Winnipeg sunrise

Actually, pre-sunrise in Winnipeg…as I’m up at a shocking hour (5:00AM) to get ready for an early flight home, and I don’t even care. Sitting here, pouring coffee into my tour-done self, I would usually be thinking “Kill me”, but because this is what I have to do to see the lovely curly-haired man waiting on the other end, I’m totally fine with it.

Winnipeg is beautiful, and flat, being in a prairie province. “Prairie” comes from the french “pré” for meadow (I think, it’s really early) and much of Manitoba is just that. The flatness is so awesome and complete that it is impressive in exactly the same way that mountains are. The earth stretches away from you, and the sky is huge overhead. I wish I had been here longer.

I was convinced that because the rest of this yarn crawl book tour has gone so well, that Winnipeg would be where I got my lumps. They had me booked into a really big bookstore and I thought that the universe wouldn’t be able to resist. One woman can’t be this lucky, no, no…Winnipeg would be it. I would stand alone, talking to two people and an ocean of empty chairs and that would be the equality the planet is surely itching to deal me. The universe would be balanced. I was ready.

I got of the plane and into a cab, to go here:


Be still my beating heart fellow Canucks, it’s the CBC! (Ah! I thought. Of course it’s the CBC. It needs to be a well publicized crushing.) I met this dude:


Ron Robinson (holding the sock and tolerating my oddness) before an interview in which I believe I did make sense, and didn’t say arse, enter an expletive spiral, faint or die. From there I cabbed it to the hotel, flung myself through a bath and left for Robinson McNally, possibly breaking a land speed record for harlot-hair management.

On the way there I showed the sock the provincial legislature.


When I got to the bookstore there were many, many chairs, the scary microphone and TWO knitters. “I knew it” I thought, and I went to get coffee. The bookstore scurried around me as I perused the knitting magazines (Hey, Karlie…I met your mum and dad. They’re very nice.) and I cracked myself up because they were bringing MORE CHAIRS. At 7:00 I walked over to the reading area to warmly greet the two knitters (and possibly invite them out for a beer, since the microphone seemed silly) and here is what I saw.


An ocean of knitters. An ocean. A huge turnout, and every single one of them a nice person. (Near as I could tell. It got weird after that.) Here’s Penny


Who, unbelievably was sitting in the front row, with her little swatch of knitting from plastic bags (How did she know?)

and Carol


The official Knitting Teacher for the city of Winnipeg. (How can you not love a city that hires an official knitting teacher?)

The sock was blown away by the hospitality, stunned by the kindness and exhausted by the happiness. The sock and I would like to thank Winnipeg for saving the public flogging for another day.

Now, I’m off into the Winnipeg dawn, out over the prairie and flying toward home, home…home, my Joe and the ladies.

(I can’t believe I survived. Thank you all.)

69 thoughts on “Winnipeg sunrise

  1. Steph, enjoy your flight home to Joe and the girls.. I know how much the sock must miss them.
    And for Pete’s sake.. wait until at least Saturday to visit with Mr. Washie. He didn’t miss you that much, he’s been sneaking out on the sly with Miss Hotpants.

  2. Because I am also up at an ungodly hour (thanks to my teething baby), I appreciate the early post! I really was just coming back to read the post about the hotel. So, thanks for the early posting today and…Welcome, home (soon, I hope)!

  3. I should go to Winnipeg. I think the flatness (even flatness due to a complete lack of towering buildings) would do me some good. And I think a bit of good ol’ fashioned Canadian hospitality would be nice too. It’s been nice reading about your exploits with the sock on the road, and I’m glad you get to see home so soon. Take care and safe flight.

  4. Congratulations on successfully completing your tour! We are glad you did it and were happy to have a chance meet you. I know your family will be thrilled to have you home again. And while you’re there, dig through the coat sleeves for a few balls of cotton and knit yourself a robe to prevent any future hotel streaking on your next tour!

  5. Hey Stephanie,
    When are you coming down to the Deep South??? Even 250 miles to Atlanta would satisfy many of us knitters to see the Harlot!
    Know you are glad to get home home home.

  6. I knew you’d make it!!! Go Harlot! I just wish our trips to the west coast would have coincided (sigh). Well, maybe next tour…..
    I’m sending you a write up about your favorite word, it’s worth the read, so please don’t delete. Thanks.

  7. I was thinking of you last night as I felted two pairs of tiny purple and tan clogs, I took them out of the washer to admire how cute they are, when I realized that one clog was -not- like the others. Somehow I didn’t do the second sole on one of them. I know it wasn’t the last one I did, because I ran out of yarn about two metres short on it and had to go get more. Luckily, I was about one block down from the store I had gotten it at, and there was one ball left in my dye lot. When I asked if there was a discount for the last ball, the lady said “no, but you can have a seniors discount.” I’m 32, but I took the yarn and ran. I know the baby clogs are tiny and take no time, but the fourth sole in a pair is so excruciating to do, it makes me want to pull my hair out!
    Have fun cleaning and rearranging dishes when you get home.
    Samantha(in Nova Scotia)

  8. I can say from experience (3 years, traveling 15 days out of each month – that’s flying – around the US and overseas) that there’s some type of time/space hoo-ha going on when it’s time to go home from a business road trip. You could have gone to bed at 2 am, be up at 4 am and catching a flight at 5:30 am.
    Doesn’t matter.
    You’re going HOME.

  9. Hope you had a safe flight home. Enjoy the bliss that is seeing the family after a time away. And remember that feeling when they drive you crazy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. You made it! Now can you remember how terrified you were at the beginning!
    You have come a long way even though it might not feel like it! I think that if that hallway incident had happened nearer to the begining of the tour you would have just crumpled onto the floor!! But no you didn’t!
    You’ve grown! you’ve stood on high bridges faced crowds of knitters eaten alone!
    So proud to have been able to take the journey with you!

  11. You don’t think getting locked out of your hotel room in your underwear constitutes ‘lumps’?
    Enjoy your reunion with the ladies and the lovely curly-haired man. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I’ve really enjoyed your tour stories and happy to hear that you get to go home for a long, well deserved rest. But Chicago, you forgot to come to Chicago. Next book perhaps?

  13. Will you come back to Boston, please? I want to hear you tell the hotel — locked out — underpants story in person. I laughed out loud at work as I read it. So, of course I had to yell over the cubicle wall to and tell her to read it too … Has anyone in your tour audience brought you gifts of “good underpants” yet??

  14. You go girl. You’re a pro. Have a wonderful homecoming, and I wish you clean counters and (shhhh) clean laundry. A girl can dream.

  15. Re Prairie:
    The first time I returned to Wpg after having lived in Ottawa for several months, I was really amazed by the FLATness, the STRAIGHTness, and the WIDEness of the streets on the drive into the city from the airport. They had always been FLAT, STRAIGHT and WIDE, this was the first time I even noticed it!
    My friend Karen who was at the bookstore said you were VERY funny.

  16. I’ll bet you’re home by now…welcome back, and enjoy being snuggled. I’m quite sure the “she said/but no she said/but you’re touching me/no you have to move” stuff will commence soon enough, but I’ll bet they missed you so much they’ll give you at least a fifteen-minute reprieve.
    And lovely curly-haired man…I think I might cry :-}
    p.s. the wool you gave me is lovely. I’m hopelessly addicted.

  17. One of my writer friends tells me that if a 1st book sells well (promoted well by author) the 2nd book and on are happily published. So, Steph, a series? :-))))

  18. Way to go, Winnipeg! Am happy to hear that the universe is “balancing” your expectations of balance. Am even happier that you have now been adopted as one of the Things about Canada That Canadians Are Darned Proud of. Now get thee home & blog no more (for a few days, at least–you deserve a little private time with the family after bringing so many people so much joy with tourtourtour).

  19. Way to go, Winnipeg! I’m chuckling over the universe balancing your expectations of balance.

  20. Speaking as a native of Illinois (The Prairie State) where, on a clear day, I can see all the way from Chicago to St. Louis, I believe “prairie” is Latin for “good gravy, look at all the weeds!”.

  21. Speaking as a native of Illinois (The Prairie State) where, on a clear day, I can see all the way from Chicago to St. Louis, I believe “prairie” is Latin for “good gravy, look at all the weeds!”.

  22. You’ve made it, babe. You got on the CBC.
    I’m so glad Winnipeg didn’t disappoint, but I’m mostly glad you’re going home now. How wonderful it will be to see your Joe, and your kids and your stash again. Home is a beautiful word.

  23. Welcome home! (Does that work from another end of the world?) I met you at your reading at Powell’s in Portland last week and wasn’t able to write until now (we left to go backpacking at 6am that following morning!) but just wanted to say thanks so much for trekking around the States–you are obviously much loved, and rightfully so, by us knitters (and the non-knitters should fully appreciate you, too!). I hope you can get some much-deserved rest; dealing with new people and new places can take a lot out of a person. Cheers!

  24. YOur book tour’s been a smashing success, Congrats, you’ve earned it. I hope the flight home is pleasant, and if you feel like taking tomorrow off, by all means….

  25. Congratulations on a successful book tour! (I won’t mention the accidental nudity) Oh, but I just did, didn’t I? Heh. You’re TOO funny.

  26. Steph…I have to tell you! My little “indie” bookstore here in Oberlin, Ohio has finally (finally!) gotten in a cute little display of…(drumroll please) “Meditations for Women Who Knit!” It’s prominently displayed in the front window, too! Yay! Yay! Yay! If I can snag the camera phone away from HWSRN, I will see if I can snap a photo! Have a wonderful flight home to your curly-headed Joe. ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets giddy (and tempted to bow down?) about the CBC. You are now famous — officially.
    I’m patiently waiting for the next book tour!
    Enjoy home!

  28. And thus ends this episode of “The Yarn Harlot’s Progress.” Please join us again for our next episode, where we hear Mr. Washie say:
    “‘Bout time you came home. Those dang kids can’t clean a lint filter to save their lives.”

  29. Watch out for jealousy on Mr. Washie’s part, though, when you go spend your time with the curly guy rather than him. He’ll bite holes in your underwear, you know. He’s not above that.

  30. Welcome back to your favorite wool house! I know everyone, especially Mr. Washie will be glad to have you back at home sweet home. Please come visit Long Island next book tour- ok – we knitters like NYC, but find suburbia more to our liking. Just want to say thanks for the laughter, the tears and your generous spirit. I stumbled on your blog a year ago and reading your daily adventures has brightened the last 365 days! Thanks –

  31. Well I think you have deserved a well earned rest! Kudos to you and the sock (poor thing dragged around the Continent like that….) Plus how could you think Winnipeg would get you when Edmonton already had? Wasn’t it in Edmondton that you had your little adventure with the towel? What more would you want to happen to you! ๐Ÿ™‚ I think everything going smooth in Winnipeg was to make up for the Haro-ing time you had on the tour! hahhahaha

  32. Whew, I was worried that Winnipeg would be lumpsville, too, since the whole city seemd very quiet from back here in the Comments section. Thanks be to the goddess Arachne!
    So if I click that link on the apparently charming Mr. Robinson’s name at the right time on Saturday morning, will I get a Harlot fix? Did he tell you when he will air your interview?

  33. I just returned to my home in the USA after living in Barcelona, Spain for a year. I found it difficult to contact knitters, despite the fact that I knit on the busses, in the subway, in museums, on park benches, in coffee bars, restaurants, on the beach and every other place I could think of. Mostly, nice Spanish women approached me to say that their grandmothers or mothers used to knit. Unfortunately, knitting does not appear to be very popular and is not done in public. Nevertheless, I met a young Barcelonan woman who has started a knitting blog and who wanted to start a knitting group. She taught herself to knit from websites on the internet and reads your knitting blog faithfully. Our knitting group was small–two 30+ year olds from Barcelona, one 30+ year old from the USA but who has lived in Spain for 20+ years, a 30+ Thai woman who lives in Barcelona and also taught herself to knit from the internet and reads your blog, and me. I just wanted you to know that you have international fans and I suggest that you translate your book into Spanish. Spain needs knitting books, instruction books and pattern books, along with your knit-wittissisms.

  34. You got to Edmonton. I was going to the signing, no matter what. I got in the truck. I thought about the hour drive and the other Canadian thing….driving in the city when you’ve lived all your life in the boonies. A gravel road through the bush in flood season sharing with logging trucks…not a problem. I just could NOT drive down Jasper Ave in the evening. Could Not. Then the next day, the old guy tells me he would have driven me. The next day. When you were gone.
    Went on a yarn crawl today, the yarn store had only 1 copy of your book left…then the owner told me you were going to be here on Monday, and banged her head on the counter when I said you’d been and gone.
    When you come for the signing of your next book, the old guy will taxi me.
    Barb B.

  35. Stephanie, anyone who carries a sock around in a pocket or purse needs my instructions for knitting a sock on one 12″ circular needle! I am sending those instructions to you. Use them as you will – share them. enjoy. Rosann

  36. I’m so glad that you get to go home and sleep in your own bed. You must be exhausted. But I figure you’ll get about 2 hours of the snuggly, cuddly, “we’re so glad to see you”-ness before someone dares to ask you what’s for dinner. Oh, to be a fly on the wall for that one! Hope you found good underwear on your trip – the folks at the LYS here were talking about a felted pair of panties in a recent magazine. I really can’t imagine.

  37. Welcome home, indeed, Stephanie!
    What a great big bite you took out of reality, going on that tour. Here’s to success in swallowing and digesting it!

  38. WELCOME HOME! Both to you and the sock. Since you get to be with Joe, the sock finally gets to be with his other half! I know it is going to be heaven sleeping in your own bed again!!!

  39. Welcome home. Hug the kids (if they let you),pet the cat (see previous) and just enjoy the scent and sounds of home. Peace and good will to you.

  40. Congrats on finishing the tour! Sounds like it was a whirlwind yet a ton of fun. Please do it again with the next book ๐Ÿ™‚

  41. Winnepeg has an official Knitting Teacher!?! That is what I call a cool job! Now if I could just get my city to pay me for reading books, I would be in heaven! But it’s good to go home, isn’t it Stephanie. Visit us in Seattle soon, but keep having knitting adventures to share with us!

  42. Winnepeg is so great! I haven’t been there for a while–used to live due South of there, just over the border.
    They have an official knitting teacher! What else could you want?

  43. Hi Ya!
    Hey, just talked to your publisher, about your bookbookbook signing at my boothboothbooth at Rhinebeck! Yay!
    Email me ~ I need a .jpg file of the book cover to build a page on my website. I sent you an email a while back, but maybe it didn’t arrive … or you were in Timbuktu that day. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Looking forward to seeing you at Rhinebeck!

  44. Hi Ya!
    Hey, just talked to your publisher, about your bookbookbook signing at my boothboothbooth at Rhinebeck! Yay!
    Email me ~ I need a .jpg file of the book cover to build a page on my website. I sent you an email a while back, but maybe it didn’t arrive … or you were in Timbuktu that day. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Looking forward to seeing you at Rhinebeck!

  45. Congrats on surviving the tour! I am sure Joe, the girls and Mr. Washie were waiting eagerly for your return. Did I read somewhere that you bought more LL sock yarn. Was this in a yarn buying haze or is just that you have found the magic pattern, or should I not bring stuff like this up.

  46. I’m with Cathy – what about the deep south? 250 miles of Atlanta would do just fine – that’s reasonable traveling distance. Heck, just go to Atlanta – we can find you there. You haven’t truly experienced the US ’til you’ve been south of the mason dixon line! We’re very friendly, for the most part. Southern Hospitality still rules most days. Hope to see you soon and enjoy your time home with your family!

  47. Glad you had a good trip. I started reading your Blog looking for a triangular poncho,(was grateful for the photo of the lady on tour with one on) wound up reading all about your book tour, got hooked on the llama llama duck song, and yesterday bought your book! All this in the span of 1 week. I bushed. Thanks
    Tonya T

  48. Eeee! I’m so happy they got to go see you! My whole family, including my non-knitting Dad, and my non-knitting boyfriend LOVE to read your blog. I only wish you were coming to Thunder Bay, so I could meet you too. Did you get the sock yarn? I hope so. I tried everything I could to do something with it and it hated me. Hopefully you can make some awfully bright socks.

  49. August 14th, 5:45 p.m. It’s cool and sunny here in Toronto. You’d better not be in the basement, washing clothes.

  50. Figures! My brother picked a lousy week to hold a wedding on the Wet Coast. Sorry to have missed you when you were in Winnipeg. Glad you made it. Just a quibble: Wasn’t that the McNally-Robinson bookstore? Hey – does this mean that sock gets to be finished – if that’s truly the end of the tour?

Comments are closed.