After 7 is more reliable

Look! It’s the Minni sweater. This little sweater is knit from three colours of yarn.  You use a fair bit of the two main colours, and then there’s just a little bit of the third. In my case, that third colour is the pretty green.  It’s for the belt in the back, the edges, the i-cord ties… and you knit the belt and ties first and then set them aside so that you can knit them into the project at the right moments. I did that.  I made a little pile of things, and they’ve been on the coffee table waiting to be added in at all the correct moments.  One side of the wee belt got knit in pretty early on, and one of the ties was added too.
minniback 2014-09-11

The other ties have been waiting until it was their turn.  This morning, I unpicked the provisional cast on from the other end of the belt, and knit it in, and then the next instruction said to add one of the ties. I looked around, and couldn’t find those ties, and then I remembered.

tieinminni 2014-09-11

Yesterday morning, before I cheerfully made my way to The Loopy Ewe, I got up at 4:30am, and added the few things to my luggage that are always last minute – like my computer stuff, and my knitting.  Now, I am not the sort of person that can actually do things at 4:30am.  Maybe you can, but I can’t.  It’s part of the reason that it was important for me to breastfeed my kids.  If I’d have had to get up, go to the kitchen, get something, warm something or make something, it would have ended in some form of disaster. Better for all of us that their food system wasn’t something I could mix up wrong in the night, and could administer while we were both lying down. I try to be effective in the wee hours, but it’s just not who I am – all I can do effectively at 4:30am is drink coffee and weep a little.

I’ve learned to work around it.  When I have to get up then (it’s always for a flight) there’s a system in place to keep me from screwing something up.  Joe puts the coffeemaker on automatic so it’s there the moment I wake (I can drink coffee at 4:30, but not make it.) I set the cab up the night before, and under no circumstances do I leave any important packing to the last. I make no choices at 4:30, and I certainly don’t try to think. I put everything that I’ll need to use in the morning, and then add to a suitcase on the coffee table. This is what I did with the Minni sweater.  When I put it down the night before, I put it down with all the other stuff going to Colorado- and went to bed.   In the morning, I got up, drank coffee and put the stuff from the table into my purse, or – sort of.

knittinginbelt 2014-09-11

I  picked up the pieces of the sweater, folded them tidily, and lifted them into my suitcase.  Then I added the extra skeins of yarn, which I’d added so that I can’t  run out while I’m here, and then- then I looked at those ties, sitting there on the table, and I tried to think what I could possibly need them for, why I could have thought I needed to put them in the pile, and I left them right on the table.  I have no explanation for why I did this, especially since I knew that the part where I had to attach them was coming up, and I did have them together with everything else – I just couldn’t see how they were relevant, and there they stayed.

minnithere 2014-09-11

I can’t explain this. I know better than to attempt thinking that early. I know I can’t be counted upon to think that early, and that’s why I organize myself the night before. I know the rule is that I just put the stuff from the table into the bag, without re-imagining why I need them, and I don’t know why that system fell apart.  It’s not like I forgot the ties – I actively decided not to bring them, all the while knowing what they were for, and why I might want them, and now they’re in Toronto, and I’m in Colorado, and I’m not stopping the knitting.  I’ll have to figure out how to add them later, and apparently, come up with a new system for packing – one that’s foolproof – because despite thinking I’d done that? Apparently I came up with a better fool.

108 thoughts on “After 7 is more reliable

  1. Oh, I can SO relate to this, having carefully packed / piled things to go in the really early a.m. (for a flight, natch), and then walking off without them. I think the only really foolproof thing to do is to tie them to one’s body the night before. Of course, this makes bathing in the morning a little difficult…

  2. I think we’ve all been in this predicament! As a very early riser I would have made the mistakes late at night. The colors of the sweater are lovely and I’m looking forward to seeing a picture of the finished project. Don’t you have yarn in your bags to knit something else? You can always start something ne and finish the little one when you get back home.

  3. Don’t feel bad–I’m perfectly capable of doing the same. No one should be expected to think at such an unearthly hour:).

  4. Pingback: After 7 is more reliable | Yarn Buyer

  5. I always spend a good week before a trip planning and packing the knitting and a solid 10 minutes planning and packing clothes. That may explain why occasionally there’s no underwear in my suitcase.

    • I am SO glad you mentioned that. I’m packed, leaving tomorrow, and yep, just remembered no underwear. AND to make matters worse, this would NOT have been the first time I’ve done that! Getting up RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE!

  6. Not your fault. It’s too early in the morning. You should work on this until you need to put the tie in, and then find another project to work on. No worries.

  7. That’s the problem with fool-proof systems. We keep proving ourselves bigger and better fools.

    It was just one of those moments. The fact that you made that decision to ignore the system probably guarantees that you won’t do that again – though you’ll probably find some other way to screw up. No worries, the knitting will get done and no-one’s life was endangered (you had other knitting, right?).

  8. Its an opportunity. Go see Maggie @ spindles shuttles & skeins. Get yarn for a new project which you obviously need since beautiful mini is almost done. I just went to Carol Sundays website. She has 7 or 8 sweaters I need to knit- cables &lace yum!

  9. Anything that I am not actively using the next morning (deodorant, toothpaste, etc.) goes into the bag the night before. Then I make a list of all the things I need to add to the bag in the morning. Even though I think I have everything, I always check the list.

    So, if it’s your knitting, and you put it out on the table to put in your purse/bag in the morning, why wait until morning to put it there? You won’t be knitting until you’re on your way. Then you can’t make a silly decision like that. 🙂

  10. If I had left those on the coffee table in my home, the cat would have hidden them under the sofa or behind a bookcase by now.

    Please don’t kill Millie if she did the same!

  11. Sigh… I do that type of thing – so sad. If I am good – I make a list, pack, check off the list. and…leave the list on top of the rollerbag. However, I have brushed-away the list, sure I am good to go and headed out the door. Inevitably, something I know, I know I need…does not make it. The sweater is stunning, love the colors!

  12. Ha! Just laughing in sympathy, I’ve definitely been there! When you’ve tried so hard to idiot-proof your life, and there comes the moment you realize,”Well, I overestimated myself again.”

  13. Your system sounds really reasonable. Everyone forgets thngs, at least once in a while. I’ve come to accept that I will forget something every trip and just hope it isn’t too important. I’ve forgotten shoes, iPhone charger, laptop cord, makeup (wedding)… and one trip, all my shirts… another time it was contact lenses! I had to get my prescription faxed to another optometrist! Looking at this list, it’s good that I don’t travel much… kudos to you for doing as well as you do, and no negative self-talk!!

  14. I can so relate! i thought I was being so smart setting things on top of my purse if I needed to take them with me the next morning…it worked well until the day I mindlessly took them off my purse, set them aside, and left with just the purse. Now I’m the queen of double reminders – pack it then post a reminder note at the door. I blame my forgetfulness on old age…or my cat.

  15. I am lucky to live on the west coast, so I am usually taking a red-eye (that part might not be so lucky); it has been a very long time since I have forgotten anything. Not having early morning last-minutes makes a huge difference

  16. You can’t do anything at 4.30am? Since hitting the menopause I can’t do anything for most of the day!!! My new daily routine is: Pick things up, stare blankly at them for 30 seconds, put them down. Repeat. xxx

    • So, I got up yesterday, morning and read this post and the accompanying comments as I drank my coffee, trying to nudge my brain into gear. I laughed, I giggled, I chuckled….. I even snorted a couple of times! I was particularly amused by Laura’ s reply. Still chuckling, I went to the computer, printed out the coupons for the yarn stores I was going to go to, rounded up my sales flyers, put them all on the kitchen table in a tidy stack and set my phone and keys on top of them so I wouldn’t forget anything. I got dressed….. Bra? Check. Shirt on right side out? Check. Matching shoes? Check. Watch? Check. Purse? Keys actually IN the purse? Check. Wallet actually IN the purse? Check. Phone? Check. Cat inside, dog outside? Check. Check. Papers on the table…………? Why are those there? Who put them there? I’ll deal with it later. Daylights a wasting!
      Well, of course, I get to town and commence a frantic search through purse and car for the coupons and flyers that I just KNEW were there somewhere……. I mean, I had been SOOOOO careful to put them where I couldn’t possibly overlook them or forget them……right……. Thirty minute drive BACK to my house, thirty minute drive back to town AGAIN…..
      Welcome to the wonderful world of the hot flashed, sleep deprived, deeply fried menopausal brain! Sigh. I miss having a functional brain. Lol! I can organize and make lists until the cows come home and I’m still going to forget something!
      Laura, they tell me that eventually we become postmenopausal and our brains come back online…… I hope it happens for us both, sooner rather than later!

  17. I once walked in to completely the wrong house. The key was in the wrong place, it looked wrong, but I still got changed in their bathroom. It was only as I was walking out that it occurred to me I was in the wrong place. Sometimes our brain just doesn’t put it together.

    • And last night I cut the yarn before I finished knitting the slippers. I could make a very long list and have a really good laugh at myself.

  18. There is no foolproof system at 4:30am. If it’s important enough, I write post it note reminders in strategic places to ward off bizarre brain lapses. And I set alerts on my iPhone. There also needs to be a lot of coffee.

  19. I have done this to my self. I irritate the heck out of my self when I selectively “forget” something. Peace my friend. I wish I could twitch my nose and send those little suckers to you!!

  20. And you of course didn’t take the green yarn so you can’t just make new ones? I’m just thinking there must have been some good reason to the process of the pattern.

  21. I always pack everything the day or evening before. The only thing I leave out is my toothbrush and paste. They get packed in the morning. I’m going to B.C. in a couple of weeks for 10 days. Let’s see how well I do packing for that. Oh well, Nanaimo has a LOT of malls. I should be okay. I think you should blame the cat for the missing green ties.

    • And I actually DO put the toothbrush, anti-perspirant, toothpaste, and comb in the toiletries bag in the suitcase the night before. I take each one out in the morning to use it and then put it right back in. By the time I’m ready, the overnight bag is zipped up, I’m 100% sure that the bag contains EVERYTHING I need in the morning, and the toiletries bag becomes the last thing tossed into an already packed suitcase.

  22. Leave yourself a note (written in red marker and underlined) : Everything in this pile goes with me. No questions! And leave it on top of the pile.

  23. Everything in the bag. Bag zipped. No changes, no modifications, no thinking. I have a separate bag of travel toiletries, and if I need to knit for a few minutes before I leave, I pick up knitting that is staying home. Then switch to the travel knitting when I’m on the way. If everything is in the bag the night before and no changes are made, it can’t be screwed up. (Except by forgetting the bag…)

  24. Just yesterday I had to meet someone for a fund-raising lunch. I carefully put together a pile of goodies to start out on the right note–a free copy of my magazine’s new issue, not yet mailed; a beautiful piece of advertising for something I thought was worth funding. I put them on the table by the door, picked up my purse, and walked out the door with just the purse. And it wasn’t even 4:30 a.m. Full daylight!

  25. Same here, added to a darling little neurological nicety that absolutely ensures that no one on Earth can predict WTH is going to come out of my mouth if I’m up too early or didn’t get enough sleep. Nine hours is my minimum, and early mornings are simply not appropriate for human consciousness.

    I’m sure you’ll think of something. That little sweater looks REALLY cute, btw.

  26. [OK, that was a mind altering experience: “Click or touch the World.”]

    And just why, may I ask, were those ties lolling about waiting to be packed at 4:30 am? Would you have lain awake worrying about them suffering severe claustrophobia if they had to spend the night in the bag?

    I think we’ve had this conversation before, young lady: If you’re not eating or sleeping with it, it goes in the bag before you hit the sack. And the neon post-it with any items that are not in the bag but need to go with you goes on the door. At eye level.

    Are we clear? Do we have to have this conversation again?

    • I like that one. I got “Drag the World over to the circle” one time. If anything mysteriously rattled or fell off of your shelf a couple months back, my bad. 🙂

  27. It’s going to be fun to see how you make it all turn out as if nothing had been forgotten, just absolutely perfect. (No pressure.)

    I actually had a crisp clear thought at 3:24 am last week when jolted suddenly awake: earthquake! It was.

    • This reminds me of a night in Jan 1980 when, with three young children, I had gone over two years without a full night’s sleep. In the early hours, the bed started shaking, as if our two-year-old was bouncing on it. No, he was sound asleep between us, on my right. Next bit shows my befuddled state of mind…”It must be the baby” ….three months old, sound asleep in the crook of my left arm. The next words passed clearly through my mind, “Thank God, it’s only an earthquake,” and I went straight back to sleep. Next morning, I thought I’d dreamt it, but no, there it was on the news the next morning, an earthquake in the south of Scotland, felt over much of he country.

  28. After many “oops” experiences, I now keep the suitcase packed permanently. The toothpaste and brush are the traveling set. There is always at least a weekend’s worth of clothing packed. When I get home, I repack immediately so the suitcase is always ready to grab. Anything specific to the next trip is tied to it with string if possible, or in front of the door if not.

  29. “…a better fool” – Excellent!
    I have no packing tips, no suggestions for how to deal with this dilemma. Just unabashed admiration for your ability to mine the very best humor from the little hiccups in your life.
    You give me an oasis of warmth, creativity, and calm in the midst of my ridiculous existence.
    And no, this isn’t spam, though I see that someone else who wants to sell us sexy lingerie did get through the filter. SO ANNOYING!
    Keep Calm and Carry Yarn!

  30. Your blogging persona sub-conscientiously sabotaged your packing/knitting preparation so that you would have something to write about. So it is more of a Lose-Win situation.

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  32. If even this terrific captcha has let three spam notices through in one day, and it doesn’t even need sleep, how can any mere human expect to function at 4:30 am?

    (Maybe that should be the new captcha. If you can think at that hour, you’re a computer.)

  33. I am sad that you are in Colorado, and I am now living in Colorado, not far from where you currently are, and I cannot see you. 🙁 Please come back when I have time and the mental capacity to plan. I moved here two weeks ago, and when I am not training for the circus, I am up at 4:45am to start working in a coffee shop, which makes me wonder if I can bribe you with coffee…..

  34. If it’s any consolation, I left my entire bag (yep, clothes, toothbrush and everything) behind last spring when I was gone for 8 days across the country. Travel was very light on the way out…

  35. That’s a really interesting description of organizational and anticipatory thinking. Similarly I use my coffee table and if it’s on the table, it’s “packed” and can even be crossed off the list. So long as no one disturbs the forward flow of items …
    But you actually overrode your own system, and the “why” becomes the nagging question. Your system is good! But it depends on 4:30am brain function to work.
    Great post.

  36. You’re not knitting at 4:30 am, right? Why not just make packing your knitting part of what you do before you go to bed, when your brain cells are still functioning? I totally sympathize with the need for coffee to get going in the morning!

  37. Since my beat up old computer doesn’t do instagram, and I have no technology to tweet, I’m putting my answer here. I think in this case the collective noun for a group of Stephanies would perhaps be a skein????

  38. Forgive me for pointing out the obvious but isn’t this why we marry?
    This is clearly Joe’s fault and you should speak to him sharply about it. The fact that he’s been contractually on-staff for an extended period of time with you is no reason for allowing his performance to slip.

  39. Although this is off-topic, I hope that some day you’ll consider publishing some of your designs for the precious baby blankets. I especially loved the last one, and though I could finagle something similar, I’d rather not have to do the trial and error part–and you’ve already done that. Each one is a nice story about a special baby.

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  41. Grafting is your friend. I’m not concerned about adding the ties later.

    This, though, is the reason I have a complete duplicate set of all toiletries, so the suitcase can be packed and closed and put by the door the night before. Knitting goes in the backpack/suitcase/pocketbook the night before, left on the suitcase, ditto. Duplicate phone cord. Clothes laid out. Rarely, if ever, does anything except my actual phone, clothing, and jacket not get into something the night before. AND I have a list on the phone of eveyrthing that goes. It starts long, and things get deleted as I go…and everything that I pack into, it goes on the list and stays there, including phone. I even have generic lists for biking, generic travel (with x days +1 for things like underwear…) and that sort of thing. For a trip, I copy the list, paste it into a new page, and go down annotating the items, deleting anything I won’t be needing and anything I add, I go back to the generic master list and add it there, too, for next time. When it’s done, I copy it and use one as the working copy. The other is to fix it if I screw up the working copy. Guess why. This is really helping my pre-travel stress!

  42. At 4:30 in the morning and without reaching the perfect level of caffeine intake, there isn’t any brain that will work properly! I have resorted to packing my current project that I want to knit during my trip into my suitcase the night before. Then, I start another project. In your case, you could start another sock and it would be waiting for you when you get home.

    • Thanks for the link, great picture, and just look at those wonderful hand hewn logs in the house behind her. They are huge!

  43. It doesn’t matter how prepared, packed, etc I am to go somewhere or do something… if I haven’t slept (no matter what time it is), don’t count on me to function, period! I become this crazy, brain-dead zombie that has almost no control (or re-collection) of my actions…

    I’m still searching for a bag of toiletries that I know I packed for an overnight trip last month… & who knows what I did with it… 🙁

  44. My foolproof system is to leave *nothing* out the night before. Everything that is going with me is put in the bag at a time of day that I am awake; the bag sits by the door with my coat on top of it and my shoes beside it.

    This did require the purchase of an extra toothbrush, and not using my mobile phone as my alarm clock.

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