The Wild Rumpus

Let me tell you this. Over the last few months, as I’ve trained for the rally and finished a book, I have had one word in my mind to keep me sane and give me something to hold on to, and that word my friends, that word has been "August."

Every time I there was something I wanted to do that wasn’t writing a book or riding a bike, I just set it aside with a label on it that said "August." The dust bison, roaming freely through the great hardwood plains of the living room?  August. The garden, so overrun with weeds and plants trampled by undeterred raccoons? August.  Mount Laundry, soaring mighty and high in the bedroom, with cresting whitecaps of socks and underwear at the top threatening to topple and bury the cat… the beautiful meals I wanted to cook, the organized kitchen I love to have, the friends I long to entertain in the back garden – dining under the twinkle lights in the summer evenings… August.

Canoeing.  Hanging with Lou, Getting ready for a new niece or nephew, now just two months away. Cycling around the Island with Joe, and I just got this book and I’m going to make some cool stuff like dilly beans. (How did I not know about dilly beans until I was 45? Where the hell have I been living?)   More than anything else though, I have been looking forward to knitting.  I am so excited that I have to work hard to remember that I’m not on vacation and still have a job. (This is very hard when you’re self-employed. It would be easier to apply myself to work if there was someone in the office who didn’t want to knit all day and wasn’t totally willing to take me to a yarn store.)  Now that August is here, I want to do nothing but knit, and there are so many choices that I’m overwhelmed.  This morning I almost lost my cool and cast on like… nineteen things before I got anything resembling a grip. (I did not, however, get a grip before ordering a rather shocking amount of yarn online, but that’s a story for another day.)  I decided that since I have lots of stuff on the go, that the way I’m going to do this is to cast on one thing every time I cast one thing off.  

(For the record, I am not opposed to multiple WIPs in any way, shape or form and believe right down to my little toes that there is no moral virtue in having lots on the needles, or very little. Monogamy is right the heck optional in my knitting and the only reason I’m making any effort to limit projects at all is because I would like to finish a few things sometime before I die, and that’s not going to happen if I let my horrendously short attention span be in charge of yarn.)

(Yarn: Regia Nation – Colourway 5399, sadly discontinued. Pattern: My plain one from Knitting Rules, needles 2.25mm. Model: Sam, who would have been less annoyed about modelling if these were for her. They’re not.)

Finishing these socks (totally a cheat, they only needed one toe) means that now I can cast on something else. I’m thinking baby sweater. No – wait. Shawl. Or socks. Maybe it should be socks because I finished socks. Hold the phone – a hat. I should totally knit a hat, and by hat I mean cowl. Crap, already knitting a cowl. I’ll do mittens. 
Or something.
Oh. Man.

No pressure August, but don’t let me down.

607 thoughts on “The Wild Rumpus

  1. I share your desire to knit ALL THE THINGS. The only thing that keeps me from doing so is my wife, the voice of reason. And the fact that I do like having a finished object. I LOVE that sock yarn, btw.

  2. I just had a case of finishitis, which makes me feel soooo good! And have now consequently moved onto either items and wish I could cast on All. The. Things…But I’m deadline knitting for myself, so I need to get these things off and then I can start on the other deadline items (like Christmas knitting)!
    Katie =^..^=

  3. I know what you mean. I found a really funny DIY blogger yesterday that refers to it as her raccoon brain. That is the most apt description for me that I’ve heard yet!

  4. I made a pact with myself that I would not cast on anything new until September 1. I’m allowed to do whatever BadCat’s lace project is and I’m allowed to do emergency baby gifts if they come up but that’s it until I get some of these projects off the needles.
    Foolishly, I said it out loud in front of my boyfriend. It’s killing me.

  5. Thankfully, you can only physically knit one thing at a time, right?
    I’ve been a monogamous knitter for a while, but I recently realized the purpose of having two WIPs – one that’s complicated and hard and one that’s a bit easier and a bit more relaxing.
    Those socks are so fun!

  6. This is the best time, when everything is possible, only limited by your imagination and the number of hours/days you can spend on Ravelry. I tend to start everything, then decide which is the most interesting – that’s why my UFO bag is so huge! You deserve some you time after the amazing things you did in July, so enjoy!

  7. yay for August, I hope you enjoy getting you knit on … even if you have to cast on more than one thing. I for one would never even pretend I don’t have somewhere close to half a dozen projects on the go at a time.
    absolutely love these socks!

  8. Absolutely what Lesley said at 4:03pm. Incidently, because of you [enabler extraordinaire that you are LOL], I currently have on the needles: my very first EZ baby surprise jacket, just awaiting the decision hood-vs-collar, which I should get done before the intended recipient is a teenager; my very first lace shawl from gorgeous sock yarn I got for Christmas; my very first sock, awaiting a toe; a comfort/prayer shawl for an internet friend facing unimaginable illness (this gets done absolutely first!); and two summer sweaters that, frankly, I don’t really want to do until I’m an entirely different size and shape. What I WANT to do is cast on another EZ BSJ and play with different stitch patterns …

  9. I cannot begin to tell you how much I lust after those gorgeous socks. I have searched and searched and searched for that (sadly disscotinued) yarn. I have pleaded with Regia to reintroduce it and with friends to join my quest to swamp Regia with requests.
    And you know the ridiculous part?
    If I turn around and look at my FO basket, right on the top is a pair of already completed socks in that colorway that I knit for myself by myself.
    And I STILL want to knit a pair!
    Please, Regia???

  10. Surely there are other persons in your household who can run the washer, swing a broom etc. etc.? I admire your writing and am amazed by all you accomplish, but seriously, learn to share the load…and, happy knitting.

  11. AUGUST?!? It’s AUGUST!?! I haven’t even thought of anyone’s Christmas gifts yet! I should have been knitting them since June!
    Oh, well, back to my Color Affection. Whose brilliant idea was it (mine, of course) to add an extra 20 rows to the first section, and so on, because it “looked a little skimpy”? It seems this project will never end…
    And yes, it would be a great practice to keep at least two WIPs (WsIP?) at all times, because carting this thing around with its amazing volume and three yarns is kind of a drag. Not to mention keeping three yarns untangled while sitting in a waiting room, or in the car. Not much Affection flowing right now… but I “tried it on” the other night, and I was amazed at the way it hugs me – IT appears to have some affection for ME, anyway.
    Knit, knit, knit – you SO deserve a big knit!

  12. Dilly beans are the best, and so easy to make (so you won’t have to give up hardly any knitting time). You will love them.

  13. I think it’s only fair that Sam be sad for not getting those beautiful socks. Someone should treasure those always. I hope August lives up to expectations.

  14. I’d go for a hat or a baby sweater, on the basis that you can knit a hat and a baby sweater in the time it takes to knit a shawl thereby doubling the satisfaction that you can tuck into a still working August!

  15. I am so sorry it took so long for you to find dilly beans. I would be more than happy to send you some for your pantry. I wouldn’t be without them.

  16. I’m supposed to be knitting now for Christmas? Oh, no, I’m still on a sweater and several pairs of socks – for me! The 3 stockings I have to do this year will have to wait until Fall….

  17. I’m on a fingerless mitts knitting jag, and I am not ashamed to say it. Also, we head for Cape Cod next week, and I have calculated EXACTLY how many I can knit and will bring exactly TWICE that amount of yarn, just in case my math is off. Also? Extra needles. And maybe a half-finished hat, and some more bulky yarn in case I finish that and want to start another…
    But that’s all. Really.

  18. Hurray for August! Can’t wait to see what you choose. I am all for bombarding Regia to reintroduce that yarn, but as I have to hide the hand knit socks from my girls it would be too much of a temptation for them. I am scared to see how many pairs accidently get packed in the bags heading off to college this month.

  19. Dilly beans are delish! I also own the Food in Jars book, and I have to say I have not found a less-than-awesome recipe in that book yet.
    Try making the cantaloupe jam, trust me on this one. It is amazing and tastes like a exotic, sexy creamsicle bar.

  20. Food in Jars is wonderful! A great resource and good fodder for inspiration in preservation.

  21. The only thing that without fail induces me to finish something I am only lukewarm about, it the need to reclaim the needle or needles for another project. This has the desirable effect of keeping the knitting (roughly) in balance except in the case of things I really, really HATE; when I have been known to rip it right off the needles and proceed with a new project. I do eventually return to civilized behaviour and wind the abandoned project back up into balls or skeins. At this exact point, I am wondering where the hell my dark blue 4.5 mm 80 cm circular is and what abandoned project it is buried in. I only know that it is not on its little storage hook in the craft room and that means it is marooned in a less-that-inspired piece of knitted crud that obviously is in dire need of ravelling.
    That having been said, I am now hankering after Dilly Beans and Canteloupe Jam.

  22. Wait. Aren’t you a “knitting author” and a “knitting blogger?” If knitting is in your title, it is certainly in your job description. Yes! Knitting is part of your job, so you should feel free to knit as much as you desire. I give you permission, if you feel you need it. Enjoy!

  23. You should make the Strawberry Vanilla Jam recipe from her book. It turns a pb&j sandwich into a lunch party 🙂

  24. Wow! First of all, knit knit knit…it’s your job! Second, I can’t beleive that there’s another person out there in blog land who’s also on a fingerless mitts bent (with Koigu – yum!) and is heading to the East Coast. I can’t wait for my trip to Connecticut and Martha’s Vineyard where I plan to do nothing but knit and visit LYSs. oh yes, and eat my friend’s wonderful Italian food….and drink wine….

  25. I have that book and also was woefully ignorant of Dilly Beans until this summer… not that I’ve made any yet (none in the garden booooo!) but I found some at a farmer’s market and Seriously. I’m from German picklers and I *know* pickles and these? Just. WOW.
    I went through a cast on frenzy a few days ago and only just scraped by with a stuffed turkey, mittens for my Little(est), and the entrance of Fall Sweater Land (featuring 2 cute little boys) – my favourite time of year, to be sure, but it was a close call (on the cast on’s).

  26. Socks? Cowls? Mittens? Let’s knit them all, and then some. I have reacquainted myself with my stash in the past few days, and there’s a lot of wool calling my name to be needle-bound.

  27. Hey, with a new niece or nephew on the way, how about one of your super-duper-one-of-a-kind baby shawls?
    Also, what Presbytera said…..just saying, with a new book coming out and all….some of us would like to hope we will be close enough to visit with you some time in the near future!

  28. The only reason I am not engaging in rampant startitis is that my yarn is almost all packed. I almost wish you were starting all the things, so I could live vicariously through your blog.

  29. I have a scarf in progress and a sock in progress right now that need to get done as the recipients are heading off to college in cold places. But that’s not counting the two sweaters on the needles and the baby sweater that’s in time out…

  30. I’d love to see what you would knit for a baby sweater. I like your taste in baby sweaters and that is what I need to knit right now.
    No pressure, though. I have purchased full skeins of Dream in Color Classy for multiple Tulip sweaters…. That’s what I’ll knit unless you come up with another option that I can’t resist…

  31. I am not ready for August. My July list is only half done, and my July knitting got derailed by some lace weight silk someone gave me, and I could use a few more weeks of July.
    But those socks are amazing. I might have to consider buying 7 different colours, to do my own stripes.

  32. Oh bob, yes! I am also there with wild plans for two different lace projects, a cardigan and sockssockssocks.
    Question – how do you manage to get the two identical socks in self striping yarn like you always do? I can do it with non- self striping yarn in pattern or plain, but knowing how to start in exactly the right spot for the second sock always eludes me.

  33. With a new family member on the way, I suggest you get started on the baby knitting. Those projects are often quick and portable (unless you’re working on a two-meter long christening gown or a baby shawl that would make Prince George’s look like an old terry towel!).
    Second choice would be socks. For a Christmas gift. Joe’s Christmas gift. Why not get them out of the way early?? Starting them this early may even inspire you to knit kilt hose for him!

  34. You’re soooo entertaining! I love your socks. And I deeply admire and respect what you’ve accomplished with your biking and fund raising. You are amazing! Knit on sister, make up for what I don’t have time for!!

  35. Go for it! You deserve it. Since you’re self-employed, just you take a moment and figure out how much overtime you put in on the book and training for the ride and actually doing the ride and…and…and…
    You’ve earned a serious yarn-holiday, a wooly vacation, and a personal knit-in in my estimation.

  36. AUGUST and everything after – you know that song (and album) from the band Counting Crows? Maybe that is just your song right now. 🙂 I love it for years and every year, I have very high hopes in august, too. (here in Germany it is an old prename for a boy, too. Love that, but have two girls)
    Thank you for your words! I love them. They touch me. In an good way. Just last night I casted on an very sweet hat with malabrigo yarn. Felt so good! And the (early) morning started with my five year old claiming for making some pompoms together. Perfect! *far away greetings *mirjam

  37. Love those socks! That reminds me, I have some yarn for your unoriginal hat pattern, and I bought yarn yesterday for socks and mitts, and more mitts and maybe more socks (oh alright, definitely more socks)…..

  38. Eeeee I only went & looked at the book link. Uhho I love preserving, making jam! Now I have to buy it as I’m 41.5yrs & have no clue about dilly beans. Off to knit now until I get my hands on the book!

  39. I so hear ya about August! I can’t believe it’s the ninth already. How did that happen!?! Anyways, I love those socks. It’s sad that the colorway has been discontinued. Have a Happy August! I hope that it everything you are dreaming of!

  40. Knitting sounds like a whole lot more fun than conquering the household chores that you were not the only one not doing…
    But I do like the descriptions. Makes it almost seem like something to aspire too. I think we may have some dust bison.

  41. “The dust bison, roaming freely through the great hardwood plains of the living room? ”
    May I please plagiarize?

  42. I’m so happy you’ve discovered Marisa and Food In Jars. It is by far my most-used cookbook! I highly recommend the Spiced Plum Jam as a glaze for pork, chicken or tofu. It’s delicious!
    We’re hitting up Stitches Midwest today! I can not WAIT to hit the marketplace!

  43. I can relate to this very much, but how fantastic that August is now here! I will be following in your footsteps when I finish my MBA study on October 9 – two months from today. I am also making a list of things I want to do and finish – top of the list: finish socks for my Dad and also a shawl for my friend who earlier this year got her PhD. Enjoy your time. I just can’t imagine it yet, but it will come too.

  44. Food in jars is fantastic! Be sure to try the cantaloupe vanilla jam. It does sound weird, but it’s so good!

  45. Food in Jars is a fabulous book! And there is a sour cherry jam recipe that is fantastic that you should file away for next summer! (or this summer? I guess I’m not sure when Torontonian cherries are ready. Ours are long gone.) Its delicious stirred into plain yogurt. I have been on a binge this summer, canning her jam recipes, and I have yet to be disappointed.

  46. Just be very careful with large pots of boiling water when you go to can. I put one of my discs out like that and had to have surgery. Apparently repeatedly filling and emptying large pots is wearing on one’s back. Looking forward to seeing what you end up with OTN!

  47. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making me know I’m not alone and sanity is not all its cracked up to be.

  48. 1-I have those socks. Love. Them. Wearing them til they fall apart. One of my first sock projects.
    2-I started canning late last summer, starting pickling this summer and LOVE Marissa’s Food in Jar blog.

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  50. Shouldn’t someone mention Joe’s Gansey in here somewhere? I seem to remember you cast that on a couple of eons ago.

  51. When I was a kid I would yearn for us to get company for lunch, someone down from the farm or wherever. My mother would put out sandwich stuff, cold meat, home baked bread, and in the middle of the table, dilly beans, pickled carrots, pickled water melon rind (I still yearn for this), pickled beets and a nicely frosted cake. Heaven on a summers day!

  52. Beautiful socks. I wish Refia would make it again. Noro makes a similar one, but Noro sock yarn is for the brave.
    Cast on all you want. Knitter is part of your job description, so you will write the mound of new yarn off your taxes, right? So the gov shares the cost with you, right? Sweet! You earned it, so go for it. Go talk to your tax accountant and then celebrate by a stop at a yarn store on the way home!

  53. Has anyone else suggested this yet? You just finished TWO socks… so you get to cast on two new things, right? That’s how it works in my world 🙂

  54. I so love dilly beans. There is a Mennonite business around here (Upstate New York – see you in Sept.) that makes them, but they are all sold out at the farm market where I buy them. So I, also, will be learning how.
    And about multiple projects. I only count the ones I can see. My knitting friends are all finishing and showing off and casting on for other items and I am still working on the thing I started in June. But, I still have other projects working that I cast on in June and July and further back. Every once in a while, I finish a bunch of stuff all at the same time. Then I cast on again.

  55. The problem I have with being self-employed is that my brain thinks I should be working every waking moment. I blame the Puritans, so this may just be an American thing.
    It’s only in the last 6 months or so that I’ve realized that I HAVE to take time off. If I don’t take a day or two off every week, I get sick every other month for a month at a time. My brain still has trouble with the idea though. Before a big show I end up working every day for weeks, forgetting about the day off thing, and then after the show I sleep 14 hours a night for a month and end up wondering if I have chronic fatigue syndrome.
    Last week I spent four days doing nothing but knitting and watching DVDs. It was wonderful.
    I hate the Puritans.

  56. I completely understand. I work for a state legislature. From January to the end of May, I barely get to knit at all and by June I am so out of balance that the floodgates holding back the yarn stash must open and the yarn must flow. (Also, I get back on my bike. Ahhh.) Heard in our office: “There’s nothing June won’t fix.”

  57. Have you ever thought about publishing an e-book or guest authoring on other sites?
    I have a blog based upon on the same topics you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information.
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  58. Just wanted to say: I am with you, sister. And, I wanted to say Food in Jars is a brilliant canning book. I love it. I have made many things from it, all of them winner. The Honey Lemon Apple Jam is To. Die. For. Like caramel apples. Yum.

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