Yo Knitters! I’m back.  Thanks for your patience while we helped little Luis with his bumpy arrival. His mum had a very rough go getting him here, and needed several days of family help to get back on her feet – and despite his  otherwise perfection, little Luis seemed to lack some basic skills in the eating department. His fantastically committed and awesome mama deserved an effort equal to the heroic one she was putting in, so the Auntie squad was summoned, and we spent some time making everyone happy, welcome and healthy.  All seems well now, and his mama is doing a really great job, so it’s home for us – which is a really great thing, because it turns out that I may have gotten older, or otherwise lost my knack for staying up all night – because Kelly (the other auntie) and I, were bleary exhausted morons by the end of it.  How one tiny baby managed to engage a multi-person full-time staff is a wonder, but I suspect that it may be his devastating cuteness that enslaved us all.

What would you do for that face? 
I’ve tried to plug away on the blanket while taking my turns with Luis, and while we had moments where he slept on my lap and I could knit over him, I have to say that the newborn commitment to knitting remains much as I recall it, which is to say that there isn’t one. 

As soothing as I find knitting, Luis seems to be pretty against it, and as a matter of fact, after several days of being asked to wake up and nurse, nurse nicely and treat his mum well, Luis summed up his position around the demands being made on his time rather subtly, but succinctly.

In other news – now that I’m out of babyland and back to blogging and knitting and our whole world, I’ve got a quick announcement about sock stuff, and it’s going to seem like bad news/good news to you, but I assure you that it’s good news/good news to us.

Sock Summit grew naturally out of Sock Camp – it made total sense that if a little sock-ness was good, a LOT would be great, and it was. Totally great. So far both Sock Summits have been spaced two years apart, one year to plan, one year to recover – and it’s seemed like great spacing. Then Tina and I went to plan this next one and there was a glitch with the Convention Center, and then we realized that we might be too superstitious to hold a convention in 2013, and then it was all clear.  2014.  That’s when the next one will be. That’s the bad news, if you’re you (but it’s good news if you’re us) and the good news for everyone is that Sock Camp will still go this year, and it’s going to be a lot of fun, and there are spots for non sock club people open now and you can sign up if you want to.
All the information is here, and registration info is here, and we’d love it if you came.  There’s going to be Lucy Neatby, Carson Demers, whale watching, good food… sock madness, all at our beautiful Port Ludlow.
Think of it as mini-summit. That’s good news.

94 thoughts on “Returned

  1. Hee – I had me one of those. She’s almost 12 now. And still as strong willed and independent, god love her. Good job Aunties!

  2. Amazingly touching that Luis’ aunties were ready, willing, and able to drop everything (even knitting) to provide such awesome assistance. If only every new baby and mum had the same! Wishing the sock summit were closer to central Canada…

  3. I’ve always said that the person in diapers rules the house, no matter how small they are. Good to know that Luis has attitude to go with his galactic cuteness. Have a nap, Auntie Steph.

  4. Thinking of when you could encompass Hank with one arm. They’re precious whether they fill one arm or both!

  5. What Elizabeth said … a Sock Summit near central Canada would be a fabulous plan … Please?

  6. What wouldn’t you do for that face?
    Another vote for a more central Sock Summit in the future! Us Easterners (and Middlers) would love not to travel so far.

  7. Wow, giving the finger already — he is going to give you all a run for your money — priceless photo. Bet you could send him to college if you sold that photo. LOL.
    He really is a doll — you should finish his blankie, he needs it!

  8. Lucky, lucky Luis. We should all have a staff…and never more than when there is a new babe. (and christ, a built in auntie IBCLC…gasp!) Knitting can keep, babies don’t.
    I might have texted a photo of one of my NICU babes to her dad at mom’s request just this morning, nursing away, middle finger held high. Dad texted back that it was her message that the breasts would be hers for the next year at least, thankyouverymuch.

  9. I think you’re using superstition, Steph, to cover for slacking.
    On the other hand, it does give one more time to save one’s pennies.
    Let’s call it even.

  10. Oh, what a lovely face. You can tell how soft his skin is and how wonderful he smells just looking at his picture!

  11. Beautiful baby boy. Despite all the exhaustion and non-knitting, don’t you feel absolutely privileged to be able to be there and to help? Nothing like it (unless it’s actually your baby). My youngest grandchild is now 18 months, and I’m starting to miss the newborn/infant stage. Better not tell my daughters…Welcome back, by the way.

  12. About Sock Summit — I just have to say thank you for making it during the summer so those of us who teach can make it to something. And, thanks for scheduling it consistently for every other year, so we can save up for it.

  13. I love that there are Aunties in this story, and that they are expressing their inner awesome Auntiness (rather than naughtiness).

  14. My grandson had some of those same problems when he arrived. Now at almost three he’s doing great!
    What a cutie Luis is and what nice aunties he has!

  15. What a clever baby! If you want to fully engage an auntie who is a lactation specialist, present a lactating-related issue! He is lovely.

  16. Precociousness already! (Must be in the genes.) It looks like he has everything he needs. Ahhhh…t’is love indeed.

  17. Ok, I got to ask; why would anybody wake a baby up that is sleeping peacefully to eat? Obviously if he is sleeping he is not hungry. I would be cranky too. Please explain.

  18. That baby is so adorable that my voice just went up an octave and may never come down again. Congratulations to the family!

  19. I know I’ll never ever make it to either sock summit or camp, but I AM a fully paid-up member of the club of mothers who teach their babies to feed – nobody thought to tell me I might give birth to a non-suckler, I thought all babies latched on by instinct. Also, nobody thought to tell me I might prefer to relocate to the Americas so’s I could actually physically meet up with a wonderful knitting community – but, hey, what’s the interweb for?!

  20. I suspect I would do about anything for that face! I can see why you are so smitten and dropped all to go help. My own sister welcomed a beautiful baby girl on February 10, and yes, sweet Morgan is ruling the family on this end too 🙂

  21. I’m exhausted on your behalf, but I wholehearted agree that there’s not a thing I wouldn’t do for a face like that. Enjoy your own naptime.

  22. HeeHee! “Devastating cuteness”, indeed! Gotta admire a kid that little having so much moxie. Glad you’re back (to resting, knitting, blogging…), and I can tell this trip was totally worth the exhaustion.

  23. 2014 Sock Summit. More time to whittle away at the sock yarn stash from SS 2009 and 2011. More time to save up spare cash to buy more yarn! I’m hoping it’s still the same weekend as the Brewer’s Festival-something to distract the males while we buy more yarn.

  24. Ooooh, I just love babies!!! The smell, the little sounds they make, everything! I love that last picture, it’s too cute!!! That’s my kind of baby, he already has a sense of humor, (it must run in the family…) 🙂

  25. I think I might be addicted to your blog — I kept checking and checking, and finally had to admit that I may have a problem. I knew exactly why you weren’t posting (what a sweet little baby!), but couldn’t help myself!
    May I say that 2014 sounds great? I haven’t yet finished my SS stash from 2009 or 2011. Also, Portland is an absolutely perfect venue, and I’m one of the ones who has flown in twice now. It’s a spectacular city that all knitters should get to know.

  26. Delaying Sock Summit is actually good news for me. I could see that I wouldn’t be able to make 2013 (insufficient pennies) but 2014 might be doable.
    Regarding the “wake up and eat” instructions, we’re going through that. My newest grand-nephew sleeps well, but if a new baby doesn’t eat every three hours they might become too weak to nurse properly. So all through Christmas his parents were waking him up in order to make sure he was fed. The midwives and doula at the birthing center were awesome.

  27. I sort of hate to ask, but did anyone remember to put knitting needles in (under?) those precious, if occasionally slightly obscene, hands?

  28. @Judy – Some babies won’t wake up to eat. Especially if they have had a bumpy arrival or are a wee bit early. Those babies can be some of the hardest to get to eat.
    How wonderful that handsome, snuggly Luis and his parents have Aunties to help! Congratulations to the whole family!

  29. I won’t pry and ask if Luis is finally nursing well; that’s family business. (Although I have to say I hope the answer would be yes.) I do want to say how wonderful it is that Kellie had you to help out, do all that was possible and necessary, and to support her even if the outcome wasn’t all you might have hoped. Not every mother gets that kind of education and support. “The Blog” is grateful that Mother and Baby made it safely through the delivery and first couple of weeks. From here on, it’s all good! He is a precious little bundle to be sure.

  30. I am certain that the only reason the adorable little Luis is not yet allowing more knitting is that he had not experienced much of it. I am certain you will rectify that, and before he is too much older he will be more than happy to let all his female retainers knit to their hearts content- as long as he can snuggle in it afterward!

  31. Argh. I just read my own comment and realized it sounded as if I was sure Luis was NOT nursing well. Hummp – “even if the outcome wasn’t all you might have hoped for.” I really meant IF the outcome wasn’t all ….oh poop! I’m not making it better am I? I really just meant that all too many mothers are made to feel like failures if their little ones don’t nurse lustily and long from the first. And that’s a shame. I’m glad you are there to help in whatever way is needed. I’ll shut up now. I think I need coffee.

  32. This is wonderful news to me. I’ve got a bun in the oven that’s due in September. 2014 will give me enough time to get used to baby (lol) and save up for a trip.

  33. I’m disappointed, but a 3 year cycle probably really makes more sense: plan, activate, debrief and recover; plan, activate, debrief and recover. I’ll look forward to 2014 and 2017.
    Glad you were around to help lovely little Luis and his parents!
    Cheers and red wine, Hazel.

  34. Think outside the centre – Elizabeth and Terri B. and Tracey H.! Let us be wishing for an Eastern Sock Summit.

  35. Glad to see Luis settling in nicely … as well as all the help to Mom’s rescue.
    As for sock summit – it gives you another year to add something non-sock. 🙂

  36. Welcome home – we’re all glad you’re back.
    Quick question: Any chance you would ever do a sock camp, summit, etc… on the US east coast or midwest. The Pacific Northwest is one of my favorite places on earth – I lived there for 21 years, but after a major move back to Chicago (family stuff) I just cannot afford to buy a ticket back to my beloved Washington. I’d even be willing to help organize an event. Anything to have time with other knitters and make socks. :>)

  37. What a blessing for such a knowledgeable auntie staff available to help and get a new life off to a great start in spite of beginning challenges.
    It’s amazing when you learn you can longer stay up all night. Something you counted on, just gone.

  38. Cute, yes, but after reading about the travails, almost looks like a stranglehold in the first photo!

  39. @storm- don’t worry, I at least knew exactly what you meant. I didn’t know much about nursing when my daughter made her noisy and early appearence, and she had a few issues at first, but the supportive nurses in the NICU were awesome help, even calling me in the middle of the night to make sure only mommy fed her, not a bottle. She was a pro in no time. Births don’t usually go the way we dream they will, but the babies somehow manage to teach us everything we need to know 🙂

  40. That sign language picture is the BEST! So’s all the good news about the new family. You really do need a “LOVE” button.

  41. OMG, that kid already needs a EEE width shoe! Are they sure his daddy wasn’t Donald Duck?? (Joking aside, he and his parents have my sympathy if he does have wider-than-average feet. Shopping for shoes is going to be a nightmare. I know — I’ve worn an EEE since first grade!)
    Glad to hear he’s doing well and that Mom had The Aunties around to help. (Hmmm, “The Aunties” sounds like a good name for a punk/grunge band. . .) Sounds like one or two Grannies on hand may have been useful also — and maybe an Uncle or Grandpa to help get the new Daddy past the dazed and confused stage!

  42. He’s so perfectly beautiful. I’m so glad he got here safe and sound. I hope his mother is well now.
    I will be looking forward to that Sock Summit, and it will be birthed full term and ready to go. Hopefully with zero complications.

  43. Oh man. My early little boy had a hell of time with nursing. I think that finger says it all for everyone involved! Good for the Auntie patrol for swooping in to help.

  44. Glad you’re back but would also understand if you needed more time helping Luis and Mom get adjusted. Looking forward to watching him grow up on the blog kind of like we’ve gotten to do with Hank.
    Welcome to the world of The Blog little man.

  45. Glad Luis is on his way to mastering the fine art of breastfeeding! Btw, I have a picture of my little one demonstrating similar “sign language” while nursing 🙂

  46. Beautiful baby! I finished my baby blanket today. I even got it washed and blocked. My first grandbaby is due April 1st. His Mom and Dad got baby booties for Christmas…

  47. Welcome to the world, Luis! You’re simply darling and the most fortunate baby in the world t have such a devoted family, especially your Mom and aunties. May your life be full of love.

  48. Awwww, what a cutie, no wonder people put up with the demands of babies!
    The finger photo is hilarious!

  49. So grateful for you guys planning another Sock Summit and I will be there with bells on in 2014! I think Sock Summit should always be in Portland. Portland is the perfect place to be in late July…perfect! If you dont believe me, come for a visit to my house (North Carolina) in late July. It tends to be hotter than the very hinges of hell. Knitting is not the first thing on your mind. Cold beer is. Let’s face it though…the beer is better in Portland and I love how SS tends to take place the same week as Oregon Beer Festival. Coincidence? 😉

  50. HAH! I’ll bet you felt like giving him that little finger back at 3 am!…..Until you snuggled that soft head under chin. Mmmmmm. Love that feeling!!

  51. My son was 6 weeks old before he finally figured out how to nurse, and even then he didn’t get it quite right. I was a wreck. But in the end I nursed him for over a year, and now he’s happy 10 year old. Hang in there. It’ll get better.

  52. So glad you are back and that you served your auntie duties! The baby is as cute as he can be! Congrats to mom and dad. 🙂

  53. He truly is a beautiful baby, such lovely skin. Nicely rounded. I am sure his parents are ecstatic! You aunties did a wonderful job and she is one lucky mom to have you to help her.

  54. To Judy–if they are really really early and sleep all the time, they don’t get the nourishment they need so you do have to wake them up to eat. Also, what Elizabeth said–I wish every first-time mom could have as much help to settle into nursing and life as a parent. When the baby is early, the difficulties are compounded. Kudos to the aunties for helping the new family get it together.

  55. I remember the hell of trying to get Zachary to breastfeed for the first couple of weeks (he finally took to it in his own time…) and I totally feel for Katie. Lucky lady that she had two such dedicated aunties to help her out!

  56. Hey, the kid’s got a whole new world to experience. Knitting appreciation will come with time (especially with aunties on the job!).
    Clearly he’s picked the right family to get him off to a great start!

  57. OH MY FREAKIN’ LORD! Luis is just so adorable! Is his name pronounced Lou-eese or Lou-wiss?
    My sis-in-law had a little guy two years ago and I was thankful she was a first-time Mom. I got to cuddle that baby so much and was at his birth too. Mind you that was traumatic as he was born with a life threatening defect but after many follow up surgeries, he is a rambunctious two year old.
    I heard through the grapevine that you are headed my way sometime this summer! Hope to finally get to meet you soon!

  58. For days I would click on your website only to look at that beautiful baby, almost hoping you might not be as fast with your knitting. 🙂

  59. It’s amazing how they get their messages across. My 3 month old great grandson gave us the same message when he was about a week old. We understood immediately.

  60. I may still have a 14 year old boy hidden in my 55 year old body because I laughed out loud when I saw that tiny middle finger. Welcome back.

  61. My son would kick paperbacks out of my hand while he was nursing – clearly he wanted my undivided attention! Luis is just cute as a button, and is definitely on the right track – with that dexterity, he’ll be knitting in no time!

  62. While I will be sad not to have sock summit next year my wallet will be please to have another year to fatten up! And, as always, I’ll see you at camp. 🙂

  63. I love the ‘nurse nicely’ remark, my daughter thought she was a shark and would attack me, first few times I yelped when she bit so hard. We had to wake her for feedings the first few days as well. One time it took almost 1/2 hour to get her awake enough to nurse. She is now almost 6 months and still giving the finger.

  64. Welcome back! Luis is beautiful, and what wonderful aunties you all were to help out. I have my own aunt to thank for her support when trying to get my (healthy, fullterm) LO to nurse, and I imagine that this wee little guy and his momma and dad needed all the more support. Congrats to all!

  65. Add me to the East Coast Sock Summit wishers. I love the Pacific NW, but it’s a bit more of a challenge to get there – especially if I say it’s to buy more yarn. East Coast I can drive to and know that I have lots of space to bring things back. 🙂

  66. I want to thank Stephanie and everyone for explaining to me why you would need to wake a baby up. It makes sense now. Poor little guy!

  67. I love the bbaby finger! Will miss you at camp this year giving a Mother Blessing for my Jess in March,waiting for our baby girl who we hope arrives toward end of March. Sneaking off to join Cat the first week of April and back to help baby girl’s family. I think 2014 is a great year for the big sock eent . hugs and happy baby cuddling

  68. On. My. Word. Beautiful boyo. So sorry mum had such a rough time of it, but so glad that she and baby are doing well. Talk about wondrous family support!
    (And as much as I loved that last picture, the picture of auntie’s knitting and sleeping baby just made me melt!)

  69. First things first – congrats on both your beautiful nephew AND on getting to go back to sleep in your own bed!
    Secondly – I know it’s probably a real bummer for a lot of people, but I’m pretty excited about the Sock Summit delay as it will give me time to practice more sock techniques so I can maybe feel good about signing up! My New Year’s resolution this year was to learn to knit socks (this is totally your fault, since before reading your blog I had solemnly sworn I would never, ever, not in a million years for a million dollars, EVER knit a sock – but consistent exposure to your sock pics and your sock knitting and your blogging about same have worn me down), and so far I’m on my second sock of my first pair and I LOVE SOCKS. I love my first sock. I love how it feels (Debbie Macomber Petals Socks yarn – maybe not the most durable yarn, but it feels like a cloud on my feet [er… foot, seeing as how there’s only the one sock at present]). I loved knitting it and how clever it made me feel. All the things you said about socks are true – including the part where once you learn to knit them (and proudly show everyone your first sock and make them try it on and ooh and aah and applaud your cleverness – a rather major tactical error, in retrospect), everyone (EVERYONE) wants a pair…
    I say this only a little sarcastically – thanks a lot for introducing me to the wonder (and obligation) that is sock knitting…
    Can’t wait for Sock Summit 2014!

  70. Glad things are well with baby Luis-he is too cute! I remember those sleepless nights well, though it has been 25 yrs since my youngest was born (got a refresher when my grandson came among-and yes, it is more difficult as we age…).
    About Sock Summit- I don’t mind waiting. I’m just thrilled (and grateful) that it will happen again. When I heard about the first one, I remember telling the woman who does our scheduling at my hospital that I’d quit my job if I didn’t get the time off to go (and I’d worked there 35 years at the time)-it sounded so awesome.
    I live on the east coast and love the opportunity to visit Portland-wonderful city for the Summits. For the second one, I scheduled a week in the city to see more outside of the convention center-and I still wanted more time-LOL. Enjoy sock camp.

  71. What a gorgeous little boy. My firstborn son liked to make that same gesture in my direction, so that picture made me laugh really hard. God bless Luis and all his wonderful family!

  72. Hi Steph, welcome back! Babies are wonderful
    creatures. All international organizations
    ought to have a newborn sitting on the table when
    war and madness are discussed. Bring a wee bit of
    reality to the topic.
    Love the edging on the blanket, but can’t quite make
    out the very edge; the 3 or 4 sts before the YO.
    A slipped st maybe? Could you tell, please.
    Thanks. Will we get a photo of wee Luis in his
    Best, Carole

  73. What memories your story of little Luis brought back! My son didn’t know how to eat either and the first two weeks of his life were really treacherous. It took one person to keep him awake while I concentrated on getting him to nurse. After that time, he suddenly figured it out and all was fine. To add to the fun, my sister got married ten days after his birth and I was her matron of honor. I remember that Mother figured out how to get me into my dress (in my pre-pregancy size) and watching my three year old daughter come down the aisle but nothing more at all.

  74. Thank you Auntie Steph for giving mom the support she needs to be successful in feeding Luis 🙂 That support is SO helpful and critical when we moms run into trouble. Thank you and all the other committed lactation specialists for helping us. I’m not sure if I could have stuck with it with my second if it weren’t for awesome women like you!

  75. We have a family photo of my infant nephew delivering the very same gesture- how do they know?! ;>

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