Whimsical Knits on a Whimsy Day

A snow day! Excellent!  I haven’t had one of those in at least 10 years.  For me to have a snow day, the city must close.  To his credit, and perhaps his only credit, in two terms, Mayor Street never shut down the court system.  And, even though public schools and Catholic schools were called the night before, I was still surprised to get the call at 6:00 a.m.  Frankly, after John Bolaris misfired with the Great Storm of the Century back in 2001, I’m very skeptical whenever there’s even a hint of  a snow day. 


When I was little, a snow day was not a delightful surprise.  It was a right – school kids had a right to have a snow day every few weeks or so – it was as if it were a scheduled vacation, and I would not be denied.  If there was even a possibility of no school, I would get myself so pysched up to stay home and play that if we actually had school, the disappointment manifested in a crazy insane temper tantrum following the failure of a sick out attempt. 


So, in actuality, I have John Bolaris to thank for the return of the thrill of the snow day, because in crushing any faith I had in weather prediction, his sky is falling routine, and the panic that ensued – do you know how many canned goods I ended up with in my pantry!!! –returned the snow day to its rightful position on the calendar – a true surprise and a definite treat. 


You’ll notice, there will be no pictures of snow in this post-snow day wrap up post – because I didn’t venture outside all day, well at least beyond the front step to let Lemon out – who was not thrilled at all about her “bathroom” conditions.  Can you imagine if you had poop/pee on a sheet of ice, and a pile of snow.  Can’t blame her.


No, while Joe  and his son, Joey, played Kill Zone all day,anxiously awaiting today’s release of Halo Wars, I spent the day snuggled with the puppy, alternating between my Kindle, my knitting, and a little nappy nappy.











And, at the end of the day, I had this:

This is Ysolde Teague’s Ishbel from her Whimsical Little Knits Collection.  And, what could more perfect than a whimsical knit on snowy day?


I knit Ishbel with Blue Moon’s Socks That Rock in Rhode Island Red (the last full skein on the right, the sixth skein in from the left).  If you will recall, back in 2006, Knitty D and I went a little bit crazy with our STR purchases – and what have I knit from them – nothing – these six skeins remind me of my hamsters that I had  in college. 


I bought a hamster, thinking I only needed one hamster (when I really wanted a dog, but couldn’t have a dog) – and then I found at the thing was pregnant when squishy bloody thingies started coming out of her.  One baby ended up lame, and needed it’s own cage because the other babies picked on it.  Then, after about a week, Mamma Hamster decided she didn’t want to feed her babies, rather she wanted to eat them – so those five got their own cage.  So, after several months of having three cages of hamsters, those smelly, yucky mice-like creatures were  finally hairy enough to leave my nest.  Two went to sorority sisters, and the rest went back to the store.  When I handed the cage to the store manager, she dropped the cage, the cage collapsed, smooshing and killing the hamsters.  My sorority sisters put both hamsters in a plastic ball, and they got into a fight, killing each other.  So, none of the hamsters survived.  What does this have to do with Socks That Rock – nothing really, except these six skeins got under my skin like those six dead hamsters – what a waste!  Wasted yarn, dead hamsters – my mind does work in mysterious ways.  Anyway, I ended up gifting a couple of them (the yarn, not the dead hamsters), I think, but I still had a drawerful languishing – since I had even more STRs from the Sock Club – from which I didn’t knit any socks.


So, when this pretty little pattern came out – requiring only 360 yards of fingering weight yarn, even though I didn’t really care if I knit it (not that it isn’t a pretty pattern, its just that I don’t really where little scrafy kerchief things)  – it seemed  like a good use of the yarn.  And, voila – unlike my yucky Swallowtail (see below – and by the way, I forgot to mention in that post that another reason why I can’t wear it is not only because it’s ugly, but because washing/blocking did nothing to the texture/feel – it still feels/smells like sheep – dirty), this was the perfect marriage of yarn and pattern – and it’s as lovely as whimsical snowflake.lemonsleeping                                        

Can’t you tell, Lemon thought so too?


  1. kate March 3, 2009

    that hamster story is out of control. the shawl — very pretty.
    (dead hamsters — not so much).

  2. Lisa March 3, 2009

    Ishbel is beautiful! Sounds like a great snow day….I had much the same, substituting kitties for puppy and library books for the Kindle (Kindle sounds like soooooo much more fun!)

  3. Bridget March 4, 2009

    OK, Ishbel is lovely, and Lemon is a sweetie, but –

    the hamster story was hilarious for all of the wrong reasons.

  4. robin March 4, 2009

    Wait, you knit that in one day? Wendy, you are insane! I hear you though w/ the STR. I joined the club, started two socks, but that was it. I also bought a bunch at S&W and those also sit in my stash. Some day . . .

  5. Merrill March 4, 2009

    Hi Wendy – Boy do we have a lot to catch up on! Sounds like there are wonderful changes in your life. Apologies for being out of communication for so long, but I’ve had a bout with cancer and have been feeling like a squished hamster x 100. Farrah Fawcett is my new go-to girl since I have the same kind of cancer she has and it’s fairly rare. I’m back at work now (new job as Assoc. Dir. of American Philosophical Society (APS) Museum, which I love) and would love an update dinner. My new work email is mmason@amphilsoc.org, and my cell # is the same as ever. Lemon is adorable! And your knitting is, uh, insanely prolific and exquisite, as ever.

  6. Christina March 5, 2009

    YUM…did you REALLY knit that with ONE SKEIN? How big is it? Bring it Saturday, I want to see it live and in person…

    Kisses to Ms. Lemon. We have our “interview” at our “private” w. philly dog park tomorrow…wish us luck


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