Loose Ends

A month ago, when I was booking the flight to the Dominican Republic, I sat with my sister and my mum, and we scoured over the calendar, looking for the best dates to come and go.  Mum had the spot booked starting the 2nd, and I had to be in Seattle for Madrona on the 13th, so I said I’d book to come back on the 11th.  I’d land, wash my clothes, sort out my family, do a load of laundry, gather the stuff I need for all the classes, and then relaunch in the other direction, continentally speaking.

Erin talked with the travel guy on the phone and a few minutes later it turns out that it is grossly less expensive to come home on the 12th. That’s a tight fit, I think. That’s going to be really hard – I have a lot to do for Madrona, I should take the more expensive ticket to come home on the 11th, and then suddenly it hit me like a bag of hammers. What kind of idiot pays more money for less time in the Caribbean?  Not this gal.
I told Erin to book it, and she did, and forwarded me ticket and on closer examination, while my flight leaves the Dominican on the 12th, I don’t get home until the 13th and man – is it going to be one tight turnaround. 

I have been trying to figure out how to manage this for weeks. In my heart, I have always believed that I can pull off just about anything if I get the organization right.  I believe this in the face of tragic and repeated evidence to the contrary, but at the core of me I am an optimist, and the few times that this has actually worked has driven belief into my heart that all this is going to take is a really great list, several colours of post-it notes and a spreadsheet.  Yesterday morning I got up, made my list for the day and realized that if anyone else had made that list, I would tell them they were completely out of touch with reality.  This morning I got up and made my list (with the carry over from yesterday- because it was actually impossible) and felt a wave of nausea.  I know it’s going to be worth it, but man. It’s killing me.  I’m determined to get a pattern up – it seemed like good timing, now that I’m knitting Old Joe’s socks (for My Joe) again…

and I am determined to finish Little Lou’s sweater…

although all that needs is buttonbands (and I don’t have the buttons, but let’s slide right by that one, there’s no need to cloud the issue with facts and logic) and on top of that I have to wind just slightly more than 300 ten metre balls of yarn for class materials, print off my handouts (after beating the ¢?§¶•ªº¡ing printer into some kind of ^&(*&^$?¢§ing submission) and pull together a charity event and buy sunscreen and crap I forgot the laundry and prescriptions and …  I have to pick what knitting I’ll take. 

Somehow… that’s the hardest thing. Despite the crazed number of things I have to accomplish, I keep finding myself drifting to the stash and poking through, and I’m on the edge of having someone change my Ravelry password for me to force me to stop cruising the patterns.  I need something small (has to fit in a suitcase) and something interesting for when I have time to focus (plane, beach) and something plain for when I can’t – though I think I have that covered with a pair of plain socks, and the Old Joe ones I’ve just got on the go. They’re simple. Beyond that, the world is my oyster. I have 18 days of knitting to plan. 

Suggestions?

148 thoughts on “Loose Ends

  1. Take a deep breath. Enjoy the time with your family and the rest will figure it’s self out. Even if you run out of knitting, something will appear….

  2. Gotta be a lace shawl, scrunches up small for travel and will keep you entertained when you can concentrate and won’t be heavy on your lap when it gets bigger.
    Happy traveling!

  3. I cannot imagine getting all that done but i guess you have to pack and have everything ready for Madrona before you leave for vacation so you can just come home and change bags. WOW!
    How about some charity knitting like easy hats or scarves? You could just pick a stitch you like and go with it!

  4. Whoo hoo, Caribbean! Beautiful blues there, hope you find some yarn to match.
    Whew, sounds like you need a Personal Assistant. Til then, delegate lady! Except for the button bands can others do some of these things? And I would definitely delegate button finding to your Mom, she did an awesome job the last time. Little Lou’s sweater looks cute!

  5. First off – change the ticket to go straight from Dom Republic to Seattle – why are you stopping in Canada for 10 minutes? Put everything you need for Madrona in a box and have someone Fed Ex it to someone reliable in Seattle – so it’s waiting for you on the 13th.
    The yarn you’ll figure out. The flying around the North American continent thing… not so much.
    Side note: Your coining of the term “underyarned” is genius – I use it and give you credit every time – so don’t be ‘underyarned’ for the trip!

  6. I am absolutely serious about this: ship me the yarn to make the 300 little balls and I will do that and ship it to Madrona where it will be ready for you. I can help. I can also print notes and collate them for your classes. You have minions. Use us!

  7. EZ PI Shawl. now that I said that, I think I need to start on. And get someone to wind those little balls of yarn for you.

  8. See above post,that’s a GOOD friend
    Also I agree with going straight to Seattle.
    how about Fidor by Romi should keep you busy for most of the trip and won’t take much room.
    1 of the girls could use it for a wedding shawl.
    See you will be ahead

  9. I’m with all of those who say go straight to Seattle (even if it means a fee to change the ticket and/or that you just change planes in Toronto), ship your Madrona clothes to the hotel, accept above offers to help.
    And have fun!

  10. Wish I could send you my 93 year old mother who would be happy to wind up 300 balls for you. I’m at the point where I’ll have to buy some skeins soon as she’s wound just about everything in the house. Such a problem.

  11. Citron is fabulous and easy (you could probably knock out several of them during your trip)and gorgeous with the right yarn.
    I agree with above comments…delegate the 300 little skeins…fly directly to Seattle. Done.

  12. I totally agree with the commenter who said preship and have it waiting at Madrona. This way it ia all together and will be waiting for you. Also if you leave something out you can still take it with you. Have your baggage things all laid out and ready to roll. I know you are not going to need the same clothes for Madrona and the DR.
    Leave a detailed list of things for your family to do for you before or on the day of your return.
    Take a really deep breath or a lot of them everyday. Calm down you will get it done. AND enjoy your vacation.

  13. I agree with everyone, take a deep breath, delegate things you can, make use of your “minions”take a couple of projects and relax, you are suppose to be on vacation. People have your back and you are much loved. Going to Seattle from the islands seems like a better choice than going from nice and warm to freezing cold and snow , back to Seattle weather.

  14. Linen vest. Linen tank top. Linen skinny scarf…
    There’s a theme here. You need fiber that won’t feel “sticky” in humid conditions. Hmmm. Maybe silk.
    I agree with Carol. Use us, your minions. Let us know. I live in the Tacoma area and can wind wool with the best of them thanks to my grandmother.

  15. Sounds like it’s going to be a gorgeous vacay as long as your properly prepared for the less-than-relaxing stuff once you get home. It’s be nice to get out of the crummy Toronto weather! I live about an hour away but had to travel into the city for an appointment last week. The traffic/weather/general insanity was so bad it took nearly an hour and a half to get to where we were going! Good thing we left early. Enjoy your trip and soak up some sun for us!

  16. Accept one of the offers above for winding your 300 balls of yarn. Or ask your daughter to do it. If choosing your knitting seems to be the sticking point, don’t forget that you’ll need to have knitting for Madrona, too, and should choose that now as you won’t have time in your tight turnaround (or if you take the advice above and change your ticket to go direct to Seattle).
    Lace is always good when travelling but having time to concentrate. Doesn’t weigh much or take much space for the yarn. Still cold – you could whip out some mittens for something on the plane if you’re tired of socks.
    Good luck – enjoy your travels and your vacation!

  17. If I was in TO, I would wind the balls of yarn for you. I’d do it in MA and mail the yarn to Madrona, but I think that would drive you bonkers not knowing exactly how it was progressing and not having proof that it was done.

  18. The three S’s.
    Sweater
    Socks (two plain and one patterned)
    Shawl
    oh, and the 4th S.
    Staples. Business Depot. Either use their online print shop OR email the documents to the local copy centre then call them to discuss finer details over the phone. The price to have the information printed there is negated by the sanity it will bring.

  19. I know y’all have lots of friends in the PNW, but in case they are also teaching at Madrona (and are therefore really busy), I live a half-hour from Tacoma, and am happy to assist. We met a few years back in Fairhope, Alabama. Not that you’d remember. But I do!

  20. How about a nice shawlette? How about “Something Wicked This Way Comes ” by Kyla Hurst.

  21. Carol & Stephanie sound like very smart ladies – great suggestions – I wish you lots of yarny luck!!! Can’t wait to see the photo summary of your Caribbean trip – SO jealous! 🙂 enjoooy

  22. Holy moley! You’d better hope the weather doesn’t get in the way of your travel plans. I agree with others, get your stuff ready early and ship it to Seattle. The family will have to fend for themselves. That’s what vacation is for!

  23. Well, the good news is, you likely won’t need the same attire at Madrona that you will in the Dominican. If you’re up to the challenge, you might be able to pack for Madrona prior to vacation. Then you just have to do a grab and go. You might even have time for sleep in between. 😀

  24. Suggestions? – yup. Get off the blog and go do what you have to do, delegate what someone else can do. Pack three balls of sock yarn and some spare sock needles and just GO.

  25. Agree with all above who suggest changing return flight to Seattle and shipping your teaching materials.

  26. Something cashmere, unisex, with a size/color-doesn’t-matter quality, that you can comfortably carry anywhere, so that the next time you’re stricken with Guilt Type 3, you can pay it forward with an impromptu gift.

  27. In total agreement with those who say to change your flight to go straight to Seattle. Have a few days of crazy up front and then be done with it until you get home. For projects, I suggest Glenna C’s Viper Pilots. They’re intricate enough to keep you interested (I think) and small, so they will fit in your bag AND won’t be over-warm on your lap in the tropics. Ship everything you need for Madrona ahead and accept the help of those willing/happy to help you. You don’t have to do it all yourself – you really don’t.

  28. Last year you took the blanket (yes, I looked) I also noticed several things. You had a 10 hour turn around time last year. You had tons of family fun/adventures (including Hank, monkeys and geckos) My suggestion would be socks because: a) you are closer to the equator & it’s hot b)small enough to pack several (to meet the various criteria) c) within your comfort zone yet with an open door for a challenging pattern. Wishing you the very best of refreshing times. Can’t wait to hear about it (Love your Mom comments)

  29. Laundry can be done at Madrona. Pack for Madrona and bring to Caribbean, worth the baggage fees! Family will come through if you give them each one job to complete for your short turn around!!!

  30. 1, if you have any sort of “device” that surfs the net you can still get to ravelry as long as you can find a wireless connection.
    2, You’ve written your own patterns before, take the plunge and start random.
    3, pack a spare ball of sock yarn and lace because it goes a long way.
    4, are there any things you can post to Madrona ahead of time? Or leave a spare two sets of clothes now with someone else who is going?
    Enjoy your holiday!

  31. OK, here’s my suggestion, not having read through what others have written before me.
    (Please don’t shout at me if you don’t like it)
    You share your life with Joe and three wonderful young ladies, at least one of whom still dwells under your roof – have I been paying attention in all the right places? YOU and Natalie get EVERYTHING ready that needs to be got ready for Madrona. You also make sure the Old Joe sock project is ready to go. You get Joe and at least one daughter to choose a project each from Ravelry WITHOUT CONSULTING YOU (!) and they are then responsible, as a team, for packing a project bag with appropriate yarn and toolage (methinks you might not want Joe necessarily rooting through the stash – maybe Natalie can be roped in here, as well, or Ken, if he’s around). That way you have Surprise Knitting to keep you going, AND a simultaneous heart-string pulling connection to your loved ones – you’ll either be blessing or cursing them, depending on what they’ve chosen for you 😉
    Enjoy your getaway!

  32. you can by the suncreen at the airport, delegate the laundry, and that leaves only the prescriptions to take care of…. and the knitting.

  33. Pack clothing for both trips.
    Send print outs to FedEx/Kinko’s (or its ilk) and pick up on way to Madrona (They have MACHINES that actually collate and staple!!! Who knew?). My suggestion would be between that airport and actual site.
    I like the suggestion of the “surprise” knitting package…maybe an early Christmas present for someone. And is there not some sort of “market” at Madrona that you can attend…and refresh your stash.
    Any of those pre-packaged “kits” that you created laying around? Those could be travel knitting. I agree with a small lacy shawl/scarf and socks (or lacy socks, too.) But you want something that is not going to be sticky to knit in St. Kitts.
    Have a safe and relaxing trip.
    Anyone create a spreadsheet for you? But you always get it done…

  34. I agree–use the minions and the copyshop and all! And then go find a shawl and something fun to knit it with. I am doing Winnowing right now, and it is fun, not stressful, Jared Flood, and small enough to schlep. Something like that? Have a ball.

  35. for the knitting, Echo Flower Shawl large version. For (some of) the Madrona prep: bribe Sam to do the winding while you’re away. happy travels!

  36. Bet you anything the Madrona venue has a shop to which you could email masters of your handouts, and they could print and have them ready for you. I’ve never been to a conference where that isn’t possible.
    And definitely ship all your class necessities – and clothes, for that matter – directly to Seattle. Then you can either fly directly there from the DR, or fly to Toronto, touch down long enough for hugs all around, leave off your DR clothes, and head for the airport.
    The shipping costs to Madrona should all be deductible.

  37. My vote goes for:
    1) E-mail your class material documents to a Madrona-local printer, for them to deliver to the site. Or ask Natalie to see to it.
    2) Delegate the yarn-winding to someone near Madrona. Or take it with you to do (or have someone else do!) on the beach.
    3) Pack EVERYTHING you need for Madrona (clothes, extra knitting, equipment, etc.) and ship it there. 4) Knitting? Socks x 2 (maybe 3); lace shawl, shawlette or sweater; 1 or 2 small December Celebration presents.
    5) Have a marvellous family vacation.
    6) Fly directly to Seattle and enjoy Madrona.
    Did I miss anything?
    PS: I bet you can buy sunscreen in the Dominican Rep.

  38. I’m with everyone else – go straight to Madrona.
    UNLESS you already bought the ticket from toronto to Madrona, then I see why.
    I know you always like making things to wear, but why not make a bag? You’ll be able to store more yarn when you go to Mardona. 🙂

  39. I am going to be in Pearson Terminal 3 on Friday evening. Will say hello if I see you.
    I vote for a lace travel project that only requires one ball of yarn.
    Safe travels!

  40. it’s contagio\
    contagious. I had one of those flee-the-country-for-your-life nightmares, leave everything behind–but was grabbing my knitting, and delaying because I couldn’t find the Noro/Brooklyn Tweed scarf I was knitting and was having to leave the one that’s finished behind. Tight schedule, but you’ll make it.

  41. Can you fly from the Carribean to Madrona and bypass the home stop? (Yes, you’ll be away from home longer, BUT it will only add stress if you try to clean the house or do others’ laundry in your short home layover.) You basically need everything ready for Madrona before you leave for vacation – so just ship everything to Madrona that you’ll need (in care of someone local).

  42. Every time I think “gee, my to do list is completely ridiculous” I see one of yours and think “look, someone more delusional about the amount of time in a day than I am”. Have a fantastic vacation (I can’t believe it’s been a year since you were last there – I was just reading the old blog posts).

  43. 5 relaxing ideas:
    1) wear THIS your last night there (note the beach in the background AND there’s no buttons): http://www.garnstudio.com/lang/us/pattern.php?id=3608&lang=us
    2) take along 300-400 gm of your favourite Caribbean blue-green laceweight, a pencil and graph paper notepad. Perfect beach fun — and insurance in case planned stuff runs out.
    3) remember, a resort in DR will have internet. Ravelry is already waiting for you there!
    4) do some of that winding on the beach? how much luggage space could it take??
    5) wash swatches in the ocean. just cause you can.

  44. Put an extra pair of sock needles in your carry-on bag/purse now. And maybe an extra pair in your checked bag, too. That way you can’t forget them.

  45. Echo Flowers shawl free on Ravelry. Do with something like Malabrigo merino lace. Smushes to nothing. I did it on 5’s, could easily go on 6’s. IF you do the shawlette version, you only need one skein of yarn. And you get to make nupps. (watch the video on using a crochet hook on youtube if you’ve never done them before. Crochet hook method rocks)
    Also Barbancourt rum is the smoothest damn thing on earth. Have a shot on the rocks.

  46. A few things to ponder about all the knitting and fibery related items:
    1. Is there a law that says you have to wind the yarn? Could you find someone to wind it for you? A friend, office assistant, minion, cat…
    2. La República Dominicana will have internet at the hotel so you can peruse Ravelry there.
    3. Make a list of possible projects, amount of yarn required, and try a dry-run pack to see if things fit properly (of course, that means you have to pack early but, you know, then it’s done).
    4. Socks. Fingerless mitts. Mittens. Hats. They’re all small, portable, and can be either boring or exciting.

  47. Could you ship stuff NOW to your workshop/class and have it all there waiting for you? Also, you could ship your personal projects, too. Ship a mess of stuff; grin…then it’s all there waiting for you.

  48. My suggestion is something beach themed. Something with shells or starfish or waves.
    Oh, and have fun!

  49. Dear Stephanie,
    Here is my two cents:
    Your other comments have covered the immediate issues. But, I think there is an underlying, repeating issue.
    Okay. Here goes. You need to gather up all the strength you can muster. Then, reach as deep as you can into your soul and make yourself a promise. I. WILL. NEVER. DO. LAUNDRY. AGAIN. Say goodbye to your washer and dryer.
    Shout it from the rooftops. Get it tatood on your wrist. Leave the guilt behind. Make it your mantra.
    All the people in your life will step up. I know it. They love you, they just need a taste of tough love.
    I am a stranger, but I speak the truth.
    Nancy Paris

  50. My last travel knitting idea came from you – Wingspan! I know you made one already, but you could try one of the permutations, like the lace wingspan. It was big, but not too big.
    Also, Madrona – delegate something!! And cross your fingers.

  51. Hey Presbytera and Rams: I am buying a 1.5 liter bottle of wine on the way home tonight. This is gonna be FUN!

  52. A really nice pattern to find on ravelry is “Dreambird” by Nadita Swings. How about that?
    Have a nice holiday, everything will work out just fine!

  53. I have just finished knitting Stephen West’s Rockefeller in teal and white and loved it. It is great summer knitting – light yarn, and featherweight garment and it looks stunning! It is summer here so very suitable for hot weather 🙂

  54. Wish you would let us help by a tiny tiny amount to finance your trip…..by giving us a pattern for Old Joe’s Socks! They are great.

  55. Regardless of whether you stop at home first (I totally understand wanting to do that, and I have done similarly), I too strongly recommend shipping what you can to Madrona. It won’t cost more than the checked-baggage fee anyway, and is sanity-making.
    As far as knitting? Go for lace for the complicated-but small because it smooshes down to nothing.

  56. Is it too impractical to simply fly directly from the Dominican Republic to Tacoma? That would be easiest for you, but would require someone at home to get things ready for you and ship them to you in Tacoma. Might be too expensive. Pack before you go, and have one of your daughters or Joe meet you in Tacoma with your stuff. This conference is over Valentine’s Day, so you and Joe could have some alone time with all 1,000 of your dearest fans. I am just rambling. It sounds as though the most practical thing to do is to be ready for Tacoma before you leave on your trip, and then fly home just long enough to swtich luggage, then be off to Madrona.
    Yikes.

  57. And now for some more guilt:
    Where’s the Old Joe pattern?
    As someone leaving the country for many weeks I need to figure out the knitting too Not that Australia doesn’t have yarn!
    But I’ve got pneumonia and bronchitis right now, making deliberations slow.
    Be grateful. Enjoy!
    Breathe.

  58. I know I’m not original to suggest this, but I’d fly straight to Madrona. There are plenty of other services to help–FedEx is your friend! And so is Kinkos! Good luck!

  59. Holden shawlette is a fun, easy knit. I would help you wind and print if I could! Safe travels, and have fun!

  60. What ever you knit in the Dominican Republic, it should be amber coloured since the Dominican Republic is so rich in amber shades from red through yellow, amber to rare green. I vote for socks for your travel companions to recall the trip in winter.

  61. The Spiraluscious Cowl is quick, fun to knit (not boring but with a little extra) and beautiful on the wearer. It only uses about 150 metres of yarn – is addictive in the sense that after finishing one you immediately want to cast on another in a different yarn to see how that looks.

  62. Invite Hank over to wind yarn. He’s probably big enough even to weigh yarn while you knit and supervise. I also vote on that fly straight to Madrona. About your more involved project, what about fingering weight color work? Hats? Gloves? Sweater? Pi shawl is a great choice too. EZ even suggested it for family travel. Enjoy yourself. Is that where you went last time and zip lined and turtle hunted?

  63. OK then, a gal from Toronto makes no allowance for travel delays.
    First I would look at what I didn’t personally have to do.
    For Madrona you could send e copies of you hand outs and have someone else print them. No time to do laundry? They’ll have washing machines there. Hotels will do your laundry and with all the cash you are saving you will be good.
    For your house – Joe and your daughter are adults. Leave them to it. My life got much simpler when I travelled for business when I decided my husband and sons could look after themselves. Now that they are grown they cook, do laundry and iron – usually better than their wives whose mother’s did everything for them.
    At the time I worried that it was benign neglect, but now I realize it was letting go.

  64. For small-ish and interesting, I agree with Echo Flower Shawl, and I’m also currently smitten with Smaug Socks by Claire Ellen. Take both so you don’t run out of knitting!
    I’m really looking forward to your Old Joe’s sock pattern. If you happen to read this and get a chance, whenever, I’d love to know what yarn you’re using for Your Joe’s Old Joe’s socks. It would be perfect for my son’s graduation/damn you’re smart socks. Hope you have a wonderful time with plenty of fun adventures!

  65. I agree with Edna. Joe and your daughters are grown ups and I think you can leave them to it. Go straight to Seattle.
    Also, do they have laundromats in the Dominican republic? Really–I don’t know. Pack lightly and plan to spend some time washing laundry while you’re away. No need to be home for that.

  66. A couple of thousand yards of either lace weight or fingering weight, appropriate needles and an idea for a Pi shawl.

  67. As many have said about the yarn winding use your minions. 🙂
    I was/am often reminded by family that they had children for their potential as slave labor. In my house the need for all the little balls of yarn would be solved something like this. “You child! (I’m 27) Take all that yarn. *points* and make it into little wound balls like such *demo*” They would then set up the scale, winder and place to put the yarn balls and walk away to do other “important” things. XD

  68. Renee Anne asked, ” Is there a law that says you have to wind the yarn?”
    and suddenly the future unfolded before my eyes:
    Place: Madrona
    TIme: 13 or 14 February
    Scene: A tanned instructor takes the floor.
    “Class, knitters are a self-sufficient lot. We will now learn how to measure off and wind a ball of yarn on the fly, no yarn winder, no external aids, just hands, elbows, and for the limber, knees. … ”

  69. Dear Stephanie….I LUV,LUV,LUV knitting….I am NEVER without a project on the go or needles in my hands….& yet….when I had a heart attack out of the clear blue sky exactly 2 weeks ago & landed on my butt in the hospital for one full week…well…kind’a had a way of bringing “life” into focus!!! I was home for 3 full days before I even looked inside my little knitting bag. What I’m trying to say is “E-N-J-O-Y”….RELAX…just LIVE….WITHOUT a ‘plan’…it’ll be grrreat!!…((:

  70. Well, here’s my suggestion
    1) Cut what you can (eg. leave off getting a pattern up, cut the charity event?),
    2) delegate/hire/bribe/do an exchange for everything that does not have to be done specifically by you…winding balls, printing, sunscreen/prescriptions, laundry, charity event…?
    3) Leave yourself only the essentials that no one else can do for you (pack for both trips now, choosing projects..)
    Have a great holiday!
    Lou’s sweater looks great by the way!

  71. Delegate. Nothing will come to a crashing end if you have a friend do some of the tasks you need to have done for Madrona.
    Pick up some Dominican goodies as bribery in case a plane gets delayed and you are late. You will be forgiven if you share chocolate or coffee or something wonderful.
    Clapotis for the easy. Should make a great Christmas gift for one of the girls and it is a lot of knitting so you might be kept occupied with it for a chunk of the trip.

  72. Also, the Dominican goodies will be a good thank you to whoever helps you with your tasks.
    Never underestimate how happy a treat makes people.

  73. So many wonderful suggestions. I can’t wait to see how it turns out. (Yes, I do have my own life. This is just much more fun than doing laundry.)

  74. Enjoy yourself! I really want to get your pattern for the Old Joe socks. Coming sometime soon?

  75. Enjoy your vacation and store up on the vitamin Deeee! When this whirlwind passes by (it will) and you come out victorious on the other end, could you ,would you take the time to publish your Old Joe Socks pattern? I’ve noticed it on your blog before and would really, rea;;lly like to knit your pattern…you keep tempting me!

  76. I think making several pairs of socks for Joe would be great since he always get the short end of the stick, a few quick easy shawl patterns fit in your purse (I have one in mine)
    I agree have someone ship the class supplies, and go straight to Seattle, they have laundermats in America to wash what you need.

  77. Enjoy your vacation… I would love to be in the tropics right now. I suggest you fill your suitcase with abandoned knits: half finished socks, sweaters ect. With nothing else to knit, you might get them done!

  78. Take 2 dining room chairs, set them 10 yarda apart. Wind wool around chairs 150 times. Cut in the middle. Viola pack in your suitcase. Then onto a beer, a sunlit beach and a ball of yarn.
    Bliss times 300 . Less if you let your Mum help.
    Now about that Old Joe sock pattern…

  79. I didn’t read all of the comments before mine (so I don’t know if someone already suggested this) but I for one would love it if you found a yarn shop on your island vacation and got some yarn to make a vacation project out of, even if you don’t make it while you are on vacation. And if you do, please take pictures and tell us about a yarn store on a tropical island.

  80. Holy cow. Wind up all the 10m bits together, and get the students to ball them up. Or cut them there, and then get the students to wind them. Why would they mind at all?
    Yay for more Caribbean, too!

  81. Agree with most of above. Cotton/linen yarn. Find your inner Ann/Kay and use dishcloth cotton. Something that won’t be harmed by sand and sea. Pre-pack your Madrona clothes. Call copy shop at Madrona, arrange account so you email handouts and have them delivered to the site. Daughters can assist with yarn winding – or ship it to Madrona and arrange to have ballwinder, swift, and bottles of wine delivered to your hotel room upon your arrival. Have friends join you and you can all take turns. Not the cheapest way to accomplish it all – but costs less in angst and helps you look forward to and enjoy your vacation!

  82. If you can fly direct to SEA, you will be ahead of the game. Given the weather at this time of year, you might dodge a bullet by doing so.
    I second what people have said about delegating the yarn winding and printing the class materials here – or just e-mailing the files to each student and letting them print them at home.
    When I travel, I end up taking WAY too much knitting – so take less than you think you will need.

  83. Oooooh I am so jealous about knitting next to the ocean. That sounds LOVELY. I’d bring something nice and sturdy though, so you can wash out the inevitable sand.

  84. Don’t “plan”. Go into the stash, close your eyes and reach out. What ever you lay your hand on, that’s what you go with. Could make things really interesting.

  85. You, “underyarned”??? Beelzebub will be snowboarding before that day comes!
    I suggest something using laceweight yarn, which can be squished very small in a zip-seal plastic bag to take up less room in the luggage. Linen, cotton, or a fine silk/rayon blend might make most sense for knitting in the Caribbean.
    (My evil twin suggests you just pack a string of worry beads and forget knitting on your vacation. As if that could happen.)
    And, yes, bribe Hank to help wind all those balls of yarn. His favorite baked goods might be enough; if not, add in a $10-25 gift card to his favorite retailer for video games or whatever else he’s into.
    PS: At first glance, the color and texture of Joe’s “Old Joe” socks made me think you were knitting a faux cactus! Hope Joe finds the socks far more comfortable!

  86. Come directly to Seattle from the DR. I’ll pick you up at SeaTac! Have fun and relax!

  87. Good luck trying to avoid spending heavy time on Ravelry pattern searches!! I invested 2 hours last night searching on Twisted Collective and Berrocco in addition to Ravelry. But I have 2 new possibilities now for cardigans!
    Have a great vacation!

  88. OK. I know you are not a high-paid celebrity or independently wealthy etc., but, your time is money. Just wondering why there isn’t a someone in your life who can do stuff for you? House helper, errand running, laundry setting, bit of cooking ahead type person – i.e., personal assistant sounds lah-dee-dah, but it isn’t. You belong to the world and do so much for literaly thousands and thousands of minds and souls. This would absolutely kick-up the ‘guilt’ stuff, but it is very logical. And so glad you are heading on a vaca, eventually.

  89. Little Lou’s sweater is totally adorable!! Good luck on the organization thing!! Enjoy your vacation anyway!!!

  90. Hi, Steph,
    I think you need to designate a teaching assistant (Remember the TA’s in college?) a local knitter who would be honored to help you do things like wind balls of yarn and organize handouts in exchange for a public acknowledgement of appreciation and a very small stipend (Again, remember the TA’s?) But maybe that’s an idea for next time. This time, I’m with the commenters who suggested that the students would love to be invited to your room the night before the class to join a yarn winding, handout collating party and it would only cost a couple of bottles of wine and some cookies and/or chocolate. And a great time was had by all. They’ll love you for it.
    Julie in San Diego

  91. I do hope that you publish Old Joe’s Socks as a pattern one of these days. Great clock on the side…I will think good thoughts for you getting everything done on time!

  92. No knitting suggestions from me, but for organisation – try delegation, surely the family will help you when you are stuck. Henk loves the winder doesnt he?
    Ask for help!
    Good luck and enjoy the holiday!

  93. My best advise to you is this: Find a place to put your passport as soon as you get home for a longer period and make that a no-go area, passport always in the right place, no worries. Second: you are like a mother to be, so pack a suitcae with the most essentials, remember you can buy laundry soap everywhere and do your laundry if necessary in the hotel (do not tell the manager) and have an emergency knitting bag which contains two no-brain projects. Then you can switch in, lets say, twenty minutes plus beertime for your next destination. And for the laundry: well, no time like now to teach living in teens how to do the washing and not getting all their unmentionables (haha, dirty searchers, got you) pink or blue or green because a new bathtowel ended up with them in the machine. Remember to treat said teen with a nice little bouquet or flowering plant or just her most loved vegetables asap. Being an outdoor working stay at home mum does scream for some desparate measures.
    WE7

  94. Be careful for what you bring in the Caribbean… It can be awfully humid and not suitable for wool i.e. Felting while you knit anyone?? I brought some kniiting on the plane once and handed up crocheting cotton placemats on the beach…

  95. 1. Let them do their own laundry at home! They’re grown up ( or nearly).Undies and stuff you might need in both locations can be done shortly before you leave D.R. and come home clean.
    2. Please put Lou’s sweater on your “patterns to write up list” for the future. And I liked someone’s suggestion for an adult version too.
    3. Delegate – as above posts suggest. Nothing undoes the relaxed feeling of a holiday as fast as going nuts when you return. No point to it.
    4. Relax and enjoy!
    Happy gecko hunting!

  96. I’m working on a shawl that might fit a couple of your criteria for 18 days worth of knitting. It’s called Deep Sea http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/deep-sea and it has about 120 rows of pretty basic/mindless knitting, followed by another 12 rows of knitting where you only have to sort of pay attention, and then with a slip stitch section where I expect I’ll have to pay pretty close attention. An all-in-one project!

  97. Scozia Hat by Jo Storie. Small project but interesting construction: Slouchy hat with sideways cables and lace. You could do the whole thing on the plane ride I think.
    Another Color Affection?

  98. Steph! You have a local yarn shop. You shop there all the time and they know you. They can wind balls. Anyone can wind balls. They can have a contest and all the shoppers can take a turn at winding a ball for the Yarn Harlot at the shop and win a prize! Someone (Joe? Natalie? some cute UPS guy?) can mail it where it needs to go when it is finished.
    As for the vacation…blanket squares? I agree that cotton or linen would be easier to work with in the tropics. or cotton/linen blend. Are there any yarn shops in the DR? (Be still my heart)

  99. depending on where you are going you could email your handouts to Kinko or Office Max and have the items printed there and you don’t have to use your printer or schlep the documents.

  100. 1. Have someone else wind the balls of yarn and do the printing, etc.
    2. Pack and have stuff for Seattle shipped.
    3. Take lace weight projects, non wool for the heat?
    4. Flight direct to Seattle from your vacation.
    5. Remind your family that if you work yourself to death they would always have to do their own laundry and shopping, and don’t worry that you won’t make a pit stop home to do it.
    6. Ship any extra baggage back home.
    7. Enjoy yourself.

  101. Hartfield shawl by Ann Kingstone (on Rav). So pretty and it was just Pride and Prejudice’s bday (so knitting a shawl named after Emma kind of celebrates that…??)

  102. Holden Shawlette is a wonderful knit and sounds like it has just enough to hold your interest – its gorgeous. Please ask for some help, rally the troops, i am certain that friends – who knows maybe even family will help you accomplish everything on your to do list!

  103. I am sure this has been said, but you can wind your little class balls on the plane if you have to. Or maybe even have your students stop by and get their bit of yarn on the way into class – I bet they all read your blog and would totally understand a quick wind and support of your lovely family vacation time.

  104. I can’t imagine being anywhere without my yarn and needles etc. I made mittens in Florida in August. I don’t remember you making many toys over the years. I would like to suggest Elijah (elephant) and Otto (bear) by Ysolda Teague because of the clever construction and no sewing. I only changed the tip of Elijahs trunk and maybe added a tail differently so she must be really good! Your baby friends would love a great toy and it would keep up your interest in the process.
    Good luck and have fun!

  105. Re: knitting to bring: two words: Socks and lace. (I am currently having a love affair with the Rose Trellis Shawl by Catherine Devine and Print O’ the Wave stole by Eunny Jang.)
    Re: 300 balls of yarn: I say recruit everyone on the plane with you. No one deplanes unless they finish 10 balls.
    Wait, that might be a felony. Maybe not.
    In that case, what is the use of being an international knitting rock star if you can’t delegate a mind-numbing task to your adoring fans?

  106. I’m really enjoying Semele by Asa Tricosa right now. It’s patterned on both sides, but charted to make it easy to track, and quite intuitive once you get into it. With one skein of sock yarn, you get a lovely little shawlette. And since it’s knit end-to-end, the rows are short, which means it’s easy to stop and turn your attention elsewhere. At the widest point of mine, which I just reached, I’m certain that I’m under 100 stitches per row. Probably under 75.

  107. Say it with me in Dalek speak: DELEGATE!!
    You have got to have a teenager in the house who will wind balls for you. Baring that, there has to be some young child who wants experience as a mother’s helper — remember those from when your kids were little? A budding 10 to 12 year old who will work for next to nothing — put them on winding balls!
    For everything else on your todo list, I’ve got nothing. I’ve got a growing list of my own with no vacation in sight.
    Have a great vacation. Post pictures! They’re the next best thing to being there.

  108. 300 balls to wind-sounds like a ballwinding bee to me-maybe provide beer and wine. I know, I know knitters don’t drink and knit, but this is NOT officially knitting, just helping out a friend.
    Remember kids-People like to help. Ask. They can always say No.
    Have a fabulous trip.
    See you at Madrona.

  109. Something lacy and beautiful, preferably for you so that you remember the sun and sand everytime you wear it. Plus a satisfying small project (mittens would be perfect) in case the lace goes sideways on you. Have a great trip! The turnaround will surely all work out, or make a great story.

  110. Doesn’t a certain almost-13-year-old LOVE to use Auntie Steph’s ball winder??
    And may I add my voice to the chorus of people who are looking forward to snapping up the Old Joe pattern… once your life settles down, of course!
    Have a great vacation.

  111. Have you considered UPS-ing or FedEx-ing your teaching materials to Seattle ahead of time? Perhaps send them to a friend in town or one of the event organizers… You could even send clothes, if they’re not the ones that you’re taking on vacation. Then you de-plane, drop your non-needed laundry, switch over your toiletries and knitting and you’re off. Just a thought. Have a great trip.

  112. There really should be a setting on Ravelry — “disable my account until 5pm on Friday so that I can actually get my work finished before an important deadline” — for those of us with no self control.

  113. I recommend using Kinkos or something like it for the printing. The cost of home printer ink plus the aggravation caused by them makes it seem reasonable to do it at a professional establishment. Or better yet have them do it entirely. I believe you can hand them a flash drive and they will do whatever you need for a fee. Which you can justify because you just saved money on the trip by planning to stay the extra day. After reading your blog all this time i’ve come to believe that you can achieve anything with determination and lists! Good Luck!

  114. Now, Stephanie…I know that the two of us are similar (always doing two things at once), but let me tell you something…
    If I was going to the Carribean for a day or two (or week or two, whatever) there is no way on God’s earth that I would take knitting with me, because well, first off, it’s hot in the Carribean. And with all the fruity drinks, the sand, the beach, the men, the surfers, the trees swaying, the whole shebang…well, why would you want to knit? Enjoy the time, bring a walkman, smell the breeze, listen to some music, read a book–DARN GIRL! Slow down a tiny little bit!
    Forget about time constraints and quit your stressing!!!
    Have a great time and forget about all this stuff to keep you busy.

  115. I’m knitting the Shakespeare Cardigan right now and it’s been a breeze. Little bit of 1×1 rib to keep it interesting and some honeycomb pattern at the waist for extra cinching goodness. I’m surprised other people haven’t discovered this one yet…

  116. Can’t wait until you publish the pattern for Old Joe’s Socks!! Have a wonderful and restful vacation!

  117. Hi Steph,
    I’m not at all plugging myself here…at all…but my Grazioso and Tameron patterns are awesome so I’ve been told. You can find them here….
    http://www.ravelry.com/designers/claudia-donnelly-designs
    I’m absolutely, most certainly not plugging myself. Not me. I just really thought you might like them. Grazioso is far more mindless than Tameron which is lace on both sides. Whatever you take with you I hope you have a blast!
    Claudia

  118. “[A]ll this is going to take is a really great list, several colours of post-it notes and a spreadsheet.” That’s my life philosophy! Summed up in one sentence! 🙂 Have a great trip.

  119. A tight turnaround can be done. The key is that the Carribean has, let’s say a different climate at this time than other parts of the American continent :-). So you can pack your second suitcase along with your first (even if you only have one suitcase, put the stuff in a cardboard box). And you can also plan your knitting for the second leg of the trips in advance. You may,and probably will, change your mind about some stuff in the meanwhile, but it’ll be a lot easier to tweak a few things than to do the entire planning and tweaking in less than 24h. Enjoy the beach meanwhile ;-)..

  120. I feel the choice is clearly lace. Not maddening lace, but beachy, breezy, elegantly simple lace.

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