In the pews in St. Louis

It’s Sunday morning, and I’m writing this post from heaven knows how high in the air, winging my way from St. Louis to Dallas, then from Dallas to Austin.  (I’m trying not to think about how the next day I go from Austin back to Dallas. It’s too much to accept intellectually.  The only way through it is to live it.)  I’ll try to hit send on it when I’m on the ground changing planes.  My timelines are so tight today… I think I’ll go straight from the airport to the Austin signing.  I bet I’ll look amazing.  Let’s go back to yesterday – shall we, when I met the St. Louis knitters and had a really lovely time.  I spoke in a church (I think the irony that a harlot was speaking in that locale was fun for all of us) – and knitters filled the pews.

(For those of you who have ever been asked not to knit in church, this moment may have a certain feeling of vindication in it.)  Afterwards, I signed books and chatted, and look who I met.

This is Jackie and Marie, and they’re firsts for me.  They had me sign their e-readers.  (I’d been wondering what authors were going to do as more and more books become digital, and I guess it might be like this.)

There was Stephanie and Alice,

and this is Reina and Skye…

and this is Kate, Joanna and Hamza, who was absolutely quiet during the whole talk, though he did make his mama dance at the back to make that happen.

Meet Vicky, who was rooting for the Cardinals like nobody’s business.  (I don’t know if you all know this, but the world series is on and St. Louis is in it.  I had no idea – and in my defense, remember that it’s not actually the WORLD series, so it’s not always top of the news in other countries. I figured it out fast.) 

Vicky even dressed up her dog Daisy – but just for the Cardinals home opener.  It’s not like she does it all the time. 

Emma and Abby were there with their first socks.

Kate, oh – let me tell you about Kate.

At 4:30pm the day before I came, Kate decided that she wanted to represent her friend Rachel’s yarn at the signing, and so she knit a Traveling Woman in 12 hours.  Just like that.  That one.  That’s she’s wearing. She even claims that she slept and ate – and still had a small shawl in 12 hours of knitting.  I have a feeling that she doesn’t knit so fast that I couldn’t do it too, so I’ll be doing a little test soon. 

In the category of nice people – we have Liz, who isn’t even a knitter, but discovered that the answer to the question "How much do you love your mother?" was in fact…

"Enough to go to a talk and a booksigning for you, mum.  Of course."

Finally, meet Cameron, who was there for his brother Joseph, who sort of made him come. 

It’s true, Cameron is a knitter, that’s his second and third knitting projects in his hands, but he wasn’t there for himself. His big brother made him go.  Made him email verification that he understood his mission, then text confirmation that he had arrived, and then send a photo proving that he was in the right spot with a book.   I told Cameron that I’d post this picture to prove to Joseph that he did it right.  Joseph, he did it all.  Listened, showed me his projects, and got a book signed for you.  I wrote something special in there for you. You’re brother is very nice.

Finally, a sweater update.  Friday was just a travel day – a flight and a car ride but no event, and in book tour land, that’s a "rest" day.   I was super excited, and tackled Gwendolyn.  I know a lessor knitter would probably have given up by now, and it really does look like that sweater sort of has bad Juju, but I’m positive that I can come out on top, and there’s no way I’m letting a piece of knitting get away with resisting its destiny like this.  This yarn will be this sweater whether it wants to or not. Mark my words. 
Instead of ripping the front back to the mis-scrossed cable and re-knitting, I tried a bolder approach.  I figured that if it didn’t work, I could still rip back and reknit.
I identified the mis-crossed cables, and since they’re both on one row, I found the single strand of yarn that was that row of knitting.  The exact row where I went wrong.

Then I snipped it.

Then I gently teased that strand of yarn out…

Then I started to graft back together the stitches, this time crossing the cables the way that I should have in the first place.

It was tedious, and a little fiddley, but took so much less time than re-knitting would have.  I blocked it last night and  with any luck, I’ll be doing the making up and button bands tomorrow.  Just in time for Dallas, where – in the final proof that the sweater is a pain in the arse that likes sticking it to me, I absolutely won’t need a sweater.

184 thoughts on “In the pews in St. Louis

  1. Just the thought of fixing the cables like that gives me hives. I would probably, after much cursing and throwing of random things, rip out and reknit.
    PS – The Harlot has fans in Florida, too. Just sayin.

  2. Cameron may have exaggerated a little bit 🙂 I missed you in Baltimore and did email him to ask him to go for me. … And I might have called to make sure he checked his email and knew that the location had changed… …hmm…. maybe he didn’t exaggerate too much 😛

  3. So fun to read about your travels. The sweater besides being a pain in your arse is just beautiful and I am madly deeply in love with Shelter. I think it is heavenly to knit with and the stitch definition is amazing. I hope you are on mega vitamins and I must admit last night watched the World Series and wow what a game. St. Louis is my team of choice as am a little bit mad at what the former president did to the economy ,education etc. Yay! Cardinals. Something fun to cheer about for a change. Safe travels.

  4. Amazing journey this sweater has been on. Thank you for sharing and showing us that where there is a will…there will be a way.
    Truly mind boggling to me…

  5. I need to go have a lie down just looking at you snipping that sweater. I give you great big kuddos that you didn’t snip the whole darn thing to pieces in frustration for how it’s behaved!
    I got your book in the mail Friday! It was a great gift from the Universe for a really crappy week. I finished it last night. Once again, great book! I loved the essay about Joe getting the truck stuck. Cracks me up every time I think about it. Poor Joe. Tell him I’m laughing WITH him, not AT him.

  6. Gwendolyn will be gorgeous and instead of grumbling when you wear it – you will be so proud of your major accomplishments in overcoming adversity that it will become your favorite sweater. Yeah, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. So you may not need to wear it in Dallas, but I am sure the folks there would enjoy seeing it lovingly tossed over your chair, if only to prove you ARE the harlot and have accomplished what us mere mortals aspire to be 🙂

  7. Oooooooh, those pics about have me heart failure! I am enjoying your travel tales…….continued safe journey Stephanie!

  8. When I saw the picture of the snipped sweater I had the same woozy feeling as when I accidentally surf to the surgery channel. *pats temples with lavender water*

  9. Seriously? You are like a knitting surgeon. I am ever so impressed! I would have said f&*k it and throw it in a fire long ago.

  10. Dammit! And I won’t be able to meet you in Austin! *sadmoose*
    And that cable fix is plain awesome. *bows to your quick thinking*

  11. I would have had a heart attack if I’d tried to do that fix. And you might need it in Dallas. Air conditioning, that’s all I’m sayin’…

  12. It was so much fun yesterday. Thanks for coming to St. Louis, and sharing so much of yourself with us. Yep, it was a lot of fun & we had a great game that night!
    Vickie & Daisy

  13. The pics of the sweater fix I mean. The folks look lovely……(Deb says sheepishly)

  14. I actually jumped when I scrolled down to the photo where you snipped! Maybe next time I encounter an error in knitting I’ll be brave and try that instead of ripping.
    I love the church photos. Wouldn’t it be awesome if there were ‘knitting’ churches, where people could knit for charities while they listened to the preacher? Think of all those churchgoers we have today just sitting for an hour with their hands idle! It’s almost a sin. 🙂

  15. You really are a knitting goddess. Actually, a knitting engineer. I’ve been knitting for 50 years and I’m a Mechanical Engineer, but I wouldn’t have the guts (or the brains, I fear) to do that. It makes my head spin just looking at it.

  16. That sweater repair makes me sweat just looking at the pictures. I would never have the nerve to try that. I’m suitably impressed!

  17. Gwendolyn and you are inspiring. Don’t worry about Austin. The operative word is “AIR CONDITIONING.” You’ll need a sweater.

  18. Ooooo… those pictures made me absolutely woozy. I would have just worn the sweater and then pointed out the mistake eveytime someone complemented it, so I didn’t get too much credit. You were obviously sleep deprived or drunk, or both.

  19. Wow! Genius repair of that cable. (which I didn’t even see when I tried to look for the mis-cross…) The sweater will be amazing when it’s done! Happy trails….

  20. Well done, although I think I stopped breathing while looking at those pictures of the cable repair. I subscribe to the “Navajo rug” philosophy about errors, which says that mistakes can become part of the design. This approach is very similar to the “lazy knitter” rationale (“No one will ever notice it…”), which I also like.

  21. Quite a lovely church to discuss knitting in – and did you know Miss Manners said it is okay to knit in church? I do it because otherwise I would fall asleep (since I work nights).
    Love the brave and courageous sweater – maybe they will have a cold snap in Dallas.

  22. The sweater sticks it to you? So stick it to the sweater again, and fix the cables on the upper left side of the back.

  23. No cabling till after Christmas for me, but I am going to bookmark this post for courage. I want to find it easily come the time I need it. And I am sure I will need it.

  24. I knit in church often. I actually was at a women’s conference yesterday, teaching one of my favorite ten year old Sunday School students to knit. We were very good,quiet,and content.

  25. I must say, when I saw what you were doing with the sweater, I shuddered a bit and thought, “Wow, that’s a little dangerous.”
    And then I remembered that if it had been me in your situation, I would have done the exact same thing.

  26. I snipped something by accident last year – apparently I trimmed an end a little too closely. I was so traumatized I put it away for a year. I pulled it out last month and did the repair work. Looks as good as new, but wouldn’t you know, it still doesn’t fit. This is a sweater full of lessons…sigh… 🙂

  27. Steph,
    If you don’t need the sweater in Dallas, you most certainly will here in Seattle. And we’ll look forward to see you sporting it at the talk! Good luck!

  28. Good job, Stephanie. You are an example to us all. I did that once to a completed baby afghan with a mis-crossed cable. But my cable was the very simple three-stitch type with only one cross. Tells you how bright (or tired) I have to be if I miscrossed one out of (?how many) cables which all crossed the same way, eh? I had to do it because I was being paid to knit that blanket and I needed the money. Need is a powerful motivator. You have a safe trip and keep on inspiring us!

  29. You are a saint to attempt the sweater repair, hence the book signing in the church!I would have frogged it by now–you have so much more patience than I do!

  30. I think I will always be one of those people who has momentary breathing troubles when someone snips their knitting.

  31. Excellent solution on the cables! I too am enjoying your travels across the country. Keep safe, sane and healthy!

  32. I love that your operated on your sweater, when you first mentioned the crossed cable I thought to myself please don’t reknit half a panel for that, you can do it!
    And you did so I’m pleased.
    I hope you get to wear the sweater. 🙂

  33. Cameron is the cutest thing on the book tour since the monster butt.
    I would be a better knitter if I had a clue how fix my f*ck-ups. You’re an inspiration.

  34. Looking at that working hole in your sweater makes me break out in a cold sweat.
    You know, I just have to point it out, in a knitterly friendly way, knitter to knitter so to speak. . . It’s not the sweater’s fault that you imposed a freakishly unreasonable deadline during crazed times in your life. I don’t think the sweater is at fault here. I feel I must defend it, in all honesty and fairness.
    I’m just sayin’.
    But that SAID, I surely hope you finish it in time to do whatever you intend to do while wearing it, and if I were you, I would make amends somehow before I actually WORE the thing.
    I’m just sayin’.

  35. I thought the same thing about not needing sweaters when I moved to the DFW area, but the air conditioning here is brutal and Arctic. That dastardly sweater may be needed yet…

  36. It was wonderful to finally meet you in person, and I do appreciate your graciousness about my restless, over-tired granddaughter. Truthfully, I would have left her home, had I had someone to leave her with, but her mama is preparing for deployment with the IL Army National Guard, her grandpa was working a 12 hour shift, and the teenaged aunt and uncle were both too sick to keep her for a few hours at home without me. I enjoyed the reading and am so glad you came to St. Louis!

  37. I’m am still in shock that you cut the sweater…… Really, if anyone (other than Joe) was staring at your chest for long enough to notice the miscrossed cable….. I’m just saying. I can’t believe that anyone (other than you) would have noticed it!
    Happy travels – but when will you be visiting your ever loving fans back in the GTA??

  38. I can hardly wait to meet you at the Dallas book signing – although, it’s really not in Dallas, more like southern Oklahoma. Safe travels!

  39. ooh, I feel faint! I’m afraid I would have bundled up the sweater, shoved it into a parcel post box & sent it home without me, never to see the light of day again!

  40. Thank you for coming to St. Louis, and for humoring my incoherent ramblings about Dyeabolical yarn and my little self-challenge.
    Best of luck with your own 12-hour challenge (if you do Traveling Woman, it’s gotta be four repeats: anything less is for amateurs ;-)).
    Just consider yourself warned that if (when) you effortlessly beat me, I may be forced to step it up a notch 😀

  41. There are churches and there are churches. I knew I’d found a good one when I opened up the bulletin my first Sunday and there was a reminder that their knitting club (Knit Wits) was meeting the following Friday. I knew then and there this was my kind of church!
    Maybe they should have performed an exorcism on that sweater? Then you would have been done with any more of the bad juju!

  42. A harlot in a church? Well, there was Mary Magdalene you know-not your squeaky clean woman according to the mores of the time.
    2nd. Are you ready for this? Until the LYS opened in Sudbury, my minister was my ONLY knitting friend. She bought me a gift certificate at Lettuce Knit. She preached a sermon on how we were knit together in our mother’s womb. On that Sunday, she invited people to bring their knitting and their samples to church. I brought all my socks(about 12 pair). They got passed all around the congregation. Many people asked if I would knit socks on commission-ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!! Now I take my knitting to church and knit until the choir processes into the sanctuary. Usually a few people come over to see what I’m knitting now-it’s always socks. I wore your Unisex Slips to church this morning. My feet literally boiled, but the pattern is sooooo lovely.
    Enjoy the rest of your far from restful tour.
    Cheers and red wine, Hazel.

  43. Thank you for telling there is a something sports related going on in my home town. I was wondering why everyone was wearing red. I am an atheist when it comes to sports.

  44. Thank you for telling there is something sports related going on in my home town. I was wondering why everyone was wearing red. I am an atheist when it comes to sports.

  45. I shuddered when I saw what you were doing to the sweater! That was so daring – not for you, of course. I had about 2″ of a cable, right on the edge to fix, but I just hooked it up to several dpns and took it back. I’m not so brave! Still waiting on your preordered book – need a knitting break!

  46. I remember when you could fly Southwest Airlines between Austin and Dallas for $19 (when Southwest was a new airline and only flew to Houston, Austin and Dallas).
    Will you have any time in Austin to see the bats under the Congress Street bridge? If not, at least admire the lovely pink edifice that is the state Capitol. (Texans will gleefully tell you it is taller than the US Capitol in Washington).

  47. “lesser” unless you’re actually leasing something. However I understand about typing in limited space, with limited time.
    And that was a beautiful church.

  48. We’re still waiting for you up in Seattle, where I bet you will need that cardigan- and we want to see it at the talk! What a story this sweater
    has been.
    I recognize that ’12 hour’ Kate from St Louis! I read her blog KateOhKatie.wordpress She is a scream- especially her posting several months ago comparing yarn brands to recreational drugs. If you didn’t read it you must find that posting!
    Alrighty then, see you soon!

  49. Quick question. Who has been told not to knit in church? We have so many knitter’s at our Church that we’re forming a Knitting group (UUFM String Players) and as of Wednesday we’ll be adding new Church knitter’s to the group since I’ll be teaching several of the kids to knit so they can be a part.
    PS You are most brave with Gwen there. I did something similar by accident last month. I snipped the garter stitch on a newly finish jacket that I was going to wear that morning while trimming yarn ends from it. Needless to say I didn’t get to wear it that day. Though it has since been rescued and will be given to a taller waist friend who it looks like I wanted it to look on me. (For me a redo with less length)

  50. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. You work really hard and I am so looking forward to meeting you tomorrow. Welcome to DFW!!!!

  51. This is a Star Trek Moment, going where no knitter has dared to go.
    I remember when you blogged about tinking back in the middle of a row, several stitches wide, to fix a cable error. A year or so after that I had occasion to follow your lead and was so thrilled it worked. That daring method has saved a garment several more times as well.
    Now, NOW, you are really out there in the stratosphere, showing us just how intrepid a knitter can be. No muggle would ever dream up this fix.
    (and yes, I know I have mixed metaphors but they make the point.)

  52. Yes, with that repair behind you, you are ready to correct the cable on the upper left back. And then check the length of both sleeves….

  53. Thank you for coming to St. Louis – I really enjoyed your reading.
    Also, a huge thank you for posting Kate’s picture. I saw her come in and couldn’t take my eyes off that shawl. I lost track of her in the hustle & bustle to get books signed so I didn’t get to see it up close. I’m not surprised that the yarn is dyeabolical. That Rachael does amazing things with color!

  54. You should tell those ding-dongs who schedule your trip that we have something in America called a train system (Amtrak!) – which I think would make more sense for you.
    You can NYC-Boston-Baltimore easily. Chicago-St.Louis is easy. No schlepping to airports 2 hours ahead and sitting – you just get on the darn train from the middle of the city. You can sit and knit and see our beautiful country. They can order you a sleeper room – where if you bring an electric kettle you can have tea/coffee when you want – sleep when you are tired – knit in comfort and not be bothered by anyone. They have a DINING car for dinner. It stops at times so you can get out and get fresh air for a bit and take a walk for 30 minutes. It is so fantastic – cheaper and much easier than a plane. Even out to California they have trains – I think it would change your life. NYC to Boston – by the time you schlep to the airport and wait – it’s faster to drive. Trust me – as a vegetarian, pascifist, knitter – the train is the way to go.
    LOVE your on-the-road posts!

  55. I keep thinking y’all are talking about me, Gwendolyn being a name I don’t run across that often. But, no, I am not traveling with the Yarn Harlot, and I’m not telling you if I have any miscrossed cables.

  56. Love the church venue. Wonderful seeing all the knitters that come to hear you.
    And I just have to add … Go the Mighty All Blacks! – 2011 Rugby World Champions!

  57. I so envy all those knitters who get to meet you! When will you come back to Montreal? Last time you came, I didn’t even know that I liked knitting 😉 Don’t you adore frogs???

  58. I almost decided to drive to Austin for today’s signing, so I wouldn’t miss Monday night’s baseball game. But after yesterday the Rangers won’t be winning the Series on Monday anyway, so…
    Actually, after waiting all these years to go to one of your signings, I knew I’d be there tomorrow night come “hell or high water”! And believe me, driving in Dallas is my definition of Hell! (The things your fans will do to see a genuine Knitting Rock Star!)

  59. Really love the pix and commentary from each stop on the tour. While it seems tough to keep this up, it makes us all feel like we are there with you–such fun! Hope Gwendolyn does well with the surgery! I am reading your new book and loving it. They just get better and better…bravo!

  60. I think after all that we should get the bookstore to crank up the A/C for you tomorrow night. Or you could come to the Starbucks my knitting group knits at here in Dallas because it’s like knitting in a Frigidaire and even in mid-August we are bundled up in our knits.

  61. While I understand in theory what you did with that cable, I have to admit that when I looked, all I saw was a hot mess, and there’s NO way I could have guided those stitches to where they needed to be. Bravely done!

  62. You are so brave and clever to snip and graft! You also have the best knitter’s intuition ever. When I try to figure out a clever solution to a knitting mishap, I always muck it up and have to rip it out. Glad you had fun with the St. Louis knitters. 🙂

  63. Knitting is a deeply spiritual experience. You were in the right place! (I’m just happy we can be knitting and get the spiritual benefits pretty much wherever we please!)

  64. The good news is that you probably WILL need a pretty new sweater here in the Seattle area…I know you probably can’t think that far ahead today, but I am VERY excited about meeting you on Thursday! Kudos on your ingenious sweater fix, scary as it looked from this side of the screen.

  65. you are a braver woman than i Ms Mc-Phee.. I would have worn my sweater with its miscrossed cable and defied anyone to point it out to me!
    in the meantime, I am so jealous of all these lucky americans (and i presume canadians at some point) who get to listen to you and meet you and have their photo taken with you etc.
    COME TO AUSTRALIA! just once 🙂 (or the UK, i’m going to be living there next year!)

  66. Sweater surgery, photography, blogging, book tour!
    Is there anything you can’t do? The complexities of sweater manipulation left me in a brain dip. I can’t imagine conceiving of of the fix and executing it. Enjoy the rest of your travels.
    from Eve in Carlisle

  67. What a beautiful setting!
    …So, did Kate pick the Traveling Woman pattern to meet you in to represent what you’re doing at the moment? She did an incredible job!

  68. I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but everytime people hold up their socks, they put them exactly over their boobies so they look like they have sock shaped over-the-shirt bras on. Ok – maybe I’m the only one but it cracks me up.

  69. Aw, what great people. You have the best attendees. Everyone is smiling and happy to be there. I love reading your blog and seeing the pics. My friend told me it is raining in Dallas. They’ve had a horribly dry season and are welcoming the rain. Hope it feels good to you too!

  70. To me, you are really brave. But more impressive to me is the amount of patience you must have. I think I would have been a sobbing, sweating heap just trying to identify the single row of knitting. This is why knitters love you; you put all your foibles out there for us to see & then show us a way to make it better giving us a little more hutspa for our next calamity. Thank you! P.S. see you in Dallas tomorrow!

  71. Thank you ffor the visit to St Louis. I loved your stories (another book please?). And your curls looked fabulous!

  72. I like the harlot-in-the-church thingy too. And of course the house was packed.
    I’m lovin’ how you fixed that wayward cable – woot! Go little on-fire-shorter-in-the-front-than-back-cable-gone-bad cardi, go …

  73. You should be required to rate your posts, the way the motion picture industry has to rate movies. I definitely would have rated this one “R” for the trauma value. My stomach lurched when I saw the photo where you intentionally snipped your sweater.
    Despite all of this, you remain my hero.
    I live in Houston, and I’m SO BUMMED that I’ll not get the chance to see you, because right now we’re in NC.
    You’re right, you won’t need the sweater, but the plus side is that flip-flops are appropriate for any occasion in TX.

  74. Hmmmm…I think it looks strangely cool. Where did you learn to do that? Am I missing out on a really great technique book? I must make a piece of test knitting with a mis-crossed cable just so I can try that~
    Hope the rest of your trip goes off without a hitch!

  75. Well, I haven’t snipped a stitch like that, but the other night I dropped 120+ stitches down 5 rows to renknit (I had close to 500 stitches on the needle at the time) 1 side of the feather and fan going around the Baby tweed blanket where I had messed up on the patterned row in the previous color. I forgot to take pictures, but the blanket was gifted to day at a shower. I’m JKA on Ravelry.

  76. I read once (Anne McDonald’s No Idle Hands, I think) that the clink of knitting needles in the Mormon churches in late 19th century Utah was so loud the church elders finally asking them to stop knitting long enough for the sermon. That’s some serious knitting noise.

  77. Was great seeing you and I’m glad St. Louis was more prepared for the number of people seeing you than we were a few years ago! When you get to Dallas, they are going to try to tell you that they are in the World Series, too. Ignore them…it’s just the Cardinals!! 🙂

  78. Thanks Stephanie! The book signing event in St Louis was very enjoyable. You are one amazing person! We probably should have warned you about the World Series. Hope you did not get caught in the Rock n’Roll marathon event this morning which shut down many of the city streets. Have safe travels! Thanks again for a memorable event.

  79. Snipped? Gah! Good thing I’m lying down. (Just did Fiber Expo this weekend so I’ll probably sleep 20 hours tonight. Yeah, I’m in bed with my laptop. What’s your point?)

  80. I go to church most sundays and you will regularly find me knitting there! It helps me concentrate, truly 🙂 And no one’s ever suggested I shouldn’t. Well, not in my hearing, anyway!
    You are a very brave lady with your snippage – I don’t think I have quite that much courage just yet! I’d really like to hear more about what you think of knitting with Shelter – I have recently finished the Wayfarer scarf in Pumpernickel shelter, and while I really enjoyed the knitting and love the final product, it did seem to have quite a bit of vegetable matter in it. I’m wondering if that’s typical or if I just got a special batch.

  81. That is my preferred method, too! I mean, if you get a snag or a hole, that is how to fix it. And worst case, as you said, you can rip the sweater down to that spot and rejoin the yarn, so it’s no bigger loss, anyway!
    And sweater surgery is somehow satisfying, when the result is Knitter 1, sweater mistake generator 0!

  82. I just got home from a 4 day marathon at Stitches East and treated myself to a nice sit down with your blog and there you were doing microsurgery on rust yarn. I trust you had a scrub nurse to mop your brow while you stitched ‘er back together. A plastic surgeon won’t be able to tell where the new-and-improved stitches are!
    Please accept a pat on the back and a deep tissue massage. AND you’ll no doubt be on to the next adventure. We’re all staying tuned to this station.

  83. Okay that whole snipping the thread thing had me fainting when I read it. Would rather unravel and re-knit as I’m pretty sure I’d never get it right the way you did it. Way cool. Love your talent! Keep posting, we are loving it!

  84. Oh, holy crap! My heart is racing from just looking at those photos of the snipping and the GIANT HOLE that is left in the middle of your sweater! Time for some deep breathing … good luck and can’t wait for the peaceful resolution of this saga!

  85. Bravo on the cables. I once turned a whole sleeve of cables backwards. Dropped down the whole cable worth of stitches, all the way to the bottom, and picked them back up, twisting the right way. Easier than reknitting. Your way looks easier.

  86. I always knit in church! It keeps my mind from wandering.
    Great job on the snip/repair. I’ve done that with a much simpler cable, and I’ve also done the duplicate stitch repair. The second is much less anxiety-producing!

  87. If it makes you feel any better about going from Dallas to Austin to Dallas again, I’m from around Dallas. Most of my friends from high school went to UT (in Austin). I chose to go to OU (in Norman, OK). It’s a two and a half hour drive my way, and a six hour drive theirs. The difference in miles? About twenty.
    For my 18th birthday, I drove from OK to Dallas to see my favorite band, then woke up the next morning and drove to Austin to visit my friends, stayed the night and got to drive nine hours back to OK for class the next day. It was… ridiculous to say the least.

  88. Knitting in church – what a novel idea. Love your snip job though my heart in my mouth. Grafting over garter is bad; grafting over ribbing is worse. Over cabling – that is way too stress-worst-ful!!

  89. I am travelling round the US with you whilst sitting at my computer in France knitting a baby blanket and awaiting the imminent arrival of a another baby .
    Does this count as multi tasking do you think .

  90. All right. I was yelling at you yesterday to just put the darn thing together and wear it but you are right. It will be better fixed. (as usual). It is such beautiful yarn. It should be “right”.

  91. Because I am a devotee of Elizabeth’s, I know that snipping and reknitting is possible, and in this case, desirable; however, I will say that I have never done it and am in awe of anyone who can perform this little bit of Knitters Magic. I get braver as I go along but have not tackled an incorrectly-crossed cable in this way; but then again, I haven’t been as tried as a knitter as you have been by Gwendolyn. Although I have been sorely tested by cheap yarn in the distant past – THAT sweater became a doggie bed…

  92. I started a knitting group at my church last year, and it is now considered a ministry, because it fosters fellowship and community. I certainly agree with that attitude–but the church is just recognizing what every knitting group everywhere already knows. But I hadn’t even thought about knitting during the service. We’ll have to see what we can do about that . . .
    Stephanie, when are you going to put the San Francisco Bay Area on your itinerary? Plee-eeze?

  93. About your flying to Dallas, then Austin for your book signing there and then back to Dallas the next day…we here in Texas who fly often say that you’ll have to go through Dallas even to get to Hell.

  94. Stephanie that was a brilliant move! I have used your “drop back just your cable and reknit it” in the afghan of doom I am knitting (several times). I understand how you would then be able to reknit with the little bit you have. BUT how on earth did you get it to be just right for the last couple stitches and then secure it? Spit felting? A knot?
    Perhaps one day you can teach us this too. (Cause I am sure I am not the only one who knows they will need it)

  95. I’m loving being on tour with you (from in front of my computer) – thanks much for sharing your adventures. I’m in awe of your surgical skills, but I would have left it alone and enjoyed it’s uniqueness. Someone else may knit the same pattern, but what are the odds that they would miscross in the exact same spot??

  96. Wishing that you were coming to Columbus, Ohio 🙁 Sure you don’t want to add another stop to your itinerary?

  97. I absoluetly <3 Kate and her Travelling Woman! I am knitting one now, and am hoping to get it done just in time for Christmas 🙂 Of course, I’m guessing Kate doesn’t have 3 small children distracting her….

  98. I adore all the knitting in church comments. We don’t knit at shul (or write or use money or some other things that are “work”) on holidays or shabbat, but some friends of mine and I have started a fiber arts group at shul precisely because when we see each other, we mostly aren’t knitting, and wanted to share our hobby. Granted, many of us then go home and knit, but that’s beside the point. 🙂

  99. I would break out in a cold sweat with nausea and terrible tummy troubles if I ever tried to cut a sweater like that! I already feel a little clammy just at the thought. Hope it goes great!
    BTW, Bakersfield, California would be a wonderful place on your book tour! Just sayin’…..

  100. I love St. Louis. (I used to live there when I was young, broke, and carefree…)
    And also, that is going to be the best sweater ever once you get done with all the surgeries! Good reminder that I should expect to just knit one straight up. Thanks for that.

  101. Re: the gory sweater scene ….
    I just keep in mind that it *is* Halloween, after all, and it’s only a movie, it’s only a movie, it’s only a movie.

  102. Wow. I think I could finish something in close to 12 hours, but that is only because I finished a scarf (lacey and fun) this February in 4 days. I wanted it so badly. It is just that there is something with the word shawl that makes it seem like it should take so much longer!

  103. Poetic justice!! The sweater will finally be DONE and you will be in a climate that will not allow its being worn!! But, just think of how wonderful it will look and feel when you get back home to the REAL weather!! And, you should have a feeling of victory over this seemingly impossible challenge…Well done, once again!

  104. That church building in St. Louis looked so lovely and calm. How wonderful that everyone had a place to sit and time to knit while you spoke. In my life, I enjoy attending church since I get a hour or two to rest my hands, to listen to the precious Word of God, and to thank Him for allowing me to make things with 2 sticks and a string. 🙂

  105. Well, by now you’ve figured out the Texas Rangers are also in the Series, since Texas fans are much more, um….spirited?

  106. Oh, the irony – not only did a ‘harlot’ speak in church, and there was knitting, but the church was FULL! And you ARE the boss of your knitting; I was sure you could repair it. All those needles remind me of acupuncture (healing energy for the sweater).

  107. Wow, thanks for the surgery pics!! I would have just left it alone as a humility reminder.
    Just how many times did you look at the “correct” stitch before you clipped it?!? Awe inspiring.

  108. Um…I’ve had the pattern and yarn to make Gwendolyn for a bit, and was getting ready to tackle it shortly. However, if you can’t do it without all this trouble, I am highly doubting my ability to finish this sweater in my lifetime. I do love the color you’ve chosen….maybe I’ll have to use my yarn for a different sweater.

  109. This is probably an obvious question, but is your schedule online anywhere? I’m sure you MUST be coming to Portland…

  110. Can’t blame you if you are not a baseball fan. Lots of people aren’t. And the World Series is not actually a “world” event. However, I know there are tons of enthusiastic baseball fans in Toronto. I witnessed the Blue Jays beat the Yankees in 1985 (in the *old* stadium?) It was great to go up to Toronto to see a baseball game and root for the home team for once (usually we drove up only to root for the Orioles). The yelling and horns honking after the game tells me more than a few Torontonians were paying attention to baseball that day.

  111. oh i feel faint whenever i hear of scissors approaching knitting!! i have been knitting pretty much forever, but i still haven’t learnt how to deal with mistakes. and certainly not with that level of determination and courage! 🙂

  112. Steph…if you listen closely you can hear our collective *GASP* as we saw you snip that strand on the mismatched cable. My head is still buzzing.

  113. LMAO oohh my gosh, this sweater saga is priceless! It makes me feel better about when I make crazy mistakes like that. I once performed open stitch surgery like that on a colorwork hat. It was nervewracking! But it worked thankfully. 🙂 Good luck with your Gwendolyn!

  114. Yes, I am one of those who knit in church. Miss Manners recently said it was okay, by the way. I work nights, and I figure watching me knit is way less aggravating than watching me sleep.
    That is a lovely church – perfect for knitters of all ages and faiths.
    Glad the sweater is finally listening to reason. Maybe they will have a cold snap in Dallas.

  115. It was great to see you in St. Louis on Saturday! You are so funny, and such a talented knitter and writer. Thanks for visiting! By the way, Chris Carpenter, our Cardinal’s pitching Ace, got his start with the Toronto Blue Jays, so we do have a Canada connection. And our St. Louis fans are not only spirited, but also polite. There was no booing of the Rangers during their introduction at Busch stadium, they were warmly welcomed. Unfortunately, the Texas fans couldn’t return this civility. Luckily, the series will end in St. Louis, Baseball Heaven!

  116. what a great looking bunch of knitters! and seeing the photo’s of you doing that snipping and grafting of a cable? I started to hyperventilate!

  117. I have come to the belief that, as I believe Persian carpet makers thought, only God is perfect and a mistake shows that you aren’t trying to be god. At least that’s what I maintain when there is ONE STUPID MISTAKE IN THE ENTIRE DAMNED SWEATER… sorry, need to take a couple of breaths… Anyway, one mistake is tolerable (unless it affects the size, or is right where I’m going to see it every time I look) and I don’t fix them.
    I suppose people look more closely at your knitwear than they do mine, however 🙂

  118. Damn. I hate it when you do something impressive such as the surgical technique to fixed crossed cables. You keep raising the bar like that, and I have to keep looking for another project to wow you when I see you again. At this point, I’m going to have kidnap Pierce Bronson and make him wear a pair of my socks to one of your readings.

  119. I’m still recovering from the palpitations experienced upon reading “snipped.” The defibrillator wasn’t required (which is good, since our office doesn’t actually have one), but I thought it was touch and go for a minute.
    I finished the book this morning and loved it. Even read the Joe/Truck essay out loud to my hubby over the weekend. He totally got it. (He also understands my stash, which just that alone would be reason to keep him, but he has other wonderful traits as well.)
    Safe travels on the rest of your tour – I’ll keep hoping for Denver to pop up on a schedule.

  120. many many thanks for the great talk, as inspiring as ever. I was so excited to meet you I completely forgot to tell you I was wearing your socks! Also, you look taller in person.

  121. I’m the mother of the lovely non-knitter Liz. She enjoyed your talk, and was amazed that there were that many knitters in the area. She’s been calling you the “David Sedaris of the knitting world.” Too bad you didn’t have more time as you were in the immediate vicinity of a rather nice Welsh pub.
    What did you do to your publicist that caused her to give you the insane schedule?

  122. I was lucky enough to have you sign my book in Rhinebeck and finished it up this afternoon.
    I loved the essay about the crochet tablecloth!
    Because although I actually learned how to knit first and crochet second, I find crochet to be faster and more forgiving. And I even crocheted my first pair of socks this year. Knitted socks are on my bucket list. And the Traveling Woman shawl looks beautiful! I have knitted shrugs for my nieces, so I can knit, it’s just a slow process for me.
    Your cable surgery was inspiring, and scary, all at once. Congratulations and good luck in Dallas!

  123. People have been asked not to knit in church? I knit in church all the time and most people think it’s cute.

  124. A shawl in 12 hours!? I bow down to her. I am frantically trying to finish my Bedford sweater from BTFall11 so I can wear it when I meet you in Seattle on Thursday. I already have my line pass and everything.

  125. I just had to graft together a hole that was made by an unraveled spit join. You, Ms. Harlot, are my new hero actually doing it in the middle of a cable.

  126. If you still don’t need that sweater when you get to Seattle, I will be very grateful to its powerful anti-mojo. It’s not even November and I am missing the sun already…..

  127. You are fearless, Steph! After many tears, that sweater would have become a UFO if I had been knitting it.

  128. Sweet merciful Heavens!!!! I raise my needles aloft in deference to your fearlessness. After reknitting the sweater fronts and finding a miscrossed cable, I would have sewn the dang thing up and worn it anyway. And I would have quietly beat anyone who mentioned it to a pulp.
    I have to go lay down now. I’m feeling a bit faint.

  129. First, it is a North American series, your country has the opportunity to be involved. Second, I’m not sure how much time fixing that knitting like that would have saved me, but I can assure you it would have involved at least two stiff adults beverages. One to get up my nerve, and one to celebrate. Nicely done!

  130. I feel faint!! There are sparks in front of my eyes.
    Oh. My. Goodness.
    You are a fearless knitter. I think I would have attempted something like that and then…once all those loops were exposed, panicked, got an instant headache, cried, stuffed it in a bag and started that panel all over again.
    You are a knitting rock star and I cannot wait to see that sweater – it has been to h*ll and back — which is no small testimony to where it’s taken you!

  131. Holy crossing cables!….Well, I’ll never tell YOU what to do about minor mistakes in your knitting ever again. I would have been hoping that Dallas had REALLY strong air-conditioning for you to wear your sweater, but I ended up reading the Dallas post first and there were a lot of sweaty people there.

  132. Thanks for the pictures on the cable fix. Shortly after reading about your discovery of the miscrossed cables I discovered a failure-to-cross-the-cable in my current project. I am NOT ripping the whole thing back. It’s a traveling sort of cable and not fun to drop back and reknit. I lay in bed yesterday morning visualizing how to snip, cross and graft. Your photos are MUCH better than my imagination. Tonight’s the night . . . Thanks!

  133. Katarina age:10
    I really like your sweater. Me and my best friend Payton love to knit together. I’m going to learn how to pearl next week!

  134. Loved the signing in St. Louis. It was so nice to have your hug on my cashmere! I haven’t laughed so much in such a long time!
    I truly did not believe your story of snipping the Gwendolyn until I saw the pictures. You are an inspiration!

  135. I love that trick with the cable – I am going to have to knit a cable incorrectly just to try that out. Maybe not an entire sweater, maybe a washcloth or something 🙂

  136. I hyperventilateda little when I saw the picture of the cut. You are braver than I. I’m glad it worked!

  137. You are my hero. That Yarn would be in the trash by now and I’d be embroidering. I can’t wait to see you with that sweater on. Do you get to keep it?

  138. I have no idea how one can cut across a sweater (cable no less) and then make it ‘uncut’. Wonderful – and while traveling. Hope all keeps turning out well.

  139. I don’t feel so good now. Always before, I read you and my day improves, but now I feel a bit woozy after reading about the cable repair, like I better sit down. Wait, I am sitting. Better go have a lie down. Maybe in the street.

  140. We’ve gotten to see so many more pictures of these cool cables and beautiful colorway than we would have had you simply whipped up this sweater in no time flat. I appreciate seeing the details. Thanks for the lesson in fixing the miscrossed cable. I would have ripped the whole thing back. Live and learn.

  141. Steph, I feel ill just looking at the photos of you sorting out that cable……… ever, I’m in awe xx

  142. How could you bring yourself to cut your sweater and at the front? I feel all weak and wobbly just thinking about it. Hope the rest of the tour goes well. I’ve loved reading about it so far.

  143. I must have a super special Kindle e-reader – it’s had Stephanie’s signature on the back since SS09. Pretty sure she was still in baby bliss from the cutie in front of me in line…

  144. Wish I could have come to see you. That would have been such a treat for sure. Well, maybe next time. I work two jobs and its hard to get away. I do knit and spin my yarns and teach spinning in my spare time. LOL… Hope to meet you someday but I do read your blog almost every day. Take Care and glad you had a Great trip to Texas. I live about 2 hrs from Austin. A&M Country/College Station, Texas

  145. Hi Stephanie~ I so enjoyed your presentation last night in Pasadena. I hope you don’t mind, but I took about a one minute snippet of your reading. It was so cute I would like to share it with you, but don’t want to post it on You Tube without your permission. I, did, however take the liberty (I hope it’s okay) of posting it on my Facebook wall. Would you like to see it?

  146. Love the striping in your socks! Could you explain the details of how you made all the colors so tidy-looking at the heel and surrounding area? They look amazing and so professional. (Mine never look like that–just like self striping socks that do whatever they want!) Thanks!
    Ps. Congrats on Gwen. That stinker.

  147. I do my best knitting in church, I get 2 hours of uninterrupted knitting time every week and for a busy mum of 6 and full-time student that’s a lifesaver. In my Sunday School class there are about 5 or 6 knitters and we all have fingers flying, but I think I’m the only one who knits in the actual church service- we’ve sat way in the back since the kids were really little and I pretend no one knows what I am doing. I also manage to take notes of the sermon and keep tabs on the teens and tweens that are sitting with me.

  148. I wanted to let you know the the Cardinals WON the World Series – realizing it isn’t really the “world” series and you might not otherwise find out and I knew you would be interested!
    What could be better than meeting Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and the Cardinals winning it all in October? Nothing…

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