1. Guest list. Fifteen.
2. Dining room chairs. Eight.
3. Chair deficit. Seven.
4. Number of guests who will not be horribly put out if asked to eat turkey while sitting on milk crates.Two.
5. Chair deficit. Five.
6. Number of guests who will likely not attend due to influenza, based on World Health Organization’s seasonal forecast. One.
7. Number of chairs neighbor across hall is able to lend. Two.
8. Number of chairs upstairs neighbor would like to borrow from me. Four.
9. Number of chairs gained from neighbor across hall after 50/50 split with upstairs neighbor has been negotiated. One.
10. Number of hand-knit scarves upstairs neighbor will be getting from me at Christmas. Zero.
11. Number of friends willing to bring own chair to dinner via subway. Two.
12. Number of friends now upgraded from scarf to mittens on holiday knitting list. Two.
13. Chair deficit, counting on accuracy of influenza forecast. One.
14. Number of rounds knit while pondering chair deficit. Fifty-two.
15. Number of rounds in one Christmas mitten. Fifty-two.
16. Number of mittens left to finish by Christmas. Fifteen.
17. Aspirin. Two.
18. Chair deficit, counting on accuracy of influenza forecast. Still one.
19. Number of guests who are begging to please bring amazing new boyfriend to Thanksgiving dinner. One.
18. Revised chair deficit, counting on accuracy of influenza forecast. Two.
19. Revised number of mittens left to finish by Christmas. Thirteen.
20. Number of chairs guest with new boyfriend will agree to bring with her. One.
21. Revised number of mittens left to finish by Christmas. Fifteen.
22. Cocktails. Two.
23. Rounds knit while drinking cocktails. Fifty-two.
24. Number of mittens left to finish by Christmas. Fourteen! Yeah!
25. Cocktails. One for the road!
26. Rounds knit while drinking third cocktail. Fifty-eight. Wait. Fifty-three. Forty?
27. Number of mittens left to finish by Christmas. Huh?
28. Indignant messages to “friends” who expect me to provide them with chairs and turkey and mittens and still somehow have a life of my own, a life to which I am fully entitled, thankyouverymuch, because I AM NOT YOUR SLAVE. Six. I think.
29. Revised guest list. Eight.
30. Chair deficit. Zero.
Writer, illustrator, and photographer Franklin Habit is the author of It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons (Interweave Press, 2008–now in its third printing) and proprietor of The Panopticon (the-panopticon.blogspot.com), one of the most popular knitting blogs on Internet. On an average day, upwards of 2,500 readers worldwide drop in for a mix of essays, cartoons, and the continuing adventures of Dolores the Sheep.
Franklin’s other publishing experience in the fiber world includes contributions to Vogue Knitting, Yarn Market News, Interweave Knits, Interweave Crochet, PieceWork, Cast On: A Podcast for Knitters, Twist Collective, and a regular column on historic knitting patterns for Knitty.com.
These days, Franklin knits and spins in Chicago, Illinois, sharing a small city apartment with an Ashford spinning wheel and colony of sock yarn that multiplies alarmingly whenever his back is turned.