There’s always something

Friday morning there was still no yarn, and I snapped. Jen lives near a nice yarn shop (The Purple Purl, if you’re in the hood) and she needed to stop in there for some some emergency yarn, and I thought that if she was going anyway and the yarn wasn’t here anyway, and given that Jen was coming over here that evening to do gingerbread with her kids, that the smart thing to do was to have her trot a little replacement yarn over here. There was no way I was starting the knitting rumpus of a weekend I had planned with no yarn… and besides I figured that the best way to make the yarn arrive was to replace part of it. It stands to reason that some law of the universe would mean that the box of yarn and Jen would arrive at the same time.  I called over to the shop, made a few quick decisions, and got yarn for a hat, and yarn for a little sweater. That would hold me, I thought, and I kept prepping for the party. When Jen arrived, I looked past her for the mail truck, but it wasn’t there.


Never mind, I thought to myself. I had enough yarn now to get me through until Tuesday, and surely the yarn would be here by then.


I knit with the yarn I had, and worked on the other tasks that I had the stuff for – and by the time that Saturday night rolled around, and Joe got on a plane after his parents Christmas party, I was ready.  I spent Sunday in my pajamas, gloriously alone, and knitting. I worked on the hat and the sweater, and I only checked the porch for the yarn about 8746 times.

Monday I was back at work, and I knit a little when I thought I could get away with it, and I made a few other non-knitting presents (I know, who knew there was such a thing around here?) and I checked the porch 847365 times. Evey time I left the house for something, I was convinced the box would be here when I came back – and every time my hopes were dashed.  The yarn didn’t come.


Today – well, today I went to the dentist, and I picked up a few odds and ends for a gathering this evening, and I looked at that little sweater, it’s almost done, and I know I’ll finish it tonight, and … there’s no yarn. (I just checked the porch again, in case the postie left it there and I didn’t hear him. It’s still not there.)


So, here I sit. There’s still a snowflake’s chance in hell that it will turn up today, so I’m not going to panic just yet, but I think that if I wake up tomorrow morning without it, I’ll have no choice but to come briefly undone. It was such a good plan, and to have it thwarted by the mail service is driving me wild. I’ve never had a package take this long. (It will be two weeks as of tomorrow.)  I can feel in my bones that if I give up entirely and go to the yarn shop in the morning it will be sitting there smugly when I come back, frozen and not at all contrite, satisfied with the havoc it’s wreaked on my spreadsheet. (It has occurred to me that someone might have nicked it off the porch. You hear tell of stolen packages this time of year, people making off with boxes full of gifts. It’s never happened in my neighbourhood, but imagining the look on the felons face when they discover that their plunder is a box full of yarn does have a certain entertainment value.)

Gifts for Knitters, Days 16, 17 and 18.

May I suggest a shawl pin? This will only work if your knitter wears shawls. This can be tricky because there is a weird subset of knitters who knit lots of shawls, but don’t wear them. It is not enough to know your knitter has made some, you need to have seen them try to wrap one around themselves. If you have a pin may be good. These ones at JUL are gorgeous, and I’ve always loved the ones that Romi Hill makes.  They’re like gauges and other knitting stuff though, if you hunt around, you should be able to get one that reflects your knitters style. There’s fox ones, and owl ones, leaf ones, octopus ones, Outlander ones, and yes, Tall Allison. There’s a Tardis one too.

How about knit themed linens? Dancing Sheep has this  tea towel? Not that one? Maybe this one? Tilly Flop has a great one, and if you’re thinking bigger? I love this duvet cover, and I’m pretty wild about this one too.

Finally, how about a little love for your knitters hands? You could get them a manicure, or a hand massage, or at least a nice lotion or balm. Don’t just get anything though, the knitter specific ones are designed not to stick to the yarn, or stain it. There’s lots of different companies, like Happy Hands, and Tender Shepherd, Lo-lo Bars, and Everything Balm from Goodies Unlimited. (Actually, everybody needs that stuff.)

86 thoughts on “There’s always something

      • Are you plugging the number into Canada Post? I’m currently watching status os a US shipment to BC and until delivered CP shows me where parcel is while USPS stopped at entry to Canada.

      • Are you sure that the tracking stops working? Try plugging the tracking number into My Canadian tracking numbers work when I put them into the usps site, once the package has crossed the border.

      • I sent a package a week ago to a friend in Toronto. It has gone from Los Angeles to Kentucky to Toronto (where it went through customs) to VANCOUVER (where it went through…more?…customs?) And now we don’t know where it is. Hopefully on its way BACK to Toronto, but I fear it’s just sitting in Vancouver wondering why I sent an innocent t-shirt to Canada in December.

  1. Just buy the yarn! If the original yarn shows up late, you’re sure to find room for it in your stash. The suspense is killing us out here!

  2. I’ve got to say I was impressed by your original optimism. Most of my packages out of the US take 1-2 weeks and at this time of year, 3-4 if it has to come through customs. If it had arrived in a week I would have wondered what kind of magic you have. Hopefully it will be there tomorrow. I’m not sure the spreadsheet can take much more.

  3. Someone swiped my mail from the box last month, including a package of about 25 mini skeins of hand dyed yarn. I found about half of it later in a yard down the street. Ticked me off but there was some measure of satisfaction in imagining the disappointment…..

  4. Speaking of disappointed package theft – my husband was going to surprise me with a new/used accordion that he bought off of He was tracking it and knew that it had been delivered, only to arrive home to find no package. Our neighborhood was just starting to be plagued by theft.

    My daughter and I expected to find the package thrown back on our front yard when the thief realized what they had stolen. But no accordion ever showed up. I did get another one though and am still learning.

    Good luck with your yarn. My Christmas knitting was minimal and from the stash.

  5. I’m one of those people who knit shawls but don’t wear them. I did give two away this summer, but don’t usually have anyone knit worthy to knit for. I think this explains my obsession to learn to knit socks, as I do wear socks. I hate DPNs but am getting used to them, if I can keep them from laddering. I’m now working on my third pair. The first pair I frogged after 2/3 of a sock because they were too tight on the instep (no gusset). The second pair I finished during a sock class at my LYS, but I will end up frogging them eventually as I only used half a skein of sock yarn; can you say “loose gauge?” I’m now on the third pair. Wish me luck.

    • Good luck from Canada. It took me a few pairs of socks before I really got the hand of it, and felt comfortable with the needles. You’ll get the hang of it, and then you’ll never stop knitting them.

      • And good luck from Rhode Island USA, where I also knit shawls that I don’t wear (but maybe if I had a beautiful shawl pin I would!). If you knit the socks two-at-a-time on two long circular needles held parallel (Antje Gillingham’s Knitting Circles Around Socks) you don’t have to mess around with fussy DPNs AND you’ll never have second sock syndrome. Win-win!
        PS, Stephanie, I say: go buy the yarn! to make yours show up!

        • I just started that at my last class but I was too frustrated to even try one sock on two circs. I had two different lengths (long story) which I had seen as a tip, but that drove me crazy. I finally ripped them out and started over so I could peacefully knit to reduce stress from getting ready for company! I’ll give it a whirl when life is not so hectic.

          • I also recommend Gillingham’s book. It is worth the price for the incredibly clear photos alone. I still refer back to it when I have a brain freeze-up and I have knit lots and lots of socks. Just trust her instructions and you will magically produce a pair of socks!

    • I’m another knitter who has knit a few shawls, then realized I’m not going to wear them–low need in CA (the USA one). Now I knit socks for me and all I can say is free up a drawer or two! I have one dresser drawer completely full and think it’s time to empty another for more socks.

  6. It’s been 6 weeks, and I’m still waiting for a package I sent to Australia to arrive for my swap-buddy to open. Doubly embarrassing because her package for me arrived shortly after I sent hers. Apparently Canada Post has a mighty long reach!

    • Packages to Australia take ages! I ordered something from USA and it took another 9 days after it arrived in Australia to actually get to me. Take heart, I’m sure your swap-buddy is very aware of Australia Posts slothfulness.

      • Austrailia…I ordered a book that I could not purchase in the states. They mailed it at an enormous price (ok) and sent it in a thin paper envelope which something along the way put a healthy ding in the cover. I took pictures and emailed the company….and they didn’t see that there was any problem, what did I need? Wha???

  7. Ugh, completely frustrating. I have gifts to wrap, 2 1/2 hats to finish before saturday (when my kids will be here, they’re spending Christmas with their dad and I will be going to Pittsburgh between giftmas and new years…. yarn shop ideas anyone?) and a bunch of baking to do… fortunately my youngest will be here Friday night and loves to bake….

    I hope your yarn shows up soon…..
    back to my hats (for 25 inch heads! teenage boys, UGH!)

  8. I was waiting for a package of yarn, it finally arrived after 4.5 weeks. It was ordered from the US, and was in Canada for 4 of those weeks. Just buy the yarn locally if you can.

  9. Oooohhh Steph, I feel ya’. I’m waiting for lemons. LEMONS. They cam >soclose< to my porch and then headed to another part of the state and there they sit. They've killed a week traveling around The Mitten and not in my kitchen! Here's hoping that this freezing weather hasn't killed them. #CannotEvenMakeLemonade

  10. You’re going to ‘come briefly undone’ and I would pay money to see it. Guess I’ll have to settle for the wine and popcorn.

    Does Millie know how to work the video camera?

  11. I’m sure the Canadian post is better than the US postal service, particularly this time of year — you would think it’s their FIRST CHRISTMAS EVER!!! I mailed a package on Dec. 2nd for my daughter and grandchildren in Greece — it left Sparks Nevada, for Reno Nevada, to Sacramento, to San Francisco, where it went to 3 locations over the course of 3 days, where it promptly went BACK to Sacramento, BACK to Reno where it sat for a few days, then back to Sacramento BACK to San Francisco where it went to those same 3 locations, before FINALLY departing the US on Dec 18th — 16 days later. They are definately on my naughty list this year. But your yarn will show soon, if it hasn’t already, I’m sure of it.

      • Not sure why my last comment ended up above? As for your package, Patti, that is utterly ridiculous. I hope it arrives in a timely fashion, now that it has left the States.

        • thank you! I checked and it has finally arrived in Greece at least, and with some Christmas magic is may arrive at my daughters doorstep in time for the packages to go under the tree!

    • I once had a package sent by a dear friend in Germany that was delivered to 851D Mystreet instead of 857D Mystreet because my US Postal Service carrier mistook a “crossed” German 7 for a 1. The neighbor at 851D didn’t ask the condo board president in 851B if an Ellen Lastname lived in our condos, so the package was sent back to Germany. Luckily, my friend mailed it again, and I was home when it came. I explained to the carrier that not everyone in the whole wide world writes the numbers 1 and 7 as we do here in the States.
      Good luck with your package, Stephanie, but I think an LYS expedition is necessary.

  12. My neighbor just had a package containing nutritional yeast stolen – that made us both laugh….. Best of luck with the post office tomorrow.

  13. Next time you need to ship it to a trusted friend in upstate New York (alas, that is not where I live) and meet for lunch somewhere near the border for a furtive handoff! This saga is making me tense.

  14. PLEASE buy the yarn locally! This time of year who knows when it will show up. It’s making me nauseated thinking of your “alone time” being wrecked by the post office!

  15. I work for Canada Post and if you give me the tracking number, I can get my supervisor to look into it tomorrow. I’m on the westcoast, but that shouldn’t be a problem. We can see if it’s still in customs or if it’s passed through and on it’s way to you.

  16. I’ve been tracking a package that supposedly arrived at my post office on Saturday but still hasn’t been delivered to me three days later. I’m wondering if they laid off all but one sorter or sent them all on a team building trip somewhere!

  17. I’m surprised that you’d get parcels from the US in less than two weeks, because I regularly wait 3 on the west coast. I’ll also send vibes that it didn’t disappear, which is what happened to some birthday CaterpillarGreen I sent to a friend in the US…

  18. Go to your LYS and buy some yarn. Call it an early X-mas gift to yourself.

    Besides, you know the yarn you ordered won’t arrive much before next Easter…if the squirrels haven’t swiped it!

  19. BUY the yarn. KEEP your receipt. I know this is a little-known fact, but most LYS’s will take a return of yarn in pristine (aka resell-able) condition if it comes back soon enough that they still have some it left in stock, so if you suddenly end up with a duplicate on your doorstep and actually do not need it, you can return the local stuff: insurance of the best kind!

  20. I hope your package wasn’t stolen off the porch. Happened to us a couple of weeks ago. What did the thieves get? A box of underwear and socks that I had ordered from Amazon. Hope they had fun with that!

    • We had a package full of expensive books stolen in the middle of the summer once. We watch tracking like hawks, too! I guess the thieves probably felt pretty silly opening a box of books about some Greek Orthodox monk… I just hope they didn’t trash them. Maybe they read them and had a change of heart…

  21. The USPS once misdelivered a box containing yarn and a lovely set of wooden needles (my Christmas gift to myself). The mailman thankfully got it back for me, after having to bully the woman into returning EVERYTHING back to the box. Turns out she had taken the opportunity to try to learn to knit! She had gotten so far as to make a SUPER tight cast-on plus maybe one row, then had tightly wrapped several yards around the needles. It appeared to be her second attempt because another skein has been used and was missing some yardage. Several pairs of needles had been removed from the set and were scattered at the bottom of the box. It was a mess, and I felt violated. I hope your situation turns out much, much happier!

  22. I can’t help but feel this is The Rhinebeck Sweater’s smug revenge (part 2 of course, as part 1 was bad enough..). Decisions, decisions…

  23. Last year I had a package go adrift in the USPS. I could have ridden my bike faster. I got to know some very nice postal folks in the tracking down though. It was my son’s first holiday season in the Military and it took over 2.5 weeks to go 500 miles and he did not get it until after the holidays. So this year I sent his box super early. It got to his base in 3 days but they are still checking to see if his undies are in fact undies.

  24. I too am feeling the weight of Christmas upon me with yarn and craft related gifts. I Crochet as of right now, until I can learn how to knit. (Good gift idea might be classes)
    I still have mosthe of a slouchy hat to make in only a few days and I have been working 12hours shifts at my “day job”.
    Good luck and I hope you and your family have a wonderful Holiday season.

  25. Here on the lower wet coast people have their US packages delivered to Pt. Roberts, Sumas or Blaine postal depots. Pretty cool how they put it in the correct size locker and then you can retrieve for the sum of $2 or less. People from Abbotsford and the like park on the Abby side and walk across the border to collect their parcels. Even with customs still quicker than waiting and avoids the “doesn’t ship outside of the US” hassle.

  26. I would love to be able to go to a local yarn shop and find decent yarn. Here, you have to drive for over an hour or order on-line.
    If I were in your situation, I would go to the local shop. You’ll be able to knit a sweater with the missing yarn in the future.

  27. Oh dear. I truly hope the box has not been nicked. But I think the time has come to buy replacement yarn regardless.

    There is a special place in hell for people who steal packages, especially around the holidays. An acquaintance of mine just sent a hand-knit blanket to a relative and it was stolen before it could be opened. I certainly hope karma gets to these people.

  28. Stephanie, I’ve been reading your blog for years so I know you knit fast but your speed at knitting that textured baby sweater astounds me and it is lovely.

  29. Losing your yarn would not be nearly as amusing as the theft from my friend’s porch. She was sharing her iron water (for a dyeing project) and it was in two Mason jars in a bag. Gone before I got there to pick them up. I only hope they thought it was homemade hooch and drank it all. 🙂

  30. i have had a yarn pkg go missing this holiday. it contained hot pink yarn for pussyhats for the women’s march in january. i’m trying not to be paranoid that someone stole it to prevent me from making them. Now someone is stealing my outdoor christmas ornaments (and i live in a friendly neighborhood!) crazy world

  31. Due to the storms and excess packages that need to be processed my package took 10 days and was re-routed to distant cities. What is usually a 2 day shipment took 10 days! I hope your yarn gets to you soon or you head off by taxi to get more locally. I will be reading as I usually do each morning to see what happened the previous days in your household! Best Wishes.

  32. I live in Vancouver. My daughter moved here from Ontario at the end of June. To register her kids for school she required a year end report card. One was mailed on July 13th and it arrived Nov 25th. Needless to say an emailed copy was necessary. Canada Post and storage or ???.

  33. Stephanie’s old knits are probably quaking in their drawers…..”hmmm…bet I could get two baby sweaters and a pair of mitts out of that shawl…”

  34. I’m on tenterhooks! Which sounds awfully painful, now that I think of it. I’m on…crochet hooks? Those are a bit more blunt. (What I’m on is STILL the yoke of a 3XL sweater in worsted weight purple yarn for a lovely man whose size only bothers me when I’m knitting something for him!)

  35. I find myself checking back on the blog on a daily basis to see if the package came in. My own knitting for the holidays is so far behind that I’m telling people that it is for NEXT Christmas.

  36. This is a stupid question, because you’re you, and I’m sure you have, but have you double checked the four packages that came on the 15th to be sure one of them isn’t the yarn?

  37. It’s slow going the other way, too. A letter from Vancouver, BC to Seattle, a 2.5 hour drive, takes at least a month since apparently it has to go through Toronto first….

  38. I keep worrying about the spreadsheet. please go to LYS… selfishly because I want to see what you are knitting 🙂 And I hope the parcel arrives. AND please tweet when it does, I’ll be watching.

  39. I too would like to know more about the child’s sweater and pattern and the baby sweater and pattern. Your knitting is always a pleasure to see…could we see more ?????

  40. I was with you; I thought as soon as you had Jen pick you up some yarn, the package would arrive. What mischief are the Knitting Fates up to now?? I hope it arrives soon!

    I appear to be the only geek who wears shawls. I love them. Totally snuggly and/or sophisticated. The wee fox pin is gorgeous (and ohhh, a Tardis!!).

  41. Thank you from the bottom of my yarny heart for sharing a couple of my shawl pins among the other lovely shawl pins! Stephanie if you would like one or two for further review just let me know! 🙂 I hope your yarn arrives before your sanity departs.

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