A Whole lot of Nothing and Something

I went to blog yesterday, and thought something along the lines of "Holy sheep, I have nothing knitty to show you" and then realized that this is life, and no – I’m not making enormous progress on the fibre front, and that if the emails and comments I’ve gotten from you guys over the years where you wonder how I pound out as much knitting as I do are any guide, you will be relieved to hear this:

I am sucking large in the yarn department. 

You know how I was going to be done a sweater by now?

Nope. Front is done, back is done, a sleeve is decently started, but that’s not a sweater, and the hotter it gets in Toronto the more ridiculous a warm sweater seems anyway. (This is a blessed and miraculous effect of the Canadian summer. They are so glorious and amazing (and short, but let’s not discuss) that in the beginning of one you are so filled with the joy of it all that winter seems like it has been banished forever. Winter? What winter?  Leap high, oh hearts- for I will NEVER BE COLD AGAIN.) I’m still plugging along though.  The pattern (Afterlight) and the yarn (Ultra MCN Sock from indigodragonfly) is too nice to not keep near me, even if I only have a few minutes here and there.

My big plan for the angora/cvm blend is… well, it’s still a big plan, even though there’s very little done.  The fleece is (mostly) washed, and a little experiment with the handcards has yielded a very pretty little puff of fibre.

I can see now that it’s going to work – assuming that elves show up tonight and card it all together, and maybe make a bit of a dent in the spinning too.  (Those elves are slackers. I’ve left the fibre and hand cards out four evenings in a row. Every morning is disappointing.)

I’d be crushed at my own lack of progress, but lots of other nice things are happening, not the least of which is that I’m coaching my Mother-in-law though a little sweater, I feel a bootie rampage coming on (the symptoms are unmistakable) my tiny garden is (mostly) in, and you guys totally blew my mind with your generosity to my Bike Rally ride.  To try and deserve your support, most of my knitting time went to training this last weekend.  Jen and I rode 40km on Friday, 72km on Saturday, and I rode 86km  on Victoria Day. (That was Monday, for those of you outside Canada.) Tip of the hat to Jen, who rode to meet up with me, putting her total for that day over 100km. That’s a lot of riding, and as yet, we can’t knit while we ride.  I think both of us might be feeling the pain of missing knitting time more than the pain in our arses. (This is not a minor statement. Without being undignified, lets just say there are unavoidable consequences to hours and hours in the saddle. Riders, don’t say chamois butter. We are awash in it.) 

This means that I have two goals for tonight. Knit, card and spin enough that I no longer feel like I’m five minutes away from being a danger to society, and start getting ready to give out Karmic Balancing gifts for those of you who were so moved as to give to anyone on our little team.   (Me, Jen, Ken or Pato. We’re in it together.) We’ll be sending out little thank you emails (please watch for them) with directions on how to toss your name into our virtual (hand-knit) hat.  Thanks too, for the amazing gifts being offered up by the community. (If you were wondering how to contribute, please send an email to me and we can talk about it. stephanieATyarnharlotDOTca.)  I’m going to aim for the first group give-away on Friday – assuming that I’m not deep in a bootie knitting thing. 

(I did mention I feel that sort of coming on, didn’t I?)

Wish me luck. I’m going into the knitting cave, and I’m not coming out until there’s progress.

60 thoughts on “A Whole lot of Nothing and Something

  1. Well, dear Harlot, there are times (albeit few and far between) when knitting has to take a back seat. Or saddle. Be good to your butt, you will need it for life. Ride on!

  2. My sister is having her first child in a few months so I am planning on a massive bootie knitting marathon coming on myself. I would love to see what yarns and patterns you use.

  3. With that color, don’t think of it as knitting a warm sweater; think of it as knitting spring! The summer can’t really come until you finish it.

  4. I sent an email to you a couple of days ago offering one of my knitted items as a part of the karmic balancing fundraising. Please respond when you get a chance.

  5. Good to see you back at least temporarily. Knitting under stress is problematic. I was knitting a when a relative passed – I ripped out, knit back and started over more in the following month than I have in my entire life (maybe I should have stuck to stockingette). Green yarn is lovely and I have queued this item – thank goodness it is available in larger sizes. Hugs!!

  6. I have to confess ‘bootie rampage’ had me stumped there for a moment….then I read to the end of the day’s entry and blushed a little for I had, of course, been thinking along completely different lines (and wondering how you’d still got the energy after all that bike riding; also if Joe knew what was coming his way)!
    How much longer can we sponsor you? I am stony, stony broke until Little’Un’s school reimburses me for the books I bought for the school library….but as soon as I get that money back, it’s yours. (I don’t need any karma-balancing gifts though)

  7. Have that same sweater issue in Texas. I have one about 1/2 done, but since it is going to be 90 for the foreseeable future, why would I want a worsted weight cabled wool sweater? – so I put it away for now. I’m sure come October, it will look a lot more interesting. Enjoy your bootie rampage!


  9. That is a luscious green – I’m sure it’s good for the soul to have it near you, and you never know, if it can snow on Dartmoor (south west England) in May you may yet find you want that jumper!

  10. Steph
    You and Jen should get a tandem…..then the one in back could knit while peddling…

  11. Got totally distracted by Joyce’s comment and the mind-picture of you totally freaking out the other riders!!!
    At one point in my life, I used to try to bribe the elves with tasty treats. SIGH! I finally had to admit that they weren’t coming any time soon. They must not like doing housework any more than the rest of us.

  12. Monkey-Butt Powder!!! The best stuff in the world for bikers and motorcyclists. Even comes in a lady formula!

  13. Love the color, and really love those needles! I can’t find those in my lys. Anyone out there recognizes the make of them?
    I’m sorry, I’m not understanding the karmic balance gift donation? Can someone give me a heads up?

  14. Love the knitting cave idea – where can I get one LOL? …in the midst of baby sweaters, hats and botties for 2 impending births myself. Aren’t the little projects fun? Along with everyone else, that green is gorgeous…knit on!

  15. I would love to join you in a knitting cave. Grading for 170 college students has turned my mind to mush, mush, mush…
    Email on the way.

  16. I am glad the bunny is still ok. I have been wondering!!
    Like you, I have no desire to knit anything at the moment; what is the point when it’s too hot for socks, never mind hats, mitts, or sweaters.
    Booties are a great idea. Small, fast, and non-threatening.

  17. Keep up the good work on the training front. We’re rooting for you. I’ve already contributed.

  18. Cookies! You must leave cookies for the spinning elves, carding fairies, knitting gnomes, whatever. Remember, it works for Santa.
    Be well.

  19. Joyce at 4:42 nailed it! Tandem and take turns, but it’s also ok to not knit *all* the time. Really, I’m good at that!
    I don’t it about the booties, unless someone is having a baby??? I hope every little thing comes out OK.

  20. When I first read “bootie knitting” I was a little confused by what part of the body you meant! Ha Ha. (I’ve been living in the south for a few years now, so bootie has taken on a new meaning for this New Englander!)

  21. Teresa, the needles are probably Signature Needles. They come in straight, circular and DP and are the best thing since sliced bread! Also a little expensive but worth every penny. You order them online determining the point style and length. They are color coded by size. Totally cool!

  22. I am in the FINISH THE PROJECTS ON YOUR DESK THAT HAVE BEEN THERE FOR OVER A YEAR cave. I don’t want to come out. Getting projects done feels sooooooooo good that, I think I will stay a while.
    See you later…..

  23. I absolutely LOVE the green. After a long white, dreary and bleak winter, green is such an exciting color to see! <3
    I’m curious to know, is the donations solely a on-line thing, or is there some way of sending donations through the mail or something like that?

  24. I’m thinking there’s GOT to be a way I can knit while running. I bet I could run a whole marathon if I could knit along the way. Otherwise I’d get too bored.

  25. I was going to suggest Monkey-Butt, too! Hubs uses it when riding his dirt bike. He says it works really well.

  26. GAH! That bowl of fluff looks like they’re little bonbons of cotton candy. I just want to stick on in my mouth and pretend they’ll melt on my tongue, instead of felting into a unmanageable mat.

  27. Bootie rampage, eh? You know it’s because those as-yet-unknitted booties a singing a siren’s song to you. Gives a whole different meaning to “bootie call!” So, go on. . .shake your bootie (or Sheikh Yerbouti, as the late Mr. Zappa put it).
    As for the elves, I think the only one you have is the one who puts her toys away under the beds, dressers, chesterfields, divans, and other pieces of furniture that are difficult to clean under. Maybe she’ll start carding that fiber if you tack some of it to her scratching post. Maybe. Just don’t distract her by retrieving all umpty-eleventeen toys stored under the furniture.

  28. Try putting some chocolate out for the elves and see if that inspires them 🙂

  29. So I’m reading along- kind of fast and with only half my brain functioning and I see the entry that says I want to knit while i’m running so I could do the marathon. The image that appears in my head is an entire marathon of knitters running along and knitting madly. LOL. DH says frogging would be easy- just leave one end under a rock and run off.

  30. had to laugh at the elves comment. Me, I leave a list of chores that need to be done every day when I go to work but do any of the cats pick up on iota of anything??? No, they wait patiently (or not) for me to come home and feed them. Lazy buggers, all of them!! And someone has already suggested the tandem. You could work out a plan, one knits one sock, the other the other and, well, then you get to decide how to divvy up the bounty.. Was going to say bootie but that will just bring on a flood of bootie knitting!! Luck on the bike!

  31. Oh! You just need a spinning attachment for your bicycle wheel!
    I can see you and Jen sipping past the finish line, shouting over your shoulders, ‘We’re just going to do a few laps around the block or 3…we’ve got just a bit more fiber to spin off….”

  32. Nothing like cute baby booties…he he. Enjoy the miles, enjoy your youth and good friends on wheels.

  33. It’s ok not to knit all the time. I don’t. My arms won’t let me. But I would rather behave myself and still be able to knit than knit as much as I want and hurt myself and never be able to knit again. I break it up with reading every so many rows. Have fun in your cave! Oh- and knitters and baby stuff, it’s a thing. Just go with it. I do, and I don’t have kids. I just stash it away until I find someone to give it to.

  34. Don’t they allow tandem bikes? You can take turns knitting (and pedaling) in back. Only one of you has to pay attention to the pavement.

  35. Recumbent bike. Relax and knit on the straight-aways.
    Booties are always to be in stock for the surprises of life.
    Restart the sweater in September.
    I like the Monkey Butt stuff. Did not know it existed (outside the real thing, I mean). I suppose that Dunham’s carries it? Perhaps a stop at the zoo to see how it’s applied? I have such a vivid imagination. I’m laughing too hard, and must stop, or the boss will think I’m slacking. Bye.

  36. I’ve been crap in the knitting department lately as well (I’m staring at two very large spinning wheels that need to be delivered for a friend of mine, leaving my family VERY little living space right now), but I suspect that’s a far more familiar condition for me than it is for you. That, and Stitches Midwest is coming up, and I want to finish one more crocheted baby blanket for Project Linus before we head down.
    My own knitting, since I don’t have air conditioning at home, seems heavy and unpleasant and disgusting (I work on the crocheted thing at the office, i.e. the Fridge).
    I wish you the best of luck on this most excellent of adventures 🙂 The four of you are awesome for doing this.

  37. Inquiring minds want to know: if you’re five minutes away from being a danger to society, and then the five minutes elapse, what exactly would happen next?
    Because I’m sure it would be entertaining.

  38. Good timing. Just emerging from submersion in teaching a grad workshop, overlapping its last month with an adult evening class (must learn to read calendars) and a family death. Last class ended last night, and I feel like I’m breaking the surface, grabbing cattails, with duckweed dribbling off my nose. The BSJ I was mindlessly cranking out has three rows to go, and the best part of a ball of yarn left over. Two women I know are pregnant. Let the call go forth …

  39. I’m an overweight and just recently turned 40 mom of 3 kids. I also just recently started back on my recumbant bike for 20 mintues/day after having given it up after a back injury and seeing my highest weight ever.
    You and Jen? You’re my role models. When I think my 20 minutes (7.5 km) is too much and I don’t wanna do it anymore (of course thought with all the petulance of my inner child) I think of the distance you ride and what you’re doing and it shuts me right up and keeps me going.
    Maybe one day I’ll be there at the starting line with you and ride my way back to Montreal. In the meantime, thanks to you, I can at least aspire to get to 10km without complaining.

  40. Very happy to support your ride again this year (I was karen in ID last year)! You are an inspiration!

  41. Without being too (ahem) off color, when I first read “bootie rampage” I was so glad that Joe was getting a little (ahem) attention. It wasn’t until the last paragraph when you said bootie knitting that I realized that it had nothing to do with Joe.

  42. Responding to Presbytera’s comment earlier: Maybe the Harlot would grab the mayor’s crack pipe and whack him upside the head with it. Or at least give him a public scolding. I’ve been reading about this guy on Twitter and am completely blown away … I thought that type of thing was purely an American behavior.
    Whatever the YH does, once her 5 minutes runs out, thinking she would be pretty polite about it, as she is, after all, Canadian… thank goodness!

  43. I understand the bootie confusion, slang being what it is on this side of the Atlantic. Where I come from (born in England, moved to Canada in the 70’s) the knitted variety of baby footwear is spelled “bootee” which differentiates it conveniently, in the written word at least, from something that, in my day, we were exhorted to “shake, shake, shake”.

  44. I was not going to say Chamois butter – I was going to say different saddle. Maybe counterintuitively go to a harder less cushy one?

  45. You try to get in the family time, the training time, the fibery time, and it’s the bicycle that proclaims (loudly) that it’s all about the balance.

  46. Just had to donate to Ken this year. I couldn’t resist the combination of awsome and dorky. Plus he must be a great guy to warrant “Harlot Socks” every single year.

  47. You (and your whole team too!)are making a great difference in the lives of AIDS sufferers – I hope someday there will be a cure – and it’s people like you who will make it happen! Thanks for letting us be a part of it, I hope you make the whole goal amount and then some!

  48. Love the Signature needles!!! yes, please make some knitting/spinning time. We don’t want to see tomorrow’s headlines telling us what happens when a Knitter doesn’t have her knitting time!

  49. Please share some of your warm weather with us poor Maritimers. I’m freezing my butt off down here, still have the heat on in my house.

  50. At the risk of having missed something, do you have girl bike saddles? They are structured rather differently and are much more comfortable.

  51. i’m having the exact same issue right now. feeling like i’m getting nowhere and don’t quite know what to do about it. good luck with your slump!

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