I knew I had to.

There comes a moment in the preparations for a holiday, when the truth must be faced. When, if one has procrastinated and put off doing a hundred things so that one could, say…(this is purely hypothetical) spend her time knitting green socks, then the piper must be paid and difficult choices will be faced. In this moment we search for strength as we face the veracity of what must be done in order to finish the chores. That moment has come for me, and after two really big cups of coffee and several deep breaths I am going to do what needs doing and not shirk. I will be victorious, I will be strong. I will not be afraid.

I am going to the mall.

239 thoughts on “I knew I had to.

  1. Holy Shit!
    First commenter!! This is a historical day in my sad sheltered little life!
    Good luck with the shopping, drink more coffee, and hopefully you will be finished soon.

  2. Gah! You’re a braver woman than I’ll ever be. Consider fortifying yourself with Screech before you step out. Think of it as a present to yourself & to the other shoppers.

  3. The MALL???? Or Lord be with you!!
    I have three presents left to buy…..I THINK I can do all three without entering our big mall. I will have to go to our little neighborhood mall, but that is no big deal. I accomplished all my actual mall shopping (which wasn’t much, honestly) pretty early on.
    My bigger problem is I still have most of one circular shrug left to knit!

  4. There comes a time when we all have to go. Putting it off only makes you dread it more.
    I’m sure it wasn’t as bad as you thought it would be.

  5. Oh No! Not the Mall! Be strong….If you must drive, valet park, there is no other way at this time of year or you will spend all day looking for that one space and when you find it someone will beat you to it. Good luck, you have my empathy.

  6. Quite frankly, the list of projects in your last post is less frightening than the mall on Dec 20.
    Good luck. Don’t forget that knitting needles double as personal space protecters.

  7. Bring 14″ straights tucked serrepticiously under an arm to ‘nudge’ people outta your way. Or a cattle prod. Straights seem easier to conceal thought. Good luck, may the yarn be with you!

  8. I was quite proud of myself and did not get one present at the mall. There were purchases made at chain stores but managed to avoid the mall. Good luck to you

  9. I think Iยดve made the sweater for mom a bit too small. Iยดll have to check… and possibly rip and re-knit it. I still have three and half days (or rather nights) to go….

  10. Good luck at the Mall. It can be a very scary place, any retail store is at this time of year. Carry knitting needles for protection, they may get you ahead in line.

  11. Good luck, Men. And for godsake be careful. (this is what they say to Navy Seals before pushing them overboard to look for unexploded mines in the water)

  12. I kept wondering where the holiday meltdown post was. What was going on? Had Stephanie embraced her mortal side and decided not to knit an impossible number of gifts this year? Did the fab MSF challenge realign the Christmas frenzy? Did the green sock escapade cause her to lose all track of time? (I should talk. I sat down to write out the family calendar on Monday morning and was honestly quite surprised to see that Christmas Eve was Sunday. This Sunday? Are you sure? Not next Tuesday?)
    Nice to see the universe back in balance.

  13. Yes, you are brave, you are executing your late, ill-conceived plan by torturing yourself and going to the mall! Good luck, we are all there with you. I’ve done it myself for a number of years as I struggle with presents for the in-laws. Needless to say, trying to foist that task onto my husband has NOT worked. I anticipate a trip to the mall for me on Saturday! Along with baking cookies and cleaning the house.

  14. It’s not too late for Amazon. Seriously. I did all of my holiday shopping online and didn’t deal with one moment in the Mall of Doom.

  15. Just two cups of coffee? No shot of espresso?
    Be glad you don’t live in Minnesota where braving the Mall means the Mall of America. I’m going this morning.
    Good luck!

  16. So you have a plan right? Two weeks ago a makeup girl wanted me to come in on a Saturday so she could do my face before a party, she seemed confused as to why I was not willing to do that.

  17. You’re braver than I, lil’ buckaroo! Move fast and stay out of the way of strollers. Some women use them as weapons when there’s sales. I love the Internet and the phone. I got the impossible to buy for woman a gift certificate for a yarn store and Victorian Lace. She’s a relatively new knitter and I think she’ll love it. While we’re on holiday in La Jolla we can also shop for yarn. This could be the best vacation ever!

  18. I feel your pain. My dad hasn’t doen any shopping for my mom, and has held off until I go home — which is tomorrow. So Friday, yeah, I’ll be in the mall. And, I just can’t wait.

  19. Might I suggest at least *three* large cups of coffee? A small flask of Screech discreetly concealed may not be a bad idea either, along with hockey pads and some strong shin-guards.

  20. The mall? Oh you brave mad woman you. I had to go last Saturday (the joys of having your eye doctor at the mall). It was, how to phrase this? A complete and utter mad house of a mess, a zoo with the cappucin monkeys in charge?
    I wish you all the luck in the world.

  21. Just leave a glove so the St. Bernards have your scent. (This is incentive to make it home on your own — it’s Screech in them thar neck-casks. They’re really Newfoundlands in disguise…)

  22. Before you go you need to leave details with a friend, which mall?, how long will you be gone, at what point does Ken mount a rescue operation? Good luck, I’ve gotta go to the grocery store this afternoon, I put it off due to a headache this morning but I’m better now so I’m goin in! Someone come get me if I’m not out by 3.

  23. IF you HAVE to go to the mall, then surely take time to watch a few kiddos with Santa. It will either refresh your love of their innocence and hopefulness or will remind you how glad you are that your kids are old enough that you don’t have to endure the crying and wiggling and whatever goes into the annual visit. Either way you win.

  24. May the Fleece be with you.
    Do remember that a 29″ or longer circular makes a nice garrotte should someone get nasty.
    Me, as soon as I write this, drink more coffee and take an antihistamine — I have to go to the Post Office.
    I might also have to ask the pharmacist if she will give me JUST ONE thorazine before I enter the den of the dragon.

  25. Be strong! Don’t stab people with the needles, as tempting as it might be. They throw you out for things like that…not that I would know…

  26. Good Luck with that Mall thing. We went two weekends ago and just about died of claustrophobia. You really will need Good Luck!

  27. You are truly a better woman than me to go out and brave the mall this close to Christmas! I don’t even like to drive on streets that run alongside the malls for fear of stupid people in cars that are too big for them to be driving.
    Honestly…if a parking space is marked “Compact” do you really think that a Hummer or Chevy Excursion is going to fit in the space built for my baby Nissan?
    Truly amazing to me. It’s like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole and these people are so delusional with the need to buy presents that they think it actually works that way.
    Good luck at the mall and I wish you a safe journey back to your humble abode!

  28. Oh my.. I have not been to the mall in .. um.. well.. ok anyway.. I have braved Toys r Us.. late at night?? heheh
    Be strong, drink lots of cofee.. and hey have fun!

  29. Sigh. I guess it’s too late to regale you with the joys of internet shopping.
    Be strong, stalwart, and prepare to repel boarders! Draw on the strength of your fellow knitters and let not the hoards of rabid shoppers keep you from seizing the prize!

  30. Canada needs Kohl’s. There is not one problem that cannot be solved with Kohl’s. and Target. and Walmart.
    Say no to the MALL!!

  31. Soldier on brave one! Malls give me hives. Just remember to bring the knitting for the long lines. And try not to stab anyone in your unrestrained fury when they tell you that you have been standing in the wrong line for the past half hour.

  32. May I offer my most heartfelt condolences? Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go back to racking my brain and cookbooks for something really fast and dirt simple that I can bake to cover *two* potlucks.

  33. I hate to say it but — this is, in fact, one instance in which a plan is pretty much mandatory.

  34. Become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses! You don’t have any Christmas preparations and you get to spend the holidays knitting!

  35. oh god. and it’s probably already that time of year when all the children are let go for the holidays from school, so there will not only be five thousand frantic shoppers, there will also be five thousand surly teenagers taking up space and getting in the way of the frantic shoppers.
    i used to be one of those teenagers. which is why i no longer go to the mall.
    good luck. i’ll light a candle for you and pray for your safe return.

  36. Ohhh no, the mall! *shudder* – Good Luck to you. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to aviod that.

  37. Ah Stephanie–take heart! If *could* be worse. With hundreds of thousands of people STILL without power, the mall near me here in the Seattle area is not only the shopping location, it is where the (perhaps unwashed) masses go to get warm. Last weekend when MOST of us had no power it was beyond a zoo! I never thought I’d think that a “normal” Christmas crush was tolerable! LOL

  38. The Mall? The week before Christmas???
    I’m going to collect all your posts because I’m quite certain that they will be worth BIG BUCKS on ebay after your disappearance, kind of like how the Starmore books go for hundreds now that she no longer publishes. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
    Because NO ONE emerges from the Mall this time of year….

  39. You are a brave woman and I, for one, would never be able to do what you are about to do. Shopping in a mall during the final Christmas countdown makes me shudder. Through necessity, not choice, I must have everything finished by November or my presents will never make it from my home in Alaska to all my relatives in New York.
    Drink lots of coffee and be strong. If you have the strength to knit umpteen green socks, you can survive the horrors of the mall.

  40. I think you should take a weapon with you. Some folks can get vicious about those low prices at Old Navy. Or drink so much coffee that you’re jittery, (like Tweek) and people will think you’re insane and let you have whatever you want. Either way, it’s a plan.

  41. My husband works at the mall. Radio Shack. He does not drive and the bus system is arse (at best), so I get the unrivaled pleasure of not one but TWO trips to the mall, six days every.single.week. I feel your pain, Stephanie, but I must tell you two simple words: overnight shipping. Seriously, save yourself, do the shopping online, and take the time that would have been spent at the mall & soak in a nice bath.

  42. You mean to tell me that *I* am holding on to the reckless ingnorance of logic longer than the Harlot? (should I be worried that I’m also proud of that?)
    Back to my knitting, baking, wrapping, and ignorant bliss of time passing…

  43. Those Extended Relief 12-hour Maximum Strength Midol tablets are really good for all kinds of anxiety. Seriously. You can jostle about on a sea of humanity all of whom are filled with the Christmas spirit with no care in the world. Lalalalalala.

  44. Mall.
    Christmas week.
    Ok, then what color yarn will you be trailing so you can be found at the end of the day, or shall we just search the coffee establishments until we find a mountain of bags and a trembling woman reaching desperately for the knitting needles? ๐Ÿ™‚
    Good luck and may it go smoothly (and cheaply)!!

  45. Good luck Stephanie! You’re far braver than I – I try to finish all my shopping before December 1 on any given year. It allows me to have the entire month of December to freak out about my knitting! ๐Ÿ˜€

  46. Good for you, Steph. You have had an enormous amount of activity in your life lately-giving yourself this little break is just(part of)what you need!

  47. Good luck to you. Remember to pack some nice thick needles for defense against any zombies you might encounter, I’ve heard they like to swarm in malls.
    On a side note: Yay for me! My step-mom will be out of the country for Christmas so I can work on the feather&fan mohair scarf while at my dad’s for Christmas! I breathed a massive sigh of relief when I got the email with her travel plans this morning. Only one more project that needs to be done and wrapped by Saturday, and it’s easy-peasy!!!

  48. Maybe you should knit up a kevlar vest before attempting such extreme events. Be prepared and all that. Or perhaps reinforce yourself with something like a Cinnabon while there?

  49. why doesn’t a large percentage of your gift recipients just receive green socks? tell them that green socks are ALL THE RAGE this year. tell them you saw paris hilton wearing green socks. and that britney spears used a pair to cover up her hoo-ha.
    I’m telling you – green socks. biggest thing since tickle-me elmo.

  50. Urg. I think I may have to resort to this as well, and soon! Once I get home to the relatives, I’ll be out of time. One more knitted object, not yet cast on, may see the inside of a gift box, but there is more than one person left on my list!

  51. The mall, hope you survive, but going out during the day may be safer than after work or (fingers out stretched in a cross) Saturday.
    Having hit that wall and being determined that my Salt Lake City sweater will be worn on Monday, I decided last night that gift certificates would nicely round out the balances for the kids. And since the teenagers prefer them anyways, we both win.

  52. Navigate well. Be open and flexible. Remember where the exit is. Earplugs? Be sure to post when you get out and home so we know you are safe.

  53. The mall? Yikes! Nothing worse than the mall at this time of year. Even during the weekdays.
    I saved myself the knitting pain of last year (when I gave people purses and immediately took them back for felting) by only knitting for my grandma: dishclothes. And I have saved myself the mall trips by shamelessly regifting the nicer things my students gave me. My parents will be getting stuff from Disneyland where my sister and I will be hiding out at Christmas.
    Is it selfish of my to be happy my sister got screwed by my mother’s relatives and now wants to avoid them?

  54. Good call. I hope you put a couple of beers in the fridge first. You might need one when you get back. Though I guess you can drink Screech warm…

  55. Holy freakin cow! Just in case your’s isn’t enough, I’ll send along my guardian angel too. You’ll need all the help you can get. And don’t panic or cry. The vicious old ladies can smell fear.

  56. I feel for you…. I haven’t been to the mall for Christmas shopping, I even passed up getting something for free with a coupon I don’t want to go that bad. I hope you have all your body parts and wits when you get back.

  57. Ewwwwwwwwwwwww, dudette……well, for one, I am so impressed…I’ve not set foot in a mall for over a year, and then it was just for DH’s jeans and t-shirts…30 min.max…I know, I really must be leading a charmed life….but hey, I’ve *always* known…you.are.dauntless. Good luck and WoolGoddess Speed.

  58. You are braver then I! May the powers that be give you strength and patience. I wish you much luck. I am holding out to the very end and still knitting. I may quickly have to give up and ….gulp ….go to the mall as well. (shudder, vision of pushing crowds and angry people in line send cold chill down my spine)
    Victoriea

  59. Ya know, I could lighten your load, so to speak. I mean if you like, I could do you the favor of eliminating some of those knitting projects for you…for example, that six-pack kit for socks that you got from Tongue River at Rhinebeck, I could take that off your hands, off your to-do list and out of your stash. Just let me know and I will provide you with my mailing address :-)))

  60. It almost killed me when I had to give up on having Inishmore ready for my husband on Christmas morning. I don’t even have a good knitting excuse, only morning sickness. I however did not succumb to the mall. I went to my 2 favorite stores (A Greater Gift, a fair trade shop, and the Soap Opera) neither of which are in a mall while everyone else was at work and managed to avoid holiday hell. Good luck with your mall experience!

  61. I’ll pray for you. My own rule is if I didn’t buy it before Thanksgiving, I need to bake it or make it for Christmas. NO MALL. I have found lots of people who are thrilled to get fudge for Christmas, and I have the world’s easiest recipe. No thermometer needed — email me if you need it.

  62. Brave woman. I finished yesterday. I didn’t have to go to the mall, but several other stores. All packed all full of grouchy people.
    Good luck on the completed projects though. Forget the house cleaning, it will just be littered with wrapping paper cast offs in a few days any way.
    My biggest challenge lies ahead…..gift wrapping!

  63. the mall?? Why not just a nice bout of ceremonial self-flagellation instead?? I’ve resorted to banging my head against the wall this year, but not The Mall!

  64. Strangely enough, I actually rather enjoy the mall at Christmas. I enjoy shopping anyhow (and, oddly, very few of the women I’ve dated over my life have liked shopping much at all).
    I will admit to a big advantage that is not available to most: I ride a motorcycle, and here in Southern California, you can do that in December. This removes the biggest mall annoyance.
    Once inside, just relax and don’t try to hurry. Hurry is futile. Give each retail clerk or mall cop a smile, a friendly word, a look in the eyes, and a reminder to breathe if it looks like s/he needs it. Enjoy the decorations.
    Don’t get your heart set on one particular item; it may or may not be still in stock. Be creative; for each item you were looking for, there are literally millions of other possible choices. Keep the intended recipient in mind, not the thing in question.
    Don’t forget to breathe.

  65. I reached the “Oh, screw it” point yesterday afternoon. I ventured into an actual store this morning. Barnes and Noble for me. Not the Mall.
    God be with you, Stephanie.
    Some people actually like the Mall at Christmas. My husband goes every year and does all his shopping on Christmas Eve. He says only the men are there then.

  66. Happy Hunting…if your mall is open until midnight (like the one here on Long Island,NY) you may want to consider going around dinnertime. Don’t eat dinner, shop for what you have to…then have ice-cream and go home to knit.
    Whadd’ya say, eh???

  67. The only thing worse than the people at the MAUL is the traffic surrounding it. Merry Bleepin’ Christmas… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Good luck, godspeed, and bring plenty of pointy sticks.

  68. Recipe for shopping excelerant: Promise yourself a really nice yarn prize when you finish shopping. Watch the smoke as you peel away!

  69. Do you HAVE to go to the Mall? My other half lives close to a huge mall. I live in a tiny market town. And we always find better/more unusal presents where I live in the little local shops.
    Good luck anyway. Shopping not for yarn – yuk!

  70. Oh no! I’ll begin the prayer vigil for your sanity as you browse the mall. Luckily, Albuquerque is buried under snow and I get to stay home from work and the mall today ๐Ÿ™‚

  71. Better bring a big thermos of the glorious elixir of life–the line at Starbucks will be epic. (And with enough coffee who knows how many green socks you can finish in the check-out line).

  72. Holy crap is right!!! Sweety, IF you can find a parking space, it will be for naught. The stores aren’t restocking anymore. Anything left is beyond what you want to give as gifts. Yesturday, my husband went out for candy canes and the only thing left were either blue(?!!!??!)or all white (what, the red striper was sick that day?), and the canes were all broken. Good luck, that

  73. I have found that the $6 valet parking at the mall near my house makes the whole mall experience tolerable, possibly even fun. My hatred of the mall stems from parking and the search for any spot that I am not fighting over with at least three other cars.
    Good luck!

  74. Perhaps if you’re going to the mall camomile tea might be in order…. or even perhaps something a tad stronger.

  75. Serendipity is what I call my style which doesn’t include a lot of plannng but I accomplish oodles more than the OCD type who specialize in planning. OCD family members tried to change me but finally gave up–it was cutting into their planning time while I was executing. And I am much older than 38. Robert Burns wrote “Best laid plans of mice and (wo)men oft gang agley.”
    Happy Holidays.

  76. Dearest Yarn Harlot, I feel your pain. I work at a mall. It is not a place for rational, thinking people to go during this time of year, it is a place that rightly should have a sign at every door reading, “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”
    I suggest you actually plan your exit strategy before you go in there.
    With any luck, random roving bands of carolers will not be waiting to inflict their hoodoo on you, you will not find Santa’s Bowling Alley adjacent to Santa’s Gingerbread House* and you won’t have to listen to “Feliz Navidad” more than twice.
    GOOD LUCK and godspeed.
    *all staples of my workday.

  77. The Mall?!!? My prayers are with you. If you’re not back in 4 days, I’ll alert the authorities. Mail order..it’s a good thing.

  78. I think the mall is indeed the last resort of the desperate. I know this because I just came back from one myself…the frickin’ EATON CENTRE. Five days before Christmas – I’m sure you can picture the chaos. At least I had the foresight not to go during lunch hour.
    (And after all that, I still have more stuff to buy. I think it’s time to delegate to the husband.)

  79. i am in total denial about christmas. it helps that we’re not seeing my family until epiphany, and my husband shops for his family (not that he’s done that, but that’s his problem)
    and what’s wrong with gifting green socks?

  80. *hugs* I had to concede defeat last week that the niece and nephews were not going to get the hand-knitted accessories as planned for Christmas, and was forced into Old Navy and the mall last Sunday. Have courage!

  81. Godspeed! I avoided that bit of hell this year, but believe I may be returning some things there after the holidays… just a guess, you know.

  82. I went to the mall today finished shopping in about 20 minutes. Of course, I only wnet to Sears to get tools for my sons. I brought my husband; he knew where everything was. It was awesome!!

  83. I went into a toy store for one item last night. Took twenty minutes.
    Most spent in the checkout line listening to the loudspeaker, “Manager to register 13 for a price check!”
    Which register had I chosen?
    I think I need a lie down.

  84. Oh, the “mall”! I read this so quickly that I thought you wrote you were going to the MAIL, as in, checking mail for donations was better than dealing with all the Christmas to do’s. And I thought, hey!, that sounds good to me! LOL! I guess it is my mall-aversion showing through.
    We’ll keep our eyes open for your re-emergence into the real world!
    Sending good parking vibes your way!

  85. ROFL. Only if I am REALLY REALLY REALLY desperate will I go to the mall in December. I would give them my stash with a promise to turn it into something someday first. Or shop online. Hope you make it out OK.

  86. In addition to those knitting needles everyone’s suggesting, how about a hockey stick? You could always claim it was a gift if security got on your case.
    Either that, or pepper spray. May the Force be with you.

  87. If we don’t hear from you for a few days, we’ll know where to start looking.
    It’s a hundred miles to the nearest mall from where I live. There are perks connected to living in the middle of practically nowhere.
    By the way, have you ever heard that the color green is restful to the eyes? Enjoy those socks.

  88. I made a committment to myself this year that I would not my cherished hobby into a Galipoli-esque death march to the finish. More power to you, girl (though I agree with others that the mall is a scary place on 12/20–but admittedly the malls on 12/16 weren’t that fun either). Take the pressure off and have a great holiday!

  89. I had a lovely experience shopping today. Normally I’m done with all the Christmas crap a long time before the event. This year, no. Today I went to get some last minute gifts at the local Haklmark’s. While in there I felt uncomfortable and looked up and around. All other shoppers were men, I kid you not! I had to laugh out loud as I realized that, they surely think I’m crazy, but I thought that was funny. Usually you don’t see men in there (in that number at one time). ;o)

  90. That’s too funny – I do everything I can to stay away from the stores from after Thanksgiving until after MLK day in January. The internet is the way to shop ๐Ÿ™‚
    Good Luck and stay strong!

  91. Remember to put your green socks in a zippie and work on them while you’re standing in line, because now that you’ve waited so long you’ll have to endure that mall annoyance.

  92. OH DEAR LORD! NOOO!!!
    you will be inundated with christmas-ness and shopping monsters and baby carriages wielded by harried mothers who are rude and will hit you…
    please be careful…

  93. OK… it should look like this…H&M for the girls, round out with some things from Lush. Joe gets the Roots store around the corner. Everyone else gets gift cards from Timmy’s. Sound like a plan?

  94. You – are going to the mall? good luck, godspeed, and if we don’t hear from you in like 2-3 days, I’ll send off a doggie with a large thermos of coffee (you’ll need it!).
    Gift cards are always a good bet. Best Buy has saved my life on more than one occasion. And I say this as I contemplate my own (uncompleted) knitting. My only consolation is that I won’t see these people for about a week, in which time I should be able to do 3 scarves and a pair of socks, right?

  95. You are a braver woman than I. I avoid the Mall like the plague this time of year. Of course, I avoid the Mall all other times of the year, too. Good luck!

  96. I used to work at the mall. I DO NOT go to the mall at Christmas time. EVER. Peace be with you.

  97. Ahhh-the mall…
    I procrastinated and am now trapped in a Colorado blizzard wishing I could mall it and get the stupid Nascar calendar my husband wants for Xmas.
    And my brand spanking new computer is getting frostbite on some UPS truck God knows where.
    Back to my sock. Brings some comfort.

  98. Ugh! My deepest condolonces. I don’t even like the mall on a non-seasonal weekday morning. Even thinking about it the week before Christmas makes my skin crawl.
    Every stinkin’ year my DH threatens to take me to the mall on the Friday after Thanksgiving. This amuses him. Whatever.

  99. I think earplugs (or possibly an iPod) are a must for any december shopping in or near a mall – it’s the torture of hearing jingle bells over and over in some tinkley cheesey musak form that sends me into a frenzy. God knows what it’s like for the poor pople who have to work there, listening to continous loop tapes of xmas carols for 8 hour shifts.
    Hope you arrive home with your sanity in tact.

  100. OH MY GOD IN HEAVEN!!! Don’t go there – it will suck all the life out of you!!!! Run away! Run away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Someone send out the search and rescue party ASAP!!!!

  101. AAUGH!!!! Did you ever see the movie “Clueless”? If so, remember the scene where Char, her bestfriend and her bestfriend’s boyfriend are all in the car and they accidentally get on the freeway? Remember how much they freaked out???
    That is how I feel for you.
    >shiver<
    Good luck my brave friend. May the force be with you.

  102. Stephanie,
    I hope by now that you are home and DONE with your shopping. Did you have any fun at all? Are there any yarn shops at your mall? If so, did you buy any yarn? (that is probably the ONLY way you had fun today…huh?)
    Not to rub it in or anything, but for once in my LIFE, I have been done with my Christmas shopping for 2 weeks, yes that’s right, I said 2 weeks! Unbelievable!!!!!!!!
    Now…..coming back down to earth…..I have to start (ok, well, continue) wrapping! UGH!
    And all I want to do is knit. and knit. and knit.
    ah well, in 5 days, it will be Christmas and then, after that, my time will be my own, again. :::sigh::::…….my needles and yarn are calling me.
    Does anyone feel the same?
    Thanks, and Merry Christmas all
    Connie

  103. You are a far braver woman than I. My daughter is desperate to get to the mall once more before the Holiday … her step-dad is taking her because I absolutely refuse to go near the mall.
    Good luck. I hope you return safely!

  104. Oh poor thing. You should have come to this conclusion last week when there was still time to shop on-line.
    all and I do mean ALL of my Christmas shopping and giftwrapping happened on-line. With a glass of wine!

  105. Everyone seems to think it’s terrible to have to GO to the mall this time of year…what about those of us poor souls who have to WORK in the mall this time of year?! Trying to find a parking spot so you can be on time for your shift – THAT should be an Olympic sport!!

  106. Well, good luck at the mall. The good thing about shopping – once it’s done, it’s done. No working in ends, blocking or sewing. Just wrapping. Or gift bags. I recommend those.
    Also, I recommend giving to those for whom you don’t find something…One lovely green sock!

  107. Others were thinking the way I am, I see. I hope you fortified that coffee with something a bit alcoholic! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Arming yourself with needles would have been smart, too. I hope you made it back in one piece.
    And Holy Toledo! Look at the donations! Go knitters, go!

  108. Nuh uh. No way, no how. There’s not enough wine in the northern hemisphere.
    Hope you made it out ok.

  109. aaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrgggghhhhhhhhhhhh! is all i can say. i know it is my own fault for believing there was still SCADS of time to shop before christmas, but i didn’t really get at it until this past monday (a marathon of mall dashing starting at 3:30 and lasting until 11pm) and not one but TWO nights of this madness! followed by days of teaching overwrought frantic six year olds with massive visions of the loot that is only days away from their eager grasp…..
    i’m tired.

  110. OOOOHHHH NO! Lions, Tigers and Bears..OH MY! You have the advantage of your size..you can zip around people and get it done in record time…but PLEASE…Please stop at the yarn shop on the way home for a “little something” for the Harlot!!!

  111. Um….. have you forgotten the humble I.O.U note????? Give one stinkin’ sock with an IOU inside!!! What could be easier??? And make sure you do NOT put a time frame on it. Oh, and i’ll see ya at the mall…..

  112. Oh Heaven forbid, not the M*A*L*L.
    Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy, rejoicing, love, none of these things are found in a mall!You do know that you can buy gift certificates on line don’t you? It’s much safer.

  113. I’m going to the mall on SATURDAY. Yes leaving Pennsylvania 11:00am Friday for Toronto. Shopping on SATURDAY. Christmas dinner with the family on Sunday. Driving back home on Christmas Day.
    Did I mention shopping on SATURDAY? I didn’t mention we do this every year, did I. Sorry I’m letting it go now.
    You posted at around 10:00am. It’s now 12 hours later. Have you made it home yet? Did you leave me any Timmy’s coffee for my shopping? *smile*

  114. I think I have connected to the wrong blog. Yarn Harlot Christmas shopping at the mall? I feel the universe tipping.
    on the other hand…. what courage and strength! yes, that could be our beloved Yarn Harlot. Battle on dear brave one.

  115. hahaha that’s what we did today too!!!!today at least i have startd my (nonknitted) gift shopping, but i carried my grandmother’s half- done mitten with me as a talisman… i survived

  116. Are you home safe yet? If not, the knitters of the world will unite to ensure your return. Where would we all be without you by our side?

  117. You know the record for still being alive and not insane after not sleeping is 11 days. I don’t suggest trying to break that record…
    However, there are only 4 days until Christmas…that’s probably safe, right?

  118. You have not returned from the m-m-m-m-mall.
    I am worried.
    When I was growing up my Mon managed a Hallmark store in a mall. During the week before Christmas my Dad would show up and be the bouncer for her. He would lock the door at closing time and let customers OUT after they checked out, while beating back the hordes still trying to get IN.
    You could have gotten mugged, or eaten, or put in a box and wrapped, or something.
    Did you remember to take a Valium?
    Dez

  119. You have not returned from the m-m-m-m-mall.
    I am worried.
    When I was growing up my Mon managed a Hallmark store in a mall. During the week before Christmas my Dad would show up and be the bouncer for her. He would lock the door at closing time and let customers OUT after they checked out, while beating back the hordes still trying to get IN.
    You could have gotten mugged, or eaten, or put in a box and wrapped, or something.
    Did you remember to take a Valium?
    Dez

  120. Oh, Steph.
    Goodoh for you. I didn’t even go to the mall. I have to finish a pair of socks and a lace scarf. Doesn’t seem too bad compared to yours. Good luck!

  121. Oh darling… the MALL is the wrong place. Go too the BOOKSTORE. Books are wonderful gifts.

  122. Oh no! Not the maul! This year I have avoided mauling so far, but I fear I am not out of the woods yet; LL Bean is running short of quite a few choice items.

  123. The Mall? Bah, humbug. If you REALLY want the true horrific pre-Christmas mall experience surely you should wait till Saturday when the crowds will reach their peak and your last minute panic will have ripened to full facial tic stage.
    Ahh, but it wouldn’t be Christmas without the crowds of exhausted, agressive, bag-laden shoppers all ready to do battle for the last parking space/ plastic toy of the moment, would it?
    On the other hand, you could go shopping in a few nice boutiques (boutiques alternated with coffee shops) and spend the holidays lying on a golden beach, knitting under a palm tree. Like me.
    Tee hee.

  124. I second Presbytera. This may be the only occasion when a plan is a good thing. Like, “I plaaannn on skipping the mall in favor of ordering gift cards on-line that will be delivered within the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ time frame.”

  125. I don’t knit for Christmas presents. Too much stress. Instead, I knit at random times of year and shop for Christmas. I’m not sure that it’s less stressful, however…
    Yesterday, I had the day off from work (the perks of being a part-time teacher), so I decided that I would spend the entire day in a five-mile stretch of Massachusetts wherein one can find EVERY RETAIL STORE IMAGINABLE. (Not one LYS, but that’s good, because I might have just had to buy myself some presents, too.)
    There is one GIANT mall there along with probably 20 different strip malls.
    I couldn’t get the nerve up to head out until noon. I arrived in Framingham/Natick (the two towns which this Shopping Mecca spans) around 12:30. By 5:00, I was burnt out, exhausted and hadn’t gone to the mall yet. I decided that I would not set foot in the mall but would instead go buy some wine, drive to Dave’s house and have a homecooked meal.
    On the upside, I only have to buy two more gifts before Christmas (and one or two more after Christmas but before I see the recipients between Christmas and New Year) and they are both books for kids (a cousin and a niece), so I’ll be visiting my local Barnes & Noble tomorrow morning before the crowds and will be DONE.
    Good luck.
    Godspeed.
    Bring knitting. ๐Ÿ™‚

  126. I hope you made it out alive. If it makes you feel better, I have to finish my shopping tomorrow. Luckily I only need two things, I know what they are, and I can get them in the same place.

  127. You know, IOU’s make nice gifts ๐Ÿ™‚
    My mom has been bugging me for a pair of socks – every time she sees me knitting on something I hear “are those my socks?”.
    So I refused to knit her a pair for Christmas – she’s getting a knit dickie (which she asked for in July) and a IOU ๐Ÿ™‚
    No stress that way, fingers left free to do other things – like make peppermint patties ๐Ÿ™‚

  128. Hi Stephanie,
    Yeah. I haven’t been to a mall since last Christmas. Technically, I wasn’t in the mall then either, just one of the big electronics stores, on the mall periphery.
    My husband and I shop on the 24th. It takes us about 3 hours to get what we need to get. Granted, we only have 6 people to buy for. Our rule of thumb is one big gift and one little gift per person. Spend more on the 2 children than on the adults. It has worked well for us.
    Take care,
    Rosane.
    P.S.: You are Harlot. You will be fine! ๐Ÿ™‚

  129. Ah, the mall. In some ways, I’m jealous. No mall shopping for us this year, though there was a Best Buy and a Barnes & Noble.
    The joys of hand-made gifts!

  130. LOL!!!!!! I had to come to that decision yesterday also and I was feeling very guilty. Now I know I have a champion!! Yeah! I can go to the (gulp) mall with my head held high and singing Jingle Bells while I actually mean it! Thanks, Stephanie!

  131. Heck.
    I’m going to the mall, and I’m plenty scared.
    Bravery is highly overrated.
    But then, so are malls. Oh dread. Oh woe.
    Off I go.

  132. Stephanie… just an idea that someone may have thought about before… is it possible to include some sort of webform (or a link to one) on the blog where donations to MSF get entered with name and amount and currency and then get submitted to a new e-mail that generates an autoreply? Not personal, but entirely understandable, given the volume at certain times of year. The webform should standardize the responses, and then stuff could easily be pasted into a spreadsheet for doing the totals.

  133. Hope you’ve nearly finished all the shopping now. We don’t have a “mall” of such here in Coventry, UK, but it’s still mega busy and I’m glad we’ve now got everything in that we need.
    On another note, you’ve been tagged! Please tell me “6 weird things” about yourself.
    Go to my website for the rules:
    http://mandyknits.blogspot.com/

  134. Okay, it’s been over 24 hours since Stephanie announced her intention of braving that den of iniquity, the mall.
    Am I the only one who thinks it’s time to send out the search parties?

  135. How is the shopping and knitting going – I picked up all the various food stuff I can get ahead and the fresh fish etc will be done Sun. But the chores have gone by the wayside — the rest of today will be fun knitting.
    I am loving seeing the total go up on the donation side bar.

  136. Listen — the baying of Newfoundlands barking, not “Jingle Bells” but “The Squid Jigging Grounds”. Maybe they found her…

  137. Even I as a shopaholic shudder at going to the mall the week before x-mas. Wish you luck w/every fiber of my shopaholic soul!

  138. Going to the mall? Just keep your head down and your knitting needles out. They are good for poking those people who get in your way!

  139. It would be so much easier if everyone KNIT…. I could give handspun… I could do all my shopping at my LYS….(and a lot of it from my stash) instead of spending 30+ minutes in line at Hollister— to buy a GIFT Certificate.
    Too bad- as you’ve not posted again- I am worried whether you’ve survived your trip among the muggles!
    Merry Christmas and knit faster-
    ts in mi

  140. To all of us who have to “mall” over the next three days -as the gladiators said to Caesar,
    “Nos morituri te salutamus.”

  141. The mall?????? Steph, do you secretly have a desire to be committed? We can get you help. Please. Don’t. Go.This is me begging.

  142. Wow, I just clicked over here from the Blogroll on my brand new blog. Holy crap, it works!
    Anyone seen the Harlot lately? If I had a passport I’d look for her myself.

  143. Dammit, we shouldn’t need passports for Canada. (If this be treason, then make the most of it.)

  144. My niece and nephew have gotten used to their Aunt’s gifts arriving for Twelfth Night. And the fact that they aren’t there in the great frenzy of ripping and tearing sets them apart – especially since I’m church-mouse poor compared to their parents.

  145. Hey Steph,
    I know it’s getting really late in the season, but if you still have your hotline up somewhere, would you mind posting the number? Because I know quite a few knitters (and S/O’s) who could use that bit of Holiday Cheer right about now. Thanks!
    Also, good luck surviving the mall!

  146. Rams – HEAR HEAR re treason! (Sorry for shouting…)
    On a happier note, I love ‘The Squid Jigging Grounds’ ref. Not that I have any idea what it means, you understand; but I’m presuming if I Google it I’ll probably discover a musical group I might like. This sounds like the perfect theme song for Stephanie. I know, she’s not likely to go squid jigging – icy salt spray may be hard on her, if not the wool – but it just seems to…resonate. Y’know? [g]

  147. I started the sweater for Mom for the fourth time. I just couldn’t get the proper size. And attempt #3 ended in the Moebius thing which I noticed pretty late.. and the thing was pretty large anyway. I think I”ll have to do it overnight.
    As for Christmas malls… I’m at my parents’ place in a smaller town when there are malls in hte middle of the fields somewhere around and not on the metro line as in Prague where I live. Meaning that if I wanted to go to a mall, it would be a day trip but if I go to the center, it’s ten minutes and there’s places enough to do some shopping like bread and milk. I’m making my own Christmas aftmosphere: no Jingle Bells performed by mentally castrated band.. I have a Christmas play performed by Finnish rock musicians (with already famous quotes like I’m not just any tyrant, I’m The King Herod – perfect antidote for the sugary crap outside).
    The best christmas in my life was when my dad was in the ICU with serious malaria. By Christmas he already stopped dying every day for differen reasons, we were in another town in a hotel next to the hospital wit five kilos of Christmas pastries, no cleaning, no cookin, no shoppin, just going to the hospital and walking around laughing at the maniacal shoppers.

  148. Okay, no post from the Harlot yesterday. Did she make it back alive? Should we send out a search and rescue? Call in the St. Bernards people! Our Harlot is missing!

  149. I see it’s been 2 days since the ‘going to the mall’ post. Is she still alive?
    As for me, I sucked up and did the ‘shopping’ thing last night after work. I wore a jester had of red and green. I got strange looks from frazzled shoppers. Imagine me getting strange looks for looking festive during the holiday season. AND, I said ‘excuse me’, ‘can I help you’, ‘thank you’, held doors open for others and smiled alot. You would have thought I had grown two more heads!
    Merry Yule!

  150. Oh dear God!
    I’m uplifted to hear it though as I was just indulging in some morning blog reading in order to steel myself for a trip to the mall.
    I have sustained a knitting-related injury — pinched nerve in right hand — and that will mean that the absurd 150 hours of knitting that I needed to smuch into the next 72 hours just will not be happening. (Though I did get the diagnosis on Tuesday and have been attempting to knit lefty for 2 days now……)
    Even though one should keep knitting through all adversity, sometimes it is also important to remember that you gotta know when to fold ’em.

  151. Yesterday i was thinking it was getting very late for the Harlot to be out playing at the mall. I was thinking we needed to send in the rescue team. However I have noticed again this morning that the MSF total has gone up again, so I’m betting she’s home – hiding, totalling and knitting like mad!
    I wish all of you the joys of the season, may your needles fly smoothly and may we all have a wonderful New Year.
    Chris

  152. I strongly suspect that squid-jigging is very much akin to the rural Southern American activity of frog-jigging, in which drunk fisherman with pronged hooks prowl the bayous looking for fat bullfrogs to stab (jig) for frog legs.
    (shudder) I just CANNOT eat frog’s legs. Frogs are my friends.
    Squid-jigging makes me think of the same folks prowling tide pools.
    Our Harlot is a vegetarian so I suspect her jigging activities are restrcited to tofu — though I imagine it would fall apart. Tempeh-jigging perhaps?

  153. I’m very concerned. Our Harlot has not been heard from since stating her intentions to go to the *gulp* MALL. Do we need to send a search party? Should we call Lettuce Knit and ask them to send over an emergency response team? Quick! Someone crack open a bag of laceweight!

  154. Ouch. You are one brave woman, dude. My stomach hurts already, and all I’m doing is going to the toy store down the street.
    Spiff, meanwhile, is pretending that he doesn’t know the word “mall.” F*ing French guys…

  155. My secret for Christmas shopping? Museum gift shops. Everyone else is out at the Mall, you get to relax at the museum (whatever kind of museum it is), and there’s a wide variety of things to choose from. You can ususally be certain no one wlse will give the same thing you are. Toys, stationery, posters, vaguely erotic sculpture, books, really everything I would want to give…

  156. You know I got EVERYTHING at Ross (not sure they are in Canada) in two hours! NO MALL – Hurray!
    Blessings for the New Year of KNITTING 2007

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