Just a step to the left

Rocky horror 2014-06-30

Just a quick one today, since Jen and I are off to ride the first day of our back to back centuries.  (The weather is ominous. We’re trying to be cheerful.) We just wanted to take a minute to tell you about something super fun. Our team is having a fundraiser this Saturday night at the Fox Theatre in Toronto.  (We’re so sorry if you live to far away, it’s going to be kind of a blast.) We’re showing The Rocky Horror Picture show at (when else?) midnight!

We’ll have beer and stuff, and a ticket is $25, and gets you in the door (where you can buy the beer) and a shot at some cool door prizes.

If you would like to come, email us at psyclopaths@gmail.com to reserve a ticket(s) and if you know someone you think would love this, let them know, will ya?


Settling In and Cleaning up

There’s this thing that happens when I travel a lot.  I lose control of things.  I am not naturally an organized person.  I put things in baskets and file them away and keep my life tidy because if I take my eyes off the prize for even one minute, then it all goes to hell in a hand-basket with me standing there screaming inwardly as another pile of paperwork hits critical mass and cascades over the dining room table – where, let me add, there are not supposed to be any papers at all.  If I get too busy, or travel too much, then everything starts to slip, and I mean everything.  I got home late last night, and didn’t even unpack.  I just looked around at all the chaos (what the hell has Joe done to the fridge?) and then went to bed. This morning I slept in (hallelujah) and got up to a full pot of coffee, and started making a list of everything I need to sort out and restore order to. I started with the obvious, like “unpack suitcase” and “sort mail” and moved on to “groceries” and “laundry” and “control inbox” and “tidy stash” and “make table less sticky”.

An hour later this was revealed as the incredibly bad plan that it is.  Everything is on the list. I could have saved myself time by just writing “fix it all” at the top of a piece of paper and going back to bed.  I’ve spent months not being home long enough to really keep things sorted, and now that I’m home for a while, it’s going to take more than a single day to put everything back the way it needs to be.  There’s not a single thing in this house that’s working right, and I don’t mean that it’s not up to my standards, because I assure you, they are quite low.  I mean that a bag of couscous somehow tipped over in the cupboard a while ago (who knows when) and is now glued down with a bottle of agave syrup that leaked when it got knocked over by an (open) bag of almonds.  I mean that there is a pile of paperwork on my desk so high that I am going to need an oxygen mask when I scale it, and I don’t even want to talk about the yarn situation.  Everything that has come into this house is out, everything I thought about knitting is out, everything I moved while sprinting between projects on a 3 day layover in my home is out.  The house looks like a giant took a sifter full of yarn and just sprinkled it over every surface. There is yarn in the bathroom.  (There’s also a stitch dictionary in the bathroom, so at least if I knitter was in there, they could see that it was a plan.)

Remember the finished pair of socks every 27 days thing? Yeah, well – WHOOSH. That was the sound of the deadline blowing by me two days ago while I was running the retreat.

Now those socks are eating into the time I have to knit the next pair, and that wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t need a urine sample from the cat, and knew what the green sludge in the bottom of the crisper used to be.  (Asparagus? Maybe. Maybe it doesn’t matter now that it’s sludge.)  I decided I’d finish the socks today, then scanned the list and put the crisper in the sink to soak while I tried to chip fossilized couscous out of the cupboard.

There’s so much to do, and that doesn’t include the (many) training rides scheduled over the next few days, the way I really need to connect with my kids – or the way that Joe has a look about his that tells me he wouldn’t mind having dinner or a conversation with someone who isn’t the aforementioned cat.  After a few hours of struggle, I’ve decided to try and relax into it. It doesn’t all need doing today (although that would feel great) and I’ve gone back over the list and re-written part of it. “Do Laundry” is now “do two loads of laundry” and I’ve broken everything else on the list down a little smaller so that the world doesn’t go all black around the edges when I look at it.  For now, it’s one thing at a time, whatever’s next on the list, slowly and deliberately, without freaking the heck out.

Next on the list? Blog. (Almost done) and Karmic Balancing Gifts.  The list is long and wondrous, and there’s a ton to get through.  That list is going to see a lot of action over the next few days. The rally is in four weeks and two days (inhale-exhale) and there’s a lot of fundraising ground go make up.  (Last year the rally raised 1.2 million dollars. This year it sits at just over $420 000, and I can’t help but try and redouble my efforts.)  So, gifts, to thank those of you who’re making that number possible.  You’re amazing. (By the way, if you’ve emailed me about giving a gift, I’m not ignoring you, I’m just working down the list. Give me a little time.)


Alica had a good look ’round her stash and has decided to pass along this beautiful combo. It’s two skeins of Lorna’s laces Shepherd sock, and beautiful skein of Jaggerspun wool/silk.  She thinks they’d make a lovely co-coordinating sock/scarf combo, and I think she’s spot on.  I hope Charlene M agrees, because they’re on the way to her house.

aliciapink 2014-06-26

Next up, Fiona and Amanda over at Knit Social have a copy of their awesome book Cascadia for the cause.  It’s a fab book (I have one – you can see all the patterns on Rav here) that celebrates not just knitting, but the coastal region of British Columbia. (It’s beautiful there. Hard not to be inspired by it.)  It’s going out to Linda R, and I bet she casts on something right away.

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In another category of beautiful fibre arts, Beth over at Dancing Dog Studio has a gorgeous handwoven beaded bracelet that’s going out into the world. (Take a look at that shop. Pretty, pretty, pretty.)

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She’ll be sending it to Kara C.

Faith has a cute idea… she’s donating two copies of her Flourish pattern.

flourish 2014-06-26

One’s going out to Sarah H, and one’s going out to someone that Sarah chooses, just to keep the good times rolling!

Jana over at Colorful Yarn has a great present.  One lucky knitter will be choosing from amongst some of the wonders in her shop. She’s donating either two skeins of her hand-dyed fingering or worsted: fingering is 120 g, 400 yards; worsted is 100 g, 250 yards. Both are  super wash merino tightly spun in Pennsylvania. These can be dyed the same or different colors – knitters choice.
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One skein of lace weight, either a 70% alpaca, 20% silk and 10% cashmere or 80% merino and 20% silk. Both are 100g and 1,300 yards. (Jana knits with this doubled for a heavy lace weight.) Again… knitters choice of colour.  Julie S is going to have a hard time choosing!

Oh, lovely thing here.  Carol has somehow decided to be without this beauty.

woolmeiselace 2014-06-26

The picture doesn’t do it justice, but it’s a gorgeous skein of Wollmeise Lace-Garn in Zimptafel.  (1590 metres!) It will make the most beautiful thing, and I can’t wait to see what Ruth Ann H will make!

One more? Sure – and actually, it’s two in one! Amazing Laura over at Still life with Knitting and Knitifacts (seriously, she’s doing something great for someone every time I look around) has two wonderful gifts.  First, Lou H will get a nifty sock package… choosing from amongst Laura’s sock patterns and receiving a great package of stitch markers to go with…

laurasock 2014-06-26

and then Maggie S will get a nifty package too, choosing from the Cowl patterns!

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Shazam! There we go… another slew of gifts to go out, and another thing off my list, and a lovely day to you all.  I’m going to go work on that couscous, and the laundry. And my email. And those socks.

(PS.  If you haven’t visited in a while, and you don’t know why people are getting presents, to get in on the action, you just donate to someone on our little family team –







and then send an email to me at Stephanie@yarnharlot.ca with “Enter me” as the subject line, and give me your address, and whether or not you’d like to be in it for spinning gifts, or just knitting. That’s it!)


Way too much to tell

This is a thing I hate.  When a few very full days go by while I’m doing something intense, and then because it was intense, when I do have time to tell you about it I can’t figure out how to tell you about it because so much happened that I have no idea where to start. This retreat was like that.  I’ve started and trashed this entry about four times, and have finally decided that it’s not going to come together, and instead I’m going to give up, choose some of my favourite pictures, tell you what was happening and let the whole thing just… happen.  Ready?

1. I got to spend the weekend with Cat Bordhi, and that’s just about all you need to know about that.  It was a pleasure to have her with us.

catbordhi2 2014-06-25

2. The cooking classes looked to have been so much fun, and I was intensely jealous of the retreaters.  Every day they’d make dinner for the group that night, and we had some amazing things.  Amazing. I had no idea that regular people could make food like that.

annepourse 2014-06-25 pearandpear 2014-06-25 bisontable 2014-06-25 cooking 2014-06-25 saladmade 2014-06-25 saladagain 2014-06-25 betterrisotto 2014-06-24 risotto 2014-06-24 cookieplate 2014-06-24 dancooks 2014-06-24

3. Knitters. Everywhere. The place was literally littered with them.

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4. Our goodie bags were outrageously good.

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msgusset 2014-06-25 Stitchmaps 2014-06-25 rivercitybag 2014-06-25 woolsoap 2014-06-25 3dcookies 2014-06-24 madsenneedles 2014-06-24

splityarn 2014-06-25

Presents from Knitifacts, Ms. Gusset, Madsen Originals, Stitchmaps, Knit Companion, River City Yarns, 3D-Sweets, SplityarnHoliday yarns, Fleur de Fibers  Tuft Woolens... and much more that I’m not remembering right now while I’m rushing in the airport.  It was amazing.

5. On the last night, we had an amazing present from Theresa and Ron at the Buffalo Wool Co.

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Every knitter got a yarn course before the food ones started.

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A 200m skein of Heaven, right on their plate.  (While it is, indeed, laceweight bison and therefore heaven, in this case that’s the actual appropriate name of the yarn.)

5. The Marketplace was beautiful.

shoppingewe 2014-06-24 localcolour 2014-06-24

6. It was great.

bird 2014-06-25 debbionvhair 2014-06-25 fun 2014-06-25 dan 2014-06-25

I’d tell you more, but they’re boarding my flight – forgive any typos, I’m rushing a little.  Tomorrow, let’s talk about knitting.






Dear Sam

Thanks for going for a ride with me today.  I know it’s been really hard for you to find the time to train for the Rally, and I know that these distances are still really hard.  (I know that, because after our 80km today, everything on my whole body hurts, and I can’t imagine your body feels any different. I don’t even want to talk about the place on my hind parts where I connect to the bike. Holy. Cow. I didn’t know my sit bones knew language like they’re throwing at me now.)

oakvillesign 2014-06-18

Thanks too, for being so good about being out with your mum.  I know you’re young and beautiful and hip, and I’m… your mother – and I know that there have to be some feelings about that related to the fact that I’m wearing spandex, and thanks for not saying anything at all about that.

sambench 2014-06-18

Thanks too, for the complaining.  I know you feel bad about saying that you’re hurting, and that it’s hard, but I don’t care how much you complain, as long as you keep moving –  and by goodness my girl, you do.  Know that I’m complaining too.  I’m just 46, and I keep it inside – but if I were one minute younger (and not your mum) I think there are moments where I would cry on the bike.  Thanks for not taking it that far.

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One last thing – thanks for putting up with me.  It turns out that even though you are twenty years old and so capable,  when we are together, I can’t forget you’re my baby.  I appreciate that as I caution you over and over (and over) again about being careful and not getting hit by a car and watching out for that hole and call out to you about the gravel ahead… I appreciate that you take it all in stride, and know that there’s just something wrong with mothers.  It’s not that I think you can’t see these things, and I know you live in the world without me all the time, and that you’re fine. Just fine… it’s simply that I don’t know how to disengage the part of me that sees you, and sees possible danger, and just keeps connecting those things in a way that I feel compelled to warn you about.

samrides 2014-06-18

You’re a good rider.  Sorry about the gasping. Thanks for going on a ride with me.

You’re a crusher.



(PS.  See you in a week after the retreat.  Be a good girl.)

(PPS. I can’t tell you how proud I am that you’re the kind of young lady who would do this for a charity. You have no idea how many people your age wouldn’t spend their holidays this way. You’re awesome.)

Randomly on a Tuesday

1. I originally typed Monday rather than Tuesday, in what I realize now can only be a desperate wave of hope that I could put another day in this week.

2. I don’t know if I want that actually, mostly this week is so full and so magnificently planned down to every single moment, that if someone did give me another day out of the blue, I’d probably die from the effort of trying to reorganize.

3. Thank you for your Birthday wishes – and donations. I had a lovely, if quiet day, and knit the whole way through.  It was perfect. So far being 46 is a lot like being 45.

4. I’m almost done the super-secret, delicious design project I’m working on.  I am crazy, stupid in love with it. The super-secret yarn I’m using is spectacular.

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5. I have ridden 200km in the last few days.

6.  I am not currently in a speaking relationship with the lower half of my body.

7. I leave for Port Ludlow and the Strung Along retreat on Thursday. My class is ready, and the materials are almost ready (if you don’t count winding a thousand tiny balls, which I don’t, except I should, because it’s a lot of tiny balls. Not really a thousand though, but it feels like it.)

8. My roses came out for my birthday.

yellowpink 2014-06-17 redrose 2014-06-17

9. I wish I had a friend who was so crazy about cleaning fridges that he wanted to come and do mine for free, just to feel fulfilled.  There’s a funny smell in there.

10. What did you do this weekend?

Happy Birthday, to me

I don’t know if you guys know this about me, but a) today is my 46th birthday. b) I don’t work on my birthday.  This means that today I’ll be knitting with my feet up, and it falls to someone else to write the blog. I’ve asked lots of people to do it.   Ken did it in 2004.  My Mum did it in 2005. My daughters did it in 2006. My sister did it in 2012 – and today Jen’s doing it.  This landed in my inbox this  morning, and I love it, and she’s right. I am difficult.  The funny thing is that the older I get, the more that works for me, and the less I try to change it.  By the way if anyone was considering a Birthday gift? I don’t need anything for myself, but tiny donations add up and change the world, and that would be a nice thing.  I’m looking ahead to smashing my fundraising goal into a million pieces.  


Dear Steph,

Thanks for asking me to write your birthday blog this year.  I know you have high standards and expectations of people and so I am flattered that you asked me to step into your living room and tell my Steph story. I’ve had to think about which approach to take for a few days. There are so many – cloyingly lovey, sickeningly sweet and earnest, or the delicious roast.

We have been friends for a decade which in the grand scheme isn’t so long but in that decade you’ve gotten married, parented three kick ass girls into womanhood (and thus supplying me with a triumvirate of spectacular babysitters), wrote New York Times Bestsellers, learned how to ride a road bike and then rode it for ~6000 km; all the while introducing new perspectives and approaches to the age old act of knitting.  Don’t even get me started on your philanthropy local and abroad.

 Hold on….Marlowe just woke up.  
four 2013-08-07
These are all inspiring accomplishments and indicative of adventures that you have yet to embark upon in this long and short crazy life. No, what I love and deeply value most about you, and I’m not sure I should say this on The Blog but in the interest of living an honest true life I feel I must be real.

I love how difficult you are.
lyingdown 2013-08-06
As someone who has been described as “hell bent on finding ANY fight” having a friend with a similar propensity to refuse to lie down in the face of adversity has made life so much less lonely. Someone who when going through an incredible and terrifying life challenge checks in with her instincts hourly and refuses to compromise her moral and ethical position.  

By the way, I will take this opportunity to give you a mild correction to your beautiful post about me; you had every reason to worry and be afraid of the consequences of those decisions; it was a scary time and you were Tremendous.
doingitonthbluffs 2013-08-06
Maybe it’s a lifetime of learning how to live with your crippling inability to compromise your ethics and budge on your morals but your ability to solve problems that is breathtaking. It is a pleasure to work through a sticky situation with you I come out with a great solution and a broader perspective. The more difficult the problem, the more spectacular the resolution.

As a (caffeinated) riding partner you are charming and hilarious to a fault. You are the only person who, uncaffeinated, has a Jekyll/Hyde syndrome though.

I wouldn`t want to ride 60 through 75 km on a 100 km ride with anyone else (seriously never again without coffee.) I look forward to many more kilometres on the road, hours in raging debate and glasses of wine and coffee with you.
asspassive 2014-06-14
Happy Birthday Old Friend


Happy Birthday Jen

Even though I really, really should be knitting, I should also really, really be training (I’m behind) and so a few weeks ago when Jen and I decided how we would celebrate our mutual birthdays (hers today, mine Saturday) we decided that what we would really love was a long ride – punctuated by a lovely lunch.

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This, in a nutshell, is why Jen is an awesome friend – and has been for the last ten years.   Jen is, in a completely non-traditional, non-acquiescing way, a yes-man – or a yes-woman, as the case happens to be. You think something might be possible if you try hard? Jen will say yes. You think you could create change if only you could throw some smarts and commitment behind it? Jen says yes. Jen thinks that if you really try… you can do almost anything.* You just have to say yes. You want to combine training and celebrating? Yes.

I’ve got a habit of taking things on in a big way, and I can be a little difficult.  If I decide to take something on, then maybe you better look out. Once I get it in my head that something is doable, or something should be done… once I have it in my teeth?  Usually I make everyone around me crazy with the tenacity for that thing, and not all relationships can stand up to the way that… frankly, I expect a lot from people. This can be my best, and worst trait.

Let me be perfectly clear about this next part.  JEN MAKES ME LOOK LIKE AN AMATEUR. A total rookie in the tenacity department.  You think I have commitment? Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce you to Jen.  You need something done? Call Jen. You need someone to take a stand? Right this way to Jen’s desk.  You need someone to stick with something far, far, far past any reasonable point of hope and still hold a candle out for the possibility that everything will still be okay?  Dudes.  I’ll text you her number.  Jen is just about the most spiritually sturdy person I’ve ever met, and to boot, she’s a really good knitter.

A few years ago, I was struggling with a life problem.  It was big, and it was complicated, and I was not at all sure what the right thing to do was, and although there were many decisions to be made, I found myself incapable of making any of them.  No matter what choice I contemplated, I could see the upside, or the consequences, and I was so worried about making the wrong choice,  I couldn’t make any choice at all.

I was on the phone with Jen, and I was completely paralyzed.  I was Queen of the good ship “what if?” and Jen said something that has changed a very great deal about my life.  She said that I shouldn’t be so worried about making a decision.  She said that I just had to do my best, and then she said this.  “The great thing Steph, about making a choice, is that if it turns out to have been the wrong one, if you blow it completely… you can just make another one. There will be consequences, but you can always change directions once you know more.”

That one sentence changed everything. If I made a wrong choice, by wool, I would just make another one, and her sure sense of faith in my abilities and her certainty that commitment without flexibility was a complete pile of crap made it possible for me to see my way out. I chose, and she was right.  I was smart. It was the right thing to do, and if it had been wrong – I would have fixed it with another decision.  Jen had the whole thing by the neck.

That’s the way it is with her. She’s strong to a fault, she’s a mother we could all aspire to be, she’s strong, funny, and she eats commitments for breakfast, while safeguarding all the relationships that she holds dear.  I wish you could know her, and she’s the most amazing person I could have chosen to do the bike rally with. The day we decided to co-lead a team, and throw the weight of everything we know how to do behind the bike rally was (whether the rally knows it yet or not, since we as masquerading as normal midldle aged women) was a great day, and I still feel that way even though we rode really far today, and we’ve got a really long way to go.

Today is her birthday.  She’s 40, and as someone who’s in a position to know, I can tell you she’s a lot more than she was at 30, which is such a wonderful thing, considering how made of awesome she was back then. I know not many of you actually know her, but if you’ve got a thing for strong women, who are trying to change the world a little bit, she’d love to be closer to her bike rally goal.  (That link takes you there.)

jenis40 2014-06-12

Happy Birthday Jen.  You’re awesome.

(PS. Thanks for somehow making camping on the rally fun.  I swear I won’t take dpn’s on the air mattress this year. Sorry about the way that went down.)

*I feel like in saying that Jen is a yes-woman, that I should also point out that if I’m totally off the mark, she’s one of the only people who can stop me, and isn’t afraid to tell me if I’m crazy, which is sort of a lot.

Hurry hurry in a scurry

I’m working on a stealth project.  It’s a secret, at least for a few more weeks, and I’ve committed to a deadline for it, and to put it rather bluntly, I knew it was going to be a bit of a stretch.  Not impossible, but definitely a stretch.  It’s like what I want to get down is on the highest shelf in the kitchen.  I can totally get it down if I want, but not without hauling a stool over so that I can climb on the counter.  (As an aside, if you haven’t ever lived with a person who’s a little on the short side, you wouldn’t believe how much mountaineering they do in the kitchen. To get my roasting pan I have to pull over my step, then a stool, then slide over the coffeemaker so that I can stand on the counter. I have an old and tall house. I feel like getting down the potato ricer I use twice a year is likely going to be the cause of my death.)

As a general rule, I like deadline knitting.  I know a lot of people don’t. To them, knitting on a deadline takes out all the fun.  This totally relaxed, easy-going knitting thing turns into a stinking slag heap of pressure every time you start making rules about how fast it has to go, and they hate it.  Me though? I like knowing how I’m doing.  As long as I set the deadline right and keep it within the realm of the possible, I think having benchmarks and goals keeps me feeling productive, and on track and like a person who gets things done.

I don’t even mind when I get the deadline a little wrong.  It’s okay with me to stretch my skills, to stay up a little late one night or two – I feel like these bursts of concentrated work is good practice for being faster and more efficient – even when I’m not on deadline. It’s when I often learn something, or figure something out. The pressure (a little) is good for me, and makes me more creative and productive. I like a little pressure so much that sometimes I even procrastinate to create that pressure – with occasionally disastrous results if I mis-judge the amount of pressure I need to trigger creativity.

Today I was sitting and swatching, and charting, and figuring out where this pattern is going, and I did the math.  X number of stitches per inch, multiplied by the number of inches I’d like the thing to be when it’s done, and then clicked “=” and just about fell off my chair.  I did the math again.  Same number.  I checked my gauge – double checked my math and then sat there staring at the number.  It was still the same.  Now, I know math is like that – sort of predictable, but that’s never how it’s been for me. I’m not someone who can look at even a simple equation and predict the answer, and my guess on how many stitches this would be was way off. Crazy off.  Crazy like asking a three year old to to your taxes kind of off.

This is going to be a big stretch, and I’m already feeling the burn.  Nothing can go wrong here, or I can’t predict the ending.  Stupid math.

Tonight the sprint starts, but for now, a few presents?  The lovely and generous Aubrey over at Goodies Unlimited has a very, very generous gift.  She’s got FOUR gift certificates for me to give away, and each one is for $50, with her picking up the postage. It’s a wonderful thing.

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If you don’t know Goodies Unlimited, you should.  I’ve been a fan for a long time, and her stuff is amazing (our family has an unhealthy addiction to the Stress-Free Green Tea soap and the Everything Balm.)  I know this sounds like an ad, but  there’s no affiliation,  it’s just fabulous stuff made by a really generous lady who always supports the daylights out of this community.  I like her, and I like her stuff, and I hope that Cheryl A, Sandra F, Micaela R and Sharon G enjoy it as much as I do.

Peace out.  I gotta knit.


Questions, Answers, Presents

Whew.  Home and… well, I was going to say I was sorted, but if you could see my house you’d wonder what lunatic said that nine people could unpack in my living room and just walk away.  There’s something about travelling by car, isn’t there? I have all the space in the world, it feels like, after confining myself to one bag for air travel, and what with Squam being as rustic as it is, I spared myself no comfort.  Flashlight? Hell, I’ll bring two, maybe someone else will need one. I brought a little coffeemaker and a hand crank grinder (taking no chances after my recent episode) and candles and real wine glasses and mugs (you never know) and tea and bug spray and an extra blanket and … I put it all in the car.  I didn’t even pack it all – I just heaved it into laundry baskets and took off.  It was great, but on the unpacking side there’s more than a little chaos.  Still, a good time had by all, I think, despite how far behind it’s landed me on all things digital. It’s going to be a day or three before I’m all caught up – in a lot of ways, so today I’m copping out on you a little and doing a super fast Q&A and some Karmic Balancing Gifts.

Skeindalous asks: I love the mitts or mittens or socks at the bottom of the post. Can you tell us more?

sockmovingalong 2014-06-10

Sure can, those are indeed socks, and do be more precise, they’re the Starry, Starry Night socks that I linked too a few entries ago.  I’m in love with them, and like all colourwork they seem to be zooming along.  I’m using Tanis Fiber Arts Blue label in Natural for the light colour, and the blue is Indigodragonfly’s Merino Nylon Sock in “People Are Particularly Stupid Today, I Cannot Speak To Any More Of Them”.  (Long colourway name, but a great line from the Gilmore Girls.)

Katie: I’m on pins and needles to see if you knit the second sock this way or with the colors reversed.

Have you met me? They’ll be the same.  I just don’t have the nature for mismatched socks. (As an interesting aside, I would be willing to bet a not inconsiderable amount of yarn that not one of my daughters has worn matching socks in at least a year. I gave them all socks at Easter and they all immediately traded one of each pair. I think they do it to make me crazy. It works.)

Kate: Can I say these pictures look fantastic? Taken with the new camera?

Yup.  I think I’m getting the hang. This past weekend taught me that I don’t really understand how metering works on this camera yet, so I’ll go back to school on that this week.  I’m still not taking the pictures I’d like to be taking, at least not reliably, but I feel like it’s coming. There’s some seriously, catastrophically bad pictures I’m not showing you though.

Carol: I’m waiting to hear about the annual swim tradition. It’s been a slow and late spring, and I bet the water is colder than a witch’s tit in a brass bra.

viewoffdock 2014-06-10

Yeah. I’d say that’s about accurate.  I swam three times this year, and I wasn’t the only one. I actually don’t even think I was first, considering the screams, expletives and general shrieks that accompanied the splashes coming from the cabin the Ravelry crew inhabited.  It was such a pleasure to swim.  The air was warm and the sun glorious, and while the water was most definitely cold, it wasn’t quite the heartstopping, shattering cold of last year.  When I got out my lips weren’t blue and I had full control of all my fingers.  Good swimming, by Ontario lake standards.

Nobody: Hey, I heard that you finally finished that Adrianna thing.  That true?

nobikesplease2 2014-06-10

YES, by wool, it is true.  Finished and worn, although she needs an official photoshoot, rather than this quick pick snapped by Nancy Bush as we walked through the woods on our way back to class.  (I thought the “no bikes” sign was ironic.  Maybe you have to be me too really laugh.) I got several compliments, and I think I love it.  (Also, you may note my “squam hair” in that picture.  It’s what you get if you manage to convince yourself that swimming is pretty much the same as showering and shampooing.)

Karmic Balancing gifts? You bet.  Today’s gifts (and there will be tomorrows gifts too, so you can look forward to that) are all from one person.  The very generous Teddy is passing on some beautiful things out of her stash in the fond hopes of earning enough Karma for the sun to shine on her daughter’s wedding day.  I can’t believe this wouldn’t be enough.

First of all, Tree D will be enjoying 5 skeins Serious Color hand dyed 50% kid mohair 50% wool, 50 gm/120 yards.

seriouscolourmerinomohair 2014-06-10

2 skeins lovely Jamieson 100% soft Shetland wool, grown and spun in the Shetland Isles. 2 ounces per skein for Kelli R.

jameisonshetlandteddy 2014-06-10


2 skeins Cascade Heritage sock yarn 75% merino superwash/25% nylon. 100 gm/437 yards, will be winging their way to Heather S.


cascadesockteddy 2014-06-10

Next up? I hope that Pat P. knows a sweet little one, because this cotton chenille sweater kit is going to her house.

chenillesweaterteddy 2014-06-10

It’s sock yarn galore for Karen K! If she’s not a sock knitter, I bet this convinces her.

regiateddy 2014-06-10

Shazam! Four balls of Jojoland Melody, and now they belong to Beth C.

jojolandmelodyteddy 2014-06-10

1 skein Zitron Trekking hand art sock yarn, and Northeast Fiber Arts kettle dyed – both for Ellen R.

zitrontrekteddy 2014-06-10

Three balls of Galway (that’s enough for something rather good) for Mikia B.

plymouthgalwayteddy 2014-06-10

A kit to make not one, not two, but THREE pairs of felted slippers for Jessie H.

townandcountrykitteddy 2014-06-10

Baby hat and legwarmers (with super sweet handmade buttons) for Chris G!

babyhatlegwarmersteddy 2014-06-10

2 skeins KnitPicks hand painted fingering, 50% merino 25%alpaca 25% nylon, and 1 skein Silver Creek 100% superfine merino, 3.5 oz/306 yards for Margaret W. (Is it just me, or is it starting to look like Teddy has really great instincts for what to put together?)

kplacesilvercreekteddy 2014-06-10

Finally, and last is certainly not least – two, count ’em, two skiens of Opal sock yarn for Kathy H.

Twoskeinsopalteddy 2014-06-10

That’s it – if you can call twelve great presents “it” without it sounding less fabulous than it really, really is. Thanks so much Teddy, and to everyone who’s donated.  Once again, in case you missed the details, to be included in these draws (and they’ll go all the way to the rally) all you have to do is to donate to someone on our little family team –







and then send along an email to me at stephanie@yarnharlot.ca, with “enter me” in the subject line – and your name and address in the body.  You don’t have to tell me how much you gave, or provide proof.  I know you’re a good person and you wouldn’t lie. (Also, if you’ve found another $5 lying around and would like to give again, don’t forget to send another entry.  It counts.)

I want to thank you all a very great deal for making this possible.  Fundraising is down this year, not just for our family, but for the Rally in general.  Unfortunately, the operating costs for PWA remain the same and I’m so grateful that you’ve chosen to support this fine cause.  I can always count on the knitters, and by the way, don’t forget to spread the word.  Yarn presents until the Rally! Tell a friend! Yarn party at Stephie’s house!