Alpaca Has That Kind of Power

The weather here has continued to be the nastiest sort. Not unbelievably cold (I’ll be sorry I said that) but wet.  Every possible sort of wet. Snow, ice-pellets rain- and then all day yesterday it didn’t rain or snow, it just sort of slushed. Literally, slush fell from the sky, and it was just demoralizing.  It had all the worst qualities of every kind of precipitation, and none of the plusses. It wasn’t really rain, so you couldn’t take heart that it wasn’t that cold, but it wasn’t really snow, so you got soaking wet- it was, without a doubt, craptastic, and over poutine last night we discussed how completely hard on the system the days and days of grey and wet and melting and freezing and raining and snowing are on the system in March.  We’re all just so tired of it. (Really- this is the weather, we also noted, that poutine was invented for.)

This is also, I believe, what the planet had in mind for alpaca, especially chunky, bright cozy orange alpaca, and that’s what I’m knitting.  I’m tired of being cold, so it’s another Encompass on the needles, and this one’s for me.

It’s giving me hope that I’ll be warm, even though there’s no end in sight – but of course, even alpacas are covered by Murphy’s Law, so naturally- the weather should improve so that I don’t need it, just the minute I finish.

Either way, I figure I should knit as fast as I can.

176 thoughts on “Alpaca Has That Kind of Power

  1. I’m so with you. Here in Wisconsin we got a “slush” storm just yesterday and it was like we had to start all over again in the happy thoughts of Spring Dept. Really, right about now I don’t think it will ever warm up. Maybe I should cast on another hat and scarf set quickly, if you think that would help speed up Spring’s arrival.

  2. Gorgeous. I have some alpaca roving in the stash — maybe it’s time to pull it out!

  3. Even if the weather changes before you finish it, you’ll have it for next winter.
    The color is beautiful and the stitch is interesting. Wear it well.

  4. On Monday, I cast on a cotton t-shirt for summer but sat there freezing whilst knitting it, so I went and dug out some chunky wool and cast on Buttony instead. Much better and instant warmth for my soul.
    Spring will be here eventually, honest ;0)

  5. Please tell us that your weather’s improving. Here in Pittsburgh they’re forecasting up to 6″ tonight – tomorrow, and it’s coming south from Ontario. Yes, I know 6″ really isn’t that much, but our forecasters seem to always understate the case. And we are the home of the 30″ snowfall for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade (which will be this Saturday). So knit faster! Knit faster! Hoping that the sun comes out for you soon.

  6. I LOVE winter and even I am tired of this gray wet stuff. Fortunately my classroom has no windows and I have no idea what’s going on out there – they claim rain but I’m going to pretend it’s lovely bright snow!

  7. I’m not sure you have anything that color in your wardrobe to coordinate with……

  8. Rochester seconds the sentiment. But even amid the corporal punishment from the sky (sleet pellets hurt) there is good news. I have about two centimeters of crocuses coming up. It can’t last forever.

  9. Just rain here on the shores of Lake Erie, but the forecast is calling for more snow tomorrow. My daffodils and tulips are still determined plants – they’re starting to poke their little selves through the newly snow-free beds. Poor things don’t realize that we’re not anywhere near spring weather yet.
    Love the Encompass, hope to make one for myself soon, also when I hopefully won’t need it.

  10. Leslie, thank you. I’m also in Toronto (yesterday I tweeted that our weather was impressively, spectacularly crappy) and I needed to hear that there was hope. Hear that, Stephanie? There’s hope for us yet!

  11. Gross here too. The only glimmer of hope is that some grass is showing through the snow. It’s all that’s keeping me going. That, hot tea and buttered toast, and the fact that I’ve just finished “Shirl’s Mittlets” as a birthday gift for my 19-year-old daughter and I now have the joy of contemplating what to knit next. Hang in!

  12. That is sound logic, truly. When I want to find something that eludes me long enough, I stop looking for it. Whatever was missing mysteriously pops up….. sometimes even while I still need it

  13. We took the RV to Florida from California for the sun. There was rain like nothing we get in California, so there is weather everywhere. Spring is coming….or else

  14. MMMMMMMMMMM….alpaca…. my favorite. It’s a darn shame that every time I knit with it, it’s meant for someone else. I should really be more selfish with my knitting….and that was my New Year Resolution…but then my brother told me that he’s having a baby..and well….

  15. Excellent idea! I just finish a pair of mittens, knit double stranded and I will use them for jogging, in winter, but we are in March…

  16. Please hurry and finish! I am so tired of this weather. (‘Slushed’ is the best word to describe yesterday, even the dog wouldn’t go out in that stuff.) Yesterday I decided that I was absolutely tired of the cold. I like winter, but I want it to be gone. Maybe I will start a huge Alpaca something too!

  17. I can empathize with your feelings of March not marching by fast enough. Here in Kamloops we have the constant and often ferocious wind added into the nasty “end of winter weather” mix. Ugh.

  18. The grey? And rain? Is why I dislike Vancouver in the winter. Months and months of it. You know it’s bad when you think “I would love about 2 metres of snow right now… just to make things white instead of grey.”
    Your nice cheery yarn choice is a good contrast though!

  19. Cold, bitter wind, and grey here – but I have early daffodils out so that is a signal of spring being imminent: that and the facts that you knitting “encompass” in alpaca and I am just finishing an aran cardigan for myself!

  20. I will not tell you haw warm and sunny it is here in Denver, CO today. Oops, did I just inadvertently tell you? Shame on me.

  21. I’m still working on my February socks (gah), but they are in the happiest blues and greens and yellow that I imagine in nature, so they are a perfect anodyne to the winter doldrums.
    Of course, my late winter/early spring cold is making it awefully hard to knit. I dislike feeling sick enough that my joints ache with it.

  22. Alpaca fixes everything! I wish I could wear it every day!!! Especially that wonderful color!

  23. I knit an alpaca scarf last week. It’s lovely enough to wear constantly and in ND where we still have winter, a necessity. Maybe all the alpaca will speed spring along… or at least console us until it comes.

  24. I will get out my chunky alpaca and make that Thorpe I could have used last month. If a bunch of people make prophilactic alpaca knitwear, Spring will surely come. Right?

  25. That does look lovely and snuggly. The weather is tricking us here too (Northern UK) from inside it looks bright and sunny but you step outside and are pretty much blown over by the fierce winds and oh my goodness those winds are cold (for a UK person in March I mean!) then suddenly it clouds over and is that fine, misty rain that feels like you’re walking through water it’s so wet.

  26. It is sunny and warm and lovely here, but two days ago it was snowing and well… slushing. So I don’t trust it. And while I’m thankful not to be feeling your pain, I’m in love with your orange alpaca. What *is* that stuff?

  27. to tell the truth, I am snug as a bug in a rug and knitting so all is well with this weather for me. Summer can go away altogether . It gets so hot and humid it’s too uncomfortable to even think of meedles and yarn especially when I don’t like to knit with cotton or summer yarns. That alpaca turns me on and I bet I soon have some before the heat hits us.

  28. Yes. Please. As fast as you can! We in Ottawa have the “slush from the sky” thing happening too. I usually enjoy winter, but having had knee surgery on Feb 28, I am really not enjoying the slip slide routine through 10 cm layers of ice and slush. Cleats or not.

  29. I wondered what Poutine was invented for. It has to be hard on the system too. I’ve only had it once and it was so good, I thought I might go up in smoke! I just have to do this….it’s 74 degrees F here in Colorado. We can see snow on the mountains but can’t feel it. I still want to knit though. Ahhhh!

  30. The weather’s the same here in the Pacific Northwest. I’m about done with it; it’s all I’ve had to blog about. Last night, it was raining so hard, there were no raindrops, just solid water pouring down from the skies. My driveway’s turned into a creek bed!

  31. I heard Garrison Keillor speak last night, and one of his observations was, “God invented March so that people who don’t drink will still know what a hangover feels like.”
    I’ll bet he wishes he had some alpaca right about now.

  32. Just googled poutine, which according to wikipedia is a dish consisting of French fries, topped with cheese curds and gravy. I need to move to Canada – that sounds divine and perfect for the weather. Happy Alpaca Knitting!

  33. Alas, I am allergic to alpaca. But happy alpaca knitting, this weather is the pits.

  34. Here in Oregon, it’s pouring in fits and starts. Clouds blow in, get progressively darker, sprinkle heavy pellets, downpour, then blow out leaving a five to ten minute patch of blue sky. It’s dizzying and darn frustrating trying to find an open enough space for a run outside. Oh, and in between the cloudburts, it’s still cold and windy. Lousy March and unpredictable April! Bring on May.

  35. Could you recommend or share a recipe for poutine that would be closest to a Canadian experience? It’s terribly grey here as well and I’d like to try something beyond grilled cheese and tomato soup.

  36. As of 4:42 p.m. CT Thursday, the topic of the “Popular Searches” feature on the right side of the MSN/Dell homepage was “Poutine.”
    I thought I knew the depths of your power, but, really? The entire Internet?!

  37. I learned to knit last year because I have two alpacas that board on a farm where there is a mini mill for processing all that beautiful alpaca yarn!

  38. Ohhhh, alpaca. I cast on my first pair of alpaca socks yesterday, and I may never go back.
    ps. Don’t tell my husband, he’s seen the non-alpaca sock stash!

  39. I share your weather and take a bit of pride in walking about in it every day, but yesterday had me beat. My local group of writers/editors couldn’t come up with a phrase to describe what was falling from the sky, which in itself leaves me a little speechless.

  40. I am in total aggreance with you. This grey nastiness has got to stop. Not only was it gross here in Ottawa today but the slushy wet mush of snow we got last night caused me to have to dig my car out today just to get to work. I cannot wait to get home and do some comfort knitting. I wish I had alpaca in my stash 🙁
    Cannot wait for spring to get here

  41. Here in Seattle yesterday for awhile around noon it was raining and winding so hard that you could literally see sheets of water blowing down the street. Luckily I was seeing this from inside.

  42. Oh, what a lovely shade of orange. May your weather be less craptastic soon. Here’s hoping you don’t get the crap summer we had here. Umm, have no idea what poutine is but I see someone has put in a link. Might just go and look it up. Jacinta

  43. I hope the weather gets better, for everyones sanity 🙂
    Is poutine that good?

  44. And shovelling slush is a terrible job, but if we just let it sit on the sidewalk, it traps the rain-like stuff and you get 3-inch puddles all along the sidewalk.
    Slush is my favourite thing to gripe about right now, too. Must get some of that orange alpaca!

  45. Love alpaca; it’s my favorite to knit, although it’s generally too warm to wear (I get hot easily, ah, menopause). But alpaca socks, yum.
    Question, Stephanie: how do you make poutine for vegetarians? Isn’t there beef gravy on top?

  46. No slush in western Washington, but bitter high winds blowing cold waves of heavy rain sideways–between sun breaks and lighting and thunder. My daffodils started blooming last weekend, and I bet they’re sorry now! Best, randmknitter

  47. Garrison Keillor says March is Mother Nature showing people who don’t drink what a hangover feels like.

  48. We have about the same weather here in Montreal : a snowstorm followed by a sunny day, then another snowstorm followed by rain, freezing rain, slush, snow again, etc. and, YES, it’s the best time to knit warm stuff. I am now knitting a cable afghan and it felt wonderful to work at it today.
    What are you knitting with this gorgeous orange alpaca?

  49. The weather is so bad that I have actually decided to take the bus to Toronto rather than drive. I did the same last weekend. I have to be in Toronto for the ballet season, but I don’t have to white knuckle it all the way down the highway from Sudbury to Toronto. Knitting aside, you have me dying for poutine.

  50. Encompass is such a cool (or should I say WARM) pattern. After I make Pretty Thing, I really need to look into making it for next winter.
    I am really excited about casting on Pretty Thing. Right now, I’m finishing huge socks for my husband (basic socks). . . and a shawl for me.
    Pretty Thing is next on the list, and knowing it is next is what is driving me forward on my current projects. Here’s how much I love the pattern: I would have purchased it even if you weren’t the designer!

  51. My feelings exactly about March. I know someone said thT April is the cruelest month but I’ve Lways thought March is. I know that experience of slush falling from the sky & it is the worst! At least snow is pretty for a little while. But that cold, damp, gray, right around freezing weather is horrible. As my mother used to say, “it chills you to thebone” & you can’t get warm. January may be colder & snowier but at least it usually has a lot of sunny days. We are headed home after a week in southeast Louisiana (the grands get 2 days – Monday & Tuesday – off school for Mardi Gras so we got a few days with them) – we expected sunny 60* weather with an Koccasional shower. We had one day like that – the rest were very gray with nearby tornados & lots of rain. Tuesday set a record for that date with almost 3″ in one day. Of course it turned gorgeous today (although still a little cool -high 50’s) just in time for our departure. And they are expected to have sunny weather in the mid-70’s for thenext several days. I’m afraid to check the forecast for Chicago!

  52. YEP,yep and yep again! It is raining here in CT and some folks down the Housatonic river are in for a rude awakening come tomorrow morning. Think the snow was a bummmer this year…just wait till the Stevenson dam hits 15 feet. Flood stage is just above 11 feet. They will want the snow after this!! Now that is cold, wet, flooded out and MAD to boot.
    As for me I am breaking out all the pink, yellow and bright blue lace weight yarn I can find…and having thoughts of jonquils and daffadills. It’s all that keeps me sane right now….

  53. I’ve got an alpaca pullover on my needles right now, also furiously trying to finish fast enough to get a few wearings out of it this season! Not a problem right now… but I know as soon as I pull it on, the temperature will spike!

  54. I’m working on a pullover in a soft, superbulky wool that I know darned well I won’t be able to wear until next winter. And I don’t care that I’m just going to finish it and put it away, because the nights are still chilly (by local standards, at least) and settling in on the couch surrounded by cushy woolen goodness is a joy unto itself.

  55. Thanks to a regular reading of your blog, I have come to recognise Canada as a separate country–not just more “up-north” ( a Minnesotanism for any place further north than where ever you are). I googled poutine and ran across Knights Canadian Info Collection. I read it, enjoyed it and actually understood some of it. It makes me want to visit some places in Canada. Thanks for all the fun and knitting!

  56. Gorgeous! This pattern is in my Ravelry queue. The yarn is scrumptious and the cowl looks so warm and squishy!

  57. For several seconds I stared at the sentence with “poutine” in it guessing that it was a typo and you meant to say “pouting”. Then I decided to be a goofball and look up “poutine” in the dictionary, figuring for sure that it was not a real word and that my comment to you would be, “I’m such dork for actually looking up the word poutine.” And now I am STILL a dork, but also have to go off and find a good recipe, ‘cuz that sounds like one awesome comfort-foody dish 🙂

  58. You’d think by now that those of us English-speaking peoples living along edges of the Great Lakes would have come up with a variety of names for the different kinds of snow/ice/slush that falls from the sky. What comes from Lake Huron to this southern shore of Lake Ontario is usually the finest of snow. Lake Ontario and Lake Erie? Notsomuch depending on the temp. And slush from the sky. Been there, seen that. Demoralizing.

  59. Here in my part of OZ it is a perfect Autumn day. The sun is shining and the weather is warm but not hot. The forecast for the weekend is high 20s/low 30s (Celsius). I love the feel of alpaca, but alas even in the depths of winter, my part of OZ does not get really cold enough for me to wear alpaca – even an alpaca scarf gets really warm, really quickly.
    And I thought poutine sounded terrible (I am not a great fan of chips or gravy) but once I tasted it I discovered it wasn’t. The component parts go very well together even if I don’t like some of them on their own.

  60. Shouldn’t take you to long. I made my daughter’s in two nights. Just so you know, my daughter has absolutely NO appreciation for handknits. She rolls her eyes when I talk about knitting and has no interest in what I’m working on. She’s 25, btw. However, I showed her Encompass just before Christmas and she said she “wouldn’t mind” if I made her one. This was three days before Christmas. I had it done by Christmas Eve and she loves it. Now, I just need to make mine. I’m still working on UFOs first. Looks like MY Encompass will be for next winter.

  61. Poutine is one of (my many) favorite Canadian imports. What do you prefer on yours. For others, poutine is basically French fries with cheese and gravy and various other possible ingredients all heaped on top. Eaten with a fork. Utter goodness on wet cold days without end.

  62. Love the poutine, but I looooooove alpaca. I play with alpaca almost every day. If I’m not washing it, carding or combing, spinning it. I may actually get the chance to knit it instead of selling it or giving it away(my mom loves it too and she doesn’t spin yet). So lucky you to get the opportunity to knit orange alpaca…enjoy.

  63. Poutine!! Poutine would make everything better says this transplanted Yankee that can only get poutine when she visits Toronto….

  64. I don’t knit, and I live in California, where the weather is only rarely crappy, but I really like reading your blog. It’s smart and funny. Thank you for that.

  65. Poutine? Oh my giddy aunt, that sounds heavenly. For us ex-pat Brit types, we have chip butties: French fries on a buttered bread roll. That’ll keep the damp out nicely! For those afraid of the fat, there’s always a good mash butty. Yep, mashed potato on a buttered roll!

  66. Having been raised in Michigan, I can empathize. Sounds like you need another visit here in the Pacific Northwest, Stephanie! In the meantime, keep knitting that chunky alpaca. The sooner you finish, the sooner the weather will warm up…

  67. I adore that colour. I can’t wear alpaca next to the skin for very long, but I still adore knitting with it.
    I’ve been knitting lots of things in warm, fiery colours lately for much the same reason — or ridiculously bright, happy colours. There’s just too much grey lately. Whether I wear them now or next winter, I’m sure I’m going to love the autumn orange/red cashmere and merino armwarmers I’m knitting for myself right now. (Thanks, by the way, for your tips about ethically sourced cashmere. I’ve been able to find some fair trade cashmere blends.)

  68. Poutine was new to me. I googled it. It looks to basically be a recipe for indigestion and wild dreams. We have excellent cheese curds in Wisconsin.
    I wonder why I have never heard of this dish before!? It certainly looks like it would fit in with Wisconsin cuisine – especially the poutine that has bacon on top. Love the orange alpaca. Please post photos when done.

  69. I can so identify with this. I keep posting on my FB how totally sick I am about all this GREY! It is probably why all the socks I’m planning for this month have something to do with green. Not because of the 17th, but because I’m desperate for Spring to arrive and for all this grey snow, sky, rain, slush, ice to go away. Now.

  70. I have received an education today. Poutine? Never heard of it til now. I googled it and my arteries are hardening just looking at the Wikipedia picture. That’s Comfort Food if ever I saw it !!!!

  71. Now you know what winter weather is like on the Wet Coast in the Vancouver burbs!! It ‘slushes’ here mostly in the winter – not nice dry snow but slush – really nasty to be out in – especially in a wheeled vehicle! Lately, we’ve been getting high wind, ice pellets, rain & sun – all in the same day. I’m so tired of it myself. Orange alpaca seems just the right thing for our weather too! But, instead, I’m knitting CUFFS in merino & silk in snotty green, the color of the first shoots in spring . . .

  72. Yes. Please. As fast as you can! We in Ottawa have the “slush from the sky” thing happening too. I usually enjoy winter, but having had knee surgery on Feb 28, I am really not enjoying the slip slide routine through 10 cm layers of ice and slush. Cleats or not.

  73. Just this week I looked outside, shook my head in disbelief then went online to see what the NOAA forecast said was going on. NOAA said “unknown precipitation”. Cold, wet unknown precipitation. It doesn’t get more demoralizing than that.
    BTW, what is poutine, sounds like we need some in Wisconsin. I’ve got the alpaca covered, though yours is lovely.

  74. Oh, why didn’t I think of poutine for Wednesday night? You are right. It would have been the perfect fix for that weather.

  75. YES! Alpaca is the solution for a lot of my woe as well. Silk is lovely, wool is wonderful, but alpaca is for what ails ya. Your post with the pink socks had me dying rosy colored alpaca yarn, I think it might be time to get into it now that you mention….

  76. My mom knit me an orange Aran years ago – I’m not sure where it wound up. It was a little bright for most venues, but great for attending college football games.
    I had to Google poutine. Sounds like a Canadian version of cheesy fries, though those usually get some yucky cheese sauce. I don’t think I need to know about this comfort food though, I’ve got enough of them that would make a nutritionist squirm, and mostly eastern European. How about boiled potatoes with onions sauteed in butter until they start to turn black, with pepper, extra butter and eaten with sour cream or buttermilk? My mother used to make something that was like little dumplings in hot milk. Then there’s boiled wide noodles with cottage cheese and sugar and cinnamon…

  77. I live in Northeastern Ohio. Yesterday we started with rain, and ended this morning with 8 inches of heavy, sopping snow, with more on the way. To fend off the ickies, I too turned to Alpaca. A skully hat for a friend with Cascade chunky baby alpaca in a teal blue.

  78. Knitters unite! If we all cast on some alpaca yarn, Murphy is sure to notice. And we’ll all be happier while knitting and once the universe tries to ‘dissappoint’ us with warmer weather!

  79. Had to Google ‘poutine’. Oh. My. Heaven. Who cares what the weather is or what you are knitting? That poutine looks delish! Got a recipe for us? That has to be on the menu at my house this weekend.

  80. In Ohio we had rain for the past two days, and yesterday I went outside twice, and each time it was a little colder. Then I wake up this mroning and lo and gehold, it’s all white out.

  81. I put off making a new earflap hat until yesterday, so indeed, it should be a balmy weekend.
    How do you make vegetarian poutine?

  82. Yup. Slush from the sky in Northern Indiana. Hate it. Working on a lovely blue/green cotton baby blanket for grand-nephew-to-be who will live in Phoenix next summer when he is born. Summer yarn, summer baby, it helps.

  83. Being from the southern US, I had no idea what “poutine” was…so I looked it up. YUM! Now I’m starving…and it’s not even 10am. I know I can’t find poutine around here anywhere, but I sure wish I could!
    Thanks for expanding my vocabulary…one delicious word at a time!

  84. That orange is a fantastic color!
    I recently discovered that a bar near me has poutine, it comes out on a hot skillet, and it’s the greatest thing I’ve had in a while. It does even more wonders than beer if you’re cold!

  85. I agree and send good thoughts to the speed of your needles. I finished my silk mawata undermittens with the same thought in mind. The universe would hate for me to be able to use them once I’d finished and fell in love with them. But, alas, they were very useful this morning.

  86. I’m so happy you’re a super-fast knitter…so, according to your predictions of Finished Project = Weather Improvement, we should be good to go by Saturday?!

  87. am i the only one who had to look up the definition of poutine? all i can say is GROSS! must be a canadian thing;)not at all appetizing to my pacific northwest palate. however i will not hold the consumption of poutine against you since that georgous alpaca proves you have good taste!

  88. You are welcome to come to Arizona and warm up. I’ll even put you (and your family)up and make you breakfast.

  89. Spring is that way, isn’t it? Sheesh. We’re having wind more than anything. But at least this year, the neighbor’s trampoline hasn’t blown into our pasture. Yet. Good knitting weather.

  90. I’m also working on Encompass for myself! It’s still winter here in Pennsylvania, and I know we’ll get at least one more snowfall.
    Kelly @ Creating a Family Home

  91. encompass & poutine. match made in heaven. here in Guelph (nw of Toronto), we have been through the snow-slush-ice pellets-rain and seem to be back on the beautiful fluffy snowfakes. my kids were so disapointed that the buses are running, they wanted to start March break early!

  92. I was in Ottawa once when it “slushed”, living in Vancouver, I’d never seen anything like it in my life! I not only got slushed on til I was soaking wet but then, a massive truck drove by and coated the fresh slush with dirty slush. Love Ottawa. Now I live in Calgary where it never slushes… but it gets very cold and sometimes the wind howls and my face freezes. Hope your weather improves soon!

  93. As everyone has heard by now, there’s been a devastating earthquake in Japan.
    I have already made my donation to Doctors Without Borders.

  94. For all of you that laugh at Victoria and Seattle, the slush falling from the sky is our winter. Snow turning to slush turning to rain. Gray skies for weeks on end. Don’t forget the wind. We had a hurricane-force gale last week, we’ll probably get another one around Easter. It’s not all daffodils and cherry blossoms.

  95. My mother always referred to this kind of weather — and we got plenty of it in Massachusetts — as “gloopy.” That seems to sum it up nicely!

  96. Will look forward to seeing the completed Encompass – love that alpaca!
    But poutine? Eek. One dish I just never got into. If only the fries and cheese, fine. But the minute the gravy goes on it … it’s all over for me. 🙂
    Stay warm.

  97. I also want to know how you make a vegetarian poutine! Sounds more like a heart attack in a bowl. 🙂

  98. Poutine sounds alot like cheese fries . . . yummy! I love the orange color just what is needed during the gray of winter. I queued the pattern too! Lovely.

  99. Well, March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb………
    Roll on April 1st

  100. Dear Steph: There are a lot of people in Hawaii who knit and who would be thrilled if you were to fly over and stay a week doing, oh I don’t know, a book tour or a sock knitting retreat. If you plan it for the absolutely worst, lowest awfullest days of winter it might make things better. Please think about that for next year. PS we have a ton of bedrooms and a strict ‘leave the guests to themselves’ policy so you might not have to think about hotels. Just sayin’.

  101. I like the way your voodoo works, knit on.
    Thanks for the poutine reference-I have eaten it, but not known it had a name!

  102. I love alpaca….especially orange alpaca..I have a pair of stranded mitts on the go right now in orange and brown…Yum is all I can say! Enjoy!

  103. A friend sent me your website, because she knows how I am about alpaca! (My eyes glaze over…) I am just putting the finishing touches of a cardigan knitted with alpaca in a heather yarn, mostly lavender color. It will be too warm to wear until next year in New Mexico, but hey, I can just open the drawer and look at it, right? I love the orange one you are making!

  104. Just saw a fashion report on TV that orange is the color for spring this year. You’re super trendy!

  105. Did I read your daughter is on Spring break ??? Is it Spring in Canada ? Hope so … at least it will be Spring inside your home.

  106. Since you can’t find anything vaguely resembling poutine in Ohio (they look at you like you are MAD MAD MAD), I’m knitting something in a blue that exactly matches the color of the ocean around Martinique. I can at least dream in tropical color.

  107. I loved your post of feminism. Beautiful women – all of them. I do believe in the power of alpaca to fix anything, even gray days in March.

  108. Agree – I knitted myself a thick alpaca cowl last week as a sort of winter-be-gone talisman. So far, it has been less than effective at banishing slush, but at least I have a squishy cowl to console myself with.

  109. People say that February is the worst, but I have always, without a doubt, thought that March is the worst weather month in the north. March is just a tease. In your mind you think it should be spring, but it just doesn’t happen. It could make one bitter or cold, were it not for the comfort of yarn. seriously.

  110. Love that orange alpaca. What are you knitting? Can you please share the name/brand of the yarn? Please respond to my email. Thanks. Peggy

  111. It has been perfect weather for wearing alpaca here…unless you are an alpaca, ours are tired of the rain and slop, they get sodden on the outside then go into the barn and roll in the sand which makes them crusty.
    The sun will shine…one day soon I hope..

  112. Good news! I’m visiting Toronto, and i see BLUE SKY out the window. Blue Sky means SUNSHINE somewhere. Not quite right above me, but maybe just a few miles off.

  113. Ah yes, that extra-special rain-snow combo affectionately known as here as ‘sleet’. It is often accompanied by lovely gusts of wind designed to make sure it finds it way into gaps in your clothing you never knew existed. Just this morning we had a sleet + slush event. BUT I can see crocuses and the daffodil shoots are up. Spring is in sight.

  114. We had poutine a few years ago in Nova Scotia, consisting of some sort of unflavored melted “cheesey” sauce and “meat” gravy. I don’t think I’ve ever seen cheese curds anywhere which is what Googling seems to turn up. And if you leave off the gravy, what would it taste like? I make a mean cheese sauce from scratch but I’m still thinking about the curds. Must be a fresh (not aged?) cheese product which doesn’t have a long shelf life? Hmmm. Must look harder.

  115. Dear Stephanie,
    As soon as you give the word that Knitters Without Borders is accepting donations for Japan, I’m ready to contribute.

  116. Hello, Any possibility of you posting the garter stitch baby pattern that you were knitting in Jan or the name of the vintage book?

  117. Stephanie,
    Rather interesting debate where I work–can a man be a feminist also? Is it just a description for women who believe in equality? Lot’s of opionions as you can well believe. Enjoyed your blog re International Women’s Day. Rebecca

  118. That’s February weather where I grew up. Snow, melt, mud slush freeze, trip, fall on the black ice, slip in the mud, blech. It took me 6-7 years of living in CA to get over the grudge I had against Feb. My Swedish friend had the same grudge against March.

  119. Mmmmmm…poutine……mmmmm…..alpaca…..knitting…..okay, is March REALLY that bad? 🙂

  120. Mmmmmm…poutine……mmmmm…..alpaca…..knitting…..okay, is March REALLY that bad? 🙂

  121. “Craptastic” – I now have a new word. That is the weather in Quebec last week, but today it was glorious! So beautiful, in fact, that I am bathing both dogs.
    I am knitting myself a pair of socks in alpaca – chocolate brown – which I bought in New Brunswick last month, at the Moncton Market. This alpaca farmer doesn’t dye the wool, which suits me fine. When you buy from him, he gives you a picture of the original owner(s), and a story about how they came to be his. I love shopping like that!
    Poutine – yum! That is one of the best things (among MANY good things) about living in Quebec. I can get authentic poutine just about anywhere.

  122. I LOVES me some poutine! It’s just one more thing we Mainers thank you Canadians for. 🙂

  123. I got one of your books the other day (week) at a Borders, and have spent the last few days reading all the entries from the first one. Currently I am at Jan, 2005 and I was wondering if you know a good way I can help with the Japanese tsunami without actually giving money, since I am in college and don’t have extra. Like if there was a “give a knitted hat” or something that I could do. I’m trying to look, but so far I can’t find any that don’t want just money.

  124. I was very interested in the afghan you are knitting in the chunky alpaca. Could you please let me know the name of the yarn as I would like to knit a chunky one but we do not have that quality of yarn in Timmins but we do have lots of poutine.
    The one you are knitting looks cozy already.

  125. My tolerance for winter’s hanging on is improved by the fact that I am unlikely to see much winter for years, as we are moving to Brazil. Of course, I recently finished some alpaca-lined fiddlehead mittens, which I hope to at least have conjugal visits with over Christmas holidays (we are enjoying our time together now, but I have discovered as the mom of young kids that Velcro is the enemy of hand-knit mittens).
    Even just holding an alpaca project in your lap is warming, and there is one positive about the current weather as a knitter: “Well, since there’s no point in going outside, I guess I’ll just make a hot drink and knit…”

  126. Hi Stephanie! Just had to drop by and say I picked up ‘Yarn Harlot’ after giggling my way through ‘Free-Range Knitter’. I love you, you are my new favorite author 🙂 I’m a new knitter (started Jan 30th) and am already addicted. I love your stories of knitting mishaps (the moth story freaked me out) and stash managment (the freezer? awesome!).
    Keep churning out the awesome knitting and fantastic books!
    A new fan

  127. In Dartmouth, NS, it was 10 degrees yesterday, too bad I’m here in exotic CFB Borden, where it’s slushly, and windy and cold. Spring is almost here, and then summer.

  128. I’ve just knit a pair of orange socks for the same reasons – they make me feel happy every time I look at them!

  129. I agree with Julie D. I donated and emailed you about it, but is KWB setting any official goal for Japan?

  130. OMG! I can’t believe you mentioned poutine! We eat that often around here. My hubby went to Nova Scotia to visit friends, ate it once, and we’ve been making it here since! He introduced me to it, and it’s deadly addictive, but oh so terrific for comfort food. We use french fries (frozen ones), beef gravy rather than chicken (does it matter?) and mozzarella cheese (it’s hard to find cheese curds here – or at least I haven’t looked for them). Next time you’re in Atlanta, come on over and we’ll make you a bowl! 🙂

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