Nothing to See Here

Well, there’s nothing to see here except for me, still moping around the house with a nasty cold.  I’m spending a lot of my energy being bitter and resentful about it.  I went to bed last night at a staggering 10pm, and didn’t get up until 8am – and if you know me, you know that I hate sleep. I regard it as a horrid waste of time and engage in it as little as humanly possible. To willingly sleep for ten hours this close to Christmas?  Maybe there is something to see here after all.  Knitting wise, yesterday was unproductive, at best.  One sock finished, the next well started but since the goal was to finish the second sock yesterday?

Sad.  Sad attempt. Crappy iphone picture too.  Perhaps today will be better.  I’m falling behind on the spreadsheet.

Gifts for Knitters 9

You wanted books, you got ’em. Here’s a short list of books on my shelves that I use over and over and over again.  Love all of them. Your mileage may vary. Think of your knitter before you buy… and check their shelves.
Harmony Guides: Knit & Purl (The Harmony Guides) Not just this one, but all the books in this series.
Vogue Knitting Stitchionary (Again, anything in this series is great.)
The Knitter’s Book of Yarn (Or anything else by Clara Parkes)
Knitting Around (Or anything else by Elizabeth Zimmermann)
Knitting on the Edge
50 Baby Bootees to Knit (I love this book. I can’t explain why.)
and finally, because somewhere my publisher is smashing their head off a desk screaming "You’re an author. Please mention your books. Please mention them. I swear if you recommend another book again and leave yours off like they’re no good I’m going to have your next book edited until you cry like a baby. Do it." 
Knitting Rules It’s the only useful book I’ve every written, and I know it’s useful because I use it all the time.

Gifts for Knitters 10

To be honest, knitting themed tee shirts make up about 80% of my wardrobe.  (Your knitter’s needs may be more modest, especially if they have one of those "real jobs" that I hear so much about.)  Here’s some I really like.  I’m loath to give you this link, because I love that almost nobody has this shirt, Splityarn’s "That Sh*t will block right out" is my current favourite. There’s this one, reminding you that we’ll be more valuable after the end times. Knitspot’s fabulous "I’m only at knit night for the beer" (I can’t believe I don’t have that one.) Décor Noir has the  Knit your heart out shirts. For the slightly scary knitter, Crafy Gear has a Knitter scull and crossbones, for the manly knitter Knitty has your backHow to knit, for the missionary knitter… and finally, for the knitter who’s so crafty she’s making a person, the Ravelry Work in Progress shirt.

79 thoughts on “Nothing to See Here

  1. Sadly, your favorit shirt from Splityarn isn’t listed on their website as far as I can tell. Just a FYI.

  2. Of course you should mention your books. Knitting without a sense of humor is not a good thing!

  3. Get better soon!
    I have a sweatshirt that says, “God does not deduct from woman’s allotted time those hours spent knitting.” Gotta say, I pretty much agree with that one.

  4. I refer to “Knitting Rules” all the time, if I had to buy only one book for a knitting friend it would be that one! Although I love the others, too…

  5. I got your book by accident from my brother. He didn’t know I only crocheted. Not only have you saved my yarn stash from getting cut down 3 times as fast, I have enjoyed knitting ever so much! I can highly recommend your book for any fiber lover.

  6. I also use Knitting Rules all the time. I finally made a copy of the basic sock pattern pages so I didn’t have to carry the book around. Lucky enough to have had you sign it. Twice.
    Also, I knew that you knit faster than me but finishing a sock in a day? Dang! I’m knitting a big, not simple pair and they’ve taken since (US) Thanksgiving. They’re kicking my ar$3!

  7. Stephanie, your health and well-being and that of your family comes way above any Christmas knitting spreadsheet. I’m sure people would rather have an IOU for their gift and a you who is well and happy, that a worn-out and coughing wreck over the festive season. 🙂 Be kind to yourself and the knitting will happen (sometime).
    I’ll get down off my soapbox now and go and start dinner….

  8. Chin up! Spending a little time sleeping will hopefully help you get over your cold a little faster! I have 3 kids under 4, so I mostly only get to knit at nap time and after bedtime. I think I may have a screw loose because I keep adding things to my Christmas knitting!!

  9. … and then there’s the bumper sticker that reads “If knitting were excercise you could bounce a quarter off my ass”. Ah, how true!

  10. So I have to admit I use a reader to catch all of your blog updates, but I always click thru to read from your site. Anyways, when I clicked the title “Nothing to see here” and it came up with no post, just “Fail” I couldn’t keep from laughing so loud that I had to tell the rest of the office what I was reading over my lunch. Except it’s not very intresting to everyone else to read knitting blogs…

  11. Something I do to make it seem like the socks go faster (yes, using your sock recipe): I knit the first one’s cuff to the two inches, then if i’m somewhere I don’t really need to focus, I continue with the stockingette down to the heel flap, otherwise I cast on the second sock. I save the heel flaps for when I have a few minutes and can keep track sans row counter (btw, the google app store has a couple of good ones, even lets you keep track of multiple projects). Then I knit my heel whenever, do the gusset when waiting for dh or the kids, it’s relatively mindless because I never stop at the end of a round, always 1/2 way through (I split it to 4 needles). This way here, if needle 1 and needle 4 have the same number of stitches, it was a plain knit row, if they’re different, then it was a decrease row. foot part for mindless, toe decreases same way… then i save the seaming for when I’m home. I find sock knitting a great way to keep little monsters (the ones running around screaming at school concerts for example) far away because their parents seem to be afraid of the crazy lady with the 5 sharp sticks pointed on both ends….. You’ll get caught up to the spread sheet… your daughters are adults now and can help with the baking parts…

  12. I’ve had that cold (no, you didn’t get it from me) and it’s a nasty one. Hope you feel better soon and get back on track.

  13. I’ve been pulling my hair out trying to find a “knitting rules” type instruction for knitting sleeves in the round from top down. Now if I had you on speed dial, ill or not, I would be plaguing the life out of you – as it is I’ll let you off, and dash off to trawl Tshirts …
    Wishing you better and thanks for persevering xxxxx

  14. And can I make a suggestion for Knitting Rules (or another knitting reference book), even if the knitter owns the book, having the ebook is very helpful! I have it downloaded to my phone so no matter where I am, I can look up the answer. This makes spontaneous knitting in public much more productive.
    I hate when I have to put the knitting away until I can get home and remind myself how to do kitchener or something.

  15. Knitting Rules is supposed to be my reward when I reach a certain milestone (boyfriend promised). I already have Meditations. I’d have all the books, but I use them as my motivation for reaching goals! (I’ve read them all, but I’m a bibliophile, so I need to own them too).
    Sleep is a fantastic invention. Yeah, I always feel like I could be accomplishing so much more if I indulged in less of it, but I so enjoy lounging in bed with the fella that I end up getting a decent amount of sleep 🙂 Besides, sleep helps us fight off bugs quicker! GET SOME.

  16. I made my own t-shirt a couple of years ago. It has “I <3 Yarn” Except the heart is a heart made of stockinette v’s and the “yarn” is just a picture of a ball of yarn. I love it!

  17. Sleep is no more a waste of time than that needed to soak and block a beautiful shawl. Lovingly grant your body the time to “knit” the cells it needs to performs your daily tasks. Let your body awake from sleep bright, refreshed and alert …like a pointy-edged shawl emerges perfectly blocked after time spent drying.

  18. Just to add I’ve spent Christmas gift money (that I haven’t yet received) on some brilliant T shirts! Not yarn, but hey will freak OH out when I get a package that isn’t yarn!
    Now back to trying to work out top down, in the round, picked up sleeves ….

  19. ‘Knitting Rules’ is the first knitting book I ever bought, long before I had any clue who you are. I refer to it constantly, and quote to anyone who will still listen your ‘Reasons to Have a Stash’. Feel better – you are not alone in your pestilence. This too shall pass.

  20. I too refer too knitting Rules all the ime. Even though I did our Grok the Sock I still have KnittingRules nearby for reference. Plus sometimes when I need a good chuckle I just read some high lighted areas.

  21. omg, thank you for including our shirt in your favorites list! you really do need a beer shirt and we’ll make sure that discrepancy in your wardrobe is closed immediately!

  22. I just love that you still summon up the enrgy and mojo to post, even when you’re feeling really sh*tty. Am currently downing a large whisky and ginger in solidarity – hope you shake the lergy off real soon!

  23. “Knitting Around” is the only knitting book ever read by my non-knitter husband. I think he was enthralled by EZ’s description of Germany in the ’30s and Arnold’s escape over the Alps. Also, I think Elizabeth’s art studies and watercolours gave the book some sort of gravitas, or legitimacy, in his mind.

  24. Well it just isn’t true that “Knitting Rules” is the only useful book you have written. Many of the essays in your other books have made me laugh out loud and served as a very useful reminder that knitting is supposed to be FUN and I shouldn’t take it so seriously. That bit of wisdom has done wonders for my knitting skills! Hope you feel better soon.

  25. Next year, remember to schedule a couple sick days into your spreadsheet. Now I’m off to check out those books!

  26. Thanks for including the fun t-shirts. About 50% of my clothes are ones like these. Love my “Knit for Brains” shirt! (cafepress)
    And KimW @ 3:43 is correct – “Knitting Rules” is not the only useful book you’ve written! “At Knit’s End” (at least I think it was that one) had one bit that I remember often: that just because socks are small, it doesn’t mean that there still aren’t 10,000 stitches in them, and deciding to do them as a last minute gift isn’t such a great idea. Underscored by your post about finishing a “Pretty Thing” – only 61 rounds!
    Hope you are better soon. Sleep is a good thing!

  27. I too could totally kick my “to do” list’s arse if I didn’t need to sleep or eat, or feed anyone else.
    I too was sick with that same lousy cold. Better in two days, functional in four, and still coughing two weeks later. So I hope it’s not really the same cold or you are still going to be coughing a bit during Christmas, which I do NOT wish on you.
    LOVE Knitting Rules, but came to it later in life. My life-changing Knitting Moment was in 1981 when I read Knitter’s Almanac and then immediately went in search of Knitting Without Tears. EZ rocks; and so do you. I not only became a Knitter because of EZ, but I became a spinner because of her descriptions of her spinning wheel and the yarn she made. Then it was you, Dear Stephanie, who caused me to resume my interest in spinning in the early spring of this very year, for which I thank you as it has turned out to be one of the very best things that has happened to me besides my kids. I’ve been places and met people because of spinning that I never would have dreamed of; I’m the fibre consultant for a restored Icelandic homestead/museum; and now I’m on the brink of starting my own yarn-related business. So, that was my Birthday and Christmas and every other day gift from YOU this year. Stephanie rocks! (please feel better soon!)

  28. I gave “Knitting Rules” to all the women in my family so they would better understand my obsession with knitting and yarn. It is HILARIOUS – and very, very practical. You helped me learn how to knit socks! (Best sock-knitting explanation EVER.)

  29. Knitting Rules is your only useful book? I beg to differ. I use your essay books to help me regain my sense of humor/perspective fairly regularly.

  30. The first book I read of yours was ‘Yarn harlot writes again’ and even though it says on the back that it is about knitters and not knitting, I thought it was some sort of pattern book… yup, stupid mistake #1 (but I was roaring in laughter and couldn’t put it down)
    then I as I became adicted to your writing, I thought that Knitting Rules was another book of essays, and procded to read it feeling like it was a rather strange read until I flipped through it and realized it was pattern/help book. Mistake #2(btw, the simple hat pattern in the book was awesome and after showing it to my grandmother, she knit everyone hats like that for christmas.)
    Get more sleep: it’s the main way your body heals itself. $crew the spreadsheet! the best chirstmas gift is family knowing that you are healthy (and not having your germs all over their christmas gift 😉 ) Say it with me: Sleep is my Friend.

  31. I want to put a plug in for your At Knit’s End. It’s a small but packed collection of funny, interesting and moving stories told in pithy bites.
    I keep it handy and read it still, a story or two (if they’re super short) at a time. And I cry every time I read about Joe’s sock… love does that to me.

  32. I too used to stuff the whole” Knitting Rules” book into a small, sock project bag, but now I have one hand written, small notebook page with heel instructions, toe instructions and kitchiner instructions, all protected in a little, clear, ziploc bag.
    No more beat up battered book, no more bulky project bag….win win.

  33. I have 2 copies of Knitting Rules,dog eared copy goes with me all the time,New copy with your signature in it for safe keeping,lol.
    Hope you feel better soon.

  34. I’m sure your family and friends will understand you are out of commission with the crud and may not get everything knit up in time for the big day…good luck to you and feel better soon! I’d send you some sunshine but we don’t have any to share in Fairbanks right now.

  35. My favorite shirt is the new one I have that in lovely rhinestones says “Knitting is my Superpower” — and I wear it with my Lothlorien cape

  36. Think positive, by Christmas this cold will be gone ad you will be able to totally enjoy the holidays…. while everyone else has the cold….and won’t notice you gave them a swatch or 1 and 3/4 sock.
    Personally I have never been able to knit with a cold, either my eyes won’t focus or if I take meds I get sea sick watching the yarn and stitches move. So congratulations on the kitting you have done!

  37. Sorry you’re sick. Nurse Julie (that’s me) advises that you need to start respecting the restorative power of sleep and view it as a gift not a penance. It’s the truth.

  38. LOVE Knitting Rules! Turn to it often – those basic recipes can be personalized sooo many ways and the writing has calmed the fears of every beginner knitter I’ve ever given it too.

  39. I love all your books, but I admit to using “Knitting Rules” all the time. I’ve purchased it for friends, too, so I agree it’s a great gift. Hope you feel better soon. I’d still like to know the yarn you’re using on those socks., Please?

  40. cafepress also has a “knitting sayings on canvas totes” section- i have one that has some skeins of yarn on it and says “ball sack”. i adore it. they have a ton of other options too.

  41. Oh yeah, Knitting Rules has been a perennial fave of mine (Along with EZ’s Knitting Workshop). I even got my fear over knitting socks thanks to that book. 😀

  42. LOVE the reminder about the PrettyThings – I’d meant to do it for my mom, last year, so I just bought the pattern on Ravelry and will root thru the stash tomorrow during daylight.
    Do take the time to get better – sneezing into the socks will not help the blocking process!

  43. I can’t believe that no one else has said this yet, on a knitting blog, no less: please to remember that it’s “….sleep that knits up the raveled sleeve of care…” !!
    Of course you need some extra!

  44. Your other books are useful, in a different way. They feed the need for the other kind of good “yarn”…

  45. Barbara Walker’s knitting stitch directories are also very good reference books for any knitter, inspiring even the newest to move beyond garter stitch and stockinette.
    Feel better soonest because the avalanche of Christmas Crazy is coming. For example, didn’t you have two sweaters on your list to knit? Are they going the way of Joe’s gansey??? (Poor Joe. Poor, cold, frostbitten Joe. How many winters has he been without that gansey?)

  46. To make your publisher happy, and also to be truly honest, Knitting Rules is one of the most useful books I own. I go to it again and again.
    I also find the stuff on Unfinished Projects in other books really useful (and funny) when my sense of proportion has gone missing.
    Rest – if you rest now you’ll get back to full strength sooner.It is very hard to get mothers to take their own advice.:)

  47. Knitting Rules is so useful that I bought a replacment after Bad Cat decided to pee on it and I couldn’t live with the smell.

  48. A favorite saying that gets quoted around my house a lot- “life is what happens while you were making other plans”.
    I know what you mean about sleep, though. *So* many more interesting things we could be doing!

  49. I bet all that sleep was just what you needed to be on the way to recovery. Thanks for the tips about the t-shirts. Hope you feel better soon, Stephanie.

  50. Steph, here is wisdom from beyond the grave. My Grandma said –
    A cold will last a week if you take everything in the medicine cabinet and every home remedy you know. If you do nothing for it, about 7 days.
    You’re welcome.

  51. Not to suck up, but Knitting Rules is the #1 book I recommend, especially to new knitters. It’s my go-to book.
    On shirts, my favorite that I own is, “I knit so I don’t kill people.” Likely couldn’t wear it to the airport, though.

  52. One of my favorites is your book “At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much”. I discovered it while on vacation several years ago, it led me to your blog and I’ve been reading / lurking / and knitting more that ever since that discovery. Love the gift lists and thanks for doing the research for us.

  53. How to kick a cold’s butt (this is what I did)…Zinc 50mg, Vitamin C 1000mg. Take twice a day and a hot toddy before bed. All gone in 48 hours.

  54. Hmmmm, hates sleep and gets as little as possible, catches frequent, nasty colds. See a possible connection here? You may not need sleep but your body does. Listen to it. Which is better-not getting as much done because you are giving your body the rest it needs or not getting as much done because you are dragging around sick and feeling like hell?

  55. Could you tell us the yarn/color way for that sock? I really love it! On another note…this is my first time commenting and I just wanted to let you know how much I love your blog. I found it about the same time I started knitting (two years ago) and it has done wonders for making me feel like my new knitting obsession was not totally insane! It has also encouraged me to try many new things I would have been afraid to try if I hadn’t see you use the technique and make it look easy (or at least possible). Thank you!

  56. Feel better soon! Zinc lozenges work like magic to get rid of colds, though they work best taken at the first sign of a cold. You suck on them, three a day. Try it, it really works!! ( they don’t taste bad, either).

  57. Sally at Rivendale Farms, I have the same saying on a window decal AND on a sleep shirt! So true …

  58. To quote Shakespeare: “Sleep, the balm that knits up the ravel’d sleave of care.” Will had the right idea, Steph. 10 hours? You needed it, girl.

  59. You poor thing! Don’t get discouraged! You’ll be so motivated to knit after this cold that I’m sure you’ll catch up in no time. Sending prayers your way. – Maddy

  60. Knitting Rules is not the only useful book you’ve ever written, but it’s my favorite. Because I use it ALL THE TIME. Thank you.

  61. I always recommend Kintting Rules for knitters trying socks for the first time. That chapter describes sock anatomy so well & I think that makes it easier to understand a pattern (or knit without one).

  62. Thanks for the gift ideas! I used my usual Christmas shopping logic – buy a gift for someone else, buy one for me – and ordered two of the How To Knit sweatshirts – one for a friend, and one for me!

  63. I use Knitting Rules all the time. Just finished yet another hat from the recipe there. Yes, it’s a Christmas gift. Thanks for such a funny and useful book!

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