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Updated: 6 days 22 min ago

At the End(s)

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 20:59

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

After Years of Failure, Knitter Proves That She Can Be Taught

PORT LUDLOW, Washington, April 13th, 2018

In a Stunning reversal absolutely nobody was expecting, this morning Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, upon finishing her Russell Street shawl-scarf thing, had only fourteen ends to weave in, out of a total of about fifty-eight (58) for this project.

“I can’t even explain it” the knitter said, while looking visibly pleased with herself. “Everybody talks about how they’re going weave in the ends as they go along, but I actually did!”

As told to this reporter, at the outset, Stephanie looked at this project and realising that there were so many ends, was able to look into the future and see that (as she so eloquently put it) “this was going to be a total %^%$#-show.”  At regular intervals throughout the knitting of this accessory, she then stopped several times and worked on a bunch of the ends so that it wouldn’t all face her at the conclusion.  “I could just tell” she exclaimed, shaking her head incredulously “that if I left them, if all of those ends from all of those mini’s were staring me in the face when I was done, that I’d put it off until later.” (Here, this writer did not ask if the “later” that she was speaking of was actually that thing Stephanie does where she shoves mostly finished knitted stuff into closets for seven years rather than do a little bit of finishing work.)

“I just told myself that I wasn’t going to be that kind of knitter this time…” she said, while blithely ignoring that she has yet to weave in the remaining fourteen ends. “I can’t believe this happened. I made a commitment, and I followed through.  Do you see this? I actually wove in ends as I went along. This doesn’t really happen. I’m like a unicorn.”

When last seen, she was entirely smug, an emotion she scarcely deserves, since she’s really only just done what she was supposed to all along, and fourteen ends remain.

-###-

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Fine it was tofu

Thu, 04/05/2018 - 16:23

Yesterday I left the snow and general crap scene of weather in Toronto, and made my way here to Texas, where I’m at the DFW Fiber Fest, an event that I really adore.  It’s got a great vibe, and they’re such nice people, and I thought that even before last year when they were so sweet when I bailed on them to go home for Elliot’s birth. I like them so much, and am actually so grateful for that gift that I am here again, even though it means missing his birthday. They let me be there for the most important one, I can miss this for them, and I got to see him for Easter before I came, and it’s only a day, and you get it.

Truthfully, I was feeling sort of bummed about Easter. It’s usually such a nice holiday for us, low pressure, and all the Spring birthdays get rolled into it, and we have a great dinner at my mum’s and this year I felt like it wouldn’t come together, no matter what I did.  In the end (and I know you’re probably tired of hearing this, but it’s still a problem over here) I realized that I was trying to make it just like the Easters at my Mum’s, which obviously can’t happen because she’s not here and we can’t go there, and I gave up. You’d have thought that I would have figured this out at Christmas, but I didn’t. I accepted that it wasn’t going to be the same, that I couldn’t force it (though I tried for a bit) and I made some new traditions, as many as I could think of – though tried to keep them rooted in the way we do things.  My mother wasn’t there to make a ham, and we don’t eat ham anyway, so I made a vegan ham.

(Fine. It’s tofu. Whatever. My brother eats ham and he said there was “nothing wrong with it” which isn’t a completely ringing endorsement, but is a pretty ecstatic reaction for a carnivore to have to a vegan ham, if you ask me.)

Every year my mum asks me to make this braided bread, but this year I somehow couldn’t so I did bunny buns that I thought Elliot would think were funny. (He did not, but Samantha loved them) and every year I decorate one egg really beautifully as a gift for my mum (she had a whole bowl of them) and so this year I did a bunch.

I figured the girls are all adults, old enough to appreciate them.  I did make the same cake my mother always made, and though not everyone with a spring birthday could be there to celebrate (another stumbling block stumbled upon) Sam and Alex blew out their candles, and Elliot had a practice run. (So far, not his jam.)

We saw Joe’s  family, and we had an egg hunt with the littles, and I knit Elliot some lamb shoes so that he matched the other wee ones.

Pattern: Lamb Shoes, Yarn: Random handspun I found in the closet.

They are charming, and fun and fast to knit, and they come in adult sizes which is something I am really, really resisting out of some sense of decorum that only I feel.  (Everyone else in the family wants me to let go of that sense, and make them all lamb shoes. I think I might have established some unreasonable expectations over Christmas.)

Overall, it was okay – good even, if you try really, really hard not to compare it to other Easters, and just let it be it’s own thing, which is what I am doing, mostly.  Everyone assures me that this odd sense that nothing is right and I’m screwing it all up will pass with time, and I hope so.  There can only be one first of everything without my mum, and we are getting through it.

I mean really, what can be wrong as long as you can look at those little feet?

Categories: Knitting Feeds

No Really

Wed, 03/28/2018 - 20:38

I have a pretty big stash, and the most amazing thing about it is really that with the exception of some weird stuff in there that I can’t really explain (moments of weakness when confronted with a yarn sale, usually) I can tell you that all of it… just about every skein, I believed with my whole heart when I bought it, that it was going to be the very next thing I knit. Usually, I buy it, and I bring it home and for a while, I still think it’s going to be next so I keep it somewhere handy.  Top of the knitting basket, kitchen counter. You know, I put it right where I can get it because I am going to start knitting it really soon, possibly in minutes.  After a few weeks of that I start to think that maybe I should take it off the kitchen counter, but I still know it’s going to be next-ish, and I move it to the canopy of the stash. At that point it’s technically in the stash, but it’s still going to be next, just after the other thing that’s sprung up.  Then I buy something else, and put it on the kitchen counter/knitting basket/ in my bag, and wait a while before admitting the truth about that, and then move that to the top of the stash, which naturally pushes the thing from before down a layer and… you see. You know. You probably do it too. My feeling is that it’s pretty normal, if you’re talking about knitters and we are.

I am completely and totally aware that I do this, that I do it almost every time, and somehow, every time I buy something, I still think it’s going to be next, even though the odds that’s what I’m going to do are about the same as the odds that any day now, Joe is going to turn to me and say “You know what, I think I’m going to throw away the 35 year old copies of High Times in the basement. You’re right dear – I’m never going to look at them again and they actually are just taking up space. I see that now.” This is to say that there’s about zero chance. So you could have knocked me over with a feather when the following transpired.

I was at a fibre festival and I was walking around, minding my own business, when whammo. I saw this gorgeous shawl/scarf thing, and there was a kit to go with the sample, and then I thought “Oh isn’t that pretty, I should make that next.”

It was this… Fall Rainbow mini set from Canon Hand Dyes (in Bruce, their sock yarn with a little yak in it) and the pattern was Russell Street. I came unhinged.  I loved it. I gave her my money, and trotted off with this little prize in my hands… and it sat there on the desk in my hotel room while I looked fondly at it and thought “That’s totally going to be next.” Then I brought it home and put it on my desk there, because that’s where you put things that are going to be next… and then…

GUYS THEN IT WAS NEXT. I am not even kidding you.  I finished something, then picked up that yarn, and started knitting it. Just like that, just like I said I would. Just like I have intended to do a thousand times, but this time it just happened.

More than that, I kept knitting it.  No, I’m serious. I didn’t start and then ram it into a corner, or replace it with something better, or be tempted off by the next thing that’s going to be next.

(I did knit a pair of socks but that’s just normal.) Knitters, I think I’m going to finish it.

It’s like a miracle.

Joe hasn’t gone to the basement yet though, so as shocking as this is, we’re probably not in a parallel universe or anything.  I’ll let you know.

 

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Bounceback

Thu, 03/22/2018 - 20:34

One time I was listening to the radio (CBC, because I am some sort of dinosaur who still listens to the radio in my house) and I heard a piece (which I spent a long time searching for, trying to prove that it actually happened but maybe it didn’t) where a panel of really clever people were discussing the traits of super successful people, and they all agreed that resilience was absolutely the thing.

That’s the definition right there, and I realized that I’ve been talking about “resilience” without really using that word, when I teach classes where I talk about gauge.  I say that you can tell that a swatch is a good one – that you’ve got it right, when the work bounces back, when it isn’t easily deformed, and when it keeps it’s shape, even when you subject it to stress.  Things knit too loosely – it’s not just a gauge problem, it’s a quality problem… they don’t last as long, or hold up as well, and I realized for the 23476th time in my life that living and knitting are the same. I prize resilience (in knitting and living) very highly.  The ability to hold up, to soldier on… I’m not saying that you deny your feelings, or that you don’t deal with your sadness or challenges, but that you look them all square in the eye and think “Well hell, and I guess now I have to do Wednesday anyway” and then you do… even if you make a real mess of it. So much of being a good human is just showing up, I think.

I was thinking that this week… and thank you so much for all your kind words about Susan, it helps a lot. I feel like a generation is slipping past me, and I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do about that – except for… and I recommend this technique very highly…

KNIT MONSTER PANTS

There was a moment two days ago where I thought about knitting, and I pulled out the big, fine gauge thing I’m working on, and all I could think was that I was so sad, and supposed to be so sad and that really I should be ironing black clothes, and then something came over me, and I thought that maybe could there be a moment where I didn’t reflect on my losses and metaphorically walk sadly on the beach in the mist,  and maybe HOLY CATS maybe I could just… I could knit Monster Pants (!!!) and in the moment I felt it,  I knew it was right. Behold.

Lo, it is the antidote to all sadness. It is the opposite of sad exits from the universe, it is a countermeasure, a remedy, proper medicine and a bloody reason to go on. (It was also fast and easy, which is never a problem.)

It is my grandson in Monster Pants, and it is pretty much the whole reason that there has been joy and light in my life for the last few days, and if you know me I am not even sorry that I texted you the picture of him wearing these, because they are the light and the joy and…

Seriously. Didn’t that just help your day? Don’t you feel better? Aren’t you jealous that Meg gets to look at that bummie all day? Of course you are, because you’re normal. Look at that and c’mon.  Resiliency, the ability to bounce back, to regain shape… elasticity.  I’m on it.

(Maybe he needs two pairs.)

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Susan

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 15:36

Over the last half year, I have had plenty of time to reflect on the metaphors we use when people become seriously ill. We use words of violence and battles and courage – we say that someone met the challenge of cancer bravely or that they fought hard,  and when they become ill we speak of beating it, of not giving up, of winning, and if they live we call them survivors, or in their obituaries we say things about whether or not their fight was long.

A few months ago, just a very few weeks after my mother died, my Aunt Susan was diagnosed with a vicious cancer.  Susan was determined to do all that she could to stay with us, but like my mother and her husband Tupper before her, the disease wasn’t a force you could reckon with. It was unconcerned with her strength of character, her determination, or her will.  This past weekend, despite how much she wanted more, despite how long she cared to live, despite the fact that those who loved her desperately wanted to keep her, and despite that fact that losing so many people in a family in this amount of time is just plain awful, Susan died.

Susan and my mum cared for Tupper together when he was ill, and Susan was with us here when my mum was forced out the door, and I have spent the last few months driving back and forth to Ottawa, trying to repay the debt of care I owed her, and trying to be my mother, though I know I failed. My mum loved Susan desperately, they were the very best of friends,  and many times as I pulled into the hospital parking lot, I thought to myself that if there was any mercy in what was happening, it was that my mum didn’t have to do it.

I know this is the part where I am supposed to say that Susan fought bravely, or something else that is to tell you about her struggle, but I am not going to.

In skipping this tradition, I don’t want to imply that she wasn’t strong, or that she didn’t try or that there was (ever) a challenge that Susan wouldn’t take on. She was a strong person, and brave, and there for Tupp and Mum and it’s all of that  – that’s why I can’t say there was a fight. I just won’t. I’m sure it will be different for many of you, and you can use the language and words that resonate for yourselves, and your families, if it helps you to battle with cancer or illness, if that reassures you or gives you strength, have at it. Take all you need with my blessing and more – but please don’t say it to me, because today our family is on the other side.

If we say there was a fight, then we are saying Susan lost it, as did my Mum, and Tupp, and I cannot bear to have them thought of as losers who weren’t strong enough, people who didn’t persevere, or tragic figures who didn’t win a battle.  You didn’t know them, they weren’t like that. They didn’t want to go, and they would never have left us like this if they didn’t have to.

Susan didn’t lose a fight – the magic number of days she was somehow allotted had elapsed, and it wouldn’t have mattered if she had cowered in a corner and refused to go on, there was a sentence in the disease, and there was no battle for her to wage.

I am not a person who believes in heaven, or any afterlife at all.  I tried to be, after my Mum died. I tried to believe that she was going on somewhere, happy and whole – it is a wonderful idea that I wish I could get behind, and I so see the obvious comfort in it, but I lack whatever it is that lets you make the leap. I tried desperately to believe that I would someday see her again, but I can’t.  While I struggled, Susan did not. She believed that there was a time after this, a time or a place where people are reunited with the ones that they love, and although she was loathe to go, in her heart she felt that leaving this place could mean arriving somewhere else, and I was happy to support that belief. I hope she is right, or that maybe something different is true for everyone and maybe in believing, Susan made it true for herself.

Today it is my most fond wish that somewhere, right this minute, Susan, Tupp and Mum are on a beach, the Saturday crossword held down with a rock.  Mum is walking along the waves, Tupp is swimming in the sea, and Susan is sitting in the shade watching them both, so relieved and peaceful, and happy to have them back again.

I hope so, because I really miss them all.  Bon voyage Susan. We love you.Thanks for everything.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

I’ll just take that too

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 21:34

My little Pretty Thing is finished and blocking (I forgot what a super fast knit it is, the chart’s only got 62 rounds) if by “blocking” you understand that I have washed it in the bathroom sink and tossed it on a furnace grate so it dries fast. It’s going to be fantastic.  I’ve turned my attention now to my suitcase – throwing in some clothes, a few sweaters, all the stuff that doesn’t matter, and now I get to think about what knitting I’ll take.  I’m suddenly between projects.

Now, you have to understand that “between projects” is a technical term that when applied to regular people always means that you don’t currently have a project on the go.  When applied to knitters, however, this term has several possible meanings, depending on the nature or mood of the knitter in question.

A) I’m in between projects!  Translation – I actually have nothing on the needles.  I just finished something and I haven’t started something, so for the next three minutes, I’m in between projects. Likelihood: Rare, but possible.

B) I’m in between projects! Translation – I have finished my main project. I still have a few other things on needles kicking around that I could be puttering away at,  but this was the big thing I had on the go. Likelihood: Not unusual.

C) I’m in between projects! Translation – I have nothing on the needles right now – except socks/a hat/some other sort of accessory, and I don’t count those.   Likelihood: Common

D) I’m in between projects! Translation – There’s actually about seven projects on the needles in this house, but I don’t care about the other ones and I may or may not ever finish them, and frankly, I don’t like your tone. I don’t want to knit those, and therefore, they don’t count.  Those bags?  Those are socks. Everyone knows you don’t count socks. I am clearly between projects. Did you see my new yarn?  Likelihood: Yeah. That’s probably it.

Today, I’m using it that last way – I’ve got about 5 big projects on the go, and two pairs of socks (whoops, three) and I literally just looked straight through them all and thought “well isn’t this lovely. Nothing on the needles” and decided I can put whatever yarn I want in my suitcase, and plenty of it.

After all, it’s not often that I’m between projects.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Pretending

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 01:06

I am pretending that this week is not on fire. (It is.) I am pretending that I am totally organized (I am not) and that everything is absolutely coming together (it isn’t) and that I have all of this well in hand. (Sorry. Just laughed so hard I almost choked on tea.) Joe and I, despite difficulties of a stunning variety, are leaving for our annual holiday on Saturday. We thought we would go somewhere warm, and then somewhere adventurous, and then somewhere we’d never been, and then go on our (now) annual ski trip to Banff, and then we remembered about a few complications, like time and money and family and reality, so now we’re just going skiing, which is totally what Joe loves, and I like it too (although I am getting pretty sick of winter) and it is very hard to complain about the Rocky Mountains, because going there is almost exactly like the beach.  (See title.) I’m busy sorting my work and getting ready to try and take a week off, and I’m going to be absolutely prepared and ready to set aside all the stress of the week and our lives and be great at relaxing. (See title.)  I’ve been knitting something for skiing too – just to be prepared.

Nine years ago, just about, I knit Pretty Thing. I have worn that one a million times, and most recently, I’ve taken to wearing it skiing. It’s the perfect little bit of extra warm softness, tucked between my neck and my ski jacket, and I can even pull it up to cover my chin, cheeks and nose when it’s really cold. It works really well – not bulky, stays where I put it, it’s perfect.

(I love how this picture makes it look like I know what I’m doing. See title.)

It’s so perfect, that it would appear I’ve finally worn it out. The last time I went to put it on, there was a hole.  I know when it happened too – it was just after Christmas when we went skiing and it was -35, and the thing froze solid with ice from my breath, and it snapped as I pulled it up.  (If you do not live in a place where it gets cold enough to actually break frozen textiles, take a minute and hold Canada in your heart.) I came home that day and started thinking about a replacement – though truthfully, I did keep wearing the ratty one until now – like some feral knitter with broken stuff. (I am rather attached to it.) I went through the spinning stash, and found a beautiful batt.

It was from Heidi at the Artful Ewe, about 50g of superfine merino, cashmere and silk.  The perfect little bit for a Pretty Thing.  I spun it up, and plied it,

and yesterday I started knitting it up. (The second Bonfire is finished, if you’re wondering how my faithless needles have wandered again. I’ll show you later, it’s blocking.)

I love how it’s working out, though I think I will forever miss my first one.

A little luck and tomorrow it’s washed, packed and ready to hit the slopes.

(See title.)

Categories: Knitting Feeds

The next one will have ties

Sun, 03/04/2018 - 13:45

Elliot’s new sweater is finished, fits, and is being enjoyed by the recipient.

And while he quite likes the buttons…

He is over the hat.

Completely.

(Hat: Tiny Lumberjack, Sweater: Elwood,  colour scheme altered to match the hat.)

Categories: Knitting Feeds

One Half Year

Thu, 03/01/2018 - 03:41

A few years ago a friend told me that after she experienced a significant loss, she didn’t dream anymore.  The whole thing stopped, and her nights were simple. She closed her eyes, and slept and woke up and nothing had happened in between. This was sad and worrisome for her, she’d always loved and valued her dreams, and she was worried and frightened that they were gone forever, killed by her sadness.  It wasn’t true, they flickered back into being as she came up from the depths of grief, but I remember thinking that it seemed sad and horrible and impossible. Dreams are… well, they’re part of who you are. How can that go away?

I didn’t realize until I started dreaming again a few weeks ago, that the same thing had happened to me. I woke remembering a dream, and was suddenly aware of the stunning absence of them until now, and realized that I’d been so busy treading water that I hadn’t even noticed that things were so weird. I’ve kept dreaming since that night, and mostly they aren’t awesome yet. Largely I’m having problem solving dreams – dreams of emergencies and things that need fixing… a fire threatens our home and everyone is here for dinner – and I only have one exit to get them safe.  Zombies (more like wraiths, really) are coming and I need to get a door closed quickly with my family on the safe side… or a ship is sinking, and I have to find everyone I love and find life jackets of the right size and get them all to the lifeboats, despite barriers and difficulty. I know. I have a super subtle subconscious.

This last weekend I was in Ottawa trying to be my mother, and I’m glad she doesn’t know why, and that I’m not really good at it, and it’s not super important to the story, so let’s keep going.  On the table next to the bed there was this white noise machine that had all these different settings, and I thought what the hell. I haven’t been sleeping really well anyway, so I cycled through the settings, and one of them was “ocean”.  I thought of my Mum then for a minute, and how she always said that she slept so well when she could hear the sea, and that reminded me of our trips, and I picked it, and lay down. I wonder now if that’s what was responsible for what happened next, or if it was just random.

I was having a dream – because it was a dream I wasn’t really totally aware that it wasn’t real, and it was a dream of a party that I was having for a reason that turned out to be both funny and stupid, and I was standing in the kitchen washing dishes, and laughing and chatting with my mother. She was standing behind me, rocking Elliot, and jollying him along, and we talked about how stupid the party was, and how funny it was that I’d arranged it all, and I told her about a problem I was having, and she gave me advice, and it was completely ordinary. It was me and my Mum in the kitchen doing what we do, and she was her and I was me, and I could hear her voice, and it was her voice, and it was the way she moved, and what she would wear, and the way she smelled. It was her. I was with her.

She even gave me advice about a problem I’m having, and… let’s just pause here, and say that I know it wasn’t her. It was a memory of her,  an idea of her, and I know that I wasn’t visited by my mother in ghost form, and it wasn’t her coming back to guide or help me, and I don’t believe in a great thereafter, and I know perfectly well that any advice she gave me was really just my subconscious trying to do a little problem solving (thanks to the great advice and help she gave me in real life) and I know. I know. I know it was just a dream. Irrelevant and fleeting and not real and a moment and oh… my.

It was amazing. It was everything I have been wanting. I miss her so badly, and I miss her walk, and her talk, and how she moved with that baby in her arms, and I know my mind made her, and that is a relief. It means I remember her enough to conjure her – to accurately bring back all that was her in a way that means I have her.  I haven’t forgotten. I know this is dumb, and nobody forgets their mother, but I worry that she will fade from my mind, and I won’t know how to have back any little bit of her.

In that dream, we were easy with each other, the way we always were, and she told me that way things are, and what I had to do, and we laughed, and towards the end of this little visit, she spoke of the grief of my siblings… how they might feel right now… and something snapped. I realized she was talking plainly and easily about the impact of her own death on our lives, and I turned to face her, crying suddenly as I realized it all, and it was real again, and in a flash it ended.

I woke up crying, the sounds of ocean in the room, though I was far from the sea, and my Mum was still gone.

It was beautiful and terrible, and I am grateful and hurt, and so sad, and briefly happy, which is maybe where you are supposed to be one half year after your mother dies.

Six months today.  I sure miss you Mum.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

One off the list

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 14:57

I’m back. Well, the odds are good that unless you follow me on instagram, you didn’t know I was even gone, but I was. Another drive to Ottawa, another stay in a hotel, another drive back. Ottawa’s about 4.5 hours from here, if you time it right, drive like thunder and go straight through.  (I do the first two, but not the last.) You’ve probably gathered from reading this blog that I don’t particularly enjoy driving, and in my everyday life, my bike and the subway make a lot more sense than tangling with traffic anyway (they’re usually faster and on the subway you can at least knit) and so as I sat in the car yesterday, I reflected that even though it’s only February, I’ve already spent more time driving this year than I did in all of last.  Once again, I went to Ottawa to go to visiting at hospital – and I always imagine that’s going to be so much more knitting than it turns out being, and so I packed up what can only be described as an optimistic and unreasonable amount of yarn.

I took a whole new kit for a shawl (didn’t even start it) the Bonfire cowl, and Elliot’s little sweater, because I was starting to feel like a bad grandmother for not finishing it straightaway.  When I got to the hotel I spread it all out on the table there – scads of yarn, a bunch of needles (I didn’t know what I would need for the shawl so brought a million) and then vowed to knit just Elliot’s sweater until it was finished. I think I left the other stuff out as incentive. I also carried the cowl around all day, just in case I really suddenly and unexpectedly finished the sweater.

That’s not what happened – instead I plodded along on that sweater, almost finished, realized that the sleeves were not wide enough (still) reknit the sleeves and finally (almost) crossed the finish line with it shortly after arriving home yesterday.

It still needs the ends woven in, and to be blocked, and to have the wee buttons sewn on, but Elliot’s definitely only a day away from a new sweater, and I can go back to knitting the cowl. Which (sorry Elliot) was really what I wanted to be knitting anyway. I’m hoping the desire to knit that cowl goes away when I finish this second one. It would be a little unreasonable to knit at third… right?

Last – I posted that we have a few spots left at the April Strung Along Retreat, and what always happens happened, and a bunch of you sent email asking questions, and I realized after the fact – like always, that I should have answered them up front -this blog is always like an iceberg, there’s always a bunch of you with a question only a few people have asked.

Question:  What retreat? What are you on about now?

Answer: It’s the April Strung Along Retreat. We host three a year, and there’s more details if you click on the words.  (Anything underlined on this blog is a link. If you click it, you go somewhere that relates to the thing you clicked on.)

Question:  Where is Port Ludlow anyway?

Answer: It’s in Washington State (In the US) outside of Seattle, pretty much just south of Vancouver, Canada. To get there, you fly into Seattle, then take a shuttle, rent a car, carpool with another knitter, or (gasp) take a float plane. It’s only about an hour or two from the airport, depending on what way you choose to get there, the ferry schedule and your luck.

Question: I don’t understand how to sign up.

Answer: Just email us.  (info@strungalong.ca) It’s not a big retreat, so Debbi and I just email you back and arrange it with you. There’s not an online form or registration or anything like that.  We’re rocking it old-school.

Question: How many people will be there?

Answer: That depends. The resort at Port Ludlow isn’t huge, and so the number of knitters at a retreat is dictated by the number of rooms, and how many people will fit in them. Sometimes people come with a friend and share a room, sometimes everyone comes by themselves, so the number of knitters we have at a retreat runs between 35-45, though it’s almost always around 40. (Yup, that means that class sizes are small. About 11-15 people. It’s a great environment.)

Question: I don’t know anyone, and I’d be coming alone. Will this still be fun?

Answer: Yes. You’ll get to know people very quickly. There’s lots of people (almost all of them) who come by themselves.  You won’t be lonely, or alone. Some people who came alone have ended up with new best friends, or a group of them.  It’s a great thing to do by yourself.  Promise.

Question: What if I don’t spin?

Answer: Well, that’s a bit of a thing.  The April and November retreats are for textile artists who are both knitters and spinners. (The June one has knitting and cooking, instead of spinning.)  The legendary Judith MacKenzie is our spinning teacher, and she’s great with beginners, but it’s a good idea for you to have had a few lessons before you come, even if they were just with a friend. You should know the parts of a wheel, and be able to make some lumpy, incredibly weird and uneven yarn. (That’s doable in an hour or two for most people. If you’ve got that down, you’ll be cool.)

Question: I spin, but don’t have (or want to bring) a wheel.

Answer: We can loan you one. We’ll ask you about it when you email.

Question: I know you’re telling me about April, but I clicked on that link and I want to come to June or November. What about that?

Answer: Well, here’s the thing.  Technically, the June and November retreats are full, and we’re running wait lists for both of them. Usually there’s some movement on those lists, but we can’t guarantee anything. The wait list for June isn’t very long right this minute, your odds would be okay-ish. The wait list for November is longer though, and we’re really happy to put you on either one, but if you for sure want to come to a retreat this year, April is the best shot.

Did I miss one?  info@strungalong.ca

Categories: Knitting Feeds

I couldn’t possibly

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 22:53

I left to go to Madrona with two projects in my bag. Well, three. I had a sock with me just for the sake of security, but I had no real intentions of knitting it – which definitely wasn’t the case with the other two.  I took with me the do-over of Elliot’s little sweater, and I swear to you that I had every intention of finishing that straightaway. I only took the yarn for the second Bonfire cowl with me in case I finished that sweater super quickly and needed a backup project.

Oh, sure – I mean, I started the cowl in the lounge on the way to Madrona, but that was just for the flight. I wasn’t really going to knit it all weekend – not when Elliot needs a sweater.*  In a practical sense, it made sense to knit the cowl on the plane. Circular needles, nothing to drop, no notions required, no interruptions while I established the pattern.  Start the cowl on the plane, then put it away until the sweater was finished. Completely responsible choice.

Once I landed, I was super busy teaching and organizing, so I just grabbed the bag with the cowl, because the sweater was in my suitcase.  For three days. Fine. The sweater was in my suitcase for five days and I had a lot going on, and it simply was not convenient to bend over for a moment and pick it up because I LOVE KNITTING THE COWL.

So I am knitting the cowl, and now it doesn’t make sense to stop because I am almost done, and really, once you’ve come this far, why not finish. I mean, who puts something aside at this point?**

*It’s okay, he has more than one knitter looking out for him. Ken just finished one,  so it’s not like he suffered for a moment.

(Pattern: Rocketry, Yarn: Dream in Color Classy. Knitter: Ken (AKA: Poppa.)

**Please refrain from noticing that this is the point at which I set the sweater aside. Thanks.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Doubling up

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 13:47

Off I go this morning, the first of two flights, making my way from cold and snowy Toronto to what I hear is a decidedly more spring-like Seattle.  It’s the time of the year that I get to go to Madrona, and I’m excited and happy to be on my way, despite the 5am wake-up call. It’s early morning in the Air Canada Lounge at YYZ, and I’m here with my fellow travellers, watching Olympic curling on TV and knitting.  Well, we’re all watching curling (it is Canada, after all, and the sport is a bit of a national obsession here) but I think I’m the only one knitting. I’m certainly the only one posing yarn with curling. (Hold on… yes. It’s just me.)

As I was getting my projects together for this trip, I realized that for the first time maybe ever, everything I’m knitting is something I’ve made before. I’ve got the second go at Elliot’s sweater in my bag (because you guys are right and it makes more sense to knit it all over again than it does to rip it back – I’d only be able to keep a bit of it, and I’m pretty sure I have enough yarn) and those two balls of yarn are destined to be another Bonfire – this time in Freia Handpaints Vitamin C and Driftwood, a combination that’s a little more 1970’s kitchen than the one before.  I loved knitting that last cowl, and I’ve been dreaming of a do-over since the minute I finished it… The way I remember it, every single moment of it was a pleasure. Then just now I started the two-colour Italian cast-on this sucker begins with, and all of a sudden I don’t know what I was thinking. Last time it all seemed so fast, so easy, so entertaining, and that must be true, if I forgot about this part.  Second verse, same as the first.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

In a drawer

Sun, 02/11/2018 - 22:19

We’ve been going through my Mum’s things. It’s time to empty her house and sell it, and unbelievably, months of wishing the house would sort itself without us hasn’t really done anything. Erin and I are not really terrific at this, we’ve both got a low threshold, and I think we both feel like the house is full of emotional bombs.  You’re going along fine, sorting something, and then run into something that’s just so… Mum, that it hits you like a sledgehammer. Nothing is safe. Even trying to get rid of stuff from the freezer was hard – Erin pulled out the little jar of frozen lemon curd I’d made mum at Christmas, and I came undone, two minutes later we’re laughing and crying because we’ve pulled something out with a best before date of some time in 2014.  Mum didn’t really believe in best before dates. She thought they were a scam. (She once ate an 14 month old yogurt by accident and didn’t die. This cemented her philosophy.)

I knit a lot of things for my mum over the years, and I’ve been stunned to discover that she kept them all. Every bit of it (with the exception of slippers that wore out) are still in her closets and drawers. She’s got a fantastic sock collection, and hats, sweaters and tops. Erin took a few of the sweaters, and the silk tee that I knit her, and I think I’ll take the socks back – I’m not sure yet. Socks are such an intimate thing, I don’t know if I can bear to let them go, or bear to have them here.  There’s a lot to figure out and I hadn’t expected it to come down to weeping into old socks, but there you have it.  In her cupboard of sweaters, I found an old one.

This was the first sweater I knit my mother, and frankly, it doesn’t have much to recommend it. For a while with my mum, there was a sheep thing. It’s hard to explain, but she ended up with a lot of sheep stuff, and at the beginning of all of it, I knit her a sweater that was supposed to be reminiscent of her grandfathers sheep farm in BC. It was 1990, and at the time I was very young and broke, and Amanda was six months old, and the outlay of cash for the yarn was a big deal, even though it’s absolutely acrylic. (Canadiana, ordered from Mary Maxim. I remember it coming in the mail.)  I designed it myself, such as it is, a little square, drop-sleeve sweater, and charted the intarsia sheep and hills and clouds, and embroidered on the little bunches of flowers and the legs and noses of the sheep.

I remember making it. I remember hoping she liked it, and I remember being worried because the clouds didn’t look quite right, and the seams aren’t perfect, and the green wasn’t quite the green I thought it would be.  All those things are still true. It’s not the most expertly executed knitwear, my skills are very different now, that’s for sure. I remember her opening it, and I remember her saying that she loved it. I don’t know if she really did. I mean, now that I’m a mother I see that she certainly did love it, but we’ll never know if she loved it because of what it was, or because I made it for her.  The stuff your kids make is like that, and I suspect it doesn’t change because they grow up. She wore that sweater for years. Years and years.

(That’s her and Meg. The sweater’s already three years old by then.) I felt a little twinge of shame every time I saw that sweater in the last 10 years or so.  Wishing, now that I am older and wiser and have more skills and money that I’d made it better. I thought a few times about re-knitting it, this time in wool, with the green I’d always meant it to be, and with shoulder seams that were a bit tidier.  My intarsia isn’t much better, but I could have tried. I never did though, and now there it was, on a shelf in a cupboard in her room, carefully folded, with a bar of soap in-between it and the sweater under it. (My mother has a bar of soap in every possible spot of her closets and drawers. We can’t explain it, but there’s got to be fifty of them.)

It smells like her (and like soap) and right now it’s in my living room, and I have no idea what I’m going to do with it, and I can’t even explain my feelings toward it, but I knew it couldn’t go to Goodwill.  I now own a pretty crappy acrylic sweater, one that I’m super attached to, and rather ironically, it was knit by me.  Couldn’t have predicted that.

Life is surprises.

By the way, we’ve opened our April Retreat up for Registration, there’s some info here if you would care to join us.  Who knows. Maybe I’ll wear the sweater.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

A River in Egypt

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 18:46

This June I will be fifty years old.  When I am fifty, I will have been knitting for forty-six years, and I have just done a classic dumb-knitter thing, and I want you to know that if you were hoping that sometime soon you would stop doing the same thing, you should probably give up.

I just finished the sweetest little sweater for Elliot.  It’s the Elwood sweater – re-jigged colour-wise to match all the hats I knit this Christmas.  Looks great, right?

Wrong. It does not fit him, it is too small. I have to pull the whole thing out. I think I can just go back as far as the divide for the sleeves, work some more increases and carry on, but I have to pull out the sleeves, the collar and button band, the body from the divide… and here is the worst part.

It is my fault. It is completely my fault. It is entirely, 100% totally my fault in about ten ways, which I have listed below, so that the record is complete.

1. I didn’t do a swatch.  I can’t explain why not, I just let it go, like a passing and irrelevant thought.  A bubble I let float away on a breeze.

2. Once I decided not to do a gauge swatch, I also decided that even though the gauge for this sweater is 18 stitches to 10cm, and even though I have never, ever gotten that gauge with this yarn and a size 4mm needle – that this was indeed the needle I should use.

3. I made that decision, knowing that it would result in a fabric that I liked, but not a gauge that would work, and started knitting anyway – believing that it might still work, even though I absolutely knew it would not. I did not suspect it wouldn’t work. I knew it wouldn’t, and yet I hoped that this was the time that everything would change, for no reason what so ever, even though the world never, ever works that way.

4. I began knitting, and knew the gauge was wrong, and the sweater would be too small, but thought I might just do a few extra increases to make it work.

5. Then I didn’t do them. I didn’t forget either. I just decided to skip it because #3.

6. I had a feeling again, once I divided for the sleeves and body, that it wasn’t working out. As a matter of fact, I applied forty-six years of experience and knew it wasn’t working out, but I decided to ignore that feeling in the hopes that magic dust would settle on the sweater and a unicorn would spit on it and a knitting miracle that has never before happened to me would finally occur.

7. It did not, and despite that, I decided to knit the button band and the collar before the sleeves, just to make it harder to rip it out if the unicorn thing didn’t happen.

8. As I was knitting the first sleeve I knew it was too skinny. I knew my gauge was wrong. I knew all of those things and I felt pretty bad about knitting the sleeve, but I told myself that all of these problems were probably going to block right out, so I knit the second tiny stupid too small sleeve.

9. Then I wove in all the ends.

10. Then I blocked it, and it didn’t block out.You know why? Because nothing ever blocks out. Nothing ever has. The first time you think “oh dear… well, that will probably block right out” you should immediately rip back, because that isn’t a thing. That’s not what blocking does, and I know that, and I teach that, and I have written that down and I literally have a tee-shirt emphasizing this and I honestly can’t tell you what the hell was wrong with me from the word go on this sweater because despite points 1-10 this morning I texted Megan and asked her to give me Elliot’s measurements because you know… BABIES SHRINK ALL THE TIME, and when he was as big or bigger than he was the last time I asked I actually got upset and shocked that this sweater is too small.

The only redeeming thing I can possibly say about this episode is that at least I didn’t sew the buttons on. I hate me.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Hip to be square

Mon, 01/29/2018 - 18:51

I finished that gorgeous hat over the weekend – Hallstatt is off the needles, and isn’t it pretty?

Yarn is Sublime Baby Cashmerino DK – and I knit the pattern almost as written – the recipient would be opposed to something tight around their head, so I knit the whole thing on the larger needles, rather than knitting the ribbing on smaller ones. It’s more of a head topper than a head hugger now, and should suit.

When I was done, I knit on the emergency sock I keep in my purse for waiting times – and I thought about what to make next. I’ve been carrying around more Freia Handpaints to make another Bonfire (knits so nice I’ll make it twice) but I’ve also been thinking about a sweater for me – something simple and wearable, like Vintersol or Humulus.  I know – I’ve said before that yoked sweaters aren’t really my thing – but that’s not entirely true.  I love them and think they’re so very pretty on other people (and I’ve knit a couple I couldn’t resist)  but I have broad, square shoulders and a generous rack, and my mother always said that sweaters like that make me look like an advancing tank.  She stressed the role that v-necks should play in my life, and she’s not wrong. They’re flattering for me.

The thing is – It turns out that maybe I don’t give a crap. I mean, maybe it’s okay if I look like an advancing tank, and maybe nobody cares. It’s taken me getting this old to suspect that when I leave a room, people do not discuss my neckline choices in a way that’s going to have any actual impact on my life.  As a matter of fact, I suspect that nobody is discussing my necklines at all. (If this is not true, and it is all you discussed with your friends on the way home from a book signing or workshop, say nothing now.)  It is possible that I’ve spent years trying to avoid criticism that is definitely not forthcoming, and that much like my mother’s warnings about the lengths of my skirts (I have always worn them too long for a woman my height) and the fact that I don’t wear lipstick (just to brighten me) or that I love neutral colours (despite the fact that I would look so much better with a little colour by my face)  the round neck/yoke thing might be true, but unimportant.   Maybe, I think to myself, maybe I should just wear whatever sweaters I like.

This is bold thinking for a woman who has worried about her square shoulders her whole life, so it didn’t quite take hold. I’ll continue to contemplate this, as I knit another sweater for Elliot.

Elwood, in yarn leftover from All. Those. Hats.

Elliot has no position on necklines yet.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Sure another hat

Fri, 01/26/2018 - 01:40

Oh guys, thanks so much.  Without wanting to be a buzz-kill of any kind, this week is a wee bit dreary, and as always, there you were to lift me up, and make me feel less alone. Thanks for your thoughts, your comments, and especially your donations. I know it’s sappy, but I really feel like the universe wants some balance, like water seeking level – and that if my family has to have a hard time right now, that maybe that will be balanced by your donations making things better for another family.  Actually, I know that’s true. I’ve taken a larger leadership role with the Rally this year, and it takes me into PWA several days out of a month (week, actually) and I can tell you for an absolute fact that the money you donate changes lives absolutely. I have met the clients, and the money you give touches their lives in practical and real ways. You are a force, never doubt it, and it does my heart a world of good.

After driving home on Sunday from up North, then driving here to Ottawa rather unexpectedly on Monday, I feel like I’m really scrambled with my knitting projects.  I have a sock humming along in the background, but mostly I’m trying to finish another hat.

I KNOW. I said never to another hat, but you had to know I didn’t really mean it, and besides, what’s a chemo cap without a proper “formal” hat for when you’re out in public.

I’ve chosen a lovely hat that turned up in an exhaustive Ravelry search for just the right thing.  It’s the Hallstatt hat, and the yarn I’ve got is Sublime: Baby cashmere merino silk DK.  (There is nothing more to say about that combination, it’s magic. Everything delicious for a sore head.) Hat is pictured here in my hotel room on the window ledge at dawn, where there is little to work with.

I’ve been plowing along on it for a few days, and I’m remembering this feeling from when my mum was in hospital.  I thought there would be so much knitting, that all that sitting would mean knitting, but when someone is so ill, it turns out that when they speak, you want to put your work down, and turn your full self towards them, and as a result, it’s slow going.

Things are rather unbelievably and fortunately stable here, so tomorrow I’ll make the 5 hour drive back to Toronto, and home and the other part of my family, and finish this hat. It won’t be long before I’m back, and I’ll bring it with me.

And now…. Gratuitous grandson photo.


Home and to him, tomorrow. Peace out.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Fourteen

Wed, 01/24/2018 - 02:05

This is not the way I expected it to be.

I feel like this is pretty much what should be written on the tee shirt I’ve been wearing for the last while.  Finding a way to restructure the family, figuring out a new way to get the hang of all the changes, trying to let go, to move forward.  I keep discovering myself standing in the middle of a something I’ve never lived before, usually with a trashed kitchen and a lot of laundry, one or more people in the family crying or laughing either literally or figuratively, and thinking “this is not the way I expected it to be.”

Grief, grandmotherhood, parenthood, taking down wallpaper – honestly, almost nothing is the way I expected it to be, for better or worse, and I am just so glad that at some point in my life I decided that flexibility (both physical and spiritual) was something I should try to cultivate, and I both went to yoga and tried to get down with new points of view.  I admit, this has had limited success. I accept now that flexibility isn’t going to be the whole secret to happiness (although I swear it helps) and I am now convinced that the rest of it lies in what you choose to say right after you think “This is not the way I expected it to be.”

I’ve been trying really hard to be someone who sort of good naturedly looks at getting a surprise like that and thinks “Good golly I wonder what magic will happen next! Maybe we’re all getting lollipops!” but it turns out that the best I can do might be to surrender all hope of knowing what’s going on, all sense of being invested in my own expectations, and trying for a weakly uttered “Ok then. If someone will bring me a scotch while I take a bath, I think I can re-orient.”

Take today, for instance.  Today is my fourteenth blogiversary.  I have been sitting down at my computer/laptop/macbook for fourteen years, as of today, and writing to you about my knitting and my life and my everything, as often as I have been able.  I am pretty proud of this. I love this relationship between us enough that in the days leading up to this blogiversary, I kept thinking about what I would do to celebrate. A big post. Maybe show you some beautiful pictures, maybe a long letter to you, telling you about the amazing impact you’ve had on my life, and what it means to all of us that you’re here. (I try to do this every year, because it’s a really hard thing to explain.) Then things changed, and plans got altered, and my sister and I played a game of WWMD (What Would Mum Do) and voila.

This blog post comes to you from a hotel room, where I’m by myself, having trouble connecting to the wifi, hotspotting from my phone at a cost of wool knows what, after a drive to Ottawa that should have  been a simple mission, but wound up being a two day affair involving an ice storm, all so that I can be nearby and present for someone in hospital, only to end up sitting here, more or less quietly,  realizing that the universe isn’t done with the edit to my family and that things are pretty hard here, and that I don’t mean to be vague, just to protect the privacy of someone else and it’s all really sad and ending up with… this is not the way I expected it to be.

I thought that my blogiversary would be different, but as I got to working up a good head of self pity, I realized that it’s actually sort of good, because Blog… when I thought of having a blog, this is not the way I expected it to be.  I thought I would write, you would read and I don’t know what I thought would happen after that, but not this.

I never ever would have expected that after fourteen years, I would sit in a room by myself, a little bit lonely, trying to figure out my next move, realizing that there is no next move, just a simple endurance game, and the magic of showing up, and that what I really need is patience and strength and to hold right on tight and maybe to knit a bit… and to talk to my blog and realize in that moment that you, my blog, you make me less lonely, and one of you is always up, and you always know what to say when things are down, and wing of moth you are so funny, and…

This isn’t what I expected it to be.

Thank you for fourteen years of making this wild ride better. I love you, and I can’t tell you what it means that you’re there.

Now take a gratuitous picture of my grandson while I get on with  it.  See you tomorrow.

(PS. If you are feeling traditional, this is the day that donations to my bike ride in the amount of 14 dollars (or a multiple thereof) freaks the daylights right out of PWA.  If I’ve entertained you $14 worth over the last fourteen years, let it rip.)

Categories: Knitting Feeds

W is for Winter and Wool

Mon, 01/22/2018 - 16:32

Yesterday, before I drove home from up north, Jen and I drank a pot of coffee while conducting surveillance for the wild turkeys we were lucky enough to see one morning, and congratulated ourselves on a near perfect weekend. In fact, the only reason we are not calling it absolutely perfect is because we don’t want to make you too jealous. We hiked, we wished for snowshoes,

we skated on the forest trail at Arrowhead, lit by torches.

We knit, we cooked, we ate, we walked by Georgian Bay, frozen and perfect, and saw what passes for a sunset on the beach. (We admit, you may need a bold Canadian heart to find the romance in a winter beach sunset. There are waves. They’re just frozen instead of lapping.)

We talked, we laughed. Jen tried to teach me how to stop on skates. (Skating is not a strong suit of mine. I like it, but I’m not great, and my entire deceleration technique involves snowbanks.)

After some careful coaching by Jen, my technique still involves snowbanks. We also knit, and knit, and knit. Everywhere.

Jen agreed to model the fabulous cowl I just finished, and we were able to expose a whole new region of Ontario to the mystic practice of hanging knitwear in trees for photos.

Pattern: Bonfire. Yarn: Freia Fine Handpaints, Sport weight, in Flare and Charcoal.

I love this project.  It was grand fun to knit, and the finished thing is so nice that I can’t stop snuggling it, and every time Jen saw it in the cabin she said “Oh that’s so beautiful.”

I did not give it to her.

The astute among you noticed that there was what appeared to be a hat in the last post, even though I distinctly said a few posts ago that I was never knitting another hat.

It was a hat, or more properly, a chemo cap. Life happens, people need things, knitting is still a good way to store and transport love, and it turns out there can’t be rules about hats.  This particular love container is 100% Cashmere, and if that and the care I put in every stitch doesn’t help, I don’t know what will. (Chemo excepted.)

How’s your winter?

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Runaway

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 19:39

Well before Christmas, Jen and I were on the phone, and we were talking about Jen’s latest placement. She’s in her third year midwifery, and one of her student placements is up north. (Not that far north, the Near North. That’s actually the name of the region, to tell it from the Far North or the Arctic, which of course would be the North North.  This is Canada. We’re almost entirely made up of North – we’ve got a lot of ways to describe it.) She asked if I would come visit during the month that she lived up there, and I said that I would, but I wasn’t sure if I would. I mean, I thought I would like to, but she hadn’t come up here yet and she didn’t know what it would be like yet or if she would be busy or if the little cabin she rented would have two coffee cups or… You know. It seemed to me like there needed to be details.

Well, fast forward to last week and Jen’s been two weeks living by herself in a little cabin in the woods with a hot plate and no bathtub,  studying at a midwifery practice and keeping weird hours, and she was starting to sound a little bit weird.  When the internet crapped out and she lost that lifeline to the outside world, I firmed up my plans.

Yesterday I packed up heaps of knitting, pulled together a menu I think I can serve off of a hot plate, and headed out the door. I arrived yesterday, and while Jen’s on call and so we can’t stray far, we we’ve set ourselves an ambitious agenda of hiking, eating, knitting and tea drinking.

The weather is perfect, cold, but not too cold, wintry but not vicious, and we are made for adventure.

Also, it turns out that this midwifery clinic has a great yarn bowl.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

A wolf in the hand

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 23:46

Just a quickie from me today – I’ve got a little free time here at the end of the day, and in this ocean of a busy week, tonight’s got knitting written all over it – I’m on a roll – there’s so much knitting going on.  Heaps of it, things falling off the needles – that magnificent cowl is finished (I’ll show ya later) and that sweet pair of Wild Wolves, knit for Meg.

The photos are courtesy of Meg, as you can tell by the photo assistant.  (Meg said he wanted them so badly – as soon as she put them on he was all over it.) I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but Meg’s married family name is “Wolf” and so technically our little Elliot is being raised by Wolves (though he’s one too, so one assumes he’s fine with it.)

This was a super fun knit, and very quick, just an evening for each of the pair, if that, and I made only one change to the pattern.  There’s two rounds on the foreheads of the wolves that have three colours per round, and I gave that a resounding nope.  I used the two colours (background and light grey) for those rounds, and then began using background and dark grey when it was those two colours per round, leaving a long tail both when I started the dark grey, and when I ended it.  When I was all done I went back and used the tails to duplicate stitch on the few stitches in the rounds prior that needed to be that colour. Easier for sure.

I really love them, but for one little thing, which is that the pattern has you go in and embroider the nose and eyes of the wolves after the fact, and the eyes are french knots. That was easy enough, but I can see from the pictures Meg took that the knots (one in particular, if you spot the squinty wolf on the right) aren’t all staying on the right side of the work. I forget what you’re supposed to do to make them stay put (a piece of felt on the rear? Splitting the plies of the fabric?) but the wolf with the missing eye looks a little dodgy to me.  I’ll see if I can fix it.  Do any of you know the magic trick for making them stay on the right side?*

*Really, I can look it up, but what’s the point of having the blog in my life if you aren’t one enormous brain trust.

PS. The mittens aren’t just good looking, they are Elliot Verified Delicious.

 

Categories: Knitting Feeds

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