And here it is

Hello Blog, from me to you, on what’s been a slightly hysterical Christmas Eve.  Joe and I have been flat out all day, and the last cookies are baked, the dinner for our gathering tonight is in the oven, we think we have everything wrapped, and with less than an hour to go, we’re still scrambling.

cookies 2015-12-24

With all that looming though, I wanted to take a minute to wish you all well, to tell you that I hope for you all that is lovely over the next day or two, and to say that I didn’t finish my Christmas knitting, and maybe you didn’t either, and that absolutely, it isn’t going to matter in the morning.

table 2015-12-24

Knitting is, I have often said, a container for love. We work hard to make something for someone, pouring our time and energy and love into a tangible thing. When we hand knitting to someone, we’re hoping they’ll hear what we’re really saying, which is “I love you. I think you’re wonderful. I value your happiness, so much so that I’ve spent this time on you. My love is in this.”

ornaments 2015-12-24

It feels good. Even if the other person doesn’t understand that the hat you just gave them is love made firm and real (sometimes they think it’s just a hat) we do, and it’s an amazing trick to be able to do it.  If you didn’t finish though, keep this in mind.

You can just say those things – with words, instead of yarn.  I love you. I think you’re wonderful. I believe you’re worth my time.

Merry Christmas all.  Thanks for sharing this time with me. We’ll catch you on the other side.

144 thoughts on “And here it is

  1. As they say, those who matter won’t mind (and those who mind don’t matter, but I’m sure you don’t have any of those). Merry Christmas!

  2. This year, I managed to make each of my two daughters a scarf, and a pair of mittens for my son. I spent more than half of 2015 having chemotherapy and I’m still recovering from the toxic side effects. So this year Christmas at my house will be very low key. But there will be love! I hope your forehead is okay. Have a wonderful day tomorrow.

  3. Merry Christmas (and Solstice) from NZ. Thank you for another year of knitting news and positive vibes! All the best to you and your family for 2016.

  4. A bit of us, the love, the good thoughts, is woven into the wool with each stitch no matter the time of year. Have a most beautiful holiday!

  5. “”When we hand knitting to someone, we’re hoping they’ll hear what we’re really saying, which is “I love you. I think you’re wonderful. I value your happiness, so much so that I’ve spent this time on you. My love is in this.”””

    This exactly! And one of the reason why I didn’t miss my knitting deadline (and why I knit a few extras in case I flubbed a size or color choice), is because I really really have trouble saying those words out loud. I feel stupid & sappy when I say them and I feel like a knitted item says them better than I do.

    Knitting is a great trick.

    Merry Christmas Stephanie and to everyone else as well

  6. So true what you said about putting one’s love into a tangible item. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Steph. Wishing you the joy of the season, lots of love and laughter, and, of course, some knitting throughout.

  7. Merry Christmas all you knitters and non knitters alike! My family celebrated a day early and all of them loved their knitted items (even my BIL who received a lumberjack hat (including attached knitted beard…) And I am getting photos and videos of my friends receiving and opening their gifts as well! 😀 Merry Christmas! Love Tessa

  8. As usual, you manage to find just the right words to express the moment. We’re spending our holiday watching episodes of the sci-fi show, Firefly, and it’s obvious that the writer(s) of that show “got it” when it comes to knitting, (in the episode featuring the hat Jayne’s mother sent). Hope all your gifts are appreciated, all your cookies eaten, and all the love washes over everyone. Merry Christmas.

    • Merry Christmas to a fellow browncoat.

      No, I haven’t finished all my projects either. But the unfinished are for my best friend who is a painter and caught up in her own madness. We have an agreement – our Christmas can come any time. It’s a gift to both of us to take the pressure off.

      To Stephanie and the Blog, may your days be merry and bright.

  9. Merry Christmas to you and your family. I love your blog.
    Tonight I will be wrapping a few presents, maybe baking a cake and feeding a feline family member who has cancer and is being fed (temporarily) through a tube in her neck. She sits in a small basin while she is being fed so we are calling her our manger baby. It’s unseasonably warm here in Mississippi so no knitted gifts, almost no baking, and turning on the lights on the tree is adding at least 10 degrees to humid evening ( our AC does not work, as I found out today). So we will be dreaming of a white Christmas……

  10. I broke my wrist at the start of December, and knit exactly one gift this year. It wasn’t finished when the wrist broke, but slowly, and painfully, I finished it up and cast of last night, so I could gift it today, before taking a long weekend off from work. What I came to realize this year, amongst a million other things around Christmas, and traditions and change.. is that this gift that I started, was a healing knit when it began.. after a long, hard year of empty nesting and a new job and that I needed it to be done. Not to say that I “finished my Christmas knitting”, but because I needed to say that something good came out of this year. The person it is intended for is one of the best things that happened in my life during 2015; a new co-worker who has blessed my life in ways I can’t mention. This broken wrist almost undid me, after everything else.. but sometimes, you just have to push through.

    Thank you for sticking with us, even when your life is upside down and backwards, and for being such an inspiration in my life all these years. Discovering you when I was an early knitter over a decade ago was one of the best things that ever came about.. Merry Christmas to you and tribe. <3

  11. Merry Christmas to all! My family just finished our big meal – normally we do it on Christmas Day, but my daughters had the great idea if bumping it up one day. Evidently I am usually the invisible Mum on Christmas Day, locked in the kitchen like a galley slave. This year they want me to relax and spend the day with them – interesting concept, no? So tomorrow we will have an awesome breakfast and spend the day in our pjs – my idea of heaven!
    Best of the season to everyone – and especially to the Harlot and family, who bring such wit and wisdom to our lives with the blog!

  12. Merry Christmas to you and yours. Thanks for reminding us that the love is what matters. The knitting can wait!

  13. A happy and healthy new year to you and all of yours! May you continue inspiring and entertaining with your wonderful wit and wisdom .And thank you for another wonderful year of knitting harlotry.

  14. Merry Christmas to you and your family–you are a knitting inspiration to so many of us and we all enjoy the gift that you give to us—the sharing of your thoughts, ideas and family on your website!

  15. Merry Christmas! I look forward to reading what you’ve written. Each post that you’ve written is truly a gift to us. Thank you for sharing what’s in your heart and on your mind. I wish you all the best during the coming year!

  16. Blessed holiday to you. Thanks for the gift of your blog. I enjoy it so much all year round. My father passed away last Christmas Day, so we are keeping things simple and calm this year. Light and peace! 🙂

  17. Our own dear Harlot said it best a few years back:

    Knitting is love, looped and warm.


    As long as I can buy yarn, and have somewhere to keep it, i am richer than almost everyone else in the world.

    May Stephanie, her actual family and her blog family all have that looped warm love, the money to buy yarn, a place to keep it and the riches of being able to share it this Christmas and in the year to come.

    Thank you, Stephanie, for another year of laughter (and a few tears, some of joy, others of sorrow).

  18. I think you are wonderful. I love you and value you. I would knit unhurried time for you.

    Thank you for being you. You make many lives more wonderful.

  19. Words to hold and share!
    I not only did not finish my Christmas knitting, I did not finish the shopping. Not worth explaining why, it is what it is.
    The people I love know that I love them. I know they love me as words and actions have proven that over and over again these last 4 years.
    Four years ago was our last Christmas with the love of my life, my dear husband and the father of our sons. We learned what mattered in the 8 months we had him, with the knowledge what was inevitable soon.
    So we go on, loving each other every day and showing it often.
    Thank you for being light in my darkness.

    • May the light expand, and the grief recede (at least a bit) – thanks for reminding us , Helle, what really matters in this and all seasons.

        • You cry because what you had mattered..and mattered a lot. Some will say that it will get easier to bear, but I think that it gets less hard. Take care of yourself, and grab kleenix when you need it.

          • Sending prayers that time will help to manage the pain, yet preserve the memories.

            Knitsiam aka Bonnie

  20. Yes. Tangible love. That’s exactly why I love knitting (and sewing) for my loved ones. Thanks for putting that feeling into words for me, Steph. And a merry, merry Christmas to all.

  21. Merry Christmas, Steph, and to all the Pearl and McPhee and Joe clan. Thanks for all the years and all the wonderful words which are really another form of love, eh?

  22. Merry Christmas to you from the other side of Christmas and the world. The day here is coming to a close, lunch has been devoured, games have been played and dishes washed, not everything was finished in time but quite honestly no one cared that they only had one sock in their stocking. Everyone just valued the time that we shared together and the fact that we were able to do so freely. I hope you day is filled with love, family and peace………..and also a magical elf who will clean up for you, he was missing from my stocking so hopefully you have him in yours! Enjoy!!!

  23. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Also, thank you for your talented writing (blog and books). Your writing is a great source of entertainment to me, joyous and heartfelt!

  24. My daughter and I knit and my son is an artist. We often make things for each other, and very often they aren’t finished. Last year my son’s girlfriend of a few months joined us for Christmas. In addition to some scented bath products we were told she enjoys, I had decided to make her a little scarf. It had a vintage look that my son she would like. By Christmas, I hadn’t been able to even start it. After a discussion with my daughter I decided to box up the yarn and needles to give her as a promise. We thought she might be a bit confused, but would understand. When she opened her box, my son said without missing a beat (and he hadn’t known what I was planning to do), “That’s how we do things. One year we all had unfinished gifts, which we opened, and then gave back to the giver to finish!”. She thought it was great. This year, my son gave me a sketched out painting, my daughter got the piece of wood her picture would appear on. I gave her one of a pair of mitts, the other soon to follow. She gave me a finished (beautiful) shawlette, and gave my son a box with a picture of the scarf she had managed to get started. It’s our family tradition really, and it makes the holidays so much more enjoyable.

    • I thought you were going to write, “My son said–Look! Mom’s going to teach you to knit!” and that would have been good, too.

  25. One loving gift finished and delivered earlier this evening. The smile and hug I received in thanks will keep me warm all night. Another not finished but will be delivered, sort of, tomorrow. I think the pullover may be too small so sleeves are not done. We’ll work it out and I’ll either finish it or frog and re-knit. The love will be there regardless.

    Happy Christmas! Joyeux Noel!

    Peace and love.

  26. happy day to you and your loved ones in the coming year. Our hopes for you are that you know the joy we feel for you and the shared pride in your accomplishments. Love and Joy

  27. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Stephanie. Thank you for sharing a small part of your world (and love) with us. May 2016 bring you much joy

  28. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Thank you for all the smiles and laughter you have given me this year. You are so right about love. It’s everything that really matters. Have a wonderful day!

  29. Merry Christmas to you and your family! Looking forward to another year of your knitting and blogging and a lot of laughter. Thanks for not being perfect.

  30. I didn’t get all my Christmas knitting done, either, and almost nothing has been wrapped. But the food for dinner is ready and The Family won’t be here until 3. Since it’s 5:17 a.m., that should be taken care of before they get here. Christmas blessings to you, dear Harlot, and to the entire Blog. And thank you from the bottom of this knitter’s heart for all I have learned and laughed at and enjoyed – so much! – this year. And a happy 2016..

  31. Thank you, Steph, for another yearr of joy in your adventures! You are always the first blog I turn to each day…love how you write!
    Have a Happy, Happy Christmas1

  32. And Merry Christmas to you and your family, too! Thank you for a year filled w/love, laughter, and encouragement through the reading of your blog. May the year ahead be filled w/all that is good.

  33. Appropriately enough, I am instructed to Touch The Chair…

    You have, as always, my gratitude for inviting all of us to take a seat in your virtual living room to enjoy the entertainment you provide for free — and for using the opportunity to make the world a better place.

  34. Best wishes to you and yours. Just let me take this time to say we love you, we think you`re wonderful and you probably don`t know the sustenance we take from your words that you share with us here, in the rush of your own life, taking the time to share stories that make us laugh, stories that make us smile, stories that make us shed a few tears… stories that matter, that make us a community that carries on together. Bless you on this holiday and into the coming New Year!

  35. (I didn’t finish my knitting either. But we don’t have enough snow to go sledding and certainly not enough to go skiing, so my grandgirls weren’t too concerned.)

    Merry Christmas and happy boxing day!!

  36. Thank you for the festive photos and the reminder that there is that inescapable moment when it is time to stop doing and start being. Running into a mannequin is surely a bang-up way to realize enough is enough! Love to all of your family and The Blog as well.

    Eve from Carlisle

  37. My children love the gifts I knit for them because they know that “in every single stitch, there’s Mama love knitted in,” and that is exactly what I want them to get out of it.

    Merry Solstice
    Merry Christmas
    And Blessed Be, from Mid-Missouri.

  38. As always, you are an inspiration. Happily, I finished all my knitted projects (including a 15′ Doctor Who scarf), but missed one woven one, which I think I can pull off by the 12th day of Christmas.
    The best to you and yours in the New Year!

  39. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and many blessings wished for you and yours, dear Harlot. You bring so much happiness to us all year – the blog and specifically I, love(s) you! Looking forward to seeing you in Kansas City in April – thank you for sharing with us!

  40. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Thanks for writing all these years, you’re fabulous. ^^

    Have fun and be safe! (to all of you)

  41. Well…Merry Christmas to you all and to all, a Happy 2016.

    Two sons, two 8 month old kittens, a new daugher in law, a giant new house, new neighborhood, and our first actual Christmas celebration in 6 years…I call it all good. Not so much knitting, at least, not yet as I have a room to get sorted out but, that will come all in good time.

    Off to a great start! God bless you all!!

    Barb R.
    Naugatuck CT, USA

  42. Hello all and happy Boxing Day, we’ve made it to the other side! I finished all my knitting and everyone loved their knitted or woven gifts. It’s funny, but I added to the list during the last week of Christmas prep. I wanted to be rushing to finish the knitting because it feels happy and I love it. I might add sewn gifts next year but my family is just now getting their first woven scarves (which are so much fun) and first socks (worsted weight). I learned that they love chunky hand knits. Wow. Happy run up to new year. A lot less stressful this year. Just a lot of cleaning. Like Steph, I like to leave the old year clean and enter the new year as I mean to go on.
    Best wishes Stephanie, the blog and all commenters and lurkers.

  43. Happy Christmas and a great New Year to you and your family!

    … my own small knitting triumph is that the hat I made for the oldest member of our household (87) got finished, and fit just right!

  44. The warmest yuletide blessings from across the pond.

    Things are often difficult here, and your blog brings real fun of a life grabbed with both hands.
    This year please remember ‘you’ in all this and be sure to slow down enough to notice what you need too.

    Much love and thanks.

  45. You are absolutely right, a knitted item is tangible love. So I am not sure how to interpret the return of a knitted item a year later because “the colour doesn’t suit” The same colour that the person picked. I still feel like I have been kicked in the stomach and unfortunately I let it affect my whole season but I think that I am mostly over it now.

    Thanks Stephanie for your words of wisdom. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    • Val – Please don’t let that affect your whole season. I know several people that have no earthly idea what color looks good on them. If they don’t understand that your gift is love in tangible form – that is their problem. I would however suggest that they not get gifted with another knit item for a good while. Hope you enjoyed this Holiday Season.

    • At least you now have the opportunity to gift it to someone else. In case it helps, I decided to knit myself a cowl in a color I don’t typically wear but thought was beautiful. Ultimately I realized it really didn’t look good on me. The good news is that I gave it to my niece for christmas; it looks terrific on her and she loves it.

  46. Merry Christmas and all the best for the new year to you and yours Steph. Thanks for bringing a little light into all our lives all through the years 🙂

  47. Long-time reader, finally coming out of lurking to wish everyone at “The Blog” a Happy New Year! (And I know I’m a few days late, but I do hope that Christmas- and/or Sir Isaac Newton’s birthday- was lovely for you all as well!) Stephanie, thank you for your insightful words, your spot-on humor, and especially all of the love and joy you have spread into the world. Best wishes to you and your loved ones in 2016!

  48. It has been one of those years, hasn’t it? Christmas got pulled together with a little help from my own Megan, even the hubby wrapped a few presents and cleaned the floors. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  49. Merry Christmas to all at your house. In some countries the gifts are given on Jan. 6, the night the 3 kings came. Maybe you are channeling them? Next year start earlier to fill the long range planning box. I gave 76 handmade gifts this year, but I started DEC. 26 2014. Today, I have 4 in the box for next year. If you get done early, you can relax and enjoy the holiday, doing only those things that can’t be done ahead. Enjoy Christmas week!
    Julie in San Diego

  50. Merry Christmas on the 4th day of Christmas! I hope your holiday season is full of joy!

    I did notice that last year a strict adherence to a schedule did seem to work a bit better and did not notice that action this year. The knitting that is done is done and a gift of knitting given at any time is truly a “container of love” each stitch is a gift of love.

    Love your thoughts that you share with us on the Blog.
    Love to you and yours.

  51. Perfectly said and done. Sending warm wishes to you and yours for the happiest of holidays, and a peaceful and healthy 2016 to all.
    Thank you for sharing your light with us all – Namaste.

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  53. My spоᥙѕᥱ ɑnd ӏ stսmЬlеd ⲟveг һᥱге ϲоmіng frоm а dіffегеnt աeb аԀⅾгᥱѕѕ and tɦߋᥙցһt I sɦоᥙlԁ сɦеcκ tһіngs оᥙt.
    I ⅼіқᥱ ԝhаt Ι ѕeе ѕо і ɑm ϳuѕt fоⅼⅼοᴡіng үοᥙ.
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  55. I ցot tɦіs sitе fгοm mу Ƅuɗɗʏ աҺο tߋⅼԀ mᥱ οn the tߋріс οf thiѕ wеb ѕіtе ɑnd now thiѕ
    tіme Ӏ am Ьгοաѕing tҺiѕ wеb sіtᥱ and гeading
    ѵᥱгү іnfогmɑtіve ρߋѕtѕ ɑt
    tҺіs рlace.

  56. Definitelү consіⅾег
    tһɑt ᴡһіϲh үοᥙ ѕаіɗ.

    Уοuг faνߋritе ϳսѕtifіcatіοn ѕеemᥱԁ tߋ Ье
    ⲟn tɦе intегnet tɦе еɑsіеѕt tһіng tо bе ɑѡaге оf.
    Ⅰ ѕɑү tο уoս, ӏ Ԁеfіnitеlʏ ɡet
    ігҝᥱԀ ᴡҺіlѕt fօlқѕ tҺіnk аbߋᥙt wоггiеѕ that tһеʏ рlаіnly
    ԁߋn’t ҝnoᴡ ɑЬⲟսt.
    Уοu ϲоntгоⅼlеd
    to һіt the naіl սⲣon tɦᥱ hіɡҺеѕt and
    ԁᥱfіneɗ oսt
    tɦе ᴡһolᥱ tһing
    ᴡіtһⲟᥙt Һaᴠіng ѕіⅾе-effеcts , foⅼκѕ coᥙlԁ taке а ѕignal.
    Ꮤill pгоЬɑƅⅼʏ bе baϲқ tо ցᥱt mⲟre.
    ᎢҺank уоu

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