Strange days

I have to tell you, that the modern age occasionally freaks me out.

(Well, more than occasionally, but I’m sometimes freaked out by gas stations. I may have a freak out level that is lower than normal.) I did two things worth mentioning yesterday.

I spun.

Ccsingle

(You didn’t think I was going to spin that boring brown did you?) This delightfully cotton candyish batt was a birthday present from Laurie (That Laurie) who really, really has excellent taste in fibre. It’s a Brushstrokes Batt from Indigo Moon Farm and is a completely seductive mix of 50% LLama, 25% merino and 25% silk. (Some dizziness when contemplating that is normal. Put your head down for a minute if you need to.) It is as soft as it looks, and when it’s spun up it has a glorious sheen….that’s the silk.

Lee-Ann-1

I met Lee Ann. She’s here on a little vacation from her real life in Montreal, and we arranged to hook up at the local. You will note that she’s holding the boring baby blanket. Lee Ann really deserved the sock, but I didn’t have it with me. (I am carrying only the blanket since my self control is so crappy that I can only knit it if it’s all that I have.) I was so delighted to meet her, and enjoyed her so much that I was overwhelmed with the urge to have her hold something….I had to make do with what I had.

Here’s the freak out. (As previously mentioned, this may only freak me out.) I find in incalculably strange that as a modern day knitter/spinner, I can swing between an ancient activity like spinning…and half an hour later I can be meeting a knitter from another part of the continent, knowing what she looks like before I meet her, knowing much about her life and being able to detail her current project (the pony puke poncho) even though we have never met. That through the magic of the internet and the wonders of things that plug in, I have friends all over the world.

It’s the sense of expanded community, that we are all actively engaged all over the world in each others intimate lives and doings, that I could pick Emma (or at least her son) out of a crowd, or that if I needed to I could get Vincent out of the pound for Norma, or that I know exactly what Sandy’s couch looks like. I can hope Amie’s ok today, and wonder if Cassie sent Cassie some roving (since it’s at least partly her fault that she took up spinning). I can walk in the sunshine on Saturday and hope that it’s not as hot in Boston as it is here, since Claudia was doing the MS ride.

It’s the wonderful modern electric connectedness of it all. That I can get dropped into any terrifying brand new city in North America and have somebody to have dinner with. That we wouldn’t know each other at all, that I wouldn’t have thousands of comrades in wool, if it weren’t for two things.

Absolutely cutting edge, up to the minute modern technology

and ancient, never changing, timeless knitting.

Freaky contrast eh?

Not child

Judith said in her comment yesterday

Since you mention boning, I assume (and maybe I shouldn’t) that the dress is strapless?

If so, you may want to revise the description of the wearer as – child. ”



Judith is (as commenters so often are) completely right. Totally right. This is no child.

Lady2

Though this may be.

Hatmeg

It is a strange place, this in between child and woman place. The letting go that needs to happen for the elegant young lady in the top picture is completely at odds with the clinging on you want to do for the child in the bottom picture. What do you buy this kid, lady, person? What should she wear? How can somebody who is wearing a strapless dress possibly still want teddy bears and a story read at bedtime? The contrast is enough to give a mother whiplash I tell you. Whiplash. I find this one of the hardest things about mothering. If all you had to do was become a good parent, you know, get the hang…then it wouldn’t be so hard. (Well, except the hours and the pay are crap) It’s the part where as soon as you get it together and think “Ok, I think I’m doing alright” all the rules change and you’re doing something else, and moreover, all the stuff that made you a great mum two years ago now is worth about as much as a trap door on a lifeboat. Not easy.

The graduation itself went off without a hitch, well…as long as you don’t think that a fire alarm that sends an entire auditorium full of parents and graduates into the street is a hitch….

Street

Megan and her best bud Maddy made the most of the disruption,

Megff

and I knit a full repeat on the mind-soul-spirit sucking boring baby blanket. ( I have not taken a picture of the blanket. It looks the same. It is boring and I assure you that not one molecule of it has made a change from yesterday significant enough to warrant the bandwidth a picture would take up.)

Today, I have made a decision. Today is the most sacred and holy of all days to all parents. A day of rest, reflection and hair-whitening fear. Today is (imagine swelling dramatic music here)

The last day of school.

I’m taking the day off. Right off. This afternoon I’m going to spin (because Tuesdays are for spinning but I had to make Tuesday for jamming little pieces of weird acrylic boning into a bodice.) So…do I spin for Joe’s gansey like a good little spinner…..

Fleece

or do I spin this?

Batt

I thought so too.

( Say it with me. 68 days till the first day of school.)

Tulle late.

The dress is not yet finished, but I have five hours, so you know, I’m not concerned. (The phrase “not concerned” is here used to mean that I am panicked beyond all reason.)

While I am sworn not to reveal the exact nature of the dress until the child dons it this evening, I can tell you that it includes the following.

Tulle

1. Eight metres of tulle. If you don’t know about tulle, it’s that sheer stuff in the top of the picture. They use if for bridal veils. We are using Eight metres (that’s 26 feet, for anybody not making the metric leap) of 140cm wide black tulle. The living room looks like a satanic wedding party played strip poker in there.

2. A bodice which (while it has no inset) has boning. I was ripping along yesterday minding my own business, (you know, just me and the voluminous black cloud of tulle.) and I was sewing the bodice together and got to this instruction about inserting the boning in the boning casing and the bottom just dropped out of the world. Boning? What the hell is boning?

3. A trip to Fabricland where I was a assured by several members of the staff (who were not very openminded, let me tell you) that the purpose of boning is to stiffen the bodice and that they don’t believe that there is any amount of fusible interfacing that you can iron into a bodice to get out of putting in boning. (Though they did seem amused by my multilayer fabric stiffening plan.)

It turns out they are right.

4. A very long zipper. I hate putting in zippers. Hate. It. I actually sort of hate sewing in general…which makes me wonder why the hell I’m sitting here surrounded by clouds of tulle, bewildering instructions (There is no armhole. How can I sew facing to it? Liars. Manipulative stinking liars.), scattered snips of turquoise fabric, elastic, boning and a very perplexed cat.

Also hanging around are my chinese scissors, which so many of you asked about yesterday. I got them at Lee Valley Tools, from whence so many very, very cool things come.

(Like this, or this, or this…or wait, we bought my brother this.)

The boring baby blanket is at the halfway mark, from here it’s just a game of stamina.

Bb12

I’ve taken all current socks in progress out of my backpack and put the blanket in, thus giving me absolutely no choice but to knit it. I hate it when it comes down to dirty tricks. (Know any?)

It’s going to be a long second half.

Have a little pride.

This weekend the sock and I decided to get over it. Forget all our woes and carry on. Stiff upper lip and all that. Someone once gave me some extremely good advice. They said “Act the way you want to feel”. It works wonders for me, if I happen to have a poor outlook, I just act like I don’t and pretty soon I can’t remember what I was on about. (There’s that short attention span again.)

The sock and I ran (well, limped) away from home. We jumped on my bike and rode to Ontario place, where we had a little medicine for the bruise.jpg. I have thoughtfully made the bruise picture a pop-up. This should appease all of you who wanted to have a really good look while not offending those of you (like me) who really don’t need to see it.

Medecine

(That’s Ken’s wine. I wasn’t doubling up.) We went on the log ride, we had a nice dinner, we watched the fireworks and cycled home.

The next day, the sock started to feel a little down again, (The sock is becoming demanding and difficult) so we packed ourselves off to Pride. Toronto’s Pride Parade is the largest in North America, and many thousands of people of all descriptions collect on the streets of Toronto.

Pride intrigues me. Not just because there is a chance that you can get a complete stranger who looks like this

Dude

to hold a sock (Buddy here was not at all freaked out by my sock request. Though when you give it some thought, is it really any surprise that a dude on the street in leather underpants would be pretty open minded?) or not just because of the floats and the crowds and the wonderful variety and accepting nature of humankind

Brides

but because the Police Chief and the Mayor walked in the parade, and all political parties (even the conservatives …though they were sparsely represented.) turned up to show their support for Pride, and would have been in pretty big doo-doo had they failed to do so. It really says something about human rights in this City when the Mayor and Police Chief would get politically slammed for not attending a Pride event, and makes me (and the sock) proud to live in this diverse city.

Back home today I’ll spare you a picture of the baby blanket (it’s mindnumbingly boring and only bigger) but promise you the pattern when I’m done, and show you this…

Scissors

Which will be a graduation dress by tomorrow evening, when Megan graduates. (No pressure).

That’s going to leave a mark

Yesterday sucked. It sucked with an expansiveness and a volume that defied the laws that rule the earth.

Unbeknownst to you all, I have not been feeling well. (The violence with which I held the yarn in contempt yesterday for my own incompetence should have been a basic clue that I was a little out of sorts, though Joe points out that I have enough…er, “passion” that it can occasionally be hard to tell.) I woke up yesterday morning and came rapidly to the conclusion that the UTI that I had been dealing with (mostly by drinking cranberry juice and wishing it would go away) had gotten right out of hand. (No lectures on the perils of leaving a UTI untreated for three days please. I have an immune system, and I’m always willing to give it a shot to step up. Besides. I have been punished enough.) I phoned my perfectly charming and affable family doctor and was in his office (stopping only to further wreak havoc looking for the stupid zephyr and to knit my requisite repeat on the baby blanket) two hours later.

Bbgoing

The doctor and I agree after a few words that I am completely correct and have a very nice UTI, he writes a prescription and delivers the mandatory lecture on not seeking timely medical advice and “how much worse it could have been.” I snatch the precious prescription from his chastising hand and beat it the hell out of there to the pharmacy. (If I give up on alternative medicine, I’m usually sick enough to be in a hurry.)

Through a serious of events involving availability, affordability and my own hostility and impatience, 20 minutes later I am out the door furiously carrying about 46 gallons of PEDIATRIC antibiotics.

Pediatric antibiotics are, naturally being intended for babies and young children, a little different than the adult version. For starters they are liquid. (A truly nasty flavour that is supposed to be “fruit punch” and actually resembles fruit punch exactly the way that creme brulee resembles cat litter.) In addition to being a liquid, they are not so strong. This means that if a grownup needs to (for the reasons of availability and hostility mentioned above) take these pediatric antibiotics, that she needs to calculate her weight, and then take the right number of millilitres per kilogram. Roughly translated, I need to take about sixteen GALLONS of this foul stuff (fruit punch my arse) every 12 hours.

So I’m heading home (with my backpack full of the bottles and bottles of the pediatric antibiotics) and I’m furiously heading for the turnstile of the TTC station and in my (aforementioned) state of yarnless hostility, I dump my money into the farebox and pretty much go through the turnstile.

Owie

I say “pretty much” because all of me went through, with the mere exception of my entire left thigh.

My left thigh (probably still due to some degree of hostility, or perhaps a result of some sort of gross miscalculation from the added weight of the veritable ocean of pediatric antibiotic I was carrying) did not go through the turnstile. My left thigh, which I can assure you with all confidence is NOT two inches wide, caught between the spoke of the turnstile and the wall of said turnstile in a space which IS (not by coincidence I am sure) exactly two inches wide.

For the record, in case anyone is wondering, should you get your left thigh caught in a turnstile during some sort of antibiotic temper tantrum (which, much like the antibiotic, was very pediatric) the pain that you feel when you wedge your entire freaking thigh into this impossibly small space is enough to make you see a brilliant, flashing parade of colours. The foul language that you use is enough to wither nearby summer flowers, and the temperature of the tile floor you fall onto as you writhe in agony having wrenched your not two inch wide thigh free of the spectacularly two inch space is quite cool.

This event is actually so incredibly painful, even to passersby that the dude behind you in line at the turnstile will actually gasp in horror at your misfortune as you gnarl yourself into a knot on the floor, breathless and stunned spectacular, and then that dude will say with low reverence and shock (and I quote)

“Whoooaaaa…That’s going to leave a mark”.

Thank you dude. YES IT IS.

Now, because I am a McPhee, and unless you are one you will never really understand this, I must…MUST get up off the floor of the TTC station and carry on to the bus (even though my mangled thigh is screaming vociferant high volume pain messages to my brain) I must get up, and walk to the bus while publicly laughing it off. The code of McPhee states that you must pretend nothing is wrong with you even if you are on fire or need an ambulance. You get up (even if you only have one working leg) and you smile at nearby dudes, and carry on. Which I did.

When I got to the bus I took deep breaths and clutched my pediatric antibiotics, quietly begging for a swift journey home.

By the time I got home, I was no longer quite so prideful and injured, just seriously pissed. I guzzled the first of my gallon doses of antibiotic, avoided Joe’s stares and when Amanda (who is finished high school for the summer and continually home, and continually talking) said “Mom?” I responded with “Don’t call me that”.

The kid took a minute, absorbed the antibiotics, the glaring hateful stare, the wild and humid hair and the newly aquired FREAKING LIMP and then said….” Stephanie?”

I went upstairs. I had a smashed thigh, an angry immune system, pain in regions best left unmentioned, a sloshing belly full of incredibly vile pediatric antibiotics, a teenager home for the summer and NO ZEPHYR YARN to heal me. What better time to do laundry I ask you, what better time. So I’m in the bedroom and the pain in my leg is still purple and I’m snatching things up and hurling them into a laundry basket in a way that I hope conveys my full fury and disappointment at my current karma level, when I wrest one of Joe’s tee shirts off of the treadmill. (Which we do not use, but holds a lot of laundry).

There is a small box on the treadmill.

My vexation is complete. You know what is in the box, don’t you? After I have searched the house, threatened it on the blog, trashed the contents of every closet, screwed up every possible hiding place in my whole house….I have been sleeping for days no more than a metre from a small box that has the Zephyr in it.

I was so angry I went downstairs without opening the box.

It was two hours before I could forgive it.

Newshawl

(PS. I’ll be signing books this Sunday from 11-12 at BEC. The show isn’t open to the general public, but is attended by booksellers, librarians…anyone at all to do with books. If you know anybody…send them by. I’ll be at the Thomas Allen & Son booth. [Thomas Allen is the Canadian Distributor of Storey Publishing. They handle all Canadian stuff to do with the book.]

Free signed books. What more could you want? Well, except gallons of pediatric antibiotics. Yum.)

Dear missing Zephyr Yarn

I’m sorry. I don’t know what I have done to make you leave me, but I’m sorry. I have looked and looked all over the house and the stash and I am getting seriously freaking pissed with your smartassed silk/merino attitude frustrated with your deception my ability to find you. Do you really think that I’m so stupid that I couldn’t hit sand if I fell off of a camel not determined to make things right?

I know that it was callous to misspell your name yesterday, but in my defense it was technically a typo, not a misspelling since I know how to spell your name but could not have given less of a care about you and your knavish hissy fits overlooked the error. I didn’t think you would take it personally because you are a *&^%$#!!!! INANIMATE OBJECT with no actual feelings a kind and gentle yarn, again, my most sincere apologies.

I really don’t know where you could be. I have turned the stash into a craptastic pile of tangled reeking horror looked through my yarn storage areas, completely trashed the contents of checked the entire linen closet , emptied every single stinking the yarn bin, maniacally torn up re-organized the shelving unit full of yarn and ransacked peeked in every single corner of the house while cursing violently and screeching looking for you. I’m afraid that now I cannot walk through a single room for the piles of shocking detritus I have pulled out of the bowels of this house I have run out of places to look. Despite this, my white hot yarn fury burns with the unabated fieriness of a thousand suns I am still experiencing some feelings of longing for you.

I know for an absolute fact that I bought your miserable wee arse skeins in Maryland. I have witnesses who can confirm your date of purchase and your colour. I have further witnesses who saw you enter this home. Ken himself can verify (though I have not asked him to, I don’t need to validate your deceitful crock of a plan ) that you have actually been seen in the living room of this house. There is no point in hiding any longer, I swear I will find you if I have to torpedo my own home to do it no matter how long it takes because I know you are here.

I cannot possibly think of anywhere else to look. I understand that you are a deviant, scurrilous, ignoble piece of (*&^%$!! crap yarn that I regret buying with every cell of my being a yarn with issues and feelings that need to be considered, but I really want you to come back before I tangle your inane yardage into knots so devastating that you will wish you were felted so I can knit you into a pretty, pretty shawl.

I promise that if you haul your disrespectful two-ply skein back where I can find you come forward, I won’t have to wind your balls so tight that you beg for mercy order other yarn. I know that I can make you so sorry that you pulled this scene on me we can be happy together.

Your knitter,

Stephanie

Feel the love

Well, anybody who thought that I was going to need to do a little something besides the baby blanket and the occasional pair of socks was right.

Llsocks

The socks are coming along eh? It is still my belief that this pattern (feather and fan socks from Socks, socks, socks) is the end all, be all for making Lorna’s Laces sock yarn behave in a very nice way. I really do understand that it probably makes me a few shingles short of a roof to believe this based on one pair of socks (not even a full pair actually) but I feel some serious sock mojo.

This pattern was written by Judy Sumner, who I would like to personally thank for releasing me from LL sock yarn related seizures. I hope Judy will forgive me for altering her pattern. As is my habit, I haven’t taken direction well. I changed the heel and the sole (and may have altered the toe just a little), and left out two ridges of garter around the leg. Other than that, I didn’t touch ‘em.

Still, the blanket isn’t enough to fill a day, and since yesterday was the anniversary of my GHU (Godless Heathen Union) with Joe, I decided to throw myself headlong into spinning for the his gansey.

Joeswool

Years of dedicated love and affection, displayed in corriedale singles, and more than that, there are actually two full bobbins of it. If that don’t make him feel loved, cherished and honoured, I don’t know what would. (Kindly put right out of your mind the suggestion that Joe would perhaps enjoy a demonstration of my love that was a little more racy. I don’t care how long we’ve been together, I’m not spinning without my clothes on, and that’s final.)

I did point out to the love of my life yesterday, that it’s entirely possible that there is some symbolism in our anniversary falling on the longest day of the year. (I suppose that the interpretation of that symbolism would depend on your outlook and laundry status at the time.)

Gifts!

As promised, a round of thank you gifts for the tremendous knitters who make up Tricoteuses Sans Frontières. (The astute among you will notice that the total is higher again. I feel faint. If you guys break $75 000, I’ll add something from me -besides the mittens- to the pot.)

Stmarkers

These stitch markers were made by Sharon, and will grace the needles of Karen G., may they bring you luck and good knitting.

Barblace

This is merino and mohair laceweight from Silver Valley Fibres in Alberta, along with a pair of wool socks from Quebec, sent as an all Canadian thank you from our lovely Barb B. Despite my urge to keep both of them (and this is reason #4 not to mail this stuff to me to pass on…) I’m sending them on to tricoteuse Nina S. (Whoops…the email address for Nina bounced back. If you are the Nina S. who’s email used to end with “centurytel.net” can you drop me a line?)

Ellensmitts

Finally for today, these are incredible mittens knit by our lady of the comments, Ellen in Conn. They are beautiful, knit of Koigu and Brown sheep sport, and if they don’t convince you that Ellen is a knitter to be reckoned with, well. I don’t know what would. Emily K., I hope you feel lucky when you wear them.

I’m off now to continue today’s mission, furiously ripping up the stash. Somewhere in this house are two skeins of Jephyr. I got to thinking last night that maybe I would start a shawl or two…you know, just to break the monotony of the baby blanket (I suppose the other possibility is that my personality is such that McDonalds would fire me for having a short attention span, but I prefer to think of it as having a broad range of knitting interests.) and I cannot stinking find them. I’ve ripped apart much of the house, but they continue to elude me. Either the whole yarn thing has gotten so far out of hand that I am now hallucinating buying it…(was that a dream?) or this speaks to a lack of organization that I’d rather not discuss.

Either way, the hall closet needs to get torn up.

Roar.

I have started a baby blanket for my friends soon-to-be baby.

Bbcorner

Pretty good? It’s going to take some perseverance. For starters, you might be able to tell that it’s cotton. (Patons Berber cotton, now discontinued, but living on in my stash. Please note my use of stash materials. I’m proud of that.) I know I said I didn’t like to knit cotton, and I don’t, but this cotton is better than most, and I’ve decided to knit just a little each day to avoid killing my hands or coming to hate the blanket so much that I would wish to be kicked hard by a yak to get out of it.

Berber

Also, it’s a blanket. A plain, good blanket. Blankets are hard to knit. They go on for a long time with no parade moments. You know what I mean? With a sweater, you knit for a while and then TA DAH! Throw me a parade, I finished the front, or a sleeve or something. Sweaters are a series of wins. Blankets? Knit until you are done. No hurrah, no parade, just stick-to-it-iveness.

I know myself pretty well. You know me pretty well. What are the odds that this simple pattern, done over and over and over again, in an old stash yarn is going to hold my interest? Yeah. Me too.

Bb3Rep

Therefore, I’m going to bribe myself. I’m going to work one pattern repeat on this every day, just enough to get it done, not enough to hurt my hands, and at the same time, to make sure absolutely no-one dies of ennui here at the blog (Mostly me…) tomorrow I’m going to start giving out the Knitters Without Borders gifts again.

I’ve somehow managed to get caught up, and I believe that I’ve written everybody a thank you note, and the total is absolutely current. (If you didn’t hear from me and you think you should have, please send me another note, the amount of mail was a deluge there, and I have to beg forgiveness for anything that got lost.)

Take a minute, read the total you have raised for MSF and then sit yourself down and feel the love. That’s the feeling that you get from making a real, profound, actual difference in the world. That’s the feeling that you get when you support people risking their lives to save others. Look at the amount. Know that knitters did this, and that I’m proud and deeply awed to know all of you. You don’t get to $72 435 without a whole lot of knitters (I assure you. There are almost a thousand.) I hope I’m never finished adding it up.

We are knitters. Hear us roar.

The truth about Birch

It’s all worth it.

Fallenbirch

Every single stitch,

Littlebirch

each little leaf,

Birch

the 299 stitch cast on,

Birch-Rail

the multitude of ever decreasing rows that go on forever and ever. The way that the last 50 rows take a million hours longer than the first 50 (even though they are shorter…so I don’t know what’s up with that.) The physics lessons….

All worth it. Beautiful. I forgive it everything.

Rowan # 34, 2 and 1/3rd balls Rowan crack Kid Silk Haze in “Jelly” (What kind of Jelly is that colour?) , 4.5mm needles.

(Photo’s taken this morning in Toronto’s High Park, not, as Stephanie suggested, at my house. Though damn, aside from the mowing, that would be a sweet backyard.)

Escape Velocity

I have a new theory. Look at this.

Notgoing

Here we have Birch. I knit on Birch off and on yesterday. I knit on it a little at the Stitch and Bitch last night (except for I might have played with baby Penelope a little, a lot, as much as I could before people start thinking about watching me closely for signs that I intend to take the baby home, smuggled out in my backpack. Don’t look at me like that. I would leave it a little bit unzipped…) and I knit on Birch for a while after I got home.

This means, that I can personally vouch for having knit at least 20 rows on Birch yesterday. For sure 20, probably 30….maybe more…but we’ll use 20 because I don’t want to be caught on a technicality. The point is (and I do have one) that the row gauge on this shawl is 28 rows to 10 cm. If I have knit 20 rows, I should have gained some distance. I didn’t. I knit 20 rows and the shawl is exactly the same. Exactly. There is no discernible difference in length or width.

I am clearly being drawn into a knitting black hole.

Blackhole

Now, knitters have known about this for a long time. The black hole of knitting is not new, and far better knitters than me have suffered deeply in it’s grips. So far, the only escape has been time. You put in the time (not the knitting time, that’s completely irrelevant…I’m just talking about waiting time) and when your time is up, you are released from the black hole. I personally have had sleeves where you knit and measure and it’s 30cm, and then you knit 3674 rows and it’s still 30cm, and then you have a little lie down and maybe a bit of a drunk-up and a temper tantrum and whammo. 40cm without another stitch knit. It’s about doing your time and the knitting goddesses playing with you like you are a ratty little cat toy.

This got me thinking. Real black holes are related to gravity. (You probably know this. You are probably an astronomer who is about to send me a really serious email about how all of this isn’t possible and I don’t know what I’m talking about. Fine. A disclaimer. I’m a knitter, not a physicist, dammit (don’t you want to say that with Scotty’s accent from Star Trek?) {added: Whoops, Roggey pointed out that I mean Dr. McCoy. See how uninformed I am?} and you should totally not write an exam in science class based on the black hole theory I’m about to tell you. In addition, if you are a student who does fail science because I’m wrong about this, you should know that there is no way that you will be able to convince me that I’m responsible. Study. )

Sorry, what was I saying? Right, black holes are a gravity thing. Every object has a gravitational field. The more mass an object has (please remember class, that mass is different than size) the harder it pulls on the other things. Black holes (regardless of their size) have so much mass in one spot that they have an enormous gravitational pull. So big, in fact, so startlingly hugely big, that light gets pulled in. (Hence the whole “blackness” of the hole.)

Now. Birch is like this. Birch has so much knitting mojo in one place that its pull is so great that all of the stitches get pulled in. You knit and knit….nothing. The yarn goes in, but no length comes out, since it’s pull it too great to allow it. It’s a fuzzy mohair and silk hole. (The first clue that Birch was not a normal knitting object should have been the way that knitters are drawn helplessly to it….)

If you are getting pulled into the black hole, you have a problem. Think about how if you are juggling and you throw a ball into the air, it will go up for a little while, because of the force that you used to send it upward. Then, pulled by gravity, it will come back down. If though, you could really hurl that ball upward, really heave it, you could throw it so hard that it would escape the pull of the earth, enter space and go on forever. That amount of force, that speed is called “escape velocity” and it varies with the amount of mass the object pulling on you has.

The earth has more mass than the moon, so you need to go faster to get off the earth. It has a higher escape velocity. Jupiter would have a really fast one, and black holes (and birch) have so much mass (or knitterly mojo) that the escape velocity you need to pull yourself out of the field of gravity is so huge that you….well. You can only imagine that most encounters with a black hole end badly.

Thusly, in order to escape birches black hole, I am going to need a remarkable escape velocity. Today is about speed. I am going to knit as fast as I can, attempt to reach escape velocity, and see some progress.

If I am correct about knitting black holes, gravitational pull, and the way the universe is put together, I expect to have an alternative to getting your poor little chain yanked by a insubordinate, obdurate piece of mass sucking fluffy knitting for as long as it wants to work you over. We will be free at last.

Groundbreaking work really.