I have managed to accomplish the most important task on my list for today: Refill the cats’ treat container.


I trust all of you with cats, dogs, ferrets, horses, birds, etc are likewise properly fulfilling your masters’ wishes today?

Ben approves!

Did someone say “treats”?

Yes, yes, I believe so….and speaking of treats…I have one for you kind folks. (I’m hoping that this will explain and make up for how late this post is…) Some of you may know this already, but just in case you don’t: Last month, I was poking around the web and I found out that Interweave has been re-publishing more of my old Knitting Daily posts! Not all, by any measure, and not in any sort of logical order, but they are there. Even better: Sprinkled in amongst the posts about lace and shawls and socks (oh my!) are some of The Bust Dart Posts! That link takes you to an index page on my blog here that lists the Bust Dart posts I could find there, with links, of course, as well as a few comments about what is—and what isn’t—in each section.

Be aware: Some of the Bust Dart series is missing (perhaps 2-3 posts?); this means there are odd gaps in the tutorial series. Also: The worksheets there are not functional as they are presented on the post pages; they are images of worksheets, rather than links to actual Excel spreadsheets. I have listed instructions for a workaround allowing you to download the Excel sheets themselves on the post index page.

So… something is better than nothing, right? It’s a start. And because the worksheets and various other bits don’t work the way they are supposed to work, this gives me some specifics to fix up for you in the next few months.

Take a look at the Bust Dart Posts listed on the index page and let me know if those posts alone are useful to you, or if you need more of the information that used to be there. I am going to guess you will want more information, because as I read over those old posts, I certainly wanted to fill in some of the gaps myself.

The Bust Dart posts are not the only old Kniting Daily bits of mine re-appearing in recent weeks/months. If you want to see the whole list of (my) KD posts currently posted on Interweave‘s site, go to their site and enter “wiseheart” in the search field at the top of the page (no quotes; all lowercase is fine). You will get 92 results, including not only posts, but also some of my patterns, my symbolcraft article, and some mentions in other author’s columns here and there. My tutorials, including the blocking and the sleeve cap tutorial, are partially there, but some are missing entire sections, so I’m looking at redoing those. But first: Let’s focus on the Bust Dart series and get that into a format that you folks will actually be able to use.

UPDATE: I have found another archive of my posts elseweb, so stay tuned for more of THAT particular excitement…

Do I still have the original sweater (above) from the series?
Why, yes…somewhere.

Finished Weird Object & Another Treat

I told you about my random weird cable sock that was ABG (AllButGrafting), so I am happy to announce a finished weird cable sock.

Weird Cabled Sock, The First

I finally did finish the toe and cuff, really I did. I just can’t find the darn thing to show it off.

However…I have another treat for you: I found and re-written the instructions for Grafting On the Needles. You can find it by following that link, or by going to Tutorials in the top menu, pull down that menu, and there it is. (Update: Whoops! Tutorials menu is botched. I shall fix…)

However, in my search for the weird cabled sock, I came across these two lovelies.

The lower right sock is some random sock yarn from my stash; top left is a really nice yarn whose label is gone but I have another skein upstairs to clear up the mystery.

Lower right is a stitch pattern I pulled out of my head (scary place in there!); I got stuck when I realized I had about half again as many stitches as usual…I ripped back to the heel flap, picked up the stitches all over agin, and went from there. so, there’s half a sock. (woo!)

Top left was the opposite: An over-enthusiastic decreasing from the gusset led to very snug and very loose sections in the arch of the foot, both. Rip rip rip weird sole and gusset decreases. I need to re-chart the lace design for the new number of stitches, mostly so I can do a second sock. I do like this stitch pattern for socks.

And the Sock Excitement continues…

Tim has the last meow

Who needs thumbs to open treat bags? I have TEETH and I shall PREVAIL says Cap’n Tim.

Well, almost the last meow. Thank you for sticking with me as I work through All The Things lately. Thank you for all the lovely comments! It always does me good to see familiar names, and I just want you to know that I wish with all my heart that I could write more and more often for you.

~ Sandi

Posted in BenKitty, Knitting, TimKitten | 4 Comments

What was that I said about overthinking?

Good grief. Honestly, I have been trying all sorts of getting-self-to-write strategies and I am just going to admit I am stuck, mostly because I keep second-guessing myself. “It’s boring” “It’s not cheery enough”… for Pete’s sake. We’re just coming ‘round the corner on two years of COVID living…perhaps maybe I could just, I don’t know…LIGHTEN UP and then just WRITE, or something silly like that.

Do you know what I discovered a while back? I discovered that I needed to write this blog more than I needed to be clever, charming, cheerful, or even A Great Voice of Our Time (the room reverberates with bone-rattling echos…).

Shall we give this a go, then?

A good breakfast includes a homemade cinnamon roll with warmed icing (in bowl),
and a Christmas Tree mug full of the blesséd brown liquid of life

A Morning’s Adventure

I woke up an hour before dawn today, and for those of you who remember, I am a serious non-morning person. I tried to argue myself into another pat on the snooze button, or even another deliciously wicked half-hour, but in the end, a 9 AM booster shot at our Wonderful Walmart was my destiny, and so I got up and got dressed before I could speak a sensible word in any language, let alone English. (The real question is, however: Can I curse in Spanish that early? If not, then I’m truly lost to this world for at least another hour or so.)

(The astute amongst you will note that dawn in Ontario was at 7:52 AM today, which meant that I woke up at 7:00 AM. Which is STILL TOO EARLY.)

I tried my usual wakey-wakey tricks: coffee, food, starving my screaming cats for another ten minutes while I located whatever food they are supposed to be eating this week, cold face wash, podcasts, more coffee. Then the usual getting-out-the-door-dramas: Where’s my hat? No, my OTHER hat. Remember to put the paperwork, health card, and phone (for QR code) in my bag. Go to get keys off rack…Oh, yes. My car has a flat tire, so I have to wake M so she can drive me in her car (I don’t drive a stick …yet). The seatbelt in her car was frozen just a few inches short of comfortable breathable range for Curvaceous Me. I couldn’t find the dates of the first two shots, or the proper QR code. I went to get a new vaccine passport, and I typed in the secret code on the back of my driver’s license instead of the one on the back of my health card.

The good news is that I am now home after a successful shot experience. No one got run down by a reindeer (I hear they are still on vacation up in their summer homes in Nunavuit). I didn’t curse at anyone in any language. M and I even managed to stop at Canadian Tire afterwards to get a compressor to fix that flat tire. All before 11 AM, imagine that!

I cleared my schedule for the rest of the day. Just in case. So far, only a headache, an upset stomach, some wooziness (great word), a whack more fatigue than is usual for me, and a sore arm. I’m supposed to rest the remainder of the day. Rest. Me. Yeah, I think I remember how to do that. (I don’t suppose writing a blog post counts as resting?)

Knitting? What Knitting?

I started a COVID sweater, of course. Cables and textures, all knit in my very own handspun yarn. This was my first adventure knitting with my handspun…and I was really enjoying the rhythm of the cable pattern, working from the neck down in back, and then from the shoulders down in front. However…didn’t it look a little small? I measured, and yes, it was, in fact, too small. I growled, and set it aside to contemplate its not-navel for a while.

And then? I stopped knitting for a time. For nearly a year, in fact. I couldn’t follow a pattern because my poor brain felt so unfocussed and confused much of the time. Truth? I just didn’t feel that spark any longer.

However, as one might predict, I found that I missed knitting horribly. (Of course I did.) I constantly need socks, so I finally started a pair of those, thinking that I used to be able to knit socks completely out of my head, so this should be easy! I am a relatively slow sock knitter, and I usually choose my patterns carefully since we are going to be working together for a while. This time, though, I just couldn’t seem to decide on a pattern, so I started knitting a random cable from memory (I may have cables on the brain). I must have ripped that thing back a half a million times between the first cast-on and the very last stitch. I couldn’t remember how many stitches I usually cast on (cuff down is my comfort knitting), I couldn’t remember how to turn the heel (of all things!), and I kept getting the cable crossings messed up. I eventually gave up on perfection of any sort and told myself that all that mattered was that I ended up with some sort of knitted fabric made in a shape that would cover my feet. It has taken me months, but I am allllllmost done with ONE sock.

One very weird cabled almost-sock

“Almost” as in, all but the grafting at the toe. I found that I couldn’t recall the kitchener stitch. It had literally been years since I had knit socks, and I had forgotten the kitchener stitch. I also forgot my own grafting on the needles technique I taught back in the days of Knitting Daily. So last night, I did the google and wrote down the steps in the very first pages of my new 2022 notebook, so I would ALWAYS be able to find the instructions in a jiffy. (Knowing me, I will forget where I have written them down. Now, however, their location is written here on the blog, so perhaps I will actually have a chance of finding them!)

Perhaps I will have a completely finished sock before next summer?

And you know what? It only took me two weeks to cobble together something I felt I could post. Oh, I’ve written drafts of blog posts almost every day; I just couldn’t stop overthinking. ARGH. But, hey, look: Another blog post! Within a month after the first! That is better than nothing, and since I have the makings of at least four more posts, I might even get another post out before, oh, June, I suppose. (Kidding. Hopefully.)

And Now For Your Regularly Scheduled Cat Photo…

…in which Ben assures me that the back and fronts of the cabled sweater are at least three paws too small.

A final wee note….

I went back-and-forth about writing about getting my booster shot, knowing that the topic of COVID vaccines can cause strong emotions to emerge. One of my strongest values is Respect, both for myself and for others. This value constantly shapes and informs my writing, my speaking, and my teaching; it is something I hope will be reflected in all the discussions on this blog.

And with that…Thank you for the good that all of you are, both for me and for those around you!
~ Sandi

Posted in Knitting | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

Hi there!

Warmest Holiday Wishes from All the Wisehearts!

Three stockings for three very good kitties!

With hope,
~ Sandi, Melody, Tim, Ben, and Tessa

Hi there…remember me?

Several of you have written me over the months and months of endless COVID to ask me how I am, when I am going to start blogging again…and where the heck the bust dart tutorials are. Your letters touch me, make me laugh, and sometimes make me cry from the kind words you send my way.

Just so you know: I’ve been listening.

So very many of you have asked me to start posting again, and I want you to know I hear you. I’ve been thinking about why I blog, and what I want to blog about, and what kind of posts I want to write…and I realized I was overthinking. Sure, there were times when I was wonderfully organized at Interweave and had a schedule of what to write when, but mostly…mostly what I start out writing about is not what I end up writing about. And often what I end up with is better than whatever I might have gotten had I followed my original pre-planned path forward. 

I came up with some words which describe my values and intentions with respect to my little corner of the internet. Maybe they are super-corny…but see what you think—after all, this blog is for you as well as for me.

Community. Respect. Caring. Crafty Excellence. Compassion. Storytelling. Seeing. Listening. And, of course: Cats.

It’s not a grand mission statement, but those are some of the words that describe what I want this blog to be about. (And yes. This means I am re-starting my blog writing. EEP!)


It’s been such a long time…and you know what I’d like? I’d like to hear from you (in the comments) about how you are doing, how you survived the past couple of years, what you’ve made that you are proudest of, and whatever else you’d like to share.  And if there is anything in particular you’d like me to address, fire away. Cat photos welcome!

Speaking of which…

Clockwise from rocking chair: Tessa, Ben, and Tim,
enjoying the catnip that Santa brought.

Here are the troublemakers, playing with their Christmas Catnip. (And yes…there are three this year instead of four. We lost our beloved Dusty the night of April 20/21 last spring. He was so special that he deserves a blog post of his own at some point, but my heart still hurts too much.) I had put together a little container of treats coated in catnip, and oooooh, myyyy. I nearly lost a finger in the excitement which followed!

All right, folks. Dinner calls; then a walk through the park with all its holiday lights. May there be joy and love and light in your life this New Year’s weekend. (Also: BE SAFE.)

~ Sandi (more photos next time…)

Posted in Knitting | Tagged , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Frogs in My Armhole

The Inside Stories: Day 60
Monday, May 11, 2020

We started our stay-at-home adventures on Friday, March 13, which makes today Day 60. It’s also May 11, and this is what we woke up to:

January in May (2020 version)

Simply unbelievable. That’s about 3″ of cold-press frosting right there, folks. Winter just has to have the last laugh…

I want you to know that I really do read all of your comments, usually at least twice. I’ll go back and re-read a comment that did my heart good the first time around; I’ll double-check to make sure I am quoting someone correctly; or I re-read them simply because you are walking this journey with me, and it is deeply healing to hear from all of you again. I have missed you.

I love the variety of your responses. Sometimes you show links to what you are working on (YES, PLEASE); sometimes you say, “And I thought I was the only one!”; and sometimes you let me know that I am not the only one! You ask a question, or you make a request (A query such as “Could you write about X?” is a song to my heart), or else, you have rather gutted me with your wonderfully compassionate and wise insights. And many of you purr over kitty photos…

Kimberly assures me that there is no such thing as a gratuitous cat photo (made me laugh, 25 points to your School House, Kimberly), and from the comments, it appears that she is not the only one. Thus: Kimberly, today’s Fuzzy Images are in your honour (with thanks for some deeply sweet and very moving comments).

Dusty approves of Cook’s rendition of “Royal Canin, Flavour in A Major, Chicken”

(I’ll get the REST of you, my pretties, at some later date.)

A Minor Detail

Before we get into anything else, I’d like to point out a Minor Detail. For two blog posts in a row now, I have offered you this pretty picture to gaze upon:

Undercurrent Underarm

The caption, both times, was this:

Notice the beautiful curved seam? Notice the beautifully seamed armhole?

Let’s take a wander through that caption. (Hang with me here. Y’all know I am doing this for a reason.)

The first question: Notice the beautiful curved seam? might have been a BIG giveaway as to the point of that photo. However, since that didn’t seem to work, let’s take your comments regarding said seam at face value, thus: Thank you. I must say I agree, it is a really beautiful example of a curved seam. Part of why I included this photo was, I admit, to show off a particularly pretty piece of construction work. (If I do say so myself. Well. I only said that AFTER you said it, of course.)

The second part of the caption reads: Notice the beautifully seamed armhole?

{ blink }

Read. That. Again:

Notice the beautifully seamed armhole?

I’ll wait.



OK, then, here’s a HINT:

Since when do we ever seam an armhole, people?



The second point of posting that photo was to show you a mistake that is all too easy to make: I stitched together the front and back of the arm-HOLE; i.e., I seamed shut the part of the sweater that needs to be open to let your arms through.

I thought for sure I would get a pithy comment or six about that one, but perhaps, well. Perhaps you were all just blinded by the sheer architectural grace and beauty of the seaming. {bows} Thank you, you are all really too kind. {busts up in laughter}

Ben expresses his opinion

Either that, or you really were just too kind in holding your tongue. (You’re the best.)

One Stitch At A Time

Often in life, things are right in front of our faces, and yet we do not see them. Mistakes, particularly mistakes of the above magnitude of brilliance, often result from an inattention to Here and Now. This is neither good nor bad; our minds wander where they need to wander to heal and bring joy, especially these days.

A curvy hip…

We can let ourselves get swept along the flow of creativity; my seamed armhole was no doubt the result of enjoying the seaming process so much that I just hummed along merrily merrily with the mattress stitch until there wasn’t anything left to seam.

Another factor in the Hole That Wasn’t: I’m at the point now in my knitting life where I rarely pin more than shoulder seam to mid-sleeve-cap before just winging it all the way around the sleeve cap and down the length of the arm. This may seem like some sort of expert high-flying act, with experience tempering the risk of ending up with four inches of one side left hanging past the cuff of the other side; perhaps. But think: If I had taken those extra few minutes to pin, or at least to pin at more than just one or two places, then I might have been slowed down the fun long enough during Speedy Seaming to notice that I was going where no seam had gone before.

A waistly curve…

Oh, and yes: I do enjoy mattress stitch enough to get lost in the flow of it. I realize that I love the part that most knitters hate: I love the stitching-up part of knitting something. It’s like solving a puzzle: Find the paths for my needle to follow that will make the smoothest, most invisible seam possible. Sometimes a stitching path is obvious, so the work goes quickly; other times, I have to pick my way through the stitch-path carefully, one stitch at a time. Sometimes I have to back out a few stitches (or more than a few) to create a neater seam, or to close an unintended hole. And sometimes, I look at my work of the past fifteen or twenty minutes only to notice that I have once again created a monster of ugliness.

Or that I have sewn a crucial opening shut. (Neckline next time, anyone?)

The long and short of it, with the fabled sewn-shut armhole on the right of the photo above

The Frog Pond Report

First, a refresher photo:

The above is my heavily modified version of Mirabor. This perpetually on-the-needles project never turned into a burning priority of mine. While I loved the little sweater itself, it suffered from the effects of being selected as a “work project”, one I had started on Knitting Daily to use as an example for teaching pattern modifications. I’m not certain if I ever meant to actually wear the thing; nonetheless, I kept modifying it every time I changed shape, faithfully writing about every mod, either on one of my blogs (this one, Knitting Daily, or What’s On Sandi’s Needles, the interim blog I wrote for Interweave after leaving KD) or in my private scribbling—and in those years, I changed shaped quite a bit, in and out, up and down, this way and that way…

Zoë, my oh-so-patient model, who made everything she wore look shabby in comparison to her gorgeous fur

I think, in the end, the sweater’s lines became distorted by all those mods and re-mods, so that it just didn’t look right on me at any size! Thus it was that this past weekend, I bid this little red work companion of mine a fond farewell. I took some last shots of it, including the pretty lace edging: The lace edging that first caught my eye; the lace edging that was a big reason I chose the pattern in the first place; the lace edging that I loved so much from stitch to stitch in the knitting of it.

And then, it was just…huff ‘er a kiss, and let ‘er rip.

That pretty edging was the last to go

The Math of Frogs

This section is for super nerds. NO, wait. Actually…I highly recommend doing the following calculations (or similar) for at least one project in your knitting life, whether it be sock or sweater. It tends to give one a huge sense of accomplishment!

How Many Stitches? Hem to Waist

My gauge for Mirabor was (consistently) 5.5 sts per inch, which for my then-47″ finished size hip meant 260 stitches in each row thereabouts. My row gauge was 7 rows per inch, which works out to about 1820 stitches per vertical inch. Hem to waist was about 6 inches, or 1820 x 6 = somewhere around 11,340 stitches to ravel, just for the lower third of the garment!

How Many Stitches? All the Way Up

As for the rest: Back then, my waist was only about 1″ smaller in circumference than my hips, and waist to underbust was about 3″ vertically. So call that another, hm, muttermumble, 760 stitches. Bust, 44″ circumference then; high bust 41″; shoulders 15.75″; brain, 9 pounds; pasta, 8 minutes on setting 3…so say another 800 or so stitches there. Yoke and sleeves, 88 stitches per sleeve, plus say 180 for yoke, means, wild stab in the dark: 2100 stitches.

Le Grande Total: Somewhere in the neighbourhood of 15,000 stitches for the whole red burrito.

(I’m actually checking my project notes rather than stabbing in the dark, just so you know.)


Silly me. I hadn’t done the math before I starting ripping, so I thought it might take, oh, about 45 minutes or an hour to rip the entire cardigan back from yoke to hem.

To my surprise, it took me nearly 3 hours over 3 days to get ‘er done.

In the end, I wound up (heehee) with about 1100 yards of lovely red-fuchsia DK merino yarn. I’ll skein it and give it a quick soak to get the grime of the centuries out of it; then I will hang the skeins to dry just under their own weight. (I never use weights when drying skeins. I actually wrote up a section on To Weight or Not To Weight, but I cut it for length. If you are interested, I can include that in a future post. Just let me know.)

Here’s a final kitty pic for you, Kimberly:

The Snugglers: Tessa and Dusty show how it’s done

Really In Conclusion

I think that’s (more than) enough for today. I will show you my Finished! Hoodie! next time. I could have left out a section or so here, but sometimes a post tells the stories it wants to tell, and then sits back and says: That’s all for now.

You folks are a joy to write for, thank you.

~ 💖🦄🦙 Sandi

Posted in Knitting | 8 Comments

Don’t lose your sense of humour

The Inside Stories: Day 47

I’m just going to pop in here to point out a couple of things.

First, WordPress is making mashed potatoes WITH gravy out of my nice, clean, well-thought-out email HTML template. (My apologies.) It looks as though the software is doing something to the image captions, something that unformats them, or reformats them, or whatevers them, into what seems like weird editorial snippets randomly tossed about, instead of nice tight little commentaries, or informative tidbits, written about each carefully chosen, lovingly edited, photo.

(ahem) The hashbrowns that WordPress is making out of my photo captions appear to be obscuring their delicate humour and witty asides.

Or, at least, I think that is what is going on.

How else to explain, well…this, from yesterday’s blog post?

Caption: Notice the beautiful curved seam? Notice the beautifully seamed armhole?

Oh, well. Second time’s a charm. I’ll just leave the photo right there above…again…for your enjoyment…again…

You can play, too!

As I imitated a person falling asleep last night, I realized that I had been very rude yesterday in not inviting you nice folks to play along with me:

Frog Something, Finish Something

Probably what made me think about this is Cat of YesterPost’s Comments, where she mentioned that she, too, had just Frogged Something and Finished Something. Seems to have done her some good, too, so why not open up this party a bit?

Frog something, finish something…

Think about it: Is there an unfinished project in your pile that deserves a second chance at life…but as something else? Maybe it’s time to rip that puppy out. (I mean. Not actual puppies. Stitch puppies. I…oh, never mind.) Or, perhaps you might have a long-suffering work-in-progress that deserves to be finished?

Don’t be shy. Dig it out, if you like; and whether it is to be Frogged, or to be Finished, please share it with us in the comments! (I think you can post images there…) The goal, of course, is whatever you want the goal to be. It could be as simple (and as difficult) as clearing some energy and space for that shiny new project we all seem to have in the backs of our minds.

Or else…know what? Scratch all that.

If what you really want to do is start a shiny new project, let me be the first one to encourage you to put the entire WIP pile into a closet somewhere, and to go cast on with that luscious new yarn. (And post pictures, of course!)

~ Sandi 🦄❤️

Gratuituous Cat Photo

Ben, helping to install our new TV.

Posted in Knitting | 7 Comments

The Inside Stories: Day 46 ~ Crafting Some Sanity

I will do anything for a bit of sanity these days. Let me tell you, it is not pretty to go through a midlife existential crisis during virus lockdown. 

I’m folding cranes. I’m supposed to make one per day for one hundred days…

Actually, I think a lot of us are feeling the crazy more than usual these days. I heard a psychologist being interviewed on the CBC, and wow, was she comforting. She said that the crisis is making everything harder, as we are not just dealing with parental stress or whatever, we are dealing with parental stress as magnified through the lens of the coronavirus situation.  She pointed out that there is a part of our brains that is constantly trying to process all that is going on, and that this “background processing” (my term, not hers) continues behind all the other tasks of daily life. 

Submitted without comment….Oh, wait, I cannot resist: My mom used to make

“Mr. Turkey Lurkey” dance in the kitchen sink as he was being rinsed down.

“No wonder we are all more fatigued than usual!”, she said. No wonder we feel we are having trouble accomplishing things: We ARE, because everything has the extra added burden of the background processes going on. She said to go easy on ourselves, because it isn’t some moral failing of our own that makes it difficult to do all the things peer pressure says we ought to be doing: Cleaning out the garage! Making clothes! Re-doing the kitchen floor! Sorting through all the photos, making six individual-but-identical albums for family members! Building two more stories over the garage by next week!) She was surprisingly compassionate, and quite frankly, had me in tears by the end. (I can provide a link to the specific interview should you want it.)

I mean, I know it seems everyone is telling us to go easy on ourselves. She’s just the one who got through to me, the one who made me feel understood and comforted.

Grammatically questionable; but there’s truth there

OH. The Crafty Part. I Almost Forgot…

Now: Here’s a heads up. When I talk about crafting under lockdown, I am not talking about finishing all the quilts, or knitting a sock a day, or anything heroic. I am not even making face masks (gasp!), with the exception to be noted next-post. All you’ll get from me are just your average let’s-give-it-a-go, hopefully reasonable, crafty goals.

One of the demons I fight on a daily basis is Feeling Useless. This was true pre-virus; the feelings are just intensified, I think, partly because there are REAL heroes out there. And I am not them. (I grew up thinking I was going to be one of the Helpers; I haven’t yet given up on that dream, although the awfulness of the past several years, plus the shock of “Am I Really THAT Old?”, has beaten down my resolve considerably.)

To jab back at this particularly insidious demon, I poked around my project bins to see if anything captured my imagination. As I poked, I realized that I have become slightly disenchanted with respect to crafting. And as I continued to poke around, I began to understand why it is that I am disenchanted: I have not finished anything, not really, in years. Every project seems to have been stopped in its tracks at some point in its genesis.

And I am wearing sweaters knitted by others, instead of even a sock knitted by myself.

I decided two things. One, I was going to Finish Something. And two, I was going to Frog Something. Both Things had to be me-projects: Ideally, at the end, I would have one finished cardigan to wear, and one cardigan’s worth of nice yarn freed up to let it have a second go at life as knitwear.

It was really clear which project was going to Get Frogged. 

Yes, yes. This is the long-suffering, many-storied Little Red Cardigan that I have worked on, and have written about, sporadically throughout the years—yes, years. I remember I first wrote about wanting to make this cardi in one of the Knitting Daily posts. So, yes. This cardi has spent years as an unfinished object.

It’s time. I know I am not far from the end, but I am, in fact, done with it. I changed sizes too many times, I’ve modified the modifications, and it all is just too much work and not enough satisfaction to be had any longer.

Tim reviews my row-by-row modifications for the Little Red Cardi

Besides: I still want a Red Cardigan. There’s an entire sweater’s worth of lovely red yarn there.

So that’s the Thing To Be Frogged.

The Thing to Be Finished is the colourful hoodie I started in Nov 2108 as I flew off to Vancouver. All the knitting is done, I just have the seaming, the weaving-in-of-ends, and buttons/buttonband.

Notice the beautiful curved seam? Notice the beautifully seamed armhole?

I have about 75% of the ends woven in. I have grafted the top of the hood, a job I am considering doing over because Reasons. One sleeve is partly sewn in. (Clearly, this was the sleeve meant for the other armhole.)

Sandi’s Undercurrent Hoodie: Pre-sleeve version

Stay tuned on this one, as well.

Your nap instructors for today are Tim and Dusty.

As usual, your comments were the best part of the last post. Thank you, my friends.

Take care!
~ Sandi

Posted in Knitting | 8 Comments

The Inside Stories: Day 23

Saturday, April 4, 2020.

Hello, my friends.

How things have changed.

My last post, the one about my beloved Zoë’s passing, was written nearly nine months ago. It’s hard to believe she’s been gone that long. It’s even harder to believe how drastically life has changed since then, and how much death and loss have now become part of our daily lives.

Paper hearts for our windows and doors

It is Saturday, April 4, 2020, and we are on Day 23 of our shelter-in-place adventures here in Orangeville, Ontario. We began our adventure, ominously enough, on Friday the 13th of March. Since then, I have left the house only once (besides neighbourhood walks)—to go to the bank with Melody to do bank business. Melody has left the house only three times: The bank meeting, to go pick up prescriptions, and to do a grocery run.

Today, however, I talked to a neighbour over the fence for nearly half an hour. After I came inside, I did a little happy dance, a little jig of victory: “I talked to a person! A real, live person! An in-person person!”, I sang in a little insta-ditty as I moved my feet around in a parody of an actual dancer.

The songlet went on. “A person who isn’t my marriage person, a person who isn’t my wife! I talked to a human in real life! I scored! 30 points to Wiseheart House! Score! Hooray!”

You can deduce from the above what you will—I’m a lunatic (well, yes); I need to get out more (don’t we all, at this point); I’ve been listening to too many Harry Potter audiobooks (This time, I think I finally understand how to play Quiddich!); or perhaps I’m just a wee bit weird. (Full Disclosure: I’m more than just a wee bit weird. Bet that’s a big surprise for y’all.) All are true to varying degrees.

The Big Outside

That conversation with my neighbour Mr. D was the first time I have had a face-to-face conversation with anyone since the bank appointment on March 17. March 17 was 19 days ago.

19 days without speaking to a single soul face-to-face (other than Melody, of course).

In less dire times, anyone who heard that I had not spoken to someone in 19 days might rightly be concerned for my health. But in these days, the days of face masks and two metres apart and countless pleas to stay at home; in these days, it is not at all unusual to go for days without speaking to a living, breathing person. We come up with ways to connect via Skype, or Zoom, or FaceTime; we email and Instagram and FaceBook and YouTube in order to stay together, to stay connected; we stand in driveways to shout “I love you”, when all we really want to do is run up that driveway and give and get the best hug ever. The last hug I actually had was…wait. Do I even remember when it was?

Can you remember the last hug you shared with someone outside your housemates? I think mine was the night of Wednesday, March 11, at the regular (and soon to be last) weekly rehearsal for our Achill Choir. I think it was one of the second sopranos, one of the women in my section…but I can’t be sure. It might have been anyone. Mark. Cathy. Eileen. Lynn. Tina. There’s 80+ people in that choir. Could have been anyone.

I wish I remembered it more clearly.

Realistically, we cannot expect to hug each other again—not a real hug, not one with warm arms nor the rhythm of an actual heartbeat—we cannot expect to share hugs again for weeks; possibly months.

That’s nearly impossible to comprehend: Weeks or months without a hug from anyone outside our front door.

Think of that. We who live with someone are fortunate. My heart breaks for those who live alone, and now must face long weeks of isolation and huglessness. (Is too a word.)

The coronavirus, and the disease it causes called COVID-19, have changed all our lives for the present; and, I fear, for all time.

About this post:

I haven’t published anything these past nine months, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing. I can’t help myself; I write at least a thousand words a day, in one manner or another. I wasn’t posting what I wrote because I had completely lost faith in myself and in my writing. What brought me back, so to speak? YOU. You did.

You see, I noticed that I was starting to see more email from my readers than usual. Those who wrote wanted to check and see if I was OK; and they wanted to ask if (or when) I was going to start blogging again. There was one letter in particular that really touched me, a letter from Elaine (you know which Elaine you are). I hope you will forgive me for not writing you back; I can’t say why I didn’t reply; that’s so odd, considering that your words stayed with me every day for weeks. You were so positive and encouraging; I held your letter close so I could re-read it as needed. Your voice joined in with the other folks who wrote in to say: Please, write more.

Now. People do not ask for more of something they think is crap.

So I double-dared myself. I dared myself to go re-read some of my writings, and then to pick parts of them to share with you, whether I had written them weeks ago or today. I’ll probably concentrate on posts written since VirusTime began back in January 2020.

I promise most of them are a bit less heavy than this one.

💖 So much love from my home to yours…
~ Sandi

Oh—and hugs. I will put a pile of virtual hugs right out here next to the kitchen door, and you can come grab one any time you need one.

This staying-at-home gig is not for the faint of heart.

Mandatory Cat Photo

Tessa demonstrates proper social distancing.

Posted in Animals, Ponderings, Tessa, The Inside Stories, ZoëCat | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments