I Know When to Cringe

I had the loveliest weekend.  The nicest students, the prettiest venue, the satisfaction of teaching at home, in a province I adore, the smell of the sea…

It was KnitEast,  hosted by Cricket Cove in the beautiful town of Saint Andrews by the Sea, and my fellow teachers and I made the most of it.  The days were busy and full – and had a Canadian feel that you just couldn’t ignore. The Algonquin hotel was the intended location, and when they didn’t finish construction in time, Cricket Cove did their level best to make it all work – and there ended up being  a certain unique charm to it… where else could you find the marketplace in the local curling rink?

One of the evening events was at a local aquarium, and we got to touch all sorts of yucky but interesting things

(One in every two million lobsters is blue. I learned that there.)
and we walked to and from the town for supper at night, and really, it was truly lovely. 

That’s Deb Barnhill, Susan B Anderson and Ann Budd

That’s just Deb Barnhill and Ann Budd, and no. I don’t know how I got them to do that. They were pretty tired.  Maybe their resistance was low. (I think there’s a picture out there of me doing the same thing, so maybe I should be careful what I post.) Deb and I had a ton of fun being tour guides to Passamaquoddy Bay. (If each of us had a dime for every time we explained about the highest tides in the world…)

It really was lovely, and I owe a round of thanks to my students, who were charming though a few rough spots.  (I’m thinking from now on, maybe I’ll pack an extension cord? )

Maybe it’s how pretty it was and how nice my students were or who knows, but all weekend long I knit on the blanket, on and off, and didn’t freak out about it.  Much. A few comments were made about how it was sort of largish, but it is a blanket, and it is near the end, and so I ignored that. 

I also sort of ignored it when I couldn’t really ram it into my bag any more, and I just vowed to finish, so I could stop dragging it around – but I was on the edging, so I’m wasn’t super worried.  Fast forward to last night when I realize three things.

1. I have been doing the edging for a while. It is not getting done very fast. That’s weird.
2. I have been wrong all along about Robyn’s EDC.  She’s expecting her baby sooner than I thought, but only by two days, but still. That’s not good news when combined with #1.

I was sitting there worrying about all of this and doing a little math (there are more than 1000 stitches on the needle. Each repeat of the edging finishes 6, plus the extras to get around the corners so how many repeats of the edging do I have to do?) when I picked up my ball of yarn to move it, and it felt a little light. You know the feeling – the ball is squishier than you were expecting, and you think something like "Where the hell is all that yarn gone?"  I wasn’t that worried or upset. I knew I had ordered TONS.  More yarn than you could ever use for a baby blanket, even if you have a propensity to make them a little larger than babies (or University students) typically need – so I went to get one of the other skeins and that’s when I realized #3.

3. I don’t have enough yarn.  Not even close.  I’m short by at least 200m, maybe way more.  Again.

I handled it straight away, ordering it from The Loopy Ewe at daybreak (looks like they have enough in stock)  and I’ll just have to cross my fingers that it gets here before a baby does – preferably with enough time to knit it up.  I’ve got 1.5 skeins left, and the baby will be here anytime.  I’m just sitting here chanting "first babies come at 41 weeks. First babies come at 41 weeks.  First babies come at 41 weeks" but I don’t really believe myself. Robyn’s not the type to be late for anything.
This is going to be a close one. I’ve got to go knit.

PS. Anybody up for a little pre-Rhinebeck amuse-bouche? I’ll be at WEBS for a great sock thing and a  Knit Smart lecture thing.  It will be a fun start to the holiday. (We all agree Rhinebeck is a holiday – right?)

PPS. Anybody want to hang out with me in Maine? I’ll be at Over the Rainbow Yarn.

PPPS. I know. I should do the tour page.  It has a technical issue I’m working on.

165 thoughts on “I Know When to Cringe

  1. Wait, is Passamaquoddy the town from that movie with the cartoon dragon? Pete’s Dragon, or Pete and the Dragon, or something like that? I loved that movie as a kid.

  2. I knew you were going to run out of yarn! You’re very dependable that way. The sun rises in the East and you run out of yarn whilst knitting beautiful heirloom quality baby blankets. But also, you always finish before the baby arrives.

  3. Robyn may not be the type to be late, but is the BABY the type? Robyn has little choice in the matter, and babies can’t read calendars.

  4. Picture postcard photography, what a credit to you. A delightful slice of knitting possibilities.
    Delightful pictures of knitting celebreties (and I am mentally crowing – so that is what Ann Budd looks like (insert name as appropriate).
    I’m with Rams comment.
    Good thing Robyn’s baby is better at counting than my lot – first baby born at 29 weeks. Knit on through all difficulties, it will come together.

  5. Darling. Think a minute. You have a blog on which you post nearly every day. Just make tomorrow’s post a list of your destinations/dates.
    You can title it “For Presbytera, Who Might Finally Shut Up”.

  6. Sooo envious of our time in St Andrews. A Rhinebeck amuse-bouche? If only… I’m still trying to find someone who wants a free bed in Rhinebeck village in return for a drive there. Good luck with the blanket. Don’t know where you get your knitting stamina!

  7. OK You didn’t say a word about how you survived without a sweater or shawl or anything. I have to know what you did. Buy a hoodie, borrow a sweater?

  8. What a beautiful spot. Sounds like a lovely weekend. I too think of Rhinebeck as a holiday and look forward to it for months. I am also fortunate as Webs, although 2 hours from home, is on the way to pick up my daughter at college. So while I’ll sadly miss seeing you, I am lucky to get there once or twice a year.

  9. You’ll be at Rhinebeck?!? Now I’m totally bringing the scarf that Rowan wove for me (from the karmic balancing gifts)!

  10. You’re probably okay even without the chant since babies don’t come until you’re done knitting. Also,
    I love Cephalopod Yarns Blue Lobster colorway and am glad to see a real blue lobster (or at least a photo of one).

  11. I, too, wonder how you kept warm.
    I always knit faster when I think I’m running out of yarn. I don’t even know why (maybe I feel like I can knit faster than the yarn can run out). Do you knit faster in the face of running low on yarn as well?

  12. I am utterly jealous! Looks, and sounds, like you had a lovely time!
    I, too, have fallen prey to the “not enough yarn” monster. But thankfully, you had the sense to use wool that is still in production. I, on the other hand, was not that smart.

  13. It was definitely the greatest of weekends. No one was cold-the weather was pure sunshine and 23-24C. Such a surprise. Steph: I loved both my classes with you and I’m almost finished the baby bonnet(mawatas) and completely finished the 1st baby sock. Thanks for a great class experience!!

  14. My deepest wish is that you will still be going strong, touring and teaching in beautiful places when the day finally comes that I’m retired and I can follow you everywhere! It all looks so fun and I can’t be there… Please hang in there another 8 to 10 years (or sooner if I win the lottery!). One day, I shall also experience Rhinebeck.

  15. I’m impressed you do such large baby blankets. I tend to do smaller ones and call them “stroller blankets.” Totally justifies the size.
    At least in my mind it does.

  16. Having successfully gotten out of the room with a baby sock, I’m back in sunny Colorado. New Brunswick, in all ways, was utterly awesome. Would that I could make it back East for Rhinebeck …
    Thanks for the engaging class. I had a blast.

  17. Those photos are beautiful! I have almost finished my first GROK the sock for my 4 year-old(as of tomorrow), and it fits perfectly! So glad I got to take your class at Fingerlakes. Read your notes at Over the Rainbow, and started to chuckle when I read knitting with muwatta, remembering your Vogue knitting story. The blanket is lovely, and will surely be loved and used longer due to its great size.

  18. Also always pack a powerboard with 4 plug spaces. (Things u learn in the digital age, iPad, iPhone, camera)

  19. I shall burst your bubble: Babies come whenever the hell they feel like it, first or not. Mine decided he wanted to make his appearance early so he hid his amniotic fluid so the ultrasound tech couldn’t find it, causing my OB to go into a bit of a panic, and, well, he came early.

  20. I learned from making my first child’s baby blanket that bigger is better as I couldn’t wrap him in. Big baby, smallish blanket. Knitting for the Grandchildren now and they got baby blankets they could use even as toddlers. Now as they get older (the oldest are six and nine), they are getting knitted blankets they will be able to use even as adults.. Thank goodness there isn’t a time frame for these!
    Looks like a wonderful site for the weekend knit fest; great photos, and your blanket looks as though it will be gorgeous. Thank you for sharing.

  21. Yes, Rhinebeck is a HOLIDAY!!! I get a giggle from the fact that it is technically called the New York Sheep and Wool Festival, but in our language the festival is called “Rhinebeck!”

  22. What a perfect weekend we had in St Andrews. The town is gorgeous, the weather was great, the classes were excellent, and knitters were everywhere. So glad I made the trip! That was my knitting adventure for this year, so unfortunately Rhinebeck is out, but next year for sure! Hope you win the blanket race, can’t wait to see the finished product!

  23. I second (third?) the post(s) asking how you dealt with being knitless in a cool place. Inquiring/enquiring minds want to know!
    Given the other lovely items you’ve made, I doubt Robyn would mind a blanket IOU tucked into the package.

  24. I was at Over the Rainbow early in August – wonderful folk! A little too far for me.
    But perhaps I’ll see you in Rhinebeck! That’s only 10 mins from the house. 🙂

  25. Why don’t I live in Canada….or why don’t you come to the UK more often? Would love to come to one of these events but would prob have to sell my house to do so…or worse sell the stash!

  26. I’m in the ‘did you buy a hoody, or what?’ group. If the weather was in the low 20s, maybe you got away without anything warm and snuggly to wear.
    But inquiring minds (and people avoiding a boring stretch in an otherwise lovely pattern) want to know.

  27. My knitting group and I will be making a day trip to Webs on Friday. If some kind of gathering is being set up, we would be very interested!

  28. Please blog where you are going to be for the rest of the year. After watching YouTube and reading your blog I just want to see you speak or teach in person! It’s my gift to me! Thanks!

  29. I hear “Rhinebeck” and I sigh long and hard, I’ll never be able to get there, and I envy everyone who gets to go.First babies, My First was a month late, or so I thought. she was small.

  30. wow. I’m gobsmacked that Passamaquoddy is a real place! *insert flashback of Pete’s Dragon here*

  31. Wish my first baby had known that first babies come at 41 weeks, all the folks around me and she knew she was coming at 38 weeks. Don’t think she minded that her blamket was finished after her birth. Am sure you will finish the blanket in time.

  32. Babies never get born before your gift is finished, right? So, no worries! Your blankets always seem to turn out large, but gorgeous. I can’t wait to see this one in its full glory when it’s no longer scrunched into a ball on the needles.

  33. Please tell us about the highest tides in the world.
    That sounds fascinating! Your travel pics are beautiful.

  34. I happened to wander into Loopy this afternoon and I can attest to the fact that your order was being given the utmost attention (of course, they’re great all the time).

  35. Oh my gosh. I just realized that my last question sounded like total sarcasm………….. I was really curious, then I figured out it was a clickable link. Red face… sorry.

  36. I was counting on that 41 (if not 42) weeks for my own baby too… Big surprise when my water broke at 37 weeks! I didn’t even have the crib built or a nursing bra yet.
    I’m sure mom will love that blanket no matter when it gets to her. I can’t wait to see it finished!

  37. Rats. Now I’m homesick. “Take me back to ol’ New Brunswick, take me back to ol’ New Brunswick…..” – George Hamilton IV and “Reversing Falls Darling'” and New Brunswick and Mary” by Stompin’ Tom Connors. They just don’t understand me in Houston. But the Mrs. brought back more stash and a new pair of socks from Knit East! Meanwhile, I’ll listen to “A real Canadian Girl” from the Miramichi!!!

  38. I was sitting at that exact table for dinner on Friday night in St. Andrews! Did the cats try and climb on your table?

  39. Except when the first baby arrives at 37 weeks, thereby setting the mother (and the medical field!) up for the expectation that all successive babies will arrive early. We had just gotten out of the military, and we had NOTHING ready. She spent the first week of her life sleeping in a laundry basket.

  40. Well, if you were in the US, I’d tell you that with Loopy Ewe, you would have the yarn before the weekend — but I have no idea how Canada Post deals with US Priority mail these days.

  41. Let’s see: Was the “technical issue” forgetting to tell Ken what seemed to be wrong?
    I’ll bet a daughter “appropriated” at least one skein of your original yarn for the blanket. (I won’t speculate as to which daughter.) However, an edging in which you cast off only 6 stitches on each row, while dealing with going around ever-larger corners, seems like a fool’s quest. Why didn’t you just go for government-standard garter stitch?
    Lastly, The Blog NEEDS to know how you kept warm. Was it a hoodie? Was it borrowed knitwear? Was it some fine Canadian whiskey. . .or beer. . .or screech?
    P.S. to Robyn: Keep your legs crossed until YH has the blanket blocking. That way, it will only be a little damp when you bring the baby home!

  42. Oh…the view, and all the other fun stuff. Kinda jealous of your life right now, Yarn Harlot. 🙂
    That is a GREAT picture of Deb, Susan & Ann. Really great.

  43. Oh no……we were in Rockland just weeks ago. I’m sorry our schedules did not overlap.

  44. pppsss. Can’t, Yes, but can’t, Yes but again..can’t and, you better knit like the wind is chasing you with long knives!!

  45. No worries on the blanket not being done! She has plenty of time to use it once you get it to her.

  46. Baby blankets should always be big. Big enough to cover the baby and wrap around their mommy’s toes while nursing in the cold of the night. I’m just glad there was more yarn to be had!
    (When I delivered a baby blankie recently, Hayes’s two and four year old big sisters each grabbed a side and then immediately tried to run gleefully in opposite directions with their mommy, holding the baby, exclaiming NO NO! and stopping them. It just showed that the blankie was instantly popular.)

  47. My first (and only) was 3 weeks early. But she wasn’t waiting for a beautiful blanket like this one.

  48. Don’t be so surprised Stephanie that the edging is taking so long. A 1000 sts and an intricate pattern- what can you expect? I just finished a pair of plain socks for my grown son who probably won’t wear them very often. I took the time to make a rough estimate of the number of sts involved and came up with around 10,000. I will tell him that that equals a lot of “I love you”s. And that , my dear, means that your knitting the equivalent of a pair of socks every 10 rounds around your lovely blanket. Quite a lot of I-love-yous if you ask me!!

  49. I would SO love to hang out with you in Maine. Unfortunately, I am in Michigan and only in my dreams could I get to Maine. I hope you have a wonderful time!

  50. I can’t believe you ran out of yarn AGAIN!!! You even asked everyone’s opinion on how big the blanket should be because you make them huge—-I bet you made it larger than you were going to—you knit so fast and go into auto pilot mode and there is no stopping—You are too funny!!!!

  51. Would this be a bad moment to mention my cousin’s first babies came two months early? (But they’re excused, twins are like that.)
    I am planning to go to Rhinebeck, barring unfortunate emergencies, but I couldn’t swing going to WEBS… sadly. I wish I could, everyone makes it sound like the promised land. Some friends of mine went on their honeymoon and I oozed jealousy. Just like I’m doing now! <3

  52. Oh, I am so bummed right now! I am in a play the very weekend you are in Maine. I was momentarily excited when I saw “Sunday Evening” for the mawatta class, because that is something new I would love to learn, but it’s actually Sunday afternoon/during our last matinee.
    Sigh. Oh, well. Maybe another time. Meanwhile, I hope to get up to Stitches East sometime. Love your pictures of the bay!

  53. The prospect of babies is a few years off for me, but I’d love to make them blankets too. I’m thinking maybe I need to start one now in order to have it by then…

  54. I hope the yarn makes it through customs for you extra fast! Ahhhhh the Atlantic Provinces and the Gulf of Maine and Bay of Fundy and Cold Northwest Atlantic water. Maybe next year for me! I will try. Really try.

  55. YH – awesome pics, lovely blankie – sorry to hear of your dilemma but Loopy really is fantastic with shipping. Althought I did read another commenter about the uncertainty of the Canadian side with respect to the US priority mail packages… We’ll keep chanting – GO LOOPY GO!
    As for Rhinebeck, I will be there but I always seem to miss the authors I want to meet. Will you be there all day both days?! I trucked around last year’s with my Yarn Harlot book hoping and hoping but never got to see you for a quick autograph.
    I’m also in the camp wondering how you braved the weather without any handknits! 🙂

  56. May I add my voice to the Chorus of the Curious who are dying to know how you kept warm, and whether you were deluged with cosy handknits by everyone there …
    Early babies — I wish — both of mine were precisely 5 days late and weighed the same to within one ounce. They also looked so similar that we can only tell the baby pics apart by what they were wearing. Apparently I only do standards. But let me tell you, both sets of 5 extra days were the longest wait of my life … I thought I would climb the walls with impatience to get those kids out of there!!!

  57. PS — I did a quick calculation for your ‘1000 stitches and get rid of 6 stitches per round’ edging, and it looks as though you might be facing 166 rounds here ….. I hope for your sake that I have misunderstood, or that you were exaggerating or something …. good luck and may the Force be with you!

  58. Warning, Warning – First baby here arrived 3 weeks early. Oopsie. Also ran into the term “clocks” in a fiction book used in regards to a blue part on a black sock. The definition says an ornament knit usually on the side of a sock. Got any photos of a clock? I think ornament like beads, bells, buttons but it was on a man’s sock – hmmm. Inquiring minds need to know this stuff.

  59. All Hail Presbytera, Queen of Logic!
    (Put your Tour info on the Blog – we all go there first, anyway!)

  60. First of all, both my boys arrived, without medical help, by natural birth at the due date, exceptions make rules too. So that means first boy at midday and second, wanting to do even better, at three in the morning, both, so to say, on time (or my midwife is very good at due date foretelling). Second, with tricky knitting I do the following when I expect to be short on yards of wool at an early stage: i weigh the knitted work, weigh a set of comparable needles, do the minus the needleweight thing, weigh the wool and knit an entire row, then weigh the knitwork and the remaining wool separately again. Conclusion, I now have the weight of wool it takes to knit one row or round, add some for the increases and start arithmetic (pen and paper, much quicker then fiddling with my laptop). Now I know, not exactly, by guesstimating how much wool I should have left unknitted. Less, on the double go and buy extra, too much? use it in an aviatrix headcover, or mittens or a softy playmate, My mother did the guesstimating by stretching her arms as far as possible, taking the wool between her hands, times 10 and the doing the arithmetic verses the metres on the wrapthing around the wool. (Her arms stretched to exactly 150 cm.!). I am thankfull of digital weightmeasuring to 1 gram specifics! I like the idea of a babyblanket large enough to keep a student happy too, years more of delighted use in it.

  61. Sometimes (in my case) they come at 42 weeks and some change…not to wish that one on Robyn at all. It’s not fun.

  62. I read Susan B. Anderson’s blog post today on KnitEast as well. Sounds like it was a blast for students and instructors. And quite an adventure for her and Ann Budd. What a beautiful setting—wish I could have been there, too!

  63. I was just at St. Andrews this past summer on vacation. My first time to Canada. I sat in that same Restaraunt looking out on the Bay of Fundy. It is a beautiful place and I hope I can return someday!

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  65. I’d personally hope that I’m healthy in both mind, body, and spirit. I’d personally enjoy to travel the world with my family members. That would be beautiful.

  66. Wealthy and traveling where ever and whenever I want with my doggie, plus helping get dogs fixed, and those that need homes, and organizations that do thus and such.

  67. I might personally favor Google. Both FB and Google would benefit from it, but we would in all probability benefit more from Google taking it over. In the case of Google+ it is just a matter of time. Facebook was lucky it didn’t actually have to compete with something as “good” as facebook, the competition was just lacking a lot of features and also a global approach.Google+ is exceptional to Facebook, nevertheless it has a bigger challenge to have popular.Just look at VHS and Betamax. Betamax was better but lost due to bad marketing/licensing.Danny recently posted..Black & Decker NPP2018 18-Volt Cordless Electric Pole Chain Saw

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