Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Four Generations

My mom came up to visit last week. It sounds simple when I write it out like that, but it was actually quite an adventure. It involved a flight, a road trip and an hour and a half wait at the border. I'm sure part of the reason she came was to see our new home, but I doubt she would have endured all of that if there wasn't something way more enticing waiting for her North of 49. Another couple hours of driving and a ferry ride later she got to meet her first great grandchild, and I am sure she would tell you it was more than worth the effort.

My mom wasn't the only one who got to meet Lucy. Kellen and Anita and Alexandra were also there. There will be no shortage of aunts and uncles in Lucy's life. I'm pretty sure this means there will also be no shortage of loud, obnoxious birthday and Christmas presents. I hope all her aunts and uncles remember that what goes around comes back around.

I finished the Babies and Bears sweater for Lucy the day before we went to visit. I started it the day Lucy was born, but ran into a few problems along the way. Well, more like one problem. Stupidity. The day I cast on David phoned and I got distracted while talking to him and made a mistake. I was only about four rows into the sweater so ripped it out and started again. It seemed easier than fixing the error. The question here is why was I talking on the phone and knitting at the same time, especially since it isn't a hands-free phone?

Attempt number two was going along quite well, at least for the first bit. I was about three inches into the sleeve (and let's face it, three inches on a baby sweater is almost the whole sleeve), when I started to have this feeling every time I looked at it that it might be a tiny bit too big. Of course, I totally ignored that feeling for another inch. By this time I was starting to get a queasy feeling when I looked at it, a feeling all knitters will recognize. It's the one where you know something is very seriously wrong but you aren't ready to face it quite yet, so you knit a few more rows. Well, I knit a few more until this sudden, horrifying thought occurred to me. "I think my arm would fit in there!"

It took a lot of courage to actually put my arm into the sleeve of the baby sweater for my newborn granddaughter. Once I did I was faced with a choice. Rip it out and start again, or continue on and make myself a cardigan. (Yes, my arm really did fit into the sleeve.) I started for the third time on much smaller needles and this was the result.

I especially love the buttons!

There's one final thing I would like to say before I end this post. Over the past couple of weeks I have lost two followers of my blog. I have on occasion lost followers before, but not often, and not within such a short time. I very much appreciate all of my followers and readers. Some of you have been reading North of 49 since the start, and some of you have more recently found your way here. The thing about losing followers is you are never quite sure why they left. I have wondered if my posts about our move, and Lucy, and the new things in my life like my kayak have come across as bragging. That certainly hasn't been my intent.

The past two years have been extremely difficult, and I am trying to focus on the good things around me as I work on recovering. I have shared about some of the awfulness of the last two years here on the blog - the sudden death of my dad nine days before Rebekah's wedding, Rebekah getting sick at her wedding and having to leave, and the return of Alexandra's kidney disease after her being in remission for ten years. And there have been other very difficult things that have happened that I have chosen not to blog about. The cottage, the mountains, the lake, the forest trails, the kayak, the things I have been writing about since we moved- these are my prescription for healing.

Some day I might share our whole story here. I have been playing around with the idea of having Memoir Mondays on my blog, where I would tell our family's story in weekly instalments. I would love to hear your feedback on this idea. If it is something you would be interested in please let me know, and if it is not what you want to read when you come here I need to know that too. The last thing I want to do is lose more followers!

I read something Sarah at Down By The Sea wrote today that perfectly expresses how I feel.

"Money can't buy the things I appreciate most - family, friendship, blogging and appreciating the beautiful things around me. It's the simple things that make my heart sing."

Riding the ferry to and from Vancouver Island is definitely one of "the beautiful things around me."

 

82 comments:

  1. Dear Kristie, what beautiful pictures of your Mum and her new great-granddaughter - they are so sweet, and made me a tiny bit sad, because my mother died the year before her first great-grandchild (and our first grandchild) was born. The purple cardigan is just gorgeous and I can see you are an exceptionally good knitter - so professional! Having only found your blog recently, I don't know much of your background, but am enjoying watching it all reveal. So sorry you lost followers, which I'm sure is unusual and not from anything you have done. People do strange things sometimes. I understand the dilemma about how much to reveal - when I wrote about my breast cancer I received lots of support on the blog, and was beyond grateful for it. However, I did receive the odd funny reaction too. Sometimes it is difficult to know where to draw the line. Please keep on blogging just as you are - it is always a happy experience to visit you! xx

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Patricia. I'm so sorry your mom wasn't there to see her first great grandchild. I understand the disappointment - it's how I feel about my dad not being here to meet Lucy. I have only recently found your blog as well. I had no idea you had had breast cancer! I hope you are doing well now.

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    2. Yes, thanks Kristie, I recently received the all-clear, one year out! x

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  2. Oh Kristie what a gorgeous grand daughter you have and how lovely that your mum travelled all that way to meet her. You must all be so proud. I've missed a few posts over the last few weeks and hate the thought that I've missed anything important so am now in catching up mode. As for your posts, I have to say I find them fascinating and in no way are you bragging, you just say it how it is. That is life and that's what blogging is all about, telling your story, so if people don't like this then that's their problem. I too don't post about everything just because I don't want to feel people should feel sorry for me. In amongst my recent exam success and birthday I had to have surgery for a double hernia and was housebound for several weeks - but I chose not to reveal this at that time. Your posts are always so inspiring and interesting and show us the kind of life you lead as well as introducing your family to us. I love the idea of a Memoir Monday too. I myself am just about to embark on writing about my memories of London when I first started working there back in the 1960s - maybe not everyone's cup of tea but hey that's life. Enjoy your week.
    Patricia x

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    1. Thanks Patricia! Our whole family has fallen in love with Lucy. :-)

      There is a fine line when blogging , isn't there? You are right - if you say too much people feel sorry for you, and who wants that. But if life is always presented as a series of glowing photos and stories that can start to feel very false too, sort of like those pictures that appear in home and garden magazines. I hope you have fully recovered from your hernia surgery. Your exam success was very inspirational - I was so happy for you! I would love to read about your memories of working in London in the 60s. Hopefully you will share some of what you write on your blog. :-)

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    2. I struggle with that fine line ... too often I mention something in passing, e.g. an old shoulder injury flaring up, to explain something else, e.g. a temporary total lack of knitting content on the blog, and find myself with lots of comments offering sympathy that it is truly lovely to receive but that really isn't needed. But I like to tell it how it is and few of us have totally rosy lives. It's how we deal with adversity that defines us, I think, not that we are visited by it, whatever the scale of the difficulties we're enduring. So bloggers who write about life's downs as well as life's ups always seem the most genuine to me.

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  3. Oh I would love to know more about your family, your stories are wonderful and I love reading them! I wouldn't worry too much about unfollowers - perhaps they deleted their accounts :)

    I had to giggle at your newborn cardigan sleeve being nearly big enough for you, it turned out so cute!

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    1. Maybe you are right Sarah, and they just deleted their accounts. I think it was the fact it happened twice in such a short time that made me wonder.

      The cardigan sleeve wasn't nearly big enough for me. It was a perfect fit! Not a feature one is looking for in a baby sweater. Ha! :-)

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  4. I love your cardigan its so sweet, Lucy has changed already, won't be long before she can wear it. My husband always buys noisy toys for people's children, my daughter warned him not too for the boys but he went ahead anyway!!

    Re un-followers, maybe they are reading it some other way. I for one would love to know more about your family. I try to work back through your blog but its not always easy to get the full picture. I also only tend to blog about the good things, lets face it who wants to read a blog where someone is whingeing all the time. Fair enough life happens but its up to you what you share with people

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    1. Lucy has changed already - you have good "grandma eyes!" Her little cheeks are rounder, and she has a tiny double chin. I won't be able to see her again until early October, and it makes me sad to think of how much I will miss.

      Maybe your daughter should have a rule. Your husband can buy all the noisy toys he wants, but they have to stay at your house for the kids to play with. Of course, you would be the one to end up suffering then, which makes it not such a good plan after all. :-)

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  5. Babies and knitting! What could be better? Writing from the heart about family we love and are blessed to have around us. Lucy is beautiful and the cardigan is stunning. You made me LOL about that sick feeling we knitters get when we want to deny something is a muck with our wip... So true! But I'm glad you ripped, and started again. It truly is lovely.

    Blog the way your heart tells you to blog. If setting specific days is a way to make it easier for you, than go for it. As you know, just be you. As for loosing readers... it happens. People's tastes change, life happens to them, or they simply are weeding through their readers lists. Stay true to you! Their mistake.

    I personally really enjoy your blog. Gorgeous pics, entertaining voice, great stories... the full deal!

    ~ Nin

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    1. Thank you for the encouragement, Nin. My idea with the Memoir Monday posts is to help me shape what is a very rough copy of a memoir I have already written. I would love to have an audience for it, and I think if I redo it with my readers in mind it will be a much better story.

      As far as the knitting goes, I have no idea why we all tend to deny the obvious. A knitting friend and I laugh over this trait all the time. Probably because we do it all the time. :-)

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  6. That is a beautiful little cardigan. It must have been lovely having so many family members together.

    (BTW I have your blog coming up in my reader but I haven't actually clicked the google friend link. I think it's only right to appreciate when things are going well and to be honest I enjoy reading about people's lives when the going is good. I stay away from pessimistic blogs!)

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    1. Thanks for having my blog in your reader! It was great fun having so many of us together. We are now quite a big group when we gather. Four of us weren't able to be there - Rebekah and Anton, David, and my husband. (Jay and I generally take turns traveling so one of us can be home to take care of Fergus and Jenny.)

      I agree about not wanting to read blogs that are pessimistic in nature. But realism is another thing entirely. I don't want to leave a false impression with people, where they are imagining I live a perfect life. As if there is a thing! :-)

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  7. Oh my goodness little Lucy is getting so chubby cheeky...love it! One thing about blogging is it allows us to be as real as we want to...some love full honest disclosure others are looking for entertainment. Real life isn't about entertainment it is about hills and valleys and some valleys are a lot lower than others. This can help others relate and perhaps push some away.

    I always like to think that regardless it allows me to be real, I would like to think that there is always something good that comes out of every valley and I look for that when I am telling my stories.

    Whichever you decide I know I'll still pop in to see what's going on.

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    1. Thanks for being a faithful reader, Karen! I know you deal with a lot in your own life, and I appreciate the way you manage to stay so positive.

      And those chubby cheeks of Lucy's were the first thing I noticed about her this visit. She's like a little chipmunk! :-)

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  8. I'm so happy for you all that you could have this time together, especially with a new baby in the family! God bless your mother for making that trek to see you all. I am seriously envious. I am really glad you have her. I'm sorry about the loss of followers. It has happened to me twice, one follower left each time, and I don't know why. I try not to let it bother me but it does, a little. I think maybe my blog bores some people. I choose to keep it very upbeat but of course that isn't how every part of my life goes. I think that blogging should be about you first, with the readers and followers and comments being a special side bonus. But I'm sure you feel that way too. I don't blog about the negative parts of my life because it makes me feel bad to dwell on them, and trust me, there are plenty of them. But we can all say that, I think. I will read your blog no matter what you write, I enjoy our friendship through blogging and I care about you very much. I am happy and proud to support you.

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    1. I was really proud of my mom for making the trip. It was the first time she has ever flown anywhere by herself.

      Thank you for your kind words about our blog friendship. I love reading your blog and following along with the adventure you are on with your little bears. It reminds me so much of what it was like when my kids were young. Never once have I thought what you write is boring. It is filled with love and enthusiasm with a dose of realism added on occasion. Thank you so much for your support. :-)

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  9. I didn't think the kayak post sounded like bragging. It's kinda why I started reading you!

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    1. Ha! I have to admit I laughed when I read this comment. Here I was thinking the kayak post had put readers off! :-)

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  10. Well, I can't speak for your other readers, but I've enjoyed reading about all the positive changes for you lately. And I really like that you also write about your life when things aren't going as well. I think people - especially women - are taught never to brag or complain and that ends up meaning don't talk about the ways your life is good and don't mention anything that's not great right now, because nobody wants to hear that stuff. It's like we're always supposed to be editing our own story to make it into something others want to hear. I think it's important to talk about your life honestly, whether it's good or bad, and let the people who want to hear it listen. I've been really aware of this feeling in my own life lately, actually -- it hasn't made it onto the blog quite as much, but my facebook posts are all about how much I hate moving and/or how much I hate school, and I feel pretty lucky that no one's unfriended me but I wonder if it will happen eventually!

    Anyway, I guess my point is I think you should write what you want in your space because it's your space and that's what it's for. I'll keep reading. (Though I do all my blog reading in Feedly, so I don't think I show up as a follower and I don't count towards blog stats unless I click through to a post to comment.)

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    1. Your comment is a gold mine, Randipants. I think you are exactly right. We are constantly editing our own stories to make them into what others want to hear. Or at least into what we think others want to hear. Maybe that's the mark of a true friend - someone we don't feel the need to do that with.

      Moving sucks. It really does. But some moves are worse than others. I hope things are starting to get better for you, and that your new place is beginning to feel like home.

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    2. Thanks, Kristie. We're starting to settle in a bit. I've got 2 weeks off from school so I'm hoping to get the place fully organized by then and then it can start being "home" instead of just "the new place".

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  11. I love your blog and check every day to see if you have posted. Don't worry about the missing readers it could be a genuine reason for leaving.
    Love the jacket. I bought the pattern years ago and always meant to knit it but meantime my grandchildren all grew up and are now too old for it?
    You have so much to look forward to with a new grandson and your love for him will grow and grow as he develops into his own little person.
    Would love to hear all about your family as even reading back since you started blogging I am sure bits are missing. My family think I am nosey but I think I am just interested in other people's lives.Also I can relate to the down part of people's lives.

    Have a great poem about being a granny but I will pm you at ravelry as I don't want to invoke copyright laws.
    keep blogging.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! How old are your grandchildren? I think the pattern has larger sizes, and there might even be an adult version available. Unfortunately I am down at my mom's right now so can't look at my copy to tell you. It is a very fun knit. This was my third one, and I think the reason I ran into trouble this time was I used a different yarn but expected the same results I had with the other brand. Like I said in my post, the wholething was epically stupid. Ha!

      I will check Ravelry for the poem. Thanks!

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  12. So sorry . meant to say granddaughter. Mea culpa.

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    1. No worries - I knew that was what you meant. :-)

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  13. Must . . . have . . . Baby & Bears . . .
    Lucy is precious beyond words! And greatgrandmothers and babies together--priceless!

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    1. It isn't is a great pattern! I think Paradise Fibers carries it, and maybe A Grand Yarn might have it too. It isn't hard, I was just being lazy and hadn't done a test swatch. I was using a different yarn than the last two times I have made it and thought it would be fine. It wasn't.

      Lucy is the sweetest thing ever. :-)

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  14. It was lovely to see all your family with Lucy, what a welcome she must have had from everyone.
    I know exactly what you mean by suddenly realising something is wrong with the knitting. Your finished baby sweater looks fantastic after the problems you encountered before starting again!
    I was only aware of some of the difficulties you have had over the past 2 years. I'm glad that the words I expressed meant the same for you too. I hope with your new move and grand daughter that things are improving for you too. I also find writing about the good things helps me focus on the positive things too.
    Take care and thank you for your comments.
    Sarah x

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    1. Thank you so much Sarah for that wonderful blog post you wrote this week. As I read through some of the comments your readers were leaving I could see I wasn't the only one who was impressed. I'm so sorry I couldn't figure out a way to link directly to your blog on my iPad. I tried once and it didn't work, and I was afraid if I kept experimenting I was going to lose the whole post.

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  15. Ruth in Ontario, CanadaAugust 21, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    Hi Kristie - I'm not an official "follower" but I do read your blog and look forward to every new post. From my perspective, nothing has come across as sounding like bragging (the kayak looks awesome!). I'm always fascinated in hearing about how people live in different parts of the country and in other countries, too. So to echo other commenters, I hope you'll continue to share with us whatever you feel comfortable sharing. I think it takes a lot of courage for bloggers to put themselves "out there" and I salute you for that. (Also, the sweater is adorable!)

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    1. Thanks Ruth! I always appreciate the comments you leave on my blog. :-)

      I'm like you. I like reading about people in other places and seeing how they live. It's fascinating, and the things I most like to read about are the everyday events in their lives. I have learned so much over the past few years just by reading other's blogs. Which brings me to my question. When are you going to start blogging? I would love to read about your life in Ontario! :-)

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    2. Ruth in Ontario, CanadaAugust 21, 2013 at 4:46 PM

      Well, it's pretty much eat, sleep, knit, drink tea...:-) - probably not very interesting! And I'm a terrible photographer. I admire the pictures on the blogs I read, so professional looking. Maybe some day I'll get up the nerve to try blogging.

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  16. Kristie
    I had to take this opportunity to thank you for sharing your life, family and new granddaughter. It has been a lovely delight to follow you and I start my morning with Jean's Knitting and then yours. :) I have found my now two year old granddaughter a joy to be with and a real treat after raising three boys. My mother still lives on her own at 93 and near enough that she gets frequent visits from Kate. I have been admiring your photos and your recent ones of the kayaks are great. I have a small kayak and hadn't thought to consider taking out to the valley. (I am in the lower mainland.) I just don't know why I hadn't. Anyway please keep posting. It is much appreciated and truly enjoyed.

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    1. You're welcome, Elizabeth! I feel very honoured that you read my blog right after Jean's. I only wish I could be as dedicated a blogger as she is. She's amazing, and I am looking forward to spending time with her in Shetland in a few weeks.

      That is so nice your mom gets to spend so much time with her great granddaughter. And that you have a girl in the family! If you ever feel like bringing your kayak out to Cultus Lake please let me know. It would be fun to go out together. Just keep in mind I am a beginner. :-)

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  17. I think that you should write about what you *want* to write about. I know that my blog (which is sadly neglected at the moment) is about what I'm thinking about.

    I love seeing the pictures of your family. I like hearing about your adventures and what you are doing. I'm also reading about your children and seeing that Wiz will be okay too.

    Now, we really do need to get together some day.

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    1. That get together will happen one of these days! Do you think you will stay in Walla Walla for awhile longer? I miss you posts, but understand how life can get busy which makes it hard to fit in extra things like blogging.

      It makes me feel so happy to know that reading about Alexandra has given you an example of a child who spent a lot of time being sick growing up and being okay. Maybe not totally healthy, but okay. It will be the same for Wiz. :-)

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  18. Kristie, I started reading your blog for the knitting, but always enjoy the non-knitting and family content too. I'm reading your entries with even more interest lately, because we are moving from the Okanagan to Chilliwack in October, a somewhat similar move to what you've just made. It's fun to see you discovering new places and looking forward to doing some exploring when we arrive.

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    1. We are going to be neighbours! If you want maybe we could have a meet-up once you get settled in. If you are interested please send me an email and we can work out the details. I think you are going to love the area!

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  19. Hi Kristie, I think this has been mentioned....perhaps your followers have chosen another way to read your blog, like bloglovin or gosh knows what is out there today!

    Please do not think about your blog in the context of how many followers you have, or what your readers want to hear from you.....we want to read what you share with us. Nothing more , nothing less.

    I love all your stories..your family...your adventures...everything.....keep it up!

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    1. That's a good point about people changing how they read my blog. I tend not to think about the different readers out there like Feedly or Bloglovin because it isn't how I read blogs myself. And thank you for your kind words. I do mostly write whatever is on my mind or happening at the time, which is the reason I have never labelled myself as a knitting blog. Still, I am aware that there are quite a few people who read my blog, and I try to shape my posts so they will be interesting for the people who stop by.

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  20. Please don't worry about the unfollows - they may have pressed that button in error ...
    I don't read your blog through a service so am not an official follower. I think there are many such readers out there.
    We look forward to whatever you feel like writing about.
    Thanks for the lovely family photos - everyone looks fabulous!
    LisaRR

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Lisa! I am glad you enjoy the family photos. I realized after I posted this I forgot to include the four generations picture. Good grief! I will try to get it into my next post.

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  21. You're right about your mom and Lucy. I remember how happy my grandmother was to meet her great-grandchildren. Four generations, wow! With all the aunts and uncles, Lucy probably won't get much alone time. :)
    Everyone views things differently, but I can't imagine anyone being put off by anything you've posted. I encourage you to share whatever you feel comfortable sharing. It's fun sharing the good times, but it can be important to share the difficult times. I think we get to know each other better (and become better friends) by sharing the hard times. Most of my blog losses have come because the person stopped blogging. But there have been a few who kept blogging and just took the time to unfollow me. Two had been frequent commenters. Honestly, I wanted to ask them what happened...but I decided to just let it go.

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    1. Four generations, but did you notice I forgot to include the four generation picture? I will have to add it to my next post. :-)

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  22. Lucy is beautiful, Kristie. I love multi-generation photos; they become extra special as the years pass. :)

    As for the loss of two subscribers ... I agree with the folks who noted that people may have unsubbed because they're reading you a different way. I've unsubscribed from a few blogs in recent months just because I don't like the way they appear in my blog reader, so instead I have them bookmarked in my blog folder on Google.

    Oh, and by the way, you come across as one of the kindest, most humble bloggers around. Bragging? Not a chance. :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Diana. That is so true about multi-generational pictures. They are very precious as time goes by. When Lucy grows up she can look at all the photos and realize how much she was loved from the minute she entered the world.

      And thank you for your very kind words. They mean a lot. :-)

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  23. Lucy is beautiful, Kristie. I love multi-generation photos; they become extra special as the years pass. :)

    As for the loss of two subscribers ... I agree with the folks who noted that people may have unsubbed because they're reading you a different way. I've unsubscribed from a few blogs in recent months just because I don't like the way they appear in my blog reader, so instead I have them bookmarked in my blog folder on Google.

    Oh, and by the way, you come across as one of the kindest, most humble bloggers around. Bragging? Not a chance. :)

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  24. Kristie,

    They all look great. I love the blue cardigan with a hood, too. I think four generations to be together is real accomplishment. Don't worry about losing some followers. It happened to me too, but the person who deleted herself still look and comment on my blog. Some people prefer that way, not showing their reference up all over the internet.

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    1. I agree! Four generations together is quite an accomplishment. We were all very determined to make it happen, and my mom was so happy. It was a very special weekend. :-)

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  25. Hi Kristie, wonderful pictures of the family with Lucy!!

    I've found over the years that blog readers come and go, I know I have let some go off my lists over time and added new ones. Usually because I've changed some interest or aspect of what I want to read, nothing against the blogs I was following. I don't actually follow any blogs in that way, I only use my blog reader and hop over if I have something to add to the conversation (like today apparently ;-) ).

    And isn't that ferry ride something? I only do it every few years or so, but it does make me smile. Did it more when i was a kid, loved it.

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    1. I am afraid I need to grow thicker writer's skin. :-)

      The ferry ride is amazing! It is hard to capture the beauty in a few pictures. I was thinking that on one of my visits to I will have to drive over so we can arrange a meet-up. These last two trips have been walk-on, and I have to say it is so much easier and cheaper than taking a vehicle.

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  26. Hi Kristie,

    Firstly, the sight of your Mum and Lucy together brought a tear to my eye. So precious. I can just imagine how much that trip would have meant to her. It brings back fond memories of my Grandma with her Great Grandchildren.

    Secondly, it's hard not to take these things personally but please don't worry another second about the unfollowers. Who knows what the real reason is and perhaps they just switched to Bloglovin or something and went through and deleted ALL the blogs they were following, including yours. There could be other reasons that the others have mentioned above. I absolutely love visiting you here. I love that you are so down to earth and always find your Posts interesting and love seeing what you are up to. Bragging? Hardly! I've enjoyed all the positive things going on in your life right now - they are to be celebrated! Don't ever apologise or edit them to make others feel better as then you would miss out on all the new followers that would be interested in the real you.I didn't know about your Dad and the other things you mentioned here - so sorry to hear. It's hard knowing how much to share and I'm very conscious of mostly sharing the positives on my own blog too -but I kind of assume that everyone has things going on that they may not want to talk about on their blogs and that is absolutely fine and I hope people would think that about my blog too.

    Just keep on going as you are. We all think you are great!

    Mel x

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    1. Thank you for your very kind words, Mel. They have really encouraged me! I think part of the thing is there have been so many positive things in such a short amount of time that I have worried that it might seem a bit much. And there is another huge announcement I will be making very soon that is going to add to it!

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  27. Hi Kristie I read your blog all the time and love it but I have never formally signed up as a follower so I have now which hopefully will make up for losing one. Don't change your style it's perfect and so is that adorable cardigan x

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    1. You are so sweet! Thank you for signing up as a follower, Sue. It more than makes up for the loss. :-)

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  28. I've just subscribed to help make up the numbers for you! But I have been lurking around for ages - apart from anything else, you show such good photos.
    I have a question - I looked on Ravelry at the pattern, and couldn't figure out how to buy it. Where do I get it? It would need to be done online - either the purchase or a download, since I am a long way from Western Canada.

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    1. That was so nice of you to sign up as a follower, Jean! Thank you so much. :-)

      I don't think there is a downloadable version of this pattern. I checked and Paradise Fibers carries it. Here is the link:
      http://www.paradisefibers.com/cottage-creations-w09-babies-bears-sweater-pattern.html

      It is a really fun pattern to knit. Let me know if you have trouble ordering it, and if you do maybe I could get a copy next time I go to my mom's and send it along to you (my mom lives in the city where Paradise Fibers is located).

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    2. Thanks so much for the link - the transaction has been duly transacted, and now I am looking forward to an envelope with an exotic stamp!

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    3. I'm glad you were able to order it. I knew they shipped to Canada, but wasn't sure if they would to the UK. Happy knitting!

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  29. I love to find new knitting & nature blogs :) (tripped over yours from KD's this morning) Lovely country ! ~Jen

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    1. Hi Jen! Welcome to my blog! I feel the same way about discovering new blogs. It is like taking a trip around the world, seeing how others live and what they are creating, without leaving home. :-)

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  30. Love, love, love the idea of memoirs Monday, and love your blog, Kristie, no matter what you post!

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    1. Thanks you, Lisa. I am still mulling over the idea of the Memoir Monday thing. If it happens it won't be until after I get back from my holiday. How are you doing?

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  31. I'd love to see the memoir monday!

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    1. Thanks for the "yes" vote, Mary Lou. If I do it, it won't be for a couple of months. I am away for a chunk of September, and I have to figure out a way to set it up on my blog so it becomes its own section.

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  32. Dear Kristie,
    Your posts and photos are thoughtful and interesting. I love reading about your creations (knitting and food--certainly two of my favorites!), family and travels. I appreciate what you share about your life in your blog. You have such a beautiful family, and the love you all share is evident. Memoir Mondays sound like a wonderful idea. (Don't take the unsubscribes personally!)
    Erin in PA

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Erin. Memoir Monday seem to be getting approval, so I will have to think about how to approach it. Nothing will happen before October at the earliest though.

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  33. Those unsubscribers probably have deleted their accounts, there's a lot of that around. And they may have switched to reading your blog via another service or just be logging in directly. Beside's follower numbers are frankly a useless measure of who's reading ... lots of folk will click to follow and then never read again, where many others who don't follow as such will be reading every post. Although I have the Friend Connect followers widget hidden on knitsofacto it is possible to follow my blog that way and people do. But they are a tiny fraction of the overall readership. Try installing Stat Counter (statcounter.com) ... it's free, and easy to use, and I think you might be surprised by how many people are reading your lovely blog x

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    1. You make some great points, Annie. Thanks for the tip about Stat Counter. I'll see if I can figure it out. And I will be getting back to you about some Wales details early next week. Kath and I are still trying to sort out some things. :-)

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  34. And on another note entirely ... Lucy is adorable and these are just the most wonderful family pics. And if you have family stories to share, well I for one will love reading them. You have a unique voice as a writer Kristie, sharing more of it can only be a good thing. I'm just so sad our 'visit' will now be so much shorter than planned because I was looking forward to getting to know you much, much better x

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    1. I feel the same way. Every time I think about Shetland I feel sad you won't be there to share it with us. There is a part of me that keeps hoping you are able to come at the last minute. I haven't canceled your room reservations yet. Just saying...

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    2. I've not cancelled my flights for the same reason ... but I don't hold out much hope of things changing at this end :(

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  35. I have just recently found your blog and enjoy it very much. Please continue on as you have been doing, I won't be leaving anytime soon!

    Maria in Ontario, Canada

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    1. Hi Maria, and welcome to my blog! I'm glad you are enjoying it. Thank you for your kind words. :-)

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  36. I've been reading your blog for a long time and absolutely love your writing and personal feel. I was never very efficient at following blogs as such and just used to look up who I liked. Now properly following :) I'm just catching up with reading about your move and the very exciting arrival of gorgeous Lucy, as I've been on a self imposed bloggy ban for about 3 months (preparing my house for moving and starting work full time!). But I'm back and very happy to see you x

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    1. It's nice to have you back reading my blog again after your self-imposed ban, Tracy! :-) And thanks for becoming an official follower!

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  37. Those are truly lovely family photos, Kristie. There's something about the way people hold a new little family member which is so tender and sweet. I've always been sad that my parents died relatively young and never saw our two become adults and marry and have their own families. I for one am fascinated by autobiography and family history and would love to read your Memoir Monday posts.

    As for the lost followers I can still remember the sinking feeling when I first lost a follower and as a pretty new blogger I couldn't help taking it personally. I've toughened up a bit since then. :-) I value my followers and commenters immensely which is why I tried to give people as many ways to follow as I can when Google Reader disappeared in July.

    There is certainly nothing about your blog which comes across as bragging or complacency, just someone who appreciates her life and her family and tries to share some of it all with others. I too don't share everything - some things are just too private for public consumption.

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    1. PS I love the baby sweater and know just what you mean about the perils of not swatching. :-)

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    2. I'm so sorry your parents weren't alive to see their grandchildren grow up and have families of their own. My dad died two years ago, and it makes me sad to think that Lucy won't know him.

      I need to get thicker skin in terms of blogging. I wonder how many followers I need to lose for that to happen. Ha! If you have any tips for toughening up I would love to hear them. :-)

      As for the baby sweater, I fell into the trap of thinking that it wasn't necessary to swatch for baby clothes. The sad thing is I know I probably won't swatch for the next thing I knit for Lucy either. I'm a very slow learner.

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