it is too early for this

I got up early this morning, 4:50am – and I hear that’s normal for some folks, but I’m just terrible at it. Terrible.  Later this summer when Jen and I start training for the Bike Rally in earnest I’ll get better. It wasn’t so bad when the sun was coming up and off we’d go, full of purpose, riding 40 or 50km before work several days a week.  This though? Getting up, the world still dark, no purpose beyond a trek to the airport? This is not my best thing. I’m fragile that early.  I drink coffee slowly, go over my class checklist one more time…

teawithbuttonsdet 2014-03-27

I got into the taxi when it came, and the cab driver made a few tries at conversation, and I tried but couldn’t summon up much.  I was polite, but couldn’t quite get the groove of it, and after a few minutes he said “Ah, it’s still nighttime. Let’s go quietly.”  I sat in the back and knit on my sock, staring out at frozen Toronto, and thought about the cat, who was looking at me with a curious rage when I left. I think she noticed that Joe and I both had suitcases out. He’s leaving for the Junos and I’m for the DFW Fiber Fest (which is sort of like the Junos, if you approach it the right way, which I do, although travelling together would be cool if it happened) and when I left I am pretty sure the cat was trying to figure out who’s side of the bed to pee on as revenge.

teaontable 2014-03-27

As much as leaving again unsettles me, so soon after the book tour, I’m really looking forward to this weekend. I love teaching and speaking, but really, I’m serious about the marketplace this time.  I was going through my stash the other day and realized that a lot of my yarn is wrong. How you can have that much and have pretty much all of it be breathtakingly, spectacularly wrong is beyond me, but I’d noticed over the last year or so that a theme was developing, one where I think about knitting something, go to the stash and then mysteriously find myself in a yarn shop with a big bag and a vaguely dirty feeling.

tinyteawhole 2014-03-27

I think I’ve regressed, fallen back into a nasty little single skein habit, thinking that it saves me money to buy a little of what I like, when in reality it doesn’t save me a dime. There’s no savings if you buy the single skein one day, then the sweater’s worth another day. I see that now.

teabuttonscuff 2014-03-27I’m going to fix some of that this weekend.  They’re calling my flight.  See some of you in Dallas.

(PS: Yarn: Abundant Yarn and Dyeworks Weld/Indigo. Pattern: Tiny Tea Leaves. Buttons: Aren’t they perfect? Vintage buttons from my grandmothers button bin.  Perfect tiny tulips on a spring sweater for wee Myrie.)



94 thoughts on “it is too early for this

  1. Gorgeous! There is an advantage to having offspring who knit (in my case, my 13 year old son)…. being that once you decide if you don’t like something in the stash after all, you can send it off…

    All too soon (hopefully!) we’ll be complaining about heat waves 🙂

  2. WOW! The buttons are perfect and the sweater is sweet as can be. I am dreaming that my sweater comes out half as good. Had a good morning chuckle reading about your stash, thanks so much. It takes a bit to get me chuckling in the am. Have a great trip. Sounds like it is worth getting up and out so early.

  3. The buttons are perfect! Such a sweet sweater!

    The first time I tried to comment I missed the exercise that indicates I am a human and not a robot. My excuse is that it is 5:44 a.m. here. Too early for stuff like that.

    • No, Helen, it wasn’t you. The captcha just does that sometimes. After all, it’s only . . . uh . . . completely automated.

      You can save time by copying your text before you try to post. Then you can try again quickly if the robot thinks you’re his cousin.

      • I had the same problem on yesterday’s post. I even tried shifting to audible mode, but it wouldn’t make any sounds.

        Love the buttons, by the way.

    • This has happened to me a few times as well. I always assume I’ve picked the wrong thing…but now I’m more careful and it still happens. I have noticed if I drop the icon into the circle and then don’t post right away (if I do it before I write, or get pulled away for a while before I click ‘post comment’) it is more likely to fail.

      ETA: Huh. In the time I have taken to write this post, for some reason the icons it said to drop have changed. First it was leaf, now it’s chair. Maybe that’s the trick?

  4. Those buttons are perfectly perfect. And I’m with you on the too early thing. I get up just before 6am to get children off to school on time. But it is not natural for me – I’m not a huge night owl but 10 pm is too early for bed. At least, once you’re on the plane, you have a few hours to sit and knit and just be. Thank heavens for the understanding cabbie. Sometimes quiet is best.

  5. Perfect buttons! I hope you find lots of perfect sweater quantities of yarn in the marketplace this weekend too, although I’m pretty sure that won’t be a problem 😉

  6. I had been thinking, “blue, you need blue buttons” loudly at you from from way off in the frozen wasteland of MN, and wanted to send you the tiny vintage blue daisies in my button box from MY grandmother, and voila! There you are , with the most wonderful blue tulips on the earth. Way cute. I am also sympathizing with the crankiness at lack of spring hints. It is snowing here, and we are supposed to get 6 inches on top of the 3 feet already on the ground, and sheesh–winter weary, anyone? I keep telling myself it is only March, but those of us, like in Toronto and northern US, have had the world’s most Relentless Winter. Bitter, snowy, windy, and no breaks at all, at all.
    Enjoy the wee tulips. They are perfect.

  7. Adorable sweater. You’re right about yarn buying. I’m mostly a sweater knitter/designer, so I need large quantities of yarn–some for the garment I’m working on plus a bit more for mucking around with (you know, the swatching that gets wet-blocked). One of my beefs is that shop owners frequently don’t carry enough yarn in-store for a sweater. They bring in one bag, i.e. 5 skeins of something, and don’t stop to realize that you need at least 7 and more likely 8 or 9 to make something with cables. Enjoy the market and make sure to buy enough!

    • Just bought all five (still in a bag) from my LYS and I am praying that she can get two more in the same dye lot! Really, in a good work house yarn, go for ten.

  8. Absolutely beautiful buttons. And I’m feeling ridiculously proud to be part of the group whose color choice you accepted. Is that pitiful or what?

    Early mornings would be much easier without Daylight Stupid Time. My sympathies.

  9. Three words: Brooks Farm Yarns. They will be at DFW Fiberfest. I will buy something even though I don’t need it. You will love their fiber.

  10. The Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex is excited to welcome you! We turned up the heat so you’d thaw. 80s for the weekend!

  11. I’m just the opposite, I always buy a sweater’s worth and then raid it for hats and mittens/fingerless gloves. I do love that glorious feeling of having enough. Of the increased possibilities of 1200 yards of yarn. Enjoy the entire thing, teaching, talking, being adored, buying yarn. I can’t believe indie yarnies aren’t swamping you with their yarn saying, “Please, Yarn Harlot, try my yarn and if you blog about it I will be inundated with orders.” I always think that when I see how many ravelers made Color Affection. I bought the pattern on the strength of your recommendation (ok, Catkin as well)

  12. You couldn’t have found more perfect buttons if you had searched stores for a month. Adorable wee sweater. Have a great weekend and buy lots of lovely yarn.

  13. As a non stash builder (there are some of us) I have this thing about other people’s stashes. I love to see it, to see how they store it, to know how they chose the yarns. So there aren’t “bad stashes” as far as I’m concerned. 🙂

  14. Being up that early and trying to do something is hell for me too! Safe travels! I know you will find some good things for your stash!

  15. I can’t wait to see you tomorrow!! Thanks for getting up so early – we’re all anxiously awaiting your arrival – between class and your Friday night talk, this is going to be one amazing weekend… just thrilled to finally meet you!!

  16. I am a true cat person. Read this whole blog post, and all I could thing about was, “Poor Millie. Baby kitty girl gettin’ left all alone by herself.” 🙂

  17. I’m with you on the frequent uselessness of the stash. Craftsy is having a huge sale, and I filled my cart this morning with onsies that looked interesting, only to come to my senses later and delete everything.

  18. The only de-icing happening in DFW this weekend will involve removing ice cubes from a glass of whisky ordered neat. See you tomorrow.

  19. Have a fantastic and safe journey. And I totally understand about being up at dark o’thirty and not wanting to communicate with anyone. It’s hard enough getting one’s body to move at that hour, without trying to get the brain to help you vocalize.

  20. Hi Steph, i searched that online yarn store to see if i could find the same yarn you used in Tiny Tea Leaves. That proved to be difficult..could not find it…
    Is the brand Weld or is the brand something else..looks like they carry quite a few yarn brands…thanks!

    • Weld is a plant that’s used in natural dyeing to get yellow, while indigo gives blue. So it’s a colourway, not a brand.

  21. Safe travels, Stephanie! I was up at 6:30 this morning (which is just wrong because I’m on Spring Break) when my leg cramped up – something that hasn’t happened for some time. I feel the need for a nap soon, and it’s only shortly after 10am. Think I’ll go knit instead.

  22. Those buttons are so perfect on that perfect sweater!

    I bought a single skein of Technicolor Dreamcoat from Jimmy Beans at Stitches West and have wished ever since that I could go order a whole sweater’s worth. I’m debating using this post as permission to just go do so. And it would have a (wrong-dye-lot) hat to match!

  23. I can understand some of the psychology of buying just one skein of yarn. If you were honest with yourself, you would just buy the sweater quantity to begin with, but sometimes that is just too much of a commitment – financial, storage wise and psychologically. Oh, the games we play to justify purchases! Happy shopping – can’t wait to see what, (and how much) you come home with!

  24. It seems I ALWAYS buy one skein less than I need… Glad/sorry to hear that others have issues with yarn buying, too. And that “vaguely dirty feeling” goes with yarn buying, video gaming, and TV snacking. Let’s just forgive ourselves and enjoy life!

  25. Stephen West has had some recent good ideas for using one skein only in his designs, and he has some varied design elements, there maybe something for everyone – just my 2c worth.

    Have recently been on a yarn diet and only buy one skein ostensibly for ‘swatching’ which has come to nought. One skein does not a garment make, (only socks if they are 100 gm skeins). The vendors will love you – a sweater worth of yarn is a lot of yarn, and not a lot of buyers will go that far.

  26. Have a great time at the fiber fest. The tea leaves is lovely. Maybe you can do an impromptu stop in Cincinnati?!! No, I didn’t think so.

  27. I haven’t read the comments, but I bet people are going nuts over those buttons. They are just perfect on the sweater. Even in the button jar, they would be little bits of loveliness. I believe we who have lived through this winter are desperate for a sign of spring (and some colour, any colour but grey.)

  28. HEIRLOOM! Oh my goodness, those buttons are perfect! That’s absolutely the prettiest little sweater I’ve ever seen.

  29. You’ll enjoy the weather in Dallas this weekend. We will be in the 70’s (about 25 Celsius to the sane part of the world.) I’m sure I’ll see you all three days, though I wasn’t able to get one of your classes, I’ll be hard at work at the welcome desk.

  30. Last month I got up at 3AM in order to get to Newark by 5AM for my flight to San Jose – I was headed to Stitches West and to me, that was the greatest thing! I love getting up at the crack of dawn if it means I’m traveling somewhere different! Good luck Steph in Dallas.

  31. I was waffling like crazy yesterday about who to align with about the button choice. Only need two well, the perfect answer was and is what would be suggested by Grammer Getrude, Aunt Nell, Auntie Louise and all the others whose button boxes my mother managed to collect and are now under my guardianship. Right answer, well done!

  32. ADORABLE buttons on that sweater.
    If you don’t know what to do with those single skeins, I’d be happy to help. Our group makes prayer shawls and one of our knitters has a real knack for taking multiple singles of different types and making incredible shawls for people in need. Just sayin’!

  33. First off, THANK YOU for yesterday’s post about blocking!!! And second off, those precious little buttons on that beautiful sweater!! Well done, Stephanie!!! Wish I could be in Texas for your class!

  34. I LOVE your writing. love,love,love it
    laughed out loud two times at least. The cat part, the feeling dirty in the yarn store part. but its all so good.

  35. Wee Myrie, and her family, will love her little cardigan. My husband would love Joe’s event. Our cat used to wait until we were home and settled, and then she would pee in front of the TV.

    And you should be well-rested. I took a long nap today, and am sending half the sleep to you.

    I am gradually admitting that I can buy single skeins of sock yarn…for socks or shawls. But I need to bite the bullet and buy sweater’s worth as I finish each sweater.

  36. Weather is perfect here in Fort Worth. You are going to love our Fiber Fest. It’s not a bad flight from Toronto either. See you soon.

    Love the buttons.

  37. Myrie’s lucky to be getting such a pretty sweater — especially one that accommodates a chubby tummy from eating a little too much!

    Poor Millie. Didn’t you get one of the girls or Ken or your mom to keep her company and bribe her with bushels of catnip?

    The various comments about not being able to get enough yarn for an adult sweater are all too true if you’re using a yarn with dye lots. Sometimes it’s better to order (either online or through your LYS) the quantity you need. As for single skeins, I’ve got one remedy pending: Whenever I see a yarn I want to swatch and play around with, I will buy a single skein but always in a shade of my favorite color. After I’m through swatching, the leftover yarn gets put aside. Eventually, I’ll have enough, in varied shades and textures, to make a very interesting afghan or blanket!

  38. Pretty sweater, you have such great ideas.

    I have been knitting for as long as I remember and for the life of me cannot make a decent button hole. Does anyone have any suggestions? I follow the directions and all but they really suck. And, yes blocking is everything it’s made out to be. My Mother doesn’t block and I discuss this with her on and on. I find that Zero works best with everything.

  39. on saturday I bought some small (<90yds) skeins of organic undyed cotton from a local dyeing shop that was going out of business. I was thinking about a vest-type garment, or maybe a shrug. Winding it up on monday I realized that what I really wanted was a cotton cardigan. I went back on tuesday and bought all they had.
    Hee, you said later this summer…

  40. Having a single skein of lots of yarns is a great way to stash! It’s like an index system so you always have a sample of what to buy a whole sweaters worth of…

  41. Ha! The Cat’s indecisiveness. Of course she was upset; she couldn’t decide which suitcase to stow away in. 50/50 chance of ending up in Dallas over Winnipeg. Risky.

  42. Totally beautiful sweater. The buttons go so perfectly it seems as if they were made for each other. Beautiful knitting as always. Please let us know how the cat is upon your return. Leaving for an extended period of time when the cat is pissed off never leads to anything good. I know this from experience.

  43. a) the buttons ae great! I love how buttons really finish the look.
    b) thanks for the blocking lesson. I don’t usually bother with the measuring tape but otherwise I follow most of your plan. I have to admit to helping the garment sink a bit ….
    c) buying sweater qualities of yarn is a bit scary at the time due to the price but I have found that I buy less frequently that way, so maybe it saves money in the long run? I can’t wait to see what you come home with!
    d) I hope you have a really good time and a safe trip.

  44. I love the supporting characters in today’s blog:

    THE CAT: She might decide to really do damage and pee on your favorite knitting chair, if you have one. After all, you were just home from the book tour for a short period before venturing out again.

    THE CAB DRIVER: Thank heavens for people in this world who know how to be reserved when you are out of it. I announced my tired state to a chatty lady in the locker room last week. She then proceeded to yap on and on about that certain experience that women have each month. I heard somebody on the other side of the lockers snorting at the absurdity.

    YOUR GRANDMOTHER: She had great taste in buttons. Her spirit lives on through this blog.

    MYRIE: Last but not least, I know that she will look picture-perfect in this gorgeous sweater.

  45. I am one of those people who regularly gets up before the sun part of the year. And yet, I find that cab driver a wise and thoughtful person. May there be more of those on your trip.

  46. Stephanie, I am in the most frightening, stressful, and dire of situations! 3 days ago I was diagnosed with terminal cancer, then today I learned that my youngest child Sara’s wedding has been moved up to April 8, 2014!!! YES, IN JJUST OVER 2 WEEKS!!!!!!!!!!! My baby wants her Mommy to make her wedding shawl. PLEASE HELP ME. We live in Phoenix, Arizona of all places. She doesn’t want the Snowdrop shawl, she wants something much lacier. Money for a pattern is nonresistant as I bought the finest lace weight available that she liked. Is a perfect ivory/cream color with a bit of mohair for the soft halo look she wants. She’s 20 years old, a natural golden blonde with stunning blue eyes. She’s half Siciillian (my half), and half Celtic (Scotch-Irish), with a new baby son. I have 910 meters of fine guage (labeled 2) suggested 3.5mm needle size to work with. I’m a reasonably fast (although not nearly as fast as you) Knitter. I would appreciate any help, but if you are unable or unwilling to do so, please let me know.
    Thank You,
    Amber Marie

  47. Pingback: IS #66: DK Weight Top Roundup | Woolen Diversions

  48. Can you tell me, is that a yarn no longer available? I went to Abundant’s website, but can’t find a weld/indigo. I need to knit another Tiny Tea leaves for my daughter and the last one, yarn from knit picks, did not wear well at all — very fuzzy now. And it’s her favorite sweater ever.

  49. 2 of my friends and I meet up at DFW FF every year! This was the 6th year for 2 of us, and the 3rd year for the 3rd friend. Anyway, we missed seeing you at the marketplace, but had resolved not to fangirl if we did see you, because yarn shopping is serious work! 🙂

    PS-I went with the intention of finding some dark semi-solids. Came home with 2 full and 2 mini self-striping skeins. LOL.

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