Movable Type 3.2
September 30, 2008
Yet Another New Holiday Knitting Plan
(Yes, I know that tomorrow is October and I should have figured this all out already, not to mention gotten a lot of it done. Shush. Everyone I know is having babies. I've been busy knitting baby stuff.)
I love knitting gifts. Honestly, I even love SOME of the stress of holiday knitting, up to a certain point. It adds excitement. But I don't like it when it completely takes over the holiday and makes me (and everyone around me) miserable. I had already decided that I was going to only work on a few things at a time this year, rather than buying tons of yarn and starting everything. But instead of picking projects randomly or by what I feel like knitting, I have just decided that I'm going to prioritize by recipient. Immediate family first. Mom, dad, brother. If their gifts get done, THEN I can consider knitting for other people. Way too often, they're the ones who get half-done projects on Christmas. Not anymore. This year they're first.
Of course, since my parents read this blog, I won't be able to post pictures of their gifts until after Christmas. I'll try to post on Flickr and Ravelry and tell you all how to find the pictures.
August 23, 2008
Eeek, The CNN ticker just told me that there are 130 days left in the year. That means, what, about 123 knitting days left before Christmas? How did that happen??
January 03, 2008
A Christmas gift:
December 20, 2007
The school at which I volunteer did indeed have a snow day today, so I celebrated by going back to bed for a little while. It was lovely. It feels so weird to just check a Web site to see if schools are closed - through elementary and some of middle school, we listened to closings on the radio. In high school, we started watching them scroll along the bottom of the local network affiliates. It wasn't until grad school that I looked for them online. Odd.
My Christmas cards are all mailed. Whew. I am still behind on the knitting, but not irredeemably so. I've pretty much trashed my knitting schedule, though, because I realized that if I worked on and finished one thing at a time, as planned, then by the time I started hanging out with family (on Saturday) I'd only have one or two things left, and if those recipients happened to be around during good knitting time, then I'd be stuck. So. Everything that is "due" on Christmas Eve or before is done, and I will work on the things for Christmas Day about evenly for the next few days, so that I can finish things up at my parents' house by either hiding in my room or working on things for one family member while spending time with another. (My poor mother has to work on Christmas Eve. While this is unfortunate, obviously, it also gives her the best chance she's had in years at having her gift actually finished and under the tree on Christmas morning.) I think it should work.
December 17, 2007
What is it with time?
Time doesn't seem to be working the way I think it should. Take dishcloths, for example. Say they're 38 stitches across, 60 or so rows. Half those rows are often straight knitting. The other half are just knitting and purling. Doesn't it sound like that should take about an hour? Why doesn't it? I don't get it. In hopes of getting everything actually done, I've taken to writing out schedules for my evenings this week. I have allotted a whole two hours for a dishcloth tonight - and I'm already eight rows in. Of course, I'm hoping to get ahead of schedule. (I also seem to have the idea that I can write and address thirty or so Christmas cards in an hour. We'll see.)
Speaking of dishcloths, want to see a few? (No, I still have not learned how to take decent pictures of them, but I think I'm getting a little better.)
Pattern here. Red Lily Sugar 'n Cream.
Pattern here. Green Lily Sugar 'n Cream.
These were supposed to be a hostess gift, but plans went awry and I ended up staying in a hotel, so I'm not sure what I'll do with them. (Yeah. Two of the gifts that I managed to finish I didn't even end up needing. Yes, I noticed that.) I may keep them around through the holidays in case I need something last minute, and if not, just keep them. I don't have any Christmas-themed dishcloths.
December 13, 2007
Now it's feeling like December.
The transcription project is done. Done! DONE!
And it's snowing! A lot! Wheee!
So this means that I can go home tonight and, after trying to clean my house and pack for my weekend trip, curl up with my Christmas knitting, tea (or maybe some adult cocoa), and Christmas specials on the TiVo. Yay! The Christmas knitting is... going. I'm sure it will go more quickly now that the transcription is done. And really, all I want to do is knit right now, so at least that should be helpful. Tonight I have to finish a hat and attach some hanging loops to some felted ornaments. Over the weekend I'm going to try for two toddler hat/mitten sets. (The hat for one is started.) And maybe a few dishcloths? Hm. On Sunday I'll post some pictures, I promise. I realize some of you may be wondering whether I really do still knit, as there has been scarce evidence of it around here lately. (That's one of my New Year's Goals - I do those instead of resolutions - to post knitting pictures at least once a week.)
After the charity hat deadline this weekend, the next deadline is Thursday the twentieth, for things that need to be mailed - the aforementioned toddler things and a whole bunch of ornaments. (Plus some things that are already done! Aren't you proud?) Then I need another three dishcloths by the 22nd. Two more ornaments for Christmas Eve. By Christmas itself, I need to finish the projects for my parents (both well underway), another hat, and another four dishcloths. Oh, and another ornament. Then a hat for a friend I'll probably be seeing the weekend after Christmas, and then a few things for local friends - they've already graciously offered for their gifts to be last on the list, as I see them all the time. Oh, and they gave me my birthday presents about two months late, which I really didn't mind at all, but am totally leveraging into justification for the delay of their Christmas things. My personal goal for those is January 6th (as I've already started planning other things for January), though they won't mind if they're a bit later.
Whew. That's totally doable, right? Right?
Sanity Update, 2 Hours Later: Wait, two hat and mitten sets this weekend? In Friday night and Saturday, while visiting my family and putting up the Christmas tree? (Oh yeah... I wasn't counting Sunday, after I get home, as part of the weekend. I'm counting on that time to work on other things.) No. No way. One set. One child will get a hat (because it's already started) and the other will get mittens (because his mother requested them). And really, probably neither are expecting anything, so it's not like they'll miss it.
November 28, 2007
Sleepy Wednesday Randoms
1. Blah, sleepy. Oh well. This week is crazy busy and it's not going to get better any time soon. My big dream for the day is that I might have time to stop for milk on my way home tonight. Yeah.
2. Speaking of sleepy: I got a surprise transcription job last night. The good news is that it will about cover the tires I had to buy last week. The bad news is that there goes most of my knitting time (and a bit of my sleeping time) for the next week or so.
3. My Christmas knitting list is scaring me. My goal is that by the end of this coming weekend I will have fewer projects to finish than days left. We'll see.
4. I have at least finally purchased all of the supplies and tools I need for holiday gifts. I think. Of course, as soon as I post this I will realize that I need another set of needles or something.
5. I want to make fudge. (Because obviously I don't have enough to do.) Anyone have a favorite recipe?
November 07, 2007
Holiday Knitting Reality Check
There are 48 knitting days before Christmas. Breathe. (That counts today but doesn't count Christmas Day, just for the record.) I have greatly reduced my knitting list, but there are still almost 60 items on it. I persist in thinking that this is doable because 1/3 are ornaments and 1/3 are dishcloths, but we'll see. So. This is what I'm attempting:
A baby sweater, done
So... that's totally doable, right? (You are correct in assuming that anything that doesn't say "in progress" or "done" hasn't been started.) The ornaments go quickly - I can probably knock out half a dozen in a devoted evening, or a dozen on a weekend day. The dishcloths also go quickly when I get around to actually doing them. I've been having trouble figuring out priorities here. Obviously, the most important items are the ones for my immediate family, but they're also the ones with the latest deadline, since we exchange gifts on Christmas morning. So do I do the ones that need to be shipped first? Probably. But then I worry that I won't get the really important things done. Sigh.
Clearly What I Need Is a Plan:
So, how's your Christmas crafting going?
November 01, 2007
Hey, it's November!
Wow! How did that happen? Guess I'd better get going on all that holiday knitting, huh? Actually, I have been working on it, but most of the people for whom I'm knitting at least check here from time to time, so I don't want to post pictures. We'll see.
(Sorry for disappearing on you. I think I'm sort of back.)
Update: Two more signs of the season: I heard my first snow prediction on the way home today (not for here, but for elsewhere in my very small state, so it counts), and the winter Interweave Knits arrived! Wheee!
July 16, 2007
More holiday planning questions
I started the Holiday Knitting Wish List today - not a list of what I want to receive, but a list of what I'd like to knit and give, given unlimited knitting time and budget. At least it's a starting place. During the process, I came up with some more questions for the collective brain:
1. Is it bad to give the same type of pattern to a recipient more than once? i.e. Do I have to remember who got scarves two years ago to make sure they don't get (different types of) scarves again?
December 04, 2006
It was nice while it lasted.
Remember my whole "I'm not doing any holiday deadline knitting this year" thing? Yeah. Not so much. Well, okay, it's only one thing that's been added. I realized that I needed to knit a scarf for my Secret Santa recipient at the bookstore. Here's why:
1. I knit scarves for my Secret Santa people the past two years. I doubt anyone is really noticing/keeping track, but I'd feel bad if the person DID know that I had given handknits in the past and felt like I didn't like her because I didn't knit for her.
So. A scarf it is. I think I'm going to go with the reversible scarf from Cables Untangled: An Exploration of Cable Knitting. It looks like it might take a while, but it looks fun, so we'll see. I'm thinking a rich brown would be good for this person. Heading to the yarn store tomorrow...
August 24, 2006
It's beginning to look a lot like...
Well, okay, not quite. But it's August 24, which means that four months from now it will be Christmas Eve and we'll all be trying to decide which project to stay up late and try madly to finish. Plus it's going to be in the 30s tonight. Well, not here, but elsewhere in my state, so it counts. Almost.
I've been trying to figure out how to post about holiday knitting this year, because many more people I know in real life are reading this blog now than they were last year. But I don't want to not talk about things in case someone sees. So I think I'm going to post what I want about projects but not say who anything is for. So those of you who think you might be getting a gift from me... read at your own risk.
So far I'm planning mostly hats, scarves, and socks, with a few larger things... but we'll see. First I have a few baby things I have to finish.
December 23, 2005
This is IT.
So. I think I have officially reached IT. Let's go through Steph's criteria, eh?
1. It is within three days of Christmas. Despite my constant confusion about days of the week this week, I am pretty sure that it is indeed within three days of Christmas.
2. Multiple gifts to finish. Um, yeah. Totally. Let's see... three to totally finish, five more to get as far as I can with and finish by New Year's or so.
3. KHPD over 24. Yup.
I'm about to pass out from exhaustion, but here's my plan for whenever I wake up: tomorrow I need to finish the secret santa scarf and knit another bulky scarf and at least one mittlet for my mom. That seems reasonable for one day/evening, right? I have lots of tea and DVDs. I'm set.
Other things I need to do tomorrow:
Okay. That's not too bad. That's doable. Or I'm delirious. Whatever. This is IT.
December 20, 2005
To whom it may concern:
Dear stupid coworkers in the neighboring department,
Dear Chris Botti,
Dear out-of-it teacher lady,
Dear reading public,
Dear Mr. Ledger,
December 18, 2005
Christmas Knitting Dos and Don'ts
It's... going. Not quite as well as I'd wanted, but I figured that would happen. So to distract you from my lack of pretty pictures or actual content, here are a few pointers for you based one what I've picked up over the past few days.
* DO just keep knitting, and avoid thinking about any of it too much.
* DON'T use yarn or needles you hate. Metal 15s? Ribbon? Eyelash? The end results are pretty, but what was I thinking?
* DO take advantage of the lovely technique that involves doing some extra wraps before each stitch one row and dropping them the next and stretching it out. (I'm sure it has a name but I don't have time to look it up.) My God, does that make a scarf go quickly.
* DON'T take a break to argue with your mother. Or at least put her on speakerphone or something so you can keep knitting. (At least I won.)
* DO "carpool," i.e. get people to drive you places so you can knit in the car.
* DON'T just keep adding things to your list. My list went from 12 to 14 before it got down to, um, 13 at the moment, but two of those are almost done, I swear.
* DO cut back on sleep and housework. 5 hours a night. Laundry and dishes. Everything else can wait.
* DON'T watch anything too enthralling or complicated while knitting. I'm finding that Simon Schama's History of Britain works well - it keeps me interested but, well, I know the plot, so it's okay if I don't give it my full attention.
* If you are making anything that comes in pairs like socks or mittens, DO knit one of each pair first. It will keep things interesting, and it's better to give each recipient one mitten and some yarn instead of two mittens to half of them and just yarn to the rest.
* DON'T let yourself get dehydrated. Dehydration does not increase knitting speed. I've been going with mostly Tab and various kinds of tea.
* DO keep the house stocked with easy-to-make, non-messy food. You don't have time to cook or to take food breaks. Knitting while eating is possible. I've been concentrating on canned soup, chips and dip, baby carrots, Twizzlers, and chocolate.
* DON'T develop a new addiction to an online game. (I'll give you the link after Christmas. I promise. It's for your own good.)
* DO remember the twelve days of Christmas. Nothing is technically late until January 6. Especially if you're Catholic.
* DON'T let yourself feel too much envy or resentment when you walk by your roommate's open door and notice the neat stack of books and CDs that he's giving people for Christmas. So what if they come already assembled? You're putting in way more effort.
* DO resolve to drag him into the madness next year. It's not like you forced him to start knitting.
December 15, 2005
Okay. Trying not to panic. Plans solve everything, right? I'm a good planner. I like to make lists. So. I just need some lists and a plan.
First, knitting hours as calculated last night:
Coworker scarves (2): 5 hours each
Total: 75 hours. KHPD: 7.5. Um, right. That's another full time job. I have one of those already. Huh. This might be a little difficult, you think? So.
1. This weekend will be the big marathon knitting. Friday night: finish at least one cousin scarf. Saturday night (since I'm working all day): finish at least one coworker scarf. Sunday: Knit all day. Finish other coworker scarf and nosewarmer (and hopefully something else, but let's let that be a pleasant surprise). Those three scarves are the things I really need done before Christmas, so I will breathe a bit easier then.
2. The next focus will be the mittlets, since those are harder to knit while out and about. Monday and Tuesday I will work on the mittlets at home and scarves while out (in line, on lunch break, etc.).
3. The three cousin scarves? I'm going to go with these. Two hours each. Steph promised. And did you see how I budgeted three hours for each above, since I know I can't possibly knit as fast as she does?
4. I am leaving work early tomorrow to go to the yarn store to get the yarn for the cousin scarves, mittlets, and nosewarmer. Oh, but there's supposed to be an ice storm. Please God, don't let the yarn store close. That would totally mess up the plan.
5. Basic schedule for next week: work 8-5 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. Probably other work Monday and Thursday evenings. Wednesday I'm taking the day off to go Christmas shopping with my cousin in Boston. I'll carry a scarf around to knit while we shop. I'm sure she'll love that. Wednesday night I need to make something for the work potluck on Thursday, but I can knit while I make meatballs, right? Wednesday night is probably around when I'll cut down on sleep, as well. Don't want to do that too early, or the adrenaline will run out.
6. Tuesday evening I have agreed to see a friend. The conversation went something like this:
7. Friday evening is free. Thank goodness. Oh, except for packing for CT. Saturday (Christmas Eve) I'll be working and leaving for CT right from work. Sunday is Christmas and there will be lots of people at my parents' house. Nevertheless, I seem to think I will have a fair amount of knitting time both days.
8. On Christmas, I will be knitting my roommate's scarf, since Christmas Day is one of the very few days on which we won't see each other (as we'll be with our respective families). And he's okay with it being a Boxing Day or New Year's or Epiphany present if necessary.
9. And really, I'm not above giving a few things on the needles and having them done when I see everyone again at New Year's.
10. But. That's only an extra week. This is still quite a lot of knitting, even with the extra week.
Progress reports will appear when possible. Let's hope I can get lots done over the weekend so I don't get too discouraged. Send caffeine and chocolate.
P.S. I was vaguely thinking of a few more nosewarmers for other relatives, "if I have some extra time." The delusion runs deep.
December 14, 2005
Random Wednesday ('cause I can)
Yeah, I know, twice in one day. But I had stuff I felt like saying and liked the idea of posting Random Wednesday on Wednesday for once. (It is Wednesday, right? I think?)
1. First, because Lauren asked for it:
The five scarves-in-progress, albeit a bit blurry. The stray needle and brown yarn coming in from the left belong to another scarf-in-progress, but that one is my roommate's, not mine (thank goodness).
2. Tonight was my last class of the semester. We had pizza and wine and cookies and then left early. Really, all classes should be like that.
3. During class, my professor asked me: "Could you make your life any more difficult?" Hah. He doesn't know the half of it.
4. I also discovered that when I e-mailed my final paper to my professor yesterday, I didn't actually, you know, attach the paper. I am so smart.
5. While walking to the train after class I started calculating my Knitting Hours Per Day for the next ten days or so. Let's just say that it's looking rather appalling. Details, and hopefully a Plan, will be forthcoming. Tomorrow. When I'm bored at work.
6. I have decided that Green Day's "Holiday" is what I wanted Franz Ferdinand's second album to be. Not necessarily politically (because Franz Ferdinand is/are British [Scottish?], for one thing), but musically.
7. Today is the thirteenth anniversary of the fatal shooting incident that occurred at my alma mater. Although I was there long afterward and didn't know anyone involved, the reverberations are still felt throughout the tiny community, and I felt I should mention it and that everyone affected is in my thoughts today.
8. On a happier note, it is also my dad's birthday.
9. New Dunkin' Donuts favorite: Vanilla Spice coffee. Yum.
10. I'm dreaming, not of a white Christmas (well that too), but of all the things I will have time to knit after Christmas: the baby Aran, Birch (which was going along swimmingly until I finally had to admit that I should stop on it until after Christmas), Trekking XXL socks, and some sort of freaking head covering, already. I am in New Hampshire. It is cold. I do not seem to own a hat. What I really want is a hooded scarf, but I'm not letting myself think about it yet.
11. It sounds weird, but I have discovered that sleeping in hoodies (yes, with the hood on) is SO cozy. Another thing for which I can blame my roommate. Caffeine, Auden, alcohol, Michael Nava, Six Feet Under, cilantro, sleeping in hoods... what will be next?
12. Since I am home in time to go to bed on time, I should really do so, huh? 'night.
Ack ack ack ack ack
See? Told you I'd be panicking soon enough. Christmas is in 11 days. ELEVEN. How did that happen? How? I have several presents started, at least. The majority of them are some variation of "red scarf." I am sick of red. And scarves. And I've thought of several more people for whom I need gifts. And decided that no, if I'm knitting for my dad and brother, I need to knit for my mom too. Especially since she doesn't much like scarves. So. How about a new list?
Projects in Progress
Now, you'd think I'd be able to say "enough already" and just concentrate on getting those things done. But, um, apparently not. I am taking 1/4 of a vacation day on Friday to get to the yarn store before it closes to get yarn for the following:
Projects I Have Not Even Started
And, um, yeah, if you look at my creative numbering scheme up there, you will see that I have More. Projects. Than. Days. I just figured that out as I was typing it. And there's no chance I will finish anything today or tomorrow because I won't be home until midnight-ish either night. So. Um. Basically, I need to barricade myself in my apartment this weekend (except that I'm working Saturday 8:45-5) and drink lots of tea and watch lots of DVDs and knit. Oh, except if my roommate wants to go see Brokeback Mountain. That's worth leaving the apartment for. But otherwise... not so much, I'm thinking.
And, of course, I am stuck here at my desk and cannot knit. Torture. If I think about knitting enough, eventually something will start knitting itself, right?
December 13, 2005
Don't worry, I'll be panicking soon.
I feel like I'm crawling out from under a rock. I've been MIA for a few days. First, I survived three days with my family with no Internet access (a temporary problem in their neighborhood) or cell phone service (a permanent one). And no knitting, due mostly to a large dog who likes yarn. A lot. Sooo... aaah. Aren't you proud of me for not yelling at anyone or even crying? I know I am.
And then yesterday I got back home and had to finish my final project for my class this semester. It. Is. Done. I mean, I'm not totally satisfied, of course, but it is done enough and I have e-mailed it to my professor so I'm not allowed to think about it anymore. Right? I finished it this morning while making Death by Chocolate for a coworker's birthday. It was sort of a nice combination. I'll have to remember the "assemble elaborate dessert while typing madly" trick for next time.
So... it's done. I have no homework. I barely know what to do with myself. Other than go to work in a few minutes. (I took a half vacation day for the aforementioned baking/typing festival.) And clean my house. And, you know, think about the Christmas knitting I've been ignoring. I need to reread the "It" chapter of Yarn Harlot. But... later. When I get home from work. I'm going to try to focus on the "relief" for a few hours before "panicpanicpanic12daysleftPANICalready" sets in.
December 08, 2005
I've been making a good show of the "oh, there's plenty of time until Christmas" thing. But I can't do it anymore. Because look what has taken up residence in my living room?
Oh. What's that on the top, you ask? Well. I had no tree topper, and it was looking a little bare. Plus, it's COLD in my apartment. So what do you do when you have someone bareheaded and cold in your house? Think about it for a minute.
Yeah. I thought so. You knit it a hat. It's really only logical.
November 17, 2005
Just a few small requests:
1. The new coworker in the cube next to mine really does not need to talk to himself, randomly laugh vaguely maniacly, or sigh and/or moan at random times. Really.
2. It is getting toward the end of November. Will you get over this wishy-washy "Oh, maybe I'll rain or just fog up everything" thing and just snow already? Hint: This might be easier if you would also stop with the yo-yo temperatures.
3. I like working with the public. Really. I'm just not sure how many more times I can explain something as complex as, oh, alphabetical order or the fact that the bookstore has two floors or how, if you want a price changed, you do in fact have a "price issue" without attaching "you idiot" to the end of all of my sentences. Could we make everyone just a tad smarter?
4. You don't really want Christmas to be in fewer than 40 days. Really. How about an extra week or two? How do you expect me to get all this knitting done?
5. I'd also vaguely like to know how I ended up with two iPods in my desk, but hey, I'm not complaining.
6. Oh, yeah: Thanksgiving. Haven't I agonized over this enough already? Shouldn't it be over by now?
November 07, 2005
Dear readers: Need advice.
So. Humor me for a minute and imagine a hypothetical scenario, okay?
You are a manager at one of a big chain of stores. Someone who works at the sister store up the street stops by to see your new paint job, and you end up talking for a while. (You've met her once before, briefly, at the other store.) Somehow the conversation turns to Christmas shopping and she mentions that she's planning to knit most of the gifts she gives this year. (Shut UP. I said this was hypothetical.) You jokingly describe a scarf you'd been wanting.
If said scarf were to actually appear sometime around Christmas, would this be a fun surprise or just creepy? (Erica? Would interstore mail be a possibility, a la the socks? We could start a trend...)
Yes, I know I'm skewing the sample a bit by asking a group primarily composed of knitters. But I asked a group of non-knitters (yes, I do know a few) and, while they concluded that no, it was not creepy, they also all said things like "So are you trying to hit on this guy?" and "Is he cute?" And no, that hadn't even occurred to me. But yes, I guess he is cute, although I wasn't really paying attention to that at the time. He did seem nice and smart and fun to talk to.
So, basically, the non-knitters said to go for it, but be aware that it could come across as flirtatious. I suppose my question for you, dear readers, is threefold.
(Yes, I realize Erica, who also works at my store, will now undoubtedly proceed to tell me that she knows this guy and he's married or obnoxious or a psychopath or something. But psychopaths need scarves too, right?)
October 10, 2005
I discovered a fun little service this morning (thanks Ais!): Ta-da List. I have five lists so far: a running shopping list, a To Do list, books I'm in the middle of, books I've finished this month (so I remember them all for my "October Books" post), and current knitting WIPs. One nifty feature is that you can choose to make any or all of your lists public, so, if you'd like, take a look at my Knitting WIPs. (I'll probably get the link in the sidebar here eventually.) I must say, though, that those are certainly not ALL the projects I have in progress. They're just the ones that came to mind. I'll add other things as I come across/work on them.
October 09, 2005
Plans are in the works (as of about two minutes ago, honestly) for Kat's First Annual Pre-Holiday Knitting Slumber Party. The idea is that we all (er, most of us) go crazy with the holiday knitting, so why not make a party out of it? If you're going to be pulling knitting all-nighters, wouldn't it be better with friends? The basic idea is to take just a quick break from family and holiday craziness in early to mid-December and have a night of knitting, talking, watching movies, and eating junk food (or healthy food if you prefer).
If you're in the area (southern NH, but there's no reason you couldn't drive here from MA or even the greater New England area), would you be interested? (I can't guarantee a completely open invitation because my apartment isn't huge, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.) If you're not in the area, do you have any suggestions for such a party? And would you be interested in some sort of virtual component (a chat, or all picking a night and blogging about it, or something)? I'm still at the brainstorming stage here, so let me know any thoughts/ideas.