Another Monday in the Woods

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Erin go Bragh! (Or more properly – Éire go Brách!) Feels a little odd to be away from the family today. I wonder if Joe reminded them to wear a little green for luck, if he’ll make a vegetable stew for dinner… Someone will have to make the soda bread for today. (That was a direct hint to Ken, who’s Irish brown bread is very good, although I think he’ll be happier with it when the learning curve doesn’t allow for bread with “tumours” that develop during baking. Odd, that.) I think I’ve decided that my concession to the day shall be that I walk to the corner store/gas station/coffee shop/liquor store/ beer store, buy myself a Guiness, and trot back here to drink it by the fire while I work. Round trip, it’s about 14k, but 12 of them are along the town road, so it’s not so bad. I think I wouldn’t normally wouldn’t walk that far for a beer (St. Patricks day or not) but I’m almost out of toilet paper, and I’ve developed a rampaging case of cabin fever, so I can tell myself it serves a duel purpose.

I’m in very deep with the book. The end is in sight, hope glimmers on the horizon. I’m trying to finish it a little early, since the launch for the last book, (here in Toronto on April fools day, it’s going to be big fun) is the same day as my deadline for this book – and I leave the next day for the tour. (Actually, this is a good time to mention that Jayme-the-wonder-publicist has sent me details for April 29 in Carmel IN (Barnes and Noble) and May 4 in Salt Lake City at the Public Library. I’ve put up the details on the tour page, as always. I think Jayme is adding 4 more events, all before May 4th, and then that’s it. Finito. Tour done. We’re trying something new and doing it all at once instead of spreading it out.) I’m trying to give myself a couple of days in the next few weeks to breath a little. As a result, very little knitting is going on. I’m still working on my sister’s Urban Aran, and I was doing pretty well. I’d finished both sleeves, the back and was halfway up one of the fronts when I finally accepted that I couldn’t live with the way that I’d handled the front edge. It seems silly to say it now, but the fact that I had decided to only add one extra stitch to allow for the zipper was a mistake, and the longer I knit the more sure of it I became. I was this far when I ripped it back entirely.


Tiny bit of a pain in the arse, because I’m knitting from two balls of the Araucania alternating every two rows, but totally worth it. Doesn’t it look much better?


Yeah, I know. I can’t tell either.

I swear it will matter when I go to put the zipper in. The front edges of a cardigan are, I am telling myself, not somewhere that you don’t want things to look right, even if that does mean you are knitting a blue cardigan for the rest of your life.

Other stuff? I have a few random bits.

1. The yarn that I’m using for this sweater is on closeout at WEBS, right down to the colour. (105) (Yeah. I didn’t know that when I bought mine. I bought more though, so I feel better.)

2. Sivia Harding is doing an auction of some very nice stuff on her blog to honour her father, who very recently passed away. Profits go to Doctors without Borders, and Sivia is a wonderful person, so please consider taking a look.

3. Fun details of the Toronto Launch are coming. The lovely and esteemed Rachel H has found us a pub for the afterparty, I am compiling a super odd plan for the rest of the day (Hint: you will need a camera and a sock) and Joe is working with the Isabel Bader Theatre to pull together an awesome bonus for the people who come. It’s going to be a blast, and I swear, I will write all the details down if you just wait a couple of days while everybody confirms everything. Promise. Inexplicable knitter behaviour (on April fools day – there’s an invitation) takes a little planning.

4. If you were thinking about buying my book and coming to an event, can I ask you to consider something? You can, of course do entirely as you like, but if you’re coming to an event, would you consider buying your book there? The yarn shops and bookstores who put on these events don’t get paid to do it, or receive financial help from the publisher. If they need to rent a space or a microphone or something, they pay for it themselves. (The publisher helps them promote it and pays for travel.) As it’s free to get in, the way they make their money back is by selling you books, or in the case of the yarn shop, books and yarn. I know a lot of you will buy or have bought your books elsewhere, or even pre-ordered and that’s just fine. You can bring it (even if I’m in another bookstore) I’ll sign it, and nobody will be bothered. If you haven’t bought it yet though, please consider giving the bookstore or yarn shop holding the event your business. I know it might mean waiting a few weeks to get the book, but all of the events are within 5 weeks of the launch, and they are a lot of work to set up. if you’re going to buy the book anyway – why not buy it from them. (Naturally, if you’re not planning on buying the book, you can ignore this.)

5. In the “stupid things I have done in the woods” category for today: Yesterday I went on a hike and found this place where there was warm (comparatively) water seeping out of the rocks. It was making a puddle that melted the snow and on the rocks where the water came out, the moss was alive, green and beautiful.

It was like finding a little mini-spring in the middle of all this winter, and I was so smitten that I moved closer to get a better look/picture.


Well, I got this picture,


and a soaker.


I stepped closer without thinking, and naturally the water ran further under the snow than it looked like. Idiot. A whole bootful of icy water rushed in. it was breathtaking really. All the way home my foot was frozen and my boot made an embarrassing sloshing, squishing noise with every step.

At least I had wool socks on, and I wasn’t as alone as I thought.

Who’s this?


186 thoughts on “Another Monday in the Woods

  1. Huh. Is it odd that I looked at your hand and thought, “Stephanie’s hand looks like mine”?
    Well, and not so oddly, “I really, really love that blue yarn.”

  2. “In the “stupid things I have done in the woods” category for today…”
    Oooh! A continuing series! I love those!

  3. Definitely a canine! I would guess coyote over wolf, just given the relative numbers of the two.. But, then again, I live in Michigan and base this opinion on Michigan wildlife, so perhaps it could be a wolf! 🙂
    Love how the sweater is knitting up– looking quite lovely in your pictures.

  4. I wish I would have thought about the book buying thing earlier. I did order it in advance. And wouldn’t you know…the most delightful yarn shop just opened in the town where I live this past Friday. It is so wonderful to finally have a quality place to buy yarn and patterns rather than going to the “big box” stores where there stuff is garbage anyhow. So, I promise, I will always buy any future books at the new store, rather than ordering online!

  5. Pretty sure that’s dog-like, so unless you’ve got a large-ish dog with you, wolf, maybe? I trust you’re not wearing a red cape?

  6. See, you are brave, I’d be inside the whole time… and really not having as much fun as you. I need to think more like you!!

  7. Are you going to be making any stops on the tour in California? I don’t see any on the tour page, and you’ve got lots of readers out here – we’ll make it worth your while!

  8. May the luck of the Irish be with you and yours. Including that pesky book, which will be another huge hit, I am sure. cecilia

  9. I love these wood-land entries! I also would have been drawn to the green…I have no idea what that paw print might be. And I would have ripped the whole sweater apart for the same reason. I have done it for less! Stay safe on your journey for Guinness and TP…

  10. Enjoy the Guiness and the nature (whatever it may be) and… I know you don’t REALLY have any control over it, but might there be a San Francisco Bay Area tour it in your future? C’mon: Art Fibers, ImagiKnit, Article Pract… Everyone loves you here.

  11. I hope the 14k walk was lovely and the brew tasty…yikes, no more sneaky under-snow-puddles. I did pre-order, however I will gladly purchase another in Portland when I see you. I’m still incredibly impressed with how you have embraced the solitary hours in the woods!

  12. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you too! Enjoy your walk for Guiness. Hopefully no sloshing boots for you on this walk.

  13. I’m so excited that you’ll be coming to Indianapolis! (Not that my day long adventure to Chicago last time wasn’t fun. Just exhausting.)
    For the record, there is no way I could stay out there without going completely insane with fear at night. Congrats!

  14. I actually would love to buy your book from a bookstore that is hosting you, however I will not be in the area of any of your presentations. Would you think about coming to Sudbury. Truly, I could not garantee anyone besides myself showing up, as I am an independant knitter and have, as of yet, not met anyone quite as obssessed with your blog as I am in this area. Out of curiosity though, would it be possible to chose a bookstore you are visiting and buy the book through them and have it mailed to myself?? something that I will have to look into.

  15. After looking up 14 km in miles, I am in awe that you walked 8 miles for some beer. You are my hero Stephanie.

  16. Last time I saw you at Third Place Books you had to buy a book to get a signing ticket. Those who’d bought elsewhere got their books signed, just at the end of a very long line. I did buy another from the store, plus two for Anne and Karen. Karen may have a conflict this time.
    Enjoy the walk and then the Guiness. That should be a long enough trek to clear the cabin fever for a while. You didn’t have toilet paper in all that stuff you lugged in?
    Will you drink the Guiness cold or let it warm up? I’m in the room temp camp.

  17. It is canid, too small for wolf, claws indicate domestic doggie. Perhaps also in search of warm shelter and libatons. Hey, invite him in; he’ll keep those rapacious deer at bay! And your salad will still be safe (isn’t it wonderful how the ecosystem works?)

  18. I’d say a cat of some kind, the sort that lives in the woods. Love the sweater. Love the plans for Toronto and wish I could be there. And enjoy your beer – I’m having a Young’s Double Chocolate Stout. Not Irish but good.

  19. Whoo-hoo – can’t wait to see you in Carmel! I would buy the book there, but I already have it on pre-order at Amazon. They already have the book you’re working on available for pre-order, too.
    And don’t step in any more water!! 😀

  20. Hello, Mr Wolf. Grandma no longer lives in these woods, but if Stephanie gives you her Guinness and a roll of toilet paper, you will promise not to mess with her, right?
    Mr Wolf?

  21. As an added buy your book there incentive, the yarn shop hosting my local event is donating a portion of the proceeds to Knitters Without Borders. I quite liked that.
    Don’t drop through any icy water holes on the way to the Guiness!

  22. I hope you can come to southern California or the Central Coast with your book tour. So far there are no stops close to me – Rats! Your sister’s sweater is beautiful.

  23. I’m glad you mentioned that about buying the book at the event. I always do that. If it’s a book I already have, I’ll bring it, but I will buy some other sort of book/yarn from the host store. After all, they are holding these events to boost sales, that’s the whole point.
    I do have a question, though. When I buy a book from Amazon and it’s marked down before it’s even released, does that affect your bottom line? I’ve always felt that when I’m pre-ordering or purchasing a brand new book, it’s sort of bad to pay a lot less than the usual retail price.

  24. Gee, now I’m thinking of an old Tommy Makem and the Clancy Bros. album my brother had, and a certain chant that starts, “Up the long ladder and down the short rope…” [vbg] Enjoy your Guinness! I agree, the sweater looks much better. (Nope, can’t tell a thing.) Glad to hear the book is cooperating, and may all the good wishes not jinx it. Looking forward to seeing you in Portland again! I pre-ordered, but since Blue Moon is putting on your appearance here, I presume there will be yarn available. 😉 Since I just completed my first sock (Of a pair, of course; but dang, I finally *finished* one! It’s a miracle! And the second is already past the cuff; I’m so chuffed with myself!), I shall be slavering to buy more STR. Maybe another skein of Raven. Unless they have some Rare Gems, since this one’s looking gorgeous.
    Of course, if Amazon doesn’t ship fast enough, I’ll be cancelling my pre-order there and getting the book at your appearance anyway!

  25. Usually a shopping cart filled with beer and toilet paper indicates the shopper is a single male… another brave step for equality! LOL

  26. Ooh. I read your post and thought oh-dear-I-already-pre-ordered-my-book. Then I thought things over and realized, since I pre-ordered the book from the yarn store throwing the book bash, that things would probably turn out okay. Is there an etiquette to fiber-related book-signings? This is my first one. Should I attend covered in hand-knit wool? Bring my most treasured finished object? Seriously, I’m thinking about finally blocking my lace scarf for the occasion.

  27. *facepalm*
    it’s not st. patrick’s day. the catholic church moved it to the 15th.

  28. Only four more stops on the tour? I hope one of them is in Ottawa – we’d love to see you up here.

  29. Coyote more than likely, I have those around my place too! Harmless, but scary looking, they know where you are but you will not likely see them.
    Enjoy the stay.

  30. Werewof, of course! What else? Whatever it is, it doesn’t eat yarn OR Yarn Harlots. It might drink your beer, though.

  31. My daughter and I would like to attend the Toronto launch. How do we get tickets?

  32. In highschool on exchange to a small town near Chicoutimi, the mother there told me that it is good luck to find such a “spring” on Easter morning. If you ask me, today is close enough! Imagine finding something so green in all that white. Lovely!

  33. canine tracks are not distinguishable from each other except maybe by size. if you see a canine track in the woods there would be no way to tell if it were from a wild / domesticated / feral canine. If were from a cat species (such as lynx) (or a fox, which resembles feline more than canine), it would be distinctly rounder (instead of oblong).

  34. Hmmm, looks like my puppy’s pawprints (and about the same size), so I would go with canine, possibly coyote or a neighbor dog.
    Soda bread was baked yesterday, so all I need now is a bit of Guiness.

  35. I was thinking of pre-ordering from Webs for their event. Does pre-ordering make things go more smoothly? I was sort of thinking it would. Either way, I’m buying it from them, though.
    Renee, the Catholic Church sort of moved St. Patrick’s Day. Secular celebrations are allowed today, but religious observances were moved to the 15th so as not to conflict with Holy Week. Not that I’m Catholic (anymore), but I heard about that and Googled it because I was curious. 🙂

  36. As others have said, probably a dog or more likely a coyote. Do you hear any howling at night?
    You are so evil to post the link to the araucania! Even though I am deep into my own urban aran in some great Louet Riverstone chunky (and am simulataneously knitting another cardigan with Dream in color) my fingers are twitching to order another ten skeins to make a blue sweater like yours! I love the color variations!
    Enjoy the solitude!

  37. Wolf. Considering where you are, and unless they make coyotes larger in Canada than in Southern California, I’d put my money on wolf. Be careful.

  38. OMG you’re finally coming to my neck of the woods (Carmel, IN)! I stopped reading today’s entry in the middle of it so I could call B&N and see if I needed to make a reservation (not yet, but call back in a couple of weeks). I did warn the guy that it would be crowded beyond belief.

  39. I pre-ordered the last book and it didn’t arrive before your early-in-the-tour fog-shrouded April Fool’s Day visit to Ann Arbor last year — so I had to buy another one for you to sign. The good news is that I now have one for gifting to someone else!

  40. I truly cannot believe you are coming to Carmel, IN!!!!!! I thought I would have to travel to see you, but you will be less than 2 miles from my home. And there is a oh so cool knitting store nearby called Stitches and Scones. ( Even Franklin shops at that store has raved about it when he was in a nearby town to visit his folks)I am so excited. What do you need? Clean undies for the road? Handmade bracelets for the girls? More knitting notecards? I don’t think I can come see you without a gift of some sort, so name your price!

  41. Shit you are one lucky person…what you have gone through at that cabin, wow. Walking on frozen water is a no no though, you do know that…ciao

  42. Claws *out* means a canine of some sort.
    That size says to me either wolf or coyote. Given the pointiness of the “frog” part of the paw, I’d go for coyote.
    Check this link:
    Initially, I thought “bobcat”, but then I remembered about the claws.
    And you were worried about DEER!

  43. That’s canine, for sure… so wolf, coyote or just a plain dog living in the woods… depends just how “far” you are, we’ve had wolves venture near the cottage in winter…

  44. Probably a coyote, too small for a wolf. Maybe too big for a fox. The claws are out, though, so it’s definitely canine.

  45. Did you know that in Manitoba, soakers are called booters? It’s a little weird, but true!

  46. Back pad, single lobe on top = canine; double lobe on top = feline
    Something canine. Gulp! Cat claws might show if the surface is soft, but the pad is a giveaway.
    (No, I googled “animal tracks” and found a site that compares canine and feline tracks.)

  47. Coyote. Wolf would have been huge! Specially if it’s the only one, it wouldn’t have been a pup. Coyote max out probably at about 40 -45 pounds. A friend of mine traps them, so I see them often.

  48. I just love the woodsy stories… especially the animal tracks. Here, where I live, we have some snow, and the tracks are plentiful and fun to look at with the kids.
    I’m a former bookstore owner – out of business now, and I would like to second the prompt to buy the books at the signings. The bookstores have HUGE expenses for these events. The publishers usually pay $500 or so toward “legitimate” expenses, so with that, there’s venue/chair rental, advertising, staffing, coffee & cookies… way more than $500. We had lots of big name authors (like yourself) in my store, and sold fewer books than the small names/locals because so many people pre-bought books. On top of that – the usual cost to a retailer for a books is about 60% of the cover plus shipping. That might seem like plenty, but you have to sell lots & lots of books to pay the rent and utilities… So, if you can, please patronise your local bookstores, so they can afford to have interesting people come to town!

  49. Hmm, whether it’s coyote or wolf, I think the deer should be worried. . .
    Does anyone know if you can buy the book at the Philadelphia Book Fair? I know that sounds like a stupid question – but I’ve been to school book fairs recently where you ‘ordered’ and got the book three months later.
    Guiness is good, and after that soaking I hope you bought more than one!

  50. oooh, which i could come to the book launch. i wonder how long it takes to drive from ohio to toronto? i wonder if it will snow? (oh shoot, we know it will, but only if i do).

  51. I found this handy-dandy site and, using my excellent pattern-recognition skills, I am guessing coyote.
    I’d have ripped and reknit too.
    I don’t know yet if I’m coming to a book event — although the nearest one to me is at WEBS, which makes it doubly tempting. Sadly, I can get anywhere near Toronto only in my dreams.

  52. About buying the book at the event-I plan on going to the ann arbor library event. Are they going to sell books there?
    Do you know which ann arbor library you’re going to be at?

  53. I recently pulled a sock back about 30 rows (including the heel) so I would get my stripes to match, but I’m an accountant and we’re a tad odd that way. A knitting friend who had seen me looking at and double checking my stripes said to me ‘Please tell me you’re not going to pull that all undone’ and I told her ‘maybe’. In the end I did, because it was going to a friend, and the thought of the stripes not matching would drive me crazy for ever and ever.

  54. Anybody remember reading a short story about a man in the wilderness who should have known better but made a tiny mistake by stepping in a puddle of icy water and ended up dying as a result? No? Just me? Glad you’re safe!

  55. i definitely know about the alternating skeins of araucania during sweaters. also it’s definitely worth it to rip out even though it’s SUCH a pain in the butt to do. i haven’t conquered zippers but if you can do it, i’ll give it a shot.

  56. I already pre-ordered your book, but I’ll be happy to buy something else entirely when I arrive at Borders. They’ll be getting some of my money, just not the money I spent on your book! 🙂

  57. Whoever belongs to that footprint has CLAWS! Yikes.
    And thank you for the picture of the moss. It looks like little stars. What a gift in the middle of this winter.

  58. Yay for Soda Bread, I’ve got a loaf waiting for me in the kitchen. I figure I can’t drink today (pregnant) so I should be a good Irish girl and at least have some Soda bread!
    And I always buy your books at events, and other books, and yarn…

  59. Re: No. 4, who is in charge of calling the stores ahead of time and telling them to make sure they have at least 300 copies of the book on hand?

  60. If all goes according to nature, I should have the same soaker this weekend. I ALWAYS get too close to water at the cottage on Easter. Always.
    And while the tour ends in May, can we possibly, maybe make an Aurora exception in August? I can bribe…

  61. I agree, and I always buy your books at the signings if I’m going. I’ll be there April 4th in Denver! They say this branch of their store is better equipped to deal with the crowd … we’ll see.
    Coyote? That would be my guess, unless someone around there has a medium-large dog. But I don’t know how coyote-infested the woods are around there–here, that would be the best guess.

  62. Since the Ann Arbor event is at the library, will books be for sale from the tour, or do we need to buy them ahead for that one?
    I had the saddest experience with my Urban Aran. I got Araucania in what I thought would be a nice soft green. It came in the mail and I realized that if I wore a sweater made out of it, I would look like a lime. So now I have to wait for funding to pick up again before I can make my sweater because I need new yarn and mine is non-returnable because it was on sale. Sad face. Yours looks beautiful though; I can’t wait to have my own!

  63. I’m working on my own Urban Aran and am curious about your cardigan modification. Brooklyntweed says he added a 2 stitch selvage to both sides, with a slipped stitch border for camoflauging the zipper sewing. Is this what you are doing? You mentioned the single stitch selvage wasn’t working.
    Since this is my first experience in deviating from a pattern, I would appreciate some guidance to avoid the freefall feeling in my tummy!
    Thanks so much!
    PS My cheap side did toy with preording the book, but I love to support the Tattered Cover here here in Denver. I’m so looking forward to seeing you again in April.

  64. I would love to pick up your book from a bookstore/yarnstore you would be speaking at, but I don’t think our schedules will coincide anytime soon. sigh… Be safe in those woods! the urban aran is lovely by the way, I have yet to knit a sweater that actually fits.. but that’s just me. Sweater-challenged.

  65. Carmel, IN? As in “Indiana, USA”???!!! Waahhhoooo! I never thought I’d get to see you in person, but I’m only a couple hours from Carmel and I’d love to come to the signing. I have already pre-ordered my book and I have a couple of newby knitters that I’m going to strongly encourage to come with me. Do I need to bring a sock to this outing?

  66. Okay, I am totally doing that Urban Aran. I have it in my shopping bag at WEBS, but, I can’t tell how much yarn I need. I am trying to count the skeins in your original post (10?), I can’t find the Patons Street Smart booklet at WEBS or Patternworks. I think the knitting Gods are laughing at me. And, why do you knit every other row with a different yarn? Dye issue? That is one beautiful sweater. I love that it’s a cardigan, too. Must.knit.sweater. Must.find.pattern.

  67. What happened with the vintage socks? You were giving them to someone, but we never heard any more. Were they a hit?

  68. Thanks for the extra reason to remember to support our LYS.
    For anyone attending in StPaul Minnesota, the Yarnery is going to donate their share of the proceeds from the book to DWB/TSF. It only seems appropriate that we all make the sacrifice and support their decision by at least getting a bit of sock yarn, or whatever else strikes your fancy at their store. From my last visit it shouldn’t be too difficult……

  69. Can’t wait to see you in Carmel, IN (suburb of Indianapolis for those of you not from ’round these here parts). That Barnes and Noble isn’t enormous so I am giggling thinking about how they are going to squeeze us all inside, and how they probably have underestimated the amount of people that are going to turn out to see you.
    Thank you, Beth, for giving me the heads up on needing a ticket to get in!

  70. Re the Ann Arbor tour stop – it’s at the downtown library, in the multi-purpose room. The library’s website says that books will be for sale, courtesy of Borders.
    And, they note that over 300 knitters attended Stephanie’s last 2 visits to Ann Arbor, so I expect they’ll be prepared for a crowd.

  71. The toilet paper thing reminded me of the opening shots from Romancing the Stone… and as for the print? Here, kitty kitty kitty…

  72. dog track, dimple at back of the paw, long profile and visible toenails.
    I used to teach tracking and woods lore seminars with some friends, can’t anymore because I’m in college and they expect me to be in class.

  73. Just a FYI to those who might have pre-ordered your new book – Last year I pre-ordered your book from Amazon several months before it came out. You started your book tour and were coming to Cleveland (yes that fatefull trip)and my copy still hadn’t arrived. I ended up canceling my Amazon order and buying it that day at the bookstore where you were speaking. It was much better to patronize that nice Joseph Beth Bookseller store.

  74. Hi Steph, Absolutely love your adventures in the woods! The sweater is looking awesome, can’t wait to see it finished. I was wondering, will you be making it out to Los Angeles, California this year? My daughter and I saw you at the Central Library last year and we absolutely love ya and would like to see again, this time with a sock or two on the needles. Keep up the good work, I look forward to reading your blog!

  75. That looks just like the lynx track I googled, but then it looks like the puma track too.
    Do you have puma’s in Canada, or just big lynxes?
    In either event, it probably does not belong to someone you’d like to meet on a beer/toilet paper run, but then you are a big scary human and he’d probably run the other way. Right?
    Sweater looks great. If you feel better about the fronts after frogging, that is the only vote that counts.

  76. Sounds like the road got snow plowed, and you brought all your supplies in. Good! Good luck with the book! Wish I could attend one of your signings, but I live in the sticks and gas is $3.97 per gal. now. Happy St. Paddy’ Day!

  77. The sweater is coming along so beautifully. Have you seen Cookie A’s new sock? Can’t remember its name, but it is photographed in grey and is so gorgeous. The pattern reminds me of your sweater. You might have to get some blue sock yarn and do them for your sister. And, that “puddle” you found is somewhat in the shape of Ichabod Crane’s head. Very glad you are accomplishing the mission for which you sequestered yourself in the wild!! You should be very proud of yourself….You are my idol!

  78. I guess wolf or cougar with it’s claws out. If you have Lynx in the area, that’s another possibility.
    Make lots of noise while walking!!!

  79. Sounds like the wilderness is doing what it was put there for. Definitely get out once in a while so you can keep that creative energy up (but do try to stay out of the warm springs!).
    As Jean-Luc Picard said, “Things are only impossible until they’re not.”

  80. My daughter, Rebecca, is ten. She is a prolific reader, and reads at college level, so it’s not like she’s spent her life stuck in ‘Frog and Toad’ or anything – she’s been round the library a bit.
    I don’t tell you this to brag about Rebecca, but to give you a context for this…….
    I read your blog, my heart skipped a little bit when I read that you’d be in Indiana, in Carmel, no less, only 40 minutes away, at the end of April. I checked the bookstore website, just to make sure, and it is true, you really ARE coming to town!
    I went to find the girls to tell them my good news – Mummy gets a night off, an evening out, a trip – hurrah!
    Rebecca looked at me, totally astonished. Then she screamed that scream that only a ten year old can emit.
    And then she said, very fast, the way only a ten year old can talk….
    ‘ohmygosh this is SO exciting – I can’t believe it! I’ve seen lots of advertisements for authors coming to bookstores and libraries but I’ve NEVER seen one that I’ve actually heard of before – this is going to be SO COOL!!!!!! WHEN IS IT??????’
    Obviously my reaction was ‘I’m going and I’m not telling you when because you’re going to ballet class and then home to bed’ – but I’m writing this comment because you sometimes sound like you don’t think you’re really all that ‘special’ as an author – and I just wanted you to know that somewhere in Indiana there’s a little girl whose heart is bursting with excitement because YOU are coming to the place where she lives! Maybe she can skip ballet that day…….

  81. Hi, the cardi looks lovely, why are knitting from two balls?
    Keep enjoying the woods.

  82. Sorry, no soda bread today. I got completely sidetracked by “The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking” book that Megan gave me for my birthday, and there’s Sweet Potato Bread in the oven right now rather than soda bread. I know, I know, it’s not even remotely Irish, but the orange will play so nicely against all the green…

  83. Lá ‘le Pádraig shona duit 🙂 Kind of you to remember us Irish today 🙂 I’m not going to stop asking so… please come to Dublin on your next tour! I know the best Guinness pub in the city. Little trivia fact for you… the biggest brewery of guinness is actually in Nigeria and they’re also the top drinkers of Guinness in the world (as in they drink the most :D). Hope you enjoyed yours.

  84. I will totally cancel my Amazon pre-order if one of those 4 remaining dates are in California, north or south (I’m in the middle anyway). I regret not making the trip to Los Angeles last year and would love another opportunity.

  85. I think it’s some sort of cat. Do you get bobcats? It’s got claws, so it’s probably a predator. But please please please have a date for a tour in Northern California? Please please please?

  86. Coyote: generally less than 3″.
    Wolf: generally more than 3.5″.
    Dog: any size
    The difference between coyote or wolf and dog is that, with coyotes and wolves, the rear (smaller) prints overlap the front (larger) prints, all in a straight line. Dogs tend to have separate prints from front and rear, that wander side to side.

  87. That would be Mr. Wile E. Coyote. It looks like a dog track but not big enough for a timber wolf. We have about a bajillion coyotes here and the tracks are all over the place.

  88. Happy Paddy’s day from Ireland! I make a lovely Irish soda bread (if I do say so myself!) and have a recipe for it on my blog.
    Yes I second what Aileen said- Please come to Dublin! us Irish knitters want to see you too 🙂

  89. What no Guinness? Happy St Pat’s Day!
    As far as the paw print? Mammoth. One got out of the 10,000 BC movie I saw this weekend. It was so horrible, they apparently did not know how to knit back then.

  90. That would be a canid print of some sort. Judging from the apparent size of your hand and your current location – that’s likely Mr. Coyote. Perhaps it is better that you are reading this AFTER you got back with your beer so that you weren’t seeing wolves behind every tree.

  91. Great to hear you’ve gotten deep into the writing! A good long walk can be very helpful for that, so here’s hoping for another good day and night. On the bookstores–I’m sure they know their business and have thought of this, but in addition to urging people to buy your book at the event, have you (or Jayme) reminded them to lay in stocks of every knitting book and magazine they have ever sold? At the Borders in Virginia, where the late arrivals had a fairly long time to knit and hang out, they also found time to scour the shelves and pretty much pick them clean of every bit of knitting-related content. (That was after buying multiple copies of all of your titles, of course.) If there’d been more, the store would have made a mint. They probably did anyway, given the numbers. But it’s possible that a Muggle bookstore isn’t aware of the sheer variety of possible stuff out there that knitters will buy. Again, _after_ buying yours! (Bears repeating.)

  92. My Labrador Retriever makes prints just like that. Maybe a large dog was meandering through the woods, but more likely a coyote. The other day I ripped a sock toe out three times before I finally got it shaped the way I wanted it. It looked fine to my husband, he couldn’t see anything wrong with it. But I know what the recipient’s feet look like, short and wide, and I had to get it right, or it would have bugged me in the middle of the night, every night, forever.

  93. In cat prints, the space around the heel pad forms a C-shape. In dogs, there’s an X. Remember how when you first started knitting and it was kinda confusing to tell the difference between knits and purls, but now you can’t imagine NOT seeing it, even when you didn’t mean to be dissecting the pattern of the sweater that the nice grocery clerk happens to be wearing…I mean, not that that happens to me…
    Anyway, that’s sort of how it is with being able to see these spaces in the negative spaces of dog or cat prints. In this track of yours, see how there is a ridge of snow between the 1st and 2nd toe and also between the 3rd and 4th toe? And both of those ridges extend to the center of the foot, where there is a rectangular ridge, and then you can almost see the straight line that you could draw from the top of either of those ridges down through that center rectangle, and then follow the ridge down the side of the pad to the bottom of the track. See how if you drew those two lines on the track you would end up with almost a perfect X? That is for sure a track from some member of the dog family.
    If it was a cat, the bottom half of the X would be a very gently arced C-shape with the tips pointing down, and the top half of the X (the two ridges between the toes) wouldn’t line up with the bottom half.
    A quick google for track sizes of dog family types in your area should let you narrow it down. And dogs are always an option, even out in the boonies. Feral and free-roaming domestic dogs can have pretty extensive territories.

  94. Every time I have to go to Carmel I try to promise myself I’ll never set foot there again, but I always wind up going back.
    It’s been years since the $500 speeding ticket, and a bookstore should always be a friendly place, right? Not that I really have to talk myself into making this trip – I’m glad that this time I have such a good reason to go!
    Can’t wait to see you!

  95. unless your hands are a lot bigger or smaller than they appear that track is most likely a dog or a largish coyote. its too small to be a the track of a full grown wolf (so it could be a young one i guess) and too big to be a fox (even allowing for melting).
    i’m still jealous of your time in the woods.
    enjoy the Guiness.

  96. Cats walk with their claws retracted so it is definitely a canine. I would say probably a coyote or dog. I would think wolf tracks would be a bit larger unless you have a huge hand – then it’s a wolf.

  97. My vote is coyote. By the way, sorry I’ll miss you on April Fool’s Day. Same night as our Beaver colony meets (can’t let the 5-7 year olds down). My sis in-law is going to take care of me though and buy the new book for me. Hopefully the next tour doesn’t land on a Tuesday night.

  98. A wolf track is about 3 1/2″ by 4 1/2″ and a coyote is about 1 1/2″ by 2 1/2″.
    So, unless you have huge hands, this would be a coyote track.

  99. Hmmm… canine- claw marks. Do you have coyotes up there? Looks too big for a fox…

  100. When I was a kid, we had a creek in the back yard – and frequently got “soakers” – but now that I’m all grown up – nobody knows what they are! Your story took me back 30 – no 40 – oh my God – can it be – 50 years! – KathyP

  101. YEAH finally you posted that you are coming to Carmel! I work at that store and am soo soo excited to have you in my neck of the woods so to speak!
    If you need anything when here please let me know – I will be working that night and can’t wait.

  102. Salt Lake City we’ll be coming soon
    We’ll be coming soon
    We’ll be coming soon
    We’ll be coming soon
    That’s the Beach Boys song about SLC. Just change it to say Stephanie will be coming soon!

  103. CARMEL!! OH JOY OH JOY. Ok, I’lltry to calm down now! I’ll be there with my socks on!
    and my DH will too. However, when he called B&N he got the “we know what we’re doing, we’re the professionals.” Not sure they have a true handle on it yet. She wanted to talk about all the other “biggies” they have had!

  104. i am from united states
    the print in the snow
    is that of the ex governor
    of new york state
    or a delegate from florida
    or a unicorn with a broken leg
    my gosh grand baby
    that print was bigger then my hand
    let me get a cup of tea and tell you
    what it was like back in 08

  105. Coyote, wolf, lynx? Who cares! It’s big! And it probably has teeth and nothing in the fridge for dinner!
    Get inside woman! Lock the door! And stop roaming the countryside where you are the predator’s equivalent of a cupcake!
    Sheesh. You do know that vegetarians are naturally lower down on the food chain than all those carnivores you are tempting, don’t you?

  106. Wait… You’re working on the NEXT book? For some reason, I thought you were working on THIS book. The one you launch in less than two weeks. ‘Cause that makes sense (not).
    I should drink beer more often while reading your blog. I pick up on more.

  107. Wow, I’m a nerdy librarian… I just got very jealous that you’re going to the SLC Public Library, I did a project on it last year and it looked gorgeous!

  108. A dog, largish. Do they have roaming St. Bernards up there? On St. Pat’s Day, I’m almost sure.
    Oh, and Ken? Sure and it’s Irish, with potato in it, any kind of potato.

  109. Your hand looks blue you poor thing! Go back into the cabin and drink more red wine….pronto!!

  110. Blessings on your head for including this in the blog… now go warm up!
    I hope the book flows easily and wonderfully now…

  111. Looks like fox tracks to me. There have been a lot of them running around this year.
    Nice moss. Looks like my backyard, soaker and all.

  112. Coyote, around here, they call them coy dogs.
    That is a long way for a beer. I can totally get the stir crazy part though.

  113. That, dear Harlot, is the hand of a dedicated knitter and writer.
    Oh, you meant the footprint? No idea.
    The green is a club moss, genus Lycopodium, sometimes called ground pine. It is is not a true moss, for whatever that is worth. It is a lovely little ground cover, though.

  114. Drats I thought I was the only one who noticed that yarn on closeout. People move along. Nothing to see. You are getting very sleepy….. ;>)

  115. That last track looks distressingly wolf-like. Be careful.
    I have a cat who is inexplicably fond of baked goods. Some years ago, my very Irish neighbors left me a loaf of soda bread on the back porch, and Eliza found it and tore the bag open and ate what she could reach. I came home and found a hole on the top center exactly the size of a cat’s head. The rest of it was delicious, though.
    Happy St. Patrick’s Day; hope you enjoyed your Guinness.

  116. Dog. The claw marks don’t look long enough for a wolf to me. Size of a medium sized German Shepard but not bigger. (OK, that might be big for you, but I’m a Great Dane owner. Shepards are medium sized dogs from my point of view). If it were bigger than that, the toe markings would be more splayed from the weight of the dog, whereas this one is neat and compact.
    I love that sweater and the yarn. Very nice!

  117. You keep posting pictures of snow. I am really really jelous. Can you send some to us? It has already passed 100 F in Basse.

  118. Hi Stephanie!
    Thought I’d make my first comment on your Paddy’s Day post as I’m an Irish knitter and a recent convert to your blog.
    I didn’t make soda bread yesterday, but I did make some cupcakes and decorate them with shamrocks – I also sewed up a very green bag for carrying all my future knitting projects! Thanks for the recent easy scarf post, by the way, it’ll help me practise yarn overs.
    I’m a big supporter of local bookshops but suspect I may have to buy your next book on Amazon as, never mind knitting books, Ireland is short on knitting SHOPS. There are two decent yarn shops in all of Dublin – disgraceful!
    Good luck with the deadline! My day job is in book publishing so my thoughts are with you …

  119. looks like a steph-a-sauraus-silly-0so to me. Ever hear of WADERS..nice woolie socks also stay nice and wet a nice long time too huh?
    Grand, great, I’m “over-the-moon” you’ll be coming to UTAH(R)MAY 4. count me in!
    Excellent advice about purchasing book AT THE EVENT…never knew about the financial remuneration, or not, for the event holder.
    See you then…P.S. are you ever going to put your “generic sock” pattern on your blog for we brain-dead beginners?

  120. Stephanie,
    I am thrilled to be going to NYC to see you April 2. Any advice as to how early I should show up? I’ve been reading your books and blog for some time now. Can’t tell you how much I enjoy reading you. Look forward to seeing you in person. I’ve been working on my family (husband and two grown children) to come with me. I get a patient nod from all three and that they will meet me for a late dinner after. I tell them I don’t know if I will make dinner, I may go with Stephanie and fellow knitters for a beer! (I feel like I know you). Thanks for all the entertainment and for letting me know there are so many others who are addicted to knitting.

  121. Stephanie, can I just say I’ve been wanting to see you forever and I live in Philly but will be in Salt Lake when you’re here, and am going to Salt Lake, but will be in Maine when you’re there? I know, poor me (lots of cool travelling coming up)… but really, I’m crushed!
    Suzanne V., you’re thinking of “To Build a Fire”. I think.

  122. How can we add our local yarn store to your tour? Wool and Company in Geneva, Illinois would love for you to sign books here. We are located in between Oak Lawn, Illinois and Madison, Wisconsin. We would certainly bring our socks and give you a warm welcome!

  123. FYI — I checked the Salt Lake City Main Public Library event calendar for May. There isn’t anything listed for May 4th. Events go from May 5 to May 6, 2008.
    You might want to check it out.

  124. Actually, now that I look at that track more closely, I say it is definitely a German Short-Haired Pointer named Gertrude with brown spots who gets taken on occasion to the groomer where they file and polish her nails.

  125. Words cannot describe how bummed I am that I can’t make it to the Toronto day and all the frivolity and big fun plans…woe, cruel world!
    The Urban Aran is looking super delicious with that semi-solid yarn, I bet the recipient will hardly want to take it off! (Until the weather gets better)

  126. The cardigan pattern is beautiful. I can’t wait to see it finished. One quick question about the book. Will you be recording it as an audio book? I listened to 2 of your books and really enjoy hearing your words. Makes it so much more personal. I am in Kansas City so visiting Toronto is a little out of my way. 🙂

  127. And just as a heads up…
    WEBS is out of stock of color 105 in the Nature Wool Chunky from Araucania. We’d had a limited quantity left in that color and we sold the last of it in the past 24 hours.
    We do still have other colors available still that are just as nice!
    – Mike (Customer Service at WEBS)

  128. Looks like a bobcat or small cougar (mountain lion) to me. I have been regularly checking your tour schedule and hope that you can fit in Tucson this year. After all, May is wonderful here, warm and sunny, and you’ll love our mountains and saguaros (aren’t you the least little bit tempted?)…

  129. Once I saw that you were coming to a town “near” me (25 miles, but close!) I cancelled my pre-order and decided to get my book at the bookstore, as it just seemed the RIGHT thing to do. I’m glad you confirmed it for me. And as others have said, coyote – same tracks I see in the mud in my yard – and you will likely hear them yowling. I’ve no wolves here but my thought is that their tracks would be a good bit larger than the coyote, like at least double, unless of course it is a young wolf? Watch your back.

  130. I love that photo of the spring & melted snow. It looks like a sihouette of a person’s head and shoulders, looking to the left.
    really hope that beer tasted as good as it should have done!

  131. I think it is a dog. From the DNR talk I went to years ago, they said that dog tracks are round and coyote tracks are oblong/oval. Cat tracks wouldn’t show a toenail and I think that toenails are showing on the middle two toes. I think it is too small to be a wolf, but couldn’t swear to it using only your hand for scale. Maybe next time you could measure it with a ruler?

  132. Now that my dear, IS a bobcat.
    Here is my concern about buying a book at an event. As we all know you do draw a pretty big crowd. I would really be miffed/disappointed if I showed up at said event and they ran out of books. Just saying, as I’m kicking around the idea of coming to one of the events this go round.

  133. Coyote. definitely coyote. I can show you a photo just like it that I took in my yard last year, and I know for sure that my photo is a coyote print.

  134. Well, I probably wouldn’t have warned you about anything as I don’t see your blog until about 5pm. I know you’re fearless, but not lacking brains (I have all your books)! On the other hand, craving(TP) and needing(beer) something very badly can make me do some crazy things, so understand your reasoning. I don’t know the difference between a kilometer and a mile, but it sounds like quite a distance. How far exactly was it to the store? And, is the person still living that told you the distance was 14k?
    So, maybe you should spend more time indoors? knitting? reading? writing? eating? drinking that beer? Hope you got enough for the rest of your stay! And, if you feel the need for anything on the other side of that door – take some kniting needles with you to defend yourself, and please be careful-I don’t know any other harlots and we all would hate to lose you!

  135. I wish there was more than one print to see. It’s difficult to distinguish an individual wild canine print from a domestic dog. You need to see several marks.
    Wolves and coyotes are “perfect walkers” — their tracks line up in something of a dotted line.
    Domestic dogs are not “perfect walkers” so their track is much more irregular.
    In wolf and dog tracks, you can see distinct claw marks on all four toes.
    In coyote tracks, the two center claws are distinct, not so much on the outer two toes.
    The track is melty, so it started out smaller. You’ve got farms near you there, so likely a modest-sized dog.
    Distinct claw marks means it is definitly not feline.
    But four toes, so it’s not a stash weasel. That would be five toes.

  136. So I pre-ordered it from Amazon, due out April 2. The day of your NYC talk. Will Borders have them on the day they are due to come out? I don’t exactly know how that works. I’ll cancel Amazon if you can tell me that they will have them.

  137. I agree with you on buying the book from the “sponsor” so to speak. It’s the only decent thing to do in my opinion.
    Question: Up there in the Great Woods, is there a particularly odd virus that makes normal types crave ridiculously long walks? Do you normally walk as far as you have been doing in the woods? Gads woman, I haven’t walked that far at one time in years! I would be more concerned than you are about the tracks behind me….I would stay inside and knit. But then again maybe the wolverines are wearing fake canid boots….

  138. I called my LYS and asked about getting you here in Phoenix as part of your book tour. They love the idea and and are doing what they can through all the right channels….as for my part, I told them I’d do my best to stalk your blog begging.
    Please come to Phoenix!!!! (I’m on my hands and knees begging here I swear it!)

  139. I am looking for a pattern of the Atlantic Puffin that I could put on the back of a pair of mittens, if any one know where I am able to get this pattern or if you have one, can you please sent me a copy. Thank you for your help.

  140. Hey, Stephanie—it would be SO cool if you came to Asheville, NC for a visit. Your upcoming tour will be nearby: Atlanta, Charlotte, etc. If it’s even a remote possiblity, what could I do to facilitate this? I don’t own a bookstore or yarn shop, but I do work at the public library here. Thanks for the many hours of fun I enjoy reading your blog.**morna

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