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.