The Christmas is coming off the house. The tree is down, an epic struggle to gather up all the needles begun. I keep finding them all over the house. I’ll vacuum, sweep, and heave a sigh of relief that it’s all done, and then there will be more. Stuck to the bottom of socks, down the side of a chair that was by the thing, two in the curtains by the window, and as I wrestled it out the front door, it appears to have shed the equivalent of a small shrub into the shoes on the shoe rack. The decorations are all put away, stocking stuffers are making their way into drawers and coming into use. The cookies are all eaten, and in a desperate attempt to end it all, I threw away three candy canes yesterday. I don’t even know how they got here. It’s starting to be the end of Christmas for knitting too…

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Only a half a sock (and two heels -I’ll do afterthought ones) stand between me and being totally finished – it’s another big man sock, so it’s going on forever, and I’m thinking about having a party when this pair is done. I have this wild fantasy that as soon I finish it I’ll immediately cast on something for me, but some sensible part of me wonders if I shouldn’t begin a huge pair for next year straight off. At least it couldn’t come down to big man socks again. (It is worth noting that I don’t think I have it in me to do this, but surely I can be awarded points for considering it.)  Joe’s socks were blocked and dry this morning, and he put them on for a test wear.

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Yarn: Alisha Goes Around, Descent of Woodpeckers – fingering weight. Needles: 2.25mm Pattern: Barrel Riders.

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They fit, he loves them, and I am ready to knit something bright, colourful and… small. There’s a reason that my friend Denny says that this time of year isn’t for neutral stuff. The world outside is drab, to say the least. Bright and sunny days are few and far between, the days still short, the nights still long. As lovely as that colourway is, it has too much in common with my frozen garden and the bare trees all around me, and I’m glad it’s over.  Now is the time to knit a rainbow.


99 thoughts on “Undone

  1. Small and colorful – a nice baby sweater would fit the bill and I think you may be needing some of those…. or a hat or baby socks or …..

    • What a good job you have a small person coming along that needs lots of lovely warm, colourful, woolly, goodness. Even if you aren’t ready to knit them yet, it must be time to start planning them. (I won’t mention how fed up you were of tiny things a month ago! Knitters reserve the right to be fickle)

  2. Um, you have a grandson to knit for, primary colors look great on babies 🙂

    I am working on a cardigan for my district coordinator’s 3 month old (he was born a month early) znd then one for my regional coordinator due in May.

  3. Think Kauni Effektgarn in the Rainbow (EQ) colourway–just check out the Ravelry projects for inspiration. My preference is for red, though. I knitted my Trellis Waistcoat in February. We can all use the excuse of Valentine’s Day if we need one.

  4. I would knit a few more advent calendar pieces. Quick and you know some will be lost eventually. Store them away and whip them out when you need them. Maybe a few hats? Everybody needs a new hat. Or, matching hats, mitts and gloves/mitts for the ladies. I would so love that as a gift! Portable and easy, too. Maybe everyone wants a Santa mouse for their stockings next year? I have not yet knit, but plan to make, some of the stars you made. Those are pretty little quick gifts, I bet. Once I figure the pattern out. I love both the man sock colors you are currently using. Barrel Riders is now in my Ravelry favorites.

  5. In the frozen tundra of Alaska, I understand the neutralness of this part of the season yet we have the balance of the most amazing sunrises and sunsets! Yesterday was all orange so brilliant you craved an orange Popsicle.

    I love the idea of a rainbow(or sunrise) of baby sox…wee and colorful and quick and they can stay on display as long as the baby bump.

    Isn’t it time to start the epic baby blanket for Megs baby?

  6. Funny, I’m the total opposite. I like to crawl into the muted colors of the landscape this time of year. I can see the Palisades from my office and they are a constantly changing palette, and even though my office is deep in the downtown of Yonkers (some would say “the hood”), we have lots of gardens around so I tend to follow their lead.

  7. Bright colors for sure! I just finished a stole in a vivid goldish yellow, and next up on the needles will be either bright pink or periwinkle. Alas, there’s a gray cardigan languishing, nearly begging for its zipper to be attached. Someday . . .

  8. We have a little (2-3ft tall) cypress in a pot which lives in the garden except during the Christmas season. Admittedly, it can’t carry much decoration yet, but we cart it in and we cart it out and it never sheds a thing.

  9. I love the idea of rainbow colors/bright colors any time of year, but they’re more important during the dark of winter. That’s why, if I put up a(n artificial) Christmas tree, I leave it up well past Christmas so I can continue enjoying the lights.
    I say all this living in central Oklahoma, where the days are longer, and I expect brighter, and where today it’s in the mid-seventies, though an ice storm is coming.

    • My tree and its lights are still up for that very reason. When it gets dark at 4:30, it’s lovely to be able to turn on all those little lights.

  10. I’m so glad you’re back. I’ve missed you. Your words and images roll over my brain like champagne. Welcome bak to the world!

  11. Perhaps our mothers should have said, “It’s just as easy to love a man with small feet as a man with large ones.”

  12. You have the winter doldrums, combined with the boredom of knitting large things, spiced with the frustration of knitting tiny things. I don’t know if there is a cure, but treatment should include:

    1. Browsing Ravelry & the YH Knitting Library, focusing on the search terms “baby clothes,” “shawlettes,” and “cat toys”. Also search on “Fair Isle,” if needed.

    2. Make a list of yarn requirements from the patterns selected.

    3. Go shopping, either in person or online. Get all the required yarn, in all the colors. Take no prisoners.

    4. Knit yourself a.) into a stupor or b.) until another wedding shawl is needed, whichever comes first.

  13. We just got home tonight from being out of town and the task of putting away Christmas awaits. I am not looking forward to it as I am not feeling well.

    I love how Joe’s socks turned out. It looks like he’s very happy with them. (His toes are smiling.)

    • Surely nothing bad will happen if you take care of yourself first and take care of putting away Christmas when you’re better? Be good to yourself.

  14. (Woo, that was just a bit surreal for a moment there…I was knitting a pair of socks out of Kroy’s Eclipse colourway, (black through greys striped) with a red cast-on, heel and toes…wish they’d been done for Christmas but no such luck, so they went on vacation with me…looked veeerrrry similar to yours at first glance!!)

  15. We don’t put up a tree but I had some fake poinsettia garlands flung around and they had glitter on them. Red glitter. Glitter is forever, you know. (As is cat hair, as noted above.)

  16. I put white lights on my 2 fake ficus so when I stop plugging in the Christmas tree I still have lights. I even have them on a timer so they come on for me at dusk! Very comforting. 🙂

  17. I concur with the comment about an heirloom blanket for the upcoming baby. Knowing what you put into these, my guess is planning has already begun.

  18. Before you drag the tree out of the house put a duvet cover over it. It stops the shoe rack shrubbery issue. Plus it’s much easier to drag a full duvet cover than a spikey, shedding tree.

  19. I am knitting rainbow-striped socks right now. I’m hoping to finish them to wear on Inauguration Day, but the bright colors are also doing the trick of brightening up this gloomy time of year.

  20. When we were in grad school, hubby wrestled the tree down the 3 flights from our apartment to place by the dumpster. When he came back into the hallway, he was horrified at the needles all over the place, so he swept the entire mess up. Next morning we discovered one of our neighbors on the 3rd floor had taken a tree out after he did – and left the mess all over the place.

    Very nice socks. Do-over in brighter colors?

  21. Those socks look soft and comfy!

    I’m in an opposite mindset…I stitched so many small things in the last half of last year (hats, scarves, mittens, dolls, doll clothes, etc.) that I want to make something bigger and more substantial–and for ME. Last night, I cast on for the Wolf River KAL, and this morning, I’m going to start basting a quilt sandwich as soon as I finish my coffee.

    Not that I wouldn’t say no to a good sock pattern, though…

  22. In my house, January is all about the selfish knitting. Whatever takes my fancy gets cast on and it’s all for me!
    Currently, I have a new lopi sweater, a pair of socks, ‘In Gord We Trust” sock/cowl thing, and a role-play mystery knit-a-long scarf on needles.

    Also, our tree & all the Christmas stuff is still up. It will be undone on the weekend.

  23. I need the names of all three of your grey/black/white socks, please – especially the ones you are wearing in the most recent IG pic!

  24. Yes! the first comment was what I was thinking – that darling Tulip Sweater…bright, moving colors, small. Joe’s socks as stunning.

  25. Little Wave stitch on Barrel Riders? I did a KAL with you then turned around and made another one for husband. I won’t forget that pattern for awhile. 🙂

  26. Down here, south of your border, we’re knitting a lot of pink pussy hats in preparation for the nation wide women’s marches on January 21. I’m raiding the stash for all varieties of pink worsted and perusing projects on Ravelry for all number of mods.

    • I just thought the same thing! Since I cant make it to the march, I’m going to head to my stash and see how many I can get made in the next week.

    • I only got two out of stash (I have a LOT of yarn but “pink” and “worsted” don’t return many hits here) so I’ve also done 3 from Lion Brand I picked up locally and am working through various pink worsteds I ordered. Blue Moon dyed one special “V is for Vagenda!” Minor surgery has me off my feet and on percocet so I’m finding this bright, cheery, fairly mindless knitting just the treat.

    • Note that the Pussyhat Project’s deadline is Sat., Jan. 14 (hats are to be to them in Reston, VA, by then) for the Washington, DC, march participants. However, if you know of a person or group going from your area, perhaps they would take your pink hats with them to give to marchers who don’t have any. Also, many cities in the USA and Canada, and perhaps other countries, are having sister-marches on the 21st, so maybe you could send your hats with someone going to a local march.

      • P.S. The organizers of the march stress that the purpose of the march is to send a message that women’s rights are human rights, and to seek parity and equity at all levels of leadership and justice for all.

  27. Exactly what I was thinking this morning as I drove to work this morning through the snow and dreary-sky weather: I need to work on something with bright cheerful colors. Creating cheerful things is wonderful work this time of year!

  28. I have no doubt, none, that there is a beautiful, near gossamer and original white baby blanket in your future. Knit color where you can!

  29. Hi, Stephanie, Nice looking pair of sox. I already have 4 things in the long range planning box, one of which is big guy’s sox. Do it! This is the way to end December craziness.
    Julie in San Diego, where it is raining. After 7 years of drought we need it, but I hate it since I can’t run my electric wheelchair in the rain

  30. You could always whip up a couple of bright pink pussy cat hats to donate to the women’s march on Washington. To check it out search it under patterns on Ravelry.

  31. I have a pair of big socks on the needles at this very moment. They are not fun.. not fun at all. For me it is the color. Dark. I must ask. where do you find that nice striped yarn? I find inde dyers make beautiful skeins but I do not like the way they knit up so much. ( unless its tanis or fleece artists) Could you perhaps write a column some day about just what attracts you to a particular skein of yarn?

  32. I’m with you, just had to cast on something for me after all the Xmas knitting. I choose Hitchhiker Beyond. Was out shopping for a few tops and saw one that matched some yarn in my stash. Had 2 pair of boot toppers to finish first, then onto fun knitting for moi!

    Of course that got interrupted by charity knitting for the SPCA for our guild this month, but, at least it’s on the needles.

  33. Hi Stephanie, When you sorted your WIP on New
    Year’s Day, did you come across Joe’s gansey? Bet he could have used it in Jasper

  34. Did anyone else read “knit a rainbow” and then hear Peggy Lee’s “Sing a rainbow”? Music and bright yarn in January is just what I need!

  35. Definitely a bright, fun cowl or something as a reward, and then maybe knock out a pair of large man socks for next Christmas.

  36. Funny, when I read that 1st paragraph, I thought why would she have knitting needles in the curtains and the shoes! Oh, tree needles! Need to read more care!!

  37. Clearly you meant needles from the tree, clearly. Yet somehow my knitting brain went forward with needles as in knitting needles. Once I reached the part about needles in the curtain, I began to seriously question what was going on over there 😉

  38. I stumbled across the socks you knit for Joe last Christmas. Did you ever publish the pattern? They were knit from an Into the Whirled yarn. Love your socks!

  39. I love your blog, slowly reading it backwards, dreading when eventually I’ll be out of wonderful, funny, warm posts to read. They make my day…and this one made me feel all warm and fuzzy thinking about how mum has wanted a plastic Christmas Tree because of the needles for years and yet it has never come to be because the real thing is somehow magical.

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