Only the lonely

Note: I started writing this on Sunday and things went completely sideways after that.  For the record, this Co-Chair job is only picking up speed over the last week to departure, and the workload, while manageable, is constant. I’m so looking forward to riding my bike 100km a day AS A BREAK, and how crazy is that? It took until today to finish and post. Bear with me, my lovelies. Things are pretty wild over here. (PS Joe is not back yet.)

Joe’s away this weekend, attending a music festival out west – and it has left me happily and completely alone. Not to say that I don’t miss him (I do) and not to say that I’m not lonely (I am) but it’s left me able to focus almost completely on catching up on a million things.  I have a long to-do list, but wing of moth and tie of skein, I am actually getting it done.  I am mere hours away from being caught up on the housework – so close in fact that if someone were to ring my doorbell right now I’d almost consider opening it.  (Almost. I have to resolve the risk that they’d get stuck down to the kitchen floor first.)  The Bike Rally Co-Chair inbox is a single screen’s worth of panic, rather than pages and pages. I haven’t even opened my personal inbox, but tomorrow’s another day.

Yesterday I got up early, scraped a layer off the kitchen, poured a coffee, and sat down at my desk and worked on the Bike Rally stuff for five hours. After that amount of time I still had buckets to do and was feeling sort of defeated, looking wistfully out the window at a world where it seemed that everyone except for me was having a good time, and right on cue, I got a text.  It was Cameron, suggesting an afternoon at the beach with a few friends, and in a wave of maturity I can only describe as heroic, I declined the invitation. He pressed a little, and to be truthful, that was all the resistance I had in me. I folded faster than a laundry and an hour after that I was on a water taxi, headed across the harbour to the island. The weather wasn’t that great – the water was choppy and the sky grey, and a few times I thought about how stupid it was that I’d chosen to ditch work for a not-great reward.  I was wrong. By the time I’d walked to the beach on the other side, things were much better. Warm, and sunny (from time to time) and the water was glorious and the wind out on the lake had brought up big waves to play in (not ocean big, but still fun) and we played frisbee for a while (I retain my perfect record of never catching a single throw) and I knit.

It. Was. Perfect.  I was home before dark, finishing my sock on the streetcar, and got home in time to put the news on the radio and do about 87 more tasks before making myself toast for dinner and falling into bed.  At the time, I felt like I was shirking my responsibilities, but today there’s (another) Bike Rally function, and that rest yesterday did me so much good that I’m really looking forward to going to it. The idea of tomorrow’s meeting no longer makes me want to hide in a darkened room and knit garter stitch, and the level of hysteria I feel when I realize we leave in a week is almost manageable.

Seven Five more days, and while Team Knit haven’t yet met our (public) fundraising goals (we all have private ones as well) we’re still hoping to get there. I’ve got a while before I leave the house (again, even though it is now Tuesday) so let’s see how many Karmic Balancing Gifts I can get through.  If you’re just catching up with what’s up, you can read the post about how this works here, and because somebody always asks, here’s our fundraising links. Team Knit is:

Me                                    Ken

Pato                                 Cameron

(For the record, and in case I haven’t mentioned it, almost all of Team Knit is fulfilling Leadership Roles this year.  I’m Co-Chair, Ken is a Team Lead, Cameron is Co-Lead of Rider Team Leads, and Pato – he’s resting from being Recruitment Co-Lead last year. We’re really trying to make a difference, and we’re putting our time and energy where our mouths are.)


Julie has a lovely 280-yard hank of worsted weight yarn from Spittin’ Creek Farm ( in Xenia, Ohio. It’s an alpaca/merino/tussah silk blend, and the color is Bright Jade. Julie’s generous enough that she’s sending this along to live with Megan M.

Next up, a gorgeous handpainted double sock blank (462 yards, 100g, fingering weight, merino/nylon) from Anne, at the Twisted Fleece. The colourway is “Sittin’ on the Dock” and it’s part of her Summer Love series.

It’s so very pretty, like sunshine sparkles on water, and it will be winging it’s way to Robyn R.  Anne’s not done though!

That’s 1 skein of speckle dyed 70%baby alpaca, 30%silk, 875 yards (about 807 m), 190 grams. This is a fine laceweight.  Colorway: “Celebration” in honor of Team Knit and all those riding in and supporting the PWA Bike Rally. The Twisted Fleece (that’s Anne) will be sending that along to Stirling.

Amy is parting with this lovely book – Victorian Lace Today.  (I own this book, and I absolutely love it.)

She’s somehow going to imagine a life without it, and send it to Olivia P.

Here’s a big one – a tremendously generous gift from Tanja Luescher

She’s giving away not five, not ten, but TWENTY EBOOKS.  Recipeints can choose between Stories of Inspiration,


Hubby Needs Socks,

The Cat Collection,

or they can make their own e-book of any 7 of her patterns – excluding Daddy’s Prayer Shawl. (Tanja is ridiculously kind, and that one is dedicated to another cause.) The lucky knitters are: Elizabeth H, Jen G, Debra L, Lisa B, Erica TC, Lucy N, Dianne G, Lori B, Danielle D, Karen F, Sue, Sara D, Lynda K, Ruth Ann H, Annette A, Bridget K, Barb, Linda W, Chelsy J, Elizabeth L, and Brenda C. (Whew.)

Anik has 2 skeins of Cherry Hill Yarn Supersock Select (right from her cozy little stash)

It’s 840 yds (768.1 m) of fingering yarn in Riverbank, and it will be soon on it’s way to MIchelle R.  Thank you Anik!

Kate is somehow (I cannot imagine how she’s doing it) has FOUR gifts to give away.

1. Yarn Chef 75/25 BFL/silk, 4 oz- She’ll send that along to Kate F.

2. Becoming Art BFL in Dread Pirate Roberts, 4 oz for Raven J.

3. Mudpunch Slash Self-Striping Sock in Ten Percenter, a spectacular gift for Rachel M.
4. Stitch Together Stitch Skinny in Melted Peeps to knock the (future) socks off of Meagan.
Next up, and as a writer, I love this one – Elizabeth Hall (who is an actual, honest to gosh writer – and a knitter) has donated a copy of her book The Music of the Deep. I have provided you there with a link to buy it, because it sounds terrific.  Beth says “It is set on a fictional island in Washington, and includes a group of spinners and knitters who welcome Alexandra Turner, after she leaves her abusive husband. It also includes the stories of the Southern Resident Killer Whales (orcas) in this area.” Good, right?  I do love me a novel with some knitting content. Elizabeth will be signing that for Linda L.
Jessie McKitrick is a designer, and she’s donating a copy of her Chesterfield Slippers pattern (a Chesterfield is a couch, here in Canada) and she’s throwing in a skein of Lagoon DK (in the colour of the recipients choice.) That recipient is Annie S, and she’ll be picking not just the colour, but an extra pattern from Jessie’s shop as well. Thanks to both of you!
That is, my little butterflies, more than thirty gifts, and a lot of emails.  I’m pretty sure I’ll be back tomorrow, I’ve got “a day off.” which we use here to mean that I don’t have to go to a meeting, just sit at my desk and try desperately to catch up. I think I can do it.
I’ll try to post. I’ll drink extra coffee. Thanks for everything.



33 thoughts on “Only the lonely

  1. Thank you for taking that time off at the beach. We all need a healthy, happy Stephanie Pearl-McPhee in the world, and that means the occasional rest to recuperate.

  2. Thank You! And Team Knit! And all those kind people who donated karmic balancing gifts. Good for you for going to the beach, and recharging.

  3. Olivia P is ever so grateful for the efforts you and Team Knit go through for such a wonderful cause. I’ve recently set my sights on beading lace and a karmic balancing book on lace is heading my way. How cool is that?!

  4. Rest days are just as important…. today was mine…. brain candy (“Spanglish” while knitting) and i put my cell phone on do not disturb.

  5. A break is a god thing, so is knitting. I love the generosity of people who have donated karmic balancing gifts. I love the range of new things I get to explore and dream about. A new book and author. Apologies to Tanja as think of you as designing nifty socks. Must start my holiday suggestion list now with a few things that caught my eye.

  6. You’ve been writing about the chesterfield for 14 years and now you tell us a chesterfield is a couch! I always had something more unusual in mind, like something Freud would have his patients lie on. Anyhow, keep plugging away . I’m glad you found time for some fun. I’ll make a donation for your ride in honor of the chesterfield.

  7. Your description of that lovely break and that water was heavenly even for us who only read about it–so glad you went, and thank you for all you do for so many. You’re the best.

  8. Thank you again for giving us so many opportunities to contribute to such an important effort!
    Thanks, too for your lovely words, to say nothing of the chance to drool over gorgeous yarn, roving, books and patterns. I’m always on the lookout for books that combine mystery and knitting!
    Anne of Twisted Fleece

  9. Anyone can write “I went to the beach and it was great” but you set the scene, describe the characters, introduce the plot complications, and so on through the story arc to the resolution. I like that. It means more.

  10. I know I’m way out of the loop and/or not paying attention and what, exactly, is the cause for which you are biking and working your posterior off? (Bad sentence construction, I know.) I’m on the proverbial “limited income”, with minimal discretionary spending money, so I like to be sure that causes I support financially are also causes in which I have an emotional investment. Doesn’t have to make sense.

    • She’s doing the annual bike ride from Toronto to Montreal to raise money for People living with AIDS. It’s a five or six-day ride, and quite an accomplishment. Stephanie and her team are usually the top fund-raisers in the group, making other people wonder what it is about knitters that they do this every year.

  11. Wow! What a post. You made me laugh when I read about the frisbee game. That’s okay, you wear glasses, it’s a good excuse for not being able to see the frisbee. Your post years ago about falling off of you bike made me feel better, too. My father always taught us, “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.” The beach sounds like it was wonderfully therapeutic. I have made a decision to accept all invitations from friends, now that I’m older. It’s amazing how the ego will try to talk me out of going. Keep up the great work!

  12. Just dropping in to offer one more voice of support. I’m so glad you were able to get some respite at the beach. I’m also just so proud of you for your hard work. We have never meet and likely never will, but I still feel like I can say that I’m proud of you. 🙂

  13. Late as I am to the party, I want to publicly gush my thanks to Tanja Leuscher for her generous karmic offering! I had such fun browsing and selecting patterns and mentally pairing them (or at least trying to) with yarns in my stash.

    Stephanie, your kindness attracts kindness. Thank you for creating such a loving space!

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