Six Days

That’s how long I have to accomplish the revisions on the book of essays, (all the writing has been done for about a week now, all wool be praised) write a speech to take on the road (I wonder what I’ll say…) prepare the family for my five week absence (I have no idea how to do that) and wait for the reviews on the latest and plan the launch and inexplicable knitter behaviour around North America. I’m essentially out of my mind.

Yesterday I worked all day, knit three rounds on a sock, made dinner, supervised the kids, did laundry and vacuumed the living room (I found a hard boiled egg under the couch. Glad I caught that.) and then worked again until 3am and today it’s another brutal slog, and so will tomorrow, and the day after that. I have a sense of impending doom that I would ordinarily chalk up to stress, but I’m worried, because I think it is likely reality troubling me this time. (I know that, because usually if it is stress it goes away if I eat chocolate for breakfast while taking bath and then knit for five minutes while weeping a little, which didn’t help at all today.) I hate getting ready for a tour. (Though I don’t mind the tour part.) I hate finishing books (though I quite like having them finished) and I hate waiting to see if people like my books. (Although I like it when they do.) I was sitting here this morning wondering how all this stuff managed to end up in one week, and found myself thinking (forgive the strong language) “Man… My boss is a bitch. She has no idea what sort of pressure I’m under, that I don’t have the self-esteem for criticism when it arrives when I’m overworked and she doesn’t have any respect for the limits on my time and energy. It’s like all she cares about is me as someone who works for her, and doesn’t care how tired I get when I have to meet all those demands. She doesn’t even listen when I tell her that it’s too much, although maybe that’s my fault for not being clearer with her. I have got to learn to be more aggressive with setting limits around my time, because someone like her is just going to take advantage of me if I don’t.”

Then I just sat and stared. I’m self employed.

I’m going to be so happy when these six days are over. Seriously.

183 thoughts on “Six Days

  1. You do realize this revelation makes those of us who aspire to be writers want to simply curl up under the couch with the hard-boiled egg, right?

  2. Breath in and breath out…It will all pass in a blur. Hopefully. And your “boss” will be fine after you are done with her. I know. I have the same kind of boss…

  3. Books…we’ll ADORE your books. I can hardly wait to get my mittens on your new one and the book of essays is on my fridge WANT LIST. As for preparing your family…hey, just go. There will be hard-boiled eggs under the couch whether you work at preparing them or not. They’ll just be SOOOO grateful when you do come back home. Bring knitting, make sure all accomodations have baths rather than showers and ENJOY! We’ll be following you through the blog. Bon voyage!

  4. In the next 8 days, I have to finish the reviews on my thesis (only about 80 pages, not quite a book), speak at a conference with an excerpt from my thesis (I wonder what I’ll say too), feed my husband sometime (if he’s left to his own devices he eats peanut butter out of a jar for all his meals), and finish preparing for my graduate exams (did I mention I work a full-time job too?).
    Holy cow. What were we thinking? But I keep telling myself, surviving will make you stronger and better prepared. But I really wish it were already over…for the both of us.
    I can’t wait for my copy of the book to arrive!

  5. Also self-employed and my boss is a raving lunatic bitch. Don’t you hate it when you hate yourself? On the other hand, nice when you can give yourself the day off to knit! Will have a beverage for you tonight in case you forget to schedule one and say an occasional “There, there,” in the hopes it reaches you.

  6. I don’t know how you do it. I’d be a raving lunatic by now. But we assured that a)it will all work out and b)your book will be smashing success. Definitely. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Are ya sure the “reality stress” isn’t….oh…Rev Canada? Tax time is a PITA and that gets my adrenaline going (I wait until the very last minute because I hope against hope that MY form gets buried at the bottom of a huge pile that will take months and months to be processed). I don’t know why the IRS here in the states has to be the efficient arm of government after all ๐Ÿ™
    I’m looking forward to your visit in the Seattle area again!

  8. It’s hardest to give yourself the break you’d give someone else if they were in your position, isn’t it? Anyone who can write like you do AND walk 7 kms for beer and t.p. can do it, though! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Hang in there!

  9. Try what my mom did when she went away for a few weeks — she left a list on the fridge of the daily/weekly chores; instructions on how to laundry and a sample grocery list.
    And in BIG BOLD typing an emergency contact list with notes on who best to call for different issues — doctors, nana, plummer, etc.

  10. Sweetie, I know exactly what you mean! And the weird thing about it all is that you will start all over again as soon as you finish this book tour. Or have you already started thinking about the next book? Just wondering.
    I shall raise a glass or several in your honour later this week. I shall also knit some in your honour. And I shall re-read some of my favourite parts of those books of yours which I own – again, in your honour.

  11. It’s only six days. And your boss isn’t THAT much of a bitch.
    Never have I wanted to be in Toronto on April Fools’ Day so much.
    Wish you were coming to Cleveland, but it’s OK.

  12. Are you kidding???? Of course we’ll love your books. We wouldn’t be clogging the blog if we didn’t!
    As for being away 5 weeks — you have 3 teenage daughters. Frankly, I’d be scared witless. However, look at this as a way for them to learn to appreciate all you do for them — and for them to learn how to be on their own, something that is rapidly approaching for them all. And honestly, when you get back — that first week home should provide more than enough material for a new book!

  13. I find that, now that I’m self employed, my boss is much worse than when I was employed outside the house. And I can’t fool her…
    So Good Luck with your week from hell…

  14. ugh, I feel you. whoever is supposed to manage my time is doing a shitty job as well! I’m 5+ months pregnant, 6 weeks shy of finishing my grad degree and 5 days away from moving in with inlaws to save for a house to buy this summer. oh yeah, i work full time, am married and have a 3 year old! Who set this mess in motion? When can I knit again??

  15. I don’t think you have to plan any inexplicable behaviour–to most of the world, the next six days of your life, not to mention the entire month of April, will be inexplicable enough (“She’s doing all this because of *knitting*?!?”)
    Hang in there, baby. Freak out the muggles by your very existence.

  16. Yikes…that’s one hectic schedule. Take the time to remember to breathe, deeply and fully. You’ll survive. And your family will muddle along without you just fine. Consider it good training for the girls before they launch themselves into the world.
    P.S. Would a little screech help take the edge off?

  17. My DH always says that the worst person to work for is yourself, second worst is your (meaning his) father. You are a gifted writer and speaker. I love your books and I loved your talk in Rhinebeck and I assure you, I’m not alone here. So eat some chocolate for breakfast, ease off on the cleaning and cooking (laundry only for the clothes you need to take on tour), and know that we eagerly await the book and the tour.

  18. yo I talked to “your boss” and she said you should take off Wed. night and come out and knit with Rachel H and me. We can talk about what Rachel H is going to wear to the opening. You don’t mind do you Rachel??

  19. I am so sure your girls will be just fine. The more you expect of them the more they will surprise you. And Joe will be fine too. I will bring you chocalate when you get to WEBS in Northampton. So looking forward to hearing you again. I will buy the book when I get there so I can’t preread it.
    Take care and breathe.

  20. Just remember if you resort to speaking in Latin, it will make things much more tolerable (and amusing). For example, here’s my old standby:
    Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?
    Translation: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
    Or, try the words of that famous philosopher fish, Dori – from Nemo, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming”

  21. I think your boss is a bitch too, fortunately she’s also brilliant and a joy to be around, even for those who don’t konw her except from her writing. So that makes up for it ๐Ÿ™‚ Hang in there, I’m self-employed too and have had those days.

  22. We are our own worst critics…and are usually the ones who set unrealistic goals for ourselves. Although – I can appreciate the “self-employed” part – I still think you should hit up all of the people’s yarn you use for your projects and get some kind of commission each time you share…I’m sure it ends up being some extra business for them!

  23. here is my de-stressing mantra: (very foul language) “God-damn mother fucker son of a bitch”
    Works every time, instant relief. repeat as needed

  24. We believe in you! You can do it.
    As much as it does suck to be your own boss, at least you know who’s in control. And you can enjoy schizophrenic boss/employee moments of telling yourself what to do, surely that is a side benefit ๐Ÿ˜‰

  25. Ok so we didnt have your back on the refreshing walk earlier. We do on this one. You’re awesome and do amazing things. Not only have you a book out and one on the way, you have successfully explained me to a dozen people (yes the entry for yesterday got printed and sent to a BUNCH of muggles). Not an easy task. I’ll be keeping a stack of those on hand so when someone starts w/ ” I dont understand…” I’ll just hand them the packet and move on LOL
    Seriously, you’ll be fine. You have US behind you girl!! Not many women have a gazillion sisters!

  26. Ugh, you hang in there girl!
    And the egg thing, it really could be much worse. One of your kids may have tried to hatch the thing on the radiator with their stuffed animal!

  27. Well, at least the boss isn’t screwing up two weeks…..
    Breathe. Inhale yarn fumes.

  28. Would it help if we went out to Amazon and populated it with a few stunning pre-release reviews for the new book (without, alas, having actually seen it)? You may have doubts about it, but we don’t. “SP-M deserves high marks for fabulosity in her new book featuring knitting, philosophy, and observations on life. With her wicked sharp humor and keen and piquant observations, this book is a must have for all knitting enthusiasts. Buy it for your friends! Your co-workers! Your Dog!”

  29. Once upon a time when I was a full-time writer and mom of a 6-year-old, and the hubby was gone from 6:00 am till about 9:00 pm every day, I had three deadlines at once (copyedit, line edit, manuscript). I remember standing in the kitchen and asking of the cosmos, “Which one am I supposed to do first?!?!” The cosmos was not helpful. I feel your pain. Just think how much worse it would be if you came home after 5 weeks and found that egg? Hang in there, and if all else fails, fondle stash yarn.

  30. We’ll love the books, the tour will be wonderful and the perfect time to teach your family the importance of housework is when there is a boiled egg under the sofa and you are far far away. For weeks.

  31. So I’m thinking I should bring extra bagels and cheese curds for the family left behind–there’s at least one meal taken care of–not all five food groups but at least two!! Will have to see how much room I have in the luggage–have to leave some room for knitting stuff and a change of undies!!
    Really looking forward to the evening of the 1st as I am having to deal with difficult family business during the day — your humour will turn my frowns upside down!!
    Cheers, Barbie O.

  32. Stephanie-
    Hang in there! At a librarian’s meeting today, I and a colleague were confusing and baffling all the non-knitters as we went on..and on…and on about how much we love you!
    So keep the faith – we’re pulling for you!
    tracee, librarian knitter extraordinaire

  33. Wow…I got stressed out just reading your post. Hang in there, it will all be over soon, one way or another.

  34. It’ll be like your wedding – over before you know it. Soon you’ll be fretting that you’re bored and need to write another book because, well, things are just too QUIET. Enjoy the roar and nibble chocolate when you can, in silence.

  35. What you do is amazing.
    Where you go we will show up.
    What you write we will love!!
    Stay strong during hell week — once it’s over, you’ll barely remember how much effort it all took to pull together!!

  36. I went to Amazon (US version) to see if there was a review yet (to cheer you up and let you know you did a great job), but no reviews yet. I hope to get my book tomorrow, if meetings cooperate.
    I did notice that there’s a pattern a day calendar that you’re doing. You are a glutton for punishment, but count me in.
    I can always count on you to make my day a little brighter.

  37. Preparing family is comparatively easy: they’re all old enough to do laundry, cook, and clean. Just mark the calendar for the dates and wave goodbye. (You might write in “start cleaning house up” about three days before your intended return.) The launch is simple: the book will be done, you show up, the knitters show up, the inexplicableness is inevitable.
    Write the revisions alternately with writing the speech (so you don’t forget the speech while bogged down in revisions). Publishers hate revisions anyway, so they only fix really major mistakes.
    And five minutes to knit three rounds? You need
    more chocolate.

  38. y’know, when you find a hard boiled egg under the couch, i feel a lot better about the silly putty that will never come off my upholstery. thanks.

  39. You need a big warm hug ((((((((((((((our wonderful and talented Yarn Harlot))))))))))))))))! Now sit down with your knitting and a brandy and there, there, it’ll all be right again. ๐Ÿ™‚

  40. Your weeping a little while knitting in the morning reminded me of Holly Hunter’s character’s behaviour in Broadcast News – every morning before the stuff hit the fan, she’d unplug her phone and sob for a couple of minutes, then pull herself together and get on with the day. I’ll bring some chocolate to your appearance here in NYC. Looking forward to seeing you again! P.S. The family will survive, though the house may be in a disastrous state, but that’s just stuff. Make sure there’s enough cat food in the house before you go, though.

  41. I’m afraid that I have to disagree with Haley-cat; this sort of schedule doesn’t make you stronger (although likely better prepared), it usually just makes me tired. However, it IS usually worth it, too, and you will be happy looking back – you know, in a few months or years – that you are who you are because of all of the insanity (and the rest breaks between that involve alcohol and knitting).
    Re: preparing family… You’ve raised a good family. Your daughters are intelligent young women, they know where the store is and how to use Mr. Washie; they’ll figure it out. And Joe presumedly has a baseball bat to beat away young suitors when appropriate. They’ll be fine!
    As for the rest, do the editing, screw the reviews and let everyone help with the knitting behaviour – we like to help, it makes us feel needed. We love your books, and we love you. Have a beer, seriously!

  42. It must be so odd to have your head stuffed full of your next book as you prepare to launch this one. I don’t know how you do that.
    Much less be boss and employee simultaneously. Does the bitch boss get to complain about the deadbeat employee then, too?
    Well, I get to see you talk about your book, and buy a (second) book from the Yarnery in St. Paul in (yowza) just over two weeks, then stalk you by following you to Orcas Island to switch gears totally for total STR immersion! So there’s a role switch for you/us too. Pretty funny.
    I however am not going by way of Ann Arbor since it’s not exactly on the way. Though not too far out of it in the greater scheme of things, and I love A2, having lived there for some time. Great knitters in that town! I hope this time there is a little less — um, eventful for you.

  43. Thank you for putting yourself through this level of crazy for the book! I so enjoy reading your work here and in book form, and hope to one day come to one of your live events. It’s a brave thing to send your thoughts out into the world for other people to read and judge, and you have proven yourself more than worthy. I hope you will keep writing for a long time.

  44. One day your girls are going to be out on their own. Just think of this as a way to get them a step closer to being ready for it. And Joe will have a chance to have some real quality time with them. I would have loved that when I was younger.
    Make us a promise… while you’re out there on the road, don’t stress about the family. Just have a good time with the knitters.
    Have you discovered Nutella for breakfast yet? It’s a real attitude adjuster.

  45. I am so bummed that I am going to miss your tour AGAIN! I missed it last time I forget why must not have been a good reason. And I’m going to miss you this time. Darn! We are moving from CA to upstate NY in June, missing you out there and then missing you out here. Darn!
    PS. I heard your boss was really funny, is that true now that you’ve been her slave?

  46. The only thing I have to offer is moral support, because I’ve read your writing and heard your speeches, you are going to be fabulous. And a promise to bring you chocolate in Seattle.

  47. Oh Stephanie,
    Im so jealous of all people in USA and Canada, they all can start reading your book so soon. I live in Germany and your precious book willl be aviable here earliest in the beginning of May. Oh my, I wish my husband would be a millionaire so Id be able to buy a plane ticket to Toronto and finally meet you (hey, any plans on visiting Germany someday?) and buy your book IN TIME.
    I mean hey, it was difficult enough to get all your other books here already, it really dont have to be this mean this time. Why Im being punished so bad? (I really hope I wasnt a serial killer in my past life)
    Anyway, there is me and my calendar… I will knit and wait patiently
    Ana from Germany
    PS. sorry for my poor English, but I think I start crying now

  48. I just hate it when my boss tells me get back to work, but its even worse when my staff doesn’t do enough work to pay the bills.
    You will get through this, only you will know what you truly didn’t get done.

  49. Yikes, that is a full plate. The Pearl-McPhee bunch will be missing each other and the house disjointed for a bit. You are The Yarn Harlot with impending tour and book release. So, please do knit with Denny on Wednesday, have some chocolate, a great beer and know that knitters everywhere promise to thrill you with inexplicable knitterly behaviors. You’ve given us grand permission and we take it.

  50. I love your sense of humor! You are hilarious! I can’t wait to read your new book. I already know I will love it – you speak to my knitter’s heart. Take care of yourself and enjoy the tour. Thanks for making me laugh on a regular basis!

  51. p.s. i was knitting the doctor’s office today (waiting in the outside room and the insite room). The doc said, “Oh, two other doctors knit here, I see it all the time.” Simply all over the place.

  52. Nothing to add to the discussion, but am violating my cardinal rule of commenting to offer more moral support. You’ll get it done somehow, and you’ll be fabulous, and we’ll all love you as always. I’m totally psyched, because I’m actually going to get to see/hear you this tour. And re: inexplicable knitter behaviour? See yesterday’s post – it just happens! (I love the idea of the sock picture scavenger hunt though!) Please pardon typos; I’m typing with one hand, supporting nursing baby in sling with other. Can’t wait for “my” part of the tour!

  53. Sounds like your boss needs to see a little “man action” and lighten up… either that your she needs more beer and chocolate. Happy knitting!

  54. Isn’t this the same family that is fairly self reliant and has in the past succeeded (albeit in a kind of messy fashion) in surviving your past absences? What gets done gets done and what doesn’t will do them no lasting harm excepting, perhaps, food poisoning.

  55. I thinkyour boss is right spot on. SOMEBODY has to keep you in line, right??!!
    BTW, any chance that you would ever favor the Capital city of Raleigh, NC with a visit? We have lots of knitters here and would LOOOOOVVVVVEEEE a chance to prove how great knitters are. Hey, we’ll even take you to see the Durham Bulls! Maybe someone will hit a homer off the bull and we’ll get free steak dinners! Don’t know what I’m talking about? Well, I guess you’ll have to come to Raleigh and find out all about it.
    er, PLEASE?!>?!

  56. Hey you. Stop with yourself. We like your books already. Even the unpublished bits. Wouldn’t be here if we didn’t. Consider the preparations as inflating the balloons for the celebration.

  57. I stopped into my local bookstore this morning to make sure they have your newly published book on order. They do!

  58. My boss is a total bitch also. She seems to want me to work instead of eating nachos and reading trashy novels.
    Knitting is, alas, completely out of the question. I’m so tense that I can’t get gauge (a baby sweater doesn’t have to be exact, but it’s hardly likely there was 3″ of ease in the pattern to start, is it?)
    See you in Seattle. I’ll bring beer.

  59. The day I dislike your books is the day I buy a skein of Red Heart Super Saver. We <3 you.

  60. lol. I have run my own business making accessories and clothing and more then once I have curse my boss, only to remember it is me. Hope you have a great tour, and can’t wait until next Tuesday for the Toronto launch.

  61. I know you can make it. Your almost at the top and then it’s fun fun fun! Can’t wait to read the new book!

  62. Darling Steph, don’t worry — we *already* love your book!
    Anyone who doesn’t think it’s just the bee’s knees isn’t someone whose opinion matters. And all the rest of us think your new book, like all of your others, is the best, funniest, wittiest, most charming book of the year.

  63. Do you know Anne Lamott’s essay/book called Bird by Bird? that’s the basic idea, though for a knitter, it would make more sense to say stitch by stitch. How do you knit a complicated aran sweater? Stitch by stitch. Just do the next stitch, and the one after, and the one after that, and miraculously, it all adds up to a finished sweater eventually. That’s how to get through this, too. Stitch by stitch. Don’t think about the stitches to come, just the stitch you’re making right this moment. Do that one well. Then do the next one well. And so on.

  64. Now Steph, your boss is only a bitch when she asks from you that which you can not do, and doesn’t allow you to accept praise when you’ve earned it.
    You’ll be fine (with lots and lots of alcohol.)

  65. we will love your book. we will laugh out loud. you will get it all done, and you can knit on airplanes and you don’t have to carry a beeper everywhere like i do…it’s in the bag with the current sock. can’t wait to see you at WEBS.
    peace be with you. breathe.

  66. Too bad you don’t have a Dream Dinners in your local area. You could have five weeks worth of meals in your freezer for your family before you leave for your tour. I go to the Dream Dinners store in the Tri-City Center in Redlands, California once a month to prepare my meals. Luckily it’s near my favorite yarn shops; The Yarn Deli and The Enchanted Unicorn. Hmmmmmmmm did I just give those businesses a plug???? Good luck with your tour, I really enjoy your books and you blog.

  67. A staggering amount of stress, enormous work load, unable to enjoy chocolate and yet you vacuumed UNDER the couch. I am thinking not so much bitch but more Wonder Woman.

  68. Clearly, you need to stop cleaning. No one has ever died of dirty windows.
    If you think of cleaning the floor, remember what my mother said about that. “I was getting all stressed out because I had no time to mop the floor. Then I decided that, just this one time, we wouldn’t eat off it.”
    Yeah, sometimes my house suffers. But my husband and I are happier. ๐Ÿ™‚

  69. Courage! We are behind you! (Albeit pushing).
    Sorry. I hate when life gets uncomfortable. I hope you have an easy time of it in the end.

  70. FYI for Portland Oregon visit (yay!)
    The location of your venue the evening of 4/22 has a mass transit train stop very, very close. The Forestry Center where we lucky Portlanders will get to bring you our socks to be photographed shares a parking lot with the Oregon Zoo. The MAX (as it is referred to) stop is at the Hwy 26 side of the parking lot and would offer any number of weirding-out of the non-knitting-public opportunities. Pubs, one “high-end” mall, downtown, the airport and tons of other venues within reach for a mere $1.60 or so.
    There are already a large number of cars around that bear bumper stickers saying “Keep Portland Weird”……….. Consider it a thrown gauntlet, if you will.

  71. I used to be self employed, working half days was great, because I got to choose which 12 hours. Then I got married, had kids and needed stable income, and benefits. I am not sure I could do what you do, and do so very well. Both books will be enjoyed by your people. Now, the important question, have you picked out the yarn for the tour socks?

  72. I love the new book! (LYS called yesterday to say the pre-ordered copy had arrived.) I’m sorry I can’t help out with the rest, though I can certainly sympathize about the hard-boiled egg. My college roommate used to leave cereal bowls under her bed. They were usually half-full, and I didn’t know about their existence until she moved out. Ugh.
    You will get through the next six days, though, I’m pretty sure. And then you’ll be on the road, and, well, there will be a small present awaiting you in Minnesota. What with all the deer plotting, it seemed to me a “Yarn Harlot Strikes Back” kit was in order. No beer (since you obviously had that covered, even if it took 14 KM and an angel of mercy), but a couple of potentially useful items. And chocolate. Just don’t let your evil boss have any. ; )

  73. Do you know for sure the egg really was boiled?? *maniacal laughter* at least you found it!

  74. I will stick to soap making and gardening, Although I figure I have enough fodder for an Oprahbestseller. I just want to jump on her couch.

  75. That’s one of the good and bad things I’ve figured out about being self-employed. The only big nut jobs we have to work for are ourselves.

  76. Thats funny. I was so worried your boss would read the blog and you would really be in a mess.I guess its pretty obvious I don’t know much about the book business.
    I enjoy all your books and look forward to reading the newest one.

  77. Oh You were just the laugh I needed to remind me to stay on task. And not try to complain about my boss (also me).
    I know it will pass quickly!

  78. It is the downside of being stellar. But on another day the upsides of being stellar will be more apparent. Don’t despair.

  79. just wanted to say thanks for taking time for the blog, given how busy you are. it’s much appreciated!

  80. Inexplicable knitter behaviour. You know, if anyone in the Toronto area wanted to stop by the gallery I run at 1153A Queen St. W. (VAO Gallery)…and maybe, I don’t know, have a seat on the floor and just start knitting on the day of the launch, it would totally be welcomed. With the added bonus of completely freaking my staff out. Just saying.

  81. I live within striking distance of six public libaries and one college library. That’s six as in seperate libraries not six branche sof the the same library. And yet of the 45 copies of Stephnie’s previous works available in BC NOT ONE is in the six libraries I frequent!

  82. Thanks for writing to us when you are so stressed. Your boss is a stern taskmistress, but you turn out such good work under her leadership. Do you think you need to unionize? Please hang in there and take care of yourself–sending love.

  83. Aww that sounds rough! That’s why you get paid the big bucks. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I imagine it is difficult to be a dream boss and a dream employee at the same time! Good luck this week.

  84. Sometimes it really sucks being a grown-up.
    When I have the “convergence of stuff” week, I make a lot of lists and realize that this, too, is part of the ride. Even though I can’t wait for it to be over, I try hard to be in the moment.
    Couch-hiding hard-boiled eggs notwithstanding.

  85. Stephanie, Most of us who are self-employed have the same problems with our bosses!

  86. That’s the real pain of being self-employed. You can’t point fingers when your boss takes advantage of you.
    Very good thing you found that egg. Eww!

  87. Some thoughts to get you through these last few days:
    1. They serve alcohol on planes
    2. All hotels have alcohol nearby, and some even have chocolate
    3. The US is in an election, and even if there were the slightest chance that your speech wouldn’t be fabulous, US citizens adore listening to ANYONE who isn’t running for office
    4. You’ll be fabulous.

  88. And, lest you think me completely heartless, I have a suggestion which might lighten your load:
    For the next six days, why don’t you post a photo of Rachel in six different outfits so we can vote on the one we like best?

  89. Good luck, Stephanie. You’re going to do great! Also, congratulations on the new book. I look forward to helping you celebrate it.

  90. Suck it up. Ukranians make their exquisite Easter eggs (natural dyes, intricate scratched patterns) on unboiled, whole, fresh, unblownout (wow, spellcheck hates that one) eggs. Boiled should last even longer. The trick with eggs, as with writers, is not to crack.

  91. I hear you, I’m pushing to finish my Masters Thesis in about that time. In fact I started writing it when you began posting about this book! I fear and yearn for public acceptance of my work and curse myself for the stress I put myself through. One would think that writing about Stays (eighteenth-century corsets) would be sexy. But I can attest that when you do it while wearing sweats, at a desk is littered with half finished cups of tea, while concurrently going through my quarter-life crisis (I put it off for two years as I was getting my masters. I’m paying my dues now, have any advice in how to “find my purpose”?) finishing it becomes a matter of survival. And I know you will agree, its not pretty. So, thanks for giving me a reason to emerge from my self-imposed colonial isolation, I love your blog.

  92. Six days will fly right by. And if you haven’t figured out yet that you could put anything out at this point and we’d still love it, well. Good. We don’t want you to publish crap. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  93. Any ideas on how the hard boiled egg came to be under the couch?
    You’ll get through this stretch just fine. There’s nothing wrong with crying into knitting and chocolate. We’ll all still love you!

  94. i’m rooting for you. personally, i’m all for faking any of it that isn’t absolutely essential. if you REALLY good, you can even fake out that bitch-ass boss of yours.
    (ooops, i think MY boss saw that)

  95. Best of luck with everything as the countdown continues…. You’re in my thoughts.

  96. If it helps – I’m so excited about getting my hands on the new book I pestered the poor teenager at the customer service with BUT WHY when she told me it wasn’t scheduled to be out until late April. (But, she said the US launch was this week!?!) And then, put my name on the list to have a book set aside and be emailed as soon as it comes in. (Yes, Ma’am, we get those emails right out.) I didn’t prepay though, I’m still hoping to find it before that. (I mean, really, why would it take them a month to release it in Florida?)

  97. Hi! when i got this over run (or run over) by life, i was lucky and was told “Breath. remember to breath, ok just breath”. it worked quite well. the other advice would be to book a massage for when your finaly done and are breathing.
    Re your nasty spelling natzy from ages ago, im sure he she or it will come pick on me now, im much more dislexic and can missspell anything, realy!
    i will be looking forword to your future posts, im just lurning to nitt and am still having turble with left and right and nit and purl. i did get enuff help (thankyou Elizabeth) to make a lovly swetter for my eldest cat-son (raglen sleves! and a coller i have no idea how that happened) would you like to see a pictuer some time?
    anyways remeber to breath and enjoy the massage!
    All for now dislexicly yours jan in ottawa

  98. The curse of the self-employed. There’s a song by Black Flag that starts out “I can’t go to work, my boss is a jerk.” I sing it to myself when I’m being particularly hard on myself.
    But don’t worry, the days get longer when you need them to and somehow it all gets done.

  99. Oh yeah, may I give the suggestion of all-day knitting tailgate parties? That might freak people out…

  100. can you push a side some
    of the words in your head
    put a song in that empty
    space-mine is lover come
    back to me – or when day is done
    and shadows fall i think of you
    embraceable you is the best
    fantasy song in your head
    all slow and easy
    now pack up all your cares and woes
    cause here you go bye bye bye bye
    take pictures of our lovely spring
    we are a pretty country elizabeth a

  101. Just made a 3-hour trip to Oak Lawn today to pick up my ticket for your tour and we were all excited when the UPS guy came into the shop and some of the boxes had your new book in them! Love it – read it on the way home.

  102. I’m astonished at your travel schedule. One would hope for an orderly progression from west to east, then west again, with a diversion here and there, then home. But no! Toronto, NYC, Colorado, the Southeast states, then the midwest, then far west, then one stop in Illinois, then MA, and back to the midwest again. And,after a stop on the west coast and in Philly, finally London. Ye gods, woman.
    To paraphrase: Her strength was as the strength of ten, because her heart was pure.
    Good luck. You will be loved the entire way, and that will sustain you.

  103. I purchased your book today. I seriously had to get someone from the bookstore to go find it because their computer clearly stated it was “IN STOCK” and could be found “HERE” on the store map. Well, it wasn’t where the map indicated, or where the store clerk thought it was supposed to be so what did I do??? Yep you bet sent the poor girl to the back room to search and YAY guess what she found? I barely made it to the car before I started to read it. The time waiting for the school bus to arrive never passed so quickly, nor have I ever looked more like a nut than i did laughing my head off at the end of the driveway.
    Good luck with the book tour. No need to worry that it won’t be liked, because it’s turly going to be a book that is loved from beginning to end.

  104. I’m living for April 4, when you and your new book show up in Denver. Okay, that sounds pitiful. But when you work for a church, Easter is the “busy season” and I’m also still recuperating from the flu (4 weeks & counting!) and anything yarn just smells of escape, creativity, and solace. But you will be speaking at the Tattered Cover (the best bookstore ever!) but at their Highlands Ranch (way south suburban) branch. Where will we go for beer and inexplicable behaviore after??? Who lives down there and can help us plan – surely we must show the Harlot the great and wonderful insanity of Denver Knitters!?! Ideas, anyone?

  105. You never cease (I can’t spell) to amaze me! You would not be happy if you did not have all these wonderful things happening in your life and sometimes all at one time! And neither would your family! You are so talented in so many areas. I don’t know how you do it all! But you get it done! Then have a wee bit of the ale to assist you! Good Luck! I am looking forward to the new book. Each one has been so different and great! Thanks for sharing with us!

  106. I’m self employed too and my boss is even a worse bitch than yours. So it goes, as Kurt Vonnegut said. It will all work out. You’ll see. I’m saying this though I am sure my current crisis won’t. Again, so it goes.

  107. Hang in there! BTW, we LOVE your books because they reflect your wonderful sense of humor and your way with words. That is part of who you are, so it’s not going to disappear. We like you because you are YOU.

  108. look on the bright side…having to look in the mirror to talk to your boss is so much safer than my recent encounter of 5 ( yes count them!) pit bulls coming tearing round the corner at you ( happened to me last week!) I’m still not sure how I got out of that, but hey, if I can survive that, then I’m sure you can handle the tour with your eyes closed( and a large tot of something in the glass!)

  109. Just remember — YOU are a KNITTING ROCK STAR!!!
    Right now thousands of knitters are making plans to go see you, and even more are crying into their knitting because they can’t. Your words, whatever you say, will go out to a receptive audience that already thinks you’re wonderful! You will be met everywhere with cheers, laughter, and really weird sock pictures. The book reviews will, of course, positively glow.
    You will be amazed at how well your family — your fabulous young ladies and Joe, the Wonder Spouse — pull together and cope without you. (But not so well that they don’t miss you terribly.)
    Of course, you’re on your own about the essay revisions, but your natural talents and marvelous sense of humour will carry you through.
    Hang in there, girl! YOU ROCK THE KNITTING WORLD!!!

  110. With all you have to do, why are you going to plan inexplicable knitter behavior across North America? Enquiring minds want to know.

  111. Lol! My thoughts are with you on everything. The travel most especially. I hope that what I post is read in the spirit of helpfulness and one of practicality from someone who has been on the road from a week to a month or more at a time.
    Aromatherapy oils Grapefruit & Lavender
    Grapefruit: It helps with jet lag and tiredness. Place a wee dab behind your ear and back of the knee and face the sun – if you can. It actually kick starts your internal clock. Good for a couple of hours.
    Lavender: Not only does it smell nice, but 8-10 small drops in the water each evening to help you fall asleep.
    Powdered seaweed bath (dry): I live in PDX and buy this in bulk at Natures. If a natural store is not available a beauty line called Jurlique skin care has a plastic bottle full. They are not cheap, but worth EVERY penny. By about week two I’m always thankful I have them. The Seaweed poweder is a fabulous detoxifier and great for jet lag and insomnia as well. Put a small scoop in a hot bath with the lavender. A good book, some chocolate – heaven. They also have a salt bath that’s amazing for rejuvenation for the AM.
    VitaminC – 1000 mg. Take 2-3 a day. My homeopath recomended this to keep my immune system up during travel. Works. Been doing for 14 years and only sick once on the road.
    Travel yoga mat. It folds up nice and small and fits on top of my clothes.
    Best of luck. See you in PDX.

  112. Yeah, inexplicable knitting behavior all over North America? Leave that to us. You’ll get plenty of suggestions. For the travel stuff, I offer my father’s philosophy: “Come on, let’s go, if we forgot something, we’ll buy it!” As to preparing the family – write this out in large letters and stick it on the fridge:
    I GET BACK ON 00/00/0000
    The cat’s well-equipped to make sure she gets fed and her litter box cleaned anyway.
    Although I think we’d better make sure to have plenty of beer and chocolate available in PDX! (Oh yeah…and see if Kathy has time to make samosas.)

  113. Your book is coming to my house in two days. I am taking it with me to a crafting weekend this weekend. I am going to love it.
    Remember that you are a wonderful, funny person and we all love you.

  114. I know you’re going to pull through just fine. Tamar and Leslie have really great practical advice, but I can’t resist tossing in my two cents worth. Get together with Joe and plan together. First, plan on enough sleep before touring, so you can function and also enjoy.(critical) Second, be sure you have some kind of medicine to help protect you from illness on the plane. Third, eat properly.(really critical) Fourth, plan the most efficient method to complete your revisions with an eye to economy of time. Fifth, friends and family can be given tasks to free you up for the work, and they can also do some of the pre-trip preparation too. Now, relax with Joe a little and laugh about just the kind of things that could happen and make plan B. I find the pressure is relieved some just having sorted things out. You can do it!

  115. Hope I don’t come off as too flip. I realize it’s all pretty heavy right now-this is just what I do when it get bad.

  116. It doesn’t even sound like you have the time to eat chocolate, much less drink the nice red wine that would certainly help.
    Well, once you are on the road the stress will hopefully fade a bit. And of course everyone will love you. Plus, look on the bright side, you have already gone out in public with conditioner hair and also locked yourself outside a hotel room, so its upward from here!

  117. I’m not sure if your reviews have arrived yet – but when i went to to order your new bookbookbook yesterday it has already sold out! That has got to be good. I’ll just have to wait a bit longer to get my copy, or find alternative sources.
    Are you doing the pre-signing thing when you come to London (UK)? While we British are well know for being good at waiting in queues, it doesn’t mean it’s the thing I like to do best (though it does give me time for a few more rows).

  118. ******** HUGS *********
    It will all be worth it! Promise!!!
    … especially the having found the egg under the couch bit. Yep, especially that.

  119. I HATE it when I do that to myself!!! It took me a while to realize that I needed someone who knew me really well to go over my schedule with me. (Sometimes I’m such a slow learner!) So my husband volunteered for the job. What a guy! He goes over my scheduled plans with me to make sure that I don’t bite off more than I can chew, and makes sure that I give myself some wiggle room for the crap (both uncontrollable and unavoidable) that will inevitably pop up. He’s really good at reminding me of things like the week before Rhinebeck I will be a mess. I will already be exhausted because of the pre-Rhinebeck dyeing frenzy and so it probably won’t be such a great time for me to teach a dyeing class, etc. etc. The really nice thing about getting my husband’s opinion of my schedule is that when I do make a sane schedule and give myself lots of wiggle room, and then life (and my schedule) falls apart because of unforeseen complications, that it wasn’t because I planned it badly. It was because of that old universal law, Crap happens! (Or for the Irish, Murphy heard you bragging and decided to put you in your place LOL!) It also helps to remember that all you can do is the best that you can do. If you can look at yourself in the mirror and say that you did the best job you could, then you need to let yourself off the hook. All that worrying just makes you sick to your stomach anyways and staying up that late makes you tired, cranky, and sick to your stomach. (Well, it does for me LOL!) Good luck on your mission. You’re a better woman that I am. I’m sure I would just turn to mush with all those deadlines. I’m sending you good thoughts, wishes and lots of positive energy, well….. as much energy as my boss will let me spare. Thanks for the great laugh and the awesome books!

  120. I will add my invitation to the list…London is just a hop from Liguria, Italy. Come on by my house for some relaxing (wool and wine, too, of course). Italy is beautiful in September.

  121. What gets done, gets done. The dust won’t go away, it’ll wait until you get home, if need be. The fam will do the laundry if they need clean clothes.
    When we lived in Arizona we didn’t find an Easter egg that had been hidden until August…outside, thank goodness.
    Did someone say knitting tailgate party? I think, those of us, unable to get tickets, should do just that!

  122. I just received word from Amazon that my order of the new book is on the way! Wish you were somewhere in Texas on the tour.!!!

  123. Simplify life. Come to Australia.
    Hang out in a knitterly place like mine. Our winter will make you laugh a lot.
    There is a spare room. There is wool. There is internet.
    There are knitterly people.

  124. I have a boss who’s just like that. Driving me and constantly expecting more and better and… oh wait, I’m the boss.
    I think as a rule it just comes so easy to stress ourselves out. It’s taking care of ourselves that’s always hard.

  125. I suggest bribery. Bribe that evil boss with gifts of wool and chocolate (the good stuff)!

  126. I’ll tell you right now that I love your new book on essays, before it is even out!!
    Coincidentally, I just read a few days ago your story in KnitLit too. Ice skating and knitting… who would of thunk it! Thanks for the smiles and laughter as usual!
    Serious, take care of yourself during the next month. We’re not sure what we would do without you.

  127. Hang in there Stephanie. While it may not necessarily look like it when you get home, all the people in your household are able to work together to survive. It may not be pretty, but it’s doable.
    Oh, and I’d hire a cleaning service to come in to your home the day before you are scheduled to be back…just saying.
    BIG hug, take a deep breath, and see you in Madison WI.

  128. I thought I saw Surrender Stephanie disappearing in a misty trail in the skies above southern Ontario โ€ฆ
    Jayne in Welland

  129. Hang in there, baby. The payoff’s coming and it will be worth it when you have roomfuls of wild knitters doing with this challenge what they’ve done with all your previous ones (remember the MSF challenge?) and blowing your handknit socks right off your feet. BTW, I plan to get the book and I have every intention of enjoying it!

  130. Hang in there. Like someone else said, stitch by stitch. Clearly, now is not the time to be looking over the whole 5 color, intricately charted pattern. Aim small; less chance of being overwhelmed.
    Take breaks from what you can–you’ll feel better for it.

  131. Road Warrior tip – don’t forget to distinguish the hand cream from the cream rinse before removing glasses. (I love that story, so sorry for laughing at your troubles).

  132. At least there is the knitting. When all else fails and comes crashing down around us, there is the knitting. This week I’m in a play with my daughter (who decided weeks ago she didn’t want to be in it but it’s too late to back out – so I have resorted to old-fashioned threats and bribery to keep her going), getting a new boss, trying to write scintillating prose to get people to come to an event my company’s producing, and oh, do my taxes. And fit into a skirt for said play which is really unflattering. Spanx, anyone?
    Your books are always on my pre-order list. I know they will be good, sight unseen!

  133. Shhhhh…. Don’t write that about your boss on the internet! She might read it and fire you! Your post cracked me up today. good luck and hang in there!

  134. I too wish you are gonna come somewhere near me, but alas it isnt to be! Oh Wll maybe on your next turn.. Good luck and have fun pn your tour, and the inexplicitable knitterly behaviour will be inforce here too. I plan on recruiting my crcheting mom and take some sock pics all over Rocky and the surrounding area…if my mom cant I’ll get my hubby to help, LOL!

  135. I’m trying to organize some inexplicable knitting behavior down here in old Southern California… The knitters are difficult to identify amongst all the actresses and celebutantes, but perhaps we’ll get a few…
    We’ll drink to you and your boss… or I will do alone if no one else shows up. Tell her where to stick it… and then hope she doesn’t.

  136. Remember that sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture for a reason — it messes with every part of you. Collapse into bed no later than midnight — laundry done or not, dishes clean or not, egg under [insert type of furniture here] or not. This too shall pass…. peace.

  137. Good luck! Take a deep breath. Stand outside for a minute – cold helps you with perspective. Take another deep breath.

  138. Oh now, Presbytera, that would only take Steph’s time away from her tasks, and that would make her boss very, very unhappy indeed. We couldn’t do that to her, now could we?
    Besides, since I’m not pretending to be anybody’s publicist this year, I’m thinking ‘cool and funky’ instead of ‘super chic’. AND it’ll be a surpise (to me most of all). So there.

  139. Maybe you can delegate. It probably won’t work with family, but one can never tell.
    (Oh, and I’m glad that you caught the egg too. That would not be a pleasant surprise to come home to after your tour.)

  140. My PhD.committee chair kept a saying on her desk: “It feels so good to have written.” That’s how I feel about writing — hate to do it, but it feels so good when you are through. Kinda like stopping hitting yourself on the head with a hammer.

  141. If you have scheduled all this work is because of money pressures, just put ads on the blog! I can live with them. Your fans can live with them. They can be discrete. I admire that you have not done so earlier, but come on…

  142. I second most ever’body. We love you Stephanie and we’d be up there helping if we could! Via con Dios!

  143. I’m thinking none of us listen to ourselves when we talk. If you figure it out let us know =)
    Have fun on your tour, though, I’m sure the new book will be faboo

  144. Well, of course you’re essentially out of your mind. That’s why we’re all so crazy about you.
    Can’t wait til your Portland visit! Take care.

  145. My daughter who is 13 and I, love your books. They are practically in tatters they have been read so much. When I feel down about my knitting or life in general, you make me laugh. Thanks for
    continuing on even though writers don’t make tons of money. We can’t wait to see and hear you in Toronto.

  146. Stephanie, as a someone who runs her own company, I completely UNDERSTAND you frustration with YOUR boss — I’ve tried to get “fired” or “Quit” several times, only to discover that I cannot!!!
    You know we will all LOVE your book!!! knits & purls

  147. Do you like peanut butter with your chocolate? Other flavo(u)rs? Or do you prefer it unadulterated? We have a local brand that is totally amazing. I will bring some to you in Philadelphia.

  148. hahaha.. Stephanie, you always manage to brighten my day a bit. Don’t worry so much about everything! (well, except maybe that egg under the couch.. haha) The book will be fine, I know I have it on pre-order through either Amazon or Chapters. It sounds like a wonderful book.
    I never commented on your post yesterday, but you’re right about how there is just no way to explain knitting and the people that knit. I get together with a bunch of ladies once a week to knit. I’m the youngest at 23 and in university. We have everything from people with children, people without children, people with grandchildren and one that could have grandchildren but doesn’t. One that’s Liberal, and another that’s a Conservative and baptist. Along with atheist/agnostics. Yet we all get along and sit and chat about our knitting.
    And then there’s my mom who was against me learning to knit all along. She thinks I like it because it’s math-y.. (I’m taking math and stats in university)

  149. LOL, maybe you need to sit down and have a tete a tete with your boss.
    Hmmm, was this hard boiled egg under the couch…well did it at least still have it’s shell on? How strange. It’s nice to see I’m not the only person who finds food in strange places.

  150. I find that the times I’m really stressed out is the time that the universes chooses to shoot little truths into my brain. For example, I have a little plot in a public garden that I’ve had for about six years. One of the requirements to keep the plot from year to year is that I have to do eight hours of community service around the garden (picking up trash, weeding the communal flowerbeds, smooshing tentworm caterpillars (gross, but necessary), etc.) Anyway, a couple of years ago I was going to school to get a massage therapy license, so that Spring I was leaning on a rake in my plot and wondering how the hell I was going to work full time, go to school full time, get all of my homework done, keep the weeds at bay, and still squeeze in eight hours of community service time required to keep it. Then suddenly the thought popped into my head: “The true test of how badly you want something is not what you’ll do to get it but what you’ll do to keep it.”
    Here’s hoping that some truly profound things come your way in the next five weeks. I look forward to seeing you in Seattle.

  151. I am so dense, I’ve been reading your blog for about a month and just realised why yarn harlot sounded so familiar… I’ve seen your book in the bookstore! I dropped by the store, barely read 3 pages before I burst out laughing, braved the weird stares and proceeded to buy your book. You are hilarious!

  152. I never miss a day reading your blog – you are one amazing lady, I don’t know how you do it all
    but I am sure glad you do. Loved all your books so far and will definitely be buying the new one.
    Wish I was in a position to get an autographed copy but I live in B.C. and I don’t see that you have any plans to be out here in the forseeable future. Drats! Please keep up the good work!

  153. Hi all – just got through reading most of the comments, and came upon the “mantras”; also just finished reading “Get Fuzzy” comic strip of last week (?) – two weeks ago (?) – Satchel learned how to swear by reading the funny papers – and I can use it too! You have no idea the looks you get in a library, when you whack your funny bone on a book truck, and exclaim loudly: Dollar Sign! Dollar Sign! Asterisk!, after you drew in a loud, pained breath, and began to turn pale (that’s what they said I did!)Anyway – Steph! you go girl! wish you were coming to Edmonton again….next time, ‘k? (the Edmonton handknitters who deluged you at Audrey’s 3 years ago? was it 4? Holy crap – get back here, you!)

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