Checking it Twice

Joe is still away – and that means I am still whipping through the Christmas preparations, unencumbered by the burden of consultation, regular meals or conversation. The yarn pile looks quite a bit better – Here’s where I was on Friday-

and here’s where I am today.

I know it’s not super impressive, but some of the weaving is done, and more than that, I managed to figure the warp math so that might need a lot less than I thought originally, which might mean I’m halfway there on that, I’ll see later.  I still have to cut and sew the cloth, but I’ll wait until it’s all woven.  The stocking is no longer in the pile, it’s finished and wrapped. The second sock of the first pair is started, and I’ve started the first sock of the second pair too.  3/4 pom-poms are made (one not pictured) and I have to solve a yarn problem before I go any farther than that. I’ve got 1/6 mittens almost done, and all the rest of that yarn is wound – not that it helps much, but at least it makes me look more ready. No progress on the small sweaters or the ornament, but I thought about them a lot.

Since my goal is to get everything (except the knitting) finished by Saturday, I’ve been prioritizing other stuff – I can keep knitting after that.  I’m only a day away from having the house “Christmas Clean” though I’m sure it will get absolutely trashed on Saturday – and I’ve started the wrapping, and set a menu for Saturday, and plotted a path to success.  It’s starting to involve warping the time-space continuum a little bit, but only a little.

It all hinges on today though – today must be executed to perfection or all hope dies here. Today I’m going to drive our car (be impressed, I only do it about 5 times a year) and I am going to go to the mall. I hate the mall, everything about it makes me wild, but once a year I have to concede that it’s the best way to get a lot done in a single day, and off I go.  I have planned what I think is the best day to go – I feel like Tuesday should be the quietest day, and I’m going in the daytime- I’ll avoid everyone who’s eager enough to go on a Monday and stay right away from everyone desperate to do it before a weekend, and that should leave me jockeying for space with only those also smart enough to show up on a Tuesday who can also go during the daytime, and I feel like I can deal with that.  I have a plan (a really good one) and it is written down with a list of all the things that I need, and what stores they should come from, and I have looked at the mall map, and know what my route through the place will be. I know where I will park, and I have a timeline.  If all goes well today – if it all falls into place according to plan, with my wool as my witness, I will not shop again this year.*

Wish me well, my friends, and if I don’t come back, know that I loved you all, and ask Jen to divide the stash as fairly as she can.


*Except for yarn which is fine. 

47 thoughts on “Checking it Twice

  1. Good luck at the mall! It sounds like a great plan!! I hope each store has what you need/hope to buy! Watch out for those vendors in the middle that try to distract you from your goal. And, as you only drive a few times a year, I hope traffic is kind to you too! Here’s wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas time!!

  2. My first thought was, online would save you the time and the crowds and the traffic, and my second was, wait–how much time have I wasted online looking that could have been spent knitting?

    Go Stephanie go!

  3. Those are all the reasons why I go grocery shopping during the day on Tuesday. They are all accurate reasons, so you should do quite well.

  4. A good plan well executed brings success. Sounds like a fortune cookie! I share your feelings about the mall, avoid it at all costs. Best of luck.

  5. A military friend phrases it as the 5 Ps: Proper planning Prevents Poor Performance. I like your plan, and I see by IG that you remembered your Ikea blue bag, so you get an extra P for pre-planning. Shopping on Wednesday during the day works for me.

    The search party will arise at the sign of the Knit Signal.

  6. You won’t shop again this year, except for yarn? Yeah, right. This guarantees that you will run out of one ingredient crucial for holiday meals/snacks/gifts, meaning you”ll make a mad dash to the market as Joe will be unable to go. Will it be cinnamon? Flour? Even — gasp — coffee?

  7. You are very brave to go to a mall at this time of hear, but I think you’ve done an excellent job of planning/mapping out the trip to minimize your time and frustration. Good luck!

  8. You’ll have to blog tomorrow so we know you’re okay! We totally skipped the mall this year. Hubby orchestrated online shopping and we’ll do some small business shopping. Good luck

  9. Stephanie, is it possible you are spoiling our fun by being so impressively on track? What will we do with all the popcorn, wine, and other goodies without the entertainment to enjoy them with?

  10. Good luck at the mall. I’m with you about feelings for same. I think I must be allergic to mall air. And mall noise.
    Went yesterday (Monday) at 9:30 am when it opened and left by 10:45. Done! Now, if only getting the knitting done would be so easy (must finish aran pullover by time daughter arrives so she can model it for photos).

  11. I think it’s super nice of you to be willing to knit socks for people with such big feet. Hope your day was truly successful. Onwards and upwards.

  12. I just want to throw this in: thanks for showing your beautiful tree. We no longer decorate, no time or verve. So I get my seasonal aesthetic pleasure from everywhere else I can. Including Instaworthy photos!

  13. I’m going to the mall tomorrow, but only because that’s where my supermarket is. I’ve already put the family on notice that I won’t shop again before Christmas at any place that involves a mall. I do have to pick up the ham, but that’s from a small local butchery and I may have to get more bread (teenage boys eat more than I can fit in the freezer) but that’s it.

  14. Went the day well?
    Good luck with the shopping mall – horrible at the best of times – and a nightmare at Christmas.
    Love the knitting – I think mine will be done by Xmas 2020.

  15. You only drive five times a year? I drive almost every day, and still do not understand all the buttons and knobs and switches on the dash. It’s also where I get a lot of knitting done, usually red scarves for a hospital program. If I have to wait for a train . . . if I get to where I am going a little early . . .

  16. All the best, Stephanie. I too plan. May circumstances conspire for you to succeed rather than the wheels falling off.
    Meanwhile totally awed by your rate of production. There are only the two of us now, and it’s looking tight as to whether I’ll finish a 4-ply sweater for DHs present. May involve some late nights! Or could you do lessons on how to warp the Space-Time Continuum, preferably without significantly altering History!

  17. After reading that you were going to the MALL (!!!) I had to make a nice cup of tea and spend unplanned time with several repeats of Fair Isle to soothe my soul! Only the brave or the foolhardy even on a Tuesday….

  18. That is the only way to do Mall shopping. Interspersed with coffee, obviously. I always plan that into the mix. Oh…and get there when the doors open. That way you’re just finishing as everyone else is arriving!

  19. Please come back and tell us how the Mall Death March went! Do we need to send in a search party?

    This year, all gifts from me will be coming from the kitchen: cranberry pecan bread, and wicked peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-oat bars.

    Good luck with your cunning plan to warp time and space.

  20. I suspect that at this point you not only survived the mall but triumphed over your to do list!
    Well done you. /\ /\ /\ (those are the best I could do for clapping hands on my keyboard ;0) )

  21. A trip to the mall here involves an hour and a half drive in several different directions (different malls) and I’d just as soon NEVER GO. I hate the mall, almost as much as I hate the long drive. I do as much local shopping as I can, even if it takes longer (our closest shopping is still 30 mins away), and the rest is online, even though I hate that. I’m not done shopping. I’ve asked some adults for ideas for their kids and they have yet to get back to me.

    • Beth, You and I must live in the same town. Town is 30 minutes, and any mall is an hour and 15. I hate malls. Having to look at the same thing in 149 different sizes makes me ill !
      I really feel sorry for the UPS driver. The last few days delivery has been close to 10pm. (We’ve been in bed for nearly 2 hours….)

  22. I’ve lurked too long…just wanted to add my best wishes for meeting all your deadlines and a delightful holiday season with the family….

  23. I just finished the only “holiday” knitting I am doing and it is not really for the holiday but because a friend of mine is having surgery on Dec. 31. (Yikes) Anyway, I used some really lovely yarn (October House Linden Sock, merino and silk) and your One-Row Handspun Scarf pattern. I just have to come here to say Thank You for this pattern. I have made it many times and I am always totally delighted by the results. Big needles, small needles, soft yarn, sock yarn, wide, short, long: all perfect. And I can knit the pattern in my sleep. You are my hero for many things, Stephanie, and this pattern is one of the biggest.

  24. Chipman’s Block! My very favorite mitten pattern, though I’d forgotten that. Well worth two pair. I should write an ode to the woman who figured out that bit of visual deception. (Remember, my ancestral heritage is Lazy Women With a Taste for Compliments.)

    And quietly sorry for the spectacular, memorable monkeywrench thrown into your plans. As a friend once said “This is going to tell funnier than it lives.”

  25. Sorry, am I the only one who was flabbergasted by how much knitting @Yarnharlot has done/ achieved since the last post in the comparison photos? I couldn’t believe the “I know it’s not super impressive” comment: I, for one, was amazed and astounded! It may not be all that needs to be done, or ideally where you’d be at this moment, but that doesn’t take away from the impressiveness of what has been done!

  26. As a person who worked in retail for many years, Tuesday or Wednesday is a good bet at any time of the year, and businesses appreciate you considering those days, although there might not be as much staff on.

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