Without a Hitch

I’ve started this post about eighty seven times, and am now ready to admit that I’m clearly too tired to string together any words… so instead of giving up on a post entirely,  I give you the holiday in pictures. 

Tomorrow I’d love to show you some of the beautiful hand made gifts that turned up at (and left) our house.  It turns out that something happened this year, and the gene that controls independent craftiness got turned on in our kids. 

So far, our Christmas is wonderful.  How’s yours going?

119 thoughts on “Without a Hitch

  1. Thank you for sharing! Nice, quiet Christmas here. Best mom in the world got me a Rockin Sock Club 2012 gift certificate. Lots of knitting to take place as I enjoy a week off.

  2. Wonderful pictures – looking forward to seeing the handmade goodness. Christmas here was quiet but good – it gets busier now! DS1’s birthday today, party to come and then New Year’s Eve! I’m hoping for a bit of sneaky crafting once DH goes back to work on Thursday.

  3. Love the photo you shared –
    I see a young one knitting – awesome
    I do not celebrate the holidays – but I spent awesome time with my family.

  4. Love your pictures! I’ve had a great Christmas. I’m a happily single woman again and I got myself a Rocking Sock Club gift certificate to celebrate! I can’t wait!

  5. Looks like a beautiful Christmas. Everyone is so happy! Mine was lovely – spent the morning flying from Tennessee to Pennsylvania in order to be with family, and it’s been quiet and happy since 🙂 Happy Christmas to you!
    Also, looking forward to seeing pictures of the handmade goodness.

  6. We were so blessed as to have all 14 of us together for a meal and a photo! Lovely fun! I am so very glad that you had a plan and worked the plan and were “present and accounted for” at your family gathering! Today, I laid down my knitting to make quilted potholders. My next knitting project will be a scarf of chashmere/alpaca and will be my first “grown-up” lace knitting. This is an adventure for me since I have been grown up for a very long time. However, I have been assured that it is never too late for lace.

  7. Beautiful family! Thanks for sharing. I follow you on twitter – so i know when you go out for walks-and was wondering… Do you knit when you go out walking?

  8. Glad to hear your Christmas was wonderful. Ours was our first with our brand new niece! Six months old! What a blast. Lots of giggles and tons of cuddles! Merry Christmas and thanks for sharing your great pictures.

  9. Love love love the photos. My christmas was the same, love having the family all together for a special day.

  10. it looks like you had a great holiday with your family. i drove for hours to visit mine and had a great visit. i love them all but admit that after 5 days i was happy to get back home to the cats! 🙂

  11. OMG, a shark swimming in the air!!! Is your nephew a Doctor Who fan? That’s so neat–do you know where I might find one?
    Looks like a fantastic Christmas celebration, Stephanie! Thanks for sharing the pictures.

  12. Looks magnificant! Glad you all had a good time. Can’t wait to see the crafty gene results. Love that your nephew got an automated bluefin tuna.

  13. Lovely, Thanks for sharing. How fortunate for you that the “gene” didn’t skip a couple of generations (I’m the only crafter in my generation AND the next generation – god that makes me sound old!). The appreciation gene is alive and well in my family tho. Look forward to more.
    If the Xmas knitting is over, can we assume you are about to finish the December sock and the special put-away spot in the closet is empty?????

  14. The “Black and Decker” picture reminded me of the Chrismas we gave our daughter an entire set of basic tools. She asked specifically for them. Mechanically inclined children are a real gift!

  15. Somebody got your newphew a radio control shark. I’m jealous. I want one, but I’m a 47 year old woman, not an eleven year old boy. It looks like you had a wonderful Christmas.

  16. I love that you share your holiday photos with the rest of us. I know, as a blogger, that it can be difficult to draw the line between the privacy of one’s family and what goes online. Thanks for the warmth and exuberance and love.

  17. Ahahaha, those silly sharks… I worked at the Toys R Us distribution facility a little bit over the holiday and literally laughed out loud the first time I came across one of those.

  18. Great pictures. Something tells me there is a baby coming soon to a cradle near you! Happy holidays!

  19. Wonderful photos! They have that warm family feel, makes me smile just to see them. Our own holiday was small, with just my husband and son and me, but we had music and candles and lots of good food and many pots of tea, so it felt as blessed as I could ever hope for. The only bit of distress came from our very old dog having bloody vomit on Christmas morning, but it turns out he’s alright (just old and with an easily upset stomach) so even that worked out in the end. I’m in the dazed and tired state you get after pushing yourself far too hard for far too long, but I can slide right on into the new year now without worrying about housework and being late on finishing gifts, so I plan to be a fat and happy old lady for the rest of December. I have a soft blue woolly scarf on the needles all for myself, and between that and new books, I expect to enter the new year feeling very happy and fortunate. Since 2011 has been a bit of a bitch, that’s a very nice way to end the year.

  20. Christmas is always bittersweet for me. I’ve made a new home and new family here but I always miss Mom and other family back in Alberta and NWT. Christmas crackers are really hard to find in the States.
    My brother-in-law reacted exactly perfectly to his stranded colourwork hat. There was a little bit of jumping involved, and asking how to wash it. I love my new family.

  21. Lovely Christmas! At my house, where the sun is shining brilliantly and the windows are open, I’m in the final throes of preparing for a ginormous open house tomorrow. The fourth day of Christmas seems as good a day as any. It might become an annual thing, but I’ll let you know later. Right now I’m too frazzled and exhausted. By the way, y’all are invited!

  22. Christmas was amazing! Changing, evolving, adding new members and celebrating on different days this year. We started Christmas eve with eldest daughter her husband and new baby daughter. Had Christmas morning with youngest daughter and Christmas night with middle daughter. We had a wonderful Christmas.

  23. Ditto a pretty darned wonderful Christmas in my life, too, complete with everything done a day ahead as well. THAT plan will continue next year. We also got to announce to the whole family, both sides, that we’ll be adding a bundle of joy to the mix in July – and that was the best present I had to give. Happy Holidays, Stephanie!

  24. My father-in-law bought three of those inflatable sharks and set them up the stairs at us on Christmas morning, complete with the soundtrack from Jaws. It was very, very amusing. I like to see that we weren’t the only ones that enjoyed them! Happy Christmas!

  25. Beautiful family. Lots of knitted stuff coming and going here. Granddaughter has fallen in love with sweaters her Gram (me) knits for her. Loveit!!!

  26. The liveliness and love in your family’s eyes is what Christmas, family and life is all about. So wonderful to see, thank you so much for sharing.
    My Christmas was quiet but I was filled with loving family members as I recover from lumpectomy surgery few days before Christmas. I’m totally filled with hope and wonder at the generosity of the people in my life and those I meet.
    This is the best time of year!!

  27. That looks like Christmas should be – sadly not like that in our house! I’m so envious!

  28. Merry Christmas!! I love that it keeps going for 12 days. Thank you for sharing. Ours was lovely as well. DH & the offspring followed some of your gift tips! <3

  29. I fight the commercialization of the holidays every chance I get. I made (knitted and painted ceramics) several gifts, made homemade jam and baked foods too. My favorite gift was from my boss at the library where I volunteer. he gave me a couple of great books that he loved and thought I would love, too. I was happy he didn’t spend money but gave a beloved gift. I knitted him a nice versatile scarf and made a Christmas ornament out of Scrabble tiles. (He loves board and word games.) My husband gave me Harmony interchangeables from KnitPicks, so his gift is well loved, too!

  30. Thanks for sharing your Chistmas. Ours was fun too. I received a beautiful knitted cowl from my daughter, It is so nice to receive knitted items and knowing that I turned her onto knitting is an added bonus!

  31. I was beginning to wonder if any of your girls had shown any interest in your passion that is knitting. I have a 4yr old who wants to sit with me and show her how to knit. She also sits with my artist husband and draws.

  32. It was lovely. I got a shaker knitting basket, some yarn and Clara Parkes book on socks–plus an Ice Cream Maker!!!!!

  33. I don’t know what’s going on, but I love the pointing picture – fingers every which way, and possible groping happening…it’s really fantastic. 🙂

  34. Love the posting! Also love the gift suggestions over the past month. Lots of ideas for me to “leave up” on my computer in the coming months.

  35. 2011 was a very hard year for our family, and I had no real expectations of Christmas. So it was a wonderful surprise when as well as my own two sons, my “third son” (family friend) and his uncle announced that they had nowhere to go for Christmas, and agreed to come spend the afternoon and evening with us.
    Good food and good company, family and friends, and of course my beloved cats and dog. And my son bought me YARN for Christmas – bless that boy!
    It was a lovely envoi to a truly awful year, so that perhaps I shall not think so very harshly of 2011 when I look back on it.

  36. BEST. GIFT. EVER?! The two-dvd set that was the result of my mother lovingly and painstakingly going through years and years-worth of slides that were taken when we were young. Some I had never seen.
    What a gift.
    Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to you and yours!

  37. What a beautiful collection of images. Your daughters have grown into such lovely young women: I can only imagine how proud you are. Happy holidays to you and yours!

  38. May I say that I love this post-in-pictures.
    Also, there were 42 comments when I was writing this. (And now I’m spoiling it.)
    Best to you and yours!

  39. Beautiful — everyone looks delighted to be together.
    Are we allowed to ask who is bringing you a baby very soon?
    My cousin just had her third 2 weeks ago and we are over the moon to have him and share him during our family dinners etc.

  40. Merry Christmas! I am happy to report that I received a swift, a ball winder, and a copy of your new book this year. It has been a merry Christmas, indeed!

  41. Wonderful pictures! Happy New Year to you and your family! Looks like you will be doing more baby knitting–I love it when you share those pictures—who is the gorgeous mom-to-be? She looks fantastic!

  42. Mine was the way I like it — quiet, serene, peaceful. A day to do what I want, how I want, and when I want, even if it’s eating cold pizza for breakfast while watching “Gremlins” on DVD.
    How do I manage this? I stress out getting Christmas over with before Christmas Day. The stress, in addition to not having to eat one sister’s cooking (ghastly) or deal with a houseful of the other sister’s in-laws (almost as), makes me appreciate the day all that much more.
    However, I suspect yours may not have been quite as serene if Hank sent that radio-controlled shark chasing after the cat. . .;-)!

  43. Love the family pictures, such a happy group. I can see you had a great Christmas. We did too, Christmas morning at my daughter’s house and the whole family Christmas evening at ours. Lot’s of good, presents, toys, grandkids and love.

  44. Looks like a wonderful day, can’t wait to see the crafty stuff…. Corrine, I too had a hard time finding Christmas crackers in the US and it just wasn’t right without them. Last year I discovered them at Cost Plus World Market and now have enough to last the decade…. if you have one nearby, stock up!

  45. Gave 2 scarves to my step daghters. They got to choose which ones they got and they loved them. They will come in handy as it is cold in CT right now.
    Went to mass at midnight and it was packed!! YEAH! Cooked beef, ham, mac and cheese, salad and veggies, mashed potatoes, two pies and a pineapple upside down cake with vanilla ice cream!
    There were olives and hot peppes and garlic side salads too! Home made elderberry wine was had by all…along with homemade beer.
    All in all…a good time was had by all!

  46. A wonderful Christmas during a hard time. Our son was sick and wasn’t going to come – but recovered in time:-) The 7 and 4 year olds were delightful and cuddly, as usual. We had our first Christmas with our new grandson who LOVED the ornaments! We got to Skype with our other son and family. And my sister was released from the hospital, even though she still can’t remember why she was there (a very sudden lingering short term memory loss). And the 2 older kids spent the night and did arts and crafts with grandma;-D We were blessed indeed.
    Your Christmas looks delightful – I love the pictures!

  47. based on your pictures alone, I’m pressing the “like” button! 🙂 … but um, what is with that awesome flying whale toy hank is playing with?

  48. We had a lovely Christmas. The air con was on all day as it was a warm here down under. We were very grateful for the BBQ on the porch, the turkey and pork cooked beautifully without over heating the house.
    Just wondering, with one of your lovely daughters wearing a singlet top – does this mean your heating was turned way up?
    Made me laugh because we’re all dressed similarly but it’s summer here! And because I like the air con, one of my daughters walks around inside with a hoodie on.

  49. My goodness your girls are just beautiful. my sister is here with me and that is the BEST gift ever. we saved our gifts until she arrived. eating, talking, loving, laughing, crying, and eating some more 🙂 AND I knit her the hat – thank you.

  50. I think the photos tell the whole story! And is that Amanda with power tools?! Excellent! Every girl needs tools.
    I had a small family gathering, and it was delightful- good food, good company, and thoughtful gifts (many handmade). My quilter mom made us a beautiful set of place mats, my brother-in-law gave us copies of his band’s new CD and my sister brought her wonderful handmade soap (my only hope of not itching to death from dry skin during our cold northern winters).
    As experienced crafters, my family not only nailed the responses to receiving knits, they added ruffles and flourishes- enthusiastic remembrances of past knitted and handmade gifts and how much they appreciate them. Along with wearing said gifts to the holiday celebration!

  51. We had and are still having a wonderful Christmas! DH was on EMS duty CEve so he & his partner brought the ambulance over for a visit. Both of our grown kids with their spouses were there. I had knit a pair of fingerless mitts for his partner & they were well received! Another day, another visit with extended family, now with inlaws and more celebrations. Happy times!

  52. Your home invites happiness, joy and love.
    Seeing more family this weekend… so I’m still knitting.

  53. OH shudder. the pic with you ladies pointing at each other (in merriment) looks an awful lot like our family Christmas dinner turned NRA gun control debate with the Republicans vs. the Democrats all shouting at each other.
    But these are what make memories, right? RIGHT?
    Love the softly lit, happy Christmas photos. Looks like all had a very merry time.

  54. This was one of the best Christmases ever. We welcomed our first granddaughter on December 21st which was her due date. Our daughter-in-law was a real trooper and went through 36 hours of labor!!!! But what a lovely package she delivered!
    And my husband made a gorgeous swift for me out of Bubinga (sp) wood! Wow!
    How can you top a new baby and knitting goodies for Christmas?

  55. Lovely pictures! Looks like you had a great Christmas! Mine was quiet buy nice – got to spend some quality time with my youngest son.

  56. OMG! Is that an airshark?! Where do you get one of those?
    My youngest will turn 16 in February (which I know is a bit older than Hank), but he would totally love one for his birthday. (As background, we live in Silicon Valley, home of the San Jose Sharks, and he plays hockey. For five or ten years, the team had a giant airshark that dropped pingpong balls at intermission over the arena seats (some of the balls had prizes)).
    As to your question, we had a great Xmas except for my parents being a royal pain (as they are every year, but they keep on inventing new ways to be obnoxious, unfortunately). I knit 10 of the gifts handed out on the 25th; all seemed to be extremely popular with the recipient (yay!). The best gift I got was a donation to Doctors Without Borders from one of my sons (I will send an email to the kwb address soon with details). It was a delightful surprise.

  57. Didn’t get the Christmas knitting quite done because apparently there is no such thing as a set of 3.75mm dpns in the whole of Oxfordshire – but apart from that it was great! Happy New Year to you Stephanie – I love visiting here, so thank you for being the writer you are!

  58. It looks like a wonderful time was had by all. I’m still on holiday….school’s not back until the end of January….or maybe the beginning of February…..I’m not quite sure…..I’ll check when it is closer. lol

  59. I love the photos but I want captions!! Is that a flying fish? I’ve never seen one of those and I think I need one. Also, what is the pointing game. Loved that picture! Christmas has been wonderful. I’m always a little sad when it is over. It goes by so fast and then POOF! over. I get sad taking down the tree and decorations. Do you have a cure for that? Maybe I should start a chart for next year so I can be as organized as you! Did your organizational chart include getting back to normal?

  60. We had a marvelous gathering or two – just what Christmas is supposed to be. Lots of love for the hand knits (and requests for two more – many texts back and forth to determine the perfect look!)
    But, where did someone get Hank’s Air Swimmer? I think we NEED this in our house…

  61. I love the power tools! “I have power tools, and I’m not afraid to use them.” Now, did someone also give her a general home handyman book? If she knows how to change a light fixture, or a P-trap, she’ll be all set. (We know your girls already have the fibre-arts down cold).
    Blessings early for the new year! Just make sure Joe’s the first across the threshold.

  62. i so love that hank got the blowup radio controlled shark thing. i wanted one so bad (i’m 34). i mean- how hilarious is that?
    it looks like you all had a stellar holiday and i’m so glad it’s all worked out well for you. Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance, after all (this from an epic procrastinator).
    i wish you all a wonderful 2012! thank you for sharing your life with us all.

  63. Thanks for sharing such wonderful pictures. Our children surprised us this year. They were quite generous with each other. Things were made and things were bought and things were just given. It was a great Christmas!

  64. thank you so much for blogging during the holidays. just reading them every day made me happy!

  65. Stephanie, it looks like you had a really beautiful holiday. The pictures were great, and I can’t believe how big your kids are!

  66. Looks like a wonderful and happy time with family!
    That’s so funny, I think the “on” switch was flipped in my girls, too. The knitting! The sewing! The beading!

  67. Gifts, crafts, decorations – it’s all good, for sure. But the best thing about holidays (any holiday!) is the family gathered around the table, laughing and eating good things and just simply being together!

  68. Your house looks beautiful and happy–perfect. My husband and I went to my sister’s in CT, which was a great treat. Three out of four 20-something nieces and nephews were home, along with other friends. It was deafening and fun!

  69. we got one of those air swimmers too! my almost-8 yrs old loved it. 🙂
    i’m glad your holiday went smoothly, cannot wait to see the finished items photos! we had such a busy Christmas that we didn’t take many photos.

  70. “Simply having a wonderful Christmas time” and I received your book from my best pal…loving the stories

  71. Air swimmers are awesome! My family made a little video with the air swimmer shark coming into the living room in the twilight while daughter played the Jaws theme music on piano. Sillies.

  72. Thanks for sharing your photos. Looks like you had a really memorable Christmas. Best wishes for a great New Year 2012!

  73. Our Christmas was great – this year we had a 13-month (great-nephew) & 17-month old (great-niece). They were so cute and fun.
    I have to confess – I’m most intrigues by the picture of the flying fish(?). It appears to be remote control? Handknits are wonderful, but that looks amazing!!!

  74. I received your new book for Christmas!!! Will start it soon as the Christmas things are put away. It was a great Christmas and turned out better than expected. Love your pictures—-your girls are gorgeous. You look like your MOM!!! Claudia

  75. Love the pictures thanks for sharing.
    Air swimmer i wondered what that flying shark was.
    Neat looking. Think my nephew would love that.

  76. Thanks so much for sharing some wonderful pictures with us – these will be treasured by family members yet-unborn down the years! My new GS (6 months) got an Elvis hat (Wacky Baby Knits – Alison Jenkins, pg. 40). I had his mom (my DIL) mark the next project she wants (the Baseball Jacket p. 77). She had given the book to me for my birthday last year with some yarn – her way of letting me know she/they were expecting. :>)
    May your 2012 be filled with more joy than you can hold … it always does spill out in your writing. Thank you for the gift that you are to all of us!

  77. Since hearing an audio of one of your books while I was ill a couple of years ago, I have become a knitter. I love everything about this craft. For two Christmases now, I have been able to knit something for almost everybody on my list. Next year it will be even more so. Thanks for being so much fun and so very human. Your posts are the best. Actually they are the only ones I read.
    My very best wishes for a happy and healthy 2012!

  78. Love the pictures…..thanks for sharing. My Christmas was really nice. Had fun with the family and had great news that I will be a Aunt this June. I got to get busy with knitting. (love it) I hope for 2012 I will get some of my ufo’s get done.
    Have a healthy and very happy 2012!

  79. Taking the week off between xmas and new year and so far it has been snuggly and fine. My grown daughters and son in law were here, and we are gathering again tomorrow for a flash stitch and bitch. New Year’s Day will be a sing along guitar fest at my best friends’ home.

  80. Would you perhaps be willing to give us some background on Canadian Christmas traditions?
    Like, why are some people wearing what appear to be paper crowns in that one picture of the dinner table?
    And, well, I think that picture of Hank and a … fish??? … needs some explanation….
    And why is everyone pointing at everyone else in that other picture?

  81. I got one of your books for Christmas – Stephanie Pearl McPhee Casts Off. Very amusing, and I must comment on the letter exchange between a daughter and her mom on pages 150-153. They are about feminism and knitting, and what people think about a woman when they see her knitting.
    I must tell you – I am a mom and knitter… also an engineer and a [student] pilot. I knit in public, like on buses and airplanes (when I am a passenger!) and I no longer give a rat’s ass whether people think I am a traditional woman because I’m knitting. However, I am secretly pleased with myself when I take a break from public knitting to publicly read the latest issue of Canadian Aviator. I hope it shakes people up.
    But mostly, I hope I can finish this unprintable balaclava that would have been a Christmas present for my brother-in-law if I hadn’t had to rip it out and start over 5 times.

  82. Lovely! I gave my sister sock yarn and a gnome, and she gave me yarn, a knitting basket, and your latest book. Excellent taste all around!
    Oh — you may be amused at this, or you may have experienced this yourself: people seem fascinated when I knit a sock with self-striping yarn. They can’t seem to believe that it would come off of the ball like that. I love getting them to belive in small miracles like that one!

  83. Wonderful pictures. We’re about 1/2way through our rush of Christmases and looking forward to some peace and quiet at home. Sounds like you had a wonderful time and your Ninja planning went well 🙂

  84. I love the dancing in the kitchen (that is where it looked as though it was happening). When my youngest and I get together we (she, the 7 years of dance, and I- who has two left feet) we ‘dance’ together in the kitchen. It is our thing and I love it!
    Give up the secrets of the Ninja planning, please, I would like to feel better about my planning next year.

  85. Great pics Stephanie…thanks for sharing! Our Christmas holiday is going well, thank you. Can’t wait to see what the new crafters made.

  86. Had to laugh when I saw that radio controlled shark — my 21 year old son wanted one and now I have the silly clown fish swimming in my dining room! Glad you had such a wonderful Christmas! Great to see that kiddo knitting on the sofa; none of my 3 boys has been interested in it — though my 13 year old does seem to like drop spindle spinning (!).

  87. less than 3 weeks before christmas & i was so not ready, my daughter asked for an eternity scarf. of course, none of her specified colors were in my stash. i did manage to get the scarf done (1 am facebook posting on the 23rd) & she declared it the “perfect scarf”!
    since she had said she never wanted hand knit items & keeps asking for them now, maybe there’s hope that she’ll learn to knit herself.
    at least i have a year’s head start on requests for christmas stockings for my twin grandsons.

  88. I got a copy of your latest book..that counts big time in my life. 50.00 gift cert to my LYS, a new tote that will hold all my needles, yarn and my wallet. Life is soooo good.
    Loved the pix Stephanie…especially the one of the dancers. I don’t know why, it made me choke a bit. LOL too much wine with dinner maybe?
    Merry Christmas, Happy New Year.

  89. Love the holiday pictures..but WHO are these people!!! For those of us who do not know your family..I would LOVE to know!!!
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  90. There’s a floaty shark in your living room. Somebody seems to have liked last year’s Doctor Who Christmas special a little too much 😉

  91. what does it say that i didn’t see the fish? i was only like, “and there’s stephanie’s sister, and what must be her mother, and there’s hank . . . .” no fish. didn’t even see the fish.

  92. Loved your paper crowns! Holiday crackers are a tradition for my family. The twist this year? Each cracker contained a little horn and a number. We had to stick a copy of our number on our crown so that my brother would know who was who and could be the conductor. We played lots of bad Christmas carols and my soon-to-be-college-bound daughter’s college fight song! Great fun!

  93. I am so lucky that all 3 of my sons live in town and we still celebrate all the “big” holidays together. Everyone comes to my house for Christmas dinner and I’ve become so organized about it that really only the turkey and the broccoli have to be cooked on the actual day; oh, and I have to make the gravy. We wear paper crowns at dinner too. This is the 4th year for hand made gifts from me to everyone. I start quite literally between Christmas and New Year’s and try to be finished by December 1st. I have an entire dresser in the yarn room into which all the finished socks, thrummed mittens, scarves, cowls, fingerless mitts get placed. I wonder if I’ll ever get to the point where when I finish knitting an item I wrap and tag it immediately? Does that sound a little TOO organized?(lol).
    Christmas was(is) grand. I’m knitting the first pair of socks for the next one.
    Cheers and red wine, Hazel.

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