Dear Blog,

Today is my sixteenth blogiversary.  I sat down that day and (with Ken’s help) wrote the very first entry on this thing, with no idea where it would go, or where it would take me, knowing only that there was nobody in my life who wanted to talk about sock heels as much as I did, and that I wanted to find those people. Fast forward sixteen years, and here we are.

(Here also are finished mittens. I’m just going to punctuate this post with pictures of them, for no reason other than that I am in love with them, and as always over the last sixteen years, I think you’re the only people who are really going to care.)

I learned a lesson really early on in blogging and being a writer. I try not to read reviews.  I try not to go to Amazon and see what people think of me, I try not to visit forums where I’m discussed, and let me tell you, I learned this the hard way.  I’m sure I’ve told you this story, but I once found a review of one of my books, and the person who wrote it said that the writing was okay, but that they wished that the publisher would stop putting my picture on the cover because I was so wildly unattractive that it spoiled the entire experience for them beyond all redemption. I am paraphrasing here – they specifically said that I look like a weasel.  Now, I don’t need reassurance here that I am un-weasel-like. I’m (mostly) over it, and it taught me not to go looking for what people think of me, and I’ve been happier for it. Worrying too much about what the audience thinks is the kiss of death for writing. You get too careful to be yourself. (Plus if I look like a weasel that is hardly correctable by me, besides for crying out loud weasels don’t even have curly hair.)

Sometimes though- I find things by accident. I do frequent the places (online and in the real world) that other knitters do, and from time to time I read something about myself and have to reckon with it.  Such was the case when a week or two ago – I read something and it hit me like a train. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.  I won’t quote them exactly, but what they said was that I have changed, that the blog has changed and that they don’t know if it was the death of my mother or what, but I have changed.

My first reaction was guilt. Heaps of it. Mountains of it. A veritable avalanche of guilt and bad feelings and I spent days wondering if it was true, wondering if I had changed, wondering if my mum (and Tupper and Susan) had freakin’ broken me and wondering how, if I wasn’t me anymore, how could I become me again. I almost felt an obligation to change back. To do the work and figure out what was different and wrong and change back.  I felt ashamed that I had let this person down- and extrapolated that therefore I had let so many people down, and tried to deal with the bad feelings around all of that.

I added “I have changed” to the list of things that I worry about each night, the list of things that I am going to fix in the morning when I wake up and begin my life as a whole other person.  I added it to other disappointments like swearing too much, procrastinating, not being tidy enough, never having an empty inbox and liking to play that farm game on my phone. Change back, I thought. I will try to change back.

This, rather predictably, has not gone well. Like most other attempts to become someone I am not, like someone who answers email instead of knitting or never goes to bed with a dirty kitchen or is impossibly kind at every turn, or never holds bitter thoughts, or eventually uses lipstick… it has been an abject failure.  I haven’t been able to change back.

I was wondering, while contemplating this spectacular failure and adding it to the list of other ways I let humanity down, if it had been the death of my mother. I think about that a lot – did that rough patch, that loss, together with the other losses so quickly like that, rob me of some essential me-ness? Is that why I couldn’t change back? Was I broken? This was in the back of my mind when I came back from the gym last week. Joe asked me if I’d had a good workout, and I described something to him that I’d been able to do that I couldn’t do before.  “You’ve really changed” Joe said, and I froze in my tracks. I was horrified that he saw it too, and he is on the list of the people in the world I least like to disappoint and so I panicked and immediately began to prepare a speech, one where I told him that I knew, that I knew I’d changed, and that I was sorry, and that I was trying to change back – that I hadn’t meant to change I was just trying to get a grip on everything changing around me and… before I could get a word of apology out, he said “I am so proud of you.”

That was it. The bubble burst.  I have changed. Things have changed around me, and I have changed too. For the record, it was also the moment that I realized that the person who made that comment – they never said it was a bad thing.  They just said I had changed, and it is true.  I am not just the mother who wrote this blog sixteen years ago, I am a grandmother.  I am not a daughter any longer, I am an orphan. I am not only a knitter, I am a weaver and a spinner and I can embroider beautiful mittens and I don’t just blog, I have books and instagram and I own a small business and I learned to ski and I can just about deadlift my own body weight because my doctor told me that if I didn’t change I was going to have the bone density of a bird, and I have allowed myself to embrace a family of choice.  I have lost friends, I have made friends, my family has shrunk and then grown again. I have on my resume that I was the Chair of a big charity, and I learned how to manage spreadsheets. (Sort of.) I am a long distance cyclist. I no longer pretend things are okay with me when they are not. I have changed, and that’s okay. It’s really okay, it’s actually maybe the only way through something like this (by “this” I think I mean life) and I have changed and darlingest knitters… frankly, I really hope you have too.

It has been sixteen years, and the only thing that has not changed, is that I still wanted to come here to tell you what I was thinking.

On Friday night at VKL, I had dinner with an old friend. Someone who started blogging around when I did, and she stopped last year. She’s still present, and still on instagram and I asked her how she felt about the decision to stop blogging.  “Things change” she said, and I could tell how happy she was with her decision. She’s changed – and she looked so well and so happy and so totally in charge of herself and her family and I thought about changing this too, and let me tell you, it’s not going to happen.  A lot more would have to change for me to want to leave all of you. The Blog (that’s you) has been my constant, my rock, the amorphous blob of humanity that understands me best all these years, and has been the best support of my life. Though things have changed, I love you yet. You are my people, and I couldn’t do anything without you.

Sixteen years.  Cheers, my friends. To change, may you embrace it, and then always come here to tell me about it.

Love always,


(PS, along with my inability to rinse out a coffee cup the day that I use it, or the way that I can. not. answer. all. my. mail…  the other thing that hasn’t changed is The Bike Rally. This year (for a change) I’ll just be riding the thing.  Other than an advisory role, I have no responsibility at all – but for the wind in my hair and the cash that I raise. As has become traditional, I start my fundraising on my blogiversary – asking you, if I have given you enough over the last sixteen years, if you’d consider giving me (well, people with AIDS) sixteen dollars. (Or a multiple of sixteen, or a fraction of it, depending on your means.) Here’s the link to do that, if you’d like to keep the way knitters freak that charity out completely unchanged.) 


362 thoughts on “Sixteen

    • I ave had many changes in my life since I first read your book The Yarn Harlot, the secret life of a knitter and reading your blog. One thing that has not change is I still look forward to reading your blog and the joy and inspiration your writing and knitting gives me.

        • Oh man, hear, hear! Well said and I totally agree. Stephanie, I add to your change wonderfulness how your writing has continued to grow in such marvelous ways. You might be a whiz with (knitting and other) needles, but you are a GREAT whiz at writing, and writing lots begets even better writing. Please keep that up – do not ever stop!

  1. You have amazed me over the years my dear, don’t change the way you are growing and changing! Life keeps happening regardless.
    I’m now going to cast on some mittens for myself, because of your lovely pair despite never making a pair in my life!

  2. Stephanie, dear, the only person you have to be better than when you get up tomorrow morning is who you were when you got up this morning. And frankly that’s a pretty big challenge for most of us. If you haven’t changed you aren’t experiencing/enjoying life.

  3. Life is change! If we don’t change, we don’t survive. And while I’m not a person that always embraces change, in fact sometimes I am drug into it with my heels ground in and my hands grasping for the way things were, I know it’s inevitable. Of course you’ve changed! And why not – your world changes and you adapt. I did have some heart palpitations when you mentioned your friend that stopped blogging. That would be one of those crying and screaming changes, a world without The Harlot? We love you and always will.

  4. I laughed and laughed about the weasel comment.

    No, you don’t look like a weasel. : )

    Thank you for making me laugh and cry all these years. I have changed, too, but what hasn’t changed is how much you have given me and continue to give me and so many people with all you do. You have done a marvelous job of handling all you’ve been dealing with recently, and I, like so many people, are overwhelmingly impressed by you.

    Thanks for being there.

  5. This post was such perfect after I just completed a work group session on self-compassion. We have all changed and I certainly hope that you have changed. How could these big life experiences not change you. Like the rest of the Blog, I love you more for it and not less (just as I should love myself more and not less for the challenges I have gone through). Thank you for sharing of yourself with us and the community that has developed. PS: I love your mittens too! That embroidery is so perfect on them! I hope they keep your hands warm for many years!!

  6. Stephanie, in my very humble opinion, you have had to change. We all have. If we don’t change as we experience the difficulties (and joys) of life, then we are too cynical or too dead inside to care. Your blog has helped me change–in the way I am motivated and excited to be part of the fiber folks of the planet. I’m happy you’re going to continue. I enjoy & look forward to your posts.

    And, your mittens are gorgeous!

  7. Of course you’ve changed, we all have. I try to change for the better because changing for the worse is unacceptable. (I’m sitting here in the messiest house you can imagine, so I have lots of changing to do still.) I’m guessing the commenter misses you when you don’t post as often, I know I do. However, you’ve been outrageously busy the last few years. I also miss your stories about the people in your family, but your kids & Hank have grown up, and I’m guessing everyone needs to guard their privacy more these days. I’m so happy you’ve kept up your blog when most have quit theirs, and I look forward to your posts. Let’s toast to change!

  8. We all have to adapt; if we don’t, the world (which is ever changing) will leave us behind. To 16 more years of beautiful changes and evolution. Thanks for your thoughts and for sharing with us!

  9. Just imagine if you’d stagnated for 16 years how terrible that would be!
    Thank you for 16 years of laughs and inspiration and ideas and knowledge and letting us know that even the best knitters make mistakes just like the rest of us. This blog is a little bit of sunshine in my feed reader and I’m so grateful 🙂

  10. One of the best parts of my day is when I see a new post from you. I loved getting letters and writing them back when that was a thing. Having a blog post from you is like finding an unexpected letter in my mailbox. I know there’s going to be pictures of knitting and/or yarn, and news about your life, a life you have shared with all of us at the blog, and it’s special. Your message today about change hits the nail squarely and I’m going to absorb that some more. Thank you for being you with all of us.

  11. What a lovely post! We had a line we would always use when I was a hospice volunteer – the only thing you can depend on is that everything changes. Thank you for the inspiration and the wonderful words over the last 16 years. I have to admit that you are the one who inspired me to start knitting which led me through a whole career and now is a wonderful hobby that I continue to enjoy. Here’s to more wonderful years of change ahead!

  12. I think back to who I was when I first discovered you and your blog in 2006, and I too marvel at how much has changed in my own life and psyche, and how much the world has changed. We have all changed, some of it good, some of it bad. Sigh.

    You and your marvelous blog came into my life via my then-12-year-old son… he knew I adored knitting, he gave me your first book for Christmas. Prior to that I’d never heard of you, but I immediately felt “seen and understood.” Since then, I’ve been grateful for each and every one of your posts and books — they are invariably one or all of the following: funny, honest, wise, heartbreaking, instructive, entertaining, delightful.

    You’ve inspired me to be a better knitter, a better mom, and a better person. I have always admired your ability to get so much done, large & small — even the sticky surfaces eventually get cleaned. You may not appreciate it from the perspective within your own head, but you strike me as someone with a very balanced life — passionate about health, family, craft, business, community, and country (not necessarily in that order). A life well lived, for sure.

    Brava, Stephanie. I can’t believe you’ve been at it for 16 years… I’ve been along for the ride for 14 of those years… Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  13. So excited to see I’d missed two blog entries so that I can sit with my tea and be a part of your life for a little while. My world is crazy stressful with a new (old) house undergoing remodeling and my boyfriend (of 16 yrs) living with me for the first time. I wouldn’t change it for anything. But your blog offers endless knitting, a lovely extended family and lots of humor and pathos. It’s a terrific place to visit and I would so miss it if you went away. Happy Blogaversery and here’s to the next 16 years

  14. Not only have you changed, but you have changed me for the better. Your observations on life and the lessons you have blogged about have shown me how to face life with dignity and clear headedness (if that is a real word). Thank you for blogging. Happy Blogiversary! I am looking forward to many more years of stories and common sense posts.

  15. Dear Steph, of course you’ve changed – who hasn’t? Love your blog, and love that we, your extended knitter “ family” get to share in your life – highs and lows.
    Keep doing what you do, we’ll be there to sing with you.

    Ps: you don’t even remotely resemble a weasel. I should know – I was once told I have a ferret face.

  16. Thank you so much for for being so open with all of your change and the events you’ve experienced over the last few years. These years have been full of change and loss for me as well and going through it “with” you has been incredibly encouraging to me.

  17. There is nothing wrong with change. Change can be good, and cathartic and it happens to everyone because that’s what happens.

    Also, can we throw a Sweet Sixteen party for the blog now?

  18. I’ll never forget the day I stumbled across your blog and realized that knitting and the knitting world was much more than I imagined. I read the whole archive, some of it out loud, laughing with my husband. Thanks for everything. I am indebted to you and the Blog as my life would not be the same without your writing and this space.

  19. A weasel? What a fool this reviewer was (is?). We would all stagnate if we didn’t change and grow. We love you, Steph. You go, girl!

  20. A few things here. One, fabulous mittens. Two, I think you need to substitute the word “grown” for the word “changed”. In this context it is far easier to understand how positive it is. Three, here’s a quote from Wayne Dyer, “Thanks, but you do know that your opinion of me is none of my business, right?”. I have found that keeping that notion handy has helped me a lot when people get judgmental.

  21. Happy 16th! I unfortunately did not find you 16 years ago, but it has been a good long while, and I look forward to every post. Yes, you’ve changed – and so have I. And it’s all good. And I love the mittens!!!

  22. Brava! You’ve done so much to be proud of not least of which is your strength of will that has weathered a lot and come out even stronger. Bless you for finding and developing your interests which have benefited both you and the rest of us. Long may you blog. Happy Blogiversary!

    P.S. The mittens are lovely.

    P.P.S. When is the next book due?

  23. Change is inevitable. Thank you for sharing all your changes with us over the years. I’ve been a blog follower since soon after its inception, & I still enjoy & look forward to your posts. Thank you for being you & sharing yourself with us.

  24. I second everything the commenters have said about change. And, yeah, so many blogs I used to read have stopped, and gone to Instagram or out of existence or whatever. But as long as it suits you, as a writer (although you’ve become a very good photographer, too) to continue, blog on! To my mind, every one of your posts is a little gift, for which I thank you. Thank you for sharing your knitting, your family, your life, your self.

  25. Dear Stephanie,
    Happy blogiversary.
    We all change. We can’t control the change to please the trolls. Be true to your wonderful self.
    Thank you for being you.

  26. I haven’t been here for all sixteen years, but I’m so grateful for the ways that you’ve been with us for the past sixteen years.

  27. Less than two dozen comments when I started reading, and already others have said what I was thinking better than I could (Cin! Cathy!). No surprise the Blog is sharp — that hasn’t changed!

    So I’ll join the chorus: how could you *not* have changed? Or maybe more to the point, how could your writing here not have changed? The kids grew up, your activities and responsibilities grew in so many ways. I miss you when you don’t post as often, too, and I guess I miss some of the funny family vignettes and some of the people you haven’t written about much lately — but I also recognize that this is your space to write about what you want, and those are real people and not just characters, and maybe in this less innocent time the costs of sharing weigh more heavily on us all. And I enjoy the more introspective turn many of your posts have taken. Some of your writing that has meant the absolute most to me ever are posts from the last handful of years (you explained my mother to me, at a crucial moment, and reading it felt like a much-needed shedding of a last clinging veil of childhood. That’s a heck of a thing to accomplish for a stranger with a blog post, and it wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t been changing yourself).

    Maybe it’s easier to accept for me since I had just barely gotten my footing in my twenties when I became a reader here. I hope fervently that *I* have changed over this decade-and-a-half-ish — there have been shattering losses and life-altering arrivals, I feel wiser and stronger for it, and I hope that’s maybe even true. I think I might now be about the age you were when you started the blog, which is sobering in its own way, but also encouraging because think of the adventures that could yet lie ahead.

    I’m so glad you want to keep telling us things. I hope you keep doing it, as much as makes you happy. Those mittens are gorgeous and now I want to drop everything to copy them despite being not even halfway through a pair of mittens for my own preschooler while spring looms ever closer (in my defense, it’s warm where we live and he doesn’t *really* need them). Some things never change!

  28. I’m going to admit it, you scared me there for a second when you mentioned your friend who stopped blogging. (NO! PLEASE DON’T STOP!!) And yes you have changed, as so have I and everyone who makes up this great little community. Change is hard, and I’m not a fan of it myself, but here we are. Please keep being your wonderful self. Because that’s all we can do.

  29. I have started to read you blog in 2019 or so, but then i went back and read each and every post… ever since I have read all your books as well…. daw your kids become grown ups, an you marrying, and becoming a grandmother… among other things…If I think the changes that went through my life these years and knowing just how much I changed… no wonder how you changed. But then, as the world turns. everything changes. Only one thing did not. I still reas each and every one of your posts. Happy Blogiversary.

  30. Steph – I have grown too, through the sudden and unexpected loss of my husband in 2016, and the loss of my dear mom in September. Your honesty as you dealt through the wicked pain of loss has touched me and helped me to work through my own. I can’t even begin to count the times you expressed feelings and thoughts where I said to myself “yes, that is exactly how I feel” I started reading the blog because I am a knitter. Now I read it because I am a member of your extended blog family of people who love, care, and share not only their knitting but also their feelings. Thanks for helping me through some very dark days, weeks, months.

  31. Change is growth! In all directions! Keep it up! We stragglers are crawling to even keep up ourselves with all you have and will accomplish. I will be 83 on June 11th next, and married (for the second time) for 34 years on September 30th (I know!!) If I could ever post that I have done even a tenth of what you manage I would be the queen of all hearts!! Keep on keeping on – we are all depending on you to show us the way!!

    Nancy Reed, Minnesota

    (You do mean the treble clef below, right??)

  32. I have twin boys, when they were toddlers I nicknamed them the Little Weasels because they were busy and cheeky with bright little eyes. I can think of worse things to be called. People can be downright rude and obviously were not raised with manners – or cute little weasels!!


  33. Yes, life changes all of us and I think the best we can hope for is that the changes help us grow in a good way. So glad to hear that you aren’t giving up the blog as we would miss you. Hugs from snowy Nebraska!

  34. You were a lifeline for me 16 years ago and I have NO problem with you changing as we all do! It is a reaffirmation that change happens and we all deal with it! Loving my life and that you are moving forward (and hopefully) loving it, too!

  35. Life is change, and that’s the beauty of it. Just like those mittens, it’s a wonderful, beautiful thing! And so are you. And we like you… just as you were, just as you are, and just as you will be.

  36. You have changed, of course you have. It’s been 16 years and most everything about your life has changed. And lucky me, you’ve left guideposts. I first started reading you when I picked up one of your books of essays to take with me on an overseas trip. I was in my late 20s, working crazy hours and still stocking up on books for long trips because I didn’t have an e-reader. You were writing about raising kids, managing a home life I couldn’t imagine and working as a doula. I’m now in my early 40s, at home with two girls and navigating the elementary school waters with the oldest. Those early essays are so relatable now, and they are still there for me.

  37. Well, of course you’ve changed. So have I. But we’re all still here through good, bad and everything in between. I look forward to each new blog post and have for a lot of years. Happy bloggiversary and thank you for putting so much of yourself out there. And you don’t look like a weasel!

  38. Brava, my friend, for your willingness to be you, in all your adaptable, beautiful non-weasel-like glory! Change is the only constant, and in order to live well we must not just accept but embrace that. Cheers!!

  39. Sixteen years! Congratulations! And thank goodness we have all changed in that time. Just a thought- after my mom died (my dad died a few years earlier) a friend remarked to me that I was now an orphan. My immediate response, without thinking about it was “no, now I am the matriarch.” Welcome to the next level, the world needs matriarchs.

  40. Amen to everything the others said, and happy blogiversary. And by the way, you haven’t changed the important stuff that’s the core of you. Rearranged it, maybe, but you’re still you.

  41. Hello Steph, Yes you have changed. Yes, change is, and evermore shall be. Good, bad, indifferent it happens. That said, I have noticed long and longer
    periods between posts; especially since your Mum died. I did wonder if you were going to close the blog (glad you’re not) I missed your posts. I’m an old Luddite who doesn’t have the time to read many blogs. Yours always either made me smile, or made me think. The recent posts seem much more grounded then others from the past couple of years. Welcome back, however you’ve changed-you’ll always be you. Your voice is unique. I’ve missed it.

    • Totally agree! I’m miss the frequency of your posts, but I am going to choose to look at each new post as a gift.

      Thanks for showing up!

  42. The only thing that is consistent in this life is…wait for it….change! That is how we grow. I love the mittens that you made for yourself. I too, have been knitting mittens…just a fun little pattern of yours…Cloisonné! It is a great pattern and so much fun to knit!

  43. Happy blogaversary Stephanie! I would hope we’ve all changed. Being static would be horrid. The things that happen around us change us. That’s just the way life is. I’m happy to be here, and love to read your adventures and joys and even the sad things. You will always be special to me. Big hugs!

  44. You HAVE changed. Me. Your blog has changed me to be a better, more adventurous fiber artist, someone who knows a bit more about Canada, and someone who wants to use art to benefit others. You have helped me see that there are people out there who understand my incessant fascination with string. Oh, and I also have a wicked big yarn/fiber stash! So not only have you changed but you have also created change in others. Thank you. Happy anniversary.

    • I love how you said this. I was thinking the same thing. I am changed – I’m a more courageous knitter and I’m more patient when it doesn’t work out. Good changes!

  45. You are you; you always have been you. I feel I know you even though we have spoken but twice, briefly. Your great charm, your super power is that you are inevitably, authentically, true to who you are. This is so when you are elated and equally so when you are torn with grief. This blog is a small but very important part of my life. Thank you so much for being here for 16 years

    • This perfectly captures how I feel – every post feels like a letter from a dear friend that I’ve known for years. Change is inevitable, but you still have the same heart and the gift of speaking to all of us as you is we are sitting at your kitchen table. ❤️

  46. Happy blog-anniversary! I am so glad you don’t plan to stop. I feel like I have walked with you through these years, not in a stalker way, but as a friendly observer of your grace and humor. You are a light and an inspiration. I daresay we bloggies(?) consider your sharing your life with us a great gift. I know I do.

    Beautiful Stephanie. Beautiful mittens.

    Knit on!

  47. Happy Blogiversary

    I am glad you have changed. If you hadn’t changed you wouldn’t have been able to handle the changes that have come into your life both good and sad.

    It is difficult to lose a parent, a spouse or a child. I know I have lost all of those.

    You have matured with what life has given you. You have adapted. Just think how well you handled the mess of the paint on the stairs. Yes, you had to pitch a few things. Paint covered the rest. And most of all you didn’t get hurt, as it could have easily been you all the way down the stairs.


  48. ….and this is why I keep coming back to read what you have to say….. you talk about knitting, but you also talk about real life and share your struggles. I appreciate it.

  49. OMG, Steph, of course you have changed! We ALL have! We’ve changed each other, The world and our families and our friends and our experiences have changed us. What dolts would we be if we hadn’t changed!
    This blog is where you have shared the things that have affected you, from deaths to births and every thing inbetween. And seeing you (well reading you) makes me feel I am not alone. Your honesty about your house being a wreck makes me feel better when I peer over the top of my computer at the pile of laundry sitting in the middle of the living room or the rug that hasn’t been vacuumed in two weeks (maybe more).
    I’ve changed, I am a knitter who rarely has time to knit any more. I managed one pair of socks and a baby sweater last year! that was it! I had to BUY socks for the first time in 12 years. And I tried to hide it, too. But things change, life changes. That’s what life is most well known for doing.
    And you do not look like a weasel in any way.

  50. I am so grateful that I am still growing, learning and changing. I hope that I am improving a little bit each day/decade. You not only have improved my knitting, you have definitely kept my spirit of adventure going. Keep living, loving, knitting and sharing, please

  51. Happy 16th! You’ve GROWN and changed. As do we all. Actually, I thought of it as mostly related to teh bike rally until you thought and wrote about all the ways you’ve changed/grown and developed additional aspects to your identity. I’ll donate more than $16 when we get closer to rally time.

  52. I can’t imagine living 16 years and not changing. I mean, we always hope we change for the good, but whatever it is, it’s how we evolve, how we are touched by life. I’d like to say that one of the things about you that I feel hasn’t changed (much) is your ability to make me think and feel and laugh with your writing. Maybe don’t change that part too much.

    As a fellow weight lifter, I continue to be impressed by the way you’ve gone after that like any other important goal in your life.

  53. Happy sweet 16! The mittens are gorgeous and I love the embroidery. I’ve been reading your blog for 8 or 9 years and have gone back to read it from the beginning so I feel like I’ve been here from the start. I’ve read and re-read your books. I’ve laughed and cried and loved every minute.

  54. You are you and that’s all you have to be! The mittens are gorgeous, we all still love you, and those that don’t can go take a long walk off a short pier. Of course you have changed, we all do, or we die. Just keep being you and that is a gracious plenty!

  55. Happy Sixteenth! The mittens are gorgeous! Thank you for all your writing. I discovered your blog and books and calendars a few years after I started knitting again in 2003 after a long hiatus. Your writing made me remember what I had loved about working with yarn and I’ve knitted just about every day since then, thanks to you.

  56. I like you – you are funny, and you are real, and you are so much more. I liked you when I found your blog, I think that was the summer of 2006 and I read all the back posts that summer. And I like you now. You inspire my knitting and my parenting and my cleaning. Your story/stories about how you stopped hiding dirty dishes in the oven/bathtub (or somewhere) sticks with me. I have a toddler (she’s almost 3 – I guess we’re out of toddler and now at preschooler or something) and my dishes are often not clean and I remember your story and I know that I am normal and ok. Thank you.

  57. This was so lovely to read <3 16 years ago I was 16 and a baby knitter. I started reading your blog with no idea that knitting would become a reliable path of income, lead to glorious opportunities, and find me great friends. And the whole time you've been a distant person to look up to. Happiest Sixteenth, Steph!

  58. Happy blogaversary. I have been reading since very early on. I don’t come over here as often as I used to. But thank you for continuing to write and for being you and for expressing opinions and continuing to use this blog and knitting and knitters to raise so much money for charity. You are truly a role model and inspiration.

  59. This reminded me of this post from years ago in which you talk about you and Joe both changing: That post brought the phrase “a man was never shot doing the dishes” into my life, so thank you. But also reminding you how much positive change there’s always been.

    It was a change for you to start blogging, and I’m grateful for that. May you always be changing, and never be stagnant.

  60. Thank you for 16 years. Finding this blog was a path out of a hard time for me. I haven’t been along on the ride for the whole 16 years but during that first year I worked my way through all of the old posts and it was a comfort to me. I remember laughing aloud for the first time in a long time while reading.

  61. Once again, so thankful for your honesty, heart and wisdom. Please keep changing as you need to and be a lightpost for those of us who carry the “guilt of changing after loss” as well. You bring smiles and realness Stephanie. Your hubby is brilliant… he and the rest of us are so so proud of you!

  62. Holy cats, don’t scare me like that!! I thought at the end of this post that you were gearing up to say that you were thinking of taking time away from blogging and that this was The End. So relieved it didn’t turn out that way…

    Thank you for this post and for all of your thoughts that you’ve shared with us. Your writings (with the associated pictures–gorgeous mittens!!) are one of the things that has made my life a little bit brighter over the years.

  63. I met someone at one of your book signings and we had a pleasant time getting a bit acquainted. Then later I read something she’d written about my book and was stunned. It was just gratuitously, pointlessly, well, it surely wasn’t intended as such (right?) but it felt mean. I so feel for you because your experience was way worse.

    I called my dad, a published author himself, and he said, Some people think they’re being sophisticated by tearing you apart. All you can do is feel sorry for them.

    On a different note, I saw the mittens picture and before reading a word remembered fondly Hank from near the start of your blog and his pink dragon mittens and his being bereft at losing one in the park and his dear Auntie Steph knitting him a new one. Happy memories. Love the new ones. Happy Blogiversary!

    (When does the next book come out? I’m looking forward to it.)

  64. Weasels are described as small & active, with slender bodies & short legs, also related to minks. So far, so good. We won’t discuss their lifespan, however.

    • They are actually gorgeous, in a fierce and tiny way! You’ll probably never see a picture of one not looking very intent and focused…maybe being compared to one is NOT actually an insult?!!

  65. Have been here since the first year. Love the blog. Love that we have Sam’s the same age. Love that you still have things to teach your readers. Love that you still share your life with us. Knit on.

  66. Happy blogiversary! I haven’t been here all along, missed maybe the first 6 or 8 months, but I have caught up! I’m really glad you are still around, and it would be odd if you hadn’t changed!

  67. Someone above called your writing brave and honest and lovely and when I first found this blog a few years ago (and read a number of posts that were about knitting but also about life and the living of it and how human relationships can be messy, as can our livingrooms), it was that very honesty and courage that made me start at the beginning and read the entire archive – and all the books. (I still go back annually and revisit the Christmas spreadsheet stories.)

    Thank you for sixteen years of writing and sharing, and frankly, for the good example of generosity and humour, both in terms of knitting challenges and when staring down less pleasant life changes. I’m grateful to be part of The Blog.

    Here’s to many more years in your virtual livingroom! Thanks for inviting us in.

  68. I love this post, and as always I’m so grateful you make time to share these thoughts with us. I’m always happy when I see there’s a new post here to read. And I don’t even knit! ❤️

  69. Of course you’ve changed. Time changes everything, including you. Even that person with a Tardis has changed. So what? We’re still proud of you!

    The mittens look great, BTW. Have you decided which pattern to use for the matching hat?

  70. My mom died on October 30th. She had Parkinson’s for several years and it was excruciating watching her dwindle. Then she fell and the end came quickly. Even though we knew we were losing her I never imagined how utterly lost I would feel without her. I’ve changed and am still trying to settle into the new normal.
    I’m so thankful you’re sticking with us. To lose you too right now….well, I’m glad I won’t have to face that now as well.
    Happy Anniversary!

  71. Stephanie, I found your blog about two years ago while I was in the midst of the worst time of my life (admittedly not long, as I am only six years the blog’s senior). Both my grandparents were in the hospital with with life threatening illnesses, and I was trying to support my parents from 2,000 miles away even as I watched their marriage disintegrate under the stress. I read the whole blog from the beginning, and your writing was uplifting in its cleverness (and useful knitting tricks!) Grief is intensely isolating, but your posts made me laugh when I felt like I couldn’t reach out to the people around me. When I got to the posts about grief, the way you wrote made me feel like I was not alone. Your writing has an extraordinary sense of immediacy which makes the clever and funny bits brighter and the emotions feel deeper. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences, including your grief and challenges. The blog has meant a lot to me over the past couple of years.

    I’m excited that since I’ve graduated and am now employed at a living wage, I can finally help out the bike rally! Your mittens are stunning, and as always have given me some exciting ideas for new projects!

    Again, thank you.

  72. Stephanie, every time you write a blogiversary post, I begin reading it with fear in my heart that this is the year you will decide to stop blogging. Thank you for saying you won’t do that! Woohoo! I clicked right over and donated in honor of you and the blog. Change all you want, just don’t leave us! (I enjoy you on Instagram, too, but it’s not the same.) Oh, and those mittens are freakin’ glorious.

  73. Happy anniversary! I am a lurker, so while you say we (the Blog) have been here for you, it’s the other way around for me. When I was in grad school almost a decade ago now, by myself in a new city and feeling terribly alone, I would stay up late at night reading through the entire archive of your blog. I found comfort in your words when self-doubt was tearing me down and am so thankful you have opened up your world to all of us. What a wild journey this life is — I’m so glad you keep changing to meet each challenge you encounter.

  74. So I’m a recent addition to your blog universe. I met you at make weat love and then I sort of fell down the rabbit hole. Read all the books and then starting from the beginning read 16 years worth of your lovely blog. And so in a short amount of time I “binge watched” all of you knitting life. And I noticed the change. But i loved it. I cant imagine the quick succession of losses you suffered not changing a person, but you know what I saw? It seemed to create a joy for life in you. The skiing and the weight lifting and the changing to vegan and the Grammy hood. It was all just beautiful to watch. This blog, you, bring me contest joy for the low low price of helping you ride your bike for a while. Thank you. You’re beautiful. The joy you share is beautiful.

  75. Life is change, Stephanie. And anyone who tell you otherwise is selling something. Ok, I borrowed that and altered it slightly, but it’s still true. We’ve changed too, but we still love you.

  76. I love you, even though I’ve never met you. I’ve read your blog for years and years, and I’ve read your books, and I have a whole contemplative knitting group that loves you and reads your books too. And I hope you never stop blogging. I’ll read this post again tomorrow so I’ll know what it said, because tonight I just could not stop looking at those beautiful mittens. I live in Texas and it was 72 degrees here today and I have never worn a pair of mittens in my life and I’m doing a baby blanket too but I. Am . Knitting . Them. In purple. With Violets. Happy blogoversary.

    • Pam Carter, it blows my mind a bit that you have never worn mittens, although of course I realize there are MANY warm places on the planet… Gloves? Maybe just for dish washing or gardening? Mittens are my go-to knitting the way that Steph knits socks!

  77. Dear Steph,
    Change all you like. I am just grateful that you carry us all along with you. Your blog is a sweet spot in my life and I’m so glad you’re continuing to write it.

  78. People who don’t change are people who don’t grow. If you plant a tree in your yard, you expect it to change, well, unless you are my grandmother, who takes the big tree out and puts in a new small one again.
    I have read your blog regularly for about 9 years (I went back and started at the beginning). The posts that made me laugh and cry and come back again were the ones about change. I love the knitting, but your candidness about life and the joy and pain of it has been there this whole time and it makes your blog more honest and refreshing in an era of perfect Instagram moments. When your mom died and we got a flurry of posts, I saw that the blog was one of your safe places and you needed us. You really never can have too many friends. Cheers for 16 years!

  79. Happy Sweet 16!!!

    Growth is change. Change is growth. Without one or the other, well we just become stagnant.

    And we will all grow and change along with you! Always for the better!


  80. Thank you, thank you, thank you! For…..staying the course, sharing your life challenges and accomplishments, the funny pictures and comments that made me laugh, being brave about sharing fears and sadness, and so much more. Here’s to another 16!

  81. The main change I’ve noticed the last couple of years (and especially as you got a little bit past the reeling from your mum’s loss) is you taking more time for you – taking more care of yourself physically, taking the time to purposefully enjoy your family (both born and chosen), mastering grammyhood like a boss, grabbing spontaneous ski or boat time with Joe, so basically putting some living back into your life. Not sure if it was intentional or just naturally evolved out of such an intense period of loss, but either way it’s been good to see. Happy blogiversary, my friend, and and I think we all here hope for 16 more. And the mittens are just freakin fabulous.

  82. Congratulations! I’ve read your whole blog (backwards) and enjoyed it so much. I partly read it because my daughter has been foolish enough to marry a Canadian and I was interested in the snapshot of Canadian life. And partly because it’s beautifully written, and funny. And along the way I’ve learned so much about knitting. Largely inspired by you I knitted a pair of socks about 18 months ago and haven’t been able to stop. I’m up around 25 pairs now. I’ve learned about blocking and fixing mistakes and Estonian braids and too many other things to list.
    Of course you’ve changed – you’re alive. It’s been a privilege to come along for the ride. I’m glad you’re not stopping blogging (really glad) but when and if the time comes, you won’t owe anybody anything!

  83. Viva the Change!
    And thank you for continuing to share your life with us. Your blog has been life affirming. As a new widow I understood your grief, you gave voice to so much that I was feeling I will/am always grateful.
    I re discovered knitting as a way to give voice to my grief.
    Much love to you.

  84. I found one of your books on Amazon and downloaded a sample, which I eventually read while in the car waiting for my (at the time) boyfriend to arrive for our meeting place for a date. It was right before Christmas, and I bought myself all of your books (eventually) with my Christmas money that year. That was in 2010. That boyfriend is now my husband, and we have two beautiful children. While I haven’t been a reader since the beginning, I do periodically pick a random month from the archives and read what you had to say at that time (fun fact: your second daughter got married the same month that my second daughter was born).

    Everyone changes because life changes. You aren’t the same writer just like I’m not the same reader I was sixteen years ago. We grow. We adapt. Keep up the fantastic work.

    And the mittens are beautiful.

  85. Happy birthday. I’m 63 and can say with certainty that change is a beautiful thing. And what kind of small business do you have?

  86. O course you’ve changed! We all change and grow with our life experiences. I’m Glad you’re still writing the blog, glad I still get to read it, thank you for the generous sharing of your triumphs and the other hiccups that make up life in the real world. Hugs and best wishes always.

  87. Happy blogiversary! I started reading ten years ago as a brand new knitter. I just recommended Knitting Rules to a new knitter a few weeks ago, and saw her first happy Facebook post: I FIGURED OUT PURL STITCH! Thank goodness for change and for continuity.

  88. Happy anniversary to you and this most amazing blog. This most fantastic sharing of your love of knitting and of your life. It is my lifeline often as I sit and knit I chuckle about things you say or the penny drops when I remember how to knit a thing you have told us. I have a lot of time to knit my husband has been sick for 10 years and I have very aged parents who are at best extremely foggy and forgetful. I was happy also that our first grandchild was born close to yours and now again we are expecting a new arrival in July. As a lifelong knitter living in Australia where knits are too warm I have to be inventive when you recommend patterns as they have to be plant based yarns and cool blends. Thanks for being there for me when I don’t see another functioning adult for weeks your blog is always like an old friend. Change is usually a good thing and I have learned to ” not sweat the small stuff” as we say about worry. Thank you have a great blogging year.

  89. Stephanie, yours was one of the first blogs I found when I discovered the online world of knitters. It is a big reason why I started my own blog (which will be 15 later this year). I really think I have you to thank, at least in part, for where I am in my knitting and fiber crafting life — still blogging, spinning, designing, and connecting with other crafters all over the world. We all change; it’s part of life. It’s how we grow and become better and adapt. If you weren’t different 16 years after you started blogging, I’d be doubting your humanity. So thanks for 16 years of laughs, tears, entertainment, and education, and here’s to many, many more.

  90. Long time reader here, and I’d like to second the many people who’ve commented that change is good! It’s impossible for things to stay the same, as our outside circumstances change and we must adapt to those circumstances. If we were to stay rigid and never adapt I think we’d end up breaking ourselves apart. So change is to be embraced and celebrated, and in the case of those of us who ‘carry a little extra poundage’, to be pursued. I’ve loved your 16 years of change and you’ve helped me to be a better knitter, a better parent, and someone who feels connected to a world-wide knitting community. Thank you!

  91. 16 years ago I didn’t even know how to knit. I knew how to crochet and I was a crack seamstress. Now I knit, spin, and weave as well. I have a 4 shaft loom that I love so much we turned the master bedroom into my art room. Things change. Of course they do. Thank goodness you’ve changed too. Happy Blogiversary, you deserve to change however you wish!

  92. Oh the dreaded concept of change. A good friend who knows me well, said “You really struggle with change.” It was said with all kindness and merely as an observation and I own that comment wholeheartedly. Change had the power to break my heart, tilt my world and shift the ground under my feet. I realized I was living my life looking wistfully backwards clinging to what was safe and known and unchanged. But now has come the wisdom of 50+, the realization that everything changes and everything must change. That is not to say change should be allowed to run amok with unchecked abandon. We must still oversee the change we can control with a sense of judgment. Yet I’ve come to realize we can also embrace change and welcome it. The cosmic balancing act. Hair changes colour, dye it! We walk an extra mile (kilometre) and grow stronger, celebrate it! So we go with the flow of change in all it’s glorious or unwanted forms.
    Be proud, dear Harlot. <3
    And those are the most beautiful mittens I've seen in a really long time.

  93. Someone who says an author’s photo on the book’s cover can spoil the whole book for them sounds like someone who hasn’t ‘changed’ since Jr. High.

    Life IS change and people who highly value kindness and respect are sorely needed in today’s world.

    Congratulations and thank you for 16 years, in all their joy, pain, and everything in between.

  94. Thank you for allowing us into your life; I am proud to be part of The Blog. 😉 It’s like having a warm, funny cousin who has the same fiber quirk that I do. Happy sweet sixteen!

  95. Others have said it far better than I could, but let me just say: We. Love. You. Keep changing, for change is growth.

  96. I would find it more worrisome if you hadn’t changed. People grow, learn and, oh golly, change because of it. I wouldn’t want to be exactly the person I was 10 years ago, let alone 20 or 30.

  97. I have to confess to being a reader BEFORE the blog on a platform so ancient I can’t even remember what it was called. I have changed too.


  98. Embrace change, it’s totally normal and we all experience it. I still love reading your blog all these years and yours is the first one I ever read. It will always be a special place.

  99. Bravo! It is uncanny how the things you are going through line up with my own life. I am grateful that you share your stories. I need to hear them too.

  100. Thank you for your books, and this blog. I remember discovering your books in the library about 14 years ago, I was pregnant with my daughter (she will be 14 tomorrow). I read one short story you wrote, about this time when you stayed with a woman who was delivering a stillborn baby. I loved you from then on. What would be really bad would be to not change, I think. So please keep changing and keep staying the same, and most of all, keep coming and sharing your stories.

  101. Sometimes it’s nice to know that you are not alone; that others feel and think the same or that you give me a different viewpoint that I hadn’t thought of or sometimes just a laugh. Laughter is great medicine. While we might not be fans of change wouldn’t it be terrible if we didn’t grow and adapt. Love the blog!!!

  102. I was reading along and when I hit “she has changed”, I thought, “well, of course she has! And she’s changed us!”

    And then your husband said it even better.


    And those mittens are GORGEOUS.

    And you look nothing like a weasel. You look exactly like what you are: A warm, funny, generous, loving, busy, amazing woman.

  103. Yours was the first knitting blog I found way back when. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven! I’m glad you are not changing this one thing. Everything and everyone else will be constantly changing. That’s the nature of things. Always be yourself. We all love it that way

  104. Your thoughts on grief and change have really helped me think through the losses and changes I have experienced over last few years. Thanks for sharing your perspectives on joy and life overlapped with grief. Also, the mittens are beautiful – now I need to learn how to embroider.

  105. The notion that people, and especially women, aren’t supposed to change is astounding. Kudos, and keep on.

    And the one that thought you looked like a weasel? Tell her to take of the dust jacket or put a cover on the book. And you have no idea what she looks like.

  106. You know, I’ve been reading and enjoying your blog for years, but don’t make the leap to commenting mostly because it feels like anything I would say has already been said – what value could I add? I’m just me. But this year, as my life is forcing me to change too, I remind myself to Take Up Space.

    So. Change can be good, even necessary, to continue. And those mittens are lovely!

  107. I’ve loved following along over the years with all of the change. Yours is the only knitting blog I still read. I love your voice and your evolution and it’s inspiring.

    (I also love that people have found you on instagram and know nothing at all of your blog)

  108. I read this post with tears streaming down my face, tears of recognition, tears streaming from my own losses over the past 16 years. Of course you’ve changed! And of course it shows in your blog. Your honesty is what keeps us all reading and what fires up a community of wise and compassionate women in the comments. We’ll get through this life if we hang together.

  109. When I was 16, people used to tell me that I was so sweet and innocent, and they’d say, “Don’t ever change.” That would freak me out, because I knew that I would. A parade of men through my life made sure I changed, while telling me that they loved me the way I was and to never change, but to please stop knitting all the time or reading books. I’m almost 60, and I was right at 16 – change is inevitable. And good. I love the ways that you’ve changed! Happy Blogiversary!

  110. You are my most beautiful example of someone who lives a spark-led life. That is, you follow what you love, you follow that spark and you have made a wonderful life. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

  111. After my husband passed away, I kept waiting for things to go back to “normal”. There was no “normal”. I had to look for the new normal. After a stoke 2 years ago, I am again looking for the new normal. Hard to accept the changes, but there is no going back. You are strong and amazing; keep it up! Knit on!

  112. Of course you have changed. The world around us changes and we change with it. I can’t imagine a situation where someone is the same today as they were days or months or years ago. My daughter recently told me that I had changed. She told me that she is proud of me for standing up/speaking up. As a kid she remembers me as being a lot less confident in that respect. “Now you just march right up and take charge. You are strong woman.”. Tooting my own horn here only to say this is me now, and you are you now. We don’t expect a baby not to change, or a flower not to change, or the cake we are baking not to change. And so, dear Stephanie, Happy blogiversary and keep on truckin’.

  113. You’ve changed, thank heavens, but you what a glorious transformation. You keep on doing you. Love you, dear Yarn Harlot!

  114. When I’m not laughing out loud from your blog posts, I am holding my breath, hoping that you will not include that you plan to stop blogging. (Whew!!) Happy blog anniversary! It’s strange how attached I have become to you and your family. Write on!
    Your post also reminds me to be more careful of my words. That I do not know how a off-the-cuff remark may impact someone. And yet, some things, observations need to be made.

  115. I too have followed you all of those 16 years. Yours was one of the first blogs I started reading and have looked forward to each and every post (and book) you have written. I too have changed over those 16 years, hopefully most would say it’s for the better! I am now anticipating retirement midyear – the BIG change! Congrats on 16 years! My constant will be to continue to read the blog.

  116. The only thing that never changes is the fact things (and people) change. I truly hope we all change over time (for the better, of course). That’s how it works and yes, that’s totally how you do it!

  117. Thank goodness for Joe! We have all changed, and I think we all still love The Blog and you. It would be weird to have gone through the last 16 years and remain the same. Cheers on your Blogiversary, and thanks for sticking with it.

  118. It would be more of a shock to look back at sixteen years and realize you *hadn’t* changed.

    I sometimes look at my life and wonder if the change I see is for better or worse and it’s not always easy to say. One constantly strives to be a better person, but you are also always your harshest critic.

    So while you have changed, you are also inspiring. Conquering fear to learn to ski and lead the rally, embroidering plain mittens to make a masterpiece… what I see is you living life to the fullest, every day. And that’s amazing. I love that you blog to tell us about it, because the world needs more of that kind of joy.

  119. Life changes all of us, good bad and otherwise. Now some changes we can do something about and others we just accept. It is part of growing and learning. And, no, in and of itself change is not a bad things. And clearly in your case you have stretched your wings over 16 years and grown tremendously.

    Yes life changes – deaths, births, impact more than some other changes. But they are a part of the cycle of life and we all go on, though often not unchanged (not a bad thing either!).

    You are admired by so many knitters and non-knitters. You must know that all of us here on the blog are VERY proud of you. You are an inspiration!!

  120. Thank you for continuing the blog, that has been a constant for me in the past 16 years that sometimes needed the reassurance there was always someplace to go and read about knitting. Cheers to good changes.

  121. Happy Blogversary! I think I’ve been reading your blog for about 15 years- I love it! Thank you so much for sharing your life and knitting with us all. Xxx

  122. Your blog has gotten me through college, grad school, marriage, babies, and now my young children. So many times where I felt that I would break but when I look back there was a real strength and change that came from those hard times. Thank you for sharing your knitting and, yes, your changes 🙂

  123. Happy 16th Blogiversary! Someone once told me to embrace change, it is the only thing that is constant! Love the mittens, you, your writing and agree with Joe, I am so proud of you!

  124. Obviously, your friends are clogging your email again. I check every day to see if there is a new post. Today’s post is especially relevant to so many of us– embrace change! Thanks and your mittens are LOVELY!!!

  125. Happy Blogaversary Steph! Of course you have changed because of your experiences over the past 16 years! And the world, especially the world of The Blog, has changed because of you. Thank you for being you, and for helping to change the world. XO

  126. Can you imagine a world where people didn’t change? It doesn’t bear thinking about!
    I for one take great comfort from your words, even the ones where you express sadness and grief. Your posts never cease to lift me up and make me smile so keep on keepin’ on. Changing along with the rest of us.
    Happy 16th blogiversary Stephanie!

  127. The mittens are beautiful. You are beautiful. I’m kind of a late comer to your blog, but I’ve gone bask through the archives and have enjoyed them. I’ve purchased your books. I have read parts out loud to my husband but I don’t think he gets it. I took a class from you last year at Madrona and you graciously signed my book. I check back on the blog frequently and worry if you’re absent for too long. Thanks for being you and sharing your love of fiber stuff and your life. I think of you as a long distance friend.

  128. Your timing is perfect. I spent my lunch hour today weeping in my car over a major relationship fail that just happened, enumerating all the ways in which I am a totally unsatisfactory person, who is unworthy of love, etc. etc.

    Checked the blog to distract myself from my misery, and there this post was. It was just what I needed.

    Thank you Stephanie, for sharing with us for all these years. Made a donation to the rally – 16 dollars wasn’t enough, so I multiplied it by 16, and there you have it.

    I’m about to change too, big time, and I’ve done my cry and will embrace it, cause change is what life is about.

    Here’s to the next 16 years! And the mittens are beautiful.

    • When I was newly separated after 30 years of marriage, a friend said “what if this didn’t happen to you but for you ”
      So I then realised all the future possibilities away from a mean, controlling ,cold, bad tempered person.

  129. We all change Steph. None of us are what we were yesterday, some for glad some for sad but it’s called growing. Your new mittens are simply delightful well done you.

  130. I came to this space late, learned to knit late, but that’s the way it goes. I have found you entertaining, smart, clever, honest, giving in a huge way, thoughtful & thought provoking. I lost my mother in August and have deeply appreciated your ability to put some things into words that I couldn’t. I think you are cute in a carefree, sassy way. I can also relate to being short!
    Thanks for your blog, your insights, your luscious photos, your leading by example in helping others, and your free sock pattern! Also, your mittens are gorgeous! I’ll be donating to your rally!

  131. Those mittens are gorgeous. And so is your writing and you as a person. I love your blog. It’s always a pick me up. Change is hard. But it’s part of life. I’m glad you recognized your change is for the better. Growth.

  132. Just a big pile of hugs, sent to you, with gratitude for all the joy, tears, and important stuff to contemplate that this blog has given me over the years. We don’t know each other, we haven’t met, but I’m your friend anyway.

  133. Thanks for this post. I was feeling very much in a rut and this made me stop and think about how I have changed over the years. Change is the only way forward. Thank you also for those gorgeous mitten pictures — almost but not quite makes me wish for more snow since we have had very little this year.

  134. The only things that are certain in this life are taxes, death, and change. It is the way of things.

    And, furthermore, you don’t look like a weasel, and even if you did, weasels are one of the cutest $!&+*#@ animals on this third rock from the sun, and you’re pretty damn cute yourself. To be perfectly honest, I am insanely jealous of your lovely hair! It’s just great and I wish very much that it was mine (not in a creepy, ‘I want to wear your skin” kind of way). 🙂

  135. Beautiful post. Thank you, Steph, for being you and sharing yourself and your life, and for bringing us (The Blog) all together. I AM part of this knitting community, and it has changed my life for the better. Thanks to you, I am the knitter in the wild, outside on my lunch hours (okay, not on days when it’s twenty below) here in my small town north of the city. People talk with me about my knitting, and theirs, and if they haven’t discovered your writing yet, I introduce them. Here’s to many more years!

  136. Trying to think back how many years I’ve read the blog and it must have been since 2005 because I was part of the first Knitting Olympics in 2006 where I knitted a pair of mittens in a Noro yarn, and by that I had read your blog for some time…

    Thank you for keeping the blog up, thank you for sharing both knitting and personal things. I check in a couple of times a week and love it when there is a new post to read!

    PS. Whatever happened to Joe’s gansey?

  137. Happy Happy blogiverdary, and many happy returns. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself. I have learned so much from you – and not just about knitting. “We love you just the way you are”.

  138. Please, please never stop blogging. There are only 2 blogs that I read word for word religiously – yours and Paper Tiger – the rest, I scan through for interesting parts.Your blogs are always interesting. You are a great story teller along with loads of wonderful information.

  139. So nobody should be able to criticize someone else’s appearance without posting a photo of themselves, unretouched and taken without makeup in the light of their bathroom mirror. Really. I would automatically assume anyone who writes something like that is no Vivien Leigh themselves…

  140. Yes indeed you have changed, of course you have changed, why would you not change? We all change, we get better, wiser, more children, grandchildren come our way. We knit better and about the hair – my daughter has your hair type, I have straight not a blessed curl – now you try and figure that one out. I can’t change my hair nor can she and she is a darling beautiful lady with curly hair – I love her hair and I adore her..

  141. I love that blogging brought us together. It’s amazing that our friendship is old enough to drive! I’m proud of you (and all of us) for changing. Ebbing and flowing is where it’s at. It’s what keeps us punchy and slightly edgy enough to still make each other laugh.

    Just remember, that farm gave is everything now. Never stop playing. Ever.

  142. Thank you for these sixteen years. Thank you for still blogging.

    Change is inevitable. Some we can help (like weight lifting) and some we can’t (loss). I sometimes say I hate change, but maybe I’m just afraid of loss. Because I’ve started lifting weights. So maybe accepting change is a thing healthy people do — because I don’t want to spend my last days dying of a broken hip. (I know, I know, but it’s the beginning all too often).

  143. I find it odder that some people don’t change and expand their world view.. While I remain somewhat fiscally conservative I am far more liberal in all other areas at 51 than I was at 20.

  144. I saw that comment, and it’s bothered me intermittently ever since- of COURSE you’ve changed. We all have. Losing your mom can change your priorities, in addition to the usual changes of life (I lost mine 3 years ago and I’ll say this: I spend less time on the internet now). Steph, I saw you at VKL (didn’t want to bug you) and you looked so happy. So glad to see it. Happy blogiversary!

  145. Oh Stephanie I’ve seen that you’ve changed, but I can only say that I GET IT, because I’ve changed too. We hit some bumps as we get older, (my dad and brother have died, my mother remarried and disappeared). It’s damn reassuring that I’m not the only one struggling with that kind of stuff. How can these things not change us? My knitting peeps (that includes you even though you don’t know me) have saved me more than once. Congratulations on 16 years, and may we all continue to enjoy each others’ company!

  146. I never comment, but am coming out of the woodwork to say, “BRAVO.” What an encouraging testimonial. You are such a role model for me, in your honesty, your vulnerability, and your willingness to work hard. Add your embrace of change to that list. (Also your sock recipe, which I have memorized and which now means people think I’m a wizard when I can knit a sock from memory with no pattern, so thanks!)

  147. Weasels are extremely beautiful animals, who sadly can’t rock a cardigan as well as you can. That person has no idea what they are talking about. (It’s very strange to care what an author looks like anyway and I doubt they do this to male authors).

    Your blog has changed a lot, but I think it would be hard to read 16 years of writing from a person unable to change. I’ve been reading it for at least 10 years and I‘ve changed too, as has the worst in which we read you. Thank you so much!

  148. The thing to worry about, I think, would be if you hadn’t changed.

    I for one am grateful for how you’ve let us in as you’ve changed, and how maybe that makes it easier for the rest of us to let others in as we go through our own bump times and heartbreaks and changes, and how it definitely makes the world just a little bit kinder and more human. Thank you! <3

  149. Well, lamb, short of cryogenics, I don’t know of any way to keep you from changing, and given that you’re Canadian already that would be redundant. Being with you through the changes is how we know you (and I’m guessing more than one person has been helped in more than one way.) Of course we’d love more frequent posts — have you considered live streaming?

  150. Thank goodness everything, including people change. I wrote 2 years ago about how blogging has changed (“The Passing of the Blog”), and I even mentioned your blog among others, but more in a “times change” way–I hope. Looking forward to your next post, whenever it comes along. The mitts are spendid!

  151. 16 years and no change? Isn’t that a definition not only of death, but also embalm-ment!
    You are a part of my life. I come to Port Ludlow every year because of you and all the other wonderful knitters who come.
    We all change and learn new things about ourselves and others.
    When I saw those mittens, I envisioned them in a museum with the embroidery gloriously intact, and the palms worn and mended again and again. The explanation next to them said:’even in the 21st century, there is evidence that handwork was not only done, but was worn and used and valued.’

  152. Happy Blogoversary! I started reading around the time of the first Knitting Olympics when I was a new knitter and someone recommended your blog. I have laughed, cried and empathized with things you wrote over the years. I miss you when there are stretches with no entries. I am glad you are going to keep blogging.
    I absolutely love how you took plain, functional mittens and made them extraordinary.

  153. Happy Sweet 16. Here’s to another 16 and another after that!
    I keep telling my daughter, who is 20 today, that she’s going to grow up whether she likes it or not. 🙂 Resistance is futile! She rolls her eyes at me.

  154. A day late, but a very happy blogiversary to you! It happens that it also falls on my birthday and quite frankly, every year this calls what a gift your blog is to the forefront.

    I have read your blog since nearly the beginning – perhaps 2006? – when I was just a young teenager. This blog, and The Blog, are inspiring.

    Thank you. PWA will be getting a notification shortly.

  155. Happy Blogiversary, hope there are many more to come! As for the mittens, I’d be torn between wearing them or framing them – they’re lovely.

  156. Years ago, an elderly member of mine quite near death asked me how our church was doing since she hadn’t been able to come for awhile. I was young and just poured out all of the difficulties that people were having with changes that were happening. She then said in her lilting Southern accent, “The only constant is change.” I have carried her words with me for the past 18 years (2 years longer than the BLOG.)

    DH and I have enjoyed your blog for years and for you including us in much of your life and that of your family’s. Thank you for being honest, for your great sense of humor, and most of all for your integrity.

  157. Thank you so much, again, for this blog. For the times I’ve cried with you, or for you, to the moments I’ve snorted my coffee and laughed out loud. This blog is so much more than knitting—it’s sharing a life and the art of living. I give every month for years now to Doctors Without Borders because of you and am pleased to donate again to the Bike Rally in some multiple of 16. Congratulations!!

  158. Seriously? You fretted about having changed over 16 years?

    There are things out there that haven’t changed in thousands of years. We call them fossils.

    I wish I had the means to send you an insect preserved in amber…so that it could remind you that all growing things change.

    Love, Leslie F

  159. I’m glad you’ve changed! Change is good. From the above it sounds like you’ve changed in some good ways. But yeah, death of our loved ones changes us. It’s just the way things are. I’m so glad you’re still blogging! I really like reading. Also, I look at your instagram and that’s fun too. But the blog is really your thing.

    And I don’t really know you personally, but on this blog and instagram and in your classes and book signings you are always gracious and funny and LOVELY! (Oh, and you look taller than you really are. No foolies.)

  160. Stephanie – first, thanks as always for being so honest, human and down to earth in your posts. I appreciate that. Also, I am so impressed with the changes you’ve made and I wish I could make some of them, especially the physical ones like weight lifting and skiing. And really, how can we go through life without changing? That’s growth! Anyway, thank you for continuing the blog and being you!

  161. I discovered this blog in – I think – 2015 and immediately went back to the beginning and read forward. Because I went through so many years of your life so quickly, I can see that you have indeed changed, as do we all. I’ve loved watching your family grow and I’ve been sad when you lost so many of the older generation so quickly. Oh, and since I don’t spin, I don’t mind that there’s less of that these days! The only thing is, if you could possibly find time to post more often, we would be so grateful!

  162. I’m so glad to read this post (mostly), as I’m thrilled to read that your continuing to blog. I myself had a blog for a short time but still return to yours regularly for contact with other views. Many times it’s been just what I needed at the moment, as it this one today. I admit to feeling anger when reading that someone could be so cruel in their review of your writing. Today I’ve been sad as I think about my own very big change in the works, and this is a good reminder that it all changes. It has to, or the world quits working.

    I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, and I’ve quietly smiled to myself while mulling over your words here. The day I was so sick from what I’ve decided is my last round of chemotherapy and I saw the picture of the paint splattered stairs, I was relieved to know someone out there was facing a challenge a challenge down with me. I thank you for many years of grounding me here and hope in the changes rushing towards me I can handle them with as much grace. You are amazing and we miss you when you’re not as present as you once were but appreciate your insights and wisdom even more for the quiet spells.

    With greatest appreciation.

  163. Of course you have changed as you continue growing into the person you are and will become. I love seeing how the knitting world we knitter’s inhabit together intersects with other areas of life in your blog when you have time to write. I love your face and how it reflects the joy in your life. I love your words that at times make me cry and other times make me laugh out loud (really! Acrylic mittens?). I still tell people about reading a post to Knitlist that you wrote and I nearly fell off my chair laughing.
    Finally, those are Beautiful mittens!

  164. Congratulations on you successes! Happy Blogiversary and Hello!
    I’m in love with your mittens! These and the cloisonee that I am knitting right now for a very old friend. (and by old I mean middle school!) I am knitting these mittens with all hand-spun yarn in several colors that I hand dyed at a wonderful natural summer dye day put on by my Spinners & Weavers Guild! (Check yours out, you won’t be disappointed!) I want to thank you for the inspiration.
    When I look over my life (in fiber and wool terms) I think of my grandmother; who was the impetus, and the time that my husband read about your blog over a decade ago in the Portland Press Herald when we lived in Maine and told me about it and what has happened since. He has always looked out for my interests, and knitting is no exception. My grandmother taught me to knit very early on and I find it to be very rewarding as I knit for my family and myself.
    I became interested in spinning because I have read about it from your blog and since I am a process person I just love that part of knitting! More than Tuesdays are for spinning lately for me! I am a spindle spinner and have been trying my hand at carding alpaca and wool which is a lot of work on a manual carder. I’m excited to try spinning on a wheel and have various plans…
    So Happy Times to you! Congrats on your blog and your family and your soon to come grandchild! Change is inevitable, our core is stable and change is dealt with by our core. Change is a good thing! Happy 2020! So happy that you will enjoy the bike race without the pressure of leading from a organizational perspective! Peace to you!

  165. Of course you’ve changed, I can’t imagine being unchanged by all the events in my life … some changes are for the better, some not so much but they’re what makes me who I am today.

    Congratulations on your 16th blog anniversary and I made a donation in honor of it … since you suggested a donation of $16 or a multiple, I chose to multiply by 5 since I’ve been blogging since 2005 and like you plan to continue. There’s something special about the connection with my readers.

  166. I did not start reading your blog 16 years ago, bit I have read it for many years and all of your books. I love them. I feel better after reading your blog…..more inspired for the day ahead of me and just more ok with who I am:)
    In my spare time I go back and read from the blog in the earlier years so that I haven’t missed anything. You are amazing:). Keep changing xo

  167. Came here this morning to look up how to work an afterthought heel, and was delighted as always to read a new post. Thank you for your writing and how you’ve changed. Thank you for sharing your journey into grief. It makes me both apprehensive and ready to face the death of my own parents (one day, hopefully decades from now).

  168. Please add my thoughts to this blog entry- you are a touchstone and a joy in my life. I have enjoyed this blog and your sharing for many years now. As you have said, non-knitters don’t have the same understanding or appreciation of the ways that knitting speaks to you- much as they are nice people, they just don’t always get it. Your experiences and frank realizations help all of us feel a little less alone in our own worlds. As I get older, I look for those who have changed as I have. Reading the blog of a 20 year old “beautiful” person would not be as interesting to me- or touch my heart in the same way. Please keep changing in all that you need to except the important core of you ( the sassy thoughtful knitting side should always stay the same)
    Thanks so much for all you do and are…

  169. Life would be so dull if we didn’t change and my life would certainly have a lot less smiles in it without your blog – you make my insane need to store and touch and look at (and sometimes actually knit with ) wool seem nearly normal. As a performer I learned early on not to look at reviews – they destroy you – and I read somewhere that even when they’re good, they’re not good for you. But god it’s awful when you actually come across one by accident – everyone seems to think it’s ok to opinionate loudly about somebody they’ve never met and seem to forget is also a human with feelings.

  170. Of course you’ve changed! We all have! Our hope is that in that change we also grow as people. If your life experiences in recent years hadn’t changed you, then you weren’t paying attention! Be you, Steph, we love who you are.

  171. Thank you so much for sharing you with us. Life is hard…as as I get older I know it will just get harder. But also the joys. And over the years you have been that as you make us laugh and cry. And beautiful mittens!

  172. I only discovered this blog last year and started right back at the beginning, living the last 16 years in fast forward. And do you know, watching you change and deal with the many ups and downs, helped me embrace my own growth and change, which in its turn has enabled me to manage a really difficult couple of months for our family with something approaching calm and maturity. So yes, definitely changed, and thank goodness!

    And please don’t drop in cliffhangers about stopping blogging. I nearly hyperventilated!

  173. Congratulations on 16 years! I’ve been reading your blog for the whole time, and I’d like to thank you for sharing so much of your life with all of us strangers.

    And changed? Of course you’ve changed–even without some of the more earth-shifting events you’ve had, you would have changed. That’s what life is, right? So congratulations on all the changing, too.

  174. I started reading about ten years ago, and it’s been one of the constant joys of my life. Thanks for sharing all the lessons and pictures of knitting! Looking forward to more.

  175. I hope that we will all change, constantly, from the first day to the last – stillstand is death. Nature changes, too!! It’s not a bad thing, and that’s coming from someone who really likes stability.
    I don’t remember when I started to read your blog, but I know that I started several years ago, at the very beginning, and then I read up and up and up. I still want to do that, re-reading your journeys, and it brings me immense joy, and confidence.
    Thank you so much for writing this blog, and I hope that you will find joy in writing it for many years to come. Happy anniversary!

  176. Sixteen? How can that be? What is that in skeins-knitter years?
    Change happens every time we take a breath…or stitch. If we’re not changing, we’re not participating in the word around us and within us.
    I’m so proud of you too.
    Thank you for being there and sharing knittiness with us.
    You constantly amaze me ( in a wonderful and happy way.)

  177. Your blog has been such a pleasure/comfort/hoot/encouragement/delight.

    May it, and you, of course, continue for many years!

  178. Thank goodness you are still blogging!! I just discovered you because I was looking for a humorous book to listen to while knitting. You are hilarious!! Thank you for validating all the things I feel since starting knitting three years ago.

  179. Happy 16th!! I started reading 12 years ago, and thank goodness I too have changed. I’m no longer in an abusive marriage, I have 2 beautiful children, a loving husband, a fulfilling career, and the things that haven’t changed are my sweet hound dog Sophie, and you!
    All my love!

  180. I have loved reading your blog for years: your joys, your stress, your grief, your humanness. I love the way you are honestly and truly yourself, whoever you are in the moment. I’ve been able to relate to you so much; even if you’re writing about something I’ve never done, I can still relate to how you feel about what you’re doing. I find myself thinking of things that make/made me feel about the thing

    I feel like I’ve been through so much with you over the years. For example, my wife passed away about the same time your mother did, and it meant a lot to me that you shared your grief with us. I know it wasn’t easy for you to do, but it helped me process my grief, knowing that I wasn’t alone in my loss. I didn’t comment at the time — I couldn’t, then — but I appreciated that you were there with me, as I have always appreciated the way you share yourself with us

    You mentioned changing as a person, and I’m reminded of an expression I heard long ago (I can’t recall the source at all): “If you stop changing/learning/growing, you’re dead.” So there’s that. I realized this season that I’ve changed, too, in some very good ways. For reasons I don’t want to talk about right now, I spent most of my life as a stressed-out, anxious, depressed, highly reactive person. I would keep it all bottled up inside, pretending that everything was fine, until some minor thing would be the last straw, and I’d explode, surprising (and frightening) everyone within the blast zone. But sometime over the last year or so, that person became a creature of my past. I’ve become a much calmer and more optimistic person than I think I have ever been. I still have some of the same stressors I’ve always had, but at some core level, I’m happy, at peace, and confident that everything will work out all right (instead of desperately hoping that things will become slightly less bad). It took a long time, but I seem finally to have become my better self.

    I could say more, but I think I’ve gone on quite long enough already, don’t you?

    Be who you are, Steph, whoever you are, and be happy.

  181. Whenever I wear my hand-knit socks, I feel that I’m 20% cooler. Just a random thing I tell myself, boosts me up – and you started me on the sock journey. Of course, my first socks were striped, with horrible green and brown acrylic that I bought at a big box craft store. And I didn’t know how to carry the yarn up, so I tied big knots in them. You saw the socks, and were kind. I moved forward, and learned. Oh, I’ve changed since then, as a knitter and a person. My husband died suddenly at 47, and the knitting helped save my sanity as I figured out what to do with my life. I learned to spin. I made sweaters, scarves, gloves, shawls and baby booties. I became a grandma. It’s been a long time that I’ve been part of the blog, and I’ve learned and grown with you. I hope you realize what it gift it is, that you share not just your knitting, but your life with us. Yeah, you’ve changed. We all have. But we’re doing it together. Yeah, Blog! (and thanks, Ken)

  182. I’m glad you’ve changed! Also glad you’re still here. And I’m glad you’re still messing with my head –yesterday I had an overwhelming need to cast on a new pair of mittens. To be clear I had not yet read your post about your new mittens. Thanks for getting in my head, yours is so much better than the usual voices in there.

  183. We love you too, Steph. I’ve been reading since near the beginning… I can certainly tell you that I’ve changed in the last 16 years, some ways for the better, some ways for the worse. Fortunately nobody is judging me on that change except me…
    Life is change, else you die.
    Also, LOVE the mittens…

  184. We love you too, Steph. I’ve been reading since near the beginning… I can certainly tell you that I’ve changed in the last 16 years, some ways for the better, some ways for the worse. Fortunately nobody is judging me on that change except me…
    Life is change, else you die.
    Also, LOVE the mittens…

    And happy blogversary!

  185. Oh my goodness. Of course you’ve changed!! We all do over the course of 16 years! And, psst… we’re supposed to! I love, love, love those mittens… and you, too!

  186. I love the blog, and happy 16th blogiversary, the mittens are great, and a lovey post. I suppose we all change, things change us, life changes us, sometimes we even manage to make changes ourselves, but essentially we are still us, just more so. X lots of love x

  187. So glad you haven’t changed that you like to come tell us about life. Sure do like sharing that with you. Though I’ve met you only a few times in person, I carry a warm spot in my heart for you and yes, we all have changed in 16 year. Yay us! Keep calm and knit on.

  188. Dearest Stephanie,

    I’ve changed. I’ve become a better knitter because of your writings here and your books and a class I took with you. I also read your blog and find out what someone in a different country thinks about some world affairs both home and here. I keep reading and knitting and hope that change happens because … what else would be the point of getting up each morning?

    Happy Sweet 16!

    Peace and happiness in life,

  189. Nothing in this world escapes change. It is meant to be & the more we embrace that, the happier we are.
    I am so glad that you are not however going to change away from blogging.
    Love reading your thoughts, experiencing your life through your eyes & seeing all that you make with sticks & string.
    Heres to at least another 16 years!
    Lush xx

  190. Well, I’m crying (in a good way) into my coffee. 🙂 I’ve changed, too – mostly for the better. Thank you for your blog, and for your changing, and for your courage to write about it. Here’s to the next sixteen years! 🙂

  191. I’m *so* glad you’re still here, still blogging and sharing things with us. I’d look at change another way: it’s not possible to grow without changing. I think we all agree that growth is good and worthwhile, no? You’ve encouraged me to change, if only as a knitter. You’ve helped me change into a (somewhat) confident lace knitter, and also someone who’s not afraid of making big things with very fine yarn. Thank you! It looks like I’m going to learn to embroider knits too! Your mittens are truly spectacularly beautiful. They’re making me speculatively consider the crewel yarn I’ve accumulated over the years.

  192. I have been reading your blog for years and find it to be a place of refuge so often. In the last year, I have experienced five deaths and I know that I am profoundly changed. I continue to come to your blog as a place of refuge and even more now as I see myself reflected by you in your own experience of grief. Thank you for always being here and for talking about one of my very favorite things!

  193. I didn’t find the blog until after your mom died. I think you are amazing. I did go back and read some of your earlier blog, I’ll probably read all of them in time. You simply sound like a younger you, in a different time of your life. You have aged wonderfully. Thanks for your blog.

  194. For sixteen years I have read your blog. For 16 years, I’ve laughed and cried and knitted with you. For 16 years, I’ve cheered every change in your life and if you hadn’t changed along with them, I probably would have stopped reading long ago. BRAVA!!!

  195. I’m another person coming out of the woodwork. I’ve been reading your blog for about 12 years and only commented twice. But today I feel I have to join the rest in expressing my thanks for your blog and testify that your honest sharing of your grief at the sudden and traumatic loss of your dear Mom, as well as other personal ups and downs you honestly share, has helped me so much.

    I’m so sorry you have experienced criticism or unkind (unthinking) comments. But thank you for bravely sharing yourself with the world and exposing yourself to that hurt. I’m glad you can listen to Joe and your positive blog readers and ignore the rest.

    Dear Steph, you and your writing have made a positive difference to many in many different ways. Here’s to at least 16 more years of sharing life together. Happy anniversary!

  196. As many have said here, you have changed and I applaud these changes. My own change in the past 16 years has been extreme, however my own change is remarkably less public and not organized in easy to re-visit archived posts. Part of what draws me to come to your blog for over a decade now is that you have changed. Your frankness in sharing with us your life and knitterly processes reflects the chaos of my own life. It helps model and normalize the raw/hard aspects like losing loved ones, while also showing us the deep love and silliness that can come alongside of embracing what comes. Cheers to 16!

  197. Happy Blogiversary to you and to us. I’ve been following you for about a dozen of those 16 years and always look forward to your posts.
    Yes, you’ve changed. You’re no longer putting water balloon throwing little girls to bed in the middle of the afternoon. You’re not dealing with teenage angst. You don’t regularly fall off your bike and get stuck in the foot clamps.
    You’re the mother of strong, beautiful women, the grandmother of a beautiful little boy. You ride like the wind. You ski. You sail. You carry your mother’s legacy within you.
    Your life is so full. Sometimes we (well. I) worry that you might not need us anymore. So glad that you still choose to let us be a part of your life.
    Live well and prosper!

  198. You’re post really resonated with me. In the last 6 months I was laid off from my job after 20 years (in an email no less), lost my mother suddenly and unexpectedly, had to have my cat put down and developed severe tendonitis in my hamstring forcing me to give up my goal of running the 2020 NYC Marathon for my 60th birthday. Its felt like a 6 month avalanche and I often think how I feel different…changed by it all. While the dark cloud that’s been hanging over me for the last several months has started to lessen, its still so dark at times. I’m still working through the changes, but I honesty don’t think you can go through these life changing events and not be changed for the good and the bad. I miss my mother horribly and that will lessen but never go away. Yet I know I’ll run that marathon at some point, and considering I didn’t start running until I was 56, well that’s a change for the positive. I started my own business and its working…a change for the positive. So I keep trying to focus on the good changes and move forward from there.

  199. Of course you’ve changed, duh! You mentioned some ways and didn’t mention other great ones. (Happy Veganuary.) Only part of that change was the death of dear ones. For a long while it’s like losing a spoke on your wheel. Things go wobbly. Many of us have felt it in our own lives. Your honesty with grief helps us heal a little bit, too. Thank you for 16 years of posts that make us think, make us try to do better in the world, make us laugh.

  200. Happy Blogaversary! I’ve been reading for years and of course you have changed. Change is the one thing we have to do to survive–ask every evolutionary scholar ever. And Gawd, how boring would we be if we were the same all.the.time. And although you’ve changed it ultimately comes back to the knitting which brought us all together in the first place.
    I have to agree with all the previous posts in one way or another–200+ of us can’t be wrong.

  201. I’m working on my meditation practice (it feels disingenuous to say, “I meditate.”), and it really emphasizes accepting change. I struggle with it because I really like my life as it is now. I forget sometimes that change could mean that things get even better.

  202. Thank you Thank you Thank you!
    All of those things you will wake up to change tomorrow are many of exactly the things I will change tomorrow (especially the lipstick one. I just never remember, really). And yeah- we’ve all fucking changed. The only thing that is constant in our lives is change, and it’s the one thing (most of us) struggle against the most.
    Thank you for continuing blogging. You were one of my first inspirations when I began knitting 15ish years ago and I have LOVED growing with you and your family. You are all very important to me. Thank you for sharing. Much love and light to you, as always.

  203. Happy Blogiversary! I’m a long-time reader. You’ve been our rock and I’m so glad you’re still blogging. Life (and death) changes us all. We might not always like it, but how could it be otherwise?

  204. Donation made. Happy Blogiversary!
    We all change. We have to adapt to whatever is happening in our lives…or we will shatter. Sometimes that means pain and scarring. Scar tissue is strong.
    Sometimes we just have to bend with the wind.
    You have nothing to apologize for.

  205. I like to think of it as growth. 16 yrs ago I was a married, stay-at-home mom with a 2 yr old daughter and one on the way. Turns out it would be twins, but I didn’t know that yet. Wasn’t even a knitter. That wouldn’t happen until Christmas of that year. Today, I’m a single, work-outside-the-home mom of an 18 yr old in her 2nd semester of college and 15 yr old twin girls who may just be the death of me. Thank goodness I have knitting (and beer) to keep me sane! Happy to donate to your cause! #16

  206. A late but most heartfelt happy Blogaversary. Change is inevitable; your warmth and honesty have inspired me to (try to) become a kinder, gentler person.

    What Presbytera said – thank you isn’t nearly enough. (Thank you, Ken, for the gift to us all). Happy 16, and many more.

    Bonnie (aka Knitsiam)

  207. Happy blogiversary.
    We have to change, life changes us, that doesn’t make it bad.
    Keep putting your lovely face on your books!
    Good luck with the rally this year, we will be cheering for you all.

  208. Happy blogiversary!

    While reading your post about not wanting to change/whether change was a good thing, it immediately popped into my head the changes that occur the moment you become a mother. There are life events that happen, and change is part of those events. Your body is never the same after babies. Your universe is never the same after losing a loved one. Events change your body, your mind, your outlook. Some add hope and excitement, some add sorrow and reflection. Change is part of life – we just hope that the changes add up to making us a better, stronger, more interesting person.

    Regardless of changes, we still love your outlook, your humor, and your knitting!

  209. Dear Stephanie. You are an amazing woman. The only change I wish you could make is to write to me more on the blog ( I know you are too busy to) We alllove The Blog.

  210. Happy Blogiversary!
    I too have been reading your blog for years and it’s amazing. Yes change happens and we need to embrace it as best we can. Love your blog, knitting, books, instagram posts and hope to one day partake of one of your knitting/spinning retreats. Thank you for being you.

  211. We have all changed alongside you, over the 16 years, and therefore I applaud the changeability of humans, and of you and of me too! Go Steph! BTW I love your curly hair, and seeing you on the backs of your books. Don’t change that!

  212. Change is a constant in life, big or little. One change I’ve made was to lower the number of blogs I was trying to read every day. NEVER did I consider stopping your blog – I love it and check it daily to be sure I haven’t missed anything. You write when you can and we love you for it. Thank you for being weak as well as strong so we are reminded that we share that issue. Sometimes all of us hold ourselves to far higher standards than are possible. Thanks to all who help make this blog possible. You helped me to understand knitting, philosophy and how both work so well in my life. Much love to you all!

  213. Your blog was the first blog I ever read. I was a new knitter and I couldn’t believe that there was this kind, funny woman talking about knitting! I have read and loved your blog for years. Thank you for talking about knitting when no one I knew wanted to ❤️

  214. Stephanie – I sort of cried when i read your post. Yes you have changed and we are all proud of you. Your blog is the only one i keep coming back to and i have had many others that i pick up and later drop.

    You share your life honestly – about your children growing up, about your Joe, about losing your mom, about gaining sons in law, and new grandbabies. And knitting pulls it together. Knitting for new babies. Knitting a shawl for Megan’s wedding. Knitting the milestones in life. Knitting sometimes is the only thing we can hang on to.

    You share it honestly. It resonates with us who also are experiencing the wonderful mix of love and grief and loss and wonder that makes up this great gift of life. Thank you for risking so much by writing about it. We need you!

  215. I have been a faithful follower for not quite 16 years, but at least 14 or 15. I very rarely comment, I think I commented when you got married. But I have to tell you something… I ❤️Stephanie Purl McFee. Please keep (or not) changing!!!!

  216. Being compared to a weasel…goodness, people! *insert eyeroll*

    This blog has given myself (and so many others as apparent in the comments) so much pleasure. Reading through this post has also given me an opportunity to think back on my knitting journey and how lovely it has been to be accompanied by this blog. Bring on the change. Thank you for all of your generous time, I will oggle your hand knits as longs as you care to share them with us.

  217. I have been here since almost the very beginning, and not only have I watched all the ways you have grown (change is such a boring word), you have allowed me to the space to grow along with you. My life is better for having read this blog all these years, and not just my knitting (although make no mistake, that is better too). Happy blogerversary (I never spell that correct), sweet Steph, and a big hug to Ken for convincing you this was a good idea, and for keeping us up and running all these years.

  218. Hello,
    I never comment, but I have been reading your blog for ages now, here in Germany. Have to add the following, it is in German (Brecht’s language) but I try to translate ( I am definitely not an interpreter!)

    B. Brecht
    Das Wiedersehen
    Ein Mann, der Herrn K. lange nicht gesehen hatte, begrüßte ihn mit den Worten: “Sie haben sich gar nicht verändert.” “Oh!” sagte Herr K. und erbleichte.

    The reunion (?)
    A man whom Mr. K. hasn’t seen for a long time greeted him: “You haven’t changed at all.”
    “Oh!” said Mr. K. and paled.

    Not a very good translation, but hopefully you can understand the meaning.

    With my very best wishes from Germany!

  219. Amen to that. Who wants to be the same person they were last year, or last week or yesterday???? And the only person who can say if that change is for the better, or the worse, or if that even matters, is you. Rock on!

  220. Of course you’ve changed! We all change over time unless we’ve stagnated. Good changes indicate growth, as Joe recognizes in you. Big life events, happy or sad, change us, too.
    The Blog is obviously pleased with who you were, who you are, and who you are becoming. Happy Blogiversary!
    p.s. Your mittens are beautiful! I’d be waving my hands around at everybody just to show them off.

  221. I won’t lie and say I’ve been here the whole 16 years, but I know I’ve been reading your blog for at least 12 years or so since I was still in college when I started. Since then there has been so much change in my life. I remember reading about Amanda going to Australia when I moved to Shanghai and thinking that my parents must feel, as you did, both proud and terrified. I got married around the same time that Meg did, and had my daughter shortly after she had Elliot.

    Just as the blog has been a constant in your life, reading your writing and getting a glimpse into your world has been a constant in mine. So much so that when I relate some story from your life or project that you have done to my husband, I jokingly refer to you as “my friend Stephanie” and he knows exactly who I mean.

    Of course you’ve changed. You’ve grown, you’ve gained, you’ve lost, you’ve learned. If you only gave us the surface level of your life and thoughts we wouldn’t know it. But because you are so open with your thoughts, your life, your hope and hurts, we can see change over time. So thank you for that.

    And thank you for sixteen years! I plan to keep reading and look forward to more change.

  222. I can add nothing more than what has already been so eloquently expressed.
    Really. It has all already been said.
    Except one thing…
    What Farm Game? Is it Township?
    I got hooked when I saw they had sheep and that you can use the yarn to make sweaters!!
    Visit Lynnville; I’ll give you a sweater if you need one! 😉

  223. The change in my favorite bloggers (and the world) that I don’t like is that they blog less often because of Instagram and twitter.. But that is my problem not theirs.

  224. OMG! Of course you’ve changed. I would hope so after 16 years that we all grow and evolve and our opinions change (hopefully for the better). A lot has happened to you in the past few years so, yeah, you changed. But you know what? I think you are just as wonderful as the first day I first read your blog and if I ever see you at Rhinebeck again I’ll still act like a dork because you are you and I admire you.

  225. Congratulations on the blogiversary! I have enjoyed the posts so much. They made me a better knitter and a person! Best and most quoted line from Knitting Rules for me is “There are no knitting police.” That’s a revelation that opened me up to really enjoy knitting…otherwise I was constantly fretting over every stumble. Thanks for sharing your triumphs and trials with all of us.

  226. Congratulations! And who doesn’t change after 16 years? Being the same exact person all that time would get boring quickly. The mittens are gorgeous, too.

  227. Happy Blogiversary! It’s been a wonderful time; I check every day to see if the YH has words of wisdom to impart. I have a new cat who is too interested in yarn. Would you recommend a cage for her or me so that I could accomplish some knitting?

  228. Life changes. People grow. They become parents and grandparents, orphans (and authors!) they learn and are changed, they think and they grow, they love, and they grieve. They experience life, which is defined by change. You have to go with it, or go nuts!

    Here’s to change! Even though it sometimes feels like pruning, and not growth. Hell, sometimes it feels like a fvcking hurricane! If you’re still standing, you’re onto a winner.

  229. I love your mittens and I love your blog and I love what you wrote about change. Somehow it was just what I needed to hear today…. Thank you!

  230. OMG Of course you have changed. Regardless of how fabulous you were to start…life and other stuff happens and we adjust/change. I mean this super nicely, by the way.

    The first performance evaluation I received after my mother passed away (it was my first real job out of college), I was told that I was no longer the woman they hired and that they missed her. I wasn’t as bubbly, enthusiastic, naive, etc. They meant it in the nicest way possible. I struggled for a year or two trying to figure out where that woman had gone…and how to bring her back. She did not come back but a different person was revealed.

    Over the years I have changed…each experience (both good and bad) has changed me – hopefully for the better, but not always. I changed when I got a divorce, remarried, became a stepmother (for the better), a mother (hopefully for the better). Now my husband has broken his back and I hope that he will walk again…but it is another change. I’m hoping I am dealing with it kindly but life is throwing rocks at me right now.
    I think you have had a rough few years but you have have managed it so gracefully (from where I am sitting). Our lives change and we change and I enjoy reading where you are in your life, the changes you are making, and where you are heading.
    You are an inspiration.
    Thank you

  231. Oh, Steph, we love you to. I really appreciate that you are so very real and authentic, throughout lots of different seasons of your life.

  232. Congratulations on 16 wildly wonderful years. I don’t post, well, haven’t for a few years, but read faithfully. Well done changing so beautifully. Change is hard, and you have handled it with love and suffering and kindness all bundled together. Thanks for sharing your process with us. May the next 16 be beautiful, too.

  233. Cheers, Stephanie! I’m glad you got to the place where you understand that change is not bad. In fact, it is normal and needed as our roles change. So happy you’re still blogging; I’ve learned so much from you. Best wishes for the year and all the coming years of sharing your life and insights with us. Looking forward to another book (will there be another book?) when that happens. Will donate to PWA in the near future. I now plan for that in my annual charitable giving.

  234. I’m trying to eat my breakfast while I read your blog. Your words always start my day with a smile. Today, I’m crying as I eat. That you would have one moment of doubt – your writing is so funny, poignant, and insightful – it hurts me to think how those words wounded you. DON’T YOU CHANGE. I have enjoyed your blog for about 14 years. I shared it with my knitting group and even gave away a book of yours to my group to pass around. You are such a riot! Thank you for the joy you give us all. Margaret

  235. Happy Blogversary. Ive been visiting your blog for the last 7 years and its been an inspiration and a friend both for knitting and for life, for all of those 7 years.

  236. About 15 years ago, when I was a pretty new knitter branching out into a picot pattern, I went to a knitting circle one afternoon. I was told about your blog and stitch markers at the same time. Seriously a life changing day for me! Here’s to change indeed <3 <3 <3

  237. Do I miss your yarn escapades, sure, but these days I am missing lots of things. I miss Ravelry, it was great while it lasted. I miss conversations with diverse people, I now live in the boonies. I miss going to the grocery store, yarn store and book store in really quick fashion. Now it takes me roughly a day to visit all these places. I miss blogs, and a reliable source of news. I miss a country where we could come together have a interesting conversation with no one shouting another person down. I miss my country, I can’t figure out if it is behaving like an insolent teenage or a couple getting ready to divorce. I miss lots of things these days. It is in part because I am getting older, having to find a new way of be valuable to myself and my world. It is hard. I was told by two different sources that if I wanted to keep a roof over my head, food on the table, and a standard of living that was above subsistence living I would have to move to the flyover part of the country, which I have done. I have no family here, the way of life is different and the people are incredibly nice and helpful. I miss the laughter that your blog had, but that is not your fault or mine. The world is different and so am I. I just am wistful for the day where your daughters were embarrassed that you took you knitting to the local pond, where you ice skated with yarn trailing behind you.

    Times are rough right now in every way possible. (Politically, socially economically) We don’t have a clear path, guidance, and We are desperate for good times, good stories, good people. You have experienced familia loss and the pain is evident in your writing. We will all go through that pain, and hopefully come out the other side with compassion for ourselves and others who are walking the same path. I am kind of scared of what will happen when each comes a calling in my family.

  238. Life is change. But the one thing that hasn’t changed, is your exuberant love of yarn, and all the amazing things that we can do with it. Thank you for sharing your joy with us, and introducing us to new techniques, patterns, businesses and the vast world of other crafters that who no longer knit alone at home because you decided to talk to us about sock heels. Happy Blogiversary!

  239. Congratulations and thank you for so many years of wonderful reading. I read a column you wrote in the Toronto Star about 15 years ago. It was so funny and I realized that while I had been knitting for many years, I had never laughed about it. That is how I found your blog, and I always look forward to it. Your stories of frogging and experimenting were an eye-opener for me. I grew up in a house where if things weren’t done properly the first time, it was a disaster! Of course you have changed, we all have and that is a good thing because that way we keep growing and learning. The embroidered mittens are lovely. Stay warm!

  240. I want to read all the comments but i just don’t have time!
    Change can be good, it can be bad, and it can just be. I don’t know that any of us are the same as we were 16 years ago, and that’s ok.

    A weasel? I don’t think that person had ever seen a weasel, honestly.

  241. I can’t be the first to say it here, but having only skimmed the comments, I will note that the only constant in life is change.

    You are an inspiration, Steph. Thanks to your example I’ve signed up to ride the Aids/LifeCycle from SF to LA in June, when I haven’t ridden a distance longer than my commute since November. We who are about to get strong legs salute you!

  242. I must have found you within the first year or so. I know I saw you talk in Austin in 2006, because it was right around my 50th birthday. We have all changed a lot since then — we’re all older, hopefully wiser, and probably most of us are better knitters, too! Here’s to 16 more!

  243. Stephanie, what keeps me reading your blog is not the knitting (although that is nice). It is your character, and the way it shapes your approach to everything you do: you set goals, and carry through; when you fail, you regroup and keep going; you build community; although your life choices are very different from mine, you appear to live in a way that is consistent with core values that I admire and aspire to; you embraced SAILING!; you are funny; your “reach” has expanded through the years, and broadens my exposure to things and places I’d otherwise know little about. I have met you at KnitEast, and suspect our paths will cross again. Until then, change away!!

  244. I live in Michigan USA. Needless to say our country is in a turmoil and it affects us all. I appreciate you not commenting on it not because as I have heard from others that it’s none of your business because of course you are a citizen of the world but because I need a place where the topics are family, children and knitting. Where you try to make the blanket center be a square when it isn’t. And you jazz up your plain jane mittens. I think of you as my imaginary friend who is actually a real person. Not perfect, but as I just read in Patricia Marx’s book “Perfect is not my type”.

  245. Happy Blogiversary! Thank you for your realness, honesty, vulnerability, strength (no, the last two are not contradictions) and (of course) the knitting and humour. I stumbled across your blog fifteen years ago after googling “Lithuanian mittens” as that was what I was trying to knit reproductions of at the time. (Someone had commented about knitting Lithuanian mittens on a blog post of yours about Latvian mittens.) Now I am about to teach my first knitting class on stranded colourwork mittens.
    Here’s to the blog and another 16!

  246. Thank you for 16 years of “friendship” thru this Blog! Keep changing–you’re human and that’s what humans do. I still love your blog, but have only one suggestion for a CHANGE that would help my aging eyes and perhaps others’ as well! the light tint of your text is becoming so difficult for me to read. Would it be possible to notch it up to pure black?
    That would really help!

  247. …and, you made me tear up…at work…technically it’s Joe’s fault, but you wrote it. And I’m so glad that you’ll continue writing…and changing. Happy Sweet Sixteen.

  248. Happy 16th Blogversary!!! I want to thank you for sharing your thoughts over the years and documenting the changes you’ve gone through. I can’t tell you how many times your observations have validated something that I am experiencing in life and have made me feel less alone in the experience or opened up my perception to a different way of looking at the situation. And, the joy of participating in your family events through your writings is something that has been really meaningful to me. I’m so glad that sharing your writings continues to be meaningful to you. Great blessings!

  249. You were awesome before, and you’re awesome now. Going from strength to strength! (I’m so relieved you’re going to keep blogging – everyone seems to be leaving. Sob.)
    Bee-yew-ti-ful mittens!

  250. Stephanie thank you for still blogging. It has been so comforting to know you are here, to be able to read what you are knitting and how your life is changing. I see you as a mentor and I’m glad to know you’re still here.

  251. Thank you for years of letters and thoughts. Thank you for being such a good citizen of the planet, a strong funny bright mum, a tender-hearted grandmother, brilliant artist and author. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this blog. I look for it most everyday. I’m inspired to try harder, look deeper, give more. Happy blogoaversery.

  252. Thank you for continuing your blog. It means a lot to me and also gives me hope. I have watched all the changes you have experienced and also the way you have handled them and that gives me hope as well. I have two daughters now in their thirties and five grands. You would think that would be a wonderful blessing and in may ways it is. But without getting to details it also very difficult. One lives with me with her three daughters. I have had to learn to adapt and change as well without much appreciation. I now feel like I’m in a new phase of life, one that is not as exciting and sometimes lonely. I am trying to cultivate my own happiness and not look to family for that. At any rate, knitting and your blog helps me a lot. You have changed. You are stronger, more independent, and you have become a motivator. Thank you for all the years you have blogged. I will never forget the first book I read where I actually fell off my bed because I was laughing so hard. Thanks again!!

  253. Even though you share so much, I think there is always a gap between someone’s public presence and their daily persona. (this is likely a very good thing) I think, from a reader’s perspective, the Steph that came across the page the first several years of the blog did not match the Steph who was so lost without her mother. (this is NOT a problem)

    The Steph who tackled every problem, found wildly creative solutions to just about everything, *on the page* does not appear like someone who would ever be emotionally lost. Sad, depressed, grieving, yes. Emotionally lost without her mother, no. There was a gap in the narrative that would be confusing if you were a character in a novel. But your life is NOT fiction and you have absolutely no obligation to readers to smooth the gap.

    Personally, I see the “old” you shine through on Instagram when you find little funny moments of joy to share. You are still there, just forever altered.

  254. The first thing that happened to me when my mother passed was that I grew up. I didn’t want to, it happened without my permission and somewhat rudely required some input from me. Silly me thinking I had been a grown up for all that time. Of course you’re different – but bloody hell you are still mighty fabulous.

  255. Thank goodness you’ve changed! Who would want to read the same blog post for sixteen years?

    BTW, we’ve all changed, too. Hopefully. That’s life. One’s job is to live one’s life, enjoy it, and learn from the hard parts. The same for everyone else.

    Congratulations, Sweet Sixteen!

  256. Congratulations on your blogversary! Change is growth and so important for us all (even if we don’t always like it) I don’t think it is particularly healthy to be stagnant…
    I am so glad you are choosing to continue writing the blog. Like the comments before me, I really look forward to reading it and I so enjoy your writing

  257. Happy 16th! I’ve been following your knitting & posts since way back when we were on the Knitlist. You have made me a better knitter. Seeing your work is always an inspiration. Hearing about your issues reassures me that I’m not the only one who struggles with knitting projects or personal life challenges. We all get through it. We all change. Friendships are good medicine, and even though we are not personally acquainted, I believe that “the blog” is a warm and friendly place to visit. Thank you!

  258. Happy Sweet 16 Bloganniversary! Well Done. Attended your first book event in NYC at Lord and Taylor (which has closed) You have embraced change

  259. Happy sweet 16 Bloganniversary! Kudos and well done embracing change and life. Attended your first book event at Lord Taylor in NYC. Brought you some chocolate for the trip and truly enjoyed meeting you in person. All the best to you and your family. Thank for blogging on -love connecting with you.

  260. There may come a day when you are ready to move on from the blog too and that will be ok but I’m sure glad it’s not today. Thanks for sharing your unique mix of creativity and artistic inspiration with honesty about life. it’s just the thing that I need on many days. I’ve missed seeing you at Port Ludlow the last couple rounds due to the press of other things in my life but hope to be back soon. All the best. And I will certainly donate!

  261. There may come a day when you are ready to move on from the blog too and that will be ok but I’m sure glad it’s not today. Thanks for sharing your unique mix of creativity and artistic inspiration with honesty about life. it’s just the thing that I need on many days. I’ve missed seeing you at Port Ludlow the last couple rounds due to the press of other things in my life but hope to be back soon. All the best. And I will certainly donate!

  262. This entry made me cry. Congratulations on accepting how you have changed. I lost my mother around the same time you did, and that (and some other factors) has changed me, too. The reason your post touched me the way it did, though, is because I’m not sure I have fully recognized or accepted the changes in me. Your frankness and honesty have been helpful, though. You’ve given me food for thought. Thank you, and thank you for your blog.

  263. Hey Steph, How could you not change? We start changing the moment we are born. It’s fine. You know that. Probably the person who mentioned that knows it too.

    Best wishes,
    Ellen In Connecticut

  264. Dear Stephanie,
    I met you once in Arizona. You look nothing like a weasel. Some critics are just crazy.
    Happy blogiversaary. I’m so glad you write this blog.Some one (s) out there understand my knitterly concerns.
    The mittens are darling. Excellent embroidery.
    Julie in San Diego

  265. Anyone who doesn’t change over the course of 16 years is in a funk! Embrace your change and of course, I hope you continue blogging for at least another 16 years I have just found you a couple years ago

  266. I love the consistencies of your blog as much as I love the changes – happy blogiversary! I’ve been reading you since the beginning and commented maybe twice (I’m a little shy) – you’ve seen me from a 26-year-old professional bored person knitting socks while waiting for queries to run to a 42-year-old mother of tweenagers who knits when able. I’ve changed! And I’m happier for it! LOVE getting to peek into your fibery house 🙂

  267. I was in the ER tonight with my 83 yo dad (he’s fine, home with some cuts and bruises from his fall but that’s all) and was obsessing about yarn – wandering through my stash on Ravelry, imagining all the wonderful thing al those many (many, many, many) skeins of yarn could become and itching to start one of the hundreds of patterns in the favorites, and generally having a mental “yarn toss” as I was in the waiting room. It made me think of my SPM book collection and the all-time best explanation of stash “nothing in my stash” from The Secret Life of a Knitter.

    We all evolve and change but our love of yarn never changes. And the joy you bring to us fellow knitters doesn’t either! Thank you for being you and for sharing your life and your love of knitting.

  268. Pingback: Seventeen | Yarn Harlot

  269. Pingback: Seventeen | Yarn Harlot - Beadiebuddysbonanza

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