The felt is a funny colour too

It is in keeping with the rather craptastic nature of 2020 that I begin the month of December by blowing a deadline.  In the past this month has been the scene of some of my most glorious triumphs – grand knitting plans pulled together at the last minute, supernatural amounts of work coming together, spreadsheets and lists galore culminating in glorious family gatherings and joyful holiday parties.

Instead, defeat. I blame the lockdown. (Today is day nine.) You would think that a lockdown would give you nothing to do but knit and organize, but that’s not my experience of it. Instead, whole mornings are lost to *figuring out how to get red embroidery floss through a website and curbside pickup only to pick-up said pickup and realize that it’s completely the wrong red, heading home dejectedly while realizing that you forgot green thread anyway so you might as well light this floss on fire and make another order, all while wondering how you got yourself in a situation where red floss is an “essential trip.” (Repeat from * when the green thread is wrong and doesn’t match the buttons you had to compromise on as well.) Everything takes that little bit longer, everything is just a little more complicated, and no matter how hard you try, everything is a little bit off.

Still, it’s an advent calendar year over here, another little one in our family has come of age – I imagine you all figured that from the wee things settling around me in drifts, and I did have it completely in my head that it would be finished and in the mail by the 27th November and arriving in time for… well. For today. Instead, it still sits in bits on my dining room table and I think that if I really, really try, I might be able to finish it today, and figure out how to get it in the mail tomorrow, and then the rest of the Covid-Christmas knitting can begin in earnest. I did get smart and order most of the yarn I needed a few months/weeks ago, so hopefully nothing is too much of a disaster there. (I can’t believe I said that.)

Today – I’m going to – well, first I’m finishing this blog post, then I’m finishing something for The Patreon (if you’re a patron, a new video headed your way today I think – can’t believe I said that either) and then – oh crap it’s Tuesday so I have to have a weekly meal plan and a grocery list together and text the neighbours to see if they need anything and it’s still snowing so I’ll have to shovel before I take the recycling out and … then.

Then I’m going to finish the last ornament, cut the felt backing, cut the tree shape, appliqué it to the backing, cut and sand the dowels, cut the pockets, embroider and sew the buttons on, sew ribbon onto all the ornaments… and then… how does one get a mailing tube in a lockdown? Maybe there’s one at the Post Office? Maybe that’s tomorrow’s problem.

Are you trying to finish something today? Tell me you’re past your deadline too. It will make me feel better.

183 thoughts on “The felt is a funny colour too

  1. my deadline went whizzing past my ear this weekend. i was going to make your “Pretty thing” is some beautiful red yarn that I have.. Too bad the needles I bought never came. thing is, it’s going to be as pretty when it’s done, whether it’s on time or not! Looking forward to the Patreon post! I look forward to them.. you are an awesome teacher

  2. I am so far past all my deadlines that I have given up having them. Fortunately, my old-fashioned “stocking up for winter” habit means I only need to go out for perishables and to mail payments.

  3. It would be pretty weird if you had mailed it by November 27. Everything has gone wrong this year, so why in the world would this go right? Congratulations on being very on brand for 2020. I’ve mostly given up on deadlines altogether.

    • And I’m thinking maybe you should go back and reread your actual posts around this time of year for the last, oh, maybe as long as you’ve been telling us about the amazing, beyond-human plans you’ve had and the incredible gap between those and what’s really happened–and how just plain awesome things have been no matter what??!? This is not as much of an off-year as you might think, in the broadest strokes–it just that we’re all so cooped up and up close to everything that it feels ba-zerk!! Details we would have just zoomed past are now inescapably in our faces…

      (I was also trying to Obtain two simple zippers–things I know exactly to the square foot where I’d go to grab them in a 3-minute operation in any other year–and that, too, turned into a multi-day, military-grade operation…sigh! Got zippers, will make do with the colour that they are…!)

    • Me too. The dog is getting gifts because he lives here but no one else is. Except my handicapped nephew – I spent the money I would have on all the gifts on him. He’s easy – anything featuring his favorite football team – I can order from nfl.com…..I love him. Everyone else is being understanding, mostly because we’re all in the same boat. And don’t get me started on the post office. I’m not going near that particular Covid hotspot.

  4. I’m in the first semester of my PhD program and deadlines are frankly a laughable concept, they sneak up and then swish past in a huff as I valiantly ignore them. Best wishes during the lockdown!

  5. I have mismatching, old candles for my Advent wreath. It is a very covid year. Things will be odd and not quite right.
    Last night, our saag paneer lacked a pepper. We have been making do with what we have and doing without when we have to. It sucks and its also okay. Does that make any sense? Maybe it makes the most sense this year.

  6. As somebody who grew up in New Hampshire, a state with lots of snow, I say that the only reason to shovel before taking the recycling out is if the amount of snow makes it physically impossible to move the recycling bins. Which may well be possible in both New Hampshire and most of Canada.

  7. I’ve been using the bullet journal – I love how I can just move the unfinished things forward, and not overthink deadlines. I am now thinking of them as aspirations to be applauded when I achieve them.

    I think this is making me a happier person. Luckily only my 3 pets are affected by my as-yet-unachieved aspirations. Merry and Happy!

  8. Okay, now I’m baffled. The first Advent Calendar was for Luis, the second for Miri. I was sure the third was for Elliot. I thought Eliot and his family lived in the same area as you. So why the mail? If he lives in the same city, couldn’t a contactless pickup be arranged?

    Sympathy on the wrong red floss. What I ordered as “Christmas green” over the phone turned out to be sort of lime-y. Curses.

    You will pull this off, as you always do. Deadlines are an artificial construct for most things, except Advent Calendars for littles.

  9. We have certainly had to dig out our recycling and garbage bins, but even with all the snow it doesn’t feel very festive. This weekend would have been the big annual craft fair and without that to mark the time, I seem to have lost all sense of the season coming. Deadlines for work are still being met, but in my private life even mealtimes are wonky. We do have a couple of people to get gifts to and they aren’t bought/ made yet, let alone wrapped or posted. Nice to know I am perhaps not the only one.

    PS: I am very close to finishing a baby romper and it’s going to be really cute. Sadly, it’s not for any particular baby, so not something off my list, but it does confirm the ‘small things’ theme for this year. Maybe it needs a little matching hat… ?

  10. Another facet of 2020 is the ordering of craft supplies online, with the attendant mysteries of “what exactly IS that color??” I ordered fabric to sash a baby quilt, and squinted at the monitor thinking what color is that background? It looks cream, but I need white. Then I check the description, which says WHITE in all caps, so I allow my doubts to subside, and when it arrives it is….. cream, not white. Ah. Rats. We do the best we can, and remind ourselves that everyone around is is probably doing the best they can, too. So I think they will cut us some slack.

  11. I should have had one of a pair of socks done by now…. I spent my entire Thanksgiving holiday not knitting.
    I honestly don’t know what I did, but it wasn’t knitting.

  12. Forget the deadlines. When the calendar arrives, it will be a special day. Especially since the kiddo will get bonus small things on that day. And every day will be a reminder of how much you love them.

    • This is one of the benefits of giving them the tree when they are still pretty young. It won’t even occur to the recipient that it’s “late”. Just relax and enjoy. It will go when it goes. And be enjoyed this year and every year thereafter

  13. There’s a little elf dude guy to the right of the buttons on top of youir DPNs and at first glance I thought you had shoved a needle through his head like a little voodoo doll and now I realize of COURSE you did because 2020.

  14. Steph, I haven’t started my Christmas knitting yet, and I’m not punishing myself about it. I’ll start next week and I’m ok with that. I know my priorities are in order and correct. As long as you do everything with love, you’re good.

  15. I bought yarn for two hats on Saturday. In person, because I’m allowed to do that here at the moment.
    Somehow I *still* managed to get the wrong colours.
    That takes special talent.
    So I’m giving up. What happens happens, what doesn’t happen maybe doesn’t matter this year as much as I think it does.
    We’ll all be fed, there will be presents, and that will have to be enough.

  16. Your post made me laugh. Like we are in charge or something. If I ran the world, hahaha. Just do the things that bring you joy. Make a list of five things that make your living bearable, clean toilet! The joy list, pick one for the day, knit. Call your grandson. Oh, now life is good isn’t it? Hang in there.

  17. I also blew past an Advent calendar deadline. It actually makes me feel a little better that I’m not the only one. I might be finished by tomorrow if I skip sleeping tonight, provided my littlest munchkin does not do the same.

  18. Thank you for posting in these difficult times. I really regret not keeping a diary during the months of the pandemic to remind me of all those daily routines that were impacted, of all the complexities of shopping for food and other necessities. Time itself bent and curved around me while we navigated the fine line between staying alive and staying sane while the entire world went mad. Here in Melbourne, Australia where we were in strict lockdown for months, with a night curfew and restricted to travelling no more than 5kms from our homes, at last we are coming into summer with no community transmission. I haven’t organised Christmas gifts. I haven’t done our tax returns. The grass needs mowing. Summer started here a few days ago but it’s so cold, the woodburner is going.

    In these dark days of 2020, your blog has been a delight as always. Stay well, Steph and celebrate this Christmas as a triumph over adversity.

  19. Sigh. A scrub top, two masks, and a pair of socks should have been done last Friday. I’ve got one sock and a partially sew scrub top.

    Thank you for your blog posts. You have no idea how much you are helping me through this.

  20. No littles in the family and anyway rituals have always been loose because not all of us grew up with Christian traditions. However, I did buy a Trader Joe’s advent calendar — for myself. I had the first small chocolate today with appropriate ceremony and the brightly colored box is decorating my small round glass table. I’m mulling over covering said table with a red tablecloth but, really, it’s too soon. A tree? I have to buy it and haul it home. We’ll see. I do have a string of Christmas lights up in the living room, which were never taken down from last Christmas. I’ve turned them on periodically throughout the year to celebrate my daughter’s graduation, her post doc position, the Biden-Harris victory and to remind me when it’s Friday.

    I wanted to send a gift a week to my DD but the first present was delivered early on Saturday, so, that didn’t work out. Oh, well.

    I can’t tell you how much I enjoy your blog posts!

    Also, I pulled out Knitting Rules, which inspired me to start a triangular shawl in shades of gray, a color I’ve grown fond of over the past year.

    It will get better. There are vaccines, so it’s a matter of getting through this period. Time to walk. Sundown is at 4:20pm.

    • “ I’ve turned them on periodically throughout the year to celebrate my daughter’s graduation, her post doc position, the Biden-Harris victory and to remind me when it’s Friday.”

      Love it! What a great way to celebrate!

    • Great idea to add some year round celebratory indoor sparkle you can turn on and off with a switch. You’ve inspired me to get some fairy lights for my living room “just because” it’s dark times and there “needs to be” a little more ambient light.

      • I’m thinking my living room needs fairy lights too! I have candles, but also an inquisitive (and clumsy) cat. Be safe, everyone.

    • “… and to remind me when it’s Friday.”
      Brilliant! Waking up each morning and walking past the kitchen into my home office, I’ve lost track of the thing called “weekend” – and frequently, lost track of the day of the week in general. Friday Lights are a beautiful solution – and add sparkle to the late afternoon darkness. I’m going to pull mine out straight away!

  21. Been working on the Christmas box that goes home to Canada. My deadline was last week. I took extra days off last week with US Thanksgiving to get it in the mail last week. Yeah. I’ve got candied pecans to make and gifts to wrap left to do. And then post office tomorrow.

    On the positive side, this is the earliest I have had all my Christmas cards done EVER. Must take the positives where I can.

  22. Why don’t you ask the collective if we have red/green floss. I am sure one of us could mail it to you. Once a deadline is blown, its blown move forward to next thing and remember it is 2020, nothing goes right.

    Second item I think the collective us should get together outside and make a burn pit. On December 30 invite everyone outside, write down the terrible things that happened this year on paper and throw it into the burning pit. Sort of a cosmic cleansing. Maybe it will help or not, A good friend of mine reminded me of what I asked last year. Do you think 2020 will be better than 2019? Her answer was no, and stock up on canned goods, learn to skin a deer and keep knitting. We Texans are a hardy bunch.

  23. I forgot to send the invoices for December tuition.

    It looks like you’ve stuck a needle through the eye of that tiny person. Voodoo is not going to help 2020. Just saying.

  24. I was supposed to pick up the stitches and i-cord an edging on a Jewel Dragon scarf last week. It sits there and mocks me.

    We’ve been in lockdown since mid-February when we were sick with presumed Covid. Somehow it’s like losing how to do deadlines. It is startling to see via FaceTime how much my small grandchildren have changed since then.

  25. feeling your pain – and we’re not on lockdown. almost wish we were – it would make things understandable that nothing goes right. *sigh*

  26. I have a sweater, knitting finished since August – that *gulp* my 16yr old son requested – and chose the pattern. The seaming…the seaming of sleeves and side seams – he’s 6’2″…and it sits. I have knit 4 prs of socks in denial. Along with some toddler accessories for Christmas gifting. And this son – he paints miniatures – he is a detail person. Is it better to drink spirits while seaming? or before to steady the hand, but muddle the counting?

    Cheers! (P.S. Little ones aren’t always clued in to the pesky calendar, I am sure the advent calendar will be a favorite hit no matter when it arrives…heck maybe the parents will even shift the holidays to give them a bit more breathing room.*grin*)

  27. I was supposed to send a Christmas box to a friend in Russia (and not big-city Western Russia…we are talking the boonies, or, for Russian-speakers, v glushi). Not only is the box not sent, I have begun weaving the scarf that is the main gift. I have designed it, but that’s it. Oh, and I do have the yarn. It’s a good thing that Christmas (12/25) will be followed by New Year’s and Orthodox Christmas and then Old New Year. Maybe I’ll make THAT deadline (January 13).

  28. A piece of advice someone gave me (mumble) years ago might be applicable here: “For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe.”

    Fortunately, the only project on needles right now that has anything resembling a deadline is a shawl destined for a charity fundraising auction next July. Since the pattern is making me nuts and the yarn is splitty, I’m not making any bets about actually finishing on time.

    Hoping you, your family and everybody in The Blog come through this safely.

  29. I have to finish weaving in yarn on two hats. I thought, hey keep it easy this year and give hats. I still have at least 10 more to start. I know I will not have enough yarn and I am not even about mailing gifts off. Where has the time gone…

  30. One valuable thing 2020 has taught me is that what I thought was important, really isn’t. Life isn’t going how any of us want it to, and somehow we’re all finding our way through it. Routines are off, activities are restricted and that’s the best of it, for those of us who aren’t sick or dying. Flexibility, kindness and humility seem to be lots more important. Along with a healthy sense of humor which you, Stephanie, always provide us.

  31. Well, the only reason I haven’t missed a deadline is because I didn’t set any. I never came up with a knitted gifts plan and I’ve ordered most of my gifts but I am stumped on a few and somehow can’t pull my head out of my arse long enough to think too hard about the fact that it’s 12/1 and I have NO CLUE ON EARTH what to get my parents or sister 🙁

    First snow of the year here today and its a doozy – I think about 14” so far of wet heavy snow snapping branches & decimating shrubs.

  32. I hear you. I ordered a glue gun for curbside pick up. After I got it home, I saw the package said, in tiny letters on the back, glue sticks not included. So I needed to make a second order.

    It was worth it for the amusement factor – I made a wreath for the front door out of toilet paper roll cores, a mask, and a few spiky ornaments to represent the virus.

  33. Today I was going to get several hours of paid work done, lots of knitting on a Christmas present for someone who lives here (so finding knitting time when he’s not looking is a challenge), do several loads of laundry, and finish a library book. I woke up with less than five hours of sleep for the fifth (sixth? I’m too fuzzy to count) time in a week.

    I finished the book, and I did the work because I had to. I also had a mini-meltdown over the price of a Christmas present jumping $50 and totally couldn’t figure out how to make a doctor’s appointment.

    Christmas stress, Covid stress, no sleep . . . you are so not alone.

  34. I have three felt stockings to make in 24 days, with the embroidery and sequins on them. I’ve made two dozen little knitted and crocheted ornaments for my eldest for her tree. I imagine I’ll be in this spot again for the next three years since the other kids will want them too..

  35. I am WAAAY last my deadline of Dec 1, 2019! Two cowls for my aunts. One is done (finished last week). The other just got pulled out of redo #2, and I’m going to go with another pattern that approaches the construction of a bandanna cowl differently. Hopefully my aunt will like it anyway if I can ever get it finished!

  36. You ordered MOST of the yarn you need?? Did any of it arrive? What about the rest — are you sure it is in the stash? And the rest — buttons, ribbons, shawl pins, etc.?

    Thankfully, I ordered microwave popcorn some time ago, and it arrived last week. Let the games begin!

  37. I’ve learned long ago to give gifts whenever and not wait for a “special” day. Holidays are contrived. Every day can be a day of thanksgiving or a day of gifting. Give today – you might not have the opportunity tomorrow.

  38. Deadlines? I gave up on deadlines a while back. Can not seem to get myself organized for anything to the point that the rent was mailed today. Making a whole advent calendar is just so awesome. Christmas gifts this year will be the almost done hand spun and knit pouches form last year, if I can kick myself into motion and pull everything together in one place all that’s wanting are the i-cord drawstrings I hope that’s all that is left to do. The way this year has been the four bags I cant find will turn out to have only been knit in my mind.

  39. I’m retired so I don’t have deadlines, but I did buy yarn for a “quick knit” in October 2019, started the shawl almost right away, hated the colors, stash dived, and came up with yarn that is not working with my recently worsened arthritis. I was hoping to start the Patty Lyons KAL, but I’m still swatching and finding out I hate my stitches–all tight at the edges and loose in the center like some strange 1960 pop art in dark green fiber. I spent today tinking 4 rows because I knitted or purled two together–did I mention this is brioche?–only to find I had dropped a stitch before that and tinked another two rows to fix that. Haven’t made it up the six rows yet, but have a guild meeting tomorrow and a class on catching up on UFOs, so my future is hopeful. Right.

    Good luck with your endeavors.

  40. Oh my gosh I started cracking up halfway through this post because I did THE EXACT SAME THING a few weeks ago with the red floss. Colors online just do not match colors in person! I learned my lesson and ordered five different shades next time. Luckily embroidery floss is cheap and my daughter will love the cast offs as art supplies.

  41. Knitting a sweater for a friend’s new baby, just the sleeves to finish. Started it when she announced her pregnancy. He was born in August.

  42. I was half-way thru with Christmas crafting when we got a chance to move to a bigger place. Needless to say, I’m way, way behind on presents! I am hoping to get things in the mail before 12th Night.

  43. I’m skipping 2020.Added advantage is that I’ll be a year younger than would otherwise be the case. Keep safe and smiling

  44. Back in Oct. I started two Advent Garlands, with the idea that one had to be in the mail by Nov. 15th. It is going to be Nov. 15, 2021. Only half of the ornaments are finished. I lost the will to knit tiny things and switched to dish clothes.

  45. Thought I was doing ok . I usually buy ornaments for the ‘big’ gifts for my kids and grandkids, but decided, what the heck I’ve got time, I’ll make them. Who knew how hard it would be to find the perfect pattern for a koala or a koala’s ears? (Grandson’s favourite animal). Still have 4 more animals to knit. God they’re fiddly. And, my sister just asked could I knit her husband a pair of warm mitts? Ginormous hands. Colour? Black please. My Christmas sweater has just become my January project. Oh, and just forgot, the cowl

  46. The only deadline I have met all year has been the self imposed need to finish a pair of socks a month for the Grocery Girls Sock Bash. I decided that I wanted to be able to enter the bonus draw for those who entered a pair every month of the year. I cast on my last pair yesterday. I have met several tight deadlines on mask making. But that is as far as it goes. I survived the first UK lockdown due to the fact the weather was amazing and I spent hours every day at the allotment which is a very sociable place to be. This time round has been very different and I have discovered I do not do well locked in alone for days on end. I am making most of my gifts and about 3 weeks ago found the patterns I need and dug out fabrics from my stash. But there it all sits still uncut. The sewing machine has been out since March so no excuse other than I have totally run out of motivation and am facing the very real prospect of spending Christmas alone due to the 3 household rule. Where I live we have come out of lockdown into a higher tier than before yet cases are down. How the hell does that work? Maybe because I live in a sparsely populated area where reporting per 100k means they multiply up to get that figure and report more cases than actually exist here?

  47. Surely with this year we all get a pass on doing anything to any deadline? I thought I’d be all sneaky and start my holiday knitting very early (like over the summer early), but here I am, still knitting madly and trying to finish.

  48. Thank you all for not making me feel alone! I don’t understand how I can have all this time on my hands and I can’t seem to finish anything or start anything. I finally gave up. Now I take good naps and have been catching up on my reading. Maybe next week I will put a row or two on an afghan. Until then I am enjoying what I call my holiday hibernation. Be safe and always remember to wear a mask!

  49. I didn’t finish my project by the deadline for the Joji Fall KAL. It’s not a hard project; it’s just that time works weirdly in 2020.

  50. We’re so far off of our deadlines this year that we’re just thankful that we’re alive and things are happening, just very slowly. We’re moving about 200 miles in small batches. COVID slowed everything down – we were supposed to be moved in July and now in November we’re about 85% done. We’re retired and are doing the move on our own. We did hire a small crew to load the heavy stuff in the old home and another to unload when we arrived at the new home. Lots of cleaning/sorting/basic fixup left to do in the old house so we can get it on the market. I figure we’ll get there when we get there. If I stress over it, I only suffer the side effects and there is no good result. I try to celebrate the victories.

  51. I haven’t even started some items I planned on making. The only person disappointed with this one is me. I’m trying to think positive by saying I do it for next Christmas. I also ordered the wrong yarn for slipper socks I was going to make as gifts. I may get these done if I can get the yarn. At least it is not speciality yarn and I can get it at Michael’s but their shelves are getting pretty sparse. Then I remind myself it could be worse and these things are trivial. I keep reminding myself yes this year is hard but for some it is a whole lot harder. I have a roof over my head and food on the table.

  52. Oh heavens yes, this sounds familiar. I knit a blanket this year that has THREE different dye lots of the main color. NOTICEABLY different dye lots. The first two are the fault of the big box store I mail ordered from. The third is my fault for not ordering enough yarn the first time. I managed to widget it so it’s not very visible, but it’s still visible. It’s 2020. We work with what we have, right?

  53. I’m not of any faith group, so I looked up Advent in Wikipedia to refresh my memory of it as the lead up to the Christian celebration of Christmas, with daily readings and certain traditional activities. I work in a large grocery store, so I see “Advent” calendars of all sorts, basically, all windows that open with chocolates in them: brand name chocolates (Kinder), “branded” children’s cartoons (Pixar, Pokeman, Paw Patrol). I think there is one religious one; I’ll take a look today. I wonder when I see the calendars go by me whether the children in the households have any idea of Advent as a Christian church period, or whether the chocolates are just placeholders to the main event of many gifts on a secular Christmas. I don’t object to secular Christmas as a time of family, general goodwill and celebration of friends; I try for that. I have massive and yearly increasing horror of the money spent and the stress, however. What was I going to say to you, Stephanie? Oh … your Advent calendars are lovingly made gifts full of tiny toys. They must surely be a delight to each child and family who receives them (they sure are to us BLOG). HURRAH FOR YOU! It won’t matter a bit what time of year they arrive. If you start to feel too much stress putting this year’s together, I hope you will step back and sit down with a good book for a chapter or two. Very kind regards!

  54. I was going to make three scrappy chicken ornaments for our tree because we got three laying hens this year…. but the tree is up already….and I haven’t even started. But yes, everything is a gazillion times harder during lockdown. Hugs to you all

  55. I have half finished project littering the house and I can’t seem to get out of my robe today. Not looking forward to walking the dog in the wind and snow. Some days are easier than others. I’m impressed in your ambitious undertakings.

  56. It’s beginning to look as though everything that’s on needles, and the few things in need of finishing may well be for 2021. Bursitis. Rotator cuff tendonitis.
    Both in the same arm. Ouch. Plus, shingles. I’m a very unhappy person. Hey, 2020 has been the year from hell, why should I be surprised? Maybe I’ll dig out the box of felt scraps and see if I can sew an ornament or two. Joy to all, whatever holiday you celebrate. Peace, prosperity and very good health.

  57. Home isolation has its ups and downs. One minute you are cleaning the baseboards with a q-tip, the next minute you are drinking tequila and watching the squirrels out the window.

    Keep your chin up, this has to come to an end sometime.

    Stay well.

  58. I just finished a weighted blanket for my husband… for LAST Christmas.

    Some of the planned handmade gifts got replaced by other special but not made-by-me things, because they were going to New Zealand and needed to get mailed weeks ago (the box actually arrived a week earlier than predicted). I’m nearly finished the last stitched card for this season. It won’t be going far, but the festive masks that are supposed to be mailed with it are only partially assembled.

  59. I haven’t even begun to think about it, and I’m not sure I will this year. Our holiday will be a little baking, a little making, and gift cards for everybody. So please do feel better and take us along on your quest to do something festive.

  60. Yes, I am past all deadlines and any upcoming for December. Broken hand and foot nixed getting any projects done. I do feel a bit better about it as I at least was able to get a handmade gift from a local shop and supporting a small business.

  61. Oh yes I’m past a deadline for completing and getting my dear daughter-in-law’s December 4 birthday gift knitting done and in the mail in time. I’ll finish the knitting today and then wash and block it then it will have to dry and then there’s getting out to the post office. And why was this is a harder time to make this particular pattern though I made it twice before without a problem? COVID-19 times have definitely induced brain fog here. Let’s not talk about other deadlines or general lack of motivation also attendant to these times. So yes indeed do I feel the same.

  62. A friend is due with her first baby on January 2. I was going to knit a boob hat, a blankie, a sweater, a Beloved bonnet, a dino hat, a covid 19 toy, and a purple hat of undetermined pattern. I was going to do all this by this week-ish to get to the post office without madness and before baby. Blanket is 2/3 finished. Boob hat is finished. Everything else exists only in my mind. I’m probably going to have to scale back. A lot.

  63. Hang in there Stephanie! You are doing amazing things! I say this as I look at the yarn my sister bought four years ago. I was going to make a cowl for her for that Christmas – 2016. I’m still trying to figure out a pattern that works with the yarn. You are doing wonderfully!

  64. I have a hat, two pairs of socks, and an adult sweater on the needles still. I spent last night throwing up and today napping/teleworking, so I’m not making great strides anywhere. One day at a time!

  65. Not so much a deadline as an “if I have to think about this for one more day, it’ll be bad news” thing: trying to package up and send back to the dealer the sewing machine I thought would be fabulous and that I hate and figure out how to get the one I really want home when the manufacturer won’t allow dealers to ship to customers and it’s a 500 km drive into a zone we’re not supposed to enter to pick it up at the store. And two kittens who haven’t yet learned to stay off the kitchen table and counters but need constant supervision when outside in the snow, which is the only other thing they want to do today. No sewing for me. But it’s a beautiful day, nonetheless.

  66. Not passed the deadline, but I see it creeping up on me. Sat, need a sweater finished. I can totally do this!!!! I have one sleeve, the chest and back and the pocket to do, then wash and block and be done to be worn Sat at 6pm. Also, no one has the color I need for the ribbing, so I compromised and got a different shade because it’s 2020 and nothing matters anymore

  67. I’m another who’s missed so many deadlines I no longer have any deadlines set. Am working on a baby blanket that has a center section and then 20 smaller blocks around it. Center is done. Had problems with the first small block and now the project has essentially been sent to the corner until it’s ready to behave. Maybe today’s post can be the impetus to pull it back out and work on it.

  68. All I know is that “totally the wrong red” is very on brand for 2020 and that’s how you know what year you finished the Advent Calendar.

  69. I mailed a Xmas package last week to my daughter/knit model now living in San Franscisco. Here in Kingston, ON I was able to phone ahead to Peters Drugs (which also houses our local Canada Post) to explain that I needed packaging help and didn’t want to enter the store (in my 60s). I ended up doing a curbside drop-off with the post office lady doing the packaging and then charging my credit card. Totally contactless. Gotta love living in a small city. Deadlines met, but I didn’t make anything as intricate as your calendar. I’d probably go stark raving mad trying to make those itty bitty ornaments, so I don’t even try.

  70. I am not going to go back through every other year’s blog posts, but somehow I do not think your panic about the state of the to-do list in December is anything specific to 2020. Only in every other year you are running hither and yon to different crazy stores to get the right color bead…

    But yeah, this is a year I am giving myself a pass.

  71. Are post offices open? Will it fit in the new flat rate box? Check the web site. I used one for presents and it speeded things up a bit.

    Good luck!!

  72. I second the new within-Canada flat rate box at Canada Post. But I think they also have tubes for sale.
    There are some great lines in these comments:
    “Deadlines are an artificial construct for most things”
    “Surely with this year we all get a pass on doing anything to any deadline?”
    “One valuable thing 2020 has taught me is that what I thought was important, really isn’t.”
    “Somehow it’s like losing how to do deadlines.”
    I have indeed missed so many deadlines in so many areas this year. Then again some other projects I never thought I would get done have actually happened – new house numbers! a new mailbox! after many years.
    There could be some people who had great things happen in 2020. A senior on my block received a long-awaited kidney transplant this year and her husband finished apparently successful cancer radiation therapy.
    Let’s think positively!
    At least there are only three weeks of dark days before the solstice.
    thanks so much for the blog post

  73. Christmas 2020 can blow out Santas’ trousers. I am going to do an adequate job. I am going to do an adequate job. I am going to…… I am going to do Christmas in July if all else fails. On the deck, at the cottage, with a drink in my hand. Even if I have to scale a fifty foot White Pine to string lights. Santa is welcome to attend in his bathing suit.

  74. Three intarsia Christmas stockings. An old pattern, only available by drafting it from the original stockings.

    What was I thinking?

  75. Thank God for Ravelry. I e-mailed the Wooly Thistle, and said I needed the right red for the Smaug mittens (JennyPenny). And two greens for the other version. And the lovely people chose for me. And got it 100% right.
    About deadlines, I still owe my son and daughter-in-law their wedding quilt. They celebrated their 10th anniversary this year. If they hadn’t picked out a complicated kaleidoscopic paper-pieced pattern, they might have gotten it by now.

  76. Can anyone help me understand why I Stephanie’s Patreon videos won’t play on my laptop. A white circle just keeps going around and around.
    Do I need to sign in or join something?

    Thanks, Avon

      • Absolutely worth every single penny – Steph’s Patreon site is fantastic. Listening to her teach is like the Bob Ross effect – so soothing and encouraging – and incredibly educational. I put them on repeat and knit away while listening.

  77. Knitting is a hobby for me, so I don’t set deadlines because that ruins the fun aspect.

    I have decided that the pandemic is incentive to finish projects. I finished 2 pairs of socks. One pair would look better if I had kept notes…like what I was trying out in the heel and toe.

    So, post completion, I created project pages. And I have another pair that I started. I vaguely remember the yarn. Now I have to find said socks and figure out if they are done? Stuck at second sock?

    I have 3 other pairs in various stages of completion…

    Did I mention I finished 2 pairs?

  78. May we please see more of the Advent Calendar after it’s reached its tiny recipient and been opened, please? It’s been very tantalising, watching teeny jumpers and mittens and stars whizz by on Instagram!

    Deadlines? This year I set myself the task of repainting the living room, mostly to cover up some old damp stains from a leak that’s fixed and which I don’t want to spend Christmas looking at. The room is cluttered, with furniture up against every wall that can take it, so it’ll be a case of moving everything out in turn and doing one wall at a time (everyone does this, right?). My problem is that I’ve now over-invested in getting it done, and I know I won’t, and it’s just going to make me miserable.

    What else? I fully intended to knit socks for my older son because he’s never had any from me (unless those chunky welly socks when he was 3 count). But first I must make three cushion covers a tote bag and several masks for various friends and family. And the boys are off school from the 18th.

  79. Not only am I past my deadline but some things have got to come off the list this year…it’s hard to choose who doesn’t get the knitted gift I was planning on giving. Will it become a birthday present or next year’s present? So many decisions that I am a bit paralyzed with my knitting…

  80. I knit a thing, i did the # of rows for size 2, but when I got to the very last section to bind off, I realized i had cast on all my stitches for size 1. I frogged. I restarted, CO for size 2. Started. Realized in section 3 that I’d started with section 2 instead of 1.

    I should probably just be knitting garter washrags, anything with words and numbers is obviously beyond me.

  81. What deadlines! I refuse to have them, which is easier since I ship holiday plants to most of my family. Easier for everyone.

    I have been marooned on Sleeve Island for almost 2 months while work kicked my butt to the point that some days – most days – I just held my needles as I drifted off to nap, but I finally finished the 2nd sleeve and can join it to the body of the sweater. This is the sweater I started last winter when I realized winter is different in New Hampshire than San Francisco, and noticed at the same time that there are very few wool sweaters for sale for women. I plan to wear the heck out of this one!

  82. Not trying to finish anything, but along the “Craptastic 2020” line, our beautifully decorated fresh 8 foot Nordman Christmas tree was decorated by my daughters and myself last night (for once, there was no bickering!). It looked amazing and we happily all went to bed. At 2:00 am we heard glass breaking and ran downstairs – the tree fell over spilling water everywhere and breaking about half of my collected glass ornaments. Sigh. All I can say is if that is the worst thing that happens this month I will be eternally grateful and count my blessings. xoxo

  83. Due to shipping problems (things not arriving to me when scheduled), I ended up shipping Part One of a monetarily-tiny-gift advent calendar to two friends, days 1-9, last Friday. USPS Priority Mail, which is supposed to take a maximum of three days.

    One of them arrived as scheduled, on Monday. The other is mysteriously “in transit” somewhere, although at least it admitted yesterday evening that it was running late?

    That said, the USPS isn’t the only one running behind; I still need to wrap parts 10 and onwards for both calendars and pack them and mail them…

  84. Thanks to you Steph, I have almost all my sock knitting done….just one pair left to go which will be done next week and mailed. Then perhaps it’s back to knitting for me, myself and I. Ya, I know, it’s now cursed. Something will come up. Did manage to wrap two pairs of socks and a hat tonight, how’s that for knitting on time?

  85. – I have read almost 40 books this year.
    – Sleeping now about 12-14 hours a night, rising about 2 or 3.
    – Sitting up until about 3 or 4 a.m.
    – House is more messy than usual.
    – Beginning to hate DH after 35 years of second marriage – sort of. We are in our eighties and live out in the north woods of MN, amidst a bunch of trees (thousands?) and 25 miles from civilization.
    – Have about 4 projects/gifts to finish sewing ends.
    – More WIPs around every corner.
    – No gifts bought.
    – Stopped sending cards a few years ago.
    – Planned for Christmas in July (daughter was to spend the summer – she’s lived in Paris and Dubai for almost 40 years and we don’t see her much). Last time was in 2019. Then failing that, it was to be Christmas at Christmas. That’s in the trash bin too.
    – Hoping the special (birthday Sept. 25th) gift for her that I bought weeks ago that was drop-shipped from Amazon to a box in NYC, thence to be mailed on to Dubai, reaches her some day.
    – All I do is eat, read, sleep and knit a few (long) rows on a hooded top-down cardigan for myself that I began because I could – and anyway, found 20 lovely skeins in the stash.
    – Have doubled my holiday depression meds and may sleep until January.
    Stay safe and well and wear a mask! 😀

  86. We all have 2020 stories! California is headed into lockdown any day now and the numbers are horrific. So we are girding up for this last lousy stretch. I am working on a sweater for myself. My family members are reluctant handknit-wearers. I am with you on ordering craft supplies online. I try to stick to one grocery store visit a week and a curb pickup or two for craft supplies. My plan when we can go out again safely is to spend several days shopping in person at all my favorite stores. Squishing yarn, trying on clothes, getting some fancy chocolates, walking the mall, going to bookstores, eating at a nice restaurant on THEIR plates!

  87. I haven’t blown any deadlines yet. Before anyone thinks I’m bragging – I don’t have many, other than paying bills on time. I gave up buying or making things for gifts – wrong size/color/thing… BAH HUMBUG! I just throw money at the few people I give gifts to now, let them battle the crowds and internets. But yes, even so, I AM having issues getting my mind into working on things, even my own projects, and I didn’t even have that much social activities or going to shopping until the list was long enough (45 minute drive each way to nearest craft store). I think it’s the year long grind about covid with changing information and fights about what to do or not to do, politics (ok-that’s been a 4 year grind), and general what’s next wait don’t ask maybe it’s best not to know yet….

    One thing I have learned – matching thread to buttons is over rated. If you can’t match, use another color that’s in the item. It will be better than using a color that’s not quite right. The yarn in the photo looks to be fairly fine, twist it tighter and use that for the buttons maybe?

  88. I got OLD this year and decided not to do anything very energetic. So; no deadlines missed, but nothing much accomplished either. Your energetic attitude and self acceptance are a joy to read at the end of an awful year. Thank you for that… for many years. Be well and of good cheer. (And hugs when it’s safe.)

  89. I’m late to the party…because I’ve missed all my deadlines….
    If I can finish a pair of mittens amd 2 hats, I will have exceeded my own expectations.
    Happy Solstice!

  90. Yeah, everyday life intervenes, particularly when your Condo Board decides to outlaw ALL Crane toilets (because there was a bad production run in the 1990’s – nevermind that MINE is from 2008, and is just FINE?), and the 3-week notification, well, today was the deadline? Do I have a new loo yet? Nope, but I’m working on it.

    And, isn’t NOW the time you want strangers in your home?!? (London, ON becomes “orange” on Monday, btw.)

    Knitting is a solace, even if it’s not happening at lightning speed…

    to all of you dear people!!

  91. Deadline, smeadline. I have given up on deadlines this year. First I couldn’t get the yarn I needed, then my shoulder went wonky on me and I couldn’t knit more then a half an hour a day! Good Grief! I am finally able to knit, but I am not going to get things done in time to mail. Well, maybe we will celebrate a bit late…

  92. Stephanie,

    I am so far behind I no longer count how far. But soon, yes very soon I will get caught up. When it is warmer, when the sun is shining again and rain is not falling ( I know not the same as snow! and shoveling). I have a gift that needs to be bound off, I have another gift that need 4 sides sewn and I have a charity knit that needs the sleeves. Must get busy.

  93. I’ve got 7 more kitchen towels to weave (on my floor loom) out of a total of 22. I feel my motivation to finish is slowly losing ground. It doesn’t help that I’m doing the exact. same. thing. each time.

  94. I fractured both bones in my wrist a week ago so not only is any deadline blown out of the water but I can’t knit or spin or sew for at least six weeks. I might go mad.

  95. I get it…what you are saying about plans. Well thought out plans. I knit christmas balls for my niece and 2 Nativity sets for the other 2 niece’s families. We probably won’t even be getting together for the holidays, and since they are decorations, I delivered them today. Done. I decided to make them in May and just this month, I knit them. I should have done it earlier, so I am just giving up on any other projects. (Note that I don’t have grandchildren yet, I can say that!) Bless you for taking care of your neighbors, trying to do more of that here too…they don’t need to be in stores! Be safe and Happy Christmas!

  96. Measuring the sleeve on that dear sleeping boy was one of the most unendingly sweet acts of loving ingenuity ever. May peace and joy grace your home.

  97. Haven’t knitted a stitch in 2020. Sad.
    But wanted to send internet hugs, support. We support the bike-ride group. We support DWB/MSF.
    Thank you for keeping on, even if it’s not as frequent.

  98. At least you haven’t had to repaint your stairs!

    And absolutely, the advent calendar recipient will be delighted at opening lots when it arrives – and you are not the one who has to persuade her/him to that after that it is one a day!!

    Click on the Robot – which we none of us are!

  99. Just to say Thank you. I now have a ‘projects finished’ booklet so that I can remember the good things that I have made, rather than the ‘project book’ that had so many starts/ abandons and it made me so depressed. This is the year that I too have become old.

  100. Oh yes,
    Everything we’ve been trying to do around here is one step forward and two steps back.
    We blame Covid policies, the kids, the weather (whatever it is). It’s frustrating, especially as you say, you’d think with lockdowns (no commutes, no visiting people, no need to even waste time getting out of pajamas) we’d have loads of extra free time for knitting & little projects. But not so

  101. I am in a shambles at my house. I too spend the morning trying to figure out what to do and then it is past time to walk to the dogs. I have started several projects and not one is doing it for me. Plus our daughter who works out in the wild just got exposed to Covid. I think I’ll have another glass of wine.

  102. I’m pretty sure that all Christmas knitting will still be on the needles. **Sigh**. As for the mailing tube, I don’t know about Canada, but we can order mailing supplies directly from the post office & they deliver them with the regular mail delivery. And then there’s always Amazon. Good luck!

  103. I opened my Christmas spreadsheet last night, feeling a bit down about how late I’d left it to start organising anything, and I discovered that last year I completely failed to fill it in. It’s just a list of names with no presents against it. I still have one nephew’s 2019 present sitting in my home office because the January catch up his family and mine has planned was cancelled due to bushfire smoke. And then I thought I’d get to the post office, but, well, I didn’t. It’s not great, but it’s also fine.

  104. Your posts on managing what should be fairly straightforward things in pandemic-mode are so spot on. I come back to them several times just for the reassurance that I’m not the only one. Thanks for that.

  105. Half a mitten and two thumbs are supposed to be finished by tomorrow, to get into the box that’s standing in for all of Christmas this year, and there may not be enough yarn left for the matching hat that’s supposed to be knit once the mittens and extra yarn get there. (That is not directly a covid problem, but traditionally we would just frantically search heaven and earth for yarn that could work, and that’s not possible this year.)

    Curbside pickup of embroidery thread is a cruel joke.

  106. I have to confess that I usually stop reading your blog in December. So much planning and stress and deadlines, and my wrists ache just thinking about so much knitting. I just throw something together at the last minute and enjoy myself primarily because Christmas is a mellow day.

    So it’s interesting that we’re having a role reversal. A great bounty of lemons has come my way, leading to several days of Macbethian cauldron stirring. The marmalade has been declared already the best we’ve ever made, enough jars have miraculously been procured, lists of people we miss have been produced, half has already been delivered before December 15th!! We even got some labels printed and stuck some bows on the jars, it’s absolutely staggering. Who knew such productivity could be achieved, but of course losing my job and having nothing else to do might have something to do with that. Plus knowing that everything takes 3 times as long now, and you might never find red floss again or even floss at all.

    So you know what? My one spasm of smugness is over already. Being pretty much done wasn’t that exciting. I hope you in turn get to enjoy a low-key Christmas with all deadlines blown to hell before you even start. People are totally cool with new year presents, those are true surprises. Or even presents whenever you get them done/get the lemons. I promise you will enjoy yourself just fine 🙂

  107. I am thrilled to report that I have finished my daughters’ Christmas presents, well except that neither are blocked. Does that count as being done. I made my oldest daughter a variation of Marigold the Cow. She and her husband raise cattle in Michigan, using Queensland Rainbow Beach. And each cow’s face is a different color. It is so flipping cute. My other daughter got a keyhole scarf made with Jody Long’s Glam Haze. Fortunately neither my husband and son want or would wear anything knitted.

    I also have a cable head band, which is blocked, but I am not sure who will be getting it, maybe me.

    I have to be honest, I am lucky in that my sister owns a yarn shop in Northeast Ohio and we are still open. I am there at least four days a week and if I am not working on her inventory, I am knitting.

    I am also very lucky in that my husband does the shopping, Christmas decorating, vacuuming and laundry!!

    Hope you enjoy your Christmas.

  108. Hello from sunny Melbourne, Aust. So excited. Just read Canada is about to start covid vaccine! So pleased, after hearing USA and UK vaccine news this week. Hope you all go well. Australia is watching and sending good wishes to you all.

  109. I’d also like to add a Big THANK YOU Yarn Harlot!! for sharing your writing with us. I found the blog when Harlot Poncho was quite new, and have learnt – and shared – lots of good useful stuff about life and knitting over those years. I (-) a lot now 😀
    You were the first person I thought of when I heard of this new virus. I still believe you will know what to do no matter what comes your way. And if not, shrug, and keep dog paddling till something solid turns up.

    This year I don’t feel like doing much. I have crocheted a few mini Christmas wreath decorations in lime green acrylic with orange flowers and yellow dots. Shocking! Hubby enjoys the not so Christmas colours. Flat plywood polar bears are chasing reindeer in the matching lime green scarves from last year. So, I thank you for the inspo!

    All the best Jxo

  110. Yeup,

    I’m in self quarantine because I worry about getting sick. I go out about once every 10-14 days but getting things is a little bit easier than last spring when everything here was shut down. I have found out it is easier to get things done but more come from out of nowhere and so the list continues to grow.

    Best wishes for a season filled with light and joy in the best way you can manage. It’s not the same as other years this is about as far from normal as one can get in peace time.

  111. Everyone on my shopping list wants a gift card. Yes it makes my life easier, but can there be anything less personal than a gift card? So I knit for me and my own pleasure. But it makes me a bit sad.

    • For me I knit/crochet clothes, socks & sweaters. For Christmas, all the “girls and children” get an ornament, head bands and/or hair clips, wash clothes and soap. and occasionally a stuffed animal. Something small, easy to make, where color and size don’t matter. This year they are being mailed later along with some baked goods-since the mail got so backlogged.

  112. When the craft group member in charge of gathering the scarves to be sent to a project saw all that our small group had prepared, she began to covet one of the scarves I had made in her school colors. So I told her I would sell to her for a $5 donation to a children’s nutrition project. Had I known she would offer scarves to the church population at large, I would have set a price of $10 — still a bargain. Next year I will up my offer — maybe to $15.

  113. P.S. It’s only six days to winter solstice. You all get ready to do the turn-around dance to coax the sun to make a U-turn and start coming back to us again.

  114. The missing truck key has been found! It wasn’t a big deal, we did have one key, this one was the extra, but it did have another small key attached with a chain that was to the lock for the chain that secured the spare tire in the bed of the truck, rather than its designated place underneath which was impossible to get to when needed. How? I am trying to conquer double points again. I always have miserable luck, but I found this pattern for mukluks, which I envision, once I conquer double points, will be the perfect solution to accumulating stash, the only drawback being the requirement that the ankle part of the mukluks are done on double points.
    Well, drat, I let one of the double points slip out of my hands and darned if the evil instrument didn’t fall along the crack at the edge of the cushion of my motorized recliner. Every attempt to get my fingers on the sliding piece of wood — actually bamboo — resulted in the needle point slipping totally from my hands. I can get down on the floor and up again, but it requires a lot of manipulating and its not something I like to do every day. I sat for a while trying to figure out how I could continue with only three double points. No solution appearing, I finally fortified myself with a cup of strong tea (and a couple pieces of chocolate) until I was willing to do the bends to get down on the floor. Once on the floor I have to belly crawl under the foot lift of the recliner, but there it was, its pale bamboo color almost glowing in the shadows. Aha! There was something else the recliner, something that had a metallic shine. Obviously something that shouldn’tt be spending its life under a recliner. Managed to hook the object and pull it out. Of course, you’ve already figured out that I had no found the extra truck key. Oh happy day.

    • Oh, Margaret: I am sorry to tell you this, but if you’re expecting to spend a lot of time in coming months with DPN’s, they are going to pull that one on you more often than you think remotely reasonable!! Those important, necessary, useful JERKS are awesome at finding cracks to slide into–sort of like that Ring in the Lord of the Rings series…! If you want some good company, google back to find the story when Stephanie figured she’d lost a beloved DPN sock needle into a crack in their rental car–Olympic-level drama for sure!!

      I can totally relate to your story, too, having had to pretty much deconstruct a friend’s swivel Lazy-boy rocker to get mine back…!

  115. Deadline?

    I think, this year, it means I’m lined up, dead. No doubt surrounded by weeping children, empty gin bottles and the cat balanced on a pile of ripped knitting.

    Next year? Bring it on.

  116. Merry Christmas everyone!! It’s now Christmas night in still sunny Melbourne Australia. I wish you all peace and good health and that you have all that you need, even if the wants are a wee bit out of reach this year.

    I came by hoping to see the very beautiful Yarn Harlot Christmas Tree.. because my own is about a foot tall.. and I hoped for a good sign. But it’s 2020. Next year the good things will return.. and happy hearts.

    Love to All

  117. Merry Christmas to you and your family, near and far!
    Maybe this year has helped us realize how precious our loved ones are, especially when we are distancing.

  118. Steph miss you, your witt and love and wisdom. I imagine this is all too hard and painful to post this year. Your silences speak of pain and love. May you have your loved ones with you soon. I know our distant admiration does not heal private wounds. Knit on!

  119. Stephanie, thank you for being a bright spot in a bleak year. You made a difference. Thank you for reaching out to The Blog and helping keep us together.
    I hope your world is becoming brighter and lighter, and that your loved ones are doing well.
    Thank you for all that you.
    Thank you for being you.
    Warm wooly wishes for 2021.

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