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Many years ago, one Miss Martha Stewart had the nerve to look directly into the camera and say to me personally, “Befriend your fishmonger.” I mean. Befriend your fishmonger! “Who is she talking to?” I wondered, as I closely examined the extensive collection of 29-cent ramen noodles in my pantry. 

Her point was that if I was on good terms with my fishmonger, I might have better luck getting him to filet or debone a fish, or devein shrimp, or meunière a sole or whatEVER it was I might be needing in the elaborate fish preparation department for all the seafood banquets she seemed to think I’d be hosting.

I bring this up now because the shipping department at Atlas is seeing a lot of notes on orders that say things like, “Leave package on porch” or “Place box behind bush next to the west veranda” or “Remove head from Mamie Eisenhower bust, place package inside, replace Mamie Eisenhower head.” 

Now look: we write these notes on the boxes when we see them, but that’s really the most we can do. There’s no guarantee the request will be honored. We don’t get to talk to your mailman. I have it on good authority (that would be our mailman) that most postal workers don’t ever even see these instructions. Their little beep-beep robot scanners don’t hold those personal messages, so they never even really notice them.

If they have a traditional mailbox route, their job ends at getting the mail in the mailbox, even though you went to all that trouble to acquire that clever Mamie Eisenhower-shaped theft deterrent box from the SkyMall catalog. If a package fits in your regular mailbox, that’s the quickest option and that’s the option they’re going to take.

But—and there’s always a “but”—here’s the interesting part. When I asked the mailman the best way to communicate those messages to postal workers on the receiving end, he said the best thing we could hope for was that the recipient of a package (that would be you!) had befriended his or her mailman. Turns out that a smile and a wave or an occasional “Hi” gets a mailman out of the truck and up onto a porch and deploying any of the various ways you’ve invented to outwit porch pirates faster than any poorly-scrawled-with-a-Sharpie note ever will.

So I tried it at my own house. I have two different regular mail carriers. Monday-Thursday Guy and Friday/Saturday Lady. Historically, both of them have practically been Masters-degree holders in mailbox-stuffing and I have had to use a crowbar more than once to get packages out of the box. During the run-up to Christmas last year, though, I made it a point to be outside a few times when the mail truck came by and waved and said “Hi” when I was near the mailbox and—here’s the trick!—made eye contact.

Reader, it was like magic. Ever since, every single package I’ve ordered that utilized USPS delivery has been carefully placed inside the Bess Truman Lockbox on my porch (when it comes to First Lady Security Devices, there are Eisenhower people and there are Truman people, and never—never!—the twain shall meet). I know that seems like nothing but anecdotal evidence, but I think if we’ve learned anything over the past two years, it’s that random anecdotal evidence we’ve gleaned from the internet is far, far more trustworthy than science or statistics. 

I really should have known to not question Martha. When will I learn? When will I learn? Get to know your mailman. Befriend your fishmonger.

A Giveaway

The prize? Thanks to Abrams Books, we have five copies of Knitstrips: The World’s First Comic-Strip Knitting Book by Alice Ormsbee Beltran and Karen Kim Mar to give away!

Read more about the book here in Kay’s celebratory welcome. And while you’re there, download a free pattern from Knitstrips!

How to enter?

Two steps:

Step 1: Sign up for our weekly newsletter, Snippets, right here. If you’re already subscribed, you’re set.

Step 2: What’s the best advice it took you way too long to take? Tell us in the comments.

Deadline for entries: Sunday, March 27, 11:59 PM Central time. We’ll draw winners from the entries and notify them by email.

About The Author

DG Strong took up knitting in 2014. He lives in Nashville with his sister, her rat terrier and a hound dog named Opal. He has a blog of drawings and faintly ridiculous rambling called The Psychopedia—there are worse ways to spend your afternoon.


  • At Christmas, my sister and I tipped both our regular mailman and our Wednesday substitute. They have always delivered our packages to the rear of our building when they don’t fit in our front door mailslots. Years ago our Dad would always tip our trashmen.

    • Yup, an annual holiday card with a little green along with a smile and a nod when you see them is so important. They have a demanding job and could use a little pat on the back from all of us. This includes the FEDEX and the UPS drivers. A little appreciation goes a long way.

    • In my experience, nothing derails a social media comments section faster than a conversation about tipping, but I agree about tipping the mailman. However… it’s illegal to tip them cash or cash equivalents (like gift cards) and even non-cash gifts are not supposed to exceed $20 in value. I do it every year anyway, but I didn’t want anyone to get in trouble about it – the mailman can get fined heavily, it seems – so I didn’t mention it in the post.

      • Always leave 20 bucks for the mail carrier. We made friends with Larry who was our guy for 30 years. When we were moving he told me he’d miss us and hoped the new people were as nice

      • As a mail carrier I can tell you that tips are personal and very much appreciated, but a simple thank you is appreciated even more. I do not work for tips and my aim and the aim of my colleagues is customer service.

        • Thank you for your thoughtful response. We have a wonderful mail carrier who we appreciate and I’ve wanted to give her something but wasn’t sure how it would be received. If we’re home we try to go to the mailbox, especially if we have packages, say hello and maybe chat for a few moments. We have actually bumped into her in town and been able to chat.

      • You can’t tip city bus drivers or your federal attorney friend who gave you legal advice the one time either, but ask no questions and s/he’ll tell no lies.

        • I am a federal employee (at the VA). We have very strict rules about accepting gifts: accept nothing that has a value over $20, and no more than $50 in a year from separate gifts. I am in complete agreement with these rules, particularly serving patients, though some can get very sad when you have to refuse their kindly intended gift. :-/

    • I should’ve been a teacher. Then I’d be off for spring break this week.

      • Set up a budget. I leave my postal carriers homemade pastries at Christmas. I get thank you notes!

        • Took me too long to realise that I have just one shot at life: don’t live for others, live for yourself.

        • There are no stupid questions.

  • Cabling without a cable needle. I love using cable needles, but I have done cables without them.

  • Cabling without a cable needle. I love using cable needles so it took a while before I tried doing it without one.

    • Set aside time to write every day! (Instead of waiting for inspiration to hit!)

    • It has taken me a while to feel okay about ripping out to correct mistakes. Knitting and unknitting. It’s all good.

      • Be yourself and not what you “think” others expect of you.

  • Swatch. I know, I know – I also hate it. But I have started knitting some car covers instead of sweaters so I’m a convert.

    • Knitting car covers? As in automobiles? All weather? Variegated or solid?

  • You will be happier if work isn’t your be all to end all.

    • be yourself, everyone else is already taken!

    • The older I get, the more. I trust my instincts.

    • Mistakes happen and it’s okay to start over.

  • For years, I was afraid to cable at all. I thought it would be too hard! Once I learned, cabling became on of my favorite techniques. This was a lesson to be open to learning new things–in knitting and in life!

  • Save for retirement

    • Amen, to that!!

  • Swatch!!

  • Be kind to your inner knitter.

  • Bend at your knees, not at your waist!

  • Best to knit less, but use best yarn you can afford, then to knit a lot with junk. Your legacy lives longer with the best.

  • If you don’t like it rip it out!

    • Best advise that took me 15 years or more to actually accept. When your family (parents; siblings) don’t want to be with you & your family at holidays or anytime actually. You can’t make people like you even close family. So, I finally accepted it & stopped reaching out to get together with them. And now I enjoy being with my husband & our children & friends. Much happier & a weight has been lifted.

  • Read the instructions prior to beginning a knit project or a recipe!

  • Gentling tap all the nails before tightening them.

    • Read the instructions!!!!

  • Once again, you are soooooo right. Our regular mail person is a rare gem. If around 2:30 the doorbell rings, I know we have something that wouldn’t fit in the box. Eye contact? Pah, we are on first name basis! It’s not an easy job, and a little appreciation goes a long way. That said, we once had a carrier, who was arrested for stealing mail, and one that refused to deliver our mail because he didn’t like our mailbox. Takes all kinds. (Sometimes I wish it didn’t!)

    • Not only should one swatch, but also wash and block said swatch to get correct gauge. Egads!!!!

  • Only make things for people who are knitworthy. So many aren’t.

  • It took me too long to be honest with myself.

    • If you have a WIP you’re not happy with, don’t feel bad about ripping it out!

    • How true! And of course, I had married Mr Wrong along the way, and ignored knitting and meditating for far too long. Happily, it is all good now!

  • Martha is always right! ALWAYS. I should have gotten on a regular sleep schedule and made sure to drink enough water BEFORE my thirties.

    • Are you me? I was also going to say “drink water and get enough sleep”. Two things that are super obvious, but did take me until my thirties to actually do.

  • Ignore the mean girls.

  • That a job is just a job. In my 20’s -40’s I put my job before family and I regret every minute that I lost.

    • Amen to that! As a recent retiree I have come to understand that my job was what I DID not who I AM.

  • Haste makes waste. I always hated hearing that growing up and thought doing things quicker was surely better, the more you get done the more you can do, right? Took me almost 30 years to realize that slowing down was a good thing, just slow down.

  • It’s a serious job but some people take it too seriously. For context, I worked in a police/fire dispatch center for many years. Some people add to the stress of the job essentially because they take it too seriously.

  • My best advice? Don’t sweat the small stuff. Have I learned? No, but I’m trying.

    • I learned a good one from a graduation speaker: Don’t sweat the petty stuff, and NEVER pet the sweaty stuff!

  • Don’t worry, be happy

  • Measure twice, cut once

  • Swatch. And swatch again if the first one isn’t correct.

    Sometimes it’s better to bite your tongue and keep your mouth shut than say ‘I told you so.’

  • Lifelines! And only recently enacted. Since utilizing, I haven’t needed them. Sheesh.

    • Always block a finished project.

  • Give advice time before acting,

  • Pay attention to what you pay attention to.
    And swatch….

  • Two things I “discovered” late in life –
    Peanut butter – it was always around but I had decided I didn’t like it (does make sense, I know!)
    Bananas on my cereal – watched my Dad have this when I was you but never tried it, now it is like ambrosia!

    • It just doesn’t matter! So many things I steer over really don’t matter in the long run.

    • Listen first- talk later!

  • Patience IS a virtue!

  • Learn to not give a crap.

  • Interesting

  • Swatch…and don’t just knit the thing, wash it and block it, especially for garments. Learned this one the hard way!

  • I have also been grateful that there really are NO knitting police. As they say in Strange Planet comics….constructive lawlessness!!!

  • Similarly, befriend the person taking out the trash at your workplace! As for mail carriers, during the height of lockdown, my then-2yo’s best friend was our “mail mail” and she would run to wave at her through the door every day.

  • Choose your battles wisely, some things just don’t matter enough to fight over.

  • The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. When facing a huge task (like decluttering) I repeat this to myself to just get started.

  • Wear sunscreen every day!!

  • Believe your inner voice, she tells the truth.

  • Be patient! I always wanted things to happen yesterday. Patience has served me well, even when waiting to see if I will ever win one of these giveaways!

  • That sometimes the best response is silence.

    • That it’s better to be kind than right.

  • Eat your carrots! I’ll get curly hair!

  • Block all my garments!! (aka—-be a blockhead!)

  • Trust your gut. If it feels wrong, it probably is.

  • Use/wear/eat/drink your special things – that’s the best way to enjoy them!

    • I learned to use my special things after attending yet another estate sale where all the pretty hankies, soaps and lotions were kept pristine and unused until it was too late. You’re good enough to use them.

  • When it comes to men heed the red flags!!!!

    • YES! And related to this: When a man tells you, “You deserve better,” believe him.

  • Best advice ever about knitting? You don’t have to frog that. I used to just rip it all out and start over. Now I’ve lerlarned you can TINK a bit, or put in lifelines, or (gasp) just fudge it and add some increases or decreases to get back on track, cause really, no one knows but you. And if a “friend” notices, where they really your friend in the first place?

  • The longest journey starts with a single step. This is my mantra when I’m in danger of procrastinating, and it has really helped!

  • LIVE each day! ENJOY life!

  • Put things back where they came from

  • Don’t be a shoulda,woulda,coulda. (In other words just do the thing).

    • Store your knitting tools where you’ll see them and use them.

  • Ask for help. Or take the help that is offered. Works for things like health or grief events as well as knitting. My mother has a 35 yr old sweater made by her teen daughter who obviously had NO help with the seams but had to do things by herself. It’s on Ravelry’s Ugliest FOs thread.

    I did follow my mother’s example of always treating the mail carrier to cards, cookies, candy and wine. Not because it would serve us well, but of course it did/does have that benefit.

    Say yes to the offer(s) of help!

  • Look before you leap. But don’t totally give up leaping.
    Big packages for me are left on the porch with 2 Milk Bones carefully placed on top for the dog. My mail guy loves my dog….

  • FLOSS YOUR TEETH! Even now after a lifetime of forgetting I find it hard to remember but finally see the value.

    • YES!!!!

  • Learn to say no. There’s so much freedom in that one little word.

  • To try to not sweat the small stuff

  • Listen. No need to fix, just listen.

  • Be kind to everyone, even if they don’t seem to deserve it.

  • Can I put my hands on it (what ever “it” is) and do something about it? No? Then it’s not mine.

    • Love this!

  • Be yourself !

  • Save up for the big purchase you want, even if you can afford it right now. Putting a little aside every paycheck will take a little longer but by the time you have enough saved you’ll either decide you don’t really want it after all or that you really do want it and it will mean even more to you for having worked and saved for it.

  • To trust myself, not everyone deserves the benefit of doubt.

    • My husband befriended our mailman and he became a good enough friend to show up with a chainsaw and help cut down two huge fallen trees. We got great mail delivery and split the firewood between our homes. Start by learning the mail carriers’ names.

  • To think before I speak. . .I think I usually do this now. . .

  • When in doubt rip it out!

  • And thanks to everyone for their advice. . .lots of wisdom here and I will save this article to refer back to it.

  • Just do it…..

  • Less is more – part with it if it doesn’t bring you joy.

  • Don’t put off seeing a doctor!

  • Our mailman beeps the horn when he sees my grandsons waving at the window. He even gave the 4 year old a hat.

  • Admit if it (knitting, weaving, bread dough, marriage…) isn’t working out and start over.
    I love my wonderful mailman!

  • It is ok to rip back a few rows in lace instead of just repairing that incorrect ONE stitch 3 rows back.

    For those of us who live in hot weather areas, please put a chilled water bottle in your mailbox right before your mail person comes by. Their vehicles do NOT have AC and they really appreciate it.

  • Best advice I took too long to take? Sadly, it was flossing my teeth.

  • It’s okay not to follow the recipe (pattern) exactly as written

  • Read through the complete directions before you start. Actually, I still do not follow this excellent piece of advice!

  • Don’t sweat the small stuff. I no longer micro-manage and it’s all fine.

  • Trust your knitting gut. If it feels like something went wrong, it did! Stop now and fix it.

    • Similarly, listen to the yarn! Sometimes it is telling you that it does NOT want to be what you want. I have ripped out several projects that were being contrary. It is always a good idea to stop and re evaluate.

  • A car with an empty gas tank equals no car. That is easy….applying that principle to ME (exercise, eat my veggies, etc, etc) is still hard!

  • Lifelines for lace knitting………

  • I waited too long to have cataract surgery. It has changed my life!

  • It took me a while to start saving for retirement. I wish I’d started sooner, and I’ve been known to tell young people who don’t already know about the magic of dollar cost averaging and compounding interest

  • Make your bed, it will welcome you when you come back to it at night.

    • Wash your gauge swatch.

      • Knit a gauge swatch and if you don’t like it/ there’s a mistake, rip it out!

  • My own….to do my taxes early…

  • Swatches – it took me a long time to do them

  • The first response to all feedback, positive or negative, is Thank you.

  • Don’t be afraid to try something new.

  • Of thine unspoken word thou are’t master!

  • Done is better than perfect

    I’m still working on this

  • Accept the things I can not change, change the things I can, and learn to know the difference!

  • Take risks. Try new things

  • I have ignored so much good advice in my lifetime and I am trying very hard to reverse that trend.
    DG, do you see the THANK YOU that I always write in the comments section to you and your coworkers? 🙂 Hope so!

    • We do see the Thank Yous and love them!

  • It took me awhile to figure it out, but it’s German short rows – no more wrap and turn.

  • Ear. Your. Veggies.

  • If you are knitting, you hands are busy. If you are thinking your hands are busy. Enjoy the process. Both help you create.

    • *tinking

  • Don’t sweat the small stuff.
    It’s ALL small stuff!

  • You don’t have to marry him.

    • Great column, as always!
      Best advice I never acted on: get a job with the government for the good pensions.
      Best knitting advice (that fortunately I listened to): to be a knitter, you have to learn to rip. I am never happy when I need to rip back, but the results are worth it.

    • Painful words of wisdom…but sometimes others can read your compass when you can’t.

  • Only use hard-wearing sock yarn.

  • To trust my gut. So glad I finally do.

  • Swatching, close is not close enough!

  • My adult child wants my support, not my advice. Have to keep working at this one…..

  • It’s never been a particular strategy, just what was normal growing up in a small town, but I’ve often become friendly with the guy who runs the produce stand or the lady who sells cupcakes at the farmer’s market. I enjoy the conversation, but the occasional free mango or bonus cupcake is a nice perk.

    It’s not really advice I was given, more what I figured out on my own, but my work life became significantly better when I finally figured out how manage up. It started with the attorney I work with most, and I eventually learned how to approach her to get the desired result instead of immediate pushback. Most of the other attorneys in my group don’t have such strong personalities so it’s a bit easier. (I have shared my managing strategy with the other paralegals, and everyone is happier as a result.)

  • Swatching. And using stitch markers.

    I don’t even know if we have a regular mail carrier. Seems like every time I see them, it’s someone different. But I am always polite to all the service workers I encounter. They all have tough jobs.

  • Make time for yourself. I spent too long helping others but not helping myself. I make self care a priority now.

  • Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!

  • For years, while preparing Thanksgiving sides for the family gathering, I left coconut out of a serving of a fruit salad for my little brother. Finally, he told me he didn’t like that salad anyway (but appreciated my adaptation to his allergy).

  • Be kind

  • Check my gauge as I knit along, sometimes it’s correct, too tight or too loose. I just learned this from my last sweater. Duh!

  • My mom always tipped the mailman, milkman (in former days), garbage men, etc, generously at the holidays and it took me no time to continue that tradition. I get grateful thanks and a card from Rick, our mailman, and when needed he always walks our long driveway to carry a package and letters and places them neatly near the door. He’s a great guy.

  • Do it now, don’t put it off until later.

  • Well done!

  • Don’t sweat the small stuff (and it’s all small stuff).

  • Because I did it this week, I’m going to say clean out the medicine cabinet. Because that’s how you discover that the cough medicine you are saving “just in case” expired 7 years ago.

  • I live in a carriage house at the rear of a residential property. I specify this on all my orders. My wonderful letter carriers never mess up, but FedEx and Amazon are clueless. They even take a photo of my package sitting next to some strange doorstep! Wish I could find that doorstep!

  • Start saving for retirement sooner rather than later.

  • Realizing using a short quiet time of meditation is the best way to start my day and a better way to handle inner conflict.

  • “Eat your vegetables ” – I was way older than I should’ve been before I realized how delicious vegetables are, not to mention good for one’s health!

  • Row your own boat – in other words worry about what you’re doing and not what anyone else is doing because you can’t control them.

  • Already subscribed. Checkmark.
    EZ says “there is more than one way to do it [everything]” in knitting, and as long as you are “getting the results you desire,” whatever way you “do it” to achieve that result, is acceptable. I have taken this to heart in multiple applications to Life Adventures, and it has really widened my approach to achieving solutions.

  • You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

    And….you get mail delivered on Saturday? That is amazing!

  • It’s ok to say no… My time is valuable

  • Life is too short for cheap yarn!

  • Learn to knit, of course! I waited until I was in my 50’s to learn. I wish I had let my grandma teach me.

  • It’s okay to say no sometimes! Other people can fill that volunteer or committee spot!

  • Trust your instincts. Hand Write personal thank you notes.

  • Toe up socks – I took way too long to learn them toe-up & I love that method now. Also, my favorite heel method is the shadow wrapped heel, thank you Denise at Earth Tones Girl.

    • SO, so true! Why was I 80 years old before I learned that little gem???

  • That there’s a reason they’re called Bad Boys. PS I own my apartment because of my old mailman.the entire neighborhood wore black arm bands when he retired.

  • We like to believe that human beings are logical thinkers that make logical decisions, but we are really emotional decision makers who try to find (or make up) logical reasons for making emotional decisions. Understanding that emotions play a HUGE part in decision making can sometimes help in avoiding making stupid decisions that you feel compelled to justify. (Does not apply to my stash!)

  • Be a little selfish and make sure to take care of yourself.

  • If you find that you aren’t loving a project your working in….frog it

  • It never hurts to ask.

  • I can’t think of any advice. I am to jazzed seeing my name in the blog. And I from Missouri so I do love a good Truman reference. Please tell me the Bess Truman bust is a real thing.

  • taking online yoga classes. I always thought I would hate it but my yoga teacher switched to online classes during covid and my choice was either no yoga or online so I just had to try it. and I love it!

  • Believe that my best is good enough. (Like, REALLY believe it. Internalize it.)

  • From my fourth grade teacher…
    Love many, trust few,
    Always paddle your own canoe.

  • I wish I learned to knit before I reached my 40s.

  • Don’t over think things!

  • “Just be yourself “, I’m still learning who I am but I’m trying!

    • Keep it simple, stupid.

  • Don’t alienate the people who can help you.

  • I’m sure there is plenty of advice I should have taken and waited or never took but nothing is coming to mind. I did, however, get knitstrips in the mail yesterday and I already love it and I’m not past the intro pages yet. Its so fun and I can tell it will make me a better knitter.

  • Maybe not the BEST advice, but this is what comes to mind…Never get old. Now when I was younger, it meant one thing, but now another as I am older. I try to live each day with a positive attitude and all the energy I can muster. I aim to use the curiosity I have to try new things, and use new color combinations.Life is too short and being happy in my own skin and sharing that happiness makes each day a joy.

  • Pick your battles!

  • Mmmm. This probably makes me ineligible for the give-away, but I do have a heartfelt memory of Martha. I long to hear more home perfectiionists say “This is a good thing.” After the long description of exactly what the texture of the slime on the mixer beaters is exactly 2.5 minutes after adding the Morroccan Vanilla (room temperature!) to the chocolate orange moussee with kale, I need to know whether this is a good thing or bad thing. Evidence of things gone bad or a description of perfection. I wish everyone giving instructions would confirm with “This is a good thing.”

  • Fold you laundry immediately lest it languish in the hamper till there’s nothing clean left. Admittedly I’m still learning to take this advice some days.

  • Stop worrying about stuff you have no control over.

  • Wish I had gone gray earlier. Many tried talking me out of it. Turns out I love my gray hair and its wonderful wavy smooth texture. Why did I put up with frizzy unnatural color for so long? Natural gray hair fits my WYSIWYG personality.

  • If it bothers you, rip it out. BUT NEVER RIP OUT AT NIGHT!!!!! In the morning, you might realize you can fix it (or that you are crazy to worry about it) but even if you still feel the need to rip, the light is better for picking up those 312 stitches.

  • Don’t sweat the small stuff…or in other words, relax more into life.

  • We don’t have to finish one thing before we start the next! Inspiration strikes…if there are multiple choices when there’s time to knit, something will always have progress!

  • My mothers advice when I entered the big city Junior High was, Keep Your Mouth Shut and Your Nose Clean.
    I didnt heed it, I didnt understand it. Got me into trouble until I did, though.
    Best life advice for me.

  • Run 80 percent of your runs at a slow pace. There’s more to that advice than just running. Don’t race your way through life.

  • I hate to say it, but Listen to your mother. She may not always be right but if you’re truly listening you’ll learn something either from her being right or from why she’s saying it. Mostly she’s right though, sigh.

  • Grow your own tomatoes. They grow well in pots. You can do a lot with them. Canning is easy. Will I grow them this year? No. I’m likely moving this summer and I don’t know how far or in what month.

  • When asking your child/teen to do something, or wanting to influence her/his poorly made decision, say what you need to say, then walk away and let them think about it.

  • When someone shows you who they really are….believe them!

  • Fix the dropped stitch as soon as I notice it.

  • Best advice for everything…..”It’s only a number” — Applies to dress sizes first of all. My knitting friend feels shame when she doesn’t get gauge at the recommended needle size! It’s only a number!!

  • Not everything worth doing is worth doing well.

  • I wish I had stuck to getting a nursing degree. But one lesson I did listen to is to be extra kind to those that help us – cleaners, yard workers, babysitters, care givers, etc. kindness is key!

  • It was already said here but needs to be said again. Be kind. And smile gently at strangers.

  • My favorite piece of advice from my mother was “If you can’t be good, be careful.”

    • May I steal this advice? It’s quite priceless. I’d love to cross stitch this to hang on the wall.

  • Always read DG’s posts. Even if the topic seems incredibly uninteresting, you’ll still be glad you read it.

    • The topic is NEVER uninteresting!

  • Be here now. It sounds so simple and even silly, a cutesy slogan. And yet it’s actually very wise advice!

  • Going in with friends on a share of cow. If I had started sooner, meat prices wouldn’t be so bad.

  • Trust your instincts and know when to question others; you may be saving someone else a lot of energy and time. I once started the same sweater pattern 4 or 5 times, convinced my technique was to blame. Turned out, the pattern was missing some instructions.

  • Maintain a work/life boundary

  • My mom told me when I was 15 that I should fall in love with a man who likes feet. You know, for the foot rubs. Still haven’t done it, but it’s looking like better advice the older and tireder I get. However, my 30 year marriage might suffer, so I’m not looking. I just got my copy of KnitStrips (yay) but I have 2 new knitters in my life (double yay) and I would love to gift a copy.

  • With regard to knitting, SWATCHing is the advice that took a long time to sink in. Now I look forward to playing with swatches (colors, yarn, needle sizes) before starting a project.

  • Dump him.

  • Best advice? Whatever has to be done, do it right away because then you can cross it off the list and move on.

  • In a world where you can be anything, be kind.

  • DG, thanks for that reminder. I saw my new, young, energetic MailGal last week and asked her when was her day off. She said she didn’t take a day off because the sub would screw everything up and she was telling the truth. I need to put a jar of honey in my mailbox and tell her she is the BEST!

  • Be nice to your garbage men too.

    And Buy Low, Sell High. I still haven’t mastered that one.

  • Go to bed early.

  • Best advice ever: “ never lose your sense of humor”.
    It has worked since I was 16 years old ( 61 years)!

  • Always have an up-to-date resume, and be ready to jump to the next job.

  • Oh! And always tip generously at a restaurant if you can afford to.

  • Swatch. Swatch. Swatch 🙂

  • People like you better when you are cheerful.

  • The numbers are what they are; just report them and be done with it.

    And yes, get to know your mail carrier (butcher, sandwich shop owner). It’s a small thing with big rewards.

  • You don’t have to finish reading a book.

  • Floss every day (or night)

  • To trust myself as much as my students trust me every day. After 37 years of teaching students with visual impairments and multiple disabilities, I may be finally managing that.

  • When our regular mail lady retired we were devastated!! It took us months to figure out who our new mailman was on our route. Finally I put cookies in the box with a note to welcome him to the neighborhood. Otero finally came up and introduced himself. I told him he can’t retire until I am in the box!!

  • Swatching… I still haven’t learned!

  • Assume good intentions. Or at least try not to assume bad intentions!

  • Get up early and enjoy the morning before everyone wakes up!

  • Too easy. “Pick your battles”. You can file it under “maturity”, “self care”, “conserving energy” or “professionalism”. Took me over 40 years to get consistency, still working on mastering it!

  • Advice: Stop trying to be the general manager of the universe

  • My dad was the most cheerful morning person I’ve ever met. I was born a night person. He taught me to greet everyone with a smile and a good morning even if I didn’t feel it.

  • Oh my goodness! Always, always, ALWAYS knit a swatch for guage! Oh so many years ago I knit an intricate fair isle sweater for my new husband…THREE times before I got it to the right size.

  • Also, when you fly, befriend the flight crew. Bonus if you give them a dozen homemade muffins as you board.

  • Best advice I am finally taking? Quit your job! Prescribed to me many, many years ago by my doctor and I’m finally following his advice. Also, GUILTY – I always say “please leave the package on the porch” and yes, it was handwritten in a sharpie and my mailperson left my recent MDK package on the porch for which I am truly grateful!!! Otherwise the packages end up on or in the planter by the porch door. So, DG, I promise I won’t request that on future orders, since I will now be home to receive my packages when they are delivered. I love your articles, they are always a bright spot in my day!

    • Oh, you got lucky! We do write the notes (we occasionally miss one, admittedly) and cross our fingers since they don’t necessarily get read – but a second layer of making sure doesn’t hurt!

  • Eat like the cat, not the dog.

  • No is a complete sentence

  • I am really sorry to read your statement that: “random anecdotal evidence we’ve gleaned from the internet is far, far more trustworthy than science or statistics”. Huh?
    When you carefully consider how much anecdotal “evidence” gleaned from the internet and then passed on to others as real, undeniable truth morhing soon to the “unquestionable evidence”, you might admit that it warrants an explanation post next week or at the very least stating that it was a joke!
    Thank you in advance for considering this request!

    • Check your attic during a heavy rainstorm. My parents gave good advice, which I still follow. One time I put this particular piece of advice off for 6 weeks after we moved into a newly built house that had passed inspection. When I finally got into the attic during some heavy rainfall, I found several small leaks. And Dad got a big thank you for his always sound advice.

    • The advice I would leave in this thread is “never explain a joke,” which is my #1 personal philosophy.

  • Biting one’s tongue when giving teenagers advice. Figure out the hills to die on. Fortunately my granddaughter actually asks for advice!

  • Don’t let other people’s expectations control your life. Much freer without the weight of judgment.

  • The old proverb – a stitch in time saves nine. Procrastination can kill a garment or make a mountain of mending.

  • When I was a kid I wouldn’t put slippers on to save my soul, no matter how many times my dad told me to do so. Today I rarely take them off in the house. Father knows best!

  • Knit every day to keep your health.

  • I live in the desert…so water! Always have a chilled bottle for delivery and collectors handy. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! It does pay off…thank you for the reminder.

  • Deal with the small stuff (mail, putting something away in proper place) as soon as it is in your hands. Never, ever, just put it down with “I’ll do it later.”

  • DG, I am compelled to give YOU some advice. “Mailman”? Really? How very chauvinistic of you. Mail carrier is not so hard to say or write and so much more inclusive. Please, I beg of you, please carefully consider your language and update it to be friendlier to EVERYONE. It’s just as important as saying hi to all kinds of workers.

    • Thank you , Celeste . I was about to say the same thing.

    • I said “mail lady” once! I confess I don’t love the genericness of “mail carrier” – it sounds like a robot and dehumanizing – but point taken.

  • Martha again: always zest before you squeeze.

  • Keep an ongoing grocery list. Now I have a notepad on the fridge and write things down as I notice. Much less searching for the nonexistent can of coconut milk now.

  • We have made it a habit to give a holiday card, with a monetary insert, to the people who deliver our mail, collect our waste and recycling, and place our parcels at our front door with amazing care. This small act of recognition and gratitude has strengthened our relationships and made us feel good as well.

  • Don’t worry so much about what other people think. Keep your moral compass with basic kindness, respect and sound judgment without second guessing about what people say or think about you.

  • Relax, enjoy, life is for living happily!

  • When someone makes a negative comment towards me I would take the comment personally and dwell on it endlessly causing me grief. I heard repeatedly, “don’t take it personally”. I’m 73 and I think I finally got it!

  • Never share marital spats with anyone. You will forget the spat tomorrow but your friends & family will not.

  • Swatch.

  • “Just floss/brush the teeth you want to keep.” Ha ha. Thought about that advice just before reading this post. Not an issue in my case but when my kids were young and whined about not wanting to floss/brush before bed that is what I would tell them. They’d stop, look at me and then go to it! ❤️

  • just always love to read your “Snippits”

  • The best deterrents for package theft are a friendly relationship with the mail carrier and a neighborhood full of dog walkers! I have both. Also, trim your shrubs.

    Advice – wish I hadn’t spent any time whatsoever with cheap needles and tools. Buy and use the best quality items you can afford (save up if needed).

    We have a saying in Hindi: सस्ता रोए बार बार। महंगा रोए एक बार। It means “The one who buys cheap cries over and over. The one who buys expensive cries once.” I’ve had and used my Alessi bird teakettle and my Wusthof Dreizack knives for over 20 years.

    Just cry once and then laugh forever!

  • What is a Bess Truman lockbox?

  • Wow

  • Save the ball band of your yarn! I still forget sometimes but I’m getting better. My husband was a Mail Carrier
    and your advice about befriending them was spot on. Also some common courtesy like keeping your mailbox shoveled out and your walkway clear goes a long way.

  • Seize the day! (But I still don’t-the habits of a long life are hard to bread…)

  • Lesson it took me a long time to get: Get Gauge!, especially on clothing – you can fudge it on some stuff, but not wearables. I love the comic books.

  • The advice it took me a long time to learn is do not say the first thing that pops into my mind. Take a breath and make sure it really should be said ( or typed, these days ).

  • A knitting comic book–What a great idea. Maybe will encourage more young people to learn to knit. I learned almost 70 years ago in the Girl Scouts, and it has been a great gift and donation maker as well as relaxation technique for me

  • Use an electric toothbrush and floss. It makes dental cleanings much more pleasant.

    My postman is named Marco, and he’s a gem. I give him batteries for his headlamp every Christmas. (In the winter, it’s dark enough he needs it to read the mail’s addresses.)

  • Check out YouTube videos to learn, again, how to cast on, cast off, etc.

  • Wear sunscreen.

    It’s only knitting. Frog, rip back, start over, change projects, abandon projects as needed.

  • Saying NO to things I really did not want or need to do.

  • Take care of the little things; the big things will take care of themselves. Such as brush & floss daily, largely avoid root canal work. Every Wednesday, pitch the litter from the car, avoid a clean-up that requires a giant trash bag.

  • Get a dog ❤️

  • When you have to eat an elephant, just take one bite at a time. It’s too overwhelming to look at the entire project. Just do one small part at a time and eventually you are done

  • Pick your battles, good enough is good enough, stop being the ‘good little girl who always turned in her homework’, ignore the critics, take care of yourself/be good to yourself. It’s ok to have fun, whatever really needs to get done will eventually get done. Choose joy, choose joy, choose joy.

  • Take care of your body. Be kind. Trust your instincts.

  • Listen to your inner voice when making a decision, especially if something is giving you a niggly feeling that something is off. Take a breath and a moment to figure out what is bothering you.

  • I’ve always tried to be pleasant and friendly with my mask carrier and with all the other service people I interest with. Never thought of it as a way to get better service. And if there’s one thing this pandemic has taught me, it’s to be aware of and grateful to every service worker from mailman to grocery bagger.

  • It took me oh-so-long to accept having a computer in my house. I did it though! Back in the late ’80s. I have never regretted it!

  • I can do that. Its just my mind telling me I cant. (Also a runner and my mind keeps telling me I cant make it to that next mile. Shut up – yes you can)

  • Our mail carrier is Facebook friends with many of us on her route. She uses FB to let us know when she will be off or when there are general issues or concern. Mail carriers, trash collectors and other receive holiday greeting cards with lottery tickets – could be worth 0 or could be a ticket to fun things.
    Best advice I ever received was to be kind, thoughtful and listen more than I talk. The listening and talking balance can be a challenge

  • The jury’s still out, maybe, but I had 2 kids when I did because some parents whose families I really loved both said if they had it to do over, they would have started sooner and had more. Kids. I think. OMG, maybe they were just talking about the martinis? Well. That was 15 years ago. I’ll get them out of the house soon.

  • Technology can be a useful tool, if you take the time to learn it.

  • Swatch, always swatch!
    Btw, sometimes I still mess up and don’t swatch.

  • Walk a lot, it is so good for your health, and spirit (I love seeing te spring evolve). Now I am learning to walk and knit, that makes it even more fun.

  • There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. Enjoy being alone and don’t be dependent on people to make you happy

  • You can’t give something you don’t have, so take care of yourself first

  • A lot of the time, it’s best to keep silent, especially with a spouse! Will those word make a difference 5 years from now or will they still hurt?

  • “There is nothing to be done until the horse’s head is settled.”

    This was a quote my daughter found many years ago for a junior high school project. Her teacher didn’t understand it (teacher wasn’t an animal person – but it applies to kids so much!). I loved it, and she made a cross-stitch picture of it for me.

  • yes, one step to get things rolling.

  • That I was too much of a perfectionist for my own good. Also exercise, eat right, and get 7-8 hours of sleep.

  • Something my mother used to say, “Smile and say hello to everyone you see.” Especially now when most people have been stuck in the house for months. Some people are shocked to hear another person’s voice. An added benefit, it’s free.

  • Become a joiner. I used to pride myself on not joining groups and only reluctantly did so. I was so wrong. First of all, I’ve enjoyed my relationships developed through these groups (knitting group, book club), but more importantly in the past two years it has been these groups of friends that have sustained me!

  • We try to do nice things for our carriers. Gift cards or cash. My mom always gives gift cards or cash. It took me awhile to catch on. Her carrier brings her packages to the door and hand delivers them to her.

  • Don’t sweat the small stuff (I’m still working on it)

  • Maybe taking more time in my day to walk, everyday, like it is in my job!

  • I’ve never been very good about taking advice. I’m my own worst enemy!

  • Love you all at MDK! The best advice I ever got regarding knitting was from Marie Greene of Olive Knits. I was hesitant to try new things in knitting and a “friend” had told me I couldn’t do it, so I never jumped in to try. It was Marie who told me not to listen to that person and try whatever I wanted to because “ IT’S ONLY KNITTING”. That changed my knitting completely and I went on to make sweaters, etc. Thank you Marie!

  • When you don’t like how something is turning out no matter how far along it is just stop and start over again.

  • Buy it when you see it. Thrift store shopping. Crockpot cooking. Roasted vegetables.

  • Learning to distinguish between “wants” and “needs” allows you to save your pennies and retire while you’re young enough to enjoy it!

    Yarn always falls in the “needs” category. 😉

  • My Grandfather used to say “you’ve got all day today and tomorrow ain’t been touched”. I try to keep this in mind when I’m knitting.

  • Be patient!

  • Live life to your fullest. Don’t fear frogging and starting over

  • Best advice it took me way too long to take… Make a gauge swatch!

  • What? No picture of Bess?

  • After much reading and fussing about knitting socks a friend said,”Just follow the pattern.”

  • Don’t overthink anything

  • GGmadeit’s words, “It’s not hard, it’s new.”

  • Create a regular exercise routine – to my total shock, I am now basically a daily exerciser and I feel SO MUCH BETTER than I used to, physically and emotionally…

  • Pull my shoulders back, yes mom, you were right. Still trying to make it my natural habit…

  • Listen more.

  • The best advice that it took me too long to learn is that I cannot change anyone else, only myself.

    Love this advice though. Everything in life is better if you have good relationships with all the people you are dependent upon or work with!

  • Listen to your body. It tells you what it needs.

  • Don’t put the responsibility on anyone else for my happiness. I can and must CHOOSE happiness for myself!!

  • I love my mail carrier ! She is amazing , and if the package doesn’t fit in the mail box , she drives all the way up the driveway , if I see her I run out to meet her , otherwise she rings the door bell ,and leaves package on the chair ! Eye contact and smiled work wonders

  • Use a crochet hook to pick up dropped stitches.

  • Read the instructions, in knitting, all the way through first. If something doesn’t seem to make sense or I can’t visualize it, I just follow the instructions step by step. Just do what the instructions say to do and nine times out of ten, you’ll get it right!

  • Having sex with a guy won’t make him love you.

  • Clean as you work. In the kitchen, in the garden, at the craft table…it’s good advice that took me years to appreciate.

  • Listen to the voice inside.

  • If you’re not loving the project you’re working on, tear it out and move on. Life’s too short to work on a project you don’t love. I once spun some yarn, knitted a shawl with it and actually wore it before I finally admitted I didnt like it, gave in and tore it out. It eventually became a most loved scarf.

  • swatch always! even a bag or shawl

  • Always bring a coat. If it’s warm you don’t have to put it on but if it’s cold you have it.

  • Do what you love and the rest will follow

  • If you are going to learn to knit, then you have to learn how to unknit. Good advice that I unfortunately use quite often.

  • Two things … Ask for help when you need it. And, it’s okay to say no.

  • Don’t knit after midnight. Too often you wake up to bizarre mistakes.

  • Bring your shoulders back and down and set your core muscles when climbing stairs.

  • Using MAGIC LOOP to knit socks. Now I own both books by MELISSA MORGAN-OAKES. Thanks Melissa!

  • Drink lots of water and go for daily walks. Took me way to long to follow that advice.

  • This is not a dress rehearsal — make the most of every day!

  • Only you can make yourself have a bad day. This is so true! If you expect to have a crappy day, you will. If you are determined to have a good day, you will. There’s always something to be grateful for.

  • ‘Establish a regular sleep schedule’ This is advice I still haven’t listened to, but maybe as I’m approaching my 8th decade I’ll consider it.

  • Stop getting in my own way and making things harder than they need to be. And- hold my tounge 😉

  • Even if you’re having a hell of a bad day, don’t shed it on others. Be nice, funny, kind, and often their responses make your crappy day go better.

  • Think before you open your mouth. Too many times I have been hurtful because I don’t think about what I was about say.

  • Soak in A bath of Epsom salts when your back is hurting. I passed it off for so many years. Then one desperate day, I tried it. It helped a bunch.

  • “No is a complete sentence.” Turns out that’s a true statement

  • Do a gauge swatch first!

  • Always pay off your entire credit card bill. I wasn’t always in a position to do that, but now I am privileged enough to get it done.

  • Years ago my girl cousins, my sister and I started gathering for an annual reunion trip, often in mid October. At an early reunion, the phrase “Lower the bar ” ( referring to our general expectations) was bandied about. It was good advice 20 years ago and good advice now,

  • Advice I should have taken years ago but continually put off was do your income tax early. Many night raids on the downtown post office later and the absolutely miraculous online submission, I am a calmer and changed woman.

  • Best advice: listen to your inner voice.

  • It’s good to just be me. I shouldn’t be like anyone else.

  • “Finished is better than perfect” Still working on that one

  • This too shall pass…

  • Just be yourself all the others are taken. I know this was someone important but I also had a 4th grade teacher who told me and she was much easier to believe.

  • Use the pattern as a starting point, not a rule.

  • Try foods before deciding i don’t like them. Seriously!

  • Practically all of the above, and..
    Choose surfaces in your home that look clean when they are dirty instead of dirty when the are clean.

  • Always have an emergency sock project on your needles. You never know when it’ll come in handy.

  • Advice from my dad to my kid-self: soak the dishes before you wash them, it will save you some work.

  • Taking time to be kind and listen with your whole being. There is always time to be kind.

  • You will never be perfect, no matter how hard you try.

  • Don’t save the good lotion (or the good silver, or the special tea) for a special time…use them daily and soak in the richness of your life!

  • And buy good yarn!! it’s worth it for the feel as it glides along your fingers 🙂

  • “If you haven’t anything nice to say, don’t say anything.” My Mother tried to get this thru my head for years.

  • Four pieces of advice. Be kind. Be kind. Be kind. Be kind.

  • I just found you! This looks to be lots of fun 🙂

  • Call your mother

  • Not every UFO is worth finishing (or setting aside to fix later). Just ravel it and re-use the yarn. My mail arrives well after dark, even in the summer, so I haven’t gotten acquainted with my new carrier yet.

  • Whatever you are doing, invest in good tools.

  • Best advice (before a big decision): sleep on it.

  • It’s a toss up between wet blocking your swatch and wet blocking instead of steam blocking your finished garment. For too many years my sizes would be off because I would swatch and measure without blocking and then i thought steam blocking was good enough…never!

  • The best advice given to me: if a book isn’t speaking to you, drop it and start another. Life is too short to waste on a book that’s not for you.

  • Let it go. (Work in progress for me admittedly, but getting there)

  • It’s ok to say no.
    Live and let live.
    Everybody is important.
    Not all of your thoughts need to be heard.(listen more).

  • Where do I begin… budget, Italian men, French wine shall I go on?

  • We always greet our mail carrier by name. My husband always finds out what it is.

  • Lower your expectations and you’ll never be disappointed.

  • Five years ago when I, at the advanced age of 52, finally finished college, my mail carrier was the first to congratulate me when he brought my diploma to my front door, rang the bell, and placed it in my hand. I firmly believe in being nice to the mail carrier.

  • Life’s too short for cheap yarn.
    Life’s too short for a bad horse.
    You don’t have to stay in a toxic relationship.

  • This one’s all too easy – clean up as you go. My mother preached that to me all the time as I was growing up and now, at 65, I’ve finally figured out she knew what she was talking about.

  • “To thine own self be true”. It was just a great quote from Hamlet, and now it’s central to the person I am. Seems silly when I put it that way… so obvious

  • Wear sunglasses every time you’re outside during daylight.

  • Get a sleep study. (I sleep much better now…)

  • Don’t do things based on what you think others want you to do

  • put sunscreen on your hands as well as your face

  • Agree with Sandi- there are no stupid questions. Also, don’t be afraid to admit when you’ve made a mistake. Step up to a solution.

  • I’ve thought about it for several minutes but can’t come up with “the best advice it took you way too long to take.” I can’t even think of halfway-useful advice it took me way too long to take. I don’t know if this is because I immediately take all advice, willy-nilly, assuming everybody knows more than I do, or if I just never take advice at all.

  • Never invest in anything that eats! And, No is a complete sentence!

  • Mind your own business and keep your mouth shut.

  • Take the pain up front, meaning do the tough stuff first and get it over and done with.

  • Rip off as if a bandaid: if you do it fast, it hurts less.

  • Don’t hold a grudge!

  • It’s probably “make your bed first thing every morning” I still haven’t ever done that!

  • The best advice I took too too long to take? Block your finished knits!

  • Use lifelines

  • Buy a multi cooker.

  • Shut up and listen!

  • I always give our mail man cookies at Christmas. I always got thank you notes from previous carriers but not new one, He does leave dog biscuits for Albus on occasion.

  • ALWAYS GO WITH YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION! I learned the hard way in relationships when I overroad my initial feeling about a person.Learn to trust your instincts and they will keep you out of harm’s way.

  • Ahhh…the best advice that took me WAY too long to take is “Let That (*^& Go.” I am not responsible for the turning of the earth on its axis, or for other folks’ decisions, or for the health and wellbeing of every human I come in contact with. It’s been liberating, and I sleep a lot better these days.

  • Create a budget. Live in your budget.

  • should have gone to art school instead of business school

  • I occasionally leave cookies in the mailbox for my carrier, with a little note of thanks. And if I see him coming, I always head out to meet him to get the mail. Telling someone that you appreciate them is a small act that goes a long way (and might just keep my next awkwardly-shaped package intact!)

  • Don’t. Procrastinate! Don’t. Put. Off. Until. Tomorrow.
    Maybe this finally only became possible when I came to live on my own–control of my time and spaces. But I really should have tried harder when I was younger to “keep up” with life and the little things.

  • Never give up…learned from my dad on the farm and from Winston Churchill.. If Dad had a problem he couldn’t solve, he tried it different ways until he found a solution. So as Churchill said, ” Never, never ever, ever, ever give up!”
    Thanks for the chance at the give-away.

  • Measure twice, cut once!

  • To stop worrying about the future, nothing I can do about it now! Still working on this one.

  • This has taken me waaay too long: Not just knitting a swatch, but then washing and blocking it!

  • It’s okay to do nothing, go ahead daydream or go down a Ravelry rabbit hole!

  • Find a good dermatologist and visit them at least once yearly.

  • “never love a man more than he loves you.” Mrs. Omiya, 1976

  • Small mistakes really don’t matter.

  • Small mistakes really don’t matter.

  • “Follow your dreams and don’t let anything or anyone get in your way.” Still working on that.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Most people feel good helping others and it can lead to new discoveries and friendships. Just look at this great knitting community we have!

  • getting a password manager! I now have secure passwords and can still get into my accounts. Rather painless process, wish I done so years ago

  • Wear the sunscreen! Wish I started in my 20’s instead of my 40’s.

  • I can vouch for that. Works for the folks who take my trash and recyclables, too. (Sometimes, my trash and recycle bins end up at the TOP of my driveway, far from the street, after being emptied.) Regular UPS and FedEx drivers, too. Unfortunately, I don’t think I have ever seen the same Amazon driver twice. They still get a wave and “hello” though. The mail carriers and trash/recyclable folks get goodie bags at holidays, even Valentine’s Day.

  • It’s okay to rip out a project and be done with it. Chalk it up to good instincts….

  • So much great advice! Regarding the mail carrier, we live on a foot route and have known all our carriers by name. I usually make treats for work for several holidays throughout the year and leave one (or more) in the box for our carrier. We’ve received several very nice thank you notes, even when we have a backup on duty. We appreciate all their hard work, especially with all the extra online shopping the past two years!

  • I have learned to just be myself. The world can take it or leave it!

  • If a mistake bothers you, fix it! Don’t wait till 20 rows later to make it tight.

  • Wash and block your swatch

  • It’s okay to say no and have boundaries. Boy could that have saved me some grief…

  • My husband is on a first name basis with our regular and relief postal people. Each one is offered a selection of beverages to choose from.

  • “Trust everybody but cut the cards.” From my late father, and I eventually figured out it’s not just about cards.

  • A place for everything – everything in its place.

  • My mom’s advice “Make two trips.” This refers to carrying things. I load my arms down and then drop things all over. The picking up takes way longer than the two trips ever would have.

  • The best knitting advice of all is simple: always, always make a swatch. The time you take for this will help avoid many mistakes in your project.

  • “Don’t let others steal your joy” is a mantra I return to time and again— I wish I had learned it sooner.
    BTW, my sister made eye contact with her mail carrier and ended up marrying her! Best sister-in-law ever:)

  • Go to bed earlier. So simple. Who knew? Everyone. Everyone knew.

  • Don’t make you career your whole life. I did for a while and when it disappeared I found I loved many other things and I am much happier. And spend way more time knitting.

  • It took me way to long to believe I had to do gauge swatches! But now I am very happy that I do them.

  • Don’t sweat the small stuff — still learning that one

  • People will do what they do. Don’t give advice unless asked and don’t get upset if not followed. It all really doesn’t matter.

  • Sometimes, the journey is just as fun and as exciting as the destination.

  • Best knitting advice I took a while to learn: sometimes a ‘mistake’ can become a great ‘design element’.

    Best advice I learned at work, with direct application to life as well: Never put anything in writing that you don’t want to see on the front page of The Washington Post. I was a California girl moving from a job in the northern Calif. forests to a job in Washington DC in the 1980s, long before social media became mainstream. Now it should be taught to every kid (and adult) about their social media postings as well!

  • DG, you just get better and better. The tutorials and whatnot here are great, sure- but I won’t lie, you’re what I keep coming back for.

  • Just ask – often people are happy and willing to help in any way they can. Often in ways you may not have thought of.

  • It really doesn’t matter what other people think.

  • Talk less, listen more.

  • Best Advice I it took me too long to take…stop procrastinating! Get your homework done and then play.

  • Advice it took too long to use: Pay yourself first. Save for retirement early and watch the magic of compound interest make your life easy. 🙂

  • Use two strands of yarn when doing long tail cast on! Now in life it would be you need to be able to forgive everyone, that doesn’t mean you have to accept what they did/do and definitely you don’t have to be friends or keep them in your lifeBUT you need to find a way to let go of those who do you wrong. Forgive let karma do it’s thing it isn’t in your hands. You can only be responsible for your own actions!

  • Keeping my big mouth shut.

  • Don’t be afraid of looking stupid. Ask your “dumb” questions. Try that new skill. 😀

  • That my mom is right about everything, well almost everything

  • Being “on time” means get there ten minutes early. Really wish I had heard this before I became a job-holding adult. Oh and “righty tighty, lefty loosey” from my high school pal Fran, who played in band & had to screw parts of her instrument together. It was a total mindblower for me! Worlds opened up.

  • After years of having random carriers, a having regular carriers is the best thing ever. They get to know that you order yarn and fiestaware often. Since we have dedicated carriers nothing has been misdelivered. Thank you USPS

  • The less I give a flip about what anyone else thinks as I grow older.

  • See your post-injury physical therapy through to the end; don’t get close and then slack off. My ankle still thinks it needs to remind me of this…

  • Just be nice.

  • Bring extra batteries for your camera. Even if you don’t need them, you might improve someone else’s event.

  • Took way to long to realize that I should not have worked as a city bus driver

  • My mom, yes I know, listen to your mother. My mom’s advice on learning new content in school was to write it, more than once. Now I am adverse to the process of writing anyway and doing it about schoolwork, well it was grass school before I really tried it. Got me thru biochem, amazing! I recommend it to all of my students now.

  • My mother always told me to trust knitting the correct way. I have used so many different short cuts, tricks and trying to speed things along. But I finally realized that the correct way is the simplest way. Took me a few years, but now I see she was right! (as usual…)

  • Leave your mail person a box of home made cut out, beautifully decorated cookies at Christmas. That is what my mother did!

  • The best piece of advice it took me WAY too long to take is signing up for the MDK newsletter. What was I thinking?!

  • swatch! and read the pattern – the whole pattern – before you cast on…

  • Trust my gut feelings. I may or may not still be learning this bit of advice!

  • Ending friendships that are not healthy, positive.

  • Best advice it took me too long to take? Everything my mother ever said!

  • Just do it! It takes longer to think about it and you could have ripped it out and started again many times while thinking about doing!

    • aka perfectionism is not a goal!

  • Drink at least 32 ounces of water every day.

  • The advice it took too long for me to take: using TurboTax and give up the paper tax forms.

  • Don’t let fear of failure stop you from trying! I know it’s broad advice, but definitely works for knitting and a million other things. I did not take it seriously and follow it until well in to middle age after a health crisis.

  • I finally realized that doing a gauge swatch can make all the difference! Lol

  • i’m pretty good about following advice, IF i trust the person giving it to me. make friends with your custodian. tip your mail carrier. kindness pays off. don’t kill ’em with it. just be genuine.

    • The best advice I should have taken sooner was to rip out an almost finished sweater. I’d misjudged my gauge and it turned out way too small. I’d loved the color and the yarn. It took me nearly 2 years to get up the courage. Finally did it and reknit the whole thing. Now I have a sweater that fits and that I absolutely love. So silly to have been afraid!

  • Pay your overdue library fines!

  • Swatch!

  • You don’t have to like someone to work with them.

  • Don’t keep knitting if the project doesn’t give you joy. Frog and move on.

  • great advice

  • Boring but, “Check your gauge.”

  • Learn to say “No” when asked to commit to a project that I really don’t want to do. This advice finally sunk in when covid lockdown restrictions began lifting. I no longer felt that I was essential to the continued existence of every group I was previously involved in. I politely declined to come back to a few that no longer felt as important to me.

  • Life is too short to knit something that doesn’t bring you joy. The knitting police are not going to come to your door if you decide to scrap a project that doesn’t appeal to you for something that you enjoy making.

  • I, too, tipped my mail carrier at Christmas. He seems lots less grumpy 😮

  • Life is not all about work.

  • Trying the magic loop method of knitting socks. I finally gave it a go, and though I still love double points, it is nice to not have all those needles to worry about!

  • Don’t buy it unless you can afford it.

  • The best advice I ever received that took me WAY TOO LONG to take was that it is okay to leave a job you hate. I am just old enough to have thought that the goal was to stay in the same place for 30 years. As if that is even possible now.

  • Enjoy every day like it’s your last (I almost died a year ago, so now I completely understand this)

  • For knitting in particular but life in general, if your project doesn’t look right and you can’t fix it, start over. As I frog a cowl on too large of a needle.

  • Be kind whenever possible . . . it is always possible

  • Be confident in your color choices. If you like how the colors look together in the skein you will like thr finished garment. I made a Steven West shawl using bright colors instead of the elegant neutrals that the LYS sample used. I was hesitant about how it was going to turn out. More people stop me to say they love it than anything else I’ve knit. Now if I like the color, I use it. Yay, colorwork!

  • Be kind to everyone and don’t judge…not even in the tiny ways. It all counts!

  • Count to ten and then reply.

  • When I was about 8 years old and older boy (he was probably 10) told me that I shouldn’t care what other people think of me. It took me about 50 years to finally take his advice.

  • You learn more by listening.

  • Listen! Read directions all the way through!

  • Our mail carriers are awesome! They feel like part of the neighborhood.

    Best advice it took me more than 50 years to follow: rest when you’re tired. Had to work myself into several chronic illnesses before I really heeded that one.

    Sending good wishes!

  • This is a “Take her needles and lock up her stash” block-headed lesson I finally learned. DO A GAUGE SWATCH AND RECORD YARN, NEEDLES AND STITCH COUNT FOR SAID SWATCH! I’m a firm believer in this and actually do it! If you know me, you know I’m a free spirit kind of gal and due-diligence isn’t my long suit but this I believe and don’t get me started on blocking.

  • Best advice that I constantly have to remind myself, of course came from my grandmother — “This too shall pass”

  • Don’t sweat the small stuff!

  • Best advice it took me years to learn: swatch!

  • take a walk everyday

  • From our high school principle: Enough is enough.

  • Swatching! Looking at it in a different way. Instead of looking at it as a nuisance and dreaded activity, looking at it with wonder and as a fun activity of discovery has changed my experience.

  • Where I live, we have little to no contact with the postal workers as we have those nasty community boxes. I can attest to the benefits of getting to know your garbage remover/sanitation worker though. Our neighbourhood is a pretty friendly one and my husband has had a few curbside conversations with the guys on the truck. When it is snowy he has to rush if he wants to pick up our garbage box and recycling boxes because one of the fellows always tries to beat him to it! If not stopped they will rush to trek them up our driveway to place next to the garage. They only do that for people who have bothered to get to know them. At Christmas they have taken to dressing up as Santa or an Elf and I have seen them showing small boys and girls how the truck works. On holidays they are always late because of the number of stops they have to make to pick up cookies, cocoa and stuffed envelops.

  • Lower your expectations! advice from a dear friend

  • It sounds ridiculous, but make your bed first thing. I read about another woman saying this was the advice she’d received from her sister, and she, too, put off doing it for ages. But it really does make me feel like I’ve accomplished something as soon as I hop out of bed. And then the bedroom, at least, looks neat all day.

  • “Stand up for yourself”. I’m still working on it.

  • It’s okay to keep it simple.

  • Upset is optional Think about it — you can’t always (ever?) control what happens, but you can control how you react, and consequently how that reaction effects others.

  • Iron/press after each step when sewing

  • Listen to the messages from your body.

  • Ask for a raise like a man would.

  • Best advice: no one is paying attention to you so just do what you want.

  • Don’t let the dog jump on the bed 🙂

  • Always sew in or secure the ends of your finished knitted project before putting through the wash cycle

  • Heat the frying pan before putting the egg in!

  • The advice that took me longest yo follow was knit a swatch for gauge. I learned the hard way.

  • When I’m doubt give someone a true smile and make them feel seen.

  • SWATCH! I should have listened……

  • Go ahead and kiss that frog. My extra large swatches can’t predict everything, and if I’m not happy now, I won’t be after more hours of knitting.

  • Don’t buy yarn without a project in mind! I have a bunch of one skeins…..from my non planning days. Now, if a skein really captures my attention….I buy a sweater or shawl quantity instead. Since I have enough one skeins to make hats, mittens and socks the rest of my days. Happy knitting!

  • Block your swatch. I have always knit one before I started my project, but I would often be at the end of the project before I would actually wash and block it. :/

  • Your children do not want advice or help, they just want you to listen and maybe nod once in a while.

  • Don’t be afraid to speak up.

  • Take time and swatch….saves so much time in the long run!!!!

  • Blocking helps your knitting

  • Use eye cream in your 20’s – started in my 40’s and can see why it would have helped. ‍♀️

  • To frog projects I don’t like or don’t enjoy knitting. It’s very freeing.

  • From the frozen pizza box – for a softer crust place pizza on a baking sheet. I should explain that I have a wonderful pizza stone that lives in my oven so I had always used it. It didn’t matter if it was frozen or homemade pizza, frozen or refrigerated or homemade bread or rolls – you get the idea. But I did notice that certain brands of frozen pizza ended up with really hard crusts, so I just avoided those brands, problem solved. But then came the pandemic and gasp, shortages of my favorite pizzas! So I was forced to buy a brand of pizza that I had been avoiding because of this crust issue and noticing the advice about using a baking sheet for the millionth time, a lightbulb went off in my brain, and I decided to follow that advice. And viola – pizza with a nice crust was enjoyed that night for dinner. And another brand of frozen pizza was added to my repertoire – as long as I remember to use a baking sheet.

  • Still working on it!

  • Just because you could do something, doesn’t mean you should do it.

  • Never iron naked.

  • It took me a long time to start doing gauge swatches — so happy when I finally took the plunge and now I definitely do them on all garments, but not usually for accessories.

  • Stop thinking you’re not good enough, you’re better than half the people out there making money at any given thing.

  • Quit my teaching job. A friend in the process of retiring from teaching way before covid hit said that staying the extra 3 years I needed to get the most out of my pension wasn’t worth it. When a job offer fell into my lap just as covid hit, I took it. I like having my weekends and not dealing with angry people.

  • The best advice I took way too slow was from my Dad. He told me (over and over) to wear a hat in the fall and winter. I finally started following this advice and amazingly was much warmer 🙂

  • Best advice it took me too long to take was learn to embrace my ereader. I can get lots of books via two different platforms (?) from my library . Luckily, I learned to love the ereader for trips long before the pandemic, but oh, my gracious goodness, being able to go through one mystery series after another-and some fantasy- without leaving my house or touching anything but my own little tablet! So it was two years after my husband gave me a primitive Nook that I finally started to use it. Now, two hand-me-down tablets later, finally, I’m a happy pro.

  • Learn to use the metronome when playing the piano. Was this supposed to be a knitting comment?

  • The best advice it took too long to take is: buy the best yarn you can afford at the time!

  • Mumma said, Put on a little sweater, and Don’t forget to say Thank you. Every. Single. Time. I. Left. The. House. I took the latter advice early and often, the former, meh, not so much. But now, now, I do tend to dress warmer, because getting a chill, when you’re already run-down and stressed, it’s the worst. And I’ve got a kicky little wardrobe of hand knit sweaters, as if I knit the advice into being followed… Thanks, Mumma.

  • Cat Bordhi, at one of her knitting retreats, helped me to think about knitting in a whole new way. My frustrations with my mistakes, the ripping out and redoing, the rereading a pattern for the umpteenth time, the interruptions from the world right in the middle of a tricky row was wearing me down. She said that knitting isn’t just about knitting. Be happy for my mistakes because they will make me a better knitter (and a better person). She also said that if someone you don’t know is really irritating, if you feel an angry face coming on, imagine them knitting beautiful yarn. She said that knitting can change the world. I wish I had met Cat before I did, so I could have taken her advice sooner.

  • My slow learnt knit skill was purling Portuguese style to correct my washboard stockinette issues as I (flat) knit continental! Ahh smooth Thanks for asking and offering.

  • Measure twice, cut once. Sometimes my lack of patience gets the best of me.

  • The advice I took far too long to use was to make your bed every day. I make mine upon rising. The payoff comes at bedtime. It’s so nice to enter my bedroom in the evening, turn on the bedside lamp, and turn down the corner of the bedding. Then I do teeth brushing and put on jammies. It’s very relaxing to walk back into the bedroom to soft light and nicely turned down bed. No pile of bedlinens in a messy heap and laundry or whatever on top to deal with before I can slide in between the sheet. (The laundry may have been there earlier, but that task is completed before the corner is turned down.)

  • Exercise! It will make you feel better.

  • Never a
    decide to and then actually frog your project at night.

  • My mother always said to wash some dishes as you wait for food to cook so you won’t have so much to wash later. I hated it when she made me do it when I lived at home. After I got married, I realized how right she was and now I do it her way.

  • Nothing is written in stone except what you type on social media or your email

  • Always go to bed with a light heart, write your worries down and let them go. If it’s not going to be an issue in 5 years don’t waste time on it now. My advice I give out the most is when you are upset, angry or worried write it down on toilet paper and flush it down the drain. Once flushed let it go!

  • I am still working on this one, but I’m getting there: Not my circus, not my monkeys.

  • I try to keep reminding myself to trust my gut instincts. Got away from it as I got older and it usually never fails me!

  • From Kurt Vonnegut via God bless you, Mr. Rosewater: There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”

  • Swatch, swatch, swatch!

  • My grandparents had a saying that went something like this: “When a job is once begun, never leave it till it’s done, be the job great or small, do it well or not at all”. I thought it was fun to say as a kid but I can see the wisdom now! If I tuck my project away in some corner, it will be forever until I get back to finishing it! Best to leave it out and work on it as time permits, tink-ing accepted!

  • Read through the entire pattern BEFORE YOU START KNITTING!

  • Stop worrying about what other people think of you!

  • Get the best quality tools you can, save up if you need to. Good tools are a joy to use.

  • Best advice it took me too long to try was a different short row method and a different cast on and, for that matter, a different bind off. I think I am stuck in my ways, but I am trying.

  • My parents had the sweetest mail carrier for years. She always said hello to Dad. This was especially nice at the end, when Dad was homebound. As for advice, my high school band director would say, If you’re going to make a mistake, make it loud.

  • My son is a mail carrier and that is his best advice too! Make friends with them….let them know if a package hasn’t arrived….they don’t want a bad review and will go back to the main office and look for it…those at the office don’t really care to “hunt” for something….our mail carrier once went back to the office after her route was done and she had clocked out…looked for the package, found it and brought it to us right then….oh…and it was Christmas Eve, too….make friends with your fish monger, your school janitor or secretary if you are a teacher, and your mail carrier…

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