It would appear that my daughter has accidentally figured something out. It seems that the leg warmer pattern in Knit Wit is a corrupting force that can be used to draw young girls helplessly into knitting. They cannot resist, flailing uselessly against the combined force of Meg and the book.
It began like this. I brought home my copy of Amy Singers book. It disappeared and has not been seen since, though 4 complete pairs of leg warmers have turned up. The first pair was desperately wonky, as Meg complained that she “didn’t understand your knitting language!” A quick talk about reading a pattern and the next pair were much better. (Meg is a child of my heart. She considers patterns interesting, but not essential. She made several changes for *style*)
Sorry, a little aside. Meg missed an entire instruction in the book because she is a child of the internet. She thought that this ” Turning row : P ” was a title, followed by an emoticon of a person sticking their tongue out. She skipped it. I laughed for an hour
By the time she had finished the second pair and worn them to school, the other girls were screaming for them. Meg began to desperately knit faster and faster, using up her meagre stash (Yes, she has her own stash. You didn’t think I gave the girls my yarn, did you?) turning out a pair of leg warmers every evening. One pair went to Meg’s best friend Maddy…
Who found a novel use for them when it got cold…
Maddy asked for a second pair (perhaps because she had realized the powerful multi-use ability of the leg warmer) and Megan, up to her armpits in leg-warmer begging, turned her down cold. There began a period of bitter negotiation which ended last night, with this.
I think I need another copy of the book.
I finished the (hopefully) stripy yarn last night…though I must have been out of my mind when I thought that one bag was enough. It produced about 100m of yarn, which falls short of my minimum sock length by a bit. (Ok. Fine. A lot. It falls short by a lot. I was trying to be an optimist. It’s half of what I need. I was drunk on yarn at Rhinebeck and don’t know what I was thinking. The bag was in ounces. ) Ideas? Contrasting heel, cuff, toe? Socks for a small person? Crap. I can’t believe I’ve been knitting this long and can still suffer yarn delusions.
I am comforting myself with some awesome mail. Emma sent me some tips on top down short-row sleeves (such a good idea) and tucked some very, very yummy sock yarn in with it. Thanks Emma!
Allyson sent provisions for the Sewing-up Party (to be held here November 7th for Mason-Dixon Knitting, don’t forget to come. Email for directions, then see if the Nashville one is closer to you.)
I know I’d rather have Allyson here than coffee…but I’ll save it for that day, and ceremoniously open it in a grand toast to the generous Allyson, who clearly understands me.
I enjoyed a little more of the Rhinebeck spoils last night and thought about beginning the pleasant job of washing the samples of Southdown fleece that Liz and Gussie brought me. They had read my article in Spin off about my Great-Grandfather Archibald Stewart and wondered if they could use my photo of him on their website. They gave me this southdown fleece when they saw me at Rhinebeck. I’m so touched by their kindness.
I did play with my dye kit from Countrywool last night but the last instruction is “put in sun to dry” and Toronto is a joyless gray damp place right now. It would help if I would turn on the heat, but that would be giving up. My brother and sister have taken to calling me daily to ask if my heat is on. Toronto temperatures? Let’s see who blinks first.

49 thoughts on “Contagious

  1. Way to go Meg! Pulling more unsuspecting teens into the fray… I love it!
    The stripy yarn looks great- too bad about the length of it. The contrasting cuff heel toe sounds like a good idea. Forget socks for a small person. You want to wear them yourself!!

  2. Although I am in Atlanta, is has gotten quite brisk down here at night, in the high 40s and lower 50s anyway. Our heat is not on. I told my husband I refused to allow him to light the pilot. We must be strong.

  3. Never fear, my dear! I bought somma da same fleece — remember? And I don’t see myself realistically getting to it for at least a decade. So I’ll send it to ya, coz I love ya, and I haven’t yet started caring about knitting socks. When I do, though, watch out.

  4. Put on your damn heat.
    Or, phrased in a more indirect but artful way: delicious newly-dyed fleece dries exceptionally fast in a heated home. Why, you could be spinning it TOMORROW.

  5. I vote for socks with contrast heel, toe and a little rib at the top. One of my favorite pairs of socks is multicoloured with orange for the “extra” bits.
    As for the dye kit–no dyeing without me, or I won’t share my bunny fluff! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    emmajane <– counting the days to bunnymummyhood (14 days)

  6. Oh, my, seduction by legwarmers. First ponchos, then leg-warmers. When will these scary fashion retreads end? (If feathered hair comes back in style, I will run off screaming into the night.)
    That said, those particular legwarmers (especially the legwarmerhat) are pretty cool. I can see how they’d lure unsuspecting teens into knitting. ๐Ÿ™‚
    (That’s an emoticon for Meg. How cool is she?)
    And heat? Who needs heat when you can bury yourself in fleece to stay warm? *grin*

  7. What if you find a plain darkish colour that flatters the colours in your stripey sock yarn and knit stripes (plus contrasting heel and toe)? You will have stripey stripes ๏ฟฝ which incidentally would be a good name for the socks.

  8. Stephanie,
    Not usually a commenter, but I must write and thank you for your witty and hilarious writing. I’m getting through sleepless nights nursing my 3rd child at the almost age of 40 by reading your archives. Laughter is the only way to stop me from falling face first onto the keyboard. My only desire would be to be able to print out your blog so I could carry it around with me. Thanks!

  9. Heck, I’m way down in CT and I’m holding out on turning my heat on as well…damn heating prices…
    And a hearty MUAHAHAHAHAHAH for you enabling the next generation…

  10. Rana. I’m so sorry. Feathered hair *is* back. Not as extreme as Farrah’s (yet), but it’s here.

  11. Go Meg! I’ll have to pick up the book for my 15 y.o. daughter; she’s starting to show interest in doing more than making washcloths & blankets for her kitten.
    Must be my proximity to Mt St Helens, but the positioning of your fleece reminds me of the 1980 eruption photos (in an unusually lovely and artistic way, of course) **Pausing to imagine what could have rained down instead of ash**

  12. What is this ‘turning on the heat’ that you speak of?
    I should clarify that, rather than having a separate water heater, my hot water lines run through my furnace so my furnace is never truly off. This is good, because I don’t get to play russian roulette with a furnace that’s been sitting, neglected, for 6 months. Also, one gets tons of lovely hot water without stint.
    (Is it wrong that I find myself actually cackling when I hear of another hapless soul, drawn to the knitting dark side? I mean, *are* there other appropriate reactions?) Congratulations to Megan, the leg-warmer queen and her new acolyte. Woot!
    And on my last visit to Harrisville, I ended up with a bag of CVM roving for thrummed mittens. I don’t know how it happened. It just leapt into my basket….

  13. Haha! Sucking in the youth!
    This is my first time commenting on your blog, Stephanie, but I’ve been reading it for a month or two now. You crack me up!
    I’m teaching myself to knit, and recently started a knitting blog. I’ve put your blog button on my site!

  14. Steph,Which spin off was your article in? Your a blast, if only my 12 year old daughter would be lured!

  15. Hi,
    instead of knitting socks with the yarn an if normas wool wont arrive, what about this pattern? I think it could be nice with that yarn.

  16. I was just reading the stuff on fibre preparation at (I have a 3 3/4 lb moorit Shetland fleece on its way from Alberta) and found an idea to save you spending stash money on Mr. Washie’s innards. Wash the fleece in a mesh bag in the sink, take it outside, and whirl it around, letting centrifugal force do its work. I remember my aunt in England going outside with her washed lettuce in a hinged basket and whirling it around her head to dry it. Of course, she lived in the country. Since your neighbours already think you’re nuts, I can’t see any reason not to do this.
    By the way, I found generously sized mesh bags with zippers, 2 for $1 at a Halifax dollar store.

  17. Meg is knitting up a PAIR of legwarmers a night?! Jacked up on caffeine is she? Or is she still on the ice cream sugar-high?

  18. Stephanie, you rock! You finished the RS and now you’ve corrupted, er encouraged your daughter into knitting. How cool!
    As for the heat, it is supposed to be 92F here today. At this rate I wont turn on *my* heat at all this year. *sigh* I just calculated 7C into 44F. That’s pretty chilly.

  19. I can handle leg warmers. I can handle ponchos. I can handle feathered hairstyles.
    I cannot handle zippered parachute pants, no I can’t.

  20. Hooray for Meg and her Legwarmer Posse!
    As a wussy Californian, I feel obligated to point out that when the temperature hits 50 F we feel obligated to turn on the heat. You are below that limit. At least during the day we’re still hitting 70F. What that is in C, I have no idea, but you’re at 44F right now. Very chilly.
    Also, I managed to snag myself a copy of Knit Lit (too)! last week, and was most pleasantly surprised to find your name as authoring the first story in the book. As someone who knit out of a backpack while walking during a conference, I can sympathize with your mother in the story.

  21. Well. The leg warmers are “totally awesome-to the max”. And I think the whole emoticon thing is priceless-as are your daughters. Seems as if Norma is going to solve your sock problem-what a saint. But come on, do you really even expect the sun to shine again anytime soon? Even here in Michigan I have put away the sunglasses-that is until the first heavy snowfall here and then the next day the sun is out in full force reflecting like a spotlight directly in the eyes…oh well, good luck to you anyway.

  22. oh, those are a bit nippy, those temperatures. when i lived in an apartment in the beaches, i would turn on my gas stove top and just wave it around a bit. no, no, that’s not cheating, it’s COOKING. ๐Ÿ˜‰ i think it also helped that i was on the third floor and would get the heat coming up from the people below me. i didn’t have the heat on all year!! i think that we could make a betting pool on your ability to hold out on the heat – with your yarn stash i’d give you at least until rememberance day ๐Ÿ˜€

  23. Turn on that heat for the sew-up indeed. We can’t sew if our fingers are too cold. Wearing the woolies just in case. ( if you turn on the heat, I’ll bring you a treat….)

  24. Hi there,
    Those leg warmers are great!
    I know my daughter and her friends would love them … must see if I can convince hubby to let me order a copy of the book (dream on!)
    I really enjoy reading your blog; one of the first things I do after the kids are off to school ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Lene —
    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH! (It’s not yet night, so I can’t run while I’m screaming, but soon, soon…)

  26. Hats off to Norma and her generous heart. And just FYI, your long term forcast seems unfairly warm compared to mine! Check out the weather network and type in New Germany, NS. Hmm Anyway, if I forego my trip away this weekend, I might convince myself to drop in on your sew up party. Only 20-odd hour drive from here to there. It can be done. Without kids. Or husband. What are the chances of a cheap hotel nearby? Must run catch Cuddles, my angora bunny who is messing with her life right now: yes, she is nibbling at my beloved stash…. Angora yarn or shall it be bunny stew? Jury still out!

  27. Um…telling me it’s 7 C is like saying to you, move 10 inches to the right. I’m just saying! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I’m a pretty resourceful person. I know that 0 C and 32 F are equal. So. 7 C is probably about 40 something. Which is danged cold. Good thing you have thrums. You may need them in the kitchen!
    Thanks for your thrum advice. I wasn’t pulling them. I was just letting them lay willynilly where they landed. No more!
    A teen that knits. I swoon!

  28. funny thing, i was lured into knitting as a teen… but by the complex sweaters i got to fondle in ireland! i’ve always been a bit odd, heh.
    now, what’s this top-down short row sleeve thing you speak of? that would be… amazing!

  29. I have resisted the pleadings of my daughter to make legwarmers for her. Now, I will turn her frenzied begging into an opportunity to *teach* her to knit her own. And so it begins….

  30. That ๐Ÿ˜› is going to keep me in giggles all day long!
    That’s what we all need, emoticons in our knitting patterns! Brighten up the most boring knitting.

  31. So…..No one else is going to comment on knitting across and purling back (for a beginning knitter) and, God forbid, sewing together to produce a tubular garment? Anybody? Just me out here with the lions? Okay —
    (eyes rolled to heaven — think St. Sebastian stuck full of straight needles. With last breath–)
    circular needles. circular needles. circular needles.
    (What it is to suffer for one’s faith. Meg Swanson, don’t tell me you’re not lurking out there…)

  32. it does kind of crack me up how we all continue to live under delusions despite many years of proof that we are indeed wrong and that we will not have enough yarn!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. SOLD! Just looking at the book (Knit Wit) online at Indigo and may have to order it.. sigh, tragic no?

  34. A huge congrats to your daughter for being so industrious to learn to knit and then to convert her friend!! Next thing she should try is the pattern from Knitty called Voodoo. They’re wrist warmers. Kind of leggings for your hands. She could start her own knitting business at school. OOps! Am I enabling again? Sorry :P( yes it’s an emoticon)

  35. It is 51 F in the house tonight. I have caved in and put the electric radiator on in the toddler-man’s room, but as for the rest of them, let them wear wool. Re: coffee cups and their rightful orrientation. Have you considered cup hooks? after ten years of this,(cup up, cup down) we were able to draw a truce by using cup hooks.

  36. Stephanie- I am sorry. I am cackling like an evil woman. I cannot help myself, for I do, indeed, have a wicked streak.
    If you can manage not to turn on your heat until New Years…I will give you a prize. A good one.
    A prize that may, indeed, include something…wooly.
    And none of that having the husband or the children turn on the heat thing, either. No heat. Till New Years. Prize. That may include Wool. I would be so impressed by this act of stupidity honorable Canadian fight against winter, it would be a really really cool prize. That may or may not include wool.

  37. Dammit. The strike tag, while it works in your journal, does not seem to work for the comments. Anyway, the “act of stupidity” part was supposed to be struck through, and it’s not, so my last comment makes it look like I am not only evil, but I can’t write. This is not true.
    Anyway. I’m so sorry for that last post. But just so you know, I’m setting aside my entire next paycheck in case I have to pony up.
    P.S- I live in Texas. It’s still to hot to wear long sleeves outside. It’s one in the morning and it’s still 77 degrees. That’s 25 degrees C.
    P.P.S- I am a student at a university. My job is a campus job. It’s not like I’m setting aside one paycheck of a $200,000 a year job to get you a cool prize. But still, it’s a paycheck. I already have something in mind.
    P.P.P.S- Please don’t kill yourself. I’m sorry I’m so evil.
    P.P.P.P.S- It’ll be REALLY COOL.
    P.P.P.P.P.S- Please don’t kill your husband or children. I don’t know them personally but, on top of my general desire not to be responsable for the deaths of innocents, I have grown fond of them from your blog.
    P.P.P.P.P.P.S- I bet you can’t do it. I won’t have to send you that prize, that really cool thing, because I’ll get to keep it myself. And anyway, even if you’re a Canadian, you can’t hold out that long. It’ll be too cold. You’ll have to cave.

  38. that ๐Ÿ˜› anecdote is HILARIOUS! cute leg warmers…I keep shoving knitting books, patterns, and yarn into my daughter’s hands, but as she’s only 9 months old, it’s not quite as fruitful as I would hope. Just a matter of time…Love your Rhinebeck photos! I looked for you and Rhinebeck at the festival but I was overwhelmed and missed just about everything.

  39. I didn’t know you wrote the story in SpinOff! I loved that story. I’ve read it a few times, thinking that maybe, somewhere, there’s a relative I connect to. Most of them are pretty scary-weird, though.
    What’s the next knitting project?

  40. I am positively lusting after your stripey yarn. It’s so beguiling! come on…knit us up a swatch…lets see it! ๐Ÿ™‚ pretty please! ๐Ÿ™‚
    I love that legwarmers are making a comeback…looks like with a frenzy…

  41. I was hanging out with my little sis the other day, and saw she had a YM magazine that had instuctions on how to knit! I couldn’t believe my eyes! I was just about to offer my services to help, loan supplies, etc, when My sis, without even looking up, says, “Nope don’t think so, erin.” SO, devistated. But I’ve started Young with my daughter, Jess, she’s 3 and now when she finds one of my various projects strewn about the house, she pulls it into her lap and attempts. (all while saying, “gonna Knit?”) It usually requires me to “fix” it later, but a small price to pay, don’t you think?

  42. I totally agree with rams, since Megan has already knitted with dpns for her wrist warmers. 2 circulars would be even better.
    Would, “Mr. Fishy,” be a good name for the hook?

  43. Hope you enjoy the coffee! Everyone raves about Trader Joe’s coffee, I haven’t tried it yet.
    Those around me prefer I don’t have coffee (I have also been banned from drinking RedBull & vodkas).

  44. Thanks for posting about the legwarmers! My goal for this year is to knit one item for each family member, and I was stumped as to what to make for one of my girls. I had totally forgotten about legwarmers. They would be perfect for my twins, especially since they both grew over the summer when I wasn’t looking and now I have 20 pairs of sweatpants (all the pants they own) that are about two inches too short!

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