Things That Make You Go Calmmmmm


It’s not even Thanksgiving yet and I’m already beset by the holiday fatigue. Retailers are streaming jolly tunes about Santa and snow everywhere I turn, and I find myself scouring online sources for gift ideas and feeling overwhelmed by the choices. Luckily, I’ve been reading all of your comments from the giveaway to amp up my mindfulness cultivation toolbox. Knitting kept cropping up so I took up my needles for the first time in years even though I’m a self-proclaimed non-knitter.


It’s like riding a bicycle, I was pleased to note. My hands automatically started casting on stitches while my brain was saying, “How do I do this again?” Knit-a-row-purl-a-row…it really is a very soothing activity.


I don’t have any particular plans for this pretty indigo yarn (enough with the indigo, I’m sure you’re thinking), but if I keep going, it would make a cozy scarf. And hey, I had meant to knit a scarf last fall, remember? I’m noticing a trend: it takes about an extra year for me to fully carry out my plans since the skinny jeans are still in progress as well.

I’m still coughing, I’m sad to report. It’s throwing a wrench in my Zumba plans (I recently tagged along to a free class with a friend — I can’t help but think “Zumba” is just an exoticized name for the kind of aerobics reminiscent of the 90s, but it’s a lot of fun so I got a 5-class punchcard). I’ve had to skip the last few weeks due to the hacking that causes people to instinctively shift their bodies away from me.


But this surprise package from one of my favorites — Frances of Miss Matatabi — cheered me up and helped me forget about my health issues for a bit. What should I make with it? It’s so lovely. And indigo! The woman knows me well.


The holidays are barreling down, so I’m doodling and thinking, thinking, thinking. How to make it simple? As stress-free as possible? Thinking, thinking…

15 thoughts on “Things That Make You Go Calmmmmm

  1. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who thought that about Zumba. But it’s a lot of fun. I hope your cough gets better very soon. They are no fun. I’ve got a ripped muscle in my back that will attest to that!

    1. Haha – when the instructor busted out with the “grapevine” I had flashbacks! 🙂 Yikes, sorry to hear about the ripped muscle, Evie – hope you’re all better!

  2. Nice fabric! Maybe you need to make something else to perk you up? I think the jeans saga may be getting you down. I am sorry that you are still coughing. It is a stressful time of year and you just finished a book, so take it easy!

    I am not really into all the Christmas hoopla and I do think it is early, but I admit that is is fun walking along in the dark at 5:00 pm with my daughters and seeing that some houses are ready for Christmas!

    1. The slow progress of the jeans is a bit of a bummer, but I’m still at it! And yes, I always seem to underestimate how much impact these books have on me. I have to admit that I haven’t felt completely back to normal yet…

      We saw one of our neighbors setting up their Christmas tree earlier this week, and I was flabbergasted! But you’re right – it’s lovely to see the tree lit up as we pass their house. 🙂

      Thanks, Max!

  3. You know how I keep my holidays stress free? NO GIFTS FOR ANYONE! LOL!! My whole family, and all my friends, we just don’t do gifts and it’s not a big deal 🙂

    1. That’s brilliant! I don’t think that would fly with the 9-year-old, though M and I might implement that this year for each other. Thanks for the idea, Jeannie!

  4. Oh, the crazy holidays season has started. Yesterday I was in a bookstore, and a new-agey one at that. Coming in from the blustery weather it was a shelter of calm…until I realized they were playing Christmas music! Ahhhhh-noooooo! lol. It was a calm-ish Christmas music and I just had to laugh about it.

    We no longer have little kids about in our families so it’s no gifts, and some money for the “kids”. The adults really don’t want anything. (Actually this adult wants an i-Pad but no one wants to folk out that kind of money. LOL). I do bake a lot of cookies to give away and everyone loves edibles!

    Funny you should say that about knitting. I just started a Beginner’s knitting class last week and the muscle memory thing was so true. Now I just want to knit knit knit! 😉

    Love that fabric from Frances and it looks very you. I’d be interested in seeing what you make with it!

    1. The Christmas music this week definitely threw me for a loop, Melissa! It seems to start earlier and earlier each year. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that an iPad will appear under the tree for you this year 🙂 I do some baking and caramel-making for the holiday season too, and that always goes over well.

      And I’m right with you about knitting! Maybe it’s because I’m just knitting a long rectangle, but I’m finding it thoroughly addicting!! Maybe I burnt out from sewing for the book so I need a break for a while…

  5. This is a good lesson. Plan for simplicity!! I really never have a plan and things get out of control. One thing I really hate to do is trash my whole kitchen, so I usually order dinner from Whole Foods. It is surprisingly traditional and organic (and pre cooked). So dinner is erased from my list.

    1. Yes! Simplicity!! I love that you outsource your holiday dinner, and with Whole Foods in charge, I’m sure it’s delicious, Greta :-). One of the ways I simplify the holidays is that I now send the same gifts to my parents and in-laws every year (a calendar with images of K) and I no longer mail out Christmas cards. I do New Year’s cards instead, when I feel more energized after boxing day. 🙂

  6. Glad knitting is working for you. Hope you get feeling better soon. That can really drag you down too even if you aren’t that sick.
    We have quiet Christmas’ here now that we are grown and have no littles… sometimes it is a bit of a bummer but it does make the gift craziness not happen. 🙂

    1. I’m really starting to get into knitting this go around, and I love how portable it is! Nothing wrong with a quiet Christmas, I say – I’ve been enjoying really low-key get togethers these days and don’t miss the frenetic holiday parties I used to go to in another lifetime ;-).

  7. oh, Frances knows you well! What gorgeous fabric! Whatever you decide to sew with it, you can’t go wrong when you start with something so beautiful:)
    So sad to hear that you’re still under the weather:( Isn’t it frustrating, as we grow older, how it takes longer to recover from illness? I”m sure you’re doing all the right things – hydration, sleep and vitamins – so won’t get any unneeded advice. Just hoping that your health improves soon – in time to get you through the craziness of the next month! Hang in there:)

    1. The fabric is so luscious as all Miss Matatabi fabrics are! I’m feeling like I might be at the very tail end of my cough phase, but it’s always hard to tell. And yep, I’m trying my very best to relax and treat my body with kid gloves for the time being. One time, my cough lasted for such a crazy long time (months), it actually felt weird NOT to cough. I’m trying to avoid that at all costs :-). Thanks for the well wishes, Lucinda!

  8. Our newest thing this year are “family gifts” since there are a lot of us. We’ve gotten something each family/couple can enjoy together (cute little bento boxes and accessories for the family with little kids, colourful or unique kitchen wares for the couple about to set up house, movie passes etc…). This cuts down on present ideas, shopping time and gift opening time which is super important with little ones who have gotten overwhelmed in the past!

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