There’s not a lot of money in Revenge

Graham Norton’s my new best friend. (Sort of. We haven’t met. I mean, he just emailed me a picture, and we’ve only spoken on the phone for a moment, so we’re not that close yet. He sort of lives far away as well. We’ll work it out.)


This, however, is Greg Kinnear, kinneared in London on the set of The Graham Norton Show by Greg Kinnear himself. (I was on the phone. He got three tries.) I worried actually, that if Greg Kinnear kinneared himself and it was sent to the woman who invented kinnearing by kinnearing Greg Kinnear that it might cause some sort of rift in the fabric of time and space… but I’ve looked out the window, and things seem all right. Dudes. Kinnearings gone officially international, and in a really weird way.

Let me back up.

This morning I got a crazy email. I staggered to my desk and found a little email from a guy named Ben at The Graham Norton Show in the UK. (We get that show here on BBC Canada. I’m a fan.) Odd, I think (I think that a lot. I mean, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but things are odd far more of the time than they’re just chugging along) and I read what he’s got to say, which is essentially “Greg Kinnear is popping by to talk to Graham, and we’d like permission to show maybe your blog while he talks about being a verb if it comes up… is that ok?”

Well. I think. Why not. What could it hurt? I mean, Conan used the pictures from the blog without phoning or emailing at all, so I suppose that the least I can do to reward this considerable politeness is to say yes. Which I do, and he telephones and says that’s lovely, and we talk a little bit about what’s going on, and he says “Maybe we can kinnear Greg Kinnear and send you a picture” and we both thought that would be good. Funny even. Unlikely, I think. and I fire off the permission email, and I drink coffee. The last time someone told me they were going to be with Greg Kinnear, it was Carol, and I believed her, because… I’ve met Carol, and she’s a knitter, and if I can’t trust a knitter, then by the wrath of moth, who can I trust? I got on with the rest of my day… until a little while ago when Graham Norton called my house and we chatted with Greg Kinnear (I know), and now, when suddenly I’ve got a Greg Kinnear picture, and I like how it feels.

This brings me to the revenge part. Near as I can tell, what Greg’s got out of this deal is pretty good. He’s got a funny story to talk about on national TV shows with huge stars and he’s been turned into a verb and immortalized as a new word in the New York Times and the Urban Dictionary. That’s pretty good.

I, to be fair, have gotten almost the same thing. I got a funny story to talk about on national TV shows with huge stars… the fact that I don’t go on National TV shows and talk to huge stars as often (or ever, really) as Greg does is irrelevant… It could happen, and if it does, I’ll be as prepared as Greg is. When the NYT listed Kinnearing as a word, they listed me as its inventor… that’s pretty seriously neat too. Me and Greg. Evensies. Absolutely on par…. except for one thing.

Ever since I invented Kinnearing, I have been kinneared within an inch of my life. I have been kinneared at the grocery store, at the airport, at yarn shops, on the bus, at my book signings, at speaking engagements, in bookstores, at festivals…. Everywhere, and all of this has resulted in a plethora of horrendous images of myself plastered all over the internets. Images that, once seen, I have to carry in my heart forever. Now, I don’t blame people. I really don’t. It was my idea. I thought it was funny to do it to Greg, and it’s both funny and flattering when it’s done to me. Turnabout’s fair play. I’ve accepted that if you invent kinnearing, then it’s only fair to have an odd slanted photo of my arse at the post office in a pair of baggy yoga pants emailed to me. I’m the one who went to the post office in my baggy yoga pants. I won’t do it again, and I accept all blame. Lesson learned. That said… don’t you think that if Greg Kinnear is reaping some of the benefits, that Greg Kinnear should have to bear some of the burden? I think that today is a special day. I think today is the day that I tell you that I’m putting Greg Kinnear on my most wanted list, and that I’ll donate to MSF every time somebody mails me a photo of Greg Kinnear, kinneared. (Do try to remember the fine line between stalking and kinnearing.. yes? There’s no bail fund.)

(Ps. Try to get his arse… and try to make it unflattering… will ya?)

The timing is perfect

I was getting seriously wound up yesterday (I know. It’s so not like me) I’m going to be speaking in Madison this weekend and that’s like… in three days. I immediately had a complete meltdown, and then realized that the timing on this one is perfect. Totally perfect.

The top ten reasons why it is a good idea to leave town.

1. The dirty bit on the shawl came out, but it vexes me anyway. I think that it and I should have a time out, and it’s not a good travel project anyway. Too white, too fragile, too many charts. It’s a chesterfield project, and that’s where I’m keeping it. I hope it misses me.

2. I will not have to wage war with an appliance of any kind for 48 hours. This is good because I’m really starting to believe that the dishwasher is toying with me. One day it drains, the next it refuses. This seems to be related to how many dishes are in it, and how much I don’t want to wash them. I feel that this is personal, and yesterday when it refused to void its steamy dish slag, the urge to mangle its racks was overwhelming. Time to go.

3. I’ll be able to get some knitting time on the plane. (Hold up there! Wait! You… the one in the back.. I see you. You’re about to send me an email or type a comment asking me if I can really knit on the plane, or am I sure I will be able to knit on the plane, or maybe I should check and see if I can knit on the plane, or ask me if I am really, really going to knit on the plane, or maybe even ask me how it is that I can knit on the plane, or enquire about how I arrange being able to knit on the plane, or ask me what sort of needles I fly with because you are flying and you want to knit on the plane but you don’t think that you’ll be allowed and am I really allowed to fly on the plane?


– I am going to knit on the plane.

-I am going to take whatever needles I want.

-Nobody has ever, ever said anything to me at security, even when my bag is being hand searched and I say “Whoops there, mind the bag full of a multitude of metal needles, don’t want to poke yourself”. The only thing that has ever been said to me by security is ” Are those socks?” “That’s pretty” or “My sister knits too”.

-I have never phoned ahead to see if I will be allowed. (I admit, this is because I think that if you ask them to think about it, they get worried that maybe you’re asking because you think they might say no (which is true) and that then they say no, because they figure that if someone thinks they might say no then they should, just to be sure.

– For the record, I fly more than a carrier pigeon.

4. No internet connection while I’m on the plane. That means that for at least a few hours on Friday and Sunday, I have an excellent excuse for why I can’t deal with my inbox.

5. The last time I went to Wisconsin, I spoke at an event at Yellow Dog Knitting, and I had a really good time. Really good, actually. This time I’m with the Madison Guild, and I’m expecting a fair bit of overlap. I know I’ll see Joyce Williams again, and I’ll get to meet Meg Swansen, which is really neat because we’ve only ever spoken on the phone. (I am nervous about that a bit.) The best part last time was the knitters though, some I think it’s really fun to see every few years, and I can’t wait. (I’m hoping for Dale-Harriet, Shelly, Vicki (when my blog pictures grow up, they want to be Vicki’s blog pictures) Beadslut, Chris, Cursing mama… I know some of them have lives that don’t include me… but I’m still pretty excited.

5a. Holy cow. I missed a trip to Madison. I was there last April. (How could I not remember that? I plead book tour. There’s no way you can expect a writer to know where they are and what they’re doing under those circumstances. To be fair, I remember that day beautifully. I just didn’t know I was in Madison.

6. The weather in Wisconsin will not be a shock to my system. Unlike many Canadians who are going to go to Mexico, or Cuba or the Bahamas for March Break (we do not call it “spring break”, because it’s just not accurate) I am not going to put myself through the emotional rollercoaster of actually seeing the sun and feeling it’s warmth on my skin, only to have all of that hope dashed into a million dark shards on my return. Wisconsin is a much healthier choice, emotionally speaking.

7. It has been a long time since people have held my socks. I miss it. (I’m not worried that’s weird either.)

8. Chris Farley is from there. (I’m not sure why that’s relevant.)

9. I forget what 9 was. I’m out of coffee.

10. The Madison Knitting guild is wicked, and I’m pretty sure that none of the teenagers there are my problem.

See you there. Saturday. We’ll have squeaky cheese.


I wasn’t going to blog today (don’t you find that the whole “spring ahead” daylight savings thing puts you way more behind than an hour?) but I’m just so annoyed I have to share.

Look at this.


I was admiring my knitting and noticed that somehow, a stretch of my snowy merino/angora has gotten soiled, and I didn’t notice, and I knit it in. (I suppose that this is the eventual price for knitting instead of cleaning… some sort of cosmic come-uppance. Noted.) I don’t know if that’s dirt that will wash out, or a stain, or what, but there’s really no point in continuing until I try and wash it out, since if it won’t wash out, I’ll have to rip back, take out that bit and reknit.

Is there some sort of a hit out on this project?

Seriously. You can tell me. I’m figuring it out anyway.

(Also, I got the dishwasher back together but it doesn’t care that the penny is out. Score: Major appliance 1, Stephanie 0.)

Cash Positive

You know, I am starting to think that I might be one of the very rare people on the earth who are not necessarily saving time by owning appliances.

Last night, the dishwasher suffered a relapse. A few weeks ago it had stopped draining, and was filled with water that … well. Some of you might be eating. Let’s just say it was gross. (Use your imagination and know that you are probably falling short of the mark. ) Joe and I disconnected the hose from the pipe under the sink, cleaned it out and drained the thing into a bucket for about 9 loads, all of which were pretty much boiling water, baking soda and vinegar. Whatever was blocking the hose seemed to clear, and we were back in business, seemingly having fixed the thing with a minimum of money and upset, which was excellent, since we are usually so short on the former and long on the latter. (I’m glossing over the episode contained in that interval in which I emptied the bucket full of odious and fetid crap into the sink without thinking… and had the whole thing pour out of the hole in the pipe and into my cabinets. I don’t want to think of it, and besides, I’m not proud of how I behaved.)

That seemed to do enough penance for the thing, and life carried on with our dishwasher draining, which I really didn’t realize I was this emotionally attached to, but there you have it. (I’m a reasonably recent initiate to dishwashers. This is the first one I’ve ever had, and I constantly think of it as “the gift that keeps on giving”. Life changing piece of equipment.) It kept on working until last night, when Joe opened it and discovered it still full of steaming dish-slag, and we realized that it might take more than baking soda to lick this one. I got the screwdriver, thinking that maybe threatening it with tools might possibly get it to shape up, and then realized that really, I don’t know what I’m doing and I’d likely do more harm then good, and besides, Joe was going to fetch some sort of “enzyme stuff” that would likely fix it, and so I put down the screwdriver and backed away from the appliance.

This morning though, this morning I don’t know what came over me. I sat at my desk and I was so far away from fixing anything there, and the kids are so far away from being done either, and I looked at my inbox and my knitting and my writing and everything that needed doing and I snapped. I snapped and I thought “SOMETHING is going to come of today, damn it all” and I took up the screwdriver, and…


I disassembled the dishwasher. I didn’t take it all the way apart, thwarted by needing something a friend told me is called a “socket wrench”, and I can’t quite find the thingie that the repair website says has to come apart to be “cleared” but I did take a lot of screws out of that bastard, and I’m not taking no for an answer. I have a feeling I’m in over my head, and that I might not be fixing anything, and that a smarter woman would just look for another place to take repair money out of the budget, but I’m not a smarter woman. I’m me, and that’s all I’ve got.

There is a little good news though. While I’ve had it apart (and I’m not sure it will go properly back together) I did discover, down under that flying saucer part that won’t come out without the “socket wrench” a single, disgusting, bashed up PENNY, that may have been part of the problem, and certainly can’t have been doing the beast any favours. It was under the grate that is supposed to keep that sort of thing out, and I extracted it with a 4mm aluminum double pointed needle, and the aforementioned screwdriver.

I don’t know if that fixed it. I’d have to figure out how to properly reassemble the thing to know, and I was feeling a little down about it. Then I talked with Rachel H on the phone and I felt a lot better, ’cause as Rachel pointed out, so far today, I’ve turned a profit. I might not have solved my problem, but dudes I did make a penny!

I’m no appliance repair guy, but I’m totally in the black.


The strangest thing going on around here. Entirely bizarre. I wake up in the morning, address my to do list, and then glance out the window and see that the bright burning day star is gone and it is night again and I missed almost everything. Yesterday the trouble was compounded by a raging UTI, (got meds. feeling a little better today) and the fact that Meg is trying to finish all of her university stuff, even though she really, really, really doesn’t want anything to change and would love it if High School went on forever. (I’m with her, actually.)

Then suddenly it’s dinner time and I’ll be darned if that doesn’t just appear on the table without some sort of effort, then there’s homework and more essays and such for all the girls… and then I am overcome with exhaustion, knit three rows on this shawl and collapse into my bed. When I wake up, the bright burning day star is back, and I hit the reset button. I’m not unhappy or overwhelmed, (except maybe with the UTI, which seems totally and completely fair) I’m just super, stupid, crazy busy with being a mum – and that seems fair too.

I am thinking that tomorrow will be much better, and I will write a blog then. What are you doing?

Auspicious Days

1. It has been four days in a row without screwing up the shawl. I am doing nupps now (rhymes with “soups”) and I love them very much and they aren’t even a pain in the arse, but Nancy is not kidding when she says to do them “loosely”.


She means it. She really does. Fear not the sloppiness, for it shall reward you on the next row when you have to “p5 tog”.

2. I am working on updating the tour page, because right now it’s all of last years stuff. For now I can tell you this:

Saturday March 14th, Madison, Wisconsin. I’ll be speaking at the Knit in that the Madison Knitters Guild (truly, one of the really great guilds out there) have planned. Information on how to get in is here. (There’s a PDF to click on there, it takes you to the registration form. Click on the “Classes Descriptions, Schedule, & Registration Form” line.) I think most of the classes are full, but I’m pretty sure you can still get in to hear me speak. I’m doing a lot less this year, and it’s been a long while since I was in this neck of the woods, so I’m thrilled. Totally thrilled. Hope I see you there.

March 30 – April 4th. Camp Knitty-ha-ha. (AKA – sock camp) at the Port Ludlow Resort. This is for Sock Club members only, (I think. It’s possible Tina can be bribed.) but I’m teaching there and who only knows what we’ll get up to. Buckets of fun, undoubtedly.

May 30th – June 7th Saskatchewan Stitches Conference (Haus of Stitches.) I’ll be speaking and teaching in beautiful Muenster, Sask. and I’m really excited to be doing such a great Canadian event. It’s nice to get on a plane and not need my passport, and this event promises to be really interesting. Info on what, specifically, I’m doing there, is here., but do poke around. There’s a lot of really great stuff.

3. Today is Ken’s Birthday. Ken is my best friend and the dude who makes this blog go. Without Ken, this blog would crash and burn on a regular basis because I have no idea what I’m doing. Ken is the guy who holds my hand though upgrades, and baby steps changes in the way I have to do things so I don’t freak out because I have to learn another piece of html. I love him for a whole lot of other reasons too, but if you enjoy this blog, then maybe you want to join me in wishing him the happiest of days. Happy Birthday Ken! (I’m going to start your birthday dinner soon. Promise.)