Progress, of a sort

Progress thing the first: I have finished five more holes. I think the secret is to not try and do all the holes at once.  You have to make one, then wander off, do something else and then come back later when you’ve forgotten the holes are annoying. If I do too many at once, then it takes longer to forget.

Progress thing the second: Joe and I had a date night last night, and went out to celebrate an album he just finished producing, The Motherland. (It’s The Bidiniband, and “All Hail Canada” is a favourite around here – though it’s not what you think. If you click on that link you can listen.)

bidiniband 2014-05-30

We were out for a long time, and in the dark and I was ever so glad to have my boring sock with me so that I could appall hipsters with my dorkiness at the Dakota. I got a big chunk done.

Progress thing the third: I jumped on my bike this morning and went down to Arton Bead.  No time like the present, right? I’d been putting it off because, frankly, I thought it was going to be a ginormous pain in the arse.  Arton Bead is huge.

artonbead 2014-05-30

That’s a picture of on teeny tiny corner, and there are still millions of beads, and I imagined myself going in there with my wee bit of beads and trying to match them and it taking so long that I had to pack a snack.  Instead I was there about two minutes.  I walked in, someone asked if they could help me, I said yes, and showed them my little bag of beads.  “Right” the girl said, and she walked down one of the aisles with a hundred million beads in it, put her hand out, plucked the exact right ones out of the bin and asked me how many I wanted.  My mouth hung open.  I have no idea how she could possibly keep track of all those beads – it was like telling someone standing in a field that you needed a piece of grass that was exactly 4mm wide and 7cm tall and watching them say “ah yes. I just saw one like that” while they reached down to the ground and passed it to you.  It was miraculous. It took longer to pay.

Progress the fourth: Well. There’s not progress on Adrianna, but I did decide I would knit on it all weekend (except for the holes) and see what happened.  Thinking about knitting it surely counts for something. Right?

Unrelated: It is Amanda’s birthday today.  She’s 25, and the last time those numbers were in her age she was 2.5 and she looked like this.

amandabikebaby 2014-05-30

We like to start ’em on bikes young around here, and look how it’s ended up. My sweet girl is a quarter century old, and using the one week of vacation she has this summer to ride her bike to Montreal to help make the world a better place. (Again. She’s amazing.)  If you were so inclined to send her a birthday gift, she’d love a few dollars towards making it to her goal. You can pledge her here. Don’t forget to send your name in for Karmic Balancing if you do- and remember, if you donate twice, send your name in twice. It’s double Karma!

Happy Birthday Amanda!

(PS. I may or may not have stopped at a yarn store or two to get the yarn I needed for those Starry socks. Whatever.)

65 thoughts on “Progress, of a sort

  1. It’s an amazing thing when children reach that age. Totally amazing because they are so amazing. Congratulations on an amazing daughter.

  2. Pingback: Progress, of a sort | Yarn Buyer

  3. That bead store…. amazing…. I wonder how long it would take to bike to Toronto, and whether I’d ever leave.

  4. Dear Stephanie, you are such an inspiration for all of us stuck on wip’s, for whatever annoying reason. I will tackle one today, in your honor!

  5. It’s amazing what a little whining session will do for us as grownups – it just gets us right back on track. Hope you get to enjoy the fruits of your labours really soon.

  6. Well, we knew that sooner or later you would be knitting those socks, so please keep posting lots of in-progress pics for those of us who will never take on that hard a task. Thank you for giving us lots of laughs as you share the things that go on in your world. I’m thinking that those socks present just the right challange to offset the other WIP’s. Bravo to the wonderful bead shop worker.

  7. It must be the most amazing thing to look at a happy, productive adult and think, “I made that!”. Congrats on your 25th Motherhood Anniversary and big congrats to the young lady that did the necessary work to be a happy, productive adult! Happy birthday, Amanda!

    Next time you’re in Washington (the State, not that upstart DC thing), get someone to bring you to my neck of the woods and Shipwreck Beads. They have a website. I could live there if only they branched out and added yarn. (Not affiliated in any way other than spending too much money there.)

  8. Ditto on congratulations on being a mum! I am at exactly 2.5 right now! It’s the best (most tiring/frustrating) job I’ve ever had!

  9. Happy Birthday Amanda! And brava to you for continuing on 3/4 projects! Me..I’m trying desperately not to be lured into casting on yet another new project. The pile of UFOs on the couch (put there to remind me of their existence, by me)…it’s a little daunting.

  10. Thanks for the progress report! My life has been somewhat derailed with personal stuff and work…. I’ve hardly done a round or two of a sock per day….This weekend is for cleaning up a couple of projects and, just for fun, starting something new and pretty 🙂 Also will be spending time with daughters who seem to have grown before my eyes!
    Have an awesome weekend too!

  11. It amazes me that people can find anything in bead stores, especially items as specific as what you had in your hand.

    Then again, if you see something enough times, you can identify the size and then go from there. Usually bead shops are organized.

  12. How many holes do you have left in the scarf?

    I am really excited for your fancy socks. I am trying reeeaally hard not to go by yarn and decide that we’re doing a knit along.

  13. “Whatever.” That made me laugh. I feel that way, too, after picking up (even) more yarn. Love your blog.

  14. 1. Happy Bday to Amanda! I notice there is not one knitted item on her in that pic. How is that possible?
    2. So glad you took the advise on Adrianna ie knit on it this weekend, with a good 2 bottles of wine. When/if you finish through the toughest part, you MUST youtube the part that gave you grief and how you solved it. No one should be in that much pain over yarn.
    3. I wish I could find a button store here in California like your bead store. I have several complete projects that are missing the “perfect button”.
    4. You MUST youtube an instructional on how to knit at the show/theater (theatre?). What do you knit in the dark? Vanilla socks? I can’t imagine how to do that and would LOVE to this. If I never master any other knitting technique I would die happy knowing how to do this!

    • Teresa, I think Elizabeth Zimmerman solved this connundrum: she suggested closing your eyes for a stitch or two, just to prove to yourself that you can knit without looking, and practice from there. It’s what then makes it possible (in theory, at least–I’m still getting the hang of this) to do something like knit in the dark. Or as a car passenger without motion sickness (<– my goal).

      • Definitely worth learning. My mother was blind for the last five years of her life, but she could still knit. Knitting and the radio or tv saved her sanity.

    • that is true. i knit in public a lot and nobody seems to notice. my teenage daughter doesn’t even care if i knit at the mall. of course, once you are over fifty, you are mostly invisible!

  15. Felicitations to you both!
    Enjoy what looks like lovely Toronto weekend weather. Great cycling weather indeed.

    • I’m sure I sound like an idiot for needing to ask….but, are felicitations the same as congratulations?

  16. You know, I think it’s great that you’re all doing a multi-day, long-distance bike ride. I’ve done a few and I know how challenging it can be, what with training and all. But what I think is really great is the way you use your bike every day to get around, not just as toy or exercise or entertainment or even socializing. Leaving a smaller carbon footprint. Just one more way our Harlot is making the world a better place.

  17. Were you on Taunton Rd. today? Seriously, I drove past a cyclist who looked so much like you. I thought, “If that’s the Harlot then damn! She’s on a long ride today!”

  18. Happy Birthday Amanda, Steph I hope you are feeling less tired than you did 25 years ago.
    There you go….the universe has given you heaps of free time (saved at the bead shop) to work on Adriana…WIN !!

  19. “I may or may not have stopped at a yarn store or two to get the yarn I needed for those Starry socks.” Oh, hahahahaha. I would have guessed that you already had it in hand when you posted the link!
    Isn’t it amazing how the projects you were unhappy about yesterday turned out to be just about exactly what you need for the next few days?
    I love knitting.

  20. Sounds like you worked out the perfect compromise, and exactly the way I had figured to approach the WIPs in the shower. (Perhaps I should work on my ‘difficult bits of knitting’ while the house is quiet, I won’t get any interruptions, and my mind is still working well enough to work on a problem. I call this hiatus ‘the camelius hump – the hump that is black and blue’ after a (I think) Rudyard Kipling poem read to us at school around 45 years ago).
    I am intrigued to know how you are going to tackle your colour work ‘Starry’ socks (inside out, or outside in).
    I thought it best to keep the vanilla sock for public knitting times. Power on the Adriana when you have some sitdown time at home.
    Happy birthday to Amanda, and Amanda’s Mum and Dads on being the parents and surviving the 25 years.

  21. Happy 25th Amanda! Glad you survived all your parents’ mistakes at parenting (I’m an eldest kid, too!)!

    Just teasing, Steph. You seem to have been an amazing mom for all these years, with few — if any — mistakes worse than a slipped stitch or choosing what turned out to be a much-disliked recipe!

    Glad to see you’re starting another project to liven up the mix of projects already going, and that you found a great place to deal with those rounds of stockinette! Good idea about the scarf, too. . .do a hole, take a break and do something else. You’ll get the scarf done, and maybe even become more comfortable with crochet.

  22. I know this sounds annoying, but I only share it because I am so amazed about it myself. I did a challenge on Ravelry and decided I’d try to finish 14 WIPs in 2014. When I added everything up and made a spreadsheet and rated everything (yeah, I did that), I had 31. Not counting the socks. The amazing thing is that I’ve already frogged or finished 9 and I’m almost finished with #10. Out of 14. And it’s only May. I don’t know what has gotten into me, but I hope it continues.

  23. Hmm if that bead store clerk had been a little ‘less efficient’ you probably would have gone home with a few more things from there? lol At least I would have. How am I going to know what I need if I don’t have to look around. I think it is very amazing that she was so good at her job. Hope you complimented her. 🙂

  24. Since I found your writing I no longer aspire to one project. Never succeeded anyway but now I actively avoid it. Why? In one sitting i will do 5 rows Adrianna, I color change of sock, 1 hole, I shawl repeat, 5 rows Adrianna etc etc etc……keeps me at it a lot longer than 682,000 2nd time around stitches of Adrianna.

  25. Wait! How can she be that old? Isn’t she — like– 8? Happy birthday, Amanda!

    And I’m amazed that you can just spend 2 minutes in a bead store. I couldn’t manage that and I don’t even “really” bead (I knit and make earrings and jewelry for myself)

  26. You know just like yarn beads have sizes. Think how overwhelmed a beader would be walking into Romni Wool I know you went there ( oh like tell me you didn’t) and you knew right where to go to find the sock yarn too – straight thru. hang a right entering the back room.

  27. Stephanie, I just finished “The Amazing Thing about the Way It Goes”, and simply wanted to say thank you. It’s been ages since I’ve stopped breathing and cried helplessly from intense laughter (“better parenting through nudity”), and the final chapter about not seeing what you’re doing when you’re a young mother? A really sweet thing for me, the mother of a 4yo and a 2yo, to read. Thank you. It was an absolute delight to read.

  28. Hey Stephanie-it’s been awhile since I’ve had time to check in but what a reward it was! 1) I also have about 4 projects in different stages of stuckness either because they’re at my home an 1 1/2 away (as opposed to my temporary home where I’m doing my psychiatry training) or because I’m bored with them here. Interestingly, one also involves linen which I love to wear but am not fond of knitting with. 2) One of my dearest friends is moving to Waterloo to teach at the university 3) My elder daughter will turn 30 this year (my younger being 11 1/2). I think of her birthday as not only being my birthday as a mother but my birthday as a grown-up. 4) I’m just beginning learn the use of a drop spindle and you inspire me to keep going. Happy riding with you and yours, especially Amanda

  29. My daughter Sarah will be 25 in August. At 2.5, she would have liked just like that. We had a similar bike seat, the same bike helmet, a flowered jacket and the stone-washed jeans. We were living parallel lives. Eventually, we got a Burley cart and I can’t remember when we bought that, but we still have it.

    Happy Birthday to Amanda!

  30. Recently I was informed that I’ve cancer that my wonderful Dr is trying to locate. I’m not too worried because I have faith, and trust my Dr as well. To top everything off though, my husband somehow lost my copy of Knitting Rules. Under other circumstances I would purchase or purchase and download a new copy, but sadly my current medical expences won’t allow me to for quite a long while. Please fellow Harlot lovers, send good thoughts my way that somehow I will be able to buy or download a new one. I could really use the smiles its given me in the past. Heck, while you’re sending good thoughts my way, maybe I could hope for Stephanie’s new book too, as I was very I’ll when she came to AZ.
    Thanks in advance for good thoughts, energies, and prayers, Amber

  31. Oh my gosh, I ‘ve never seen a bead store that big. That’s crazy. But so cool because how could they not have the beads you need right? Good plan for the holes — and that you got yarn for the starry socks!

  32. As always Steph, you are such an inspiration and I’m glad you took “my advice” on doing a hole a day….seriously though, great job as a Mum and did you know that Amanda was a tropical storm this year?

  33. Happy birthday, Amanda! So proud of you.

    Just had the same experience at my local bead shop. Shopping is so much faster this way…because I don’t speak that language!

  34. Wow! When I saw that bead store I actually stopped reading and went over to Amtrak to see how fast I could get to Toronto and how much it was going to cost me. The train actually stops in Yonkers!

  35. Oh my goodness Amanda was a hip kid, she wore acid-wash jeans at 2.5. HaPpY BiRtHdAy to Amanda!
    Now don’t tease, did you get Starry Night sock yarn or not!?
    The Arton Bead clerk probably reads your blog and knew you were coming and knew what a hurry you’re in. Can’t wait to see the finished Sweet Dreams!

  36. No way I would have gotten out of there so quickly. I have too much Magpie in my soul to resist poking through so many bins of shiny, brightly colored stuff.

  37. On the topic of the Starry Starry Night Socks – I am thrilled beyond belief that you would consider knitting my sock pattern.
    I thought you might like to know a little history about how the pattern came to be. My dear friend Cindy was just starting her hand dyeing business and had just died a new color way which she brought to knit night to share. The skein was screaming to me that it wanted to be stranded socks and the name Starry Starry Night came to mind instantly. I purchased the skein from her, plus a skein of nude and immediately went home and started swatching. I wanted to create a design that would help Cindy with her yarn business. The design itself took quite awhile to evolve and involved lots of knitting, ripping and re-knitting until all of the elements looked just right. Several knitters in our group volunteered as test knitters. Never did I dream that the pattern would be popular beyond our little knitting group. This is very exciting for all of us.

    • Yes it is very exciting, and Suzanne I believe you have accomplished your goal. The socks are beautiful and I am very happy to be associated in any way with how they came to be. Thank you.

  38. Happy belated birthday, Amanda!

    aside….I was reading, and could only see Amanda’s head and helmet before scrolling, and was surprised, who would have a lil’ bell shell around still usable? Lovely photo! When she fell asleep in her seat, did her head flop forward to rest on your hip?

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