There’s no place like home

Although this time, I mean Canada rather than actual home.


Last night’s gig was the 10th Anniversary of a Chapters store in Kingston, and I had a really wonderful, wonderful time, despite the rather magnificent cold that I’m sure was obvious to everyone. To begin with, I had the enormous pleasure of staying with my friend (who’s really my mums best friend, but all of us are unreasonably attached to her) Yvonne. There is simply no better hostess alive than Yvonne. Period. Her home is a beautiful historic home in Kingston, her dog is the best behaved dog ever to walk four legs, she knew the best tapas place, the bed was cozy, there was (note past tense) Guinness in the fridge…It was an amazing visit, and I’m so delighted that work could intersect with a visit. The bookstore was great. Pam is this Chapters resident knitter – this is Pam,


and these are her socks (from Socks, Socks, Socks. I asked.)


and she was on the job, doing her level best to pull it together, and she did very well. See?


I love these guys. (Hey, Joanne? Canuk in Colorado? See your mum? She’s lovely.)


There was Molly and Oriol.


Cheryl and Rory,


and part of a High School knitting club, Knitters Anonymous, Nicole, Chelsea, Rachel and Charise. (Did I spell that right? I can’t read my own handwriting. Probably the cold.)


Oh, didn’t want to miss this knitter hanging out on the side so her baby could roam. (He was very well behaved.)


Turns out that was Robyn and Sean. Remember him?


(Click here. the crazy thing about doing this job for this long is that I’m starting to see kids grow up.


This is a wide ranging Montréal group, Morga, Jenna, Angela, Robyn and Amy, and they brought me Montréal bagels (the finest bagels in the world) and squeaky cheese! (I’m totally cheesed up, since I found a bag of squeaky cheese from Joan too. I’m typing this on the train, the wonderful Ontario landscape going by, and I’m drinking Tim’s coffee and munching on a bagel and some squeaky cheese. It’s a good morning, and excellent fortification for what comes next.


It’s a race. When my train gets in, I have about an hour to make it from Union Station to my house, (two subways and a bus) whip stuff out of my overnight bag and into my suitcase (pre-packed, I’m not a fool) pick up my suitcase, swallow a staggering amount of decongestants so that my cold doesn’t make my head explode on the plane, hit “post” on this entry, and then grab a cab to the airport to leave for TNNA. I don’t even know if it’s possible. I think I’m going to have to warp the time-space continuum to make it happen, and that’s such a pain in the arse. It’s going to be a flat out run in spots. Wish me luck.

If I catch this plane, I’m giving a talk on Friday at lunch (I think that you had to sign up for that) and then a signing at the Unicorn booth at 3:45 on Saturday.

Who else is going?

126 thoughts on “There’s no place like home

  1. Have a great trip.
    Hope you manage to get everything done in the warp speed you need 🙂

  2. Since this just posted, you must be running flat-out for the plane even as I type. Go go go! I’m sure you’ll make it with all these knitters pulling for you.

  3. I am so sorry you need to fly with a cold. Drink fluids…not coffee (sorry)….remember before, your tons and tons of fluids helped….

  4. If Pam can knit socks like that, I’m sure her “level best” to pull a book signing together was a piece of cake. Chocolate even.
    Flying with congestion…ewww.

  5. I just knew you could warp the time-space continuum! It sure comes in handy at times, no matter the effort involved. Thanks! (Only for GOOD, right?)

  6. I’m exhausted just reading your post, and disappointed that Thousand Oaks, CA is not on your list of destinations. If you come here sometime, bring your whole family! They must be missing you after this whirlwind spring.
    I’m a fairly new Harlot fan and am really enjoying reading the archives with my coffee in the morning. (I have not mastered the art of scrolling with my toes while knitting.) Even my non-knitting husband enjoys them!
    My local yarn shop is staffed by crabby people who can’t imagine WHAT you want THIS TIME. PRICES on the skeins? Huh. The next local yarn shop (think Really Posh) is much more friendly, but the conversations revolve almost exclusively around Plastic Surgery and Teeth Whitening (our local religions). I need to find me some good, ordinary knitters to hang with! or get my teeth whitened…

  7. Great to meet you in Kingston last night. My mother and I both really enjoyed it and had a good laugh – well worth the drive from Cornwall. Hope you feel better and that your head DOESN’T explode with the altitude change on the plane. Cheers!

  8. neti pots are superb for head congestion issues … go to a health store for a real neti pot or to Walgreens for a faux plastic model … then do a nasal cleansing – snort a little and go about your business. Do another cleansing and another blowhard [snort above] and see how well you feel ! [BTW Walgreens sells baking soda as the additive but real afficionados use pharmaceutical grade salt !!

  9. Well, it’s too late now, of course, but next time? Consider taking a taxi from the train station to your house. Life will be better.
    Have a great trip, and I hope you are well soon!

  10. Sorry to hear that you have one of the dread summer colds. Hope it doesn’t slow you down too much while warping the space-time continuum. But the real question is – what have you chosen as the prefect I’ve got a summer cold knitting? Feel better soon.

  11. Thanks again for coming to Kingston! Made the 3 hour drive from Montreal worth it!
    Enjoy your bagels. They smelled delicious in the car all the way, and we didn’t eat them!
    Have fun at TNNA – jealous I can’t go! I was shocked to be able to do 3 hours in the car each way at almost 9 months pregnant yesterday! I figured if my water broke in Kingston, you’re a midwife 😉

  12. i’ll be there . . friday afternoon through saturday night or sunday morning . . depending on what kinda trouble i can get into!

  13. My Mother had such a good time last night, was thrilled that you knew her name, and she phoned me as soon as she got home! I’m trying to find her in the picture, but not sure which one she is… but I’ll confirm with her what she was wearing.
    Thanks for putting a big smile on her face!
    Have fun at TNNA, and take care of that cold, Joanne

  14. Oh, that annoying space-time continuum! I just mentioned it in a post last night. Total pain: wish I had a TARDIS.
    Good luck: hope you made the plane, and have a blast at TNNA.

  15. Hey, can you teach me to warp the space-time continuum too so my boss will think I’m at work when I’m actually at TNNA? I hope to see you there!

  16. Decongestants saved my arse on Sunday when I flew across this big old country of ours.
    I have to say, though, having a cold really cuts into your knitting time – what with having to stop and wipe your nose or cover you mouth when you sneeze.
    I hope you made it to the plane. I’ve got my fingers crossed for you!

  17. What an insane life you lead! Gee whiz, and you KNOW it will only get more insane as you convert non-knitters into knitters who love your writing (like me) and HAVE to go see you wherever, which will, of course, provide you with lots and lots more material for writing, and you’ll write more books, and more people will want to read them and will read your blog, too, and think, “well, maybe I’ll learn how to knit . . . .” It will never end and you’ll end up with NO TIME AT ALL FOR YOURSELF. There, I’ve vented. I really, really hope you do take some time for yourself and your kids and that you don’t have to worry about being in Cancun for a book signing while your oldest is graduating from college. Sigh.

  18. Go go go!
    If you ever have to do this again, maybe someone could meet you at the train station with your suitcase and take the other things home for you. 🙂 I would do it but I’m in Boston…

  19. This is my first EVER blog response…I don’t even know what a URL is! Have really enjoyed your blogs. But I simply had to respond to your Canadian moment! It made me LOL! I grew up in Michigan and had my first “northerner” moment when I was a teenager. I think it was either in St. Thomas or Puerto Rico….I stood there looking up at a driveway that had a short curve and then at least a 45 degree downslope with my mouth hanging open in complete wonderment about how they could possibly navigate it. Of course, thinking snow and sleet!Then had that same “light on” moment when I realized of course they don’t have snow! I completely understood your Canadian moment! Though years later I took a friend home and he was completely flummoxed by frost on the inside of the window casing….”but there’s snow IN the house!” Ahhhh, those cross-cultural moments!

  20. Sean is such a cutie – it’s fun watching these kids grow up right along with you! I thought for a minute he was holding some knitting! Anyway. The view from the train is lovely – we loved traveling by train all over Great Britain, traveled a bit by train in France, and are thinking about trying it here, as opposed to flying – must be better in so many ways! Not sure how your description of train travel in Canada compares with the US, but we will be giving it a try. I hope your cold clears up and you have a nice and safe trip – after this, will you be able to relax (or not, considering housework etc) at home for awhile?

  21. that looks like fun! i’m glad you’re getting to spend some time at home. you deserve it.
    those are some seriously cool socks.

  22. Very smart to stick with public transit over cabbing it from Union! Good luck with the trip out to the airport!

  23. Have a great time at TNNA! Stay cool and say “hey!” to the contingent from Athens,Ohio. Hope the decongestants work for you!

  24. Summer/spring colds are the worst. I feel bad for you. Wait, I know what would make you feel better…just for you, I’m going right upstairs to pet some yarn for you. Would you rather choose angora, alpaca, or just some nice merino? You pick, I’ll pet.

  25. Welcome to Columbus where the weather is predicted to be in the 90’s F (mid 30’s) for the next week or so. We’ll bake that cold out of you. And yes we think that it’s going to be hot too. Spring temps only lasted about 3 weeks.
    For most of us, the closest we’ll be able to get to TNNA is the fashion show on Friday night. Although I did hand my copies of the your last 2 books to a friend with a ticket and asked her to take them to you to be signed.

  26. Good morning Stephanie, Your talk and wittiness was a well enjoyed evening at Chapters last nite. My daughter Amy and I (Kim) enjoyed it very much, hope your cold disappears very soon with all the flying around you do, till the next time we see you, hopefully soon!!!!!!

  27. I’m just going to miss you in Columbus. I arrive on Tuesday for four days of teaching at Knitters Connection. Guess you’ll just have to come back to Ottawa some day!

  28. Rory and I were so excited to see you last night and to see our pic on the blog! Rory has now seen you three times — once in utero at the Indigo Toronto launch of “Casts Off” last year, once this spring at your Toronto launch of “Things I Learned” (he was the one at the pub wearing a Jester’s hat for April Fool’s Day) and now again in Kingston. It’s no wonder your books are his favourite thing to chew.
    Thanks for your great, great talks. I love them, and love seeing you in person. Keep coming to Kingston!

  29. You know, Nyquil is pretty amazing stuff. Never mind that I use it to sleep and not to unclog my head, but I hear that it’s pretty good for that too.

  30. How lovely to have some time on the train to unwind…and wind up again. Have a great TNNA.

  31. Wow… if you do figure out the whole bending time and space thing, could you post it here? My friends and I could dearly use that technology living so far from each other.
    Have a safe and enjoyable trip!

  32. I tend toward congestion and always carry Afrin with me on a plane, in case of an emergency……
    Once before I learned this I was on a plane from Baltimore to Florida–worst pain *ever*.
    Decongestants often need to be taken for awhile to go into effect–Afrin is quick. Just don’t use it a lot.

  33. Ugh. Good luck with the cold. If you ever get a chance, there is a great “The Tick” cartoon episode that speaks to colds – “The Tick vs the Uncommon Cold.” Worth watching if you can find it!
    Um, and I really feel I should know this but what is TNNA?

  34. Wow, it’s too bad Joe couldn’t have met you at the train station with the suitcase and drugs, and driven you to the airport from there. Quick changes like that are so stressful–I hope it worked out! Have fun at TNNA and post lots of yarn pictures for all of us out here in vicarious-land.

  35. Just think of all the people who came to see you who get to go home and say “I caught a cold from the Yarn Harlot!” What a unique souvenir. 😉

  36. Yikes. You schedule sounds like that of my boss (I’m an Executive Assistant). I’m glad I only manage his and don’t have to live it. Hmmm. Maybe I should teach him to knit to relieve some of that stress.

  37. I love the train.
    Hope you don’t mind, but we’ve borrowed your scavenger hunt idea and are having a big WWKIP Day party + scave-ganza here in Fredericton.
    Happy travels!

  38. Whew I don’t know how you keep up the pace when you are feeling well let alone feeling rough with a cold !!! If you ever added up all the air,train and car miles it would probably gobsamack even you . Are you done running after TNNA for awhile ? Best of luck getting rid of that cold .

  39. I think I’m the only one who’s NOT going. Sniff. My shawl will be there for me as my representative, though, at the Infiknit/Fiddlesticks Knitting booth. It’ll be waving to everyone!

  40. Those are some powerful fancy socks.
    Do you ever feel nostagic for the everyday tedium of a regular job?

  41. For the love of all that is good and true, I do believe that you can catch colds over the internet. I caught a wicked one this week, as did at least 12 of my little online buddies. I’m beginning to wonder if my laptop is a vector for this sort of thing.
    I am in awe of your ability to fly and give talks and be charming in the face of a cold. Me, I was all proud of myself for walking down the block to buy my own orange juice and spicy glass noodle salad until I read your post. You, madam, are hardcore.
    Feel better. Warp that space-time continuum good.

  42. Love the Canadian accoutrements in your first photo! I might be a Yank, but I’m a Canadian at heart… I like to stand outside your embassy in DC (I work a block away) and sing your national anthem! (Quietly, so no one thinks I’m one of our local crazies on the national mall.) I used to egotistically think I was the only American who could sing the Canadian national anthem, but then I found out that not only do my inlaws know it (they live in Buffalo), but so does most of Western New York. And here I thought I was special. O Canada!

  43. run hurry and dash but do NOT break a leg. I know you will have great time at TNNA!

  44. A Knitting Club? Almost makes me want to go thru high school again … oh wait – no it doesn’t. Although its a great idea and my daughter is all excited about it — until I told her it was in Canada.
    Maybe she can make one of her own.

  45. I’m with Jaclyn. How can you not love Canada? I not so secretly wish I was Canadian, too.

  46. I think you should require the train just to keep going straight to the airport.

  47. I was so excited to see the beautiful quilt the lollies and yarn were on! Could you tell us more about that? As a sewer/quilter/embroiderer/needlepointer/upholsterer/machine embroiderer and now knitter, its such a surprise to see one art form when I was expecting another.
    Hope you get to relax soon……..

  48. Maybe you could talk your daughters into helping with the housework while you are gone so it’s not so overwhelming when you get back home. Maybe for a raise in allowance? If you have any luck with that, be sure to let me know, ’cause I can’t get my 16yr. old to do anything short of waving cash in front of her. Small amounts of cash, mind you, dollar bills being the largest, and very few of them, but when you’re 16 and without a job, it still is an incentive.

  49. Um…and then you’re going to rest, so your immune system doesn’t crumble into little pieces like a 300-year-old sock, right?

  50. Well my dear, you are a nut. Have a good trip and keep us aprised!

  51. be careful! last time my husband warped the space-time continuum, he ripped a perfectly good pair of pants! 😉

  52. Whose quilt in that first pic? Was it on the cozy bed? Gotta love anybody who has quilts on the bed!

  53. Mmm, squeaky cheese just rules! It’s the best fortification for any type of daunting task.

  54. Bakerina, thanks for explaining how I caught this cold. I guess it had nothing to do with being run down from taking care of my mother for the last 6 months. LOL.

  55. Another welcome to central Ohio! It’s too bad that the rest of us have to wait until Knitter’s Connection to see all the fibery good stuff.

  56. Wow! Sometimes as I’m knitting I think how wonderful it would be to get paid for writing about knitting, and how fun to go on a book tour, etc. But today, reading about your travel schedule, I think it must be exhausting. Have a good trip, I hope your cold gets better, and that some rest is on your agenda soon.

  57. Is the first picture of goodies from Dollarama? I brought my kids tons of stuff just like those from my trip to the Dollarama in Kingston in April. The ungrateful louts accused me of shopping at the airport. They know I am too cheap to have done that!

  58. Do beer and ale qualify as suitable fluids?If so,the trip would be a bit easier.If not, resort to hot toddies. I had to stop drinking entirely because of my allergies. No bread or flour products and if you can distill it,I am allergic to it.Have a good trip and have a bagel for me.

  59. Harlot, I love you and your blog and your books, but you are one crazy lady.
    I agree with you the the time-space continuum must be altered to make your plans work. I have just one question: why couldn’t you head straight for the airport from Union Station, and have Joe just meet you at the airport with your new/packed suitcase (and decongestants)?
    Less travel for you, more Joe time, less stress and time warping, and you don’t have to witness what’s been done to the house while you’ve been gone. Win-win!

  60. It is good to be the queen. It is my motto. Yet I always know that as I encourage new lacemakers someday I will gladly step down and let a new reign begin. Everyone should have their day in the sun and light. So this is what I tell my students of knitting too. Bring them to your level and push them on to do greater and better things. IT is what we live for.
    Take a few deep breaths! Have fun. Hopefully, we will begin to see the heel flap on that sock? Perhaps they are just for photo ops only?

  61. Yeah, hopefully I’ll see you at TNNA. If not, there’s always next weekend in T.O. Lordy, lordy, look whose almost Forty!

  62. So, what are you planning to knit on the two subways and a bus? Be sure to take pictures.

  63. You know, I read your blog after supper in the evening usually. And then I think, “What does Stephanie do to get all of that done in one day? Where does she get all of the energy?” as I look at the small tasks that I accomplished. Hmmm. It is not easy trying to live up to The Yarn Harlot, you know! But I still come back for more every night! (Don’t forget to ask how to pronounce Adamas for me, please. Thanks!) Have fun!
    Sara in WI

  64. Not going.. my oldest is graduating high school Sunday;) I’m trying not to cry- the ugly cry or do the happy I didn’t kill him or wreck him dance in public. This weekend is all about the kid:)
    However- I need a lie-down after just hearing about the rush. Needles crossed that you’ve made it;) love

  65. hi! you were terribly funny last night, cold or no cold!
    *points to the picture of the Knitting Club girls* You did spell all of our names correctly 🙂 (order in the picture from left to right is Charise, Nicole, Chelsea & Rachel) It is interesting to note that Rachel is actually our almost-30-year-old science/knitting teacher. (bets have been taken on if you thought she was a teacher or a student…haha) She taught us all to knit and we’re slowing taking over the school… we love your blog and your books! Hope you feel better and keep on warping that time-space continuum!
    Nicole & the KC Knitters Anonymous

  66. Have a great trip! I hope you feel better soon 🙂 I don’t know how you keep up with your insane schedule, but you’re awesome at it!
    And I just have to ask… What is that very pretty purple yarn in the corner of the first picture? I’m just dying to know…

  67. >> I think I’m going to have to warp the time-space continuum to make it happen, and that’s such a pain in the arse. .>
    (The only drawback of Lost, of course, is that it’s impossible to knit anything complex while watching it.)

  68. I’d love to be there (being a Columbus ‘Buckeye’) but my son has the audacity to be graduating from high school this weekend…

  69. All that traveling, yikes. But you get to see other peoples’ babies grow into mini-knitters, so it’s all good, yes?
    I’ve got a friend heading up to Montreal next month for a conference. I told him the Yarn Harlot was Canadian, and he looked at me funny. Only after hearing of the sock did he start to see that I’m not the only “weird knitter.” Don’t know how the name didn’t give this away.
    Anyone know what a visitor simply *must* do in Montreal? Aside, of course, from taking pictures of socks draped on French language signs. I’m sending a scarf with him for a photo-op. Not sure whether he’ll be willing to snap some pictures once he’s up there and in public. Poor man doesn’t knit.
    Ta, and thanks for the blog!

  70. Hope you’ve nipped that cold in the bud. At the pace you’re moving you surely don’t need any more obstacles. You really are on a merry-go-round this time! Hope you get some down time; just put your feet up and knit, knit, knit………..

  71. … I thought that the all-at-once-with-no-real-breaks tour was supposed to be just that….what happened?
    I hope that soon you get to stay home for longer; of course, you have your birthday/wwkip day (and FRANKLIN!!!) to look forward to, so that’s cool.
    safe travels

  72. What Paula said (the 9th comment, I believe) about “neti pots” is right on. Love that thing, got mine at Walgreen’s. I avoided filling a $200 prescription by using it. I’m all for that!
    Hoping you get where you need to be with minimal fuss and bother, and that your head stays on top of your shoulders, you po’ li’l thang.

  73. Pam – great work! Breathtaking socks!
    Stephanie – just enough time to get over your cold before your natal day. Recoup well!

  74. I’ll be there. I have an all day class on Friday and I don’t know if my lunch break is long enough to stay for your talk. I brought your book with me though for signing. See you Saturday!

  75. You made it. Saw you in the elevator earlier no worse for wear. See you at lunch tomorrow. I was too surprised when I saw you at the elevator to even attempt to Kinnear you!

  76. Oh, I do hope you’re feeling better. Am I the only one who doesn’t know what squeaky cheese is?

  77. Feel better soon, please. And do tell those of us ignorant enough not to know what squeaky cheese is.

  78. I kind of felt like you on Wednesday. I vacated work early to leave Belleville in time so that I could hit Wooltyme in Kingston and get something to eat before six. Of course this is nothing compared to the group that drove from Montreal to see you. I really enjoyed your talk and it was cool to see so many knitters in one place at one time.

  79. I was at the Chapters signing in Kingston but had to rush out for a toddler meltdown but had to share what happened before:
    The whole family ate dinner out on the way to drop me off at the signing. My husband asked (in an unusually unpacked restaurant) which author I was seeing and I said, apparently louder than I thought, “I’m going to see the Yarn Harlot!” Everyone at the table (not including the already melting down toddler) almost spit out their coke. I swear the restaurant became a little quieter.

  80. I was on that same train last week (although from Montreal) and took a photo of that very farm. Unfortunately my camera didn’t make it off the train 🙁

  81. Girl, I feel your pain! I will be doing similar “swap the suitcase” early early tomorrow to head to TNNA, also! Hoping to be there for your signing.

  82. I hope you made it! There’s nothing less fun than the 100-meter pack and dash. Especially with a head cold. I go with long denim skirts and clogs. Everything matches them, and I can pretend I’m a grown-up since I’m wearing a skirt.

  83. Could we have a little moment of honesty here? How many of us see something on Steph’s website, click on the link and immediately order the item that comes up???? Is it just me or what??? We should all be thankful to Stephanie for directing our attention to the things that “deserve” our attention. Thanks Stepahnie. I work two jobs and can’t always take the time to serch out beautiful things that I love to try. You bless us with the link to do just that! You’re our hero!

  84. Good luck with the cold. I certainly feel like a wimp when I read what you do!
    I had the pleasure of meeting the lady who knit the socks and wrote out the pattern for the book Socks, Socks, Socks. She had a display at the Fibre Fest on Salt Spring. I actually got to see her version of the socks. Her husband took up that kind of knitting and also colourwork and it was fabulous! He did sweaters like that! I am glad others have knit them. The socks obviously lead to Greater Things.
    I will return to my twice-knit socks in progress. sigh.

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