Distractions

It took everything I had to turn off the election news just now and come sit at my desk.  I thought it would help to watch, but there’s no information, and I don’t know why I thought there would be, and once it started cycling through the same stuff over and over, it was time to bail.  (Cue the American’s wondering why a Canadian is gripped by the US election? The answer of course is that what you choose has a huge impact on us. We share the world’s largest trade relationship, more than $670 BILLION dollars passed between our two countries last year, and we share the worlds largest border. The people and policies you choose are super important to us. Add in that politics is practically our national sport (our politics, yours, anybody’s) and that your system is so fascinatingly different than ours and it’s safe to say you have our attention.  Case in point, tonight the CBC will be covering your election. You wouldn’t believe how interested we are.)  As gripped as I am, I bet some of you have feelings that are way more intense, so how about I show you some knitting and for just a few minutes you can pretend like today is no big deal?

Three more tiny things since we saw each other last, and if I knit one today, I’ll be right on track. First up, on Saturday I made a tiny candy cane.

candy-cane-2016-11-08

I used this pattern, and like I remembered last year, it was incredibly fiddly, which I don’t think is the fault of the pattern… I think it would be way less maddening at the gauge it’s written for (worsted weight) rather than the gauge I knit it at, which was fingering weight wool on 2mm needles.  Still, I got through, and the real trouble didn’t start until I tried to put a pipe cleaner into it so that I could make it bendy. The problem was that the end of the wire was too sharp, and kept getting hung up on the floats inside. I tried taping it, I tried folding the end over, I tried putting two through to make it stiffer… I tried everything until Joe reminded me of how they fish cables through small spaces at the studio. I threaded yarn onto the end of a big, blunt darning needle, pulled the needle through, then tied the end of the yarn onto the folded over end of the pipe cleaner, and whoosh. Through it went.  Engineering for the win again, although really, it would have just been easier to knit the tube around the thing – something I didn’t think of at all.

The next day Joe and I went for a hike up Rattlesnake point, and inspired by the woods and how much the recipient of this gift likes being outside, I knit a little acorn. Pattern here, and I knit it as written, except for you know. Tiny. (Back to the 2mm needles again.)

acorn-2016-11-08

It went fine, and needed nothing shoved up it at all.  Next up, a little gingerbread person.

gingerbready-2016-11-08

This little dude is the same as the one I made last go round, once again resurrecting an old Canadian Living pattern I like.  (Except, tiny again – and 22 stitches instead of 32 – height of person adjusted to match. Wouldn’t want them not to be proportional.)

You’ll notice too, that I ripped off a clever little idea from the tiny bear, and am doing it with all the ornaments I can. That pattern has you make the ribbon hanger, tying the ribbon ends in a knot, and then slipping it inside the ornament before pulling the stitches into a cinch at the top. It beats the pants off of sewing them all on afterwards, I tell you that.

Today I should be knitting another tiny thing, and I guess I am – though of another sort. I know that you’ve all be expecting me to go all crazy-knitting-grandma for Meg’s baby, and I’ve been resisting. Meg will know the sex in a few weeks, and I’ve been trying to hold off – but I finally snapped.  I don’t really truck with the idea that you can’t dress a baby any way you want to anyway, so I’m just starting.

tinysweater1-2016-11-08

One itty-bitty, teeny-tiny sweater headed this tiny person’s way. The softest merino I know (Greenwood Hill Farms DK) in a lovely silvery colour, warm and cozy.  I found it hard to start knitting for this little one. I am not a reluctant grandmother, nor am I a surprised one – but I have been worried about making a beginning of it. Truth be told, I was a little anxious about opening the floodgates, and that turns out to be exactly right. As I run my hands over this while I work, and measure tiny sleeves and figure proper lengths, I can feel it coming over me. Next a bonnet, then some booties, and a hat, and a soft, fine shirt – and a blanket, maybe two. One for good and one for every day, and another sweater for sure, and maybe a pair of pants and soakers… wait, will she need soakers? Are those too old-fashioned? (Note to self. Ask Meg if those are too old-fashioned. Don’t want to burden her with pairs of wee things she doesn’t need.) Maybe a pram cover, and …

I think we can all see where this is headed.  Totally crazy-knitting-grandma, unleashed.

Sigh.

255 thoughts on “Distractions

    • Exactly what I did, too. A whole man’s cardigan worth of yarn and a couple of bonus skeins leapt right into my basket, then I spent the rest of the day plotting how to begin. Much better than hearing another word about this much too awful election.

    • I’m watching a Canadian tv show set in Montreal called 19-2. The perfect antidote to our American craziness….and oh yes, knitting of course!

  1. Not totally crazy knitting grandma–loving caring grandma who wants to surround grandchild in wooly warm love!

    (Love the acorn especially!)

  2. I have to go to an election party tonight. I told Husband that I was bringing knitting. Not ‘do you mind if I bring knitting?” I. AM. BRINGING. KNITTING!!!

    Crazy Knitting Grandma. I think that makes you
    Yarn Harlot, CKG

    Have fun!

  3. I don’t know how it is in the rest of the country, but in Iowa, hardly anyone is talking about the election except to say they voted. All I know is it will be a very sad day in US history if this election goes wrong.

    After hearing you talk about our election process at a retreat last fall, I knew you’d be paying attention along with the rest of the world to see if the Americans have lost their minds.

    • I’m from Iowa! Now I live halfway across the US from Iowa, and the mood is very much the same. No one wants to talk aboit it, but everyone is voting

      • I drove from Iowa to Illinois two days ago in order to vote bright and early this morning. Over 200 miles of interstate driving I saw a different sort of ‘quiet’: only one political bumper sticker! One must know I-80 and I-88 traffic to understand how strange this seemed!
        We’ve turned off the TV, too. You are so wise, Steph!! Knitting anything larger than a Christmas ornament todaycould spell a tension disaster!!

    • Thank you for the grammie/advent calendar knitting post, it’s distracting my election anxiety. I have never wanted to vote less, and yet never has my vote felt more important. I’m going as soon as I get out of work, and wonder what sort of leader we will end up with. 🙁 The fact that so many voters of both parties are so unhappy says a lot, I think.

      Could we borrow your Prime Minister, please?

    • Another Iowan here, to! I’ve been near tears all day. All I can say is I wish Canada’s leader was an candidate for our election!

      • You and me both, Rachel. I am in shock right now.

        I bought spinning stuff myself, and am now looking at some beautiful Merino/Silk gradient roving because I can’t sleep.

        Jo, that is strange, but it’s the same here. Hardly any stickers for either of them. Bernie had the most in this campaign cycle.

  4. Crazy knitting grandma unleashed is a good thing. And it will help keep your mind off the election, when nothing is happening yet. But you might want to switch to mindless knitting, perhaps a soft simple blanket, once Peter Mansbridge starts covering the results.

  5. I’ve been knitting all day with my stomach in knots. I voted early and encouraged others to vote, so now I’ll go outside and wrap up hoses and rake leaves and change the battery in the outdoor thermometer and try to relax on this momentous day. Thank you for distracting me for a moment with adorable tiny lovely knitted things.

  6. Nothing wrong with knitting tons of stuff for baby. They take little yarn, time, and they are making you happy. Plus, if you stagger the sizes some (like knit a 3 month, then a 6 month, and so on) you’ll have a huge pile of knits that will last the whole first year. First will be the special coming home sweater, then the cotton hat for summer, then the six month sweater for when fall comes around again and blankets for all the time. It’s all about win.

    What election? (I voted, but it took me an hour to make my mark and I cried afterward.)

  7. I voted ten days ago, and have been anxiously following the polls for months. Also, my laptop went in for repairs, and I’m working from the iPhone I had to buy when my phone line went dead. I expect to spend most of the evening staring at the tv. Polls don’t start closing until after six, so the results won’t start to come in until around seven or so.

    Happy knitting, Grandma!

  8. “‘Tell me about it’ said George Mouse, meaning the opposite.” (John Crowley, LITTLE, BIG) The election and the crazy-grannie knitting, both. Turns out my state has become pivotal and the pits of many stomachs are churning. Me, I’m knitting all day, and going to Doctor Strange tonight, at a theater where you can buy wine with your popcorn. And I will rise with dread tomorrow morning (at least both sides have that in common.)

    • I went to a movie tonight with my big guy as we were trying to avoid watching the results. Our theatre does not sell wine with popcorn – that would be totally awesome! Although if they can do wine, perhaps they could do pate, cheese, crackers – I’d go a lot more often. We chose Jack Reacher – I love the books, I liked the movie, however Tom Cruise is nowhere near my internal vision of Reacher. Ah well, it was 2 hours of entertainment that we really needed.

      God bless us all, whatever happens.

      Chris S in Canada
      (touch the key – I’m trying)

  9. No, you’re not turning into a crazy knitting grandma yet. Now, if you were knitting the baby a bikini, or hair curlers (I know: as if!), or a car bra, or ???? — then, maybe.

    However, babies have timetables of their own, so better to start early. No, you don’t have to wait until you learn the baby’s gender. Use neutrals or brights (ex: kelly green) to get around any color-related issues anyone might have.

    As for the election down here…is there room on your davenport??

  10. Having voted this morning and worked for awhile, I found myself starting to get a little nervous about the state of our elections. So I thought the best thing that I could do was to continue to knit on a scarf that will go to a Syrian refugee stuck in no-one’s land in Greece. Hoping to change the world one stitch at a time.

  11. Hey, you made the eggs for this baby! You may knit as much as you like!! It’s a good day to be reminded that love is what we cling to in good and bad times.

  12. An an American dealing with a great deal of anxiety over this election, I think you for your concern. We can’t all have Justin Trudeau!

    I can sense that this grandbaby is going to have more handknits than s/he knows what to do with. Will this knitting throw off the Christmas knitting schedule?

  13. Thank you for the grammie/advent calendar knitting post, it’s distracting my election anxiety. I have never wanted to vote less, and yet never has my vote felt more important. I’m going as soon as I get out of work, and wonder what sort of leader we will end up with. 🙁 The fact that so many voters of both parties are so unhappy says a lot, I think.

    Could we borrow your Prime Minister, please?

  14. Well …. I just returned from voting. Nothing out of the ordinary happened. I walked in, got signed in twice and I signed in that it was me and got the ballot. I walked over to a counter and proceeded to fill in the ovals and then walked to the electronic reader an put my ballot through. In and done. Just licketty-split. No one was chanting, screaming curse words and punching the air nor was there anyone politicking at the polling place 30 yards from the door. All was quiet.

    I do not know if I can bear to watch the returns now that I have voted. I have thought of the lemmings this year more than usual.

    I think knitting would be a good thing to do now.

  15. I can’t wait to be a grandma so I can knit my butt off.
    Given that my oldest kid is only a preteen, and the youngest is barely 7, I might have to hold off on this for a while.
    Still. I can’t wait.

    • I started buying books for my grandchildren’s libraries when my kids were those ages… nothing crazy, just a book here and there as I found them…

      and now I’m knitting… blankets, cardigans, toys. my kids are grown, but just barely, and no one’s pregnant yet (or planning on it any time soon).

      it’s never too early to knit with love.

  16. Ugh, the election. It’s brought out everything ugly in our people. So many folks I talk to say they’ll go to Canada if the election doesn’t go their way. But would you even want us?? Maybe if we bring lots of good yarn and promise to behave ourselves……

    Crazy knitting grandma is a good thing. Enjoy it!

  17. I have spent the afternoon with Netflix and an almost-finished cowl, all in the interest of distraction. And I have easy knitting ready for tonight, so that if my stitches get tight ( tension in both senses of the word) , it won’t matter!

  18. Thank you for the brief distraction from my ever growing fear that the election results are going to make me break down into sobbing fits. I am not sure which is worse: worrying over an election in a neighboring country that impacts you but in which you can’t vote; or worrying over an election in your own country where you did vote but still feel powerless.

    No offense to your PM, but will you please lend us Commander Hadfield for our next President? Seems like it would be hard to go wrong under his leadership…

  19. I voted when I got my ballot and am now doing the best I can to continue to delete the political noise in my e-mail box and ignore the returns until I must pay attention. I figure I can have a drink with my knitting tonight.

  20. I know you’re not from Pasadena but I now have an ear worm for the Beach Boys, “Go Granny, Go Granny, Go Granny, Go.”
    You’re welcome. 🙂

    • Soakers are essentially wool diaper covers. They’re one-size, pull-on, and you can’t just throw them in the machine, so these days they aren’t as popular. (A generation ago they were a much more common choice, because the synthetic alternatives had those same limitations.)

        • They do need hand-washing, but it’s generally only the same level of effort as other wool items, and they don’t need to be washed as often as “regular” diaper covers do. (Also, modern diapers aren’t as prone to blow-outs as the ones our parents used.)

  21. If it makes you feel any more secure, soakers are still a thing. They sold them for some obscene amount at the local awesome baby store that sadly shut down. However, they are less of a thing than with your girls. Modern PUL diaper covers are better than the vinyl pants that you had to use, so there’s less incentive to give soakers the care they need. (For comparison, PUL can be put through an autoclave.)

  22. This American watches British, French, and Canadian election results with the same interest that you have in ours. The Brit’s Big Ben tolling, and then the results arriving is great drama. The french news not being allowed to publish early returns, but french Switzerland and Belgium not having those rules adds a bit of interest. There was quite a lot of twittering about Polish and Dutch foods before the official count during their last election. And I watched the Canadian provinces decide for Trudeau. We are all in this together, and what happens in one of our countries affects all of us.
    Watching people visit the grave of Susan B.
    Anthony today has been touching. When did Canadian women get to vote?

    • Manitoba was the first province, in 1916, followed by most of the other provinces over the next few years. Notably, Quebec waited until 1940 (!) and there were restrictions against various groups for years (Asians, Inuit, First Nations).

  23. Don’t babies look sweet in silver-grey? I think I prefer all the gender-neutral colours. (I knit Nouveau-né in the most beautiful shade of Regia Silk in sage green, as we chose not to find out our baby’s sex in advance.)

  24. Remember when a few extras at your mother’s was a blessing when one of your little ones soiled everything you had in the diaper bag? Or you didn’t get something back in the bag from last time you were out? Extras at Grammie’s house will be a plus. So go wild Grandma!

  25. Stephanie,
    I’ve been sitting here wondering when — not if, but when — you would begin knitting for your grandbaby. I’m glad to see you beginning to create the first of what will be many, many hand knits from you. I finally felt confident enough in my knitting skills to create a couple of simple sweaters for two of the ladies that I work with who had babies earlier this year and let me tell you, those little sweaters went over big. In fact, the other mommies at the shower said that they received very few hand-knitted items for their children and that they really cherished them. So, open up your hand-knit floodgates and start knitting with abandon for your grandbaby! She or he will be in the minority of babies today who receive hand-made items. Given that babies get here before you know it (you are knitting on a deadline), I say go for it, starting now! Your instinct to begin knitting is kicking it at just the right time!

  26. I used a ton of soakers with my twins, they are priceless! I also loved sweaters knit in a variety of sizes right up to size 2. By the time they grew out of those, I was able to knit a few things myself again…go Grandma, go!

    I voted absentee ballot and have never been so happy to live in Winnipeg. It is a huge relief to be able to enjoy a normal weekday in Canada when feeling stressed out. 🙂

  27. Soakers are wonderful! I even find them useful over disposable diapers when we travel (as I fin d disposables even more prone to leaking than my cloth diapers, tho I do prefer little knitted pants to regular soakers).

    The distraction is much appreciated. I am on edge and have been all day.

  28. I have yet to vote today (I’m going in about an hour, since I had to go to work), and then I am going to do what I wanted to do all day: Sit and hug my yarn and hope that the world does not come to an end as a result of the choices made today.

    • The world will not come to an end. This is a democracy, in four more years it will be time for another vote. The choice was potty mouth vs corruption this time around. Seems fitting if you look at what we have to choose from for TV shows these days. A sign of the times.

  29. Thank you for all the tiny knitted things. They help. Our election is frightening and more than once this fall, I have taken solace in yarn and knitting needles (and spinning wheel, and loom).

    • It’s definitely frightening to watch the polls come in. I’ve gone to mindless knitting for tonight, and I live in Canada. Praying for your country.

      • Thank you for your prayers. I am so sad about the election results. I feel like we owe an apology to the rest of the world. I’m so ashamed. I don’t know what happened. I’m also really, really scared but I’m hoping that we can all band together and pull through this. I’m also wondering how hard it is to move to Canada. Today is a difficult day.

        • I don’t believe it would be in Canada’s best interest to abandon, even temporarily, the opportunity to improve a difficult situation in the US. Cling to your knitting, breathe deeply, & persevere. Also unlikely that Millie would share the chesterfield with everyone who has asked to relocate….

        • I have felt the same all day. I was so happy and proud yesterday to cast my vote and today I am sad and ashamed for my fellow Americans.

  30. My daughter actually Asked me to knit wool soakers for her littles. Since they can’t go in the washer, she just Eucalans them.

  31. Crazy-knitting-grandma? That was me one year ago, and it’s awesome. Just wait til you go nuts over teeny weeny baby buttons (Etsy).

  32. Be that knitting grandmother! I’ve done so, and still do, for all 8 of my grands. I love that they ask for things. And, I might be 65 years old now, but I have a quilt my own grandmother made for me before I was born. It’s a treasure to me, as will your knits be to the wee one.

  33. I voted last week just to get it over with (Massachusetts started allowing early voting this year). Surrounded myself with yarn and will binge watch net flicks tonight. And pray for the USA. Yikes.

  34. Sigh…….
    I have new found sympathy for the poor British that lived through the Blitz. It does feel as if we’ve been bombarded.
    Even the Internet has slowed to a crawl. If not so waifish American shows up on Canada’s doorstep perhaps coffe, wine and vast personal stash of wool will vouch for my personal character. Sigh. …. . gage focus on gage.

  35. Pennsylvania here. I’m stocked up on yarn and books in a very deliberate attempt to bury my head in the sand this week. Books might be the safer route, though, I might accidentally stab an innocent bystander with a knitting needle if the conversation trends toward politics…

  36. Thank you so much for this post and your continuing clever kindness. I might love you. And that’s not even just because I am so stressed out. I don’t think…Off to drink some wine, knit something that goes with drinking-wine-distractedly – so not TOO complex, and carefully NOT watch the results…

  37. Unleashed, but that’s a good thing. Enjoy. Knitting is a good way to manage what’s going on in the polls. Though maybe it needs to be something more mindless for tonight, like baby washcloths.

  38. Thank you for the brief diversion from the election results. I have the tube on, but the sound off. That does seem to help my anxiety level. Pinterest has been my friend tonight as my other diversionary tactic. Think I’ll head to bed early and wake up surprised!

  39. I made my sister two soakers for her first baby, because I knew she was doing cloth diapers. I gave them to her at the hospital and she was mystified, but thanked me. One or two days later she called me and asked how fast I could make two more! It turns out (thankfully, they are really boring to make) that soakers are great for the newborn cloth diapers that she rented, but there are better cloth options for older babies (bum genius, etc.). So, make some soakers IF they are planning to use cloth diapers, otherwise you can skip it.

  40. Oh Steph, it makes me feel nice that you care about our politics so much, though I already figured you did (for the reasons you stated). But I am so embarrassed at how this election campaign has gone, and even more-so that our most horrible candidate ever looks like he might actually win this election. I feel sick to my stomach, unsettled so much that I can’t even make myself knit for comfort. How screwed up is that?!? I dread the outcome that is starting to rear it’s ugly head, and I only hope you can forgive us.

  41. Here in Illinois we are planning our move to Quebec. Lots of unexplored yarn shops calling our names.
    I too am getting ready to become a grandma. I just finished a cape for my daughter, the mother in waiting. I am hoping she will wear it when she is nursing my first precious grandchild.

  42. Thanks for the distraction. It looks like you Canadians better prepare for some new homesteaders! I am so discouraged with things and my head and stomach hurt from all this election stuff. I don’t even feel like knitting . . . 🙁

  43. Thank you for the distraction and congratulations on having a grand baby! I’m so happy for your family. Also, Americans hoping to immigrate to Canada have crashed the “Immigrate to Canada” website tonight.

  44. Thanks for the welcome respite from the election returns, Stephanie . It was really helpful. Now if you could just do hourly ones for the rest of this long night…I’m so tense I can’t even knit!

  45. I’m trying to not give in to that tightening knot in the pit of my stomach- but I’ve been reduced to watching puppy videos, the rest of what’s on is too hard to watch. Thanks for the distraction, anyway… (LOVELY sweater. Congrats again)

  46. Would you like to adopt a middle aged American woman? I’m a good knitter, hard worker, and am pretty certain I need to move out of the US tomorrow.

  47. First time ever that I’ve actually considered playing the dual citizen card. And I have my own health insurance to boot.
    I can’t seem to finish the sweaters for my granddaughters before they’re grown out of them. It was easy when they were wee ones. Now two of them are taller than me and still growing.

  48. Um, can we come too? I’ll bring the husband, my mum and 5 cats but we all have good manners. It’s 12:35 am and I’m deeply ashamed of my country. I feel we’ve failed the world and I’m sorry. Sigh.

  49. I’ve just realized America broke your official “how to immigrate to Canada” site. Sorry about that. Will check back later.

  50. Knitting helped me get through the death of my mother. I pray its power for serenity will help me get through this as well. Of course the world is watching the U.S. elections. I have seldom felt so awful about an election or ashamed of my country. Patriotism should mean love of one’s country, not fear and hatred of “The Other”. I’ll have to join Bev S and cast on for for a scarf or hat or something warm for someone, a refugee, or homeless…. Counteract fear and hatred with love, one stitch at a time.

    • I have never been so devastated or ashamed to be an American. My husband teaches in a low-income elementary school where the majority of children have immigrant parents. His frightened students asked him if they were going to be deported. He tried to comfort them as best he could, but it breaks my heart to know that we brought a racist, sexist demagogue into power. Thank you, Christine, for your suggestion to combat hate, and to bring hope.

  51. Grandchildren call forth a proper tsunami of knitting! I found that as my daughter and daughter-in-law were knitting the babies, I was turning out haps and clothes. It kept me sane and centred. And before we knew it, one became 4, which is 8 feet of various sizes all needing woolly winter socks, not to mention 8 hands requiring mittens…….. Unending, and I am thankful. Handknits make them even more huggable.

  52. I simply don’t have the words to describe how welcome a knitting break is right now. Such a perfect distraction from the news of what we (the US) have just done to ourselves.

  53. I have a very old unfinished project that requires lots of finishing. I hate finicky finishing. However, It’s my goto right now to take my mind off this mess. Having been married to a narcissistic bully in a past life, I’m not looking forward to the country being run by one.

  54. Love the silvery grey colour of the first grandma knit.
    As to the recent Brexit and Trump results, to paraphrase that British poster, one thing we can do for the immediate future is to KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON KNITTING…………..

  55. Maybe a lot of people would not follow the American elections if they could avoid it. We have been submerged in it all over the world to the detriment of other news. The only way to get away from it is to turn off all media.

  56. Dear Canada, I am SO SORRY for what this country has done. Please stay just as you are, so there is a beacon of hope out there for us to look at during the dark years coming here.

  57. We went on a day trip yesterday, to avoid any election news. (My apologies for the election results.) Re grandbaby knitting, after making a bunch of stuff that was worn once or twice, I resorted to blankets and hats until my granddaughter was past the infant stage, then moved onto toddler sweaters. Everything machine washable.

  58. Welcome to the club, Grandma. I have hats, scarves, mittens, and sweaters for my grandgirls for Christmas. I have nothing for anyone else because my girls *need* these things. Their mom has been hinting she’d like a sweater… but but…

    Today is reserved for work. Dammit. Seriously. And maybe searching for a 5 year consulting job in Canada.

  59. Oh Canada, I apologize for my country. I am so ashamed of my fellow citizens. Please let me still come to visit. Now I need to go knit.

  60. I made a bunch of cotton soakers for my daughter, who I had in March, and only used them a few times. Her diapers never seem to leak and it was just one more thing to deal with when changing her. They were really cute though.

  61. Oh that grandma slippery slope. So wonderful.
    BTW this is not a democracy. We are an Oligarchy bought and paid for by corporations. The press and TV gave Trump free advertising and the dems rigged the primaries. If this had been democratic, Bernie Sanders would be our next president.

    • We are an oligarchy. Sadly we have not been a democracy for quite a long time.

      And I wish I could say just “sadly” about our election results, but two days later I am still just as terrfied.

  62. Could you start a refuge for those of us Americans who are knitters and no longer able to live with the prejudice our new president to be has engendered in the country? Please? We promise to bring cashmere!

  63. I’m shattered.

    I just told a friend that I had never cried over an election result until now. Been extremely disappointed and discouraged, but never had tears flow.

    For all of you planning an escape to Canada, wouldn’t it be more responsible to stay here and do everything in your power to make sure such a travesty never happens again.

    • Me too. Actually crying over an election result. I am having a lot of trouble working today and keep ending up in the bathroom in tears.

      I am deeply ashamed to call myself an American.

      • Still grateful for both US & Canada. This is a difficult time for the US – all the more reason to hang on & watch for even small opportunities, while enjoying the bounty of fiber that so many of us can retreat to. I myself just finished a pair of socks, inadvertently in 2 completely different sizes because of tension.

  64. I am expecting my 3rd grandchild in May and am having the same problems. I finally started a blanket in a neutral. My daughter has made soakers with a matching hat for several friends. Cutest gift ever!

  65. For your U.S. readers, if you could give us a sysnopsis of the areas in and around Toronto that you like relative to cost and livability I know many of us would be soooooo grateful (absolutely not kidding here). I have been browsing this a.m. and have a bit of sticker shock!

    • Toronto and Vancouver are the most expensive housing markets in Canada, so your sticker shock is valid and genuine. If you &/or partner needs to work, that should be the determining factor when looking at other places.
      If you don’t work outside the home (or if you’re in any high tech biz), consider Ottawa. Reasonable size (just under million), and lots of extras that you wouldn’t expect in a city this size, because it’s the capital.

    • There are other liveable cities in Canada, too… check out Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Montreal, Halifax… just to name a few other possibilities.

  66. Election over. Today will be spent licking wounds, drinking (a lot of…) wine, and knitting.
    Are there any nice houses for sale in your neighborhood?

  67. Thank you for the distraction. I need it more so today than yesterday. Today we are faced with the grim reality. Today I am knitting O.W.L. Mittens for the Harry Potter fan in my life. Trying to remember that the blue in the pattern is really red, and the white is yellow, and counting everything twice to not screw up is almost enough to forget the election results.

  68. On behalf of all citizens of the United States who are not racist, not sexist, not xenophobic, and who do not mock the handicapped , I humbly apologize to all the inhabitants of the earth for the catastrophe that we have brought upon you.

  69. I woke up this morning and the first thing I did was knit a row while I brewed coffee. Coffee and fiber arts for normalcy… Thank you for caring about us, Stephanie. I voted blue and live in a blue state and I am so upset.

  70. I’m a little blue dot in a red state, but I’m surrounded by my blue dot friends. Today I wore a pantsuit to work because, as I said above, imSTLLwithher.

    • I am also a Montana democrat, it can be frustrating being blue in a traditionally red state. At least we still have our governor. And knitting to keep us happy and warm.

      • Godness, I can’t even say that. I live in Maine. We have LePage, the mini-Trump. Ironically, he has never won the popular vote here either, as it was a three-way race both times. This year we did at least (narrowly) approve a change in our election system so it never happens again.

  71. I am clearing space so I can take in American political refugees. It’s a very small house, but I figure we can fit 12 or so, as long as two of you don’t mind sharing the bathtub. Oh, and there’s also an acre out back that will take a few dozen motorhomes. Bring lots of yarn & fibre — with our Canadian winters, you’re gonna need it!

    My deepest sympathies on your … what’s a nice term? … “odd” electoral process.

      • And I actually opened up the computer thinking, “Where could we go?” Now I know. And I understand that the bathtub is already taken. 🙁

        Spent time early this morning and afternoon telling my distraught kids and family that kindness matters now more than ever. Every act of kindness, every beautiful thing we create, matters more than ever. So we’ll keep doing that.
        Everyone’s supportive understanding means so much. This isn’t who I thought we were.

        • Your post is the first time I have been able to laugh since Tuesday. But I am staying- this is MY country, I am proud to be an American. The wrong decision may have been made but I will still be here four years from now and be able to vote again for the right candidate.

          • I applaud this. I’m upset too, and my 14-year-old daughter is shattered. But it just means there is a lot of work to do.

  72. My toad didn’t win. I would much rather hear about babies and baby knits than politics today. Plus, I have several sweaters that I need to knit in coming months, so I am looking forward to your odyssey of grandmother knits.

  73. I know when you get going that you are going to make some fabulous blanket (as one does). Would you consider writing up the pattern as you go????

  74. Thank you for the distraction, and I’m delighted for you about the impending addition to your lovely family.

    And really sorry (read embarrassed) about the election. I did what I could…

  75. I too became a Nana this year twice, it is fabulous. Knitting for the grands is fun, fun, fun. There are a lot of people who run our country, not just one person. Checks and balances.

  76. Thank you so much for the soothing knitty things. You are an oasis of sanity in the crazy desert we Americans find ourselves in this morning. Courage, dear hearts. Our country needs knitters now more than ever. Keep calm and knit on.

  77. I worked the local polls for 17 hr. straight yesterday. Took some knitting in case there was a lull. HA! No lull. Not one. Today I’m in mourning for decency, for my country. The ONLY way I could get through this heartache is by looking at knitting and kitten images.
    PLEASE send us healing vibes.

    • This was my first year working as an election judge. I too brought knitting and only had one brief lull, just long enough to knit a couple of rows on a hat. I’m embarrassed to be an American today and truly frightened for our country.

  78. I’m just across the border in North Dakota – and so by simple geography I am interested in Canadian politics as well; but just have to work really hard to find anything about it here in the states. Just to clarify – we’re not a democracy. That implies that the majority of the people elected will create the laws by which our country needs to abide by. That also means that our country could choose new rules if a new ruling party comes into power. That is not the case. We have a constitution that sets out the rules of ‘power’, and then elect the representatives to whom these powers are delegated (judges, representatives, senators, president). “America was founded as a republic, a union of sovereign states governed by a constitutionally-restrained federal government. It was, and still is, a perfect system of government for a nation as large as ours was even at its founding. Our system of government allows for local government – states and their political subdivisions – to go their own way on policy. ” Frustration at the overreach of the Federal offices has created this interesting place we find ourselves in now.
    And nice distraction by the way. Love the acorn.

  79. About the American election: Please pray for America’s safety so the madman doesn’t do something stupid like start a nuclear war.

    When my daughter got pregnant, I knit like a crazy knitting gramma, 16 items for the shower. Less for the second one, that’s what hand-me-downs are for. The little one was batman for Halloween and the cutest thing. Have fun, Grandma.
    Julie in San Diego where it is hot and sunny with 12 foot surf. Surf’s up!

  80. The whole world was watching this election and with good reason. I am an American and would just like to say a few things. Please know that not everyone here voted for this man and I certainly did not so please don’t hate and resent all of us. I am sad, scared and depressed for my beloved country and I deeply apologize for the fact that America is now responsible for foisting this person on the world. Thank you for the knitting today. I’m thankful for any good distraction. My daughter and I chose the gingerbread man as our family ornaments this year so there will be nine of them. She did the knitting and I’m doing the finishing. Thanks for the idea.

  81. Wonderful baby knitting. I will be auntie to a little girl (1st one after four boys). Little dresses, sweet bonnets, booties … here I come 🙂

  82. I just keep focusing on the fact that the current president-elect was NOT the choice of the majority of American voters. That, and knitting is keeping me sane.
    Our 18th-century electoral system is sadly outdated in a 21st-century world, but it would take a Constitutional Amendment to change it. At the current legislative pace it would take lifetimes to achieve, if it even got off the ground.
    Thanks, Canadian friends, for caring so much about your neighbors to the south.

  83. Like so many of my fellow Americans have stated here before me, I am sorry. I also did what I could. We cannot forget yesterday and that it was the day that for the first time ever we had a choice to vote for a woman president, and for that I am incredibly proud. Today I made brownies and Mac and Cheese, and will snuggle in with a good movie with a happy ending and my knitting to comfort me. I take strength from knowing that women all over the world for centuries have buckled down with their knitting when the going was rough or troubles were upon them. So as St Elizabeth says, I will carry on with hope and not let the goodness in us be extinguished.

  84. I have cried off an on all day, and had quite a bit of trouble holding it together while trying to teach my Kindergarten class. It seemed almost impossible to try to teach them today about kindness and decency when a bully triumphed. I’ve now showered, put on a fuzzy onesie, had a couple drinks, and am currently surrounded by yarn because my goal is to have as many hats for the homeless ready by December 1st as I possibly can. Kindness and good must go on.

  85. As a mom with a baby soakers might not be useful because they’re not compatible with certain kinds of cloth diapers. I use cloth but it’s basically like a pad in a waterproof cover, take away the cover and the absorbent part wouldn’t stay on by itself, so they can’t be used with soakers. So maybe just wait and see what kind of diapers Meg ends up choosing?

    Cloth diapers have changed a lot in the last 20 years, my mother in law very graciously agreed to drive me to the diaper store to look at different kinds when my first was little, when we got there she was flabbergasted at the variety, when she used them there were just squares.

  86. Wait, I’m confused. I thought the gender of the baby was already known since Meg is growing her own grandchildren. Wouldn’t that mean the baby has to be a girl?

  87. Sorry. We not only made a really bad choice for Canada, not to mention the USA, but also for the entire world. Some of us are going to work really hard at keeping it in check. No guarantees.

    • If knitters as a group can support the Bike Rally so strongly, year after year, to say nothing of controlling gauge, the knitting community can handle this. One stitch, one row at a time.

  88. Stunned.
    I live in Alaska. Do you think Canada could annex us? Even just for symmetry’s sake. You should have a West coast don’t you think?
    I’m wistfully dreaming there is (ironically) a “Miss Universe” clause that if he can’t fulfill his duties (court case begins tomorrow) that the first runner-up gets ‘crowned’ Madame President in January. A girl can dream.
    If that doesn’t happen, can I crash on your couch? (for 4 Years) I’ll bring my stash…I don’t think both of us could knit our way through it in that amount of time….(dangles skeins enticingly)…I have quivuit…and alpaca….:)
    Seriously, I’m mindful there’s still darn near half of the population that is forward thinking and it has always been the little positive things that collectively make a difference, and in difficult or challenging times the little positive things happen with greater frequency.
    Can’t believe you haven’t started a Fox Paws layette yet.lol.
    Pipe cleaner hack: bend the very tip back on itself so you’re pushing a rounded tip through the casing.

    • I’m smiling as I read “You should have a West coast don’t you think?”. We already have a West Coast, just look a bit south and you will find us 🙂 We share the Pacific coast, delicious wild West Coast Salmon, the amazing rain forests and of course the wet, windy winters with Alaskans. I hesitate to comment on another country’s political process one way or another so will just wish us all peace, love and joy in our lives.

  89. It is comforting to read all the comments about what a horrible choice this country has made in selecting a new president and know I am not the only one who feels that way. It is a dark day for the USA…. But Stephanie, your posts always brighten my day!

  90. I read all the comments and only one person asked about the sweater pattern. I’ll be the second. It’s adorable and I’d like to know where to find it.

    I still have no words for the election.

  91. Loving all the beautiful baby/little people knitting. Thanks, Steph, for sharing your wonderful plans for your upcoming little one. Very sweet.
    I also depended on knitting to get through the day, but for the opposite reason of most Americans who posted above me. I believe we will have a strong leader and a good man in charge for the next 4 years, and that, not only the U.S., but the rest of the world will be much better off, if he is allowed to do what is necessary to correct the big mess we’re in right now. Not all Americans are disappointed today.

      • I was beginning to wonder whether all American knitters are Democrats. I lean that way, but it’s good to hear from the “other side” as well. Wishing you all the best as you move into the next four years. It’s important for us north of the border that your country be stable, prosperous, strong and kind.

    • I hope you considered the impact of your vote on POC, those with disabilities, the LGBTQ population and others whose humanity has been so disrespected by your candidate. You have a right to your opinion, but I hope you acknowledge that you have deeply harmed many with your actions.

      • Because the main topic of this blogpost was joy in knitting for a new grandchild, I don’t think this is the appropriate place to argue politics.
        But I think it’s necessary to state that Americans who voted for Trump did so out of a sense of responsibility, not hatred. Trump is the person who wants to take steps to eliminate all these crazy hate-filled things that are going on in our country. People need to read beyond Twitter and headlines, and be informed about what is actually happening, not just how uninformed people FEEL about things. We need a strong leader who is not influenced by a past in politics and can look at things objectively. Is he perfect? No, obviously not. But he is NOT a hater, and neither are his voters.

    • I couldn’t agree more! Thank you for your courage to put it in writing. There are many people who are afraid to state their opinion due to backlash. I’ve experienced it first hand. It runs contrary to our right to free speech. There is a lot of over exaggerated drama surrounding this election. I am proud to be an American. I can also listen to other’s opinions and be respectful.

  92. I think it’s safe to say that the vast majority of your commenters/followers, Stephanie, did not vote for our president-elect. Be assured, though, that not all your readers are of the same political persuasion. I myself am an intelligent, informed American voter and I don’t need anyone in the comments apologizing for me or my vote or my country. I respect their feelings over the results, as I felt that same way for the previous two elections. Today I am hopeful for what lies ahead.

    It was quite interesting to read about your country’s interest in our political process and decisions. Thank you for sharing! And I’m excited to see what beautiful baby knitting you’ll create for your precious grandchild.

    • I hope you are right about your choice,but regardless of my voting party I cannot support the spreading of hate and he did.

      • We are not in the aftermath of a typical presidential election, where voters from the winning party express vague hopes for the future (see above), while voters from the losing party are disappointed. The man ran a campaign based on hatred, racism, bigotry, and misogyny. Apologies are necessary.

    • Thank you Dar.
      1. What if not everything portrayed in the popular media has been accurate? One does not reach that level of success in business by being an idiot or incapable of self control.
      2.Economic growth means more money for yarn all around.

      • Do you defend the things he has said, himself, in his own voice? I don’t have to go to the media to find evidence that he has no respect for women, or to find him making racist statements. As a Hispanic woman, both of those concern me greatly.

  93. Reading these comments has been healing. I have been so, so, so emotionally devastated by this tragic election…..we have elected a liar, a misogynist, a racist, an isolationist, and we’re supposed to try to go along with his agenda, which is a secret. I am so grateful that I am not alone in trying to find some peace while facing a devastating future.

  94. Back and reading the commments, which has been helpful. I’m part Mexican, a woman, someone who has nearest and dearest who are either special needs or LGBTQ, While I agree our system needs a good shake, for me, someone who is literally abusive to and who has an exclusionist, isolationist world view is not a good thing.

    I was not happy with with either choice, to be honest. But he definitely terrified me more.

    That said, thank you thank you to all the knitters here who have expressed their opinions about the candidates but who did not attack each other, or reduce this comments section into flame city. Part of voting means everyone has their say, not that everyone has a say like mine. We may not agree with each other’s choices, but we’ve expressed our opinions only about the candidates or our own emotions, as each side should be allowed to do.

    Thank you all for that.

  95. Frankly, I think its funny everyone thinking they will “move to Canada”. Folks, Canada just doesn’t let you move there. As a matter of fact, very very few countries just let you move there. Except the US….of course we aren’t supposed to just let everyone move here, they are supposed to apply to be a resident…..just like every other country. We do not have adequate jobs OR assistance for our own…..why does everyone want to water down what we do have?

  96. Congratulations to you again, Grandma! Now that you are unleashed, it will be never ending! You will always have someone you love to knit for and something to knit through all the stages—baby, toddler, child, teen—it will be wonderful for you!!!

  97. So sad about the outcome of the election in my country. I hope we can somehow keep the damage to a minimum.
    So glad that you have all that fun knitting to do for an Grand Baby!

  98. Thank you the lovely distractions. Keep them coming. After this election we will need help keeping our sanity and something to keep us from weeping.

  99. Thank you for the distraction. Keep them coming. After this election we will all the help we can get and something to keep us from weeping.

  100. Thank you for your post. Today I am grieving the election results and wondering what our future will hold, but am uplifted about your grand-baby soon to come. A baby who will be brought up in a loving, accepting and united family such as yours is our future. May it be bright.

    P.S. Wool soakers with cloth diapers are the best. Try to sway Meg to the old fashioned side.

  101. Dear Stephanie,
    I am one of the many people on the periphery of your world who value your sensible, generous, and humane approach to life. In this moment of political insanity in the U.S., that could very possibly herald the erosion or crippling of the key tenets of American democracy, I just wanted to thank you for providing an outlet I can count on for civility and kindness.

  102. This was a great distraction – even two days later. A great time to tell you yet again how much I admire your blog. I look forward to reading it and it’s a treat I give myself when I see there is a new post — I wait for the perfect break in my day to have my tea and read. I so appreciate your love of Canada and all the information you give us about your wonderful country… the one some of us sometimes wish we could move to because we are so nervous right now and Canada just seems to have it all together.

  103. Thank you for offering us this place to respond, and for the distraction. I am actually physically sick, from dread, shock and fear. I am trying to come out of this, looking forward to the holidays, but that fun ship has sailed. Too scared. I will be counting on sites like this, with your optimism, reason and humor, to get me through. Thank you again, best wishes to you and yours, hope you and the rest of the world don’t pay too heavily for this, love your good news! Hope, hope!

  104. As a followup to my apology above, I actually have a few friends who are both republicans and truly decent people, so I asked them to tell me why I should not be terrified. The gist of their answers was that they did not believe the candidate meant the things he said, nor did they believe he meant to enact policies congruent with what he said – they believe he will be a moderate. They want no harm to come to gay people, Muslims, or immigrants, and they believe none will. I do hope they are right but I find it very strange that while complaining that one candidate was a liar, they chose one they believed was lying when he said things they did not like. The reason why I find a grain of hope in their thoughts is that I never thought the candidate was a social conservative either. I also find hope there because they were NOT motivated by hate or racism in their vote. They may be naive, but they are not filled with hate. I hope for all our sakes they do not have to eat their words, and I hope my friends are more typical than not. I trust that all of you who admitted your choice here are also decent people, who will protest if your candidate disappoints you on this score.

    • Caroline, thank you for your thoughts. I have found the same to be true. I find it odd that people voted for the “new guy” because he says it like it is and speaks his mind. And they so violently opposed the Other Candidate for her shady dealings with Truth. And yet, I, too have heard the sentiment of “oh, he didn’t really mean it”, and trying to understand how that makes him a more “honest” candidate. I am working hard at reconciliation and compassion, because more “hate” isn’t productive. At least it isn’t for me, and it’s been messing up my knitting all week. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to rip out mistake after mistake. Thank you for your compassionate words here.

    • Caroline, here’s the thing though: I am far less concerned about what Trump said or didn’t say (reprehensible as his words were) than I am about the response of yahoos all over the country who now feel that his election has given them permission to act out of their absolutely worst selves. The news is filled with incidents of hate speech, Muslim women having their hijab ripped off, women having to endure gross sexist comments, racist incidents — it’s happening all over the country. Your friends may be good people, but people with horrible agendas now feel that it’s okay to enact them, and a lot of other people are already suffering.

  105. I assume by your radio silence you are as stunned by the results as we are. My colleagues and I are walking around like zombies at work. We still cannot comprehend the results. I feel like someone has died and I need to work through the grief.

    • Thank you for posting this. He really articulates what I have been feeling. I have shared it with several others. (and thank you again, Steph, for the space.)

    • Thank you for posting this link. He gives voice to my thoughts and feelings about this disaster far better than I ever could. Four days out and even knitting can barely unknot my stomach.
      Stephanie, looking forward to seeing all the grannie knitting projects and love the tiny ornaments.

  106. I remember knitting that first little sweater for my first very own grandchild. That very same sweet baby girl just voted. No, she’s not happy with the outcome, but I’m incredibly proud of her, and still knitting for her. Life and love move on, yay!

  107. Writing this AFTER the bludgeoning season that comes upon us every 4 years is at an end. One candidate lost and one won…as usual.
    Now, back to life please! I have turned off all of the news, TV, blogs etc. I sit at my spinning wheel and play with fiber left over from Spinzilla. Sorry about the election. It was killing us too. Now. About this grand baby…I say, get to work. She knows you want to knit and it is killing you. I say…go for it! Let the needles fly!

  108. Stephanie, thanks for the update on your grandma knitting. I’ve made nothing for my new little one, unless you count a blanket that still needs the ends woven in. (She’ll be 2 in March).
    My daughter and SIL and his family are contemplating moving to the Netherlands. If I were to move to Europe, I’d choose Norway. But my preferred country to emigrate to is Canada. We looked into it after Bush II was elected and found that we were essentially too old. I’d still like to do it. Could we buy lake property for vacation and just end up staying for 11 months at a time? I appreciate the appeal for people to stay and keep fighting, but as aforementioned, we are getting old and the thought of fighting to get back rights we once were assured is devastating. Can’t do it again.
    In the meantime, I’ll look forward to seeing more of your lovely baby knits. Please do send good karmic waves our way.

  109. Thank you for the best kind of distraction – knitting! I always vote and hope for the best and try to support whoever wins with a lot of prayers. It helps that our backup in the Senate and Congress means that no one person is totally in charge.
    Ornaments are so adorable, and that sweater! Oh, that sweater is lovely. Good luck reining in the grandma energy!

  110. I didn’t think the day could get much darker, but it has. Grieving the passing of Leonard Cohen, gone still far too soon at 82.

  111. On Election Day after work, I went to yoga. I knew I’d need it. Then the plan was to go home turn on the tv and do some frenzied knitting. And breathe. The plan did not work so well. I am in the process of ripping back every single stitch I knit on Tuesday evening. I’m still trying to breathe.

    I’m a Minnesotan and am having flashbacks to the Jesse Ventura administration. On Steroids. Now is a time for resolve, kindness and compassion.

    All the tiny knitted things were perfect. Thank you, YH.

  112. I can’t even knit as a distraction because I can’t see the yarn through all of my tears. Totally heart broken and ashamed of what my country has done. I love your knitting though. Thanks for the kind space that is your virtual living room.

  113. On behalf of the sane of America – I’m SOOOO Sorry! We’re going to do everything we can to minimize the damage and knit like crazy to ward off the despair.

  114. Give in to the dark side…….

    As far as soakers go, is she going to cloth diaper? If so, soakers are kinda important! If not, well, there are still plenty of cute baby pants patterns on Ravelry. Oh, did ypu see the Union Suit pattern?? Look. It’s adorable!

  115. Wool soakers are definitely a hot item in the cloth diapering world! Cloth diapers are the modern, cool, hip, way to do it now. Unless you want to be totally rad and do elimination communication 🙂

  116. I, too, look forward to the baby and toddler and child knitting to come!

    I’d also like to thank the American friends who have posted here, for their temperance in the face of such a polarizing election. Thank you for expressing your differences civilly. Frank, honest, opposing voices can still be polite and respectful – and I’m sure that we can all agree that that is what we want our children to see.

  117. Stephanie, I haven’t taken the time to read the other comments so this may have been brought up already, sorry about that…
    I am extremely interested in what talking about politics being a national sport looks like. I am SO averse to discussing politics. It’s probably because I don’t understand it, and probably because to me everything is gray, not black and white. But maybe some day you could discuss the Canada version. Is it vicious and divided, or a fun discussion between mates?

  118. I have just finished up being that crazy-soon-to-be-gramma who knits. I have a bag of goodies that will keep baby warm for a long time to come. Knit away, gramma, knit away.

  119. I’m going to try to be humourous here…

    If the ONLY thing he does right is deport Kanye West, I’ll consider it a job well done.

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