The end of a perfect record.

My dear friend Lene had an incredible day yesterday. In mere minutes she was catapulted into the rich, varied and wonderful class of “eccentric aunt”. In fact, because she is Danish – she will be more than any ordinary aunt and will receive the title of “Moster”.(I don’t know for sure, but I would be willing to bet you a dollar and a bar of organic chocolate that in her secret “english as a second language” heart Lene celebrates how much that sounds like “monster”.)

“Moster” means “sister of the mother” and it’s very special – anyone can be your aunt (and given the way Lene’s mother adopts strays…these children will have many aunties), but they will only have one Moster Lene, and at present she is delirious with joy. She would have been merely thrilled to freakin’ death…but she got doubles. Liam and Morgan, a boy and a girl, (born seven weeks early but healthy and strong) arrived yesterday and you can see pictures and send good wishes to all parties concerned at Lene’s blog.

Which brings us (naturally) to the knitting for said babies and the fact that it is not finished. At all.


Whoops. There’s two blankets and two dales and ….they are not finished. I’ve espoused the theory several times that babies do not come until I have finished their knitting, so this is unprecedented, and frankly (since it would appear that I am drunk on my own apparently unproven knitterly power and ability to guide the universe with my knitting) confusing. This is the first time EVER that a baby has beaten me. (Is it wrong that I’m slightly vindicated by thinking that it took premature twins to take me down?)


This is Morgan’s Dale. As I mentioned yesterday it’s a Dale of Norway, “Voss” from “Soft Treasures for little ones”. (Very much a favourite book) knit from Baby Ull (a favourite yarn, superwash but doesn’t feel like it – it’s not flaccid like superwash so often is.)

Morgan’s dale has two sleeves and about 1/2 of the body…which is not bad, especially since Morgan currently weighs 1810 grams (about 4lbs) and is a little ways off of the Dale of Norway sizing chart. Liam’s dale is…well.


Ok. So I need to get that one going. On the upside, lest ye think that I am not doing something for Liam…this is his baby blanket.


It’s a joint project between Ken and I. Ken knit the diagonal garter stitch middles, and I’m bordering them. We have no pattern, we’re just faking it. Morgan gets a blanket too…


but only Ken’s part is done on this one.

I’m trying to figure out what this means to the deadline. Clearly, since my knitting schedule did not divine their birth, what does it divine? (The theory that my knitting does not rule the world and fates in any way has really not occurred to me.) I’ve decided that the blankets (I can let go of the sweaters…it will be a while before they fit) need to be finished before Liam and Morgan go home, and I’m trying not to believe that perhaps I don’t control when babies are born, but when they go home? In any event, there is this much wool to knit up before they will be wrapped in these for their trip..


which should happen when they are about 2250g (5lbs). I’ve seen this family eat…and I don’t think that’s going to take very long, so I’m going to haul arse on it. Please. Not one word about what this does to the Christmas knitting schedule. I am fully aware that this is the first of December and that Christmas is the 25th. Also not one word from a smartypants who feels compelled to point out that I’m talking about knitting up 1250 metres of wool faster than a set of twins can gain about a pound apiece. (Let’s see…babies doing well can gain between 4-8oz a week…let’s say they don’t start to gain for a couple of days, then gain at an average rate, 16 ounces to a pound… I’ve probably got about 2-3 weeks. That means that I have to knit at least a whole ball a day just to beat them home…never mind the sweaters…

Holy crap. I will I’ll flip out tomorrow. (Flip out might actually be a minor reaction. This may call for actually blowing a gasket or something.) Today there are twins, and I’ll be busy knitting love, welcome and good luck into their blankets. (Quickly.)

70 thoughts on “The end of a perfect record.

  1. It’s tough enough to do one blanket, but 2? Course, if anyone can do it, you can.
    And as for the day-which-shall-not-be-mentioned? I think everyone (who knows you at least) will understand why all else must be put aside in order to bend the universe toward getting these babies home as soon as possible.
    Go Stephanie go!

  2. Whoooeeeeeeeee! I get to leave the first comment for this post! Hurrahh! Anyway, just wanted to say that I love love love the colors and design of Morgan’s Dale sweater. It’s inspiring me to get more into knitting with mulitple colors, which I am usually not so into. Happy Knitting,

  3. Ohmigosh! Diane snuck in while I was typing! Amazing! I guess I have to be speedier if I’m going to be first in the comment line!

  4. You’ve no idea how much your post just comforted me. I, too, am facing serious delays in holiday knitting due to baby knitting — though I have a far lesser excuse — no twins here and this was an October baby — what can I say? Three pairs of bootees and a sweater. I think perhaps a moratorium on fall/winter/pre-holiday babies is in order? At least among the friends of knitters.

  5. did you HAVE to put in print that it’s december 1st?! i can feel my stomach tightening. steph, i don’t know how you do it … mind you, i’m sure you knit a whole heck of a lot faster than i do!
    good luck with the blankets!

  6. I am SO impressed that you were able to use the word “flaccid” in a knitting blog. So impressed. However, it still only runs a close second to the time I was able to use “urinal cakes.”

  7. Wow. The twins safe arrival is terrific. And now we get to watch you implode while trying to knit 2 baby blankets on your schedule. This is gonna be fun.

  8. I know what’s going on here. My knitting has no power over the arrival of babies. I’m knitting for the first baby I’ve ever knit for, and this baby will be born to a Danish woman. A wonderful Danish woman who shared the best chocolate hazelnut cake recipe in the world with me. Her little peanut is over a week past the due date, and my favorite Dane is very uncomfortable. So maybe the knitting powers got all mixed up and Christine’s baby can’t be born until you finish something for Lene’s nephews? If that’s the case, please, I beg you, HURRY UP!

  9. Holy Guacamole, Batman! Is our Knitting Harlot ever in a pickle on this one… Stay tuned for “As the Needles Fly” or “Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun, The Treasures of Knitting for Twins.”
    Go, go, go, go, go, go… go!

  10. Wow! Congratulations to Moster Lene on the birth of her niece and nephew, Morgan and Liam. Wow, again! (and I love the title “Moster”, so cool)
    May you knit the blankets with the wind at your back, the wind of the knitting furies, that is!

  11. Wow! Morgan weighs more than I did.. a full pound more!
    Don’t worry they tend to lose a couple of ounces in the first day right? All that water weight. Then they start gaining!
    So you may have a little longer than you think! Hey get Ken back on the job mabye he can help with some more knitting duty!!

  12. Well, well, well…seems the mercury in retrorgrade has clamped THE GRIP on many of us. this, coming from a woman who took three days to knit one stinking sock with that it-know-who day coming and many chilly toes. twins! ha! the universe gets the laugh, again. good luck and know that you can freak out any day you wish but, astrologically speaking, things may lighten up for some of the lucky ones by saturday. until then, i raise a glass of good organic red in hopes your jamming out your knitting.

  13. So this would probably be a bad time to point out that the Textile Museum kind of sort of promises (if you choose to be really, really liberal about your interpretation of ‘facts’ like I do) that you’ll be knitting us the woollen equivalent of the Mona Lisa next Wednesday evening? *evil snicker*

  14. So, with all this knitting you have to do, and have been doing, can we assume bookbookbook is finished? WOW, can you spell Superwoman??!!

  15. How about something else? Like first projectile vomiting on mom? First explosive poop achieved while other baby is fully latched on, about to fall asleep and mom has no ability to move, and gets to sit there watching the ruin of the upholsery because there is NO.WAKING.A.BABY.FALLING.ASLEEP? Maybe the inauguration of the non-preemie diapers?
    Don’t link it to going home. You don’t want to go there. I was terribly lucky that my kids came home with me, but knit some booties, to be done tomorrow (maybe today?), that will herald their release from the hospital. No one can knit fast enough for the heart of a mom who has to leave her babies to save their lives.

  16. a joint project for twins! perfect idea, did you know before-hand that twins were arriving? humm..think…think…think…garter stitch middles with lace knitted boarders…hum…

  17. Ouch. I’m dizzy.
    I had a lucid moment earlier and was going to wonder what had happened to Tuesdays Is For Spinning and the you-know-what. But never mind that.

  18. Those are some very lucky babies. They have some wonderful people looking out (and knitting) for them.

  19. Better get to work. If the babies are healthy they may go home sooner.
    Says the mom of twins — Joe came home at 4lbs 7 oz and Brooke was 5 lbs 13 oz — they were healthy and ready to get home.
    You are making such wonderful keepsakes for them!

  20. Good point, mamacate, and blessings to Liam, Morgan, mommy, daddy and Moster Lene!
    And of course, blessings on the knitting of the Harlot (and Ken)!
    Booties for all!

  21. Hmmm…Christmas. I now walk into the stash room, giggle hysterically and walk back out and ignore it for a couple of hours. It’s for the best really. I’ll just start now on next years list.
    The red in that top photo…is it really that rich and red? It looks like a deep, blood red. I love it. If it really is that color, what yarn is it? I covet that color.
    Oh, and thanks to Ms. Ryan, you now have “flaccid” AND “urinal cakes” in the same post. This cracks me up.
    Have a great day!

  22. But won’t blowing a gasket take away knitting time?
    It’s all lovely and I’m sure you’ll warp the time-space continuum as usual. Can’t wait to see the finished products and will be happy to provide sympathy, tissues and wine when needed.

  23. That was a wonderful blog. Thank you. I just love it that you and Ken are both knittng the blankets, it is a lovely thing to do. With so much heart going into it I am sure your hands will fly and the 1250 meters og wool will dissapear fast. I just love the colours you have chosen and the sweater for Morgan looks so beautiful.
    It was such a happy day yesterday, I was there to see my grandchildren being born. I think I am the the happiest mormor in the world right now. (Mormor means mothers mother. Mor being the Danish word for mother).

  24. Every time I think I’ve gotten crazy with my knitting goals, you top me. Thank you for that. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Good luck with the blankets!

  25. Awwwwwwwww. Congrats all around!
    Now, about knitting: I sympathize, even though you clearly knew a) Christmas would come 12/25, b) the babies would probably put in an appearance at a time ideal for total bollixment of the holiday knitting schedule. Since I, however, am currently knitting for my sister an Eternal Green Alpaca Device (ok, it’s a wide scarf, but you don’t get an acronym out of that) that I had put aside last winter and picked up thinking I would just whip out a few more rows and it would be the perfect salvaged holiday gift, but the thing is 2 ft longer now and still needs AT LEAST another 8 inches or so before I can call it quits, and I really don’t want to knit any more English mesh lace, I must perforce sympathize.
    (Apparently I must also write sentences that would blow the lid right off any self-respecting readability index.)

  26. I’d finish the blankets first. 5 pounds is still too small for the sweaters, that should buy you some time to finish the sweaters and surely you can finish the blankets before the little ones come home. Its not like you’re knitting an entire Rhinebeck sweater or anything ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. HA!!
    Not to put the pressure on or anything, but Jordan was 2 months early and ready to go home after 11 days. (I had a total panic and meltdown, so they kept him one more day until *I* was ready – so 12 days.)
    So um… better make that 2 balls a day ๐Ÿ˜‰

  28. I’m so impressed by the idea of Dales for newborns, and then two at once(!) that I can hardly catch my breath. Knit fast, because those babies are going to want to go home very soon.

  29. I think the only reason you threw in that mathematics regarding birth weight, gaining weight and yardage of yarns was to make my eyes bleed, and therefore, I’m unable to be a smartypants regarding your Christmas knitting ritual of hiding under the stairs on December 25, 4:03 am.

  30. You have my total sympathy… My friend John didn’t even have the decency to have twins when the premature arrival of baby John blew my track record out of the water… I’m not nearly as gifted (nor as swift) as you are–I don’t attempt sweaters AND blankets, but I’ve always managed to control the due date and the health of the baby with my own baby blanket crafting and I was truly affronted when this happened to me. Really–how can mother nature be so inconsiderate? Of course, the good news is that now you have twins to knit for throughout the year… (like three adolescent girls don’t keep you on your toes already:-)

  31. Hi Stephanie,
    I’ve been reading your blog for a while and even got up the nerve to post a couple of comments recently! I’m a long-time knitter and newbie spinner and I met you in Boston (Willow Books, was it?) earlier this year when you were on tour for bookbookbook the first. I was the saucer-eyed short Asian chick with the cute baby cardigan in lovely handdyed colors that pooled so it looked like a grape colored butt (DH named the cardigan “Satin Grape”). I know you met a lot of people on tour so I’m not offended if you don’t remember me. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Anyhoo, at the time I was not a blogger and have since become one. You told me to leave a comment when I became a blogger, but, well, it’s a bit intimidating, and then the recent posts have been about events that I didn’t want to impinge on (like birthdays and births and such). Well, I finally hatched on this plan to just email you, but then I figured I was chickening out. So (gulp) my blog is!
    PS Good luck with the blankets and sweaters, I know you’ll get them done in record time! My 2 baby gifts won’t be due until after the new year and I hope it stays that way.

  32. Well, if they both have warm blankets when they come home, that will hold them nicely until they are big enough to wear the sweaters. At five pounds each they will be *far* from being able to use both gifts, and will have more need of warmth and swaddling. So you’re set!

  33. I have to echo mamacate here. I wasn’t quite as fortunate as her. My twins were 4 weeks early and I went home from the hospital a full week before they did. It was truly heartbreaking. Make something small and quick if you must tie to their homecoming. My best wishes to Moster Lene and the rest of the family.

  34. Welcome Morgan and Liam! Way to go Lene!!
    My day-that-shall-not-be-named knitting is going well, but I am sticking to socks and gloves and washcloths. Unfortunately, I have spent the last 6 months knitting socks and my carpal tunnel has reared it’s ugly head again (honestly, I am surprised it took this long). So, I knit during the day and sleep at night with my RU Outside “wrist things” on. Keeps me going. Now if I had just planned to do some felting, so I could spell myself on larger needles, I would have it made.
    I keep telling myself “I am a process knitter, not a product knitter anymore,” but I don’t know how well that’s working. How come my process means more Product???
    Knit away ladies!!!

  35. What a relief — I hadn’t heard any muttering on the holiday knitting front and was beginning to worry. Good, a little heat to get the pressure cooking.
    Never fear, though — I know just what you need. There’s a toll-free number, 1-877-SOS-KNIT. Just the ticket — you’ll love it.

  36. Congrats to Mother and Moster and all their loved ones. That Dale of Norway sweater is ridiculously cute. You are a wonderful, wonderful friend.

  37. I love babies! I’ve got a similar scenario with lots of babies to knit for, so I wish you luck with your plan!

  38. Your posts have been giving me the warm fuzzies all week. This is not only delightful, but convenient, since your blog also has me attempting to live in a 65 degree (F) house.
    Okay, 66 degree.
    That sweater is gorgeous. I’m imagining an 18 year old Morgan packing for college, and throwing in a ragged teddy bear dressed in a tiny ‘Voss’…

  39. Would today be a good day for me to note that not everyone who celebrates Christmas celebrates it on December 25? If you’re celebrating Orthodox Christmas, you have until January 7. That’s almost an extra two whole weeks.
    Just saying.

  40. Kristen, you have become my hero! Any excuse to put off that due date is welcome, but I do have to ask: Orthodox what?

  41. I caught myself exclaiming “oh my!” at the sight of all that yarn to be knit up. A skein a day, though. That could be done.
    With Ken helping, I’m thinking that’s possibly (having read bookbook2) yarn from Lene’s old stash? It would be so fitting. Whether it is or not, she’s a great Dane and it must be so wonderful to knit to share in her joy. What a treat to see Liam and Morgan’s pictures at her blog and that they made it here safely. Thank you for letting us all be vicarious aunts and uncles today! There are no words to say how overwhelmingly wonderful it is to be allowed to welcome, from however afar, those two new people into the world. To want to tell them, no matter what their various experiences may be as they go through their lives, that they matter greatly to a great many people they may never even meet. And that that will always be true.

  42. you a crazy lady – sweaters and blankets, and xmas, and hank, and juno, and bbb3, and regular old life. not that you won’t warp time, but girl you’re gonna wear your fingers to the bone… and because we love you – please avoid all turnstiles, slamming doors, and the like, okay?

  43. This is, clearly, Ken’s fault.
    Let’s look at the facts. When YOU knit:
    Your own children – spot on, three for three.
    Many other babies – ditto.
    Snowflake – baby came late, knitting finished.
    When KEN helps:
    TWO (count ’em TWO) babies are early.
    I think I’ve said enough.

  44. When I got pregnant I decided to knit a blanket for my baby. Then I found out I was having twins. Somehow the enormity of knitting two baby blankets for my own babies overwhelmed me to the extent that they’re almost 4.5 years old now and they’re still waiting for those blankets. I’ve finally started knitting again and they’re not getting the sweaters they want but scarves. I figure at least I’m knitting the scarves in their favourite colours (pink and green).

  45. All I can say is I’m jealous of those babies. Blankies made of Mission Falls? Ooooh! Beauty!

  46. my GP told me when my youngest was born that they would be happy if he had gained back to his birth weight by 2 weeks. considering these guys were early, you might have alittle leeway on that (of course, my darling child not only gained back to his birthweight of 7#6oz, but weighed 9# at his 2 week checkup. apparently, since he was a breastfed baby, i give pure cream)

  47. taken down by premie twins? they’re surely live to take on great challengs if that’s how they’re starting out. (I can’t think of a better way to begin life, actually.)
    When were they due? (I’ve read the letter but am tired (four babes arrived today! I’m still giddy and tired – not a good combo) but perhaps a “this is the day you could have been born” gift is appropriate in this case.
    as for Hank? I can’t help but think of all the memories he’s gathering of the fun days with his aunt’s family. I hope my brothers are that good with my future children. (Alexander was and is one of my favorite children’s books. I love the timeless nature of his daily pitfalls.)

  48. You have your wokr cut out for you. Knitted blankets for twins that’s a project to look forward to. The yarns are beautiful and the work so far excellent. Diction priceless.

  49. Speaking merely statistically, if the twins indeed arrived seven weeks early, I’d say you then have a seven-week window in which to create *two* works of woolen love. And I’m siding with those who vote for blankies now, sweaters later. Blankies always fit,no matter how small the recipient arrives, or how large they become in future years.

  50. I’m thinking that your record may be intact…weren’t you the doula or related or closer friends to all the other babies that you have knitted for in the past? It may be that the “yarn ties” were not quite close enough for your powers to influence the timing strongly enough. Could there also be a geographic issue?

  51. Oh, haven’t you heard? Christmas has been postponed this year. They heard you needed to knit for the twins, and decided to hold off for a bit. So go ahead and knit away since you have PLENTY of time.

  52. I can’t believe it… 24 hrs and 64 comments later and no one has mentioned this? You wrote:
    “Flip out might actually be a minor reaction. This may call for actually blowing a gasket or something.”
    Not one mention of Screech? Must not be that much of an emergency. ๐Ÿ™‚

  53. As another mother of preemie twins, just shoot for the due date. My twinkies were in and out of that Level II NICU in ten days. They were the biggest, healthiest boys there and they would have gone home sooner had I not insisted on nursing them (stricter guidelines for that).
    I sooo wish I could be there for the grand opening of bookbookbook II.

  54. I love this post. Aside the fact that I’ll be Faster (No, not faster, but Father’s sister) in January, am danish and am also named Lene… I love that I’m not the only one repeatedly knitting off my poor bleeding fingers to reach an imaginary deadline that can be pushed and pushed and pushed because, we all know, knitters are a very creative bunch, so if they don’t meet their deadline, they’ll create a new one… ๐Ÿ™‚
    Good luck to the two twins, and I hope your fingers will still be attatched to your hands when you’re done.

  55. Don’t forget, babies lose weight after they are born, and often don’t regain to their birth weight until they are about ten days old – so you probably have a bit more time than you think.
    Kate, knitting through carpal tunnel to get the @#$ Christmas knitting DONE.

  56. I’ve just realized that it’s over a kilometre of wool. And that this is probably not a very helpful thing to say.
    Feel free to take a minute to blow a gasket.

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