The Best Laid Plans

I was so proud of myself.

The first day of school (with tiny humans) and I was on time, had my coffee, my lunch, a matching cardigan, my glasses, and had even managed to put some mascara on that morning.  This. This was the way to start a school year.

The first half of my commute to school was filled with self-congratulatory thoughts.  I was on it…. organized, excited to see the kids, ready for a new year. When my phone dinged with a text from my sweet husband, I happily waited for the next stop light to read the “Have a great first day!” message.  I almost spit my coffee across the dashboard when I instead read, “There is a tub full of books here. Did you need that?”

That tub just so happened to contain all of the teaching materials I needed.  I mean, ALL of the materials.   I could have survived the day without any of the things I actually remembered – except for the coffee, but especially the mascara.  That pile of books and lesson plans was the only thing I really needed to remember.  This was not the way to start a school year.  Fortunately, G’s school year started a week later than mine, because that dear man jumped in the car and brought me my books in gross morning traffic. Life. Saver.

I try to plan ahead, be organized, remember my laundry is in the washing machine before it starts to grow mold. I really do.  I make myself to-do lists, only to inevitably end up adding the things I did instead of what was already on the list, just so I can cross them off. Most of the time I can even find my car keys in less than ten minutes.

Exhibit A. Actual list from last April. It started the day with one column. FYI: “Baby” is a nickname for Gunnar. Clearly I’m not walking a human infant… I’d only do that once a day.

One of our PD days when school started was all about behavioral and thinking preferences – for teachers as well as our students. It turns out I tend to think big picture, like to do my research/analysis, and am pretty social.  Guess what I have basically no preference in…. the making lists, plans, details category. My personal summary actually said, “This person would prefer a job that does not require them to be efficient, organized, or robotic.”  I probably won’t be adding that to my resume.

Naturally, this brings us to the Fringe Association’s Improvised Top-Down Knit Along.  Karen Templer (of whom I’m a total fan girl) is hosting this “knit a sweater without a pattern” adventure on her blog.  So, though I have two sweaters on the needles that are *nearing completion, I thought surely this is something I must do.  I spent all kinds of time dreaming up what I wanted, researching shape options, “Do I want a cardigan or a turtleneck?,” yarn choices “which yarn do I like, can afford, and is not fingering weight so this sucker gets finished?” and deciding which “it’s okay for a red head to wear this shade” color to choose.  I opted for a cardigan, in pea coat blue Puffin from Quince & Co. The potential issue is, obviously, the lack of pattern. The fact that I am lousy at planning and details does not help. I did knit a swatch (good job me), which I used to make some quick calculations. I then used a very involved mathematical equation called a “guesstimate,” chose numbers that I figured were close enough, and cast on.


So far, I seem to be on track… with the notable exception of forgetting to add the button band ribbing. I mean I was two whole rows in when I realized my error, and was definitely not going to rip back all 15 minutes of knitting progress. I decided that I’ll pick up the button bands at the end, because there isn’t a pattern telling me I can’t. Ooooh, the power!


I’ve just reserved the sleeve stitches, which means the sweater is officially too big to carry around in a project bag.  It looks a bit like I’m smuggling an entire sheep when I try.  I have high hopes that this sweater will be finished before the first Colorado snow flies…. but warm fall days could be making me delusional. I’ll tell you more about the knitting details next time, in case you’re into that sort of thing.   If I remember, of course.



*You’re hilarious, Di.

5 thoughts on “The Best Laid Plans

  1. Stacey M

    This is almost as good as a book… Will you be including a page for kid stories? You’re one of my favorite go-to’s when I need a good laugh! 😉


  2. Marlys S

    You are amazing! I too enjoy your comments on facebook about your kiddos in school.

    By the way the sweater color is super. Bronco time this week, so you can get a lot
    of knitting done as you watch!!!


  3. Kelli

    Love this – although I thought everyone added things they’d already accomplished to their to-do lists. And it’s totally reassuring that other people’s wet laundry gets forgotten and grows disgusting things. Tis life.


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