Friday, December 01, 2006
There's that deadline whooshing again
It’s always very tempting to just copy and paste my first Holidailies entry every year. I never say anything new, because let’s face it, this is my fifth year of it (!) and there are only so many ways to introduce yourself in such a fashion that might make someone want to read your blog.

These days, Monkey Pants and Hippo Dignity (a name I took from Buffy and am very fond of) is less of a general interest blog (not that it was ever very interesting) and more of a knitting blog. But I’m going to attempt to keep things a little more broad through December so as to appeal to a wider audience. Or something. There will still be knitting content, don’t worry, but since I haven’t knit anything except a Christmas present in about four months, there’s not that much knitting to talk about. (After Christmas, however, will be a picture-palooza.)

I have this weird obsession with arbitrary goals. My self-motivation is absolutely atrocious about 9/10ths of the time, but when it comes to externally imposed deadlines, I’m golden. Of course, they have to be meaningless externally imposed deadlines – I’m less good when things are actually important.

Take, for example, NaNoWriMo, which I just won for the fifth straight year. Getting to 50,000 is no longer even much of a challenge. (Excuse me as I duck the flying tomatoes.) But I like the deadline, artificial though it is, and it’s the only time of year I get a damn thing written.

Holidailies is the same way. Despite my good intentions, this blog languishes a bit during the year, but put me on a portal and suddenly I’m obsessed. My holiday knitting has been much the same way – I’m knitting with a level of obsessiveness not usually seen in my general vicinity.

So what I need is some sort of house cleaning, getting in shape, life organizing contest with an arbitrary deadline and a completely meaningless competition. I’m not sure what form it would take, but maybe there could be a portal involved somehow. That’s pretty much the only way I’m anticipating anything getting done.

Although I have knit Christmas presents before, this year marks a rather extreme version of the holiday knitting list. This year marked the tipping point in my knitting, where I went from an enthusiastic hobbyist to a compulsive maniac (uh, that sounds worse than it is. Although my husband probably wouldn’t argue with that assessment), and so I’ve knit more this year than in all previous years combined.

This, of course, led to slightly ridiculous expectations of my output, and as a result my list of things to knit for Christmas is a little out of control. Ever since learning to make socks during the Knitting Olympics back in February (which, hey, another example of a totally arbitrary deadline that allowed me to accomplish something I otherwise never would have done!), I have become totally sock obsessed. To the point where my husband is starting to mutter things about my sock yarn stash. (I try to show him pictures of other people’s far more impressive stashes, but that doesn’t seem to help.)

Anyway, it seemed only natural that I should knit socks for many of my nearest and dearest this year. (Note I am not saying all, as I don’t want to offend any nearest and dearest who might not be getting socks.) By the time I came up with a list, there were eight pairs on the plan. That’s 16 socks. Never mind the two sweaters and a lace scarf I had vague intentions for. Did I mention that I made this list in July? I figured I had tons of time.

Well, naturally, other knitting interfered here and there, and I finished a couple of other pairs of socks even while knowing about this hovering cloud of sock doom. There were also a few baby blankets that needed knitting (god, don’t even ask me about all the pregnant people I know right now), and between one thing and another I didn’t really start Christmas knitting until the end of August.

Fine. No problem. That’s still four months! Two pairs of socks a month, plus a couple of sweaters and a scarf (did I mention lace?) thrown in there somewhere, no problem. You know how it is – summer just isn’t prime knitting time. Still, I’d finished a couple of pairs of socks (including the previously featured on this blog Gryffindor socks, one of my favourite knitted items. I’m going to make a pair for myself after Christmas since my sister was the lucky recipient of the first pair.) and those two baby blankets, so it wasn’t like I wasn’t knitting at all, right?

Amazingly, the two sweaters were done quite quickly, and it was only October! Two and a half months to go! Two pairs of socks already finished! No problem. But I kind of forgot about the fact that NaNoWriMo doesn’t just take over my life in November, but also pretty much poaches October. I finished about three socks in October. Ugh. November was equally bad – finished another three socks or so.

So now it’s December, and I still have five socks to knit before Christmas and another one to finish by shortly after Christmas. And yet, here I am, updating my blog every day.

Good thing I thrive on deadlines, right? If anyone needs me, I’ll be in my chair. Knitting. I don’t need to sleep, right?

…Right?

(The title of this post, by the way, comes from one of my all time favourite quotes. It's Douglas Adams. "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.")
2 Comments:
Blogger LadyLungDoc said...
You could be worse - you could decide to knit a pair of socks a day like the Yarn Harlot.
Maybe the LYSs should stock crystal meth in December.

Congrats on the win!

Blogger LilKnitter said...
That scene from 2nd season is one of my absolute favourites!! "All monkey's are French; you didn't know that?"

Brill!

I'm linkin' to you, and I'll be challenging myself, too!

Happy December!