It isn’t finished. Forgive the loose threads. But here’s on of the projects I’m working on for Christmas.

I’m still trucking along with my writing. Sigils of the Forgotten is at 44,175 words now, which puts me firmly over the halfway mark. Progress is being made!

But that said, November and December are awful times to write. How in the world am I supposed to be creative when I have so much else to do? I have to write cards. I’m terrible with cards! Presents aren’t that big a deal, except now I have to ship them, and that’s a huge pain in the rear. And I spent every minute since Halloween working on this blanket, which is nearly finished, except that I’m not sure that my yarn will last through the border.

So, yes. Given everything else on my mind, nestling myself back into a sooty little Victorian fantasy can be difficult.

But it’s not all stress, of course. See that blanket? That’s one of my Christmas gifts this year. That classy little pattern came off of Ravelry, where it’s listed simply as “Crochet Aran Afghan.” And it’s been lovely.

I love crochet. It’s relaxing. It’s extraordinarily easy and forgiving. (Well, at least most things are. I still can’t make attractive amigurumi.) But when I’m making something like a blanket or a scarf, I find myself settling into a quiet, almost meditative state. Blankets like the one above are just about the most repetitive things you can make. I mean, look at it. That’s like 10 rows, repeated again and again, with each row consisting of 278 stitches. So you do the same thing 278 times, turn it, and do something else 278 times, and… I’m sure it sounds dreadfully boring. But you’ll just have to trust me, I guess. It’s really very soothing.

Consequentially, I’ve tried to crochet one significant thing every year for Christmas. It always makes the holidays more complicated, since it means I have to meet some pretty hard deadlines or I won’t have time to box and ship everything. But it’s a nice break from everything else. When there’s so much to do, it’s nice to have an excuse to settle in for a few hours with some soft yarn and watch something beautiful spill out of it.

It’s just a shame that this project’s almost done.