Are you sure…

Are you sure that the Amazing Race understands Canada? I don’t usually speak about my affection for reality tv, and I was just as excited as is possible that The Amazing Race was coming to Canada (did you check them all out complaining that it was going to be cold? In Toronto? In the Summer? I realize that the irony of complaining about the persistent “Brr…Canada” myth is going to lose most of it’s impact considering that we’ve had an extreme cold warning for days, but the point is that it’s not summer. In July it is hot, just like in many other countries all around the world…but I digress.) What actually ticked me off, was the “two sports that are popular in Canada”. Curling (fair enough) and “log rolling”.

Log rolling? Are you messing with me? I’m supposed to be “log rolling”? Not only have I never log rolled, I don’t know any log rollers and I’ve never (until last night) seen log rolling on TV. Popular? You know, I was actually naive enough that I thought that log rolling was a whole other sport. I thought it was birling, done on water, rolling a log…just like in the “Log Drivers Waltz“, not rolling a log along a course on land. I mean, I’m sure it’s a sport. I really am…but “popular”? Nevermind. Thank goodness that Montreal LUMBERJACK (because you know that world-class urban cities are just chock full of lumberjacks in this country) was there to explain the game. I’m sorry. I won’t say anything more. I’ll just feed my moose and pout in my igloo.

Are you sure, that I am going to be able to give these socks away?


I am so seriously entertained by this yarn that I am wasting valuable knitting time composing love letters to whoever invented it. It’s charming. Completely charming. See the way it’s changing colour? See it? I love it. I spend lots of time looking at it and looking at the ball and wondering what’s going to happen. I spend the rest of my time following people around going “Look! Look at the yarn!” I must have more. I shall prepare an email to my family advising them that I require no other Christmas present than more Trekking XXL sock yarn. If I receive it as a gift I shall lay it on a silver tray on the coffee table and build a wee shrine to it with lesser yarns paying homage all around while candles (a respectful distance away) scented with natural oils burn with a flame that seems dim compared to the glory that is my Trekking XXL sock yarn.


Are you sure, that I am supposed to be the only one getting ready for Christmas around here? I’m trying to figure out how it is that this family can have two adults, two and a half teenagers and yet still have every single Christmas come down to me weeping at the Shoppers while they stand there saying:

“I’d love to help, but I just don’t have any time”

“I’m sorry you’re stressed out, by the way…what did you get Bob?”

“Are you going to be making more of those cookies, these are almost gone.”

or my favourite…

“Can I get $20 bucks to buy you a present?”

No time? Too busy? Hear me now. MAKE TIME. Bend time, invent time, influence the time-space continuum, stay up all night, give up reading the paper…try harder, water the tree, manage your time, stop eating the cookies, and for the love of all things decent, understand that elves aren’t going to the grocery store, (that’s me out there in the snow you gaggle of ingrates) and it’s not like I don’t have anything to do (little Miss “I don’t like last years hat”) and start doing all of this today people, because darn it, that’s what I do. This family needs to stop being a passel of pussies and get some time management skills together pronto because Mama needs another roll of freakin’ tape and someone other than me is going out into the snow to get it. Now get out of my way. I’m knitting a sock.

PS. The next person to tell me that they think that Christmas is making me grouchy gets to wrap every single one of the presents.

129 thoughts on “Are you sure…

  1. Oh, can they wrap mine to? I haven’t started wrapping yet and heavens know that my husband doesn’t wrap gifts unless I start letting the crazy out.

  2. I totally hear you. And I have some Trekking myself, but I do not get to knit ANYTHING for myself until December 25, if then. And I have to break it to my daughter that someone else bought the present for Andrew that SHE wanted to get him. No fun.

  3. Stephanie, how about if we meet halfway (between Rochester and Toronto), bringing all our unwrapped presents, and I’ll wrap yours if you’ll wrap mine? How about Sunday at 10 a.m.? Or Christmas Eve day at noon? We could just build our own igloo on the international bridge and somehow weasel out of paying duties.

  4. Oh my gawd! I am laughing so hard I’m crying tears…stop…stop!! I love your outlook at the holidays…and hey, we feel your pain, but you make it so comical!

  5. Does it make you feel any better to know that I’ve had the tree up since Sunday past and not a single decoration has made it aboard? No lights, no tinsel, nada. My daughter says we should just skip the full throttle decorations and cover it in tinsel… I’m starting to warm up to that idea. Wonder what my entire family would say, should that be the outcome, on Christmas Eve when I have them over for nibbles and drinks? Spike the punch comes to mind… spike the punch.
    ps. Where is that friendly neighbourhood bottle of screech? Mama needs a hit.

  6. I bought my mom a ball of Trekking XXL a week ago for her little christmas present without knowing it was such a mighty yarn! This one is awesome. A Man might actually wear it! on the other hand, there are 4 different shades of neutral
    oh god. I had forgotten wrapping!

  7. Stephanie, I love you, I really do. You bring a smile to my face like no one else. And may I suggest the following phrase be added to your repertoire, repeat after me: “Tough sh!t, I’m busy”. It was difficult for me to say, too, but once I mastered it, DH learned a whole lotta new skills…

  8. Glad it’s not just me. My name is not “Mrs. Claus”. Let ’em make their own cookies. It’s 10 days to Christmas and I need the knitting time.
    By the way, the sport I associate with Canada is hockey. Certainly not log rolling!

  9. The superintendent brought in scones today and I just spewed some across the keyboard! Too funny!
    That is the prettiest gray I’ve ever seen. And I know gray.

  10. It’s pretty funny that THEY need time management skills while you are sitting there knitting at the speed of light and planning a breakdown at Shoppers. Just sayin’. This is why I swore of Christmas knitting this year. I love the inner peace I have achieved.
    As for the log driver’s waltz….in Corner Brook when I was a kid the Humber River was always full of huge, floating logs (ask Joe, he’ll tall ya). Whenever I rode up Riverside Drive I’d wonder if I’d ever see a lumberjack with a pike pole and a skinny lass dancing on one. Never did. Bummer, really.

  11. Cherish, when your family comes over on Christmas eve for nibbles and drinks, hand them some decorations and make it a new tradition. If you pretend that you planned it that way, they’ll never be the wiser. And it will be easier to water, if it’s a (formerly) live tree.

  12. We laughed at the log rolling bit. We also thought they were going to get on logs out in the water and fall flat on their faces. Our family is, of course, experts at this. But what really got me ( other than Queen’s Qwway and the fact we speak English in Toronto) was the fact that they found parking spots so easily downtown! EACH ONE OF THEM. Reality TV my ***!

  13. I’ve actually done log rolling (on land) before. It was a race – my forestry school was competing against other forestry schools. Why, yes, the competition was in northern Minnesota. How did you guess?
    Anyway, I can assure everyone that I am NOT a natural at log rolling (or at sawing or chopping or any of the other goofy “sports” I tried). I skipped the tobacco spitting contest, so I guess I’ll never know… maybe that’s my great gift.

  14. I agree on the log rolling thing. I’d never heard nor seen it until last night.
    I think that the biggest laugh for me, though, was seeing them wear helmets to curl. I can understand why the show had them wearing helmets but I’ve never seen anyone curl with a helmet on before.

  15. I love Trekking XXL. My mom’s Christmas socks were made from the blue and I’m making myself some “office” socks out of the grey because the office fashion nazi laughs her silly arse off when I wear socks knit from self-patterning yarn. I hope she chokes…um, I mean the Trekking is very nice and subtle.

  16. I’m going to preface this by saying I’m not from Canada (originally from Wisconsin though! now living in Dallas, TX).
    LOG ROLLING?! What the HELL? 🙂
    And what about.. oh, I don’t know.. HOCKEY?! I know there are only like 4 teams left in Canada, but seriously. I think “Canada” when I think hockey.

  17. Rest assured that it is not only Canada these people are clueless about. TV producers are completely ignorant of most of the US, too … “fly-over country,” as they call it. They would have had the contestants dressed up in hoop skirts on a plantation if they came here to the Deep South. Now ‘scuse me, darlin, mah mint julep is low and I gotta fahnd me some mo’.

  18. That yarn is pretty fantastic. I’m not sure I’d have a whole shrine though 😉
    As for the race…maybe they really didn’t mean so much “popular” as they did “traditional” or “quintessential” or “just what silly producers will make people look the most stupid”…that would certainly explain log rolling!

  19. I thought it was the log rolling in water thingamajig too! What on earth was the TAR thinking? And where, might I ask, was the hockey? HOCKEY people, is what Canada is known for, and what millions of people go and do every single Saturday in the winter. Hockey. *Sigh* Silly CBS.

  20. Stephanie….
    Just remember that one of the teams on the Amazing Race thought that Lake Pontchartrain was one of the _Great Lakes_
    I’m used to all of these misconceptions – since I live in Kansas, people think that we either have buffaloes or tornadoes in our backyard.

  21. But you’ve gotta love how jazzed the Linz siblings were about curling. They genuinely had fun doing it – I’m so glad they won and not just because I live 15 miles from them. 😉 Who Dey! Cincinnati is having a great year!

  22. Hockey. And it looks like the Penguins will leave Pittsburgh (sigh). I like the idea of having a Christmas decorating party, especially since I don’t get much help. (sigh). Ah well, back to knitting American Girl turtlenecks for my 7 yo next door neighbor for Christmas…

  23. I’m confused. I thought there were two official sports of Canada and that hockey came in second to beer drinking.
    Then again, I watched Strange Brew last weekend so my perceptions may be a bit warped.

  24. Christmas preparation, knitting and other crafting especially, is all about the CHALLENGE. It only means that you are made of far tougher stuff than the rest of your family when you note that holiday upkeep is all done by you. They couldn’t handle it. Stand tall and proud, knowing that you can bend time and space and make whole garments out of wisps of string and still GET IT ALL DONE BY CHRISTMAS.

  25. Well, that explains it. I could never figure out how you got any knitting done, what with the log-rolling meetups I figured you must be going to evenings and weekends.
    Next you’ll be telling us you don’t ride around on reindeer.

  26. Oooh Oooh I’ll wrap them! I love wrapping presents! Gorgeous sock by the way, why would you want to give it away?

  27. From your SOS hotline I had the opportunity to tell my family: “Since I am the only knitter in the house, and everyone is getting something knitted this year, then you are going to find a lot of other things not getting done. Deal.” I was suprised when it was met with silence and the look of “I guess I better keep quiet unless I want my tongue ripped out.” Bless your knittery heart Steph 😀
    Trekking sock yarn, oh yeah! I love it and have some in my stash that will be cast on after Christmas. I’ve also taken a fancy to Steinback Wolle too, it comes in some really nice colorways, manly ones for the guys in my family. My LYS carries Trekking so if Santa doesn’t bring you any, let me know and I’ll hook you up.

  28. HAR!! Yes yes, can I get $20 to buy you a present is the BEST line around Christmas. I LOVE the Amazing Race and was happy to see a few small glimpses of Toronto, the city I was born in but don’t remember since we moved when I was a wee tot. My Buffalo husband was excited to see it last night too and kept saying “see how green it is!”.

  29. OK, one at a time…
    love , love, LOVE the Trekking – where can I get me some of that!
    hate, hate, HATE the fact that they thought log rolling was a sport that Canadians do. As a curling instructor, I was chuffed to see curling out there (can the Linz’ be any cuter? I will teach them at the curling club they build…)I expected hockey, would have accepted lacrosse, but was not happy to see log rolling. And, I agree – parking in Toronto – so not that easy!
    And Steph? We have the same family – my husband only has to get something for me (1 person) – I do the other 800 people, and he complains over and over. I finally told him not to bother – my gift can be the peace and quiet. We won’t even talk about the kid factor.
    Really, I do like Christmas… I do…

  30. Steph! Repost the hotline number (877- SOS-KNIT), or put it somewhere on the blog page. We need it now.

  31. I got a kick out of the Race last night too. I was most impressed by the fact that they didn’t DARE let them DRIVE in Montreal!
    Oh, and the French thing, that was funny too– “La Tour CN”? C’mon!

  32. “This family needs to stop being a passel of pussies and get some time management skills together pronto because Mama needs another roll of freakin’ tape and someone other than me is going out into the snow to get it. Now get out of my way. I’m knitting a sock.”
    I laughed until I cried, and then they dragged me away in a white coat!

  33. Sigh, the life of a mother/wife/knitter is a burdensome one, I agree. My husband devotes one afternoon to getting ready for christmas–on Christmas Eve he goes shopping for presents and then has the audacity to come home complaining that the stores didn’t have what he wanted, that he had to go to several stores, etc., etc.
    Back to my end of the semster projects–I’m a full time grad student! But first, a little knitting to celebrate a turning point on one project!

  34. Christmas knitting is dangerous! At least you are still enjoying the process of knitting but you need to enjoy the whole process of the Holidays and your family. That said, it is time to whip them into shape so you can knit!

  35. Do you think if I posted this on the fridge my husband would get the hint? No? Crap.
    My new plan for the Christmas knitting is that if it has to be mailed…it’s not getting done. Sorry folks. You might see knitted gifts next year. Check your mailbox around July.

  36. Our tree has a huge bundle of lights under it almost as though someone made an attempt to decorate it but realized that he or she was too lazy an eighth way through. I think it was my mum. She keeps trying to force me to do it knowing that I am allergic to the fake snow on it. She tried to convince me to wear gloves and a mask. How pathetic is that? Holiday knitting is starting to worry me.

  37. Kristen–I hope you’re planning on picking me up on your way to the border! And can we find some of that Trekking yarn around here? Or does that require an excursion to Toronto?
    Stephanie–Not sure how much help you would get with the gift wrapping, knitting, baking, shopping, groceries, laundry, whatever, but I’m guessing it would be a lot of fun!

  38. Us Mainer’s get the same thing. It’s Maine, it must ALWAYS be cold. I went to a wedding where people from two hours away in New Hampshire made comments like “do you even have electricity?” “someone called and asked if you could move your horse and buggy”
    It’s frustrating, annoying and rude. They are just jealous anyways, I’d move to Canada in a second if I could 🙂

  39. I am so glad you still make time to post funny stuff on your blog. I laugh out loud! It is therapeutic to read it.
    This is a difficult time of year for mothers, knitting mothers especially.

  40. Steph, i love it.. i got a gift card for Barns & Noble from one of my bosses and had to run out and pick up at least one of your books the medications for women that knit too much:-) love it.. and am going to look further for the other one.. seems to be missing in action.. what a great bday/xmas gift for me:-) thanks you are a fantastic writer and i just can’t stop saying it.. and i love coming in here every day and catching up with you and the family.. lots and lots of hugs and here’s looking forward to more xmas gifts of barnes and noble gift cards.. hee..hee.. so i can get more of your writings.. also will get the knit lit 3.. saw it.. but had too many knitting magazines.. that it turned out i had some of them in the mail when i got home.. typical.. haha..
    hugs karola in nyc at 19F.. eeek nah i’m warm i love winter lots of snow too .. just not the slush that comes after ugh.. k

  41. Teenagers, you realize, are operating on half, maybe three-quarters, of a brain, and the part that’s missing controls judgment, organization, planning … oh, and the ability to read expression, which explains why your simple request that they do something is interpreted as “yelling.” (To which you reply, “I’m not yelling, but if you want to hear yelling …” and so it goes.)
    The good news is that that it will start getting better. My daughter who is almost 21 gets home from university in five days, and I am so excited. For the first two years she was away, I looked forward to seeing her, but dreaded the turmoil. Now she’s an absolute joy to have around.

  42. Nobody has kids to further the species or because they love their precious little faces. Children are a free forced-labor force. Get threatening with the knitting kneedles and remind them of this often-forgotten fact and then give them a shove toward the kitchen and the tree and the store.
    Instant peace. Worked for my mom every time.
    “You liked those cookies, did you? Well, there’s the recipe, get busy!”

  43. um, Steph? I dunno if that (hm, how to put this nicely… rant? tirade? maniacal explosion?) explanation of the way your family might perhaps want to approach their involvement in the Christmas preparations has/will work on them – they have, after all, had several years to innure themselves to these – but I at this point am sufficiently cowed to believe that because I live in the same city, I really have no excuse not to be high tailing it over to your place this weekend with a giant box of tape, and a couple of vegetarian casseroles for your freezer.

  44. Yeah, I was kinda puzzled on the log rolling as “popular sport” thing. I figured hockey at the very least. Maybe ice skating or something. But logs? Whatever, Phil.
    On a brighter note, I’ve only got two small projects left on my Christmas knitting list so I’ve gone and started something for ME. And that, makes me happy.

  45. Instead of wrappping presents this year, I’m going to spray-paint them. All.
    And don’t the Amazing Race people realize that log-rollers are either Monty Python lumberjacks OR American senators? (We’d be so much happier if all American senators were openly members of Monty Python, instead of covert ones.) End of rant.
    Merry Happy etc. And thanks for the command to Make Time.

  46. Wait.. we’re supposed to BUY the gifts AND wrap them? but won’t that cut into my knitting time? do you think the elves might come here and finish knitting these scarves for my kid’s teachers? (why does a 4yo have 5 teachers anyway?? and do I knit one for the bus driver too?) OK how ’bout I knit and the elves can unpack ’cause other than a tree, I’ve got a (lawn)chair and an end table in my lving room and I can’t find my stinkin’ drapes!

  47. Ah, Trekking. I’m making my first Trekking XXL socks for my dear husband now, and I keep waving them in front of his face saying “Look how gorgeous that is! Look at it? Don’t you love it?” I think I’m scaring him. But I’ll keep him, because he’s doing half of the Xmas shopping.

  48. Oh c’mon, isn’t your life just like the opener of Northern Exposure? Doesn’t a Moose walk down your street every morning?
    Oh and a Christmas tree? If you have yours and it’s vertical, then you’re ahead of me. Our tree is at some yet to be discovered lot waiting to be purchased. It waits there while the flour and sugar wait in the pantry to be made into cookies. I got news for them, they better get their act together and do it themselves or there’s not going to be Christmas in whoville this year until after Boxing Day!
    And that sock is stunning! I think the shrine is an excellent plan.
    Old reader, new commenter =)

  49. So, that half-knit sock was not from the Eau de Goat yarn? I thought it looked rather even and nice for guard-hair thick Central Asian “cashmeer”. Not to mention that it smelled way better even from the Northeastern US. Should I ask what the fate of the stinky yarn was? This close to Christmas, I’d have buried it in a snowbank until Spring made my nose realize it was there.

  50. I’m totally captivated by your sock…only after a good long stare did I realize that the bands of light and shadow were part of the yarn. Solstice socks, I’d call them.

  51. Indeed. I couldn’t agree more, and who said you’re grouchy? Clearly you need to introduce them to me cuz I’m pretty sure they ain’t seen grouchy yet.

  52. And that “But mom, I’ve got homework” excuse is getting old… can’t they see that I”ve got homework? Can’t they understand that I’m offering hand-knit hats as prizes for my AP poetry unit and that one whole night of knitting is being sacrificed to submit my book edits to the pay-to-publish heathens who will fleece me blind because I made (at the very least) one hundred freakin’ typos in 570 manuscript pages? Why is it that the old pregnant woman has to buy the candy, stuff it in the bags, knit the hats and break the cookie dough out of the freezer all by her lonesome? Is it because her WOW obsessed husband doesn’t understand that just because he ignores deadlines (including the whopper coming on April 1st!) doesn’t mean they’re not going to explode on his head? This could be why mom’s Christmas tree is decorated and in the stand and the outside of the house is suspiciously Christams-light free… and as for the “I’ve got homework” ingrates… those damn plastic bags do not stuff themselves with Candy, Mr. and Ms. “Can I give my entire freaking class a candy bag… but wait, I don’t want to stuff it!!!”
    And I’ve got one and a half hats to go by Friday, not to mention two more hats for a couple of darling little girls who live cross country and have honest to god never seen me before in their lives…
    But it’s not the knitting that makes me crazy… nooooooooo……

  53. Nice subliminal suggesting, there. Everyone seems to to commenting on the AR, the sock or the family. Meanwhile, deep in their brains “Harlot wants Trekking XX” is worming its way toward the action modes.

  54. I’m afraid of the people who may find you by the phrase “passel of pussies.” I can honestly say I’ve never heard that one before. It may just sneak into my own speech one day.

  55. Ah Trekking. I know that Trekking. It’s the color we both bought at the Sheep Shack back in October. Mine’s still marinating in the stash though. I’m working with Vesper at the moment. Have you tried the Vesper yet? You will be a convert.
    Oh, and did I mention that my wrapping is all done?

  56. I am not done knitting yet, although I started along time ago. One of my problems is that I keep changing my knitting plans. Oh well.
    I got some of that Trekking yarn (the same colourway) at Rhinebeck and can’t wait to knit with it. I think I should have bought more skeins but alas I only got the one ball for a pair of socks for my husband.
    Oh – I recently picked up a book at a used book store called Canada Knits it was published in 1990. It doesn’t have any patterns but a great history of the craft here in Canada. Have you seen this book?

  57. Steph?
    Where does Carole (“I’ve got my knitting and wrapping done”) live?
    I need to show her the real world… I promise I won’t hurt her. Much.

  58. Well, the family that thought it was going to be cold was the same group of numbskulls who thought Lake Ponchatrain (Louisiana) was one of the Great Lakes (upper Midwest), wondered if Pennsylvania was a state, and which state Washington, DC was in. Those girls were also wearing cut-off shorts so teeny that a hooker would blush, so …. oh, and who managed to belittle and insult a Native American in full ceremonial dress (“you’re cute”). Idiots.
    One of the posters on suggested that a proper challenge when racing in Canada would be making the teams find a native who was then rude to them. The curling was really cool, though (one of our babysitters was an American junior champion in that sport).
    I didn’t much like this family version of The Amazing Race. I’ll be happy to see the regular race when it returns in February.

  59. I don’t have to read any of the prior comments (63 at this point) to know I can’t add anything that hasn’t been said. But for some crazy reason I’m compelled to comment and just say I’m laughing. I really am laughing. heheh

  60. I was rather hoping for a poutine eating event in Montreal myself.
    And Elizabeth, they had the same luck with parking when they came to Washington, DC, which is where I live. No one could find parking by the tidal basin as easily as those teams did with that spy mission.

  61. Trekking sock yarn is wonderful and your socks are beautiful. What color number are you using?
    Log rolling? That’s too funny. I, too, have never rolled a log or know anyone who has. Here in the US they chuckle at curling. I thought Lacrosse was our national sport, even though hockey seems to define us even more.
    Thanks for a very funny post!
    Joanne, The Canuck in Colorado

  62. I thought that hockey was THE Canadian sport.
    I can’t get motivated to bake, although last night the ingredients did make it fom the freezer in the basement to the kitchen, and Mike the electrian hooked up the speakers in the kitchen so I can listen to carols, so I’m running out of excuses.
    The Christmas knitting is making good progress. (It’s amazing how much you can get done with 2 all day training sessions.) But the recipient has asked if it can be delivered in her new knitting bag, knit for her a couple of years ago and never completely assembled.
    I also have a Dale hat started that needs to be delivered on Jan. 9 and unstarted afghan that needs to go to Texas on Jan 13. And what I REALLY want to start is the Garter Stitch Jacket from Fleece Artist for me.
    “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

  63. Well I went to high school right next to the Arena where they curled, and skipped school and walked up to the Arboretum on a few occasions.. and I can tell you, I have curled, but I’ve never log rolled.
    HOWEVER, my inlaws have often gone to the Highland Games in Alexandria – on the border between Quebec and Ontario, and I would think that log rolling would be part of that.
    It was very exciting to see my old stomping grounds on tv.. and to show my kids stuff about our old city.
    But I too had the same reaction you did about the log rolling.. Canadian HUH? And since when is it called “LA TOUR CN”? LOL
    Sombra in Saskatchewan

  64. Must get some of that Trekking XXL to add to the 8 balls of sock yarn that are magically supposed to turn into 8 socks before Christmas. After just completing the first pair last night (while trying not to stab the Weavers with my double pointed bamboo needles through the TV – how do you say ‘where is’ to someone in Toronto? OMG). I’ve lowered my expectations of finishing the remaining 4 pair. I’ll blame it on the fact that the baking that I recently did (taking precious time away from the knitting) has been hoovered by certain family members, causing me to take more precious time away from knitting to do more baking. I’m asking Santa for a lock box for Christmas so I can store next year’s baking along with the coveted Trekking XXL.

  65. Logrolling?! Have the idiots at CBS not heard of HOCKEY?!?!? This Canada-loving American citizen is seriously disgruntled…
    Anyway, good luck with the Xmas prep and the fam!!

  66. Being from MN, I’m constantly reminded that it’s freezing there (I’m living in Pittsburgh ATM) all the time, including the summer months (where, it’s typically very hot and humid). Regardless, maybe they are confusing Canada with MN, we are the home of Paul Bunyan and Babe the blue Ox.

  67. You don’t roll logs in Canada….I suppose you don’t call each other hoser or watch the McKenzie brothers non-stop either. All of my misconceptions have been SHATTERED!

  68. I’m using Trekking for a pair of Christmas socks (browns, greys, blues, oranges, tan and maroon) for my almost father-in-law. They’re gorgeous, but the repeat is so funky and so long that I would defy even the most anal knitter’s attempt to construct a matching pair.

  69. Um, Rachel? There is no room for casseroles in Steph’s freezer. Didn’t you read her book? There is only yarn in there, and I bet most of it is Trekking by now…
    HUGS, Aubrey (having my own version of Christmas crisises, because everybody has decided they want to come buy soap and goodies NOW, as opposed to when I had a large stockpile 3 weeks ago, and it’s cutting into MY knitting time…)

  70. I just did a rant about my stash on my blog and I’m trying to stay in stash denial mode, but I must buy some trekking. I admired another color which I think was 101. I just sort of want them all though.
    Oh, Maureen, a lock box for the Christmas baking is a great idea. I’m going to look into that..even though it ends up sorta being a baking stash then. At least it is short term with food.

  71. I think it is time the family learns the beauty of deligation. Why CAN’T someone else wrap the presents? That is still my chore in the family to this day. Dad does the shopping, I wrap, brother is in charge of watering the tree and moving a vacuum in its direction vaguely to get up the needles and Mom does the dinner. It works. It took us 30+ years to finally get there, but we did eventually. (Should I share the Christmas Mom walked out and left me to do all the cooking?)

  72. I can hardly believe you’re gushing over the Trekking today! I’ve been gushing over Trekking today! I bought mine at The Sheep Shack when you were there and I was knitting my first sock. Now that I have lots and lots of other socks under my belt and I finished the pair for my son last night, I decided it was time for me to make myself another pair with my beautiful, beautiful yarn. It’s gorgeous. I keep showing it to my husband and saying, “Isn’t it the most beautiful yarn in the world? Aren’t these going to be the most beautiful socks in the world?” Mine is multi-colored and I just love it. (Can you tell?) All sock knitters deserve Trekking.

  73. Yes, the Trekking is an amazing yarn, and now that you’ve reminded my feet of its existence, I’ll have no peace until I make them a new pair of Trekking socks.
    It really didn’t surprise me that the Amazing Race producers and contestants display such massive ignorance. Sigh. The US’s educational system has much to answer for, but let’s not get into that rant today…
    Weather like we’re having now makes me intensely grateful for my Newfoundland heritage (The Mom is from Harbour Grace), and led me to call my colleagues wimps when they took the indoor route back from our holiday lunch. I went and sat in the sunshine despite the temperature being 3F.
    And, Stephanie, if your family thinks you’re grouchy, send them to me and I’ll teach them the true meaning of the word.

  74. Wrapping, wrap what, I still haven’t shopped for presents, no decorations, no cards, no baking, are you sure its December!

  75. Just roll a log on them (except then noone could go out for tape but there’d be plenty around the house). You whacky log rolling colonials. We have kangaroos bounding down our main streets, you know (and if you believe that, I’d like to sell you this car….).
    My pastel trekking is very pretty. Could only make fraternal twins though, not identical. Be warned!

  76. I know how you feel Steph, I’ve made 12 dozen cookies so far today and have dough ready for another 6 dozen. ARGH!!!!!!!!!

  77. Those socks are really pretty. I just love the way you have the cable flowing out of the ribbing. I am working on a pair in camo for my hs and want to work in some bright colors. think I’ll put the ones for ds aside for now and get my bright colors out and make me a pair.

  78. Oh, how I love the Trekking XXL. I’m insisting to Nathania that the next time we ( buy sock yarn, we get some serious Trekking added to the order, because I’m that much in love with it, and ultimately, it’s all about me. 😉
    Plus, the whole magic of you just don’t know what you’re going to get with it. Brilliant.

  79. 1. Lovely socks. I can’t wait to start knitting with my own new Trekking yarn–but I have to, because those socks are for *me*.
    2. I miss being able to watch curling on the CBC. It’s a lot more fun to watch than baseball…

  80. That’s not grouchiness, that’s justice. This from a woman who has to have the xmess knitting done three days beforehand because she’s flying to France to be reminded that it is not at all romantic if you’re sitting in your mother in law’s livingroom being grilled on why you never learned to play Beethoven.
    And dude, I bet I can tell you which bar that Montr�al lumberjack strips in. Just sayin’…

  81. That was so funny, I had to re-read it aloud to my husband! brillance woman!
    And the trecking sock yarn? pure magic! (Or as crazy aunt purl would say, “Gnomes!”.

  82. Thank you for reminding me of the “Log Driver’s Waltz”- I remember watching the animated short from the National Film Board when I was a kid. I love it! As a Canadian living in the US, I’m used to the misguided and sometimes strange ideas Americans have about life up there (such as we’re all French-speaking communists who live in igloos). But log rolling is a new one.
    btw- this is my first time posting a comment, but like everyone else here I love this blog! Is the Harlot doing a tour for the new book?

  83. I hate to admit, but I grew up not to far where a very large and extensive logging event is held. And it is not in Canada, it is in Wisconsin. No one identifies logging with Canada!
    Okay Steph, what is the colorway of your trekking yarn. I am thinking I need to knit a pair of socks. By the Way . . . unless you are seriously short of knitted Christmas Gifts, I’d keep them!

  84. I have to say, you are lucky, though: you don’t have seven and a half hours of boring school with maybe fifteen minutes maximum knitting time, and then homework, with maybe an hour or two to knit. I have learned to live with it, though: my friend Eric is getting ONE sock for Christmas. Hey, he’s short, I thought he’d have small feet! So sue me!

  85. If it makes you feel any better, I bet the Amazing Race people stereotype every other country they visited just as badly as they did Canada – we just don’t know any better. But I’m glad I was not watching this round. I’d have neen howling with rage at the log rolling.
    I’m sure it will NOT make you feel better to know that my darling husband handles most of the Christmas stuff. He wraps ALL the gifts, does the cards and puts up the tree. That’s if we bother with it this year. I just get to cook the dinner.

  86. A show that reduces christianity to “Thank you Jesus” and gay couples to mincing fashion victims would most likely see Canada as a curling touque hoarding 18% beer-swilling hockey players. Be glad they didn’t decide to make them help with the seal harvest.

  87. I know how you feel with the log rolling as a sport thing. I live in PA – “Amish Country”, to be exact. And there are SOOOO many misconceptions about this place. For example: people in the “big” cities (like Philly & New York) often wonder how often we go out “cow tipping”. Tourists get irate with Amish folk who won’t stand to have their picture taken (it’s against their religion) and threaten to report them to their boss (as if we’re in Williamsburg where people get paid to dress up in costumes!). And let’s not forget the movie “Witness” where the Amish boy is in “Philadelphia” – or somewhere and sees a plane in the sky and is enthralled. (The only time planes did NOT fly over Lancaster County was after 9/11 when planes were grounded!!).
    As for the family…don’t know what to tell you ’bout that! You did say Joe changed a little bit (I guess a LOT would just be too much!) :o)
    You had me laughing til I was crying! I love reading your blog (and books!). Thank you.

  88. Aren’t you getting a little grouchy over this Christmas stuff??
    hehehe.. I like wrapping presesnts..heheh .. now I just need to buy some!

  89. When I was a kid I was “instructed” to wrap all the presents my mother set in front of me every year. One year (before the invention of the Official Walkman) all the cousins got little portable radios, wrapped by yours truly. There were so many (and I was so numb after wrapping them all) that I never thought it through…all the cousins…I’m a cousin… Hey, did I just wrap my own present? (Yes, yes I did.)

  90. That is funny about Amazing Race — I love that show and a ton of other reality shows if you ever want to chat about it! 🙂 I am not so sure about this past season though — I could go on an on about how unfair it was to have 7 year olds pitted against 27 year olds — but I won’t as you say!
    As to the log rolling — I am with you! I live in Kansas — some people think that we shop in a general store and ride around on horse and buggy! Come on people — I don’t live in Iowa — no just kidding — but to have that perpetuated on TV — and to think I thought you might be out there knitting and cheering at a log rolling competition — that is just awful — seriously!

  91. Amazing Race?
    LUMBERJACK? Gimmie a break. All that was missing was the Monty Python troop with a chorus of Mounties:
    “I’m (He’s) a lumberjack and it’s OK…”.
    Canadian sport? Like I see lumberjacks walking along the streets of Ottawa. Or Regina.

  92. Okay, either I am relating to you so closely that we are almost the same person or the hysterical laughter has been brought on by holiday mania. I’m too friggin’ tired to figure it out right now. Passel of pussies. I really didn’t think I would laugh out loud for another twelve days at least. I’m wondering though, why my kids have that “she’s finally cracked and we know she hasn’t finished the shopping for our gifts yet” look on their faces. I think they are meeting in the other room to decide whether to commit me now, but then, who WOULD make the fudge?

  93. Funny, I was wondering the same thing when I watched the Race last night. Being from the States I thought “well, maybe I just hadn’t been around for THAT particular sport of Canada”. BUT, I happen to ABSOLUTELY love your country, your people, etc. etc. and my fam and I usually go up to visit at least once a year (either Toronto or Niagara but moreso Toronto. Although I did love Montreal the one time I visited there, but I am off on a tangent. Regathering now.) I must say that when Phil was talking about that last night I thought that was odd. I really thought it would have been curling and hockey. Now hockey, THAT is a popular sport in Canada. I would have understood had Phil said “traditional” (as in from your history) sports but certainly not “popular”. Oh well, you should maybe be glad since the more ‘rural’ your country is made out to be, the less of an invasion you will have and your charm will not be lost. OK, I’m rambling now, so I think I will quit. (It’s my fever talking, I know it is – either that of the little people got out again and I will have to have help in wrestling them back in – WHAT am I saying?????)

  94. What about broom ball?
    If I thought the $20 would be spent on some Trekking, I’d fork it right over!

  95. I could have sworn that hockey was popular in Canada.
    My dad (the Canadian) played and loved (well, still does) it. My Canadian cousins ALL played hockey.. and watch hockey etc.
    And didn’t some Canadian baseball team win the world series once? oh well, I guess Canadians don’t like baseball…
    I can see idiots thinking that there are two fave sports. I can even get that they’d pick curling (well, sort of ), but to pick LOG ROLLING over Hockey?? Huh?
    (and don’t Canadian’s do anything in the summer? or was log rolling supposed to be their summer sport??)
    Maybe they really meant Montana?

  96. I forget which filmmaker called San Jose city hall wanting permission to use some of the local streets for their movie, and asked how the surf was for some beach shots. Beach? Uh, San Jose is inland, at the bottom of San Francisco Bay. Ain’t no surf here, dude.
    Whaaaat? But it’s CALIFORNIA, it HAS to have ocean!

  97. PASSEL of PUSSIES!!!!!!?????
    Oh my ever-lovin’ heart, I may fall over. You are TOO Freaking Funny, woman. Thank you for one hell of a laugh.

  98. This is too true and funny! One year I told my husband I wouldn’t shop for his family, it was his job, but by Dec. 23rd I was out there shopping as he hadn’t started yet. I’m only knitting one project for this Christmas, and it’s been frogged 3 times already! I spent 2 evenings reading your book (instead of knitting) but it was time well spent!

  99. Steph,
    Your “try harder” comment reminded me of my sis ter in her single Mom days. Raising 3 kids and running her own business, she used to get disgusted with people that opted for a lower standard by saying (whining) ” But I’m doing my best.” My sister responded that if your best is all you can do, go home. Sometimes in life, you just have to do more.

  100. Right On, Sister! I won’t start on my litany, but I have one – oh yes, I have one.
    On the other hand, not only love the sock, but I just knit dh a hat with that cable as the band (Knitty’s Coronet – have I told you how much I love this pattern?). Anyways, after 2 weeks he had the hat stretched out beyond wearability, so I gave it a gentle fulling, and now the cable is barely visible. It hurts, just a little, not as bad as if the whole hat was lost, but to lose the cable definition is a shame.
    PS – love the reference to p*ssies — gonna get you some weird hits, I’m sure ;~}

  101. Oh Stephanie, I love you! When you go on your bookbookbook tour I will move heaven and earth to come see you!
    Just this evening Hubby was saying to me, “Well, it’s all right that we have five kinds of cookies to bake – the fudge is EASY!” Well, bully for the fudge. I’ve got two hats to knit by Saturday morning, I’ve got to pack to take two toddlers into non-babyproofed areas (the humanity!) and Mr. Relaxed is trying to tell me how friggin’ easy spritz cookies are to bake.
    And really, in my dark Grinchy heart, I just want ’em all to go hang so I can keep knitting my Jaywalkers.

  102. I HEAR YA on the logrolling thing!!! What the heck was that?!?!
    AND the idiot kid trying to speak French to the Torontonians. I’m going to assume that The Amazing Race just doesn’t represent any nation/people well, because I really want to believe that most Americans (a) could identify the CN tower and (b) know that Toronto is an anglophone city. Argh.

  103. Two quick thoughts/suggestions…
    My Mom taught me early that the only way to keep Christmas cookies around long enough after baking them until Christmas Day is to stick them in a LOCKED freezer. They stay perfectly fresh, and most importantly they stay un-eaten. I hated this tip when I was little. If only my cookies were to get baked that far in advance to worry about it. I have the shopping list of ingredients done, so I am making progress =)
    The way Christmas presents get wrapped by the people in my house is simple, I don’t wrap any I didn’t buy or make. A quick wrapping tip from my boys: Wrap the thing in tissue paper until nobody can see what it is, then stick it in a ziploc bag. No tape needed. An alternative to that is stick it in a brown paper bag, staple it shut (again no tape needed) and put a stick-on bow on it if you are feeling festive. The third and favorite of Mike’s, wrap the thing in duct tape until the words on the box can no longer be read. This obviously needs tape, but it is way fun to do, so he says.

  104. go knitter go!
    (does the koigu know about the potential trekking shrine?)
    I hope your moose is staying warm out there – it’s downright frigid (as in, I need to knit warmer mittens to walk the borrowed dog) here! (mooses vs. meese? what’s a Canadian’s opinion?)

  105. OMG! And I haven’t put my tree up yet! We STILL have to FIND one! Plus buy new ornaments (don’t ask waht happened to the old ones) and a tree-topper. We just started our shopping today ARG!!!!
    Those Trekking socks are GORGEOUS! Now I am going to HAVE to add it to my sock yarn stash! You are such a tempter girl!

  106. Helen – yes, the Toronto Blue Jays won the World Series, two years in a row in fact at least. I’m not sure if it was 92/93 or 93/94, but they won.
    Log rolling? If I was brave enough to type profanity, I would, if I wasn’t too shocked to type anything.

  107. Really, Canada is not the only misunderstood place on the globe. I live in Montana, and we get the same stuff all the time. Especially because there are NO large cities here. There aren’t even a million people in the whole state. I remember when a prominent soap-opera had one of their characters move to Montana, with the implication that they may as well have been going to the moon.

  108. log rolling: Minoqua, Wisconsin. Hayward – also in Wisconsin. Conpetitions every summer. Check it out. Could be that the mosquitoes there are kinder to Canadians, eh?

  109. Thanks for being my connection to home. I just went to the NFB website and ordered a copy of the Log Driver’s Waltz vignette at an outrageous price for a 3-minute movie, but “I’m a lumberjack and that’s okay”… hahahahahahaha. Now, all I need is a DVD of the Hinterlands Who’s Who, a Molson’s EXPORT, poutine, some Timbits and Hockey Night in Canada with Don Cherry and it will be a perfect day.
    Joanne, The Canuck in Colorado

  110. We here in western New York state get the same thing…ohh, you’re from New York City. Not. We are much closer geographically to Ontario (and Toronto for that matter) than to NYC. We also have TimBits, maple syrup, Red Rose tea, hockey, and it snows (a lot). For a good night out, we go to Canada (the streets get rolled up too early around here).

  111. Okay, what color way is that Trekking XXL? I made a very plain pair of socks from the “Denim” ’cause the yarn was too lovely to put down once I’d picked it up at the local yarn store. They only had the one skein of the one color. Want. More.
    (Keeping my mouth shut about what a relief it is to be a non-Christian this time of year. I’m knitting a clapotis over here, to keep my hands and mouth busy lest I indulge in schadenfreude.)

  112. Christmas must be making you grouchy, dear. There. Can I wrap your presents? Please? I know it sounds bizarre and a bit sickening, but wrapping presents is my most favorite part of Christmas. I mean, the wrapping is what REALLY makes the gift. You could put dirty socks and a few handful of litter in a box, and people would quirm with excitement and unbidden anticipation if it were wrapped well. And when they open it? More glee! Who cares that it’s dirty socks and litter, did you notice the wrapping? DID YOU?!
    Right. It’s almost Christmas. You’re being Grinchy. The presents. Allow me, please.

  113. PS
    I grew up in Chicago. I’m naturally though to be quite propficient with a multitude of assault rifles and hand guns and either a part of, or with ties to, the mob. Oh, and I’m rich supposedly too. I blame TV for what people think they know about different cities and states.

  114. I’ve gotta say I totally agree with your comments on the Amazing Race. I’m from a logging town on the west coat and while we have “Logger Sports Days”, it is an event held once a year and no one I know ever did any of the “sports”! It definitely couldn’t be classified as a popular Canadain Sport anywhere in the country.
    That sock yarn is beautiful! I’m jealous!

  115. PS
    I grew up in Chicago. I’m naturally thought to be quite proficient with a multitude of assault rifles and hand guns, and either a part of, or with ties to, the mob. Oh, and I’m rich supposedly too. I blame TV for what people think they know about different cities and states.

  116. Oh my god, I’m rolling on the floor laughing!!! I received the same request from my 16 year old yesterday. “Uh, mom?, do you have any cash lying around? I need to get my shopping started” This from the jobless one who can’t imagine how on earth he can survive without a car/cell phone/ipod…

  117. The only logrolling I’ve seen is at the PNE, or on tv at logger competitions (I am in BC, afterall.) and it’s always the kind they do in water.
    Canada’s official sport is lacrosse, n’est pas? Curling I can accept, but they should have had hockey or lacrosse, as well.
    I love Trekking XXL yarn. I’ve only made one pair of socks with it and they are my current favourite pair. I love the colourway you are using. The name someone suggested, “soltice socks” is perfect.

  118. first off, you can shock everyone by letting them know that parts of canada are SOUTH parts of the USA. (like Windsor).
    second..and last… i love love LOVE wrapping presents! if i lived closer, i would come over and wrap for you. i only ask for nice sharp scissors and nice wrapping paper. i love wrapping paper.

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