Boston Briefly

For the first time on this tour, I can tell you that I am well and properly tired. Wiped. Out. Almost incoherent. I would have blogged sooner today but I decided to have a little lie down when I got to Jacksonville (Today’s flights, Boston- Washington, Washington Jacksonville) in order to stand a chance at doing anything other than drooling at tonight’s event. I’ve not got much knitting to show you either, since a huge symptom of my fatigue is that I’m no longer knitting on flights, but just holding my knitting while I drift in and out of sleep and drink endless cups of coffee, and when I came in from the Boston gig last night, all I did was pack my things, gaze wistfully at a beer, and my knitting, and fall asleep without touching either. That means that all I’ve got to show you is the only thing I’ve done without falling asleep in the last 24 hours, and that was meet Boston knitters. Behold.



I’m afraid you’re going to get the short version (though it was a hugely entertaining evening) because I’ve only got a few minutes before I have to go to the Jacksonville event. (It’s all running together now. I can feel that I’m going to screw something up soon. Maybe this blog post. We’ll see.) Boston was all about celebrating firsts.

First socks (Emily, Martha, Jess, Amanda, Courtney)



First knitter I’ve ever met who knit herself a David Tennant. (That would be Alexis.)


First handspun colourwork hat for Rena


First baby (I think) for Jessica (that’s pretty little Cordelia)


First cables for Lily,


First finished Christmas present for Amber


First time I’ve ever seen anybody figure out how to represent a bell changeringing chart into a cables


(That’s Asher and Mira – changeringers themselves – they call the pattern Cambridge Major.)

First project in the round for Tabitha, at the tender age of 9


Finally, this is Heather.


She dyes the Eye of Jupiter yarn, and she thinks that knitting a single sock to protest the lack of new episodes for BSG is the best idea ever. So we’re doing it. Jumping on Rebecca’s train and knitting protest socks. More later. I’ve got 4 minutes to get to the lobby.

PS. Last night Kimberly brought me a pizza, knowing that room service would be over by the time I got back there, and that it would be all meated up anyway.


I almost kissed her full on the mouth. Best Stalker ever.

2 minutes. Gak.

93 thoughts on “Boston Briefly

  1. You did all this in just a few minutes, tired as you are? You rock, Stephanie. Of course, seeing the crowds and reading your posts makes me really wish you were coming back to Denver on this tour.
    Hope you can get some rest tonight and resume normal knitting tomorrow.

  2. and what a beautiful site in Boston. Must have that change-ringing pattern–do you suppose they’d share? get some rest, think about it later if ever.

  3. Man, I wish I could be there! Just got “Free-Range Knitter”. Haven’t had a chance to read it all yet, but I read the first essay (about Annabelle), and I laughed out loud three times before I’d even finished the first page! I’m going to snuggle up with it this weekend. Good luck, and PLEASE take care of yourself. Repeat after me: “Sleep is good. Sleep is good. I am sleeping. I… am… sleep… zzz.” It might work!

  4. You take great photos of babies – if you get tired of all the traveling that goes along with writing books, maybe you could become a children’s photographer. Photos of Boston – very nice. Too bad you didn’t have a bit of time to spend there. One of my daughters is a BU alum & I always loved visiting her when she was at school.

  5. No knitting , no beer , no rest and on the go again. I’m getting tired just thinking about all that you do. WHEW HOW do you do it? Good luck . You’ll soon be at Rhinbeck and HOPE you get some rest there so you can enjoy it all. ALL the best an thanks for posting .

  6. Are you ever coming to DC (other than passing through on your way to Jacksonville)?
    Please update the “Harlot on Tour” calendar so the rest of us can know where and when you are going to be.
    I’d like to buy you at least one beer when you’re here!

  7. I wish I could come see you in Jacksonville but I couldn’t do the 2 hr drive without missing classes. I hope it goes great though. Please come to Florida again! Love you!
    UCFknitGirl on ravelry

  8. yes, what is that lovely space you spoke in? I’d like to think it’s one of the original colonial churches of Boston, though I am guessing not, actually.

  9. Last night was the best!! I am so glad I had the chance to see you. Your humor is enchanting, but what you teach us about self esteem is pretty terrific stuff!! I so look forward to reading your blog every day. PS – I am the one with the Smuttynose!

  10. As much as I love to hear about everything you share with us, I may be happier if you take tomorrow off from blogging and rest up for Rhinebeck. Seriously. It’s a long time until you’re home. Rest. We’ll get over it. Take care and safe travels!

  11. My boss used to say “Running in ever-decreasing circles at ever-increasing speeds.” Some of us are just sitting, heads cocked like Labs, waiting for the “piff.”
    I’ve never been, but I doubt that Rhinebeck=rest.

  12. it was great to hear you speak last night! thank you so much for coming to boston. also, the book is my favorite so far: very funny and a wonderful book in its own right. and i’m so glad that you embraced that and read for us.
    i love how i can compliment away,knowing you’re not going to get a swelled head because of the whole falling-up-stairs and running into trees phenomenon =]

  13. Wow! Boston has some impressive knitters! The bell ringers chart pattern is so cool. It reminds me of that pattern for the DNA strand – I have a friend who has adapted that one a lot for her daughter-in-law, including putting it on her first baby’s sweater! I hope you have a great time in Jacksonville. Where in Boston was this event? I think I know but just wonder.

  14. Wow, I’m exhausted just hearing about your travels. I hope you get some good rest today and tomorrow. Take care of yourself!

  15. Get some rest, girl. A good, long rest. You’ll get sick if you don’t.
    That said, there’s nothing so relaxing as just holding your knitting as you drift off, is there?

  16. Oh my goodness. Jessica with lovely little Cordelia, I know you! We worked together briefly a number of years ago. I don’t know if you’ll read the comments, but congratulations!

  17. Last night was awesome – I was really inspired by your talk and your openness (the sense of humor was, of course, amazing but expected). And I can’t believe that I didn’t see Knitted!DavidTennant!

  18. You poor devil. I’d sympathize, but you’re so exhausted and behind the eight ball that you can’t possibly have time to read the comments this week. Anyway, keep your eye on the prize – Rhinebeck – and save some energy.

  19. Oh, showing my ignorance — I had to look up what change ringing was. In case anyone is in the same uninformed boat, here’s a link.
    Click on the sound/video links and you’ll instantly recognize the work of change ringers.
    I’ve learned my one new word for the day — thank You!
    Hope you get some rest.

  20. Final episodes of BSG season 4 will air in January and conclude on March 20th! I’m only half-way through season 2 and I can’t wait. I must see what this Eye of Jupiter Yarn is all about…

  21. Willing to knit a protest sock though I haven’t yet started BSG. [Maybe a good winter holiday project to knit with…? What size do Cylons wear?]
    Hope you get some sleep. While the coffee might fight the yawns, I hope you’re working in some fruit juice too so the caffeine crash is not too vicious.

  22. Also, consider a European book tour. Everything’s closer together than North America, so maybe less time in airports/travelling? [Though couldn’t be sure what with security.]

  23. I hope you enjoyed that pizza! You sure earned it! I hope you get a few (Or more. More is always good.) moments for yourself soon. Happy Knitting and thanks for touching my monkey. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  24. You poor thing. I can only imagine how tired you must be. Bless your heart. I bet this makes the days of having a newborn and toddlers look pretty easy, huh?
    PS. I know it’s bad when you just look at the beer…

  25. As a former Bostonian, I was there with you in spirit! What awesome area knitting. after a recent birthday present for my son, my most popularly requested sock lately is the “Boston Red Sox” sock. OK so tonight they are not doing so well, but Boston is faithful to their teams and they will come back! (so will your energy)
    Rest in peace!

  26. I knew it! I just knew knitters had their own church somewhere! Church of the Holy Needles? Our Lady of Purls?

  27. Fun! I would LOVE to get the pattern for the changeringing scarf, if Asher and Mira can share. I have a dear friend who is a change-ringer (I ring, but not change-ringing, yet) and I would love to make this for her. Thanks for any help, Elizabeth

  28. Gah!! You were HERE – in DC – and you didn’t call??!! I would have brought a truly excellent cup of coffee and a beautiful baby to visit you at the airport! Next time, you gotta tell me!!!!

  29. Wow, some realy gorgeous work there! The Cambridge Major is AMAZING. I’d sure love to know what the cable sweater pattern is that Lily’s making. (ugh, bad grammar. Also tired)

  30. I sure wish it was sometime between January and th end of March then I could be in Jacksonville tonight. Hope some of my stitching friends from Fernandina Beach are there to greet you. I also would like the Cambridge Major pattern. Hope it can come about somehow.

  31. Heh. It’s a sad state of affairs lady, and I totally understand; I have not actually spun yarn since like uh Sunday. Because of the passing out. Earlier this evening I pondered jabbing a skein of yarn with 2 pointy sticks to see if anything magical happened, but then I was too tired. You are a good and noble woman and far stronger than I.

  32. Thank you so much for coming out to Boston and reading from your book for us!
    It was definitely a night of firsts – it was my first time to hear you speak and my husband’s first time to see so many knitters in one place all knitting away at the same time. I don’t think he’s recovered yet. We really had a wonderful time and can’t wait to see you again next time you come to speak in Boston!
    Also, I think my first socks are enjoying their 15 minutes of fame…
    Good luck with the rest of the tour and I hope you have some relaxing time with a fantastic knitting project when you’re all done!
    koto-chan on Ravelry

  33. Are you planning on giving us a Canadian perspective on the Gay Nader Fans for Peace party winning the election? The Daily Show only briefly touched on it enough to say that the reason Dion couldn’t run here in the US was his French accent.

  34. Heh. Presbytera is right – I guess change-ringing is in the air this week. The Tsweater had to hit the back burner a couple of weeks ago, so I won’t be wearing it at Rhinebeck, alas. But what we WILL be doing at Rhinebeck this weekend is releasing “The Nine Tailors” – the sock from our 2007 club that features change-ringing both as cables and as colorwork. Kent Treble Bob Major makes for some highly satisfying knitting, I can tell you.

  35. The David Tennant is fracking awesome.
    Part of me wants to get on board with the “Where the frack is my BSG” but I’ve been on a wicked finishing stint lately and I don’t want to jinx it.
    I’m thinking relaxing, well-rested, easy travel thoughts your way. Be well!

  36. I love the Doctor Who. He could only be improved by being life-size and in alpaca. Yum.
    I don’t know how you manage all this travel and stay upright. I’m so knackered that I’m afraid I’ll go to sleep and not wake up until Monday, missing the entire Rhinebeck weekend.
    I’m so jet-lagged I might be a trifle deranged. It’s a wonder you’re even slightly sane!

  37. Wow, I want that Cambridge Major pattern, too! My sister-in-law is a changeringer, and a knitter, but she can’t follow patterns any more because of vision problems, and I’d love to do it for her.
    Oh, all right, one for her, and one for me! It’s GORGEOUS!

  38. Get some sleep as soon as you can. In the mean time I will curiously admire the crazy Gothic backdrop to your pictures. (I have to admit, it’s distracting me from the lovely knitters.)

  39. This is a Public Service Announcement: the second part of Season 4 BSG starts mid-January, 2009. Apparently on both sides of the border.
    It’s OK to breathe again.

  40. I’m with you… too much travel makes even good, spritely goddesses napping fools. Sleep well–Boston looks like a lively, entertaining bunch:-O

  41. What a beautiful church! What flavor is it?
    Now, get some rest. We want you happy and healthy.

  42. I know it was a tough day for you getting from Boston to Jacksonville and pulling yourself together enough to make it through the evening, so please know we REALLY appreciate your visit and your stories. You said some important things and gave us lots to think about. and even if the hotel had no-where near the class of the church, well it’s warm here and there are never any furnace wars… so maybe in twenty years you and Joe can think about calling a truce to the furnace wars and enjoying our lovely winter weather together down here. Thanks for making the trip down, your stories were worth every minute of our three hour drive from Tallahassee. I’ll send you a copy of the paparazzi photos if they came out okay.

  43. At least NY, Boston and JAX are all in the same time zone, but dear gods woman, who in the name of all that is woolly booked you for four consecutive nights in four different cities?
    Toronto to San Francisco – 2630 miles
    SF to Seattle – 808 miles
    Seattle to SOAR – 2724 miles
    SOAR to KC – 1120 miles
    KC to Brooklyn – 1195 miles
    Brooklyn to Boston – 215 miles
    Boston to JAX – 1143 miles
    JAX to Rhinebeck – 1016 miles (I can give u a ride from Newark….)
    Rhinebeck to Toronto – 411 miles
    For a grand total of 11,265 miles. (All mileage totals courtesy of mapquest and you should see the map).
    So? Where are you gonna go with the frequent flier miles?

  44. I am so sad that I couldn’t drive over to see you last night in Jax. I live about 90 mins away, which is certainly a do-able drive, but I work nights in my county’s 9-1-1 center and couldn’t take a chance on not getting back before my shift started. Sadly, we’re not well enough staffed for me to have gotten the evening off. I do thank you for making the trek all the way to the Sunshine State, though. And I second Linda M’s comment: y’all come spend a winter down here sometime. I’d love to show you around my part of the state! Have fun at Rhinebeck. Restful fun, but fun nonetheless.

  45. Thank you for coming to the greater Boston/Cambridge/Somerville area. I really enjoyed your speach and was delighted about the conclusions you have come to. You are so very talented and we are so lucky to have you in our lives.
    That being said, I would also like to say “Damn, you are such a pro”. I could barely get out announcements and an intro (and by barely, I mean I didn’t)and you went on for over an hour and then spoke to everyone in the signing line. I believe that you should get a sponsorship deal with Gatorade and become a spokes person for the sport of knitting… ๐Ÿ™‚ (I’ll be the first to drop the jug of gatorade over your head. ๐Ÿ™‚

  46. I’m so glad the Kimberly brought you a pizza this time rather than panties! It was a great time again – and I swear, I wasn’t stalking you from the bookstore back to the venue – I really just wanted a latte! (yup, that’s me again!) (BTW, if anyone needs coffee in Porter Square, the shop in the front of Porter Square Books is great!) Thanks for coming ’round here again!

  47. the pictures from boston are so beautiful! it’s a nice change of pace for those of us that are just watching the tour recap. ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks.

  48. I absolutely adore that they had you speak in a church. Oh, the acoustics, oh the space and the height and the beauty of that room. And I love the idea of that many women knitting in church. Almost makes me want to start attending again, just to sit and knit for an hour of Peace. Of course, it would be tough in the choir, but I bet you could hide a sock, hat, mitt, legwarmer or even sleeve in one of those magnificent robes they make the singers wear. Hmmmm. Oh the possibilities.

  49. Of course Mira made a scarf with change-ringing charts. She is pretty awesome like that, lol. I know her from school, and saw her at the event for the first time in a while, so that was cool. Also, I’ve never seen so many people knitting in one room ever. It was such a cool experience, finding oneself suddenly smack-dab in a room of their own kind. So I really must thank you for coming to Boston, because it was amazing!

  50. Stephanie- thank you for coming out to Boston, it was great to hear you. (I’m enjoying your new book, but rationing the chapters to make it last longer :).
    Andrea, Berni, Marina-
    The church was St. James Episcopal in Cambridge, MA, a beautiful Richardson Romanesque church built in 1888 (according to the church website here: I wish there were more pictures on the site- it’s really lovely. It’s right around the corner from Porter Square Books, the extremely charming bookstore which was hosting the event.

  51. Laurel! Wow! Hi!! Drop me a note, I’d love to get back in touch!
    (Cordelia is baby #2 – my 2 year-old was home with daddy).
    Steph, we’d never have known you were so tired – I have no idea how you do it! Thanks so much for coming out to Cambridge!
    Out of curiosity, how many times have you spoken in a church?

  52. You are such a travel animal, and a blogging maniac. The Boston photos look very spiritual, and continuing fun.
    You go girl!
    Warmest wishes,

  53. I thought you were a bit overtired (it may not show on your face, but it was definitely a marked difference from when I saw you at FIT), so I decided not to stand in line. Hopefully you can manage to get yourself caught up on sleep at some point.
    I’ll be at Rhinebeck on Sunday (though no idea if I’ll be there early enough for your signing). We just need someone else to do your laundry for a week or two, so in those brief moments you are home you can sleep and knit instead of sleep, knit and wash.

  54. Thank you for coming to Cambridge and for giving us such a wonderful evening. It was inspiring to be among so many women knitting in that beautiful church.
    And I’m adding my voice to the chorus of those who would love the pattern for Cambridge Major, if Asher and Mira are willing to share.

  55. Here’s another wish for the change-ringing cables pattern…. A wonderful book in which change-ringing figures very prominently is Dorothy Sayers’ mystery The Nine Tailors. (That’s where the other pattern name comes from.) PBS did it years and years ago with Ian Carmichel as Lord Peter; very true to the book. Your library should have either/both….

  56. The Cambrigdge Major scarf is very clever! I remember enough of my attempts at changeringing to recognize that it’s a good representation. Let me join the other commenters in saying that I’d love it if the pattern was available somewhere.
    A changeringer’s chart rendered into a cable scarf would be the perfect thank-you gift for my dad, who chauffered me from St. Louis to Kansas City for the Monday night event. My dad’s first comments after getting in the car to go home were about how Unity Temples’ bells were at a different pitch than standard bell towers — minor 5th or some such other incomprehensible to the designated-knitter-of-the-family.
    (When we lived in England, my dad tried to teach me changeringing & my mom tried to teach me to knit. Neither stuck, though knitting got a second chance when I was in Norway & discovered continental style.)

  57. I was there (you rocked) and I was wearing my first socks but then I felt all shy and that it wouldn’t be right to stick my feet up on the table to show you.
    Although, it might have helped you wake up…

  58. I don’t know how you keep this up. Thank goodness for your sense of humor and commitment to knit us all together. (harhar) Cambridge Major is stunning.

  59. Thanks for coming out to Boston! I wish I’d stayed, there was a crocheted monkey waiting to meet you, but he got voted out by hunger. I did pick up a copy of Free Range Knitter, which is my first book by you. It’s quite hilarious, so I picked up Things I Learned from Knitting as well. That knit David Tennant is boggling my mind. I missed pizza girl…no coffee with the pizza?

  60. Thank you so much for visiting us! I enjoyed your talk and look forward to reading your book. What may not be clear from the pictures is that almost everyone in the church was knitting – blankets, socks, shawls – exchanging pattern ideas, admiring other knitter’s finished projects. So much fun- thanks again! =)

  61. Thank you for coming to Boston. I really do not envy your schedule, but you were very gracious for someone who had to be completely exhausted. I have never attended one of your signings and was so excited to actually have the chance. (It felt amazing to be in a room full of knitters.) I hope you had a chance to have a little fun while you were here.

  62. I’ll echo everyone here: thank you for coming to Cambridge! I loved your talk! I don’t know how you manage to keep up with your schedule, and still be such a wonderful speaker. Am even more in awe of you. ๐Ÿ™‚
    The cable sweater pattern is indeed Wisteria…though the top is kind of messed up, as I didn’t get gauge and was halfway through the body of the sweater before I admitted that it wouldn’t fit me even stretched to the limit…but I was too stubborn to frog the cables for the FOURTH time so I just kind of increased at random until it fit. Yeah. An auspicious start for a first sweater!
    (Fizz on ravelry)
    (there are a few more pics from the talk on my blog, too)

  63. I was sure I wrote a comment on this thread, but I may have hallucinated it Thursday night from being exhausted.
    SO. Thank you all for the compliments on the change ringing scarf. I had a really great time knitting it, and enjoyed the sheer nerdery of it all. Plus, you know, cozy and warm.
    I’ve written a pattern for it, and it should be available Monday, and I’ll link it here when it’s up.
    And if you like the scarf, you should go check out the Nine Tailors sock by Lisa Grossman, because it’s beautiful and I desire it, and she’s been doing change ringing knitting way longer than me!

  64. Wow your talents continue to amaze me! your sweet self, writing speaking traveling KNITTING children civilized politics kindness thinking designing color creation spinning and now bell ringing. you are a lovely multi faceted gem in the flesh. love that Cambridge Major cable.

  65. HAhahaha, the baby you introduced as Cordelia induced a dyslexic moment and I read Corridale. For a whole minute there I thought some brave soul had a daughter named Corridale. Which actually would not be a terrible name, lol.

  66. I have to ask this here, because I can’t find the info elsewhere on the blog. Where were you in Boston? What a beautiful setting.

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