It’s time

There’s no denying it anymore. Now that I’ve finished that big sweater, there’s absolutely no getting away from the Christmas knitting. I’m proud of myself for stepping away from the crazy place twice this year (I was going to start a sweater for my uncle and begin to spin and knit a vest for my brother) when I realized that it just wasn’t possible. There’s challenging, which I enjoy, and then there’s a set up that’s doomed to failure….which I hate.

In years past I would have wildly leapt to the crazy place, and then wondered why it didn’t go well for me, but this year, this year I’ve got it together. This year all I have planned is the following:

One small shawl.

One smallish sweater

One pair adult mittens

Two pairs of children’s mittens

Two hats

Four (or maybe five) pairs of socks

And 32 whole days to do it in.

I am noticing now that I might not be as far away from the crazy place as I had hoped, but I since I do think that list is possible… I’m calling in the reserves. Every year when it degenerates into a terrible mess of knitting and rushing and frantic behaviour, I lose my cool and need a schedule to pull it back together. I call the supreme task-master, the mistress of all things scheduled, Our Lady of Being in Charge…. Lene, and I tell her what I need to do, when it needs to be done by, how long it will take. Lene compares that to things like my need to sleep, eat, work, shop, wrap and clean and prepares a somewhat reality based schedule. Then, all I have to do is follow Lene’s schedule and everything will be ok. Everything will get done. This system has only failed twice. Once when I failed to do as I was told, and once when I refused to accept that there was way, way more on the list than was humanly possible to accomplish. (I should have known that Lene was seriously trying to tell me something when I looked at the schedule and at 5pm on Christmas eve it said “Warp the time space continuum”.)

This year I’m trying a new experiment. I’m going to get Lene to make the schedule BEFORE I start falling apart, and see if the falling apart can be avoided entirely. (This will please Lene a great deal, since MORE CONTROL over the universe is something she enjoys more than is proper for me to say. )

You hear that Lene? I’m putting you in charge of a whole month. Try to control yourself.


I’m starting this though. (Swallowtail Shawl, Interweave Knits, Fall 2006. Yarn is Misti Alpaca Lace 2ply in “CD43” and the beads were a find in a bead shop on Queen West.) I’m excited. I feel like the unmatching-yet-matching beads are a bold move.

156 thoughts on “It’s time

  1. Swallow tail is such a wonderfull shawl to make. I loved learning the nupps. Have fun with it.

  2. Bold plan! I wouldn’t attempt that much Christmas gift knitting if I started on the preceding New Year’s Day. . . but I’m sure you can do it. . . really. . .

  3. Oh – the beads are going to be beautiful on your shawl.
    Like the plan so far…anything that avoids a breakdown can’t be bad — but will it feel like the holidays?

  4. I understand your plight, despite the fact that I’ve only been a knitter for one whole winter (and one Christmas). But as a newer knitter, I have decided to be selfish this year and focus my energy and time on my own closet enhancement. I will be more pleasant to be around if I am warm and stylish. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  5. Wow! Beginning with a schedule is a really bold move. Is Lene available to schedule for others? LOL I have got to start knitting a shawl. We will not discuss how much lace yarn I have. Really, we won’t.

  6. You’ll have lots of time to knit while watching the Grey Cup this Sunday… Good luck with ‘the plan’…

  7. The beads will be an excellent touch!
    Does Lene hire out? I need to take care of a new baby and Christmas knit!!! Only 5 projects this year!

  8. Good luck, and congrats on not going to the crazy place. (Yet.) the yarn and beads are such a pretty color! BTW if you do visit the crazy place, at least you’ll have plenty of company lol.

  9. Have fun Lene. We appreciate you saving Stephanie’s sanity! Steph – way to go on the article on the Toronto Star yesterday – showcasing knitting for charity and Knitter Without Borders. Great to see your comments there.

  10. To me that looks like a huge pile of knitting for 32 days, but you are a much faster (or more consistent) knitter than I. You can do it.
    I would already be gibbering.
    And remember that if it gets too bad brandy in eggnog can make the pain go away.

  11. You are both brave and bold…when I looked at your list and thought of having to do that myself between now and Christmas, I had to breathe into a paper bag for a minute or two. πŸ™‚ But I have long suspected that you’re a faster knitter than I am, and with Lene on your side you’ll certainly avoid the crazy place!

  12. So um, how can we get a little schedule help from Lene? Or, could you just post your schedule and we can stick to it, and insert our own insane list of projects in the appropriate time slots?

    Sorry. It slipped out. Will try to contain my maniacal giggling while I look for the whip.
    p.s. Lene absolutely hires out. Cheap, too, and not in filthy lucre. Knitwear works. πŸ˜‰

  14. If you post pics of your shawl in progress, I’m sure I’ll be hitting that crazy place a bit early this year. It’s been in my mind to do “one of these days” and I will have no problem being pushed over the edge of reason, add “just one more” project to the list and justify with the whole “I can warp time for all my knitty ETA’s” logic πŸ˜‰
    PS – the beads are tres funky.

  15. I love the yarn and beads you’ve chosen, very pretty. Best of luck. I couldn’t do that much Christmas knitting if I started 2 years before on Jan. 1. However, I’m sure you and Lene will make it work.

  16. She who fails to plan, plans to fail. That’s more than **I** would take on in the next 32 days, but it is only in the past couple of years that I’ve been willing to admit that I *have* any limitations vis-a-vis the space/time continuum.
    Love the yarn and beads that you’ve chosen for Swallowtail.
    Lene, honey, we gotta talk!

  17. I am trying to keep my Holiday Knitting to a dull roar this year (three fairisle hats and two pair of socks). Your list is much more ambitious – but you knit WAY faster than I do!
    Ooooh, please don’t mention the swallowtail shawl. I have yarn for it already (and some Misti Alpaca I could make it with, too!). I. Must. Not. Be. Distracted. From. Holiday. Knitting!!

  18. Well damn. You’re not nearly as much fun to watch when you’re trying to be reasonable.
    Why don’t you go pull out that bag of fibre for Ian’s planned vest? Just go stick your hand in there for a minute. we’ll wait. Enjoy the colours. The feel. The knowledge of how relaxing spinning can be. Soothing even. Calming. Perfect activity for a busy season really…

  19. I hear you – I’ve been Christmas knitting since September…and I still had to cast on booties, a dishcloth, and a hat yesterday. And, having finished my mom’s second sock, discovered that I might have lost the first one.

  20. Oh what a nice pile of pink! I love the bead stores on Queen W too, it is always sensory overload with too many decisions to make.
    I went on a sock binge last Christmas, this year I am going to try for 1 pair and a couple of scarves. It’s too bad you can’t give chunky felted projects to everyone you know!

  21. Giving comments a try again this time. Every step you make toward self-control is a step toward growth. Of course, it’s much more amusing to read you falling apart, but your family will appreciate the saner, slower you.
    How’s the group-knit scarf coming along?

  22. Ah, I wonder if I have someone Lene-like in my circle of friends – I still have one sweater that has yet to be completed for Christmas 2006
    I look at your list and I am in awe – 32 days!!? – I would have had to change the space/time continuum with 6 months time allotted!

  23. Wow…I started my Christmas knitting about a month ago…You are a brave woman. Then again, you knit super fast πŸ™‚

  24. Oh, that yarn, those beads! Those will make the most beautiful Swallowtail. And after MS3, it will be a speedy breeze!
    Congratulations on the preplanning this time, with Lene’s help. (“I confess that I am addicted to yarn and optimism and I cannot help myself.”) Seems potentially do-able this year — depending on the gauge and size of the ‘smallish’ sweater. Potentially.

  25. I’m already in that crazy place and I don’t have half as much to knit… LOL
    You truly are an inspiration πŸ™‚

  26. Good luck with the scheduled Christmas knitting! You can do it! Lene is such a brave woman and clearly a reliable friend.
    Gorgeous choice of beads and yarn! I have to admit, I’m a Misti Alpaca junkie, so I was drooling at the picture even before I read your post…I think I need an intervention.
    Can’t wait to see the shawl!!

  27. I’ve just spent the evening wondering if I could make 5 unorigional hats by Christmas. I’m amazed you can get so much done!!

  28. Wow. I have one hat and 3/4 pair of socks to make in 32 days and I’m totally freaked out. Well, not to mention going to school, studying for finals and working full time in between the knitting.
    Your list sounds insane, but I’m sure with Lene’s schedule, you’ll do just fine. And if it starts to fall apart, I’m sure she can *revise* the schedule for you.
    Maybe we can visit each other in the crazy place around Dec 23 or so?

  29. I can’t believe you think 4 (or maybe 5) pairs of socks are doable, even without the sweater, shawl, mittens, and hats. Good glory, it takes me about two months to finish *one* pair of socks! I mean, you *are* the queen of speed knitting, but yowza.
    I’ve got half of a child’s sleeve and one whole child’s sweater to go (I started early this year). After that, I’m knitting for me!
    Good luck!

  30. Nice giggling, Lene! (I was actually hearing it as a cackle in my head). Steph may be sounding reasonable, but we all know she’s going to try and squeeze in another project or two. I know which sweater kit she chose for her uncle – she’s going to have a tough time resisting…

  31. Oh, and Lene? I notice Steph hasn’t got ‘finish poor, patient, chilly-without-his-sweater Joe’s gansey’ on there. Try to sneak that in, would you? She did say she’d follow your plan without question.

  32. That will be a beautiful shawl. I covet beads. I stay out of bead stores for that very reason. There is something very magpie or crowish in my psyche that draws me to beads and rocks. Not gems particularly.
    I love the colour, on my computer it looks like a very pearly pink with maybe some apricot tint? Yummy.
    On the other hand, did you HAVE to mention how many days left to finish the UFOs I have scattered around the house?

  33. Sounds like you’re on top of it. That’s quite a list though. I was in total control until I realized I’d neglected to get my shopping done before Thanksgiving and the whole paychecks coming in vs gift money going out was not going to work. The knitting list just got longer… Oy. And I’d better do it fast because I need to be mailing much of this to Alaska. And winter mail there… yeah… never know what’s going to happen!

  34. I love the non-matchy-matchy beeds! I think it will keep you as “dimly” enchanted as watching self-striping sock yarn knit up.
    As far as the schedule…how about hiring elves? Not to knit, but to do all the other stuff. I bet you could find a few that would work for yarn LOL.

  35. Love the yarn and beads-that’s going to be gorgeous!
    Good luck with the schedule, sounds like you’re strategy is greatly improved. I improved my strategy by only deciding on 2 hats, 1 (already finished!!) scarf, and a pair of mittens. Perhaps I am confusing strategy and laziness?

  36. Now see, *this* is much more reasonable. I, too, have seen the videos of you knitting. πŸ˜‰ Like many others, I’d be curled up into a ball, whimpering, at just the thought of it. (10 sts. per inch when knitting socks, she reiterates gloomily.) But you? Notaproblem. And if you don’t decide *all* the mittens will be Latvian-style or some such, ditto with the hats, and the smallish sweater isn’t made in cotton intarsia…Should be doable. Really, I think Lene just might be begging you for more scheduling to do!
    So, this’ll leave you much more time for blogging and working on Joe’s gansey, right? ::runs like hell::
    (And that’s going to be a fantabulous shawl. I’m just rather mournful seeing all that lovely pink, ’cause I made the mistake of getting snobbish about some rose quartz beads, and got the totally natural, undyed ones. They’re natural, all right. Also too. Damned. Pale. ::sniffle:: Oops; I’d better go get that new order in before their daily shipping times!)

  37. I made Swallowtail in 4 days, so you can probably finish it in two and a half. I’m betting you get it all done and finished early.

  38. The yarn and beads are LOVELY. I suppose I should finish the current laceweight shawl in progress before I cave in and start this one, no?
    (And good luck with that list… after the year I decided to knit gloves for every member of my boyfriend’s family and socks for every member of mine, I decided that I would NOT knit for Christmas ever again. Not enjoyable. So all I have to do this December is make a pair of mitts for my friend’s birthday. And then back to knitting for MEEEEEE.)

  39. You are going to love knitting the Swallow Tail Shawl……..I made it last year for my donation to Rocky Mountain PBS ……… never thought of adding beads. How fun! Am anxious to see where you put them. I might just have to knit another one …….. with beads!

  40. I don’t think that list looks so bad! Lots of little things you can do in an evening (or two). I just finished the Earl Grey socks – very nice! Next are a couple of unoriginal hats for my nieces, who have out-grown getting knitted things from their aunt but I think they will like those. Your idea for a family scarf is wonderful. A few years ago I was knitting a sweater for my husband for Christmas, and went out of town to visit family (without him) and taught my nieces (referenced above) how to knit on it. My son also did a few rows. This just added to the specialness of the sweater for my hubby, to know so many hands had worked on it! So the scarf idea is great. Oh – on PBS, Seasoned Traveler was in Toronto today, that does look like a nice place! Altho I’m not sure I would be able to stand on the glass floor in the CN Tower. Holy cow.

  41. One of the clues in my crossword puzzle this morning was “Nuts and crackers”. The answer was “loco”. I don’t want to say you’re in the crazy place, but you seem to be flirting with it!

  42. You are insane. Wonderful, and funny – but clearly insane.
    *tries to finish simple scarf*
    Tis good to be back in the blog world! Missed reading you.

  43. The list looks pretty bad, but you are definitely a faster knitter with more time than I do (finals are in 3 weeks), best of luck to you. I’ve given up on knitting everyone something, I just try to figure out what they want and just buy it for them, it’s much easier.

  44. How much does Lene charge? I’m a Capricorn with a Virgo moon and three major planets in Capricorn, so I’m supposed to be a Control Freak Diva, but that pile o’knitting still looks intimidating mixed in with your writing yet another book and the usual holiday stresses.
    Just remember it’s not really the holidays without at least one session of sobbing and gibbering involving perhaps a bit too much of an adult beverage, the consumption of which was actually intended to take the edge OFF. πŸ™‚
    My finished holiday pile: casual sweater for Mom, scarf for cousin, handspun yarn for knitting friends, and three pair of socks.
    I get to teach a cable class at a weekend knitting seminar near Dallas next week, and I am also applying for a new job, and I have two Saturday mornings coming up to sell handspun at the downtown arts market, so I have kept my remaining holiday knitting to a minimum:
    My unfinished holiday pile: One vest for Dave, one Clapotis for a dear friend, two pair of socks, hat for cousin, and one baby sweater for new grandniece who actually will not enter the world until after Xmas, so I have a little fudge space there, and I could make it a new-baby present.
    No one has to know.

  45. Hey, your christmas kniting list isn’t about the same length as mine! Of cousre, I had to start in AUGUST to get that much knitting done. Only one pair of mitts left to cast on! You’ll note that doesn’t mean that all the other gifts have been cast off.
    Love the beads!

  46. Ah, the crazy is starting early this year. Did you learn nothing from last year? Or the year before? Haven’t you been putting finished projects aside during the year, earmarked as gifts?
    Nope, me neither.
    I swore off IT for the rest of my life. My family were thrilled that they would never have to see me ranting and cabling again. (Okay, I still rant but not while holding pointy sticks.) And it is difficult to knit while your knuckles are dragging along the ground behind you.
    So how did I manage to end up christmas-knitting a scarf (which never ends, I hate scarves) and two pairs of socks?
    IT: stalking the unwary and the smug.

  47. Wow. You’re so inspiring. I’m so hoping that one day I’m fast enough to even contemplate making that much for Christmas! And the Swallowtail Shawl – I’ve been looking at it longingly for the last few days, thinking how much I REALLY would like to start it. It’s just too pretty. Now if I had some of that gorgeous pink lying around somewhere…Maybe I need to go shopping….:)

  48. Those beads are perfect!
    That is a pretty ambitious Christmas list. I’m aiming for a couple of pairs of slipper socks and a hat or two! (I made a hat for my cousin’s birthday yesterday but I’m counting on her losing that one by Christmas – she’s onto her fourth hat already this winter)

  49. I’ve been trying to talk myself out of some modest holiday knitting, like knitting socks for all five members of my immediate family or maybe some slippers or hats. I know that I’m not about to give up knitting my son’s kittycat sweater or the big afghan that I have projected I will finish sometime next winter.
    Looking at your list, however, I think that I could get the socks done, particularly if they were knit in a nice worsted to keep their tootsies warm on winter days….
    Aughh! I think IT’s got me….

  50. Yeah, what about that gansey, hmm?
    And besides, what the holiday season be without your daily wailing about how much knitting you have to do? Come on, fess up – that’s only the list of presents for the household, right? What about your mom? What about Lene? Your chilled brother? Is all Joe’s getting is a pair of socks? And, fer God’s sake, what about ME?!

  51. And while I’m at it – how’s that group-knit scarf coming along? Hmm? I bet we never hear another peep about it, given the obvious gauge issues.

  52. A sensible place to start would be to find evidence of how long previous pairs of socks and mittens have taken. And cross off that number of days (or in your case, hours) from the schedule. a
    A semi-crazy person might actually multiply 32 days by 24 hours (768 hours. That seems like a smaller-than-expected number to me.) And then subtract 10 hours per day to allow for sleeping and eating and blogging, which leaves 448 hours for knitting. A couple of 24 hour days can be added back in as Christmas draws closer, so that gives 496 hours. Let’s round that off to 500 hours. Time yourself on a sock or mitten, and go from there.
    Time is like land–they aren’t making any more of it.
    If it were me, I would do the mittens and socks first and the shawl last, because the size of a shawl can be adjusted to the time available to knit it, at least more easily than the size of a mitten can.
    May the knitting goddess be with you!

  53. bold maybe, but will you be able to string them randomly? or will you need to make them match along the way? I see trouble on the horizon. (I do think it’s a great idea, though, and will be beautiful)

  54. You go Stephanie! We’re all cheering for you!!
    Love* Love* Love Swallowtail. It is on my list & yarn is waiting patiently. Joan – you knit Swallowtail in 4 days? Wow! Even though I’m having a serious case of startitis, I will not cast on until after my holiday knitting is done (sew 6 buttons on a finished sweater, felt a pair of slippers, make 2-3 hats, fingerless gloves & finish a sweater). Okay, back to work!

  55. You are a wild woman Steph! I couldn’t knit all of the items on your list if I had a year…good luck.

  56. I just want to tell you gently that 32 whole days really isn’t that. Unless you plan to not sleep, shower, go potty, (well, I guess it’s possible to knit on the throne) answer the phone, etc. You know what’s happened before. But, you are the Harlot, so go for it. Stock up on wine and chocolate, and may the force be with you.

  57. I like the Swallowtail as a quick, lacy knit. The beads are going to look great. Are you using them to replace the nupps? Or maybe in the rosebud section?
    I have this secret belief that I’ll be able to knit 5 more projects before Christmas. You are my beacon of hope in a sea of nay sayers.
    Knit on, Harlot. Knit on.

  58. You can do it Stephanie with a little help from the knitting elves of Christmas. The swallowtail is a beauty and with those beads kazooom!! I’ve already made a New Years resolution to try and knit a lacy trangular shawl in the coming year, all because of the beauties I see on your blog. Sometimes it pays to live dangerously–we shall see. Thank you for the post

  59. “Shawl” and “Christmas knitting” are not words that are in the space time continuum simultaneously in my universe — but we all have our own knitting speeds. Lovely colours. I like the match/mismatch muchly.
    Can I borrow Lene?

  60. It has taken me awhile but I think I am finally there or close… I can’t knit everything I want to knit for me and those closest to me so there is no way I will knit Christmas Presents for those “others” ,who would just as soon have a store bought hat or store bought anything and shrink half the stuff I give them anyways(I hate acrylic and they don’t “get” wool-even cashmere. So this year I am not panicing about anything to do with Christmas-what gets done,gets done. The world will still spin(I think I mixed a metaphor there)and they will just have to drool over the hand knits the Grandbabies and I wear.
    I don’t even know whether I will replace my pre-lit artificial tree(it is no longer pre or other wise lit after dying slowly last Christmas) or cut one off our farm and string lights. Breathe in Breathe out I am at peace with the holidays. But I will knit each evening on anything that please me and if it pleases someone else I will give it to them.

  61. What can you say to someone who thought they could knit two baby afghans in two months for their newly-born twin great-niece and great-nephew? I really thought I could do it! Nearly one year later, however, I’m just about to finish up this, to me, insane project! I’ve missed out knitting the socks, scarves, and hats I had planned. Everything has been totally on hold to get those #@*& afghans done.

  62. please note: pink is SO me, and i do need a shawl. therefore, i hope i’m on your christmas list this year! πŸ™‚
    and good luck with that
    pre-planning/organized/schedule thing-y. even though its never quite worked for me. do you do rent-a-Lene? maybe i could be saved from the crazy place too!

  63. Oohhhh. Beautiful beads. Did they come with a manufacturer’s name? I’m not making it to Toronto from California any time soon.
    (I’m also not going to share my embarrassingly short list of Christmas knitting that I’m already sure will make me crazy. I am definitely not in the professional leagues.)

  64. I don’t have near enough time to knit. I work 10.5 hours a day! (home daycare). By the end of the day after cleaning up after supper and cleaning up the various “surprises” the little monkeys leave me on top of a TRASHED playroom, I’m half asleep screwing up that mate sock I’ve been on for oh – let’s see – 5 weeks now!

  65. Stephanie, I was wondering how one gets the beads onto the yarn. Is there a special way to do it? Happy knitting on your Christmas projects! samm

  66. Golly but I wish had a Lene in my life. Go figure — Mom of four, serious-ish job, one child dancing in the party scene in the Nutcracker, which requires much rehearsing and curling of hair. And I have a sort of scary list of Christmas knitting, which means there will be lots of knitting in meetings, at dinner parties, and in the wee hours. I’m just going to go forth and hope it all works I guess.
    Good luck Stephanie! The shawl is beautiful!

  67. Oh pretty pink and beads!! Love it. Cant wait to see the finished shawl.
    You are one brave woman to have a nice list like that. And a speedy knitter at that.
    I have decided to start to knit for Christmas 2008 now. πŸ™‚ I might get done by then??

  68. I have decided to do something odd this year. I started making random projects in the summer. Just stuff I wanted to make, nothing in particular. Now, I’m about to wrap up five projects that I’m going to put randomly into bags, and give to my female relatives in what is known as the ‘white elephant’ gift exchange: i.e., I made the projects, I love the projects–they can draw blood to see who gets what.
    I’ll let you know who survives.

  69. My Christmas knitting – and crochet – list is all blankets… all started, two close to done at this point, but still – blankets.
    (I see Lene does indeed hire herself out – will filthy lucre do for those of us who are weak in the “wear” part of knitwear? *g*)

  70. I read your list and thought, “and a partridge in a pear tree.” Really you should write a song about Christmas knitting to the 12 Days of Christmas tune, maybe Lene can pencil it into your schedule?
    Thank you for sharing, I feel soooooooo much less insane now about my own list of Christmas knitting!

  71. I’m very excited for you. This sounds like a great plan. However, you have not only reminded me of just how much I have to do (and how very little I am capable of doing), but you have also pointed out another great pattern that looks like a lot of fun to start – and not finish. πŸ™‚
    Good luck! May the forces be with you!

  72. (she emits a tiny squeak of excitement) You’re knitting a pink shawl! It’s so pretty! I love Misti Alpaca Laceweight– I’m doing a black shawl in it at this very moment. Well, not this very moment– I’m typing on my computer– but close. Yes, pretty beads, too.
    I couldn’t knit that much in one month, but I’d bet you can. One day per sock, right? And about four days for a sweater? You can do it– as long as you don’t go on a book tour or have to meet a deadline in the meantime.

  73. Hey Rachel, it’s too bad Rams is out of town. Can you imagine what she’d say about the list?
    And Steph, that looks suspiciously identical to the pink alpaca and beads you talked me into getting last July. I’m still waiting for inspiration to strike. I’m also waiting for the holidays to pass. You see, I have this grey cabled cardigan I’m trying to finish for my husband.

  74. Let’s do some more of this space-time stuff.
    Instead of buying a present for someone who has everything, why not donate an equivalent amount to Medecin Sans Frontiers (the Knitters Without Borders part of it) in that person’s name and with their address.
    That person will get an income tax receipt for the amount … which would be your “present” to them.
    (You might want to tell them this is what you have done – else there could be “words” and cutting from Christmas lists. Don’t ask me how I know this detail.)
    AND that way, we could get the total amount for MSF/Knitters Without Borders OVER $400,000 on Stephanie’s sidebar!!!
    Happy knitting,
    janeyknitting AT yahoo DOT ca

  75. I feel much less insane now, given that I only plan to knit 4 or 5 pairs of socks, and finish one between now and Christmas. Thanks, Stephanie!

  76. I have to admit, I make things for Xmas on the “on” years, then I don’t make things in the “off” years. Like last year, I was due with baby #2 on 12-30, and I had a goal of 6 pairs of finger-tip-less gloves before the baby or Xmas came (whichever was first). Damn if I wasn’t literally sitting in the post-birth room knitting the last pair. *sigh* It always takes me a full year and a fully purchased Xmas to forget the crazy and try again. One year, tatted angel ornaments with beaded wings. Another year, beaded box ornaments from some “knitted gifts” book. And the gloves. Oh the gloves. We’ll see what next year holds.

  77. You know what? I started christmas knitting in September! And I’m almost done! It’s almost to the point where I can make stuff for myself! (GASP.)
    I am eyeing that Swallowtail shawl and wishing that I knew how to do that…

  78. You do this to yourself every year! When will you ever learn? I’m sure you’ll find a way to do it.
    I set out to knit 40-50 baby socks for a charity for Christmas. I have knit 41 and will run out of yarn at 44. That’s it, then I’m done. I am sick of this and I started months ago. You poor girl!

  79. Lately, mostly what I knit is socks. And according to my math:
    One small shawl plus one smallish sweater plus one pair adult mittens plus two pairs of children’s mittens plus two hats plus four (or maybe five) pairs of socks all equals at *least* twelve pairs of socks which means one pair in less than three days which means one sock per less than 1.5 days. Depending on your gauge it could be at least fifteen pairs of socks, which means the equivalent knitting of about one sock a day.
    Do you have one of those machines that stops time?
    But hey–I will personally donate fifty dollars to Doctors Without Borders if you make your quota! In addition to my regular donation!
    No cheating by using bulky yarn on anything but the hats!
    I’ve seen you knit before. If anyone can do it, you can.

  80. I have knit Swallowtail; the yarn and colors your chose will be lovely. But, beware! this is not a pattern that allows for errors or fudging. I think I actually knit it twice, with all the tinking I had to do. If you are time sensititve….just sayin’.
    But It does come out great.

  81. I have knit Swallowtail; the yarn and colors you chose will be lovely. But, beware! this is not a pattern that allows for errors or fudging. I think I actually knit it twice, with all the tinking I had to do. If you are time sensititve….just sayin’.
    But It does come out great.

  82. You forgot two words in your title….
    “To Panic”
    I have a basket of finished knits….. honestly- am SICK of Christmas knitting. already… I’m in trouble.
    So- I case on a flower basket shawl in Zephyr. Ruby and garnet held together.
    That should help;) I’m avoidi-knit.

  83. Those matchy/unmatchy beads will be GOOD for you!!! LOL!!! I think I NEED Lene, too! Does she hire out? She could probably make a VERY good living fixing all us “far from reality” knitters out here! And get knitting!

  84. You are a prolific knitter, don’t get me wrong, but I think your knitting list is a little long. I guess that I have made myself so crazy in the past, trying to finish things for a deadline, that there is no way I am ever doing that again. The yarn and beads are gorgeous, though. I can see why you are excited. Case in point…I started the Mystic Waters KAL, but have been unable to work on it and have a lovely shawl finished for myself by Christmas, why??
    Knitting deadlines! A blanket strip from hell, Branching Out for DS Bday, a poncho for DD (no deadline, she just needed one) and, currently, Fuzzy Feet for my Mom’s Bday. I know there is a reason for this. I don’t have extra money to spend, but plenty of yarn in my stash. That’s how I rationalize it.

  85. Hey your list is longer than mine! I just have a sweater, 1 hat a pair of mitts and a scarf to knit. Of course it’s the sewing ( 2 pairs pj’s, a baby quilt, a leather purse and a throw quilt) that will kill me πŸ˜‰
    Good luck, wish I had a Lene πŸ™

  86. Way to go Stephanie! That list is totally doable. I’m stuck on my second pair of mittens for my seven year-old niece, Olivia. The first pair I tried to put the thumb on the side (cuff-up) and the thumb was bigger than the mitten! Now I am almost done with the second pair (top-down, invisible thumb) and hopefully I can move on to the next project. I knit on my friends socks on Thanksgiving while visiting family. They were pretty good with it (is she knitting while we are visiting…..) I did get two more “orders” for socks for Christmas. My son asked for a pair which is wonderful since I don’t think he’s ever been interested in receiving something hand-knit. He just turned 21. I didn’t realize until he told me, though, that his feet just turned 14! That’s a LOT of wool!!! Yep, I think I am taking “IT” over for you this year. Happy Holidays! Daniele

  87. Oh my. That shawl will be fabulous.
    Is Lene for hire on the whole scheduling thing? My soon-to-be 11yo wants a birthday party this year. In my house, on her birthday, two days after Christmas Day and during my well-planned post-holiday-frenzy collapse time. I am not well-organized on the knitting front this year.

  88. I cannot face it! There is no way I can knit all the xmas gifts I wanted to knit. It looks like Barnes & Noble gift cards again. What are the chances of actually following through with a plan to spread out the 2008 Xmas Giving Knitted Projects over the coming year and actually complete them by December 2008? Or will it be an extended version of what I’ve done since September, which is to say knitting “just one more thing” for myself and my own family before I get to that silk scarf for my sister? I feel a New Year’s Resolution coming on.

  89. Ironic – I have cashmere laceweight in just that shade of pink, that I was considering knitting into the swallowtail shawl. I’ll be interested to see where you put the beads – I have more of that laceweight than I can use for Juno Regina, and I’m planning to dye it lavender (the MIL’s second favorite color) and knit the swallowtail for Mother’s Day.
    Good luck with the schedule – having it early can’t hurt, can it?

  90. Hullo! The shawl and beads are gorgeous! (Not to mention the Lenore sock pattern. I’ve gotten a couple glimpses of the finished product, and I can’t wait to find out if that pattern will be published for general consumption in the near future.)
    Ahem. Since you appear a bit swamped, perhaps you could put me in touch with another Toronto(nian?) native who could answer this question? Please?
    I’ve an author friend named Jim Hines, who writes fantasy goblin humor stories. He’s celebrating a book launch in Toronto at Ad-Astra Con, Mar 28-30. The question is; is there a bakery with a sense of humor in the Toronto area that might make and deliver a goblin-themed cake for the party?
    Many, many thanks!

  91. That is a good list, and I totally believe you can do it. Give your knitting speed…wow.
    A applaud you for coming up with a list in the first place. I always end up making a pile of stuff and then seeing who would want what.
    I am still trying to spin yarn for a sweater for my dad’s 70th birthday which is on Dec 30th…and we still have to get on a plane to Germany on Dec 20th to see him! And then when I’m there I won’t be able to knit in front of him. I think I am in trouble.

  92. Behold – the Christmas knitting miracle!
    That’s a fine list of holiday knitting and I’m sure that Lene will provide a divine schedule and that it will all be accomplished.
    I hope you’ll post photos of the happy dances done as each project is completed!!!

  93. Those beads are going to be beautiful with that yarn. Can hardly wait to see the finished product.
    I’m sending lots of positive energy your way, hoping it will help you avoid a meltdown. Unfortunately, I have no sense of direction, so it’s entirely possible that some knitter in Mexico will have an especially smooth holiday season.

  94. Hm, that reminds me . . . I have some cashmere put away for the swollowtail shawl that I got at Stitches last year. Maybe it’s time. Love the beads. If there’s one thing I learned from MS3 (why no, I’m not done yet, my goal is to finish it just before MS4 is posted), it’s that if you’re going to take the time to put beads on, don’t make them match the yarn—they won’t show.
    I won’t mention “it” except to say please, Lene, don’t spoil our fun entirely!

  95. Good! You’re learning, huh? Will you be able to resist the beautiful simplicity of the first part of Swallowtail when it comes down to the wire on the Christmas knitting?

  96. Oh yeah, you can totally do all that! No problem. Mittens and socks, yes yes yes. Whole sweaters-sure. Lace shawl? Absolutely. Myself, lace and I are not friends right now. I can handle only the simplest patterns. Give me cables all day. You can handle the shawl and the rest, just sprint!

  97. Wow! That is still an impressive list. How about all the Knitty Gritty socks? Can you slide in any of those on the sock list? Good luck!

  98. I don’t see the ‘family’ scarf on that list – is it just an extra? Maybe when it’s done a hat or pair of mittens could be added to the ‘family’ list? From someone knitting nothing on a Christmas deadline – I wish the rest of you the best of luck (and some sleep!).

  99. Uh Oh. Gonna reprise IT again. I just wish you wouldn’t have to fall apart just for our amusement.

  100. I bought yarn for the swallowtail shawl but am afraid to start it. I don’t get the first instruction!!! I will wait to see how you do and until after Christmas to attempt this project. In the meantime I have 4 hats, 2 more dishcloths, and a doll to knit and an apron and a few small tablecloths to sew. We’ll all be busy and crazy!!

  101. You know, for some reason I thought “that big sweater” was referring to the gansey. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I’ve been sans computer for a few days. I got this flash though, of how funny if would be if everyone thought you were referring to the gansey and scrolling down the page to see it like I did. (gosh, I’m glad I live out of “whacking” distance.)
    Go free labor!

  102. I’m looking at your picture of the Misti Alpaca and looking at the skein I keep near the computer to fondle. (I can’t be the only one who does that) Same thing…even the colour. Great minds think alike and fools seldom differ.

  103. selling my joy dt to try and get a wii under the tree— I wonder if I could just knit a wii?
    Sounds like the Christmas cruch has arrived— how bout a progress pic of that pretty pink lace?

  104. Lene? Are you listening? How about helping me schedule a scarf, two lap quilts, binding a full size quilt, a hat, and two pairs of mittens? Oh yeah, add four little kids and a trip to Ohio.
    I’ll bet I owe you an alpaca coat and patching clutch purse.

  105. The color of the yarn and the beads are just beautiful. I also like the way you photographed them together … very eye appealing.
    Good luck with the shawl project and all of your Christmas knitting.

  106. I look forward to the day I could even begin to make up a knitting “to-do” list that long with 32 days to go with out laughing insanely and the ridiculousness of it all.
    Look forward to seeing pics of all you finish!

  107. I’m a small scale caterer who also sells baked goods. Which means knitting time is non-existent between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I *hoped* to have all the Christmas knitting done by Thanksgiving. I failed…in typical crazy fashion I saved the biggest project for last and have an entrelac blanket to finish in about 2 weeks. And still get cooking done. And still work full time. Yikes! I think I hit the crazy place!!

  108. After I looked at your list, I thought it was a great idea to make a list and WRITE IT DOWN. When it’s written, it will look either totally doable or not. And it may keep me from starting something for myself, in addition to the three (four?) Christmas stockings, one pair of slippers and a shawl to give away. Oh, and do I have time for mittens?…
    I, too, would love to see the schedule.

  109. Now that I’ve seen your list I feel sooo much better about my own impulse buy of 6 balls of felted tweed yesterday in order to knit 3 pairs of socks for Christmas – this on top of the Peacock Feathers shawl that needs to be knit for December 9th, the cashmere something (socks? scarf?) for my sister and the sweater made from yarn bought for me for last Christmas which I promised would be done in time for this year’s celebrations.

  110. So how are the girls at knitting socks? Do you have staff? I mean like Martha Stewart has staff? I *seriously* don’t think there are that many hours between now & Christmas. You’re gonna need help. Good luck! πŸ™‚

  111. Ah, you’re trying to sane approach to holiday knitting. Since your schedule is so light, want to help me? I’ve got 22 scarves to knit (of course, most of those only take 3 hours), plus to finish the sweater from hell. Next time I agree to do a sweater on size 3 needles, please, shoot me!

  112. You’re kidding, right? You plan to do all that in 32 days? That sounds like as much knitting as I do in a YEAR, and I don’t even have kids yet! (5 months to go on that one)

  113. I am knitting small things this year. Cell phone purses namely. I made one a couple of weeks ago and have used it almost daily. It is great when you don’t have pockets but need to carry your phone/keys to pick up the kids or take a walk. I just slip it over my wrist and go! One only took two hours and not much yarn. I got the pattern from 101 One Skein Projects – what a great book!
    Happy Knitting to all!

  114. I wish I had only that much. This year I have a list of 30 items I am almost half way done (13 out of 30). My list includes 3 sweaters, 1 kiri shawl, lots of socks and hats and fingerless mitts.
    I have decided that next year is my year and I will make what i want when I want, and I just may not knit anything for christmas.
    Good luck this year

  115. O…keee…
    Well, when I was searching around for some info on Swallowtail, I did find one gal who knit it in 4 days… made my FOUR MONTHS look, well, pathetic.
    Love those beads.
    I had 4 things on my list, all but one pretty much done. Then another thing added, then another. Still probably doable, esp. if Mom comes down & I don’t have to ship her socks & felted potholders.

  116. You wanna get lots of knitting done? Go sit on a LOOOONG train ride for hmm, say two weeks. Amazing amounts of knitting get done when you don’t have much else to do.

  117. Is this amazing woman available for hire? I could really, really use someone to tell me when I need warps in the space-time continuum.

  118. I know I’m way behind – I have about 3 weeks of blog reading to catch up on. Anyway, that list of knitting is about half a year of knitting for me so go you for getting that amount done in a month! I could use a Lene in my life…

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