time with your child of any age.
    The mittens are so pretty.

  71. Just returned last week from Ontario’s Near North. My daughter spent 4 days unplugged for the first time in her life (she’s 4). She also did surprisingly well. Turns out TV time is sometimes more for Mommy than for child. My compliments to you and your fellow Canadians on both your wilderness and your hospitality.

  72. Sounds wonderful….we plan to do the same type of trip over the Canadian Thanksgiving. I hope it will not be too cold.

  73. Hi Stephanie, I just wanted to say that shade of dark blue is simply amazing. Also, I’m helplessly endlessly jealous of your La Joie de Printemps mittens. They look so soft and remind me of fragile snowflakes… perfect for winter! 🙂

  74. Your mittens are beautiful, and I seriously think that looks like poison Ivy sharing the picture just to the right. You might want to give them a gentle soak before showing them off….

  75. 1. Gorgeous mittens! Well worth (in my eyes anyway) all of the hassle you went through.
    2. Will you be my mum, too?

  76. What a wonderful adventure and I am soooo jealous that I won’t be able to attend your second retreat. I hope there will be future opportunities and look forward to being a part of them.

  77. Beautiful mittens.
    Love your blog ,always have.
    Love you ,though I have never seen you in person.
    Only thing I don’t like is ,on your blog,you cant click on pictures to enlarge.LOL

  78. Since you had to have a fire, does that mean you lost the yearly bet of which family member turns on the heat last?

  79. Oh my, I love reading your posts. Those mittens are just stunning! Eek! Lovely. You inspire me 🙂 I feel silly just hopping onto your blog to compliment mittens and read about your lovely weekend. But there it is.

  80. When Emma (now 13) was six I started taking her on a camping trip, just the two of us, every spring. It’s been a sacred, wonderful time that I’m trusting will help us keep communication and sharing open as she traverses the joys of teenage life. Yay Steph! Good going!

  81. Spending one-on-one time with my mom would be lovely. She knits, too. Although, I don’t know about the cold and not being able to be warm enough.
    The mittens are gorgeous. You can take me out to the woods with you, anytime, for a knitting retreat!

  82. I think your mittens are very pretty and I am going to buy that pattern, too. It is funny to me you used the identical yarn for your dress mittens two years in a row.

  83. Your mittens are very pretty and you have inspired me to buy that pattern, too. It is funny to me you used identical yarn for your dress mittens two years in a row.

  84. I love this story. I make up all the time I didn’t spend with my mom as a teenager now as a young adult. All that stuff I could have learned when I was 16 I’m learning at 27.

  85. If I make a big donation to MSF can I have those mittens? They’re amazing. They speak to me. I may actually have to knit them myself (and I don’t enjoy pattern knitting).
    (And how lovely to spend time that way with your daughter!)

Comments are closed.