Randomly on a Wednesday

1. I don’t know what came over me. Despite being behind on so many things, when a chance to go to the cottage for 24 hours came up, all I could think about was swimming in Georgian Bay, knitting in the sunshine and eating peaches, and I got in the car and left.

2. It turns out that swimming to the big rock with your sister doesn’t get old, even if you do.

bigrock 2015-08-19

3. My middle daughter, Megan, turned 24.  I have few words for this, since I’m really not sure it’s possible.

megbirthdaybetter 2015-08-19

(That’s her puppy, Penny. I have no dog. The cat will not tolerate such nonsense.)

4. I updated my gig page, with everywhere I’ll be in the next little bit. Have a look, if you’ve been trying to hang out. There’s some good stuff, and there’s still spots.

5. I finally finished Ken’s Rally Socks.  I didn’t tell you about that, because I was trying to be all stealth.  I began them on packing day for the Rally, and knit them all through our trip together.  Last year I made Jen some socks to thank her for being my co-lead, and this year it only seemed fair to continue the tradition, especially since Ken was good enough to step up and help me when I was really in a bind.

kenssocks2 2015-08-19

He totally deserves them. I couldn’t have had better help.

kenssocks1 2015-08-19

Last year I made Jen’s socks out of the colourway that Kim at IndigoDragonfly came up with as a fundraiser for the ride. This year I thought it would be nice to do that too.  (Hey, did you know that IndigoDragonfly sponsored our team shirts again? They’re awesome.) In any case, I wrote to Kim and asked her if there was a rally colourway, and she asked me to stand-by, and I did, and a very little while later, a package arrived at our door.  I opened it, and inside was several skeins of yarn, all in a colourway I didn’t recognize, and a letter.

kenssocks3 2015-08-19

I asked Kim if she wouldn’t mind if I told you what the letter said.

Dear Stephanie,

You asked me to send you a special colourway to knit Ken socks with, if we had done one for the Rally.  Every year we change up how we’re going to raise a little money for your team, sometimes we choose a yarn base, sometimes we make a colourway. This year it was a yarn base.

But there is a special Rally colourway.

There is one pot of this yarn in existence. There will only ever be one pot of this yarn in existence. It is for your team. There are skeins for each of you, and a skein to knit Ken’s socks.

Let me tell you about this colourway and why it’s for your team-

Brown: for every time you’ve fallen and gotten up to keep riding.

Red: For every bump and bruise, every scrape and cut. And for your hearts, that keep you coming back year after year to do the crazy.

Pale grey: for every piece of gravel you’ve picked out of your knee, every rock you’ve hit with your tire, every pebble that’s slingshotted into your glasses. And yet, you keep going.

Black: for strong tires and a fast road.

Blue: for clear blue skies to ride with, and the wind at your back.

Ride well and strong, my friend.


6. The colourway name? “The Seven Deadly Schwinns.”

kenssocksprogress 2015-08-19

I think Kim and Ron are just about the best ever. Businesses don’t have to act this way. To contribute actively to their communities, to support things they think are good. It’s optional, and I think it’s amazing that they do it year after year.  Thanks, guys.

99 thoughts on “Randomly on a Wednesday

  1. What got into you is common sense. Nobody in their right minds would pass up the cottage trip. I love the sock colourway. The letter was wonderful as are all of you who make this ride each year. Finally, I absolutely love the name, “The Seven Deadly Schwinns!”

  2. If Canada takes people for “political asylum” then will they take someone for “yarn asylum?” It would appear that indeed Canadiens are known or their good manners(Indigo Dragonfly) and plucky nature ( The Seven Deadly Schwinns) . Congrats all around.

  3. I am a long time blog follower and first time commenter. I felt I had to chime in this time because your daughter’s dog looks exactly like my dog (who is now 5) when she was a puppy, and you’ll never guess her name…Penny (short for Penny Lane). She’s a Border Collie mix and it’s looks like Megan’s Penny might have some Border in her too. Also, I love the team colorway; beautiful yarn for a beautiful story.

  4. That’s a heart-warming story, and if I dared buy any more yarn, for sure I’d buy some of theirs. The yarn is wonderfully symbolic and appropriate. Will you have to knit up anyone else’s skeins for them? Glad you got to go swim in the lake; you’ll still be behind but now you’re glowing from your achievement.

  5. That’s beyond awesome. Good to know that such people, and businesses, still exist. Going to their website now, to visit again, and see what’s cooking. Well done, well said.

  6. I met the lovely folks from IndigoDragonfly at Vogue Knitting in NY in Jan (2015) Anyone who brings Firefly, Dr. Who, and Sherlock to knitting must be wonderful! They were so kind to me, and so friendly – I wish I could have bought everything in their booth. So glad they are kind to the Harlot, but not surprised, they ALL rock! Wonderful post, thank you!

  7. Wow. I’m all choked up and my son is wondering what’s wrong with me. I told him and he’s still confused, but then he’s only 9. It’s nice to know there is such goodness in this world of ours. Thanks for sharing.

  8. We had a “big rock” at our cottage too, when I was a child. Sadly, the cottage was swallowed by suburbia and sold before my kids were born. They’ve never been to a cottage and roll their eyes when I tell stories about my cottage childhood.
    Great colourway; your team deserves it!

  9. I did notice the IndigoDragonfly shirts. Love the special Rally ’15 colourway – beautiful and meaningful. Ken must have the most amazing collection of socks.
    And lookit Penny’s wooby-wooby puppy-wuppy face.
    Glad you carpe diemed and took off for the beaching opportunity.

  10. Fiber people are the best.
    Hearts that beat as one.
    Live long & may you continue to dye forever IndigoDragonfly! You’re the greatest!

  11. Seven Deadly Schwinns – I love it!!! Their sense of humor is so perfect, it makes me want to buy all of their colorways (even the colors I’m not fond of)! You’ve all definitely earned a beautiful one-off yarn colorway.

  12. This post touched me and made my eyes moist. Your generosity gives others the opportunity to be generous too. I love the thoughtfulness of the yarn designer. Really above and beyond expectations.

  13. The art, the love, the getting-it, the pun, the knitting, the joy. Laughed out loud and again for sheer happiness. (And if she made more pots of that colorway it would sell out faster than she could ship it out.

  14. The problem is, Dear Harlot, that I usually read your blog at work. And then you go catching me off guard and making me tear up at the awesomeness of knitters, and then inevitably someone walks into my office and looks at me funny…

    Beautiful colorway, beautiful reasons. 🙂

  15. I love it! I’d noticed your team shirts were sponsored by them, but didn’t know the story. It’s lovely that they made a special colourway just for you.

    My knitting stayed in my bins/bags the whole rally until the bus trip home.

  16. Really just fabulous. Fabulous that you took off for a day of swimming. Fabulous that it was Megan’s birthday. Fabulous that you finished Ken’s socks.
    But most Fabulous of all is the clever, kind generosity of IndigoDragonfly. Beautiful yarn, sweet hearts. (Also Fabulous color name!)

  17. Indigo Dragonfly is the best!

    I think in our general everyday lives we become laden with all the bad stuff and we forget to look for the good stuff. There is more good stuff out there than we know – we just miss it for one reason or another. If every single one of us (muggles too) would spread the word about every good thing (knitty or not), and every single one of us would work to change one bad thing, imagine what could happen!

    Now before my eyes get really leaky, I’ll say goodnight, good job, great yarn!
    Chris S in Canada

  18. Lovely. Who could ever regret spending time with their sister and daughter? Bonus points for the happy looking puppy. Then… the special socks you knit are perfect ..AND the fact that they are made from unique yarn made for you to support a fundraiser, it is almost too much awesome all in one place. I need to go lie down.

  19. Aren’t yarny people the best?? I remember a story from one of YH’s books where she was teaching a waitress to knit and Joe said “is this what it’s come to? Conversion?” Yes yes yes….we need to convert more of the muggles to knitters!! Wouldn’t the world be such a better place?

  20. Wow! How totally awesome. I also went to Georgian Bay for two weeks every year until I was 16, i really do miss it. Glad you enjoyed your quick trip.

  21. I’m sitting here watching the evening news while reading your blog. (Yes. Two things at once.) The news is full of bad things. Sad things. So glad your blog is filled with only goodness. It will make going to sleep tonight easier.

  22. That is a stupendous backstory for that yarn! I think I need to spend some money with those clever people.
    (whips out credit card)

  23. “Despite being behind on so many things, when a chance to go to the cottage for 24 hours came up…”

    In 10 years you’ll never remember straightening the magazines on the coffee table or sweeping the kitchen floor. But you’ll remember the peaches dripping down your chin, the smell of the lake, the sound of the waves, the screaming of the gulls, the feel of the sunlight on your face.

  24. wonderful post. So glad you got to be at the cottage for a day in the summer! Happy Birthday to Megan and I think Kim at IndigoDragonfly is da bomb! and Ken is fabulous.. the socks look great on him. Love the name of the colorway too!

  25. Lovely socks, lovely yarn, lovely colourway, lovely letter. What a tribute to you and your team and the cause you all care about. (Blurry screen virus here, too… it’s an epidemic!)

  26. I used to have a deadly Schwinn. I am so impressed with your bravery (I have no sense of balance on a bike, so know a lot about thickets and falling over curbs), but more so with your sense of humor about it all while you help so many people. I too have cottage memories, and they are golden memories aren’t they? How lovely to still have that place available — enjoy the vacation.

  27. Dearest Harlot…
    I see you are coming to Oregon from November 6-8….I have a commitment of my own on 6-7…is there a schedule of where you will be on the 8th?
    Would appreciate a response…..I have been dreaming to hear you speak….

    • Hi Maria,
      If you click on the link, you’ll see that I’m teaching at that event on the 8th. I think it might be sold out, but I’ll be there all weekend. Maybe we can hang out.

  28. “It turns out that swimming to the big rock with your sister doesn’t get old, even if you do.”

    Nice. A few words, brilliantly arranged, can cover a world of time and relations.

  29. Re: gigs. I keep looking for news of the November retreat in WA. Is that still in the works? My sister and I want to go if it is happening!

  30. Steph-

    Re: the 1st pic. I already knew that you walk on water, but didn’t realize that your sister does, too!

    Gorgeous photo of Megan – happy birthday!

  31. I’m so excited you’re making it to Lethbridge this fall!!! As a university student, it’s been a bit hard for me to scrape up the time and funds to travel to your knitting retreats/talks, but now you’re going to be in my neck of the woods 🙂

    Congratulations on your rally! Ken’s socks look stupendous. I love it when yarn has that special story that makes the entire project kind of sparkle. And happy belated birthday to your daughter!!!

  32. Such a lovely, sentimental, heartfelt post, including Kim’s letter, and then “Seven Deadly Schwinns” almost made me sneeze wine out my nose. 🙂

  33. Ha! What a GREAT name! Maybe you can use that as your team name next year-The 7 Deadly Schwinns (& minions). What a dear thing to do.

  34. I think of you riding for a cause, and then wonder why the heck my husband is going out in a week’s time to ride 1000km with a total ride time limit of 75km from the time he starts pedalling. The clock doesn’t even stop for sleeping!

    I better start on his next pair too.

  35. You and yours bring out the best in people. Ken’s socks are wonderful…as he is.

    Is there a fundraiser color way- gadz, I’d buy lots and lots. I will have to keep my ears up next year!

  36. Hey Stephanie, I ran across this spinning wheel marked ‘McPhee’ on kijiji and thought I’d share it… the photo doesn’t let me see the mark. I’d guess it might be from somewhere in the Maritimes or else Ontario, with that name on it. Hope your site doesn’t reject a URL in a comment although I could totally understand if it did. http://www.kijiji.ca/v-view-details.html?adId=1096865

  37. Oooooh …. off to swim and have fun in beautiful surroundings — how amply you deserve this break, and how much I envy you!! After 9 months of travelling 250 miles down to Cornwall once a month for a week to clear my mother’s house (incidentally thus destroying my childhood home), while simultaneously working and trying to finish a PhD, I LONG for a proper ‘get away from it all’ break …. enjoy it on my behalf as well as your own!
    And Happy Birthday to lovely Megan!

  38. Perfect color Way!

    And I think you deserve a cabin trip.

    And Megan is really your little sister, right? That is how my Dad introduced me when I got into my mid-20’s!!!

  39. Stephanie, did you see? John Oliver in his hilarious send-up on the worst hucksters of televangelism, like Reverend Creflo Dollar (how’s that for a name) praying for a $65 million personal jet, demanding that his followers send him the seed money for it that he promises will grow into blessings for them. So Oliver announced his own seed money ministry, and in the fine print said that if anyone actually sends him anything the funds will be distributed to Doctors Without Borders. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/08/24/john-oliver-has-received-thousands-of-donations-for-budding-televangelism-ministry/?hpid=z3

  40. I agree! Indigodragonfly’s Kim and Ron rock! Met them at the Twist festival a few years back. I’m sad they are so far away!

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