At least that box is sorted

We had a very nice Thanksgiving here this year, a few more faces than last year, though still really tiny and covid-cautious. We still have gathering limits here- 25 people is as many as can gather indoors at home, and we’re still playing it cool until all of us are protected. Hopefully kids can be vaccinated in the new year, and then we’ll joyously return to having as many people for Thanksgiving as will fit in this house, but until that day, we’re doing the best we can to make things nice while we do our best to keep each other safe and keep driving the caseload down so schools can stay open.

We had mountains of food (turns out I’m terrible at figuring out how to do Thanksgiving dinner for just 8 of us) and I made an extra effort setting the table, and we used my Mum’s good china and my Grammy’s silver, and it really was very beautiful. (Elliot and I made turkey cookies and we felt like that was pretty epic too.)

Also Meg finished her very first grown-up size sweater (she knit a wee plain one for Ellie to practice.) For her birthday this year she wanted a sweater – but the some assembly required kind.  Happy to enable, I bought the yarn and needles and we chose the pattern together. The yarn’s Holst Garn Supersoft in Truffle (From Wet Coast Wools, I miss getting to that shop) and the pattern’s Jakers.

I couldn’t be more proud – she’s become such a good knitter. Meg’s work’s so tidy, and she takes real care. I’d like to believe that this comes from her having such a good teacher as a wee one, but mostly it’s that she rips her mistakes back quite cheerfully – the yoke of that sweater was very good knitting value. I think she got to use the yarn at least three times.

It was all pretty perfect – or Covid-perfect and so what I did shouldn’t be a surprise, as I’m the resident klutz. As Amanda turned to take the carrots to the table – the very last dish to be taken, after two solid days of cooking flawlessly, I looked at those carrots and thought to myself that they could be a little more perfect if they had a little parsley on them, and so I turned to the cutting board, laid a little parsley there, and then proceeded to take a run at lopping the end of my finger off and once again establishing the purpose of fingernails and the dangers of the garnish station.

Thanks to that fingernail, I just gave myself a decent nick in exactly a spot that is vital for comfortable knitting and typing and thus seriously upset my lifestyle applecart. This tragic injury has meant that knitting’s been largely impossible but that hasn’t stopped me from trying. When I’m not picking yarn out of my bandaid I’ve been starting the autumn version of the Tossing of the Stash. The whole thing’s getting turned out of every box, bin, bag and cupboard in the house, examined, given a shake, all the shelves and bins and boxes vacuumed and then everything put back in a tidy and orderly fashion. I do this twice a year, since prevention is the best medicine and yarn loving pests are most active in the spring and fall. It’s also a great idea for me to visit the stash right before I start the holiday yarn buying spree – it usually turns out that need less than I think.

My finger’s already feeling lots better, and I think I’ll be able to take the bandaid off and knit more in the next few days – but while I’m on hiatus and Thanksgiving’s still on my mind, I figured a round of Karmic Balancing Gifts was in order! (Apologies for it taking so long for me to get to it. I can’t explain the passage of time right now but it’s really not working properly.)  Here’s round one, with more to come.  (By the way, in case you were wondering, Cameron, Ken and Stephanie (me) are registered for next year’s Rally.  Pato has to see about the time off.) I’ve sent emails to all the lucky recipients, so if you see your name here, check your inbox!

Kicking things off – Michele at Three Bags Full Studio has this lovely bag that will be making its way to Catriona. (Michele has fantastic bags and will be at Rhinebeck this year – pop in a buy one on my behalf, if you’re going, won’t you?)

Mika has just the loveliest gift – she makes custom dolls at Stitches and Thyme– from 100% OEKO-TEX certified cotton and stuffed with OEKO-TEX certified wool.  The dolls are approximately 11 inches tall from the tips of their toes to the top of their heads.

The best part – she’ll be working with Susan R to design the perfect doll for them. (Her dolls are suitable for gentle play for children 3+. The clothes are removable and may include small parts.)

Nadine is very generous and has beautiful gifts, right from her very own stash, donating four 100g skeins of Merino Lace by Skacel.  Each skein is 1375yds.  Also, one 100g skein of FA RE Baruffa, 1460yds, each one is big enough for a shawl and will find new homes with Amy Y, Jennifer K, Kathleen P, Leslie C and Grentchen F. (We’ll let them figure out who gets what by email, but they’re all pretty lucky.

Linda found these two lovely gifts. This set of six mini-skeins by The Yarns of Richard deVrieze will be headed to the very lucky Penelope P.

And these two vintage skeins of STR in Rosebud will be heading to Lynn T. Thank you Linda!

Sue owns the Log Cabin Fiber Co here in Ontario and she’s got a sock set in her new colourway Qyrgesdot – Hoarder of Gold.

That will be heading to Kathleen C – and thankfully I ordered my own before showing you this webpage. Gorgeous. (Look at the pumpkin sets, so stinking cute.)

Susan went into her stash and somehow figured out how to part with this  – a gradient set by Yoth Yarns, fingering weight, “Little Brother”.

Susan must be one of the nicest people alive, because she’s sending that beauty to Eileen M.

Once upon a time Tasha had a plan to knit a Stephen West shawl with this set of 2 skeins of Sanguine Gryphon Skinny Bugga. The colours are Blue Morpho and Bess Beetle, and she did knit that shawl, but in other colours, so these are on their way to Jo-Anne D.

Tasha said in her email that she feels like a helpful little elf, and that’s because she is!

Look at this beauty!

Liz at Crystal Cat Stitchery has this gorgeous bag for Emma L. It’s a large sized oval shaped tote bag that will hold 600g of yarn, with lovely leather handles and two zip pockets for notions. (And I think I want one. It looks like a perfect beach knitting bag.)

Elizabeth has bunnies. Bunnies like this – little English Angoras.

Related to that, she has four generous and beautiful gifts – all from her own two hands.

GrayYarn — squishy handspun yarn headed to Bri B – mixed breed gray wool with a bit of English angora rabbit fiber.   Approximately 100 yds/90 m, 99 grams/ 3.5 oz.  A little bit of thick-and-thin, maybe the average weight is a bit more than DK but not quite worsted.
Blue-ishYarn — thick and fuzzy handspun yarn for Kate D a mix of Wensleydale, blue-faced Leicester, and little bit of mohair.  The roving was from Maggie’s Farmin Brookfield, NY.  Handwash only (or felt).  Approximately 90 yds/85 m, 110 grams/ 3.9 oz.  A little bit of thick-and-thin, maybe average weight is worsted.
For Patricia E.  1 oz of angora rabbit fiber from “blue” (gray-bluish) English angora rabbits raised by Elizabeth in upstate NY.  Almost no vegetable matter.  The fiber strands are not solid blue, but have bands of blue and creamy white and some fibers are dark (some of the rabbits are “ticked” with black fibers).  Buns in service: Penelope, Frederick Remington Wentworth W. The First and Last, and Ferdie.
BlueHarlequinAngora for Jocelyn A 1 oz of angora rabbit fiber from two “blue harlequin” (tan/gray) English angora rabbits raised by Elizabeth in upstate NY.  Small amounts of hay. These rabbits have patches of tan and patches of blue (gray) fur on their bodies, the fiber seems mostly cream-colored when loose and spun up.  Buns in service: Marienne, MadgeLynne.

Stephanie at Dirty Water Dyeworks (longtime friend of the show – hello Steph!) has a lovely gift for Ruth T  who will be choosing her colour combo of this lovely Mini Multi Bundle.  (Those bundles are perfect for a Tool Box Cowl, which is what I made with mine.)

Lenny’s a designer and is kind enough to offer gifts of two of her patterns, and they’re lovely ones. Tammy and Karen L will be getting Finial:

and Claudia W  and Linda L I bet you know someone who loves cats, because you’re getting the Kitten Cat Mittens (and they would make a great Christmas present.)  Thank you Lenny!

Whew! That’s the first lot. Stand by for more. (Actually, sit by. Easier to knit that way.)

33 thoughts on “At least that box is sorted

  1. Thought of you today Steph, as I did my ‘tossing of the stash’. I don’t have a very big one so it didn’t take me too long.
    Looking forward to seeing your upcoming Christmas knitting.
    Turkey cookies are quite splendid.

  2. I knew that you’d have a beautiful and tasty Thanksgiving. Many compliments — Meg’s sweater making skills are lovely. Heal up and enjoy a fall full of knitting.

  3. What a beautiful jumper Meg! It really suits you too.

    Glad your finger is on the mend Stephanie. Ouch.

    Elliot is amazing at piping icing. Quite a talent for one so young

  4. Beautiful sweater, Meg! I may have to make one myself … sooner or later … eventually … at some point … better buy the yarn now.

  5. Wow! What amazing gifts! That little pink bag is darling! Please tell Meg we are super impressed with her sweater. <3

  6. Meg’s sweater looks fantastic! Stephanie, I didn’t know vegans could use blood as a garnish. Hope you get better soon — you’ve tossed the stash and now it’s time to toss the spreadsheets!

  7. There are little latex finger covers – almost like a single finger from a glove. My sister is a massage therapist and wears them over a bandaid when she has a cut.

  8. You might try learning to do Portuguese style knitting if you have another hand injury. I learned to do it when the arthritis in my hands was becoming too painful to knit much the “usual” way. I’ve since had surgery and things are back to normal, but I still use it on long purl rows. It really takes the work out of your hands.

  9. Beautiful sweater, Meg! Stephanie, find some NexCare bandaids. They breathe, they are waterproof, they stay on well, and they don’t have sticky edges so you can knit in them. A knitter’s friend!

  10. Meg has made a beautiful sweater that is lovely on her. Well done! Glad to see more of you together this year. Hopefully things will keep heading in the right way and Christmas will be better!

  11. Haha! Love “very good knitting value” yarn. My spouse doesn’t understand ripping out rows and rows. I have completely undid a sweater and re-knit because it just didn’t fit right. I tell him, it is the process as much as the end result.

  12. Wensleydale and Leicester? Is this for making cheesecloth?

    (Love the squirrel cookies. *LOVE* them. If I tried they wouldn’t look like that, but they’re adorable.)

  13. My son is a chef. He has really good knives. He’s been off because Covid and his really good knives have made their way into our kitchen… so I grabbed a knife to chop something and sliced my ring finger on my right hand… little cold water, bandaid and I’m good, picked up the knife and immediately sliced the index finger on my left hand… that one needed stitches… 5 stitches… 10 days.
    Fortunately I’m a thrower, not a picker and could still knit.

    So good luck with the bandaid.

  14. Oh, wow, those turkey cookies are fantastic! Meg’s sweater is lovely. I’m so glad y’all had a lovely holiday (and that your finger’s doing better). ❤

  15. That sweater (& the model) is a beauty.
    I like the idea of “yarn value”.. I know there are some projects I just can’t stop myself from frogging and casting on again…and again…and third times s charm…
    At least you didn’t get sick before Thanksgiving as has been your own Thanksgiving tradition. Better a bandage…
    Glad you got to gather with your family and love them in 3D.
    Caught up on Advent Calendars?
    How many more pairs of sox to knit before Christmas?

  16. Just want to congratulate Meg on a beautiful sweater! I know you will enjoy it all winter. And, it looks wonderful on you!

  17. So glad that at least eight of you got to gather for Thanksgiving. US T-day is more than a month away, and I have no clue what the plans will be. Oh, well, I’ll figure that out after Halloween!

    Meg, congratulations on a lovely sweater. Good wool pays off when one has to frog and re-knit a yoke not 3, not 4, not 5 times. (The sixth time, I gave up on the elaborate horizontal cable and made a two-color design instead.) I’m sure that many more beautiful knits are in your future.

  18. Happy Thanksgiving! Meg, that sweater is absolutely stunning and gorgeously modeled.

    When my kids were little I sewed nearly all their clothes and a friend who liked to sew a bit told me she just could never do it that well like I could. My answer was, I wore out a seam ripper. Have you ever heard of seam rippers wearing out? I did it.

    You learn and you totally rock it!

  19. First, I’d like to offer my condolences on the loss of Charlotte. As your posts became understandably fewer in number, I, too, struggled through the pandemic, coupled with numerous family changes and stressful job issues (elementary music teacher who was not allowed to sing in school for an entire year!) I was knitting but missed your lovely “voice” I hear in my head while I read your blog. What a nice surprise on this beautiful fall day, to find that when I asked the question, “I wonder what Stephanie has been up to…” the answer, was apparently, “A lot.” Thank you for taking up your posting again. Times are still strange here, and my discovery of your summer and fall posts, really felt like a heart hug.

  20. oh – agree with all of the above re: finger, cookies, Meg’s gorgeous sweater, etc. etc. AND kudos for naming bun bun donators of fiber! so glad that they have happy homes and NAMES!

  21. I chopped off the tip of my middle finger a couple of years ago. That’s a fun injury to show to people. 😉 And I’ve seen SO many people knitting Isabelle Kramer’s patterns recently. Such a talented designer, and you can tell because Steph’s sweater fits her perfectly!

  22. Where do you get inspiration for such wonderful works?
    Many people look at other works for inspiration. I think there is nothing wrong with that. Do you have any specific people who constantly inspire? This is probably your family. Right? You have a great, friendly family. Thank you for the great photos. Thanks for sharing with us.

  23. I am super late going through the Blog. I don’t know why my life is so unorganized…. Yes I do. We have a relatively new camper and we have been using it rather more than I would left to my own desires. Anyway, Meg’s sweater is gorgeous! And fits beautifully. Quite impressive!
    Off to Patreon! Thanks so much for your Patreon work.

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