Was that a holiday?

I didn’t notice. This certainly isn’t, well, writing this is, but it’s a break from frantically trying to bring work up-to-date. At least I’ve done the washing and the ironing! We’ve been in western Canada aka Home for 10 days, attending The Wedding and visiting almost every relative we could think of (and fit into the schedule). The experience was both more and less stressful than I feared. For nearly 30 years (my word I’m old) I have avoided going back, partly because I miss the landscapes so deeply that the thought of what I’ve missed by not being there still brings me to tears, and partly because I find it difficult to be with one particular and very significant member of my family. This trip has allowed me to understand this division more clearly. I’ve spent more time with the family member and it’s bearable if we’re out and about doing stuff that distracts him/her, inspires more interesting, less painful conversations. I don’t want to do it, mind, but I can if I have to. For a while. I was grinding my teeth after two days! As for the rest… dammit, now I miss people as well as the landscape. My brother S is an interesting person: I’d like to get to know him in person, not just via the rather impersonal medium of email. I didn’t see much of my sister K after we left when she was about 4: she’s grown into a woman of stunning beauty, intelligence and wit. Seemingly well-matched by J (OK, he’s not stunningly beautiful). And their friends: what an awesome group of people. I am torn between joy, wonder and jealousy that I never had that companionship; I’m just not that good at people. Reason to hope for reincarnation? I wonder.

The cashmere socks apparently fit perfectly (I await photos). They were the stars of the shower, passed from hand to hand, at one point disappearing into someone’s cleavage in a fruitless attempt to smuggle them out of the venue. Three bosoms were a bit… obvious. I was prevailed upon to pass out several sock tokens, so I’m not short of things to do. And I have the wherewithal, if I can bear to part with any of it. I’m not certain I can, you know.

I had the chance to see and fondle yarns I’d only read of. You North Americans, you don’t know you’re born. Really. Imagine a *wall* covered with a frozen cascade of skeins of Fleece Artist and Handmaiden yarns (including the blanket kits!) with more of them stored in cubbyholes nearby. I have touched Muench ‘Touch Me’ and managed to leave without it only because I heard the Laines du Nord ‘Mulberry Silk’ singing to me. Racks of Cascade yarns, bins of Berroco, oh, the array of Manos del Uruguay… the softness of the suri alpaca lace, the colours, THE COLOURS! And the people. My husband sat in wonder as I bonded instantly with other knitters to wander around the shops inciting purchases and assisting in decisions. On second thought it’s just as well I don’t live anywhere near yarn shops like Beehive Woolshop (Victoria), Knit One Chat Too and Gina Brown’s (both in Calgary). Man cannot live on yarn alone and we’d have no money left for food.

Psst. Wanna see some yarn porn?
That’s Mountain Colors Bearfoot Sock Yarn, that is. 60% Superwash Wool, 25% Mohair, 15% Nylon in the Ruby River colourway. The photo doesn’t do it justice: it GLOWS in the sunlight, and it’s as soft as, as a very soft thing. Order yours from Caryll 🙂 Note the needles: I had to start some socks in this, no matter that I’ve another pair to finish. After talking to a nice person at Beehive about my tension problems, I decided to try bamboo circs. She’s right: they feel so fragile that I’ve automatically slackened my tension. I’ve got to get more of these because I’m bound to break them before they’ve taught me to loosen up.


And that is tangible evidence that I like purple. And grey, and blue (the nice knitters in Beehive helped me realise that, largely by piling wool in ‘my colours’ into my arms). From left to right, Fleece Artist Kid Silk, Handmaiden wool/silk, Noro Cash Iroha, Handmaiden Ottawa. mea culpa. I admit it. I don’t have a project in mind for everything in that picture, but I don’t care, I love it all and I never, ever want to part with it. Ever. I wonder if I can bring myself to knit that hat for a friend with the second-from-left? The Ottawa might be a Clapotis, but while I was cuddling it a simple twill with that as weft on a cream silk warp sprang full-fledged into my mind. Oh, my. Perhaps I should have bought two?


This? This is sheer, decadent self-indulgence (as if the rest wasn’t). Rogers Chocolates Victoria Creams. If I have to have fondants, these are the fondants I’ll have. We are sharing them, I swear it. At least so far. Unlike yet another self-indulgence I haven’t bothered to photograph, my box of Red River cereal. Mmmm. I’m looking forward to cold weather.


Last but not least, a problem. At least I think it’s a problem, even if it blocks out. This is part of the Shell Tank, showing how some rows, or even sections of some rows appear twisted. They’re not. After stretching the fabric the twist is corrected and the stitches appear normal, but they gradually re-twist. I’m not aware of doing anything ‘different’ in these sections, and am wondering whether it might just be something to do with the twist on the yarn. Advice would be welcomed. I’m not really enjoying this knit, which is a shame: not only am I not certain it will suit me, I find the cotton is unforgiving of any variation in tension (and my tension varies frequently because I have to start and stop so frequently). And the Jaeger ‘Aqua’ has knots in it, up to three per ball. Bad enough in wool where you can cut and felt joins, but cotton won’t play that game at all. Bah, humbug. Never mind, I’m just off to stroke the Bearfoot.

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About sarahw

A zoologist who draws, a spinner who weaves, a person who thinks.
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3 Responses to Was that a holiday?

  1. Alice says:

    You’re back! I’m glad your trip went well (that’s over and done with) and I’m glad you’re back, as blogland hasn’t been the same without you.Those yarn shops sound like a sort of knitters’ fairy grotto. I want to go. I WANT TO GO (stamping foot). All your purchase are just divine, especially that Bearfoot yarn. Mmmm, and the fondants.Afraid I have no idea about the twisted stitches, though I would assume you’re correct in your assumption. Hope you find out. That’ll drive you round the twist!

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  2. Alice says:

    Cripes, no pun intended!

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  3. sarah says:

    I’m there already 🙂 The yarn shops are, well, wonderful. Fantasies made real (complete with ‘Husbands’ chairs’ and magazines!). But it’s not quite all bliss: We pay less than £5 usually for Addis; over there the smallest cost more than £10 (and the price rises dramatically with size) due to the machinations of Skacel’s US distributor. Something else was also unbelievably expensive, but I can’t think what it was. And I have to keep reminding myself I couldn’t afford to buy all that yarn and even if I could, I can’t knit fast enough to use it. Is it enough to just HAVE IT, ALL OF IT, MY PRECIOUS stashed somewhere?

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