Airport Writer

I feel like I only write in airports now. I actually feel a little like my world is big and small at the same time.  I move from place to place, and the geography is big and I know it’s a new place because the weather changes, and the people change, and the bookstore changes – but mostly it’s a blur of airports, hotels and bookstores, and I’ve started rating the hotel by how comfortable the bed is.  (I’ve noticed a correlation between how much I want to stay in a bed, and how long I’m able to do so.  Last night’s bed was the nicest of the tour so far. It was perfect, totally perfect. Fluffy pillows – but not too fluffy, soft bed, crisp sheets, and I lay down in that glorious thing and slept in it for five hours. I just about wept when I had to climb out of it.) I’m in the Saint Louis airport, headed for Boston. (Can’t wait to see some of you at Brookline Booksmith tonight.)  I’m sitting near the gate under a sign that says “Lambert Airport – like no place else” and I have to tell you, I’m having trouble seeing the unique nature of the place.  Airports really don’t have a lot of personality, if you know what I mean. Sometimes I can only tell where I am by what the tee-shirts in the gift shop say. (These ones say Saint Louis Est. 1764.)

I can tell you, that while I can only tell the hotels apart by the beds and the airports by the tee-shirts, the bookstores are another matter. While it might look like just a group of readers to you, I can tell them apart by the flavour of weird that shows up.  Everybody’s weird in their own way, and I’m flattered that so much weird shows up at the signings. I figure it means you’re all comfortable – and likely that you’ve decided I’m weird enough to handle it, which I totally think I am. The Saint Louis weird?

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Teams. Knitters in groups. Doing things together.  First up, let me show you these guys.  That’s Heather and Peter, and Rachel and Josh.

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They’re all knitters, the whole lot of them, and their planning a double wedding in a while that is going to be super heavy on the handknits, and is just about the cutest thing I’ve ever heard of.  Four knitters – one wedding.  Imagine that. (I hope some sort of prenuptial agreement has been made for the stash. I always wonder how that works when both spouses are knitters.)

Then, just when I’d gotten my head around the idea of an all knitter double wedding (and sort of planned their centrepieces in my head – double knitting figured largely, because how could it not…) up turned this lot.

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That’s Mason, Megan and Carrie, and yup. They’re all knitting the same blanket, but here’s the thing.  They’re representatives of a larger group. EIGHT of them are knitting this blanket.  Eight of them. I’m pretty sure it’s Shelly’s Sock yarn blanket (do you remember when Shelly first showed up on the blog?)  It’s like there was a viral outbreak of blanket and it’s running unchecked through Saint Louis. I don’t know whether to clap my hands out of sheer joy or call the CDC.  (Mason had a baggie of mini-skeins in his bag that was just labeled “blankie food”.  I desperately want security somewhere to search him just so he has to explain.)

Ok.  I’m off. They’re calling my flight, and if I can stay awake on it, this will be the one where I finish one pair of socks and start the next. Very exciting.  See you in Boston.

95 thoughts on “Airport Writer

  1. All that travelling, and you can figure out where you are by the flavour of weird that shows up? LOL, that kills me.
    Thanks for starting my morning with a laugh once again.
    Blankie food….that would be interesting to hear an explanation on that. Hope you’re having a great time.

  2. I check your blog first thing each morning in hopes you’ve posted. I love your sense of humor and writing. Feel like I know you. Your knitting, of course, looks perfect to me. Thank you for brightening my day.

  3. Oh how I wish there was a Southern leg on this book tour! I would so be in that crowd of happy knitters looking back at you! The sock is lovely, the weird is lovely, your writing is amazing.

  4. Loving your tour of America (but wondering why you don’t seem to do the same sort of thing north of the border). Wish I could see Brookline, ’cause Twist Collective named one of my designs after it but I’ve never been there. Be glad you’re not in ON just now. We’re under a winter storm warning and , uh oh, I just looked out the window and the first flurries have arrived.

  5. My husband and I have a shared stash (I learnt to knit and he learnt to crochet, now we both do both). We work on the basis that any yarn not bought for a particular project is up for grabs, keeps it simple! Fortunately I knit more than he does which means I get to use more yarn!

    Looking longingly at your tour list and wished it came to the UK. Maybe next time?

    • That’s my group up top. We are not getting married for another year, but I can assure you dipping into someone’s stash without permission will be grounds for divorce! 😉

  6. I am a fairly new follower to your blog. I stumbled across it a year or so ago and then recently rediscovered it. I have to confess, however, that I am not a knitter – YET. I can crochet but have mastered only 1 scarf pattern so far. It’s easy, calming, and I make them for donating, so no big deal. Knitting is on my bucket list. Started your new book last Saturday; laughed so hard my 16yo son came out of his cave to make sure I was okay. Thank you for sharing yourself with the world!

    • Hey, we crocheters have the right to enjoy Stephanie’s blog and books, too! I will get back to learning knitting after I no longer have parents in two different assisted living facilities and once again have something called an attention span.

      • Ah, the poor parents. When mine were in that situation, I think I had to stop knitting altogether – there was just no time or energy. My sympathies.

  7. I love seeing all your stories and photos from the places you visit on the book tours! I’m hopeful that you will make your way to the Houston or Austin area.

  8. I’m enthralled with your book-I had it delivered instantly to my kindle. Your writing, and the way it transports me, whether to the Dominican Republic’s “dentist” office or face up, bleeding on a seldom traveled path is superb. I too have a fun sister. Three in fact. I’m the cautious one too-so much that can go wrong! Why does no one else see it?! I am waiting to hear the bookstore reaction to your stellar turnouts-each place looks packed with admirers. And of course the comment chorus’ of “I wish you were coming near us!” must be heartily gratifying. We are all crazy about you Stephanie. And all a bit weird too.

  9. Read this during class and had to bite my tongue super hard to keep from giggling out loud. As it was I am pretty sure the teacher thought I was having a stroke for a second.

    • A hint from a teacher who is a spouse and a mother of teachers – sometimes teachers notice students who aren’t paying attention (because they are reading blogs in class) and quietly drop in a point that will be on the test – just for the people who are actually listening.

      • Another “See you tonight”! Myself and knitting hubbie will be showing up in Boston this time (last time it was LA)!

      • I’m the only student in the class (it’s online video chat) so sometimes the one-on-one attention gets a little intense and I just need to take a small mental break. Don’t worry, it’s never for very long, it is much harder to drift off in a class where you are in an 8 hour long conversation with the instructor:)

  10. Safe travel and I can’t wait to see you tonight in Boston. This will be my third Harlot sighting in Boston – the first was at the St. James Episcopal Church in Cambridge -such a beautiful space, but I was too in awe of you and so new to knitting, that I didn’t say hi. Maybe this time, as I’m knitting socks! With sock yarn! Somehow I’m managing two at a time two up. I’ll be the one blushing, wiping tears from my eyes from laughing, and sitting next to the loudest honking, cackling laugher in the bunch.

  11. I’ll add another “Can’t wait to see you tonight!” to the list. And thanks for coming here on our regularly scheduled knit night – just had to get the group to move 25 miles south to attend. HOORAY!

  12. Hi Stephanie–
    Thank you every so much for visiting with us and St Lou last night. I hope you got something yummy and veggie to eat after all and glad to hear the bed was lovely. I was just telling my coworker that it was all very fun and crowded and that the crowd tipped a little heavy on the weird side, et voila! it wasn’t just my imagination. Thank you for zeroing in on the weird to illustrate my point. 😉 Next time you come to STL, I am bringing you something hot, veggie, and delicious (with a slight splatter quotient) to eat while signing, a la David Sedaris.
    p.s. the tee shirts were to commemorate the 250th “birthday” of St Louis. Celebrations have just started gotten underway. Safe travels the rest of the way, and thanks again!

  13. I read the title as “Airport Winter”, which is exactly what is outside my window right now. Blizzard in March, if I were you, I’d stay out of this neck of the woods until Friday or so.

  14. Well, Steph, I have to say, I am lovin’ this tour and your perspective of each place. Lovin’ the weird, cause aren’t all knitters a little ‘twisted’? Hoping you will find more good beds and more hours to sleep in them.

  15. I had a wonderful time last night. I showed up by myself and also noticed that everyone else seemed to be in groups or at least pairs. It is a sign of my introverted nature that it didn’t occur to me to invite a friend, even a “regular” non-knitter.

  16. My daughter Ruth and I had a great time last night, thanks! We both really enjoyed your talk, and look forward to reading your newest book. I can’t help wondering what our group looked like to the people walking down the street, noticing a bunch of knitters in the window at Left Bank Books – I guess it was our unofficial KIP day in St. Louis! Hopefully it inspires someone else to try it. Good luck with the rest of your tour. Thanks again!

  17. I’m so excited to see other people making the sock-yarn blankie. I thought I was hopelessly out of step, knitting-wise…I brought mine to the San Francisco signing and the other knitters in the front row looked at it and went back to their knitting. I figured they thought..”oh not that again”. Love you, Steph!!

    • Helen, that blankie will never get old! I made one for my grandson’s birth (he’s now 15 months old) and loved every stitch. AND I made not one but TWO new friends by shamelessly begging yarn leftovers from complete strangers. I hope you’re having as much fun with it as I did.

      • I have been eyeing this blankie for years, and just trying to collect enough sock yarn scraps to make one. Then I start seeing other lovely ideas (I’m looking at you, Leftover Cowl!) for sock yarns…I just don’t know if I’ll be able save enough yarn.

  18. the two couples, but I hope someone helps Peter/Josh with his buttoning his shirt/tux correctly for the wedding. Must have been so giddy about seeing you! I really think it’s cool when guys show up with their knitting. They have no inhibitions about it. One of our lys developed an after school and summer school knitting course, because a bunch of boys – skaters/surfers will knit their own gloves,socks, beanies & scarves

    • Don’t worry, Josh wasn’t wandering around with his vest misbuttoned; you can’t tell from the picture, but he just left the last button undone and the right side corner got flipped under while he was sitting.

  19. My cousin, Mary Ann and I had a lovely time chatting with you and staying for the reading! Congratulations on another wonderful book, and thank you for including St. Louis in your travels. I’m kicking myself that I forgot the Local Microbrewery Irish Ale (O’Fallon Brewery) I wanted bring you! Next book tour I’ll do better! Knit on!

  20. I think you will finally be needing that winter coat you have been carrying around for the last week when you get to Boston.

    • not so much to get in, (currently 44F), but more to get out tomorrow. fortunately, we’re only expecting 1-3″ around the city.

  21. We loved your talk in Tempe – my knitting DH and I (he was the guy in the Madrona t-shirt). In re: the subject of knitting spouses – when he started knitting, I explained that there is NO community property in the stash. Sharing of the stash (particularly yarn in garment quantities) must be negotiated.

  22. Your title today has made the song “Paperback Writer” keep scrolling through my brain!
    Hoping my sis-in-law got a ticket to your Brookline evening, but not sure. Have fun in Boston!

  23. Another “See you tonight”! Myself and knitting hubbie will be showing up in Boston this time (last time it was LA)!

    We’re bringing goodies 🙂

  24. I was so hoping to see you tonight in Boston and show you my version of Brucie (like you saw in Portland). Alas, the weather always works against me when you’re in town. I guess you need to write another book, and go on tour in the summer 😉 Happy travels!

  25. Laughed soooo hard about the “flavor of weird”!!! Puleeeezzzeeee come to South Florida (Miami/Ft. Lauderdale/West Palm Beach area). I swear, we can produce weird down here like no where else!!

  26. Do you where there are crazier knitters? Cincinnati, that’s where! The Cincinnati airport is kinda unique, in that it’s actually in Kentucky, not Ohio. Or you can fly into Dayton, the birthplace of modern aviation ala the Wright Brothers. There’s a replica of their airplane hanging from the ceiling. As long as you’re there, have your publisher schedule a stop for you book tour. Cincinnati or Dayton, they’re the places to be!

  27. I can’t believe I got cut out of the picture! 🙁
    That’s my left arm there in the front row, though, proof that I was indeed there! Great fun and totally worth the 2 hour drive there and the 2 hour drive back. Please come again, Harlot!

    (I swear you could totally pull off the dread look, too. Just saying. The world needs more of us!) 🙂

  28. I wish I could make it to the Booksmith tonight! And I hope the crappy New England weather doesn’t mess with your travel plans!

  29. Rereading Shelly’s first appearance and suddenly having a fit of giggles. It was Krushchev who said it, right? “We. will. bury. you.” In sock yarn!

  30. After 5+ years of reading your blog, I am still a holdout non-knitter. Maybe some day. But, I do love your writing and your blog. This one was way cool — because of the way you put it together, and the people who joined you.

  31. I grew up in St. Louis and I know that airport well… for what it used to be. They’ve changed it a lot and the old charm is gone. I’m sorry you didn’t get to see it! I can’t wait to see you in Boston tonight though!! Safe travels!!!

  32. Thanks for keeping us updated. Weird, indeed. I resemble that remark. I do hope that you get a chance to breathe outdoor air while on this tour. (btw: Failing the human test can be pretty demoralizing)

  33. thanks for the Canadian-in-the-south and other true north tales last night. A treat. (I have a t-shirt that says “Canada. Like a whole other country”. It only makes sense down here, and only Canadians or those who live with us will get it. But it’s priceless). Reading about your eaaarly departure I’m guessing that the yogurt had to meet a sad end (down the drain?). But hang on to that granola. It will see you through most anything. Both totally veg. and organic, btw. And not a bit o’ bakin’ powder!

  34. So sorry to be missing you in Boston tonight–too many life commitments. But I have been loving the tour posts. Looking forward to the new book. The North Shore Yarn Crawl starts tomorrow–maybe some of the yarn shops will be carrying it.

  35. My husband does exactly the right amount of knitting. Enough that all of the Shetland Chunky is his stash (and I always remember to ask before using some), so I don’t have to find room for it. Not so much that any of my yarn is under threat. I just need to be creative about needles occasionally if he’s hogging the set I need.

    But I don’t really “do” stash. I have a February Lady Sweater’s worth of yarn that I don’t want to make a FLS out of anymore, and it’s stressing me out to have something that isn’t remnants in my stash.

  36. It was so much fun seeing you last night! Thank you for being so generous with your time and making us all laugh. And thanks for signing my friend’s book along with mine!

  37. Steph, concerned about your eating in airports and on the run. Check out St. Dalfour Bristro meals in a can?tin. They are great to travel with in the airplane, I know because they fit nicely in my carry on bag. Not sure if you can eat them, but check them out!

  38. Hi Stephanie! Been following you on your tour (vicariously, of course and not in a stalker-y kind of way..) Was all set to see you at the bookstore tonight in Brookline, but my wheelchair van broke down and will not run! Sorry, I will miss you! I was so looking forward to seeing you. Love your book! ( I have all of them!) Have a great time tonight and stay dry! You will need your coat here… 🙂

  39. Thank you so much for a side-splitting fun evening. Totally worth the drive. Hope the Harlot Preservation package helped get you through the night.
    May the rest of the tour go smoothly an soon you’ll be back in your own bed, snuggled up to Joe.

  40. An explanation why Lambert Field is important to us in the U.S. and those of us connected to aviation (and in no way to criticize your comment. And BTW, your newest book is on its way to join my library and the all the other books you have written…so looking forward to reading it!)

    Named for Albert Bond Lambert, an Olympic medalist and manufacturer of Listerine, the airport rose to international prominence in the 20th century, thanks to its association with Charles Lindbergh, its groundbreaking air traffic control, its status as the hub of Trans World Airlines, and its iconic terminal.

    That being said, being in/on/at a lot of various bookstores, hotels, planes and airports in a short period of time can wreak havoc on a person, and everything gets to look alike, taste the same, feel the same, etc., except for all the individuals who love and adore you, Steph, so enjoy all of them…you will be home and with family soon.

  41. I can tell you we are more normal on the other side of the state (Kansas City) -and better bar b q, but glad you had a soft bed anyway!

  42. For the record, it was not my intent to photo bomb the blankie trio… Sorry.

    What a fun night! Thanks for coming back to St Louis.

  43. Married knitters? I can tell you that Ravelry’s stash feature is a lifesaver here. If you are diligent about entering everything, then there can be no arguing over whose is what.

    That being said, our color and weight preferences make it pretty clear. I love earthy colors — she likes pinks and purples, I like tweeds — she hates them, I prefer sock to DK weight yarn — she loves lace and worsted.

    The best part about a knitting spouse is the vacationing! Who else can travel and build their plans around yarn crawls all over the world?

    AND when your spouse is also a knitter, you KNOW that if you were hit by a bus, that your carefully accrued stash will go to someone who will value what is there….

    Alternatively, you live with someone you can’t lie to about how much you spend on yarn…

    Happy travels!

  44. Logan airport is weird because you can buy live lobsters at Legal Seafood to take home. Actually, some of the terminals have decent food now – Cosi, Legal Seafood, Dunkins for your coffee fix.

    Safe travels in the morning! I hope you escape here before it freezes over.

  45. OMG, a sock yarn blanket!! I’m retiring in June and I say things like “I’m going to volunteer at the library” or “I’ll have more time to do church work” or ” I’ll practice the recorder more”. And my daughter says (best sarcastic voice), “You know you’ll just be reading and knitting more.” Yeah, babe, you know me all right! Safe journeys! Can’t wait to see the socks!

  46. Thank you so much for your postings from the tour. I’m in the UK & they have been waiting for me each morning to read on the train to work. I’ve been starting my day with a smile!

  47. I’m enjoying your reports from the road so very much. You’re pictures of the knitting community you meet make me tear up and feel full. You have written a touching and wonderful book. I bought a book and a copy for my e-reader as well. My husband enjoys your voice, channeled through my vocal chords, when I read snippets that he just must hear.

  48. I’ve just realized I’m following your posts this week like they’re the NORAD Santa Tracker (“She’s nearly here! She’s nearly here!”)

    See you on Saturday in Exton (aka Not-Really-Philadelphia). I wonder what flavour of weird we will be…

  49. Loving your tour updates! By the way, I was so excited to finally get the phone call today that my (i.e. yours) book had arrived (even though I had ordered it way back in February). May your pillows be ever more perfect and your beds ever more comfortable until you get home.

  50. I’m making the same blanket and I love the ‘Blankie Food’ bag. The description of ‘different kinds of weird’ is perfect! It’s like a unique flavor or little twist added to each place.

  51. Here we go again! First you lose your shawl (I still hope it will turn up) and today my “old faithful” hat has gone AWOL! It would be nice if our belongings did not go “walkabout”. Hope your day is going well. Maybe that will mean that your shawl will miraculously be found – I hope so!

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