Where was I?

So on Friday I had the surreal experience of being on tv, which actually doesn’t feel like you are on tv but would instead feel more like being chased by wild dogs with red eyes and rabies. Or something like that.

I haven’t blogged about it (well…until now) because, to tell you the honest truth, I don’t remember it very well. At all. I remember going into the studio. I remember the charming and ridiculously good looking hosts talking to me about knitting. I remember knitting….but I don’t remember what I said.

As I walked toward the hosts the first time I remember thinking three things.

1. This is live. Do not use “colourful language”, do not say “arse” too much and in the name of humanity….do not let me do something horrible, like spit when I talk or laugh that way I do when I’m nervous. Do not let me lose my everlovin’ mind and talk about mohair while I giggle oddly, it makes people think I am whacked.

2. Why are all these people so thin?

3. Please, oh please oh please in the name of all things wooly….strike me with lightning. Quickly, right now…before I get to that chair and the terrifying green light goes on the top of the camera and I open my fool mouth and babble about yarn in a way that makes me sound like a crazy woman. Make the lightning swift and sure before I tell one more person that I think knitting is “fun” in that chirpy voice I can’t seem to stop. Immolate me right down to the freakin shoes. Please, oh please.

Then the green light went on, and I knit on my sock and I don’t remember a thing. Not a single moment. Some sort of hysteria induced blackout. I remember that everyone was very nice, I vaguely remember feeling like they asked good questions, I remember that at no point in either of the interviews did any of them suddenly go white or appear uncomfortable, which would probably mean that I didn’t say something horrible that could be interpreted as a wildly disturbing sheep fetish.

We’ll see. Apparently they send you a tape. (I have mixed feelings about the tape. On the one hand, I desperately want to watch it so that I can see everything that I did, on the other hand…What is the point of watching now that it’s over? I mean, if the worst did happen and I looked the way that I felt…(which was sort of like if I was a hyena with an essay due on Friday who happened to be trapped against a cliff wall by a group of tick and herpes infested starving Siberian Tigers) then why would I want to know? Why?)

I can tell you that if I had not had my knitting in my lap to keep my hands busy then I don’t know what would have happened. No idea. Without my knitting I likely would have wigged out in a very Harlot, but grossly ineffective way. As long as I had that knitting in my lap….I had one thing that I knew was going right, one thing I knew how to do. I hadn’t realized until right that moment, that knitting really takes the edge off of nervy stuff. Flicking the yarn over the stitches while I talked, it was almost like having a sort of weird meditative thing. (“I’m in my happy place” ).


If I did not rave, say arse or throw up on tv (and it has not been confirmed that I did not do these things) then I have this sock to thank. (This sock is for someone special and has been having a pretty good time. Not many socks get to go on tv.)

I will now resume neurotically obsessing over the little speech I have to give tomorrow night at the launch. (I’m so excited to meet everyone and so frightened to stand up in front of them that I can scarcely work a decrease.) Any minute now the people booking all this stuff are going to come to their senses and I’ll go back to the laundry.

I leave you with this….Hare-lot. Holy crap….is that screech? Pass it over.

(Thanks Katy…I love her hair.)

(PS. It would appear that much email was lost in my servers hissy fit over the last few weeks. If you think you should have heard from me, but haven’t…try again.)

78 thoughts on “Where was I?

  1. Yeah, I think your server is belching intermittently. Love the Hare-lot! It will be fun seeing you (in Acton, MA). You are doing so well, Steph. None of us could do this chit.

  2. I have to agree with you. Once, I was interviewed on TV for something and I had no memory of the event! People thought I was lying when I told them that I didn’t remember it! I’m sure you did fine. Thank goodness for socks! Someone will be very lucky to get those socks.

  3. love the bookbookbook, dear,
    and I’m absolutely sure you were brilliant on tv…
    hope you’ll be doing a book signing somewhere
    in my vicinity SOON!

  4. You wouldn’t get me on teevee if you and all those hyenas, saber-toothed tigers, wild dogs, all the ticks and fleas in their little circus chariots were coming at me as I stood at the edge of the cliff. No way! But I will stand up in front of my Nursing class of comrades and talk for one minute about the care and feeding of a person with a fractured hip. But only once.

  5. And what is that lovely sock yarn??? Will it help my sanity under pressure also?

  6. I, Judith Price, do solemnly swear (with one hand on my knitting) that Stephanie Pearl-McPhee did not did not rave, say arse or throw up on the broadcast portion of any TV program shown in the Ottawa area last Friday. What they edited out and how she behaved in the green room I have no idea. I do, however, know one other person who was interviewed on that classicly local-cable show who might have dirt to dish on the green-room thing…
    And she informed us, in airly superior tones, that the sock yarn is VINTAGE Koigu. So there.

  7. I bet that lovely sock yarn is Fleece Artist sock yarn! I am working on sock #4 out of a lovely skein I got a few weeks back.
    I cannot believe that no one has yet asked about the SECOND BookBookBookBook. If memory serves, August was the release date? Just in time for the FALL fiber festivals.
    Not to underrate AT ALL the anxieties affiliated with public speaking and TV appearances, but this tour thing seems PERFECT to me. I actually cannot think of anything more wonderful than being flown around to all sorts of wonderful yarn stores and fiber festivals all over the US and Canada — and having that travel be your JOB!!!
    The only downside I see is that any profits from the book would instantly disappear into more not-to-be resisted yarn purchases!!

  8. Stephanie, the important thing is that you’re still breathing. . .not that it’s ever likely to happen, but that TV thing would most definitely do me in.

  9. I’m sure the TV thing went fine, most importantly it’s over!
    I finished the book this morning, what the hell was that touching moment at the end? Here I am laughing hysterically all book long and then you throw in that last page and I nearly burst into tears (it really is true). You should warn people like me who cry for anything (like those McDonald’s commercials that they run at Christmas, damn them).
    It was a wonderful book. I plan on making everyone at my knitting group buy it tonight!

  10. amazon.com finally coughed up my copy last friday, and i finished it in one giggly sitting.
    it’s wonderful, steph. πŸ™‚
    so… are you going to put up a streaming media file of your First Television Appearance? πŸ˜€
    And I second Laurie: Any news about BookBookBook#2?

  11. Did you know tht exerpts from your book were on Lion Brand’s newsletter last week? I’m sure you did, but I thought it was very cool anyways.

  12. What are talking about with the “thin” thing? You’re a stick. In a good way, of course. πŸ™‚ You’re doing great out there bringing knitting joy to the masses. I’m so proud of you! Oh! LOVE the book, love the book, love the book!

  13. God Bless Socks. That’s the bottom line here. I’m sure the tv thingy went well – you were brilliant, because how could you be anything less. It’s just the way you are!

  14. If it makes you feel better, the station that you are scheduled for in Memphis is pretty low-key. The morning news man is older and I’m not sure who the female anchor is now (quit watching-I had political issues) but they’re quite an average, comfortable bunch of people. Very “Southern”. It will probably be quite warm and possibly rainy here too =D
    I haven’t gotten my book yet, last book signing I attended you had to buy the book at that store, so I can’t wait for you to get here so I can have a signed copy! Oh, and you were also featured in the Knitpicks email newsletter I got last night.

  15. The most bizarre thing about the tape will be watching yourself chat away rather normally, with no sign whatsoever of the hyena/homework/vermin feelings. That, and explaining SJP hair to the next generation of the Harlot family, at a Thanksgiving dinner years from now.
    So at this rate, I’m guessing that the long socks from Knitty are in your future? When you eventually get a craving for a larger gauge, will you lug a big project about or take to FedExing sweater pieces from one tour stop to the next? Does tourtourtour mean that Tuesdays Are for Drop Spindles? (I’m picturing you carrying about pencil roving in hatbox … adds to the romance of train travel.)
    It’s hard to believe this is only the beginning of the adventure! I hope it’s all a blast.

  16. I would say stay away from the tape. You’ll only want MORE screech! I wanna know what that sock yarn is…it’s beautiful!!

  17. bookbookbook sighting at UNC Student Stores. It’s not there any more, though, since they only had one copy when I arrived. Bookbookbook, at least this copy, will be sighted again at tonight’s SNB at Foster’s Market. πŸ˜‰

  18. Geez, woman. If I didn’t know better, I’d say you had a tad bit of the stage fright.
    “a hyena with an essay due on Friday who happened to be trapped against a cliff wall by a group of tick and herpes infested starving Siberian Tigers…”
    I’m just sayin’… Relax a bit, seems you’re doing swell!

  19. Hmm. Does this mean I that I now have to needle-felt a hyena? That might be a bit out of my range.
    And hey. None of my socks have ever been on TV. That’s pretty cool.

  20. I just wanna know: Did they do “hair and makeup”? and Did you get Sarah Jessica Parker hair? If so, then obviously all was well!

  21. Just reading about your live TV experience was making my heart beat faster and my palms sweat. Glad you made it through, sock and all. When the tape arrives, pour yourself a stiff drink, and watch it alone. That way you don’t have to worry about what every one else in the room is thinking the whole time. Just you and your TV self. I am sure it is not even a smidgen as bad as you think it is. How could it be? And that Hare-lot is a riot!

  22. Very funny TV experience… maybe under hypnosis you could regain the memory of what happened on the set? (or I guess you could watch the tape)
    Heard you are going to be at Maryland Sheep & Wool–it will be very cool to meet you!

  23. Hare-lot made my evening, absolutely! πŸ˜€ I’m glad all went well. There’ll be people filming my knitting group’s next meeting in a week, for one of the big channel’s news. Luckily we’ll just be background footage and not interviewed or anything.
    I did email you, but I remember telling you to take your time to answer, so I’ll just wait a week (or three) before I clog your inbox further. πŸ™‚

  24. You are my idol!! I’m sure your tv appearance was wonderful – and you probably can’t remember it (here’s my theory) because you were doing it with what Joseph Campbell called your “buddha self”. How could THAT go wrong??
    Unfortunately, your experiences have stunned me into stopping work on my own book (about food)….what am I going to do if I’m interviewed? Fondle a pummelo?

  25. Congratulations for surviving the cameras. I, for one, am glad that you did not get struck down by lightning as you requested.
    I found it amusing that after unequivocably [hey, is there a spellcheck on this thing??] stating your case that being on TV is a horror of epic proportions, that you go on to say that the sock has been ‘having a pretty good time – not many socks get to go on tv’.
    So let me get this straight: it’s GOOD for a sock to go on tv, but BAD for a harlot? : )

  26. I’m sorry to say that the 26th is a schoolnight, so spoilsport that I am, I won’t be making the trek to Mount Vernon (which is quite nice, BTW). If you were not a vegetarian, I would tell you to enjoy the local cuisine (corn dogs) while in Ohio, but I’m sure you’ll find other memorable things. Have fun!

  27. I love Joan’s comment about you doing the interview as your Buddha self. I’m actually pretty impressed that your Buddha self can knit whilst being all buddha-y. Go Steph!
    I had to be on TV once, and, since I am not the Harlot, I am here to tell ya, it was definitely not my Buddha self on that tape. They wanted me to sit there and crochet (not knit, C R O C H E T) something on tv, and it wasn’t until I saw the tape that I realized how very unnerving it is to crochet with a very large camera lens wedged between your knees. You could see my hands shake. It looked like they filmed me crocheting during an earthquake.
    So my advice is: if you ever have to do another tv thing, tell the cameraperson to keep a respectful distance. Don’t let him get down on the floor in front of you and point a camera up between your knees. He can use his whizbang zoom thing if he wants to see your hands, but cameras between the knees: NOT. Trust me on this.
    I’m so glad you are enjoying your tour, and the bookbookbook was so funny, I read it aloud to my long-suffering hubster. He laughed. So even husbands of knitters think bookbookbook is hilarious. Tell that to your publicist. Maybe they will give you a raise on Bookbookbook #2.

  28. Isn’t that a good sign? Like when a hostess can’t remember what happened at her party, it means it was a smashing event because for her it was such a whirlwind?

  29. I’m sure you did fine but I forgot to watch. And at least you weren’t talking about something controversial with a crazy right wing politician (which I did on BBC once — lowering the age of consent for gay sex to 16). And it wasn’t breakfast TV but an actual sensible time of day.
    Hope the launch goes well. Remember the folks who come will be well disposed to your unique personality. They will not be random people who don’t like knitting or humourous anecdotes. And the publisher should supply wine. If they don’t fix that now.

  30. Stephanie: I emailed you a date alert about the 13th of May when you say that you’re going to be at New Hampshire Sheep and Wool: You should double check the Sheep and Wool dates (14th &15th) and have your booker fill in the Friday spot with a nice yarn store in New Hampshire like The Elegant Ewe or Ptternworks, and then come to my house for dinner.

  31. Were you very SJP-ish for the TV? Will you give away a copy of the interview in the name of MSF?

  32. Hmm…. …sounds like you were channeling rather than being in the moment, on that TV appearance.
    I wonder who…

  33. Harlot, thank god for that knitting security blanket. My husband is both a knitter and a photographer, and also happens to be afraid of just about everything (namely heights and birds). One day, he ventured onto our garage roof, which was about 8 terrifying feet up, and just refused to come down. I was going to have to call the fire department, because there was no way that I could rescue a six-foot-something 200-and-something pound man from the roof on a rickety ladder. The answer? His camera.
    With said camera in hand, the man can confront the steepest cliff, ride in elevators, go close to (but still not into, some fears are too great)a bird sanctuary, and even take spectacular views of the sunset on the edge of the Grand Canyon.
    Just to totally humiliate him, I will also tell you that he is terrified of our daughter’s hermit crabs. We saw one change shells and he is scarred for life.
    Thank you, Harlot, for the book. You are “right on” with your observations, without ever being overly-sarcastic or off-putting in any way. THAT is a rare, wonderful gift.
    Ok, I will stop gushing and telling tales out of school (whatever that means).
    Kiki in Phoenix

  34. Years ago my dog and I appeared on Woof! with Uncle Matty. I remember before (hair, makeup, wondering why Matty Margolis’ face was so orange). I remember after (sound guy was cute, how did they fit all that equipment in my dining room?). I don’t remember during. I have the tape but have never watched it. It’s hard enough looking at still pictures, seeing on myself on TV would send me over the edge. Maybe if I watched it while knitting…..
    Kat in Boston

  35. Good God woman, between this post and the last you’ve had me laughing out loud with tears running down my face. The neighbor I can hear gardening next door must think I’m a lunatic. Thanks – it’s very therapeutic to read about your terror πŸ˜‰
    Congrats to Joe and the girls too – nothing like fear of public shame to whip people into shape (excluding those on reality TV I suppose).

  36. I just read yesterday’s blog post this afternoon, and I just have to say: Wooohooo Joe and “the girls”! Good job all around. I recently went away with some friends to a bed-n-breakfast for 1 night ~ *ONE* ~ and I still break into a cold sweat when recalling the condition of both the house and children upon my return.
    As far as your TV appearance goes, I’m sure you rocked. Watch the tape…with Screech. Just In Case.
    Take a deep breath, Steph, and enjoy all that comes. πŸ™‚

  37. Oh, gah, you’ve made me flash back to my grad school orals exam. (The only comparable experience I can think of.)
    Thanks. A lot.
    (I wish I’d had some knitting then!)

  38. Wow! I’m doing a similar sock in the exact same Koigu yarn, color and all. My sock is on Harlot’s blog!
    (But you’ll probably do the second one too…)

  39. Have your sock email me, broadcast is my job and I’m always willing to help an ambitious accessory become media savvy!

  40. I rec’d my copy of the BOOKBOOKBOOK from amazon yesterday, and am happy to say that I couldn’t put it down. I’m about halfway through, and tickled pink by every quote at the top, and every motivation at the bottom and everything in between. Congrats.

  41. The sock looks great, not that I’m at all surprised. I can see how knitting helped calm you down. And you didn’t have to worry about what to do with your hands (I always stress over that). That Hare-lot is so great, you’re immortalized in wool. How appropriate πŸ™‚

  42. I am now the proud owner of 2 copies of the bookbookbook because I did not trust just one book store to get it for me and also ordered it from Amazon!!
    I have been there on the TV thing, trust your friends to tell you if you did something horrible. Under no circumstances watch the tape!! You will be your own worst critic and freak about how you talked, your hair,the sound of your voice, your clothing and many other small details that would never cross your mind to worry about until no. Trust me on this one, I swore off the color deep pink (my personal power color) because it sort of glowed weirdly on the local news (and I won’t even discuss what the matching lipstick did to the lips).

  43. From someone who works at a Toronto tv station: don’t worry about what people think, saw or think they saw.
    The people in the control room are all worried about the next item, interview, commercial, &/or pee break. The people at home are only half listening while checking their cutlery and proper coffee mug placement in the cupboard while bossing about their kids and visiting their own Mr. Washie. But, rest assured, when they’re walking down the street and see your book in a store window they’ll go “Hey! I saw her on tv – she’s pretty funny. I think I’ll buy the book.”
    Speaking of which: I have the bookbookbook! But I had to buy it at Borders in Dearborn, MI. And, since I’m working the late shift, I can’t go to the book signing tomorrow. Trust me – I am all kinds of bitter about that. But I love the book. Even my sister (a *whispers* crocheter) wants to read it when I’m done.

  44. I found the bookbookbook in Racine, WI at Barnes & Noble. I searched the “crafts section” which I hate because all of the books are jumbled together as if quilting and knitting and scrapbooking are all the same thing! Then I asked at the desk if they had the book in stock. They said that they had three copies in the “crafts section” which I then mentioned to the clerk that I hate to go to. After another fruitless search, I returned and told the clerk that if THEY could find a copy of the book for me, I’d gladly buy it. They were also unsuccessful. As I sadly stood in line to buy a lesser quality book…..I saw the bookbookbook right there on the table of “Mother’s Day Gift Suggestions.” Barnes & Noble in Racine has one less copy!!

  45. I’m baaaaaccck!
    Just to let you know that the bookbookbook is on the newsletter from KnitPicks.
    Described thusly: “Also, now available, the much talked about gem of a book from ‘The Yarn Harlot’. With its compact size, you’ll want to carry it along in your knitting bag for quick laughs and inspiration.”
    They also have a pattern for Minature Sock Earrings for $5.99. If you are so inclined.

  46. In that situation, to go to my happy place? I would have needed knitting AND Xanax.

  47. My friend, Mary Lou will be attending your NY book signing. She’s got strict order (under penalty of my screwing up her tax return & having her owe big bucks) to have you sign a copy of the book for me.
    That’s the ONLY reason that I don’t have a copy of the bookbookbook, yet.

  48. Lady Harlot, I’m gonna go with some “Olivia Joules” advice: No one in the room is thinking about you, they’re thinking about themselves, just like you.
    Well. *They* are not on TV or in the middle of a book tour, I suppose. *ahem* So maybe a *few* people are thinking about you. But more people are thinking about wishing you well. There.
    So sorry I will not be able to make it to the launch tomorrow. But I will definitely make that freakily uncomfortable reach of introducing myself to someone who is so familiar to me, when I am as strange as the trashman or movie store gal, at the Frolic on Saturday.
    I may not be able to tote hot coffee around in a woolly-full place, but I’ll be packin the chocolate.
    All the best tomorrow.

  49. So I finally made it to the local book store and snagged what appeared to be the last copy of your book. I’ve only gotten about 1/4 of the way through, but I’ve already laughed out loud many times. Steph, are you coming to Books And Company in Dayton, Ohio for your tour? Lots of authors come here, it’s really popular… No, I’m serious, really, you could ask…. Please?

  50. Formerly a lurker – now a poster! What made me do it???? Still no word on when you are coming to Chicago! You know…. big city, tall buildings, great yarn stores and depending on which way the breeze is blowing the yummy fumes of an honest to goodness chocolate factory! Now if that does get you to schedule a stop here…..

  51. Ah, the dreaded TAPE. I used to have to video therapy sessions. Please plan to watch it at least three times. (I know it’s tortuous… however… the first viewing will be the one where you are CRITICAL CRITICAL CRITICAL… i.e., why did I wear THAT? What was with my hair? Look at this that or the other body part shaking…). The second viewing you will actually have some observations based on fact and the whole enchilada. (Tex-Mex… whoo hooo)… and the Third time you will have a somewhat more accurate emotional read on how it went.

  52. I have no idea how, but I actually managed to forget whose blog I had clicked into for just long enough to take a drink of tea. Somehow I got lucky and managed to refrain from spewing it all over the computer when I read your description. I’m sure you did great! Finally finished bookbookbook and lovedlovedloved it! What’s this I hear about there being another one?!?

  53. I’m with the other Chicago knitters…. You’d love it here! We’re the biggest small town in the US, so everyone is very neighborly. Please bring the bookbookbook tour here! We’ll send presents back for Joe and the kids….

  54. Congratulations on getting through being on TV. I think if I were on TV and expected to knit I would actually forget how to knit temporarily. You ROCK!!

  55. Don’t be nervous about the launch. Just remember that all those attending *know* you and have very warm feelings about you. There will not be a single critic in the room.
    It must be a strange experience to meet people who know much about you and your family, while you know little about them.
    Everyone will want to tell you how you have brightened up their lives. That is an enormous achievement. Be proud.

  56. Just think, by this time next year being on tv will be easy as turning a heel… after all, you’ll be touring bookbookbook2 won’t you?
    15 days to NYC, Big Apple, L&T. Remember to pace yourself, m’dear.

  57. Wow Stephanie! YOu’re turning into a star: your blog, a book, a book tour, and now TV??? You’ll be Hollywood-bound in no time! Congrats again on all your amazing accomplishments.
    BTW – that’s absolutely beautiful sock yarn you featured in today’s entry. Care to share the secret? I’d love to find some for my next pair!
    Keep it up!
    Heather in MA

  58. Just ordered the bookbookbook from AMAZON!! No LYS around here. Can’t wait to get it, I’m sure it will make me laugh myself silly. What IS that yarn that you are using for your fabulous TV sock? I lust for it.

  59. I used to do that during competitive sports πŸ™‚ ONly since I was a gymnast it was always a bit freaking not knowing if you flipped, splat on your face or anything else…
    That said I LOVE that sock yarn!!

  60. Hmmm…amazing how our kids and hubby can totally take care of themselves when we are away but can’t seem to do so when we are around!
    Hooray to Joe & the kids!
    I hope you are making a visit to AZ during your West coast tour!

  61. *pat pat* You’re doing a great job. Enjoy it, Steph. I mean, really, how many knitters have a book, get to go on tv, tour around north america, and have what could be considered a cult following? Congratulations. We’re all right behind you. πŸ™‚

  62. Hey Stephanie, I have several videoed versions of my wedding that I have never watched. It’s just good to have the tape in case you want to, but it’s nice to have your own version of what happened in your head. No need to ruin the memory with reality!

  63. I watched your interview on the local station here in Ottawa, CJOH. You were great, answered the skinny interviewer’s questions, chatted (not babbled) about knitting, and all the while those fingers were a blur. Quietly knitting away.
    Although it seemed like ages to you, it was only a few minutes long. Might have been longer if they hadn’t cut you off in midddle of a monologue on types of shampoos you’ve tried.

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