Walk away from the fun

Since the universe decided to get all complicated on me (and because I have insisted on having a little fun. Big mistake.) I am behind on the Christmas stuff and frankly, there isn’t going to be a recovery. I am not so much of a dummy-head that I don’t know an impossibility when I see it.. so I’ve made some changes in order to survive this with my sanity intact.

1. Finished. One pair socks (STR Dixie Chick, mediumweight, my basic sock recipe)



Done. This is excellent.

2. In a very clever move on my part, I dug up some of the step-out green socks from a long time ago, and since they were started already, they took a little less time.


(Fleece Artist, my basic sock recipe.) These didn’t save me a ton of time, since I used the plan to bail myself out last Christmas and all the socks that were really far along got used up then….but I didn’t have to knit ribbing on one, and ribbing and part of a leg on the other (these are step outs 2 and 3, for anybody who cares) so it’s still good times.

3. During a recent shopping mission (In which I went to the mall and scarcely escaped with my life) I just happened to find two wonderful presents. Presents which are, in fact, so good and perfect that they are more likely to be loved by the recipients than the knitting that I was going to do for them. Since I am behind and running out of time, I had the good sense to accept the help the planet was offering me and take those people off the knitting list. One pair of socks and one pair of mittens bite the dust.

3. One Argyle sock, almost done.


Obviously there’s going to be one more to go, but that’s just one sock. Argyles are interesting enough that they just whip along. (Remind me that I said that later, will ya?) I know some of you will be wondering how argyles work, and I’ll show more pictures of the process with the second one. Promise. (Sisu yarn, pattern sorted out with input from a bunch of sources, but I’m mostly following the technique shown here)

4. The great big secret thing is both big, and secret, and also…


not done. It is 75% done and therefore a bright and festive hope dwells within my heart.

Where does that leave me? I need to finish the argyle, then knit a hat, then a pair of socks, then another pair of socks, then the great big secret thing. I might be able to finish. Maybe. Technically, one pair of socks doesn’t need to be finished until the 28th….so there’s a bit of room there. The trick is going to be choosing only knit friendly activities, and then walking away from the fun. Today is the beginning of the crunch. The buck stops here. No more parties and relaxing and especially, no more activities that are not compatible with knitting…like (extensive) wine drinking, cookie decorating…


or curling. (Which turns out to be very big fun, and not at all something that Joe and I suck at. Still, knitting time was sacrificed for this knowledge, and that will no longer be tolerated at camp harlot.)

Down to business. No screwing around. There are seven days (and nights) left, and I am going to make them count. Pouring on the burn. Watch out. Now, if you’ll excuse me. I have to go dry off all my knitting.


It’s the problem with using snow as a backdrop.

168 thoughts on “Walk away from the fun

  1. Dear Stephanie:
    If it makes your world look less frantic, you may think of me here in Denver, knowing I have… stuff to knit… by Friday. Because my brother and his family are going to his wife’s family in Pennsylvania for “real” Christmas.
    Pray for me.

  2. I hate to say I told you so, but I did. Some time back in October or November, I predicted that you would run into your usual Christmas rush and suggested that you start working on your projects in one of my comments. But did you listen to me? No! Next year!
    I am probably one of the few Americans (well, you know, American from south of your border) who actually enjoys watching curling when it’s on the tv. I find there’s a lot more strategy to it than people here think. And to me it’s way more interesting than cricket!

  3. Argyles! I haven’t knit argyles since college, oh, about fifty-plus years ago. And I never saw the recipient again….
    My knitting is finished. And wrapped.

  4. Wow… curling. That looks fun. Shuffleboard on ice.
    You are my knitting Goddess… I couldn’t get the cuff of one sock done in the time you’ve just completed 3 (or was it 4? My head is spinning) PAIRS! I bow to your sock skills.

  5. Good luck with your gift knitting. I gave up on mine! They’ll be done after Christmas and no one will be the wiser. πŸ˜‰
    I know I’m not the only one who will ask this but I guess I’m the first. What the heck IS curling anyway? I’ve tried watching it during the olympics and I can’t figure it out for the life of me.
    Off to bake…

  6. What’s the learning curve on curling? Are you competing at an Olympic level yet?
    “Presents which are, in fact, so good and perfect that they are more likely to be loved by the recipients than the knitting that I was going to do for them.”
    Oh, what a lame-assed excuse. NOTHING is loved more than knitting.

  7. May the force be with you! At least your husband didn’t pile THREE more projects onto your list Saturday evening. He’d better get me something good…

  8. Ah yes, whenever I plan a knitting gift for someone I can be sure that time will fly faster than I ever imagined. Good luck – I’m sure with your fast knitting skills you’ll be done in plenty of time!

  9. That great big secret thing isn’t Joe’s gansey is it? No, I didn’t think so, wrong color. Oh well, maybe next year Joe!!

  10. Wow, there aren’t 80 comments on here! Whoot!
    I just have to say, curling regardless that it cut into the knitting time, was an entirely cool thing to do! I think that should make it an acceptable diversion.

  11. I think I’ll try Christmas knitting again next year. I gave up this year and bought my gifts, though I did make shop models for my mom’s shop.
    I especially like those STR Dixie Chick socks . . . must refrain from buying yarn until March though. πŸ™

  12. I feel your pain on the Christmas knitting time crunch. The socks that I was going to knit for my mother-in-law have become a birthday (Jan. 5th) gift instead, so that buys me a little time. I have 1 more sock to finish for my father-in-law and then I’m done. I scrapped the hat and mittens I wanted to do for my little Godson too because all my gifts have to be mailed out this week. I just couldn’t do it!
    I LOVE those argyle socks. I can’t imagine knitting argyle… but wow it’s pretty!

  13. Curling, yes. Good use of time, circulating cool oxygen to the stressed brain and exercising muscles as well as being diverting and CANADIAN. (As opposed to, to pick a random example, log rolling.)A total dispensation from Tuesdays-are-for… as well as The Project Which Dare Not Speak its Name. (Pwid-n-sin, to us.)
    Argyles? Gawdhelpus.

  14. Isn’t it funny that curling and drinking often go together? Maybe if you combine two fun, non-knitting friendly activities, you can make better use of your time. Or maybe not but you’d have a lot of fun.
    Wishing you much free time for knitting and no major knitting related injuries!

  15. Have to say, though, you lucked out on the curling. When I went in February for my second time ever, I fell and broke my arm. Curling=pain.

  16. Two people on my list are getting IOUs on knitted objects. And since one was born yesterday (well, technically the day before, at five minutes before midnight) I don’t think she’ll be too upset. And the other person will be too shocked at the idea of getting socks that match her bathrobe.

  17. You and me both, sister. I have two scarves, one sweater and one hat to finish, plus I need to finish spinning and plying some sock yarn for Xmas presents for my knitterly friends.

  18. How very Canadian of you! I figure any sport that heavily relies on drinking of beer (which happens anytime I’ve been curling) is fun to me!

  19. I’m finished (as of the train ride home this evening) – want a hand? (tee hee hee evil chuckle from someone hiding behing the Atlantic Ocean!)
    Of course now I’ve said that the current knitting will jump up and bite me for hubris – Good Luck and have fun

  20. Does it make you feel better to know that, while I finished the knit stole for my MIL, I have to finish its companion FIL quilt by quilting, binding, washing, and drying this monster thing before mailing it away? I know Santa makes deliveries, but I wonder if he does pick up too?

  21. I am so impressed, even if you only get half of that done you’re still way ahead of most of us. I have 90% of one sock, one mitten thumb and an entire vest left to do. Plus I fly home for the holidays on Saturday and was really, really hoping not to have to do my kntting back home this year…
    It’s the vest that’s killing me. Unfortunately it was a last minute replacement and I have no other possiblities left for my brother (the recipient). I already had to beg out of a night out with him tomorrow with the explanation that I could either go out tomorrow night or give him a Christmas present, his choice!

  22. i think curling is the only (televised) olympic sport that i have any interest in whatsoever. i’m very jealous, it’s not something that i could do locally… πŸ™‚

  23. This is why I resist the Christmas knitting. The urge is there, but I don’t want all of the joy sucked out of the holiday. I’m grinchy enough knitting for myself.
    (Note to self: Must finish funny hat for FIL before Thursday, even if you’re tired of it already and pretty sure it will be a disaster anyway.)

    Um. Sorry. It’s just I’ve always wanted a legitimate reason to yell that ever since Due South, y’know?
    You went *curling* after wiping out on the stairs and whacking your elbow to hellangone? Grief, woman! But I’m glad you got some more fun, and hope you don’t go totally bonkers trying to finish the – per rams – Pwid-n-sin, at the least. (rams? *love* that. sounds Welsh.) I have hopes that if you overdo it to that point, Joe will gently sit upon you until you see some reason. πŸ˜‰ Remember all the wise attitude from yesterday’s post and the comments. Is that gone as are the fall leaves upon the wind, or something poetic like that? Tchk!
    All the socks are lovely; nice to see the green ones again!

  25. Someday I will try curling . . . meanwhile, knit on, as I will, with a sweater and 5 scarves to go.

  26. I’m sure this will sound ridiculous… but I *WISH* I was doing deadline knitting instead of deadline essay writing. I have a paper due today (still working on it!) and a paper due Friday, that isn’t even started. I would much rather be knitting than writing!!! (Writing, as I’m sure you know, is the most painful while it’s happening on a deadline. Later I’ll think “oh, how fun that was!”)

  27. Smart girl. Would you mind refreshing my memory on the colorway you used in all the step-outs? I can’t stop staring at those socks!

  28. Totally jealous about the curling. Curling is the whole reason I want to become Canadian or move to Canada, which is actually hard for an American to do.

  29. For the person who asked what curling is… It is a strategy game played on ice, that has been compared to a cross between shuffleboard and chess. It could also be compared to bocce ball and lawn bowling.
    There are two teams, of four players each. the players are called lead, second, third or vice, and skip. Each player has two stones or rocks. The teams flip a coin to decide who throws the rocks first. The skips stand at one end of the ice, while the other players gather at the other end. At each end of the sheet of ice there is a bull’s eye called the House. The skip from the first team stands in the house and holds a broom over the ice. This acts as a target for the player that is throwing the stone. The players alternate throwing stones down the ice, starting with the leads and working up to the skips. The goal is to get most of your stones close to the centre of the House, while preventing the opposing team from doing the same. After all 16 stones have been thrown, the team that has the stone closest to the centre of the house wins the end. The end is scored based on the number of stones that are in the house – its a little hard to describe without drawing diagrams. Anyway, once the scoring is complete, everyone turns around and starts again, going in the other direction. This goes on for 10 ends.
    The curling part of curling comes from the way that you throw the stone. If you turn the handle of stonein one direction, it will travel along a curving path in that direction. This lets you get around obstacles, like the other team’s stones.
    The brooms are used to clean debris off of the ice, because debris can make the stone go off course, and they are used to warm up the surface of the ice, which reduces friction and makes the stone travel further and straighter.
    It’s a lot of fun, and one of the great traditions (in Canada anyway), is that the winning team has to buy a round of drinks for the losing team after the game. Every curling rink in Canada is attached to a bar.

  30. Be of good cheer as you remember the *Twelve* Days of Christmas. Your gifts are on time all the way to January 6. (The Wise Men were wiser than they knew.)

  31. 7 Days and 7 Nights!!!! YIKES!!!!! I better get a move on! I still have a pair of legwarmers and 2 pair of socks to finish by then…..HELP! Oh well I got myself into this I can get myself out of it….maybe. Good luck and I hope “IT” stays away this yr for once!

  32. Yeah this year was no Knit gifts…well I lied I made a scarf as a birthday ift and I’m finishing some socks for my mother who really doesn’t appreciate hand knits she just get jealous if my dad gets more of them than her

  33. Curling Rocks! We should do that in Northern Michigan! (Why don’t we?)

  34. Curling? I thought that was an urban (maybe not so urban) Canadian Myth….I doubted it’s existence in the Canadian wild. I thought it was a for show at the Olypics thing. Truthfully- when it’s on,we ummmm we just plain giggle at it….
    *runs from computer and hide in her stash.
    PS- next time we’re invited to an office curling outing— I might just have to trek across the border and go! It does sound like fun… especially if you don’t suck at it;)
    My knitting’s going along fine- the housework? The wrapping? THAT I may need to reconsider and adjust my expectations on. Maybe I’ll just start installing locks on doors to protect the youngsters.

  35. Pretty socks, and smart move to not try to knit for everyone on the list.
    Seven days left? I’m keeping my husband’s sweater a secret, meaning that I only knit while he’s at the office. That means I have only 3 days left. I think I can do it.

  36. That curling photo made my day! During the last Olympics I became fascinated with the sport, and my husband would come home almost every day to find me glued to the tv. (Of course, he then would shake his head and wander away…)

  37. Um, that is awesome that you tried curling. I would love to try it!
    And, it’s ok to take people off the Christmas knitting list. My brother, who wanted this elaborate scarf with intarsia and craziness and things I know nothing about, isn’t getting it. And he was hoping for some hand knits for Christmas most of all! Oh well. πŸ™‚
    Now, stop reading the comments and get back to the knitting!!

  38. Good Luck on all your projects!
    I made the mistake Friday night of declaring to the Universe that I was in GOOD SHAPE this year, time-wise. I had the whole weekend to knit, sew, etc. & might just get most of my gifts done. 48 hours later, thanks to family events & shopping, I was just then STARTING at 9 pm Sunday! And most have a deadline of this weekend!!! I’ll hopefully finish the most critical item tonight — a special Christmas stocking. I spent 3 hours last night hand-sewing & embroidering decorations on it after having a “thing” removed from the end of my right index finger yesterday. I had to stop every 30 minutes to change bandages cause it kept bleeding through. Luckily I was sewing on red felt. I believe in putting something of myself into my projects, but that was ridiculous!
    Now, just 4 Corn Bags, 2 knitted house slippers, 1 fleece throw, a quilted paper-back book cover, and… something else (can’t remember at this time – maybe a Partridge) left to start/finish.
    Santa — all I want for Christmas is a NAP!

  39. And not even Lene could keep you on schedule?
    I can hear Lene now: it’s her job to *make* the schedule. What happens after that is not her department.
    If you will excuse me, I have to go knit now.

  40. Note to Lene: the schedule has to have a June starting date, so the Dear Harlot can have some fun at Christmas without having to worry so much.

  41. Gee, I could look at your beautiful hand-knit socks all day long and especially in the snow and especially argyle. Knit-On! The curling looked very interesting.

  42. It sounds totally doable to me – especially since the planet helped you out with those two gifts! Good luck!
    I love curling! (Watching, not participating. I’ve never participated, sadly.) We used to live in Michigan, and we got CBC on our cable system, and I became a huge curling fan. I also love Red Green and “This Hour Has 22 Minutes.” πŸ™‚

  43. During the last Olympics, I was glued to the curling events. I can’t explain this. It’s essentially shuffleboard. I think I’d rather watch paint dry than watch people play shuffleboard.
    It must be the brooms. And the yelling. The brooms and yelling combine to give the event just that little hint of surreality that lets you know the Scots invented it.
    Congratulations at not sucking at it. πŸ™‚ Now Lene just needs to crack the whip a little…

  44. You can totally finish that much knitting in 7 days! And if you don’t, well, wrap up the unfinished stuff and an IOU. Don’t kill yourself so your family can enjoy their new socks at your memorial service…or worse, your competency hearing!

  45. I have a whole sweater to knit before Christmas (although it’s for a 10 year so at least it’s not adult sized). Help!
    Also? Curling looks like so much fun! I’m in ice rinks all the time for my son’s hockey team but none of them seem to offer curling as a sport. Sometimes it sucks to be in the US.

  46. I started watching curling during the 2002 Games, just to figure out how the damn sport worked. I fell in love and watched as much of the 2006 Games as I could — to the point of TiVoing matches that aired in the middle of the night!
    Good luck with the holiday knitting. I need to get back to my super double secret crafty project with a deadline of tomorrow night!

  47. Yes, I know how you feel. We have discovered here that Santa doesn’t knit as fast as she thinks she does. ~:) She can, however, knit in the dark, which is a very good thing…

  48. I think I might like curling. I will have to investigate – after Christmas.
    My list – Flame socks, Flame sweater (what am I thinking?), various baby hats, and handwarmers – at least 2 pair.
    Oh, and I am working full-time until Friday…
    Good luck!

  49. Wow, Stephanie,
    You’re really concentrating on that curling! Please let us know how the curling thing is done! I don’t think I know of anyone who “curls”! LOL!!! Happy knitting!

  50. Wow and here I am fretting about finishing a lil old seed stitch hat for my niece with “just” 6.5 days ahead of me. Sheesh, by the time Christmas rolls around you’ll either be on pace for a spot in the knitter’s equivalent of the Guinness Book for completing the most knitted gift projects, or you’ll be getting fitted for a straight jacket to wear on your a trip to the padded room. πŸ™‚ God bless ya Steph. And God speed on the UFOs!

  51. Screw the knitting (buy some more gifts) — have fun instead! Time with family and friends is more important.

  52. My mother and I were talking last night about the frantic behavior that overtakes seemingly smart people at this of year. What all of us who set December 25 as our immovable and unforgiving deadline seem to forget is that Christmas is 12 DAYS LONG!! So the mittens aren’t done by 12/25. They can be a “4th Day of Christmas” gift instead. If you think of Christmas as a season and not merely a day, you give yourself until midnight on January 5 to finish projects.
    Go for it! Embrace the 12 days of Christmas!

  53. don’t be hard on yourself. I’ve let go of all the holiday gifts that I wished I had knit and am just working on the new ballet scarf from Mellisa Leapman and finishing a pair of socks. You have so much energy. Keep up the good work. You inspire me!

  54. Nights? Um, you do remember that you need to sleep, don’t you? You might think you don’t, but sleep deprivation leads one to make tragic knitting errors.

  55. I’m with Lissa (and other people, I’m sure, I haven’t read all the comments), have some fun! I had no knitted gifts on my list this year and was extremely relieved. Just a sweater and knee socks last year made me a very unhappy camper! That said, I have total faith that you can do it.

  56. SO how fast CAN you knit. I know the feeling I have pot holder that need to be finished up and then felted plus be mailed to Georgia. This is why people who want special ordered items done need to order them BEFORE the 1st of December especially when the yarn needs to be ordered.

  57. I’ll second the Camp Harlot T-shirt idea! But I’m cool with it if you wait until after the holidays to work on it! πŸ˜‰
    I admire all of you that are doing multiple projects prior to xmas! I’m grafting the toe of the one pair of socks that I committed to for xmas and I’m ecstatic that I got that done with two sick toddlers. Sit in wap mommy? Yep, I’m typing with a two year old wiggling in my lap. That’s as multitasking as I get!

  58. You can do it! I think my list might actually be longer than yours, which worries me, but I am contenting myself with the fact that several of my items are smaller than yours. Heh.

  59. Another American that loves the curling here… (raising her hand high) I think there’s more of us than you know…..
    You’ve done marvelous with the knitting! I’m sure a bit of curling & brew was the warm up workout thing you needed to loosen up & really hit your “OMG it’s in a week” stride….be careful of that elbow!

  60. As to your prior post, my condolences for the loss in your extended family.
    I’ve laughed my head off reading about your “IT.” We have it at my house too, seemingly every year. My husband is not amused. But, he likes the way my knits mean he doesn’t have to shop. This year I had sixteen gifts on my list plus a holiday sweater to finish for me. I’m all done except sewing up and blocking the baby sweater and knitting the pillow with the Portuguese Water Dog on it. And, I don’t have to have the pillow done until December 27. No “IT” for me this year; just an “it.”
    You and Joe curl?? I tried it once and did suck. I went down the ice on my belly still holding the stone on my first try. I love to watch curling, though. My husband’s Rotary club for years sent a curling team to the big Rotary event in Winnepeg..

  61. I think you can totally manage that in a week, if you stick to it. That is, of course, assuming that the big secret thing is a sweater or something, not a car cozy. Cuz you know, 25% of a people sweater is substantially less than 25% of a car cozy. No pressure!
    PS: Is that your “green” sweater you’re wearing in the picture? If so, take heart; it looks more green from a distance.

  62. You’ve got to check out this song about curling!
    Jonathan Coulton Curl
    It’s the first link. . . he he he! I LOVE this guy.
    I think there’s even a youtube “video.”

  63. Oh, and the line about “keeping the Canadians down” is totally tounge in cheek. . . we all know you guys dominate at curling.
    Didn’t want to inadvertently offend

  64. Welll. I was feeling so smug back in October that I was finished with 2 Irish Hiking scarves, that I decided to make a sweater for my dearly beloved. I got started on it the Monday after Thanksgiving(in the US), then had surgery 3 days later. You can see on the raglan part of the front left of the sweater where I was still on Vicadin. I’m almost done with the body(top down no seams….I HATE sewing my knitting after I’m done) then have to do the sleeves. Fortunately for me, dh has been working two jobs, so I can knit day and night. And have been. I agree with other commentors…TWELVE days of Christmas!!!

  65. But … I thought the whole point was to have fun. If it’s not fun, go to Canadian Tire. πŸ™‚
    (Yes, you’ve probably hear that 100 times before, but it’s worth reminding ourselves once in a while.)

  66. You are far far ahead of me. I have left to knit 1.5 pair of mittens (were gloves, realized time fiddling with individual fingers is time wasted)and 1.5 pair of felted clogs (that also need to be felted)by Saturday for overnight shipping. Then it’s on to the stealth boyfriend knitting. I am sure you know how hard it is to knit a secret project when the recipient is unemployed and at home watching your every move.

  67. If you can’t get it all done during the twelve days of Christmas (Dec 26 through Jan 6), just wait until Chinese New Year. Gung hay fat choy!

  68. I laughed out loud when I saw the picture:
    That’s our Steph! Curling! Nice form!
    And I second a commenter above:
    (Yes, I know it’s rude to ‘cyber-shout’ in all caps, but that’s what the skips sound like, you know!)
    I think you need a knitting skip — to tell you when to HURRY and when to get OFF the knitting (aka sleeping) and when to go EASY, EASY. And when to STAY WITH IT.
    Long-time curler here from Wisconsin/Minnesota; in Northern Minnesota, high school hockey and curling are bigger than football (and you can play them a lot more of the school year).
    And you can easily have a sock in your pocket (mmm, sounds a little rude) to knit on when the other team’s throwing; or at least when the skip is figuring angles and turns and weight in those last few rocks. Just be careful with the beer afterwards. But you’re used to that.

  69. As a college student, I reserve the right to refuse to acknowledge Christmas until after finals are over. This year, that means I have to do all my Christmas shopping after 10am on Dec. 21st. Stupid 8am final on Friday morning…
    But I will admit, it keeps the expectations low, for the most part.
    Does Lene offer schedule adjustments?

  70. ACtually, I have a great idea. After you knit something, just toss it into a bowl full of snow and let it melt in your house. Add a little warm water and let it soak. Then as you dry it out, you can block it. AND you can take pictures of it in the bowl.

  71. You CURLED! I want that pic for my new desktop photo, what are the chances you would make that available as wallpaper?
    And is that the Rhinebeck sweater from last year? I love that sweater. LOVE that sweater.
    Go girl go. I have to finish a Christmas scarf, a non-Christmas Big Secret Thing, and (judging from the snow outside) a sh!tload of mittens and hats for sheer necessity. But come the new year, I’m hopping on the Harlot Sock Recipe train and stashblasting. Hubby wants a pair of alpaca socks… and he’s buying the yarn, God bless him.

  72. Where does one go to curl? The Curl-o-rama? Do they serve beer? Do all Canadian sports incorporate cleaning into the gameplan? I’d buy everyone a Target giftcard and sit back and drink wine.

  73. Curl-o-rama????
    Go, Steph, go!
    [If I knew a knitting cheer I’d shout it. Though I have to say I’m rather philosophically opposed to cheerleading given its habitual overtones… ]

  74. There is nothing wrong whatsoever if a few people get a box of string, a photo from the pattern, and a promise that the object will be finished by Valentines day, particularly if those people are adults. Then snatch back the box. If they don’t get it, they don’t deserve the hand knit object, because they clearly don’t appreciate the time and effort it takes.
    I got boxes of string almost every year for Christmas from my mom. I think I took up knitting so I could have finished things. πŸ™‚

  75. Yep, curling is fun and a good reason to have warm handknit sweaters and socks, too. And to drink Scotch, honouring the originators of the game.
    I’m doing OK with the Christmas knitting this year – one vest, one pair mitts and matching Calorimetry headband, one pair socks and one child’s sweater – but I still haven’t started the Ene’s shawl my daughter was supposed to get last Christmas. So do I win some sort of Worst Knitter/Mother prize for that?

  76. I am impressed with your curling; I shouldn’t have been surprised since your ARE canadian. I used to curl, I loved it. Then, I met the man that became my husband and he thought it was the boringist sport ever. So, I gave up my brief curling career. But, curling takes a lot, lot of knitting time. Did you knit yourself a curling sweater??

  77. Nice curling sweater you were wearing there.
    My Christmas knitting feels done. I sent off knit-laden packages of love today. I have a Pidge blocking. I have a pair of fingerless mitts that may (or may not) get blocked. I dropped the ball on a couple items, as always (or so it seems). I have one thing to sew. It will take most of tomorrow evening/night. I’m making roast turkey & fixins’ at dd school for lunch tomorrow (60 hungry kids). I’m a little frazzled. But, I think I can say the deadline knitting is done. And that feels good.

  78. I’m delurking here because I absolutely have to ask, what DO you do while you’re knitting? I love to knit, and I have tons to get done, but I don’t have TV and can only handle so many movies at a time. I also can’t do just one thing…so I have to be knitting and doing something else! What are some knitting friendly activities?
    I love your blog:) I always skip through my blog reader to get to it:)

  79. You may not get all of your ambitious Christmas knitting done, but you made some awesome memories along with those fun sheep cookies. That’s worth more in the long run, isn’t it?

  80. I love. Love. LOVE that you were curling! Absolutely spectacular.
    As for life getting in the way of Christmas stuff…I am right there with you. You seem realistic but encouraged – which can only be a good thing.

  81. While watching you enter into a knitting frenzy is amusing and becoming something of a Christmas tradition, you have to go back a read your post. You said that you are not going to have any non-knitting fun. That is just wrong. I may be struck out of the club for saying this, but there is a lot of non-knitting related fun to be had at this time of year and I feel strongly that you should continue to try to experience it. Give them a bath bomb and call it a day.
    Everyone else can shoot me now.

  82. You know – that doesn’t sound as terrible a schedule as it could be!!!
    and if you’re feeling chilly this christmas : spare a thought for this Wool-pig who is having a Red Christmas in 38degC heat!!!
    I’m contemplating printing out your photo of the socks in the snow and just holding it in my hands for a while!!

  83. I just got to know:
    The Super Secret Special Project? What is the yarn? I need some of it. Like, now. Also, curling? I want to be a Canadian.

  84. Why would you walk away from the fun? Isn’t that what the holiday is about? Your gift would be spending time with people you like (and love) and recharging your batteries.
    I say, go curling.

  85. Is the mystery object in Classic Elite Skye tweed? The discontinued stuff? I’m pushing to get an FO out that that too. Good luck!

  86. “I am not so much of a dummy-head that I don’t know an impossibility when I see it”
    “I need to finish the argyle, then knit a hat, then a pair of socks, then another pair of socks, then the great big secret thing. I might be able to finish. Maybe.”
    Anyone else seeing a potential logic problem here?

  87. My mom used to do curling on the local pond in suburban Boston, Massachusetts!
    I was inspired by your scheduling woes and – actually gave back a commission when the friend decided she had enough time to knit the socks herself! It took an enormous act of will, but then an even bigger (and easier!) commission fell into my lap, so clearly the Goddess of Knitting was smiling at my unusual display of good sense.
    So I even had time to pull out a skein of chenille and hand it to my son, who is knitting a scarf for my mom! It’s a nice long car ride to get there, so he might even finish it.
    Or, he’ll have his first UFO!
    best of luck to everyone with yarn and a project underway – cheers, paula

  88. Well, the 1st thing you need to do to free up some knitting time is to quit reading all these comments.
    Like you,and like always, life has gotten in the way of my Christmas knitting–but I never doubted it would. The Baby Bump sweater will certainly be unfinished-hope still springs that the hat,neckwarmers and the Dragon Scarf will be complete…..so I am breathing in and out and obsessing about other things. Like all the food I need to get into the house before the ravaging herd known as family show up. And I tell myself that family is what it is all about-screw the unfinished gifts. And my son is bringing “the girl” to Christmas! Poor thing-this should scare her to death.

  89. Oh, and when is Camp Harlot scheduled and how do I order the t-shirt???? Long sleeve please-I live in Michigan . πŸ™‚

  90. I effing love curling! Luckily Vermont is close enough to Canada that we get Canadian TV channels so I can catch it every occasionally.
    I knit very little for the holidays this year and am done with everything except the Hat of Insanity (so named because it’s colorwork on 2mm needles). It felt really good to let the knitting go this year. I feel much less stressed.
    Happy Holidays!

  91. To Robin Marie above–I can’t “only” knit either. I’ve become a fan of books on tape or cd checked out of the library.
    Half a Dashing and I’m really done. I swear. I know, I know, I said I was done 2 pairs of mitts ago but this time I’m really really going to be finished. So I can learn to knit socks.

  92. Stephanie, did you end up finishing your kauni buttonholes? I’ve been looking in your archives,and can’t find it finished, but I thought you had, but maybe you didn’t? Not trying to nudge you, since you are busy with other projects, I just want to see it done, if it is, because I’m thinking about how I want to make the neckline on my DDs, so I’m looking at a bunch of them….guess I should go search on Raverly.

  93. just consider using the snow as a backdrop a shortcut for getting items wet for blocking. the curling looks fun, i might even be able to do it without mucking up too much.

  94. Grace already used the Hurry! Hurray harrrrrrd! Yup. yup. Yup. joke.
    I can get Craig to come and sweep for you if it’ll help hurry things up; he’s a great Lead.

  95. Give yourself a break and go back to the mall, they have LOTS of good gifts. I’m sure the receiptents on your list already have or will get hand-knits in the future. They will live even if they get store gifts from there favorite knitter. Christmas is about fun and family, so why ruin it with so much stressful kintting? kinda sucks the joy out of the knitting as well as the holiday. Just Saying…
    Oh, and the Unoriginal Hat, I made three in 5 days, now my Christmas knitting is done, I just have to bake cookies like my life depended on it.

  96. When my husband worries that I’m spending too much time on the Christmas knitting, I just send him to your blog. It makes the one vest I need to finish (button bands, arm bands, sewing) before Christmas seem paltry.
    Unfortunately, potential knitting time before Christmas seems to be taken up with activities like parties, holiday lights at Greenfield Village, and other things that are not nearly as exciting as curling.

  97. I have always wanted to try that curling thing – I have an idea that this may be the one way I could be successful at the Olympics – including the knitting one.

  98. Steph, another heretic here. Put down the knitting and go have fun. Years from now when the socks would be long gone to the “Too Hole-y To Wear” bin, your friends and loved ones will still remember spending non-knitting time with you. “Remember when Mom went curling and she cracked us up by…” Heck, I’m going to lunch today with an ordinarily obsessed knitter who decided to ditch both work and knitting for the afternoon.
    Understand that this post was written by a woman who has only one more scarf to finish (and crochet at that) and three pearl necklaces to bead.

  99. Seconding, or thirding, the heretics above. Steph, I know a cry for help when I read one. Do not, do not, do not walk away from the fun! The Blog Beast wants to see you knitting, but the Blog Beast also wants to see you happy. Do you think we can have fun knitting when we know that your knitting is just stressing you and making you crazy?

  100. What don’t you know how to do???
    I am starting to scratch things off my list, too.
    The part where I thought I could spin and knit my dad a sweater for his Dec 30th birthday (roving bought at Rhinebeck, mind you!)will be hard to acknowledge defeat.

  101. Curling! I love curling, the only time I get to see it is maybe during the olympics. I am the only American I know who gets it and I don’t know why. We don’t have curling here where I live, shoot the temporary holiday ice rink melted last week!
    I just love curling!

  102. This is probably a suggestion already posted, but oh well. To avoid the whole Christmas rush I do a whole bunch of small patterns in between my big ones(especially a pattern/yarn/technique I’m dying to try) then put them in a bin. Come Christmas/Birthday time, I find something they’d like see if it would fit them (or make it fit)then boom, a gift without any pressure so I can have fun and avoid the mall.

  103. That was very clever of you to take the Universe’s gift. VERY.
    And I feel so much better reading your list of what is left for you to knit. I do not knit near as fast as you do so have about half a child’s sweater, 1.75 of a pair of fingerless mitts, a whole pair of fingerless mitts and a 2/3 of a cabled sock still to go. Three gifts are already done (one was Selbuvotter mittens) so there really is hope. Although I will admit to being a bit tired of spending every spare minute knitting. I am craving some spinning time and some reading time. And all of a sudden curling looks inviting too. VBG Namaste

  104. Yeah…I had to cut “Falling asleep in front of the television at 11:30 at night” in order to make my Christmas deadlines. Of all the things to take off my list…

  105. You know… it never really occurred to me that you could knit aarghyle socks without the skull and crossbones, but they still look pretty good! Oh, and if you have any yarn leftover from the Big Secret Thing, it’d make a great Boxing Day present for someone (like say, me!).

  106. Early morning Saturday TV, northern Montana, early 1970’s…CURLING on Canadian Broadcasting Channel fighting its way across the hundreds of miles of snowy airwaves straight from the exotic land to the north with the beautiful name–Alberta. My little brother and I preferred it to reruns of Sparticus on the other channel.
    Beautiful argyles, I look forward to seeing the tutorial. Nice color choices.

  107. Argyles ARE fun – and they do that warp space-thingy quite well. I have one and about 1/3 of the second one done. Had to pause for other, more pressing knitting, but hope to get back to my butterfly argyles very soon.

  108. So did you knit the argyle in the round? Or back and forth like the directions say? I don’t get why you can’t work the pattern in the round.
    P.S. Watched Men With Brooms on your recomendation. Very funny. Good for showing some Canadian culture/humor to us Yanks.

  109. Now, Harlot… it seems you have dipped into Socks 1 and 2 of the Step-out green socks… thereby leaving you with none. Write that down somewhere so come December 18, 2008, you don’t think Plan Z is to use the Step-out green socks in a clever move… just warnin’…

  110. I would maybe move the Big Secret Thing up the list a bit. My incredible psychic powers tell me that the recipient is rather talented at expressing thanks and gratitutde.
    I have several Finished Objects but still have one sock and … wait for it … half a sock-weight vest to go for DH, who, thankfully (at least for knitting purposes), is not a Big Man of Canada. At this point I have to crank out 160 yards a day, or about 2.5 hours of knitting per day, to meet my goal, not counting blocking and weaving-in-ends time.

  111. My mother knit one sock ever, it was an argyle, she gave it to her beau for Christmas, just the one finished one and worked to finish the other. Shortly after his mother stretched the lone sock over his brother’s casted foot and my mother never knit another sock. She also decided she could not be the daughter in law to such a monster and promptly broke up with the beau. She is scarred and can not figure out why on earth anyone would ever ever knit socks, though she enjoys them greatly.
    cool curling, jealous.

  112. Curling? I love to watch curling on CBC. Way up here in northern NY near the St Lawrence River, the CBC station comes in best (analog). However, I don’t understand the scoring system at all. Love to watch, though. I watched TONS of curling the year the NHL players were locked out.

  113. I finished sewing together the cabled afghan for my boyfriend last night. That was such a huge load off my shoulders that all my other projects seem small in comparison!

  114. *Gasp* I wish I had snow to use as a backdrop!
    I know how you feel with the gift knitting…I nearly had a heart attack the other day when I asked for the date and got the 15th. Best of luck with the rest of those awesome projects!

  115. 1. Having fun is never a bad idea.
    2. Knew those step outs would come in handy some day.
    3. Fabulous Argyles!
    4. People who know you well enough to receive hand knitted gifts from you love you. They will understand if said gifts are a wee bit late. Don’t work so hard that you fail to have any more fun over the holidays. That’s the only sure way to kick “It” in the proverbial arse.

  116. I have hope! I finished the only actual holiday knit this morning in time to give it the quickest steam blocking known to man and pop it into the mail. I’m using the day before Christmas for the super secret things for my hubby (who sadly has to work).

  117. christmas is forever
    christmas past-cristmas now
    all wrapped up and put in
    tissue dotted with stars
    in a box of memories tied
    with a big red bow for
    christmas in times yet to come

  118. Curling, how fun! Sometimes I feel that I am the only Canadian around that hasn’t curled before. I really want to try it one day.
    I had best get back to the knitting, you are not the only one who is behind.

  119. Great curling shot! I’m a little surprised that you didn’t find a way to curl and knit within the same time frame…technically your team is only delivering the rocks 50% of the time, right?! And…you’re a stressed knitter with a deadline looming. Next time, get a photo of you knitting with the broom resting in your arms too! (just kidding – everyone should get time off for fun.)

  120. I see a glimmer of hope for you! I, however, am screwed. sigh.
    The argyle is lovely, and I’m looking forward to your exposition on how it’s done… although I’m assuming that’ll be some time after Christmas… πŸ™‚

  121. Are there little flecks of brown in those green Fleece Artist socks? It looks very much like a remnant of Fleece Artist yarn I bought at LK Yarns in Halifax two years ago and knit a scarf from. And now my Halifax memory yarn appears in a Harlot creation? How cool is that? πŸ™‚

  122. Stephanie,
    My mom and I downloaded the audiobook of At Knit’s End for the drive home from my university last night. It’s a truly wonderful book, and really speaks to the every-knitter. I’m the try most anything once, not-too-worried about mistakes type knitter. Mom’s afraid of DPNs. Both of us adored your book.
    Thank you!

  123. STOP KNITTING!!!! JUST FOR 5 MINUTES !!!!!! We’re all in serious withdrawal here, reloading and reloading and reloading your page. WE NEED AN UPDATE. Mercy upon us, honey, we’ll help you knit or write apology cards for you, whatever, just update the danged blog.
    I need a patch or some blog-quitting gum or something. Honey, we need the harlot page fix here.
    snowflakes and peace upon your head from all of your fans. now update us, WillYaPlease ??????

  124. If you were a really generous CHRISTMAS ELF, you would post the recipe for those argyle socks.
    Me want.
    c’mon, where’s your holiday spirit????

  125. By the time I get to your blog, there are always at least a hundred comments. So I’m going to try to get your attention here.
    The movie is called ‘Men with Brooms’. One of the stars is Leslie Nielsen, of ‘Naked Gun’ fame. That should tell you that it’s a comedy. It’s not a great movie. But is is amusing, heartwarming, and worth the time spent watching.

  126. Does somebody can give me url adress of the video where Yarn Harlot shows her style of knitting?
    She knits fast and I want to learn her way of knitting
    Thank you πŸ™‚

  127. Well, you did have the good sense to lay the argyle one down on a bag.
    You go, girl! I have to Kitchener my mom’s sock toes and then I’ll be officially done. (Ignore that Year of the Pig Bag in the corner, waiting to be done & felted. It’s not on the official list, and she may get it for her birthday.)
    In the mood to bake cookies!!

  128. Stephanie, we’ve just recently met; introduced by your book, At Knit’s End/Meditations for Women who Knit to Much. I’ve learned so much about myself from your book, i.e., I may be crazy but I’m not alone(as I read this blog, I see how REALLY not alone I am)! I’ve also learned the moral of many famous quotes, none of which made sense until combined with a knitting experience.
    My yarn babies (stash) –known as such because of the constantly growing family, and I thank you.

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