A little Q&A

I’ve got nothing today (Including a finished shawl, so let’s just gloss right over that.) so I’m going to completely cop out of being brilliant or interesting and pillage yesterdays comments for material.

Trickytricot asks:

You do know that the last 9.5 percent are the longest rows, right?

Whatever happened to the highland triangle?

Tricky my pet, my buddy, my pal…I cannot resist. This reminds me of a dinner party where I deliberately choked myself with a large soft dinner bun so that I couldn’t speak to someone who was explaining that they had to carry a 40lb bag of peatmoss…but it wasn’t that bad, because you know…peatmoss is light. The last 9.5% is the last 9.5% whether the rows are longer or not. It’s not like the last 9.5% is a longer 9.5% because the rows are longer. (Although last night I could have sworn that he was making a solid point. The last 9.5% may not be mathematically longer, but man….it feels that way. )

As for the Highland Triangle, it’s still loved and temporarily on hiatus as I need to finish spinning the yarn for it.


(Pardon my bad pictures today…it’s raining and dark)

I’ve got three of the five colours spun and plied, but the other two are resisting me. (That’s mostly because I’m trying to spin them with only the power of my mind and not actually sitting at the wheel. slow going, that.) Besides….a prettier yarn waggled it’s label at me and I lost focus. (I just noticed in the picture that apparently I wandered off mid-row a couple of weeks ago. That’s disappointing.) Cast your eyes upwards, read the name of the blog. Know that I still deserve the title.

Stephanie asks:

I hate to burst your bubble because I do so love Lotus Blossom (thanks for the tip on that by the way), but I must mention those most time-consuming bobbles. Did you consider them?

No. (This is directly related to there clearly being No Shawl Today.) The bobble-bindoff is clever, lovely and good looking. It is also a sucking void in the time space continuum. I am timing it.

Jodi asks:

What is Screech?

Screech is a coping tool used throughout Newfoundland. Used in moderation this coping technique makes boring people more interesting, provides backbone and strength, eases emotional pain and aids in recovering from trauma.


Used in excess, it does the exact opposite.

Micky asks:

What did you do with the corset?

Here’s how it works around here. I pick up projects willy-nilly with no respect at all for continuity, reader interest or consideration for how they are working out. I dump socks for hats, corsets for shawls and ganseys for…well, it turns out that I dump ganseys for just about any reason that comes by. I drop perfectly good projects that I’m having fun with so that I can torture myself with bobble-bindoffs or sock heels that end up crooked. (I don’t think I told you about that.) Above all, and this is really the guiding principle, I never cloud the issue with facts and logic.

Glirastes asks:

Your newest book “Knitting Rules” has the publication date of March 2006 on their computer. Is that correct?

Yes, although admitting it, no…even just typing that causes the world to swirl around the edges creating a vortex of blackness and horror that threatens to strip me from my sanity. (Not that I wasn’t halfway there from the pressure of all the laundry and the fact that I’ve misplaced my keys again.) While it is true that the latest is going to be out in the spring, I’m convinced that putting it up on Amazon was a ploy by the publisher to make sure that I understand they are serious about me turning it in, since the book currently looks like this….


Note the leftover coffee of hours gone by, the largish glass of screech on the table and the obvious and menacing black cloud of Impending Deadline Doom lurking above it with it’s distracting neon lightning, big teeth and bad breath? The way it lies on the papers with it’s filthy, idea sucking, humourless gaping demon-maw – the barbed self-esteem deathrays it shoots at me, even as I type and comply? See how it follows me through my day with it’s psychic mind-control powers invading my waking moment and every sleeping dream screaming “You’ll never make it…Never…NEVER! Give up now! Change your name! Don’t wear socks! Die-writer-Die!”

No? Er…I don’t see that either. Nothing to see here. Move along.

77 thoughts on “A little Q&A

  1. Monogamy is no fun with fiber. Harlot on! (and maybe the bookbookbooknext will write itself under the black cloud of doom)(or go away)

  2. ME first!!!! wow! oh, wait, second.
    We have an electronic 20 questions game that asks if what you are thinking is “heavier than a pound of butter”.
    I think discussing the new book here is your way of making sure we will make sure you finish it. We have vested interest in a book, unlike your knitting projects that we will never have personal relationships with.

  3. I’d actually be disappointed if you knit the corset straight through. I’ve come to expect a sort of corset-socks-shawl-baby blanket-wool house-socks again path to the finished object and without such a path, I’m not sure I’m at the right blog!

  4. I have to defend Tricky and your dinner companions…40 pounds of peat moss is nothing compared to 40 pounds of cement! On a similar note, the first 9.5% of a shawl seems to fly by, while the last 9.5% crawls.

  5. new book…new book? How can that be, I havent even gotten the MOST RECENT “new book” yet!
    Seriously…no pressure LOL.
    Now get back to work! 😉

  6. . . . I’m still missing the first two and you’re talking about another one! In March. . . oh, I’m sorry, I see March may be too close. . . good luck with that.

  7. Yes, OK, cloud over the computer — but what’s the bag of nice looking fiber on the couch? With perhaps knitting needles protruding from it?

  8. I really hate doing bobbles so on the Lotus Blossom Shawl I replaced the bobbles with tear-drop beads. They were glass ones so they kept breaking everytime I hit something…but next time it will work…where’s plastic when you need it, eh?

  9. Somehow the thought of that ever-changing but quickly knitted-up collection of WIPs just triggered the Llama Llama Duck song going in my brain…

  10. Someone around here has been listening to Great Big Sea lately. For those who would like an idea of the potential effects of screech I recommend the song called The Old Black Rum. That should give you an idea.
    My favourite unfinished (or, if finished, you didn’t tell us) project is the garter leaf cardigan.

  11. The presence of your last few paragraphs leads me to believe that you have been using Screech in excessive levels.
    Back away from the Screech. 😀
    Oh, and not that I’m stalking you but I got your “Yarn Harlot” book today. Now I can bring BOTH with me to Stitches. If you see a woman with a crazy cow pin heading towards you, you may want to run. But sign the books, first, please!

  12. I’m thinking that Screech is the Newfoundland version of Rebel Yell whiskey, which I found when I lived in Tennessee. Either one, by the very name, tells you that you’re going to end up with a painful pounding in your head when the night’s over.

  13. If it makes you feel any better I can probably guess that your editor has an even bigger big black menacing cloud – not being able to control the writing itself and just hoping that the words appear by the deadlines – not knowing how much pressure is too much pressure – not wanting to wreck the quality of the writing and yet wanting to edit to let the author appear in the best light possible…
    Oh wait. That was just my big black cloud talking. Never mind. Your editor probably doesn’t have those worries, as working with you would be fun (and really funny). And you would bring gifts of yarn if the words were late. Which would totally work with me …

  14. Hey Steph – ck out this site – http://www.purplemath.com – algebra resource site – swear to god – I home school a 14 yr old and a 13 yr old and I pray daily and say my rosary to purple math — toast it with screech its a very good thing

  15. Wasn’t there a question about the mittens yesterday? hmmmm, no answer, what could it mean? Or perhaps, more importantly, is that glass of screech full or half empty?
    btw, enjoying B3/2 immensely. Another superb accomplishment!


  17. I’m with Kim – what is that bag of purple on the couch? And the Highland Triangle is very very pretty. You know what you want to when you want to.
    My fibre stash doesn’t spin itself either – I have no idea why it doesn’t obey me and hop onto the bobbins all nicely spun up. Of course my knitting doesn’t obey me either.
    Us poor souls in Oz have not seen book 1 here unless we have ordered it from Amazon or similar. The new book? Ha! The book in progress? Cool!

  18. Oh, geez – I didn’t realize it was actually called screech! I thought that was just some sort of Canadianism, like “arse” or getting your weather forecast in Celsius. Good luck on the writing! As long as you can sit down and do at least 5 minutes a day, you’ll still be making nominal progress, and it won’t seem like some insurmountable task.

  19. hmmm, March 2006, eh? If I start nagging in, like, January do you think we can see you in Arizona when you go on yet another tour? No pressure here.

  20. I think it is the spinning wheel that is shooting deathrays at you. Ah, I remember a time, seems not so long ago, when a Tuesday was for spinning. Even Rams has let the weeks pass with nary a mention. Hope Joe can survive another cold, harsh, Canadian winter.
    At the very least, save the poor guy some Screech, you Harlot.

  21. And the Party Shuffle on I-tunes was playing Great Big Sea just as I read JoVe’s invocation of them. A full moon tonight.(Off to rip out the scarf I just finished…Save me some Screech.)

  22. I’m using the same method with most of my projects as you are with spinning that yarn. I’ll bet it is working better for you than for me.
    Wondering-how does screech go with chocolate? Milk or Dark? Just askin’.

  23. Oh. Can you share the Screech? Between writing and filling out Grad School applications (those MFA programs want so DAMN much, and they’re PickY), I could really use a glass. Do they let you send that stuff across the Border?

  24. Tricky’s question reminds me of the old question, “Which weighs more, a pound of feathers or a pound of lead?”
    I really have to try some Screech before I die. Well before I die, hopefully — not, like, on my deathbed.

  25. So, when you went to Newfoundland, did you have to kiss a cod? (if the answer is yes, for the love of god please no pictures, even if the cod posed with a sock).

  26. Wow. It’s really called Screech. I’m impressed. I think I need some of that…
    Don’t die, Writer, don’t die. It makes a mess and people have to figure out what to do with the body and your children end up becoming badly paid mystery writers who have to figure out what to do with bodies for a living, in an interesting yet readable for the average fourth-grader way, four times a year, just to afford a bottle of Screech. Not good.
    What shawl?

  27. I can’t believe there’s a book3 when I just hardly finished book2! Steph, you’re on a roll! Book2 is wonderful, by the way, I’m glad you were able to publish it in this longer essay format.

  28. Hehehhe, you have the same disease I have…Y.A.D.D. – yarn attention deficit disorder. (Or is that yarn attention distraction disorder?!!!)It’s sad I know… but we cope!

  29. But the coffee cup is right side up, yes?
    Does Screech go with coffee? The last couple pots of coffee I’ve made could be really interesting paired with Screech.
    You called yourself a writer. I saw it.

  30. Like Kim, I will concede to the black cloud, but I also saw the fiber on the couch…and what kind of spinning wheel is that? It’s gorgeous!!!

  31. Screech, huh…..Guess when people around here called that type of merriment screech/scooch maybe it was because we were picking up another Scot/Irish thing (we use quite a bit of Scot/Irish dialect here in SW PA, just ask my born-in-Ireland ex-boss who did a double take when he asked what I was doing and I told him I was redding up my desk!) Pretty shawl yarn. Guess I better get back to my wheel, too….

  32. Please stop putting an apostrophe in the possessive “its” as in “…lies on the papers with its filthy, idea-sucking,humourless gaping”. It’s=it is as in “it’s raining today”. Thank you.

  33. Harlot, you’re sounding a whole lot like Douglass Adams on the writing front! I think he had you beat on the avoidance/ fear of impending doom of writing though. And I’m sure once you do start writing you’ll shine with wit and sparkly knitting insights.

  34. And in return I’m sure you’ll quit correcting people’s punctuation in public instead of a discreet, private e-mail. Let’s think, which is worse — bad punctuation or bad manners?

  35. The only reason I’ve not begun a serious pout (o yes, there’s still a pout, but relatively minor) in not having BookbookBook2 at this point and anticipating the delayed delivery (in my apparently remote location for publishers) of BookbookBook3 next year, is that two weeks from today I’ll finally get to meet the Harlot!

  36. I hope you know what a delight your stuff is to read…you’re never afraid to show how human you are; combine that with your knitting expertise and the cycling adventures and it really makes your stuff interesting to us Harlot wannabes in the lower 48. The Knitting Bitches in Jacksonville, Florida, salute you! Keep up the good work. Now when the heck in September is Yarn Harlot, the book, getting released down here?!

  37. Hi! I started reading a while back and today I read out loud to the Husband. Said Husband told obedient wife to let you know how much we enjoyed the “corset connection”. It’s (Yes, “it has”) been a tough week around here with two paying jobs needing to be replaced at the homestead. I have been reduced to using my children to get past the “One coupon per customer/per day” limit in order to get enough yarn for a mohair shawl (Pretty purple and blues!!). Thanks for the laughs and keep them coming.

  38. Woo Hoo! Harlot book #2 JUST arrived at my door – what a cute sheepy little arse on the cover!
    Perhaps that Better Underware Incident was a carefully orchestrated publicity stunt for the new book? 😉

  39. Well I would love to see any of those shawls finished, but as I know all to well the lure of new yarn and a different project I’ll not comment on it! I just found out though about this.
    March 31 to April 1, 2006 in Abbotsford, BC. Sounds like fun, thought you might like to know. A little nudge here and there about book talks and who knows you might be in town for it!

  40. Stephanie, the yarn at the top of this post is making me drool! What gorgeous colors!!! I’m sure the FO is going to be stunning!
    Also, I just wanted to say that I’ve been reading the bookbook2 and love it already! Can’t wait for #3!!!

  41. I’m with Rams. Besides – tha Harlot calls hirself a writer, specifically in this post.
    That means shi take the license to whatever the hell shi wants with language. It’s given to the writer upon publication of their very first piece of writing.
    And with two (almost three) BOOKS to hir credit, I think IT IS fair to take that license and wield it’s power.

  42. Bless you, Rams, for giving voice to what many of us are probably thinking. If the punctuation police have their knickers in a twist, I suggest they stop reading this blog and go read something really stimulating, like Strunk + White or the AP Manual of Style. Honestly — I’ll take bad punctuation, spelling or grammar over bad manners any day of the week.

  43. I talked with Sarah-the-wonder-publicist! You’re coming to St Louis next year! Details to be worked out still 🙂
    Also, it occurred to me that I can’t be part of “tricoteuses sans frontieres”, because as soon as one guy joins, it would have to be “Tricoteurs sans frontieres” 🙂

  44. I think the 20-pound Chicago Manual might be more useful than the AP. Just because it’ll help build strong arms for knitting.
    I happen to own TWO copies of Strunk & White … careful.

  45. Join the ranks of those with KADD. I can’t focus either to save my life. I just tell people that I wait for the projects to call out to me. Sure that works…

  46. “Bad pictures”? Are you kidding?! That first picture of the luscious, pastel dyed wool, seductive spinning, and knitted lacey goodness is ART of the best kind! You rock, as a fiber artist and a motivating photographer. Ever consider putting a few of those photographs together in calendar or poster format? I’d buy it in an instant.

  47. Wow, bookbookbook3? I haven’t even got bookbookbook, even though my brother promised to give it to me as a birthday present (and that’s almost two months ago…), not to speak of bookbookbook2 – I think I need to hurry up! 😉
    I love the Highland Triangle, it looks so great! Though I never wear shawls, I guess one day I’ll knit one, just because I like the way they look! 😉
    By the way, I’m doing project hopping, too, and not just as far as knitting is concerned, but reading books, as well. I need to focus, though, Christmas hovers over my head already (and I want to finish that Fj�rgyn before starting the presents…)
    However, your way of writing about it is definately much funnier than mine! 😉

  48. I was waiting for my local independent bookseller to get bookbook2 in. They they abruptly closed their doors, although that may at last shock their dotcom-greedy-Silicon Valley landlord into giving them a break and asking them back. Now I’m waiting for my LYS to get copies rather than going to Amazon. But it’s really really hard to wait, and I don’t know how much longer I can hold out!

  49. I was tempted to make the Lotus Blossom after seeing yours, but my daughter walked in the house today and saw my Birch waiting to be blocked and asked me why I make stupid shawls. Teenagers @#$***! Now I’m seriously considering donating my Birch to my younger daughter’s school auction. But if it sells for $3 . . . I’m picking up socks again.

  50. Hey Steph – Thanks for giving us all something to smile about. 🙂 Congratulations on your success – I haven’t got my hands on book #2 yet, but I can hardly wait for #3 & know you’ll get through it . . . Hope you’ll make it back to the Pacific Northwest again next time.
    Yvonne in Bellingham WA USA who has just finished knitting a shrug

  51. How do you do it Steph? My life consists of two kids, 5 and 1 and a half, but one goes to the kindergarten the other is at the nanny all day. I have laundry, less than your load apparently, other house work, and my house is under renovation. Translation is work is my income source. What’s more, I have a house helper that cooks, Monday to Friday. I think we should have similar knitting/writing time, and yet, you are putting out three original books in the time frame that I have problem putting out three translation books. And you’ve got more FO, a lot more, than I do. And I don’t spin, yet. Tell me, what’s your secret in time managemenet? I know you’re gonna say you don’t have one, but COME ON! Share your secret, I need to know!

  52. You’ll never guess – I, Sue M, formerly of Iqaluit, formerly of Victoria, am now of St.John’s. As far as I can tell, no Newfoundlanders actually drink screech. I’m sure it’s a massive joke on all the mainlanders – “Of course we drink that stuff…now kiss the cod…hee, hee, hee…”

  53. JoVE – Great Big Sea! Woot! Old Blind Dog’s are playing in my town tomorrow night and I just CAN’T go. I spent all my money at a fiber festival this weekend in Hemlock, NY. (REALLY, that is 4 miles from my house. Could I be any luckier? I attended both days. Thus minus the dinero.)
    Spinning the shawl – colours: I had my hands on MANY, many fibers this weekend, and although I kept eyeballing the pastels, my shameful hands kept picking up deep, autumnal, uterine shades.(those are hews which give you that satisfying lurch, deep down inside your innards. Tricky and Franklin, et al, not to say this is a female thing, it’s just that I’m a female and that’s how I describe it to others and they go “Oh, yeah!”. This term came from making soul-satisfying music with my three girlfriends and it was the only way to describe the magical occurence.)
    Steph Skinny Atlas is on my calendar! Whoop! (It’s a Pants Preferred town. Just in case it’s not on their Chamber of Commerce website. 😉
    Also at Hemlock this weekend, there were llamas, more llamas, and DUCKS! (for the dog herding trials). My son and I skipped from one building to another singing that song, fresh from the herding trials as we passed a man walking his llama. No one joined in. It was a lonely moment. Then I saw a “50% Off!” basket and the matter was quickly forgotten.

  54. Seeing your comment about deadlines reminds me of a quote by the late, great Douglas Adams:
    “I love deadlines. I especially like the whooshing sound they make as they go flying by.”

  55. Book sighting, and purchasing in Philadelphia. Yup, I scooped up the second to last one from Borders so they are flying off the table. Daryl

  56. Stephanie, it’s really tempting to come down to Atlantic City next week for the chance to see you again. . . I could even take the train. But Stitches makes me spend too much money, and I still have almost all the yarn I ever bought at the 4 (5? 6?) I’ve been to. . . Question: are you condemned to a lifetime of touring for each book? Much as I love the chance to see you, I wish you could just get to stay home sometimes.

  57. Ok i’m with Rams.. but in addition i love using
    it’s possessive.. it just makes sense.. i struggled with english grammar for so long.. people complain about german.. naw english is way more complicated!.. yes i know i’m also bad at capitalizing.. that is what i love about computers, emails, blogs, etc… the freedom to be one’s self! 🙂

  58. Well let me just say I feel totally honored that little ole me is mentioned in YOUR blog. This is making me all teary eyed and stuff. I just thought I was lucky when you commented on my blog, now this. I don’t know if anything can top it.

  59. My friends and I are trying to find out the difference between a skein and a hank of yarn. Do you know if they are one and the same or two different things? Your help will be greatly appreciated.

  60. Barnes & Nobles just ket me PRE-ORDER bookbookbook3!! The guy clearly thinks I’m nuts, but better insane than sorry!!

  61. For one week I�ve been relegated to lying flat on my back after unexpected spine surgery. Concerns for how I would knit in that position were meaningless with my drug-filled brain. This morning I was interested in, and able to, read the paper – and perked up when I saw �yarn harlot/knitter/popular blog� in a book review. With my laptop perched above me, I moved through your web site and slowly came to understand what a Yarn Harlot actually is. Years of True Adult ADD guilt for unfinished projects and new yarn bought in moments of weakness slowly melted away. Thanks for a fresh outlook on knitting and life. Next stop – bn.com to order your book(s). Cheryl

Comments are closed.