Know your limitations

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.
W.C. Fields

This, is how I feel about my gift knitting at the moment. With only two weeks to go, I know that everything on my knitting list is just not going to get done.  You can only knit so fast and the amount done in any day is finite.

The Ranger cardigan was always a shot in the dark. I knew in my heart of hearts that it was never a serious contender for finishing before the holidays, but I try and please. Actually, this is never going to be finished much before Easter if the truth be told. Its’ just too big and heavy for my little hands to knit on for any great length of time in one go.

Marks cardigan


The sleeves are done (thank goodness) but the body, so far, is only at the five inch mark, another nine to go I think before body and sleeves are united.  I love seamless knits, but at this point in the proceedings, as the back and fronts are knitted all in one, it’s just so damn big! Luckily I’ve been asked for a quick hat in the meantime and I’m sure I can pull that off instead.

I also must confess a guilty pleasure that I have been knitting on, a little at a time, when I’m too tired to knit anything else. Sprig, by Alana Dakos, fell into my knitting basket a couple of weeks ago.  I have had some yarn for a couple of years that, although beautiful, I couldn’t match to a project. It wasn’t a great deal, only eight balls, bought in a moment of weakness; one of those yarns that you must have but have no idea what for.  I have been trying to match it to a pattern that  a)  showed the tweed yarn off in all its’ glory, and b) didn’t take too much yarn. When I saw Sprig I just knew that it was perfect and as I had waited for so long to find this yarn a home, couldn’t resist casting on.  In my defence, I have only, as I say, been knitting on it when I was too tired to concentrate on other knitting. Most of it is stocking stitch in the round and completely mindless.  It is knitted from the top down with short rows to produce an interesting lower yoke shape, from which the stitches are picked up later and the leaf pattern yoke is knitted and joined at right angles to.  Is it just me or does that sound confusing. Anyway, it is easier to knit than it sounds, far easier that writing the pattern for, I’m sure.  It’s a great pattern and one that I am enjoying immensely, all be it a little guiltily.



I am putting on the yoke before knitting the sleeves as I am getting short of yarn. I plan to split what I have left and knit the sleeves to whatever length my yarn will allow.

So, with knitting plans crashing and burning, on Monday I decided I would have to put in place some sort of contingency plan and I dashed out to find some fillers to replace the hand knits that will be missing from gifts. It won’t be the same, but I think I may just be able to carry it off.  It all started off so well too, having finished the girls’ cardigans in plenty of time. I think that I always underestimate what needs to be done because I can never factor in the unexpected, and believe me, around here there is always the unexpected. Our household consists of three males to one female, when would that not make life interesting!

Another thing that is taking up a great deal of my time lately is the menu for the holidays. Of course, everything must be allergy friendly and completely unprocessed (I’ve had some very nasty reactions to one or two foods recently, that although the ingredients appeared totally natural, the food itself was pre-made. One was a pasta sauce, bought because I was so short on time. I have vowed that I will never touch anything like that again). No short-cuts.  Last year I was still quite unwell so the family cut me a lot of slack when it came to food preparations and I did buy in some ready prepared things for those that could eat them; those that couldn’t just went without.  It was fine. But I have no real excuse this year, and honestly I don’t want any. What I have in mind is a table laid with all the usual suspects, that looks and tastes, well, normal, but which everyone can eat whatever their limitations without any worry of repercussions afterwards. I don’t want the ‘normal’ eaters feeling that they are being sold short or the one’s with allergies/intolerances to have to ask if something is OK to eat. Over the festive period we will have at least three people with various food limitations at any meal.  A tall order, but one that I now feel (almost) able to pull off. It is just taking a lot of organization.  The thing I’m really stuck on at the moment is a stuffing. For us, even a gluten free stuffing just won’t cut the mustard as they always contain some sort of gluten free bread which is off our list.  I’m getting there with some that substitute rice, but again, I need to please the gluten eaters and I really don’t want to have to have two separate ones.  Next I will be trialling some paleo stuffing’s, there’s a great list here on Mark’s Daily Apple. I think I will start with the Paleo Thanksgiving Stuffing as I like the idea of the pork and peppers and it looks the most likely to please all.



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