August 7, 2006
Why isn't there milk here?
The ladies are away with my Mum at the cottage and it's just Joe and I alone in the house for a week and the whole deadline writing plus lack of parental responsibility has just turned me into a completely feral human being. The lack of structure on my particular personality type has turned out to be just devastating. I simply don't do anything civilized. I'm sleeping, eating and writing all on my own internal schedule and I am getting a ton of stuff done, but it's all very surreal. Not having to make lunch for other people means there is no lunchtime (why cook if it's just you?) and not needing to get up in the morning means not needing to go to bed at night, and not having to be anywhere at any particular time means not knowing what time it is. This lack of children has revealed several things.
1. Our house is very quiet without three daughters in it. It is even quieter at night, I think I had never realized how much they filled the house up with just their breathing. Without them, I am prompted to wind Gansey wool just to fill up the house with a noise.
Isn't it beautiful? My own handspun, sitting there looking like real yarn.
2. I always think that if I didn't have any children that I would do all this stuff, go all these places... Now that I don't have any children I can't remember what those things are or why I wanted to do them. (I imagine that I will remember what they are on Friday, the moment the Ladies roll back into town.)
3. I wonder if the girls are wearing enough sunscreen or eating right or if the Blackflies are bad. I wonder this almost all day. The realization that I can't unplug from them is tempered with the knowledge that the minute that they walked out the door they stopped thinking about me.
4. I have figured out my writing process. I need to get bored. Really bored. Then I start thinking up stuff to entertain myself, and then I write it down. (This explains a lot about why I don't get anything at all done when the kids and Joe are around. They are a lot of things, but boring ain't one of them.)
5. We had been out of milk (and a lot of other stuff) for 4 days before Ken, who was just visiting, went to the store to get some. Joe and I had begun drinking our tea clear rather than disrupt our slothlike child-free state by going to the corner store. We are not ashamed either.
6. If you have no children/teenagers, mostly, when you clean something? It stays clean. (This brings a singular joy to my life that I can scarcely contain.)
7. Romance level is currently sitting at the top of the chart. Turns out that Joe and I will totally still make out in the kitchen if someone 15 years old doesn't scream "OH GROSS!!!" at us while we do it. Who knew?
8. Left with enough time, I will swatch for the Gansey.
(That noise you just heard was Rams and Rachel H smacking their foreheads trying to figure out what their goals in life are if they don't have a gansey to bug me about.)
I began the swatch with 4mm needles and worked my way up to a 4.5mm, then a 5mm. I was hoping (naturally) that I could work on bigger needles to make it go a little faster, but after much reflection (where I tried to convince myself to like the 5mm part of the swatch) it turns out that the fabric really looks better at 4mm.
This isn't really devastating to me (much) though I did do the math. At 5mm I was getting 4 stitches to the inch, Joe's chest is 48 inches, so my cast on would have been in the neighbourhood of 192 stitches.
At 4mm I'm getting 4.75 stitches to the inch, which means casting on 228 stitches. That's 36 more per round, or about 252 more per inch of body height, which is about NINE THOUSAND more stitches in the body than it would have been if the 5mm had looked right.
This is a very cruel lesson in gauge, and I assure you that the 4mm looks way, way better than the 5mm, or there would be no stinking way that I would be able to bring myself to accept knitting NINE THOUSAND extra stitches before I got to the sleeves. (Dude has long arms too.) Let this be listed in the big book of proof that I love this man. A lesser woman would be casting on with the 5mm right now. (I am still considering the 4.5)
9. I am contemplating this yarn...
and waiting for it to speak to me. (3000m of Shropshire laceweight from Habu in NYC. I forgot it was in the stash. My love for it is pure.)
10. I finally have time to write about Aurora, now that so much time has passed that I scarcely remember it. I rememeber that it was hot. Stupid hot. So hot that it is a wonder that anyone came. Susan chauffered me from Toronto to Aurora, and consented to take this photo with the sock before we descended upon our enabler.
The enabler in question here, was Sandra, who opened her home and (her beer fridge) and make veggie quesadillas for me and at one point, as I sat knitting in her kitchen, noshing away I took this picture. There is something so homelike about it.
Sandra laughing, the Clifford plates, the yarn, the ball winder bolted to the kitchen counter. The casual clothing, the bantying about of "eh?" in it's proper linguistic context... The butter tarts... that perennially Canadian of deserts. (They were wicked ones too...Thanks Jen!)
It was all very much a homecoming, despite the 48/118 degree heat that kept us from going anywhere near her beautiful deck. (When I think about it, that excessive heat was very Ontario as well.)
Properly fortified by the York Guild Executive, I ventured to the shop where the guild meets. Now, I've spoken to this guild before. They are a very lucky guild, in that they have acess to the upstairs room at Tove's yarn shop (Needles and Knits) which is one of my favourite yarn shops of all time. We all trucked upstairs, and I spoke to the guild while they did their level best not to faint dead away.
We kept the lights low to prevent the addition of extra heat because man....
there is just no freaking way that any air conditioner installed in Canada has the guts to deal with 48 degree heat and 60 + knitters in the upstairs floor of a yarn shop. Despite air-conditioning and large fans pointed at the knitters, several threatened to melt. (I was one of them, having selfishly - and foolishly, declined a fan out of concern for the audience.) My grandfather used to chastise me when I was little and would say I was "sweaty". "Stephanie" he would intone, "Horses sweat, men perspire, and ladies merely "glisten". "
He would have been very disappointed in all of us in Aurora, let me tell you. The instant I was done talking we all went downstairs where we replenished our fluids, talked, shopped and I signed books while trying not to drip on them. (Sorry again Grampa.)
Poor Boop had surgery that week, was drugged to within an inch of her life, drove from Fenlan falls and then was baked in a yarn shop. She was charming anyway, which is more than I can say I would be under similar circumstances.
Jo-Anne turned up, wearing what her daughter had informed her (and my daughter had informed me) was very inappropriate footwear.
My foot on left, hers on right. Clearly, great minds think alike. (Our heels are equally matched, by the way...giving you some idea of the freakishly small, wide, square feet I walk around on. My feet do not have a cell of elegance.)
Holding a sock and not melting despite her recklessly warm dreads.
And here is my beloved Tove, who has an accent just like Lene and her mum Bea, and always makes me thing the best things about Danish people.
Tove was fresh back from the Icelandic knitting symposium (Knitting in iceland. I wish I was her.) and cracked me up so bad I couldn't even speak by trying to teach us all how to pronounce the names of the shawls in this book.
(This is the one that Hyrna H. is in.) She told me that the problem is that there are 36 letters in the alphabet to wrap your tongue around. I'll buy that, since there are at least ten that my mouth can't even get near.
Note to Canadians who don't want to import the book from the states? Tove has it. She has it, and it's cheap. She has it, it's cheap and she has the icelandic laceweight to go with it.
I actually have some too, since going to Tove's store always results in just the worse yarn seizure. (I am the only person in the world who didn't know that Lopi made a laceweight? Stunning news.) Totally worth the drive. Ladies? Keep that beer fridge plugged in. I'll be back.
Posted by Stephanie at August 7, 2006 11:55 AM
It was great seeing you in Aurora - I brought my mom along and she had a great time.
Enjoy the childless week!
i'm so excited that i got here with only (thus far) one comment. go me. i shall now go read the post.
ps. come to kansas.
I know whatcha mean. My daughter just got back from being with grandma, 1500 miles away, for 5 weeks. I spent the first week in a fit, not knowing what to do with myself. The last 4 weeks were wonderful. I hardly made dinner...unless I really felt like cooking. I could run around the house with a few less garments on than usual (which was nice since it was so bloody hot for a while) and I went to bed late since I didn't have to get up early. God, I love my mother!
But now that my darling daughter is back I'm very happy cause I really did miss her lots and lots.
Have fun this week ;)
I love your prose and your pictures and I wish my visit to Chicagoland had intersected with yours!
I had a High School Choral Teacher, Sister Rose, who insisted that "Horses Sweat, Men Perspire and Women Glow" (she was trying for the proper pronunciation of GLOW-Ria at the time!) - your Grandpa would have gotten along well with her. Unfortunately, neither seem to understand that Glow and Glisten really means rivulets... nay, RIVERS... of really wet stuff running rampant on our bodies!
When I went to Washington DC last november for 2 weeks is was colder in DC than toronto. I've just come back to TO and it's hotter here?? What's with that!!! I arrived Tuesday and I thought I was breathing underwater. Beautiful day today though with clear blue skys.
I sympathize with your 9000 extra stitches. I am 3/4 of the way done with socks for my boyfriend's freakishly large feet (size 12). In Koigu. Plain, stockinette size 12 socks. One of his socks equals two of mine. I do love him, but he might not be getting any socks for quite awhile after these. Socks so large and so boring that I can't bring myself to write about them on my own blog.
Please when are you coming to Los Angeles?
I'm not sure it was smart of you to figure out the difference in stitch count based on needle size for that gansey. Maybe AFTER you were done knitting it, so that you could point out all that you had sacrificed for dear Joe. But definitely not beforehand. Of course now he can hear about those extra 9000 stitches throughout the entire knitting process. Ok - maybe it WAS smart to figure it out.
Poor Sarah looks ready to have heat stroke! I just looked down at my feet - my sandals have 3 straps & are blue but otherwise identical. My grown daughters also do not like them. I didn't know Lopi made lace weight - it looks gorgeous - I'll have to track some down. That is the EXACT shade I've been wanting for a shawl.
Funny how the absence of children makes us so busy thinking about them. Try to get in all you can, Friday comes fast. So Joe's getting a gansey for Christmas?
Yeah, what's with all the prolonged heat and sweating????? has anyone else taken note of just how much sweat seems to pour out of the eyebrow area? strange indeed. Yes, and there will come the day when it's just you and Joe, the girls will have moved out, and it is soooo nice and quiet, but for the time being just be loving these quiet weeks, uncivilized life style, snort, making out in the kitchen, that was great.... The Gansey wool is a thing of beauty. And yes, you can be assured that as far as #8 goes, it will be duly listed in the BIG BOOK...(written like she knows)
Sorry about the heat. Take comfort in the fact that your weather will cool down a LOT sooner than ours. (At which point *I* will take comfort in the fact that you are having level 3 snow while I am planting my tomatoes.)
And sometimes it's fun to make out in the kitchen BECAUSE the teenagers yell, "Ewww gross!" Just sayin'.
Enjoy the quiet. I love the quiet. I love that there is a whole level of sound that is usually drowned out by others, and when it's just you, you can hear all the good stuff.
I have loved reading about your trip and all the fun stops, but must admit to some jealousy...
1) I haven't been on a plane to anywhere in ages.
2) My three children are all home with me this summer (ages 5, 9 and 12) so there isn't much kitchen kissing.
3) I don't have any lace weight in my limited stash! (a shocker, no doubt!)
Although I don't envy your writing deadlines...I don't think writing is easy. I would feel a lot better about all this if I knew your next trip was to Minneapolis/St. Paul?!
Birks inappropriate footware? NEVER! Just necking in the kitchen? The two of you should try other rooms as well. Enjoy the child free home!
Any time two grown adults with teenaged children can find themselves making out in the kitchen is a good time. There will always be time for knitting later!
Hi! My college roommate used to say "Athletes sweat. men perspire, ladies get very, very warm". I think most of North America was in the same boat - being very warm and trying not to get any warmer.
As to the footwear, picture the 3-strap version in size 41 - my footwear of choice. I don't stop wearing them until it gets cold and wet out. Cold and dry is still okay if you put on socks, and how better to show off a pair of colorful hand knits (another reason to look forward to winter!).
Enjoy the peace and quiet, and get lots done (only if you want to!)! So far this summer I have only been able to send off one child at a time to the grandparents so the craziness is only reduced by 25%. But I suppose there is such a thing as too quiet (maybe some day I will have a chance to find out). Write on! - KVL
I had not idea Lopi made laceweight either! I think I'll be tracking some of that down. Not that I don't have enough laceweight already. what's that got to do with anything anyway?
Remember me? I'm the girl with the Russian nups from Ann Arbor. The shawl is definitely coning along.
How do I get in contact with Tove,I would love that book.
(I am danish and living in Vancouver)
I'd like to know how to get that book also... I missed it in my quick yarn store stops when I was just in Iceland. (Yes, I went to Iceland for work. I have a rough life...)
Enjoy the time off from being a parent. My son just came back from various and sundry trips which totalled up to 3 weeks. Being a single Mom, I was alone for all that time. The first few days were really rough...then my birthday came - even rougher...then I started going out with friends, late nights out whenever I wanted, sleeping in on the weekends, cooking for one? NOT(you are right - why bother), shopping for bras and undies alone and in peace. Running around mostly nekkid when the temps hit 110 F and the electricity died...doing two loads of laundry per week instead of four. Then he came back and I couldn't stop hugging him - which he hated since he is 12... I missed him a lot, but it was good for the both of us to spend some time away from each other.
See you next month in CA. The weather is beautiful here now - nice and cool - hope it holds out for when you visit us!
Stephanie, just divide the 9000 by the years you and Joe have been together (or, if that number is too big, by the days). The extra stitches will melt away! (Says the woman who has yet to knit her XXL partner anything but mittens. 'Course, we've only been together a smidge over four years.)
Being a stay-at-home to two teenagers for the last 15 years, not having the kids around is so hard for me. My son went to Walt disney World with his school band last February for 5 days and I was a wreck. When they both go away for sleepovers on the same night my husband does nothing but tell me to stop worrying about them and enjoy the quiet. The kitchen stays clean, the fridge stays full and the only music blasting in the house is mine.
Aren't I pathetic??? Enjoy your peaceful, relatively hormone-free week!!
Is it really true? That when you don't have kids at home, if you clean something, it stays clean? Since I have never witnessed this phenomenom, I will have to take your word for it. I long for the day when walking through the living room doesn't result in puncture wounds from various toy land mines set up by the childern. Ahhh, hole free feet, I live for the day.
Please, please, please tell me where to find Tova and her goodies! Thanks.
My Mother informed me that the day you give birth to your first child, someone comes up and tattoos your ass, whoops, arse, with the word "mother" and from then on, you always think of them first, and last, no matter where in the world you, or they, might be.
I have to ask, did you like the 4m better, before, or after, blocking? I'm thinking that handspun might fluff up nicely after blocking, and you might get away with the 4.5mm, at least. I'll cross my fingers for you!
Relish the quiet you lucky girl! I might not see that kind of quiet for at least the next 4 or 5 years.
For lace weight Icelandic yarn that is to die for, check out Tongue River Farm - http://tinyurl.com/l5lqk
The sock yarn is pretty amazing, too... (evil grin)
If I could find a pair, I'd wear it. Being pregnant and the heat and all, I'm lucky I still fit into "shoes" and not be stuck with flip flops or worse - nothing! - like I was with DS when I was pregnant with him.
Things STAY clean AFTER you clean them? I wonder what that would be like. I don't have children, but I live with a potter. I have started to believe that only naturally messy people gravitate to playing with gooey wet clay all day. (Lets not even discuss reconciling my yarn stash to his clay stash.)
Oh, and Stephanie? Birks. Are. Great. Trust me, I too have small, square feet.
Where can I get a copy of the book of shawls? or more importantly, does it have a translation?
Just remember, in the fashion of Elizabeth Zimmerman, that's 9000+ more stitches of what you love to do!!!
Oh, you lucky duck. I love it when the house is quiet for a few days. Enjoy smooching (etc.) with Joe in the kitchen and wherever else, and I hope you are able to get lots of writing done.
ps...still hearing your voice when I read your words. I wonder how long this phenomenon will last. I rather enjoy it!
Enjoy the time without the kids - take pictures of the clean house and put them on the refrigerator. And your kids will think of you while they're away... when they run out of money.
After seeing the fifteen year old girl in your last entry that knit the snowdrop shawl, I have decided to knit it younger. My fourteenth birthday is in two months. Hopefully I'll have it done by then. A picture will be sent when it's completed.
Have a nice day.
Your not the only knitter in the world. I didn't know that lopi made a lace weight either. Sounds like you had a great time in Aurora. Enjoy your quiet!
OK, Number 7 is pretty sweet. I can remember yelling "gross!" at my parents too, but now I can appreciate how darned wonderful that is. Now they won't kiss in front of me because I yell "awwww!"
Here's to romance and the birth of a gansey.
(Way to go Briana! I wish I was that cool at 13.)
Rachel? Honey? Could you run over to Harlot's and check on her? I think the heat and adoration got to her. She seems to think we are devoid of [nagging] encouragement opportunities just because she's knit a 4x4 swatch. Frankly, I don't think it will fit around Joe, and until Joe is clothed in a handspun gansey Our Mission remains. I'd take it one step farther -- I think it's premature to cancel Tuesdays Are For Knitting. Yes, I know you calculated the amount of yarn you would need. Have said calculations never erred? Is The Fleece That Never Ends gone? No?
Our work continues. Break up the canoodling -- the girls will be back and he's going to need something else to keep him warm. (It's August 7, by the way...)
A yarn store with a beer fridge? There is something so very profoundly right about that.
You with the maths and the torturing yourself. Better not to know, is what I think.
"If you have no children/teenagers, mostly, when you clean something? It stays clean." Well, yeah, unless you have a cat who leaves tumbleweed-sized hair clumps on your wood floors.
Ah....the childless household! You are so right about the internal clock.....and the snogging that happens sans audience :) I'm liking it so well I don't know what I'll do when son #2 moves "home" in six weeks-----with friends. I'll love having him close, but not too close, if you know what I mean.
The gansey yarn is really looking good ,but for the life of me I cannot figure out WHY you would do all that MATH!!Ugggg almost made me woozy. Enjoy all the quiet and ""free"" time you have whichever way pleases you . LOVE that lace weight Lopi .
Omigod Sandra is wearing my "Venus de Knitting" shirt. I'm plotzing! Obviously a woman of superior virtue and taste, as you yourself found out.
Hooray for a childless week! It sounds like their college years could not come too soon? Then you will be the most romantic and productive knitter ever! :)
Also, don't feel bad about your feet. I have the shortest squarest flattest feet of anyone I know. They're practically duck feet. (Well, except for that whole webbed-toe thing. My toes are small, but nicely articulated, thankyouverymuch.)
I remember thinking when I was 35 just7 more years and Ill have no more kids at home, well don't say that to loud, I am going to have to wait till I am 55 now, She is a blessing and I wouldn't have it any other way. Love your pictures and your notes about the places you visit. Enjoy the quiet and rest.
Wow... a childless WEEK.... I'm so serious in not remembering what that was like... I haven't had one of those since I was cooking up the cave troll...just sit back and enjoy the complete thoughts...
My parents used to make out just to make us yell, "GROSS!" It worked on my younger sibs much better than it ever did on me. As for the gansey, one should never do something like calculate the number of stitches in advance. It only leads to tears. Do it afterwards so that you can instead feel proud of your accomplishment.
It's no secret you're smarter than I, but sometimes I am awed. I sent the kids away a couple of weeks ago without the knowledge that they would not only forget about me the instant they left, but would come home expecting me to be waiting right where I was. What a greenie.
Oh, on the Lopi Laceweight - who knew? Course, now I just have to envy you more because I just recently have gone on a rampage in defense of the humble, soft, and pretty single spun yarn.
We love our Birks - and part of that love is BECAUSE the teenage daughters think they're dorky (now that I think of it, the same reason it's fun to make out in the kitchen.) Last winter I discovered Keens - every bit as comfortable as Birks but "cooler" according to said daughter (I'm not sure why.) Only one more month til Portland, yay!
It was nice to see some Icelandic stuff. I made sure when I left Iceland to bring Icelandic laceweight to make a shawl out of Þríhyrnur og langsjöl.
I actually know the Herborg that that shawl is named after! She made the charts in the book (charted them up) and her mother is Sigríður Halldórsdóttir, the editor of the book.
For Pete's sake! Lopi makes a laceweight? As if I haven't bought enough yarn lately! Just yesterday,I bought 2 Fair Isle books and some FI yarn just because of that little segment on Mamacate's blog.
What will the credit-card company say???
P.S. Still, we could be bought off by a photo of Joe wearing the swatch.
doh, if you didn´t know Lopi made lace yarn, how did you think we make our shawls??? that book has pattern-recreations of antique traditional icelandic lace-weight shawls. we have been making them for centuries, icelandic shawls are typically included in the list when mentioning the shawl knitting traditions of Russia, the Shetland Islands, the Faroe Islands etc...
by the way, someone asked in another comment if the shawl book was available in translation. well, it is. it has been translated into english, danish and german.
my best from Iceland
ps.although I rarely comment, I´m a devoted reader of your blog.
Thanks for the conversion.... ;)
I want to send my kids away dammit.
With no kids around, the house stays clean?? Not on your life--not with a husband around, which I discovered after my last one left for college. And then in a few years, he retired--and my house will never be clean again!
Okay, it's a good thing I waited to take my dinner out of the microwave--I would have spilled all down my front upon reading #7! Snort!
Stephanie, you little minx . . . .
All that talk about not having milk, and then seeing the picture of your Shropshire laceweight, and you said it is "pure" and I thought "yeah, like milk".
Love the swatch and who cares about nine thousand stitches? Isn't that about the same number in a pair of socks? What else were you going to do besides knit?
I'm fourth of six kids, and we had a family reunion. Us grown kids were reminiscing about why we thought our parents had done a good job raising us (all of this being spoken in front of our parents), and my oldest sister said, Mushy gushy in the kitchen! Something her in-laws had never done, and her husband had suffered for not having grown up seeing it. Kitchen mushy gushying is essential for the emotional well-being of the children, she declared.
Steph. Joe. Keep up the good work.
Nine thousand stitches? Come on, that's what? Like a sock? No problem, right? ;)
Okay I've officially read your blog for too long. I remembered the laceweight from Habu - I don't remember half the crap I have hanging around but I can remember a good portion of the stash you've shared with us. Frightening.
Ok, now I'm jealous! You have a whole week with just your hubbie, and you had butter tarts!!!!! Life just isn't fair! I grew up about 30 miles from Canada in Watertown NY and spent a lot of time in your great country. I used to go up to Gananoque by boat or car all the time and get beer and butter tarts! There was the best bakery there and they had awesome butter tarts. I just love those things! We really don't have anything exactly like them here....Sigh! I moved about 4 hours south now so the last time I had a butter tart was the last time I was in Canada, which was about about 5 years ago. You will be glad to know though, that while we were there I managed to pass the addiction of those tarts on to my son. I showed him your photo and he recognized the tarts instantly and wanted to go back to Canada and get some LOL! Hope you have a wonderful week and happy smooching in the kitchen!
The gansey yarn and swatch look beautiful! I'm so looking forward to hearing you talk when you get to my neighborhood!
Kitchen kanoodling! We keep looking at the big trestle table my dad gave us (and wondering why his girlfriend didn't want him to keep it, but both he and mom swear there was no kanoodling on it). Birks! My first pair had only one strap (=Jesus shoes). Have you tried Crocs? Equally dorky, wicked colors, much cheaper, and they float.
I missed my girls terribly when they finally left home. It left a huge hole in my life and took me ages to realize I had the rest of my life to live now so it was an exciting time for me - on to the next phase! Now, I love it when they come home for visits, but I treasure my own space and time once more. The house belongs to my husband and I again and it's lovely. The homespun looks wonderful too btw. :o)
EEkkkk!! Ive just remembered my knitting book i ordered from ebay is waiting at the post office for me to pick up - seeya !!
oh great post too - very funny **ha ha**
does Tove have a web site by which one could order both book and yarn? It is bee-yoo-ti-ful! I am just getting my feet (narrow) wet on a shawl for an expected babe of unknown sex due in one week. (Think it will wait for me? Not!) I think your pattern is next though...for moi (that;s "me" in franch you know!).
My foot was honoured to have met your foot.
My Birks stay on my feet until the snow flies. Well....actually until the snow is deep. Flying snow and Birks are not mutually exclusive. Especially now that I have knit my own pair of socks!!
I envy you! No kids for a week. That sounds lovely.
I will do lace weight one day, it doesn't like me right now. :)
I too have enjoyed time away from my children, although in my case they stayed home and my husband and I went to the lake. Once a week my husband has trekked home to get them some groceries and other necessities. They were safe at home this past week while Larry and I at the cottage were right in the middle of the huge storm which knocked out the power, forcing us and thousands of other people to live like pioneers for 5 days. At least I could still knit, during the day anyway.
I have the same freakishly short, wide, square feet that you do. Perhaps shorter.... I have to order a child's size Birkenstocks because a 35 is simply too large for me.
Maybe this has something to do with why I get called "kiddo" at the grocery store, even when I am buying beer?
OH MY GOSH...are those Raisin butter tarts in the picture. If I would show those to husband he would probably go to knitting functions more often. As an American I had never had butter tarts or mincemeat tarts before meeting the Canadian. WE LOVE butter tarts. I bet they were good, were they good? Did you have one for me, with a big cup of Timmie's coffee?
Note to self: call MIL and ask her to send Care Package to the US.
Good to see you're feeling better!
Ain't it somethin' to see your own handspun sitting there quietly, like that ball of stuff you spent all that money on in the store? It kinda gives a shape to one's feeling of accomplishment!
Speaking of "the store", it was great to meet you in person. It may not have sounded like it, and I feel like such a doofus, but as soon as you looked at me, I got star-struck. Instead of asking all the questions I had about The Sock, the girls and your trip, all I could think of to say was "Hi". Sigh.
Ah, well, maybe another time.
Oh, and Tove had something there that I had been seeking for months. I think she might just have to become my new best friend.
Glad you're enjoying your vacation from the kids. It IS a weird feeling. I got my nine-year-old to go to camp for the first time this year. I worried and dithered and wondered and fretted. Good thing my DH had some really great ideas. We went out on a date (After 15 years, I still remember how to flirt with him. Who knew?!), we had all the things for dinner that she wouldn't eat in a thousand years, we caught a movie. All in all, we had a wonderful time. And, yes, it was great to have her home, too.
Ummm, I seem to have written a book here. Oops.
As I look at my clock, it's 10:10 p.m. Must be just about time to go get a bowl full of Cheerios for dinner.
Forget the butter tarts--I'm digging the chips and salsa and cold beer.
And please light a candle to Our Lady of the Socks--my first time is not going well.
I'm a language geek on top of being a knitting enthusiast. Imagine my reaction to walking into a yarn shop for the very first time and coming across an entire section of books from Icelandic.
"Was excited" doesn't give the full effect. "Almost transcended this mortal coil" comes a little closer.
And there's no reason to leave the house if you don't have to. NO REASON AT ALL. Milk isn't essential, and when's the next time you'll have the house to yourselves? Call the kids, tell them to bring the essentials home with, and enjoy the peace and quiet while you can.
Yes, hon - you're the only one who didn't know about the laceweight/loðband - Schoolhouse Press sells it too.
I'm not sure what to think of the gansey-swatching. It's like there's an empty void in my life, where once there was gansey-anticipation. Sigh.
ah, stephanie.. my head is swimming just thinking of all you accomplish on a regular basis! touring, cherry picking, bike riding, book signing, book writing, blog entries, family raising, perpetual knitting.... i am overcome by my own scattered slothfulness!
eek! i just read the post from gwen above my previous post and i see we are from the same town!!! small town knitters unite!
Steph! :P HABU in NY I love you for writing about it. I had to go there on my *every woman needs a weekend in NY* trip last year. The fellow that was kind enough to put his horror nightmares of being dragged to woolshops by his mother as a child on hold to take me there was even impressed by how unlike a yarn shop it is. (oh and the finish on the steel doors too :) ) I bought the steel/silk blend and it's still sitting here, begging to be bookmarks (YES STILL) I've swatched it a little and need to find just the right pattern. I want to go back. I love that place. Thank you Steph for reminding me about it.
I think I'm disappointed. Nay, I feel slighted, with perhaps a touch of offended pique thrown in for good measure. You really think that little bit of swatching and math will be enough to sway Rams and I from our course? Or that we lack imagination enough to find other ways to annoy/nag/pester you mercilessly should the need arise? (which, by the way, it hasn't yet as Rams has already pointed out. Whether we get that photo of Joe modeling the swatch or not)
I always say I'd be such a great parent if only my child weren't around to interrupt and distract me. Oh well, she makes me laugh too.
Just so you don't get too comfortable being child free.... Last wednesday I broke my ankle and have been trapped in my house ever since - save the four hours that my mother is here EVERY afternoon to take me to lunch, make my bed and do my dishes. Even though I'm 36, I'm still her baby. She means well, but I actually can't wait until I go back to work this Wednesday!
And I thought I was so cool for having found this Lodband while in Iceland in late July. I'm glad to see that other people have found it too. Hope it turns out great! I haven't decided what to do with mine; I'm starting to think it might be a bit scratchy for socks, but who knows what will happen if I wash it a lot.(It starts out not washed.)
The fun part about it was that you buy can buy this yarn by weight (in Iceland anyway) and that it was bound in all different sized hanks.
I remember not knowing what to do for the first few weeks after the boys moved out. Then I began running around in my underwear and not feeling the need to make sure the tv and lights were turned off. However, tonight we came home to a rare visit and it was so nice to see them. Now all 3 of my boys are hanging out in the other room and I realize seeing them at work is never the same. Great timing on that post:) And I had no idea about the lace weight! Dangerous, very dangerous.
Lopi makes a lace weight??
Your bit about not wanting to cook reminds me of an old joke which I'll pare down significantly.
When Mother Theresa finally arrived in heaven she was really hungry. For lunch, she was served tea and toast. Then that night at dinner, tea and toast again. For breakfast the following morning, tea and toast. She was REALLY hungry now, and decided to broach the subject of the austere menu with God. His response: "Well, I do like to cook, but why bother when it's just the two of us?"
I love your gansey wool. I'm in the middle of two ganseys right now, one for my son (made out of Cascade "Arcadia" on a size 3 needle) and one for my husband (made from Bartlett worsted on a size 9). The kid one is posted -- in process on my site, but the one for hubby is a Xmas surprise. Ganseys are my favorite kind of knitting so far. As esthetically pleasing as lace, but without the brain damage.
Uh, is that a violin I see in the first pic of this post??? Who plays?? Do YOU?!?!??! I am a professional violinist and I play in the Colorado Symphony. My dad taught me to play the violin and to knit.......(You met both of us in Chicago)
Ouch. Just checked the milk in our fridge. Over a week out of date.
One of us is a slacker. The skinny one.
Your feet look remarkably like mine. I could use mine to stop Barney Rubble's car, pas de problème.
My son moved out of the house and into his own about a year ago. My grocery list now consists of diet cherry coke, MAYBE bread and fat free bologna (in case I get too lazy to go out for fast food...now that's lazy), and something sweet I generally have no business buying. Anything else just gets thrown away weeks later when it turns green. I'm saving my crisper drawers for yarn storage...just in case.
But, you never stop worrying about them....and savor every moment when they grace you with their presence.
Birkies: What Jo-Anne said. Birkies and socks work for all winter wear until the deep snow. Mild winter in south Iowa USA let me get away with only 3 days of boots the past winter. Yea gansey yarn and swatch,too. Most handsome.
Ahhhh - now you understand the pain of knitting for The Flame. Good news on the Romance Meter :)
to all dear people being fed up with the heat... please please please send it downwards! we are *so* looking forward to spring in the southern hemisphere. coldest winter here in 30 years.
about the kitchen thing: please do go on doing it, all of you. so your kids can see their parents/caretakers love each other. and that being very fond of each other is cool and normal. Very Important.
(also saves them heaps of worries about divorce and stuff)
I live alone, and my apartment doesn't stay clean when I clean it. Correction: I don't live with any other people. I live with rabbits. So I end up with hay over a large area of the floor, and rabbit hair everywhere. I haven't sat on my couch in weeks because it's covered in yarn, roving, a lazy kate...
I usually think of things I want to write when I'm on my bike and can't possibly write anything down. If I'm lucky, I write whole paragraphs in my head and then get them into the computer when I reach my destination. If I'm not lucky I get distracted by some moron, and it's gone.
Inappropriate footwear? No way. I like to think of Birkenstocks as the ideal way to showcase handknit socks!
harlot! while looking for an appropriate row house shot to send a friend, your trip to nl popped up. i've often thought that you need a photo of the most easterly sock in north america, of course i should have known that you had been there, done that!
i feel i must correct you though, not all newfoundlanders drop and add 'h's. in fact some of us sound like were from up along!
also, i cannot believe you climbed those stairs on signal hill with out complaining, i though it was a condition of the climb.
and joe's from corner brook, well you can tell him that a howley girl says hi. (i'm no ignorrant townie!)
lastly, next time you come to the island and you are visiting sin jonz, let me know, we'll go to the ship for a cold beverage with at least 7% alcohol!
Lopi Lace Weight??? Gasp . . . who knew? My LYS's has been holding out on me . . .
228 stitches around . . . I think I need to lay down.
I *love* your handspun! So even!! I can manage a halfway decent single, but plying always gets me in the end. My plied yarns wind up in the definite "novelty" category. You've given me something new to aspire to! :)
-sing-song-voice-......four whole days,four whole days,I have no famaily for four whole days.... Me and a cat. I'm so lonely...NOT!
luv dennyx0x0x0x0x(still in my jammies)
Well, I would have loved to have been there, but I was one of the unfortunates who didn't get their name in on time. Very disappointing. I'm sure it was a fabulous time, despite the heat. So, when's your next trip to Aurora???
Enjoy your child-free week!
On the peaceful front the best I can hope for is when the kidlets go back to school. On that first day I just sit, stare out the window and listen to *nothing*. How about I knit Joe's gansey, and you knit my husband's 60 inch chest(add a few inches for ease)5 stitch/inch sweater? Please don't do the math for me, ignorance is bliss.
Can I just say, again, that I *can't wait* for you to write a book on parenting. Hurry up, k? Cuz ma babies are growin!
Enjoy the peace, quiet, cleanliness, and romance. Plus a little knitting/writing. Sounds like your travels have been a lot of fun even if they are exhausting. At least by going in the summer heat you don't have to worry about weather/snow/ice delays at airports (maybe an occasional storm, but not as likely).
I love that shawl book. I recently bought it (not cheap, but worth it) and have just begun swatching for my first one (page 50, I'm starting with worsted weight).
My kids are away on holiday with their father and his companion, and the silence in the house is so glaringly apparent that I'm simply staying out as much as possible. Romance and cleanliness are wonderful things, but I miss them so much my head hurts. Of course, when they get back my head will hurt for different reasons. Parenthood is a crazy adventure, isn't it?
Sounds like a shtupfest going on to me.
Reading this today made my day! I have 4 girls 16-32, one at home, one in college and 2 out, the changes in the house are night and day. It does stay clean IF (that's not when) I clean it, the towels and laudry are down to 2 loads. How did I ever survive? Boston had a bad heat wave last week, we lost power in our area for 3 days straight for 9-13 hours at a time, it was MISERABLE! I could never be Amish, I could never hack it! Can you post the tart recipe? Sounds yummy! Enjoy the 'vacation of sorts'!
I love the Danes, and I love Denmark. I lived there for 6 years and still miss it (even though I absolutely love Oregon). If you haven't made it to Denmark yet, make a point of going there at some point, it's so worth it. Don't just stay in the east though, go to the west coast, it's beautiful there, and the people are very friendly
Okay I MUST comment on the foot picture. I myself have very small, wide almost square feet. They don't bother me, mind you, but look very much like yours. My mom, the kind soul that she is, tells me it looks like they were slammed into a brick wall. It could be worse I guess.
I am not getting rid of my kids next week, but my kids are getting rid of ME!. I am going to hide in a wonderful hotel in Victoria for three, count 'em THREE nights! On my schedule, sleeping, eating, soaking in the jacuzzi tub in my room (without being interrupted by boys or having to scrub the tub I want to soak in because they don't know how to clean their bathtub, let alone the bathroom - theirs! - that the tub is in), reading, knitting (or knitting while reading)and visiting as many yarn shops I can find in Victoria and visiting Munro's Bookshop. Did I mention the sleeping and being without kids (and hubby) part! Enjoy your quiet time Steph!
Isn't love grand? I am so pleased that you have discovered your inner teen and set about to making out with Joe now that your outter teens are absent. Keep on smoochin'!
Yikes. All this grownup knitter talk about ganseys, laceweight Lopi, Icelandic knitting symposia and making out, and all I can think is "mmmmmmm, butter tarts." Such a mope am I.
I just can't help myself, though. Mmmmmmm, butter tarts.
As soon as I can bear to turn the oven on for more than nine seconds, I am definitely making a batch of those -- and I will think of you as I pull them out of the oven and send Lloyd to the store for milk. :)
I had to comment on the Birkenstocks. I have BIG WIDE feet- Like a mans. Birks are my footwear of choice. Come to find out, the foot Doctor in Couer d' alene, recommends Birkenstocks! Just what the Doctor ordered! Tell that to the Ladies. Thanks for your blog.
Hooboy, that's a lot of love. My hubby is allergic to wool so I can't imagine spinning him the cotton or non-shiny silk to knit a sweater... in fact, still working on the knitting him a sweater thing.
I can't believe birks aren't appropriate footwear! Ha! One of the joys of having boys to young to care if mom is uncool.
Also totally understand your feelings about a quiet house. My boys are gone and it feels so terribly empty in my house and at 970 square feet that is a challenge.
Rams and Rachel smacking their foreheads? I will stand watch for the head trauma admissions sure to follow.
That's a violin in the background of that picture. What aren't you telling us? Is your life not truly an open book?
This is not about August 8, 2006. This is about March 10, 2004 (I am a really slow reader): "I can't believe I'm not going to throw that away." If you still have all that yarn, bring it to Salt Lake. Spinderella will card it into thrums for you and Her website: http://www.spinderellas.com/
Tove at Needles and Knits in Aurora
15040 Yonge St
does not have a web sight but if you phone her
1-905-713-2066 she will do mail order.as well as answer all your Questions.
I'm new to this parenting thing, but I do notice that on the days that the baby is with grandma, the house is quieter and the toys actually stay in one place. It's so enthralling to realize that! Then of course, I wonder if he is wearing sunscreen and getting in a good nap and whether grandma is singing the alphabet song for him. After reading your blog, I realize it's a universal mom thing!!
Gracious, a whole week? Lucky Steph. My in-laws took the littles (ages 2 and 4) for a whole weekend, and my last remaining teenager was either working or hanging with friends all weekend. So what did I do? Cleaned like a fiend! It was so very luxurious to have the living room, bathroom, and kitchen all clean at the same time! As for hanky-panky, well yeah, did that too.
My husband and I are quite fond of kitchen smooching (and stairway smooching, as he's a foot taller than I am), kids or no kids. It's good for them, no matter how gross they think it is. When my older ones were around 12 or so, he would do a big ol' Valentino bend-me-over-his-arm kiss whenever one of them said "Eww"!
And your feet? I see nothing inelegant there.
THe cleaning thing doesn't just apply to teenagers, it also applies to boyfriends (around the age of 24). If he goes away for weekend, the house gets cleaned, and stays clean, until he returns and then it back to milk left out of the fridge, using a total of 3 glasses and 4 mugs in 24 hours etc. Why not just wash up the previous one you used?
re: knitting for your so; it proves my so's favorite saying....sometimes it's about you, but, it's ALWAYS about the math.
i saw you in ann arbor and had a great time. you are really a standup comedian who just happens to have knitting as your topic.
after raising 3 kidlets, (or they raised me, not quite sure yet) i now live alone and love, love my free time. i also dearly love the darlings but have earned the right to do what i want when i want.
blessings to you,
Dearest Harlot, you are a Saint! to be facing that deadline and having the house and Joe to yourself, and yet you still remember your fans and dish up one mightly fine blog. Your just a saint! BTW, when I was married and had a child in the home, I fantisized constantly about all that I could do if only I could live alone. Now I do live alone and fantasize constantly about how others who are not alone must be in constant joy...it's been said many times by many people that discontent is human nature...I find no reason to argue with the statement. Enjoy yourself! (and Joe...last time you blogged a photo of him, he was, as I recall, quite the hunk, just saying...)
Beverly summed up my feelings pretty well! My man and I have the house to ourselves now that the 23 yr. old is on her own, and the 21 year old is in his last year of college. I guess it's mood-driven, but there are times I luxuriate in the quiet, free time. And then other times (like now) that I'm so lonesome for company that I literally ache. Much of this has to do with the fact we don't live near family anymore. But we're trying to remedy that. Job searches in our former hometown are currently underway!
Enjoy your quiet week, but I know you'll be so pleased to see your girls again when they return!
See? Stephanie obviously had her children young. I'm at the other end of the scale, a few years younger than her but only now discovering what children can wreak on your life/hopes/dreams/routine.
Four years ago I was living feral as a freelance writer. Now I am discovering that children really need lunch at lunchtime. Wierd.
Jeez I want that book! Three cornered shawls. Wish I could read it without the translations. I want to make Hyrna too!
Tove reminds me of my Mum, yet she's Danish and Mum's side was pom pom and more pom, with a little welsh thrown in.
Maybe you should have your mum take your girls more often!
I know what your talking about from onlookers view. My mom was always talking about how she hoped to be free of my presence one day, and now that she's free, she's constantly calling me about nothing and hinting that I should move closer to her.
It's the feeling of wanting something new. She wanted to be alone and now that she is, she's too alone.
Hey, Luv, just think of this time w/o children as prep for when they Move Out...which they *will* do eventually, even if only temporarily. When my DD (my eldest) left for university (out of town), I moped/grieved for a week. Eventually, it was nicer with her in short spurts. Once they're on their own, they don't suffer long periods "at home" well. Now our son (#2 of 2) is away 8 months a year, summers with him home are challenging...we cherish our peace and being a couple again...and not sharing our television/telephone/food/kitchen sink/bathrooms...and yet we miss him (and his girlfriend and his buddies) when they aren't around. Go figure. Ain't no happy medium. Sigh.
Hey, I didn't know Lopi made laceweight!! I was in Iceland a few years back and there was NO laceweight when I was fortifying my stash! Excellent news!
I too wear Birks most of the year- but at size 41 they are anything but cute. A friend in high school had short wide feet, but she always wore what she called "Boxfords".
Is Joe concerned about you becoming "fair isle" the same way he was concerned about your children becoming "fair isle" when you were "neglecting" your family at one point? We run into that here when the seventeen-year-old moans plaintively "but who will prepare my food?" when we leave him at home for more than two hours. I will probably miss him when he goes, but I'm willing to give it a try.
The whole (teen) childless thing you posted about was a surreal read for me. We just had a teen-less weekend and were completely lazy. Watched movies, did nothing about the trench in our yard, lots of hanky-panky...sigh...twas grand. We have one back now and antoher back in a week. Then just one week till school. Can't wait to get some serious knitting time in again.
OK, I have to weigh in on the Birks thing. Honestly, don't like 'em on me. I think I have unattractive feet anyway - I can only take so much self-flaggelation at one time, so no Birks. But a great alternative - especially in Winter are Dansko Clogs! The bottoms are polyurathane, not wood, so I don't sound like a herd of mustangs walking across my wood floors. They have a closed back style - The Professional - that is just the best, AND, they are a perfect compliment to hand-knit socks! Hand-Knit socks and Danskos, what every soccer mom needs walking those sidelines during the damp fall months in the Pacific Northwest. The poly is slow to transfer the cold from the ground, so your feet actually stay warm longer.
I have also discovered Dansko sandals and boots. Not clumpy and still with the poly soles. Comfy right out of the box! I am in love!
"Yarn seizure" is now a term I will either speak or think of daily.
I went to Alafoss (home of Lopi) in the town of Mossfellsbaer, Iceland this June. I bought the laceweight Lopi in orange and green (for me, the only possible choices, there was NO purple-y tone). I'm doing two lace ponchettes. Gorgeous. I iron as I go so I can admire it at all new lengths. One of the trendy young women, Johanna, actually gave Mom and I a ride to the home of Halldor Laxness, (Iceland's only Nobel Laureate for fiction) in the actual Alafoss van!! I've gotta go back!
oooooh! don't rip!!! do not rip!!!
i hope you don't rip...
HABU?! they are so amazing, aren't they?! the stuff they come up with as well as the regular stuff--huge hanks of wool! it's so addictive.
and the birkenstocks--i love them. but i'm now converted to crocs. and danskos. Crocs are like Birks, except waterproof and very very lightweight, no breaking in needed, and in all colors of the rainbow! Danskos--it's like walking on air. literallly. get thee a pair!
:o)and did i mention, do not rip?! heehee...
I would like to join the freakishly small, wide, square feet club. I've been told by more than one shoe salesman that I my feet would fit better in an empty shoe box, than the shoes that were in them. My brother's feet are so square at the toes that he has trouble wearing Keen shoes and you know how box toed toe boxed those are!
So the Houston knitters are desperate to get you to Houston, preferably in the WINTER when it is nice here and not sweltering 100 degrees. You told me to write so you could point me in the right direction. Does a shop have to be involved? Or a guild? Or could it just be organized by the Houston Knitbloggers? (Non-muggles. We get it.)
And why didn't I think to take a photo of my Birks with yours? Birks ROCK. They are the best, especially for those of us with nice, solid feet.
Podcast to be recorded soon, although I may have to split the summer adventures into two podcasts. I'll keep you posted when the "Harlot" show is live.
Now I'm going to go enjoy the child-free time in my house. Maybe I'll go make out in the kitchen for 15 minutes or so - sounds like fun!
Reading (and snickering) your lament about your feet and your quote is "Clearly, great minds think alike". Well, my grandma (who came from Leeds originally) always used to say "Great minds think alike", then pause meaningfully, then add "and fools seldom differ".
I absolutely love to trot out this gem on my kids, who are mostly old enough to Leave Me Alone When It's Time For Lunch and Do It Themselves.
These quotes my children understand. They still haven't gotten the one "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride". How about "If wishes were stashes, knitters would die happy?"
You've Been Nominated By One Of Your Peers For A Plummy Award
Hello and congratulations!
Someone you know (or don't know) is a very big fan of yours, and has nominated you for a Plummy Award for Excellence in Crafting. You have been nominated in the following category: Best Crafting Blog
Again, congratulations. The person who nominated you left the following comments:
Stephanie is a Knitter. A capital kay Knitter. She has
been knitting as long as she's been able to tie her shoes, and continues
to be amazed by the cleverness possible with two sticks and some string.
Her blog is updated regularly, has a stalker-like worldwide following
and actually creates action (The Knitting Olympics) that is felt by the
non-knitting public. Stephanie has brought knitting to the level of
sport. She is awesome, funny, clever, and accessible.
-Katy in Chicago
If you think someone is deserving of a Plummy, please visit the website and nominate them. We're taking nominations through August 15th. http://plummies.plumofthemonth.com
Be proud! There's even a little button you can post on your MySpace, blog, or website to let visitors know you've been recognized. It's located here (feel free to hotlink) http://plumofthemonth.com/plummies/nominee.jpg
Have a plum terrific day,
Amy and Rachel of Plum of the Month
I have nothing at all to say about this particular post, but just wanted to thank you, Stephanie. I'm an EP'er who's been up all night trying to unclog a duct (which I know you'll understand, being an IBCLC and all). I stayed awake during the pumping by going back and reading the archives. My DH, who was on baby duty all night (and last night was of course the night she decided to wake up every 45 minutes, which she hasn't done in about two months), is a little miffed this morning. Apparently I wasn't giggling quite as quietly as I thought. Anyway, thanks for being funny and interesting enough to distract me from the discomfort and keep me awake. And yes, the clog is gone now. :)
Oh, and thanks for making me desperately want to make a Festival Shawl, which apparently is not to be had for love nor money. I'm going to need a lot of other yarn -- expensive yarn -- to make up for this disappointment. You'll explain to my husband, right?
I have been reading your blog for almost a year now, and also have all your books, but have never sent a comment. But, I loved that picture of Zoe and her socks. She is the face of the new knitter!!!! I have been knitting for 50 years and I think it is so cool that young people are getting into knitting. My daughters tell me I'm "trendy". Speaking of daughters:They are both in their mid 30's and they still tell my husband and I (who just celebrated our 40th anniversery, by the by) to "get a room" when we make out. Keep writing. Your books and blog just make me laugh, and take my mind off what is happening in this crazy world of ours.
Rosemary C in sunny and warm San Jose, Ca. (when are you coming to Stitches West??)
Not much on my mind these days, but what can I say? It's not important. I just don't have much to say lately. I've just been letting everything pass me by recently, but eh.
I've just been hanging out not getting anything done. What can I say? I've basically been doing nothing worth mentioning, but pfft. Not that it matters. Pretty much nothing exciting happening to speak of. I haven't been up to much these days.
I just don't have anything to say right now. I haven't been up to anything recently, but it's not important. I've just been sitting around waiting for something to happen, but shrug.
My life's been pretty dull recently. Shrug. My mind is like a void. I haven't gotten anything done lately. I can't be bothered with anything recently.
Basically nothing noteworthy happening right now, but eh. Today was a complete loss. I haven't been up to much recently. I've pretty much been doing nothing worth mentioning.