Stitches In Time

I haven’t spent much time knitting lately, and it’s sort of a bummer because knitting is to me what running or reading or drinking vodka is to many. I’m heavy in freelance work right now, and my only complaint is that a lot of people think Working From Home is the same as Doesn’t Work. Also, I am a Freelance Editor, which many people think means Lady Who Lunches.

I used to set goals with knitting. Knitting goals are safe because missed deadlines affect no one. What I would LIKE to do more often in the next few months (or years) is to knit with my handspun. I finished these handspun mitts last week.

Handspun Toast

(Please trust me that there are two mitts. The other one is warming the hand that was holding the camera.)

This sock has been without a partner for five years. Five years is enough time to figure out who you are (a sock) and what you enjoy doing with yourself (hanging out in a shoe). It’s now time to find someone with whom to share your joy, Sock. (I’m within four inches of finishing the second sock. I’m also within fourteen days of missing a big deadline with my freelance job. The job will get done before the sock.)

Anniversary Socks

People want nice things. They want tiny celebrations and they want to see fireworks every now and then and they want to hear music and they want to feel special.

This is the cuff of a mohair blend laceweight sweater that I wanted to finish before Thanksgiving. Sadly, there is no chance that I’ll be wearing this thing next week. (I’m fine with that. There will be more cold days, and I will never not love orange sweaters.)

Cia Cuff

I’m slowly starting to realize that although people want a parade, it seems that not many people are willing to put on marching shoes or paint a float. People want to go to a party, but not many are willing to make sure there is enough food for everyone who attends. Only 10% of people tend to step up and make things happen behind the scenes. (Eventually, those 10% get to know each other pretty well. Because they see each other during the planning stages of Every Parade. Every Party. Every Everything. Some of my favorite people in the world are part of the 10%.)

I’m making an infinity scarf out of some yarn that I spun over the summer. It may or not be a really great scarf. I won’t know until I graft the ends together and see how the stripes work with one another. (I need to spend more time spinning so I can figure out how to make my yarn consistent.)

Handspun Infinity

I’ve been part of the 10% in many areas of my life, and it has always worked out because I’m pretty good at juggling. Figuratively. (Reluctant Tooting of the Horn: I used to be a pretty good bean bag juggler when I was 12, which is a very uncool time of life to be pretty good at juggling bags of beans.) Lately, it’s becoming a bit more tricky to juggle (figuratively and literally), and I’m finding that my 10% time occurs in unpredictable fits and spurts.

This will someday be a beautiful silk blend shawl. I started it four years ago, and I picture myself wearing it on a spring day when it’s still too cool for short sleeves, but much too warm for a coat. There will be tulips. Perhaps an Easter brunch.

Waves in the Square

Please know that I completely understand that some people in this world feel as if they have no time. None. To me, it’s sort of a Working Mom vs. Stay At Home Mom vs. Conservative vs. Liberal vs. Vegan vs. Omnivore sort of thing. I’m convinced that everyone is doing their best with what time or information they’re willing to give up or buy into. I also know that when you (I) spread yourself (myself) too thinly, the results aren’t good.

This wool has been sitting on my wheel for three months.

Stagnant Wheel

A friend of mine once created an amazing sculpture out of fruit, and she posted a photo of it on Facebook. The very first comment she received was from a woman who said, “You have too much time on your hands.”

I started this cardigan over a year ago. When it’s finished, it will be my favorite cardigan ever.

2013 Cardigan

We all have 43 days until January 1, 2014. All of us have 43 days (unless some of us don’t, but I don’t want to think about that). Some people will spend time baking, and some will spend time eating. Some will spend time working in an office. Some will work from home. Some will create amazing sculptures out of fruit or concrete or wood. Some will read a few books. Some will go to concerts and some will perform in concerts. Some will plan an amazing holiday party. Some will get all dressed up and go to that party. (Some will complain that the food at the party wasn’t so great, and some will try really hard to not say, “Oh! The food wasn’t great? Did you offer to HELP WITH THE FOOD?!”)

We all have 43 days. My goal is to do what I can, try not to create work for others, try not to complain when I’m feeling inconvenienced or overwhelmed, try not to take criticism personally, and let others know when I appreciate what they’re doing or how they’re helping.

My goal is to meet my freelance deadline without losing my sanity.

My goal is to finish these mittens. (I meant what I said and I said what I meant. There WILL be tulips.)

Tulip Mittens! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

24 thoughts on “Stitches In Time”

  1. first to comment! do I get a prize?

    1.) I LOVE LOVE LOVE the tulips and the orange sweater- you are so multi-talented.
    2.) what you said – about everything. I find myself with the same group of 10 people at every planning/making it happen thing. It makes me feel extra needed. I try not to be angry about others not showing up, seems like a similar struggle, no?
    3.) I know I’m only juggling one kid etc while others have others!
    4.) that makes me furious about the comment on the fruit creation. Although it was probably meant to be funny – its not. We all find our bits of joy where we can. The commenter may get theirs sitting on their “bottom” (as the punk says) in front of the TV while your friends finds it in creative pursuits. Be nice people. Be nice.

    Have a great day Angela. I’m finally picking up my needles again to finish some things and start some things. My house has yard all over it at the moment. It’s just peace, isn’t it? When we were under threat from all of those tornadoes the other day and I was literally shaking with fear (I know – grow up) I went downstairs and started pulling wool out of bins and cast on for a vest for the kid because my fingers & brain needed something to do that wasn’t frantically tracking tornadoes. I understand. Peace out, woman.

  2. YARN all over the house – not yard!! BAH. Although we have yard all over the place too since we’ve been remiss on the leaf thing. Again I say PRIORITIES. Decay is good for the earth. Rat leaves, rot.

  3. You have so many projects going at once! I could never keep track of that many and work on them. I have three projects in hibernation, a HUGE pile in the “frog pond,” and I’m churning out hats and cowls for christmas right now. Everyone is getting a hat, because there are infinite hat patterns that are quick and interesting and you can never get bored of hats. Until you are, then you knit a cowl, because someone got a hat last year and they need a coordinating piece.

    Love the color of that lace sweater!

  4. Sing it, sister.

    A friend once said to me, “If you need something to get done, ask a busy person. She is the one doing things.”

    We are the people who get things done. (Mostly this makes me feel good. Sometimes exhausted, but mostly good.)

    Love the knitting! I am coveting those tulip mittens.

  5. I am a work out of the house mom… I applaud ANYONE who can work at home and make it work. I don’t think I could… I am easily distracted and would likely not be able to make myself buckle down when there are kittens to play with, cats to nap with, laundry to do and Netflix to watch. It’s all relative in terms of not having enough time in the day. I hate that so many view it as a this team versus that team thing. We’re all moms… we’d all like a bit of extra time in our day.

  6. KNITTING!!!!! WAHOOO!!!!! Wow – what a LOT of knitting. So many different pieces, different colors, different stitch patterns, and every one of them made go “ooohh!!! I love that!”
    I finished an elf hat, for a co-worker’s son last night. I sometimes feel that I could only knit elf hats for quite some time to come and still be a happy knitter – they’re not hard, but they’re clever, and they’re cute, and different yarns yield different results, and THEN – there is the face of the kiddo now wearing an elf hat, which is…..just a wonderful look to see.
    I have a work trip, so my next hat will have to wait until I get home – it will be a Thorpe – but I don’t know about gauge and I didn’t want to take three sets of needles on my trip. So- back to Wingspan – which is still going, but still fun to knit. So.

    Mary – I LOVED it when you said you had yard all over your house – because I thought you meant the little bits of dried leaves and grass that are all over my house from the children, and the dog, and even ME at this time of year, which are never fully vacuumed because we keep opening doors and going out, and then in again, with some bit of yard attached to us somewhere! So – Yes – I have quite a bit of yarn. But ALSO – quite a bit of yard.
    Finally – Angie – thanks for being the 10%. My husband is home full-time, and he tends to be our tithe now, but when we were both working, we didn’t really seem to manage that, and were always grateful (and a bit guilty) when we showed up, and there was a parade or party happening.

  7. Between commuting, trying to make sure we arent wallowing in filth, and a giant breed working dog who needs to be worked mentally, I don’t get nearly enough time to knit or spin. The grand irony, of course, is that I work in a yarn shop…

  8. This is my least favorite comment in the world. –> “You have too much time on your hands.” Said by someone who is spending their time dissing their friends? C’mon now!

    Keep on rockin’ FP. Everyone does what they can with their time. Sometimes I forget that you freelance because it seems like you are doing so many other things! Thanks for the 43 day pep talk, I needed it!

  9. Such a great post, Angela. I absolutely love opening my feed reader every day in November and seeing something you wrote. Soldier on!

  10. I absolutely *love* how you wove together your (apparent) angst (which I also noticed yesterday) around your knitting goals. That’s a fine piece of writing there, albeit one filled with (apparent) angst. I’m sorry people (apparently) aren’t understanding, particularly amidst your personal goals and professional needs. PLEASE know that you’re lovely inside and the people who really matter are the only ones to impress (and your bosses, but that’s a whole other motivational comment). Hugs!

    (ps, you wrote me such a nice response to my query about the Walgreens Girl and I never wrote back and also I still owe people wedding present thank-yous and I’m a slacker. sorry!)

  11. Such beautiful projects. I have been knitting since I was 12 (now 60). I just found out I was wrapping the yarn the wrong way on my purls. So it made them slant. Who knew you could learn something new after all those years. The joke at my knitting circle is I don’t like patterns that you have to count more than 3 stitches. I get distracted! I applaud you on your wonderful varied creations with more than a 3 stitch count!

  12. I used to be you, one of those 10 percenters. Now that my kids are your age (older, actually) and I’ve retired from my full-time work-outside-the-home-job, I have lots of free time to do things I want to more than things I have to, though I have fewer days left in which to use that time.

    I still find myself juggling, just juggling different things. You are what you are, and you will always be you. Let the others who are not you but want to be snobs about the people who do things just sit on their high perch and sneer. Pick up one of your projects and spend a little time enjoying working on it (after the paying job, of course!) and try to smile nicely when the food is not what they wanted or the parade is way too short for their tastes. If they wanted something different they should have made it themselves.

  13. Wow, I did not know that “freelancer working from home” meant “lady who lunches”! If that’s the case, sign me up! Because formerly being a grad student trying to write at home meant “person who has no boundaries between home and work and thus is all the time bombarded with STUFF THAT NEEDS DOING at both work at home and therefore finding no haven anywhere.” I just assumed other people working at home were like that too, instead of swanning about with free time lunching. Maybe I should reconsider that traditional academic career after all instead of one where work is tremendously busy, but mostly stays in a separate building a reasonable distance from my homespace–the place where I am allowed to knit and watch tv and avoid doing chores because work stayed at work.

    I’ve taken to knitting in bed.

  14. Good for you! I love those 10%. I used to be one back when my kids were in school. I just recently joined our Village Planning Board and now I’m in a different phase of the 10%, though this is more like 1%.
    I can’t juggle that many knitting projects. I’m a one project at a time knitter.

  15. Bravo! I once got the “too much time” comment about a new hobby I was quite proud of, and it absolutely gutted me. I love reading your daily posts with a warm cup of tea. Perfect way to wind down the day.

  16. I was going to say Alleluia, Sister (but Amy #5 already did!) for the next 43 day plan. I am going to follow! :)

  17. Just as I was getting ready to say “Gosh, how in the world do you ever decide which of those latent projects to pick up and work on for a while from time to time as time permits?” when I realized that the latent projects in my life are just “Things That Are Not Knitting”. I heard it said one time that if you ever really want to figure out what you *want* to do, look at what you steal the time to actually do. For me, the stolen moments go to reading. There’s a bathroom book, a bedside book, an in-the-car book, and quite often also a kitchen book (while the water boils — you know, instead of wiping down the counter or putting some dishes away) I bet you have various knitting projects in different places for much the same reason. Knitting while you wait to pick up kids? Entirely do-able. And not out-of-the-question that you might intentionally get there just a little bit earlier than necessary specifically to build-in some free knitting time.

    Also (as usual) ditto to what Grammy said!

  18. Great post. (Others have turned their blogs into books – why not you?) I wish I had time to read all the comments, but there are chores and knitting to get to.

  19. The wool that has been sitting on your wheel (bobbin?) for 3 weeks is astonishingly beautiful, as is the color of the infinity scarf.

    When I was 11, I could ride a unicycle. And I almost can again.

  20. I too get furious when I hear that comment about too much time on someone’s hands. Where I used to hear it was at the accounting firm where I worked seasonally for 20 years, and it was always about some artsy thing. Artists NEED to have time to create. Accountants get so used to doing 80 hours of work in 55 (every week) that they have no conception of the joy of a little contemplative/creative time. Grrr.

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