In my dreamworld

Surely, surely some have you have noticed that my life has changed a little. Goodness knows that I have to run a reality check most mornings when I wake up to make sure that I’m actually awake. (I don’t know why I do that actually. If I were really dreaming or have slipped into another dimension then I’m pretty sure that there would be less laundry and my hair would look better, but I digress.)

The last few days have been particularly surreal. Am I awake or asleep?

Evidence that I am asleep include the following moments.


Being at Willow books in Acton MA and catching Claudia in the act of photographing the store window full of knitting and knitting books.


Watching David, the owner of Willow Books beaming at me. David is a remarkable guy. He designated it “knitter day” at Willow Books and never once spoke openly of what he must have surely thought was rampant insanity. He laughed, he smiled and he tried somehow to manage all the knitters and yarn. It was like trying to nail Jello to a tree. I myself was particularly unmanageable, telling him to “try and stop me” when I insisted on writing more than my name in the books. (I was among my people. He is efficient. We were at cross purposes.)


David bought cake. He very graciously pretended not to remember that I had said that I wouldn’t come if there wasn’t cake. Really, after flying to MA just for this, what did he think I would do if there was no cake. Sit in the car? (That’s Linda Roghaar, my friend and the instigator of the Knitlit series. Note the beautiful yellow Peace Fleece sweater. Linda is probably the only person in the world who looks this good in this yellow. I personally look like I’ve got hepatitis if I wear it, so every time Linda puts it on I spend a whole day looking at her.)

Speaking of walking among my people….



This is what it looked like from the front of the room. I would know for sure that I was in a dream world when I saw this, except that I like to believe that in a dream world I wouldn’t be thinking about throwing up all the cake when I saw that many knitters in one place.

(The microphone in this picture is standing nicely at attention, which was not the case when I got up to talk. By then the thing had become oddly flaccid and I had to slouch – thus making myself look even shorter, to speak into it. In my dreamworld, no microphones suffer erectile dysfunction.)


Look! It’s Laurie!

Clearly I’m asleep. Short knitters with poor attention spans don’t get to hobnob with clever and lovely bloggers from New England except in their dreams. (Cassie, I watched to see what she drank later so I could find out a nifty new wine, but she had beer. Sorry. While I speak of Ms. Toomuchwool, drift on over to her blog and wish her a happy blogiversary.)

Discovered here, a nest of bloggers….


doing what they do best. Talking about wool and hanging in packs. (No wonder David was nervous.) It was at this moment that I realized that I certainly was awake for this event, as I discovered that my fly was open…and had been for the entire time that I was sitting with the other contributors and while I was reading in front of the aforementioned crowd. Sigh.

From there I jetted (well, it was an 18 seat plane. Scared the crap out of me. In my dreamworld I sit in first class, not cling to the seat back in front of me with two hands while concentrating hard on keeping the tiny plane in the air with the power of my mind.) back to Toronto, opened the front door to my house, threw my suitcase in and left again…sprinting downtown to give a talk to the Downtown Knit Collective. If you live in a place where the knitting guilds are small, restrained affairs then take a deep breath before you look at this picture.


This is the DKC in all its glory. When I saw this, I realized that I must be dreaming. There’s just no way that all of those knitters gather together as a force unless the planet is finally starting to turn the way I had hoped it would. (In this case, only the fact that I still have a cold and was forced to snuffle unattractively throughout the entire thing was a grounding force.)

Yesterday I did laundry, wrote on the 3rd book (we shall not speak of what remains to be done there) and knitted. I went to bed early because this morning….oh…this morning…

This morning I realized a personal dream. The best indication ever that the line that exists in my world that separates fantasy from reality has become a scattered blur, this morning I did this.


That’s me and Jane Hawtin (sitting in for Andy Barrie) doing a segment on the CBC’s radio show Metro Morning. (Photo taken by an under-caffeinated but gushing Joe through the control room window). You can listen to it here if you want to hear what I sound like at 7:20am with only two cups of coffee in me. (I have to admit that I clicked on the link, since I recollected very little of the actual interview. I’m pleased as punch that I didn’t snuffle snot, say “arse” or enter a vicious expletive spiral of unladylike language.)

From there, I walked down the hall to the CBC studio for “Ontario Morning” and did it again. Joe, slightly more caffeinated and therefore high-functioning snapped this pic of me, Martina Fitzgerald and the super-nice producer (his name escaped me).


You will note that I have, in my infinite wisdom, having failed at many previous knitterly type events (where people could see me) taken great care and some precious pre-dawn time to make sure that I am wearing a handknit sweater. For RADIO. Sigh again.

All of this, this incredible stunning whirl of fantasy around me was dragging me down the path to my dreamworld and I was becoming more convinced by the moment that I was asleep… creating a world where knitters rule supreme and everyone not only cares about that but agrees that it’s a good idea…an invented reality where knitting finally gets its dues and stands firm and proud in bookshops, auditoriums, radio stations…all places where humans gather and bow to yarn and it’s wonders and I knew suddenly that I had slipped the shackles of this mortal coil and had completely lost touch with the realities of the world and lived only in the world of my imagination… when this happened.


I had to yank back 6 rows of the snowflake shawl.

Clearly, I am awake.

100 thoughts on “In my dreamworld

  1. Glad to see you made it home whole. I was waiting to read that Teresa had indeed “fired at will”, but I guess that hasn’t happened yet…

  2. Great time the other night even if you did forget to give me credit for the fab picture of you and Laurie. I’m glad you liked David, we knitbloggers have been referring to him as Mr. Crankypants. Although he did give us cake. There’s something.

  3. we heard you this morning… it was hard listening to you as Huxley was tring to eat the little transister radio… I told Richrd that you did really well… not once saying arse.. Congrats…..keep your star shining!!

  4. Why, oh, why is just the back end of the cake sheep shorn? If it were a donkey, there’s be a pun in there somewhere about being “bare-assed” but it’s not, it’s a sheep, so why, oh, why is just the back end of the cake sheep shorn?

  5. So glad you’ve invited us into your dream. Sorry for the ripping, but I for one am glad that the world is a more knitterly place with you in it.

  6. Ah yes, the rude awakening of lace gone arse-up. I know it well. Three cheers for Harlot World Media Domination, though!

  7. Well, at least if she had said “Stephanie is wearing a lovely Fair Isle sweater… tell us, Stephanie, is that hand-knit?” then you wouldn’t have to lie on the air to an entire nation. πŸ™‚
    It was a pleasure to see you, truly. I think we scare David every time we descend on his store, but in some sort of masochistic way, he loves it.

  8. Oh how wonderful for you! Radio! The CBC!! Back in business!WOW! I will listen to it first chance I get (who knows when that will be with these crazy young en’s running around!) I found your new book in the wild at Borders, didn’t have the money to buy it,so I read one chapter!! VERY NICE! Tried to get my mother to get a signed copy at Rhineback but there are alas more important things. (hug) Went back the next week to borders with money and it was gone!!(and I could have gotten a teachers discount too) BWAHH ah well I will get one.
    I already love it after all!

  9. You’re back! I missed hearing what you were up to and how things were going. Looks like your fan-base is growing! and that’s not a dream! loved bookbookbook2 – wonderful stories. Thank you!

  10. Sorry we didn’t get to go for the beer – but wasn’t David funny? ‘The fire marshal could SHUT US DOWN.’
    Great to see you again!

  11. Rats – can’t listen to the Metro Morning interview right now ‘coz I don’t have the right player on my work computer and downloading it would be considered a no no.
    I was very pleased to have been amongst the throng at the DKC meeting, enjoyed getting to introduce myself at the end, albeit in a strange babbling way, and very happy that you did indeed say ‘arse’ at that event so I could finally hear it in your voice, not the one I’d assigned to you in my head. You were fantastic, and any unattractive snuffling went completely unnoticed I assure you. Especially after you gave us the mental image of Rick, the shirtless Australian sheep shearer to play with… ahhh…

  12. I am so sad I couldn’t go to Acton and particularly to the festivities afterwards – but there is just no way my pregnancy-fatigue would have made the drive home (further than you’d think for such a small-ass state). πŸ™
    Glad you had a good time!!

  13. There always has to be someone with that kind of mind control on any given plane. Statistically it works out so that even the eleven seaters get at least one. Now, because you know that this is your super power, you need never fear flying again.

  14. I just listened to your CBC interview (well done!), and I think everyone will agree that you sounded like you were wearing a hand knit sweater.

  15. Hey, if you -hadn’t- made sure you were wearing a handknit sweater to your radio appearance, you wouldn’t have gotten such a cute picture of yourself in it! It’s a great sweater and looks lovely on you.

  16. Well, in MY dream world, folks like you get the recognition they (you) deserve. (Riches would go very nicely with the fame… …d’ya think Hollywood will option your books? They’d better!)
    I’ll happily go frog the sock in progress to balance out the universe, Stephanie.

  17. I want to move to a place where knitters rule the world! Although I think I am getting closer – last night while knitting on the subway I got into a 15-minute chat with a woman about the pros and cons of knitting Continental. People out there do speak our language, we just have to find them.

  18. The open fly – good to know that with all your famousness, you’re still our Stephanie. :-b

  19. Jealous. This girl, right here.
    But all of these nice things and cool opportunities really honestly could not have happened to a better person.
    I’ll make sure that if I ever write a book, I come to see you in Toronto πŸ™‚

  20. Wow. That is a lot of knitters (is there a collective term for a lot of knitters?)
    I would love to come see you at an event, but unfortunately I am on the wrong side of the Atlantic – and chance of the book tour going transatlantic?

  21. Stephanie…for all these months I’ve sat here in front of my computer screen reading post after post of all the wonderful places you’ve visited.
    You’ve come to Ohio 1 time. 1 time!
    Please! Come to Ohio again!
    I’d prefer you come to Dayton, Ohio when you come, and I know many other knitters who feel the same but I promise – if you come to Ohio again – no matter where in Ohio – I – we – will come to see you!
    Cross my wool-loving heart!

  22. we should all sound so good that early in the morning with such little caffeine! and you know the shawl is just trying to keep it real for you, especially after the knit guild and radio interviews =)

  23. Dream world indeed. You live a pretty spectacular life – ah the life of a celebrity πŸ˜‰ I’m glad your travels and radio interviews went well.

  24. Frogging that much lace would certainly wake me up quickly!
    As for the rest, well, knitters are taking over the world. It’s a slow thing, but then knitting takes a while. I’m patient.

  25. Congratulations on surviving the book tours! Would this be a bad time to remind you that Xmas is on the horizon? Last year was enormous fun for all us spectators, but I get the feeling you could use a break …

  26. I was sniffling the entire time I was reading this entry…damn stress cold. Loved the interview — you sound great πŸ˜€ I’m going to live in my fantasy world. It’s a bit simpler and much happier!

  27. Hi Stephanie- I was at the DKC and enjoyed your presentation very much. How lucky we are to have such talented people locally- not meaning to toot any horns- but we’re all wonderful!!!
    Lorraine The Knitting Hammy

  28. I particularly love that your CBC interview follows such serious topics as youth violence and such, and then there’s “Knitting is hot”! What a nice way to end the show! : )
    p.s. I’m sure no one noticed your fly was down. I tell myself this at least once a week when I realized I’ve done the same – honestly, how many people stare at other people’s crotches? : ) …perhaps this is a bad ting to ask…

  29. You were FANTASTIC on Metro Morning this morning. I walked in to my office and my boss ran up to tell me about this funny knitter with a sexy voice and then quizzed me if I can knit in the dark.
    I think that you are the best knitting ambassador out there. Now, get some sleep!

  30. You were FANTASTIC on Metro Morning this morning. I walked in to my office and my boss ran up to tell me about this funny knitter with a sexy voice and then quizzed me if I can knit in the dark.
    I think that you are the best knitting ambassador out there. Now, get some sleep!

  31. Stephanie, it was great listening to you. My friend Neil in Canada sent me a message to tell me he thought of me on the way to work because he was listening to CBC. He even sent me a link to you blog in case I didn’t know who you are. Isn’t that cute?

  32. You’re just as funny on the radio as you are in your blog. Girl, I think you have a future ahead of you in showbiz!
    Loved the handknit sweater you wore — just gorgeous! Is that the one with the dreaded steeks?

  33. Oh, you sound kind of cute that early in the morning! Love the last question. =)
    (refering to last picture of DKC) Wow, that’s a heck of a lot of knitters in one place! I’ve never been able to attend a Large Knitting Event, but look forward to someday when the location is right…

  34. Yes, you’re awake. All that time. I promise. But I wondered if I was awake when I visited Barnes & Noble in Waco, Texas and found an ENTIRE TABLE of knitting books on display right in the middle of the place! You can’t even find wool yarn to buy in Waco, Texas! I know, I lived there. Anyway, right there at the end of the table was a little stack of your first book… I thought… where’s Book2? Hm… must have been sold out. πŸ™‚

  35. But of course the knitters would appear and after all we did see the lovely sweater you wore. Once again your punchline hit the spot. Thanks SO much.

  36. Johnny Carson did that ONCE in his career; left his fly open, that is. I doubt he ever had to frog 6 rows of lace.

  37. When ? Please ??!! WHEN are you coming to Montreal ? your home and native land wants you to spread out to the East … !
    we would love to see you here.

  38. Metro Morning AND Ontario Today!! Wowza!!
    I wish I wasn’t at the &*$%# school library and could actually LISTEN….but I’ll do that when I get home tonight.
    Two books = cool. Two CBC shows in one day = infinitely cool.
    Congratulations on quite a successful week!

  39. Great interview! I fell off my chair (no, really) when you mentioned dollar value entertainment. This was exactly how my husband and I rationalized buying two looms, a spinning wheel and countless skeins of yarn (we also calculated the visual value of looms and a wheel – not only are they funtional, but they’re art, too).
    I wish I was that alert at 7:20 in the morning… Nicely done.

  40. To the Knitting Goddess,
    Stephanie, I think you are amazing! I’ve been reading your blog for a long time now and felt too weird to ever write anything. But, I want you to know that reading your blog in the morning cheers me up for the entire day….makes dealing with dirty diapers and the occasional hormonal surge of my almost-teen seem much easier. Your beautiful knitted projects inspire the hell out of me and, when I’m in the dumps, I can read your books and get myself to laugh out loud (or at least smile). Love hearing what you’re up to and seeing your knitting against interesting backgrounds (how do you do that?). Fell in love with your blue/white handknit sweater you wore for the radio broadcast. (Would you mind telling me what pattern it is?) So…thank you for being such an inspiration to all of us knitters and bringing so much joy in the world…through perfect and not so perfect knitting days. Many hugs!

  41. You know, I was passing through Acton last Thursday, and I live in So Cal. This missing you by a wee bit on your tour thing is getting silly. I am darned and determined to make it next time I’m at least within driving distance on the right day. Downtown Knit Collective, huh… Do they Assimilate knitters into the Collective? (Ok, bad, I know…)

  42. As if I didn’t already want to escape from work badly enough today, now I really really can’t wait to get home so I can dowload the right application to listed to your CBC interview. And frogging lace? At least you’re knitting it at all!

  43. You never have anything to fear as long as you are facing a room fall of knitters. Even if you screw up your speech, what are they going to do, throw yarn at you?
    I miss CBC radio, have to catch more online segments.

  44. I have just listened to your interview – it is so great to be able to put a voice to the words!
    The interview was really good – you sounded very awake!

  45. Great interview, Harlot. You even sounded pretty sane. Excellent knitting in the dark shtick.

  46. WOW, what a gorgeous handknit radio got to see though! Busy couple of days for you. The snowflake shawl was probably feeling left out that it didn’t get to go on the radio.

  47. You know, I’ve been searching for ways to learn to knit without looking. I now know I’ll be knitting in my dark living room tonight. Great. More reasons for my husband to think I’ve completely lost my mind. But it’ll be worth it. It’s all for the wool!

  48. I want to move to Toronto. The DKC is sooo amazing!
    Good to see you out and about again.
    A thought about the collective noun for a group of knitters: a skein of knitters??? a hank of knitters???
    anybody have other ideas?

  49. Must be a dream world for me too. I come downstairs to get breakfast, turn on the radio and CBC is back and I hear you talking about knitting on the radio.
    Then reality. My kids complain that I always listen to news. I shush them and tell them this is my friend Stephanie on the radio talking about her book and knitting.
    Oh, they say. You know that lady?
    The lady on the radio right now?
    She’s famous right? She’s on the radio!
    Then they listen attentively.
    Maybe that’s part of dreamland too. Kids who like CBC and conversations about knitting!
    You sounded great and Jane Hawtin asked the right questions.

  50. Well, I envy Dave Willowbooks; cranky or not, I wish I were in his — well, maybe not pants, but shoes. The independent bookstore I work at is closing, after 61 years, leaving downtown without a bookstore and my town without an independent (not to mention me without a job.) Please guys (that’s midwestern for “y’all”) — before you buy the next thing from a chain or a bigbox or online because it’s a little cheaper, count how many of Stephanie’s appearances have been hosted by them. The independents get to have the most fun, but they can’t survive on what’s left after the big guys skim off the already-successful titles. It’s too late for the Athena, but your choices could help save some of the others, a preserve a little diversity in an incresingly homoginized world.

  51. Wow what a whirlwind, but oh what fun! I am so totally impressed about the last trips – no shoes lost! Handmade clothes worn, sans towel. And hair coiffed sans soap. Very impressive…. hope you are taking time to enjoy the moment – the special ones always seem so short. Enjoy being back on the home turf with the pining Mr. Washie!

  52. I would like to propose that a group of knitters should be a stash… stash of knitters. Sorry if anyone suggested it first! I thought it was brilliant and hurried before I forgot it!

  53. A frog of knitters? A steek of knitters? I do like a stash of knitters though. A yarnover of knitters?….

  54. First, to Rams — I am so sorry to hear that K-zoo is losing its independent bookstore, and you are losing your job. That sucks big time. Well, you seem to be the type of girl to make lemonade out of lemons, so may the force be with you.
    Second, Stephanie – you didn’t really knit that gorgeous sweater, did you? It is too beautiful. Let me see the inside.
    And finally, while I like flock of knitters (or maybe that should be herd?), I love that non-knitters are now known as muggles (from HP of course)… brings a wee smile to my face everytime.

  55. The interview was quite good and you sounded like you had had two cups of java in ya. Full steam ahead and all that.
    So did you really knit in the dark??

  56. It was great to see you Tuesday night … and the cake was delicious, even if Dave did seem a wee bit stressed/freaked out by all the knitting.
    I’ve been pondering what to call a gathering of knitters today (coincidentally). My first thought was “bevy” … Mason-Dixon Ann called them a “gaggle” … but after more thought and a bit of research (LOVE Google), I think we should employ the term used to describe a flock of geese in flight …
    a skein.

  57. Wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss. It is the biggest loss because it is yours. I lost my brother (40) unexpectedly 10 years ago and my mother just died a month ago. I can only say….that it hurts deeply and some days are better than others. You are surrounded by people who love you and that is a wondrous thing.
    Love your writing…………

  58. I can’t think of another person that I’d think to comfort about flying low in front of a large audience by pointing out that at least pants were worn. That hotel story is still killing me. Thanks for bravely admitting to the funny stuff the rest of us try to hide.

  59. Awwww. That photo with Laurie just makes me all sniffly and…
    I’m having a moment.
    I’m going to go sniff Kim’s dandelion roving. I’m sure it will make me feel much better.

  60. Having chuckled through the events of your day, I was just starting to read the comments when DH came in “for the lottery numbers”. And most insistent he was too.
    I was thinking, I MUST read all these comments before I go to bed … and he wants me to get the lottery numbers as well? (It’s de rigeur: read YH daily AND all the comments.)
    But doesn’t he know I have to get up early tomorrow to go for my flu shot?
    So I am still up, and am just finished reading everything. The only reason he got the d*mned numbers was because I thought of a perfect way to spend his/OUR winnings.
    I am going to build an extension on the house.
    No, not a room for yarn only – HE would say we already have one of those – but a separate room for Stephanie’s books!
    Three books in a year – OK, two and a half – times ???. Sounds like you’re on a role Stephanie.
    It’s going to be hard to measure up when you _finally_ come to Nova Scotia. (Montreal is just the start of going east.) But we’re going to give it the old Maritime try.

  61. Hooray, you (and the plane) made it on time! And then you were on time again for two interviews – if I had to be fully awake at 7:20 A.M. I’d probably have to *stay* up till then, rather than try to get up. Is that sweater the result of the dreaded steeks? It’s gorgeous!
    I think the em-bare-assed sheep is shorn from behind because that also makes it look as though it were wearing a sweater.

  62. Your interview made Jane Hawtin sound like a twit. And you, a Nobel laureate. I love you and everything you stand for.

  63. Why do people keep emailing me to tell me I’ve been outed? I suppose the fact that I ordered a Sam Adams, and not a microbrew is what did it. Let me rush to say that there WERE no microbrews on the list. And also let me rush to assure you that only one person noticed the zipper. I’m sure of this. Worry not.

  64. Life has a funny habit of changing just when you think you have it down pretty much pat.
    I just grumped at CBC, nicely, cos they use real audio format and my computer won’t play the interview. Sigh. I asked if they could podcast in mp3s instead. I still don’t get to hear you talk!

  65. After faithfully reading your blog and your books, something has occured to me now after hearing your voice on the radio. You have a Canadian accent! I’ll have to apply that now when I read you.
    Loved the interview!

  66. My husband, upon seeing that picture of me just now said, “oh, that’s your summer ass. Your winter ass is bigger.”
    No he’s not dead.

  67. Stephanie, honey, I have to say that I’m glad to see you had to frog the shawl. If you hadn’t, then I might be leed to believe your life is perfect and then well, I’d have to hate you. And you’re just too awesome a chick to hate!

  68. I loved being part of the nest of bloggers. Upon seeing the pictures of Willow Books, my husband is relieved to see that my imaginary friends are, indeed, real people.

  69. I loved being part of the nest of bloggers. Upon seeing the pictures of Willow Books, my husband is relieved to see that my imaginary friends are, indeed, real people.

  70. Stephanie, this entry was as much fun as your blog always is but I was especially thrilled because I got to hear your voice which makes you a little more “real” to this knitter Down Under. Love that soft Canadian accent, I guess it’s an eastern thing?
    Rose in Australia

  71. I checked out two bookshops yesterday for knitting books in general and although I hear all about this knitting revival I don’t see it reflected in books or yarn shops. That means you’ll not be over here (UK) with the bookbookbook (just typed boobbook but let’s not go there) just yet – so that meant it was really lovely to hear you. You sound far too young to be out on your own.
    I shall think about the shortage of cross dressing pirates every time I start the second in a pair of socks

  72. It was National Knitting Week in the UK last week, and along with Charlotte from Miss Spiritual Tramp’s Knitting Club we were interviewed on BBC Radio in England about knitting!
    And, inspired by your intrepid travelling sock, I have bought sock yarn and begin tomorrow. Or as soon as I have untangled the mess I made while trying to wind the skein into a ball.
    Hmph. Happy Knitting! Alice x

  73. I love that you are still knocked out by your travels and appearances, and that you take pictures of the audience every time. And I really love that you wore a handknit sweater for Radio – of course! What else? Just perfect.

  74. Not just a sweater. The St. Moritz, of literary fame. It’s freaking beautiful. You are a Knitter.

  75. cbc! how wonderful and wholesome! i’m glad it wasn’t andy barrie that interviewed you – i’ve never been a fan. the question is, how do you get on cbc? i always have fantasies of being interviewed by shelagh rogers on sounds like canada once i finish my cookbook….
    ps. thanks for the reading on wednesday. the lost dpn story had me on the edge of my seat. really.

  76. All of that looks really scary but the worst bit was the yanking back of the lace. That made my heart almost stop. Good luck getting it all back on the needles.

  77. I think that its so awesome that knitters come out in full force to see you. I’m also amazed at how we’ve mobilized for charitable reasons. Now, we need to find a way to let the world know that we’re a force to be reckoned with πŸ™‚ Mwahahahahah. Continued best wishes as you launch your next several adventures in writing.

  78. While I had to laugh at the description of your plane ride, my husband said you only had to believe in the power of yarn. πŸ˜€

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