I feel a little like the blog is hopeless right now, and I hope you’ll all bear with me over the next couple of weeks while my attention wanders. This book is sucking up almost everything I’ve got (my sanity, my time, knitting and otherwise) and if I sit down to write or work, my focus keeps going back there, not here…which is a shame, sort of, because this is usually way more fun. (You can work on a book all you like, but when you finish a story nobody leaves comments telling you what they think, or if you suck, or if your grammar is pathetic – not that I’m sure that the last one there really helps me a whole lot, but I suppose it’s still feedback.) As a result of the cosmic life-sinkhole that is that last few terrifying weeks of a book, I don’t have much to show you. Just this.


This is a redo of the sock I started the other day, the one that tragically, hit the frogpond going a thousand miles an hour while it was still mostly in the toe phase. The yarn is STR lightweight, in Ravenscroft from Tina’s (sort of new) Raven Clan series. (It’s blacker in person. I lost a camera war.) I was telling her that I wanted to make an elegant cabled sock with my precious skein, and from nowhere, she produced this pattern by Sivia Harding. (I worship Sivia, and the Diamond Fantasy pattern is one of my favourites reasons. An edge produced as you go. Surely the woman is so blessed by the knit fates that she walks on silver slippers. My version is here.)

Turns out that she’s putting together a book of patterns to support the series, and this will be one of them. It’s not ready for release yet, and I said that I would sort of test-knit it…. if we use the words “test knit” here to mean “I shall attempt to tell the difference between the millions of mistakes I make all the time from the very slim possibility that Sivia has made one”. So far, the pattern is perfect, and I am stupid, exactly as expected. I made two mistakes reading the pattern, which I would like to pretend is because it isn’t formatted yet, and is really because I, as I mentioned, am apparently as smart as a streetcar. I failed to actually read the pattern and assumed that the first size was a size small, which it wasn’t. (It will be, by the time it gets to you.) It was a medium, and I managed to ignore virtually every instinct I had that the beast was too big for a really good long time. Then I arsed up the twisted rib. (Knit one purl two. Tricky that. )


(The colour here is a little closer.) So far, the second time appears to be the charm, although my ability to reinterpret Sivia’s genius into error should not be underestimated, especially while I’m flipped out this far on a deadline. (Proof: Last night I had to frog the back of the Urban Aran three times for a failure to count. TO THREE.)

Sigh. I can’t wait until this is over. The minute this ends, the tour starts (I’ll be adding an Oak Lawn IL event later today, although details are here for you if you can’t wait for me to wrestle the server into compliance) and should I survive that, I have some primo time set aside for gibbering in the foetal position. Good times, big plans.

137 thoughts on “Scuttle

  1. Holy carp, I’m first.
    I’ve got to ask–about that ‘gibbering in the foetal position’–is that a mandatory part of writing, because I thought it was just sort of the ‘going above and beyond’ part. I was really proud of how much extra effort I was putting into the whole business, but if it’s required, *sigh* I’ll have to find some other way to excel.
    Lovely sock, Steph–I love that colorway AND the pattern. (I’m sort of a goth-sympathizer myself:-)

  2. Counting, shmounting… We have lots of people in our choir who can’t count to three, and they are standing in front of 500 people with their mouths hanging open! So give yourself a break, bow to the busyness goddess and know that we are grateful for the tidbits thrown our way. And don’t forget to breathe…
    PS – Love the new sockies!

  3. Sock is lovely. Much more interesting than the Best Friend jacket I’m working on and on and on.

  4. This is rather belated feedback, but I am ready Knitting Rules! for about the third time. And I have read Cast Off twice. I love your writing and the sock looks wonderful. The previous sock probably looked good too, but was just not exactly useful to you.
    I am glad you are keeping up the craziness, just to entertain us. Thank you.

  5. Is that yellowish bit on the side of the cable just what the colorway does? It’s most intriguing.
    Foetal gibbering is one of my favorite pastimes. In your honour I will henceforth always spell the first word with an o in my mind whenever I pronounce it.

  6. Beautiful sock. Don’t stress yourself out too much.
    Instant feedback– I understand that’s the difference between making movies and live theater.

  7. The sock is beautiful. I can’t wait for the Raven series patterns book to come out! You’ll get through this and we’ll just have to be patient.

  8. Does it help if somebody says, “Stephanie, take it a little easy on yourself”? What’s that thing about the worst day fishing is better than the best day at work? Isn’t the blog kind of like a present you give us, and if you lighten up on knitting and communicating in a time of authoring crisis, this constant reader understands and figures most others do, too. Just check in from time to time so we know you’re as alright as possible.

  9. 4 seems to be my bane of counting. As in K4P1. Not K3P1. BUt I seem to only want to knit 3 in a row before throwing in a purl…

  10. I love the yarn and the sock pattern. I do hope that it becomes available soon because it’s just what I need. Much as I hate knitting socks from the toe up, it’s the only way to go when you have size 12 feet like me and a single precious skein of sock yarn!

  11. You are in the throes of book finishing, book tour and brain melting.
    I am in the throes of thesis finishing, thesis defending, comprehensive exams (if I fail this, the thesis is bunk), first time conference speaking…and brain melting.
    I’ve had to frog and reknit Clapotis 4 times. It’s a flippin rectangle!
    Surely we are kindred spirits.

  12. Yay toe up socks! Best way to do them in my book. Which counts for very little, but it’s the only book I got πŸ˜‰
    anyway, what are those orange stitches along the cable on the left? are those some form of lifelines?

  13. I think your books are inspired, you don’t suck, and your grammer is pretty darn good. Hope that helps. Meanwhile, when you get around to blogging again, do tell what the little yellow thread is. (P.S., you will note that the Blog is infinitely more patient for blog entries when they are anticipating a new book and a new tour. Don’t worry, the Blog will stick with you through the tough parts.)

  14. You’ll make it, we are here supporting you! πŸ™‚
    So, do tell about that yellow part up one side? That’s what caught my eye too, knowing the yarn isn’t like that………..It must have something to do with marking it in the pattern?

  15. OK – here’s a book comment to keep you going. I’ve got them all, have read them all, loved them all and did this even before I learned how to knit. It wasn’t the knitting talk that attracted me to the books. It was the way you wrote and the fact that you are funny and that you manage to connect with your readers on a very personal level whether they are knitters or not. I wrote a newspaper column and it was just like giving birth 52 times a year so I know the struggle you are going through. Isn’t it amazing that everyone who doesn’t write thinks you just sit down at the computer and it flows forth from your fingers. Some of us know you’re sweating blood but we still waiting on the results with glee. You are a writer and a dang good one. Tell the critic in your mind to buzz off!

  16. Don’t you have something in garter stitch that you can whip out now? Knit, knit, knit and no counting?
    I know what the orange line is for and I take it that the sock yarn is so dark to be difficult to see (to count the rows). That’s the only reason I can think of that you’d need it.

  17. Although I gladly and fully acknowledge that your deadline and writing project are woefully and amazingly more terrifying and more major than mine (just an MA seminar paper), I am in solidarity with you and the writing that gobbles up all your focus and life.
    Worrying and complaining about my paper today, my mom said “You sound a bit like the Harlot with your deadline writing!”… I wish my writing sounded like yours! πŸ™‚

  18. It is heartening that even expert knitters have to rip back. Sorry to feel good about your misfortune. Lovely sock.

  19. If it helps any, I had to re-cast-on my Urban Aran last week also, due to failure to count. Snow makes the brain not work, I am convinced.
    I hope your book and your tour prep both go well! I have decided to come down and see you in NYC and get a fun post-teaching tourist trip to boot.

  20. Wow do I really love those Raven Clan colorways. Every time I see one worked up I love it even more.
    Hope you get through your book finishing time of stress. Does it help to let you know your books are very much loved and appreciated?

  21. It’s funny, because I often have trouble, too, when the number three is in a pattern. Knit one, purl one, fine, knit one, p2, no fuss, k4, p5, I’m good. Knit 1, purl 3 – aaaaargh! Don’t know what it is, but it always messes with my head.

  22. Love the sock. What is that yellow/brown thread on the side of the cable?
    I am so impressed with the publishing business these days. I know you start touring in just weeks to promote the book, yet here you are still working on it. It really is amazing how quickly they can print and distribute the books!

  23. whats that little bit of yellow on the side of the twisted rib cable? It looks like yarn!
    lovely sock – every day you force me closer to buying about 2 billion skeins of STR.

  24. please finish the book
    you can not buy all of
    us a christmas present
    if you not finish the book
    and support you so you
    can feed the family and
    send you to summer camp
    after september the euro union
    can support you-i wear size
    nine and 1/2 sock -thank you

  25. Please don’t worry about The Blog, We will always love you, so sort out The Book, and we will wait.

  26. Um, is is stalkerish that I just read your blog and IMMEDIATELY called to reserved the tickets for Oak Lawn? I think maybe it is.
    Love the new sock by the way! πŸ™‚

  27. Oh how I wish your tour was coming through Las Vegas. We never get any cool knitting/fiber related things here. πŸ™
    Also, I love that sock. I have been ogling those yarns for a few weeks and I think I may have to get some now. Thanks for further enabling my sock yarn habit.

  28. What a beautiful sock. I love everything about it. I am enthralled. My breath is stolen. All you need to do is post pictures of those socks for the next week (or however long you need) and I will be happy.
    As for your books, I have finished Yarn Harlot: The secret life of a knitter. I loved it. I laughed out loud so many times, I couldn’t count. I actually had the wonderful experience of trying to explain what the book was about to my dentist. She looked a little horrified when she read the title, but I straightened her out. Well, I made her less horrified about the book, but perhaps more horrified about me since I told her it was stories about projects you had knit. I just kept saying it was really funny until she finally left. Obviously a non-knitter. The book was so good, that my non-knitting literary-snob of a boyfriend kept sneak-reading it over my shoulder and I would catch him when he would snicker.
    Beautiful sock…I will dream of you tonight…

  29. So even the row marking thread didn’t keep you from running off course? Of course, it doesn’t help with fouled up stitches within the row.
    I passed up the Ravenscroft series with great difficulty while at Madrona in favor of a bunch of moody hues. I wouldn’t expect to catch the richness of those blacks with all their subtle color tones electronically.

  30. I’ve faced book deadlines. One of the moments I’m least proud of involved announcing to those persons who lived in the house with me (and expected their laundry to be done by wife/mom) that, “Mom is stressing, so don’t push it!” Oddly enough, it actually worked for a couple of hours. Hang in there. This too, shall pass, and we’ll all have another great book to enjoy. Love the sock!

  31. “as smart as a streetcar” made me laugh out loud. The sock is beautiful. So’s the colourway. As for counting (accurately) to three – highly over-rated.

  32. *hugs* I couldn’t handle a standard K1,sl 1 heel last night, so I can totally empathize with the inability to count to 3. In my case, a cup of tea, stuffing the knitting back in its bag to think about what it had done, and brownies fixed the issue.

  33. I must say that I take some pleasure in the fact that I have messed up a 1×1 rib. 1×1. like DUH! But if you can mess up a 1×2 rib I must not be too far off kilter. Thank goodness for other Stephanie’s out there “arsing things up” just like I do πŸ™‚

  34. I love the sock and the color. I have yet to figure out the toe up thing, though, so am doubly impressed. BTW, I have adored all your woodsy posts but haven’t had a moment to comment before now. Perhaps a knitting in the woods book might be next? Can’t wait to read what you are frantically writing :).

  35. Those camera wars are always fun, aren’t they? Just as much as the writing wars. Don’t worry if the blog wanders; we kind of enjoy watching you go schizoid. I mean that only in the nicest way, of course. [g] I think by now most of The Blog understands when a book deadline is nigh, things fall by the wayside. (Or on top of Mr. Washie…under the cat…shoved to the back of one of the girls’ dresser drawers…down the heating vents…) And *three* coming out this year; well, grief, woman – we’ll cut you some slack!
    Meanwhile, the Ravenscroft sock is looking delicious, and ohmigawd, an entire pattern book for the Raven series? ::delighted thud:: I have three skeins of Raven. I plan to get more when I have the dough. I’m betting a bunch of us are going to immediately start saving up for yet another book, aren’t we? Oh yes we are. Boy, are we in trouble now.

  36. Now admit it. As much as you love Sivia’s work, you really want to reverse one of those cables so they mirror, don’t you. C’mon. You know you want it.

  37. I really like that sock, especially for the Ravenclan colorway. I really like the Ravenclan colorways, too (I have two of them – one is for one of Cat Bordhi’s new pathways socks – the veil of leaves one, that might just look like feathers in that yarn!) I can sympathise with the frogging – I persistently knitted on my first Rivendell sock for several inches before finally accepting the fact that at the gauge I was knitting it at, it might fit a four-year-old. Once I gave in to the obvious, the frog pond was the only option. Sigh. (But the pattern which some of us harrassed – ummmm…begged the designer to release, is really great!)

  38. Love the sock. I was just given your Lenore pattern and STR yarn and can’t wait to finish the class deadline knitting to give it a whirl. As for the grammar comments… Well, they can just go sprout a blog of their own.
    When you figure out how to defeat camera color decisions, please share. That one kicks my butt more often than I care to admit.

  39. Is that a bit of contrasting yarn going up the side of the cable (the yellow-gold bit), or is that part of the Raven yarn itself? I can’t convince myself one way or the other from the photos. If it’s contrasting yarn, is it there to count rows (very handy, shows that your brain isn’t entirely broken). If it’s part of the yarn, Tina is even more of a color genius than I thought.

  40. Mercy, Stephanie, do what you need to do, and breathe.
    Yeah, that counting thing can be pretty pesky. I know. up close and personal.

  41. Is the yellow stand up the side of the cable some kind of row or cable twist counting action?

  42. Hello Stephanie –
    Juliana from Borders Annapolis (MD) here! I was just checking out The Yarn Harlot, and noticed that under the “on Tour” portion of your blog, our stores’ phone number is wrong! YIKES!
    Just so we limit the amount of folks calling to say, “Did you know the phone number on is wrong?!”, can you fix to: 410.571.0923?
    Annapolis is VERY much looking forward to your April 7 visit — and I’ll see you there (as your event hostess)!
    thanks –

  43. Why not go on a little blog-vacay? We’ll understand. Call in some guest blogger and do your own thing till the book stress is past. I vote for Rachel H saying little somethin’. C’mon Rachel…come out of the comments and into the limelight!

  44. I am a fairly new reader of the blog. I have laughed and cried and tried to figure out how you get those projects done so fast! The posts from the cabin were wonderful as well as the pictures. What I am lamely trying to say is, “You Rock!” no matter what you write. Take a deep breath, have a cuppa, and know that your readers are increasing everyday and supporting you however we can! Thanks so much for sharing your life with all of us.

  45. I love that sock pattern. I’ve often ignored actual sizing issues on socks until I turn the heel and do a proper try on. Something about, it’ll fit better once it has a heel….Yeah, it usually doesn’t.

  46. Me too, the yellow part confuses me =) at least I’m not alone. The sock is cool, love the cables. Hope you have SOME fun during the next couple of weeks.

  47. I love your blog. I am so excited you are coming to Nashville TN again. Loved you the first time and I know I will this time. Can’t wait!!

  48. The sock is just beautiful – yarn, pattern, all! I have a question: it looks like a bit of golden or brown yarn is running up one side of a cable; is that just happening with the yarn, or are you marking it, or is it for another reason? Just curious! Good luck finishing up your writing. A friend of mine borrowed “Yarn Harlot” and “At Knit’s End” today so we may have another fan real soon. P.S. Glad you are home safe and sound!

  49. Yay!! You are coming to the Chicago area!!! I do feel sort of bad wishing that on you, as your schedule looks absolutely hellatious and you had such a bad time here last year. πŸ™
    As for you being stupid: yeah right. You’re just having one of those moments — those moments that come when one is absolutely, insanely busy.

  50. It’s a beautiful sock, throw us what you can when you can – we’ll wait.

  51. At least when you come to Chicago it wont be the first Tuesday of the month. If you do hear a siren then YES grab your needles and yarn and duck for cover;) Can’t wait to see you.

  52. Ahem. Renee the Sequel, dear? C’mon over here for a sec. I’d like to have a word with you…

  53. Absolutely lurvley socks, there. Don’t worry about the attention span thing, I think it’s due to the snow not wanting to melt. Those weird uncounting moments seem to be happening with alarming regularity.

  54. Ah, quit calling yourself stupid, you’re just stressed out. It’s times like these when it’s inconvenient that your knitting joy seems to come mostly from doing really complicated things–after witnessing the Vintage Socks, I can’t imagine you sitting down with a sigh of relief to something simple and count-free. Not to worry, though: after things settle down a bit, you’ll be able to concentrate again.

  55. Wow, goth socks!! I want!
    You’re not stupid, you’re stressed and sleep-deprived. I can’t read a pattern straight or count to three under those conditions, either.

  56. Dear Stephanie, try not to let the brain have a melt-down. Be assured that your books are wonderful (as if this blog!). Your grammar is fine (better than we Americans, according to my French honey — and yes, I know there’s a grammar error in there!).
    And as for gibbering in a foetal position, I promise that we Philadelphians will help with that once you get here — we have yarn, yarn and lots of beer! Right, everyone?

  57. It’s always worth it in the end, you know πŸ™‚
    Beautiful sock!
    I guess it’s a little too late to ask nicely to please stop by in Dublin, Ireland on your way to or from London? We few knitters would show you a great time! Plus, you can’t come all that way and not have a proper Guinness.

  58. LOVE the sock. Want the book of Sivia’s when it is published. Looking forward to seeing you at Camp Crow’s Feet!! Fun will be had. Best wishes with this book.

  59. I love Sivia’s patterns…I’m doing the Journey Cable Socks right now and they are too much fun! What is that pretty gold edge you have on your sock?

  60. LOVE the sock and Love your Blog. Question: What’s the gold thread I see along the cable? Is that how you keep your row count? I always have trouble with this, so I’d like to know your methods!

  61. I’m chin-deep in the accounts, sorting out tax stuff (surely I pay an accountant to do this? So why am I weeping into my receipts at 2 in the morning?) and I’m way ahead of you on the gibbering.
    Have you considered drinking more? I’m finding it helps. Not the accounts, of course. But I do care less.
    Stick some of the following comments up around your desk for when you are working on the book – a bit of pre-emptive feedback, if you like:
    “We’ve loved all your books so far, we are sure we will love this one.”
    “The essays are my favourite book of yours, I can’t wait to read more of them.”
    “You are a brilliant writer, even if right now you’d rather staple your head to the wall than write another word.”

  62. I love the sock. Great stitch definition, hard to find in some sock wools.
    A guest blogger sounds like a good idea, give it some thought

  63. Good luck with the book. I am supposed to be working on my thesis right now, and I can SO identify with how such a major project can suck up all your time. You have my empathy. πŸ™‚

  64. Ack- Don’t do it Renee the Sequel.
    Besides, I’m with Renee. We have gotten to enjoy That Laurie, and rams- but not often enough.
    We are an easy bunch to amuse. C’mon Rachel- please?????
    Stephanie- can use your powers to *convince* Rachel?

  65. Although it probably won’t make you feel any better, I started a SIMPLE lace stole the other day. I purposely gave myself quiet time to start. I had to frog the garter stitch border 3 times. I was ready to admit comlete defeat with knitting in general and lace in particular but I soldiered on and am now about 3″ into the stole. Small accomplishment but it made me feel better.

  66. The sock is beautiful; can’t figure out what that gold color yarn is doing there. The second photo is much better. Think this sock could be done cuff down? Am anxious to see the rest of that pattern…just beautiful. Book stress doesn’t seem to interfere with your gorgeous sock knitting! Stay warm.

  67. Hey, I know some smart streetcars, so be careful what you say, friend.
    Now, feel free to say you’re as dumb as a bag of rocks, because rocks? I don’t like them.
    But I’m loving that sock! Wish I wasn’t as dumb as a rock on knitting toe-up.

  68. I think the sock looks fabulous! I thought you were done with all that book hoo haa stuff. When does it ever end?

  69. LOVE the sock… It may be the one that finally gets me knitting toe up. always good to mix things up a bit eh? Oh and that counting thing, you are not alone.

  70. Gibbering in a fetal position appears to be excellent for deep thinking. I had an absolutely brilliant college roommate who never slept but spent lots of time rocking and moaning in that position. She turned out to be a top-notch scientist. I was really glad when she moved out, come to think of it. But don’t let that stop you if it works!

  71. I can only repeat the comments above. Work on the book. We love you and we’ll be patient.

  72. OOOOooo pretty socky! You can bet I’ll be watching for that pattern to hit the racks. I also had to go to Silvia’s website and order the shetland garden faroese shawl pattern. Sigh…. as if I don’t have enough lace shawl patterns waiting to be knitted. I love lace…. Hee hee hee…
    I can’t wait for the new book! I just love the way you write. I also loved your audio books! Listening to you read Casts Off was hilarious! I’m sure everyone else in the lunch room at work enjoyed it too as I made quite a sight sitting there with my earphones in my ears and laughing out loud at the sock on my needles.
    Oh yeah! I’ll see you in Ann Arbor!!!!

  73. socks really do look yummy.
    I hope you’re trying to make some down time fit into this psycho schedule…..(the whole cabin in the woods freaking yourself out and writing like a madwoman- thing, doesn’t count)
    I looked at your schedule…. and you’re gonna make yourself sick.
    There. I said it. Take care of yourself.
    (why yes- I am a full time mother- to all I come in contact with- even online… why do you ask????) πŸ˜‰

  74. I was really looking forward to read something about your sister Erin’s 35 Birthday since you always Blog about your family’s Birthdays. Is she not having one this year????

  75. I am a recent harlot devotee. Found your blog, then one day at Borders, a book of yours threw itself out of the bookshelf at me (!!), just finished listening to your Casts Off (Audiobook on Itunes). Now, I come here to see what you say daily. I agree with a previous poster, you SHOULD write about your “alone” experience, that was great fun. Well, for us anyway.

  76. Guest bloggers so you can finish the book would work for the blog.Loving the sock cant wait to see it finished πŸ™‚ Have a Nice Evening Dear Harlot and know that the blog loves you and will wait patiently for you to return fresh from finishing the book!

  77. You just HAD to remind me about the diamond fantasy shawl, didn’t you? I am in the mood for some triangular shawls, and I, too, adore Sivia. Her Gothic Lace Leaf wrap was my first lace knitting success. And I just happen to have the diamond fantasy pattern………

  78. I love the sock! I haven’t figured out how to do toe-up (I’m an amateur). Do you think this pattern could be adapted to cuff down?
    We love your blog, but be kind to yourself. Do what you have to do and come back to the blog when you can. We can’t have you driving yourself crazy.

  79. Had to let you know that at a business meeting yesterday with “important” types, I used your blog as an example of how a blog works well as a “scholarship tool” and how it has inspired people to improve their writing and spelling (or at least to double check their SpellCheckers)as well as to improve their knitting. Have to let you know that the “important” types (one male, one female, from East Coast of US)were suitably impressed. “Dude, you are a blogging role-model!” Cool, what? Oh, nice sockies, by the way.

  80. Oh, I forgot to mention in the previous entry that the “important” types and I were discussing education of the nation’s young people and the use of print media versus electronic…..SP-McP, be proud. They were impressed. Write happily now…

  81. I clicked to see the silver slippers, doh! I make street-cars look smart, but it was a nice idea πŸ™‚

  82. I do think it’s the snow…I can’t even bring myself to put thumbs on my son’s mittens. My eyes cross every time I pick up them up. Never mind casting on a sweater, I’m sure I would screw that up right now.
    We all love you here, and totally understand if the blog must wait.
    And, as almost all have said previously, love the sock. I have got to start knitting more cool socks.

  83. Love the pattern! Very elegant. I am also loving how the yellow is appearing on the edge of the far cable. Very cool. I just love it when hand dyed yarns develops a personality, don’t you?

  84. the sock is beautiful, and if we could read-along with the book, I’m sure we’d all love it – we love all the other ones, don’t we? we’re a pretty harlot-loving bunch…..

  85. I love Sivia’s designs, too! I just finished a test-knit for a lace shawl she’s come up with and it’s just beautiful.
    Your socks are stunning–love the yarn!

  86. Like several others, I too would like to hear about that tiny bit of yellow πŸ™‚

  87. What a beautiful sock. I, too, am curious about the gold thread. Do you think in the future that you could write a book about sock knitting? I’d buy it.

  88. What???? If there can be “interpretive dance” there can be “interpretive knitting.” Starts as a sleeve, becomes a hat; starts as a sock, becomes a pincushion…maybe it’s just finding the inner project….
    Or shear delusion…willing to go either way here

  89. OK…here it goes, a verbal tongue lashing! Of all of the people on the planet– and at this moment there are BILLIONS of them— you, of all people do not fall into the category of “idiot” or any of it’s equivalents!!! You are and always have been, very, very bright, creative and we LOVE and APPRECIATE you! Have a good tour. Get some rest and for the Goddesses sake, enjoy some good wine or brews!

  90. Y’know what it is, Steph? You (and your occasional, non-life-threatening errors) give hope to the rest of us.
    Book deadlines? BTDT. Same (stoopit!) knitting mistake three (or five) times in a row? Uh-huh. Tripping over the cat — AGAIN?!? (oh, wait. That was me, not you.)
    Fact is, you give me hope whilst I arse up the bits of my life (like knitting) that are supposed to be simple and make sense.
    For which, I give thanks.

  91. (To be read in a wheedling tone) Please beg the Ones-Who-Run-Your-Life to send you down to Tucson on your tour. See? You have lots and lots of time after Salt Lake City! You could come down here to Phoenix and Tucson and be greeted by thousands of adoring fans, all tossing panties your way and wielding over-large socks. If you have to choose, come to Tucson because we are way cooler. In all aspects of the word. Inform the OWRYL that we DO knit in the desert, strange as that may seem to others. All year long! And we do read and love your books! That you don’t want to be here much later than early May as it is thence forward very much like visiting hell during a heat wave while someone holds a blow-torch to your head. (How was that for begging, did I do good?)

  92. Ah Stephanie.. the silver slippers are nowhere in evidence today.. but I am at your feet and very grateful for your test knitting my paeon to the Raven clan.
    These clouds will pass and you will see that through thick and thin, books, blogs, or no, you will always be loved. Very very loved.

  93. You know, it’s only because we expect to be perfect right out of the gate that makes it so hard to deal with. And why do we respect perfection so much? You guessed it, rarity.

  94. I think that it is in the winter/spring air that makes us not being able to count. I too have frogged some simple knitting b/c I could not count either. Our mind is looking forward to nicer weather. I love that sock pattern. I was upset that you had to frog it, but I knew you would come through. I have all the faith in the world when it comes to you figuring out the problems. I hope you finish your book. I love reading them. And your blogs. You’re doing great Steph!!!!!!!!!

  95. Love the socks!! (cables scare me) I feel a bit left out because I’ve never heard of Sivia…but I’m going out right now and find out what I’ve been missing!
    I’m taking the day off, dragging my husband (so I can knit in the car), and coming to Charlotte to see you! I wonder how Borders would feel about wine??
    oh…and that whole counting thing is highly overrated, as is grammer and spelling. (but don’t tell my mother) πŸ™‚

  96. Don’t worry – when you’re on tour and in London, the knitting store hosting you is the only UK knitting store with a licensed BAR. (How smart are they?) Plenty of relaxation to come.

  97. Stephanie- we’re dying to see the book, and it makes perfect sense that you’re too busy to blog with your normal frequency. Don’t worry about us.
    Kristina- I’m another compulsive cable-mirrorer, and I’m betting she reverses the cables *on the other sock*- so the two socks mirror. She’s clever that way!
    All the folks who want to try toe-up socks? Allow me to remind you of Presbytera’s lovely guest column last year, in which she explains how to do toe up socks without swatching (or even a pattern).
    And re: counting rows? Don’t go there. Count *pattern repeats*. Much easier (assuming your knitting isn’t plain). (Cables, how do I love thee, let me count the ways…)

  98. I love that sock pattern! I will be keeping an eye out for it! I have a black dog and have picke up a couple of tips for taking photos with a digy/auto camera so the dog sill looks black instead of what they call “silver” (which is still black but lighter)…
    first aim at a lighter colored object that is the same distance as your subject (this is important for focus) and push the clicker only half-way in…the camera will adjust the light for this brighter object…keeping it pushed halfway in, now aim at the dark object and push in the rest of the way.
    If you didn’t let up on the button your camera should have taken a more ‘true to color’ photo.
    A second way to combat this is to aim extra light on the subject…this will be enough to turn off the ‘autolighten’ feature.
    A third way is to leave the flash on, but when you take the photo block the flash with your hand so it doesn’t actually light the object. The camera will want to rely on the flash to brighten things up and not lighten the photo.
    Just a few thoughts for you.

  99. I’m such a lurker and never comment, but I have to tell you that I will gladly bear with you while your ‘attention wanders’. While I greatly admire your knitting, it’s your writing that I absolutely love! I wish I could write as cleverly and as well as you do!

  100. I know this won’t help (but I couldn’t help myself)…
    You know, most streetcars are pretty smart. People just assume they aren’t because of the people driving them.
    You’ll be fine once you get out of the stress jungle (and into the sea of knitters audience).

  101. I’m agreeing with a fellow lurker above that the blog is not hopeless. This may sound rather heretical, but I’m going to come right out and say that I would be bored silly if all you ever wrote about was knitting. I enjoy your blog because you usually use knitting as lens to look at your (and thus our) world. Sometimes you observe other stuff but its your perspective, humor and writing that I love!

  102. Love the cable and sock pattern. I especially love that little detail of the one gold thread. can’t wait for it to become available to the general public.

  103. Are you sure the counting thing isn’t related to the dark yarn? I’m a little afraid of jumping into the Raven series (eventhough I live in Haida territory:Pacific Northwest-really Southeast BC). At least Lucy Neatby is helping you with the travelling counting yarn.

  104. “…and is really because I, as I mentioned, am apparently as smart as a streetcar.”
    I completely adore and appreciate how you raise self-deprecating humor to an art form. πŸ™‚

  105. Sorry, but can you provide a translation to “hit the frogpond going a thousand miles an hour”.
    Sounds like frogging back, but better????? Or at least more interestingly stated?

  106. I’m writing a book, too. I wish it was about knitting, but no, it’s about cloud drop formation and I’m totally fed up with it. After it’s done and I’ve defended it in public (my PhD thesis that is), I’m going on a tour as well. I’m going to take a tour through my yarn closet and spend two weeks doing nothing but knitting. I want my (knitting) life back!
    The sock looks beautiful.

  107. I understand what you are going through and I am just amazed that you can get any knitting or blogging done, at all! You are doing just fine, your book will be fine, how could it not? You were born with the gift to juggle all of this and you are doing fantastic!

  108. Man, I wish I could arse up as well as you! I love your knitting and your books. I really love your latest socks, and my favourite books are the meditation type…you know you knit too much…LOL.
    Definately keep at it! You are a shining star in many people’s lives and even the highlight of some days.

  109. Seriously, this is why I don’t read your blog with a beverage nearby, my monitor would need constant cleaning.
    Smart as a streetcar. *snort*

  110. I’m so excited to see that you’ll be coming to Oak Lawn, IL — so close to me. Cannot wait. YAY!

  111. Having worked in the editing end of publishing, I can cheerfully say that not just the writers freak out! We instituted a “typo of the week” award to amuse ourselves (prompted by a book review insisting the French revolution happened in 1976, instead of …)!
    My son rereads the Yarn Harlot book over and over, howling with laughter, and enjoys when I email him parts of the blogs – and he’s in high school!
    I’m sure the book will come out fine – take deep breaths and embrace the words!

  112. A few years back, my family and I vacationed in Ely, Minnesota and I discovered a series of books by Helen Hoover, the first being The Long-Shadowed Forest. They are about her and her husband’s move (in 1954) to a small cabin in the woods bordering Minnesota and Canada – no electricity, telephone or car – and their relationship with the deer and other creatures of the forest. She had been a chemist in Chicago, so it was a huge change. The books are charming and I highly recommend them – maybe when things settle down. Your descriptions of your time away writing (and the photos) reminded me of these books. The Years of the Forest. A Place in the Woods. The Gift of the Deer. Good stuff!

  113. Here’s the thing about sock pattern books….any stitch pattern that fits your number of desired stitches can be a sock. I will say that a Nancy Bush sock book with her Estonian patterns that have somewhat different construction methods or a PGR for the same reason – ethnic construction – has enticed me all the way to the cash register, but most sock books are a waste ‘o time/money in my opinion. What I’m seeing here is p2, k1tbl, couple times and then cable. Ba da boom. Sorry to be the turd in the punchbowl,but how did we get to such a sad state of affairs as knitters? I’m sure that the knitters of yore could look at something, do a little jotting of numbers and start knitting. It’s the reason we learn to knit, is it not? To have the ability to create what we want with limitless potential to wing it. I used to have to rip something out several times before I got the swing of a written pattern. Things changed for me when I embraced these 2 concepts. First, you are making fabric to size – whereas in sewing you buy fabric and cut it to size. Second, the swatch is the sword in the stone. If you have a swatch and think of it in terms of stitches/inches then whatever size you want to make becomes a simple matter of adjusting the swatch. Once your swatch is right, you’ve essentially pulled the sword out of the stone and are the Queen of the Realm. So when I was following a written pattern line for line, it wasn’t helping me conceptualize where I was really trying to go. Now, as you swatch -THINK, pull,yank, feel and visualize what it’s going to come out as. If it seems as tho it can’t possibly magically transform into the right size/shape/thing – trust your gut. It won’t.

  114. Ah, but Stephanie, what you must realize is that we will happily go through a blog drought knowing that the end result will be a new book for us. Now THAT will be true manna for blog-parched souls.

  115. Dear Stephanie Pearl-Mcgee:
    I read with great interest you blog post 11/07 about your search for the “worlds most comfortable toilet seat”. We are finding that there is not much info on really nice seats. I realize this reply is to another post, but I can’t seem to find your email on your blog. Could you please email me the make and model of the toilet seat and/or toilet brand that you have? Maybe we can find one like it?
    Dye Hawley

Comments are closed.