Who am I?

I have given up trying to work out “where” I am, (my American geography is improving by the minute.) and after the last couple of days I’m really trying to work out “Who” I am.

The ideas I have about myself are not matching the experiences that I’m having. I am not…for instance the kind of person (I am absolutely sure of this) NOT the kind of person that this


happens to. (Notice that the five chairs directly in front of the podium are empty. Five people stood in the back rather that sit that close to me. There is a chance I’m starting to look like a woman on the edge.) My anxiety about speaking to these people was only compounded by the fact that right next to the podium was a grand piano. (Flashback. Serious flashback)

After the talk we retired to the charming shop, I took a picture of the display in the window. It was so cute I couldn’t hardly stand it.


Many thanks to the resident yarn shop cat for arranging itself so beautifully amongst the books and yarn.

Brooke drove from Cincinnati (that’s three hours. In the rain.) so that we could meet.


Check out the mitten. Brooke has some idea what she’s doing. (Plus she brought me some of those little tiny sharp coloured metal needles I love so much.) Who does that? Who does that for me? I ask again…Who am I? She wasn’t alone either, lots of lovely bloggers and readers and even (get this…) Complete strangers who didn’t know I had a blog. Who knew? (A thousand apologies for not providing links. On-line time is scarce, and picking up the urls is time consuming.)


The sock saw Mount Vernon’s tiny town hall and cavorted in front of the yarn shop.


It’s hard to tell when a sock is cavorting, but I assure you, it was.

The sock was just about moved to tears when Patti, Deborah, Sarah and company announced that from now on 10% of the profits from my book sold in their store will go to Doctors without Borders, thus making Craftsman Hill Fibers a member of Knitters Without Borders of the highest standing and a collection of women of the utmost decency.

The sock was so happy about this, that I didn’t show it…


This. (Sock yarn from Memphis. How did that happen? It’s all so fuzzy…)

The next day I took a plane from Ohio to Virginia, where after an unsettling experience navigating the Capitol region public transit system (Note: The metro is NOTHING like the subway. Even if you have been on the subway a hundred thousand times and you think you will be able to just slide on into the metro system…you would be wrong. Not matter what the guy at the bus stop by the airport tells you, the Metro is as much like the subway as pizza is like jello. Not a transferable skill.) I eventually made my way to the hotel, (by the way…the Pentagon? I don’t know if you’ve been there…it’s HUGE. It’s unspeakably massive. Immense. Take what you see on TV and multiply it by a billion and then puff it up a little. It’s so big that you can’t even tell it’s a pentagon. It’s just HUGE. Does Canada have a building that big anywhere in the country? Freaked me out. Huge. )

The lovely Kristine picked me up and took me over to her shop, Knit Happens. (Poor Kristine. I don’t think she’d slept in days. Her online store went live the other day and she was pretty delirious from overwork. Many thanks for retrieving me.) I signed books, I met bloggers and normal people…


These are bloggers. Not normal people. Vibegrrl and Chelsea welcomed me, it was wonderful.

Kristine gave me a Knit Happens hat


Note the cake in the foreground. Lest ye think that it was ordinary cake, it was cake from Kristine’s birthday the day before. (Who am I? Last week I was frowning on twinkies, this week I’m scarfing Kristine’s day old birthday cake like it’s tofu on sprouts.) If you haven’t done so already, go give Kristine a big birthday gift by having a look at the online store. It’s pretty slick.

I could show you what I bought at the store, but I’m waiting for the guilt and shame to be less sharp. Many thanks to the Knit Happens Crew for enabling the signing…and the buying. It was awesome.


The sock admired the vaguely phallic stately Masonic temple in Alexandria, and we were on our way.

The sock and I are currently on the train from Virginia to New York. (I don’t know where exactly.


Do you?)

I love the train. It’s quiet and slower and feels more civilized than hustling off planes at a thousand miles an hour. There’s more room to spread out, and walking between the cars to the cafe car never gets old for me. I think the train and knitting might be a lot alike.

There are faster ways to travel….but (as Margene would say) with the train (and knitting) it’s about the process.

I’ll apologize again for the lack of links and names. There’s too much to type. if you saw me…toss your link in the comments for everyone to see.

Tonight….New York, New York.

I miss my kids. Who am I?

114 thoughts on “Who am I?

  1. Steph, you are the amazing and wonderful Yarn Harlot. You are who you’ve always been. It’s just that now the world is getting to know you. Your girls miss you too. So does Joe.

  2. I assure you that Erin and I will WILLING sit in the front row when we come to see you in Kalamazoo… In fact you might be asking us to step back (we’re lovely people really, just not all that normal ;))
    Oh and I just cannot hope that I’m possibly the first commenter of the day…

  3. Isn’t it wonderful, and yet overwhelming, to be so loved? You’re a lucky Harlot and we’re even luckier to have you around. I sure have enjoyed hearing about your travels. Keep your chin up! You and Mr. Washie will be reunited soon enough.
    Have a great day!

  4. Wow. the harlot does the USA! It must feel really weird. I’d be blissed out if people wanted to see me…and freaked out.
    Bookbookbook finally arrived from Amazon. Hooray! My husband thinks it is funny and he doesn’t knit (not for want of me trying).
    harloteers, an announcement. PLEASE sit at the front of the places where Steph is talking. I am pretty sure she does not have BO or halitosis. She probably even has her bra on. Make her feel WELCOME not like someone that you won’t go near.

  5. Dude, I totally would have sat up front – it kills me that I was not there. have a good time in the Big Apple – do they have a nickname like that for Toronto?

  6. Harlot, harlot! I and my amazingly accomplished knitting buddy Tina will see you in less than an hour, and I swear on all my fillings and on my first born, we’ll sit in the very front row. Even if we have to bump someone who’s already there. [Hey, it’s New York — whaddya want?]

  7. Hmmm, where ARE you? Good question– as a former resident of both New Jersey and Maryland I would guess… outskirts of Wilmington, DE?
    The Lord and Taylor ad in the New York Times promoting your reading ran nationwide, did you know that?? I almost spit coffee all over the page when I saw it all the way out here in California.

  8. I cannot believe that when I clicked to make my comment, only three others had commented before I did.
    I’m the one who lives 344.3 miles from Alexandria and WOULD HAVE LOVED TO BE IN THE FRONT ROW!!!!, but, alas – 344 miles is too far to travel and they wouldn’t let me off work anyway. It’s Administrative Professional’s week and I had to stay and work so they could let me know how much they appreciate me (I am the secretary). Yeah. Right.
    I hope you threw in the appropriate amount of “y’all”s while in Memphis and they do say y’all in VA too, even though it might not reach quite so far north as Alexandria, but VA is still in the south.
    Enjoy your time in NY. I’m sure they’ll take very good care of you.
    Can’t wait for the next installment!!

  9. Whoever you are, she’s got great hair.
    The front-row thang is a tribute usually reserved for poetry readings. I’ve always suspected it indicated people’s subliminal belief in the power of poetry — that it gives off its own radiation? So at the Athena we give extra karma for people willing to sit in the first row (and put the best chairs there, too.) I strongly suspect this will not be a problem for your appearance.
    Just back from NY myself, where we saw an egret and two cormorants in a Central Park pond, and a BIG hawk (not peregrine) in a tree being attacked by a bluejay and finally, bonked on the head, flying off with a dead pigeon in its talons. Watch your back.

  10. I almost forgot – I want one of those sweatshirts that says “Yarn ho.” on it like Brooke is wearing. Can we know where to get them? Thanks.

  11. You are the same you as you have always been, but now a lot more people know it. And care about it. See you Friday night with chocolate mousse.

  12. Yarn Ho stuff is at Cafe Press, I think.
    Why on EARTH did they have you go from VA to NY, only to come back to MD next week (yes, Steph, the great and powerful MARYLAND SHEEP AND WOOL is now one week away)????
    I apologize for our metro system. It’s… well… It is what it is. But if you saw the masonic temple, you’ll be amused to know there is a bridge on the road heading towards that temple on which someone spray paints nearly every year (because some spoil sport cleans it off) “Surrender Dorothy” for all that it looks like Oz. It is the only vandelism I endorse, but I do so highly.
    Can’t wait to see you again NEXT WEEK!

  13. You are an inspiration, a source of humor, a mom, a traveler, a writer, and a knitter.
    You wear your many hats well.


  15. Poor baby. You’re homesick.
    If you want, I think we could generate a large pointless argument involving name-calling and finger pointing. And I know I need socks washed for work tomorrow.
    And I think you were looking out my window.

  16. Frazzled!? You must be on your way home since you’re heading back north. I’m sure your family misses you, too! Thanks for the shout out.

  17. “we don’t find you changed from she we knew, only more sure of what you thought was true”, to gank some Frost and twist into appropriateness?
    I’ll be bringing a tofu on sprouts to your Seattle appearance… …it won’t be homemade tofu, alas (I don’t think the homemade variety would survive the trip from here-at-the-end-of-the-world to Weaving Works in August). And if there’s a front to sit in, I’ll be sittin’ in it. WITH my knitting. I hope I’ll be in sock #2 already… (I’m doing the Norwegian one from Folk Socks. Goodness, it is so beautiful, and so very slow…)

  18. A certain other Guy Blogger tells me via e-mail that not only did he get to meet you, he also got a (chaste but memorable) kiss on the cheek, and I am mad with envy. And normally I am not one to envy kisses from girls.
    Obviously, some new phenomenon we could call The Harlot Mystique is at work.

  19. Steph, I was just looking at your tour schedule last night and wondering how on earth you do it! You definitely deserve a vacation when you get home. It’s good to be loved, isn’t it? Congrats on your success!

  20. You, my dear, are the Yarn Harlot – Knitter, Published Writer, and World Traveler. You sound overwhelmed. Take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy the ride!

  21. If the Harlot graced the city of Chicago, I would most definitely sit, lay down, knit or whatever in the front row. Judging by previous comments I would also have plenty of company! ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. ….it was great meeting you last night….i believe i know why those chairs were empty… they, like i, were overawed to be in your presence….you were so warm, friendly and (surprise!) funny that you made me feel like an old friend….the book, which i waited to buy till you visited kept me up well into the night … thank you for the book, the visit, and the inspiration… kathy, who-knows-your-favorite-flower

  23. Toronto is rainy, icky damp and we had hail and thunderstorms today. Typical Southern Ontario for April… Hey, it’ll be great to know you’re back home in TO, and I really hope you do a few rounds at some of the LYS’ around TO (if you haven’t already…). Remember to take care of yourself – you’ll remember who you are.

  24. Girl, I got all confused about everything when I went to DC also and tried to ride the subway. It was a *mess*. No worries…it happens to the best of us (and usually at the worst of times)
    You are a fabulously funny, witty, entertaining harlot. Life would not be nearly as fun without you and your ability to write exactly what so many of us are thinking.
    I’ll betcha your girls are missing you like crazy right about now. Of course, they’ll never admit it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  25. Taking the train from NYC to Boston? I live near the Boston Back Bay Train station and would gladly escort you to your hotel/Circles! (serious) My ‘Ms Washie’ says you could even do a load if you like ๐Ÿ˜‰ and my stepdaughter(12) could give you THE LOOK…. Just like home.
    enjoy nyc – see you tomorrow!

  26. If you think what you *see* of the Pentagon is big, consider this: around half of the Pentagon’s size is UNDERGROUND (i.e. not visible). Also, every single hallways looks exactly the same inside. I bet people get lost and starve to death.
    Also, I think you snapped a shot of the Philadelphia skyline from the train. It’s almost exactly halfway between DC and NY. Seem about right?

  27. Steph, I bet you do miss your kids. And just to make you feel better, when you are in K’zoo I’ll pull my chair up right NEXT to the podium. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I think that this is such a fabulous experience for you as a writer, woman, mom, and knitter. If you don’t know who you are right now, when you look back on this tour you will realize you are many things-this trip has helped each part grow. Just keep on knittin’!

  28. Has anyone called Letterman to get you on that show? You’re a lot more fun than some of the stupid movie stars. I mean, Tom Hanks is great in the movies, but get him on Letterman and the guy’s a dweeb. Dave would be lucky to have you. Get your publicist on it.

  29. AWH man.. Three hours.. you mean someone beat my two and a half hours!!!
    I don’t know Steph by the time I got there there was no where to sit! Had I seen some chairs in the front I would have sat right down!
    (of course I would have looked funny with nothing to knit!)
    Sum it up with this! You are loved, and your ‘family’ is getting bigger everyday! That’s how we feel out here.. you’re family!
    For me your the big sister I aspire to be!
    (someday) You’re just a few steps ahead of me in many ways! And so far you are doing it with grace.. all be it I know you probably don’t feel that way sometimes!(or mabye ever!)
    So hang in there!!!
    And hey .. set your web page to be accessable offline up there somewhere in file and properties.. oh.. no … you are on a MAC!! well it’s got to be there somewhere!! Less online time!
    PS who was that guy with the accent in line ahead of me?? Fess up! If he has a blog I wanna read it..

  30. I’m soaking it in. Thank you for sharing some of your experiences with me. AND, if there are empty chairs, I would sit in them. IN THE FRONT. I’m like that. Selfless.
    I will await your call. And if you are too busy/tired I understand. I will then see you at Circles. Really.

  31. Hey! I’m in that picture! OK, you can’t see me because I’m in the dark back – got there toward the end and didn’t see all those prime open seats in the front. Thanks for posing with my 6Sox Knitalong socks. They’ve been to a foreign country (O Canada) and posed with a celebrity (The Harlot). Not sure I can bear to wear them now. Maybe they should be framed for posterity.

  32. “New York, New York, a helluva town.
    The Bronx is up, but the Battery’s down.
    The people ride in a hole in the groun’.
    New York, New York it’s a helluva town!!”
    Enjoy your visit to NYC – I know you will. New Yorkers are just a bunch of lovable folk who hide behind somewhat aloof exteriors. It’s our way of having personal space in a city with 9 million other people in it (or whatever number it is up to now).
    I miss home, and I am terribly jealous that they all get to visit with you!

  33. Hi ! You are the world traveller but you never seem to forget from whence you came. Go ahead and have a Twinkie. That small cake just celebrated its 75th birthday . 75,000,000 Americans bought a Twinkie last year. Have a blast. You are impressing the world with your knitting fun.
    Knitting along, Judy

  34. Sadly, I will miss you tonight at Lord & Taylor, however, I will be attending the Maryland S&W. See you there! Enjoy the Big Apple!

  35. wow, what a trip so far! ๐Ÿ™‚
    and now you’re famous-er than you were before! and you still haven’t stopped your yarn harloty ways, what with the sock and the secretiveness and everything.
    i’m sure your family is missing you just as much as you, them. (but i wouldn’t hold my breath on any of them taking up a relationship with mr. washie.)

  36. Now why couldn’t I still be living in VA. Another reason to hit my hubby for making me move to Florida! Wanna come down to Florida? It’s nice and sunny!

  37. ah, the train. I love the train, love knitting on the train. Maybe I have hope of harlotness after all. When you come to seattle, the rabbitch and I will be in the front seats. You may regret that, but we will be there anyway, happily knitting. And probably a bit drunk.

  38. Okay, so this is embarrassing to admit, but I just recently discovered the Harlot blog. (I blush to admit it, honest.)
    Without ever having read the Harlot blog, I read Clara’s review of bookbookbook, and knew I had to have it.
    Did I buy it, devour it in fits of giggles, while reading significant portions aloud to my (very tolerant non-knitting) husband? Yes, and he was impressed (at least he had the good sense to laugh along with me).
    Did I then decide that I’d seriously missed out on knowing all the Harlot’s business, and thus dedicate every spare minute of quiet work time to reading every last post in the entire Harlot archive?!?!?!? Did I accomplish this task in less than a work week? Yup. And I’m not ashamed to admit it. Just don’t tell my boss, ‘kay?
    So I’ve been talking about the Harlot quite a bit at home (I’m married with no children, just a pooch who can’t talk back), meaning telling my husband all of the funny bits I can possibly remember, and he says, very impressed, “Wow, she must not have a job, huh?” And when I tell him, no! She works full-time, is a writer, has 3 children, knits, designs her own patterns, AND spins (I know, I’m leaving out a long list of other things), he was VERY IMPRESSED. That’s why I love my husband–he understands the labor involved in your Harlot world, and is almost as impressed as his nerdy knitter wife (me).
    But this isn’t about my husband, it’s about my sincere awe and appreciation for all things Harlot. I’m going to be at MSW on Sunday, and am soooooo hoping I’ll catch a glimpse of you while I’m there. I’ll be with my mom, who isn’t much of a blog reader, so I hope she’ll put up with my antics if (when?) I see The Harlot!
    Thanks for being such a great presence in the knitting world!
    Your newly devoted fan,

  39. Oh. My. God.
    If only I still went to school there…I graduated from Kenyon College two years ago, and Craftsman Hill Fibers opened nearby my sophomore year after the woman me to weave when I took the class at the craft center decided to open her own shop. I loved Debbie, she was such a wonderful woman, and I miss her! And I miss having such a wonderful LYS!
    And I missed randomly being there while my darling Harlot was visiting!

  40. I leave the states, move to Montr๏ฟฝal from Boston, and the book tour of the coolest Canadian knitblogger of all time goes where? Circles. Boston. Potato salad. Sigh…I am so seriously considering picking up the kid early from school and driving to Kaleidoscope in Vermont. Quality time with Mommy (in the car going through immigration…yeah, somebody kick me)…we could be back by dinnertime…no one would ever know except for you because I might be moved to not only want you to sign my book but to (gasp) hug you…
    Ah, missing the kids. When I went off to school for weeks at a time, I missed my kid something fierce. Mothers are hardwired to forget things like exploding lipgloss and projectile vomiting and instead just want to hold their children. Who five minutes later will give them “the look,” at which time “who am I” comes back, loud and clear. You are indeed the great Yarn Harlot with a hilarious book, but you will also be back home and Mr. Washie will demand an explanation. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Great book…I’m reading it aloud to husband who gets it even though it’s not in French. You rock. ๐Ÿ™‚

  41. I am stuck in Dayton, OH on a business trip, and I SO wanted to try to get to Mt Vernon to see you there, but, though it is a mere two hours away, I just couldn’t make it. Perhaps I should have arranged for Brooke to abduct me from my meetings on her way from Cinci!
    I guess you’ll just have to add a Utah stop to your whirlwind tour! We have beautiful mountains, in the shadows of which lurk glorious yarn shops!

  42. I’m blogworthy! I’m blogworthy!
    Steph, I had the greatest time in Mt. Vernon on Tuesday night. I grinned the entire three hours home (no rain!) and have been glorying in the effects since then. Everyone calls you my new best friend now since I can’t stop telling them… “what Stephanie said…” on Tuesday!
    And a compliment about the mitten! So honored! And in my defense, I chose the second row over the first row so as not to make you feel even more threatened. The front row was awfully close to the podium! We were trying to give you breathing room!
    Okay, enough for now. I’ll stop being “one-comment Brooke” and try to keep up with everyone else. Thanks so much for the great time and the blog-worthy-ness! Have a great time on the rest of your tour. ๐Ÿ™‚
    p.s. Hey everybody, Stephanie posed with my Dublin Bay socks! As soon as I get the pics online, I’ll make sure you get to see them!

  43. I agree the train is a great way of traveling. I’m sorry to have missed you at Knit Happens, I couldn’t make it for a multitude of reasons, one being my boyfriend’s Mom was in town for dinner. Hope you get some rest before your next signing. Looking forward to meeting you at MD Sheep & Wool.

  44. You are yourself. *That* is what people are clamouring to see you for.
    Take a moment to let that sink in. I know it must be wierd. But ‘strue!
    At the Toronto book launch I waffled for about five minutes before deciding (finally) to sit in the front row. It was just such a keener thing to do and I didn’t know if it would be too recklessly bold…but then I thought, self, do you want a front row seat for this thing or not…and sat my arse down in the front row. (I could do all this waffling without looking like a total dork because I was one of the first people there so there was nobody watching. I hope.)
    Anyway, onto the real question…

  45. Kathleen, the pattern is the Greek Mitten in Folk Mittens by Marcia Lewandowski. It’s wicked fun to knit! However, I’m doing it wrong. The pattern calls for you to start at the top. But I tried that and failed miserably. Nothing doing to switch to starting from the cuff! Good luck!

  46. I enjoyed your reading tonight so much. And what an event L&T put out! Who knew there’d be wine, and food, and lovely tableclothed tables? I never attended a reading with that much class before. And you so deserved it, what a great night it was.

  47. You’re brilliant. Tonight was fantastic… If you do that well while terrified I can only imagine how charming you are when comfortable. If you hadn’t told us you were nervous we never would have known.
    Thanks for visiting our fair city. Hopefully next time you’ll have more of a chance to check out the yarn shops.

  48. Indeed the Pentagon is huge. A friend of mine used to live across the highway from it, and whenever I went to visit him I’d have to drive by it.
    I am loving the traveling sock pics. WAY better than a gnome! ๐Ÿ™‚

  49. I loved the book!! I sooooo wish I could come and see you!! If my hubby did not just leave for Iraq, I would have. Hay it is only the Atlantic Ocean. I cross it all the time for less interesting things. Don’t tell my mom I said that! ๐Ÿ˜‰ You should take a vacation to Europ next. Italy is beautiful in the spring! Bookbookbook World TOUR! I can dream…..

  50. Brooke, thank you so much! It looks so incredibly beautiful, I must make it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Now I know what to ask my husband for for Mother’s Day!

  51. Hey Harlot, there is a gov’t building a bit like the Pentagon in Canada. In Gatineau, just across the river from the Parliament buildings in Ottawa, there are four squat towers that house something like 40,000 of Canada’s civil servants. It’s the second largest gov’t complex in the world (I think). Only the Pentagon is bigger.
    I once worked in one of those towers. Nearly every floor in every tower contained rows and rows of identically blue dividers and cubicles. Urgh. Evil empire indeed.

  52. Well, I am leaving Potsdam, NY for Boston right now. Just a note, Potsdam is an hour and a half away from Ottawa. I missed you in Ottawa because it was tax day. So off I go for a 6 hour drive. See you at Circles! Oh, I did arange a few networking meeting for DH so I could get him to travel with me, its all about the yarn!

  53. Steph, it was an honor to finally meet you, and thank you for gracing our city with your wit…and sock. Next time you must save time for a Drafty Table knitting break. Have a blast on the rest of the tour–especially S&W!

  54. Gosh I wonder why you had to be here this week, then in Michigan, then back here next weekend. Ah well.
    By the way, I’ve heard rumors that the sock wants to come to the FT party…

  55. Steph, Got my book back from Craftsman Hill Fibers yesterday. Thank you so much. Husband is still ouchy from surgery. I think he’s a “little” sorry for making me miss your appearance. Hopefully some day you will be close by again and I can get there. Sue

  56. You passed through Philadelphia and didn’t stop, darn it! I see that view every day – you’re crossing the railway bridge over the Schuylkill River, looking south to Center City. The Girard Avenue Bridge is in the foreground.
    Safe travels!

  57. You took that picture just when you got on the train, didn’t you? That looks an awful lot like the shores of Alexandria, Virginia still.
    Looking forward to seeing you again soon.

  58. Glad you enjoyed the South! We are an interesting group of people, aren’t we? I think the front row thing is common all over the South (at least it has been in my experience). Maybe it is because we don’t want to appear to be putting too much pressure on you to speak. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  59. It looks like your gig with the front rows of people missing might have been in a church? (Judging from the windows in the back.) If so, it’s just an ingrained thing not to sit in the front rows! Especially if it was a Baptist church! (And yes, I am a Baptist so I can poke fun at us!)

  60. Ahhh, train knitting. I always take the train between DC and NY. Pop a DVD in the laptop, get a cold beer from the Cafe Car and enjoy hours of uninterrupted knitting.
    I’m pretty sure you posted from just outside of Philly. Yes, I’m orignally a Jersey-girl. We call it Philly, never Philadelphia.

  61. I love Knit Happens and the lovely online store. Great ladies, those Knit Happens Ladies. I’m glad you are having a good time and I’m sure you’ll have a blast in NY. I think it’s good you miss your kids because that means they probably miss you too. There’s something about absense and growing fonder – you know what I mean. Have a great day.

  62. Hey! I had the pleasure of seeing you in NY – we were at the front table, although the rear side of the table, so we wouldn’t have to turn around to see you! (in the first pic of the crowd that you took, I was waving, wearing a lime green shirt. I asked the shopping question!)
    we had a blast, and it’s great to have a voice to go with the words on the site.
    I tried to speak with you afterwards, but nature (ladies room) and hunger in my group overcame us and we headed out.
    and my friend that I taught to knit a few months ago learns fast. when I was questioning the free book, food and wine (before I knew about the sponsors) I said “does L&T think once we’re here we’ll shop?” without a beat, she said “they don’t sell yarn here, do they?” ;o)
    sorry for the long comment, but it’s because I didn’t get to talk to you in person.
    thanks for being “you”. nobody does it better. ;o)
    enjoy the rest of the tour and I hope the family (and Mr. Washie) survives without you!

  63. I am enjoying your online travels of your book tour. Everyone seems to be raving about your visits. I am hoping to find a copy of your book at my LYS today.Hope you get to rest up a bit on the train. Ohhhh…as a hairdresser, I have to say “You have gorgeous hair”.

  64. I’m having so much fun reading about your bookbookbook tour- I just can’t wait till the West Coast leg! So glad you are having a great, whirlwind time!

  65. Stephanie,
    Other than my own paralyzing attack of shyness, my family and I found you to be exactly as we expected — Very nice, funny and easy to be around. My husband got to take a picture with your sock (which he loves), and my son just wanted to stay with you. I guess that makes you a pretty cool chick.
    We really enjoyed meeting you at Knit Happens.

  66. Hello, I’ve been reading your blog for some time now, although I don’t think I’ve ever commented. I started reading sometime just before your book got published, and I had thought that you wrote books all the time!! It’s refreshing to see someone who deserves it get the limelight for once!! I do live in NY, but I’ll be at work when you’ll be at Lord’n’Taylor in the city, and I live on long island, which is about an hour train ride (I also love the trains!!) away. Good luck tonight, and for the rest of your tour!!!<3<3<3
    (p.s.-I totally love the sock pictures!!!)

  67. You’ve probably already been told this/done it for yourself ๐Ÿ˜€
    I went to Amazon.co.uk to see if ti had your book, but couldn’t think of it’s title, or your full name. Did you know “knit mcphee” will bring your book up straight away? Well, I was impressed ๐Ÿ™‚
    Hope the rest of the tour goes great.

  68. Don’t worry about those empty chairs, Stephanie. I agree with others (above), it was entirely the intimidation factor – silly as it may be – that would keep folks from sitting in the front row. (Southern women live in fear of even *looking* intimidated, so no fear that you were going to be facing empty front-row chairs in Memphis.) But then there were those of us made of less sturdy stuff who happily planted in the second row, and had the first row been empty, I can assure you that we would have been in the third…
    Thanks for all the referrals to our blog, I will enjoy overruning our bandwidth this month! And here’s a little article for you, should it happen your publicist has not yet forwarded it on: http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/lifestyle/article/0,1426,MCA_521_3733819,00.html
    We had such a great time with you. May you have at least half that much fun on each stop, and then the time will fly, so that you are back at home with family in no time! –LisaB

  69. At my knitting guild meeting last night, one woman held up a copy of your book and announced she had just discovered the coolest thing, we just had to read this! Two of us immediately exclaimed, in unison, That’s Stephanie! She’s coming to Berkeley! To Stash! (The woman with the book was kind of going, huh?)
    You know which two people will be the first ones at the door when you get here!

  70. A week ago you were writing a note warning everyone in your house that they were driving you nuts.
    Today you are missing your kids.
    Yep. Another great mom! The make us crazy when we are around them, but we go nuts when we are away.
    Hope that NYC is a blast for you. So far, I have been to each of the cities you have visited, and I’ve enjoyed you enjoying what I enjoyed. Especially the train. Process knitting with great scenery!

  71. The Saint Paul Public library system has ordered four copies of your book. There are already three holds on it and it has not even been processed yet. That means at least three people, myself included, have submitted it as a purchase suggestion and the library agreed it was a must have. So will you be coming to Minnesota anytime soon?

  72. Oh I absolutely love the color of the sock yarn from Memphis, it’s really interesting. And could that cat be any cuter. I really think it should be a law that all knitting stores have cats, I mean come on, it just goes together. My dad’s print shop always had a shop cat.

  73. I agree that trains and knitting have the same personalities. Trains also travel a little closer to the pace of humans; you are hurtling through time and space but not nearly as fast as on a plane. Enjoy.

  74. Did you happen to see a wayward beluga whale in that river as you crossed it on the train? It seems one has lost its way from Canada and was down there that day… you might have a bit in common. He’s northward bound, too.
    Sorry I missed you at KH, but work got in the way. I’ll make sure to be there at S&W!

  75. It that’s a ‘tiny town hall’ then I’m a monkey’s aunt! I invite you to have your tourtourtour visit us in Tolland, MA at our Town Hall!
    Just got in from three days on the road snowbirding from Nokomis, FL and have my reading cut out for me!

  76. Steph, You were great in New York. Thank you thank you! I was reading the bookbookbook on the train on the way home, laughing out loud, and I actually got a few more odd looks than I do when I knit on the subway. I hope you enjoyed NY.

  77. nm, i found it–knew it was so good it had to be a german yarn!!! it’s lana grossa aktion meilenweit #3110, for anyone who is interested.

  78. Hey! I just wanted to let you know that I received mine and my mother’s copies of the bookbookbook via UPS on Thursday and of course I immediately dove right in! I haven’t finished it yet, but I can tell it is an excellent book!! The funny thing is, reading it sort of makes me want to put it down and pick up my knitting (because I have not yet figured out a way to read and knit simultaneously). =)
    See you May 10th in Amherst!!

  79. I finally gave up on my local store getting your book and ordered it from Amazon and it was well worth the wait. I too haven’t read it all, I am savoring it so it will last longer.
    To Amanda, yes you can knit and read at the same time. Its hard to do with a small book, I find hardbacks and library books work great. I got one of those book weights from Barnes & Noble. It will hold the book open for you. You do need to stop to turn the page but its very easy to do.

  80. It must seem like a hundred years, and several loads of laundry later since you have been in Ottawa(Canada’s national capital for our American freinds), but we have not forgotten you.
    Having lots of fun selling your book, and we hope we get to see you again in the fall.
    Towns that have requested you so far are Uxbridge, Cogourg(just had a huge fire started by kids), Collingwood, and just yesterday, the Upper Canada Village wants to have you during their quilting bee.
    Hope your family is managing O.K. without you.
    Be safe, and I look forward to seeing you in the fall.
    Ger says Hi.

  81. Stephanie – I’ve been following your blog for some time, as have many of my yarn-harlot fan-friends! I read At Knit’s End straight through practically, and then again. You must come to the Twin Cities on your tour. Please? Please? I noticed you have nothing scheduled after Owen Sound Ontario (where the HECK is that??) on May 28 til later in the summer. Don’t tell me you actually want to be home with your family in June and July . . well, tell me, but tell me you’ll also consider a visit to the Twin Cities. Pop on down to St. Paul and the Yarnery, where I work part time . . it is a popular, well established, cozy shop on Grand Avenue close to downtown. (perhaps you’ve been there . .) We don’t eat vinegar on our fries here, but we do play hockey and pronounce “roof” and “boat” and “about” similarly to Canadians. PLEASE COME? Won’t you? Contact me and I’ll set the wheels in motion for your visit in June, July, or August. Best of luck in Michigan and Maryland.

  82. It must seem like a hundred years, and several loads of laundry later since you have been in Ottawa(Canada’s national capital for our American freinds), but we have not forgotten you.
    Having lots of fun selling your book, and we hope we get to see you again in the fall.
    Towns that have requested you so far are Uxbridge, Cogourg(just had a huge fire started by kids), Collingwood, and just yesterday, the Upper Canada Village wants to have you during their quilting bee.
    Hope your family is managing O.K. without you.
    Be safe, and I look forward to seeing you in the fall.
    Ger says Hi.

  83. It must seem like a hundred years, and several loads of laundry later since you have been in Ottawa(Canada’s national capital for our American freinds), but we have not forgotten you.
    Having lots of fun selling your book, and we hope we get to see you again in the fall.
    Towns that have requested you so far are Uxbridge, Cogourg(just had a huge fire started by kids), Collingwood, and just yesterday, the Upper Canada Village wants to have you during their quilting bee.
    Hope your family is managing O.K. without you.
    Be safe, and I look forward to seeing you in the fall.
    Ger says Hi.

  84. It must seem like a hundred years, and several loads of laundry later since you have been in Ottawa(Canada’s national capital for our American freinds), but we have not forgotten you.
    Having lots of fun selling your book, and we hope we get to see you again in the fall.
    Towns that have requested you so far are Uxbridge, Cogourg(just had a huge fire started by kids), Collingwood, and just yesterday, the Upper Canada Village wants to have you during their quilting bee.
    Hope your family is managing O.K. without you.
    Be safe, and I look forward to seeing you in the fall.
    Ger says Hi.

  85. It must seem like a hundred years, and several loads of laundry later since you have been in Ottawa(Canada’s national capital for our American freinds), but we have not forgotten you.
    Having lots of fun selling your book, and we hope we get to see you again in the fall.
    Towns that have requested you so far are Uxbridge, Cogourg(just had a huge fire started by kids), Collingwood, and just yesterday, the Upper Canada Village wants to have you during their quilting bee.
    Hope your family is managing O.K. without you.
    Be safe, and I look forward to seeing you in the fall.
    Ger says Hi.

  86. It must seem like a hundred years, and several loads of laundry later since you have been in Ottawa(Canada’s national capital for our American freinds), but we have not forgotten you.
    Having lots of fun selling your book, and we hope we get to see you again in the fall.
    Towns that have requested you so far are Uxbridge, Cogourg(just had a huge fire started by kids), Collingwood, and just yesterday, the Upper Canada Village wants to have you during their quilting bee.
    Hope your family is managing O.K. without you.
    Be safe, and I look forward to seeing you in the fall.
    Ger says Hi.

  87. Hiya Stephanie…
    Just wanted to say, that meeting you at Circles last night was way fun and I hope you get some well deserved rest…you were so sweet to talk so long with everyone as you signed their books. Hope you got to enjoy some of the fine offerings of food that were presented and that we were able to convey to you just how much we enjoy your talents!
    I wish you continued great success…you deserve it so much…and I thank you for bringing knitters from all over together…we all have so much more in common than we think!

  88. I meant to add, “we all have so much more in common than we think, be we from the south, north, east, or west!”

  89. WOW. We could hardly get ’em to give you breathing room in Knit Happens, and then lookie — no one could sit up front?/ You KNOW we would have been in front, with then two-day old cake at the ready!

  90. Okay, this is a little off topic…but you HAVE TO GO SEE The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. There’s…a yarn sequence. There’s an entire KNITTED SEQUENCE. On top of the rest of it being a pretty funny movie

  91. Great article in the Saturday Toronto Star – picture and everything – congratulations! Did I read that you are coming to Collingwood??

  92. I’m sick I tell you, just sick. I didn’t pay attention to where the tour went in advance. You were going to big cities. I don’t live in a big city. I live in Mount Vernon. I found out about it the day after. I’m crushed.

  93. Hello there… I was at the mall in Ithaca, NY yesterday and I saw a woman wearing ….a Very Harlot Poncho!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Just had to share. ๐Ÿ˜€

  94. Just had to say that I found a few copies of Knit’s End in my local Borders (hadn’t seen them there before) but some were *behind* other knitting books! My immediate reaction was “Nobody puts Yarn Harlot in a corner.” (A reference to the movie Dirty Dancing — Dirty Knitting, maybe?) So now the three copies they had are all together to keep eachother company, though I hope they are all adopted soon. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Can’t wait to hear more about L&T, and Hitchiker’s Guide is worth it for the garter-stitch Marvin alone. Should I mention the — uhm, no, don’t want to spoil anything, but there’s a knitterly visual pun involved. Big fun.

  95. That’s totally Philadelphia you passed through! I thought the train whistle sounded a little yarn-y this weekend!

  96. On the train from Virginia to NYC…that will e a lovely ride. And you will be travelling a small portion of that ride about 1/2 mile from my home in Mystic, CT. That’s so cool! I know, I know. I am amused by odd things. I am very happy, though, that your book tour is doing so well, and NO ONE will think that odd of me.

  97. Hey! We didn’t do rows in Virginia! That was the midwesterners. We’re more friendly here in the “south.” We fed you day-old (yet yummy and moist) birthday cake and enabled yarn purchases! Sorry about the metro fiasco and the mean cab drivers though…. I personally think after London, ours is the easiest underground system anywhere! Hope you survived the NYC subway!
    Thank you for the big laughs in the book and in person! I’ve been telling everyone your Memphis stories. I think this book tour should be resulting in a sequel!

  98. Nice little write up in the Saturday Toronto Star, which has the largest circulation of all Canadian newspapers! I’ll share it with your readers as it may be off the Star’s site after 7 days – otherwise: http://www.thestar.com and register and search “yarn” – of course. (Steph: delete this if I am violating some sort of copyright law!) Congrats!
    Where there’s wool, there’s a way
    World of `Yarn Harlot’ full of colours, textures
    Her popular blog leaves fellow knitters in stitches
    The Toronto Star
    Saturday, April 30, 2005
    In her west-end semi, evidence of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s obsession is everywhere. Sure, there’s the spinning wheel by the window, and the works in progress ๏ฟฝ a teal cardigan and grey striped socks ๏ฟฝ lying on the coffee table.
    But then there are the overflowing yarn baskets tucked in the corners, the pile of wool on top of the kids’ math supplies, the countless skeins squeezed into the living room cabinet, the wall-to-wall wool packed in three closets and, stacked next to the peas and carrots, the yarn in the freezer.
    In summer, she slides skeins of yarn down the sleeves of her family’s winter coats. In winter, she stows them in canning pots. She even wonders about taking the stuffing out of the furniture. “You have to think outside the box,” says the fanatic knitter with a laugh. “I like to be surrounded by this much potential.”
    When Pearl-McPhee isn’t knitting, she’s likely spinning yarns about it, writing for magazines and on her blog (http://www.yarnharlot.com). Her book, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much, published this month, is already in its second printing. The self-styled Yarn Harlot will visit 16 U.S. cities and towns, a promotional tour that includes yarn shops, sheep and wool festivals, potluck dinners and a reservations-only evening of knitting at Lord & Taylor on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue.
    “Last week I was doing laundry,” says the 36-year-old mother of three, “now I’m knitting’s answer to Elvis.”
    Or maybe Erma Bombeck. She reports from the home front, knitting needles ready ๏ฟฝ for anything. She once used them to unlock the bathroom door as her then-toddler tried to bathe the family’s cat in the toilet. Her online diary is random musings on her epic search for tiger yarn, her trouble finding pants to fit and her stylish sister’s mothering mishaps, as well as pictures and progress reports on projects.
    From the computer in her dining room, she started “Knitters without Borders” on her blog and has raised more than $63,000 for the general fund of Doctors Without Borders. Her online diary, she says, gets between 5,000 to 10,000 hits a day.
    “There’s a real sense of a knitting community on the Internet,” says Pearl-McPhee. “You can ask 10,000 knitters what you’re doing wrong with your buttonhole.”
    Knitting is no longer just your grandmother’s hobby. In the last few years, trendy yarn shops have been sprouting up, offering stitch n’ bitch classes for hip urbanites learning a purl isn’t worn around the neck.
    It’s an age-old simple craft in a complicated world, explains Pearl-McPhee, a way to transform a useless ball of yarn into something practical and hopefully beautiful. “Everyone loves the magic trick.”
    Three years ago, her knitting escalated from pastime to pathology when she stopped smoking. “I know lots of people who quit using the obsessive knitting method,” she says, as her never-still needles turn grey yarn into socks.
    Pearl-McPhee, who is also a birth doula and lactation consultant, knits about eight hours a day ๏ฟฝ in front of the television, in grocery store lines, at school concerts, awaiting a delivery. With the computer keyboard on the floor, she can hit the spacebar with her toe to scroll, so her hands are free to knit while she reads the screen. A lover of long baths, she found herself contemplating which projects could survive getting wet if she knit in the tub.
    “But I decided that might be cruising up to the crazy line,” she admits.
    And what about all that compulsively stowed-away wool? Sign of a knotted-up life? A mind unravelling? Not at all, she insists. Yarn’s a commodity that she buys when it’s at a good price. “It’s stashed against future poverty,” she rationalizes, “like a yarn RRSP.”
    One U.S. knitter friend with a sizeable stash was able to comfortably tide over her husband and kids by selling yarn and out-of-print knitting books on the Internet when their family business went under.
    Besides, it’s beautiful. From yet another set of drawers, Pearl-McPhee pulls out some of her prized stuff ๏ฟฝ spiral-dyed royal blue and lime fleece from Australia, soft brown Merino wool from Prince Edward County, and green, turquoise and umber mohair blend from Nova Scotia.
    “Every yarn calls you to elevate it to a higher purpose,” she says.
    Her family seems good-natured about it all. Her husband, Joe Dunphy, a record producer, eavesdrops from the kitchen. “We also keep yarn in the gravy boat,” he interjects. “Not at the moment,” she corrects him.
    Her three daughters were once her favourite fashion victims. “Oh, the humiliating hats ๏ฟฝ strawberries, kitten ears, huge pom-poms,” recalls Pearl-McPhee. “They knew I was driven to show love in wool.”
    Now aged 15, 13 and 11, they’ve figured out that not every home has a swift (for holding yarn) and a ball winder clamped to the dining room table.
    Most of her finished work she gives away. Her proudest achievement? At the moment, it’s the prize for a random draw for Knitters Without Borders donors: a pair of multi-grey and white mitts ๏ฟฝ a cross pattern on the palm, braids at the wrist, a flower and lattice design on top ๏ฟฝ that she knit from a Latvian pattern. They’re still cold from being in the freezer.
    For the record, the freezer protects against moths ๏ฟฝ “the rabies of the knitting world” ๏ฟฝ as well as storing excess yarn.
    Pearl-McPhee is always happy to hook others onto her passion, to preach the word of wool. In a Chinese restaurant recently with her husband, she knitted while waiting for her food. The waitress was intrigued and Pearl-McPhee recalls showing her how to do it.
    “Joe said, `So this is what it’s come to ๏ฟฝ evangelism.'”

  99. I promise that if you should make like a rock star (which you are) and stop in Connecticut between NY and Boston (which they all do), I shall happily sit in the front row.
    My ability to read bookbookbook in increments has been only *marginally* better than my ability to leave a yarn shop without some morsel of alpaca. (Fortunately, my knitting group has decided that alpacaholism is not a disease, just a fuzzy fetish.)
    Merci mille fois!

  100. Dear Stephanie,
    This may sound like a weird question, however, do you know of anyone in Toronto who would like to purchase cashmere yarn? I’m a Toronto native, however, I currently live in Mongolia where cashmere yarn is dirt cheap. I normally bring empty bags when I come home for Christmas (as I load up on Canadian products), however, this year, I would like to see about off-setting the cost of my trip home. Could you advise as to the specifications for cashmere yarn, its cost in Toronto and whether you think that I could find a buyer for the imported Mongolian cashmere yarn in Toronto? I understand that the yarn is pretty expensive in Canada. I’m not into making that much profit, as I said, I simply want to offset my travel costs.
    Thanks and taker care.

  101. Aw, you’re just you, silly. (although more enlightened now that you’ve had southern biscuits and grits – mmmmm…) When you get home, you can hug all of your kids again and breathe in the tops of their sweaty not-so-little heads, and try to figure out what might have happened to Mr. Washie in your absence, and even sleep in your own bed. I’m bummed that I’ll be missing MS&W, but have a wonderful time there!

  102. I’m going to be in Schenectady NY on the 9th (not far from Saratoga Springs) and was wondering where I might get information on when you will be in Saratoga promoting the bookbookbook. ^_^ If you have an idea about that stop on your tour please let me know.

  103. Where’s Harlot? Like Waldo, it’s hard to find you! Actually, I just discovered you through an article in Interweave Knits.
    And I have indeed been wishing Kristine a most happy birthday ever since her on-line store went live. Alas, she’s got my money, but I got the yarn!
    Hey, does that mitten Brooke’s holding have an atributable pattern? That is awesome!

  104. Hi Stephanie, As one of the two canadians at your nyc Lord & Taylor’s stop, I can say you done us PROUD girl! And you’ve inspired me to make my way to Kensington Market and learn how to knit – for free ๐Ÿ˜‰ with all the gorgeous wool i picked up in Argentina and maybe even start a business. (i’m not kidding!) i’m telling, you, get the publicist to arrange an Oprah interview. Send her the book with the american stats on knitters and I SWEAR I can see them dedicating a whole show to the lovely bunch of crazies that make up the knitting world. I mean 53 million!!!! And they will ALL love your book, and THEN MSF can get some kicka$$ mainstream support, and you can kick back and, well, knit, i guess.
    Sending your lots of well organized knots your way. thank you for your warmth, wit and kindess. It made my time in nyc even more magnificent than i had imagined it could be. We had a great time and even made new friends. which is what it’s all about (when it isn;t about knitting, right?)

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