Hey Jack, the good people are here

Every year on the bike rally, I take knitting- and I don’t just mean that I pack knitting along for the evening or when I’m off my bike, I mean I pack knitting.

knitting on bike 2014-08-11

Never, ever at a break or pause in the cycling have I reached down into that little case and pulled out a sock so I can do a couple lines and take the edge off, but there’s something about being able to look down and see it that reminds me that I’m still me, and makes me feel more comfortable with the riding. (Also, I’m pretty sure that one day I’ll need something to knit while I wait for the ambulance to come, or once I’m waiting for my x-rays.)  I put my little bit of knitting onto the bike every morning, and I took it off every night, and then I would have a bit of a knit after we got the tents up and the bikes sorted and before dinner and after/during whatever team things we had to do.  It wasn’t a lot of knitting time, really – but even though I knew I wasn’t going to get a lot done, I wanted to be knitting on the right thing.

sockattalentnight 2014-08-11

Knitting is like that for me. It’s hard to explain what I mean, it’s like knitting isn’t just knitting. It matters when and where and what I knit – like the knitting soaks up a bit of the places and people and things that were present while I was knitting it.  Years later I can look at a pair of socks or a scarf and say “Ah, yes.  The summer of 2014, I knit on that sock in Montreal when I was with Jen and Ken.”

montrealpoutine 2014-08-11

Once I realized that everything that I knit came to have this association for me, I started to be thoughtful about what I knit when. I came to believe that there was resonance – that I could use yarn that was special because of some reason, and knit it in a place or time that was related to that yarn (at least in my head, if not in reality) and make things extra special and meaningful. Like… taking yarn a friend dyed on a trip somewhere that I wish they were with me, or knitting something for someone during a time that they had trouble, to try and be with them figuratively, if not literally.  You know what I mean (or maybe you don’t, and I’ve just revealed the entire depth and breadth of my crazy, and now you’re just sitting there shaking your head and cut and pasting this entry into an email with the heading “I told you she took knitting way too seriously.”

Knitting isn’t always like that – it’s not like I sit around trying to figure out what yarn would be the most spiritually significant thing I could take to IKEA, but when something seems like it might be important? Yeah. I think it over.  This year when the rally came around, it was so easy to figure out what to knit, and what to knit it out of.

socksdone2 2014-08-12

I made socks – and I know they look like plain socks, but let me tell you what they really are. They’re freakin’ symbols of the way people can be awesome. That yarn is Indigodragonfly Cariboubaa, and it’s in a colour they dreamed up, called “Beige.”  Kim and Ron (They’re Indigodragonfly) invented the colourway not too long ago, and sent a skein to both me and Jen- because they’d decided to support the Rally and the people who need it by donating a portion of the sales of every skein in that colourway.  They didn’t even advertise it – just quietly made a commitment. Then, as if that wasn’t enough (and it really, really was) they sponsored our team tee-shirts.

teamshirts 2014-08-11

voteforpato 2014-08-11

Knitters, you haven’t lived until you explain to the non-knitting portion of the bike rally (pro-tip: that’s most of it) that you’re sponsored by a yarn company. This look comes over them for a minute like it had never occurred to them that it was even remotely possible that yarn people existed in that sort of very real way.  They all said “Yarn?” and then stared at the logo on the shirt, because Hell yes, our team was the first bike rally team to be sponsored by a yarn company, and you betcha their logo was on our shirts.  I just loved it.

indigologo1 2014-08-12

Once all of that happened, it was easy to decide what yarn to take. What else? Kim and Ron did so much for the rally, and for so little glory, and they’re such very, very good people, and they quietly make such a lovely difference in the world and I wanted that with me the whole way. It’s like that yarn was what the rally was all about. You know what I mean? I knit that yarn and wore that shirt and looked at all the non-knitters wearing the shirt and I was just so freakin’ proud of our community, and the way knitters change things for non-knitters, whether they know it or not… and by the way,  Kim and Ron? If you read this?  Jen and I  have shirts for you. You’re officially on the team. I’ll pop them in the mail.

Once I had the yarn chosen, the rest was easy. Socks, because they’re so portable and I wouldn’t need to keep track of a pattern, and I would make them for Jen.

socksforjen 2014-08-12

She was the most amazing co-lead I could have gotten. Let me tell you this: If you need something run, and you need it run well, with a minimum of drama, a maximum of efficiency and a large magnitude of fun… Call Jen. Actually, I think you can call most parents 40 and older, but I called Jen – and it was brilliant. One night in the tent – it was after the rather crippling ride in the rain (the one where we didn’t take the bus)  Jen got up at 3am for a brief crawl and whimper to the facilities. When she got back, we tried to get back to sleep, and I sighed, or maybe it was a moan, my legs were killing me. “What?” Jen said.  “I’m just trying to figure out what this feeling in my legs is.” I replied.

Jen thought about it for a minute, and I think I heard her rubbing her own sore legs. Finally, she answered.  “Is it regret?” she asked? “Is it the actual physical manifestation of REGRET?”

We dissolved then into helpless smothered laughter, trying not to wake anyone in the nearby tents, and that’s what it’s like with Jen.  I’m lying there trying to figure out whether the pain in my legs is the feeling of damaged muscle, growing muscle, or the absence of enough muscle, and Jen’s nailed it.  She was like that every time, and she’s a big part of how something so hard ended up so awesome.

socksnot 2014-08-12

So she gets socks. Socks inspired by Kim and Ron, and good people, and hard work, and the days that we spent on the rally. It’s all in there.

I know they look like regular socks, but they’re really not.

 

117 thoughts on “Hey Jack, the good people are here

  1. ” … like the knitting soaks up a bit of the places and people and things that were present while I was knitting it.”

    Yep. I thought this was just me.

  2. Know exactly what you mean about items retaining stories of when the yarn was purchased, what was made from it and when first worn even! Had pink socks to wear in Moosonee to scatter the last of my Son’s ashes. Made from the first skien of yarn I bought after his death. And even carrying yarn when I know I won’t get a chance to knit but I just might! Feel it is my security blanket.
    Cheers and respect for Jen and Indiagoo. Love their yarn and all I’ve heard about Jen impresses me greatly.

  3. Oh, you just talked me into ordering the Beige. I’ve gotten as far as the shopping cart several times now in past visits but talked myself out of it because I’ve spent far beyond my yarn budget this summer. I wasn’t aware the yarn was designed specifically as a fund raiser for the rally, though, until today, so now I can completely justify this to my husband as a “donation”. Love it!

    And I really do “get” the knitting special yarn in a special place for a special reason thing. It makes the finished object have that much more meaning to it, and it makes the knitting go so much more smoothly, almost like it’s a prayer in the knitting religion (if there is such a thing as a knitting religion).

  4. You’re not crazy at all. The things we put our best energy into (or worst, unfortunately), carry that energy, absolutely. I’m reminding myself of this too!

    Beige is the best name. Go Indigodragonfly! = )

  5. Pingback: Hey Jack, the good people are here | Yarn Buyer

  6. I love it. The t-shirts are awesome.

    I totally get what you are saying about the yarn. I realized a few years ago that I somehow knit memories into each piece so that even if I haven’t knit on something for a while, when I pick it back up, I will remember where I was sitting and what I was doing the last time I knit on it.

    That was when I decided I shouldn’t watch things like CSI when I was knitting baby stuff.

    I don’t know what it is we are weaving into these items we make but it is far more than yarn.

  7. I also think we put our own energy and love into our knitting. I try to ignore that when I’m knitting something really hard and feel like all I’m doing is pouring hatred and bile into the yarn. (Patterns with lace and no rest rows, I’m looking at you.) I like to believe that when the knitting is hard and I’m hating it, I’m just putting perseverance into the project. Hey, glass half full.

    • Yeah — this is also a big reason NOT to knit for people one doesn’t like, I think. I’ve had some experiences doing this, and I end up pouring so much resentment into the object that I feel like I’m working a curse or something.

      • janis-i once knit a prayer shawl for someone i was so angry with that i was afraid to be in the same room with her for fear i would explode. it didn’t start out for her. it started out just knitting on it because i was upset and i needed help to let go of it. by the time i was finished i wasn’t angry with her anymore. so i left it on her porch, without a note or anything. she did figure out it was from me.

  8. Amen! Sending this link to a dear (muggle) friend as proof that I’m not the only one – karmic blessings, seen and unseen, are always heard where it matters most.

  9. Yep, Jen is the exact right recipient of the perfect Rally socks. No doubt about it. Thank you, Stephanie, for the way you (and Jen, your entire team, including the folks at Indigodragonfly) represent the heart of the Knitting Community and all that’s possible when people come together in a spirit of generosity and hope.

  10. And I’ll bet wool that Jen says all those good thing about you too! It’s been such a treat to be able to “ride” with you on yet another epic journey.

  11. Knitting in the right place with the right yarn… oh, yes.

    But I am now going to spend the rest of the day trying to work out what the “right” thing to knit at Ikea would be. Presumably something modular with lots of parts and awkward seams? 🙂

    • I think any old sock pattern would work for Ikea-themed knitwear, as long as the instructions are written for five needles … and there are only four of them in the kit.

      Sort of like Ikea’s kits that require six screws, and there are only five of them.

      Or something.

      Ar-ar. Once you have to explain your humor, it’s not humor anymore.

      I’ll be over there.

  12. Maybe Indigodragonfly should change the name of the yard to “Bike Rally” – it looks like the colors of all the riders’ shirts and helmets ! What’s on the front of the t-shirts – hard to see and I don’t seem able to blow it up.

  13. So way cooooool. If only that colorway could have kept the rain away. It looks like it should be a sunny day wherever that yarn is!

  14. Laughing through the difficulties makes them easier to bear. You and Jen are lucky to have one another, and the world is a luckier place to have the both of you!
    I can look at nearly all of my socks and remember what was going on when I was knitting them: these were knit on our motorcycle trip to Arkansas, these while sitting in the hospital after my husband’s motorcycle wreck (he’s fine, thanks, but the bike was a total loss), these were knit while in Ohio for our dear friend’s funeral. Each stitch, every round holds all our wishes and prayers. Thank you for always voicing these things so eloquently!

  15. My heart just skipped a beat as I read through this post! I have just returned from a wonderful week in PEI and while there, I purchased some Fleece Artist and whipped up a pair of fingerless gloves from the pattern included on the label. I will forever remember working on them at the end of a busy day while looking out the motel room window upon the memorial grave site of Lucy Maud Montgomery. A peek at the gloves or the touch of them in my hands reminds me now of her and all the joy her work has given me in my life.

  16. Oh, this post made me tear up. What a lovely thing for Kim and Ron to do and how lovely for you to make Jen socks. You rock.

  17. That’s so true about having the right yarn and project for the right place. Without thinking about it, I took self-striping wool to China and when I started knitting socks there, it turned out the dominant colours were yellow and red (very important colours in the Chinese culture). Every time I wear those socks, I think of China. I gave away my Tahiti socks and my Newfoundland socks and I hope they bring the recipients the same pleasure those trips brought me.

  18. Thank you (as always) for this post! My knitting definitely has associations for me – friends, family, locations, memories. For example, my Dreambird Shawl became a spiritual journey as I knit each feather. We lost a former classmate, lost a family member, celebrated special family occasions as I knit. And, I knit feathers of remembrance for a beloved son gone too soon, and parents who have died. There are feathers for my sponsored children around the world, and our Native Americans that I have knit for for years now. When I knit for charities, I think of the recipients during the project. My knitting has much more meaning for me than just using yarn to create an object. Thanks for expressing that for me/us!

  19. Understand, agree, concur with ALL you said. I thought I was odd, matching the project (and yarn) with the journey. If it isn’t a good fit, I might as well give up. Love Kim and Ron’s yarn. The colourways and names are great but the feel of it…. oohh amazing. (MerGoat Sock socks on needles as we speak). And you and Jen, and your team, much gratitude and thanks for all you do.

  20. My dear Stephanie, you often knit socks as containers for love. Ken and Tina are two recipients who come to mind, to say nothing of Joe, and the girls, and this year it seems to be Carol’s turn, …

  21. I completely understand the imprinting on projects. When I sew, I usually watch Netflix or DVDs. I can pick up just about any project and remember what I was watching when I working on it. And I do remember where I’ve done knitting, too. I think it just makes the things we make more ‘us’ and therefore, more special. 🙂

  22. They’re definitely not JUST socks. They’re everything that you guys endured and accomplished and marveled at during the ride. They’re every deep sigh you took when it was finally time to relax. They’re the apprehension you felt when the rain wouldn’t stop. They’re the deep sense of pride and relief you felt when the ride was OVER. And they’re the easy, natural friendship and camaraderie between you.

    “Just socks” indeed, woman 🙂

  23. Now I will definitely need to buy a skein of this oh-so-fun colorway with the oh-so-misleading name. Indigo Dragonfly is a great sponsor. The shirts are amazing.

    Jen is an amazing friend because you get each other. I have a few friends like that – we could do anything (maybe not 600 km on bike) and although we would hurt and be exhausted we would have a ball because we were in it together. It makes the pain less.

    Another wonderful touching story. Thanks for sharing it.

    • And the Harlot effect is underway… Beige has gone from 27 skeins avaiable to 6. 🙂 I may have bought a few too.. Thank you Ron and Kim and thank you Stephanie and your team for all that you do. As a fellow cyclist I feel your pain and also understand that wonderful feeling of accomplishment when you push through. You had some horrible conditions and truly toughed it out. Well done!

  24. I understand completly- especialy when it comes to knitting for babies. I like to imagine all of the wonderful things they’ll expierience in life and knit a little of those good vibes into every stitch.

  25. What a lovely present for such a lovely and fierce Lady! I raise my hand too for the Club of Significant Knits. My whole world turned upside down last year, with the most personally devastating event being the diagnosis of cancer for my beloved Schipperke, Widget. Too many needed me to have it together, most of all my sensitive little pup (I rescued her from an abusive home), and I wanted her last days to be grand–so I knit and knit. All she could do was snuggle in my lap or next to me, and for her last days I turned some local baby alpaca yarn into your handspun scarf pattern. My blue scarf grew, Widget sniffed it (she was yarn dog) and I rubbed it on her tummy (so now some of her guard hairs are incorporated into it), and all that sad cold season, I was grateful to feel its softness against my throat and remember my lovely dog.
    Knitting, like so many arts, is a vessel for our hearts’ dearest moments. A beautiful way to enshrine our memories and I’m so glad so many mark their lives in stitches. Knitters, you’re good people!

  26. Going and buying a skein of that yarn. Can you point me to the pattern you used? Specifically, how do you do the ribbing on the top? The picot edge is adorable.

  27. I can’t tell you how happy this post has made me. While you were at the rally I was knitting a pair of teeny-tiny baby socks for a baby-on-the-way and I was using Beige from Indigodragonfly. I caught a glimpse of your socks in one of your pics & even joked to my daughter that it was like I was with you in spirit! Now I find out that some of the money from my purchase supported your journey & I couldn’t be happier! The yarn has magic in it I tell you!

  28. Hey Steph,

    I didn’t cry upon reading this I completely blubbered. You and Jen are so amazing and I’m always so impressed.
    It’s absolutely perfect that those socks are for Jen.
    You’ve been a touchstone in my life.
    So many thanks to you.

  29. This – about the knitting taking on added personal significance – reminded me of my favorite quote from the movie Sideways, when the female lead discusses what she thinks about when she drinks wine: “How it’s a living thing. I like to think about what was going on the year the grapes were growing; how the sun was shining; if it rained. I like to think about all the people who tended and picked the grapes. And if it’s an old wine, how many of them must be dead by now. I like how wine continues to evolve, like if I opened a bottle of wine today it would taste different than if I’d opened it on any other day, because a bottle of wine is actually alive. And it’s constantly evolving and gaining complexity. That is, until it peaks, like your ’61. And then it begins its steady, inevitable decline.”

  30. I love the idea of knitting places, ideas, people into one’s knitting. I can usually remember where and when I bought the yarn, but not the process of knitting the item. Closest I get is my heart skipping a beat when I (almost) forget to bring a yarn project with me …you never know hen you’ll get a minute.. or 2…or 3. Thanks Steph for this wonderful entry in the blog.

  31. Dude, if you’re crazy, you’re my kind of crazy. I absolutely get what you mean about knitting certain things certain places. When my 22 YO cousin was killed in a motorcycle vs. Semi accident years ago, I was in the midst of knitting a baby sweater. A BSJ in fact. I was on deadline, as baby was fast approaching, but I put it down. I absolutely could not work on it when I was full of that much grief and sadness and heartbreak. A little baby deserves better than that. I did eventually go back to knitting it, but it was a few months later. Both baby and mama loved it.

    And when I travel, I always feel the need to start something new. Something JUST for that trip. Although I am insane and always WAAAAY overpack the knitting. Like the annual book convention I went to this year. I KNEW I’d have knitting time only in the bar at night, and I KNEW I’d be exhausted and not get as much done as I usually do at home. Still, I packed enough yarn for 2 cowls (fingering weight) and 2 sweaters (both for 2 YOs). Keep in mind even if I did NOTHING BUT KNIT for the entire 8 days I was gone, I STILL couldn’t have finished that much knitting. LOL As it turns out, I made it through most of the yoke of the Tiny Tea Leaves for 2 YO size. LOL.

  32. Dearest Stephanie, *nothing* you do is EVER just ‘regular’ <3

    (PS nicest shade of beige I've ever seen! Did you warn them that they were about to be Harlotted? 🙂 )

  33. You really need to stop with these moving and heartwarming posts!! (Okay, not really)

    All of the crying I do at my desk when I read your posts these last two weeks is starting to worry my coworkers!

  34. yup! all those things you said…especially about just having your knitting right there even if just a round or three was accomplished each day. This entire post really was poetic and lovely, thank you .. xo

  35. When it’s just me, a ball of yarn & needles – the world just feels a little better. It’s because I know I can do something creative, something that will even things out, even if just for a minute or two.
    I understand.

    I want to thank you to for turning me on to – IndigoDragonfly.
    The colorway names are wonderful & poignant! LOVE THEM ALL. . .
    -If You Really Wanted to Mess Me Up, You Should Have Gotten to Me Sooner
    -You Punched the Highlights Out of Her Hair!
    -Maybe I’ll Have My Minions Take You Out Back and Kill You Horribly
    -Paging Dr. Smart-Ass (my daughter & I have spent countless hours waiting in Dr. offices)

  36. Absolutely, knitting is a touchstone and a reflection of us and our lives. That is why it is an art, not a craft. It is transformational on so many levels. It transforms the artist at the same time she transforms the materials. I made a baby jacket while my husband was dying; sitting by the telephone 1500 miles away, stranded and unable to get to him, to be where I needed to be. The only way I was not raving was that I was knitting, knitting, knitting on a multicoloured BSJ in shades that led me to name it “chocolate cherry” Also appropriate, since that was my husband’s very favourite chocolate confection. I won’t be afraid to give it to some lucky baby because it is filled with the radiance of happy memories, not with the sadness of his passing. If the knitting is imbued with anything of his spirit, then it will be a lucky baby indeed, to partake in just a small way of his generosity, loyalty, and zest for life.

  37. When I was studying for my doctoral oral exams, I cast on a pair of socks in a really special color way: short repeats of magenta, chartreuse, and dark purple. And the pattern was a constantly changing series of ribbing. Because, like my studying, out of chaos and apparent disarray came something structured, clever, useful, and surprisingly beautiful. I knit 1 sock during that time, and it doesn’t fit me so I haven’t knit the second (but I passed my exams so where’s the need?)

  38. Nice. All of it and especially the fit of hysterical laughter, which I can only imagine. I beautiful counter narrative on the rally to the nuts ‘n’ bolts one a few days ago. All very real and true to life. All of it.

  39. Thank you for riding that long, long ride over so many days. After I saw those lovely socks, I went right over to indigo dragonfly and bought a skein of that yarn. I have supported your team that last 2 years and want to support the folks who support you, too.

  40. This is such a lovely post. Kleenex worthy for the tears that it evoked. I, too, think of people or situations as I knit and usually the socks declare themselves to me as belonging to someone in my life.

    Thank you for putting it into words for all of us to share.

  41. You are an amazing inspiration. I still can’t believe you didn’t get on that bus. To say I admire you is an understatement.
    I thought I was the only one who associated knit pieces with events, people or TV shows. I just finished a sweater that will forever remind me of my Dad. I started it when We were nursing him through his final days. It reminded me so much I had to put the sweater away for several years because it hurt too much.
    Now time has passed and I can smile when I reach for that sweater. I finished it finally and I am happy now that it reminds me of my Dad.

  42. I know exactly what you mean! When I knit something for someone I feel like I’m with them in a way. Even just planning on knitting something for someone makes me feel lika I’m with them.

    Wonderful post! Both Jen and Indigodragonfly seems like amazing people, as do you. The socks look awesome too.

  43. This is why I love wearing handknits so much. They connect me with people and places I love, memories of things we did together, and plans for the future. They remind me that I’m not alone, even when times get rough. And I really hope that the knitted gifts I make help their recipients feel the same — embraced in a web of love.

  44. Yes, I do this. Usually, it’s done in moments of calm and peace. But it’s particularly meaningful for me that you wrote this today, as I’m about to take my current sock (a second sock) to court with me today, while I wait to be a witness to a mugging I was the victim of (I was the only one around at the time). I know I’ll be too distracted to read, so I’ll knit. I lost a pair of socks to the mugging – they were in the bag he took, which was recovered minus the socks. They were silk socks. Part of me doesn’t blame him for holding on to them. I usually knit socks for other people, but this pair I’m knitting for myself, in honour of the vanished pair and for something to look forward to. And because I was walking home from knit night when it happened. And because knitting makes me stronger. I’m oddly proud that the fact that I was coming home from ‘knit night’ is in my statement and so will go down in the court records. And as I face down some pretty big fear this morning, it cheers me up to think that as I quiver in the witness box I might be asked to explain what knitting is.
    Today, knitting is part of my support network. To the wonderful people around me. To socks!

  45. I knit a cloak by Martin Storey when our 19 year old son was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I took it from hospital to hospital knitting on it twelve hours a day, and eventually our son had a whipple operation. (Huge operation). I was staying in the hospital accomodation and only had a quick photo copy of the pattern with the title removed. After a few weeks I popped back home and looked at the original pattern book, the pattern was called “Liv”. I had no idea, I burst into tears but took it as a sign, he did, two years later he’s back at university and is doing well. That cloak holds a lot of memories, more than anyone could ever imagine. Loved the sock yarn, great colour.

  46. I’ve thought a lot about the energy that goes into my knitting too. I teach yoga and knit while students come to class and check in, and during their relaxation at the end. Lots of great yoga energy in what I knit!

  47. I know exactly what you mean about your knitting. I feel that way about my knitting and also my spinning. My spindles and fiber are like that too. Thanks for expressing so wonderfully something that’s really hard to put into words.

  48. I was recently diagnosed with a life limiting illness. Time is short. I was surprised to find out that the thing I most wanted to do was to knit for my family and friends, and especially for my husband. I hope that at my funeral, people will wear the things I made, and so a little of my spirit will remain with them.
    And if they felt these things by washing them inappropriately, as my yarn is my witness I will return and haunt them.

    • Emma, I hope your family is as touched by this as I am. My grandmother knitted a baby set for each of her grandchildren for their children. She had passed away before I put that little sweater on my little one. It meant so much.

  49. I did not realize the sock yarn I donated for karmic balancing had such a noble history with this particular endeavor!! It felt like the right thing, but your story amplifies meaningfulness. If that’s a word?

    Anyhow – this part of the story inspired me to acquire a new skin of Beige sock yarn from IndigoDragonfly, so good deeds are done all over.

  50. I am crying! That was so beautiful! You so eloquently described all of the things that I can never find the words to say about my love for knitting and knitters and non-knitters (who we love in spite of their non-knitterness, and who we are always always trying to convert to knitters.) THANK YOU!! Now I’m off to try to buy some of that lovely yarn!

  51. Of course we get it! Thank you for sharing. I am having a similarly emotion-filled experience with the roving I received for having donated to your rally. Spinning it as a treat after my longest training rides, and working to determine the best knit for it to capture your bike rally, and my September charity ride (Johns Hopkins Ride to Conquer Cancer in DC). Riding with knitters. Bringing knitting. Thank you for giving so much of yourself to others.

  52. Oh, I get it, totally. We are leaving for Alaska the first of September, and I’m trying to figure out which yarn to take along for some “plain” socks to knit. I figure I’ll be distracted by all the beauty there is in Alaska and want a plain pattern, but which self-striping yarn to choose?

  53. I understand perfectly. I have my first ever entrelac scarf, made in variegated acrylic. I will never, ever give that scarf away. You see, when I was climbing Kilimanjaro, I would knit on it in the evenings. Every time I see it or wear it, it reminds me to do amazing things!

  54. “I’m pretty sure that one day I’ll need something to knit while I wait for the ambulance to come, or once I’m waiting for my x-rays” made me LOL – and I had tea in my mouth. It came close to exiting through my nose.
    Yarn company sponsored cycling! You’ve combined two of my favourite things. Any chance they’d sell those tour t-shirts to the rest of us? (Tour t-shirts – you sound like band.)

  55. While my father was dying I sat by his bedside and knit hats. For five days I knit hat after hat. Several people marveled that I could sit there and knit while my father was dying. What I didn’t tell them was I was using the yarn I inherited from my husband’s grandmother who had died three weeks earlier at the age of 99. I also didn’t tell them I would be donating the hats to a homeless shelter my in laws worked at. I just told them sitting and knitting gave me something to do. Certain yarn used for certain projects knit in certain places…..I totally get it

  56. I love the “Yarn?” looks, the “beige” colorway, and the “regret” story. And I totally like to match knitting with importance sometimes. Just recently decided that I must be working on rainbow yarn for an upcoming trip to San Francisco!

  57. If you’re crazy, we both are. My favorite cardigan is knit of not-so-special alpaca from Ecuador sent to me by my best friend shortly before her sudden death, and upon which I knit all the way to her funeral and back leaving a cloud of alpaca fiber in my wake. It is her arms holding me when I wear it. It is not the only item I’ve knitted place, people and feelings into, but it is the most freighted of them all.

  58. I know what you mean about knitting things for people at the right time. I made some socks earlier this year for my mum’s friend but while I made them her husband got sick and eventually died. I thought about him a lot while I made those socks and when I finished them it just didn’t feel right to give them to her. So I kept those for myself and I shall always think of the Noel I knew when I was 2 years old when I wear them. And I chose another colour I knew she’d love and made some more for her. She’s delighted with them and they feel like the socks that are right for her.

  59. I have had the privilege of meeting Kim and Ron. They are all that you say and more. I have even been to Haliburton–they weren’t there, but still, I breathed the air. Kim was so kind to this wayward, lost US citizen who meandered (with her detailed directions) from Haliburton to Toronto for the Knitter’s Frolic. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, she invited me to dinner with all her peeps afterwards, and was generally gracious and kind. I wept more than once at her attention and care. Thank you, Kim, for all you do and for being who you are.

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  61. This is so me. I knit my thoughts, hopes and dreams into everything I make. It’s not crazy, it’s love. You Steph, are the personification of love! Everything you do , write about or knit shows us all the power of the love we pour into the things we create for those who mean so much to us. Thanks Steph, you are amazing!

  62. Yes, yes, yes. Thank you for this post. I have the same reaction to knitting as I do to smells. It’s visceral and preverbal. Even saying, “This is made with love,” isn’t adequate, because knits hold experience and karma and hopes and wishes and thoughts and expectations and dreams and so much more than words could ever approach.
    BTW, show me someone who doesn’t take knitting “just in case” and I’ll show you someone who knits, not a Knitter. #8-D I totally belong to that Crazy Club!

  63. Ah, the sheer ecstasy of ‘messing around in boats’! My family had a power boat (don’t hate me) based out of the National Yacht Club and our summers were spent exploring the dozens of great destinations around Lake Ontario, the Trent Canal and the Thousand Islands. I hope the next owners of our boat obeyed the ‘don’t change the name’ rule; it gives me a warm glow to think that somewhere there is a boat named after my sister and me. The happiest days of my teenage and young adult years.

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