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.)

148 thoughts on “Pretty, Pretty Pittsburgh

  1. Healing clowns are awesome. And ones that KNIT to boot. Pittsburgh looks beautiful………….

  2. I’m so mad that I’m missing you at Joseph-Beth tonight, but I have a prior engagement. I even made you one of those egg-dyeing baskets I told you about a while back. πŸ™
    Isn’t Steve the greatest, though? Next time you’re in Pittsburgh, come on a Sunday for Knit One’s charity knitting and have him tell you stories about when he was in the circus. He’s a wonderful storyteller and a really interesting guy.

  3. Enjoy the beautiful city of Pittsburgh. Now, if we could only get you to the even more beautiful state capital of Harrisburg……

  4. OMG–I’m laughing too hard to think of a snappy reply… and I A. Really want to see that scarf when I’m done, and B. Want to see if that TV host learns to knit socks…
    It must be so hard just to breeze in and leave…

  5. My former sister in law lives in Reading Pa (about 60 mi from Philly) & we always went past Pittsburgh on the way to visit her. Back then, the train went thru Pittsburgh around sunset (a little before) & it looked so beautiful. I’ve always wanted to go there. In fact, I love the whole state of PA. As for spring, well in the Chicago area, we’ve been alternating between gorgeous warm weather (high 70’s F) & cold drizzly or downright rainy weather. Unfortunately, I think it’ll be the latter for your visit. A wor to the wise: layering. It’s the only way to cope with spring in the Midwest. Long & short sleeved T’s, vests, jackets &, if you should happen to have them, those geeky pants that zip off into shorts [I admit, I’ve never seen them except in REI & outdoor catalogs.

  6. “Pittsburghers” is a perfectly appropriate term. πŸ™‚
    I’m a newly adopted Pittsburgher and Knit One is, oh, 50 yards from my house. (My mom is glad to have a nice, short walk there when she gets stuck on a knitting project while visiting me!) If I were a better stalker, I could have met you there!
    Have fun tonight, and glad you’re enjoying our newly-springlike weather here.

  7. I find it fascinating that since I started listening to Bob Marley’s music a year ago – and found that I really like a lot of it -I see or hear references to him at least once a week, no exaggeration. Surely it happened before I discovered his music, but I just wasn’t aware of it. Anyway, sounds like your tour is starting off wonderfully. I plan to be in Cleveland tomorrow. Can’t wait to see the sock! And you!

  8. I have a new found respect for Pittsburgh – who knew?
    Only you would meet a knitting clown, who does good and knits on a scarf called the Marley – seriously, do you get how that could not happen to the average knitter, visiting a yarn shop while travelling? I will be giggling about this all night. . . .

  9. 1. Is that host single?
    2. “Do I look hot. YES.” Please understand that this could be interpreted in more than one way.
    3. I SPY THE BOHUS! Way cool. We need a closer-up, more brightly lit shot of it with you in it, though. Then we’ll know that yes, you are definitely hot!

  10. There’s nothing to compare with coming in from the west, ducking into the tunnel, and popping out on the other side to see The City. I’m not from the Burg originally, but some friends are. (They asked if I could hold my breath all the way through the Squirrel Hill tunnel. I couldn’t.)

  11. The new stadium looks to be called PNC Park. My Dad’s family is native Pittsburgh from my great-Grandfather to my older brother. I missed out on it. But I do remember watching the Pirates in the old stadium. You need to see the big light-up Heinz ketchup bottle before leaving if you can! If it’s still there….

  12. Hey, remember me? I stole the socks out of your dryer. I so happen to live in pittsburgh. Want them back?? Tee hee.
    Seriously, So bummed out to have missed you this evening. Unfortunately, keeping my daughter out of the diaper can was priority this evening. SIGH. Im glad you like the city.

  13. The first, indeed, the only, time I was ever in Pittsburgh, I was visiting a college friend, about 35 (ulp) years ago. I had exactly the same reaction, standing downtown where the airport shuttle had let me out. I could see sky, blue sky. That wasn’t supposed to happen in Pittsburgh. But it did. I’m glad it still does.
    Are you going to bring the Bohus to Webs even though it will probably be much too warm to wear it then?

  14. it all sounds fun. wonderfully fun.
    um, stephanie, pittsburgh isn’t the only steel town usa. the original is birmingham alabama. jayme the wonder publicist has diligently avoided booking you for a visit despite (or perhaps because of?)my repeated (whiney) requests that you can down here. i promise that if you come to birmingham on the tour, not only will you find many cool knitters, you will also disover that birmingham quite rivals pittsburgh, and we will feed you good southern barbeque while you knit.

  15. If your short on tour guides in Denver, I’d be happy to skip classes and help out (or I could give you a tour of the vet school where I have converted at least 6 muggles–it’s a little north of Denver…)!

  16. Looking (and/or being)Hot (or even hot) is way better than looking (and/or being) cold.
    I-cord crankers are totally cool! I have one & I’m crocheting a rug with the cord. Slowly but surely.

  17. Oh, I do love Pittsburgh, and it warms my heart that you found Pittsburgh to your liking! πŸ™‚ The baseball place is PNC Park, btw. I am so intrigued by the 100-foot scarf knit by healing clowns that I must go check it out right now. Ta!

  18. I used to travel to Pittsburgh on business — back when I traveled on business, or for any other reason, those were the days, and I’m getting out of this before I wax any more nostalgic — as I was saying, I used to go to Pittsburgh fairly often, and it took me several visits before I got used to its being such a nice city. It’s even nicer with knitters. (I was not an obsessive knitter in those days. I guess I’ve improved with age.)
    I was going to say Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh being where the Monongahela, Allegheny and Ohio rivers meet, but apparently like everything else it’s been upgraded and given a flossy new corporate moniker.

  19. I’m beginning to think that you are taunting us with glimpses of the Bohus from afar–when are we going to get the full rundown? I’m getting ready to start mine, and I’d love to hear more about your modifications!

  20. Yeah, well I bet it gets cold there at night and then you’ll be glad to be warmly dressed. (fellow Canadian speaking)

  21. See, here’s the thing: you tell US you’re nervous even though WE’RE the very ones you’re about to get up and talk to.
    Maybe you could relax a little? It’s only us.

  22. I bet your Bohus looked great on TV. Of course you found a healing, knitting clown making I-cord. I’d expect nothing less of you. And yes, running an entire business with a stove and six pots is impressive.

  23. Did you see the cathedral that was the cathedral in Dogma (the Kevin Smith movie)? I think it’s at the top of the hill where you had the view of Pittsburgh.

  24. I’m in the middle of moving and because our d-i-l decided to have a baby today its kinda hectic ( my son was the helper) but yay my Internets is still up.
    I nearly cried at Healing Clowns..Please send in the soon as i finish getting into the new place i expect them to show up and Heal me:P
    Thank you for taking the time for us Steph!
    ps. i meant my son was the helper for the move but of course he was also the helper for getting her prego and for the delivery lol..No sign of the arrival as of yet.

  25. YAY! It IS a beautiful city, isn’t it??? lived there my whole life till I got married and my parents still live there-everyone I’ve ever had come visit me/took there had the same reaction-that it was not what they were expecting. I’m glad you love it-it made me feel like I was home when I was reading the blog today!!

  26. Oh, to Lucia in the above comments-they tore down 3 rivers stadium (sniff sniff) and built PNC park a few years back as well as a seperate football field called Heinz Field where the ketchup bottle pours neon ketchup onto the scoreboard when they are in the Red Zone-what fun!

  27. What’s next, knitting mimes? I’ve heard Pittsburgh has a great arts scene, sounds like a nice place to visit.

  28. I have been following your blog for quite sometime now. I finally had to post because next to Vermont, Pittsburgh was my favorite place to live.
    Glad you socks enjoyed it.

  29. I’ve never been to Pittsburgh, though I do have family about 30 muns east of there. I should definately make the effort now. Knitter Clown Guys…that’s too fantastic to pass up

  30. This native Pittsburgher especially appreciates your great picture of the Point (where the Allegheny and Monongahela join to *create* the Ohio River, Lucia) appropriately socked. Glad the city was so good to you. (And glad I now live in Cambridge, Mass.)

  31. I went to college at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh… I have a love/hate relationship with the city. Some days it can be great, and others, it’s just eh. But it’s definitely better when you have a car to get around in.
    Three Rivers Stadium was actually detonated, several years ago, to make way for PNC Park. I actually went to the last baseball game they ever had there in 1999. =)

  32. Ya know, later this year the fine town of Sedan Kansas (birthplace of Emmett Kelly, Sr.) is going to attempt to break the record for the world’s largest number of clowns gathered in one place. Suppose Steven and his healing clown troop will be there?

  33. The Bohus is luminous! We do need a close-up, just to confirm what we all know, which is that it is a thing of splendid beauty. Can’t wait ’til you’re in St. Paul!

  34. Steel City — the home of Heinz Field (yes, the ketchup is from Pittsburgh)and PNC Park — one’s for football, one’s for baseball. Mellon Arena is for hockey but will soon be replaced.) Isn’t the view from Mt. Washington just Spectacular? I’m from here and returned to the area after 30 years and it’s prettier than when I left — though it’s still too cloudy and the potholes still propagate! Pittsburgh’s known as de Burgh and is proud of it! The fountain at the Point (where the three rivers are in your photo) actually gets it water from a fourth river which is totally underground and it is unknown where it comes from or where it goes. The point is where Fort Pitt was located and the remnants of the blockhouse still are there (from the French and Indian War).

  35. Post#2 — the anchor on KDKA is Keith Jones, who was subbing today for Kristine Sorenson who just had a baby girl on Monday.

  36. One day, when my children are old enough/distracted enough to allow me to escape, I’m going to travel around the US and Canada (we thought we’d do it on big motorbikes but I’m worried about having enough room for yarn in the panniers) – your traipsing about the continent is adding city after city to my list of Places to Knit In. I’d never have thought of Pittsburgh…

  37. You were wondering when the new book would be arriving in Canada? Well, it was available in Halifax today. My husband picked up my copy on his way home:) It looks great.

  38. Born and raised in Pittsburgh (we are Pittsburghers), and proud that my native city showed you a good time.
    PNC park is where the baseball is these days, but if someone gives you directions based on where Forbes Field used to be, you’ve met a TRUE Pittsburgher.

  39. As a native Pittsburgher (that’s what we call ourselves.) I’m glad that you are passing on the secret that the ‘burgh is a great place! Please enjoy a Permanti’s sandwich for me before leaving – oh and pancakes at Pamalas…and a pastry from Prantels…..and a cup of coffee from the coffee tree.

  40. There’s nothing better than an early spring day to enjoy a nice, new place. Good luck tonight. Vesper is amazing.

  41. Lived in Pittsburgh for nine years and loved it! There’s character to be found in every corner. I can’t belive that no one has used the term Yinzer to describe a Pittsburgher. The Cathedral in Dogma is in Oakland on 5th Avenue across from the Carnegie Institute, just east of the Pitt campus.

  42. Oh I’m so GLAD that you loved my city! I live in South Carolina now, so I am vicariously enjoying your travels in the ‘burgh. If I still lived there, I would not have missed seeing you for all the world. Have fun on the rest of your travels, and thanks a bunch for the sunshine you spread in Pittsburgh today!

  43. Blog-tease! I want to know what fabulous thing Clara taught you. Amazon delivered your new book today.

  44. I’m really not a virtual stalker, but the best picture I’ve seen of the Bohus so far is here… (March 29 entry).
    Just sayin’ for those of us who can’t get enough of it.

  45. I think your blog is a great advertisement for our fair city.. Pittsburgh is a special place and we love the Yarn Harlot.. Still excited from seeing you in person and having you sign my collection of books…. And the bohus is absolutely stunning..

  46. You know a website has hit a certain point when you look at it and say, “50 comments… that isn’t too many. Maybe I will comment.” πŸ˜‰
    I saw your Bohus sweater on Amy Singer’s blog and it is just mesmerizing… So freaking beautiful- I can’t even stand it.
    That is so awesome you got the newscaster to knit- good thing you use your powers for good, not evil.

  47. awww…yinz is making me feel ruhl homesick n’at. i can’t wait to go home in june!
    looks like yinz had a ruhl sunny day dahntahn!

  48. Welcome to Pittsburgh! I am missing you this evening, but your new book showed up on my doorstep just this morning so I am taking comfort by reading and knitting all at the same time while you are just across the river. The hottie newscaster’s name is Keith Jones, just one of the delightful perks about Pittsburgh….enjoy your stay. Hope to catch you the next time.

  49. Pittsburgher, yep Pittsburgher. I live in a town about 20 miles north of Pittsburgh and am very proud of Pittsburgh. It is a truly lovely city and newcomers are frequently surprised at it’s beauty. I’m so sorry that I couldn’t make it tonight to see you. I have been watching to see when you would come to Pittsburgh to see you in person. I hope someday to be able to meet you and to get a chance to laugh with you instead of just reading your blog (which I enjoy tremendously). Have you encountered anyone speaking Pittsburghese? We have our own dialect. Yuns guys have a nice night, I have to go red up the living room. If you need a translation, let me know.

  50. oh my god! now I want to move to Pittsburgh even more than before, if such a thing were possible (which, apparently, it is). Pittsburgh!

  51. Pittsburghers is the right term for everyone who lives here πŸ™‚ And to find out if you can truly understand us, check out (there are truly some unique phrases that we have here *LOL*).
    I’m so glad that you love visiting my beautiful hometown. You had a beautiful day to see the sights. Next time, be sure to get an icy ball (sort of like a sno-cone except so much better!) from Gus and Ya-Ya over on the North Side. And check out the aviary. And the Carnegie Science Center and the Submarine….oh crap. Just move here and I’ll be happy to show you around your new home. πŸ™‚
    I was so upset that I had to miss seeing you tonight, but, I had to conduct a training at my job. Looks like you’ll just have to come back!
    To the person wondering if the TV host was single, nope…Keith Jones is married. He’s still nice to look at though.

  52. I lived in Pittsburgh for about 5 years. I grew up within a 50 mile radius of the city. It does have its charms, I have to admit.
    One of my favorite places was Piper’s Pub on the Southside. If you have a chance, check it out.
    The reason that everyone is surprised by the town is because it DID have a bad reputation, once upon a time. Due to the use of coal, the city was filthy and the streetlights would be on at noon, that’s how dark with soot the place was. I want to say that this was the first half of the 20th century or thereabouts.

  53. Shoot! I just knew I should have gone to Knit One and hung around all day, for my stalker moment. Misremembering the date for your visit was bad, having already made plans with non-knitters was worse.
    Thank you for the lovely Pittsburgh post — we’ve been here 16+ years and just love it. Far more affordable than Boston (or anywhere near it) and tons of charm and oddities and traditions. Yes, for the person above, the ketchup bottle does still pour.
    We’ve alternated spring (and a day or two of summer) weather with wintery rain weather, so glad you got a pretty one even if you were fully prepared for the other kind.

  54. Sorry for the off-topic comment, but I wanted to let you know about my attempts to get your book!
    First stop was B&N, where, last week, they assured me I would have a saved copy today, the 30th. So I head up to the counter, ask for my copy. Had to spell it out for the guy several times: “Yes. Pearl-Mcphee, one word. M-C-P-H-E-E,” and “yes, its a knitting book.” He gives me this look like he’s never, in all his surely lengthy time as a bookstore worker, ever heard of anyone coming in to get a knitting book on the day it was actually supposed to come out. Turns out, the store has ordered – get this- 5 copies. I giggled to myself. My hometown has grown to a population of 100,000, and we have no less than four yarn stores. They are going to need way more than 5 copies… but anyway, I digress. As it turns out, the shipment hasn’t come in, and he’ll call me when it does.
    So I hit the next bookstore, Borders, the one at the biggest mall within 30 miles, where I had to do the SAME spelling game, and again with the look. The over-the-eyeglass, puzzled look as the helper asks me if it’s a knitting book? I assured him yes, that’s the one. Again, the shipment was supposed to come in today, but the it hasn’t, and, what is more, they don’t put out books until Tuesday, “usually.” I may have gotten a little defensive at this “usually,” knowing full well that so-called “best-selling” books would get put out whenever they cam in, and told him he needed more than the 7 copies they ordered two days ago. I tried, I really tried! to tell him they should put whatever they get, out before Tuesday, unless they wanted knitters harassing them over the next week. He looked at me like I was crazy.
    On to the yarn shops, which don’t have it yet, either, but at least there, I wasn’t looked at like I was nuts. I didn’t have to spell the name, and they knew exactly which book I was talking about, and they were looking forward to getting it in.
    Foiled, but not crazy!

  55. Stephanie, I am a long way from Pittsburg (I’ll represent from here in SC) but I just read your book cover-to-cover today and loved every page.
    You helped me figure out that I’m not losing my mind – I’ve just got startitis. I have twenty million things to do before I get my master’s degree in May, and I’m so tense that I’ve cast on six projects in two weeks (in addition to several already on the needles).
    I thought I was nuts. You made me feel so much better about myself. In a few weeks time my world should calm down and I’ll just finish them all up… eventually.
    It’s a great book. Congratulations on a job well done. I’ll definitely read it again soon, but first I need to reread Knitting Rules. I think I cast on something I could turn into a Garter-Stitch Rescue Hat.
    All the best,

  56. I wish that I could show you and your sock such fabulous things while you’re in CO. I hope the sock and you get to see the new Hamilton building at the Denver Art Museum (DAM) as well as Pints Pub right next to the DAM. I think the sock would be keen on cask conditioned ales. Huzzah for Pittsburgh, though. Huzzah, I say!

  57. Oh I’m so glad you enjoyed my adopted fair city! Unfortunately, I am currently enjoying Indianapolis… Hopefully next time you swing through I’ll get a chance to see you.

  58. Glad you are enjoying Pittsburgh-come back any time.
    By the way, the scenic vista appears to be from the West End Overlook, which is very near Mount Washington, but not on. It’s the best view of the city from that side.
    Your talk was delightful, thank you for coming to see us!

  59. I haven’t been to Pittsburgh in sooooooooo long. Your pictures made me miss it. Now that I know there are so many knitters there, and healing clown knitters (which is the most random thing, which is good for me because I’m a random gal) just make me want to go even more. Beautiful shot of Sarah-the-wonder-publicist, by the way. I love how pretty the lighting is on the buildings behind her.

  60. Woooohoooooo!
    As a native pittsburgher, I am proud to see another convert. It is a gorgeous city that in NO WAY deserves the smoky reputation it still has.
    Of course, I had to move to STUPID ATLANTA which is NEVER ON YOUR TOUR LIST so I missed you.
    Please come to atlanta one day? Please? There ARE knitters here! I swear it!

  61. You’re in my hometown! I just wish I could have been there to see you in person. I should of decided to “visit” my parents this weekend, they needn’t know it was really to see a fellow knitter in action…

  62. I’m a displaced ‘burgh native and I was so proud to see my city looking so perky and fresh. Thank you for a beautiful, beautiful reminder of my hometown. And my castle on a cloud building even made an appearence. I couldn’t ask for more!

  63. I am just recovering from the wonderful time I had tonight. Thank you so much for the laughs and baby calming tricks! Someday I will master the bum patting. :o)

  64. I grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, and most of my famiy still lives in and around it. I am so glad that you enjoyed it – Pittsburghers are a friendly bunch, aren’t they?
    And I do hope you managed to make it to Primanti’s for a sandwich. There is nothing in the world like a sandwich with the fries and coleslaw right on it. πŸ™‚
    Alternately, you could hit the Church Brew Works – an old church that was converted into a brewery/restaurant. And yes, the brewing equipment is where the altar once stood. Never let it be said that Pittsburghers don’t have a sense of humor.

  65. My mother in law (of Troy as you might know her on these pages) gave my 6-year old daughter one of those i-cord makers and they are fabulous. Even the teenager cranked away and had to be told to give it up.

  66. Did Steven tell you the words of wisdom his clown mentor told him before we performed for the first time? They may help you as you continue your book tour:
    “Whatever you do, don’t pee your pants. You’re wearing khaki and everyone will see.”
    Thanks for helping us Pittsburghers get the word out that it’s no longer a smoggy, dirty place to live. We need to get the word out that it’s actually pretty nice here.

  67. I’m so glad you enjoyed Pittsburgh! I live in Chicago, but my husband is a former Pittsburgher. He proposed to me on Mount Washington…I hope the sock had as good a time as I did up there! πŸ™‚

  68. Just want to correct a couple of previous comments. The cathedral in the movie Dogma (at the end) is in East Liberty, not Oakland or Mount Washington. The one in Oakland is seen through the window in the board room scene, but that’s it.
    Great to see you this evening. I’ll try to post my event recap tomorrow if Heather allows. πŸ™‚

  69. Pittsburgh is a surprise – we left DD#2 to attend UPitt with no trepidation. After all, she grew up on the southside of Chicago! Still busy and can be gritty but it’s a great place to learn to live away from the parents. Monogahela + Allegheny = Ohio River.

  70. I loved this post. Frankly, we need to get more men knitting!!! There’s nothing inherently feminine about knitting and in many cultures, men were the knitters. I say your next campaign should be to get some male converts. Somehow, I think getting 8954853094589034583094 knitters to converge on the biggest yarn crawl ever would be easier than getting the male of the species knitting. I hope you can prove me wrong someday!

  71. ROFLMAO! You haven’t truely experienced the knitting scene in Pittsburgh until you’ve knit with Steven. Did he tell you about the midget driving a car into the elephant while he was juggling with fire atop said elephant? Seriously though, It so rocks you cranked on the Marley.

  72. Seems that the book must be back-ordered on Amazon. I ordered two days ago (3/28) and everything else shipped but that. Although they are still telling customers on Amazon that they can have the book delivered by April 3 if the order today (3/30). I was told to expect delivery between May 1- May 17. I guess that I’ll need to acquire some patience.
    It appears that even Amazon didn’t understand how popular a knitting book could be.

  73. Dude. I love Pittsburgh! (Please don’t tell any of my Philadelphian family or friends because they will disown me).
    You never told us what Carla showed you. And girlfriend, you need to show a pic of the Bohus so we can get up close and personal with it. You look beautiful in it, by the way. Not many people can carry off that color gold.

  74. Gorgeous pix; thanks for all of them, I’ve never had a chance to ‘see’ anything of Pittsburgh before. Hurray for people who like to learn new things – that’s a good TV host, there. Plus I’m totally in awe of Julia. (I’ve got one pot. 1. O-n-e. And an old microwave. Fortunately, I’m not thinking of going into business.) Sounds like it was a great stop and from late comments, a great event.
    And I just got mail that my book shipped, too. Man, I’m glad I pre-ordered back on Dec. 6th!

  75. I have heard about the giant scarf project. If one promises to donate a ball of I-Cord to the clown project for their noble endeavor, will the clowns, in return, sign a Pledge of Avoidance and send the donor a Flash Gordon Clown Shield by return favor, for those of us who are clownophobic? Seriously, is there an address for folks to contribute I-cord balls? Sounds like a great use for oddballs. I’ll contribute, as long as I don’t have to actually be in the same room with clowns. Or mimes.

  76. Your Guld looks really nice in your interview! (maybe the host was knitting so he could make a beautiful Bohus like yours!)

  77. You wore your bohus and didn’t post any pictures of the finished project (I see it in the studio photos, they do not lie)
    I am deeply disappointed in your photo post-age. For shame.
    I want a picture of it. Please πŸ™‚
    Much Love.

  78. Dear Stephanie I am so glad you are having such a great time and have found Pittsburgh to be a pretty and friendly city.
    What a Muggles that Flight Attendent was…..didn’t she realize she was in the presence of the Yarn Harlot who took NYC by storm.
    I am finished your book already. It is a delightful romp and as thoughtful as the other 3 I have read. I picked it up last night at Chapters here in Scarborough and have read from cover to cover including the covers.
    I had dental work done on Wednesday and the laughing was good for my spirits. You are good for the soul…..thanks so much for your wit wisdom and talent. I think I will go back and reread all of your books….as your humour is so healing.
    I keep looking for a Toronto date. One place that has good a vibe is the Music Garden at Harbourfront……take care and have a blast on your Represent Tour, you rock YH
    k1 p2
    Catriona in Scarborough

  79. you cranked on a marley, with some clown who has a blue beard?
    I am so telling Joe on you missy.
    A big hello out there to Rachel H. from her gal pal Denny.
    I’m going to go to L.K. tomorrow, to read books fondle yarn and oh yeah work too.
    if I rember how to write up sales and work the visa machines.

  80. i can’t WAIt til tomorrow (technically later today)when you come to cleveland; thanks for adding this stop on your tour!

  81. Did any of them mention the bridges? I thought we had a lot of bridges here in Portland, but nothing like Pittsburgh. And so many different kinds. Pretty cool too. Glad you had a great time.

  82. I love it that a fella will give knitting a try. My dad learnt when he was a young kid and had asthma – this was pre-medication days when all a kid could do was rest in bed until the wheezing stopped. So my gran taught him to knit. (And he knows how to darn wool socks – he taught me!) I’ve found a couple of Australian men who knit, one of whom learnt because it made it easier to pick up girls – he was a bit shy and it was a good conversation opener: )

  83. Yes, Zeeppo is a member of our Punk Rock Knitters group! They were doing a ridiculously long scarf before, The Judy I believe. It’s really great. πŸ™‚

  84. /sigh … I miss Pittsburgh. I went to school there and haven’t been back for some time. Its a great city.
    I’m thinking I could become a Harlot Tour Groupie. I keep looking at the tour page and scheming ways (ususally along the lines of “oh I haven’t seen X in forever, maybe its time to visit” or “we have an office in Y, I’m sure I can visit”) to make it to “wherever” so I can see you in person. So far: no success. Must try harder.

  85. The weather in Ann Arbor may not be so pleasant. You’ll be glad you packed warmly. Your Bohus looks lovely, by the way! Hope to see you Sunday, Steph.
    People in the Midwest are awesome!

  86. Sounds like fun!!
    And, That stadium, it’s called “3 river’s”. OR it was, the last time I was there to see the Grateful Dead. Now adays, all kinds of stadiums and arena’s have corprate sponsor names…

  87. Pittsburgh yes! A pretty steel town! I think a reason to visit if I ever go past the Mississippi river.
    As for men knitting. I think we (and I am using the collective we on purpose) can bring men (and for that matter anybody who doesn’t think, act, look or speak like us) into knitting if we try to leave the Muggle vs us thing at the door.
    Nothing separates people more than that kind of “if you don’t believe or act like me” I have to call you something different. Replace that word muggle with some other choice words (such as the “N” word, ignorant, uncool, not a part of) and the connotation becomes real clear.
    Maybe I’m a dreamer, but I think when we leave our preconceived notions of what the “other” is supposed to believe, act, feel or look like, we have a chance to create dialogue, understanding and make new allies.
    Just trying to live the words of the song “imagine” not just sing it or put yarn and needles on top of it.
    World Peace through knitting and dialogue.
    Dr Mimi

  88. I wanted to come see you something fierce. But alas I had to take my boys to their drop off for their boyscout camping trip. I would have never made it in time to see you.

  89. I was recently in Pittsburgh myself for a conference (there is a really interesting yarn shop downtown that is also a card store) and except for my complete inability to navagate the streets and actually get where I wanted to be in less than an hour the first couple of days, I really enjoyed it. Great town. I’m sure the knitters were wonderful too. πŸ™‚

  90. Glad you liked Pitt – my husband is from there and I am from Cleveland – which is a HUGE rivalry. But we have both learned to love the other one’s city.
    Can’t wait to see you later today (in Cleveland)!!!

  91. There is nothing like seeing the image of a handsome man in a suit and tie knitting a sock. I bet he left work for the LYS and bought himself a start up kit. Great post on the Vesper yarns and Marley scarf.

  92. Thanks so much for showing everyone what a great city my hometown is. You certainly had the perfect day for seeing it (and finally a warm day, which is why you were seeing Pittsburghers in flip flops and t-shirts and other seeming inappropriate clothing for the temperature). I see everyone has already provided you with answers about what the stadium is called, so I won’t duplicate their comments — but I will tell you that you should absolutely come back in the summer to go to a game at PNC Park! You don’t really go for the baseball, you go for the view of the city (trust me, it’s good).
    Perhaps someone should buy Keith Jones some more yarn and needles. Knitting is a far better way to spend your time than drinking and crashing your car (ahem).
    Can’t wait to see my blurry self in the crowd pictures from last night!

  93. Glad you liked Pittsburgh, Yes it is a wonderful town. It is where I grew up, and I would be happy living there now.
    Did you go to Squirrel Hill? There are some awesome parks in the ‘burgh. Frick, name a few- You can even go iceskating in Schenley, just not on a canal.
    I hope you took the incline when you went up to Mt Washington.
    So when are ya coming to Buffalo? I hope the rest of your tour goes as well as Pittsburgh.

  94. Stephanie, I’m glad you enjoyed your time in Pittsburgh, at least up to the talk. And since the talk was wonderful, and you were still completely charming by the time you got to those of us at the end of the line, I’m guessing it didn’t ruin your opinion of Pittsburgh.
    It was fantastic to meet you!

  95. So nice to see a picture of Julia. She is a lovely person and a super-talented dyer. And now I can place a face to the name!

  96. Sadly, being a mom of 3 and 6 months pregnant with another I wasn’t able to make the talk. So Sad!!
    But I am glad that you were able to enjoy Pittsburgh, and super glad you were able to meet Steven. I met Steven at WWKIP Day 2006 at Point State Park, and he was a blast then- he has the awesomest sense of humor. If you ever have a chance to come to the ‘Burgh, come on a knitting club night when Steven will be there- you will have a great time. btw-The marley isn’t just a big ole icord… I believe it will be icords braided together in the end.
    If you can, before you leave, make a fast run to the City’s South Side to a shop called ‘the Culture Shop’. The last time I was there they were selling (I believe) recycled silk yarn from Nepal. Its not a yarn store, its an import store, so you’ll have to kind of peek around for it (It was hanging in baskets in the window last time I looked).

  97. Oh, I love Pittsburgh and it is Pittsburghers, btw. And the Pittsburghers speak Pittsburghese. I grew up 90 miles south of Pittsburgh and it was always so fun to go up there. I don’t suppose you came in on the south side. You go through the Fort Pitt tunnel and then boom, you’re on a bridge with a beautiful view of downtown and the rivers. I wish I could be there too right now. And I hope you went to Oakland, it’s pretty and fun too.

  98. I’ve moved around a bit in the last decade, and made Pittsburgh my home for a few years. I, too, was surprised at its beauty. After you figure out how to drive without going over a bridge and through a tunnel each time you take a wrong turn, it gets even better. I miss that town.
    Have fun tonight!

  99. Did anyone say “PNC Park”? With its next door neighbor “Heinz Field”! Pittsburgher is absolutely acceptable, but I do think we friendlies will answer to most things. Without much provocation.
    Glad you enjoyed your visit! It is a wonderful place, and getter better all the time. You’ll have to come back and check in!

  100. Yay for Pittsburgh! My 18-year old son and I visited for the first time in February to visit at college (CMU) where he did a portfolio review. We spent 3 days touring around Pittsburgh and we both LOVED it! I loved all of the cool neighborhoods and character and history everywhere. We loved the south side, and South Side Works, the reconverted Homestead (old steel mill turned upscale shopping/entertainment/restaurant center, Squirrel Hill, Shadyside (favorite) and even downtown. I have fallen in love with the Omni William Penn Hotel – such historic beauty and wonderful service. I want to go back as I didn’t visit any yarn shops when we were there. When the son and I were shopping on Walnut Street in Shadyside I told him “I’ll bet there’s a yarn shop somewhere around here because it would really fit in well.”

  101. Steven is part of our knitting group at the South Hills Barnes and Noble… Talk about freaking out the muggles when he and his apprentices are out!! But my boys love it best when they are practicing balloon animals and I come home with a couple for them. Thanks for another enjoyable evening with you and thanks for an excuse to linger in the South Side on a Friday night– whoo-hoo! Escape the Suburbs!

  102. Pittsburgh is great. I spent 2 years there and am currently spending a lot of virtual time there with my online schooling at Pitt. I just wish you would have been there a month from now, I can’t think of a better weekend then graduation plus Harlot. And I could have brought along a whole herd of brand-spanking new librarians (librarians like book signings of all types, even if they’re muggles).

  103. Hee hee — I live within walking distance of Knit One and they are literally the only place I spend discretionary money. Well, them and Yarns Unlimited in Sewickley. And some online yarn stores, but I like to support the local places. (Less so now that I’m on a yarn diet). It’s pretty bad, though — my two-year-old asks to go to the yarn store, and pretends to go “yarn shopping” by getting out bags and digging through my stash.
    I was so looking forward to going last night, but I was too sick to get out of bed :(. Glad to see Pittsburgh had such a good turnout, but I can’t say I’m surprised. There are tons and tons of knitters here.

  104. I’m imagining The Sock chatting with the host and giving him knitting tips. “Yeah, under, pull through…there you go. Just a little looser…watch out you don’t drop that stitch!”

  105. I told myself not to comment, but…I just have to: this post was so joyously bizzaro, just wonderful. Who Knew Pittsburgh would be so charming!:-)

  106. HI! Glad to see the fun you had in Pittsburgh. Wish I could be there to show you Cleveland (my home town). Will you have time for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (you could send the sock and it could report in)?
    The most impressive thing about that factory of Julia’s? The stove is still white! How can anyone revel in all those wonderful colors and not have them everywhere (I know I would have made a huge mess by now). That is why I stick to KoolAid – at least it is food safe.
    Represent on!

  107. Hey, I wonder if the yarn cooking in Julia’s pots is the Aquamelon or Astro I had backordered? How cool would that be that my yarn was born with The Harlot in the room?

  108. Oh Pittsburgh and Stephanie! I thought I felt the world click into place… I bet the city loved you. I hope you got called “hon” a lot, and received many Pittsburgh-style bear hugs. My favorite city. By far. You need to go back, do the Warhol museum, the incline, ride on the rivers, poke about on Squirrel Hill on a lazy Saturday morning, hit North Point Park, and… learn to speak the language.
    I think I need to move there. Sigh.
    Pittsburghers keep the place a secret. They call it Steeltown to keep it all under wraps, keep it to themselves. Clever, no?
    I didn’t KNOW there was a Pittsburgh sock yarn. There goes my sock yarn diet… Curses!

  109. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! a knitting store with COUCHES and ARMCHAIRS????? wahoo! no wonder you loved that city!

  110. When are you coming to Iowa? We would LOVE to see you! <3
    Thanks for everything you do Stephanie!

  111. Just a historical note… KDKA was one of the VERY first regular broadcast radio stations in America, so Stephanie, you were making history on the oldest station in the US. Cool! Your reporting is great, don’t knock it. We love going on the virtual tour with you.

  112. So happy that you are spreading the knitterly gospel all about. . . so sad that I won’t be making the scene at your Ann Arbor visit just 30 minutes from now. I’m at work and can’t escape. It’s so wrong. Thanks for being you! I hope you come back to Ann Arbor–and I can’t wait to read about your visit even though I won’t be there.

  113. i’m so mad that you were in my town and i didn’t even know! i tune out of your blog for one month because of school and look at what i miss. figures. did you get to hear any pittsburghese?

  114. Whoa! I am amazed and no longer wonder why I haven’t been quick enough to purchase any Vesper Sock Yarn yet. Truly impressive knitter there!
    Pittsburgh looked like great fun. Love taking these knitterly trips with you.

  115. The color of the wall above the knitting clown’s head? Exactly the color of the wall behind my monitor. (I knew you wanted to know.)
    I’ve heard that about Pittsburgh before, but it was from someone who grew up there so I discounted it a bit. It’s good to hear that a city can come back from the hell it used to be.

  116. It was so worth driving the 4.5 hours just to see you and then drive back home the same night!I promise Brooke and I will stalk you in Lexington again.

  117. Oh Pittsburh my Pittsburg. I love that city so much. My Mom is from Pittsburg and a lot of my family is still there. Next time, make someone get you to Pamela’s for some really wonderful strawberry-stuffed pancakes.

  118. This post nearly made me cry.I spent almost 10 years there with my native son husband. Alas, it wasn’t long enough for me to be considered a native, but it was magical just the same. I miss it desperately. Fortunately we are only 130 miles east.
    Just two weekends ago we went to a ballet (featuring jazz) and a hockey game in the same day (“It’s a hockey night in Pittsbugh!”). Not many cities where one can do that! And we were rear ended on the Ft. Pitt bridge! A “hat trick”, as it were.
    Alas, when I was a knitter there in the 80’s, yarn stores were few and far between.
    The view from PNC park is absolutely outstanding. There is no better place to see baseball.

  119. This post nearly made me cry.I spent almost 10 years there with my native son husband. Alas, it wasn’t long enough for me to be considered a native, but it was magical just the same. I miss it desperately. Fortunately we are only 130 miles east.
    Just two weekends ago we went to a ballet (featuring jazz) and a hockey game in the same day (“It’s a hockey night in Pittsbugh!”). Not many cities where one can do that! And we were rear ended on the Ft. Pitt bridge! A “hat trick”, as it were.
    Alas, when I was a knitter there in the 80’s, yarn stores were few and far between.
    The view from PNC park is absolutely outstanding. There is no better place to see baseball.

  120. This post nearly made me cry.I spent almost 10 years there with my native son husband. Alas, it wasn’t long enough for me to be considered a native, but it was magical just the same. I miss it desperately. Fortunately we are only 130 miles east.
    Just two weekends ago we went to a ballet (featuring jazz) and a hockey game in the same day (“It’s a hockey night in Pittsbugh!”). Not many cities where one can do that! And we were rear ended on the Ft. Pitt bridge! A “hat trick”, as it were.
    Alas, when I was a knitter there in the 80’s, yarn stores were few and far between.
    The view from PNC park is absolutely outstanding. There is no better place to see baseball.

  121. This post nearly made me cry.I spent almost 10 years there with my native son husband. Alas, it wasn’t long enough for me to be considered a native, but it was magical just the same. I miss it desperately. Fortunately we are only 130 miles east.
    Just two weekends ago we went to a ballet (featuring jazz) and a hockey game in the same day (“It’s a hockey night in Pittsbugh!”). Not many cities where one can do that! And we were rear ended on the Ft. Pitt bridge! A “hat trick”, as it were.
    Alas, when I was a knitter there in the 80’s, yarn stores were few and far between.
    The view from PNC park is absolutely outstanding. There is no better place to see baseball.

  122. Don’t feel too bad about wearing all the extra clothes, It’s -10 and snowing in Calgary AB right now.
    I wanna crank on the Marley not too. Pittsburg looks like a nice place to go see.

  123. Glad you made it to our fair city. Unfortunately I was unable to attend your event. If you get a chance, stop back in on Sun., July 8th for the “Stitch N Pitch” event at PNC Park (that’s the baseball stadium). Knitters, crocheters, quilters, cross-stitchers alike get to bring their stuff to the game (it’s like a giant fiber arts show and tell) and get to see vendors strutting their stuff. Never mind all the freebies we get, too.

  124. That is so awesome that you got to come here & really see “stuff” I was out of town in DC when you came in so did not get to see you BUT I did go to Joseph Beth yesterday to pick up your book – they had 8 autogrpahed copies left, I grabbed one. The cahsier was telling me what azoo it was & how even though she came form a long lie of knitters she had never heard of you but she is a fan now. See, the trip was worth it you got another knitter hooked!

  125. Yarn Maven,
    I was in JB bookstore looking for a business book for a new venture when i saw the crowd. I couldn’t figure it out…they were (almost) all women, and knitting to boot! I was upstairs pondering how I will ever make my little business grow when I heard you introduced. The applause!
    I heard the first 10 minutes of your talk and was wowed. Making a living talking about yarn…sellling books? Selling out bookstores??? Of course I can make my little business grow! If people love you, they will surely love me too!
    Thank you for the inspiration!

  126. When you’re rested, tell us more about the States – Dishcloth project. Thanks.

  127. I was born in The Burgh (as we Pittsburghers call it), and these photos cracked me up. Yes, that is Mt. Washington, and I cannot believe that Sarah didn’t take you and the sock to The O for a heaping helping of fries. Maybe next time…

  128. Hi there I met you for first time in Pittsburgh this time (my son Christopher was giggling with you while you signed) and I just want to say Steven ROCKS!! I knit on “Judy” the scarf they had started before this current one.

  129. I am SO GLAD that you liked Pittsburgh so much. I’m a native Pittsburgher who is trying to convert the world. Your glowing review helps me immensely, thank you!
    I wish I could have come to the event, but I’m five hours away at grad school and I unfortunately could not get away.
    Steve is a local Pittsburgh celebrity. I don’t know him personally, but I know of him and have met him in passing a few times. I loved all your pictures, but now I’m homesick πŸ™‚

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