Randomly on a Tuesday

1. My computer is fixed.  Turned out to be something that was covered by an extended warranty, so even though my computer is geriatric (in a modern electronic sense, which is to say that these things apparently have a lifespan just slightly shorter than that of a of a healthy gerbil) it was free.

2. Our home internet pretty much stopped working reliably the day after that. Luckily, we’ve called the company and they’ve assured us that it actually is working, we just can’t tell.

3. The baby blanket is still boring, but I estimate I’m a good 5cm past the halfway part of the centre section. I didn’t take a picture.  It looks pretty much the same.

4. I decided to block some stuff, because I’ve recently finished tons of things (well – three) and didn’t blog them at all – so I set up blocking stuff in the dining room, and went to power though it all.

5. First up was this Phi for You. I finished it – I don’t know when – early April I think.  Ever since then it’s been sitting on my dresser upstairs for weeks waiting for me to have the chance to block it. It’s a fun little pattern (I’m not a member of Laura’s M Club, but since I made the introductions to CaterpillarGreen yarns for her – she was good enough to send me a kit. I think that was very nice) but I wanted to block it with flexible wires to make the edge really swoopy, so I knew it would be fiddly and I kept waiting.

6. The other morning I took the time to soak it, and then squeezed the water out, and then stood there for about 40 minutes threading wire through every, single, stitch, on the edge of the shawl. With that done, I could put one pin into every element of the edge, and have it be wavy rather than pointy.  (Because someone will ask, my flexible blocking wires are from Inspinknity, and are this set.)

wirededgetopbetter 2015-06-09

7. I pinned out the wire around the neck first, then with that secured, I spread the shawl gently with my hands, and started pinning. One at the centre, one at each end.

wirededge 2015-06-09

One at the 1/4 way mark, 1 at 3/4, then back and forth, pinning them on each side until suddenly, as I hooked the wire with a pin and pulled towards me, the knitting burst.

That’s the only way I can describe it – I was pulling, and there was resistance, and then something gave, and a giant hole appeared, and my heart skipped four beats, and I looked down, and saw what can only be described as a blowout.

grabbedstitches 2015-06-09

boomgoesthestitch 2015-06-09

8. I stabbed some pins in to hold the two stitches that were bounding away. (Since the piece is under tension, they really wanted to keep going.) It looks to me like at some point I dropped a stitch, while missing knitting a yarnover. I don’t really understand what happened since there’s no broken thread- but later today I’ll do a little repair job, and I bet it will be clear then. (I’ll take pictures.) The whole thing is going to be lovely when I get it fixed.

wholethingwait 2015-06-09

9. I really wish I still had some of that yarn.

10. I’m sure there is another answer.

11. Karmic Balancing gifts? Let’s do some. A few notes to the generous souls who’ve sent me emails about gifts – there are a lot of you.  I’m working my way from the bottom to the top in roughly chronological order.  I’ll email you the day I’m going to give your gift away (or sometimes the day before) and let you know it’s the time.  If you haven’t heard from me, it just means that I’m not at your spot in the list yet.  Don’t panic early, I’m working on it!

12. A thousand thanks to those of you who have helped with this years mission.  If you missed it, you can read this post to see what’s happening, but the basic  upshot is this: Jen, Ken, Pato and I are riding our bikes from Toronto to Montreal (that’s about 660km – or 410 miles if that’s how you measure) in the Friends for Life Bike Rally, which is the sustaining fundraiser for the the People With Aids Foundation.  There’s lots of ways to help, and we really, really appreciate it. You can make a donation to one of us here:





We’re “Team Knit”. Or that’s what we call ourselves in the text message group we have set up to keep ourselves organized.

convo 2015-06-09

We’re all knitters, and we understand that many small things can add up to a magnificent thing, so don’t worry about the size of your gift – it’s making it that counts.  If you don’t happen to have money but you would still like to help – there’s other things you can do to make a difference.  You can tell your family and friends who do have money, and send them the links. You can post the link that explains all this on social media, and help spread the word… there’s many things. Any thing you can do makes us grateful, and no matter how you help, make sure and send an email to me at stephanieATyarnharlotDOTca (replacing the words with the obvious things) with the subject line “I helped”. (That makes it go in the right folder.) That way, when I choose names for the gifts, you’ll be in there. One good deed deserves another.  Time for gifts!

Jane has two beautiful gifts. First, two very pretty skeins  of Fleece Artist Woolie Silk 3-ply in Walnut will be going to live with Rosalyn F.

fleeceartistjane 2015-06-09

Then Alicia R will have two skeins of Natural Dye Studio Scheherezade 4-ply in Exford, (65% silk/35% camel, fingering weight, 437 yards per skein) arrive straight to her door.

naturalstudiodyejane 2015-06-09

Nicole has decided she can part with not just one, but two sweater quantities of yarn. (Isn’t she lovely?) This tremendously awesome set of 8 skeins of Berroco Flicker will be on it’s merry way to Sharon L

berroccoflicker 2015-06-09

And these seventeen (that’s right) skeins of Dale of Norway Heilo sport weight are on their way to Terri P.

daleblue 2015-06-09

Wendy did a little tidying, and she has two gifts off to greener pastures. These two skeins of Lambs pride in Onyx are for Azar M

lambspride 2015-06-09

and these two 3-oz. skeins of Lion Brand Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton; one skein Strawberry, one skein Almond are off to Wendy P.

naturechoicecotton 2015-06-09

Psuke has generously obtained Indigodragonfly’s permission to donate her April 2015 SAK Club skein to the cause. Not only that, but Indigodragonfly will also donate the associated patterns to the winner who is the very lovely Rachel M.

indigoclubyarn 2015-06-09

Rosemary, all the way across the pond from me, has a skein of Handarbeitskram sock yarn for Lacey R.  (I have no idea how to pronounce the name of that yarn, but it’s very pretty!)

Handarbeitskram 2015-06-09

Jill has a very beautiful skein of Yarntini yarn (complete with a very cute cocoa mug stitch marker, and she’ll pop that straight in the mail to Stephanie W.

yarntini 2015-06-09

Last, but certainly not least: Longtime friend of the show, and all round good egg, Melanie, over at Black Trillium Fibres has three great presents.

liltgradient 2015-06-09

She’s decided that it’s possible for three knitters to receive a Lilt Sock Gradient, in the colourway of the lucky knitter’s choice.  Elizabeth A, Megan T and Sherry B will all feel great today.

That’s it! I have pizza dough to make because tonight me and the smaller of my nephews are going to take a stab at “firetruck pizza.”  In the past we’ve done tractor shaped pizza, but the winds of change are upon us, and it’s all firetrucks, all the time.  How hard can it be? (Said his auntie, hopefully.)

50 thoughts on “Randomly on a Tuesday

  1. Oh, you’re tempting the fates with “how hard can it be??”. Wonderful karmic balancing gifts – thanks to those who donated them. The shawl is just stunning!

  2. My grandson would want Thomas the Tank Engine shaped pizza if he knew it could be shaped. And probably want it blue, but there are limits. some hints on how-to-shape would be appreciated. And I really, really look forward to How I Fixed The Hole. thank you as always.

  3. OMG – I gasped when I saw that photo and then glanced up to read your comment! I don’t knit lace shawls because I need quicker gratification, but I bow down to those that do as they’re lovely and complex. So seeing that happen made me cringe for you. However, I’m sure you can fix it (she said hopefuly). See you in a few days at Strungalong – hope to see you wearing this shawl – I’m leaving tomorrow to spend 2 days on Bainbridge (and visit Churchmouse, natch) before driving to Port Ludlow. and Firetrucks sound easier to me than Tractors….roll lots of dough into long strings to make the ladders, right?

  4. also, matching sewing thread for the shawl section to be fixed should work, and aren’t you glad it wasn’t one of the beaded sections!

  5. ooh – the same thing happened to me on a fine lace shawl. It was a dropped stitch under a bead and never revealed itself until blocked and I had my husband taking photos. I had a piece of yarn left from my ‘trial’ tea dye process so I used that to secure it after pulling together the dropped stitches and yarn overs. Was quite a process but YOU CAN DO IT!! If you have absolutely no yarn left, perhaps a thread or embroidery thread of the same colour would do. It could take as little as 3-4 inches because all you are using it for is to secure the last stitch. Good luck with the fire truck pizza!

  6. Lovely shawl. Karmic gifts are delightful. Such beautiful colors and yarns. I love how we all do something that together really makes a difference. This from a comfy computer chair and not a bike seat.

  7. Gorgeous shawl! Eep! Hope the repair goes smoothly.

    Did you also email to the winners of todays karmic gifts? You generally say you have, and you may have done so and just forgotten to say so (which I totally get) but as a Sherry B. I’m now hovering, searching and refreshing my email inbox hoping to all the powers that be that I’m the lucky lucky lucky one to get the gradient sock yarn!!

  8. Your blocking story has served to make me fear blocking to an extreme. Your calm response to it is inspiring, but it will be a long time before I knit and then severely block a shawl.

  9. My son just asked me what was wrong when I gasped about your shawl blowout. He didn’t understand when I told him what happened. I think embroidery thread in a matching shade would work for your repair. Good luck and may the knitting goddesses smile down on you!

  10. I’ve been waiting for a Random Tuesday!
    Here goes:
    1) Do you have a training regime beyond your riding? You know, upper body, core etc.
    2) Have you seen the Captain Obvious commercial where he talks to the guy who gets locked out of his hotel room in his underwear?
    I thought of you. 🙂
    Happy Knitting (and repairing)!

  11. Touch the truck – how appropriate!
    Please post a picture of a fire truck pizza, even if you can’t post full instructions!

  12. Love love love all of it! I love a good aggressive block!
    Can you tell us where to get the interlocking blocking thingys?

  13. Can you use green pepper slivers to make the ladders on the fire truck pizza? Maybe red pepper rings for the tires? This could be fun.

    Beautiful beautiful shawl. If you can’t find yarn to match, check out the needlepoint store. You maybe able to find something perfect. It’s worked for me.

  14. The shawl is wonderful. I’m sure you’ll be able to fix the problem. I’ve had a dropped stitch reveal itself after the project was finished. They’re sneaky! 🙂

  15. I was blocking a shawl (actually, what is going to be the chuppa for my upcoming wedding) a few weeks back and had a strand in the lace border snap while pinning it out. Immediate heart-stop. Fixedish though?

    • That sounds way worse than the blowout Stephanie had. How do you repair a break? You have so little yarn to work with, you can’t tie them back together, right? You or Steph might want to post the instructions for this.

  16. What a lovely shawl! I hope you do get the fix right on this stunning piece of work. You have more courage than I would in the face of this incident, but I’m sure that’s because you have more know-how to fix it.

  17. I did exactly that on a shawl maybe two years ago? I undid the cast off to that point, dropped down right there and was able to fix it surprisingly quickly. Hoping it goes easily for you, too, and that’s a beautiful shawl.

  18. That shawl is spectacular and I have utmost confidence in your repair abilities. I think my heart would have done more than skip a few beats, it would have leapt up, done an angry dance and gone on strike long enough for me to pass out. Congratulations on maintaining your dignity.

  19. It’s back! I’ve been wondering for the last 24 hours where your Tuesday blog went – I got to read it just before it disappeared. Now I see. Your whole Tuesday was stolen.

  20. A switch is a thin, flexible stick that you might use to sting someone’s calves with if they were going slow. So that “typo” made sense to me; I’d ride so fast with a team of switchers behind me! 🙂

  21. Oh! I felt absolutely faint when I saw that unraveling. I do not think I would have a clue how to fix an emergency like that! Thank God for the internet… if such a thing occurs I can put out the SOS!

  22. Oooh. Shiny.. The shiny almost distracted me – but I think me and my two+ years of German class is useful. Random, but useful.
    Handarbeitskram = pronounced, roughly, ‘hand ARE bites cram’. It means ‘handwork odds and ends’. Could also mean ‘All the handwork’ – German is a fun language. Pretty yarn!

  23. I had a blowout on my Rock Island, where I dropped a stitch in a double decrease. Five years later, it’s still stuffed into a plastic bag buried in my stash.

  24. What a lovely shawl! And what a lovely heart attack it must have given you to hear it go “pop”. I had a similar problem a few years ago and it wasn’t that hard to fix–with the leftover yarn! Having to use some different yarn ups the degree of difficulty considerably. Thank goodness it didn’t involve one of the beaded sections.

  25. I’m in awe of your ability to
    1) knit the shawl and block it
    2) not panic and start crying when it unravelled
    3) even know where to start mending it other than a great big darn
    Please keep us posted! I’m on the edge of my seat. Good luck!

  26. I helped a friend fix a similar problem recently. What I think happened in her case was that one strand of a decrease wasn’t actually caught when the decrease was executed. Same thing can happen very easily with a double decrease. Could that be the case in your shawl? The caught and uncaught stitches remained sort of in place until tension was put on the shawl at which time she had a big blow out similar to yours. When that happens, instead of a stitch marker slapping a big piece of packing tape on the area until you can deal with the surgery works pretty good.

  27. The shawl is gorgeous, hope your repair goes smoothly. I have a question about the Caterpillar yarn: I don’t see any changes of color in the middle of a row, and on their website they show a shawl with color alternating with plain grey. Is that built into the yarn? I keep telling myself “it’ self-striping yarn,” dummy, but I just can’t fathom how that happens. Do you break the yarn to start the next row? That sounds unproductive. Obviously I’m one confused knitter. Help!

  28. I am a “Nelkinite” and have finished my shawl. I think I had a few yards left. Let me know if you would like me to send it.

  29. Can’t wait for pictures of the fix to your shawl. Something similar happened a few months ago when I was blocking a white wool shawl and now it’s just in a pile of things to be blocked. I know your photos will help me and I’ll be able to wear my shawl later this year.

  30. Love the shawl! I know you will fix it perfectly, I will watch for a all fixed picture. Meanwhile how about a picture of that firetruck pizza? I bet it was very awesome!

  31. I am sending all of my best knitting karma your way so your shawl fix comes out to your liking! That photo made me gasp when I saw it, and I must say I’m impressed with your calm response to the hole. If it were my shawl and blog, I’m afraid the post would have turned bleep worthy in nanoseconds.

  32. shit…. I’ve had that happen to my shawl that I knit out of Quivic (sp??). I almost fainted… and then replayed this all when I saw your pictures.
    that wool rips at the easiest tug…never again, as lovely as it is…

  33. Gasped in a way that startled the dog when I saw the blowout. Will be MUCH reassured when you post photos of the repair, which will be successful, I’m sure!

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