Well, hell. So much for posting more regularly. To be fair to myself, I did write far more regularly, I just didn’t hit “post” on all of them, I’ve developed a terrible habit of second guessing myself. I think it’s a pandemic byproduct and possibly the consequence of only wearing soft pants now. So much of my time is still spent kicking around the house alone that it’s like I’m out of practice when it comes to communicating. I honestly can’t wait for the vaccines to come along for kids Elliot’s age, though for sure it won’t be this year and another long quiet winter stretches out in front of me like some depressingly slow marathon I’ve got to get through. Honk if you never would have thought that a pandemic took this long.
That’s what a bunch of the posts were about, the ones I didn’t send you. One particularly whiny one about all my American friends gathering without me (the border was still closed at the time so it was out of the question. It’s open now, but you’ve got to do a really expensive molecular test to get back into Canada if you leave, and though I’m vaccinated and unlikely to get sick, the consequences of testing positive at the border coming home are disastrous. While I can sort of romanticize a two week hotel quarantine in the US as a fantastic knitting opportunity, the reality would be considerably less cool.) There was another one about cancelling other trips, one about canning the gingerbread party or trying to figure out a way to move it outdoors. (We still have a gathering limit here – and all the kids remain unvaccinated, of course.) I wrote a whopper about Christmas. I don’t need to tell you what any of them said – you can assume they all ran along the lines of “I would like my previous life back please” though considerably less politely phrased.*
That said, all this time whinging around the house is good for knitting production, and in the month of October I just pounded out the knitwear. Ready for a roundup? Here’s everything I finished. First, it was Socktober after all, and I managed three pairs – all headed for the Long Range Planning box (which is really rather short range now, but let’s think about that another day, shall we?)
These are Verbena, in a vintage skein of Dream in Color Everlasting. One drawback of a well aged stash is that this skein of lovely stuff is discontinued now, which is a real shame because it was great sock yarn. Just terrific. The colour (sadly, also now discontinued) is Victoria.
Photographed in the most perfect setting ever – though my arse just about froze to a rock while Meg took the pictures.
(This was a deleted post as well – we took off for a few days North as a consolation prize for Rhinebeck and Joe’s birthday. We had a bit of hiking and snow and Meg and I got to go to IndigoDragonfly and… I forget why I deleted that. These are strange times.)
The third pair was another vintage skein, and I always feel bad when I pull these out and use them because I know that it’s sort of unfair to show you pretty things and then have them turn out to be like unobtainium, but it turns out that this is pretty frequently available. The pattern is nothing fancy, just my plain regular sock pattern, but the yarn is from Must Stash, and is part of their Galactic battle series. This one’s Stardust, inspired by Rogue One’s Jyn Erso. (Right now they have their holiday collection up- but this this colourway will be back.)
(This was another deleted post – one about how much I miss shopping for American yarn. I used to buy it when I visited and now it’s been so long. I’d order it online but I made that mistake at the beginning of the pandemic and the duties and import fees doubled the price of the whole shebang. I deleted it because I in no way am running short on American yarn and deserve no pity. I have at least 15 skeins of Must Stash yarn and am absolutely in no crisis. I just… miss it, which is super dumb because I can visit it upstairs anytime I want. Also- there’s no shortage of fantastic Canadian dyers in the meantime and goodness knows I’ve shopped.)
Finally, last but certainly not least – Ken’s sweater is done and I’m pretty sure he’s wearing it every single day. (I deleted a post about this too – something about missing hugging and spending real time with my friends- but I realized this sweater is pretty close to a hug and it’s not like I haven’t had a few over the last year when some people are still totally separated from their families, so that’s gone too. I’ll take what I can get.)
I’m completely pleased with how this sweater turned out. I used two strands of Holst Garn Supersoft Uld held together – the colour is “Ember”. I love this yarn, and I think it’s really often overlooked – it’s called supersoft, but in the ball it is anything but. It’s scratchy and stiff and contains spinning oils and the name seems like a joke until you give it a wash and it blooms and turns into this gorgeous fabric. I think Ken was concerned that I considered it a next-to-the-skin yarn when I bought it, but he’s convinced now.
The pattern is Oshima for him, though I really think that the only difference between it and Oshima (presumably for her?) is a cowl collar and a different size range. (Oshima goes from 34-54″ chests, and Oshima for him is 40-59″)
It’s got a lot of fiddly details, like tubular cast ons and bind offs, and tricksy brioche increases and decreases but I ask you – If a tubular cast on doesn’t say love, what the hell does, and it’s completely worth it for Ken. I love him to bits, but the way he loves hand knits makes him the perfect recipient every, single, time.
That’s it for now, but I promise not to delete the next post which has very much to do with the fact that I managed to put together that it’s only 39 days until Christmas.
*BTW, It’s worth noting here, before it erupts, there are vivid cultural/country differences in the approach to COVID, as well with personal and familial differences in risk tolerance, and all of these add up to a lot of ways that people can behave right now and still be doing the right thing for them or where they live. It is remarkable to note for example- that while it’s estimated that more than 40% of Americans have had the virus, only 4% of Canadians have. Without wanting to debate our approaches, I bet we can agree that’s evidence of a big cultural gap. Similarly, many families/people I know who have no contact with kids or high risk adults are living lives a lot more normal than those of us who have family responsibilities to those vulnerable others. It is remarkable to me that at the beginning of the pandemic you were a jerk if you weren’t restricting enough, and now some people are angry if you haven’t loosened up in a way that reflects their risk threshold rather than yours. If I see someone taking risks I wouldn’t, I assume that risk doesn’t have the same consequences in their life or family that it would in mine.
PS. There’s something up with the software I use to control spam comments, it’s making me manually approve everything. Please trust that you’re not being moderated (except to make sure you’re human) and I’m working on it! If your comment doesn’t show up right away, it’s not you, you’re just fine. You’re perfect.