Knitter, know thyself

Years ago I saw this thing – I think it was a dogs alleged diary contrasted with a cats. The dog is all “8:45, eating breakfast, my favourite thing! 9:15, going in the backyard, my favourite thing! 9:30, I see a bird, my favourite thing!” and the cat’s begins with “Day 887 of my captivity….”

This, essentially, sums up how Joe and I are making our way through this lockdown thing. Joe is (except for how much he misses our family and the unending stress of trying to keep the studio from going under while it’s closed) living his best damn life.  He into this. He’s home all day with me and we have unlimited time together,  he hasn’t had to put on pants in forever, when he does have to do a zoom meeting or something he can still do them pantless, three meals a day just sort of arrive and he doesn’t have to be traffic or navigate the busy city, and he could not possibly be happier not to have to deal with humanity en masse and in person. I’m serious, he’s the dog in this.

Me, I am definitely, absolutely 100% the cat, and as I watch other places start to have more flexibility in who can see who and what can be open, I’m fighting bitterness along with my captivity.  Last night on the news there was a film clip of a Nana in Newfoundland embracing her little grands for the first time since this thing started, and while most of me was so happy for her and her grandchildren, a tiny little part of me wanted her to fall off her porch. I can’t wait until we can “double-bubble”. We’re all still restricted to just seeing the people you live with, and so it’s me and Joe. All the time. The two of us. Every day, all day.  I can’t tell you how much I miss the family and my friends and working and knitters and back when Joe used to wear pants and I went… well, anywhere.  I’m sure lots of you can identify with the fight to stave off a foul mood settling like a black cloud during this thing.  I’m walking and running and watching too much TV (I think maybe I have seen everything) and consuming way to many audio-books and baking more bread than anyone needs and contemplating what comes next – since it looks like this is the way things will be for a while yet. So far mostly so good this week – and even the spinning plan worked to keep my spirits up when it rained. Before it rained I had this:

That’s 200g of Abundant Earth Fiber signature blend – wool from the fine state of Washington.  Usually I’d have been out that way a few times this year already, and I miss my friends there, and how green it is, and those weird skunk cabbages and the way that foxglove grows wild in all the ditches – and I miss the retreats at Port Ludlow (and Debbi and Judith) especially. Spinning a bit of wool from that part of the world felt nice.

It rained two days, so that was enough to get three of the four colours done – and it’s looking a bit cloudy today, so we’ll see.  I’ll have to figure out what to do with it when it’s finished. Each little skein is working out to be about 75m of worsted-ish weight yarn and I think those four colours go well together. (Clearly, I’ve thought that for a while, since they perfectly match some pillows from the living room.)

When not spinning (or running, or walking, or inexplicably cleaning something that’s already clean) I’m working on Ken’s sweater.  It’s Rift, in a colour that I truly regret right now. Remember Denny’s rule? The one that says that you don’t want to knit something grey during the wintertime because it’s just too hard on the heart? I’d like to amend that rule to include not knitting miles of grey stockinette in a pandemic.

I have no idea how I’m doing it, considering the layer of recent bereavement on top of it, I feel that right now I would be much better off knitting more rainbows and bright pink and maybe a little yellow, ya feel me?  I really love Ken though, and it’s hard for this family to soldier on separately like this, so I’m committed to finishing it as a show of my affection. I’m done the body, and am now (as if this project could be any more of a test) settling in on Sleeve Island.

As I cast on the first one, I felt something come over me.  Something that is a bit of my normal reaction to sleeves – a gentle wish to put the project down and start something more fun, and also a feeling a perhaps a little more pandemic induced, which was a rather strong urge to take it into the back garden and have a smallish bonfire. I realized suddenly that this feeling was only likely going to become more pronounced as I got to the second sleeve, and I realized that this project is in serious peril. If I can get through the first sleeve I am not at all sure I can rise above all that and knit a second one, love or no love.

Therefore, in a move that reflects great self-awareness, I am doing something with the sleeves that I have never done before.

I’m knitting both the sleeves at once.  I can’t be trusted right now.

112 thoughts on “Knitter, know thyself

  1. This is exactly why I always knit both sleeves at once in the round on two circular needles! If I can do them top down (from stitches picked up around the armhole or raglan shoulder or whatever), all the better because then if I can’t stand it, I can make do with a 3/4 sleeve sweater.

  2. Good on you! Dual/dueling sleeves is a brilliant move you won’t regret….as soon as you’re finished. I promise!

  3. We feel your pandemic pain. Our state has a stay at home order in place until mid June and because cases are not declining yet, I suspect it will be longer. We have one grown child in the area and 2 of the grands and haven’t been able to physically see, hug, or play with them in more than 7 weeks. The two grown sons are in different part of the state and they might as well be on the moon with their families. We have a grandson born right after the first of the year and we haven’t even been able to meet him. Spinning, knitting, gardening, and cooking along with walks on the rural road are the only things keeping me sane.

    • Absolutely agree, but I am a Literature teacher, and therefore pathologically biased in that department.

  4. I woke up thinking about you and Debbie and Judith, and Port Ludlow! I am wrapping each, authentic one of you in a wooly cloud of pink with a touch of yellow!!

  5. One does what one has to. Soldiering on for Ken despite defying Denny’s wisdom, at least you have been smart enough to choose a recipient who will recognize and appreciate the sacrifices made for this sweater (though one would hope that all your knitting recipients would be practiced at this by now). I have no grands yet, and none on the far horizon even, but one of my (adult) children lives far away and is bad at communicating even in non-pandemic times, so there is an element of assuming that all is well. Fortunately, the other 2 are home and distracting. I have to keep reminding myself that this, as much as it drags on, will be a very small blip in my lifetime.

  6. Maybe that gray sweater needs ranbow sleeves? or just a rainbow dishcloth to take the edge off? You could send it to Eliot with a loaf of your bread.

  7. Knitting sleeves two at a time (magic loop on a long cable) is the only way I get them to be the same length! I admire your determination to work on gray, but after all, it’s for Ken! My time alone has been ok, DH was an essential worker until last Thursday. He retired. Now we’re both at home 24/7. Fortunately the house is big enough to spread out some and we work in the yard too. Don’t get me wrong, I adore this man – married 42 years this month. Neither of us is used to being together 24/7 but I’m sure we’ll be fine. It’s just going to take some adjustments. Thank God for knitting. It is my retreat, my calm and my joy. I’m doing a variety of projects just to stay sane. I love to cook but also enjoy eating out and that’s not happening. We do Zoom meetings with our son/DIL and grandson once a week and that helps tremendously. One of my favorite quotes right now is “We stay apart for now so that when we can gather again, no one is missing.” So many in my knitting group are in the high risk category. I’m willing to stay home. Hang in there, we’re with you!

    • Thank you for this quote. My extended family has many millenials all over the US and all of the rules are so different. I’m going to text this to the family thread and perhaps they’ll be encouraged to stay the course…

    • My Knitting group has been meeting at our normal time twice a week on Zoom. It’s almost like being at our local LYS.

  8. My husband is the dog and I am for sure the cat. The ironic part is I work from home all the time so I should be ok with this. The biggest problem is I can’t go to the pool in the mornings and my knitting group obviously can’t meet in person. We are meeting twice a week by Zoom and that’s about the only thing that’s getting me through. Thank goodness for my knitting. On my third baby blanket since we’ve been in. I am diabetic and my husband has been overly cautious about me even going out. I appreciate his concern, but it’s starting to get on my nerves too. As someone else mentioned, we just have to remember that this is a small blip in our overall lives.

  9. I don’t know if this will help, but you need to look at the other side of the coin. It is May, so you won’t have to shovel snow as much for a while You should also be able to do some gardening, but beware of fiber-thieving squirrels. If you’re tired of Joe without pants (hard to believe), offer to give him a Brazilian wax. You CAN get through those sweater sleeves. After all, you got through miles of gray while knitting the body, and you could always knit the sleeves in a lace pattern to add some interest. Knit Elliot’s bunny some swimwear if you need to knit bright colors. Forget the audio books and listen to exuberant music — the B-52s, for example.

    Lastly, remember that you’ll get through this.

  10. First of all, I am so sorry that this is so hard on you – it sucks, especially if you can’t see your (grand)kids and the rest of the family!! I had to chuckle at Joe’s enthusiasm for no pants though!

    The fibre you picked is really beautiful – hopefully you get to showing it around soon, and to go back to Washington and everywhere you want! I’m curious how that will go in Europe, too … (I am also a concerned that everything opens too soon and the second wave will be even more horrible than the first, but then, I’m a homebody anyway and I rarely travel at all).

    Can I just say that I love the blue cast on for Ken’s sleeves? I know it’s just such a tiny, tiny thing, but an online friend of mine used that technique in one of her sweaters, too, recently, and I love it. It definitely adds!

  11. Basically, rofl… That post made me laugh till my husband asked me if I was OK. If you can write that in a time like this, and after everything that’s happened recently, then I feel ashamed of how I’ve been dealing with my own recent (pretty minor) dissapointments. Thank you!

  12. Rainbow (or “autumn” version thereof) clothes for Eliott’s rabbit sounds like an idea to take the edge off things. (I get to touch the” pants”!)

  13. I can’t sleep, through the night. I may just go back through your blog and read til my eyes close tonight and tomorrow and tomorrow.. You may be just what I need to see me through the dark.

    • I read most of the ‘back issues’ of the blog while being up with a newborn in the night. She’s now ten, and still doesn’t sleep worth a damn!

    • Every now and again, I stumble onto a blog so stupendously interesting that it read the whole thing until I am up to date. The Harlot lead me to many of these, including Dances with Wool which is now on my “Hoping for another post” list every day.

      As for the pandemic, we run a business from home so nothing is very different for us except food buying which (in the part of Australia we live in) is like foraging for whatever you can get, rather than buying what you want.

      Despite being a cat person in real life, in a pandemic I’m definitely the dog.

  14. Eight weeks and counting, with no immediate relief in sight; the one sliver of hope are the countless acts of humanity seen that outweigh the acts of foolish people. A side splash of color – perhaps early Christmas socks – will ease back into the sleeves nicely. (Two at once is the only way I can ensure measurements are identical. It’s probably a mental illusion, but they do go faster that way!)

    Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises in the hope that one day this too shall pass.

    • Acts of humanity, yes. There is a man who lives just about a city block away from me, on the avenue between me & my closest market. He’s on the floor just above the store fronts. And whenever I pass, his window is open & he’s playing good popular music from the 60s & 70s – the kind that makes you smile. He feeds the spirit I think. Me, I’ve been giving yarn away. Now before you burn me at the stake – I know that there’s more in my stash than I will ever get to, and I know that there’s much inexpensive yarn in there that I can lose without tears. So I’ve been gradually putting boxes of mixed stuff in front of the building with the sign “Yarn Therapy”. People seem mighty happy. And I must say it feels good to give folks something to do in lockdown, no contact necessary

  15. Knitting keeps me sane… and reading your blog..
    I need to know others are feeling the same as I am.

    My husband is the dog also..I’ve always been a cat.

  16. If a tiny part of you wanted the grandmother to fall down a large part of me laughed out loud when I read that. Completely understand. My brother loves this, I…I want to tear off my own skin. Knitting and running are keeping me from eating him.

  17. Did Toronto not include the pants requirement for grocery stores in their COVID regulation, or are clothes on a store-by-store basis? Joe is not the only person dressing casually these days.

  18. Right now there is a birthday parade on our street! It is our neighbor’s 90th birthday and all the people are honking and driving by. Balloons and signs and People!!
    I see people!!

  19. Sometimes, when I feel like Sleeve island is certainly going to be a huge one to get across, I start the second sleeve first. Then, when I start knitting the first sleeve, the other one is already done.

  20. Good heaven, the world is upside down. New blog post on a Saturday? Child! That is a serious indicator. Might as well break other new ground — how about a shot of Joe sans coulottes?

  21. I knit both sleeves at the same time for the same reason I knit both cardigan fronts at the same time—so they’ll be the same size. If there’s any gauge discrepancy, at least both will be the same. It’s not only because my mother told me to do it this way a bazillion years ago.

  22. I can relate to the bitterness you feel as things open up around you… it will be your turn soon, I hope!
    I can also relate to the reluctance to wear pants… less laundry, more knitting time!

  23. For a nice break, you could always work on another grey sweater. It’s not boring at all, what with the handspun and the custom design and the cables.

  24. Thank you. Your posts are always insightful and funny. I wish so much that I could box up our beautiful, warm afternoon in southwest Missouri and send it to you. Sadly the box would also be full of pollen.

    I have always knitted socks two at a time for the same reason. I’ve never tried a sweater. Even after 40+ years of knitting, that just seems too daunting to me.

    We’ve seen our granddaughters in “drive-by” visits. They park at the curb & we stand in the middle of our front yard. We give each other lots of air hugs.

    We are very fortunate to live in a very small, rural community. Our county has only had one positive COVID case, for which I am so grateful, especially since my son is a physician at our local regional hospital.

    Thank you, again, Stephanie. You express in words what so many of us feel.

    • This made me laugh….I have been knitting sweaters of all sorts for 40+ years, but the thought of knitting socks is daunting for me. The pandemic is just about driving me to give socks a try. I live in Toronto, so can relate to the strict rules that Stephanie is enduring. My DH still wears his pants.

  25. I just love that dog/cat diary! Here in the UK it’s much the same, but at least we are all in the same boat. Who would have believed this, back at Christmas time? So far I am enjoying the home time, and our nice little routine, and could happily spend every day all day with my hubby. We give each other space at different times, but like each other’s company. And then I do work 3 days a week, so that keeps me occupied. Take care Steph! X

  26. I just finished a little lace blanket for my 92 year old mom to put on her knees. She has been in rehab for 9 weeks after breaking her hip and came home today. I am a little lost between projects. Started a lace summer top. And a pair of socks. Two at the time, like Stephanie’s sleeves. Thank God for little dogs who have to be walked 🙂 or my man would go insane.

  27. A—Either I have a very hopeful idea of Canadian weather or by the time even a speedy knitter like you finishes this worsted weight sweater, Ken won’t be able to wear it until fall. Maybe, put it on your calendar to pick up the 80% finished sweater in September, when the chill in the air will make a woolly worsted weight sweater exciting. Or October, or November, or be a real dare devil and stick it on the Christmas Spreadsheet for December.
    In the mean time you can do other things for your family, like brightly colored socks, mittens, hats, etc. Your long range planning box will be so happy. The Christmas Spreadsheet will breath a sigh of relief. One that makes a partially done sweater seem like nothing.
    B—Just do a little gray every day. Set a timer for twenty minutes in the morning, when done walk away. Pick up some rainbow sock yarn.
    C—Realize you basically have a cabin in the woods all to yourself, you usually have to hike miles in deep snow to be left alone so you can write. I know, Joe, but honestly he sounds so agreeable, you could probably hang a sign on your office and be left alone to write us a new book for hours everyday. Really I think that might be what you need, a new project to obsess over. Wouldn’t obsessing over knitting patterns, essays, or recipes be more fun?
    Of course you can do anything. That’s the point. Instead of trying to live regular life, stuck inside, live the way you would normally dream of living if everyone would just leave you alone to get things done. I bet when the kids are a pain and Joe’s too much you’ve never dreamt about running away to an island paradise to clean a kitchen for the tenth time.
    This is your life, your time. Goodness time, what a gift. Cherish it, cause you will never get this free time back, especially while you’re so young and healthy.
    D—Since I know you’ve been working on your Spanish, I recommend Language Transfer Complete Spanish, it’s a free audio course that focuses on the logic of Spanish and how it relates to English. Once you learn some new ideas implement them by rewatching a favorite Netflix show with Spanish subtitles, comedies are the most rewatchable and you’d be surprised how much vocabulary and grammar you can learn combining English audio with Spanish subtitles.

  28. I feel you. I am currently knitting a grey sweater as well. Granted its for an 8 year old but a neck issue had kept me from knitting more than a few rows a night so you can imagine how long I’ve been staring at grey…….
    Back when I knit sleeves flat rather than in the round I always knit two at a time. To do that in circular mode I would have to go shopping for another set of DPNs …….okay, back to one sleeve at a time

  29. Steph, I just caught up on a month’s worth of blog and I just want to say: thank you, and I miss you (and Debbi and Judith and all my Strung Along friends), and you are just the best. I’m riding a bike (exercise out of the house!) for the first time in YEARS (bikes always make me think of you and Ken and Pato and Jen) and my dogs are deliriously happy with 44 days in a row of 1-3 walks/day. And I need to knit more, although my knit mojo is MIA mostly.
    Thanks for blogging and making knitters so happy. ❤️

  30. Here in Texas we are starting to slowly open. Yarn stores somehow became essential, I mean, we always knew they were essential but… They can do curbside and we can go in but only three people at a time and then there is the decontamination procedure. Mask on, sanitize hand and try not to touch anything. I helped two yarnstores today and I am hopeful that they will survive. They are worried about what the second wave will be like (if any). To keep from killing, er maintaining my marital bliss I have taken to another room to listen to Harry Potter. When I get bored there is “killing Eve” a wonderful series. Not to mention the movie “knives Out” or even black and white movies by Hitchcock. Husband reads and plays on computer. On occasion I go to the grocery store which is quite frankly the pits. Run on TP and meats now. Liquor can still be found. The Library as are school closed. but for grins and giggle you can walk down our main highway with no cars or truck to impede you. Yea it is that desolate. but on the plus side we got a new quickie mart and the gas there is below $1.75 a gallon . And it is sunny and in the 90’s, hot as hell and nowhere to go. The movie house is closed for the time being. Tales from Texas!

    • In Ohio, its beer and wine flying off the store shelves too. If you want some entertainment. Hop in the car drive to your closest Walmart. Park close to the exits and watch what people are buying. I leave the car running with ac on and get a 1/2 hour of people watching in. It helps alleviate the quarantine blues. Yesterday about 3/4 of people coming out had beer, wine or electronics coming out. Then I went home put the leashes on my dogs and took a 3 mile walk on the lake Erie shoreline. It’s my favorite place to walk. In perfect solitude. I live on Lake Erie in an area with a bunch of vacation homes. Love the 9 months of the year when the development is usually just me and the pups.

  31. I have to admit, I was hilariously laughing at the first part of the blog – dog vs cat. I’m cat people, the husband not so much. We have two cats, so he has to deal.

    If you ever see a headline that says “Wife kills husband with knitting needles”, it’s me. If he clears his throat one more time!!!!…..

    I’ve been knitting preemie hats/blankets/booties for those babies who don’t survive. I don’t want to put a knife into your heart, but just sayin’. White yarn, and quick projects. Makes me feel useful.

  32. A potential diversion is that the MD Sheep and Wool Festival is this weekend. A virtual on-line affair via Facebook: Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival Online Community. I am sure they would welcome you with open arms. Most vendors are offering discounts, free shipping, show specials.

  33. Good move on the sleeves. That’s the only way I can finish a pair of socks.

    I pulled out a few unfinished sweaters that just have 1/2 sleeve to knit. Been working on finishing them up during lock down.

    Chin up – soldier on…

  34. That dog/cat diary is hilarious! I was skating along pretty well for a long time, “hey I’m a strong introvert, working mostly by myself six days a week (essential worker), I can do this!” Then we had about ten days of cold rainy weather and I crashed. Even an introvert needs to see her friends! I don’t do social media so rely on phone calls and text messages. Zoom meetings of book group and knitting group leave me lukewarm, wishing we could all be in the same place at the same time.Thankfully today was sunny! It’s good for the soul. As far as the sleeves, I ALWAYS knit them two-at-a-time on two long circulars held parallel. Then they’re the same size, and best of all, they’re DONE. You will love it. And then you can be on to your beautiful, colorful handspun.
    PS it said to touch the cat…

  35. Oh, yes, that is a very good idea. Knit both sleeves at once, or else Ken might be getting one of those sleeveless muscle shirts. This isolation is much harder than I thought and I think we won’t really know how hard it is until we’re allowed to be with other people again. At which point I think quite a few of us are going to go absolutely crazy with joy.

  36. Those colors would be great as mittens in the tuck stitch pattern you did a few years ago. Would also be great with a matching ish hat!!

  37. As best I recall, my family motto with crest is something like “touch not the cat without the glove” or something like that. I have discovered that if my needles are the same color as part of my variegated yarn, and I’m trying to finish a section as the light is fading, it helps to have a white towel spread across my knees. I’ve done some ‘threshold purchases’ from my LYS. I stand on the sidewalk outside, she stays across the threshold inside the store as we complete the sale.

  38. I have only made one adult sweater and to actually call it finished, it has short sleeves.
    I also have to admit, I’m the dog in this situation. I’m as happy as a clam right now. One difference from Joe though. I’m wearing dresses most days.

  39. Does Ken wear vests? A little ribbing and you could be done–if you can stand years of ribbing from Presbytera, because, you know, grey sweaters for good men…

    I have a countdown on my own blog re our official quarantine days, but the reality is that getting sick with probable covid-19 early on means we’ve been the two of us here since Feb. 17. There were a few days with our daughter dropping in at first, but she drove clear to Seattle to be back-up childcare for her sister and work from home from their home while her sister works in public health there–pulling 80-hour weeks in the crisis. I’m so glad for them/jealous for me that I don’t get to see those two grandbabies.

    Hang in there. One nurse did say that we’re at about the number of days where hospitalized patients seem to get the antsiest and it does get better.

  40. We are finally free in Idaho, at least for Phase 1, which is shops. If we behave ourselves, we move on to Hair Salons (thank God) in Phase 2. We don’t get to eat out until Phase 4. My partner and I are renovating our new house and packing the old one at the same time so my guy is often in one place and I’m in the other. I guess that’s ok but I’m definitely tired of being cooped up by myself, and here I thought I was a cat. I miss Port Ludlow, even vicariously through Instagram and blogs….hang in there everyone. This too shall pass.

  41. Re your dog vs. cat, I read this recently:
    After days of not going out, I saw someone I knew walking by on the sidewalk outside.
    I immediately ran to the window and started yelling to them. Now I understand dogs.

  42. About to head into week nine, with my husband stuck in one place and me here and flights constantly cancelled so that we have no idea when we will be reunited. Whilst I know everything is hard for people in different ways, what I wouldn’t give to be stuck in the same house as a pantless husband right now.

  43. I’m in the UK, live on my own and because I’m in the high risk category, I’m not leaving the house at all. I also really struggle with zoom meetings due to my ME, who h means I’m saving them for ones with the family. I would love to be able to go to the local woods (bluebell and wild garlic time here), but I can’t sensibly risk it.
    I am consoling myself that the earth is so much better off without all the planes and traffic, myself and many others have noticed how much better our asthma is.

  44. I hear you! Week 8 and counting. One of our daughters is a paramedic and asked us at the very beginning of all this to “STAY HOME”. She said she couldn’t do her job if she was worried about us too.
    We’ve done lots of Zooming with the family and a couple of self isolating visits in the back yard (everyone in their own space).
    My husband is also the dog; easy going, happy, and pantless too. Beginning to think I’m more of a feral cat at times.
    We will get through this. Fingers crossed for a vaccine.

  45. At the start of this pandemic, I bought the bucket list yarn. The qiviuk I always wanted. Because I really wanted to knit with that before I died, and dammit if we’re going to sit around waiting to die, I want to work on that. Working on that shawl got me out of bed in the morning for the first three weeks. But I finished it. It’s lovely. Now what? I work for a school that has closed through the end of the school year. I’m going to be on this couch for a while. I have dug deep into the stash for gradients. I’m knitting with gradients, because I want to watch that color change. That’s helping getting me out of bed in the morning.

  46. I am a sweater knitter but the pandemic has turned me into an accessory knitter. I finished a hat and shawl so far but have 3 more shawls on the needles. Formerly a monogamous knitter, I am now casting on new things with wild abandon.

    A little light at the end of the tunnel… a new knitting lesson inspired me to seam a sweater that has mocking me for a month. Only the neckline bind off left!

  47. I did finish a sweater I started mid-January but have yet to block it. When I discovered a drawer full of quilting cotton I first decided to put it in the donate bin but on second thought (after a week of lockdown) I decided to make a quilt. So, April’s project was “Pandemic I” and was finished May 2. Still must do the back and take it to be quilted when we are finally out of jail! Cat and Dog? Dh is cat, I’m neither at this point – control freak that I am, I have trouble not being in control! Quilt top can be seen on facebook -mamurrayturnberry

  48. I’ve never tried knitting both sleeves at the same time, but I now always knit them first. I’ve been known to get so distracted by the next project that the sleeves don’t get finished.

  49. I’m sure your family will work it out, but I can picture some choices made for the double-bubble creating some issues in other families.

    And don’t let Joe get TOO used to it. At one point in our marriage when I was working full time and hubby was not, or was working part time, I was careful not to let either of us modify responsibilities too much.

  50. When I can, I make both sleeves at once, and make them first, before I knit the body of the garment It’s a great feeling when you’ve finished the body, that the item is nearly finished. I have to pick up and knit the sleeves for the cardigan I am currently making. that’s a first for me.

  51. Wish I could upload the picture itself….saw on Etsy a yarn bowl that says “I knit because murder is WRONG”

  52. I’m a Psych Nurse Practitioner and I’m doing telemedicine so I’m actually pretty busy. Most of my teens feel isolated and miss their friends (which is somewhat ironic since all they do is text one another anyway) My happiest group: the agoraphobes now that the rest of the world is in sync with them.

    You could think of the sweater as a kind of homeopathic treatment- a little bit of gray to drive away the rest of the gray. To change things up you could knit a kilt for Joe.

  53. This is the day when my irritation at being “support staff” to a husband at home, heavy rain, allergies and the loss of a trip to Paris are teeter tottering me into a mood.
    All my luck and grace are at the other end of the table. They are shining, but I just want sunglasses.
    Your blog has sustained me before Ravelry and now in this lockdown. I remember your SARS story too.
    Thanks for being an honest human and a great light.

  54. I honestly don’t know how you are knitting in gray right now. I’m sure Ken would understand if he had to wait a little longer for his sweater ❤️ You are one determined knitter!

  55. I am a dog, except that real dogs don’t feel guilty for being content! I am happy to be home all the time, except that I feel guilty that I am not taking advantage of the time to deep-clean my house, start yoga and a workout routine, re-organize my wool room so I can find everything again (it’s pretty chaotic since my daughter and granddaughter moved in, boxes everywhere), catch up on paperwork, etc. My biggest accomplishment is that I have finally learned to knit and read at the same time! I rather envy your energy… too bad you can’t bottle some of your cat-ness and me bottle some of my dog-ness and exchange to balance out!

    Do you laugh when you read over what you’ve written? It would be lovely if you could get as much enjoyment and laugh-induced-endorphin-rush out of it as you give to us, The Blog!

  56. I live for the day when we can double bubble cheer in Calgary too! (And honestly feel pretty annoyed when I see neighbours breaking the rules and having people over, even if it is extended family! Oh well.)

    I highly recommend the Caribu app for staying in touch with grandkids. we just discovered it this week and I can’t believe it took us this long. You can read stories together and both see the pages and there’s colouring and mazes too! My four-year-old has been on it everyday for an hour with her grandparents since we discovered it earlier this week. it gives me some time even just to load the dishwasher in peace. Highly recommend!

  57. I get second sleeve syndrome, my current cardigan has been on hold for a wee while due to this. Never get second sock syndrome, but sleeves are different for me. I need to pick it up and get working on it while I’m still stuck at home. We can expand our bubble here but only to a single extra person and we’re hoping things will go down a notch next week (I’m in New Zealand) and shops might be able to re-open.

  58. love this quote. Life is continuing working from home knitting at ever opportunity, Meetjng by Zoom knitters and family, but the finances going forward will be where the real challenges arise. I am grateful our cases are dropping and I have enough wool for a few more sweaters.

  59. (((((( all the hugs ))))))

    Small story. The extra knitting that I learned from you to pack everywhere in my bag, literally helped me rebuild my neural network after a head injury last year. Totally saved my foggy noggin’.

    Thanks lovely lady.

  60. Poor Ol’ You, truly. But hang in there. This, too, _shall_ pass

    And maybe do those sleeves magic loop, two on the one circular needle.

    I’ve started doing socks this way. Once you get the hang of keeping the yarns untangled, it’s a synch.

  61. I just finished a sweater (not grey, with cats as requested) for my granddaughter’s birthday (May 1), and I did the 2 sleeves at the same time too. Much better–no second sleeve syndrome! This was the first birthday of her’s that I have missed. She’s 7. Thank goodness for Facetime though. The sweater fit, not as big as I thought, but hopefully big enough to last through next winter.

  62. I had a bit of a melt down yesterday when I realised it is a year since I saw my children other than on the net , I was expecting my daughter and her family to visit this summer , and I was expecting to see my son befor he joined is ship protecting shipping in the gulf , well none of that is going to happen . Kit has joined his ship , Fran can’t come over here and I haven’t spoken toliving person others than hubby for eight week , when this lockdown ends I may go a little crazy .

  63. Being British, ‘pants’ means men’s underwear – I always have to mentally translate when reading ‘going round the house without his pants’ – doesn’t mean he is ‘going commando’ (not wearing underwear) but not wearing his trousers…. Its the little things that get you laughing. By mistake.

  64. You have captured our household in a nutshell – except for the pants, himself still wears pants. The unrest, the monotony, the dreary. The rains are here for the week, but the promise of 80 degree weather by the weekend has the look of hope about it. I always find your writing to be soothing – sometimes by the inspiration and sometimes when you absolutely nail how things really are (like this time). Thank you for “soldiering on”. It’s much appreciated.

  65. Thinking of you. I think that, during a pandemic when you’re already dealing with grief, there’s no such thing as “too much television”. I don’t know if you’ve watched some of these already, but I’m rewatching:
    Chef! (British sitcom from the last century)
    Red Dwarf (sci-fi British sitcom from the last century)
    Foyle’s War (Mystery series set during WWII, very comforting)
    Nero Wolf mysteries (from A&E earlier this century)

  66. May I say here that while I am in awe and amazement at your desire to knit two sleeves at the same time … I am also supremely impressed that you did not succumb to the idea of knitting one sleeve inside the other. (My younger sister actually considered this concept, for an unconscionably long time. In her defense, she was sleep deprived at the time.)

    Hoping for an early start to “double-bubble” visits soon.

  67. Solid move. I’ve done the same with socks a few times when I had similar concerns for my ability to muscle through on will alone.

  68. I vividly remember reading the post about the life of a dog vs. life of a cat. You got it just right and I feel your pain. I love my husband but wow – this much togetherness is a bit much. But hey – it squashed my ridiculous fantasy that we could RV together when we retire. No way in hell! ~ On a serious note, Stephanie – I’m very sorry about your family’s loss. I can’t imagine the sadness of the situation, and this whole isolation thing has made it that much worse. Definitely not how we are supposed to grieve. Hugs to you all! I have something I’ve made for you that I would like to send to you if that’s possible – you could send me an e-mail with info if that is okay and I will ship to you or a PO Box – whatever works.

  69. Years ago, when everyone was raving about two socks on one circ, I taught myself the technique so I could teach it to customers at my shop. I decided I personally didn’t like it for socks, unless it was used for a complex lace or cable pattern, because most of the socks I make are my carry-around project, and two at once is too fiddly for sitting in a waiting room.

    I did, however, find the technique extremely useful for sleeves. And that’s what I use it for now.

    Sending you a huge cloud of the pinkest cherry blossoms and the butteriest yellow rosebuds from Portland, Oregon.

  70. Well, I adore cats and always have, but much to my surprise I am turning into a bit of a dog in this pandemic – I think because I can just go on working from home, so it’s not the most enormous change. And I can feel smug about the 4,000 or so books, which my family always thought were far too many. ….
    Second socks are much, much worse than second sleeves – no idea why. Somewhere in the middle are second mittens …

  71. First time i’ve read your blog and was rolling on bed laughing. I get your husband, i stay in sleepin t shirts unless it us a grocery run day. Me and my neighbor text or call until i have scraps 4 her chickens or coffee grounds and banana peels 4 her roses. Then it is a chat over the fence. I got all excited when i saw the family from the end of the road riding their bikes around the block. My nephew still gets to got take care of the horses. And my housemate works at a convienience store-gas station so he still goes to work. My brother comes iver every day to use wifi or plays Civilization. 4,5,or 6. We talk to his wife on phone every couple days. She is in a care facility that is in lock down and she even admits it is safest place for her.. They had 1 case covid and yesterday did 2nd testing of all patients and staff. They are all wearing masks when they leave their rooms for meals or therapy. I started making masks for grocery shopping runs and friends. Im just glad i have phone to call sisters and cousins and friends. That and email. Here in New Mexico it has hit the 90’s so I need to clean the cooling filters before it starts being that hot every day. I can’t even imagine working in wool at this time until ac is on! I’ve only been crochetting scrubby pads out of polyester or nylon scrubby yarn or single tank top for meself out of cotton worsted. It even fit! I usually stick to pot holders, dish towels, etc so i dont have to worry about sizing! Im lazy that way. I look forward to more of your blog.. It greatly lightened my two days i took to read this entry and all the comments.!

  72. A few weeks ago, I finished up a sweater for my husband. I knit two sleeves at once, a trick I learned years ago knitting baby garments, and even garments for myself That said, knitting two man-sized sleeves at once took FOREVER. But I was glad I did it!

  73. Erm, so instead of pants, Joe is wearing….a kilt? A skirt? Tutu? Actual bare legs?
    Or is this a Canadian thing where “not wearing pants” means “not wearing formal work pants, and instead I can live in my casual exercise pants”? Please explain for the Aussies over here. My mind is boggling with many possible images.

  74. Hey Stephanie,
    I feel so for you! How about this??? Put that grey in a time out, and make him a bright Nordic sweater? Or any kind of brighter than grey colored sweater?
    And I love, love love how your Wavedeck came out! Absolutely gorgeous!!!!! I think you could just hang it on the wall for a spell. Your friend doesn’t need it quite yet, does she? I haven’t been knitting that long, and I know that I can’t do anything that complicated that you have to focus on counting and keeping track of where you are. So I’ll just watch you make the lovelies and stick to more simple things for now. Hugs ToniAnne
    PS> Someday come to Maine for some thing!

  75. Amen. I was whining to my friends that I miss going out to breakfast with them… so we’re each going to get take out breakfast and zoom on Saturday. We already do dinner on Thursdays … sometimes we have a ton of things to say, sometimes we just breath at each other.
    My mantra is ‘you’re staying in to keep other people healthy.” because we’re pretty sure we already had the virus. But not positive … no “non essential” antibody testing here.

    I have a son who is a giant. He’s 6’6 and 325lbs. (1.9m, 148 kg). I made him a hoodie for Christmas… I kept having to add on to it… he’s a giant… all I have left to do is put the ribbing around the hood… and there it sits, in my basket, making me feel guilty because I’m working on a sock or a shawl or something else… I’m afraid to finish it and have him try it on because I’m afraid he’s grown again and I’m going to have to add MORE to the body…

  76. Definitely a cat. Who has forgotten how to purr. Who prowls and plays with yarn when I should be knitting. Life made sense while I was making masks, lots and lots of masks, but there is not even a meter of elastic left in this town. True. I will turn to Persian Bed Socks, a quick and easy knit. Or not. Have a scarf on one set of needles, a shawl on another….if only I could harness the energy I know is in there somewhere.
    Thank you for being able to make me laugh out loud. The very best way to start any day.

  77. I think I’m, to my own surprise, mostly like the dog in this. However, I do have the fortune of living north of your city, out in the country, Neil’s home town as a matter of fact, on a farm. I have the privilege of walking without ever running into anyone but the neighbour’s cows. My husband does leave the house, cause he works at the local grocery store, and that means we kinda, lamely, self-isolate from each other. And here I’m like the cat. I miss him and I miss my friends deeply – they are my only existing family left. I’ve left the property, in a car to go to a destination maybe twice in the last month. I am a potter and do have the luxury of working at home, but I cannot teach. Teaching pottery is a very close and hands-on kinda vocation, like beginner knitting teaching can be and I don’t see our guild being able to do this any time soon. Possibly even into the fall.

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