Gotta tell you

There are some things I learned while I was away. Big things. Important things, things that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise.

(This is all to distract you from the fact that I left my camera – complete with seriously cool pictures- in Boston. Alison is a sweet pea, and is sending it back to me ASAP, but alas…I am photoless at this time.) Here are some things that I learned on this first leg of the tour.

1. I am a chicken in every possible way you can imagine. I am afraid to get on planes. I am afraid to meet new people.

Every moment of every day that I am out of my element I am scared out of my mind. The only time that I feel ok is when I am talking about knitting with knitters while knitting. Buying yarn also takes the edge right off.

(Mentally insert image of new yarn here. There is less than you would think, but still an engaging amount of yarn. I’m leaving on Friday and I have a new plan. This time, I’m leaving the ball winder and swift at home, and using that space for wool. Almost everywhere I bought yarn had a ball winder and swift anyway. Besides, I think the presence of the many metal pairs of needles, the metal swift and the odd appearance of the ball winder may have had something to do with how often I was selected by Homeland Security for additional screening.)

2. Thank god I wrote a book about knitting. Given the above, if I had written (somehow) a book about carrots, my life would be a whole world of hurt right now.

3. I will not go into a restaurant and eat by myself. I would rather starve to death sitting at the edge of a hotel bed clutching a new skein of sock yarn than go down there and order a stinking bowl of soup all alone. Who knew?

4. If you leave your family for 6 days, when you come back every single surface of your house will be sticky. No one will be able to tell you why, or with what, or why they didn’t do anything when they noticed that the wall by the phone/floor by the tv/stairs/cat/side of the piano was sticky.

5. I am not replaceable. My children need me and I need them.

(this is really interesting, since all I have wanted since they were born was an afternoon off….and now that I am away from them I wish nothing more than to ask Amanda how her day was, tell Meg that online “chat” is out of the question and she can’t pierce anything and sit with Sam while she does her homework and I boogle that she is smarter than me.) Every moment that i was away I itched to call them.

Do not worry about me. Now that I have been home for a couple of days they are driving me straight out of my tree again.

6. I love new places.

7. I love my home.

8. I am a creature of interesting contrasts.

9. I need to arrange some sort of convention and petition to begin supplying vegetarian sandwiches in airports. I cannot possibly let this go for another moment. I’m not being difficult, I’m not even suggesting Vegan. Would it really be so hard to get a stinking cheese sandwich into an airport shop somewhere in

North America without slapping a slice of ham next to it?

10. Toronto weather sucks. EVERYWHERE is warmer than here. It’s down to zero again tonight and I am bummed. Boston and New York are on the same line of latitude and they have flowering trees. Get it Together Toronto. Could we try letting the daffs come up and then not threatening them? I’ve got other places I could be. (Psst…Rams, how’s the weather in Kalamazoo?)

11. I miss talking with Joe when I am away. This is ironic, since he drives me out of my mind when we are at home. I believe that this idiosyncratic opposition is called “love”.

(Mentally insert picture of the flowers Joe gave me when I came home. They are lovely pink tulips. He has never looked gladder to see me. Imagine that..)

12. I was right about two things. Firstly, knitters are interesting and engaging people. It is totally enough to be knitters. You can jet a nervous and decidedly odd Canadian knitter into another country and drop her in the middle of a whack of knitters just about anywhere, no matter how different the politics, the dialect, the food or the yarn they will have something to talk about. They will get along famously and they will be acting like old friends in minutes.

Knitting *is* enough of a starting place.

Secondly, shawl knitting is totally the right thing for planes.

(Mentally insert picture of the shawl I’m knitting here. Imagine that it is sort of looking scrunched on the needle but that you can see that I have finished the vertical “stems” and am ready to begin the “blossoms”. While you are at it, you can mentally insert an image of my cherry tree flowering. It’s a huge honking lie…but if I’ve been reduced to mental images, they might as well be good ones. Make me taller while you are at it.)

101 thoughts on “Gotta tell you

  1. I CANNOT wait until Friday now.
    The tulips–wow what a guy.
    Relish in your shortness. Think of how much more yarn/time it would take to make anything if you were taller. (said the five foot tall girl)

  2. Ahhh yes I remember all that from the week I was away from home..once…a long long long long time ago!
    Enjoy it, and enjoy the time away! They are both good things!

  3. since reading the article in the TO star about you i went to my lys and have begun my love affair with my old friend again…sigh…thanks..

  4. Can we make your voice higher too?
    When are you getting in/where are you flying into? What’s the plan man?
    BTW – I am right with you about vegetarian food. If I have to eat one more g*ddam bag of pretzels because there isn’t a freaking thing that’s not laced with bacon or chicken… well.. then… I’m sure gonna be mad! Or, I’ll just continue bringing my own food.

  5. Oh yes..I forgot to say.. you can renew..or buy more minutes on that phone card so stock up before you leave again so you can call away!!

  6. And have you resumed your relationship with Mr. Washie? Sounds like you’re having a great time, and oh I feel your pain about missing the kids/wanting to run away. What is it about them that does that to us? I work all day waiting to go pick up my little man, and about 1/2 hour into it after he’s asked me to play cars/trains/magnets/go to the park I’m ready to head back to work.
    And airport food!! I’ll be the first to sign your petition if you’d like. Everything comes with a side of chilled meat. Ick!

  7. Are you plannning a UK leg of your book tour? The British weather’s not bad at the moment… We’d all (I think I can comfortably speak for all British knitbloggers) so love to meet you.

  8. Oh yes, I recall those days – the first ventures into the outside world from the family filled world. The other day I ran errands and stopped at my fav restaurant to eat lunch (alone!) and didn’t think much about it – til I watched another “alone” woman hunched over her plate, trying to fake reading a newspaper and avoiding eye contact. I smiled. I was there once. I wondered if she was preparing for her first flights out of the empty nest. There are many roads to enlightenment – my horses did for me what your needles are doing for you. Cheers!

  9. I can totally relate to kid-missing: due to a recent switch in professional society involvement, this year will be the first in 5 years I have been home for The Boy’s birthday. In my absence the party has developed into a stag tradition with which I dare not tamper, but I do wonder if there will be a piece of the house to which I can stake claim.
    Actually, I’m not sure if I did regret missing this…

  10. For someone who claims she was nervous and out of her element, you came off as cool as a cucumber.
    It was nice meeting you at Circles – thanks for coming!

  11. I second that – look forward to hearing when you might be coming here. Just bought the book – wonderful. Will put a review on my website.

  12. Thank you for facing your fears and coming to speak in New York. It was so wonderful! Two things I learned from Stephanie’s NYC visit: She is even prettier than she appears in photos; she has a lovely, deep, mellifluous voice you could listen to for hours. When it’s time to do your audiobook, Stephanie, please record it yourself! Things we all already knew: She’s ferociously witty, a phenomenal knitter and understands it from its humblest form to its most transcendant magic, she’s generous and patient, and she does the right thing (witness the Dulaan projects in our gift bags). Thank you, Stephanie! PS – thanks to your family, too, for putting up with your absence for a little while.

  13. Stephanie, glad you’re back. You have had a very fun and special opportunity; but I agree with you, it’s good to get back home to your house, your kids and your hubby (even if it all goes back to the same after a few days. Thanks for the great blog and sharing your life with us.

  14. And biscuits. Airports should have biscuits. And triscuits. And better cheese. And pickles.
    Mmmmm pickles.
    Sucks about the camera though. Maybe it will get “lost in the mail” so that you can buy a new one? Not that there’s anything wrong with your camera. I’m just sayin’ is all….

  15. P.S. I know Rams was thinking it, so I’ll just say it. It’s Tuesday. Tuesdays are for spinning. Get up off your lazy arse and get back to work on the three ply sweater yarn, woman! Poor Joe. He’ll be cold this summer if you don’t get cracking! πŸ˜‰

  16. Please, please make sure you fill yourself up with home before you set out on the road again. I’m sure that this will get old after a while, but we, your reading, knitblogging, far away friends, thank you so much for taking leave of your family and comfort and travelling far to meet with us.
    Cannot wait to see you Saturday at the Athena Bookstore in Kalamazoo Michigan.
    Ya know, you look more and more like SJP in every photo I’ve seen of you…must be the GAP pants…

  17. You brought a swift and ball-winder?? Wow. I’m speechless.
    The Lord & Taylor event was amazing — by far the best book party I’ve ever been to, and I’m in publishing.

  18. Welcome home! It was lovely meeting you. I second Anne’s comments above. (Let’s hear it for knitters in publishing! Woo! No? Okay… well a quiet woo? Red pencils in the air, everyone!)
    It’s hard to be a vegetarian in any airport that I’ve been in, but it’s very easy to be a vegetarian in NYC. If you have more time in the city when you’re back for the book fair, you MUST eat at Angelica’s Kitchen. (Are you still coming back for the book fair?) And if you want company there, well, there are a few knitters here in the city who’ve been absolutely charmed by you.

  19. Ditto. Great to meet you, and you did great. Me? Accent? Lemme know if you’re in the Big Apple again, and set aside some time for some yarn shopping. If you need a fix of family-made sticky surfaces, and don’t want to eat alone, you’re welcome over at my house anytime.

  20. It is a wondorous thing, being a mother. There is such a longing for just a few hours to yourself (and I am not talking about the wee morning hours of two to four am, which a (desperate)woman will foolishly stay up to in an attempt for a few percious uninterrupted knitting hours), and when she actually has them, she longs for her family. This drives my husband batty. Absence truly does make the heart grow fonder. And you are much braver than you think. What you have taken on in this book tour is huge-the new people and places-glad you have knitting as a comfort zone. As for K’zoo weather, we have a saying here in Michigan-“don’t like the weather? Wait 5 minutes, it’ll change.” In other words, it is completely pointless to even talk about it yet-ask again around Friday noon. Glad your first leg of the tour went well, and that you made it home safe and sound.

  21. I don’t have kids and I can still understand your missing them and being sick of them.
    Hope you come to Illinois soon. I’m so jealous of the people that have seen you.
    And I will sign your petition for good vegetarian food in airports. I can’t believe how many times I’ve heard, “Just pick the ham/chicken/mystery meat off.” While in Canada on honeymoon last year, DH and I were very surprised how accomodating the airports were regarding vegetarian food. Every restaurant we went to in Nova Scotia was very accomodating, too. Never had a restaurant in the US tell us that they will make something especially for us that we will definitely like and it be true.
    Enjoy your time home.

  22. We hear so much about the speeches you deliver at your live appearences – is it possible that those of us who are not privileged to see you in person (due to living in the dreaded TX) can read them sometime?
    Published on your blog or as an appendix to the next book?
    Or read out loud and streamed for our listening pleasure?
    Inquiring minds want to know –

  23. Depending on where you are in the States you can get vegetarian food at the airport, but it is a pain in the arse to find it. *grr*
    Can’t wait for the MD Sheep & Wool Festival. But how come you’re not listed in the program?? Are you going to decend from the heavens a la David Bowie in a cherry picker to your followers?

  24. What Cari said. We’ll take you out on the town. No sitting in hotel rooms, gripping sock yarn. Though that is a good activity, too.

  25. In a strange coincidence, my parents are departing from my house just as you are blogging about returning to yours. I gave my mother bookbookbook, and she can’t wait to read bits aloud to her knitting group. She’s still scared of her computer, so I couldn’t get her hooked on the blog. (The woman is planning a trip to Nova Scotia, and you have great entries on NS yarn stores, yet I still could not covert her into a blog reader … that is some powerful resistance! But I’m working on her.)

  26. We came out to see you in New York, and had a great time. We were all floored by the demonstration of your knitting technique! Thanks for visiting the Big Apple.

  27. I am the SAME way about eating alone in a restaurant! Absolutely terrifies me (Erin can attest to this, she laughs at me about it).
    I recommend taking something with you to read if you HAVE to do it (for me it takes the edge off and it’s impossible to knit while eating).
    CanNOT wait until Friday (yeah, Rams, what IS the weather going to be like? I had FROST on my car this morning).

  28. Oh, and the eating alone and meeting people etc? It’s like knitting – it’s all practice. Nothing but practice. Vegeterian sandwiches at airports is a different matter, though. Bring your own.

  29. There’s nothing quite like being gone and missing your family, and the reality that they missed you. It’s also comforting that things get right back to normal. Just goes to show you how resiliant everyone is – they just bounce right back into the normal routine. I’m glad your trip was a success. Good luck on the next round.

  30. Welcome home for a bit. I feel strange and shy out of my element, too. Btw, that journalist from The Toronto Star didn’t show enough respect for The Mittens, if you ask me. You know the ones.
    Thanks for reminding me about your cherry tree. Should I come over in cover of darkness or should I phone first?

  31. #3 – Seriously you need to get past this one. I travel a lot for my job and eat by myself all the time. While it does get old telling the hostess that the table I need is for “Only one” — it is better than horrible room service meals that look like they were prepared in the last century. My trick for ignoring the fact that I’m at a table for one is to take some reading material with me — currently I’m reading bookbookbook during my solitary meals. I’m finding that it isn’t the fact that I’m eating alone that make people stare — it’s the fact that I’m laughing my head off by myself that is making them take a look. πŸ™‚
    Enjoy your next trip. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us all.

  32. I hate eating alone in restaurants too. Sometimes I force myself, in the name of independence and all, but I hate it. It’s been below freezing here in Kansas City for the past couple nights, but it gets warm enough during the day to still make it feel springy. That is most definitely love (I know all about it). Welcome home πŸ™‚

  33. AMEN on the veggie food. And if you can tell me when chicken became a necessary ingredient in salads, please let me know. I’m sick of going to restaurants and not having a choice. It sure sucks to have to order the $10 undercooked gardenburger, with no other options. Chicken is not a vegetable! It does not belong on every friggin salad! When there isn’t a *salad* for the vegetarian to eat, you know things are screwed up.

  34. Sorry, Steph, not EVERYWHERE is warmer than Toronto. Last night, at least, it was colder in Thunder Bay, where it was -3C (without the windchill). We’ve also had over a week where the weather was literally changing every 5 minutes, no kidding. We saw hail, rain, snow, sleet, and sun in a span of 10 minutes.
    Gotta love that lake effect!

  35. Ii just finished your book, it was very very funny, although a bit … short. πŸ™‚
    It’s so much fun reading your blog and all the reviews, especially the ones from New York Knitters. I lived in New York 6 years ago and it’s all coming back to me…
    And yes, I have to second Cari: Angelica’s Kitchen is great, or was at least 6 years ago.
    Happy knitting!

  36. If you are coming this way again, and you are stuck alone in your hotel room, (and the rest of the NY knit bloggers are somehow out of town, ’cause otherwise they’d beat me to it) I will drive into new york with the World Famous Whole Earth Salad and take you for coffee. Or to the vegetarian restaurant of your choice.
    It took me along time to get used to eating alone in public – MFK Fisher helped with the right dose of attitude – but after that knitting in public was a breeze.
    Anyway – you looked totally suave, even if you didn’t feel totally suave, and it was a delight to meet you.
    Welcome home.

  37. So, so glad to have met you at the Lord & Taylor event – it’s all I could talk about for days. Even non-knitters were impressed. (Who knew there was an 11th Floor!)
    Don’t forget, when you have a minute (yeah. right.) that I want to contribute photoartcards to the Doctors Without Borders collection.
    Have a great day! Hope to see you again in Maryland!

  38. That’s the horrid thing about travelling: the rest of the country hasn’t caught up with the vegetarian way. I mean, I am not 100% against meat in all forms at all times; I am usually a “pescetarian” and have eaten chicken in recent memory. But no way in hell will I eat that processed crap that once was part of a respectable animal. Why can’t you just give me some cheeeeeese? Sigh. Anyway, when you get to Seattle, you will find yourself in vegetarian heaven. Not immediately next to the Weaving Works… immediately next to the WW is a nasty old Safeway and a teriyaki place. But then 1/2 block away is a vegan bakery and taco stand and a great Indian restaurant. So we can’t wait to have you here.

  39. #3. I hate it too. Here’s how I handle it…a table with my back to the wall. A paperback book. Then I pretend I am all alone. (If it’s a restaurant where they seat you, I tell the hostess that I hate to eat alone, do they have a corner table? and they are really nice about hiding me behind the potted plants) Actually that’s sort of how I fly…an aisle seat, a book, (knitting doesn’t work because I don’t have to look at it) and then I pretend I am on a Greyhound bus. Till some fool tells me to look out the window.
    Enjoy the kids while you’re home, and enjoy the tulips. What a guy! He deserves a gansey.
    Barb B.

  40. Ahem.
    The all-knowing, all-seeing rams (picture sheep on tiptoe,)disclaiming any pretense of humility, will now tell you what the weather in Kalamazoo on FRIDAY (not Saturday, children, FRIDAY)will be: despite rumors of a hard freeze tonight (mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be fruit farmers) it will be between seventy and eighty (I don’t do Celsius except that 16=60, but it must be around 20 and up?) on Friday. This is because I want to wear my handspun, handknit wool/alpaca/mohair/silk cardigan whose edges roll if unbuttoned. I am not, you will note, predicting the weather — I am determining it.
    Can’t say if it will rain, though.
    (Hope not — there’s an Art Hop downtown starting at 5 which could entertain you all until The Hour. Also, the wine at Taverna Ouzo’s is $4 a glass.)

  41. Can’t wait to see you at MD S&W! Where will you be signing? It’s a big show.
    Weather for the weekend: partly cloudy, high 23C Saturday, 26C Sunday. In other words–gorgeous!

  42. High volume travel and balanced diet are difficult to manage (used to be my life). Many US airports will have Au Bon Pain which usually has vegetarian choices. Daphne is correct Seattle will be vegetarian heaven – lived there for a while. My personal fave was Cafe Flora.

  43. Oh, Harlot–I’m totally with you on that petition to provide veg-friendly food in public places like airports and rest areas on the highway. I keep wondering how difficult it would be to get some kind of pita or wrap franchise going…you know, healthy sandwiches with vegetables and yummy fillings…it shouldn’t be that hard, but obviously, the McDonalds and Burger King contracts are powerful since that’s all we have at our rest areas. Sigh. Depressing barely begins to describe the state of food service in the States.
    Considering the power you carry, you, of all people, could probably convince a HUGE NUMBER of people to sign your petition…look at your MSF/TSF fundraising efforts, after all. What a good idea! Thanks for offering! πŸ™‚
    A very grateful vegetarian knitter,

  44. Re point #9, you are SO right. I have only been to Toronto once (I am from California) and it was a lovely city, but the one thing that sticks in my mind as being most wonderful is that all the hot dog vendors on the streets downtown had veggie dogs available!! Amazing!! You Canadians are so civilized πŸ™‚

  45. I stand corrected. Rams has *determined* warmth. Therefore, it will be nice. ‘Nuff said.

  46. Heck, I leave my husband alone for 8 hours and every single surface of the apartment (including the dog) is sticky. Usually with peanut butter. Or Coke. Although the dog had Spaghettios all over her head the other day when I got home… did I mention the dog is WHITE?
    Yes, apparently chicken is a vegetable and must be included in every &#*@& sandwich and salad and other possibly appetizing food object offered for public purchase whilst on travel.
    Books are good armor for when one has to eat alone in restaurants. Or you can eat up all of Kristine’s birthday cake πŸ˜‰

  47. Steph, I hereby volunteer to travel with you for the remainder of your tour so that you do not have to eat alone. I will also carry my knitting (and yours) so that you will never knit alone while traveling.
    (I can’t believe that no one else has volunteered for this! Maybe I can get the job by default?!)
    I’ll even chase around the airports and procure vegetarian food for you. Somehow, some way! (I am very determined!)

  48. Some advice about solo restaurant meals I got from a book on travelling alone: Make the experience about noticing the surroundings. Methodically notice the wall colors, the light fixtures, what the table is made of, what the temperature is…. I find this successfully makes the other diners and even the wait staff into interesting human-shaped decor, and significantly lessens the anxiety about their presence. Of course, it’s also a little depersonalizing, but it’s better than starvation… Just a thought.
    Can’t wait til you’re in Oregon (where will you be?)

  49. Dang — I hit a wrong key and lost my post… let’s try it again!
    Hi Stephanie — So glad you made it home in one piece, sans camera. NY was sooo much fun. I’ll never pooh-pooh L&T again. The wine, the tableclothes, the very cute waiters. And of course you were fantastic! It was wonderful meeting you. After staying til the very end, I went out to dinner by myself. I told the hostess, I’m eating alone, thank the goddess, put me somewhere fun. She sat me next to some charming tourists who loved the poncho, and on the other side was a guy from Russia. I have to say I’m not usually so friendly that I strike up conversations with fellow diners, but I was in such a good mood! Anyhow, I also called my mom (“be careful” was her eternal advice), and then rode the train home where, don’t ya know, my daughter was waiting up for me. Back to motherhood so soon.
    How did the radio interview go? When does it air?

  50. since i want NO CHEESE and you want NO MEAT, maybe we can do some kind of swap. πŸ™‚
    it’s been 35 in chicago for days now (that’s about what to you, 2 degrees? just a smidge over 0) so i feel your pain. πŸ™‚

  51. It must feel very good to be home. A few years ago Kazuo Ishiguro (who also wrote Remains of the Day) wrote a book about a touring pianist who never can quiet figure out who he is or what people are saying to him. It was a very confused sort of story. It was thought he wrote it after his book tour for ROTD. You might feel a kinship with the story after your journey. It has been fun to read about you, other bloggers and the bookbookbook all over Blogland.

  52. Look at all those things you learned! That is so awesome and so funny at the same time. I am sorry I missed you in Boston, but am hopefully going to get myself together and come out to Acton.
    Enjoy being home. You must be exhausted! πŸ™‚

  53. I have just one word: Cinnabon.
    Oh, sure, it’s not food, per se, but sometimes a traveling vegetarian needs to be comforted about the lack of cheese sandwiches.

  54. I just had a computer crash, so I lost my post. Darned machines. Thank you again, Stephanie, for sharing so much of yourself (both in print and in person). It was a great pleasure to see you and meet you in NYC. And I totally agree with Cari about Angelika, though I would also suggest that we take you to Gobo and Candle Cafe (both brilliant vegan restaurants). Enjoy your family and your home and good luck with the rest of the tour! You are a delight. Thanks again.

  55. 1. When dining alone, bring a book. Also, if you’re lucky enough to get a window seat, enjoy the view. It really is all a matter of attitude and practice. I travel enough for work that I’ve gotten pretty blase about this.
    2. When faced with new surroundings and experiences and feeling somewhat out of your depth, repeat the following mantra: People much stupider than me have NO TROUBLE doing this. (this would be the less-PC version of ‘I am a child of God. I can do anything.) Seriously, the first time I flew on my own and was finding my way through the airport I reminded myself that the airport was set up so that small children and non-locals could find their way through it and so I could too.
    3. You’re not out of your element, you’re just discovering a new one.
    4. Coming home after a trip rocks like nobody’s business, even if it’s a disaster area.

  56. So sorry about the vegetarian food (or lack thereof). I can’t quite understand it anymore myself. I’m not even a vegetarian, but I play one with my hubby. Why is it that every chain and even most of the non-chain restaurants think meat MUST be in everything.
    I’m really beginning to get ticked, because we’re raising the baby vegetarian too, and it’s dang hard… He shouldn’t have to be limited to mac and cheese or something similar every time, should he?

  57. I’m new to motherhood but I know how you feel about the kid thing. I’m really eager to come see you in Toronto on Thursday night but my little darling (5 1/2 months old) is refusing to drink from a bottle. I am agonizing about leaving her at home for a couple of hours and taking my breasts to Toronto with me. At the same time, I sooo want to get out for a bit and be an adult. If you see an anxious looking woman, knitting “comfort dolls” and wearing a shirt with a map of Newfoundland on the front – that’ll be me. I’m not looking pained because of anything you’ve said…it’ll either be separation anxiety or engorgement (TMI?).

  58. The first time I flew out of town without the family, my kids were the ages yours are. I came home to a spotless house and a husband ready to burst with pride (and kids who were both proud and mad at him for making them work so hard.) The second time I did so, a couple of years later, they did the same thing yours did: everything but everything was a total disaster zone when I got back. I guess once they’ve shown off they need to prove they need us?
    Welcome home. And I can’t wait till you leave again to come here! See you at Stash!

  59. It was simply wonderful to finally met youi in person at Lord and Taylor. By the way….I know airports are not known for their cuisine…but then there is always chocolate and coffee…hope you enjoyed the treat from Huntington….and here is to warmer weather…

  60. You will find vegetarian sandwiches on the West Coast in airports. πŸ™‚ Some of the newer ones anyhow. Or Sees Chocolate stores in California. Take your pick. Also, there is a burger Chain called In and Out in California which, I’m told (via tv and Drew Barrymore), that has a good veggie burger. It is not on the menu but can be ordered from the “secret menu”
    Most Californians I’ve met can zero in on the nearest In and Out like knitters can find a yarn store. And they have drive-throughs (eat in the car with someone else so you don’t need to eat alone. Even a cab driver).

  61. You and I should travel in airports together. I’m allergic to cheese. Between the two of us, we could get 2 open faced sandwiches. Try to find one without cheese and you will have just as bad of luck as finding one without meat.
    Hope your camera returns soon.

  62. I have been contemplating the fact that on your travels, you are blazing a whole new trail. Blogging is becoming more and more popular, but very few bloggers have the opportunity to meet such a huge cross-section of their readers.
    I am wondering if the things you are learning might not be of great interest to those who research Internet interaction phenomena?
    Take notes, just in case. And take some deep breaths, before you continue your odyssey.

  63. For the less charitable among us, that mantra runs “even people who use double negatives can do this.” (I used it when finally succumbing to pumping my own gas, but it rose up and bit me — after all, who wants to be laughed at by people who use double negatives?)

  64. Welcome Home ! I must say that I am quite jealous of those who got to meet you on your book tour. Haven’t found the book yet but I will. I have been knitting every night while watching TV. I am not able to buy the yarn that I would like but have fun with what I have. Love your family when you can .Those kids will be gone soon and just try to get them back———. I enjoy your blogging . It is a novel in itself. Knit 1, Purl 1, Judy

  65. I had an awesome time meeting/seeing you in NYC! Thanks for personalizing my book, and being so damn funny.
    I hate eating alone too. I usually bring a book or a journal to write in.

  66. You see? You really DO need me to be your personal assistant with tofu and pasta at your beck and call. πŸ™‚
    You DID NOT leave your camera at Circles? Time for a checklist.

  67. ah, traveling while vegetarian is indeed a challenge – and it annoys the crap out of me that they think everyone on the planet wants meat on everything too! (We have renamed Applebees “ChickenBees” for this very reason). How about give us a heads up next time you’re traveling, and we will let you know where the veggie friendly places are in each town, and will no doubt happily take you to dinner there so you don’t have to eat ham soup by yourself in the hotel! πŸ™‚ And with airports, I do the Bob Blumer – I take a little cooler with my own snacks. Pisses off security, but not so much they take it away from me!

  68. Wow, talk about a panic. I saw several people post that they would be at Athena in Kalamazoo on Saturday, and I have that on my calendar as Friday. I did call the shop and confirm…it’s Friday, the 6th. Since I have a two hour drive, that’s a mistake I don’t want to make!
    I’ve read my copy of the book twice, and will be acquiring a few as gifts….I can’t wait!!

  69. Hmmmm….with all the friendly knitters who throng to each bookbookbook signing, perhaps some dining company could be found?
    Wish I was a little closer to Los Angeles (I have a 45 minute drive), or I’d invite you over for an Indian vegetarian spread when you’re out here in August. But I bet, were you interested, that you could find people to eat with, people who will happily chat about yarn, even πŸ™‚

  70. How convenient that you can talk about knitting with knitters while knitting, just about everywhere you go!
    I just cannot be-leeeeeve that you brought the swift and ball winder with you. That’s wack. You crazy. Let me understand this: You buy some yarn. You need to wind it immediately. Have I got that right?
    I’ve heard several people say they expected your voice to be higher. What’s up with that? xoxo Kay

  71. I am new to knitting and have been so inspired by you and love reading your blog. I’m in Annapolis, MD and will be at the Maryland festival for the first time. Maybe we’ll bump into each other. It’s great that you get a couple of days at home before you head out again. I have two daughters 12 and 16 and a 2 year old son. Drive you crazy but you can’t live without them! Have fun on your travels.

  72. Can’t wait to see the Lotus Blossom shawl. I made one out of Koigu…the “blossoms” part turned the variegation of the yarn into the coolest waves. It was so hard to give away.
    From one chicken to another…I hear ya.

  73. Just wanted to say thank you for entertaining my 19 year old son in NYC. I forwarded the email to reserve a spot and begged him to go for me. He’s going to school in the big apple. I really didn’t think he would but, what do you know, he did. And thank you to all the ladies at his table for making him feel welcome! He’s the one that said he was there for his mom and you all said “Awwww”. He’s home now for the summer and I caught him reading your blog yesterday. I think you hooked him. By the way, I love the bookbookbook!

  74. A whack of knitters? Or is it knack? Definitely descriptive and worth remembering.
    Denver just had its first sunny day in a week (don’t laugh–we’ve been suffering here) so I spent the day gardening. Now my hands are so rough I’m traumatizing the merino–but how can I not knit whilst I read your clever commentary and comments?

  75. as regards #1, I would venture to say it was not so much your ball winder as your rack. πŸ˜‰

  76. 1. Room Service!!
    2. If eating out, order something WONDERFUL and indulgent.
    3. Act as though it is the only time you will be waited on and papered, and make the most of it. I like to read or take a teensy sketch book and threaten people by looking at them, then squiggling something in the sketches! They stay on their best behavior and stop aking rude faces.

  77. Here’s another idea when eating alone – get absorbed in making notes and writing your blog – restaurant journalism.

  78. I just bought your book at Knits End. I have never enjoyed a knitting book so much . I have it with me always in my knitting bag of course.I will spread the word . Make more I need a good chuckle . Now I know Im not alone.

  79. Perhaps this is a sign that you should get a new digital camera? πŸ˜‰
    I am with you on the whole starvingratherthaneatingalone thing. Odd, since I will pretty much do/talk to ANYONE. But this, totally out of the question.

  80. Some people thought the Harlot’s voice would be higher – I thought she was blonde! I also think my husband is blond, and he’s not, so maybe I have selective vision.
    But really, I want to know why Steph is having to stay in hotels and eat restaurant food anyway. Where is our hospitality when it counts?? There was an Australian shepherd who, in about 1986, wrote to many spinning and weaving guilds across North America and got himself rides and housing and then free halls full of avid potential consumers of his sheeps’ wool. My fellow guild members (Staten Island) were nervous, but I jumped at the chance to have an exotic person stay at my house.

  81. I am really kicking myself that I didn’t drive the four hours up to Alexandria for your book tour stop, but then again, as the other new mom said, breastfeeding a baby from that far away takes too much planning. Anyway, the bookbookbook is hilarious, and even entertains my hubby when I read passages aloud to him. So, thanks for the less ephemeral bit of harlot! (blog is still my favorite, though!)

  82. Welcome home!
    I don’t think EVERYWHERE is warmer than Toronto … I’m pretty sure it’s just as cold here … Yup, I just looked. It’s supposed to go down to 2 here (Brantford) tonight and only 4 in TO. *lol* You lucky girl, you!! I’m just hoping we get some SUNSHINE. I’ve almost forgotten what that stuff feels like. And let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than picking up soggy rained on dog poop off grass. Nope. Nothing. *lol*
    Please have your husband call my husband and tell him I would like some flowers as well … Lillies, Tulips … whatever, just something purdy!!

  83. Just needed to address points 9 and 10.
    The Minneapolis/St. Paul airport had several places with vegitarian options. I would take this a sign that you were meant to go to Minnesota.
    Toronto is definitely NOT the only place that has been cold. At the end of last week, we (Rapid City, SD) had highs of 4 and lows of -5 (I converted to C for the Steph since that’s how she thinks about temperature)
    ***To be fair, I should admit that we are slightly north of Toronto and it is CURRENTLY 21. However, I have seen snow in everything BUT July and August so the warmer temps may not last.

  84. Oh Harlot – I used to live a 10 min walk from where Weaving Works is in Seattle – I didn’t knit back then. You will find an abundance of coffee in the neighborhood the best will be at the carts (kinda like the hot dog carts in NYC but with coffee!). They may ask you to repeat the word coffee a few times for their amusement – they say kahfee.

  85. Steph, I don’t know which you’ll read first, comments or e-mail, but SPIRIT TRAIL – you know Jen, whose tent whacked you at Rhinebeck? – WILL BE AT MD! There was a last minute cancellation, so she JUST found out she’s going to be in the main building! Tell everyone to get there early – her stuff is MIND BOGGLINGLY gorgeous!!!

  86. Can’t wait to see you at the MDSW on Saturday. Could you let us know where to find you? I can’t wait to have the bookbookbook signed.

  87. You have to leave your house to get sticky surfaces everywhere? Come over to my house, girlfriend. You’re clearly not knitting enough!

  88. We are two of a kind. I just read your article in Nov 2004 Chatelaine (I know I’m behind, but I get to read them at the gym). I was reading about the yarn in the freezer, and thinking ‘what a great idea!’. Currently the cold storage cellar is filled with rubbermaid bins full of yarn, under the workshop bench is stuffed, every coffetable in the family and livingrooms is full. I have ‘sweater bags’ under the bed that are full, and my bedroom closet, well…let’s just say you don’t want to go there. My husband is patient, provided the finished products leave the house shortly after completion (I have a tendency towards blankets…full queensized bed blankets at that)and they seem to take up more room than the yarn it took to create them. I must admit though, I’m not a knitter. Don’t hate me for my down fall; I just can’t keep the darn yarn on the needles. But the first time I picked up a crochet hook at age 8, I was literally, hooked. I’m a little disappointed with the crocheter turnout at some of the local crafting events (ie. the annual Craft & hobby show at the International center here in Mississauga) but set me loose in a yarn aisle (heck I’m happy even with one at Zellers)
    and I’m good for hours.
    and regarding the weather…Come visit us in Mississauga, down on the lake. the daffodils and crocuses are quite happy. Granted a little more sun and less hail WOULD be a bonus, but it’s early yet. Ohio had Snow early in the week; enjoy the rain.

  89. No, no tent this time ~ so, you’ll be safe! πŸ˜‰
    I’m going to try to remember my copy of your bookbookbook so I can get an autograph from you … so please do come by my booth if you’re able, since I know I won’t be seeing anything else of the festival this year but the few feet around my booth space.
    Okay, and maybe the fleece competition tables … since they’re so close. πŸ˜‰
    Hope to see you this weekend!

  90. Two words: room service.
    Come to Australia where you can order a salad sandwich that is nothing but veggies. Would that lure you down under? I am reading every other page to my husband out loud and he is giggling as well. Travelling to promote (essentially) yourself gets easier. Remember those people came to see YOU because you are wonderful. Remember you are telling them things they can’t get from anybody else. If all else fails picture them in their underwear. I was the same way when I was doing that sort of thing. I was terrified of strangers, until I got up to speak and then I knew I was there to tell them things they wanted to hear.

  91. You know, every time you leave a comment at JenLa, my first reaction is “Holy Sh*t! Harlot left a comment!” That’s the knit equivalent to getting flowers from Brad Pitt!

  92. …”a whack of knitters”…
    Ladies and Gentlemen of the Knitting World, you have just witnessed a coining of a phrase. What else would you call a group of knitters but a “whack”…absolute genius, I tell you.

  93. Can’t believe it “the yarn harlot” left a comment on my blog, shall have a big head all day and tell everyone I know the about the famous people that read my blog. YeeHaw.

  94. Love your blog.
    Just discovered it today on
    Mother’s Day.
    My mom would have enjoyed it too.She was a big
    knitter….did wonderful things…She even
    crocheted a blanket for me which I will cherish
    for eternity.
    Unfortunately, she is no longer here.
    I can picture her sitting in her favorite
    rocking chair knitting cute tiny slippers for some needy tiny kids.
    Happy Mother’s Day To All Knitting Moms!

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