When I am old

When I found out I was going to Webs, I said “cool”. I love yarn stores.

I had no idea. People wrote to me and said subtle things like “Holy crap you will never believe how much yarn there is at Webs.” others said. “Webs is Mecca. There is nowhere like Webs.” Still more said “There is so much yarn at Webs that you may want to take a beta-blocker before you go in there.”

Bah. I thought. I get around. I may be a crappy traveller, fail to style my hair and have no idea how to manage a scientific calculator, but sweetpeas, I excel at yarnshops. I have been in more yarn shops that most knitters. I’ve developed resistance to big yarnshops by being in hundreds of smaller shops. My life up until now was like a series of vaccinations to prepare me for Webs. I’m sure it will be big. I bet it will be good, but it will not floor me. I am a Yarn Harlot. That means something.

I got to the store and I felt pretty good. “Nice Store” I think. (It is a very nice store. The front part is pretty and organized and…well. It’s very nice. Top notch and all that, but it doesn’t stagger me. (I knew it.)

Then Steve asks me if I would like to go into the back. The back? Oh yeah. I heard about that. Some warehouse deal that’s supposed to blow my mind. Right. Let’s do that Steve. And Steve takes me back there, all innocent like, and Linda and Kathy are following us and I’m playing it cool. I see this. (There are, like…5 or 6 aisles like this.)


( I swear that when I saw that I reached out to steady myself for a second and saw – I swear it – grocery store shopping carts to hold your yarn. These people are onto something).

I thought to myself that there has to be some down side. Something. This is an impossibility. There’s a catch. Like, sure there’s all that yarn in one place and it’s all a pretty good deal and some of it’s outrageously cheap…but I bet that a bunch of it is crap. Like at discount stores where you can get a pair of jeans for $3 but they practically dissolve in water? Like that. So I start sort of smugly going up and down the aisles with Steve (He’s a heck of a salesman. We saw some yarn that I liked and I said “Forget that. I can get that at home.” and he said “At this price?” The mind boggles. I think I took to shushing him after a bit just to protect the precious futures of my children.) and…brace yourselves. It’s good yarn. It’s Regia for SIX dollars. It’s Rowan….never mind. Go look at the website. I can’t speak of it.

So then I got to thinking about how a yarn shop this good must be run (because the universe seeks balance) by people who are scrounging greedy pigs, and then after I’ve seen all the yarn I drive over to the hotel where I’m giving the talk (how terrifying) and I get there and they have used the event to collect more than 150 boxes of cereal for the local foodbank. (Hint. Scrounging greedy pigs don’t hardly ever collect food for the foodbank.)

While I’m still boggling that the shop is huge, has good yarn and is bettering the world…it’s time to stand up and speak to the knitters, and I’m stunned as a sack of hammers and this is what I see.

(I wish I could set this up for panoramic view to scare you as much as it scared me…) It took four pictures.





I think it went pretty well. I’d know better except that I was busy bleeding out of my ears when the microphone quit it’s job half-way through and started feeding back screeching awfulness. (I knew this day would come.) A hotel lady came and fixed it, but not before minutes stretched into YEARS and I took this picture to capture the moment.


The sock. Getting screwed over by a sound system. (Ironic, isn’t it? Considering that I live with a sound guy who’s sole purpose for living is to prevent the moment I just lived? Burning irony.) I finished the talk, raced everyone back to Webs and started meeting knitters.


Here’s Zarzuela knits (we traded musical sympathies.)


Dawn, who made me these beautiful felted stars. (These have a future as a funky Christmas runner come winter. Don’t you wish you knew how to make them?) Lauren, Sarah (who rocked her first sock *so* hard), Katy (The Harelot rests near me as we speak) Gabby, Di, Mistress Stash Enhancer (You all think I don’t read your blogs)


Gail (Clearly having a little trouble finishing that Olympic knitting) Deidre, MamaCate (again, which sort of makes me wonder if I’m being stalked by my own friends.) and more and more and even these ladies…


who presented me with personalized “Got Harlot” chocolate bars. They are the Mount Holyoke knitters, Cleopatra, Janet and Kathleen, and they knit Fridays at lunch if you want to hang with them. (They have chocolate and are good at sharing. Could be worth it.)

There was Stephanie from Storey publishing with her first sock.


(The proof that eventually I will have assimilated them all…)

When it was all said and done, when Linda was ricocheting me across whole states to catch a flight and run home to my Joe and my girls I realized…there is no catch to Webs. Kathy and Steve are kind and good and have great yarn. They are sweet and socially responsible. They’ve hired Pixie to help, who’s totally clever and absolutely organized and was wearing a beautiful jacket. (I notice these things) and I got some great yarn (I’ll show you later.) they totally rock the event thing, and knitters….if there’s a downside to Webs, I don’t know what it is. I love it there.

When I am old, I shall live in the backroom at Webs and make myself a wool and mohair nest with a silk lining. It will be green and gold and soft.

As you read this I am either on a plane or in a car or have arrived in St. Louis to speak at the St Louis County Library. Thursday is Threaded Bliss, (I get to meet Ann. I am delirious with the potential this holds.)

On Saturday it’s the Bluegrass book festival, and I promised details. I’ll be at booth 98 (Does that sound ominous?) from 10-12am, and from 3-4pm and then giving a talk in the Thoroughbred 6 room (that does sound ominous) at 4. Bring your socks. Bring your knitting.

Bring it. I’m ready.

137 thoughts on “When I am old

  1. Mount Holyoke Knitters! Wow how cool. When I was a freshman there back in the dark ages (hint: Before Reagan), we all used to knit all the time. Made big awful acrylic shawl-collar cardigans.
    Surely I’m not the first comment??

  2. Hi Stephanie, Waving at you in St. Louis from over here in Kansas… look to the west- southwest. Wish I could make the 5 hour trip to see you and the sock. The Captain

  3. So, when are you coming back to Ottawa? I found out you’d been at Yarn Forward two weeks too late….

  4. Wow! Looks like it was an amazing event with a lot of happy knitters. I hope to catch you next time on a future visit.

  5. I was very disappointed to miss your Webs event. It is my Mecca. While I do support my LYS, when I really need a big fix, it’s worth the 45 minutes to Webs. Check out the Blue Skye organic cotton.

  6. Wow – I’m up so stinkin’ early, I get to be the second comment! Well, it’s working – in spite of the fact that I keep my feet bare from the moment the snow starts to melt until late into fall – I now have this burning desire for expensive sock yarn that I (and my bank balance)was happily unaware of until recently. Good luck on the remainder of the tour – and thanks for the Webs link.

  7. It was so nice to meet you on Saturday! Webs is definitely overwhelming. I’d been there twice before Saturday, and somehow had never been aware of the back room. Ohhhh, the back room. It’s a good thing I live an hour away and gas is $3 a gallon…
    Thank you so much for your kind words about my sock, as well as for the mojo you transferred. When I got home that night after the booksigning, I turned the heel. It was a little scary, but I stopped trying to visualize what it would look like and just followed the instructions for each row, and you weren’t kidding — it IS like voodoo. I felt as though I had accomplished something great and noteworthy indeed. Thank you for your encouragement…and fie on you for planting the seed of sock obsession! πŸ™‚ (I just finished Bookbookbook #3 and the chapter on socks did me in for good, I fear…)

  8. Sounds like I need to drive out and visit Webs. And perhaps hang with our friend (and stalker) Cate. Glad it was successfull and good luck on the next leg.

  9. I love your current sock yarn (the denimy blue) and even though you told me in Cambridge what it is, I was too star-struck to take in what you said. Could you tell me again (when you have a chance)?

  10. Take me with you, Carole! I’ve been through Northampton numerous times but never stopped at Webs. This was clearly a mistake.

  11. Did you know this part of your tour is sprinkled with members of the knitting-slash-working-and-pumping group that “Another Liz” mentioned in the comments a while ago? You saw “Another Liz” and Carolyn in Porter Square, me (yet another Liz) in Grafton, and you’ll be seeing another member of our group (Emily) in St. Louis. I almost feel like we should coordinate some sort of coded message for you. (perhaps it should begin with “grenyrn”?).
    And yes, WEBS is mecca. My knitting group has its own little annual hadj there in the fall. I’m already compiling my shopping list . . .

  12. Will you ever be in MOntreal? DId i miss you? I am sooo green with envy over your trip to Webs – why can’t such a place exist in our Canadian wilderness? Looking forward to Harlot meets Ann and the blogging it will inspire – and the knitting! Come (back?) to Montreal!

  13. You were fabulous and funny on Saturday, and worth the 2 hour drive. Webs is halfway between home and father-in-law’s and my husband ASKS me if I want to stop everytime we go!! (how lucky am I–a husband who supports my fiber addiction; that way I don’t complain about the garage full of model airplanes) Did you ever sort out what that cryptic note REALLY meant?

  14. I’m a loyal Webs shopper. When I moved to Western Mass in ’81, they were on the second floor of an old house in Amherst! (Sadly, I wasn’t a knitter at the time.) The first time I placed an on-line order, I asked them to hold it at the store for me so I could save on shipping by picking it up. The warehouse called me that afternoon: “Steve says he can drop it off on his way home.” The box was on my back steps when I got home. I’ve been impressed ever since.

  15. Didn’t dare go to see you at Webs. I have twins in college and the college won’t accept yarn as payment. I once spent 3 hrs in the warehouse and still didn’t poke thru everything.

  16. Waahhh! I missed your tour on this side of the country (ok, so I can’t complain too much since I was cruising the Caribbean instead). Glad you enjoyed Webs. Since they are so nice, maybe I guess I will actually have to go there someday.

  17. Yes, Kathy and Steve are good people with a social conscience, making their lives selling very good, high value yarn.
    And Stephanie from Storey – I told you if you cast it on again you’d get enough knitted to show “The Other Stephanie”!!
    And Pix is as cool as they come.
    And I think we all loved having the Harlot at Webs – come visit us again, incognito, so you can SHOP MORE!!!

  18. Y’know that ear-bleeding-screech episode? That was courtesy of my 7 y.o. dau., Leah, who had just returned from a trip to the restroom (by way of that big tray of chocolate snack goodies), lost her balance on her way back to her chair, and apparently hit the volume knob when she put her hand out to steady herself. She was too mortified to fess up at the time (and I was not aware this was the situation at all), but I reassured her that you’re a mom and a knitter and therefore wouldn’t hold a grudge. πŸ™‚ She’s off to quite a fine start as a knit/spin junkie over the past couple of years and will drop anything at the suggestion of a trip to Webs!

  19. Another Liza from Porter Square here. My Group does the annual or biannual trip to Webs, the downside to Webs, it is 2 hours away for us. The upside, one person drives and the other 5 knit.
    The WEBS people are wonderful, they keep on finding exactly what I need and when my Group left, Steve came out to the parking lot and thanked us for coming.
    The nicest thing about WEBS? Almost all of the yarn they have, I want to knit into something. It is just going to take me some time.

  20. On Thursday, I was wandering around Cambridge with hubby, sullen that there was no way humanly possible I could make it out to WEBS to see you (I’d even packed a Bearfoot sock)over the weekend because we had to come back home to the midwest. Lamenting the fact that the one yarn store I passed (Woolcott) closed at 6 and it was 6:15.
    I came home to check your blog to see what I’d missed, and apparently, I had missed the fact that you were in Cambridge (of all places) that very night! Somebody shoot me, please!
    Here’s hoping you make it to Chicagoland before I pack up to move to Boston!

  21. So I learn two things today:
    1 – Webs is RIGHT NEXT DOOR to my aunt who lives in Massachusetts
    2 – I really should have gone to the christening this weekend. (And is it wrong to lie to a relative and say you want to see them when you really want to see a yarn store?)
    Please come to one of the states smack dab in the middle! Lie…oh…omaha?

  22. Oh, to be in a yarn store that gives you a grocery cart. Oh just the thought of it makes me giggle.

  23. I thoroughly enjoyed your talk at Webs and, shortly after I got home, I started knitting my very first sock with a ball of the $6 Regia — what a steal! Also, under the bad influence of my friend Sarah who commented above, I now have a knitting blog of my very own. What a wonderful world of knitting awaits…

  24. So, will Dawn share the secret of the felted stars?
    I heard about your trip to Webs – a cyber friend of mine met you there (you signed a book for her 4 yr old granddaughter who will inherit her formidable stash).
    Grocery carts for yarn shopping – I have GOT to go there…
    Enjoy the continuing yarn crawl, oops, I mean book tour.

  25. Stephanie, it sounds like you missed the sign up list for living in the back of Webs. There’s a TON of people ahead of you πŸ™‚

  26. I can’t wait to see that yarn haul — does Canada offer student loans? If so, then you really needn’t worry about the educational future of your children, as they can sort that out.

  27. Ohhhhh so *that’s* the big deal about WEBS. I gotta get there.
    And yes, star lady, please share your secret (aka pattern/pattern location)!

  28. You rock, great speech! Didn’t I tell you that WEBS was nirvana for a knitter?? I ended up buying almost 4 lbs. of yarn (for under $40) to make a Twisted Sister Sweater. How much better a day could there be, the Harlot and pounds of yarn?

  29. I can’t stand it…when are you coming west in Canada???? does Webs ship to Canada..? I always thought that was the “blessing” oops I mean downfall…
    grocery carts full of yarn..my heart can’t stand it…

  30. I was so impressed by Steve. I’ve never seen a yarn store owner know so much about yarn. St. Louis rocks. Looking forward to the tale of Stephanie meeting the Arch.

  31. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall…loved your rendition of the WEBS experience. The first time I went there, I returned FOUR times in the same weekend. Two years later, I’m still working my way through the stash from that trip.

  32. Soooooo….Am I the only one who’s been dreaming of green self-striping yarn every night since Monday? Since it is “dream” yarn, it sure does knit up nicely.

  33. Whee! The Yarn Harlot is probably here in St. Louie right this instant! Why am I at work? Hey, Emily the working and pumping and knitting mom, I’ll look for you. I’ve been there. Knitting with toddlers…a full contact sport. We may not have finished anything for the knitting Olympics, but we still deserve medals.

  34. I’m so glad you came to WEBS… I live in Northampton, so WEBS is my LYS. I was there the week or so ago and saw a sign that you were coming… I was so excited that I immediatley registered, and wrote down all the information, it wasn’t until I got home that I realized… I work on Saturdays. My husband said he would go for me and get my book signed. I was so annoyed that I was missing your talk… but tickled that when I called him around 1:30 and found he was actually first in the signing line. Then on the way home after he picked me up from work we stoppeed at WEBS so I ended up getting to meet you anyway and got some of that 6$ Regia for my first pair of socks!

  35. I had such great time up listening to your talk! Webs is huge place and everytime I go there I get so overwhelmed. I swear when I got home I had such a migrane (or yarngrain as I like to call it) from just looking at all that yarn! I’m glad I got to meet you. I was with Katy and was one of the last ones to have my book signed. I hope you got a little rest after all of that!

  36. A shopping cart? Man, the east coast gets everything– your tour, yarn stores with shopping carts… πŸ™‚

  37. Can’t belive it… gonna see you tonight! lol, “normal” people would wonder what to wear.. how many out there are sitting here wondering what to bring to knit? Oh I am also wondering if I can get away with a hand knit shawl… πŸ˜‰

  38. What? Just read a comment – you’ve already been to Ottawa? How on earth did I miss that?
    Anyway, I’m reassured to know that you’re a big fan of The Princess Bride. I recently had occasion to note that people in masks cannot be trusted.

  39. WEBS is a fabulous place – it’s a VERY good thing that I live in Maryland, or I’d be in big trouble. I couldn’t get over the shopping carts either….

  40. Mere mortals cannot help but be awed by the WEBS warehouse! You are in good company. We usually fly when visiting relatives on the East Coast — which helps keep a lid on my shopping. This year, however, we are driving… mwahahahaha…
    P.S. Really loved the Boston pics the other day! Definite nostalgia value, and the taxi blogging was a hoot.

  41. So, when you are old, and living in the backroom at Webs, I will bring you lovely vegetarian dinners.
    And good beer.
    Hope the rest of your tour goes off without a hitch!
    (oh–and p.s.–the way you dealt with the microphone/feedback thing was hilarious. Such poise!)

  42. I order from Webs quite a bit – now I have dreams of going there – shopping carts!!! Oh MY
    Denise in Kent, WA — there must be a UPS or Fed Ex near Webs where you could pack up a shopping cart of yarn and send it home.

  43. You know what the downside to Webs is? It’s in my backyard. 3 miles from my house, a ten minute walk from my office. They send me emails and I get to wondering if the yarn is going to still be there when I go on lunch break, and I get all shaky, and then I dash out at 11 (because that seems like it almost could be lunchtime) and I go and buy it. Yarn, good yarn, cheap. Which is a very good thing, I mean, I’m not complaining, it’s just that after a while, maintaining the square footage to actually *store* the yarn becomes rather expensive (did I mention the addition on the house? Mostly for yarn? Yeah). I’d tell you to pity me, but I know that you will laugh derisively and play one of those tiny violins with your fingers. Can’t really blame you, there.
    We stalkers (apparently) prefer the term “camp follower.” I think. I didn’t wait in line, because that seemed a) odd, and b) 40 minutes standing in the Webs warehouse seemed like A Bad Idea. One learns after living within a 3-mile radius for 15 years (I used to be across the street!).

  44. WEBS is so great. I learned how to spin there. Also took a knitting class so I was more confident at doing it. Now every spare moment is either knitting, spinning or going to sheep and fleece shows.
    You deserve all the wonderful accolades that come your way. Just finished the latest book. WOW. Keep up the good work. I don’t know how I haven’t filed bankruptcy yet as I get to WEBS about every 2 weeks. They are awesome!!!!

  45. Oh, for heaven’s sake, has your publicist heard of CALIFORNIA?!?! We’re waiting! Would love to see you up here in Northern CA, most especially. Although after WEBS, everything else is bound to be a mild disappointment! I love that store, too. Between that and Schoolhouse Press, it’s amazing our family affords groceries.

  46. You were hysterical at (near) WEBS. I dragged my visiting-from-Pennsylviania Mom along, and she loved it, too. Then we traipsed over to the store, and I smugly thought, “Aha! I’ll buy yarn while waiting for the book-signing line to shrink.” $108 of yarn later (four summer tops) (maybe I’ll finish them by 2010), the line was still loooooong and Mom was a tad antsy. She loves her daughter and all that, but.
    So I didn’t get to talk to you. I’m bummed. If I ever get to Totonto, can I come visit at Dick’s? And what it is about Toronto, anyway – how come all the knitters there are so cool and so obsessed? Can I emigrate to Toronto? Does Canada need more knitters? I promise to bring half of the WEBS’ warehouse with me. [you think I’m kidding, don’t you?]

  47. Come to L.A. . . . . .the left coast has knitters and yarn junkies too. We have nothing the size of WEBS though. But we have beaches. Palm trees. Outdoor knitting 11 months of the year. Pleeeeeeeese come to LA. Elisa

  48. Am changing all future vacation plans to travel to WEBS. It truly is the knitting holy land. The pictures of the basement are truly knitting porn. Hardcore no less.
    Also yes the irony was truly ironic. I hate it when it does that.

  49. Hi Stephanie,
    It was such a pleasure to meet you in person on Saturday at WEBS. Our socks were photographed together at the very end of the day by my sweet husband — my sock was hoping the experience would help me get over Sockphobia (it hasn’t yet, but I keep hoping…this is pair #2 and still I have made my friend promise to keep me away from sock yarn indefinitely. Is there a cure?).
    I wanted to say a big “thank you” for your encouragement in Knitting Rules to experiment with patterns. I’m an intermediate knitter and have always wondered how one would go about doing this without making a big mess, but you are the only author who explained how to approach it, in your shawl & sweater chapters. You have opened up a whole new world of knitting possibilities for me. (How often have I seen a sweater pattern I would love, if not for “that collar” or “that neckline!”). Thank you so much! Safe travels on this next part of the tour!!

  50. Oh oh oh what a fantabulous life you lead !!! Meeting all those knitters, going to see new yarn shops and best of all–having a wool nest to go to when you get old. I’d think I’d died a gone to heaven for sure. I can’t travel far anymore but if I could I’d go to see webs and make sure I had a nest of pink and turquoise. Your hubby must be laughing at the microphone faux pas. ENJOY each day Steph and safe travelling

  51. So close…Brentwood, TN and Threaded Bliss and You…yet so far, too far in my 15-going-on-16-year-old Honda Civic ((I promised her (the car) that I wouldn’t drive her out of the county if she would continue to function) and she has so far, kept up her end of the agreement (and completely stalled out when I broke the agreement and tried to get her past the county line)). I guess I’ll just never get to meet you…

  52. I envy you! I wanna go to Webs! I finally got the bookbookbook, and I absolutely love it, but I bought it at a horrible horrible time… finals week, I’m torn between studying or reading your book, since I can knit while I do either I’m not to worried about that part, but the temptation of not studying…

  53. The downside would be that I might as well have my paycheck deposited in their bank account.
    My poor doggies. And they did so enjoy eating and having a roof over our heads. Now we will have to live in a yarn igloo.

  54. I’ve never been to Webs. There used to be a place like that here in Northern California — it was Straw Into Gold, a huge retail front/warehouse for Crystal Palace Yarns. Along with all the CPY line they many others as well, plus books in every textile subject imaginable. They used to be the Ashford distributer and had a whole section with every Ashford wheel and fiber in glorious colors. Alas with commercial real estate being what it is here — they had to give up their lease.

  55. It was really cool to meet you Saturday at Webs. Maybe the next time we meet, I’ll be able to speak
    in complete sentences πŸ™‚ Glad you like the stars.
    I found the pattern to knit them here http://frugalknit12330.goeserv.com/homepage/stars.htm
    After knitting them, I thought they would be more interesting if I felted them.
    Take care. Safe travels.

  56. Yay, more details on Lexington…yes, I’m a wee bit fixated, is that a problem? I’ll be the maniac in the back of the room bouncing up and down, taking really crappy digital pictures and pinching myself severely every few minutes. I can’t wait. Brace yourself.

  57. I swear, every time I read about your travels I want to weep. Not for you–I’m very excited for you, although I wish you would venture to South Carolina one of these days (seriously, Stephanie, I’ll feed you grits and Thomas Creek beer, and you’ll never want to go home).
    I’m just jealous of all the fabulous knitters, and fabulous yarn shops, other places have.

  58. Dearest harlot, don’t forget that those are American bucks (significantly larger than ours!). I’m sure you’re used to dealing in US currency, but even living out here, I have to constantly adjust my mental gauge of how much things really cost. When I die, I want to go to WEBS!! I so enjoy reading your adventures and all the great comments from fellow knitters (and Knitters) – can’t wait ’til you come to Phoenix!

  59. After living 2 hours from Webs for the last dozen years, I won’t tell you how much of my stash grew from their sales.
    You know, Webs has a tent sale in May, and one of those days (Sunday, I think) they have a fleece market for local sheep growers and discounts on spinning stuff. Just sayin’.

  60. All I can say is thank goodness I don’t live near WEBS, although with their website, I could still have a problem!
    I am completely gobsmacked (the Brits have exactly the right word for this) at a meeting between you and Ann. Two of my favorite authors together. Good thing I won’t be there; I would be a babbling idiot (or dumbstruck into silence)!

  61. All I can say is thank goodness I don’t live near WEBS, although with their website, I could still have a problem!
    I am completely gobsmacked (the Brits have exactly the right word for this) at a meeting between you and Ann. Two of my favorite authors together. Good thing I won’t be there; I would be a babbling idiot (or dumbstruck into silence)!

  62. This is random, but if anyone is going from Louisville to Lexington (to the Bluegrass book fair) on Saturday, and wants to give me a ride (I’ll help with gas), email me at gemmin@bellsouth.net.

  63. While you’re in STL – my hometown. Try to get toasted ravioli and Gooey Butter Cake. Gooey Butter Cake is best from Dierbergs grocery store but Schnucks Grocery will do. Wish I was there to meet you and FYI I converted a newknitter at the podiatrists office this morning! Hee hee hee.

  64. I went to the Webs site on Saturday and it said that the yarn harlot talk had sold out. I knew you would have a great story. Hubby is driving me across the continent this year and I have my map quest directions for Webs already packed.

  65. Must visit Mecca! I mean..mmm..WEBS. They’re the really good costco of knitting! Any idea when you’ll be starting the west coast leg of jour tour?

  66. WEBs is my LYS!!!! And, I was in Florida with my children on their spring break when you were here. I was heartbroken to miss you. I would have canceled the trip if I could have. I hope you will come again. Thanks for helping me laugh so many times. . . .

  67. Wait a sec. I thought *I* was going to live in the WEBS warehouse when I retire. How many knitters have they parceled the warehouse out to??? I would like to put dibs right now on the southeast corner (close to the bathroom, ha).
    I live only 20 minutes from WEBS couldn’t be there, because I had to go to Boston that day to deliver a painting for a show I’m in. Life is cruel. But thank you for coming to western Mass. and above all thank you for your wonderful books and blog. I am only allowing myself to read a few pages of Knitting Rules per night because I don’t want the experience of reading it to end.

  68. Can’t wait to hear you talk Saturday. The Lexington Stitch ‘n Bitch will be attending in full force! Thanks for coming to our crappy little town with NO GOOD LYSes! (Two SNBers are working to change that, but it won’t be ready til August.)

  69. Stephanie: I am unbelievably disappointed that I will miss you this evening. If there is one empty chair, please drape it in black. I have been looking forward to this for weeks, but my Mum has just come home from the hospital and I can’t really leave her just yet. I hope you enjoy St. Louis. It’s a lovely town. I also hope we don’t embarrass ourselves in front of you. You deserve a full house!

  70. I’m so ashamed – I LIVE in Massachusetts, my mother-in-law lives near there and I’ve never been to WEBS.
    Clearly, I’m just a knitter, not a Knitter. *sigh*

  71. Are you on a plane headed my way?! I am sooo excited! See you @ Threaded Bliss tomorrow night! I’ll have my sock knitting in hand!

  72. Are you sure you aren’t an Aussie at heart? Green and gold are our (sporting) colours. Wouldn’t you be better with a red and white nest?
    Wow – noone’s actually shown a picture of WEBS before – they say it is big but big doesn’t really cover it….

  73. I’m glad to see some details on your Lexington visit. I’ve got about 15 million other plans I’m trying to work out for the day but I’m hoping to be there. Hopefully you’ll get a chance to get out of downtown and see some of our lovely city.

  74. I am so glad I got to hear you talk on Sat. You were great. And, you should see Webs when they are having their tent sale. Last year, I left with a giant black trash bag full of yarn.

  75. Boo hoo! I was going to make the trek eastward to see you (from Kansas — about four hours due west of St. Louis) when it turned out my husband had to go out of town for the week. Well, he still went out of town, but came back early, and will even be home by dinner time, which meant that with a babysitter for the afternoon, I could have made the trip. (Weeping and wailing is ensuing.) Hope your talk is smashing, and have been thoroughly enjoying your blog and your books since discovering them just before Christmas!

  76. You know, you make your life sound so exciting. Maybe we all should write knitting books so we could join you in your visits to all these wonderful yarn shops!!

  77. Just today I said, “the Harlot is an enabler in a good way.” I must now revise that to say “the Harlot is paving the road to bankruptcy with discount yarn, just for me.”
    WEBS – to dream, perchance to buy?

  78. I am wicked jealous! I wanted to go see you, but sadly you were in MA the week that I was away visiting family. I thought about comng back early to catch you at Webs, but it was my mom’s birthday and that just didn’t seem right. To top it all off, I haven’t even been to Webs yet, only ordered online, so it would have been extra perfect to see you there and go on a shopping spree! Is there another book in the works yet that would lead to another knitting tour? Pretty please say yes!

  79. WEBS is a treasure hunt! It’s a given–when we drive to Boston to visit our daughter, on one leg of the trip we get off the Mass Pike and drive up to Northampton. We carry a flashlight into the back room so that we don’t miss something in the shadows!
    Your record of the Boston visit makes me want to get there soon–to see daughter and visit the yarn shops I love.

  80. Steph, you were a trip and a half. I was feeling for you, sitting at that table, thinking of all the yarn to be had, looking at the loooong line of knitters. I’m glad you got to do a little stash supplementing before you left us.
    You know, they have a tent sale next month…
    I’m so glad you came to see us!
    ErickaJo (drunken lace! Yes! 16 days? You’d drink too!) and Chris.

  81. Richmond. It’s in Virginia. It’s a significant city and has several yarn stores, none of them huge, but plenty of us will come see you (a couple of the crossroadknits goils are here — a la Philly Liz, of the Sitcom Chic). We can get Canadian beer here. Hell, I’d even find a way to scare up some Screech. Southern hospitality and all that.
    Actually, you also need to make it to this place in Watkinsville, Ga. (translation: East-Jesus-nowhere-but-I-actually-wouldn’t-mind-living-there, Ga.) that could actually accommodate one of those crazy Harlot events. If they can gather enough CHAIRS. There’s this crazy huge room … filled with yarn and sofas ….
    Thanks so much for what you’re doing. You’re bringing us all so much delight–and sanity (your supposed insanity notwithstanding).

  82. not like I can remember the name of that place in Watkinsville (actually, I’m trying to forget that whole trip I took recently) (but that has EXACTLY NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT YARN SHOP, which was the one bright spot of that trip).
    Or, you know, I could google it. Google is my friend. Main Street Yarns and Fibers is the name.
    And oh, gawd, I’m now feeling guilty toward my fave LYS: Lettuce Knit (yes. another Lettuce Knit.) 3030 Stony Point Rd.
    OK. I’m done.

  83. Living in CT, I have been to WEBS a few times but have never noticed/seen the shoping carts. I did see one go by on Saturday full of yarn. My checkbook is very glad it wasn’t my cart. I managed to make due with a basket. I enjoyed meeting you on Saturday and actually cast on a sock Monday night. I knit a pair out of Brown Sheep Lambs Pride years ago but they turned out a little big.

  84. As others have stated it was nice to meet a real live harlot at Webs. Wouldn’t a huge structure full of yarn frequented by harlots be a whor*house not a warehouse?
    I also live close by and wonder if there is a future in personal yarn shopping or using my house for a staging/yarn shopping drop zone! I can’t buy much yarn myself but I love seeing others excitement.
    Can I repeat a remark I heard on Saturday? Picture this setting: Webs front of store (backroom still full of yarn), the Harlot, the handlers ready to take the Harlot to the airport starting to whine and I hear Stephanie say “Wait! I have to show the sock the warehouse!” Is that charming or what?

  85. Holy WOW! You read my blog!! WOW! *sigh*
    I was completely star struck when I met you on Sat I forgot to tell you my blog name. So, If you can remember that crazy girl that missed you in Pittsburgh and drove 420 miles to see you dragging her mother behind you. Maybe you can place a face with the name!
    Isn’t WEBS amazing?? I should just hand over my credit card when I walk in the door! And the discounts too?? amazing!! Love them!!!
    My Mom finished 4″ of her Crazy Jane Vesper sock! Enjoy your book tour : ) My mom and I totally enjoyed seeing you in Northampton! It was the best!!

  86. Where and what time will you be in Lexington KY?
    I live in Louisville, and my 12 yr old says we have to go see you! So at least I’m not the only one. Think I can fit it in before the
    Midsummer Nights Dream at the highschool that evening?

  87. Hi all…
    I’m hoping someone here can point me in the right direction. A couple of months ago following knitting link after link, I came upon a site that had kits, one of which was a black cashmere hat, pretty basic, with a cuff, shown on a guy model.
    It was just non-handmade looking enough that my 15 yo liked it. Liked it enough that he asked me about it again today. Of course, looking through my bookmarks, it’s not there. I have no memory of where or how I saw it.
    Any ideas? Is there a place online for foolish needle in the haystacks sorts of questions like this?
    Thanks for any pointers!

  88. EEEEEE, can’t wait to see you at Threaded Bliss tomorrow night! Bringing my socks too…

  89. I want you to know that my initial respons to “Webs” was “Holly Crap!” And this was with my 5 year old in the room. It looks like a long and expensive visit is in order.

  90. Wow…you must be so exhausted from all that travelling, the different time zones, etc. I know I’m getting tired just reading about your travels! Not that your posts are boring or put me to sleep…no way…just the thought of all that travelling makes me tired, but then I’m not someone who has travelled much.

  91. New York City! Why not Brooklyn? Your feelings about Webs echo mine about The Mannings (kind of near Gettysburg PA) – there are rooms attached to rooms of yarn and I actually got lost, couldn’t remember if I’d been in that room before!

  92. Stephanie,
    I can’t believe that you were in St Louis and I could not come over to see you! Darn work it ruins everything fun. I love your books and the blog.Can’t wait each night to see what you have been up to all day. Hope someday I get to see you in person.

  93. Enjoying your travel-yarn-alogue, its almost like being there! Know what you mean about Webs, its just a little over an hour away and always worth the trip. The first time I was there a couple of years back I spent over an hour wandering around the store squeezing yarn when Steve came up to me and said”Have you been in the back? The strategy is to go through the warehouse first…”. wow. (He didn’t show me the residential section though).

  94. I’ve always thought there should be the sound of angels singing as you pass through the doors to the warehouse.

  95. Oh my gosh! My fantasy is diving into a pile of hand spun mohair and floating in the softness and warmth. ummmmmmm!

  96. Harlot, darling, do you realize that by posting the links to everyone’s blogs you are seriously cutting into my knitting time? Every visit by you, followed by a list of bloggers means I spend 2-3 hours meeting new friends. I can knit and teach, but knitting and surfing takes more practice (or a better computer set-up).

  97. resistance is futile.. we are The Harlot.
    chocolate is good – must be harlot food.
    I wish it was Madrona all over again and that you were back here.

  98. It was so nice to meet you in person this weekend. I loved your talk and I’m very humbled by you putting a link to my little blog on yours. The response has been almost overwhelming! Thanks for keeping us all in “stitches” in more ways than one. I can’t wait to have time to actually sit down and read book #3, my *signed* copy at that!! πŸ™‚ Safe travels as you continue your tour. And may all your skeins be knot free! πŸ™‚

  99. I’ve been reading about this wonderful trip of yours from various sources (thanks, ANers!), and I am SO very jealous. I’m glad you had such a great time visiting western Mass. and WEBS – and I hope to see you in central North Carolina someday – there’s a great fiber community here in the Triangle!!
    -Joan, MHC grad (1987) [I learned to knit in the living room of North Mandelle :)] and former WEBS employee (!), 1988-1989 [when it was in the cool house in Amherst, and Steve was a college student who helped out on his vacations πŸ˜‰ – I learned so many wonderful things from the Elkins and the staff, and wish I had never had to leave. Such a great place to work, and an even better place to shop!]

  100. You know, between this and that little notebook misunderstanding of yours, I really think you ought to have a personal assistant travelling with you. You know, a “people” for other people’s people to call and to take notes for you and snag, um, carry all the great stuff people bring for you. Oh, and make sure you are Never Without Coffee.
    And I think it should be Me. I can get coffee. And I like yarn stores. And I like knitters. I masquerade as one myself some days. And being a “people” sounds more official and well, less morally questionable than “camp follower”. And I’m over my stalker phase really. Sort of.

  101. What did I tell you about that back room!?! And the wool fumes are so strong back there that as I was waiting in line to have you sign my book, yeah, that line was huge and I have the patience and attention span of a gnat, I started to roam the isles and I became light headed from the fumes(because of course I had to SNIFF the yarn)and the line grew larger so I wandered back into the main showroom and was so inebriated by that point that I walked into another person, TOINK!Happens every time. Fortunately I had the common sense to make my sock yarn purchase first. It was lovely to see/hear you. Do come back for visit!

  102. I learned to knit over January term at Mount Holyoke College. A long time ago. I learned to make big boxes with arms.
    I have no idea how you got out of Webs without fainting.

  103. THANK YOU! I have been looking for a particular color in Rowan Big Wool and have only found it once and it was soooo overpriced that I cried (and did not purchase).
    I had never been to (or even hear of) yarn.com and I found my yarn has been discontinued and I got it for a third of the price!

  104. i’m in st louis, and i am sooo sad i missed you last night. how rude of you to schedule your trip during my finals week!!! πŸ™‚ just kidding.
    i was looking forward to meeting you and getting my book signed, but homework calls! hopefully you’ll be in town when your next book is published!

  105. Stephanie, I just want you to know that you are totally my knitting inspiration! I was so overwhelmed with knitting at first, but after reading your books, I gave it the good old college (second) try, and love it! My scarves may be rather unstraight, but I am completely enamored with yarn and knitting! I’ve even dragged my husband across South Carolina looking for yarn stores! Not a good idea though, he thinks there is such a thing as too much yarn (what??)! Anyway, thanks for sharing your passion with the world, hopefully we can convert some more poor souls into yarn fanatics!

  106. I just got your first book, have finished the 2nd, and I will get the 3rd when you visit Phoenix (I hope, I hope, I hope)!!!

  107. What an awesome yarn store! I saw the picture of the yarn in the nice large aisles (five or six of those!?!) and they have carts…omg…excuse the drooling on my keyboard. Anyways, I don’t think my family would let me go into that yarn store because i’d just try to convince them that you are supposed to fill the cart up with yarn

  108. Dude, I feel like SUCH a loser for missing your Mass. engagements. But yeah, WEBS. Every time I go there I am blown away. It’s amazing that I still have a checking account.

  109. I knew when you mentioned Webs it would be likely that there would be a mention of Mount Holyoke knitters too! And there was a picture of three of them! Right on! I learned to knit at MHC – my friend Anna probably taught hundreds of students! πŸ™‚

  110. Wow! My dear knitting friend (who can sit and talk knitting for hours with me) and I were bowled over by you and your comments at the Webs Festival. We have dubbed you the Lili Tomlin of the knitting world!!!
    I must tell you of a conversation we had in the car between the hotel and Webs. It can now be one of my own personal meditations:
    Let he who is free of sin throw the first stone!” Jesus
    After remembering and laughing over your comments I told Barbara (my knitting friend) about a news piece on the morning T.V. It was about about a new craze in New Jersey where people are actually building additions onto their homes in order to store goods purchased at Costco. They are dubbing these additions “Costco Rooms.”
    With a straight spine and an upward pointed nose I said “Can you imagine such stupidity? Spending all that money and probably never being able to consume all that they buy?”
    Barbara turned towards me, paused a bit, raised her index finger looked me in the eye and said: “Think about what you just said!”
    Meditation: I WILL NEVER AGAIN JUDGE ANOTHER HUMAN BEING FOR HORDING!!! AND THANK GOD FOR A FRIEND WHO CAN KEEP ME FOCUSED. (P.S.. Barbara and I opened our own yarn shop after her husband found their unused sauna filled to the ceiling with yarn….true story I swear.)
    Loved your books and loved your talk. Barbara and I wish you great success!

  111. Loved you Saturday!! : ) It’s always nice to meet a kindred soul. . . wanted to share with you that I won the $100 grand prize gift raffle held at WEBS the day of your talk/signing. . .I found out Monday, and just got my feet back on the ground to share. . .tomorrow I will not be at work, but at WEBS to immerse myself in wonderful wool! How intoxicating!!!

  112. Well, Ann and Kay made it to Birmingham (Knit Nouveau) and Huntsville (Yarn Expressions.) Those are cities in ALABAMA. I am sorta kinda near Chattanooga, TN. I hear the Genuine Purl is a great LYS there, in case you need more yarn. I have given up on your ever being near enough to me, and I guess my books will remain unsigned. Amazon shipped the third one today. It is not fair that Beth gets to see you TWICE.

  113. Yes, knitting is being noticed in a variety of unusual venues….the local baseball team here (the SF Giants) has invited all knitters to come to a game in July called “Stitch and Pitch”. We knitters are being offered reduced seat rates in a special area and a free knitting bag imprinted with the San Francisco Giants logo!! Don’t you love it?? I’m preparing my knitting projects to take on a roadtrip from California to Ohio next week….my husband is grumbling a bit but I can’t hear him.

  114. I’m new to the wonderful world of knitting, but already totally obsessed and having a blast!! While knitting is my newest obsession, collecting stars (not the hollywood type) are one of my oldest. I am struck and in awe of the felted stars given to you by Dawn in the photo. Is there any way to contact her and get this pattern?? I would be forever grateful. P.S. LOVE your blog and will visit often!!!!

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