Is it serendipity if you go looking

Yeah, well. It always happens like this, doesn’t it? I’ve made this wee promise to myself that I’ll use up a cubic ton of the stash before I make any more serious yarn investments, and already it’s not going well.

Let’s look at the thing. I don’t think I have too much yarn. I think there’s no such thing, as long as you aren’t spending the rent money or the little bit of cash you have set aside for your kids retainer, and as long as you have room to store it. I think if you’re totally broke and still buying, or if you’ve got so much that you can’t see out the windows in your house the emergency exits are blocked, you might want to assess your material yearnings and figure out whether you’re transferring some problems you have in other areas of your life to your relationship with yarn, but I don’t want to say too much about that, since who among us hasn’t bought a little skein of something to take the edge off of a bad day?

That said, (and knowing that my stash is not as big as you think it is, and that it doesn’t block my escape from my home) I do think that there’s a lot of great stuff in my stash and I don’t want to never get to it because of a stream of new things are burying them in there, and while I don’t think I physically have got to much yarn, I can feel that for me there might be a place (eventually) where I spiritually have too much yarn, and I don’t want to get there.

The upshot is that I’m not on a yarn diet (they go just as well for me as real diets do), instead I’m just trying to adapt my attitude toward food and exercise to yarn. I eat well. I’m active. I walk or ride my bike everywhere I can. I turn up for a yoga class at least three times a week and (despite being just a tiny bit dumpy) I think I’m in pretty great shape for a woman cruising up on her 40th birthday. I’m a vegetarian, I eat whole grains. About 60 percent of our family diet is vegetables and fruit, and they come from an organic service that buys as locally as they can. This is, I think, all pretty darned good, and since most of my life goes like that, I do not feel even the tiniest little bit bad about the occasional beer and nachos, or my natural proclivity toward chocolate and red wine. Moderation, my friends, moderation. Translated into yarn behaviour, I am trying to do my best to use the stash when I am able to do so and only buying when it is something that I really think is beautiful or unique, or would make me very, very happy or if I really, really need it. Almost everything I’ve made for the last many months was stash, and as I go through my records (not looking too closely) I think that I might have achieved my goal for a little while, which is more out than in.

Then on Friday I wrote some fateful words. Allow me to quote me The pattern book also has the Urban Aran in it, which Brooklyn Tweed cardiganized and put on his blog. … What a great sweater. Maybe I should make that next…. “ and frankly, though I just sort of threw that out there, it stuck. Totally stuck. Half an hour later, on my way downtown to have lunch with a friend, I should have known I was sliding when I put the pattern book in my purse. After lunch I should have taken the hint when I couldn’t get to Romni wool (big sale on just the yarn I wanted) because of the fire. (Have I mentioned the fire? Big fire, nobody hurt.) At that point, I should have gotten a grip. I should have understood that blocking me from getting to Romni was the planets way of telling me that if I didn’t have enough chunky yarn in the stash to make that sweater, that I should choose another sweater….but did I listen? Of course not. What sort of blog entry would that be. “I did the right thing” has never been a good plot. A good idea maybe, but not a good plot.

Thwarted, I came home and phoned Lettuce Knit. I made Alexis and Laura go through the whole store looking for something that would work, but alas, nothing spoke to me. (This should have been my second tip.) I did slow down briefly then, but moments later found myself online at Elann. I resisted everything though, (translation: they couldn’t get me what I wanted fast enough) and was on the very brink of calling myself a paragon of virtue, when Joe called and the door of possibility opened wide before me.

Joe was just calling to see if I needed anything on his way home, and I said something along the lines of “nothing but 1200 meters of chunky wool in a nearly solid colour, but that’s my problem” when Joe revealed that he was actually, as we spoke, about 10 metres from The Purple Purl.

That’s got to be a sign. I phoned the shop, talked with Miko, who after scouring the store, totally didn’t have what I wanted. That’s a sign too, and I was totally prepared to take it as such and admit that this idea was doomed and I needed to go to the stash and make a different sweater, when Miko said that she was pretty sure that they were about to get in what I wanted. She made a quick phone call, called me back and lo and behold…

The yarn I wanted in the colour I wanted was on a truck from the north part of the city, on it’s way to the shop and would arrive within the hour.

Now, that’s the planet practically THROWING yarn at me (if we overlook the part where I spent a whole day trying to buy it) and how am I supposed to resist an opportunity like that? It was clearly (once I hunted it down) my destiny to have this yarn, and that puts in a whole other category.


I thought you’d understand.

PS. Philadelphia on May 18 and London, England on September 6th have both been added to the tour page. Don’t thank me, remember, my power is the same as yours, and where I go is not up to me. I, like you, have only the tools of begging, suggestion and bribery at my disposal. Thank Jayme-the-wonder-publicist, or as we like to call her around here “She who is the boss of me”.

271 thoughts on “Is it serendipity if you go looking

  1. You need that yarn fix and you know it when the whole planet throws it at you. See you at sock camp where Tina will bribe you with even more wonderful yarn. Alice in the Heartland

  2. London, England?! You go, girl! The Harlot World Tour! I want the tour t-shirt.
    And, by the way, if you are “dumpy” (even the tiniest bit), I’m a dump truck!

  3. lol! Isn’t it just great when yarn just happens to fall in your hands when you don’t expect to find it?

  4. Well, frankly, I don’t think the earlier obstacles were really telling you to stop looking for the yarn–they were pushing you to get exactly the right yarn. If you’d gotten to Romni or you’d found something else somewhere else, it would have been not-quite-the-right-yarn, no? And that yarn, the yarn the planet presented to you after keeping you away from all the not-quite-right yarns, that’s the perfect yarn, yes?
    I have developed rationalization to a fine art.

  5. Sometimes things happen for a reason. Sometimes they happen because you do everything you can to make it work. Sometimes life lets you down and then surprises you with exactly what you want. Yay! Now that said, “Life, I would like to have to go to London on September 6.” Just throwing it out there to see what happens.
    Of course, if you’d rather come to the sunny California desert — palm trees, margaritas, yarn stores (yes, they even have wool although the summers are 120) — then I wouldn’t have to fly over…

  6. Yarn that beautiful is always destiny! Have you thought about bribing Jayme to send you to Hawaii or Tahiti?

  7. It’s a lovely pattern and definitely one that is IRRESISTABLE! Could you use that as an excuse?
    That reminds me, this is still in my WIPs pile, must pick it up again soon.

  8. I too am on a yarn diet. A few pounds must go before I can buy any more. Knitting up garter stitch blankets to use up some of the stash. I have my eye on a sweater and already have plans to purchase after the next batch has been cleared. But I feel that I am unwilling to go on much longer before ordering the kit…must keep on with the diet…keep sorting the stash…just a few more skeins…

  9. When I do that I usually recognize it as being obsessed with finding just what I need. As a matter of fact, I’m currently on the hunt for a silk blend. Wish me luck.

  10. my heart is breaking – after pleading with you to come to London, you are, and i shan’t be there, even though i live there. because i shall be on Rowan Wools’ 30th Anniversary weekend in Yorks. so a knit-clash! i rail against the gods, who clearly despise me. and of course you haven’t got too much stash to buy new πŸ˜‰

  11. When a beautiful yarn like that just falls into your lap with no effort on your part, what are you supposed to do? Just roll with it, I say.
    Besides, being that good about knitting from stash deserves a reward, and the reward certainly shouldn’t involve stash-diving.

  12. Did you realize when you’ll be at the Philly Free Library Book Festival that you’ll be sharing company with Barbara Walters AND Gordon from Sesame Street? Wow! Now I hafta come!

  13. I TOTALLY understand. How could you NOT take that as a message?!?
    My DH nearly FLIPPED a lid at 5 skeins of Cascade 220 for clogs that I had him pick up from the store right next to the Motorcycle shop he was at. I even had it paid for… you’d think he had to trek from New York to South Dekota in the blinding snow uphill both ways the way he tells it!
    congrats on the yarn.. Beautiful colour!

  14. I definitely understand the yarn diet thing… I’m not allowed to buy anything until Knitters’ Connection here in Columbus. Well, unless it’s that one-of-a-kind skein of yarn I just can’t pass up. But until then, stash diving it is. And that chunky yarn is gorgeous – love the color, and it was totally worth the effort – although I think you’re right, it might have been just a tad bit obsessive πŸ™‚ See you in Lexington (unless you have Columbus, Ohio on a magical invisible list somewhere?)

  15. I think the hunt was well worth the effort. I am coveting, absolutely coveting that yarn. It would so bring out my eyes. I’ve resisted using bulky yarns on the premise that bulky yarn on a short, somewhat dumpy woman (me) is not a good look. I might have to reconsider.

  16. That’s an exquisite blue! How could you not, and look at those exquisite cables. I can’t WAIT to see the rest! Darn, I’m going to have to go hit the dyepot with the undyed yarn I bought at Stitches last weekend–I need that shade of blue!

  17. “who among us hasn’t bought a little skein of something to take the edge off of a bad day?”
    This was me…about an hour ago…and actually it was two skeins. (Laceweight Malabrigo in the cinnebar colorway, if anyone is interested.)

  18. Sorry. I just re-read. I DO know how to spell Dakota, honest! Just because my mom claims that I am the most creative speller on the planet means NOTHING!!!

  19. Hey, I’m knitting with Aracaunia too, from my stash, Nature Wool, making Cobblestone (I know, it’s a little thin, but it was the right color and I had it already.) But…London, ENGLAND???? OMG, think of the BEER!

  20. I’ve knit with this yarn before and you totally needed it! One caution: this yarn taught me (the hard way) the wisdom of “blending” the slightly variegated skeins by knitting two rows of one skein and two rows of another….

  21. 1. What is that colorway?
    2. London!? WOOHOO! (I’m nowhere near London, but since I live vicariously through you, I’m happy you’re going to London. Have tea with the Queen for me, will ya? And get a picture with a guard in the big bear hat holding the sock. Or maybe hold the sock in front of him, since I don’t think they can actually interact with the public. Or can they?)

  22. 1. It’s all Brooklyn Tweed’s fault. Who could resist? That is one fine cardi.
    2. Joe’s part in this story makes him even more loveable than sending flowers to your hotel on Valentine’s day. If next year you could convince him to send you yarn on Valentine’s day, you would have a perfect man there–nay, a God.
    3. Love the blue. Yum.
    4. London? Cool! I will keep my fingers crossed that you get to spend more than 6 hours there between flights. You must at least have a day or two for yarn-and-pub crawling. (Not necessarily in that order. I would crawl the pubs first. Totally obliterates the whole moderation thing, which will be useful on the yarn crawl. It’s souvenier yarn–it doesn’t count.)
    5. Tuesday. Spinning. Ahem.

  23. Stephanie, I can’t believe you’re starting on new continents now! This could be the beginning of a very scary trend. . .
    I’m trying to conquer my stash too. I’ve made no firm, potentially punitive decrees, because failure is far too public, but I’m trying to act like a sane person. But what sane person would really be going to knit all these socks? Inquiring minds want to know.

  24. Beautiful color! I understand completely about using the stash and trying not to get too much more yarn; but this yarn was calling your name, it just took a little while for you to hear it.
    Have fun in England. I’m looking forward to seeing you at the Border’s at Columbus Circle in NY.

  25. You know what they say, “Moderation in all things, including moderation.” There’s no reason not to hunt down perfection (be it yarn, chocolate or wine) when you’ve been good. Your hunt was definitely a success – can’t wait to see the outcome!

  26. Now everyone will think I’ve jumped the Urban Aran bandwagon just because of the Yarn Harlot. And I totally ordered my yarn last night without knowing… Great minds think alike?
    P.S. It looks sooo pretty…

  27. S is for Stephanie smothered in yarn,
    T is for Timmy who fell from a barn…
    Oops, sorry. Too much Edward Gorey can do that to me.
    London? I gotta write a book.

  28. Joe is an enabler. So it’s his fault, obviously. Seriously, do you call an alcoholic and say, “Do you need anything? Oh, and by the way, I’m passing the liquor store.”
    Not that you’re an addict or anything.

  29. I wouldn’t regard it as the universe trying to prevent you from buying the yarn for this sweater. I’d see it as the universe trying to prevent you from buying the WRONG yarn for the sweater, as the right yarn was on a truck heading for a store where Joe could pick it up.
    And I — am on a book diet. So naturally, you’re going to be at the book fair. Still, yeah! How much yarn and beer must we bring with us for you?

  30. Sigh, yarn “diets” work the same way for me, too. I’ll be all good for a few months and then I go binging and it’s all over.
    I got some chunky yarn for that Urban Aran a couple weeks ago and I’m itching to cast on for it. I think yours is prettier than mine, though!

  31. Yeah! More yarn is always a good thing πŸ™‚ BYW – did you ever give the vintage socks to the recipient? I am dying to know her reaction!

  32. my box from webs came monday
    and i am in love with the contents
    new yarn to me and forced myself
    not to stay up all night cooing over it
    there is a news letter from the london
    about knit day–you have on a blue top
    comes out on a regular basis
    spring is lovely in the states
    put all the rest of of this politcal
    season on hold just enjoy the my
    country in bloom

  33. I totally understand the cleaning up of the yarn stash — this is something I start each January and bail out of by March — this year I came to the realization that I have enough yarn (with Patterns) to make myself 5 sweaters and also make another 3-5 adult sweaters for gifts plus numerous childerns sweaters. So with this in mind, I bought sock yarn on friday to ensure I had small projects to work in with the big ones — least that is what I am telling myself πŸ™‚
    Love the colour for the sweater..Jayme really needs to add Ottawa to the tour (hint, hint)

  34. Some days it’s not about signs from The Universe. It’s about testing from The Universe. Had you given up, you would not have wanted it enough to earn it. You have worked to deserve your chunky yarn. You can use your chunky yarn in kharmic good health. The Universe has spoken.

  35. If your significant other calls you up practically AT a yarn store, and offers to BUY YARN FROM YOU…well then, that would be an insult to the universe to turn that down.
    (I love that–“Doing the good thing does not make a good plot. A good idea, probably, but not a very good plot.”)

  36. Yes, the universe was definitely guiding you to the right yarn. While I liked your cardi and while you do dictate alot of what I do knitwise I resisted. Didn’t even click on the Brooklyn Tweed link…until today. Must find book. Must search stash. Must knit cardi. ASAP.

  37. Wow! London! I love London. Will you be able to spend some time there? This won’t be a day-trip, can you squeeze in at least a week? If you want, I’ll go with you and carry your bags. However, on two trips, I couldn’t find any yarn; neither could friends of mine who went looking on different trips. Maybe you can find some and post the locations???!!! I also appreciate the serendipity of having the perfect yarn just jump into your arms – it has nothing to do with how long (or how many phone calls/people) it takes you to find it! It’s a beautiful color, and it looks like you are cooking on it. See if your wonder-publicist can get you closer to Syracuse? Otherwise I’ll be going to Massachusetts (although we’ve been looking for an excuse to hit Philadelphia…)

  38. Please don’t forget the rest of Canada in your tour.
    And good work on the completely accidental yarn acquisition. (I like to fool myself, too.)

  39. It is truly amazing how that yarn lust gets a hold of you and won’t let go. You find a pattern that hits you, and you can’t sleep or eat until you have that yarn in your hands and you’ve begun…(even though you have 3 or 4 other things in progress that you know you should finish before you start something new). Forget housework…I have to knit!!!

  40. I love it when things fall into place. It definitely was fate. It is a lovely color. I can’t wait to see the results.

  41. I’ve been trying to use yarn from the stash for the last few months and have been doing pretty well. Last week I went all the way from Seattle to Boston for a conference. I was with a fellow knitter. We couldn’t resist: we rented a car and drove 90 miles to WEBS in the pouring rain. When we walked into the back room, the yarn diet flew out the window… I dare anyone to walk in that store without buying anything!
    Anyway, beautiful yarn! We saw some nice Araucania wool at WEBS, but I don’t remember seeing that colorway…

  42. Lovely lovely stuff. And WOW, London! You’re in the bigtime now, chica – not only international, but intercontinental! Woohoo!

  43. Don’t the Purple Purl girls just rock? They haven’t banned my kids yet from the store yet so i love them even more, though after the Mr.-Potato-Head-turns-Buzz-Lightyear incident they may be reconsidering…
    Love that yarn. Go figure. It’s… purple.

  44. OK, OK, OK. I’m still getting over the part where your husband calls you and volunteers to go into the yarn store for you. Now THAT is quite a guy.

  45. What you described is a Quest. When the searching takes on its own power, you’ve entered a Quest situation, and my husband and I have respect for the Quest, no matter what the Quest object is. I agree with your thoughts on stash–moderation, and I understand what you mean about too much yarn spiritually, too. But when presented with Quest Yarn, well, that’s a whole ‘nother ball of wool.
    I truly hope you get a chance to see some of London, and I hope this tour doesn’t do you in entirely. It’s sounding more, um, ambitious by the day.

  46. My stash was recently exposed due to renovations and new storage built just for yarn/books. Family is now completely aware of just how much I have. The comment small store was used more than once. I too am trying to use the yarn diet, more going out then yarn coming in. But sometimes you just see something that sparks the creative urge and before you know it, the yarn is yours, waiting for that moment to be knit up.
    Wow England, you are now the global Yarn Harlot.

  47. You are coming to London while I’m on vacation in Canada?! So not fair!! πŸ˜‰
    BTW, the yarn is beautiful!
    Greetings from Germany,

  48. I only have one question because all the rest of today’s writing makes total sense to me. What is a cubic ton?

  49. I am so thrilled to hear that you are coming to Philly, can’t wait!!!! See you there! I hope you are feeling better than you were when we saw you in Marlton, NJ in October.

  50. Of course you have to have that yarn. The knitting goddesses were just testing you to see how much you really wanted and needed that yarn for that sweater. And we all know how we need to go with the knitting godesses and their ways…

  51. My hubby would do the same thing as Joe! However he would ask what color and type I want and then have the sales clerk for help, LOL! Hes learning tho by helping me put yarns on my website :-)Now I just need to get a pair of knitting needles back into his hands

  52. Love the color of the Cardiganized Aran.
    When you’re in England, will you please track down David Tennant (I think he will be in Stratford Upon Avon doing Shakespeare), give him a big old wet kiss (from me)and take a pic of him with your traveling socks? Oh come on, I know you want to do it!

  53. Hooray for the Purple Purl! I love that place — not like I don’t love the other yarn shops, but the PP has chocolate too! — and they’re always so helpful. Glad that the right yarn came to you in good time!

  54. that’s awesome that you’re coming to philly. i’m trying to knit from stash but sometimes you just gotta have something you haven’t looked through before and wondered what you’d make with it. the same sock yarn, the same lace, etc. that is a crazy yarn story though. i guess that’s why you’re the yarn harlot.

  55. Yay Jayme the Wonder Publicist! Thank you! Stephanie is coming to Philly! Are you speaking only, or signing too? I hope you’ll have some time for stash enhancement and refreshment enjoyment as well.

  56. OOOOO – Be careful of THAT YARN!
    So lovely in the wrapper, but LETHAL at the change-skein points! I made two SIMPLY MARILYNS out of it – to rave reviews – but only after frogging out serious fabric so I could slowly introduce new skeins on alternate rows (the horizontal changes in colorway SERIOUSLY distract from vertical patternworks).

  57. hi! I am having one of those days (actually more like one of those weeks- it’s certainly been at least 4-5 days now) that definitely needs to have its edges taken off. Reading your post (in its “every hop the rabbit made” completeness) is almost as good as falling off my own yarn diet wagon. I might just have to do a little Web yarn crawl though, since there is nothing that brightens one’s day quite as much as a cool package in the mail.
    How did you ever manage to get through the college application process? That is definitely a big piece of my “one of those weeks” feelings. Maybe it is simpler in Canada.

  58. I see you have quite a few empty days after Portland, OR! A small train (3 hour) or plane (1 hour) trip to the south will bring you to Eugene, Oregon, home of many knitters and a nice yarn shop or two– Not to mention a lovely new library with great meeting rooms! Tell Jayme we’re begging!

  59. Turns out I have a stress fracture on my left foot, a good skein or two of yarn would help a LOT.

  60. But, that is for a specific project in mind/on the needles. It was not stash augmentation. Totally different category of yarn purchase. If you searched in stash first for the yarn, and did not have enough of the right yarn…then that is ok. You should ‘shop’ stash first, then more conventional shopping can take place. Well, that is my justification. Now, I am off to buy those little plastic rings to make buttons for the sweater on my needles, that I had to buy yarn for a few weeks ago…the right yarn was not in my stash.

  61. Wow, that was quite some fire. Firefighters never fail to impress me.
    Enjoy your new yarn. I just totally made a my-husband-daughter-son-and-myself-have-been-sick-for-a-week yarn purchase. It almost feels healing and certainly tastes better than cough drops.
    Enjoy London and Philly!

  62. You do realize that the perfect yarn would be 20% off at Romni, right? Aran weight or thicker, all on sale… Maybe you need to make TWO sweaters!

  63. “(despite being just a tiny bit dumpy)” ?
    Lady, when I saw you walk past me on the way to the podium (Border’s, Bailey’s Crossroads, Va) on your last tour, the first thing that popped into my mind was ‘Wow! She’s soooo tiny.’ You’re not even CLOSE to dumpy.
    And London? I add to the wish you have real time for touristy stuff, and yarn shop discoveries.
    I totally undertand getting more yarn – it keeps on getting more lovely and soft. I stash dive, but still add to it, or get something new that’s perfect for a particular project. I still go to my stash to pet and soak in the color of my few skeins of varigated cashmere/silk lace weight. Does that count as being good?

  64. My LYS has quit carrying Araucania Nature Wool Chunky and it’s my favorite favorite chunky wool. Thanks, now I need to go order some from Webs (I cannot resist the power of suggestion)

  65. Oh hell. Now how will I convince my husband that I will absolutely need the money to make a trip to the other side of Europe in September? Maybe if I promise not to buy any yarn until that…?

  66. Yippee! Philadelphia!! And just a day off from my birthday!!! Guess I’ll go see her and force myself to wander through some Center City LYSs
    I’d be glad to play tour guide or provide a ride, if you need. I’ll even clear the stash out of the way enough to provide a place to sleep……

  67. It seems you were thwarted just so you could get the right yarn at the right store at the right time; the universe is efficient; now all that lovely stuff that wasn’t there that you didn’t get can be gotten by someone else who can’t be where you weren’t- got it?
    I have totally solved the stash problem.Get a new house. Build a yarn wall. When it is full, build an addition. OK, a bit pricey, but so is using yarn for insulation (as in covering windows and such). Unless it’s mitered corners?

  68. Hi,
    For some reason I’m having the hardest time with your tour page. Basically, the link I keep getting from your home page is: It says 2007 on the top and philly and london are not showing. I’m in Denver, CO and I want to confirm that you are really coming April 5th to the Tattered Cover? If it is some other date, place, time, can you tell me? My socks want to meet you!
    Sally (aka slyknits on ravelry)

  69. I’m curious – did Joe wait for the yarn or did you have to make a trip and pick it up? Either way, I like the color.

  70. So many people have written asking where to find the Must Have Sweater Pattern from Patons Street Smart. I just purchased it – two weeks ago – from If you want to upsize the pattern go to google or any search engine and type in Must Have Too Knitalong. (This is an old knitalong. Scroll to the bottom and on the left is an upsized version. (not the whole pattern-just upsizing info). Hope it helps all of you out there searching as I was.

  71. I usually don’t leave comments, becasue I believe you have enough to read without one more person telling you how delightfully witty you are, but my goodness woman, thank you for posting the link to the modifified Urban Aran!
    I bought the pattern book for that last year with the intention of knitting that up for me, but I never thought it could make an insanely attractive sweater for my husband! In the string of fated happenings, I’m glad I read the blog today!

  72. If Jayme were truly that wonderful, she’d have you booked here in Jacksonville, FL. Just sayin’.
    But not until the last week of April for several reasons: a) The baby’s due 3/26, b) He’ll be ready to make his public rounds by the last week of April, & c) my friend Mary Lou will be visting from NYC then, & what a great thing to do then. Hey, wanna come be my doula?

  73. London!! Lucky you! See if you can get them to let you stay a few days and get a look around.
    I’m looking for the planet to throw some chunky yarn my way, too, but no luck so far.

  74. Just my opinion, but whereas Cascade 220 only slightly bothers my neck sometimes (scarf), but I can wear sweaters of it with just a tank on underneath, my sweater out of aruacania itches me to death unless I am wearing a long sleeve tee under it. I just find it a scratchier yarn.

  75. The yarn is a great color, and it was clearly meant to be! (Personally, I spent a great deal of time online hunting down the company/colorway of yarn you were using for the Rivendell socks, so I could have it on hand whenever the pattern becomes available. I think that if we can find the yarn, it was meant to be, no matter how long it takes!)

  76. It was obviously meant to be. πŸ˜‰ Ooh, and have fun in London! My mum is British and we love to go visit our family there. I’ve been to Ireland too, but I hope to see some of Scotland next. πŸ™‚

  77. dooood! I bought the booklet for the urban aran alone. Mine’s coming along nicely, in a smaller-than-recommended tweed aran-wieght, and now that I’ve got past figuring out the modifications (and all of the ripping back), it’s looking pretty darn good.

  78. In the advent of peak oil, I feel that it is necessary to stash as much yarn as possible for three reasons: one, it will provide excellent insulation for the house when we have to move off the grid; two, the yarn stash will conveniently provide something to occupy idle hands during the evenings spent with family; and three, the idle hands and yarn then make clothing, which would otherwise be difficult to attain when people are forced to recognize that shipping clothing from china is a ridiculous waste of precious resources.
    I say giv’er on the stash.

  79. You keep records? An honest to goodness paper trail of all the yarn coming in? Wow…you live on the EDGE! I’m going to my grave as the only person who knows about all the fibre I’ve had.

  80. When I heard about the fire on CBC morning radio – Queen W near Bathurst, my first impulse was to check Google Map. Whew! Romni was in the OTHER block.

  81. I’m not saying that the universe didn’t throw this yarn at you or anything, but…isn’t that essentially the same pattern as the Must Have Cardigan? In the sense that they are both heavily cabled cardigans? Don’t they kind of fill the same niche? Not that there’s anything *wrong* with that, you understand.

  82. My knit girls want to help me take pictures and post my stash on Ravelry. I think it’s just a ploy so they can “shop” in my stash. Must keep all wool for myself — plus in my really cold house (49 fahreneheit was a high temp this past weekend in my living room. no joke) it acts as insulation, yes? >; )
    I’m trying to bust through the stash this year. Hopefully it means that if I do, I can go back to Webs next February and spend more money. And help close the store on a Saturday. Very fun — they have the angle on the time warp thing there.

  83. Oh, to be in London on my birthday! Too bad I live in Michigan and there will be no way possible for me to do that:-(

  84. You are undoubtedly the best writer I’ve encountered and continually make me laugh out loud while I respect your social conscience. I am writing a beading book and have saved off your blog on putting yourself out there, for when I need it. You’re the best! Met you, and had a sock picture in San Diego (where you lost the shoe off the Hyatt) Marcia

  85. Haha, I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist the call of the Urban Aran!! Mine’s in a lovely celery color (Louet’s Riverstone). But it is totally Not Fair that you have knit so much in a couple of days when I’m only about to crack into my second skein (having knit about ten inches) after a week or so of effort. Of course, it’s my first cable project (not counting Tudora). And I’m working on about four other projects simultaneously.
    I think willingness to pick up yarn is a very good litmus test for the character of a man….

  86. The yarn threw itself at you…pfft!
    I made the cardi version last year and it did not have the sizing issues that the Must Have does. It hugs the curves in a good way.
    Have fun with it.

  87. That’s totally a sign that you must make that cardi! πŸ˜€
    And YAY! Philly in May. I’m ecstatic! (And I don’t have to slog through rush hour traffic to get there … even better!)

  88. It-is-not-my-fault if:
    I purchased 10 skeins (is that a lot?) of baby yarn and and now need other yarn to make an adult sweater; or if I have loads of blue yarn (which I don’t, but will consider) and now need red; or if there’s a sale on yarn that I am 100% sure I will use (someday). It’s just not my fault.
    While I’m not dipping into my house or food money, I do admit to having an ever so slight problem of ‘having’. You know … when you just love something and want to have it … kind of like a kleptomaniac and a shiny object … like that.
    And I agree with the comment posted by Deanna (February 26, 2008 2:35 PM), Joe IS an enabler – but also a wonderful husband who and we all love him.

  89. So… I’m not quite clear on this… did Joe actually wait at the store for the yarn to arrive “within the hour”? I guess he must have, or you wouldn’t have gotten it so quickly. Nice guy.

  90. Sigh…. it was obviously ‘meant’.
    London England? Cool. Near north England and Scotland. Mannny sheep. Remember: yarn and packing. Just thought a caution might be in order.
    Though it is good packing insulation against breakage….

  91. I’ve been reading (and loving) your blog for about a year now. Sometimes my work mates look at me oddly as I laugh over my lunch, but I think they’ve finally got used to that.
    For so long I have wanted to see you over this side of the world, and finally I Knit London have granted my wish. Roll on September – I brought my ticket yestersay!
    I have a feeling our yarn shops don’t quite match up to american ones – much smaller and fewer. I hope you get a few days over here to explore and enjoy our hospitality… I’ll stand you a beer!

  92. Definitely the planet throwing something… Like its proverbial hands in the air and saying, Enough with the yarn lust already! and just plain givin’ in!

  93. Okay, how do you know how much yarn to buy if you are buying without something specific in mind? I have a small stash, but nothing more than 3 or 4 skeins of anything, albeit lots and lots of 3-4 skeins.

  94. Looks like there’s a big Cambridge (UK) thing going on then – I’ve just booked 4 tickets to your London talk, and Anne-the-previous-commenter and I know each other…
    Looking forward to this. A lot. No pressure though; obviously…

  95. You’re coming to London? yeah!!! I must get a ticket before they are all sold out. Can’t wait to meet you!

  96. Stephanie,
    I’m so in love with your husband! He offers to pick up yarn for you?!?!? Please tell me he leaves that hard to find toilet seat up, doesn’t know his way around Mr. Washie, and he leaves his underwear on the floor for you to pick up. My husband would definetly appreciate your telling me that!

  97. PHILADELPHIA? And on a Sunday? Be still my heart! (I have already emailed someone at the Philly Library Fest to suggest an appropriate amount of space be available.)
    Drive to Harrisburg. Sit on a train and knit for two hours. See Stephanie. Woohoo!
    With the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival at the beginning of the month, May is beginning to look like a very, very good month!

  98. Women all over the world knew Joe was special, but now we love him even more. Waiting for your wool…the man is my hero.
    Pre- actually being able to knit, I read in ‘Knitting Rules’ and ‘Casts Off’ about adventures with stash and understood the phrase ‘take the edge off’. I’ve stashed fine linens for years.
    Now that knitting has become something that consumes me, I KNOW the phrase ‘take the edge off’. I think I live and breath it. I was such an innocent before the land of knitting. A babe in the woods to be sure.

  99. why doesn’t my husband ever call and say “do you need anything, I’m 10 minutes from the LYS”? I’ve pointed out where all the LYS around here are many a time…

  100. Holy crap what a scary fire. It’s a miracle that no one was hurt. Thank goodness. And unlike the Mystery Shawl 3, I will resist starting the Knit-what-Stephanie-is-knitting-because-it’s-stunning-you-know-you-want-to-stop-kidding-yourself Urban Aran Cardigan. I think.

  101. Would it be too much to ask you to hop over to Dublin from London for a few hours and make some Irish knitters very, very happy?! Please please please! We would give you Irish wool… and everyone knows it’s the best πŸ˜‰

  102. Philly in May? I am so there—if my grandbaby isn’t born that day! But then again, the baby girl will be around for a long time! We must have our priorities.

  103. I like the way that you show us a picture of the yarn that you should have not bought and tried all day to find and such so that we, your readers, don’t talk about how much yarn you have, but how worthy your choice is. I’m onto your game!
    Nonetheless, I approve. It is an amazingly pretty color and I wish I didn’t have so many bloody tests/papers to write so I can knit some more.

  104. How I wish I were your neighbor…. that way I could call and be all neighborly like and ask if perhaps I can borrow 1200 meters of chunky wool in an almost solid color πŸ™‚

  105. Can’t wait to see you in London!! And to meet you at sock camp! Eeek, I am not sure i’ll make it back to London within the weight limit for luggage since there is a precamp yarn crawl. and during camp yarn ops.

  106. That is the most beautiful yarn I’ve ever seen! (umm… at least right this minute!) Thank you for sharing! I am living vicariously through you.

  107. OOOooooo, that yarn is soooo……
    *quickly counts cash stash in panty drawer* my landlord wouldent mind if I put of this saturday’s rent until next payday, right?

  108. I SO understand! I have a perfectly good stash upstairs with lots of really nice skeins…..but I went to the yarn shop (which is only 1000 feet- or 304 meters down the street) TWICE in one week last week (blame lots of snow, ice and February) to just “look around” at what they had. Went through the wicker wash baskets for the close-outs and came up with about 6 skeins of wonderful yarn, then bought 5 skeins of a silk-wool blend for my husbands new socks. Went back on another day and bought more, this after ordering $50 worth online from Knit Picks. It’s winter in Maine, we are expecting 12″ of snow tonight- whaddaya expect of me, universe???

  109. Hmmmm. ….. seren-du-plicity?
    Chance by plotting?
    I know! A sweater trick (as opposed to a hat trick) with an assist by Joe and a power play by Purple Purl! (hockey lingo for all the non-hockey readers)
    Whatevs. Gorgeous yarn, no excuse needed.

  110. There was an article in the Science section of today’s New York Times, about how healthy people need to be able to close some doors; to acknowledge that there are some things we will not do in our lives. It’s the sign of a seriously over-stashed and overcommitted knitter that I related to the piece in terms of: Okay, I should admit that there are some projects that I will never get to, and give away the yarn, and streamline my “to knit” list. But each time I try to do that, I fall in love with each potential project again. Sigh. I understand and sympathize with your dilemna. So much to knit and so little time.
    When I can’t sleep, I don’t count sheep, I count projects I want to complete/start. It’s a sickness, but one I couldn’t do without!

  111. Holy smokes that is a gorgeous color of yarn! And here I am just home with my yarny purchase for the Must Have. I am not usually a blue person, but that yarn just might make me cross over. It’s so scrumptiously marbled and mottled!

  112. I may have been the only one in Romni that morning, let me tell ya it took some doing to get there (fire trucks and concerned looking policemen and all, I had to explain to a few that I really needed yarn) to buy something I really didn’t need as I had something entirely appropriate in the stash….

  113. That is an amazing story. And I love Nature Wool Chunky. It’s one of my favorite yarns, after Malabrigo, which is ruler supreme.

  114. Sure it’s serendipity. A little on the tenacious side, but serendipity nonetheless. Kind of like me cruising looking at places to stay near Rhinebeck. It would be serendipitous to have reservations for a certain weekend in October.

  115. 1. You are not dumpy. Even a little.
    2. Hooray for England!
    3. You have already cast on. It’s not the yarn you buy and cast on that causes trouble, it’s the kind you buy and put in the closet for years.

  116. No, that was the universe keeping you from making a huge mistake, because clearly there could be no more beautiful yarn than this. Had you been able to purchase something else, you wouldn’t have this yarn. Go universe!

  117. We DO understand, and yes, Joe calling you and *knowing* he was quite near a yarn store, much less being willing to drop by, and wait for the truck about to arrive? well. Talk about your definition of a keeper, for a couple o’ lifetimes if you can swing it…lovely yarn.
    For Daniele at 2:56pm: the Google-fu is mighty with me, and says:
    1 cubic short ton = 746,598,664 kg^3
    Or, roughly, just a skootch more than the contents of the Santa Clara Convention center hall at the beginning of Stitches West last weekend. *sigh* Lovely to contemplate, isn’t it?
    Steph, we were not the only folks to appreciate your phrase this weekend on “having a falling down” (the kind where the credit card in your hand makes a perfect connect with the machine on your way down, and you get up (magically!) with Stuff. Especially at the Blue Moon booth, bless their lovely hearts and wicked, wicked, sense o’ color in the dyepots.
    Have a blast in London, hope you get a little time to explore, as folks above have suggested.

  118. Oh Stephanie, I recognized today about my ideal winter sunny day opening. It’s like that: after breakfast, I open my laptop, check mailboxes(including some sale announcement from online yarn shops), considering some of sales and sneak a bit, return some general mails and then, go to your blog and found a new entry, long enough to enjoy, and read it with a cup of tea, and found that the entry is exactly like today. I love you as much as yarn.

  119. Wait, wait, wait just a minute. Your husband was close to a yarn shop and admitted it to you, a knitter, and then offered to go to said shop on your behalf? Excuse me, I have to go stare at my husband for a while until he gets uncomfortable and asks, “What?”

  120. For rams: yes there is a pub near the Purple Purl – two doors down in fact *g* Haven’t eaten there yet when I’ve been to the Purl, but alcohol is definitely within easy reach πŸ˜‰

  121. I think I used a similar sort of rationale in getting married once. I’m sure your sweater will turn out MUCH better. It’s beautiful yarn.

  122. Hey.. since magically Philadelphia and London were added to the tour, what about us here over on the other side of the country? Wouldn’t you just love to come visit Edmonton?
    Good work on hunting the yarn down. I say it was meant to be.

  123. And you have just passed your “sign” to me. I have just finished a big test knitting project and was realizing that I have a fair pile of UFO’s. I was contemplating which one I should pick up just before reading your post. One of the UFO’s is a sweater for my husband made from the same type and color of yarn as what you show here! (It shows off cables beautifully by the way!)

  124. London?!?! How freaking awesome! Are you totally psyched?
    I just wish you’d come to Chicago….. Of course, I can possibly go to Madison to see you, but it *is* two days before my due date. What do you think, Ms. Doula?? πŸ™‚

  125. Please share with the masses as to what that yarn is called!
    I am knitting a sweater in a yarn that I thought was almost solid, but is in fact verigated and pooling in a way that is not flattering to my mid-section.
    I think I need to rip it out and start with a new yarn. waaaaaah!

  126. Not only do you need that yarn, but I need that yarn.
    I tried and tried to read the label on the yarn, but it’s just not legible.
    Please tell us what it is!
    Don’t go crazy and fire off an e-mail at me, just tell us ALL what it is.
    Your taste in yarn is great!

  127. You know, if you hold two strands of a dk together, you get a chunky gauge, and you use up double the yardage. Plus, you can do some cool color changes by changing color of one strand at a time, for a nice fade. Just saying.

  128. Absolutely beautiful color! Every time I see that yarn I pet it. Looks like you’ve already made quite a bit of progress on the pattern, too! Are you going to caridganize it too? Or pullover it? Either way, I’m sure it’ll be groovy!

  129. Johann – I believe it is Araucania. I’ve felted w/it with good results.
    I was in Michael’s yesterday looking at Patons pattern booklets. They had a lot of choices but not Street Smart. Too bad. I’ll keep looking (because apparently a bookcase and computer full of patterns are just not enough to satisfy me).

  130. I’ve seen many pics of you on this blog and I even saw you in person once and you are not in any way at all, dumpy! Not at all! In fact, I wish I were as “dumpy” as you!

  131. Wow, an overseas tour!
    Hint based on a friend’s experience: you can almost certainly carry and use knitting needles on the way over to the UK. Getting them on the plane on the way back may be harder to achieve. If you can get them on, be sure to leave them in the carry-on bag until the airplane is in the air and the seat belt light goes off. Until then, I suggest you can sketch designs in a small notebook.

  132. You couldn’t mention the name (and the colour, it’s the colour that’s calling to me) of that yarn could you? It’s making me drool just looking at it. I want it. If you wake up next week to find it missing, it wasn’t the squirrel. πŸ˜€

  133. Would it be creepy-stalkerish of me to go to London (from Boston) just to see you speak? Esp. since I’ll be at Webs in April? I really need little excuse to go to one of my favorite places in the world!! Hope you love it, too!!

  134. Philly!! Finally!! I’ve been waiting a long time for that! And I completely understand about buying some pretty yarn to take the edge off a bad day. I bought my first skein of ‘nice’ yarn at a LYS I wandered across while feeling a bit melancholy because I’d just dropped a friend off at the airport after a great visit. I had a mere $25 left of my vacation money, and the brightly coloured sock yarn in the store was just the thing to cheer me up. Nevermind that I didn’t knit socks. That single skein changed my knitting. I’m a certified yarn snob now!

  135. Lovely yarn, great pattern. It’s karma!
    And London, England. I feel an uncharacteristic Woo Hoo coming on! Woo Hoo-ing is so not London, England

  136. Ach, we do so say “woo hoo” here. Well, we do when the I Knit boys secure the Harlot for us. (Ticket already bought – just trying to decide whether to bring the by-then-two-month-old along for sock-holding…)

  137. Hurrah! You’re coming to England at last. Off on a day trip with my knitting group today – will spread the good news in West Sussex!

  138. OMG! You’re coming to England! Yay! Wanna go on a major yarn crawl? I’ll clear my diary for that week then, looks like a trip to the great metropolis!
    The Urban Aran cardi is Just. The. Best. Ever. I’m still trying for the pattern book…you’ve managed to sell it out everywhere. Patons should give you commission πŸ™‚

  139. Well, getting you off-continent is a start, I suppose.
    Now, what about after September? You know, when it starts getting cold over there in bear/mountain/sports-on-ice country?
    That would be a good time to extend the book tour to the southern hemisphere, wouldn’t it? When the weather is starting to get painfully chilly? And the draughts are biting and the sky is bleak…
    Look out of the window at all that snow. Now think of the sunshine we have over here…. It’s not that far. Just a little plane ride away…

  140. Can I just say Huzzah and Hurrah! (Becky – how’s that for you? British enough? :p) I have booked my tickets for the event and am awaiting your arrival with great pleasure and anticipation.
    Hooray for the Harlot, and of course the ever wonderful Jayme!

  141. LONDON!!!!! All hail Jayme the wonder publicist, The universe is telling me to go to London on 6 Sept so I have my ticket because it’s so much easier to go to London than persuade my husband that what he really needs for a holiday is a long distance yarn crawl to catch book signings and fibre festivals.

  142. I love that yarn (or well, I love its slimmer sister, Nature Wool Worsted)! I’m using it for a sweater right now, and it makes for a speedy knit. I can see why you needed it!

  143. Great news! Now last year’s I Knit-Stitch & Bitch day was great fun: so bring knitting, relax and be prepared to be made to feel very welcome!
    Recently flown to/from Canada with knitting. Neither birch or plastic needles presented a problem at security in either direction. However, I do suggest putting any WIPs on a thread, with needles packed separately in your carry-on in case of a problem (oh and project stowed during take off and landing)!

  144. Congratulations, it was absolutely meant to be.
    I must confess to rationalizing that my stash is for survival in the eventuality of a new economic depression, and thinking about that if it happened then my children will have clothes. I don’t actually have children!
    Am considering a london trip in September then.
    Happy knitting! Emma

  145. You know that your gig in London is pulling in knitters from all of England? I wouldn’t be suprised if there aren’t travellers from the rest of Great Britain as well. Bring bodyguards.

  146. Did I miss it or did you not tell us what yarn you finally landed on?
    On a serious note, we had a famliy tragedy this week. The loss of my two nephews in a car crash. I am a life long knitter who is a newbie(2 months) to your blog.Your wonderful sense of humor about your world and the passion we share has been a solace. Thank you. Pat

  147. London hurrah! May I suggest John Lewis in addition to Libertys for a wool shop while in our fair capital?

  148. I recently moved my stash from plastic totes into two cabinets and my family and friends now realize how much stash I really have.
    In an effort to reduce some of that stash I gave up buying any knitting related supplies for Lent. (I considered giving up alcohol but let’s be serious here!) This forty days of Lent is going by very slooowly. But because I’m doing it for Lent, I have not purchased even a knitting magazine so far. Luckily, I subscribe to all the knitting mags that I read.
    Love the yarn that finally found it’s way home!

  149. I should warn you, the London event will almost certainly be sold out by the end of March, if not sooner. We over here have been waiting FOREVER for our turn to hear you speak! There is good beer, there is good yarn, there is a lovely city. Good luck for the rest of your tour!
    (Oh, and the yarn? I want some. But they don’t sell it in the UK as far as I know. Sniff.)

  150. Oh, so the London news is out! I bought my ticket early first morning I could (Monday just gone) and have seen no mention, no one talking about it and even now have just gone to my email to check my sale confirmation. I’ve been torn between bringing it up and keeping it to myself; what a strange attitude you’re bringing out in me. I’m in London and yes there is beer (a fab brewery just a mile from my home, close to the centre also) and too much to do and we’ll all give you a splendid welcome and make sure you have the happiest time.

  151. I think the planet and the universe were just throwing obstacles in your way to make the final acquisition of the yarn worthy of your spiritual energy. Nothing worth having was ever easily gotten.
    And personally, I think the fact that yarn exists in this universe in the first place is serendipitous by nature … therefore the serendipity issue is as unavoidable as the stash itself.

  152. One morning I was feeling down and my husband told me to go the yarn store, that always makes me feel better. I knew he really loved me that day.

  153. So excited to see that you’re finally coming to England. I’ve just booked tickets and can’t wait to see you in September!
    I got to know your books when I learned to knit while living in Colorado, USA. They are fabulous and I’m thrilled that you’re coming to visit the UK – I hope you enjoy it.
    My husband sounds like your Joe – when he travels to Colorado on business, he visits the lovely ladies at Green Valley Weavers to buy yarn for me! (Cambridge, UK, is not famous for its yarn shops ….)

  154. Who say’s it’s not destiny even if it took all day to “come upon” the yarn of your dreams?
    Have you ever been to England? It’s my favorite place to travel and I hope that you will love it as much as I do.
    Good luck with the cardi!

  155. I can’t believe your coming to England!!!! I can’t believe your coming to england….just after I’ve moved back to Australia.

  156. No tour stop in Paris, France?!
    Come on! There are knitters here, too. Lots! In French and English!
    Although I, myself, have so far merely been fantasizing heavily about taking up knitting. I currently also have a mid-life crisis fantasy of retiring to the French countryside to raise goats and alpacas, spin yarn, die it, knit it, weave it…

  157. cant wait till september – your trip to london is definately over due -got my ticket yesterday started saving for major stash enhancement today!! my husband would never even notice a yarn shop let alone call me to tell me he was near one – you have him so well trained i hope the talk in september includes husband training tips!!!

  158. does that mean that your husband picked up the yarn while he was out- does he have a brother, or better yet, and you clone him, I want one!!!

  159. sadly you are coming to philadelphia when i will be in albany to watch my younger brother graduate university. the yarn, however, is lovely!

  160. Ha! Ha! Ha! I finally had to face reality–my yarn & fabric stash were outgrowing the sewing room and I have promised REALLY faithfully to not invade the other rooms (the rubber tub in the back room is just there to be sorted–it doesn’t really live there–okay, it’s been in there for a few months, I admit, but it will be coming back OUT as soon as I find room for it…). So I’m two months into The Year of the Stash. As I keep seeing all the lovely yarns people are buying, I’m starting to wonder if maybe I just haven’t gotten creative enough with yarn storage…..:)

  161. Ha! I was just going to “comment” asking if you were going to do the Urban Aran next….and then you posted that you were! Now: are you knitting the body in one piece or three?
    Beautiful yarn, btw! Joe – what a guy! My DH has not yet called me to see if I need anything at a nearby yarn store, but he’s always willing to stop by and pick up something for me – if I call them ahead and tell them what I want. And he will happily snooze in the car when I want to go in. Also “what a guy!” πŸ™‚

  162. I love your Blog…. I just bought your book… Knitting Rules and feel that you are either my twin separated at birth or you can read my thoughts. Thanks for making my day, (days)!!!!

  163. Judge not,lest ye be judged……and, girl, no one who reads your blog would ever say anything about your need for yarn. Otherwise, lightning bolts would be landing everywhere! And if the Yarn Gods made you work a bit for it, it’s still destiny. Can’t wait to see it worked up!

  164. Ooh ooh ooh – I’ve used that yarn. It’s wonderful and makes a great finished project – but *wash your swatch* if you don’t want a repeat of the wedding sweater incident. It grows lengthwise when you get it wet.

  165. I had a Karmic moment where I packed up 3/4 of my stash and gave it away at the local yarn meeting. Don’t swoon, I kept the cashmere, silk, all the yarn from Knitpicks, some great wool and only purchased 10 balls of hemp for a sumer tunic and 4 balls of superwash baby yarn for a friend who’s due.
    Point is, I was grateful to give it away. It felt good!

  166. Hurray for London! I can’t buy my ticket yet though since I am moving and don’t yet have my new address. Boo! But you know you will be well taken care of on the beer front. Also you do know that iKnit actually HAS A BAR in the YARN SHOP. Right? I mean, come on, this is the future of yarn shops, no?

  167. Well…curse word… you come to London shortly after I move to South Africa. Enjoy your new yarn!

  168. Congrats on London!! I hope to see you back in the Bay Area sometime soon. Missed you last time around. That sweater would look mighty fine in some Malabrigo too…ooh. (I’m a Malabrigo slut) πŸ˜›

  169. I totally believe that we have the power to encourage serendipity. I find that I have to be really careful with what I wish for, though.
    I hate when I get what I want and it turns out to be no good for me!

  170. Yay! Philadelphia! I heard you were coming when I was reading through some Ravelry Forums last night. I emailed college daughter (Temple) to say I was going to go and she wrote me back to say it looked like fun and she would join me! A girls day out with the Yarn Harlot and my daughter – what could be better? See you in May!

  171. Steph! You can’t feel bad about red wine. It’s just grape juice. Beer is made from whole grains. Nachos are corn (vegetable), cheese (dairy), and maybe a few jalapenos (also a vegetable). Then there is chocolate. Made from a bean. With sugar which is made from a beet or a sugar cane, also things that grow naturally. There’s no reason to feel guilty at all! How much more natural can you get.
    Oh, and I agree. That yarn practically leapt in your lap. It was meant for you!

  172. I’ve booked my ticket for London – it’s soooo exciting you’re coming here! It might even be nice weather.

  173. How come we didn’t hear one word about that fire here? I need to get the BBC news back on my recording list so I know what’s going on in the world.
    The wool looks perfect. Serrendipity sometimes requires preparation. And moderation in all things including moderation.
    I hope you’ll have time to enjoy London.

  174. YAY!!! I’ll see you in Philadelphia. Wish I could see you in London, but I don’t think following you there like you’re the Dead would really work out for me financially. πŸ™‚

  175. What is that yarn, anyway? It’s BEAUTIFUL.
    I moved back from the UK to the US a couple of years ago. If you want a north american perspective on London, let me know.

  176. How can I get in touch with Jayme-the-wonder-publicist? She needs to add Australia to your world tour… :o)
    P.S. Brisbane would be close enough, not just Sydney ok! :o)

  177. The appeal of the Urban Aran has overcome even the strongest among us. I finished my Urban Aran over a week ago, and I’m still giddy over it. It is a great, great pattern (with the addition of a two-way zipper, of course).
    I’m now working on “The Must Have Cardigan.” This is mostly your fault, for flaunting your knitting until I could resist no longer. OK, it’s really all my fault. I am weak; I covet my neighbor’s sweater.

  178. I was so excited to see the Friday post, because I have that Paton’s leaflet, and loved the Urban Aran, and felt that it needed to be zippered. But I (good with a sewing machine but a self-taught knitter) didn’t know how to do it. NOW I DO. So I have been hunting for yarn (on the Internet) when I should be working. I’m considering elann. Your yarn is a beautiful blue. That will be a gorgeous sweater.
    I am on a diet too. A quilting diet. I spiritually have too much fabric and too many quilt projects. I love piecing and quilting, and while I piece by machine I quilt by hand, which takes forever. All the while I’m quilting I’m feeling put upon by all the rest of the waiting projects. It will probably take a year for me to select the projects I really want to keep, and then find a good way to dispose of the rest. And it ain’t easy.

  179. Beautiful yarn. As someone who knits very slowly, I am trying to keep my yarn stash to about two years worth of yarn. Do you mind if I ask how much yarn you have? Either skeins or approximate year of average knitting for you would satisfy my curiosity. Or if you can’t imagine counting all your yarn, could you give a wild estimate as to what seems like a reasonable amount of yarn to own? This would help settle an inhouse ‘discussion’ with my husband and kids, none of whom knit or finds yarn itself vaguely interesting, as to when a yarn stash is too ‘big’.

  180. Chicago? (pitiful sniff) Am I really going to have to drive to Madison, WI for this tour? Did Franklin not treat you splendidly? I would take you to Loopy Yarns and introduce you to the nicest knitting women in the city. (ask Franklin, he knows them too)

  181. That’s gonna be one super sweater. Of course you had to have it. If it only took one day to find just the right yarn, that’s definitely the universe giving it to you. To have turned it down would have shown a lack of gratitude. Besides, yarn store owners have to make a living, too.
    I was a good girl today. The one thing that really tempted me was a sweater-sized skein of candy-colored mohair. I passed on it, as I already have a sweater-sized skein of grey and pink mohair waiting for me. If I knit up the one I have before I get to that store again, I’ll buy the candy-colored one then. If I still want another mohair sweater.

  182. I am SO excited that you are coming to London. Your blog makes me laugh, I make non-knitters read it and they laugh too. I didn’t think you’d ever make it here and now I can’t wait till September.

  183. How wonderful, you are coming to London! This certainly puts a different complexion on September. None of your tour dates corresponded to my trips to Canada (actual and potential) but now you are coming to us. Thankyou!

  184. “…and knowing that my stash is not as big as you think it is…”
    I dunno, there have been a lot of “look what I bought” posts, and I’m willing to bet you don’t post everything you buy. I still think it would be fun to shop in your stash!

  185. I AM soooo excited because you are coming to the bookstore that I work at — I told my manager to get you and he did — I keep waiting to see it added to your tour list — CARMEL, Indiana on April 29.
    I too am trying to use up my stash — it is sorta working.

  186. Wow, that man loves you! My husband would never let on he was near a yarn shop, as he would be completely mystified by its contents! πŸ™‚ I love the color of your new yarn, too. Can’t wait to see it made up!

  187. Dumb question. I was re-reading one of your books, and you described yarn that exists as inspiration, that is not for knitting, that instead is for “being”. Here’s my question: if the yarn is jfor inspiration, why do you need 20 skeins of it (re: the story about the sweater that Joe wanted you to knit, and how he had seen the yarn he wanted in your stash)?

  188. Too bad the truck didn’t just drive directly to your house. That would definitely be a sign that the planets are in alignment with your desires.

  189. If I follow you – from Nova Scotia Canada – does that make me a stalker?
    You see, the I Knit London shop is a few doors away from where I used to live in Bonnington Square in the 70’s/80’s. (Can’t quite remember the exact house number – I think it was either 23 or 27.)
    I presented you with the dishcloth when you were in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
    The 200 km round trip to see you then was well worth it. So the longer trip …

  190. I think you’ll really enjoy the Book Festival in Philly in May. Last year was the first year and it was really cool. I’m bummed that I’m missing it this year. I’ll be out of town ignoring…I mean celebrating… my 30th birthday.

  191. I just bet that the money you spent at that particular shop at that particular hour for that particular yarn is going to feed some destitute children in a third world country somewhere. It’s not that the universe threw yarn at you; it’s that the universe threw this specific opportunity to help at you.
    How very big of you to respond so appropriately.

  192. Oh. MY! That is Araucania Nature Wool Chunky in, I’m pretty sure, color 138. In other words, the EXACT SAME YARN I’m using to knit my FIRST SWEATER EVER – the Einstein Coat out of Sally Melville’s fabulous _The Knit Stitch_. This makes me very happy, even though I still have a, oh . . . what’s the technical term? A galloping crapload of garter yet to go.
    Now I have to show off, though. πŸ™‚ Mine came from Webs at $5/skein. Good thing, too, since I’ll probably need more . . .

  193. Dear Steph
    I hate you. I was happy with my spinning obsession, never feeling any urges to purchase yarn. I have over 800 pounds of wool, exotics, blends all in roving stored in my “vault”. My daughters bought your books for me, thinking I would enjoy them. I have! I have read them over and over never noticing the sly brainwashing taking place. You are a sly one. I went to Shuttles in Boulder to do a Trunk Show and teach classes and for the first time yarn looked good. It looked oddly scrumptious. Worse the Cascade 220 looked like it should come home with me. Now I am working on knitting a sweater from purchased yarn and working on my yarn stash. I found some Galway in pearly grey on sale! 20 skeins! From one fiber sister to another, thanks a bunch.
    Like I have all the time in the world to just knit with yarn!
    Elizabeth Dailey
    Greensleeves Spindles

  194. London on 6th Sept – we Brits are totally going nuts over here at the very thought! And in association with IKnit who are nice boys too.
    Last time I saw a full length photo of you, you looked like you were bordering on too skinny actually Mrs!

  195. Yea, you’re coming to Philly. I’ll make sure to pick you up some authentic South Philly cannoli. Cause hey, that’s what we do. Fuhgettaboutit!
    Love the arucania yarn. It will indeed make a nice cozy sweater. And now you have this great story to go with it too!

  196. Hoorah! I’ve bought my tickets for the London appearance but do not yet have them in my hot little hand. That has not stopped me from doing a celebratory dance though. Mr F and I will be there. (He’s wary about all the knitting content but someone’s gotta push my wheelchair, yes?) πŸ™‚

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