Happy early birthday to me!


On Friday afternoon, an email popped up in my inbox from Loop.  Those of you who pay attention to my ramblings will know that Loop is my favorite yarn store.  All other things in London, which are many and spectacular, are excuses for a trip to Loop.  In fact, all of the fabulousness which is London is centered on Loop, from which it then extends like a ripple in a pond.

This email announced a Celebration Flash Sale!  Loop had just received their 20,000th follower on Instagram and had declared a sale to celebrate.  And not just any old sale – everything purchased on the weekend, both in-shop and on-line, was 20% off!  Be still my heart!

It just so happens that my birthday is in a few weeks.  What you may not know is that for many years, I have sent Doug an email each year shortly before my birthday with a link to a wooden swift and a ball winder. This is what is frequently referred to as a “hint”.  Doug may be the smartest man I’ve ever met (and believe me, I’ve met some pretty smart men) but he has somehow failed, year on end, to respond to such hint in an appropriate manner.

“Doug,” I said,  as I pushed the Submit Order button, “Loop is having a 20% off sale this weekend, and you are getting me a wooden umbrella swift and a ball winder for my birthday.”  This is what is frequently referred to as a “strategic response to hint failure”.   This is one of those things you learn in an MBA programme.

My birthday is not for 3 weeks (so for all intents and purposes I am still 54), but my birthday present arrived in the post today!


I can’t believe it!  I have an umbrella swift and ball winder!  “Doug,” I shouted, “it’s just what I always wanted!  How did you guess?”

If I had been more organised, I would have ordered a few SQs (Sweater Quantity) of yarn to take advantage of the sale.  I didn’t have time to figure out what I wanted, however, so instead decided to order two yarns which I have been longing to sample.  The first is Woolfolk Tynd (a plied fingering-weight wool) in the colour Darkest Bronze.  This yarn is so soft it must be felt to be appreciated.  I am in love!  I bought two skeins to make Doug a cowl.  (He deserves a cowl for his thoughtful birthday gift to me!)  The second is Shibui’s Silk Cloud, an absolutely luscious silk-mohair blend.  I bought one skein in Tango 2037 to make a lacy cowl for myself.

Happy Early Birthday to me! I couldn’t wait and set the swift up immediately on the back porch.  Look how beautifully the yarn winds onto the cake:



This is so much fun!  I promptly caked two skeins of Shelter for the Tinder cardigan I am knitting for Emma (which is coming along very nicely).  Don’t these cakes look fabulous?


You can see in the photo what remains of the ball currently on the needles; it was wound by me, by hand, with Doug holding the skein.  I have been winding yarn this way for many years.  It must be said that Doug and Emma and Leah are all amazingly tolerant of this occupation (holding yarn for me while I wind) and are all quite good at it too, anticipating my every move and making the whole process fun.  However, with the girls gone and Doug on the road a lot, I am frequently on my own.  Never fear, I can now wind yarn whenever I want!

Doug tells me that I should have titled this post “Doug finds himself no longer relevant.” Ha!  Who else will make me coffee in the morning?

23 thoughts on “Happy early birthday to me!

  1. What a completely amazing husband you have! The fact that he knew precisely how to get you exactly what you wanted – WOW. 🙂 I love the hints and how to deal with the ones ignored. I might have to use this one. He is not irrelevant at all – someone has to drive while you knit, right? Someday I will go to London, and when I do, I will be sure to stop at Loop. 🙂

    Have a happy birthday when it finally gets here. 🙂

  2. Ha! Loved this – well done, it’s about time you had a swift! I certainly wouldn’t be without mine… I’ve never been to Loop in person, living as I do in Aberdeen, but about ten minutes before I read this post I unwrapped two gorgeous tins of BlueSky rosewood dpns ordered from that very 20% off sale! Joyous.

  3. Very wry and funny post which made me chuckle. 😀 Such a great and obviously overdue present, enjoy it! Wishing you a very premature Happy Birthday Kelly, and I hope you have a lovely day when it does arrive.

  4. Nice! I love the way yarn cakes look. So neat and symetrical. For Mother’s Day one year I bought the gift I wanted, wrapped it, wrote on it- Happy Mother’s Day! You’re the best mom!- and left it for Stu and the kids to give me.

  5. I love my swift and ball winder, a total splurge last year when I received an unexpected bonus. I haven’t regretted the purchase even once….and I hate spending large amounts of money on anything, lol.

  6. When I retired, I received a large $$ settlement. First thing I bought was my winder and swift. Still enjoying it years later ! 🙂

  7. This is a purchase you will not regret. The quality looks beautiful and I am sure it will provide you with years of good use. Loop sounds like such a great place. I think I’d fly to London just to visit the store.

    It’s my birthday this weekend, and I took matters into my own hands as well. I think after so many years together, we are allowed this, (ahem), liberty?

    You are just storming along on Emma’s sweater. It looks great!

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