Long Distance Knitting Ninja

I’ve got two feelings about knitting that most of you will have guessed by now. (Well, I have lots and lots of feelings about knitting, but let’s just talk about two today. It’s best not to let all the crazy out of the box at once.) First, I think knitting is a good friend to have. I’m seldom lonely if I have my knitting with me – especially if it’s the right kind, and like all good friends, knitting (usually, let’s not go too deep here) makes me feel pretty good about myself. No matter what else I suck at, knitting can give me a deep feeling of accomplishment, a sense of order out of chaos, and the knowledge that I do a lot of things (just not all things) pretty well.

Second, I think it’s not that hard. Sure, I hear ya, there’s some knitting that’s really hard (and I like that kind too) but mostly I think that it doesn’t take a lot to be solidly mediocre at it. Excellence, that’s harder, I grant you, but I think that most everyone can pull of “pretty okay” at knitting if they give it a go.

Now, keep those two things in mind, and let me tell you a story.  Most of you have met Cameron by way of this blog by now, and know that he’s a fairly recently converted knitter. He asked me to teach him after an incident last year when he rescued my knitting at a pub (I’d left it behind.) When he asked me, I asked him why he wanted to learn to knit, and he said that it seemed to him that I took a lot of pleasure in it, and he wanted to try. (I found that, as I find most reasons for knitting, pretty charming. Ken learned so that he could repay the favour of all the knitted stuff I’ve bestowed upon him, Pato learned so he’d be more valuable in a zombie apocalypse, and Joe asked me to teach him when we were first together, and though it didn’t stick, I’ve always thought it was probably part of why we ended up married. I’m pretty sure that was his reason for it, and it totally worked. I’ve never found any knitting more charming than his.) I taught Cameron, and he’s ended up being a very good, if somewhat come-and-go beginner. (Apparently he has other interests. Odd, but true.) The first thing he made out of the gate was a hat, and then a baby surprise sweater, and then he’s largely plowed through a pair of mittens. (He is reluctant to knit the thumbs. I feel like this is normal.)  By the end of all of that, Cameron could knit, purl, increase, decrease, pick up stitches (sort of) work in the round on circulars and DPNs, and (with some degree of complaining) follow a pattern. I feel like that makes him solidly beginner/intermediate – and no, I don’t think that I started him on stuff that was too hard, and I’d appreciate it if you didn’t mention it either.)

Fast forward to this year, and Cameron and I are Co-Leads of Rider Team Leads (we know, dumb name) on the Bike Rally Steering Committee again, and it’s lots of meetings and lots of time but we don’t mind because we think it’s really, really important, and so we juggle things around, and make it work. We’re friends too, so the work is fun together, and totally worth the way that it sucks up knitting time. (I like to think that working for life-saving charities is a way of giving other people more eventual knitting time. It helps me stick to it in a crunch.) About seven weeks ago, Cameron found out that he was going to have to go to Australia for work, and that he was going to have to go for five weeks. Seven weeks before the Rally, he was going to have to put down his life here in Toronto, and go live on another continent. We worked out how we’d manage the workload with a 14 hour time zone difference (it’s a big deal, especially when things are pressing, or important) and that I’d be doing the meetings for a while.

It was more than that though. He’d miss Pride, Canada Day, most of the short Canadian summer, a few birthdays, and all the fundraising and training for the Rally, all of which was going to add up to me what seemed like a lot of loneliness and a Rally that hurt and didn’t raise as much money as usual in exchange for all that hurt – all while working really hard on his regular job.  (I did not say all this to Cameron. He’s a reasonably smart guy, and I didn’t want to demoralize him. He was being pretty good about it all.) I thought about all of that, and then I did the only thing that I thought would help, considering the two true things that I mentioned about knitting.

I gave him sock yarn, and 2.25mm DPNs.

Now, in retrospect, I see that alone on another continent wasn’t exactly an idea situation for learning to knit socks, but it felt like the sort of personal emergency that only knitting socks could fix, and he had said that he thought that knitting socks was pretty cool and he’d like to do it “someday”, and to a knitter, all that ended up feeling to me like the yarnish equivalent of chum in the water. I got him set up, and he left.

There were a few texts after that, but the socks seemed to be going pretty well, if slowly, but I can forgive a beginner that entirely, but then things sort of stalled out. He didn’t say much about the knitting, and I interpreted that as a signal that he wasn’t lonely, that everything must be just fine, and I didn’t bring it up for a while. I finally asked, in a casual sort of way how they were coming along (brave that, thinking of them as plural) and Cameron admitted that he’d had a “tiny” problem with the ribbing, and didn’t know how to fix it, and he was stuck. I wasn’t sure if we could fix knitting by text – but agreed to try. He sent me a picture of the “tiny” problem.

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Yeah. I know. I’ve been over that in my  head a bunch of times too, and let me tell you this: I have been teaching knitting for a long time, and usually it only takes me a minute to work out how someone got into trouble, and to figure out how to get them out, but that? I still have no idea how he managed to to it. It’s one of the most creative ways to screw up that I’ve ever seen. Did he change direction? Did he drop a stitch and…. I don’t know. Maybe he gave it to a kangaroo for a bit, but that knitting was a mess. He sent a few more views, and they were pretty breathtaking. Here is where it gets suspenseful. Thanks to the time zones, and the fact that I sleep at night and he does too, there would be a huge delay. He’d send a picture, 8 hours later I’d send one back. Pictures with arrows and indicators and “Step one” written underneath, and telling him what to do with A and B and C.

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He’d do what I said (8 hours later)  then send another picture. I’d look at that (8 hours later) and send back more instructions.  The first one I sent said “The way I see it, you’ve got three problems.”  I didn’t say anything about his chances.  See my second point above. I hoped that if I didn’t mention that this was black-ops level fixing, that he wouldn’t know and he’d just…. do it. I believe firmly that if you don’t tell someone something is hard, they might not notice. I didn’t praise him, nor act for even one little minute like it was remarkable, or amazing that a brand stinking new knitter on his fourth project would be making a repair like that without another knitter sitting alongside. I was afraid to shatter the illusion – like pointing out to a bumblebee that flight is actually impossible for them and then having them crash to the ground.

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Back and forth we went over days – Cameron dropping stitches, rearranging them and following directions

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(mostly – there was debate that was pretty fierce about tinking back half a row – or as fierce as debate can be, considering the lag) until finally, yesterday, he sent this.

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It’s fixed. Cameron has a friend in Australia again. He did it, and now that it’s done, I feel like I can tell him this. That, buddy, was pretty impressive, and I still don’t know how you did it.  See you in a few weeks. Hang in there, and knit. It’s a good friend.  If it doesn’t feel like that, do it more.

(By the way, if you’re impressed too, you can show him with a little donation to the ride. He hasn’t made his goal yet. Doing that might make the riding hurt a little less.)

PS: Happy, Happy 4th of July to all my American friends. Enjoy!

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Oh, Canada

I bet you thought I wasn’t going to post for Canada Day this year, but here I am, what may seem like a few days late, but it’s not. Our family had ton’s of commitments this weekend, but luckily the grand occasion of Canada’s Sesquicentennial fell on a Saturday this year, and that means that today’s a Statutory holiday as well, and bingo – there was our Canada Day together.  We had a little party with a simple premise. Bring Canadian food.

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Blog, we had the loveliest time. Poutine, ketchup chips, Hawaiian Pizza (that’s pizza with pineapple on. It’s a bizarrely delicious and Canadian idea) and Caesars and Nanaimo bars and butter tarts and oysters from PEI, and maple (and sprinkle) donuts from Tim Hortons.

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The kids laughed and played (except Elliot, who wasn’t really into Canada Day, but his dad stuck a flag into his carseat to make it look like he was in the spirit) and we all had a great time in each other’s company, and unbelievably, it didn’t rain. It was perfect.

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I always wax a little poetic on Canada Day – I’ve written so many posts where I listed wild and wonderful facts about this beautiful place, but this year, we found ourselves talking more than once about the wonderful advantages all the little people in our family have, by virtue of having the good luck to be born here.

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They live in a safe country, one that prizes inclusion, diversity, fairness and being a refuge for people all over the world. They live in a country with health care for all – a system so good that only 3% of Canadians will ever get health care in another country in their lifetimes, and most of those times are when they’re on holiday. Canadian life expectancy is 6th in all the world. (We’re beaten out by just five countries, Japan, Switzerland, Italy, Australia and Sweden.) My grandson will live well into his eighties, if he’s average. (I like to think he’s way better than that.)

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He and Luis and Frankie have had the good luck to be born in the most educated country in the world, one where the literacy rate is over 99%, and the only country in the world where more than 51% of all citizens have a tertiary education –  and they will most likely be bilingual (or in Frankie and Luis’ case, trilingual.) Because they’re Canadian, they’ll probably be avid travellers, and welcome all over the world.

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Thanks to being born here – Their parents will enjoy a full year of paid parental leave (even if they were adopted) with the option of extending it to 18 months.  As they grow, they’ll enjoy the beauty of our country, no matter where they live in it, and clean air (the third cleanest in the world) and they’ll be treated with fairness, no matter who they choose to love, who they say they are, or what faith they profess, if any.  On top of all of that, they live in the same country as Santa Claus.

Hopefully they’ll learn to love the winters…

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because that’s the only downside we could think of.

Happy Sesquicentennial Canada. We’re so grateful to live here. Bonne fête!

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Still in the kitchen

Thank you all so much for all the kind words about our little Millie. It took me forever to read all the comments*, because I could only get through so many before dissolving again, and I’m trying to move past this phase where I weep desperately about a cat 43 times a day. The world is full of big and important things, and here I sit, completely trashed over a tiny mammal. Her food and water bowls are still in the kitchen, neither of us seem to be able to get rid of them, and we haven’t had a conversation about her box, or her scratching post. These little artifacts – her brush, her comb, the jar of catnip… we’ll have to do something about them I suppose, but for now, we avoid looking at all of it, and don’t talk about it.  Even knitting has been a bit hard, since she always sat right beside me while I did it, and her absence triggers the aforementioned weeping. I’m not really a weepy person – so I don’t know how to knit and weep at the same time, and it turns out that just holding your knitting doesn’t get much done.

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**

I’m trying to change that today though, because Robyn is still pregnant, and although she has plenty of sympathy for the loss of a pet, I can’t imagine she’ll have patience for it much longer, and despite a baby or two having broken my streak, the suspicion lingers that babies don’t come until their blanket is done. I don’t want her thinking that her continued condition is my fault.  I’ve not been carrying it with me because charts and huge blankets aren’t good around-the-town knitting, but today I’m packing it along. It’s starting to feel impossible to finish the thing, and that means I need a big chunk of knitting time to get ahead of its inertia. I swear I’ve poured an entire other ball of yarn into it and you can’t really tell.  This may mean that I’ve done that thing where the blanket is bigger than I thought again, but no way to know until it’s not so scrunched up on the needles. We’re going to war, this blanket and I. It ends here. It ends now.***

 

*Thanks too for the Rally donations in Millie’s memory. They are very touching, and make me laugh, which is a lovely antidote to all that weeping. That cat didn’t even know what a bike was.

**It is raining again, so that picture looks like I took it at night. I swear I don’t know how many more rain days I can take.

***Ok not now-  there’s a lot of the edging to go, but it was a satisfyingly dramatic thing to type.

 

Millie BadCat

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From the moment I saw her years and years ago, I knew Millie was the cat for me. She was very small, and the tag on her cage at the Humane Society said that she liked to chase moths, and I thought that made her a knitter’s cat for sure. Turns out she didn’t give a crap about moths, but she was a hell of a mouser, and regularly attempted to make short work of every animal in the neighbourhood.

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It wasn’t at all unusual to have to unhook her from the front windowscreens where she hung, hurling invective at some enormous dog she felt sure she could end if she could just get through the damn window.  She slept on my head every night and went on hungerstrikes when I left town. She liked to put her tail in my bath. Her favourite food was pizza, she was tidier than we were, and she taught all the girls to hang up their coats through the magic of urine… and I didn’t know just how much I loved her until today. She drove me crazy.

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Millie was an old lady by now – in human years she’d be in her nineties, and up until the last few days she’d been having a pretty good run. She still made her rounds every morning to make sure that there were no squirrels that needed threatening, and she continued to raid the compost bin if the lid was left open, fulfilling a deep passion for any food that was not intended for cats.  In the last little bit she’d become very skinny, and seemed to have less energy, and today a visit to the vet for what we thought was something minor became very major indeed, and we said by to our little cat just an hour after a diagnosis so devastating that there was nothing else to do. She was a very, very good cat, and we wouldn’t have wanted to see her suffer for a minute longer.

I’ll get back to knitting and fundraising tomorrow, goodness knows both need doing, but  tonight I think I’ll just have a really good cry for my 3.77lbs of wee beast.

Monday was a stinking slag heap of a day. Monday’s scene was scrambled, it couldn’t get itself together, and despite noble, persistent and good-natured attempts by yours truly to bring it around and call it to its higher self, Monday didn’t even try to work things out with me. I tried with Monday, I really did. I tried going for a training ride – it’s been so hard to find the time and energy, only to get a stinking flat tire. (Which I changed, with no amount of struggling for good humour.)  I trudged through it, attempting to charm it into submission, but Monday proved too much for me, and after spending the evening’s knitting time trying to untangle a ball of yarn that had contorted itself into something that looked like it had been in a toddler’s toy chest for a week,  I fell into bed that night thinking the best thing an optimistic person can after a day that’s clearly out to get them, which was “well, at least it’s over.”

Tuesday? Tuesday wasn’t as bad as Monday, but let’s be clear, it lacked the joie de vivre and decent good sense that any day attempting to follow a train-wreck of a Monday should have had. Tuesday didn’t even try.  I gave up on Tuesday last night when it rained on me last night and the porch roof leaked.

Today? Today is, rather literally, sunshine and roses.  I went for a training ride by myself, and it was nothing short of lovely. Not too hot, not too cold, very sunny but I didn’t get a sunburn, my inbox is almost sorta kinda under control, and I am finally ready to start the edging on this baby blanket.

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The chart I devised even works, and I have a clever idea for the corners that I think will work, though I’m not far enough off from Monday and Tuesday’s pale curse to go so far as to say I’m confident. My jeans fit just right, and tonight I’m having dinner (it’s Joe’s turn to arrange it) and a cuddle with Elliot Tupper, and he has learned to smile and has the beginnings of a clumsy laugh,  and does his best to pretend he likes me best. (Joe will argue and say it’s him that’s the favourite, and even that charms me.)

Happy Summer Solstice, my friends (except for Cameron and other knitters in the Southern hemisphere – for them it’s one of my favourite days, the Winter Solstice. Light a candle. As of today, the light is on it’s way back to you.) Tonight we’ll sit in the garden, ignore the weeds, and marvel at how long it stays light.

How’s your day?

I think it’s in the living room

Random thing the first: I got on my bike this morning and took about sixteen deep breaths before pushing off and going to the gym.  (Did I tell you about this? I’ve started picking up heavy things and putting them back down again. I’m absolutely terrible at it, but that’s not the point. Avoiding osteoporosis and staying strong is the goal, so it doesn’t matter that I’m a pathetic weight lifter. I’ve got the bar low. Literally and figuratively.)  Four trips across the continent, a retreat and several birthdays in a row have finally managed to knock the organization off me and left everything a mess. (The fact that my unpacked suitcase is still in the middle of the living room is a terrible sign. Note to self, tidy that.) I’ve also given up trying to make a blog post with flow.

2. The retreat was great, as it always is, and the yarn bombings were beyond compare – as you can imagine from a group inspired by World Wide Knit in Public Day. (We tried to knit in public, but when you’re at a knitting retreat it’s hard because knitters are the public. We did our best.

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3. We had some fantastic yarn bombings this time, but I think this was my absolute favourite, metres and metres of icord, knit from leftovers and wound through the railing on the landing of the Inn.

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The best part of it was watching it grow. The first morning there was a few rows, then the next morning it was a little bigger, and by the last day it was as you see it, the whole thing filled in.

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Nobody saw how it got to be there either, it was like a vine that only grew in the night. Non-knitters thought it was cool, but the knitters were bananas for it. (That’s a lot of i-cord.)

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4. On Wednesday, which just so happened to be my birthday, I left Port Ludlow at 8:30am, and staggered through the door (after a car ride, a ferry ride, another car ride, two planes (one cancelled and re-booked) and a taxi) at 2:30 am and it was not the best way to spend your birthday ever devised.  I admit, it had a lot of knitting in it, which should have been decent groundwork for a birthday, but failed to deliver.  I tried to be chipper about it, because I was travelling with Jen, but the truth is that I miscalculated how I’d feel about it, and it wasn’t awesome.

5. I felt bad about this until (while I was just thinking about whinging about our cancelled flight) a friend I was texting with said I should call a do-over. This is apparently a completely legal birthday manoeuvre that I have somehow gotten to be 49 years old without knowing.  It turns out that if a birthday looks like it’s about to go sideways, you can call a do-over, as long as you do it before you’ve had the whole birthday. (This is, I suppose, a way of making sure that you don’t cheat and get out of hand, trying to get more birthday than you properly deserve.) I get the feeling that you need to call it before there’s a cake with candles in or something else that’s irrevocable, but luckily for me, all I’d had was a frisking at security. (Hardly seems like it would count.)

6. I have decided to have my do-over on Sunday, when I can see my family and have dinner with them instead of getting that Happy Birthday text message with the balloons over and over again, which while thoughtful, is not even a little bit the same.

7. I have not seen Elliot in 10 days, which is a record. Joe got to see him day before yesterday and I am so jealous I could die, but that’s unbecoming, so I’m trying to get over it. Not only have I called do-over for Sunday, but also dibs on the baby.

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8. The blanket is not done but I am getting close.

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That’s a lie. If I’m lucky I’ll finish the border today, and then I still have the edging to do.

9. Thank you to everyone who sent donations for the ride for my birthday – trying to get everyone on Team Knit (that’s me, Jen, Ken, Cameron and Pato) to their goals is an amazing Birthday gift, and all I really need. I was especially charmed by the donations of $49.

10. This is because I am now 49.  I think what I love best is that PWA is going to be absolutely flummoxed trying to figure out why on earth someone would donate $49.  (For the record, our Lady Jen was 43 on June 12th.)

11. Tomorrow, rain or shine (because we’re running out of training time, we have to ride even if it rains) Team Knit will ride their bikes 92km. (That’s 57miles, for my American friends.) We’ve all set our phones so that they ding when we get a donation for PWA. The ride tomorrow has a lot of hills, and I can’t tell you what that ding does when you’re halfway up one. Puts the whole thing in perspective.  The only member of Team Knit that won’t be on his bike tomorrow is Cameron, who’s still working in Australia, and spending a lot of time worrying that I am going to ride my bike faster than him because he’s not able to train.

12. To be fair, this is pretty much my goal.

Karmic Balancing Gifts? Game on. I just have time for a few. (PS, if you missed how this works and have no idea what we’re on about, then see here.)

First up, from the rather amazing Lucy Neatby, we have a gift of 10 of her amazing DVDs. I’ve got all of these and they’re amazingly helpful, even if you’re not into the topic. (By the way, if you’re not the DVD type, you should try her craftsy classes. Lucy’s a really, really great teacher.) Lucy will be sending Knitting Essentials 1&2 to Erin F.

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Sock Techniques 1&2 to Clair S.

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Knitting Gems 1&2 to Amanda H

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Knitting Gems 3&4 to Janet A

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and Intarsia Untangled 1& 2 to Evelyn U. I hope you love them as much as I do. (PS, don’t try to watch while you’re knitting something unrelated. It’s disastrous.)

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Next  up, three great gifts from Sarah at Sea Turtle Fibre arts in Calgary. First, she’s got this gorgeous set of gradients that she’s sending to Meg W. (She’s including a co-ordinating skein of Charcoal, you lucky duck)

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a Kit to make this Goldfinch Shawl by Drea Renee, including the pattern and 3 skeins of their Riptide MCN Sport for Emma F.

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and last, but certainly not least, a set of our three of their most popular Rainbow colours on Ridley Sock: Dark Side of the Moon, Rainbow Brite and Rainbows and Unicorns will be going to Patricia J.

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So perfect for Pride month Sarah, thank you!

More Monday, assuming tomorrow’s ride doesn’t kill me. (Oh, the hills.)

I am like the wind

Randomly on a Wednesday: Subtitle – things I have done since last we were together.

1.  I applied all your suggestions in the last post, and the baby blanket is way, way bigger. This picture isn’t even accurate – because since I took it, I’ve picked up stitches all around the sides, and I’m working the border pattern in the round. Hope is on the horizon with this one, because tomorrow I leave for the June retreat, and I’ll have a whole bunch of travel time. I’m sort of excited. (About the retreat too, although I’m super psyched for the knitting time.)

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2. Jen and I went out and did a training ride together. I’m behind on my rides (you would not believe how completely crappy our weather has been) and Jen is even behinder- since she had to wait for school to end and her job to be over to be able to get out there, but get out there we did. A rather good showing of 50km, with no whining, which you should all be really impressed with, considering our ages and the way you can’t knit while you ride a bike.

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Jen’s the same as me that way –  her behaviour is mostly yarn led, and we’re both better people when our knitting is in our hands. It’s a wonder we can cycle at all, now that I think of it.

3. I made Elliot a sweet little sun hat (that I assume he’ll wear if summer ever arrives here.)

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It’s the Baby Sunbonnet from Purl Soho (they have stuff besides knitting stuff – who knew?) and it wasn’t too hard. It worked out really nicely, actually. There was only one problem.

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It was a little big.  I’ll make him another one.

4. By the way, I think it’s way more embarrassing to have a sewn thing come out the wrong size than a knitted thing. It’s not like it changes with blocking or it’s all scrunched up on a needle, and there’s no gauge to shaft you. It’s just… a mistake. Failure to measure.

5. Meg and I spent an afternoon making her a wrap skirt, perfectly adjustable for the post-baby changing figure. She can just keep cinching it in. Elliot was super helpful.

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6. That one came out the right size.

7. I flew to Portland on Sunday to meet up with Stephen, so that we could surprise Debbi for her birthday. (There was a party organized, we didn’t just show up.)

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I got on a plane first thing in the morning, and so did Stephen, and we met there and went for a walk in the Rose Garden (Fine. We ran. It was ambitious and we ran out of time.) and then we grabbed a hotel, put on pretty clothes and showed up at the party. I’m pretty sure we took a couple years off of Debbi’s life.

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8. I flew back the next day. I’m still not sure it was all smart. (I am kinda tired.)

9. I drove Cameron to the airport, because he has to go to Australia for work for five weeks, and I’m not really sure that’s how either of us imagined getting ready for the Rally  – working together as Co-Leads on different continents, but work is work, and we have to pay the bills, and it’s going to be harder on him than me, so I’m trying not to whine. He’s going to do his best from away – and I’m going to pick up the slack here. He packed himself off on the plane with his brand spanking new socks in progress in his carry on (and his almost finished thumbless mittens in his suitcase. It’s like he’s a totally real knitter now- he’s 99.5% of the way there. I’m withholding the .5% because he didn’t worry about being underyarned for the voyage.)

10. I am packing, because tomorrow I head back to the West Coast (I know. I was just there. I know, you’ll say I should have stayed, but I really wanted to have a few days with Joe, and to see Elliot and there was a fundraising meeting last night that I thought was really important because fundraising is behind for the Rally this year) and did I tell you that Jen is going with me? It’s her birthday this weekend (and almost mine) and so we’re celebrating – knitter style. We’re going to party like animals. (By party we mean go to a knitting retreat. It’s the same. Six days away where you only talk about knitting, do work that’s about knitting, hang out around around knitting and only are with knitters? That’s like the non-knitters birthday equivalent of hookers and blow. We’re meeting at the airport at dawn and we’re gonna let the good times roll. )

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11. We did a lot of baby holding. It’s super competitive around here. Stay strong Pato. Don’t let the Grampas get him from you. They’re circling like buzzards.

At least it’s on time

I’ve hit that point in the blanket project, I’m sure you know which one I mean. It’s that thing where you look at an innocent looking project, and all you can see is a gaping abyss of knitting ahead of you, and no possible way you could ever be finished.

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I know it looks like an ordinary blanket, but it’s my yarn eating nemesis. I’m just beginning the third ball, and the yarn keeps going in, and no knitting comes out. I’m not sure how that’s possible, this knitterly version of constipation, but here I am, and I’m a little worried about this blanket, because it’s got a long way to go, and it’s a bit early to be feeling so wildly desperate when I look at it.  I pick it up, and all I can think of is eighty-seven other things I’d rather be knitting, and twenty two projects I could be working on, and all of them seem better than this white wasteland of woolen despair. (Yesterday I actually cleaned the kitchen to avoid it. Bad sign.)

Usually, when knitting gets like this (and I don’t blame the blanket – every project tries this crap with me at some point) I add distraction.  A good book to listen to, a movie on the TV… I don’t watch a lot of TV, but there’s a lot to be said for a good binge watch of a show at this point, and I can’t believe I wasted the new season of Grace and Frankie on bootees and a sweater that I wasn’t sick of at all. It was remarkably short sighted, because the only way out of this is a whole whack of knitting time to break the back of it. I need to be on the winning side of this blanket. I need hope.

What do you do when you’re sick to death of a project, long before it’s done?

(PS. Don’t say that you knit something else. I’m on a deadline.)

(PPS. I don’t think I’ll do another blanket for a while after this one.)

(PPPS. I probably just got someone pregnant typing that.)

Making

Making – The baby blanket. I’m two repeats in, and I think optimistically it’s going to take 15 repeats for the body, and then I can pick up stitches round my square, and get on with the border.

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Making– it clear that I know that the blanket and the swatch aren’t the same and I there is no reason to panic, that stitch pattern comes later. There is no need to send me 2445 emails telling me that you are very worried that I am making an extremely large mistake that I have not noticed.  (Although I admit that I am completely and totally charmed by them – I can guarantee that one would say “Stephanie, I didn’t want to leave a comment that might embarrass you but I think that you are using the wrong instructions for your blanket – the stitch pattern looks nothing like the swatch. Thought you would want to know before you knit the whole thing.”)

Making: Our own clothes. The sewing thing went pretty well, I made a pair of pants that are exactly what I wanted – after I ripped the seams out 4 times because of a really weird mistake around Imperial measurements (I didn’t convert them, I just guessed what 65″ was (and apparently I have NO IDEA) and compounded by some strange body image thing that didn’t warn me before I put the pants on that they were way too big.

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They are way smaller now. When I get a picture I’ll show you.  We finished shorts for Sam –

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and she’s living in them. It turns out that until she owned Power Ranger shorts, she didn’t know there was a void in her life.

I made a skirt too! (I used this semi-pattern, though I don’t take direction particularly well)

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It’s reversible – the inside is plain green.

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I’m quite happy with it, though it’s a bit big as well. I’ll be moving the buttonhole so I can cinch it a little smaller.

Making: Up my mind that this weekend I need to ride my bike at least 80km. (That’s 50 miles, if you have as much trouble with metric as I do imperial.) I’ve been delaying getting out there as much as I should because I’ve been waiting for better weather (Toronto remains cold and rainy, and a lot of my bike routes are flooded) but while I’ve been waiting the training rides have been getting longer, and now I’m behind and pretty nervous. I rode 65km last weekend, and I’ve been out twice this week on shorter ones, but it’s time to get serious and take my lumps.

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That’s what the weather here looks like for the next week. Hold Team Knit in your heart a little this weekend. We’re going to be wet.

Making – up a list because it’s time for the first round of Karmic Balancing gifts!

First up, the kind folks at Rib Magazine (That’s Eric, Devon and Jennie) will be sending copies of their second issue to five knitters Brenda G, Mary H, Karen F, Melora B, and Kathleen C .

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I’m in love with this magazine, by the way – if their second issue is as good as the first? You’ll love it too. They say “Rib Magazine‘s exciting second issue NAVIGATE is now available. With four garment designs from Irina Anikeeva, Fiona Ellis, Catrina Frost and Annie Lupton, as well as four accessory designs by Benjamin Krudwig, Maria Muscarella, Anca Mustea, and Louise Tilbrook, you’re sure to find something to knit for yourself or the men in your life.”

Helena, Alexa, and Julie; AKA Oink Pigments have this beautiful skein of their brand new Targhee Sock – 100% USA grown, processed, mill spun, & hand dyed blend of 90% Superwash Targhee and 10% Nylon in “Goldfish Bowl” that will be making it’s merry way to  Joanie S.

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Julia at Semi-cool Ceramics (Pop over to that shop, she has some very charming things)  has made a beautiful handmade yarn bowl,

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and I bet she didn’t know it when she made it, but it’s for Emma C.

Lisa T just got lucky – she’ll be choosing a gradient bundle like this one,

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from all the beautiful choices over at Dirty Water DyeWorks.  Thanks for donating that Stephanie, I have no idea how Lisa will choose.

Finally..

Making: Myself late. I gotta get downtown. I’ve emailed everyone who lucked out in the Karma department – and there will be (way) more to come. Thanks to everyone for the amazing donations and the wonderful gifts and you’re all my favourites.

Good News

I know that nobody out there could possibly be as worried about this as I was, but the yarn is here.

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Let the great blanket sprint begin – and yes, I know that swatch is tiny but I say it counts. Casting on in 3-2…. oh, wait. I have to get dinner together first. Oh, and answer that email. I’ll do it right after, crap. I’m due at Meg’s place.

Today. It begins sometime today.

(PS, Thanks for everything on the post before this one, you guys are amazing, and Team Knit is creeping towards its goals. We love you!)