As Fate Would Have It

In the last few days and hours it has become obvious that our family, both nuclear and extended,  will not be having our normal Christmas – and haven’t been having a very normal time for the last little while.  It has been extraordinarily difficult to blog away happily, acting as though this year is like any other, and so I’ve decided to stop pretending and worrying and devote my energies where they feel more right. 

The reasons for our hard time are entirely private.  It is not that it is something so awful I can’t tell, or so hurtful I can’t say, or even too shameful to speak of.   It is none of those things, and doesn’t even start to be in that category, and I know that I when I say "something has happened and I won’t be blogging about it" it makes everyone wonder what hideous monstrosity must be going down over here, and it just isn’t like that.   It is simply that the blog isn’t for everything- and that even if it’s something I don’t mind telling, it doesn’t always matter.   That behind all of these stories and entries there are real people, and not every story belongs to me.  The story of the last little while in this family belongs to someone else, and they will maybe tell it someday, in their own way, and in their own time, and if it serves them,  but for now their story is their own entirely, and we are all working to have it unfold as destiny means for it to happen.

This family is lucky.   We all have each other. We are all loved,  we are all safe.  We all have shelter, and none of us are hungry. This is what we will be thinking about right now, and as we stumble through the holidays in whatever fashion is right for this year, and I’ll blog as seems right as we go.  We’re going to hunker down and love each other, and if we start to feel sorry that this year isn’t the way we would have it if we were in charge, I’m going to read this, and I’m going to remember that no matter how bad things seem, they could be worse.

Best to you all, back when I can be.  Love what you’ve got. It’s all you’re really getting this year.

812 thoughts on “As Fate Would Have It

  1. Hey, Steph — Bless you and yours. A Merry Christmas and Peace filled Happy New Year to you all.

  2. Christmas is a time for family and friends and remembering that it’s the people in your life that are the most important.
    Have a safe, healthy Christmas. And good knitting in the New Year!
    Olympic challenge this year?

  3. Good luck and love to you and your family. You’re right, what matters most is what you have in each other, not what is and isn’t done during the holidaze (as they feel to be for me this year!). Thank you for a wonderful year of posts, and for sharing as much as you do with the blogosphere, and hope by the next time you post, your felting injury will be a thing of the past.

  4. Wishing the best to you and your family. I’m sure you will all come through this with grace and dignity – as you always lead your lives.

  5. Good Tidings to you and your family. I too wish things were better this year, but wishing does not always make it so. Be as joyful as you can this Holiday Season! And it will be better again sometime.

  6. Steph,
    Good luck and best wishes to you and yours! As I come home from my baby’s 6 mo wellness visit, I can wholeheartedly agree with you – it IS all about the family and being together. The rest is just trimming on the tree!

  7. Peace and love to you and your family. I lost one of my closest friends a couple of months ago to endometrial cancer, and I’m struggling with the Christmas hoopla as well. Hug your family and hold them close.

  8. All the best of the Season to you and yours and looking forward to following another year of Harlot fun and adventure. Merry Christmas!

  9. Love is all I need and I have it. Merry Christmas to you and yours. There is much going on in many households this year and it helps to remember that we already have what we really need. Thank you.

  10. I’m off to donate to Doctors/Knitters Without Borders in Steph’s name.
    Anybody else want to join me?

  11. Peace and love to your family. It is the time to be with your loved ones. Blogs aren’t for everything and I wish only the best.
    bright blessings,

  12. it is good to remember when the tension is too tight, take a deep breath and let go a little. Blessings to you and may calm return.

  13. Stephanie, I’ll be thinking of you. You must be a great comfort to your friends and family. Hope to see you again sometime.

  14. Stephanie, I’ll be thinking of you. You must be a great comfort to your friends and family. Hope to see you again sometime.

  15. Much love to you and yours, Stephanie, now and always. I’m thinking of you and your family. *hugs*

  16. We’re going through Unbloggable Things too. Some things are meant to be blog fodder, others not. It’s as simple as that, and I wish more people knew the difference.
    Hope you and yours have a lovely Christmas. I’m going to Singapore!!!!

  17. I wish peace for your family this coming year. The stuff you have shared has had lots of upheaval, so I figure you can all use it, no matter what the current situation is. Here is to peace, health, happiness and prosperity in the new year!

  18. Whatever it is, just keep loving each other, and it will eventually all turn out for the best, I hope.
    Good luck and Merry Christmas!

  19. Take care of yourself and your family, and whatever is happening, I hope things get better for you.

  20. Someone above said “love is all I need, and I have it.” Talk about pithy! I feel lucky to have it too, and it sounds like your family has plenty of love as well. Enjoy each other, Merry Christmas. And know that we understand.

  21. Whatever the situation, may the blessings you need most come to you and all those affected.

  22. Your writings have gotten me through the darkest time in my life and I just wish there was a way that I could help you and yours.
    That said, I give you this:
    Hemmingway said, “The world breaks everyone, and afterwards, some are stronger in the broken places.” I know I am. I hope you and your loved ones will be as well.

  23. Best wishes to all of you and good thoughts for whatever the thing is that needs the support. This member of your family is lucky to have people like you around to provide support when needed.

  24. Dear Stephanie,
    You and your family are entitled to have your privacy. What you have shared with us has been more than what some folks would have shared. You’ve had a tumultuous year with all of your projects and deserve some peace and quiet.
    Here’s wishing you a kind, peaceful holiday. You have an army of supporters who will send you many hugs and kindness your way. I hope your troubles work themselves out for the best.
    (((Hugs))) from the Rose City.

  25. I’ve always admired your sense of balance and priorities. The holidays are first and foremost about family and love. Presbytera, absolutely.
    Blessings of the season to you and yours –

  26. We have come to know so much about your family through your blog. You are always so open about your life. I can appreciate your need to keep certain thing private and you should. I have found in my life that so much of the stress I feel at this time of the year is the pretence from my family that we are something that we are not. My mother is always try to create the impression that we are a perfect loving family with no discords. The truth is that we are a normal dysfunctional family. Accepting the situation for what it is and enjoying it anyway is the road to mental and physical health. Go for it.

  27. Blessings to you as you do this hunkering down. And kudos to you for keeping family things where they belong. Not too many folks do that these days!

  28. I will keep you and your wonderful family in my prayers. Whatever is wrong (and it is totally your business)you have the right attitude for handling it. Like many families, ours has survived some really tough things, too. This, too, shall pass and your strength and the love of your family will see you through. The very best of everything to all of you.

  29. have yourself a private little christmas; come back to us when you can, but loved ones come first.
    may 2010 be better for ALL of us!

  30. Good luck with whatever it is. I have every faith that you will all weather whatever is facing you. I for one will miss the blogging, but whatever, it’s not about me. All the love in the world to you and yours.

  31. Privacy is important. No one should live in a goldfish bowl.
    My very best to you and yours (blood family & others).
    Take your time…we’ll be out here. Merry Christmas!!

  32. Sometimes the low-key holidays are the best to get us through whatever needs getting through. I wish you and your family the best and warmest wishes for a safe and peaceful holiday season.

  33. I wish you and your family strength and peace. We are not having a normal Christmas this year in any way, shape or form. We lost our beautiful 28 year old daughter to ovarian cancer just 6 weeks ago and are still reeling with pain and grief. But we have wonderful friends who are helping us through.
    Take care and hold your family close.

  34. Here is wishing you and yours all the strength and peace that family can bring in the new year, including the strength of your online family.

  35. We understand. You know we do. And we are here if there is anything we can do that is of help to you and yours.
    Sending warm fuzzy thoughts to you for Christmas.

  36. Praying for you and your family to have strength and courage to face whatever is going on. Hope your holiday is as merry can be in difficult times!

  37. Dearest Stephanie,
    Much love and blessings to you and each member of your family, both close-in and extended. We have so much to be grateful for in a world that has so much sorrow in so many places and yet we still need to take time to work through our own traumas even if they pale in comparison.
    Thank you so much for your contribution to the world of knitting and beyond. You give so much and at this time, it is so apropriate for you to take time and spend it where it is most needed.
    This is a very special time of year around the globe with so many different holidays being celebrated. Here in Vancouver BC, I am so delighted and heartened to see a huge Christmas tree standing no more than 20 feet away from an even huger (is that a word? – well bigger) Menorah on the grounds of the Vancouver Art Gallery. It is important that we celebrate, pray and embrace peace no matter what our beliefs. It is only through this that we can heal.
    I will be making a donation to Knitter’s Without Borders on your behalf.
    Good Tidings and Peace for the New Year – 2010.
    xxoo Crystal Belle

  38. I too am going through some problems that have been difficult to talk about with the most trusted people around me, much less blog about. It’s sad and comforting at the same time to know that I’m not alone. While I would never wish illness, pain, or suffering of any kind on other people, it encourages me to see others who are able to say “things are not going the way that they should be, but I’m going to push through it and get through this difficult period.”
    Best wishes to everyone for a safe, healthy, and bright Christmas and New Year.

  39. It seems as though this season has been unbelievably tough (and unfair, although that’s sort of subjective)for so many people I care about and/or respect. Whatever it is, may you and yours see the best possible outcome. Take what time you need and remember that we are always here to listen to a generic vent if you need that, too.
    *hugs and bunny snuggles* to all who need or just plain want them.

  40. Love and blessings to you all. We’re hunkering down here as well, and grateful for family. And wool!

  41. Of course your family comes first and no matter the storm you will weather it and come out stronger at the end. Know that we are thinking of you and your family. Don’t worry about us, take care of you.

  42. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, Stephanie, to you and your family. Know that you are not alone. As human beings we all experience the same issues of life or what-not.
    I look forward to more of your creative writing and ideas in 2010!

  43. We’ll miss you and welcome you when you’re back. Meanwhile, all best wishes to you and your family!

  44. Although we are strangers, I do consider you a member of my community. A neighbor of sorts. And when my community needs strength, I am grateful to the people who hunker down and do the hard work that often needs to be done. They inspire me.
    So as “neighbors”, I take inspiration from you and will recommit to more actively loving the people who are important to me and remembering that, no matter how rotten things are, I am a lucky to be safe and warm. I hope that a little touch of the white light that I will be shining into the world reaches you and your family.

  45. I read here regularly and hardly ever comment. But today I want to say: take care of yourself and your family. Take care of your privacy; it is important to protect loved ones, even if it is not a “horrible” secret you are keeping.
    Take your energy to take care of yourself and through the strong self of your other loved ones.
    Your blog, the internet, your readers will wait. We all love you, no matter what. We love you for protecting yours.
    Make this Christmas memorable in all the small ways you still can.
    God bless.

  46. You have seen me through some sad times with your wit and humour. Take care of you and yours and do what you can, when you can.

  47. Go, take care of yourself and your loved ones. We’ll all be here when you come back. Wishing you a peaceful Christmas, full of love and sparkly things. 🙂

  48. Take care of your family Steph. The Interwebs will be here when you need us.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all your family.

  49. Best wishes to you and your family for a Merry Christmas, and may things look brighter in 2010!

  50. I hope that answers, good answers can be found. There have been bad times for many of us, but families, families such as yours and mine, can hunker down and weather the storm. Please have as good a holiday as is possible, and write when you can.

  51. The world will get by without Frequent Funny Yarn Harlot Updates. I’ll think of you and your family over the holidays.
    Take care.

  52. I am sorry for whatever is laying heavy on your hearts this year. When you are ready to tell us about your projects, I’d love to see more weaving. It seems I can’t quit thinking about a loom of my own. Please share when you can. We all like to see what you have been up to.

  53. I’ve never commented before although I check your blog daily and have had many laughs (and a few tears) over the years. I heard a good phrase today that I think applies in this situation….”be gentle with yourself”. All the best to you and yours.

  54. Best wishes to you and yours for this holiday season and the coming new year! We are lucky to get any part of you through your blog, and I am so thankful for your humor and insight, especially on days when I’m frazzled or at wit’s end with my young children. Sometimes I ask myself “What would the Harlot do?” and I feel better. Thanks for sharing what you do and for being a role model mom and knitter, just by being you. 🙂

  55. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Steph. This year is sucking hard, and I’ve put the universe on notice that next year WILL be better.

  56. amen. well said. privacy is earned and deserved. Be well, and Happy Christmas and 2010. I enjoy your words and perspective and look forward to hearing more in the future.

  57. Once again, you take the high road in terms of dignity and decency. No wonder everyone loves you and feels better when you’re around.

  58. Sending peaceful thoughts and positive energy to you and your family, Stephanie. My favorite Christmas song is “All I want for Christmas is You” because all that any of us needs is each other. We appreciate the happiness you bring to our lives.

  59. *hugs*
    Stephanie! Thank you for the blog, it makes my day whenever you post! Take care of your family. If we have to go on a Yarn-Harlot diet for a bit I’m sure we will survive!
    One of your knitting minions,
    P.S. I read your “Confessions of a Yarn Harlot” before I learned to knit… I thought all knitters were as hilarious as you… you inspired me to knit! (ladyalexandria on Ravelry)

  60. You know you have understanding and support from all of us who read what you write – sometimes, people do forget that people they read online have ‘real lives’ that that want to keep private, and expect you to share it all. Vibes and strength and whatever else it takes for you and your family to have a merry and happy holiday and a successful and healthy and joy-filled new year.

  61. Take a deep breath and love each other. It is the only thing that ever has and ever will matter.

  62. I’ve learned myself that not everything is a fit topic for a blog. Knowing that you know that as well makes your blog even more meaningful for me.
    I’m almost finished with “The Secret Life of a Knitter”. Thank you for making me laugh out loud! I will give it to my daughter, another obsessed knitter, when I have finished it – maybe tomorrow, or the next day.

  63. Dear Stephanie in Toronto,
    Please add this (((HUG))) to all the others. Your words have lifted my heart many times. Wish I could do the same for you. May all be well.

  64. My best to you and yours, Stephanie. I hope things right themselves (or whatever they need to do) in the next little while. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  65. Sending good vibes to you and your family (in the broadest sense of the word). I’d already planned to MSF again, after you got me started last year. Best wishes for the return of the Light.

  66. So many things I would think okay to share with the internet friends I’ve made and have become close to aren’t suitable for anonymous internet eyes. Doesn’t mean I don’t value those friends’ opinions, but it’s not for everyone to see nor should it be, especially if my stories overlap w/ those of other people. So I get where you are.
    I wish you and yours a happy 2010 and hope that for all of us, things don’t seem to bite us so hard. There are good things to focus on, though (finding your blog was one of mine) and the bad can just fall away. Internet hug to you.

  67. Stephanie: As a new knitter (less than 1 year) you have made me feel that I can do this. I send you my very best wishes for your family. All families have their times. I send my prayers that yours comes through whatever the issue is stronger, wiser and closer than ever before. Hold tight and know that we are all praying for you and yours.

  68. Do what needs to be done Stephanie! Best Wishes to you and Joe…you can only try your best and work through what life throws at you sometimes. I’ll try to send some good vibes up north for you. I was going to send you a inspirational quote from book written by the Dalai Lama, ..but hmm all sufferings and phenomena in our lives ‘have the same taste in the emptiness of inherent existence’…was the best I could come up with…oh well.

  69. Best of everything to you and your family, Steph. Even though I am just a big fan of yours, I consider you a neighbor/friend as well. Totally understand what you are saying, and I wish you every bit of happiness I can. Love, Hugs, Peace.

  70. Best wishes for the holiday Stephanie and family. At this time of year, I love to think back on your posts that paid such loving tribute to Aunt Helen and Uncle Don (i do apologize if i have remembered their names incorrectly). it makes me think of similar people in my life, past or present that made their own impression on me. hoping you and yours continue to make memories to treasure.

  71. Your blog has been a bright spot in my life in 2009 (and for many preceding years) — thank you! I am sorry for whatever you and your family are facing right now, but pray that you will find strength and even moments of unexpected joy. The blogiverse looks forward to your return — in your time and on your terms!

  72. You are right, some things are private just because. My Christmas wish for you, in thanks for the smiles and laughter and occasional tears you have provided this past year, is that all that is going on in the lives of you and yours works itself out in the way it is supposed to.
    It’s been a rough year for many, myself included. My hope is that 2010 is an easier time for us all

  73. Warm thoughts coming your way. Let us know if there is anything we can do to ease your burden.

  74. Holiday celebrations do not have to follow tradition. Not everyone eats turkey and stuffing. Do what feels right for you this year, and what suits your family’s needs at this time, whatever those needs might be. And we will be here waiting to hear from you whenever you are ready to come back. May you and your family find peace, happiness and blessing during this season.

  75. Wow, sorry to hear that your family is dealing with something difficult. I remember you alluding to something a while back, but I assumed it was resolved. I’m sorry to hear that it hasn’t been. I hope you and your family find peace in the holiday and with the start of the new year.

  76. Blessings of all kinds upon you. Thank you for all your wisdom and good sense, and know that you are very much loved.

  77. I hope there is warmth and joy and love for you and all your family in the new year. I’m going to go fondle some yarn on your behalf.

  78. a lot of times the things that go on are not “ours” to write about.
    when you are as well known as you are, you cant even take refuge in “S is in rehab again” or “G is struggling at school” because it would not be enough…..
    sadly, saying “something is wrong but i cant say what” invites speculation as well.. as you know.
    i offer you my sympathies, a hot cup of tea, and the truth that there are legions of people who are willing to help, to listen, and to offer advice if you ever feel you can talk about it.
    get yourself some alpaca and make a simple thing, it makes most things better

  79. Sorry that you’ve hit a bit of a hard patch around the holidays, and I wish you all the best.

  80. *hugs* to you and yours, this holiday season and always.
    We’ll miss you while you’re gone, and welcome you with open arms when you return.

  81. Merry Christmas to you and your family. People are all that really matter, especially at this time of year. My solace these past 24 hours has been a spotless refrigerator… this may make no sense, but holiday stress had me on the verge of a nervous breakdown. My abnormally clean refrigerator is tangible and one of the few completed tasks I can claim. And although it doesn’t negate the fact that cards weren’t mailed, gifts weren’t completed, it’s enough for now. My advice to you is to find your clean refrigerator, cling to it and spike your eggnog. All shall pass.

  82. And make a donation to Knitters Without Borders after I fondle some yarn for you, because, well, because donating to KWB is a holiday tradition around here.

  83. All good wishes to you & yours for Christmas & the new year.
    Hopefully the power of all the positive thoughts being sent up in your honour will help some.

  84. Steph,
    I offer all of the hugs I can give you, alongside the wish that whatever is happing right now will improve.
    And don’t worry about not posting it. If it is your private life, then it should remain so. We won’t press.
    *more hugs*

  85. I’m so sorry that the Year of Suck (as 2009 is “affectionately” known among my family and friends) has given you a Non Normal Christmas too. Last night I was thinking about it. The pressies are bought and wrapped but only because we cut back drastically this year. The Christmas cards are in the box still, no lights in the yard, I need to go to the grocery store and do laundry and answer emails and take care of more work stuff and the state of the house is straining even my generous idea of “clean”. We’ve had too many health crises and not enough $$$ this year.
    The kid got her braces off and looks even more angelic. The more fragile of our kittens (who used to be a feral) has decided she wants to be a lapcat when she grows up. The three cancerous peeps in our family are in some state of recovery. My garden is actually thriving in our bi-polar winter. We have heat. And clean water. And will have groceries. We have yarn. Gotta have yarn. Best of all, we have each other. Allright, I’ll be selfish. I still have my wonderful hubster.
    So it’s all okay. We’ll get through this and so will you. Take all the time you need. We’ll be here for you when you get back.
    Much love and blessings.

  86. I was trying not to worry about you. If you were a “real” friend I would try to step in and be helpful. But you have those who love you and those you need around you. Thank you for the great Christmas blogging so far to help us with our hairy-scary times. Blessings to you and yours.

  87. Wishing you & yours all the best. Enjoy all you can & breath through all the not-so-nice. Along with your family, keep the yarn close.

  88. I understand completely. There’s an awful lot of stuff in my life that the internet never sees. We can wait, and I appreciate that you let us know you’ll be busy with Life so we don’t worry when you’re not posting. The best thing about love is that it is the ultimate renewable resource. Take all the time you need to cultivate it and we’ll be here when you get back. Merry Christmas.

  89. I promised MSF another donation this year as part of the p/hop group on Ravelry and because of how you first brought it to my attention. So, I’m off to do it now.
    Thanks for all you do for the knitting world (and for the non-knitting world as well!)
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

  90. A big hug to you and yours – sounds like you are going to have the sort of Christmas we had last year – not fun, but you will all get through it xx

  91. How beautifully written! However it happens, I hope your holiday is merry. You have brought us readers much joy throughout the years and for that we are thankful. Happy Holiday season.

  92. Thank you for reminding me how blessed my life really is…I have made a donation to Doctors Without Borders in gratitude for successful surgery. God bless you and your family, Stephanie…

  93. Look at all the support expressed here for your need and desire to
    step away from the blog. Part of the reason I don’t blog or facebook or even comment very much is my desire to leave very few virtual breadcrumbs about me and mine.
    If you wanted to, I bet you could pass the blog on like a baton through all your loyal followers–instead of a single guest blogger, we could each take a day and make those connections that you have started between us.
    Peace to all.

  94. I have been thinking lately of the Knitter’s Without Borders group; wondering if you’d ever be able to get back to it. Your reference to your post a few years ago also brought it back. And whenever I sell something on Ebay, I donate a small percentage of my “winnings” to them as well. I’ve always wanted to offer to help with the tallying or whatever you needed, but since you are in Toronto and I am not, I figured it would never work. However, if there is ever anything I can do to help, I would love to do it. I know it might sound weird coming from someone who you have never met except here, but hey, at least offering is better than not. And I figure you can deal with the wierdness. 🙂
    I keep thinking there’s nothing wrong with hunkering down and doing the holidays with as little stress as possible. As someone who lives away from her family, I think that being with friends and family means the best times will be had. And thanks for sharing your life with us.
    Happy Holidays.

  95. I am so sorry that you and your family have to go through anything. 2009 was a particularly rough year for us…2010 is just around the corner. I wish for you great patience, great strength and great joy…you and yours deserve them all. My family is safe and together this Christmas, and we are all taking one moment at a time. I wish you all the best, Steph, take all the time you need.

  96. I’m sorry you won’t be having a Normal Christmas but proud of you, none-the-less, for always doing the right thing. Merry! Happy!

  97. I know that it isn’t much, but I earnestly hope that Santa will bring you some peace and hope and that those will be enough to get your through this period of time in your lives. I wish you all the best and hope that you have a wonderful Christmas and a joyous new year.

  98. Dearest Steph, and Joe and girls..
    I’m sorry for whatever is causing your hearts to be heavy this year.. but will be carrying you all in mine and praying that the universe gives you the strength to get through it. Merry Christmas to you all… ((hugs))

  99. Making a living by writing online is not the same as writing your whole life online. Or something like that.
    We don’t need to know everything that’s going on in your life. We don’t have the right to expect you to tell us *anything* that’s going on in your life. We may feel we know your family because of what you’ve written, but they’re YOUR family, not ours. Treasure them. Hoard your moments with them. You don’t have to share.
    I personally am too poor to give Christmas presents this year, so I have told my family that I am sending them the gift of my love because I have that in abundance. Even my youngest niece appreciates this (although I’m sure she’d prefer the toy she wished for).
    Since I am fortunate to have so much love, I am sending a big batch of it in your direction. Wrapped in a hug, with a smile for a bow. Merry Christmas.

  100. Everyone above me has said it all so much better than I can, so I just ditto all the warm thoughts above.

  101. Best wishes to you and your family. Thank you for another wonderful year of blogging, and for a fun year with your calendar; I’ve already got the 2010 one waiting to start!

  102. “Presbytera at December 23, 2009 3:23 PM ”
    Yes Ma’am. I’m headed that direction right now, Thanks for the idea.
    And Miz Stephanie, I wish you a blessed and joyful Christmas for all your family wherever they are,

  103. So glad that you have your priorities straight… it’s a blessing, and a lesson that you’ve helped to teach me over the past weeks. Thanks for knowing where and when to draw the line of privacy and for empowering me to do the same. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas surrounded by family and friends and those that otherwise go unnoticed. Love to you and yours.

  104. I hope the holiday season provides the opportunity for your family to come out of your troubles with an even greater appreciation for each other!
    Thanks for reminding me about DWB. I will be donating when I get paid tomorrow. 🙂

  105. Peace to you and your family, nuclear and extended, in this time of year when darkness begins its inexorable turn toward light. Thanks for sharing so much of your and your family’s lives with us–I respect your privacy and am grateful for your sharing.

  106. Hugs and blessings to you and your family. We will still be here when you return, and while you are gone, you will be in our thoughts and prayers.

  107. Stephanie, take this time to do what you need to do. The blog will be fine while you take care of the family, nuclear and extended. And don’t worry about not sharing the gory details, we really don’t need to know in order to send our love and support to you and yours.
    Don’t forget to make Merry for Christmas, and the most happy New Year.

  108. Bright Blessings to you and yours. May the coming year bring you all health, wealth, and abundant happiness. Revel in your love for one another, for it is the true gift of the season.
    Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.

  109. The on-line world for all of the good things it can do, is not the real world that we live in with real people and real feelings. There is a moment when as you so beautifully say, the stories are not mine to tell, and it is time to return to the world of the family and the self. As such an on-line presence is so many lives, this must be difficult for you, but in my heart, I know you have made the right choice. I am always amazed at how you manage so many obligations so well, but now is the time to make the choice that is right for you and your family.
    With thanks for everything that you do and gifts of laughter you share.
    Eve from Carlisle

  110. The on-line world for all of the good things it can do, is not the real world that we live in with real people and real feelings. There is a moment when as you so beautifully say, the stories are not mine to tell, and it is time to return to the world of the family and the self. As such an on-line presence is so many lives, this must be difficult for you, but in my heart, I know you have made the right choice. I am always amazed at how you manage so many obligations so well, but now is the time to make the choice that is right for you and your family.
    With thanks for everything that you do and gifts of laughter you share.
    Eve from Carlisle

  111. My best to you and your family. Every Christmas is different. Some are sad, some are crazy/happy, others are boring. But each one that passes adds to you as a person.
    Growth hurts sometimes. Yes, that is what a horrific family problem actually is. From those painful problems, we are all a little wiser, and (hopefully) more compassionate about others shortcomings. That is why some older people say that they ‘earned’ their gray hair. (I am overweight and at times say that I have earned every pound) However, emotional pain really hurts, so just be kind to your self.
    It sounds like your family is very close, and that has not changed because of your problem. That is very important at this time. You can deal with any problem as long as your family sticks together. You have each other.
    And of course, you know that you have the support of all of your website ‘family’, even though you have not met us face to face.
    Tune down the pressure in your life (even if it means ignoring your blog for a while), and just live your life.
    I hope that 2010 is a happy and pain-free year for you.

  112. I have only been following your blog for a short while but if I am thankfull for anything in this crazy world we live in, I am thankfull for the communication I have with others!

  113. May peace and clarity come to the person in your family and to all affected by it. It sounds shallow or possibly “lets be happy thoughtless” and I do not mean it that way at all but looking back at the three devastating events that have happened in my life I somehow survived and grew in character and strength. My best wishes for all that 2010 can bring to you and your family.

  114. It frequently amazes me as to how much you share with us about your family and private life through your writing, and I mean that in a truly wonderful way. But I agree with you that not all of one’s life is blog fodder, and I also feel that we are not owed any explanations as to why you are or are not posting as regularly as usual. (Personally, I’m at least 2 weeks late in putting something up on my little corner of cyberspace–something about a holiday & insisting on handmade gifts–) It’s your life, it’s your blog: you get to make the rules either way. And sometimes the rest of the world just has to deal with it and you don’t need to apologize for it.
    May the long time sun shine upon you,
    May all love surround you,
    And may the good light within you guide your way on.
    Merry Christmas & Best Wishes to you & your family for the New Year.

  115. So, Harlot, you spend so much of your time writing to entertain us, I suggest that you let us return the favor. I’ve clicked on the blogs of many of your commenters and we’re a very entertaining lot. Here’s my idea: you take the time you need with your family and, when you need a boost, come visit one of our blogs. We’ll still be here when you’re ready for an audience again.
    Hugs to you and yours. I’ll be thinking about you on the long, dark winter days to come, which are actually getting shorter and brighter.

  116. All the best to you and yours, Stephanie, and thanks for the reminder to slow down and spend time with our loved ones this Christmastime.

  117. I understand your comments. No problemo! I like to read Stephen Lewis (from your link) too. When I hit hard times or difficult stuff I remember a few specific circumstances and people who I know have a genuine struggle in their lives much greater than my own. If that doesn’t work I remember the waves of the tsunami. It shuts me right up. There will be no whine with my cheese….:)

  118. Happy holidays to you and yours, Steph, and wishes for a bright new year. We’ll see you when we see you.

  119. “And in the end, the love you get is equal to the love you give” – Paul McCartney
    Hoping that you receive all the love back that you give each and everyday. It should be tons. Best wishes to you and your family for the holidaze season.

  120. Merry Christmas. I hope your New Year becomes brighter and I hope you know how much joy you bring to the rest of us with your writing. Thank you.

  121. Best wishes to you and your family and your community. Your honesty and integrity are some of the many things I love about your books and blog.

  122. Merry Xmas Steph…and remember…on ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.
    The Blog loves you…
    May peace come to you and your family and may you have a better 2010!

  123. Thanks for your blog. We all need humor to help us through the tough times. If you can’t donate any money to DWB, call up a friend who is having a tough time and get them laughing! I took some friends to lunch and we laughed all the way there and back home. I feel like I have had a week’s vacation, and my family will be soooo glad that I am in a better mood right before Christmas. Take care and thanks for a funny 2009!

  124. All the best to you and your family, and to everyone else out there going through a difficult time.

  125. Merry Christmas, Stephanie. My best wishes for a happy and healthy 2010. May you always have those you love around you, to support with your love, and to be there when you’re the one who needs them. Sometimes a well-placed yarn over in a blog gives you the space you need to put your energies where they need to be right now. We’ll pick up with the next knit stitch and marvel at how lovely an open space can be.
    Thanks for all you share, including your humor. You bring much to many.

  126. Madame Harlot, Joyeux Noël to you and your loved ones!! And don’t worry about blogging….we’ll be here when you decide to come back to us!

  127. Hunker down and love each other.
    The best plan I have heard in a long, long time. My ship is sailing in similar waters, Steph – thank you for your sage advice.

  128. Peace to you and yours. As Winston Churchill said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” We’ll be here when you come out the other side.

  129. Love and peace to you and your family. We’ll be here when you get back.
    Safe and happy holidays.

  130. Dearest Harlot Family, May you enjoy each and every moment of this holiday season. And Steph, we readers do not own you, or your family. We are simply here to enjoy that which you wish to share. Happy Christmas:)

  131. We love you dear, and your family because they love you too. Take care of you and yours, and we’ll be here when you get back.

  132. Steph,
    Be blessed and filled with peace this holiday season. Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. I hope very much that this holiday will be a time of quiet clarity and rest for you and your family, and that you all receive, both in body and spirit, what you need most. All of your loyal readers will be sending you their most tender wishes, and patiently awaiting your return.
    My most heartfelt thoughts and prayers,

  133. On a day that I’ve yelled at my 3 year old and made her cry, snapped at my husband, and barely seen my little baby because I’m working a tonne and stressed because I’m working a tonne. Reading your entry was an elixer to my guilty, frazzled self. I respect your boundaries, and in seeing you demonstrate so powerfully how your family is of utmost important to you and going to get all you’ve got… well, it was a fantastic beacon of hope. Could’ve been entitled: how to stop stressing and remember who’s important. Because when I love my family, I love myself; when I care for them, I care for myself; and when I am present and centred with them, I find my centre. Thank you for all you share with us readers. Blessings to you and your loved ones. Looking forward to hearing from you again when it’s time.

  134. Much love and many prayers to you and your family. I will miss having you brighten my day with your posts, but do understand your need to keep personal things quiet.

  135. That is totally understandable even on my blog I do not share everything that goes on and that decision is up to you and your family on whether or not they want certain things shared or not. Anyway happy holidays and new years to you! Looking forward to reading your blog when you decide that it is time!!

  136. Thanks for your honesty. It is what I have always loved about your blog. Take care of you and yours and don’t get overwhelmed. Deal with one thing at a time and just be there. Love to you and your family and thanks for reminding all of us what is most important.

  137. Merry Christmas to you and your family! I’d like to echo the other comments thanking you for another year of blogging, and for the trip you made to Dallas in May. You’ve made me laugh and you’ve lifted my spirits. I hope you are able to find peace and comfort and I hope 2010 is a much better year for you!

  138. Wishing you and your family as much love, and peace as you can hold. And looking forward to reading your blog when you can write it again.

  139. Everyone has already said what I would have, so I can only add my voice to the chorus of good thoughts and prayers to send your way. Merry Christmas, Steph, whatever that means for you and yours this year. ((HUGS))

  140. Best wishes to you and your family, Stephanie, and I hope the new year brings you happiness, peace and joy.

  141. Sending light for all kinds of darkness. I tried to write a Solstice post the other day, and it just isn’t for the great big world right now. That’s okay, just like the seasons of light and dark, there are seasons in lives, and brighter days always come. Sometimes, just remembering that is the light we’ve got for the moment.
    Good tidings.

  142. Sometimes you get hit in the face with a sh*t pie, but you don’t always have to tell anybody about it. I’m wiping the whipped topping off my face, in order to wish you and yours a quiet, joyous and peaceful new year. Also want to thank you for Knot Hysteria. Now THAT was joyous and peaceful. Maybe not quiet, however, but wonderful nonetheless.

  143. Ditto everyone above me: At my darkest hour I wandered into a book store and picked up one of your books- I laughed out loud- it sounded foreign and strnage on my lips and I realized that if I could just laugh a bit right now- everything would all workitself out. Go in Peace.

  144. That’s what it boils down to…..Love….. in all it’s wonderful, unusual , expected and unexpected ways.
    Holding you and those you love in Light……

  145. Merry Christmas to you and your family. I hope that your new year brings some peace and quiet to you and your family.

  146. I have made another donation to MSF and I hope many others do the same again this year.

  147. I’m a fairly private person. I love reading your blog but I’m glad you sometimes keep things to yourself – it’s not like we all can reciprocate with equal amounts of love, trust and open-ness!
    The holidays are what you make of them. Love yourself, love your family, love your friends. Do things that bring you closer to them as long as it’s not driving you crazy! Feliz Navidad & internet hugs.

  148. yes, there are some things that aren’t blog fodder and I appreciate your cueing us in that such is the case now.
    Wishing you and those whom you love peace,

  149. Love and peace and happiness to you and yours, Stephanie. May 2010 be all you could wish for.

  150. There seems to be lots of family “stuff” going on with people this year. Best wishes to you and your family over the holidays.

  151. Dear Yarn Harlot,
    What can I say that hasn’t already been said? Just that I wish I could return some of what you have given to me, with your wonderful perspective, wit and heart.
    Know that there are people you haven’t even met who care about you and your family and are sending their love and healing thoughts.
    I will miss your blog, but there are way more important things, and you know that and are doing what you need to do.
    And KWB is about to get a year-end gift from me.
    All the best,
    Corey in Utah

  152. Stephanie, just take as much time as you need. Whatever it is, your friends and family will help you get past it. We are all on your side.

  153. You always know what to write…and now you know when not to.
    A good holiday season to you and to all who read the blog.

  154. I’m going to make another KWB donation and send out very positive thoughts to you and yours. Hold each other close. You and your family have given me a lot of enjoyment over the last few years. I hope your holidays are wonderful.

  155. Merry Christmas and best wishes to the Pearl-McPhee family (both nuclear and extended) … know that when you’re all ready, this lot will be here to welcome you back with open arms!

  156. Stephanie, best wishes to you and yours. My family is having the same kind of Christmas this year, though I have no idea if it’s for the same reasons. I have a family member dealing with crippling depression. Whatever your story is, I pray that it has a happy ending.

  157. Blessings to you and your family. Hope you don’t mind a prayer said on your behalf occasionally; that is all that I can think of to do for you. Know that you will be missed. But do what you need to do and be what you need to be and we will look forward to hearing that things are better…

  158. I wish you the best for whatever is the problem. You are such a great person. You are kind, funny, and such a lady. Life does have a way of throwing us all a curve every now and then. I don’t think many people will be having the holiday they usually have for many different reasons. But like you say you have family, love, shelter and food for your tummy. We take this for granted too many times. I hope and pray that all goes well with you soon. We will miss your chats but you and yours come first. Just hang in there! God bless you and keep you. Love & Hugs,

  159. This post is something that I could have completely written myself. It is so true, there are times when blogging isn’t for everything, at least not when you’re blogging under your real name!
    All the best!

  160. No you are absolutely right…the blog is not for everything. I hope that whatever this may be and that it all turns out okay. I hope that no matter what your family finds some peace during the holidays.

  161. love, light, strength, wisdom, courage, and grace to you and yours. Here’s to a better 2010 for all of us.

  162. I too wish you strength, peace and love as you move through the troubles affecting you and your family and that you find solace in gathering them close to you through the holidays.
    You bring light and laughter to us so often through your work, may that be returned to you a thousandfold by all of us out here reading tonight.

  163. Stephanie –
    We will survive without you, as you certainly will without us. Remember the words of the Desiderata and keep them in your heart. Blessings to you and your family. May your heart rest easy in the love of your family and friends.

  164. Only the things you choose to share with your blog audience is our business; everything else belongs to your private life. Happy Christmas, Steph. Thank you for all you do. Special thanks to you and Tina for Sock Summit 09. I was fortunate to have been a part of it. Sharon aka Stitchjones

  165. unlurking to say that bad times cause us all to gather, slow down, and give each other time and space. I’ve appreciated your work for several years. You brought me back to spinning and knitting, and beyond that to the sense of community that crafts can give us.
    Take your time and space and know that your people are there to welcome you back when you are ready.

  166. A teacher stands in front of her classroom with a large jar and a jar of large stones, another of gravel, another of sand and a pitcher of water. First she stacks the stones in the jar and asks the class, “Is the jar full?” The class answers “Yes.”
    The teacher then pours in the gravel. She shakes the jar a bit to settle things, but gets the whole jar of gravel into the big jar. Then she asks again, “Is the jar full?” The class says, “yes.”
    Now the teacher pours the sand into the jar. The sand settles into the cracks between the stones and the gravel. “Well? Is the jar full now?” The class is on to her now, and they answer, “Probably not.”
    Now the teacher pours the water into the jar with the sand, gravel and stones. She looks at the class and tells them that now the jar is full. She explains that the jar is your life. The stones represent the big things in your life. Your family, your education, your job, your favorite charities, your favorite hobbies and activities. If you don’t put the stones into the jar first, you’ll never fit them in. Don’t worry about the small stuff (gravel, sand and water) until you’ve taken care of the big stones in your life.
    Steph, take care of your big stones. We’ll be here when you’re ready. Have a wonderful Christmas. Don’t worry about whether it’s “normal.” What’s “normal” anyway? You’ll be in my thoughts.

  167. Wishing you and your family all the blessings and peace of the holiday season — may the light return to shine on you soon.

  168. You have given us all so much joy and laughter. Sending good thoughts for you to receive some in return.

  169. I hope your new year brings peace, happiness, and some nice surprises. May your mysteries work themselves out in the best way possible.

  170. I wanted to tell that I personally found it very comforting to find that not everyone is having the perfect happy Christmas, since that’s far from what’s happening in my family too. Sometimes I think that the expectations on families of the holiday season are unreasonable and frequently crippling and sometimes the only way to deal with it is to pretend it’s not happening. I really do wish you and your family joy and peace, not just for Christmas but for always.

  171. Sometimes you have to “frog” life and you seem to know when to do that. Good for you. This has been a year of living in a blender on high for so many. Time to jump out and turn it off, yep.

  172. Warm thoughts and best wishes to you and yours this holiday season. And thank you for all you share and do!

  173. Blessings and hugs to you and yours.
    My prayers will be with you all. Cherish your family and those you love.

  174. I have the utmost respect for privacy and personal space. Please know that there are prayers coming to you from this corner of the world. You have brightened so many of my days. Everything happens for a reason whether we ever know it or understand it.
    Peace be with you and your family at this time.

  175. Thank you again for your honesty, and for showing such good emotional boundaries. I am sending good healing energy to the person whose story it is.

  176. Oh dear, we had a difficult run for a while and now this Christmas things are better.
    I will hope that for you and yours next year will be a better one.

  177. Our family has been through these times when someone’s story interferes with “normal” and it isn’t appropriate to share about it, so I understand completely. This year I’ve decided that normal is whatever happens in my life, rather than what has happened in the past or what I’d like to have happen. Life is so messy! –especially when you have people you really care about. God bless you and yours, and all the best in the year ahead.

  178. Thank you for your blog post and reminding us all what is truly special about Christmas — to be a support to our friends and family, through whatever trials come out way. I wish you and your family peace and love this holiday season.

  179. Thanks for the joy you share with us. Take the time you need to take care of you and your family. We will do the same. Here’s prayers & hugs for you & the family. and Merry Christmas from Montana.

  180. Oh Steph, I’m so sorry that you will not be having a ‘normal Christmas’ this year. I, in fact, am having the absolute most heartbreaking holiday of my life. If you want to come and knit and sit on the couch with me maybe our hot tears will felt the wool as we go along….Know that you and your family will be in my prayers, every day, until you no longer need them, I promise. May the most special of Christmas Blessings heal and comfort all of you.

  181. We will miss you. We will also think of you and your family, and wish all the brightness and comforts upon you that this season has to give. May your Christmas and New Year be filled with love.

  182. You’re right! That we have each other at the end is the important thing. From the past several months we’ve had the one thing I have learned is that all it takes is a flick of an eye lash and life can be changed forever.
    2010 will be a good, less eventful year is our hope from here.
    Lots of love is being sent your way.

  183. Sounds to me as if you already have your priorities in perfect order. May your holidays be blessed and your new year and changes be positive.

  184. Happy holidays, Stephanie. Thanks so much for all the joy you bring us throughout the year with your blog. I wish you and your family all the best for this holiday season and the new year. I hope this time next year, your family’s woes will be a distant memory.
    Happy holidays to you and yours.

  185. Best to you and yours Steph. Thank you for sharing your life with us. I hope you have a peace filled holiday surrounded by your loved ones.

  186. Happy holidays to you and yours, dear one. As has been stated, you will all be in the good-karma-thoughts and prayers of many…myself included.
    Enjoy your family time, your knitting, and your privacy.

  187. God’s blessings on you and your family as you work through your problems.
    In a world that seems unable to keep anything private it is refreshing to see your perspective.

  188. I wish you and your family a happy and peaceful holiday season, and may the light return to your family soon. I’m sure everyone will agree with me when I say that your readers will be here when you’re ready to return to your regular blogging.

  189. I just donated to MSF/DWB, in gratitude for the community you’ve drawn together on this blog. You are a very civilizing influence. Warm thoughts are coming your way.

  190. “It is simply that the blog isn’t for everything- and that even if it’s something I don’t mind telling, it doesn’t always matter. ”
    I completely agree. Good luck with everything, Steph.

  191. Peace, love and light. And as always thanks for sharing your stories and your knitting. Love, love!

  192. WE dont have to know all, nor do we, dear lady, expect you to tell, all. Just know , when you need prayer, for a loved one, just say so.! I know with prayer we get through, some days some times, and some years, we are on our knees,more that other times. my god accepts prayer in all forms, hes use to me bitching to him.

  193. Everyone has said it so heartfully and beautifully, this is only to add one more heartfelt wish that all goes well with all of you and all of everyone. Bless you, and thank you. The the web is only an symbol of the real web that we are all part of. So know that as you do what you need, we remain lovingly yours….

  194. Praying for you and your family. You have made me a better knitter and I will always be extremely grateful for that. Know that everyone in your blog community loves you and wishes only the best for you and yours. Please take all the time you need . . . we’ll miss you, but we love you enough to let you be where you need to be.

  195. Thinking about you and your family Stephanie. We are here for you, and we will be here when you get back.
    Big Maritime Hugs sent your way

  196. Once Christmas is all said and done all I can think is how happy I am (even if only for a minute before Armageddon starts) that all my family is here and safe and happy. For most of the rest of the year we’re at each others throats. So don’t feel bad that you need to take a break from the blog-o-sphere, have a Merry Christmas and know that everything will be okay…
    P.S. Chocolate and knitting always help to make things look better already (glass of wine also helps) 🙂

  197. Sending love and prayers, and wishes for every kindness and comfort for you and your family, in whatever way they might help.

  198. My thoughts and prayers will be with you and all of your family this Christmas and the rest of the holiday season. I and the rest of your on-line family will be here when you get back.

  199. Hunker down, love each other and be at peace as best you can. I pray you and yours have a blessed and meaningful holiday season, regardless of what other circumstances might be happening. Hugs!

  200. Hope things run smoother for you soon. Best of luck and health to you in the coming year 🙂

  201. ((hugs)) holiday crises are the worst. family is the best gift and the worst curse. may yours be a gift forever.

  202. Blessings and good wishes to you and your family. Remember all things in life are temporary no matter how good, or how bad they are. You give so many people joy in what you do and what you share with us. I know you are appreciated by so many, me included. I sincerely hope this rough spot passes quickly.

  203. There seems to be a lot of that going around this year. Keep your loved ones close and take care of each other. Merry Christmas, whatever that turns out being this year. We’ll be here when you get back!

  204. Good wishes to you and yours. I hope some day that whomever’s story you’re not sharing now appreciates your love and respect. Your family is as lucky to have you as you are to have them. Keep your energy for what feels right. I would like to say come back soon but it’s more important to say “come back when the time is right for you.”

  205. Wishing many blessings on you and yours. Thank you for blessing us.
    And if there’s anything within my power to do to help, (including, for that matter, simply waiting), I’d be glad to do it.

  206. wishing you all peace through whatever is up ahead. Made a donation to Doctors Without Borders in honor of you and all knitters. Remembering your comment from awhile back. “As we head off into a year of uncertainty, there is one thing I know is true. Things will be better if we all take care of each other than they will be if we don’t take care of each other.”

  207. Dear Steph, I am glad you are hunkering down and being with your beloved family. We are all lucky to have what we have. I am thinking of you with love and sending white light to you all.
    Love, Kathleen in Vermont

  208. Thinking of you and all that you give to all of us and hoping that our love and thoughts and prayers will help. Blessings be.

  209. May the peace and joy of the season be with you and your family during this time.
    Thank you for all that you give to us – your readers.

  210. One of the reasons I’ve kept reading your blog is your obvious respect for other people and their privacy. Kudos to you for keeping quiet! Best wishes of the season and good luck to you and yours with your current problems.

  211. Thank you for being. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for declaring boundaries with grace and tact. You are where you need to be (you already knew that) with those who matter most in your life. Prayers and blessings to you and those fortunate enough to be in your life. This community, the many who share your adventures and triumphs vicariously, will be here when you have time and space for them again.
    We love you, too.

  212. You are our good friend, even though many of us have never met you. Good friends “pick up” where they have left off and so it will be with all of us and you. Take time, love much, rest.

  213. Mother Theresa said “God gives us challenges because He loves us.” God could certainly love my family a little less this year – and perhaps yours too…
    Thank you for your humor, grace, talent, and grit. You’ve helped bring some light into my world this year when I’ve needed it; inspired me to reach beyond my limits; and helped keep me sane in a truly insane world.
    We’re here when you’re ready for us and when you need us. Bless you and yours… every one!

  214. I surely hope that all things will work out well sooner rather than later. Love and enjoy your family. For the holidays, I am most looking forward to seeing a cousin that we almost lost to an agressive cancer 2 years ago (she was only 30). It is a blessing and a miracle that she is still here and seems to be cancer-free.
    Lisa D.

  215. a wise midwife i once knew used to say to moms in the thick of labor: you have to go to that shitty place to get out of that shitty place. i have always found those words to be comforting.
    best wishes to you and your family – meredith

  216. Peace and blessings to you and yours. You have shared so much of your talent with us, and I know many, many people are grateful and wishing we could help you somehow in your troubles. May some of that goodness you’ve shared come back to wrap you up like a warm laceweight shawl.

  217. After a year that saw the loss of my parents just 17 days apart only 6 weeks after the diagnosis of stage 4 long cancer for my Mom, the loss of a dear uncle to my husband and the recent loss of a beloved great-aunt of my husband’s, I can only join with all the others that have said what a “needs to be over” year 2009 was. We are still reeling with grief and disbelief, yet here is the joyful season of Christmas. It’s not a normal Christmas for me at all either. There is the feeling that we are alone in our grief, along with the shock that the world can be going on with normal business and lives around us. Yet the truth is that we all experience difficulties in our lives. We all need to support each other in how we decide to cope with, and accept, that which we cannot change. It comes slowly. Treat yourself with kindness as you travel through this.
    2010 will be better for many of us and worse for others. But we’ll all move through it, either way. Take the privacy and time you need. We will miss your light and laughter, yet we respect your decision to focus on yourself and your family. We’ll be here if you need us, ready to welcome you back when you’re ready.

  218. I’ve been trying to figure out what to say for a few minutes, and since I can’t come up with anything that doesn’t sound either really sappy or kind of creepy, I’m just going to say I hope whatever’s going on, everyone comes out of it safe and happy. I’ll be wishing for good things to happen for you and yours.

  219. Steph, your books, and more recently your blog, have been a source of shared laughter and joy for my DD and me. Family and love are truly the most important things. I honor you for putting yours first, and for protecting your loved ones’ privacy. We wish you all peace, joy, and a resolution to your situation, whatever it may be. May the love you share strengthen each of you. Blessings…

  220. Well Boo! to rough times. 2009 has been an extraordinarily rough year for most people I know. Let’s all kick it in the ass and make 2010 swear to behave itself.

  221. Stephanie, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers this holiday season. Take time for yourself and the family and we’ll look forward to reading you again in 2010.
    Jane from Boston

  222. Wishing you and yours all the best, and looking forward to the time when you have the peace of mind to blog again. Let us know if there is anything we can do.

  223. I don’t know what you are going through but if it is like my past year; I am just glad that it is nearly over and that 2010 presents a fresh face, a new start. I was a vendor at Sock Summit and an hour or so after arriving home I had a stroke. After much of everything and a very big medical bill; I have learned that when you do not listen to the universe or God or Goddess or your inner voice, they have a way of getting your attention and making you listen. I am sending you the power of wisdom, the peace of the holidays and best wishes for the coming new year. This too shall pass and you will be better, stronger, happier, healthy. Listen to your inner self and be the kind of thankful you can be for what you do have. Peace & Blessings from a woman who rambles too much……

  224. Today I spent the day with my brother in the emergency room having taken our elderly and very sick father and still felt lucky to be with family. I don’t know if he will pull through, but as you said we can still find time to feel lucky and blessed. Thank you for becoming a new friend if only on the computer this year. Know that you give me comfort at times and joy at other times. Know too, that you have a place in all of your readers’ hearts.

  225. Peace,love, and time to to embrace them, to you and all you hold dear. We’ll be here when you come back.

  226. Thank you for the gift of joy and laughter you have provided to me throughout this year. I wish you and your family peace, love and joy at this time and through the coming year.

  227. Best wishes, love and peace to you and yours this holiday season, and all the days to come. We are thinking of you and love you all.

  228. Dear Stephanie,
    A few evenings ago, as I was stumbling through my holiday preparations, I received a phone call from Doctors Without Borders. They asked if I would be able to make a donation this year. Fortunately I was able to say I yes.
    That call brought you to mind. We are all aware of the place it holds in your heart. I made my donation because of you.
    You cannot be aware of all of us, out here in the blogosphere, whose lives you have touched.
    Please know that there are many thoughts, prayers, and plain ole good wishes coming your way.

  229. Best wishes to you and your family. Sometimes it takes obstacles for us to realize just how important our family and friends are to us.

  230. Wishing you and yours the very best for the holidays and next year. Sometimes just appreciating what is is a special kind of gift, one I’ve been discovering recently myself.

  231. 2009 has been challenging for us all. Stress does not do good things to you. Time to step back and just enjoy the holidays, particularly when surrounded by living family! Count your blessings and look forward to 2010. You have a lot of friends in the world who care about you and yours.

  232. For all the laughs this year I am truly grateful. I have never laughed out loud at a book until I read yours. People stop me and ask what I am reading they are so intrigued by my hysterics. May the Lord fill your home with joy and peace this coming year.

  233. You know we all love you. Remember that during the dark times. Many of us are keeping you in our prayers and wishing you all the blessings of the season. The solstice is already behind us and we’re heading towards the light. May you and your family find comfort in the fact that so many of us care truly about you and yours. We’ll be here when you’re ready. Cheers, Hazel.

  234. I went back to your link to the post in which you wanted us to double the number of dollars donated, at that time it was $120,000. Here it is only three years later and the number is five times what it was! You are such an inspiration! May it “double” again!
    I didn’t “do Christmas” this year. Last year I had a whole slew of (unrealistic) expectations for what Christmas would look like and none of it happened. I overdecorated and overcooked and overhoped (it’s a word now, eh?) and for naught. This year I haven’t even gotten a tree or cooked or nothin’ and yet I’m blessed and happy for my family and home. May your holidays be what you want them to be!

  235. Just wanted to let you know that we’re thinking about you, and we hope that whatever challenges you’re facing are swiftly overcome. I’m a huge fan of the Yarn Harlot, but I also have tons of respect for Stephanie, the lady behind her 🙂 Also, payday’s tomorrow, and I’ll be making my first donation to MSF/DWB as soon as it goes through. Lots of love from New Hampshire!

  236. “peace on earth, goodwill to all men” starts with family. You’ve chosen your priorities well. See you when you are ready to greet us again. Know we are here for you and that NO families are like what you see on tv at Christmas!

  237. Friends may go and come, but you will always have family. Hug them and love them, and know that when you come back, we’ll be here.

  238. Although I don’t know you personally, your blog has meant a great deal to me for many reasons. We are interwoven with our loved ones and their story is indeed theirs to tell. I do hope things work out for all concerned.

  239. Wishing you a Merry Christmas, and hoping you have the strength and grace to deal with what is given you. Love from us in VA.

  240. Take care of what you need to and don’t mind about us. God bless you and your family, and have a Merry Christmas in the teeth of whatever is getting in the way. Thanks for all you’ve given us this year (riches indeed) and come back when you feel like it.

  241. Stephanie:
    Normal is overrated anyway. When my children were growing up, we never had a “normal” Christmas, and we survived. My son even decided that our family tradition was “every year is different”.
    So keep on keeping on. Best wishes to you and your family for a Very Merry Christmas (whatever form it takes) and a Happy New Year.

  242. Best to you and yours, Stephanie. I’m… having one of those times too. It’s hard, it’s different – it could be worse. My warmest regards.

  243. Yes, Stephanie, life does happen. We all have “life issues” and not all of them are “talkable” even if they aren’t of the horrible or serious nature. Good for you for protecting and loving your family so much. And while this may not be the Christmas you expected, it can be one that you look back on and say you are better for having been through those experiences. So I wish for you the happiest Christmas and an even better New Year.
    Post when you can…we’ll be here waiting for you.

  244. I’m working on a totally aggravating little cowl (NOT Pretty Thing!) and it is giving me fits. I’m going to bed now, but when I pick it up again, I’ll put love and a prayer for your intentions into every single miserable stitch.
    Thank you for the blog and for SS09; and never doubt that we’ll be here when you get back. All the best to you and yours.

  245. Happy Christmas to you and yours. I commend you for knowing where you want your limits, and keeping them! Enjoy your time with your family. You’ve done a heck of a lot this year.
    Thanks for a great blog, and a wonderful Sock Summit! You’re amazing.

  246. Render unto the blog what is the blog’s, and unto your family what is your family’s.
    – First Blog-a-lonians

  247. You and all your family have all our love and support.
    You give so much to us: your humor keeps us coming back, your knitting wisdom sustains us through our own knitting challenges, your life wisdom keeps us thinking and appreciating a wider perspective of life (so invaluable).
    And your human-ness, your experiences are universal and unique. What a gift!
    We’ll be patient with love and prayers! Life includes challenges and blessings, so often intertwined.
    Thank you so much.

  248. Warmest wishes and the hope that you find everything you need within yourself, your family and friends (I think you will)

  249. Sympathies on whatever your family is having to deal with. During troubled times I like to remember what a dear elderly friend once said to me: Everything works out…eventually.
    Personally, I think you’re brave to take down the happy mask and be real.

  250. Sympathies on whatever your family is having to deal with. During troubled times I like to remember what a dear elderly friend once said to me: Everything works out…eventually.

  251. Just wanted to add my heartfelt wishes for comfort and grace and strength for you and all those you love.

  252. Enjoy your family and your time together. Don’t give in to the pressure of tradition or duty, do what’s right (and you know what that is).

  253. YOu have had a truly lousy year, so 2010 can only be better. And remember – anyone who tells you that they have a perfect family and a perfect life – is almost certainly lieing in their teeth!
    Seriously – all the very best wishes to you, from this side of the pond.

  254. My thoughts are with you and your family. You are so fabulous, from what I can tell, that a great year is sure to great you in 2010. For what it’s worth 2008 was one of the worst in my life. 2009 was most certainly the best. Things do have a way of balancing out. Love and light to you!

  255. From across the Atlantic (and then some), sending you and yours good vibes and all good wishes for health, wealth, love, serenity, and success. Prayers, too!

  256. Please add my wishes for peace and healing for your family to the many others. If I may offer one small piece of advice…take help where and when it is offered. It took me having a 6 y.o., a 3 y.o. and SURPRISE twins to get me past the ‘I can do it myself’ stage. Allowing others to help turned out to be a great joy and blessing… in other words, grace.

  257. I was diagnosed with breast cancer less than two months ago. Had surgery and will start chemo in Jan. Not what I had in my plans but I feel so blessed to have such a loving family support me! Together you and your family can stand by each other and God will give you the courage to handle whatever comes your way. Beautiful blessings will abound you! Thank you for all the times you have made me laugh! Love ya!

  258. Steph, its time to embrace your loved ones, family and friends, beer, laughter and some restorative yoga, and pretty much in that order. May you continue to See the gifts of the everyday and good luck, glad tidings, and all the best for a New Year.

  259. Sorry to hear you’re having a hard time – hope things are better for you soon. You’ve cheered us all up with your blog posts over the years – I just hope we readers can in some small way do the same for you.
    Merry Christmas

  260. Dear Stephanie,
    At the oddest times the image of a car window covered in post-its (and for some reason I always imagine feet on the dashboard) and the photo of a happy marathoner seeing her mother, who has driven eight hours to see her finish, even in the midst of setting up SS09, pops into my mind. You’ve gathered a lot of karma. From the comments I see that I’m not the only one who has used your blog to help lighten a dark year. More karma. May all that karma rush out to meet you and help you through your dark time.
    I won’t wish you a happy holiday so much as a New and Improved 2010 alng with my thanks.

  261. I simply wanted to add my voice to those wishing you and yours (and everyone else, for that matter) the best and happiest holiday season you can have, as well as health and happiness this New Year and all others. You’re spent a lot of your energy on us over the last few years; I’m one of those wishing energy and love to you in return.

  262. I will echo all the other comments and wish you and your family the best Christmas that you can have. And to say thank you for the blog and all that you write and share.

  263. Hope it all comes right in the end: my MSF yarn socks, from a year and a half ago, are keeping toes warm in Toronto. Even better, the owner of the socks had a baby boy three weeks ago, and, since the socks were knit to help after a stillbirth, well: thank you. {{{hug}}}

  264. What I love the most about this blog is that you put yourself out there for all to see and do it with such consummate grace and openness. You have brightened my days so many times — I thank you for that and send back healing and happy wishes to you and your family.

  265. Steph,
    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. May this holiday season bring good health, joy and peace to you and your family.

  266. My grandmother says “Christmas gift,” every time someone comes in Christmas Day to celebrate with us because as long as they come in whole and healthy, that’s all the Christmas gift she needs.
    Happy Holidays to you and everyone.

  267. Steph,
    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Be good to yourself and to them: a blessed Christmas to you all and wishes for better times ahead.

  268. I am praying for you and your family.
    My family had some of that hard stuff this past year and when we all get together we are reminded that we are so blessed to have each other to hold on to in the darker time.
    You are loved by many of us that have never met you and we all hope that love lights your life a bit.
    And we will be waiting for you when you return.
    You have taught me so much, I was scared of sock and of lace wieght yarn till I found your books and discovered that I only had to knit with two of the five needles on socks, and that there was a recipe to follow to make them easy, and that there is no knitting police. So thank you for all you do.

  269. My holidays have had something of the same flavor of hard this year. Whenever the sadness threatens to engulf me, I do this metal thing where I count my blessings (the real blessings, not the material ones) and each one gets assigned a beautiful piece of cloth. In my mind, I weave them into a glorious, rich cloak and I wrap it around myself. I can still feel sad under that cloak but when I’m all wrapped up in the things that really matter, I can almost feel myself gathering strength to deal with whatever is put in my path. Blessings to you and yours, Steph. May you all gather strength and healing under your cloaks of blessings.

  270. Thank you letting us into your life, your blog is a bright spot in the day for me, as I’m sure it is for many others.
    Sending you and your family love and light, and I hope you will work through whatever it is. There will be lots of prayers heading your way.

  271. Something my Nana used to tell me that gave me strength (old Irish proverb):
    “It’s easy to be pleasant when life flows by like a song.
    But the man worth while is the one who can smile
    When everything goes dead wrong.
    For the test of the heart is trouble and it always comes with years.
    And the smile that is worth the praises of earth
    Is the smile that shines through the tears.”

  272. Two weeks ago I was at a spa and we women were floating in pools of warm or cold water drinking smoothies. I thought it’s hard to believe there are people dying of thirst in the world. I’m so thankful for all my blessing least of which is floating in pools of water drinking smoothies.
    God bless us, everyone.

  273. I go among trees and sit still.
    All my stirring becomes quiet
    Around me like circles on water.
    My tasks lie in their places
    Where I left them, asleep like cattle . . .
    Then what I am afraid of comes.
    I live for a while in its sight.
    What I fear in it leaves it,
    And the fear of it leaves me.
    It sings, and I hear its song.
    Wendell Berry
    I wish you and yours Peace.

  274. One of the things I love about your blog is your sense of boundary (I am sure children, etc, sometimes wish for even more privacy but you are always loving and respectful towards them and really hold the line of speaking about YOUR reaction to them, rather than telling their stories–it may seem subtle but it is a big difference.) Have a warm and loving Christmas and New Year. I will think of you when I make my Doctors contribution this year.

  275. I’m sure it’s all been said before this, so I’ll just say take care Stephanie, I’ll be thinking about you and wishing you and your loved ones all the best.

  276. There’s much wisdom and grace in this post, and in knowing the difference between one’s own stories and the stories of others, especially when they overlap. I wish you and your family warmth and comfort this Christmas.

  277. I’m so sorry life is throwing you and your family some curves. I’m wishing you and yours a peace-filled Christmas season with hope for a better New Year. Peace.

  278. Best wishes to you and your family. Take care of what you need to do for you and your family. They come first before all else. And when you are ready to come back, we will be here for you.

  279. Blessings and peace to you and yours.
    And thank you for reminding us – once again – that it’s the people in our lives that matter the most. The rest of it might be fun, or profitable, or whatever, but staying focused on the people we love is the right thing to do.

  280. After reading the post and comments I just want to add that this blog has created a family. Love, Respect, Support and Understanding. How special is that

  281. I don’t think I’ve ever commented here before, but I have become a regular reader and love your blog (just thought I should get that out of the way for some reason!)
    I have two small boys. Over the course of the last few years (maybe since just before I had the first one) I have found myself unable to want anything at Christmas. I just look at what we have here and think “this is more than anyone could want or need”. Of course they are all about the presents right now (they are 5 and 4), but after reading this and other stories, I just want to sit and talk with them to remind them that all this other “stuff” (and there isn’t THAT much, we’re not a wealthy family nor prone to excess) is just gravy. One day I’m sure it will sink in.
    Thank you for the reminder.

  282. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Life is always throwing us curve balls and sometimes we just have to make lemons into lemonade as I have told my daughter more than once. For some of us, we get more lemons than others and sometimes the timing sucks but we all go forward. As I have aged, I realize that the perfect Christmases are not the ones I remember the most but the ones that had struggles and how the family pulled together to make the most of the holidays inspite of what was happening.

  283. Knit on! Merry Christmas.
    The night before I got married, my mother told me to hang my rosary on the clothesline for good weather. I lived on the 29th floor of a condo complex, so I looped it in the banister of the balcony and IT WORKED! Since then, that act has come to be used for a lot of things in my life.
    So hang your rosary on the clothesline and knit on!

  284. Stephanie,
    Whatever reasons your Christmas is “not your normal” this year; may however it is bring you and your family what is truly most precious and valuable-time together. Everyone has Christmases that are “not their normal” for a variety of reasons; mine was the sudden and shocking death of my Dad in 2005. That year Christmas was something to get through, and that was sad in itself. But that was what it was. It is better now; while he is dearly missed, our Christmases are now “new normal” and we can celebrate with joy tinged with the sadness. I am rambling, sorry; but I do miss my Dad.

  285. All the best to you and yours, nuclear and extended. I lookforward to your return when you are able. Bless you, Harlot.

  286. Happy Holidays to you and your family. Always Love What You’ve Got, because it’s all that really matters!

  287. Sending you good thoughts. I hope whatever’s going on resolves itself soon, and in the best possible way. xoxo

  288. I will be praying for you. Thanks so much for your blog this year. I’ve received so much enjoyment from it.

  289. There are times in life when you just have to do what needs to be done it’s not good it’s not bad it just is. You go do what you need to do, we will all wait for you. Consider yourself hugged and know you make a lot of people happy.

  290. The saying is true – “What goes around, comes around.” Your humor and wisdom have brightened the lives of so many people, and now it’s all coming back to you. Merry Christmas, and may the new year bring you and those you love peace and joy. We appreciate all you have shared with us, and we’ll all be here waiting when you come back.

  291. My prayers will be with your family in the coming days. Remember that some of the most surprising miracles have come from the deepest sorrows. I know as I look back on my life some of the greatest hardships are now my greatest blessings. Love to you and your family in the coming year.

  292. Life happens. Sometimes great and sometimes not so good. We all do the best we can as we go. I’m know you’ll approach whatever trial has come your way with grace and compassion and humor as you seem to have done through so many experiences you have shared on this blog.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  293. Stephanie, I really respect that you can (and do) draw a line at what should be shared publicly and what is a family and personal matter. It is a line that is so often violated these days. I wish you and your loved ones a peaceful and joyful holidays and the easing of what burdens you.

  294. Love you Steph! Your blog kept me going through the hard times this year. I laugh, cry and so very much enjoy the time spent with you. You have made a difference for all of us here and we all want you to know we are here to help, support and love you and your family.
    All the best!

  295. Take whatever time you need, Steph. You’ve been so generous to share your humor, your life, and your knitting with us – we thank you and bless you for that. We respect your privacy as well. Wishing you joy – remembering that joy can be found when the heart is sore because it is part of the bedrock of our lives. Keeping you and yours in my thoughts and prayers.

  296. Courage, strength, peace and joy be with you. Whatever it is it will pass. Life is change and it is not so much the challenge the faces us but the way we face the challenge. I know you all will come out the other side better and stronger. JOY is the expectation of good things. May joy be yours.

  297. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! May the New Year bring resolution to whatever challenges you faced this year, large or small. We never know how things will turn out, no matter how carefully we plan them. Our family is facing one of those years too, for various reasons.
    Be safe, be loved, and all will be well.

  298. Even though you are the only person in your family I have actually met, all of you have become close to me over the years.I hope and pray that whatever is wrong comes to a good end and that this coming year is a better year for you all.

  299. What someone else wrote here is true — it all works out eventually. Reread the Wendell Berry poem. Knit a few rows of something — or nothing at all. Be present — at this time of year, that’s the best present to give each other, and to ourselves.

  300. Boundaries are good, and healthy boundaries are even better. Good for you for having both. I will try to send some good energy your way when I’m at Midnight Mass later. May your family experience many blessings in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead.

  301. Merry Christmas, Stephanie. May you and yours have a joyous holiday, and may you all pull through together.
    Your family are in our thoughts and prayers; we are so fortunate to have you in our lives. I wish we could do more, let us know if there is a need.

  302. I hope you and yours can feel even a tiny fraction of all the love that is pouring out in your direction. God bless you every one!

  303. Have a happy (and hopefully mellow) holiday. Angst and troubles can wait for another day, so cherish the respite from them.
    I will keep you and yours in my thoughts and wish you the best hunkering down!

  304. Blessings to you and yours! I have lately been thinking that most of life seems to be about stumbling and bumbling along. Life can be hard, but we keep putting one foot ahead of the other because what else can we do? Thank you for the reminder to love who/what we have.

  305. good priorities with excellent boundaries , and may you have the balance restored to your family soon. Lots of love and joy to you in the growing light. Thank you for all that you do, your writtings have given me a lot of smiles and laughter over the years, I only wish the same for you.

  306. Wishing you a Happy Christmas this holiday season. Family is most important during this time and I wish your’s the best in spite of any difficulties.

  307. For many (including my family) Christmas this year is not what it usually is. And while I tend to equate love (mine and others’) at this time of year in a completely capitalistic way, I know that being together and enjoying each others’ company is what really counts. There were lots and lots of family Christmases that were not peaceful. So, this year, Christmas is what it is, and I hope you have a VERY Merry Christmas.

  308. I hope everything settles down soon to whatever is the new normal is for you and your family. You’ve held up amazingly well given the stressful things that you’ve blogged about. If there is more going on, then I’m amazed that you even have the energy to post anything at all.
    Also you are a good parent/child/relative/friend for recognizing what is yours to share and what isn’t even, when it affects you.
    Peace and blessings to you and yours. May life be better for you in the new year (even if not right away).

  309. PS. I made a donation to Doctors Without Borders in your family’s honour. (See, I even spelled honor right) I figured good wishes are great, good deeds even better.

  310. You have given us your heart over the years, Stephanie. You have entertained us with knitting wisdom and tips and highlighted some really awesome knitting projects. Thank you. Take a break, drink a really good beer, hug your family, pet your adorable cat (who’s highly photogenic!) and lastly, exhale. I’m sending you very warm wishes and karmic hugs your way.

  311. Hi Steph–I just wanted to say that while I think one of the strongest parts of your blog is that you tell the truth–about knitting and craziness and family and felting–it doesn’t mean that you owe us the whole truth, ever. We love your blog but we don’t need it to tell us everything about your family. Some things are meant to be private.
    I didn’t send a letter with my Christmas cards this year because there was no way to adequately and honestly write about this year in a way I was willing to do.
    Merry Christmas. It comes anyway, whether we’re “ready” or not.

  312. Dear Stephanie and family,
    God’s blessing’s to each of you. You make my life happier each year with the blog. May all be well with everyone. It never ceases to amaze me that all we really need is our family and their love and acceptance and yet every year we try to out do and out buy what ever we did last holiday. Forget the STUFF and just be so very grateful for who we have in our lives and that they are there just for today. That is all we have and or need.

  313. Oh, no. All humans have rough times, but it’s twice as hard when it is holiday season. I think you have it right, though… love those you love.
    When it all distills down to the essence, all that matters is love. So love those in your circle and come back to us when you can.
    I lost my dad out of the blue, when I was 14. My brother was suddenly widowed at age 30, his wife was 27. I loved her deeply and was at their house when she died.
    When you have had sudden losses like that, you get down to basics. The people we love are our greatest treasure. Period. Stuff, knitting, events… they are part of life but not the essence of it.
    We love you, too. Truly.

  314. I love how much of yourself you share with us. And I understand when things are not yours to share or you don’t want to share. Know that there are so many people you don’t even know sending you and yours good wishes and much love. Go, take care of the ones dear to you. We’ll all be here when you get back.
    Wishing you peace, comfort, and joy this holiday season.

  315. Blessings to you and your family. Enjoy being together. Praying for you all. Hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year together- even if it is not *normal*.

  316. Steph–My heart goes out to you and yours. All families hit tough , sometimes terrible times, but yours is strong, as you are, and this too will pass.
    In the meantime, I join the large chorus of your other friends, saying I will miss my daily visits to the blog and be praying for each of you in this tough time.

  317. We get through these things…..somehow. In the meantime, my best wishes to you and you family now and for 2010.

  318. A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, your family, and your friends.

  319. Your blog has enriched my days and I want you to know that you are appreciated and cared about. Take all the time you need, for yourself and your family, and know that we will wait for you. May you find grace and during this difficult time.

  320. You and your family and friends have all been so wonderful to share on the blog. Please know you always have my best wishes. With grace, Melissa.

  321. All strength and love to you and your family this Christmas.
    Thank you for inviting us into your life and making us feel like friends, but I think you are very wise to value the real people over the virtual.
    We’ll be here when you can get back.

  322. Thank you so much for your blog, it’s the first place I go to. I can’t tell you how much you’ve enriched my life by your writings, humor and insights. Blessings and good luck to you and PLEASE keep in touch.

  323. Mitty and Alison above have said what I wanted to. 🙂
    Know that The Blog cares enormously for you and your family, because of the sharing you do. Because this is The Blog, we all understand and will be waiting (and knitting) until you return. Because you are part of our lives, and we are part of yours, in this cyber-family of knitters, there’s a lot of love being directed your way, Stephanie. Ho;e you can feel it, and hope that it helps. (and hope you find some quiet knitting time)

  324. You have brought much laughter, insight, and warmth to so many of us. You often bring tears to my eyes as you hit on something just right. I’ve learned from your writing — about knitting, marriage, family and getting through life. Thank you.
    Holding you and your family in the light.
    Peace be with you all.

  325. Your KWB post from 2006 is just as beautiful and inspiring as it was the first time I read it. Thank you!
    Warm wishes for peace and less stressful days ahead, to you and your lovely family.

  326. Go slowly, take your time, and like so many others have said a blog is for what you decide. I appreciate that not everything is out there for us to read about each other.
    Rest, peace and yes never forget what we do have!

  327. Steph,
    Peace, hope and love to you and yours this season.
    I’ve never commented before, but I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoy your blog and that you are very encouraging.
    I’m sure that you (and yours) will be able to get through this time and, you’ll be welcomed warmly when you come back.

  328. I think everyone has had “one of those” times at Christmas. I just pray that whatever it is comes to a quiet and timely end. I used to wonder what it meant when people older and wiser than I would say “this too shall pass”. It’s true though. Whatever it is will pass.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and may God Bless you and keep you.

  329. I don’t think the perfect Christmas exists, except in Hallmark movies and novels. We’ve suffered the death of my parents and the bombshell announcement of a teenage pregnancy in recent Christmases past. This is the first time in 2 years that I’ve managed to get cards out because in grieving I just couldn’t muster the energy. But this year is better, and there is a darling 20-month old little boy who loves the lights and the ornaments and the gift wrap and bows. So some years are better than others, and the things you mentioned are more important than having everything be perfect. I respect that you haven’t shared all of your family’s happenings. I think some people say too much when things should remain private. I wish you all a Merry Christmas.

  330. Thank you so much for not sharing and for protecting privacy. I will keep you and your Family in my thoughts and prayers. Happy Holidays to you all and all the Best for the New Year.

  331. Keeping you and yours in prayer. Thank you for your introspective sharing. I get it. I will do something about it.

  332. We are having a tough Christmas this year too, and also not wanting to share what is going on with everyone. I hope that everyone respects your boundaries and privacy…sometimes that is hard for people to do, I know from first-hand experience. I am getting past that by thinking that they really only mean well. My thoughts and a virtual hug are with you.

  333. All my best to you this Christmas. We must all be thankful for the things we have, and especially for the people we have. You help sustain me through my life, may my thoughts and prayers sustain you and your family.

  334. You’ve given so much to us in the past, please take what comfort you can from us now. Peace and blessings to you and yours.

  335. Blessings to you and yours, Stephanie–and thanks for all the joy you bring to us (((and for pretty much saving Christmas present-wise for quite a few, I’ll bet!!)))

  336. While this Christmas isn’t a tough one for me, we’ve had a couple of incredibly difficult ones in the recent past, and eventually, I did have to stop pretending that everything was a-ok and just let the holiday season be whatever it was to be.
    I hope you and your family get through this tough patch, and that the holiday season. We’ll miss you — but look forward to welcoming you back when you’re ready to be back.

  337. You and your family are very much in my thoughts and prayers. You have such a gift of writing. & I agree that some things should remain private.

  338. Stephanie, I join your many other fans in wishing you and your family only the best during a difficult time. You’ve always had your head on straight about what’s important. Like your other fans, I respect your need and desire for privacy and appreciate the grace with which you’ve expressed that need. I’m with Presbytera and am donating to Doctors/Knitters Without Borders in your name. Blogging or not, we’ll be your loyal fans, waiting and hoping that things turn out well. Courage, love, and hugs to you all!

  339. I always check your blog every day…not just because I love to knit but you are warm, funny, and down to earth. That said, I would forgo your blog for ever if it meant you were taking care of you and yours. with love and fondness.

  340. Love and blessings to you and your family. Thank you for your wonderful blog and all the great information on knitting (and family) May 2010 be filled with wonder and fun.

  341. Steph,
    You have been an inspiration to me from the moment I first clicked on your blog and laughed-out-loud at your first book while still in the bookstore (a guarentee it would be purchased). Much to my husband’s chagrin, you have also given me the confidence to begin blogging, to try my hand at knitting socks, spinning my own yarn, and most recently opening my own store and thinking a book would be a cool thing to do.
    Along the way, you have made me laugh and cry (usually with the same post). Your sense of humor, sense of fairness, practicality, impracticality, and knitting and spinning know-how are some of the your qualities that endear you to me. However, it is your amazing writing skills combined with your deep love of, respect for, and insight into family that makes me feel like you are if not a member of my own family than at the very least a dear neighbor and cherished friend.
    To all of our other neighbors and friends reading this; if you were hoping for another Knitting Olympics (as I was, but I can not imagine the work that that endevor became or would be this time), go to Ravelry and start your own regional team and/or join the Ravelympics 2010 team. Stephanie, you started this 4 years ago with an amazing idea. It can and will continue without your having to do all of the work this time.
    You taught us all to challenge ourselves. We will continue to do that on our own. You also taught us to give of ourselves (even small amounts make a difference when put together just as individual stitches side by side make up whole sweaters). I am joining Presbytera and making a donation to Knitters without Borders in your name. Anyone else?
    Finally, and I apologize for the length of this, know that you and your family are well loved and thought of this holiday season and always. I will be thinking good thoughts for you all and will be “here” anytime you need anything. Post or don’t. I don’t care. After all, you really are family. Take care, love to all, best wishes, call if you need anything at all…
    Love, Sue & family

  342. Whatever the circumstances, I’m sending good wishes to you and your family.
    Also want to send a great big THANK YOU to you, for all the times you’ve made me smile & laugh. You make this knitterly world a better & happier place.

  343. The very best to you and yours, whatever your circumstances. I hope everything turns out in the best way possible – whether that means quickly or slowly, or for better or worse (for now).

  344. Merry Christmas to you, in whatever fashion it finds you!
    You have been my steadfast knitting friend inside the internet for many years now, and such a role model for me in the ways you approach parenting, social justice, and disastrous knitting mistakes. I wish you and your family every good thing, and hope that Good Things begin showing up again sooner rather than later. Hang in there.
    And today has three more minutes of light than Monday, in my zone. Hooray!

  345. Sending good thoughts to you and your family during whatever difficulties you are facing. Hang in there!

  346. Merry Christmas to you and your family, Stephanie! Whatever your family may be going through right now, you have the right of it to not feel you have to share it with us all. We’re just lucky you share as much of yourself and your family and your friends as you do. You’ve made us love them all as much as you.
    Thanks to this blog, I have endless fondness in my heart for a lot of people I’ve never met IRL; but that’s the beauty of the thing. You’ve created a community of knitters, and we are the luckier for it.
    Stay safe and warm, and I hope the holidays bring you peace!

  347. Steph, I completely understand… this Christmas is just “off” for me… I still deeply miss my grandmother, who died two years ago, as she embodied Christmas for me for decades. Also, my father is losing the battle with lung cancer. I found myself shopping for presents and fighting back tears… I started feeling like the grinch and wanted to shout “I Hate Christmas!” Fortunately, my little ones have enough cheer and excitement to keep me from sinking into a hole. Please don”t feel like you have to “fake it” and keep being funny when you don”t feel like it

  348. Thank you for Sock Summit and the humour and wisdom of your brilliant writing. A lot of positive energy is flowing your way to you and your beautiful family.
    here’s a big squoooshy almost inappropriately long hug.

  349. You send so much light into the world to so many of us. May that light return to shine on you and your family. Thank you for sharing your gift with us.

  350. Sending you so many good thoughts and best wishes. You bring so many of us laughter and good feelings throughout the year – thank you for that. We put so much pressure on ourselves at this time of year, and we need to just relax a bit more and stress a bit less. Hope you have a peaceful Christmas and a new year with no more surprises from the house…

  351. Sending best wishes to you and yours. You are an amazing person who knows what is ultimately important.
    Take care of yourself and your the end, that is all that should be important to any of us!
    Come back soon…

  352. May you find strength sufficient for every struggle and may the good will of all those who care about you – even those you have never yet me – enfold you and yours.
    Vicki Stammer

  353. Please enjoy the holidays with your family. Thank you taking us away for a few moments each time you blog. Have a cup or two of eggnog and we’ll see you when we see you.

  354. God bless us every one!
    Thank you for bringing the slipper pattern to my attention. It’s brilliant. (Ooh, now there’s an idea for buttons….)

  355. Stephanie, I hope that you and your family have the best Christmas possible. Thank you for brightening my days for the past two and a bit years.

  356. I send merry tidings and many hugs – I hope you and your family have a lovely holiday and that things will be well. You’ve done a lot for the knitting world in 2009 and have much to be pleased with.

  357. Dearest Stephanie, I am so sorry for your troubles. And you are so right, if you have love, you have everything. I have the love of my friends and family, but I lost my romantic love this year. My Christmas, too, isn’t going the way I thought it would. Life has taken a big left turn. But it can always be worse. Always. I’m grateful for what I do have, and I’m sure you are too. Here’s to all of us holding hands and helping each other through the hard times. Blessings to you and yours.

  358. I add my good wishes to you and your family this Christmas. Thank you for keeping me connected to the yarn community through your blog – I miss it when it’s not updated and look forward to you resuming it soon.

  359. The best to all of you. We forget often that everyone has a story, that life is never all ups, but is balanced by the downs. How I wish it was different, but “the world is always turning toward the morning” (Gordon Bok).

  360. Best wishes to you and your family, now and for the new year. As you say, ‘love what you got’… it’s the most important thing at this time of year and every day (and I wish those around me would realize that, but that will come with time).

  361. May you have all the blessings of the season. And whatever you may be encountering at the moment is difficult and frustrating because it is not in your control, I’m sure you will come out of it with style, grace and a sense of humor.
    Fiber Love!

  362. Wise woman. Wise choices. Wonderful reminder to us all. The only faces we need are our own.

  363. Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year to the yarn harlot and all those you hold dear. Wishing you and yours much good knitterly karma for the holiday and in the new year.

  364. I am often stunned by how much we have in common. This post hit so close to home that I felt the breeze. Thanks for your honesty. I know how you are feeling. Sending you good thoughts.

  365. Sending good thoughts and hopes for 2010. You’ve done so much for the knitting community, and I hope you know how much we appreciate your work – and your humor!

  366. Dear Stephanie:
    “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well’.(Julian of Norwich 1342-1416C.E./ used by T.S.Eliot in The Four Quartets). Thinking of you and your family today.

  367. May I just add my good wishes for you and your family to those of the rest of the cyberworld? Be well. Love, Jenn

  368. Best wishes and warmest thoughts at this time for you and your family. I’ll be sending out positive energy to help you all deal with all that you must deal.
    Gene Reyes

  369. Stephanie,
    Take care of your family and yourself. You have made me, my husband and my sons laugh. My sons, who have worked as movers, laughed over your washing machine adventures and Joe’s misadventure with the truck and commented that you write really well. It has been a hard year for many, but most of us can say that we are warm, sheltered, filled with food, and are loved. Some times it is hard to remember that is all that really matters in the end. Stay away as long as you need to. We’ll hold you and yours in our prayers, our thoughts.

  370. Oh, Stephanie, I’m sorry to hear you and your loved ones are going through … well, through whatever this is. Know that even those of us who’ve never met you will be praying for you all. I hope all that love makes it all better — not cured, maybe, but at least better, very soon.

  371. Merry Christmas, Stephanie. Hug your loved ones close and thank you for all the joy you bring us all year.

  372. In the words of a blessing of great age “May God hold you in the palm of his hand” and the words of a wise Irish man “Goodnight, and may your God go with you” Peace to you and yours.

  373. 500+ messages, all from people who love you or from people you touch…. my thought and hopes are with you and your family. This time of year is always hard as we try to match the imagined “perfect holiday” but for most of us that is not possible as the real world presses in. My thoughts and hopes are with you and I wish you peace with the events of life. Remember that Hallmark and the TV specials are not real or possible for most and perhaps not something to which to aspire. Hugs to you all. You give me such joy. I hope all comes to some positive movement.

  374. Family first!
    All the best to you and yours (always), and have a very lovely and loving Christmas.
    (We’ll leave a light on for ya.)

  375. I only found your column a few months ago after I saw a book of yours in the bookstore. Your blog and your book have brought me many laughs since. I would like to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope next year is better for you. Best wishes and happy thoughts coming your way.

  376. As EZ said, “Knit on with confidence, through all crises”.
    Best for the holidays to you and yours. Also, I recommend watching lots of comedies.

  377. It’s one of those years – I had to reconcile that my holiday expectations needed to be ‘dialed down’ this year as well.
    All the best to you and yours! I’m so very thankful to have the privilege of you sharing as much of your life as you do through this blog – may 2010 be a healthy happy year for us all!

  378. Adding my good wishes for you and your family to all those above, and praying things will be better soon.

  379. Adding my wishes for happiness, health, and joy in your Christmas stockings and overflowing to every nook and cranny (sp?) of your life, the lives of your family and friends, and extending to the mandala of all sentient beings.
    Just in case your not completely hugged-out, here’s another one comin’ your way. Please take good care of yourself!
    Merry, merry Christmas Steph, and thank you for the exquisite gift of your live that you’ve shared with all of us.

  380. you know, i have been feeling that your post didn’t have all of Stephanie in them for a little bit, you seemed split some how, and i could read that, i hope all is well and that what ever road you and your family are on, that there’s a warm and safe place for you all, and that your happy.

  381. “We’re going to hunker down and love each other”

    merry christmas and happy new year.

  382. Stephanie, You’ve cheered me up more times than you can imagine from my desk, government work, dreaming and relaxing while looking at knitting and your insightful quips about life — then to return to work, refreshed. May you have a long as you need to re-group, re-settle, love and find peace.

  383. I hope it doesn’t have anything to do with the hand felting plunger thing, lol….
    All kidding aside, each Christmas is it’s own. Celebrate this one as it is….as you have said you have what is essential…family, love, food & shelter….. Peace to you & yours!

  384. You know, you aren’t alone in having a not so perfect year. I will keep you in my thoughts as I sincerely wish 2009 GONE and hope the door DOES smack it on the ass on the way out. May the Universe be kind and give us a better experience in 2010.

  385. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas. Family and friends are what matters. Everything else eventually sorts its self out and you just go on.

  386. Know that grief is temporary. Even when someone dies, while that is permanent, the pain for those left behind will lessen, and whether you want to go on or not, you do. You will still experience beautiful sunrises, meaningful activities, even love again. I couldn’t feel good feelings for some time. But grief is temporary. I am sorry for your loss whatever it is. You have brought many of us moments of pleasure. Thank you. Maggie

  387. Positive energies and love to you and yours.
    We will miss you during this time, but it will make each post all the more special.
    Your posts help me on the days when I’m struggling with life not following the path I was sure it should. I hope you have something to provide you the same comfort.

  388. We all find ourselves on our own journeys. The are ours and nobody elses. Sending loads of positive thoughts your way during what is obviously a difficult time. All the best, Stephanie.

  389. I have found that it is those occasions that strengthened my family, made us stop and remember just how important family is!! I am sure yours will feel the same or already is.
    But you have an army of support behind you in the caring people who follow your blog. We got your back, lady. Go. Do. Love. We’ll wait 🙂 And we’ll still be here whenever you need us. Say the word. You are in all our hearts and prayers.
    Merry Christmas, Friend,
    Much love,
    Cathy in Cleveland

  390. May the blessings of this special season be with you and your family this coming year. We shall be here with you when you return as we remain with you during your hiatus.
    Thinking of you, with friendship and love,
    Jan in Alexandria

  391. The story of the first Christmas is a story of a bunch of people having all their plans and expectations yanked out from under them, yet finding out that things turn out OK even so. I hope and pray that this will be the way the story turns out for everyone who’s not having a “normal” Christmas this year, including you, Steph.
    In the evening of life, what matters is love. – St. John of the Cross

  392. Dear Steph,
    Blessings on you and your loved ones at this time of year when the sun rebirths itself and gives all of us in the Northern Hemisphere hope that it will muddle on, this human life.
    Your humor is legendary. You are a very funny woman. But more and more, I enjoy your grace. It seems to be growing. And it’s beautiful.
    Fondly, Cheryl

  393. Best to you and yours, and thank you for the reminder to be grateful for what we have.
    (And you don’t owe us a damn thing. Take the time you need – we’ll be here when you get back.)

  394. As we head off to Midnight Mass please let us wish you a Merry Christmas and a very Blessed New Year to you and your family.

  395. As someone who writes to write I understand, but at the same time as a reader who reads, I find this frustrating primarily because the person whose story it is is NOT writing it.
    This is confusing, and I didn’t mean to be long or critical. It is hard to remember that our internet friends are that, and there are boundaries, and that, even for those of us who write, we cannot write stories that are not our own. I am glad to hear the story you cannot write is not one that cripples you and yours though it is one that obstructs you. My best wishes in dealing with the unknown whatever you (and yours) are facing. I hope that you are able to come back to us and talk with us soon.

  396. Imagine for *each* comment, there are hundreds and thousands who wish you well. Then multiply it. Your grace and humour have circled the world. Thanks Steph.

  397. I am NOT making light, but the situation sounds like many families all over the world- including ours right now.
    Life has a way of happening, now matter how we prepare. Savor the sweet moments, they are there, no matter how few or far apart they may seem. Just the food/home/clothing is really a huge thing. Tonight I’m volunteering at the USO, where several young military families are spending Christmas at the airport.
    You and yours are in my prayers and I wish you a Merry Christmas – I know you are counting your blessings while you cope with the rest.

  398. Stephanie, this is the time of year when many take in the “Good Tidings” part of the faith with a fairly cheery attitude – sentimental even. It is also the time we remember that a young woman named Mary said “Yes” to God, smuggled God into the world through her body and hunkered down for the long haul…which had a number of highs and lows you might have heard of. Life is like that. We say “yes” to living in love and the rest comes to us. Your writing conveys how attentive you are to the joys and challenges that come in the most mundane of events (sitting in airports – creating epic events just so you can spend time with your best friends 🙂 ) and so I trust that your “blogging pause” is equally as poetic. I will pray for your good comfort and for the mysterious presence some call God to companion you through your current “long haul” moment. You are in good company. Blessings.

  399. For all that you have given us — your devoted readers, supporters and friends — no explanation is necessary. May love abound, may peace reign, and may you find a miracle in each day!

  400. My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours. May you all find peace and strength to help you through your hard times. Happy Holidays!

  401. “it’s all you’re really going to get this year”.
    it’s all we ever really get, isn’t it? and it is more than enough. blessings and peace to you and yours, stephanie.

  402. Best wishes for you and yours – You blog is often one of the brightest spots in my day – I hope all the caring, positive thoughts coming your way will be a bright spot in yours. Hugs

  403. Reading your post, and the comments all kinds of thoughts turned in my head. How I hate winter and how I desparately dislike the holiday season, how back then when I’ve read that years ago post when it first apperade wanted to poke my knitting needle in the screen… LIGHT??? What light is she talking about…
    But then the turning point also came around this time of the year, and first time in my life my stomach did not churned the thought of Xmas, and did not wanted to puke seeing snow on the rooftops…
    Then I realize, you don’t need all this.
    You need to be at home with your loved ones. I hope whatever is it gets resolved, or it will hurt less with the time.
    I will miss your blog, because it IS the light of my day, but you have to do what you have to do.
    You are so strong.

  404. Regardless of what is going on, there is nothing that you, as a family, cannot conquor so long as you provide a united front.
    This past year has been a year of unbloggable things for us, but as we found out, so long as we present a united front as a family, NOTHING can beat us…and nothing can beat you either.
    Brightest Blessings!

  405. Sorry to hear of your difficulties. It really is such a blessing to have each other, love and the determination to get through whatever slaps us in the face, heart, etc.
    I’m sending good energy and thoughts to you and yours this holiday and hope that knowing all of us really do care about you and your family helps in some measure.
    It has been a ‘sucky’ year for me, but watching my grandchildren open presents this morning showed me that family, love and togetherness are what it’s all about; the rest of the ‘stuff’ dims in comparison.
    Be good to yourself and heal as you need to.

  406. Know that what you have going on is none of our business…also know that we are your extra-extended family and are with you in thought and spirit. Merry Christmas!

  407. Dear YH,
    Peace to you. I’d hate to think I’ve been part of what keeps you from seeing clearly and truthfully. I love reading your blog, and have become a better knitter because of it. Honker down, regroup, and come back stronger.
    Best wishes for a straight up, no BS new year.

  408. Whatever the issue and whatever you are all going through because of it, please know that there are a lot of us out here sending our best hopes and wishes your way. Take care.

  409. Adding my voice to those who thank you for all you do give, and say there’s no need to apologize for what you don’t want to share. Your life is yours, to share as you wish. Thank you so much for all you do, and your family is in my thoughts.

  410. A Good Yule to you all. May you find yourself wrapped in your family’s embrace and may you all adjust comfortably to the varying directions that embrace pulls you.
    Know that we of the Blogosphere have knit a lovely blanket of affection to keep all of you warm on top and supported underneath.

  411. You just described my 2009 (some blog-able, some not), particularly the summer, so I certainly understand. Best wishes for the best possible resolution to whatever is troubling you and your family. Enjoy whatever shape Christmas takes, and I chose to believe that 2010 will be much better than its predecessor.

  412. Peace and blessings to you and yours. Sending only the best thoughts and prayers into the Universe for you all.

  413. It is so hard not to be concerned–I am always how touched by how much you do share, yet very congnizant that you do not know each of us on a personal level and that there are areas of your lives that really belong just to you. Thanks for sharing all you do. I am so grateful for my life and family, as I know you are for yours. May 2010 bring a happy resolution and smooth sailing!

  414. You and your family will be in our prayers as we celebrate this season of peace and love. The joy will return.

  415. Dear YH,
    I’ve never commented here before,but have loved your blog for a long time. You are a wonderful writer and I enjoy your perspective on so many things. Having said that, it seems that a blog can make it hard to balance the personal and the public. If yours is becoming a burden-for you or those around you- I know you will find other ways to express your wit and wisdom. Your many fans will understand.

  416. Best wishes to you and all your family. May all of you receive all the blessings you need throughout the coming year.

  417. Merry Christmas YH as always you touch us emotionally everyday whether to make us laugh or cry but I want you to know that whenever you come back I will be waiting. BIG HUGS THIS CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY! I hope the New Year brings good things to you and all.

  418. Merry Christmas and best wishes in the new year to you and your family. *HUGE HUGS* and Thanks for making every day brighter. 🙂

  419. Hi! Let me join the hordes out here who are worrying and praying and sending best thoughts your way. Just come and read some of our encouragement when you need it.
    And knit on…
    We’ll be here when you are ready.

  420. Stephanie, there’s nothing that I can add to what has already been posted. You have the love and respect of not only the hundreds who have commented here, but the thousands who have not. I hope that even though you don’t know me, or most of us, personally, that the good thoughts and wishes that we are sharing with you will find their way to you during this difficult time. I wish you and your family all the best and will look forward to your return when the time is right.

  421. My Dearest Yarn Harlot.
    Wishing you and yours all that is bright and beautiful this holiday season and in the coming new year.
    Thank you for a wonderful time reading your blog. And just remember you can’t always get what you want, but you will always get what you need. My hope that all your families needs are met this coming year. Laurie

  422. Stephanie, Happy Christmas as best you and your family can do. May things turn out the way you wish them. You and all your extended family are in my thoughts. Thank you so very much for your blog–it has been a bright light in my life when I needed it.

  423. You’re in our thoughts and prayers. Stuff happens for all of us. Merry Christmas, and happy New Year

  424. Merry Christmas Stephanie, Joe, Amanda, Megan, Sam and The Blog. Best wishes for peace in your hearts and actions.

  425. it seems inevitable that creators who throw themselves into their blogs with gusto, and abandon, and talent, and humour, and enthusiasm, and wisdom, and patience, and reliability, and vulnerability, will inevitably, in the fullness of time, arrive at the day when they will sense that it’s no longer possible to carry on in exactly the same way. To every thing its season.
    so i think that the people who are writing “We’ll be here waiting for you” maybe aren’t getting it. She won’t be back the way it was. That’s over. It was all a spellbinding, stunning creation.
    many others are writing here of how they were blessed to read Stephanie’s blog, how they were saluted and embraced by her wit and warmth.
    these seem to be the people who understand that they received an exceptional gift, but it’s not likely to happen again exactly as before.
    this is the wondrous nature of the season. Hope has been born. Harlot will be back, some day, but we have absolutely no idea how. Nor, probably, yet does she.

  426. Thank you so much for sharing such a big part of yourself with us for so long–you are my heroine! Peace and Love to you and your family.

  427. Discretion is the better part of valour, O Valiant One.. May you and your family be nestled in a sheath of Love throughout your trying times and know that your many web friends send you their respects and best wishes ’til times get better..and they will because life is like that!

  428. Stay away as long as you need to, dear Harlot. Know that we will miss you, but your true blog friends know that most of your life isn’t any of our business. Wishing you more peaceful times in 2010.

  429. May all the laughter, the love, the respect and the fellowship you have inspired over the years come home to roost gently upon your shoulders and those of your family.
    Oh, and Steph? Duck. There’s an awful lot of them!
    Hang in there. Teeth and toenails, maybe, but you can do it–whatever ‘it’ needs to be at the time.
    (who got started knitting socks for her first try, and IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT and I love you for it…!)

  430. wishing you a peaceful christmas and a healthy and happier new year, to you and your family.

  431. Thank you for sharing your life with us- may your family find peace and joy in the coming year. Know that all of us, your fans, will be here waiting for you and supporting you.

  432. Glad there’s lots of love abounding for you & yours – in the end, that’s what matters most, though the getting through isn’t always easy. Gentle & warm thought & thank you for all the you DO share, I certainly love reading your writing.

  433. Steph-
    now I know why I picked up “Free-Range Knitter” at the book-store the other day- some more YH to get me thru this time when you are focused on what’s most important.
    Reading the comments tells me that you and I are not alone in having non-normal Christmases- but being focused on family has helped a great bit.
    Take as much time as is needed. You know we’ll be here when you can come back.
    With love, prayers, and happy fiber thoughts coming your way!

  434. Well, from the 610 comments before mine, anything I could say would be redundant, however I wanted you to know that there are a lot of people who admire your honesty, integrity, and class.
    Not that you need anyone else’s permission to do so, but deciding to “hunker down and love each other” sounds like the best idea I’ve heard in a while. I will be sending good karma to you and your family (related by blood or not).
    To the commenter who called 2009 the “Year of Suck”, I most heartily agree, and at midnight on December 31st, I will be hollering after it, “And don’t let the door hit you in the arse on your way out!”. A new year seems full of the promise of brighter days, even though intellectually I know that it can’t be all positive.
    Be good to yourself. By the way, Presbytera, this room is getting a little crowded, don’t you think?

  435. For all that you have done for us in sharing your life, your knitting and your family: many heartfelt thanks. Know that we of The Blog will respect your privacy and send our love and blessings to you and your family in this difficult time. Come back when you can, and if you need help, you have only to ask.

  436. Much much love to you and your family. I know The Blog is an interconnection of love and hope beaming serenity and strength to your household. Thank you for modeling such love of principle and people. Namaste

  437. Stephanie and Family,
    A saying from Flavia: Our lives are woven by the weavers of time in a pattern we cannot see.
    Family is the warp and weft of our lives. Even in weaving, the threads are beaten tightly to form the fabric, either loosely or tightly.
    Here’s to your family fabric; may you have insight to see the pattern as it develops.
    Love and Peace.

  438. Peace be to you, and grace from him, who freed us from our sins, who was and is, and is to come, so we mighty be saved be….all my trials, Lord, soon be over.
    Paraphrased from a choral piece I sang many years ago.
    We do love you, my dear Harlotta and all the extended Pearl-McPhees. When and if and however frequently you choose to blog (and about what) is up to you. OF COURSE we are all concerned about whatever is rocking your boat and would like to know what it is. You have created alot of nameless faceless friends for yourself here. But as you know, WE don’t all post all our private biz here either ( your email box knows too). We repect the dignity which you apply to the situation and the grace you show us by telling us “something’s up but it’s not mine to tell”. You have enriched us as knitters and as people greatly. We hope to keep seeing you here as often as you are able and willing. Love and peace.

  439. ps -I think Presbytera’s donation idea is so wonderful. I set up automatic donations about 2 years ago when Steph was wanting to really get Knitters Without Borders going. $15.00 per month out of my tiny paycheck once a month turns into alot more over the span of a year. All because of the Harlot.

  440. Reading your blog, and all the comments, I was struck by how many members of this blog family have had difficult times – this and other years. So my prayers at church this Christmas morning were for you and your family, as well as for any of us in The Blog who may need a little extra help.
    I learn from and laugh with Steph, but also from and with you all.
    So for all of us – better days in 2010.

  441. I just wanted to say that I will be keeping you and your loved ones in my thoughts and prayers. I completely respect your privacy and I hope that the difficulties you’re dealing with will work themselves out very soon. I’ll be sending lots of good thoughts your way! Please take care!

  442. Dear Stephanie,
    I’m so sorry that you guys are having a tough time now and I definitely understand your need for a little privacy and understanding. You got it sister!!!
    My family isn’t having a normal Christmas either. It’s been a weird and very stressful month. First I had an eye problem and it knocked me out of commission for the first 2 weeks of December. I’m sure you can see what kind of havoc an unexpected eye problem would have on a fellow knitter during December. Yep, it blows the whole knitting schedule right out of the water! Then a very dear friend of mine, who had Pancreatic cancer, went into the hospital for the last time and died on the 19th.
    His name was Chris and he was an awesome and amazing lace knitter. He was a medic in Vietnam, and was wounded while he was trying to save others. He was blind in one eye and saw double in the other, yet he created some of the most beautiful lace pieces I have ever seen. He was an alcoholic who took up knitting to help himself recover from his addiction and once he started knitting lace, he never stopped. He was always designing shawls, scarves, and other lacy things and giving them to friends and loved ones. I consider myself very fortunate to have several of his pieces. He also designed and donated several shawls every year to be raffled off to raise money for Breast Cancer research. When the local paper heard about him and wanted to do a story, he gladly agreed. He thought that maybe it would help other alcoholics know that it could be done and encourage them to try and get help. His whole life was like that. He was always thinking of and taking care of others.
    I like to think that you and Chris would have hit it off. He couldn’t read your post because the computer screens really bothered his eyes, but every so often after you had posted an entry that I thought he would particularly like, I’d call him up and read it to him. He thought you were charming, funny, and very insightful.
    I’m sorry this is so long, but I don’t blog and as I read your post today I thought that maybe hearing about Chris might make you smile. He would really like that, considering you made him crack up on more than one occasion. Your post today also made me think about two other friends, Tommy and Henry, that died a few days before Christmas, in two different years, a long time ago. This year I did the same thing that I did then, I tried to make the time I spent with others during the holidays as meaningful and loving as I could. I gave up worrying about the knitting gifts that weren’t done. The reasons they weren’t done was out of my control and they won’t get done any faster by my freaking out. I’ve tried to enjoy and appreciate all my friends and family more, and worry about things like cooking and decorating less. I love doing all that stuff but this year I just didn’t have the time to do all the planning and when I did have time, frankly my heart just wasn’t it. In other words, I’ve let myself and all those I love off the hook. As far as I’m concerned, (and like you said) the fact that we are all together, warm, fed, and able to enjoy each others company and love each other is enough for me. Anything above and beyond that is like putting whipped cream on top of the world’s most awesome cheesecake. My motto lately is “No worries!” and I’m doing my best to live up to that motto. Sometimes I forget, but so far I’ve managed to snap back and remember what’s important. I know that I’m preaching to the choir here, but I guess I just wanted you to know that there are a bunch of us in the same program.
    Many blessing to you and your family. I’m sure that what ever difficulties you guys are facing, you’ll be able to handle them all with love and get through it. Happy Boxing Day and thanks for letting me share my friend with you.
    PS: It’s said that once something is put on the internet, it lasts forever. Chris would get a big kick out of that thought.

  443. ((((((((Stephanie)))))))))
    My thoughts are with you. I hope the New Year brings you joy and happiness and that whatever is going on in your life is resolved in the best way possible.
    – Pam

  444. We had two “different” Christmas family parties here this year. I must say I did appreciate the change. I hope your different was finally good too.
    Best wishes for 2010, and many XOs from faraway Switzerland, as always. Manuèle

  445. Merry Christmas and a Better Year in 2010!
    What is normal? And why do we hold ourselves to the ideal that Christmas Day will be perfect if the other 364 are total chaos?
    Laugh when you can; cry when you need to, and move on.
    Hugs and Smiles to you and your extended family,

  446. We have been dealing with a difficult year, here, too. I so understand the need to circle the wagons.
    So. On this second day of Christmas, may I wish you, and all of your loved ones, peace and blessing, now and throughout the next year and for many years to come. And a great big hug from me, to add to all the others.

  447. Stephanie,
    Of course, curious as a kitten, but know that life is what happens when we are busy making our plans. Wishing you and your family blessings of peace and fortitude. And thank you for this past year, and previous years of funny and many times thought provoking blogs.
    PS.Thanks so much for the heads up on the French Press Felted Slippers, love them and have been telling others who are just as excited.

  448. Dear Harlot –
    Sending hugs to you and your family. Whomever it is that’s got “something” going on is lucky to have you there on his/her side. Hope you all get through it together as gracefully as possible.
    We’ll miss you as you take a break, but know that we’ll be here when you get back.
    Peace to you and yours…

  449. Do what you need to do. Sounds like the blog should not be your priority for a while.
    Please know that many more people than you may even realize care for you and wish you nothing but the best for you and your family.

  450. my bestest wishes for as Happy a Holiday Season as you can permit (for now).
    Somehow, some way, there will be a light somewhere…. and over time, things do get easier, But you won’t miss anyone any the less. *sighs*
    But….You and yours wont be given any more than you can handle…. Hurry Back & Stay Safe !

  451. I’ll keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers for peace and happiness. Thank you for being such an inspiration to try new things in knitting.

  452. Stephanie
    Have a Happy & Healthy New Year! I’ll keep you & yours in my prayers. It never hurts to ask the big Guy for a little help.

  453. Here’s hoping you’re sharing many warm hugs, kind thoughts, and loving moments with your family – that’s what is really important about the season so – in a sense, you’d be having a totally normal Christmas after all – just with some of that chaos dust sprinkled over it – sometimes, it’s hard to see it that way:)
    Take care!

  454. My hat is off to you for keeping what is a private matter just that…private. It seems as if there are far too few people in the world today that understand the concept of privacy. Just because we have the means to broadcast every minute detail of our lives to the world doesn’t mean that we are obligated to do so. Bravo to you!

  455. And a hearty amen to that. So much that should be held close and private is out there for the immediate world to feast on, whether it is appropriate or just “news.”
    May you and yours be well, safe, and happy.
    Moreover, may your times brighten.

  456. On this second day of Christmas, I join with all the others in wishing you all the best. I especially want to thank you for what you have given to me – I now have an excellent stash of yarn (many of them recommended by you) that I’m going to use this year, some for a new baby in the extended family, I have given some knitted articles as presents, with the promise of the uncompleted ones coming (the French Press felted slippers) and I have a small library of Yarn Harlot books to read until you return to The Blog, whenever and however that will be.
    As the days lengthen and the winter here in Southern Ontario deepens, remember the promise of spring – both literally and metaphorically. I have a quote that I would like to share with you and The Blog. It is ‘The message is that Christmas is not one day, but a lifetime of spreading peace and love.’
    It is a small message, but has such amazing impact! I feel it’s the perfect thought to contemplate this holiday season. Thank you and blessings to you Stephanie and to your family for spreading your peace and love. I hope that someday our paths will cross and I can thank you in person. Take care and be well.

  457. Here’s hugs and love to you and yours. No matter what has happened of what will happen, it will all work out somehow and life and love and joy will be there with you.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all matter of things shall be well – St Julian of Norwich

  458. Stephanie,
    Sometimes even life does not match up with the swatch that we practiced on…so we adapt to the actual pattern that is forming beyond our direction and control and we simply get it done the best way we can. When you think of it, we all have some decent emotional stash to rummage through and find something that will knit up well with the altered pattern we have been given. Best advice to take is what you would tell us…perservere and when all else fails…have a hit of your chosen beverage, shake it off and try again…life is like that, sweetie. Every one’s life. Best to who ever has the issue. Take a break from the blog…we are friends and we all understand.

  459. You and yours are in my prayers. A friend of mine who went through some difficulty called this kind of time cocooning (sp?). A beloved son unexpectedly flunked out of college and went in a different direction, which shocked his family. We friends, of course, found out much later. I always thought the term, cocooning, was highly appropriate and a necessary idea for a family or small group of people with a difficult problem. It keeps things private and it nicely says non of your business if that is necessary to say. And you don’t have to say a darn thing until you are ready to say anything if you say anything at all. Your life, Stephanie, isn’t so private, but you definitely deserve the respect of being left alone to cocoon and come to terms with whatever you need. Bless you. We all love and cherish all that you give us and even though it may not seem like it at times, we all have to cocoon at times.

  460. You have given us so much joy and laughter – I hope you can feel all of the love that is coming back your way.
    We’ve been thrown a curveball this Christmas as a family,we have 5 sassy, smart, beautiful daughters aged 18-23, and our very bright 20 yr old who has a great job which she loves, and promising career has just told us she is pregnant – on purpose – it’s the 2nd bit that really knocked us, the first bit we can deal with, the 2nd bit has the whole family saying WTF?? we will work through it and everyone will be fine – but at the moment it is pretty raw.
    I’m lucky – as a baby knit designer I can find inspiration in this time of bewilderment, I hope that somehow you can find inspiration for your work from what you are going through.

  461. You’re right you know. The festival is finally about love, and peace…. everything else is just extra trappings. Glad you’re able to let go of the less important stuff….
    My best wishes to you and yours. Hopefully, with a little temporal distance, Xmas this year will be memorable for good reasons, like knowing that you truly love and are truly loved.
    Many hugs!!

  462. Took me a while but i read all the comments before mine , somehow my face got wet. What a great group/blog family/community.
    My thoughts have turned to your family a number of times since i read your original post: always to wish you well, to wish you peace and clarity. Our 2009 has been marked with sickness and extended family with big problems too. It’s done, we’ll learn from it and move on. The good thing is, we are more focussed and clearer on what we really want from life. Besides more wool 🙂

  463. …and just for the record, i’m glad this year is ending too. we saw major battles with depression, unbelievable weight gain (and a slow, painful fight to claw back to normal…not anywhere close yet), moving when we didn’t want to, no funding…and nearly lost mom to sepsis related multi-organ failure. somehow, that last put everything else in perspective, and though spending way >2000$ to go back home to be with her and help her back will ensure that we start 2010 deep in debt, at least she’s still around, and we’re still around.
    have a wonderful new year.. . we intend to. the old one is done.

  464. Peace and love to you and yours in whatever you’re going through, our prayers are with you and you are always in our thoughts! Until you’re ready to blog again, we’ll read and re-read your books and still have you as a small part of our lives!

  465. I’ve been worried about you for a while–the tone of your blog was different.I haven’t really got anything to add except take care of you and yours and remember”all this too will pass”. i also believe that you are only sent what you can cope with.

  466. I wish you peace, love and a return of joy. We will patiently wait; we don’t need to know everything. All you need to know is that we love you..and I’ve added you and yours (“yours” includes friends) to my prayer list. Love you.

  467. Merry Christmas!
    The spirit of the season is all about family, and tough times which make you pull together, regroup and grow stronger mean that you’re more resilient when you need to be.
    We’ve seen that with our own family this year. My daughter runs a horse rescue and their barn burned down on December 14th. Luckily, no horses were inside that night, but about 11 chickens died. Family, friends and complete strangers have come together to support and help my daughter prepare to rebuild the barn and continue her rescue work.
    Despite our sorrow, the kindnesses have shown us the true meaning of life and love – and I hope that you, too, have love, laughter, and a light at the end of the tunnel both this holiday season and all throughout 2010 and beyond. ((hugs)) We look forward to your return to blogging.

  468. Things weren’t “Fine in 2009″ for us either.
    I had a friend when I lived in Seattle, whose mother’s response to any adversity was always,”Well it’s all part of life’s rich pageantry”. We usually wanted to drop kick her off the Space Needle after that. Since everyone else has sent hugs and love etc., , I hope you won’t mind one respectful response of , yep, sometimes it’s simply #$%@@#.

  469. As they say, “normal” is just a setting on Sir Washy. Hope 2010 is better for all of us. Peace.

  470. All best wishes for peace and the best things to you and your family now and in the coming years. We care. And as L. Cohen put it so well, “Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget that perfect offering, Everything has a hole in it, That’s how the light gets in.” But here’s hoping that the outcome of your family’s present situation is the very warmest and best. Hugs and thanks for your generous honesty, art and big heart.

  471. Love and warm wishes for you and all of your family. We care and you are not alone as you know. Each day is a new one – thank God. Lots of hugs.

  472. It’s true, some stories simply aren’t ours to tell. Sending best wishes to you and yours and hoping that you have an enjoyable Christmas anyway. May we all enjoy what we have!

  473. dear Stephanie and all your loved ones, may this thing turn out for the best, have all a happy 2010. If we are in need of a laugh, we willl backread your posts,sympathize again with your losses and your gains, say goodbey to Sir Washie, welcome new apparatus in your home, enjoy the accomplishments of your children. We are the blog, we understand, we will not probe. We will be happy or sad with you in every pot we read. I will miss your daily posts, but hee, there are so many to reread, take your time andmargreet take care of what is most important, your loved ones and you. Love, Margreet.

  474. A Jewish New Year prayer: May the year and its curses end; may the year and its blessings begin.

  475. I have long lurked and laughed here and it has lifted my spirits many times. All my wishes for a healthy resolution to the troubles. Blessings to you and your family as you move forward.

  476. Go in grace (and with confidence, EZ might add) wherever you are needed. Keep the needles clicking, and so will we, your loyal readers.

  477. You are wise beyond your years. I applaud your respect for privacy. The events of life have NO RESPECT for holidays and times we expect should be all about joy. It is a continuum. We come out the other side different and, mostly, better people. May God be with you and yours; may you feel the presence of the divine.

  478. Next to my desk there is a card that says ” Your heart is a muscle the sizze of you fist. Keep loving, Keep fighting.”
    Sending good thoughts your way…

  479. Thank you for writing all you have and including us in your life – It’s been so nice to be aware of a knitting world besides my own – Your family is lovely and I just hope you guys have a wonderful holiday season and enjoy just being together.

  480. God has given us our families to support us as we go thru life’s garbage. He’s given us His Son, each other, and our KNITTING to keep us sane. I will remember you in my prayers, for comfort and resolution for your garbage and others’ garbage in life. I guess you are right. It COULD be worse, and that’s a good reminder for us all! You are a stalwart one, and you know your blessings and friends & family are there for you to lean on and for us all to support each other. Thank you for all the joy you have given us through your blog in the past. There is much joy in this life. It’s all a gift, and YOU are another of our gifts! Keep on keepin on!

  481. My very best to you and your family. Whatever is happening, I hope everything works itself out and you all come out the other side stronger and happier. Remember we all think of you fondly. You’ve brought us so much laughter and joy. You deserve all good things. 🙂

  482. As one who drew the Internet’s anonymous and ugly ire, I can understand the heart dropping upset. One the one hand, a little passion for knitting is good. On the other, there is a fine line between passion and just plain crazy nutters.
    I applaud your respect for privacy and the unwavering respect for your family. I hope to see you back, since you are a hoot and a half.

  483. I feel like I have been stabbed in my heart…
    I JUST made a donation to DWB, because your words were making me feel guilty. And THEN I read your blog of DEC 24…I feel your sadness from here..I wish I could give you THE biggest hug..
    You have always been such a talented writer, you have made me laugh so many times! Please know we all love you!

  484. Let me add on with all the Blog so far…
    My warmest wishes to you and your family. We’ll be here whenever you feel like writing again.

  485. Hang in there! You are a positive, empowered woman who will prevail through the huge slice of crazy pie you’ve got on your plate. Things will get better. Believe in yourself. I believe in you. Be strong and positive. You are an amazing woman who inspires us all. Thank you. Godspeed.

  486. I hope you got to appreciate a nice quiet Christmas, and that all of those you care for are well.

  487. Hope all worked out as well as possible for you Christmas. The holidays can be difficult for many people, many reasons.
    Warm thoughts go to you and your family.

  488. Wishing you a new year filled with family, friends, and yarn. Finding your blog brought me great joy during a pretty bleak time, and as I pull up a bit, I look forward to diving into the archives for all the ones I’ve missed.
    Peace, comfort, and joy to you.

  489. Everybody deserves a private life and we don’t expect you to bear all all the time. Just know that we are thinking of you and hope everything works out alright for all members of your family.
    With love,
    Francine from Manchester, Conn. USA

  490. That’s right, KNIT ON!, as EZ would say. Remember, with the shadow, there is a light close by…

  491. I hope all is as well as it can be with you and your family. Family is always more important. Thinking of you.

  492. Well, I’m late to this party (nothing new there), but would like to add my own heartfelt wishes that things will work out and improve quickly for you and yours, Stephanie. We knitters and crocheters like to think of ourselves as a vast, world-wide family of sisters and brothers in craft, but the reality is, of course, that our real-life, flesh-and-blood families must come first. So while your blog will be missed, not a single one of your readers, much less your friends, will not understand your need to be away.
    Here’s hoping that the Pearl-McPhee family (families?) have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2010. 🙂

  493. Dear Stephanie-thinking of you, and know that the love of you and your family (and extended reader-family) will get you through. Lots of support out here! Erin

  494. I have learned many things this year, but the most recent has been that life doesn’t always go as you would have it. My friend lost her husband of 25 years right after Thanksgiving; they have two daughters, 11 and 14. Our gift this year was getting to know this small broken family better, and having them to our house to celebrate a wee Christmas. I hope that you continue to celebrate what you have, and that the wrinkles work themselves out as best they can. Many hugs to you.

  495. The love of those around you will bring you through, though maybe not in the way you would wish for or in your time scale. Hold the faith and know that things will not be this way in 2 years time – and what’s two year in a lifetime? an eyeblink.
    We who are also in disarray are willing you onwards.X

  496. I am the 689th comment so unlikely you will read this but I want you to know that your musings are frequently the little light in the darkness of our lives. That sounds a little more morose than I intended. We all have darkness but to survive, you have to find the humor and the extraordinary in the ordinary. Some days it is hard to do this on your own and you need a little help. Thank you!

  497. Your blog has been such a gift to me and my teenager! Even when he was grumping and being teenager-ish, I could always show him your calendar page to elicit a laugh, or the blog entries that showed we aren’t alone in our crazy lives and that there are other crafters out there who live, love and laugh their way thru it all.
    Best of luck to your family, and thank you for all the time you have spent with us.
    paula and z.

  498. I hope you had a “Merry Little Christmas” as in the song, and I wish you a wonderful new year.

  499. Don’t need to know what’s doing in order to wish you happy through it, with love to all you and your own.

  500. Love to you and your family. Though none of you have ever met me, you and your stories about them influence me and so many others. I needed that today, I need that perspective. Thank you so much, and all the best in the new year!

  501. Adding my virtual hugs to the many others.
    Your wisdom and humor have brightened many of my dark days–may yours soon be filled with sunshine.

  502. Thank you for all the joy you’ve brought to us, your loyal readers and fans. And only happy blessings and good wishes are sent with this comment. Happy and restful New Year to you and yours.

  503. I’ll still be here when you get back. Thanks for all the smiles, Steph, and I hope for the best for you and your family.

  504. All of the previous posts say what is in my heart. Arthur Miller in the play Death of a Salesman, said, in the character of Mrs Loman; ” Attention must be paid”. You are paying attention where it is needed. Know that we all support and care for you, regardless.
    Come back when you can, and tell us only what you wish to. We will be happy when your voice returns. We will hold you in our love and attention until then.

  505. Here’s hoping that whatever it is you are dealing with gets dealt with sooner than later – for your sake and (selfishly) for all of our sake too! I miss you and send good thoughts your way! We’ll be here when you return – count on it!

  506. Yep. That sounds familiar. The whole “loving what you’ve got” portion. A roof over our heads, utilities on, food in the fridge, friends & family who love us and one another to lean on and share time with. That’s what it’s all about anyway.
    There have been many days in the past years when your words, your stories, your humour has been just what i’ve needed to get me through the day. In this season of cold dark days, do remember, Dear Harlot…there will be light and warmth ahead but probably not from the most obvious of places. Look to the faces of those around you and not to the material. Hug more, laugh lots and knit on! Treasure these days.
    Blessings to you and to those you love.

  507. The nice thing about prayers and support is you don’t need anything to give it. So to you I give you my prayers and my support for whatever else life has thrown in your way. Thank you for sharing what you do and letting me know that on so many things I was not alone. It doesn’t have to take a disaster or a monstrosity to make us have to put on the brakes,try to breath,regroup and just get through the days one day at a time. May each day whatever it may bring get easier. May you and your family have a blessed New Year.

  508. Hi! I just wanted you to know that you are likely to be hearing from many of us, even while you are not blogging back, so I hope you will keep reading your comments – wishing you what you need, time, energy, patience, what ever it might be.
    Your blog post about what happened to you on one of your book tours when you got stuck at O’Hare saved me from sending my teenage son to change planes there – even when you didn’t write about knitting, you helped keep someone safe.
    Knit on…

  509. YES! Let’s all keep posting so Stephanie can come back here any time she wants/needs to .. or… NOT.. as the case may be. You, YH, are a strong, clever, talented knitter, and … HECK! You should do whatever YOU want to do… WHENever! From all of us, here is the permission to DO just THAT! You GO, girl.. and if it takes a month, or a year, or whatever until you come back to us… (a few days? Hopeful, aren’t I?)… just know we are not going to go away just because you need a break. That’s the least you have coming to you! We are with you all the way. Cling to your family and friends, and… Hang in and Hang on!

  510. I’ve just been reading one of my Christmas presents, My Knitting Journal, by Kaffe Fassett. Here’s what I found: “Knitting is a triumph of dexterity over string”, and “Knitting is a complex and joyful act of creation in my everyday life”(Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Yarn Harlot, wwwDOTyarnharlotDOTcaDOTblog). When things aren’t so great, read your own words and realize that you have the ability to do something joyful and create something beautiful and complex. Knit on, Stephanie, with hope in your heart and know that you are not knitting alone, the blog knits with you. Love!!!

  511. the best to you and your whole family. i hope that regardless of the curves thrown to you and your family this year, i hope it has a lovely ending. hunker down in the dying embers of 2009 and wait for the light to return. i’ve certainly been there myself.

  512. Hi Stephanie,
    I would like to add my voice, heart and good wishes to you and your family.
    Take care,

  513. Hey there, you have quite the support system, we all love you and your friends and families, you have made us feel like family for such along time, we understand where you are coming from . Basically this year has been a tough one for everyone. Love for now,(I’ve gotta darn cat in heat , anyone want a cat). just kidding

  514. Stephanie, Boy have you had a Money Pit year of it ! Old houses do that ! The best for your family in the new year. We will be waiting for you to come back as we love you. You have made our days so full with sharing your life with us. Our prayers and thoughts are with you in this time.

  515. Stephanie…..Family, no matter how they try our spirits are the best thing in the world. Hold and keep them close and time will help make things less difficult. We have them for such a short time.
    My prayers are with you all during this holiday season. Pat M

  516. Stephanie:
    May the peace that surpasses all understanding be with you and your family this holiday season and the coming new year.
    Keep smiling throughout the unblogable issue. Makes the negative forces wonder what you’re up to.

  517. Just finished your book, Secret Life of a Knitter, and liked the chapter on getting yarn from a friend and making items from it for her family. I had a friend this past spring who had lots of stash, and she died of pancreatic cancer, so family gave me most of the stash. I was able to finish some projects that she just needed put together, unraveled some, and have passed projects on, finished, with my friends, name along with mine. I was able to knit a pair of socks for friend’s aunt who was one who connected me with all the yarn….I even visited her grave, just up road from our home, and told her about how her yarn is doing. Us knitters take care of our own, Marines have nothing over us.

  518. Hey Steph–thanks for all your wisdom and humor. I hope you and all your family persevere through whatever difficulty it is you are facing. Your blog has lightened my life and I will miss you while you’re gone. Take care of you and yours, and welcome back when you can be here.

  519. I’ve been reading the comments and thinking of you and yours, wondering if there’s anything to add. You have so much wisdom along with the laughter. You are surely doing the right thing now and you will know when it’s time for the next right thing. I hope at least your knitting is giving you some solace through all of this. You can talk to us just about that, you know, sometime, if you ever feel like it! A happy, and better, new year to you all–

  520. Many thanks to your family for allowing us into their world, and sharing you. You give so much of yourself here, it’s time to take back, with love, gentleness and kindness. Be good to yourself, knowing you have brought joy to those around you.
    Good thoughts and blessings to you.

  521. My husband and I separated at the start of November. I moved out with our two girls 14 and 11. We did spend Christmas day together. We still love each other. And it showed. It was simply a lovely Christmas. I think that is because we have taken all the previous ones for granted. We have been married 24 years, 30 altogether. We may reconcile sometime down the track but who knows? The love stuff stays no matter what and that’s all that matters. Have a healthy, happy 2010. Sue, Australia.

  522. *hugs* to you and Joe and the girls…and whoever else might need them.
    You are one of the most inspirational people I can think of, not just as a knitter, but as a mother and a woman, and you are much loved by so many people. xxx

  523. My friends and I will be having a New Years Eve bonfire, with everyone bringing their 2009 calendars to throw into the flames because of how sucky a year it was. I hope 2010 is better for you, as well.

  524. Dear Steph,
    Take care. Much love and best wishes to you and your family. Keep calm and cast on. Take all the time you need. You are loved by so many and we’ll wait.
    big hug,

  525. May you and your family have a peaceful and loving holiday season. Thank you for making the rest of us smile this past year with your blog.

  526. Dear Steph,
    I appreciate your wisdom and grace under pressure. My mother was a newspaper editor and occasionally wrote columns about our family doings. I know there were a lot of things we didn’t mind sharing and some (with a family of 5 kids there were always crises) that we would have preferred she not share with the world ( or that section of it reading the Niagara Falls Gazette.) I love the way you humourously and tenderly report on your family, but I know from experience that no matter how delicately you report, you cannot help impinging on the even more delicate feelings of your family, especially the young ones.
    Thank you for including us all in the funny parts of your life. I’ll be happy to just have you keep us part of your knitting life.
    Barbara M.

  527. You’ve given so much there’s never any need to explain giving to those closest to you. I wish you all the best and thank you for all you’ve given us.

  528. Good for you for taking a stand and putting it out there that not everything in your life needs to be on your blog. I hope you and your family find the peace and joy you deserve. I know I tend to think of your blog (and a few others) as my daily treat in my currently humdrum life- but your life and your family’s life is yours – not the blog readers. Sending much love and hugs your way – Hester from Atlanta

  529. I could have written this blog, Stephanie. Is it weird to say that your blog helped me get through my difficult holiday this year? I decided to make the ballet slippers over the holiday in your honor, and it was my initial foray into felting. It was wildly successful and I felt instantly better. I made them for my best friend who has been my lifeline this holiday. My best to you and yours. As my late mother would say, “this, too, shall pass.”

  530. I love that we keep talking to each other while Steph’s away, gathered in the space where she brought us together. Let’s keep doing it; I read all the new comments every day and I bet lots of other knitters do too.

  531. My thoughts are with you. I am a knitter who just found your blog just about a month ago. One reason I knit is to get in my own little world, and focus on something other than the negative things & drama happening in my life right now. I was looking for patterns and ideas, mixed in with a little humor and found all that in your blog. I knit to “get away” and I definitely don’t want to read someone elses drama. Please keep on doing what you do best!

  532. You’ve had a big year, Ms. Harlot. Perhaps if you cast your eyes over the blogs you have written you will remember how much of yourself you have put out to the world. I am always stunned by your capacity to share with us.
    I hope you know that you and yours are much loved by your community. When you and Tina would sweep through the halls at the SS09, people would stare in awe and wonder and whisper to each other “That’s Stephanie and Tina!”
    We will miss the laughter and wisdom you have always shared so generously. We all send Blessings and wish you a relaxing and refreshing time as you draw a veil on this time of your life.

  533. Just wanted to send my wishes for a better new year to you and your family. I want to let you know that this year I battled with a diagnosis of breast cancer, had surgery and then radiation. Through it all, I enjoyed reading your blog. It took my mind off of things, if even for a short amount of time. I look forward to reading more from you in the new year. Thanks and God bless you and yours.

  534. Steph…….. I hope this post finds you well. Just look at all the well-wishes for you and your family! I’m adding my stitch on the ‘afghan of love’ surrounding you and yours. Wishing you all many blessings and love.

  535. I’m back just can’t stay away. Love you bunches…. I’m going out and buy one of your books (maybe a whole set.) I raise a glass to you and yours! Happy New Year!

  536. Everyone takes vacations. I’m a banker, and if I told my boss I needed a week off I would just get my week off. I wouldn’t check in, call, send emails, or worry about what was going on while I was gone, and you shouldn’t either…even if your boss is a little more demanding than mine. Take a break and enjoy your family.

  537. Dear Stephanie,
    Thanks for all the inspiration and smiles I’ve received from you. Now I hope the warmth and concern from your readership, family and friends gives you the strength and support you need at this time. All the best to you, Joe and your daughters,

  538. Dear Harlot – For all you give, I give thanks. To all you love, I send love. Be present, be whole, and be at peace doing what is to be done.
    Blessed be to you and your family – from the closest of loves to the first-time blog reader who all care deeply for you – and may the new year bring you brightness and joy!

  539. Whatever it is, I know that your family will pull together and make it come out as right as it can. Good thoughts, and let us all know what we can do to help, when and if we can.

  540. Hi Stephanie and family, keep well, love each other and try and find the light and laughter where you can. Blessings to you and yours, 2009 was really wonderful, and really sucky at the same time. Keep calm and cast on 🙂

  541. Well that just sucks! Sucks for you and perhaps more particularly sucks for us.
    Truly, to be deprived of your wit and humour will be felt most keenly. I daresay, we will be able to endure this most unwelcome deprivation, if not cheerfully then most resignately optimistically as we possible can. (Can you tell, I’ve been reading Jane Austen this week?)
    Seriously, Take care of yourself and your family, and when your ready to share with us again we’ll be here.

  542. Hey, you deserve as much privacy as you need, and whenever you need it. We’ll be here when you come back! In the meantime, sending you light, warmth, and good thoughts.

  543. Blessings to you and your family! I’m sorry to hear things are difficult right now, but know you all have the love and will find the strength to do whatever needs to be done. Just as I’ve always appreciated that you share so much with us, I also appreciate the need for privacy.
    I only found your blog a couple of years ago – maybe I can (she says selfishly) get my “Harlot fix” by catching up on the archives! In the meantime, do what you need to do, and know that many, many people, including me, are keeping you and your family in thoughts and prayers.

  544. Steph, your tweets keep some of us (me) from worrying too much about you. Keep knitting through it all. Lily

  545. Thank you for all you do, and for the encouragement you give us all just by being you. It’s wonderful to know there’s someone out there just as quirky as me. Your blog is uplifting & I’m thankful for it. Warm thoughts in your family’s time of need.

  546. O.k. – So this was a week of solid, hard, flooding rain – “I’m dreaming of a wet Christmas…” and a very unwelcome, stress-inducing person has just announced her intention of coming back into our lives (I have no choice in the matter) and five days later a sixteen foot tall retaining wall has given way. It took almost all almost all of four seconds to deposit 20 tons of dirt and debris on the driveway where my car had been earlier in the day and punched a hole in my kitchen wall. They can’t even come and clear up the mess because the roads are flooded and there is no insurance coverage on this. The good news is the power is still on so I can write this (don’t know why I feel I must, but I do) and everyone just happened to be on the other side of the kitchen as BIG chunks of cement came flying through. No one was hurt except the kitchen cupboard which didn’t complain too much as it bled quarts of soy sauce all over the floor. Just keep reminding yourself that things eventually reach a point where things HAVE to look up! Happy Holidays!

  547. Of course I miss reading you, terribly. But family is always most important, and we wouldn’t enjoy or respect you half as much as we do if you didn’t put your family first. One of the things I have always admired about you is what a full-on mother you are while juggling heaven knows how many balls in the air at the same time. You do what is most important and feels right for you right now, some things in life you don’t get the chance to do-over. We’ll still be here when you get back.

  548. You have a lovely following. You can use all the good will and wishes and have us post projects, lack of projects, projects that will never see the light of day. How did my dh poke holes in every last sock! How is it that he is the same size chest while I have um, gained chest porportions? No I am not pregnate! I have ripped out my sweater two times, ripped hubby’s sweater twice. See sizing and gauge issues…and it is freakishly cold in Maryland.(USA)
    Come on people, those socks aren’t going to knit themselves! Let’s give Stef a lovely set of posts about our craptasic failures in knitting. Let’s give her a laugh, you know, the belly laugh that makes you feel better. Start RIGHT NOW!

  549. We are all anxoiusly awaiting hearing if you did indeed live through X mas and if you finished everyone’s gifts on time!

  550. Have a loving, caring, secure, hopeful, peaceful, zany, only slightly fattening, toasty warm, giggly, nostaligic, crazy, resolution-free, otherwise positive HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
    Drink a toast to the new year and to new beginnings!!

  551. Sorry to hear there’s trouble. I had a feeling something was going on you weren’t talking about. Take time, love each other, I hope it all gets better.

  552. I pray that this finds you and yours reasonably happy, healthy, warm, and very loved. It’s been a rough year for me, that you have often helped me through with your wit and humor. I wish I could now help you.