Instead, I knit

I often wonder what I’m missing.

If t.v. is to be believed, the best cure for a bad dream or a stressful board meeting is a handful of cool water splashed onto the face. It seems everyone’s doing it.

I can’t remember the last time I splashed water on my face. Maybe once, after a long day of gardening in the summer heat? But never as some sort of panacea for emotional turmoil.

Tell me world, does it work?

Of course, I’ve never “grabbed a bite” either. Or “hit the sack” or shyly whispered “well… this is me” in front of my impossibly expensive Brooklyn brownstone.

But maybe I just haven’t lived!

Instead, I’ve been knitting my clothes as per usual and submitting legal questions to the Undisclosed Podcast.

Yes, you heard right folks, little Allison Wool&Potato got her question read aloud on the second addendum episode of the current season of the podcast. Like a boss.

It was terribly thrilling.

Should’ve splashed a little water on my face to come down after!

  • Pattern: Donner
  • Size: 43.25
  • Yarn: Malabrigo Sock, Colour: 862 Piedras
  • Needles: 3.75mm for main body, 2.5mm for ribbing
  • Notes: Great pattern, fun to knit, especially the braid detail and short rows on the shoulders. Didn’t have enough yarn for longer sleeves, but prefer the short sleeves anyhow. Haven’t compared the final measurements to the pattern, but I thought it would turn out looser to make more room for my expanding belly? Here’s hoping for ample stretchiness instead.

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Leather hard

My favourite kind of mug is one that has reached the leather hard stage. It’s the best ceramic state. A pot that was once soft and delicate has become firm and cool to the touch. Delicate curves hold their own.  Handles defy gravity.

Slicing into leather hard clay is like slicing through a piece of milk chocolate or semi-hard cheese. It’s a wonderfully satisfying experience.

I’m always a little embarrassed to say “leather hard” to a non-ceramicist though. I worry they might picture something a little more saucy than I had intended.

Leather hard: A boy’s club for dudes who prefer to wear chaps and chains.

Leather hard: Thursdays is free ball gag night!

It seems hobbies have a way of generating their own insular vocabulary that sounds totally fine to those participating – and totally wacky to anyone else.

I love to knit twisted rib in fingering yarn. Both painful and dirty sounding!

And I can’t say I’ve ever managed to explain what a clitic is to a non-linguist without a “wait…. what?!”. (Ironically, your first impression will help you remember this particular linguistic object. You see, a clitic may be a small addition -phonologically speaking- but it’s still incredibly important.)

I imagine astrophysicists must feel similarly when mentioning the seventh planet to an unenlightened public.

  • Pattern: Even Flow
  • Size: 38/40, but with a tighter gauge of 10.5 sts per 2 inches: gauge on 5mm was way too loose
  • Yarn: Wool of the Andes sport, colour: bramble heather, lot: 75889
  • Needles: 4mm
  • Notes: Joji Locatelli’s patterns are always clear, well written and enjoyable. The collar ribbing does roll back, but I don’t think it’s meant to stay perfectly flat anyhow: I tacked it back at the bottom to make it seem more intentional. I wish there were some sort of finishing done on the hem of the stockinette collar though.
  • Modifications: I added longer sleeves and did a twisted rib + applied I-cord bind off on the cuff.  I say I-cords for all long sleeves from now on! Should have done twisted rib for the hem as well, it’s a little messy as it is.

Ooh! Boning channel… just thought of that one.

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Brome fair socks




Every labour day weekend of my life I have spent at the Big Brome Fair, ensconced in the smallest booth on the fairgrounds, selling fudge and barley candy with my family. It’s tradition.

And every year is exactly like the last. The midway sounds the same. The cow barns smell the same. The corn on the cob tastes just as good. My toes get just as dusty/muddy as ever. Hardworking people are hawking the same old gimmicks to the same old marks. I love it all.

The fair exists in this weird atemporal place. We set up on Friday morning and disassemble on Monday evening. But in that in-between time, as I’m sitting in the booth, knitting on a sock and listening to the new magician on the small stage, I feel like I’ve never left.






(Brome photos from 2012)

  • Pattern: 68 stitch CO improvisation
  • Yarn: Self-striping Schachenmayr Regia Pairfect. Colour: 07111 Lot: 5990
  • Needles: Smallest I have. Size 0?
  • Notes: Pretty sure the instructions on the ball band are wrong? I knit these cuff down, as they said, but only got to the coloured stripes on the foot, not the leg (as pictured on the band). Oh well. I also had to end the toe a little prematurely: another colour was approaching and it would have looked really awkward to have only two or three rows of light brown on the toe.

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