New York, New York

The morning after the launch (I am still reeling over how fun that was) I got up early, ate a Montreal bagel and some squeaky cheese (transported here by the lovely Barbie) and went with Jayme-the-wonder-publicist to the airport, where we talked about how she was coming to understand that knitters were everywhere and how incredible that is, and she kept talking about the flickr pictures (which are incredible and way, way beyond my wildest dreams – I mean, have you seen them? Ms. Atwood holding a sock for all knitters in support of a Canadian Author? The woman’s got class, and not just because she’s a famous author, but because she’s equally respected for her valuable mentorship of up and coming writers. It’s profoundly decent that she bothered with me and I’m so absolutely remarkably, surprised in the best way possible that I can hardly talk about it. I’ve started a thank you note to her 26 times, and have deleted them all when they either make me sound like a moron or a sycophant or a moronic sycophant. In the end, I may just go with “thank you”, and hope that she understands.) …in any case, Jayme and I were talking about how knitters are everywhere, just everywhere, and I looked up and …


Glenna! Another knitter, found in the airport. We sat down to chat and knit (she’d been at the launch the night before) and while we were chatting, Jayme took our picture. We’re laughing because yet another knitter was walking by. (We are everywhere.) As a quick aside, Glenna just finished her thesis, and that sweater, and she said that she wasn’t sure which one she was more delighted to have finished. It is a really nice sweater.

Glenna got on one plane, we got on another, and soon we were in a cab headed for a lunch meeting in New York where I found something remarkable.


It’s spring! (Hold on Eastern Canada. If it’s here, it has to be coming our way soon.) There isn’t a single pile of snow here, not one. Not in a corner, not in a shady alley…none, and I looked. There are blooming trees, and tulips and I even saw some trees that had leaves. Actual leaves. I just about walked into the trunk of one of them I was so stunned with the verdant glory of it. Just imagine, tiny, perfect, fresh leaves. It’s glorious. That would have been enough for me. It really would. I could have gotten back on a plane right that minute and gone home and carried spring in my hopefully little heart, but my day got better. I had lunch at my favourite restaurant (HanGawi. I love that place. Ms Too Much Wool took me there after my first book conference in NYC, when I was somewhat emptied by the joyless soul-suck that is the Javits Center. She promised me that it was the spiritual opposite of a conference centre, and she’s right. I try to eat there every time I go. You get to take your shoes off at the door, which is totally another reason to go if you happen to be the sort of person who, like me…is likely wearing great socks.) and then I went to the bookstore and then I saw this:



Knitters of NYC, in all their quirky glory. (My apologies to the knitters on the far left and in the centre I didn’t quite get you into the picture and didn’t realize it because I was busy freaking the frak out and trying to look like that’s not what was happening.) The talk went well (I think, it’s hard to tell from my position) and after the sweaty podium part, I got to do the part I like better, which is just talking to knitters individually, which isn’t really all that scary.

Remember Kimberly? First class stalker, finally remembered to bring her much promised and much maligned first sock. (It is a little questionable.)


Bakerina came, but …didn’t bake. (What was in the bag was really good though.)


This is Holly, with the third thing she has ever knit, which clearly means that she is destine for a greatness that should both frighten and inspire us all.


That goes for Melanie, who’s holding her first sock, which is a perfectly executed monkey sock.


Jenn with her knitting tattoo.


and this is Liz, being a book sherpa for her mum Maggie, who was on the phone and was very nice. (I got to talk to her.)


When it was over, I showed the sock Times Square at night,


a sight that I think every brand new Canadian travelling sock should see at least once, and went back to the hotel where I immediately lost consciousness I was so tired. Crazy tired. All these knitters can tucker a girl out. The next morning I had a meeting at Workman Publishing, which was fine, because everyone there is nice, but still made me want to hide in a closet because of how badly unsettled I am by meetings with big tables, many people and men who wear ties. (It is good that I have chosen the career I have, since most of the time I just have to see the cat.)

I regained my equilibrium two ways. First, Peter Workman (inspired by what aspect of my nature, I cannot guess) gave me a copy of the book Stuntology, which promises to teach me how to open a beer with my eye socket, a skill that I feel will vastly improve my book tour… and secondly, while he was talking, I slipped him a little sock action.


I am not even sure he noticed, which is extremely satisfying. I just sort of put it in his hand and took the picture before he really knew what was going on, which is seriously in the spirit of the game. Very good.

From there, I went to the Newark airport, then flew to Denver, making for a great deal of knitting time. I finished the Sock Ease socks on the way, and as a little bonus, I left the remaining half a skein of yarn in the seat pocket. I hope a knitter finds it. All that remains to be done is to kitchener the toe,


but alas, I have packed like a moron and can’t find a darning needle. I’m going to try and borrow one from a knitter at the Tattered Cover tonight. (Note that you can email the Tattered Cover and ask for a signed copy, should you want one, and live too far from anywhere I’ll be.) When I finished those, I cast on for the first of two pairs I want to knit over the next little bit, and I’m really loving the combination of pattern and yarn.


This is Janel’s beautiful Rivendell sock pattern and a fantastic new-to-me fingering sock yarn from Dyed in the Wool Handmade, (Happy Birthday Maggie) in a colourway called “I am the eggplant”, which makes me laugh every time I think of it. Which is lot. Eggplant. Snort.

Finally, now that I’m in Denver (where I totally have to go wash my hair and put on clothes to do this thing) I keep seeing signs like this


It says “tornado shelter”. Denver? Is there something you’d like to tell me?

170 thoughts on “New York, New York

  1. Stephanie: NYC is about EVERYTHING, including persons who cannot avoid doing everything all-in. Hope it was a wonderful as it looked. The best city in the world, as far as I am concerned. See you at sock camp.

  2. Wow I’m 1st!!? I want you to know Boston looks like Toronto. NY is always a little ahead of the curve except lately in baseball!! Looks like you had a blast! I’m crossing out the days until April 27th.

  3. Glad to see you made it to NY in one piece. If you and your sock can make it there, you can make it anywhere! (Glad to see there are also multitudinous knitters there.) And the tornado shelter in Denver? Believe me, the time may come when you will be glad of those. It’s the season!

  4. There was a time you wouldn’t let your young socks out at night at Times’ Square ! It sounds like a wonderful time was had by all. I love the Rivendell pattern. I am seriously jealous.

  5. Love the new socks – can you link to the designer or the pattern for purchase? Can’t wait to see you in Charlotte. Safe travels!

  6. Sounds like a great time! I couldn’t attend, but got the recap at our Yorktown Knit-out group last night from Carol. I think all the knitters in one place may have freaked out her son a little, though.

  7. That eggplant colorway is *gorgeous*! Also, what a wonderful thing to leave half a skein in a seat pocket. The only thing I ever find are empty pretzel bags and magazines with the crossword already done.
    Spring is here and almost gone in California – wish you were coming out!!!!

  8. “Slipped him a little sock action”–that totally cracked me up.
    By the way, I was fixing Boy’s computer the other night and came to the blog to make sure that internet access was working. When he went online later on, he saw the url in his history and accused me of looking at porn on his computer! I had to explain to him that it was not the kind of porn he thought it was! It cracked me up.

  9. thanks for making me homesick for new york!!
    love the sock-ese sock. can’t wait till the yarn is released to public.

  10. I love NYC,even the grittier side, glad you got to be there. Although when in NYC one can tire of public transportation. In love the Rivendell sock pattern, being a LOTR goof anyway. Please, please post the pattern design whenever you get a rest.
    Perhaps we should hop you up on Starbucks espresso so you have enough energy :p. Seriously though take care.

  11. A tornado in Denver is a rarity, but we like to be prepared, since we are lacking proper oxygen to our brains. Have fun tonight! I wish I could be there, but sadly my daughter’s priorities to not align with mine. Given a choice of Harlot or Globetrotter action, she chooses the Globetrotters…Although it did my heart good when I was digging in her backback and found some knitting in progress. πŸ™‚

  12. Bring some spring back to Canada. Please! It’s snowing here in Ottawa (again) and I’ve spent the afternoon knitting the “Must Have” cardi and eating licorice babies. Missed those when we were living all those years in the U.S. Love the Rivendell sock. It’s a “must have” too.

  13. Having been at in the vastness that is Terminal B of the Denver International Airport four days ago, I too questioned the need for the tornado shelter signs. Especially coming from Atlanta where I can tell you there are more tornados and far less signs for shelter.
    Also, Knitch? You will love it. Your credit card will love it. Just make sure to stay away from the Claudia Handpaints Silk Lace. I still don’t know how I walked out of there with a skein of it.

  14. The sock in Times Square just makes me think of bad movie ideas. The world does not need more bad movie ideas even if they might involve a sock and a knitter.

  15. “I am the eggplant”. Snort, giggle, giggle snort.
    That strikes me as massively funny. Giggle, snort…
    Bring some spring back with you, please?
    (eggplant… still giggling….)

  16. It looks like you are having a blast! Hope you aren’t too tired by the time you reach Salt Lake City. Love the eggplant socks.

  17. IT sounds like an awesome trip! I never see any knitters in airports, which makes me very sad. Most people are either staring at the TV, staring into space (or maybe people-watching), or reading a book (good). Have a wonderful time!

  18. Speaking on behalf of Denver, yeah, sorry about that Steph, we do get some tornado action. Can’t wait to see you tonight!

  19. Had more tornado warnings in the 18 months we lived in the Denver area than I did in 12 years in Central Texas….just sayin’….

  20. The tour sock that gets pictured with all the knitters – what yarn are you using? Is that also from Dyed in the Wool Handmade?

  21. If you think it’s spring in NYC, just wait til you get til Hotlanta on Sunday..I’m soo excited; I can’t wait!

  22. Nah, don’t worry about it. I may only be from the ‘Springs, but we in both cities don’t tend to get tornadoes. Being prepared, however, is considered a good thing like drpj says above.
    Even if there were a tornado, from what I’ve seen, the Tattered Cover in question is pretty much in the middle of the city. So we should be mostly safe.

  23. I’m surprised there wasn’t also something about a hail shelter. (I grew up in Colorado.)
    But I wouldn’t worry too much. It’s the wrong time of year.
    I hope you get a chance to see the sun set over the Rockies. And I don’t mean the baseball team.

  24. OMG, my sister totally knows how to open a bottle of beer with her eye socket! She’s so much fun. I’m sure you’ll get to meet her some time. She’s not a knitter, though, but if you ever go to La Jolla, that’s where she lives, I’ll tell her to go see you and say hi πŸ™‚

  25. Sorry I missed you this time, Steph. Glad to see our fair city was kind to you. And yeah, I am the eggplant cracks me up too, and I am not sure why. Coocoocachoo.

  26. I looked in vain in the flickr pool for a photo of Margaret Atwood holding a sock – whoever posted it seriously needs to tag that picture “Margaret Atwood”! OK?

  27. Beautiful Rivendell socks! When I made mine from STR, though, I noticed that those lovely little wraps have a tendency to kill the elasticity of the cuff. I was lucky in that my recipient has slender calves, but if I were to make them for anyone else, I’d have to ease way up on the wrapping part.
    Keep up the great tour!

  28. 1. Yowza, nice sweater Glenna!
    2. Yowza, totally in-focus pictures of Knitters Ms. Harlot!
    3. Yowza, you can open a beer bottle with your eye socket? I may have to get on a plane to see that (if you don’t change your mind and come to San Francisco on your tour, nudge nudge wink wink).

  29. Does your eye socket have to be exactly the right size? And yes, upon seeing my first tornado when we lived in Denver, I wondered if you could see Kansas from our house!

  30. You were wonderful in NYC!
    And, for the record, we only had about one snowfall the entire winter. It was AWFUL.
    So I’m horribly jealous of you people up north, because you got snow that lasted more than a day.

  31. Hi! Stephanie! I will be at the Tattered Cover to see you this evening and can’t wait!
    The picture of the Tornado Shelter at DIA totally cracked me up because I remember looking at those signs when I was a very little girl flying out of Denver to Durango, Colorado. I looked at those signs and thought “huh?”. And then promptly turned around to see a tornado out the window of Gate A21! Weird!

  32. You know you’re going to get about 157 darning needles tonight, right? I’ll bring one in case I’m wrong :). I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of years now, and I’m excited to see you – I’m a doula too!

  33. Don’t worry about the tornado shelters – the Denver airport goes overkill on everything. Like another commenter said, not tornado season yet. Coming to see you tonight – can’t wait!

  34. Goo-goo-ga-joob!
    I love colour names. I may have to hunt that down in memory of my 12-year-old self finding the lyrics to I Am The Walrus and spending an entire week in giggles over the lines.

  35. Well, considering they built the airport in the middle of a very flat expanse of land (which really feels like you’ve left Colorado and entered Kansas) they have been prone to tornadoes – or at least very high winds(although I don’t think one has actually touched down at the airport, but I could be wrong). Probably better safe than sorry.

  36. Steph I’ll bring you a darning needle tonight! πŸ˜‰
    Is there going to be a special travelling sock for this tour?

  37. Cool… the last time I saw Glenna’s Venezia, it was soaking. It is beautiful, as is she.
    Yes, Stephanie, tornadoes have been known to rip through and around Denver… good thing you saw that sign! oh btw? it is the season… take great care, make good times.

  38. Dude. So…is ‘squeaky cheese’ cheese curds? If so, I’ve never heard anyone else call it that before! And here I thought I was so original. πŸ˜‰
    As for the tornadoes…the one and only one I saw (albeit from a GREAT distance) was in the Greater Denver area…just sayin.

  39. I can’t find the Margaret Atwood picture either. But Gord Downy is a pretty impressive score.

  40. I love this one:
    “I totally have to go wash my hair and put on clothes to do this thing”
    It makes it sound like you were flying naked. ;o) Talk about inexplicable knitterly behavior. Wearing nothing but a sock in progress would definitely get some attention!

  41. Thanks for coming to NYC — you gave a great talk and I’ve been telling every non-knitter I know that they need to take up knitting to they can become smarter and more mellow!

  42. Love that sock and love that yarn! And I’m totally jealous of the tulips. I’m in upstate NY which is way way behind downstate NY :). Snow piles and rain here. Reminds we how much colder than here Canada is. A few hours drive sure makes a world of difference!

  43. I’m coming to TC tonight with my (gigantic) darning needle – I use it as a cable needle. You can use it if it’ll work for you.
    We used to live out by the airport and discovered that about 15-20 miles east of the mountains, your chances for tornadoes goes way up. I saw one from our balcony. TC is way south, though – and tornadoes don’t generally hit until May and June.

  44. Wait until you get to New Orleans and see all the “Evacuation Route” signs on the highways… that can be a little discomforting πŸ˜‰

  45. So when you come to Ann Arbor, could you bring some of that spring with you? Pretty please?
    The sock looks great, and your book is lovely –I’m almost finished reading it and enjoying every witty insight.
    Safe travels.

  46. After submitting for 5 college teaching positions (7 more to go and I am all “caught up”; at least until the next batch lands in my inbox) it was so nice to see the blog and think knitterly rather than academically!
    LOVE Rivendell and the color chosen. I am the eggplant is a name that just has snorting laughter attached to it. Can’t wait to see the finished sock! πŸ™‚

  47. Eggplant! Snort – that makes me laugh too. Thanks for linking to the pattern – new inspiration as I’ve just finished a pair of Monkeys.

  48. Sounds like you are having a blast — that’s awesome. Love that “I am the eggplant yarn”! And gorgeous pattern.
    I’m enjoying your new book immensely. I think the DH is getting tired of me reading it A LOUD to him. Since he lives with me, he’s actually getting the jokes. :o)
    See you in little over a week at sock camp! It’s gonna rock.

  49. thank you for the spring time
    picture from new york new york
    i am a little home sick
    this is a fun event for your knitters
    and tireing for you thank you for
    letting us inside the meeting room
    jaymie hi you are adorable and mr
    workman it would be great to have
    s king hold up knitting he is seen
    on the streets of sarasota

  50. Ah, how I wish you were coming to Winnipeg. A few random statements:
    1) It snowed today in Winnipeg πŸ™
    2) The url for that restaurant reads as “Hang a wire staurant” to me
    3) *snort* I also ADORE the name of that yarn, and will forever sing the song wrong from now on

  51. Really, you could come to NYC, trip and fall, and end up flat on your face and we’d think it was just you being funny..
    when, instead, you tell us about neurology, and how knitting is physically reshaping our brains, and making them better!–well of course we are rapt.. (our new improved brains totally understand that!)

  52. When my sister moved to the Denver area, I read that Colorado averages the second-most tornados per year of all of the United States. More than Iowa, more than Wisconsin. I can’t remember if Kansas or Oklahoma averaged the most per year. I am sure DIA posts all those signs so you won’t be DIA (Dead In Airport) should one hit. And to cover their @sses should your heirs sue.
    24 days until Madison!!!!!!!

  53. Sorry I’ll miss you in Lexington KY tomorrow. I only found out you were coming two days ago and I’ve got a roleplaying group that camps out at our house every Saturday night. No snow here, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Noah’s nearby working on his ark.
    PS If you stay at the Radisson again you’re in luck, we’re not switching front office systems until Monday night.

  54. Wouldn’t it be cool if Greg Kinnear found the yarn in the seat pocket??
    The flickr pictures are great. Haven’t seen them all yet. One of my favourite Atwood pieces (how cool for you as a knitter and writer!!) was a comic strip she did related to her hair. Maybe thank you hair socks instead of hair shirt (or at least hair of the sheep)?

  55. Mostly I just wanted to tell you that it doesn’t matter what you’re saying, your blog always makes me smile. Sometimes I even LOL πŸ™‚ Keep it up! I’m addicted to your blog like a junkie in rehab.
    I LOVE me some New York. The last two times I went I hadn’t discovered Knitting in all it’s delightful, fiddly glory so I’ll have to go up for a yarn crawl sometime.

  56. And now I want to go work on my brown shawl just so I can look at it as if it were saying, “I am the walrus. Kookookachoo!”

  57. Thank you so much for coming to NYC and being so gosh darn funny. I had a wonderful time and frankly all the socks in the room has re-inspired me to knit socks (I over did it a few months ago and needed a break but break time is over!) I just ordered a pattern for argyle socks (my first pair) and I can’t wait for it to get here so I can order new yarn. My grand mother knit a pair for my grand father a long long time ago and now that she’s no longer with us I want to knit a pair for him in her memory. Thank you for inspiring me.
    Oh and Glenna’s sweater is beautiful. I kept staring at it online (she was behind me so I must have look VERY odd looking back and not forward).
    Thank you again and come back soon.

  58. Be careful with “Stuntology.” I read a copy of that once after a late-night contra dance gig and started laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe. The author is also a terrific dance musician and a really funny human being.

  59. Hey! Hey! Where is DC on the Harlot Tour????? Annapolis, while a fabulous city, is not DC!!!!! Those of us in the land of politicians need us a little Harlot!
    Loving the “Eggplant” yarn, BTW….!

  60. Hah! I live in Denver. They built the new airport right in the middle of tornado alley! Everyone was thrilled. So they had to put tornado shelters everywhere. And yes – the mountains kick off all those tornado(e?)s that move to the midwest!

  61. So I am in the process of reading your archives (because once a day YHarlot just isn’t enough). I would just like to remind you to use conditioner and not lotion…
    And man alive! I hope I can see you when you come to Bellevue, but it is awfully far away during rush hour…

  62. Yea! It’s so much fun seeing pics of your events and knitters you meet, and hearing your adventures. Kudos to Holly and Melanie, off to a great start! I just got a call that my copy of your new book has finally arrived at our local book store (supporting small biz) so I am going to go get it now….safe travels!

  63. What gorgeous eggplant yarn and what a gorgeous pattern.
    I am going to be at the book signing in St Paul next week and am super excited!

  64. Whoa, those Rivendell socks are gorgeous! I’m fascinated by the little chain links around the cuff. I’ve even added them to my ravellery queue, though I fear I’m fatally sockically challenged.

  65. Glad Spot (that little dotty penguin) convinced me to go and get my book signed even though I missed your talk. We were a out of it being tired and hungry, but got to see you and meet some friends for real. Socks have become so automatic I forgot about them until you commented. Is that good? I’m still picking SWS out of my mouth from that wrap (because it shed and split during knitting. it seems behaved while wearing). I still hate the yarn but strangely it really seems to work for the design. I just wish Spring would stay in NYC and I didn’t have to wear it. [Maybe I’ll see you at Webs. I’ve never been to Webs.]

  66. I have been on the flicker site and I think you should hire some young lad or lass to organize the pictures into categories and then create a short feature film (composed of stills) to submit to the NFB for posterity! Great job photo takers!

  67. Those Rivendell socks are breathtaking – and the Eggplant yarn is just scrumptious. The name just adds a whole new dimension. I can’t wait to see you when you come to Seattle in a few weeks – last year I brought my first sock to visit you, and this year it looks like it will be my first mitten. Needless to say, the mitten is very nervous but I keep reassuring it that you are amazingly sweet and that it has nothing to worry about. Enjoy the spring weather in Kentucky! (I’m not sure if Denver has spring weather or not, but Lexington definitely should)

  68. Steph: I really hate to break this to you. Here it is, Friday night in Atlanta and, as has been the case for the last 6 weeks or so, wicked weather is surrounding us. Tornado warnings and watches are freaking out the weather folks and my dog, Precious. When Precious gets under the bed, I follow her lead! The good news is that you won’t be here till Sunday and it is going to be Spring As You Have Never Seen It. Prepare to be pea green with envy at the sights you will see. I’m looking forward to seeing you at Knitch.

  69. Because I’ve had my hand smacked by at least seven people (“what do you MEAN you brought STORE-BOUGHT to the Yarn Harlot?”), I feel honor-bound to mention that what was in the bag was the mighty City Bakery’s pretzel croissant, a signature pastry of City Bakery’s and the most spectacular butter + salt delivery system known to man. I would live on them if only I didn’t need to continue fitting into airplane seats. I’m glad to hear you pronounce it Good.
    That said, next time I promise to do better. Don’t suppose you like cashews?
    Of course you know you ruled the school at Borders. You don’t need me to tell you that. πŸ™‚
    Oh, and begging your indulgence while I engage in a bit of publishing geek behavior: YOU MET PETER WORKMAN? Dude, you are 57 varieties of awesome.

  70. We have crocuses, but no leaves. No redbuds, even. But the time cannot be far off.
    Just what I need: another sock yarn to check out. You are aware that my husband already has plans to have me hatched.
    You got Peter Workman, I got the chair of the town conservation commission. The expression is rather similar, however, which leads me to believe that PW does know he is holding a sock. I have to admit that it was a stroke of genius on your part to encourage all of us to have an “and I’m holding this sock why?” moment.

  71. 3 1/2 days until Charlotte!! All the non-knitters (what’s with that?) at the office are looking at me like I need a special “hug me jacket” and a nice padded room. All I talk about is going to see the Yarn Harlot!
    They are almost as excited for you to arrive as I am…if only to shut me up! Little do they know I’ll tell them about every single minute of the knitting glory.
    See you soon! Get some rest πŸ™‚

  72. If you ever do figure out how to open a beer with your eye socket, promise to never, ever show me.

  73. Looks like too much fun! We eat squeaky cheese here too….usually while huddled in the basement tornado shelter. (HA – not really – we usually forget the cheese when we head to the basement!) Seriously, looking forward to your stop in Ann Arbor. The town won’t know what hit it!

  74. And forget Toronto/New York — make sure Jaimey the Wonder Publicist is on the plane when you fly to Ann Arbor!

  75. I am busy struggling with the Rivendell sock (Mostly, I think, becuase I am a moron)and I lamented to my husband, “Her sock is so much better than mine!”
    To which he replied, “Don’t worry, hon, it’s just because she’s semi-pro.”
    A semi-professional knitter? You? I had to correct him. You are all pro! I can’t wait to see you in Annapolis. It’s what will get me through work on Monday.

  76. Tornado shelter?! Yeesh, what the heck kind of place is that?!
    New York looks like grand fun and Peter Workman with the sock is hilarious.

  77. thank you so much for giving us such a good update despite your crazy busy schedule! the blog misses you when you are gone. i am so jealous of all the on-the-tour schedule knitters but completely enjoyed seeing their photos.

  78. About the thank you to Margaret Atwood – just write the thank you, I am sure than one author to another would understand that sometimes the words don’t come easily (just say what is in your head – it is more important that the thank you note gets written. (I am blissed out that you met Margaret Atwood! she is one cool writer.) I didn’t recognise her in the Flickr photos I need to go back over them, I will ask my 11 year old to help this old 49 year old for help with the technology – he is way more adventourous than I am.

  79. Two things:
    1. I sent a non-knitter from a publishing company to the NYC launch. He wrote this morning to tell me about it and said, “You fiber people _do not mess around_. You’re our new overlords, aren’t you?” He’s smart, that one.
    2. The tornado shelters are a wonder of engineering designed specifically so that wild weather does not tear our children, animals, and sock yarn from our persons. If you are required to enter one, however, be prepared for the lecture (complete with physics and aerodynamics lesson) on why knitting with anything sharp in the midst of 200mph winds is a Certified Bad Idea (TM).

  80. Sounds like you had an amazing adventure… I’m sure every tour is though, eh? AND (drumroll, please) I can open a beer with my forearm… it’s the coolest trick *ever*. Prolly I can’t show you when you come to Carmel,IN., though. I’m thinking the bookstore would frown. Oh,wait… rootbeer . There may be a cool demo in your future, after all, though with the sheer volume of beer consumed in Canada, you may have already seen it. (which totally won’t stop me making an ass of myself to show you again) C

  81. I missed the Margaret Atwood picture. Oh, how absolutely breath-takingly cool! She is one of my favorite authors from a long, long time back. I read Cat’s Eye in high school and felt GOT. If that makes any sense at all.
    And I think it’s very unfair that it’s spring in NY. I’m not that far north. Why isn’t it spring here? It’s cold and wet and grey. Or sunny and cold and windy. But not sprouty at all.
    And I can’t wait to see you on the 27th!!!!!!!!! (sorry for the excessive punctuation; can’t be helped)

  82. I’m jealous. You got to knit on your sock on the plane? And are those metallic needles?
    I was looking forward to a nice 4 hour flight from Cancun to Montreal this past Monday with Laminaria on the needles (3.5mm, nickel-plated, from KP). In Montreal (going to Mexico) they saw them in my bag, checked them out and it was ok. But that pesky Mexican inspector wasn’t to be convinced! He said there were NO pointy objects coming out of (his) Cancun airport. I argued, showed him they screwed off, pleaded, promised that I wouldn’t attack the pilot because DH and child were with me on the flight and even though I had just been around them 24/7 I still loved them, NOTHING. And I speak Spanish! I had to give them to him and he threw them into the trashcan before my unbelieving eyes! While waiting for the plane, I sneaked by several time hoping to find the place abandoned. I would have kidnapped that trashcan and emptied it by myself. But no such luck. Now I get to order new ones. Maybe I better get the wooden ones, they should be invisible on the X-ray, right?

  83. You must be absolutely blown away by it all.
    I keep hoping I will manage to get a ticket, but, I fear, only death would separate one of the “lucky one’s” from their ticket. Hmmmm, maybe……

  84. OMG, I seriously thought you said tomato shelter. I swear I read that 2 or 3 times going WTF?!
    Sounds like the book tour is going to be a great adventure…but still not complete until you come to Phoenix. I’m begging here!

  85. Since Denver starts the western edge of the Great Plains, there is the *possibility* of tornadoes, but such phenomena need flat open space to start, so not so much in the city as oh, say the airport out in the middle of nowhere. πŸ˜‰ In reality though, we just like to be prepared. That, and we like to give shelter to travelers so that they forgive us our lack of oxygen.

  86. Glenna’s sweater is just *lovely*.
    I had to think, “OK, if the words *aren’t* ‘I am the Eggplant,’ what *are* they?” That’s because I’m old, very old.
    What a fun trip this sounds! Get lots of sleep–I don’t seem to need to tell you to have fun!

  87. Not only did I miss the sock treasure hunt, but I was at a job interview on Wednesday night and missed the talk!! (The interview was in Au Bon Pain though, and behind the interviewer were 2 ladies knitting. It was so distracting.)
    Anyway, I hope you’ll come again so I can see you in the flesh! Have a great trip!

  88. I took a similar photo (the last one) in the Louisville airport last week!

  89. if you haven’t “kitchenered” the toe yet can you take many photos and post it – the last time i tried, it was a dismal failure.

  90. Sounds like you’re off to a good start! I totally envy all the lucky knitters who live in cities on your tour route.

  91. Yayyyy for meeting knitters in the airport! Best fun ever. It was so great to chat with you and Jayme. (who is also super nice). I hope the rest of your tour goes swimmingly and that you have good people taking care of you.
    PS, the Venezia sweater is awesome, was just as great wearing a 2nd day in a row, and I think everyone should make one at least once. πŸ˜‰

  92. I’m still giggling over the sock in the bong shop (naughty sock). I wouldn’t worry about seeming moronic or sycophantic. . . . she’ll probably be flattered (that’s what I tell myself everytime I post here–maybe the philosophy could work for you too). Rivendell sock + Cool eggplant yarn = complete fabulousness.

  93. My calves aren’t slender, you know just in case you need that info. Just saying. birthdays in April, the end of April. May is fine. Thinking of ya. kiss kiss

  94. I bet you could’ve asked them to take their ties off and they probably would have.
    I have never seen a tornado shelter sign even though we have tornado warnings several times a year here. A couple of times a year we end up evacuating to the basement at work. It always seems to happen while I’m eating my lunch. I’m not deserting my lunch. I haul my food downstairs and sit on the floor and eat. Last time we evacuated, I was excited because I had already eaten so I got to knit. It’s the simple pleasures in life.

  95. Wow! All the new book stuff and the tour stuff is awesome, so congratulations to you for your achievement and to all the lucky people who get to share it with you at the tour dates. I wish I could have been at the NYC event again this time.
    I have to say, your mention of leaving the yarn on the plane hoping a knitter would find it reminded me of this great site: People all over the world take their used books and ‘release them into the wild’, leaving them at malls, on airplanes, on a park bench, etc. Then they go to the website and make a post about it so someone else can go look for it if they want to read the book. It’s brilliant, and there should really be a yarn version. What a great way to release pieces from your stash, or leftover bits that you don’t know what to do with? Scavenger hunt!

  96. “…which promises to teach me how to open a beer with my eye socket, a skill that I feel will vastly improve my book tour…”
    Well, goodness, how could it *not*? I’ll be hoping for an illustrated tutorial, if it won’t infringe upon copyright!
    Love love love the eggplant yarn and the sock pattern. Gorgeous.
    Full speed ahead on your tour…webs awaits πŸ™‚

  97. Steph, I loved your comments about Margaret Atwood and the difficulty of finding the right words to thank her. It reminded me of a book-reading and book-signing of hers that I attended in Vancouver. After waiting in line for nearly an hour to have her sign my copy of the Robber Bride (and spending most of that time perfecting the brilliant, witty comment I would make to her), I finally found it to be my turn and squeaked out ‘I really liked your book’. Unfortunately, a hole did not open up in the floor and swallow me whole. She gave me a blank stare and I spent the rest of the day listening to a girlfriend replay my comment (and little girl tone of voice) and guffawing out loud (the girlfriend, not me).
    Glad you had a great day and ‘I really like your knitting’…

  98. compared to rachel’s photo of margaret atwood, my single international freestyle entry is no big winner but it too is missing from the link… it was my first submission to flickr and i can only see it (and about 100 other photos that are missing fron the link..rachel’s is one of them) if i sign into flikr… since i am constantly amazed by my pop up toaster, its no surprise i can’t figure this out…. i’m katharvest at flickr….

  99. OMG, imagine my surprise when I check the Harlot’s page and see…HOLLY!!! I went to college with Holly! I didn’t even know you’d started knitting! It’s so great to see you (well, kinda, now I’ve got to get ahold of your email addy). I’m so proud of you, it looks like you’re a natural!

  100. Excuse me if I missed something, or maybe it’s just me, but didn’t anyone notice how much alike Glenna and The Harlot look? Before I read the text, I thought Glenna might be a sister or cousin.
    Love the eggplant socks.

  101. Wonderful to see Margaret Atwood holding knitting! I love her and I did go to a book signing of hers once. I attempted to say something witty to express my admiration for her writing and sounded like a moronic sycophant, but oh well. She signed my book anyway. I also wanted to let you know that after two years of putzing around with rectangle only knitting, I attended my first official knitting class this morning to learn how to knit something more complicated, like maybe socks. You seem to get so much joy from them I figure I’ll try them, at least once. Have fun on your tour!

  102. yes, spring, it’s here. I saw mosquitoes for the first time today. As for the tornado shelters, welcome to the Midwest area of the US. We have tornados, not really this time of year, but we do have them. (I’m one state to the East, but was born and have family in Denver) You go to said shelter if for some reason there were to be one, then you don’t well, we won’t say what happens when you don’t take shelter. Just do it and it will be cool.

  103. Hah! I’ve been in that bathroom in Denver! In fact, I used that bathroom to strategically hide my hamster in my pocket so she wouldn’t have to go through the x-ray when I was coming home from college! Don’t forget to visualize disneyland, while enjoying the tram ride in that airport!

  104. Your whirlwind trip sounds wonderful! And, you sound like you’re surviving it better than usual! I think you’re really becoming a pro at this stuff. Wonder Woman! Hey, didn’t you start that Rivendell sock with a pastelly yarn a week or so ago? I love the eggplant colorway & I adore that pattern; it’s next on my agenda.

  105. I think Margaret Atwood must be at least a bit of a knitter. In several of her stories, things are knitted. In “The Bog Man” the main character knits her lover a sweater with very long arms (sounds familiar) and leaves it with him in Scotland when she abandons the relationship. In “The Art of Cooking and Serving” the main character, at 11, laboriously knits a layette for her as yet unborn baby sister. In “Monopoly” the same character, older and in a new relationship, knits a red,blue and purple bedspread. Wonder if Margaret has time to dash off socks or mittens in between writing stories and novels?

  106. Love the eggplant socks! I have to get me some of that.
    I had an interesting time trying to get your new book today (In California, USA), at my local B&N. They kept insisting no book was due out til September. *I* kept insisting that I was absolutely, positively, 100% sure that not only did the book get published, launch successfully, and was available to purchase, but was available in the US. The store employee, alas, would not take my word for it, since I am merely human and obviously cannot compete with the sum total knowledge of a box chock full of technology.
    Ten minutes after I left him (and sweetly informed him I would be purchasing the book at his competitor’s store), I received an in-store page (how cool is that?) and the gentleman came to find me to let me know he’d found it. Apparently he had to find the number from his competitor’s website, as B&N didn’t have the thing listed anywhere in their database. (Personally, I’m impressed he kept looking. I’d have thought he’d have brushed it off as my being wrong. I’m still sort of stunned he took the chance I might actually be right.)
    In my hot little hands, I hold the first, last, and only copy of “Things I learned from knitting” that store may ever have. I couldn’t be happier, and it made my whole day.
    Now, if only I can make the reading of it last more than a day….

  107. Your posts about your adventures while touring are so wonderful – I wish I could be there! I am definitely road-tripping to see you and be a part of this celebration the next time you’re in my area! I’ve just recently started reading your first couple of books and am really enjoying these. I’ll have to read faster to catch up with everyone.

  108. Your NYC talk when great from the other side of it too. I got there just as you were about to start and I couldn’t stay to meet you, but I, and everyone around me, had an awesome time.

  109. Margaret Atwood!!! Wow! I’m stunned. I think you should dedicate a pair of socks to her–and send them to her! She is my favorite serious author. –Not that you’re not serious, but you know what I mean. You really cover ground and air with your book tour! Can’t wait to see you in Madison WI, the knitting capital of the US!

  110. First to Christine who had her KP needles thrown away-buy the wooden Harmony-they go through every time for me.
    In the fall I went to a knitting event in California with a knitting teacher friend. She and I were sitting in our seats-bothering no one-knitting on socks. A woman went by to go to the bathroom and when she saw our needles she started to scream – “you can’t have those on an airplane,etc.-she was loud and was causing quite a scene. I calmly (OK, I wanted to push her out the emergency exit) explained that we were simply knitting socks and had no (immediate anyways) plans to use the pointy sticks to rip out her juglar. They were harmonies DPs . The flight attendants came by to watch our socks develop -no mention of not having pointy sticks on a plane from them. Had the woman been any where near nice I would have given her the pair of socks in my carry on-since she wasn’t, I gave them to the flight attendant.
    Stephanie-don’t worry it’s not tornado season in Denver or the mid-west.
    Can’t wait to see you in Ann Arbor.

  111. I can assure you that your talk in NY was fabulous! Really, really good. By the way, did you know you could totally be an actor if you chose that profession?
    I feel so lucky to have seen you there. You’re such a good writer that I was rivited reading the account of an event I was at!
    Thanks, Steph.

  112. slipping a sock to Peter Workman -that is a good one! such amazing fanatics we are of this sport called knitting –
    and he didn’t even notice πŸ˜€
    (Gafauws loudly)

  113. Great book launch, and the photos in TO are stunning…great inspiring…I think it was on techknitting I saw she did the kitchener stitch with just an extra knitting needle, no darning, basically the same but knitting the kitchener stitch, thus never having to be at a loss for a darning needle…have a fine tour and sell a million..

  114. why bother with the kitchener stitch? Turn the sock inside-out thru the toe and do a three needle bind off. Granted it doesn’t lay quite as flat as sewing it off but I feel its a more sturdy bind off, one that will take some wear-n-tear.

  115. I can’t wait to see you here, in the SF Bay area… we’re not on your Harlot on Tour list yet, but I’ve been assured that you are coming and that the plans have just not been solidified… I can’t wait! I’ve seen pictures of you with local folks from previous tours, and I believe that I may remain this shade of envious green until you arrive! I hope that all of your whirlwind tour goes well. I love the other bookbookbooks and I’m just waiting until you get here to buy this one. Take care, and have fun!!!

  116. When knitters rule the world, your hotel front desk will ALWAYS have spare darning needles on hand along with the emergency tooth brushes. All the world’s First Aid kits will have darning needles along with Band-Aids, and vending machines will offer sodas, potato chips and darning needles. Until then, you should demand rock-star treatment (being that you are a knitting rock star), and expect a hospitality basket of beer, squeaky cheese and knitting notions in all your hotel rooms and speaking engagement venues. You should throw rock-star-worthy tantrums, throwing furniture through hotel windows into the swimming pools when these modest demands are not met. We would ALL back you up. (Maybe not bail you out of jail -as that would depleat our beer/yarn funds- but we’d support you emotionally for sure.)

  117. I haven’t found the photo of her yet, but I’ll agree Margaret Atwood is a classy lady. What an honor to have her participate. I’ll bet she was tickled to learn there is a literary category of ‘knitting humor.’
    Last week when I flew back out of Seattle down here to California another woman knitted as she waited to board the same plane. She was in a family group in an over-booked waiting area, so I didn’t actually get to talk with her. I think in the last year or so I’ve run about 50% on flights with another knitter on board. I wonder if flying in and out of Seattle, where there are at least 25 LYSs within an hours drive, has something to do with that?

  118. I totally thought Glenna was a daughter or sister or something. She’s a knitter with the same nose and profile, what else would she be?

  119. For a thank-you to Margaret Atwood, I think what you wrote here expresses things perfectly. She’d probably get a chuckle out of it, too.
    The others are right – Glenna does look like a relative. Hooray for *finally* talking to another knitter in an airport! Thanks to Jayme for taking the pic; you two look wonderful in your beautiful sweaters. Awesome knitters in NYC; equally awesome publisher; socks, as always, also awesome. And if you start opening beer bottles with your eye socket…well, the thought that irresistibly occurred to me was Hank will have even more reason to think you’re the coolest aunt ever!

  120. Oh dear, “I am an eggplant” sock yarn.
    My husband baffles his high school students with the idea that “life is like an eggplant”. He gives out his essay explaining why he thinks so at graduation ceremony. I fear it’s only the sort of teenager already likely to stick out the four years who remembers to come back and ask for the (now earned) answer, but the gimmick guarantees us a supply of terribly useful eggplant neckties, Christmas ornaments, notepaper…at least I can play with yarn!

  121. Spring? Just wait until you get to Maryland! The cherry trees are in bloom (if you come in through National Airport, make Jayme drive you around the tidal basin). Flowering trees everywhere.

  122. “You should throw rock-star-worthy tantrums, throwing furniture through hotel windows…”
    Or you could start small with a shoe.

  123. You guys could not look more like pros sitting there in your sweaters airport knitting. I wonder why does that not happen more often to run into knitters in airports!

  124. I ADORE that picture of Mr. Workman! I am shaking with laughter that you *slipped him a sockie!*
    Well, done! I’ve been longing to do that to my boss, I know it would calm him d.o.w.n. before he knew what happened!!!

  125. While you were out skipping and knitting in New York, here in Ottawa, on April the 4th, 2008…
    IT WAS SNOWING! Yet again… and again… and again… started at 10:30 a.m. and stopped at 3:30 p.m. Mind you, it didn’t stick, but it felt like a naked Brad Pitt running back and forth in front of me saying, “You can’t get me! You can’t get me!”

  126. I took almost exactly the same picture of Times Square on Sunday! My husband and I were out on Long Island for my 30 year high school reunion on Saturday and came back to Baltimore via Manhattan…we took the scenic route! I am hoping that a meeting on Monday afternoon is short enough for me to come to the Borders in Annapolis…this poor client might just get the bum’s ruch if he talks too long!

  127. Unfortunately I will miss you in Lexington today, but plan to go to Indiana at the end of the month for your book signing outside of Indy.
    You need Jamie the wondergirl to call the Carmel Bookstore. They have ordered ONLY 15 copies of your book and don’t expect a crowd at all. They just don’t get it. “It’s just a knitting book.”
    So Jamie needs to set them straight.
    Enjoy KY today. My weeping cherry tree is blooming and lots of spring flowers are blooming and if it isn’t underwater it is GREEN here in Louisville.
    Have fun!

  128. I am doomed to never be able to make it to Ann Arbor when you are there. Consider Cleveland?
    I used to live in Laramie, Wyoming, and we worried about tornado’s more the might seem warranted too. I’m not sure Denver is justified, not being on the high plains, but we sure were.
    I recall a family in our church going on vacation, and coming back to find a full swing rescue operation going on at their leveled house. They had left on the spur of the moment for some fishing.

  129. I know you probably have talked about your new travelling sock in a previous post, but is there any particular story behind the yarn of this one like there was on the previous one? How did you come to choose this particular yarn to see the world?

  130. Denver translation: bathroom = tornado shelter…. apparently they need neither one enough to make them exclusively purposed… so it’s a double duty- type deal;)
    No worries. Now, Kansas… if Kansas signs say “tornado shelter” make a note of it- they’re not kidding;)

  131. on the spring thing. The snow has receded on our front lawn and we have SNOWDROPS. I need to go take photos, I guess.

  132. Six degrees of separation, Stephanie! Sam Bartlett, author of Stuntology, is a fine musician in a contradance band, and I have danced to his playing. I had an opportunity to see him “perform” some of the stunts from his book. He’s hilarious. In fact, it is his band I will be dancing to next weekend instead of going to see you in Ann Arbor. Neat kind of connection, don’t you think?

  133. I’m about to sound like a star-struck fan but I don’t care. YOU ROCK!! I saw you at Borders in NYC and I’m still on a high. I also saw myself in the audience picture you took holding your sock. I was taking a picture of you taking a picutre of us. Yeah I’m a geek.

  134. mmm…eggplant! I think just for that we’ll be having roasted garlic and eggplant pizza for dinner tonight!
    Can’t wait to see you in Atlanta tomorrow (where you’ll *really* see what springtime is)!

  135. ARG! I’ve been up with sick kids, sick myself, and only NOW do I realize that I mistook a Friday night for a Sat one, and totally missed you. So sad.
    I have to say, on behalf of Denver – DIA is NOT really *in* Denver, it is actually located in West Kansas πŸ˜‰ and Dorothy will gladly tell you means that the airport does indeed need tornado shelters.
    Hope you enjoyed a bit of Rocky Mtn Spring here. Hopefully next time you’re through I’ll be healthy and get the dang dates/days thing right.

  136. Not only does Denver start the “Tornado Alley” of the midwestern states, there is an actual tornado SEASON. I have no end of respect for the tenacity of the people in that area–I do not have the courage to live in an area where the weather might decide to try to kill you at certain points during the year. I believe Tornado Season has yet to start, however, so enjoy Denver! It’s a beautiful city & the people are fabulous!

  137. I can’t believe you were in NYC! I missed you by a week. Glad the weather was nice for you and hope it comes to Canada. Hope you enjoyed the exchange rate as well ;).

  138. Oh, that beautiful Rivendell sock in that gorgeous color… it’s renewed my lust for Janelle’s sock book! (And don’t worry, I snarf up your books as well. πŸ™‚

  139. I loved the event at Border’s. I didn’t stick around to say hello because I had to run home to the kids, and even though you made your generous offer of letting moms like me cut the line (or “pre-board,” in your parlance), I didn’t want to take advantage, so I just left. However, I immediately started reading on the subway and laughed the whole way home, so thank you! Safe travels on the rest of your tour.

  140. I am overjoyed by the fact that you left a bit of sock yarn on the plane in the hopes that another knitter will find it. I’ll bet another knitter will find it, and I hope (kind of) that s/he forgot to bring her knitting and will be thrilled to find a bit of sock yarn to pet on the long knittingless flight.
    I am the Eggplant. Goo goo g’joob! πŸ™‚

  141. I hope in the midst of your knitting exhaustion you at least got to watch the start of a new season of BSG!

  142. After all the comments about people saying Denver had all these tornados and was in tornado alley etc., I started to worry that somehow I had lived in Colorado 25 years and managed to miss the fact that my state was a natural disaster area. Then I found this:
    Given the next 7 cities on the list are as likely or moreso to experience tornados…perhaps we should rename the tour? =P

  143. “Hi, I’m Denver, and I have a tornado problem.”
    audience: “Hiii Dennnnver…..”
    I think that just made my whole afternoon! And, on a side note, after watching the entire slideshow of fantastic sock pictures, I dreamed of socks appearing around me. It was that unreal!

  144. I had such a great time at the NYC launch! I feel like a celebrity because the top of my head is in one of the group pictures! Thanks for such a great time!!!

  145. So…..Szarka @April 5, 2008 7:42 AM – why is life like an eggplant? Now I’m unable to concentrate on anything else until I know the answer!

  146. Next time you have a bad day, I want you to remind yourself: Margaret Atwood. Margaret Atwood. Margaret Atwood.

  147. Wow…just imagine some lucky knitter getting your sock yarn on an airplane…it would totally make my day!
    And there is just too much to respond to in this post–to many cool things… Margaret ATwood, the very entertaining flickr pictures…I am the eggplant (snork!)
    I’m just on overload…I’m going to have to re-read your lovely book and zen out again:-0

  148. Oh WoW, I have to make that Rivendell sock. It is sooooo pretty. I have way too many projects I want to do. I think this sock scoots to the head of the line. Excuse me while I go buy a new sock pattern…..

  149. Oooooh. *Love* the eggplant. And the pattern. πŸ™‚
    And want you to come back to Petaluma. We could use some laughter!

  150. I know you are not coming to Idaho so I ordered the book, with siggie, yesterday. I have all your books and do you think I can find “Meditations”???????? Where did it get to?

  151. Wow, I breathed the same air as the Yarn Harlot! I was also in New York City on April 3rd. And I cannot imagine how hard a book tour must be, because I spent 4 days traveling to NYC, attending a conference, and then traveling back to Los Angeles, and I’m wiped. Useless. You are a hero who earns every cent of money that comes to you from your books–which I just read this morning, btw, and I like it quite a lot.

  152. I’m not sure if you get Knitting Daily, but a post a while back had instructions for grafting without a darning needle and just with your knitting needles. If you go to, the instructions are in the middle section. I believe the technique is credited to Lucy Neatby. I keep the technique on my PDA so I always have it nearby. Hopefully, this will help if you are ever without darning needles again and can’t find a friendly knitter. With some luck, I’ll see you in Nashville!

  153. Stephanie,
    When I see you next, remind me to teach you how to kitchner without a darning needle. It blew my mind the first time I did it – mainly in the “why didn’t I think of that” way.

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