Best Laid Plans

Today’s post should have been a parade of finished things. (Instead you’re getting this, and a series of asides.)  I had big plans to get Meg to model everything.  Two pairs of socks, a hat, a cowl, but two things went wrong.  The first thing was that I actually didn’t finish the hat- which is sort of an insurmountable barrier to showing you it finished. (Today’s specialty: The bleeding obvious.) 

The second thing was that because I’ve been in book hell (and I shouldn’t really call it that.  There are jobs way more similar to being engulfed in flames than being a writer, it just doesn’t feel that way right before a deadline) I lost track of what day it was (that’s a side effect of a deadline. It’s your brain’s way of trying to protect you from the truth about the deadline and when it is) and this morning when I asked Meg to model everything she said no, because she was proofing a ten page essay for finals at University.  (She actually didn’t say no.  She just looked at me the way that I would look at her if she asked me to model her knits right before my deadline. I got it.)  Seconds after that, while I looked at her and she looked at me, I realized that I really didn’t have time today for a photoshoot either, and we traded laptops, proofed each others latest essays and moved on.  (Hers was brilliant. She said mine was "good". I pointed out the inequity and she said that she was a kid and I was an adult, and therefore she wasn’t obligated to make me feel better the way that I was obligated to make her feel better.  I said "that sucks" she said "Being a mother sucks.  It’s why I’m avoiding it." There was nothing to say but "Touché".)

In any event, I’ve got a lot to do (which means that I’ve entered the phase of producing a book in which there is alternating waves of productive work and hysteria, punctuated by fits of hysterical laughter and desperate weeping) so I’ll distract you with pictures of the unfinished hat. (Because even in my desperate state, I can be distracted with pretty yarn pictures, so I figure it must be true for you.)

Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Honour (silk/alpaca) Colourway: (Holy Cow I don’t know)  Pattern: Forester (Ravelry link.)

103 thoughts on “Best Laid Plans

  1. It might not be finished, but it’s still gorgeous. Having just met my writing deadline, I’m skipping off to the mountains for the rest of the week. Sorry. May your day go smoothly and be filled with brilliant words (yours).

  2. Beautiful hat. Don’t forget to breathe as the deadline approaches. That’s kind of important. Can’t wait to read your book. All the best to you and yours.

  3. Pretty yarn pictures make up for a lot. For example, we still haven’t figured out how to bend the space/time continuum to our will…yet. Good luck with your time management in the interim.

  4. Great hat. I am trying to get one started, but after 3 tries I realize I evidently cannot count to 104. I have counted it until I am seeing double, which means I know I will not be able to count to 104 correctly now. This hat is going to take a while, maybe I will just work on a scarf. I only have to count to 3 multiple times. Surely I can do that.

  5. The colour looks suspiciously like Icehouse. Of course I may have some bias in that direction having just opened a yummy yarn package that had Honour in that colourway in it.
    Gorgeous, nonetheless. 🙂

  6. Oh, your daughter is hilarious. How nice that you got to proof each others’ essays – lovely! Just as lovely as your almost hat. Can’t wait to see what emerges from book hell…

  7. I covet your hat/yarn immensely!
    That being said, some writers can more easily access their genius when stress levels are high. All those bipolar writers and artists were/are more creative and prolific in their manic states. I’m not sure this works with knitting, because last minute emergency knitting tends to affect my gauge rather strenuously.
    Oh yeah, Mercury goes retrograde tomorrow, so you can use that as an excuse!

  8. Gorgeous hat, and almost finished, too!
    About the deadline: Don’t forget to breathe.
    I’m not doing any Xmas knitting this year, other than one pair of felted alpaca socks for hubby. I wouldn’t have done those, except that I accidentally felted a pair of his alpaca socks. Now they fit me, and they’re wonderful. I’m making it up to him.

  9. Do you know, right about now I agree with your daughter about the Mom thing. I’m wondering if I could change jobs at this point. Hmmmmm.

  10. Gorgeous yarn! You’re right, it does work.
    And I hear you about one day melting into another for a writer. It makes my husband laugh when I say, “Is it Tuesday already?” –when it’s Thursday. : )
    Happy knitting
    And I know you’ll get ‘er done.

  11. At times like this I like to remember the immortal words of the late, great Douglas Adams…
    “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”
    Douglas Adams
    English humorist & science fiction novelist (1952 – 2001)

  12. “I’ve entered the phase of producing a book in which there is alternating waves of productive work and hysteria, punctuated by fits of hysterical laughter and desperate weeping”
    Wait, so this is a normal stage? It’s to be expected? I’m supposed to feel like this? Cause I’m in the middle of a book project right now, and I was starting to think that I just wasn’t handling it well. If you feel that way too then somehow it’s now normal and expected and reasonable. I can’t even *tell* you how much better that makes me feel.

  13. It is indeed a very pretty hat. And I bet the yarn feels even nicer than it looks. Which is warm and soft and wonderful. Also, it looks an awful lot like Icehouse, but I could be wrong.
    Good luck with the book deadline!

  14. I love the hat. The people on your Christmas list are darn lucky! I like Megan’s comments about avoiding motherhood – she sounds just as funny as you are.

  15. Despite your stress, I’m so very glad a new book is coming! I always look forward to your essays – no pressure or anything1 (-;

  16. Well, whatever reasons she has, I’m glad that she’s waiting, at least through university!
    Beautiful hat, phenomenal(Sp? – too lazy too look up and brain won’t work) procrastination.

  17. Wow! I have a family to take care of, exams to study for, deadlines, appointments, and you know what, I’m NOT knitting. Well, hardly, only at knit group once a week. That you are still churning out anything knit-wise AND getting almost all of your other work done makes you my hero! You can do it!!!!

  18. Well, ’tis the season of deadlines but you might talk to your publisher about moving book deadlines to months other than December — bad enough this month is filled with all manner knitting and other deadlines. I’m with you on the hysteria!

  19. Should you ever get to a point where pictures of pretty yarn & pretty knits do NOT distract you, we should all look for signs of imminent, catastrophic disaster.
    Glad that’s not today.
    Best wishes.

  20. Note to Lorna’s Laces: You have a slight imprecision issue with your labeling. If hono[u]r were made of silk and alpaca it would be a much more popular concept. (Anyone remember what Scarlet O’Hara said about it?)
    Joshilyn Jackson regularly posts estimates of her Mental Health Number as she finishes a book. At this stage it’s usually gone stratospheric and involves commas.

  21. Since I can indeed be distracted by pictures of pretty yarn, I poked around on the Lorna’s Laces site and it looks like your hat is the colorway Cool. In case that was in anyway mildly distressing you. Just my little contribution to your sanity.

  22. Oh, the joys of holidays with writing deadlines! Another circle of Dante’s hell, perhaps – and not engulfed in flames, but snow? 🙂
    Nice hat WIP!

  23. Coming from paper/exam hell, I can tell you that it is the same all over. I haven’t been able to knit in days (I’m taking breaks today to knit a round or two for my sanity)

  24. Don’t you look at things in retrospect? I think retrospect sounds better than post mortem??

  25. I am always distracted by yarn. I must share an event in my knitting life. I was sitting on a bench at Disney World, knitting while waiting for my husband. A little girl watches a minute, whispers to her dad, who says, it’s OK, she won’t hurt people when she is doing that. Little did he know I was more likely to hurt people if I wasn’t doing it.
    Then he said, do you know what she is doing? She is crocheting. I said, no, she isn’t. She is knitting. Two sticks, string. Knitting. You can come closer and watch if you’d like. The little girl did step closer and watch for several minutes.

  26. Wow, someone is getting a hat in my favourite colors. Lucky devils!
    Keep breathing, keep writing. It will all be fine.

  27. How funny would it be if there actually WAS a color way named Holy Cow? Love the hat, breathe, have a cup of tea, breathe some more and throw in some chocolate for good measure

  28. I can’t believe you still have book deadlines. When is your publisher just going to let your writing unfold as it should? Haven’t they noticed that your physical ailments always seem to coincide with deadlines?

  29. That Meg is a smart (and wise) and funny girl. She takes after her mom.
    Reading blogs and blog comments seems to be my brain’s way of coping with (denying) Christmas deadlines. I’m supposed to be shopping for shoes to go with a party outfit, not my favorite activity. Much more fun to look at pretty yarn and laugh with others who are avoiding reality. I’m in good company.

  30. Your hat is gorgeous and your self imposed deadline is biting your behind in a similar way to my self imposed non-writing deadline is biting mine. What are we thinking trying to do anything other than knit like mad women between now and the holidays?

  31. and I haven’t got close to finishing my Christmas knitting, the only upside for me is knowing you haven’t too!
    But the hat (so far) is lovely! And the book will be bought by all of us, as you make us feel better about ourselves

  32. This hat looks lovely. I can’t wait to see it finished. The colors and the pattern are amazing.

  33. Work keeps interfering with my counting to 104 for this hat,but I finally made it only to discover I cannot follow pattern directions today either. I mean afterall it is only a K2,P2 rib, but I even messed that up and had to rip it back again. I may just have to forget the hat all together if it does not work out this time. Oh, for the weekend and a Law and Order marathon to get some quality knitting in. I am glad I do not have to work toward a book deadline and am no longer in school writing essays.

  34. My favorite quote about deadlines, taken off a professor’s door:
    “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they go by.”

  35. thank you. that was both pretty AND distracting. just what i needed.

  36. I have done nothing at all to get ready for Christmas, except finish a scarf for my daughter. Your pretty hat has indeed distracted me from thinking about the number of days left until Christmas morning. Thank you. Oh, I do have a turkey in the freezer, but I didn’t buy it. It was a gift from a retired friend whose company gives him a turkey each December. Somehow Christmas morning always happens in spite of my procrastinating ways.

  37. Love the hat so far…… And you definitely can’t go wrong posting Lorna’s Laces or Malabrigo pictures in my book. 😉

  38. I totally get the deadline panic thing. Only in my case, i feel strong pulsing in my temples, and the cats pick up on that energy and think they need to help me use some of that energy by letting them in/out, or that jumping into my lap or walking across my keyboard will make things better.
    I hope your back feels better, i’m such a wuss when it comes to physical pain.
    Oh, and i agree with Megan, although i do think she’s reached an age where she can cut you some slack now and again. Just enough to give you a boost, but not so often that it fails to surprise.

  39. Steph, I know totally off topic, but I just noticed that the total amount given to without borders just made a huge jump..right? That’s pretty cool. Just sayin… ;0)

  40. Instead of touché I would have said ouch.
    The colors are beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  41. My 12 year-old thinks a lot like your daughter…
    BEAUTIFUL hat…so far. LOVE that yarn!!!!!
    Good luck with the deadline(s)!

  42. ANY kind of deadlines make me go bezerk! I’m surprised you can still knit till this book is done ,or post on here. Thank you and goodluck

  43. Steph,
    Rise from the desk, head to the Alcohol Assembly Area, aka “the fridge” and pour yourself a cold one.
    It’ll all look better after the buzz. During the buzz you won’t care.
    Knit on, sistah!

  44. You can SO distract me with pictures of gorgeous yarn…. I have a friend who authored a text book and I remember the deadlines! Not pretty. You will finish and then life will return to “normal”. We will all be with you for the duration…

  45. Oh man, I am writing a dissertation right now (for a PhD in anthropology), and I can relate. OH how I can relate! The weeping hysterics!
    THanks for the pretty pictures; they really do always help. 🙂

  46. I think I can relate, although I am not on a deadline. My work schedule has been crazy since right before Thanksgiving (U.S.). I’m either working late or traveling and have missed my Tuesday evening stint at my LYS two weeks in a row! This is the time of year when I want to be knitting and sewing and baking and creating wonderful pots of soup. Instead I am leading professional development or planning it or driving to it or catching up from it. Wishing you all the best with your book (yay! that means more of your wonderful wit for the rest of us) and the gorgeous yarns!!

  47. Oh my gosh! So true! I am totally distracted by pretty pictures of yarn, so much so in fact, that they make my head crank 180° whiplash-style, much as pretty girls do for most men!

  48. I cannot wait to read the book. (I hope that helps rather than increasing the pressure.) I love that Meg makes me burst out laughing too! And that colourway and those cables are gorgeous. (Watch out for those sales and that baby alpaca and…)

  49. I do hope you will be able to come up for air soon(so to speak). I know i go thru days when i can’t breath. The hat it beautiful.

  50. I do hope you will be able to come up for air soon(so to speak). I know i go thru days when i can’t breath. The hat is beautiful.

  51. I had to frog two full repeats on a scarf I’m knitting, because I missed knitting a stitch, and it was going to ladder all the way down. From half way up the scarf. (Grumperina’s Volna, in Taiyo #17. With the mismatches fixed.)

  52. Icehouse does have those colors but it also has white and dark green in it. Isn’t this Cool?
    I am staring at an Icehouse scarf I made, and it doesn’t look anything like your hat. Darn it!

  53. Gee, that alternating colors are terrific in the cables… sort of snow flake-ish pattern. Stay warm and please keep getting better.

  54. the hat is coming out nicely . . .enjoy the daughter; she’ll be gone too soon . . . deadlines will still be with you, warm drinks, soft yarn wishes . . .

  55. hehe@Meg’s Motherhood Summary.
    You raised someone not only smart but wise. And that yarn… gorgeous. I’m supposed to be working on specialized projects meself, and am instead wistfully window shopping both pattern and yarn.

  56. Is it odd if I want to rest my cheek against my computerscreen because that yarn just looks so soft and smoochie? Nah, I can’t be the only one, not on your blog.
    I’m not entirely sure though about the yarn and pattern combo. The yarn seems to drown out the pattern a bit. Mind you the yarn is easily pretty enough to pull it off.
    Bon courage with the deadline, hang in there! Is your manuscript due before Christmas? Sure hope so, because then at least the end is in sight (and a new book for us to look out to!).

  57. pretty yarn! and you’re hilarious and clever- I’m sure your finished product will be more than “good”! after all, even busy and stressed, you managed to write this blog post, which made me smile and laugh (as always).

  58. Is there REALLY a colorway called “Holy cow I don’t know”?…surely not. Thou jesteth with us, me thinks.
    I have a solution for your book deadline and this is something only a true friend would do for you. I’m not going to buy your new book. I will reread an old one. So here you go – no need to thank me.

  59. No book deadline, but final exams to create and administer. I’m actually looking forward to giving the exams, because it means two relatively uninterupted hours per exam to knit while they wrack their little brains for answers. The colorway (yes, I know, American spelling) is beautiful, please let us know what it is when you have time to relax and remember the name.

  60. The hat is gorgeous, even unfinished. I’m so happy there’s another book (from you) on the way! When will it be available?

  61. You’re right, I can easily be distracted by pictures of pretty yarn, now I need to get back to work or my boss won’t have a hotel in Milan when he arrives, which means I need to book his flight as well. Now back to work, and that means you too, young lady!

  62. The hat is beautiful. Breathe deep and sip tea, and the book will progress. . . yes? I’m sure it’s easier said than done, especially at Christmas time.

  63. well … most of the mismatches fixed. There’s one that’s unfixable. Frog, start over with that as the beginning … and use some of the yarn in the other direction, to keep the colors transitioning smoothly. grumble Noro grumble grumble grumble

  64. One of these days, Meg will wish she could say something positive about your writing to your face…

  65. Try neat eucalyptus oil, or even tea tree oil, on the sap. Then sponge the mittens with gentle wool wash to remove the oil and the rather strong scent! Hope this helps.

  66. it’s friday and I’m just seeing this because our library had a flood, but wanted to add two things:
    1. Whether or not you get to finish everything, it will all be wonderful and the book will be great.
    2. Instead of ‘bleeding obvious’ – which I find quite funny – my teenager has taken to saying “Ya think, Captain Obvious???”. No idea where he got it, but it comes at wonderful moments in our lives.

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