ho. ho. uh-oh.

Posted on Posted in designing, food and garden, lace/shawls, projects, spinning and fiber, yarn and dyeing

we’re supposed to have snow this weekend but so far, the only white stuff to arrive was in a surprise box from my dear friend melisa. she used to live here (and take classes with me), but moved to northern vermont a couple of years ago. she and her husband bought a farm, had two babies, and then got some icelandic sheep. now she’s spinning and obviously, gleaning and sharing the rewards.
mmmβ€”6 ounces of nice white icelandic wool. this will make some great man socks or clogs.

which we will need more of since it’s getting very much colder each day here.

but we have sun in unexpected places, too. the other day i took a look at what’s hiding under the tent on the pool table.

can you spell W-O-W? i have to say, i am liking this ripening method more and more. i haven’t lost even one tomato to rot, and trust me, i have not been diligent about checking themβ€”often a week or more will go by before i peek. i brought some with me to albany which we ate in a salad, and though not quite the same as those fresh from the vine in august, they were vastly more wonderful than store-bought.

i grabbed a batch of the ripest ones the other day, roasted them up, and threw together a pot of pasta e fagioli. YUM. it was one of the best batches i’ve ever made.

and there are still enough tomatoes left to make probably one more big batch of something when they ripen. hmmm, maybe it’s time to start scouting the italian grocery for some baccala.

are you getting the idea that it hasn’t been a very good few days for knitting around here?
seriously, on thursday, between work, pattern writing, appointments, and losing data, by the time i got to bed around 3 am, i hadn’t knit one stitch. not one.

that cannot happen on a frequent basis, especially with christmas rocketing towards me, completely out of control.
since then i’ve recovered a bit of equilibrium, but believe me it felt really weird to go a whole day without needles in hand.

simurgh is growing fairly steadily and i guess i’m about halfway to the finish on the second half. i’d really like to finish this up by sunday night so i can block it on monday afternoon, but i’m not ready to say i will get there for sure. i have another pattern i want to get written today too

apparently, you guys really like this sock. kim has put together a kit that is selling like hotcakes (er, or maybe that’s honeycakes?).
thank you for you continued enthusiasm for the bee stuff, too . . . whenever i think that maybe reworking a theme is not going to fly, time and again you prove me wrong.

and that little scarfβ€”wow, you really wanted that pattern; i can’t get over the response.
forgive me if this sounds odd, but i continue to be amazed that what i knit is of so much interest to others. for someone who has worked most of her life in solitude, oblivious to what’d going on around her, this is a complete (and completely enjoyable) revelation.
i wouldn’t know as much about my designer self without you, or maybe explore all the avenues i do. it’s a really great relationship of the best kind. so thanks!

so, where was i . . . oh yeah, christmas knitting. i think i may be in seriously deep doo-doo on the holiday knitting for this year. not because my to-do list is so longβ€”in any other year, the list of wanna knits i have for christmas would be a breeze. i could start now and easily be finished with time left for cleaning. heh; yeah right.

but this year i have so much design work going on and lots of knitting to do for that, so i’m not sure i can get through the small list i have come up with. plus, as usual, the season as snuck up on me with seemingly unprecedented speed (even though, in reality, time has been passing at the same clock speed it always does).
now, for the last 10 years or so, i have knit nearly ALL my christmas gifts, save the odd book or gift card, and have been lucky enough not to have to step into a store between october 31 and december 31.

and i don’t want to change a thing about that this year. so i’m gonna try. here’s my list

  • mitts and hat for the mail carrier
  • socks and hat for (grown) nephew
  • socks, clogs, and a sweater for a man who shall remain nameless (ok, that sublist is partly decoy and mostly wishin’, but it does have to be something fabulous.)
  • a few items like mitts, clogs, or hats for people i forgot to put on the list

now, with the exception of the third item, which actually is a must, that list seems totally do-able, right? but i also have some heavy-duty knitting for new designs, like a shawl, a wrap, some scarves, and a couple of mitts.

the other thing? the first three items on that list pretty much must come from this color family

my nephew only wants items that are black (he’s laundry- and clothes-matching challenged), but i think i can get away with charcoal, for sanity’s sake; i have only seen the mail carrier with black, grey, or blue accessories and i have no idea what her taste is when she is not in uniform; and the man who shall remain nameless could ask for a sweater made of bark strips and i would make it, but fortunately he loves wool and prefers natural yarn colors (especially handspun).

so we are talking about a list of items in a fairly bleak palette overall. how does this happen?
hmmm, i wonder if it’s payback for knitting pretties all year long and ignoring the fact that christmas indeed occurs every december 25th?
yes, i could go crazy with item number four, but let’s face it, spare presents probably ain’t gonna happen til midnite on the 22nd, if at all, and by then, pretty colors might not be as cheering as they seem now.

on the bright side, i have yarns in my stash to fit the bill (for once). with all the lovely handpainted that tempts me, i have remembered from time to time this year to lay in some stock of man colors. AND, the yarns i have on hand to fit the bill are ones i like, which offsets that color yawn a bit.

there is lorna’s laces in charcoal for the socks, which need to be washable and to wear well (check)

i also have some auracania rancon sock in a slate gray semi-solid in case i actually get to make a second pair, or decide on socks for the mail carrier too

and some smooshy in cocoa kiss

and even some sample yarn that came from blue moon during the development phase of the raven projects. i’m not even sure these colorways made it into the final raven clan series, but they are nearly black and i may as well use them if i need to.

on the other hand, that one on the right with the plum undertones? is SO not going anywhere but into my own sock drawer some day.

i still need to go stash-diving into the handspun for something grand enough for that man, but i think i have a few options in sweater quantities up there.
i also have a bag of mission falls 1824 wool in black for hats and quick mitts. i keep that stuff in stock because well, i do have an overwhelming number of nephews to knit for. and it’s such great stuff.

so let’s see how far i can get toward completing that list . . i don’t feel very confident right now.
but the view from my knitting chair at least is colorful.

35 thoughts on “ho. ho. uh-oh.

  1. That’s quite a list, Anne. But I bet, with a bit of sleep deprivation, you can accomplish your goals. Love the tomato photos but it makes me wish for summer and that’s a bad bad thing on December 1st!

  2. I still have tomatoes ripening on an open shelf in my kitchen here in SW PA! Guess I’d try to alternate projects…like, start mail carrier hat, design, start one for ‘man who shall remain nameless’, design, start one for nephew, design, etc…. at least I’d see a bit of progress instead of pure frustration!

  3. Your list is intimidating to the slower knitters (memememe). Still, you have so much going design-wise I don’t know where you’ll find the time. I’m thinking of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s vision of sitting under the dining room table on Christmas eve weeping and knitting a hat.

  4. I’m impressed with your due dilligence πŸ˜‰ Sounds like almost every other Knitter I know (including yours truly)… all ending up having a wee bit too much on the list, but what the heck it’s fun, right?
    I am envious to the extreme of your stash, all the peeks you’ve shown have been nothing short of brilliant and beautiful. I soooo need something like that πŸ˜‰

    Oh, and my good friend have bought the pattern for me so now I’m ready for my Christmas knitting, which is truely wonderful. Keep designing and I promise that we’ll keep being entusiastic!

  5. Evidently you keep have some kind of rip in the space-time continuum at your house if you can call that a do-able list on December 1st!

  6. The tomato-ripening pool table makes me laugh! And I love the little scarf (for me) but must finish the Honeybee stole for my sister first. I’m about to start the big bees….

  7. Um, I think we’re gonna need the recipe (or source) for that pasta e fagioli. Yup, pretty sure of it. (Winter is tomato season in southern Arizona after all.)

  8. I laughed when I scrolled down to the “color” family! I worked at the LYS and saw women trying to buy colorful yarn to knit things for their men. The men, they wanted black, blue, gray, maybe dark green. Sometimes brown. The women, they were exasperated.

  9. Are you kidding? As fast as you knit, you could put me at the bottom of your list and still get your list completed. Your mailman is a lucky guy! Your stash is awesome, and the tomatoes–well, awesome-er!

  10. Are you sure about this: “even though, in reality, time has been passing at the same clock speed it always does” – I have my doubts judging by the speed time moves on around here! Nice little to do list, I know you can do it πŸ™‚

  11. Thank you for giving your designs to us, and for your inspirational knitting and blogging! I for one count myself blessed to have found your knitspot to visit.

    Now you’ve challenged me to maybe give a little try at a few more knitted gifts. I know you can do at least some of your list up in time with as quick as you knit (you might surprise yourself and get it all done, but don’t pressure yourself. Enjoy yourself at it!)

  12. Hey, if you need some baccala (salt cod, right?) and are having a hard time finding it near you – just let me know.

    It’s very easy to find around here (Toronto and area being so ethnoculturally diverse) and I would love to be able to mail you some as a thanks for all your beautiful work!


  13. Aaw Linda beat me to the snow news (Yay snow!) and Carrie beat me to the recipe request! Though I was gonna be mo-funny and call it ‘fazool’ like my Sicillian MiL πŸ™‚

    I am so amazed at your Xmas list! I had to cut several things from mine and now I am scared that I can’t get the NEW list done! And my list is way shorter than yours… just sayin’

    What clog pattern do you use?
    Thanks for the great pictures again! πŸ™‚

  14. I can see you softly spinning the Icelandic wool and making yourself a lovely, lacy, triangular shawl for snowy days. It’s a natural! And the rest of your entry is a feast for the eyes! (But what an awfully long list — do you sleep much?)

  15. I have ordered my kit. I can’t wait for the pattern to be done and for the kit to arrive. These will me mine all mine!!!

    Your list sounds a bit on the full side. Of course you do seem to knit quick. Plus having that pesky 2 year old boy using me as a climbing device constantly wanting me to play with him puts a crimp in my knitting. πŸ˜‰

  16. oh man – I am now completely and totally jealous over those tomatoes on the pool table…. if I had room, I would totally be all over this method of ripening tomatoes. they looks wonderful.
    and btw – WE had snow today (grins big)
    Maybe you can combine your gifty process with your design process, and knit gifts of your newest patterns??? I’m guessing that pretty much anything you knit will be well received by your friends/family, since everything you knit is lovely πŸ™‚

  17. Thank YOU Anne for giving us so much inspiration !
    Hope you can finish the list πŸ™‚ But please do take care of yourself (sleep enough) !!!!!

  18. I just bought some Mission Falls 1824, actually. I figured it would be a good addition to the stash, as I’ve read such good things about it. Unfortunately, I DIDN’T plan ahead on the man colours this year… Will have to remember that in 2008!

  19. I’ve got a request for either black or dark gray socks from my mum. One of the few handknitted things she’s actually requested. Boot socks for their trip to the UK this time next year. (A deadline I can handle).

    And PS – I knew your dad was brilliant. πŸ™‚

  20. Isn’t it just the most wonderful thing to have your readers/clients inspire what you do? You’re so right, design is such a solitary persuit (as is knitting – and sewing in my case). I’m just so grateful for the venue of the internet and the amazing relationships it fosters!

    And with that list, you are going to be very very busy, my dear!
    And oh, those tomatoes are gorgeous!

  21. I’m afraid tomatoes are a distant memory here, proper home grown ones anyway. All we have here now are those shop bought pretend ones that I only buy for the colour, sure isn’t for the taste!
    “he’s laundry- and clothes-matching challenged” This is great. When I first met my husband it took me quite a while to realise why his clothes were all the same colour!!

  22. I’m not surprised at how popular your “little scarf” is… not only is it super cute, but it’s eminently do-able as a Christmas gift!
    Your designs are wonderful and your generosity in sharing your process with us is inspiring.

    And I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with you… I’m pretty sure that someone high up in the secret government time control bureau (that’s the Bureau Of Time Control Headquarters… BOTCH) has arranged to have all the clocks speed up. That’s the only possible reason I can see for the complete lack of time I seem to have had this Fall!

  23. Wow…you have an ambitious list on top of your knitting, but I have no doubt that you will get it done. You are one of the fastest knitters I know….and with all that yummy yarn surrounding you, how can you not be inspired?

    Those are great tomatoes! Who would have thought tomatoes ripening in December?

  24. What a list. You will probably get through it including all of the other stuff on your to do list. I need some of your oomph to get just as much done! The tomoates look great, so does the pasta e fagioli. The stole and the marie antoinette socks are looking good too. I hope you don’t have anymore, “haven’t touched the knitting’ days, they are awful!

  25. that is so neat that they ripen so well there! a little taste of summer! that is a do-able to do list – for you anyway! πŸ™‚

  26. That’s really a crazy amount of knitting you have to do. I guess I’ll go catch up and see what how much holiday knitting you got done.

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