Settling In and Cleaning up

There’s this thing that happens when I travel a lot.  I lose control of things.  I am not naturally an organized person.  I put things in baskets and file them away and keep my life tidy because if I take my eyes off the prize for even one minute, then it all goes to hell in a hand-basket with me standing there screaming inwardly as another pile of paperwork hits critical mass and cascades over the dining room table – where, let me add, there are not supposed to be any papers at all.  If I get too busy, or travel too much, then everything starts to slip, and I mean everything.  I got home late last night, and didn’t even unpack.  I just looked around at all the chaos (what the hell has Joe done to the fridge?) and then went to bed. This morning I slept in (hallelujah) and got up to a full pot of coffee, and started making a list of everything I need to sort out and restore order to. I started with the obvious, like “unpack suitcase” and “sort mail” and moved on to “groceries” and “laundry” and “control inbox” and “tidy stash” and “make table less sticky”.

An hour later this was revealed as the incredibly bad plan that it is.  Everything is on the list. I could have saved myself time by just writing “fix it all” at the top of a piece of paper and going back to bed.  I’ve spent months not being home long enough to really keep things sorted, and now that I’m home for a while, it’s going to take more than a single day to put everything back the way it needs to be.  There’s not a single thing in this house that’s working right, and I don’t mean that it’s not up to my standards, because I assure you, they are quite low.  I mean that a bag of couscous somehow tipped over in the cupboard a while ago (who knows when) and is now glued down with a bottle of agave syrup that leaked when it got knocked over by an (open) bag of almonds.  I mean that there is a pile of paperwork on my desk so high that I am going to need an oxygen mask when I scale it, and I don’t even want to talk about the yarn situation.  Everything that has come into this house is out, everything I thought about knitting is out, everything I moved while sprinting between projects on a 3 day layover in my home is out.  The house looks like a giant took a sifter full of yarn and just sprinkled it over every surface. There is yarn in the bathroom.  (There’s also a stitch dictionary in the bathroom, so at least if I knitter was in there, they could see that it was a plan.)

Remember the finished pair of socks every 27 days thing? Yeah, well – WHOOSH. That was the sound of the deadline blowing by me two days ago while I was running the retreat.

Now those socks are eating into the time I have to knit the next pair, and that wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t need a urine sample from the cat, and knew what the green sludge in the bottom of the crisper used to be.  (Asparagus? Maybe. Maybe it doesn’t matter now that it’s sludge.)  I decided I’d finish the socks today, then scanned the list and put the crisper in the sink to soak while I tried to chip fossilized couscous out of the cupboard.

There’s so much to do, and that doesn’t include the (many) training rides scheduled over the next few days, the way I really need to connect with my kids – or the way that Joe has a look about his that tells me he wouldn’t mind having dinner or a conversation with someone who isn’t the aforementioned cat.  After a few hours of struggle, I’ve decided to try and relax into it. It doesn’t all need doing today (although that would feel great) and I’ve gone back over the list and re-written part of it. “Do Laundry” is now “do two loads of laundry” and I’ve broken everything else on the list down a little smaller so that the world doesn’t go all black around the edges when I look at it.  For now, it’s one thing at a time, whatever’s next on the list, slowly and deliberately, without freaking the heck out.

Next on the list? Blog. (Almost done) and Karmic Balancing Gifts.  The list is long and wondrous, and there’s a ton to get through.  That list is going to see a lot of action over the next few days. The rally is in four weeks and two days (inhale-exhale) and there’s a lot of fundraising ground go make up.  (Last year the rally raised 1.2 million dollars. This year it sits at just over $420 000, and I can’t help but try and redouble my efforts.)  So, gifts, to thank those of you who’re making that number possible.  You’re amazing. (By the way, if you’ve emailed me about giving a gift, I’m not ignoring you, I’m just working down the list. Give me a little time.)


Alica had a good look ’round her stash and has decided to pass along this beautiful combo. It’s two skeins of Lorna’s laces Shepherd sock, and beautiful skein of Jaggerspun wool/silk.  She thinks they’d make a lovely co-coordinating sock/scarf combo, and I think she’s spot on.  I hope Charlene M agrees, because they’re on the way to her house.

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Next up, Fiona and Amanda over at Knit Social have a copy of their awesome book Cascadia for the cause.  It’s a fab book (I have one – you can see all the patterns on Rav here) that celebrates not just knitting, but the coastal region of British Columbia. (It’s beautiful there. Hard not to be inspired by it.)  It’s going out to Linda R, and I bet she casts on something right away.

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In another category of beautiful fibre arts, Beth over at Dancing Dog Studio has a gorgeous handwoven beaded bracelet that’s going out into the world. (Take a look at that shop. Pretty, pretty, pretty.)

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She’ll be sending it to Kara C.

Faith has a cute idea… she’s donating two copies of her Flourish pattern.

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One’s going out to Sarah H, and one’s going out to someone that Sarah chooses, just to keep the good times rolling!

Jana over at Colorful Yarn has a great present.  One lucky knitter will be choosing from amongst some of the wonders in her shop. She’s donating either two skeins of her hand-dyed fingering or worsted: fingering is 120 g, 400 yards; worsted is 100 g, 250 yards. Both are  super wash merino tightly spun in Pennsylvania. These can be dyed the same or different colors – knitters choice.
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One skein of lace weight, either a 70% alpaca, 20% silk and 10% cashmere or 80% merino and 20% silk. Both are 100g and 1,300 yards. (Jana knits with this doubled for a heavy lace weight.) Again… knitters choice of colour.  Julie S is going to have a hard time choosing!

Oh, lovely thing here.  Carol has somehow decided to be without this beauty.

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The picture doesn’t do it justice, but it’s a gorgeous skein of Wollmeise Lace-Garn in Zimptafel.  (1590 metres!) It will make the most beautiful thing, and I can’t wait to see what Ruth Ann H will make!

One more? Sure – and actually, it’s two in one! Amazing Laura over at Still life with Knitting and Knitifacts (seriously, she’s doing something great for someone every time I look around) has two wonderful gifts.  First, Lou H will get a nifty sock package… choosing from amongst Laura’s sock patterns and receiving a great package of stitch markers to go with…

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and then Maggie S will get a nifty package too, choosing from the Cowl patterns!

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Shazam! There we go… another slew of gifts to go out, and another thing off my list, and a lovely day to you all.  I’m going to go work on that couscous, and the laundry. And my email. And those socks.

(PS.  If you haven’t visited in a while, and you don’t know why people are getting presents, to get in on the action, you just donate to someone on our little family team –







and then send an email to me at with “Enter me” as the subject line, and give me your address, and whether or not you’d like to be in it for spinning gifts, or just knitting. That’s it!)