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.
When Luis was born, Joe’s mum Carol lost her mind in the most charming way, and showed pictures of that kid to every single person who lived on earth. We called it the Nana-cam, and she whipped out snaps of her darling boy at every possible opportunity. On the bus, in restaurants, in the queue at the bank, attending an exercise class… no person and no situation was a grandson free zone. I remember thinking it was lovely that she was so proud and so delighted, but also heaving a sigh of relief that I would never be swept up like that. I am not that sort of person, I thought, smiling as she whipped out her phone again. Yeah. Well… wasn’t I cute, because this morning as I started getting this post together I reflected for a moment that maybe you guys wouldn’t want an Elliot post two in a row. I thought maybe I should write about something else, like maybe cables or how to count rows, and that maybe I should get a grip on myself when it came to the grandson thing and then honest to goodness I swear to the lot of you, I realized that I could not imagine that even one of you did not want to see pictures of him in his new sweater, and as I thought that – I had another thought simultaneously, and it was “Oh no I am the Nana-cam”. So I guess I am, and look! Elliot has a new sweater! This is Flax Light, knit in the fabulous new sweater striping yarn from Gauge Dye Works. It’s a thing now. They made some, it sold out, but they’re making more, because it’s pretty much the coolest ever. It is definitely cooler than Elliot’s rabbit, which is not living up to expectations. (I am unclear on how the rabbit is disappointing him, but I think we can all agree that his position is clear.) I’m loving this little sweater, and Megan and Alex are too – it’s soft, thin, wearable as clothes rather than a layer, and looks great on him. If I can get that yarn in another colourway, I’ll make him another one. Something’s got to make up for the rabbit.
I’m ready to talk about the hats. A few weeks before Christmas, I noticed that the Tiny Lumberjack hat that I’d knit for Elliot was too small. (He’s really a rather petit little fellow, but growing like a weed.) Meg had it on him with the brim folded down and well… it triggered some grandmother knitting. I decided he should have a new, bigger one for Christmas. Easy enough. I mucked around with the pattern, changed it to worsted weight, and made it big enough to last him a good long time. One evening while I was knitting it, Joe looked over and complimented the hat and said he’d really like one just like it. Then Pato said the same thing, and then I started thinking about how much Sam loves it when people have matching clothes, and an idea was born. It was a crazy idea – I see that now. I decided I would pound out eight of those hats, one for everyone* knit in time for Christmas. This idea, as mad as it was, had a lot going for it. a) this is a very cute hat. b) who doesn’t need a hat, also they are faster to knit than socks. c) Sam loves matching things so much that I imagined that when she figured out we all had matching hats, she would probably go bananas. I started. I bought the yarn (then I bought more yarn, seeing immediately that I didn’t have enough**) and then I just kept knitting them. At every occasion I pulled out a grey cabled hat with a red and white striped brim, and nobody said anything. Nobody in the family caught on that there were multiples of this hat… and as the hats waxed and waned across my instagram feed, progress gained, lost, then gained again… not a single person left a comment that said anything like “Wing of moth, how long is it going to take you to knit that hat” or “Did you have to rip back? Were you not almost done that beast?” or “Is this all you knit now?” (Which would have at least been accurate. It was all I knit. Me. That hat. Morning. Night. By the fire. By the tree. On buses. On airplanes. Everywhere. That hat. All the time. By Christmas morning I had (almost) all the hats knit. I wrapped them all up, with a label that read “For Joe (and Sam)” “For Meg (and Sam)” “For Alex (and Sam)” and I handed them all out at once. Sam was enchanted and excited…. It was as awesome as I thought it might be, and everyone was so happy, so delighted to be like each other – it got me thinking about teams and uniforms and that maybe Sam is onto something with the matching stuff – maybe it’s comforting to know who’s on your side at a glance. This was confirmed for me the other night, at our regular dinner with Elliot (and it’s nice to see Meg and Alex too) when Joe wore his hat, and then Ken arrived wearing his, and Elliot looked up at the two of them and you could just see his little mind processing the fact that they had the same hat on, his eyes flicking from pom pom to pom pom. Ken noticed him looking and leaned in. “That’s right” he said. “It’s the same hat….” “It’s how you can spot your people.” *I look pretty phallic in most hats, and this one is no exception. I skipped the one for me. **Wrong again. I have heaps of leftovers. Yarn insecurity is a terrible thing.
In the last weeks before Christmas (and before New Years, I was running late) I knit eight hats, and the hats were all I knit. Morning, noon, night, hats, hats, hats. I’ll show you pictures another day when I can stand to look at them, but the important thing to know about that little streak is that now I am so tired of hats that I’m feeling the occasional urge to slap them off the heads of strangers. During the last of the hats, I comforted myself by lining up two projects I was going to start the minute it was all over, and when I say that I lined them up, I don’t mean that I sort of thought about what it was going to be and kept them in my mind. I mean that I took the yarns out of the cupboard, got the needles, organized the patterns and put it all right next to me so that it was literally lined up. I’d knit a hat for a bit, then reach over and pat the reward yarns, quietly mumbling eloquent things like “^%$#%ing hats.” I started too look forward to the reward knits so much that I worried that maybe I was making too much of it. I wasn’t. I started both of them, and I love them – Wild Wolves – I had a kit that I bought at Knit East. It’s entirely charming, knitting up quickly and delightfully not hatlike at all. Also not a hat? Bonfire. I’ve been dreaming of this one for a while – I ordered the yarn ahead so that I’d have it, and I’m so smitten. It’s Freia Fine Handpaints in Flare, and a solid to go with. It’s not often that I use the yarn a pattern calls for – I’ve got a big stash and I like to use it, but this yarn is so perfect for this pattern that I couldn’t imagine anything else. My hat free life is so perfect. I am never knitting another hat.
As I was getting ready for the new year yesterday, I was writing a blog post in my head. I started to write it down too, and then realized that I was totally on the wrong track and deleted the whole thing. I was writing about how sad it was, caught up in the idea that this would be the first year of my life that I didn’t speak with my mother at midnight, that 2018 would be the first year that she wasn’t alive at all. I was writing about how this year had been our “annus horribilis” – the worst year of my life, and as I typed the words, they began to lose traction. That wasn’t all this year was. For sure, this is the first year I won’t talk to my mother – but this year will be the first of many years that I have my grandson. I went back and looked at the pictures I took this year for a little perspective. (January) (February) (March) When I was growing up, my mum had tons of traditions – for everything. Things you had to do or say or wear at certain times of year, on special days. When I was younger I thought they were dumb, but when I became a mother, when I started to be responsible for creating a sense of family, a team that was going to pull together, I saw the cleverness of it. These little things, these small structures – they give a family its backbone, its character, the ways that they are special to each other, and an enduring feeling of connection. “This is the way we do it… this is who we are… ” It’s strengthening. I’ve clung to those things over the last few weeks, trusting that our traditions would help me feel less lost, and it’s mostly worked. Yesterday was no different, and neither is today. (April) (May) (June) Yesterday I cleaned the house, did laundry, emptied a drawer, straightened a closet, urged us all to be in good shape as we began a new year. “End as you mean to go on.” I could year my mum saying it to me – reminding me that the place I was in as the New Year struck would set the tone for the year to follow. I swept the floor, taking care to throw the contents of the dustpan out the back door – mum says that makes sure you sweep the old years troubles out the door too. We paid our bills, put coins in the backyard for the light of the old moon and the new moon to shine on so we’ll have enough money this year – mum was always very clear on that one. I shared a beautiful dinner with people I love, and I made sure that the first person across my threshold after midnight was a dark haired man. (As usual, Joe was sent out, only to be admitted back in – though he is getting so grey haired that I wasn’t sure that it would take, so later Sam’s boyfriend Mike came in ahead of her, just to be sure. The concept of a First Footer is vague on the details, as was my mother.) (July) (August) (September) (October) (November) Today I’m doing all the things my mum said were important. I’m hosting a levee, I won’t wash anything today, to make sure no one in the family is washed away this year. I’ll do a bit of work, to make sure that my work is successful for the next year, I’ll take a moment to tell the people that I love that they’re important to me, keeping them bound to me for the next year. I’ll put the coins from the new moon in my purse, and I’ll drink a toast to the people I wish were here. My grandparents, Janine, Tupper, Mum… I’ll look back, and then I’ll look ahead. (December) I’ll begin as I mean to go on. Happy New Year, blog. (*PS I totally just cast on something new too.)
I have been trying very hard these last days, as we draw ever closer to Christmas, to focus on what I have. I can feel myself tempted to lean into what I do not have, what’s missing, what I think I need…It’s a feeling I fight every year. This tendency to feel like it’s not enough – that I haven’t done enough, that I haven’t done well enough, or cooked enough or bought enough… I always have to remember to not measure the holiday in random stuff. This year the feeling is one I can’t shake, probably because I haven’t done as much as I usually do, and definitely because I miss my mother – her absence is keen for me right now. Sometimes it’s a dull ache, like a broken bone slowly healing, and sometimes it’s like a sharp rending – like this afternoon, when I was wrapping a few gifts (finally) and I pulled out a box from last year (as a knitter I tend to be a rather weird box hoarder) and a tag tumbled out “For Mum, much love, Steph.” In that moment, my feeling was not just that I didn’t have enough, but that I had nothing. That nothing was right, that nothing ever would be. This is not even remotely accurate. Not even close. I have so much, and yesterday and today as we celebrated the solstice, I tried hard to remember the light is coming back, and every day there will be a little more, and things will be a little better, and other than the rather gutting and horrific death of my mother, things are actually pretty firmly good. (It does not help, by the way, that one of the things I have is a really bad cold, but I’m trying to look past it.) I have a lot. I have most of the gifts bought or made (one big knitting sprint underway but trying to believe it can work.) I have a loving family-in-law that has taken the time to think of my mother, and include her memory in their celebrations, though it makes us all cry, it’s a comfort to know they all miss her. I have so many friends, who all turned up to decorate gingerbread and fill my house to the brim in a way that left no room for anything but happiness and love and some gingerbread seahorses that are pretty fabulous. I have the cookies baked. Not as many as in past years, but that doesn’t matter. I have just enough of the few favourites that matter to us. I have a husband who was smart enough to know that I would struggle with all of this, and planned a little ski trip away with Katie, Carlos, Lou and Frankie, and we skied and ate and made tire sur la neige and (I totally got this cold from Frank) and Joe was right. It got me though the worst of it. New traditions taking the place of old ones. I have beautiful children and a wonderful grandson and I know for a fact that none of them are going to be cold or hungry or lonely or cast out on this holiday, as the snow flies and it gets colder and colder. It’s why this is always the time of year that I give what I can to charities – This year I gave a little extra to the Bike Rally, because many of their clients won’t have what I do this winter, and because I have to be my mum, and it’s what she would have done. I have a big hole where my mum should be, sure – and I’m taking from the emails and notes I have from all of you, that I won’t even have that forever, and I can see how it’s true. This is a hard spot, but I have so very, very much to try and fill it with. Happy Solstice. I know I’m late, but it’s what I have.
For years and years, I’ve run a very tight Christmas ship. Very tight. Spreadsheet kinda tight, and it’s really worked for me. It’s prevented a hysterical sort of feeling in my tummy and made it possible for me to get a lot done during the run up to the holiday. This year – well this year there was a problem with the spreadsheet. The appointed day came to open it and start worrying about Christmas, and I opened it, saw my mothers name on it and closed it again. I’d made notes about what her gift would be, what I had to take to her house for Christmas dinner, what sort of cookies I had to bake in time for her annual Christmas party, and it just stung too much too see how many things we always do that we won’t this year. I’m not sure what happened after that, but the general sense of dread I’d had about the holiday turned into a more specific one, and I entered a prolonged period of denial. I just didn’t worry about it. I didn’t pre-shop, I didn’t worry about presents, I didn’t knit Christmas specific stuff (much) … I didn’t do any of the things I usually do, and for a while that seemed like it was working. I didn’t have to feel bad that my mum won’t be at Christmas… I think on some level I’d just decided that we wouldn’t have one. It seemed so simple. There was just one little problem with that. It’s Elliot’s first Christmas, and this family is so, so good at Christmas – in no small part because my mum was such a wonderful grandmother, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I owe him the same… and not just a token Christmas, a really lovely one. To somehow figure out new traditions – new ways of doing things. I don’t know what’s going to be possible – I’m not even sure how to handle things. I mean, do I bake meringues if what I did with them was take them to my mother’s party? When do I see the relatives I saw at mum’s? Do they come to my house? What do we do in the afternoon on Christmas day, when usually we would bathe and dress to go to my Mum’s? It seems really complicated to figure out, and I can tell that it’s going to take a lot of energy. I remembered to buy Meg some blank ornaments so she could make them with Elliot’s foot and handprints, and I managed somehow (a little late for me) to put the tree up, and cried sentimentally the whole time I did it, but it’s up there, and it is lovely to have it, and I do love seeing it. It hurt to make it happen, but I see now that it would have hurt more to not put it up. I’m going to keep that in mind as I try to get the rest of this thing going. This Christmas is going to be about the basics. People. Time. Being together. There isn’t going to be a mad knitting dash to the end (that’s a lie I have one sort of wild plan) I’m not going to make a million cookies – just the favourites we really love. (I don’t know if that’s meringues.) I’ve come to this a little late to the party – just about two weeks to get it all together, but I’m going to be gentle with myself and my family – we still weather regular storms. Making a Christmas grocery list is a chore that should have taken me ten minutes today, but it came grinding to a halt as I encountered a recipe card in my mum’s handwriting. I love her handwriting. Reflecting on that and looking for other cards she wrote turned it into a lost half hour. I was going to knit a ton last night – but a first attempt to make a family plan to deal with mum’s stuff degraded into trying on all her shoes. (They mostly fit Erin and I. It was sad and funny and… not knitting.) I have a feeling a lot of it is going to be like that, and I don’t know how to plan for it, maybe you can’t. Maybe this year just isn’t going to be compatible with a plan, really. Maybe this is the year I just do…. what? So far, my entire Christmas plan consists of me saying “We are really going to have to do something about Christmas” and so far, that hasn’t worked at all. I’m going to go out now, into the snow and I’m going to try buying a new notebook, and writing “Christmas” on the front, and seeing if tomorrow I have a realistic plan for getting this thing fixed. It will probably work. Office supplies are definitely a good first step. Right?
When I was a young mother, and the girls were all little, I was part of a mothers group. I was a La Leche League Leader back then and a Wednesday morning playgroup sprang out of that. We’d all get together and the kids would play and the mums would talk about parenting and (literally) how to make your own granola. (Yes.) To be completely honest the other kids would play, and the other mums would talk and I would spend the entire time following Amanda around with a baby on my hip, ready to pull her bodily from encounters the minute she started to open her mouth. The kid was a biter. In any case, we moved this little playgroup around, and when it was my turn to host it, I would start getting anxious days before – cleaning and scrubbing and stuffing dirty clothes in closets and hiding dirty dishes in the oven and generally freaking out, so that by the time the other mothers arrived, it looked like I was a pretty perfect mum who could not only juggle three kids (one of whom was a vicious land-shark) but also had a clean house, a freshly baked whole grain cake made with wheat germ (it was the 90s. Anti-oxidants hadn’t been invented yet. We just had to put bran and wheat germ in things) all while knitting the children their own sweaters, cloth diapering, growing my own vegetables, and helping run a charity without even breaking a sweat. This, of course, was a lie. Like anyone who’s trying to do even a third of those things, the housework was absolutely on the bottom of my list. In any toss up between littles and babies who need something and washing a floor, the kid won every time. There was always dishes in the sink – the bathroom was right on the edge of a health code violation all the time, and if I did get three minutes when I didn’t have to care for another person you can bet I was knitting, not dusting something that was only going to get dusty again. I mean, I like a tidy house, but let’s get real about what your priorities are like if your day has that much to do with other people’s bodily fluids. Still, even though every parent on earth knows this, I felt compelled to disguise this reality when those other parents were on their way. It was just what I did. You clean up before company comes over, am I right? So, one time I’m careening through the house, hiding the mess and trying to get the place ready, and my mum was over, and she was sitting there drinking coffee (I know I’ve told this story before) and she watches this for a while, and then tells me that she thinks I’m being mean. That everything I’m doing isn’t just cleaning up for company, it’s giving the other mothers the impression that I can have three little kids, a leadership role in a charity, bake all my own bread and have it all be no biggie. She wondered aloud if they felt inadequate when I pretended I could do it all, when in reality I’d put a bag of diapers that needed washing in the garbage can in the backyard because I was too far behind. (I washed them later.) I think about that often. About how my mum thought that pretending wasn’t kind, and I try to live in a way that’s… kinder. For example, I can tell you that something in my fridge smells funny right now and I don’t know what it is, that this morning I found underpants under a chair in the kitchen, and that I totally screwed up my knitting. I wasn’t going to tell you that last one, because once I saw what I’d done I though I could just fix it and nobody would ever know, but then I thought of my mum, and know that right now there’s one of you who’s sitting there realizing that you knit two left mittens and trying to reconcile that with your self esteem, and well. This weekend I was away. I spent the weekend with some friends I don’t see often enough, and we hunkered down and cooked together, and ate together and knit together. We call it Yarnclave, and because we were together so close to Christmas, we called it Yarnclavemas. We made a pie. So, I’m knitting on Elliot’s sweater at some point, and I’ve finished the body, and cast off, and finished the first sleeve, and I’m picking up the held stitches for the second sleeve, and I’m thinking something positive about how it’s all going so quickly, and there it is. Way back when I divided for the sleeves and body, I was careless, and I put the sleeve stitches on one thread, and SOME of the other sleeve stitches on another, and then put some of the sleeve stitches on the needle for the body along with the body stitches, and then carried on. Coyotes in the wild have knit better. The body was therefore too wide, and the one sleeve too small. Unfortunately, the fates had a good giggle about that, and I just so happened to pick the correct sleeve to knit after the body, so got that whole sleeve done before I realized what had happened. Now, if I’d have happened to notice sooner, I could have just pulled back the body, given the sleeve stitches back to the sleeve and reknit the body, but because I didn’t notice I had to rip back the sleeve, and then the body, because the body won’t unzip all the way because I picked up stitches for the *&^%$E#$ing sleeve from it. The worst part isn’t just that I had to rip back everything but the yoke and start over, the worst part is that I even took a picture of the sweater while it was dead wrong, posted it on the blog, and didn’t notice – although may moths beset the first one of you who giggles, because it’s not like you noticed either. So, it’s days later, I’m still knitting the sweater, it’s just a few weeks before Christmas and even thought I am a reasonable, grown-up, middle-aged woman, I just got reminded that haste makes waste, pride goes before a fall, and my mother is always right. I think I’ll have a lie down, or something, before I get slapped around with any other clichés.
A few months ago when I was in Vancouver at Knit Social – I staggered up to the Gauge Dye works booth and gave Catherine all my money. You know. As one does. As I did so, I remarked that she always gets my sock yarn money and my shawl yarn money (yes I have an itemized yarn budget and you should too) and thank goodness that’s where it stops. Her colourways together with the cleverness of self- striping yarn that works for shawls? It might as well be my personal version of knitter kryptonite. As I walked away, I reflected that it’s a good deal that she doesn’t have sweater yarn or I’d pretty much give her all my yarn money, and then a lightbulb went off, and I just about walked backwards to her booth and then I told her. “If you think about how a shawl works, and whatever magic you run to make the stripes the same length as the rows grow longer – isn’t that” (I said to her, trying not to look as excited as I felt because it’s slightly uncool, while simultaneously pretending I know what math she does) “Isn’t that the same math as a top down raglan sweater? If you have self striping sock yarn, and shawl yarn, and sweater yarn…” (here I paused for dramatic effect) “…you’d get all my yarn money.” Catherine looked at me. I looked at her. Then I saw the tumblers start to turn in her mind, and I knew my work was done. “Make me that” I said. “I’ll try” Catherine said. “There’s going to be a problem with sizes.” She said that, and I swear I saw here reach for a mental calculator. “Give it to me in Whistler.” I said. “We’ll see.” She said. Now, this isn’t the most positive response I’ve had to a yarn demand. I felt like probably eventually it might happen, but that I shouldn’t get married to it, so I didn’t. I thought about how clever an idea it was sometimes, and I felt good about telling a really clever person who could actually make it happen, but since I had no idea what had to happen for this yarn to happen, I just thought about it a little bit, like I do other things that I really like the idea of but never happen, like only having one kind of screwdriver. I got on with my life – until I was at Catherine’s booth at the event in Whistler, and I was giving her all of my sock and shawl money, and she said WAIT, and with a perfect air of brilliance mingled with appealing confidence, she pulled this skein out from behind the booth. I started to say something like “Oh isn’t that pretty” or some other standard yarn thing, when I saw her eyes twinkle, and it hit me. Self striping sweater yarn. She’d actually done it. Designed to work with Flax Light (though it would work with any sweater with standard top down construction) in the 1-2 size, you can cast on at the neck and have stripes of the same size appear all the way to the divide for the arms and body. The rest of the skein is blue- for the rest of the sweater, with the exception of the last little chunk, which is green, so you can have a little green at the cuffs, or the bottom band, or the button bands, or the (yeah here it comes) baby pockets. This is the prototype, but she says she can make more – and I feel like she’s going to need to do that. Soon. So, so smart. Here. Take my sweater money. *PS WING OF MOTH IT JUST OCCURRED TO ME THAT SHE COULD DO THIS IN OTHER COLOURS. *PPS. I’m going to need a small loan. *PPPS No, it’s cool, I’ll just re-finance the house. Never mind.
I’ve putting together a collection of images that are 60 or fewer stitches wide, that can be used with the free version of img2track. I may add to this collection from time to time. These images are all ready to load and knit, however, some of them are not optimal for single bed, fair isle knitting, as they have large blocks of color, which means that the finished fabric will have long floats and laddering. Images of that type are probably better suited to DBJ. Click HERE to download a file containing the images.
The top ten reasons I have deleted blog posts to you in the last 2 weeks – along with random photos of where I have been and things I have been doing. I have been travelling and working a lot, and by the time I find an internet connection to hit “post” what I wrote seems out date and stupid. (The Resort at Port Ludlow on the last day of our retreat, when a rainbow broke out of the (unrelenting) rain.) 2. After my last post, someone wrote me an email saying that I should be nicer to autistic people. My response wasn’t generous, and I deleted it. (Everyone should be nice to everyone – which I was, even though the guy was a jerk. I answered all his questions and gave him my hotspot. I am super nice.) 3. One of the posts was about weaving in ends and I almost bored myself to death writing it, never mind posting it. (mitten knitting on the plane.) 4. At least three of them just said YES YOU CAN KNIT ON A PLANE. (Finished Cloisonee mittens. That I knit on a plane.) 5. I deleted one by accident and in a fit of rage couldn’t write another. (Trying to knit a second pair of Cloisonee mittens on the plane when I realized I’d forgotten the white yarn. I had backup yarn for another project but was mightily annoyed.) 6. A few of them were too vulnerable, sad and grief struck. I am generally all of those things right now, but I am trying hard to let those feelings come and go – and writing them down and committing them to the archive felt too much like committing to the dark side. There are times of happiness along with the grief, and because I’ve always believed that you get more of what you pay attention to, I didn’t want to write about grief. (The backup yarn. Despondent Dyes : Party like you plan to be home at 9:00) 7. Then I decided that it was wrong not to write about grief, because it’s a human thing and it’s what’s happening and it happens to everyone and shouldn’t we talk about it? (The scene just outside Whistler BC, at the Sea to Sky Retreat by Knit Social.) 8. See #6. 9. Thrown off by #’s 6, 7 and 8, I wrote a really happy one, and then decided (because grief makes you a crazy person) that it was disrespectful to my mother’s memory to be too happy and felt guilty that I wasn’t grieving and deleted it. (The inestimable Clara Parkes and me. In the snow.) 10. I was knitting. (Sorta mittens.) PS I almost deleted this because I remembered it was American Thanksgiving and wondered if my post should be about that (even though it is not Thanksgiving here.) I decided not to. Happy Thanksgiving, American friends. Happy Thursday to everyone else.