Listen up people, it's here. I have 5 days left. I finished work yesterday and now the knitting marathon really begins. Good intentions will count for nothing on this particular chocolate-muffin and gold-star strewn road to The Madness.
So, let's have a quick reality check and face up to what still needs doing (now where did I put that paper bag?):
1) One Garter Mitten to complete a pair. Do-able in a couple of hours.
2) One ear-flap to complete a hat. As above. Although then we'll have the whole is-a-hat-really-enough-of-a-present-for-someone-who's-really-quite-important-to-me-in-the-grand-scheme-of-things? question. Which will probably drive me to cast on something hopelessly ambitious at 2am tomorrow morning when I should be working on:
3) One Cowl. Again do-able in a couple of hours I expect.
4) One Scarf. Which is almost done. Again I reckon a couple of hours will have it sorted.
5) Buttons added to Another Scarf. No more than half an hour.
6) The Nightmare Gift. So called because I still can't work out what the hell to knit this person. Except socks. And I never knit socks. And although I've made a start on this pair, I'm not convinced I'm going to finish them in time or that their Jolly-Green-Giant scale of hugeness will not be a problem. Probably a day of knitting to sort this one out. (Just keep breathing...)
7) The Big One. The mystery item I can't show you. However, I have discovered I can only knit it in daylight - the colours do something weird by electric light and become hard to see, resulting in me making a mistake in the simplest knitting it is possible to do, thus late-night knitting is no longer an option. A slight drawback given that tomorrow is the shortest day of the year and I need a good four days solid knitting to make any headway.
8) The Little One. Another mystery item. Fortunately it's also the one most likely to be fine to wait til after Christmas. Small mercies.
So, from 21, down to the final 8. It could be worse. Although even my shambolic mathematical skills can work out the above totals more days than I have left.
1 and 6 need to be ready by Sunday evening, ergo they will take priority this weekend.
4 and 5 should, ideally, have been posted a week ago. Nevertheless, I reckon if I can entrust them to the wild mayhem of Royal Mail by Monday morning they'll arrive a couple of days after Christmas in a pleasant, surprise-belated-gift kinda way.
2, 3 and 7 are needed for Christmas Day. Which gives me a little more time, but a fairly immovable deadline.
Ok, plan of attack:
Start with small, achievable goals. Anything involving buttons, a final new rows, a quick earflap, should be tackled today, thus reducing the overall number of WIPs pretty quickly, which will give me a (false) sense of progress. I'll then be free to focus on the bigger problems.
I've stocked the fridge. The weekend is clear. I've restricted alcohol consumption to tonight's birthday bash down the road. I've foolishly lent out my DVDs of The Wire, but I have 6 hours of Ricky Gervais's podcasts, 7 seasons of The West Wing, and my trusty iPod to see me through.
Bring it on...