I was going to skip today, being as I’m pressed for time in the most ridiculous way, and then I remembered what today’s Gift for Knitters is, and realized that it was the perfect day to make an effort. 

This afternoon I’m knitting my little heart out, labouring under the fabulous delusion that I can still finish it all.  This is mostly a made-up crazy-pants idea.  The thing is that I could be finished this present, if I wasn’t unable to knit while I bake, or stagger around a mall, or try and figure out the perplexing sizing system for tights, or clean the kitchen or throw in a load of laundry, and that, my friends, that brings me to today’s Gift for Knitters, and it is:


Non-knitters, my darlings, my sweets, take it from me, your knitter wants time. Knitting time.  There’s no possible way that you can help with the actual  knitting, we all know that, but right now your knitter is wishing you could, and while you can’t knit for them… you can do everything else.  Tonight, when your knitter says something subtle like "THIS IS A NIGHTMARE I’M NEVER GOING TO FINISH I CAN’T BELIEVE I HAVE TO DO LAUNDRY AND TRY AND FINISH THIS HAT" and then bursts into tears, you can help.  It’s drastic, but you can do it.  You can turn to your knitter and say the following.

"I have a present for you.  I’m going to do the laundry so you can knit."

Pro-tip: You can substitute any other activity that your knitter mentions is a conflict with knitting.  Shopping, cooking, cleaning, wrapping – you can create knitting time in a million beautiful ways.  Going somewhere? Drive, so your knitter has knitting time. Ask for a grocery list, and leave the house and go get it all, and if you really, really want to be heroic… take the kids with you.

The magic doesn’t have to stop there, oh no.  It goes farther than contributing to your families gift giving by supporting your knitter… after Christmas, your knitter is going to go right on liking knitting, and he or she is going to go right on wanting to have time to do it.  Think about making up little coupons.  Coupons that promise a whole afternoon where you’ll take over the chores/kids/cleaning/whatever – and your knitter will have time that’s designated just for them and their wool. 

Trust me.  Time.  Do it.

104 thoughts on “Time

  1. I’m going to be greedy here. I’d like “all of time and space, everything that ever happen or that ever will.”
    Will that fit in my stocking? It’s bigger on the inside, if that helps.

  2. Wow, what a great gift idea, time. I will be sure to put that on my wish list next year. Too late for this year unfortunately. I have enjoyed the blog of late…. Merry Christmas to you 🙂

  3. Also: Knitting Time makes for a happier knitter which will only reap rewards for the hubby/significant other. Nothing is sexier than a husband/SO doing dishes/laundry/etc while you knit. And I think you know what I mean, winkwinknodnod

  4. That’s part of the gift my kiddos are giving me. Though they don’t call it a gift. They call it “Mom’s chores list” but whatever. It works for me! 🙂 (Of course, they want their chullos. Soon.)
    And speaking of whatever…whatever you have on the needles is pretty, pretty, pretty! Love the colours!

  5. I’ve actually given my family a written list of jobs I would like to have done as gifts, just because there is nothing like being specific. For instance, they can give me the gift of dusting the house top to bottom, cooking and cleaning up a meal of my choice, cleaning all 48 windows in the sunroom and kitchen, etc. I’m not holding my breath, though. It’s easier to buy something.

  6. Though I was supposed to help him with something all day today, my husband saw how stressed I was this morning and told me to stay home. Dozens of cookies baked, cards mailed, tree decorated and finally time to do some knitting. Best present I’ll get, I’m sure!

  7. My husband is already doing a bit of this. He’s been doing most of the grocery pickup and a lot of quick easy meals, so I can concentrate on things like Christmas cookies and the last few gifts to knit.

  8. Time, indeed. And not just around the holidays, please. I live with two other adults (spouse & chiled), but both believe the bathroom is self-cleaning. Both think dirty dishes can “hide” in the sink. The Knitter begs to differ. The Knitter may have to go on strike soon…

  9. I too have a hubsy that does this for me. I can’t do the dishes laundry etc.. anymore. So I knit. Yet for some reason he refuses to let me knit him a sweater, hmm, has he been reading your blog lately? Is the ‘curse of the boyfriend sweater’ extendable to marriage? Hmm.
    Good luck with the Christmas knitterly goodness!

  10. The other cool thing is that the activity (knitting) could be substituted for anything else important, too. Reading, sewing, drawing… any way that one wants to spend some time on a creative outlet.

  11. This is such a PERFECT suggestion. and not just for the knitter. Any caretaker would love it, be it the caretaker of children, elderly, sick, wool or even just the house.

  12. I’m extremely fortunate to have a husband who does this already. Yes he has brothers and they are all married as well. But I got the best one of the bunch!

  13. Time IS a wonderful gift. My husband already does this. Often there is a prelude of, “Honey, you’re looking a little stressed…” I appreciate it so much.

  14. Yes, yes, yes! Time is exactly what I want for Christmas. The three hanks of lovely alpaca sock yarn was great and I’m glad he let me pick it out, but time is even better. I read this out loud to the bf (he likes me to share your blog with him anyway as he finds you just as funny as I do) in the hopes that he’ll take your advice to heart and do the laundry tonight. He did the dishes this morning and there was something about him making dinner tonight so I’m full of hope.

  15. Love it! Love whatever is on the needles too – can’t wait to see the finished product (which I’m sure will happen soon!)

  16. yes, completely agree….now if the 3 other adults who live in this house would get the hint…..

  17. Yes! That was the third and final thing I asked for this Holiday Season.(technically,a Jewish Christmas re: time spent together) Wish I had thought of it before the first two selfish presents. Alright, I still don’t regret asking for the Signature needles. Hope you get a great big coupon book of Time in your stocking this year!

  18. The gift of time is a two-way street…especially if you and your spouse have no children at home. Give him “coupons” for an afternoon off to pursue his interests…fishing, golf (golf courses have wonderful pre-paid tee time cards), etc.
    Then, while he is off doing whatever, you can…sit and knit!!! ;-D

  19. YES! This, exactly! I’m posting this on Facebook.
    But then, the comments will probably be among the lines of, “Dude, we leave you alone for all the day, how much more time could you want!?” I’ll make a mention of time bubbles and other physically impossible things.

  20. from your lips to Certain People’s ears. I could finish a pair of mittens tonight if Someone would just do the dishes.

  21. I was just this morning thinking that knitting time — or (insert hobby/obsession here) time, to be fair — would be the ideal gift! I even wondered why you hadn’t yet suggested it. Perfect timing!

  22. Can I be the only one that this strikes as being sad? that in order to feel entitled to pursue a hobby or interest we have to ask the people who live under the same roof and can therefore be assumed to have a vested interest in a clean home, cooked meals, and clean laundry, to give us time (by helping out/sharing the burden) as a gift? I don’t know of any man who would ask his spouse/partner for “time” off from household chores to go play golf, watch televised sport, fish, or hunt. They would just take it, and if you offered it as a bona fide Christmas gift, would think you had lost your mind. Sharing the burden of running a home is everyone’s job who lives in that home, and time for what you want to do ought to be completely ordinary and unremarkable, especially when it’s part of how you make your/their living.
    I know, I’m being a buzz-killer. It’s true that many if not most males of the species have constantly to be reminded of their responsibilities, and most would like to look like a hero for doing something they should do as a matter of course. So yes, if you have a non-participating household male, and you don’t mind, Time works as a pretty nifty gift.

  23. As long as I make him socks ever so often, I find my husband quite willing to let me knit while he deals with something like dinner or dishes.

  24. Unfortunately, the last time someone in our family (not me) asked for “time” for a gift, she received a clock, and some herbs (both dried and potted), and a magazine subscription. I married into a family of smartarses.

  25. I am going to get stoned by the masses. But, I guess, being a man, who knits….I don’t understand the…let me rephrase….why not start earlier….let me rephrase….everyone’s hair looks BEAUTIFUL today!
    Pebbles…not boulders please.

  26. Wow. You’ve just provided the perfect idea, not to suggest to my husband, but to give to HIM. He has a hobby – not knitting, but he loves it as much as you love knitting – that requires several hours of uninterrupted time. He owns a successful small business, has many demands on his time, has trouble saying “no,” and feels guilty when he does. (Yep, there’s some gender role reversal here.) I am going to make him some “permission slips” to go and enjoy a guilt-free day of doing his hobby. It’s exactly what he needs. Thank you!

  27. Do you think I can ask for a coupon so someone will go to work for me every day so I can stay home and knit? Working sure does take a bite out of knitting time although I usually get a half hour or so in before I leave in the morning. As the seven dwarfs sang; I owe, I owe, so off to work I go.

  28. Just so you know, I have been sending my husband emails with links to your gift posts. And I just found out this morning that one of my best friends has been doing to her husband too. How do I know? Because her husband called me this morning to get advice on a yarn purchase. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  29. Now if I could just figure out how to add a few hours to each day… but I did myself a favor this year and didn’t knit gifts for Christmas. I’ve got enough deadlines in my life as it is.

  30. I have one just like that at home. It’s a good thing I married him a week ago, so now he is only MINE!!!! 🙂 (Yes, I am selfish like that.) He also benefits from all the sock-making, so it’s not all one-sided… He did however say he will NEVER go to Stitches again. Being accosted by every knitter while carrying around a super-cute baby clad in hand knits while Mommy shopped, was apparently NOT fun. Every man has his limits I suppose.

  31. The most perfect gift ever, oh lordy how I want this. You have brought a moment of joy to my little overstressed, panic stricken brain. (The lace is spun, the project in on the needles. I like the pattern and it’s easy and quick. Must be done by Friday night. It will only take I’m guessing 6-8 hours, simple. If I can only find the TIME!)

  32. My love went to three fabric stores (I have more than one craft thing going on here) today while I was stuck at work. He found the most perfect black, purchased the correct amount, and had it washed before I got home. He might be a keeper.

  33. Seriously. I’m just going to leave this page open on the laptop browser. He’ll see it for sure.

  34. Beautiful. And not just for knitting. What creative thing would you do with another hour every day where someone else did that thing that you do now? NOT sleep, that does not count.

  35. Ooohhh, I hope my husband is still reading your blog. I did send him the link at the beginning of the month and I do think he read it then. What do you think are the chances he is still reading? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Maybe I will play “forgetful” and resend the link.

  36. well i thought i was done, but apparently i’m not! have to do one more fingerless mitt (why oh why does there have to be TWO) and sew a zipper in the boy’s sweater. here’s hoping i don’t change my mind about any other gifts that are already completed *sigh*.
    i have faith in you stephanie, you will get it all done!!

  37. Mmmm, more time you say?? How about the gift of a cleaner?? FOR. THE. WHOLE. YEAR???
    Now think about this, you would be stimulating the economy by giving someone a job, saving money on all the things you finally had time to get done & relaxing through knitting/quilting/crafting at the same time.
    Mind you it will still be your responsibility to supervise said cleaner but only really lucky women have men who actually SEE what needs being done.
    You can provide the cleaner with a list of tasks. Writing it out once is way better than having to do it over & over.
    London, UK

  38. Best idea yet. I hope that the spouses are reading your posts!! I can’t imagine a better gift. (Except the Cork Tom Bihn Swift Knitting Bag, which I bought for myself! And I checked — it stays beautiful no matter what the weather. I can take it out in the rain…..the man is a genius).
    Somebody should make a collection of your twenty days of gift recommendations, so that in coming years, husbands will be able to jump to the suggestions all in one place. And you could add a little to it every couple of years or so, just to keep things interesting.
    Finally, I must brag about my brother-in-law. He gave my sister an all expense paid trip to the Sock Summit for her birthday. A truly spectacular Knitting Gift, that really can’t be rivaled. It was some of the most fun we have ever had.

  39. Strong cat, it strikes me as a bit sad as well, (and also counter-productive, they will never see it as their responsibility *as well* if you ask for it as a gift). And didn’t Stephanie write the marvellous essay stating “if you can do it, so can he?”.
    Apologies to all men who do shoulder their responsibilties (I have one – one of the best things he does is remind me that it doesn’t have to be perfect), but judging from these comments it doesn’t seem there are many.

  40. wow! yes, you hit it right on the head – time! thanks for all the awesome gift ideas. i’ve shared your blog with my most important gift givers already. hope they read it! (-=

  41. The story is too long to go into, but yesterday my husband and I had to apply for replacement Social Security cards. I still have a hat and two scarves to finish before Christmas, so my first thought was, “Knitting time while we wait in line!” When we arrived at the Social Security office, I was informed that knitting needles were not allowed. Not even the plastic circulars I had brought. While my husband was returning my knitting to the car (it was raining and he’s nice like that) the security guard informed me that crochet hooks were allowed. That was supposed to make me feel better?

  42. Yes! Yes! Yes! Can we send you a list of email addresses so that you can send a mass email out to all the significant others???

  43. Time … you are so right. The most wonderful gift my husband ever gave me was a 3-day weekend all to myself. I was responsible for no one and nothing except myself and what I wanted to do (which of course was mostly knitting and crocheting). I got so much rest and enjoyment that I even came home one night early!

  44. Hi – am an avid knitter and read your blog often. However, this is a non-knitting question. My husband is originally from Ontario (St Thomas) and LOVES butter tarts. I have tried a few recipies from the blog but was wondering if you have a favorite (not sure if you bake or not). Thanks for any assistance. Kathy

  45. Exactly. As someone in possession of more than enough stuff (even knitting stuff – it’s starting to weigh me down), what I need is time. I asked husband for the gift of an evening to play with my new (to me) drum carder. That day will come, sometime after 12/26.

  46. Thank you so much for this series. I sent the link for one of the gifts to my husband, and a box arrived bearing a familiar logo, so it worked beautifully. As for time, this may work for some: The big unfinished gift project for this season is now the “late January birthday gifts” (for twins) In this case, I suppose their mother is the giver of the gift of time to me.

  47. Not only do you knit gifts, bake cookies, go shopping, post, BUT you made ICE LANTERNS!! Just floored–you rock efficiency.

  48. This is exactly what I need. I also need a sign taped to the back of my head or the front of my forehead. It will say “If I don’t respond to your immediate demands, it is because I AM COUNTING 100 plus stitches.”

  49. My hubby has been putting our three-year-old to bed all week because even he is beginning to get concerned about my ability to finish gifts this year.

  50. Re: Elves
    When my stepkids were small, my husband and I were overwhelmed and exhausted. So our excuse for badly-wrapped packages, presents forgotten, stuff left undone was “inept elves.” We told the children that Santa would rent out the elves who couldn’t make toys to help other people. They had numbers instead of names, because there were so many of them. Our elves were #362 and #444.
    Now many years later, 362 and 444 go to their houses to try and help out.
    Not much useful advice here but I thought it would make you laugh.

  51. And for the love of everything, hope your knitter remembers that you were giving it to her. You might even want to leave a note to remind her that she is getting TIME. Because when your knitter FORGETS that you were going to go Christmas shopping WITH the baby… she doesn’t enjoy the time. She spends it FREAKING OUT that she came home from work to an empty house and you must be dead in a ditch and the baby is still at daycare and it’s 7pm and daycare closes at 6:30 and being late is really expensive and daycare isn’t answering the phone and your knitter is going to drive to daycare to get the baby because WHERE ARE YOU!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
    Yeah, that didn’t go so well last night. 🙂
    And you are very right. FREAKING OUT is NOT AT ALL productive.
    Christmas makes me forgetful.

  52. At least four inches to go on a cowl.
    Two inches, a buttonhole, and then probably two more inches on a fingerless mitt.
    Plus work. *gah*

  53. When you posted about hiring a test knitter a couple of weeks ago I was suspicious that it occured right around Christmas time–thought maybe you were using them for 2nd sock/mitten syndrome!
    I lost 2 1/2 hours (knitting hours) a week 2 years ago when I got transferred to a different job further from my apartment & my comuted was double for a total of 5 hours wasted driving time. Now if Santa could just send a chaffeur think how much knitting I could acommplish.

  54. I sent this to my hubby when he asked me what I wanted for Christmas. The reply came back: “Too Expensive!”

  55. Where’s the love(1) button? You absolutely nailed it. Fortunately, my husband does get it, and does gift me with time.

  56. Lovely coupons – I’m giving 3 to my college/fireman son for bathroom cleanings ( thinking exam time and that I can’t stand his bathroom). I want some for washing my truck. Wonderfully personal little goodies.

  57. Giving the gift of time is more valuable than gold!!!! I think this is the perfect gift for women, they seem to run out of time faster than men do.

  58. I got more time by getting divorced (hard to recommend to tohers, may be useful to only a few, and then only on a case by case basis) and refusing to cook or do laundry for my “children” ages 21, 19 and 15. The tough love extended to their rooms, their stuff and their “need” for transportation-we have one car-I told them to walk to the bus stop and wait on a bus, it comes every 30 min. After much grousing and general disbelief… I am awash in time. I love it. I do not take it for granted. I revel in the time to bathe (with bubbles), knit, sleep and go to the gym to work out. I’m getting my strength and tone back, ran my first 5K (31:14!), knit like crazy and now even have time… gasp… to read! Sweet, sweet, sweet. Course, my kids are resentful and the house is a sty, but sooner or later they’ll grow up and leave and I can get it back to livable standards. Until then, “selfish” is my middle name. Love your post Stephanie, you GET it, all the time, you get it. <3

  59. Sent this link to my DH yesterday. When I got home from work last night, the dishes were done and a load of towels were in the dryer. Life is sweet and knitted. 🙂

  60. Classic. I don’t know how many people would be willing to make a coupon that says something like, “Take the day off. I’ll teach your three unruly reading classes for you. Standardized tests? No worries. Enjoy your knitting!”

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