Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Introducing Zippy

Meet Zippy. Zippy is my new back pack on wheels. Capable of carrying up to 60 lbs., I bought it so I could walk to work and one day it’s going to serve this intended purpose.

In October of 2008, when I took over as Chief Librarian, I was forced to insure Isabella, the ’88 Toyota, because of the volume of mail that the library gets. The Inter-library Loan system means that we are shipping and receiving many books every day and there is no way I’m going to schlep a large bin of books back and forth from home to the post office to work and back home again every day. (Although, I’d certainly get in shape doing it!) After four years of being ‘carless’ and walking pretty much everywhere, not walking abruptly took its toll and, suffice it to say, I went up a dress size or two. Every now and then I start a workout program of some sort. I hop on my Gazelle, or I follow my walk-at-home video. That lasts a few days and then I start finding excuses. I make definite plans to start a yoga program again and then don’t get past opening Savasana! I swear off chocolate and chips. I load my shopping cart with fruit and veggies. I fall off the wagon and sit in the muddy wheel ruts of procrastination and watch it drive away without me.

Oddly enough, I miss walking to work. It’s a fifteen minute trek on flat ground, providing an excellent opportunity for quiet reflection. But the mail and the errands have been a brick wall between me and those peaceful minutes.

Often, when driving to work, I pass a group of elderly ladies walking along the road, each pulling one of those little shopping carts on wheels that elderly ladies seem to favour. The carts are sturdy and functional and look like they are meant to be favoured by little old ladies. Sometimes, the notion would cross my mind that it would be nice to be a little old lady with a sturdy and functional shopping cart on wheels so I could walk to work and not have to carry all that mail in a big plastic bin…

Light bulb!

A quick Google search led me to Zippy! I ordered it, paid for it and took it home where I assembled it. I dug out my ear muffs, warm mittens, scarf and high-viz vest. I put my ice walkers on my boots. I moved out of my purse and into a re-useable shopping bag that can hang conveniently from Zippy’s handle. I loaded the mail into Zippy and went to bed dreaming about how nice it was going to be to walk to work with my sturdy and functional, but not so old lady-like back pack on wheels.

Two things happened. First, the mild weather turned to rain. Second, I could not find my umbrella. While the second event was not that big a deal, the first was overwhelmingly off-putting. The driveway and roads made me wonder if a new ice age had begun over night. Huge puddles had formed, disguising some of the worst of the icy patches. I looked at Zippy all eager to carry the mail for me. Then I looked at the icy roads and falling rain. Then I looked at Zippy. Then I looked at the icy roads and falling rain. Then I made a decision (my previous decision not to make decisions notwithstanding).

I drove to work. It wasn’t necessarily a safer choice, but it was most definitely drier. Zippy came along for the ride and carried the mail from the van to the post office for me anyway. I’m relatively certain that once walking becomes feasible again, which could be any day (or three months from now!), Zippy will be a devoted and dependable side kick.

In the meantime, I am giving some thought to dusting off the Gazelle again and giving that an early morning go-round. It might behoove me to remind my legs what walking is all about before I launch into this intended walk to work program for real. And just to be on the safe side of that intention, I’m also giving serious consideration to not re-insuring the van next month. I’m hoping that the money I save on gas and insurance might someday pay for the new clothes I’m going to need when Zippy and I pace off those extra dress sizes again…

It’s a theory.

Am I Excited, or What?

Am I excited, or what?!

A few weeks ago, I took the plunge and submitted three of my original sock patterns to Knitpicks for consideration for their Independent Designer Program. I really didn’t think much would come of it. Some of the patterns offered through the IDP are phenomenal. I wasn’t sure that my work would fit the bill.

At about 2 o’clock on Monday, my Blackberry chimed, letting me know that I had received an e-mail. At first glance it appeared to be spam and I intended to delete it. But I must have pressed the wrong button because the e-mail opened up instead of disappearing. “We’d be happy to have all three of your submissions for the IDP…”

IDP? IDP? What the heck is IDP? I wondered. Still thinking it was spam, I bent my thumb toward the menu button to delete it when I read, “We are prepared to pay you a $50 advance for each of your patterns…”

My eyes bugged out of my head. My jaw landed somewhere on the floor between my feet. My hands started to shake and tears spilled down my cheeks. I read the e-mail again. And again. And again, which was quite a feat with my vision blurred as it was by the tears.

I was in shock. I was ecstatic. I was an emotional wreck. It took hours and hours before I could calm down.

Unable to concentrate on work, though I tried to distract myself from my elation with it, I finally shut down my office computer and left to go home. On the way I had to stop at the store for some lunch meat. My eyes were red and I was still sniffling from crying, so I dashed in to the store, grabbed a package of lunch meat and pushed my debit card across the counter for the girl to swipe. I tried to keep my head down, not so much because of my blotchy face as much as because of the stupid grin plastered on it. My original sock patterns are going to be published and sold on Knitpicks! I must have looked like a complete idiot.

Knitpicks is one of my favourite places to be on the Net. (Along with Chapters-indigo and Amazon!) I stumbled on it a few years ago and now buy almost all of my yarn from them. Their prices are excellent. The quality and selection are incredible. At the moment my hope chest is completely filled with Knitpicks yarns – and (especially now) a lot of hope!

When I first noticed the Independent Designer Program (IDP. Of course!) last fall, I got very excited. The requirements were pretty straight forward: design knitwear using Knitpicks yarn, submit a pattern proposal or pattern and wait for a reply. There are some picky little hoops to jump through, but nothing outrageous or prohibitive or unmanageable. I debated with myself about it for months. I waffled back and forth. I chewed my nails and scratched my head and generally over-analyzed the whole thing until I finally did it.

For the first few days after making the submissions, I checked my in-box hopefully. I knew it would take a few weeks for them to get back to me, but I checked anyway. The agony was too much. I had to give myself a stern talking to and let it go. At least I had Bizz’s sweater to keep me occupied and distract me. When the sleeves went south on me for the second time, I admit there were a few days of despair. I had to set it aside and return to what I love most – making socks! I’m finishing the replacement sock for my friend that I started before Christmas. Then I’ll finish the sweater (or try to) and then I’ll work on my Om sweater and a pair of socks for my Dad.

(I am graphing out the pattern for them now. They are probably a little less conventional than he would normally wear, but I’m going to make them anyway. They don’t even match! (Giggle. Giggle.) Well, they will mirror one another. They will have a silhouetted coyote howling at the moon with a cactus nearby. I can’t wait to get them started! I will make them in shades of brown and beige. I was going to use purples and creams, but I think Dad is more of a brown kind of guy! I just have to figure out how to fade the colours in and out in the sky… That is the tricky part! But I think I have a possible solution in Knitpicks newest yarn, Chroma, which may mean the sky will be more of a sunset than just browns. Not sure yet. There are so many wonderful colours schemes to choose from… )

But I digress…

Then it happened. Heralded by a funky Asian gong, a long-time dream came true. The e-mail arrived and was real and someday – soon! – knitters from all over the world are going to be able to see, buy patterns for and make my socks. How cool is that?

I think it’s very cool.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Traumatic Thing Happened on the Way to Sleep Last Night

I’m reading Assegai, by Wilbur Smith. This book was recommended to me by a FB friend and, until last night I was enjoying it very much. The historical viewpoint on big game hunting in Africa, circa 1906, is quite interesting, though I’m glad that this mass slaughter is no longer encouraged the way it seemed to be back then. The story is more saga than plot oriented, which is fine. The problem with it started when the hero’s unrequited love for one of his clients’ mistress became all too graphically requited!

It’s no secret that I am not in any way, shape or form partial to romance literature (and I use that term loosely in reference to the genre). After 375 pages of adventure the author stooped to a bodice-ripper writing style, spelling out in infinite and border-line pornographic detail just how the hero’s love was requited. Seriously, what man actually says things like, “My darling, I’ve loved you from the moment I first saw you.”? Or, “My darling, I can’t wait any longer. I must have you!” Gag me with a fork!

This rough and courageous hunter was suddenly reduced to a sniveling pile of mush. (I was hoping another lion would jump out of the bushes and put me out of my misery.) Up to this point there was hunting and espionage and intrigue and adventure peppered with witch doctors and tribal rites of passage and big smelly animals and aeroplanes and horses and a black mamba. People got bitten and gored. Animals got shot and speared. And then the hero got his love requited and I had to read all about it.

When, at last, the requiting was over and the couple finally went to sleep, I forged on, hoping for more adventure to erase the images of requiting from my mind. But no! The story launched into a tear-jerking reminiscence of the mistress’s sad and tragic life to date and I was regaled for three tedious pages on how she lost her mother at the tender age of twelve to polio and how her father also succumbed to the disease, but survived. Then, confined to a wheel chair, he went on to use his brilliant mind to engineer several advanced mechanical devices, only to have them stolen from him by a German man, who used them to amass a vast fortune. In his despair, the father blows his brains out, leaving his beautiful, but na├»ve daughter an orphan. Out of the blue, a woman claiming to be a long, lost friend of her mother takes in the girl and grooms her to eventually pass herself off as German and become the mistress of the man who stole her father’s inventions and caused him to take his own life… Good, bloody, grief!

After several years prostituting herself for the British military, pretending to be German and not able to understand English, thusly gathering and delivering secrets - a veritable British Mata Hari – she is finally free because the evil German dude she’s been servicing for King and country has been mauled almost to death by a lion. (Go Panthera Leo!) And I was left hanging on this tale of woe because a) it was getting late and I had to get up for work; and b) I just couldn’t take it anymore!

Why? Why do authors feel so compelled to inject this sort of drivel into what are otherwise perfectly good narratives? Are people that unfulfilled that they have to read sex euphemized as heaving bosoms and throbbing members? Are there cash awards for authors who come up with this crap? I seriously can’t think of any other reason to screw with the syntax and bastardize the lexicon and then call it literature!

I’m all for the hero getting a bit of lovin’. After killing all those elephants and wildebeests and lions and gazelle, laying his life on the line to satisfy the blood lust of paying clients of lesser skill and acumen, he deserves a good time. I wouldn’t begrudge him the chance, but I don’t need the details. I would have been just has happy to be told that they withdrew to their tent for the evening. I would have figured out what was really going on.

As for the account of the mistress so miserably manipulated by military intelligence (?), well, it no doubt sucks to be her and, while I’m not unsympathetic, did she have to be so whiny about it? And did he have to be so schmaltzy?

With less than a hundred pages left, I will persevere and see it through to the end, if only to find out what the witch doctor has to say to them when they get to the top of the mountain, which is where they were headed before all the requiting of love and revealing of pasts occurred. So far the witch doctor - Lumisa is her name - hasn’t let me down and I’m rather looking forward to spending a few pages with her again. And when I’m done, I’m going to seek out a decent murder mystery – Ghost in the Machine by Caroline Graham, I think – and try to put this all behind me.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Still Life with Short Phalanges

Making a decision to do something is easy. Following through with that decision is my great challenge in life. I’m a master procrastinator, putting things off is as easy as deciding to do them. There’s always tomorrow. One more piece of chocolate won’t hurt. The bathtub can wait until Saturday. I don’t really feel like it right now. Excuses, excuses, excuses!

It’s a good thing I’m not typically like that at work. I get my job done most of the time. I also have the luxury of being able to delegate, so when I don’t feel like it, there’s always someone to assign it to. I do take pride in my work and like to know at the end of the day that there is nothing left over for tomorrow, because I never know what tomorrow will bring. I’m getting paid to do it as well and I think that if I was receiving a salary for life in general I might not be so quick to put things off. It’s a theory!

My intention for 2011 was to stop procrastinating. I think I’m batting around zero on that goal. Will power is not exactly my middle name and I blame my short first phalanges for it. In palmistry, long first phalanges denote a strong will. Mine are all somewhat stunted and dumpy compared to my second and third phalanges. So it makes me wonder… If I were to exert my will, would my first phalanges grow? And conversely… Am I condemned to being a victim of abbreviated digital sections forever? Will I spend much time contemplating these deep questions? Probably. Will it do any good? It’s doubtful.

Part of my problem is that I’m too impatient for results. I want to see immediate change and when I don’t I’m wont to make a new decision – often to give up and try something else. Maybe the new decision will be easier and produce a quicker effect. Results, tangible and significant, are good for the ego and confirm a sound decision in the first place. Now if only results started at the moment of resolution… Why, my abridged phalanges would hardly matter!

Alas and alack! Thought is merely the precursor to action. Without action the thought is merely an energetic outburst, not unlike the wasted time and energy put into a potato clock. While fascinating, not precisely of much value, particularly when the potato starts to rot!

I’ve been pondering success lately and every time I turn my mind to what success means, in hopes of finding a doable decision to make without taxing the length of my fingers, I am reminded of the Monty Python quote: Nothing succeeds like a budgie with no teeth. Suddenly I get a craving for sesame seeds or sunflower seeds and successful musings on the subject fly right out the window. As I suck the salt off the seeds, I wonder how it is that such silly things find their way into the memory bank in the first place and how they generate so much contemplative interest. In the end, it is never a prosperous train of thought. Though, I am finding some fascinating ways of making sesame and sunflower seeds more fun to eat. Sesame seed cookies, for example!

So, today I made a new decision. It is sublime in its simplicity. And it goes something like: I have decided to stop making decisions. I’m going to go with the flow. I’m going to just be and see where that leads me. I suspect that it will lead with direct precision to the couch, possibly with a bag of chips or a chocolate bar for flavor, and my knitting bag. I also suspect that before I finish writing this and get it posted that I will have made at least three more decisions. I will decide that before I hit the couch I will do at least thirty minutes of exercise. (I trust that the phalanges will take care of that decision.) I will decide not to stop at the store for chips or chocolate. (This stands a far better chance than the first decision.) And I will decide which knitting project to work on. (It’s one or the other, so if I’m going to knit, I have to decide. It can’t be helped.)

So much for not making decisions! There are no phalanges long enough to make that even kind of possible!

Thus, I have made one final decision (for now). I’m going to post this blog entry.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Winter - Accommodating My Knitting Projects

Okay, I admit it, the continuously falling snow is getting to me. It hasn’t stopped snowing for days. And days. And days.

Sure it’s pretty. If you don’t have to drive in it. But enough is enough, already.
On October 27, 2006 the snow began to fall at 5:30 in the morning. It didn’t stop falling for 30 hours and in that time over three feet of snow accumulated. Two things happened. People got mad and people came together to help dig each other out. It was in interesting weekend.

This slow and seemingly relentless accrual, though, is maddening. The snow ploughs can’t keep up. The roads are a mess. People are shovelling, blowing and ploughing constantly, only to turn around and find they have to shovel, blow or plough again. And it’s cold. Temperatures have hovered near -20 all week with an easterly wind that feels like -30, making the shovelling, blowing and ploughing all the more unpleasant. The lack of sun is making people SAD and the grumpiness is coming out sideways and adding to the already heavy weight of the snow.

I don’t mind winter. It’s a time of rest and renewal; a good time to catch up on reading and, for me, a great time for knitting. While others are outside snowshoeing, skiing, sledding and ice fishing, I’m content to stay warm inside and wrap myself in my knitting projects. I don’t even own snow pants, so I have the perfect excuse! Yet after a week or so of non-stop snow, I’m thinking it’s time for a break. Even a little sun would be welcome.

On the upside, it appears that Bizz will indeed be able to wear her tunic before winter is over. My goal today is to finish the sleeves and get them on the block. With some luck, I’ll be able to start putting this thing together in a day or so and I’m relatively certain that winter will accommodate us both!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Nocturnal Adventures

I woke up feeling a little out of sorts this morning. It might have had something to do with waking up at 4:30 with Schnoofy’s tail across my face and my nose only inches away from... Well, I’ll leave that up to your imagination. It took a while to reorganize the pillows and find a safer position during which time Simon, having also been disturbed, climbed over me, stepped on my bladder, reminding me that it was getting full and forced me to make a trip to the bathroom.

In the two minutes that I was gone, Schoofy somehow managed to stretch himself out and fill most of the top of the bed. This is a king-size bed. How one Labrador retriever could fill it is beyond me, but fill it he did, stubbornly refusing to move so I could get back in. Simon had commandeered the feather pillow, which was fine with me – I don’t like it. It was about this time that Petunia decided to join the mellee and perched herself on my chest, effectively trapping me between the two dogs, under the covers and on my back. Cue the dogs’ snoring and the cat’s purring. As I lay there contemplating the ridiculousness of the situation an itch began to develop between my shoulder blades.

I briefly thought about the Eat, Pray, Love chick meditating with the mosquitos and came to the conclusion that she made that part up. Try as I might, I could not block out the snoring, the purring, the itch or the fact that I was not comfortable laying on my back. Cue the hot flash!

It was closing in on 5 a.m. My neck, cheeks and ears were on fire. The itch between my shoulder blades was throwing a temper tantrum. The animals were conducting a nocturnal symphony of snorts and farts and buzzing vibrations. And there I lay amid it all wide awake and wondering how I allowed myself to get into this position in the first place.

I started to laugh. I’m not sure that it was a laugh of amusement; there was a distinct maniacal tone to the barking guffaws that cracked like lightning bolts from my throat. Petunia fled off my chest. Simon sat up, looked at me for a moment with that quizzical expression dogs get when they don’t understand what you’re saying, then moved down to the foot of the bed and promptly fell back to sleep. Schnoofy raised his head and growled at me as if to say that I was annoying him, which only made me laugh harder.

I was finally able to sit up, however, and with tears rolling down my cheeks from laughing so hard, I fanned my flaming face with a book until, at last, I ran out of insane mirth and my smouldering phizog finally cooled enough to let me lay back down and try to get some sleep. The last time I looked at the clock it was 6:10 a.m. When next my eyes opened, it was 8:20 a.m. and I felt anything but rested. The Schnoof was laying with his head on my pillow. Simon was curled up behind my knees. Petunia was in a ball at the bottom of the bed. I was somewhere south of the feather pillow and at an angle dissecting the bed from top left to bottom right. The other pillow was on the floor and a sharp crick in my neck bade me good morning.

It’s going to be a long day.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sleepless Redesign

I couldn’t sleep. I kept thinking about the sleeves on Bizz’s sweater and finally I got up and unravelled them both to start again. This whole design thing is much, much harder than it appears.

For a while there, I thought I was almost finished, but I just could not make myself like or accept the sleeves the way they were. I had to rip them out before I passed the point of no return. It’s a set-back, for sure, but one that I know I’ll be glad for in the end. Already, I don’t regret it.

That could change in about... oh, 100 rows or so!

Over all, I’m pleased with what I have done. The sweater looks like a sweater. It’s not perfect, but it is reasonable for a first attempt at making one from scratch without a pattern to guide me. I see knitting in a different light now and have gained enormous appreciation and respect for all those people who work out patterns on a regular basis. Socks are so easy. I can whip them up without a great deal of cerebral exertion, but a custom garment like this tunic is a challenge that I was not fully prepared for.

Still, I can hardly wait to get on to the next project. Every day I learn something new and how to apply it. I know that the next sweater will be easier and go smoother. The process won’t be so daunting and six or seven sweaters from now, I’ll feel more confident and, possibly, daring!

While I was lying in bed, wide awake this morning with images of the sleeves keeping me from finding my way back to the land of nod, I caught glimpses of other possible designs. Before I unravelled the sleeves, I jotted down three more ideas. One is a bulky, hooded pullover, one is a kimono style cardigan and one is a long tunic. That should keep me going for a couple of years.

In the meantime I have to catch up on Bizz’s tunic and get it done. I started the pocket last night and that won’t take long at all. The sleeves will take at least the rest of the week. On the up-side, I’m still way ahead of my predicted schedule for the sweater. She’ll be wearing it before the snow is gone!

Thursday, January 6, 2011


My affirmation of the day: I am a strong, intelligent, creative woman. I can do anything that I set my mind to and my mind is set to succeed! I am open to receiving all of the goodness that the Universe has to give me. No obstacle is insurmountable. I deserve the best of everything and the best of everything is in me and all around me.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Back to Work

It was back to work yesterday. After a week off, I was so, so ready to see my desk again. And the back-log of e-mails that was waiting for me wasn’t as daunting as I thought it might be. At least I'm back at the helm and guiding my lovely ship again.

To add to the excitement, I’m starting my third CLTP course this week. The whole staff is doing the course (Reference and Information Services) with me – they because they have to, me because I want the raise that goes with completing it. I’m being quite honest. I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t bother if there wasn’t a reward in the offing.

When this course is done, I will be taking Cataloguing, which is an updated course with a focus on MARC records, which is something I do need to get a better grasp of. This course also comes with a raise, as will the next one in the fall called Adult Programs and Services. Not sure yet if I’ll take any more courses after that, though I am entitled to one more raise for one more course. The library will pay for the courses as well, so it’s a win-win situation as far as I’m concerned.

I already have my CLTP certificate, earned 20 years ago when I first worked at the library. Things have changed significantly since then and so brushing up is never a waste of time. I could – and do – function quite well without the studying, but I’m hoping that I’ll function even better with the raises!

One thing I am not looking forward to this week with any kind of enthusiasm is the accounting year-end. I used to have a bookkeeper that could do it with her eyes closed, but this year I’m more or less on my own with it. T4s and rolling over to the new year scare the daylights out of me. But I have to get it done a.s.a.p. so I can get the financial review done so I can hold the AGM. Bah!

Yesterday was a full day of catching up. Today, I think will be much the same – catching up. As will tomorrow, possibly! By Friday the catching up will have blended in with the current enough not be discernable from the current and it will all be one big to-do list. Nothing’s changed.

I’m almost finished the sleeves on Bizz’s tunic. Only a few more rows to go and then the blocking begins. While they are blocking, I’ll whip up K’s sock and the pocket for the front of the tunic. Bizz is ordering a very cool embellishment for the pocket. It’s going to be so cool!

So far, 2011 is going well. I’m managing to stick to a couple of my intentions and I’m feeling much more positive. The NY Eve smudging was very uplifting and am looking forward to repeating the ritual on a regular basis.

Well, I’m going to get ready for work now. The snow is falling hard – big flakes are plummeting to the ground and I suspect that we’re in for a good fresh blanket of the stuff by the end of the day. I sense a patio shovelling coming on!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Design and Dilemma

Well, here it is Sunday morning and I slept in again; snuggled with Simon until 9:30. Tomorrow morning is going to kill me, but I’m so looking forward to being back at work. I’ve really missed it.

Bizz’s sweater is coming along nicely. The sleeves are taking forever and I’m almost bored with them. I was hoping to have had them done last night. I still have a way to go with them, though and they probably won’t see the blocking board until later this week. While they are on the block, I’ll finish K’s sock (the one I have to replace due to my mistakes). Then it will be on to the sweat shirt sweater, which I have decided to do in black. I just have to decide what colour to make the Om. I’m still leaning toward red, but purple or silver are in the running as well.

While I was knitting the other night, a new sweater design popped into my head. I’m quite excited about it. It is made out of four panels with points on the bottom. The front and back panels will be wider than the side panels. It will have thin shoulder straps, but there will be sleeves knit the same way as the body panels and attached so that the top of the shoulders peek out between the sleeves and the shoulder strap. It will be striped with the stripes getting progressively narrower toward the top of the sweater. I guess it’s not really a sweater, but a knitted top. I’m not sure who I’m making it for. It’s not something that I would be likely to wear. I’m undecided about putting tassels on each of the points. As to colour... I’m not sure whether to go with something bright and fun or something more elegant and dressy. Depending on the colour, this top could be casual or fancy and I’m thinking of integrating a shelf bra. (Might need Bizz to help with that!) I can see it worn with a long straight skirt or palazzo pants. Or jeans.

These two new projects could very well be affecting my excitement about Bizz’s tunic. As I said, the sleeves are taking forever and I really want to start swatching the Om sweater. I dare not do that, though. I might not go back to the tunic! I tend to get excited about new ideas, but if they are not tackled right away, the enthusiasm fades. I start to find fault with the design before I even pick up my needles. Conversely, I get going too soon and discover problems that I hadn’t anticipated along the way. There is a lot of improvisation in my knitting.

Worse yet it finding a new or different technique and having nothing to apply it to. Shadow knitting, slip stitch knitting and mosaic knitting are good examples of techniques that I would love to try, but haven’t practiced (at least not much or with much success) and don’t know how best to employ. My knitting life has been Fair Isle, cables, intarsia, some lace work, some entrelac and lots and lots of knit/purl combination stitches. I’ve dabbled with felting, too. But there’s a whole world of knitting techniques out there and endless ways to create with them. (I need to win the lottery!)

At times I am overwhelmed at how much I love knitting. It’s the perfect craft, I think. It’s a combination of weaving, painting, sculpting and texture with infinite potential. Each stitch, so simply wrapped around a pointed stick, is a tiny step toward a formed fabric. A typical pair of adult socks is comprised of about 15,200 stitches. (Yes, I’ve figured it out!) The sleeves alone in Bizz’s tunic will each have 23,000+ stitches. At about a stitch per second each sleeve will take 6.5 hours to knit. The total time in making the whole tunic will be about 35 hours or 126,000 stitches. (Give or take. I will – because I can – figure it out exactly at some point.)

This brings me to shower time. I must get on with my day if I’m ever to finish these darn sleeves and get this tunic done. My big dilemma with it now is how to sew the seams. I think I will have to invest in some clear thread of some kind. With the variegated yarn fading from one colour to the next, I can’t just use a length of it to sew the seams and not have it seen. I’ll have to do some research (should have done it sooner!) and figure out how best to make this work and look nice. I’ve invested far too much time into it to have it look crappy because the seams don’t match the fabric. Short of cutting small chunks out of a skein and ruining it, it’s either pick a colour and go with it or find an alternative that won’t show. Yes, well, shower first.