It was bound to happen

Have I ever told you guys about my sister-in-law Kelly?  I know I wrote about her here, and another time here, but all you need to know for this story is that she and I have a lot in common. We agree on parenting, on food, on families, on how you should hold a baby if you want them to go to sleep, and what you say to a two year old if you want them to put on shoes. We agree on making things cozy and on teenagers and doctors and how many candles you light at dinner.  Kelly and I took care of Lou and Katie when they had their rough start, and she and I she and I together are pretty much responsible for the wave of handknits that washes ashore and crashes over all the little ones in our family.  (My niece Savannah is starting to be rather prolific too.) Kelly lives in Madagascar – but it turns out that you can take a knitter out of Canada, but you can’t take the Canadian out of the knitter, because there she sits on an island in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Africa, and she’s pounding out woollies all year long in the 40 degree heat. (That’s Celsius. Smoking hot.)   Her bi or tri-annual visits home bring all sorts of warm things with her.  Lou usually gets a sweater or two – and Kelly is home  right now (why you’d come home this time of year is past my reasoning, and likely Kelly’s right this minute) so wee Lou is sporting a new sweater fresh off her needles.

littlelousweater 2014-02-21

(I know the pattern is Tama – you’ll need Kelly to chime in to find out the yarn.)

Last night, I was knitting away, working on the Lancelot for Lou – and I was plowing along at a pretty good clip, and my mobile phone chimed with a text.  I picked it up and looked, and it was a picture, and the picture looked like this:

kellylousweater 2014-02-21

My first reaction was one of confusion. How was someone texting me pictures of my own knitting – and even more confusing, why were they texting me pictures of my knitting from the future, because in the picture, my knitting had all the raglan decreases done, and I only had a few of them finished. I glanced down at my own knitting. Had I left it somewhere? (In the last 30 seconds) or had someone broken in, stolen my knitting and was now sending me pictures of it? Have you seen that movie where the babysitter gets phone calls all night from a killer, and then the cops trace the call and he’s in the house? Was this a knitting version of that?

My knitting was still on my lap, and my knitting looked like this:

mylousblue 2014-02-21


I stared at it, trying to figure out what was going on, and then another text came in, and it said “Bound to happen.”  That’s when I glanced at the name.


Kelly had been sitting there, knitting away on her Lancelot for Lou, and had decided to read this blog while she was doing it.  Apparently she did the same double check from hands to screen, and then burst out laughing. Same sweater, same colour, same Auntie plan. Great minds think alike.

This sweater must really be perfect for Lou.

126 thoughts on “It was bound to happen

      • You can always stay up all night to finish first.

        Surely they won’t block to exactly the same size? Some fudging should be possible?

          • In lieu of a whole new sweater, I’d go for contrasting stripes knit into the collar, hem, and cuffs. Yes, some fiddly tinking or even some steeks may be involved. Then, outline each diamond in duplicate stitch in the same contrasting yarn. Watch all the snow in Toronto melt from the heat of all the cursing. . . .

  1. Thanks for the much needed LOL!!! Been shoveling, shoveling, shoveling. Would happily send it all back to Greenland to make new glaciers.

    PS The OCD in me wants to tell your little drag-n-drop feature that the “music Note” it asked for was, in fact a treble clef. 🙂

  2. I really, really, really want to know what you say to a two year old to get their shoes on??
    First time mother of a two year old 😉

    • “Don’t you dare put those shoes on” (in a teasing tone). It worked every time. My kids were in school before they every caught on.

      • Or: I’ll bet you can’t put your shoes on before the timer goes off! The timer is ALWAYS the thing to race against, for anything!

        • (the shoes are talking) “Mmm! I’m hungry! Where are some yummy toes I can eat? Num-num-num-num.” Or: “Ahh! someone wants to step on me! I’m running away!” “Uh-oh, better go catch your shoes, sweetie! There they go!” *clomp-clomp-clomp*

    • My kids always responded well to races and choices. We’d race to see who could be the first to get their shoes on. When races didn’t work, I’d give them choices so that they could take on a measure of control over the situation (as I firmly believe the terrible 2’s are nothing more than a battle for control). There was never any question that they were walking out the door with shoes on, that wasn’t the choice. But I would present them “brown shoes or blue shoes?” as a choice, which lets them feel in control and less like you’re bossing them around. And for those days when they flat out refused, I’d offer a calm “You have to wear shoes, so I can pick which ones you wear, or you can. You can wear brown, you can wear blue, or you can even wear one of each, but you must wear shoes.” For my daughter, offering to add a bow or a flower to her shoes to make them “fancy shoes” often worked too.

    • say you are going to wear them yourself if they don’t. Put them on like earmuffs and run around the house laughing.

      They’ll be so amused/ enraged at the theft of their shoes that they rip them out of your hands and put them on just to protect them from YOU.

  3. Add a hoodie? Keep your button selection tip-top secret? Or your favorite – scatter duplicate stitch inner diamonds. Or add some other harlotty modification to give it distinction.

  4. I’m due to have a baby boy child any day, so, should you think you cannot possibly give that sweater to Lou, I would happily take and it appreciate every stitch (it’s always good to have a plan b). Now how do I get an invite to Madagascar and how did Kelly end up there?

  5. My sister is pregnant with what will be the first baby on that side of the family since mine. My brother’s girlfriend (the only other knitter in the family) and I have already had to make a pact that we keep our Ravelry pages up to date and check the other’s before casting on to avoid this exact thing. 🙂

  6. WOW! just WOW! Both sweaters are gorgeous. Great minds think alike or honor amongst thieves. We are supposed to get a cooling trend in So Calif. so planning my perfect knit/weekend by getting my son to do all yardwork, and going to see all Oscar nomin/movies, so I have that to look forward to.

  7. Funny!!! My hubby and I both got the exact same card for our daughter on Valentine’s Day. We went to different stores at different times. Hundreds of choices… Some people are just on the same wavelength. Lucky Lou!

    • Late reply….I’m trawling my way through the archives. One year, my husband and I bought each other identical anniversary cards, and one of our sons sent the same one!

  8. What a hoot! Both are coming along famously. And, by the way, GO Canadian Women’s Hockey! Yes, I was rooting for them not the USA (I live a stone’s throw from the border). Oh, yes, and the men too. (I keep forgetting to do the human verification test. I clearly DO NOT have a great mind)

  9. Hahha! That is fantastic! Also, I am sitting here being a little jealous that you have such an awesome family member that you are close to in such an awesome way. 🙂

  10. So funny! Are you sure you guys aren’t twins? BTW, love the new blog format. And now that my feedly account knows you, too, it’s all good!! (Missed you when feedly was all confused :()

  11. This is making me think of that video of the little girl meeting her dad’s twin for the first time…wish we could have seen your face! Oh well, one can never have too many handknit sweaters!

  12. This is so many kinds of awesome. I love the idea of knitting scene in a horror movie–Oh no! someone stole my knitting and is taunting me with it via instagram!
    Looks like yours is a slightly larger size? Hopefully one for now and one for later.

  13. that is too funny…..I’m with whoever suggested harloty stitching inside the diamonds and a hood. Great idea. You could also undo the cuffs and sknit them back down in a contrast color to make yours slightly different. Lucky Lou!

  14. Great minds do think alike! So close to done, what I would do is dye it after finishing so that Lou gets the same great sweater in two colours. Green would be good, but I think it would be amazing in purple if you wanted to over-dye it with red.

  15. The same yarn/color is the amazing part to me. But, could you imagine how you would have felt walking in to give it to him, and see him wearing it? Would have really made you wonder what was wrapped up!

  16. Well, you said you think alike…now we have proof positive! If y’all are lucky, you have two slightly different sizes.

    And, maybe Kelly missed snow…it is much nicer when you can just visit it, I am told.

  17. I think what amazes me the most is that the color is the same… that is more boggling to me than the pattern being the same….pretty funny… xo

  18. What a coincidence, they are both absolutely beautiful!! I was kinda hoping Savannah would be my midwife again this time … you know so we could spend my appts talking about knitting.

  19. That is too funny. Are you both knitting the same size? When my brother got married, my sister and I ended up wearing almost identical outfits, right down to the shoes, hose, and jewelry, even though we lived at opposite ends of the country, and we only talked once on the phone about what we were wearing. Maybe you could add a few special Stephanie touches to your sweater so they’re not identical

  20. OK, that’s pretty (whew!) even for you…there just might have to be some intentional distribution of responsibility for production in the future!

    (It’s probably too late, but if not: maybe don’t let Joe know about this one, unless you’re very up for some version of “I TOLD you it was Ok for you to take a pass on this one!”) =)

  21. Since you live closer, you could get to Lou before Kelly does. Of course you wouldn’t though, because that would be wrong. 🙂

  22. That is seven flavors of awesome. And kind of amazing considering the number of yarns and patterns out there. I predict it will be Lou’s favorite sweater, the one he wants to wear even when it really needs to be in the wash – and therefore – TWO are definitely needed!

  23. That is funny! But I did think the little boy in the picture for the pattern kind of looked a lot like Lou so maybe you both saw that when you were looking a sweater to knit! Lucky Lou to have two such loving Aunties!

  24. When I first saw the more completed sweater, my first thought was: “Oh my gosh!! The knitter is in the house! The knitter is in the house! No way!”. My second thought was: “Ooh. They have colors that are complimentary on their sheets. They DO think alike!”. Lou is one lucky little duck!
    P.S. Congratulations on the Golds in Hockey!

  25. You are both madly knitting to try and finish ASAP. Say it with me: TEAM WORK. Figure out who is knitting what, and pair up! Super Special Sweater, made with love and cooperation!

  26. Hey, I just took a good look at your tour schedule. I know that you can’t be everywhere The Blog wants you to be, but what have you got against the southern US? You have the Pacific coast covered, the Southwest, Rocky Mtn. states, the Midwest, and the East above the Mason-Dixon Line, but what about the South? I thought you enjoyed your time in Raleigh with us Tarheels! Oh, yes, we’ve had thunder and lightning, too!

    • Hey Juliana, I love that part of the US, but the publisher decides where I will go and when, and they have their reasons – like which stores are free, which would like to host me etc. it’s complex, and it’s not up to me. Try not to take it personally.

      • Gotta say I’m feeling pretty neglected here in the middle of Oklahoma.
        I opened up Google maps just to check – home to Tempe and back, 28 hours drivetime. Denver,19 hours. St Louis, 15 hours. Plus hotel expenses, etc.
        And that fiberfest in Arkansas? It would cost me around $750 to make that trip, without any shopping.
        I will buy the new book, but this one will be the first without the author’s signature. 🙁

  27. I would just like to say that’s some pretty funky security you have going on right there!

    But more importantly, please, please PLEASE what do you say to a two-year old (or three, or four) to make them get their shoes on. Or get dressed.

  28. So how did you and Kelly work it out? Who gives Lou the sweater? I am hoping there is another baby in the family about his size. The hoodie idea is good, too.

  29. When my mom was alive, we did things like that occasionally. One Christmas, she and I both bought each other THREE of the same gifts! Out of all the stuff in stores out there to buy! We didn’t even live in the same area!

  30. It will be awesome. He can have a teddy bear twin if they are the same size or even different sizes. He gets to wear one sweater and his bear can wear the other. Seriously, those are both beautiful sweaters. I’m amazed at how good you both are at following directions- nearly everything I make, even if someone else was making the exact same thing at the exact same time, never looks like it is supposed to! Little imperfections.

  31. This is so cool. My humble opinion: both you and Kelly need to finish and present your sweaters as is simply to provide your family with much fodder for amusement and future anecdote.

  32. How is that even possible?! I can sort of see that you might choose the same pattern but knitting it at the same time and in the same colour? Wow….

  33. Pingback: Swap Hat | elpalchica's Blog

  34. Okay, here’s what I think happened – Kelly heard your psychic scream when you remembered that you hadn’t started Lou’s sweater. It translated to “Knit this sweater, NOW!” So she did. What a great sister-in-law!
    Can’t stop picturing you looking at the picture, looking at the sweater, looking at the picture, looking at the sweater… 😉

  35. Oh my gosh – laughing so hard my husband is looking at me strangely. Thought about explaining it to him but then thought again. He wouldn’t think it was funny and I’d have to try and explain and that would burst my laughing bubble and I’d rather keep chuckling for a bit. Lou will be twice as lucky to have two wonderful sweaters!

  36. Where are twins when you need them? I bet her sweater does not have the great Northwest connection of a hand dyed yarn from Port Gamble named for a river, county, and city along the Columbia River. It is amazing that the blue hues are so similar.

    Now he can have one sweater drying and be wearing the other one.

  37. I love this story!

    (Of course, I had to go check out the pattern page for Lancelot. So adorable!)

    Somewhere across the pond, Solenn Couix-Loarer must be wondering what is causing all the sudden faves and queues of this adorable pullover

  38. Not only did I show it to my husband, I spent a several minutes reading about, and remembering, “When a Stranger Calls.” I never saw the movie but I was not far out of my babysitting days when I saw the TV trailers. The knitting version would be exactly like this! (The knitting version of everything is nicer.)

  39. Wonderful writing today.
    Thank you for moving the calendar to the top of the page. I’ve been lost without it. I feel like you did it just for me.

  40. First time I’ve stopped in in a while and I just want to say how nice the new blog is. Looks very clean and modern and, at the same time, very much like the original.

  41. I am joining the chorus wanting to know what you say to a two year old if you want them to put on shoes! Please, I must know! And how about a 6 year old?

  42. Dude, I’ve been staring at those pictures and I’ve got it. They’re totally different sweaters: her deep blue yarn is solid and yours is only mostly solid. You’re fine. Totally, totally different.

  43. For the love of god: please tell us what you tell a two year old to get them to put their shoes on. Or coat. Or pants. Or anything really.

  44. Funny, but lucky for Lou to have 2 great knitters to knit for him!
    PS I was knitting away on a sweater with lots of cables and realized that I had made not one, but THREE, mistakes in the twists about 10 rows back. I googled how to fix a cable an was directed to your post from 2006. My cables are now fixed! Thanks for the tip.
    I have been reading, and enjoying, your blog for a while, but hadn’t gone back that far. Guess I need to do that!
    Cindy K in Illinois

  45. Wow! This happened to my grandmother and her twin sister when she was returning from S. Africa….same pattern, same wool… mobile phone photographs though 🙂

  46. So what is the magic thing you say to a 2 year old to convince them to put on their shoes (or hat, or coat, or insert object here)? This mum of a 2 year old would LOVE to know, please and thank you.

  47. That is one of the funniest things ever! But with Lou’s two year old efforts at feed himself having a duplicate sweater is absolutely perfect!

  48. I’m still laughing at your LAST entry regarding the sweater where you say, “That’ll be done in 3 minutes.”

    Ha. Though I do like the thought of the double-stitching to outline each diamond, and then perhaps a multicolored neckline (ducking as the yarn balls are chucked at me). 🙂

  49. Paying much closer attention to the sweaters made for Lou as I have a grandson coming soon – like in 4 weeks.

    That is so funny that Kelly would knit the same sweater in the same color for Lou – he will never wear it out now! It is a beautiful color and I already tagged it for Baby Valerian for the future.

  50. So funny. When I saw the sweater Lou is wearing, I could have sworn I saw it before – and I did, in a manner of speaking. The knitter is from Ireland, not Madagascar, and the sweater is Beyond Puerperium rather than Tamu, but the yarn could very well be the same, and in the pictures they do look like the same sweater.

  51. Lucky Lou to be so loved by his aunties!! Great minds think alike. Lou is a beautiful child. How lucky your family is to have him to cherish. And for whom to knit!! Can’t wait to meet you in Baltimore next month — hoping the snow stops by then for the hour-plus drive from Virginia!!

  52. Don’t leave us hanging. How DO you get a two year old to put on shoes? Because I can’t seem to manage it with mine.

  53. OMG, that is hysterical!! And what? Baltimore?? Gotta go find out the details, like, yesterday! (oh, and both sweaters are gorgeous, naturally)

  54. Hysterical! I agree that it proves you are both terrific aunts.

    So, what do you say to get a 2 year old to put on shoes? More specifically, what should I say to 20m DD to put on socks? She seems to be more okay with shoes recently, so I’m really hoping sandal weather will be here soon. The forecast for Cleveland tomorrow is 6-10 inches of snow, so I don’t think that’s the case.

    (sjn821 on Rav)

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