Monday, 3 November 2008

The nights are drawing in

I love this time of year. The sky is grey, there’s a permanent misty drizzle and darkness seems to fall before you’ve finished your lunch break. But there’s also a crisp stillness in the early morning, a sharp taste to the air and the delicious pleasure of stepping in from the cold into a cosy room. And, I confess, there’s also a certain sense of smugness and even revenge. Once we hit that first cold snap, knitting doesn’t seem like such a crazy idea now, does it?

So those who might have stared at me on the tube in bafflement or, at the very least, curiosity, are now looking with something closer to envy, as I click away at a mounting pile of Rowan Big Wool. Those who scoffed at my eccentricity are now quizzing me on where I got the tweedy warmth of my new sweater. And I can revel in the joy of crying ‘Bah Humbug!’ and cackle into my circular knitting needles.

Well, alright, not exactly (that would be a bit weird) but you get the idea. And it’s not that I encounter hostility from people over my knitting, more the case that they’re a bit puzzled by it all.

But for the next few months, it’s all rather less of a mystery to people. There’s something wonderfully self-sufficient about being able to keep yourself warm.

The only problem is that it makes me even more fickle that usual. I am surrounded by WIPs at the moment (to the point that I’m losing sight of my sofa). Most are Christmas presents and I think part of the problem is that I’ve stored up some seriously yummy wool and some seriously fab patterns and I’m just over-excited. Again, it’s a theme for the time of year. Come Christmas we’ll all be doing it, whether it’s with a biscuit tin, a festive tipple or an office party – we’ll all be over-indulging.

This week I am on probation as a cautionary measure, so I’m trying to finish off a couple of things before starting anything else. It’s sort of working. Which is just as well as when I think about how much more I have to do I start hyperventilating. But, as with your finances, it’s better to face the problem. There’s no point stuffing the bank statements down the back of the sofa (for a start I wouldn’t find the back of the sofa under all that wool). Calm, rational assessment is the key.

So, what’s the damage? Well, I have 17 presents to make in total. At least 10 of these are people I will see on Christmas Day, so I can’t turn up empty handed. On the plus side, that means I can make use of the days running up to it, after I finish work for the holidays (and we all know I’ll still be at it on Christmas Eve).

Now I’m not completely stupid. I do realise that this is an exercise in futility on a scale a Greek tragedy would be proud of. (The fact that I realise it’s futile and yet I’m still doing it, does make me an idiot, I grant you).

So, of those 17:
2 are knitted
3 are very nearly finished
3 are in progress (and one of these is the Big One, so at least that’s on the way)

Which leaves 9 entirely unaccounted for. (It’s ok, just breathe, keep breathing..)

Of the 9:
1 has a pattern and yarn ready and waiting
3 have a pattern assigned but not yarn

Leaving the remaining 5 that haven’t been allocated anything and are spinning into a black knitting vortex while I reach for a paper bag. (Deep breaths…)

Of the 5:
4 are for girls. And therefore easy. Many many options. Thank god.
1 is not. And I have NO IDEA what the hell I am supposed to make him. He got a scarf last year, so I can’t do that again. A hat? I just can’t picture it. Mittens? Possibly but when the hell would he wear them? Ironically enough I can think of several jumper patterns that would suit but he’s a big guy. There is absolutely no way I can knit that much yarn in 6 weeks. I’d need a bigger sofa.

Answers on a postcard please. Or in the comments. Or screamed into the bleak darkness of the night as I set fire to my bamboo knitting needles in a frenzy of despair on 23rd December.


It will be fine. It will all come together. With plans like these, blind faith that the chaos of the universe will conspire in your favour at the last moment is the only thing to hold onto. That and a stiff drink.

And finally, the winner of the fancy dress competition from Saturday night:
The Bunny Girls were charming. SJ the Exorcist scared the crap out of me.


Woolly Stuff said...

I know you don't knit socks, but... How about some socks for the one boy - maybe house socks, or some of those felted clogs? Surely EVERYONE needs a pair of thick socky things to keep their feet warm while padding around the house?

Woolly Stuff said...

ps house socks knit up really fast!