In January


I’ve long held that January is the only civilized month. With its winter arms and 5 o’clock cloak, January offers an extraordinary opportunity to slow down, curl up, hide away. In fact, I love January because it is the one month in which it is deemed perfectly respectable to do so.

In January, I read. And by that I mean I fall slowly and deeply into wonderful, winding novels that take entire afternoons that stretch into evenings that go right on with me to my cozy you-can-never-have-too-much-down bed. I skate through centuries and across continents and just for a while, take leave of the incessant demands that are my life.

In January, I sit. Our living room is built around a real wood-burning fireplace, and our neighbors know if there is smoke coming from the chimney, Cathy is In Residence.  There is just something about that fireplace, and me. I would rather sit and stare at its flames than watch TV or sit on a beach or play on my iBook. The woodsy smell, the pops and cracks, the constant tending, the red hot embers—I stare like a young lover, mesmerized.

In January, I knit. I know. So 70s. But I love the feel of yarn and the rhythm of the pattern and clickclickclick of the needles. I find deep satisfaction in making something useful. And I rejoice in the creation of something so beautiful, just Right There.

In January, I promise. I tell myself it’s within my power to make time to do these things any time of the year; that there’s no reason I can’t take an entire afternoon IN AUGUST to sit quietly, or read, or create.

And I believe. Until inevitably, February comes, and the pause button releases.

Until then . . .

Day 17: Shall We Knit?

I am a knitter.

Except, truth be told, I really don’t knit that much. Instead, I click around on Ravelry, spend an inordinate amount of time ooohing and aahhhing over beautiful (and expensive) yarn I’m never going to buy, and I read lots of knitting blogs.

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, aka Yarn Harlot, writes one of my favorites. She’s a knitting rock star, a published author, and a delightful blogger. I promise you’ll love her posts even if you don’t care a thing about knitting. Here’s what appeared on Yarn Harlot today:

I’m finding it super tricky to blog about my knitting right now, since most of it is super-sneaky stealth knitting for people who peruse the blog. I’ve asked some of the recipients not to look, and they said they wouldn’t, but they’re lying, so pardon me while we go a little light on the pictures for a bit.  I missed blogging yesterday because I forgot who I was for a minute, and went to the mall thinking that I could wrap up the rest of the Christmas shopping.  I was there for two hours and bought only seven pairs of underpants and a bar of soap, and would have left sooner except that I couldn’t find the door that I came in so I could go back out.  The mall always does it to me.  There’s so much choice that after 15 minutes of exposure I can’t think of anything I want, suffer some sort of breakdown, enter a vague fugue state where I can’t think of anything in the world I need, eat something strange and leave.   It was catastrophic, and just left me sitting in the parking lot when it was all over clutching the bag of panties and wanting those hours of my life back.  I’m recovering today.  The only saving grace is that Joe has the fortitude for mall shopping, but not panty buying – so at least I nailed that part of our daughters stockings, and can turn the rest over to someone with the strength for it.  I have no idea how people stand it. I’m going back to the things I can manage today.


All this reading and writing about knitting is moving me closer to actually picking up the needles for an intense winter project. I’m thinking, also, that it would be MUCH MORE FUN if several of us knitted together. (My friend Allison suggested it be a Knitting Book Club, in that we could knit AND talk about the book we are reading. Isn’t that just doubly fun?)

lusciousness with which i do plan to knit

So I say: Let’s do it. Let’s start a Group Knit in January, on Mondays after work, since Mondays are not really good for anything else. If you’re in the greater Midlands area, do join us! If not, why not find a group in your city? Knitting shops like Yarn Paradise in Asheville almost always host a weekly Sit and Knit, and you can find knitting circles in your area on Ravelry. (Let me also offer a shout-out to The Needler in Lexington. Susie and her group can solve any problem you have—knitting or what to fix for dinner—and I have walked in there with many.) Something else I love about the knitting community? It loves nothing better than helping bring a beginner into the fold.


So pull out that project you started in the 70s (hey–it’s back in style now) or if you’ve never knitted, come on along and we’ll get you going with a really pretty but very simple-to-make scarf. (Just let me know so we can get you the yarn and needles you need before we commence.)

Yay knitting! Yay January!

30 Days of Joy