Away with me

Ah, Friday, where the heck did you come from? This week sped by, as I tried to get caught up, and was thwarted at a few turns. Most notably, I smashed the everloving daylights out of my phone on Wednesday evening. (A stumble in the dark, and I prevented a fall with an outstretched phone, which in retrospect was pretty stupid. I heal and have health care. My phone, not so much.) The day dissolved into a journey to the Apple Store, which turned into a wait at the Apple Store while they repaired the phone, and a period of three hours in which I had no phone, which was odder than I’d imagined. It reminded me of my mother in a power outage. She’s the smartest person I know, but outages are her kryptonite. She goes from activity to activity – “Balls, the power is out and I can’t put the TV on. Never mind, I’ll listen to the radio. Dammit, the power is out, the radio doesn’t work. I’ll do a little ironing. Son of a gun, that won’t work either. Never mind pets, let’s plug in the kettle and have tea….” You see how it goes, and that was me with no phone. I decided I’d listen to podcasts while I waited, remembered I had no phone, decided to listen to an audiobook, remembered I had no phone, decided to check my email instead…. I was the living embodiment of my mother in the dark. At one point I realized that without a phone I didn’t even have a clock, and approached a stranger. “Excuse me, do you have the time?” She was holding her phone, and looked at me like I’d just asked her if she could help me shear an alpaca, right there in the Eaton’s Centre. “The time?” She goggled, and I had to tell her that Apple was holding my phone hostage, and I don’t wear a watch because, you know. I use my phone for that. She checked her phone, told me the time, and then asked me when I was getting my phone back. Her response was a bizarre mix of incredulity and sympathy, and I could tell, as she clutched her phone a little more tightly, that she was imagining what it would be like. “Wow” she said, when I told her it would be a few more hours. “I know” I sighed. “It’s a difficult time.”

A cleverer knitter would have seen the phone thing coming, and perhaps taken a sock or  printed out a nice reliable paper pattern to take with her, but as it stood, I’d handed the PDF version of my pattern over to the Apple people, and couldn’t even knit. I did try for a while, using previous repeats as a guide, but it was slow and silly. In the end I bought a dress with birds on it, and then a book – since I’d given my current book to the Apple people in the form of my phone.  It all ended well (except that I sat in something yucky on the subway, then I stepped in gum, and a bird crapped on me and some dude with a questionable grasp on reality yelled at me on the sidewalk) and I got home, and decided to essentially end it all nicely with a glass of wine (2) and a nice long knit. That knit (now that I had my pattern/phone) back again, finished the Ghazal Cowl

thecowlalmost 2016-08-19

Well, it’s almost finished, I’ve pulled out the provisional cast-on I did at the beginning, and I just have to graft the two halves together, but I yesterday must have been some sort of sacrifice to whatever force of destiny decides how my days go, because when I’d done all the repeats I could, and ended on the right row, this is how much yarn I had left.

whatsleft 2016-08-19

That there is a winning game of Yarn Chicken, and a perfect ending to a knit using handspun. When I’m done the graft I bet there will be less than 10cm of remaining, and that was worth stepping in gum for. (I am less sure about the phone.)  Tonight I’ll graft, and then block, and then I guess I have to make another decision. I’m off on Sunday with the indomitable Jen and her two girls, to whom I am an honourary Auntie, and we’re headed far, far up north for some Canadian fun and games. Tents, canoes, camping and hunting for fireflies. A Thelma and Louise roadtrip – if you add in two little kids. There should be tons of knitting time (the drive is 8 hours, for starters) and I’ll be packing along lots of wool. We are going far enough North that summer is already gasping her last there, so it will be all fires, and sweaters, and hunts for fairy houses through the woods.

Now, a few Karmic Balancing gifts, just to make sure my luck holds? You bet.

(PS. I’ve added a teaching gig in Calgary at Pudding Yarn the weekend of September 18th to the roster. There’s spots, if you’d like to join us.)

First up, Terri Major (friend of the show, lovely lady) has free patterns for three of you. Any three patterns for three knitters, your choice from her shop. Pictured is the lovely Rose Arbour Baby Blanket, and I’d get that for sure, but Krystal L, Kristin and Lee T will somehow choose.

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Next, a trio of beautiful cases from Grace at the aptly named “Grace’s Cases“.  I love her stuff, and these cases are so pretty – of the first, Grace says “This new Basic “Anything Goes” Spillproof Needle Case has just two pages and is perfect as an expansion case or a starter case.  It is Multi-purpose in that you can store a wide variety of items.  Page 1 has 7 snap pockets that can hold either fixed circulars or lots and lots of cables
Page 2 has 13 graduated slots that can hold dpns sizes 0-9, regular or interchangeable hooks up to 6″ in length, or interchangeable tips sizes 2-15. Generous notions pocket included in cover.”  Better than that, it’s bike themed.  I hope that Kelly M loves it.

basicbikecase 2016-08-19 basicbikecase1 2016-08-19

Second “The Petite Lovely Tote. A great size to use as a project bag / bucket, or perfect for shopping at your local yarn store.  We kept it simple and clean on the inside and out. No pockets, no padding, nothing to catch on things – the space is all yours!  Measures 10” tall, 10” wide, 5” deep at base – Perfect for knit night projects!!” and also bike themed! I bet Ruth D has somewhere to take it.
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Last, but certainly not least “Cupcake Bags are divided project bags specifically designed for color work or TAAT projects. The lower portion of the bag is divided into two sections to keep your cakes from tangling and the upper portion has room for project storage.  Roll the top down to form a divided yarn bowl! Or attach a carabiner or clip to the included loop to hang it anywhere. Dual drawstring top closure.” and that’s going to Sarah E.
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If you’d like your own, Grace’s shop is here.

 From The Mountain would like to donate 1 skein of worsted weight yarn in a natural colour, and several one-skein pattern options.  Their yarn is 100% cashmere and is hand spun in Afghanistan by women who are earning a fair wage for their work.  After over a decade of conflict, many women in Afghanistan have been left as heads of household, but with very few safe income opportunities.  Spinning for From the Mountain offers them a way to earn income and be home with their families at the same time.  I hope that Chris A loves it, and where it comes from.

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Amy has a pretty gift, bless her generous heart, a kit for Mrs. Beaton’s Wrist Warmers. She’ll happily mail that sweet little package off to Emily W.

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Brenda, another pretty awesome knitter, went into her stash and came up with two skeins of IndigoDragonfly merino-silk 4-ply sock in “Partying is Hafla Fun.” She’ll be mailing that off to Julie B, and I know they’ll love it.

indigodfly 2016-08-19

Jan has an adorable bag that she’ll be sending off to Muriel T.  It’s a “Tour de Forest” bag (how appropriate!) If you can’t live without one of your own, her shop is here. (I might not be able to live without one.)

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Phew! I’ve emailed all the lucky knitters concerned, and I’ll try to get another batch up tomorrow. While I decide what knitting comes camping. Maybe something brown. That’s always a good camping colour.