The coming Zombie Apocalypse

This post comes to you from La Guardia Airport in New York, as I leave Brooklyn behind and head for Boston.  I’m sitting here pulling myself together after a taxi ride that reminded me that you don’t actually die in NYC cabs, you just think you will… and drinking a cup of "coffee" that is one of the biggest lies ever told to me.  (I don’t know what is in this cup, but it is not coffee.  I have no idea why I’m drinking it anyway.  Makes me wonder about my self preservation instincts.)   I had a lovely time in Brooklyn, though really brief. I got to walk to and from the bookstore, and walk around the area a little, and wondered why I always head for Manhattan. It turns out that Park Slope is charming and there is very good coffee, amazing vegetarian sandwiches (recommend the tempeh ruben) good company and pretty views.

I don’t know why I didn’t think of Brooklyn as pretty, but it really is, and I have a fondness for fire escapes that means that if you slap a bunch on your city, I’ll love it there. 

The event was little, as it always is in Brooklyn – but as always, there was the best and the brightest – or strangest – or well.  Meet  Kitsa, and her subway project.  

Apparently Kitsa had "a little trouble" with this skein, the way I had "a little trouble with a sweater, so now she’s untangling a full skein on the subway.  Apparently the incident was something involving a wicker chair.  I was too shocked to absorb the full lesson.  Anyway, she’s a better person than I am.  I’d have abandoned it.
Next up is Terri, who has a fantastic picture on her cell phone.

I don’t know if you can tell, but that’s Neil Gaiman holding her sock, which is a score of epic proportions in the sock holding game.  Completely cool.
This is Ikumi and Anna, who came all the way from DC (which I didn’t know was near Baltimore, but I’ve got it now.)

And finally, Sally and David. 

I can’t remember what prompted me to say so, but I happened to mention that after the coming Zombie apocalypse, when all the stores are closed, then knitters are going to be very valuable and popular people indeed. Just as soon as you can’t buy a pair of socks, we’re going to all have a million new best friends.  David took that and ran with it, and the next thing I knew he was explaining that Zombies had actually been misheard all this time.  They’re not saying "Brains" but "Skeins."

It would seem that in David’s particular Zombie apocalypse, there’s a lot of competition for yarn.  Arm yourselves accordingly.

See (some of you) tonight in Boston. 

100 thoughts on “The coming Zombie Apocalypse

  1. I always told my bf that the most important thing was knitting, but he keeps insisting that it’s holding a gun and defending against incoming zombies. I’ll keep him warm in winter, if he keeps the zombies away from by “skeeeeeeeeeeeeeeins”!!

  2. According to the game “Zombies vs Human” – popular on college campuses, at least on the east coast in the U.S. – zombies can be frozen for 15 by hitting them with a Nerf bullet or a sock! Makes sock knitters even more important in the coming apocalypse.

  3. I’d drive to Boston to see you but I just saw you at Rhinebeck (yayyyyyy – OK, I was right next to Claudia when she squealed) and I have a cold. Damn.
    Come to Maine. When I’m better. Lots of knitters here!

  4. Oh how I wish I still lived within walking distance of Brookline Booksmith!!! Have a lovely visit!

  5. Wish I was going tonight. I only live an hour south of Brookline, but didn’t want to risk driving that far if there end up being no seats. Also 9 y.o. DD has a fever & is puking.:(

  6. According to y boyfriend who was born and bred in Brooklyn, it is the world capitol for pizza…which is the religion he practices-pizza…he recommends next time getting a slice…

  7. According to my boyfriend who was born and bred in Brooklyn, it is the world capitol for pizza…which is the religion he practices-pizza…he recommends next time getting a slice…

  8. Your sweater looks beautiful, so sorry to hear that you need to rip and redo. Could I convince you to come to MN with the lure of poutine? (some Canadian friends claim that they had fabulous poutine in a Burger King in Thunder Bay. Ok T Bay is not technically in MN, but close enough?? ).

  9. My little munchkin (not so little anymore) is obsessed with zombies and is having a zombie themed birthday, I may have to dress up as having been killed by knitting needles while protecting my skeeeeiiiins!

  10. Brooklyn, Boston. When are you coming to
    Providence, RI? I can promise you fire
    escapes and Xombies too.

  11. I’m very excited about coming to your signing in Baltimore soon! If you’re wondering about vegetarian options nearby, there’s a Trader Joe’s just across the parking lot (conveniently located a few steps from the Starbucks). You might have some luck in there. Happy traveling!

  12. Any word from the CDC on whether or how the zombie virus will affect sheep? I’m thinking a smallish herd of sheep may need to come into the apocalypse bunker, but we want to be sure that they’re not zombie virus carriers first.

  13. Yes, Steph, DC is indeed very close to Baltimore and, on the first weekend in May each year, the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is held just about halfway between the two cities. I may live in Kingston, ON now, but I spent 16 years in DC and I can vouch for the fact that the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is the best. Maybe I’ll get to go back…
    P.S. I’ve ordered Shelter in “Button Box”.

  14. I can’t wait to meet you tonight in Brookline!
    Fabulous falafel across and down the street from the Booksmith at Rami’s. I highly recommend it.

  15. I just moved to New Hampshire from Minneapolis, so I will be in Brookline tonight! Yay!
    Sadly, I suspect that there will not be original songs and opportunities to buy yarn, as per last time at the Yarnery event. When I called to ask the bookstore in Brookline to confirm that seating tonght begins at 6:30, the very nice bookstore muggle on the phone said yes, and then very nicely let me know that I could put my jacket on my seat and go do something else so that I don’t have to sit there for half an hour. Um, I’ll have my knitting with me. Of course.

  16. I’ll see you tonight in Brookline. I’m bringing chocolate to help make up for the sweater disaster.

  17. Love, love, love this post (all of them really, but your book tours are special). Safe travels Harlot of the Yarny type.

  18. I just read about the sweater problems. Thank God you are not perfect, because the rest of us would just have to do a lemmings and jump off a cliff. You keep it real for us. Thank you, thank you.

  19. I laughed when I read about the post apocalypse demand for socks. When I went grocery shopping on Sunday morning, a guy was selling off-the-back-of-a-truck socks in the parking lot. When I told him I don’t need any because I knit my own, he looked at me like I was crazy and then cracked a huge smile and said “Well then you just rock on with your bad self”. It made my day.

  20. Ha! Please tell me you’ve seen this comic. I have the print in the hall.
    I am so jealous seeing all those knitters getting a chance to see and hear you … in person! There is no San Francisco date on your tour as of yet:(
    I know it’s exhausting for you, but we are glad you are out there, getting a chance to share your sharing, even if it’s via Recap! Safe travel, good times and BETTER COFFEE!

  21. My stash goes to the tornado shelter with me in spring…ain’t no way no stinkin’ zombie’s gonna get it….

  22. Hello from Bethesda to Ikumi and Anna. I have the same B2WD shirt 🙂 It is sad to say but it certainly for me at least is easier to go from DC to NY than DC to baltimore!

  23. Your comment on the coffee reminds me of a quote from Abraham Lincoln during the civil war: “If this is coffee, bring me tea. If this is tea, bring me coffee.”
    Hope to see you soon in Skokie!

  24. Park Slope is wonderful! And there’s an excellent park right next to it – Prospect Park. You can walk, jog, horseback ride – see, I said it was excellent. 🙂
    Glad you had a good time. And is that a handmade shawlette on Sally in the last photo?

  25. omg. Raiding yarn store is on my zombie apocalypse survival plan. Seriously – we’re going to be very valuable.

  26. I’m a life long Manhattan dweller and I totally agree that Brooklyn rocks. Not only for the reasons listed but many others including Brooklyn General.

  27. you got me at tempeh reuben, my favorite food of them all. i even look forward to minneapolis airport because i know i can by one there at the french meadow bakery.

  28. YES. Finally I am living in a big enough city, have enough free time, and live close enough that I can come see you. Old plans for Tuesday night: clean out the kitchen cabinets for the exterminators and study for a midterm. New plans: Go see Stephanie!! (And then clean out the cabinets.)

  29. @Donna, re zombies vs. humans on college campuses… thank you for the tip. My apartment is on a college campus, the zombies vs/ humans game ranges past my front door (literally, about 5 feet away, if that) at least 2 or 3 times a week this time of year, and I will now keep a stash of socks near that door in case I need them. (Imagine their shock when a sock comes out of nowhere to get them! Heehee!)
    I’m so sad I can’t get to Brookline tonight…have a lovely time to everyone who’s going.

  30. I’m sitting here smiling at ‘brains/skeins’ … but I’m gobsmacked at the photo of Neil Gaiman holding Terri’s sock! Epic!is right!

  31. This makes me want to do 2 things:
    1. Make up a new joke. (What do zombies who knit want for Christmas?.. Skeeeeeins.)
    2. Have a zombie apocalypse halloween party where we all dress up and knit socks, destash, and generally have a sock-party-gone-halloween.

  32. Love Park Slope and lived there for 3 years in the urban renewal days – Brooklyn Botanical Gardens are great.
    One question – why not take the train to Boston and get lots of free knitting time and no security! I want to take the “Knitting Train” across Canada some day.

  33. stuck in the corner by witchcraft again, huh? I remember that from your last visit. Sorry I couldn’t make it this time–your events are always so much fun. (And Brooklyn is the best!)

  34. Damn! I got the wrong day and thought you were going to be in Brooklyn tonight!! Grrrr. (my dismay is not at all ameliorated by the fact that my parents are visiting from Alaska on both nights, so I couldn’t go even if I *had* gotten the day right. No one takes the first grandbaby to a book signing when the doting grandparents have just flown 13 hours to see him. Not even for the Yarn Harlot.) Have fun in Beantown!

  35. Drink beer Steph! Zombies don’t much like beer…or so I have heard. As a sock knitter, there is some hope there. I do think that socks are handy even if there is an apocolypse (I know I spelled that wrong.)

  36. Sounds like Brooklyn, all right. (I’m from Manhattan.)
    Did you happen to ask your scheduler why you are going north to Boston, then south again to Baltimore? New York is about halfway between Boston and Baltimore, give or take an hour on the train.
    Still hoping to see you Wednesday!

  37. A fellow knitter/spinner and I came up with the same conclusion… as soon as the zombies wipe out civilization, we will be in great demand!

  38. Maybe because I mentioned the Zombie apocalypse in your Grok the Sock class at KnitEast. You were giving the very good advice that all knitters should be able to make the essentials without a pattern in the case of an apocalypse, I just can’t help throwing in zombies.

  39. “… if you slap a bunch on your city, I’ll love it there. ”
    Just had to tell you that, though I no longer live there, Montreal (especially the older parts and NDG and Westmount ‘below the tracks’) have those wonderful railings and fire escapes etc. — and brownstones. All those frat houses along University St. across from the McGill U. campus…etc. Enjoy!

  40. Neil Gaiman?! Terri definitely wins the sock-holding game. I’m going to have to think for a long, long while to come up with someone that can beat Neil Gaiman.

  41. man! my hubby and i just participated in our town’s annual zombie crawl and i totally missed out on being a knitting zombie! dang it! skeiiiinnnss….. sigh. (ps- i gotta quit reading your blog at work. i’m a librarian, and loud outbursts of laughter are generally frowned upon.)

  42. Armed and ready.
    Also, I have to spend less time on Ravelry. After reading many of these posts, I want to click agree, and love.

  43. i love the “on the road” posts. it seems like a long time since your last book tour/road trip, although it may not seem so long ago to the person who has to live out of a suitcase and suffer air travel day after day. i LOVE seeing the pics of all the interesting people who come to say “hi”!

  44. Hi Steph
    I live in St Louis and it looks like your book signing is at on Euclid not Hampton. I live off Hampton and could have walked to your signing. Check out Left Bank Books for the location.

  45. I love when you sign books and meet people who love you and your books. Where’s the sock picture?
    Rhinebeck Sweater: So sad. I try to remember when stuff like that happens to me that it’s more knitting which I really can’t get enough of. However, singed wool, mis-measurement, and shocking discovery are above and beyond a normal knitting catastrophe.

  46. Just was on Left Bank Books website and your book signing moved because they expect a larger crowd. Way to go Stephanie!!!!

  47. Be sure you visit Back Bay while you’re in Boston, especially around Charles Street – gorgeous, hidden streets.

  48. glad to know I will have a very useful skill if the zombie apocalypse! My dad says I have a great bartering skill – folks will want hats, socks, mittens…..
    I hope to make it to Baltimore Wed. night – sadly, we’re supposed to get lots and lots of rain, but I think it improves in the evening – I’m coming from the Kensington area of MD – while it’s only 40 minutes driving time – who knows with traffic! But miss the Harlot? I hope not!! Now, I won’t have socks with me but a baby blanket – baby shower is just around the corner!

  49. My son’s father is from Brooklyn and, after all the jokes about Brooklyn, I was really surprised at what a nice place it is. His family lived only a few blocks from the Verrazano Bridge — what a view! I’m also waiting for a Northern California appearance from you. San Francisco would be great, but there’s also a fantastic LYS in Eureka that has played host to your fellow knitting royalty. Any plans?

  50. Wish I coulda been there, but I spent the day reading all wound up…! My husband met the delivery truck this afternoon, “he knows my addiction well,” and I had it open before the truck was two blocks away…
    I spent the afternoon reading with the dogs at the dog park, my knitting left forlorn at my side.
    Thank you for another great read!

  51. That’s why it pays to have a few Signature needles around with Stiletto tips. Knitting and personal defense and sock protection. Good for Zombies or all other threats!

  52. Two of my favorite people are making visits to my neighborhood while I am away, you, and Teddy Thompson. Life just isn’t fair. But your Jacob Damask inspired me and I am now not just a knitter but a spinner too. Thank you.

  53. Have a great trip. I am sure you will bring sunshine into each person’s life like you do to mine – first thing every morning after reading your blog entries!!

  54. I so wished I could’ve seen you at Brookline Booksmith but it was college admission info night at my daughter’s high school .. and I’m the responsible adult in her life .. so I attended that with her. But I figure you will write again, and tour again, teach again, and hopefully appear at a venue within reasonable distance of Boston.
    Laughing at zombie/yarn disccussion … I had no idea of those yarn powers!

  55. @ Juliet, my favorite story from son playing the game was when a “friend” snuck into his dorm and took the darts out of his nerf gun. Son was coming out of building as the zombie (that urged friend to remove bullets) approached. Friend had a change of heart and was running across the grass screaming to son that he had no bullets and trying to take off his shoe and sock so he could “save” my son. Son laughed at the sight and pulled a sock out of his pocket and froze the zombie! I will never get the picture out of my mind of this kid running and trying to remove shoe and sock. See socks are very important!

  56. drove by Brookline Booksmith last night as part of my child shuttle duties and saw a line at 5:30pm. Wanted to jump out of the car, but tutors awaited. But got to meet you at Rhinebeck. Thank you for all yoru great writing!

  57. Isn’t Brooklyn gorgeous and charming? I love it there. Manhattan is fun, but Brooklyn feels like home.
    I’m stunned that you had bad coffee at LGA. That is a travesty; I’ve always managed to get quite good coffee there, and I apologize on behalf of the whole airport. 🙂

  58. one of my boys favorite questions to ask at random moments is “Mom, are you ready for the zombie apocalypse?” now i can legitimately add to my sock yarn stash and tell them “Why yes! I am!”

  59. Just got an email from Barnes & Noble telling me that the book I ordered (yours, naturally) has been “delayed” and will not be sent out today. No reason, just delayed. AAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!

  60. my condolences on the troubles with gwendolyn. i hope she behaves better from here on out!
    i’m still considering grabbin megabus to st. louis to hear you saturday, since you haven’t scheduled a visit to indianapolis yet. (can’t i bribe you with a visit to the children’s museum? the dinosaur that protrudes from the wall is wearing her witch hat for halloween now.)

  61. NYC cabs – eek! I actually told a cabbie once that if he went slower, I’d pay him more. I was VERY pregnant at the time, and nauseous. He totally cooperated.
    I wish I still lived in Boston. Asheville, NC is a lovely town with 2 yarn shops right downtown, 2 bead stores, lots of yummy restaurants, and craft and art galleries galore. Do consider it. And so sorry about your poor sweater!

  62. Terri, of the Neil Gaiman/sock photo: Did you make that photo at the NADWCon in Madison? I remember meeting a knitter at one of the Sir Terry gatherings, and she was excited about the up-coming Sock Summit. 🙂 Am thinking that was you? How COOL you got him to hold your sock!

  63. Oooh! I have a set of ‘zombie apocalypse’ stitch markers (two green skully-heads, one metal brain, a graveyard gate and a zombie-hunter badge)! I’m going to be all set to join the combat-ops team after the dawn of zombieworld.
    p.s. I also wanted to say that I just read about the fateful travails of your Rhinebeck sweater, and I have never felt so relieved in my life…I started a sweater a bit before Rhinebeck, and even though it wasn’t meant to be done by the festival, it was going so fast that I got a little overexcited and started figuring and re-figuring my knit schedule, SURE that I could finish it. There was no d*mn way I was going to finish it.
    So I laughed out loud when I heard you were trying the same thing but figured, ‘certainly Stephanie Pearl-McPhee,knitting goddess, will be able to do what I, a lowly knitnoob, cannot’.
    When I read about your troubles, I raced to re-measure my pieces, and I’ve never felt more reassured in my life, if you can forgive me for saying so. I’m sure that you’ve fixed your lovely sweater up and are rocking it around town by now, but I wanted to thank you for sharing its story. I can’t tell you how much better it made me feel about my own knitting mistakes and shortcomings (which are legion). So thanks and rock on with your bad self!

  64. Off the topic of Zombies for a moment. Wanted to congratulate you on the best essay I have read about heartbreak and healing in your new book. I especially liked how you omitted specific details, so each reader could internalize your wisdom and apply it to themselves. Thank you for perceptive self.
    Eve from Carlisle

  65. Ha! There will be a use for my vast collection of aged acrylic yarn after all! (Seriously, from Project Linus donations, I have skeins of yarn from Woolworth’s with price tags less than a dollar. They do have “a bit” of age to them!) Maybe the zombies will appreciate a good ’63 orlon?

  66. I am amazed that I went to my little library yesterday AND THERE WAS A COPY OF YOUR BOOK ON THE SHELF. After I (quietly) picked myself up off the carpet, I of course checked it out and began reading. I already have the “good” bits marked for reading for my spinsibs this afternoon.
    (Yes, I will be purchasing a copy as soon as employment rears its head and takes me in.)
    Thanks for another great book.

  67. There’s a new Zombie book out about New York. Author is interviewed today on Terry Gross’ “Fresh Air” (National Public Radio). Is that what all this zombie talk is about? Mostly likely, just the zeitgeist of the day. There’s a TV show… that I saw photos of in the NYTimes, is that what this is about? -musings.

  68. I am actually in Chicago for the next two nights, unexpectedly, and staying at a hotel 7 miles from Skokie! 7 miles. OK, I am going to try really, really hard to get to Barnes and Noble, since you are not being bribed, wheedled nor whined into Minneapolis! Here’s hoping. Travel safely.

  69. Looks like you had a lovely time. I didn’t know Brooklyn was so picturesque. Your photo reminds me of some places in a movie set. All to the good!

  70. Oh, you’re making me miss my beloved Park Slope. For a total of 6 years I lived within walking distance of the park slope BN and cafe grumpy. There is also gorilla, which is a very good cup of coffee too. And please tell me that is a picture of 10th st, it looks so much like 10th between 6th and 7th.

  71. When I asked Neil Gaiman to hold my knitting (not a sock, but what I was working on at the time) at the reading at Washington College in 2009, he didn’t even bat an eyelash! He was ultra cool about it, though I wonder what he thinks now that he’s been asked to do this multiple times. I was so happy, I posted it as my Ravelry avatar.
    Wil4ds on Ravelry

  72. Your new book “All Wound Up” has just arrived and I am delighted. I am an ardent fan of your books and your blog. I am also an avid knitter and, dare I say it, crocheter.
    I was interested that you consider people who say they have “no time to knit” as believing knitting too esoteric to be undertaken. When I grew up knitting was considered “for old women” only, and when I knit in public and people look at me knitting, I am still under the impression that that is what they are thinking.

  73. Judith B: no. That happened at a teensy talk that Neil was doing at Symphony Space in NYC. There wasn’t a formal signing, but since I had hung around on the sidewalk after the event, I was able to nip in and have him sign a book and take the picture.

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