Our roaming correspondent.

Happy Hallowe’en! This years award for “Best knitted part of a costume, knit up in a pinch that actually turned out pretty good despite a loose plan and will totally end up in the dress-up box for years to come” goes to Julia. (I just made that award up. That’s why you don’t remember it from last year. I was just looking for a reason to show you her knitting). Speaking of last year, if you are hard up for a costume, revisit last years comments for ideas. A lot of them could be put together quick. Me? I don’t need a costume. I’ll be knitting the edge on the snowflake shawl,


hoping for a little more time (my inner voice keeps screaming “KNIT FASTER”, it’s very relaxing) and eating myself sick on the candy I’m supposed to be shelling out. (I’m also quite busy hoping that blocking fixes this shawl. It looks a little ratty, doesn’t it?)

In the meantime, I should hope that no-one has forgotten our roaming TSF correspondent, my brother-in-law…Ben. (Ben doubles as Director for human resources for MSF Canada, but really, he’s travelling the world pretending to work for MSF while he clearly works for TSF/ Knitters without borders.)

The other day, Ben turns up at my door and gives me this.


It’s a nice big ball of goat roving from KAZAKSTAN, and it smells like, well. I don’t know. Probably a Kazakstan goat, which is sort of interesting.


I’ve coerced Ben into doing a guest blog about getting it, and I’ve updated the TSF total in honour of his visit.

Be gentle with him. He’s a rookie.

Hi Steph,

As promised, Some photos from the wool market in Nalchik

where I bought you goat wool from Kazakstan. In fact, this photo


is the crazy old woman I bought it from, weighing it for the sale.

I was in Nalchik training management staff from MSF programmes in neighbouring Caucasus states of

Ingushetia and Chechnya. Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria is a back up base because it is considered safe. We do not have international workers based in the other places due to insecurity – especially fears of kidnapping.

The city is stunning and the people were very warm to us. On October 9th, we walked to this huge wool market on the other side of the city.


The market was filled with women at stalls selling wool and knitted goods.


The sound of knitting needles clattered everywhere as women not selling were knitting more wares.


The prices were absurdly low and I bought fancy wool socks for 35 rubles or slightly more than a Canadian dollar. You and all of your knitting friends would have been in heaven here!

Unfortunately, four days later, all hell broke loose in

Nalchik. It was certainly scary for a few hours as we could hear machine gun fire and explosions coming from all around our office – all starting during morning rush hour. The residents and national staff were in panic trying to locate their loved ones on the over-burdened cellular phone system. Of particular concern were their children in the schools, given that we were only 100 km from Beslan where the horrible school tragedy occurred last year. As things settled, it was sad to see the realization of our staff that their peaceful city was getting dragged into the broader Caucasus conflict.

Perhaps due to the global war on terror, the problems in Chechnya seem largely forgotten or ignored by the world media. But the people still suffer and many have been living for years in cramped temporary accommodation centres as much of the city of Grozny still lies in rubble. As one of our Chechen mental health workers told me, “we have a Beslan every day here.”



Note from Steph: S. Kate and I are still working on a viable plan for the pins. In the meantime, because the total is higher and giving stuff away is fun…

Pins go to Sandra D and Nicole L. (I’ve emailed you both) and this beautiful roving from Jen at Sprit Trail Fiberworks


goes to Barb B. (Aren’t you a spinner Barb? Lucky break that. I emailed you.) Singlesspirittrail

And this beautiful hand spun singles from the same roving

goes to Rossana L. (I emailed you too.)

Happy Hallowe’en.

Attn: planning dept.

This week, the Knitters Without Borders head office (that would be me) received the following five bags from the Fundraising Department. (That would be the incredibly generous S. Kate)


What’s inside?


Possibility. That’s what.

This is five hundred (that’s right. HOLY CRAP) let’s type it again. Five hundred seriously neat little lapel pins with the TSF/KWB logo and name on them. S. Kate ordered them, paid for them with her own wool money (I think it must be noted that S.Kate could have had a lot of stash with that money.) and shipped them off to me.

Now we need the planning department. (That would be you.)

We need a plan that accomplishes the following.

1. Earns at least $2 per pin. (This is really only the minimum. The sky is that limit. The possibilities are endless. Think big! I want S. Kate’s gift to pay off.)

2. Does not involve me going to the post office 47 times a day for the rest of the winter mailing these off individually. Addressing the envelopes alone would be a huge job, there has to be a better way than giving MSF money to the post office, and never mind licking the stamps. I’d spend the whole season with my tongue all dried out saying “Ah weelly appwechiate da denerwosity of nidders”.

I lack grace in enough ways that we do not need to add that to the list.

3. Makes it so that the odds are decent that you can get one no matter where you are.


Put your ideas in the comments, along with an enormous three cheers for S.Kate. Our friends at MSF are reminding us that they continue to need money to respond to the quake in Kashmir and other emergencies around the world. MSF is not accepting targeted donations for Kashmir, not because they have not responded, (in fact, they were present when the quake struck) but because donations to the emergency fund remain the best way for them to save money, remain flexible and respond quickly (and without waste) to needs around the world. The 80 000 dead in Kashmir is not the worst of it. Not to be too blunt, but dead people don’t need medical care. Now, 2.5 million people are homeless, and winter is coming. MSF is going to be very busy treating pneumonia, bronchitis, hypothermia, tetanus, malnutrition… and they are already stretched out from activities in Niger, Sudan, Darfur… I’ll stop now, since I feel like I’m preaching to the choir. Knitters Without Borders always give what they are able to.

I’m betting that S. Kate is one of MSF’s favourite knitters today. She’s certainly one of mine.

(How much do you love that by now, MSF has “favourite knitters”? I bet they didn’t see you guys coming.) I think we should give away some gifts tomorrow.

The green one won’t shut up.

I am being slowly driven crazy by this shawl. In this picture, which is just two pattern rows (as I divine them) past the centre of the current motif…there are 364 stitches in a row. Because of the soul crushing nature of a shawl knit from the top down, each right side row adds 4 more stitches.


This makes me, quite frankly… want to knit something else. A decision remains to be made about the edging, which is a mere MILLION stitches away, but I can’t think about it because I am dreaming of all of the things I will be able to knit when I am done….Wee Dales in particular. There is a set of twins arriving in short order, and I am sworn to outfit them in high style. (If you are reading this and you are expecting twins, do not get excited. The person who is making twins for my knitterly amusement doesn’t read this blog, so if you are reading it, then you ain’t her.) I have the yarn. I have a plan. I need only to finish this shawl and then I may knit tiny little fussy sweaters in many colours.


I’m so excited that I don’t even want to try and tell people who aren’t knitters. (I’m not making the sweater on the cover, by the way..I’m pretty sure that’s a mistake since I smile every single time I see it. I’m doing a more classic one from inside.) When you show muggles the the little pile of yarn and tell them, in hushed tones and with only a little bit of giggling that it is “Baby Ull“, well. they start talking about how maybe you are a few sandwiches short of a picnic.


Here though, here as I display this yarn on this blog among my people, here I know that you will all get it. I know that you will understand that this yarn knows my name. That this yarn is looking at me all the time. That it sighs when I pick up the shawl and it begs to be cast on. It tips the bag over so the lime green one falls out (I really like the green one) and it cries for love and attention. Joe can’t hear it, but that is something wrong with him, not us.

To take the edge off…I may have treated myself to a little “Socks That Rock” action. (For everyone who asked me where to get this yarn…I dunno. Mine was a gift, and the only place I know of that has it is The Fold, linked above. The company website “Blue Moon Fiber Arts” is here, but minimal. Maybe you could email the info number? I suggest you try, since this it would be a shame to not respect the urge to get yourself some of this. It’s good. ) I only knit on it a little. Not enough to interfere with the shawl you understand, just enough to keep me from putting the Baby Ull on my pillow at night.


It’s helping.

Note to New York Knitters: Linda Roghaar is in your town showing off the new book again. Head over to Coliseum Books in Manhattan, 11 West 42nd St., 6:30-8pm. Take your knitting and watch Kay pretend to be Ann and listen to people read stuff about knitting. You like knitting.

It’ll be fun.


The baby and I are in a race. It needs to be born before Teresa explodes and I need to have finished a shawl to wrap it in.


See the snowflakes of increasing size? (Please say yes. Now is not when I want to find out that I’m knitting a very accurate yarn-over depiction of a giant squid. I have stress.)

Last night I accidentally fell asleep with it in my hands and only got three rows knit.

It’s that time of year when my whole family is engaged in the “heat game” again. This means that nobody wants to be the first one to snap and turn on the heat. (My sister may actually have turned on her heat. That’s ok. My brother and I have excused her from the more extreme levels of this challenge because it seems harsh to involve Hank.) Ian though, Ian shouldn’t be taking me on. All he has going for him is determination, spunk and this one pair of wool socks.


This is, by the way, Ian’s sock camping in Algonquin. Do not be fooled. Just because Ian is the kind of guy who would be camping, canoeing and portaging his way across a chunk of Ontario in the autumn does not mean that he is equipped for the heat wars. (I do, however give him points for thinking of photographing the socks I made him by the campfire on his trip. It’s good to know that my knits continue to see the world after they leave me.)

I on the other hand, am a knitter. I have a multitude of sweaters, afghans, hand knit socks, mittens and they are all made of warm, delightful wool. I was made for this challenge, I have prepared for years and I even have a team of wily knitters on my side. See this?


Those are beaded wrist warmers that Laurie (That Laurie) made for me. Ian has nothing! (Well, I admit that making him that pair of wool socks was likely a strategic error, and I deeply regret the afghan, but he is my brother. It was Christmas. I got carried away.) Other factors to consider…

-five people live in this house, only two people live in his house. We create more warmth and can huddle together.

-four out of five of the people in this house are female. Joe points out that the release of heat from all the talking should help.

-I have to make several meals a day to feed the ravening hordes. This ensures that there are fairly frequent bursts of warmth coming off of the stove. I have been “roasting” a fair bit, and I am not above baking bread or slowly dehydrating apples or something if it gets any colder.

Nobody here has asked for the heat yet (although Ken, while he absolutely did not ask for any heat at all, did wear his coat in the dining room, despite the somewhat cozy warmth of the pasta bowl placed near him.), but I was talking with Ian’s wife Ali and she was busy putting plastic over the windows in their house, which tells me that she is feeling it. We shall see.

(I’m really only aiming for Hallowe’en. That’s when Ian and I called it a truce last year and turned on our heat at the same time. There was no other way to save ourselves. It’s pretty darned cold in Canada by now.)

Back to the shawl, my point (and I do have one..though that was the long way around for sure) is that because the house is so cold I keep falling asleep and not knitting much on the shawl. For a while I thought I was just tired, but now I realize that it’s actually that I keep slipping into some sort of cryogenic state. (It also doesn’t help that my hands are numb, but that borders on whining and I realize that I am choosing this out of some sick need to trounce my brother just like we are kids again and as such, since this is nobodies fault but my own, I will not whine.)

I will say though, (without whining) that sometime really, really soon I am going to have to choose to either beat the baby, lose to my brother or start breaking the ice in the toilet in the morning.

Just like that

I have this skein of “Socks that rock” (Queen Rock colourway) that’s burning a hole in my dining room table.


I’m so anxious to knit it that we eat with it and several times a day I give it a little pat and a squeeze and read the label for the 78th time. Bookish Wendy gave it to me as a little prize so I wouldn’t feel so bad about the way that they all lost their minds at Rhinebeck and bought it all. (After she gave it to me I was feeling bad for Wendy because I worried that now she didn’t have any of the really nice new sock yarn, but it turns out that Cara’s going to give her some. Then I worried about Cara, but it after reading her entry I can see that she’s going to be ok. She could build herself a little yarn igloo out back of her place with all that sock yarn.)

So Sunday morning I’m hanging out with my coffee and my sock yarn (What?) and I get this urge to whip out the needles and start. I may even have wound up the yarn while I was thinking it over.


That’s not unusual. What’s unusual is that then this voice in the back of my head says, “Hold on there….you’re almost done those Spirit Trail socks. Why not finish those first?”

Well, I don’t like being told what to do, not even by the voices in my head, so I got a little pissy with the voice. Screw that. I thought. I only started those Sprit Trail socks so that I could buy more Spirit Trail sock yarn with emotional impunity at Rhinebeck. Then I didn’t go to Rhinebeck so screw that. I’ve got no reason to finish them now. I don’t care if there are only 15 rows to go, I knit what I want. If I want to start the Socks That Rock yarn I will, ’cause you know what, little voice in my head? You know what? I don’t care if you are my conscience or Jiminy Cricket or whatever, since knitting is a HOBBY not a JOB and there is no way at all that I’m taking any sort of flack or guilt about not doing it right, or enough or in the wrong order. Chuck you , you overly responsible, uptight, “don’t you think you should” voice in my head…I’ll cast on 40 pairs of socks if I want to and there’s no reason that I shouldn’t. Knitting is supposed to be fun and I’m not the sort of person who thinks that having a lot of rules about your stinking yarn is fun, so bite me hard on the hind parts honey…I’m knitting as I please.

There was a silence then, until the voice, my knitting conscience played dirty. It didn’t shout, it didn’t mock me, it didn’t laugh at my hostility or rationalizations. It simply smiled and said…

“Ok Knitter. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to give you a hard time. You go right ahead and spend the 62 days until Christmas however you want to.”



Stupid conscience.

In my dreamworld

Surely, surely some have you have noticed that my life has changed a little. Goodness knows that I have to run a reality check most mornings when I wake up to make sure that I’m actually awake. (I don’t know why I do that actually. If I were really dreaming or have slipped into another dimension then I’m pretty sure that there would be less laundry and my hair would look better, but I digress.)

The last few days have been particularly surreal. Am I awake or asleep?

Evidence that I am asleep include the following moments.


Being at Willow books in Acton MA and catching Claudia in the act of photographing the store window full of knitting and knitting books.


Watching David, the owner of Willow Books beaming at me. David is a remarkable guy. He designated it “knitter day” at Willow Books and never once spoke openly of what he must have surely thought was rampant insanity. He laughed, he smiled and he tried somehow to manage all the knitters and yarn. It was like trying to nail Jello to a tree. I myself was particularly unmanageable, telling him to “try and stop me” when I insisted on writing more than my name in the books. (I was among my people. He is efficient. We were at cross purposes.)


David bought cake. He very graciously pretended not to remember that I had said that I wouldn’t come if there wasn’t cake. Really, after flying to MA just for this, what did he think I would do if there was no cake. Sit in the car? (That’s Linda Roghaar, my friend and the instigator of the Knitlit series. Note the beautiful yellow Peace Fleece sweater. Linda is probably the only person in the world who looks this good in this yellow. I personally look like I’ve got hepatitis if I wear it, so every time Linda puts it on I spend a whole day looking at her.)

Speaking of walking among my people….



This is what it looked like from the front of the room. I would know for sure that I was in a dream world when I saw this, except that I like to believe that in a dream world I wouldn’t be thinking about throwing up all the cake when I saw that many knitters in one place.

(The microphone in this picture is standing nicely at attention, which was not the case when I got up to talk. By then the thing had become oddly flaccid and I had to slouch – thus making myself look even shorter, to speak into it. In my dreamworld, no microphones suffer erectile dysfunction.)


Look! It’s Laurie!

Clearly I’m asleep. Short knitters with poor attention spans don’t get to hobnob with clever and lovely bloggers from New England except in their dreams. (Cassie, I watched to see what she drank later so I could find out a nifty new wine, but she had beer. Sorry. While I speak of Ms. Toomuchwool, drift on over to her blog and wish her a happy blogiversary.)

Discovered here, a nest of bloggers….


doing what they do best. Talking about wool and hanging in packs. (No wonder David was nervous.) It was at this moment that I realized that I certainly was awake for this event, as I discovered that my fly was open…and had been for the entire time that I was sitting with the other contributors and while I was reading in front of the aforementioned crowd. Sigh.

From there I jetted (well, it was an 18 seat plane. Scared the crap out of me. In my dreamworld I sit in first class, not cling to the seat back in front of me with two hands while concentrating hard on keeping the tiny plane in the air with the power of my mind.) back to Toronto, opened the front door to my house, threw my suitcase in and left again…sprinting downtown to give a talk to the Downtown Knit Collective. If you live in a place where the knitting guilds are small, restrained affairs then take a deep breath before you look at this picture.


This is the DKC in all its glory. When I saw this, I realized that I must be dreaming. There’s just no way that all of those knitters gather together as a force unless the planet is finally starting to turn the way I had hoped it would. (In this case, only the fact that I still have a cold and was forced to snuffle unattractively throughout the entire thing was a grounding force.)

Yesterday I did laundry, wrote on the 3rd book (we shall not speak of what remains to be done there) and knitted. I went to bed early because this morning….oh…this morning…

This morning I realized a personal dream. The best indication ever that the line that exists in my world that separates fantasy from reality has become a scattered blur, this morning I did this.


That’s me and Jane Hawtin (sitting in for Andy Barrie) doing a segment on the CBC’s radio show Metro Morning. (Photo taken by an under-caffeinated but gushing Joe through the control room window). You can listen to it here if you want to hear what I sound like at 7:20am with only two cups of coffee in me. (I have to admit that I clicked on the link, since I recollected very little of the actual interview. I’m pleased as punch that I didn’t snuffle snot, say “arse” or enter a vicious expletive spiral of unladylike language.)

From there, I walked down the hall to the CBC studio for “Ontario Morning” and did it again. Joe, slightly more caffeinated and therefore high-functioning snapped this pic of me, Martina Fitzgerald and the super-nice producer (his name escaped me).


You will note that I have, in my infinite wisdom, having failed at many previous knitterly type events (where people could see me) taken great care and some precious pre-dawn time to make sure that I am wearing a handknit sweater. For RADIO. Sigh again.

All of this, this incredible stunning whirl of fantasy around me was dragging me down the path to my dreamworld and I was becoming more convinced by the moment that I was asleep… creating a world where knitters rule supreme and everyone not only cares about that but agrees that it’s a good idea…an invented reality where knitting finally gets its dues and stands firm and proud in bookshops, auditoriums, radio stations…all places where humans gather and bow to yarn and it’s wonders and I knew suddenly that I had slipped the shackles of this mortal coil and had completely lost touch with the realities of the world and lived only in the world of my imagination… when this happened.


I had to yank back 6 rows of the snowflake shawl.

Clearly, I am awake.

Getting back up

Before I say anything else, I want to sincerely thank each and everyone of you for your comments, poems, notes and good thoughts during this hard time for us. I was overwhelmed, and hearing from so many of you did help, which frankly surprised the daylights out of me, since I thought nothing could. Instead my family and I found real comfort in the wishes from each and every one of you. Please forgive me for not replying to you all one by one, but as much as it offends me not to do so…I don’t think it’s possible without taking *thanking* on as a full time job. (I have no real problem with that, but although the emotional rewards are many, the pay is crap.)

Know that the sentiment is there and that not just me, but several of us read each and every one of them. Thank you.

It is my personal belief the the universe works best when it is in balance, and I strive in my spiritual life to achieve it. I fail miserably most of the time (too much chocolate, too much coffee, too much wool…) but I try. This loss has thrown me way out of balance, but I’ve figured out what to do. The opposite of grief is Joy, so I’ll be seeking it out as much and as often as it is possible to do so. It is autumn in Ontario. This is a reason to be joyful.


and I have started a new shawl for a new baby, though by the looks of things, I should knit faster…


Inside: the sibling of the snowdrop. Gender unknown, birthday…sometime in the next 4 weeks. Teresa has been instructed to wait until Thursday and then fire at will.

Outside: Because the last baby from Teresa arrived as the snowdrops did in spring, her shawl was The Snowdrop Shawl. (Pattern in the sidebar) this babe will arrive as the first snow of the year flies, so a snowflake shawl it is. Pattern is…well. In my head. We shall see. At this point it is a shawl/swatch. If it works, it’s a shawl. If it doesn’t…I’m pleading swatch. My plan is to begin with simple yarn over snowflakes (I think you can see them there…) and move outward toward ever larger snowflakes. Since I haven’t made up my mind about what those are, all suggestions of snowflake type lace action are gratefully accepted.

Another source of joy is how much Teresa’s tummy and the pumpkins resemble each other. (Sorry T, but it is funny.)

The last gasp of the morning glories.


I am ashamed to admit that on bad days I sometimes count them.

(You would be surprised to learn how much joy can be gleaned from knowing exactly how many morning glory blossoms you have.)

Next, armed with a new shawl and knowing the number of my morning glories, I’m going to get on a plane, fly to MA and do the Willow Books event. There will be friends there, though my good friend Linda Roghaar is all by herself a good enough reason to go…the books are ordered, the cake is coming and after missing Rhinebeck, I could use me a big knitting party. I plan on having a marvelous time and I hope I see whole armies of you there.

The owner of Willow Books has relieved some of my guilt about missing the signings at Rhinebeck and Skaneateles by setting up something clever. If you didn’t get a book ’cause I didn’t show up (sorry again) and you still want Bookbookbook, Bookbookbook II or Knitlit 3 signed, just phone up Willow books today or tomorrow and they will take your name and information and I’ll sit down tomorrow evening and sign and personalize them all…and then Willow Books will mail them to you. Finding a way out of disappointing people makes me happy too….

Finally, an update to Knitters Without Borders is in the sidebar. For the multitude of you who comforted me with donations in Janine’s name, many extra thanks. (I promise to give away the mittens soon. I’m unreasonably attached to them.) The only way through this is to do things for others and put kindness first, and considering the richness and wealth of my own life and the life Janine left, doing good in her name is a source of joy that I won’t forget. Today, someone lives because she died.

Joy indeed.

Not ordinary

This is Janine, our Nee-Nee.


My bright, quick, beautiful almost-sister died yesterday, suddenly and leaving an enormous wake in her passing.

I have known Nee-nee since the day of my birth and every sunburned, secret moment of my childhood, every desperate stupid moment of my adolescence and every thoughtful decent moment of my adulthood has Janine in it. My mother considered Neen to be her eldest child, my siblings and I counted her among our own.

I know that when this happens in a family, when a person is ripped from them with no warning or explanation, there are things that we all say. My Mum told me to sit down and to write this, and I started to say all of those things. That Janine was too young and that she had a good life and that she lived fully and that she was exceptional in every possible way and …. I could feel the cliché coming, all the things that every family feels and says when this unthinkable thing happens. Everyone knows that everybody always says them, but the loss of our Nee-nee is so painful that finding myself writing and saying these same ordinary things makes me want to scream. To stand on the street and scream in the rain and to rage out No. That this death, this time for this family it is not the same, this is not the same loss as other losses. That she was the best and the brightest and the most beautiful and she was too young and that I cannot bear for this loss to be ordinary….it can not be ordinary ….

and yet I know that it still is ordinary loss. That our grief is not worse or more or bigger…Last night Ian said that there are 20 000 families in Pakistan who would like to stand with us in the street and scream their own personal, unique loss and grief into the night rain and he is very right. This is the same, the same as every human loss, every heartbreaking unbearable, ordinary loss that adds up to a whole person who is gone now.

I started marking it down then. I started to write down the simple wee things that set her apart. A fraction of the million tiny things we have lost that added up to an extraordinary woman.

Nee-nee fed cheerios to the walrus sculpture in my mums living room when she was four. She couldn’t stand for him not to have a supper. Neen had an imaginary friend named JJ that she called on the phone every day when she was little. When my grandmother died my brother ran down the street and into Neen’s closet. It was Nee-nee who smoked secret cigarettes with me in the bathroom at my grandfathers wake. It was Neen who told me that I had to tell my mum when I failed french, and Neen who told me that I would be a good mum when I was expecting my first. Janine loved pussywillows. Janine bought Amanda skates. When Hank was born Nee-nee told Erin that “sleep was for pussies.” Janine was 40 in May. I never had a cross word with her and am blessed that there is not a moment I wish I could have back.

Nee-nee knew every secret that I ever had.

Nee-nee was beautiful.

Nee-nee read the blog and was a member of Knitters without borders – but she did not knit.

Nee-nee danced at family parties. (We are a dancing family. Few understand this.)

Janine was so good and whole and important a person that it has taken me hours to write her name in the past tense and it is going to take us forever to figure out what the shape the world is if Janine is not in it. If you are the sort, please take a few moments today to think of those who are feeling an extraordinary loss today, particularly Janine’s husband Stephen, her sister Julie, her mother Carol, and my own mum – Janine’s other-mother, Bonnie.

Obviously there will be some changes made to the tour schedule and Rhinebeck while I take this time with my family. My deepest apologies for any inconvenience.

Shameless Rip-off

(Random Wednesday idea shamelessly ripped off from MamaCate.)

1. The blog went silent as I had the mother of all colds. Not one of those namby-pamby little crappy colds that you just have to steel your backbone for, but instead the viral equivalent of “the perfect storm”. On Saturday I noticed a sneeze, by Sunday I was weeping into the Thanksgiving Day dinner, Monday I spent the entire day wishing that the thing would kill me. Put me out of my misery. I tried every herbal/homeopathic thing that I could get, then resorted to the big guns when I hadn’t been able to eat, drink or sleep for more than 24 hours. All hail Neo Citran Thin Strips. Bringer of sleep and 1/4 of a clear nasal passage. (You would be surprised how grateful you can be for 1/4 of a nasal passage). By yesterday it was clear that I would live, though it was too soon to tell if I was happy about that.

The marker for how sick I was is this : During this time of trial I neither drank coffee nor knit. When I told a friend that, she asked if I wanted to go to the ER. I replied “The ER is for people who want to live.”

2. Having accomplished the required number of days, Joe and I both now accept that we are, after having installed new wood floors in the living room/dining room/hall, never, ever (it has been 2 years) ever going to install the 1/4 round to finish the job. Jean the family carpenter has been coerced into coming to finish the job today…


something that thrilled me to death so completely that I thought about knitting Jean socks…until I got sick and now am pretty much homicidal about all of the sawing and the compression nailgun interfering with my frail little plan to lie on the chesterfield moaning weakly.

3. I used this and did this.


(Thanks Lucia. Nice rescue on the buttonholes.)

4. Since Rhinebeck is in a few days, we have the return of this.


I harbour no delusions about finishing on time, but feel that in keeping with my personality, I must try.

I now return to the chesterfield with a cup of tea, a poor attitude, my knitting and a fervent wish to be healed before tomorrow, when I will report for book signing duty (lots of copies of bookbookbook and bookbookbook II ) tomorrow at the Creative Sewing and Needlework Festival here in Toronto. I’ll be there from 2-4, red nose and all.