Time and my Lack Thereof

Over the years, I’ve gotten pretty good at finding knitting time.  Most of the stuff I’ve figured out has a lot to do with housework, and how I don’t do a lot of it. I’m used to being super busy and still getting knitting time in, and so this phase I’m in now is crazy.  Last night, once I finished work, but before I lost consciousness,  I sat down to knit – and this is all I got done.

That’s it, and I’m a pretty quick knitter.  (The irony that one of the classes I teach is "Knitting for Speed and Efficiency" and I’m not finding either around here is not lost on me, I assure you.)  Right now there’s just so much work that I’m finding little knitting time, and it’s making me a crazy lunatic person.  Knitting is so central to my ability to be nice, that soon I will either have to find more time to do it, or stop leaving the house or answering the phone.  It will become a public safety issue.

As a matter of fact, I think I’m going to take 10 minutes right now. Not because it would be slacking on work and that’s a lousy thing to do, but because I am a kind and generous person who cares about the lives and happiness of others.

Knitting right now is probably generous… right?

137 thoughts on “Time and my Lack Thereof

  1. Not only is it generous, but also essential to your health and others’ safety!

  2. Of course it’s generous – remember to be generous to yourself soemtime too. Have a nice knit session.

  3. Wasn’t it you that wrote, “I don’t knit because I’m patient; I’m patient because I knit?” You’re doing a public service by knitting, and we, the public, thank you!

  4. I find if I don’t knit at least 10-minutes a day, that I’m unberable to be around. Whenever I knit, I’m good for at least the next 24-hours.
    It’s being generous to you and your soul. By doing that, you’re able to be more generous to others. Even when they don’t extend you the same courtesy.

  5. There you go thinking only about the rest of the world again. You’re too kind ;-p

  6. I have used almost that exact phrase, as in “If I don’t find some time to start a new project, I’m going to become a danger to public safety”! Which reminds me, I need to cast on something today.

  7. “Knitting for Speed and Efficiency”?! Boy, do I need THAT class! I’d love it!! I’m not slow, but I want to maximize my knitting time because, like you, I’m running in a thousand directions all the time! (And I have 300+ patterns in my Ravelry queue!!)

  8. I feel the same way about my knitting time, and how I don’t have any of it lately. I like being so busy (my husband and I are in the process of becoming foster parents!) but there are so many projects waiting for me, and I want that time back!

  9. I have two magnets/buttons at my desk at work, both of which I feel are relevant here. One reads: Knitting keeps me from stabbing everyone. The other reads: I drink coffee for your protection.
    In the 40C with the humidity, I’d go with iced coffee next to your knitting. 🙂

  10. Generous. Essential. Prescribed. Fundamental.
    Hope your knitting time will get you through the next bit of crazy.

  11. That is the best idea I have heard all day. Some knitting in front of the A/C is what society needs us all to do today.

  12. I think you are right! As a matter of fact, the people in my office take “smoke” breaks…why can’t I take a knitting break? I think I will treat myself to one now!

  13. You should talk to your boss about scheduling in regular knitting breaks to maintain sanity and peace keeping. She’d agree with that, right? She has your back, doesn’t she?

  14. Hey, if it keeps you from being cranky and saves your sanity, then it is generous indeed. I haven’t knit much myself the last week or so. Too busy pulling off a wedding this weekend and taking care of my grandson who is 3 and VERY busy. 🙂 I hope your sock is somewhat longer tomorrow.

  15. Given someone whose working motto right now is “Give me color-coordinated Post-It-Notes and a caffeine drip or give me death?”
    Yes. Knit the sock. Please.

  16. If you knit it will put everything in balance. As a fellow balanced person nothing could be better for the health of those around us. Take the time and save a life.

  17. Hi Stephanie:
    I can totally relate…. that is why my avatar on Ravelry says…. I knit so I don’t kill people! ……and those days I don’t knit…. when you can imagine the rest!

  18. There is something about knitting right before bed that puts me right to sleep (which is a good thing!). Forget speed and efficiency, I need some zzzzzz’s!

  19. I have 7.5 hours of conference call meetings today. Thank goodness for knitting — it is keeping me nice, and focused too (thank you brain chemistry!). And, every meeting is a productive meeting when you’re knitting a baby blanket!

  20. Just realized I misquoted Patrick Henry to a member of the Commonwealth.
    Ignore the American. Knit.

  21. THAT’S why I’ve been stressed lately. I really should get to turning the heel on that new sock so that I can calm down a little bit.

  22. I love your comment “Knitting is so central to my ability to be nice”. It reminds me of a bumper sticker I once saw that said “I knit so no one has to die”. Seems knitting as a form of mood leveling is a shared experience. The world might be a better place if we could all take breaks from responsibilities to knit!

  23. It’s like when you’re on the airplane, and they say that you need to put the oxygen mask on yourself before you help the others around you. You have to take time to be sane.

  24. Since you have enough time to knit for 10 minutes, you clearly have enough time to whip out a little tutorial on knitting with speed and efficiency. I could really use that skill!!!!

  25. First, I’d like to thank you for keeping the public’s safety uppermost in your mind. 🙂
    Second, I had a recent back injury that kept me from knitting for 5 whole freakin’ days. When I got in to see the doc, also a knitter, and told her the situation and that pain level + fiber withdrawal was about to shoot me over the edge, she totally understood. I was given pain killers, valium to relax the muscles, and strict instructions to go home and work on a sock.

  26. In the words of one of my students: people need breaks. This goes for the self-employed as well. Keep Calm. Knit On.

  27. I’m glad you’re taking some time to knit. I understand about knitting being central to one’s ability to be nice. I hope you are able to find more knitting time in your busy schedule.

  28. The owner of a yarn store told me the other day that the irony of finally earning her money from knitting was that she was surrounded by inspiration and had absolutely no time to knit. I think that is just wrong. Don’t let it happen to you! Knit now — let knitting be your priority!

  29. That’s it. I’m just going to stop leaving the house if I haven’t gotten enough knitting time in! The world – and I – shall both be better for it, I’ve no doubt. Another Harlot Brilliant Idea! Thanks!

  30. Knitting brings me peace, it’s downright soothing. I’m much less aggravated with the world when I knit. Definitely take a knit break for your own sanity and in the general interest of public safety.

  31. I KNEW there was a safety reason to leave just now! Thank you Toronto for a great vacation – I’m sure we’ll be back. And I got SO much knitting done…

  32. Thanks for depraving yourself for the sake of others.
    Wishing you a big chunk of catch up time…

  33. You know, something about the way you said in your talk at Squam that you have to knit in order to be a nice person convinced me that you weren’t just being funny–you really meant it! 🙂 So I say, knit!

  34. Oddly enough – this has nothing to do with the knitting – but we seem to have the same laptop and use the same post-its according to what I see in the picture. Great minds??? ;>)
    Remember knitting is also a state of mind and I believe your mind to always be in the state of Knitting!!! Not to worry.
    Peace and joy…

  35. I love Jazmin’s comment above! I would say “I knit to keep from ramming your car with mine in the school carpool line.” In the meantime, I do, indeed, drink coffee for your protection.

  36. Absolutely you should! It will also help you clear your find and be able to focus and do things better when you return to work. Our brains need breaks.

  37. my chiropractor has to adjust my wrists now every month. they are improving, slowly. she keeps asking if i’m still knitting nightly? do i need to knit or can i take a break?
    knitting is my therapy. some nights my husband volunteers to fold the laundry and pick up after the kids so i can have that time to knit. he’s not just a dear, he knows what’s good for him! 😉

  38. Right.
    But thanks for stopping by, however briefly, it’s always nice to see you.

  39. Absolutely. I knit and run to save the world from the “crazy” me… sometimes my kids ask me “don’t you need to go for a run, mom?”

  40. Absolutely. Knitting is vital to your entire career, really. You can’t afford to lose touch with your customer base.

  41. I work from home, and still I have lots of aggravation, and I find it an absolute NECESSITY to step away and pick up my knitting from time to time. Amazing how just a few rows can calm me down so I don’t actually rip anyones face off and make them eat it….

  42. Three years ago, when I lost my job, I didn’t let myself do anything creative because I thought that I should be spending all my time searching for work. Then a friend sat me down and said “Creativity is who you are. Give yourself permission to do what you love and you’ll feel a lot better.” She was right… and I have a big pile of handspun yarn and knitted things to show for it.
    So if knitting ten minutes (or more) here and there is what keeps you human, then do it.

  43. I think it is practically your responsibility as a public citizen to help keep others safe by knitting. Do it one, for the good of the people! There should be some sort of Nobel peace category for it.

  44. Not only is it good for those around you, your knitting is actually good for the world.
    Think about it: you find time to knit something and then you tell us about it. Immediately we scramble for yarn and pattern to experience the same knitted coolness.
    Your knitting makes you a polite person and boosts the world’s economy. Just another little public service you offer. Knit on!

  45. Knit for world peace! Harmony and understanding, sympathy and love abounding…

  46. I am a teacher and today was the last day with kids. They were gone by 11:00 a.m. Happy Summer and many, many, many relaxing hours of knitting. I cannot wait! I deserve it and so do you!

  47. Feeling your pain…I haven’t even cast on a pair of socks since last summer. This does not bode well for my family. Sigh.

  48. A guy friend of mine told me that his mother told him to find a woman who knits, because “nice people make things.” I think it is the making of the stuff that makes us nice. Like you, I feel much nicer when I am knitting or spinning regularly. So, go make some stuff and stay nice.

  49. Of course it is generous! If you do not knit, well there could be dire consequences. Take ma for example, If I don’t knit for at least 10 minutes a day; I turn into this horrible person. Where you might be lucky if I glare at snap at you.
    No body likes to see and live with a horrible person.. As Brenda Dayne’s podcast start out
    Knit, knit like the wind ( and be a better person for it)!

  50. Go knit before you kill someone. I usually escape to my knit night to make sure I don’t kill my housemates for not allowing me to knit because of noise, lack of a place to sit down with my computer or a movie, my bf following me up to the bedroom when I pack it all up to knit alone up there with the computer, or when he “tags” along to the coffee shop and declares himself bored when I open my pattern, pop on my headphones for a podcast and start to knit.

  51. sometimes all it takes is a bit ‘o knitting to keep one’s head above water…congrats on the start/cuff of a new sock

  52. By the way, I was *really* hoping you would teach that class this Sock Summit, but no luck. 🙁 I understand why you’d want to limit your actual teaching there, with so many other responsibilities, but I’m selfishly disappointed!
    I just found out I may have to work this weekend. I will do some knitting tonight so I don’t loose my mind.

  53. We all need mental health breaks from time to time. I use my knitting and crocheting as a relaxation tool. I love the t-shirts that say I knit or I crochet so I don’t kill people. I feel like that sometimes! 🙂

  54. Yes, Ma’am! Knitting right now is the kindest, most generous thing to do. It has the fortunate benefit of bestowing your kindness on others and making the world a better place.

  55. Yes, yes, whatever you say…. (I’m backing away slowly and not saying anything else until you’ve had your knitting time. 😉

  56. Suppose Mozart got so busy scheduling concerts that he didn’t have time to compose….or Picasso got so involved in putting on art shows that he ran out of time to paint. Crazy, huh?
    It’s crazy for you to work so hard that you can’t knit!

  57. After being a stay at home mum for 9.5 years, this year I am working. 2 jobs. I have hired a cleaner to help me eke out a few more hours knitting – and I still feel like it’s not enough!

  58. as one of my old students used to sing…(paraphrasing Dorie from “Nemo”) Just keep knitting, knitting, knitting, just keep knitting…. etc. sometimes ya gotta take the time for youself if only for you sanity.

  59. Absolutely. Remember Get Smart and the Dome of Silence? I always think of knitting as my Anti-Dumbass Dome. woops. I said “Ass”. ;o) Anyway, as in you can be as big dumbass as you want, but if I am knitting, I can deal. If I cannot knit and therefore cannot ignore your dumbassedness, you will be in serious danger of being maimed.

  60. I wish I could knit right now! I have tendonitis in my left wrist and I’m supposed to be resting it. Since I am left-handed, that is easier said than done, though I have figured out how to do many things with my right hand. But to knit and to write, I need my left hand. I did try for a few days, but had to give up. I feel my patience slipping away, and I swear my yarn stash is multiplying behind my back. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But I would love to be able to knit, even if it were only for 10 minutes. Ah well, maybe in another week. If I last that long.

  61. reminds me of a book I tried to read “sleep less, live more” by Everett Mattlin…everytime I opened the thing, I fell asleep!

  62. Of course. But what I really want to know is : what ARE you knitting? A sock? A sleeve? Did you finish the blue sweater?

  63. Hey, that little bit of knitting could be the result of an evening of re-starting a project ad nauseum, and so represent a lot of knitting, just not a lot of progress. You can perhaps tell that I am a process knitter, though I do love a finished product!
    Enjoy your knitting time. Me, I am looking forward to a long plane trip. No distractions to interfere with my stitches!

  64. Yes and yes. I sat down, after work, dinner, dishes, dog, husband…opened school books, decided to peek quickly at laptop. A tiny infant shrug, 3/5 done, is sitting on the desk waiting, but I can’t get to it. Sort of like in ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Generous…yes.

  65. I tell myself that everyday, and you know what? It works. Go and find yourself some knitting time for the safety of children and puppies and what not…. and keeping your sanity intact. We shall be here after knitting time and not blame you at all. I know I’d go crazy without at least 20 minutes of knitting a day, and I don’t yet have kids to stress me out more, even though they are adorable and totally worth it. So I’ve been told and I believe it, due to teaching and tons of babysitting for friends.

  66. Hello Ms. Stephanie!
    I have been reading your books and absolutely howling with laughter. I currently am nose deep into the “Yarn Harlot.” The squirrel story had me crying. The way you wrote it, I totally pictured it in my mind.
    I too am a knitting freak. I have officially called myself a “Yarn Garden tool.” We recently had a flood and some of my stash was compromised and I then realized how much yarn I had. I hoard it terribly and don’t share. 😉 I told my husband my new nickname and he just chuckled. He understands my need to knit and rub buttery soft alpaca or god knows what else on my body in the LYS.
    Jen 🙂

  67. sometimes – in the midst of it all, knitting is just ‘all you can do’ . . . as you said – it’s a matter of public safety (?sanity?) . . .

  68. Where I work I am not allowed to knit. The AVP in charge of our department consideres any non work affiliated creative actions while on the clock to be stealing from the bank. So at lunch I hide and secretly knit. Knitting keeps me from stabbing people with my sock needles.

  69. Totally generous, and absolutely necessary for public safety. I’ve had an occassion or two when I had to dash to the LYS (Bliss Yarns, Brentwood TN–Best in the area!) after work, grab a set of “common area” needles & a ball of yarn, just so I didn’t “road-rage” on the way home.
    @Victoria 8:28 AM: Do you clock out for lunch? If so, that’s YOUR time, not the company’s! Why hide what you do on your time?

  70. “Knitting is so central to my ability to be nice” -ditto. I wish I could take your knitting class. I always want to be faster and more efficient as a knitter. Big dreams…

  71. The day is rare when I don’t squeeze out at least a few minutes for knitting. You’ve got to! My 16-month granddaughter, whom I watch most days of the week, knows this well; after snack time and story time and all rest of it, she knows it’s time for “Nanna’s kninning,” as she says. The other day she wanted her own yarn. And so it begins.

  72. ..”..I’m a pretty quick knitter” Well, if that isn’t the understatement of the year, I don’t know what is.
    I feel your pain. For me, this whole still-working-thing is really starting to get in the way. I’m starting to feel that maybe Barack can do okay without my constant supervision and guidance…:-)
    Maybe you could eliminate something non-essential like, say, bathing. I’m sure your family would rather you be sweet than sweet smelling. Then again perhaps not. You should take a vote….>:-)

  73. You need to be nice to yourself first. (Remember the plane safety speeches – put oxygen mask on yourself first before assisting someone else!)
    Take fifteen minutes every few hours to knit another row or three.
    You deserve it.

  74. I feel your pain, I haven’t been able to knit in a week and am most grumpy about it. Tomorrow night though, without fail . . . while I sit through yet another high school graduation. Outside. Expected high tomorrow is 99F. Cotton will be on the needles.
    Take your 10 or heck 20 minutes and knit, I’ll be thinking of you . . .

  75. My mother has trouble taking time for herself…I think it’s her generation. I have no trouble…but then again I have no kids, just dustmites. I didn’t knit at all yesterday, but I’m OK for it. Then again I did spend two hours learning how to use a serger and I spent the rest of the day recovering. That’s how many brain cells were zapped during teaching time.

  76. I’ve been to physical therapy for a shoulder issue, which has turned into a neck and wrist issue. The therapist has told me I can do a combination of knitting, spinning and crochet for a total of 45 minutes, 3 days a week, alternating days. I’ve only been trying it out for a week. And I think I’ll tell her tomorrow that I am going to have to be able to do them for a longer or risk my mental health just plummeting off a cliff. I have been mean when uncalled for and just generally not a nice person at all. I don’t recognize myself. All this to say: Yes, taking the time to knit is generous.

  77. Last night my DH said I was getting “really good at knitting rectangles.” Heh, heh, I knit swatches as my desk in order to think while writing and to think through crazy, hurtful situations with my mother. I told him they were Barbie beach towels and he said, “ah, you’re gonna make a fortune on ebay.”
    Whatever serves, right?

  78. At any time of stress, such as moving, I always take time to knit or spin — that is how I regain some sense of stability in my upside down world.
    Today, I got a note from a very distraught woman thanking me for being the only person that took time to listen to what she had to say. I like to think I was patient with her because I knit. If only she would learn to knit as well. I may have to start some “stress relief knitting time” in the workplace!

  79. Thank you. Doing what it takes to keep yourself sane is a form of public service. I am still reeling from being told two nights ago that my knitting was “sick” and “an obsession,” complete with physical mimicry. I couldn’t even look at my WIPs last night.

  80. Not only is it generous, it’s a public service and it keeps potty mouth in check too 😉

  81. As a charitable benefit to the general public, and as a matter of national health and safety, shouldn’t the government be giving you tax-exempt credits? Or perhaps subsidise your stash?

  82. Comment on your twitter feed – since I am not a tweeter. You say faith and science like those two terms belong together. They do not. Formula as a term has been usurped by large corporations and the meaning is twisted. Science is a process, a way of learning about the world. It has nothing to do with faith.

  83. Of course you knit for your sanity and the health and safety of others. Here’s a wish for a little stretch of peaceful knitting time for you!

  84. Make it an hour I say. Knitting is a great way to re-center and recharge. Overlooking that is a great way to do something you’ll regret later.

  85. I knit when;
    I am angry, sad, or bored.
    I knit because;
    I get angry easily with all the $#*& going on in America. When I am sad because of all the damage to lives and families done by this strange weather. And because my job BORES ME TO GREY HAIR AND TEARS!
    …I guess I knit all the time anymore….

  86. Thank you for caring about our safety. Take all the time you need. Please – The general public thanks you for knitting away those crazy lunatic thoughts. We love you happy and sane.
    GO KNIT NOW!!!

  87. Think about it. WE depend on you to knit. It’s your JOB. Take it seriously. MAKE time for it. Yes… you are correct. It’s important. Think of all of US that would get snarky if we didn’t see the results of YOUR knitting, or be able to read your knitting thoughts. I mean… really! Just look at the big picture…. You are preserving the sanity and safety of so much more than you think!

  88. Funny how you should post this… Whenever I start getting grumpy, my DH does his best to help me schedule some knitting time… It really does work wonders… Hope you find lots of bits of time to knit!!

  89. Seriously? Lady, you’re the one with pointy sticks: take the time!No really, I mean it.

  90. Knitting is just the right thing to do. I’ve been facing exactly the same thing recently and it really is a matter of “knit to be kind.”

  91. I work at a stressful job that is followed by a hellish commute home. The only way it all works is if I take 30 minutes at the end of every work day to knit .. BEFORE I get into the car to drive home. That way I am calm, centered, and I don’t give in to the compulsion to try to kill some idiot driver on the road.
    And if I get up early enough in the morning, I do the same thing at the beginning of the day!

  92. Absolutely! Knitting is a good time to let your mind unkink, at least a little bit. Even if you only get a little done, you can still hold that little scrap of fabric in your hand and be very pleased you created it 🙂

  93. That seems to be some tiny knitting you have there. I really would like to have the patience to knit that small… And, the time to knit everything anytime =)

  94. Knitting right now? We probably need to nominate you for the Nobel Peace Prize. If it weren’t for you and your knitting, WWIII would have broken out by now 😉

  95. Quality not quantity. I do my knitting a few rows at a time, and my quilts a few squares and blocks at a time. I sneak the sewing in mornings after the kid has gone to school and before I have to leave for work, and the knitting comes to the office for lunch hour.
    I look forward to the day when I retire and can actually be creative in large chunks of time, not between the cracks!

  96. I can relate. I actually start to get aggressive if I haven’t had my knitting fix. In addition to that, my husband has figured out that if I’m not knitting when I can, something must be wrong. Hmmmm….maybe I can use that to my advantage. Wicked grin…

  97. I sounds like you might need to take a break from knitting. Doing the same thing to a compusively high standards all the time is a recipe for burnout. Cut yourself some slack.

Comments are closed.