Ok Fine

Today is the first training ride for the Bike Rally.  I’ve been watching this date creep up on me, trying to get my head around it.  I’ve even been at the meetings where we talk about when training will start, and what the schedule will be, and yay verily it was even me who approved the schedule, and I did so super calmly, and like I thought it was a good idea – which I do, intellectually.

Emotionally? Well, here’s the thing.  I have not been back on my bike since the accident last fall when I broke my wrist.

I can feel now, as I look at my bike in the hall, pump up my tires (wipe the dust off the bike) that I have made a mistake.  What I should have done was get back on my bike the exact moment that I was allowed to. Instead, when my allotted time was up, I told myself that the weather was too cold, that I was too busy…  I even kitted up a few times – putting on my cycling gear and telling people I was leaving, then standing there, not quite able to go.  I should have forced myself, because now here I am and I have given nervousness time and fertile ground to turn all the way into fear and dread.

Ken reminded me that I have ridden thousands of kilometres, and never hurt myself, except for that once. (Ken has a very analytical mind.)  Those are good odds, he reminds me.  He’s right too, getting hurt once doesn’t make it more likely I’ll fall again, that’s not how odds work, or learning, or luck.  I am, in fact – less likely to get hurt this time, and last night at a party, a cycling friend said that it would take “two strokes on the bike” and I’d remember everything that’s great about it. (I am hoping he’s right, but think that maybe he underestimates my ability to be properly neurotic.)

In any case, now I’ve got no choice.  I’m the Chair of the rally, I am simply going to have to ride my bike, and today is the day I have to start, so in 15 minutes I am going to *&^%$#ing leave here, and ride my bike and it is going to be fine and then I’ll be over it.

Right?

Anyway, if you want to- it’s a good day to send me a ding.

Dear Elliot

My darling Elliot, you are two now, and though I did not think it possible, we all love you even more than we did on your first Birthday – which is really saying something, because several of us cried that day out of sheer joy.

While I could wax poetic about your many fine qualities, and you are indeed one of the most charming people I have ever met, allow me to state here that you posses a miraculous trait, one we haven’t seen in our family for three generations – you are not picky in any way. You will try almost anything, if you can be reassured that it is safe. You will eat almost any food, if a royal taster eats it first, you will try any game, if someone else looks like they’re having fun before you, and you will go anywhere, if someone is going with you.

This isn’t to say that you don’t have preferences and opinions – you would, for example, rather die than eat mashed potatoes, and this is a position that I can respect. A reasonable amount of suspicion is warranted. You will learn as you grow older that mashed potatoes are a very fickle food often not worth eating, but other than that, you’ll happily give almost anything else a try, and this has led to some wonderful discoveries, like that your favourite vegetable at present is radishes.

You are in fact so adventuresome, such a little keener – so unlike so many other two year olds, we have dubbed you “The Yes Man.” Would you like to read a book? Yes. Would you like to go for a walk? Yes. Would you like to try this dinner? Yes. Would you like to go with Poppy to the store? Yes. Would you like to have a cuddle with Grammy? Yes. Would you like to taste this tofu? Yes. Yes, the answer is almost always yes.  Even when it’s bedtime and you’re decidedly not into that scene, your protests are pretty weak, for a two year old. If the heartless tyrants trying to make you lie down sweeten the pot with a story, you’re in.

You are patient, not just for a two year old, but a human, and you have a wonderful (if somewhat un-evolved) sense of humour. (We are still getting a lot of mileage out of bonking trains together.) You are a very, very good listener, and it boggles my mind that a simple “no thank you” is enough to redirect your mistakes, most of the time. You are sensitive, and very kind, even if you still wake your mother to nurse through the night. (She is very patient too, still – I don’t know how much longer she wants to party through the night with you. Think over your choices, will you? I know she appreciates your success in the potty department, but it might not buy you that much time.)

You are the absolute light of our lives, the best thing that’s happened around here in a long time, and I would do anything for you, even kill a spider, and I don’t think I’d do that for anyone else.

It is all this, my darling boy, that means I can forgive you this week’s one transgression, which was your absolute refusal to put on your Birthday sweater at your party. I’m no fool, I understand that a sweater can’t compete with a train, but note for next year, it’s good form to pretend.

Thanks for modelling it the next day – and thanks to your Mama for the snaps.

Pattern: Dog Star.  Yarn: Alpha B Yarn Bluefaced Leicester DK. Colours: Candygram (grey) Hey , Sailor (the blue) and Two Olives, Please. (The olive.) Size: a slightly shrunken version of the 2-4.

We love you, and I wasn’t serious about the night nursing. You do it as long as you want. Your Mama will miss it someday.

PS. Your hair is coming along nicely. Don’t listen to your grandfather. He’s just jealous.

Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful

I tried really hard to write a post where I was all La-dee-da about something that happened today, but I just can’t gaslight you all that way. I’ve got to be honest, it’s just not fair otherwise. Last night I took a guess at a needle size, and knit a swatch for Elliot’s sweater. Then I washed it (because unwashed swatches are total lying arseholes) and because it’s colourwork. (Remember from a post or two ago? I want to see dye problems now, not in the finished sweater.) Then I laid it tidily out to dry, and went about my life.  I returned, not too much later and measured it.

Knitters, I have both stitch and row gauge on the first try.  Like I said, I was going to try and pretend to be all casual about that BUT I CAN’T BECAUSE IT IS LIKE FINDING A FRIENDLY SPARKLE UNICORN IN YOUR BATHTUB.

That’s a Week Excuse

It snowed again last night, which is not at all unusual for March/April, and is still inexplicably heartbreaking. I got up, took one look at it, thought about what this all means to spring and hope and then I thought “What do I care. I am going to Texas.”  In three days I will get on a plane and I will go somewhere that the sun is shining and it is warm and flowers are blooming (maybe even the bluebonnets which is very exciting) and I will walk outside and not once while I am there, will I think of knitted accessories in their capacity to prevent frostbite.

I thought this, gleefully and happily, as I drank coffee – cheerfully raising my cup to the snow in as much of a of “screw you” gesture as one can manage with coffee in one hand and knitting in the other. (I have been practicing this particular gesture with those exact items in my hands for some decades now, and it’s actually pretty solid.) I thought about how nice it will be to see my Texas friends and some of my colleagues, and reflected that this event is one of my favourites every year, only made more perfect by the fact that this year, I’m home in time for Elliot’s 2nd birthday, which is the Monday after DFW.

In that exact moment -two things happened.  I imagined how cute he was going to look opening his presents and wearing his new birthday sweater, and suddenly realized that if I was looking forward to seeing him when I got back and that I was also looking forward to DFW in just a few days, that this actually meant whatever idea I had about there being buckets of time to get his sweater knit might be crazier than a bag of wet weasels.

I have been looking at the yarn for his sweater for about three weeks now – and I keep thinking about what a little sweater it is, and how it’s going to be so fast and I don’t have to worry, and now, suddenly, I think I have to worry, or at least start knitting. I’ve got seven days to whack together a sweater.

I should at least make a swatch today.

And then she said

I don’t know if all of you know this, but the comments on blog posts (at least here) are, generally speaking- better than the post itself.  I don’t know how it happened, but there’s a lot of cleverness and entertainment going on in there. Over the years, I’ve come to believe that if one person types it, at least 20 people were thinking it, so let’s see what’s happening down there, shall we?

Elizabeth wrote: I confess that even though I teach stranded knitting, I’ve never knitted a pair of stranded socks. I guess I’m concerned that they won’t have the necessary elasticity.

I think lots of sock knitters (me included sometimes) more than occasionally rely on stretch in a knit to achieve fit, and get used to that. For example, short row heeled socks are often a poor fit for people with a high instep, simply because there’s less fabric present than with a flap heel. That’s just a fact. When I say that though, a whole bunch of knitters line up and say “nuh-uh. I have a high instep and I ONLY knit short row heels and they fit bloody great actually.” Then I look at those (very nice) socks, and low and behold, they’re knit at a looseish gauge that allows for heaps of stretch and that’s how they’re getting fit in the instep – the fabric is often quite stretched through that section. Nothing wrong with this as a strategy, except it stops working when you’re knitting stranded socks. Elizabeth is right – there is less stretch in a pair of colourwork socks like these, so you have to make sure that they actually fit – and it helps to consider a flap heel. (Insert lecture here about gauge. I won’t type it, you already know.)

Jeremy writes: I am going to get that pattern. I always sweat out the amount of yarn I have when I knit socks because I have US size 12 feet. (11.5 inches). 

Smart -I’ve got loads left, so this is totally a good big foot strategy. Ken’s feet aren’t quite as bit as yours, but I have 68/100g left of the grey, 60/100g of the white and 25/50g of the red.  I could make a whole other pair out of my leftovers.

Tracy B (and Charissa echoed her) said ” I’m just wondering though – would the decreases on the bottom of the heel bother a person? It’s almost like a seam right there.”

I don’t think so.  It’s not big at all, and after a wear or two will fade into the work – plus it falls right into the little arch of your foot, so it’s not like you’re really standing on it.  I freakin’ love it.  Plus, we’re all not as princess-and-the-pea as we think we are.  All commercial socks/hose/tights have a seam or two, and most of us wear them every day. (Well, not me.) Ken’s as fussy as they come that way, he’s the type of guy who’s had to excuse himself from a meeting to cut the tag off a shirt because he simply can’t go on, and I’m not worried this will bother him in the slightest.  I’ll let you know though.

Victoria (and Bridget) and probably a bunch of you because knitters are obsessed with this say: ” I just wish you had posted a picture of the inside of the socks so we could see how you stranded them.”

What, I ask you, is with knitters wanting to see the inside of stuff. I mean – I always want to see the inside too, but why do you think we are so weird about it? I’m not convinced it’s about construction – how we stranded them, or whatever, because I’ve heard knitters judge their work by the inside as well as the outside – like whatever amazing thing they’ve wrought on the public side doesn’t count unless it’s just as nice in secret.  We are an odd bunch, I tell you that, but I am with you – so here:

This should answer the question from Jan who said “I’m wondering about what you did about the floats? Did you catch every single stitch? I could see catching every 3 or so stitches on a hat, but in a sock , especially at the foot, it seems even short floats would catch toes and add to the general discomfort–”

As you can see, I certainly didn’t catch every one – that’s a recipe for a lack of stretch,  and a dimpled, inflexible fabric.  I only caught the floats once in the repeat – there’s a spot where the float goes seven stitches, and I caught it in the centre of that – and at the time I knew I didn’t have to do that either, but felt compelled.  You’d need freakishly tiny toes to worry about catching them.  The floats lie flat, and aren’t loops at all.

Pamela says “Do you block your socks in sock blockers or just smooth them out?”

I just smooth them out. They get a nice bath in the sink with slightly warm water and the wool wash currently in rotation. (Usually Soak or Eucalan.) When it’s been in there about 20 minutes, I give them a gentle tug in all directions to encourage things to even out, and then I gently squeeze them, roll them up in a towel and step on it a few times, then lay them flat to dry, pushing them into shape. Usually I come back once or twice while they’re drying to move them around a bit and rearrange things so that I don’t get fold lines. (This is almost always a failure, and doesn’t matter.)

Everyone in the whole world “Warm water holy crap Steph what the hell is wrong with you and I would be totally worried those socks would turn pink when you soak them in water especially warm, what the ^%&^%$# is wrong with you risking socks that way?”

Here’s the thing – before I do any colourwork of any kind, even if I have absolutely no concerns about gauge – I always, every time, I swear…. knit a swatch. At the very least I do a little stripey one, with all the colours in it, and then (always, every time, without fail) I wash that swatch.  I treat it exactly like it’s going to be treated in the warm, damp environment of shoes or boots.  The thing is this:  Before I give it this much of my one wild and precious life to a project, I want to know ahead of time if that dye bleeds. If the swatch can’t handle life, then the socks won’t – and they won’t get knit, at least, not out of that yarn.  I can treat the socks the way I do, because I treated the swatch the way I did. I’ve got confidence, or at least what passes for the knitters version of it.

So there you have it, a little Q&A – now if you’ll excuse me, it’s Taco Thursday (I know, wrong day of the week, we do things our own way here) and I’ve got an almost two year old grandson waiting for me. (And the tacos.)

Three for Three or Four

This year’s self-imposed-sock-club continues to be a big fat win.  I finished January’s on time, as unlikely as that seemed, and then February’s were done before February was too. (Though I didn’t manage either time to post about them within the right month, so I’m giving myself two extra points for this one.)

March’s socks have slid along rather quietly under the radar. I didn’t post about them because they were Ken’s Birthday socks – though I’ve only just finished them now. (Two points deducted.) I was hoping to surprise him, but snapped on his birthday and gave him an unfinished sock – just before the toe.  I’d been knitting along at a pretty good pace, but as I got closer to the end of the sock I started to worry that they weren’t going to fit. This is an ongoing problem I have with socks for people with large feet. I’ve got small ones myself, and I’m accustomed to knitting for me, so when I cast on the appropriate number for a big guy, I spend the whole knitting trip spreading the work out on my leg every hour or so and saying “Really? That can’t be right.” I decided not to take any chances with Ken’s, and stopped knitting a day or two before his birthday so he could try them (it) on before I went any farther.

They (it) fit beautifully, so I pressed on.  The pattern for this elegant pair is Vägvarda (I had to google how to do the umlaut.) The yarn’s West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4-ply (again, I’m working through a stash of it I bought to do Cameron’s socks and some of Elliot’s ornaments.  It’s really nice, so I don’t mind) for the grey (Poppy Seed) and white (Milk Bottle.) The red’s Drops Fabel #106 (super sexy name) because WYS didn’t quite have the red I wanted.  For anybody keeping score – I used a 2.25mm needle, which is my standard for socks.

I loved knitting these.  What do you think it is that makes colourwork knitting seem to go so much faster than regular knitting? It can’t actually be faster, I know that’s not possible. I’m pretty comfortable knitting with one strand in each hand, so I do power through pretty quickly, but it seems to me that it comes of the needles faster than anything else. Is it because you’re following a chart? Ticking off one row after the other, with a concrete way to see how far you’ve come, and how far you have to go? And if that’s true, how come it doesn’t work for lace?

One last picture of this charming pair, this time of the clever and tidy gusset decreases, here positioned on the bottom of the foot. (A standard sock decreases by two stitches every other row on the gusset. Those decreases, as this sock proves, can go anywhere, as long as the sock gets smaller in circumference where the foot does.)

I lied, here’s one more –  this one that I snapped with my phone yesterday, before I finished. I’m posting it because here, one sock’s been blocked and the other – not. (That was so Ken could try on the first one.)  I hear so many knitters say that their colourwork looks shabby, and I’ve even seen people rip it out for looking shabby, and I just wanted to show you the difference a little swim and tidy up makes.  See? More than any other kind of knitting, blocking is important for colourwork. You really can’t tell if you suck before it hits the water.

Another bonus today – more socks, bringing this year’s total to four. I keep a pair of simple socks in my bag, knitting from the pattern I keep in my head. Yarn: Land Jawoll Color “Aktion” in the colourway fetchingly named 132.0265. Pattern: my own plain vanilla sock from Knitting Rules. (The only truly useful book I’ve ever written.)

 

I keep this knitting – plain socks, in my bag all the time – pulling it out when I’m on the subway, in a queue, at dinner, in meetings, walking down the street (when it’s not winter.) I beaver away at them here and there, and then every so often, when I’m least expecting it, a pair of socks falls off of me.

Peace out, see you in a day or two, and know that while knitting improves with practice, it remains really freakin’ tricky to take pictures of your own feet even after years of yoga and  trying.

Analepsis Is Not a Disease

Here I am, sitting at my desk, about to go properly deep into my inboxes. While I worked a little bit every day that we were away in Lake Louise it wasn’t enough to stop the inbox glacier from creeping ever larger, and today I’ve made coffee, set everything to “ignore” (including the house, which looks like a stampede of bison went through) and put my phone in a drawer.  Me and this inbox are going to tango till one of us drops, and it’s not going to be me. Before that particular dance starts though, a quick waltz with you lot. I keep saying to myself that I’ll blog as soon as I’m done with (insert absolutely unfinishable task here) so today I’m reversing it. You first, then once more into the breach, dear friends.

When last we saw our heroine, she was sitting in a hotel room, tapping out a blog post surrounded by skis and mohair, a combination that isn’t nearly as odd as it sounds, despite the infrequency of the mix.

My complete inability to demonstrate any sort of monogamy to a knitting project continues unabated, and so I’d taken five (5) projects with us for a seven (7) day holiday. Just think about that for a minute.  That means I thought I’d finish almost a project a day, while skiing six hours a day. I took two pairs of socks, a sweater (adult, only half way through the front) a cowl and a shawl. (The shawl and sweater never even made it out of the suitcase.) Both pairs of socks saw active duty (still in progress please stand by) and the cowl sort of turned into two cowls and I finished one on the flight on the way there, and almost the other.

Yarn: Canon Hand Dyes, Ombre Cowl Kit in Agatha Lace (70% mohair, 30% silk) Pattern, Ombre Cowl Hood.

Other than the part where I left a muppet’s worth of mohair fuzz everywhere I went, I loved making that cowl so much that the minute I finished (and despite having another two projects with me on the plane) I started another smaller one with the leftovers from the first one. It won’t be as big as the first, but still a proper cowl, I think.

It was bliss. Plain knitting, round and round, no pattern no fuss, 2 strands held together… It was knitting as comforting and cozy as a cup of hot soup.  I breezed through it completely, and it turns out it was perfect ski knitting.  The needles were big and blunt, and the yarn light as a cloud, so I felt fine about asking Joe to carry it in his pocket so that I had it to knit during skiing.  I worked on it at lunch, on the gondola, the lifts (if it was warm enough to take my hands out of my mittens.)

Upon reflection, it was this knitting/skiing combination that made it possible for me to finish any knitting at all, and I feel sure that if I cared less about the well-being of my husband, and worried less about the catastrophic consequences of him taking a spill down a mountain with Signature stiletto needles in his pocket, I probably could have finished the socks too.

Feel the love, Joe.

Where to?

Whoosh, I’m back on other side of the continent, for the third time in four weeks though I didn’t make it as far as I have the other two times.  First there was Madrona in Seattle, and then I was back for the Strung Along Retreat and now – hold on. Let’s back up. I’ve known for a while that if I’m not careful to keep a firm grip on my schedule these few weeks it will all turn into a nightmare rather than an intense phase, so let me try to keep it all in order, and let’s do it on the basis of what I was knitting when.  We’re all really knit-centric anyway, it probably matters more than location.

So, first I was knitting gnome socks – that was Madrona, and I was knitting them because it was Cameron’s birthday, and he’d been gone for several months, working far away. He got this idea to combine his birthday with a homecoming party, and somewhere along there it became a Gnomecoming party (don’t ask, the man appreciates a pun more than I do, and that’s saying something.) The minute I heard Gnome I was on it, thanks to this pattern.

Well, you’ll notice that mine is quite different than that one, so maybe it’s more like thanks to the inspiration of that pattern.  It comes in a women’s medium, and Cam’s a men’s large, so there was some upsizing involved. Also (and here’s sentence I never thought I would type) there was a few too many gnomes on those other socks for my liking, so I reduced the gnome intensity. Also, Cam likes stripes.

The yarn is West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply (a favourite of mine, especially for nice solids.) Most impressive about these socks is that not only did I trot them all over Madrona -but I managed to finish them before the party, and I had a few minutes to make appropriate wrapping arrangements. (Full disclosure. I finished at 1am the night before, which is technically the day of, but I don’t think so because then I went to bed.)

It turns out gnome wrapping paper to put your gnome socks in is harder than you think, so I drew some.  I feel like leaping on a theme is always best – and these count as my February socks, so I’m two months into my own little sock club, and doing fine.

Next, I was off to the retreat and so I wound some…

Actually – I can’t tell you that now.  Joe and I are on holiday in Lake Louise, and I just bugged him to get ready to go ski, and now he’s ready and I’m typing, and that doesn’t seem totally fair – so off we go. We had such a gorgeous day yesterday, and today we’re both pretty excited to get to the mountains.  Stand by.

(Or sit by, it’s easier to knit that way.)

 

Randomly on a Tuesday

1. I have no idea what happened to the last 2 weeks.

2. That’s a lie. There’s just been so much that I find myself ready to quote Inigo Montoya. “Let me explain… No, there is too much. Let me sum up.”

3. I have been to Seattle and back for the last Madrona, and I did it all in snowstorms everywhere I went.  (It was appropriate somehow that the weather was so dramatic, I felt like there should be some reflection of how significant it was to me that the event was ending after 20 years.)  I’ve been lucky enough to be going to that for 15 years or so, and I owe Suzanne more than I can say. She was my role model for how I’ve run my business for years, and I’m so grateful we’re friends so that even though Madrona’s over, my relationship with Suzanne isn’t.

3. Usually at Madrona, I organize and MC the Teacher Talent Show but this year I also took part and that’s enough said about that, except anyone who was there should be able to tell you A) that it was absolutely epic. B) That I am never, ever doing anything like that again. C) That what happens at Madrona stays at Madrona and there’s a media ban, so you’ll just have to wonder forever now.

4. I finished the Jacob project, and I love it desperately. Let’s recap, shall we? I started with a little Jacob fleece that Judith gave me, and sorted it into it’s component colours.

Then I carded those on my little carder, making batts that fit into my plan of a gradient.

Then I spun them up into  2-ply yarns, a tiny bit heavier than lacewight.

Mission accomplished, I chose a pattern that would let me use every inch – in this case, working from the top-down, with a variable number of repeats so I could adjust to the yarn amount, and even a border pattern that I thought would look just fine with a few more or less rows.  Dover Castle.

I can’t tell you how well it came together -and how quickly, and how much I nailed the landing.  I finished with about 30cm of yarn left.

It was like a poem.  I love it when a project goes to plan, and this one did, from beginning to end.  Here’s the shawl – finished, but pre-block.

Then, having arrived at Madrona, I blocked it on my hotel room bed (slept in the other half, I’m not very big and I’m an edge sleeper) and voila!

I was so delighted with it.  As a few of you predicted, it was Judith’s birthday present – and such a lovely circular gift.  She gave me the fleece, I gave her the shawl, and we both got what we wanted in the end, I had such a good time playing with that fleece – it made me want another one.

5. I am not sure why I don’t feel bad about giving her the shawl.  I love that thing, but was quite content to see it on her shoulders.

6. Maybe I am a better person than I thought.

7. Wouldn’t that be nice.

8. I finished two other projects but I’ll show you later. I don’t want to upstage the shawl. (I also did a whole lot of other stuff. You’ll see.)

9. I leave for Port Ludlow in the morning – and we’ve got one spot left at the Spring Retreat. (Technically we were full, but then there was a cancellation and now we’ve got one spot again.) If you are a last minute type, here’s your big chance.

10. There’s also a spot at the Learn to Spin Workshop on Friday. You can sign up just for that if you like – and we can loan you a wheel. It’s at Port Ludlow from 9-4, we provide lunch, and Judith will teach you to spin. (I think Judith could teach a porpoise to spin in a 6 hour class, you’ll do really well.)

11. Probably not a porpoise.

12. Maybe a porcupine.

Fate, Tempted

You know, it is hard to know how to blog a project when it’s all going really well.  I mean, could there possibly be anything more boring to read about than a piece of knitting that has no problems? Such is the case with the Dover Castle Shawl.

Actually, let me be clear. It’s not just that this thing has no problems – It’s that it is all going so swimmingly that I cannot even dream up a bit of dramatic interest. Nothing, except for yesterday I sneezed and dropped a stitch, and then I picked it back up again.  It’s hardly the plot for a blog post. Not only is it all going beautifully, but since this shawl starts small and gets bigger, I didn’t see the reason for a swatch. The shawl can be the swatch, I reckoned, and I’m not shirking.  I know that if you’ve ever been in a class with me I’ve likely told you that there’s not very many times when I don’t consider skipping the swatch a dereliction of knitterly duty, but here, we have one of them.  I could just start, I figured, and rip it out if the gauge wasn’t right, when the shawl was swatch-sized, and I’m happy to block things on the needles, so I knew I wouldn’t get a surprise there – and since I made the yarn myself, I know there can’t be a surprise. I’d normally warn you here -that the swatch is as much a talent show, or an interview as it is a gauge test – there’s many ways a yarn can be wrong for a project that go far, far beyond the number of stitches per 10cm, let me tell you that. Here it was designed by me to be perfect for this purpose, and since I washed it after spinning and before knitting, I know that it won’t bloom or change with washing after, like a lot of commercial yarns can. The point is, I blew off the gauge swatch, and then the gauge was as perfect as a poem.

Even better, I was hoping I’d be able to make this a little bigger than the pattern calls for – it suggests seven repeats of the main chart before moving to the edging, and I just finished number eight – and haven’t even moved onto another colour yet. Really, short of the thing spontaneously bursting into flames (unlikely, since wool is flame retardant and self-extinguishing) I really can’t see anything going wrong at all…

There. I said it.

PS. If anybody is on the fence, a few spots for our Spring Retreat remain. Send me an email if you’ve got questions. We’d love to have you. (InfoATstrungalongDOTca)