The last days

A few weeks ago the super nice people who we rent a cottage from in the summertime sent us an email. There was a cancellation, they said. Did we want it?  We did.  After a quick check in the coffers we decided we could afford one more little trip this year, so we lied to ourselves about being able to work remotely,  grabbed Meg and Elliot and hit the road.

It was wonderful. The weather was as changeable as it always is the last week of summer, as the sun set each afternoon the temperature would begin to plunge (3 or 4 degrees, that’s 37 degrees, for my American friends)  and by morning we’d be lighting a fire and getting our wool socks and sweaters on, only to have the temperature begin to soar, and by mid afternoon it would be gloriously warm (25 – 28 degrees, about 80 for you non-Celsius lot) and we’d be swimming in the lake and knitting in the sunshine.

(There’s a consequence to temperature swings like that, and it’s that the lake begins to cool off pretty fast.  The water was absolutely frigid, or as Elliot would say every day as he dipped his little toes in before leaping wildly off the dock, “pretty frosty.”)

We kayaked and canoed every day and everyone got on board for my favourite, a family paddle. (Meg’s husband Alex was able to come for a day and a half so we had enough arms for a bit of adventure.)

Meg and I knit and knit and kayaked together,  Elliot and I went for walks and gathered wildflowers and we made it through the 18 month mark since Charlotte was born and then died. We observed a year and a half of living  in the Covid-times.  I took deep breaths. I finished a pair of socks.

(Improvised pattern with afterthought heel, Yarn is “Purple Skein” from Must Stash Yarns.)

I made headway on Ken’s sweater.

(Oshima for Him, in Holst Garn SuperSoft  – Embers

On Sunday, when it was finally time to go, I went down to the lake and stood there, letting the sun shine hot on me, looking at the sparkles on the water and thinking about everything that’s happened in the last 18 months, and trying not to feel too sad about the end of summer or future-trip into what it will be like over the next few months as it becomes impractical to gather outside.

I’ve always loved summer so much, and it’s hard for me to let go of it in the best of years, never mind whatever hot mess this year is. I stood there, and I tried – for just a few minutes, to feel nothing but gratitude and happiness for what good luck I’ve had. Then I dove into the cold, cold water and swam far, far out, to say goodbye to the lake in the only way it understands.

Give me your answer do

I knit the thumb of those mittens last night. Actually- so deep was my shame at abandoning them so close to the end that I knit it pretty much the minute I was finished posting yesterday. Then I washed them, and laid them in the back garden to dry. This morning I went to collect them from where they were laying in the sunshine, and the cicadas were singing and it was hot out, and I briefly thought to myself that it had been rather dumb to rush to finish up mittens in this heat. I mean, who needs summer mittens.  (I am Canadian, but even we only have spring, summer and fall mittens.) Planning ahead is one thing, but it is a bit (just a bit) early to have real enthusiasm for mittens, isn’t it?

Then I looked at them – there in the garden, and I had an idea.

I am rather ridiculously fond of these now. It took only a little while to embroider them and I think now that they are rather sublime mittens to have knit in the summer.

I bet I’ll love them even more in February when there is snow all around, and I’m dreaming of daisies, and tansy and wee wild aster.

 

I think there’s still room

I got up this morning and started hunting up WIPs, and do you know, it wasn’t even that hard? I forgot that I had a major culling of the herd at the beginning of the pandemic, when Charlotte had just died and we were locked down and I was possessed of a sudden urge to fling a great many of my things in the bin. (While a terrible time overall, it was a great time for de-cluttering and streamlining. Not many objects or projects seemed particularly important at the time. I have no regrets.)  I looked in my cupboards and baskets and bins and I know there are probably a few more lurking in the stash room, but the semi-annual tossing of the stash is next month, and I’ll worry about stragglers then.  I found plenty for now. Here’s what I’ve got on the needles.  (Please note, I have not listed Ken’s sweater because I am legit working on that and you just saw it – it has two new sleeves now and other than being a little wider they are the same. I’ve also not included the purplish striped sock that’s currently my purse sock. I’ll finish it soon. It’s a purse sock.) This is everything else.

Project: Northern Sky socks.  Reason it stalled: I have no idea, these are totally fabulous and I love them.  They deserve better.   General sense of its destiny: I’m putting them at the top of the queue – they can go into rotation with Ken’s sweater and the purse sock. I honestly can’t imagine what skein waggled its little label at me to make me put these down.

Project: Sea Tangles, knit in Habu stainless wire.  Reason it stalled: Oh, so many.  I love the idea of this project and the way it fits into the “post-apocalyptic matrix my-clothes-are-all-rags but I look fabulous anyway” look I aspire to, but a few things went wrong on my way to greatness. First, this is not a lot of fun to knit. The wire has no give and it’s really tiny and you have to pay attention all the time. Also I think my gauge isn’t right (although how ever could you tell)  and I suspect that while it’s not exactly a fitted garment,  it’s going to be shorter than I like.  I’ve got the back knit, and I’m a few inches into the front and have a had a lingering feeling that I should go up a needles size and make it longer for YEARS. General sense of its destiny: Screw it. I’m going to rip it and start again. I still love it.

Project: Tulips MittensReason it stalled:  I have no idea except maybe it got warm and mittens seemed stupid?  General sense of its destiny: Considering how far along I am I’ll just keep going. They’re pretty, aren’t they?

Project: Some rando pair of mittens.   Reason it stalled:  This is just embarrassing. Do you see that I am 10 rounds of a thumb away from finishing these? What sort of a person gives up then? While I cannot possibly explain why I stopped right then and didn’t finish, I suspect that the fact that there are only three needles present may have played a role. General sense of its destiny? Yeah, I’ve got to find that needle. Winter is coming. I’ll finish them today.

Project: I cannot remember the name and the pattern isn’t with it. Reason it stalled: I think I got really sick of stringing beads onto the yarn. General sense of its destiny: None. I might still be sick of stringing beads and I still don’t know the name. This one isn’t really calling to me this minute – though it is a third done, so I hate to walk away. Maybe it needs a longer time out, and for me to remember the name.

Project: Graphic baby blanket.  Reason it stalled: It’s a little too heartbreaking. General sense of its destiny: I love it, but it’s getting tucked away for now.

Project: Some plain pair of socks for someone big. Reason it stalled: I likely turned on it during midwinter bleakness. Look at that. I ripped the needles right the hell out of it so I could knit something else. Harsh.  General sense of its destiny: I think the world is still a little too bleak for those. They’re getting a ziplock and a shelf.

Project: Rainbow socks! Reason it stalled: It’s not totally stalled, I had them with me at the cottage and my Mother-in-law worked on them a bit.  I’m just really not feeling the toe up thing. General sense of their destiny: Oh, I’ll knit them. Just not…. now.

Project: One of the Colour Stacking Cowls from the Patreon make-along. Reason it stalled: All it needs is an i-cord bindoff on one edge and it will be finished and gorgeous.  You know how sometimes when something only needs a little bit of work you keep putting it off because that doesn’t seem like much and you could do it anytime so you don’t do it at all? General sense of its destiny: Excellent outcome predicted. I’ll just do it. Right after the thumb thing from those mittens.

Project: Autumn Lace. Reason it stalled: I hate it. It was supposed to be fantastic and the pattern and knitting is, but I chose the wrong contrast colour for that green at the outset and have hated it since. I knew it was wrong in the yarn shop and I can’t believe I let it get this far.  It’s 2/3 done and I hate it. General sense of its destiny: I am going to rip it back as soon as I figure out how to rip back brioche lace mohair. Both of those yarns deserve a better future. (Assuming I can rip it.)

Project: I have no idea. No pattern, no nothing.  is it a sleeve? A sock? When did I start it? What was I thinking? Reason it stalled: See above. It’s nice though.  General sense of its destiny: If I don’t know where I’m going I don’t think I’ll get there.  Nice knowing you….whatever you are.

Project: Okay fine I don’t know what this is either. A shawl. That much I’m sure of. Reason it stalled: Again, I have no idea. I remember starting it, and I remember buying the wool, but then the whole thing sort of dries up in my memory. General sense of its destiny: Poor outcome predicted. Unless I can figure out what the hell I was making I’m going to rip it and make something else. Maybe a shawl would be nice.

Project: Some paper and silk jacket thing from Habu. Reason it stalled: Like so many Habu projects I want the garment but knitting the stuff is weird and tricky.  Also it’s a Japanese style pattern so I’ve really got to think about the instructions. General sense of its destiny: I can’t tell.  I thought about ripping it back but honestly it’s half done and I know I’ll like it when it’s finished, won’t I? It’s paper – that’s so cool.  Sigh. I think I’ll knit it and while I do I’ll examine my relationship with Habu stuff since that’s two projects in this roundup that are stalled out in a multi-year way.

There. That’s it. That list (together with Ken’s sweater and my purse sock) means I have 15 projects on the go, which frankly is quite a few less than I was expecting to have to own up to and seems completely civilized and reasonable as long as you start with my world view, which of course, I did.  I’m going to leave all these out on the table for the rest of the day and see if having it all in front of me helps with the startitis. Surely it should scratch some of the itch.

And I’m going to knit that thumb.

Also that one by the coffee maker

At first, it just felt like I was getting organized, and that made a lot of sense. September is a “get it together” time of year for me, maybe some weird holdover from when I had to get all my ducks in a row for the kids to go to school, or maybe it’s just a response to the end of the more relaxed systems of summer, but planning and getting thing orderly in the fall has always been my modus operandi, and like I said, at first it felt to me like just the start of that.

It was little things in the beginning.  I started paying a little more attention to what people were knitting on instagram.  I followed a few new yarn makers. I scanned the “hot right now” pattern list. I watched some knitting podcasts and thought about joining some knit-alongs.  Just planning my knitting, you know what I mean? That makes sense. It’s about to be fall. Then I started taking yarn out. I didn’t really cast anything on, I just thought “oh I should knit a short sleeved summer sweater, and then I went into the stash and pulled out the yarn for that, and then put it on the table downstairs. Then some yarn arrived in the mail and I didn’t put it away.  I put it on the kitchen counter by the stove – just… so it could be around or something? I can’t explain it.  Then a yarn club came and I put that on my desk so it would be handy, and also I brought down a sweater quantity of another yarn to consider and positioned that on the dining room table. The next week I thought that it would be a good idea to think a bit about socks, and so I put a skein of self-striping next to my laptop and also one extra one in my bag so that if I went somewhere I would have it.  Then we went away with the family and I inexplicably brought a yarn store with me, along with most of my needles, and when we came home I didn’t put any of it away.

Today I looked around and realized that I really do need to get organized. The whole house is in a tip (and slightly sticky, thanks Elliot) and if the winter is coming I suppose I should get this all sorted, and as I started to clean up, I realized that a lot of what I needed to clean up was yarn. For the record, I stand by every previous statement I have ever made about my believe that yarn is beautiful and ornamental and that having a bunch of it around isn’t really problematic, but I also think that you should be able to do things in your house without having to move yarn every single time, and that some degree of tidiness is good for the soul. Now thing is,  when I put my hand on the first skein of yarn to put it away, a part of me said “Oh it’s cool leave that there, I’m going to knit it in a minute.”

I pulled my hand back and reached for another, and that same knitter in me said “No, leave that too, thanks.” I looked around and slowly it dawned on me.  Without a shadow of a doubt I have the early symptoms of an absolutely raging case of startitis and that would be okay if I hadn’t just spent a year and a half locked in my house using yarn to mitigate the emotional effects of personal and global tragedy.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it was smart and I highly recommend it, knitting is enormously helpful when things are difficult, and knowing this, I haven’t limited my access or made any rules about it at all for the last while.  If I get a hankering to knit a pair of socks I have simply cast on and gone with that urge, even if there are other socks on the needles. If I want to buy yarn and I can afford it, boom. It’s in the post to me. These are extraordinary times and I have been as kind to myself as I need to be in order to maintain something that remotely resembles my own nature. (Related: my current relationship with cleaning and pants that aren’t elastic in the waist. Whatever gets you through the night, baby.)

Still, at some point I feel like it stops being therapeutic and starts being… well. A mess really, and I realized the other day that as I rifled the hanger for a missing circular that I am not “low on needles.” They are just all… in things… and that means that I need to get a few things done before I add more, so before I start anything else I’m going to go through all my little hidey holes and figure out what exactly is lurking around here.

Buckle up.  I’m going in.

(PS it is the one by the stove that really gets me. It’s been there for 3 weeks. What emergency do I think I am preparing for there?)

 

Sometimes it takes two

I am home again, and we really did have the loveliest time. The only thing that wasn’t quite right was that we couldn’t have Pato and the Worlds Top Knitwear Model with us for this trip, but if there’s anything that I’ve learned in the last 18 months it’s that things are seldom perfect, so I embraced what good it had to give me regardless.

Speaking of learning, I just had a really epic knitting fail. The biggest one in a long time. Behold: Two sleeves that I knit for Ken’s sweater.

(I know they look a bit rugged, but the yarn is Holst Garn Supersoft (held double)  and it’s a bit stiff and raggedy looking before it’s washed and blooms into something lovely, haloed, soft and even.)  Those sleeves also don’t exist anymore, because they were too narrow for Ken’s arms.  I’m knitting “Oshima for Him” and despite the absolutely admirable act of knitting a swatch and washing it, and then knitting another swatch and washing that before I settled on needles and was rather sure I had gauge, the things came out completely inappropriate for his arms. Ken is not a big guy, but his arms are more than twigs sprouting from his chest, and those just weren’t wide enough.

The amazing thing is that I knew this. I knew it from the moment I cast on.  I looked at the little cuff and said “That’s not big enough” but I had done my math and wanted so badly to trust it that I kept on going.  It nagged at me so badly through the whole first sleeve that before I knit the sleeve cap I actually took the sleeve off the needles, washed it, let it dry and then jammed it on Ken’s arm before I went any further, and then smooshed it around on his arm so that I could say it fit and keep lying to myself.  Then I knit the whole other sleeve, and the whole time my inner knitter was screaming at me.

Now, I often say that your inner knitter? They’re the voice of reason. They’re the one that’s not super invested in progress, and doesn’t hope for things or give any sort of a snot about your deadlines.  That voice, the one that says “something is definitely not right here” is the voice of your knitterly experience and it’s exactly like waking up in the night and wondering if you should get up to pee. If you just went to the damn bathroom the first time you thought “I wonder…” you’d be back in bed in no time with less time lost to considering it.  It’s like that and I know perfectly well that if I’d have listened to that voice the very first time I wouldn’t have two sleeves to pull back, I’d have merely yanked a cuff and have two correct sleeves right now. I have no explanation for why I let it go on so long, except that sometimes hope springs eternal, and sometimes you really just want to knit, and sometimes lying to yourself on a sunny day while you lie on a dock is exactly what you need and it takes the shock of two whole wrong sleeves to snap you out of it, which is exactly what happened.

I’ve reknit the first one the next size up.  My inner knitter is now smugly silent.

Post in Three Parts

We are here at the lake for eleven days, and the plan was that Elliot was here with his mum and dad for the first week, and then off they’d go home (Alex has to work) and then the pace of things here would dramatically drop off. It would be me and Joe, Ken, Amanda and Joe’s mum and dad, and all of those people are considerably more amenable to me sitting down with my laptop or plowing through knitting, and each of them is able to swim in the lake without my direct help. In short, I thought getting to my computer for the first bit would be hard, but then it would be easy, and instead Meg decided to stay with Elliot, and just Alex went home and we are so delighted to have them both here a little longer, but the idea that these few days would be easy going has evaporated.

Today it’s raining and grim, and nobody is in the lake lest they be hit by lightning (that is actually a thing) and Joe and Ken (Poppy and Poppa) have Elliot off playing foozball, and I’ve got a few minutes to catch up here, and in the new spirit of trying to blog – here I am. I figure we’ve got a few minutes before it all goes sideways, but that’s still enough to tell you about a bit of knitting.

(Whoops. Wrong. The sun came out and it was suddenly a gorgeous day and I went for a quick dip and then Ken was going for a kayak and I went with him, and then I was coming back up but Amanda was ready to swim, and then I was absolutely coming up, but Megan came down with Elliot and then I took him in swimming – and then suddenly it was time to get supper on. Sorry about that.)

When I left to drive up here (about four hours north of Toronto, on the edge of Killarney, for anyone who’s into parks) I imagined tons of knitting time, a wild rumpus of knitting. Hours stretching into days of knitting. I packed a partial sweater to finish, a pair of socks that only had one done, another pair of socks where the first wasn’t even finished, a whole  sweater for Ken that wasn’t even a swatch yet, and then panicked as I imagined these hours of knitting and tossed in an insurance skein. The astute among you will note that this means I intended to (while cooking for 9 people three times a day, and doing my fair share of childcare) knit at least one thing a day. Obviously, this was bananas. Completely insane. I am a fast knitter but even I cannot get knitting done without knitting time, and despite decades of effort, remain unable to knit in my sleep.

Still, in between birthday parties delayed until we could be together, and rounds of champagne, games of “Guess Who” and swims in the lake and long paddles with Ellie tucked in the front of my kayak… I did manage to finish one thing, and start another. Voila, my Simple Summer Sweater.

Yarn is Rowan Cotton Cashmere, and I love it.

The idea of a summer sweater cracked me up – cotton or not, I simply cannot put the words “summer” and “sweater together. It’s more than 30 degrees in those pictures – Meg and I waited until sunset to keep them so it would be a bit cooler and I am still roasting in it.  The weather is set to turn in the evenings the next few days, so I know it will get loads of use eventually.

(Whoops again, dammit.  I was going to finish this post last night, but oh we had a lovely supper. A huge storm blew though with a tornado watch (no warning, don’t panic) and everything. We sat here, eating our suppers and watching a fierce thunderstorm roll in across the lake and batter the windows, and as we finished the storm ended, and minutes later we had a clear sky and a lovely sunset.  We knit and chatted into the evening and I didn’t finish this post. Sorry.)

Obviously I’m not going to get through a million projects while I’m here. Obviously I’m not going to post a thousand times. I have gotten as far as starting Ken’s sweater (Oshima for Him, which I seriously believed I’d finish on this trip, but it’s going a little slowly.

I’ve missed these people so much, and to have them all back with me makes it hard to say no to anything.

Rock Water Tree

Yesterday Joe and I tossed Elliot (and a great many of our worldly goods) into the car and drove north.  Meg and Alex followed in their car with the dog and lots of their worldly goods, and we drove for four hours- with Ellie looking out the window and saying “rock, tree, water, tree, tree, tree, rock, water…” which are essentially all you can see if you look out the window in Ontario, allowing for the occasional large mammal.  (No bears or moose were spotted yesterday, though not for lack of effort on the part of the diligent child.)

We’ve rented a cottage on the water for the next ten days, and while we’re not gathering the way we have in the past for this time of year -some of the family can be with us and I’m trying to celebrate what I’ve got, rather than what I wish could happen. We’ve got the five of us now for four days, and then we add some more people to the mix and I can’t wait. (There are going to be some hugs for the first time in a long time.) I did loads and loads of meal prepping and planning so that I could spend a lot of time relaxing and knitting and spending time with some of the people I’ve missed so much. Joe and I still have to work while we’re here (If you’re a Patron, there’s a video coming today!) and later today (there is a foosball table here that I think is going to buy us all a lot of time) I’ll start on the Karmic Balancing Gifts.

I have also brought with me more yarn than is reasonable, even for me.  I have a whole sweater to start, two pairs of socks that are midway, and some extra sock yarn after that, and essentially to run out I would need to finish a project a day – which….

I’m actually on track to do, at least today. Joe drove the whole way here yesterday so I got almost a whole sleeve knit in the car, and now there’s just thirty two rounds to go on this sweater. I can’t believe I’m going to finish – I’ve been working on it so long it feels like a permanent fixture.*

*I motivated myself by not bringing a sweater for this trip at all. Nothing quite like being chilly to help you get a move on.

Well I might not count these

Good grief. Typing this to you from bed- eyes barely open, four year old flaked out diagonally beside me. You know those days where every time you look at the clock you can’t quite believe there was apparent international consensus to speed the earths rotation and thus shorten hours, but that’s the only reasonable conclusion? I woke up this morning and thought there was real potential here, but every time I glanced at the clock the thing had speed on to some impossible time, and the next thing I knew it was park/wading pool time with Elliot.

(Elliot pictured here driving this toy car that someone donated to the park earlier this year. It’s broken, the door is weird, the steering wheel doesn’t steer, you have to move it with your feet like Fred Flintstone and every kid for a kilometre around is bloody obsessed with it. Competition for drive time is high. When it is Elliot’s turn he practically squeaks with joy.)

Now, here is the thing. Me, a park, a kid – I got that scene.  I practically invented that scene. When the girls were little in the summertime we did chores in the morning, had our lunch noontime and then went to the park/pool every single weekday until it was time to come home and get supper on the table. That was even simple because they drain the pool at 5 and it’s a natural signal. They’d pull the plug and over the girls would trot, trained right up to the schedule.  I would have 4 hours every afternoon to read and knit and write and I loved it. Loved it I tell you, and so this summer it seemed like a no-brainer for how Ellie and I would spend our afternoons together. It is the same park and everything, and he is a supremely civil child (far more than the wild things I raised) and yet… nothing gets done there. Not a thing. Not one.

(Completely gratuitous picture of Penny, a very good dog. I am not a dog person, but I am a Penny person, and though I’m not usually responsible for her I was today, and I cannot blame her for my lack of production. She lay on the grass and smiled. It’s hardly a complication.)

I have been dragging this sweater to the park for weeks (Pattern- Simple Summer Sweater – scaled for my skinnier yarn. Yarn: Rowan Cotton Cashmere that Ken gave me for my birthday.) and making almost no progress. I couldn’t figure it out, it’s park knitting. When the girls were wee I got so much done there, but today I figured out what’s gone wrong.

It’s not Ellie. As I pointed out, he is a tremendously easy and sweet child. (We will not mention the other day when I asked him to do something and from the living room, he shouted “THAT’S A NO FOR ME DAWG.” Blame his mother.) I realize now that it’s the Covidtimes. I’ve got eyes on him 80% of the time to make sure he stays reasonably distanced from the other kids (we’re not saying no to playing of course, but their wee unvaccinated heads together unmasked is a no, naturally) and that surveillance takes a toll on the knitting, and also, without any friends really (he’s just starting to make a few as we open up a bit) he’s used to having and needing his grownups as play-buddies.

I can walk and knit, and talk and knit, and do all sorts of things and knit- but I cannot play soccer and knit. I cannot “watch this!” and knit. I cannot help on the monkey bars and knit. I cannot build the best sandcastle you’ve ever seen and knit, and neither can I teach him to float and knit. He has no pack to run with, but for his grownups, and I am all in. I’ll finish the sweater eventually, and I’m sure it’s going to be great.

Likely not as great as being a light in a little one’s life, so I guess when his wee voice rings out “Gammy, come play with me!” …

Thank goodness yarn doesn’t go bad. Maybe I’ll finish the sweater tomorrow.

Loosen Up, Lady

Sorry to promise posts my petals, only to immediately not be able to do so.  I was all set to post before I left for our ride, but the minute I turned to my laptop to get it done my server failed. No mail, no blog… just lots of time on with support calls and at some point I had to go ride my bike and just let it be broken until I wasn’t riding a bike anymore – which I’m not now, and here we are, fixed.  (I also have some new cloud thing that I had to buy to keep this all going, and I don’t know about you but it takes me a little while to get my head around buying things I don’t understand. Where is this cloud? What cloud? Is it all the same cloud? I thought I had a disk? Is the cloud really some warehouse of big machines in Ohio? China? Everywhere?) Anyway, that cloud does backups and those are good so- I suppose it’s all for the best.

I was really quite upset that I couldn’t post, and that surprised me, because if there’s anything I think we should all know how to handle at this point in the pandemic, it’s not having any idea how things are going to turn out, or what’s going to be possible, so you’d think that almost a year and a half into this complete turd pile of a circumstance I’d just shrug when the server broke and think “maybe it has Delta. Oh well. I wonder when it will work again” and promptly sit down with my knitting and continue to let… whatever flow over me like I am a rock in the river.

That is the approach I managed to take with the Rally – such as it was. I accepted very early that I wasn’t going to be able to have what I wanted (everything back to normal right now thank you) and moreover, that I didn’t even know what I was going to get. Even as Ken and I set out to Montreal on Friday there were a million unknowns, and I had to focus on the things that I knew would be good – like getting so much time with Ken. We’ve been distanced from each other for a year now, so a weekend with him was a real treat, and I certainly know how to enjoy that. It was also going to be the first time I’ve ridden bikes with Cam in a year, and I do like that, and most of all, I had to remember that the whole point to this thing is that it changes the lives of other people. Anything I get out of it is a bonus, and that makes it easy to lean in.

Good thing too- because the weekend had a lot in store for me that I wasn’t expecting.  I’ll tell you the rest tomorrow, for now I have to figure the way that I use this cloud that lets me put pictures on here, and tell you that I am as ever- incredibly grateful you’re all on my side, because you’re a nearly frightening force for good.

 

 

 

Unsurprising but surprised

Oh Blog – I am as ever in awe of you. When I think of how you’ve behaved in the past I shouldn’t be surprised that you came through for the Rally, but somehow things are so weird for the last year that I am indeed, gobsmacked.  Ken is at his goal, Pato is at his…

(He says thank you, by the way. Such a nice young man.) and both Cam and I are within striking distance. I tell you this, o knitters – PWA owes a lot to you, once again, and so do I.  Looks like I’ve got to follow through with the blogging challenge – I hope stretching this muscle feels as good as it should.

Despite not blogging yesterday, I am not dead. Ken warned me that you might think I was dead – but even though the ride on Sunday had its moments, I am somehow still alive and though the ride had its moments (most of them midway up hills in the rain) I had notifications turned up on my phone so every time one of you sent a donation I could hear the little “ding” and it was incredibly motivating.  Ken and I swept the ride – and sweeping means that you agree to ride slower than the slowest riders – so we began our 115km (that’s 71.5 miles, for my American friends) at 10am, and I rolled up to the front of my house that evening around 7pm.  That’s a nine hour sweep and pretty unheard of- but this is an unusual year in so many ways.  The riders we were sweeping have had limited training opportunities (remember, Toronto still has gathering limits in place) and they were working so hard that Ken and I couldn’t possibly resent the time.

The same cannot be said of my bottom, but it has limited voting rights and we spent yesterday in reconciliation talks. Truly, I meant to blog yesterday, but I slept in (no idea why, weird right?) and then worked on a video for the Patreon for a little bit, and then Joe somehow convinced me to ride my bike 17km down to the marina and go for a sail with him.  My sock and I knit while Joe worked on the rigging – though it has taken years to convince him that I have little to no interest in sailboat maintenance and the high number of spiders encountered whilst engaged in same, he has finally accepted that we are all better off if I knit while he does it.

(That sock’s Must Stash Yarn’s Purple Skein, the pattern’s a no pattern, just knitting a tube.  I threw in a half round of a contrast yarn a few rounds ago, and when I’m a little further along I’ll toss in a heel.  I’ll show you. It’s easy.)  We threw in the anchor by the islands and had a little dinner on the boat, had a swim and made to sail back.

It was lovely, but when I got home I fell over like a tree. Today though, today – magnificent news.  Not only  did I manage to blog, not only are we close to meeting all our fundraising goals and making a difference in the world that changes the lives of people who really need us…

I put in the last seam on my sweater.  Good times, knitters.  Good times.  It’s upstairs blocking, if you can call drying on a bed “blocking” which I do. See you tomorrow. (I’ll get on Karmic Balancing gifts soon-ish, just waiting for a few emails to come in.)

(Sweater is Woven Shadows, yarn is DanDoh Linen, in “Pacific Tone” which might just be about how much I miss that part of the world right now, because otherwise it’s a pretty surprising colour for me, but three points for the person who’s first to notice that I have new glasses and they are…. blue. I can’t explain myself.)