Into each life

Today is a rainy day. Not the kind of rainy day that I hate least, where it mists, then rains, then clears, then rains, but a dismal, constant, cold, heavy rain that’s demoralizing and eventually leaks into the basement.  The remains of Hurricane Patricia are passing though, and it’s been raining steadily since the wee hours, with no apparent intention of letting up.

Have I mentioned that I hate rain? I do. I like water under me, like in swimming and baths, and so today I’ve spent the day in, cursing the grey, dark skies, and drinking pot after pot of tea. It’s been a long, slow day – spent mostly at my desk, catching up on email and paperwork – and that at least feels productive and has been a decent rest, which is brilliant, because as spectacular as the weekend at KnitEast was (and it was spectacular, with lovely teachers and clever students and lovely scenery) I came home so completely knackered Monday night, that yesterday I had several involuntary naps.

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(That’s the tide going in and out on Passamaquoddy Bay. It’s off the Bay of Fundy, home of the worlds highest tides – I think this one was 28ft.)

I got up this morning (early, for something that turned out to be cancelled) and sat at my desk, and realized that I was cold. My new sweater was on the back of my chair, and I shrugged that on, and then thought about how cold my hands had been over the weekend. I’d forgotten to pack mittens. Then I thought about why I hadn’t packed mittens, realized I’d never made good on my promise to myself to make a pair of mittens over the summer, and that I was at serious risk of spending another winter wearing a leftover pair from someone else’s kit. That’s a crappy place for a knitter to be, so I hunted up a few oddments that match my coat(s) and today, as I’ve worked at my desk, I’ve managed a row here, and a row there…

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And with any luck, by tomorrow I’ll have a pair of Cloisonee for myself, I’d forgotten how ridiculously fast they are- and if that doesn’t stop the rain and make it warm up – I don’t know what will.

*PS: If anyone fancies it, we have a few spots open for the Strung Along Retreat in November. We were totally full, with a waitlist, and then forces conspired. (Judith’s doing wheel maintenance and mechanics, amongst other things, and it should be more than worth it just for that.) If you fancy a bit of a treat and a rest before the rush of the season starts – have a peek and see if it’s for you. You can send an email to strungalongATyarnharlotDOTca if you want to talk about it.

*PPS. Yes. I did finish a pair of socks and a bit over the weekend. Two all done pairs (one was started when I left) are drying after a nice bath, as I type this. I’ll show you tomorrow.

Stock, and the taking thereof

I was going to tell you just now, as I unpack and repack my suitcase to head out the door for St Andrews-By-the-Sea, that I was feeling a little tired today. So I sat at the computer, typed all that in, and then glanced up at the screen to check for typos, and realized that my keyboard hadn’t been plugged in. Yeah. So maybe more than a little tired. I’ll go to bed early tonight and be chipper as all get out tomorrow. (Well. If you know me, I’m seldom outwardly chipper, but I’ll be chipper on the inside.) I’ve spent the day trying to pull together the disaster that is our house and lives – Joe and I have both been travelling and working a lot, and things are getting a little dodgy around here – If by dodgy, you understand that I mean that there are dust bison roaming the floors, the only food in the fridge is condiments, and neither of us have a pair of clean socks.  More than that (since my priorities are still – well, mine… I’m not currently really knitting anything. The knitting situation is a mess.

Now, don’t take that wrong, I don’t mean I’m not knitting, I’m totally always knitting, but since finishing that last sweater, I’ve just sort of filled in a few gaps – I have a pair of socks for someone almost done, and while I was at Rhinebeck I worked out that the yarn I’d brought to make the thing I wanted to wouldn’t work – so there was a Harrisville purchase – and a cowl started.

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That’s Harrisville Watershed (what a great yarn) in “Eastview” and the cowl is Bristol Ivy’s Winterlong – a beautiful, sculptural piece that’s knitting up really quickly. Those are both snacks though, just little bits of knitting to tide me over the disorganized gap.  They don’t count. Especially the socks. I need a knitting plan, the next big thing.

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That’s what I was thinking about today as I tried to pull everything together, and decided to focus on the way Joe and I both had no clean socks, so I got a load of laundry together, looked out the window at the weather (we’ve had our first snow here – although it was air snow, not stay on the ground snow) and decided it was time to make the switch to warm, handknit wool socks for both of us.  In they all went to the wash, and as I washed them all, I realized that my handknit sock drawer is in crisis.  Joe’s in pretty good shape, he could use another pair or two but (gasp) Christmas is coming. Me? I’ve got just a few serviceable pairs, and that’s after a festival of darning. So, knitting dilemma solved. I’m going to bang out a pair or two of socks for myself over the weekend, make a mental note to stop giving them all away,  and make a new plan on Tuesday morning.  Two birds, one stone.

In Pictures

Thursday, I left for Rhinebeck, and got on a plane, and then another one, and landed squarely in the arms of magic. There’s no way for me to explain to you what Rhinebeck is, or… more properly, what it is to me, because on the surface it’s all easy.  On the surface, Rhinebeck is a sheep and wool festival, and there are sheep and yarn and wool and thousands of knitters, and I guess really, considering how much I like all of those things, it’s a set up that I would love it, but Rhinebeck has become something else over the years. I could show you the sheep… Oh, wait. I will.

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I could show you the grounds, the yarn, the stuff… Oh, fine. I will too.

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Mostly though, I want to show you what I really go for.  It’s the people….

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and more specifically, these people.

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Way back, in the beginning of knit-blogging, when all of this was fresh, and we were all discovering the virtues and wonder of far flung friends connected by a love of yarn and a bunch of websites, a bunch of us started going to Rhinebeck together. We’ve continued that, and this weekend I had the privilege and joy of spending this time with a group of women that I’ve been proud to call my friends for a decade.  We spent the weekend enjoying wool, talking knitting, talking everything, knitting, catching up, and cementing what brings us back, over and over.

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I love us.

(Photo credits to Caro, who always gets the best us on film, this time thanks to a recycling bin, and a timer.)

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And I wore a new sweater. Rhinebeck.  There’s nothing like it.

On my way

Well. I’m at the airport -and I have an unfinished sweater with me. I know. I was hoping it would be done too, and I’m still hoping that it won’t turn into a real squeaker, but I fell behind last night because it turns out that I could barely knit during that baseball game. (We won, but the city very nearly exploded.)

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See that? Sorry for the crappy picture. Airport photography is harder than you think. That sleeve is about 20 minutes from done, it just needs about 5cm of ribbing, and then there’s just the other one, and I totally did not run out of yarn, and I’m not going to.  All I have to knit is one little sleeve, and I have a wild fantasy where I manage to knit it between here and Boston, which is probably nuts, but it’s Rhinebeck. It’s totally the season for nuts. I can knit the sleeve today, then I can can weave in the ends and block it when I’m at my friends place tonight,  and it can dry in the back window of the car all the way there. It will even have tomorrow night to dry, and that makes the whole thing sound doable. (See the way I made it sound like the big deal is the drying, and not the fact that I think I’m knitting a sleeve in a few hours? Rhinebeck crazy.)

I’m going to pour on the burn.  I’ll post to instagram as I go.

It’s more of a peninusula

Progress on the Rhinebeck sweater – real progress.

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The body is done, and the both buttonbands knit, although only one of them is sewn on, but still, that will be short work. The next few days, I’ll be headed to sleeve island. I’ve got a full skein remaining, and about a third of one more, so as soon as I’m done here, I’m going to weigh both of those, split them in half, and start. I’m still a little worried about having enough yarn to finish – though I shouldn’t be. It feels like enough, but I figure that if I split the yarn in two, and run out, at least I could adjust the sleeve length to suit what I’ve got. A sweater with two matching 3/4 length sleeves is entirely wearable (at least by me) but a sweater with 1.5 sleeves is a look I don’t think I can rock. I’m off to meetings for the rest of the day, but I’m cool with being the crazy knitting lady in meetings, so with any luck at all, I’m actually going to have a finished sweater by the time I get to New York.

Is it my imagination, or does this seem to be going a little too well?

I swear it’s bigger

Knit knit knit. That was the plan for the next few days until Rhinebeck. Knit that sweater and damn the torpedos on everything else, and then this morning I took a realistic look at my life and wondered how I managed to get that delusion going for even the few hours I thought it would be true.  This weekend is Thanksgiving here in the Great White North, and the party starts tomorrow evening, and after three big family celebrations (one each on Friday, Saturday and Sunday- though I only have full cooking responsibility for one of them) and the minute that’s over, there’s Bike Rally meetings on Monday and Tuesday, and then Wednesday I pack, and Thursday I leave. I’m not entirely sure where in there I thought I was going to have this private knitting party, but clearly the wool fumes got to me.  (Again.)

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The sweater is a little farther along than it was, noticeably so, I think, although maybe just to me.  I’m also rather reassuringly still on the second ball of yarn, which means I’m starting to feel good about the chances that I won’t be wearing a Rhinebeck Vest. (3/4 length sleeves are still a possibility.) Today’s the last day for a few that I can reasonably have a big long knit, so pardon me. My wool and I are going to kick back, make some tea, and watch a little baseball.  (Go Jays Go. Sorry. It had to be said. This blog will return to its previously sport free nature after they win the World Series.)

A Wild Luxury

Home, home, I am home – and there’s not a single person alive who could be enjoying it more. I had a fantastic time at Knit City in Vancouver. If you have to travel for work, I highly recommend the way I did it this last weekend, which was in my own country (so nice not to need my passport, or to have to negotiate US customs. They seem nice enough, but their all armed, and it makes me nervous) and with friends, in a city I adore, and with absolutely un-Vancouver-like sunny warm weather.  In 3 days I:

-Knit the daylights out of my Rhinebeck sweater. I’m feeling good about the progress I’ve made. I’ve finished the top part, and divided for the body and sleeves, and made it a few inches past the armholes. It’s not a sweater yet, but I’m seeing how it could be. I have 8 days. I think all things are possible right this minute.

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-I taught a ton of classes while I was there, including one fun one where at the end, knitter took pictures of their swatches. I think that means they were pleased.

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-I ate my way across Vancouver with Clara Parkes and Kate Atherley.  The three of us were on East Coast time, so aside from waking up every morning at 4am and wondering why Vancouver wasn’t ready to rock and roll, we were ready for dinner at 4pm. In case you’re wondering, this means you have no trouble going into any restaurant you like. We ate at Tamam, Tacofino’s and The Acorn, and made at least one new bartender friend.

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(That’s not easy to do in such a short time, and with only one Margherita, but we’re really charming.)

-Took Clara on the bus. While we were on there, a guy who smelled exactly like a bottle of cheap gin poured on a mensroom floor in a cheap gas station told me I had a nice shirt, then minutes later, asked what it would take to get a phone number. The answer? “So much more than is possible on this bus, sir.”  I think Clara enjoyed the cultural moment.

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– Saw a marketplace so chock full of CanCon (that’s Canadian Content, for those of you outside our lovely country) that it staggered the soul. Fabulous marketplace.

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-Fantasized about what it would be like to sleep in my own bed 10 nights in a row. So far, it’s all I’d dreamed of.

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-Reminded myself that if you’re on a 2 week sweater thing, that you’d better plan ahead for buttons – but didn’t buy buttons.  I’m on it.

A good time, not a long time

Just for fun, I’ll tell you: this blog post took three cities to accomplish. I started it in Toronto this morning, then worked on it on a layover in Calgary, and now I’m finishing it in Vancouver.

I’m sorry for the radio silence my pets – it’s been a wild week.  I arrived home last Sunday night and was so excited to embrace 4 whole days at home that I could scarcely type.  I took the next day off blogging to enjoy the daylights out of the Monday and my family and sleep. Tuesday I took the day off of blogging to catch up on paperwork (sort of) sit at my desk like a good little soldier, snuggle two nephews and a niece, and attend the third of what will be a million Bike Rally meetings. (Yup. The first one was right after we got back, and the party just doesn’t stop.) Wednesday, that was our anniversary, but it was totally also a day I was going to blog, and I got up and started moving through my day fast. Too fast, perhaps, because mid-afternoon, as I was headed down the stairs with my hand on the bannister and everything, my foot slipped on the edge of the step, I became completely and totally airborne, and came down hard on the stairs, hitting several parts of my body off of several steps. It was gloriously ridiculous and horrific and knocked the will to do much off of me for the rest of the afternoon. I bucked up in the evening, and we went out for a beautiful dinner to celebrate our anniversary, but I was in bed early. (I swear, I literally had a headache.)  Yesterday when I woke up, every bump and bruise had blossomed into fantastical fabulousness, and other than packing for today and getting my act together sort of slowly and gingerly, there went that day too.

Today, Well. Today I’m blogging – or trying to, as I make my way from Toronto to Vancouver for Knit City, and the big news is that after a huge period of indecision, I have decided on a Rhinebeck sweater. After a flurry of texts and tweets and conversations and hours of Ravelry gazing, it’s Reverb, knitted out of Clara’s Shetland 1.0. I’ve been hoarding that yarn for something special, and here it is.  Rhinebeck. Despite all the warnings of my friends (in particular the ones I stay with at Rhinebeck, who always bear unfortunate witness to the last minute rush to the end – although at least one of them is always finishing one too – so pot/kettle if you know what I mean) I think there is lots of time to finish.

I’ve already gotten the first rip out of the way – because despite making (and washing) a swatch, the sweater was coming out a little small, so back it went.

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By Calgary things were looking up again, I’d made up the missing ground – and the thing is well underway. Hope springs eternal – enough so that this afternoon I actually wondered if I shouldn’t have brought all the sweater yarn with me, instead of just half. (Tip. I go home on Monday. I’m delusional again.)

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Sigh.. tis the season.  See all you West Coasters tomorrow at Knit City!