Happy Christmas

This is it. This is the big Harlot coup de grace. I know you want to hear crazed stories of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth at 2 am. (True). Stories of demented midnight yarn hunts, managing to finish felted clogs by the light of the moon hopped up on egg nog with only a metre of yarn to spare. (True) Stories of the Harlot children, sadly abandoned while their babbling and exhausted mother refuses to cook, screeching about how many hours are left and how screeching slows her down and they had better all get it together around here because it is coming down to the wire people and how if they don’t pick up that wet towel on the floor she’s going to throw all of the presents into the snow and who will be happy then…EH? (True as well. I get festive I tell ya.)

I’d tell you those stories too, and maybe I will…. later. For now, I’m on track, on schedule, and will probably finish. (Well. I need to knit an entire man sized pair of Estonian Mittens before the 28th….Maybe I’ll just do a photo blog for the next few days. Row by row updates. You guys have nothing better to do…right?) I’m still considering Julia’s absolutely brilliant plan for anything I don’t finish.

For now…I’m reeling it in. This afternoon at 5:00 the Harlot family will roll out the door for the beginning of the holiday season, and I’ll stop. I won’t stop knitting, I won’t stop trying…but I will stop making myself nuts about it. I’ll remember that the reason that I attempt death by knitting every year is to make these people happy and to show them my love..albeit in an unusually wooly, looped way…but it is about love and I’d rather be with them than knit for them, and I think they want that too. (This lovely and calm Christmas message is only possible because I believe that I will finish. If I were further from done I assure you that I would be a berzerker, espousing victory at all costs. Let’s overlook that.)

Gifts for knitters #24

(Yeah, I missed 23. Sue me. I’ve been busy.)

I know, I know. It’s Christmas eve and you’re freaking out. You worry that you have not got the right gift for your knitter. You worry that there is going to be a snowflakes chance in Hades that you are going to be able to go out and get today’s gift for your knitter. Relax. I’ve saved the best for last. The absolute perfect gift for every single knitter. Give your knitter


Time to knit. Go walk the dog, take the kids skating, scrub the bathroom, make dinner or acquaint yourself with your very own Mr. Washie. (Added bonus, If your knitter sees you doing housework there may be a gift in it for you. After a certain number years of living together housework is foreplay). If you cannot bring yourself to do any of those things then simply give your knitter time during which you expect that they will do nothing but knit. After all, it’s what your knitter gives you. The hats, mittens and sweaters they shower you with aren’t just made of soft, lovely wool, each knitted item is magic. It is made from hours and hours of your knitters life. Time spent sitting and working with you in mind…time that they chose to give to you above all others, carefully hidden in a hat.

This Christmas, make your knitter a cup of tea, give them a kiss and GO AWAY.

Happy Christmas all. From the Harlot house to yours,


61 thoughts on “Happy Christmas

  1. Merry Christmas, Stephanie!
    Your blog has been one of the best things for me, this year. Even if you do throw your kids’ presents out in the snow…
    So thanks. Thanks for the Very Harlot Poncho (two done, one to go) and the laughs when I needed them most (this was The Year of the Crisis, when my entire family got a terrible case of the stupids, causing me Measurable Grief and Agony. That’s when I read your entire January-until-that-point blog; mostly read it through tears, many of these being tears of laughter; at least, towards the end.)
    Thanks for the whole being there and being human and inspiring me to thrum stuff (two pairs of thrummed mittens) and to spin (spindle-spinning, not entirely done on Tuesdays, but, hey…)
    Thanks, Stepahnie. You’ve made a huge difference in my life, bloggily.
    Hugz, and wishes for a WONDERFUL Christmas and a fabulous new year (and if you’re in Seattle or Portland on your 8-city tour, I’m THERE. WITH my knitting). And if I happen to notice the blue bird of happiness, I’ll direct it to your shoulder.

  2. My sister and I read your blog and marvel at you. Have a very merry Christmas and relax a little now.

  3. Glaedelig jul to our hostess and everyone who hangs in the comments. May your holiday be magical.

  4. Jeeez, Stephanie, now I’m sitting here crying. You are too, too much. Thank you for YOUR time and all the wonderful things you share. Peace and joy to you and yours.

  5. I might mention another quick, but lovely gift to give the knitter in your life?
    Print out (by hand or computer) a lovely little gift certificate, announcing that you will give them a copy of the Harlot’s book, due out in March 2005, as their Xmas gift to use throughout the year.
    Trust me, this is what’s going to get me through the bleak month of non-holiday days off with pay, better known as February.

  6. Merry Christmas Stephanie! I wish you every happiness and opportunity to catch up on sleep. I was Christmas Knitting at 2am this morning. It was great. So quiet.
    I loved the bit about housework being foreplay. That is soooo true!
    Best wishes for the holidays! Laura

  7. OK, so now I’m sitting here crying, too! You really did sum up all the feelings I have as I work on handmade gifts for my family and special friends. Thank you!!!
    Peace to you and your family.

  8. Thanks for sharing your life and thoughts with us all. And for letting me imagine that I am not quite as insane as I sometimes suspect I am because someone else stops to examine the stray interesting sweater that walks by, stashes yarn all over the house, and indulges in multi-project madness at Xmas. Here is hoping than none of the boxes sent by relatives include items with “some assembly required” — unless those items are to knitted!

  9. TIME! sheer brilliance and i should’ve thought of that when the dear hubby asked what i wanted for xmas. maybe i’ll ask anyway…
    hope you and your family have a very wonderful xmas!

  10. I have enough faith in your ability to finish your projects that I’ll offer a premature Congratulations on getting it All Done. I hope you enjoy your Christmas!
    Time is such a great gift. This knitter actually decided to give her husband time alone at home this year, because he never gets any. I gave him 10 coupons to be exchanged for at least 1 and 1/2 hours during the weekend. This is a sacrifice of what would otherwise be almost sure knitting time for me, so it was one of the most meaningful gifts I could think of to give him.

  11. Merry Christmas to you & your gang, Stephanie. Thanks for bringing so much laughter into my life over this past year. I hope you receive the present you need most: time to sleep without interruption!

  12. Um, WOW! I’ve got tears…
    I want to say that yours is the first blog I ever read, the first that has made me laugh, cry, and caused warm glowy feelings,and the ONLY one that I have read from day one to the present day…thank you for being such a truly wonderful, juicy person and thanks most of all for sharing yourself with us through your blog. You have enriched my life! (even if I am still scared of those tiny dpn’s and haven’t started any socks yet). I hope you and yours have a Christmas holiday filled with blessings and love, because that truly is what Christmas is about!

  13. *wiping tears away* How absolutely true. Every knitted item is time spent thinking about and loving the recipient, ’cause really, who knits for people they strongly dislike? Puhlease.
    Thank you for your blog this year Stephanie – you’ve made me laugh out loud every single day. And quite often I see myself in your descriptions of, uh, knitting madness and often in your descriptions of day-to-day madness as well (hello – the cups in the cupboard post-Rhinebeck! Hee hee) – It’s good to know that I’m not the only one.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family.
    (BTW – Despite a 1:30am finish time for the 9th pair of holiday Fuzzy Feet I’m not actually done my Christmas knitting – I’ll be knitting in the car the whole way to New Brunswick on Boxing Day – 4.5 hours)

  14. Happy Christmas, Stephanie! I’ve enjoyed your blog immensely. I wish you and yours a glorious holiday season 🙂

  15. a few minutes ago I found myself being called into the kitchen and forced to stare at the loverboys behind as he very lewdly and quite ridiculously wiggled it as he bent over loading the dishwasher. Then I found myself shoved into the computer room and handed various knitting projects i had stashed away and told KNIT. uh-HUH. WTF? I turned to the computer and noticed yours was on the screen. hmmmmkay…hadn’t looked at it in a few days so bloglines must have opened itself again. Started reading it…hang on…I asked loverboy did you read this? he kind of shrugged and said yeah, you left it up one day and i liked it so i started reading it. but it’s about knitting, you don’t knit! he said she’s weird, I like weird. so, thanks Stephanie for being the inspiration behind knitting time (until I’m “ready” to come out!) and a very entertaining stage show in the kitchen 😀

  16. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Thanks for your delightful blog and looking forward to the book.

  17. that would be your blog that was on the screen, although your knitting projects are always interesting on the screen, and I’m sure any stage show you put on would be just as hilarious um er i mean great! as his was. If you’d like to come load the dishwasher so I can do a comparison let me know…

  18. Housework is foreplay . . . I am sooo going to use that line. Thanks Stephanie, and Merry Christmas!

  19. Peace and love to you, Harlot. You have made my year with your wonderful, funny, insane and oh-so-knitterly blog. Only good things to you!
    Excuse me while I go back to the LAST of the xmas knitting!! Whoohoo!

  20. Warm wishes for a wonderful Christmas and New Year to harlot and family, and everyone else. I have truly enjoyed this blog since I discovered it last March. TIME after Christmas – what a wonderful thought. Now back to the baking orgy here in California. Betsy

  21. Harlot, you rock. What a nice sentiment for the gift of time. You are the coolest. We look forward to sharing 2005 with you. Merry Christmas!

  22. A VERY merry Christmas to you harlot… we all aspire to be like you, but alas, are mere sluts in comparison.
    I hope your holidays are magical.

  23. Hi Stephanie,
    I have really enjoyed reading about your knitting escapades. My good friend Paula and I check in on your column regularly. After viewing your beautiful Latvian Mittens I would like to attempt them too. Now that it is Christmas Eve and your knitting deadlines seem to be under control… would you please tell me which pattern you used for the Latvian Mittens?
    Merry Christmas to you and your family…. by the way… really enjoyed Megan’s entry…. she too, has the harlot “gift” of writing. Thanks for your witty spin on knitting!!

  24. Merry Christmas to you and your family!
    And *of course* housework is foreplay. Because, you know, if they do housework and you reward them, they’re more likely to do it again. Plus it’s a little way of a. showing that they care by doing said task and b. (by your enthusiastic thanks) showing that you notice and appreciate their efforts. Warm glow all round! What’s not to like?

  25. Merry Christmas!!
    My son saw the Spidey mittens and wants a pair – thank you for posting the graph for it.

  26. Thankyou Steph, for sharing so much of your precious time with us as well as all of your wisdom, and zaniness- Thankyou for inspiration and example after example of what we can possibly aspire to in our wildest knitting dreams. Thank you and Happy Christmas!

  27. One last check in blogland before heading off to enjoy Christmas cheer. The very best of Christmas to you, Steph. Hope you get to relax and enjoy the best of the holiday!

  28. The best to you and your family, Yarn Harlot : ) Have a happy time… you’ve brightened my year… Knit On!

  29. It’ 6:30 am Christmas morning, and I’m about to go downstairs, turn on the Christmas tree, and knit. But first, Stephanie, of course! Thanks for helping me start the day in the best of all possible moods. Merry Christmas!
    (My husband opened his Estonian Trail-Hiking Socks last night and said, “Oh, these are great, especially because I think I left the old pair at the cottage.” Little does he know that I actually engaged my brain, repaired the holes in them, and put them in his stocking for this morning. Anticipation is delicious. All the other knitting gifts were as nicely appreciated; everything you said today was borne out in my house last night.)

  30. Happy Merry Joyful Lots of Fun Holidays to you and yours –
    Thanks for the wonderful blog entries – life is so much nicer now that I’ve found you –
    Long may you roar –

  31. I read #24 to hubby and he AGREED. Thank YOU!!
    Happy Christmas and PEACE to one and ALL! P.S. I was still knitting socks for my 6yr old well past midnight and wrapping last minute gifts. I quit at 2am and starting knitting after all the presents were open. I presented one red finished sock to my son and showed him the progress on the second one. Currently he’s wearing the new sock and a “store-bought” one until the real one is finished. Bless his heart.

  32. Hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas! And not too much snow. (Am visiting Buffalo & we got our white Christmas.) Peace to you and your family.

  33. Dear Stephanie,
    Thank you for the best de-stressing in the world..laughter. Thank you for writing a blog so real, and so funny, that both my wife and I race for our seperate computers, competing to see who gets to giggle with the Harlot first. Thank you for the harlot poncho, which not only adorns my little sister’s constantly shivering torso, but is THE pattern in our high school’s main office. Thank you for NOT laughing at me when I said I had 150 high school students knitting, and might I please photocopy said pattern. Thank you for the idea of knitting for a birthing baby, something I pray I shall be able to do in the coming year. Thank you for the ideas of adopting sheep (we have TWO now), for convincing me that maybe I could spin (points to the Louet standing ominously in the corner), that maybe I could dye (the sandalwood and black walnut shells in the bag beneath the Louet wheel), and that possibly, quite possibly, I could actually knit.
    May your coming year’s worst moments be more fun than this year’s best. May your children become more wonderful, your mate more envied by your audience, and your blog bugfree. May you make fibre mistakes that later are recognized as fibre strokes of genius. May every baby you touch feel as blessed as we do reading this window into your life.
    Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Stupendous Solstice, and any other holiday you choose be warm and fuzzy and entirely knitterly.

  34. Gifts for Knitbloggers, Day 25:
    Convince an international blogging star to post a compliment with a link to your knitter’s blog and watch her do the Eye-Poppin’ High Hit Numbers Wriggle of Joy. (Thank you.)
    Merry Christmas, Stephanie. I hope Santa was as good to you as your were to your beloved kin. Looking forward to that row by row.

  35. Your Blog is a source of great humour and inspiration here in Kitchener. Over the month I read to my husband your list of things to get someone who knits and am I glad I did!!! He made a name for himself in a local yarn shop by taking in the list (specifically for day 22) and doing just as you suggested. He had all 5 staff members helping him fulfil his list! And I am so very thankful for his thoughtfulness and your Blog!

  36. Wishing you a Wonderful Holiday Season Stephanie. You have been such a inspiration to knit more and better, to laugh longer and louder, and to spread kindness and good cheer (along with a little insanity). Thanks for your gifts to all of us! xox

  37. HAppy Christmas! I sincerely hope you and your family made it through in tact. I look forward to a new year of your blogging – you are an inspiration, and a joy.

  38. MERRY CHRISTMAS to you ms. harlot! i stumbled on your blog from whoknowshwere and am eternally grateful. your humour and joy at everyday life with your family and knitting keeps me in stitches. when i read you at work i burst into laughter and my cubicle mates peer at me in incredulity – but hey what do they know? you are a knitter’s secret weapon against the world of nonknitters…. may the coming year give you waterless basements and hours upon hours of knitting time.

  39. how you manage to be both inspirational and encouraging to me, I surely don’t know… but you do, and here’s wishing the memerriest of christmases and happiest of new years to you and yours, Steph!

  40. Hi Stephanie!
    I donated $25 to the MDF fund.
    Thank you for organizing such a fund with knitters support!
    All the best!

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