Addicted to Knitting

traditional? or not

Posted on: July 26, 2008

I realized this morning that I buck traditions. My husbands family is extremely traditional and this causes problems in my house. When I was growing up my family had very few traditions. We didn’t attend church regularly, and really I can’t think of much we did the same year after year. Of course we always did Thanksgiving and I believe when I was really young we always opened gifts Christmas morning but that didn’t stick. My mom worked many holidays for double pay, and my dad was gone driving truck. One Christmas I spent with the neighbors. I was reflecting on this because today is Old Timers. ( a celebration held in Hyattville where my husband grew up) I went to this last year and was bored. It was a very clicky little bunch of people, my children were bugging me (mom can we go home? Mom there’s nothing to do etc) So this year I had planned to boycott this. My husband is sleeping so he can go work his 1st of 3 12 hour shifts so I planned a nice day in front of the AC watching the Love Comes Softly marathon with my knitting. Immediately upon arising this morning I was hit once again about going. My husband is a sweetheart and means well with all that he says and does. He can also be very pushy. His whole family is pushy in a nice way. Jim was insisting that this was a “tradition” and I should go. That’s when it hit me that I am a nontraditional person. Sometimes l like to open presents on Christmas eve and get the mess over with. Other times I want the excitement and anticipation of Christmas morning. Does this make sense to anyone but me? I wonder if this is because of my upbringing or just my personality. Share with me one of your traditions of non traditions to get 1 entry into my giveaway. What am I giving away? Well just check this out……….

Some beautiful Zen Yarn Garden in the crouching tiger colorway.This is so soft I could touch it all day and I love the colors. Great for all you sock knitters out there.

I want to keep this Twisted Sister’s Mirage for myself but I won’t. If someone tells me what size and how many beads are needed for Gilda (ravelry link) I will get those to add to the yarn. (Everyone who tells me gets 2 entries in my giveaway)

And just because I found this interesting some SWTC aMAIZing yarn.This stuff is like silk! I found a few patterns on ravelry that can be made out of one skien. One of them is a whimsy Kerchief found here.This is another yarn I would like to keep for myself. I love the subtle colorway of #372

Of course I shopped for myself but will share one of these adorable lantern moon sweaters with someone out there. The rest are going on my little knitting tree( a tradition something I am starting this year…more later on that)

One entry per comment, one entry for getting someone else to visit and comment. If you send someone over have them tell me you sent them and you both get entered. There will be more ways to enter as we go along. Drawing will be on August 13th- my mom’s 85th birthday.

49 Responses to "traditional? or not"

Oh my… I understand completely!!! I tried a few traditions when my kids were young but then they started stressing me out. The best tradition I ever had going was a Birthday Party for Jesus each Christmas. I started when my oldest boys were about 5 & 3, and we did it for about 5 or 6 years… but by then I had more of my own children and we would end up inviting about 40+ kids between 2 & 11. It got a bit insane. lol

So did you go with your husband today?

I will admit, I love traditions, but I don’t love pressure, or stress because of traditions. Suddenly, they become so not worth it. One tradition we have is to visit Barkerville (an old-west kind of town) each year for my hubby’s birthday. We make a day of it, take a picnic, etc. Lots of fun… :0)

Hi Marni! LOVE the yarn and the tiny sweaters. Come visit me on Ravelry; I’ve started a Ravelympics team. Best, Deb

okay i’m going to say 2500 beads, size 6/0.

thanks for the chance at the wonderful yarn

oo ~ a little knitting tree! Nice tr*d*t*on!!!

In our family, we like to make interesting birthday cakes for each other. Some of the more memorable ones ~

~ a hammer-shaped cake for our son at age 3, decorated with three nails (two straight, one bent) to commemorate his young interest in his dad’s tools;

~ a “Bob Ross” cake for my husband complete with a gazillion icing squiggles for the artist’s frizzy hair because that year my dh was on fire finding “happy places” for trees, shrubs and barns to live in his watercolor paintings

…well, you get the idea! No one is safe from receiving a very personal cake on their birthday!

What a FUN contest!!!

We have a couple of traditions. Each year, we invite our friends over for church and Christmas Eve dinner. When I was growing up, we spent Christmas Eve with my mom’s side of the family. Since we’re not at home, we invite friends. I really like this tradition. The other one is funny. My daughter and I play an underwear-related trick on my husband for April Fools Day. (One year we sewed all of his underwear together so when he pulled one out, they all came out in a line. Another year we substituted my underwear for his. And so on… He’s a good sport about it.)

Tammy sent me over.

I am a hostage to tradition. My father’s family is Muslim; my mother’s is Catholic; my husband’s is Jewish. We celebrate everything. It can get to be a bit confusing. One day when the kids were little, we went to a celebration for my cousin, who had just returned from the Haj (the pilgrimage to Mecca), then attended a neighbor’s Christmas party, and when we got home, we lit the Hannukah candles. My children used to confuse Santa with Moses, and were convinced the Hannukah candles were to light Santa’s way.

But my sister is very non-traditional. She and her partner have a tradition of never spending Thanksgiving in the U.S. In my family, where we all get together for Thanksgiving, this is practically heresy.

That Zen sock yarn is gorgeous!!!

I love prizes! Traditions are to be enjoyed and when they are not longer enjoyable, your create a new one. Some times it “just happens” with out you even realizing it.

When my kids were little (3 of them) we would go up to Newfound Lake in New Hampshire every Sunday morning (1 1/2 hour drive) and arrive even before they opened. We’d get our favorite picnic spot with our blankets laid out on the sand and sit to have hard boiled eggs for breakfast with our hot coffee & milk for the kids. We stayed all day having both lunch & dinner there. Only packing up as the park was closing and stopping for ice cream on the way home. While the kids swam all day, I laid on a blanket reading or crocheting (this was before my knitting days) … it was the BEST time in all those years.
So it must have been a Tradition!

My dear Mother was a tied-in-knots traditionalist. It had to be done exactly the same way every time and every year. So now I “go with the flow.” This is a great relief to me because we have 4 nurses and a firefighter in the family who work strange shifts so we do things according to when everyone can get together. One year Christmas dinner was two and a half weeks late.

There is nothing wrong with taking a casual approach to such things. Maybe you could try honoring traditions, but whenever you get around to it.

My immediate family is fairly casual about traditions, but some people in my extended family are more attached to theirs so if they’re around things stay more traditional. For example, Christmas dinner: if the family is visiting we have to have turkey and all the trimmings, but if it’s just us we’ll substitute chicken or ham or even, one year, a fondue.

Hhhmmm, I’m going to guess about 3100 beads for the Gilda scarf. An ambitious project for sure!

We have a funny Christmas tradition. One year, when I was maybe four or five, I was allowed to open a gift from an uncle on Christmas Eve. We were usually Christmas morning openers.

The next year, I asked my mom if I could open up just ONE gift on Christmas Eve. She said no, but it opened up the tradition that I would ask, every year, to open a gift on Christmas Eve, and every, she would say no.

It was quite a funny thing when I married into a family who does all of their gift-giving on Christmas Eve! Boy, have I rubbed that in my mom’s face over the years πŸ™‚

Hmmm, 140 yards of yarn but i have to guess size 8 beads (lol or 6) and about 2200 beads? I looked everywhere, clearly it is a carefully guarded secret. Beautiful scarf though!

We are traditional in a non traditional way. Having grown up in New England with a canadian background, and hubby on the west coast not really traditional at all…we have blended and added new tradtions as the years go! We raised our daughter in Hawaii surrounded by other cultures and have a very eclectic traditional theme…. we make mochi on new years day, but eat french meat pie and chutney on new years eve. We have a katamatsu on our doorstep on new years day for luck, put the xmas tree up the saturday after thanksgiving, serve st lucia buns on dec 13th. I still hide her easter basket and have friends over to dye eggs. Holiday feasts are served at our home with an open door policy to family and friends and we serve everything on hubbys great great aunts china and silver. So many little ones like this plus many more that i would so have to really think about! Guess i’m goofy with traditions!

I love family traditions. My husbands family is Italian, and every year they make wine on the last weekend in September. My husband and father in law take the kids to a dock in South Philly where they pick up the grapes. They bring them home, crush them and bottle the juice to be fermented. By Christmas Eve, its ready to taste. It’s alot of fun.

I am so there! I grew up in a family steeped in tradition! Christmas Eve everyone came to our house for gatherings, and on Christmas morning gifts were opened with the immediate family, then a trip to the cousins house for dinner, and (horseback riding for us kids).
Thanksgiving was always at Uncle Jacks in the city, the adults watched football and us kids were sent to another room for our traditional Willie Wonka movie.

Every Memorial day and July 4th was spent marching in the parade ( not watching it).

As an adult, I buck the tradition, not because I don’t want to participate. I work in Public Safety and like White Hen- we never close, so I am always working on the holidays. My oldest brother now holds Christmas Eve dinner but I rarely get to go. Duty calls. I have to wait for retirement before I can become the holiday traditionalist again.

Gilda is super easy!!! size 6 mm glass beads, but the count was a mystery, my first one was a kit and the directions never said how many. My second I bought about 7 tubes, I made it much longer than the first scarf so I never bothered to calculate. The fringe does take 265 for each end and then it is 5 beads per row for the body.

My husband and I have a tradition of giving cards to each other instead or presents – since our life together is already a present! He’s an artist, and his cards are always personal and loving. It’s a lovely tradition!

And that’s lovely Zen Yarn Garden yarn! I love Roxanne’s yarns – her colourways are always gorgeous, and the yarn always soft and fun to work with.

I’m going to guess around 1500 beads for the Gilda scarf, and since it’s on fingering yarn, 6/0 beads would look gorgeous on it. (Try

Most of my family’s traditions are around Christmas — everybody gets new pajamas to open on Christmas Eve, so Christmas photos are in nice PJs. And I haul out the advent calendar and fill it with jellybeans or other candy every morning before the kids get up.

My kids are young, so it’s nice to be able to build our own family traditions for the holiday.

Wow – love the prizes! I will post this on my blog and send all my work friends from my knitting group on over.

Our family had no traditions basically, except that for a few years we went out for Thanksgiving day dinner with some of my fathers sibs. I was born on Thanksgiving day and hated that this was just about the only regular family get together since my birthday was totally eclipsed. Most years no one even bothered to wish me a happy birthday.

Fast forward a jillion years and I now have a college-aged daughter. She and I are both vegetarians. A few years ago I invited my sister and her family to our house for Thanksgiving. I made all the things we love – veggie lasagna, a wonderful squash soup, many interesting veggie dishes, home-baked bread. My sister was so rude about our meal not being traditional, and who wanted to eat this stuff, that we vowed never to invite her back and now we generally just go for a nice walk (depending on the weather) and celebrate Thanksgiving with whatever we like eating and sing me a nice happy birthday.

The Twisted Sister yarn is gorgeous as is Gilda. It requires seven strings of Amethyst Aura Borealis Matte beads – wow I’d love to win that!

And thanks for a fun contest!

We don’t have too many traditions anymore since my grandma passed but one that I always liked was the tradition of the youngest in the family passing out presents at Christmas (helped by a parent when too young of course). Since I’m still the youngest (at 38) I’m still passing the presents!

My main family tradition was to go to my grandma’s house every “big” holiday (Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving) for a big family dinner. However, there was one thing that probably doesn’t classify as a “family” tradition, but it’s one of the big traditions of my life.

My mom used to always give me a white flower on Valentine’s Day. I always assumed she gave one to each of her daughter’s (she had two), but my sister doesn’t seem to have memories of this. When I was very little, it was always a white rose. As I grew older and her money problems increased, it turned to a white carnation or even just a card with a white flower on it. It was really important to my mom that she give me this representation of her love every year.

It meant a lot to me, too. I still don’t know why my sister didn’t get it (she always got something else, though). But it’s one of the things I always think of when I think about traditions with my mom.

We have not been able to form too many traditions in my immediate family. My husband is military so we can’t count on being able to go somewhere for a holiday or having people over for a holiday. One thing we always do is open a present Christmas Eve.

First – Elaine at elaine-knitting sent me.

My father was one of a large number of children and so all traditions involved his big extended family. But now he and all of his siblings are gone, as are many of my cousins and the remaining ones are scattered and so everything is done just with my nuclear family – my husband, daughter and I. Given that, we mostly use holidays as a time to relax and not do anything special except possibly sleep late.

I just googled about the scarf and it seems to require 7 strings of Aura Borealis beads. Personally I’d choose a purple color. I love the Zen Yarn Garden and the Twisted sisters yarns. The mini sweaters are a giggle.

I’m also an Elaine groupie ( ie she sent me over).

The closest thing to a tradition in our family is that twice a year we go to my 93 year old mother’s house for dinner for a holiday. That is the only times I see my sister. My husband and I go visit my mother every week (and my daughter comes along whenever she is in town). As my mother ages, we spend more time looking at old photos and reminiscing about various family events. I guess that might be a tradition.

The yarn prizes are beautiful.

Using Mr Google I found one person who estimated that she had strung 2,500 beads on the yarn, and another who said that she used “a full seven strings of Amethyst Aura Borealis Matte beads”. I hope that helps.

I buck traditions…if I don’t see a good reason to do them. However, I also embrace other traditions simply because they are fun or everyone gets enjoyment out of them.

For instance, why do we have to cook for weeks for a holiday? No one should be eating that much food – and they definitely don’t NEED it! No one seems to “enjoy” making all the dessert crap that requires hours and hours of time. In fact, no one even enjoys making the actual meal! So why don’t we just take advantage of the awesome pre-cooked food from Whole Foods? Heat and serve and we even get left overs!

On the other hand…Santa stockings are a newer thing the family has been doing for about 5 years. They cost a lot of money, it takes HOURS of time to search and prepare trying to find just the perfect items…that will fit in the stocking. You loose a bunch of sleep getting everything ready. HOWEVER…EVERYONE really gets a kick out of seeing what they get the next morning. So we keep doing this.

As a child, our family didn’t have many traditions either. In fact, the only “tradition” I can recall, is that Dad cooked on Christmas, rather than my mother. As a parent myself, having some family traditions are important, but others are not. Prior to having kids, and moving to VA, like every other family, our tradition for Thanksgiving was to get dressed up for the day, all the family would come to our house, bringing along a dish, and we’d eat and watch football all day. (sound like anyone else you know…maybe your family?). Well, when we moved to VA, with all of our family back in NH…we decided…there really is no reason to get “dressed up” for Thanksgiving, when it’s just DH, myself and our kids. So Thanksgiving is a jammy day for our house. We take our morning showers, put on cleam pajamas, and stay in them all day. It has made for a wonderfully relaxing Thanksgiving!

Love Comes Softly is a favorite of mine! Have you read the books? Those sweaters are darling!


For the past 5 years my husband and I have traded off Christmas and Thanksgiving with our perspective families – Christmas with my brothers (my parents have passed), Thanksgiving with his. Then trade off the next year – Christmas with his, thanksgiving with mine. This year we’re debating doing something non-traditional and going to New Zealand to see some friends for the holidays. The cheapest flights leave on Christmas day or Christmas eve – which means we won’t be around – plus with the costs of that vacation, we won’t be traveling for Thanksgiving – so 0 for 2 this year!

Even if I don’t join my brothers, I’ll still send them their “traditional” present. Every year my parents would put together a gift that you would just know as soon as you picked it up what it was, before you even opened it – T-shirt and socks! Silly but nostalgic.

My family has a tradition of buying a birthday cake for Baby Jesus every Christmas and singing happy birthday.

As for Gilda, size 6/0 beads – 2500 of them!

Like others here, my mother’s family used to have traditions when she was a kid. They’d go once a month to one of the aunts or uncle’s house and spend the day together. But by the time I was growing up the family was much smaller and we were all scattered and so it was rare to get together with the extended family. Sometimes I feel sad that we don’t have the sorts of traditions that used to be so common. This year one of my friends whose parents are Italian invited me to go to their family’s Christmas eve celebration – it was loud, noisy, but was lots of fun.

It seems like you need to have 7 strings of Aura Borealis Matte beads – this is based on a blog someone had showing their FO.

Elaine of elaine-knitting asked me to tell you that she sent me.

Thanks for the fun contest – it’s been very interesting reading everyone’s comments

I really tend to buck tradition.My husband’s family is very traditional and this has caused many,many problems.My family is open to whatever.Last year for Christmas instead of cooking for days,we just did finger foods,dips and snacks and played games all day.It was a blast.This year, we are all going to Florida for a week.I like to mix things up and get stuck in a rut forever.

I’m a fairly traditional person. I like the regularity of traditions, or at least the reassurance of doing something a certain way. Though often with my family, traditions get changed or reinterpreted year to year, it just happens, and that’s all right too. For instance, one thanksgiving we went on vacation in Florida. Now normally, we do the big dinner, but this year we went to cracker barrel. My mother and I got the traditional turkey meal, but one of my brothers got chicken fingers, the other steak, my father a hamburger, and my sister mac and cheese. And the funny thing is? Everyone was happy with their food, even though it wasn’t traditional. It was just about being together.

Happy Birthday to your mom! Mine has the very same birthdate, and I’ll be giving her yarn. My family is nontraditional in many ways, not the least of which is that we’ve never celebrated either Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, because my parents thought they were silly. And yes, I do understand what you mean about opening Christmas gifts early–sometimes my husband and I cheat and open a few several days before Christmas!

Yes, happy birthday to your mother. My mother is of the same age bracket and I consider myself lucky to still have her with me.

When I was young, our whole family – aunts, uncles, cousins, would go out to a restaurant for Thanksgiving. Each year it was a different restaurant – whichever was opened and most conveniently located. It wasn’t a tradition born of nostalgia – it was very pragmatic. No one lived in a place big enough to host everyone and also that way no one got stuck in the kitchen for most of the event.

I heard about your contest from Elaine of elaine-knitting and I also know the secret of the beads – 7 strands of Twisted Sister’s Aura Borealis Matte beads. They’d look great in a purplish color with the yarn prize.

My husband and I do not get to spend many holidays together( Marine Corps.) so the holidays we do get are a bit weird. Some are a day late others on time and some are very late like a month late. We do valentines day NEVER on the 14. Usually we have a date night on maybe the 18th. We try to do Christmas Right. In my family we always opened one present on Christmas eve and the rest on the 25th. The x-mas eve present was always pjs. ALWAYS. We try to do that with our kids and have been successful for their four years. I guess that is our only holiday we do on time.

Our non traditional thing we do every year is:I take my kids to the hallmark store each year and let them pick out there own special ornament to put on the tree and when they turn 18 they get to take them with them to put on there own christmas tree:)we also open one present on christmas eve.For one skein of mirage I would say 4 panels and with that colorway I think one 3 ounce bag of 6mm green beads 833 would be enough.Hugs Darcy

Traditions don’t have to be centered around holidays or religion. It can be something simple.

When my son was in school, we’d get up a bit early the first day of school and go eat breakfast out at a fast food joint. Just us two. It was a simple tradition but one we both will remember.

Hi I’m here by way of WiKnit. I’m Canadian but I live in Finland and my son was born here. He has always opened his gifts from his Finnish relatives on Christmas Eve because that is when Finns celebrate Christmas. Christmas morning he opens his Canadian gifts. This works also now that his father and I are divorced because we both get to celebrate Christmas with our son on the correct day and have our own traditional meal.

My non-tradition? My husband and I started opening our presents on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas. It’s our holiday time together. Also we are not distracted on Christmas Day from our kids (dogs included) ripping their presents.

On my birthday, I ask for dog food instead of presents. I take the food (last year it was about 150 pounds) to a local animal rescue group.

I found out about your contest from Elaine (

I think one of the earlier posters is right. I had been thinking traditions have to be associated with religion or holidays, but I think she’s right that they don’t. But even so, we don’t have much in the way of traditions.

But I just thought of one – one of the women I used to work with and I would go out to a knitting store at lunch on bad days to see whether we could cheer ourselves up. She always needed cheering up. When we got to the yarn store, she would go in and always look at the most expensive yarn, and I would run to the sale bin to see if there was anything good on sale. She’s left the company so we get together far less often, but a couple of weeks ago we met for lunch. We ate at a restaurant right across from the yarn store and afterwards, reverted to our “tradition” – her buying everything expensive she can find, and me sale bin-diving. Does that count? πŸ™‚

As for the beads, I also found an entry on someone’s blog for her gorgeous FO. She said she used seven strings of Amethyst Aura Borealis Matte beads

And happy birthday to your Mom

My family is very traditional but I’m looking forward to something new. Yesterday my sister married a wonderful guy. They both live in Florida and he’s originally from Puerto Rico. Every year since she has moved down there, she’s come home to Minnesota for Christmas. But now that they are married I expect that she’ll be staying there some years with his family. I LOVE snow at Christmas but perhaps this year we will visit her and have sunshine and beaches!

And Gilda is STUNNING! I’ll guess size 6/0 beads and 2300 of them. (But I looked all over the internet and couldn’t find out for SURE.)

There are times when I love tradition; however there are also times when I like to buck it. I remember the first year that we went out to breakfast on Christmas morning (a small thng in many ways, but huge in my life). I felt so free and the kids loved it.
I am posting to my blog and hope to send people to you:-)

We don’t have that many traditions, but the ones we have I try to keep – mostly these are around the holidays and birthdays. Georgi sent me here!

Our family has never been much for tradition, unless not talking to each other is a triadition. Seems like there was always some sort of fued going on between the inlaws. May be the reason I never married. I came here from WiKntis contest blog, and am posting to my blog right now. Happy 85th to your Mom, mine just turned 82 in April. And she’s still not talking to the inlaws! I didn’t have any luck on the Gida question.

Heya. I came here via WiKnit. My family isn’t too much for tradition, mainly because both my parents were something of a rebel when it came to doing what they were “supposed” to. We do have a Christmas Eve ritual of a family get-together with roast pork, black beans, yucca, rice, and (since it’s also one of my brother’s birthday), cake. Oh, and arguing. It wouldn’t be Christmas without arguing. πŸ˜‰

my family doesn’t have any traditions yet. my son will be 1 years old right before christmas so I imagine we will have plenty of years to come up with some. this will be his second xmas technically. not sure if the first one counts he was just a newborn on dec 14 of last year. as far as the family i grew up in our tradition was watch the sci fi channel and cook the turkey and play with our toys

My family is so spread out across the country it’s hard to have traditions, but one I have started is that when my daughter and I send each other cards, for anything, we hunt down a card with a cat on it. Her Anniversay card was a challenge, but I found one! Thanks for the contest. Debbie

We’re not really big on traditions, either — my family situation, while wonderful, was not particularly constant, so what happened one year didn’t necessarily happen the next So instead of traditions, we have daily rituals — I always call my mom at 9 pm; we always sign all our letters and emails the same, stuff like that. Now that I’m married, maybe we’ll start some traditions, bu who knows!

I forgot to guess how many beads – I’m guessing 950. Debbie

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July 2008
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