It’s a new year, and if you’re like me, you’re filled with the enthusiasm and vigor that comes with new beginnings. It’s easy to get swept up in the energy and vow big things, like losing a lot of weight or decluttering your whole house, or knitting 12 pairs of socks this year. Three-hundred-and-sixty-five days to get it all RIGHT!
It’s also the perfect time to learn from any mistakes we might have made this last holiday season: did you (like me) overcommit to too many handknit presents and not get them done in time? Did you vow THIS YEAR WILL BE DIFFERENT and you won’t knit 46 presents in the last 6 weeks of the year…?
As much as I love the sweeping grand gestures of these first weeks of the year, let me insert a bit of quiet advice here. Those smart folks who study habits and resolutions and how efficient people get things done will tell you: it comes down to what you do Every. Day. The little, good-for-you habits that you tuck in to your day will determine who stands at the end of 2017 in front of your mirror. They don’t have to be big decisions – in fact, it might be more do-able if they’re small things. A salad for lunch every day. Brushing your teeth after lunch. Washing your face before bed. And knitting in the car.
No, let me explain! Not while driving, of course (we would never tell you to try something dangerous), but for taking advantage of all those in-between moments when you’re out and about. Quiet hours in your cozy spot at home, working away on a project may be fewer and farther between than you really want; but I guarantee you that there are moments in your day where you could squeeze in some stitches and make some progress on a little project.
For me, that spot is in our truck. Boyhood and I like to save up our running-around errands (bank, hardware store, groceries) for days when we’re home together, and that’s when I pull out my secret weapon: the Car Sock Project. A skein of tempting sock yarn tucked into a project bag with its needles lives in a little cubby between the seats (props to Honda for building the Ridgeline around the Center Console Knitting Cubby™: they must have knitters on their design team!). This project doesn’t come back and forth with me – the secret is that it lives in the truck all the time. Yours could be in the glove box, or in the passenger footwell – just have it somewhere where you can reach for it in a spare moment. Stuck in line waiting for the Bainbridge ferry? (That’s a notorious knitting spot.) Does Coach need five more minutes with the kids at the end of practice? Take your time, Coach. I’m over here, working on socks.
Shown here in action is Socks That Rock™ on two 20″ circular needles; since our errands sometimes take us on the highway, high speed with circulars feels a bit safer than pointy DPNs. (Bonus: not having to worry about needing point protectors.)
A ten-minute junket to the grocery store here, a quick nip out to the Post Office there, and the sock just quietly grows and grows. In a few weeks or months, I’ll have the first sock done, all done with incidental time that would otherwise be lost. But for me the real kicker, the twist that makes my little January-of-fresh-starts heart go pitter-patter, is that these socks are part of my gift knitting for next year. Brother loves nothing more than a pair of handknit socks, so he gets a pair for his birthday in November, and another pair for Christmas. In years when I don’t plan well, that means 4 socks in 4 weeks – not a recipe for a stress-free holiday season.
I might just be giving myself a little cramp from patting myself on the back for starting his birthday pair this early, in this stealthy way. One set of errands at a time, I’ll get these done – doesn’t really matter how long it takes because I have until November! They’ll be done long before that, of course, at which point I’ll put the next pair in the truck. And off we go again, a little bit at a time – getting it done.
And if you have the great good fortune to sign up for the Rockin’ Sock Club, you’ll have a fresh, exciting skein in your mailbox every other month to play with! That sounds to me like the ideal way to squeeze in that extra bit of knitting fun into your day-to-day.
See you on the road, knitters!