Getting back up

Before I say anything else, I want to sincerely thank each and everyone of you for your comments, poems, notes and good thoughts during this hard time for us. I was overwhelmed, and hearing from so many of you did help, which frankly surprised the daylights out of me, since I thought nothing could. Instead my family and I found real comfort in the wishes from each and every one of you. Please forgive me for not replying to you all one by one, but as much as it offends me not to do so…I don’t think it’s possible without taking *thanking* on as a full time job. (I have no real problem with that, but although the emotional rewards are many, the pay is crap.)

Know that the sentiment is there and that not just me, but several of us read each and every one of them. Thank you.

It is my personal belief the the universe works best when it is in balance, and I strive in my spiritual life to achieve it. I fail miserably most of the time (too much chocolate, too much coffee, too much wool…) but I try. This loss has thrown me way out of balance, but I’ve figured out what to do. The opposite of grief is Joy, so I’ll be seeking it out as much and as often as it is possible to do so. It is autumn in Ontario. This is a reason to be joyful.

Snowflake

and I have started a new shawl for a new baby, though by the looks of things, I should knit faster…

Knitfaster

Inside: the sibling of the snowdrop. Gender unknown, birthday…sometime in the next 4 weeks. Teresa has been instructed to wait until Thursday and then fire at will.

Outside: Because the last baby from Teresa arrived as the snowdrops did in spring, her shawl was The Snowdrop Shawl. (Pattern in the sidebar) this babe will arrive as the first snow of the year flies, so a snowflake shawl it is. Pattern is…well. In my head. We shall see. At this point it is a shawl/swatch. If it works, it’s a shawl. If it doesn’t…I’m pleading swatch. My plan is to begin with simple yarn over snowflakes (I think you can see them there…) and move outward toward ever larger snowflakes. Since I haven’t made up my mind about what those are, all suggestions of snowflake type lace action are gratefully accepted.

Another source of joy is how much Teresa’s tummy and the pumpkins resemble each other. (Sorry T, but it is funny.)

The last gasp of the morning glories.

Glories

I am ashamed to admit that on bad days I sometimes count them.

(You would be surprised to learn how much joy can be gleaned from knowing exactly how many morning glory blossoms you have.)

Next, armed with a new shawl and knowing the number of my morning glories, I’m going to get on a plane, fly to MA and do the Willow Books event. There will be friends there, though my good friend Linda Roghaar is all by herself a good enough reason to go…the books are ordered, the cake is coming and after missing Rhinebeck, I could use me a big knitting party. I plan on having a marvelous time and I hope I see whole armies of you there.

The owner of Willow Books has relieved some of my guilt about missing the signings at Rhinebeck and Skaneateles by setting up something clever. If you didn’t get a book ’cause I didn’t show up (sorry again) and you still want Bookbookbook, Bookbookbook II or Knitlit 3 signed, just phone up Willow books today or tomorrow and they will take your name and information and I’ll sit down tomorrow evening and sign and personalize them all…and then Willow Books will mail them to you. Finding a way out of disappointing people makes me happy too….

Finally, an update to Knitters Without Borders is in the sidebar. For the multitude of you who comforted me with donations in Janine’s name, many extra thanks. (I promise to give away the mittens soon. I’m unreasonably attached to them.) The only way through this is to do things for others and put kindness first, and considering the richness and wealth of my own life and the life Janine left, doing good in her name is a source of joy that I won’t forget. Today, someone lives because she died.

Joy indeed.

104 thoughts on “Getting back up

  1. A bumpy journey ahead for certain, happily the road includes joyful baby bumps. I hope that this never ending circle of life, and the sense of awe and rightness that it brings, will help you get through the rough times and the good. My thoughts are with you.

  2. Morning glories! I can grow successful bindweed, but the slugs always get to my morning glories when they are but wee things. Those are incredible – I would count them, too.
    That beautiful tummy makes me miss being pregnant. I LOVE that you do shawls for the babies! Such a wonderful loving thing to do. 🙂

  3. Autumn is reaping and renewal, the turn of the year. The pumpkins and the morning glories and the shawl and the baby are beautiful.
    I will see you at Willow.

  4. Good thoughts for your and your family were coming from Rhinebeck; everyone understood and I don’t think that knitters are petty enough to be disappointed. Don’t feel guilty.
    The shawl will be beautiful. How lucky the mom-to-be is.

  5. Well, I tried the peanut brittle – and IT WORKED! Fluffy and soft, just like Aunt Susies! May the days ahead bring you the joy you so long for. May Snowflake be born as you weave in the last ends.
    April

  6. Oh please don’t mention that the snow will start flying in 4 weeks…I’m due in 5 weeks…my husband snowmobiles….A snowflake shawl though sounds wonderful. I was going to do something on my knitting machine after baby comes (and hence, know the gesture) because otherwise it might take longer than the pregnancy to make (with two other kids running around). So, if you don’t like your swatch/shawl….I know a babe-to-be that will be blanketless…..
    And stop apologizing! I know we’re Canadian; it’s what we do, but at this time, I think it’d be okay to let go of that one trait. And, if you had actually knocked me out with your hair at K-W Knitter’s Fair, you know I would have been the one apologizing, LOL. Like, how was I supposed to know that there’d actually be someone on the other side of the solid wood bathroom door!
    Tracy

  7. Oh how I wish I could gaze lovingly upon our morning glories. Here in Seattle, morning glory is an insidious, prolific weed that suffocates everything under its path. We fight with it constantly! It is beautiful, though, I’ll give it that much.

  8. Stephanie, You sound good. Keep taking care of yourself, okay? You deserve some real space to grieve. Off to bump that TSF total up a wee bit more.

  9. Steph, I am glad you were able to take some time and weren’t hustled off to Rhinebeck. We missed you, but every time your name came up, we were happy that you were where you needed to be.

  10. …and may we all count our blessings, however meagre they may be, every single day.
    Yes, find joy and drink of it heartily, Hon.

  11. New babies, pregnant tummies, pumpkins and morning glories. Yup, those are steps in the right direction. Grief will never completely leave, but Joy will make it easier to bear. Take care of yourself and the families.
    Sandra

  12. Joy is good, pumpkins and baby bellies are good, too. Taking care of yourself is very important. I’ll see you tomorrow night at Willow Books.

  13. Yep. I’ve counted my morning glories before (my favorite flower) but I lived in Texas and had only a few at a time. I think on the best day there were 12.
    Recovering from grief. I’ve been in that place for a while now and you’re giving me hope that I’m attacking it properly since we seem to have the same approach: happy thoughts and deeds. Dwelling on the sad and negative isn’t the way to get back up again. (((Hugs)))

  14. I thought about you while at Rhinebeck – and was sad for you and your family. I wish I had your gift for the pen (keyboard) and could write out my thoughts so eloquently. Hope you have a great book signing. Glad to have you back!

  15. Wow. You don’t need anything I can say obviously grin. But I’ll say it anyway. Huge thoughts are with you and your family and extended family as you cope with the loss of Janine. There’s nothing really anyone can say that will make things better – because you just want her back and it is entirely unfair that she is gone. But also know that despite her loss – she lives on with you and in you and will do so for the rest of your own lives. I am always surprised at how “close” those I have lost are – they’re never far from my thoughts or from my ultimate *being* itself. It’s not as great as having them actually present, but it’s pretty darned awe-inspiring nonetheless.
    And keep counting morning glory blooms – I love thought!

  16. I’m still amazed at the total for the Knitters Without Borders. I tote my groceries home in my KWB tote bag! Enjoy the pumpkins and the babies and the knitting, and don’t forget the lovely Ontario Mac apples!

  17. The new shawl sounds lovely, and I’m looking forward to see how the snowflakes shape up. You never really get over the loss of a loved one, but knittng for a new baby certainly helps. So how many morning glories were there!!?? 😉

  18. You have made me laugh and cry more in the last week than I have all year long. Along with your wonderful/anguished writing about Janine, I just got done reading the chapter “What her hand’s won’t do” and I cried for Lene. Then I read “One little sock” and I cried some more. There is just so much sadness and pain everywhere. I’m just so glad that our “cute little hobby” can bring joy to ourselves and those who receive our labors.
    Glad to have you back.

  19. Glad to see that you are able to find the balance. That is certainly a healthy approach that I will keep in mind.
    Have a safe flight.

  20. Stefanie — I tried several times last week to leave you a comment after the “Janine” post. Tried, but failed. I just couldn’t think of the right words to say. But today I’d like you just to know that you have brought so much joy to those who read your blog and books and also to those who are blessed enough to actually meet you in person (which I haven’t yet but hope to some day), and when I read about your loss I wanted somehow to bring just a fraction of that joy back to you. I just couldn’t figure out how to do that well. But I am so glad to know that you are looking forward to new things and I pray that you find more joy than you ever though possible.

  21. Your beautiful howl for Janine spoke more eloquently than anything I have read on the subject. Each death IS ordinary and extraordinary. There is no reconciling the two, and thanks for pointing it out.
    Counting the Morning Glories sounds like a very sensible pastime, to me, bad day or good.
    Much love, and joy,
    Julie

  22. All my best. To you, Joe, the girls, Janine’s family, the new baby… The circle of life and love stretches as wide as forever.

  23. Stephanie — I know you said you’d give the mittens away. But now you admit to serious attachment problems . Other readers? Yes, you guys, out there? How ’bout we vote to give them back to Stephanie, as thanks for all she’s given to us?

  24. I’ve been thinking about sharing this with you for awhile, but it never seemed the time. However now seems to be the perfect time. I just wanted to let you know that you’ve brought me a great deal of joy. I love your book and can’t wait to get the others.
    Oddly though not because you’re a great writer (which you are) or because you’re one of the funniest people I know. I can’t wait to get your book because it’s brought me and my husband closer to together.
    I know that seems kind of odd, but I also have an addictive personality, which I have channeled into crafts and reading. Luckily I’ve been able to stay away from the more negative addictions that can occur in life.
    When I took up knitting in July, I was suprised by how much I really really enjoyed it and how soothing I found it. I was quickly lost to this wonderful new world to explore. Which as you know means less time spent with those you care about.
    When I bought your book and was laying in bed that first night I couldn’t help but read one the first page out loud to my husband. He did the strangest thing…he laughed and rolled over to snuggle me and read with me!
    Every night since then we’ve read one chapter of your book snuggled together. At first I was slight diappointed that I couldn’t just sit down and read it cover to cover. But over the weeks we’ve spent reading your book together at night I’ve come to cherish that time and I dread finishing that book
    Luckily for me you have two more to buy! Anyway I just wanted to say thank you. And keep writing, I’d love to have years of reading and laughing before bedtime.
    My deepest sympathies for your loss.
    Kyrie

  25. Counting morning glories, eh; glad I’m not the only one. Kept me sane a couple of years ago. They’re beautiful; and although I didn’t know what on earth to say when you posted about losing Janine, know exactly what you mean now. Just keep counting and seeking out small occasions for joy; all the very best to you and yours over however-long-it-takes to begin to cope with this.
    Liz, UK

  26. I love autumn, but in many ways it is bittersweet. It is a lovely kiss goodbye to summer. Janine’s passing is so sad, but it is the anticipation of a new life that gives us all hope. Joy is where we find it, and I am so glad that you have family, friends, and of course knitting to bring it to you.
    Pregnant bellies and pumpkins bring back smiles. Both my kids were born in October, and with both pregnancies I painted my belly bright orange and drew a Jack-O-Lantern on it. Can’t wait to see the shawl…I am going to think about some snowflake patterns now, and the glorious possibilities autumn can bring.

  27. Can’t wait to see the shawl, and I’m glad you are feeling… better seems to be the wrong word. But committed to joy is good. See you tomorrow at Willow Books.

  28. Oh, Stephanie, I am so sorry for your loss. I think it is wonderful that you are embracing life and happiness, however, and as someone who has suffered through loss, I can tell you that living well and loving well are definitely great medicine.
    Yesterday was the fourth anniversary of my little brother’s passing and I marked it by spinning for the first time with a friend. I try to do something new and happy on Sam’s Day every year. He was a wonderful brother and a constant source of happiness and inspiration, so I feel that I honor him with my own life and adventures. (And you can bet I talk to him about them, too – a little crazy goes a long way toward easing pain. I know you have a bit of that as well!)
    Hugs to you and yours,

  29. the post was just what i needed to see today, the new shawl sounds wonderful. hope to see you tomorrow night at willow. i think counting morning glories is a wonderful passtime to…
    sharon
    ps- love the latest book, can’t wait for the next one…

  30. A confession: I sometimes read the comments and think, “It’s all been said, I don’t need to repeat all that.” It is a reflection of those thoughts and feelings you expressed about the uniqueness of the situation and your life yet being awash in the sameness of human experience. I felt at a loss for words of support–how could I touch that pain? Yet we as writers have to have courage every day that our words will not be meaningless.
    Also, I am in denial, really, of your loss of Janine at such a young age. I do not want to admit it happened, can happen.
    I worry that this comment will not accurately convey what I mean and so am tempted to delete, but I hope that at least the thoughts will be added to the comfort of the many comments you’ve already received.

  31. I’m so glad you’re starting to manage to cope, Stephanie. So glad you’re focusing on some good and positive things (do things get more positive than a new baby?). So glad that you’re finding your legs again. Just hang on to that knitting lifeline–we’re all holding onto the other end for you!

  32. I’ll be there Tuesday too. I’m bringing my mom, a hurricane victim/surviver. Let’s all laugh together through the tears!

  33. It’s so difficult to provide comfort at times like this to someone you know well, let alone to someone sort-of-known through remotely typed words. All words seem somehow inadequate, yet they must be spoken or otherwise conveyed. You have written so very eloquently about Janine, and in the same fashion about the beginnings of this next stage of your life. Best wishes to you and those you love.

  34. Um, Steph? TOO much chocolate? TOO much wool? I don’t believe you can actually have too much of either. (well, ok, too much at one time might not be the greatest idea, but in general… ya know…)
    I’m so glad all the messages helped, and that you’re able to see joy in pumpkins and pumpkin bellies. Good things for sure.

  35. Stephanie, I was also without words following your post about Janine. I understand your loss and can only share in your sorrow. Your tribute to her was beautiful, and made me ponder & appreciate the fullness of my own life and family.
    Your idea to share joy and help others in her honor is the best medicine for grief. Without knowing it, you have surely helped many others in their own times of sorrow.

  36. I’m almost without words. I am so sorry for your loss, but imagining the joy that your dear friend brought to you and to others, both in life and in her death is such a bittersweet inspiration.
    Your morning glories are breathtaking.

  37. My deepest sympathy to your family and to Janine’s. I love your sentiment about seeking out joy to balance the sorrow. I’m sure Janine would smile with approval, as I did. Autumn is wonderful. There is no good time to lose an important person in your life. Much joy to your family and to Janine’s. Betsy in Sacramento

  38. I’m glad you are feeling better and that you have morning glories to count. They don’t grow in the desert, but my honeysuckle is blooming now (a poor replacement). I have some snow white 2 ply just waiting for your new pattern. Please, take your time – I promised myself to free up some needles before I start something new. Not all, but some.

  39. I too am of the opinion that there is no such things as too much chocolate, or too much wool!
    I am glad to see you back, and that things are beginning to begin again (if that makes any sense)
    You and your family remain in my thoughts

  40. You are truly an amazing person. And your friend/sister Janine was so lucky to have you in her life. I grieve for you, your family and your friends. Knit on, my dear.

  41. It’s so good to hear that you are able to find joy through the tears.
    I, too, felt that simply repeating the same words wouldn’t mean anything because it had already been said by others. I was wrong. Please know that my thoughts have been with you and yours.
    See you tomorrow at Willow Books. At least this time there will be no scary, leaky tunnels to drive through.

  42. I thought of you over the weekend, and sent many thoughts of peace in your direction. It is simply amazing how, in the midst of terrible grief, there is room to still feel awed by a growing baby in a belly and by the simple blooming of the flowers. Life is crazy, no?
    Enjoy your night at Willow Books. I can’t be there, but I look forward to seeing you another time.

  43. Stephanie-just know how much Joy you bring to so many people every day! I think that’s a wonderful tribute to Janine!

  44. Everyday joy is the only way to go! There are a multitude of joys in each day, you have only to look. Snowflake lace – _Gossamer Webs_ by Galina Khmeleva has several snowflake patterns, iirc.

  45. A wise woman once told me, “Life is like a river”. Once I started really looking at a river and making the connections, it made perfect sense.
    I hold onto this thought when times get rough. Maybe it will bring some comfort to you.
    Good to have you back.

  46. Weeping may endure for a night,but Joy Comes in The Morning. Psalm 30:5
    Here’s to finding joy in the small things. ((hugs))

  47. You deserve all the love and support that you have gotten over these past few days – we all do this for you because you have gotten us all through rough patches with your humor, your gift with words, and pretty pictures of lovely knitting.
    I look forward to seeing you tomorrow at Willow Books. Please let me know if you would like me to make reservations somewhere afterwards or if you’ll be wanting to get a good night’s sleep.

  48. the same beauty of life/death and the cycle of it all hit me today as well; I saw a four day old babe who simply brought tears to my eyes during the appointment. Life goes on, no matter what I have to say about it.
    see you tomorrow; I hope you have a safe, uneventful trip and I also look forward to being in the company of likeminded knitters.

  49. Will you adopt me and teach me how to knit lace? I’ve tried but my work sucks. In exchange I promise to make you endless amounts of coffee and to do all your laundry!

  50. Stephanie, In knitting we make beautiful fabrics. In sharing yourself with us you a colour to the fabric of our lives. We treasure it. Your Janine brought her own texture and colour to your life fabric. Treasure it.

  51. And here I thought that I might be the only one who counts morning glories…especially on a plant that somehow managed to overwinter outside of Rochester, NY! Who would have guessed that could ever happen?
    It’s been over 5 years since my Dad passed away and when I see/hear things that he would have gotten a big charge out of, I immediately think of him. Our loved ones are with us always in our memories.
    Here’s to you, Stepanie, for being your graceful and strong self through a very difficult time.

  52. You’re a very strong woman indeed, and i’m glad to see that joy is still very much alive in you. I wish you all the best.
    (I just got Gossamer Webs: Design Collection by Galina Khemleva, it’s got a cute lace pattern for snowflakes. good luck with the shawl/swatch)

  53. Oh, I’m so bumming that I won’t see you tomorrow night here in Massachusetts! I’ve been called in to work (I work at the local library – and do constantly push your books!)
    I’ll have my friend, Jena, get my an autographed copy, I hope. I’ll think good thoughts for you!
    The next time you’re in MA, I promise too much coffee and chocolates for you! 🙂

  54. Steph, first and foremost, my heartfelt cyberhugs and condolences upon your loss. Words fail me, yours did not.
    I often read your blog to my husband late in the evening and we both have enjoyed your writing from way back on the knitlist. I read him your last two posts. He pointed out two things, snowflakes like teardrops are infinitely unique. His suggestion regarding your snowflake shawl (now remember he’s not a knitter) was that you should add or drop a stitch on each one in a different place making them different. He also wants credit for this suggestion ( http://kellagh.tblog.com ). Me, I’m still back at the teardrops being infinitely unique… take care and know that one never ever loses a best friend. EVER. Each footprint she left is on your heart. Forever.

  55. Thank the goddess for knitting and babies, and knitting for babies. It’s a healing meditation.

  56. Go buy yourself that fantastic yarn you have been lusting after, I know there is one. Then knit yourself the most beautiful shawl you can think of and name it Janine. Wrap it around yourself whenever you feel the need for joy, comfort, warmth, quite contemplation, just whatever. And smile as you slip it on.

  57. Dear Stephanie,
    I just read your last two posts. I am so sorry for your loss. I am glad to see (in your newest post) that you are finding ways to put things back in balance. From what you’ve said of Janine, I bet she would want that. Don’t forget to find joy in all your wonderful memories of her. Share your stories with others. That way, she will always be remembered, even by those of us who were not fortunate enough to have met her in person.

  58. When my 40 year old brother in law died very suddenly earlier this year I swore that I’d find the best in every day that I was given because it was a day that had not been given to him. I’ve tried hard this summer to accept the day as it comes – usually the weather is “too” something (hot, cold, windy, wet, dry)and I usually join in the grumbling about it but this summer I haven’t. I will enjoy each day, for Tim. I hope that you find the balance that you are looking for (although too much coffee makes me zingy, I’ve not had a reaction to too much yarn. Maybe I don’t have enough yet)
    And on a lighter note, I’d like to thank you and Laurie’s painted rovings for getting me spinning. I have a drop spindle, a bag of fluff and a pair of socks and it’s all down to you.

  59. Pumpkins, babies and shawls – I thought the shawl was going to be called the pumpkin shawl. Autumn there, spring here. Joy found in little things, but the little things are the things that often matter most to us. I’ve been hoping you are OK, along with the rest of the knitblogging world by the looks of it. I am glad to see that Janine’s death has brought renewed life for others – after all the gift of life is so very precious.

  60. Hi Stephanie,
    BTW, that is my daughters name too. My thoughts are with you. Sorry for your loss. You are an inspiration, and a kind and generous woman. I love morning glories. I use to have some growing around my kitchen window untill a wind storm came and blew them down, I do miss them.

  61. I can’t believe you count your morning glories- such a contrast to where I live (in Australia) where it’s regarded as an invasive weed. I took great delight in eating stir fried Morning Glory in Cambodia (revenge for the stuff from our neigbhour’s garden that strangled our olive tree while we weren’t looking).

  62. Such lovely thoughts and pictures of renewal you share with us, Stephanie. All I can add about the snowflake scarf is “knit, knit, knit!” From the beautiful roundness of that tummy, I don’t think Snowflake wants to wait much longer for his/her grand entrance.

  63. I just finished your bookbookbook II and loved the humor and wisdom. Our knitting can be so comforting and healing at a time like this. The snowflake shawl is the perfect thing to work on. One life leaves the world and another life enters. God bless you dear yarn harlot.

  64. A pretty pumpkin, a stunning belly, a lovely shawl, and happy morning glories… a true celebration of life. What a beautiful tribute to your Janine! Missed you at Rhinebeck , glad your feeling a little better.
    ~Jody

  65. Too much chocolate, too much coffee, too much wool…..and that’s out of balance, how?
    My thoughts are with you. Thanks for the pumpkin shot; it’s FINALLY dawning in the high-60s down here (Jacksonville, FL), which for us is a most welcome idea of cool.

  66. Oh Steph. Just read the last post – how horrible. It’s all been said before, and said better than I can express, so I’ll just say that if nothing else I’m glad to see so many people who get so much joy and pleasure from you posts are able to send so much love and sympathy your way. Janine sounds like a wonderful, singular person, and I’m sure that you understand this quote (can’t recall who said it): “Her absence is a presence.”
    That presence must be sad and painful right now for all of you. May it be a comfort someday rather than a source of sadness – trust me, someday it will.
    With sympathy, empathy, love and condolences-
    Anne-Kari

  67. This is my first time reading your blog. I wanted to let you know that I have this weird obsession with knitting baby things. I knit them even when I don’t know anyone who is expecting. Part of it is that it always makes me smile because they are so cute, and smiling always lifts my spirits. I think you’re on the right track knitting that beautiful baby shawl. I know it sounds cheesy, but focusing on new life has always helped me deal with loss. Good luck to you.

  68. Grief can be all-consuming and its effects can linger for such a long time. It’s good to see that you are coping with this devastating loss by trying to seek out the simple joys of life and celebrating all the good that’s out there. You are, as always, a wonderful inspiration. While I’m thinking of it, I will go make another donation to MSF and try to bump that total up a little more.
    Safe travels, and all the best to you.

  69. After my best friend’s brother died, 14 years ago, I asked her to be present at the upcoming birth of my child. My friend had no children and had never been at a birth. She still counts it as one of the best experiences of her life. Your friend’s birthing will be a cathartic expericence for you also. Revel in the birth and rebirth of life!

  70. Bless you, Stephanie. You have touched the lives of people you don’t even know, in the best of ways, and honor the memory of your friend in the doing.

  71. This morning in Southern California we had a beautiful rainbow which filled part of the sky. May you see beautiful rainbows too. God Bless You.

  72. Welcome back! I thought of you often in the past few days. I hope the grief abates some as you admire a beautiful sunny fall day with a bright blue sky and wispy white clouds and the leaves crunching under foot.
    I find joy in listening to the rustling of leaves in the tops of the birch trees and watching the river rush by. There was a Jacob’s ladder shining over Philadelphia this morning that made me extraordinarily happy to be in the world. May you find Janine in all small, joyful things like these.

  73. I never really know what to say and feel like anything is just words, but I want you to know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers and I’m glad you’re able to find joy in the little things (or big – that belly is pretty amazing). Safe travels.

  74. Glad to see you back again Stephanie. Amanda is right, in the Northwest, Morning Glories are considered weeds. But then again, I have never seen amazing blue Glories like those! At least not in real life. I do love Fall for the turning leaves. There are entire streets around here that have trees that seem to be going up in flames. Beautiful, flames. Brings out the pyromaniac in me! To me, Fall is THE season to feel the joy in the world around you.

  75. Coffee, chocolate, and wool balance each other, right? I love the “every snowflake unique” suggestion; I almost want to design a shawl that does that. Are there that many snowflake designs?
    Where I used to live, I could count pink ladyslipper orchids.
    Hooray for babies!

  76. From what you have told us about Janine, she would want to be remembered through Joy … in honor of the joy she brought to the lives of the people she knew. Well done, you, for seeking out joy in her memory.
    Hoping to see you tonight …

  77. Stephanie, I read your blog because it inspires me in all ways, woolly and personal(ly). Your post today exemplifies that in such a measure it shows that those grieving for Janine are lucky to have you amongst them. Love to all your family.

  78. A distraction for a moment. Do me a favor? Someone said she looked big, she doesn’t… Tell Snowflake’s mom I looked like that at five months. When I was seven months along with my last, someone asked me when I was due? Then asked, horrified, How many!? (Just one, thank you kindly.) I went back to my pre-four kids weight soon afterwards, for all that pumpkinning.
    May the birth go beautifully on all counts.

  79. I am sorry for your loss…your Janine sounds like a wonderful person…it’s good that you had her for the time you did…try to remember all the good, and it sounds like there was plenty of it…cyberhugs to you and your family.

  80. I have to agree with Alison H., that tummy is adorable but certainly not too big! I swear I popped a bulge 5 minutes after conception. Actually had a total stranger argue with me once (when preggers with No. 3) that I was waaaaaaaaaayyy too big for one babe, it had to be twins at least. Of course, that bit of stupidity was one-upped by the nitwit who asked me if my children were triplets – one at 3 1/2, one at 20 mos., one at 1 month. Yeah, mister, that was one looooooooooong labor!! Anyway, glad to see you pursuing joy. It’s a wonderful idea and I am sure you’ll be blessed.

  81. You never really lose someone you love when they die. They live on in you and through you. I know this.
    My father’s mother died when he was 16, in 1921. I was born in 1947 and couldn’t possibly have known her. But Pop kept her so alive in his memory and recollections of her, that I feel her presence today. I have tried to do the same for him. He died when I was 16, in 1964, and my daughter was born in 1985. I have tried to tell her about him, and my grandmother, too, to honor them and keep their presence real for another generation. With luck, I’ll tell my grandchildren, too.
    Janine will live on in the hearts of all who knew and loved her.
    Blessings and hugs for you, your family, your extended family and all who knew her.
    dee

  82. Yay for morning glories and pumpkin tummies!!! These are not small things and there’s nothing wrong with counting them!

  83. Hi,
    I also missed Rhinebeck because of an unexpected death in my family this year. Just wanted to send out a little thread of connection during this time and say I’m wishing the best for us both.

  84. Stephanie, I’ve read both your books & enjoyed them immensely. So funny, so true. I’ve been a Knitter for 40 years, but have never had any knitting friends. So when I stumbled onto your blog one day (a few months ago) when looking for yarn, I was overjoyed to find someone else who understood the joys, frustrations & extreme necessity to be constantly knitting something. Thank you for all the laughs & for sharing.

  85. Stephanie, I said “Don’t mention snow….I have 5 more weeks to go”.
    It snowed up here last night, still some left this morning.
    I’m not ready for snow or this new baby!

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