Monthly Archives: March 2010

The Knitter’s To-Do List

Oddly enough, it does make me feel a smidgeon more accomplished, to have gone from something like this:


…to this:


Yarn, you and me have got a lot of work to do. One at a time, there’s room for all of you on my needles.

It’s a hard job, but someone’s got to do it. Game on.


Filed under design, stash

Field Trip

On Sunday my friend Kim invited me for a road trip to a teeny tiny local spot called Jordan Station. It’s in the middle of Niagara wine country here in Ontario and if I’m being completely honest, I’d never even heard of it before a few months ago when Sherry mentioned it as a place to check out.

Lo and behold, despite the rainy weekend, it was a nice little visit – yarn shop and fibre shop, and even a stop at a local cheesemaker before heading back out. I’d like to go back some time in the summer and combine it with a bit of winery tourism. After all, what else do you need if you’ve got knitting needs and wine taken care of?


The Fibre Guy was our first stop. It’s a lovely spot – the first floor of a house filled as far as possible with spinning fibre, spinning supplies, and hand-dyed yarn. I think when I’m back there next I am going to have to take a closer look at the silk/seacell laceweight, because dang that looked pretty darned awesome.

But I did happen to get drawn in to some brilliant magenta roving which turned out to be on sale (go me), and there was no shortage of tempting things to browse at.


Also, their dog Rusty will greet you like he was wondering why you took so long to get there.


Just down the street was another little shop, a yarn and quilting supply store appropriately named Stitch. After a few minutes of browsing I immediately began to wish I lived closer because I’ll be the Stitch n’ Bitch nights are pretty awesome. The sitting and teaching area in the back also includes a fireplace.



They carry a nice selection including Berroco, Malabrigo, Manos del Uruguay, Rowan, Americo, and many others. I wasn’t going to buy anything but then I saw the Ultra Alpaca, and that same brilliant magenta shade was amongst the selection, so I had to go for it. (One wonders at the stash colour urges and calendar progression…I wonder if it is spring fever that is pushing me towards the brilliant colours.)


All in all, a fabulous excursion. Will have to be repeated!

Around these parts the sunshine has returned again in full force, and I’m starting to feel like spring might just be around the corner after all. Winter has been rather modest around these parts but all the same, the daylight hours are getting longer and the idea of spending time outside is that much more pleasant.

Happy knitting this fine Wednesday!


Filed under knitting tourism, yarn stores

The Knitter Right Now

Do you ever reach moments in your knitting when you realize your game has shifted along the way? When you have managed to cross a threshold and can look back and realize that you are a different knitter than you were before?

I have discovered, for example, that I have somehow managed to become the sort of knitter who knits cabled aran pullovers on the morning bus commute because “it just has to get done.” If I were another knitter, perhaps the Me-knitter of Some Time in My Past, I might be spending nights agonizing over these cables and devoting truckloads of mental space to them.


But the Me-knitter of Right Now has about a zillion and one things to knit on, and was supposed to have finished this (beautiful, delicious) Portland pullover by now, because the me-knitter of Right Now is in a bargain to have another sweater done by mid-April for Elspeth (so she can knit me the same sweater and we can be twee and matchy like that when I go down to visit). And in theory this should still be fine given that the matchy-twee Elspeth sweater is far more simple and requires no cabling whatsoever, and that Elspeth will probably not care if I am frenetically knitting away on the last sleeve while I am in her presence and/or seconds before I depart her company.

But it does explain why the Me-knitter of Right Now has decided not to care that I messed up establishing the central cable panel on the first sleeve, and that instead of 2-3 inches of neat ribbing I have actually jumped right in and established the cable motif right from the cast-on edge.


It is still pretty. It is an attractive modified design feature. The Me-knitter of Right Now is moving on.

And trying to knit like the wind. We’ll see how it all goes.


Filed under a fine fleece, cables

Tales of the Slightly Crazy Yet Practical

For the last year or so (I know it’s been a year because I remember when I started, it was Roll Up the Rim time, and so it is again now, how’s that for a bit of Canadiana?) I have been doing a little ongoing experiment.

It all started one week at the end of winter last year when in the span of a few days I found several coins on the sidewalk. And I decided that the logical thing to do was to go on picking up money I found on the street, and see how much it would add up to. Pure curiosity mingled with my pack-rat tendencies – plus, money. How can you argue with finding money? (Before anyone asks…I’m not in the habit of picking up other things I find on the street. The ‘Hoarders’ film crew can hold off for the moment.)

Anyhow, it turns out that if you do this regularly, and pick up every little coin you find on the ground while going about your day, after a year you’ll have nearly $14.00 altogether.

A Year's Worth of Coins 2

I don’t know if this counts as “a lot” of money or “not very much” money, for a year’s efforts. But I do know that this is all money that was just sitting on the ground. For this little experiment to be possible means that we are, collectively, quite literally throwing our money away by letting coins sit all over the place gathering dirt and rain and footsteps.

The interesting thing in my mind, is that while you’d think that this would add up to mostly pennies – and about 150 of the coins in this pile are indeed pennies – in fact there are about 50 dimes in here as well, along with a few nickels, quarters, “Loonies” (Canadian $1 coins), and even a “Toonie” (Canadian $2 coin).

Poor beat up pennies

It’s also pretty clear to me that of all our poor coins, the pennies (one cent pieces) take the most beating. I’ve rescued these little darlings out of seams in the road, scooped them up from curbsides, and can now recognize their familiar copper gleam from several paces away. (Experiments like this have super crazy side-results.)

There are a fair number of American pennies in here, too, something which I think speaks to how fluidly people in this half of North America deal with other North American currency. Nobody around here bats an eyelash if an American coin slips into your chance, we circulate them like normal cash. I’ve never seen anybody treat Canadian coins like that outside of Canada, that’s for sure. [Edit: notes in the comments reveal this not to be the same experience – thanks, ‘Murricans that will accept Canadian coins and not blink twice!]

A Year's Worth of Coins

On the one hand, it might seem a little odd to be caring about picking up coins off the ground when, after a year, the relative total adds up to about the same as the price of a half-decent lunch. But in my mind the even stranger thing is why people don’t do this more often. Dudes, if every Canadian (there are about 35 Million of us) rescued $14.00 off the ground every year, we could fricking well save the economy. Just sayin’.

Or at the very least we’d all get a free lunch.

When’s the last time you found a bit of money? Keep me company on this Tuesday, won’t you? And keep the knitting close by.


Filed under real life miscellaney

Finishing is Finishing

I am entering a relatively busy knitting cycle at the moment, working away steadily on several things which will (I promise) be revealed here in the fullness of time as they are completed. I also still have my Portland cabled pullover which is getting steady morning bus knitting time and is proceeding apace, although at this stage any progress photos have the effect of looking like just more of the same cables I showed you back when I was working the first piece…So it’s all ticking along, but it is also true that much of this is knitting work requiring a fair chunk of my brain and/or concentration. Which I love, because I sort of love sinking my teeth into skills-building (or skills-requiring) projects, but the brain needs rest at some point.

And this is where nice plain socks come in. Here are my finished 3×1 ribbed socks, in Socks That Rock lightweight (Never on Sunday colourway, purchased last summer at Lettuce Knit during Toronto’s TTC knitalong).


A few people have asked me about these, wondering what the stitch pattern is – really, for real and true, all it is is ribbing. Work as you would a regular plain sock, but instead of working plain stockinette over the leg and instep, work “k3, p1″ ribbing instead. It’s a small thing that, to me, makes a world of difference. It makes you pay attention just enough that you’re not bored, but not so much that it stops being relaxing. I now prefer ribbed socks to stockinette for just that reason, and there is also the added bonus that they fit a tiny bit more snugly thanks to the ribbing.

Go forth and knit ribbed socks, for yea verily, they are good. (Hmm, I may now need to start a new pair…)

Happy Sunday!


Filed under finished object: socks

Yarn Therapy

Some days you just need to fondle look at a bit of sock yarn before you leave the house.

You know?

Mar 4 - Delicious Sock Yarn

If this is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.


Filed under Uncategorized

The State of Things

It’s busy times around here at Knitting to Stay Sane, both in the “real” non-knitting world and in knitting goings-on. Things I Am Up To include, but are not limited to the following:

1. Enjoying daydreaming about being back at the nice weekend I spent in the company of knitters, wherein I crammed in all the relaxation and knitting time I didn’t manage to get in over my actual break week.

2. Kicking myself for forgetting to bring my camera with me for said weekend. (It’s the classic problem that comes of switching over to a different handbag).

3. Contemplating approximately eleventy million design ideas at various stages of execution. (ranging from the “post-it note above desk” phase, to the “bookmarks in stitch dictionaries and yarn strewn about the house” phase, and even to the “prototype is half-done” phase. It’s good times.)

4. Wondering exactly what this Socks That Rock (“never on sunday” colourway) is playing at when it gives me spirally swooshes on one sock, and almost entirely vertical lines on the second sock:


5. Playing the mental game of “how many papers do I have left to grade” vs. “feasibility/suitability of trying to get them all done in the next 48 hours.” (You can only play this at advanced levels.)

6. Realizing that daylight hours are growing longer every day, and that getting up in the morning actually no longer happens in the pitch darkness anymore. Thank goodness.

7. Daydreaming about knitting. Right now.


Filed under real life miscellaney