The other afternoon, shortly after I posted last, I was knitting a little bit, and really not feeling the magic.  I was having a good time, I mean – it’s knitting and I’m not dead, so how can it not be great – but I just wasn’t feeling super excited about my sock. 

I got to thinking about it, and I realized what I need.  In the face of the organizational monstrosity that is the Sock Summit – I can’t possibly expect a wee sock to hold its own.  It’s like babies – there has to be matching. 

Do you know this about babies? If not, I’m about to give you a piece of information about how they work that will change everything between you and the little beasts. Here’s the thing: If you want a baby to be happy with you – if you’re seeking to calm, comfort or content them, you have to match their intensity.  If they whimper, you rock.  If they cry, you stand and rock. If they cry harder, you stand, rock, bob and hold them harder – upright against your chest.   Sing too.  If they’re absolutely out of their minds (and you’ve fed them, there’s nothing anyone can do with a hungry baby) then you have to ramp your response up all the way.
Blast the radio, clutch them tight, and sing, bob, weave, walk, dance and thump their little bummies firmly in the rhythm of their own heartbeats.  (Not yours. That won’t work. The wailing will continue.)  It’s all about meeting them where they are, and if they’re enraged, screaming and purple, and you’re holding them tenderly and stroking their backs, you’re going down – and they’re not.

I got to thinking, as I held my little sock, that maybe that’s what was wrong with it. Maybe it just didn’t have the intensity that it needed to match my workload – I know it sounds crazy, to want something to be bigger and harder when things are already big and hard, but there you have the theory, and I think it’s accurate.

I present to you then, the next big and crazy to match the big and crazy everywhere else in my life.  It might look small now, it’s just a swatch…

but it will be big later.

It’s a baby blanket of my own reckoning, and it’s going to be epic.

162 thoughts on “Matching

  1. You are an amazing woman and think just exactly like many of us crazed women! Yoga helps

  2. I feel I should point out the insanity of this undertaking – but before I do, I will allow myself to be distracted by your attractive logic and the equally attractive stitch pattern on that swatch. 😉

  3. An epic baby blanket, what a concept! Babies are epic, mine is now 17 and a force to be reckoned with! I think your advice on matching the hurricane that is a cranky baby is absolutely true. Wish I had
    thought of it back then.
    Thanks as always for a thought provoking post.
    Eve from Carlisle

  4. Well, it’s epic crazy town, if nothing else! It looks pretty so I can’t wait. It looks similar, though it isn’t, to the Elven Pixie blanket I recently finished.

  5. I love your epic blanket already, but I’m a sick woman knitting a full size blanket out of sock yarn. I’m obviously biased in the direction of insanity.

  6. So, that was my problem! I was too tender and, boy, did those crying babies take me down! I learned this bit from you far too late….my babies are grown and the grandbabies are close to being teens. I agree, pattern please!

  7. So true about babies. Mine had colic, and the only way to comfort them, and keep me sane, was to walk around the house holding them tightly to my chest, bouncing and rocking as I wandered from room to room.I love the analogy and the new project.

  8. Looks good in its infancy! I’d throw in one more thing about babies – put them in their bouncy seat and put it on top of the dryer – the vibration works like a charm for the babies in my family. I think they also feel cuddly as there is a little extra warmth and I always throw a hand made fresh lavender dryer packet and a wet towel in the dryer – the lite fragrance tends to sooth them as well. Now you have to be careful – as I have been know to be the one to fall asleep before the baby. Oops!

  9. I get it. That lack of something big must explain why I have recently cast on Jared’s Hemlock blanket, in the face of about five unfinished second socks, and other wips too numerous to mention.
    That blanket is going to rock!

  10. I will tell Diana that although I never tried the dryer trick for screaming infants I have heard many parents swear by this method.

  11. Oh my gosh, can’t wait for the blanket! Thanks for the tip about babies–it took me months to figure that out, and now my baby is almost a toddler…does the same rule apply? If so, I am seeing some dance parties in response to supermarket tantrums in my future!

  12. That baby blanket is going to be well-loved. I am the parent of a 20 year old daughter who still sleeps with her blankie, so consider myself something of an expert in this area. 🙂

  13. You may have just found the answer to one of life’s great mysteries! Things get tough? Come back at it even tougher!! LOVE IT!

  14. That’s so crazy…knowing you, it will work out, but still! That’s crazy. Maybe that’s what I really need in my life. Crazier knitting. It would be worth a try, anyway, ’cause what I’m doing isn’t working as well as I’d like. (That is, knitting is always the first thing to drop by the wayside, and yet the crazy continues unabated.)

  15. I will catalog this information on babies away for the future. I love things in and of epic proportion, so I’m eager to see what you create!

  16. When the going gets tough, the tough get knitting. Knitting has helped me get thru many a crisis. And sometimes a person just needs a project that requires some concentration to help a spinning thought process to slow down to a manageable speed. It’s kind of like an engine brake on a truck.

  17. Beautiful blanket. That will make any baby happy and contented.
    The baby thing works with dogs too. You can’t meet a rat terrier who is out of his freakin’ mind because he just saw a squirrel with a low key “shhhh” or sing-songy “quiet”. You really do have to match their energy.

  18. I can’t wait to see what you come up with. And I totally agree with your theory. Having something else big to work on when my “real” work load gets out of hand keeps my energy up and my focus much more organized. It’s almost more relaxing to work on a challenging project because it demands attention, and you can forget about the annoying parts of the other work.

  19. I am going to have to try this theory with my own knitting and workload. I have a crazy amount of stuff to get through this summer and so far have been trying to limit myself to easy knits so as to not use the brain power needed for the projects too much with distractions like knitting. I have set aside projects that are harder till later (denying myself the projects I would rather be knitting), but have not been satisfied with what I am working on, feeling meh about the ones that I have been limiting myself to knitting. I’ll give your theory a try, though not so far as to design an original project.

  20. I recently realized that it works with adolescents too.. My husband is always trying to be calm and rational when my daughter is raving, and she just loses it. Whereas, I give her, for lack of a better term, someone to argue against, and she eventually pulls herself together. Hadn’t thought about it in terms of matching, but it definitely fits the bill. As always, awaiting future pics of your great work!

  21. Ohhhhh. That explains why my cousin’s screaming purple grandbaby didn’t respond to my gentle soothingnesses. Now I know. Thank you!! Can’t wait to see your personal crazytown when it all comes together at the same time. Whee!

  22. After 3 grown kids (1 girl, 2 boys in four years) and 4 grandkids (10,8,8, almost 5), I totally agree with your method of dealing with babies! No wonder I was so thin and weighed much less than I am now – if the baby is fed and dry, Mommy’s or Nana’s moving is directly co-related to the amount of crying/screaming of Baby. My 3 and 2 of the grandkids were breastfed – sometimes to overflowing. My youngest was hungry every two hours (not easy when I also had a 3 year old and 14 month old) but I did it and in between he was enclosed in a Snugli baby carrier, so that I could deal with his older sister and brother. Now he is 32 (!!) tomorrow, and I would gladly relive those days again, with a whole new perspective!
    Good luck with the baby blanket, loved the sock at the symphony – any knitting anywhere rocks. I knit my first two socks on the plane to Vancouver and on a cruise ship to Alaska – I was that “crazy” lady always knitting up in the Viking Lounge watching the fantastic scenery. Next hoping to knit more socks in Scotland this summer.

  23. I’m excited! I’m so thankful my little babe isn’t prone to much screaming… Babies are little mirrors, aren’t they? My babe tends to be very quiet and mellow, and gets SO worked up when someone around him is stressed or upset. And of course that makes my husband more upset… which has me wildly dancing around the apartment bouncing and rocking him. Haha. I can’t wait to see the finished product. You can never have enough blankets around, especially of the handmade variety.

  24. Love the swatch! Can’t wait to see it in blanket form. (Is it sad that I just realized that Sock Summit is located in my city? Before dpns are thrown at me – I’ve only lived in this city for a month and finding a job and childcare for my kidlets has been my priority.)

  25. Nope, epic would be to turn that baby blanket into a full size bedspread. As they say in cards: I see your crazy and up you one. Ah hahahahahaha!

  26. My son screamed for 4 months! I remember holding him bouncing up and down singing please stop screaming! please stop screaming! He did, he’s great! Daughter calm child that sat in her chair and watched me watch her!..Then she turned 2! Another story another day!
    Looking forward to the knitting!

  27. How perfect!! I need a baby blanket for my first grandchild in December. The swatch looks wonderful.

  28. I like it already. Although I don’t follow the same logic. When my life is crazy, I want to knit something mind-numbingly boring to balance it. You’re absolutely right about babies, though. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

  29. Can’t wait to see your interpretation of epic. I was pretty sure you had already been there and done that, but i am willing to be further amazed…
    I once read in a book somewhere that all that crying babies do has something to do with resetting their less than completely formed, less than efficient nervous systems and brains. Makes a certain amount of sense, even if it doesn’t make the caregiver/victim feel much better about it.
    And let’s not forget undressing the little dears and inspecting them to be sure they are not being accidently poked by something in their clothes, or there is not a human hair wrapped around a toe, or some other bit of imaginative aggravation…

  30. Right now, members of your family are arranging an intervention. They’re concerned that you are drag racing up and down Main Street in Crazy Town, driving a muscle car.

  31. I don’t mean to imply that I don’t have any faith in you or anything, but, uh, why do I feel like this will suddenly turn into another UFO? o.0

  32. You’ve changed my life with lever knitting! You might as well keep on going with an awesome baby blanket!

  33. Yes, you’re right about babies, although I never thought of matching their intensity. I just knew that turning on the vaccuum cleaner could calm my babies down. Ditto going for a car ride. The movement and the motor sounds were very soothing. Thank you for giving us something new to think about (and to put into practice too.)

  34. Knowing this information when my wee one was well, wee would have saved me hours of torture. I can remember when my wee one was crying and all I could think to do was stand and rock her, pat her on the back, and sing “Don’t make the noise. Mummy doesn’t like the noise. Mummy loves you!”
    Love the baby blanket (even if it is a swatch) Can’t wait to see it. You will post the pattern, when you have time.. Right??

  35. Oh, I got shivers! Can’t wait to see the baby blanket that matches the intensity of your life, Stephanie!

  36. I sympathize with the impulse. I’m on the verge of taking my job and shoving it, so I went out and spent $350 on yarn. It the kind of decision that does make things more interesting, in a crazy-making kind of way…

  37. I don’t know about crazy-knitting when I’m super busy, but when I’m just crazy/frustrated then I’ll start a really crazy knitting project because then I must concentrate on the knitting, not other problems that I have little control over.
    Eventually, I sort of come-to, relaxed and zen-like. Anyway, works for me!


  39. That is such good advice that I just sent it it to my daughter who had her first child yesterday!

  40. This is so true! The fuller my plate, the more productive I am. Nothing to do? Nothing gets done.

  41. I am lily-livered, I never matched the intensity with our three. I wanted ‘quiet, peaceful’ always. That could be why I had such a difficult time, I still have a lot to learn. I am also the sort of person who is wanting Zen a bit more – now, it might take me a few rows of garter stitch to begin to want the epic.
    I totally agree with the concept of adult tension gets delivered to the younger one.

  42. As many others have already indicated, you ARE a crazy woman. The really funny thing is that I get it.It seems we ratch it up to the whirlwind around us, until it reaches some point where it becomes time to just step away and reset the whole response thing. Carry on, have fun.

  43. Amen! I’ll be having my second boy next month. And with all the craziness that is being super prego, potty training the first one and did I mention I have at least 2-3 doctor appointments a week (I’m a type 1 diabetic)?! I, too am knitting a baby blanket. From Rowan’s River Camp Knits by Amy Butler. Lot’s and lot’s of pattern and color changes. Nice and big to occupy my mind with something else other than the swirling tornado going on around me!

  44. Or perhaps your brain is just rebelling at the idea of having one more thing sock-related in your life right now. Just a thought.

  45. Are you sure you’re not knitting that blanket for a certain reason besides the philosophical one you so eloquently presented?
    BTW, the swatch is DIVINE!!! Oh, to be a baby sleeping under that!!

  46. Great post, makes me think of a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote I recently discovered:
    Enthusiasm is the leaping lightning, not to be measured by the horse-power of understanding.
    Go beserk!

  47. Rock it, Stephanie! can’t wait to see pictures. Loved your babies and intensity comments in this post too, they are quite true.

  48. Oooh!! I could’ve used your wisdom last nite, with our latest little 2 week old blessing!! I’m sure he’ll give me more opportunities, and I’ll have your wise lil nugget stored away in my tired brain for then, thank you!! 🙂 LOVE the stitch pattern on that swatch, btw!!

  49. Cool! I’m looking for a special baby blanket myself – one of my favorite cousins found out she’s going to be a grandmother a couple of weeks ago. I look forward to seeing your finished blanket!

  50. That is exactly what I am doing in my own life. Things have completely erupted around here and I noticed that the only thing keeping me sane are epic lace shawls, with lots of nupps. The more nupps, the better I feel. 🙂

  51. I find myself under sudden, unblogged, unexpected and intense knitting pressure, I took a moment’s hand break to see if you’d posted today, and when I got down to where I could see your stack of skeins, I gasped out loud. That’s a concise, intense visualization of what I’m struggling with–only you’re going to do it. Totally. With nobody having sprung any surprises on you.
    So I guess I can manage too. Thank you!

  52. I could have used that baby advice for Layla yesterday! I bobbed, weaved, sang at the top of my lungs and the poor gal still turned purple. Maybe I’ll bring her to knit nite next week and see if you can reason with her.

  53. I always had to bang my babies backs in a heart beat rhythm too! People thought I was nuts, but I could go anywhere, and do whatever I wanted to, baby in tow! Took work, but it did work!
    My FIL calls walking a baby “kippling”, because he would march up and down the hall reciting “Boots, boots, boots, marching up and down” and the rest of that poem by Kipling. Zayde’s firm grip, low voice, and thumping steps never failed to work! And, oh, does he love his grandkids!

  54. Dear YH,
    How serendipitous that you are making a baby blanket. My son and DIL just happen to be expecting their first baby in September. I can send you their address, so that you can mail it to them when you are done. I’m sure they will love it…. ;-o

  55. Beautiful swatch, and thank you for the advice about babies. My first is almost 6 weeks and just spent all night and day nursing – growth spurt, anyone? – and I’m sure a new bout of fussiness is not far behind. This will come in handy.

  56. You crack me up! And that’s good info to know about babies…not that I ever want one of my own but I do have a lot of nieces and nephews where this will come in handy. 🙂

  57. LOL Been there done that with mine, they are 16 and 9 now.
    The swatch looks lovely cannot wait to see the finished blanket. I just completed a blanket myself and posted pictures of it on my blog if you’d like to take a look. Mine is based on a Bernat patter but I added my own twist to it.
    Have fun!!!

  58. Yup, been there. I’ll never forget the day my lovely 5 y.o. thought she’d really tell me off and in the midst of a tantrum shouted “I wish Daddy were here!” and I responded “yeah, me too.” Stopped her in her tracks. Now she’s 11 and when Daddy’s traveling, we both say it to each other, just much more kindly.
    Also, I just finished a (somewhat less epic) baby blanket. But I’m not planning a sock summit. So I guess I haven’t really been all the way there.

  59. Wow! I can’t wait to see what you come up with. You always say you’re not a designer, but all of your designs have been so beautiful. ^_^

  60. Um, I think you’ve been making too many socks – if you want epic, you need more yarn than that. It might also help to include a little steeking and a good bit of Fair Isle, and buttonholes, of course, and did I mention the gauge swatch lied? Twice, in fact?
    Face it: If you really want EPIC, you need to spin the yarn first. After shearing the sheep yourself, of course.

  61. Whatever happened to your original big, epic, crazy project — Joe’s gansey? (You know we’re going to keep bugging you until you produce proof you finished it!)

  62. You know, now that you mention it, that’s exactly what worked with my son, now 15. My mom used to think I was nuts when I started bouncing around with him when he was really wound up. But it usually worked!

  63. I had to smile at matching the intensity with babies.I always did this with my 6 babies.My fourth(second girl)would scream like a wild thing, the only thing that got her to calm down & sleep(once she was full of mama milk) was when I put on Meatloaf(‘paradise by the dashboard light’ of all things)at full volume.I would hold her really closely & sing it at the top of my voice, all the while swaying & patting her bum.Worked like a charm every time.

  64. Huh. I wish I had known that thing about meeting babies at their own intensity level back when my now-26-yo son was a colicky newborn.

  65. With my own wee colicky baby now, I appreciate your insight. Best wishes on your Sock Summit baby.

  66. What a brilliant theory! I knew that about babies although I never expressed it – I think anyone who has spent much time with them learns to react that way but I never thought of it in relation to knitting.

  67. Whoa, that is a mighty mountain of wool.
    As to babies… When the girl (first baby, I had
    no Fracking idea what life would be like. I’m
    just saying.) was a baby, hubs could calm her
    out of the five o’clock crazies only with 70’s
    hard rock. Radar Love, Kiss, Detroit Rock city
    soundtrack and so on. Anything just so I could
    eat for 15 minutes (often eating what hubs had
    made me for dinner) and possibly not lose my
    mind. He is a great dad. And damn it was hard.

  68. Wow! I love that wisdom about intensity. I wonder how it works interpersonally. Guess I’ll have to try it out. That baby blanket is going to be scrumptious!

  69. I’m laughing to tears because what you’re saying is so true! My youngest child is now 14 but the whole rock, bob, sway, pat, sing… thing feels like only yesterday. It’s made worse by the fact that my oldest graduates from high school in two weeks and memories of him as a wee one are flooding in these days! I heartedly agree that one’s knitting does have to be harder the more stress you’re under, so knit away, YarnHarlot!

  70. Can I say thank you for the reminders about what to do with baby? I have a one month old (my second child) and he screamed for three hours off and on last night. Next time I will match his intensity!

  71. As a newish mom (my daughter just turned 1), I completely follow you. Never thought I’d see a knitting blog that gave such great parenting advice, but there it is. 🙂 And beautiful swatch.

  72. That sure is going to be one heck of a baby blanket! I haven’t gone down the blanket route of life…does that mean something or am I over-analyzing things?

  73. HOLY CRAP!!!
    Where was that advice when my colic-y son was born 4 and a half years ago??!! I did the gentle-pat-pat thingy…and went down every time. Too bad I didn’t find you until last year when I started to knit, because like Kristin says, “Never thought I’d see a knitting blog give such great parenting advice”
    Epic baby blanket…love.

  74. Non-knitting comment: WHERE WERE YOU with that baby advice forty-someodd years ago when I was a 14yo who had never even SEEN a human baby but was suddenly left all alone to take care of a two day old squalling example of the human infant????? Oh, right. that long ago you were probably an infant yourself! Seriously, looking forward to seeing the finished baby blanket. And oddly, your logic makes sense to me.

  75. That baby advice is spot on! (I especially like the question “Do you know about babies?” because really, who can say yes to that?) I’m starting a baby hat today, but it looks significantly less intense than your blanket.

  76. Your swatch is beautiful. I’m done with one baby blanket for my new grandchild (due July 27th) and am half-way done with the second. The pattern for this one is Bernat’s staggered squares. It’s really pretty.

  77. A Harlotty Baby blanket? Can I suggest selling the blanket pattern to benefit Japan Relief Efforts? Those Mason-Dixon chicks need some competition!

  78. mmmmm! isn’t that odd!? i was just lamenting a lovely blue debbie bliss cabled baby blanket that i made and gave away (not regreting giving it away, just missing the opportunity to hold and admire it!) and i was thinking about how pleasant and soothing it was to work on. you know that point where the rhythm of the pattern is established and it just flows along as you watch the tv on a winter’s eve? and i was thinking about how nice it is in general to knit a baby blanket even with the absence of a baby in your life… your post could be a sign that i need to start another one!

  79. I’m going to need a baby blanket pattern in the next year… and it’s going to need to be epic after the wait the parents have had. Perfect timing!!

  80. Can’t wait to see the finished blanket! My Gran knitted a blanket of each of her great-grands; my daughter still has hers on her bed. Since I’m not an epic knitter, perhaps I should start now (even though there are no babies in sight)… And THANKS a gazillion for Sock Summit – I know that it is a pantload of work, but we all apreciate it.

  81. WOW this was good timing. New granddaughter is in her fourth day on this planet and while she’s furry and adorable and becoming a good nurser and a good sleeper, she’s not entirely on top of burping and twice has found herself with a gut ache (if this overlaps an empty tum/need to nurse you’ve got one of the great Frustrating Scenarios of the Universe.) I’d never articulated the Princlple of Balanced Intensities, but its gospel will be being preached and practiced in this house before the sun goes down. Good job. (Oh? The knitting looks wildly intriguing, too — but right now I’ve got my priorities.)

  82. I can totally relate to what you are saying. There is a time for every project. Some are no brainers and others you want to be really challenged. Thank you

  83. I totally agree with your claim of “matching” intensity with intensity. It definitely holds true for babies. But also, you know, right when I was in the throes of editing and defending my dissertation, AND planning my wedding, AND planning a move to a new city 1000 miles away from my husband-to-be, do you know what I did? I mean, what I did to match the insanity of my life at that point? I’ll tell you what I did:
    I taught myself to knit.

  84. I think you may be my twin sister and we were separated at birth except that I am much older than you 😉 Knit on, woman.

  85. My son and I began a blanket for youngest son’s new baby girl. His niece, my granddaughter. Neither of us can remember if we began before she was born or just after. Anyway, we planned finally, to give it at her first birthday. Knitter son made some awesome irregular pieces and I mostly crocheted squares with texture. New baby girl just turned eight, and we are going to present the finally finished blankie tomorrow! It’s a pretty cool one of a kind blanket. I hope she likes it! 🙂 I also hope there will be a pattern for your new design. 🙂

  86. So who is having the baby??
    I have 2 baby shawls on the go,blankets are more practical but a little baby wraped in lace

  87. This makes perfect sense. I do the same thing with workouts. The harder the day, the harder the workout. Why should knitting be any different?

  88. I love baby blankets, just did 2 knit ones and am crocheting a third, lots a babies around lately. And I love large size ones so that they can use them for a long time. Yours looks beautiful, perhaps someday I shall have the confidence to try a pattern like that.

  89. Dear Steph, you are epic. As a lactation consultant and Postpartum nurse, I would like permission to cut and paste this into some things I give moms. May I have it? It is great advice, and I just love the way you describe how to help a baby calm down.
    I also love the swatch, and am feeling badly that I have things that are unfinished and feel bad about not finishing them, and wanting to start new things. I wonder if others have a lot of projects going at once. Ack ACK ACK. love, Katheen in Vermont,

  90. Hi Stephanie
    I would love it if you would make a proper (slowed down)teaching video on how you do lever style or Irish cottage knitting using knit — purl—- long needles—– circs—- and double pointed needles —- Please Please please.
    I would buy your video and I’m sure many others would too.

  91. Crazy…. so crazy it’s genius.
    (Ditto the above comment. I learned to knit by throwing and it is too slow, given I only have maybe an hour of knitting time a week right now… I want to make the most of it!)

  92. My husband has been working that theory for years – both with our kids and our nieces and nephews – and you are 100% right! You should see the tantrums that immediately stop the minute he throws himself on the ground and throws his own tantrum – he’s a miracle worker 🙂

  93. It’s true. When finals were at hand I cast on an impossible fair isle cardi and a lacy shawl. Socks weren’t cutting it for me. And now that finals are over, i feel like i don’t need the charts and I’m working on things like stockinette stitch blankets and garter stitch scarves.
    it’s weird but it seems like the more craziness in my life, the crazier the knitting has to be. maybe to prove i can deal?

  94. Yet another candidate for Team Delusional in the Tour de Fleece. I know you’ll come out with a yellow jersey at the end of this epic summer. See you in July.

  95. You know what’s nice about a swatch? If you give away your blanket, you have a hands-on reminder of it. (For those of us who are losing our memories, this is significant.) I try to remember to take pictures, but the swatch is nicer, like yours.

  96. I think this is very good advice re: babies, and I’m going to do my best to remember it! They always flummox me when they start crying…

  97. All I can say is OMG!!!! Loved the story about the baby. More truth to that than anyone will know. Knit on….

  98. Your baby theory is nothing short of brilliant. When you’ve said everything you can think of about knitting, you should write about about babies.

  99. Are those bumble bees I see as a pattern? Busy as a bee takes on new meaning in your hands. : )
    I agree wholeheartedly about your theory. If you want something done, ask the busiest person you know to take it on and it gets done. I was never sure of why that was, but now I think I understand based on your theory. Life is crazy, drink deeply.
    From one crazed corner of the world to another,
    ~Jenn in Forest Grove

  100. I think this might be my problem. I’m in the middle of a divorce that I did not choose. My plain little sock just isn’t getting it for me. I think I need something to match my emotional distress of which there is plenty.

  101. For one monent there i thought it was going to be a HUMUNGUSLY large pair of socks!!! 🙂

  102. You’re quite right about the intensity thing – I always find huge projects going on simultaneously. It’s as though when your brain’s ramped up to deal with one thing, it can cope easily with whatever else you throw at it! Last time we moved I cast on a complicated lace sampler shawl to tide me over when the stash was packed – plain knitting was too low-key!
    By the way – have you ever thought of writing a baby book? Your views are so commonsensical (I invariably agree with your approach!) and there’s so much horrible, damaging rubbish talked about how to treat babies – I think the market could do with it.

  103. My youngest grandchild is 5, so I won’t have a chance to put your baby philosophy into practice. However, I wish I had known years ago — bravo!

  104. I don’t know if anyone’s ever mentioned this to you or if it’s ever crossed the minds of those who know you (albeit just through the blog). You’re a crazy person. Endearing and this should make for some good posts because everyone knows you’ll not stop at just one project at this level, but a crazy person. Rock on.

  105. I so know what you mean about matching. There is nothing that makes me calmer than starting something that has the potential for completely engaging an otherwise scattered mind. Does 640 stitches in lace with 80 repeats per round qualify? I believe it’s helping me right now.

  106. You are brilliant! That makes such complete and utter SENSE. It feels like it should be obvious and yet it wasn’t.

  107. The “Intesity Theory” also works for teenagers, although you can’t thump them on the bum anymore!
    And, to paraphrase Forrest Gump, “Epic is as epic does.” Rock on, Crazy Lady!

  108. Dang — even that guage swatch is more gorgeous than anything I’ve ever knitted. Godspeed on your baby blanket!

  109. I also like having something absorbing – and CREATIVE – to keep me centered while lost in an overwhelming project. My overwhelming project is my 5 kids – 9yo through 2 months. Yes, I am insane. But the three oldest knit… but my knitting (writing/embroidery/etc) time is gone with helping/teaching/caring for them. (I can read while I nurse…)
    My huge, absorbing project is the mini-farm we’ll be buying shortly. (Yes, totally bonkers, I am)
    So I ask you this, knitters and spinners, if you were going to have one alpaca and a bunch of goats and/or sheep, what breed of goat or sheep would you want (for the fiber!)?
    Oh, great Yarn Godde- ahem,Harlot, would you please go (and on) about your very-most favorite fibers in an upcoming entry?

  110. So, that’s why, in the midst of a spectacularly vicious case of the flu I not only decided I could knit a Herbert Niebling lace pattern, but actually cast that bad boy on and knit quite a ways on it. Once I had regained the use of my facilities, it went in the WPI bag (well, into one of them, anyway). Who knew complicated, non-charted lace patterns can only be knit with a raging fever?

  111. I think there is definitely something to this matching the madness level. I used to cook elaborate meals or bake something really difficult when I was staring down a rather large adn stressful project.

  112. When the lactation consultant showed us how to pat the baby’s back during arsenic hour (which is always for colicky babies) I dropped the f bomb.
    I am a huge fan of baby blankets. Sweaters are adorable, but they see so little use. I am eager to see what you come up with. I have 2 impending babies and I’m toying with a lot of ideas, including a pinwheel/pi shawl knitted from the outside in, because I will have the shortest cast off EVER! I am a little cowed by the thought that if you run out of yarn on such a project, you are truly and deeply screwed.

  113. “the intensity that it needed to match my workload”
    That’s awesome…jaw-dropping… PROFOUND! It’s like…reverse psychology. Maybe that’s what’s wrong with my knitting mojo lately. I can’t wait to get home and try it out.
    Meanwhile, I’ll sneak moments at work (it’s OK, I’m self-employed) checking Ravelry for something momentous enough to match that philosophy.

  114. Wow! Where were you with that advice 13 years ago? No worries, I figured it out.

  115. Hello
    I remember that today is your birthday so Happy Birthday! I hope you have a wondeful day so far!

  116. Happy Birthday! To celebrate your day, I am going to knit with the best Italian wool from the stash… Many Happy Returns!

  117. Just so you know, I sent your baby matching advice to my husband, who is a new daddy of a 7 week old. As a second time mom and the oldest of 5 kids, I kinda instinctivly knew your matching theory, but you put it into words so nicely.

  118. I so love the look of that pile of yarn waiting to be knit. That is a bad sign. It makes me want to run out and get a pile of yarn and starting knitting something brand new….NOW. Wait, what would be wrong with that?

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