Not Quite the Salt Mines

If you’ve had an email from me in the last 24 hours, it came from here:

Which is the scenic view at Sock Summit International World Headquarters, also known as Tina’s house.  That’s Tina smirking in the back, and Stephen beaming on the right, and he’s laughing because I told him to try and…

Never mind.  He wasn’t smiling before I said it, and after I said it he was. I won’t give you the details of what I said because we’re in mixed company.

My little sock is hanging out next to me, and even if I don’t get much knit on it while I’m typing and spread-sheeting and organizing, I sort of just feel better about it being close to me. I’m thinking that if I get can bash out a few rows here and a few rounds there,  I might actually nail these down, which at this point would feel like the biggest metaphor for getting things done that I can dream of.

If you’d have ever told me that by simply getting half a foot of a sock done I would feel like order was restored to the universe and that things were well sorted… I would have never….

Oh.  Nix that actually.  I’ve been a half a sock away from sanity for a long time. 

106 thoughts on “Not Quite the Salt Mines

  1. Sanity is over rated! Especially when sock summit is at hand! Hang in there!

  2. And…if you need any help, just call on us..we can take up a knitting donation and help you finish June socks!

  3. Ah, but when you’re a *whole* sock away from sanity … well, then you really worry.

  4. Looks cozy! Good luck with the June socks! I am sure the July ones will knit themselves. Or maybe you can hire them out while at Sock Summit? I am sure you can find a willing sock knitter…or 50.

  5. Restoring sanity to the world, one sock at a time. 🙂 It’s the little things that have the biggest effect in life!

  6. Sanity? Why would you want that? We like you insane! (Within reason of course. Not “stab people with dpns” insane, but “crazy fun” insane.)

  7. I wonder what the sanity status is of those who have multiple socks in the running (pun intended).

  8. Personally, I think sanity it’s over rated and those that are “sane”by the dictionary definition are not only very boring but faking it! It’s all relative…

  9. Hoping all is going well with SS preparations… I’ve been half a sock away from sanity for a very long time.

  10. You do know how to turn a phrase, my dear. From now on my favorite description is “half a sock away from sanity.” Don’t work too hard, eh?

  11. Hm. “half a sock away from sanity” …. *borrows, replacing ‘sock’ with ‘mitten’*
    Sanity is over-rated anyway. If I was /sane/, nothing would ever get done.

  12. I told a minister friend of mine that knitting was my salvation. She took it well… (She’s also a knitter; I think she got it.)

  13. Muggles may think differently of the two subjects of ‘sock’ and ‘sanity’ in the same sentence – we won’t go as far as “Sock Summit”.
    Alas, alack, no socks on the go at the moment from me, though there is a ‘fair amount’ of sock stash not 2 metres from where I spend daily time at my keyboard – but I do have dreams – they are my cerebral socks. ‘Heelix’ seems pretty entertaining at the moment.

  14. Is “half a sock from sanity” akin to a purl off centre? You’re amazing Steph… and we love you for your insanity!

  15. “Half a sock away from sanity” – perfectly turned phrase. Oops, didn’t mean to continue the sock image. Thanks for giving your readers a smile out of your challenging work season.

  16. socks = sanity in many ways…I log purchases of sock yarn as ‘pharmaceutical’ expenses for my mental health!

  17. Seeing all the hard work that goes into Sock Summit makes me want to attend that much more! I hope I’ll be able to attend next year, it looks amazing!

  18. “Half a sock away from sanity”. I hope you don’t mind if I co-opt this. I think it says it all.

  19. I think you are a lot closer to sanity than most of the world – they must be at least a full sock away from it

  20. I think I live most of my life half a sock away from sanity. It’s always cause for celebration when I have the time to finish something (I think this is another malady with which you are familiar?) In fact, I’m about 1/3 of a sock away from finished on a pair that’s been OTN for about 3 years. And they’re awesome socks – really – I just haven’t been able to finish them because life keeps getting in the way!

  21. I always liked “half a bubble off plumb” as a description; “half a sock from sanity” may join it.

  22. This is the best line I have read in a long time. And may now become my personal motto. Thanks.
    “Oh. Nix that actually. I’ve been a half a sock away from sanity for a long time. ”

  23. Everyone’s writing about the new Stephanie sock quote, but what I want to know is who is that cute Stephen guy?

  24. And if only I could proofread! Let’s try that again:
    Nice to see the sockily-insane are well fed and watered and that a well-stocked library is within easy reach.

  25. Sanity is highly overrated. I’m a whole sock, half a shawl, one jumper, two felted bags, and a bucket hat away from sanity and I’ve never been happier. Purple hats and all the stuff. Life is too short.

  26. You’re half a sock away from sanity, and you’re worried about being in mixed company?!?!?
    You find the strangest things to worry about sometimes.

  27. Hey do I see a coffee cup (white one behind/next to your laptop), that looks like the top of a cable knit sock??? What is that? and I want one!

  28. “half a sock away from sanity” Wouldn’t that make a great needlework wall hanging!

  29. When you are in the corner and have got no money to go out from that point, you would need to receive the personal loans. Just because that should help you definitely. I take sba loan every year and feel great just because of this.

  30. So happy you are all still smiling even if you have to say what you said to get Steven to smile. I think you may be a smile generator. 🙂

  31. “I’ve been a half a sock away from sanity for a long time”
    Know that feeling!

  32. I like Stella’s mention of ‘cerebral socks’ – reminds me that in yoga there are breathing practices that are done mentally if you can’t breathe easily, and they still have a good effect!

  33. Sanity is a social construct. Don’t take it too seriously.
    I really like that yarn color for the sock. Thanks for the peek into modern nomadic office space and the preps for the Summit. wish I were going…. maybe next time. I’d like to spend some time in Portland some day.

  34. “I’ve been a half a sock away from sanity for a long time. ” that’s t-shirt or bumper sticker worthy!

  35. AAAA-men. I need a baby kimono done by 4 p.m. today, but I also have to work at least 8 hours. Don’t think that kimono’s gonna be done on time…

  36. You know, that little half-sock looks pretty happy to just hang out there and watch you work . . . .

  37. My “knitting ladies” friends and I often talk about being process knitters as opposed to product knitters so that we do not feel quite as far behind when life gets this busy. Which it seems to do all the time! You just enjoy the process, a couple of rows at a time…:)

  38. Better than a whole sock away or worse yet a whole pair of socks away from sanity . . . the sock will arrive . . .

  39. I like that. “Half a sock away from sanity”. I’m going to start using it in regular conversation.

  40. “simply getting half a foot of a sock done I would feel like order was restored to the universe”
    Ah, but isn’t that what knitting does for all of us? Restores the feeling of peace and orderliness.
    Except the muggles, poor things. Can you imagine what a difference it would make if everyone knitted? Congress (and other governmental groups) could focus better on getting their job done. Terrorists would be “disarmed” (“Sorry, I can’t go bombing right now. I want to finish this sleeve before bedtime”) Criminals and vandals would learn the satisfaction of creating, not destroying.
    It is our duty, sister and brother knitters, to spread our message of peace and orderliness to everyone. KNitters of the world, UNITE!
    (OK, I’ll step down from the soapbox now!)

  41. Only a knitter would understand “Half a sock away from sanity” HA! It may be my new favorite phrase. See you in 3 weeks at Sock Summit 🙂
    PS- Keep working that wait list. I’m checking my mail every day for an email from you 🙂

  42. “half a sock away from sanity” – a winner for a bumper sticker, t-shirt.
    Here’s betting you see it somewhere soon…

  43. The yarn is such a lovely, calm, soothing color, I think it wants to linger by the laptop as long as possible. I had a bunch of store-bought sock in that color and am heartbroken that all the heels finally wore thru this year. Looking at your pictures made me realize how much I miss them! Must find that yarn….

  44. Half a sock is not too bad when you look at the size of those socks and what you’ve been doing in the mean time.
    I have half a Reunion cowl and since I did dyeing all last week I feel damn proud I finished a repeat in a week!

  45. Poor little sock, sad little sock, sock that is getting a good education and should happily sit by your side soaking up the wisdom flying around the room.
    Oh – sanity is over rated anyway – not to worry.
    Peace and joy…

  46. “..half a sock away from sanity..” That’s the funniest thing I ever heard.

  47. looks to me like Stephen is the youtube flash mob dance instructor as well as computer whiz for Sock Summit? That is some kind of multi-talent!

  48. the salt mines are looking pretty good, actually. I thought you all would be up to your necks in postits by now.

  49. Next year I suggest that you hire me as a volunteer to do some of the data-entry drudgework that could be done remotely (surely there is some of that, with all of the stuff that is “in the cloud” these days) so you can knit more.

  50. I hope you were telling Stephen to do his awesome little jig again.
    Tangent thought – have you thought about trying to get an ad placement gig with MAC? Because that first picture sure looks like it. And I know it’s not, so it makes it even funnier to me.
    And sometimes, on a bad day, I can rub a good skein of yarn, and it makes me happier. So I totally get the sock thing.

  51. Hmmm… I think ‘half a sock away from sanity’ is going to become a regularly used expression amongst knitters from now on.

  52. I’m sure it’s been said above but I don’t have time to read the comments as I have neglected my domestic duties so badly that I have 14,000 loads of laundry to catch up on and the dryer just buzzed off … but … I am stealing your “half a sock away from sanity”. Describes me perfectly … granted some days it could be said I’m half an aran sweater away from sanity but I digress …
    On a separate note good luck with all the work. It will get done and if it doesn’t it will be ok too. You always work so hard to please people, but the people that admire you don’t want you to make yourself crazy just to make them happy.

  53. Half a sock short of sanity or how about a yard short of a full skein or one needle shy of a set of dbl points? I’m trying to think up clever metaphors for knitting crazy. A little help here?

  54. Steph, I think I need to have that on a tee shirt.
    “I’ve been half a sock away from sanity for a long time — Stephanie Pearl-McPhee”
    At least it’s going in my quote file.

  55. Best workspace ever! People who make you laugh are the best decor for the office.
    And I also am one toe short of a pair of socks. No really.

  56. half a sock away from sanity. i think that should be the title of your next book.
    or at the very least it needs to be on a t-shirt. maybe i should get on cafe press….

  57. That’s my new motto! I’m going to emblazon it on a t-shirt, “I’m half a sock away from sanity!” Love ya’

  58. I can so relate to keeping your sock at hand for comfort. A few years ago when I was writing papers for a master’s degree and had no time for even a few stitches, I would retrieve some beautiful yarn from my stash and keep it next to me on the desk. When I needed a brief respite, I could gaze at the skein and fondle it lovingly. I guess I could paraphrase to say I was half a skein away from sanity. Those mini-breaks really did refresh my brain–it was like pressing “Reset”–so I think the hilarious phrase you’ve coined is literally as well as imaginatively true.
    You rock!

  59. I know you’re sending out emails because I keep reading about people receiving them. I am afraid to leave the house in case you send one to me. All the parts of my body that CAN be crossed ARE crossed(how uncomfortable is that?), in hopes of an email. See you soon in Portland-oh, the fun of it all! Cheers and red wine, Hazel.

  60. That is a great pix – the source of so much happiness and yarn-good feelings.

  61. random: a coworker of mine told me today that he dreamed that he was at sock summit, and that lady gaga showed up wearing almost no clothes. the women at sock summit proceeded to surround and knit bomb her, knitting clothes onto her body. insane.
    to be clear, this is a guy who knows a lot about sock summit–his wife is attending for the second time this year, and he’s going with her to play in oregon while she comes to see you. when he woke up from his crazy dream this morning, he asked his wife if lady gaga was actually coming to sock summit. she said no. 🙂

  62. Salt mines? How can it be the salt mines with a cute guy like that sitting next to you? Just keep him smiling!

  63. P.S. I hope someone is telling you hourly just how terrific you are getting all this up and running!

  64. How ’bout this for a thought- in 2013, have the Sock Summit in Toronto! We east coasters would be ecstatic, and you could stay home and get way more done with less wear and tear on your nervous system!

  65. Oh, I see the entire problem with your June sock clearly now! You are not using your signature sock needles. There is mad knitting power in those needles. Next month, use the proper needles and you will see what I mean.

  66. Stephen is HizKnits online, sweet guy and daddy to Janie Sparkles the wonder dog.
    Steph, the world is a toe short of a pair. It helps to be that way.

  67. by mixed company, do you mean knitters and non-knitters? or something else? do you have non-knitter readers?

  68. Ah yes, half a sock away from insanity. Been there myself. Now I just need you guys to figure out a plausible excuse for me to get out of work for a few days so I can actually ATTEND Sock Summit. (boss is being kind of a… well…. you know)

  69. Ha…I think I’ve been a few rows short of insanity myself…and it only seems to get worse as my son gets more into the terrible teenage years! He just turned 16 last month and the gray hair seems to be jumping out all over my head these days! My brother even commented on it when I visited him in NY two weeks ago…I told him if he had a teenager at home he’d have gray hair too!

  70. Hey Stephanie: PLEASE COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS! I had a life too busy, and hectic, and wild and crazy running a small pharmacy with my husband who worked 80 hours a week and never ever got time off. Not much time for knitting, but have two sensational grown young men to whom I devoted my life to. Just as I was getting time to knit again, having wished to sell the store and have less bedlam,wham, a hurricance of health problems and a SEVERE case of fibromyalgia. So knitting is limited again. I only wish I could be busy like you flying back an forth across the country and doing what you obviously love. be careful what you wish for. I wish had had been.

  71. Steph,
    I noticed we can get a few knitting blogs for our Kindles, I wish we could get yours.
    By the way, LOVE your books I have them on my Kindle. Would you consider having your blog put on it. Would absolutely love it.

  72. “I’ve been a half a sock away from sanity for a long time.”
    Aaaaaand I now have a new favorite quote on my Facebook. You’re brilliant. =)

  73. Just remember, it’s going to be the world’s best party this time too!!! Hope you enjoy that landscape down below–cheers and wine and chocolate!!

  74. Nice to see Joe being famous, too! What a wonderful and talented family you have!
    Eve from Carlisle

  75. I just sent this post to a bunch of my friends as I agree with most of what you’re saying here and the way you’ve presented it is awesome.

  76. I am stuck in the “dead zone” of the “Boyfriend Sock”.
    Why is it that a first sock is great fun and goes lickety split but the mate to it is….well, like a second date that bores you to tears and you can’t stop watching the clock?

  77. Right now my life is such that it’s a good day if I eat breakfast off a plate instead of out of a ziplock on the drive to work, and sanity lives in my latest iteration of a lace scarf pattern in a scrumpy farm-raised heather-gray alpaca yarn. Sometimes I just take it out and pet it and feel better.

  78. Joe made it possible for you to do the things you wanted to do? Like: not knitting in the car, but doing computer things so you could knit in the airplane? Great guy, that Joe, he knows when you need time to relax, even if you don’t. Now, think about this, would you rather your home was thrashed or SS11 was thrashed. I bet I know which you would choose when made to do so.

  79. I have a new coffee mug snapped up off of Etsy that states “The only things that will survive the apocalypse are cockroaches, twinkies and Red Heart Supersaver” – Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. On a yarn crawl last weekend, my girlfriends and I decided communion wafers should be added to that, but I digress.
    “Half a sock away from sanity” I think I will have to see if CafePress will make me a bumpersticker with that on it. Only the truly sockdoctrinated will understand. 🙂

  80. I just sent this post to a bunch of my friends as I agree with most of what you’re saying here and the way you’ve presented it is awesome.

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