Watching for the post

Friday. That’s the day we’re supposed to be ready (except for the knitting) and though I suppose progress is being made, I’m starting to feel the pressure of the little details. You know, small things like needing a huge number of cookies baked or a mammoth amount of groceries even though the car broke down, and things are getting tight.  I’ve responded to this in several inappropriate ways, like considering cocktails at three in the afternoon,  repeatedly looking over the spreadsheet while sighing deeply, or setting calendar alerts that remind me to worry about all of this in July of next year.

I think the strain is starting to interfere with clear thinking. This morning I consulted the spreadsheet, saw that today is the day I’m to start the ice lanterns for Solstice, and then spent 25 minutes hopelessly cleaning out the fridge freezer to make room for the molds, dejectedly realized it isn’t remotely possible unless I throw away all our food, declared defeat and reconciled myself to a holiday without lanterns, and then walked to the post office to mail a few last minute far-away things. I was stomping along, wishing I could feel my feet, shivering and wondering why I hadn’t worn my long underwear, when it occurred to me that Canada *IS* a freezer at present, and I returned home to fill the molds and set them outside. I’m pretty sure that the backyard is much colder than the freezer – and suddenly I find myself hoping it stays that way.


Another pair of socks is done, perfectly matching and ideal for the recipient, who really likes things that way – and a little sweater is just a few rows away from finished, and that means I’ve spent the day watching for the post truck, and opening the front door and checking the porch to see if I missed it coming, despite my constant vigilance. It has not. The yarn I need for the next round is still out in the world somewhere, though I know it’s in the country – it can’t be long now, and I’m starting to get nervous. I can start more socks, but…. slippers, a cowl, and a sweater are on in the wind as I type this, and tomorrow I might snap and go to a yarn store to see if I can buy something to be a stopgap. I’ll bake some cookies, vacuum half a cat off of the carpet,  wrap a few things and see what happens next. I know patience is supposed to be a virtue, but the solid week of knitting is supposed to start on Saturday when Joe leaves town, and I’m starting to get sweaty. (Hold on. I’m just going to check the porch again…. Nope.)  Let’s do gifts for knitters. Maybe it will be here after that.

Gifts for Knitters: Day 11

There are not many generalizations that we can make about knitters, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say this: Knitters love bags.  Few and far between are the knitter’s who don’t have a bunch of them, and don’t want another. The odds are pretty good that a bag will be well received, especially if it’s knitter-specific. Tom Bihn’s Swift was designed by knitters, for knitters, and is tried and true. New to me, but admired by a quilter friend who spotted them in person, My Stow-n-tow look good, and are machine washable and have no zippers or velcro. (These are two of knitting’s natural enemies.) Della Q has quite a few to choose from, and I’ve been carrying a Lexi Barnes for (literally) years and years. If you’re thinking a little more upscale, I’m wild about these from Jul Designs, one that says Make, and the other (appropriately) Knit.

Gifts for Knitters: Day 12

You got a bag last year? That’s cool, you can still stay with that theme, because knitters like bags that go in bags. Project bags are fun, knitters need tons of them (they keep yarn from (theoriticaly) tangling with your knitter’s keys or headphones) and they’re super fun to shop for, because I promise, no matter what your knitter is into – there’s totally a project bag for them.  There’s fabulous box bags from Splityarn (I can’t get enough of them) I think Binkwaffle dumpling bags are sweet, wedge bags are nifty, Tom Bihn stuff sacks are classic (I like the ones with clear bottoms so I can see what’s in them) or, hunt up one that suits your knitter. Get one with yarn on it,  or cats, or dragons, or hedgehogs or (here it comes Tall Allison) get a Doctor Who themed one.

Gifts for Knitters: Day 13

I know there’s only a small chance this could work for your house and your knitter, but if it’s even remotely possible… you should buy knitting wallpaper.

(PS. the yarn still isn’t here.)

79 thoughts on “Watching for the post

  1. If you were to go to the yarn store, the yarn package would arrive in your absence. But maybe there are a few things on the spreadsheet you could knock out first. . .

    OK, maybe not. But then you’d have lovely yarn in your stash.

  2. I really hope your yarn is not coming from Winnipeg. We’ve had 30 cm of snow and a deep freeze that’s left many of us completely in shock and awe mode. (-38 windchill this AM, even the dogs didn’t want to take a walk) So, all this is to say that I’ve gotten my mail once in the last week. I think the Canada Post workers are too cold to come to my house or something. Let’s hope they are just on their way to yours instead.

    And yeah, you can bet I’m wearing my Slippy the Cowl, with a Distal (shawl) over it, two pairs of handknit mitts, wool socks, and layering two hats. My -38 look really rocks. 🙂

  3. OMG….Knitting wallpaper….that would be so awesome!!! I’ve always wanted my brother to paint part of my craft room in a “yarn inspired theme”. I know he would but just never got that far in the decorating.
    An if you’re listening CP:
    Mr Postman, Stephanie REALLY needs her yarn, can you please leave it soon. thanks, concerned Canadian Knitter

  4. I’m sure you’ve already checked, but is there something in your Stash that could work?
    Omg, those knitting wall papers are AMAZING. If I had a room all to myself I would have that on my accent wall. Those dumpling bags are CUTE. Love them! Thanks for sharing.

  5. You know the yarn will not come if you’re watching for it, right? So you either need to cast on something else or go to the yarn store (even if you don’t buy anything, though I’m sure buying yarn would be the magic stroke that would bring the yarn in the mail to your doorstep).

  6. That knitting wallpaper is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen! I’ve got to start scheming to get some up in the house.

    Ooh – my captcha thingy is a chair, which is what the wallpaper page shows along with each option. It’s meant to be!

  7. My house is over run with knitting bags. I own 2 ‘commercial’ knitting bags that are large enough to stow a dog. the ones that are driving me crazy? hundreds of knitting bags made by a friend and left at my house. She said just a couple of bags, (when she meant a couple of Ikea bags filled with bags) Her plan was selling them but I suppose after sewing them, the energy was spent. If anyone would like to break into my house to steal them, I’ll just leave the door unlocked and the Ikea bags by the door…

    • There may be local groups or charities that would likely be thrilled to do some fundraising with them. Or a local church, synagogue, etc. that could use them for their bazaar or craft sale.

      Might ease your burden – and you wouldn’t have to leave the door unlocked 😉

      Chris S in Canada

    • Or donate them to include in gift bags at a knitter’s retreat. Or offer some up as karma sharing gifts for bike rally donations.

  8. I am also waiting for yarn. Not yarn for Christmas gifts. Yarn to finish a sample that was supposed to be sent to the designer two weeks ago. Maybe my yarn is keeping yours company somewhere?

  9. I had a package delayed (it was at the airport, 15 min away) by “severe weather” …..bucolic snowfall during the day amounting to an inch, maybe. I know Canadian Post is tougher than that! Tomorrow……

  10. SO now I have to think about how to rearrange my studio so I still have wall space for a bulletin board but can have a wall of knitted wallpaper. I’ve bookmarked that page.

    Judging by the comments, the wallpaper is the real hit of these suggestions.

  11. I’ve been wanting to wallpaper one room in our living room, I wonder if I can convince my husband to use some of that knitters wallpaper…

    Christmas has brought me to my knees this year… I’m so far behind — is there anyway we can postpone Christmas, just one week, that’s all I need… one week!!! Is that asking too much???

  12. That cabled wallpaper is great! I think it would brighten up my office here at home 🙂
    Ah for snow at Christmas time (that sounds wicked) – but alas, I live in the Southern Hemisphere where it is supposed to be hot and sunny on Christmas Day…but today’s forecast is showers laced with thunder and hail and a high of 14C (sigh). Hooping the weather picks up in the next week or so before the big day next Sunday.

  13. Okay, I’m seriously tempted to buy like 1-2 m2 of the Fair Isle wallpaper to frame and hang up as a picture in my living room or craft room. Would this work??

    • That sounds like a great idea. You’d be able to change where it’s hung as the mood strikes. And if you move, you can take it with you! Framing might be expensive, but you wouldn’t have to leave it on the wall forever.

      Chris S in Canada

    • Framing is expensive. Check your discount stores for large photo frames and use those. Three in arow looks nice. Or buy a large piece of mdf and stick the paper on that. Same with a cheap artist’s canvas. Or stick a picture sized piece directly on to the wall and put painted moulding around it to make a frame. You can put the moulding around the canvas and mdf as well

  14. Of course Canada is a deep freeze. Living in Saskatchewan I have come to the conclusion that we are a frozen land for 5 months of the year (not exaggerating by much here). Today the wind chill made it feel like -39 C today…. Overnight we will feel like -42 C.

  15. OMG, I have to giggle. A few months ago Target was having a handbag sale – buy one, get one for half off – and a friend shopping with me was buying a handbag and insisted I get one for 50% off. I found a bag so like one of those Tom Bihn stuff sacks it’s funny. I recognized immediately that it was a perfect yarn back; drawstring closure, little zipper compartment inside for scissors or extra crochet hooks or short knitting needles. I put an old glass ashtray in the bottom to keep it from traveling when I pull yarn, and it works! A month or so ago I was back and Target, and they had several of those bags in their Clearance section for something like $2.17. So if you can’t get a Tom Bihn stuff sack for some reason, and you have a Target in your town, run down to see if they still have any of those bags in clearance!

  16. There is something about freezing weather that makes the holidays edgy for me. I am missing yarn because it was “easier” to order it online than head out in the cold to buy it. Mmmm, not so much easier, and this very large shawl may not get to its recipient in time. I’ve already eaten a stash of Christmas cookies to drown my sorrows.

  17. A few years ago some friends and I went for a long weekend in Ottawa. It was loads of fun but I was even happier when I walked into my shared hotel room and there was knitting wallpaper on the walls. A very cool graphic in that size.

    Fingers crossed for your yarn delivery.

  18. You KNOW the yarn will arrive if you go to the yarn store. The knitting wallpaper is amazing, as are the bags with clear bottoms! Who knew?? Come on, Canada Post. I heard on the news, btw, that they WILL be delivering packages on the weekend. We had a delivery last Sunday, so there’s still time.

  19. YES!!!
    I wonder if it is bigger on the inside? Then I could carry a whole sweater project in it!!!
    Hey, maybe if I knit myself a TARDIS Christmas stocking, there will be no limit to how many Doctor Who-themed items I can fit in it…
    Omigosh, the fabulous knitting wallpaper inspired me to search and find… Doctor Who wallpaper! Yes, I can make my room look like the inside of the TARDIS! oh this is the coolest thing ever…

    • My husband, who has watched way too much Dr. Who, wants to know which Dr.’s Tardis? I fear that, regardless, our next house will be seeing that wallpaper!

      • All white TARDIS (4th and 5th Doctors?), circles and columns, for rolls of wallpaper (BBC licensed, actual dimensions) to adapt to your room, or you can get detailed murals, 10ft wide by 8ft tall, from (reboot) series 5 and 7. Maybe add a life-size cardboard cutout of the Doctor himself?

        • We (he and I) are in agreement that, if you are going to have Tardis wallpaper, that is the Tardis we would want. I’m starting to think it might be cool, which worries me a bit.

    • I nearly ended up stepping in front of a bus in Picadilly Circus trying to get a photo of a police call box. Plus I had my photo taken at the ‘entrance’ to Torchwood!

        • Oh yes it’s a monument somewhere in Wales. You know where they stand in front of the tall metallic monument and go down by secret lift? That’s where I stood and in true geek girl fashion had my photo taken.

  20. I kept wanting to touch the wallpaper and I was just looking at it on my iPad! I think it would be lots of fun to have as an accent piece. I even have the perfect standalone wall for it; of course I would have to move the large painting that is currently there.

  21. “Vacuum half a cat off the carpet.” HA! I need to develop a similarly-amusing phrase for vacuuming all the crumbs and junk that small kids leave on on the carpet. “Vacuum half the pantry off the carpet” doesn’t have the same amusement value in my book.

    LOVE the cable-pattern wallpaper. Very, Very cool.

  22. I’ve got my fingers crossed (virtually, you understand, so I can still knit) that your yarn arrives bright and early on Thursday!

    Wow – some awesome bags and project bags. I’d like to give a little shout out to the lovely lady from whom I bought a great project bag at Woodstock Fleece Festival last year and again this year. Cheryl at makes beautifully finished bags with great fabric. Check them out!

    I love the wallpaper – wonder if I could put it up before someone noticed? Better to beg forgiveness than ask permission – I’m thinking it might work.

    Chris S in Canada
    (oooh – touch the world – that’s what knitters do, right?)

  23. I remember once leaving a bottle of champagne out of the house for New Years because it was 45F-ish that day/night. Chilled it perfectly.

    Also, those bags! I would love to get one!

  24. Does the yarn shipment have a tracking number? You might be able to find out the expected delivery date and see where it is right now.

  25. I am still waiting for wool that I ordered in October…then reordered in November. Apparently the UK to Australia is treacherous for fibre. Fortunately it’s not for Christmas (purchased when the budget permitted). Oh, and it’s for c.r.o.c.h.e.t.

    All the best with the spreadsheets!

  26. If you need a good knitting movie for your Christmas work, & haven’t already seen it, watch Independence Day: Resurgence (I know, totally American, but am I the ONLY one who bawled my eyes out at the sweater worthy reference Data’s boyfriend makes towards the end?!). So worth it for any knitter just for that geeky scene. Good luck, Steph. You’ll make it like you do every year. 🙂

  27. Based on my own experiences, really look around for the package. I’ve had a running issue with our postal service, which seems to think that leaving a package half under a bush outside the garage door, at some unknown time, constitutes appropriate delivery. At this time a year when they do extra package deliveries, that could mean that in our semi-rural location it could sit outside at least overnight, subject to depradation by squirrels, chipmunks, skunks, and even a passing dog. Ick!

    • Then there was the FedEx delivery person who put a package in the driveway (totally visible from the street) RIGHT in front of the garage door, so had we driven out the door we would have driven right over it. (Garage is under the house so we reach it by going downstairs inside.) Happily somebody on the front steps noticed it, but talk about a special kind of stupid!

  28. I’m waiting for yarn in the mail as well. I’m working hard to recognize my limitations, so I’ve already notified the recipient that her handknitted gift will be late. But I reeeeeally wish it would get here!

  29. There must be a name for that phenomenon in which you always have to do at least one unexpected and time consuming chore before you can actually do the chore you were planning to do. (Like sorting your freezer). This happens to me way too often!

  30. Maybe someone else has already suggested this, but if it’s below freezing outside, can’t you put the molds for the ice lanterns in the back yard & not take up any freezer space at all?

  31. When I was 12 we were living in Finland, and my Dad put a case of beer out on the balcony to chill. All the bottles exploded and the bear-foam froze. Probably frustrating for people who wanted to drink it, but I still remember how beautiful that frozen foam was.

  32. When I was four years old I went to a friend’s house for a sleepover and saw her mother steaming wallpaper off the walls. At that moment I decided I was never, ever, going to have wallpaper in my house. 26 years later and nothing has ever made me want to run down the rabbit hole of insanity that is applying (and one day removing) wallpaper.

    Until today. We are renovating our basement one day and it will have a nook for my knitting things and it is possible that paper might be there if it is still on sale.

  33. I’m surprised you’re so worried about the yarn; it was late when you ordered it. I just ordered custom made car floormats for my son and saw that I had missed the shipping date to arrive by Christmas by 12 hours. Rather than pay exorbitant shipping to get it her on time, he’s getting a cut out picture of the things in a box to open. My daughter and I knit, and my son paints and we frequently exchange half-finished or not-actually-started-but-here-is-the yarn-and-needles gifts with each other and with our friends. They are immediately returned to the gifter for finishing and everyone is pleased and excited that there is a little bit of Christmas left to come. However, I’ve found that buying something to replace a thing I cannot find, often causes the original thing to appear. So maybe buying replacement yarn would make the yarn package appear at your door. If you don’t wind the yarn from the local store you can always return it.

  34. While you wait for the postal carrier, collect that half-a-cat off the carpet, comb it, spin it, and knit it! You could give the resulting kittens as X-mas gifts…does Ken need a cat?

    (yep — had to touch the cat again…)

  35. I’m glad you got the revelation – I was ready to tell you – you live in a freezer fight now 🙂
    The knitting will all work out and if it doesn’t, it was never meant to be.
    I am waiting for my yarn also.

  36. I’m seriously considering the wallpaper for my craft room but anyone else bugged by the glaring mistake in the grey cable knit mural? It would give me a complex to see it every day and not be able to fix it.

  37. Suprisingly, I remember you had exactly the same problem and revelation about the lanterns in 2013. Maybe it is time to put a note on the spreadsheet? Canada IS usually freezer-like in December.

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