Another column on the spreadsheet maybe

You know, there’s one thing you can say about the universe, and that’s that it has a sense of humour.  After explaining yesterday how I was a total paragon of organization (at least when it comes to Christmas, let’s not discuss the basement, or the state of every drawer in this house) I have been bitten hard on the hind parts by my own failure to keep track of something.  See while I was knitting Lou’s advent calendar, I already had this plan, that I would show them to you one at a time, as he hung them.  I admit, at the time I thought he would hang them in the order I put them in, but it’s turned out differently (and way more fun – for everyone. Actually, let’s take a minute and give Carlos three cheers for dutifully texting me every single morning to tell me what Lou hung. He’s a peach.)  In any case, I took pictures of them and got it all sorted, and I was ready.  At the time, I had this niggling feeling that I should have been keeping the links somewhere, so that when I posted about them, I could show you the pattern, but you know how it goes. I thought “No, I’ll remember. I’ll totally remember” and off I went on my merry way.  It’s worked too. I mean, here I am, the 16th of December, and I’ve blogged every day, and remembered every day, and been completely and totally vindicated in my faith in my memory. Then this morning, I got a text from Carlos that said “El adorno del dia: la monopla.”  Mano is hand, so a quick guess took me to mitten!

manopla 2014-12-16

A teeny tiny mitten, knit on 2mm needles, in the round, with a proper thumb gusset and everything, and all of a sudden, the world fell apart.  I have just wasted three perfectly good hours searching for the pattern. I know I used one, or at least started with one, and I searched Ravelry, and then Pinterest, and then google images.  I used at least 10 different searches, and I’ve been squinting at this screen forever, and I’ll be damned if I can find it.  Moveover, I don’t even really remember anything about how I found it in the first place.  I can’t remember if I charted it (I don’t think so, but maybe?) I don’t really remember knitting it (which is bizarre, I’m sure that thumb made me crazy.)  All I can think of is that I blacked out. I was knitting so many tiny thing so quickly, and I’ve even gone back to my phone and looked up the date that I sent a picture of it to a friend, and then gone into my browser history for that day…. Nothing. Not even a stinking hint, and I am officially throwing in the towel.  If you know this pattern, put it in the comments. I’ve got full size mittens to knit. (Actually, I wondered this morning if Lou was channeling my psychic mitten energy when he chose it. It’s the year of the mitten around here, for sure. I’m up to my eyeballs in them. I’d show them to you, but I’d blow peoples surprises. )

Gifts for Knitters, Day 16

Dear Non-knitter who loves a knitter,

Hey, you know how your knitter dries stuff all over the house? You know how there’s sometimes sweater parts drying on the bed, or how on woolly washing day, the stuff is all over the place? It’s because your knitter doesn’t have a good place to dry things. You can solve this, making your knitter both happier, and less annoying at the same time.  Get them a sweater drying system. This one hangs, and holds three and this one stacks. This extremely posh one dries sweaters really, really fast. (It also might not be available anymore. Look around, there’s no way it should be $300.) I am crazy in love with that one. (Sometimes knitters need to dry things very quickly, and in July people object if you turn on the radiators.) If you are the handy type, double points if you make them this one.  Quadruple points if you make one for me.


85 thoughts on “Another column on the spreadsheet maybe

  1. Good Lord!!, Stop! You are making me nervous with 3 hours of looking. If someone wants that pattern (and it is very special) they can find one themselves. Seriously, my stomach is all in knots over your schedule and the lost 3 hours. That should give you a clue about my own holiday life….
    By the way, (and not that you have any extra time) but if you could with repost the directions for the frozen lanterns or push out the link to your previous directions? If it’s not handy, I’ll manage with my own plan…. I don’t think my stomach will be able to manage any additional glitches in your schedule. Lol

  2. Could it be a pattern from the Latvian mittens book by Lizbeth Upitis (or however her name is spelled)? I am pretty sure there’s instructions for mitten ornaments in there.

  3. I’ve wondered at your memory of where you sourced all the patterns for these ornaments. Worry not, someone will track it down and post here.
    Work on those big mittens!

  4. Pingback: Another column on the spreadsheet maybe | Yarn Buyer

  5. Cute mittens! I can’t help with the pattern.

    I want to let everyone know that the posh one with 4 shelves and a fan is WONDERFUL! I have it – my hubby bought it for me a few years ago (no, he did not pay 4300. for it. The cost then was more like $80., which, I thought, was high enough. No longer is my knitwear draped all over our beds to dry….. ( well, maybe the odd shawl winds up on a bed….)

  6. If there is one thing I have learned in my time on this planet it is that, “I’ll remember that” is roughly the same as saying, “Ah, who the heck cares if I ever see that again?!” Now, a careful note of something and I never need the note. For me, the key is writing the note, which puts the visual image in the brain. And I’ve got not pattern for you, either. Sorry.

    • Same here –it’s the writing that activates memory –then I can throw away the note. Nice to know that other people’s brains work in this strange way! But I don’t have the pattern either, in fact I may not start the knitted-felted slippers for the family until AFTER Christmas. Sanity!

    • I’ve read that the way to really “engrave” something on your memory is to write it down while saying it aloud — forming a memory that is both aural and visual. Works, too!

    • One of the reviews on Amazon mentions that Hamilton Beach stopped making this in 2011. I think we need a concerted letter (or email) writing effort. Bring this item back!

      • Or do as I do: set up the stacking racks mentioned right before it (mine are OXO, but look about the same) and aim a big box fan right at them.You may want to turn the racks or move the fan to dry things more evenly.
        Or, if you’re in a really big hurry to dry one item, put it on the rack, put something under the far edge of the rack to tilt it 15 degrees or so, and turn the fan on full blast.
        As a bonus, drying things this way helps to humidify your home.

  7. the mitten is very cool. But you don’t really need a pattern, you can totally wing it after knitting 30 dozen mittens throughout your lifetime, right?

  8. Does anyone have the hanging one? Some of the comments on Amazon say they hang it from the shower curtain rod. I could do that. Plus it is cheap!!

  9. I love the word “manopla” because, while the first definition is “mitten” (a lovely, soft, warm thing), the second definition is “brass knuckles” (lovely…not so much!)

  10. If the drying-rack with built-in fan seems overpriced, you can always set up a floor fan (or desk fan, if there’s a desk or table handy in your chosen sweater-drying room) and aim it at your ordinary, plain old drying-rack. Really speeds up drying time in wet winter weather.

  11. That is a darling mitten! And holy cow, $300 for that drying rack? I’d love to have it but not for that price. I’ve just been using my blocking squares to lay my stuff on and dry, but gosh that takes a long time, sigh.

    • I find that things dry much faster if air circulates around and inside them. After I found a lattice-work metal ‘bowl’ to dry hats on, they dried in hours rather than days.
      I haven’t tried putting a clean wire cake-rack inside a sweater, but it might help.

  12. I can’t get the link on the iPad (don’t ask me why) but it looks very much like some tiny ones I made once (which were so fiddly it caused my husband to comment “I thought you LIKED knitting”). The one I used was Andrea Kopacek’s mini mitten ornaments, from ravelry. But that should have turned up in a search, so maybe not.

  13. We have the Hamilton Beach one. Don’t remember how much we paid for it, but if it was $300, we wouldn’t have it, so it had to be less than that. In any case, it’s amazing.

  14. We have the Hamilton Beach one. I don’t remember how much we paid for it, but if it cost $300 we wouldn’t have it. It any case, it’s amazing.

  15. The electric drying rack is very nice but for my budget stackable racks plus a fan make a lot more sense and can be configured for more than 4 sweaters at a time. The hanging one is really great though.

  16. Steph,

    You will remember that patten when you don’t want to remember that pattern. That is how I seem to remember everything of late…when I don’t want it at all.


  17. I’m sure I don’t know the pattern you used for the mitten, but in looking through ravelry, I found this group of tiny knits thaat might be useful to someone else inspired enough to make an Advent Calendar for their family:

    I think we all need that pull out drying rack, and I think someone handy should start making them and selling on an etsy shop. We knitters could keep them busy for years!

    You make me smile even when I’m in this season of panic, and I thank you for all the time you give to us. Merry Christmas!

  18. An electric towel warmer works great for drying a sweater (or other knitwear) in a hurry. You just drape the knitted items over the towel

  19. I love your advent calendar. My grandson is about a year younger than Lou, so I am going to start making one for him after the holidays. It is so cute and perfect fun for a small child. The delight Lou will have when he shares this wonderful gift with his own children, even if the calendar is still at his parents’ home.

    • Me too! I have a couple of spreadsheets I rely on (one is my budget) and it frustrates me that I can’t link to it from my iPad – or at least I don’t know how.

  20. Perhaps you used a pattern for a doll’s mitten? Maybe one for the famed B***** doll (Yeah, you know which one, the one that “dates” a doll named K**.)? Just an idea that might help you track down the pattern.

    As for the drying racks, I think I’d like the under-cabinet, pull-out ones in my dream home. Except I’d definitely have mine in a room with a floor drain!

  21. I just want to say how enjoyable it’s proving to have you posting every day this month. Your cheerful (if moving in the direction of slightly crazed) posts are such a bright start to dark mornings here in London. I was wondering how you even found the time until you explained the intricacies of the spreadsheet. Amazing. Keep up the good work – you’re nearly there, and I think all the mittens will be worth it – if I was asked to go out in Jan minus either a hat or mittens I’d take my mittens every time. Cosy hands are a gift indeed… Happy Christmas Steph!

  22. I have one of those Hamilton Beach ones, and got it from CVS on clearance for a whopping $5. Yes. Five whole dollars. I haven’t seen them since!

    That mitten pattern is fantastic, and you could have easily just made it up!

  23. Free drying rack instructions. Requires a stormdoor. Take out the screen on the old storm door in fall when weather get cool. Replace with glass panel that is to be used in winter. store screen next to washer. Can use it on top of washer if you elevate it with some cans from cupboard or just set it over wash tubs. when you have an older house, you celebrate any advantage you can get.

  24. I bought the “posh” drying rack at a thrift store for $10 US. They’re starting to show up more often and usually under $10. I’ve never used it, guess I better make room for it if it’s that wonderful!

  25. It is the year of the mittens around here too. Mittens, mittens, mittens.
    P.S. I think your spreadsheet is brilliant. I think I will make one for next year.

  26. 1. Squee! Love the itty bitty mitten!
    2. Pardon my ignorance but wouldn’t a towel drying rack work just as well?
    3. The ornaments are on next year’s to do list- a knitted Advent calendar who could resist?
    4. Must stop reading your blog when my daughter is at home. She is convinced mummy can knit everything you do. Not that I wouldn’t love to, but don’t have the skills…. yet.

  27. I haven’t had time to read the posts (Obviously, I’m really thinking of a spreadsheet for this year instead of next)…so this may have been suggested a number of times…When you have ‘that moment’ & the mitten information is accessible we’d love know. Happens to me all the time. I’m still waiting to run across the name Romstream Battle (Terry for short)…Cat named by 4 year old son. He’s 42 now. Luis is wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

  28. Try your browser history. Depending on your settings you should be able to go back weeks or more.

    Of course you’ll see LOTS of Ravelry links in there. Page back by days. Scroll. Scroll.

    If you get stuck on things the wY I do, you need a cup of tea, a bar of chocolate, 40 mins of uninterrupted time, AND you can’t follow rabbit trails. Success can be yours!

  29. I bought a couple of those “posh” drying racks on the clearance aisle at Walmart a while back. They’re still in the boxes on top of my upright freezer. Sadly, I had forgotten I had them and have been setting a window screen across two chair backs in front of a fan.
    I’m catching up on my blogs after reorganizing my home to be fit to keep tiny people full time. I’m thoroughly enjoying all the tips and ideas. I use spreadsheets for many things and will have a Christmas spreadsheet by the end of the day.

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