More and More

Joe packed up this morning and took off on a business trip, and to be totally and completely honest, his timing is great.  I’ve got something I’m working on, so the peace and quiet will be nice, and frankly he’s been on such a roll around here that yesterday Ken texted to ask if Joe and I were still married. We were, we are, and poor Joe has had a heck of a week, and I think that he’s just as happy for a few quiet days as I am.  He’s had one mishap after another, and last night the guy tried to make up for the craptastic week he’s had, and we went out for a sail with a friend of a friend.  It was lovely, and just the thing to make me think I would miss him and the remarkable sense of misadventure he’s brought to this week. We docked the boat when we were done, and Joe went below and got three beers, and passed one to me, and I opened it, and then plunked it down next to my knitting and then climbed up and over to flake the genoa. (That’s “fold up the front sail.” Joe likes it when we use proper terms. I think he likes to imagine we’re in the Navy.) He sat with his friend, chatting, and I was feeling great about our marriage philosophy.

cowlboat 2015-08-29

Whenever we’re stressed out, or things aren’t going well, we redouble our efforts to be kind to each other. It’s sort of a “fake it ’til you make it” idea.  If he’s bugging me (or the other way around – frankly that’s more likely) then we pour on the sweetness.  Forgot to do an important task? That’s cool man, I’ll do your laundry and fold it.  Left the car lights on (three times in a few weeks)? Your favourite dinner.  Ask me to meet you at the boat at 5:30, and then show up late at 6:30? That’s fine. I’ll rig the boat for you while I wait. This week has been just like that, and Joe knows it, so while he sat, I was happy to flake the sail, and do the tidying up.  I got it done, and Joe paid me a compliment about how well I do it (I am the best out of all of us, I think it’s all the laundry) and I asked him to pass me the sail bag from below, and he climbed down to get it, and then (likely because I bugged the hell out of him this week too) he came out on the bow to pass it to me, instead of waiting for me to come and get it. Very nice of him.  As he stepped back into the cockpit, and made to go over where my beer and knitting were, I said “watch out for that beer” and he said “OF COURSE I WILL” in a way that implied that he is not even remotely the sort of person who would not ever not watch out for a beer, and then promptly knocked over the beer, and drenched the cowl and yarn.

He looked right at me, then at the beer, spreading through the knitting and handspun, and he said something like “My flight is at 9.”

I’ll miss him – though I’ll miss him more when my knitting is dry.  (I suppose the beer will wash out after.)

I promised Karmic Balancing gifts for today, and I’ve got 2 hours – so I’ll whip through as many as I can –

Susan B, charming and lovely knitter that she is, has this gorgeous lot (800g!) of original Rowan Denim, that she’ll be sending to Stephanie N.

rowandenim 2015-08-29

Laura Neel would like to share a copy of her book, Sock Architecture with Margaret N.

sockarchitecture 2015-08-29

Linda L has very generously decided to send this POUND of cotton sliver to Linda R.

cottonsliver 2015-08-29

Lexy is offering ten balls of Kidsilk Haze in the once limited-edition and now discontinued shade of Daffodil. They’re still in the original bag, and I bet Rebecca D will be thrilled.

Chris Riley, over at Upstream Alpacas, has a really beautiful batt to share. (Everything in that shop is very pretty.)

upstreambatt 2015-08-29

It’s baby alpaca and silk, in a gorgeous colourway called “Black Rainbow” and I bet that Becky S loves it to death. (I would.)

Kristen, over at the charming Rosetwist shop (check it out, it’s jewelry made from rose petals) has a button and rose bead stitch markers for Melissa B. The beads are made of rose petals, and they smell like roses!

rosemarkers 2015-08-29

Jessica has a very nice present for Kelly B, 225g of undyed Perendale wool. Thanks so much Jessica!

perendalewool 2015-08-29

Nina, sweet as she is, has a project bag from Grace’s Cases (love them!) for Rebecca S.

baggracescases 2015-08-29

Three really neat presents from Judith Brodnicki, and Elizabeth Lovick, who got together to come up with some fun stuff.  Of their first gift, Judith writes “Print copy of Exploring Shawl Shapes, plus 2 hanks of Zitron Trekking Hand Art (75% superwash wool, 25% polymid) in the Sansibar colour.  Exploring Shawl Shapes has an expected release date of June 2015 from Northern Lace Press.  It is basically all of Liz’s workshop lessons rolled into one 98-page book.  Not only did I have fun in designing the book, but working on it gave me the courage to try out some new skills!”  Very neat, and it will be off to Barbara A.

shawlshapes 2015-08-29

Of the second gift she says “Print copy of Centenary Stitches, plus 6 hanks of Cascade 220 Quattro (100% Peruvian Highland wool) in colour 5024 (blues and greens).  I used Cascade 220 to knit the Service Cardigan, which is one of the patterns in the book.  Centenary Stitches is a book containing most of the patterns (for knit and crochet) that were used to costume the independent film Tell Them of Us.  There are 170 pages with patterns, information about the film and Crowder family (whose story is told in the film), and techniques.  More than 200 volunteers came together to knit and crochet for this film.”  Nifty, right? I love this idea – I hope that Tess Y. does too.

centanarystitches 2015-08-29

As if that wasn’t enough “DVD of the independent film Tell Them of Us. Produced in the UK by WAG Screen, this is the true story of the Crowder family of Lincolnshire during WW1. The script was created from the letters and diary entries of the Crowders.  I am the graphic designer listed in the credits (I designed the DVD cover, among other things), and I’m also one of the 200 volunteers who knit and crocheted items used in the film.  (You should see the list of knitters and crocheters in the credits — it’s impressive!)  I am also including from my stash 7 hanks of Fibranatura Shepherd’s Own (100% wool, natural colour).”  I’m very jealous of Rachel L.

tellthemofus 2015-08-29

Yvonne, over at the Dublin Dye Company, has a wonderful gift.  Corrine P will be choosing the skein of her choice from the shop.  (This one is 75/25 merino nylon ‘Swing’ sock yarn in the colour Sundae, but she can have any one she likes.)

dublindye 2015-08-29

LeeAnn has two charming little balls of My First Regia, she’s so sweet, she’ll be sending them to the equally darling Jessica M.

firstregia 2015-08-29

Finally, (I know, but it has to stop somewhere today)  Susan over at Spinning Bunny has a really lovely set of gifts from her shop.

spinningbunny 2015-08-29

It is 4oz / 113g of hand dyed black/blue face leicester top in Rose and a top whorl spindle hand made by Jim Johnson. The spindle has a Padauk bowl whorl with a maple shaft and weighs 1.2 oz / 34g – and they are both really, really lovely and will be going to live with Karen R. 

That’s it for today, more tomorrow!

52 thoughts on “More and More

  1. Joe sounds a lot like my 50 year old truck driver son who tells me he is a professional driver when I tell him to watch for that car and then promptly backs into my neighbor’s car ten yards behind him.

    Don’t you love them? That is what makes them human and bearable, right?

  2. Sounds like the balance that hubby and I have achieved after 30 years of marriage. He does the cooking, some cleaning and fixes everything that needs fixed and I spend 3-4 months of the year we go sailing. This year will be January-March and I am already planning the knitting projects to go along on the voyage. Love your blog and your books. Thanks so much for sharing a peek into your life with us.

  3. The karma keeps on karma-ing when I make a point to buy things from people who donate things. (p.s. one of our favorite songs is “Staying Together Is Not for Sissies”, with such lines as “I love you completely, even when you do that thing with your teeth.”)

  4. I love your marriage philosophy! And yes, taking a break is so important sometimes, especially if you mix beer with knitting 🙂 Something similar happened to us when I my husband spilled freshly squeezed carrot juice on my organic pima cotton WIP.

  5. For some silly reason I thought you were going to say Joe nudged the ball of yarn overboard. So see it could have been worse…

  6. Doubling down on the kindness when you’re trying not to be annoyed at each other–those paragraphs were so true and so funny and such a good example and I wish you could have seen my husband’s face as I read it out loud to him. He laughed. We will now both consciously double down on the being kind when we’re annoyed–and we will thank you and Joe every single time we do. I love how you two love each other. Bravo!

  7. Better to have the drink in the wool than to have the wool in the drink.

    Okay, so I’m typing this on sleep deprivation…I’ll shutdown and try sleeping now.

  8. Ummm…once upon a time, beer was used as a rinse after a shampoo…especially for brunette/auburn hair (as I recall, but I could be wrong about that). Anyway, maybe when it’s dry your cowl and/or yarn will have more body and shine…

    Just a thought! 😉

  9. I knew as soon as you set the beer down next to the knitting–raising 3 sons has taught me that it was inevitable.

    But after all it’s been through, maybe the cowl really needed a beer?

  10. I love Joe. I have always loved Joe, I will always love Joe and it’s fine (aside from my being 65) because the Joe I love is the one you tell me. I’ve said it before, but it’s true — Joe is my favorite literary character.

  11. The homily at our wedding (26 years and counting) included the phrases, “sometimes you’ll look at each other over the breakfast table and think, ‘why?'”

    Just be sure to wash the beer out before you wear the cowl while driving. Even in Canada, I’d bet they’d frown on reeking of beer when pulled over.

  12. I think your partnership philosophy is wonderful. My husband and I have never vocalized it, but I think we are pretty similar. We also have one more rule: only one person is allowed to be sick/depressed/pouty at one time, so the other can take care of them. Of course, this rule gets violated pretty often, but then we can laugh about it as we do rock-paper-scissors for who gets to make the tea or drive the kid somewhere. Also… that black rainbow silk batt must have been made for me! Already ordered, and now I need to barter with my spinning friends.

  13. After 21 years of marriage, we can say to the other person, ive had a bad day, my life sucks, and I need chocolate and/or wine. It doesn’t have to involve an explanation. Also, he would have totally knocked over my beer too. 🙂

  14. I rather like the idea of baptized (spiritually cleansed) hand spun. You could name this cowl the Draught (draft) Dodger! (even though this was a bottled brew)

  15. Forgiveness washes out sorrow, anger, resentment, tears, bitteness, out of marriages. It also washes beer out of knitting, crochet, rugs, couches.
    We are trying to buy a house for the first time in 25 years and all the patience in the world is necessary right now. It is amazing how much both of us have changed and finding this new home has revealed what each of us really wants. Beer also soothes tensions and keeps frayed nerves even.

    Congrats on the cowl. It will surely survive a little beer.

  16. We used to use beer to set our hair (another natural fiber) It worked, and then washed out with the next shampoo. I think you’re only at risk for a stiffened cowl that will attract ants!

  17. I hope you and Joe each have a great week! The beer will wash out. Do you have a brand name on the yarn? It is beautiful!

  18. Every time you do Karmic Balancing gifts I wish there was a love (1) button for each one. They are always so beautiful and generous.

  19. Beer definitely washes out. 🙂

    Thank you very much for the generosity of so many donors of karmic balancing gifts! I am the lucky recipient of one of them from Susanne Visch: a pair of beautiful patterns, one of which will be on my needles soon as a gift for my daughter.

    I’m glad you had some time to relax and connect with Joe in a pleasant way – and your method of resolving discord and disharmony seems much more effective than screaming and shouting, or holding a grudge.

    Enjoy your peace and quiet!

  20. I love your system of Karma Balancing Gifts. Next year, now that I’m caught up on your blog, I’ll be able to contribute too (assuming you’ll ride again). I like seeing what patterns, yarns and other products are available too. I appreciate the links so I can go shopping and get these lovely things for myself and support your supporters.

    From the photo the cowl looks very pretty.

  21. I’m betting Joe knows enough to bring you something nice and fiber-related when he returns. But then, I’ve been married to my best friend for 40 years, and I don’t think I could count on it in a similar situation ……

  22. Can you update us on how that yarn turns out post-beer dip? I have two skeins of yarn that were sitting in a bag one evening while I was knitting another project and drinking a beer – I moved for the remote, knocked the beer over and it landed, mouth-down, right in the bag of yarn. I can’t even deal with it – a solution would be appreciated.

  23. At least the beer won’t stain. Some yarn from the Dangling Conversation I’m making dangled into the coffee cup under my chair and became stained (or coffee dyed) on a teeny part. No one knows it’s there except me. Calling it a “Design Element”!

  24. Beer washes out.

    ….but just in case there are any *ahem* issues, please be advised that I love both beer, and that handspun, and I stand ready to willingly and generously take that poor, drenched-in-beer cowl off your hands, in the event that, you know … The beer doesn’t come clean.

    Other knitters … You heard it first here. DIBS!!! Fight you for it!

  25. Stephanie, I cannot begin to tell you how much of a difference this post made. You helped solve a 15-year problem with a neighbor and you had no idea. I’d needed that reminder to double down on the kindness–it created the breakthrough that made the difference. I cannot thank you and Joe enough. Thank you thank you thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *