We’re doing a random Wednesday on Tuesday, which is really random which totally is in keeping with the spirit of the thing, so there.

1. I took down the 2008 tour page and put up the 2009 tour page. I’ll be out and about a little bit in the next month or so. I’m looking forward to it.

2. That’s a little lie. I’m really looking forward to being all those extremely good places, and very excited about all of you guys, but deeply regret that I cannot teleport to them, since the travel fills me with an unholy dread I usually save for spiders.

3. Speaking of spiders, there was a very big one on the ceiling over my desk yesterday, so I avoided my desk. This morning when I woke up… it is gone. This is worse, because it could be anywhere. I hate that.

4. I hate that for the sake of growing strong and fearless daughters, I have to pretend not to be a neurotic mess about the spider that is lurking around here. I suck at it, and keep visibly flinching away from things like lint. I wish it would just show itself so we could come back to a stand-off.

5. I decided that I had too many things on the needles and that I totally had to finish some before I started something else. The multiple projects were weighing on me.

6. So I started some spinning. (I don’t understand me some days either.)


(Dicentra Designs, Hand painted Fibre. Blue Faced Leicester Top. Colour – Rohan. Way less neon in person.)

7. At least I was spinning on a Tuesday, which is totally not random and is somewhat reassuring.

8. The Class Schedule for the Sock Summit is up. I would be hugely relieved, but the to do list is MASSIVE on this one, and finishing a task only seems to emphasize the difficulties ahead. I hope I do a good job and that I am sane when I am done.

8. I am not worried about the swine flu. I feel very alone in this. That makes me wonder if I am missing something.

9. That makes me worry.

10. I really wish the sweater I’m knitting now was done. I’m a little cold. I don’t get why I always think that if I’m cold I should knit a sweater. It’s way to slow to help.

254 thoughts on “Randomly

  1. First!
    Saw the class schedule….looks great….I’m hoping to go! I’m not worried about the swine flu either despite my other half working in Mexico City for a week in March.

  2. I’m not worried about the Swine Flu, either. The news has been hyping it so much and if you step back and look at the facts, it’s NOT that huge a deal. Like, yes, be careful, but it’s NOT a pandemic.
    I hate hysteria. I want to move somewhere quiet and away from everyone sometimes. In other news, I love the bobbins. They look cozy. πŸ™‚

  3. I think spiders are easier to feign ‘not seeing’ to ‘not hearing’ thunderstorms – my mother used to hide in her bedroom (usually under the bed, or in a wardrobe) – she did it well, I only knew when I was about 16. I love thunderstorms and rain.

  4. The good news is, you aren’t the only one who isn’t afraid of the swine flu. I figure if I’m going to die, I’m going to die, whether its from a random spontanious rock falling from the sky, a zombie plague, or the pig flu. meh.

  5. And you’re the professional worrier! I’m keeping an eye on swine flu and hoping it doesn’t interfere with my travel over the month of May. I think we’ll have a better idea by fall, when they say there may be a return threat.

  6. Our hardware store sells these inexpensive tennis-racket-y things (mine cost a whole $2 each) that you hold the button in as you swat, and it zaps the spider or other small bug for you. You don’t have to touch it, and it extends your reach a goodly amount. I’ve killed moths in flight that I couldn’t even quite see at that moment.

  7. Enjoy the sunshine; enjoy the beautiful spinning you’ve accomplished; forget the spiders and swine flu. Your daughters will be fine. Hugs! Hazel.

  8. I am right there with you about the spiders. And the too many things on the needles.

  9. I’d never equate travel with spiders. Travel usually doesn’t sneak up on you and make you jump. It doesn’t hide in holes on your woodsy pathway. It doesn’t squish in a disgusting way when you attempt to get rid of it.
    I need to stop. I’m making myself sick.
    I guess travel can make me sick, and is like spiders then.

  10. Vacuum cleaners are great for removing spiders. No need to touch, no need to get too close.

  11. The swine flu’s not worrying. The media treatment of the swine flu and, in the US, the GOP’s unwillingness to fund pandemic-prevention infrastructure are worrying, but the swine flu? They said SARS and bird flu would kill us all, and they were wrong, wrong, wrong. And those were actually pretty deadly. This is not.
    Also: there were two spiders in my shower, which is fine by me because when I’m in my shower there’s water with which I could kill one that decided to land on me (I don’t mind them otherwise, they eat things I mind much more). But now there is only one. I share your worry about where the other has gone. And if it’s, you know, in my hair or something.

  12. You’re not alone in not worrying about the swine flu – yet. The cases outside Mexico have been fairly isolated and relatively mild, so “watch” seems to be a better move than “panic” at this stage of the game.
    The spinning is lovely!

  13. I’m with you — and everybody else in the comments — this Piggy isn’t worried about the swine flu one bit. It’s nice to know how rational we knitters are. (About this, anyway. Now spiders, on the other hand…)

  14. You are not alone. I’m not worried about the swine flu either. I do my best to always feel opposite to what the media wants me to feel.

  15. I’m not worried about the flu either. A little more hand-washing, a little more attention to my general wellbeing and I expect that I’ll come through all of this just fine.
    And about the spiders? They give me the heebies, too. Yech.

  16. I know we’re a tiny state, but I was somehow hoping you’d end up in VT in 2009. Or montreal, that would work too.
    You’re spinning always inspires me.
    I’m not scared of swine flu either. My husband just go over something the dr said was probably flu (without any tests) but I never caught it (knock on wood)
    I just finished a sweater – which is perfect for the cold weather – just as soon as this heat breaks…

  17. Our apartment’s garden door opens up directly into Shelob’s lair. Most days I go into the bedroom to do my spinning in the sun and look out over the garden, but lately the effort of opening the door and potentially having spiders rain down on my head has been extremely disturbing.
    Then I think to myself – wait, I’m a pagan and a dedicated spinner, and yet I’m terrified beyond reason of Grandmother Spider herself? Shouldn’t I honor and protect her, instead of reaching for my spider-crushing tome “Ariadne’s Thread”?
    I’m glad I’m not the only one.

  18. Not worrying about swine flu makes total sense. You know that stressing yourself that way is a hit to your immune system, and if this is something heading your way, you need to keep that system in good shape.

  19. I’m really not that worried about it either. Well, I wasn’t until some random man sneezed without covering his mouth/nose in the grocery this morning. Totally gross. I held my breath and hurried out of the aisle.

  20. Want a joke for your Saskatchewan trip? These two guys from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan decide they have had it with the cold weather. Still in their winter parkas and toques, they jump on the next plane to Australia and go to the first bar to order an ice cold beer. Looking a little out of place, they attract the attention of one of the locals who sidles up to them and asks, “Oy, Mate, Whereyafrom?” They promptly reply, “Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.” Nodding thoughtfully the local walks towards his friends who inquire where the odd looking guys are from. He replies, “Don’t know, they don’t speak English.” babumbum…(sort of keeping with the random theme)

  21. Randomness — ah! My granddaughter (18 months) who has come to stay with us for a month loves being wrapped in something. Anything in fact, so I’m using one of my cashmere scarves, which I REALLY don’t need now in 80 degree weather. She enjoys it though! I haven’t been able to finish any knitting since she arrived as she is still very time intensive, so, I’m randomly playing fun games with a toddler once again! Not worried about swine flu, just teaching what a pig says!!!!

  22. Yeah – the only thing worse than finding a spider is losing one.
    I’m not worried about the swine flu, since no one here has had a fatal case. When that starts happening, I’ll worry.

  23. I feel so justified after reading this post and the comments as I am also not worried about the swine flu and feel that true concern should be reserved for spiders. They are terrifying in a way that the flu can never be. Is this logical? Not really. But that’s also not really the point.

  24. I only found out about swine flu this morning, it just shows that all this practicing at being a hermit is really paying off.
    I like biffle (BFL), it could be my favourite sheepie if it weren’t for my continuing love for shetland.

  25. I’m not worried about the swine flu either. The ‘regular’ flu kills a LOT more people. That said, I practice good handwashing and sneeze or cough into my elbow so as not to spread anything. We have spider (smallish) in our bathroom. I made a deal with it that I will leave it alone if it promises to handle any silverfish that show up. Now anything with MORE than 8 legs is another story…

  26. You are not alone in your non-worry about the swine flu (as others have noted). People (and the media) are being a bit silly.
    And you are coming to Texas. I’m trying not to run down the hall in joy. Fellow coworkers might wonder. πŸ˜‰

  27. The swine flu only worries me in that I just watched the movie I Am Legend and although it wasn’t the swine flu that turned people into freaky zombie/vampire/monster things, the virus issue still causes irrational fear (so I am stockpiling yarn to combat my fear). I also want to say I feel better to hear someone else say “The multiple projects were weighing on me” because multiple projects on my needles weigh on me but people don’t understand.
    AND I’m freakishly afraid of spiders as well but understand they have their place and just ask them to go outside when I see them in the house (oh, and I have the bug spray guy come regularly).

  28. I too am not worried about the swine flu. I’m much more worried about your spider situation, because in my mind the only thing worse than a great big spider on the wall is a great big spider crawling around in all the nooks and crannies of your desk. Or worse, your knitting! I agree with Linda – time to enlist the vacuum cleaner!

  29. Most of us will not get this flu. Most of those that do will not die. Same with the regular flu. I am much more worried about this spider. And the silverfish, which, I agree, are much worse than spiders, which are pretty bad.

  30. oooo! what a busy summer πŸ™‚
    When in Austin be sure to eat lots of Tex Mex at Trudy’s. I have three words for you
    I have more words if you’re interested

  31. I hate when a spider threat isn’t dealt with immediately and you’re left wondering when and WHERE it will turn up again. You’re not alone in paranoia… I will literally scan a room for 5 minutes exploring all possible spider locations to be prepared for it’s eventual attack.
    Spiders are the real issue- not Swine Flu.

  32. For the record, I am not worried about swine flu either. Of course, I am a biologist, and busy being excited about tracking a pandemic with my classes . . .
    And about the spider — the best solution I’ve found is to get them with the crevice tool of the vacuum cleaner. That way, you can be 6-8 ft away and still suck it up. If I’m still worried, I then vacuum kitty litter or put plastic wrap over the end of the crevice tool. I never see them again, and can take care of them by myself.
    Hang in there with the to-do list.

  33. And that is why you never, never leave a spider alone no matter how tired or distracted you are. The not knowing is worse!
    Lovely spinning.

  34. Hmm – I’m not that afraid of spiders. I was squeamish until I moved to my current house – which tends to often get spiders (and mice) — seems massive exposure worked better here than with my allergies!
    As to swine flu – I was inoculated against swine flu when I was a kid (in the 70’s) and got really sick from the shot – which is why I never get flu shots – so – I’m going on the assumption that I have swine flu kevlar!

  35. Not deeply worried about the swine flu. Not running about smooching pigs (on 2 or 4 legs)either. ;^) Um, also not really afraid of spiders, but not above making hubby dispatch them either. Don’t worry, there will be something new to fret over soon.

  36. I’m not worried about swine flu either. Many bodies of people whose deaths have been attributed to swine flu havent even been tested. I live in Portland and one of the girls who rides the bus works for the city transportation department. She said they wanted to start handing out surgical masks. She thought it was dumb and that they were over reacting. Surgical masks will not help prevent the spread of a teeny tiny virus. Virus’ are very small and could easily flit and float through any surgical mask. Dont worry, you are not alone.

  37. I am not really worried about the flu. I am more perturbed that the media feels it has to announce every single case. Thankfully we do not announce every single case of the common cold or the regular flu every year. We wouldnt be able to get our regular upbeat news on the economy or Iraq.
    The yarn is beautiful. I am having to try really hard to resist buying her Helms Deep colorway. I am such a geek I would buy it for the name alone.

  38. My daughter The Worrier called this morning to worry some on the phone about Swine Flu. In fairness to her a child in a school district not too many miles away from actually has it and that ISD has been shut down, but then The Worrier has always worried about everything. (Also in fairness to her I had the pandemic flu in ’68-’69, the Hong Kong Flu, but didn’t personally know anyone who died from it. My family and I were extremely sick, though.) β€” All that… and still I’m not going to sit around and worry. What good would that do? Wash your hands and try to stay healthy. But if someone at the grocery check out sneezes on you and they have Swine Flu, whatcha gonna do about that? You can’t quit living. Go about your business. Shrug.

  39. Try to think of spiders as spinners with extra arms… maybe that will help. I’ve spent quite a bit of time during the past 18 hours trying to decide which classes to take. It’s going to be tough choosing, but alas, finances and time dictate that choices must be made… and soon. Is it wrong that I’ve planned to hold my daughter’s 13th birthday early so I can attend the sock summit?

  40. Well I am bummed. I was excited to see that you’re returning to Austin this year, and even sent an email to the hubbeast that we were going to see you. Then I remembered that the event is occuring smack in the middle of childbirth class, and so no I won’t be able to see you. On the bright side I will be better prepared to have a baby than I am right now. I hope you have a great time here, and that it’s not too hot yet.
    In regards to bullet points 3 and 4 – I am with you on the spider thing. The only thing worse than finding a spider is not knowing where it went when you weren’t looking at it. Recently I almost jumped off the couch when I saw a bit of yarn on hubbeast’s shoulder… that I had placed there only minutes before.

  41. While people are freaking out about dying of swine flu, they’ll forget that they are impoverished and start living like today is their last day alive, and the economy will improve – I think it’s all game-play!
    Spiders, on the other hand, are the work of the devil and need to be eradicated, I don’t CARE if they help keep down the populations of other pests, I can take care of the other pests after the spiders are all gone!
    I have heard of many people getting seriously sick from swine fever shots back in the day though, that’ll make us think twice if it actually DOES turn out to be something to worry about – the preventative shot makes you more sick than the virus….. now that IS scary!
    Back to serious issues …… I wonder how a person who does not ‘usually’ knit socks is supposed to decipher the instruction ‘decrease as usual for a standard sock gusset’…. clearly I’m missing something! I know, I know, you’re all reeling in shock that there’s a knitter left in the world who does not usually knit socks – I usually knit sweaters, is all. I’m doing a sock now, okay? Or at least I was, until the instructions started to fail on the ‘instruct’ part of the deal!

  42. You know, I don’t worry about the swine flu personally—but for my little dudes? Oh, yeah—lots of worry. But I’m, admittedly, exceptionally neurotic where they are concerned. I hope they don’t ever catch on.

  43. In no particual order (in keeping with the randomness of today)
    Love the yarn. Wish I could spin like that. (can still try got lucky with my wheel and it didn’t get any water damage from the flood)
    the Swine flu is filling news space because they can’t find anything else to talk about. 20 cases confirmed in the US is NOT major!! I’ll just stay home and knit.
    and Ladies, SPIDERS ARE NICE! they eat the bugs you really don’t want around. and if you have a spider, you don’t have disease carrying, dirty nasty roaches!! Give me 8 legs any day over 6 or a lot more!

  44. you are totally not alone in being unfazed by the swineflu outbreak – I’m an epidemiologist and even I’m not freaked out
    I’d rather be knitting.

  45. I found your blog recently and since I love to knit I really like your blog.
    I’m not scared about the swine flu (and I’m in NYC). I agree with people who have already posted comments, he media is overreacting. Everyone should just breath already.
    I am terrified about the spider though. I really hope you find it. As an aside, did you know we supposedly swallow 5 (or some number like that – I never said I was good at math) spiders a night? So maybe you’ve already dealt with said spider in your sleep.

  46. Swine flu – good that you aren’t worrying – follow standard protocol around sick people – wash your hands well – it’s an airborne virus like any other flu (you can’t get it from eating pork). Besides, I was sick, I have the flu, I came back from Puerto Vallarta on April 15th – saw doctor and I don’t have it…so you are less likely than I to have it πŸ™‚
    Besides, articles have noted that Twitter added to the panic – too many people who know little about it increased the fear – stick to facts/experts and make informed decision on your ‘fear level’.

  47. There was a flu-like illness going around here (California) last month. We’ve already had it, and gotten over it. I choose to believe that it was swine flu, it was mild, and now everyone I know is immune to it.
    Why does the sight of your handspun always fill me with unholy greed?
    Try putting one of your other sweaters on while you knit the new one. Just a thought.

  48. Not sure why, but spiders have not really bothered me. And last year, while waiting outside for an evening concert to start, I was absolutely fascinated to watch a very, very clever spider spin a breath-taking web in a beautiful courtyard with stone breezeways. It was just amazing.
    Now, mice. A. totally. different. story. Eek!
    Love the bobbins!

  49. I knit sweaters when I’m cold, too! THe latest is a huge shawl (3×5 feet) for a friend. I’m thinking of making one for me, too! Enjoy the sweater knitting.

  50. I had a huge (2″ across and meaty-looking) spider come at me on the ground of my condo the other day. I pushed Karma aside and said “To hell with it!” and killed it with a used Kleenex.
    I hope it didn’t come out of the stash, leaving many babies in it’s wake.
    As for swine flu… I have two doctors and a microbiologist in my family, and they think this is ridiculous. I also had a coworker walk in today with a mask on over his mouth. When we asked him why it was over his mouth, he said he didn’t want to get swine flu. When we asked him why it wasn’t over his nose as well (!), he said that he couldn’t breathe when the mask was on. I told him he should be more worried about all the filthy people around the office who come out of the bathroom without washing their hands, rather than the chance that someone might have, maybe, just maybe contracted a mild flu that is airborne. (By the way, if you calculate a percentage of the confirmed cases of swine flu over the entire 6.5 billion people on Earth, the percent is: 0.000000031%. NotGonnaWorry!!!)

  51. I once found a big spider web with resident spider in the corner of the bathroom. At the time we had a fire belly toad to whom I fed crickets. Once or twice a week I’d throw one to the spider, too. Her web was wonderful!
    I’m sure the drug companies are hyping the swine flu thing trying to drum up a reason for another vaccine. Of course, the last vaccine for swine flu is what caused the creation of the national vaccine injury board. Seems it caused more problems than the flu itself. Permanent ones, to boot. Gotta love it.

  52. My husband claims the swine flu bruhaha is just a media frenzy–so you are not alone in not feeling threatened by it. I’m also cold here in Chicago–and I’m pretty sure it will be warm as soon as I finish the sweater I have on MY needles!

  53. Where is the 2009 tour? It is 2:00 p.m. Pacific time, and the 2008 info is still on the site. Am I missing something big?

  54. I have to tell you that I am not worried about the swine flu either, I hope that is not foolish.

  55. Regarding #8. You are not alone. I think the worse epidemic is the fear the media is spreading.

  56. Re point 8. Why would you be sane when you are done, if you don’t start from a point of sanity?
    In the UK spiders are nice creatures that keep other bug things at bay, however am just back from Oz where spiders are a whole different bundle of toxins!
    Sending hugs and when life gets you in a spin, just go with the flow (or spindle!)

  57. I’m not worried about Swine Flu either. I’m not sure if I should be worried that I’m not worried. The news media has hyped one disease after another for years now that perhaps my non-worry comes more from desensitization than because there is nothing to worry about.
    At some point the talking heads were informed that we, from an historical point of view, were overdue for a pandemic. Since no one disease has killed tens of thousands of people since the Flu of 1918 the reporters are looking for that killer bug and they just latch on to any sniffle that crosses international borders so they can be the first to tell us we’re doomed. They’ve tried with Swine Flu once before. Then there was Legionnaire’s Disease, Monkey Pox, Avian Flu, Mad Cow Disease, Hanta Virus, Ebola, and West Nile Virus.
    I’m still waiting for the Killer Bees.

  58. Since this is random Tuesday, my random question is what happened with the cowl??? Will we have it for winter this year?

  59. I hear you about spiders! I do the same thing with wasps as well. I have mild concern about the swine flu, but it only goes as far as hoping everyone panics and work will be closed for a few days (I’ll be able to get some therapeutic knitting done). I’m incredibly excited about your Dallas stop-I’m already trying to figure out how to leave work early on the 29th so I can make it there in time (3 hr drive).

  60. Yeah, swine flu? One more thing to just try to stress out an already stressed out world. Worry about global warming, at least that’s a real threat.

  61. I’m convinced if you knit the sweater the temps here in Toronto will return to above seasonal. As for the spider, one joined me in the shower last week. I was NOT impressed.

  62. A very polite enquiry from a Kiwi at the bottom of the planet – could you please update us as to what is happening with the pattern for the Pretty Cowl Thing? Four months is an awful long time for anything to hold my attention span (given I can’t remember my children’s names) but this tantalising glimpse of knitting joy still holds me in its Siren’s call.

  63. You crack me up. Thanks always for the laughter. And I’m not worried about the swine flu either. The media, I believe, has been bored. I sure hope that spider shows itself soon. I’m flinching just thinking about that little lurker.

  64. Spiders are crafty, and much to be appreciated. Now centipedes,(like the one I found under the sink yesterday and nearly peed my pants when it stood up on the back 50) on the other hand, are just yukky. Brrrrrow!

  65. I’m not particularly fussed about the swine flu at the momment, either. Perhaps that is due to the massive dose of antihistamines currently allowing me to function in a world filled with tree pollen.
    Or maybe not. Perhaps I am just another odd duck that way.

  66. Spiders don’t bother me but I hate moths. I hate having to squish moths in kleenex when there’s no one else to catch them. So I dig out the vacuum cleaner and point the hose at the offending critter. I suspect that this makes for a prolonged death, and that bothers me what with my pacifism, but it doesn’t bother me as much as moths fluttering at my head. And there’s no nasty “moth dust” stain where the moth was at the time of capture.

  67. My sister is in quarantine (having been on an unlucky flight) for the pig flu and we’re not worried about it either. Being Doctor Who fans we’ve been sure to phone and ask her to alert us the moment she find herself running around the sewers in a boiler suit.
    Doctor Who = realistic.
    Media hysteria = damn silly. Must be a slow news week.

  68. I’m not worried about Swine Flu either, in the same way that I didn’t worry about SARS, Mad Cow Disease and any other epidemic or pandemic that was supposed to kill all of us. What will be will be. It’s easy for me to feel safe though, as I live in a village, I work from home and only travel to school and to local towns for shopping. I think Mother Nature has a way of balancing out what goes on in the world … the Earth is over populated and she has to sort things out sometimes. As long as there is still yarn and pointy sticks, I can face any problem in a calm fashion. I was more worried recently, about a bout of tennis elbow that threatened to stop me knitting. Far worse in my estimation!!!!

  69. I am not worried about the swine flu either, and that has made me a little concerned as well. It makes me feel good to know I am not alone in this non-fearful state.
    It’s good to see you spinning on Tuesday again, and such pretty roving. I love BFL-it’s so soft and springy.

  70. New tour dates perhaps but I still don’t see any dates for Australia (Melbourne)!!!!!!!!!!! There’s LOADS of knitters and spinners out here. Drop in any time…the beers cold!

  71. I work with a lot of big, strong men. Who have been known on occasion to go find one of my officemates, a female officemate, to kill the large spider crawling on the carpet. So, hey — who says you have to big strong about spiders!?
    I’m determined not to worry about the flu either, ’cause, you know, can’t control when you’re going to die. Although I must say, Teresa (see top of the comments) I’d prefer not to go from a zombie plague!

  72. Spiders do so many good things. You are much bigger than they are, I wouldn’t be too concerned about them doing you any ill.
    Not worried about swine flu either.

  73. I’m not worried about swine flu either. Maybe next year (often it’s not the first go around of the flu, but the second).
    As for spiders, you spin. They spin. I like to think of the greek myth about spiders. I have a small collection of spider pins and jewelry πŸ™‚ As long as they don’t get on me, then all bets are off. As I’m anaphylactically allergic, though, there is good reason.

  74. First off this is my first post though I have been reading this blog for over a year. I love it.
    Second, here is another person not worried about the Swine Flu. As said what cases are here are mild and few. Just use common sense everything thing will be fine.
    Third I am book in to your two classes at the your Saskatchewan stop. I can’t wait to go there. Look forward to seeing you and my other fellow Knitters there.

  75. If you are going to Fair Hope Alabama, New Orleans is just a two and half hour drive, you should come for a day and speak here. Please. Pretty please.

  76. I’m thrilled you’re coming to Dallas. (Already called the bookstore to see if I needed reservations or something. This is too important not to check!) Looking forward to meeting you on May 29th.

  77. Am I the only one who can’t find your 2009 tour dates? I still can only find your 2008 dates. HELP!

  78. Let’s trade. I will come to your house and take care of the spider if you will come to mine and take care of any fish. Now they are Scary!! Dead fish, live fish, fish in tanks, fish in streams, fish in oceans, fish in ponds, you get the idea. They are realllllly freak me out!
    Love the colors..

  79. I hate spiders. Then I moved to a state with palmetto bugs (really, horrible, giant flying cockroaches). And sand gnats. I have come to an uneasy truce with the spiders now.
    But they still make me scream like a little girl.

  80. Re: swine flu. Not worried either, but 12yo is which makes me worry about her.
    Re: spiders. Completely on the same page, although the wisdom that comes with age has finally made me brave enough to dispense with them when I see them so that fluttery bits of lint (and we wool-types have a lot drifting about our homes–with cats its got to be worse) don’t freak me out, and so I’m not afraid of my own desk for weeks at a time. Still. It’s very hard. Too many legs and disproportionate jumping ability. Ew.

  81. I’m totally with you on the fear of spiders thing. Last year I had the opportunity to design a sock pattern for the “Super Sock Scarefest.” Scariest thing I could think of? SPIDERS! Silly of me, but I thought that knitting a sock with Barbara Walker’s spider crawling up the back might actually lessen my fear. Of course it didn’t. I’m still terrified — especially of those super evil spiders that go off and hide when you’re not looking. If you find huge wooly spiders intriguing though “The Gardener” pattern is downloadable at http://sites.google.com/site/chewyknits/patterns
    btw — The class schedule is breathtaking

  82. Yes! Austin! Yes, and before it gets too hot.
    Don’t wanna boil no Candians…

  83. Check out the book ‘Sophie’s Masterpiece’ by Eileen Spinelli. It will give you a new appreciation of spiders. Imagine having four times as many hands to knit with!

  84. I’m not worried about the swine flu, either. Yet. And I have a suppressed immune system – which should either make you feel better or means I’m a moron.

  85. I’m not worried about the swine flu either, so you’re not totally alone. πŸ™‚
    One of my cats eats spiders. It’s really terrific. I worry a whole lot less about spiders than I used to, because if Fred finds it first, I never even have to know it was there!

  86. Your spun rainbows are gorgeous! I’m waiting for some beautiful fibre to arrive so I can learn to spin rainbows too. πŸ™‚ Tuesdays are spinning days, right? I keep thinking about that as I wait. LOL Perhaps Tuesdays will be my spinning days too.

  87. I, too, flinch at lint. And swine flu? Might it have a leisurely recuperation period where my husband would be forced to stay home and bring me any yarn and needles I wanted, so great would be his relief that I pulled through?

  88. I’m not worried about the Swine Flu either, but we should be worried of *something*. Because something majorly important is probably being hidden behind the veil of “Swine Flu”. Apparently Bird Flu covered up the US suspending Habeus Corpus for “enemy combatants”. So I feel justified in being 100% skeptical. Incidentally, has anyone mentioned SARS in about 8 years?
    Ew, ’nuff of that.
    Hurray for spinning πŸ™‚ As soon as I start feeling like I’ve got too many projects on the needles, start-itis sets in in a big way!

  89. Did you ever notice that “perfectly random” is an oxymoron? What we need to hope is that swine flu is lethal, but only to the scary spiders that lurk over Stephanie’s desk.
    P.S. I just realized my tax refund could totally pay for a trip to sock summit. Woot.

  90. Were you conditioned to fear the spider? I now know that my brother (of course!) and my father conditioned me to fear them! From a tiny child, my brother told me that the creaking house was the sound of spiders moving around. And my father dangled the rubber spider on my face over my bed. I still hate them, tho I know of these abuses!!!! I love to eat snow crab tho!!! go figger!

  91. For the spider thing: here in the Northwest we get really huge brown garden spiders. So huge, it was gross just to think about smashing them, even if they weren’t up too high to reach. Solution: telescoping wool duster. Extend the handle as far as it goes for maximum distance between you and the spider; open the nearest door; reach up under the spider and swirl the wooly end around until he climbs on; carry him *carefully* to the door, shake him off. (I usually hit the handle on the railing near my front door.) Viola! spider is now outside where he belongs, and you don’t have to wonder where he is…plus, you didn’t have to kill him – it’s not his fault he’s a big spider. πŸ˜‰

  92. Your daughters will be strong even if they fear spiders. Spiders are scary. Snakes are not. I read somewhere that there is an inverse relationship, people who are afraid of spiders tend to not mind snakes and vice versa.
    Strong women recognize their fears and are okay with them. (I was once stranded in my hayloft because a huge, person-eating spider was over the ladder.)

  93. Perhaps you can add “Speaking at the Kawartha Hooks and Needle Guild” somewhere in your 2009 schedule? 2010 perhaps??
    Pretty please??

  94. Saw the 2009 tour schedule. Can’t wait for you to make it to Dallas. You won’t need your sweater. By the time you get here it will probably be 95 degrees.

  95. Just looked at your tour schedule – lots of southern states. You need to tell your tour director to send you there in the middle of winter. May is getting awful close to summer.

  96. The thought did cross my mind today that the sock summit might need to be cancelled if the swine flu really breaks out.
    But I don’t want to worry you too much.
    That’s a nice couple of bobbins you have there filled with yarn…yummy.

  97. Okay, now I’m getting worried about myself: I keep looking for the 2009 tour schedule, and can only find the 2008 one. Am I the only one seeing this?!!? Why can other people see the 2009, but I can’t? I am REALLY worried about myself!

  98. Random comment: My male coworker’s also deathly afraid of spiders. He would not comment on whether his wife’s not being afraid of spiders had anything to do with the two of them getting married. Probably wise. But really, there must be SOMEONE in the relationship who can oust spiders, no?

  99. Swine flue Shmine flu. Let’s focus on how GLORIOUS the SS09 Class schedule is!!! Thank you thank you for all your hard work. It will be wonderful.
    Now get some rest.

  100. The only thing worse than losing a spider is losing a snake – love my cats, those buggers found the snake and did it in so I didn’t have to feel guilty or deal!

  101. Swine flu? Pish, I say. I’m just thankful there isn’t a SHEEP FLU, because, let’s face facts, that could really do some damage.

  102. We finally got some warm weather, and now I’m twitchy over anything that even vaguely resembles an ant. Spiders I can handle. They eat the bugs I can’t stand. Oh, and I pulled a deer tick off my kid today. I’ll take a spider over a pestilence-carrying deer tick any day.
    Speaking of pestilence, yeah, I’m a little worried about swine flu, mainly because my husband is traveling internationally, much like swine flu. If it were just us hanging around RI, I wouldn’t worry so much. I might quarantine him when he gets home, except I am tired of being the only adult around here.

  103. I’m probably repeating someone, b/c I didn’t read all the comments, but
    1) Tuesdays are (still) for spinning
    2) the spider is probably in your yarn
    3) I’m not worried about swine flu either
    4) just kidding about the spider

  104. I am not scared of swine flu for myself, but I do have the occasional twinge of worry for Older Son, who lives in Manhattan. He is in medical school — does that make a difference?

  105. I slurp up the spiders with the vacuum cleaner. If I see one I must slurp it up immediately. Can’t have them making little spids.

  106. You realize that if spiders won’t live in your home that you shouldn’t either, right? Also, I find it rather amusing that despite your absolute terror of spiders, that you find yourself emulating one by doing some spinning…curious, really curious, indeed.
    Then again I believe spiders to be amazing and fascinating creatures and have tattooed one on my shoulder.

  107. Were they hobo spiders? They lurk near the laundry in my basement. BIG and ugly and they have a nasty bite. My husband tells me that there were black widows in the basement bathroom and he has gotten rid of them – I wouldn’t know, I haven’t gone in there in 3 years. I have an arrangement with all the spiders in my house – if they stay out of my way, they live. If they dangle from the ceiling near the bed or my clothes, they die.
    Spiders put swine flu in perspective. Frankly, I’d love everything to shut down right now. I only have two more weeks of classes and I’d be happy if I never saw certain students again.

  108. Visual for those spider phobias:
    My husband saw a large one decending near the garage door, gently took a stick and quietly wound up the silk so the spider was making no progress toward the ground. Was quite a while before it just gave up in exhaustion. It was even too tired to crawl away….

  109. YAY!!! I’m finally going to get to meet you….in Atlanta. πŸ™‚ I’ve got my first 2 sweaters just cast on but I need to finish one quickly. Otherwise I may freeze solid in my office……

  110. I feel the same way about spiders. I’ve always taught my kids to respect nature so I am bound to catch/release them which forces me to get up close and personal with a bug jar. Ech! Don’t laugh but if I tell them I’m taking them outside where there are lots of bugs, they are much more co-operative about climbing in the jar!

  111. Stephanieeeeeee…Austin Book People on a THURSDAY night??
    I live 3 hours away and work 9-5. How am I going to get there to see you? Uuughhhh.

  112. I just looked at your tour, and I wish you were coming to Indianapolis. I do understand the whole wanting to be with family and having a life and whatnot though.
    I’m also terrified of spiders. Who shows a group of 10-year-olds “Arachnophobia”?! I feel the same about clowns, but they don’t randomly appear on corners…
    I’m also really not to concerned about the swine flu either, because it frankly sounds like the regular flu. While it’s quite unfortunate that these people have died and more are infected, it also sounds like the regular flu.

  113. I am not worried about the piggy flu (watch me get it now having said that). An epidemic is hardly less than a hundred people being infected. From all the sensationalism I was expecting like thousands.
    You are coming to the wrong coast of florida!!!!!! come to the west coast. I might have to drive there anyways.

  114. I watched a press conference in LA with someone official (sorry, didn’t pay that much attention who he was) saying it probably will be much like any flu epidemic, according to the WHO it isn’t likely to be that serious for people in N America who have access to modern medicine, etc.
    This was followed by the local news team who tried their darndest to raise panic in the streets.

  115. Not worried about swine flu here. Drastically not worried. Didn’t-wash-my-hands-all-day not worried.
    Took my GSE and a citrus immuno booster for the first time in a month, though. Just to calm the little voices in my head.

  116. I feel better now that I see so many aren’t worried about the plague.
    I doubted my non-worry. Your blog is so helpful.

  117. Hey, what about VANCOUVER? Don’t you think all Toronto-ians should visit Vancouver?!

  118. Oh, geez, Steph, I have a hard enough time keeping track of what day it is. I’m usually off by a day or two. It’s Monday, right? No, Thursday?
    I’m not afraid of spiders. Spiders are your friends. Travel? Not so much. I’d rant about why, but then you’d have more reasons to dread it.
    I’m a bit frightened of the swine flu, just because I seem to have an immune system that came out of a crackerjack box. But hey, I haven’t died yet.

  119. 1) Totally get the spider thing. The worst part is I am too scared to smoosh them. They do eat the mosquitoes. So there is a redemable quality.
    2) Somehow I have to get my monitoring calendar lined up with your touring. I would love to see / meet you.
    3) I really think the media just likes saying “swine flu” and that is why we are hearing so much about it.
    4) The spindles of yarn are lovely.
    5) Salad greens, blood orange, pistachios – all you need is a little blue cheese and THAT would be a fine salad.

  120. PS – The whole teaching your kids not to be scared doesn’t work. I tried with my 6 yo. Didn’t act scared around spiders. But still she is terrified of them. Go figure.

  121. Thanks for changing the schedule to 2009. A friend and I got excited about seeing you at Third Place Books on April 21. Luckily I looked at their website that morning, and realized you were not going to be there! We went anyway, to hear the lovely EllynAnne Geyer talk about The Kitchen Linens Book. But we missed you a lot!

  122. spiders are good; they eat other things you don’t like! I’m sure it’s gone outside by now – especially if it’s warmed up. And to the commenter who uses bug spray – please don’t – get a mason jar, put it over the spider and slide the lid under it and then release the spider outside – 1) to eat more bugs, 2) to keep you from being exposed to poison – so bad for you and the environment.
    RE: swine flu – like the stockpiling yarn thing – just in case the gov’t keeps people home.

  123. I am totally with you on the spiders! and I love the comment about knitting a sweater not happening fast enough to help warm you up. I work in the medical field and we got info today about specimen collection to test for swine flu.

  124. You shouldn’t be worried about the swine flu. It’s not even swine flu — it’s a new mixture of human, swine, and avian flue. Which they’re trying to get people to call the H1N1 flu. Something tells me that won’t catch on; it’s just not a real sexy name. Besides, I already got my swine flu vaccine the first time around, in 1976. πŸ™‚
    Personally, until the folks at the hospital where my husband works start saying we have something real to worry about, I’m going to worry more about why last night, when I realized I had too many UFOs, I promptly decided that since I didn’t have a plain sock on the needles, I needed to cast one on forthwith. And you think *your* decision-making is flawed?

  125. Oh, I noticed the two #8s, Suzie (9:12pm). Don’t think I didn’t.
    I was just waiting to see if Rams wanted to go first this time.

  126. The jaw-droppingly unusual thing about your schedule is that it’s actually geographically reasonable! That is, you go from one city to the next nearest one instead of pinballing around the country. Unprecedented. Maybe you’ll be able to sleep in till 5 instead of getting up at 3 to catch a plane…

  127. Don’t worry, I am not afraid of Swine Flu. I seriously start laughing hearing about some of these “epidemics” or whatever you would like to call them. SARS, Avian Bird Flu (or whatever that was) and so on. C’mon, people are dying at a much higher pace from everyday illnesses (or accidents) than these media hypes.

  128. I do hope it make it out to Southern California on your tour. I would not usually go to see an author, but after reading your blog all this time and your books, you would not feel like a stranger, but an old friend who happens to be in the area. I live in an area full of celebrities and think little of it when I run into them. (I want them to have their privacy so will not be the first one to speak, and it is amazing how many will greet you first or vie for your attention) so this would definately be a first for me. Knitters seem like such a comfy group that I would not even mind the crowd.

  129. Thank you. I was feeling very alone in not being afraid of the swine flu. Glad to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t watch too much 24 hour news.

  130. Given how generally susceptible I am to any number of viruses, I am weirdly calm about swine flu. I think it’s supreme arrogance that’s bolstering my immune system.
    Also, I’m really very sad I’ll be missing you in Austin. I’m going to South America, which should be really cool, but I was still looking forward to seeing you in person. Maybe I’ll make it to the Sock Summit!

  131. I’m not worried about the swine flu, either. From the looks of the other comments, we are not alone. ;o)
    I’m really looking forward to Sock Summit. Hope to see you there! (And that I luck out and register for the small classes. lol)

  132. OMG! OMG! (Be grateful you’re out of earshot. I just squee’d and frightened the dogs.) You’re coming to Atlanta (well, Woodstock) on 17 May. My boss released the work schedule for the next few weeks, and she actually has me off work that day. (Saturdays and Sundays are our busiest work days.) I can get to see you! This, on the heels of my first Stitches event last weekend, is making me one very happy knitter. I promise not to bring the flu–or a spider.

  133. I’m the official spider killer in my house–I respect that you are too good a person to kill the spider, but there is no such thing as detente with them. You kill one, he becomes an example, and the others stay away.
    The yarn is LOVELY.

  134. When are you coming to Montreal? It’s been years since you’ve within walking distance of fresh bagels hot out of the oven, Quebec micro-brewery beer and squeaky cheese.

  135. Finally, finally, *finally* you are coming to my neck of the woods. I think I will take that afternoon off and just lurk about in Plano. I’ve already put the time in my planner. Woohoo! With a side order of Yeehaw!

  136. I’d be totally more worried about the spider than the swine flu. You are in eminent danger of being bitten whereas the swine flu still has a whole other country to spread through before it makes it to Canada (plus, I think it is absolutely ridiculous that they are worried about a pandemic when less than 50 people have been affected in the US).

  137. I am not worried about the swine flu either. The people who died in Mexico probably had dirty (germ-filled) water, no/low healthcare, and limited access to being clean. 86 deaths there vs. about 6 in the USA = I’m not worried. I think there is probably a reason for the no. of deaths there, and I think I probably listed most of them above.
    Yay spinning!

  138. So, I once ignored a spider on the ceiling when I went to bed, and I woke up in the middle of the night with a spider (the same one, I’m sure), skittering across my face!
    As far as I’m concerned, not having to deal with spiders is reason enough to be married. (And since I only have sons, I don’t even feel guilty about it.)

  139. I’m not 100% worried – I’m the offspring of two people who lived through the 1918 flu. I rarely get flu of any kind.
    StellaMM at 4:09: Your mother was just following the standard advice of her youth. Somewhere around here I may still have the book that _seriously_ says you should stay away from windows and electrical outlets and plumbing during a thunderstorm; I think it specifically mentioned hiding under the bed as long as there were no electrical outlets there. No, they weren’t kidding.
    The Rohan sock yarn isn’t that neon in real life? Darn.

  140. I’m a little concerned…worried might be an overstatement…I think a pandemic of some kind in the near to middling future is inevitable, given how we travel and how we raise animals. But it is promising that the SF seems much less deadly than some other options.
    I really like spiders. A lot. I used to bring them inside the house to eat the bad bugs on my plants, but one of the cats ended up with a puffy lip due to some sort of bite, so I stopped. I still greet them with open arms, though.
    So’s you don’t think I’m just being combative, you inspired me to cast on Viper Pilot socks last night. Beautiful but persnickety pattern (course, I usually only do simple stockinette socks…). Thanks – spouse is very excited about them.

  141. no swine flu worries here either. i think the statistical risk of being hit by a falling piece of airplane may still be higher than the risk of contracting swine flu. not sure.
    i saw the twitter link to the breastfeeding study and (since i don’t twitter) thought i’d say here how refreshing it is to see the good health news about breastfeeding, particularly extended breastfeeding, reported as what the risk is for a woman who doesn’t breastfeed. as if nursing is the norm. that’s just not the case with the media here in the states, and it’s lovely to behold.

  142. This is too funny. You just took off your last year’s schedule today. Not last week. Not yesterday. TODAY.
    My sister and I made arrangements to have today off to see you in Madison, WI. We went up there. The book store employees were kind enough not to laugh in our faces, but no, you weren’t scheduled to be there. They looked up your blog to double check your tour schedule, and there it was…”I took down the 2008 tour page…” First item in your list. TODAY.
    Not to worry, we both found the irony most amusing, and we had a great day doing a yarn crawl.
    I also bought your book.

  143. Don’t feel too bad about spiders. I don’t like them either, but there are some (desperate) people who use spider silk to make thread. So that makes spiders our friends?
    Once I saw a bright red, stinging insect on my patio outside. After killing it, a week later I freaked out from a piece of red lint on the carpet.

  144. I’m a biology major who plans to go into infectious disease, and I’m not worried either. Well, I mean, I am, but at the same time: it’s probably okay. You’re probably not at risk. And if you are, there’s nothing you can do about it, so don’t worry. You may as well relax!

  145. My parents just got back from a week in Mexico, where they heard not one blip about the swine flu. Not a single news article. That’s more what I’m worried about rather than the actual disease!

  146. I cannot describe how much I love that you refuse to freak out over stuff like this for the sake of your girls. Everyone should have such a thoughtful, awesome mom.
    Chalk me up as another who couldn’t care less about the swine flu. Sounds pretty tame, and there’s always something going around. Only wake me up for SARS, avian flu, smallpox, etc., please.
    You need a bug sucker. Humane version of vacuum cleaner. Metre-long (I totally converted and Canadian-spelt just fer you) wand that sucks bugs up in a little poof of air, then sends them to a little cartridge chamber thingy that you can then dump out in the yard, returning said bug, alive and well, to his or her natural habitat. Love it. Got it from Gaiam, I think, but have seen them elsewhere.

  147. I completely agree with Alta about the Fried Avocado in Austin. I totally love the Ariadne reference that KathyB made.
    I myself am not scared of spiders, although I can certainly sympathize. I am happy to have critters that eat other critters around my house, as long as they are not in my space. So we have spiders in the garage, snakes in the yard, and geckos above the lamp outside the door – a killer trio when it comes to the bugs and vermin that think my house is nice because it is near a creek in Austin, TX
    I just read a book about the 1918 Influenza Epidemic, and I am glad to hear all the non-concern from everyone here. It is helping me not panic! Actually, the only thing that is really causing me concern is that I am in Singapore, and I plan to travel back to Ausitn in two days, and I am hoping that swine flu related nonsense will not lengthen the amount of time I have to spend going through immigration and customs when I land in Los Angeles!

  148. Totally understand the spider issue: I use the mouse sticky pads to catch them: I have one in my laundry room, and other strategic places. If you place one by the wall near your desk you will probably catch the beasty….. Good luck.

  149. hehe, keep in mind, spinning is NOT knitting something new…at least it isn’t until you decide to take that freshly spun yarn and KNIT something with it, but you can come to that bridge when you get there….

  150. I wasn’t worried about the swine flu, until I woke up with a sore throat!
    (actually, that is probably because I spent my weekend with children and everyone knows children are germ-ridden)

  151. As per #8, it is the media selling newspapers and the gov’t happy to have the US focus on something other than the economic climate.
    “Look what Mother Earth doing to us, instead of look at what we did to ourselves.”

  152. Oh, I’ll take a spider over the mouse that my Siamese were just quarrelling over…the little thing got away, and I do NOT think he was uninjured. *shudder* Poor creature. I hope he finds his way back out and we don’t find him…if you know what I mean.
    As for knitting a sweater because you’re cold–it’s sensible! You’re moving, you’re warmer.
    There. πŸ˜€

  153. In Scotland and not worried about the swine ‘flu, they seem to be handling all cases well. The media on the other hand…have obviously been bored lately. I felt weighed down by too many projects on the needles so I got it down to just two and then cast on three more! Lovely bobbins.

  154. If it makes you feel any better, I’m totally not worried about the swine flu either. I also felt like maybe I should worry that I was not worried, but when I asked the SO he laughed, so I commenced with not worrying.
    Also you’re spinning… totally awesome, the colors are also totally awesome.
    Also again, I started something new today too after analyzing my ufo’s deciding I ought to finish them first and promptly discarding that as a bit of responsible rubbish I was in no need of entertaining. Yay new socks!

  155. Well, the govt. scientists are telling us there’ll already be infected people in London, statistically, so, whatever… doesn’t seem sensible worrying about it too much…

  156. Dear Stephanie
    In my country, a spider at home means money coming in. furthermore, it’s the only animal in the world with knitting abilities. I’m sure she intends to learn something from you from a safe and far distance, so don’t be afraid of her!

  157. Good luck with that spider, I tend to kill them in the first place – better to get rid of them I think πŸ˜‰
    And I’ve got the flue, counting of it not beeing the piggy-variant since I haven’t been out of the country in months πŸ˜‰

  158. 1. As quickly as it came on, so the swine flu will disperse. Such is the way of the swine flu.
    2. I really like the spinning. Very Noro-ish.
    3. Spiders tend to end up in the shower/bathroom area after “teleporting” as the hubby refers to their mysterious disappearing. Try the shower curtain and that corner that is way too tall for you to ever be able to reach right above the showerhead.

  159. I am less than worried about Swine flu. Swine flu is treatable, and responds to current anti-viral medications, so it’s a non-issue. For real. We had a gastric bug go through my area recently that was much more serious and did not respond to antiviral therapy. All we could do for those people was keep them hydrated and hope for the best.
    And I still wasn’t freaked out about that.

  160. Hairspray. You can very nonchalantly spray the spider with hairspray, it will fall. Later, much later, you can vacuum it up. No muss, no fuss. Best of all – no touch!

  161. I heard that you were in Halifax once- please come back!
    Not worried about swine flu either- even though there are cases in the province. It’s too mild here. Media hysteria has a lot to answer for.

  162. I’m not worried about the swine flu. I just try to keep myself healthy in general, because a healthy body is more resistant to strange germs than an unhealthy body.
    I hope the sock summit can become an annual thing, because I can’t go this year but really wanted to.

  163. Also not worried about Swine Flu! (Whenever I hear people talk about it I think they’re saying “Flying Blue” the KLM/Air France frequent flier program.)

  164. You’re not the only one unconcerned about pig flu. At this point anyway, there’s no point in worrying. All but one of the cases in the States haven’t required hospitalization and everyone has recovered. I’m curious as to why the Mexicans seem to have a more virulent strain, however. Is it a tougher strain or is there something about them that makes it tougher for them to fight it off?

  165. Not worried about Swine flu either…1 person has died in US so far. 83 people died from “regular” flu last year. Let’s all get a grip. Breathe in and out…wash your hands. It’ll be okay.
    And I’d TOTALLY catch and release all your spiders if I were anywhere close…I’m a fangirl and not at all afraid of spiders.
    Cockroaches…blech (granted I grew up at the beach where they grow to the size of ponies). I’ll smash them into OBLIVION while emitting a noise that sounds an awful lot like a panicked sob (although I will never admit to such). But spiders…Just put a glass over her, think of Charlotte, slide a card in between surface and mouth of glass, take outside, and release. They eat bugs and save small pigs from slaughter. They are Good Things.

  166. Just so you don’t feel so alone, I am not worried by the swine flu either. And, as long as we are doing the “support” thing here, I know EXACTLY how you feel about spiders – I HATE it when I see one and then it disappears – and I too, jump at lint for the next several days or until I get the bugger killed. But I don’t have to put on such a brave front anymore. My son is 13 now and he can rescue me from the terrible beasts!

  167. I have, on more than one occasion (you’d think I’d learn!), yanked up my big-girl-underpants, grabbed a tissue, snuck up on and SQUASHED lint. It’s very empowering.

  168. I sort of had to get ok with spiders right quick when I moved to England where the idea of screens on windows is both dangerous and feared. But if they are bigger than a quarter I revert to girly screaming and running from the room.
    Bloody media and they’re complete doom selling. I prefer handspun anyday.

  169. For the first time in my life, I’m actually worried about the swine flu. I hate the fear mongering media, and I wish I could change it, but I have a baby and the biggest outbreak in the US is in my city, and there you have it.
    I also had a horribly vivid dream last night that our apartment building burnt down. So it’s probably not just the swine flu.
    I have got to chill out.
    Also? The class schedule looks AWESOME.

  170. With you on the spiders…hate em and don’t want to be near em. Also with you on the swine flu bit. It’s not good, but it’s not a pandemic. And if people wash their hands and stay home if they don’t feel well, then it won’t become one, either.

  171. Boston! You have to come to Boston to meet Cameron!! And see me, because, surprise surprise, I’m pregnant with twins. Due a week after Cameron’s 1st birthday.

  172. I’m not worried about swine flu at all. I never worried about mad cow disease either. Spiders, now that’s another story. I have nothing against them as long as they stay AWAY from me and eat mosquitoes. Tarantulas really creep me out! I can’t even look at a picture of one!

  173. I don’t have to worry about Swine Flu….my husband is Chicken Little, so he worries for me.
    Seriously, if you are vigilant in hand washing, and going to the doctor if you feel ill, I don’t think there really is much to worry about.

  174. Not worried about the swine flu. Seriously, there was a commentator on someplace yesterday that said something like “wash your hands, keep your hands away from your face, wash your hands. You all do that anyway right. Either you will get it or you won’t. Period.”
    You forgot to add a stop in Cleveland. Just thought I’d mention it since the last time you were here I was in school and professor didn’t understand my desire for him to cancel classes and such.

  175. I worry about Swine flu only becuase it would KILL me to die before I make a bigger dent in my stash… You are going to lots of cool places, but none near me, oh well, maybe next time. Can we see what is on your needles?

  176. Not sure if you take tour requests…but we’d love to have you come back to London (UK not Ontario).
    And I second the humble request from NZ for the cowl pattern. It was so lovely.

  177. Imbrium @4:09 p.m.: THANK YOU for that link. Everybody needs to calm down. I’m going to send that URL to everyone I know.
    Stephanie, great colors, neon-y or not.

  178. I’m afraid of spiders too.
    I have cause to worry because the spiders around my house include black and brown widows (they are a cousin of the black widow and are kind of pretty in a dangerous way). I finally spent a lot of money to get new spider-proof windows after a couple of them started making webs over the toilet (as I watched from you know where). The only way to not worry about where the spider has gone is to squash it immediately (very satisfying) – keep fly swatters scattered around the house so you don’t loose track of it while looking for a weapon.
    Dangerous spiders move a lot slower than safe ones, so if one gets away you don’t have to worry as much about it.

  179. How can you possibly worry about swine flu when you have a sock summit in the works? Obviously your priorities are right where they should be.
    You could always have one of your fearless daughters find the spider, catch and release it outside- you don’t have to tell them you’re too scared to do it.

  180. Excellent randomness! Love the new spinning project. As for spiders, we have big Wolf spiders in our basement where the washer and dryer are. Sometimes the laundry doesn’t get done……

  181. I am so excited that you are visiting the south! Check your times though, Fairhope has you starting at 6pm. If I can go I will be extra early!! Yeah!

  182. I am so excited you are coming to Dallas! WooHoo!
    Already called my husband and said “OMG – Guess who’s finally coming to do a book signing in Dallas?” He says “Hmmm, Stephanie Pearl McPhee?” Heh – he’s a non knitter – I guess he does listen after all when I’m yammering on about knitting stuff.
    This is so awesome!

  183. That spider is long gone. He ate all the little bugs in your house and then he went outside. He is heading for your neighbor’s house for more bugs. Knit in peace.

  184. Has anyone told you how beautiful Ohio is in the summer? Wouldn’t you like to tour there?

  185. The worst for me is when you’re sitting on the toilet and a spider comes marching along towards you. This happened to me a few days ago, and a few months ago I saw the spider marching up the outside of the toilet bowl. Let me tell you I finished in a hurry.

  186. When my kids were afraid of spiders I always said “a spider is a gardener’s friend”. It may not help you but it’s all I’ve got.
    re: Swine flu….35,000 people (in the US) died of the ordinary flu last year and no one panicked. It’s a media thing. Swine should be offended.

  187. YOU’RE COMING TO DALLAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I GET TO SEE YOU IN PERSON AND BE A TOTAL GIBBERING IDIOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  188. I’m not worried about the swine flu, either, and I live in San Diego. Maybe I should be worried that I’m not worried, but that takes too much effort, even for me. I’m with you on the spider thing, too. I’ve spent the last eleven years being very brave about bugs so that my daughters would think they’re cool (and can I tell you how much effort it takes to stand around looking at a HUGE spider with them, pointing out how cool and nifty its big huge hairy legs are — all eight of them — without running shrieking to the other room to cower on a chair), but it’s finally paid off. Now when there’s an ass-whompin’ huge bug in the house, the girls are more than willing to capture it and release it outdoors, without any involvement from me at all. One parenting moment that actually went according to plan. (out of how many?)

  189. I just tend to ignore the spiders…
    and hope they feel the same.
    Any news on the pattern for that great
    neck cowel yet or did I miss that?

  190. Any chance of a visit to Souther California? I was in Wisconsin last month, and called a store in Minneapolis that was listed on your tour page to see if there was still space available. I was so sad to hear that I’d missed the event by a whole year!!

  191. People keep asking me why I’m knitting scarves and shawls when it’s almost summer. My answer: by the time I finish all of them, it will be winter again. That tells you how many projects I have going on at a time.

  192. Un. Freaking. Real. You are going to be in my flipping HOMETOWN and I WON’T BE THERE.
    Everything happens in Georgia right when I leave. ::sniff::

  193. I haven’t posted in such a long time, but I’m still crackng up reading you every time you post. I used to beg you to come to Florida, but since I find myself in Missisippi for a while longer, I’m lucky enough to be less than 2 hours from Fairhope, AL, which is on your tour schedule. Color me so there, probably also babbling like an idiot. I think I’ll need to get there very early, since I’m positive it will get crowded.
    And I’m also in the not worried abou swine flu camp, except where it concerns my grandchildren.
    Dianne R in Mississippi

  194. Fear of spiders (and snakes, for that matter) is a primal fear and cannot be overcome with logic! Doesn’t really matter how much good spiders do, the fear is still there. As much as it sounds like a really easy solution, I can’t do the vacuum cleaner thing because SOMETIMES THEY COME BACK!!! Spiders can crawl back out. I’ve also washed them down the drain and had them crawl back out. Then again, I also screamed and jumped back about 5 feet from a tomato top (trying to cleverly disguise itself as a spider, apparently) in the sink, before I realized what it really was!!

  195. I’m not worried about the swine flu either. I do all kinds of things that make the medical community twitch: drink raw milk (8-14 oz/day!), eat butter (in lieu of margarine), eat lots of eggs… (BTW – I’m 5’7″ and 145lbs, and very robust and healthy). Regular flu kills plenty of people all on its own. Anywho, I’m way more likely to get killed driving home tonight.
    The yarn is lovely! And although I accept that spiders are Important and Wonderful creatures, I prefer that they’re not in my house either.

  196. I thoroughly believe that unless you have a loved one who is sick with swine flu, worrying about it means you should be happy because clearly you don’t have anything serious in your life to worry about it. (Also, it keeps my grandmother’s worry factor occupied.)

  197. Please please please please please please come visit Iowa City! It’s just your kind of place, I promise, and has a couple of beautiful yarn shops that would not be able to accommodate even 1% of all the Iowans who would come to see you….

  198. When I filled up my gas tank last week there was a spider lurking in the hinge thingy of the gas tank cover. Of course, I didn’t realize it until I’d already stuck the nozzle in there. I didn’t think that the gas station would be thrilled if I drove off with the nozzle in my tank, so I managed to get it (the nozzle) out without having a hysterical fit. I’ve got to get the spousal unit to check it & give me the all clear, or I’ll drive the damn car until it runs out of fuel. I know that spiders are your friends, etc., but they give me the willies.

  199. Oooh, I wish there was a Sock Summit East. It would really go over well, I think.
    Beautiful plys. They are so perfectly springy for this dreary day.

  200. I like Luisa’s comment above. I think this spider is your totem “animal”. The spinning, the knitting…it all fits! Admittedly, I’m a spider-spooky, but I try not to flip out over them. I just kindly escort them outside with whatever mode of transport I have on hand. I’m kind of selective with my spider affections. The dangerous ones I’m not so kind to.

  201. The worst has absolutely got to be when you’re driving down the freeway and a spider drops down onto your lap from the front window visor. Don’t ask how I know.

  202. I love #3. I am exactly that way too. At least if I can see the ugly thing, I know exactly where it is, and more importantly, where it isn’t…so I know where I will be safe from the big ugly spider.

  203. Random question for you….how’s the pattern for that beautiful lacy cowl coming along?? πŸ™‚

  204. As a public health practitioner who works in the Department of Infection Control in a major hospital in a large city, THANK YOU for not buying into the H1N1 flu hysteria!!!!

  205. Vero Flippin’ Beach?? My eyes almost fell out of my head! ‘S my hometown… Bring a swimsuit. Gorgeous beaches.
    I shall make the journey from Mississippi (my mother will be overjoyed) and brag that I have seen you on two consecutive tours in two non-consecutive states (the other being Louisiana).
    Too much fun!

  206. Dear Stephanie.. you crack me up..I’m going to be moving to Atlanta but not till July.. and sure enough you head there like last time when you came to phoenix.. of course this won’t just be a day apart.. you’ll be there in may.. ha ha.. OK next time.. please keep up the calendar so i can catch you another time! thanks.. Karola

  207. I don’t feel a deep fear of swine flu either. We feel, down here, a long long way away from it all, even though some cases have been suspected in Australia anyway.

  208. Rest assured, you are not the only one that is not worried about the Swine Flu. You can count me in the unworried ranks.

  209. I am so glad that I am not the only one not worried about the Swine Flu! I am (I feel guilty saying this) sick to death of every news cast being 90% swine flu oriented. And- I am living in a city where ‘they’ THINK there may be a case.

  210. I just realized that maybe sick to death wasn’t appropriate. My apologies- I mean I am really tired of every moment of news time being filled with Swine Flu hysteria.

  211. I am looking at your schedule and see that once again, Rochester,NY is nowhere to be seen. We do have a lovely knitting guild, more Tim Horton’s than you can imagine, some with Cold Stone Creamery’s inside, lots of beer and when it is 3AM and you have had too much of said beer, the famous (infamous?) garbage plate. It that does not draw you here, I don’t know what to say!

  212. I was thrilled to see a spider this morning and hope I could have a few more. I’ve got some moths in the house and the cats and me get some of them but the spiders are really my pals at cleaning up the rest.
    Seriously, if you name your spiders you’ll find you won’t be so afraid of them. It works especially well with children when I say “Hello Fred” than screaming at a spider. It really works! Try it!

  213. The Sock Summit is killing me…because I have to miss it! Given a once in a lifetime chance to go to Africa….

  214. Thank you for posting the Dicentra Designs fiber. I’m spinning up her Eowyn colorway in Merino/Silk. Num nums.
    Insubordiknit had fun doing tweets on variations of “swine flu” like “I had the twine flu and it left me all tied up.” Mine was “I had the whine flu but no one would listen to me.”

  215. Dear Stephanie,
    Spiders are our dear friends for many reasons. Not only that, they spin the strongest and most miraculous of fibers . . . directly from their bodies! But I’m not a spinner so I won’t go further on that point.
    However, I am experienced in happily cohabitating with them. When a spider has come into a space which you do not wish to share, here is the procedure:
    1) Say, “Darling . . . you are beautiful and I love you, but not here.” I live alone these days and am in my 60s so I can say this out loud. You may feel the need to say this silently if your family is unaccustomed to or judgmental about extra-human communication.
    2) Dig into the bottom cupboard to find a clean, 1-quart/liter organic yogurt container and hold it in your dominant hand.
    3) Find a 4 x 6 index card or other piece of stiffish paper and hold it in your non-dominant hand.
    4) With attentive hand-eye coordination, slap the yogurt container over the spider. Be careful not to catch any of her legs!
    5) Gently . . . ever so gently . . . slide the stiff paper under the yogurt container so that you “capture” the spider.
    6) Hold the paper to the container and scurry to an outside escape. (Remember . . . Ms Spider is stunned inside this plastic prison and wants to get out faster than you can deliver her.)
    7) Release Ms Spider to the nearest green, growing thing where she won’t upset you with her residence.
    And thus is another act of peace . . . for all the parties involved.

  216. Not afraid of Swine Flu -terrified of spiders. They smell my fear. The roach that carried itself into my house via my arm today wasn’t bueno, either. I drowned it in Raid. Toxins aside, that felt good.

  217. I’m soooo not worried about swine flu at all. Every time someone comes up to me at work (I manage 600 condos in a major city) and freaks out, I say two things: 36,000 people die in the US ANNUALLY from regular flu, and remember West Nile Virus? Do you know anyone who got that? No? Hmmm.

  218. Re the spider – I sympathise entirely, and the solution to the problem is to kill it. Putting it outside won’t solve the problem, it just turns around and walks right back in. A good heavy book or the sole of your slipper swiftly applied with all the feeling such horror and hysteria lend to the action will do the job. I know there are folk out there squealing in despair at what I’ve just said, but really, unless you’re a dyed-in-the-wool arachnophobic, you can’t possibly understand what terror and skin-crawliness these things engender!!

  219. I’m not worried about swine flu either. What I am concerned about is whether or not my school will be stupid enough to close for a week, therefore whacking out our schedules all to hell and disrupting long-established summer plans.

Comments are closed.