Getting Ready

Yesterday I had a yarn emergency.  It’s the only way I know to describe the sudden and implacable need for yarn that I had.  I had a trigger event on Saturday night,  when Joe’s family gathered. Now, as a clan, this bunch tends to wander around.  When we were first together it took me forever to get the hang of it. I’d call up and ask to speak to Kelly, and be told (absolutely matter of factly) that Kelly couldn’t come to the phone right that moment, as she’d decided to go to Kuala Lumpur.  Any member of Joe’s family could be anywhere at any moment. They’ve all lived all over and travelled all over and they’re hard to find. Saturday was pretty special.  Kelly and Ben moved to Madagascar a few years ago, and we don’t get to see too much of them, but they’re here now for a while, and this night we celebrated their 22 years of marriage. 

The whole family was there (except for Megan, who had something she couldn’t move – and Joe Sr. who was out of the province.)

We ate, drank, laughed and played with Lou, and the party went on late, making music under the summer stars. 

Chris and Robyn were there… I know I’ve told you they’re expecting a baby, and Robyn let us fuss over her belly (she’s very, very patient with us, as awed and excited as we all are)

and she even let my niece Savannah (freshly graduated midwife that she is) find the baby’s heart for all of us to hear.  We gathered around her (all 15 of us) like she was the best movie we’d ever seen.

There’s someone wonderful in there, and as Joe and I rode our bikes home, all I could think was that I had to get moving on the knitting.  I’ve only made this baby two sets of booties and two sweaters and that’s not nearly enough for a wee thing being born on winter’s eve in Canada.  All of a sudden, the baby knitting had a sense of urgency. When I woke up yesterday, the feeling hadn’t passed.  I made a list of the things I’d like to make (the blanket yarn has been ordered) and I went through the stash to see if I had what I needed, and when I didn’t, I took all leave my senses and went on a city wide hunt. I ended up, after a few mishaps, at Mary Maxim, where I found the yarn I wanted, and packed up back home.  It was only as I sat there last night, knitting away on one of the ten balls that I had bought, that I started to think about why I’d felt that I needed it all then. Why not wait until this morning? Why charge all over, collecting it up and putting it in a pile.  I can’t knit it all now, why buy it all now?

Yarn emergency.  I don’t know how it happened.  I think I was just too happy for a regular amount of yarn.

284 thoughts on “Getting Ready

  1. I hope that it was a pretty day to go charging all over on your yarn emergency. If I could do mine by bicycle, I might be more inclined to have a few!

  2. wow, I did’nt know Mary Maxim was a “store” when I think of it I think CATALOG…have fun baby knitting….

  3. What a wonderful reason to have a “yarn emergency”. Happy occasions are the best sorts of emergencies. Happy knitting. 😉

  4. Yarn emergencies are important and your intuition must not be ignored! =) I tend to have yarn emergencies and frantic thoughts of needing to knit more right after reading your blog. My boyfriend tries to talk me out of these with limited success.

  5. Nah, listening to your baby’s heartbeat (or another baby that you love) is one of the best sounds in the universe. This time around I’m trying to remember to record it on my phone when we hear it for the first time next Thursday (hopefully – I’ll be 11 weeks. Couldn’t find our first’s until 14 weeks).

  6. That Lou is about the cutest thing on the face of the earth (as cute as my two grandsons which is saying something). Such a pleasure to have happy time with relatives… Such a joy…. Thanks for lifting my spirits.

  7. Yarn emergencies are the best kind! I made so much for a friend having a girl because it’s the first girl in a long while and it was way too much fun buying lots of pink, although the baby got greens and blues too, and sparkly buttons! I agree with someone before me – I had no idea Mary Maxim had a store!! Their catalog brings back fond memories of our couple of years in Montreal when my mother made me a puppy sweater with shawl collar from Mary Maxim – I was 6 and it was my favoriet sweater ever. Oh yes, and could Lou be any more adorable????

  8. Isn’t Mary Maxim in Paris, Ontario? So, you didn’t ride your bike there – although it seems you could have! My yarn emergencies often take me back to Toronto, now that I’m 90 minutes away from Romni Wools. We need a yarn emergency human chain to shuttle goods from your point A and my point B.

  9. Isn’t that what babies do, provoke yarn emergencies?? Have you seen Lene Alve’s new baby sweater design, Ahoy, Little Pete? Pretty darn cute. Just sayin’.

  10. I’m so very glad that I’m not the only one who has yarn emergencies! The yarn for every last bit of my Christmas knitting was ordered on Friday. It hasn’t magically appeared yet and I’m getting quite antsy. Congrats on the new bundle of joy!

  11. I know all about yarn emergencies, and all I can say is that you’re lucky to be in a city big enough to allow you to deal with it. I’ve visited that Mary Maxim store near the Eglinton subway entrance because when I visit TO, I like to stop at the little shopping mall there to catch my breath, browse through the book store, inhale some yarn fumes, and recharge before heading to Union Station and VIA rail. The only way to deal with a yarn emergency on a Sunday here in Kingston is mail order, and that’s like calling long distance for an ambulance.

  12. I think newly growing babies (external or internal versions) are definitely reason enough for yarn emergencies. I think, too, that the angle of the sun, come August, has an effect on some knitters (I speak of myself, here). Come the beginning of August (or thereabouts – late July, this year!), I find myself overWHELMED with the NEED to knit. Big things. Many of them. Now now now NOW! I find myself knitting like a fiend, and loving every minute of it (more than usual). It’s like walking fast on those airport moving sidewalk thingies. This year, for me, is going to be knitterly-epic. I just feel it.

  13. *sulks* I want to knit for new babies. I want to knit for ‘old’ [you know … already here, already] babies. I want to knit teeny tiny gorgeously-way-too-cute things for babies AND I DON’T KNOW ANY!!!! (Totally pathetic story — don’t make me tell it to you, just don’t.) My cats are starting to avoid me and hide under the furniture, because I keep staring at them, and rolling and unrolling a tape measure …..

  14. I think that the yarn emergency was provoked by the fact that something else is getting made, ever so slowly. 😀
    I’m starting a really long term box for myself and my fiancee and my friends, just for such an occasion.
    Children, especially children in wintery Canada and other wintery climes, should always be mini yarn minions!
    Good luck!!! Also, as an enabler, this is what I just finished:
    Katie =^..^=

  15. I get yarn emergencies once in a while, and the Mary Maxim store at Yonge and Eglinton has been very helpful in overcoming them. I have the same feeling when my pile of unread books dwindles – I get this panicky feeling that I may run out of books, and have to buy some more. Luckily, Value Village is often helpful there. In the past few weeks, the cravings were so strong that I bought 2 books TWICE. Totally irrational.

  16. See, Tine’s got it with “craving.” It’s a yarn HUNGER — and you know what your mom told you about going grocery shopping when you’re hungry… Well, works for yarn, too, including the sensation of happy satiety. Smart move.

  17. Ah, the primal search for yarn needed NOW. Been there- and I find the more I care about the intended recipient, the greater the urgency. And how great that Mary Maxim is enabling another Canadian babe to be covered in knitted love 🙂

  18. the next best movie I’ve ever seen is the latest baby on his great great grandma’s quilt out on the grass where we all sit and watch him. (we have a lotta boys in our clan.) I’ve been organizing my craft room this week, and will try to stem the rushes of yarn emergencies that strike. Surely there’s something down there that I can use!!! And no more patterns and books either. Got lots. I know very well that making these promises to myself will only mean stronger yarn emergency feelings! I will have to be strong…

  19. Steph!
    On Saturday I had a yarn shower..not an emergency..just a surprise yarn shower. It happened at the The Knitting Cove in Port Jefferson NY. My husband, mother and father in law all came for a visit. We were walking and came across this yarn shop. We went in as there were chairs! I began to look and suddenly…yarn showered everywhere on the counter! I got lace weight, fingering weight and…NORO!
    What could I do but take it all home. I did not expect a yarn shower and may not get another on any time soon.
    Happy baby knitting!
    Barb R.

  20. Yes, I know what you mean. It is like a physical manifestation of our love in a surge and the only thing to do is grab all the yarn and knit your love.
    I do believe when you knit feeling like that, that you knit all those good feelings and love into the piece.
    Which is why I don’t knit baby things while watching Law & Order anymore. I’m afraid of what I’m putting in the knit!

  21. Hey, Cherril at 5:48, maybe there’s a charity in your town that would love to have pretty little baby knits for babies who need them. A person who needs to knit baby things should not be blocked by a temporary lack of personal baby-units. :o)

  22. Oh, don’t we just love big, round tummies? But now I’m wondering about your previous post, and the washcloths of which you were so enamoured. Perhaps the expected baby could use some for bath time? I love the green and cream whatever-it-may-be that you’ve started on.

  23. No, no it’s perfectly logical. You live in Canada. Weather is an unpredictable mystery, at any moment there could be a freak snow storm leaving you without the necessary yarn or the means to acquire more. This is simply sensible forward planning!

  24. Oh, My! I recently finished my very first two coloured sock (*knit 1 grey, knit 1 turquoise* repeat until there is a sock – vertical stripes). I HAD to cast on something in two handed knitting Right Away! I totally idenitfy.
    Chery at 5:48? Knit baby stuff anyways. As a single woman, no children, past child bearing age, I have found if I knit a baby sweater then a baby will appear. It is Simply Too Much Fun. Just Do It! ; )

  25. FYI to those who were wondering. Mary Maxim has stoes in Toronto and Paris, Ontario, as well as Port Huron, Michigan.
    Also, thank you for making me realize that I’m not the only one who has yarn emergencies.

  26. Love Mary Maxim! I go to the only one (I think) in the States – in Port Huron, Michigan. Glad to know I’m not the only one who gets an idea, can’t let it go, and runs out and stocks up with more than an ample amount of supplies!! I just love the green you’ve chosen. What a fortunate baby to have you in its life!!

  27. Babies and buns in the oven are definitely a perfectly valid reason for a yarn emergency. I recall having one when I was pregnant with my first, I was 100% sure we were having a boy … Until the last week that is when all of a sudden it occurred to me, it might be a girl. Ran out and bought some pretty pink yarn and got started on a blanket, even brought it to the hospital but baby was born and he was a perfect little cubbaluv.
    So fun to see savannah in action, she is a wonderful midwife, took great care of my little guy and I.

  28. umm – maybe for the same reason i have all the yarn i need for all of this year’s christmas knitting in bags on top of my dog’s crate, bought in one long crazy shopping spree of a day – in july. and i was frantic that wouldn’t find the right yarn for my brother-in-law’s christmas socks. in july. not sure what causes those yarn emergencies, but i have them,too, if that’s of any comfort to you.

  29. I love this post, and the line about being too happy to wait to buy the yarn. Knit on (and that is a lovely shade of green).

  30. I was agog at the latest picture of Lou. He looks like he’s two years old already. How do they grow so quickly?
    I completely understand yarn emergencies. I don’t have any babies to knit for right now, so I have been working on a stash of blankets in various colors. However, today I found out that a friend is having a girl, and, by George, I don’t have anything pink. And I REALLY want to knit something pink for her. Time to order more yarn!

  31. It was in the air I think. I have been to Mary Maxim 2x since last Thursday. Were you the lucky customer who scooped up the Aster (pinky colour) Cascade 220 Heather I was looking for?
    I can’t believe I missed you 🙂 Happy knitting to all of us.

  32. Judging from the above comments, I think Lou’s already got a fan club forming! No wonder, with that megawatt smile of his. . .
    Yes, I understand yarn emergencies. Yours was triggered by hearing your new niece or nephew’s heartbeat. That took the idea of impending little one in need of knits out of the abstract and made it very, very real. No wonder you had to run all over town to get the right yarns & colors — even though the cotton you were using for washcloths would also make wonderful burp cloths!

  33. I can totally relate to how babies are capable of creating yarn emergencies, even when they are still a ways off. (BTW…NEVER, ever, say in a room full of co-workers that you are in the mood to knit something for a baby, but you just don’t know anyone who is expecting at the moment. In what seems like a nanosecond, no fewer than THREE of your co-workers — who were not in the room at the time of said statement — will spontaneously be expecting their first child!)

  34. The only thing worse than buyer’s remorse is “Didn’t buy it remorse” and now they don’t have it any more. Whatever “it” is. Better to get it while you can!

  35. Buying yarn is wonderful at any time – so buying a large amount of yarn is even better!

  36. I sit here smiling broadly at the computer (which is remarkable after the last few days that I’ve had), contemplating yarn emergencies and pending adorable babies and baby things, and marveling, too, at the sheer joy that Toronto knitters must feel at the thought that, at any moment, they could actually encounter the Yarn Harlot in their LYS… Lucky, lucky, lucky.

  37. Repeating what’s already been said a dozen plus times – babies are worth yarn emergencies. Oh, and “I was just too happy for a regular amount of yarn” may become a shopping catch phrase for me now 🙂

  38. I need more hours in the day to knit. Too many nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews , coworkers kids…

  39. It’s what an impending baby does to knitters and to women. Especially babies who will be arriving in a cold climate when said climate is actually cold. Trust me. I get it too. At least you didn’t get the “OMG I NEED ANOTHER ONE OF MY OWN!!!” response. 🙂 I might have had that sort of response to two pregnant friends and a pregnant cousin this spring… I’m due in December and yes I need all the yarn to knit for him now too.

  40. It’s ” nesting-by-proxy”. Remember being pregnant and the urgency in “preparing the nest” ?

  41. It makes total sense. You collected the yarn because you needed it. With the yarn in house you’re almost half-way. You just need to knit it up. The hard part is done 🙂 You’re just being practical and systematic, nothing odd about that 🙂

  42. Btw, try googling: “Worth Primary School Kent knitting” and you’ll find a brillant article documenting how knitting improves math- behavior- and other skills among school children. Of course knitters knew this already, but now it’s documented. The study doesn’t say anthing about yarn cravings though…

  43. I am so excited to see what you are knitting. The yarn grouping is such a tease. Knit, knit, knit. I can’t wait!!!

  44. “Yarn emergency. I don’t know how it happened.” SEE blog header=Yarn Harlot. oooh and your riding your bike again! Your arse has reconciled with you and your need for yarn is back to normal!

  45. Sounds like an emergency to me!! When my daughter announced that she was 14 wks along (Never, ever thought this would happen) and I could be excited about the pregnancy, I just had to run out that day and buy white and light green yarn for a blanket. Three weeks later I find out “ITS A GIRL” and now I am dreaming of pink yarn!
    Yarn emergencies happen.

  46. Yes, the pictures of Lou and the baby bump are nice, but am I the only one who also noticed the two really good looking men?

  47. YES! YES on that last line. Perfect all around! Best wishes to Robyn for a safe delivery and thank you for sharing so much love with us all.

  48. Lou looks like one of those babies that’s just a great person to be with. He’s got one of those faces where his little timeless soul peeks out of his baby eyes.

  49. I get that. When my daughter told me she was pregnant with my oldest granddaughter, I gathered up tiny balls of sock yarn that were left over from other socks (that I was “saving”).
    … spent the day tearing the stash apart and reorganizing it… found about 100 little balls of yarn in many colors. Then I spent the summer knitting little baby wool socks.
    There was a lot of construction that year between home and work. I knit at all the stops. It got to the point where the flag girls would come over to see what colors I was knitting today.
    When the baby was born, she had 45 pairs of socks… which fit her for a month because I made them all newborn size. 🙂

  50. “Too happy for a regular amount of yarn”
    Priceless. And totally understandable.
    Any significant others that understand this are total keepers.

  51. ‘I think I was just too happy for a regular amount of yarn.’ THIS will now and forever more be the explanation when someone asks why 🙂

  52. Hey, you came to visit my yarn shop! (Well, I say mine, although I’m just the manager and not the owner). I see that yummy baby merino we just got. It is perfect for wee little ones.
    How exciting 🙂

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  54. Oh… I know exactly what you mean. Bying the yarn, and you are already knitting it. And knitting makes you feel good 🙂

  55. Dictionary geek alert. I looked up ‘fingering’, because I was wondering why a thinnish yarn would be called that.
    The possible etymology is rather cool; OED says “The oldest forms (fingram etc.), combined with the difficulty of connecting the sense with that of “finger”, suggest that the word may be an early corruption of French “fin grain”, lit. ‘fine grain’ (compare “grogram” ~ gros grain).

  56. These are the problems I have too. My baby is due next month, and I spend a lot of time thinking about what else to knit. I’ve got a blanket, a dress (gender unknown, and I think babies look cute in anything), and a pair of sweaters. I expect one more sweater, but after that I’m probably going to go on a yarn buying spree for more baby things.

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