More Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh was a blast. I’m in Cleveland now, getting ready to go to the next talk/signing, and I can already feel myself getting overwhelmed with the reporter duties. I can report (before I loose it completely) that Pittsburgh remains filthy with knitters who represented with style….if blurry style. (The blurry thing may be me again. I tried. )


The late knitters ended up on the balcony. Sorry I missed you in the pictures guys.



Some of the suspects….

100 3646

Diane, our faithful hat collector. (Hats, should you feel compelled to mail them from anywhere in the world, are still being collected by this fine lady who will get them to their new homes. Email me for her address and you can send them on to her.

I saw Sarah, who practically fell over backwards when I said I’d been to her blog. (Seriously people. It’s a community. You read me, I read you. It’s how it works. I can’t read all of the blogs all of the time, but I try…) There was Jen…and it was Renee’s (almost) birthday. (Birthday knitters hold the sock. I have my own rules for these things.


Vicki brought me SQUEAKY CHEESE CURDS!


(Stop that. It’s delicious.) There was my very nice stalker Brooke


Brooke is on the left (the muggle she is attempting to corrupt is on the right, a very nice German knitter who’s name escapes me because I am coming undone is in the middle.) Brooke and Stalker Angie should join forces to cover the whole of the US. Now my notes start to come undone a little. There were a lot of knitters and it’s a little overwhelming. There was Isobel, and Amy brought me a very nice baby called Heather to hold. (I stopped the crying. Heather may be small, but she is very bright and we have reached an understanding, she and I.) Amanda was there, Bonnie was there, Rachel was there way more knitters were there that I took pictures too bad to show (shout out in the comments, will ya?)…and dudes…you gotta meet Meredith.


Meredith started knitting a year ago, and this is her first sock.


The force is strong with this one.

The best part of the evening? (Besides all the knitters, which totally goes without saying) Non-knitters who can get it. The events guy at Joseph-beth said that he had originally underestimated the nature and scope of the invasion, but that as they started to get phone calls and emails, the had realized that (and I quote) that they “needed to get their s**t together.”

Great guys.

T minus 1.5 hours till Cleveland!

Pretty, Pretty Pittsburgh

I know that the one of the best surprises I’ve ever had about a city, was the first time I arrived in Pittsburgh and discovered just about the opposite I was expecting. My whole life I’d heard the phrase “Steeltown” and had come up with a series of expectations about the place. I was so wrong. I’ve had a really interesting day in Pittsburgh, and I didn’t even get to the part with all the knitters yet. Turns out, in Pittsburgh? Knitters are everywhere.

Knitters are in the TV studios…


Where the host did a few stitches just to be game…


and couldn’t put it down. (He likes to learn new things. I expect he’ll have a sweater Monday. The producer had to ask him to stop.)

Longtime visitors to this here blog will remember that all this rushing around in the name of knitter started with Sarah-the-wonder-publicist, who quit her job (nothing to do with me, I’m sure) and


Moved to Pittsburgh!

Sarah showed the sock a thing or two. Some stadium for baseball (I don’t know the name, I’m sure that native Pittsburghers, Pittsburghonians, Pittsburghians – people from Pittsburgh will fill us in) where they hit fly balls into the river.


We went up Mount Washington (I think) and showed the sock the classic tourist shot. (Except mine has a sock in it.)


The sock was impressed. Steeltown indeed, the place is beautiful.

From there, I retreated, ditched Sarah-the-ex-wonder-publicist and found Julia!


Julia, seen here holding the sock on the streets of Pittsburgh, noted a thing or two. See what Julia is wearing? Flip-flops, regular cotton top…does she look cold? No. See me?


Ahem. Tee-shirt, wool sweater, wool coat, wool socks, leather boots. Do I look hot. YES. It is springtime in Pittsburgh, and Julia noted that I might as well as “slapped a Canadian flag on my back” so obvious was my attire. I felt like a knob. A hot one. (I am only glad that I forgot my scarf in the hotel.) Julia took me into the batcave where she makes Vesper Sock Yarn. Now, Julia says right on her website that she makes this stuff in small batches, but you see it everywhere, so I was excited to see her little factory.


Ahem. This is her set-up. Every skein sold in the world comes out of these three pots!…Well, to be completely honest…


She has six. (Does that impress anyone else but me? A whole commercial enterprise being run out of this woman’s kitchen with six pots? Clever knitter.) When I got over my shock we ran over to Knit One. where I visited Stacey and Carla (wait until you see what Carla taught me. Fabulous.) and ran into this guy.


Steven is a knitting teacher at Knit One and he’s also a clown (you cannot make this up) and he works with a healing clown troop (I am still not messing with you) and they are in the process of knitting a scarf more than a HUNDRED feet long. (I just find these people.) He’s cranking out i-cord


then knitting the i-cord into the scarf. (Well. Him and a whole bunch of people.) There’s a blog about the whole thing here. The scarf is named The Marley…


and I cranked on The Marley.

I swear. There’s just no place like Pittsburgh. Assuming I survive the event tonight, it will remain one of my favourite cities. (If I die of anxiety I’m taking it off the list.)

Stress Reflex

So yesterday I was wondering what I was going to knit on this trip (Eight days, many airports, many cabs, much waiting.) and I was futzing through the stash with nothing and everything appealing at once, and the doorbell rang, and the inevitable happened.

Yarn arrived that I didn’t remember buying.

Now, I don’t get yarn online a lot, so It should stand out when I do it, but nope. No memory. I opened the box, knowing that it must have been something really good if it moved me that way…


That explains it. Two of Cookie A.’s patterns and the solid colour sock yarn to go with them. Totally reasonable. I wound one skein of each of the yarns I choose (Louet Gems) and tossed myself out the door onto a plane to Pittsburgh. (If I knit fast I will have to wind more by hand.)

I wish you could have all been on the plane with me. I clear security with my various knitting needles and yarn and sit myself down and get out my ipod and the German stocking pattern, and I settle in. I have only once, in all of the flights that I have taken all over Canada and the US been told I couldn’t take my needles. (That was a tiny plane with no door between the cockpit and the passengers. I can see why they might be extra thoughtful about what the passengers have. ) Once I get them on many people comment on how they can’t believe that they are allowed, but with the exception of the occasional rare arse, I’ve never had a problem.


So today I’m sitting there, knitting away and as the flight attendant walks by my seat she looks over, sees the knitting and advises me that I will have to put it away for take-off and landing and only knit when there is no turbulence and the seat belt sign is off because – get this….

Things could be bumpy and I could let go of a needle and it could go flying through the air and hurt someone.

I put the knitting away like she asked me to (of course, I’m not going to argue on a plane, Twitch a little maybe, but argue? Never)…but as I put them away I commented that this was the first time I’d been asked to do this, and she told me that technically, I should be asked every time. (That would mean that there are a lot of slacker flight attendants out there, but I digress.) I harumphed and looked out the window, hoping for a smooth flight so I could pick up my sock, but I couldn’t help but notice that the guy next to me had a very pointy metal pen that he was using to fill in the airlines “sudoko” in the in-flight magazine, and that pen could totally have gone flying through the air too, and being about 100% heavier than my needle and since according to the laws of physics impact force equals mass times velocity…his pen was far, far more dangerous.

All I ask for is a little common sense and consistency. I hope I get that flight attendant again. I’ll be the lady knitting with pens.

(Ps. it was bumpy the whole way.)

Tomorrow, Representing in Pittsburgh.

How much? How fast?

The night after the event, when Joe and his mother and I were crammed into one wee hotel room (this is the problem with spontaneous surprises. The details tend to be a little loose.) We talked about how fabulous New York was, and I remembered that Carol had never been, and it suddenly seemed a shame to not spend a little time. We decided (if the details could be less loose) to take an extra day and show Carol the city. In the morning I went to do my thing or two (the other problem with spontaneous surprises is that the surprise-ers often don’t know the full plans of the surprise-ees) and Joe took his mum to see Grand Central Station. I took the sock to see – be still my beating heart, Vogue Knitting.

I’m a pretty big Vogue Knitting fan. It’s got a really different feel than Interweave Knits (my other favourite) but I love looking at the relationship between actual fashion and knitting patterns (No, the irony of that is not lost on me, as I sit here bra-less and unaccessorized, wearing a yarnstore tee-shirt and yoga pants.) and how can you not love a knitting magazine with a “Made in Canada” column written by our own Lee Ann? Adina Klein, who was at the launch the night before, showed me around. The place is pretty fly.


This is Adina (who is dressed exactly like you thought all the Vogue people would be…right?) showing me the coolest thing ever. Those are all the pages with all the designs for the next issue. While I was there there were sweaters arriving and yarn arriving and it was seriously neat. Seriously. The coolest thing though, was the back rooms.


On the left are all these bins with all the sweaters from all the last bunch of issues, so you could see a sweater “in person” if you wanted. Those bins in the back and along the right are (steady on now…) All the new yarns from All the manufacturers. Or almost all of them, sure seemed like all of them to me. (There was this one that I lost my mind over. I’d seen it at Knitty City too… it was a Tilli Thomas silk yarn with beads on it? Knitty City had a red/pink one that was astonishing, and Adina had a white/blue one that looked like ice. It was so not what I would usually knit with, but mercy. It was beautiful. I don’t remember the name – it was hard to read through the tears I shed for it’s beauty, and I didn’t look at the price, but I bet we can all guess that silk beaded yarn might run to the “luxury” end of things. Totally not an afghan yarn, if you catch my meaning.) That picture was just one of the places they were keeping their stuff. All over Vogue there are all these fabulously new and fancy yarns, products, books….bloggers. (We are everywhere.) Plus, as if all of that was not fabulous enough? Adina let me have some of the almonds on her desk. Great tour. Great almonds. Great editor.

Back at the hotel, I was released from Publisher control and left to my own devices. I found Joe and his mum and found out that they had managed to change flights, hotels and babysitters at home, and Whammo! We were seeing New York. We did it fast, and I hope the Real New Yorkers approve of what I showed them. If you have 24 hours to show someone the city….

1. We went to Curry in a hurry, in Murry Hill for lunch with Ms. TMW and That Laurie.


Carol and That Laurie are seen here examining yarn. Lots of yarn. That Laurie has some mad shopping skills.

2. MoMA (iloveitheresomuch) is FREE on Fridays between 4 and 8.

So we showed the sock a little culture.

The sock liked Monet.


The sock was stunned by Starry Night.


The sock worked toward understanding some pieces.


The sock….


and Joe, absorbed a little Pollock. (It is very beautiful.)


3. Walked by Radio City Music Hall and Carnegie Hall.

4. We ate dinner at my favourite restaurant in NYC, HanGawi. Where we met some wonderful New Yorkers…


Nicole and Steve, there celebrating Steve’s graduation from law school and very busy proving to us that New Yorkers are some of the friendliest people there are.

5. Walk from HanGawi up to the Park Central Hotel by way of the absolute insanity that is Times Square.


(Carol loved it. Just loved it.)

6. Eat breakfast at Lindy’s

7. Walked to the Columbus Circle entrance to Central Park and caught the 1 train to Wall Street. (Every Torontonian should see the NYC subway at least once. Just for comparison.)

8. Walked Wall Street to Battery Park and looked out at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.


9. Visited the firefighters memorial.

10. Went to the UN (We’re Canadian. Considering our history, it’s a must see. ) where the media was all camped out because of the Security Council meeting.


11. Went to Central park for a walk.

12. Went to the Dakota.


Went to the airport and went home. I think. We did it fast, and furious and fun. I think Carol is a NYC fan now. What a great city.

When I got home there was some fabulous stuff about the hats that were collected in NYC. Many thanks to K. and Milissa and Knitty City. There were 250 of them. This one was knit by Kimberly (age 15) and it is her First ever complete knit object. (There is powerful mojo on the first knit thing.)


red hat handknit by Olivia – age 13, Green and red hat handknit by Laurie, Blue hat hand knit by Carrie – Age 10


and so much more…..Do you see yours? Click to make them bigger.






When knitters rule the world. There will be hats for everyone.

Good job team.

I have to go pack. I’ve got until 11am tomorrow to decide what knitting I’m taking for the next 7 days and I’m fighting a wicked case of startitis.

Consummatum Est (part two)

In which our reporting knitter is surprised and apologizes for the long post, it was a big day.

From the incredible scene in Central Park, I went for lunch with my handlers my editor and Jayme-the-wonder-publicist to figure out the schedule for the rest of the day. I could hardly eat. It’s like I said to the knitters on Thursday night. I’m an idiot. I totally get into this whole big planning thing…all excited. There will be yarn crawls and tours and knitters and socks in Central Park and then we’ll all go to the book launch and we’ll have the best time….and then I remember the part where I have to stand up in front of everybody and the nausea starts. (It is a testament to both my short attention span and my stupidity that I fall for this over and over again.)

Back to the hotel after lunch to try to fix my hair, pick up my dress pants (decide to screw it and wear jeans), get batteries for the camera, post the imagine picture and whip back out the door again. Ms. TMW and my friend Linda came with me (though I suspect they were just shadowing me to try and keep me from executing my escape plan.) and while we were in the room, the phone rang. I answered, and my mother-in-laws voice said “Stephie! ” (I only tolerate my immediate family calling me Stephie.) “I’m here! I’m in New York! I came to see you!”

The bottom fell out of the world. She was three blocks from the hotel and I could hardly believe it. My own mum had been planning on coming before she had a passport problem, and this was a lovely make-up. Carol often turns up all over the world (she worked for an airline) but she had never been to New York. I was delighted. Stunned, surprised…and delighted. We went trouping down to FIT then…


(Mother-in-law/knitter Carol on the left) It was the most enormous surprise ever. Or so I thought.

I arrived at FIT, signed as many books as I could and was sequestered in the back room where I made repeated trips to the bathroom and melted down. I could hear the space filling up. My terror that nobody would come was slowly replaced with the horror that you had all come! I panicked. I imagined all the ways I could screw up. I tried to mentally calculate how many bloggers were out there who would be able to tell the world about when my pants fell down or I said a bad word or threw up or fainted dead away or had something stuck in my teeth. I brushed my teeth. I decided to peek. I decided I would sneak to the stage, pull back a little bit of the curtain and have a look. Get the lay of the land. See the podium. See what the room looked like so it wouldn’t be a shock. Look for knitters I know and see you all knitting and remember that you are all just like me and I don’t have to be afraid of you.

I stood up and made for the stage, telling Jayme-the-wonder-publicist that I was going to look. Imagine my surprise when Jayme, normally a very gentle person, practically tackled me around the knees and took me out. “NO” she said.

NO? Nobody tells me no. Not about my own party.

“I’ll just peek” I said. “One quick peek.” I wrestled free of her deadly grip and bolted. I was blocked by someone else.

“No!” they said…their arms thrown up to block me like I had just announced my intention to set fire to my stash and quit knitting.

I stared at them. I tried to figure out where this sort of oddity was coming from. No? I told them nobody would see me (although I don’t know what would be wrong with that. You all knew I was there, for the love of crap.) and eventually told them that I would just stick my arm out and take a picture, then look at the picture. I bolted.

Jayme grabbed my arm…Linda trailed behind looking worried. Jayme and I engaged in a brief tussle at stage right (during which I may have uttered the incredibly mature phrase “You’re not the boss of me”) and eventually (I may be little, but I am wiry) I broke free and ran for the stage. Laughing all the way – but secretly suspecting that the stress of this event had finally gotten to Jayme and she had snapped like a cheap cotton laceweight. I stuck my arm out from the edge of the curtain (did anyone see me?) and I took this.


I pulled my arm back in and looked at it on the little screen, where, actually, it looked like this.


I couldn’t see anybody. It was a blur. There was a podium through, and the crowd didn’t look mean. I went back to the backroom, squinting at the screen and trying to make out all of you. Jayme told me not to try that again. I told her I would if I wanted to. Jayme-the-wonder-publicist looked nervously at me…sort of like I was a container of nitro-glycerine.

The time came. I walked out. The knitters were all there. The bloggers let fly with a barrage of very scary flashes and it hit me like a ton of bricks. You were representing. There were hundreds of knitters. Knitters everywhere. Big knitters, young knitters, gramma knitters and male knitters…knitters with tatoos, knitters who are lawyers. Knitters…knitters, knitters. That auditorium holds 775 people. There were a few empty seats, but only a few. It was incredible. It was stupendous. It was more than I expected and what I have always suspected secretly…which is that we are not just a community or a club. We are a culture. I introduced myself (I think some people already knew me) and I took my sock pictures.




(I love that you can see the flashes of the cameras as we engage in reciprocal blogging, me taking pictures of them, them taking pictures of me. Very cool.) I moved to the microphone. I took a deep breath. I made a secret wish to walk away with a shred of my dignity intact, and I launched. I started to tell the story of how my mother-in-law had surprised me…and I waved my hand in her direction and looked at her, and I stopped breathing. There was someone familiar sitting beside her. Very familiar. Like, I’m married to him kind of familiar.

It was Joe. My lovely Joe. I have no idea what I said or did then. None. It was an out of body experience. I couldn’t believe that he was there. He was there when I wanted to peek…..that’s why Jayme tackled me. See the picture from above?


Front row. Sitting right next to my mother-in-law (who is totally sneaky for getting him there.) He’s even in the sock pictures.


I walked right over, stood in front of him…held out the sock and moved on. Dude was right there. Right there, grinning like an idiot because I didn’t notice him. (He told me later that it was payback for the bedroom.) It was an incredible addition to the evening and I was proud and pleased that he thought to come and surprise me. (He fixed the dishwasher too.) With Joe there, I couldn’t imagine a bad ending.

I more or less read my speech, I represented… and it was over and I was back to the part I love. Knitters. I answered questions while Juno ran among the knitters, giving out pins and collecting cash for KWB… ( $1595.20 was handed to Charlie, staff representing from the MSF office across the street- how’s that for cutting out shipping and handling!)

Young knitters to be:


Spouses who got sucked into the vortex of knitterly energy that filled the hall and knit for the very first time:


Knitters who knew each other virtually and walked away knowing each other literally:


and one very tired, pleased and proud me, who knew that we could blow peoples minds and couldn’t be more thrilled that we did. You should have seen the looks on the organizing muggles faces. It was an evening of walking among my people, of knowing that we are all on a team, a big team. A team that blows all the rules and stereotypes out of the water. A team that ranks knitterhood above all else and accepts all comers. A team that whatever happens to you, there are enough knitters who love you just the way you are, and just for being a knitter that we would all try to catch you if you fell.

It was powerful, it was representing, it scared the hell out of my husband, and I can’t wait to do it again.

and to answer Kellee’s question in the comments yesterday, no. There was no mosh pit. (Silly knitter. Mosh pits are for people who aren’t all carrying pointy sticks. Holy pincushion Batman.) Tomorrow… “When we rule the world, everybody will have a hat.” and how to show your mother-in-law New York if she’s never been and you love it there. Carry on knitters. Carry on.

Consummatum Est (part one)

If my latin is right (and there is no special reason why it should be, now that I think about it) that title means “It is Completed” and boy, oh boy, oh boy….is it ever. The whole thing was such a shebang that I’ve been trying to figure out what to say about it…it was so big and cool and overwhelming that dudes, I don’t even know if I can do it justice. It ran the gamut from overwhelming to thrilling to terrifying to surprising to satisfying to vindicating to… there’s so much to tell you and exhaustion is still running high. I’m trying not to babble. I’m going to do it in order.


AM. Run around like an idiot trying to find all my stuff. Fail.

Noonish. Arrive in NYC and go on an impromptu yarn crawl when my hotel room isn’t ready, but Ms. TMW is. We even visited the growing hat collection at Knitty City.


Evening: I ate fantastic Tibetan food for dinner then stayed up becoming increasingly hysterical about the events to come. When Joe calls at 1AM, I cried and told him that I thought maybe I made a big mistake becoming a writer. I worry, and fall asleep with yarn in my hands. (Really nice yarn, actually…)


6:00AM – I wake up and spring to action, fuelled entirely by fear alternated pleasantly with abject terror. I need to be in Manhattans financial district for a radio interview and having been burned by NYC traffic before, this time- I am prepared. I shower and dress and obsess about my hair before remembering that nobody can see me on the radio, then sit on the edge of the bed watching the Today Show and looking for knitters. I arrive 50 minutes early for the interview. (I swear. You cannot win with this traffic thing.) I drink coffee, look at New York .. and wait. I continue to worry.


As the time to do the interview approaches I flip out further as I realize that the thing is going to be live.


I get out of the interview without saying anything too stupid and only say “arse” once. I do not use any other four letter words of ill repute, which is a considerable achievement, considering my hysteria and the early hour.

9:400AM. Back in the hotel room, I drink coffee and look at my speech again. I call Jayme on her cell phone and tell her I’ve decided not to do it. She laughs – but she knows I sort of mean it. Just for laughs, while I am waiting for the feeling of impending doom to lift, I check for flights to Toronto. There are none.

11:00 AM I leave for Strawberry Fields in Central Park with Ms. TMW in tow. (The woman is unstoppable. I got everywhere because of her.) When we arrive…there are knitters everywhere.


Everywhere. We didn’t count, but there were more than 100. (Enough to freak the muggles pretty bad, and enough to attract the attention of a park police officer who sat in his little car at the edge of Strawberry Fields with an extraordinarily worried expression.)


I visited with and enjoyed the knitters for a little bit….recorded a quick podcast thing with Guido, did a video thing for Cat and waited for it to be time. While I was waiting, Kimberly (a force for good on this earth, let me tell you) had, rather incredibly, pulled together these wild and fantastic laptop bags full of yarny presents. (And coffee syrup. But I listened to the podcast and now I know what to do with that.) There was one for me, and one for Jayme-the-wonder-publicist, who I know was very touched to receive a gift. It was so kind.

12:00. I walked to the centre of the Imagine mosaic and put down the sock. As I did so, all the knitters followed suit – and something happened.


Something moving. I don’t know if it was just the power of the word “imagine” – if it was the tremendous sense of camaraderie or teamwork, I don’t know if it was just the madness of it all…but there was something gloriously gleeful and spectacular about watching all of those knitters and all of those socks coming together. I got a little choked up. It was miraculous. We all laughed and nobody was a crazy person. As a matter of fact, the muggles were the crazy people…we outnumbered them. It was fascinating to watch them come around the corner and try and figure out what the hell was going on.


All of these socks (and one dishcloth) and all of these knitters from all over the place. It was insane. It was magic. It was perfect.

The whole time the cop kept looking over (we were breaking the “no more than 20 people gathering without permission” rule) and trying to figure out what it was, or if he should stop it or if.. it was, as someone said…the most civil disobedience in the world.


I don’t know about the other knitters who were there, but I’m taking that afternoon to my grave as one of my happiest and most remarkable moments. It’s a feeling I only get when I’m around that many kindred spirits, and really, if you are the sort of person who takes pictures of your sock in places, you are going to usually find it pretty hard to find kindred sprits among your fellow humans.

The sock pictures are something I usually do alone, because there’s nobody quite as crazy as me. I’ve grown accustomed to the staring. Suddenly, one beautiful afternoon in Central Park…everybody was as crazy as me, and in one hysterical perfect moment, we were all among our people.

I started to walked away reluctantly at the end of it…headed for about 14 big surprises, and someone called me back and showed me the plaque on the back of one of the benches. The benches all have dedications on them.. honouring different people for different reasons. One of them stands out. One reads:


I wonder who Sandy Sue was…and I wonder if she ever knit a sock right there…in Central Park. Imagine.

Tomorrow, part two, in which I am surprised. Over, and over and over again. (It was a series of pretty big flipouts, actually.)

Out the door

Ok. I’m sprinting. I’ve got the pins and my speech and some money and my black pants and my jeans and lots of knitting and I’m just bringing socks to knit…I think that’s the thing, and I’ve got my plane ticket and my itinerary and crap…where was that list of phone numbers? Maybe I should bring my knitpicks needle thing so that I can cast on anything I want? Okay. The dishwasher broke and I’m going to New York and Joe’s going to Montreal for a gig and Ken’s coming to stay with the girls but he won’t be here when a repair guy can come, so I guess I’m leaving it until Monday. (Better put a note on the dishwasher so someone else doesn’t find out the way I did and end up having to watch buckets of white froth spew from the bottom of the door. You hear that Ken? Dishwasher. Do. NOT turn on. Also the coffeemaker has not survived Joe’s latest backwash of grinds into its inner workings, but there’s a bodum. You know.)

What am I forgetting? Who knows. I’ve got to leave in 10 minutes and Sam forgot her backpack and I’m not quite packed and I need my keys and to find my thumbdrive and do you think the hotel will have a printer? Never mind. Don’t look at me…I’m a mess.

The represent page has been updated again.

Johanna has a very special bonus for knitters. She has arranged with FIT and Ann Denton (a Knitting Proffessor at FIT – a knitting professor! These people have their priorities straight) to take any interested knitters on a tour of the FIT machine knitting labs, look in on a class…that sort of thing. Details are under “tour guide” on the represent page. Do take advantage of this. Very cool.

Amy tells you what to do with your car at the various events and fun stuff this weekend. (This is a great idea.)

Katy added a tour that she’ll run on the weekend if you like.

Good luck intrepid knitters. I’ll be on the street in NYC looking for you this afternoon. (If I can find my shoes….how the hell did I lose my shoes?)

Turn back -no, front

Remember yesterday when I showed you the gansey and told you that I was done the back and was working on the front?

No. I screwed up. I was holding the thing up yesterday to show my mother-in-law how clever I was for putting Joe’s initials on it (in case he is ever lost at sea) and how I had put them in the traditional spot on the front when I noticed that I had put the initials on the back.


Well, no. Technically I put the initials on what I intended to be the front but then I knit it into the back and now…. Now I need to knit the front to be the back and yank back the back and make it into the front. (I checked with Joe about how he feels about having his initials over his right bum cheek, but he was somewhat negative about having any sort of writing on or near his arse.)


This turn of events ticked me off enough that the gansey was smartly abandoned for a new sweater.


Handpainted merino boucle with wee slubs from School Products – NYC.

But I felt so guilty about starting a new sweater for me while the gansey was glaring at me that I ditched it for socks.


I may respond poorly to emotion in knitting.

A lot of you emailed me to tell me that Amazon had told you that there was a delay in shipping the book until May 23. This is an big Amazon lie based on some weird order vs shipping thingie. (They explained it to me but I don’t quite understand.) The upshot is that the book will be there very soon and will ship soon. In the meantime for you low patience types, there will definitely be books available…the first in the world I think, at FIT on Thursday. I’m going to spend some time in the afternoon pre-signing them.

New yarn crawls, including a baby friendly one, clearer directions to the bluestocking free pattern, a guide to knitter friendly restaurants…and more are over on the represent page.

Am I missing anything? Man. Are we going to freak out the muggles. I fly to NYC tomorrow morning…I’ll try to post before I go yarn shopping. Almost time. How exciting.


I can’t even tell you how hard I am working at avoidance today. The Represent Event (I’m a poet and I didn’t even know it) is four days away and I am having second thoughts. I am freaking out. I am deeply worried. I phoned Jayme-the-wonder-publicist this morning and told her that I wasn’t coming. That I’d thought it over and it looked like just bags of fun…but that I was afraid I was going to have to stay here. Good luck though.

I was only half kidding. I’m still writing a speech for that evening (giving a speech to this many people makes me so nervous that I can’t hardly type. What the hell were we thinking…750 knitters?) I totally have no pants. How does this always come down to pants? I would love to have a significant day in my life not marked by the search for pants and a necessary hard look at my arse. I swear. One of these times I am just going to wear a pair of jeans. I am. Maybe this time. Jeans and a tee shirt and a sweater and the whole New York scene can bite me. (May we please have a moment to fully embrace the irony that it may be an appearance at the FASHION Institute that finally pushes me to revert to my usual unkempt appearance?) My hair is….well. It’s my hair. The unco-operativeness and inability to control it is implied. I have to go shopping for a belt so my pants (if I do wear jeans) don’t fall down as I walk to the stage…my bra is no longer lifting, never mind separating and I am just waiting now to get a huge and obvious pimple on my forehead to round out my dread.

Naturally, since I need to write a speech, get a haircut, buy pants, a belt and a bra, pack and organize the daylights out of the family and the house so they can keep it together while I’m gone all before Wednesday…

I’m knitting. (I finished the Bohus Guld. It’s blocked and beautiful and I love it. It fits like I had dreamed and it’s the best thing I own right now. I’d show you pictures but it’s snowing today and too wet to go out and too dark to take pictures inside. Tomorrow, if the weather is better.) The gansey was pulled from its resting place and I worked on it until I came to the place where I have to begin the neckhole.


I need to stop here and hold it up to Joe and measure the width and depth of his neck. This gansey will have saddle shoulders, so I need now to decide what the centre motif of the sleeves will be, since that’s what will run across the top of the shoulder. However wide that is, I subtract it from the front and back and that messes with my neckhole. Plus, Joe told me last night that he doesn’t want the neck too big – or too small. That he really wants the neck exactly right. That odd necks really bug him. He wondered what he should do if he didn’t like the neck. Should he tell me? Could I take it out and knit it again if it was too big or too small or too wide or too deep?


I stared.

Seriously. I stared some more. I’ve lock washed this fleece. Then I carded it all. Then I spun it all into singles, then I plied it into dk weight three ply (THREE PLY) then skeined it, I washed it to set the twist, I wound it into balls and I started knitting, designing and researching a traditional gansey on the freakin’ fly. It is taking forever. It is a bucket of work. It is an homage to my stinking love for him.

What should he do if he doesn’t like the neck when I’m done?

I chose my words very carefully, to be sure that I was understood.

“What you should do Joe, if the neck is not right when I am finished knitting this gansey…is Pretend. Fake it. Wear it every day for the rest of your life with pride and humility and never speak, for one second of any moment you have left on this earth, of any dissatisfaction you might have, in any way, with your HAND SPUN, HAND KNIT GANSEY.”


PS: New stuff has been added to the
Represent page. New tour guides, a sit and knit in a restaurant to kill time between events…a free sock pattern, a party in Australia (without me. Bummer.) and an address to mail hats to for the Pittsburgh event and the Victoria event.)

In addition to all of that? Jayme-the-wonder-publicist has arranged with the
craft yarn council for everyone who comes to the event in NYC to get a bag with yarn and needles to knit squares for Warm Up America. I hear it’s wool. This just keeps getting better. Free yarn. Nice one Jayme.