Yeah.  I know.  It’s not Monday, it’s Wednesday – although it does have a wicked Monday vibe to it. I came home from Oakland on Monday after a really amazingly great time at Verb, and then – well then I have no idea what happened.  I got hit by a train, I think.  As always, everything here at home was in complete disarray upon my arrival, made worse by the minor flooding we had in our basement during the last big rain.  There’s been dudes outside for the last few days doing some other improvement/change/waterproofing, and I love how they talk. They seem completely convinced that this will be the time that they stop the basement from leaking.  I don’t believe them.  Not even a little bit.  At this point, every time the basement leaks I just can’t understand why we don’t give up.  Take all our stuff out of there, put the laundry on the second floor, and then seal over the damn pit of despair that is the whole cellar, and get on with our lives.  That’s what I think,  because really, if it leaks again after this, it’s more likely that the tide of my hot bitter tears will do more to damage the place.  (You can see now why Joe’s the one talking with the guys outside.  I can’t go near them.  I  would yell things like "LIAR, YOU’RE LYING" or "STOP PRETENDING YOU CAN FIX IT, WE ALL KNOW WHAT YOU CAN DO."

I’ve got a million things to show you.  I leaned some crazy knot tying thing, and you’re going to love it.  I’m done Omelet, I just need a half hour to block it, and I’m almost done Flow, and almost done Lizette, and although no spinning at the wheel happened while I was away, I got a little done last night and want to show you that.  I’ve got a ton to blog about, and all that has to happen is an extra 16 hours in this day, and I’ll be all organized.  (Maybe today isn’t the day it all comes together.) 

For now, I have three things I can show you.

1. The knitters I met at my talk in Oakland.   (They were nice.)

2. A really huge plant. 

This freaked me right the frak out.  I feel like that plant is a houseplant, a tiny little thing that sits on your desk, and you give it a sip of water once a week. This version, the California version, is a behemoth.  Look.  I’ve added knitters for scale.

See that?  (That’s Kristine and Adrienne, owners of A Verb for Keeping Warm)

3. I can show you this week’s karmic balancing gifts, and my gratefulness to all those who donated to our little family team so far.  We leave in a week and three days – and your generous donations are almost enough to distract me from my terror. 


Two beautiful gifts from Susan at The Spinning Bunny.  First, a kit in the colour of the winners choice for the lovely Santa Clara wrap (including needles and everything!)

and that will be going off to Rebecca K, then (as if that were’t enough!) a Spinning Bunny Bare Bones Toe-Up Sock pattern plus your choice of color and fingering yarn (Panda or Woody) plus two 24"/60cm US 1/2.25mm orange Dreamz circs  and Susan will be sending it to lucky, lucky Marie W.

Shana T will be getting beautiful custom stitch markers from Susan (YarnDork)

these are just an example.  Shana will be choosing her own colours and style. 

The inestimable Judy Becker will be mailing Ericka M an autographed copy of her very nifty book Beyond Toes

and not to be outdone (the also inestimable) Cat Bordhi will be sending her complete digital library – that’s one PDF copy of each of these three books –

To both Kate L, and Lynne E

It’s good news for Trish W, who has won one of the most coveted of gifts…

A stash weasel.  These weasels are the brainchild of young felt artist McKenna, over at A Tangle of Weasels, and they’re brilliant.

Charming Beckett, over at Artbeco, has offered a set of stitch markers for a donor. 

That’s just a sample.  Michelle M will be choosing her favourites.

Nina and Mark over at SoapMarked have a $30 gift certificate that they’re sharing.

Jan C is going to be very clean.

Jennifer over at Holiday Yarns is a longtime friend of the show, and she’s got three gifts to send into the world to spread the love.  A Spring is Sprung mitten kit will wing its way to Georg H.

Emily F will get a kit for the Patmore Bag (I love Downton Abby stuff)

and Kristy HM will be choosing her favourite skein of FlockSock. (I stole that picture from here- so it’s not very good. The actual yarn isn’t blurry at all.)

Jocelyn over at Deco Noir has some bloody brilliant knitter tee shirts, and she’s sharing. 

Kim S will be telling the world that she has Knit for Brains, and Peri U will be Knitting her Heart out.

Georg (yeah, the Georg who was randomly draw for a prize today, the planet loves balance) has some great stitch markers to send out.  She’s a sock designer, not a stitch marker distributor, which is too darn bad.. because …

as Lisa L will soon discover,  THEY GLOW IN THE DARK.

Jaime, who’s just the nicest knitter, has a copy of the Haapsalu Shawl that she’s going to be sending to Theresa M.

Jane Richmond has a wonderful gift.. two $25 gift certificates – one for Donna C, and one for Kelly Y so that they can choose a bunch of amazing patterns… like this one…

or any of these.

Anne Hanson over at Knitspot.  (C’mon.  You all know about Knitspot) has generously donated not just a $25 gift certificate to her pattern store, but a fabulous tee shirt.

I love that shirt, and I hope that Ann F enjoys the patterns and the shirt as much as I would.

Sally has the loveliest gift to share.  She sells Longaberger stuff (I’d never heard of this company, but it looks like they’ve got buckets of good stuff) and she’s donating a beautiful Social Gathering basket

and filling it with delicious, life sustaining coffee.   She’ll mail it to Claudia K, who I hope will just love it. 

A thousand thanks to this weeks givers.  I appreciate all you’ve done for us. 

63 thoughts on “Monday

  1. Hang in there! Just knit and pretend the basement leaking isn’t happening. Denial can be a good thing sometimes.

  2. Those are amazing gifts. I need to get either Knit for Brains or Knit Your Heart Out. They scream geek knitter, especially if you use fabric markers to color them in!

  3. Glad you made it back! I’m so jealous of all the knitters that got to hang with you over the last week!

  4. That is a huge plant! Also, if not for the well of hope, construction guys would have to be dragged out of the pit of despair by annoyed homeowners. Try to think of your basement and the challenge that keeps those workers from the pit.
    That basket of coffee has almost made me regret being all noble and not putting my name in for Karmic balancing gifts. That is a beautiful basket and with coffee!

  5. It cracks me up that you’ve not heard of Longaberger. Around here (Midwest U.S.) it is not unheard of for the elementary school to have a fundraiser called Longaberger Bingo. I’m not making this up.
    Also, you’re right. Basements leak. I’d be more surprised to see a dry basement than Sasquatch.

  6. How fun is that!
    I actually won something for the first time ever and BONUS! it’s a knitting prize
    Thank you Jane Richmond and Yarn Harlot!

  7. My mom use to sell Longaberger. I got paid to help her send out flyers. They handcraft the baskets, and they are kick a**. I have a handful of little ones that are too small to carry my knitting in, otherwise I totally would.

  8. I think that Knit Night…beer t-shirt would be me except I’m the one that’s bringing the beer. If there’s no beer? It’s because I’m not there.

  9. Tell that workaholic woman you work for that you’re due a day off and then make sure that it’s one of those days that you notice happening.
    You can keep your basement, coming from the land of soggy I can attest that holes in the ground naturally fill with water, they can’t help it because it’s in their nature.

  10. So very sorry I had to miss you. Darnit. But yeah, California plants are strange–I’ve got an elephant ear type something or other growing out of the back patio, probably 50 years old, that we call the man-eating plant.It’s about as tall as I am and about fourteen feet long.

  11. Where I grew up (inland of Oakland), those huge yucca were everywhere. Behemothic, indeed. Glad you had a great time!

  12. I see myself in the Oakland pics! I was practicing my lever knitting I learned in class. I’ve been continuing on a Malabrigo scarf using the technique, and I’m getting better. My right hand works great, my left hand still clutches a bit too tight. I loved the class and the talk and I’m so glad you came to Oakland. I hope you can come back soon!

  13. Had a wonderful time at your event. Thanks for the laughs. D
    Did you like the cookies?

  14. You need to call Mike Holmes. He would be able to beat the snot out of your leaky basement and it would be too afraid to leak again. Have you watched his show? I dare any basement to leak after he’s been there. (He’s looking for people with trouble like yours for his show, btw. ;^) )
    I wonder if that plant would grow here in Toronto. I’m looking for something that can hold it’s own against a rather large herd of squirrels. They come into my garden and just tear out anything they don’t like, which is most of my flowers.
    Congrats to everyone who has had their name picked for one of those amazing gifts! And good luck to everyone else.

  15. Re: The pit of despair
    Make sure you have the Albino move out and take the Machine with him, and then call in Mike Holmes to work on it. If he and his crew can’t fix it, then fill it in.

  16. I’m also in the front row, on the right, fourth from the inner aisle. (But sadly, was not working on lever knitting – too soon for me to venture in public with long, pointy, aluminum needles!)
    I did, however, finish my tiny little keychain sock and it’s with me every day, serving as a memento from your Grok the Sock class.
    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for coming to Verb! You are an AWESOME teacher and FABULOUS speaker!! (But you know that, right?)
    Can’t wait for you to come back! 😀

  17. Move the washer/dryer upstairs-next to the clothes. Imagine all the extra time to knit+spin instead of carting laundry around.

  18. Stephanie,
    I SO enjoyed your talk in Oakland. Thanks for the stories and laughs!
    ~ Stephanie from Sacramento soon to be visiting your fine Toronto

  19. Our basement stopped leaking when we had the eavestroughs replaced. I don’t pretend to understand this, but it had something to do with redirecting the rainwater away from the house instead of allowing it to run down the side of it and enter at the foundation. Good luck!

  20. Welcome home, Stephanie – basement notwithstanding.
    I am so impressed by the donors of the karmic balance gifts – I too chose to not sign up, but am pleased for those who have received such generous and lovely gifts.
    So happy that your time out west in Vancouver and Oakland, CA was such fun for you AND your audience. Another successful trip!

  21. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I’m so happy to have won the Spinning Bunny pattern, needles, and yarn. But how am I ever gonna choose? I’m madly in love with at least three or four colorways over there! I think I’ll have to bookmark that site and go back later to get the skeins I have to leave behind today…
    Oh, and Longaberger baskets? Yeah, they’re made here in Ohio. *puffs out chest proudly*

  22. UGH!!! Sorry, I have strayed and have not been keeping up with you the past few months…so what do I find, you were in Oakland, I was literally 20 minutes away (of course, rather busilly throwing a shower). UGH!!! Ok, need to save up for a retreat…been following you for years!

  23. That huge plant is a type of agave, called the century plant. Every several years it gets a single tall bloom. I’m originally from LA where they grow everywhere, the one in our yard was nearly that big.

  24. Donated. I’ve been too busy, yadda yadda, but realized that reading about the karmic balancing gifts has been so enjoyable that I had to, you know, balance it back.
    The stash weasel almost made me sneeze beer out of my nose, which is especially remarkable given that I wasn’t drinking beer at the time.

  25. When I moved from Chicago and points north to Los Angeles, I was stunned to find that harmless little things like philodendrons and Poinsettias are tree-like outdoor plants here.

  26. I’m glad you made it home safe and sound. I, too, really enjoyed your talk in Oakland. You are so engaging and downright hilarious! And now every time i bake, i can enjoy a little giggle! Thanks for visiting us, I hope you had a lovely time!

  27. Be thankful for Agave, fermented Agave is Tequila!
    For Vegans Agave syrup is a mainstay! No sugar spikes

  28. Regarding the house: Go pet the stash and/or the cat. Have some screech. Meditate. Get a good night’s sleep. Remind yourself that the workmen are doing their best to turn your basement into Toronto’s version of the Sahara Desert. Lather, rinse, repeat as needed.

  29. It was so much fun listening to your talk and discovering new to me yarn stores on the way from San Jose to Oakland. Thank you for a great evening. (My emergency knitting saved me more than once from violent actions during a recent family reunion. How can anyone spend that much time in a touristy t-shirt shop? Thanks to knitting, everyone made it home safely and I didnt go to jail or get exiled by the family.)

  30. Love those T-shirts! We had a leaky basement for years, and we live on top of a hill, for Pete’s sake. We have heavy clay soil which drains poorly, but that’s also why it’s still a hill. We tried all the usual tricks, like sloping soil away from the house, planting lots of maples and thirsty shrubs, but what finally worked were French drains around the perimeter with a sump pump (with battery backup in case of power loss). The key is to get skilled installation people to pitch the drains correctly, and make sure the slab remains connected to the foundation intermittently. Good luck!

  31. Loved your class on knitting Mawata.
    Thanks for flying out to California.
    Come back soon.
    I would promise to keep my mouth shut next time I take a class from you, but I couldn’t, so I won’t.
    Hope Tiny Stephanie made it back to Toronto ok.
    That Indian threading/dye resist technique is the bollocks! I can’t wait to learn how to do it.

  32. Scratched up the side of my car on that damn giant Agave while trying to park- I was so worried about being late for your classes at Verb! I enjoyed the classes so very much- please come back sometime. Especially memorable: the delightful Canadianisms sprinkled throughout; “Keep a project handy so that you can beaver away while waiting in a queue”. (I think I know what that means.) Thank you for the awesome history of knitting, the many tips & tricks for speeding up, the humor, and the sage inspiration to gift knitted items to the local shelters.

  33. Thank you so much for your wonderful talk at “Verb for Keeping Warm”. I really enjoyed myself, and I especially appreciate it since you have stage fright.
    Also, in order to carpool from Cupertino (home of Apple Computer, about an hour away from Oakland), I made a new knitting friend (we were connected by a mutual friend). Aren’t knitters wonderful (& crocheters, etc)?

  34. Hey, sorry to hear about your basement. Why don’t you just get yourself a bunch of steel bookcases and make sure the lover shelf is higher up than the worst basement flooding you have encountered? If it’s just clean rain water and not sewage, it shouldn’t do any harm as long as you raise your stuff. If it can get in it can get out, right? And get a plastic pallet under the washer and dryer. And a good pair of rubber boots 🙂
    If you can’t beat it, join it 🙂 This will leave more energy for the really important things in life such as knitting 😉

  35. I had a basement like that.. It’s not unreasonable for you to feel the way you do. Mine eventually went from flooded to damp, which was definitely an improvement. Much depends on how much flooding you get, mine didn’t really get over 6″.
    You could consider that you don’t need to store stuff in there, and you should just prune the possessions? Or that it should only be stuff like skis, which can take a bit of damp, and put them up on pallets? I don’t know whether I’d recommend moving the laundry stuff upstairs, on the basis that they might start leaking up there too and cause a lot more damage. But mine were on a foot-high platform which worked just fine. My electricity setup allowed it though, we don’t want any electrocutions in the harlot household :-)..

  36. Just wanted to thank you for your blog. I love your sens of humour and enjoy reading your blog for many years now. Today you made me smile through my tears. No matter what happens we need the detachment to laugh at ourself. Love and gratitude.

  37. to beth @4:31- i am so glad i’m not the only person who goes this way when i hear “the pit of despair” *cough, hack, cough* i mean “THE PIT OF DESPAIR!” also, i want that agave at my house!

  38. What is UP with all the comments crashers? Foreign markets? Old basements really, really suck. I’m sorry. It’s just a fact.

  39. basement: a woman I know had a dowser come and re-route the underground streams so her basement now stays dry.

  40. This may be why so many Canuk snowbirds move to FL eh? They have no basements. You are a joy to read Stephanie, always. We had a dowser to find our well, it was a zinger. Now my stash is demanding a weasel and the cat a new basket… xoxo from DecorNoir’s very grateful momma who is in awe of their design duo’s knitting graphics.

  41. Wow. Kind of fun to unexpectedly see a photo of my mittens on Steph’s blog! Made my day.
    Basements. A pox upon them, I say. I like the idea of just moving upstairs and bricking over the door….

  42. I won the weasel! I am so very happy – I hardly ever win anything! Thanks to all. Regarding the basement, better perimeter drainage might be a big help, as has already been pointed out. Cheers, Trish

  43. I keep donating very small amounts (new baby)…somebody pull my name out!! But alas, I am out of money, but I have some yarn to donate.

  44. Idea about the basement (cellar) issue. I live close to the Mississippi River… A river that loves to overflow her bounds. There are people who love the river very much. So much so that they erect houses along that river. Many a year, the home owners have to leave their home and go to higher land. Over the years, as you travel along the river road, you will notice that wiser builders have built their homes up on stilts. 🙂 This allows the home dwellers to stay put and enjoy the river (and a little bit of boat shuttling) all year long. These people do not need to disinfect or bail or run for higher ground. …. ok. That said. How about if you put your washer/dryer up on a stand that is above flood level…. Maybe some steps to help from a climb up or a jump down. Then, at least you can refrain from the drama it would take to get the appliances relocated. Hope this is an idea that is at least considered. It will save a lot of irritation. 🙂

  45. By stand. I mean platform, a “stage” type thing. (Like the sort that is found in a performance arena). Oh! It also looks like a spammer gotcha up above.

  46. Honestly, I was disappointed with this event for the most part. I thought the talk was 50% regurgitated book content and 50% new stuff (the study). We brought a friend who hadn’t read her books so the stuff I’d already heard was new to her and she enjoyed it but I don’t think $25/ticket was worth the price. Also, Stephanie, you weren’t very nice when we went up to you to get our books signed. I get that you’re exhausted and recovering from an accident and all, but at $25 a pop… you could have mustered up a little more enthusiasm for your fans. I won’t be returning for your next talk at a Verb. Not unless it’s free.

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