Catching up

This past weekend, I flew to Shreveport, Louisiana to hang out at a great yarn shop, celebrate that shop’s anniversary, and give a talk. I had flight delays and troubles on the way home from there Sunday, and somehow staggered through the door just after midnight, collapsed in a heap, and didn’t really get up until yesterday morning. (I took Monday off. Nothing bad happened – and as a matter of fact, the cold I had when I woke up Monday morning is mostly gone. Who knew that resting when you don’t feel good works for mums too.  Shocking.) Yesterday I tried hard to get my life together, but everything was ridiculously jumbled.  I spent the whole day wondering why the house was so trashed, why there was no food, why the mail was spread out all over the dining room table, why my inbox was full – why there were no clean clothes… It took me until this morning to figure it out.  Partly it’s that I left Joe unsupervised for a few days, but mostly it’s that I use the weekends to get organized and if I skip doing that by going away, then the house is trashed, there’s no food, and Joe has started an empty coffee cup collection on his dresser that is spreading faster than a disease.   (Not that I clean up his cups, but I do spend the weekends pointing out that empty coffee cup art installations on top of dressers isn’t really the way that most people decorate.  I point this out until he moves them.)  Yesterday I did all the things that I would usually do on a Saturday/Sunday which means I didn’t blog.  Now I find that I have the events of Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday to tell you about.  I think a day by day is the best way to catch up.

I fly to Houston, where I spend an unreasonable amount of time waiting to change planes to fly to Shreveport.  The flight was delayed because they were waiting for the pilot.  The pilot showed up after about an hour, and when I asked the airline why he had been late, they laughed.  I wasn’t kidding.  Was he lost? Disorganized? Forgot he had to fly a plane?  I think I care about all that.  I think that’s relevant pilot information.  I don’t know if I want to fly to Shreveport with  a guy who forgot he had to fly a plane. The best thing about the flights is that I finish a pair of socks that have been trucking around in my purse since at least January.

A little detective work, and I can tell you this is Trekking XXL colour 107. They’re snazzy, especially with Natalie’s little red shoes.

The cat even likes them.

1. The ladies of Knitting Under the Influence of Nancy turn out to be very nice and very welcoming and hospitable.  Ridiculously nice in fact.  Nice like it’s a superpower or something. If I had been  thinking about it,  I would have expected it to be only logical result of combining Southern with Knitter. 

2. They are funny too.

3. It takes me very little time to work out that there is a weird team tee-shirt thing going on in the South.  Not only are the core group of Nancy’s friends all wearing matching red tee shirts, but this group showed up in some –

and this group showed up in some –

and thank goodness they brought me one at that point, because I was starting to feel like I had no idea what the dress code was, but that I was pretty sure I was left out of whatever it was.  (I remained poorly accessorized.  Especially by Southern standards.)

4. I got to see Mary and Meg.  They’ve been following me around (in a mostly non-creepy way) for a few years as a mother/daughter act.

I love them.  See Meg’s sweater?  Handspun, handknit, by her – in two weeks, and she’s 15. 
Fear her.

5. Two of the amazing ladies at the shop had made sheepy cake pops. 

I ate a lot of them.


1. I am at brunch with the ladies before going to the airport when it occurs to me that I have been offered more things (food/drink/food/pen/food/chair/food/help/food/coffee/food) more times in the last 36 hours of my life, than if you added up the last 43 years.  Southern hospitality is real, and it is stunning to behold.

2. When I get to the airport and my flight is delayed by 2 hours, I miss my connection in Houston, and therefore they tell me I will not be able to go home that night – so I pulled a Canadian Special at the Houston airport to get them to find me a seat on the plane.  I apologized to them until they gave up.  It took twenty minutes of apologizing to go all the way from "there’s nothing we can do" to "your seat is 5C".  "I’m so sorry you think you have no seats. I feel terrible about this.  Oh my goodness, I just feel so bad that you have to find one. I’m sorry I have to go to Toronto,  I apologize for needing to really go tonight.  Thanks so much for the help, I know you’ll find me something, I apologize for being such a pain. No, no – I’m so sorry I can’t go sit down. Please, accept my apology for this difficulty.  I feel terrible that you have to do this for me."   Please note, this technique does not work if you are not A) completely sincere B) not leaving the customer service desk,  at all.

I lie around completely slothful, knitting and spinning until I am done being tired, and this mean’s that I finish the Manx Loaghton, which turns out to be everything I had dreamed it might be and more.

It’s springy, bouncy, a little fuzzy and soft. Not merino soft, but durable soft.  I like it a lot.  A whole lot.
(PS.  Yes! Crocuses in my garden.) 

Monday I also grabbed a big chunk of dyed polwarth from the stash and spun it into singles, which I didn’t take a picture of.

Tuesday I plied the polwarth singles from Monday into yarn, yarn that should be for a friend, but I’m sort of having trouble imagining the part where I put it into her hands and leave it there.

Also Tuesday, I wove the ends in on my thrummed mittens.

They’re officially finished

just in time for spring. 

Now today, today I’m having a sock problem, but let’s talk about that tomorrow.
almost caught up.  What did you do this weekend?

193 thoughts on “Catching up

  1. Natalie looks like she is wearing two large hydrangea’s on her hands, awesome! Also, I must know what brand her red shoes are, LOVE!

  2. I love that description of the apology method. A friend of mine once used it so successfully that the airline desk personnel went all the way from “There’s nothing we can do” (repeated many times) to pulling out a drawer full of coupons that were, in fact, designed for that exact situation. (The problem involved not being able to feed passengers who were stranded in the terminal all night.)
    That Manx is beautiful. What are you going to do with it?

  3. Wow, you do more when you’re not working than most people do on the job. This past weekend I weeded part of the front garden, tried to finish Sunny the Golden Retriever (see my Ravelry page), and took in a new foster dog.

  4. Finally. FINALLY I understand this weather. You were not only knitting mittens, you were knitting thrummed mittens. All is made clear — like why Michigan is having May weather with July temperatures. (Crocus? We’ve got magnolias in full bloom.)
    And gentle readers, I’ve seen her do the Canadian Tantrum. It works but, as she says, only under the stated conditions. You cannot mix New York Aggressive with Canadian Apology and have it work — so the Midwest is just shit out of luck.

  5. I got to see the Mythbusters live on stage! And make more than adequate progress on the first of a pair of Mystery + Manners mittens. Rather productive of me when most of the 46,000 people at my school were busy celebrating their 1-day Irish Heritage, if I do say so myself! Glad to see you enjoyed yourself too, the polwarth is gorgeous!

  6. It’s tremendously reassuring to hear that mine is not the only house that goes to shambles (and smells funny) when I’ve been away for a few days. I’m not sure why, but somehow I think it’s my fault, as though I haven’t trained my family properly. Love the pastel socks.
    P.S. What do they knit in Shreveport, where it’s mostly hot and muggy?

  7. I had been off work the previous week, so I cleaned house and did yard work. Mostly. I also added to the stash ; )
    Ditto on where do those adorable red shoes come from???

  8. Saturday I trekked through the Amazon basin. (Okay, my character in a game trekked. I sat on the couch knitting and rolling dice. It was a blast.) In the evening we went to hear Irish music.
    Sunday I walked, had taxes done (I was not the only person knitting- there was another knitter having taxes done while she knit a gorgeous shawl), found a great new restaurant for lunch, went to a Scottish music concert (Alan Reid of Battlefield Band fame) and then drove to the next state to eat Mexican food with my parents, explain the mysteries of databases to my dad (which I did), and pick up a large box of free yarn. My husband even drove so I could knit.
    The only way my weekend could have been more awesome is if it had been longer…I got home late Sunday and was quite tired out!

  9. The Canadian Special is why I love being Canadian.
    My father can do the Hartford Special. That’s the one where you stand there and quietly say, “I’m afraid that’s not acceptable and I just know that you’re going to be able to do better than that.” And then they open and close their mouths, look at your face, and go take care of everything for you. That one just doesn’t work unless you have that knack of making a spine crumble by quietly saying “I know you can do better.” If you have that knack, life goes easy for you. If you don’t, then avoid my dad. He’s got a skill, man, he’s got a skill.
    But I still prefer the Canadian Special. It’s much more fun and much less scary.

  10. The Canadian Special, eh? I’ll have to remember that one 😛
    My weekend was spent in Tampa, Florida, celebrating the near-simultaneous engagements of myself and my now-fiance and his cousin and his now-fiancee. Very exciting 🙂
    Also, I think the mittens should be worn as in the bottom picture. Who wouldn’t want to wear (as Moonmaven called them) hydrangeas on their hands? Not to mention all the head-whipping one would see from the passers-by.

  11. LOVE socks & shoes! (Please ask Natalie what brand are they? also, please tell her I miss her blog…)
    Glad you are feeling better, and I’m amazed at how much you accomplished when traveling and tired. Glad to know knitters thrive in the heat and humidity of Louisiana too!

  12. i love the yarn. great colors – i wonder what it will be? i work all week so also clean the house on Saturday. i will have to work twice as hard next satruday because i spent last weekend in Santa Rosa CA. i saw “the 12 Dancing Princesses” put on by the Childrens play house. my grandson Alex (14) was the hero and his sister Indigo (8) was a princess. that night we went to a concert where my D-I-L brought the house down with her singing. she rocked! it was a fun but tiring weekend.

  13. I don’t travel much lately, but I recall being stuck in the Seattle airport waiting for a connecting flight to Vancouver. At Christmas, with tons of snow and bad weather. Not sure how we managed to get the connecting flight, but if I ever get in that situation again, the Canadian Special sounds like an awesome idea!
    And I also love those little red shoes. I’m also in awe of your spinning skills! I don’t have time to learn to spin at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list.

  14. The polwarth and your spinning posts are making me wonder where Grammy’s spinning wheel got to, not that I need another hobby. Combined with your previous posts about heritage breeds, I may settle for local yarn!
    To Samina, just know that we who are tax-form-impaired are eternally grateful for the existence of CPAs – truly.
    I spent the weekend at a science fiction convention, with my teenage son, that we’ve been going to for 20 years. We had a great time, especially since I haven’t seen him since January.

  15. Oh, my weekend wasn’t nearly so fun. We spent Sunday keeping watch over my mother-in-law as she recuperated from a bout of nausea that took her to emerg. She is fine now, and I got a lot of knitting done, but I missed all that gorgeous, unseasonal sun.
    I’ve got a that exact shade of Trekking in the stash. It made for a very springy pair of socks.

  16. Whoa! That Canadian Special sounds really dangerous. I hope that secret weapon is mostly contained and that there’s not much secret testing of its powers going on….

  17. Probably the pilot was flying another plane and was late landing. Or maybe he was flying ON another plane to get to work ( I knew a pilot who used to commute from Colorado to Texas to go to work), and was late.
    That’s better than he was too drunk to find the airport. Right?

  18. I am glad to hear they treated you right, though, if you had said otherwise, I wouldn’t have believed it anyway! And I LOVE the sheepy cake pops! Cake pops are the big thing right now, but nowhere have I seen sheepy ones ~ Cute!

  19. Funny you should ask. I knit up a “Pretty Thing” cowl. 😉
    The red shoes in the sock photo are ADORABLE and the socks, simply stunning!!! Gotta luv that Trekking yarn.

  20. The socks look incredibly lovely inside Natalie’s shoes! (Does this mean Natalie gets to keep them?)
    I spent much of my weekend digging through (one of) my stash locations for donations for a good cause. It’s embarrassing to see how much I donated, and how little that impacted the overall stash.

  21. I know the Canadian special, I used it a few years ago not to get fined and arrested at a Romanian border because my visa was expired. It worked well, and I was able to spend the money I had put aside for the fine on duty-free perfume and a gin and tonic. Meanwhile, my friend, who had not used the same strategy, was not as lucky, and had to pay the fine and go through the humiliation of having police officers accompany her to the airport’s bank to get the money.
    I also love the shoes and want to know where I can get pair!

  22. I was in Shreveport this weekend…one of the crazies from Mississippi. We had a great time and appreciate you coming all that way to give us an excuse to get a bunch of knitting friends together in a couple of cars. Thanks again.

  23. You have crocuses in your garden? I hate to ask this… are you harvesting your own saffron??? Is there a limit to your DIY-edness?

  24. i’m still hoping for the day when you slip up and ask something inappropriate like “WHO did you do this weekend?”
    a boy can dream.

  25. I must second (third? fourth?) the compliments on Natalie’s shoes – they are adorable! Me wants them!
    This weekend after working outside in 70-degree temps, I came inside and worked on my cross country ski hat. I fully expect that once I’m done with that wintery hat and I start on my Summer Tweed sweater, that our record-breaking temps will plummet and we’ll probably get a foot of snow.

  26. I have perfected a variation of the Canadian Special by cheerfully telling the agent/customer service rep how I’m so glad that they’re helping me and I know we can fix whatever together. Even if I have to ask to be bucked up the ladder I make sure to thank the person for doing what they could. People are not used to being smiled at or complimented so they bend over backwards to try and help. Yelling never works.
    I spent the weekend across town watching my grand-dog Porter and my grand-chicken Penny (Henny died a couple weeks ago), playing fetch and gathering eggs. I’ll spend this week untangling the mess of Cascade 220 that used to be in a tidy ball. Porter didn’t chew, just unravel. Nice doggie.
    Love the socks, love the orange yarn. You could put it in my hands…

  27. I helped my boyfriend move. Mostly I unpacked his kitchen so everything would be where I believe to be logical places not in the first available cabinet he saw. While unpacking a box of pots and pans I found a pair of crumpled dirty socks. His explanation? “I just started tossing dirty clothes in the first empty boxes I saw.” I promise he’s very smart and kind and wonderful, he’s just not that into clean things.

  28. I took a summer shell which had been in timeout for about a year and just have blocking and 2 side seams till completion. Earth Day looks to be the debut.

  29. I spun a little on some unknown but perfectly lovely wool, knit on a shawl that I’m designing for and selling to a friend, visited with guests, and went to church. Oh, and I worked. I think I accomplished a lot. 🙂
    I love the apology method. I can see where it would be deadly. 😉

  30. I was with Stephanie in Shreveport. WE LOVED HAVING HER. Sorry about the travel problems. It seems we always have difficulty when we fly to or from Shreveport. We learned sooooo much and spent a perfect weekend. THANK YOU.

  31. I did a lot of mom-care stuff and then, in a moment of weakness, ordered the silk yarn to start the Evenstar shawl. I’ve gone over the edge. I was given a birthday card that sums it up:
    “There is a fine line between hobby and mental illness (Dave Barry) ………..
    I walk the line”

  32. I think Natalie is bad for people who are style-challenged. I mean, I’m style-challenged and just looking at pictures of her adorableness makes me feel schlumpy. It must be much worse in person. I think people like Natalie should go clothes-shopping for people like me. Then, a) I don’t have to shop (SCORE!), and b) I can be very confident that I am wearing the proper thing because Natalie said so.
    I spent a significant amount of time this weekend trying to figure out why it was so warm in March. I did not succeed, but I’m still working on it.

  33. I ripped out my socks. I’d just turned the heel and they were perfect, but the rest of the foot was begging to be re-knit, so I am. Celebrated my 26th anniversary and stared at spinning wheels.

  34. I met the YarnHarlot this weekend. She was super nice, and while telling me about how knitting affects your brain, taught me about my chosen vocation, opera. It was, at the very least, super-awesome-amazing.

  35. I too love Natalie’s little red shoes (maker please?). I spent Saturday at my spinning guilds silent auction and was really lucky i got to take home a beautiful aged spinning wheel. She’s old but lovely and got to take her for a trial spin Saturday night. Thanks for posting your pictures they keep me inspired to spin. LOVELY.

  36. I camped, laughed, hiked, and knit, each by turns. Then I broke my finger — just a little. Enough to not knit socks any more for a few weeks, but not enought to be really pitiful. I’ll focus on other things for a while, and enjoy YOUR knitting!

  37. Likely the pilot was delayed at another city that wouldn’t let him take off on time. Used to happen to me as a flight attendant all the time. NOthing worse than being told that it’s been announced that “we’re waiting on a late F/A” and to find out that the passengers assume that you were late for work, not that you were working from another city.
    Canadian Special, eh? Can us non Canadians try it – it does sound fantastic!

  38. I’m gonna learn how to spin. I knitted, went to a yarn shop and knitted some more.

  39. Thank goodness! I was in need of a Yarn Harlot fix. The socks and mittens are wonderful. I’m completely envious of the 15 yr old’s sweater. And the Hartford Special described by Deborah at 12:57 PM had me busting a gut because I’ve been at the end of that one. But it’s the shoes, Natalie’s shoes, that have me discombobulated. Please tell us where….?

  40. Thank you for sharing the Canadian Special. It looks like passive-aggressive behavior, but it’s actually neither passive NOR aggressive. Genius. I promise not to abuse this power.

  41. I spent Saturday going to Susan’s Fiber shop where I picked a lucet and 2 skeins of Sox by Berroco color 1420 and enjoyed the now cleaned off front porch(goes full length of house , with covered roof)

  42. I got to meet Peter Bane a permaculture teacher. My hubby and I got to hang out with adults all day on Saturday! A real treat for us. We have a very small budget to work with and growing mouths to feed. So a day away from the farm is very unusual. The day has me very excited and writing!

  43. CANADIAN SPECIAL!!!!!????!?!?! Gosh, I REALLY wish I were Canadian, now. I’m afraid that if I tried that, I would start giggling and ruin the sincerity. Hilarious story – I can just picture it.
    Yes, Natalie’s shoes are awesome, and I love how thrumming looks like little hearts on the outside.

  44. I love the inside out thrummed mitten picture. It looks like she’s holding bouquets of spring flowers!
    PS – congrats on your polite perseverance – I’m glad it got you home.

  45. UGH. Tried an ECV that failed (she’s already fully engaged bum down), my husband fainted during it because he’d found out my dad had nearly severed the fingers on his right hand in a woodworking accident and couldn’t tell me right away, developed “irritable uterus” which means I’m having basically continual low-moderate level contractions that aren’t progressing so I’m stuck like this until the…get this…c-section I now have to schedule because her head is too big to deliver breech (she could get trapped after her body is born due to the smaller dilation). If I weren’t pregnant I’d say send wine.

  46. i made some chili.
    i watched it snow. i watched it rain. then i watched it snow again. and watched it rain again. and then i watched and listened to it hail.
    pretty uneventful. no knitting happened.

  47. Wish I had been in Shreveport! (Although getting there/back is iffy).
    I’m a retired CPA and very glad that I don’t have to do any taxes other than our own (which I hate).

  48. Glad you are feeling better.
    This weekend I toured the building that will become our city library when remodeled, ate corned beef & cabbage, went to see “John Carter…” movie with hubby, taught the 8-9 year olds at church, almost finished the test knit on a hat pattern. In between, I rested, supressed my bronchitic cough in public and tried to stay warm.
    Today the leftover beef & cabbage are starring in a “what’s left in the fridge” soup. The broth is sweet, surprizingly good. I’ll stir in some yogurt to tone down the sweetness a little.
    Good to you for resting Monday. Just what was needed.Sweet socks, mittens, yarn and I too love the red shoes.

  49. Meg scares me.
    I love your cat.
    I did a lot of cleaning. And last night I dreamed that I was doing the wraps on my Mom’s birthday shawl wrong. I dreamed about it so much (including tinking and knitting to try different methods), that when I got up, I immediately tried a different method. But now I’m too scared to change. Did I mention that I really want to have it done tonight so I can mail it before I fly to Korea where I will be during her birthday?

  50. I flew home from China (the country, not the small town in Southeast Texas.) Saw 5 women knitting in Tongli. Sweaters, on straight needles that appeared to be 2s or 3s (US).

  51. I did some garden clean up and planted seeds in the morning (76 and 77 degrees sat and sun) then spent time knitting out in the shade of a flowering pear tree while watching the bluebirds build a nest in the bird house and listening to the birds.

  52. This weekend I was in Las Vegas for a weekend getaway. It was fun. And I knit on a (to be felted) potholder on the plane!

  53. I mostly hugged the toilet while I enjoyed the symptoms of a healthy first trimeter. Ugh. The funny thing is that even though I was home all weekend the house looks as though I’ve been away for days. Mail piled up, dishes in the sink, laundry not folded. Eh, it’ll get done eventually. I love those socks, by the way. They look particularly gorgeous with those red shoes.

  54. That Manx is fab — started out looking like a sandpapery scouring pad, but wow — nice yarn!
    Where can I find those red shoes? They’re pretty awesome, and really show off those rockin’ socks!

  55. Having worked for an airline, I can tell you that the pilot that arrived late was probably a reserve pilot. I’m gussing that the original pilot called off sick or soemthing. The reserve pilot then has about an hour to an hour and a half by the terms of his/her contract to arrive at the airport for the flight. Depending on when she or he was called, that could delay the flight a bit.

  56. I just have to tell you how much I have looked forward to your posts these past couple of weeks while I sat by my daughter’s bed in the hospital. It helped me feel connected to the world I like to be a part of instead of a world of pain, tubes, and never ending beeping machines. My daughter is, thankfully, out of the hospital now. We are snowed in at a residence hotel where we are ensconced until the 9 hour drive home can be tolerated. we are warm, we are fed, I have my knitting, and most marvelous of all, I have my daughter.

  57. I LOVE those socks with Natalie’s red shoes. I am a big admirer of cute shoes in others but not a big wearer of cute shoes myself. My feet are size 11, and I hardly own shoes that are not Birkenstocks (yes, Birkenstocks *can* be cute, but it seems I rarely buy ‘cute’ Birkies).
    I also love your kitty.
    Do you daydream about what it would be like to live with a husband who actually took initiative and responsibility to keep the house cleaned? Rather than waiting for me to point out what needs to be done and very, very rarely clean up what I ask him to? (I’m sure Joe is much better in this regard than mine. He almost has to be.).
    Cause living with a husband who actually thought it was incumbent on him to notice and clean is a frequent daydream of mine (like riding a unicorn). Not as frequent as the daydream where I live by myself with only, possibly, a cat to take care of (depending on how much a PIA the cats have been lately)…but a recurrent daydream nonetheless.

  58. I am in love with the way thrums look like little hearts on the outside of the mitten! I must make a pair, with extra long cuffs, for walking my dogs in the winter, if we ever have a real one again. It’s like May here in central PA, and I don’t know what to do with myself.
    This weekend I was thrown a lovely baby shower at which I recieved a handknit blanket/hat/booties set and a crochet blanket. I suspect they’re both acrylic, but I’m trying not to hold that against them. The givers were both people who wouldn’t know that I am capable of caring for natural fibers.

  59. Do you seriously want to know what I did? Well, I sold my behemoth 60 inch loom and now have a pocket FULL of $100 bills looking for something to do . . . I spent the weekend trying to puzzle out whether I most needed a replacement loom of a more reasonable width or new shifters on my bike. These things are not easily subjected to resolution by mere puzzling and so I really did not accomplish anything but fantasy-spend the cash about a 100 times.

  60. Too funny, came to comments to say exactly what Moonmaven already had. Hydrangeas on hands for spring. Check. And I, too, need details on the shoes so they can find their way to my closet.

  61. I’m stuck on the part where you may or may not have realized that the place you were at apparently had the dress code of “a clean t-shirt and pants”. That is all kinds of awesome.
    As for the weekend, I don’t remember. I have 5 boys, 14 yrs down to 10 months old. I’m pretty sure there was mud involved. And I think I may have changed my underwear.

  62. I’m behind on everything and so stupendously tired most of the last two weeks that I’ve gotten almost no knitting done. So sad! But sleep and trashy novels have been acquired (and consumed).

  63. Let’s see…not one stitch of knitting. Double-day crew practices started at OKC Riversport, which meant that I was – and at – at the boathouse all day, without my knitting.:(
    I totally love Meg. Handspun and handknitted? In two weeks? I’ve got a ways to go, but I have two years to beat her.:) (No offense Meg, but I’m very competitive)

  64. The cat has a very serious look to him (her?), it’s a good thing he approved of the socks!
    This weekend I found out that my mom knows nothing about what type of yarn to use when, but can knit a sweater without a pattern.

  65. Can Alaskan enhance her arsenal with the Canadian Special? I hope so. I can use all the help I can get.
    I once tried the Alaskan special to great effect. It involved standing quietly, while looking particularly pathetic and bedraggled, as well as hungry and tired. And then just handing my tickets to the customer service agent. It works especially well if you have been flying for 24 hours, have missed at least 3 connections through no fault of your own, have not had anything to eat during that time, and are standing just behind two federal court of appeals judges and their very well-groomed trophy wives who flaunt their position and demand an upgrade to first-class because their flight of 45 minutes was delayed. (I am not kidding.)
    As for those crocuses, you are flaunting your temperate climate in our faces. We still have mountains of snow. . . I’m wondering if the snow pack will last all summer.

  66. I got the body of my husband’s Dale done, (It is a huge and hot lapful when in Northern MN we are having 70 degree weather. In March. Pinch me.) and worked on our small family business marketing (one of my 3 jobs) and helped DH hang a ceiling in the basement bathroom, and entertained six 21 year old males playing Dungeons and Dragons, and…
    Any weekend I finish up still breathing, I count a success.

  67. I failed to knit. I failed to cross stitch. I failed to do anything resembling housework. I also failed to drink a Guinness on St Patrick’s Day. I did *not* fail to spend time with my family however, and for that I consider the weekend a success!
    I love the thrummed mittens – I agree with the comment that it looks like she has hydrangea’s on her hands. That made me laugh!

  68. I did not knit a stitch this weekend. But, then again I was in extreme pain with a toothache. A kindly dentist prescribed antibiotics and pain meedication which made me very sick. Monday morning a young endodontist– young enough to be my son–did an intensive root canal and told me I should be feeling better in 36 hours; but, the next 30 hours I would be swelling and in a great deal of pain. He added to continue with antibiotics and pain meds. Today, I still hurt and am ready to sob LOUDLY.

  69. I believe that I DO fear that 15-year-old girl. My goodness – what will she be doing when she’s 30 or 50???
    Love the Canadian Apology, but doubt that I could pull it off. I’m more along the lines of the Hartford Special mentioned in an earlier post! I am small but mighty and have raised 3 boys (who were all bigger than me by age 12) to have a healthy amount of respect.
    My weekend consisted of a bit of knitting, washing my car on Sunday (then it rained on Monday). My husband put away the snow blower, so I hope we don’t get a late spring blizzard!

  70. 1. I love those red shoes very much.
    2. Here is an indication that perhaps I should go on anxiety medication, take up meditation, or start sprinting for an hour twice a day: for the past 3 days I have been thinking, with increasing all-caps and font size, “Why is she not posting? WHY IS SHE NOT POSTING? OH NO IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH BABY LUIS?”
    2a. As usual, I am grateful to be wrongitty wrong wrong wrong.

  71. Thank you, Stephanie! This was exactly what I needed today. You have suceeded in cheering me up! You have made this day wonderful!

  72. Your spinning madness is catching, and I don’t spin. I’ve been thinking recently about purchasing a drop spindle (though not until after April 17, when I have my Ph.D. defense). I know you’ve been using a wheel, but do you have recs for a first-time drop spindle and beginning fiber? I’m sure a handful of other readers might be thinking the same thing after seeing the pretties you have produced…

  73. We drove 3 hours to visit Dresden in Germany. It’s where I spent my Erasmus exchange semester so I have very fond memories of the city.
    Amazing historical buildings, great food, great weather (20°C and sunny) and great company 🙂

  74. Cute shoooooooes! Are they Fluevogs? They look Fluevog-ish.
    Also, LOVED the 20 minute apologizing to get a seat. Good job on pulling that one off!

  75. Add me to the group of people who want to know about those awesome shoes. I have a serious weakness for red shoes, and mary janes. Those are pushing all of my quirky-taste-in-shoes buttons. Must find out where to obtain some.
    As for my weekend, I saw Mythbusters Live and hung out with the boyfriend. This one is a keeper: he cooks, he cleans my kitchen when I have a migraine, and has declared knitting “sexy.”

  76. Dana at 2:10 pm, do you live in Portland, OR? Sounds like my weekend weather?!

  77. I am married to a family of Southerners and you are right about their hospitality and always offering food.
    This past week-end, I watched the NCAA college playoffs, knit, and worked!

  78. I love that you apologized your way onto a plane. It reminds me of the time I got stuck at Chicago O’Hare and I wandered around pitifully between any airline desk I could find until someone finally put me on a plane. It was for a totally different airline that I hadn’t bought a ticket for, but I must have been a sorry sight.

  79. I came to Shreveport and saw you! And it was awesome! I’m a fellow Canadian who’s lived in the South for 16 years, and I get that the Southern hugging/smiling/touching thing can be a little weird at first, but it grows on you fast. Now I freak out my friends at home a bit with my lack of good Canadian reserve – I may even have lost the ability to do the Canadian Special! I had a great time and learned a bunch; I also met Mary and Meg, and it’s a good thing they’re both so sweet or I’d be very afraid!
    So glad you finally made it home and are feeling better (you may have been attacked by the spring pollen monster that arrived early this year) – hope you’ll come down to our neck of the woods again soon!
    By the way, I like it that you know you have to put a capital on “South/Southern” – don’t know why but it must be done!

  80. Glad you’re feeling better! Saturday I knit on my first pair of socks (basic sock recipe – thanks!) and finally got to the heel (Diet Coke on ice). Sunday I turned my first heel (’10 Bogle Merlot). Monday I knit to the toe, realized I should have started decreasing earlier, tinked back and reknit it (Absolute Citron & Polar Diet Orange Dry). Tuesday I realized I wouldn’t have enough yarn for a second sock, followed the advise in the book and tried knitting both faster (to finish before the yarn) and slower (to make the yarn last longer), neither method worked (Jameson straight up). Wednesday I gave up hope of finding more discontinued socka yarn and now am ripping it all out (except the ribbing – I have to save *something*!) and will measure the yardage that I need for the foot and then split the rest in half, accounting also for the ribbing (Water & aspirin). I now believe that if it has ribbing, it is a sock, even if it only reaches the anklebone.

  81. Such a wonderful post. I love Natalie’s red shoes (the socks are spiffy too!)
    I fear that 15 year old too. I love that she and her mom sport the same hair style.
    thrummed mittens just in time for “spring” typically is not a problem.. as it really means another month of winter.. but not this year! they are beautiful.
    Crocuses in *your* garden are amazing. the new yarn is also amazing.. I would not want to give it away either.. so good luck with that!
    those candy “pops” look really yummy and I think women who wear matching tee shirts about knitting *rock*! thanks for a great post!

  82. We had a weekend? What’s a weekend? Hmmm…..
    I think I need to learn this technique of talking your way into things by apologizing. It sounds like something I need to have in my arsenal with Little Man around.
    Also, jealous of your spinning. I haven’t had time to knit, much less spin lately…someday…

  83. How is it you have Spring and we have snow? I DID have crocuses and daffodils but on March 21st it has been snowing ALL DAY in Corvallis Oregon. Just imagine. We (I) could use some thrummed mittens here.

  84. Saturday I walked around New Orleans’ French Quarter, including shopping at Quarter Stitch (a LYS), which was fabulous. Sunday, I flew home to New York (JFK) , albeit direct and without delays, unlike yourself. Looking at your yarn makes me want to learn to spin.

  85. Love the socks! And the Dorothy shoes. Coffee cups on the dresser? C’mon-a-my house. We have 2 bicycles in the bedroom (his’n’hers)and a mini version of Gold’s Gym off the galley kitchen. I was normal once—I didn’t like it. Your blog makes my day(s)

  86. I do fear Meg. And respect her. And, after reading all the comments, I am mightily amused that many other people thought the thrummed mittens looked like handfuls of hydrangeas. (which shouldn’t be even near out yet, but it’s in the 80s F on the other side of Lake Erie right now.)

  87. This weekend, I finished knitting a lace wrap that will get blocked this coming weekend. I also finished a pair of Viper Pilots that I think would look very cute with Natalie’s shoes. I repeat the request for the brand.

  88. This last weekend I felt the most normal I’ve felt in a month. I’ve been dealing with a sleepy flu. Thinking of you and your travels… a bit exhausting, so I had a set-back on Monday and Tuesday. Today better than the weekend.
    I’d keep a tight hand on that Polwarth. It just seems wrong to let something so vibrant go.
    So glad to see your cat. I was one of those missing them.
    And Natalie’s red shoes? Canadian? Vintage? Well, too cute, like her smile which is beautiful.

  89. I was sick with this nasty cold/flu thing that has been making the rounds in my part of Massachusetts, but I was able to make solid progress Saturday (knitting outdoors.on my March, for cripes sake) on a kitty bed for our new shelter cat Neo. He’s a bit freaked out by his new home and our dog who is completely fascinated by him. I think she thinks he is a new toy for her to play with; he seems to think that he is in kitty hell. We are working on separate times to roam the house while the other gets to hang in a bedroom.
    Sunday … just slept and looked out the window at the lovely sunshine. No energy to pick up the needles, which is something that rarely ever happens.
    Sunday night investigated on-line going to Playa del Carmen, Mexico for a week over Christmas. Found a good condo, found great flights, all at reasonable prices, and today I committed and booked it! This will be a joint celebration of my 60th birthday (in July), after my 2009-2010 battle with colon cancer, plus my 2 daughters’ 2013 graduations in 2013 from college and high school.
    And I second, or third, the praise of Southerners’ hospitality and kindess. My ex-in laws, god rest their souls, were just like that .. so sweet and kind. Too bad their son turned out not so great. But, that’s not the topic for this post! ;)))

  90. Oh, my! How could you bear to eat those adorable sheepy pops?? They’re so cute!
    Oh, wait. They ARE cake after all. That explains it.

  91. Canadian Special? Given a number of years in sales and travelling, I have learned a bit about getting what I want/need if it is at all possible for them, and it involves a mix of your level of politeness and the Hartford Special. THIS is why DH now puts me in charge of dealing with all people not done via email. He hates that sort of thing, but is not above riding my travel skilz. And I suddenly understand your Muppet-Thrum analogy. Now, is there a closer picture of that item wrapped around Natalie’s neck?

  92. I finished a handspun, handknit alpaca/wool sweater that took me 10 months. Mostly because I am 50, not 15. No need to fear me…..

  93. I spent the weekend running from one thing to another– my older son had an Aikido seminar, my husband had to work, we had a pot luck to attend, and I babysat my granddaughters and all needed to be picked up, dropped off, fed, etc. I did some spring cleaning in the few minutes I had between car sessions 🙂 (My son learned a lot about sword fighting from a master swordsman, we had a great time at the party, and I had a fun time trying a new hat on my youngest granddaughter who HATES hats. She’s 10 months old, and has figured a way out of every hat I’ve made her. It cracks me up.)

  94. You flew to Houston to get to Shreveport??? DFW Airport would have been a lot closer. Had you flown to DFW (4 miles from my house) I would have driven you to and from Shreveport or would have taken you to Dallas Love Field for a flight on Southwest Airlines to Shreveport. Man, I could have saved you a lot of time and frustration. Gimme a holler the next time, before you make any travel plans that include North Texas, Oklahoma, or Northern Louisiana.

  95. Made homemade beer. Drank homemade beer from 2 months ago. Ate homemade bread. Drank more homemade beer. Warmped my loom. Began plying a pile of shetland singles I spun year before last for a rug I want to make out of all of my handspun that was not assigned a purpose or did not make it into Christmas presents for 2011. Went to mass on Sunday. Cooked pork loin for dinner and ate it with homemade beer from 3 months ago that I made, (with the help of hubby who makes all the beer in the house).

  96. Glad you made it home and spent Monday resting. Very late Saturday night I found your tutorial on repairing cables and fixed my screw-up. Thanks! Almost have the laundry finished up for this week, if I can every get the soap rinsed out this last load. I don’t remember pouring that much soap in! And just to rub it in a little, Hubby does the dishes at our house.

  97. I spent the weekend parked on the couch, tired, grouchy, and not feeling well. I used those excuses to knit 4 dishcloths-3 Ballband dishcloths, 1 using the baby burp cloth pattern from the Mason Dixon knitting book. I had to bring a gift when I went over a friends house to play a silly game called Pokeno, so that’s where they ended up.
    Love the socks and the shoes. I join the chorus in requesting the maker of them!

  98. There is a coffee cup problem at my house also. You should feel great because my husband lets his coffee cups accumulate in the bathroom. After 25 years he is savvy to the bacteria stuff and if not – he’ll just get sick a lot.
    I finished a knit flower and vine necklace in time for the first day of spring.

  99. I love the idea of the Canadian Special. And those red shoes. My weekend consisted of nursing my newborn and reading to my toddler.

  100. I channelled my inner YH and worked on the centre of a baby shawl. For my baby. Who is due on Monday (doh). Also made curtains for the nursery and hung them. Just took down the living room curtains to wash. This concerns me because I haven’t felt the need to do so in several years. Please let the shawl progress before labour begins!

  101. Love those socks! They remind me of rainbow sherbert.
    I bet the ‘cold’ was really an allergic reation to all the pollen that’s covering the south right now. Once you got home and away from it, you were cured.
    I really, really need to study this Canadian Special and learn to apply it.
    Glad you’re home safe and sound!

  102. I’m from Vermont. i spent six months last year working in Knoxville, TN. you’re absolutely right: southern hospitality IS real.

  103. I spent way too much time defrosting my freezer, I ate scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, and I traced out some sewing patterns. Somehow I managed not to knit.

  104. You know, I’ve been knitting for quite a long time and am almost 40 years old and feeling quite accomplished knitting my little hats, mittens, socks, baby sweaters, etc. and with two children, a husband, a full time job, a house and a dog and two cats. After seeing what Meg did I am totally demoralized. If she runs for president, I’ll vote for her, though. I hope she always uses her powers for good, and not evil.

  105. I have to join the group begging Natalie to reveal where she got those adorable shoes?? Anything that shows off handmade socks so well must be available for all.

  106. Well, other than work a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Baton Rouge, and wishing I was in Shreveport, not much. I only had time to look at my needles last weekend.

  107. For some reason, your inside out thrummed mittens remind me of hydrangeas. I love them!

  108. Dang it Stephanie! If I’d known you were stranded in Houston, I’d have brought you an enchilada and a margarita!

  109. I gardened (with a blackberry bush, roses, and tomato plant), I knit (Doctor Who scarf), I enjoyed the warm weather that we have been getting. The amaryllis are in bloom, and I have been getting over a terrible case of Second Sock Syndrome by knitting the other calf-high sock.
    I tried saying the lines of the Canadian Special, and I think I got the sincerity feeling into it. Next step: To say the lines with a serious face.
    And those shoes, so spiffy and lovely! They went with the socks so well. So gorgeous.

  110. Thank you for the crocus comment…my question exactly! Thank you for the suggestions on the effective use of apologies! I need that! And southern hospitality…ahhh!

  111. LOVE the Canadian Special — I think it would adapt quite nicely to Britain (my American husband says the British apologize more than any other people in the world). I will try it next time I have an opportunity and report back.
    The weekend was characterized by completely opposite days: Saturday, being the Jewish sabbath, was slow and consisted largely of sleeping and eating, broken by the odd bout of prayers, while on Sunday I knitted 2 fingers on the latest set of fingerless gloves, went to see a photography exhibition with an anthropologist friend, taught a new and very eager bat mitzvah pupil for an hour, and wickedly missed an informal madrigal singing group because I got sucked into watching ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the galaxy’!!!

  112. Oh dear.
    You need another comment like you need a hole in your head, but yes, if I go away on the weekend, I am completely doomed for the week ahead for all the reasons mentioned. And about Joe — my husband is exactly the same. I feel guilty that instead of spending a weekend harassing him about his coffee cup/lunch plate/beer glass collection in various parts of the house, I just pick them up and put them in the dishwasher. I realize that I am just enabling him to continue what he does, but if, as I see with Joe, he’s not ever going to cooperate in any meaningful way anyway, then maybe I can feel okay about spending 10 minutes picking up after him rather than 3 days harassing him. What do you think? I sort of feel like wither way it’s a victory for him, though . Hmm.

  113. Southern folk rule!!!
    I cleaned, planted, weeded, and hosted a housewarming party.

  114. OMG, your cat looks exactly like mine, right down to the white hairs! I knitted, sewed, walked, and read – a good weekend:-)

  115. Let’s see… Thursday dealt with kidlet sent home sick from school… Friday tried to get things done while having BOTH kidlets home from school on top of dh being down with a migraine (for the record, I take my sick kidlets over a sick dh ANY DAY… they’re easier to handle!) and try 3 times to get the graph going on the sheep yoke baby cardigan rather than course work for my college course… Saturday I was down with the same stomach bug my kidlets had Thursday and Friday (thankfully 13 yo ds was feeling better which meant I could crash on the couch while dh was crashed in bed feeling cruddy and 11 yo ds crashed on the loveseat)…. Sunday I was still under the weather while both 13 and 11 yo ds’s were feeling better (well enough to be up and around watching tv or reading, but not well enough for video games or fighting), DH was down fully with the stomach bug….
    So an entirely unproductive weekend knitting, family, and getting my college coursework done way…

  116. If you add a Southern twist to the Canadian Special and sprinkle a few “Bless your heart”s in the apologies, you’d have a lethal combination.

  117. I gave birth to my very first baby. Ahhhhhh!!! Sorry, I’m not normally about sharing with strangers on blogs but I think I’m still in shock. Happy shock:). BTW, I love the thrummed mittens:)

  118. Thrummed?????Polwarth???? Have I been living on another planet and didn’t realize it? Are the mittens supposed to be worn the hydrangea way and why do they look like that? Ummm, I thought I knew a little bit about knitting, but apparently not. gee willikers, don’t I feel dumb…

  119. I think there is a problem Houston. I believe the universe has tilted and somehow we are getting your Canadian winter and you may have our spring. Now I all for sharing but am waiting for for the snow to thaw and the phone to ring so I can drive north when baby Clara Rose comes. Ty says she will come when it is a perfect time for her. i hope her perfect time is when the snow melts.I may have to borrow those mittens. Glad you are home safe and those are stunning socks.

  120. I am SO ENVIOUS of Mary and her darling, clever Meg! Not only does Mary have a daughter that looks just like her, but said daughter loves to knit and spin. (can I please borrow Meg long enough for her to come teach me how to spin?)

  121. You don’t have sock problems….ever! And Southern hospitality is the best in the world!! I’ve loved your spinning blogs lately. I’m new at it and it helps a lot.

  122. Thank you so much for appreciating southern hospitality! Growing up in the south, we just take that sort of behavior for granted — it’s nice to have it pointed out and bragged about!
    I’ll always be a southern girl ( just wish we needed “woollies ” more often than we actually do!)

  123. What’s a weekend? I know in the last few days I’ve carded a bunch of batts, spun several skeins of yarn while watching Six Feet Under, and did some spring cleanup in my garden, but I usually can’t remember what day it is anymore. Oh, wait, Sunday was my birthday! Ok, I ate a lot of really good food on Sunday!

  124. Methinks you got on the flight from Houston to Toronto because you were very polite. It goes hand in hand with Southern hospitality.

  125. I spent part of my weekend reading your archive blog from the beginning and am now up to Feb 2005. Since I started reading in real time about 2 years ago- I’ve still got lots of prime reading in between!

  126. Stephanie, I was so happy you came to our little knitting shop in Shreveport! Thank you for taking the time to chat with each of us. And I laughed throughout your entire talk. The Southern Hospitality is just our way of thanking you.
    Just wanted to respond to Mary G. in Texas. Southwest doesn’t fly to Shreveport. Very sad. And all flights going west (and some going east!) go through Dallas or Houston, and most of them are delayed. Sorry, Stephanie, that you got caught up in all that.
    Thanks for sharing the love. And laughs.

  127. I love the thrummed mittens inside out– they look like hyacinths. Big, wonderful spring hyacinths. I like knitting mittens when I am stuck on other projects. I have been wanting to try thrumming since I saw a historic interpreter on the Mayflower II wearing a thrummed hat inside out this fall. The trekking xxl is a wonderful color way. The last pair I knit had very distinct transitions between colors. Boy, does that yarn wear well for me!

  128. To quote one of my grandmothers: “Busy is as dizzy does.” Or was it the other way round?
    Anyway. Keep the socks that got the Millie Seal of Approval. Wonder what happens if Natalie clicks her heels together while saying “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. . .”??
    Keep the Polwarth yarn. It is amazing. Should make a good autumn-colored shawl/sweater/scarf for you. It contrasts nicely with the shades of green you seem to favor.
    Joe: She may let you build a tower of soda/beer cans or disposable coffee cups, but not her halfway-decent stuff that can break into ouchy shards! And don’t even begin to think you can use the really good coffee mugs/cups for such a display. I promise, she will run over you with the largest, most powerful snow blower she can buy, beg, borrow, or steal!

  129. I’m not as fearsome as I seem! When Stephanie asked me how long it took (the sweater) I thought she meant the knitting, so I said two weeks. The spinning took longer. I bought the un-dyed fleece in 2009, spun it in 2010. Most of the color-work yarn I spun in the beginning of those weeks, and used more of my handspun yarn to make up the difference in weight so I could make a sweater. It seemed like a good way to spend my vacation, and I got a sweater out of it. Now I need to spin and knit an entire sweater in two weeks to prove I can.

  130. I’m a newbie to your blog but really enjoying it. I’m fairly new to knitting (only been at it for about 2 years) and know absolutely nothing about spinning. Could you share more about the steps you go through to create that beautiful yarn?

  131. We birthed six lambs & didn’t get much sleep. All beautiful. And incredibly endearing. And precious. I’m tired.

  132. Well…I might have been picking up a bug, as I am awake and online at 1:12am, not feeling well. However, the weekend was full of friends, walks in some half-rain, serious time with my dog and knitting on a blanket that simply will not finish. It is like a Beethoven symphony…never ending, back to the coda, one more time, repeat, repeat. but it is lovely to watch grow and I am on the last ball of yarn 🙂

  133. I spent the weekend visiting with out of town friends, singing in the church choir (I love to sing), and trying to knit a pair of socks. I have trouble visualizing how things fit together in three dimensions (it’s why I flunked organic chemistry), and socks are a perennial mystery to me.
    I once inadvertently used a variation of the Canadian Special when I was on my way home from college for Christmas break, lo these many years ago. There was a big snowstorm in Boston, and I spent all day stuck in the Boston airport. Finally I was offered a seat on a flight to LaGuardia, from which it might be easier to get to Minneapolis.
    It was about 10 o’clock at night by the time I arrived there and talked to an agent, who told me that the last flight going west was boarding already and there was no chance to make it. That was the last straw, and I started to cry. This flustered the handsome young agent, who called the other airline’s desk to hold the plane and then ran with me through the airport to be sure I got on the flight.
    Tears–an underutilized resource, at least for sweet young things. Probably wouldn’t work now. 🙂

  134. The apologising thing is a tried-and-tested British tactic as well — my OH is particularly good at it, whereas I’m a bit too hot-headed (“fiesty”, if you’re being polite) for it to work…

  135. I love that spinning – it looks so soft and gorgeous, I can’t wait to see what it becomes!
    Oh, and please add me to the list of folks who want to know where those shoes came from, since I feel I am in dire need of a pair!

  136. This weekend I finished caning a chair seat. My dad is teaching me to cane chairs. He’s been doing it for probably 70 years and he’s a good teacher. Finsihing the caning Sunday was very satisfying. And fun!

  137. See that? What MaryGinTexas did in her comment above? Now that is a true Southerner for you. We will generosity and hospitality you to death. You remember when you were in Pt. Clear, Alabama, don’t you? Yeah, we are way into the cute down here – cute hats, cute t-shirts, cute purses, even cute food. Doncha love it? And our version of the Canadian Special is we help you find a solution for us, like this: “I have no training, of course, but maybe if you try …” Mild, self-deprecating, helpful, modest, but we just will not let it go till you do what we want. We smile beatifically the whole time and offer you food, drink, tissues, a mint, whatever, to show we will do all we can, however small our contribution may be, but y’all must do our bidding. 🙂

  138. I love your method of getting a seat on a plane thats full! You clearly are a force to be reckoned with!! 🙂 I have only really just started following your blog and I do very much enjoy reading your posts.
    This weekend I really didn’t do much…it was lovely! Your week sounds fabulous though!

  139. I really laughed about your apology approach. We traveled from Philadelphia to Buenos Aires by Air Canada last fall. Our flight to Toronto was late and we were delayed by a day because of a missed connection. But the Canadians we dealt with from Air Canada, the airport staff, the hotel were all so darned nice, apologetic, and helpful that we just could not get angry with them. This despite the fact that the situation had been avoidable and we were pretty frustrated and tired.

  140. Love everything you finished! Its all so pretty! I’m glad that every once in awhile you take some days off and just finish some projects. That feels good! This weekend I finshed a sweater for myself that I have been trying to knit for two years! Not a hard sweater mind you just one that refused to fit me no matter how many times I did the gauge swatch.
    I switched patterns and whammo finished sweater! Its in my projects page in ravelry I’m knitcandi!

  141. When I read the part about not leaving the Customer Service desk I thought, “note to self, remember to use restroom before attempting.”
    Spent the weekend weaving, I am entranced by the process and how the yarn looks different when woven. I’ve used more stash in the past 2 weeks than in the past year. That means I need more fleece.
    Love the Manx Locht.. err, however its spelled, your yarn looks beautiful.

  142. I have to know the details on Natalie’s red shoes!!! Every girl needs a pair of red shoes and I’ve finally admitted to myself that the level of discomfort of my current pair greatly outweighs the fun in wearing red shoes and so need a new pair.

  143. This weekend, I painted half of a bedroom (including the closet) a very charming shade of palest blue that feels very restful, and had the windows open the whole time because somehow, it was almost 80°F. In Minnesota. In March.

  144. Yep, there’s an unbridled generosity and “joie de vivre” that comes with Southern Hospitality — everyone expects to enjoy themselves even if they’re hosting. Like when Red Skelton used to laugh at his own jokes! Okay, most of you won’t know who he is, but the point is . . . And I was just wondering if scary Meg had also dyed her own wool. 15, you say? And would it be possible to get a better look at the pattern for her sweater? The neck looked interesting and the color work attractive but not too complicated. Maybe it’s not beyond my skills (well, the knitting part anyway, not the spinning).

  145. Excellent! Using the innate Canadian Apologeticness to actually demand (and get) some action. I must try it next time.
    Oh, I’m sorry for stealing your idea.

  146. Saturday I got my hair cut, and a dear friend and I visited the new location opening of one of our LYS’.. Awesome space, big with lots of light and a wonderful knitting area. After hanging out there and spending money, went to yoga.
    Sunday was spent with dear brewing and knitting friends-the guys brewed a Pliney the Elder clone and the girls knitted.
    Now its back to tax returns and financials until April 17th!

  147. I turned the heel on my current sock, worked in the garden and sat out in the sun with a good friend and a bottle of wine

  148. Saturday I finished an Ishbel for a friend, and made a phone cozy for my boyfriend’s new smartphone. I did most of this while attending a production meeting and having a lovely afternoon with the production crew, involving delicious food and bookstores. Sunday I sang two masses, and not much knitting got done. But, I think I made up for it on Saturday!
    I am loving all of the spinning posts! I can’t wait to see what you make with the yarn that you keep. I also can’t wait to get my book that you signed for me from my friend Frances! She said that you were excited about the Hubig Pies that I sent you. I’m so glad–they’ve been a favorite of mine my entire life. I hope you enjoyed them!

  149. Also–I’d like to join the many voices who request details of Natalie’s shoes. They are too cute, and have photographic evidence of looking good with knitted socks. Therefore, I need them.

  150. This last weekend was the Abernethy Grange Fiber Sale. I didn’t leave empty-handed.

  151. Those inside-out mittens look exactly like hydrangeas.
    If Natalie is modeling the socks, I’d say Meg has some competition.
    I spent the weekend recovering from a very quick trip to Jordan, while the hub slept off Tokyo.
    Jet. Set.

  152. Wow, what an adventure. I’m glad it had a happy ending–by using the Canadian super power.
    What will I be doing this weekend–singing, off key, on key, any old key. : ) It’s fun with a group of friends.

  153. Hahahahahahahahahaha!! Canadian Special! A perfect illustration of why I adore all of the Canadians I know!!!!

  154. Just found out your not actually coming to Maryland Sheep and Wool. Hugely disappointed and hopeful you will consider coming next year. Earlier email regarding my knitting group and invite to join us at welcome tent still stands for 2013. We are there every year! (Maryland Sheep and Wool is bigger than Rhinebeck but the food at Rhinebeck is way better!)
    Hope to see you in 2013!!!!!

  155. I agree with Teresa above – if you ever get stuck in Houston again, we’re totally there for you, with tex-mex, margaritas, and even a guest room if need-be. (Yes, we sometimes have terrible delays at the airport. We’re used to it.)

  156. the houston airport is pretty much one of the seven circles of hell. i have an experience like this every time i fly through there. much like not being able to find a pilot for the plane, i was once assigned a gate number that didn’t exist. i don’t go there any more.

  157. Do I spy some Abita Purple Haze?! Score!
    Also – the inside-out thrummed mittens look kind of like hydrangeas. And I’m in awe of the handspun/handknitted/SUPERFAST sweater of a 15 yo.

  158. The yarn is very beautifull. I understand you can’t imagine putting it in someone else’s hands. I like the socks. They are very nice. But the little red shoes… Oh I want those shoes…I love litte red shoes…

  159. I spent this weekend with my smart, funny, tenacious and scary daughter, Meg, in Shreveport with Nancy, Marcy and all the red t-shirt girls from Knitting Under the Influence of Nancy, the blue t-shirt girls from the Stitch Nitch (Diamondhead, Mississippi), Linda from Atlanta (also a Canadian and Galvestonian), Stephanie from Baton Rouge, Julia from Pennsylvania, Danni from Shreveport and the black t-shirt girls from East Texas and all the other knitters we sat with and talked to and we all had a blast with you! Thank you for continuing to inspire, teach, encourage and amuse us!
    Meg and I wonder if she and I enjoy each other’s company so much because our standards have lowered because we knit so much as you said in your talk! I do know that we are better knitters because of you and spinners at all because of you. I hope you saw Meg’s comment about the fact that the knitting and some of the spinning took two weeks but the brown and crème fleece took longer. But knowing how much she can spin and knit when she has a break from school and gets on a roll, I think she could do a whole sweater from fleece to bind off in two weeks — so we’re going to get another fleece soon so she can try it this summer. And yes, it’s wonderful to have a daughter with whom to share a passion for wool, spinning and knitting!

  160. I know a number of people from Shreveport (mostly librarians) and they are just incredibly nice. I’m glad you enjoyed it there! Also – love those thrummed mittens, especially the inside — they’re so spring-y!

  161. Hooray! I’m so glad you were able to visit and that you made it back home safely, if a bit delayed. It was great to see you again!

  162. Glad you’re feeling better. Love the trekking socks; Natalie always has such cute shoes! I’m going to start practicing the “Canadian Special”!

  163. I’m just now catching up on this post… How lovely was your appreciation of Southern hospitality.
    please, oh please! tell us more about Natalie’s shoes! They look comfortable and walkable and breathable and perfect for traveling and work and saturdays too. (I even tried to enlarge the photo to see the stampled logo but no luck!)

  164. I spent Saturday in Shreveport for your book signing and speaking engagement. I am thrilled to have met you. I live in Alexandria about two hours south of Shreveport. I glad you you felt our warm welcome. Thanks for the opportunity to have our picture taken with you. Your spinning is awesome. I started spinning December and love it. You inspire me to get better. Glad you made it home safe and sound and God bless you for making the trip. 🙂

  165. Haha, love the “team” shirts. I hadn’t thought much of the matching t-shirt thing until I finished my hard-fought Master’s degree a few years ago. My sister surprised me by ordering BRIGHT YELLOW t-shirts saying “She Did It!” which everyone wore to the graduation ceremony. Yeah, it’s a thing, didn’t know it was specifically southern, though.

  166. Love the Canadian apology story; my husband employed that on an overbooked flight that was supposed to begin our much-needed vacation. We ended up being upgraded to first class, while the dude that wouldn’t stop complaining and telling everyone at the desk that he had paid good money for his tickets (and what,pray tell, did he think we paid for our tickets with?)got a seat in the back row, right beside the washrooms. It’s good to be a classic, apologetic Canadian!

  167. What a weekend! It started Thursday with a skijoring trip to a backcountry cabin. Came out of there on Friday (in 20 minutes flat–good dog!) Went to my ski lesson, then went to watch The Music Man, done by the local Light Opera Theater. Saturday I did a 20km ski race (the really good skiers did 50km; it was hard to push the new few centimeters of snow around. Met with my favorite carpenter about fixing up some things in my house. Went to the after-ski-race potluck. Then went square dancing until after midnight. Sunday–end of the season skijoring race, then on to play old timey music, then on to SUNDAY KNITTING! March is fantastic, my favorite month. Life! Be in it!

  168. Quite belatedly, another possible explanation for the pilot being late is if s/he had been delayed on a previous flight — FAA regs say that pilots need a certain amount of time to sleep, eat, etc, in between coming off duty and going back on duty, so if you’ve got an evening flight, and your pilot was flying an overnight the previous day that was delayed, s/he needs a rest period before coming back on duty.
    So, say your flight is scheduled to depart at 6PM, and the pilot had an overnight that brought him/her into Houston at 8AM: FAA rest periods mandate an 8-hour rest, from time the plane lands to time the plane takes off (which many pilots think should be from the time the pilot leaves the airport to time the pilot is required to report back to work, because there are hours of work between “the plane lands” and “the pilot can go home” and usually an 8-hour mandated rest period means 4 hours or so of sleep, but I digress). So, an 8AM landing means the pilot can’t go back on duty until 4PM, which is okay with a 6PM flight.
    But say that delays caused that 8AM landing to be pushed back until 11AM. That means the pilot’s 8-hour clock starts at 11AM, and s/he can’t start flying again until 7PM. Hence, the delay!

  169. If you’re not impressed with flying into the states for any reason, stay in Canada. We Americans would greatly appreciate it. Calling 2 women “non-creepy”followers is a bit pompous on your end and your whole tone to the trip to Lousiana is condescending to say the least.

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