Guilt in the Drivers Seat

When Tina and I go to Port Ludlow to work, we always rent the same house. We do it through the Resort there, and they know that’s where we like to stay. We come a lot, we always get it, and it works really, really well.  There’s enough room to spread out all the Sock Summit stuff, there’s space to set up office equipment like a printer and such and there’s a little kitchen so we can make coffee and food round the clock like lunatics without people knowing that we’re lunatics. The little house is a perfect solution.  So a little while ago Tina and I called up The Resort at Port Ludlow and told them that we were coming, and we would need the wee house. They said the house was booked, that a guy was staying there, and offered us a room in the hotel instead. We said we’d think about it.  Then we thought about the type of work we were going to be doing, imagined laying out our complex bristol board/post-it system in a hotel room, decided that there wasn’t room, and we called them back.

We asked if maybe we could call in a favour, was there anything else we could do? Another house, another weekend… anything? The staff said they would check and get back to us. They called back later that day and said that "the guy" in the house was totally willing to move out for a few days and take a hotel room himself. "Are you sure?" we asked. "No problem" they replied.

I booked plane tickets, Tina packed the Sock Summit World Headquarters into her car, and soon we were pulling into the driveway of our little house. We installed ourselves, and were in the process of laying the immense number of planning boards out on the floor, when (while we were moving a couch to make room for the boards) I found a tiny toy car. 

I held it up to Tina. "Oh" she said.  "I know" I said. 
We’d both realized something at the same time. "A guy" wouldn’t have a toy car. Children have toy cars. Did we make "a guy" with a kid move? That seemed bad.  Down at the hotel proper for dinner later, we asked, and that’s when we found out the truth.  It wasn’t a guy in the house.
It was a mum.
It was a mum with a two year old.

We felt terrible, and we said so. "It’s okay" said the lady on the desk. 
"Her baby isn’t due for two weeks."

…And with that,  Tina and I both heard a crashing noise that was the sound of our Karma hitting the bottom of the bin.  The idea that "a guy" had moved to make room for us was one thing, but the idea that a mum 38 weeks pregnant  had moved was another.  We felt awful, but not as awful as we did when we found out a few other things.
Things like that she was living there with her parents.
Living there with her parents and not her husband because he was in a soldier stationed far away.
Not living in their house because a chunk of their house had BURNED DOWN.

In that instant, we decided we were awful. Awful, horrible people.  It didn’t matter that we didn’t know, it didn’t matter that apparently they were the nicest family in the world who didn’t mind giving up the house at all because they understood when they rented it that they would occasionally have to vacate it for other clients… as a matter of fact, the fact that they were lovely and accommodating only made it worse. Tina and I decided we were going to try to make it up to them. 

A few weeks ago, we got word that the baby had been born, and that it was a girl, and we started trying to figure out how to get out of our guilt, and being knitters, we decided to say "We’re sorry" with yarn. 
First I knit a sweater for the baby.

Then Tina got busy dyeing yarn, and we got busy planning. Sock Camp was the next week, and we got the campers to help us knit our way out of trouble.  First, each tribe got a little project.  A hat, a set of booties, a bonnet and a pair of baby socks.  Each tribe split the work, a few rounds each, and at the end of camp we had the cutest little pile of knitwear for that baby.  That was a good start… but it wasn’t quite enough… so we planned something else. 

A group blanket.  Tina dyed four colours of yarn (It’s Geisha, for those of you who will ask)  Debbi knit a rectangle in garter stitch, then we picked up stitches all around the rectangle using four circular needles, and joined four balls of yarn, one each of the four colours. Anna Zilboorg, Stephen, Debbi and I started it, and then it was set.

Now four knitters could sit, knee to knee, and each working with their own colour and their own round.  With four knitters working at once, four rounds were accomplished – at the same time, with one turn of the blanket.

If you don’t quite get what we mean, Anne Hanson (Thanks Anne!) took a cool video of the system at work.  (I tried to embed it, I don’t think it worked. If not, there’s a link to it here. ) Go watch. It’s supremely cool.

The blanket got passed around for the whole camp, little knots of four campers at a time each tossing in a round or two.  By the time the camp was over we had the centre square and the striped part of the blankie done, and I started my work.
Using one colour at a time, I started putting a feather and fan edge on the blankie.

It took a few several days, but this is what we ended up with. 

One blanket,

45 knitters.

One apology.

It’s going in the mail tomorrow. 

(PS.  A special thank you to all the campers for helping Tina and I knit our Karma out of the dumper. We appreciate it.)

339 thoughts on “Guilt in the Drivers Seat

  1. Beautiful baby sweater, blanket… babies always make everything better. They remind us what’s important.

  2. Oh my – that is going to be one lucky little baby. The blanket is just beautiful and the sweater divine. You do and inspire great things.

  3. We enjoyed helping you and Tina get your karma back! (and I’m so happy my hair looks good in that picture, haha). The blanket turned out so pretty! Now THAT’S how you do it.

  4. That was so lovely! Teamwork, knitter style! Hope you threw in a little something for the older sibling.

  5. That was a tearjerker and an awesome story…makes me proud to be part of the knitting world.

  6. Well, that’s pretty cool. Still trying to get my head around the 4 people working at once – but I think I get it. Lucky baby and beautiful blanket!

  7. What a lovely family to let you use the little house! And what wonderful knitters to say thank you in such beautiful ways. 🙂 Knitters are so so special!

  8. Karma’s a good thing. I think you, Tina and the knitters are set for a good long time. And I bet the mum and her mum cry some happy tears, thanks to the knitters.
    Good job.

  9. What a lovely idea! I’m an Army wife and while I’ve never had my house burn down (touch wood!) I have been heavily pregnant with a husband posted far away in dangerous places, so I know how touched I would be by the generosity of strangers.
    I think you pulled your Karma out of the bin, polished it and placed it high on a shelf!

  10. I meant to add that:
    Knowing how I would feel, I can only imagine how that mother would feel – so many things going wrong but here’s a beautiful pile of knitted things to welcome your new baby. How lovely!

  11. How great! BTW, as you are inclined to do collective things and write about them, the correct English is, “A special thank you to all the campers for helping Tina and me” not “Tina and I.”

  12. What an absolutely lovely idea, and it’s the most beautiful blanket. I’m sure the family will be absolutely thrilled to receive it.

  13. What a beautiful thing you did for that young mum! It was a very kind and thoughtful of you all!

  14. Such a beautiful blanket, and think of the thousands of stitches filled with good will. Great sweater too, but we know you knit that out of compulsion.

  15. God’s way of putting strangers together in a loving way. I’m sure she is so grateful for the kindness of strangers just as you were. Brought me to tears.

  16. i think your geisha link is a little wonky, it came as “gaea” to me, but what a lovely gesture. knitters rock

  17. Wow, that’s powerful! If only we could see that power and goodness in all human endeavor.

  18. that’s a brilliant way to have a knitting bee. And what a brilliant idea to work off karma. 🙂

  19. That made me cry. That act says more about you than words could ever say. You are all great people.

  20. When knitters come together the world just becomes all warm and wooly… beautiful gifts!

  21. I’ve seen things being worked on by a group of knitters before and I’m always amazed and totally baffled as to how exactly that works. What a _beautiful_ blanket. I’m sure your karma is healed now 🙂

  22. I really hope the mother and her mother are knitters and they get the additional joy of knowing how much fun everyone had in doing this for you and them. Wow! Knitters should totally rule the world because there’d be no babies unclothed or people unblessed. You guys are fantastic!

  23. A beautiful, heartfelt, community driven gesture to welcome a new life into the world! Nurture, nurture, nurture. So touching. Your debt is paid, but more importantly, strangers are welcomed into the family of knitters, with love. Feel proud of your accomplishment and your vision. This is why I read this blog.

  24. What a lovely story.
    This blanket is beautiful. I read on Anne’s blog about the blanket knit-along, but never would’ve imagined the story behind it. What a wonderful present to the Mom and her new baby. Things like this make me love knitters more and more.

  25. What a beautiful thing to do. Hope that baby knows how much it is loved by a bunch of strangers. 🙂

  26. That is incredibly lovely. I think everything about that blanket is gorgeous: the colours, the pattern, and the heart.

  27. I love the idea of a blanket knit by four knitters at a time. While I understand the principle idea you described, I can’t really get my head around the specifics. Any chance of sharing more detailed instructions? Maybe a pattern on Ravelry? Doesn’t need to be free, I just think it’s a lovely pattern, and a lovely idea.
    And this is a lovely post, with a lovely story. Thanks for sharing.

  28. Please won’t you come rent my house out from under me and then knit me a swell blankie? Seriously, what a nice thing to do. And I always say, you can’t help what you didn’t know.

  29. That’s lovely. The room swap would just be one little hazy bit in the vast mess of the house burning down after a while. Now they’ll have a good part of the disaster story, and some lovely knitstuff to show when they tell it.

  30. any chance you can set up some kind of donate button on paypal for them? i wasn’t at sock camp, but i’d still like to contribute.

  31. This is such a lovely, caring story that it makes me want to avoid reading anything else for the rest of the day. I don’t want to take the edge off the good feeling it has given me. The blanket is absolutely perfect.

  32. that is amazing! i would look at it from a slightly different perspective – look at what awesomeness the mother’s good karma brought her. what goes around comes around, indeed.

  33. I was getting cranky because so many days had passed without a post, but today’s entry made up for it all. What a lovely way to say thank you a thousand times!

  34. That is the most beautiful apology I have ever seen. Yet even more proof that fibre artists are THE best people. Ever. <3

  35. That is such a beautiful and special blanket. What an excellent way of getting your karma out of the dumpster. Love the colours.

  36. What a lovely story. I just did a blog post about the generosity of knitters. Thank you for proving me right.

  37. This story made me cry. I am sitting here at my computer holding back the tears. I can’t believe I am this emotional today.

  38. Wow. That is both sad (the poor family) and wonderful (that you and the rest of the Sock Camp crowd stepped up to show some kindness to them).
    The blanket and the other items are all so lovely!

  39. OMG, you and Tina are seriously some of the nicest, most generous people on this planet. Knitters come through – you and then entire sock camp.
    That is one blessed and special newborn.
    Wow, Stephanie, you really inspire me to be a better person.

  40. As a knitter, a Mom, Mom of a Soldier, Mom of a daughter married to a soldier. With teary eye’s the only words I have to say, YOU ALL ROCK!!! Thank you for being amazing women and looking out for those around you…. THANK YOU XOXO

  41. That blanket is stunning and what everyone did to help out is fantastic. Way to go!

  42. I hope you don’t mind but I shared the link on Facebook. Made me think of my Nana, and the wonderful knitters in my family, past present and future. That baby girl will have a treasure to pass on to her granddaughter some day, and our treasure is the story behind it. Nothing but awesome!

  43. Awwww. That is just so sweet. That baby will be well-blessed right from the start.

  44. …and so the discovery of one toy car changes everything.
    Nicely done, Stephanie.

  45. Oh man. When I read the first part of the post I thought, yeah their karma is never going to recover from this one. But you may have done it with all the hand knits.

  46. I wish your site had a love (1000000) button like Rav. Then we could all just keep hitting that button. Beautiful way to re-establish Karma!

  47. Three things:
    1.The four knitters working on the blanket at once reminded me of the quilting bees people used to have, all these women sitting round the quilting frame, stitching and talking. Wonderful.
    2. There totally has to be a pattern for this blanket. I need need need it.
    3. You. Guys. Rock. (But then you knew that, right?)

  48. I totally agree with Wenders at 3:46 – that mother’s good karma brought her some fantastic gifts. I bet no one else has sent such great thank-you/I’m sorry gifts. I’d love to see her face when she opens the box!
    And you and Tina shouldn’t feel too bad. If they’d told you the whole story, I’m sure you would have sucked it up and taken the hotel room. That’s the way you roll.

  49. How bizarre that a story can be so horrible and so wonderful at the same time.
    And I agree with duni – can there be a way that others can donate for this family? Money? More knitting?

  50. How beautiful – the story, the blanket, the sweater AND the kindness of everyone involved.

  51. How wonderful and beautiful!
    I can only hope that someday you have reason to apologize to me!!

  52. The best part of this story, by far, is that there is not a single villain in it. Only fabulous people doing fabulous deeds for one another. I love it.

  53. It came out so pretty!
    I think the groans about the situation have been replaced by gasps over the beauty of the blanket.
    I do hope for a picture of the baby, wrapped in her blanket, wearing her sweater, cap and booties!
    nice job.

  54. Wow, that is exactly what I needed to read today, an excellent example of good people doing good things just because. And the blanket is gorgeous, what a lucky little girl to get to sleep under all of that love (and wear it in her other beautiful handknits.) Bravo sock camp.

  55. I must admit, I was thinking more of the karma of the mother you displaced (unknowingly though it certainly was). I just can’t believe (well, I guess I can) that you basically got all of your sock campers to knit stuff. Now THAT says a lot about your karma.
    That blanket is truly beautiful and much kleenex will be needed when she receives your treasure trove of goodies.

  56. I felt privileged to be a part of the camp blanket knitters. Glad to help the karma levels of two of my favorite people. What goes around comes around as I have seen for myself. Thank you for letting us be a part of the payback. Hugs and Happy Knitting.

  57. And a lot of knitters will be sending out good thoughts, love, and all best wishes for this family. That’s awesome karma too. Beautiful knitting!

  58. That is both the sweetest story and the cutest blanket, ever.
    And I love the simultaneous knitting idea.
    Your karma is fully restored.

  59. I’m thinking of what a lovely and encouraging story the new mom can share with her husband who is likely feeling helplessly far away when his family needed him. I also want to vote for the blanket pattern. Possibly with a deadline for purchases to make a one time gift to the family just to help them out?

  60. What a lovely story 🙂 And what a glorious blanket!! Is the pattern for that blanket available?

  61. This is absolutely, the most amazing group knitting project ever! I am going to have to watch the video so my friends and I can do this type of blanket together.
    This is the sweetest and lovelies story.

  62. I hope my tears go towards balancing your karma.
    So lovely.
    If this lovely mom-to-be and hero-dad read this blog and these comments I want to wish them the best. I hope they understand that the universe works in strange ways and whatever kind of child they have will probably be intoxicated by wool fumes and will most certainly grow up to be a knitter.

  63. What is the difference between the sock summit and sock camp? Is the summit for planning the camp?

  64. Is there a way we could also send along something for the big brother? I have a lovely little pullover that will not fit my boys.
    I would have suggested a shawl, but it just went to a single mom who was nursing her wee one at the hospital (we got to talking and her husband is off on a tour of duty – she said her mom passed and no one had ever knit her anything. When I left she was crying, wrapped in a soft cashmere shawl.) Thank you for reminding me to pay it forward!

  65. Now you all need to make socks, fingerless gloves, and a balaclava for her soldier/husband. And something for the big brother who left the toy car. And maybe a set of cotton washcloths for the parents. And THEN, at last, you’ll be decent human beings again.

  66. The blanket looks just beautiful!! I love the feather and fan edging you added, and the colors, just perfect!!
    Oh, and the yarn I think is Gaea, not Geisha (that’s a laceweight)…just because after seeing that lovely blanket, I’m sure your readers will want to know!
    And yay for your Karma too! With sock summit coming, we don’t want to mess with it!
    As much as I’ve missed camp the past week, I have enjoyed sleep 🙂 Thank you for another awesome camp!

  67. It’s funny how things work sometimes, maybe this little family needed to know that there are wonderful people in the world! You were the ones to do the job.
    What a lovely story, thanks for telling it in your usual style!

  68. I think that must be the prettiest baby blanket I’ve ever seen!
    I believe very firmly in the good mojo created for a baby when you make them something. It is like knitting armor.
    Now you guys can put up the blanket pattern for sale with the proceeds going to an organization for military spouses. I know I can probably figure it out on my own but it will be so much more fun to be your first customer!

  69. Another vote for duni’s idea – I’d love to contribute something, perhaps you could give her a giftcard or something, from us knitters.
    I love the shared blanket, and the cardi is darling.

  70. What a lovely gesture to some strangers that also made a lovely gesture toward you and Tina. Both sides deserving of good Karma! BTW, beatiful knitting work. Thanks for the heartwarming story smack-dab in a world full of turmoil–here’s hoping that the Daddy will come home soon to meet his new daughter.

  71. Hi, I’m a lurker de-lurking… I live in England and at first got to know ‘you’ after reading what I think is your first book on a trip to New York a few years back. Then I started reading you blog… love it.
    And finally today I HAD to say how much I enjoy it and what an amazing story that was. Knitters are good people (… and quilters too I might add…) and it’s really heart-warming to be reminded of how many of ‘us’ are out there.
    thank you.

  72. When you send her the knitted goodies, you should also send her a link to this post – what a beautiful story! And so nice to think of everybody pulling together to knit for someone they haven’t even met. I know we knitters do that, but it’s still very heartwarming.
    I think your karma’s probably in credit now!

  73. Awwwwwwww! How sweet of them to move and you to show your appreciation. I’m sure the mum would say you didn’t need to do that, but I’m also sure she’ll really appreciate the knitted items when they arrive. BTW – what about the 2 year old? Did he get a little something?

  74. This is a total “awwwwww” moment. Thank you for sharing that, Stephanie. I am glad to know of people who are kind enough to give up their little house, and glad to know the recipients are kind enough to want to repay them. Double good.

  75. Please send the mom an email with what house you want next, I am sure she will happily move…The blanket is beautiful, the gesture grand, all good things in this sometimes, hectic world.

  76. What a great story! Isn’t it amazing what knitters can do when given a challenge? I always knew you and Tina were “angels” and this just proves the point. This baby is very lucky and very special. I know the family is very appreciative of all that was done for them. You and all the knitters that weekend “rock”.

  77. Very rarely does a story give me tears and goosebumps. This one did. Now to explain to coworkers why I’m crying. What a beautiful, beautiful thing. Karma regained, and then some.

  78. that baby blanket is way cool. Even after watching the video I am not sure how you guys did it. but I love it.

  79. I think that’s great. You can say “remember when you vacated the house? it was for this retreat. As a thank you for letting us have it to plan, the retreat would like to send you this”. I am sure the mom will appreciate it

  80. Some people would call it coincidence that you were brought together with this wonderful family. I prefer to call it a “God incidence”. You have to consider that this family probably needed this expression of kindness at this stressful time in their lives as much as you and Tina needed to use the wee house. God Bless all of you.. AndV your knitting team!

  81. Just lovely.
    I’m a ways past child-bearing (and not yet a grandma – thank you!) but this almost made me wish I was the mom receiving all this loveliness for her baby. Please let us know what kind of response you get – like a picture of the baby!

  82. I don’t usually comment here because you always have hundreds of comments already but this blanket is truly beautiful. What a wonderful way to apologize and it’s just such a lovely story.

  83. How beautiful!!!! As a mom of two boys, though, my heart tugged at the mention of the car… Did the little precious get his car back!?

  84. That’s absolutely gorgeous! I think it’s a shame on the hotel people that they didn’t explain the situation over the phone… they could have seen whether or not they had a suite available for you.. then you’d have had room to spread out…..

  85. Wow. I certainly hope they appreciate knitted things. Please don’t forget to include care instructions so they can appreciate how much you care.

  86. I cannot adequately express how I feel at this moment, except to say – “Wow” and “Blessings” to you and Tina.

  87. Your karma must be squeeky clean now. What a wonderful thing to do! I expect Momma will have as many tears in her eyes as are in mine. Here’s to baby’s long, happy, and healthy life, wrapped in a love-filled blanket, sweater, and all the other treasures.

  88. What about whipping out that pattern for all of us crazy knitters (in all your free time) and letting us donate to a cause for soldiers’ families to get our hands on it?
    You make me want to be a better person (and a better knitter, but that goes without saying).

  89. I am the mother and grandmother and soon to be mother-in-law of two, women & one male in the military and I thank all of you!
    Well done, knitters!

  90. Wonderful! People can be so wonderful – that means all of you. The blanket is lovely, but what really makes me hungry is the darling sweater in all those bright colors. A pattern, please!!!! PLEASE!!!

  91. What a truly fabulous idea!!!! I am feeling your grief at the inadvertent ousting of that mama….if their situation was a movie we’d all call it hyper-fictionalized! Sweet blankie!

  92. Simple, beautiful! A lovely story and a simply beautiful blanket. And unbelievable reinforcement for the idea that knitters really should rule the world. We make things a little better for lots of people one at a time. Think what could happen with all that thoughtfulness, imagination, ability, perserverance (sp?) and care directed and applied to other troubles in the world. Thanks for telling the story.

  93. YH, you are one of the main reasons I keep my cool on a daily basis. You are SO VERY GOOD at being a generous, loving, caring person to people you do not know. In other words, you behave how we are all supposed to behave – and you tell us about it. It reminds me that little things can make such a huge difference, and humility goes a long, long way. LOVE YOU!

  94. It’s very interesting to watch the hands – everyone has a different technique. Very cool.

  95. That is possible the most ridiculously AWESOME thing I’ve heard happening in a long time. I think it is just so great that there are people in this world like yourself and Tina that feel guilty about something that you didn’t (not really) need to feel guilty about, and instead of just feeling negatively you turn it around and make something beautiful and heartfelt. Good Job!!

  96. I aspire to having a heart as big as yours, Stephanie. And Tina’s, and every knitter who chipped in on that lovely project. You all do knitting proud. Makes me want to pick up my needles to be part of the in crowd. = )

  97. I feel so *terrible* for you and Tina for the feeling you must have had when you found out about the mother moving out of the house, but the way you channeled it? Absolutely awesome. Thank you for sharing the story, you’re an inspiration to *people* (not just knitters) everywhere.

  98. That blanket is gorgeous! You all are such good and wonderful folks. Many hands make light work!

  99. That is such a nice thing to do. Ask Tina if she could ask the Oregonian to print this in the Oregonian. I think a lot of non-knitters would love this story. Also, your story about feminist chat I think should go in the Oregonian. I gave that to my daughter, who is at Portland State Studying to be a nurse and is a Women’s studies major. Also, I would love to donate $ to this lady. Is there a private way to do this?

  100. What a wonderful post! There are so many parts of this post that really warm my heart and make me so proud. I am really impressed that the management of the place y’all usually stay at really respects repeat customers and don’t take them for granted, and I am equally impressed that the displaced family is a wonderful family that rolls with the punches and puts things into perspective keeping an eye on things that really matter. And, perhaps best of all, knitters are spectacular! I know that y’all just created some precious family heirlooms for a family that is rebuilding their lives and who probably just lost many of their original precious family heirlooms. This is priceless on so many levels and thank you so much for sharing this story!

  101. Yet another reason why I <3 you and Tina. And another reason to <3 Sock Camp and campers.

  102. My heart fell just as yours did when I got to the part where you realized the young mother had moved out to accommodate you… and rose as I hope yours did when you two — and all the campers — came up with such a caring and beautiful response. What a lovely, touching story!

  103. What a wonderful thing to do! Should correct the Karmic flow for all concerned.
    As an aside, when my daughter got married, we crocheted 80 yarmulkes working 3 colors in a spiral. Anytime anyone saw us working on them, they got confused.

  104. What a great day for that mom when she opens that box, the baby and her will feel blessed and will remember that gift forever.

  105. That’s one thing I love about your blog. It makes me believe in human kindness. I’m sure what you and all the other knitters did for that mother and her family will turn into a story for the family to pass down for generations. It will be kind and beautiful and probably include the words “crazy knitting ladies”

  106. That is a GORGEOUS blanket and the sweater is adorable! That’s a whole lot of love being sent that family’s way. My guess is that it will help them more than you know.
    Thanks for being such a great example to the rest of humanity!

  107. Hey…I’ll let you bump me out of my house if you’ll knit something for me…anything…
    BTW, I think you guys are amazing. I’m sure your generosity will touch her heart.

  108. WHERE is the LOVE (eleventy-gazillion) button?? How sweet. And the blanket is gorgeous.

  109. So glad to be part of the blanket knitting team….I love how you finished it! It is lovely, Steph!

  110. While watching the video of the four knitters I noticed only one of them held the working yarn in the right hand, while the others all held the yarn in their left hands. Which to me seemed a little unusual as the majority of US and Canadian knitters knit with the yarn from the ball in the right right hand.
    By the way did you get pictures of the baby clothes knit for the girl? I’d love to see them.

  111. That blanket turned out gorgeous. I didn’t know you were planning the feather and fan border. I’m proud to have been a part of knitting it!
    (And Mya, your hair always looks great!)

  112. Ditto to everything. Reaffirms my oft-wavering belief that most people are really, really good at heart.

  113. Beautiful baby blanket. I love the feather and fan border. Knitters are wonderful.

  114. Usually I just read the blog, but this is such an awesome story I had to comment. Way to go Steph, Tina & campers!

  115. I’d say everyone’s karma got a HUGE boost. Y’all did a *good* thing, and I’m betting you also had a bit of fun doing it, which adds to the whole mix.

  116. Beautiful people, beautiful thoughts, beautiful people.
    I agree on the idea of doing something to raise money, donations for military spouses overseas and for moms to be back home

  117. That is one of the most awesome stories I’ve ever heard. It would have been neat had you gotten to give the gifts in person. The blanket is beautiful, but I still don’t understand how it got made. I shall go watch the video now.

  118. Oh, my – I so feel your karma hitting the floor. Such a good story that I just read it to my husband, who also really appreciated it. I would so love to see her face when she receives your package!

  119. That is the most amazingly, generous act of kindness. I am sure the new mama will appreciate the gift and the deep amount of thought that went into it.

  120. Thank you for sharing and for helping us all to remember that even if you inadvertently make a mistake, there is usually a way to make it better.

  121. That is a beautiful blanket. The mum will know when she gets this that she gave to you both and in return she received.
    She will think this is the best stuff ever.

  122. Reason #789650383524 why knitters are the best.
    And you and Tina make the world a better place by being in it.
    Now I need to go get the “dust” out of my eye…

  123. Oooh Stephanie, as the mother of a Marine, just returned from far away, your “Karma fixing gifts” will be appreciated more than you will ever know.
    Just wanted to send a special thank you to you, Tina and all the knitters that helped to outfit this lucky little girl. Praying that she will see her new daddy very soon. Blessing, Annette

  124. That is a beautiful and thoughtful gift. As a military spouse myself, I am confident it will be a much appreciated surprise.

  125. What a special, generous thing to do – you all are so thoughtful and that family will remember you forever!

  126. This is such a wonderful story, all the way round.
    There isn’t anything that I can say that hasn’t already been said. Apart form this…
    I want to 2nd, 3rd, 4th to the nth the idea of making the blanket pattern available with a deadline for purchases to make a one time gift to the family? If you need someone to help organise this, just email me. Believe me, I won’t let you down.

  127. How wonderful, to do something so beautiful, for someone who has done something nice for you! It is good karma for all involved!

  128. The video made me cry tears of joy. Knitters are wonderful people. I will thank Anne for the video when I see her in 2 wks at. fling.

  129. Don’t feel bad! It was the rental company who lied to you. I would take my custom elsewhere next time.

  130. That was fascinating! The vid rocks! Wish I had four friends who knitted! I’ve tried teaching them to no avail *sigh* but I like ’em anyway. That blankie is the best and who wouldn’t be thrilled with a cute little sweater, I’m sure you’ll be in good karma soon 🙂

  131. An amazing story. Thank you so much for making it happen. And: must. have. blankie. pattern. Please?

  132. I so hope there’s a card in that package signed by every one of the knitters (and the dyer) who were involved.

  133. What a blessed child to receive so much love from so many! And what a blessing this child has given to all of you!

  134. It’s nice to see one of the finished projects, I don’t remember if you told us there would be edging,what a nice touch. I also liked the colors were not typical baby pastels but something I would call Victorian pastels. Last, I’m glad Anne figured out how to get the video on her camera working, and that this is why she was filming.

  135. Fence- sitter til now. I need to meet you just long enough to shake your hand. Sock Summit here I come.

  136. What a lovely story, and a lovely blankie (at least I think it’s lovely – how can I tell with the tears in my eyes?)

  137. What a beautiful thing you’ve done! Thanks for sharing such a touching experience — knitters truly are the most wonderful, giving people!

  138. This story made my day (hell, it made my month!). I think the karma situation has been not only handled, but bonus points racked up to boot. Not only do you and Tina absolutely rock, which is rather a given, but I especially love that you allowed so many others to participate and share in the joy of creating the gifts. Thank you for sharing this with all of us, I just love how the universe works and can’t fault the resort for the initial misinformation – after all, it worked out that you, Tina, the family and the knitters were ALL given a beautiful gift indeed.

  139. Beautiful – bothe the story and the blanket. Knitters are wonderful people (as was the Mum!). I’d seen the start of the blanket on Anne’s blog, so it’s lovely to see how it ended up. Is it possible for one person to knit this alone? Would you just knit it in the round, one colour after another? The colours that Tina dyed up are just perfect. I can see there being demand for a kit!! Love it a million times over. You guys are wonderful!

  140. What a lovely lovely story. Like many others on the blog, it made my day. I watched the video. I’ve heard of this kind of knitting (Meg and Elizabeth) but never seen it. Are there four circular needles, each person working with an ends of two needles? They must have to pace themselves as they knit. So four balls of yarn too, obviously, I guess. I bet if I could get my college students knitting like that, they would have a blast.

  141. That is one gorgeous blanket! And I think that’s a great example of the way karma works – I didn’t think you did a bad thing at all (but I know exactly why you felt bad!), but somebody did something good and unnecessary to help you out, and got a whole lot of (knitterly) goodness back.
    So am I right in thinking that those are non-jogging helix stripes after the garter-stitch square? I was entranced by the video! I wish I could get three other knitters to help with the feather and fan edging on the blanket I’m knitting – it was meant to be finished by Easter – last Easter, that is…

  142. That blanket is lovely. I love the pattern and the yarn. It would be great if you made the pattern and/or yarn available (as a kit?) with the proceeds going to the new mom.

  143. Oh my, I have goose bumps. Sometimess it seems our own little worlds are most important, and don’t see what others are going through. The difference is, when you found out, you did something to right it, you cared, and you felt. And that is the difference between you guys (and I think knitters in general) and the rest of the seft centered people of this world. The blanket and sweater are beautiful. We now know why you went on a “little” sweater jag. Mary

  144. I don’t often comment because with the huge number of comments you receive, I figure one more saying much the same thing isn’t really going to matter. I had to comment this morning. You say you did it to set your karma in balance. I think you did it because you are just nice people, like the family that temporarily moved. Best wishes for the new little person in the world.

  145. Wow! Blanket and sweater are gorgeous. What a lucky mom to be the recipient of all that home-made goodness!

  146. My first reaction was “oh God.” I felt just terrible for you two and for the the women. I firmly believe that the knitted items will make up for everything. And it’s a wonderful story to tell the baby about her blanket.

  147. I have, on occasion, sent yarn (particularly a bright yellow lace weight alpaca) to friends having a bad time, but this… I bet she was so touched… It was a very nice thing to do… 🙂

  148. That was a lovely story. You’re all great people and I think the little child will be surrounded by the most wonderful karma. The blanket will be an heirloom. Great good people!!! Tears in my eyes at your thoughtfulness.

  149. Bad karma has to do with bad intentions and yours surely were not. On the other had, good karma goes hand-in-hand with positive acts and intentions. That being said, what a sweet and wonderful thing you all did….you make me proud!

  150. I think you more than overcame any bad karma you might have had – what a beautiful present to give to that baby and his/her mother! I am proud to say I am a knitter if there are knitters like you.

  151. Thank you. I’m destashing and am looking for new homes for my yarn. The acrylic yarn is going to the senior center. Singles are going to the mother of a friend who knits for charity.
    In a long ago post of yours you mentioned that you purchased “good” yarn at a local resale shop. I’ve donated a huge bag of good wools and blends to Savers in a local city. Thank you for mentioning your start with the good stuff.
    BTW – at some point in my life I apparently was convinced that there would be a shortage of off-white acrylic yarn. I found an embarrassing amount of the stuff.

  152. I am so proud that this knitting skill/love is shared by such amazing people. You touched my heart. And the blanket is beautiful.

  153. This is my second post for this “issue”. I am among those who knit approx. 40 balaclava’s for our troops and sent many baby/children’s caps for the medics to pass out when they treat the local population. USArmy medics treat patients and do NOT turn away anyone who seeks medical assistance.
    Presently, there are many young women who are left to care for the family and/or prepare to deliver their children without the fathers being present. Mrs. Obama is now working for military families and might well be approached by knitters who would want to help [that is; of course, if she has not already been approached].
    Again…thank you knitters.

  154. Beautiful, beautiful blanket! And the karmic scales are back in balance.
    Will you, by chance, be writing out instructions for this? Ever?

  155. What a wonderful story – what a beautiful blanket. Please do make a pattern available!!

  156. That is so sweet! The story started my Saturday in a happy place. I am crying but it’s all good.

  157. What a beautiful story and blanket! I echo the request for a pattern! I have a special blanket to make for a special baby and have been looking for graceful and classic patterns. This would be perfect, but I’m just not skilled enough to figure it out on my own.
    It could be wicked complicated to administer, but could a portion of pattern proceeds go to the family to continue to spread the knitting love?

  158. What a great way to get the cosmic scales back in balance!
    The blanket is beautiful. I’ve got one to do shortly for a friend’s baby (who, luckily, is not due until September). I haven’t chosen the pattern yet…if only I had the pattern for this one…

  159. Awww!! I laughed, I cried! I hope your Karma is feeling better. I bet the new mom is going to be stunned with her thank you/appology gifts. They are beautiful.

  160. Love it! But I have to say thanks a lot… you just got me started on yet another Tulip sweater!! I’m losing count of how many I’ve made!!

  161. I really, really hope that at least part of that pile of knitted things is for the 2-year-old! (and maybe a small something for mum as well?)

  162. Oh that’s just beautiful both the story and the gifts. I pray that God will be with the mother, father and children.

  163. One. Big. Collective. Happy. Cry.
    Thanks for sharing, Steph…one of the many reasons you have a legion of devoted followers.

  164. would love to make the baby blanket for babies that are arriving here, is there anyway that you can post the pattern

  165. Ya know, there is a lesson in this. Making a couple of knitters feel guilty can reap some pretty awesome benefits.

  166. Such a nice thing to do for the displaced residents. The tulip sweaters are so adorable – and I’m sure the whole package will be treasured and appreciated. Somehow the fact that people you don’t even know have extended a piece of themselves makes whatever it is more special.

  167. hi:)
    great job to all that participated!
    can you post the pattern?
    ps maybe its me but im not sure how it all goes (the details) of 4 knitters knitting on the same piece at the same time ( yes i looked at the video & even tho i enjoyed it i didnt “get” it)
    anyway…my best to the mom & baby!

  168. It’s beautiful! I know you feel bad, but I don’t think your Karma is actually affected… you didn’t know it was a pregnant mom with her parents! They told you it was just some guy.
    How nice of you to make it up to her. She will treasure that blanket forever.
    Kelly @ Creating a Family Home

  169. Great story about some great people all around. With so much garbage and vitriol in the media these days, its wonderful to hear a tale of respect and kindness from all parties involved.

  170. Wow… I wouldn’t worry about your karma for a while. Such a great thing to do to make amends for something you didn’t actually do (did that even make sense?). And what a lucky baby to have so much love knit into that gorgeous blanket (and apparently wonderful, giving people for parents)! You’ve got me all weepy and smiley… 🙂

  171. I would like to make something for the little boy so that the baby isn’t the only one getting presents. How should I send it to him?

  172. Is there a way to adopt the soldier husband, and possibly his fellows at his base? I don’t often do stuff for the soliders, but I’m more than willing to go get black yarn (as that’s what the services usually ask things be made in) and whip out a hat and scarf and mittens for this fellow or one of his mates and ship it off. He deserves a thanks, too – for having such a wonderful family as he does, and for all he and his mates do.

  173. Now this is true charity…not doing it just because…but because you care…really care.
    From a former Airforce brat, Army reservist gone active dury, and then Army wife…
    Barbara J. Rickman

  174. Isn’t it wonderful how all things worked out like they did? If they had not given up their house to you all, she would not have been blessed with so much love for her family. I think you had good Karma all along…you were supposed to be involved with this gigantic Act of Kindness. (I don’t know if one can add random here but perhaps so.) What a blessing for all involved.

  175. Good for you and your tribe Steph, your hearts are in the right place. I’m sure the young mum was very happy with her gifts.

  176. Such a touching story! I can volunteer to knit a balaclava for the soldier dad; I’ve knitted many dozens of them, and have the yarn in the exact correct shade handy as I speak. Just let me know. Depending on how long his tour is, he may still get some use from it!
    For anybody who wants to knit anything for the dad — if he’s Army, socks have to be green, hats and gloves black, and helmet liners/balaclavas sand. Just to make knitters crazy!
    I’d say you’ve done a pretty good job of clearing up your karma. I can only imagine how your hearts must have sunk to your toes when you heard about the family, though!!

  177. What beautiful karma for that newborn baby, born into a family that puts others’ needs occasionally ahead of its own. An excellent hope-restoring tale…from all involved.

  178. What a beautiful story of a wonderful family and generous knitters. That is a great way to say thank you. I am sure the Mom will be amazed at your knitted gifts.

  179. What a lovely story. When you send off the package, please mention the video link so they can see the amazing process of the blanket. Mom may be able to archive it and when the baby is older she will be able to see some of the people who worked so hard to make something special just for her.

  180. How Lovely, my words then I saw the words over and over
    Sitting here in Madison WI with a Gov who cares for no one but himself, I needed a shot of belief in Karma
    In Michigan the Gov, Has taken over a town and thrown out the elected officials (see Forbes, Rick Unger <just Google)
    It is stressful and depressing to see my America going, so to hear and see the goodness and fairness and care of you and your knitters is a welcome break.
    The people I march with give me hope but hard times are ahead, thanks for your sense of humor and compassion Steph
    I will come often to remember it exists
    What a lucky Mom. blessings to you all

  181. What a lovely thing to do for this family. I was choked up reading it. Knitters are an amazing force of generosity!

  182. That is the most moving story! I’m so happy to “belong” to the wonderful society called “knitters”. And gorgeous knits!

  183. FWIW, (admitting that I was lucky enough to live at relatively “posh” bases during deployments so far) when I was deployed, I didn’t really need “wearables”.
    But more luxury/frivolous items could totally make my day. Stuffed critters are totally awesome, or a pillowcase, something to dress up your living area… comfort items.
    That’s just what I liked, can’t really speak for other troops. 🙂 But anything is always appreciated.
    Steph, you have definitely more than gotten your Karma out of the dumpster. Good on ya!

  184. That was brilliant! The joy that went into the projects is shown by the beauty of the work. As a wanna be knitter, you people are truly a blessing.You have surely made this baby and her momma very happy. Bless you all

  185. What a great idea you came up with! I’m sure this family will be delighted with your beautiful gift.

  186. You may have misinterpreted the situation. You only assumed that it was an inconvenience for the new mom and her parents to go to a hotel room for a few days. It is also possible that they were okay with it. After all, the could have refused to give up the house if they really had a problem with it. Maybe they viewed it as a chance to go to a resort for a few days, instead of hanging out at the house.
    Tina and you are very nice, sensitive people, but it is entirely possible that you overreacted to the situation and there was not a problem with it.

  187. You couldn’t help what happened. You were given erronous information. I love the sweet way you wanted to help though. I applaud your compassionate heart. There are few people nowadays who would even care to ask the questions you did.

  188. Gorgeous sweater and blanket! That’s the first time one of your posts made me cry.

  189. Sweeeett, sweeeeeet story… family memories kind of stuff. Happy that all the Campers got a chance to pitch in – that makes the gifts extra-special!

  190. I love the sweater and baby blanket. It was funny to watch the video of many people working on it at the same time. That’s cooperation! The feather and fan edge make it one of the most beautiful baby blankets I’ve seen.
    That mom must have been so pleasantly surprised when she opened the package.

  191. Brilliant! Your kind heart and creative mind are just perfect together!! I can just imagine this baby girl growing up with the family story of how things were going so bad just before she was born, but then this group of lovely people sent beautiful cosy things to try and do right by them. I do hope they get to see this post, just so they know their gifts were made with genuine, heartfelt, sincerity. I’m sure the people at the hotel will let them know though.
    And please could you do a post that goes into more detail on how this knitting together works? I too watched the video but just couldn’t get my head round it!

  192. When my husband was recovering from eye cancer surgery, he received not one but two beautiful “get well” blankets. The good Karma emanating from those blankets was evident upon opening the boxes.
    Coming from the land of Hurricane Katrina, I know many people whose lives were deeply touched by such acts of personal generosity.
    Knitters rule. Somewhere, Elizabeth Zimmermann is smiling down on you and your group of helpers..

  193. Wonderful people all around!! Deeply touching story of goodness and consideration.
    On a side note – could you tell me/us how you did the mitre corner in the feather and fan section? I’m sure it’s perfectly simple to figure out but my brain has apparently blocked the part that can figure it out. It’s a lovely border!

  194. Knitters are amazing! What a lovely story. I’d love to know the mother’s reaction if/when she realises how famous her new baby’s blanket and jumper are 🙂

  195. What a wonderful way to rescue your karma! It’s so sad in how it started out, but so wonderful at the end.
    Assuming they live in the area and are game for it, wouldn’t it be cool to invite them for lunch at Summit or Camp?
    Do I recall correctly something like the 8-hands approach in a 4-handed version from Elizabeth Zimmermann?
    Oh, and reserve the house NOW for next time.

  196. OMG! That is the most awesome story ever. It actually made me tear up. Obviously, this was meant to happen. That family NEEDED to know there were nice people out there so it wasn’t actually your karma, it was theirs. Bad things happened to them and their karma needed that to be balanced out by showing that people do care what happens to others. Does that make sense?

  197. I was thinking the same thing as KnittingPony up there: that it will be little shock to their system when they find out they are suddenly famous in the knitting universe.
    Do you know whether their house is OK again (or will be in the near future)?

  198. I was thinking the same thing as KnittingPony up there: that it will be little shock to their system when they find out they are suddenly famous in the knitting universe.
    Do you know whether their house is OK again (or will be in the near future)?
    Lovely gifts by the way (not only the things themselves, but how they came to be).

  199. Karma sees all. Including generously heartfelt apologies. Even when you didn’t mean to do anything for which to apologize. Karma will come back to you with a big, squishy hug.

  200. What a beautiful baby blanket & sweater. How cool a Knitting Bee (great video). People who craft with their hands tend to be kind hearted, well done. >j<

  201. The beauty of the sweater and blanket (and surely the other knitted items as well) is dwarfed only by the beauty of this gesture. Your karma is restored and then some, and I will have a smile on my face for the rest of the day just thinking about the kindness and generosity of knitters. 🙂

  202. Just spent the afternoon at the emergency room with my two children. All ok now but I’m going to claim that’s why your post made me cry. A splendid way to work out karma – give the mother and her new baby all our love!

  203. I would so very much love to know how you worked the mitered corner on the baby blanket as well. It’s just gorgeous.
    Karma is restored. I laugh just thinking about how awful you must have felt as “one more thing” was added to the pile of guilt you were experiencing.
    Oh, knitters are such a nice bunch of people. This makes me want to go knit some baby things for people in my neighborhood.

  204. What good Karma – for the family, for you and Tina, and for all the knitters.
    Great idea.

  205. I think you guys more than made up for your inadvertent karmic disaster. great job and beautiful blanket! I’d love to see the other baby things too (but that’s because i’m a sucker for wee clothings)

  206. What a beautiful gesture! And you really should work up a pattern for the blanket… and send the proceeds to somewhere special. It’s truly lovely, the thought and the goodies. 🙂

  207. What an incredibly sweet and generous gesture! You definitely more than made up for your unintentional karma faux pas. 🙂 I hope there will be a follow up blog post after you hear back from the new mum – I bet she will absolutely love her surprise Sock Summit gifts!!

  208. Gorgeous blanket! My knitting group knit the pattern you used in a project for Tina and finished a huge blanket many feet across. It took us months of getting together in old fashioned weekly “knitting bees” that everyone now misses. A baby blanket is a great idea! I’m going to share this post with the group.

  209. Don’t have time to read all the comments today but I will come back. Crying now….what a good way to mend your karma. And what a special thing for that baby girl – perhaps she is destined to become the *next* Michael Jordan of knitting!

  210. LOVE that baby blanket! It’s so sweet and pretty. You guys should definitely be out of the karmic dumper with that.

  211. I sent a link for this post to my husband. He needs to know how special knitters are. And, honestly, it’s pay-back for all the airplane/truck/big building junk he sends to me! 😉

  212. Stephanie, I have been blessed to direct a ministry for women and couples in crisis pregnancies for 20 years now. Groups of people contact me, then request a free literature kit, using it to fill dressers with new baby supplies. The entire dresser is then given to the pregnant woman for her baby. I have seen the joy that these women have when they reeive gifts such as were given to this women by you and your knitting buddies. You’ll never be able to understand what you all did for her. God bless you all.

  213. Stephanie, I am sure that somewhere in the 325 comments before me, someone brought this up, if so; i’d like to add my voice to theirs. But if i’m the first, i am sure there will be readers who may find themselves agreeing as well. I read this post at lunch today at work, and thought to myself, what a wonderful thing Stephanie had done. That baby and mama will have a story to carry with them forever; and Stephanie got a chance to fix her karma. Driving home however, it slowly dawned on me that the mother with her child and unborn, was with her family at the right place at the right time. They’d suffered a tragedy with having a fire in their home.Even though she was with family, she was parted from her husband who was away serving his country. Somehow, the Universe put her in the wee house that you had always managed to get before Sock Camp – in order for her path to cross yours. You, who would just happened to be joining up with a group of knitters who could all work on various infant items with care and dedication to produce heirlooms for a person who, even though she was with her parents, might have been feeling a little bereft and maybe a little stressed. She just happened to cross paths with you, a person who felt deeply enough about her giving up that house for you, found yourself in the position to repay her kindness with another. This may be crazy thinking, but I decided by the time I parked my car at home, that what had happened was evidence that there really are no such things as coincidences. And you’ve made us all a little better by sharing this with us. Thank you.

  214. What a beautiful blanket and what a heartfelt story. I totally agree with mary e. The Universe brought those who participated in this wonderful connection to expand everyone’s heart so as to give and receive the love knit into those baby woolens. Everyone was blessed in the unfolding of these events. Thanks! Carolyn

  215. Crying with laughter and sadness here! You deserve every bit of karma restored. What a lovely story.

  216. I am desperate to make that blanket…. is there a pattern somewhere??? PLEASE WITH CHERRIES ON TOP!

  217. Oh my heart was sinking as I read about this mother and unborn child. But mary e is so right, she was in the right place at the right time. I hope all the beautiful knitted gifts that were created help to bring a little joy into what is clearly a difficult time in her life.

  218. I know you’ve posted this before, but where can I find the pattern for this pretty little baby sweater? I love it. Thanks Steph

  219. You should open Sock Summit with this story. Talk about a lot of love from all the knitters. Please add me to the list for the blanket pattern. Thank You for being so kind!

  220. You have hundreds of comments of the likes what I wanted to write and I wont repeat the words.
    Just that this is awesome and shows how humans should all be.
    Recognizing each other, caring for each other, appreciating everyone for what they are.
    “well done” the teacher in me wants to say, but it is not his turn at the moment 😉

  221. That is the most fabulous thing I have ever heard. Are you sending it anonymous?? I’d love to be a fly on the wall when she gets the package.
    Too awesome for words.

  222. What a beautiful story and how wonderful that this lovely family crossed paths with such lovely knitters! Well done, universe.

  223. Now-a-days I’ve been searching for tips on how to stay healthy, you just forwarded me in the proper direction! I like your blog, I have it saved now.

Comments are closed.