Random Friday

1. I am sort of cold. It’s in the single digits outside- the furnace wars are in full swing.

2. I think it’s really only Erin and I this year, because mum has a tenant in the downstairs apartment, so the law says that she has to provide him with heat, even though it’s Ken and he would totally go along with the furnace wars.  (Ian is a tenant in his own apartment this year, and so he’s been provided with heat against his will. He’s a little bitter, since normally he is a serious contender.)

3. Erin called yesterday and asked if the heat was on yet.  She sounded hopeful.  I crushed her.  She crushed me back.  We re-affirmed the rules,  if it’s November 1st, the heat goes on, or if it snows, the heat goes on – with no winner or loser.
(There is also sort of a rule that if a baby visits you or your children really cry about it  then we might fold too.. but that’s negotiable.)

4. Joe washed the furnace filter two days ago.  I am watching him daily for other signs of weakness.  (Last night he said "It’s really cold in here" but I think that was more of an honest observation than anything else.)

5. It is really cold in here, but I love starting the winter this way.  I think it acclimatizes everyone and as a knitter, I love how valuable it makes everything I’ve knit.  People LOVE their sweaters if you don’t turn on the heat until it’s truly cold.  Love and wear them.

6. On that note…

Mittens for Sam.  It’s just my basic in my head mitten pattern, but I tried a new top this time because Sam likes things swirly.  The yarn is LSS in eggplanted, and there’s a matching scarf in the works that needs to be finished on Monday- and I’ll tell you why another time.

7. I spent too much time last night choosing a pattern, and now I’m already behind on the scarf. 

8. The irony is that this is the same pattern (Feather and fan) that I cast on in the first place, before ripping it out and trying nine others and eventually returning to the one that I liked in the first place.   I have got to learn to trust my knitting instincts.

9. Today, like yesterday, is a day of a thousand errands.  I’m taking the scarf with me, and hoping for the best.  There’s got to be a way to pound it out by Monday.

172 thoughts on “Random Friday

  1. I cannot believe how quickly you crank out this beautifulstuff! I just started knitting back in January, and am amazed at how fast so many of the people I know are….you aren’t one of the Brigade of Armpit Knitters by any chance, are you?

  2. So furnace wars is on! It’s unseasonably warm still here in Kansas, but I know winter lurks just around the corner and am knitting my little heart out to combat it. Yesterday: tiny knee socks for my 8-month granddaughter. (I wish they came with a tutorial on how to keep her from pulling them off and chewing on them.) This really is knitter’s season, isn’t it? The time when it becomes less a hobby than a basic necessity, to keep our families from frostbite. Makes it really primitive and basic and I love it. So Sam needs her mittens and scarf to match, but doesn’t care if they match her hat? Interesting. They’re all gorgeous. Feather and fan goes really fast so you should have plenty of time to get it done.

  3. Thanks for letting me be a spectator in your furnace war! Maybe if Joe’s gansey was done his resolve wouldn’t be weakening?

  4. *Sigh* I’ve been working on my Feather and Fan scarf off and on since the Olympics and it’s still not done. Now you’re going to go and finish one by Monday! Although, maybe if I spent more time “on” than “off” I too could finish mine 😉
    Go Stephanie!

  5. Love the swirly mitten top. Why do we always second-guess ourselves? Happy knitting on that pretty scarf.

  6. We had our own furnace wars going on here in Northern Indiana, but DH just won out. I could have lasted for several more degrees of cold. Mother Nature is helping me out though, plus I wear alpaca sweaters. Is that cheating?

  7. If anyone could finish a whole scarf in a weekend it’s you. I saw a youtube of your knitting speed, and truly, I bow down before you. D’you think you could bottle and sell that speed? I could really use it in several areas of my life right now.
    Great mittens.

  8. This year we’re inadvertently keeping up with the furnace wars. To be fair, it’s waaaay colder up there than it has been in New Hampshire.
    We use a pellet stove to heat the house, and my husband is the one who is supposed to order pellets for the year. Yep, he’s supposed to… any day now… 😉

  9. Stephanie, if you’re missing the cat, look at the lump in your bed.
    My girl hybernates in our bed when it is frosty in the house; I’m still trying to figure out how she gets in there!
    Yep, absolutely right about switching to the heavy knitting now. Absolute joy – just wish I were as quick as you (and don’t we all!!)

  10. Love the furnace wars! We all should do it. Good luck!
    You could totally auction off stuff that you personally knit and make even more money for Doctors without Borders.

  11. What is it about knitting accessories that makes it so darn much fun?
    There’s something incredibly satisfying about hats, scarves, shawls and (as I’m sure I’ll learn eventually), mittens and gloves. And gotta love those SOCKS!
    Cranking it out by Monday: If anyone can, you can! Looking forward to reading about it.

  12. The eggplant colorway beats all others seen this year to date-lovely. You do in deed knit some rows!!

  13. Since I live on the Bering Sea and when I get to your blog at about 5:45 a.m. everyday usually there are 300 posts. Love the mittens and tops and fan pattern is an all time favorite.
    BUT more important thanks for sharing and making be laugh most days and if I am not laughing I get some wonderful insight. Much appreciated!!!!!!!!

  14. Best of luck in the furnace wars! It’s not as cold here in Ohio, but we’re participating too, even though with a new baby we should be exempt this year. The furnace is on the fritz and we’re waiting for the brother-in-law to come look at it. We may cheat and stay at Grandma’s if it takes too long.
    I love the random days, and that’s a great scarf and mitten set.

  15. Darn it! I forgot all about furnace wars. And I have the best chance of lasting very long: new, well-insulated flat, and nobody else to nag me about how they can see their breath when they talk.
    Good luck!
    P.S. You’ll have to explain or redirect readers to how Ian got to be a tenant in his own apartment??

  16. All I can say about Missouri now is that it’s not so hot. I’m just grateful that although the air conditioner is still turned on – the cool weather that we’ve had has prevented it from kicking on at all. I refuse to switch it over to heat yet. Love the swirls on the mittens – I never thought of finishing mittens like that so now I’m going to have to copy you again. Good luck with the scarf. I’m working on a black hole scarf for my daughter for Christmas. Not sure when it’s going to jump ahead with some length.
    Now about Joe’s Gansey . . . . . . . . .

  17. We’ve exempted ourselves from any type of furnace wars (although with the number of woodstoves around here, furnaces are a bit irrelevant). After living six years in a freezing, ugly, uninsulated little trailer, we’ve got the new stoves going in the house. Last night it was so warm I didn’t need any covers for sleeping. Ah, comfort. 😉
    Best of luck to you in the furnace wars, though — I hope you win!

  18. Love the scarf–the pattern and the color wave. I don’t wear mittens but have knitted a lot of them–mittens were my gifts to others while I was in college. Will the hat “go with” the mittens and scarf? You know–kind of blend in with the blue?

  19. And it was !00 degrees F here in Phoenix yesterday. We would love some cold air blowing toward the southwest US! We would love to turn off the A/C.

  20. Man, I wish I were at home knitting, with or without the heat on, instead of being stuck here in the office. 😛 It’s a great knitting day, too–kind of gray and overcast with rain predicted later. Ah well, at least I have my project bag with me, waiting for my lunch break…

  21. You just went through all that work and hassle to get a new furnace! Go ahead and fold! ENJOY.

  22. There are a few easy ways to win the furnace wars. One is to enlarge the total amount of the last oil bill to poster size and mount it on the refrigerator door. Another is to get nice and cozy under that afghan and oh, did I mention there is a heating pad that is nice and toasty on my back. But don’t share that little tidbit with the family if you want to keep on using it.

  23. furnace: on a couple times from 6-7am, just to take the chill off the house while getting dd ready for school.
    on that note: Irena (the dd) also has a new hat/scarf/mitt combo – rowan wool silk dk (gold, on sale, loverly stuff) – porom hat, easy lace fingerless mitts, and december is for stephanie scarf – with a bit of porom added to each side. it really ties the ensemble together. (are you a big lebowski fan?)
    today: starting with a bit of knitting (castle pullover), then block the scarf, make soup, switch out the shorts and tees for wool sweaters. fall is here.

  24. Great! I forgot about the furnace wars. Here in Wisconsin we have had one night of 38 F so far. I am holding out!
    Love the mittens

  25. The furnace wars would either end early here in Calgary or would need to be modified so that they specify the amount of snow – it is currently snowing big fluffy flakes here – but only a little is sticking to the ground

  26. I also set the same goal that there is no heat until Nov 1. I lost the battle yesterday due to the bitter cold rain falling but the war may still be won since the heat was turned off in the last afternoon and not turned on today. I do however have an iceland sweater on to keep the chill away. Good luck on the the war.

  27. I wanna play furnace wars! (even though I’m in Indiana and it’s been 70 all week, and that seems a lot like cheating)
    Maybe I can play this way…can you quantify “really cold in here?” We heat with wood as our primary heat source, but have the furnace set to 55 (13C) for times when the fire isn’t burning.
    I love to hear from people with similarly cold houses. It makes me feel less like a weirdo. Go Furnace Wars!

  28. We’re fighting the furnace thing, too. Though, admittedly, the weather in Ohio has been pretty nice and warm lately. Only today did I actually put a scarf on with my sweater as I walked out the door – still no need for a coat yet.
    And I *wish* I could finish the scarf I’m working on in a weekend. It’s a Christmas knit and while I have plenty of time, I’d really rather just get it off my plate and over with (and I just realized how that made me sound like a bitter knitter lol).

  29. there you go. My most favorite scarf pattern ever. Nothing shows yarn color like feather and fan.

  30. Yes, please post the in-your-head mittens pattern with the swirled top. I really like it and would like to try it too!
    I love reading about the furnace wars. Though I don’t wish you all to be cold. I thought of you last night when I didn’t turn on the heat here, though the temps dipped down into the low 40’s (which is usually too cold for me). I decided to tough it out. Since it’s been warm during the day, I’m glad I did.

  31. I believe you’ll know that Joe has reached his breaking point when he hauls out the grey wool and starts spinning it himself.

  32. Not nuts, just a mom. On Tuesday night 9:30 I got the Mom would you? By Friday? Now I work from 9am to 9pm one of the two days I had to knit these mittens with flap and fingers… As of this morning I will tell you .I didn’t make it. 1 1/2 half done, still feeling good about it though, got love us moms.

  33. Helpful hint to win furnace wars: Bake! I bake and cook, and then leave the cooling oven open to provide a little bit of extra heat 😉

  34. We have our own version of the furnace wars going on. We cut down a HUGE tree so we have ton (literally) of fire wood, so my hubby said no heat till Thanksgiving. I said I’d up him by one: Lets see who the first to cave is. How can I lose? I have knitwear and hot flashes! Who needs heat??? Heat is for whimps!

  35. Isn’t Sam the one who wanted hats and mittens to match and not look so knittery?
    and LMAO @ Presbytera’s comment.
    If you want to be warm, think of my house, where I still have the AC on and STILL can’t even sleep with a sheet on. Too dang hot.

  36. Hey, there is nothing wrong with adding mittens and a hat to your overnight wardrobe…You can tell Joe I said so if he shows further signs of weakness.

  37. I love Feather and Fan! And I have done that swirl finish on a pair of socks; now I’ll have to try it on mittens.

  38. I lost on the furnace war. The Rennai heater kicks on all by itself (it goes on if the room drops below 50°F (10°C). But that’s only in the sunroom.
    My office is the coldest room of the house. I have a woodstove in it, and i haven’t lit the match yet. Am trying to hold out until 1 November.
    But, on the night of 10 October, i got too cold when i was working late at night, and turned on the heat–one of those cold, rainy nights, and i set the thermostat to 60°F (~15°C). I moved it back a few degrees when i turned in for the night.
    I’m so thankful i made myself two pairs of handwarmers last winter. I’ve been wearing them while i work, and they really help. That and a crazy boa/scarf/cape thing i knitted from the pattern in the Naughty Knitters book.
    Lovely mittens and scarf! I love looking at the beautiful things you knit. Thanks for sharing pictures of them with us!

  39. You are such a sweet mum!! My poor little XYs must (gasp–shock–horror!!) wear mitts from the second-hand store because I haven’t found the time yet to make them all cozy little mitts. I’m feeling inspired though, maybe this weekend. . . .

  40. I caved in and turned on the heat sometime last week only to turn it off a couple of days later. Honestly the thing I dislike most from losing a lot of weight is that I became cold all the time! Obviously I need to make more sweaters.

  41. Furnace wars makes me laugh. It was really cold where I like last week and I told my husband it was time to break out the afghans. I started sporting my cardigans and slippers and even thought some new fingerless gloves might be in order. I ALMOST broke down and turned on the heat then realized that it’s going to get a hell of a lot colder and if I can’t handle a little chill then I’m in for a long winter!

  42. ahh the furnace wars. Too bad Mom and Ian can’t make some sort of arrangement so they can play too, but not like it’d matter. We all know you’d win anyway!

  43. Enjoy hearing about the furnace wars! It’s “cooling” down here in S. Florida with temps in the 80’s F.
    The mittens are lovely and LOVE the scarf! Can’t wait to hear about why a Monday deadline.

  44. I’m a basement tenant who plays furnace wars with my landlord. He doesn’t turn it on till I call & say I’m too cold down here. I usually hold out till HIS kids are crying!! You can always put on a sweater & socks when you’re cold!! It’s the heat that gets me . . .

  45. Does the use of a fireplace affect furnace wars? I still haven’t turned ours on (admittedly it’s been splendid in MN so far this fall) but on a particularly chilly night or two I have used the fireplace so nobody could complain about seeing their breath.

  46. With you in solidarity on the Monday thing…
    Boyhood’s birthday sweater (one of Jared’s Cobblestones) is due; to date, I have sleeves done to the yoke join, and the body done … about halfway to the yoke.
    Am now cursing my decision to marry a hunky, tall man. (Not something I usually regret, btw).
    Good luck on the scarf!

  47. Love the mittens, and the scarf is even better. I love good, old-fashioned Feather and Fan, which may be when I knit a king-sized bedspread in that design for the Knitting Olympics last year (No, I didn’t finish in time.).
    Here in LA, we still have the air conditioning on. The day you reveled in “Frost,” and the coming of Winter? It was 98 F degrees here, which is, I believe, 38 C. I’m still knitting rayon tank tops.

  48. I love your furnace wars! I’ve had a self-imposed war on with myself for the last few years, and while it does seem masochistic, it is also kind of fun. Plus, I’m cheap. Or selectively cheap. I’d rather spend money on wool than heat.

  49. It’s summer here in San Francisco, finally! We don’t get summer until September and October. I was in tank tops and skirts this week! Come visit!

  50. mmmmmmmmmm….
    Isn’t this Rhinebeck weekend, too?
    going to be cold as a witchheart…better knit mukluks and a coat too! :P~~~“

  51. Yeah Furnace Wars! I play with myself, but have it much easier. Like Marina in Los Angeles just above me said, we’re still running the A/C in Louisiana (the other LA, haha). Luckily, it has cooled a bit, so now we only turn it on once a day to filter the pollen out before bedtime. (Our A/C Wars in the summer are much more challenging. I keep the apartment at 82dF, right at the “too sticky to knit” limit, which is where I crack.)
    I have faith in your knitting skills…you can absolutely finish that scarf this weekend! Knit Stephanie Knit! =)

  52. I have my own furnace wars going on. The shop has a ‘space’ heater type furnace which looks like a barbeque burner, a flame reflects on the floor when the lights are off. It scares me! I had the landlord turn it off during the summer, I haven’t called him to turn it on yet, it is getting cold in the shop!
    I am going to try and get through the next week without it.
    At least the furnace at home is on, has been for a couple of weeks!

  53. Furnace Wars – yet another reason to love your blog this time of year! You’re more cold hardy than we are, that’s for sure.

  54. Although I admit to having the wood stove working, it can, in no real way at this time, heat the whole house once the temps really start getting serious. However, I’m willing to bet my furnace will not be turning on till Dec (and I live 2 hours northeast of you). I praise the gods of good (afterthefact) house insulation – as this circa 100 yr old home wouldn’t stand a chance otherwise…. Good luck!

  55. Love the mitts and the scarf. Pehaps you should keep them handy till the furnace wars are over.

  56. I have now got your basic sock recipe (from Knitting Rules) in my fingers and don’t have to look at it. Wish I had a mitten recipe to go along with it, my fingers may get lonely with only one do-it-by-themselves pattern.
    I do the furnace war thing too, with myself–but have a gas log fireplace I use in the evenings if I get to sit down. The elderly cats like it. The rest of the house stays about 62F unless I have company.

  57. I play the furnace wars with my siblings. I always win, mostly because they don’t know we’re playing. 😉

  58. I’m thinking the scarf could cost you the furnace wars (are you sure Sam & Erin aren’t in cahoots?) If it gets too cold to knit, but the scarf is on a tight deadline, what will you do?

  59. Gorgeous mittens and scarf, and there’s no question about the finishing in time–I’ve seen you knit.
    Maybe today we can leave our air conditioning off. Crazy heat here.

  60. Could you tell us what you consider to be cold? Cold is a flexible term. I keep my flat at 65°F/18°C and people consider that freezing, so I’m wondering if you’re living in a 10°C house (because that’s what mine would be without heating). And do lighting candles count as heating? After all, they can raise the temps in a room by a couple of degrees.

  61. #furnacewars is on twitter – we look to you for inspiration LOL. Although we’re in Victoria, BC, so house temp hasn’t dipped below 16…so technically we should last until Dec 1st…

  62. Woman yelling “cut it out!” to crying toddler? Yesterday I found myself yelling “Stop that” in a parking garage – to the car door that wouldn’t stay open (for the 4th time) while I collected my things to get out.
    Well, yeah, I did feel really stupid. Why do you ask?

  63. At this time of year, I like to make home soups & stews that simmer for hours. Also roasts & I used to bake bread (when there were more than 2 of us to eat it.) First of all, I’ve grown tired of “summer” foods & secondly, the simmering soup/stew not only makes the house smell yummy but it adds a good bit of warmth & humidity to the air. And, the nice thing is that, while you do need to stay in the house so you won’t risk burning it down, after the initial chopping of veggies & first steps of bringing to a boil & skimming before adding veggies, they need so little attention – just the occasional check to make sure they don’t need a bit more water added to keep them from drying out. Perfect meals for the weather & to warm the house (& soul) & for a knitter who gets a nice block of time to knit.

  64. I know it’s important to you to meet deadlines, but remember: Carpal Tunnel means that you don’t meet any knitting deadline for a really long time.

  65. I’m living in a tower block in London, and I’ve turned our heat on already… I had a cold, so I caved. But I do think you’re right about the acclimatising. I come from New Zealand where even though it gets really, REALLY cold no one even has heating (or insulation) in their houses. But the people are generally really healthy. I’m a wimp now I’ve moved to the UK.

  66. Love the furnace wars! We have them, too, but ours end earlier here in Fairbanks. Into October this year before turning on the Monitor, due to the warm fall–that’s pretty good! But when the bottom falls out, it’s fast, and I finally lit the woodstove this past weekend. Snow on the ground now, and more coming. Warm woolies time for sure!

  67. Our heat is on. It sort of has to be, but even if it didn’t have to be, it still would be.
    There are some basic patterns that just never wear out their welcome. F&F is one. (And one of those days I will get started on those socks I keep thinking about.)

  68. Too funny! Love the furnace wars…. We just bought our first (and very old) home this spring and are dealing with some lack-of-insulation wars…. You might just have inspired me to see the bright side of all the cold that is sure to be a staple for us this winter.

  69. I remember furnace wars from back home in Rochester, NY. After menopause, my mom always wins now. It can be -17F outside and she will turn a fan on.
    Still AC weather here in Tucson with highs in the low 90’sF. I can totally win furnace wars down here. AC wars come next spring not a chance in hell, cause quite frankly that’s what it is by May.

  70. hi:)
    QUESTION: is this socks that rock yarn in egglpanted or LLS yarn?

  71. Love the mitten and the color is one of my favorites. I too have your basic sock recipe memorized from the book and hope you will think about sharing the mitten pattern. I love matching sets of accessories.

  72. when are the kids of an age to no longer count for this? Because, don’t they all kind of whine at 16? when can you tell if they are whining because they are actually cold or just because they are teenagers….
    What if the heat is turned on when you aren’t at home to stop people?
    And, I’m packing for my trip to Australia with WWWWAYYYY to many patterns. But one is your lovely Earl Grey socks, which are a Christmas gift for partner. Thank you so much for sharing such a nice design.

  73. Now I feel really wimpy for giving in to pressure from the husband and child when the nights got below 50F in Atlanta.
    I gave up on a scarf using two repeats of feather&fan. Yours is lovely. Maybe I’ll reconsider.

  74. I know you will win furnace wars! It is still too freaking hot here in western kansas, which only makes me want to move to Canada more than I wanted to before…I am very jealous…I love winter, and knitting is the best part of it!! And I agree with everyone else, how the heck do you knit so fast?

  75. We do the same thing, but instead of chosing a date at which the furnace goes on “no winner and no loser” we go by household temperature. If the gauge says it’s below 60F then the furnace goes on no matter what. Today (in Vancouver), it’s exactly 60F inside so, like Joe, we’ve just cleaned the filter in anticipation of needing the furnace tonight 😉

  76. I gather neither you nor any of your fellow warriors keep many houseplants.
    It might make you like February better if you did.

  77. I too have joined in on the furnce wars. althought it is getting cooler in the house.Bedroom was down to 14C (57.2 F) but then I realized that the open window could be the issue. Fixed that and it is now a toasty 18C.
    Love the mittens, how did you do the swirl pattern?

  78. I live in Vancouver and its rare that I ever turn the heat on at anytime during the year. The “war” that I’m a part of is deciding when I’ll finally leave the house with my coat on. I don’t like being cold but I can handle chilly as long as I have a scarf. Coat wars!

  79. It seems my hubby has joined the furnace war this year. He is hoping not to have to start a fire in the wood stove for heat until Nov. 1. Personally, I prefer the version called the furnace game, where we see how long it is until the gas furnace actually comes on. I think it was 3 winters ago the last time it came on.

  80. Oh we are so HOT here in California! 90 degrees in October is just not… cool, I guess. Tuesday night I thought, I am wearing a sun dress and picking tomatoes and it is Oct. 13, this is all wacky! It was cold all summer. Go figure.

  81. I guess it would be really mean to tell you that it got up to 79 here in Florida.
    Why not join the rest of your northern friends and make like a snowbird and fly on down?

  82. See now, you need live in a high rise with individual furnace control!
    *Technically* our furnace is on (it’s the only way for us to know what the temperature is in here) but we have it turned down as low as it will go (50F. Apparently our building didn’t get the memo that we live in Canada).
    Our unit has been consistantly hovering around 77F, and that’s with a window open at all times.
    We barely used our furnace last year because between the insulation of the surrounding units, and the sun coming in our south- and west-facing windows, it’s quite cozy in here!
    I’m sure it had nothing to do with the protective layer of yarn around all of the walls…

  83. Yay Furnace Wars! I always try to see how long I can hold out, even though my family are all woosies who turn it on at the first chill. Unfortunately, this year I’m going away on a cruise and will have to set the heat to come on in case it goes below freezing while I’m gone. Does that count? Really?

  84. My furnace is on. There was snow here back in September (just north of Toronto), so I don’t feel bad about it. It’s not high, and I am wearing a sweater and wool socks. But that’s not enough. You are very brave, and, I think, surrounded by much wool. 🙂

  85. I remember those furnace wars. In the past two years, I’ve declared myself too old to be freezing for no good reason, and hark back to not having air-conditioning in the summer to soothe myconscience. My other trick is to cook lots of meals in the oven. That’s not cheating, is it?

  86. My version of the Furnace Wars is putting off getting mine repaired for as long as possible, lol. Both my wall furnaces were red-tagged for leaking and have been shut down, so I’ve got to have the repairman in to take care of them. So far, it’s been “I’ll call next week” for about a month, but that’s not going to work for much longer, alas.

  87. Well, it’s snowing here (middle of the Green Mountains in Vermont), so we didn’t make it with the furnace off ’til November 1. But October 15th? . . . and not just flurries . . . 3 inches so far. The sweaters came out last week, and I’m sewing up a new for himself as we speak.

  88. Hey there, the Rhinebeck site shows you as signing books there this year, but you haven’t mentioned anything about going. Will we see you there this weekend?

  89. Is there any truth to the rumor that the gansey is vacationing in Cancun until you turn the furnace on?

  90. *sighs longingly at the thought of living in a country where knitted clothing and quilts are a most of the year round thing*

  91. I am one of the toughest Australians here in the outback (I mean outskirts) of Melbourne. My heater goes on at 18˚C!

  92. Love the mittens! I’m quite new to knitting and have trouble with all the acronyms — what kind of yarn is LSS? Anyone?

  93. Your furnace wars crack me up. I hear lots of people discussing their strategies for putting off the day here in Maine, and I think I’ve heard Garrison Keillor tell similar tales from Lake Wobegon on Prairie Home Companion.
    I have had my heat on here in Maine (I feel like such a mamby-pamby!), but my excuse is that we get our hot water from pipes circulating through my furnace (not a separate hot water heater), so you can even hear the thing rumbling to life on the hottest of summer days. I have all the thermostats set at 60 deg F over the summer, and I noticed hot baseboards in the coldest part of the house the other day, so you can revel in your triumph over us here in Biddeford, Maine! (I hear that there was snow in northern Maine last weekend!)

  94. My husband (wimp) turned our furnace on the other day because “my fingers were cold”. If I had been home and he said that, I would have told him to wash some dishes.
    Anyway, I love your yarn. I find it just about impossible to find varigated yarns that don’t turn into blotches. They all seem to be designed for crocheting.
    It’s going to be a gorgeous little set.

  95. My in-laws were visiting and I came home one afternoon to find them wearing their coats inside the house, grasping mugs of hot tea. They were cold. Since they are in their 80’s and usually live in Florida (not in our obviously frigid Virginia), I caved and turned on the heat. Do older people count like babies in the furnace wars?

  96. *sigh* I broke down and turned on the furnace this morning. 61f in the warmest part of the house and I have a 2 month baby (I use a space heater in the nursery). If it wasn’t for the baby, that furnace wouldn’t be on. It’s only October for goodness’ sake!

  97. Buy yourself some time with the furnace. Come visit us in Texas; we’re still at 85 (Farenheit, that is.) today.

  98. I really need to get over my unreasoning hatred of feather & fan. But every time I see it, no matter how lovely the yarn, I am transported back to 1976, when my grandmother’s neighbor gave me a wedding gift of a feather & fan afghan made in the cheapest of squeaky ’70s acrylic, and in my most hated shade of orange to boot. I haven’t been able to look at that pattern since without feeling my hatred for that hideous afghan all over again — and it’s not fair to a simple, presumably attractive knitting pattern to link it with that orange excrescence!
    Anyway, my daughter would take you on in furnace wars in a heartbeat, except that she lives in a ski resort town so is 6,000 feet (1800 meters) above sea level, so it gets a lot colder a lot faster. But she loves it cold. I only do because I have lovely wool to wrap myself up with during the day, and an electric blanket at night. I hope you win this year — if your family doesn’t have enough knitted things to keep them warm, something is wrong with the universe!

  99. Feather and fan/old shale for ever! Such a great effect from patterning in every fourth row. It was a revelation the first time I did it, and I have not extended my lace type knitting beyond it. It makes a really warm scarf too, because of the scrunchy texture.

  100. I really miss the NORTH! I have lived much of my life in northerly, cold places … and now live in New Mexico … a wonderful place in it’s own right … but not the same, from my perspective. My sense of seasons is sorely disrupted. All the best to you in the furnace wars!!

  101. There is no way that I would ever be a contender in the furnace wars. I would just forfeit every time. 80 degrees F makes me happy.

  102. We still have the air on here. Truth be told, I had wool socks, a hooded sweatshirt, an ankle length flannel nightgown and a fuzzy blanket in order to keep from feeling as if I were living in a freezer. My fiance gets warm easily.

  103. It’s chilly and blustery here in RI too. I told my husband he needs to pull the a/c units out of the windows this weekend. We haven’t turned on the heat yet. Neither of us likes a really warm house and we keep the heat between 62 and 65 degrees. He seems to have a built in furnace and doesn’t cold as fast as me.

  104. The thing about visiting babies is that you just ply them with wooly goodness and then you don’t have to break and turn the heat on!

  105. Now admittedly I live in a slightly warmer clime than you (Wisconsin), but we are only just now, at my boyfriend’s place, finishing some reapirs to the ductwork that were started in June and abandoned because of some unhelpful helping on the part of my fellow’s dad (long story which I don’t actually know the details of). So yes, it is mid-October in Wisconsin and we are only just now fixing the draft from the basement, so that the furnace can get turned on. (I’m going to argue for the purchasing of a humidifier, I have a theory it will help with the cold-while-sleeping phenomenon.)

  106. So if you are in the middle of the furnace wars, this means that you cannot turn on the heat at your house. Is it cheating if you choose to and have your children spend as much time as possible outside of the house? So have your kids study at the library/a friend’s house, while you invade your mother’s house, etc.?

  107. I caved several weeks ago. It’s not so much the cold – the central heating is only on for a couple of bursts a day at the moment. It’s the bath towels not drying that I can’t stand!

  108. Being cold was one of the reason for breaking up with my ex… I feel the cold worst that the average person (much worst than my ex), and desparately hate being cold, and every year we had bitter fights over the temperature in the flat (or house wherever we happened to be, like he was enjoying making me feel so cold… Since he is gone, I refuse so I would be loosing the furnace war in no time every year…But I admire you all for doing it…
    As for the scarf… when there is a will there is a way… especially if it has you and knitting in it.

  109. Pshaw! I’m in Ottawa, and we haven’t turned the furnace on. In fact we still have the bedroom windows open!

  110. The scarf pattern is lovely but the multi-colored yarn fights it. It is better to choose a multi-colored yarn with less value change otherwise you have two things going on. You have the lovely pattern, and you have the lovely yarn making a pattern of its own. What to do? I don’t know. :o)

  111. Dang!!! Lost the furnace wars to the setting on the thermostat – I was sure I had it low enough that “I” would have to turn on the heat – but no…. I woke up to warm air coming from the registers, because the setting let it do that …. Rats!

  112. Dang!!! I lost the furnace wars to the …. thermostat! I was sure I had it set low enough, but this morning hot air pouring out of the registers (sort of like election time in Edmonton – we vote tomorrow) Oh well, the kitties liked it!

  113. Just how cold is it in your house? I’m ready to convert (degrees Fahrenheit = [9/5][degrees Celsius]+32)and be impressed.

  114. We had a cold snap here in Connecticut last week, but nothing like what you are going through. You have inspired me to make a big pot of bean barley veggie soup and bake corn bread. I’m ready for the snow to arrive!

  115. Hi,
    My Friend Cyndi and I went to Rhinebeck today. I brought my meditations book for you to sign.So sorry we missed you.It was 65 degrees at the wool and sheep festival. I wanted to tell you that yours ( Yarn Harlot)was the first book I read in about 20 years. I have only read knitting instructions until that point, so thank you.

  116. Being a woosie Southerner, I turn the furnace on when the outside temperature goes below 50 degrees F. I am now very thankful that my husband lost 50+ pounds, because he used to be right behind me with turning it off…and it would take me a while to figure out why the house wasn’t warming up the least little bit!!!
    If God had wanted us to see our breath inside the house, he wouldn’t have let us invent central heating!!! Or learn to develop animal fibers into yarn and clothing!!!

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  118. No furnace wars for me here in Edmonton. We turned the furnace on in August after the temperature in the house dipped down to 9 degrees Celsius or something ridiculous like that. We also had to turn it on for a bit back in May.

  119. Lovely as ever. I see you’re firmly combatting the phenomenon of ‘unmatchy knits’. That was just what I needed today to steel my resolve. This morning, getting dressed to cycle to work, it became painfully obvious that I need to work on that.
    My has is a new knit (self striping in greys, pink and yellow, I promise it looks better than it sounds), the scarf I threw on was purple and the only mitts I could find were either green or blue. I went with the blue to minimise the visual damage, but the effect was still ‘striking’. I more or less saw that coming so last weekend I bought 4 balls of solid dark grey sockyarn that will become mitts and a small triangle scarf to go with the hat. But first I need to finish my sons new hat. He picked a truly lovely ball of yarn from the stash, bless him, and now he’s inquiring just about once every hour whether it’s done yet .

  120. Alas, I cannot particpate in furnace wars, because my furnace is what heats the hot water. Hot showers are just non-negotiable. Also, I would have been outvoted by my husband and the cat, who turned on the heat this weekend and retreated to the couch, huddled under blankets and looked at me reproachfully.
    @Robin at October 16, 2010 1:40 AM
    I rather suspect that LSS is Luscious Single Silk from Blue Moon Fiber Arts.

  121. Good heavens woman! Why don’t you just build an igloo in your backyard and throw your family out into that?! “..gets them acclimatized…” indeed. I could never live in your world. If I was one of your daughters I would have mutinied by now.
    Of course, they DO get awfully nice knitted stuff… They must have done the math and figured out putting up with your eccentricities is worth it…for now. >:-)

  122. I can’t call it Furnace Wars in my case, since I have no opponent, but I like seeing just how long I can hold out before I crumble under the weight of my layers of clothing (cold toes? THIRD SOCKS!). I live in central Indiana, and I think the longest I’ve managed to hold out was when I lived in an apartment with only one exterior side–we fired it up on Thanksgiving (the American one, at the end of November). Even then, the thermostat is set at 62 (which is about 16 or 17 C). No children in this house, just a boyfriend who shares my stalwart acceptance of Midwestern winter discomfort, and a cat and a dog who come with built-in fur coats. I like it cold for sleeping, anyway–55 is just about perfect for a good night’s sleep under the covers with my space-heater boyfriend.

  123. I would be a poor contender for furnace wars. Our furnace is already humming away. It was 48degrees F this morning! (8 degrees Celsius) and later in the week we are supposed to be in the 30s F (single digits Celsius.) It’s cold out, and would be freezing in our house. Our furnace has been on for a while, but most days wasn’t running anyway, because it was warm enough outside and warm enough in the house.
    The mittens and scarf are beautiful. I love the feather and fan pattern, but I’ve never made a scarf with it, just dishcloths.

  124. Hooray for furnace wars! It’s the least expensive period of the year. Living in Oklahoma with very unpredictable weather, I can often make it well into December; when the temperature dips below 55 in the house I give in. I cheat and do not count warming up the house a little while the elderly auntie visits.

  125. Well, not to rub it in, but on Friday it was 94 degrees here. I don’t like it! But, finally started cooling off this weekend…can contemplate changing from lacework to warm stuff!

  126. The cast-on edge of that scarf is so beautifully perfect- I’d love to know what type of cast-on you used!

  127. Only thirteen days to go, then you can turn on the heat without shame. I’m just hoping to make it that long…

  128. I enjoy watching your furnace wars because I have a little solo furnace war every year (I live in an apt but I pay for my own heat), and I feel that it does acclimatize me to the cold. Plus, it means that once I do turn the heat on, I can keep it low and save some $. Last night I was the only one who was comfortable outdoors, and I wasn’t wearing any more than anyone else.

  129. Hi Stephanie,
    I pre-ordered your new book this week – I can’t believe I have to wait until MAY!!! to see it! Looking forward to it’s arrival, Regards, Cheryl.

  130. I’m forced (by a cheap landlord) to take part in the furnace wars, at least part way. Its warmer here but still cold inside.

  131. Furnace wars are not so necessary here in Arizona. We are just thrilled that the daytime highs are staying in the 80’s or low 90’s. On the other hand, air conditioner wars will be in full force in a few months.

  132. Mittens! I love to knit mittens. I knit them for everyone I know. Fun fast project that you can make as simple or complex as you’re in the mood for. I’ve been knitting them like my mother taught me for decades, never used a written pattern. I have to mail most of my mittens far away now. Feather and Fan is one of my very favorite patterns, but I’ve never made a scarf with it. I will now! So cute.

  133. We aren’t having “furnace wars” at my house, it’s a “menopause dictatorship.” I’m the one with hot-flashes, I’M the one who controls the thermostat. Currently, the thermostat hovers at about 65 degrees. ANYONE who touches it without my express permission, DIES! If someone’s cold, there are THREE dogs to cuddle in our house, and they aren’t tiny doggies, either.

  134. It’s Spring here and I had to turn my little heater in my study back on! We are wusses – it only got to 12C 😎
    Alas you don’t have babies any more – your girls are all big and well kitted up with beautiful hats and mittens and scarves. You can ignore their whining about being cold 😉

  135. When I turned on the heat this morning, I thought of you. Really, it was an act of mercy for my children…it was 35F when we woke up. Brrrr.

  136. I love hearing of your furnace wars… we’ve moved from Canada to the UK last winter and I MISS Canada and the fun we have with the cold!… I don’t miss the cold so much, though, more just the camaraderie of battling against a common foe!

  137. Here in Aberdeen (the Scottish one) we had snow this morning. Please feel free to put on your heating now!

  138. Love the furnace wars. I’m in Madison, WI and my sisters (Green Bay, WI and Denver, CO) and some friends nearby are participating, too. FriendSue’s husband had to turn theirs on last night – for the dog. Yeah.
    Currently I’ve got the patio door open, the sun is streaming in, and it’s 78ºF inside. I’m hoping to make it to November 1st, too. Good luck!

  139. Where can I find that gorgeous pattern? The Feather and Fan?
    I am hoping I can knit it….and finish it!
    You did a beautiful job on it…and so fast!

  140. I saw the article in the lattest Canadian Living (nov. issue) and I love the little pink hat. Where can I find that gorgeous pattern? You do beautiful knitting!

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