Now I can say it

In a rare turn of events, yesterday Joe and I were both packing.  Actually, now that I think about it, it wasn’t that unusual for both of us to be packing. What was unusual was that we were packing and going different places.  There was a brief tussle over our limited luggage options which I won using a powerful combination of wit, logic, charm, quick thinking and the time honoured technique of taking off my shirt.  In the end, Joe took one large suitcase, and I took the wee rollerboard for my clothes, and an assortment of other bags and stuff so that I could separate out the supplies for each of the classes this weekend, which I think is very tidy and efficient. 

Standing by the door now is all that I will need for this weekend.  There’s a large bag with all my samples for the class on Sunday, and another large bag with the books that I want to show my students and have them use as reference. I have another bag with notions, post-its and dental floss (one of the classes is a lace class. Dental floss is unexpectedly handy) and my outlines.  I have another bag with about 20 skeins of sample yarn, my knitting belt, my needles and the needles I bring in case a student needs them.  I have a bag with my computer projector and cables so I can show slides, a bag of markers and one of those big conference pads so I can draw pictures. I have my laptop, for the aforementioned slide show, and a copy of my talk tonight printed out and put in a bag with all the handouts. 

Beside that mountain of knitting related stuff, there is the tiny suitcase, which contains my toiletries, three shirts, a sweater, backup pants, socks, underpants and jammies, and I have my purse, which is really my personal knitting bag and has my wallet, a sock in progress, and the baby blanket.

When assessed with a critical eye (and by that I mean "were one to glance in its general direction with one’s eyes open for two seconds") it would be clear that my personal stuff, what I need to with me to function for three days,  is teensy.  It’s absolutely the fact that I’m doing knitter stuff this weekend that has the cargo load catapulted into the stratosphere.  Every knitter I know has a knitting related luggage requirement, and every knitting teacher I know has an insane knitting related luggage requirement.  (We won’t even get into the spinners.  It gets nuts.)
What is piled by the door is just the textile artist equivalent of what a carpenter would need if they were going to have a shelf building workshop.  Wouldn’t there be a pile of wood, three saws, a few books, tools?  The amount of stuff that is going with me (considering that were I not a knitting teacher, my personal needs would fit in one tiny bag) is clearly, absolutely, the product of my profession. 

This, this is what I was trying to say when a male acquaintance stopped by, looked at the mountain of needles, yarn, books, handouts and computer stuff and said  "Wow, It’s really true about women and their packing."

Then suddenly I was trying to say "Dude, it’s not a woman thing.  It’s a working knitter thing, and If I was a male knitting teacher,  this pile would be the same.  You should see what Franklin travels with, and Carson has bags of yarn and a human spine when he leaves to teach. This has nothing at all to do with being a woman.  I don’t have these bags full of makeup and ballgowns… it’s work stuff. See that little bag? That’s my not working stuff. It’s three pairs of panties and some shampoo. There is not a single pair of shoes.  Deciding that I have a lot of stuff because I’m a woman is like saying that you have a lot of free time because you’re a guy, instead of noting that your partner does all the childcare and housework."  I was trying to say all that, but as usual, I couldn’t figure out what to say  in the moment.  I never figure out any response until either 3am or shortly after the offender has left.  I was standing there, mumbling something about "knitting" and "work" and then he said "Well, have fun at your knitting girls weekend" and left, and I couldn’t say anything because my head was exploding.

Here I am, leaving for a speaking engagement and two days of teaching, and all my preparations just got drilled down to the following.

a) Women pack a lot of stuff when they go anywhere
b) Knitting isn’t a job for those who teach it – it’s a girls weekend!

Clearly, my friends, we have much work left to do, but it wasn’t done by me today.  I find it hard to manage misogyny before coffee.

216 thoughts on “Now I can say it

  1. I’m with you–the perfect comeback, explanation, comment always comes the moment after the person leaves.
    I’m taking a quick weekend trip. All my clothes are in one bag. However, my knitting and related items are taking two, make that three bags.
    Sounds like you are ready. Wow your class with the power of yarn and knitting.
    P.S. understand the shirtless bit completely–it works at home also.

  2. You are so right! Dismissive comments like that drive me crazy/angry. Do these bozos know they’re putting their lives on the line? Who gave males permission to be so condescending?

  3. I’m dumbstruck by the insensitivity and blockheadedness of this individual. Oh, and add cluelessness to that.

  4. I’m the same way when I travel, except that I usually have emergency pants/top, some cosmetics, and a CPAP machine. If you get stuck in line behind me at airport security, I’m sorry. I don’t know why the TSA has to check my CPAP for explosives. My husband has learned not to say anything beyond, “Can I help you carry something?”

  5. You do have the perfect medium for a comeback, though. Just call the guy up and say, “Dude…read my blog today. It’s all about you.” He won’t be able to resist.

  6. @Risa at January 20, 2012 11:00 am: My husband checks his CPAP machine as baggage. Otherwise, it gets searched when he/we fly. I don’t know why, either.
    Stephanie, Mr. Clueless should thank his lucky stars that I wasn’t there beside you with a cup of hot coffee in my hand, because I’d have thrown it on him for that comment. (or at least, I’d have been sorely tempted to do so!)

  7. What an ass. This weekend I’m going on a fiber weekend with just the girls and my yarn, clothes, movies and books fit into a backpack, a purse and a small knitting bag. I’ve known men to pack more then any woman I know.
    Also, knitting can be a job. You teach it, I design it, and that means we have to not only knit to keep our skill level up, but it means we get hired to do these things. Jokes on him as he most likely does not love his job as much as we love ours.
    Your nicer then I am because after a comment like that his ass could have been waiting outside in the snow and not in the house.

  8. First, let me say that I absolutely adore my husband. Now, it is my considered opinion that men are a “first draft,” they’ve got those dangly bits that were obviously leftover when the job was first thought to be done, and you can win any argument by taking off your shirt. My husband is over 70 yrs. old and I can shut him right up by flashing him my boobs which have sagged near to the equator. Men are lovely for lots of reasons, thinking is rarely one of them.
    Have a great weekend working and teaching.

  9. I am envisioning your knitting belt to be something akin to Batman’s. However, if it was, you could have shot something at the guy and been done with it, so I guess it’s not quite what I pictured.

  10. Sometimes I think we should all carry around with us, especially when travelling, about 10 3×5 cards with various knitter responses to dumb statements and questions. Like to *how to cards* that were very useful before smart phones. Best – Hester

  11. This reminds me a little of a job interview I went to where the president of the firm looked at my resume and asked if Bryn Mawr was “still a girls’ school.” To which I replied, “Actually, we say ‘women’s college.'” He chewed on that one for a bit.
    P.S. That happened “only” about 10 years ago. I’d like to think it’s not still happening now…

  12. My 89 year old father yesterday told my 82 year old mom that he thought there was something wrong with her because she fell asleep every evening after dinner. She reminded him that she was up a good 4 or 5 hours before him, and did all the errands and with the last bit of her energy cooked him dinner because he refuses to eat something she doesn’t cook – so she’s tired by 7pm. He mumbled something about learning to sleep in.
    Men sometimes just don’t get women….

  13. I think that’s when I would have gone all “Miss (insert name of my small hometown here)” on his ass, whipped needles out of my knitting belt and started throwing them at his retreating back.
    Take that same kind of sentiment and apply it to a musician’s luggage and you get folk songs of righteous indignation and protest. There should be song for this. Does Nancy White knit? I think we need her on our side.

  14. Ahh, misogyny. Did you happen to read the NYTimes Op-Ed last week about priests’ wives?
    Apparently I’m ‘the devil’s choice tidbit.’

  15. Oh no! Teaching with an exploded head is really, really hard.
    Print this blog post out and hand it to him and make him read it while you stand there.

  16. I’m not really a violent person, but I have one question in this case. Why didn’t you grab a pair of circs from the luggage, wrap them around his neck and Pull VERY hard then use the sharp pointy ends to poke holes in him and his view of working women?

  17. Grrr! I’d have decked him with the biggest bag while I searched for the right words, Stephanie. Enjoy your weekend. I bet it will be fantastic.

  18. The French have a phrase for that: “L’esprit d’escalier”. The fact that you can never think of the right comeback until they (or you) are gone – for example, in the staircase!
    I’d be sooo mad though. It’s like my male coworkers who insisted that any time in the last 7 months I said some food sounded tasty that it was pregnancy talking. Because, you know, no one else ever thinks someone else’s lunch smells delicious.

  19. I second Violet at 11:01 as to recommend the guy to read about himself in this blog entry.
    I would also add a recommendation that he should read the comments, too.
    And, please enlighten me, what is a knitting belt?

  20. Agreed on what everyone else said about misogyny/people not understanding the idea of being a working knitter, etc.
    But I’m really writing to second the question, “What is a knitting belt?”

  21. Lucky for Mr. Clueless you didn’t have your needles out.
    And I assume that you were braless when you removed your shirt.

  22. I pack all of my makeup, all of my hair accessories, my blow dryer, different kinds of brushes and combs, clothes for evening, clothes for day, shoes for walking, shoes for looking cute, shoes for going out, dressy shoes I can walk in, etc… I like to look and feel hot and I like to be trendy. PLUS I pack my fiber and knitting stuff. I’ve got not one, but two traveling spinning wheels. (I don’t take them both at once.) But still, it’s a lot. I don’t think that the fact that this is a stereotype is a problem. It’s the fact that what a woman wants to pack is viewed as less important as what a man wants to pack. Regardless of the contents of all the luggage, whether it does specifically have to do with a job, or if it’s just because she wants it, the contents of anyone’s luggage, men or women, should not be scrutinized or given a value by anyone else. When you say it’s not full of makeup or ballgowns, I mean, what the heck would be the problem if your bags WERE filled with that stuff? If you wanted it? Who cares? Sometimes people just make offhand comments that should be disregarded as unimportant. The next time something like this happens, just say something like, “I don’t appreciate that comment.” Explain if they ask you to explain, and forget it if they don’t. I try not to obsess and give people any more power over my life than they should have.

  23. The amount of headspace those missed opportunites take up is absolutely ridiculous, isn’t it? I could spend days after an encounter like that reliving that moment and saying in my head what I wanted to be able to articulate over and over again…. Highly prpoblematic when we fix what’s in our heads vs fixing the real world. Reminds me of the feminist reading of Satre’s en-soi and pour-soi. The fact that we have to say it at all, well, that is a rant too long for blog comments as you well know.
    Travel safely and enjoy the weekend. All thoughts and wishes of good luck, etc. to Joe.

  24. That sucks. That’s all I can say.
    I’ve typed and retyped and tried to be witty and put him down, but I don’t think there’s any help for someone who sees that you’ve got all the goods for teaching knitting and knitting seriously and then behave as if you’re just gallivanting off for frilly girl’s weekend.

  25. It’s exhausting to have to fight that fight all the time. And I only think of comebacks when I’m taking a shower- then, suddenly, I knonw exaclty what I should have said.

  26. I got an email this week asking us to sponsor an event. The first line was “I guess your little wool and yarn thing is doing ok.”
    Really? That’s how you want to ask us for money?

  27. Discrimination knows no bounds – just click on the link to Franklin Steph has so thoughtfully provided and read about his introduction to knitting and how he gets (mis)treated when shopping for yarn…

  28. AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!! (sits, quietly tearing hair out)
    I get this all the time when I write research proposals – your research sounds like it could be interesting, but shouldn’t you be doing it on some other group of people – a group that’s more important/interesting/whatever? Pointing out that there are 50 million of us and that maybe that’s something that should get written about in the academic literature just seems to flummox people.

  29. Hmm. Obviously your male acquaintance has never taught a class. And his sense of humor is suspect.
    No mittens for him!

  30. Stephanie, I just finished reading The Secret Life of a Knitter Yarn Harlot.
    I enjoyed it very much and I found myself thinking that ‘I do that’ but as yet I am not a Knitter.

  31. Unfortunately, your experience with mysogeny crosses gender lines, as obvious in the comment posted by Barbara at January 20, 2012 11:11 AM. A broad belittlement of men does nothing to resolve the problem. Enjoy your trip!

  32. I sure hope you’re going by car (not train). Wrangling that many bags would be tough (learned my lesson in the Athens airport). Have a great weekend with all those London (Ont.) knitters!

  33. Wow, that guy definitely needs to calibrate his internal clock. This ain’t the 50’s, sir. Sorry you had to deal with that, especially before coffee.
    But I find I must repeat, what’s a knitting belt? It sounds awesome.

  34. “Backward, turn backward, oh time in thy flight.
    I remember a comeback I needed last night!”
    Not original, but ain’t it the truth?!

  35. Knitting belt? Knitting belt? What – do you have SO MUCH YARN you need a “knitting belt” to lift it????? (Not a bad thing, mind you, but a bit boggling.) What, my dear, is a “knitting belt”?

  36. So from the start of your story I assumed you were flying and all i could think about was how much trouble you’d have with all those small bags — I guess you must be driving. Have a great weekend!
    Oh, and too bad Joe’s BIG suitcase wasn’t sitting in the hall too — would have balanced out appearances.

  37. I always travel with a tiny overhead compartment wheely suitcase. My boyfriend tries to outdo me by traveling with only a backpack. Then as our trip progresses he starts asking me to carry things he has purchased for as he has no room in his backpack.

  38. My packing for Squam last year (and I was just taking classes not teaching) was held in awe by some of my roomies. I had a duffel (my normal knitting bag) with a small amount of clothing and a nice tote bag with my knitting projects.

  39. My family (husband and two small children, ages 3 and 5) went away recently for a short weekend trip. My husband commented on how large my bag was and how long it was taking me to pack. Then I pointed out that while he was harrassing me I was busy packing for myself AND the children AND putting it all in one bag and he could shut the eff up and do it himself if he took issue with it.
    He’s normally not this clueless but his obliviousness in this area amazed me.

  40. I find misogyny and ignorance hard to face any time of day… They’re so disappointing!
    I know what a knitting belt is, but where did you get one?
    Also, how do you use dental floss in lace knitting?

  41. I’ll cast a vote for: “Would you say that if this was a pile of Joe’s sound equipment?” And the answer would be no, because I bet Joe’s sound equipment takes more space. I’ve helped sound guys pack.

  42. On my very first trip to Florida, Significant Other and I were getting out of the taxi at the airport and the driver made a comment about the large number of pieces luggage and women. I turned to him and said thank you, I can manage my own luggage. I picked up a medium size duffel bag (it was a 10 day trip) and turned on my heel and walked away. S/O was left explaining that all the luggage was his (garment bag, 2 duffels, a suitcase and a carry on or two). No longer my S/O but a very good friend, he is reminded of this from time to time when the conversation turns to women and how they overpack.
    Have a great trip – if you are driving, will there still be room for the other driver and her stuff (Denny?????)

  43. “Makeup and ballgowns” – love it! But like another poster said, if you really wanted to take those – why not?
    Keep pushing back at the stereotypes, Stephanie! It’s like my Dad, who occasionally asks me how my “pocketbook business” is going. He’s 80, so I’ll never change him.

  44. The man wasn’t trying to insult you. He just felt he had to comment and said the first thing that swam to the surface of his brain. That says enough about what sort of thoughts are swimming around in his brain to make me feel sorry for him.

  45. I picture you say, “No knits for you” in your best Soup Nazi voice. So sorry to hear that happened to you.
    What is a knitting belt??? Pics please!!

  46. I get wierd comments from men and women because I’m a male knitter. We need to dissolve gender stereotypes. It is ridiculous.

  47. I’m totally with you, once again. It’s how men get paid to be “chefs” and “textile artists” and women cook and clean and sew around the house and don’t get recognized for their work by being paid. (and I’m not even including child-rearing in that which, to me, would mean a mom should get paid 2-3 times the amount).
    I just have a teensy, itty bitty, quibble to make and it’s not an opposition to your point. Merely, the term “misogyny” might be a tad harsh. It means a hatred of women and I might offer that your male friend, while making a stereotypical comment, showed his ignorance, but certainly not hatred or even a dislike of the ladies and their work.
    That’s all. Sorry for the interruption. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

  48. Comments like that use to bother me terribly and I bled energy as I turned them over and over in my mind. After sharing my outrage over something said out of ignorance, the person I was talking to asked me why I would want to willingly wear someone else’s dirty underwear. After a few seconds, I was able to close my gaping mouth and then fell into a fit of laughter. Now when comments are made out of ignorance, I can shake them off with a twinkle in my eye as I envision daintly stepping out of a pair of tighty whities, boxers or panties and flinging them into the cosmos.

  49. We all watch your back for you. You should hear us talk about paying designers for work, or knitting as a dangerous sport. You inspire us. (and when we meet that dude… we WILL be ready.

  50. I completely sympathize! I, too, can never think of the clever comeback fast enough. Incidentally, my husband always packs more clothes than I do for trips, a fact that I happily remind him of when he decides to comment on how much yarn I am bringing.

  51. I (Sarah) read my husband (Steve) the blog and a couple of comments (Barbara’s for one).
    Here is his response:
    Regarding the nonsense spouses can conjure up concerning a knitter’s essential travel stash, I can’t resist a tongue in cheek comment.
    I strongly recommend the advantages of choosing a cello-playing partner. There is absolutely no end of wool that can be stuffed into a cello case, to say nothing of inside the cello itself. Thus when I and my spouse depart for Chamber Music Workshops where copious knitting projects are a must-have item, my case is always filled to the brim.
    This leaves her carrying only a modest 3-6 bags of her latest show and tell items and a few dozen emergency needles, but utilizes my somewhat reluctant self to carry the essential project knitting equipment that I would not be seen dead carrying in public.
    The true brilliance of this plan comes to light during the endless coaching sessions which are filled with all those otherwise totally wasted down-time moments during the many unproductive measures of rest in a typical viola part. To avoid boredom, she finds blissful relief by grabbing needles and yarn from my strategically placed cello case and sneaks a few artful stitches.
    So as not to disturb the other members of the string quartet, these are always perfectly in time with the music.

  52. My own technique is to fix the offender with a steely blue gaze and ask sweetly, “what exactly do you mean by that?”
    Odds are, he won’t even know; he was just filling empty air space with meaningless babble.

  53. After traveling across country in a Cessna 172 and waiting and waiting for weather so we could travel, my husband now asks “Do you have enough yarn?” and he’s not being snarky. On the 3 week boat trip, I knit him a sweater. And I never ask “when will we there?” so he is a happy man.

  54. What is a knitting belt? I’m picturing a Batman utility belt for Knitters, which is totally cool. I’d love some info and picture. All the best at work this weekend.

  55. Let me at him!!!!! I’ve reached new levels of assertiveness and the ability to “dress someone down” on the fly through chemo. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  56. Is it possible to copy this blog entry and email it to the unenlightened male in question? (Actually, my first response was, “AAARRGGHH!!”)

  57. Good thing I wasn’t there, or I would have opened a can of whoop ass on this individual. I have a lot of experience traveling and pack lighter than most people I know, including my husband. My issue now is that I’ve acquired a small child and while I try to pack light for her, there really is only so far you can go with that. I hate the “women can’t pack lightly thing” with a passion.

  58. You totally have to have this guy call my house. Just so that my honey can explain to him how knitting relates to sheet metal work (my honey is a tinknocker). Tools, math, science, proportion, gauge–all of it!
    And I’ve got to tell you, I never even had to explain it to him. He just started getting it the first time he saw me knitting.

  59. I have always packed a fair amount of “just in case” stuff, so from teen-hood got a lot of grief for it. I found the comments decreased when I started packing one very large bag. I have a rolling duffle I use and I can put my sleeping bag, pillow, a weeks worth of summer clothes, toiletries and some knitting in. I often take that and a back pack filled with purse type essentials and more knitting (that stays with me in car or plane). The people who can’t help commenting on mutliple bags tend to be impressed with one big bag. If I get a comment I say, “Yeah, it’s cool, isn’t it? I can even put my sleeping bag in it!” It doesn’t solve the real problem of why they care or need to comment, but I feel I have beat them at their own silly game. (Sometimes I put squishy fabric tote bags inside the big one to organize stuff, even.)

  60. We clearly need the email for the forementioned male acquaintance so we can deluge him with educational notes. I cant imagine anyone sayint this to Stephanie knowing what she does for her career… I am travelling to Peru in June, not to teach anything as Steph does, but I am already planning which knitting projects I am taking, which empty bag can bring back hopefully acquired textiles, and the clothes and things come last…

  61. Thank you, Anne, for the CPAP advice. MIB, I’m a a BMC grad too, class of 1978. And I so wish that I was going to this knitting workshop.
    And thank you Stephanie for your wit, humor, and knitterly wisdom.

  62. uunnngggggghhhhhhh! the never ending battle to elevate “what women do” to something of value.

  63. I looked up knitting belt. I have a small chatelaine belt with everything clipped on it BUT knitting needles. Brilliant! I used to used the rigid shaft when I still used the longer straight needles, but since I no longer like them, I got rid of the knitting sheath. I can walk and knit easily enough, except when I am walking our 2 dogs and then no knitting is possible.
    After hearing many of these clueless and insensitive remarks, I can go ballistic (as in zero to 60) in a nanosecond. It doesn’t matter that the words are coming from a new person each time. The current one gets the full weight of all those that went before. Retrieving my bloody tongue from between my teeth, I know the best response is a dismissive chortle. They read what they will into that response. My heart rate resumes its normal cadence and the world is safe once more.
    Love your posts!

  64. We will never overcome these things with men. I’ve just decided that they aren’t capable of comprehending all that we women do nor that we account for billions of dollars to the economy. Just smile and know you are far superior but he’ll never realize it. Sometimes I think it is like dealing with small, very small children. PattiO

  65. publish his email address, we’ll all be glad to let him know about women stuff and knitting as a profession.
    BTW does anybody else have a husband who b*tches about the size of your purse, but turns to you for a comb, dental floss, cough drops, tylenol, chapstick and last but not least pennies when you’re out and about together?

  66. And did the other wage earner in your family point out to this person that you were both leaving on business trips, with business paraphernalia? If not, why not?

  67. Just give him a little peck on the cheek and tell him “Thank you for that, but, I just made more money in 24 hrs than you do in a week and I don’t even think less of you!”

  68. Nothing to do with knitting, but I had a similar ‘gender-bias’ happening this last week. It had to do with golf. Men and women playing, but the women had to play off the men’s tee (much longer) because the men felt that the women had an unfair advantage playing off of their own tee. I’m still shaking my head….and I still don’t get it.

  69. I’m proud of you! It sounds as though your visitor still has all of his appendages.
    I’m off to google ‘knitting belt’.

  70. I wanted to say I bet he thought he was only being friendly with a lighthearted comment; then I went back and reread his actual words. Wow. Does he have any idea how insulting he sounded?
    By the way, I love Steve’s comment at 1:06–now where do I go find me a cello player?

  71. Does he not understand the sheer number of pointy sticks you can wield in the direction of his nads? No, violence is not the answer, but maybe it is when your head is exploding.

  72. I’ve thought about it and thought about it, and I just have to say this: I hope you will not let this go. Please tell this guy how offensive he was instead of just venting about it elsewhere. He won’t ever read this blog.
    You’re nicer than I am, with or without coffee. I might have banned him from my home right there.

  73. The worst thing about idle sexism is just that: it’s f*cking idle. Which makes trying to alter assumptions – opinions would be too active – so very difficult.
    Relish the repartee d’escalier, and have a terrific weekend. Wear the knitting belt with pride, whatever it may be.

  74. Um, Liz . . . Defending women against idly-applied stereotypes is not automatically male-bashing. I believe that male-bashing includes calling men names just because they’re men . . . not trying to point out to one of them that what he just did was really. not. accurate.

  75. This reminds me of a time when I was about halfway through my doctorate in music. My son was just 6 or 7 weeks old and I was accompanying part of another doctoral recital. After the performance in the reception line, I ran into someone I knew who asked how the baby was doing and then said, “So where have you been lately anyway?” I just stared at him dumbstruck. Now almost 6 years later I still don’t have a good comeback for him!

  76. wow- I sounded nasty in my earlier comment. I didn’t mean to cuz I am not like that! Poor guy, he should’ve had me for a mom.

  77. Just a note that it will be ironic to respond to this story with “MEN!” That, of course, is also a stereotype. I generally don’t care for being stereotyped, and I recognize this extends to how I view other people as well. Subbing the word “people” for “men” often takes care of things very nicely. After all, I am objecting to HOW I’m being treated, not who I’m being treated by — if that makes sense.
    I pack a lot not because I’m a woman but because I like to be prepared for various weather. I pack an umbrella, boots, layers. I do my best to double up the purposes of things.
    I even pack an empty spray bottle. Why? Because I spritz all my travel clothes, hang them up, and voila, wrinkle-free clothes. Totally worth it.
    Anyway. So what? How is it remotely useful to believe women do things a certain way? So you get to make a proclamation that is just as likely to offend someone? Great.
    And yes, I carry my own luggage.

  78. My husband used to make fun of me for how much I pack…until the Fall weekend we went to a rainy/cold/Seattle and he forgot to bring long pants. I use that against him every time now!

  79. I hope you’re not planning to FLY with that many bags. They’ll never let you on the plane!

  80. So, what do you use the dental floss for with your lace? Inquiring minds and all that. 🙂

  81. @ Anne at 11:09
    My husband is scared to death to check his CPAP because he is convinced that that is the first piece of his luggage that they will lose. He can replace his clothes on a trip, but he’d be toast without his CPAP.
    I can’t believe that guy had the nerve to say that. My husband knows better…partially because he packs fishing gear…ahem…more than my knitting. He also keeps throwing in “just in case” items when he packs, which makes him end up with more stuff than me.

  82. oh please, send the offending b@stard a link to this blog post.
    I just went on a trip and took too much stuff. However, it’s because I was packing 3 hours before my flight and not thinking straight. And why was I packing three hours before my flight? Because I had finished 4 loads of laundry, packed three lunches, washed dishes, folded and put away a couple loads of laundry and made sure the the Christmas tree was watered. And why was I doing this instead of packing? Because it was to cut down on all the work when I got back from the trip and would have all that had accumulated while I was gone PLUS my own stuff, which, in a fair, equitable world, should have been the only stuff (MY STUFF) that needed to be done upon my return.
    Oh, I am just so mad! And yes, I have the same stupid problem.

  83. oh please, send the offending b@stard a link to this blog post.
    I just went on a trip and took too much stuff. However, it’s because I was packing 3 hours before my flight and not thinking straight. And why was I packing three hours before my flight? Because I had finished 4 loads of laundry, packed three lunches, washed dishes, folded and put away a couple loads of laundry and made sure the the Christmas tree was watered. And why was I doing this instead of packing? Because it was to cut down on all the work when I got back from the trip and would have all that had accumulated while I was gone PLUS my own stuff, which, in a fair, equitable world, should have been the only stuff (MY STUFF) that needed to be done upon my return.
    Oh, I am just so mad! And yes, I have the same stupid problem of not being able to say what I think in a coherent fashion when the offending being is in front of me (because it’s not just men! though it often is).

  84. We’ve come a long way… that doesn’t mean we don’t still have a long way to go. Apparently this man doesn’t realize that knitting is your JOB, not your little hobby that you make some money at.
    I’m designing myself a tee-shirt. It says “I make a living fixing computers. This means that, while I’m as willing as the next person to offer a little advice, I will NOT fix your computer for free. If your computer is broken, talk to me about rates.”
    It’s probably a little much for a tee shirt, but it might stop that idiot at the coffee shop who is now snippy at me because I told him how much it would cost the last time he wanted me to look at his laptop.
    Obviously you need one for knitting.

  85. hey there steph, I am offended with you!
    also, wanted to tell you about drawing tablets (or a graphics tablet as wiki and apple call them)….they are the virtual giant conference pad. you plug the tablet into your laptop and it all gets projected just like your slides, etc and you can save the images you create in case you have a great one and want to reference in future classes, plus i think the tablets are the size of your laptop, not the size of giant conference pads – so easier transport.
    Wish i could come out to see you tonight in London!!!

  86. I prefer not to give ignorant people the power to personify misogyny. Facing a dumb dude before coffee is annoying, why elevate his status?

  87. That guy is one of the dumbest and yet he still walks around in the world proving women have great selfcontrol. Happy teaching and knitting your students are much blessed.

  88. Annalea – a lot of the above comments I was refering to were not about pointing out the error of his ways – they were name calling.

  89. “Boo, Hiss!” to the Misogynist! You should create a public blacklist of all people who never, ever deserve to receive high quality, hand-crafted items and put him at the top!

  90. What is a knitting belt? I’m picturing something like Batman’s utility belt, loaded down with needles and emergency yarn and maybe blocking wires.

  91. Thanks for the link to Carson – his blog is a treat. And thanks for standing up for all of us who travel for work (cuz that’s really what it comes down to, right?). I was really impressed when I saw just the bag that Judith had brought to the spinning class I took at MD S&W (filled with wheel, kate, massive fiber, etc). I was simply awed by her willingness to cart all that stuff just for us.

  92. Ah, life’s too short to worry about those that don’t get it, or should I say those that will never get it, no matter what your response was. If you’d said all that, he would have been thinking, “Gee, must be that time of the month.” We’re just lucky we have some people in our lives, the important ones, that do get it. Mostly.

  93. The myriad of thoughts and emotional responses that I just experienced reading the blog and its responses are way too numerous to address here, but the overall residing thought is WHY as there are enough of us fiber/related-equipment toting people out here, hasn’t some one of us (or an enterprising muggle) designed and marketed a reasonably priced “the perfect” traveling container for yarn and its accompanying paraphernalia so we don’t struggle with moving it around with us? In addition to all that I carrying for knitting, I also spin and am learning to weave on a small portable loom…what a boon an adaptable traveling system would be!

  94. noticing misogyny and patriarchy is weird. I usually don’t because I just don’t hang out with people who perpetuate it. Occasionally I run into a few well meaning zingers, like women asking me WTF all the childcare during the day falls on me even though I’m in school during the day. Well, the answer is that my husband has a very demanding full time job that provides our insurance and makes as much in a day as I do in two. Childcare is my job, simply put, because I’m not skillfully employable yet, not because I’m a woman. It’s weird to be defensive about and I hate it.

  95. And so I just returned from the first appointment of what will be 3 x a week for four weeks of physical therapy to try to repair my lower back from hauling two 50 pound bags around the United States and Canada, with all my teaching materials. I’m a handweaver and garment maker. And yes, my personal stuff fits in a little wheeled carry on that fits in the overhead bin on an airplane… I get it…

  96. Dear Stephanie,
    Have you tried using your iPad to draw pictures on? Instead of hauling the conference pad and markers, that is. There are some really nice apps (at least one) that let you draw (as well as mark-up pictures and pdfs) on your iPad, while projecting the screen onto a webpage. You do need the iPad and your computer hooked up to the same network, so this wouldn’t work in a venue without wireless. It may reduce your baggage!

  97. I confess I didn’t read all the comments today but I would like to point out that men usually only have very little stuff because they forget to pack everything else.
    My dear bf came to join me in NZ for two weeks and forgot towels, shampoo, deodorant and several other items. He did have an astronomical number of sock pairs and underwear…
    Cottage weekends? Same thing, if I don’t pack two towels he just takes mine and then its wet when I want to use it. Moral of the story I pack a lot, but I’m really packing for two.
    Note: In NZ this worked to my benefit because I filled up the space in his suitcase with fibre related souvenirs…

  98. What a jackass. I bet he gets hammered on Irish Cream like those losers at the airport. He does not deserve any hand-knitted items. By the way, is there a bra in your luggage? You didn’t mention packing one. Have a wonderful time!

  99. I can pack a weeks worth of stuff in a carry on. My husband packs a suitcase the size of a truck and weighs twice as much. And my knitting bag is everyones I need to put this in here Mom for some reason, which is why I have learned to pack my purse, put the essentials in the knitting bag and thus have most of my hands free. I have to admit when I was “selected for extra security” my 2 teenage sons were trying hard not to laugh. When I texted my eldest she was laughing hard I told them that Alpaca could be dangerous.

  100. Steph,
    That guy’s comment goes back to it’s roots in the “knitting is not real work after all” attitude. Just remember that. That outdated opinion still rings true for people just like the “why make socks when you can buy them at the store” montra. It’s all old hang over and seeps into the very reaches of people’s unconcious statements. We will only be of value to people once they cannot buy their socks at the store, or have no coats, hats scarves, mittens or anything else to keep them warm.

  101. when i went to mexico for a month of spanish classes, all of my clothes, toiletries and yarn and needles for two pairs of socks went into a wheeled carry-on, a tote bag and a medium-size purse.
    (i do admit that coming home, i also had a big duffle bag of texts, souvenirs, etc.)
    otoh, when i go to monthly meetings of a spinning/knitting group, i’m likely to have my ashford joy in a standard-size wheeled hays suitcase along with whatever fiber i plan to spin, plus a sock summit knitting bag holding wips, tools and a basket to hold fiber as i spin, plus a finished project or two that i want to show off.
    and the meetings are only four hours long.
    8- )

  102. Would love to hear about your projector (model? Like it?). I am shopping for one for a “girl’s weekend” I am teaching soon, and am having trouble narrowing down the choices. They all have equal feedback. I may resort to dart throwing.
    Haven’t packed my bags yet but I anticipate lots of makeup, ribbons, and high heels in my luggage. And a fashion magazine.

  103. Who cares? I’d say something that starts with F but I’m too polite, and anyway, you probably wouldn’t want to 😉

  104. Those of them who are afraid we might find them superfluous now that there are sperm banks should be more careful about their quips.

  105. yeah, me too. and now forget him. he is not worthy. besides, i bet he hasn’t sold as many books as you!

  106. It isn’t misogyny. That would be a hatred of women and I just don’t think a comment like that displays anything like a hatred of women.
    Stupidity, oh heavens yes. The comment displays vast stupidity and a distinct lack of manners, but not misogyny.
    What you really should have asked in return was “You aren’t very successful with women are you?”

  107. I once was working on a show that Martha Stewart was a frequent guest on. It was the Halloween episode, and the producers wanted me and another makeup artist to be airbrushing on the crew’s kids. you know, kitty faces, skulls, spiderman, that sort of thing. Now, I adored MS at the time. She came up to me afterwards and proceeded to lecture me on the dangers and evils of airbrushing, especially around children. know what i thought to say, about 9 hours later? ‘minding your own business, it’s a good thing’

  108. Just went on a mini-vacation with my MIL, and we both spin, knit, and crochet. She was also teaching a craft program during our vacation. We filled an entire Dodge Durango with our wheels and ‘equipment’. We each had one non-craft bag, and our laptop cases. I love that non-crafty people just don’t get it.

  109. ….and it is the gender.
    i was a cubmaster and scoutmaster for gah, ack, err, 9 years…foreber. i packed ebery liddle ting because even at 18 years and all the possible merit badges in survival skills, the male says, oh, it’s going to be -15 tonight? (it’s the rocky mountains in february) so, i HAVE to bring a sleeping bag?
    (becuase you are making me…geez, what a nag).
    sorry, love ‘da boyz’, i have two, but sometimes you do just have to consider the from mars and from venus thing.
    (yes you have to bring the sleeping bag! do you think i LIKE calling search and rescue and explaining to your ma why you have no fingers left?)
    (yes, female scoutmaster cuz the dads were working, my hubby was along, but not the other dads)

  110. #1. Golf bag is an excellent idea, just pack the needles at the opening of the travel bag so they don’t dismantle it to find “the weapons”
    #2 Ladies, we all carry a very effective weapon with us at all times….I say “ex cuuuuuse me” and give them my mom stare that I give my kids in public places. Also gives me more courage to verbally set them straight.

  111. Wow, thanks for reaching out to 311Toronto! I am one of the voices at the other end of that phone – and I read your blog every day – it helps me to laugh and stay smiling and pleasant for all my callers!

  112. Thank you for the 4th para from the end, which is what I plan to use, in various forms, when such sweeping generalizations are stated to me. Safe travels, and I hope all your luggage remains intact and with you.

  113. Would it be easier to e-mail master handouts to your venue and have someone else print them? Also, I agree with Needles @ 8:11 pm. You need to practice doing your “Mrs. Cosby” and your Mom Glare. Have a good weekend teaching.

  114. I am going on a 7-day cruise this summer and I am already worried about what projects I will take! Read your blog to my boyfriend and said “see it’s not me, it’s the knitting!” But, alas, I do tend to overpack other things too!
    Off to find out what a knitting belt is, just from the sound of it I am pretty sure I need one!

  115. Re: the comment by Amy in StL at 11:21 am — there is also the other side of the coin. Women just don’t understand men.
    Speaking as a male knitter, a male reader of our beloved Harlot’s blog, and a male who grew up during the women’s lib movement of the ’70s — some of you gals are awfully chauvinistic!
    I could barely travel for the same amount of time as Stephanie is using only one carry-on for my personal stuff. I wouldn’t have jammies in there (don’t use ’em). However, toiletries, prescription meds, the camera, a book or two to read, an extra pair of shoes (helps prevent athlete’s foot if you switch from day to day), noise-canceling headphones (for the flight), and so forth would have the bag stuffed to bulging. I would not be able to bring any souvenirs or other purchases (can we say stash?) home with me. I’d have to mail or ship them, instead.
    Just one or two days longer, and I would need a second bag I’d probably have to check. Although that would allow room in the carry-on for purchases. . .;-)!
    Steph, an idea for Joe’s b-day or Father’s Day or other gift-giving occasion: It may take a bit of hunting, but you can find good-quality roller-based carry-on bags for less than $100 US. Look in places like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, the warehouse clubs, etc. Or, look in the bargain basements or clearance sales of department stores in about the same price range as The Bay. One of his own may reduce a bit of the wrong kind of marital friction when you are both traveling. To induce the good kind of marital friction, keep taking your top off.

  116. Sadly my friend is sick.
    Happily she gave me her ticket to Saturday’s workshop.
    So… I get to be part of the girls’ weekend.
    Wonder what your male friend would think of the mountain of stuff I haul every day as a teacher??
    [Roller crate, laptop bag, various other bags depending on the daily schedule, this week extra bags with technology for teaching…. ]
    Yep, must be girl stuff.

  117. re: your tweet about projector connection.
    Not sure but this works in Windows (yeah, I know!). Right click on screen and go to Graphics options. Might recognize and link the devices through those menus.

  118. When I went to the Haliburton School of Art and took a basketry course with a famous artist my husband called it “craft camp”. I have never let him forget it – ever.

  119. I got home from your talk and promptly told my DH everything I could remember verbatim. Kind of like downloading it straight to his brain. Thank you for an excellent, inspiring evening, for signing both my book and knitting journal (“Obsession is normal”) and for being all around awesome.

  120. Knitting belt? Guy or Gal, non-knitters are just oblivious to this alternative universe of creavity, humming away in their presence. Safe travels.

  121. Have a quote from the internet pegged to my file cabinet: “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.”
    Don’t know where I found it, so can’t give you the ‘who said it’. Just know that it gets me through a LOT of nonsense. Paula

  122. Someone has obviously never heard the “You have two eyes, I have two needles (or in the case of circs, two pointy ends)” snark.
    You have a huge amount of restraint. Sounds like a lovely knitterly weekend!

  123. Please, please – what is a knitting belt.
    It’s pleasing to know that aforesaid male aquaintance will never, ever receive a handknitted item from you or probably anyone else. Someone that insecure doesn’t deserve them.

  124. Well, there are times when “male” truly is a four-letter word. But, using Joe as an example, not all of them are. My “Joe-equivalent” is a keeper, too, after 33 years of marriage.
    And there are the s-l-o-w learners amongst us, like your dear friend of the luggage comment. I’m old enough to have heard that **** a generation and more ago. I got my college degree in 1969 – in geology. From a prestigious women’s college on the East Coast that was across the street from a prestigious men’s college (they went co-ed). A female geologist! Didn’t I know that you had to have on-board testosterone generators to be a geologist??? I could give gory examples from my “career”, but I’ll leave it to your imagination. Just remember, it WAS that bad back then and it IS better now. But it isn’t all gone, no not by a long shot.
    Keep fighting the good fight.

  125. Not for all the money in the world would I want to be in Joe’s shoes when you get home.
    And he deserves it.
    Nancy P

  126. Wow! What a huge waste of energy about a thoughtless remark. Save the word “misogynous” for the truly bad guys. If this guy really were, think of the rush and empowerment he would gain if he knew that one little remark of his could piss off so many women! He wins!
    If on the other hand he’s just clueless (most likely), any snappy zinger, then or later, would sail right over his head. He doesn’t care. It’s not a perfect world. Put on your big girl panties. Ignore the minor stuff (which this certainly is) and save you energy for fighting the major stuff and use the time left for the important stuff – family, friends and knitting!

  127. I simply find it telling that he was not described as a friend, but as an “acquaintance.” Le mot juste.

  128. After quite so many questions asking what a knitting belt is, doesn’t it occur to more than one person to look it up somewhere?

  129. My husband builds robots (for fun. He helps the local high school students build robots.) He started carrying parts around in his pockets to fiddle with when waiting in line, or at a restaurant. He says if I can take my knitting, he can take hunks of metal.
    That’s o.k. as long as he doesn’t ask me to carry the heavy stuff. Which is my point. The amount of boxes and boxes of parts and metal things is astounding. All for a weekend build session. It’s like what you or Franklin take, except heavy.
    I go with him, to help out. And at the end of loading the truck, he’s always muttering about taking up knitting – it’s lighter and squishier.

  130. Don’t feel bad about not having the comeback line. Have you seen the movie ‘You’ve Got Mail’? If not, I highly recommend it. Meg Ryan’s character has the same problem. She struggles to have the comeback line, and when she is finally able to ‘zing’ the person who insults her, she feels even worse for her ‘zing’ than for the insult she received. So, not having a quick comeback is not always a bad thing.
    I hope you are having a fabulous time in London and that weather is good for travelling.
    Love your posts! Keep writing, and please come to Peterborough sometime 🙂

  131. No need to get so mad. You’re the one on the NYT bestseller list, not him. Just remember that. All this stuff, being a well prepared teacher, is what it took to get you there. If he’s a jerk, that’s his problem. I’ll bet he could not put on a sock summit. Not in a million years. And just because you are working/teaching, is no reason not to enjoy the weekend. Please enjoy your great teaching weekend. Your students are going to love you.
    Julie in San Diego, where we think it’s winter and cold. After all, it might rain tomorrow.

  132. I have no leg to stand on as I’m a chronic over packer, (but I might want this…and if the weather gets cooler….and these shoes will go with that…..) However considering we purchase our vehicles based on their ability to carry 3 people and a drum kit I never hear comments.
    On other folks and the more women occupied job pursuits. I work in the production end of the Fashion trade and if anyone starts talking about how fluffy a job it is I inquire how long they’d last naked in the winter.
    I googled knitting belt (I admit the “Batman” utility belt concept popped into my head too) what I want to know is why dental floss is handy when knitting lace.
    I think the dude thought he was being cute, I also assume he’s single.

  133. I forgot to mention. We dragged our xmas tree down to the curb @ 5AM Thursday morning and it, our garbage and recycling was all gone by 7AM. This is normal for the garbage/recycling, I was impressed the tree was gone too. I expected it to be there for a day or 2 even though it was the scheduled pick up day for it, and yes I live in Toronto.

  134. If it weren’t for their greater upper body strength and their penises, I’d not keep any men around. You should see when my friend Evelyn goes to teach a bobbin lace class (google Fine Threads in VT – the woman is a legitimate goddess) she fills her entire mini van
    A knitting belt? Is this like Batman’s utility belt? I needs a photo please!

  135. Steph, the French have a phrase for thinking of the perfect rejoinder hours later: esprit de l’escalier, staircase wit. Perfect!
    I do wish you had said “you must have a lot of free time”

  136. I sure hope you are driving to your teaching weekend! I’d hate to think of you going through the airport with all that stuff! Plus the “extra bag” expense!

  137. I’d say he just volunteered to be Carson’s next human spine. ; )
    L’esprit d’escalier.. I know it well. The immediate reaction to physical violence takes a lot of concentration to control, so you don’t have any brain power left over for witty repartee.

  138. KathyC says: ” The next time something like this happens, just say something like, “I don’t appreciate that comment.” Explain if they ask you to explain, and forget it if they don’t. I try not to obsess and give people any more power over my life than they should have.”
    That statement is Completely Full of Win. As is the rest of your post.

  139. You really piqued my curiosity with your “knitting belt” comment. Now, in reality, I knit slowly, and with difficulty, lol, but I love all the accoutrements! And I found a knitting belt available for sale that is tempting me. However, for now I am resisting, because I am not a pro. I can barely knit with two hands, I am in awe of our predecessors who could knit one-handed while walking, cooking, and carrying a load home.

  140. Isn’t that guy’s attitude about knitting just an extension of how some men view women’s housework, cooking, etc. in the home as just ‘women’s work’ without real value? This thinking also encompasses many occupations that are held by women most commonly, such as waitress, grade school teachers, home health aides, and daycare workers. These same men seem to see these occupations as ‘easy’ compared to whatever job they hold.

  141. You know, I have the same issue with never being able to spit out that witty, pithy, insanely illuminating response. So when I do come up with the answer at 3am, I try to remember it for next time. Can you guess how often ‘next time’ shows up?

  142. I totally *totally* ToTaLlY get this. How many times have I been in a situation where some guy has completely belittled/insulted/dismissed me and was completely oblivious to the offense? And you walk away feeling like you’ve been patted on the head, or chucked under the chin, when you’ve just been told the equivalent of that my M.S. in Biochemistry is “cute”, but not the type of real science I should worry my pretty little head about. Or so many other similar comments, and the offender has no idea how his words have betrayed an attitude he doesn’t even know he has, or worse, that it is offensive!
    So, don’t worry about not coming up with the right response at the time, because he likely wouldn’t have understood what you were talking about (and if he had the EQ to perceive your pique, may have decided you were only b*tchy because you had PMS!). Ack!!!!!

  143. what about when Im watching tv, and there are demonstrations for wrinkle cream where only the wife uses it(I guess it’s ok for men to be crinkly but a sin if the wife is), or a commercial for some childrens vitamen or something.. “98 percent of mothers agree, or moms know that you should use this product”…WHAT ABOUT DADS? Are men not supposed to care about stuff like that?! C’mon! I got into a fight with 2 men at work last weekend because they were saying that that basketball-player dude who was accused of rape couldn’t possibly have done it because any man who has loads of money could never be a rapist because he “could just buy whatever woman he wants”. ..frownyface.

  144. Ugh and grr 🙁
    I think flames would’ve shot out of my ears.
    On another note – may I ask what a knitting belt is??

  145. Slightly off topic but:
    After watching my father (an engineer) and my mother (a scientist) as well a variety of other persons, male and female, pack for professional meetings, I have concluded that women often do pack more than men, not because of some bullshit sexist ‘reason’, but because to dress ‘appropriately’ they have to.
    For a week-long meeting, a man might bring two or three pairs of slacks, and a couple of nice shirts and maybe a sports coat and a tie if the meeting is on the fancy side (and, of course underwear etc.). On the other hand, a woman going to the *same week-long meeting* would have to bring, say, three dresses, two skirts, two pairs of kakis, five shirts, a few sweaters and perhaps a scarf or two. Just to get taken seriously as a professional women.
    Think that I’m going to call bullshit on society right here.

  146. I’m separated from my husband, but one thing I Have to say about him, he packed as much as I did as almost as much. One time we went camping and had to take two cars, one with a storage trailer. We take everything!
    Also, dental floss works great if you’re on a plane and forgot a cutting instrument. Works great for cutting yarn and the airlines doesn’t take floss away from you. Also, for holding stitches, I like to use 1/8th inch satin ribbon. I think it’s easier to pick up the stitches.
    I still get comments when I say I’m a Knitter and people say, Oh, I have to get a hobby, too, or I don’t have spare time to knit. Would you ever say that to a doctor? I don’t think so.

  147. Also, this brought to mind the movie, Tootsie, with Dustin Hoffman and Jessica Lange. A very smart funny movie.

  148. The last 3 times that my husband and I have flown somewhere, my bag has been more than 10 pounds under the weight limit. My husband’s bag has been a little over and he has had to quickly transfer some of his stuff in to my bag. I have offically told my family that I never want to hear a joke about how Mom doesn’t know how to travel lightly again!

  149. Ah, some people just don’t get it. It’s really frustrating to have your work devalued and it’s really hard to let that go … not quite sure where to go with that, though.
    However, for packing and luggage: as a Canuck you have access to a truly awesome invention – the wheeled hockey bag. You can fit an AMAZING amount of gear in a hockey bag (especially a goalie bag). The ones for kids are sized to be manageable by a person of not-over-large-proportions and still hold a lot. Some have pockets on the outside (for skates & pucks & water bottle), all open very wide once the zippers are fully opened, making access to contents easy.
    Hmm, I think my son’s junior bag might still be in the basement … I should get it out and repurpose it for travel and fibre conferences! The wheels are the key. Lugging one of those things on your shoulder gives you bruises that look like hickeys (don’t ask me how I know this).

  150. Let’s not forget those of us that stay home with our 5yr old are really just lazing about . Because we all know that stay at home moms do nothing ! Men have no clue! Today I was told that my knitting is a huge waste! I could be doing something constructive with my time !! What??!?!?! Ladies I actually blacked out!!! I let loose,I’m told, but can’t remember a word. I actually blacked out from fury. Still angry!

  151. Male acquaintance? I’m glad you’re not describing him as a friend. Just make sure he never darkens your door again..
    Actually, last time I heard something of that ilk against knitting, it was by a woman. But I digress. It never hurts to laugh and say ‘wow, a real live fossil from the 50s eh?’. Then he’ll have an idea of why he’s never invited to your house again, and you don’t have to explain, plus it covers most circumstances of casual sexism. You know it’s going to come up, it doesn’t hurt to be a bit prepared for the times when the muse doesn’t strike at the right time.

  152. Now might be a good time to remind you and that gentleman caller that knitting needles can very easily be turned into weapons.

  153. I hope you have a great trip and enjoyable class!
    My sweetie and his brother once made a comment about my knitting (and they both know how to knit) one day… I grabbed my pair of size 50 needles and warned them that they would make excellent weapons. No comments since! 😉

  154. This man’s comment would have rolled off my back. There are so many worse things to be concerned with in life. It was just a clueless (not mean-spirited) statement on his part. Not worth my time. Certainly not worth hurting his feelings with a barbed comeback. Let it go.

  155. My Mom has the perfect saying that would SO apply to this situation: “An empty can makes the most noise!” This “dude” made himself look like a brainless, thoughtless idiot without any help from anyone else. ‘Nuff said!

  156. There is no amount of coffee or any time of day or night which allows me to handle misogyny gracefully. Still, I am so taken back, I blurt and sputter odd things. After all, it is 2012!
    I, too, want to know about your knitters belt and dental floss with lace. They sound like very practical solutions.

  157. Just an FYI, Jan 21 was national squirrel appreciation day here in the US. Thought you might feel the need to send a letter in protest, given the snatching and other squirrel shenanigans that you were subjected to.

  158. I think the male acquaintance and you need to have a little sit-down to explain that a teacher doesn’t go anywhere without all the appropriate tools and materials needed and that what he said made you feel insulted. Would he have said the same thing to a male sales rep who was taking all of his samples to a trade show?

  159. My stepmom once gave me a coffee mug that read, “This mug is full of scalding hot coffee. If you make a sexist remark to me, I will spill it on your crotch. Have a nice day.” Always good to have a mug that has a comeback at the ready.

  160. Don’t forget to put your shirt back on before you leave the house and maybe put one in your small bag. 🙂

  161. HA! You should send that guy to my house. When my husband and I are going anywhere he brings WAAAAY more stuff than I do. But then, I suppose your acquaintance would just figure he had my stuff in his bags. Is it possible though that he knew the real deal but was just pulling your chain to make you crazy? I have friends who do that to me sometimes.

  162. Stephanie, the workshops were awesome and I learned so much. Thanks for holding my sock and letting all of us fondle your beautiful shawls. I feel privileged to have been part of your “girl’s weekend.”

  163. Print out this blog post with all of the comments (in a day or two because you’ll accumulate more) and mail it to him. Or send him the direct link.
    And when traveling with men, even if you’re taking more stuff than them, how many times is there something you took that they ultimately need? Antihistamine at 2AM is welcomed, even when they teased you about what you packed. And the flashlight when the power goes out. And the cell charger they didn’t think to take.

  164. I find that a clearly spoken and decisive “F.O.” shifts the conversation onto my playing field, and while my opponent is sputtering, i can get my wits about me.
    It won’t do any damn good, but at least you’ve said something, and enough straws will break a camel’s back.

  165. As a very wise person once told me, you can’t debate with stupidity. The perfect response usually comes to me at 3 in the (next) morning…
    As an aside, and pleading total ignorance of the appropriate geography, I’m presuming you were able to drive to the teaching weekend. First thought, when reading your post, was that you’d never make it onto the plane with the number of packages involved – or at least, had racked up a queen’s ransom in baggage fees.

  166. If I’m traveling anywhere, it’s to vend at a show, and I’ve got an entire extended cargo van full of yarn, fiber, wearable art, gridwall, hooks, lights, and everything else I need for my booth. My clothes and toiletries fit in a backpack. I’m going there so I can work 10-12 hour days.
    The problem with stupid people is that they’re stupid.

  167. I admire your restraint, Ms McPhee. Dude be douchetastic.
    However, &this is admittedly tangential, how is it that nobody knows what a knitting belt is?
    Were primarily used when production knitting was done by hand knitters in N. England & Scotland. However, totes useful when knitting on DPNs on-the-go. I want to know where you got yours, I’ve always had to improvise mine!

  168. I’m sure you gave an instinctively withering look that did a better job of schooling him than you know.

  169. Dear Stephanie,
    I love you and I love everything that you write!
    1) re; taking off your shirt to win the suitcases… you are such a harlot : O
    2) I’m totally with you on the not responding in the moment biz & your response (albeit a little late) was PERFECT!
    Have a fabulous trip ; )

  170. I attended your talk this weekend past in Arva and just want to say thanks. It was fascinating, inspiring and validating as a knitter. (also I’m really sorry about the total nerdiness that kicked in when I said hello before your lecture. I’m really glad I didn’t mess up your “game”. You’re lecture was fantastic.)

  171. To everyone who thinks Stephanie was over-reacting, or that there are ‘real’ issues to get hot under the collar about – I respectfully disagree. This undercurrent of sexism and sex-based assumptions underlies much of daily to-and-fro life. It will only EVER change if people who are rightfully pissed off about it, challenge it. Stephanie, I’m glad he’s not a friend. Is there any way of letting him know that this is your career and not merely a cute womanish diversion that makes you pack loads because ooohh! you’re just a woman and women have no spatial sense when it comes to packing for a trip?

  172. I vote for a follow-up chat as well. What does this guy do for a living? Does he only need a laptop to do it, or is there a whole building of people and equipment that lets him get his job done?
    I’m currently blessed with a boyfriend who let me move in with all my craft stuff (yarn, fabric, beads) and no longer makes remarks about what I pack for trips, after I explained my logic (I get bored easily, hence multiple projects). Creative people get it – others need it explained to them.

  173. I read all of your books and enjoy them completely. I am usually laughing outloud, sitting by myself and looking pretty silly. In one of your earlier books you had a chapter about a woman who was no longer able to knit for medical reasons. That chapter brought tears to my eyes. I am now reading All Wound Up and have to thank you for helping me get through two very long days of jury duty. I was hysterical at the chapter where you continually cast on and ripped out stitches because I have been there too. But I really want to comment on the chapter about your no knitting time. I have been there too and was not aware of the reason that knitting wasn’t being theraputic. Thank you for answering that question for me. And I too am thankfully back to the place in my life where knitting helps keep me sane. Please keep writing, I love your style.

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