Done but behind

Thursday night was pretty great, and I meant to write about it first thing on Friday morning, but I think that I procrastinated on some of my exhaustion, and so I woke up, realized the book events were good and over, and was promptly overcome with the urge to lie down. When that passed I found I was really in the weeds on a baby shower deadline, and had to do a serious who-do on the space time continuum to get it done in time for yesterday. I’ll show you that tomorrow.  I know I’m not blogging enough when the unblogged knits start piling up- and they are.  There’s socks and a sweater and I spun some yarn and they all deserve a blog post, so this week I’m going to try and be really good and catch up. For starters though, I’m going to pretend that today is Friday, and then tomorrow can be today, and the day after that I’ll try to make it a two in one.  Or something. In any case: I showed up for the Toronto event ready and raring to go- if by raring to go, you understand that I’d checked real estate listings for where else I could live, then headed downtown.  I always worry about the local events.  My reasoning is that I don’t really need to worry about screwing up in other cities.  If I screw up in Baltimore and do a whole event with my fly open (for example) I can simply – should I find the humiliation a little too much, never go back to Baltimore. If I screw up here, I have to move, as well as endure a retelling of whatever I did to humiliate myself every holiday from then on, since my whole family will have witnessed it.  If you’re me, that’s enough to make you supremely nervous, and I was.   I checked my fly about a million times, then stepped up to get it done. Hello Toronto!

The bookstore had about 35 chairs, and we had considerably more knitters than that, but I think the Toronto knitters actually enjoy smashing bookstore expectations, so all seemed well.  I read, rather nervously, since every time I looked up I saw my family.  When it was over, the real fun started. I got to see a a baby – this is Megan and the charming Miles.

There were first sock knitters, like Rayna and Ellen.

And then there were first sock knitters not like Rayna and Ellen – Like Juli, who explained that these socks are her first started pair of socks, and her first finished pair of socks.

…Or like Ann, who just stepped up and held up her socks, and I said "Oh wow! First socks?" and she said "Nope".

The honesty of it cracked me right up.  There was my Mum and my Sister and My daughter and Hank.

I don’t know why Mum, Erin and Amanda look so bored there.  I swear they looked enthusiastic two seconds before.  Probably an immediate knee-jerk response to me taking out my camera and saying something about the blog.
This is Becky, and this Dr. Who scarf is the first thing she’s ever knit…

which considering that it’s an authentic length, says something good about her stick-to-it-iveness.

This is Heather, who was out celebrating two years since her bone marrow transplant – and considering that she’s alive, that says something about her stick-to-it-iveness as well.

Meet Emily, who’s a brand new knitter, and obviously destined for greatness.

I don’t know if it’s the glasses or the knitting, but she reminded me of me at that age.  Lovely girl.  This is Stephanie and her first scarf – which is Entrelac of course.

I shrieked "KEENER" at her in the most affectionate way possible. I think she understood.  Also in that category was Jen, who showed off her first and second pair of mittens.

Her first pair of mittens is so perfect that she felt compelled to tell me that they don’t fit "If that helps."  It did.  (We were all on fire for the sweater she was wearing too. Gorgeous. We had to do a search to figure out what it was – and since a bunch of you will ask… it’s Metro.  We’ve all added it to our queues.)
Emily and Morgan did their knitterly part for Movember.

(Pattern here. I know you’ll want to know.)
Just to round it out – Look! 

That’s Martha and Glenna, in the same place at the same time.  They’re knitting twins, and for the longest time Glenna used to come to knit night.  I knew her, liked her, we’re sort of friends, and then Glenna moved and stopped coming, but this person who looks, sounds and knits exactly like her started showing up. For the longest time I didn’t know who Martha was, just that she was not quite Glenna, and after that for a long time, I sort of that that Glenna was just screwing with me. That she didn’t really have a twin sister, she just liked to pretend she didn’t know me some weeks, and to pull that off she called herself "Martha".  Turns out they really are two people.  Who knew?

We rounded the evening out by heading over to a pub (two really, but that’s another story) and while we were there, Joe held baby Marlowe.

I know that might not seem amazing to you, but to me it was staggering.  He wouldn’t stand up (he was afraid of dropping her) and he wouldn’t let her mama Jen get more than an inch away (in case the baby needed her) but he did hold her.  I took about a thousand pictures. I couldn’t believe that he had willingly taken charge of a baby, but it turns out that Jen just sort of handed him the thing, and he had no way out.  He conceded that he had turned Marlowe so she was facing away from him so she couldn’t see him and cry.  He thinks he’s too big for babies and makes them nervous.  He couldn’t be more wrong, but I think it
‘s sweet.  It was a lovely bit of icing on my evening’s cake. 

Thanks Toronto knitters, I love you guys, and I’m so glad I don’t have to move.
This time.

78 thoughts on “Done but behind

  1. Oh look how big baby Marlowe is! Can’t believe that’s the baby we were all waiting to arrive!

  2. Lovely bookstore! If i ever get to visit Toronto again I must see this space in person! Great knitters too… and you know the nerves just make you better. Glad you get a bit of a rest, while those south of Canada are busy cooking up a storm. Any chance you are coming to Denver?

  3. Am I the first?!
    The twin story cracked me up!
    Joe with a baby? Is there anything more attractive than your man (not your man specifically, but your man in general) holding a baby??? I think not.
    I can pretend things are a day behind (or two), I have Thanksgiving this week, and could use an extra day or two…

  4. Glad you finally blogged about Thursday, I was beginning to think you HAD moved. Glad to hear it all went well (not that any of us were in doubt). Joe looks good with a baby — he’ll be a fine Grandpa.

  5. So glad it seems to have gone very well. It never crossed my mind that it wouldn’t but you seem to have had some doubts. I missed you so much that I even checked the blog over the weekend knowing full well that you don’t blog on the weekend. I couldn’t help myself… I’ll be getting a life any day. Welcome back!

  6. That’s me with the Doctor Who scarf – how cool is this???
    Ahem… anyhow, what I love about these pictures is that you can see the knitters waiting in line behind the subjects of the pictures – and they’re knitting! Knitters are excellent at waiting, clearly. ^_^

  7. Ahem. Second Scarf.
    Both you and the event were lovely! Thanks for reading to scary Toronto.

  8. Thanks for a great night Stephanie! For the record, I finished the “bone marrow transplant celebration” sweater just in time to continue the celebration.

  9. Sorry we missed you at the pub! We got some good knitting done over at the Old York though!

  10. Because everyone will want to know, Heather, what’s the pattern for the ‘bone marrow transplant celebration’ sweater? It’s not more important that your survival (for which we are all thankful), really, it’s simply that it’s gorgeous.

  11. In the event you should have to move, I would welcome you to this area. But, personally, I’m thinking you have nothing to worry about.

  12. are the sweetest! Nothing beats a big burly man holding a little baby! I love the twins, and someday, I will visit Toronto just to see you in action Steph! P.S., all is well with my uncrossed cables. After much panic and elevated blood pressure, I have fixed them ala Harlot….thanks for the help!

  13. I love the picture of Joe and baby Marlowe. So sweet! Perfect icing on your cake.
    And Glenna! Your description of Glenna and Martha made me laugh out loud. Glenna’s a sweetie. Haven’t met Martha. She’ll have to prove to me that she exists. You may have photoshopped her in. Maybe we’ll meet at a Sock Summit sometime…

  14. I think Joe may just be the sweetest man. That’s adorable. I’m glad all the book hullaballoo is taken care of so you can relax a bit :). Congrats again Steph.

  15. No, don’t ever move! We love having you here. Thanks for the fun evening! I almost had you sign my Kobo but chickened out (like I did at Knit East, too). Love the new book!

  16. The first time I read this about Joe and the baby I thought it said,”He conceded that he had turned Marlowe so she was facing away from him so she couldn’t see him cry!”
    Well Done! We are definitely proud of our Canadian author/knitter!

  17. No matter what you may do in Baltimore, you can never stop coming to Maryland!!!!!! We enjoy you waaaayyyy to much, we will forget anything you tell us to!

  18. The only priest I ever saw who could baptize babies without one of them ever crying was so big they didn’t realize it was a mere human. Cosmos-cradled. (First time he was miked he didn’t realize it, it was a particularly adorable baby and we could all hear his consonants melting…”In de name of de Fadder…aaaan o’ de Son …aaaaan o’ de Holy Spiwit…”)
    More to the point, behind Joe there (well held, Joe,) is that Megan in a strapless top in an Ontario November? Somebody swathe that girl!

  19. Wait! Is Martha really Glenna’s sister? I read Glenna’s blog all the time (and knit her sock patterns all the time) but I don’t think I recall mention of Martha. They do look a like though.

  20. I think the phrase Martha remembers being called was “creepy not-Glenna.” But she swears she is happy to be talked to at knit night even though she is not me, and I keep swearing I’m going to make the trip from Hamilton for knit night more than once every zillion years. Also, let’s upgrade to friends instead of sort-of-friends, that’s way more fun! 😉
    Thursday was a fun time, especially the sort-of-pub-crawl-that-was-really-just-one-pub. Same thing next book?

  21. Stephanie: congrats on the successful book tour/book launch.
    Heather: congrats on the 2-year mark for your bone marrow transplant. And can you share your pattern for that gorgeous sweater???!! Love it!

  22. I can’t imagine that Toronto ever would stop loving you, but NY will take you in anytime.
    And thank you for introducing us to Heather.

  23. The stash finger cot (or whatever you want to call them) is awesome. I need to make it for all of my friends for Christmas, especially the female ones.

  24. Now you have me looking at real estate listings so I can move to Toronto! Looks like a great time. None of that foolishness about a prophet in his/her own country for you!
    Thanks for the baby fix. I noticed the young fan in the front row right away, and baby Marlowe has on one awesome sweater (not to mention a handsome caregiver).
    You deserve a little exhaustion break. Don’t worry, we’ll be here.

  25. Just out of curiousity, how tall is Joe? My guy is 6’3″ (1.91 meters), 240 pounds (108.8 kilos) and has incredibly long arms. A sweater for him is a year’s undertaking. I refuse to do one in black–I’d lose my mind! And btw, the thing about Stalin, Hitler and Bin Laden in Hell’s Cafeteria is too funny! (And they won’t let the guy who invented “Press one for billing” telephone systems can’t eat with them either.)

  26. Love the picture of big man/little baby because it reminds me of ill-prepared DH being ‘handed newest extended family member by the Mum,for the Mum to take care of older child’, scenario before we were married around 30 years ago.
    My mother remembers a photo from the 1940’s (?) of the Duke of Gloucester being in charge of a baby’s pram when the Royal Family was organising itself on an outing. It was the first time she ever saw a man with a baby – she hadn’t realised they had the ‘right genetic material’ to be able to manage it (what is that? … how times have changed).

  27. i’m clicking the “like” button for this post. well done hometown girl! 🙂

  28. Thanks for the link to the finger moustache! I’m now going to go make one for my 13 year old niece (who posted a pic on facebook of her finger with a moustache drawn on it) for Christmas. Does this place me in the running for the weirdest knitted gift given by an aunt ever?

  29. See, Stephanie, there are so many misperceptions about Toronto and Torontonians out there. I’m glad I was able to come on Thursday evening and listen to you do your (funny, warm, observant) thing. And thanks to the wonderfully kind woman who gave me her seat – in the front row even.
    Thanks for an enjoyable evening.

  30. I can’t believe this. Yesterday I decided to knit Metro. Today, you blog about it. I’ll likely meet myself coming and going now!
    Glad your “Event” was a wild success.
    Cheers and red wine, Hazel.

  31. I am glad it’s all done and you can get some rest, but maybe you can show us the finished Catkin? Last time I looked I didn’t see a photo of it on Rav under your name either. I am sure it is lovely and it wants to be shown off, too.

  32. Note to Joe:
    In case he hadn’t noticed, ALL adults are big to a baby, and that doesn’t seem to make them afraid of adults.
    I’m constantly amazed at the beings that are (comparatively) tiny that are not afraid of big creatures. Like the kitten my daughter rescued from the alley behind her house. It tries to climb into her lap via the inside of her jeans.
    My bother had a batch of baby racoons, and they would run up and hug your ankles. Or climb a tree and pat your head or shoulder to get attention.

  33. i too think i am too big for babies to like, but i think it’s just that maybe i’m not baby savvy and they can sense that and want someone who knows what they’re doing.

  34. Oh boy – I knitted Metro last year, even blocked the pieces, but now have no idea where I put it!

  35. Glad to know the Toronto signing didn’t do you in. Just started reading the book and LOVE IT! And I’ve only read chapter 1! Can’t wait to read the rest. And I think I’m motivated to get on with the projects I started – – both knitting and card-making — that I put aside as “not being important right now.” They are and my doing them is important. But they really may need to wait until I finish the book! Keep up the good work!

  36. Ms. Harlot, you have charmed the dickens out of my daughter (that would be Emily) and her grandparents! Thank you for the blog mention and the conveyed enthusiasm and acceptance. You are awesome.

  37. Love the mittens! And the Metro. Funny, I was just looking at that pattern on Ravelry last night.
    (I guess this comment is really just for Jen.)

  38. Well now my cover is totally blown!
    It was a great event and I had a lot of fun telling people the next nite that Chapters totally couldn’t handle The Knitters. They should really learn by now.
    Congrats on the tour! See you round knit nite.

  39. BABIES!!
    I’m sorry, it had to be said.
    That picture of Hank brought about an interesting realization; I’ve watched that boy grow up into a fine teen. It’s nice to see how much he’s grown.

  40. My mom did the same thing as Jen back when I was an infant. My grandfather (step-grandfather technically, but not in any other way) was worried that my mom thought he wasn’t my “real” grandfather. He was just a “step.” Mom couldn’t figure out why such a wonderful, loving man wouldn’t hold her daughter?? Absolutely could NOT figure it out. One day, a couple of weeks after I was born, she was annoyed, sleep-deprived and had had Just About Enough of That. Got up to leave the room, thrust me in his lap and said “HERE! Hold your granddaughter!” and stomped out. She still talks about how wonderful it was to see the love and awe and amazement in his face when she returned. That’s when the whole story came out.
    And this man who never showed emotion was positively GIDDY at the idea that he was a grandfather, and he and I were inseparable after that. It’s been 25 years since he died, and I still think about him all the time.

  41. So I just posted on Facebook that I’m famous because made it on THE knitting blog, ha ha. 🙂 I’m Jen, with the mittens and the Metro.
    Stephanie was so nice and funny in person, just like I thought she’d be! So glad I went. 🙂
    P.S. Thanks, JanetP!

  42. It is kinda lonely here in Prince Albert, SK.
    Not a lot of knitters to keep me busy. Not a bad city, kinda smallish. Bet you would love to move, here. Too bad your book review night went so swimmingly. I had wonderful thoughts of you coming to visit me in my less then tidy home and having a cup of coffee and laughing at my silly kids as we knits miles and miles of my wool supply. Really,.. totally wishing you had a severe wardrobe malfunction. I’m not mean, just need more local knitting friends. Do you blame me?

  43. Well, of course it was going to be great! The people who came to your book night and your fans who comment on your blog love you! I had a great time reading about your experience in Toronto. I especially loved the photo of Megan’s baby Miles. Miles of smiles…

  44. Joe needs to hold more babies. Gotta get some practice for the day he becomes a Grampa. (It’s hard to spoil them if you don’t hold them, Joe!)

  45. I think a bunch of us are going to take advantage of your messing with the space time continuum. It’s Thanksgiving here in the US. Thanks for all the work you do with that getting things done problem we all have.
    Looks to me that the hometown folks are out to support you, as much as we’d all like to have you in our neighborhood. Knitwise though, knitters everywhere claim you as a friend, and that’s one huge community.

  46. Ah, a photo of Joe! Not that I doubted his existence, but still, I think that’s the first time I’ve seen a photo of him on the blog.

  47. The twin story was funny, especially considering my name is Glenna, too. It’s that kneejerk reaction of “I was not in Canada last week!” whenever I see my name on this blog. She sounds cool! I hope someday you can tour into Utah!

  48. “Woo Hoo” I’m in the blog 😉 and Wow you took a photo of me that I actually like (that doesn’t seem to happen too often) kudos to you.
    You had to see those first socks because they’re all your fault. After reading your blog for a couple of years I finally decided to get over the fear of four needles and give it a go. I’m now totally converted to knitting my own socks (that first pair are at least 3 yrs old). I now find shawls popping into my head and I’m totally not a shawl girl (you can share the blame with Wendy for this)
    Totally enjoyed the event, you were warm and funny as always. My friend and I had a really good time just looking around at all the fab knitting people were wearing or working on. We were off to the side with Heather (of the celebration sweater) glad to hear she finished it I know she had a deadline for it.
    Considering it’s a national sport to not like Toronto, you don’t get to move away because you’re a fine reason to Love Toronto and I’m sure all the Toronto knitters are proud you’re one of us.

  49. Let Joe know that my husband’s family is full of giant baby soothing men. Even though several have booming voices, the babies, must see them as teddy bears or something because they snuggle right in. So he’s not too big!

  50. Love this post!
    All the photos are great, it makes me feel like I was there for a few minutes. If I had to pick my favorite photos would be the young knitter who reminded you of yourself and the photo of all the knitters peeking over the tops of the bookshelves. Oh, and that baby in the first photo is adorable. I love the photo of Joe holding a cute baby. Oh, I could go on but let’s just say I loved all the photos!

  51. I was in the group with adorable Miles! It was a wonderful hometown launch. I loved hearing you read from the book, and was too tongue-tied to say so properly. Toronto knitters wouldn’t run you away for the world!

  52. if you ever defect from toronto, the knitters of indianapolis would welcome you with open arms, endangered species chocolate bars and fine locally-brewed pints and growlers — plus the children’s museum’s dinosaurs.
    and if you don’t want/need to defect, just c’mon back and visit us, ok?
    i join others in saying how enjoyable the new book is. i bought my own copy, but also requested it from the public library to make sure they’d buy it, too (multiple copies, i hope!).

  53. Saw Margaret Atwood’s tweet about how she forgot to grow a ‘tache for Movember so I tweeted her the Rav link to the patt…she just retweeted it to her 279,000 followers 🙂

  54. What is it with all of these over-achieving first time knitters and their amazing projects? Aren’t there any other regular old knitters out there like me who make tons of mistakes and don’t even know how to pronounce entrelac?

  55. Thanks Kimberly! I learned how to knit, made up various swatches to try out different techniques, and then decided to tackle the scarf. The yarn arrived in mid-January of this year, and I finished the scarf a few days before this event. According to my notes, it took an actual 17 days of knitting (mostly days off with a movie marathon on tv)
    I was president of the Toronto Hookups Crochet Guild this past year, and I felt like a bit of an interloper (in fact, I was crocheting during the reading… my excuse: Christmas is coming. Got to stick with my A game. 😉 ), but I have such a special affinity for Stephanie’s writing (reading this blog has gotten me through numerous boring work days in the past!) that I just couldn’t stay away!

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