Maybe he has no idea

Last night was perfect.  I try not to get to invested in counting on things being perfect, since so much of the universe remains out of my control and it turns out that matchlessly ironed napkins guarantees no happiness (although I admit, it feels like it should) but it all came together beautifully.


The traditional Solstice peppermint bark was finished on time, and the candles were lit,


and the soup steamed on the stove and the ice lanterns glowed outside, and it even snowed, in a perfect, dark, and quiet solstice way.  It was amazing, and the best part was that as I set the last of the lanterns on the edge of the porch, and surrendered my fate to the universe, gave up entirely on ever being finished anything on time..


The post truck pulled up, and a very nice man handed me my yarn.

Now, it turns out that this may or may not be as good a thing as I had hoped.  I almost thought – as I looked at the calendar and looked at the pile of yarn, that it might have been better if it hadn’t come until after Christmas. I’d have had to go to the store and buy a few presents, but it would have been okay. I could have finished things after the holidays, and avoided the whole mad knitting dash, but the package arriving on the evening of the 21st? I held it in my hands, and I felt something, and it felt like hope. Could I? That’s what I was thinking.  Could I pull off a modified plan, now that it was here? I mean, there’s no way I can make all the things I thought were doable, but…. doesn’t it seem now like it’s worth a shot? I started knitting a little faster.

I finished the first little sweater that was on the needles, and wound the yarn for the second, and at some point I texted Joe a picture of the finished sweater, and he cheered and said it looked good, and I replied that the yarn had come, and that I could start the second one.  “You’re knitting another sweater before Christmas?” he wrote.

“And a cowl.” I replied.

“Honey, you might be screwed.” he typed.

We’ll see about that, I thought, but I just typed “Good night.”  Hold onto your needles knitters, let’s just see.


104 thoughts on “Maybe he has no idea

  1. Oh my, let the knitting begin and continue in unbroken stream, gently and progressively. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas.

  2. your Christmas knitting gives me an adrenaline rush. my holiday blog reading wouldn’t be the same if you had everything finished, done, and dusted before the 24th!

  3. Of course you’re going knit with the wind at your back! The yarn came with a smiling postman. May your nimble needles work their magic.

  4. Happy Christmas to you and yours, Yarn Harlot, and a blessed New Year!

    I have complete faith in your ability to get it done. Your example is why this deranged elf is not giving up yet! I have: 12 rows on a wee blanket, the never-ending bind off a hap, and most of a shawl.
    The whole turning up to social events trailing wool is what all my friend’s look forward to every winter. 🙂

    Happy holidays to all who are reading!

  5. I think you may have to give us a quick update on Saturday. Just for motivational support.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours. And Happy Hannukah, Joyous Kwanza, Happy New Year and the best of all the holidays to all your readers.

  6. Every year I’m amazed at what you collectively accomplish for all your people for the holidays…cooking, baking, knitting, wrapping…and all the other things I don’t know about.
    Cowl and a wee sweater? You Soooooo have this!

  7. I have been thinking about you and HOPING your yarn would get here before Christmas!! Yaaaayy! I LOVE the way you think! Lol. Happy Holidays from Ohio! Cheers!! ❤️

  8. Hope you have great fun trying, and get a bit of pre-Christmas knitting solitude to tide you over through the coming tide of people. Much love to you and yours…..your clan is awesome.

  9. Go for it! Can’t wait to hear how it turns out. Very happy holidays to you and your whole family, thanks for sharing your lovely perspective and humour and knowledge with us all year long.

  10. For those who live close to you, there is no shame in gifting them yarn and then taking it back to knit something with it. Or wrap a gift on the needles. You would be giving them the gift of hope. Hope for another gift, another day. I would not mind. I would not demand that I get a finished gift, handmade, every single year. I would love for Christmas to last longer, and to receive another gift after the holiday is over.

    • Or as my stepmother suggested, the first Christmas after she married my dad, “We could just open one gift each per day.”

      Needless to say, THAT didn’t fly.

  11. Thank you for the photos. I look forward to seeing a glimpse of your shortest day every year. Glad the yarn has arrived safely, but be sure to take time to enjoy those around you. Cowls and sweaters can wait.

  12. You’re down to just 2 things? I’m betting at least 1 gets finished. So glad the yarn arrived ok. Good luck and Merry Christmas.

  13. Thank you for the picture of the ice lanterns, now it feels like Christmas! as for the knitting, you have a lovely happy healthy family to celebrate, everything else is small stuff!

  14. A Solstice Miracle. How wonderful. You Can Do This, and if it isn’t finished, that’s okay too. Relax, have some wine, and knit.

  15. You have got this. And the blog can’t wait to see how it turns out. I have wine and my own knitting to keep me company while I wait.

  16. Hope is a lovely thing, isn’t it? Good luck and like the rest of the collective “blog” I’ll be waiting with bated breath to hear how it turns out. You’ve got this!

  17. In (only) this particular instance -what does Joe know?

    But then I live with the illusion that I will make real progress on my daughter’s sweater by Christmas! To be safe, I have already wrapped one sleeve and a bug promise! Does finishing the other sleeve constitute “real progress”, I ponder.

  18. I bet you will finish! You knit so fast I’m totally gobsmacked sometimes when I see what you completed in a couple of days! I, on the other hand, knit extremely slowly so I am hoping to finish the second sock of a pair by saturday night. But I know my failings so my girls will get one sock each on Xmas morning with the second to follow. I do have to knit a dishcloth but think I may get that done! But if I’m not finished no one will mind! Have a wonderful, peaceful and knitty Xmas with your family.

  19. Woo Hoo! Go Stephanie! I had to give up on my xmas knitting. It involved felting, drying, embleshments, and then mailing. No way it was actually going to get there in time. So I resorted to taking pictures of what I had a writing a funny story. Ah well.

  20. I don’t want to sound negative, but reading your blog for the past couple of weeks… don’t you think you put too much pressure on yourself? I mean that in the kindest possible way.

  21. Those ice lanterns are gorgeous. Happy solstice — and good luck with the sweater. And the cowl 🙂


    Man, this is exciting. Knit like the wind, Stephanie! Woohoo! (Why yes, I’ve been hitting refresh on your blog…I swear if you’d had a webcam just showing your front porch, I bet thousands around the world would’ve been watching, lol).

    Happy Solstice, lots of love to you and yours and the Blog readership!

  23. So glad your yarn turned up. This is my third Christmas in North Carolina. I married a wonderful Southern man and moved here about two and a half years ago. I can’t be with most of my family at Christmas, as they are half a world away. You can. So, if you can’t get all your knitting finished, wrap up the yarn with an IOU and enjoy your time with them, as that’s the most precious gift you can give them.

  24. You’ll definitely need the turbo needles for the next couple of days. You can do it and soak your hand later. (I say this as I attempt to knit 3 adult socks before Christmas Day–the first of each pair is done so I have something recognizable to wrap)

  25. Yet another reason I’m glad we exchange gifts on Epiphany…I’ll be happily knitting away on Christmas day and thinking of you. Good luck – if anyone can pull this off, it would be you!

  26. Wrap the yarn with an IOU and have the recipient return it for “completion” after the 25th. Not perfect, but honors the spirit of your intention whilst saving your sanity. Happy holidays.

  27. Yarn!!! Hooray! Also, I love your ice lanterns. I guess they kept cold outdoors in Canada after all. Also, I know you’ve already wound the yarn for the sweater, but if you cast on the cowl first, you’re much more likely to finish that by Xmas, and then you’re guaranteed at least one of two FO.

  28. Saying that is the equivalent of throwing down a gauntlet. you’ve been challenged. I’d be knitting 24/7 just to prove him wring. I hope you don’t have to go to that extreme.

  29. So the mystery of when the yarn will arrive has been solved. Now it is all up to you. I am certain that you will make the best choice, to finish or not. Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you and your family.

  30. Go! Harlot Go! If anyone can have a grand knit-a-thon race with Christmas Day, it’s you. At the very least, enjoy the fact you get to spend time knitting and have a strong cuppa alongside. Godspeed!

  31. Wow! What a nail biter. I would never bet against you completing anything you put your mind to! I can’t wait to read your next blog that declares your modified list complete! I will never again complain that I haven’t enough time to knit an item. As Pepper Reed said, go, Harlot, go!

  32. The yarn came!!! I have been on the edge of my seat. I’m almost sorry the wait is over…. good luck with the knitting!!!

  33. I am really glad to read that your yarn arrived. One less thing to worry about. Steph, you are a miracle worker and will finish in time. The Solstice brought your yarn and the ice lights are beautiful. Keep Calm and Knit On.

  34. I just added another pair of socks to the Christmas knitting, knowing full well that they won’t get done. There are reasons and it will be fine.

  35. Good luck! I have my own last minute knitting to finish, though they’re smaller than a sweater and a cowl. I just cast-on for a child sized hat and after it’s finished I’m making a headband/earwarmer. I think I can have them done by tomorrow night, if not I might be doing a ton of knitting Christmas Eve.

  36. I’m planning to wrap gifts tomorrow. I’ll keep the TV on while I do so. I fully expect the announcer to break in with something like: “Deranged knitter runs amok in Toronto; film at 11.”

  37. Great news and great timing by the postal truck! (Sounds like he was working late.) I work for a magazine and we’re desperately on deadline, but I just looked up from this and said to my husband, “Well, I may be way behind, but the Yarn Harlot has to knit a sweater and a cowl by Christmas.”

  38. I’ve been waiting all year to get inspired to pick up my knitting needles after two operations. I walked into my LNS yesterday and picked up the prettiest yarn, and by golly, your yarn coming in the mail today has inspired me to actually pick up my needles again. You can do this Stephanie!

  39. I’ll admit that I cannot knit anywhere near as fast as you. I can maybe manage a hat on a tight schedule (speaking of which, I have a test knit I’m supposed to finish by tomorrow and I have 16 rounds left – which includes the crown decreases)….but an entire sweater in less than 5 days….NOOOOOPE.

    But I’m not you.

  40. I once wrapped two skeins of wool and included a note that said, this is a pair of socks, some assembly required… them done in that lull between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

  41. How about a little simplification? a vest instead of a sweater? A closely-fitted cowl instead of one that can be wrapped twice-around?

  42. I am not close to being ready, but I am sending all my energy into your needles because you have earned it! If anyone can pull this off, you can, with all the knitting energy coming from the Yarniverse!!!

  43. Anything seems possible on the Solstice, doesn’t it? I’m envisioning the knitting equivalent of, “Hold my beer and watch this!” You go, girl.

  44. May your knitting needles fly! If anyone can do it, it’s you.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family! Stay warm, and enjoy lots of love and laughter.

  45. Now I will need to check your blog like 8965 times to know whether you made it. Will knit as quickly as I can tonight to generate speedy stitch energies to send to you.

  46. I’m in a similar boat on a snowy sea. Made a hat for my nephew; didn’t like the results; made a second — wonderful — and sent it off in the mail. Made one for my son of a super-wash worsted. Beautiful cables! Glorious colour! Washed last night it per directions in a net bag with some hand-knit (super-wash wool) socks. But somehow it looked a bit felted…and smaller. Just enough that — even after blocking over night — I knew it wouldn’t fit him. Now knitting another — plain, in a heavier yarn that’s more acrylic than wool…and hoping I get it finished in time to finish a sewn gift and pack and drive to Edmonton tomorrow a.m. Then again, we’ve just been given a snowfall warning…so maybe it won’t matter.

  47. Wings to your needles and may the good knitting faeries continue on while you.

    The ice lanterns are magic; you were right about all of Canada being a freezer right now. Fire and water – who can beat it!

    Thank you for sharing Soltice with us.

  48. Ha ha…..your needles will be red hot.
    I’ve not as brave as you, I finished all mine mid December and even managed to knit my two youngest items to wear to Christmas school parties (I was sewing on buttons the evening before the party on the 13th).
    Big sigh….neither of them like what I had knitted when I collected them from school they had swapped so Emily wore a red, white and green snowflake and reindeer sweater over her little black dress and Charlie wore a silky black cardi with rainbow lurex threads …..goodness knows what’s the teachers thought lol

  49. My husband thinks “yarnharlot” is actually nineteen Phillipino women with you at the helm. “There’s REALLY no other way.” Says the Doubter!

  50. Have you noticed that apart from the postal obsession this has been the least stressed Christmas ever? Well, blogged Christmas, but still. Every year I end up not reading much of your December posts because I feel so sorry for the state you work yourself into. I’m almost sorry now that the yarn arrived while you could still work up a few days of knitting sprint. But eh, to each her own

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