Happy Birthday, to me

I don’t know if you guys know this about me, but a) today is my 46th birthday. b) I don’t work on my birthday.  This means that today I’ll be knitting with my feet up, and it falls to someone else to write the blog. I’ve asked lots of people to do it.   Ken did it in 2004.  My Mum did it in 2005. My daughters did it in 2006. My sister did it in 2012 – and today Jen’s doing it.  This landed in my inbox this  morning, and I love it, and she’s right. I am difficult.  The funny thing is that the older I get, the more that works for me, and the less I try to change it.  By the way if anyone was considering a Birthday gift? I don’t need anything for myself, but tiny donations add up and change the world, and that would be a nice thing.  I’m looking ahead to smashing my fundraising goal into a million pieces.  


Dear Steph,

Thanks for asking me to write your birthday blog this year.  I know you have high standards and expectations of people and so I am flattered that you asked me to step into your living room and tell my Steph story. I’ve had to think about which approach to take for a few days. There are so many – cloyingly lovey, sickeningly sweet and earnest, or the delicious roast.

We have been friends for a decade which in the grand scheme isn’t so long but in that decade you’ve gotten married, parented three kick ass girls into womanhood (and thus supplying me with a triumvirate of spectacular babysitters), wrote New York Times Bestsellers, learned how to ride a road bike and then rode it for ~6000 km; all the while introducing new perspectives and approaches to the age old act of knitting.  Don’t even get me started on your philanthropy local and abroad.

 Hold on….Marlowe just woke up.  
four 2013-08-07
These are all inspiring accomplishments and indicative of adventures that you have yet to embark upon in this long and short crazy life. No, what I love and deeply value most about you, and I’m not sure I should say this on The Blog but in the interest of living an honest true life I feel I must be real.

I love how difficult you are.
lyingdown 2013-08-06
As someone who has been described as “hell bent on finding ANY fight” having a friend with a similar propensity to refuse to lie down in the face of adversity has made life so much less lonely. Someone who when going through an incredible and terrifying life challenge checks in with her instincts hourly and refuses to compromise her moral and ethical position.  

By the way, I will take this opportunity to give you a mild correction to your beautiful post about me; you had every reason to worry and be afraid of the consequences of those decisions; it was a scary time and you were Tremendous.
doingitonthbluffs 2013-08-06
Maybe it’s a lifetime of learning how to live with your crippling inability to compromise your ethics and budge on your morals but your ability to solve problems that is breathtaking. It is a pleasure to work through a sticky situation with you I come out with a great solution and a broader perspective. The more difficult the problem, the more spectacular the resolution.

As a (caffeinated) riding partner you are charming and hilarious to a fault. You are the only person who, uncaffeinated, has a Jekyll/Hyde syndrome though.

I wouldn`t want to ride 60 through 75 km on a 100 km ride with anyone else (seriously never again without coffee.) I look forward to many more kilometres on the road, hours in raging debate and glasses of wine and coffee with you.
asspassive 2014-06-14
Happy Birthday Old Friend


110 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, to me

  1. Happy Birthday! Let’s especially celebrate the part where being difficult works better as time goes on. Harlot rocks!

  2. Happy Birthday! I hope you have a wonderful day filled with knitting and fresh cups of coffee brought to you at just the right time!

  3. Happy Birthday!!!! You make me laugh and think about about the important things in life. You deserve all your birthday wishes to come true.

  4. Lovely, Jen! Happy Birthday, Stephanie. The world is more filled with joy, love and laughter, and more of it is warmly wrapped in knitting, because of you!

  5. Happy Birthday, Steph! I’m so glad to have you(r blog) in my life – you make me laugh and think, both good things. Have a great day!

  6. Happy Birthday. Only overcooked pasta is never difficult (and even it sticks to the pot.) Difficult has many good points–you are challenging others who then have the chance to grow. (Or that’s one excuse I make for myself.) Clearly you have earned some good friends, too.

  7. Pingback: Happy Birthday, to me | Yarn Buyer

  8. Oh my, oh my, oh my! I saw it on FB and then saw it here. I read Jen’s post before it hit me. I have the same birthday as the Yarn Harlot!!! My birthday will never be the same again. Woohoo! So, Steph, happy birthday! May your day be filled with countless selfish indulgences and major relaxation. May your arms be buried up to your elbows in your favorite yarn in your favorite color. And we all know what color that is-ORANGE. :D:D Seriously, thanks for all the laughs and the depth you have added to all our knitting lives. Have a blessed day!

    ha! i fooled your blue circle. I wrote my comment, copied and then posted. :D:D

    • I love it….I have the same birthday as Stephanie and Bev E. finally found my “sisterhood.,” and it’s not with other piano teachers.

      • Nancy,
        It’s in the stars, we should get together for lunch with Stephanie. I wish. :D:D Too far scattered to follow up on the sisterhood, but we can still enjoy the idea of it. Hope you had a wonderful day.

  9. Happy Birthday Stephanie! Have a wonderful day, speedy knitting, great company and superb food and drink. It is a privilege to have met you, taken your classes, and read your books. You don’t spoon-feed directions, you challenge all of us to work things out, not only in knitting, but in life. Onward!!

  10. Happy birthday to both! What a wonderful tribute you both wrote to each other. Brought tears to my eyes and reminded me how precious friendship is. Yarnharlot, thank you for always writing a blog that makes me think AND feel good about my world.

  11. Well done, Jen!
    Happy Birthday, Steph, from someone who’s been described as “prickly” who truly appreciates your brand of “difficult!’
    AND, how fitting that World Wide Knit In Public (week) starts on your birthday this year!
    Thanks for your humor, your warm heart, and the gift of sharing your life with us!

  12. You share your birthday with my husband of 45 years. He too, is a difficult but wonderful person who sees a problem and fixes it, who works way harder than anyone should and who loves his family completely. Unfortunately we are waiting the results of a biopsy and I am soooo hoping he has no huge health problems to face. I knit thro’ this difficult period and read your blog for inspiration and joy. Thanks and happy birthday.

  13. Happy Birthday from Mom and I, Steph!!!!!

    By the way, we’re in total agreement on caffeinated coffee being the only decent coffee out there. Preferably Gevalia, but we’ll drink Starbuck’s too, especially if we’re out and mom’s had a long day at work. A friend of mine and I got her addicted to that, though Sam got me addicted first. Our current summertime favorite: Java Chip Frappacinos. Nice and cold and damn tasty.

  14. Hope you are having a rockin’ birthday. You’ve probably moved on from the coffee to the wine by now.
    Enjoy your day!

  15. Holy Cable Stephanie!
    I went back and read the tribute birthday blogs. You are truly loved and have a wonderful world of family and friends. How about this? I don’t think he would consent but just imagine if Joe would write one! The things that man could share!!
    Maybe not.
    Happy happy birthday Stephanie. I wish everyone would highly value their family, not make money the great Thing, do hard things like bike rallies to help others, and seemingly host dinners for every occasion.
    Enjoy your day and year.

  16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!! Mine was yesterday…44. I hope that you enjoy as much or more than I did! Thank you for all the inspiration you give us every day. May you be blessed for all you do.

  17. Happy Birthday to the knitter who can make us all laugh, cry and reach deep into our souls (not to mention our pocket books!). My birthday gift to you, Stephanie, is a donation to Jamie McDonald. I figured he could use a little help catching up to the rest of Psyclopath crew and I knew you wouldn’t mind.

  18. I think that most geminis are difficult in some way. You inspire me to continue being difficult for all of the honorable reasons my dad taught me to be. Always trying to give better than was given to me. My fight is for veterans like my dad and my son, and for others who live in pain to find goodness from and in spite it. I hope that someday I can thank you in person for helping me through some of the more complicated and painful days with your view on life. Again, happy birthday

  19. Happy birthday to us, ’cause it’s my birthday today too. 🙂 I like sharing my birthday with you! I think it might make me vicariously a better knitter? LOL Hope you have a great day, Stephanie.

  20. Happy Birthday Stephanie!n I just returned home from a celebration of my middle grandson’s seventh birthday! So June must be a great month to be born. Hugs and best wishes to you!!

  21. Happy Birthday Harlot! And Happy Birthday Jen! You are great gifts to this world and I am proud to be able to participate in the joy, fun, struggle and dedication you bring to making the world a better place, whether thru yarn or biking. Knit on! And keep being beautifully difficult!

  22. Happy Birthday to both of you. My husband and I have just returned from a fantastic trip to your lovely country. He must have been sick of “Stephanie says” but he put up with it and I even got yarn! Hope the next year brings you everything you wish for yourselves and your families.

  23. Flag Day was my mother’s birthday also and my best friend so flags were the party decorations. my birthday is November 11 so flags for Veterans Day also. Lots of RED WHITE AND BLUE. It looks like you’re having a great year

  24. My twin and I share your birthday date too. How cool is that?
    I admire you so much, Stephanie. In honor of our shared BD I made a donation to your ride for such a great cause.
    I hope in return positive Karma finds you having a wonderful year.

  25. Happy birthday, Stephanie. Jen–awesome post- hope your birthday was great also. Best of luck on your race and hope both of you have a wonderful year.

  26. Happy Birthday, Steph! and a belated Happy Birthday to Jen. You both personify my definition of awesome and it’s so great that not only are you friends, but you are willing to let all of us share in a little bit of your celebration of that friendship.

  27. Dearest Harlotty One,

    Happy Birthday! Thank you for sharing your wit and wisdom with us!

    Mr. Tomato nearly fell off his chair laughing at this comment, though:

    “You are the only person who, uncaffeinated, has a Jekyll/Hyde syndrome though.”

    Apparently, he thinks he has one too. I have no idea what he’s talking about. 😉

  28. Glad you had a happy birthday Stephanie. I often comment on your birthday posts – you are a day younger than me and it seems like we are often running some similar tracks. I really wanted to say thanks to you (and Jen – she seems like a pretty spectacular friend) for reminding me that being difficult isn’t just a hardship I inflict on those around me. I often forget that the reasons I am being difficult are really sound, and some of my friends, like Jen, actually like me because of those things, not in spite of them.

  29. Happy, happy birthday to you, dear Stephanie. Your books and blog bring me lots of instruction, inspiration and laughs. You are a national treasure for sharing yourself with the world. Knit on!

  30. Happy Birthday. Lady!!!!

    I kept hearing John Legend’s song while reading Jen’s post. “I love your perfect imperfections….”

  31. Happy birthday, Steph! It has been SUCH a pleasure reading your books and blog for years and years and years now – thank you! Your ability to see – and then do – the absolute right thing shines through your writing (and the few times I’ve heard you speak) and inspires me to keep on my own fumbling attempts at life.

  32. Happy Birthday! And please do me a favor, don’t call yourself a middle aged woman! You are YOUNG!!! I am going be be 67 tomorrow and I’M a middle aged woman, You are YOUNG!!! I can’t even remember my 40’s, mind too boggled from knitting so much! and so far as being elderly, well, that’s WAY in the future!

  33. Happiest of Birthdays, Yarn Harlot. You are such a force of joy and love and good in this world. You continually inspire me that even the smallest acts of good will can have incredible effects. Thank you for sharing your life with us, making us laugh and cry with you. I hope you enjoy your day surrounded by good friends, good wine, and good yarn and that there are many more to come. Cheers.

  34. Happy birthday to both you and Jen. Here’s wishing a little yarn comes your way, maybe a skein or two of lovely sock yarn to brighten your special day, even though you said you didn’t need anything. And some for Jen too.

  35. Wishing you a wonderful Birthday! Thanks for sharing another year of your life with all of us! Wishing you a great year full of family, friends, good health and nice yarn!

  36. Happy Birthday, Stephanie. I hope your day was filled with all the best things in life, your family, your friends, and your knitting! Plus coffee, a good beer, and a wonderful glass of wine. 🙂

  37. Happy belated birthday, Stephanie. We share a birthday week, and though you are 10 years younger, you continue to be such an inspiration to me, in knitting and in life. Ride on!

  38. Happy birthday, Stephanie, from your exact-birthday twin in the U.S. I like 46 just fine. I just wish it weren’t quite so close to 50.

  39. Belated Happy Birthday, Jen and Stephanie! It is good to be “difficult”. Otherwise, one team would be missing their middle-aged, knitting leaders!

  40. Happy B Day Steph!
    Have wine, beer AND coffee today! You have earned it! Go knit lady. It is what you are.


  41. Made a small donation to commemorate your day, and to thank you for all the smiles and laughs you have shared as our knitting guru! 🙂
    Hope it was a great one!

  42. Happy Birthday Stephanie. You are great. Enjoy lots of celebrating with friends and knitting. Great Tribute by Jen.

  43. How great that you two found each other and that you can celebrate your birthdays together. Nothing like a great friend!

  44. I’ve made good on my pledge to support your team. I donated $20 to each of you: Stephanie, Ken, Jen, Amanda, Samantha, and Pato. Ride like the wind!

  45. Jen you did a great blog for Steph and Steph you did a great blog for Jen. Ride On Ladies and Happy Birthday to you both! Happy Happy!

  46. Happy belated birthday, Stephanie, I hope you had a terrific day. With such a thoughtful birthday post written about you, I think it might be hard to have a bad one (birthday, that is). Many happy returns of the day:)

  47. Awww, what a great post! I too have a long-time great friend named Jen (although I always call her Jennifer). She lives far away, but just visited me for 27 hours, and we had the best time. It is lovely to bask in the warmth of a good friend. You are very lucky yours lives within a bike ride.

  48. Happy Birthday Harlot! May the day bring you all sorts of good things!

    (No, Millie, your “mom” doesn’t want a hairball on her birthday. Try loads of purrs instead.)

  49. I’ve been meaning to get to your blog to send you Happy Birthday Wishes becauseI know when your birthday is as it kind of relates to my own. But things just happen and got in my way! I think there is something going on in the stars which is affecting all of us. We simply have far too much to do, and the time is running out!

    Still, you have managed to pack in a lot these past few days. You do act like you are only 45! And no matter that another year has sped by. There is so much more to accomplish.

    You are one special lady! All the best on this birthday, and all the rest yet to come.

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