She’s gone. (As and aside? See all that luggage? Yarn.)

The top ten things about having Juno visit.

1. She gleefully played along with my families attempts to immerse her in Canadian culture. She watched this movie:


as well as “The Trailer Park Boys” (She already knew about SCTV. Don’t worry. I didn’t neglect the comedy of our people.)

2. She drank Canadian beer. (I will not tell you what kind of Canadian beer since it’s only going to start an “I can’t believe you gave her that swill” argument no matter what I tell you it was. Suffice it to say that it was Canadian, it was a micro-brew and it contained a Canadian amount of alcohol.)

3. She drank the cocktail of our people.


I insisted that it didn’t taste like clams and pretty much forced it on her. In the end (though it did take her a long time to drink it) she did say it was “pretty good”. (An aside here? While I did not make the Caesar in this picture, an interesting Harlot fact is that I make one of the best Caesars you are ever going to drink. Ever. Everyone has a gift, and while I was hoping for tact, intelligence or great beauty, it would appear that my gift is making an absolutely terrific Caesar.)

….for people concerned with accuracy and tradition of Caesar consumption, be assured that she did have it at brunch, and that brunch was in the afternoon.

4. If you happen to leave a tiara on the dining room table (what?) then Juno will put it on. I don’t know why I love this…goodness knows I didn’t leave a tiara there…but I really do.


This is really just an example of the way that the woman slid flawlessly into our lives for 5 days. She held her own in endless conversations with the girls about boys, hair, jeans and why all of this will be ok when they are thirty…she giggled her way through Joe’s parade of ideas for filling the queen sized air mattress on our living room floor. (Really, his crowning glory was when he came home after a few pints and “Hockey Night in Canada” and explained to us that if we stood the mattress upright and put the pump at the top, less air would escape while we were capping it, since “gravity would be on our side”. God, I love that man. )

5. I took her to St. Lawrence Market, St. James Cathedral, Financial district (but we didn’t do the underground city) , Yonge Street, showed her the CN tower, went to Old City Hall, New City Hall, the Eaton Centre, the Hudson Bay company and…well. A whole bunch of other places and she didn’t complain at all. Not only did she not complain, she pretended to find it interesting.

6. Juno has, and I cannot stress this enough…an unlimited ability to discuss knitting. I don’t know what I enjoyed more. Talking about knitting for hours or the way that Joe rolled his eyes every time that he discovered that we were still on the topic of knitting. (For the record a discussion about gauge, sizing and the ways of the blocking mysteries is a completely different conversation than that of ease, sizing and the ways of the blocking mysteries.)

7. She is a fast learner and very clever. She mastered the hand cards in moments. (The first moment was hysterical though, Juno loaded the card…as seen in the picture below:


picked up the cards, and in one swift, sure movement, completely transfered all of the wool from one card to the other, absolutely intact. It was impressive, though sort of defeated the purpose of carding.)

8. Her complete weakness in the face of the drum carder.


(Juno is seen here learning that she was mistaken about shetland.)

9. Juno is, despite always looking good and appearing “finished”, very, very quick in the bathroom. Joe’s concerns that adding a 5th woman to the bathroom linup (we only have one) was going to completely finish his chances, proved to be unfounded. The woman is in and out of there in a heartbeat.

10. The yarn. The wool. The patterns, the discussions. The yarn shops, the knitters, the knitting, the carding, the spinning. The stash-diving.

Juno brought me some of Gladys, her wonder fleece,


(Official fleece of the 2005 TUFT year.)

I love this about knitters and spinners. Juno brought me fleece and fibre (the hostess gift of choice in these parts) and I gave her fleece and fibre from the stash. It isn’t an exchange or an obligation, it isn’t even a gift. Knitters and Spinners embrace the “each teach one” philosophy, and I’ve never met a spinner who didn’t shell out what they had so that other spinners could learn more….

it’s remarkable.


I could say something mushy here, something about how incredible blogging has been in my life and how I’m really the sort of person who hasn’t got a lot of friends, just a few good ones that I’ve had forever..and that I’m shy and I never thought, never in a million years…that I would get a whole bunch of new friends. I could tell you that I thought that intimacy with a buddy was the byproduct of years and years of experience with someone, and that I was absolutely gobsmacked to learn that there is a group of people out there with whom I need little time to feel as though they belong completely in my life. I don’t know what it means that all of these new friends are knitters. Something good though. I could tell all of you that the friendship and camaraderie that this blog has brought into my life in only 22 months has meant a great deal to me…but I won’t…’cause that would be mushy. I’ll just say instead that if you get a chance to have a knitter sleep on your living room floor for 5 days you should do it.

I’m off now, to try and recover my home from the ravages of 5 days of spinning, knitting, drinking wine and ordering take out while pretending that laundry does itself.


Or maybe I’ll knit….The damage to the TUFT facilities are significant, but Hank is staying here for a few days, so I’m thinking that other than a rendezvous with Mr. Washie to put everybody back in clean undies, cleaning up before the five year old goes home would be stupid.

74 thoughts on “Finito

  1. You can come sleep on my floor, hell I’ll sleep on my floor, you can have a bed, any day of the year!

  2. Steph – we’ve spent one evening together – having dinner, drinking Stella Artois and reading from your book, and I consider you a friend. All because of this blog. I consider that very cool.
    I wish we could have taken Juno curling…

  3. I had a therapist say to me “you really need friends nearby” and I said “but I have knitters!!!” And she didn’t understand. Go figure.
    So the entry was lovely, and Juno was great and yada yada yada but really, aren’t you going to tell us the pattern and yarn for that GORGEOUS fair isle? What a luscious lavendar!

  4. Last night I dreamt that I had such a visit with you.
    Strange… maybe, a little bit.
    Creepy… maybe a lot, more for you than me.
    But we had fun. And I’m totally cutting out the onions on my pizza.
    I’m so glad you had fun with Juno. Good job educating her in Canadian ways.
    I’ve met some fellow knit bloggers and have to agree – they are amazing. (I’m sure they can feel the love from here!)

  5. Sniff~~tissue required
    Juno couldn’t have had a nicer tour guide for the truly Canadian experience. Harlot, you have an extraordinary gift for sharing ~ in all sorts of different ways.
    The laughter, the tips, the honesty, the generosity ~ it makes my heart sing. Thank you for sharing with all of us.

  6. Ooo! Men with Brooms! It’s on my computer table, waiting for the moment when I can find a Canadian beer at the store so I can spend a good couple of hours with Paul Gross.
    And what a lovely entry. Good times, good times and I’m really glad you share them with us.

  7. Ah. It all sounds heavenly. Do you suppose that non-knitters sit around with each other and wonder why their lives are so empty?

  8. Cue scary/weird music…To show that the universe seems vast but is really quite silly.
    Your previous post included “the donut of our people” (a Tim Horton’s Maple Glazed.) Last night I was noodling around and found on the Hoops and Yoyo site (hallmark’s stuffed toys – cute!) a wallpaper that shows how important maple glazed donuts are to Canada.
    more details on my website.

  9. Two things:
    1. I must absolutely, positively watch this “Men With Brooms.”
    2. Yeah, your gift is a perfectly divine Caesar. That ONE THING is your gift. Not, like, the knitting. Or the writing. Or … OK, I admit, I haven’t had a Caesar.

  10. What a gift your visit with Juno was! You are awesome and I love your blog! You have become a part of my daily life and I’ve only met you briefly while you signed my book! (oh, and gave me some shawl advice, thank you!). The Dale sweater is looking wonderful, btw. yes, knitters are special!

  11. I even have a guest room, which happens to also be the room where the Stash is housed. Just in case Connecticut is looking good to you…
    Glad you had so much fun with Juno! I met her for a few minutes at Rhinebeck, and got a solid impression that she is indeed just as wonderful as you say.

  12. All that stuff that would’ve been too mushy about blogging having brought people into your life who you only need moments with to feel like you’ve known them forever, and there’s this whole group of people out there who make you feel like you’ve found the crowd you’re supposed to be part of? Ditto. Even though I don’t blog, having all of you to do out there to know and love is an amazing experience for me.
    Thank you for letting me be part of your T.U.F.T weekend. Please bring Juno back soon. Maybe just leave the mattress out so more knitters will come and play.

  13. Knitting & writing– they really are the world’s best ways to make friends, aren’t they? My floor is always open, should you need it, but I warn you that you’ll have to share it with Chiquita the dog (who’s bananas) and Dennis Quaid, the cat (so named because when my husband’s out of town, I can sleep with Dennis Quaid) and since Chiquita both farts and snores, I’ll have to assume you’d prefer to keep blogging… but please keep blogging. It’s like a letter from a friend, and, like you, I’m shy–it takes me a long time to make friends:-)

  14. So that’s it! I’ve been trying to figure out the origin of my favorite drink, the Caesar. Canadian, huh? Tell me, do you make yours with the traditional “appetizer in a glass” format? Celery stalk, pickle and olives?

  15. I have a floor too…and mine moves every few years!!! Well, really, the US Navy moves us around but it’s a change of scenery!! I’ll try a Caesar and I can bring you to BB King’s in Memphis to try a red slushie with grain alcohol-yumm! I missed you on the book tour here this summer,the navy hadn’t moved us here yet but they still speak of you fondly at Yarniverse.

  16. I don’t know a Caesar. Except a salad, of which I am inordinately fond. I’m not so sure I would quite dare to try the drink….
    Glad you had a wonderful time. And it’s not goodbye, it’s just see-ya-later, right? I will have to come back and read this post when I don’t have a blinding, numbing headache, so I could appreciate the emotion in it. See ya later. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  17. We have the same dining room chairs. I like that. I’m glad you had such a lovely visit with another wonderful knit blogger. This is a good world to live in, even with all of its flaws. Have a wonderful December.

  18. Not only is it wonderful that we got to share Juno’s visit, but also I am now totally in the know and can keep up with my Canadian relatives. They have obviously been keeping to themselves crucial information about the drink/dessert/yarn/etc. of our people. However I can wow them next time I visit.
    Most important, I finally understand what my nephew was asking me to knit when he asked for a “tuuuk” (phonetic spelling here). If only I had a clue why he wants black and fuschia…
    That Laurie

  19. Dude? You are so screwed. Go look… No. Take a deep and calming breath. Then go look out the front window.
    That line of women with sleeping bags and knitting? Around the corner the last time I looked…

  20. I love your blog! The last couple of post with Juno’s visit and the info on Canadian stuff has been great! (Not that all of your posts aren’t great, they really are, but the last couple have had me laughing out loud!) I love reading the questions and comments from the non-Canadians! Glad to hear you had a wonderful visit from such a lovely person!

  21. Is it a sin to wipe your eyes on the sleeve of your sweater? Between the laughing and sniffling I don’t know how much more I can take. I’m glad you girls had a great time, but I’m jealous that I didn’t get to come. Knit. Don’t clean.

  22. Juno rocks, and so do you. Perfect practitioners of the “each one teach one” philosophy, and not just with the fibre.
    Tiaras are made for wearing, aren’t they?

  23. Loved the intro to all things Canadian but could you please tell this Connecticut Yankee what “eh” means? Is it a clearing of the throat, does it have some meaning?

  24. Perhaps we could define the Canadian (Yooper/Minnesota/Wisconsin) “eh?” as a rhetorical interrogative?

  25. It’s too bad it wasn’t -30C – you could have shown her that really neat trick where you throw a glass of hot water up in the air and it freezes solid before it hits the ground. I doubt there’s very many people who have done that!

  26. Our dear Harlot has once again perfectly described the influence, the heartfelt warmth and the joy that comes from finding friends because of knitting. It is so amazing that the friends we make online, while talking about knitting and the other topics that come up while knitting, can be very good friends. And when we meet these online friends, it can be as if we’ve known one another for many years.
    I now have more friends, some of them really close friends, than I had in my entire life before I started knitting 2 years ago. Before knitting (BK??), I was sometimes lucky to have one friend, rarely more than one.

  27. Is that a movie about curling???!!! Men with Brooms????? I spent several years curling and I absolutely loved it!!! Of course, non-curlers can’t possibly imagine that throwing rocks down a sheet of pebbled ice could be fun!! I even have a curling injury that hampers my knitting–it is the only sports related permanent problem that I have. I dropped the 40 pound rock on my little finger and it hasn’t been the same since!! My curling career ended when I met my husband and he thought it was the stupidest sport he had ever seen. But, I still have my broom and my sliding shoe!!

  28. Rams – please tell me that you are in that line up with your sleeping bag and knitting. Really. Please. It’s even stopped raining.
    I’ve been feeling vaguely unsettled since I first read this, and I think I’ve finally figured out why. I want a tiara too.

  29. Knitters are just the best people on the planet, bar none. That may sound like a naive statement, but in my experience, knitters are the warmest, funniest, most creative, interesting, warm-hearted folk, and I’m glad to be blessed with the company of so many. I know you have very close friends in new york, but if you EVER need a place to stay (or just get sick of hotels), i have a comfy guest room with a private bath that’s all yours. We also happen to have loads of SCTV DVDs and CDs by lots of fine Canadian musicians (just in case you need a dose of home). We’ll even throw in a bottle of Screech or non-homogenized milk if it’ll raise your comfort level. It looks like you and Juno had a marvelous visit. I’ve only had the pleasure of meeting her a couple of times, but she is most definitely a keeper.

  30. Did you introduce Juno to the other Canadian sweet – Nanimo Bars? Glad you had a great visit. I haven’t heard of Men with Brooms. But maybe because I have been out of the country for so long. I think I will have to rent it though.

  31. When my husband was introducing me to Canadian ways he started with the beer (and of course I fell in love with a microbrew from Ontario that doesn’t even leave the provence) and moved onto the candy (I was so happy when I found Aero bars here at the European market down the street). I love hockey, but have never seen curling. So, now I’ve added Men with Brooms to our Netflix list. ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Um, yes. Cleaning before the 5yo goes home would definitely be stupid. Especially when there is knitting waiting.
    I have to ask, did you and Juno do much actual knitting, or did you just talk about knitting? I ask because I frequently knit about a row and a half at my knitting nights–I’m too busy gabbing and showing things off!

  33. The thing about Juno is that she really is all that and a bag of Cape Cod Potato Chips. She and you deserve each other, and it has been fun getting the dispatches.
    I hope to spend time in the radienace of both or either of your presences soon again.

  34. The thing about Juno is that she really is all that and a bag of Cape Cod Potato Chips. She and you deserve each other, and it has been fun getting the dispatches.
    I hope to spend time in the radiance of both or either of your presences soon again.

  35. I need some more friends that knit. Especially ones who are willing to sleep on my floor. I tend to get obsessed with things (playing bass and knitting) and my friends think I’m insane but sort of smile and nod whilst plotting to strangle me with either Rowan All Seasons Cotton or a low e string (depends whether I’m talking about my boyfriend’s sweater or Led Zeppelin). You are a very lucky person.

  36. I’m a new knitter (but so addicted already!!) and I love reading your blog!! Thank you for educating us on the ways of Canadians (I’m ashamed to admit that I do not know alot about Canadian ways). I look forward to reading your blog every day (I sit in front of my computer and laugh!…and get new ideas). Thank you!!

  37. You know the scarf the airhead girl in the movie wears? The PINK PINK PINK one? I have the same scarf. It was February 2000, I was in a Le Chateau in Ottawa, I caught sight of The Scarf, and immediately shouted, “That’s the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen! I must have it!” So I bought it. When the movie came out in theatres, I was shocked, yet pleased, to see Scarf’s twin on the big screen.

  38. Aw. That’s so sweet. I have to agree, knitting buddies (in-person or in different countries) are the best, with the possible exception of belly dance buddies. I’ve got a dance buddy in BC who lends me instructional videos (that cost her twice as much as they do me) for months at a time. Then again, I’ve had knitters send me home from S&B with an armful of wool, their favorite patterns, and more advice than I could ever remember.
    I think that some of it comes from the thrill of someone else being passionate about what you love, and part comes from the fact that both are widely misunderstood (knitting as stodgy, bellydance as risque), while both are vibrant creative outlets.

  39. One of the best thing about knitters that are online is that we’re able to find each other. I know very few knitters around me (though I’m spreading it through our office culture), so it’s a joy to be able to ‘hang out’ with knitters online.

  40. Hey, you’re welcome to sleep on my living room floor any time.
    Actually, before I read your last part, I was going to ask if you’re taking applications for more Americans who want to be indoctrinated into Canadian ways…
    (My ex just went to Toronto. With someone else, obviously. I was mad.)

  41. I’m so glad that two of my favourite reads had such a fantastic time together, however I must admit I’m tempted to go impale myself on my dpns out of jealousy.
    (No need to fret, by the time I’ve narrowed the choice down to four different sets of dpns I’ll have remembered the five people I’ve promised to spin for. And of course I’ll be drunk so I’ll pretty much forget about it.)

  42. Delighted you had the chance to show someone your part of Canada and show her what a fun bunch we are. And our beer rocks, but she went away knowing that I am sure ๐Ÿ˜‰

  43. yep. we’re a great bunch, those of us I know already, probably true for the rest of us. Had I known, I might not have bothered to get married.

  44. I second what Rams said! (smart woman!) What a wonderfully sweet blog entry. You really have the gift to make all of your blogging friends laugh, cry, smile and spit up whatever they happen to be drinking in a guffaw (sp?)with one really good line!

  45. hey, I met Juno at your NYC book signing… such a warm person. Glad you two got to relax in each other’s company. But what I really wonder is if you’re using circ needles on the Dale sweater? It looks like it, and I thought you preferred straight. Are you converting? Or, maybe its a pattern requirement. What a pretty pattern, btw. enjoy.

  46. I feel so multicultural now! I’m American, went to college in Minnesota and learned the ways of broomball (if not curling) and Clamato. All of us from out of state were baffled by its existence in the grocery store. The locals just laughed at us. Minnesota is a good place!
    Hmmm, vegetarian Clamato…I had to bow out of a Clamato chugging competition in college, in fact, due to the vegetarianism. (Geez, poor me!) I do know you can at least get veggie Worcestershire sauce. I think the time is ripe for Clamato to cross that line.

  47. You really must use this as a springboard to start a knitter’s exchange program. We can throw ourselves willy-nilly all over the country, back packing from knitter’s house, to knitter’s house (and sending all the acquired stash home by post)!
    In fiber we are all bound together. Wool /is/ thicker than water.

  48. Annie said: “I had a therapist say to me “you really need friends nearby” and I said “but I have knitters!!!” And she didn’t understand. Go figure.”
    Annie, you need a different therapist!!
    “Men With Brooms” has Paul Gross in it?? I so love him. I was a dedicated “Due South” fan. Gotta see if I can find that on Netflix. If I will repeatedly watch an Australian movie about ballroom dancing (Baz Luhrman’s “Strictly Ballroom), I will definitely watch a Canadian movie about curling. Besides, the winter olympics are coming up in a couple months. Need to get ready for watching sports I don’t understand.

  49. As a Canadian, when I say “eh”, what I really mean is “Do you agree?” and it’s an invitation to respond and start a conversation. It works! Now tell me what the American “huh” means!!

  50. I like the idea of a knitters exchange!
    I’ve always got spare beds here in NZ. Did I mention we have 40 million sheep?

  51. i love this little community you’ve created steph! your description of yourself (shy, not really very many friends etc) could be me. or many of us, i’m sure. thanks for venturing into mushy territory – it really is what makes life worth living.
    sarah, 40 million sheep, eh? count me in! ๐Ÿ™‚
    (no sheep but lots of floor space)

  52. I too have lots of floor space, and would be delighted to share my small but growing stash with another knitter! Heck, I’d even throw in some of my precious beads to get you down here, Steph. I would love to have a personal harlot knitting lesson….sigh….in return I could teach you how to make lampworked beads for your own killer shawl pins. And I make GOOD coffee. Tempted yet? ๐Ÿ™‚ Just say the word! Thanks for sharing your fun with all of us.

  53. Steph, you bring smiles into so many people’s lives by sharing yours with us, thanks for the great posts. This Canadian-ism discussion has been one of my faves.
    Re: The use of “eh” – back in my university days in linguistics class we discussed it’s purpose, and my prof defined it as not just a way of tagging a question, but a way of ensuring the other person/people are listening and/or following what you are saying, as well as a way of opening up the floor for a response. Hence it can be used to end sentences that aren’t inquiries and still seem to warrant some kind of responses. Some other languages and dialects of English also possess a similar piece of grammar in their lexicon. Either way, it explains why “Nice fair isle, eh” can be either a statement, or question, but regardless seems to require some sort of response. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Wow, a purpose for that little tidbit of information! My prof would be so proud. Hee.
    Veggie caesars- I recommend V8 juice- still yummy.

  54. I like how I just professed myself to be an English nerd, then typed “it’s” instead of “its.” Duh.

  55. As a parent of more than one 5 year old I can totally agree that you should wait until he leaves to clean up! And as far as the clean undies goes, I think they sell large packages of them at the store! Knitting is waaaay more fun than laundry!

  56. Ya know, we have floors in Texas too. It’s even cooler when you sleep on the floor. I also have huge cushy sofa’s that are just right for knitting, crocheting, spinning….anytime you want to visit the South and see small town life just let me know. I would love to be able to stalk you from a couple of feet away. Hee! ๐Ÿ™‚

  57. Oh! “Men with Brooms”! It’s even got the Tragically Hip in it! How much more Canadian can you get?

  58. Mushy? No problem. I’ve only been reading your blog for a couple of months, and it’s done wonders for me, too. There is definitely something undefinable about the connection that knitting and yarn-love bring about: here in the South it goes something like this: “You knit?! Ohmigawd! I do too!” This, of course, is followed by a lengthy, high-pitched, overly exclamatory conversation. Knitting (and blogging) have opened up a whole new world of cool people I never knew were out there.

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