Uh oh.

I have to give a speech at the launch tonight. 20 minutes. That’s a lot. That’s so much, actually…that if you read everything on this whole blog page out loud you wouldn’t have 20 minutes. Feel woozy? I think that’s normal. So last night I pretty much had it’s arse kicked. I sat knitting the second front of my beautiful garter vine cardie (that I still totally adore…thanks for asking)


and I had another thought about the speech, so I went up to bed and wrote for a while with the Yarn Harlot Remote Blogging System. (Fine. It’s Ken’s laptop). About 1:10, just as I was finishing, the laptop quit. It issued no warning what so ever…the screen went blank, the green lights all stopped being green and the laptop stopped being a useful tool and suddenly became a brick. A brick with my speech in it. I was immediately paralyzed with consternation and a building sense of horror. I can’t get the speech out. I can’t remember what it says and, oh AND…there is the stress of having killed Ken’s laptop.

I feel sick. I want you to know, should you decide to come to the launch tonight, that I will likely be babbling, possibly be hysterical and that there is even a remote possibility that I’ll be drunk. (I will however…be knitting.) I have tried everything that i can think of to get the speech out of the cold lifeless laptop. (Wrong, that’s a lie. I have not tried a hammer. I’m not actually delusional enough to believe that I could get anything out of the laptop with a hammer…I just think that it might make me feel better.)

In a (probably futile) attempt to restore my equilibrium I have taken my sock (It’s koigu, for anyone who was asking. It’s about eight years old, so I’m not sure if the colour number would help you…but I went on a serious tag hunt and I think it’s p121.) out to the garden where I am letting the sun shine on my face, looking at my very first flowers and trying to remember that this is not the most important thing in the world. Babies are being born, wars are being fought, history is being decided and no matter how it feels, losing this speech to a dumbass brick of a laptop sent here to vex me is not the end of this world.


I am being tested.


While I was typing this and accepting my fate…Joe was doing this. (Ken, you may want to avert your eyes buddy.)


I know. It looks scary, but we had nothing to lose. I worried briefly while Joe took wee screws out of the laptop (and was heard to say “Wow, this one sure comes apart easier than the ibook” which tells you something of my lovely man’s penchant for destruction taking things apart) but remembered that he couldn’t break the laptop, it was already broken. He fiddled, he connected and….

He got my speech. Dude is totally going to get lucky.

100 thoughts on “Uh oh.

  1. Thank God for technicalogically (is that a word?) adept friends/significant others. That’s all I can say.
    I LOVE those socks. And you have FLOWERS?!

  2. OMG!!! He keeps the house whole and orderly while you are away AND he is handy with the toys of technology. And here I thought I had it good with a husband that cooks and does laundry all the time. I may have to borrow Joe to tinker with my home computer.

  3. You could totally tell the story of HOW YOU LOST THE SPEECH and you would have the crowd eating out of your hand. Seriously. That would be an awesome speech. Kick some ass tonight!

  4. About that speech: Tell yourself you will be fabulous, people will laugh at your jokes. You will fill the 20 minutes w/o going over. The best part, you may feel like a total wreck, but the audience doesn’t know it. Good luck! and keep that man around!

  5. Joe is a star,
    Good luck with the speech tonight, you will be great and no-one will know how nervous you are.

  6. What a power couple you two are! I have to say, given the choice of a computer failure or a knitting mistake on that gorgeous sweater, I’m glad the goddesses picked the computer. The sweater is stunning. Will bookbookbook2 have the pattern, per chance? And Joe really is your knight in shining armor these days. His yin to your yang, yada yada yada. Have a good ole’ time tonight!

  7. I was getting twitchy there for you, but so glad all is well. I’m in awe of people who can get speeches out of dead computers (and those who can write said speeches!). If I come tonight it will be with 2 small children in tow, so that will keep the overall level of formality down… But I think it’s a long shot, actually, so I will wish you well from here. Break a leg. And I think the French say, “Une bonne merde” but I could be wrong….

  8. We all have our fingers crossed for you–and wish we could be there to cheer you on. BTW, did you print out your speech? Do you now have it on a backup disk? (I’m sure Joe did these things for you, but just asking…)

  9. My Dad is super handy with computers too! Isn’t it great to have someone like that around?
    The BEST part of the whole post are those last two sentences. “He got my speech. Dude is totally going to get lucky.” That’s awesome! Have fun tonight giving the speech. And have fun with anything else you might be doing today. πŸ˜‰

  10. Good thing you hooked up with Joe already because baby-o ~~ Joe is just looking better and better to us single chicks. Orderly house, clean daughter rooms, fixing laptops. He knows no bounds.
    Rock-On Joe!
    I wish you the calm at the center of the tornado that is the launch tonite. May your roadies and fellow knitters put you at ease with their smiles and busy hands.

  11. Heheh, lucky Joe (and lucky Ken to not be getting a brick back).
    You will be fine about your speech! It is incredible how little can take up 20 minutes. I used to dread going over presentations at work, but now, I dread the whole 15-20 minute deal because it is so hard to get information out in such a short amount of time.
    Just think, you need to leave minutes for all the collective laughter you are going to get! πŸ˜‰

  12. Jeez, do you think Joe could come over here and find my paper (also due tonight)? It might be a little harder, though. . . it’s not finished.
    If you talk anything like you write, I’m pretty sure you’ll be okay tonight.

  13. Yay Joe! Yay you for having written the darn thing. I wish I could hear the speech.
    I love your garter vine cardi. The color is divine.

  14. Girl, now that you have your speech back print yourself out a hardcopy. NOW! Don’t take any chances with the universe-balancing powers-that-be.

  15. You do know that you could just stand up and knit and once in awhile say “I’m just knittin here” and we’d all still come and be happy as can be.

  16. You are totally going to rock the crowd tonight. It is in the fates. Joe-way to go. I am sure anything the blog can say to congratulate you is nothing compared to what Steph has in store for you. Have fun tonight. Have fun with the speech. Remember everyone is going to be there tonight because they love and support you-they are friends and family. Good luck-but I know you don’t really need it. The knitting goddess will be looking down on you and smiling. You done good Steph-real good.

  17. You can do it. Talk slow. I read somewhere that what seems incredibly slow to the speaker is just about right to the audience. It has something to do with your mind speeding along on hyper speed(and taking your tongue with it) due to stage fright.
    Have fun.

  18. I’m so glad that Joe fixed it, because I was going to say that there are businesses whose entire reason for being is to fish lost speeches out of computer-qua-bricks at the last minute. It pays the rent for some talented former-geeks-now-live-savers. And it was going to make me crazy to have to say that because you are so busy and probably don’t have a business like that already in your roll-o-dex, but now that you’re a famous writer and all, you might want to find one for future catastrophes, and knit them some socks so they will remember you and always take care of you right away. Me, I have a husband with a very small philips head screwdriver too (that’s NOT code for anything else but what it is), and he won’t wear hand-knit socks. He remembers me just fine without them.

  19. Yay for Joe…
    Don’t worry, you will do great tonight at the Launch!
    And the cardi is divine…beautiful….awesome…
    Can’t wait for the 29th !!!!

  20. Yup, what Marlene said. You’ll be so hopped up on adrenaline that even if you think you’re talking normal speed, to the audience you’ll sound like a chipmunk on meth. So. Take deep calming breaths and consciously talk slower.
    Either way, you’ll be absolutely fine and do a fantastic job.

  21. Glad you got your speech out of that laptop.
    My husband, also named Joe, loves taking things (including computers) apart. It scares me, I don’t think I breath the whole time, hate it!

  22. hooray for technology fiddlers! have fun making him get lucky. πŸ˜‰
    i’m going to second (third? fourth?) the request for the vine cardi pattern, in addition to cooing over its beauty. i’m glad that’s the stitch you chose after all the knitting and ripping that started the project out.

  23. Yarnzilla.com has 12 skeins of P121. A minute ago it had 14 πŸ˜‰
    Go Joe. And just breathe tonight – maybe your goal could be to try and remember a minute of your speech πŸ™‚ The public speaking part will get easier…not that that helps NOW but you already know the audience adores you from the get go. Heck, imagine them wearing koigu undies if you really get stuck.

  24. You must just be living right. The powers that be are smiling down on you and Joe. Thank God for technologically savy people because I am so not in that group. Your sock continues to look fabulous and I am in love with that sweater. You’ll be absolutely fabulous tonight and once you actually get started on the speech you won’t feel nervous at all (just keep reminding yourself of that). Good luck.

  25. My mother, Nancy, always used to say “If you find a man who can take apart a washing machine and put it back together so it works, keep him.” This is definitely the Laptop Corollary to Nancy’s Admonition. Hurray for Joe! And good luck on your speechifyin’, as we say down South.

  26. We won’t hear your speech, no matter what you say.
    We will all be watching the grin on Joe’s face, thinking about his reward!!!

  27. Joe better know he’s living large these days and the ride may end soon, enjoy it while he can (having said that, Whatta guy he is!)…
    Steph, you’ll be groovy tonight. Mad, cool knitting fun wherever you go – and hopefully that will be somewhere in the Midwest in the future – and we would never make you give a speech.
    Just sayin’.

  28. Joe definitely is in the husband hall of fame! Way to go!
    Good luck with the speech, wish I could be there — but it would be a pretty long drive.

  29. OMG!! Glad things appear to be working out for ya ;o) I wish I could make it to hear your speech. Now on to Joe…How lucky you are to have hime…I need a Joe for my other laptop..
    BTW..Love the cardie!

  30. Tell me, is Joe strutting around the house, chest puffed and and shouting,”Who’s Your Daddy?”.
    He has been hitting the nail on the head all week long isn’t he. Way to go Joe!

  31. I bet we’re all willing to put out in honour of Joe’s heroics. Joe could stand to get REEEEEEALLLLLLY lucky. Good luck tonight. I can hardly wait till you get to the West Coast so I can see you in person. Sock rocks. As does the sweater. You’ll kick butt, I just know it.

  32. I’m with Sue. Tell the story about how you lost the speech. That sock is lovely and looks great with the crocus. I think the squirrel’s ate all our crocus bulbs because none of the leaves coming up look like crocus leaves. I think we’ll have tulips though.

  33. Okay, I speak for a living (seriously, I’m in radio) and 20 minutes can be a very long time, if you have nothing interesting to talk about (ask me how many car dealers I’ve had to talk about) but for crying out loud, you have KNITTING to talk about! Yarn and fiber and spinning and color and dying and KNITTING!
    They’ll be cheering for more after your fourth hour!

  34. Joe. Dude. Sweet. You are a GOD.
    But I’m with Holly. You could just sit there and knit and I would be happy to hang out and just be there while ya did it.
    I have knitting, bookbookbook and directions to the museum – see you there!

  35. The next bookbookbook needs to be written by Joe, “How to be the Husband of a Knitter” Or something along those lines. He could even teach seminars on the subject.

  36. Did anyone else get suspicious about the “Joe’s gonna get lucky” part and the fact that he just happened to save the day? Are you sure he didn’t “do something” to the laptop that he just happened to know he could fix? All right, maybe I’m just too suspicious of men for my own good. πŸ˜‰

  37. Have you told Joe how much the blog covets his bod? – At least the technologically able, kid-wrangling, house maintaining part of it anyway? JK – the Cardi is fab, the socks almost make me willing to give up the 75/25 sock yarn at least until I remember my families laundry abilities – we can wash anything – wool sweaters, ink pens, game boys, cell phones… (really!) About your speech, you must be the bravest knitter in the world – I wish you luck and happy knitting and I just know you will do great – when will you have west coast tour dates??????? Bookbookbook lives in my car console where I can pull it out and read outloud to my kids drowning out the rapradio. lovin it

  38. if that man wasn’t already gonna get lucky I would kiss him for you. wow. as always, joe shows how he rocks your world just a bit more each day.

  39. Way to go Dude! How’s the twitch over your right eye doing Steph? Better now that you have the speech back? I hope so!
    Tonight will be great. As someone has already said- tell the story of the speech and you’ll have them eating out of your hand. That and it will have used up a few minutes of the twenty you have to fill… I can’t make it to TO tonight for the launch, but I’m there with you in spirit, with a high five and a hug for you when you’re done. Are there any more truffles left? Those might help too. πŸ™‚

  40. Apparently the ability to tweak computers ranks with completing housework as foreplay. Have fun!

  41. Go Joe!! What a guy. The sweater is scrumptious, the green is perfect. The sock is beautiful too.
    I am at my office in Chicago doing tax returns. I would rather be home in Tucson. I would rather give a speech. You are so lucky.

  42. Mwahahaha! So we should set our calendars for the birth of your next child exactly nine months from today?

  43. I so understand your laptop frustration. i am glad that joe coaxed the speech out of the grip of the laptop. I have been having major computer frustration. My issues are with inability to print items. good luck with the launch. i have read most of the bookbookbook and am thoroughly enjoying it:)

  44. I SO wish I could be there… But driving Montreal-Toronto in somewhat an hour and a half is not something I think I can do. Heck I don’t even want to try. But let me wish you the most lovely and interesting speech of all! And loads of fun!

  45. Okay, just some quick observations/opinions:
    ~you DO say arse a lot
    ~ I’m just saying
    ~Joe is THE man
    ~as is Ken
    ~Wish I were there

  46. You’ll do fine. πŸ™‚
    One no, Two, no, Three, no FOUR pieces of advice, from someone who used to present regularly as part of her profession:
    Print out your notes in double-spaced, BIG type. We’re talking 18-24 point here.
    Have some water there so you can pause, sip, and regain your thoughts.
    Don’t forget to breathe.
    Don’t hold your notes up in the air. They _will_ shake and rustle, even if you’ve done this a bazillion times. Let them sit on the podium. (You could knit!)
    You will seem more nervous to yourself than to your audience, who will afterwards tell you how poised you seemed. Try to believe them, as impossible as it sounds.
    You. Will. Kick. Arse.

  47. I doubt you’ll run short but if you need to fill a few minutes at the end you can always ask for questions from the audience.

  48. 20 minutes – in speach-ville – that IS a long time…that said – YOU’LL BE GRRRR-EAT!
    Firstly – you’ll be able to read bits from your book – which you are OBVIOUSLY intimately connected with.
    Secondly – since MOST people hat to talk in front of a crowd AND your audience will be comprised of knitters…they won’t care if you studder, take a break, go off on a tangent etc…
    You are gonna ROCK THE HOUSE!
    I’m a bit jealous…the speaches I give (crowds of 100-400people) are usually comprised of older men who aren’t so suer they want to be there.
    I’d kill for a crowd of knitters instead! [grin]

  49. Don’t worry about a speech. You can either give knitting tips, if you think the listeners are all knitters, or read from the bookbookbook. You are a mom, the “read aloud” gene is active
    Have fun!

  50. You are going to be just fine tonight. Do you know how I know this? Because I have spent the last several days obsessively reading your blog archives (seriously, I’m making deals with myself at work–“If I finish this task, then I can read another entry…”). One of my knitting friends referred me to it.
    Although I am drowning in cross-stitch and crochet projects (including a hay-uge blanket for my four-year-old, who asks about it constantly), I have now realized, after reading your blog, that I. Must. Knit. I had no idea about self-patterning sock yarn. I had no idea about Lorna’s Laces and all the other cool yarns. I don’t yet know quite what roving is, but I have no doubt I will find out soon.
    See? You’ve converted another one. The takeover proceeds apace.

  51. I second the suggestion that you read from your book! Also, you can always teach everyone how to knit, with broomsticks and clothesline so they can see even in the back row.

  52. My seventh-grader’s description of your blog: “Kind of like Bill Bryson, but with yarn.” He’s a big fan of Mr. Bryson, so that’s high praise indeed. Good luck tonight!

  53. Typical rubbishy PCs! Up and die on you for no reason!
    Remember your audience have no idea about what you will talk about (OK they may have some clues). They want to hear you speak and are on your side. You can go on stage and talk abut yak herding in the upper Mongolia and they will love it. You are going to tell them things they don’t know or give them insights or witticisms they hadn’t thought of. Think of it as a teaching role and be gentle on yourself. 99.5% of your audience would hate to be up there giving a talk, so they will think the Yarn Harlot is very brave.

  54. computer problems really are a pain in the —-, glad you got it fixed. WOW, I love the cardi,you are such an inspiration, I’m going to start the swatch for my first pullover tonight, I have no idea what I’m doing.
    Best of luck on your speech, I’m sure you will do great, doesn’t make it any less scary though I’m sure.
    AND I finally got my book yesterday, It was a month earlier than Amazon said it would be. It really is great Steph, I’m trying to make it last by not reading it all in one night.Good luck.

  55. Does Joe have a brother at all?
    The cardi is beautiful. Can’t wait to see the finished product.
    I’m sure you’ll do fine on your speech. It’s only bad until you get up there and start talking, then you kind of blank out like you did when you were on TV, and everybody is clapping at the end of your 20 minutes because you were so fantastic.

  56. I am thankful for so many things this morning. Here are just a few.
    1: That I live in Australia and my book (Kids Knit) was published in the US. Which means I didn’t have to do any sort of book tour for it.
    2: That I live in Australia. So even if there was a book tour, no-one would turn up.
    3: That I actually saw my book in a real bookshop in my country on Tuesday, so now I can totally relate to how you felt seeing your book in a real bookshop in Canada πŸ™‚
    4: It’s almost Amazon.com commission payment time so I’ll have some pocket money with which to purchase your book!

  57. Recently bought your bookbookbook and ~LOVE~ it! I’m certain your speech was wonderful and Joe will receive his just reward!;D

  58. bookbookbook spotted (and purchased) in Kingston! Sadly, my digital camera is on the fritz (if I mailed it to you, do you think Joe would consider taking it apart? I’m just about at the hammer stage)
    The bookbookbook had me snickering out loud while my roommates tried to watch TV…then I started reading aloud…and they allll groaned in unison. It’s wonderful!

  59. You are such a good story-teller! If Joe hadn’t come through for you, you could have just told a tale or two!
    After searchiong Rochester (NY) bookstores unsucessfully for your book, I found it in Buffalo. (took some travelers to the airport there) I took it in with me to get some dinner (instead of my sock) and had folks staring b/c I laughed out loud. Thanks! Next to knitting and hearinga good story, laughing is the best!

  60. I VERY sage woman told me yesterday that the secret to success is being AUTHENTIC. You have that in spades, missy… and that will never get locked in an electronic brick. You always have access to that. Besides, how much do you have to write by the time you leave in gaps for people to laugh and then get their breath back. You are one humorous chick.
    I’m working on the horseshoe lace face cloth from Knitter’s Stash. I think I’ll try knitting row 5 again (for the umpteenth time) and then get to bed.
    Wish you were coming to Te*as.
    Drat. Your server still says Te*as is “questionable content.” sigh.

  61. I know how it feels… my laptop crashed two weeks ago.. with my thesis text on, of which I had no backup.. Luckily the technicians managed to save the most important files..But till you know …. terrible, I have described it as “not the day you suffer from constipation” (sorry) IDA

  62. he’s just going to get lucky? you should be his sex slave for all time πŸ˜‰

  63. Congratulations on your speech that you must have given by now and that was probably spotless.
    As for the TV experience:
    1. You probably were charming, smart and witty, as you always are in here.
    2. Anyone without a pathologically large ego will hate hearing their own voice on tape or, even worse, seeing themselves on tape. This also applies to experienced broadcasters (although a great many of them have large egoes) This said, there is some learning in watching and hearing one’s weird self.
    3. There’s a first for everything. The 5th time on TV you will probably have fun.

  64. Wow! Isn’t Joe practically a superhero by now? I mean an clean house and finding the speech? He should have a theme song and a secret identity after that one.

  65. I’m an old trial lawyer and I teach lawyers and law students how to try jury cases. Follow the adage of Samuel Clemmons (paraphrased a bit): “Few sinners are saved after the first 20 min of a sermon.” Twenty minutes is mighty long unless it includes a reading from the book.
    BTW, got the book, love it.

  66. “laptop” . . . “get lucky” . . . “LAPtop” . . . do you see a natural connection between these words???

  67. Stephanie, a girlfriend of mine here in Idaho gave me your WONDERFUL book for my birthday. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it, and told her “OH MY GOD–I met Stephanie in New York last Autumn!” My friend was astounded! Me, in Idaho, has met someone who has written a book that is being featured in a HUGE bookstore. And is a blogger, to boot! Oh Stephanie, thank you. For writing a GREAT book, and for giving my blogging validity in my friend’s eyes. πŸ™‚

  68. bookbookbook spotted in Chapters in Waterloo..
    On one of the fancy Mother’s Day display tables, righ up front!
    (bookbookbook also purchased, of course)

  69. Stephanie, when you come out and start your U.S. tour, we want you to know that the Memphis Knitting Guild is behind you. Should you in any way find yourself unprepared for meeting your public that night, rest assured that we are totally up for getting you drunk.
    Hope the night went terrific! You chose your guy wisely; I know the value of man who is conversant with those computer, um, thingies.

  70. What was the answer on Joe’s fixing of digital cameras? My readers have to play “lets pretend we can see the sleeve” for today’s entry… I’m willing to have you get him lucky if he gets my camera to work again….

  71. Huzzah, the speech is saved! And I’m sure you were brilliant delivering it. Did Joe have to solder anything during the search-and-rescue mission? That’s extra brownie points right there. On the other hand, soldering may well be its own reward. πŸ™‚
    When a friend of mine had to do laptop surgery for me, he got all excited because it meant he got to purchase a set of hex screwdrivers. Geeks are cute.

  72. Hope it went ok.. the thing to remember about speeches is that they won’t really remember that much either, just whether they liked you, and knitting will give your audience warm fuzzies about you and get your point across. I’ve done a lot of them, and the worst was when I was speaking to about 500 people and 9 months pregnant.. what could I do but point out the obvious, they were all staring at my huge belly and not really focusing on what I was saying anyway!

  73. PS: if Yarnzilla isn’t giving you kickbacks on purchases of that lovely Koigu colorway, they should. Inventory is now down to 2!

  74. OK, before yesterday, “I ain’t got no koigu” was my only mantra, musical or otherwise. I’d better branch out from Bare Naked Ladies and the Stones. As of today, Patternworks still had some 121 left.

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