Hope is the thing with socks on



Not the book, just the socks, though the evidence of one finished thing is providing hope for the other.


Yarn is STR “Flower Power”, pattern is “Summer of Love Lace” by JC Briar. This was the August shipment of the Sock Club, and while it’s exclusive to the club right now, it’ll be available to anybody who loves it as much as I do sometime next year.


These socks are a little big for me, for a very good reason. They are a bribe. Jayme-the-wonder-publicist, who is in charge of where I go and what I do for 8 days starting next week…loves them. Adores them, covets them deeply. When she said this, I realized that I suddenly have some leverage. After some complex negotiation, Jayme and I have agreed that if she can arrange my travel and life for those 8 days in a way that does not leave me weeping, starving or sleep deprived….

I will give them to her.

They have been knit in her size, and I am providing these pictures and this public declaration of my intentions as proof of our deal. Jayme suggested that she could have the socks if she could find a workaround for these common tour occurrences.

1. Lying on a hotel floor crying out of sheer exhaustion.

2. Having a nervous breakdown in an airport.

3. Starving (technically speaking, not eating anything except airplane pretzels for over 24 hours).

4. Going to sleep at 1am from an event and waking up at 3am for a flight.

Understandably, my standards are a little bit higher. I would like the following:

1. Eight hours between when an event ends and when I have to get on a plane.

2. No starving, with starving defined (for our purposes) as the absence of food (or the time to eat it) for a period of greater than 12 hours.

3. Absolutely no hotel rooms without phones, room service or internet access. (Also, there are worse things in store for Jayme than a little sock deprivation if I ever have drunken karaoke on the patio under my hotel room window during the three hours I have been allotted for sleep again. I know that she could never have known about that, or hardly prevented it, but someone should pay.)

4. The absence of all armed drivers or media escorts.

5. Not getting up before 5am more than 3 days in a row.

6. If there must be connecting flights, more than 4 minutes must be allotted to traverse a huge freakin’ airport.

7. If I do run into trouble not related to Jayme, like say, locking myself out of my hotel room in my underpants or dropping my shoes out of high windows, Jayme will, when I tell her about it, not laugh until I am home. (I understand that this one will be difficult, given my track record, but these are nice socks.)

8. No bookstores with only 10 chairs available for knitters.

9. No 3 hour flights with guys who want to know if I am lonely without my husband. (I know this one is mostly luck, but it’s so gross I want to try and avoid it anyway.)

10. An understanding that if coffee is not available to me within 15 minutes of my awakening I can hardly be blamed for ANYTHING.

I am willing to let her off the hook for the nervous breakdowns in an airport because they are not always her fault, and she can hardly be blamed for my continuing difficulties with O’Hare or that thing in Detroit.


Game on Jayme. Lets rumble, and remember, I know other people with size 7.5 feet.

198 thoughts on “Hope is the thing with socks on

  1. those socks are super cute. I really like ankle socks (my legs get ichy!), and I like how there’s a split in the top. gorgeous colouring too!

  2. Hey, I have size 7.5 feet! If Jayme fails to receive them, I’d like to try for them. They’s gorgeous!

  3. Since you are wanting to have longer stays at the places you visit, you should add to your list of demands that Jayme should send you to Philadelphia. I would be honored to take you around and show you all the fun historical stuff in the cradle of the US (and also all the best micro-breweries) while you are here.

  4. I have 7.5 feet! Okay, not really, but they are so lovely and I was nott gisted with a membership this year. Good luck and may the force be with you!

  5. Those socks are gorgeous!
    How do I contact Jayme? Maybe I can get her to put someplace in Indiana on the itinerary.

  6. Why don’t you let Rams, Rachel H, and I handle these negotiations? It’ll free you up to write.

  7. I’ve got size 7.5 feet too … you know, there are a lot of us out here. However, I think I’ll just wait until the pattern’s available, because I’m lusting to knit those pretty darn bad.
    When you’re in Houston, be sure you have a cardi with you. It will be boiling hot outside, but freezing indoors due to the amazingly overdone a/c everyone uses there.

  8. …best bribery ever. Hell, I’d be willing to negotiate your tour for that sort of bribery.
    That pair is far too small for me though…curses.
    If you need help navigating Michigan and the airports surrounding us in this lovely mitten-shaped sate(complete with delivery of locally brewed beer), I’ll take a pair in US women’s 10s. πŸ˜‰

  9. Those socks are fantastic (LOVE the cuffs!), and you are such a riot. Thanks for bringing amusement and yarn pr0n to my day. πŸ™‚

  10. One of your stops this time out is Seattle, that stop should be able to provide sufficient coffee, around EVERY corner. (Some pretty good microbrews as well, but I don’t think you are here that long.)
    As for icky people on planes, c’mon, how much of that can Jayme control, other than sitting with you?
    Good Luck!

  11. Love the socks. I think you should make more to carry with you as bribes for people who can make your trip more pleasant. Unless you’re coming to Abilene, Tx, that doesn’t include me. Bummer.

  12. Those socks are so very very lovely. And for some reason I find the phrase “Summer of Love Lace” alone deeply moving. It just sounds like the best thing ever doesn’t it?

  13. Consider the socks “lagniappe” — that something extra thrown in to sweeten a deal. I’d do a lot for socks like that, I know! I like that colorway very much knit up, whereas the pictures I had seen of the skeins didn’t rock my world as much.
    Good luck with those airports! Take some cheese sticks with you!

  14. those are mighty purtty socks. wish I was Jayme.
    good luck on the tour and I’ll be seeing you on Sept 19th in Atlanta Ga. yea me

  15. Lots of people with (allegedly) 7.5 feet. Mine, unfortunately, arent’. The socks are fabulous – both the colour and the pattern. Excellent for bribery, ahem, negotiating.

  16. I have 7.5 size feet! I wouldn’t think of letting you wake up and be more than 10 minutes without coffee…that’s how long it takes my dripper to make a pot.

  17. I can’t wait to see you in Los Angeles next week. If you have time between events you should stop by A Mano Yarn Center – they’d LOVE to see you and it’s a great store!

  18. Woo Hoo! Can’t wait to see you in Wichita. I’ll bring my first socks–they are a “pair” of children’s socks in which one would comfortably fit a garden gnome and the other the intended six year old. Ooops. That gauge thingy.

  19. If Jamie can give you even half your list, she is indeed a wonder-publicist and deserving of the socks. Good luck with your tour!

  20. Well, I’ll be there to see you toward the end of this leg (Los Angeles Library – yay!) and I’m certain that they’ll have more than 10 chairs set up. So – Jayme – here’s hopin’!
    (And Steph – yay – see you soon!)

  21. Rachel H. is an organizer. Pesbytera is an organizer. I just hold their coats. (But I wouldn’t take Presbytera at face value on this one — her feet might just translate to 7.5, and as a lexicographer she probably has the tools to translate ’em to whatever she wants.)
    Think you need to prioritize that list — coffee, food, time between connections. Airplane creeps and weenies are wildcards.

  22. If Jayme can achieve even one of the things on your list, I wonder if she might be able to make the travel arrangements for my manager.
    In the 5+ years I’ve worked with her, I’ve had her up at the arse-crack of the morning; flown her out of places in the dead of night; stuck her in the Hotel Gander where they don’t understand the words, “plain grilled chicken”; arranged a hurricane to beat down on her house while she watched hopelessly from British Columbia; fogged the airport in St. John’s; orchestrated a plot with the Halifax airport to destroy her luggage before she even made it through security; and, the coup to end all coups, shut down the Air Canada mainframe so that she and I could spend several hours in the St. John’s airport eating vending machine food.
    I’m THAT good.

  23. It occurs to me that maybe, just possibly, there’s a tiny little chance that your schedule is so killer because you want to limit your time away from your family?
    I don’t think I’d last a single day on your grueling tour schedule! Please be kind to yourself — we all adore you and want you healthy. Maybe we should all make socks for Jayme?

  24. How about another Jayme with size 7.5 feet? (ok usually closer to 7 but I’ve heard that being pregnant will make my feet grow, hasn’t happened yet but those socks may make it easier to accept when it does).

  25. These socks are too big for you?? And they’re a 7.5??? What tiny size feet do you have? My size 10 feet would look clownish next to your!!

  26. I’m sure Jayme will pull through. After all, she is the wonder publicist, and those are some pretty tempting socks. Go, Jayme!

  27. Aw, man…there are too many other people volunteering their size 7.5 feet for me to even have a glimmer of hope for those gorgeous socks. Guess I should just keep plugging away at my Seattle socks…it’s amazing how much slower I knit with sock yarn and size 1’s over worsted weight and size 6…for toddler feet!
    You’re going to be in my old hometown…Seattle! If I could manage to sneak out on my 4 kids and hubby I would so get on a plane to the Emerald City! Make sure you go up the Space Needle!

  28. that thing in Detroit? You had a thing in Detroit? I once had an awful airport experience that might very well have ended in tears in Detroit. I came on the heels of one mother of a hangover, too, which didn’t help.
    I hope nothing like that happens and Jayme gets the socks.

  29. Go Jayme, you can do it! Although, if you’re willing to wait, those foibles of exhaustion and airport hell make good blog fodder, so if you can’t stand to take it easy on her, I’ll knit you some later when the pattern comes out. [evil grin]

  30. If Jayme can get me away from the hell that is my workplace for the next 8 days, I will knit her any socks of her choice!! And I won’t complain about bad kareoke, or 5am wakeups or, well, I may complain aobut creepy airplane seatmates…
    But, if she fails, I also have size 7ish feet, and I have fed you and provided you with pleasant surroundings 3 times now.
    Jayme? game on!

  31. I was right. The ability to knit socks does somehow lead into ruling the world. Or at least your world. I have to admit, I think I was a little naive about the whole book tour thing. Yeah, I HATE to fly, but I thought it was mostly all hunky-dory. I mean, you fly somewhere, talk for a while, then get to sit and sign books and take blog pics of babies and socks and stuff, and get to see cities you’ve never seen before, and then get up the next morning and do it all over again. It never occurred to me all the possibilities for bad things to happen. Outside of the plane crashing in a firey heap, I mean. Wow. This makes me appreiciate you and your tour all the more. Now I totally have to think of something original to bring you as a thanks for coming to Wichita. How fast can you drink a 24-pack? And do you like to fly with a hangover? Or maybe my socks will get a ribbon from the State Fair? Hmmm, which would be better…ribbon or beer?

  32. Oops, two comments because I have a reply to anotehr ocmment. Kathy, combine the two into the classiness that is PBR.

  33. I’m rooting for Jayme! Even though I’m sure she always does what she can to ensure your happiness, a little sock insurance can’t hurt!

  34. You’ll be here on the 19th. I promise there will be wonderful beer, knitters and more than 10 chairs at Knitch.
    We’re looking forward to welcoming you to our town.

  35. I’ve been considering offering you my well-honed skills as an executive/personal assistant to help you through your various times of madness, but figured that you like most individuals, couldn’t provide the salary I require. HOWEVER, I’d be willing to accept socks as gorgeous as those in lieu of cash (I’m not sure my husband would be thrilled with my earning socks instead of $$ but hell, I would!).

  36. Oh, honey, we all suffer with O’Hare. I don’t know what it is, but every time I’ve flown out of it, or had someone here, it’s been a trial and a torment. Also, I cannot believe you don’t have frosty cold beer on your list of demands.

  37. I used to travel for my job and I know how the glamor of travel disappears after about the third time in an airport. So although your blog entry is humorous I can see some dead serious limitations and requests in your list. Good for you. You are a wise traveler now. Stick to your list. And if the sock bribe doesn’t work make Jayme start paying you in yarn for every Harlot travel-rule infraction.

  38. I am planning to bring you a nice sack lunch to your gig in LA. If you don’t need it then, you can use it for your next flight.
    Your schedule looks totally grueling. If that’s what it takes to be a successful author, you can have it.

  39. Unlike the other fibbers who so blatantly lie in the comments on your blog, I have size 7.5 feet and the shoes to prove it! I will even take pictures. I can even remind you to not leave your hotel room in your underpants. My other skills are just too many to name.

  40. dear steph, your sock is SO beautiful (maybe it will be the first pair i knit?) that i was inspired to write this ode to a sock, just for you (plagiarizing only slightly) πŸ™‚
    hope is the thing with socks on
    that cuddles ’round the toes
    and skips along without the shoes
    and never stops at all!
    and dearest in the gale is donned
    and sore must be the storm
    that could abash the little yarn
    that kept so many warm
    i’ve knit it in the chillest land
    and on canoe at sea
    yet never in extremity
    it asked a darn of me!

  41. I still really, really want to know why you were instructed to block the cuffs before knitting the rest of the socks. As I said before, I would not respond well to this.
    Although if I were trying to bribe someone I might reconsider. Are Canadian and US shoe sizes the same? I don’t know why they should be, given that nothing else is, but a pity if so since I wear an 8 (it used to be a 7.5 BK) and cannot enter the “if Jayme doesn’t come through pleeeeeeeeeeeeez pick me” sweepstakes.

  42. I will add that I have size 7.5 feet, AND I have magical silver Birkenstocks. Jayme should know that.
    (Of course, I do see that there are PAGES of other commenters who are willing to be the recipient of those socks should she fail in her challenge. But hey, silver Birkenstocks with silver in the cork footbed. You’ve seen ’em, you’ve tried ’em on. There you go.)

  43. 11. Show up in Des Moines and/or Quad Cities, IOWA.
    Yeah, I know I said I gave up, but I lied. Whatever. Come on down here and do something about it.

  44. you have me laughing out loud! I work in TV and used to travel all the time when I worked for Trading Spaces. (actually I still kinda do) I agree with Sue. The glamour dies quickly!! That list rings sooooo true it’s not even funny! – alright – very funny cause it is spot on. (i.e. Hotels in south beach with a LIVE jazz band performing poolside, just below your window, at 1 am, just isn’t fair on a “work” night!)

  45. Cuute socks!! So’s the negotiating. [g] Almost makes me wish I still had 7.5 size feet (8 now, strange how that happened). Although I’d freak at trying to make all those arrangements, so the point’s moot anyway. πŸ˜‰
    But see, if I were you, I would’ve *insisted* on #4–to take care of #9. If you had an armed driver (or a bodyguard who can drive, probably more useful as he won’t have to stay with, you know, a car back there on the ground somewhere), or a media escort with you *on* the plane, that’d definitely take care of any creepy guys. You’d simply have to add a rider to the agreement that you get to vet said armed driver or media escort, to make sure they’re nice guys you can get along with. Then they sit next to you, thus repelling any Creepy Guy Seating Factor. Following your every order, of course, so they don’t so something like babble at you when you’re counting during a lace repeat. The rest of the time they can disappear unless you need an errand run or something. Like, you know, finding good vegetarian takeout when you’re in a hotel with no room service.
    Or possibly carrying an extra robe for you in their luggage and being instantly available to go on a clothes/shoe run for those, uh, highly unusual, probably never happen again occasions…

  46. Dude. Those requirements — except for the no-sleazy-seat-companion one — are minimum. Really. For crying out loud, you are a human being, and humans have certain basic needs that must be met. Little things like sleep and food, not to mention coffee. If she doesn’t do that stuff for every single trip, you need a new publicist. If my employer didn’t provide those things when I had to travel I’d be looking for a new job so fast it’d make your head spin.
    No, I’m not looking for the socks as a gift for myself. I just think you have been poorly treated and deserve better.

  47. It’s probably a good thing I’m neither your publicist nor someone with size 7.5 feet. There’s no way I’d make it past condition number 7.
    Christine M east of Toronto, my hat is off to you. Fantastic adaptation.

  48. As someone anxiously awaiting your Seattle visit, well, here’s hoping Jayme earns those socks cause we want you happy on your next sojourn of the tour!!! I am a quiet lurker on this blog but I love your socks, your blog, your books…well, I am a huge fan like all of us are.

  49. OK, since it looks like Jayme might not get the socks (I’ve seen the schedule!), May I have them?
    I mean seriously -I’m not sure where you are flying into -but does Witchita have an airport? If not, your flying into Kansas City, Tulsa, or OKC – then DRIVING to Witchita – Then DRIVING back to fly to NOLA, then to Houston – in THREE Days! CRAZY WOMAN!
    Now you will see why I had HOPED (beyond hope) that your Monday TBA would be Tulsa. It would have been like a day of rest!

  50. Those requirements sound basic to me too! Speaking of socks and tour management, did anyone ever knit socks for that nice guy who drove you to your reading last winter?
    Have a great tour! I’ll be there in Virginia.

  51. Listen to Presbytera. Never do your own negotiating, unless you can bluff successfully *every* time at high stakes poker. You have a ready made team in Presbytera, Rachel H. and rams.
    And, rams, dear? I don’t think, for a second, that you don’t have the skills for this. Not. For. A. Second. I’d be quaking in my shoes to come up against the three of you.
    And those are seriously wonderful socks. I’d do a lot for them, in my size. Love the lace cuffs.

  52. Jayme can and probably will make these things happen for you if it is humanly possible. If you are in the market for a p.a., I’ll hang a sign ’round my neck and say, will work for wool.

  53. Damn… those are some seriously nice karaoke-busting, lech-stopping, airport shrinking, food-producing, hole-in-the-space-time-continuum socks! How do you spin wool like that, anyway?

  54. Do you think if I promise socks to the people in my life they will give me the same conditions (particularly the karaoke and coffee ones)? Because I am willing to knit like a fiend if that’s the case.
    I hope the travelling goes better this time!

  55. Dang those socks are beautiful. That Jayme is sure lucky. I think she’s got her work cut out for her to finagle those socks.

  56. Super nice socks!
    But that’s not the only reason I am posting. Now that I’m under the 2000 mark for a Ravelry invite, does the fact that I made the check your status page my browser homepage mean I need knitter’s anonymous?
    I know this isn’t about socks but the Ravelry thing did start with this blog.

  57. If I remember correctly, weren’t you showered in panties recently? I mean, the potential for food assult in item #2 is out there. With the exception of being hit with pretzels, any thing could come your way. (Veggie, of course.) As my mom would say,”Careful what you wish…”

  58. Way to go on the Dickenson adaptation, Christine M.! We love that particular poem here at work. Can’t give up hope in a cancer hospital. Now, those socks are lurvly. My money is on Jayme. I bet she is up to the challenge.

  59. You forgot one…
    A BATHTUB in each hotel room. Or maybe a certain publicist who is willing to battle any multi-legged thingys each and every day before you are forced into a corner with only a loofah sponge to defend yourself with.
    Cause, hey, bugs are gross!

  60. Dang, I love those socks. I do think you forgot to add what you get if JTWP loses… getting to keep the socks does not seem quite fair. How about she gets your book deadline pushed back? Or, arranges a tour stop at the location of your choice?

  61. Me! Me! I have size 7.5 feet! That pattern is great. Have a safe and fun trip. We know you love meeting the knitters as much as they love you!

  62. Wow – they look GREAT! Much better even that the picture that came with the pattern. I’m definitely doing these now that I’m done with my BSJ.
    Out of curiosity – how much yarn did you have left over? I have size 9 feet, so it’ll be much less, but I’m still VERY interested …

  63. I LOVE those socks!!! I’m already on the mailing list to get on the sock club for next year, but when that pattern is available, I’m buying it!! Tell Jayme to plan a stop in Cleveland for you. we have a nice small airport and some great yarn shops (my fav is Soft & Sassy in Broadview Heights). I’ll even bring you some coffee:)

  64. those socks are so lovely. I must get that yarn and pattern. the people in my life are not impressed by handknit socks… what am I doing wrong? I might as well have a 3rd ear in the middle of my face, that is how strange they find hand knit socks.

  65. Taking a side step off the main topic–did you know that you can sing most of Emily Dickinson’s poems to the tune of ‘The Yellow Rose of Texas’?
    All the best to you on your tour–I’m sure it will all work out well and JTWP will get her beautiful socks.

  66. Detroit? Are you coming to Detroit agaub? I will gladly pick you up, put you up in my son’s room with the Indie film posters (and the poster of Audry Hepburn) while he’s away at college, feed you coffee and then beer….AND I DON’T NEED THE SOCKS ‘CAUSE I HAVE MY OWN AUGUST STR SHIPMENT TO WORK ON! How’s THAT for a deal??????

  67. I’m so excited about this leg of your tour. I’ll be seeing you in Wichita!
    Have a safe trip and I hope you can say goodbye to those socks lovingly!
    ~Erica in OKC

  68. Had to make sure you know that yes, Wichita does have an airport and that you’ll like it. It is very small and has never taken very long to get through security, usually 5 min. I’m knitting up a Kansas block for you, hopefully you don’t get a ton of them. If you want me to bring something for you, beer, food, I would be more than happy too!

  69. “That thing in Detroit”? You mean Metro Airport? It’s not that bad, is it? Call me any time and I will zip down to help you navigate or personally schlep you around our fair burg. (Although, depending upon where you’re headed, you might want to fly into Flint Bishop, instead. Tiny little airport. Way less hassle.)

  70. I love those socks. Especially the cuff. I usually make socks on my knitting machine, which I love, because it’s fast. But for those cuffs, I would get out my dpns. You have inspired me. Good thing its not report card time for awhile.

  71. I know O’Hare and Detroit. You are a very gracious person to absolve Jayme of any trouble associated with those airports. They can be, um, trying. May your next tour of duty be pain free!

  72. Is she a publicist or a miracle worker?! I have to say, though, that those socks make great carrots. Jayme, I’m rooting for you!

  73. …”that thing in Detroit” – I hear you!! So sorry – used to live there. What a h3ll hole. Been through there recently – unfortunately – and it’s even worse now. OK! (shake it off) Socks are GORGEOUS! Can’t wait to have that colorway.

  74. That sock is the darndest cutest thing ever! Way to go Christine M.!
    It is hard to believe #8 even belongs on the list anymore. Just as it was hard to believe, when I saw you a few months ago, that the store wasn’t educated to the point of understanding and acceptance of the influx of potential income to their store. AND be smiling broadly welcoming it…
    I agree: lots and lots of limos with drivers that meet you outside security at each airport and whisk you away…to quiet rooms at nice hotels. I also can’t believe you walk around by your lonesome in/out of speaking engagements and road deadlines. You aren’t Paris Hilton or some other idjit, but a secure Harlot means many stores’ worth of publicity and deadlines will be fulfilled by a rested, fed, unharassed, serene Harlot.

  75. Love the socks.. The next time a passenger asks if you are lonely tell him no. Then tell him if he would move out of your way, this only works if you are in the window seat, you would be very to stand up, in the middle of the aisle, and ask in a very loud voice if there are any lonely women on board who would like to help him out. I did this on a flight and he moved. Also got a huge laugh from the passengers

  76. Your socks are really cute. What is this “sock club” you speak of? How can I get more information on it? I have 2 nieces that will just go crazy for these socks. Please point my compass in the right direction.

  77. Steph –
    You are my IDOL! I hang on your every word; I long for the day you come to the Bay Area and I know about it so I can come see you; I have all your books and laugh myself silly to the point of peeing on my feet (but never the socks); and you brighten my days when now I’m having such a difficult time with life. Your knitting is exquisite. I’ve been knitting for 47 years (but not that long for socks), and I look forward to the day when I can knit socks as well as you can. Peace! (or I think that’s what they said back then – I missed an entire decade somewhere in there)

  78. Stephanie, please tell Jayme that we’ll knit her any sock she covets if she’ll book you in Montana.
    As for you, there will be chocolate, coffee, and knitters.

  79. Hey, Steph…Dave @ Cabin Cove has a picture that he really should dedicate to you since we all know you are so enamoured of these little darlings. πŸ™‚ Check out his 9/7 entry:

  80. When I started dating my husband, I gave him a card. In the card it said “I am not responsible for anything said or done, and fights started to fought or any actual words which come from my mouth before the 2nd cup of coffee.”
    I had a boyfriend, once, who would wake me up by bringing me a cup of coffee so he could fight with me before he left for work. Needless to say, he didn’t last nearly as long as my husband has… who understands that if I yell at him before the 2nd cup of coffee I won’t even remember the fight 2 hours later.
    NOTHING should be done before coffee.

  81. You should never have to get up at 3 am. Never. That is just wrong. I never understood why she made you do that. Unless she wanted to make you desperate to stop so you’d do anything for her and she’d get gorgeous socks. (If she ever makes you get up at 3 am again, ever, take the socks away from her. I’m sure someone else would be happy to have them even if they’ve been worn. Alas, I have size 8.5 feet.)

  82. I. WANT. THAT. PATTERN!!!! My feet absolutely NEED a pair of those socks. I have sock yarn aplenty that’s just waiting to be knit up into such a deliciously cute pattern. I’ll have to keep a look out for when it’s available to the masses. I’ll envy your publicist’s feet when she gets those socks.

  83. You’re bribing her with [admittedly gorgeous] socks that were partially blocked in a river? I’m not sure which one of you that makes “cooler-than-thou”.

  84. Don’t forget having your needles taken away even tho they are on the list of ok things to bring (along with 4 in or less pointy scissors)
    O’Hare is just plain evil. (I did a 30 min lay over, and it took me 20 mins to get across it. I was very prego and had the then baby with who was less then 1) Evil I say!

  85. The socks are just flat-out gorgeous. Too bad I have giant size 10 feet. Anyhow, you are not alone with feeling you need to be locked up to get your writing done. I think it was O. Henry (Gift of the Magi) who was locked up by his family in a room without alcohol to get him to write another story so they could buy food. Once he was done with the story, they’d let him out and he’d go get sloshed again until the next time. No wonder his stories have such twisted plots.

  86. Man, Jayme has one tall order. She deserves the socks, I think. My family knows there always better be coffee within 10 mins. of me waking–I always have a pot ready! Let’s hear it for 7.5!

  87. It is SO COOL to be knitting the same socks as the Harlot! I dare say that I am glad that I did wet block the cuffs–don’t need to piss off the Knitting Goddess. Mine aren’t done yet but I’m getting there. They are wonderful.

  88. Love love love the socks. Can’t wait to see you in Atlanta on the 19th. May your travels be trouble free and the socks be Jayme’s.

  89. Ooh, add me to the list of size 7.5 feet who would looove those socks! Good luck on your travels – I hope things go well and Jayme gets the socks! See you in New Orleans! =)

  90. I have “homework” socks I got to do for my lys…but after that I shall get my STR kit out and begin my pair. Thanks for the inspiration!
    And remember, you can still buy that same color (members are allowed) and make yourself another pair just like those!
    Wish you well on your next leg of the tour! Still very very sorry you won’t make it to Tulsa this year…it is cooler than last week!

  91. I have decided to stop lurking, now that I have read all the archives. I’ve learned a lot in the last few weeks:
    1) The power of knitters
    2) The power/longevity of a gansey sweater project. I am sure that its creation is a symbol of love, so why would you want it to end?
    3) That it is really not a good idea to read about someone who makes their living (in a round about way) with yarn. This is because your yarn purchases over the last three years make me think that my 6 new skeins of sock yarn are not all that much and that really, I should buy more.
    and today, I learned,
    4) I WANNA belong to the STR club. When can I join???

  92. I’m a little sentimental this evening so forgive me. (My dog is dying.) But I think those are a child’s– or, um, young woman’s– feet in those pictures. Am I right? Isn’t it vaguely heartbreaking and still hopeful that you can tell a young person’s very skin just by looking?
    Okay, I’ve had wine. I’ll shut up now. But, um, I could wear those socks, too.

  93. Does Jayme ever travel with you to see what your insane schedule looks like? I had a corporate travel agent from hell…Chicago to Vancouver by way of Los Angeles, because it was $100 cheaper (with a 9 hour layover in LA…while there was a NONSTOP [NONSTOP, not direct!!]) leaving 16 minutes later. Jayme should have to do what you do, when you do it, for at least one part of Harlot on Tour. She sleeps when you sleep. Eats when (and what) you eat. Melts down when you melt down.
    As to O’Hare…next time you’re stuck, call me and you have a place to stay (trust me, with your luck, all the hotels will be booked). I’ll make you coffee and I won’t even charge you socks (but my shoe size is 4.5…). I flew in an out of there enough, but I always preferred O’Hare to Midway.

  94. I love those socks, but I can’t quite visualize them on dear Emily D. in her white dress in that upstairs bedroom. . . . They are really, really gorgeous.

  95. Great socks. Love the color and design and wouldn’t you know I am a size 7.5? πŸ˜‰
    Just finished your last book and enjoyed. Coming out to BC anytime soon? Vancouver area preferred!

  96. I just cast a weather-eye over your upcoming schedule, and I think you clearly don’t want to give away those socks. Because there is pretty much no way Jayme can give you all of those given where you are supposed to be and when. It’s the Wichita thing that may kill it.
    I can get you to Seattle to LAX but Wichita? The only non-stops don’t match your schedule, so unless I miss my guess, you’ll be changing planes at an ungodly hour in Denver or possibly Houston after getting a flight out of LAX. I forsee a meltdown.
    The rest of the schedule should be fine, since they are mostly at hub airport cities…..
    Get a nice knitter to pick you up in Wichita, hon, ’cause I’m thinking you’ll need directions to the nearest decent coffee bar pronto at that point. Frankly, if Jayme wants those socks, she’s going to need people meeting you at each airport with fresh shipments of Peets and some directions to the nearest great restaurant.

  97. If blokes proposition you so frequently, you must be a babe (with a nice rack!).
    I wonder if you are going through Denver…. Wichita is too far away for me on my pushbike. LOL
    I’m not a size 7.5 and I have to make my own socks.

  98. *Snort*
    That thing in Detroit.
    I feel that way about it too (I actually have a rather horrifying childhood memory of running through that place while they were “redoing” it).

  99. Dear April, Yes – Wichita has a very nice airport that perfectly serves our needs but doesn’t have long lines or a 100 acre parking lot. We’re so lucky!
    Dear Ann, I’m trying and TRYING to be the one picking her up at the airport but… I think at least a dozen other people are trying and trying to be the one picking her up at the airport. Whoever it is – I know they’ll be a nice knitter. πŸ™‚
    Dear Jayme, We’ll all knit you a pair of socks if you can figure out a ways to keep the airline people from messing with Stephanie’s sleeping and eating schedule. But then what will she talk about to make us laugh… knitting? ha xoxox

  100. I see your drunken karoke singer and raise you one drunken dumbek player/yodeler…honest to the great diety above, it really happened. Well, I think it was yodeling.
    I wear 7.5 and I make wonderful coffee. I can’t promise you that I can keep airplane mashers away but I can see that you are fed and coffee’d.

  101. Awesome socks. Do they stretch? I wear size 8.5.
    You will not starve. You are going to New Orleans, remember? Besides, I already said I would cook Cajun Veg, and I have the chef credentials from my younger days. Just give the word, milady.
    I am also still volunteering to be your ride and New Orleans Hat Person. There are charities needing hats there, and we already have a hat drive going on another knit group. There are lots of destitute people in post-Katrina New Orleans and while winter here isn’t long, it isn’t warm, either.

  102. Oh man, how do I sign up to become your publicist? Oh well, they’re too small for me, anyway. I’ll just have to get the pattern myself, so I can make them in my size. Good luck with your requests/demands/bribe!

  103. Klaus, that was a great comment/reply. You don’t want to know how long it took me to figure out what those initials stood for. (hint…it was a while) But, if I remember, isn’t that just one or two steps above Old Milwaukee?

  104. Your problem with O’Hare is that you are attempting to use it as an airport. You will find your problems with it will vanish if you use actual airports, like Midway.
    My “favorite” (read: infuriating) O’Hare encounter involved a departures board listing my flight’s terminal as “?” and directions to my terminal involving arrows right next to each other but pointing in opposite directions.

  105. I’d want to pick you up at the airport in Wichita too!!
    But if you’re looking for food:
    Really good cheeseburgers: Sport Burger on Hillside between 1st and 2nd
    Best Chinese: Great Wall on Hillside & Central (especially the crab rangoon)
    And there’s a lot of really cool places. If you need anymore ideas let me know.

  106. Those are the most beautiful socks I have ever seen ! I have to say no9 so grossed me out ! I think I’d hit any man who said that with my knitting bag …trapped with the sickie on a flight too..oh dear .

  107. Wonderful socks. The pattern isn’t available yet, is that what I read? Beautiful!!! Size 10 here, so I guess I’d be knitting them myself. I love the colorway too. Good luck Jayme.

  108. I’m so with you on the coffee thing! We really don’t want to go into what can happen when we die-hard coffee junkies can’t get our fix immediately upon awaking! (And I really do mean immediately!) What I can’t understand is how anyone can get up in the morning and not have coffee? I mean, I know that non-coffee drinkers are out there and all, and have perfectly happy lives (supposedly,) but I just can’t figure out how they can actually survive without a cup of coffee in the morning. I can’t! Just because they’re super human, real, honest to God morning people, it doesn’t mean the rest of us have to be too does it? I know I can’t LOL! Your socks are great. I guess I have to hurry up and finish my mom’s socks, the baby sweater for my friend, and a shawl so I can start the August sock kit. I made myself a promise that I wouldn’t start anymore projects until I finish something that’s in progress.
    Oh no!
    Must……..start……new ……socks!!!!!!!!!!

  109. Re # 9 – it’s your voice, Stephanie. Not that you’re not also a very pretty woman, but you have a devastatingly sexy and beautiful voice. So next time you get a guy in the seat next to you asking about your husband (I’m being sexist here, you can reverse the scenario as needed) just say “thank you so much for asking, and yes, I miss my wife something awful.”.

  110. I had my husband (the non-knitter/blogger/spinner!!!) read your camping post and he said “looks like fun to ME!”. I said “especially the part where she was bouncing off the rocks, right?!?”. We are so glad you (and your socks) are fine. My own kit for the Summer of Love Lace is sitting on the table calling to me, louder and louder and LOUDER!!!! I hope all your travelling dreams come true!!!

  111. Ok. Not fair. Now I know your secret. I can’t help feeling that it might be easier and more fun to make many, many pairs of socks if a size 7.5 is too big for your feet (says the woman who just braved her first size 10 sock for herself). Sigh.
    I think the absence of patio karaoke and creepy airplane guys are both admirable goals. Good luck with that.

  112. Wow, those are absolutely beautiful socks. I hope Jayme realizes what a deal she’s getting and can pull it off.
    I ordered some of the STR yarn in Lemongrass and it’s so absolutely beautiful that I am thinking of knitting a shawl with it instead of socks because I want to have everyone see it. I just have to find the right pattern though.

  113. Those would be big for me, but they’re gorgeous enough that I bet I could get my feet to grow for them! How about it? I’ll take you to all of the cool DC off the beaten path spots when you’re in Bailey’s Crossroads on the 20th! SO excited!

  114. I second Pam; please come to the Bay Area! I’ve never seen you speak and go green with envy when my girlfriends tell me they have.

  115. Following up on Phebe’s line of thought, most Emily Dickinson poems can also be sung to Amazing Grace (not surprising, since they’re hymn meter) and the theme to Gilligan’s Island (that works particularly well for “Because I could not stop for Death.”) Though “The bustle in a house/the morning after death” works with The Farmer in the Dell.
    And you already know to sing “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” to “Hernando’s Hideaway,” since Gonzo did it, right?
    The joys of a liberal arts education.

  116. lucky jayme! those socks are gorgeous. i must have the pattern and the yarn when they are available. off to google the pattern!
    i am really looking forward to hearing you speak in atlanta. a lot of the girls at knit night in birmingham this week were sad that they ran out of spots there before they signed up. girl, get jayme to send you to birmingham and we’ll show you a good time. you’ll be too busy eating bbq and drinking beer while you knit to have a nervous breakdown.

  117. I suspect that Jayme is trying to get all the socks you’ve ever knitted by killing you on this tour. Who crosses the USof A in 8 days? Crazy people, that’s who. That’s four times zones — not counting the fact that you have to move across three of ’em to get to the start of the tour. Never MIND the language issues. How are you expected to converse with people in the Pacific Northwest one day & folks in the Bayou three days later? Followed rapidly by Texas (which is WEST of New Orleans, so you’ll be going backwards, though in the same time zone) and Hot-lanta, where the Southern is fried a little differently. Eh? May the force be with you.

  118. My lovely, non-knitting husband (who really loves your blog and books, by the by) has suggested you need to carry a Popeil Pocket Fisherman fishing pole for the next shoe-loss issue. I tried explaining that a compact fishing pole would take up needed yarn space. He still doesn’t understand, but I love him anyway.

  119. HELP! I’m supposed to be the Hat Coordinator at the Houston event Sep 18 (the host’s first volunteer had to cancel), and now my ride isn’t available. Is there ANYbody traveling to the event from the east side of Houston who would be able to give me a ride, go a little early and stay a little late so that I can collect the hats for charity? You can contact me at ray@knitivity.com
    Thank you so much!

  120. The library in Los Angeles has real sit-down food places inside it. (Panda Express is usually reliable.) For those with fancier tastes, there are lots of food places in the area, and Arco Plaza, across Flower, doesn’t have much but food places.

  121. I have size 7.5 feet, too! I’ll be seeing you in Wichita on the 16th. You can just give them to me then. πŸ˜‰
    OK, I’ll be be kind and hope that Jayme can do it all in order to earn them.

  122. In my pre-WEBS life and pre-children, I was a road warrior. I travelled 60% of the time throughout the U.S. I have to say that your demands are quite reasonable. The socks might be a tad big on me, but if Jayme fails, I can probably arrange to hook you up with yarn for life in trade πŸ™‚

  123. I am sooo sad. You are coming to Los Angeles, but since the L.A. Libraries Auditorium ONLY seats 250, and you are unable to do another “talk” I won’t get to see you. You are coming back to L.A., right? In a venue that seats 700 or so? I hope? Please? Do you take bribes?

  124. Whoa Jayme! Sounds like a pretty tall order. But then, those fabulous socks were wet blocked in White Water. Hmmmm…I hope you can meet all these requirements – for both your sakes!

  125. I would take the blame for drunken karaoke just to get my hands on those sock – and I would personally collect breakfast eggs too!

  126. I LOVE those socks! They’re truly beautiful.
    I,(unlike all the others)am admitting the true size of my feet. (size 8, unfortunately).
    I hope hope hope to see you in L.A.
    Best wishes, Nancy

  127. Ahh, our sweet Harlot — your travel demands are sooo reasonable. Eating, Sleeping and Coffee First Thing in the Morning are staples in life. When the managers I booked flights and rooms for began to show signs of travel tantrums, I would wrangle an upgrade in the room accommodations for the ladies because they preferred the luxury and for the guys, I upgraded their ground transport to a sports car for them to drive. There was not much I could do for the international travelers except to caution them to not take off their shoes. For custom knitted socks, Jayme may have to put up a fight for her position as Travel Coordinator! …but she won’t have to fight too hard –although the socks are certainly worth a friendly challenge– I happen to Know how difficult her job can sometimes be. “Summer of Love Lace” in Flower Power yarn always sweetens the ‘carrot’ for a job well done. Looking forward to your gentle landing in Texas.

  128. Damn. Never have I been so sad to have size 9, Lady Sasquatch feet.
    Er….not that I’m saying that Jayme won’t succeed or anything, because that would be cruel and pessimistic.

  129. The split in the cuff is my favorite detail. I haven’t attempted a sock with a lacy cuff since the first one I tried was lost. It was in a knitting bag that also contained another sock and my entire collection of crochet hooks. After 5 years, I think I may have gotten over the loss enought to try again :-).

  130. Just tell the scum bags on the plane you don’t miss your husband nearly as much as you miss all 15 of your cats. Then proceed too tell him all about each one of them, and make sure they have people names. Hug yourself at the mention of each for emphasis.
    They’ll go away. And if they don’t, pointy sticks engage!

  131. Our poor dear Harlot, the things you go through to allow us to enjoy your wit (and insanity) are truly sacrificial of you. I’ll add something else to the deal. If Jamie-the-wonder-publicist will send you to Lafayette, Indiana, I will personally knit her another pair of socks, in whatever color she likes (I’d like to have the final decision on pattern; I need something I’m capable of. But I’ll let her choose my options!) My only stipulation is that I can’t knit the socks ’til after Christmas. I have a sweater to finish between then and now, and I’m not sure I’ll make it. Well, two sweaters, actually, because I’m completely redoing the pattern, so I’m knitting a toddler size for my daughter to make sure it works before I knit the adult-sized gift. So we’ll see how it goes. Wish me luck.

  132. Oh yes, that is one sweet pattern! I’m working on mine now, only had one minor bump in the road.
    Your anklets look lovely and your reasoning is, well, reasonable, methinks.

  133. OK, those socks are really beautiful! They are great leverage. Jayme will obviously be working very hard to meet all your demands so they can be slipped on her feet (of which they were made to her size).
    One thing I would suggest for all your trips in the future…take Kashi bars with you wherever you go. They are low fat, high in fiber and protein and really, really yummy! (my personal fav is the Trail Mix bar.) They go great with the first, or second or even third cup of coffee of the day. Plus, as an added bonus, they were a big help in my efforts to lose 24 pounds in 3 months! Yummy and filling…..what more could you ask?

  134. simply gawjiss socks, harlot. DO NOT hand them over to that skank until you come back sane from that trip. there is a big difference between a bribe and a thankyou gift, and she deserves no thanks for treating you so poorly! as for blog fodder, i for one enjoy your knitting, birthing and vacation stories much more than your stressful travel disasters….. but hey, i still have your original knitlist posts about IT on my old computer!
    knit on dear harlot, I’ll put in an extra prayer for you to the knitting goddess

  135. Writing first, reading later (as usual lately!) First – Connie_in_GR – you’re right! Those Kashi bars ARE good, and I usually have an aversion to such things. The honey-almond ones did it for me. Second – don’t recall if you’re fond of Tea, oh dear YH, but if so – there’s a new one from Celestial Seasonings called “Fast Lane” which is allegedly just a tad lower than espresso and it’s delicious!

  136. Very cute socks Steph, I am sure you are good enough to let Jamy have them even if she does not succeed 100% to keep you happy. Btw I am delurking to let you know I saw your twin today, are you in Europe by any chance cause the woman I saw was your exact copy. Thanks for making my day nicer everyday with your lovely posts. Romy from Malta.

  137. I can’t believe how up to date you are with the sock club. I am trying to catch up by knitting all the socks at once. It doesn’t go any quicker. So far I just have one completed pair out of the 4!

  138. Here’s a good rule for travel:
    Earplugs — don’t leave home without them.
    (And an eyemask doesn’t hurt either.)

  139. Hear Hear on the Kashi Bars.
    Also, hear, hear on the misery that is the Detroit Airport. We refer to it in my family as the Armpit of the Universe. Every single member of my family has been stuck there for one reason or another (not all weather related), and some of the people who work there are just flat-out mean.
    My hope for you is that Jayme gets her socks.

  140. Heh, if That Thing in Detroit (TTiD) could be fixed, I’d even knit another cotton aran vest. (it was one of *those* projects) At least now TTiD now looks better and the ceiling is more than 6 feet high.
    Just say No to Detroit. I do, which is quite a feat when you live in another NWA hub. I hadn’t flown it in 10 years but did have one uneventful trip after it’s remodeling.
    For your sake and the sake of J-t-W-P’s feet, let’s hope the travel gods are with you,
    Gerrie in MN

  141. But – as the people who were raised Catholic can attest to, suffering makes the best stories. None of my Jewish friends can tell scary nun stories. All your terrible experiences are wonderful writing fodder! I say, save your writing career and give the socks to someone else – like me! Those would fit me.

  142. Re: The guy on the plane who worries about your loneliness.
    Tell him you have a fantastic vibrator and a suitcase full of batteries.
    That tends to end this and all conversations rather abruptly.

  143. I saw you in Kitchener this weekend. Had I known that would have happened I would have brought you a can of the best instant gourmet coffee in the world. We always travel with it because it means we have great coffee in the room without having to get dressed or wait for it.
    Yay! new book!

  144. I’m flying into lax on Friday am…too bad I won’t be there when you get there…as I could help you navigate this place. Can’t wait to see you on Sat! Rest well, and may the goddess of flying be on your shoulders!

  145. I said: check out these cute socks, honey.
    He said: Those ones with hoods? I mean capes. Those ones with sock capes? Yeah, cute.

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