Passing Down Crazy

Because Sometimes the Best Thing You Can Give Your Kid is an Addiction…To Yarn

Who Can You Trust?


News Flash:  There’s a contest in this post!

As you can tell, I’ve been thinking very profound thoughts today.  Trust is an issue for most people.  First, there are huge corporations being bailed out, and they’re giving out huge bonusus.  Now I don’t talk about politics on this blog, but I’m pretty sure that nobody is happy about the bonusus except the undeserving execs that are getting them.

Then you read the paper.  There are cases every day of someone having their identity stolen.  Or a gazillion credit cards are compromised by a security breach.

I could go on and on, but instead I have to tell you what happened to me today.  I still don’t believe it.

I had someone ask me for my address last week.  It was someone I had met online.  Now before you judge me and tell me how stupid I am, let me tell you the rest of the story.  This person was really slick.

I gave my address to a stranger.

Look what I got in the mail today.  I never saw it coming.  I’m a very trusting person, you know.









I got this gorgeous, hand knit shawl.  Nobody has ever given me a hand knit anything.  Look closer at these perfect stitches.

It’s a color I love and wear a lot of.  My nail polish usually matches.  My lipstick matches.  Even my mannequins hat accent matches.

Helen sent me this.  And I’ve never met her.  We’ve been blog friends for a while.  I don’t even remember when we started leaving each other comments.  I’ve talked to her on the phone a few times.  We co-moderated Seasons of Lace, along with Alyse.  (They did all the work!)    But I’ve never met her.

Thank you so much, Helen!

And because she was so generous, I’m having a contest.  Leave a comment at the end of this post and tell Helen why she’s so wonderful.  Also, I need ideas of what to do for her in exchange.  (No, I’m not sending her on a cruise to the Caribbean!)    On Monday night, Feb 2nd at midnight central time, I will randomly choose one person to send a prize to.  What’s the prize?  I have no idea.  I just thought this contest up as I was sitting here.  I’m sure it will be yarn or knitting related.  And, at that time, I will also figure out a way to say thank you to Helen.

Oh, in case you’re wondering why I didn’t model this gorgeous new shawl myself, let me show you what I’m wearing at 2 PM!

Um, yes!  You’re seeing coffee cup pajamas, with an old sweatshirt over it and jeans underneath.  I couldn’t bring Frankie to school with bare legs when it’s 5 degrees out, could I?  I’m not that crazy.  (I was hoping that making the photo long and skinny would do the same for me.  Didn’t work!)

Oh, and Helen….I have the border of Madli’s Shawl done.  That’s what I did this morning.

If you look really closely you can see clear beads.  I’m not doing nupps this time.

I have to go.  I need to get dressed before I pick Frankie up from school!


Author: mariajhmom

I'm a wife, mom, quilter, knitter, and spinner. I blog at

38 thoughts on “Who Can You Trust?

  1. What a rush it is to get a gift like that in the mail, its just such a wonderful mood lifter, and Helen is a kind and giving soul to share her special talents with you. I would love to know more about the pattern and the yarn in it. I think for someone special like that a gift would have to include some truly special yarn so she can create another treasure!.

    I used your last post as inspiration for my own today! You have inspired me in so many ways. Last Mother’s Day I received a bunch of Koigu from DH to make the Irish Diamond Shawl I was so impressed with yours I have to have one of my own, now I have to wind the yarn and start it!!!

  2. How very kind of Helen to knit this for you, the time alone she spent on knitting was a gift in and of itself not to mention the beautiful shawl. I think a gift of yarn would be a good thing to send, along with chocolate or food of some kind. When I first started reading your post I was headed in a different direction for outcome, what a pleasant surprise.

  3. Its a very lovely shawl. I’m sure it blessed Helen as much making it for you as it does for you recieving it. I would like to know more about the pattern and yarn used too.

  4. What an amazing gift. She knew her was going to be appreciated and loved. Send her some cashmere. 🙂 Oh yes, and chocolate too!

  5. I truly feel that knitting friends are some of the best friends to have; so what if we haven’t met (yet)? Helen obviously knows how to touch the heart of her knitting friends on line or at the LYS. The shawl is a lovely piece of knitting and the colour is very flattering! You’re a lucky blogger!
    p.s. I had a coffee cup nightie too, but I wore it out…I guess I loved it too much. :o)

  6. I love it that Helen knew exactly what color to work the shawl in. She’s very observant, not to mention generous. And how nice for a first handknit gift.

    I would also suggest yarn or knitting goodies as a gift, but I would wait until the gift calls to you. Sometimes trying to find the right thing in such a situation, when you don’t really know the person, can be awkward. On the other hand, one day you’ll be looking through your stash or shopping locally, or on vacation, and you’ll come across exactly the thing for Helen, and you’ll know it when you see it. You see, it might be a book, or a particular skein of yarn that is waiting for you to find it.

    I say this because in the last month I have completed three knitting projects that had no intended recipient, not even myself, and after they were finished and had sat for a while they each revealed the person for whom they were intended, or rather the recipients revealed themselves, in their own special ways. That’s a nice thing about gift giving.

  7. I don’t think you’re at all crazy…. I give my address out all the time!! I think that someone that would do something that special deserves a treat all their own. Maybe a gift certificate to one of the wonderful online shops?? Since you haven’t had a chance to see her stash it would give her the chance to add something she wants and just hasn’t bought to it!!
    😀 Carla

  8. Wow. That is a fabulous gift. I love the color and style and the knitting is beautiful.

    I recommend sending her some lace-weight Buffalo Gold. I bought some at Kid ‘n’ Ewe and it is divine.

  9. Random Gifts of kindness are the best. Here’s hoping Helen will inspire others to take up this practice…it’s good for the soul. Thanks Helen for the inspiration!

  10. Thanks all!
    I dithered for a long time about who should receive that shawl. I clearly sent it to the right place!
    The pattern is my own… I’m gearing up to publish it…. I need more pictures though.

  11. Those of us who knit appreciate those knitted gifts so much more than recipients who don’t knit! That scarf is beautiful and it’s my very favorite color. Maria, you deserve it. You inspire all of us out here in blogland who read your blog regularly but never comment.

  12. Of course Helen is fabulous for sending you such a beautiful gift! I’d send her some non-greasy hand lotion, if you have a favorite. I find those lotions very hard to find and that lots of knitting, especially in the winter, leaves my hands dry. 🙂

  13. I think a knitted gift would be lovely as a thank you. As you appreciate her work, I’m sure she’d appreciate yours! Beautiful work – I look forward to the pattern being published.

  14. That is a beautiful shawl. I really like the design. She was so thoughtful to find a color that you already wear. Well done, Helen.

  15. What a special gift! The shawl is beautiful, and even more wonderful that she made such a perfectly fitting gift for you, even though you’ve never met in person!

    What can you do for her in return? Well, something really special, I hope! 🙂

  16. Helen is wonderful ’cause she knows the meaning of a RAK…and puts it into action.

    I’d say you could send her some snow, but it looks like she has plenty of that herself…Maybe a quilted pillow – you’ll figure out something wonderful, I know. You have that creativity thing down in spades…

  17. Beautiful, thoughtful gift. And that would explain why she hasn’t quite finished her “Must Have Cardi” yet!

  18. I have found that knitters are the friendliest, most generous bunch! How lucky you are to have Helen for a friend.

    Why is Helen so wonderful? She made you a gift that instantly made you feel warm, special, and cared about. And the gift was made with you in mind – your color, something you would wear. She put a piece of herself in it for you and that is why she is so special!

    Does Helen quilt? Make her a quilt! Quilts make you feel the same way!

  19. That is so beautiful and such a thoughtful gift (subscribing to Helen’s blog now for the future pattern news). Why is it that knitters are so rarely given knitted items? Helen is special because she made you feel special!

    What would make Helen smile?

  20. I think that Helen really has the idea of random acts of kindness. They are so sweet, because they are not at all anticipated.

    I think that some quilt type thing would be really nice… a lap blanket, wall hanging, pillow. You make such gorgeous quilts!

  21. Yes Helen, i think you’ve picked the perfect home for the shawl. It will be appreciated, loved and as we see…. the goodness is shared with all of us.

  22. What an angel Helen is to knit you something so beautiful with the expectation of nothing in return. She must know (as we all do) from reading your blog, that you do so much for your family that you deserve something special. Obviously she’s very in-tuned with the subtlties of your nailpolish, lipstick and the mannequin’s hat to know what color you’d like.

    I think Helen would enjoy a day a spa where she lives. Anyone who puts that much effort and thought into a gift deserves to get pampered.

    You’re very brave to model your “day-wear”. I had to laugh.

    (oops – accidently posted this in “Messy” comments first – please ignore)

  23. The beautiful shawl was a nice and very thoughtful gift. People have written such nice comments, it’s impossible to top them!
    I think both you and Helen are kind and caring ladies (and fantastic knitters!) and she will appreciate any gift you send her.

  24. Sometimes a person gives just because they want to. In that case, a sincere Thank You- which you’ve already done- is the right return gift. I once had a random act of kindness in a plane ride! It was wonderful.

  25. I guess I am kind of like you that I still trust and believe in the goodness in people. That and a sense of humor keep me sane. Helen did a really nice job, clearly observed your favorite type of colors and design and put some thought into what she wanted to make for you. She knew you would know the work entailed and would appreciate more than some other people that don’t knit. I think it’s fantastic that you have someone like Helen in your life, we should all have at least one!

  26. You scared me with the beginning of this post! And then I was blown away by that shawl! Gorgeous! I just stalked, I mean BROWSED, Helen’s blog. You lace-knitters scare me. I’m seeing that once you start, you can’t stop. And you’ve given me the bug. I have a feeling I should run, run, RUN, right now, before this goes any further…but then my mind wanders back to those beautiful yards and yards of lace-y-beauty, and I know I’m doomed. All those years of crocheting intricate doilies and dresser scarves, and hairpin lace, they were just practice. I saw no less than 5 items on Helen’s blog that made my fingers itch. How sweet of her to make that for you, and in your favorite color! BTW, kudos to you for putting the pants on with your ‘outfit’. I drive my kids to school half-naked all the time. There are 12 kids in our school this year (it’s a one-room achoolhouse); they make bets on what I’ll have on if my kids aren’t there by 7:50. And, yes, they come outside to check!!! They know all my pajamas!

  27. Helen is a jewel… what a gorgeous and thoughtful gift! And a beautiful pattern as well; how special that she designed it herself.

    As for what to send her. Well… you can never go wrong with yarn (and chocolate!) when you’re dealing with a knitting nut. BUT.. I also happen to know that you are an expert quilter, so how about a fun lap quilt, or a quilted bag for her to schlep her knitting around in? (I’m a Moda freak, too!)

  28. An act of amazing kindness and love in an era where many who are not deserving have riches beyond and those that are beyond deserving are struggling. How to repay – Mention the gift on the blog, wear the gift often and with a full heart, pay it forward as in the contest, tell Helen how much she means to you and teach your children to be just like her.

  29. Helen you totally rule. And you are a really envy inducing knitter, you know? That lace is GORGEOUS.

    Well since you know Helen, I would start with her favorite colors and look for hints about something she wants or has wanted for awhile and see if you can make her that. Or maybe she has a loved one that needs something. Or if she has a pet or pets, what about an applique or knitted lap quilt in her favourite colors?

    (I love how this has become a bit of a Pay it Forward thing. I wish there were more people in teh world like Helen and you.)

  30. okay I meant an applique that looks like said pet(s). Must learn to slow down and edit better…

  31. Helen deserves some special chocolates and coffee/tea. And throw in a sweet cup/mug for her to drink it from. There’s no way you could match her generosity, unless you hand knit her something. And we all know you knit gorgeous stuff, so anything you do would be worth receiving.

    I’m glad I am not the only one who dresses like that to drop off at school. But I haven’t had to do that for a week since we had no school due to the ice storms.

    PS. I am just getting ready to knit my 8 garter st rows on Msdli. I started it eons ago and just got it back out today, before I even read your post. Weird.

  32. Helen has wonderful taste in pattern and fiber and color. So perhaps you can gift her with some wonderful colorful fiber so she can indulge in her favorite pattern for herself.

  33. I hope Helen is not setting an example that your other blog readers have to send you beautiful handknitted items! Helen is thoughtful; she knows what colors you like and what items you would like. You are lucky in knowing a stranger like Helen!

    Knit something for Helen! She’ll love whatever you knit because from what I’ve seen, anything you make is just gorgeous!

  34. In a gift from the heart as simple “thank you note” from the heart is what is warrented….I don’t think she gave with the intent to receive. Just my 2cents worth.

  35. Oh yeah… I commented… but I forgot to say what to do to thank me (grin) or say why I’m wonderful. Does that mean I’m not in the contest? You know me… I’m all about entering the contests 🙂
    If I got a vote… I steal Hydrangea from you. But designing the pattern for the shawl I sent to you likely took no where near the effort of knitting and beading Hydrangea. Then I’d owe you something. We’d be thanking each other with gifts for years to come.

    THAT sounds like fun!

  36. I love this post! Yes, trust is a big issue and it looks as though your instincts were very good. The color is great and her stitches are lovely. If she is like me, I am always looking for a nice “bag” to carry my projects in. No too big, not too small but then too this wasn’t a gift exchange….was it. She probably just wanted you to have something she made. How sweet!

  37. In the giving of this gift, how can Helen not be wonderful? Always trust a knitter with your address because you never know what gorgeous handknit might be gifted to you. And, she was thoughtful enough to knit her lovely pattern up, in your color.

  38. What a lovely surprise! I love knitterly acts of kindness. Helen definitely deserves something special. Maybe you could knit her a shawl in return since I bet she had trouble letting that one go.

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