Hurry hurry in a scurry

I’m working on a stealth project.  It’s a secret, at least for a few more weeks, and I’ve committed to a deadline for it, and to put it rather bluntly, I knew it was going to be a bit of a stretch.  Not impossible, but definitely a stretch.  It’s like what I want to get down is on the highest shelf in the kitchen.  I can totally get it down if I want, but not without hauling a stool over so that I can climb on the counter.  (As an aside, if you haven’t ever lived with a person who’s a little on the short side, you wouldn’t believe how much mountaineering they do in the kitchen. To get my roasting pan I have to pull over my step, then a stool, then slide over the coffeemaker so that I can stand on the counter. I have an old and tall house. I feel like getting down the potato ricer I use twice a year is likely going to be the cause of my death.)

As a general rule, I like deadline knitting.  I know a lot of people don’t. To them, knitting on a deadline takes out all the fun.  This totally relaxed, easy-going knitting thing turns into a stinking slag heap of pressure every time you start making rules about how fast it has to go, and they hate it.  Me though? I like knowing how I’m doing.  As long as I set the deadline right and keep it within the realm of the possible, I think having benchmarks and goals keeps me feeling productive, and on track and like a person who gets things done.

I don’t even mind when I get the deadline a little wrong.  It’s okay with me to stretch my skills, to stay up a little late one night or two – I feel like these bursts of concentrated work is good practice for being faster and more efficient – even when I’m not on deadline. It’s when I often learn something, or figure something out. The pressure (a little) is good for me, and makes me more creative and productive. I like a little pressure so much that sometimes I even procrastinate to create that pressure – with occasionally disastrous results if I mis-judge the amount of pressure I need to trigger creativity.

Today I was sitting and swatching, and charting, and figuring out where this pattern is going, and I did the math.  X number of stitches per inch, multiplied by the number of inches I’d like the thing to be when it’s done, and then clicked “=” and just about fell off my chair.  I did the math again.  Same number.  I checked my gauge – double checked my math and then sat there staring at the number.  It was still the same.  Now, I know math is like that – sort of predictable, but that’s never how it’s been for me. I’m not someone who can look at even a simple equation and predict the answer, and my guess on how many stitches this would be was way off. Crazy off.  Crazy like asking a three year old to to your taxes kind of off.

This is going to be a big stretch, and I’m already feeling the burn.  Nothing can go wrong here, or I can’t predict the ending.  Stupid math.

Tonight the sprint starts, but for now, a few presents?  The lovely and generous Aubrey over at Goodies Unlimited has a very, very generous gift.  She’s got FOUR gift certificates for me to give away, and each one is for $50, with her picking up the postage. It’s a wonderful thing.

goodiessoap 2014-06-11

If you don’t know Goodies Unlimited, you should.  I’ve been a fan for a long time, and her stuff is amazing (our family has an unhealthy addiction to the Stress-Free Green Tea soap and the Everything Balm.)  I know this sounds like an ad, but  there’s no affiliation,  it’s just fabulous stuff made by a really generous lady who always supports the daylights out of this community.  I like her, and I like her stuff, and I hope that Cheryl A, Sandra F, Micaela R and Sharon G enjoy it as much as I do.

Peace out.  I gotta knit.


56 thoughts on “Hurry hurry in a scurry

  1. Here’s hoping you cross the finish line just in time!

    At DFW FiberFest, you made me smell her Green Tea soap, and it was heavenly! I went straight down to buy some after class, and damned if she wasn’t sold out!

  2. I like the feel of knitting with a deadline, but can’t stand the stress. I tend to set my deadlines a month before I need to give the gift, and I get the adrenaline rush of the deadline knitting, without the risks.

  3. Loved your comment on mountaineering in the kitchen! I’m pretty short myself (5 ft. to be exact) and getting my nice serving dishes down requires a chair, my kitchen counter, and balancing on one foot (usually accompanied by strange looks from the dog). Can’t wait to see the secret project!

  4. I feel the same way about deadlines! Also high kitchen shelves. Our house has 9 foot ceilings and someone decided they should put thr same number of shelves as in the houses with right foot ceilings but make them all higher “so things look proportionate.”. The tallest person in our family is 5’4″, our step ladder gets a lot of use.

  5. My husband (who is over 6 feet) always tells me that I should sue the city for making the curbs so tall. However, I predict that getting utensils out of the cabinet will not be the death of you…it will be the stress of trying to make the deadlines you set at Christmas! Because, girlfriend, that is when you go absolutely crazy on that deadline knitting!

  6. Know how you feel about being short, my kitchen counters were built for someone who is close to 6 ft. tall , while I measure a mere 5’3″. therefore II walk kitchen counters too, just to get to some of my everyday items deadlines scare me.Must have lots of time.

  7. Presbytera, Rams: this promises to be as good as Christmas but without progress pictures. How to remedy that?

    • Well, I suppose I could run over to the house and snap photos through the front windows, but that wouldn’t work unless I make spanakopita first. Plus there’s that whole border-crossing thing.

      Maybe we should just eat popcorn and use our imaginations?

  8. I’m 5’5 which I guess is average for a woman, but my kitchen, too, has high cupboards. And I have a really tall husband who loves to stack things up on the top shelves, especially breakable stuff. I love my cottagel because the cupboards are really low. It was designed for the previous owner, an extremely short woman. Even the sink is low. Hubby is bent practically double doing the dishes. As far as deadlines, I need them or I never finish the thing. Good luck with yours. Make sure your coffee isn’t decaf and you’ll be done in no time.

  9. But I thought today’s presents were supposed to be from the same person who provided yesterday’s presents (you said so in the blog entry yesterday… or did I misread that?)

    • Nope, yesterday’s provider’s gifts were all given away yesterday to ensure a sunny day for a wedding. YH just promised more yarn presents until race day, but she didn’t say it would be ONLY yarn.

  10. Oh goody, the Harlot is on another killer knitting deadline. I’m already looking forward to how you leap over, around, under and through the obstacles and snags you will encounter. But I also hope you will make it. All the best.

  11. YES! As someone who is 4’11”, I am totally with you on the mountaineering thing! I recently admitted to my father that I have been climbing onto rolling desk chairs to get height for decades. He seemed worried, even though I am in my late 20s and I haven’t fallen yet (knock wood.)

  12. I have given myself deadlines. Yet, most of the time I prefer not to put myself under the pressure. Knitting lowers my blood pressure so why push it! Lol

  13. Thanks for the link to Goodies Unlimited. The soaps look absolutely fantastic. Gonna be getting some of those. :D:D

    Yay, Adriana is done. Looks great too!

  14. Only 196 days ’til Christmas! (Just in case anyone was wondering, heehee!) Haven’t figured out the countdown to other holidays yet.

    I’m sooooo glad I don’t have a “Must make [object] for [person’s name] for [occasion] by [deadline]!” list anymore. The cats aren’t fussy about when I give them presents, and they’d really prefer that I not knit them anything but quick catnip toys.

  15. I need deadlines, like Christmas or a Knit Along. Otherwise I drift.

    By the way, hubby and I are in Canada celebrating our 30th anniversary and just tonight tried a Caesar! It was fantastic! Hadn’t ever heard of it before (and we only live over the border in Michigan!). So glad we tried it. Hubby’s first trip to Canada and the Falls. Currently relaxing in the countryside by Lake Huron…and knitting!

  16. I had a giggle about the climbing part. At 5’2″ I have done my fair share of hopping onto the counter to get something out of the top cabinet or clean the top of the refrigerator. Now that I am 58 I have to use my step stool to climb up but it still terrifies everyone. They are always fearful that I will fall. So far I have been lucky.

  17. Oh, I soooo identify with your “short person in the kitchen” situation. When I first moved in with my husband, I had to explain that things we need every day (like big plates) CANNOT go on anything but the lowest shelf. Because I am not getting out a stool every time I need a PLATE! 🙂

    • Sarah- when my husband and I married and he moved into the house and took over a lot of the cooking, I watched him the first week and then rearranged the kitchen…he’s shorter, and I put all of the stuff that only I use on the top shelves (breakfast cereal, wine glasses, coffee), and moved the things he most often used (spices, plates, serving dishes) to lower shelves handy to the stove. Works very well for us. (It doesn’t hurt that we’re both engineers, and I do process planning as part of my day job!)

      • Hmph. I’m a short mother with a tall son who has an engineer’s mind. He once re-arranged the pantry with pasta at the back of the top shelf with gallon jugs of vinegar in front of the pasta. There were cubic inches being wasted there, didn’t I see it? Old joke: Pessimists say the glass is half empty. Optimists say the glass is half full. Engineers say that container is the wrong size.

  18. Pingback: Hurry hurry in a scurry | Yarn Buyer

  19. I also like deadline knitting! Otherwise when a project gets to the “black hole” or “frogged so many times I can’t bear it” it often goes to the Hibernate pile. But if I have a deadline, I know it needs to get done.

    Setting benchmarks and goals, though…I may need to work on that. I just finished a from-the-center blanket for my father-in-law. With one week to go, as I happily sat going around and around and around, I did a swift calculation about how many more rounds there might be and how long each one was taking me and…I was definitely up until 3 AM on the day that it was due to be handed over.

  20. As someone who is short and is from a (mostly) short family, I can relate. I learned a trick early on in life involving a wooden spoon used to pop items off the top shelf so you could catch them, rather than climb up to them. Works best with plastic pitchers and the like. Do not try with crystal vases…

  21. All I have to say is that you MUST put a link to this blog entry on your calendar for about December 15th or so, to remind you that you actually said you didn’t mind either deadline knitting nor staying up late to finish.

    Having been around this blog for every Xmas since inception, I must say that I fear your words may come back to haunt you later…

    Just sayin’ 🙂


  22. Just finished some deadline knitting and when I had 4 days to go with no project started, I abandoned the sweater idea and made a strawberry baby hat and then when I still had 2 days left, started a baby blanket from the centre out. Finished both in time for the shower. I love the challenge and sometimes I purposely leave it till the deadline looms. Sometimes though, it comes close to biting me in the ass 🙂

  23. immediately hightailed to the Goodies link and bought 2 soaps and some balm – thanks Steph! And best wishes with the deadline…I’ve had a bunch with 2 babies, a move and a birthday – all of which involved homemade gifts mostly all at the same time. Glad it’s over!

  24. Potato ricer? Bought mine for Sonoma Williams 14 yrs ago, only used it once. However…..Emeril Lagasse used the ricer for making “Brain” cookies for Halloween. Make dough,mix whatever food colors gives you gray/grey and mix into dough, press through the ricer. Bake, let cool. Drizzle with reg glaze and some glace with red food color so they seep into brain crevices. Makes quite the impression.

  25. Well, I’m DLKing (deadline knitting) even as we speak. I swear the chart adds rows as I convince myself the end is near. (Look! There’s another seven rows that I thought I finished. Crazy indeed.)

    Stop. Adding. Rows. To. My. Knitting.

    Than you.

  26. I LOVE Aubrey’s products with an unhealthy addiction too, all of them…

    And I completely understand the deadline thing, having waited until 2.5 weeks before a bat mitzvah to start weaving a tallit. After not having woven in 21 years… Got it done in time though and now just have to finish sewing up the kippah and bag.

  27. As a woman who is nearly 6′ tall, I can reach the upper cabinets, but don’t put necessaries in the back of the lower cabinets. When I got the chance to redo my kitchen several years ago, we went with drawers and pull-out shelves everywhere on the bottom and I have no regrets. But it’s even harder for tall women to find pants than it is for you short ones. You can hem the legs if the waist fits – adding extra fabric is usually not an option.

  28. Oh Man! I hear you with the deadlines! I have volunteered a number of times on Ravelry as a test knitter. I see all the lovely patterns – the thrill of a new pattern waiting to be made up is quite irresistible. I have to start and finish straight away through as I am terrified of getting a ‘bad rep’!! This is about the only time that I can work on one project at a time!!

    And don’t those soaps look lovely – I wish we had a ‘smell-o-vision’ button on our screens!!!

  29. Scary. After 66 years on this planet, I finally figured out that the delicious stress from pushing a little too much is the real reason that I procrastinate. Probably headed for a heart attack.

    And this verification test definitely stresses me out. I haven’t yet figured out how to drop the object so it works.

  30. Tall person here. It isn’t the high cupboards that bother us, it’s the back aches from hunching over lower counters for food prep and reaching into low under-counter cupboards. My dream kitchen has counters that are three to four inches higher than the average kitchen and no low cupboards. I’m almost six feet tall, and now that I’m older, getting down on my hands and knees to find stuff is no joke – once I’m down I can’t get back up again without assistance.

    Knitting deadlines? Nope, not any more. I cured myself of that by knitting on commission. Now I knit what I darn well please and if people like it and buy it, fine. If not, it stays until it sells or it gets donated.

  31. This fondness for deadline knitting explains so much about Christmas knitting. Looking forward to seeing the finished product.

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