Knit Two, Purl Two

 

“Come out to Wool and Wine – we can learn to knit together!” the invitation read.

“Hmmmm, wine, conversation, SNACKS? I’m game. Oh, knitting? I did that once or twice as a kid, so sure. Count me in. That’s like riding a bike, right?”

And so began my foray into the world of knitting.

Did you know that there are various sizes of knitting needles? It’s true.

I turned up to our first session with my fancy plastic shopping bag containing borrowed needles and two balls of yarn. Balls? Spools? Wads? Wads. I had two wads of yarn with me – I looked it up, that’s the correct term. No need to double check.

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If you think this looks like tricky yarn for a beginner, you are correct.

Apparently you can’t just start looping yarn together, you have to “cast on”. Good thing there were some experts in this group. I guess my mom always did that part for me. Do you “cast off” too? I don’t know because I have never finished a knitting project. Time wool tell, I guess.

As a kind friend set up my project, I decided to unwind with a glass of red and a handful of M&Ms (this was my kind of gathering!). It was totally worth the needling I had received from my coworkers at lunch about joining a knitting circle. They didn’t realize that the point was to try something new.

Dear reader, I won’t bore you with all the knitty gritty details of our evening, but we did spin some good yarns. I was in stitches several times reminiscing about old times and shared experiences.

This novice knitter only had to start over once so I decided to call it a night before things unravelled. The time had flown by and it seemed we had already developed a close-knit feeling of camaraderie among us. I hope this pattern continues in future evenings because yes, I’m hooked. I went into this new hobby feeling skeptical, but darn it, I enjoyed myself.

I might even finish this project, you never know.

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Just need an evening or two to finish up

 


Local Mom Under Scrutiny

Dear readers,

Today we feature a submission by rookie reporter, 8-year-old Moyer. He is an up-and-coming journalist with a knack for digging deep into his topics. Mr. Moyer is not afraid to tackle any subject, no matter how sensitive or inaccurate.

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In addition to being a crackerjack writer, he also does his own illustrations.

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Editor’s note: the views expressed in the above article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Tough Bananas, Jan Moyer, or most Starbucks consumers.

 


Nutcracker Bandit Strikes Fear in Family

Local mom was shaken to discover her family home had apparently been the victim of vandalism.

“I love a good mystery. Scooby-Doo, Nancy Drew, Encyclopedia Brown, Sherlock, I’m a big fan of the sleuths. So I thought I would be able to solve this easily,” the mother of four said. Unfortunately, she was mistaken.

The family recently put out their Christmas decorations, including a family favourite, the nutcracker, Bob. Days later, the family was horrified to find that Nutcracker Bob’s trumpet had been broken off.

“This was certainly not an inside job. I specifically told my boys not to play with the Nutcracker and they all promised they wouldn’t,” said the devastated mom. “I don’t feel safe in my own home.”

When asked about the vandalism, the oldest son declined to comment. The youngest son, however, speculated that the family home might be haunted.

Similar incidents have happened to the family in the past. Toilet paper strewn across the floors, lights mysteriously left on, and chewed gum hidden behind furniture.

Authorities have not been called in, but the parents are documenting the recurring vandalism. For the time being, the family remains hopeful that the mystery will be solved.

 

 

 


Christmas Chipmunk

It was Christmas 1983 and I was ready. No doubt my wishlist was long and detailed, but I’ve long forgotten what I requested. Except for one particular item.

I’d probably given up any hope of getting a Cabbage Patch Doll, or it might have been that E.T. and Star Wars didn’t hold my interest, perhaps I already had enough Smurf paraphernalia, but for some reason what I really wanted that year was Alvin. Of the chipmunk fame.

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Many details of that time are fuzzy, but I remember giving my list to my dad and outlining specifically what I meant by “Chipmunk”.

“A stuffed one. You know, the singing ones. There’s Alvin, Simon, and Theodore. I’ll take any, but I’d really like Alvin. The one with the red shirt.”

He nodded and reassured me that we were on the same page, “Alvin. From the show. Got it,” and left to do some shopping (no illusions of Santa in my childhood).

Christmas arrived and I excitedly squeezed a very soft package with my name on it. Janice was written in his familiar printing. No need to sign it, I knew who it was from.

My turn finally arrived and I tore into that package, confident Alvin was waiting for me. Yes! Got my chipmunk!

Oh, I got my chipmunk alright. Meet my Alvin.

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I had asked for a chipmunk and a chipmunk is what I got. I have to give eight-year-old me credit, I grinned and hugged it and gave my dad a big hug. He was so happy. He had no idea that this was not the chipmunk I had had in mind.

He was so happy.

Maybe on some level 1983-me knew the lengths he would have gone to to find a stuffed chipmunk. A stuffed chipmunk. Think about it: a realistic-looking chipmunk plushy toy. Alvin the Chipmunk could be found in any major chain store, but a chipmunk stuffy? That took a lot of effort.

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Chipmunk stuffy complete with plush nut and bushy tail.

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Chipmunk plushy complete with hat, t-shirt, and shoes.

It was not what I had asked for, but I got what I needed. Despite running a business, having a sick child, and raising four kids, my dad made time to get my Christmas present. It was perfect.

Despite all the stress and worry and anxiety he had, I mattered.

This is one of my favourite Christmas stories: that time I asked for Alvin, but instead got the gift of sacrifice, love, and the importance of being gracious and grateful.

He’d gotten me exactly what I had asked for. And I was so happy.


Sorry, Can You Repeat That?

What better time to heckle your parent than when a noisy appliance is running? None. There is no better time at all.

“Dishwasher Fairy” was a much bigger hit than I had anticipated. I’m nervous to release a second song, but the public has demanded it. I now present to you, “Sorry, Can You Repeat That?”

(If my former piano teacher sees this, I apologize. You did teach me better).

 


The Future is NOW

My children, it is true that we live in an amazing time. But sometimes I ponder what the future might hold for us. What wonders could be just a few years away?

For instance, sometimes I like to imagine that in my lifetime we will have the ability to create some sort of mechanism that allows you to suspend a towel off of a bedroom floor. Maybe it will be on the back of a door, who is to say? I’ll leave that to the engineers.

Occasionally I like to dream of a time when we won’t have to eat food with our bare hands. I admit it is hard to wait, but I’m sure scientists are on the cusp of discovering the right formula to forge a device that allows us to deliver food directly from our plate to our mouth. Call me fanciful, but I think that could happen any day now.

If you’re like me, you might be wishing for an appliance of some sort that washes dishes for you. Wouldn’t it be amazing if all we have to do is load the dirty dishes into it and *poof* all the hard work is done? The dishes would come out clean with minimal effort from us. Sounds a bit far-fetched, but so did space travel, didn’t it?

So close.

So close.

When a drink spills on the floor it is such a hassle. You have to walk around it until it eventually dries up. But I have faith that one day there will be an absorbent material that can swipe up that mess in one go. I believe we have the technology, it just hasn’t been maximized yet.

If they can make a phone that allows you to hold the world’s knowledge in the palm of your hand, surely we aren’t far away from an apparatus that will pick up carpet debris with a suction action? And why stop at carpet? Perhaps this miracle-of-tomorrow will also be able to suck popcorn and dried gum from between couch cushions? Heady times ahead. Heady times, indeed.

I envy you kids, what a time to be alive.


Local Mom Disowned by Neighbours, Feels Bewildered and Betrayed

A Kitchener mother of two has been blacklisted by her neighbours and wants answers.

“One day we were sipping our soy chai lattes at the park, the next day I was pushed out of the group. I saw them scurry away after the school drop-off. They all claimed to have errands and appointments, but thirty minutes later one of them Instagrammed her banana bread and I could see the cluster of them in the reflection on her microwave. I just don’t understand what I could have done to upset them.”

“I thought we were friends,” said the confused mother.

Sources close to this baffled parent tell a different story. According to moms on the playground, this ostracism has been imminent for months.

“Just last week at a playdate she proposed handing out fruit cups decorated like jack-o-lanterns and bananas with ‘Happy Halloween’ scribed on the peel,” reports one exasperated mom.

Her former cardio-walker partner adds, “But the final straw was the plastic ring comment.”

She goes on to explain, “After we talked her out of the fruit and vegetable candy substitutes, she announced that she was handing out plastic spider rings instead of candy.”

Despite protests from her fellow parents that an overabundance of plastic rings and Halloween-themed pencils are more of a nuisance for moms and dads than dealing with a sugar high, this deluded mom suggested that parents could repurpose these trinkets.

“They could make a really fun mobile or maybe some DIY hair accessories.”

The other moms say that reentry into the group is possible, but that they need time to heal.


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