Randomly, on a Tuesday

1. Today is our wedding anniversary.  Remember that? Joe and I totally snuck that up on the blog, and now eight years have snuck up on us.  We’re as happy as ever (or at least I am, and if Joe’s not he’s really good at faking it) and still think that it was a brilliant decision.

2. We should really get around to taking that honeymoon.

3. I thought that I’d spend today playing catch-up. This place is trashed, and my inbox is exploding, and I’m getting ready for a trip to Vancouver this weekend, and Edmonton in a few weeks. I’m giving a talk (or doing knitting stand-up, depending on how you look at it) Friday October 24th.  There’s info in that link, but I don’t get out that way often, so I hope you’ll come out if you live near there.

4. I am all about the socks these last few weeks. I was aiming for a pair every 28 days, so I’d have several pairs in the pile for Christmas, and the two pairs I’ve made in the last little bit make pairs number nine and ten, and it’s October tomorrow, and that’s the tenth month, and I feel pretty awesome about that.

samtablesocks2 2014-09-30

(Yarn is Lang Yarns Jawoll “Aktion” I’ve forgotten the colour number, pattern is my basic one from Knitting Rules, and needles were 2mm.)

samtablesocks 2014-09-30

A nice big pair, men’s large, ready to be tucked away. I make all these socks with people in mind – I know who they’re for while I’m making them. When I’m done, I write the name on a slip of paper, and put them away in a ziplock so that when I pull these out for the holidays I can remember what my plan was.

stripes2 2014-09-30

(Yarn: Desert Vista Dyeworks Viso, in “Convo me” Pattern, I started with a picot hem, did a short row heel, and finished with my standard toe. I didn’t pick up the wraps on the wrap-and-turn short row heel. Nothing bad has happened. Needles: 2.25mm.)

didntpickupwraps 2014-09-30

Together with my current sock, it’s an impressive pile for just a few weeks.  I’m cool with it.

darksideofthemoon 2014-09-30

5. I have got to quit with the socks though, because the deadline for the baby sweater I’m making is coming up, and I don’t want it to end all in a rush. Like it always does.

6. Did you notice that everyone’s favourite sock model is here today?

sammodel 2014-09-30

That’s because yesterday, my sweetie-girl Sam came home to her mother, just where she belongs. (She’s going to just love that I said that.)  It takes a brave person to move out into their first apartment. It takes an even braver one to admit that she wasn’t ready, and high-tail it straight back home to re-group and re-plan.  That’s what this place (and your parents) are for.  I’m so happy she’s here, and I think she is too, and there’s just one thing that we didn’t bargain for.

7. She came back with a hedgehog.

8. While I am not completely thrilled with living with an extremely grumpy African Pygmy Hegehog named Marty, Joe points out that out of all the living things she could have acquired and brought home to us, a hedgehog isn’t that bad.

martysam 2014-09-30

9. That’s the attitude that’s kept us married.

145 thoughts on “Randomly, on a Tuesday

  1. Ok, raise your hands….how many of us looked at that first pair of socks and thought ‘Oh cool! Doctor Who socks to match the scarf!” Have a great time in Vancouver, Stephanie… I wish I could see you as I’ll be there on the same day, but I’m prepping for a trip back East. Happy Travels!

    • I did! My question is how to increase the size on the basic sock recipe… I have evil teenage boys whose feet keep growing… made my 14 yo a pair (US size 14 shoe!) and they’re tight around the leg….. used US size 2 dpns (2.75mm) and followed the recipe.

      • The basic recipe works for any size; you just cast on more stitches at the beginning. If that makes the foot too big around, do a few more decrease rounds after you pick up the stitches around the heel.

  2. If Marty had an instagram account, I would check it throughout the day. I love pictures of hedgehogs that much. I am not sure I would love one in person though.

    I am curious if you can tell me why the corners of my sock gussets have great terrible holes. Also can you or the innerwebs tell me if I can close these with some judicious sewing up with scrap yarn? If not, these may become my unfavoritest socks, and they are only the third pair I’ve made. The other two look smashing, which is apparently beginners luck.

    • I have the same problem with socks and would also appreciate an answer. And that is officially the grumpiest looking hedgehog I’ve ever seen.

    • I leaned the hard way, to pick up a stitch as you are picking up stitches to create the gusset and foot, in the space before the next needle. That will bridge that gap. so that would be to “make a stitch” after picking up on needle on and knitting across needle two and the same after knitting across needle 3 and picking up on needle 4 that is assuming you are knitting on 4 needles…hmm does that help?

    • Best way to cover up a ladder of holes along a straight line is to grab a crochet hook and crochet a chain stitch through the line of holes. The ends can be hidden fairly handily.

    • My favorite method of ensuring there are no holes at the corners of gussets is just to pick up extra stitches. Who says you have to pick up the exact number specified in the pattern, anyway? Then, so the heel isn’t far too huge, I decrease every row until I get to the number the pattern called for. It works beautifully, and it means no-hole gussets.

      Short row heels, however, I have no clue how to knit without holes. I’ve tried several different ways with zero success. Apparently I’m meant to knit gusseted socks. Fortunately, my family, who wear them, really don’t care what I do as long as I knit them regularly!

  3. Yay, hedgehogs! I had one for several years and she was quite fun to have around. Perhaps Marty will come to be a model of sorts, too. Safe travels!

  4. Happy Anniversary! You’d think by now I’d remember that you and my sweet daughter were married on the same day (and yes same year too!) It was a good day for a marriage 🙂

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  6. I would have loved a hedgehog to move in, but when my son rebounded, he brought a cat – a crabby tortie who has never quite learned the finer points of a litterbox and she terrified MY cats. Both son and cat have moved on after 2 years – my cats are just starting to recover from the trauma and the kid gets to deal with random pee. Hedgehogs are a breeze! Enjoy having them both at your house!

  7. And Millie’s attitude toward Marty would be? (Cut him a break. From the evidence, he just needs some coffee in his water bottle. I look like that before coffee.)

    And that is no mere sock model. That is the woman who saved countless knitters from affronting the eye by coming up with the phrase “not too knitty.” http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/archives/2009/01/21/down_but_not_out.html
    It just crystallized so many of my vague suspicions into one unarguable phrase. I may not be there yet, Sam, but I’m now trying.

  8. My daughter also moved back home with us after a three month apartment stay. I am glad to have her home. thats what home is. a place to come back to.

  9. Happy Anniversary! Love seeing all the socks that have been and are on your needles – it’s great inspiration. I’m with Joe about the hedgehog – there are larger things that she could have brought home!
    Just a reminder – if you haven’t attached all of the little green things to the sweater yet – make sure they are inside the project bag before you leave the house!

  10. Happy anniversary! Glad to see your daughter thriving, even if moving home of a bit wasn’t the detour she hoped for. And who cannot love that grumpy little hedgehog face?!?

  11. The nest was empty for a brief moment, and you didn’t fill it with yarn? I am stunned.
    On the other hand, the hedgehog is adorable and I’m glad that Sam is home safely.

  12. Regarding the hole in the gusset corner of the sock, I read somewhere(?) to knit in the back of the first stitch of the next needle. Tried it and it works for me.

  13. that hedgehog is just about the cutest thing ever!!! that grumpy look on his face just cracked me up!!! and Joe is right, there are far worse things she could have drug home with her although the cat might not agree.

  14. Yay to having Sam back and I love the hedgehog. We also have a hedgehog (Wilson). I bought him four years ago for my daughter but he’s really more mine than hers. Wilson has gotten considerably less grumpy over the years. He still isn’t what I’d call “friendly” but he doesn’t hiss at me nearly as much as he used to.

  15. Happy Anniversary! Socks are great! Have fun re-grouping with Sam! And…
    SQUEE – HEDGEHOG!!! I love them (can’t have one), and I hope you’ll forgive the grumpiness and share him with us often.

  16. Happy anniversary. You sound so relaxed after the hectic weeks you’ve had, but that might not last long if you’re travelling again. Enjoy it while it lasts. The socks are lovely, and making a nice pile of security towards the December goals.

  17. I’m the same age as Sam and I can appreciate coming home when you realize it’s not the right time. I live on campus at a university right now, but I’ve still been coming home every weekend. It’s my comfort zone and I live close enough to it to be able to do that. 🙂
    The socks are beautiful and the hedgie is adorable. I also wonder at Millie’s reaction.

  18. Tell Sam not to fret. My two daughters came and went more than once and then eventually made it for good. I think of it as a kind and gentle way to let Mummy adjust to the wrench. She is a great model, too!

  19. Your daughter is a lovely sock model. Happy Anniversary!
    The hedgehog is adorable but be forewarned: according to a friend of mine they like to throw raucous parties at night.
    You may pat your self on the back: you have a home your daughter is willing to leave and come back to and leave again when the time is right.

  20. I, too, have an offspring (son) who just moved back home for awhile. When your rent almost equals your paycheque, it’s time for some help from mom and dad. My daughter brought home a hedgehog from school for a weekend, years ago, and it escaped from its cage in the middle of the night. Apparently they can jump straight up in the air, which it did, knocking the top off the cage. We were alerted to this by the dog barking downstairs. When I got up to see what was going on, the dog looked as if she’d just run a marathon. She’d been chasing the hedgehog around the family room for quite some time. It was hissing and puffed up like a balloon and completely ticked off. After that we found a use for our old encyclopedia books. They make great weights on top of the hedgehog cage. Oven mitts are useful too, for picking up the hedgehog without getting impaled.

  21. I can’t help but think that hedgehogs and knitting go together after reading Jan Brett’s The Hat. I now make sure to include the book in board-book form with any baby knit gifts I give (gorgeous illustrations of stranded colourwork)! Looking forward to your Edmonton visit! I’ve booked my comedy night ticket. There’s good odds of needing a tuque and other woolly layers that late in October out here; the snow occasionally stays away until November, but I can make no promises.

  22. Happy Anniversary! Holy Crap – time flies! Has it been that long already? I know, sometimes it feels like it’s been forever!

    Yay to having Sam back home! I love seeing her lovely self on your blog. Now she’ll be able to model more of your stuff for her fans.

  23. Happy anniversary – raising a virtual toast to many many happy years to come, and to roommates – old and new! (You’re a braver woman than I)


  24. Oh, and happy anniversary! You should bring Joe (or have him meet you at the end) along to one of your teaching gigs, then take some time to enjoy yourselves.

  25. My son rebounded with a 12 week old black lab puppy. Turns out I loved the puppy so much I wouldn’t let the kid take him when he moved back out. He (the dog – he’s 10 now – not the son) is laying at my feet as I type. Love the hedgehog and love Joe’s attitude!

  26. Joe is a wise man indeed. Hopefully your cat agrees that it coulda been worse and leaves Marty to his excercise wheel. What is the cat’s name, by the way? I think I’ve only ever seen her referred to as “the cat” or “my cat.”
    Sam, The Blog is proud of you. You’ll be ready next time.

  27. I’m booked for Edmonton. If I had a bucket list, I’d be checking off this event — and am so looking forward to seeing you and hearing you in person (have all your books). Will be bringing a sock.

    P.S. My son and his fiancee live in west Edmonton; she owns an albino hedgehog. Definitely an acquired taste.

  28. Congratulations on your anniversary! And the lovely socks. And the wise daughter. And don’t worry about the hedgehog, you are going to end up loving it, and when she finally does get ready and move away, you’ll find yourself amazed at how you miss the little thing. They are adorable. I had one, I know. They just need to learn to trust you, and you’re theirs for life.

  29. Almost finished with my first pair of sox, linen thread that gets softer every time I rip out or backtrack. Looking forward to wearing these little ugly ducklings — no one else would want them. I love my little ceramic hedgehog, came from a craft fair at Alexandria’s Palace in London, requires no food or water.

  30. I seriously clicked back to your post from the wedding to be sure you had done your math correctly. It doesn’t seem as though it’s been 8 years already. A very happy anniversary to you both!!! And best wishes for many more years to come!

  31. Hedgehogs are great pets! I’ve had several. They are adorable and very friendly if handled properly. But even the grown up I ‘rescued’ that hadn’t been handled very well was just fine with me.

  32. Perhaps Marty the Grumpy Hedgehog will replace Grumpy Cat as the meme of the month. He’s got the disgruntled face down perfectly.

    Happy anniversary to you and Joe!

  33. 1. Congratulations and best wishes for many, many more happy years together. (Hope you two didn’t store anything X-rated out on the Cloud!)

    2. Yes, you should. You really should. Somewhere you both think is romantic, whether that be Paris, Tahiti, or the Indianapolis 500 (just kidding on the last).

    3. Happy and safe travels for both you and your knitting.

    4. Wow. You can easily do 12 before Christmas, and maybe one or two pair more!

    5. Yes, you do need to finish that before the oven timer goes off.

    6. Yay, Sam! I know it wasn’t easy to make that decision — I moved back in with my dad after my first post-college job turned into a nightmare worse than those on Elm Street. Still, I know it is comforting to be in a familiar place, with your parents and Millie. Best wishes for your next foray out of the nest.

    7., 8, & 9. He is adorable! Kind of like what might result if Luis and Grumpy Cat could have offspring with each other! Hope he and Millie are getting along with each other — it may be possible. When I moved back in with my dad, my cat became bestest friends with my little sister’s Guinea pig! And Joe is wise, as ever: Sam could have come home with a skunk. Or a rabbit determined to dig/eat its way through every carpeted or upholstered surface in the house. Or a Clydesdale. Or a tarantula.

  34. Happy Anniversary to you and Joe! How can it be 8 years? I remember it so well, and being so surprised, because I’m pretty sure I thought you guys were already married! And a hedgehog — I’ve never known one, but Marty is awful cute!

  35. Happy Anniversary! I love, love, love the colors in those first socks. If you (or anyone else!) remembers/recognizes the name or number would you add it in? I’ve been searching for something just like that for such a long time.

  36. Is there any way to see just your talk for Knit City in Edmonton? There’s no way I can afford the ticket to the whole conference with a kidlet, baby, and mat leave ;).

    • Hi Karlie,
      Absolutely you can get a ticket just for the Friday night event. Call River City Yarns at 780-477-9276 and we’ll get you in to see Stephanie (talking and knitting!).

  37. I never do the wraps on my short row heels, and so far nobody has complained. About the heel, anyway.

    It really could be worse than a hedgehog. Somehow I’m less surprised than one might imagine that a daughter of yours has a hedgehog for a pet. Just saying.

    Happy anniversary! As my marriage is ending (with our 25th anniversary coming up), I can say with some authority that being happily married takes effort and commitment and compromise and a grand sense of humor. Love helps, too, but it’s certainly not enough on its own, in my opinion. You and Joe have made a marvelous match; in your usual style, you seem to have thrown yourselves into this with everything in you. Bravo to you, and best wishes for many, many more years together.

  38. CSI Ryan Wolfe re-investigates the evidence and proves that
    the cash was stolen by someone outside of the department.
    Perhaps consider a higher-quality voice-mail system instead of the regular answering machine.

    By far the biggest drawback to owning rental property in Detroit are the taxes.

  39. Happy Anniversary Stephanie! I had to click on the link to DoubleCheck how long ago it was, but I’m just saying….Joe’s gansey was looking pretty good!

  40. Marty is adorable, and you can’t tell me that Joe only developed that attitude in the last 8 years. Good heavens – I’ve been reading you longer than that…

  41. A hedgehog?! My little sister, Emma, desperately wants a hedgehog. Unfortunately they are illegal to keep in Pennsylvania, so we don’t have one… yet. 😉 Happy Anniversary!!!!

  42. Happy anniversary. And I know the joy of a daughter moving back home. Mine did in August. With a puppy and that’s cool. And I am so very glad she is back home. I know you are too

  43. Congrats on the wedding anniversary plus all the years that you were together before. Long term relationships are fabulous. I’ve been in mine 35 years, married for a bit more than 34.

    My daughter moved back home a couple of years ago for about eight months. She is now out on her own again but spends at least one night a week at the house. She uses her laundry as the excuse to do so, but I think she just likes being in that comfort zone.

    Enjoy the time with Sam. Besides, she is a great sock model!

  44. Happy Anniversary!

    Welcome back, Sam & hedgehog. living with adult children isn’t always easy. However, treasure these moments because there will be fewer and fewer large chunks of time together.

  45. I’m a lacemaker and hedge hogs are our mascot. (I think it is because they resemble pincushions…) I have never really wanted to own one, but they are cute to look at…good luck with Marty!

  46. Pardon me, that should say that home is the place that will always accept you and take you back in. (drat Siri).
    Welcome back, Sam!

  47. Congrats on the anniversary! May you have many more 🙂

    Hedgehogs are wonderful, if you understand them on their own terms 🙂 Marty needs to be held on a lap (on a towel in case he poops) for a few minutes most days until he unballs and sniffs around and realizes he’s not about to be eaten 😉 There is a Facebook group Hedgehog Happenings where people are very informative. It’s invitation but the mods are pretty responsive usually.

  48. Happy Anniversary!

    I had to read that twice; has it really been eight years?! How did that happen? (And where did all these teenagers come from? Last time I looked, I had toddlers.)

    Many happy returns!

    (The Blog just told me “You failed the human verification test.” I was wondering how long it would be before someone noticed my little secret…)

  49. Our anniversary, too,yesterday the 30th. Entering our 29th year, 2nd for both. Spent the weekend south of the Twin Cities at a charming farm-playdate-country wedding of one of our grandsons. So unique and casual! Young kids are more and more clever all the time. Still working on big-stitch pullover for me – emergency project to keep me from exercising death wish. left-arm cast goes away tomorrow, i hope. this lefty is screaming to get back to normal projects!! Happy anniversary to you both!!

  50. That hedgehog is ADORABLE! … depending on how grumpy he is, I bet he would make a great companion for knitting pictures. Next to the knitted item… it would be a great contrast: soft and warm vs poky and possibly grumpy. Who knows, maybe by the end of the photo shoot he isn’t as grumpy due to such close proximity to warm, cuddly knits!

  51. I wish I could see you in Edmonton. $50 is just out of our budget at the time (so is $599). I wish you could do a bookstore reading or something like that, here.

    I was lucky enough to see you a few times when you went to Seattle. However, I’ve since moved to Edmonton, so no more Seattle visits for me. Though I’m glad for the move because it meant being able to marry my lovely Canadian wife.

    We have a hedgehog at home too. I quite like them. They’re quiet, adorable, and as long as the cage is kept clean, not at all smelly.

  52. Happy (belated) anniversary!
    Love the socks!
    Welcome home to Sam and the hedgehog!
    You made me think of my frequent joke that although we’re supposed to give our kids wings and roots — you know the saying — I was really good at wings because mine were homing pigeons! They each seemed to move out and back home on about 6 month rotations. Which was just fine with me. Enjoy it. As you know they’re gone far too quickly.

  53. Have you seen Despicable Me? Agnes is a little girl that gets a giant stuffed unicorn and yells “it’s so FLUFFY”. I want to yell “It’s so GRUMPY!” when I look at your new addition. Freaking adorable!!!

  54. “I didn’t pick up the wraps on the wrap-and-turn short row heel. Nothing bad has happened.”

    Steph. You may have changed my life with this sentence. Guess what I’m not going to do for my next short-row heel! 😀

  55. I may be bringing up a topic non grata, but I don’t ever remember reading about you finishing Joe’s gansey sweater (from SEVERAL years back). Did that ever happen or is it still a WOP and why? Anniversary present?

  56. Welcome home, Sam! I thought I was ready too, turns out I was wrong. Came back home at 23 and didn’t leave again until I was married at 27. Enjoy the time with your family:)

  57. was some of the home again about the greeeeen paint?
    One of mine re homed for a while but is out on his own with guess what? yup, a hedgie.

  58. I cannot BELIEVE it’s already been 8 years – Happy Anniversary! If someone had asked me, I would have guessed it at four years. Yikes! Time really does fly as we get older… Hedgehogs look bristly, but they sure are cute. I hope your cat doesn’t mind the new housemate.

  59. Yep, been there. I had a very well paying, but dangerous job, and a new condo. Home was home and it was safe. I was able to regroup, sell the condo and when REALLY ready, was able to make the permanent move. I’m retired now, but remember my Mom sitting with me on her couch (my bed) and making things much better. There is no rush.

  60. I left home for good at 17 but I think my three boys will be out and back a few times…that seems to be the way it goes now. And maybe for the better, while they learn to live away and we learn to live with them away!
    Happy Anniversary!

  61. Happy Anniversary from someone who has spent more than half her life as a married woman. Mine keeps getting better and I hope yours does too!

  62. How fun to have your daughter back home. Her hedgie is adorable and they really aren’t bad to have around the house because they are scared of everything, so you don’t have to worry about them getting into anything. My son had a sweet little hedgie for about four and a half years until he died for some unknown reason. Very sad, and he replaced the cute little hedgie with a not so cute snake! I’d take another hedgehog any day over a snake!

  63. Good for Sam – she stepped out on her own and realized the time wasn’t right. That really is brave. I bet you missed her! Lovely socks – as always!

  64. Good on Sam. As someone who feels that the keys to my life got handed to me by mistake, I agree that it takes a lot of character to admit that one needs to take a step back.

    Also, a hedgehog really isn’t too bad. I think he’s adorable! Surely he doesn’t take up that much space?

    On a sock-related note, I notice that the first pair don’t match! Congratulations on overcoming your need to match All The Stripes.

  65. Beginning 2 weeks after graduating from high school, our son has moved out, back in, back out, back in (with wife and baby for 6 months), back out, back in (with wife, 2 girls) and just recently (after 4 years!) back out (with wife, 2 girls and a boy – yes, a grandson born while they lived with us!!) since 2003. Obviously, we let him move back with all kinds of “creatures”. Because we’re his parents and that’s what we’re here for….

  66. Great socks! Congratulations on getting your daughter back, even if it’s only going to be for a short while. I know this joy as my own daughter came home with live with me again.

    I’m jealous about the hedgehog. They’re adorable and I had one as a pet a very long time ago and I miss her dearly. Enjoy!

  67. I did not know until I saw the photo of this hedgehog that they could have so much attitude! This is one cross looking hedgehog! 🙂

  68. I was so excited to hear you’re coming to Edmonton! Then, I wasn’t, since I’m 16 and the thing appears to be taking place in a bar. Maybe next time, where I will hopefully be of legal drinking age?

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