Monday, December 05, 2011

I cast off the Little Brownstone and finished writing and addressing the American-bound Christmas cards yesterday and am rewarded this morning by a really bad attack of Seasonal Panic/Fear of the Dark. The only possible thing to do is make a list and starting striking things off it. (The important thing about a list, if it is to allay panic, is that it contain a few quickly-done items, such as ‘iron handkerchief’. Striking them off then soothes. The first thing to do today is to fill out, write a cheque for and send off my residents’ parking permit application. I got in a real mess over that one last year, when the reminder got lost in the post.)

Knitting-wise, the ambition is to finish the Little Brownstone and cast on a hat.

I would also like to finish off those baubles, including crocheting little chains for them, so that they can be dispatched to the US along with the cards. It will require a post office visit. So the baubles had better be promoted from the Knitting category (self-indulgence, leave until evening) to that of Christmas (action urgently required).

There are then three presents still to be dealt with, and disks-full of my husband’s files to be converted into Word and dropped into Dropbox. Then perhaps a brief lull – no, that’s rash -- before domestic Christmas cards and present-wrapping.

It doesn’t sound quite so bad when you break it down like that.

Or maybe it does, against a remorseless background of cooking and dishwashing and darkness.

Zite found me another interesting-looking swirling, droopy cardigan pattern yesterday, bizarrely named Vitamin D. I have just bought and printed it as a possible alternative to the Effortless for my new madelinetosh yarn.  One would want it slightly longer, perhaps.

Maureen in Fargo, I think maybe I need a lesson in getting things into my iPad, and maybe I need to look at GoodReader. For the moment, I think I prefer paper that I can write on and spill coffee on. But with the price of printer ink being what it is…

The Sunday Times mentioned yesterday that Mr Salmond had been to the ball, but said nothing about James's jabot.


Don’t miss the link China Doll provided yesterday to unexpected goings-on in Edinburgh libraries. I am a fairly assiduous reader of the Scotsman. I knew nothing about this. Absolutely magical.


  1. The thing to do is, surely, make a list each day. The first thing to write on the list is "make list". Then, when you have made the list, you can cross the first thing off. You have achieved something each day if you do that! (I managed to learn that trick from my doctoral supervisor.)

  2. I hope the gloom/panic soon lifts. I find getting a few small jobs done always helps things along. I love the sprinkling of snow we've had (yesterday and today) it makes everything feel properly wintry and christmassy, but without being too treacherous underfoot...

  3. It sounds like you had a very productive day yesterday. Stay focused on that success, and keep in mind that in just two and a half weeks the days start getting longer. I smiled when I read what you said about making a list, and the importance of being able to check some items off right away. Several years ago a friend told me that when she is faced with an overwhelming amount of things to do she always writes several items on her list that she has already accomplished. That way she starts out with checked off items and an instant feeling of success.

  4. Jean, a number of us in our knitting group are making the Vitamin D. It's an intriguing design, and should look well on nearly any figure (we hope!!).

    As to the darkness, yes. A couple more weeks of more of it, then we shall begin to enjoy more light.

  5. Jean, I love your blog - it's one of the first ones I choose to read every morning. I feel your pain with the darkness and the holiday panic. I just put the lights on our Christmas tree last night, and that extra brightness always helps me a bit, even though it is a constant reminder of the impending holiday.

    Whenever you mention all the cooking and meal clean-up you do for your husband, I can't help wondering - and this is a little presumptuous to even bring up - if there is a meal service for elderly folks in your area. Here they call it meals on wheels, but I think the UK uses a different term...I'm not saying you're elderly, but it seems like your husband kind of qualifies, and I don't know what the quality of the food would be like - I bet you're a great cook, and it probably wouldn't be exactly as good as your homemade, but wouldn't it be nice if a few times a week a hot meal just showed up all ready to go with no pots and pans to clean up after? That might be a good gift to yourself during such a busy season, and surely you would deserve it!

    I cook a lot (and really cook from whole foods - not just heat things up) for my family, but there are four of us to enjoy it, and even so it feels like I am constantly in the kitchen with not much time to sit and knit or otherwise pursue my own activities, so I get it.

    How's that for a big pile of unsolicited advice? Watching you knit those ornament balls has made me want to knit some too, but lord knows how that's going to happen this year - my list of things to do before Christmas is also long!

    Thank you for writing so regularly and so well!

  6. Anonymous5:20 PM

    Isn't vitamin D thought to help overcome seasonal affective disorder (or whatever SAD is the acronym for)? That would make it an appropriate project for you at this time of year. And of course vitamin D also builds strong bones, so if this sweater can work sympathetic magic it would seem to be an excellent choice. Thanks for the link to it - one more added to my Ravelry queue.

    I should have mentioned yesterday that the jabot looks splendid, as does its wearer.
    -- Gretchen

  7. Sarah JS5:29 PM

    I'm another one who includes "make list" on my list so I'm ensured of having one thing to cross out right away.

    I had to laugh when I first saw the Vitamin D sweater. I'd searched and searched for something like that. Ended up making up something on my own patterned after a store-bought sweater. And THEN found the Vitamin D pattern. That might be some "summer sweater" knitting in 2012. Before then, I'm hoping to knit up two "winter" sweaters. An ambitious plan; truthfully, even if I were to accomplish just one sweater, I'll be tickled.

    Each day brings us closer to Dec 22 and the increase of light. Best wishes.

  8. An aunt of a friend of mine relies on Wiltshire Foods. They arrive as frozen ready meals and must be a Godsend in a crisis.

  9. After hearing about your accident in the dark the other week, I thought about how much my husband and I do without turning on the lights when we probably ought to. We walk through dark rooms, make tea, go up and down the stairs. I think we do it because we know out house so well that we can do things without the lights, and isn't it a good thing to save electricity? Anyway, ever since I read about your accident, I've been trying to turn the lights on more often. It's got to give you a bit of a lift to be in a nice bright place too. I hope that you are not like me, trailing around in the dusk at this time of year.