Just do it

Lately, I have taken to working occasionally from the what’s become my “upstairs office” which is – well. It’s my bed. In the first autumn of the pandemic something in me snapped and for the life of me I suddenly couldn’t figure out why Joe and I were sleeping on a tiny crappy mattress that was more than twenty years old.  The thing was second hand when it was new to us, and it was way, way past its best before date. It was too small too – when Elliot was with us it just meant he kicked us all night, and I guess I’d really come to hate that bed a lot, but somehow back when we travelled a lot I got breaks from it and didn’t mind it so much.  Cue the lockdown(s) and suddenly it became the focus of everything that was wrong in the world. Everything. Covid? No, I can handle that. Living in the city with the longest lockdown in the world? No, I am not upset about that in the least. Being separated from my loved ones, friends and career and yarn stores? No, none of that is a problem, it was just the STUPID BED.

I finally ordered a new one, sight unseen. I had a conversation with a nice lady named Dory at a bed store and I just bought what she suggested, which was some hybrid blah blah, king size and I had her ship it here.  A friend asked if it wasn’t kind of strange to buy a bed without even lying in it first, but all the shops were closed on account of the lockdown, I’d snapped and – as I told the friend, the great thing about sleeping in a really, really terrible bed for a really, really long time is that truthfully, any bed that Dory sent over here was going to be such an upgrade it didn’t matter much. Before the bed came, I scrubbed every inch of the bedroom, repainted, got new curtains, new sheets, and a new duvet. I even bought a lamp. It was time and I love it. The bed, the room, the everything. Our bedroom is one of the brightest rooms in the whole house, and with Joe still working from home its often one of the quietest, and now that my entire life is lived in stretchy pants and wool slippers, it makes total sense to have a bed-office. (It also doesn’t help that I’ve filled my actual office with the setup for filming the Patreon. At least up here I don’t have to worry about knocking over the weird card-table-tripod setup I’ve got going on down there.)

So, here I sit, with an awesome cup of tea (recently have become addicted to Monarch Tea Company’s Cream Earl Grey) and I’ve brought up my knitting, and as soon as I’m done writing this I am definitely not working on this sock until I have finished Ken’s sweater.

Yarn is the precious and heartbreakingly discontinued Dream in Color Everlasting  in Victoria. (Dream in color still makes great yarn, just not this one.) and the pattern is Verbena Socks.  It’s great fun, and I’m even enjoying the colour, and you can write that down somewhere – that I was grooving on a purple yarn, because knitters it is most definitely not my favourite colour. I wonder if it’s partly because for some terrible reason, I have developed an aversion to knitting on Ken’s sweater, for no good reason, I might add.  I love the yarn, it’s a good pattern and I’m so close to finishing it should be all I want to work on. I think I’ve only got about 12 more rows of brioche to do on the back of the thing and then all it needs is a bath and a bit of assembly and a neckband.

This, I think we can all agree – is not much.  Yeah verily it is very little, and I can’t tell you why every single time I pick it up it just seems like a slog. I’ll knit two rows and then find myself thinking things like “Goodness me, I shouldn’t be knitting this! Look at that sock. It’s far more urgent” and then off I go to knit… well, anything else, really. It makes no sense, but has been good for getting other things done around here, because it turns out I’d rather do anything at all than finish this – even clean. Somehow, I’ve put it on the list of things I will do immediately once everything else is done and naturally everything else is never going to be done, especially if I keep starting things, which I am absolutely doing.

So, here it stops, today.  I’m not knitting anything else until this is in the bath. If nothing else, it’s started glaring at me, and I can feel it looking at me with judgement. Once inanimate objects start taking on a personality it’s past time to get them out the door.

This ends today, sweater.

70 thoughts on “Just do it

  1. Good luck with that my Sweet. You are not alone with this frustration. Although I admire the eventual finished product , any project knitted in Brioche stitch is designed to remain on my needles for an inordinate amount of time. I think that the constant K1B puts it into the “black hole” category which may be why this usually happens to people.

  2. Well, I love everything about those socks (redhead here, purple is a go to color). Can’t wait to see Ken’s sweater.

  3. I need a new bed too. Currently have a futon from the early days of this century. Flipping doesn’t work anymore.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. I can relate about the upstairs office. I did my blog posting/social media/design knitting from that place today. Great bed, covered with cats. I do have a real office/studio upstairs, too, but the chair isn’t as comfy…

  5. So glad that the new mattress fit up the stairs!
    King-size with new duvet and new sheets sounds really terrific.
    Congratulations!

  6. Well, we went and tried out beds. We lay down side by side on the queen mattress, looked at each other, and said nope! And also bought ourselves a king. From a traditional double bed to a king. And we love it!!!

  7. Hmmm……not only are our birthdays and wedding anniversaries each about a day apart, now you are in love with my favorite tea – – – Cream Earl Grey!! I get mine in a little wooden box that when empty, can hold any number of tiny treasures – but it’s still lovely!! 😀

  8. I hope you won the war with Ken’s sweater. I, too, have a project (for myself) that I do want to finish, and wear, but keep finding a lot of non-urgent reasons why something else needs to be done instead. All of that even though I know I will feel such relief once that project is off the needles and no longer hanging over my head.

    • I’m in the same boat…. faced with the tricky bit on a sweater, I swooped into baby sock and baby booty making for the past 3 days. Need to pull up my socks and push myself!!

  9. Haven’t you ever done that with a really good book, Steph? Like “All the Light We Cannot See” or “A Gentleman in Moscow”. When it’s really, really good, you find yourself almost slowing down towards the end – exactly BECAUSE you don’t want it to end!

    Maybe that’s what’s bubbling under the surface with Ken’s sweater…

    ;D MK

    • I have a television series on DVD that I haven’t ever watched the end to. Because I don’t want it to end – I never want to have seen all the episodes. I’ll watch it eventually, but for now. . . I just don’t want it to be over. (I’ve even rewatched it from the beginning – getting to that point and then . . .tuck it away again.) My husband makes fun of me, but it’s just too wonderful for me to not have it to look forward to always.

        • Ha – well, it’s an anime. It’s Rurouni Kenshin, and I LOVE the title character so much that I simply cannot watch the final episodes. It’s ridiculous, but I don’t want to watch his character age, or marry, or be anything other than the rurouni he started the series as.

          It’s crazy, and we could probably write a paper on how my attitude reflects my own reluctance to age or something, but that’s the way it is. I want Kenshin forever 28 and warrior-ish. So I just deny that the series has an ending. (I’ll get there – just not yet.)

  10. Please, please tell us the brand/name of your lovely new duvet–I need one soon and this one looks so restful and pretty!

    Lovely socks, too!

  11. Oh, Cream Earl Grey! It was my absolute favorite tea, and I haven’t had it for over 10 years because we moved from away from the local tea shop where I bought it. I had forgotten it completely. Thanks for the reminder! Now I can order more and live my best cold weather life. 🙂

  12. Good grief! You got off Sleeve Island, and you’re stalling on finishing Ken’s sweater? You, the Yarn Harlot, balking on finishing a sweater? Who are you, and what have you done with our Stephanie? (Besides, the sooner you get done, the sooner you can cast on for a coverlet for the new bed…)

  13. Bless you, Harlot! There’s a gorgeous green pullover sitting next to my “knitting throne” that has wanted its ends fastened off for more than a month. Your post (and the recent cold snap) inspired me to finish it so it can keep me warm this winter. There’s also a pair of mittens whining about wanting their thumbs. . .

  14. I had been fed up with a worn out mattress before lockdown and was about to go select a new one. But even though stores are now open I am not comfortable going in and lying on mattresses in a store. Never thought of buying one sight unseen. Based on your experience I might try it. I also had visions of painting the room and getting new carpet installed before a new mattress would arrive. Can’t seem to get hubby onboard with those projects though. Sigh…

    • There are companies (sorry no idea of names) where you can get mattresses on a 100 night trial, which takes the fear out of buying one you haven’t lain on!

  15. But… but … you just redid the bedroom! (No, I am not going to check and confirm how fast my life is going.) Still one of my fondest blog-memories.

    • Mine, too. I am currently rereading some of the archives (I need my Harlot fix at intervals). That was a great story. It was spring 07. In fall of 06, Joe’s studio closed and there were posts and comments to posts about the challenges of living and working when there were more than the expected number of people in an at-home office. We had no idea, did we?

  16. The issue is obviously the color. It is a very Traditional Stephanie color, and you are not using your traditional colors right now. Time to get it done and out.

  17. I feel you! Over a year ago, a dear friend of mine made a request and I told her I would crochet it for her. I told her it would be a bit because I was in Idaho and my yarn was in California (pandemic – we fled in the night, turned out to be awesome, but I didn’t bring all my yarn with me).

    Then after I was reunited with my stash, I suddenly didn’t want to do the project anymore. They’re Muppets, by the way. She wants the three characters from the Mahna Mahna and as soon as I saw that i would be crocheting Fun Fur and there were wires in the limbs and I’d have to sew on a feather boa, I was kind of out.

    All that remains is to finish some hair and sew on one more boa and I can ship them to the Netherlands and I look at it every single day and know that I could finish it in a couple hours and yet . . . I cast on a sweater for my daughter or a pair of socks for my coworker or anything at all doesn’t involve a hot pink feather boa.

    So your post is quite timely. Let’s have a race. See if Ken’s sweater or Ariane’s Muppets are finished first. Best of luck!

  18. Love that you’re posting! Thanks for the chuckle and tell Ken’s sweater it can glare if it wants too but it is not the boss of you! Have a cheerful day and thank you angina for adding a smile to my day

  19. May I just say re: working from the bed, it is life changing. If it weren’t for the bed and a folding breakfast tray (a.k.a. the desk), I probably would not have finished my master’s thesis. The comfort! The quiet! The ability to be completely inside my head! I recommend working from Bed to all my friends. You included, obv.

  20. We, too, upgraded our “sleep experience” recently, and two days into the new mattress and down duvet, the dog threw up on it in the middle of the night.
    Thankfully, after a rinse in the tub and a day in the sun and wind, the duvet is beautiful, fluffy and clean again. Dog temporarily banished to his sheepskin rug on the floor…

  21. We did that, too–ditched the 27 year old bed August a year ago in the middle of the lockdown. (I know how old it was because it was the cool brand new one that went into the cool brand new room we’d just added on to our fixer-upper house.)

    I have since deleted the links to the manufacturer from my blog. It’s okayyy, but it will never last 27 years like our old Stearns and Foster: it smushed down 4″ on my husband’s side in the first month. Turns out that for us at least–my husband being 6’8″ and heavy–coiled metal springs are a good thing after all.

    Anyway. Enjoy yours, glad it’s a good one, love the purple socks and pattern and did you succeed in telling that sweater just who was the boss of whom?

  22. Maybe if you wear the one sock, you might push thru finishing the sweater-because you can’t knit on sock 2 until sweater 1 is done.
    Beautiful duvet. Congratulations on the new bedroom and the new bed. A new mattress can fix a world of woes.
    Bed offices are awesome.

  23. I have a sweater that only needs three buttons and a bath to be finished. And it’s not done yet. And the reason is that I started knitting it 9 years ago (let’s not talk about THAT), and life got in the way and grad school and then some major family stuff, and when I finally picked it up this fall to finish it, because it really just needed to be cast off (that’s how close I was to done), it doesn’t fit anymore. I think I have a niece it will fit fine, except I made the sleeves a little longer to fit my arms, and well, I don’t even know what to do about it. So I haven’t gone to get the buttons.

  24. Is it a little-known side effect of Covid? I have knitted ten Hurricane hats for Afghan refugees, which is great in and of itself, but I am studiously ignoring (1) the sweater that needs increases across the yoke; (2) the sweater that just needs to be mended in one place; (3) the sweater that has been awaiting blocking – just blocking – for FOUR YEARS; and (4) sadly, the sweater that may need to be frogged and reknit because it’s too small. I’m a process knitter but this is ridiculous! At least I’m not alone….

  25. Having a good bed is amazing. But I have discovered the importance of a good mattress pad too. A good mattress pad can make up for a crappy mattress!

  26. Oh, it feels like there might be a reply from the sweater in the next blog post, please? I loved those in your early books! 😀

  27. Make you a deal, I think I have some purple yarn VERY SIMILAR if not the same as the purple yarn you’re using on those socks…. you finish the sweater, I’ll open up the boxes I packed for my move to see if I do have it and let you know (and let you call “dibs” on it).

  28. May I share with you, while we’re on bed related things, the wonderful bed accessory I discovered and now can’t live without?
    FLEECE sheets!! OMG. Even better than the expensive flannel ones I bought. They are sooooo soft. May they stay this way forever!

  29. I’m working on a shawl? scarf? that I started in 2016. I realize it’s a bad sign when one doesn’t know exactly what it is. It was three-fourths done when I ran out of color B in March of 2016. Color B was back-ordered and didn’t get to me until Nov 2016, at which time I realized the sides of the piece were too tight–and there was no chance in hell that blocking would help. So I put it in my underwear drawer for four years. I ripped it out during a cleaning frenzy last December. Looking on Ravelry in June, I found myself drawn to the initial pattern (but it wasn’t long enough–I settled on the scarf definition.) Here’s hoping it’ll be done for the winter at hand.

  30. We replaced our stupid bed this year, too. Who knew that beds could be so stupid/annoying? And yes, the new one is a huge improvement and I still feel a comforting rightness every single night when I get in and pull up the covers. A good bed is so central to good health on every level, it seems.

  31. That sweater is too comfy. I mean it just starts to make one dream, then we fall off into a nice nap of sweet dreams. It has a mesmerizing quality to it because it’s so nice. We’ll have to warn the one it is destined for: no wearing and driving!
    It is lovely to read about your activities. There is no one like our spunky Stephanie, the best knitter in the world. I give thanks for you.

  32. Ah, don’t worry about it – if the sweater only needs a dozen rows, and you manage 2 before something else takes over, that’s only a few half starts before you are all done. And there is a point to the project that makes you do other things, I wish I had one of those

  33. DH and I replaced our mattress recently also. It was over 20 years old, and much as I loved it, the time had come. It makes a huge different not hearing DH scream in pain when he gets up in the morning. We got an extra-firm king size with a pillow top and new bedsprings too. Worth every penny. (DH is 6”2″ and heavier than he should be.)

  34. “Once everything else is done” — oh, that is the very bane of my existence. I try to get everything else done before tackling a VERY BIG JOB that really needs to be done. I’m hoping my son and I will be able to participate in an upcoming, as yet still unscheduled, event, and because it will happen in Baldwin City, Kansas, the home of Baker University, whose colors are orange and black, he absolutely has to have a knit scarf in those colors. I’m within mere inches of a skein and a half of a variegated orange and black, which is plenty long, but I’m hoping he will want, when I finally reveal it to him, a scarf a bit longer, well, not as long as Dr. Who, but maybe two skeins, which if knit in linen stitch has the most marvelous random mosaic non-pattern.

  35. Beds are so important … we were sleeping for years on an IKEA sofa/pull-out bed, and I used to have terrible hip pain. Luckily my mother decided that I was far too old (in my 50s!) not to have a proper bed and insisted on buying us a new one — for the last 8? 9? years it has been my favourite place in the world, and guess what, no hip pain any more … plus I am sure you have now finished Ken’s sweater, but just in case it’s still lingering, I am convinced there is a powerful natural force to finish things sweeping over the world this week, as I am actually nearing the end of the depressing ‘let’s use up all the random mohair lying round’ baby cardigan that I started months ago and dislike intensely. Just sewing up and neck- and buttonbands to go … THEN IT WILL BE OUT OF MY LIFE (If I can find anyone to accept it, it’s a weird combination of sparkly black shading to grey, with green upper sleeves where I ran out of wool … it looks like something the Wicked Witch of the East might have worn in her infancy …

  36. Now you’ve re-planted the idea in my head that I need to re-do our bedroom. I wanted to paint it when we moved in (five years ago; it’s two shades of mint green with a burgundy accent wall) but for many reasons, it wasn’t done. The idea of a lovely, bright bedroom is so appealing and inspiring!

  37. Our bed got an upgrade just before the plague hit, but hasn’t had much time being an office as neither of our backs is in a fit state for not being in a proper adjustable chair.
    It’s been great for all the naps I’ve needed since getting pregnant happily, and I hate to think how much worse my pelvic girdle pain would’ve been without the extra few inches in space to spread out!

    At least if you get a couple of rows at a time done on the sweater before you drift off it is at least making slow progress. Keep it up and it will be done eventually!

  38. Wow, I’ve been reading your blog a long time! I remember when you did the major bedroom overhaul! I looked back, it was 14 years ago! And you didn’t mention a new mattress, so it was certainly due! Looks great, again!

  39. So, I live in the Cleveland Ohio area. My husband and I had been talking about getting a new mattress for awhile. The Wednesday before everything closed down here (March something), I called my husband and said let’s go mattress shopping. We opted for a king size (from a full), went and bought a mattress cover, king size sheets, etc. and had our new mattress delivered that Saturday. The delivery guys told my husband that they had never been so busy and were also to be working that Sunday. Phew.

  40. Hello and thank you for your blog. I hope that all is well with you as you havent posted in a while. I guess the Patreon keeps you working hard. Health to you all.

  41. So lovely: socks and sweater–the sweater fits Ken beautifully, the neckline is perfect, and the color is becoming on him.

    I always enjoy reading your blog, it’s a gift, one of my pleasures in life, for whatever subjects/topics you write about–knitting, your life, your family, holidays, your travels, your views and opinions, etc.–, you write thoughtfully and compassionately.

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