The way things are

Dear Everything I am knitting right now,

I know that it is Valentines day, and a better knitter would probably have left this for tomorrow so as not to scar you and spoil this day for you, but alas..we all know that I am not like that.

I have to tell you, my darling everything, that on this special day set aside for the celebration of love and romance. I am frankly, not feeling it.

You are all pretty damned boring. Now, I understand that relationships are like this, and that there are ups and downs and better and worse and all of that, and I understand too that this is the middle of February in Canada and that it’s hard to rise above that and be thrilling. I understand. As someone who is trying really hard to see the point in doing anything other than reading, writing and drinking tea until March comes….I see it. I know that part of this…well, deadness between us is my fault but since you are all living here in my home free of rent and getting decent closet space, nice needles and a whole blog about your existence and charms, I think that it’s clear that I am doing my part.

Not to be callused, my little woollen loves, but I feel that the time has come to point out to you that you are not really in a position to bargain with me. This house is full up to the top with yarn wants to be with me and the temptation…well. I am a knitter. It is yarn. There is only so much you can expect of me. You knew I was like this when you moved in.

I would humbly suggest to you that you start contributing to this relationship. It’s a two way street, and I need to feel like you want to be with me as much as I want to be with you. I know that in the beginning I laughed at your jokes, the charming way that you wouldn’t get thumbs on straight or the way that you playfully hid yarn from me, or surprised me with unexpected yarn overs and stitch counts, but now? Now it’s getting old, and frankly life is too short to spend it with yarn that isn’t committed to the relationship.

I’ll meet you on the chesterfield at nine with my tape measure and needles and I’ll be ready to give it one more try.


(PS. Don’t let the new green yarn alarm you. We are only friends)

Farewell to Sharkbait

It with great sadness that our family informs you of the passing of our fish, Sharkbait.


(Sharkbait is here seen in happier times.)

It is with even greater regret that I tell you that it turns out that my husband may be too “sensitive” to own fish. The last four days, during which Sharkbait endured the indignities of old age, have been difficult for all of us, but poor Joe has been beside himself. While I knit by Sharkbaits deathbowl, accepting that the grim reaper comes to all of us when our time is up, Joe railed against the truth. He alternately insisted that we take Sharkbait to the vet (or “something”) or at the very, very least, got some (and I quote) “medicine”.

Medicine? Vet? Now, I know that we cannot possibly assign value to life. I know the fact that Sharkbait cost $1.55 (plus tax) should not figure into his worthiness as a pet. I know too that the the fact that our relationship with Sharkbait has been a little one-sided and shallow (he swims and we feed him) should also not contribute to my reluctance to take a pet to the vet…but seriously?

Joe has been upset for days. “He doesn’t look good” Joe will say, leaning over the bowl with a worried expression. “Maybe we should change the water again, maybe we need more of that conditioner stuff in the bowl. Did you read the instructions? Did he eat? Steph, Do you think he’s going to be ok?”

Over and over I have said the same thing. “No. No, Joe. I do not think the fish is going to be ok.”

Joe and I have actually argued over my lack of concern and heartless unfeeling for the fish. I am not completely horrible. I did speak on the phone to a fish person and ask them what they thought. We ruled out fungus and something called “ick” and in the end it was determined by said fish person that Sharkbait was old. Old and dying of natural causes. This was sad, but it happens to all of us, and I can accept that.

Joe, can’t accept it at all. The fish has been lying on the bottom of the bowl for four days. He has not swum, eaten or moved. It does not take a fish person to see that the fish is not good. I’ve been trying to prepare Joe. “The fish looks bad honey. I don’t think he’s going to be ok. I think he is going to die”. Then Joe looks at me with horror. “You don’t know that. He could just have “a thing”, he could get better. Tomorrow he could be fine.” Then he rubs his finger on the bowl by Sharkbaits head and feeds him. Even as the food drifts untouched by the fish’s head, Joe is hopeful. “We should do something” he says.

This morning, Sharkbait has gone. Since it was Sam’s fish and Sam is 10, she’d like to go get another one after school. Joe isn’t sure about that. He doesn’t know if he can take it.

I sympathize with my soft hearted husband, but have to tell you…I am not giving Joe my power of attorney for personal care. Can you see him at my deathbed? No way. He’d have me ending up here.

(note: we did indeed use the funeral flushing technique. No-one has been traumatized, but we would ask you not to mention this to Hank.)

The new Clapotis is coming along,


and for the record, I didn’t finish the other one. I just, er…wandered off. (A brief, but torrid affair…) It was yanked off the needles when I decided to drop all the stitches to confirm my border theory.


It turns out that there’s nothing wrong with the border, at least not in this stretchy merino, but that because it is merino it’s pretty clingy. So clingy, in fact that it didn’t release the dropped stitches, but needed me to tease each and every one of the little weasels free. This was fine for the wee bit of Clapotis I had knit, but when I thought about convincing a whole wraps worth of stitches to run….Well. The new Clap is quite pretty. It’s Blue Heron Cotton, and the dropped stitches unzip quite satisfyingly. I’ve decided to add a little length to the border by elongating the stitches (by wrapping twice round the needle, then dropping the extra wrap the next time by) each time that I add a dropped stitch.

The flower basket shawl is still coming along, though I am seriously fighting the urge to rip it back. I think it needs a larger needle. In true Harlot form, I am continuing to knit while I decide. Apparently I like my losses to be crushing.


This photo illustrates one of the things I like best about knitted lace. I like how it looks like you are knitting a worthless pile of crap until it gets blocked. (We will not discuss how many things I trashed off the needles for looking like a worthless pile of crap until I learned this.)

As promised, The parade of presents continues!

Duranee, (aka our lady “perclexed”of the comments) Has an 800 yard hank of silver grey Laceweight cashmere/silk to give away. (I don’t even want to talk about how unable I would be to give that away. I’m a horrible person. I would keep it forever. Like, as a pet. I would wrap it in tissue paper and make a little shrine for it and pat it softly in the morning when I woke up, and put candles near it at night… but I digress) Duranee is a better person than me, because she is mailing it to Jenny B.

Michelene is somehow parting with this (which I also deeply covet, but can say nothing about because I have already shamed myself with the above item.)


It’s a beautiful kit to make a lace smoke ring, and she’s mailing it to Marissa W.

Marylee is mailing handmade beaded stitch markers (no picture, when you imagine them make them really good, ’cause they are) to Diane M.

Mia, (of whom I am quite fond because she mails me chocolate) has two really wonderful gifts to give. The first is this lovely kit for a beaded hat and scarf.


Kara D., when you get this done, tell me how it was eh?

Secondly, Mia has three skeins of Noro Kureyon to give, there is a choice of colours, so Veronica M. drop me a line and I’ll hook you up with Mia.

Lori G. has two skeins of laceweight (90% wool, 10% silk) to give away. Each one has 1400m, which is plenty for a shawl.


Laurie O. (yeah, that Laurie) and Jeni, what will you make?

Lene C. in Denmark will be sending a skein of her very own handspun mohair/wool to Sibylle! (Handspun is such magic.)

and finally,

Susan knit these beautiful Estonian mittens,


Susan and I agreed that these beautiful child sized mittens should go out to the only child who is a member of Tricoteuses Sans Frontiers. Timothy sent his Christmas money to MSF, and these mittens will be arriving at his house shortly.

Passport to Hades maybe

I have just spent the better part of my day in the Passport office. Amanda leaves for the orchestra trip to Vienna soon, and I have been to the Passport office several times attempting to procure this most valuable of travel documents. Because Amanda will be 15 when she travels, she needs a “child” passport. Child passports are hard to get. (I don’t know why this is, though I suspect that I have some guy who lost custody of his kids and boosted them off to Spain to thank). Today was my third attempt to get Amanda a passport. Here are some things that I have learned about the Passport office.

-They are serious about the NO FOOD OR DRINK rule. This rule, as crazy as it sounds…actually includes coffee, which I normally count as neither.

-The man who tells you that coffee is a drink (that still cracks me up) is not a security guard. He is RCMP. He may have a gun. I felt that it would be poor form to ask him. (Sort of makes me look like I might have a plan…ya know?)

-He does not knit.

-Despite having a high level of education and a reasonable grasp of the English Language the passport form instructions are still so complex that I got something wrong three times. I shudder to think how you would fare if you were not as educated, or if English were not your first language.

-The passport office regrets this, but feels that there is nothing they can do.

-They are not interested in my offer to re-write the instructions. This may have been because I called the instructions “incomparably unclear” and “deliberately misleading” and called into question their desire to issue passports at the passport office. I also may have asked them if the application was designed as some sort of “pre-screening” process to make sure that only people with 36 hours of free time to line up (without coffee) as well as being in the top 2% for intelligence are allowed to travel outside of the country.

-Today, Rex Murphy was in line three people in front of me. Even though he was Rex Murphy, he still had to wait hours like the rest of us. He was not allowed to have coffee either. (Both of these things pleased me, though I extend sympathy to Mr. Murphy for his suffering).

-Because we are Canadians, not one single person acknowledged that he was Rex Murphy. Not, “Hello Mr. Murphy”, not “Gosh Mr. Murphy, I sure do like your work”. Not one single….”Holy, crap! Are you Rex Murphy?” (Not that you could mistake him for someone else) Nothing. I personally made eye contact with him for a moment but even that felt quite brazen.

-Not one word was spoken of the fact that Rex Murphy walked among us like a mere mortal, until he left. Then practically everyone in there turned to the person next to them and said “Wow. Ya see that? Rex Murphy”.

-Finally, the third time is apparently the charm and Amanda’s application has been accepted. They have no complaints box. (I checked).

Yesterday I was all sorted to skip Tuesdays are for spinning when what should arrive in my mailbox?


It’s from Cora, and she enclosed a little note saying that she “didn’t know what to do with it”. She’s not a spinner and thinks this mohair would make poor thrums. (She’s right) I however, know exactly what to do with it.


Look to the postman Cora…it’s coming right back atcha…and a thousand thanks for the whole “not grey” thing. You don’t know how lovely a time I had.

Clapotis is coming along.


Anybody catch that?

More prizes tomorrow.

Not Grey

Toronto today is downright depressing. It is grey and raining and cold and the snow has all turned grey with the city dirt. The grey ground is poking through, and the grey sky looks down on it all. It’s the sort of day where you have to turn on all the lights in the house to try and tone down the grey.

I hate it. I hate it more than I can tell you. It knocks the will to…well, knit grey mittens right out of you. You can’t buck a system this big, so I’m not. Let’s just forget the mittens for a day or two…ok? I’m going to the mirror where I will practice staring directly and blankly ahead while saying (with every ounce of conviction I can muster…) “What mittens?” I thank you in advance for joining me in this exercise.

Considering how grey everything is, the very not grey Clapotis saw a little tiny bit of action last night. Amy, Laurie and (naturally) Rams had all suggested to me that I might want to carefully consider the addition of a border to the aforementioned scarf/wrap/ thingie.


Laurie wondered what would happen when the running stitches hit the “non-standard” border, and Amy mused about me confining that which should not be confined, since she worries that the border will hold in those stitches that are meant to expand. Rams, well. Rams just likes to make trouble. We will ignore her concerns.

Me, I laugh in the face of knitting danger. I giggle at planning. I mock concerns for my sanity, nerves and Clapotis. I do as I please and I care nothing for the overcautious concerns of the undaring. I fearlessly…well, I checked.


Seems ok, doesn’t it? We can dismiss Laurie’s concern out of hand. Each running stitch starts with a yarn over, so the stitch can’t run any lower than that, since the stitch doesn’t exist before that. It runs it’s merry little bourgeois French way straight down to my “non-standard” border, where it stops. No problem. To address Amy’s concern (which frankly worried me a little more, since if she is right I will have managed to knit a very large scarf surrounded by a very small border…which would have a rather vague er.. parachute-like effect.) I dropped a couple of the stitches and gave it a rather light blocking. (Yes. Right on the needles.) That seems ok too. Now, I suppose the possibility exists that there is a little, tiny bit of a chance that the border, while it can cope with two dropped stitches, will be singing a different song when there are many more, but for now I’m pacified. Those of you paying close attention to the “non-standard” knitting of Clapotis will notice that the stitches I’m intending to drop are purled. This saves me marking them with stitch markers and since dropped purl stitches look the same as dropped knit stitches it seemed like an easy way of keeping track of the intended victims. Note that I have used the words “fine”, “ok” and “easy” to describe this knitting project. If you have been reading for a while then you know that the chances that it will be “fine”, “ok” and “easy” have been reduced to about, oh….ZERO by me saying this out loud. In fact, it would probably surprise no one, (least of all, Rams) if this scarf/wrap thingie burst spontaneously into flames sometime mid afternoon, and was thusly reduced to (of course) GREY ash.

A big virtual smooch goes out to my buddies Ann and Kay, who brightened my day yesterday when I got an extremely cool “yarn bomb” in the mail. (This is proof that wrapping is everything, and why each and every time that I am tempted to simply drop something into a gift bag because I can’t find the time to get fancy uplifting tissue paper and wrap my gift it in a creative way I should take the time to ask myself “What would Ann and Kay do?”) The beautiful ball of greeny-blue Mountain Colors “Mountain Goat” was immediately ripped from its tissue paper chrysalis and cast on to be “The flower basket shawl” from Interweave Knits.


I originally thought this pattern was dumbass. I was wrong. It is cheery, charming, interesting (takes very little yarn) and is absolutely not grey.

For those of you wondering if I can bring myself to spin for Joe’s Giant Grey Gansey today?

I think you can answer that yourselves.

Forever and ever with the mittens

Look what I got.


When I spotted this little baby I went nuts. (Well, inwardly nuts. I am Canadian and I was in public and…well. There is protocol.) I could not have been happier about finding this ball of yarn than if I woke up tomorrow and my laundry was done and my children were tidy. You know what this means? It means that even though the ball of seemingly miraculous never-ending grey turned out be ordinary after all, (here’s where I ran out.


Can you imagine how pissed I would be if I hadn’t found that other ball of grey? Can you? I’d be frothing. To come that close and then be thwarted by that much?)

The happy finding of this ball of grey means that I can not only finish this mitten, I can knit another left mitten to go with the other right. The upshot of course is that this means that I will be knitting grey and white Latvian mittens until my brain liquifies and runs out of my right ear.

I’m taking the edge off with this.


Don’t judge me.

More gifts…

Patti doesn’t just knit, but makes glass things, and she has a wee token of appreciation to send to Julie. (The Julie that got the email from me)

Julie has three beautiful needle rolls to give (There’s an idea. You mean not everybody just has their entire collection thrown into a drawer so that it takes 45 minutes to find two needles that match?)




and they will be making their way to Vicki, Christy N., and Katherine S.

Miriam makes these beautiful handmade journals, and she’s donated this beautiful one


It will be going to live with Shannon, who I’m sure will appreciate it.

Ellen has made this charming hat,


(appropriately made of Peace Fleece) and it will warm the head of the already warm hearted Sydney.

From Jennifer’s needles comes this beautiful scarf (which she says is a little more sedate in person, though I like it this way)


It’s going to be travelling to Lee Ann B.

Finally, (only because I lack the stamina to do more…not because there aren’t more)

The incomparable Amy has donated one of the sheepie mugs that she makes.


I have one. It’s good. I bet that Allyson D. enjoys it as much as I do.

Not falling for it

I’m just going to ask once. Please, back off. Everybody with the blogs and the nice new wool and the projects that are better than mine (because they are not mittens) …just back off. Clapotis is bugging me. I don’t care how many times you show me Clapotis, I’m not ripping this back and turning it into one until the mitten is knit.


The fact that this yarn has somehow made it’s way from the upstairs UFO containment zone onto the top of the piano is completely unrelated to the level of my resolve. I was just looking at it, that’s all.

Just so that you all understand…here are some strategies that are not going to work.

I will remain unmoved even if you write poetry about it.

I will not knit it even if you knit it in Toronto out of Fleece Artist.

I will not knit it even if it is recommended to me by the Editor of Knitty. She, like Clapotis itself, is biased.

I will not knit it even if you call it “The Clapper” , thus making it sound like it is even more fun and funky that it already did. (As well as rather vaguely like a venereal disease..) as well as knitting it in the yarn (Morehouse Merino Laceweight) that just happens to be on the top of the piano.

Putting it in my favourite colours is just mean.

Knitting it in my other favourite colours and then blogging about it in French to make it even more magnifique, and even going so far as to tell me that “C’est très plaisant” is tricky, charming and Not. Going. To. Work.

I will not knit it, even if in the picture on your blog you look really, really great wearing it and I start thinking that I might look that good if I was wearing a Clapotis, especially since we both have curly hair and that makes is seem so possible.

Finally, even if you write about it charmingly, and make it sound as though the inner peace and zen I so desperately seek this month will be found along the running, elegant dropped stitches of Clapotis, I will resist you.

In fact, you should all just abandon the stinking idea that I can be corrupted at all. I am resolute in my intention to finish the mitten, even though it got pretty stinking old about a half a mitten ago. I’m not ripping back the shawl and starting Clapotis. The needles just sort of ….fell out.


I will remain faithful to the mitten.



Speak now or forever hold your peace. I mean it. This is the one chance to tell me that the thumb is in the wrong place or that the braids aren’t right or that I screwed the pattern. I will take this minute to point out that all of you watched me knit the two right mittens and not one of you said a word. Not one of you. You’re all just sitting there drinking your juice/coffee/tea/vodka, and I post pictures of me (sort of) clearly knitting two right mittens and not one of you says “Whoa…hold up there” and scrolls down the screen a little to the previous mitten and saves me. Not that I’m holding you accountable, I’m just saying that now might be a really good time to pay a little attention. (Do not point out to me that I never showed you a picture of the palm of the second mitten. I’m busy deferring blame and now is not the time to cloud the issue with facts and logic. Besides, you should have expected that there would be something wrong with the knitting. )

I have not yet run out of the grey…I don’t know how it’s possible, but I seem to be knitting without using any of it up. I’m starting to think that it’s a mitten miracle. You know…there’s only enough Kroy to last for ten rows but somehow it lasts for 70?

I’ll be conducting a search for more, and continuing on the mitten as soon as blog consensus and approval is reached.

More gifts?

Janet has a copy of Weekend Knitting that the very lucky Sue M. is going to be pouring over.

Mary-Heather will be sending “For the Love of Knitting” to Lisa D. who I hope will let me know how it is, since it looks brilliant.

How about these?


Kim made these beautiful felted mittens with an electric sander. Go read about it, especially if you are Kristen W.

Finally for today, Grace J. won this (well, not this one but one just like it)


from Erin. It is worth noting that that Erin donated this, then won yesterday. This is proof that Karma is occasionally obvious.

Not a vacuum

March the 2nd.

That is my date of release from the evil workload. One way or another, it all ends then and I will finally be able to give in to the urge to lie on the cool tiles of the kitchen floor, weeping softly out of relief, knitting and eating cookies. It is the day that I will get more than 5 hours of sleep, take a bath for more than 30 seconds and the day that I will clean the living room. Actually? Screw that. I’ll clean the living room March the 3rd. I’m taking the 2nd off. I am so overwhelmed that last night I dreamed of not making the deadline and everyone yelling at me. It was awful. The house is trashed (no…really) the laundry is undone, my husband is lonely and the children are wild and strange. I used double sided tape to fix my hem yesterday before I went out, and that was only because I couldn’t find a stapler. The children and Joe are asking very gentle, tentative questions. “Is there going to be dinner?” “Are you ever getting off the computer?” “Have you slept today?” “Did you eat that entire box of chocolates?” “How is the twitch over your eye?”

I have stopped answering. They have started cooking.

Yesterday a friend called about dinnertime , and I set the timer for 15 minutes. (This limiting of social interaction is also painful, but necessary.) I was explaining to her about the mess, the dirt and the soul crushing, and while we were talking I was working around the kitchen ( just trying to keep the level of filth down enough to prevent a typhoid outbreak) and she heard a loud machine noise. “Hey” she said gleefully, “Is that the vacuum? You must be doing better”. This is someone who has seen the house in the last week. She sounded so relieved.

“No” I replied dejectedly, “It’s the coffee grinder”.

“Oh” she said quietly. Then she started to laugh. “That’s such a bad sign.”

Still, it’s not all bad. Everybody needs a little down time, and Tuesday was for spinning. Admittedly, Tuesday wasn’t for much spinning, but I got part of this bobbin done.


This photo is designed to distract you from the pathetically small amount of actual spinning that got done. It represents the sum total of the gansey effort thus far. I have some clean, carded roving, the singles on the bobbin, two skeins of finished, washed 3ply, and just to prove to you that I am serious about this rather unlikely collection of objects becoming an actual sweater…


See? I’m thinking about it, I haven’t read the book yet (March 4th) but I’m hoping it was a good choice. Anybody got an opinion? (You know, stuff like “Wow, I love that book, it turned me into a gansey knitting/designing maniac and the sweaters I knit now are so beautiful that people inhale sharply out of the shocking beauty of them”)

In other news, I am approaching the thumb placement of the MSF mittens.


(Why, I ask you. Why the hell did I go out into my backyard into the snow to pose this picture of this mitten that looks EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE LAST TWO. What kind of a twit doesn’t just save herself the trouble and recycle a previous photo. Who’s going to know?)

Rest assured I will be posting pictures of my intended thumb location tomorrow so that It may be checked by each and every one of you to prevent me from making a knitting mistake so big and so mind numbingly stupid that I would have to change my name and move to Belize to escape the pointing, whispering and public ridicule that I would be subjected to for the rest of my life. That’s the good news.

The bad news?


Sure wish I could find that ball band. I have one more place to look for more, and then (since I don’t have the *&^%$#!!! ball band, which I am sure is here and could be found if only there was someone in this house who was willing to give up some time to rip the house to shreds looking for it.) I’ll be shredding one of the first ones.

To distract you from my lost ball band, mismatched mittens and discouragingly low spinning output, I give you more thank you gifts.

Margaret has three beautiful skeins of Collinette “Firecracker”


That the random number generator says now belongs to Erin V.

Look what Carolyn is sending to Daniel B. (Who I happen to know has a knitting girlfriend…and may knit himself for all I know)


These scrabble stitch markers crack me up. I love them so much. I’ll admit that I harbour a secret fantasy about getting enough of them that you could spell out your sentiments on your knitting. You know, like L-O-V-E-L-Y or B-O-R-I-N-G or D-U-M-B-A-S-S (on a certain pair of mittens….)

Remember the lovely and charming Cate? She’s sent along some good things.



Her gifts are not those beautiful tykes, (although I’m sure Cate has moments when packing them off as “prizes” seems pretty attractive….) but a copy of Spin-off Magazine, and two skeins of her very own handspun, both going out to Wendy O. who I am quite sure regrets not receiving the children.

Debbie is somehow parting with this roving,


which would be brilliant for thrums (should the recipient not spin -or be inspired to pick up spinning the absolute minute she gets this) How ’bout it Kristie F-D? You spin?

Look at this:


It’s handspun from the very generous (and funny) Denise. The random number generator says that it’s going to Kerrie who I know will love and enjoy it.

Finally, I have to thank Teresa. She sent me the sweetest little present

that I adored. I was tickled beyond all reason, but it was this part of it that got me through yesterday….


A wool pig stitch marker. Take me now. My life is complete.

From now on

I Stephanie, do solemnly swear that I will, commencing today (just as soon as I have a second third cup of coffee) make the following changes in my life.

1. I will persist, (following the advice of my generous readers), in knitting a third MSF mitten, even though third mitten syndrome is an execrable opponent.


Moreover, I will knit this third mitten with the full knowledge that I may not possess enough of the discontinued “Old Kroy” to do so. Should the time come that I do in fact, run out of yarn, I will gleefully and without bitterness cannibalize one of it’s predecessors for the required yarn, and still try to feel good about knitting three mittens….though I only have two.

2. I will stop slacking on said mitten, and instead of allowing myself to be tempted away from this noble cause by the trollop mohair shawl… or the present for Lene (of which there shall be no picture, lest we spoil the surprise), or the fleece artist socks, or that green sweater that I started the last time the mittens made my teeth itch. I will knit the mitten without cease until it is finished.

3. Should I find this impossible, or should the mitten bore me enough that I start to think about taking the mitten in progress, the yarn and it’s agitator comrades over to the corner and chewing them into an unrecognizable fibrous mass while cursing thumbs and evil overlords everywhere….I will instead atone by knitting on Tuppers mittens,


which remain, sadly…unfinished. (though I can assure you, with the utmost sincerity that I have checked the thumb placement very, very carefully) This act, while it will not help the cause of the Mitaines Sans Frontières but will relieve some of the burning, sombre shame that I feel at having abandoned them when this whole Knitters Without Borders thing got much, much bigger than I ever thought possible.

4. I will immediately stop pretending that I am “cleaning” the closets/rooms/boxes/basement where I keep the stash. Everyone knows that I don’t clean anything and that I am, in fact, simply perusing the stash in a desperate attempt to find something else to knit that is as pressing. Instead of engaging in this pathetic and transparent attempt to get out of knitting the third mitten (wow…makes your head pound a little just typing that) I will stop trying to plan my knitterly escape, and knit on the mitten.

5. Further to article #4. I will clean something. I don’t yet know what that might be, but as part of this series of oaths, I swear that I will put swabbing the kitchen floor near the top of the list so that the cat doesn’t get stuck down to it. Also…I will visit Mr. Washie and do some laundry. No matter how big my real job is, no matter how pressing the deadlines, no matter how upsetting the mittens, I do acknowledge that when your teenage daughter is desperately trying to find a clean pair of pants in the house and inquires about the availability of said item…that a loving, caring mother could probably come up with a better/more sympathetic response than asking, in the most exasperated and frustrated way possible, with that vein on her forehead bulging… “Do I look like I’ve got your clean pants up my arse?”

6. I will give away lots of thank you gifts on the blog so that the pain of knitting a third mitten is tempered by the joy of watching people get good stuff. ( I have emailed the winners)

Good stuff:

Heather has very generously donated a $20 gift certificate to Elann and it will be going to…(drumroll? Just one of these times I’d like there to be a drumroll) Eileen H.

Lynne in Australia has come up with a wee bling bag, she’ll be sending it all the way to the very lucky Jessica W

Jean has very generously offered her beautiful blue/purple handspun yarn


and Michelle L. will be enjoying it!

Lori has spun some amazing yarn with feathers (seriously, it’s very cool…go look)

and my handy dandy random number generator says that it’s going to live with Beth E.

Laura works at a yarn shop. (Can you imagine? I would be so bankrupt if I worked at a yarn shop.) and she’s very generously offered 2 skeins of Noro Kureyon, knitters choice of what she has available. Christina C. will be doing the choosing.

Hayley, owner of the Knitomatic shop here in Toronto, has generously offered this:


In case you can’t tell, that’s cashmere, and right now it sucks to be anybody but Elizabeth F. ’cause she just won it.

Elizabeth, bless her little heart, has decided that she can part with this skein of Noro Big Kureyon.


We hope it will be very happy in it’s new home with Jane (which Jane? The Jane who got an email. Check your inboxes…all you Janes)


7. I will immediately cease and desist with the coveting of my fellow knitters thank you gifts. I will repeat the mantra “I have a lot of yarn” 200 times, and then I will spin, (because it is Tuesday) and knit the mittens until the completely predictable urge to keep all of this stuff passes.

(PS. A special thanks to Cynthia, who sent me Peets coffee. How did I not know about Peets? How I ask you? Do we have this in Canada? I’m drinking it now, and I want you to know that my life was shallow and empty before I knew this joy. Thanks Cynthia!)