Perhaps

Let’s say, that you were very much a knitter, and less so a sewer – and let’s say that you decided to do a very simple sewing project.  Let’s say – even, because it’s true, that you only decided to do that sewing project because when it was done it would be a vehicle for knitting, and that made it seem all right to you.

Let’s say also, that you have a brand-spankin’ new sewing machine that you said you wanted, and even though it turns out that your husband really got that sewing machine so that he could learn to sew and make things for the boat, you really feel like you should use it. (Let’s say that things are also more or less square between you and said husband, because you delayed telling him that you can buy bias tape until he’d made a few million metres of it.)  Let’s say also that you may, or may not have had the best plan (read – no plan) for this project, except that you’ve been thinking about it for a while, and really, 90% of your plans work out, in one way or another. (Eventually.)  Let’s say that had finished embroidering all your numbers on the thing, and let’s say that you ran out of red embroidery floss as you finished the 4 in 24, and that’s a pretty good place to run out if you’re making an advent calendar, which you are.

numbersdone 2014-11-21

Let’s also say that after you drew about nineteen really weird/wonky/crooked trees, you finally got one that’s just the right amount of whimsy, without being all Seussian, and let’s say that while you had a pretty hard time sewing it on, you remembered a thing or two about turning corners while you were doing that, and so you only swore like a sunburned sailor for about half of the time.  Let’s say too, that despite a few incidents with the reverse button – which let’s also say that you’ve discovered is in the least intuitive place that it could possibly be in, which (let’s just say) might have meant that the corners aren’t quite as tidy as they could have been, that you’ve managed to sew down the embroidered strips for the pockets, and got them turned into pockets, with a little more stitching, and really – that reverse thingie? You’re still mad about where it is. (Let’s say too that you’re not quite ready to release all your rage at the machine, because you know that it’s probably just 25 years of having a different machine with the reverse in a different spot that’s actually the problem.)

accessories 2014-11-21

Let’s say as well, that after consulting the internet, and your mum (who’s very, very handy with a sewing machine) that you figured out how to sew on 24 buttons with the machine so that it only took like… an hour instead of three, and let’s say that it could have been a lot faster too, if you could have figured out how to get the “feed dogs” down a little sooner, and if you didn’t have to look up how to get the *&^%$#@!!ing presser foot off, and if you had figured out that the tension was all wrong and was making those weird loops on the bottom before you’d done, like… ten buttons.

allon 2014-11-21

Let’s say too, that you decided that only a fool would change the thread in the machine for one button, and you sewed that one on by hand.  (Let’s say that’s the yellow button, and let’s say that you decided that the top one should be yellow, purely for reasons of ornament.)

yellowone 2014-11-21

Let’s say that all of that is true, and that you cut a piece of dowel to go through the top, and let’s say that it took you a while to find a handsaw and mitre box in the basement (because it was in an even less sensible place than the reverse button, and also there are spiders down there) and lets say that you sanded the wood, and got it through the casing at the top, and let’s say that right now it’s hanging in your living room where you can admire it.

snowman 2014-11-21

Wouldn’t you, let’s just say, be rather smug that it was all going so well, and completely willing to overlook that you only have 6 ornaments made, and it’s 9 days until deadline?

I’d say so.

Are These Weeds?

This week has been a trainwreck. A giant tangle of complete crap that just keeps getting worse. Nothing terrible has happened, nobody is sick and another pet hasn’t shuffled of their mortal coil, but everything else that can go wrong has, and at this point I think it’s starting to be a bit of a joke, and I think it’s on me. I won’t go into the gory details, but I think it’s safe to say that I overextended myself a little (right now the voice of my inner monologue is screaming “YA THINK?!)  Two days ago I forgot to go to a appointment entirely, despite looking forward to it, putting it on my calendar and having an alarm set, and this morning Joe got up early and headed across town and reported for an appointment that’s tomorrow.  We’re scrambled.  Nothing’s working. For example, the Advent Tree is pretty much a disaster. I have four ornaments made, which is a very far cry from the two a day I was going to pound out, and apparently I completely hallucinated the red felt numbers I would swear to you I saw at the craft store, because when I went back to get them, not only were they gone, the clerk said that they’d never, ever had anything like them in the shop.  (I feel like she was totally gaslighting me.)  In any case, now I’m embroidering the numbers on, and that slowed me down a lot, especially since I was busy trying to fix the washing machine and we have to do something about the eavestroughs.

numbers 2014-11-13

The four ornaments that I do have are charming, beyond charming, and I feel sure the rest will um…. be there when I get back? Hell. I don’t know.  It will be fine. I’m not going to panic early.  It’s the 13th. There’s time to get it together, and I feel like it’s more important to get myself together, and then everything else will slide into place from there.

numberswithhat 2014-11-13

I’m writing this from the Vancouver Airport, on my way to Port Ludlow and the November Retreat, and even though it’s a working weekend, I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to it.  The setting is so nice, the knitters so nice, and it’s a great place to refocus, sort yourself out and get back on track- and it’s hard not to feel like things are in great shape with a fireplace in your hotel room.  The five hour flight here  was the least busy thing I’ve done in weeks.  I tried to knit, but I fell asleep – I picked the nicest thing to knit on while I travel and get the retreat done… perfect, simple, comforting knitting, that even I can’t screw up, even in my current cursed state.  It’s amazing yarn, for starters.  I came across it when I was in Vancouver for Knit City.  There was a nice booth, with pretty yarn, and a couple of striped shawls hanging there.  There was some super nice self striping sock yarns, and I was totally charmed by the colours.  Then I started talking to the proprietors, and then they told me about the shawls.

shawldet 2014-11-13

It’s self striping shawl yarn.  Yes – I know, that sounds dumb, why would shawls need a different kind of self striping yarns? Well, it’s like this.  If you’re using a regular stripey yarn, and you’re knitting a top down shawl, one where the rows get 4 stitches longer with every right ride row, then when you start the shawl you’ll have short rows and big stripes, but as things go on, then you get stripes that are narrower and narrower as you keep going. This yarn? This yarn has stripes that get longer and longer.  She (she being Catherine – at least I’m pretty sure her name was Catherine, of Caterpillargreen Yarns) has done the math to make sure that the stripes stay the same width all the way through your shawl.

shawlabove 2014-11-13

I KNOW.  She told me that, and I looked at all the lovely skeins, and then I pretty much gave her all my money.  Just like that. Aside from the great dye job, the base is pretty easy to love. 70% merino, 20% cashmere, and 10% nylon, cozy, pretty, clever, it’s a ton of fun to knit, and it’s totally not this yarns fault that I fell asleep on the plane.  I don’t really have a pattern for this – although I based my plan on Laura Chau’s Simple Yet Effective Shawl.  I wanted something simple (yet effective) and her idea of alternating garter and stockinette was perfect, and I’m not even paying attention to what I do.  If the yarn is grey, I knit every row, and when it changes to a colour, I do stockinette.  Done.  Absolutely, brilliantly gorgeous, perfect for my current state.  Comforting, warm, fun and going to go by really fast, I think. This weekend it should just run in the background, like a perfect soundtrack in a great movie.

shawlside 2014-11-13

(PS. I know that I could have looked at Laura’s pattern, and figured it out myself, and not bought the pattern, but I don’t think that’s very nice.  I looked at that shawl, thought “Good idea!” and she’s the one who had that idea, so she gets the money.  I have strong feelings about paying for patterns – even if I don’t need the pattern, I needed the inspiration, and that’s worth something too.)

(PPS. Something unbelievable has happened, and My latest book is nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award in Humour.  There is absolutely no chance my book is winning against the books it’s up against – mostly because two really different things happen if Neil Patrick Harris asks twitter to vote for him, or if I do (He has 11 million followers- which is pretty fair, because, well. He’s Neil Patrick Harris) but also because those are some very, very funny books, written by very, very funny people.  Still – there’s a chance you like my book better, so I’ll ask.  Please consider voting for my book if you liked it. Thank you.)

(PPPS. Taking pictures of knitting in the Air Canada Lounge totally draws attention.)

 

Keeping up with Yesterday

I’m starting another project. I know, I know, I’m a little out of control.   I know I have Fox Paws, and I probably have another pair of socks due, and the sweater… There’s a lot on the needles, and I’m tempted to cast on even more, which is all a sign of the times.  Three things are coming together here to put knitting forefront on the agenda, whether I have time for it or not.

First, the time of year. It’s cold here. Someone flipped the switch on this part of Ontario and there’s snow in the forecast, and it’s going below zero at night, and when it gets like this, some part of my knitterly intelligence doesn’t say to put on woollies.  It says to knit them.  I’ll be sitting in the house and get chilly, and I don’t think “Oh, I should get a sweater” I totally cast one on.  It’s a disease.

Second, in a week it’s the start of the November Strung Along Retreat, and it will be all knitting all the time for three days, and to get ready for the knitting I have to think about the knitting, and plan the knitting and organize the knitting and I’m just so excited about three days of knitting that I’ve been giggling a little bit when I think about it. (Technically, I’ll be teaching, not knitting, but it’s almost the same.)

Lastly, there’s Christmas.   I’m sorry, I know I just dropped the C word on you with no warning there, but really, it’s coming.  There’s no need to panic, but it is close, and I’ve got no interest in being hit by the festive train that flattens me some years.  I’m working the same spreadsheet as I have the last few years, because it’s changed everything – although I’m already a little behind, because there’s one gift that I want done early, by December 1st, actually, and if that’s going to happen, I have to start right now. Or yesterday.  Or maybe the day before that. Here’s the plan.  I have a whack of felt, and I’m going to cut out a tree shape and sew it to the background, and then knit/sew  24 ornaments that will stick on the tree. There will be 24 pockets on the background, and every day, starting December 1st, you take an ornament out of a pocket, and hang it on the tree, and when you’ve got them all on, you know it’s Christmas Eve.  I’m going to stick a dowel through the top and bottom so it hangs nice.

adventtreestart 2014-11-07

I have no pattern, and really, I’ve just explained the entire idea to you.  The whole thing. That’s as much as a plan as I have. Today I’m going to lay the whole thing out, and cut pattern paper into the tree shape, and see if I can get it sewn on.  Then I have to knit the first ornament. (Maybe two or three, I’m a little behind.) I don’t know what that’s going to be either, but I bet I can figure it out.  I was looking on Ravelry to see if I could find a starting place for knitted ornaments, and most of them aren’t quite what I was thinking.  They’re lovely, and so many of them are perfect for a real tree, but the ones I’m looking for need to be two, rather than three dimensional. (I suppose they could be slightly puffy, but that’s it.)  I’m on a hunt.  Not all of the ornaments will be knitted, but I’d like most of them to be. I’m going to embroider on a few pieces of felt, and I have some beads. I’m not sure what I’ll do with that, but we shall see.

The first step though, is laying it out, drawing the tree, tracing it onto pattern paper, figuring out where the pockets can go and how big the ornaments can be, sewing the thing together and then getting Joe to stop and buy me the dowels. Operation knittertree is afoot.

Unless I knit on the sweater. I’m a little chilly.

Yeah, that hat

I had a whole big post planned for today, then eighty-four bad things happened with my laptop, and the whole thing wound up a hot mess.  Instead of that, I give you this picture of Lou wearing his owl hat, which is frankly more than I could ever hope for in the way of knitterly happiness.  See it, and know these are the moments I knit for.

owlhat 2014-11-06

More tomorrow, when hopefully this aluminium and plastic box of circuit chips is on my side.

Knitter out.

(photo credit to Carlos, who I think we can all agree totally nailed it.)

It’s almost a swatch

I have a small admission to make.  I started this new sweater without swatching. I know I always say you should swatch, for lots of really, really good reasons, some of which have nothing to do with fit,  and to be completely honest, I thought about not mentioning that I didn’t swatch.  It wouldn’t have been a lie or anything, just an omission.  Then I thought that maybe it would just be better if I told you why I didn’t, and why I’m okay with it, and maybe someday you would get to skip a swatch too.

Reason to swatch: You need to swatch to get your gauge, so that things fit properly, and because the only way your project will use the amount of yarn that the pattern says, is if it’s the gauge the pattern says.

beforewash 2014-11-05

Reason to ignore this: I am making a top down sweater without a pattern, and I can make it fit.  If things aren’t coming out right, I’ll adjust. I am the master of my destiny.  Also, no pattern, no yarn amount.  I’m guessing.  If I’m wrong, swatching won’t help.

Reason to swatch: You need to know how many stitches you’re getting to the inch if you’re making a top down sweater without a pattern, because you need to know how many to cast on.

Reason to ignore this: I am a good guesser, with lots of guessing experience.

Reason to swatch: It’s not just about gauge. It’s about how the fabric feels.  How will you know if it’s too loose or too tight or too sheer or, kinda strange? Do you want to make a strange sweater?

Reason to ignore this: I never assess that in the unwashed swatch anyway.  It’s pointless to like the unwashed swatch. Read on.

Reason to swatch: You need to knit a swatch so you can wash it, because gauge, and what the fabric feels like can change drastically after knitting has had a bath.  You want to know that before you knit a sweater that comes out as a freakin’ surprise after you wash it.

Reason to ignore this: I admit, that’s pretty compelling.  I can’t totally ignore that. What I can do is start my sweater, knit for a while, then wash and block it on the needles to see if there are any surprises.

afterwash 2014-11-05

I’m glad I did.  The gauge did change enough that I would have had an ill fitting sweater, and I actually thought I might be knitting this too tightly, but I love the washed fabric.  That’s a step I’ll never skip. If I’d have based this sweater on my unwashed fabric, I would have had a sweater that was too big, and too loosely knit.  I would have been seriously annoyed.

Reason to swatch: If you’re making something where you do something every certain number of rows, then you need to know your row gauge so that things end up the right length.

Reason to ignore this:  I’ll try it on a lot.  If it’s getting too wide before it’s long enough, I’ll screw with the rate of increase.  (It’s kind of getting too wide now.  I’ll skip some decreases so it gets longer without getting wider now.  Especially in the back. I’ll keep some extra width in the front.  It’s where my breasts are.)

fronton 2014-11-05

Reason to swatch: Something I’ve forgotten to control for that a swatch would have totally revealed that will rise up later and bite me hard on the hind parts.

Reason to ignore this: The worst thing that can happen is that I’ll have to pull the whole thing out and start again.  I can live with that, because I’m not the kind of knitter who wouldn’t.  Some knitters won’t rip things out, not even when they aren’t very good, and it’s those knitters who need to swatch the most.  If you don’t have it in you to take the whole thing back to the beginning when you took the risk, you’re better off risking less.

Knitter, know thyself.  Then skip a swatch, if you can.

(PS. This will really, really not happen very often.)

(PPS. I really think you can’t skip the washing part at all.)

(PPPS. If this sweater looks a little familiar, it should.  It’s inspired by the Easy Raglan from the The Green Mountain Spinnery Knitting Book .  I have heavier yarn, and want the sweater to fit a little differently, but I loved the cable details.)

(PPPPS. Thanks so much for your sympathy for Sam’s wee Hedgie. She’s feeling much better, and the funeral was lovely – or so I hear. The service was private, which was fine. The deceased was very cute, but dreamed of nibbling yarn, and we weren’t close.)

Gently, softly, quietly

Every once in a while, everybody has a weekend that should just go back where it came from, and take its crappy Monday friend with it. This last weekend was like that for Sam.  For some reason, the last 48 hours have just picked her up in its nasty teeth, and shook her like she’s a plaything of the universe.  Sam wasn’t feeling well last week.  She thought she had a sinus infection, but those are mostly viral and don’t need antibiotics, so she just rested up, and waited to feel better.  By Saturday she didn’t feel better. Sam actually felt a lot worse, and she missed Joe’s birthday party, and felt terrible about it.   When Joe and I got home that night, she looked and felt like one of the horsemen of the apocalypse, and we took one look at her and realized that this wasn’t a sinus infection, or at least, not any more, or at least not only a sinus infection.  I don’t want to go into the details, because mouth stuff is gross, but on Sunday morning our amazing family dentist was meeting us for an emergency appointment,  and Sam’s now on antibiotics, and Tylenol 3 for the pain, and a more pitiful creature you’ve never seen.  She’s truly sick, the poor little poppet, and on soft foods and just feeling so terrible.

This is where she was at last night, already a rather sorry figure, when she called down to me from upstairs, almost hysterical.  Marty, the little hedghog she loves, was dead in his cage.

marty 2014-11-03

He’d been totally fine all day (I remember, because I was annoyed by him running on his wheel at noon) and Sam had noticed him eating and playing just an hour before, and in fact, she’d just opened the cage to give him a little snuggle and adventure time, and there he was. He was an older hedgie, but healthy and active, and had all the love and care in the world.  There was no warning at all.  It was like a hedgehog heart attack, or stroke or something like that, like he just fell over while jogging. Poor Sam’s just gutted.

 

There was nothing to do at that point, with a sick kid, a dead hedgehog and a few other things, except to slow down and try to make things nicer.  A big pot of soup went on the stove this morning, and I put down Fox Paws.   Right now things should be soft, and gentle and easy, and the family should be quiet, and kind and careful, and that really means that the mum in this family shouldn’t be sitting there muttering filthy expletives if anyone dares to speak to her other than at the ends of rows.

readysweater 2014-11-03

I fetched a treat from the stash room.  I’ve been wanting to make a sweater out of Greenwood Hill Farm Merino for years.  I see their booth every year at Rhinebeck every year, and almost buy it – and finally this trip I (mostly) blew my budget at their booth.  This yarn is cushy, bouncy, soft and so warm, and it’s what’s on my needles now.

Together with that and a bowl of warm soup, we’ll make things cozy here.  Since I’ve only got one row of knitting, can I interest you in a soup recipe? I like fast, easy, cheap soups, and although Sam isn’t a fan of soup in general, if she must eat it (and she must, her poor mouth) this is the sort she likes.  This soup takes a while to cook, but I still think it’s fast because it only needs me for a few minutes here and there, and then I can knit (and discuss “arrangements” for Marty the Hedgehog with the bereaved.)

Roasted Carrot Soup

Peel, slice and cut into chunks, four carrots (I had two freakishly large ones) two potatoes, one sweet potato and one red onion.  Toss with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and add sage.  I had fresh sage, so five big leaves went in, but I’ve used a decent sprinkle of dried stuff in a pinch.)  All that goes in your roasting pan and into a hot oven. (200C, 400F, Gas Mark 7.)

veggies 2014-11-03

Leave everything in there for a while – maybe about 20 minutes? Then add at least five  cloves of garlic. (Trust me. Roasted garlic is sweet and mild.) Toss and roast again until everything is gorgeously roasted, and tender.

roasted 2014-11-03

Take the pan from the oven and add a little white wine or water to deglaze the pan. Stir to pick up all the good brown tasty stuff from the bottom of the roaster.  Now dump all that into a pot, and add about 2 litres of stock (about 8 cups) and some parsley, if you have it. and bring it all up to a simmer.

roastedinpotwater 2014-11-03

Go knit for at least 20 minutes, and then come back and somehow (I have an immersion blender, but there are other ways) puree your soup.  The whole thing.

roasted carrotsoup 2014-11-03

Serve hot in bowls, with a little cream if you like it. (Sam does. I don’t.)

If that won’t make you cozy, I don’t know what will.  We’re settling in here, to have a simple day, with lots of rest, a farewell to Marty, and a hope that tomorrow will be better.  It usually is.

A few words about concentra… hey look, a bird!

Here’s one of the things about knitting.  There’s lots of different kinds.  I don’t just mean there’s colourwork, or lace, or entrelac, I mean that there’s different sorts of it that you can do to fill different holes in your time. You can have fancy knitting that you do when you’re pretty bored, and need a lot of entertaining, or you can have reasonably straightforward knitting that you pick up and put down while you work on other things, or watch a movie. Then there’s the dead simple stuff that you work on while you’re on the phone, or in conversation, or walking, or in a meeting… the stuff that you don’t even need to look at.  There’s all those kinds and more, and I think it’s remarkable that knitting can be whatever kind you need it to be, if you just choose wisely.

Now let’s talk about Fox Paws.  Fox Paws is a pretty wild pattern.  There’s some really crazy increases, and some truly mad decreases, and those increases offset the decreases and …. you should think of it like it’s Feather and Fan on smack.

foxpaws 2014-10-31

For a little while (just like with Feather and Fan) before you have a little bit of knitting so that you can tell if things are lining up, you just can’t tell if things are lining up, and not only that, it took me several rows to see how things were meant to line up at all.  The first time through, I had no idea how it was going to go together.

Luckily, I would knit that first repeat FOUR TIMES. The first time through, it didn’t work.  I had the wrong number of stitches left at the end of the fourth row, which meant I’d totally screwed up somewhere, and I couldn’t find where, and I ripped it back.  The next time it started coming together by about row 8, but I decided it was too wide, so I ripped it back. The third time, it seemed to be coming together, and I actually got far enough to tell that I wasn’t getting a fabric I liked, and needed to go up a needle size. The fourth time it was the right width, the right needle, and I appeared to be knitting it properly, and then I broke a Fox Paws rule, and I had to rip it back. (Sure.  Now would be a great time to point out that a swatch would have helped with all of that. It’s a scarf though. It’s practically a swatch.)

Fifth times the charm though, and as long as I don’t deviate from the rules, everything is okay.  What are the rules you ask?  Well, I’m not sure I have them all figured out yet.  I can tell when I’ve broken one because I always have to rip back at least two rows, and I curse like a sailor. That’s the minimum price that Fox Paws charges if you let your attention wander, because see, that’s the thing.  Fox Paws isn’t hard.  Well, fine. It’s a little hard, but I like a challenge and so do some of you and this is perfect for if you were hoping to grow a few more neural pathways and try to stave off dementia.  I’m pretty sure I can feel it doing that, so yes, it’s hard, but a good hard, not an impossible hard.  It’s just… tricky.

You have to pay attention. You have to concentrate, and if you don’t, then all of a sudden things come of the rails, your little paws have something really, really wrong with them, and then the numbers are all funky and you’re tinking back a million stitches trying to find the last place everything was okay.  Do you know how long it takes to tink back some of those freaky decreases? It’s not insignificant.  Let’s say that.  I’ve learned that I can’t knit Fox Paws on a plane, if I think I’m watching the movie or talking to the knitter next to me.  When I flew home on Monday, I don’t think I made it through four rows.  I wasn’t concentrating.  It was the one and only time a knitter/stranger sat beside me on a plane, and I must have looked like an expletive muttering lunatic who couldn’t knit my way out of a paper bag.

I’ve learned that I’m not knitting Fox Paws in the car. There’s too much going on. You might look at a bird or something, and then the whole thing is going to crap. Similarly, the subway is right out. I glanced up for a second to see if it was my stop and my knitting blew up. Luckily I was only a half row in when I realized that it wasn’t compatible.

knittingsubway 2014-10-31

You can’t do anything crazy, like take it to dinner.  FOX PAWS HATES GOING TO DINNER.

foxpaws2 2014-10-31

You absolutely probably want to stay away from this.

foxpaws3 2014-10-31

Fox Paws also can’t be my “next to the desk” knitting. Usually I’ve got something there to knit while I read, but this obviously is not the right thing. You have to look at your knitting, if you’re knitting Fox Paws.

foxpaws4 2014-10-31

I tried it in the kitchen.  I always take my knitting in there too.

foxpawscook 2014-10-31

Usually I knit a row here or there while a sauce reduces, onions sauté… except with Fox Paws, you don’t want to do that. You might end up concentrating when the smoke detector goes  off because your knitting is pretty damn interesting and you forgot you were making onions at all. (I heard that happened to someone.)  (Also, don’t be distracted by the huge bowl of tomatoes. Tomorrow is Joe’s birthday, and we’re doing a sit down dinner for 25.  I need that many. As a matter of fact, maybe I don’t have enough.)

foxpawsonlyway 2014-10-31

I think I know now what Fox Paws wants. It wants to be alone with me. With just a cup of tea, and no distractions, and nothing that could interrupt our time together. It wants me to say “SSSSHHHHHH!!!!!!!” to any member of my family that tries to screw me up by saying really inconsiderate things, like “Hi”.  It doesn’t like the TV. It’s not sure about Audiobooks. It doesn’t care for the cat.

It’s a bit much really, but as long as we just sit quietly, knitting like we’re the only knitter and yarn in the world…

foxpawsleaves 2014-10-31

Look at that.

(PS: One of you will want to know: That’s Rowan Fine Tweed in Tissington, Arncliffe, Dent, Bainbridge and Keld, and yes.  I thought that four repeats was just right.)

 

Five Things

1. I went to Edmonton for Stix in the City, (put on by the lovely sisters at River City Yarns) and it was pretty great.

signoutside 2014-10-29

2. I knew it was a good omen when I ran into Lucy in the Toronto Airport – Me, heading west, her home east.

meandlucy 2014-10-29

3. I have discovered that Fox Paws is a pretty challenging knit, and I would like to talk with you about that. (I am writing something for tomorrow. I just have to take all the filthy expletives out of it.)

4. These are the nice knitters that I gave a talk to on Friday night at the “Comedy Club”.

edmontonright 2014-10-29 edmontonleft 2014-10-29

and these are the very nice (and unusually clever) students that Fiona and I had in our classes. (Some are missing. There’s really only so many knitters you can get in a selfie. I’m working on it.)

selfieclass 2014-10-29

5. These are the very, very nice knitters who brought their first socks, and then I took their picture, and then I wrote down their names onto a little piece of paper and put it in my pocket so I wouldn’t lose it. Which I have done. Tell me you names in the comments ladies, I’ll fix it.  I blame Fox Paws.

4knitters1 2014-10-29

Haha! Rhonda, Katherine, Kay and Angela! (Thanks Rhonda.)

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a fantastic date to go on. It involves – well. I’ll tell you that tomorrow too.

By the skin of my teeth

I finished Acer just in time for Rhinebeck.  Not totally in time for the whole thing, but in time for at least Sunday and that seems like it still counts.  I was feeling pretty good about how the whole thing was going, when I realized the night before that I had no buttons for it.  I went through the whole button stash and couldn’t find a single one that was perfect, and I needed five. One quick trip to WEBS later, as we made our way from the Boston Airport to Rhinebeck, and the buttons were in hand.

acerswhole 2014-10-23

I pretty much took leave of my senses and forgot thread though, so when I went to sew them on on Saturday morning (after I set the sleeves in for the second time – the first time they went all Princess Diana puff sleeve on me) I was screwed.  I went to the fair without it. I’d buy thread at the fair, I figured.  Pro-tip. There is no thread at the fair, near as I could figure, I found some at the grocery store (I know!) on the way home that day.

acerbackbetter 2014-10-22

Buttons addressed, Acer made her inaugural run on Sunday, which was totally cold enough to make me wonder why the hell I thought a cabled sweater with lace was a good idea, but it’s not her fault that I was under-dressed.  Other than the freezing cold part, it’s a good sweater, I think.  I’m still on the fence about the colour, but really – how many orange/rust/red/brown sweaters does one woman need?

acerside 2014-10-22

The best part about wearing it on Sunday? I met the designer, while I was wearing it, and I think it was fun for both of us.

acerdesigner 2014-10-23

Acer, designed by Amy Christoffers. Yarn: Debbie Bliss Luxury Tweed Aran in Navy. Time to knit, about three weeks spread over four years.

(PS: Mum, See? I’m totally wearing those boots you gave me, and they are really comfortable. Try to focus on that and overlook the felafel spill on my jeans.)

(PPS: Photos by the clever Caro Sheridan. Except for the selfie of me and Amy.  I did that one.)