Lowering my standards

You know, up until the last few weeks, there were lots of things I thought I wanted. I thought I wanted world peace, I thought I wanted more money, I thought I wanted my teenagers to stop giving me lip and spontaneously clean something. I wanted Joe to come to understand that there was no way that I am ever going to concede, not the entire time that we are married, that cups do not go that way in the cupboard and I will never stop changing them back. I wanted to know what was wrong with my rose bush that all the leaves fell off, and I really wanted to make some sort of rule about where the cat is allowed to puke and at what times of day.

I wanted to have a day where there was not one thing written on a post-it at the end of it. I wanted a day where everyone I called answered the phone and gave me the answer I was looking for, and a day – you know what? Even though it’s too much too much to ask for… I’d like maybe just one afternoon where each and every person I deal with is totally at the top of their game.

I wanted the grocery store down the street to get my favourite kind of tofu back again, because the one they have now sucks, and I wanted to not have to ever, ever look at another quote for Audio Visual materials. I wanted Portland to be in the same time zone as Toronto so I wouldn’t get jetlagged going back and forth like this. I wanted Sock Summit to be at least two more weeks away so that I really, really would have more time to be even more sure than I am now that the spreadsheet thingie that I made for what rooms get overhead projectors works. I want the kitchen floor to stay clean, for the Wanigan box to stop having so many radishes in it, and maybe ease up on the plums a little too, not that plums aren’t good, it’s just that I’m the only one who eats them and that’s a lot of plums.

I wanted for women to be more respected in business, and I wanted other businesses to stop being impressed that we’re doing a good job at this, even though we have breasts. I wanted databases to be simpler, and while we’re simplifying things, I’d like to do something about teenagers and how long it takes beets to cook and I really want to stop having to fill in those customs forms at the border.

I thought I wanted all those things, and now? Now that we’re this close to the Sock Summit and there really, really, really aren’t enough hours in the day and I feel really frightened all the time about what I might have forgotten to do… now?

Now I just want to be wearing clean pants when I meet Barbara Walker.

325 thoughts on “Lowering my standards

  1. Wow, am I the first to comment? That never happens. Good luck with the clean pants

  2. Ack!!! I’m #1 – Don’t worry about it, tho – you’ll be fine, and I’m sure Barbara Walker won’t notice if your pants are clean… (and if she does, she won’t mention it!) Good Luck with everything!!!

  3. Yes, I wish Sock Summit was two more weeks away so that I could intend. Instead, I will be at my niece’s wedding. It will be fun but I wish I could have gone to Portland. Have tons of fiber fun and lift a cold one to those of us who couldn’t make it!

  4. I find that during times like these it is best to take life only a few minutes at a time. Think only of immediate needs (really immediate, like air) and somehow you find yourself at the other end of the day / test / event and even if it didn’t go as perfectly as you hoped, it is at least over.
    Good luck! I’m sure it will be wonderful.

  5. Don’t sweat the small stuff. You’ll be fine. And, I bet Barbara Walker will be as pleased to meet you, as you are to meet her!
    Have FUN!

  6. I can’t believe it’s only a week away…I’m sure that’s exactly what you wanted to hear. πŸ™‚ Thanks for all your awesome work on planning this crazy event! Can’t wait!

  7. I didn’t realize teenagers had anything to do with how long it takes beets to cook.
    Have you spoken to management at the grocery store to cast your vote for getting the good tofu back in stock? (And I still don’t get how they turn that stuff into yarn.)

  8. You, Dear Harlot, are priceless. And, even though you shall never in a lifetime fulfill every hope and dream on your list, you are one of the few people who might actually manage a few of them. . .considerably more than most of us folks can ever hope to achieve.
    You could order your favorite tofu direct from the manufacturer and freeze it, and plums are nummy both frozen and dried. Plum jam is excellent too. All of those mean you don’t have to eat 3 plums a day to keep up with the harvest.

  9. Maybe a belt to hold up those clean pants would help. A good belt makes you look like a put together person and not a woman crazy for socks. You know you’ve lost weight from all of this running around and not loosing your pants in front of Barbara Walker would be good.

  10. Back to basics. Barbara Walker will be thrilled to meet you whatever your’re wearing. Try to relax and enjoy the results of all your hard work.

  11. You know, it’s the little things in life that count. Clean pants when meeting Barbara Walker might be one of them. You never know!

  12. Plum cakes are fantastic stuff, although you’d probably go insane having yet another thing to pay attention to while it bakes πŸ™‚ Totally with you on the radishes, those things are just weird.
    Clean pants are good, as are clean shirts. Though in the end I have a feeling it’ll be all about the socks anyways πŸ˜‰

  13. Clean pants, clean teeth, and a bra. Those are the essentials for getting through just about anything. And I agree, beets take way too long to cook, and then they stain your hands when you’re getting the skins off. But the colour is lovely. Hmm, beet-coloured sock yarn, that would be beautiful.

  14. Is it possible to make Portland on the EAST COAST??? I wish I was going to the Sock Summit. I am sure it will be fabulous! I can’t wait to live vicariously through everyone else! Maybe another time.

  15. Clean pants is a good goal. Funny you mentioned clean pants today. I was just thinking this morning that I better run my linen pants over to the dry cleaners this week so I have clean pants to wear at the Sock Summit.
    No worries, Stephanie, the SS will be fabulous despite any snafus that happen. We know you want it to absolutely perfect, but you just can’t predict some things no matter how hard and long you plan. Things just happen. It will be great no matter what. I am going to be an optimist with this one.

  16. Gotta love what makes it to the top of the list! Breathe. ENJOY! Don’t just “get through it” or you’ll miss the fun of it.

  17. You never fail to make me smile…
    I wish I could go to the Sock Summit. But I will be there is spirit, knitting by the pool.

  18. Let’s say a big AMEN to all of that! I also want to not feel crappy when there are more things to do for a banquet than my feel-good time allows.
    I forgot sleep. Do we need sleep, too?
    love, Christine

  19. What is it with Radishes? Our veggie boxes had way too many too. But this month it’s the swiss chard. I love the stuff, but we’ve been eating way too much of it. As for the beets, I’ve been tossing them in the pan with the swiss chard stems and we eat them pretty crunchy. Yum!
    Good luck with laundry

  20. And here’s hoping it cools off in Portland before SS09, lest all the knitters melt. On the other hand, that would leave more sock yarn in the world for me…..

  21. It will be wonderful. Promise. Wish I could be there, but a not-really-a-sock knitter going to sock summit seemed a little silly, much as I’d love to be there and rock out the yarn.
    It’s the little things we wish for….isn’t it πŸ™‚

  22. You’ll be fine – it’s hard being such a perfectinist – but that’s part of why everything will go so well. Am I the only one who loves radishes They give just the perfect little zip & crunch to a salad (although truth be told, I actually prefer radish sprouts.)

  23. Then again, egg on the pants could be a great conversation starter about the fabulous egg breakfast you had.

  24. Here you are, dear Harlot, heading at top speed for Sock Summit and still you keep your humor and wits about you. With that on your side You Cannot Fail.
    Sock Summit will be a rousing success, and your spreadsheet thingie will work fine. The projectors are a bit more of a crapshoot, but that is beyond your control, and the presenters will manage. Everyone will have their name badges and figure out where to be next. By the end of this week, anything you might have forgotten either won’t matter or someone else will have taken care of.
    And when it is over, smile and pat yourself and your cohorts on the back for a job well done. Then find a quiet spot and sleep for a week straight.
    Happy kintting!

  25. Have a great time at the Summit — make sure you enjoy yourself as well as making everything run perfectly!!
    Oh, and swop your radishes for our fennel?? Keeps turning up in the organic boc and I keep forgetting to put it on the ‘dislike’ list …

  26. If it helps I’m planning on going the distance tonight and dyeing all night long. We are having a miserable heat wave here in pdx. But I must have superwash fiber for sale at SS09. priorities, dyeing over sleeping

  27. HA! My sleep fuzzed brain read Barbara WALTERS the first time through, and my only real reaction was ‘Huh! She knits!’ grin.
    Can’t wait to hear more about it.

  28. Funny, I’m heading into my wedding weekend, and that is my goal too. Just have clean clothing. The mountain of laundry that has to be washed and then packed is mocking me! Good luck to you, wish I could be at the sock summit, sounds like it will be an amazing experience! Maybe next year it could be in T.O.?

  29. As fellow female and a fellow convention planner (anime/sci-fi/gaming/etc), I have to say, just hang in there. There will never be enough hours to get everything done, there will always be just one more phonecall to make. The cats and kids will survive. Magical laundry pixies won’t appear (at least they never have for me). There’s only so much one person can get done.
    It’s a glorious feeling when, on the first day, people start coming in, and an even better one at the end, when people leave with the convention center/hotel still standing, and go home to talk about what a great weekend they had.
    In terms of forgetting things to do, I’m trying out things this year (it’s a iphone app to do list). So far, it’s worked wonders. I can organize tasks into lists like “exhibit hall” and “guests”.
    You’ll get through this, and everyone will have a grand time, I’m sure. πŸ™‚

  30. My bar is even lower. I set it at having clean underwear and a clean pair of socks for every day…. You will be amazing! Good luck!

  31. Forget the clean pants. And add to your list–I want it to not matter what I am wearing when I meet Barbara Walters because the real harlot will shine over any outfit!

  32. Clean pants(all clothes, for that matter) are always a good idea-usually an elusive one at my house.And it usually is only my pants and the boy’s shorts I can’t find.Wierd.I’ll have to look into that.A grocery store in walking distance would be nice…maybe next lifetime…

  33. Sorry, but my pants would NOT be clean since I would crawl on my knees to meet Barbara Walker. And of all people I really don’t think that she cares whether or not you are wearing a bra. In fact she may help you burn one.
    Try to relax. Try to enjoy yourself. Try to remember that what you are doing is an amazing gift to the world of knitters – and not just the ones that are lucky enough to be there with you. Be in the moment – because it will fly by and, once it is over it will be one of those things that will never happen again. One of those things that people will talk about for years to come. “Remember that time at Sock Summit when Steph met Barbara…and she had on clean pants?”

  34. Somebody once said, “Happiness comes not from having the things you want, but from wanting the things you have.” Of course, they were not planning a Sock Summit when they said it. Here’s to clean pants and a peaceful journey in them. (How very Zen of me. I’ll shut up now.)

  35. “Happiness equals reality minus expectations.” I read that someplace online recently and now it’s my new mantra. Maybe you’d like it, too? Good luck with everything!

  36. Good to know you have your priorities straight. Can I give you one other “to-do”? Hug your wee Megaboo when she gets home. She’s an outstanding kid.
    I’ll harrass you about Aurora after SS09, although I’m sending some friends there to gently ask you in person…

  37. My preferred chore as a teenager was laundry, because I could hide in the basement and sulk whilst I folded. That is introduction to suggesting you make your teenagers launder some pants for you.
    I hope you have a smashing time. You’ve worked hard and you deserve to get some fun time too. Cheers, Steph.

  38. You have much to be proud of! The Sock Summit WILL be a success and you WILL have clean pants to meet Barbara Walker. Enjoy and smile. cd

  39. It’s all going to be fine; in fact, it’s going to be totally wonderful.
    And about the cat? Petromalt. Really works.

  40. after all the hard work, stress, tears and blood that you have put into this,more than anything else you deserve to enjoy it. Let me say that again. ENJOY IT. Dawn

  41. I’m sure everything is going to be great, don’t worry. You guys have been working so hard, there’s no way this won’t all come together. Everyone will have a good time. But it would probably be nice to have clean pants on anyway. πŸ™‚

  42. “Now I just want to be wearing clean pants when I meet Barbara Walker.” As opposed to soiled ones, presumably? Okay, that IS excited…

  43. What in the world is a Wanigen Box????? Sock Summit will be fabulous and if you’ve forgotten anything, there are lots of people who will help you out/problem-solve it with you; and not for an instant be critical that you’re not perfect either.

  44. May everyone who meets you be wearing clean pants, too!
    Speaking of Barbara, she does pretty well at this business thing despite having breasts too… go figure! πŸ˜‰

  45. OOOOh! I wanna be wearing clean pants when I meet Barbara Walker too!
    But I’m not meeting Barbara Walker. And I’m not going to SS09. So I have to live vicariously through you. I’m sure everything will go swimmingly.

  46. Clean pants are a plus! I bet everyone has a better time than they can imagine.

  47. I hope you take time to actually knit! That always helps me put my priorities in order. Knit first, then do laundry!!

  48. The Summit will be marvelous. Wish I could go.
    I took classes with Barbara a couple of years ago. She’s very gracious. You’ll be fine no matter what you wear.

  49. “I wanted for women to be more respected in business, and I wanted other businesses to stop being impressed that we’re doing a good job at this, even though we have breasts.”
    I think the best answer to this is “Yes, I do everything you do AND I create life and produce the food for it. What’s YOUR superpower?”
    “I really want to stop having to fill in those customs forms at the border.”
    Ditto. But if you bring in pre-printed ones with just the most immediate information added (or worse, pre-produce them for the trip and just whip them out) they treat you with much suspicion.
    As for the Wanigan box: Plums can be frozen so you can eat bits of summer in midwinter. Or stewed into jam, but stoning and freezing is MUCH easier and faster.

  50. “Backyard flooded…draining into basment” QUICK…save Sir Washie or there will be no clean pants to meet Barbara in!

  51. I think this is like planning a wedding and worrying that everything will be perfect. It won’t, and that will be fine. It will make for some great stories in the future, and no one really notices the little stuff anyway.
    And best of all, we will still think you are amazing, because no matter what happens, you will still be Stephanie.
    Pretty sweet.

  52. You’ll do fine. You and Barbara Walker are two of the most awesome people ever, and the cast you have assembled for Sock Summit is amazing.
    I only wish I could be there to share it. I was going to be able to attend SS; it’s on my side of the continent for once, and I was going to be in Salem to visit family, but my employer decreed that I must be at training all next week. I can’t complain too much – I still have a job for the moment, unlike many teachers, and was able to visit Salem earlier than planned; everyone there is all excited about SS, but I have been a fan of Barbara Walker since the early 70s, and really looked forward to the occasion.
    Spare a thought, please, at some point during the celebrations, for those of us who can’t be there, but will be with you in spirit. enjoy yourself; it’ll all work fine.

  53. As a SS09 attendee, I want to say “Thank You” for all the hard work you, ST-1 and ST-2, have put into planning this event. Once it’s all said and done, hopefully all the work will have been worth it. Dont forget to get yourself some beer. There is lots of beer here. Hopefully, by this time next week, it wont be 100+ here in Portland.

  54. πŸ™‚ Hee-hee. Good luck with the clean pants. But I’m thinking a nice beer stain in a strategic place would make quite the impression.

  55. HA! P.S. Don’t worry, you’ll be just fine and Sock Summit will be wonderful, even though I’m not going to be there.

  56. Pants are nice, but with all the teachers and yarn around you think someone is going to noice clean pants? (I wouldn’t, but then I don’t notice much either) You will be lucky if you will not cause a fiber black hole with all the yarny goodness and talent running amuck in Portland!
    Have fun! And don’t forget to drink enough beer. . . ya know, to calm your nerves. . .

  57. It’s amazing what falls out of the picture when we’re forced to focus, eh? I just hope you can breathe and enjoy the Sock Summit.
    Hang in there!

  58. Well, now I know why I’ve been having such a hard time getting radishes at my local grocer.

  59. Barbara freaking Walters? That’s fantastic!
    But shhhh don’t say your wish about clean pants aloud – you might jinx it. Or maybe it’s just me that spills things on themselves literally seconds before doing something import….

  60. This is about the time I start wearing dresses. Then you only have to worry about one outer garment. Besides the sweater, that is.
    I can’t wait for two weeks from now, when you’re in the afterglow of whatever ends up happening at the Summit. Bona Fortuna to everyone!

  61. Be careful what you wish for – there is a Portland in the Eastern time zone. It’s a perfectly nice little city, but you would be very unhappy if you ended up in Maine en route to the Sock Summit.
    As far as the clean pants thing, you could arrange to have someone spill something on you right as you meet Barbara, and thus absolve you of the responsibility for spotless clothing.
    I’ve always liked what Eisenhower said: “Planning is essential, but plans are useless.” Something invariably goes wrong with events – one meeting planner told me about an outdoor buffet for 1500 people that was flattened by a sudden storm and she still got them all fed. Post-its and spreadsheets can only do so much. Your grace and sense of humor – we totally know you’ve got ’em – are what will see you through.
    Really wish I could be there.

  62. Please let me meet Kelley Petkun! That’s all I really want. I trust that my clothes will be clean; however, I have no idea what my hair will decide to look like.

  63. In my humble experience, it’s the formidable tasks that come off without a hitch, and the easy ones that trip you up. At some point you will just have to go with the flow. I’m sure it will be an amazing event – why wouldn’t it be? Women are in charge of it!
    Maybe you should send the pants on ahead so they don’t get hung up at customs or some other snafu.

  64. I’m washing clothes today, too. I’m not going to meet Barbara Walker (lucky you!) but I am going to be going outside the house and I can only do so decently if I get the washing done. I’m wearing my last pair of clean shorts today and it’s 103Β° so long pants are right out.
    By the way, your various remarks about them inspired me to buy yoga pants. They sure are comfortable. Thanks for the recommendations.

  65. you know what might be fun? knitting a pair of pants to wear for BW. Think it over. You could TOTALLY finish in time.

  66. Assuming you had 5 or 6 hours you didn’t know what to do with (hah!) – radishes pickle really, really well. I was short on cucumbers for my bread-and-butters, and threw in some sliced radishes to make up the difference. Fantastic tasting, crisp, and pretty, too.

  67. You will be just awesome at Sock Summit and everything you have planned will work out just as you hoped it would. Just wish I could be there. Just the yarns dyed for SS shown on Ravelry make we wish I could be there. I hope all who attend take an extra suitcase to cart home all the goodies for sale. Have a wonderful SS – you certainly deserve it.

  68. Just remember you’re not in a teeny tiny boat in a big ocean, you’re in a big enormous boat in a big ocean, and we’re all paddling along at the same time with you (albeit with smaller paddles).
    Clean pants are always an admirable goal!

  69. I can’t even imagine how out-of-control things must feel at the moment, and how very much time and energy you have devoted to this massively huge and extraordinarily cool event. But I want you (and the rest of the Sock Summit Teams as well) to know you are awesome and how impressed and grateful we are for all your hard work!!

  70. I woke up this morning thinking, “in one week I will meet Barbara Walker”. Sock Summit is going to be SO COOL!

  71. I’ll use the ever-evil word – delegate. Surely Canada has a laundry service that will pick up, clean, fold and return the laundry?
    I have to say, I don’t think that Barbara Walker is going to be too concerned about whether you are wearing a bra! Thank the Goddess! (c;
    The cups don’t matter, the cat barf doesn’t matter, get some lady bugs and coffee grounds for your rose bushes. It’s all going to be fine.

  72. Heh, glad to know I’m not the only one who read “Barbara Walters” during the first read-through. Regardless, you’ll be fine, whether you’re meeting Barbara Walters or Barbara Walker!
    Hey, in my house, if things “look” clean, then they are. No one needs to know details. Around here, no one asks. πŸ™‚

  73. I’m the only one that eats the plums too….and doubt I will ever make plum jam. Now pickled radishes? That might be a plan! Remember not to sweat the small stuff (yeah, I believe repetition is the mother of learning), and that the only thing that is important is BARBARA WALKER!!!

  74. If you figure out how to make teenagers less difficult, please let us know. Sock Summit is going to be so cool! I’m sad I can’t go.
    I would be stoked to meet Barbara Walker, too. πŸ™‚ But then again, I was nervous to talk to you at your book signing, so fame is all relative…

  75. Hmm..plum liquer would likely help with one of those issues.
    Take plums, and a large pot. Add a bottle of alcohol (vodka works well), and a bag of sugar. Cover it and let sit in a cool dark place for a few months.
    This is good with soda, and the plums turn deadly (though make a very tasty plum cake).
    As for clean pants, a nice neutral brown will hide many things.

  76. You’ll be fine clean pants or not and you, Tina and the rest of ST-1 & ST-2 will put on a great event and manage to have some fun too. Promise!
    Though, I’ve already had one Summit-related anxiety dream (missed my classes and all the yarn was sold out except for a skein of ratty looking lace weight in a color I’d never use)so I have the slightest inkling of what you’re feeling right now.

  77. 11,000 km from here to SS09 (Auckland New Zealand, to Portland Oregon), dreams are free but I don’t think I am going to get there. It will all go well.
    “It is hard to fly with the eagles when you are working with turkeys” – Audio Visual quote people particularly. Plum ice cream is out of this world – freeze them and use them later, like well after SS09.

  78. The sock summit will be great no matter what happens (and nothing is going to go wrong that can’t be fixed)!
    I’ve started explaining to my muggle co-workers: “It is like ComCon but for knitters.”
    Muggle co-worker replies: “How come everyone thinks I’m a geek for liking star trek. You knitters are way more geeky.”
    Me: “Because at the end of a day knitting, I have produced an item that will provide someone somewhere with something they need. . . and a day of star trekking just leaves you with empty bags of cheetos and a empty bottles of coke/beer/mountain dew.”
    I keep offering to teach him how to knit. Thus far, he declines the invitation.

  79. This is why black or brown pants with a subtle pattern are such a good piece of clothing. They are pants that hide almost anything!

  80. Sock Summit is going to rock! I can’t make it but will look forward to reading all about it.
    Clean pants are indeed a noble goal, but I wouldn’t start worrying until your goal is to be wearing pants at all.

  81. Bless you I fully empathise. Women seem to run at panic mode a lot of the time. I am trying hard to ignore cleaning for a while and just chill with my knitting. I bust a gut getting the place spotless and does anyone notice? I’d rather be knitting. I am sure sock summit will be amazing. It’s like christmas eve, I say if I haven’t got it now, we do without

  82. I don’t care if I’m filthy-rotten, I just hope if I have the chance to pass within 10 feet of her I don’t faint or puke.

  83. I think Barbara Walker will be delighted to meet the famous Yarn Harlot! I doubt she’ll be looking at your pants. Just in case, there are some knitted pants in the latest magazine I bought. Do you have time to knit them!? πŸ™‚ Don’t forget to breathe!! It helps.

  84. By the way, I do wish the Sock Summit could be nearer too, say Niagara Falls? Then I could go. Think how wonderful that would be!!! πŸ™‚

  85. With any luck, Mrs Walker might be worrying about her pants when she meets you!

  86. Oh, yeah, post-it-less-ness…I’m still working on that one. Clearing my desk someday is theoretically possible, but my boss is being very unreasonable about letting me have a flamethrower.
    However, I have, if not totally solved, at least greatly addressed the cat puke problem! Ours was hairball-related, so we aquired a de-shedding comb called the ‘Furminator’. It’s a super-fine comb and removes incredible amounts of fluff off the cat, and now she only pukes when we’re laggardly about combing her. It’s an amazing difference. (Granted, I’m not sure where daily cat-combing would fit in your schedule, but perhaps it would be easier to recruit a family member for combing duty than cat-puke cleaning duty.)

  87. I have no doubt that you can manage clean pants-good grief-look at all you’ve been doing for this event! Clean pants will be a breeze!
    I find it hilarious that you and Joe are still going ’round about the coffee cups.

  88. I bet Barbara Walker is just as scared to meet you as you are to meet her. What she has done for knitting stitches, you have done in keeping knitters sane (through humor).

  89. Our CSA bags sometimes have lots of radishes too. (which shouldn’t surprise me since the name of the restaurant/farm they come from is named The Weeping Radish) In April they sent a recipe for roasted radishes and we really like them that way. They are my husbands new favorite vegetable. You should give it a try!

  90. no don’t forget to pack a change of clothes in your carryon just in case your suitcase gets lost

  91. Aw, it doesn’t matter what pants you wear. You wear the pants! And you’ve fulfilled a big want already–the want to pull off the biggest knitting event ever attempted. Looks like it just may happen!

  92. And to think I was worried about being so tongue-tied when I met you at the volunteer meeting at Cornelius Roadhouse. I never imagined you’d be nervous about meeting Barbara Walker! I’m in both your class and Barbara’s and I spent all day today finding something suitable to wear (OK, I fess up I spent all day at the mall trying to get out of the heat!). See you next week!

  93. πŸ™‚ {hugs} totally hear you on well, everything. and i will continue to dream that one day that our doing what we’re doing whether we have two full X chromosomes or one X and one that’s slightly broken that people will just see and accept good work no matter what field it is in. because we can all do pretty much anything as long as we put our minds to it.
    ps black bottoms are my friend.

  94. YouΒ΄ll be great, hopefully with clean pants, but mostly with pants. Or a skirt.
    Lots of energy going your way!

  95. I’d like something reasonably intelligent and, dare I hope, witty to come out of my mouth when I meet YOU! (no, I won’t be stalking you — I actually got into one of your classes — yay)

  96. Sock Summit will work out wonderfully. Any unexpected issues will be handled with grace by you and the rest of the SS2009 team. I look forward to hearing about how wonderful it all was. Now about those pants …..

  97. Now, if you find yourself face to face with Barbara Walker and you realize you are wearing dirty pants, or [OMG!] no pants, just remember to say to yourself “It’s only a dream….only a dream…”

  98. You need an assistant. When you talk yourself into doing SS again next year, you will know the ropes. Allow yourself the luxury of getting a totally organized, dedicated and unruffled assistant to deal with 90% of the garbage, so you will have your sanity. This year is your trial by fire, and I am confident that the SS will be superb. My only regret is that I will be at home and at work while you live out the wonderful result of all of this work (and agony). Hang in there!!!

  99. You’ll be fine! Everyone is going to have a wonderful time at Sock Summit…I’m sure that Barbara Walker didn’t get to be as wise as she is by worrying if other folks have on clean pants…but I understand you’re feeling on the subject. I just hope that if I meet you at the summit that I haven’t spilled coffee down the front of my shirt! But I promise that my pants will be clean regardless – ha ha!

  100. I hold tight to the possibility that because everyone is referring to SS2009, that there will be a SS2010 that I’ll be able to attend.
    I *believe* in SS2010. I *believe* in SS2010. I do, I do, I do!

  101. personally, i’d be happy to meet Barbara Walker in dirty pants. I have quite a few questions about the mosaic knit patterns. i would like to interview her about her original research into the pattern stitches. feel free to do that and let me know.
    no one has knitting conferences in hawaii…maybe we need to throw our own party…that’s a thought.

  102. It”s just so reassuring to me, after a crappy day at work, wishing that I could just spend my time knitting, to know that my idol who spends her time knitting (and other stuff) has crappy days too. Or maybe that’s not reassuring, but at least we’re all in the same boat and it’s okay to have another glass of wine.
    I hope – no — I know the sock summit will be a fabulous success!!!

  103. Is your store a “Metro”? Our Metro store here in Ottawa, which used to be a “Loebs” has stopped carrying La Soyarie tofu and I’m desperate to get it back. Just curious.

  104. Having once been a person who exercised at a gym before work and having once been a person who may have forgotten to pack pants in her gym bag on the same day as Parent/Teacher interviews (I’m a teacher)…. I can just say… be glad that you have pants to put on?!?!? πŸ™‚
    I’m sure Barbara won’t even notice!

  105. The SS will be awesome. You wait and see. As for teenagers, radishes, beets and laundry…well I really don’t have any suggestions.
    Remember to breathe deeply…ok and maybe drink a little more of your favourite adult beverage tonight. Have you thought about plum wine?

  106. Don’t think of it as lowering your standards. Think of it as focusing on what’s really important. When you do that, you’ll realize that given the choice *between* clean pants and Barbara Walker, you’d pick Barbara Walker every time. Right?

  107. Seriously, ask your grocery store for the tofu! When Whole Foods bought out Wild Oats, the local store stopped carrying the big containers of Oikos yogurt, which made me a very sad panda ’cause it’s my fave yogurt but the individual containers are very expensive. I kept mentioning it to the cashiers, asking if they’d ever get it again, and sure enough, it’s back! (And I’m showing them it was worthwhile to bring it back by buying it)

  108. I hear you on the women/competency/surprise thing. I’m an engineer, and I get a little tired of going to events with my male co-workers and having people (women more often than men, actually) be surprised that I’m an engineer rather than the secretary.
    Also, clean pants are always a good goal. (and usually achievable)

  109. My dear Yarn Harlot, if I thought I could remotely get some in your size that would fit, I’d get you some pants and FedEx them to the hotel so they’d be there clean and pressed for you.
    It’ll be fine, really. Delegate a daughter to run a load of laundry specifically for you, and get it folded – that way you can get it packed, no worries.
    And if you still don’t have clean pants, hey! you’ll still be greeting Barbara Walker. How bad can it be?

  110. Careful Stephanie, remember when everybody threw underpants at you cause you didn’t have clean ones? You will get a concussion if people start throwing trousers at you. It won’t be good. Then all you will want is to remember your name and what year it is! πŸ™‚

  111. I love what you said about women in business. I have a little rant about why it’s so hard to make a living as a knitting designer that relates to it, but that’s a matter for another day.
    For now I just wish you clean pants.

  112. Heh. Bottom lines are pretty fabulous like that,eh?
    So doable. clean pants. and really, it’s all worth it to meet Barbara Walker. You are both fortunate women.

  113. I work at resort in the woods with no TVs. It’s sorda near Portland… in the sense that it’s in WA and thus the same time zone. Let me know if you need a room to hide out after the dust from Sock Summit has settled πŸ™‚ It will be a blast. I wish I could go, but I’ll be celebrating my grandparents’ 60th anniversary in CA.
    Everything will be wonderful and everyone will have a good time πŸ™‚

  114. I wish Sock Summit was 2 more weeks away so I could attend. Please consider doing this again next year.

  115. If you are worried about clean pants send them out to Portland dirty and we will find someone to wash them. Please let someone else worry for a while. No one will mind a few snafoos sp? and will be overjoyed to see the darling of knitting fun (you)

  116. So, somewhere Barbara Walker is thinking “I just want to have on clean pants when I meat the Yarn Harlot”.
    We will look forward to your report. Do you think you could get her to hold your sock in progress?

  117. I think pants at all is plenty good enough. Lower your expectations, and succeed!

  118. Dear Stephanie, I am a novice knitter (I made a few afgans in the 70’s and didn’t get back to knitting until recently, and, my, how things have changed!) and I have never read a blog, never mind sent in a comment. I just had to tell you how much I enjoy your books–you must have read my mind with the chapter on wishing for a lower extremity injury that would require you to sit around for six weeks–preferably before Chrstmas. I’ve said the very same thing myself and everyone thinks I’m crazy. Of course, the only time I’ve ever broken anything, it was my right arm–darn!! Sorry about whoever it is giving you so much trouble about being proud to be Canadian. We Americans are lucky to have such wonderful neighbors to our north. I’ve been to Canada a handful of times, for only a couple of days each trip, and hope to come back for a real visit soon. Keep up your inspiring and very funny observations on knitting and life. I’m reading four of your books at the same time, as I work on three knitting projects at a time. I’m sure you can relate. Best wishes, Anne

  119. hi! I just have one thing to say – black pants hide lots of laundry sins.
    Have fun, and I can’t wait to hear all about it. Hope not everyone who goes has camnesia – I want to see lots of photos so I can pretend I was there!

  120. I commented to someone earlier this week that life is so hectic, I’ll have to be careful to make sure I REMEMBER to pack pants for sock summit (amidst all the supplies).
    I can’t imagine how frantic YOUR world must be. We all love you for it, though!

  121. Stop worrying. You are going to be absolutely stunning-whether your underwear is clean or not. The Summit is going to b the biggest knitting event of the century. You and Tina are nothing but fabulous. The haters, naysayers, and jealous wannabes need all our prayers and sympathy. They need to heal big time. It must be very hard to feel so virulent for so much of the time “The expense of spirit in a waste of shame” comes to mind as an appropriate comment for the hate bloggers. Go ST1, ST2!!!!!! You’re on your way to stardom(in a knitterly way!!!!!!!!). Cheers, hugs, and red wine!!!! Hazel Smith

  122. As far as the cat is concerned, I have one who tells me he is getting ready to puke, and he pukes into the paper towels I provide for him. BUT, the really, REALLY sad and unhappy part about it is that he is very close to the end of his watch (life). He has kidney failure, and I wake up each day in fear that this is his last day. Accept the puke while you can…….
    As far as the pants are concerned, come on, fess up – you KNOW you bought a new pair in which to meet Barbara!
    You’ve got everything covered re: SS09. AND even if you have a glitch – hey, WE’RE knitters and we can handle the SMALL stuff!
    Have a wonderful time. Wish I could be there, but have a 4-pawed prior commitment.

  123. Hmm… What time of day will you be meeting Barbara Walker? I only ask this because in my world, clean pants don’t often make it past noon… they would make it less far if it weren’t for certain… anatomical gifts that make sweater knitting difficult that catch all but the worst of food-related mishaps. My point is just this, if you are meeting Barbara Walker in the afternoon, you might throw a spare set of pants in a large zipper-top bag, into the knitting bag/briefcase just in case.
    You never know where a vindictive cup of coffee might be hiding. Good luck.

  124. Clean pants is a good, solid achievable goal. πŸ˜€
    I’m sure it’s going to be amazing and it’s going to rock completely and absolutely.
    My question: Why do all of the really, really cool knitting events happen on the West Coast? Hrm… something to ponder…

  125. We have much in common. I’d like clean pants, too. And to convince my Joe that towels do have a wrong side and a right side (also that napkins should be placed with the fold toward the plate – but that’s no biggie).
    I’d like to meet Barbara Walker, too, but I’m not likely to since I’m not going to SS09. I was fairly reconciled to that, having promised myself that instead, I could have a nice treat that week and order myself some especially lovely sock yarn or fiber to spin.
    Now, I find that most of the good sock yarn and fiber in the universe is going to SS09, and many sellers indicate they will restock after SS09. Sigh.
    Have a grand and glorious time and TAKE PICTURES.

  126. I was a meeting planner and, if I can offer some advice… you and your team have the list, your guests/students don’t. Stuff will happen and it is OK. (Really! I promise!). But it is worth it. Seeing all your hard work LIVE and in person is simply awesome. Congratulations. Oh! And Eat before the meals – everyone is going to want something from you during the breaks so you won’t have time to eat.

  127. 15 years living together and we still don’t agree on the cups either.
    Good luck with the pants. I may be flying to Russia Saturday to adopt a baby. Or maybe not. Nobody seems to know. They might tell us tomorrow, if we are really, really lucky.
    I can sympathize with how you feel right now.

  128. Please just have fun. The rest will take care of itself. You have worked so hard and it’s time to enjoy the experience. I hope it is as wonderful as I think it’s going to be. I will try not to be jealous of all of you at Sock Summit.

  129. One of the rules I live by is to always wear pants that don’t show dirt.
    My rabbits LOVE radishes. Just give the radishes to someone with rabbits.
    I want my local Meijer to have tabbouleh again. They used to have it, and it was good. Now they don’t have it. Not just a different brand, but no tabbouleh at all.
    I want libraries to have better funding, enough so they can pay library workers a decent salary (not just librarians, but paraprofessionals too!).
    I guess what I really want though is for my migraines to stop.

  130. hmm…what a terrific list – I’m with you on the beets especially. Somehow I don’t think Barbara Walker needs you in clean pants. The planets will definitely spin in circles with the wooly-love gathering at SS09. Bravo you and Tina and all of your team. I agree with meeting planner above, especially with your food choices…please be sure to have food tucked on your person/bag/purse. The questions and hugs and comments won’t stop until the last knitter departs your hotel (let alone the center). Thank you for your vision and discipline to make it all happen.

  131. That’s not about lowering standards; it’s about setting priorities. πŸ˜‰

  132. Remember, they just have to look and smell clean. They don’t have to actually, technically, BE clean.

  133. There’s only a week before Sock Summit and I am panicked, perhaps not nearly as frightened as you are, but enough for little old me. Knowing that I’m not the only one who’s scared silly is somewhat comforting. In a weird way.

  134. Ok, you do realize that that’s the same way many of us feel about meeting you, right?
    Love to you in the craziness leading up to this absolutely amazing event. See you next week (ack!)!

  135. A consultant once said you had to have B.H.A.G., Big Hairy Audacious Goals. Is having clean pants to meet Barbara Walker a B.H.A.G? Only you can say…

  136. Don’t worry — Barbara Walker won’t even notice your pants, because she’ll be too excited to meet you! Wish I could be at Sock Summitt – it’s going to be great!

  137. Didn’t a daughter of yours recently clean up cat puke without being asked to? That’s one off your list already!
    Just remember: everybody there is on your side!

  138. It’ll be too hot for a bra, and wool socks don’t have to be ‘clean, clean’ and I’ll bet you can save a pair of clean pants for Barbara.
    But the fact is, no matter how terrified you are about this, you’ll have to start planning next year’s Sock Summit as soon as this one is over.
    Cheers and best of luck!

  139. We just want to have enough yarn ready so that you don’t think our booth looks sparse. I don’t think we’ll get around to clean pants. πŸ™‚
    My husband found out a secret a couple weeks back, there is a laundry a couple of blocks from our house that will do a few loads for you if it gets to be too much. You’re only human. Make sure you give yourself breaks!

  140. Just a reminder, this is how knitters manage “snafus”:
    Once upon a time, not long ago, the Yarn Harlot, aka, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee was going to speak in Ann Arbor Michigan. People drove from miles around, stood in line for a couple of hours to get good seats, waited patiently for her arrival, all the time admiring each others creations. After some time had passed, it was announced that the dear Harlot was delayed! This information did not phase the knitters (as they were knitting). Delay, that meant simply a “little longer to wait”. Then another announcement was made with the assurance that, yes, Stephanie was on her way, the delay was due to fog and airports. Knitting continued, as all there knew that knitting really helped with waiting. It’s like the antidote to impatience.
    Finally, the very apologetic Yarn Harlot arrived to describe the most amazing journey. Everyone was so happy to see her, everyone laughed, everyone was so glad that she was finally there!
    So what could happen at SS09? Everyone will have yarn, and needles, and be patient, kind and appreciative, and will knit.
    And the Harlot may forget to even care about her pants when she meets Barbara Walker. It’s hard to predict who will be happier to meet who.

  141. Everything’s going to be fine…. And it’s not as though anyone else has ever done this particular thing before — so really there’s nothing to compare it to. Just remember to breathe, please!

  142. I am so with you re: the cat gack. We’ve had an issue with it this year–though many, many vet visits, a specialist (my cat has a specialist!), and a lot of trial and error with meds have helped our situation. And, hey, it’s lovely to have clean sheets every day, but not because your cat threw up in the bed and you have to wash/change them AGAIN! See you at SS! (Oh, and extra time often doesn’t help since work expands to fill the time alotted to it, at least it often does for me. Everything will be great, I’m sure.)

  143. Squish plums. Toss stones. Add smidgen sugar. Cook/nuke till boils one minute. Puree. Voila: sour-cherry-ish-flavored plum sauce, fine for freezing, maybe in an ice cube tray so you can put a little as needed in a fruit salad or the like.
    Tell her hi for me!

  144. The trick is to wash the nicest pair of pants and the lone bra at once, dry, then hang them up on the same hanger and never touch them until you have to wear them. I do it for interviews anyways. I’m sure it’ll work for when you meet Barbara Walker. Let us know how it goes!

  145. I’ll add my voice to the chorus singing “plum jam,” which by the way means that you can have a little bit of summer in a jar when it’s snowy out.
    Go wash a pair of pants RIGHT NOW and put them in your suitcase. Don’t touch them until you’re going to meet Barbara Walker. This way you can have your plums and meet her, too.

  146. Hon, your cat pukes a lot. Is the cat OK?
    How exciting that you get to meet Barbara Walker! I wonder what her hands look like… I bet she’s really cool and doesn’t care what your pants look like as long as they don’t smell too much like cat puke.
    Take a breather and enjoy! <3

  147. Just be glad it’s Barbara Walker and not Barbara Walters. At least this way you won’t be spread all over American TV and she makes you cry when she asks you what kind of tree you would be if you could be a tree. Just saying.

  148. Screw the clean pants, make sure the undies are clean. You know, just in case you faint from the excitement and they have to take you to the hospital? At least that’s what my mother would tell you. Oh, and make sure you bring enough money for a pay phone. And have fun.

  149. Clean pants? Me too, and a shirt that I haven’t spilled on right in the middle of the front.

  150. Pants I can usually manage to keep clean enough. Shirts, well that’s another story…
    Let’s just change up that saying about he/she puts her pants on one leg at a time to “she knits & purls one stitch at a time, just like the rest of us”. Hope that helps you more than it would help me!

  151. Repeat after me: It all depends on what the stain on the pants looks like. On the thigh? That’s OK. Wet spot where you learned not to leave a wet spot when you were 2? Not so good.
    Nothing else matters.
    Damn–Barbara Walker!!! I SO wish I could be there. How it would go for me: I’d have a friend take my picture with her, and only then would I notice the giant grease stain front and center… Wishing you all the best in all your endeavors.

  152. Remember this is about knitting, fun and beer. If you like, I will look after the beer part for you, but you are responsible for your pants. If you should happen to be “pant-less” make sure you have a great pair of socks on.
    Until about 4 months ago I didn’t know who Barbara Walker was…that’s how ‘new again’ I am to knitting.
    Stephanie..get rid of the post its and try and have fun…the tofu? you’re on your own there, I would rather clean up after the cat, but that is just me..LOL

  153. you can plan all you want for the clean pants. but pants, having a mind of their own, may just thwart you. i’m sure barbara walker knows this and won’t hold your pants against you (on the chance that something unforeseen (by you) happens with the pants between leaving your room and meeting her.) who knows? maybe she is just fretting about meeting you and the state of her pants!!

  154. OMGoddess. Barbara Walker is *that* Barbara Walker?? (I just looked at the Wikipedia entry about her.) This is a revelation.

  155. Oh Stephanie, you are priceless. Look, taking only one glance at her list of publications and yours, I can tell that the pair of you will get on like a house on fire, having a marvellous time. And none of you will be able to tell what the other wore, except for the knitwear of course. I daresay nobody would really notice if one of you turned up pantsless!

  156. Oh, dear. Quickly throw salt over our shoulder (which shoulder? I don’t care, just do it quickly) and turn around three times (clockwise? widdershins? JUST DO IT!) to reverse this little jinx = you see, Man Plans, God Laughs. So when wishing for that one little thing, you might sort of get what you want but a little off – kinda like dealing with a djini of the bottle (or kettle)

  157. As a mom aren’t you accustomed to wearing dirty trousers? I know I’m getting used to it! πŸ™‚
    BTW, I was reading this last night, sitting next to my hubby (who is tremendously bored of all knitterly things), when all of a sudden he said, “Who’s Barbara Walker?” after staring at him blankly, he replied, “Hey, I read her, too. Don’t look at me like that!” My shock comes not from my question of your entertainment factor but from his interest in anything even remotely knitting. πŸ™‚ If you knew my hubby, you’d be very pleased with your accomplishment πŸ™‚

  158. Now, would ‘pants’ be knickers or trousers? In either case, the answer is BLACK – it hides a multitude of sins. Anyway – the Sock Summit will be great, whatever you are wearing. Wish I could be there. Anyway, as EZ said Knitting is good for the troubled soul. Enjoy!

  159. My wishes?
    That more people would knit in my country…
    That they wouldn’t look eat me so strange when I knit publicly…
    That stores would carry wool, silk and such (instead of the acrylic crap that is available here)
    That packages wouldn’t get lost…
    That my job would pay me enough so I could afford to go half-way around the world for he sock summit..
    That one day I could meet the Yarn Harlot…
    BTW, wear some stunning handknitted top, or shawl. Nobody will notice that you have pants on, much less whyt shape those pants are.

  160. Here in France, beets come already cooked, but if you can’t get them like that in Canada, get a pressure cooker, things cook much faster – almost too fast sometimes.

  161. whether clean or dirty, remember to *bring* both knickers and trousers. laundry done in hotel rooms is not any less clean than laundry done in your new singing washer. and remember to take a few minutes every day and just enjoy the moment. i’m up at 3:40 am because it’s too hot to sleep and my bathrooms needed cleaning and the dishwasher needed to be run. and Mike snores. luvya!

  162. Well, regarding the pants, you could bribe the girls with a dinner at their favorite local spot in exchange for doing the laundry *properly* for one week…
    But then, I’m 24 and childless, so who am I to say anything?
    As far as Sock Summit goes, I’m ecstatic at the simple fact that it’s happening, and I’m sure that whatever kinks come up will be easily and quickly ironed out. Good luck!

  163. Know how you feel. First time I went out of my house with a new baby in tow, and arrived at my friend’s house, I declared “I don’t even know if I’ve got any knckers on!”
    Good luck with the birth of your new baby!

  164. You do realise now that everyone at the Sock Summit is going to ask if your pants are clean?
    I have too much to do too, but decided to designate today: Cakey Day! Knitting whilst waiting for blueberry muffins to emerge from the oven!
    Whatever happens, happens, just please give yourself time to enjoy it. It’ll all be over quicker than you know, and if all you remember is the stress, what would have been the point, huh?
    Good luck,

  165. Even if ALL the things that could go wrong happen…it will still be wonderful! When you work so hard from good intention…it will be enough! I suspect many people will be blissfully happy the moment they hit the venue floor!

  166. LOL! Ok, so now you know that when you over pack your suitcase, you will being over packing it with extra pants and clean undies! Oh, and you’ll need a clean “I’m wearing this when I meet Barbara Walker” shirt too. Your post today just cracked me up because it reminded me of the first time I actually talked to Judith Mackenzie McCuin in person. It was during my first SOAR and she did a presentation on various textile projects and of course it was fascinating. Later on she was talking to a bunch of people that I had been hanging around with and I was introduced to her. I didn’t have to worry about clean pants because I almost soiled mine LOL! Judith was telling about her adventures in various countries and she was just spellbinding. The only place left to sit where I was close enough to hear everything was on the floor at her feet where someone had spilled some wine. Everyone else avoided the spot but not me. I’d rather have pants with a wine stain than miss the opportunity to sit at Judith’s feet and soak up all that knowledge and experiences. Sure enough I sat there for at least 2 hours, wine be damned, and basked in the glow of being able to literally sit at the feet of Judith Mackenzie McCuin. It was so cool! Needless to say, she never noticed my pants. The wine stain was a real pain to wash out but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Barbara Walker is looking forward to meeting you too. Just remember to enjoy it, and breathe!!!

  167. Plum jam, girl. And let it all go. The family, sock summit and the world will be what it is when we all get there. It will be good, bad and ugly. Not a thing anyone can do. You, however, are special and wonderful. Have fun!

  168. Actually Dyepot girl, your post reminded me of the time I met Maya Angelou. I couldn’t speak, and she had to close my mouth for me!

  169. All these months I have been sad that I can’t go to SS and will probably never meet Barbara Walker. But now I think of it, it’s just as well, because I would go into a totally embarrassing talking jag and/or have a coughing fit. And/or my husband would call at that moment to ask if I had fed the cats. And that’s before we even consider what I might be wearing.
    Good luck!

  170. I know what you need: you need a wife. hehe.
    Please if you don’t mind, look in your ravelry message inbox, I have a question about a donation to DWB.
    Everything will be fine.

  171. Barbara Walter! That is great. Just go buy a pair of pants and have fun. I would love to go to the sock summit, maybe someday (so you have to do it again :).

  172. that’s what I like about you Stephanie Pearl McPhee–you have perspective. Clean underwear for Barbara Walker. Would you thank her for making knitting my obsession? EZ got me rolling but BW is my mentor for all my knitting inspirations. I am so wicked jealous of you. Make sure we get to see a pic of the two of you please.

  173. you know steph… she will be so excited to meet you that she won’t even notice what you’re wearing! You are such an amazing person… I know if I was the one meeting you I’d not notice a darn thing! (but then again I’m the girl who doesn’t remember the music at the church the day of her own wedding! everyone still goes on about how lovely the harp was… and for the life of me all I remember is worrying about not tripping and trying not to bawl like a baby with my dad and mom at my side and my Hubby’s green eyes at the front of the church!)
    Remember: you are a SOCK wearing, Event planning GODDESS!

  174. The most important thing to do before meeting someone important is to check your teeth. Your clothes might be spanking clean but if you smile and there’s a huge hunk of spinach in your teeth, well…
    Don’t forget to have fun!!

  175. Wearing pants, period, might be a good enough goal πŸ˜‰ I’m sure someone has already said that!

  176. mija, if i got everything i wanted, there would be a yarn shop in in Puerto Rico, that sold more then just crochet thread and christening patterns =)

  177. Wow – in my world, even clean pants is setting the bar pretty high. All the best with that…
    And, not that you need it, but best of luck with everything! πŸ™‚

  178. And what do you bet that Barbara Walker (as great and wonderful as she is) is thinking – “Wow, I’m going to meet the Yarn Harlot! You know, the one that has expanded the world of knitting so that my craft continues to live and thrive.”
    Plum conserve – chopped plums, raisins, sugar, orange zest, orange juice. Cook until thick. Add chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans). Can or freeze to preserve. Wonderful with crackers and cheese.
    Plum butter – 1 cup plums to 1/2 cup sugar. Cook until shiny, then puree. Yummm. You’ll have fruit all winter at this rate.
    Good luck with Sock Camp. Wish I could be there.

  179. You will do great, Sock Summet will be a success and we will see it becoming an annual event. Joe will continue to be the wonderful, stable, occasionally stuck in the snow man that he has always been. Your daughters will grow into the absolutley wonderful people you have given them the foundation to become–and the clean pants won’t be an issue after you see the gal whose baby just up-chucked all over her very expensive, light colored outfit—surely she’s out there somewhere…

  180. Clean Pants, hmmm, if I you were and had all those curly locks, I would be worrying about the Humidity in Portland! hahahahahaha

  181. Good deal. Sometimes it is just helpful to sift through to the most important things and let the rest go.

  182. “rule about where the cat is allowed to puke and at what times of day”
    That’s the one I want. Cat yak when I walk in the door is SO exciting!!

  183. nah… forget about the clean pants – just be sure to be wearing a handknit something (and remember that knitters only look at that) πŸ˜€

  184. Put me down for another THANK YOU FOR 2209!
    (BTW, this is the second post in a row mentioning cat barf. Hate to mention it, but kitty might need some professional attention. Really hate to put another thing on the to-do list.)

  185. Yes, having clean pants for that audience would be a plus. I would also make sure that I could properly genuflect in them. Wish I could be there this year, but alas, I need to look after my beasties. Best wishes – I know it’ll be great!

  186. And, remember that in addition to the thousands of knitters who will be attending, there are many more thousands of us who cannot and will be with you in spirit. It is my firm belief that you will be a huge success, and even more important, you will not be speechless when meeting BW!!!

  187. I really think everything will go fine and you will all have a blast !
    Organizing something like this must be little like working in a busy ER….. sometimes if you focus on the top priority…and breathe like so many people have already suggested….all the little worrisome details magically sort themselves out….!
    “Sock” On !!!!!
    (so wish I could be there….)

  188. Dear Ms. Harlot–
    You have taken the high road and hazah to you! I support your right to write what you want to share with us–it is your home so to speak. I am so sorry you have to endure this.

  189. You’ll be fine. You could probably wear a trash bag and you’d still be endearing and funny and people will love you no matter what.
    I wish I could be there. I would even buy a clean pair of pants and bring them for you, you know, just in case…

  190. In the goodness of hotel living, they do have inhouse laundry/dry-cleaning. Expensive? yes. Worth it? oh, yes! Have no fear, just pack the dirties.

  191. Steph, it’s a sign of real maturity when you learn to accept things the way they are, recognizing that even if you could change them, they probably really aren’t important in the long run.
    Good luck at Sock Summit.

  192. I gave up on my version of your list YEARS ago, I guess that comes with old age. Now I just want to make it through the day, with a little knitting left over. But if I were meeting barbara walker, I’d definately add clean pants to my list. btw, whats a wanigan, and why is it full of radishes?

  193. Plums: cook them down with just a teaspoon of sugar or so, and pour them over ice cream. Better yet, add a dash of almond extract and make them INTO ice cream.
    I envy that problem. Not so much the one about the clean pants.

  194. I can totally relate. Good luck on the clean pants. Even if they aren’t, because right before you meet Barbara Walker and Anna Zilboorg, you spill half a cup of coffee on your lap, please take in every bit they give you and forget the pants. I wish I could meet them both. Right now, what I really want is to be able to go to Sock Summit. I can’t. That sucks. As obvious as it may be, please, tell them how lucky the attendees are and that there are a heck of a lot of us who continue to wish we were there.

  195. Sounds like your priorities are just right.
    You do realize that just about every sock summit attendee is now going to pack an extra pair of cleans pants on the off chance they can offer them to you in your moment of need!
    I think you should have mentioned needing beer…

  196. You could freeze the plums and make jam from them later. The texture would be a little looser, but still delicious. Can’t help you with the clean pants, I only have to impress my children and my garden.

  197. Clean kitchen floors are overrated. And if anything, Barbara Walker probably feels the same way and is nervous about meeting you. Enjoy your time at Sock Summit. If there are a couple of glitches, they’ll get dealt with. Mud happens. You should be proud of all the tons which you and Tina and your crew have accomplished.

  198. SS is like a wedding. You plan for ages, and hope you have everything done….if you don’t, you just have to laugh.
    Believe me, the only thing those of us attending really care about are taking the classes we paid for, having enough yarn to purchase, and beating the Guiness World record. All else is just really awesome gravy!
    Can’t wait to see you in less than a week!

  199. All of those are terribly noble things. And wearing clean pants to meet Barbara Walker is important. I do hope that you don’t give up on the World Peace thing though. I mean we all have to at least keep that in our sights even subliminally! Can’t wait to hear the stories of SS triumph! Next year I’ll come photograph it even though there are no brides involved!

  200. And we so want that for you. At least the clean pants part.
    (You might also wish to not be completely “fanboy” at her, although how you could not, I don’t know. I know that I would certainly stutter and blush and be totally starstruck..)
    (Altho when I met 2 of my favorite authors on an elevator and had a totally rational discussion with them, I managed to not be an idiot… mostly because I didn’t realize they were 2 of my favorite authors until the very end of the conversation. Then I managed to say “I enjoy both of your books very much” without melting at their feet or making a total fool out of myself. And obviously, 15 years later, it’s still a matter of pride that I didn’t πŸ™‚

  201. Just let us know what size, and we’ll all carry a spare pair of pants for you that day… πŸ˜‰

  202. I get weak in the knees just thinking about being in the same room with Barbara Walker. I may faint. I hope I don’t, though, ’cause then I’ll miss what the luminary panel says…
    Oh, and dear YH, I found this post through Havi Brooks’ blog, and I thought you would appreciate it. Read past all the Scandinavian snow shoveling part to the end:

  203. You know what’s funny? After the sock summit, you’ll write a post telling about what a wonderful time you had, how any mishaps were handled with grace and style, if only because you were working with knitters and that’s how they do things. Even funnier (in an ironic sort of way) is that next year you’ll forget how miserable you were right now, and you’ll put this incredible event together again (if you don’t believe me, see any post regarding the Christmas knitting and Lene’s schedules)! So I thank you, both now and in advance of SS10, for your hard work, attention to detail, extraordinary cleverness and forgetfulness (for without that last one, we might never see another Sock Summit)!
    Someday, I’d like to be just like you.
    Although without the puking cat & tofu. πŸ™‚

  204. Anyone who gets to go to SS09 and work with/listen to/breathe the same air as your amazing panel of teachers, and fondle/buy all that amazing yarn, and still complains about any snafus that may arise is undeserving of this and any future Sock Summit! You have put together an amazing conference; be sure to enjoy it yourself!

  205. Take a deep breath. Count to 5. Exhale. You’ll be fine. πŸ™‚ Oh, and for the plums, check out a couple of Barefoot Contessa plum tart/cake recipes on the Food Network website. Yum.
    And I especially agree with you about the puking cat thing.

  206. Oh! You just reminded me that I need to make a plum torte! Marion Burro’s perennial recipe is published every year in the NY Times, and coincidentally it was published today. I don’t even live in the NY area anymore, and I still want a freezer full of these.
    Maybe your teenagers can google up the recipe (try Marion Burros plum torte) and then make a plum torte for you. They can even freeze baked tortes for when you return from Sock Summit, which will be wonderful since we all know that raising children who can bake is more than adequate preparation for marshalling a willing army of people carrying pointy sticks and string.

  207. Ahhh! ETA: the plum torte recipe happened to cross my digital desktop today but was NOT published in the NY Times recently as far as I know. Digital media can be misleading and confusing – so sorry! – the recipe is still amazing, though.

  208. The sheer buzz of being at Sock Summit, of once again accomplishing something that proves the power of knitters, will erase any last minute nerves. As for the pants — just put one pair in a suitcase now. That way, you won’t be tempted to wear them, and they’ll be clean for the meeting of two knitting giants. I just hope someone’s taking pictures for those of us unlucky enough to be stuck at home.
    As for the plums — they were never my favorites until I discovered yellow plums at whole foods. (Not to mention the black apricots.) I am now 100% in favor of summer fruit. Freeze some, you’ll appreciate it in January when you’re once more shoveling that five feet of snow!

  209. 3 words: wash and fold.
    good luck with the sock summit. i’m sure it will be wonderful.

  210. While I don’t think that Mme. Walker would notice if your undies were on inside out, I think she might see if your pants or shirt were…..and check your buttons twice just in case. Oh, and if you are accustomed to slipping into the nearest pair of Birx, make sure they actually are a matched pair. Most importantly have oodles of fun regardless of any thing that goes awry.

  211. Just remember you’re meeting Barbara Walker, something many, many more of us would like to do than are going to get to. And that knitters, on the whole, are some very nice people, most of whom aren’t paying attention to your pants.
    Wear a nice knit thing and you’ll probably be fine. πŸ™‚
    Best wishes to all attending. Wish I could be there with you. Except, wait, it’s hot in Portland this year. Nope, still wish I could be there.

  212. Stephanie,
    I wanted to write and tell you good luck with the Sock Summit. I have been on the staff and in charge of a number of “events” for an organization I am with, and I know the stress, drama, worries, and anxieties I have dealt with, and I have never tried to pull of an event for more than 800 people, and I have never done it outside of my own country.
    You have a good crew of people helping you out, and a loving and supportive family to help take care of you.
    I wish I could could be there, but I am out of town the next ten days on a strange annual adventure of my own, so I wanted to wish you good luck and well wishes before I head off into the wilds of the mountains of Pennsylvania.
    Kim in Virginia

  213. Pants? You’re worried about your pants? I’d be worried about which top down sweater to wear as Barbara Walker is the expert. And which stitch pattern (fancy for sure) would be on my socks?
    And yes, beets take way too long to cook and bad tofu sucks.
    Wishing I could be at Sock Summit. I’m hoping you’ll move it to different places (sending a subliminal message for the SF Bay Area), and it was a different week, because I just cannot get out of work those days.

  214. Take a minute, breathe in, breathe out. Ok. ss09 will be great! You have a great team and any hicups will be handled with finnese. I think Barbara will be just as excited to meet you as you are her, with or without clean pants.

  215. In your previous list of wants I fear you may have been asking for a mite too much…I mean a clean floor, I want one too but gave up on it long ago. What mother of children ever gets a floor to stay clean for more than 5 minutes??
    Fortunately Barbara Walker is a very progressive woman and has always been way ahead of her time. Clean pants/clothes will be nice but if by chance they are not quite she will understand you are working hard and I don’t think she will judge you on what you wear otherwise. I don’t think she will even be concerned if you have on a bra or not. And I’m certain she will think you are successful in business not in spite of your breasts but because of them! I read most of B.W.’s feminist/spiritual books years ago long before I was a knitter. She totally rocks. She is like an eclectic genius…Oh, gee I better make sure I have clean pants too at the SS!

  216. It’s darn hot to breathe here in Oregon so I’m just going to hug you instead!

  217. Good luck with that! You might want to wear shorts though – it’s HOT!
    Idea: It would be really cool if you can record the Luminary Panel, and maybe Barbara Walker’s lecture, for posterity. Either for sale later, or just give a copy to the Smithsonian or something. If it is for sale, with royalties, would that be allowed by the Convention Center???

  218. Maybe I should wish not to always be a day late and a dollar short!
    That place where all your wants/wishes come true, I think that’s called Utopia.
    For sure it’s not down here in Texas!

  219. I completely agree on the cat puke point. As for the beets, the Trader Joe’s grocery store chain in the U.S. sells cooked beets, but I checked and unfortunately they are not in Canada (I hope that’s not an anti-Canadian statement)…

  220. Regardless of the current state of world peace or no, I too, would like to be wearing clean pants (outer AND under) should I ever get to meet Barbara Walker. A stain-free shirt would just be icing on the cake! I don’t think you’re lowering your standards one iota; they are “situationally appropriate”.

  221. I just have to mention about the cups…
    Now this is in no way to be construed as a comment on housekeeping, or anything else, for that matter. I suspect that the Harlot house is a lot cleaner than mine. I do not have the Cleaning gene.
    Long ago, I could only afford to live in the cheapest apartments available. Later, we bought a really old house (1884 model). Both of these living arrangements came with, well, roommates. Non-human roommates. In some cases, non-mammalian roommates.
    In the rented situations, we just did the best we could. In our house, it took a while to get the situation under as much control as is reasonable for anyone (circle of life, and all that). An occasional spider or centipede is bound to happen to anybody.
    We discovered while this was going on that it was a lot more aesthetic (well, a lot less unaesthetic) to have the critters going about their nasty little circle-of-life business on the outside of the dishes rather than the inside. We just got into the habit of storing everything “bottom up”.
    We still do it. Just a habit, but not unreasonable. I’m just sayin’……

  222. I wouldn’t call that lowered standards – I would call that a realistic, attainable goal! Good goal setting!
    I want to be able to attend Sock Summit, But I will have to live vicariously through you and the attendees I am in touch with through Ravelry. I hope it is all you want it to be, and then some.

  223. Sometime (not likely this week!) look up the great recipe for Radishes cooked with their leaves – Mooli Ka Saag – in Madhur Jaffry’s A Taste Of India. I don’t put in as many chillies, but who’d have thought that bunches of fresh radishes with their tops would curry up nicely… I can only eat a very few fresh. Looking forward to SS09 – no worries!

  224. I think clean pants might be easier than world peace. In any case, in the end it will be over and we will wish for it to be Sock Summit again.
    Meanwhile, my stomach gets into knots when I realize I have a week left at home, and then I’ll be gone for so long that no matter what I do, I won’t be able to catch up when I get home. Not that I’m caught up now, or anything…
    Hope to at least wave at you in Portland. Would be great to hug you, too, but you’ll probably have too much to do, to stand still for a few seconds and hug back.
    THANK YOU for the idea and the hard work and caring you and the rest of the team are putting into this event. I dropped everything and bought a ticket even before I had classes scheduled. Going to Portland via Lansing, Flint, Cleveland, HOUSTON and then Portland, but hey… I could afford that particular ticket on a self-employed income, and I can knit in transit.
    Seeya next week. (Did I say that?)

  225. Isn’t it amazing how our priorities become crystal-clear when we feel as though we’re going to die? I’m right there with you, hoping you have on clean, well-fitting pants and a beautiful sweater!

  226. Marjorie@3:32 — No, I tried it. As lovely a color as beets are, it’s completely fugitive.
    Stephanie — you will be wearing absolutely perfect and flawless pants. And your hair will be newly brushed.

  227. Yes! Clean pants!
    You clearly have your priorities in order!
    Good luck on the Sock Summit! I wish you all the best and hope it goes well for everybody and you come out of the other end still sane (or at least as sane as you are now.)

  228. I’ve met Barbara Walker. Don’t worry about her, she is just fine. She certainly won’t worry about your pants.

  229. Just read your calendar, Never Not Knitting, for 8/02/09: “It is a long road from conception to completion.” — Moliere … and bask in it. Whatever comes, you’ve earned it, and it will be great!

  230. You know there are laundromats that will do your laundry for you. You pay them by the pound (which I have always found a little odd), and it is a little expensive, but can be well worth it when there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

  231. Plum jam. Easy, if you have a timer that you can carry around with you (I like the ones on necklaces) you can do it while you’re doing other stuff, plus I find it tremendously stress-relieving. And it’s yummy.
    But if you don’t have time for clean pants, you’ll have to wait until you get back. Sorry.
    Betcha you’ll have a great time in retrospect though.

  232. I want you to right now go get a clean pair of pants, put them in a clear plastic bag, seal them and label them “Barbara Walker Pants — Open When Ready”. Put them in the suitcase NOW.
    What about freezing the plums for winter?

  233. Honestly, for me, clean pants would be totally wasted the minute I met Barbara Walker because I think my brain would be too busy going
    “barbarawalkerOMGsuperstar!!!” to spend any attention controlling my bladder.
    Come to think of it, I would need clean pants… just not for BEFORE the initial meeting.

  234. I hear you about the clean pants….and plum preserves. Easy, just add sugar to the plums, cook and put in a canning jar. Keep the ones that seal and use the ones that don’t for fancy pancake syrup — really soon before they start to mold!

  235. Love it. Bra might be helpful, but I don’t want you to have to further modify your standards too much πŸ˜‰

  236. Honestly, after all T1 and T2 have done to pull this extravaganza together, perhaps we need to turn you loose on the World Peace thing. (We’ll even provide you with all the yarn you need.)

  237. Dear YH, I hope you have an absolutely AWESOME time at the SS in Portland!!!
    I hope to meet Ms. Walker at the FFRF convention in my home town this fall. She is a personal heroine – I’ve been reading and profiting from her non-knitting books for years and years. As a new knitter, I was amazed to find what she’s done for knitting! Knocked-down amazed. What an incredible woman.
    I want to tell you that your At Knit’s End was one of the first knitting books I bought back in November 08 when I learned the right way to do the knit stitch and put an end to years of backwards oogly rectangles done with acrylic yarn on size 19’s…I laughed out loud on the bus all the way home reading it, and I laughed out loud sitting in the tub reading it, and then I resolved to find your other books and read them as well. You go, girl!! And have a sock-tacular time in Portland.

  238. Dammit. I was feeling totally on top of my game and completely ready and now you bring up the pants. And how, holy crap, I’m gonna meet Barbara Walker.

  239. I only today read the story about the recent problems, and wish to tell you that all the Oregonian knitters I know are fond of you and love your books and your blog. We often quote you in knit night conversations because we relate to you and what you write about. We can’t wait for SSO9. I have a big wish that I will somehow in all the chaos get to meet you, but it would be fun just to see you in person at a distance! Are you maybe coming to the Ravelry gathering? Best wishes for the next week, you will survive,and I am pretty sure Barbara Walker will be more interested in your socks than your pants. (Unless they are really, extremely smelly or something πŸ™‚

  240. I guess from your twitter feed that it’s too late to suggest you pack that really cute skirt you knit last year. But I don’t wear skirts to conventions either. Roller skates sometimes, but not skirts.
    All best wishes for a wonderful time for all! (especially Barbara Walker, so she’ll think about coming back next time…)

  241. Sorry, this is relevant to your post of a couple of days ago. Passed on to you with deep sympathy and massive support. Wired magazine just published an issue about internet and other telecom etiquette and wisdom. Crucial item: don’t feed the blog troll. So let’s don’t. You, dear Harlot, are righteous and appreciated deeply: that troll must go hungry here.

  242. Yeah,yeah -Everyone is excited about SS and I see most of the posts are about that – but seriously – As soon as you figure out how to get your cat to yak in a designated spot would you please share with the rest of us?
    Have a great SS.

  243. Love, love the list! As for laundry pixies, when I am completely out of time and desperate for clean pants, or even (as my 3 year old says) “nunders” – I take it to a laundry service. For like 20 cents a pound, they wash it, fold it and hand it back to you! Just a suggestion.

  244. Love, love the list! As for laundry pixies, when I am completely out of time and desperate for clean pants, or even (as my 3 year old says) “nunders” – I take it to a laundry service. For like 20 cents a pound, they wash it, fold it and hand it back to you! On the way out of town for a wedding, I almost told the little guy behind the counter that I loved him.

  245. about beets…rinse them, wrap them in foil and bake at 400 (that’s fahrenheit, I am not sure what it is in celsius) for about a half an hour, until you can stick a knife into them. the skins slip off under running water, and they have all the vitamins and juice still inside. the easiest way I’ve ever found to cook them.
    and, what is “Petromalt” and where can my cat get some?

  246. πŸ™‚ Cutie. As a former conference coordinator may I just say, many things will go slightly haywire, many a/v machines will break, many people will claim to be registered for classes they are not in fact registered for and no matter what you do, or what you don’t do, many, many, many people will have a wonderful, fabulous, memorable weekend and will not think once about the non-working slide machine their presenter had to wing it around. Nor will they care if break food set-up is slightly late. And others, no matter what you do, will be very unhappy and will bitch and moan. Really, no matter what you do. So, please, remember to breathe deeply, all day long, and do look around and enjoy yourself and the moment. It is an amazing accomplishment. Do remember to enjoy it, won’t you?

  247. I’m delurking to tell you how much I loved this. I have just one daughter, and she is by turns all of the joy in the world/my supreme nemesis; I only hope we share a moment (or many) like those you describe.

  248. I love this post. I don’t understand some of it and don’t have a lot in common with most of it, but I still love it! And I love that I know who Barbara Walker is!

  249. I am with you about the beets, especially. And that you have to burn your hands to peel them.
    Love your blog and your books. And you are right up there with Barbara Walker, in my eyes.
    A first time commenter from Wisconsin.

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