Not Deleted

Well, hell.  So much for posting more regularly.  To be fair to myself, I did write far more regularly, I just didn’t hit “post” on all of them, I’ve developed a terrible habit of second guessing myself. I think it’s a pandemic byproduct and possibly the consequence of only wearing soft pants now.  So much of my time is still spent kicking around the house alone that it’s like I’m out of practice when it comes to communicating.  I honestly can’t wait for the vaccines to come along for kids Elliot’s age, though for sure it won’t be this year and another long quiet winter stretches out in front of me like some depressingly slow marathon I’ve got to get through. Honk if you never would have thought that a pandemic took this long.

That’s what a bunch of the posts were about, the ones I didn’t send you.  One particularly whiny one about all my American friends gathering without me (the border was still closed at the time so it was out of the question.  It’s open now, but you’ve got to do a really expensive molecular test to get back into Canada if you leave, and though I’m vaccinated and unlikely to get sick, the consequences of testing positive at the border coming home are disastrous.  While I can sort of romanticize a two week hotel quarantine in the US as a fantastic knitting opportunity, the reality would be considerably less cool.) There was another one about cancelling other trips, one about canning the gingerbread party or trying to figure out a way to move it outdoors.  (We still have a gathering limit here – and all the kids remain unvaccinated, of course.)  I wrote a whopper about Christmas. I don’t need to tell you what any of them said – you can assume they all ran along the lines of “I would like my previous life back please” though considerably less politely phrased.*

That said, all this time whinging around the house is good for knitting production, and in the month of October I just pounded out the knitwear. Ready for a roundup? Here’s everything I finished. First, it was Socktober after all, and I managed three pairs – all headed for the Long Range Planning box (which is really rather short range now, but let’s think about that another day, shall we?)

These are Verbena, in a vintage skein of Dream in Color Everlasting. One drawback of a well aged stash is that this skein of lovely stuff is discontinued now, which is a real shame because it was great sock yarn. Just terrific.  The colour (sadly, also now discontinued) is Victoria.

These beauties are Rumpelstiltskin,  and the yarn was Drops Fabel in Turquoise.

Photographed in the most perfect setting ever – though my arse just about froze to a rock while Meg took the pictures.

(This was a deleted post as well – we took off for a few days North as a consolation prize for Rhinebeck and Joe’s birthday. We had a bit of hiking and snow and Meg and I got to go to IndigoDragonfly and… I forget why I deleted that. These are strange times.)

The third pair was another vintage skein, and I always feel bad when I pull these out and use them because I know that it’s sort of unfair to show you pretty things and then have them turn out to be like unobtainium,  but it turns out that this is pretty frequently available.  The pattern is nothing fancy, just my plain regular sock pattern, but the yarn is from Must Stash, and is part of their Galactic battle series. This one’s Stardust, inspired by Rogue One’s Jyn Erso. (Right now they have their holiday collection up- but this this colourway will be back.)

(This was another deleted post – one about how much I miss shopping for American yarn.  I used to buy it when I visited and now it’s been so long. I’d order it online but I made that mistake at the beginning of the pandemic and the duties and import fees doubled the price of the whole shebang.  I deleted it because I in no way am running short on American yarn and deserve no pity. I have at least 15 skeins of Must Stash yarn and am absolutely in no crisis. I just… miss it, which is super dumb because I can visit it upstairs anytime I want. Also- there’s no shortage of fantastic Canadian dyers in the meantime and goodness knows I’ve shopped.)

Finally, last but certainly not least – Ken’s sweater is done and I’m pretty sure he’s wearing it every single day. (I deleted a post about this too – something about missing hugging and spending real time with my friends- but I realized this sweater is pretty close to a hug and it’s not like I haven’t had a few over the last year when some people are still totally separated from their families, so that’s gone too. I’ll take what I can get.)

I’m completely pleased with how this sweater turned out.  I used two strands of Holst Garn Supersoft Uld held together – the colour is “Ember”.  I love this yarn, and I think it’s really often overlooked – it’s called supersoft, but in the ball it is anything but. It’s scratchy and stiff and contains spinning oils and the name seems like a joke until you give it a wash and it blooms and turns into this gorgeous fabric.  I think Ken was concerned that I considered it a next-to-the-skin yarn when I bought it, but he’s convinced now.

The pattern is Oshima for him, though I really think that the only difference between it and Oshima (presumably for her?) is a cowl collar and a different size range. (Oshima goes from 34-54″ chests, and Oshima for him is 40-59″)

It’s got a lot of fiddly details, like tubular cast ons and bind offs, and tricksy brioche increases and decreases but I ask you – If a tubular cast on doesn’t say love, what the hell does, and it’s completely worth it for Ken. I love him to bits, but the way he loves hand knits makes him the perfect recipient every, single, time.

That’s it for now, but I promise not to delete the next post which has very much to do with the fact that I managed to put together that it’s only 39 days until Christmas.

Who knew?

*BTW, It’s worth noting here, before it erupts, there are vivid cultural/country differences in the approach to COVID, as well with personal and familial differences in risk tolerance, and all of these add up to a lot of ways that people can behave right now and still be doing the right thing for them or where they live.  It is remarkable to note for example- that while it’s estimated that more than 40% of Americans have had the virus, only 4% of Canadians have. Without wanting to debate our approaches, I bet we can agree that’s evidence of a big cultural gap.  Similarly, many families/people I know who have no contact with kids or high risk adults are living lives a lot more normal than those of us who have family responsibilities to those vulnerable others. It is remarkable to me that at the beginning of the pandemic you were a jerk if you weren’t restricting enough, and now some people are angry if you haven’t loosened up in a way that reflects their risk threshold rather than yours. If I see someone taking risks I wouldn’t,  I assume that risk doesn’t have the same consequences in their life or family that it would in mine.  

PS. There’s something up with the software I use to control spam comments, it’s making me manually approve everything. Please trust that you’re not being moderated (except to make sure you’re human) and I’m working on it! If your comment doesn’t show up right away, it’s not you, you’re just fine. You’re perfect.

143 thoughts on “Not Deleted

  1. Dear Harlot, I saw my only grand baby for the first time in 5 months this weekend, I know how you feel, and I don’t need to read the deleted posts to also know what they say. Virtual hugs to you all.

  2. Missed reading your contemplative, funny, and sometimes soul searching posts. Here in the NY hinterlands we are experiencing another upswing in Covid cases, so we are back on our cautious daily practices when we are out in the world. Yes, folks raise eyebrows when we mask up, even as we have had our full rounds of shots (and are finally getting access to boosters), so I commiserate with your last comments. No Rhinebeck or NE Fiber Festival for me this year (or last year), but I sorted the stash and found some amazing treasures to keep me busy this winter!

  3. I hope you are well! The posts you deleted felt like tiny precious capsules of this weird life we are living now. I think understand why you deleted them, but I hope they aren’t gone gone because they felt like a part of history. Much love to you and your family and the blog

  4. Your socks look wonderful. One of these days I will be courageous enough to try to knit socks. I always look forward to your posts. I’m sure the ones you deleted would have been good to read. Prayers and hugs to you and your family.
    Anna

  5. I can sympathize with your deleted posts. I’m living a less restricted life than yours, but I don’t go out much socially. This means when I see my kids, I really have very little to talk about. They really aren’t interested in what we had for dinner or watched on tv, and that’s about all I have to add to the conversation.

    At the very beginning of this a health professional on tv said it could take 2 years to get through the pandemic. I thought they were wildly exaggerating. I couldn’t imagine 2 years of restrictions. Hah, the joke is on me. We’ll be lucky to be anywhere near normal at the 2 year mark.

    This Thanksgiving I’ll be grateful for the people I can see and the normal I do have.

  6. First?!
    Ken’s sweater looks AMAZING! Congrats on getting it finished and on the recipient! And yes, it’s wonderful to gift knitting to people who understand the process!

    Also – the socks are all lovely! I need to get back into sock knitting – I’ve been stuck on cowls for a while now (and also not knitting as much as I would like, but oh well).

    I did NOT realize that only 4% of the population of Canada have had COVID-19. I’m on the US side of the border, and at least my state has done a good job with getting folks vaccinated, but yeah…the whole ordeal has been so much more painful that it should have been.

  7. It is a sticky wicket to understand how people act with this blasted pandemic. Over these months I am willing to give grace to all, and do my beat to respect others choices. It’s tough sometimes!
    In the meantime…that sweater is lovely.
    Margaret in Port Ludlow, missing the retreats…

    • oh Margaret, i miss them too! once in a while my computer throws up a picture from Port Ludlow and I get sad. I really miss my friend Judy from the retreats, although we Instagram and comment. But its not the same as in person and solving the worlds problems in her room with copious amounts of wine…..

  8. Seriously, I’m just happy to see you post.

    And. Yeah. So much is so hard! The soft pants part is pretty nice, though. I’m having to wear a bra today. It’s balls.

  9. Regarding Dream In Color – have you considered looking on Ravelry for sellers? Perhaps someone in CA is selling it?

    Also, I miss the hugs too. I too am bitter. I miss my people. I resent that the pandemic is shining a light on our selfishness. I’m angry that it has stolen so much of my life. But then I try to remember that this is nothing like the wars, or like the Great Depression. Or many other things. Still, I grump.

    Thank you for blogging.

  10. I get why you deleted all those posts, but for the record, it helps knowing others are having the same thoughts and feelings and days of self-pity and days of stiff upper lip as me, so would have read them all with great delight.

    Love the knitwear, it’s all scrumptious!

  11. Hearing about the deleted posts brings to mind the story in one of your earlier books or blog posts about how you would hide the totally realistic mess of living with little people before other moms came over, and I think it was your mom who mentioned that it was maybe giving the other moms the idea that you had it more together than they did, so they had more pressure on them to do the same. When in reality you were doing just fine, and so were they. Kids are messy lol. For me, I’d rather read more posts, and see more on the various social media platforms about how people are really doing, and not just the “one clean, styled room” in the house. We may not all be in the same place, or loosening up at the same rate, but we should be normalizing that fact, and speaking up about where we as individuals/families etc. are at. As well as seeing all the knitting getting done, and undone and redone.

    • I was going to say the same…we’re all in the weird, stressful era of wishing we had our old life back so your musings about how much you miss your old life will be a comfort right about now. I’m in the US, so your hearty Canadian responses to the challenges we are all facing is reassuring to me against the backdrop of the extreme and confusing political landscape we seem to have cultivated down here. There are still healthy, wise, crafty, and informed people out there! Just another vote to hit publish if you have taken the time to write out your thoughts.

    • I agree. I live in Washington State. Early in all this, a friend said: “Canadians must feel like they live in an apartment over a Meth Lab.” My friends and I continue to limit exposure, wear masks, and grumble about missing our “previous life.” Stay safe and healthy. Miss you when you don’t post!

  12. Thanks for coming back! We miss you, and we’d all love to see more frequent blogs . . . and you’ve got a life, as much as we have, so we’ll just shut up and take what we get, just as we expect other people to do for us.

    And the socks are truly gorgeous. I’m sitting here trying to get a baby blanket done before the American Thanksgiving (when baby’s family will be here) and daydreaming about the things I’ll knit when it’s not all blanket all the time. Like socks.

  13. Well haven’t you been a busy bee! Thanks for the intro to new sock patterns. Once upon a time I swore I’d never do anything but your basic sock pattern. But lo and behold, after 20+ pairs I’m considering trying a new (to me) pattern. Nice roundup of completed work.

  14. Beautiful finished projects! Yes, everyone is responding to this pandemic in different, very personal ways and we all need to be kind to all the different responses. Thank you for the note at the end.

  15. I love your PS add on about Risk. Some/many people HAVE to maintain higher risk barriers. My family doesn’t. So in California my family can go to an eat in restaurant (that’s probably the most risky thing we do.) BUT we are still masking up in public to help protect everybody, including ourselves. I really believe with the expanded vaccinations and masking until March, we can get this thing under control. Lowering the risk for everyone protects everyone, including my family too.

  16. I hope the Canadian kiddos have access to the vaccine soon. The look of relief on parents of young children’s faces when the vaccine became available for 5-11 year old children here in the States was such a gift for everyone. Your posts of pretty knitted things are one of the gifts that keeps me going through covid! Along with the vaccine and the booster! And access to yarn of my own!

  17. Love, love, love it all! And I agree completely with your comment at the bottom about varying risk etc. One day we will be able to look back at this time, but being in it can certainly suck! Not the least is people getting caught in their opinions and disagreements. Anyway thanks for your knitting and all. Also thanks for your patreon posts; I used the latest on the other day for a shawl I’m knitting.

  18. Oh my gosh, welcome back! <3

    And I will never tire of seeing wonderful, discontinued yarns; it lets me know what to look for in thrift store and at yard sales.

  19. Gracious, as always, in your comments. Love the socks. And perfect timing for the sweater as the backdrop for Ken’s photo shoot is so apropos. Stay safe and well.

  20. Thank you so much for posting. I know it’s difficult to do anything, and you have been pretty good on the Patreon videos. . . but I also realize that I specifically miss you and the blog. The videos are different.
    Thank you, too, for your note about doing what makes sense for each individual. Isn’t that always the truth. . .
    My dear nephew has just started knitting (and banged out a lace tablecloth as a first project. Um.) and I told him that the blog is a necessity.

  21. Am I really the first to comment?

    I was just thinking yesterday that it feels a bit like we might be in this pandemic forever. Sure, past pandemics ended, but this time we have vaccines and drugs to treat it and know more about how it’s spread, and yet things don’t seem to be any better. So I hear you and I totally get it. Go pet some yarn — it’ll make you feel better, I’m sure.

  22. Love the gorgeous FOs! Ken’s sweater looks amazing! I keep debating on whether or not to try out Holst Garn; I think I’m ready to jump in…how lovely!

    Thanks for not deleting this one; it’s always so wonderful to see a new post from my all time favorite. 🙂

  23. Stephanie,
    Thank you for saying, in your inimitable way, the absolutely right-on aspect of what’s going on now. I am a Canadian living in Ireland. The disconnect in dealing with Covid, between what’s right for ‘business / keeping economy open/ etc ‘ and what’s right for you-in-your-own-family-trying-to-keep-everyone-safe is huge. I think, like charity, it starts at home.The problem is that most don’t think it through (they read the headlines, follow the social media you already agree with, etc), and there is far too much ‘social media’ overload clouding the thoughts of those that don’t want to spend any real mental effort into thinking it through. I’m not sure where it goes from here, but it’s clear we’re going to be dealing with all of this – world-wide epidemic, climate change, whatever –
    for a longer time than most of us over 50 ever had to confront. God help us all.

  24. I have the same problem! I have a blog post all written up, but I don’t feel like it is interesting enough, so I want to keep adding to it, then any events is now out of date and “old news”

  25. The Canadian approach protects the people. The American approach is the wild west. I’m fully vaccinated with a booster, but still not taking any chances due to asthma. So good of you to take care of your family, friends, society, and yourself. Wish we were doing the same.

    Lovely knitting, by the way. Thanks for the post. I really needed it. I’m a bubble of one.

  26. It’s one of those awkward things which this last year or so has really highlighted, that it feels somehow wrong or entitled to say that you’re tired, or stressed, or just Had It when others have things worse.
    And yet others being more tired, or more stressed, or having to cope with more crap doesn’t make whatever you’re dealing with magically go away.
    But it still feels weird to claim your own struggle.

  27. I’m glad it’s not just me who is writing and not posting. I’ve cranked up the knitting lately. I live in a southern state in the US and am from Australia, so the weather right now is like the depths of winter over there. lol. I’m onto the second sock using your recipe from my well loved and used copy of Knitting Rules. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has found and continues to find joy in your books

  28. Honk, honk, honk!
    Thanks for not deleting and for sharing your words and your knitting. Lovely stuff, as always. I enjoy your pictures on instagram, but I love your writing here.
    No erupting, I hope. I too am sad about the maddening, tedious, frustrating, heart-breaking, life-on-hold situation we have at the moment and it’s hard (but less hard than having to look at yourself in the mirror if you were responsible for passing covid on to a vulnerable person). I’m in a (the) hot-spot province. There was loosening but it didn’t feel very well thought-out and the rocketing rates seem to confirm that perhaps it wasn’t. Also – and this speaks more to my math skills than anything – the vaccine is touted as 95% effective. That sounds pretty good, and given past efficacy rates for vaccinations, it is very, very good. Then I realised that 95% means that 1 in 20 double-vaccinated people can still get covid. Yes, I know those numbers are the same, but 1 in 20 doesn’t sound nearly as good, emotionally.
    Luckily, the grandkids (5 & 8) are in our bubble, so there are still hugs. My husband still has his clinic office at the hospital, the grands are in school, and that seems plenty risky just now. (I can max out my excitement quotient watching speckled yarn change colour, so perhaps I am not the bar.) We can wait until it is safer to venture further out, and if that means another just-us Christmas, so be it. I’ve knit a couple of little bunnies (and outfits!) and there might be a couple more coming; there are ample pretty skeins in my stash (I tell myself there are enough. I almost believe it). There is wild wind and snow outside, I am safe and warm, and there is knitting and it’s all good.
    Off now to have another look at the blanket-worth of yarn I have squirreled away. Maybe it’s time to commit to something big.

    • If I am not mistaken, 95% effective means that 95% of those who would have been infected won’t be.
      So if, say, a virus generally infects a hundred people out of every unvaccinated thousand who are exposed to it, then a 95% effectiveness means that only five of a vaccinated thousand will be infected when exposed – not fifty of them.
      Disclaimer: am not an epidemiologist, but was confused myself until I saw a sciency person’s explanation for non-sciency people.

      • Ack. Thanks, D. You are correct.

        My mistake. I was comparing apples and oranges. Stats were of number of double-vaccinated people out of the total cases (according to PHAC, of Canada’s total covid cases from dec20 to oct21, 6% were partially vac and 7% fully vac), not breakthrough cases out of the pool of double-vac people (~0.5%). Sorry about that, Stephanie. I should have been more careful.

  29. Not deleted and not defeated! When I get discouraged I like to look back and see where I’ve come from. It’s definitely better now than a year ago… but man, this is really a bit much isn’t it.

  30. No matter where you live, navigating this stretch of the pandemic calls for space and grace. While you would like to shop for American yarn, I’m in the US and would like to shop for Canadian yarn. Go figure. The yarn grass is always greener on the other side.

  31. Thanks for the great photos – such a great sweater! – and especially the footnote. Knitting has been key in the pandemic, no matter whether a lot or a little was actually knit.

  32. Thank you for the cultural differences about how we live through these times. It’s hard not to get judgey and you do a good job explaining. I run this my head constantly when in public pretending that I am confronted about my mask wearing and answering “you don’t look like my doctor”. No one knows another’s reasons for being careful.
    Your knitting is inspiring all of us to knit our stash. I do long for some of your beautiful Canadian yarns I can wait until I again get to visit.

  33. Thanks for your note at the bottom. It is all about risk assessment. I am living in an area of high transmission and work in healthcare (outpatient). I am back to wearing an N95 whenever I am indoors in a public space and when I see patients for face to face visits. I carefully choose if and when I will gather with others, taking into account their risk threshold too.

    Lovely socks and so much productivity! I have been anything but productive in regards to my knitting these past months.

  34. Oops I think my browser ate my comment.
    Thanks for the great photos – and the on-point footnote. Knitting has been so important over the pandemic, no matter how much I actually knit.

  35. I have also been enjoying orders from the Must Stash collection recently, & look forward to their updated listings on Tuesdays. If I planned ahead, it would save some shipping costs, but then I wouldn’t have more packages to look forward to, which are most welcome in these solitary times of isolation. The finished socks are pretty much perfection!
    So if Must Stash happens to run out during the pandemic, might I contact you, YH, to place an order since you seem to have a boatload (or is that a ship’s container-load)?

  36. So well put. These last almost 2 years, weren’t hard enough without shaming people for doing the best for their lives and personal situations? Kindness, people. Grace, Mercy. I understand the reluctance to not post the blogs you thought were whiny. But it makes us all feel not alone in our sometimes (oftentime? ) unjustified whining. We love hearing from you. ❤️

  37. I don’t think I’ve ever been first to leave a comment. But I’m glad to see you posting, and I hope it all gets better for everybody soon. Love to all from Texas.

  38. I tried to leave a comment, but I don’t see that it came through. If it did, I’m sorry for posting twice. If not, then hi from Texas!

  39. I admire and envy the way Canadians have endured multiple, hard lockdowns and have embraced vaccines. If we had done the same in the U.S., many lives would have been saved.

  40. If you ever get stuck south of the border, come stay with me in Albuquerque! Your many fans would be happy to host you, even during a pandemic. And the way things are going, our Blue states may soon be asking to become part of Canada – just think of the shopping possibilities if we were one country!

  41. Sending much love, Steph. How you manage to be honest and tactful respectful at the same time is so wonderful. Guess that’s called love.

    • Agreed!!! I’m going to reread your gracious take on all this complexity that is differing risk-tolerance levels, and probably quote you directly to myself whenever one of Those Conversations is looming…

  42. Thank you for this new post! I’ve been missing you, but understanding how life these days is different. Beautiful socks! And Ken’s sweater is just gorgeous. I am struggling to get to working on two dishcloths for a grand-niece, who will be setting up an apartment next year at university. I’m just finding it hard to match up the wanting to knit with the will to do it, if that makes sense. It’s that way with other things too. Vacuuming for instance. LOL

    • “Match up the wanting with the doing,” you hit that nail squarely on its head! That’s exactly how I’ve been feeling these past 20(?) months; the list of things I want to get done grows as the will to do them, or anything, fades dimmer. If only we could see a light at the end of this tunnel!

  43. Such important points at the end of this post. I was criticised for not hugging and kissing someone in the summer, but as I pointed out; we are all carrying out our own risk assessments every time we go out. When we have vulnerable people we have to be careful to do all we can to keep them safe.

  44. According to the New York Times COVID tracker today, since January 2020 1 in 7 people in the US have contracted COVID, or a bit over 14%, not 40%.

    • I got interested in this discrepancy (14% v. 40%) the other day, and looked it up, so here goes: The 14% are people who got sick, had a test done, and were confirmed to have COVID-19. But, there’s a study out of Columbia University’s public health school, just published, that examines other indicators of COVID-19 infection. (presence of antibodies, etc) Lots of people have become ill with something that looks and sounds and acts like COVID, who weren’t tested and weren’t diagnosed, and so don’t appear in the 14% number. Their conclusion was that approximately 40% of people in the U.S. have had COVID.

      • Blessings, Adele! Someone who can make sense of statistics, sort out the wheat from the chaff – then make *sense* of it…!

        Gratefully,
        Maura

      • Not on the primary topic of knitting, but are you aware of a comparable study for Canada? Just wondering if Canada’s 4% includes only tested & diagnosed patients, or how many may be presumed to have had COVID. I’ve noticed with US statistics that the basis often differs. Thank you, & happy knitting!

      • Thanks for posting those references. Who would have thought that footnotes might be useful for this blog!?
        Now, back to the socks already underway….

      • Thank you so much! It’s not easy to be educated/informed on this, even though there is ‘data’ everywhere. Stay safe, thank you for writing, and I hope you get to shop across the border soon!

  45. Seconding the love for Holst Garn Supersoft. Also for their Coast, a wool/cotton blend. Big range of colours, well-priced even if you factor in postage to Australia – if you’re into wooly wools, which I am, what’s not to love?
    Ken’s jumper is a triumph.

  46. So beautiful socks and sweater—sweater fits Ken perfectly and the color is very becoming on him.
    I always enjoy reading your blog, one of my simple pleasures of life, for whatever subjects you write about—knitting, holidays, your life, your family, your opinions, etc, you write very thoughtfully.

  47. Will there be a Christmas spreadsheet this year? I am always impressed with people who aspire and can even get it together enough to think about doing that level of organization.

  48. Dear Steph,
    You are not alone in living carefully ATM taking into account your high-risk loved ones (kiddos).
    It’s been so hard for me to watch others open up and head back to normal while in my family we remain cautious, but I’m telling myself it’s a sign of love.

    We someday will look back on this time and see how much we loved each other, enough to NOT see them or NOT meet, just to protect them. We continue to stay home as a show of love for each other.

    We can do it.

    You’re not alone.

    Thank you for posting as you did; I really needed your strength today. You make a difference every time.

  49. Beautiful knits as always.

    Here in the UK restrictions are pretty much non-existent. But 3 of my close friends and their families have contracted Covid in the past month, despite being double jabbed and the children being vaccinated.

    Whilst no-one has been hospitalised, they’ve all felt really unwell and now are suffering lack of taste and smell and lingering fatigue.

    I’m about to get my third jab on Saturday, all my family are vaccinated as much as they are allowed to be, and I continue to stay home as much as is humanly possible. I am wearing a mask, social distancing, and slathering copious quantities of sanitiser about my person any time I do have to venture out in the world.

    I get very weird looks about my mask. A close friend has been verbally abused about wearing her mask. It seems very odd to me that people are so offended about it.

    It feels like we still live in very strange times.

  50. Three beautiful pairs of socks and one really handsome sweater means it was a productive month for you, as usual. All of that plus a lot of days and excursions with Elliot, and a cabin visit or two with more of your family. I’d say you’ve been a busy lady!

    Sometimes being busy is better than moping about or staring at four walls, something I’d guess many of us have been doing since early-spring of 2020. You’re right, few of us expected this pandemic to last this long, and we all hope things will be more under control next year. Please, please.

    Still, words from you are always appreciated, even if they are whining ones. It’s not as if the rest of us haven’t been doing a bit of whining ourselves.

  51. OK, then; I wondered why there’d been no comments by the time I read your latest posting on the blog. They seem to be disappearing in the ether once the “post comment” button is clicked!

  52. My goodness it’s great to hear from you, and that is a glorious report on finished objects.

    The postal service here In Melbourne, Australia has been a regular joy, but the delays due to congestion have made some parcels unpredictable.

  53. I’m in the UK and am carefully (chronic asthmatic with ME/chronic fatigue) beginning to see friends and family again, but it’s been a long haul. I lost the knitting mojo for over a year but that’s now back thankfully, so Owligans have been made for the grandsons and then the 4yo decided granny needs one too.
    (ps – it told me to click ‘pants’ and I was about to complain that was impossible as there wasn’t any underwear…)

  54. Thank you so much for sharing your finished objects! I am in the same boat as you with blogging…..I wrote a ton of posts this year and deleted pretty much all of them. But I shall always keep trying 🙂 I loved all your words!

  55. I’m honking as loud as I can. I’m already dreading another quiet Christmas. With the littles back at school or daycare, my daughter is a teacher and in-laws own a dance studio it will just be hubby & I again this year. If it is mild out we may have a brief visit with daughter, her family & son with his family.

  56. Your posts on quarantine and risk always hit the nail on the head. I live in New Mexico but live a very restricted life right now, as most of my friends and family do. It’s a choice we make for the health of vulnerable members of our families, but I know I’m being ridiculed by co-workers who don’t understand. It makes me sad how divisive things have become. I know we said this last year but “things will be better next year.” Love and peace to you and your family.

  57. I read your post yesterday and have kept thinking about it — it beautifully captured how frustrating living through this pandemic is, and also how it doesn’t quite feel right to complain too much other than to say “I’m doing my part but I want my old life back.” (I do seem to complain a lot in private, though). We have an extremely high risk member our family, so we are navigating this thing differently than a lot of Americans. I appreciated your postscript— people need to understand that every family is dealing with a different level of risk and behaving accordingly. Thanks for your post. Also, beautiful knitting!

  58. I totally get it. Many virtual hugs. I apologize for how your neighbors to the south are acting. (Not that I can do much about it.) {{{{{{{More Hugs}}}}}}}

  59. I would totally make the Oshima for Him for myself! I prefer a crew neck over the shawl collar any day. It looks like a wonderful sweater to wear! Ken is totally knitworthy for all the knits.

  60. I have friends in their 80s who are taking bus trips and are fine. Meanwhile, I stay home and knit, although I did go to a couple of restaurants during the warm weather. Now it’s back to take-out.

  61. Nothing wrong with shopping the stash … and the ability to order things on line.
    Your Covid remarks are spot on. The Husbeast does statistics … and I hear all about the numbers constantly. Was teaching epidemics in the Spring before lockdown …
    I have knit so much these past 20 months ….

  62. Steph,
    Please don’t feel too bad about not posting. After a long hiatus from pretty much all knit blogs (small children, cancer caregiver, death… grieving…) I have found my way back to knitting and reading about knitting. I spent October traveling back in a Yarn Harlot themed time machine to 2013 or so which is when I started recognizing the posts. It was a blessing to recognize so much else, too. Although our particulars are different, there are some things people only understand by coming out the other side, or at least trying to. (I thought I could imagine what it would feel like to lose my husband to melanoma, during the three years he was in treatment. It turns out one really can’t.)
    These days life is very different from when we met on one of your book tours. Now I am working full time and have two bonus kids for a total of four. Plus you know that pandemic thing. Yarn is still yarn though and it has been so good to read your words and know that you are still you in spite of and through it all. Much much love from Boston. (Rhinebeck next year? I’ve never yet been able to get away to it.)

  63. Your comment about the sweater you made for Ken being like a hug reminds me of a comment I often make about the sweaters my mom made for me. She has been dead for 20 years now but every time I put on one of her sweaters I feel like I’m getting a hug from her. That’s the wonderful thing about hand knit items–they last long after you are gone and give the wearer a little visit with you.

  64. I’m in the northern part of the US and I have to say that the last few weeks have added the additional grim layer of day light saving’s time and having it get full dark before 5 PM. I would imagine it’s the same, if not worse, in Canada.
    I hope that your knitting, and your loved ones wearing your knitting, provides a bright spot during these dark (both metaphorically and not) months.

  65. Love the sweater, love the socks, love to hear your voice. I think very few people (if any, but I’m hedging) would judge you for whining or would even mind it–we would feel you articulating our own feelings as you so often brilliantly do. Next time you’re tempted to delete, please consider just sharing the dark stuff! You’ve helped so many people already by doing just that.

  66. Thank you for keeping us in the loop with your posts, they’re always appreciated. Sending virtual hugs and blessings to you all. Keep safe and smiling ❤❤❤

  67. I understand about the missing blog posts, so don’t beat yourself up about them. You may want insulated pants for the next sock fashion shoot; after all, it is November in Canada. All the socks look great. Ken’s sweater…well, I’m not sure I like the collar (not your fault), but it fits him well and the color is great. But why does he look like Jeff Goldblum in that second photo?

  68. I’m trying hard to be a gracious as you about other’s choices, but it is hard. People in my area aren’t getting vaccinated, are actively protesting children being asked to wear masks in school, and generally not wearing masks when they go out. Given, like you, I have little ones in my bubble, it is hard to be gracious when their choices are infringing on our freedoms.

    For example, this week the Olympic trials for the US Olympic curling team are being held nearby. I would have loved to have gone to one of the sessions, but when I asked on their Facebook page if there were going to be any Covid accommodations, they not only didn’t answer, they deleted my post. Interestingly, they left the post from another person that commented on mine say “no way, it is Nebraska,” so I know they weren’t just deleting all comments.

    I so enjoyed seeing your post. It brought a small bit of light and pretty yarn into my world. Thank you for not deleting this one! And I will try harder to take your last words to heart.

  69. Those socks are gorgeous and the look on Ken’s face in that sweater–that’s one happy man. Great sweater!

    Good to see you posting again. Love to hear from you however it comes and we all get what this being cooped up stuff feels like.

  70. I wish you would not feel sorry for showing us discontinued yarn, it’s still inspirational. I thought, no, I KNEW I would never make socks. Then you showed some self-striping sock yarn that I just had to have, and shared the links to Judy’s magic cast on and the short-row heels, and I was off and running. (I don’t remember the yarn now, oddly enough.) Now I’ve made 80 pairs of socks and they are the most rewarding thing — they always fit, they are prettier and more comfortable than anything I could buy. Then you made FrankenMitten, and I couldn’t resist one of the linked patterns (Annemoi). I reasoned that if a Canadian wears mittens, they have to be warm, and yes, they are better than Thinsulate gloves, which always have some fabric on the sides of the fingers that lets wind thru. Yep, I’m sticking with two color mittens. And how many times I laughed at your description of making Latvian braids, the “teeth itching” gets me every time. My biggest desire of discontinued things you’ve shown are the mouse buttons from a jar (grandmother’s? your moms?), but it is still such a joy that I got to see them, akin to seeing photos of Monti’s Veiled Vestal Virgin at Chatsworth without a hope of ever owning it, and few hopes of even seeing it in person. I don’t think you should even apologize for showing something discontinued. If not for you, I would never have made socks or mittens, and my life would have been so much poorer. Thank you, so very much, for showing things that inspire. And there is always more yarn, more colors, more patterns — surely most of us can find adequate yarns/patterns/colors. (thank you, internet!!!)

  71. Well I can’t quite call you evil, but you’ve cost me money. I followed the link to Must Stash, and you can guess what followed. We all have discontinued yarn in our stashes, don’t fret – we’re supposed to be original, right? I find it appalling when a pattern name includes a color. Really? Are we such lemmings? I was beginning to wonder about the hiatus. Thanks for the update(s).

  72. I missed you but understand this whole pandemic thing has messed with everything. The 2-year anniversary of my teaching stint at KnitEast passed, and I thought about how much fun it was to spend time with you, Lucy Neatby, and everyone else at St. Andrews. Like you, I missed Rhinebeck but took the opportunity to knit and design from stash. Hoping you’ll continue to post because your blog is one of the things helping all of us to get through this awful mess. Can’t believe you actually knitted PURPLE socks!

  73. So happy to read your posts…Missed your “voice” . We are all in the thick of this …I am dealing with being alone and learning to love my own company…who would have thought one could learn this at 70! But there it is….Knitting is a soothing activity (for the most part…we all have those projects that do not fit that description) By the way That purple is the Bomb!

  74. So glad you posted this one, and I would have been happy to read any of the deleted ones! I’m wondering where you got your stat that 40% of Americans have had the virus. The New York Times estimates that 1 in 7 Americans have had it. I want to trust the Times, but, sadly, am frequently disappointed.

  75. Sadly, I suspected we’d be dealing with covid for a long time. Perhaps forever, similar to influenza. That thought started when the politics reared its ugly head when things were first shut down. Even more so as the anti-science anti-vaxxers (not those who have valid medical reasons to not get it!) cranked up their lies and conspiracy crap.

    The sweater and socks are gorgeous, I’m glad that even though you haven’t posted much, you are getting knitting done. Not just sitting cruising blogs getting nothing of note done myself.

  76. When news from Wuhan first broke, I remembered my mom (1912-‘99) telling me how the 1918 flu reached her family in a tiny hamlet (60 people, maybe) in rural Indiana. Her family all survived, but many in their county did not.

    I have taken Covid seriously from the get-go because of what I’d heard about the flu pandemic, and past news about threats like Ebola. My only daughter is a registered nurse in a teaching hospital, and has treated Covid patients, putting her at above-average risk despite being fully vaxxed. If my hair weren’t already gray, it would be by now.

    I strive not to totally lose my sh-tuff with people who aren’t willing to protect others. And I cringe when I hear Covid referred to as a “once in a lifetime threat,” because that tells me they don’t understand the growing potential for similar catastrophes thanks to climate change and global interconnection. Ongoing preparedness is vital.

    Getting off my soapbox now, I want to thank you, Stephanie, for this post — especially for your words of wisdom. I’ll try to be less Judgey McJudgeypants, especially when I visit family in Texas next month.
    I look forward to future posts, especially as the holiday season gets rolling.

  77. Gorgeous sweater! Here is hoping all the kids get shots soon. Honestly wishing it for the whole world and so sorry my country has been so much of the problem when we could have been so much of the solution.

  78. This is perhaps not the point of your post but I always appreciate how thoughtful you are re: different strokes for different folks. Your generosity there is the gentlest and most loving challenge to think more kindly, and I appreciate the nudge. Stay safe and cozy until next time.

  79. I need to feel more human so I hope this works out for me!
    I’ve knit socks and shawls and even sweaters so quickly in the last 18 months, but at the price of not leaving my house and gaining 70+ lbs and being diagnosed with a liver disease.
    I hope I pass the human test – I’m feeling pretty robotic right now. But I have knitting!

  80. I heard Canada is going to back off on the re-entry covid test requirement for vaccinated visits less than 72 hours starting this (US) turkey week. That doesn’t quite get to a retreat timeframe, but it is eventually coming.
    I agree about how hard it is to post when just about everything keeps going to H-E-double hockey sticks. Just when I think, ‘can we catch our breath?,’ another round of bad news. BC being across the strait from me, I heard about the horrible deadly landslides from all the rain we here in the northwest on both sides of the border. We humans just can’t catch a break. But maybe there will be an incredible stretch of good luck after this. At the least, all the climate skeptics are going to have to change their lyrics, if not their tune.

  81. I’m glad you’re back. I can’t count the times I’ve deleted something I know is factually true but so alien to who I think I am that I can’t stand to have others read it.

  82. I completely agree with your BTW comment! I wish I lived in Canada. I wish my community took the pandemic seriously and respected the needs of those who are at risk. My family has 3 individuals that are immune compromised. All the best to you And your family. Sarah

  83. It appears your current relationship with writing is similar to my current relationship with my office here at home. The kitchen table became my desk about a year ago when my office here at home got so bad I just closed the door. I occasionally open it to feed the beast with another stack of papers to file, muse that there may be a desk under there, and shut the door again as quickly as I can. At least once a week I tell myself I will take two days and sort that sucker out. And then I don’t. Wash, rinse, repeat. I’ve finally stopped saying it and realize I’ll get to it when I get to it and there’s just no point in feeling guilty about it. So, I figure if you’re of a mind to, you could quit beating yourself up about it – you’ll write when you write and then choose Save or Delete. Choice. We’re here regardless, we’re happy when you choose Save, and I believe we all understand that this is likely the strangest time that any of us have lived through. At the risk of being called PollyF’inAnna (and it wouldn’t be the first time), it’s really brought home for me that all I can actually control is my own thoughts, actions and reactions and then hope the good ripples outward. (And wow, that was long and wordy when I just intended to say, “Good to have you back and nice knits.”)

  84. As a mom of a 1yo and 3yo, I am 100% with you on being desperate for younger kids to be able to be vaccinated. Like you, my family is still being more cautious than many, because the family includes vulnerable people. I’m only a tiny bit jealous of my friends whose entire families are vaccinated and low-risk and thus who are able to safely engage in activities that are too risky for my own family.

    I would read a hundred posts from you complaining about wanting your life back, because I feel the same way, but you always make your complaints funny or interesting or entertaining. You’re expressing many of the same feelings I have, but in a way more enjoyable way.

    I hope you’re able to find joy in the small gatherings you’re able to have this holiday season, and in hugging the loved ones you can hug closely.

  85. Your description of your deleted posts was like a behind the scenes glimpse that made me feel much better about the emotional charge and change that life brings right now. It may be about being real, but it’s still ok if (in the moment) we moderate our real.

  86. I read a ton of stuff online and almost never comment. But everything – I hear you, I feel you, I love you. (and since you are moderating this, you can read it and call it a hug and no need to post!)

    We all have to own our comfort / risk level. I just spent time over the weekend with my two sisters, my parents and three kids. All adults were vaccinated. It felt comfortable. It felt so good.

    Friday dinner there was a brother-in-law present that was not around for any of the other events. He and my sister are similar to me in their risk levels. Monday morning he felt ill, did the adult-ing thing and got a test. It was positive. So now lots of quarantining and testing for the rest. He feels so guilty. (BTW – he was vaccinated, but has some health issues; Good news he is barely sick.)

    Now I am ready to delete it all and not send, but no. I need to tell you thank you for giving me yarn to read. Somewhere somehow sometime, we can emerge from this pandemic.

  87. Two of our five grands have been booked for vaccination appointments already. Three, including the little guy in Yukon we didn’t meet until the week after his first birthday, are too young. It will be another quiet holiday. Not quite turkey (sorry Steph) for two since we have adopted our grand dog. . . We want our old lives back too.

  88. OK, I’m going to make a suggestion–might be a repeat? I have not read quite all the others..–that for an absolutely sure-fire feel-good post, you could put up another round of Karmic Balancing Gifts from this year’s Rally?? Just, you know, a thought…. =)

  89. Yes, these last few years have been interesting to say the least. I really, really miss the option of just popping across the border for no particular reason at all! However, that’s nothing compared to all the families who cannot stay connected!

    The other day at the office (in the US), I had a person come in snarking about having to wear a mask and having to go back out to their vehicle to get a mask. Shut right up when I said “I’m old and have pre-existing conditions, so mask up.”

  90. Sending you big hugs! and all who read this as well. I have missed you so much, and have worried that you might have been hurt or gotten Covid and well please even if you don’t want to write a post, post a picture of something yarn a WIP a finished project, snow, flowers, anything so we know you are still there and ok, just not in the mood to write.
    Having said that. Something I have learned, is that hearing how sucky someone else is feeling about the crap in their life, can make me feel like I can handle my own better. So as far as I am concerned, whine anytime. And hey maybe someone will make a comment that can help lift you up! I am sorry you can’t come down to Maine to shop. I suppose it’s not fair that we get to hear all about you and your stuff.
    Here is a tiny bit of mine and you will be glad not to have to deal with. We moved last Nov 15th. and my Mom is now living with us and is almost 89, she is sharp of mind with terrible hearing and sight. My oldest dau. 42 came to live with us as well from Jan to June while looking for a job and recovering from a breakup. My DH’s step bro. died leaving no will and so DH became the estate administrator. We made many trips to NY( 5 hours down) to see to the house, clear it out, arrange for junk trucks…just like you see in Hoarders!!! it took 4 1/2 to empty the stuff. And we, meaning me and my DH had to sift through all of it to make sure no money got tossed. ( yes we did find some). Two miracles. The house actually sold and for much more than we ever guessed it would. And I finally have a grand child! (I was almost 65 when she arrived!) We flew out west to see her, and our flight was canceled after we got to the airport, they did put us up for the night, and the next day we did get on a plane but sat and waited soo long we had to taxi back to refuel. Of course that made us miss our connection and so another unplanned hotel stay. My mom got sick and ended up in the hospital after we got home, with pneumonia. AND my Dr. asked me to quit taking my thyroid medicine for a month. It was like I did nothing for that month! You are not alone. Thanks for listening to me whine. And yes I love my mom, but we are not and never were close or best friends, so having her with us is hard. But necessary. Thank you for all you do, and reading you helps me, between covid, moving taking care of my mom I haven’t had any time to make friends in my area, and reading your blog is like hearing from a friend. Much love and hugs to you.
    ToniAnne aka Sox aka MaineSqueeze

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