Can’t ignore that.

Attention: There is very little time left. This is in the living room.


This is not a good sign. An 8 foot tree glittering menacingly in the spot usually occupied by my spinning wheel is not something you should ignore. The presence of the tree is an extremely serious indication that a largish holiday will arrive shortly. The tree is mocking me. Then there are these.


These really, really look like Christmas cookies to me. I baked them, the girls decorated them and they look pretty freakin festive to me. There is no way that anyone would be putting perishable cookies in the house if there was bags of time left. No way. See the cookies, be afraid.

I know I should be reassuring. I know that a kinder person than me would be saying the things that my family says to me. Relax. Enjoy the season. Don’t freak out. Try to stay cool. Well I’m here to tell you….DON’T RELAX. FREAK OUT. THE TIME FOR THE FREAKING OUT IS NOW. DO NOT LET YOUR GUARD DOWN. There is a tree in my house. There are perishables. This means that there is not time. Not nearly enough time. Go. Go now. Shop. Take your knitting with you because there is not enough time for that either. PANIC NOW. Get someone to drive you to the shop so you can knit in the car. Stay up late. Get up early. Call in the reserves.

When I feel this looming sense of panic I know that there is only one thing left to do. I push my panic button. My personal panic button consists of making a list of all that I must accomplish during the next few weeks. Knitting, baking, cleaning, shopping…I write it all in an email along with the number of hours I estimate it will take to execute each festive nightmare. Then I flip out. Then I email it to Lene, organizer extraordinaire. Lene missed her calling in the world. She’s a writer and a social worker, but really? She should be queen of the world. Lene excels at telling people what to do time management. Lene can boss anybody around organize any situation. Lene saves my Christmas. I email Lene my To do/to knit list, and she takes a good long look at everything that I’ve got to do. She takes a look at my life, works out where I have to be when and then emails me back a schedule.

“A schedule” you ask? Yes, that’s right. A schedule. All I must do to make Christmas work is EXACTLY what Lene tells me to do and it will all work out. I must empty my mind of concerns. I must stop thinking. I must do as the schedule directs me and all my knitting will be done. I don’t need to freak out, as long as I keep to the schedule.

I know it sounds anal retentive and controlling, but it’s actually liberating. No planning. No worrying. Only complete and total compliance. My day is divided into three blocks. Morning, afternoon and evening. My time is my own after I have completed the activities that Lene sets out for me. Take yesterday for example.







See? Because Lene is a knitter, she knows that I need a variety of projects, knit in different gauges to provide interest, and allows for compatible activities. Plain projects for when I am on the bus. Fancier work for when I can concentrate. No two projects that take the same set of needles at the same time. I’m telling you, it’s a relief. Every time absolute wrenching panic seizes me….I just look at the schedule.

Want one?

Gifts for knitters Days 11, 12 and 13

A sweater stone. Takes the annoying little pills off of sweaters and stuff.

Stash bags. I have tons of these. Keeps all the yarn from falling on you when you open a closet. You still run the risk of thirty balls and the stash bag hitting you, but at least it’s only one large object and you have a better chance of deeking it.

Very cool Adopt a rare sheep program. For the knitter who wants one but doesn’t have enough yard space. They even send your knitter the fleece (or spun yarn, for an extra bit of money) from the sheep. Love it.