That flew by

Monday: I flew home from a pretty wonderful retreat in Texas with Hill Country Weavers. It was run by some pretty awesome people, and some of my favourite colleagues were there, and my students were uniformly charming and clever, and I had a super big accident in the marketplace involving Woolfolk and MustStash Yarns. I’m not sorry.  I knit all the way home on the flight, and finished the third of three projects in three days. (They were all small. More about that later.)  I didn’t take very many pictures, but here’s a few snaps to show you what all went on. Rapid fire.

1. Julie Weisenberger, Ann Budd, Clara Parkes and I all showed up to do a podcast with Stacy from MustStash Yarns and Dianne from Suburban Stitcher.

podcast 2016-03-04

Because the four of us rock it a little old school, we didn’t know it was video. This should explain why we’re dressed in the most boring clothes of all time, and my hair is funny. (Well, we can pretend my hair is funny for that reason.)

2. It was hot in Texas, or… I thought it was hot in Texas, but it turns out that it’s all perspective. While Clara (she’s from Maine) and I were the only people at the pool –

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I saw a Texan knitter wearing gloves, and dinner was moved indoors because of the “cold”.  (Every single time someone mentioned how chilly it was I giggled out loud.)

3. I am so charmed by cactus that I can’t even talk about it. It was everywhere. Just… growing. Outside. Like a real plant instead of something you coddle on your desk.

cactus 2016-03-04

4. The marketplace let knitters run a tab.  (Smart, and dangerous.)

tab 2016-03-04

Tuesday:  I thought I was jet-lagged, but it turns out I was just lagging. I tidied up, didn’t unpack, made some attempt to bring order to my universe, and went out to a meeting to plan the training rides for the Bike Rally and get organized for a big meeting the next day. I also fixed my Co-Lead’s knitting – Cameron got a little mixed up with purling, but he’s doing really well – churning out a ribbed toque that he can wear so that he can say “yes” when people ask him if he made it.

cold 2016-03-04

As I walked home I reflected on the actual meaning of the word “cold.”

Wednesday: I looked longingly at my knitting, went back and forth with Cameron about nine-hundred and eighty seven times to come up with a schedule for Team Leads to sweep all the years rides, and went to a big Team Leader meeting. I knit on the streetcar.

Thursday: Ken’s 50th Birthday – and a nod to Samantha’s 22nd. (She was away when it was her day, we’re all playing catch up.)  We had a big family dinner here, and I put 50 candles on Ken’s cake and almost burned the house down. (Not really, but it was totally amazing how much heat that thing put out.)

manycandlesken 2016-03-04 manycandles 2016-03-04 manycandleskenhot 2016-03-04

Sam got a hat I knit her for her birthday (she’s on a roll, having lost two Wurms in a row. This one was a simple slouchy hat to keep her ears warm. No pattern, I just faked it.)

samhat 2016-03-04

While I was on my way home from Texas, I knit a little cowl that was in the gift bags everyone got. A simple, fast knit – done in a day.  Everything Nice by Suzanne Middlebrooks, knit out of two half skeins of Shibui Silk Cloud.

cowldone 2016-03-04

I didn’t know who I’d knit it for, so that evening I put it up for grabs. It was instantly claimed by our young friend Keanu

keanuecowl 2016-03-04

after he checked to see how it looked on him.

topknitwear 2016-03-04

Sam made sure he didn’t get carried away. There’s only one top knitwear model in these parts.

Friday: I’m making pizza for Luis.


110 thoughts on “That flew by

  1. Sitting here wondering why the (top-down) cardigan I’ve been ignoring all week because I can’t decide how I want the ribbing to look (or if it should have some other edge) isn’t all done.

    But it’s Friday. Weekend of knitting to sort it out!!
    (plus dd wants mis-matched socks. Intentionally not matching. This does nasty things to my brain.)

  2. Running a tab – means something different from my college days – no one had credit then, we thought that ŕunning a tab’ was something only older responsible people cold do. Did not realize then that knitters were in the category.

  3. Sounds like a full week. So glad you’re back and that you had a great trip! Happy belated birthday to Sam and Ken!

  4. I spent the morning doing a mock IEP (form that details the services a child in special education received) and then spent the afternoon knitting. A nice start to my ‘spring’ break (it snowed this morning). I’ll go pick my brother up from footsal practice and cook supper for the two of us.
    Pizza for you and Louis sounds great!

  5. Time to sort out my weekend knitting. I’ll be watching the final episode of Downton Abbey and the new season of House of Cards. I will force myself to get out for some fresh air, I promise.

    • My boyfriend (from Texas) is a cactus fanatic and has a front yard full of them – they are amazing when they bloom in the most fantastic colors. My favorite nail polish (a bright pink) is one I matched to a cactus flower!

  6. Having read through 26 applications for a job in my office I thought knitting a shawl while watching a couple episodes of Mythbusters was the perfect transition to bedtime. That and reading your blog 🙂

  7. I was in Austin in January and swam in a delightfully heated and deserted hotel pool. Really, is there anything better (other than knitting)?

  8. In order:

    The other yarn companies will be soooo jealous! At least until they remember you’re the Yarn Harlot.

    1. Your hair is not funny. Not a joke from it. . . .

    2. Texans have a different definition of the word “cold.” They’re pulling on thermals while the rest of the world is in shorts. (Have you and Clara thought of a career as professional bathing beauties?)

    3. That was just one cactus. It moved from place to place just to fool you.

    4. How did you get all THAT on the plane?

    Tuesday: Yay, Cameron! YH, you may be turning into a Texan.

    Wednesday: Kinda “meh,” but no catastrophies.

    Thursday: Ken is not 50 — just celebrating the anniversary of his 39th! As for the cake, anything goes as long as the smoke detector doesn’t sound. Sam’s hat should have had Bullwinkle antlers or something else to keep her from losing it. Keanu’s lucky, and those colors look good on him.

    Friday: Luis’ turn to be lucky — Aunt Steph is spoiling him (and making me hungry)!

  9. Mon: Prep a breakfast for 110 men. Bonus, do taxes.
    Tues: Get up at 3:20am to serve previous day’s work. Wish for a nap.
    Wed: Try my washer again to make sure it is still not working.
    Thurs: Call repair service to make sure the part they ordered did actually arrive.
    Fri: Scare repairman with how grateful I am he showed up, fixed the problem, and talked the mfg. into covering it with the warranty that expired last month. Do laundry.
    THAT is a fuller week than it sounds, and no birthday cake. No birthday either, but seriously? Cake!

  10. I’ve been chugging along on my pair of toe-up socks for the first round of Sock Madness. Just finished the foot for sock #1 this morning.

    Happy Birthday Ken and Sam. I love Sam’s hat and that gorgeous cowl you made.

  11. Cactus! I grow cactus here in Michigan — native Opuntia (prickly pear cactus) which is also native to Ontario. It’ve seen in growing in the Leamington/Point Pelee area and I’m sure Toronto is enough of a hotspot to have a good patch if you wanted to grow it.

    I’m glad you’re settling in and getting some knitting (and meetings) done!

    • I have lived in West Michigan all my life. Spent way too many hours at the Lake. Yet just a few years ago while hiking in the woodsy dunes I saw cactus for the first time…here. I was so confused. Hubby is from Texas so I get the whole Texas/Cactus thing, but Here? I had had no idea prior to then. I still think it’s weird.

      • There is an Opuntia native to Rhode Island and Connecticut too. Mostly found in sandy areas near the ocean,,,

    • My neighbour is very fond of cactus. He grows some small ones in his front yard here in… Edmonton. Yes. Before seeing his front yard I had no idea such things were possible! He also has lots of different varieties of cactus growing inside his house which are moved to a greenhouse outside during warmer months.

  12. I live in Florida. Whenever a local friend posts about being cold I start counting comments until the first Northerner posts a “you don’t know cold” comment. It never takes long.

  13. As a lucky person who got to be one of your charming and clever students (whee!) I know I speak for all of us when I say we sure enjoyed having you (and Clara, and Julie) here in Texas. Even if we did have a little bit of a cold wave. But the best part of that was, we all got to wear our hand-knits at the Retreat. Thanks for coming down here and please come again. You have the best stories.

  14. I love the look on Sam’s face in the last photo. That is some major shade if I ever saw it!

    Also, I’ve been loving the Luis & pizza adventure on Instagram today 🙂

  15. You’re back! Happy Birthday, Sam and Ken!

    One of my neighbors asked everyone on the street to please come help themselves to her cactus pears, her family couldn’t eat them all.

    I confess that pear and cactus are two words that could only have been put together by some pioneer settler who was desperately, desperately homesick. Food isn’t supposed to stab you. They do look…interesting…

  16. So glad you are back! I rarely post but I read always!

    My weekend MAY include trying to knit my first pair of socks. But I’m scared of double pointed needles (lost stitches if they fall off) and reading about the heels makes me more nervous. But, heck! I’m a school teacher working in Hecksville so a little knitting shouldn’t scare me!!

      • OK, so it isn’t the heel as much as it is picking up those stitches on the side of the heel.

        Yeah, I haven’t started yet. But Steph is the Sock Queen so I’m gonna try to be one of her loyal sock makers!! I’m gonna go start in a minute . . .

          • LEGS?!
            Oh, sorry. I fainted . . .

            OK, I’m gonna start those darn socks today! I mean it!!
            Probably . . .

  17. Sitting here in the hospital sick with a huge case of bronchitis and being treated for diabetic keto acidosis. Wishing and dreaming when I’ll be well enough to finish knitting my pair of socks I’ve got on the needles. Finally, barely able to read a paragraph without hacking up a lung in the process. Living vicariously through your adventures help. Thanks for making me laugh and making me feel better! Love you!

  18. good heavens. is it sam’s increasingly wonderful character that shines through her eyes – what is it about that face. she is a stunner in her new slouch hat.

    btw, i saw the breeze/wind ripples in the pool behind the shot of the two northerners (only) out by the pool. i bet it was a tad brisk to us southerners.

    glad you are home with those who adore you.

  19. Saturday: Going to a Sensory Room at local SureStart with the 2 men in my life (boyfriend and 13 week baby) to look at pretty lights and bubbles then afternoon tea to celebrate my first Mother’s Day in 43 years!

  20. Impossibly cute tractor sweater – Tractor Pullover
    by Gail Pfeifle, Roo Designs
    Made one for my nephew and he rarely took it off. If Luis likes warm, wearable tractors.

  21. Tuesday: Met workmen who came to assess why garage door wouldn’t open. RX: need a new one.
    Wednesday: Late day eye appt; drove home in Portland dusk and steady rain with dilated eyes. Survived.
    Thursday: Appt with optometrist for refraction. No dilating!
    Friday: Witnessed will for son-in-law. Rode herd on installation of new garage door. Discovered odd spot on kitchen ceiling will require new drain in shower above, followed by new drywall in ceiling; followed by painting of pretty big kitchen ceiling. Relieved to have a large stash after all funds go to repairs!

  22. I was born and raised back east, have lived in Northern California for decades, and I am still surprised and annoyed when people complain about how cold it gets here. (I don’t live in the mountains.) Chilly. Yes. Even Very Chilly, especially when it’s wet and stormy. But far from what I think of as Cold.
    Meanwhile, Happy B’Day Ken, Friend Extraordinaire. And I am always struck by how lovely your daughters are. Top Knitwear Model, indeed.

  23. Had to laugh about your comment about swimming and “cold” weather. When I used to visit my Mom in Florida every January, we’d see folks swimming in the very cold Atlantic Ocean. She’d always turn to me and say “Canadians” by way of explanation. So yes, there’s a big difference in how we perceive cold (and hot) weather!

  24. Welcome back (touch the world – how appropriate!) Sending wishes for the happiest of birthday years to Ken, with gratitude for thinking that Steph and Blog = great idea, and to Sam – knitwear model extraordinaire.
    Knitsiam aka Bonnie

  25. Mon. Gave knitting lesson on picot bind-off to friend with twin grand babies – one blankie done!
    Tues. Oncologist appt. (re breast cancer – no chemo needed – Yay!)
    Wed. Vet with one cat for shots. She was a big hit as she’s very relaxed…um lazy
    Thurs. Freeeeeee! Worked on knit scarf for mastectomy surgeon to say thanks! (Noro stripe…bored bored bored)
    Fri. Baseline bone density test for starting hormone therapy. More knitting – scarf done!!

    Next week – nothing planned! New knitting project – yay!

    • Oh, you’re brave! Hope things are going well for you and sending blessings and healing energy. Knitting is such a comfort and you sound like you have this figured out already. *hugs* and *smiles*

      • thank you so much! knitting keeps me calm and sane during all this and the medical people here in Boise are the nicest, most caring, supportive bunch I’ve ever come across – as well as being top notch. It’s not hard to be brave when you’re surrounded with such care and love from them, my friends and people like you.

        • Not hard to be brave? Don’t short-change yourself, my dear. Healing, healing, healing thoughts are coming to you from Canada. Feeling them yet?

  26. It is Lent. Meat free foods are in vogue till the end of March this year as Easter comes early. I actually enjoy cooking differently. Smaller meals, creative uses for beans, cheese, veggies, etc. I kind of like it and may continue some recipes the rest of 2016.


    • I’m trying that too, and am surprised sometimes what I come up with. Hubby wants to eat less meat in general. Gives an interesting new twist to cooking after 40 plus years.

  27. Wonderful 🙂 I knew where you were because of Vicki Howell’s snapshot of you two. Two of my favorite knitting celebrities in one place. What a time to be alive.

  28. I think I’m slightly infatuated with Cameron despite being happily married. A toque so he can say he made it! So charming. Happy birthday to all the birthday people (Ken does NOT look 50). I just finished the 2nd of my first pair of toe-up socks, with an afterthought heel. They fit my husband well and I managed to make them identical twins rather than fraternal – first time I’ve managed that. Been a pretty good week here.

  29. This weekend is time for my annual “toss the stash” to make sure no critters have moved in and let the “I really need to make something with this” yarn rise to the top. I will also be using the “stored in” feature on Ravelry to say where it is so maybe I’ll have fewer frantic and frustrating yarn digs in my future.

    I want to see the podcast, Ken looks way younger than 50, and Sam has “a look” that could peel paint. I was surprised that the cowl didn’t unravel. Does she get that from you?

  30. Stephanie,
    My kids put 48 candles on my birthday cake once. I agree, the heat was unbelievable. Also, I lived in the great state of Texas as I was growing up. Anything below 80 is chilly there.
    Glad you had a good time and made it home without too much jet lag.

  31. We have cacti here in Canada too, in Alberta, in the badlands around Drumheller. At least, that’s where I saw them. They may be elsewhere. But ours are little guys, albeit they do put out lovely bright pink flowers too. Maybe someone who has seen them more recently than I (1983) could give us an update?

    • I’ve seen them around Drumheller, and also in the southeast parts of Alberta where it’s really dry. They are small, but the flowers are still beautiful.

  32. I think the photo of you in the snow is fabulous. Your expression says, “The up side of snow is the excuse to wear great knitwear.”

  33. I have 2 sweaters in time out… So I’m knitting on an improv sock.. Most cream with some kettles dyed blue merino cashmere blend. And working on something I’m finding super-hard and something else super scary… Thus the sock… Super easy

      • One is mostly black. 48 inches around, 18 inches of black stockinette. Black. in the dead of winter. What was I thinking?

        The other is bright, almost neon, green, picked out by my oldest granddaughter. It was going fine until I got to the yoke… I’m having trouble making the snowflakes fit nicely. It needs a little thinking time to make the pattern, which is only in my head so far, come out correctly… also decided that the black I was putting in threw off the bright of the rest of the sweater, so had to pull that back.

  34. a) Down here, we wish that the white tail deer would eat the cactus and cedar trees, and then someone would relocate the deer. b) Your green hat looks a bit like a cactus.

  35. That last pic is just priceless. Love the look on both their faces.
    Keanu: I’m totally rockin this. I am America’s Next Top Knitwear Model. I am not afraid of Sam. I am not afraid of Sam. Do not make eye contact.
    Sam: Ahem. I am The World’s Greatest Knitwear Model. You are afraid of me. Look at me Keanu. Look at me.

  36. I have lost my knitting mojo…. courtesy of the dr. Who scarf, second sock syndrome and gimmie gulls at work who seem to think because i knit, i MUST knit for them and their offspring that will be coming into the world over the summer months….

    I buy yarn, i plan projects, but can’t seem to focus long enough to sctually knit anything 🙁

    • That sounds like me – well, the having the supplies and plans but not knitting. Here’s hoping your mojo comes back and I actually get some!

  37. Welcome home. I am so close to finishing Wurm in Madeleinetosh Vintage in Daffodil – ran out of yarn – the colour is discontinued! *gasp* Now trawling the Internet looking for one of the last skeins in existence! DD2 home for Reading Week – we marathoned Last Tango in Halifax and I finished Sock the First of Darjeeling from The Knitter’s World of Socks in IndigoDragonfly “Where’s the Regeneration Switch on this Convertible” – Dr Who meets Downton Abbey. Gotta love those names!

  38. I bet if the next hat you make for Sam has antlers and a chin strap, she will miraculously ‘find’ lost hat or knit her own replacement. (Have you checked her friends’ instagram accounts? Are they rocking handknits?)

  39. I thought, “Oh my, who would wear that incredibly clashy cowl?” …and then I saw it on a fashionable young man. I get it now.

    Oh, but this weekend I helped run a swing dance event for 200+ people. Dances ran roughly 8 PM – 4 AM, for three days. Suffice it to say that I am also playing a bit of catch-up.

    • Isn’t it great? I too looked at it and thought, ‘hmm, interesting choice of colors’– but it looks great on Keanu. Which suggests that maybe I need to be a bit more adventurous!

  40. Income taxes. Glad that’s over!

    The hill country is may favorite part of Texas. I lived in San Antonio for just over a decade and the Dallas/Fort Worth area for another 3. I don’t miss the summers, but spring time in Texas is magnificent. Both weeks of it! Did you see bluebonnets? Thanks for stirring some happy memories.

  41. All that white stuff on the cactus you’re standing by? It’s cochineal bugs, and it dyes things a delightful magenta color. Just another way cactus is awesome 🙂

  42. I am so in love with your Canadian-isms! And of course it is all knitterly love. Glad your keeping your cold on! Spring is really just around the corner! How far away and where that corner is I do not know.

  43. Oh– Woolfolk! I love their beautiful, soft yarn. I just finished a cowl with their fingering weight and want more. It is so soft and lovely to work with! Glad I wasn’t there because being able to run a tab in the marketplace sounds very, very dangerous!

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