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The Little Book of Knitting WisdomsSeptember 10, 2012

Grace is knowing when to bind off.

That Eliza Carpenter, she is wiser than I am. So when Random House Australia suggested she and I write a tiny book together, I jumped at the chance. 


I collected her wisdoms and put them in this little package. It's only available in Australia and New Zealand, which leaves the US/UK/Canada/Brigadoon right out, so I'm going to give away five copies here. 

To enter, please leave me a comment telling me about your happiest moment in the last year. I'll draw the winner on Mine: knitting in Venice.  (Oh! Won't this be fun to read? I can't wait. And....go!) 

[Eliza is actually me. A lot of people ask me where I got her quotes for the Cypress Hollow Yarn series, and um...I made them up. Just like the rest of the books. However, I channel something better than myself when I'm writing as her. It's weird, and wonderful, and I can't quite explain it.] 


1when my 16 yr old came home from a semester in london ALIVE and healthy.


The moment when I realized I did not need the person that was holding me back.

2when a printed book with my pattern (that i designed) showed up on my doorstep.


3when my socks were printed in a magazine

I LOVE those wisdoms and I SO want to win.
My happiest moment last year was actually JUST as last year turned to this year. New Years Eve. Pretty much midnight (which is 9 hours before you celebrate it, so definitely 2011 to you ;) ) when our joke suddenly was for real. We've been saying "When we get married..." for ages. Jokingly. And we did again. And this time our eyes locked and it was... for real. So now I'm a bride to be. The wedding is in less than three weeks. :D

That's easy, my wedding day, of course! :D

Watching my youngest launch into college life with such abandon and my oldest daughter continue to embrace all that college has to offer.

That's easy. The moment my daughter was born. I even have a photo of the moment she was first placed in my arms.

The moment was a lot of things. Obviously it was the happiest moment because I became a mom but it was also happy because it was the end of a difficult pregnancy full of anxieties. Motherhood of course has its own anxieties and worries but that moment was pure, unadulterated joy.

Proposing to my boyfriend. That moment of knowing this was it, and that he would say yes. And then he did.

During the Perseids....my now adult children and I dragged our quilts out to the veranda to watch the meteor shower. And in the dark, we talked. This is an annual ritual, but this year it was particularly sweet. My baby is 24, my son 28, so who knows where they will be this time next year? But this year, we were all together, talking in the dark. with the quiet and the stars and the heat of the deck, seeping into our quilts and warming us...

And that was the BEST.

When I did my 1st Fibre Show as a Vendor & introduced my line of Batts to Spinners & Felters. I practically sold out & I had people ordering more.

Last week, I played with ("trained") a handful of brand new horses for the first time. When I walked out to the pasture this week, all the horses were far back in the pasture with the rest of the herd. They saw me, and all of the trainees, including my own horse, turned and sauntered to me without my even asking--leaving the bigger herd and choosing to join mine. What a feeling, knowing they want to be with me because I was the coolest thing in the pasture and because they saw me as their herd leader.

These were horses with whom I'd never interacted before last week, who had previously ignored me or had been hard to catch. You don't know anything until you know the joy of having four gorgeous horses fighting over you, jostling for attention, following you like puppy dogs.

You don't know what life is about until the moment a horse, who has been studiously avoiding you for an hour in the round pen while you play a flirtatious game of "Catch Me", finally decides, "Hey--you're OK. Maybe I will let you be my buddy"... turns, faces you, and strolls in with her ears forward, a low relaxed head carriage, licking and chewing and blowing out--and you know... you've got her heart.

A few months ago I met a couple of my Ravelry HPKCHC friends in real life for the first time and we went on a yarn crawl and Horcux Hunting (letterboxing) on the streets of San Francisco!!!

Not gonna lie, the last few years have been full of downs, with a few ups. One of the ups of 2011 was realizing that Kaiser forgave Eric's hospital bills. That was a great day. Eric's unemployment getting over turned and not having to repay the benefits. That was huge weight lifted. Tripling my business. That was kick ass. Attending TNNA, also awesome. My four year old starting preschool, momentous. My 2 year old potty training himself. Epic.
That was a fun reflection! There's plenty of good things happening!

My happiest moment this past year was a beautiful hike I took alone, in the mountains of North Carolina. I was on a retreat with the Atlanta Knitting Guild, and I needed some outdoor time. We were up at a fairly high elevation, all the trees were covered with moss, and it was freezing cold and just flurrying a little.

Helped my mom move out of several stressful, dead end life situations. This gave me precious opportunities to pay back some of the unconditional support and love she's given me all my life. She is truly amazing!

getting a job in the library in July - something i was trying for over a year after being in one (very stressful) job for over 14 years (i already have a copy of this great book)

I'm pretty much a homebody, partly by choice, partly due to limitations of vision & hesring loss. But when I found out that online friends were gathering in Toronto a couple of weeks ago for a fan convrntion, I took a deep breath and decided to go. I traveled by myself for just the 3rd time in my life. While I didn't get to see as much of the city as I wanted - and didn't get to any yarn stores! - I had an amazing time. I also got the itch to travel again.

This has been the first year of my baby's life. Every moment has been amazing, and way too fast. Maybe the quiet moments nursing him in the middle of the night. I am so grateful.

There's a lot of proposals here! I'll add my own ;)

This past January, my whole family got together for a long weekend, all jamming into my parents' second house in Vermont. My parents, my boyfriend and I got there on Friday night before everyone else. We had dinner together at our favorite diner, played board games, had some really good laughs, then my parents headed off to bed. As Jason and I were straightening up and getting ready for bed, he proposed!

I ran up stairs to tell my parents (after a few minutes of excitement and giggling with him) and mom didn't really get it at first... we have a non-traditional engagement ring, so she said something about "what a beautiful ring!" but... with almost no reaction. Then, it struck her. Her eyes went wide as she figured out what finger it was on! My dad joined us, and we all did a whole bunch of jumping up and down together!! We spent the next hour calling our brothers and generally getting totally amped up - at 1am, oy!

We finally went to sleep, somewhere around 2, then we got to spend the whole rest of the weekend celebrating our engagement with the entire family around us. SO awesome.

We're getting married on October 13th, exactly 9 months after the day he proposed :)

Watching my son finally get married.

The first night in our new apartment after moving across the country this summer.

Driving across the country in a 16' moving van with a cat sandwiched in between us in the cab, and then unloading in the afternoon in the middle of a heat wave... it was rough. But that night- when we were finally in our new home- that was really nice and full of happiness and hope.

It's been a hellish 2 1/2 years struggling with my son's puberty, and inherited mental illness. This year, he said, "Life is much easier if you're responsible. Now, I understand why you take my things and get angry. I don't like it, but I understand, now." I've waited a long time to hear this. :-)

The "biggest" events in the past year for me have not been the good kind, but some of the best are the quiet peaceful kind. My first thought was last year at Rhinebeck. I was so happy being there, everything just fell into place. Can't wait for this year!

As weird as it might sound, my happiest moment this year was when my brother-in-law with ALS passed away. He was free of the horrible beast. He was able to run, breathe, eat and LIVE again. I think of him all the time and I miss him terribly. Taking care of him for the year of his illness was the greatest honor I have ever been given. I know he's happy now.

My happiest moment this year was when my Dad moved back after 23 years in Venice Fla. He's now a widow and has end stage cancer and he lives 4 apartments away.

When my boyfriend of 10 years asked me to marry him and I was brave enough to say yes. We get to keep each other.

When after 9 long months of unemployment my husband got an amazing job in such a difficult job market.

When I realized that I wasn't going to have the whooping cough FOREVER!

I figured out how to crochet - how to really crochet... you know, something more than a granny square! I made a blanket, toys, slippers (hexagon ones no less) and I even created an original design pattern which has been downloaded almost 100 times since I released it at the end of June!

So yeah, learning how to actually crochet was my most favorite memory for last year.

My happiest moment this year was actually a weekend long adventure...a giddy, girly weekend away with my girlfriends and a visit to the spring shearing party at Juniper Moon Farm in Virginia, where I am a shareholder in their yarn CSA. It is absolute heaven on earth there!!

My happiest moment was seeing my mom's face when my name was called at my college graduation. We'd lost my dad and my grandmother within six months of each other and it was so good to finally have something to celebrate.

My husband and I went on a hot air balloon ride; something that I've wanted to do for over 30 years. It was beautiful!

My nephew was born in February. I don't have children of my own, but being an aunt for the first time has been so rewarding!

Holding my baby girl for the first time. We had struggled with infertility since 2005 and had our disappointments through the years. So when we were matched this year with a baby to adopt and then finally got to hold her, I thought I was going to burst with joy and love. The adoption finalization is next week. I'm pretty sure that will be an awesome day too.

Being present at the birth of our first grandchild, Oliver James.

When we found out the doctors were wrong, my husband's cancer wasn't spread all over & he would be fine after radiation. Nothing beats finding out that 33 years isn't long enough & we've got many more years to look forward to!

It was wonderful to be able to go fly fishing again this year after my husband had a heart ICD implant done a year ago. Also, just surviving this year is a big accomplishment and we are celebrating with a few days at the beach. :)

I've had a lot of them this year, but what jumps out right now is taking an impromptu dance break with my hubby while we were cleaning house - Al Green's Let's Stay Together came on so we danced in the kitchen.

The best thing that has happened in my life is the birth of my granddaughter, Eliza. Yes her name really is Eliza and she was born in June. As the mother of sons, she is a gift for certain. To quote someone " Once in a While right in the middle of an ordinary life, Love gives us a Fairytale"

Happiest moment this year: Having my very first novel published and in my hands a few weeks ago. Rachael, your blog, books, and personal tales of your writing adventures have been such inspiration for me! Thank you!

My happiest knitting moment of the year was finishing my first sweater (for me)!! :) I've made children's ones before but this was a much larger endeavor and I love it!

On a personal level it was getting to meet my newest niece for the first time this past February!

My happiest moment this year was when my daughter called me from Florida where her and my son in law and 10 month old first grandson lived. She told me they were moving back home to Michigan and I am still on cloud nine and it has been 10 months since they have been here. When my little grandson got here he had lots of cute knit sweater I made for him.

when I found out that my breast cancer had NOT spread to the lymph nodes!

Having baby #7 born healthy.

When my young dog earned his Championship and then took a Group 4. He is such a joy in my life.

It was yesterday, while reading an email from my sister. Her husband died quite young, earlier this summer and things have been very hard for her the last few months. From the way things sounded in the email, for the first time I really feel like she's going to be ok.

I'm bringing her a hand knit cabled cardigan for her birthday this weekend. I hope she likes it.

Any time with my 12 yo son since he heading to teenager at warp speed. My favorite so far wasat the pool when actually played with me,for hours.

My husband was on the back porch on the phone for the longest time. I thought, "What the heck!?" He finally came in and and I said, "Who were you talking to in such hushed whispers?" He said, "Our son!" You could have knocked me over with a feather. We hadn't heard from him in almost 5 years. That's mine.

When I was offered a job that I didn't have to apply for because I was *recruited*

I'm LOL because I have to say...Knitting in Venice was the best for me too!!!!!And then knitting on the Queen Victoria sailing back to America!!!

I think it was when I made a friend very happy just by being a friend.

Watching my daughter give birth to HER daughter. After they took the baby to be checked out I hugged her and we both cried. My son-in-law went with the baby, so she and I had our own private moment!

Last year. Last year wasn't a good year for me. (This year hasn't been much better.) Let me think . . . When I finished my first book.

Watching a ray swimming in the gorgeous, clear Caribbean water, from our 5th floor balcony in Cozumel.

Having my grandson wrapped his arms around me and tell me that he loves me more than anything:)

Becoming an aunt again when baby Wyatt was born

I'm going to cheat a bit and go back a year and a few weeks so that I can say my happiest moment was the birth of my third daughter. :)

Walking on the beach in Oregon with my husband, 7 year old daughter, and two dogs. Bliss.

I can't pick between my youngest daughter's wedding day and the day that our 2nd granddaughter was born. Both are in my heart for ever!

I had my first baby 2 months and 11 days ago, so my happiest moment was her birth (and of course every moment since!).

This hasn't been the happiest year, so thanks for making me take a moment to think about it.

Amid many small moments of brightness (kisses from my toddler, laughing with friends) I think that perhaps unexpectedly attending a "Tin Foil Hat Night" party and sitting beside the mother-of-my-heart, each of us wearing aluminum-foil headgear as if there was nothing strange going on, is going to be hard to beat. :)

Playing with my little granddaughter provided some of my best moments in the last year. She, our daughter and son-in-law live in New Zealand, we live in Canada, so time together is precious.

My happiest moment was this past June when my oldest daughter graduated from college with A FULLTIME JOB!

She had always worked when in college but she really stood on her own feet to get interviews and job offers. She actually ended up with three! Yea! I was so proud of her. And she is a knitter and a spinner! Double Yea!

April 2012 when my daughter and her husband told me that I would be a Grandma this December. I cannot wait for the birth of baby Grace Marie and her Daddy returning from Afghanistan about the same time.

One of my happiest moments was when my husband & I were able to buy the property next door. We have wanted it for years & there was always an obstacle or two in our way. Finally, success!! I must say my second happiest moment was completing my first triangular lace shawl. :)

sitting on a beach on St. John USVI with my 2 daughters, reading and knitting

Mine was sorta bittersweet: I'd gone to visit my Sis & nieces, but the timing was awkward & the oldest niece had to be away at an overnite. As she left, I saw her wearing or carrying about half the items I'd crocheted or knitted or her! So, I kinda went along on her overnite, by proxy. Later, I taught her to knit; that was also a grand time.
AnnBan on Ravelry

The day my brother came to visit from Argentina, after two years of not seeing him!!!

April 22, 2012: when I got to marry the love of my life! <3

Happiest moment? Sitting on top of a Sierra Nevada mountain breathing in the clean, soul-feeding air.

Watching my two daughters walk to school, going separate directions, like a glimpse of their future lives, starting from the same paths, each traveling her own direction. I teamed p, I'm not afraid to admit it.

Happiest day in the last year was the day my orthopedic (foot) surgeon assured me I didn't have any screws loose (titanium plate in my foot now) and that I could, after 8 weeks, be allowed to bear weight on my repaired foot. It was a Yippee! moment.

It was fun, the next day, to tell my physical therapist that I had been diagnosed as NOT having any loose screws. Heh!

My happiest moment in the last year is the birth of my second child, my son Thomas.

When they brought him over to me for the first time he was crying like all babies do. Then I started to hum to him and he calmed right down.
The nurse holding him chuckled at the puzzled look on his face. I had to explain that it was the song I sing to his big sister every night.

Ok, This is going to sound lame and materialistic after reading so many others, but I bought myself a new bike in April. And I actually cried tears of joy as I walked out of the store with it. I've been wanting this bike, or one like it, for a decade and just never put myself first. My husband just looked and me and said, "Buy it!" and I did. And I cried. And I love it! Whenever I ride it I feel 13 again so I ride it a lot. I love my kids, husband, dogs, parents, siblings etc...but this bike helps me love me.

I love Eliza's epigrams. She's awesome!

I had a baby in May (and thus were produced many of the greatest moments of my life) and had to go back to working full time outside of the home on the day after Labor Day. My husband is now a full time parent. After most of a week of taking care of our baby he told me how much fun he was having and how much he loved being with her. He told me how great he felt when she was obviously enthralled by his singing to her, so much so that he can't do it while he's trying to feed her because she will stop whatever she is doing to look at him and smile.

I am so filled with love everyday for my husband and my tiny daughter but this stood out. We had so much anxiety about transitioning the primary caregiver. When he told me that, all my worries and anxiety were washed away. It's still not great to be away from them but now I just think of that and I know that everything is going to be fine.

It happened just recently. Watching my daughter overcome her grief of losing her beloved cat and feeling ok enough to pick a new kitten. Seeing my kids sad, unhappy, upset is heartbreaking. It was pure joy to see that she is going to be ok. :)

When my foreclosure was complete and I felt like I could get on with my life.

Big, momentous happy: my cousin having a happy, healthy baby boy after a difficult pregnancy and a year filled with far too many losses for our family.
Every week, warm-my-heart happy: watching my high-anxiety rescue Chesapeake Bay Retriever run through the waves at the beach and seeing pure joy on her face.

My daughter starting kindergarten a few weeks back AND loving it. So much that she calls it summer camp!

The moment I was gifted the idea for my new business. A dear friend causally mentioned her idea and that one moment in time is changing my life forever it the best way possible.

The day we brought home our Sheltie puppy, Sabrina. She's blossomed into a sweet and loving puppy and is a great companion for my husband.

The day my two girls walked across the headwaters of the Mississippi, enjoying the cool water and bright sunshine, following a path that brought me, well, them!

Going to see Olivia Newton-John at the PNE with my BFF. We've wanted to see her for over 30 years.

When my son started a men's bible study group.

The realization that Unemployment will be enough. I know that seems like a crazy backwards thing to be happy about...but trust me, it is amazing.

In January when my 36 year old niece got a new heart. The fact that someone was gracious enough to be donor never leaves my mind. I myself am a donor, someday I might be able to help someone else.

When my daughter, who tap dances on the spectrum, patted me on my shoulder and told me that she loves me. No coaching, she just volunteered the information. At 25 years of age.

when I found out a patient I'd taken care of had gotten her lung transplant, against all odds.

My happiest moment this year was the night that my boyfriend surprised me by telling me that he was buying me a spinning wheel.

In December of 2011, we went to a craft fair where a woman was spinning. I took him to her booth & we talked to her. I have always wanted to learn to spin & I told him that. I told him of my "dream" garment - the one that I spin the yarn, then dye it, and then knit it into exactly what I want it to be. He's a techy guy & was so interested in how spinning works. He asked the spinner a ton of questions about spinning and wheels and cost.

Then, in January, he told me he was buying me a spinning wheel. He told me that he couldn't not get me one when he saw how happy and excited and animated I got when I talked about spinning.

My wheel is named Sylvie (which means "from the forest" - or something like that). She's a "JO" Canadian Production Wheel. :-)

My happiest moment of this past year was receiving a silver bracelet for my anniversary. We don't usually exchange gifts so it was a nice surprise - Pandora. Waiting anxiously for a new book!!!! Take care and hi to Lala.

my happiest moment this past year was when my nephew, jackson, who will be 1 next month was born.

My happiest moment was the realization that I felt "ok" after a very long battle with depression. I'm still working through it, but that moment when I just felt "normal" was wonderful.

And the next happiest moment will happen on Saturday when I pick up my daughter from the airport after being in Europe for 3-1/2 months :)

I'm a divorced parent, living alone until last October when - my happiest moment last year, if not this decade - my son came back to live with me full-time. YESSSSS!!!!!

hmmm. You've made me realize that while life is good, there hasn't been too much actual HAPPY in it for a while. will fix that! Happiest moment was when I picked up my friend Nikki at the airport not having seen her for 6+ years! She's my first friend from before my move here to visit me! wahooooo!!!

Last October I spent a wonderful weekend with my high school classmates at our (ouch) 45th reunion. We have such a good time that I'm already anticipating the fiftieth! Other wonderful was seeing my daughter on the same annual trip home to the States!! Love her! At least I get to see her every year and then some on Skype.

Rocking my new nephew while my sister slept in the hospital.

Finding enough strength to end the unhealthy relationship I was in.

My happiest moment just happened...again...seeing my son come home from school!

At the risk of copying you, I must agree with you. As I have told you in previous posts, I am completely hooked on Venice and last November was my happiest time. Wandering the alleyways, crossing the canals, buying Murano beads, shopping and knitting.

Am soooo looking forward to this little book!

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