Second Verse, Same as the First

Today I’m packing. I’m delighted to say that I won’t be typing that sentence for a little while after this weekend – this last month has left me thinking that as a species, we need to be focusing on teleportation as a solution to airports. (I have a pretty big hate on for airports right now. I’m going to try and improve my relationship with the Toronto one tomorrow by doing nothing but drinking coffee and knitting in it.)  The last little bit hasn’t had much time in it for blogging, and I can’t wait until I’m home next week and that can change. This weekends trip is for a “sweater” retreat, and I will have a new sweater to wear at it, if one’s needed, which it probably won’t be, because, well…  California.  I looked at the weather for Pacific Grove this weekend, and it looks like it might be cool enough to pull it off for about 10 minutes.  Really, the sweater I just finished isn’t meant for California type weather, where I feel like a cardigan is properly the answer – something you can wear open or closed, and whip on and off in a minute.

sneakpeek 2015-04-23

This sweater – this is a big, bad, cold weather sweater.  A pullover –inspired by this one here, although I didn’t use that pattern, I didn’t use any pattern at all, actually. I just knit and knit, trying it on every so often to work out when to do what, and it fits me just the way I like it.  The wool is Greenwood Hill Farm 2ply worsted, and it is so soft, and so delicious and so lovely, that I felt like all it needed was to be a plain, good sweater. A cozy sweater, a sweater that can stand up to any amount of snow, soft and warm against the winter.  It is, of course, particularly ironic that I’ve finished it now, as spring comes properly here.

It’s everything I’d hoped, this sweater, and that means that without a blizzard bearing down on me at -40, I can’t quite remember when I was going to wear it.  No matter though, this is Canada, and winter will be back.  If I can put it on this weekend without having heat stroke I’ll try and get someone to snap a few pictures.  It’s a great sweater.

The shawl remains about 4 rows and a cast off from done, and I don’t feel any more confident about having enough yarn. I’m almost afraid to knit on it – though I do have another skein of the yarn that I could pillage for the right colour stripe if I had to, so it won’t be a terrible horrible emergency if I run out. (Just an epic pain in the arse that spoils that self-striping skein.) That alone probably means that there will be enough. The knitting fates usually only run this crap on you when you’ve got no way out. They’ve got a particularly vicious sense of humour.

I’m packing that, unless I finish tonight, but there’s something about heading out to a sweater retreat that makes me feel like I should have a sweater on the needles…

wepacasweater 2015-04-30

Maybe just a little one?  This wee thing should be knocked out pretty quick, and that’s good, because I feel a baby blanket coming on.  Time to choose a theme, and figure the math, and order LOTS of the yarn. I’ve got a baby to outrun – and there’s lots of time right now, and for once, I’d like to keep it that way. *

*That’s probably foreshadowing.

57 thoughts on “Second Verse, Same as the First

  1. I live in Santa Cruz, and Pacific Grove is always cold(ish). You may not need that sweater, but you will need A sweater.

  2. I’m thinking that California is a lot like menopause, in that there’s a need for whipping sweaters on and off with short notice . . .

  3. that sweater is exactly the one i have been trying to psyche myself up to make for the past four years. something gray, raglan, crew-neck…i just need to dive in.
    here in portland, one is constantly taking off and putting back on layers, too. it is just the norm.

  4. Pacific Grove is one of my favorite places on the planet. Hope you have a wonderful time. Worth the trip to the airport for sure.

  5. PG is lovely. Hopefully you can get to the Aquarium. Compared to what you are used to the weather around here is lovely, boring, and just the kind to curl up in a chair and knit. Have fun.

  6. I hate to say it, but you’re most likely going to have to rip back your shawl. The cast-off for Cladonia is a crazy picot thing that takes forever and uses what seems like half a skein of yarn…

  7. I checked with, and it will be in the mid 60’s (farenheit) this weekend, with a few clouds. Today the high will be 76 degreesf. It should be lovely. I assume you consider this short and swimming weather, so pack accordingly. Have a great time!!

  8. Oooooh! Another baby blanket to watch appear!!

    I think I do more knitting vicariously through the blog than actually on my own needles. 🙂

  9. I’m sorry, but that was just such a long bad cold winter that I can’t even read about sweaters right now…one of our first 70 degree days in CNY – I am going to focus on the sunny California part of this post and forget the s-word for now!! Have fun and enjoy the sun!

  10. I used to live in Monterey and from what I remember, Pacific Grove does tend to be a bit cooler, so a sweater is a definite plus. Especially in the early morning and in the evening hours. The wind from the ocean can really go through you, LOL!

    By the way, If you liked the movie Turner & Hooch, they filmed it in Pacific Grove. Have a look out and you may see some familiar sights.

    Oh… and if you have any time for a bit of sightseeing, do not miss the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It is simply wonderful!

  11. I’m going to be at the Asilomar Retreat and I was hoping to ask for a favor: if you have room, could you please pack your beautiful Fox Paws scarf?
    I went to Stitches looking to see one and was sadly disappointed. I’d love to see a Fox Paws that’s finished up close and personal so that I can either commit to making one or stop thinking about it all the time!

    I completely understand if your luggage is already full (travelers needs lots of extra yarn) and thanks for considering this request.


  12. I stayed in Pacific Grove two weeks ago and the weather varied from shorts and t-shirts to multiple layers including sweaters. I’m a lifelong Californian, so I guess you can take my advice with a grain of salt, but it can definitely get cool and breezy in the evening.

    There are wonderful paths along the ocean for walking and/or biking. From Asilomar, you can walk to downtown Pacific Grove, continue on to the aquarium in Monterey, and if you’re really ambitious you can bike all the way to Moss Landing and the Elkhorn Slough (great bird watching from the kayaks. A few miles south of Pacific Grove is the town of Carmel and just past it is the wonderful Point Reyes park (great scenery and walks). Continue further south to get to Big Sur, the home of Nepenthe (Kaffe Fassett’s family’s restaurant which is perchedon a high bluff with spectacular views).

  13. I’m not even the first to say you will need the sweater. Okay, you’ll laugh at what passes for chilly around here, but Pacific Grove is not only right on the Bay but it has a stiff breeze blowing off ocean cold. Don’t go out on the rocks very far at low tide–it comes in fast. Have a wonderful time!

  14. Oh and: Pacific Grove is famous for being a landing spot for Monarch butterflies on their multi-generation migration up and down the continent. There’s a park nearby with large numbers of acorn woodpeckers endlessly filling a forest of old poles with acorns–lots of them to see.

  15. Hello!! I just wanted to let you now that the Big Bad Wool comes from my local yarn store in Birmingham, AL!! Donna is a wonderful woman and she is so talented! The yarn is just yummy and I hope you enjoy using it!! This goes to show you just how small the world really is! I love reading this blog and I wish you all the best!! Best wishes, Allyson

  16. The bind off on Cladonia does take quite a bit of yarn, what with all of the picots and all. However there are some lovely versions that have a contrasting color used for the last eyelet bit and the bind off. I feel like I should raid my stash for something that will work for you. Feeling somewhat responsible for your worry. xo the designer.

    • It’s times like these that I wish I was as witty as Presbytera.

      May I say that I love the design of your shawl? It’s really beautiful.

      • Which kind of witty do you mean? There’s ‘popcorn and red wine for everyone because Steph freaking out is entertaining!’ or there’s ‘look, another grey sweater that isn’t the gansey because a 5-year nagging streak is fun only from a safe distance!’
        I can do other types, of course, but these two still have legs.

    • Ha! Kirsten, I’m the one who decided to make it bigger! Certainly no responsibility of yours. Don’t sweat it.

  17. I always tell my friends that a pattern is just a suggestion. I don’t think I’ve ever done a sweater pattern as written. It’s just a starting point.

  18. I took your class on Monday at Stevie Bs. I am beyond impressed. Thank you for being you. I totally enjoyed the class and learned more than just lever knitting. And YES I am practicing daily but it is slow going. Perhaps I will be able to lever knit socks within a year or so.

  19. As a Southern California knitter, I have about twelve days out of the year when the weather is remotely appropriate for wearing handknits. . .I would take a week of Canada winter any time you want to send it down!

  20. Hey Stephanie! I have a quick questions. Id love to see you in person and have been watching but your site says there are no scheduled appearances for a while. I live within a days drive of PG and am sorry to have to miss you! I hope you have a great time- it does get really cool there, but is there a better way to see when and where you are going to be? (now that you are probably not going to be venturing out any time soon…!) Travel Safe! Pattye

  21. Your blankets are so personalized with stitches that represent the family. The one you knitted for your nephew Luis was so special. Do you have a favorite resource to find the stitches you use?

  22. Seriously, we have most of the other items from Star Trek – portable communications, medical scanners, etc. but no teletransporters. Just think what an energy saver it would be!

  23. Re #roots. My hairdresser added very fine lowlights of my pre grey natural color in amongst my newer silvery color. It unified the bottom brunette with the top silver and as it’s grown out it’s blending right in. Brilliant solution. It looks very natural. And apparently GREY hair is the thing right now for the younger set (IMO its because theres no color left when you’ve been disney-dyeing your hair for a couple of years). You trendsetter-embrace that silver!

    • My hairdresser does the same for me, to unify a silver front with a brunette back. It is so much more subtle than all-over colour, and it grows out beautifully. It takes about three hours every three months, which I consider to be reasonable. I knit while the colour is processing. My mother had beautiful white hair, and I am hoping to be as lucky.

  24. In my darker moments – having done a 13 hour air trip from the edge of the Pacific to New Zealand, I have thought that this concept of the world being as big as it is, or taking so much time to travel in an aeroplane is A RUSE. Just to confound and annoy us. The aeroplanes take off, keep us up in the air for hours, and then land in what is supposed to be a different place. Mind you it has been some decades since I did any international travel…

  25. Oh no! You’re here in PG this weekend! Drats! I’m working graveyard shift until Monday morning at 8am…..would love to get a close-up look at Fox Paws, too. If you need emergency medical care come to SVMH in Salinas (for instance if the oven catches fire….again) and we’ll take the best care of you ever! Enjoy the wonderful weather…warm during the day, and quite nippy when the sun goes down, esp at Asilomar. Hope you get some free time to walk along the coast. I can’t wait to see how your Cladonia turns out…will you win the chicken race or the yarn gods?

  26. I have a cardi I made out of Greenwood Hill yarn and can attest to the fact that it’s fabulous wool. Your sweater will last you forever.

  27. OMG! I miss Pacific Grove sooooo much. Perfect for cardigans, weather can change in minutes! And perfect for just about everything else. I hope you have a fantastic visit!

  28. I raced my third baby against his receiving shawl. He was overdue and overdue and overdue and I got superstitious about it and realised he was never going to arrive until his shawl was done. I finished the borders and went into labour six hours later.

    Then I forgot to ever wrap him in it and now he’s two.

  29. Baby sweater! Eeek. New parent, tiny baby – pullover….buttons or ties. Cardigan…sorry incoherent with worry.

  30. Oh dear lord. My girl’s nickname is VV, and she’s currently wearing a 2 – I could probably finish the size 4 before she outgrows it…

    Must knit v for vivi for VV.

    And there goes my self control.

  31. Just got back from Asilomar (where you’re going). Cold and foggy most days, sunny and about 17C otherwise. You’ll need a sweater in the mornings, at the very least.

  32. I just played yarn chicken on the socks I am knitting. Had to rip back one extra row before the bind off and still only had about 3 inches of yarn left. Might have been able to make it if I didn’t opt for the stretchy bind off. Imagine, wanting the top of the sock to stretch so your leg doesn’t turn blue from lack of circulation. I feel for you since you, obviously, have way more than 66 stitches to worry about. Good luck!

  33. A wave to you at Asilomar, not far down the coast from here. Enjoy that beautiful location and facility! You probably don’t need another mention about the chilly mornings and evenings, wind off the ocean, the stunning Monterey Bay Aquarium… Next time you’re in our area I hope you’ll spend some time at “A Verb” again, too!
    Best wishes.

  34. Just lovely! I was lucky enough to be in your class at Yarnover — such a delight. I’ve been practicing lever knitting (I have a makkin given to me by a friend in the highlands). So delighted. Thank you. Susan

  35. How did I miss that there is a sweater retreat at Asilomar? I only live blocks away and am one of the few local transplanted Canucks! Eek- a missed opportunity! Have an incredible time! Asilomar is beautiful– I actually for married there just one week ago!

  36. I live in a very hot place (Georgia) and I take a cardigan EVERYWHERE all summer long. When it’s 90 degrees & very humid outside, and then you walk into a building where the air conditioner has been set on “artic blast” it feels really cold. I wear a wool sweater year round & get lots of crazy looks and snide comments…oh well. Take that sweater to California. You might be glad.

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