Monday Mine

Thank you all for the amazing, supportive and kind comments on the last post.  It’s such a hard time here in so many ways, and I admit that there are days where it gets the best of me. Somewhere in losing someone, finishing a book, taking care of my family and training for the rally, I have to work hard to keep my perspective.  I’m being as kind as I can to myself (and others) while acknowledging that there is a metric tonne of work to accomplish around here if I’m going to keep things from getting (more) crazy.  This too shall pass, I tell myself, and I’m right. It’s probably going to get replaced with something else that’s crazy, but this is a really special time that’s unlikely to be repeated. (If this is not true, don’t tell me.) I’m optimistic today, and I’m all over owning this Monday. 

First up, the state of the knitting. Knitting proceeds slowly around here, what with the number of things that I’m having to do that don’t allow for it.  Riding my bike? Nope. Driving? Apparently illegal. Typing? Oh, how I wish.  Still, progress is progress, and even limping along as I am the wee jacket is almost finished – just a sleeve and a smidge of the body to go. (It is very hard to take pictures of this. The fuzziness makes all the shots look blurry.)

It’s so little that I’d like to state with confidence that it will be finished tomorrow, but I learned my lesson yesterday when I said that, then sat down to ice my knees (really, really rough training ride yesterday) picked up my knitting and then promptly fell asleep after two stitches.  When I haven’t been working on the jacket, a pair of plainish socks has been coming of the needles. 

It’s my first go-round with Valley Yarns Huntington.  (Pattern is my own, right out of Knitting Rules .) I bought it the last time I was at Webs, because I’m always on the lookout for good, plain, manly sock yarn. (This one is the fetchingly named "grey.")  Gorgeous hand-paints are easy to find, but it can be a lot harder to get yarn that Joe likes.  The price is definitely right on this, and it’s knitting up just fine thank you.  I’ll be ordering more.  (The stripes are leftovers from these socks, and are inserted because a) Joe has ginormous feet and I was making the grey go a little farther, and b) Holy cow are those socks boring without them. My sanity needed me to throw it a bone.)

I swear the knitting will get more interesting in the next few days – I know a plain sweater and plain socks really has to be boring the snot out of you, but I bought some great yarn I want to talk about and knit, and really, there’s only so long I can put knitting on the back burner before I end up in prison.  Later this week I’m planning on being in Colorado, and that’s a long flight. 

Before I go and attack my wordcount for the day, and before I go and touch base with everyone who needs me, and before I get back on my bike (Hill training today. Why aren’t I thinner?)  I wanted to recognize all of you for your generous donations. Thanks so very much guys.  You’re giving meaning to the ride for me, and it really does reassure me in the darker moments. You’re all awesome.  (Even the people who aren’t able to donate. I love you for considering it.)   A few presents maybe?
I’m going to do an abbreviated round today, and a few more later in the week. There are so many things to give away it makes my head reel. As always, to get in on the action, all you need to do is make a donation to anyone on our team:


The amount doesn’t matter.  Even tiny donations add up as fast as individual stitches, and we’re grateful for all of them.

First up, your friend and mine, the Amazing Cat Bordhi is back with MORE giveaways of her digital books.  Both Joyce R and Mary Kay C. will be lucky recipient of just about her entire collection of digital ebooks. That’s a copy each of Socks Soar on Two Circular needles, Cat’s Sweet Tomato Heel Socks, A Treasury of Magical Knitting, and A Second Treasury of Magical Knitting

Judith Brodnicki, designer and longtime friend of the show, went into her stash and came up with some amazing things.  This gorgeous skein of Schaefer Marjaana (merino/silk) 530 yards – is going to the welcoming home of Vicki K.

Judith also found this:

20 hanks (!!) of Noro Hana Silk (100% silk) More than enough for something gorgeous, and Elizabeth M will decide what that is.

This is from Judith’s stash too (I am starting to want to see her stash):

10 Hanks of Nashua Creative Focus Bulky (75% wool, 25% alpaca) and I wonder what Belinda K will make with it. 

Amber K has temporary custody of this beautiful top- hand dyed by Heather at Mad Colour fiber Arts.

It’s merino, silk, nylon and aluminum for sparkle, and I hope that Lisa B. loves it.

Finally,  Linda went into the stash to find things that other knitters would love to have, and she hit it out of the park too.  (Also, may I draw attention to Linda’s amazing carpet? Both white and clean. Boggles the mind.)  Linda has a skein of Wollmeise Twin in Pesto

Anne F. is the lucky knitter for that.

Linda will be sending these two pretty skeins of STR Silkie in Turquoise to Marissa H.

and last (but certainly not least) Linda has decided to part with a dear ball, her beloved ArtbyAna Party Cake.

You will like knowing that Linda ordered another to replace this one as soon as she decided it was leaving.  Some yarns she just can’t be without, but her original is going to Ellen T. 

There! That’s the Monday haul.  I’ve sent everyone who got lucky an email. Thanks for playing, see you tomorrow, I hope your Monday is amazing.

613 thoughts on “Monday Mine

  1. Hi Steph:
    Can’t claim a beautifully white and clean carpet. I used a white towel as my background. Hopefully your winners like my yarn offerings!

  2. Ahhhh *sigh* I see all this yarn beauty and all is right again in the world. Plus it’s lunchtime and I ate and that could be why I feel great too. 🙂
    Beautiful sweater Steph! So sweet.

  3. Oh gosh! I feel overwhelmed that you took the time to do this and that I lucked into such a wonderful color way!!! I can’t wait to spin it – which I will try to do while you are riding in the rally. Good luck – and thank you both – it is a great cause!

  4. Silk. Sigh. I am a sucker for silk…
    Hang in there, Stephanie. Lots of energy being sent your way.

  5. Lovely jacket and even lovelier socks (I used to knit socks for a 15AAA male until he shrunk the Mountain Colors that required 2 skeins = $46.00 us). I hope to be able to contribute before the ride; as I checked my account balance over the weekend I discovered my debit card had been on vacation (Hong Kong, no less) without me. Have no credit cards so am stuck at the moment. Not a good Monday for me.

  6. Linda, I was just feeling relieved to hear that wasn’t your carpet, but then I read “Me”‘s comment at 3:43 and thought about it. Nope, I don’t have a single white towel without a stain.
    Sigh. When I grow up, I want to be as good a housekeeper as you are, Linda H….

  7. It truly will pass and sometimes knowing that will get you through today. I’m not sure how you are managing all the things on your plate but, hopefully knowing that your community of blog readers are solidly supportive of you and grateful for your insights offers you a small boost. Watch the knees. You will need them in your later life….

  8. Can’t take credit for the nice white towels. They are the result of my dh’s efforts not mine!

  9. I wish I could offer more than sympathy for the other things you’re dealing with right now.
    One place I can offer a possibly-useful response: Knee pain on the bicycle can be an indication that you’re putting too much force on your knees, grinding away on the pedals. Try switching to an easier gear sooner, and riding in easier gears with higher cadence, rather than harder gears at a slower cadence. Also, have someone who’s knowledgeable about bike fit check your seat height. You might get knee relief by making a small change there.

  10. You are an amazing woman that we all appreciate in many different ways. You have constantly made us laugh, and reexamine our perspective on such monumental topics such as re-accessing our stash. You are our friend we have breakfast or lunch with and are there for us when we are having a bad day and somehow you know. We are all here for you as you stretch yourself in many different directions that life is taking you.

  11. Atta girl; it’ll be a roller-coaster ride for sure, but just put one foot in front of the other, and keep on writing about it! (helps to keep everything from crowding up your mind)

  12. However long it takes to finish that little sweater, it looks so gorgeous and soft!
    Angora sure is a pain to photograph, though. It has magical, vampire-like abilities to mess with the camera focus.

  13. The baby sweater is beautiful and fuzzy and lovely, and not even the tiniest bit boring. (Ok, the socks are boring. I’ll give you that!)
    The insanity of doing too much will pass, as long as you keep taking care of yourself.

  14. Good luck, my dear!
    By the way, if you want the “skinnier” aspect of cardio, walking’s best, since it burns calories from the get-go. Maybe next year you should join a walk/run, and then you could knit at the same time~! Haha
    Bring on the coffee~!
    Sending love and good thoughts to your and yours,
    Katie =^..^=

  15. LISTEN TO ME: if your knees are hurting, you are gearing up too high. They should not hurt. Ever. I learned this long, long ago when I was cycling to strengthen the muscles that are supposed to keep the knees straight and in place and NOT HURTY. Do not be a hero – even if you are granny-gearing up every single hill, you are still doing the ride. And you will save your knees.

  16. Happy birthday! I’ve been thinking a lot about you & your family these last few weeks. I can’t say anything to make it easier or better but I can say that you’re in my heart & prayers.

  17. Happy Birthday. Keeping you in my prayers…I have been through the birthday while someone you care about is at the end of life….oh, so hard.

  18. I have donated C$10.00 not only is it a good cause it is also a thank you for giving me much pleasure with your Ebooks & your blog. I wish you & your team well in your ride 🙂
    Deborah Keep (London England)

  19. Happy belated,btw, that is a great color scheme for socks. Love it! My search for manly colors is much like yours for my son, who desperately needs wool socks. The cotton/nylon are killing his feet.
    “why aren’t I thinner?” Muscle weighs more than fat, and you may need to do a day or two of just stretching/yoga. It is beneficial when under stress, you don’t know how much you are carrying until you stretch the hips. That is where alot o f emotions are held. The fat burning is in the stretching. So I’ve read, and appears to be true for me.

  20. Writing while knitting– have you tried voice recognition software like they use for dictation? Would require some editing but might have potential. Anything to save the sanity.

  21. Very pleased to see that others fall asleep while knitting, too. I so thought it should keep me awake. But, sometimes, it doesn’t. Also, the big feet thing – my husband wears size 12 (men’s) and I swear they are 5 times the size of my socks. At least.

  22. Hugs .. not lucky with prizes, but compared to the rest of the world I’m lucky

  23. LOL… I LOVE the white carpet/white towel discussion! Linda H, your husband is a whiz at laundry and he should share his whitening secrets! Sooner or later all my white towels become an unappealing shade of greige…
    Steph, many, many hugs to you. That is all.
    No, not quite all… I also LOVE the fuzzy of that little jacket. Pure Squee.

  24. I was able to donate! I was on a tight budget, very tight, and just started a part time job so I wanted to do something more important with the first $30 pay than just buy stuff 🙂 Keep on with the training, Steph. I can’t imagine how you do it but if I had $1000 to spare, I would divide it up among you and your biking friends, especially Jen, mom of 2 little ones 🙂

  25. Thanks so much for the “winter” karmic balancing yarn you were so nice to give me at Squam last weekend!
    Sorry your knees hurt; I’m sure you’ll rock the ride nonetheless.

  26. Do you worry about bringing boring knitting to knit night Stephanie? I certainly don’t, and I’ve always sort of seen this blog as a virtual knit night 🙂 I’m just in awe that you SPUN that, and now it’s booties and a little sweater!!! (and Joe’s socks… maybe I can convince Rob to let me knit him something like that – his only request thus far has been for PLAIN, BLACK socks, and I’m planning on knitting them for him. That’s love right there.)
    Continuing to think of you and your family *hug*

  27. Beautiful sweater. Hope you are doing well. One hour, one minute at a time. 😉

  28. Steph, my thoughts are with you during this hard time.
    Also, Cat Bordhi, you are my hero. Several years ago on my first visit to Bainbridge Island I went to Churchmouse Yarns and Tea. You were teaching a class when I walked in. I may have swooned a little bit. The owner kindly informed me you were in the middle of teaching a class, otherwise I could have gone over to meet you. But quite honestly I think I would have been a bit tongue tied. It was enough for me to be less than 15 feet from you.

  29. If you were hill training today, I think it may be another two-stitch night.
    ….and have you kept track of your inches? Because I am thinking that may be where you notice the change. I always gain weight in my first month or so of training.

  30. I know you often get questions about where to find these yarns/fibers, so I just wanted to give a heads up about the Mad Color Fiber: it’s a wonderful colorway, but it was a Fiber Club exclusive, so it’s not available to the general populous. However, Heather’s other colors are also wonderful!

  31. You know, my sister, due to muscle issues, has been using a program called Dragon Dictate for many many years. You could “type” and knit at the same time that way.

  32. You are right- this too shall pass and it is a special time. It takes wisdom to have that perspective-and you are one wise woman! Blessings to you and to those who need you now.

  33. I think sometimes the universe just sends you the knitting you need. And sometimes you just need some stockinette, grey, with a little bit of color to remind you that it’s out there.
    (Right now, I am in the place where I am knitting a honey cowl, but I find it incredibly soothing to look at pictures of stockinette. It smooths my mind. So please do not apologize for “boring” knitting.)

  34. Other people’s knitting is never boring. It’s fascinating to sneak a glimpse into their thoughts and tastes. And that little piece of fuzz could never be boring, it is cuteness incarnate.

  35. You’ve probably already thought of this and discarded it out of hand, but you mentioned not being able to type and knit at the same time. Have you considered trying talk-to-text somehow? Think of it as having your computer take dictation! Then you only have to stop knitting long enough to go back and edit. Additionally nobody will be able to tell if you’re working or just talking to yourself. 😉

  36. Stephanie, I am new to your blog and have been moved deeply by your last 2 posts. I lost someone dear to me to cancer 9 years ago. The book “Final Gifts” was the one thing that helped me more than anything during that very painful time of hoping for the best while expecting the worst. I found it online for you used for 1.99 if you want to check it out.
    I wish you and yours the best

  37. Having been there with lots of loss over the last few years, I came to practice this wise piece of advice from a dear friend, “be gentle with yourself.” This translated to doing the best I could with work, home, family. This also meant include time for knitting. Knitting has saved me from moments of total meltdown. While my skills are not as advanced as I would like them to be, knitting has allowed me to be creative and productive—I have a pile of finished gifts for Christmas, etc.,–during times of great stress and uncertainty. Knitting becomes calming and meditative for me, when the rest of my world was/is chaotic…..Peace to you and your family. You inspire me with all you accomplish. Be gentle with you!

  38. Steph, there is actually a way to knit while writing. There are several pieces of software out there that will translate the spoken word into the written word. I think I’d be too self-conscious to use it, but quite a number of people praise it to the moon.

  39. Psst! We don’t show up (just) for the knitting. Boring is fine; just drop us a line once in a while!

  40. I am crazy about the baby sweater! AND…3 days until I leave for Colorado and 4 days until I get to see you!!! I’m so frigging excited that I may pee my pants. I’m pregnant though, so that pretty much happens every day!

  41. No, steph, it’s not the hairy yarn. It’s the fact that your depth of field is too shallow. Use FStop 8 (assuming you’re using an SLR)and stand a little bit away. Should give 8 feet of “depth”, and you should stand about 6′ away. Smaller F Stop, smaller depth, and the more light is needed. You can then crop in almost any photo editor. Or, if you’re using a simple digital camera, take it off macro zoom (looks like a flower on most models).

  42. Steph, if there was ever a time for the sweet sweet comfort knitting of garter sweater and vanilla socks, this is it. Nothing to apologize for. I’m being soothed by it myself lately and it’s so worth it. Sending good thoughts. Take care.

  43. Plain simple knitting is soothing to the soul…and it’s lovely when it’s in a gorgeous yarn that you’ve spun yourself! (or one with some stripes thrown in for sanity.) Will Joe wear yellow stripes? He must be loosening up on his “acceptable” i.e., manly color scheme! hugs, h

  44. Have you ever tried the voice recognition software and then you could knit and type 🙂

  45. Joining with Karen, Lena, Heather, BlondeEngineer,and Linda: voice recognition software has gotten really good. I believe Sir Terry Pratchett uses Dragon brand, possibly either Dragon Dictate or Dragon Naturally Speaking.
    Then all you’d have to do is edit.

  46. Count down: 2 day until I leave, 3 until your program!!!! I wish today was over already!

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  48. I love that Linda H fessed up to using a white towel as a background. I cannot imagine keeping a white carpet actually white (especially with my two non-white pets).

  49. A lovely fuzzy sweater is not boring. It caught my eye immediately.
    I have a light colored carpet that I can’t wait to replace. It is never clean with three cats always ready to contribute a fur ball right after I’ve finally removed all the spots.

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