After the beep

Sorry, Stephanie can’t come to the blog right now, she is continuing to make amends to her family for all the time that she was away this last year by spending virtually every waking (and sleeping) moment of her life with them right now. (This has not begun to wear yet, but the trip is young.)

She is working on two pairs of socks at present, pictured here in the current location of Stephanie’s family.



That’s the plain Trekking ones (#108) for knitting in the dark while we drive.

These are a very nice sock out of Little Traveller sock yarn from the Sanguine Gryphon. (Stephanie regrets that she no longer knows the colour, and the colour is greener than this, but does think it very fetching.)


(We were just checking it out with Meg. No big news.)


This leafy little sock is a pattern of my own devising, but I like it a lot. Today, Stephanie is having a family adventure of the cycling kind – and will return to the blog as soon as the aforementioned family permits.

PS. There are several really good comments yesterday on the library issue, as well as more information here, and here. Keep in mind, as you debate – that we were not presented with all of the facts (and as suggested by the director – see the comment from Maureen August 19 at 8:25am- perhaps the ones we got were not even wholly accurate.

In addition, remember that this is a very, very, very tiny library – open only part- time hours in a very small community. Unlike a city library, or even a town library, there aren’t whole days to fit in programs, nor are there multiple activity rooms – or even multiple librarians. Think singular. There aren’t as many choices as there would be in a larger space, and that matters. Finally, the library has said that the video games (which would be an occasional evening, not a bi-weekly programme, like the knitting) would be part of a larger themed literacy evening with other components, not just a whack of teenagers sitting around wailing on guitar hero. This article was written by a member of the knitting group (which it turns out, is not just a group of little girls) and has – as you might expect, contains a bias towards their situation designed to make you sympathetic to the cause. ) Nowhere, in any of the articles has it said that knitting or arts and crafts is being replaced by weekly video games. Nowhere.

Finally, please, please, please, remember than nobody has ‘BANNED” knitting. It sounds like you are welcome to knit in this library, and the group is even welcome to continue the group in the library if – like the other programmes there… they make it obviously about literacy, which to me (someone who has managed to combine books and knitting somehow) makes it sound even more lovely.

Carry on.

171 thoughts on “After the beep

  1. new sock pattern please.
    And not sure what it is— but I love the pic of your girlie with the yarn trailing…….
    something very resonant for me in there….
    almost umbilical…and maybe I’ve had too much coffee……:)

  2. I THOUGHT that was the Massachusetts state house but the Harvard subway stop (in Cambridge, MA) confirmed it (and googling the image). I’m sure there are some lovely yarn shops in Boston and the environs. Have a great holiday!

  3. I totally know where you are. Should I try and find you on my lunch hour? Hmmm, probably not, you’ll have moved on by then. Although you must see the Windsor Button Shop.

  4. and we have the perfect weather here in boston today for a bike ride!!! Welcome and stay awhile!

  5. It looks like you’re having a great time with the family — the blog can wait πŸ™‚ And thanks again for opening the library/knitting issue up for discussion!

  6. Oh, I have that second yarn skein I think! I’m planning on knitting my very first pair of socks with it – just looking for an easy pattern! x From Dublin

  7. You were two blocks away from me and didn’t drop in? The chocolate mice came from down the street; did you at least make it there? Did you see Woolcotts?
    I’m bummed. Totally.

  8. Have fun in Boston!! I echo the Windsor Button sentiment above.
    Total aside but if Meg is looking at Ivies, she should come to Penn. Philly is fun!

  9. “But it was in the paper it must be true”…when you know the real story behind the story it surprising how many of the facts are ‘twisted’ even just slightly.
    Our local library branch is exactly that 1 table, 3 computers, 1.5 know 1 at the counter 1 in the office doing office stuff.
    I always think there aren’t just 2 sides to the story, there is a 3rd, the logical, unemotional side that says okay everyone lets be reasonable about the whole thing.
    Thanks for the discussion!

  10. Making good time,eh? Glad to hear it, see it!
    I didn’t comment yesterday, but felt that wadded underpants was a bit over reactive.. not enough information and yet, I too, thought it a fabulous idea to make it a books related knitting group. How can you argue with that? in a library? seriously.

  11. alas, your “here and here” links don’t work, don’t even show up as links for me.
    I’m enjoying sharing the library/knitting link with my daughter (a librarian in a tiny town). We agree–limited resources, do what you can, allow knitting, do what you can, literacy first.

  12. Down with video games. Up with knitting and reading. Just my personal opinion, but video games produce nothing. Knitting produces warm, usable things. Heck if I could figure out how to knit and read at the same time, I could get alot more of both done. I say encourage the kids to read by any means necessary.

  13. Have a wonderful relaxing holiday with your family, Stephanie.
    Don’t worry about all your fans; we should be doing other things than sitting on the internet anyway!

  14. Enjoy your ‘time off’ – looking forward to meeting you in London in September (if that doesn’t sound too stalkerish) – btw – have been asked by husband to mention that we have great beer here – he says he can provide recommendations for ‘old man’ pubs in London if required to enhance your British visit (no offence to old men – these are the best kind of UK pub).

  15. Whoops. I would also add Walden Pond, Lexington and Concord. As much for the bucolic setting (still) as the revolutionary history. You can see Emerson’s home as well as a replica of where Thoreau lived on the pond.

  16. You are minutes from my home! Had no idea you were coming this way. Go to the Cape while you are here, the weather and tide are perfect this week. Go to my fav LYS, Creative warehouse.

  17. We can get so unthinkingly hysterical and not even consider other sides. One of the things I appreciate about you is that, even though you are passionate about your causes, you allow for there to be other points of view (understandable or not). I think this discussion makes a larger point than just the situation that kicked it off. Brava, Stephanie.

  18. If you have the time, go see the Christian Science Center Plaza at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Huntington Avenue in Boston (a few miles by the #1 bus down Mass Ave from Harvard, or take the Green Line T down Huntington). The Mother Church itself is lovely, the reflecting pool (designed by I.M. Pei) is a beautiful oasis in the midst of a busy city, and the Maparium (a stained glass globe made in the 1930’s) in the Mary Baker Eddy Library is worth seeing as well. There is also a wonderful word-wall display in the lobby. Regardless–have fun!

  19. How bizarre that you visited my place of work (State House) while I was probably inside reading your blog! I’ve run into the Governor and the Mayor of Boston around the building, but I think I would have been absolutely floored to see you roaming the halls. Crazy!

  20. Stephanie, I have to thank you times about a zillion for the entire “traveling sock” phenomenon. It wound up playing a big part in one of the most amazing moments of my life over the weekend. So THANK YOU, thank you, thank you! πŸ™‚
    Good to hear you’re having a fun time with the family. πŸ™‚ Enjoy Boston and MA in general!

  21. I’ll be happy to see any more pics you post, Steph, dying to go to Boston but just can’t get the time to go!
    Dev at 11:08, I prop my book on a book holder on the desk in front of me and read while I knit – i have to take my hand away from my knitting to turn the page but it works, you’ve probably tried it! Now if I could just figure out a way to get my family to turn pages for me…

  22. Enjoy Boston, the weather is beautiful there this time of year.
    I don’t usually like Trekking but that sock is quite fetching. ~ksp

  23. That leave one leaves me breathless, both color and design. Stephanie may feel free to spend time with her family and recharg her batteries. We like our Yarn Harlot sane and happy, thank you.

  24. Steph I just have to tell you: your leafy sock pattern is beautiful, and that yarn colour is amazing. Makes me sweat a little bit. lol!
    Have an AWESOME trip!!

  25. hey, you’re in my neck of the woods! If you’re still down this way, check out the Minuteman bike path (starts at Alewife T stop), and there’s also mountain biking up at the Middlesex fells reservation in Medford/Stoneham/Winchester/Malden (it’s pretty big).
    Enjoy our lovely (unseasonably cool) weather today!

  26. Enjoy Boston! Tell Meg it’s a great college town – check out Tufts! (I went to Tufts for my master’s, so yeah, I’m biased)

  27. Sam (11:20), I’m probably not the only one wondering about “traveling sock… wound up playing a big part in one of the most amazing moments of my life over the weekend.” (yaaay to you!) I’m thinking it’s a wonderful start to a million knitty stories.
    Hearkening back to knitting & yoga thoughts, I found these retreats, quite by chance the day after that blog :
    Cheers all!

  28. Looks like a good lesson on the idea that one article (or news story or whatever) is not necessarily going to give an accurate reporting on the subject at hand.
    Enjoy your travels!!

  29. Have a great trip! Here is a Pennsylvania Dutch recipe my wonderful mother-in-law gave me for sour cherries…”Cherry Puddin'” (you will see absolutely no resemblence to any kind of pudding–evidently the PA Dutch have their own views of this sort of thing) You can eat it in a bowl with milk or just plain, like cake. 3/4 c sugar, 2 eggs beaten, 3T melted butter (or margarine), 2-2 1/4 c flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 c milk, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 1/2 qts pitted cherries. Mix sugar, eggs & butter (cooled so eggs don’t scramble) Add dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in cherries. Bake at 350 degrees in greased 13x9x2 pan for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. I hope you and your family like it–even with the strange name…I know you can get the cherries with no problem. I love it–just plain like cake. Deedee Winters

  30. Whilst in Beantown, check out Newbury Yarns on Newbury street! Take a stroll through the Public garden and take a ride on the swan boats. I can’t believe we are in the same state! If you need a break, come visit me in the ‘burbs (Framingham, that is)

  31. Windsor Button is still open?!? I’m sooo glad to hear that. My first real job ever was working for the WB in Worcester, but it closed down about 20 years ago. I loved working the button wall.

  32. Welcome back to Boston — I’m glad we finally have some nice weather for you!!! And Happy Cycling – – check out the Minuteman Bike Trail if you get a chance. Hope you and your family (and those socks) have a good trip!

  33. Boston! oh, I miss my home. If you have time, you MUST check out Windsor Button shop in downtown, just a block down from Park Street station. It’s this kind of quaint little sewing/knitting/button shop, the kind your mom used to take you to. I worked there for a while.
    in any case, have fun with your family. cheers!

  34. The leafy little sock pattern looks intriguing. You didn’t cycle all the way to Boston, did you?!!! (I know you could if you wanted too, of course)

  35. Message for Steph…
    Steph – please make sure you don’t spend too much time with your family that you end up enjoying yourself so much that you won’t want to come to England, ’cause that’s just not an option!
    In fact, you have exactly two weeks and then you need to snap out of all that family malarkey and get your backside on a plane to England where we’ll be waiting for your big IKNIT LONDON talk.
    Oh, and do enjoy the family business just remember families are for Christmas (and summer holidays and the like) not for life. Well, they are really, but we NEED a wee slice of you too, I’m sure the family will understand (again…).
    We’re gathering people from near and far and are planning all sorts of outings and even beer drinking (am I making this sound tempting enough or do I really have to bring out the thumb screws?). I’m sure the good guys at IKnit London are perfectly capable of finding a good drinking hole, but trust me; we have plenty of them up our sleeves in this wonderful city of ours. I can see further up the comments that someone else is on to that idea. πŸ™‚
    End of message – Tina

  36. You’re visiting my town– Boston!!! Have fun and make sure you go on a Duck Tour of the city. Cheesey, yes but guilty pleasure!

  37. I swear you get better Trekking XXL colorways in Canada than we do in the US. Guess I need to go north. Or do you pick those up on your travels?

  38. Yay Boston! I’m going there this weekend.
    You know you’re only 80 miles from WEBS, right???

  39. This is a compulsion. I read your latest book, and because I have the soul of a proofreader, I HAVE to say… gases diffuse. Bombs are defused.
    On the upside, that’s the only misprint I can remember. Your publisher can fix it in the next edition.

  40. You’re here in my home town! What great timing — this is the best weather we have had all summer. Have you visited Lucy at Mind’s Eye in Porter Square? And there are good spots for cycling in the Blue Hills, south of Boston. Oh, and it’s safe to go to Boston Beer Works in Kenmore Square–the Red Sox are out of town. Enjoy!

  41. Welcome to Boston and Cambridge. I was thrilled to see that you’ll be here again, in October, so you don’t have to fit everything in just now. Tell your girls to think about coming here for part of their studies. And, having lived a block from Harvard Square for the better part of 45 years, I can say with authority that you’d fit right in and have a blast when you visited. (Just a little projection…) Enjoy.

  42. Stephanie, if you are, as it looks like, in the Greater Boston Area, and you want a historical tour of some of the Revolution stuff….email me!!!!!
    I’m the one who was on about US 18th C stuff you were being told incorrectly a book tour or two ago…..

  43. Stephanie,
    Enjoy your stay, be sure to take a Swan Boat
    ride. My favorite LYS is Black Sheep Knitting
    in Needham Square.
    Mon-Sat. 10-4:30. Very easy to find.

  44. The sock is beautiful and I hope you have a blast on your trip, but I’m really more interested in Meg’s bag. Did she knit that? What’s the pattern? I love it!!

  45. Boston! I lived there for a couple of years–what a great town! While you’re at Harvard Square, check out Woolcott and Company. And if you get to Lexington, Wild and Wooly has great yarns and a whole flock of great staff/teachers/cheerleaders/enablers. It was the best of all possible worlds–an LYS near work and one near home. Have fun.

  46. Hope you’re enjoying Boston— I’m a 9th generation Bostonian and I LOVE my HOMETOWN!!!!
    Hope your kids liked Harvard Square… and I hope you get to see Copley (Cop-Lee… not Cope-Lee) Square and the Battle Green (outside my work!!!) in Lexington (off the bike trail)
    πŸ™‚ Kate

  47. Ooh, I hope you got to go by Woolcott & Co. And that you checked out the school down the river, too. MIT (where I went) has some architecture that is well worth seeing πŸ™‚

  48. Also, sorry, while you are here, go see the Sargent murals in the Boston Public Library in Copley Square. Forget the Swan Boats, Windsor Button (gasp!), driving all over the state to apple pick and see cranberry bogs, or whatever. You Must See The Sargent Murals. They are some of the most gorgeous free public art on Earth. Your socks will be frankly impressed. Plus, you can get there easily on public transportation. And it is near Newbury Yarns.

  49. Please think long and hard before you allow any of your children to attend Harvard. You can buy a much better and happier education elsewhere for the same money.

  50. I was feeling really ropey today until I listened to your interview on the Knitpicks podcast. I had a good giggle and although my cold virus is still holding me down in a half-nelson I feel more cheerful. Thank you so much! Enjoy your trip!

  51. I envy you in Boston!!! It’s my hometown (I live in Cleveland now) and I miss it!! There are many great LYS. The one I learned to knit at is Snow Goose in Milton (in Milton Square). My teacher opened her own yarn shop in Duxbury, called The Wool Basket which is lovely too. And if you are in Harvard Square, Woolcott & Co. is excellent too.
    As for food (I’m a chef, so it’s always important to me), if you want good Seafood, go to the No Name on the wharf. Very good, and locals eat there too.

  52. Regarding Harvard – it never hurts to plant a few seeds. I hope you had time to visit the Public Garden and the sculpture of the ducks from “Make Way for Ducklings”. I love that book and the duckies would look wonderful adorned with socks.

  53. Welcome to my part of the world!
    Are you the one we should thank for bringing the good weather? We’ve been drowing in rain but this week has been (mostly) lovely!
    Enjoy yourself! Boston is a great walking city.
    Barbara L in MA

  54. when you meet us in november at the retreat.. you will find that many of us wear headlamps at night. to knit by. yes. we do.

  55. Oh, Yay! Home! Even though I’ve lived most of my life in the greater DC-Metro area, Boston (where a dozen generations of family have lived) is still “home”. Used to walk by the State House every morning on my way to work (I lived near the giant CITGO sign; I worked up at Mass General, near the end of the cool white-flying-buttresses bridge.)
    Have fun there!

  56. Have you thought about applying for the job of Speaker? You seem to excel at moderating the opinions of hoards of passionate people.
    Your vacation sounds lovely – enjoy it!

  57. If you’re coming west at all to visit UMass drop me a line. I work in admissions and would be honored to answer any questions you might have. Enjoy your trip.

  58. Like someone else mentioned….what’s the scoop on Meg’s bag?? I like it a lot….was it a purchase or did one of you make it?

  59. I lovelovelove that first yarn (well, I love the second one, too)! THat is the most beautiful colorway! Wowie!
    Have fun in Boston! I love visiting there.

  60. You’re in the Boston area! How nifty!! Isn’t the weather positively AUTUMN right now? It even smelled like fall this morning.
    Hope you’re enjoying your vacation!

  61. I was so excited when I saw the first picture, hoping this would be another “guess where the Harlot is” contest, and this time I actually knew the answer. πŸ™‚ It was probably wise not to tell us about the trip ahead of time becuase we could have crashed your server with suggestions of great things to do in and around Boston, and oh yeah, you would have to spend weeks there to do all of them.
    I hope the weather holds and you have a great family time in a seriously cool and fun city!

  62. Boston, a great place!!! Love the swan boats and The Freedom Trail. Seafood is delicious -but don’t expect a really good rare steak,save that meal for a trip to Chicago.
    Is your Meg going to Harvard?? Hope you have many more books and patterns up your sleeve! πŸ™‚ It’s a wonderful school but alittle pricey.LOL πŸ˜‰
    Also, if they are still offered(I think so but then again.. it may have burned??) take a tour of the USS Constitution. Wonderful-learned the basis for many of the says we have today like,”Son of a Gun” and “Stiff upper lip”. One of the most facinating tours I have ever taken.
    Just got pattern and yarn for “Baby Mine” and “Baby Yours”-my small contribution to Meg’s Harvard fund. Bought the calendar too,but since it is for 2009 I haven’t peeked yet.

  63. Welcome to the great state of Massachusetts! Can’t wait to hear about what you’re up to with the girls during your stay here.

  64. Ah you made me homesick for the Yard and the Square…
    Say hi to Woolcott for me, and Lucy at Mind’s Eye Yarns in Porter square near the Star Market (or as Mass. people say “the Staaahh Maahket.”
    And if Meg is looking at colleges, I gotta put in a plug for my alma mater- go check out Wellesley–its only about 13 miles west of Boston and lemme say, all-women’s colleges rock. Really rock. You will get an education of a lifetime at a women’s college.
    just my 2 cents.
    Have fun in Boston!

  65. Oh, Boston! Say hi to my sister for me. She went to Amherst College and Harvard and is now studying architecture. I spent a summer there myself. Nice place! Have fun! πŸ™‚

  66. If you haven’t had enough ocean yet, and head up to Gloucester and Rockport, don’t DARE to come by unless you email me first! I make a mean fish chowder, and there’s beer on hand. And, by the way, admitted students can go to Hahvud now for just about nothing. The only problem is getting in.

  67. Geez,
    Harlot, I’m never reading your blog again. Now it’s happened again. I found another totally fabulous fiber sight that is chock full of yarn and fiber that I just can’t live with out. I saw my credit card see me go to this website. Now it has run away and is hiding. Even though I know that there is yarn in the mail and my spinning wheel is stashed for the summer, I must have some of that Isolde and the superwash sock yarn! I want it, pleeeeez…..whahhhhhhh.
    When will it ever end?

  68. Oh, man – I’m right at the Kendall Square stop! I have to put in a plug for A Good Yarn in Brookline Village – right on the Green line!

  69. The links for further info on the library thing don’t work.
    Are you guys checking out colleges for Meg? Harvard or MIT would be cool πŸ™‚ If she does go to MIT, let me know. I have a good friend who is a distinguished alum and who’d be happy to give her pointers.

  70. The socks are beautiful, and the yarn looks so soft. Your sweater turned out great, too. I just finished my very first sweater. It turned out great, even after ripping the first armhole 4 $%&!@# times when I couldn’t pick up and knit the right number of stitches. But, it’s done, it fits, and feels great. Good luck with your socks!

  71. RE: the library thing. Went on to their web site. NOT a big library. Many sites – most of which get only a few hours service on some days a week. They are obviously trying hard with very few funds. I have to come down on their side of focussing on literacy. Given that they would also welcome knitters if in a book club context, they are trying to be welcoming with their limited resources.
    Also, re: the video nights. Sounds like they are trying to build new members/audience – and the knitters sound as if they are already part of the library’s crowd. [BTW, despite being small, I do see this library as trying to be a modern library – with books, large print resources, audio books, online resources and all the other many things libraries provide today in addtion to books. Video games are not such a reach in that context…]
    Volunteers or financial support of libraries (and I count myself as a monthly financial supporter of my local system) help such organizations increase their range of services. Many arts/literacy/social organizations are so strapped nowadays. We need to help them out.

  72. Have a great time in Boston. So many things to do,places to see and colleges to look at.

  73. Oh, I love that dirty watah, Oh, Boston your my home! have a blast in my home state! When in Cambridge, one MUST go to Woolcott, Only a short walk from Harvard. Tour Fenway Park, the oldest BallPark still used fro MLB! If you can take the train to Wakefield, go to Butterfly Yarns on Albion Street( a block from the Wakefield Center Stop)- Havehrill Line! I’m sure you are doing the college visit thing. If you are biking…bike from Arlington to Bedford. Stop in Lexington and go to Wild and Woolly.

  74. so, can we assume this is boston? which is dangerously close to CAPE COD one of my most favourite summer spots!!! mmmmmmmmm

  75. Come visit Wellesley College, a lovely campus and only 13 miles west of Boston — biking on city streets but doable anyway. I know that most 17-year old girls aren’t thrilled with the notion of a women’s college, but thousands change their minds every year, once they realize the amazing opportunities open to them.
    peace (and watch out for those Boston drivers!)

  76. Imagine my surprise when I read this at work today and saw that you and your family are in my backyard. Literally, as I work in Harvard Square! Enjoy the Bay State! You managed to get here in time for some of the loveliest August weather we’ve ever had!

  77. I would just like to say that the Library Conversation inspired me to start digging into the inner workings of my public library. Now I want to know if I can be of assistance by flitting through the turnstyle on my way to the bank, how many rooms they offer how, and just exactly where those tax dollars come from which they state in their statement support them.
    Thanks for starting the conversation and inspiring such informed comments.
    P.S. New computer at work – Your blog may think I am ‘new’.
    P.S.S. Enjoy your family time and holliday!

  78. Ok is it wrong that I just thought… I have family in Boston (so does The Boy) they should meet!!!
    Although on further reflection I think my uncle and Joe might get along a little too well…
    If you’re looking for a non-guided tour through Boston the “red brick” one (I know that can’t be what it’s called but you literally follow a trail of red brick throughout the city starting at the Mass State House) I MADE my whole family go on it with me and we all enjoyed it a lot more than I thought they all would.
    Enjoy your trip, and don’t worry, we’ll all be here when you get back.

  79. I belong to a lovely group of women that we call “Nimble Fingers and Agile minds” we knit (or not) and discuss our book and enjoy it all very much. We can talk and knit and drink and eat and laugh and enjoy each other. Too much fun!

  80. Hey! You’re in my home town! I’d add my sugestions to the above but it sounds like by the time you would get them, you will have biked off. Enjoy the trip!

  81. I’ve been there! though some decades ago (I would prefer to write ‘many moons’), not bad from many thousands of kilometres away (NZ).
    I to find the Trekking colourway very fetching – I would buy it myself if I were in the region, or were buying online in that part of the world.
    I am pleased you find yourselves, at least in the planning stages of the holiday, to be not as fiscally-challenged as you have been on summer holidays in the past (Joe’s recording business not facing bankruptcy) and the like. ENJOY!

  82. That being said, Guitar Hero is an awful lot of fun. I don’t own a game system, so borrowing the library’s system to play could be fun…
    Love the leafy socks!!

  83. I see you are in Beantown (my home town) I hope you have fun and enjoy. Make sure you see the Make Way for Duckings statue and JP Licks ice cream.

  84. Oh! Oh! My once chance to spot you in the wild while I’m roaming downtown on my lunch break, and this is the week that I’ve been hiding at my desk at lunch, hurrying to finish my olympic project! (It’s done now.)
    I can add a yarn shop, if you’re still in the area – Island Yarn in Waltham. On the smallish side, but lovely selection (especially of sock yarn), and walking distance to my apartment!

  85. Meg: Harvard’s a great school if you are ready to just be yourself.
    Steph: You’ll have to cut the sock/umbilical cord sooner or later.
    Me: How in the hell did I go to college there and not give Woolcott its due? Maybe because I was too busy coveting the cool clothes next door at Urban Outfitters?? Maybe…

  86. If you have time, head west to Northampton and look at Smith, where one of my DDs got an exellent education.

  87. Welcome to Massachusetts (where we love the Red Sox and anyone who beats the Yankees). Are you going to do the bike path on the Cape? Or perhaps you’ll travel to my birthplace in lovely Western Mass. and fall into WEBS! At any rate, have fun with your family. The leafy sock is lovely. Show us more when you get a chance.

  88. Lordy you were done the street from me. I work at Mass Gneral Hospital. Gosh, had I only known. Welcome…hope you enjoy your visit to Beantown.

  89. My sister went to that pictured school if Meg has any questions. As for me, I preferred the purple of Amherst. Stop in for Burritos at Bueno Y Sano if you drive through Western Mass.

  90. Hmmm…Of course, we can only comment (and therefore debate) on the facts as we know them and as they are presented to us.
    The article, I now feel, lead me to believe that the video game nights would be a far larger component of the library’s schedule than it now appears it will be.
    I have to say, I’m completely behind the library on this one and my reservations on reading these new details have dissipated.
    I actually feel a bit mislead by the article. I think any knitter knows that other knitters will band together in the face of “anti-knitting” sentiments and I kind of feel like my buttons were pushed a bit on this one.
    I’m with the library. It’s not hard to make your knitting group into a knitting/book group if you want to. And it’s perfectly reasonable for the library to decide their own programmes or to ask groups to have a more literary bent. And the idea of video games as part of a larger literary theme night actually is appealing to me. If you can tie in books and reading with video game playing I’m sure you could get a lot more children involved with reading.
    I guess my new position (which isn’t all that altered from how I felt yesterday…) is go library.

  91. I just wanted to comment on the library thing. We have a very small library here where I live and we have our little knit night from 6-8 pm. That is the hours they are open. Sometimes we get moved to another room. Mind you there are only 3 rooms. We don’t mind b/c we know that we aren’t reading or writing. We just love the idea of getting away from the family and knitting with buddies. Our librarian loves us coming in. We do have several arts and craft things that do go on in our library. Kids come in and learn to make crafts by reading instructions. They also had a chocolate bake off. To win cookbooks. The chocolate raspberry cheesecake won. HELLO chocolate and raspberry not win? Sounds great to me. But just to let you know that that is our little library. They each have their own protocal as how to run it in the very short time they are open. Just my little info here. One more thing. We also have quilters and artists show off their work by hanging them on the wall in our room. Very nice work too. Sorry for jabbering.

  92. Wow. Could you have ordered better weather? What sort of bike adventure are you up to? There’s so much great riding around here.

  93. Glad to see that you are taking a break (LOL).
    As to the knitting/library debate, while I am always on the library’s side and I do understand that this is a small library, I find it contradictory that they want to encourage usage by offering other programming and, in turn, are alienating another group. These girls will be teens someday. I do think that if I were the mother of one of the girls, I would do the knit/reading proposal. Frankly, I could see getting the Mom lined up to take turns reading out-loud to the girls. Plus, I am not sure as to what the cost is to the library. If the library is open already, then were is the cost. My local library has a couple of meeting rooms and open areas that groups can “book.” And the cost to the library staff is to make sure that the room is unlocked and relocked before/after the meetings. The librarians do not have to participate in those meetings.
    These same facilities are often “booked” by the library for library-sponsored events (for example, a Yarn Harlot visit). Those have costs relating to the staffing of the event.
    From what I have read about this group, it is more the use of the space and not any participation on the part of the library staff that is the issue. If (and this is the big IF) that is true, than I would have to side with the knitters, especially if the library is going to be offer library-sponsored events that would have a cost tied to it.

  94. Hi! Enjoy New England! I’m rather biased, but I do prefer the rural areas of Maine to Boston, though! I’ve visited Boston and there are a lot of really interesting places to see. πŸ™‚ I’ll just put in one last plug for camping on the coast of Maine (my favorite vacation)! Enjoy the great weather that we are having in the region!

  95. Aw, man! You’re here?!? That’s it. At lunch we’re sneaking out and roaming the town to find you. Bet you’re at Wolcott and Co at some point today! LOL!

  96. Another YAY for Boston. You could bike ride over to Jamaica Plain and get a great lunch at City Feed and then have a little picnic in Franklin Park or the Arboridum. It’s really lovely here. Welcome to our town!

  97. I lived in Boston for the most stressful 2 years of my life. But that said, I bought the yarn for my first sweater at Woolcott and for sweaters 2-? at the Fabric Place. Yay, a fabric store with a huge yarn section! Wish I’d known about Windsor Button.
    There used to be a great, mostly veg restaurant called Jae Asian, with the slogan “eat at Jae and live forever”. We couldn’t pass up that offer. Is it still there?
    Have a wonderful trip. Now when I go back to visit, I invariably have a MUCH better time than I did when I lived there.

  98. Glad you had good weather for your walk around Harvard Yard – it’s been gorgeous this spring and summer, everything in bloom, soooo pretty, and enough rain to keep stuff from going brown. Hope your tour guide wasn’t too snarky.
    The brick trail is called the Freedom Trail, and it’s pretty good (at least one of its purposes is to keep tourists from getting lost).

  99. Boston!!! You are in Boston!
    I hope you are having an absolutely “wicked good time” ( we say that alot.. “wicked good”)
    Have a wonderful time.
    WEBS is only about 1.5 hours from where you are. I would have absolutely no problem coming to get you and we can have a little falling down together.
    Carolyn in Ma

  100. I was in that very subway station last night, twice, and didn’t see you either time. Rats.
    *Sigh* I do tend to forget that journalism is like that.

  101. Oh, y’all, these comments are making me miss Boston for the 1st time since our family moved South 2 years ago… (and we even have a “Who Needs Harvard?” Time magazine cover from fall ’06 stuck on our fridge too yet; just a little joke πŸ˜‰
    Steph, i agree with those who are hoping you don’t miss the Minuteman bike trail… you can even extend it with some surface roads & then reward yourselves with ice cream at the Kimball Farms stand in Carlisle!
    And as far as LYSs go, why hasn’t anyone mentioned Circles in JP? Please don’t tell me it’s gone… also what about The Knitting Room in Arlington?
    (My DH & i had our 1st date at Walden Pond followed by dinner at Jae’s [the one in the South End] … so i can support the recommendations for these charming Boston attractions too. Ah, nostalgia… that was 15 years ago!!)

  102. Sorry, “scmommyknits”, but The Knitting Room in Arlington closed a few months ago. Cicles in Jamaica Plain is also no longer at that location. Allison is operating the shop out of her home in Roslindale.
    Barbara L in MA

  103. No fair, you are in Boston when I leave for upstate NY!!! Try Windsor Buttons, a neat little place in Downtown Crossing; Wolcott in Harvard Sq.; Mind’s Eye in Porter Sq. followed by beer and music at Toad in Porter. Enjoy Beantown.

  104. I am among the knitting while reading crowd, that’s my favorite multitasking job.
    Knowing the small size of the library makes a difference, is there not any other place for them to meet? I wish them well.
    After beening interviewed by the paper once, I know how wrong they can get it. Heck, sometimes they get the grammer or spelling wrong!

  105. Urk! You are down the road from me (umm, literally… I work in a law firm in the area) and I can’t even say hi! So, virtual hi! (I’m sure you don’t want to be accosted on your first vacation in forever.)

  106. You’re in Boston! Have you been to Windsor Button Shop yet? They’re on Temple Place and are a fabulous yarn store.
    Oh, and come down to Newport, RI if you want some beautiful scenery and ocean views. Rhode Island totally rocks. And there’s Knitting Needles right in Newport, and a bunch of other ones throughout the state as well. Plus, we have coffee milk and local breweries and great Portuguese food!!!

  107. Hey – you’re in Beantown! That’s where Steve and I were married. Enjoy – it’s really a great town. Be sure to ride the Duckboats!

  108. Yesterday my first thought was – video games? But then I thought about it a little more. Video games is one of the reasons these kids can “make computer go”. Now with more information I’m finding that I agreeing more and more with the library. If the knitting club members can tie reading in with knitting, then everyone wins. Reading is a great thing – one never knows when one may break a hand and not be able to knit for a few weeks!
    Enjoy family time.

  109. I’m wondering 2 things about the “plain” socks that you’re knitting in the dark:
    1) How can such wonderful color progressions possibly be considered plain? πŸ™‚
    2a) How does one knit in the dark? I’m not yet a knitter, but even with many moons of crochet experience I am not sure I could do it without vision.
    2b) Saw glow-in-the-dark hardware in a catalog – does it help, or is it just a gimmick?
    Oh, and if you’re still in Boston, tomorrow morning if you face north you might catch the kiss that I’m blowing from about 70k away.

  110. Enjoy our fabulous city … and check out Windsor Button Shop – it’s a gem : )

  111. Hi Stephanie,
    I was reading this article this morning by a lady from the local newspaper here in Victoria, BC. Being a short lady myself (5’1″ on a good day), I especially appreciated this article & I thought you might get a laugh too πŸ™‚
    The Incredible Lightness of Being Short

  112. I hope your family has a wonderful time wandering MA. Best outcome of the library/knitting issue seems to be awareness of a) people love to knit in groups and b) the library needs support. Libraries are heavenly places and without less/less funding they are being restricted.

  113. Love your photos today! I used to live in Harvard Square and work in the Mass. State House, so you brought back nice memories. Hope you’re having a great visit. (Your socks are beautiful too.)

  114. OK, without readimng any of the articles, I have to say that I side with the library. If age-approprieate video games bring more desparate children into contact with books than a knitting program, I say go for it! (I’m assuming the library is not providing Grand Theft Auto, ect. to the kids.) This reminds me of the frivolous controversy over the Harry Potter books vs. Narnia books–two entirely different types of books written from entirely different viewpoints during entirely different times–both get kids hooked on reading.
    Perhaps if you think of a library as business–the profit being exposing children to books and literacy–the cancellation of the knitting program in favor of a program that uses video games to introduce children to literacy would seem less ominous. I can see using Guitar Hero as a gateway to a biography to Beethoven (who was the equivalent of a rock star–in his time.)or non-fiction of how video games are developed, or since I am of a sci-fi bent the excellent books of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders series (both for younger and older readers) where music figures prominently.
    In my experience, it seems to me that children who are exposed to knitting or other arts and crafts have more oppourtunites for support and exposure than children who are primarily interested in video games. Again, it’s the analogy of comparing the library to a business whose profit is exposing the maximum number of children to books and literacy–a critical problem in a large portion of the United States.

  115. I certainly agree that knitting is wonderful for everyone, young, old, male or female and all inbetween. Libraries are for books. Yarn stores are for knitting. Could not a yarn store host a knitting hour for children? Even if they don’t buy much now, what a cool way to raise future customers and possibly draw Mommies and Daddies, sisters and brothers into the mix!

  116. Dear Stephanie,
    New to blogging and sock knitting but am enjoying both, and learning quite a bit. I just wanted to say thank you to you and your family for the lovely tour of Newfoundland (sp?). Nothing like sharing from your heart to make other people really appreciate your personal point of view.
    I also read your book “The secret life of a knitter”and laughed my “arse” off at your antics with the squirrel. (How is the little bugger, still keeping your life interesting?) Last but not least, any plans to do any book-tour in or near Ohio, USA? Have a great holiday!

  117. They’ve banned you at my work …. must be the ‘harlot’ part. πŸ™‚
    I think you ended the whole debate with your final line which, if I may paraphrase, just because I don’t agree with it, does that make it wrong? Kudos.
    Those groovy socks (first ones, with sanguine gryphon yarn) might make me knit a sock; which I swore I’d never, ever do. I might have to go outside and walk briskly to shake that feeling off.
    Enjoy your holiday. I’m not checking back until next Saturday with the hope that you will take the WHOLE WEEK OFF (like a vacation, or something).

  118. so do tell about harvard — did you stop and see any good yarn stores? i’m doing a harvard/williams/amherst swing with my oldest son in october, and am trying to figure out which yarn stores i’m going to drag him through.
    is it wrong to make your child pick a college based on where you like the yarn best?

  119. Okay Dammit Harlot, I’m doing my best.
    I’m a new knitter, come from a mum that thinks puff paint on canvas is old arts. I really am trying. I’m in the deep south of the USA, talking about the lands that have cotton blooming on both of tha side roads. I’m having a really hard time with my knitting, especially blocking as I have no one to help me. I knitted up a shawl, and it looks like a cat had an epileptic fit with some string, I’ve tried blocking but it ended up badly…..I’m trying, I really am.
    Help? Tips? Wine? Sheesh…….

  120. How about considering the “Harvard of the North”? Is that McGill? Or U. of T.? Or??? Not that we want you to stay away from the blog any longer — one wants one’s Harlot fix…

  121. Deare Harlotte,
    It has beene noticed bye a contingente of youre deare admirers that you have beene gone for quiete a lonng spelle.
    Pleease come back.
    We luve you dearely.
    Youre Olde Englishe Readeres

  122. Dear Harlot,
    Your online family misses you too. All is forgiven. Please come home. Bring presents.
    The blog people

  123. You don’t really need to make it up to them that you were off earning a living, do you? Have a great time, what ever you’re calling it.

  124. Hope you enjoyed your trip to my hometown. I grew up in Boston and went to high school in Cambridge just down the river from that school. Course, my guess is that it isn’t the only school you saw there :). Hope your daughter gets to go to whatever school tugs at her heartstrings.

  125. Dear Stephanie & family,
    have a great time…my current home is in DC area & we have yet to get to Boston…must go since I now have the lowdown on all the yarn shops…er, historic stuff there.
    beautiful daughter[s] & socks.
    thanks so much for sharing your private life with us.
    Thanks to all the commentors…tators…you folks making comments – you also cheer my day…speaking of which, better get back to some daily stuff & knitting, too.
    except for my little rant – please don’t be offended:
    to a *host* of you who live in towns with a yarn shop, a little perspective: I grew up in a town[pop. 800] with no library let alone a yarn shop. Someone finally started a library in one of the empty storefronts on the 3-block long downtown. It was all volunteer with donated books. Any yarn was found at Ben Franklin or Spurgeons in neighboring towns…you got it,scratchy acrylic! Some places just don’t have the resources many of us take for granted. Even in the ‘8o’s when I lived in a bigger town [10,000] the yarn was in the fabric shop which closed & was re-opened by someone else who didn’t carry yarn & eventually that shop closed, too. Rural USA is struggling.
    Anyway, thanks for listening to the rant which I meant to be kind & it reads like a *rant*.
    please accept my apologies.
    Knit on!!
    KT in VA

  126. The pinkish socks make me squint and think. I like the Trekking “plain” (anything but!) socks better. But that’s just me!
    And when you try pahk your cah in Hahvahd Yahd, remembah: there’s no pahking.
    Damn, 20 years later, that still cracks me up.
    (anyone else seeing a theme of “bear of very little brain” here?)

  127. Stephanie,
    Hope you had a blast in Boston. Having recently graduated said pictured college, might I note that it can provide a wonderful college experience, albeit with the expected academic and social challenges? IMO, it was four years well spent. Might I recommend Burdick’s in Harvard Square for hot chocolate on your next visit, as well as Mike’s Pastry in the North End for cannoli? Both are well worth the time to visit and conveniently located a short walk or T ride away from yarn stores…

  128. You were in my city?! And I didn’t even know?! I ran past the state house earlier today…..
    But as you can see from my email address Meg should know there is a MUCH better college several stops down the red line, or a couple miles down the Charles. It’s MUCH cooler than that silly school you visited.

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