Third Day

It’s the third day of Christmas and I had a really wonderful and witty entry written up until about 4 minutes ago when my software crashed. I don’t know what it’s problem is- It’s not like it’s been knitting like a demon.

In any case, I have a single sock and a ball of yarn that need to be a scarf and a pair of socks by tomorrow at noon, so I don’t have time to re-write it.


You would have loved it though. It was all about how we had just the loveliest Christmas day, and how I made all of my knitting deadlines (except for the ones above, and a few more after that, but let’s not focus on what’s yet to go) especially the sweater which was indeed for Hank, and had the zipper sewn in on Christmas afternoon before I wrapped it up and took it to him which yes, is a bit of a close one, but victory was mine.


Pattern mine – a top down raglan put together with help from The Knitter’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns. (All the patterns in the book are bottom-up, by the way. I reversed it.) The body is in plain stockinette, the sleeves in 3X1 rib. Cardigan, zip front. Size 8 boys.


The yarn is Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted, in Pewter (3 skeins) Charcoal and China Blue (I think), knit up on 4mm needles.


It fits Hank great, and he loves it, which is a pretty exceptional compliment to get from a little guy who’s other interests all plug in and have a screen.


In the lost post I also told you that he loves the sweater enough to do a little shazam! for you.

The other entry also gushed a lot about how impressed I am with the donation tally for KWB – and how you guys never let me down and are the best sort of people. It explained too- that just as soon as I’m released from the endless parade of family fun (if you’re having half the fun that we are- then you’re supremely lucky) that I’ll give away more karmic balancing gifts and post an update on the total.

That post also talked a little bit about how yesterday everybody came to my house for a boxing day party, replacing our traditional day at Auntie Helen’s with a day at Auntie Steph’s…. and how I think it might work out, but it sort of cuts into the knitting time and throws the schedule off.

That post was great. Too bad you missed it.

More on the Fifth Day of Christmas. Tomorrow is for dancing.

125 thoughts on “Third Day

  1. I didn’t think Hank could possibly look cuter, but the sweater and crown make a world of difference.
    Glad Christmas came together for you, in spite of everything.
    I believe I’m having exactly half as much fun as you are, which is good. I’m not young enough to have exactly that much fun!

  2. Thank you for the suggestion. I dedicated my knitters without borders donation to my brother and sister in law for their 50th wedding anniversary in Bozeman, Montana. Best Wishes, Lowell and Marcia.

  3. Great sweater/posts/inspiration. Add an extra $10 US to your KWB total. (After dancing and knitting, of course.)

  4. The sweater is perfect and Hank looks handsome in it. The new family Boxing Day Tradition sounds perfect. I gave myself a reprieve with Christmas knitting by designating some projects as presents for 2009. Cheers!

  5. I’ll send an end-of-year donation (a small one) to MSF today or tomorrow. Seriously, their web site should have a “I’m donating as a member of Tricoteuses sans Frontieres” on it. Thank you for a wonderful year of posts, and especially for helping through a different Christmas.

  6. Glad to hear the holidays are going well so far!
    Enjoy your hard-earned break with your family and friends.
    (BTW great classic-looking sweater on your nephew)

  7. Quite frankly this post was great too, but I understand you are an artist. Kudos on the new tradition. I think it’s a good one.

  8. The sweater is beautiful and is a perfect compliment to Hank, who is too cute for words. He just gets more precious every year. If he may see this, please take the word precious out…..I hope he got his iPod for Christmas!!!

  9. The sweater looks great on Hank – contrary to what one would expect, I have always found children (at least of the pre-pubescent variety) to be the most excited recipients of knitted presents. That has been my experience not only with my grands (&, of course, some of that is just that Gran made something for them) but also my niece’s 3 children. They seem to get how significant & meaningful it is that someone has taken the time to make something for them.

  10. The sweater is amazing. I’m especially impressed by how the sleeve that was 1×1 rib in one picture magically became 3×1 rib in the pictures where Hank is wearing it. Or was that a sock sneaking into the photo?

  11. Hank’s sweater looks mighty fine! Well done for managing to get a zip in time! I’m glad that you’ve had a great time with your family, and I was thinking of you on Boxing Day too. I’m going to look in to donating to KWB from the UK. I’m sure it will be pretty easy to do! Oh, I’ve cast on my Noro stripy scarf now – I wouldn’t allow myself the luxury until all my Christmas knitting was done. I’m having fun watching the colours mix. Have fun tomorrow with your dancing shoes on. Is it possible to dance and knit at the same time, I wonder?!

  12. The sweater is really nice. Feel free to keep inspiring me.
    Now you will definitely HATE my daughter who is already starting on her knitting for next Christmas. We’ll see just how far that goes. Mwhahaha!

  13. Gorgeous sweater and cute kid.
    Steph, could you describe some time how you put in the zipper? I never know if I do it the right way so I shy away from patterns with zippers. Would love to hear how you do it.

  14. The sweater looks tremendous on Hank. If this weather keeps up, I’ll be thinking you’re dancing around the maypole for spring. It’s ten degrees out there!!! And supremely foggy.

  15. That’s 10 degrees Celsius, or 50 degrees (more or less) Fahrenheit, for our non-metric neighbours.

  16. Hank is just the right age: young enough to appreciate an lovingly hand-knit sweater, old enough to be a ton of fun! I hope he stays in that in-between world a bit longer…my guys still appreciate hats, but sweaters? No, but that gives me more time to knit sweaters for me.

  17. Stephanie,
    1)Thank you, thank you, thank you for providing me with humorous, insightful, yarnfilled posts all year long.
    2)Thank you for the beautiful Christmas day post. Inspirational.
    3) Can you please explain to the American readers about the 2nd, 3rd, etc… days of Christmas… because honestly, after we go to so much work to decorate, bake, cook, etc… we should get more than 1 day out of it!!! At least the knitters among us could start a new tradition!
    Merry Christmas and a Happy, Joyfilled, Healthy and Prosperous 2009 to you and yours!

  18. Yes, I’m one of those…a fan! Knitting just over a year now…and love your wit and wisdom in both your books and your blog.
    We just had our 4th Christmas celebration in 3 days…party on!
    PS: I will knit a sweater soon…you’re an inspiration!

  19. Beautiful sweater! And Hank makes a very handsome model, indeed. Merry Solstice to you and yours…

  20. The sweater and Hank are adorable! Thank-you for sharing your life. I so enjoy reading your blog. A very happy and blessed New Year!

  21. Is it a sign of maturity that you (nearly) managed to make your deadlines this year without going into meltdown? If it’s not maturity but something you add to the coffee then I’ll have a litre please. Management of unrealistic expectations is something I struggle with, especially when I can’t work out who it is that’s not being realistic.

  22. Any kid who wears a paper crown knows how to have fun without plugging in a thing with a screen. Good for him. The sweater looks great on him.

  23. Awww Hank looks terrific! What a great sweater, and I’m so impressed that you had the patience to sew in the zipper (easily my least favourite job) when you were up against the clock.
    Hope Boxing day wasn’t too difficult without your Aunt Helen but I hope that the new tradition continues until you’re in your 90s …
    Merry Christmas and with best wishes for a happy and yarn-filled 2009,
    nina x

  24. The sweater looks perfect on Hank, and the crown really makes the outfit! He’s a darling boy, and oh so lucky to have an Auntie Steph who’s the new hostess of the Boxing Day party. Next year Lene can figure that into the schedule (if she didn’t this hear) so that it doesn’t cut into your knitting time, but in any case it’s a good way to carry Auntie Helen’s torch forward into the future. I’m sure she would appreciate you picking it up.
    I, too, would love an explanation of how you put in the zipper. Please?
    I hope the rest of the 12 Days of Christmas bring you and your family nothing but happiness and lots of knitting time!

  25. Well done! I knit the “Hey teach” sweater for my eldest, I must not be able to count, or something…ripped out a lot! However, I did finish it and gave it to her…without the buttons which I just found this AM.
    Your aunt would very much like you to continue with Boxing Day. Good for you!

  26. omg, you’re killing me with hank posts . . if that’s not the handsomest boy-in-a-handknit-sweater picture, i’ll be damned.

  27. i didn’t make it with nini’s sweater. it’s down one button band; but a secret garden with only one button band still kicks some serious butt. also, jim got one mitten. otherwise it was good.
    hank’s sweater is the best ever. i totally love it. it’s so obvious that he does too.

  28. Several years ago when my nephew was about Hank’s age I knit him a sweater for Christmas and was he ever excited. He apparently wore it every day and his mother had to make him choose something else sometimes. Now he’s a teenager and can’t show too much excitment about anything . . . .(sigh)

  29. what a beautiful sweater! and i love that hank’s wearing the crown from his cracker – just like all of my family’s holiday photos. 🙂
    happy holidays and hearty congratulations on getting through the schedule!

  30. I have several nieces but no nephews. Do you think I could borrow Hank from time to time if I promise (swear on the continuing nimble health of my fingers and the entire contents of my stash) that I will observe all the rules set by his mother and his Aunt Steph and I will return him safe and sound and in a condition closely resembling the one in which I got him? Pretty please.

  31. Cute sweater. I made only one of my knitting deadlines. I gave my niece a scarf and one mitten, then made her give me the mitten back so I could make a matching one. I showed everyone the little bitty baby sweater and told them to imagine it done and on. I gave my plowman cookies and told him I’d have his socks done this week. And my eldest son is fine with his sweater being done in time to go skiing next weekend. He likes the colors 🙂 My youngest sons sweater was done in Sept, and he’s very happy with it.
    Aunt Helen was looking down from whereveryoubelievesheis and smiling because you are keeping the tradition of family gathering alive. I’m sure the best thing was that you talked and laughed and ate and thought about her in happy times.

  32. Steph-Hank’s sweater is faboo! I hope you are well along in the scarf and/or sock knitting, but remember, if you stay up too late knitting, you’ll have mistakes (although you’re superknitter, so you may not. I spent part of today fixing other people’s mistakes from knitting too late at night!).
    And sorry about the goof in my e-mail to you — you’d think the librarian in me would REMEMBER the correct title of your most recent book or at least look it up before citing it to the author. DOH. I’m pouring another drink to forget about it.
    BTW, holding the Boxing Day fest at your place is a great way to carry on the tradition and honor Aunt Helen and Uncle Don (? is that right?)’s memory and fun. hugs from snowy Kansas City~

  33. Gorgeous sweater — and that is the cutest little guy I have ever laid eyes on!
    And as much as I don’t like to argue with the Yarn Harlot, my family’s Christmas is always over the top and fantastic. (Sorry!)

  34. My family woke up on Christmas morning lacking heat, lights, water, and several other items; the utilities crew didn’t get the main power line back until almost 4 pm. But we had options. We could go somewhere else: we could decide to crash with other people who had all those amenities, we could go to a hotel, we could go to a shelter, we could even hang out at a store that might be open. By the end of the day we had all the amenities, and we had also collected two lost bags and one wayward traveler. For those who had no choice, life is a great deal poorer. Recognition that we live in a rich nation that offers the benefits of heat, light, clean water, and safety was a part of our Christmas, and we will probably laugh over this holiday for years to come. But I am glad that you have asked us to examine our wealth against the poverty elsewhere.
    I am a slow knitter. I may be the slowest knitter on the planet. But five relatives lined up on the couch on Christmas Day, displaying three scarves, one pair of socks, and one tote bag that I had produced, and I was reasonably proud. (Two scarves and a baby hat were opened elsewhere).
    Thank you, Stephanie, for being you. Thank you for the laughs you’ve given me, for the recognition of wealth that you have explored, for helping me realize how much I have, and showing me how wonderful the community of knitting is.
    And I promise that the next time you write that you intend to set out on a five kilometer walk, I will remind you how long a walk that is.

  35. I really like the sweater, particularly the 3×1 rib sleeves. I have a nephew close to Hank’s age who likes his Christmas sweaters, but zippers scare me…however a pullover version wouldn’t be quite as scary to make.

  36. Hank must be the cutest kid on the planet! And the sweater’s pretty good too.
    Thank you for another year of sharing and inspiring writing and woo hoo, my gifts this year – 1 SPM page a day calendar and 1 SPM book – a great Christmas for me!!

  37. I love that you take the time to remember those of us who are addicted to reading your blog! I’m an avid knitter and its lovely to read your blog.

  38. Hank is beyond adorable; the best reason for cloning I have seen so far.
    WEBS is having its year end sale for the twelve days of Christmas….in case you might be thinking road trip? I went today, and it was crazy. I was told, it was worse, yesterday. I can’t imagine. Yes, I can. Don’t worry; I bought enough for the both of us….

  39. I’m a medical researcher, I’ve only been knitting for two and a bit years, and I’ve been reading your blog for two of those. This year your reminder of how most of us in the developed world are in the top 10% of the wealthy of the world, inspired me to finally DO a collection at work for a local charity that “adopts” needy families – we put together $400 of gifts, toiletries, and household good for a single mom and her two sons. It’s not Doctors Without Borders, but you inspired me to do more than think about it.
    This year, when I get cash for donating blood to an HIV lab I used to work at, I am not going to go out for dinner with my husband on the windfall, I’m going to donate it to MSF, and email you. It’ll be $100-200 US over the course of the year.

  40. Dance, ballerina, dance! In the streets, in the ballroom, on the ceiling. Dance a slow one for me, would you?

  41. Stephanie:
    The sweater is just the greatest and Hank looks pleased. It really fits perfectly. Nice going girl!

  42. Wonderful sweater!!! Cute young man!!! I have been knitting top-down sweaters from a pattern I found on Knitting on the net. It is fun and goes really well. But, from your inspiration I would like to attempt to do the sleeves like yours—————–once I figure it out!!!????

  43. I loved how you just tossed this comment out, like it was no big deal:
    “All the patterns in the book are bottom-up, by the way. I reversed it.”
    That is no small thing to be able to do. You are, as Greg Kinnear said, “the Michael Jordan of knitting.” You rock.

  44. Echoing the many commenters before me, I do love the pictures of Hank in his sweater. It’s a classic, but the stripes make it very cool. (As if anyone under the age of 25 cares what a Mom/fogey like me thinks!) I think that this year is a year for new traditions. My biggest one went by the wayside this year too, and I feel as though I’m in freefall. Maybe next year I’ll have the fortitude to come up with a new one. I love that you’re hosting the Boxing Day party now. (Hope that you love it, too, ’cause it really doesn’t matter what I think!) Have a wonderful dancing day. Dance some for The Blog, too.

  45. But, wait!?? I thought that the dancing takes place on the 9th day, you know, 9 ladies dancing…on the other hand, what a wonderful way to spend Christmastide, or Solstice, or Saturnalia, or whatever…attitude and gratitude are the essentials, and don’t we have reason for both this year!
    Wonderful sweater and even more wonderful beginning of the new tradition of Boxing Day at Aunt Steph’s. Joy to the World yet one more year.

  46. People in your primary life come first. We always enjoy/are inspired by/are amazed at your posts, but we are secondary to your real life and we know it. Happy, Happy Christmas. Isn’t the 4th day of Christmas something about calling birds?

  47. What Donna at 5:18 said. I think I was about 8 when my mom knit me a sweater with a zipper up the front that she’d let me help pick out the yarn and design for, and I watched stitch after stitch come to be in great excitement. I kept wearing that thing till the sleeves barely came to my elbows and Mom finally hid it in a desperation of embarrassment at being seen with a kid with such ill-fitting clothes.
    Hank’s face exactly captures how I felt when my mom finally finished my sweater. He’s a joy.

  48. Yeah, that crown sets off the sweater beautifully! Well done for putting a a sweater on your list and defying the fates to complete it!

  49. Thank you for making me smile! I’ve had a rough time the last couple weeks with my dad in the hospital and I needed the smile. Thank you again. 🙂

  50. Hank’s sweater is great (I am continually amazed at how much knitting you manage to crank out), and looks *even better* on him! Congrats on getting (most of) your holiday knitting done on time. 🙂

  51. I love the sweater! Hank looks so handsome wearing it, too. It makes my own raglan cardi recent FO disaster even more painful. 🙁

  52. I was thinking about you and your aunt and uncles boxing day tradition. I’m happy to hear that you are hosting the boxing day since you always wrote so fondly of the day. Take care.

  53. Hank looks great. I shall miss the post about Auntie Helen — and I will miss her, too, though I never knew her. But I always look forward to the posts about the dancing. Lots of love to you and yours, Stephanie.

  54. I just wanted to tell you I haven’t been reading your blog for very long, and now go back and read your archives on the days you don’t post (can’t get enough – glad you’ve archived!!!). Thanks for the humor and the knitting – it’s my daily dose of “feel-goodness” and it makes my day. THANKS and happy holidays.

  55. I just got a plain green crown in my cracker. Next year I want a gold one – and a sweater very like that, except my plan was to do the ribbing on the sides of the body instead of the sleeves seeing as I’m not a 9YO boy.
    Do you compose your blog posts in your word processor? If so, do you have your computer set to save a copy of the document every couple of minutes so you lose no more work than that? I haven’t figured out how to do the former for my blog, yet, but it would make life more pleasant in these rare instances since I’m used to the computer doing the saving for me and never remember to when I compose in the blog form. Plus I could work on posts even when I couldn’t connect. Well, now I’ve convinced myself. Thanks.

  56. I post from time to time, but always read. Just wanted to let you know that we were told on Christmas Day that we are to be grandparents for the first time! I am already knitting!!!

  57. Dear Stephanie, have a happy 2009 and thanks for making me laugh so many times, for sharing your ups and downs like we are real friends and for so much knittingtales. I wonder, are you really the only one who did not know before aunt Helen passed away your house would be the next family-gatheringplace after aunt Helens? Both you and Joe seem to be reliable to continue the familytradition. Just listen carefull to the words of the song “The Familytree”, it is on Google. Each family needs their own aunt Helen or aunt Steph and maybe you really did not know, but I think many of your readers did, you were groing into that role over the last years and I think aunt Helen knew this too and it gave her peace of mind knowing you would be there. Nevertheless, it is very painful to realise that you are going from being the next generation to being the first generation, how lucky we are if that goes step by step. Keep going, Stephanie, we know you can! Margreet.

  58. On the comment at 4.21 above. Dear Stephanie (and readers) I checked and saw there is another song by the same title. The one I mean is “Scuba’s song”The Family Tree by John “Scuba” Linneman, about the familytree loosing a leaf but going on. Margreet.

  59. I keep entering, because I now see I wrote listen where I ment read, here in the Netherlands we have a very beautifully translated Familytree with the most beautiful music, I can not find a version in English with the same music, although I have heard the English one on radio quite often. I only can find on Google one with different heavy metal like music, I certainly did not mean that version, just the soft and friendly one, anyway, the words have great meaning to me. Margriet.

  60. Lovely how traditions continue & change through the years, as my boys get older I see past generations in everything about them from the shape of their hands to the way they sit.

  61. I was wondering of that sweater was for Hank. He looks so handsome in it! I love that sweater. You’ve inspired me to consider knitting for my nephews again.
    Kudos on accomplishing, mostly, your Christmas knitting goals.

  62. Oh man, anybody (meaning me, for example) could knit up a cute sweater like that. But to my mind, it takes great skill bordering on genius to have it come out fitting like a glove. Kudos, Steph for being a cool aunt, for taking up the burden of making Christmas happen for other people. The Boxing Day event at your place means that you are now a real true grown-up. Someone has to be. It’s always a shock when it’s one’s self, but there it is.

  63. I’m so glad you had a wonderful Christmas. Hanks sweater looks really good on him! I couldn’t imagine you not hosting Boxing Day, this is where your tribe belongs!

  64. The sweater is beautiful, but more importantly, Hank sure is a cutie pie, and he looks like a ton of fun! Thanks for sharing his shazam! photo with us!!!! Dude has personality oozing out of him.

  65. Steph, I’m exhausted just reading about your Christmas adventures. Hanks sweater is super-rific.

  66. I want to help raise some $$ for KWB, so I am going to do a little destashing on Ravelry and donate the proceeds. With any luck, that will add a few bucks to the coffers! (Now I just have to go stash diving and get the listings together!)

  67. Hank is the cutest! That sweater is a nice snug fit but with the ribbing in the sleeves I am sure there’s still plenty of room there.
    You’re still knitting? I mean of course you are but for Christmas gifts still? Take a break, woman! You sure as hell deserve it.

  68. Love the crown on Hank (and the sweater OF COURSE). Christmas crackers are so much fun. Hey, next year you could make your own crackers and fill each with a hand knit crown….. 😉

  69. The sweater is perfect; and Hank is some cute kid. Gone are the days when he would hand you a skein of aqua yarn and ask “if this knittening could be a pink hat.”
    Have a wonderful rest-of-the-holidays!

  70. I’m so glad that you opted to start a new tradition of hosting the family party on Boxing Day. It’s like a changing of the guard, from Aunt Helen, who knit, to Aunt Stephanie, who also knits. That’s what families are all about, they have to change and grow, and new traditions do replace old ones. Enjoy the rest of the 12 days of Christmas – lots more time for knitting!

  71. By the way, with the sweater done top-down, since little kids grow up a whole lot more than they grow out, does that mean you’re planning to undo the cast off later and add a bit more to the bottom so he can keep wearing it?

  72. Great sweater! I know I probably should not be as impressed with I am at how you knit a sweater to fit an eight-year-old boy and it ACTUALLY FIT an eight-year-old boy. You are a very experienced knitter, afterall, with many sweaters under your belt.
    I am supreemly impressed none the less.

  73. 1) I LOVE HANK! He is so cute and I love all the stories about him! I also love the sweater. I just got my first hanks of Lorna’s Laces Worsted, and am about to cast on the Two-Row scarf with it. Apparently someone caused a run on all the Silk Garden and mine is on backorder, but nevermind…
    2)Congratulations on “Boxing Day at Auntie Steph and Uncle Joe’s.” I’m sure it was bittersweet, but will be a lovely new tradition.
    3) Only a few more days until my Never Not Knitting calender emerges from it’s box! I am looking forward to reading it every day, and am hoping for the strength not to read ahead.

  74. Hank is so full of joy – he sparkles like you do. The sweater is a classic too. I’m glad Boxing Day has bloomed at your home – good for all of you. Dance madly and enjoy!

  75. There’s an interesting article in Science Daily about charitable behavior — — that made me think of knitters giving disproportionately to MSF. They say women are more generous than men, and knitters are disproportionately women, but the second factor is “moral identity” which “does not measure how moral a person actually is, but rather how important it is to that person to be caring, kind, fair, honest, etc.”
    So…does knitting attract people with a higher moral identity, or does knitting raise people’s moral identity?

  76. where are you going to get your
    drummers and lords a leaping
    tis been quite a year and
    the new years glass is empty
    hopeing we fill the glass
    this time with pearls and roses
    merry times to all

  77. I enjoyed my 13 year old nephew’s response to the socks I knitted him for xmas – he and I picked out yarn and designed some cool fingerless gloves to go with. This kind of exuberance is most inspiring!

  78. The sweater looks great! And what a handsome guy, he looks like he’ll be a real charmer. (Unless, of course he already is!?)

  79. I have also become a fan of Hank. He rocks that sweater! And you rock, too.
    I’ve been checking out You Tube for speed knitting, (not to get in Guiness, just to be able to complete a few things on my knit list in this lifetime). Along with Ms. Tegels, there you are with your “Irish Cottage Knitting” (so that’s the secret!) Which led me to Greg Kinnear on the Conan O’Brian Show. Wow! HE KNOWS WHO YOU ARE! You coined a new word, which made it into the NYT, and he tells the whole story on Conan. He thought it was classy that you didn’t shove a camera in his face. He called you the “Michael Jordan” of knitting!
    You’ve got some amazing mojo. Next we need to get you on Conan, with Leno and Letterman to follow. Next thing you know, we’ll all be kinnearing you!

  80. First, technology can really be a b*tch.
    Second, that sweater looks absolutely wonderful on Hank! (I just bought that book you mentioned before Christmas – rented it from the library and decided it was a must have).
    Quick question, any special bind off techniques hiding up your sleeves? I’m having a heck of a time with my toe-up sock bind-off….
    Thirdly, I got your book (Free Range Knitter) and your calendar for Christmas, so excited! Isn’t it wonderful when people listen to what you tell them you want for Christmas (now if only they got me that ball winder…..)

  81. Great sweater and it looks even greater on Hank! But, …. he’s still a growing boy, isn’t he? He’ll need a bigger one next year.. more knitting! (-:
    I ‘m pretty sure I donated to MSF in the last year without telling you. I’ll go check the checkbook. I’m sure there’s a little more in there too for another contribution. Thanks for setting the new goal. We can do it!

  82. My son and I were delighted by the joy in Hank’s face – some day my teenager will be willing to wear hand-knits again.
    A friend always knit kids’ sweaters top-down, and always bought an extra skein of yarn or two. When the kids inevitably grew longer, she could unbind the cuffs and hem, and add a couple of inches!
    On the other hand, it’s as much fun to pass it down and knit another from scratch –
    lovely post, despite the text-eating event. The pictures with Hank’s smile brought us such joy.

  83. That sweater is just the best! And goes so well with his little Christmas-cracker crown! Hank, as usual, is the cutest kid ever.

  84. Great sweater — and great Hank photo! But he’ll need a lighter one for spring, and a new one for next winter — hmm, can’t wait to see what you come up with for him. And that book is one of my favorites now, it makes it so easy to design your own sweaters . . .
    It’s great that your family came to you to continue the holiday celebration, shows how important family, and you, are to them!

  85. Don’t you just love the way 3×1 ribbing turns into 1×1 ribbing so nicely? Or vice versa if you’re doing a cuff down sock?
    Also gotta love an appreciative audience for knit product. Hank has a few more sweaters in his future, I’m sure!

  86. Thanks for the smiles this year. My curmudgeon brother sent charity checks and a $50 one is almost on its way to DWB as soon as I find a stamp and a mailbox.
    I got a hardback copy of Free Range Knitter for Christmas and I am enjoying it. Thanks for that too. I just ordered the book you mentioned for Hank’s sweater. It looks like just what I need to do some sweaters this year.
    Merry Christmas.

  87. Hi! Love the blog! Got a problem: I discovered, just today, that I have been knitting the wrong way for 30 years. I am a twisted stitch knitter. I don’t mean I like to throw in twisted stitches here and there because I think they are a nice accent. I mean every single stitch I have ever knit on every project is a twisted stitch. (Ironically the only stitches I have that are not twisted are the ones where patterns have called for “twisted” stitches. How twisted is THAT?) I have searched high and low for examples of other works made entirely of twisted stitches, and have come up empty-handed. This tells me it isn’t a new movement, or something interesting, it’s just wrong.
    So now what? Do I relearn how to knit? Can I? How many hundreds of thousands of stitches have I knit in the last thirty years? How long would it take to unlearn my old habits? Would knitting be fun for me anymore? My question to you is this: What are the downfalls of twisted stitches? (Perhaps I’ll learn the downfalls are small, and I can blissfully continue my twisted knitting. Perhaps I’ll learn that all of my projects will one day spontaneously combust or unravel. In case of the latter, I will have to relearn to knit the right way as I don’t want my loved ones to suffer for my sorry knitting.) Any experience with this?

  88. When you have a moment from all the holiday hoopla, add another $20 to the MSF total. 😉
    The sweater looks grand! I wish you an extra few hours for the remaining gifts!
    Happy New Year!

  89. Hank needs his own blog! Every time you write about him or post pictures he gives me a little giggle.
    Beautiful sweater, it looks perfect!

  90. Hank looks great in his sweater. I hope he doesn’t grow out of it too quickly.
    Happy and healthy 2009:-)

  91. Wow… too bad that other post was eaten… sounds like it rocked! (Hank’s sweater is, indeed, really cool–I can see how it might be appreciated, in spite of the fact that it neither plugs in nor needs batteries:-)

  92. I thought the sweater was nice enough, but I’m not sure I totally “got” it–it was just a nice enough sweater. Then I saw the photo of Hank IN it, and I “got” it. It is perfect on him and just took on a whole new look. Wise auntie. Hank will be a knitwear model, just you wait.

  93. Hank is so cute. Did Santa bring him the iPod he wanted? Santa brought me one! It’s great for knitting the plain part on socks to!

  94. So glad to hear you have done so well on your knitting schedule this year. I’m jealous that you are able to get so much done. I guess I’ll have to start that ‘knitting in lines’ thing!

  95. tegan at 5:10 – I thought I was the only one with that problem! I only discovered it when I picked up a pattern that said to “knit through the back loops”. A few minutes of YouTube and I came to the horrible realization that I’ve been doing it ‘all wrong’ for years! (I blame being left handed!)
    I’ve been slowly reteaching myself to knit ‘properly’, and I must admit that my knitting does look less ‘rustic’ now. But I also don’t have 30 years of knitting experience behind me! None of my ‘backwards’ knit stuff has self destructed, or harmed the users of the items, so I say do whatever works for you!

  96. May your Holidays be funfilled and Blessed.
    I have a problems/question that maybe you or your readers might have the answer for. What to I say to people who upon receiving one of my handknit, crocheted or felted presents loudly exclaims, “Oh but it’s too pretty to use. I’ll just put it away.” I know these people like handmade things and appreiciate them but how can I get them to “use” them. Thanks for any help you can give me for this problem.

  97. Birdmommy: Thank you for reassuring me. After analyzing several of my past projects, I have decided to continue my twisted knitting. It doesn’t seem to have done any harm; it could even be my trademark! Oddly enough, I don’t knit through the back of the stitch to twist it. I knit through the front, and wind the yarn the wrong way around the needle. What’s even funnier is my purl stitches are twisted too. I have no idea how I ended up knitting that way. My teacher’s projects all have “regular” stitches. Perhaps I’ll write a book about it, and start a new fad! ; )

  98. I take back a previous comment about making the sweater into a vest — Hank’s “Shazam” wouldn’t have been nearly as snazzy!

  99. Hank in his sweater and Christmas cracker crown is priceless. My family opens crackers every Christmas and we wear our crowns until bedtime.

  100. Thank you for coining the term “shazam!” to describe Hank’s (adorable) dance move. I have often seen such a move in dance clubs, but didn’t quite now how to describe it. (Given, the hand knits in the dance club scenario are mesh and glittery, but I digress.)

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