This time it’s for real

I am 46 years old, and I think I can tell you that I’m just about over having crushes. The thing with Prince remains eternal, but I’ve accepted in my heart that we could never be together. I’ve believed since I was 15 years old that our heights made us compatible, but the truth is that by all reports, the man’s a (really beautiful) lunatic, and really, I think that would be exhausting to live with. I’ve never been the sort of person to lose my mind over a rock star, I didn’t have a poster of Duran Duran, and I (mostly) don’t feel faint when I run into the occasional famous person.  I’ve just never been the type. Joe and I have had lots of conversations with our kids about whether or not most of the celebrities they have crushes on are really probably all they’re cracked up to be. We talked with them a lot about how being good looking, or really popular, without any sort of evidence that they’re a good person trying to do good things shouldn’t be enough to get you to toss that much emotional energy their way – and a jerk is still a jerk, and being “a personality” isn’t a job, no matter what it pays and no matter how many TV shows you get to be on.

All of this is very sensible, and super grown up, and means that I’ve never really had a good grip on what a Kardashian is or why I would care, and so you could have knocked me over with a feather this afternoon when I discovered that during a quick visit with a someone – I was suffering a full on, insane crush. This person walked up, shook my hand, we started to talk, and I wanted to say nothing more than I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. Which is insane. That’s absolutely insane, and thank heaven I managed to keep that from coming out, because of course I don’t love him. I don’t even know him and there’s no way that I could love him but it’s still what I wanted to say.  Instead I asked him to hold my sock for a picture, and said “This is probably the dorkiest thing that anybody’s ever asked you to do….” and he said “that depends on what you’re going to ask me to do…” and then I said “Probably it’s not the dorkiest thing you’ve ever been asked to do because you’re an astronaut and well… that seems like it would have a lot of dorky stuff with it” and then COMMANDER CHRIS HADFIELD smiled, and asked how he should hold the sock.  I told him it was deeply personal, and he should do whatever felt right.*

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He did, with all the charm that we’ve come to expect from him – and the whole time we chatted briefly, and spoke a little about book tours, his and mine, and then it was over, and I’m pretty sure that I made sense the whole time, and even said “Thanks Chris.”**

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If there had been time *** or if I hadn’t been so busy being the biggest dork in the world I would have told him that I didn’t really have a crush on him. I would have told him that I was just so impressed with him, not just for what he’s done, but for how he’s done it.   Chris Hadfield lived for six months in space, and that whole time, and ever since he’s been back, he’s done his best to show us all what it was like, and frame it all in a way that we could share in the miracle of the whole thing.  He tweeted from space, he talked to kids who won science challenges and did their experiments for them, he answered questions, (knowing that kids really want to know some gross stuff) he recorded music, he took part in concerts, he’s celebrated being Canadian, and more than anything else, he made it so, so cool to be smart.

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Chris Hadfield is exactly who I want everybody crushing on,  because there are billions of people on earth, and only 216 of them have ever, ever been to the space station, and out of all of those, only 81 people have been there twice, and he’s one of them, and I want so badly to know what he knows, and to feel what he’s felt, and to see what he’s seen, and I’m so grateful to him for making it seem like he takes as much joy in finding ways to tell us about the experience as we take in hearing it.  He’s done such a remarkable thing, and so elegantly, and so creatively, while still making it clear that this all happened because he did his homework, worked hard, and stuck with something he cared about a lot. In a world that frequently debates twerking, and who should be famous for it, I’m getting behind this instead.

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I’m pretty sure that Chris Hadfield is a nice man**** and he was certainly very nice to me, and a the end of the whole thing, He asked me if I’d like a picture, and honestly, I’d seen it in his hand and thought that I would say no thank you, because, as I’ve said, I’m not really the sort of person who had a Duran Duran poster, and I’m not sure I’d start hanging up pictures of celebrities at this age, and I didn’t want him to waste one. In that moment though, I thought about some people I know who have crushes on some people who don’t deserve it, and something came over me, and I said “Yes Please.” For the first time in my life, I’ve got a picture of a celebrity on my fridge, and I’m so cool with the message I’m sending. It’s dorky, but I think today the dorks win.*****

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* I didn’t tell him what I really believe, which is that how someone approaches the odd moment in their life, moments like being asked to hold a sock for no good reason, really says a lot about their character, or lack thereof.  I didn’t want to pressure him.

** I know. I called Commander Hadfield Chris.  I can’t believe it either. He called me Steph. 

***There totally wasn’t.

****Ok. So I don’t know him well enough to know for sure that’s he’s a nice guy, but I find it hard to believe that they’d lock you up in the Space Station twice if you were a huge jerk.

*****Actually, the dorkiest thing about today is that when I realized I was going to meet the man, I started a whole new sock, just so that the one I got him to hold could be knit from yarn called “Dark Side of the Moon.”   I didn’t tell him that part. The dork factor was already super high.

406 thoughts on “This time it’s for real

  1. Fan freaking tastic. I think I have a crush on him too. You are so lucky to have met up with Chris. Too bad you didn’t have a picture to give him, but I bet he remembers the sock!

  2. This is the cutest thing ever. I totally have a crush on him and was barely able to string two words together when I met him. (If only I’d thought to bring some knitting along!)

  3. OH MY GOSH!!!
    I have a super crush on him too! How can you not? I watch his videos with kids at school and even the least motivated kids get curious and want to know more. He is smart, interesting, engaging, humble, and funny. I would be rendered stupid in his presence also – I just think he is the coolest ever. And now that I see him with a sock, I might just have to get a poster.

    • I think Steph needs to have some posters of these pictures printed to sell! Proceeds could go to the bike rally. I’d certainly buy one of him holding her sock!

          • Third-ed but I think half the proceeds should go to a charity or cause of his choice. Since it is a picture of him. And I would buy one for me and believe it or not one for my dad. He loves my knitted socks I make him for Christmas and he likes Chris. Talks about him often. Great idea.

    • Hey Steph, as a fellow Canadian dorky knitter, I love this!!!! I feel the same way about our awesome astronaut, what a super cool guy. I love the yarn, it stripes nicely I will have to order some. Wear your dork crown proudly, you’re definitely winning 🙂

  4. If we’re going to have role models, please god let them be Chris Hadfield. Stunning man; normal-seeming-incredibly-intelligent man in space. And now he’s posed with a sock. Brilliant.

  5. OMG OMG OMG!!!! I am so jealous and I am having the same level of fangirl squee and OMG OMG OMG!

    I love everything about this. I love that you made a sock out of Dark Side of the Moon for him to hold. I love how charming he was about holding the sock. I am feeling dizzy and lightheaded and OMG OMG OMG!

    Thank you so much for letting us squee along with you. Hee!

  6. Such a classy crush to have. I would follow Chris Hadfield anywhere and the sight of him with yarn is…….too much. Really. Thanks for representing, Steph.

    • You’re not dorky. I INSTANTLY recognized the yarn and thought “holy crap, isn’t that the pink Floyd yarn?”

      WELL PLAYED!!!!

      I have an absurd crush on Benedict Cumberbatch.

      • I have a weird crush on Benedict, too! This never happens to me, but there you have it. I think Chris Hadfield is an excellent choice, though, just because he does cool and encouraging things for kids.

        • I have a vintage knitting pattern and one of the models for this men’s tennis sweater knit in 4-ply (British, and EEK!) looks exactly like Benedict. Grandpa, perhaps?

  7. You know, I actually had shivers when I saw the Instagram photo of the two of you together. I’m so glad you did a blog post because the photo just wasn’t enough! You articulated what’s so cool about him perfectly, and of course, him posing with the sock just makes him even better!

  8. Coolest thing EVER. I, like you, don’t crush on many people. Only two. Chris Hadfield and Robert Downey Jr. (inexplicably). But both seem to make my knees wobble, I envy you a conversation with Chris Hadfield.

  9. Wow, I think this is our first inter-generational crush since Sean Connery! You could have told him your Mother loves him!
    Lucky you!

    • I had to give up on Sean Connery, because the older he got/gets, the more he looks like my Dad. The Sexiest Man Ever cannot — MUST NOT — look like my Dad. Ewwww factor to the nth power! *shudders*

      • I’m so sorry about your Dad’s resemblance to Sir Sean. Fortunately for me, no one in my family bears the least resemblance to my longest crush ever. The man could read aloud from the back of cereal box, and I’d be enthralled.

      • My dad looks exactly like Donald Sutherland. So much so that he had Donald as his facebook pic for a while and no one noticed it wasn’t my dad. I definitely don’t have a Donald crush but movies where he’s the villain just aren’t as creepy to me.

    • Must add, sadly, that Sean Connery is not a nice guy. He thinks it’s okay to hit women. He said it on television to Barbara Walters and I just can’t get over that. So sad. 🙁

  10. What a great experience for you, and I’m so glad he handled the “sock test” in such a sweet way. This made my day!

  11. So very, very nice, kind and sweet.
    (I hope you send him the “sock,” finished as “socks” so he can so totally feel the love).

  12. All of my legit crushes are people who are doing amazing research in my field. So I guess you could call them role models, but when your heart beats that quickly when you talk to them, the the term “crush” seems more honest.

    Congrats on meeting one of yours!

  13. I couldn’t be more excited if you’d met Rick Mercer! Okay, I’m kidding .. (no insult to Rick). As an American who lives in Detroit & watches loads of CBC, I’ve seen Chris Hadfield interviewed several times. Love that fact that he gets kids excited about science and space. Also, love the sock yarn name.

  14. In addition to Comm. Chris Hadfield most likely possessing all of those great characteristics you wrote about and probably being a really nice guy, he may be your best sock holder ever!

  15. Very cool indeed. I bet if he wrote a blog, your meeting would have been featured on it. How could it not be?

  16. Oh this post makes me like you so much right now. What an AWESOME experience. I love the dark side of the moon sock yarn. I would have been such a dork if I met the man.

  17. Coolest sock holding picture ever!! I too have a crush on Cmd. Hatfield. Because he is awesome and now he is even better with socks

  18. He is a Canadian to be proud of, I would rather meet him than any number of so-called celebrities. Very few people on this earth have the smarts, the work ethic, the passion and that huge ability to engage others. I think you were very lucky to be able to spend even a few minutes speaking with him and if you’re going to get an autographed photo of anyone – he’s the one!

    That said – stand in line girl – I’ve had crush on him for quite a while!

    Now – watch his twitter feed and see if the “dark side of the moon” shows up – you totally should have told him the colourway name!
    Chris S.

  19. My husband works in the space industry, so I’ve met a lot of astronauts, and I can tell you that unfortunately, some of them are jerks. But Commander Hadfield does not seem to be one and I’m glad he was awesome to you, that’s how we keep people interested in space!

  20. Smart, handsome AND a good sense of humor about life? How could anyone NOT have a crush? So glad people can celebrate that science is fun….I will google him for my kids!

  21. At my advanced age crushes are silly but I can’t help myself. He’s smart, easy on the eyes, talented AND, it seems, a really nice guy. He’s proud to be Canadian and makes me feel that way too. One of my best days ever was seeing him on Parliament Hill on Canada Day. I sound like a ridiculous teenager but I am SO jealous……

  22. This is me dying of jealousy — he’s such a grounded guy, although it sounds amusing and vaguely insulting to refer to a retired astronaut as “grounded” or “down to Earth.”

    He’s quite admirable, and I already have a huge soft spot for astronaut-musicians, of which there are quite a few.

  23. BTW, just after he was up there, there WAS a quilter up there, Karen Nyberg. Turns out she’s an absolute hardcore crafting nerd. I remember her saying in an interview that she believes that she could quite literally quilt or sew 24/7 and not get bored.

    As much as I love astronaut-musicians, astronaut-musician-fiber-geeks are even better. 😀

  24. So, what does it say about me that as you got further along I just kept repeating, “OH. MY. GOD!” louder and louder? 😀

  25. Oh My Helen Keller!! That’s… just… Ihavenowords. Super, super cool in the Most Dorkiest Way (especially with the yarn name). He’s super groovy and eminently crush-able. You just upped the Kinnear…

  26. So fantastic! And the “Canada Song” practically makes me cry, for some crazy reason (probably ’cause I spent so many years as an ex-o=pat). Truly a wonderful person and a great choice for a crush.

  27. I’m screaming, just SCREAMING, with excitement for you because you were way too cool in his presence to do that…

  28. That’s so incredibly wonderful (but meeting him and what you said about him as a “role mode”). I have a huge crush on him too. In fact, I would probably become Canadian if he asked me too. Lucky lucky you (AND lucky him!).

  29. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes to all of this! I’ve followed him since he was tweeting on the space station and have continued – he’s either a really good guy or does a damn fine imitation of one. My dream when I was in high school was to be a mission specialist on the space shuttle – true love and the reality that I’d never be in shape enough to be accepted interfered, but I’m still a huge space dork. I don’t know that I could have controlled myself as well as you did, Steph, but thank you so much for sharing the encounter! And I totally agree that starting a new sock in that yarn was completely appropriate.

  30. By the time I got to the picture where he was looking through the sock, I had a crush on him too!

    By the way nice sock.

  31. You said “This person walked up, shook my hand, we started to talk’…but you never said why this person walked up to you.
    Kardashian, you are lucky to not get it, and it’s understandable, you live to far from that dummy. So consider yourself lucky.

  32. I had my picture taken with Neil Armstrong and told him that I couldn’t keep my twin baby sisters awake for his first steps on the moon! I rambled on…..

  33. That is the most perfect colourway to have him hold and it looks super cool and utterly unique and, as a fellow knitter, thank you for casting it on for him! Also, he held that sock like a natural!! I confess that I think you should, if possible, make and send the finished socks to him.

    I’ve always thought he’s the best example of Canadians in the Astronaut world. Am so SO jealous of you!

  34. Knitting, science, space, and a really cool astronaut all in one post, what could be better! Maybe you can take him up on his offer to knit in space…

  35. That is so awesome! I am in awe. Commander Hadfield is one of my personal heroes, not only because of what he has done for the space program, and for science in general, but because through it all he comes across as a genuinely *nice* person.

  36. definitely this south-of-the-maple-leaf-border knitter is going to look up his book. I love the way he was clearly enjoying finding new ways to hold a sock and spread the joy. thank you!

  37. Is it wrong that the minute I saw the color of the sock he was holding I thought “Oh my god, she even has him holding a Dark Side of the Moon sock!” Kudos to you Stephanie, for thinking of every detail…

  38. How totally awesome! Love your sock idea, love that he posed with it in multiple, dorky ways (just kidding–he was simply having fun), and I LOVE your idea that we should get behind/support people like him! Kardashian who? Who cares is more like it.
    PS: I also love how he signed his head shot for you. Way cool.

  39. That is so cool. I do get flustered with celebrities, as I did with you, so am very jealous that you can pull it off so well.
    Congrats on meeting and having a sock photo with such a wonderful man.

  40. The story of the Harlot and the Commander (sounds like a trashy novel…) just made my day! And I’m not even Canadian!

  41. I have read your blog forever, going back and reading all the archives and I have never commented before. I just had to say thank you. And that I couldn’t agree more with you. I have a niece who is 11 and I don’t live near by and I keep trying to figure out not so subtle ways for her to look up to someone like this guy, instead of the vapid stars that populate so much of our culture.

  42. OMG! Stephanie that is amazing. I have a huge dorky-science-crush on the Commander too! and seriously ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ yarn, you should have told him. I know he’d would have loved it.

  43. This is my all time favorite post. I shared it with my 16 year old son, as he sits doing homework while his sister that is in a different school district enjoys spring break. This made his night. Then he googled the sock and said so cool.

  44. As my 8th grade astronomy Queen (I was the smartest), I’m totally jealous! And I don’t think it was dorky at all! He is very nice looking!

  45. Squeeeeeel!!!! O! M! G! How thrilling is this?? I knew he was neat, but now??? He’s absolutely WONDERFUL!! What a sweetheart of a human being!!!!

  46. I can’t decide what to do first… gasp or swoon! Oh the great fortune you have sometimes…. sigh 🙂

  47. Seems like a musician would totally appreciate “Dark Side of the Moon” socks. As well as an astronaut. Thanks for sharing your ‘moment’ with us.

  48. This is so totally freaking cool! And I would love that colourway even if you hadn’t met Cmdr. Hadfield, but this makes your socks cool to the nth power!

  49. Congrats Steph on one spectacular over the moon fridge photo! I must say this is sooo much better than when Kinnearing was born! You are one “moon” rock star!

  50. Thanks for sharing this wonderful moment. I’m super-impressed that the pictures aren’t blurry from tremblings! I am so grateful that you can write in words what I can only wave my hands at.

  51. I am also a big fan of Commander Hadfield, so much so that we stood in line for an hour with a 6 year old and 2 year old to meet him, so I understand the fandom. And I just has to say that the choice of yarn was EPIC. SO. AWESOME. 🙂

  52. Wow. I have been in awe of astronauts and the people who get them there and back ESPECIALLY since seeing “Apollo 13”. He seems like a great guy and how fun was it to get him to hold your knitting!!! P.S. Did you share the name of the yarn? If not would you? (P.S. Love your books and blog!)

  53. I got hooked on the NASA channel originally thinking it would be good to fall to sleep to. Wrong. I tuned in that first night and spent the next 4 hours watching them work on the ISS, be interviewed by school kids… I now follow several of them, including the awesome Chris Hadfield, on Twitter, stand out in the yard and watch the ISS cross over our farm and just bought a special pair of binoculars so I can get a better view of cool space stuff. What an honor to meet him!

  54. Oh. Em. Gee. I have a SUPER crush on him for being such an awesome astronaut and singer and and and… You’re so lucky you got to meet him 🙂

  55. Lucky you!! My husband and sons met him last fall and I think they all had man-crushes on him! He makes me proud to be Canadian. Loved this post!

  56. How exciting! I was dumbfounded and caught without words when years ago I was seated at a dinner next to Senator Harrison Schmitt, the last American astronaut to walk on the moon. Talk about starstruck! I felt like an idiot because I couldn’t think of a thing to say. Of course after I left I thought of a really good question to ask him but by then it was too late and I would have looked really idiotic if I walked back inside to ask him if walking on the moon changed him spiritually. If only I wasn’t so hypnotized….

  57. WOW! Lucky you! And, I’ll bet you didn’t have to pay an arm and a leg for an autographed photo, unlike you do with another Canadian who has been to the final frontier.

    If I remember correctly, the Bajorans kicked the Kardashians off Deep Space Nine. Too bad they kicked the Kardashians our way! Maybe the Commander has some ideas on how to send the Kardashians back. . .;-)!

    • Your post made me laugh out loud, and spit coffee on my monitor. If I wrinkle my face just right, I get a Bajoran nose.

  58. 1. Cmdr. Chris Hadfield TOTALLY beats the arse off Prince (who makes my skin crawl, and not in a good way — sorry). And I’m giggling because the Human Verification Gizmo has just invited me to ‘touch the pants’.

    2. Forever after, I will think of those as the ‘Dork Side of the Moon’ socks 😀

    3. Awesome, awesome, awesome!!!!

  59. Oh Stephanie, that was wonderful. You are so right about what is crush worthy. It is amazing that he would go to space, and then try to tell us all about it, and let us know how to love our planet.
    And the sock idea was perfect….wouldn’t it be great to knit some for him?

  60. Wow, yes, that was so cool. And, yes, you just HAD to have it be that yarn. Thanks for sharing a very special moment… And yes, to intelligent, hard-working and exuberant people being the one’s on whom we have crushes.

  61. Jinkies! Gushgushgushgush!!! That is completely ace. Having been a high school teacher and now a Mum, I cannot agree more on the ‘role models who are worth having’ (and weigh more than 50kgs) angle. One of the most important things we can do as a culture is revere intelligence, decency and integrity, and make them what we aspire to. YAY!

    Please, please follow him up on knitting in space. Surely the Commander mentors some younger astronauts who will go to the space station in their turn.

    Thanks, Steph, for today’s mega-fun geek-out.

  62. My daughter had a real, live astronaut (Mike Fossum) in her week long Boy Scout summer camp class on astronomy a few years ago. He was there with his son’s Boy Scout troop. She had no clue about who he was and very little knowledge of astronomy. She said that he was very helpful in answering questions during the week that she couldn’t and provided a lot more insight. She also got a photo and a poster that was signed. I don’t think she had a crust on him, though.

  63. SPLENDID! And yes, absolutely, having a crush (even a little, friendly, crush) on someone who’s a worthy human being who’s gotten to do something utterly wonderful and still has a sense of humor (I’m guessing, from the pictures) and enthusiasm for life is a good thing. We all need GOOD role models – people who do the right thing, with joy. People who have done wonderful things, are aware that they’re wonderful, and inspire others to do them too. Professional Personalities? Pfheh!

  64. That is so absolutely so cool! I wonder what it would be like to knit in space? I think someone should try it. Is there anyway we could get an astronaut to do that? If you’re going to live forever on another planet shouldn’t you know how to grow plants that produce fiber – how to process that fiber and then make something out of it with sticks? (I don’t see them letting sheep float around up there anytime soon – maybe rabbits) So So COOL!

  65. Yes. Yes. Yes. He is the coolest ever. I don’t know that I could’ve held it together and not gushed. (I’m seriously impressed with you!)

    My own bit of International Space Station geekiness: when it goes overhead at my house, I go out and wave at the astronauts. You can find out when it’ll be visible here:

    • p.s. There are some absolutely amaaaazing videos on YouTube of the view from the ISS. We live on a mighty beautiful planet.

  66. Wow. Just wow.

    So it will make total sense to you that I am (mostly) flying halfway across the country in 3 weeks to go to a business conference that I’m mildly interested in — because (get this) Jim Lovell and Gene Kranz are the keynotes speakers. TOTALLY worth it.

    Love the photos & the sock love Chris exhibited.

  67. SO.COOL!
    I’m so proud of how awesomely Chris Hadfield has represented Canada! AND I’m happily jealous of you for meeting him. I totally agree with laurel – keep the socks for yourself! (and obviously I agree with her first point as well 😉 )

  68. I am not one for crushes either, but boy is he hot. Not only in looks but the brains are there too. I bet he would have loved the name of the yarn.

  69. So cool – my sister met him in Jasper last fall and was lucky enough to have a photo taken with him. I was so jealous! 🙂

  70. I’m completely with you on the crush. Now it’s even bigger because he was as cool with the sock as with everything else I’ve seen him do. Congratulations on maintaining your composure. I couldn’t have done it.

  71. “In a world that frequently debates twerking, and who should be famous for it, I’m getting behind this instead.” That’s awesome Stephanie. I really enjoyed this post. Made my day! Thank you. 🙂

  72. An author/artist friend living in NY (Long Island) calls spring the Kim Kardashian of seasons…they got more snow today. Dirty snow, mud, gray describes Kim Kardashian perfectly to me. You can gather that I’m not a fan of “celebrities.” Shallow, image conscious, screwed up people who happen to make way too much money…but when it comes to heroes, the astronauts rank right up there as role models and people whom I admire. I might be goo-goo if I met one of them in person, but it would be out of the sense of admiration for their daring lives, their total commitment to their dangerous missions, excellence in any field: the Olympics, Wounded Warriors, Academics…achievers…that’s who I consider crush-worthy. Not the Kardashians on this planet.
    Being American, I only know about our astronauts who I have followed since the first trip into space by John Glenn in the 60’s…a nail biting session if there ever was one. Neil Armstrong’s moon walk left me gape mouthed and completely awestruck. I’m not familiar with the Canadian astronauts, but imagine they are all cut from the same cloth. Brave, committed, upstanding…traits I greatly admire. Cmdr. Hadfield seems to fit the billing. That he held socky for your pics is awesome…and what he wrote on the glossy….too fun!
    I’ll have to check up on his book. Thanks for posting your amazing experience.

  73. As someone who named her recently purchased skein of Artyarn “Pierce Brosnan” in order to convey how beautiful and perfect and touchable it was, I am DOWN with the celebrity crush*. This story is just completely wonderful in every way.

    *in his defense, Pierce (in addition to his preternatural handsomeness) has been an outspoken advocate environmental and women’s health issues as well as UNICEF.

  74. Okay…I agree. I would have behaved similarly. Commander Hadfield — WOW!

    But then again, I met YOU in a hallway in an Edmonton hotel and thought I’d died and gone to heaven (and then a photo and you answered my question after your talk, and held my sock and even knit on it)…and I’m almost old enough to be your mother…but you need to know you are someone’s Chris Hadfield.

    • and I agree I met her briefly at TWIST in St Andre Avellin Que a couple of years ago after I Kinnearred her through the door to her classroom. I was so star struck I could hardly talk to her!

      You are our Chris Hadfield Stephanie!

  75. OMG – Dark Side of the Moon? You and Chris are both totally cool and dorky in your own lovable ways. So glad you had the chance to sock it to him. (AAAGH – why do I love puns?)

  76. Steph,
    Remember he got to meet YOU, too!! We’ve all had crushes on you for years. Now I bet the Cmdr. does, too.

  77. Being a HUGE Prince fan myself, I have to say that Chris would come a close 2nd in my Most Brilliant Person in the World Award! Thanks for sharing. xxx

  78. I am so jealous of you both I can hardly type! My daughter and I have been totally freaking out over how incredible he is in every sense of the word for ages now, and just the fact that you both are Canadian is enough to persuade me to want to change my citizenship!

    And I TOTALLY understand the special sock knit just so he could hold it — I knit my surgeon a couple pairs of thank-you socks for performing miracle surgery on my back, and absolutely *had* to use a colorway called “Tenth Doctor.” There’s a rightness to some things. Are you going to send him the socks?

  79. I have been meaning to comment for so long. I am working my way through your blog archives and you have made me laugh, think, and fawn over beautiful wooly things. I read this post and wanted to say that although you may not have been to space, you are your own kind of Chris Hadfield. You are a crush-worthy human yourself! You bring intelligent, humanistic, witty and warm thoughts to so many of us. I am a knitter but your blog is so much more than a knitting blog. It often reminds me of all the things I love about the human race. To you, Chris Hadfield and decent and inspiring folk te world over: thanks for being you!

  80. To this entire post: Yes!
    To crushing on intelligent, thoughtful people who are making the world better: Yes!
    To being precisely who you are and handing the Commander a sock to hold and representing our collective Dork Love: Yes!

    The future of our planet, our species, depends so much on more people becoming scientifically literate and thoughtfully engaged with their world.
    To this end, I love seeing education and science “rock stars” like the Commander, Jane Goodall, Bill Nye, so many others, and of course–I want-to-knit-him-a-scarf-and-maybe-socks-I’ve-got-it-so-bad–Dr.Neil DeGrasse Tyson, well, be considered rock stars in times like these.

    You made my night, Yarn Harlot!

    (PS I love that I must prove my humanity by clicking the light bulb!”)

  81. OK, I have never done this before, but, just …
    I’m not even Canadian and I totally get where you’re coming from. I love his mugging with the sock.

  82. So totally cool. Astronauts have always been my idols. Never cared much for the “popular” people. (Except Leonard Nimoy) And yes, even now, I would totally love to meet another one of the 216. Very crush worthy in my opinion.

  83. This is one of the coolest posts you’ve written! I felt the butterflies in the stomach, I flashed back to teenage angst over feeling dorky. You totally rocked the “crush” emotions all of us have had. I felt it through your words.

    My only negative comment—you REALLY should have told him the yarn was Dark Side of the Moon! I think he would have loved that…

  84. Oh, wow, oh wow, oh wow!!!
    I am a 47 year-old knitting school teacher, and I’ve never had a crush on anyone except Gregory Peck (in Junior High), My husband (for the last 30 years), and Commander Chris Hadfield! I don’t actually want to go into space, but if I did, I would totally knit in space!

    • Yes, the Hadfield crush runs strong in our family. My wife has it. I have it. I think our daughters just think we’re weird, but I think that deep down they have it too.

  85. Pingback: SpinDyeKnit

  86. Holy cow! I’m a total space geek… But you actually had a conversation with him? I got to meet Buzz Aldrin once. I believe I managed to say ‘gleep farglesnup’.

  87. I was good until the five star footnote when I spat my first tea of the day. There is very little that will part me from any of that first cup but that did it.

    He does a really good sock photo doesn’t he?

  88. I get it oh so well! Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area I met a lot of well known folks, famous in their various fields. Silly stuff: I played in Charles Shultze’s yard as my best friend’s father lived next door (and yes, I shook his hand, more than once). Lou Gottlied was a friend, he still had the land he was trying to deed to God. And more…
    Then there is the absolutely shattering memory: meeting, hearing, shaking hands with Ron McNair when he visited the facility at which I worked, a manufacturing company that provided products for the space program (my dad coated the windows of all the space shuttles). Then watching the lift off just weeks later…

  89. Congratulations Steph!!! And so non-dorky of you to give him the ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ sock to hold. I wish I was you.

  90. I have enjoyed a wonderful ten years or so in the company of you and your blog. This really is one of the nicest, nicest posts I’ve ever read 🙂

  91. Loved this post and the way you honor his life work.

    Clearly what you both have in common is that passion for what you do – see, you’re not so different after all!

    Knitting in space… does no gravity mean that stitches can’t drop?

  92. I don’t know if I’ve ever commented before…but that is freaking awesome! I showed some of his videos to my second graders last year….and awesome sock and awesome reason to start it….and I have had some celebrity crushes…you and I are of an age…and I did have Duran Duran posters up..but it was C. Thomas Howell back then….now…..well…for many years it has been Colin Firth…..and,oh, yeah, I had a brief fling with Apolo Anton Ohno….but he was too young for me…

  93. Totally cool to meet an astronaut- even better to meet one who deserves the admiration!
    But how come your Dark Side of the Moon has such wide stripes of rainbow? Mine has thin rainbow stripes, when all I really long for is wide rainbow stripes (OK, I admit, it’s not all I really long for, and not really even something that keeps me up at night, but you know what I mean…)

  94. When Commander Chris was up in the Space Station, our small flock of sheep were having their lambs. I was up in the middle of the night so many times, and I used to try to time my visits to the lambing shed so I could look up and see the ISS soaring across the sky. I would think about Chris Hadfield and his colleagues up there, on the cutting edge of science, and then me down on earth, doing what humans have done in our neck of the woods for thousands of years, and marvel at the breadth of human experience. The night that Chris came back to earth, our last lambs were born, and I named one of them after him. Christopher the lamb has grown into a wonderful character who everyone loves, and who is in his turn our flock’s social media correspondent. He doesn’t have such a good moustache though.

  95. Having been a geek all my life, I am so happy that someone like Chris Hadfield is now considered cool. He’s my hero also. I’m so jealous you met him and he held your sock. It looks like he really appreciated the honour!

  96. This may be the first time I’ve ever said this about someone’s celebrity encounter, but: That is SO cool!

    The kids participated in one of those video conferences with him at the screen, and it had a huge impact on them. Unlike…well, every other celebrity they think is cool, this one I can encourage! 🙂

  97. You are so lucky to meet him! I heard him on NPR, then asked our library to get his book, which I read and now recommend to everyone! He is a very cool man, and seems super nice to boot.

    All hail Commander Hadfield!

  98. im such a dork myself because I just realized the yarn stripes up like the prism on the pink Floyd album…duh!

  99. I love it when people that truly deserve it get groupies.

    And the whole thing makes me think of our daughter’s comments on occasion, over conversations we have at the dinner table. “So nerdy.”

  100. I read your blog to relax, not to comment, but wow — this is the second time in a week that I’ve curled up with my computer after a very long day, read with glee, laughed out loud, and felt the need to share the joy and the clever perspective of your post with others … even if they’re not knitters. This story made my day, even though I was far too tired to cobble together an intelligible response last night.

  101. Wow, I am very envious of you, plus your post made me cry, whether because I’m an emotional, knitting physicist (astronomist) or because of just how sweet you are, I’m not sure.

  102. I have the feeling that only Steph would have the right yarn for this, get a sock started, and have it far enough along so that we could actually see what it looked like for a wonderful opportunity like this. Yeah! for ‘Dark Side of the Moon’.

  103. “Dark side of the Moon”? OK that makes me just as dorky as you as I think that was a stroke of brilliance. Then again I just pre ordered”Live Long & Prosper” sock yarn because Leonard Nimoy died. Let your inner Geek fly (and I bet Chris Hadfield is one too)

  104. Holy Cow Steph! I’m not sure any words at all would have come out of my mouth. I absolutely adore everything Commander Hatfield has been about lately and we’ve done a lot of research and talking about him at our house. And of course you started new socks. I would have too. 🙂

  105. Best crush ever! I love the way he held the sock too. I’m sure I would have been totally tongue-tied if I had met him. (or any other celebrity I like)

  106. I have a book idea for you!
    Actually it’s a photo book.
    ‘People I’ve Met and Socks I’ve Knit’
    I would buy it. Anybody else?

  107. Dorky in the most super cool way!!! And might I add that in last photo of him (not the photo of the photo) he looks a wee bit like Greg Kinnear!

    My most recent knitting was space related! For even more dorkiness, check out my James Webb Space Telescope Baby Blankie. Very possibly the only baby blanket modeled after the primary mirror of a space telescope!

    • I have co-workers that keep JWST in space and on the right orbit…I didn’t think anyone in the “real” world knew about it. So cool!

  108. Steph, every time that I think you’ve written the very best post you come along with another — like this one. The Commander is indeed knit worthy so I’m glad you got the photos with your DSOM socks.

    My question is where the DSOM yarn crept into your stash. I know that you had already knit one pair of those socks. Did you grab two skeins from Stacie when you had her mesmerized with her fan reaction?

    A truly wonderful post and object of it.

  109. Had I not been at work when I read this I’d have fan girl squealed. I absolutely “love” him (although as you put it, impressed by, astounded, proud are all much better words. but a man who is so many good things in one is hard to explain in a single word) I studied astronomy in college, and I learned to knit in college and you’ve brought his level of charm and humor to both things I love.

    And don’t worry, his music video proves he is one with the dorkier side of the Force. And we’re pleased as punch to have him. 🙂

  110. I so hope he’s seen your blog, and I totally would’ve started a sock with that yarn if I was meeting him too!

  111. I can tell you most astronauts are humble people and fun to talk to. There are the few who let their title go to their heads, but those are thankfully few. Most want to share their knowledge and love of space especially with the next generation. Plus most seem to collect degrees like we do skeins of yarns. Love your picture.

  112. That’s so cool!! I have been so impressed with Commander Hadfield and all he did to make space accessible to us. It was exciting again and personal. Science can feel so abstract some days and locked away and here it was a story and fun and–potentially for those still in school (I am not)–attainable.

    Great choice of wool!!

  113. Outstandingly cool! And now I must extremely recommend Mary Roach’s book “Packing for Mars” (about the nitty gritty details of living in space), which will a) raise your respect for Chris Hadfield to even greater heights, b) make you feel okay with never going into space yourself, and c) may result in falling off your chair laughing. (Mary Roach is very funny.)


  115. How appropriate that you had yarn worthy of the man! Love the album and love that you could pair it up with the Commander. He seems so fresh and totally enthralled with what he’s been able to do. What a great meeting. Lucky you.

  116. (Like the new robot test. I don’t need new glasses for it.)

    I need to show my daughter this. She might start knitting just to impress him! Love how he shows the proper respect to a sock. Careful holding, but whimsical poses. Truly a Canadian hero. Absolutely crush-worthy.

  117. For the record (and without reading all of the other 204 comments, I’m sure others have said so), I totally get the making of a special Dark Side of the Moon sock for this occasion. I mean– why would you not?

  118. This may be my favorite post ever – and that’s saying a LOT since just a couple back you said such wonderful things about your weekend with us here in Dallas!

  119. If there is a man on our beautiful planet who is crush-worthy, Chris Hadfield is that man. I am totally thrilled that two Canadians who have done so much peaceful good for our world – yes, that does include you – got to meet up and enjoy a sweet few minutes together. And your poster needs to be framed under glass, it is so freakin’ perfect.

    • p.s. I was just as big a dork when I met you. Probably dorkier. I wore socks knit in your pattern “Rogue Roses” pattern and tried to show them to you. I’m still slightly humiliated when I remember how very starstruck and awkward I was.

  120. Wow!! What an experience! I might have to look into some of his stuff geared towards kids. My 6 year old has been wanting to be an astronaut since the age of 2. I’m sure she would get a huge kick out of this.

  121. Any sane person has a crush on Chris Hadfield. I am totally jealous! And the “Dark side of the Moon” sock was brilliant!

  122. I am so envious you were able to meet Commander Hadfield! He is truly a great and humble man. We need more leaders and teachers like him. Way to go, Stephanie!

  123. That must have been so thrilling
    – I love reading your posts. I just discovered you not too long ago – you are a brilliant writer (and knitter, of course 🙂 )

  124. this post is great, it’s great that you thought about having Dark Side of the Moon on hand and I really hope he gets to read your post!

  125. I love absolutely everything about this! I also have a huge crush on Commander Hadfield and for the same reasons you describe. He has done so much but seems so down to earth. I am so happy my two favorite Canadians finally crossed paths 😀

  126. I grew up in Hampton, VA, home to Langley AFB and NASA, so I have always been fascinated by flight and space. I will have to add his book to my reading list.

    Unfortunately, I have been very near-sighted since elementary school, which mostly knocks me out of doing it in real-life. However, this is one of my bucket list items:
    When my son was in elementary to middle school, I really tried to talk him into doing this (because I wanted to). AND HE TOTALL BLEW ME OFF!!!
    Long live us dorks who think that space is really cool!

  127. I loved your choice of words. I loved the topic, and I loved this guy. How freaking cool. Yes, he does seem like a nice man.

  128. Very cool you lucky girl! I read his book – An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth — several months ago and it was wonderful. He is a very interesting person — and yes, I’m quite sure he’s a nice man.

  129. Ohhhh man!! That’s awesome!!

    Also, considering that the man put the sock on his head like a astronaut unicorn, I think you would have been fine telling him that you had cast on the sock in “Dark Side of the Moon”!

    I hope that picture gets to stay on your fridge for a long while!!

    Katie =^..^=

  130. I think this is now my favorite post ever by you, and Chris Hadfield is now my new crush. He is an astronaut and hero in every good sense of the word. And what an appealing-looking man!

    When I asked you to hold my sock in progress, I didn’t tell you that I had started said sock just for you to hold, and I’m willing to bet I’m not the only one.

  131. Squee! Your tastes and mine run quite similar. And having a sock ready made from Dark Side of the Moon… you are now my favorite “celebrity.”

  132. OMG OMG THAT IS THE MOST AWESOME THING TO HAPPEN HOLY COW, LADY!!! As I was scrolling down your post, I was trying to guess just who you might be writing about — and l gasped out loud at the reveal. What an awesome character he is, what a sweetheart to participate fully with the sock picture, what a stupendous ambassador he is for space exploration as well as for Canada. My goodness. Clearly, I would have been a blithering schoolgirl had I been in your shoes. 🙂

    • Also, speaking as a resident of Southern California, please, I beg of you, don’t waste a single precious brain cell on ANYTHING involving the Kardashians. The sooner we can all ignore them, the sooner they’ll go away! (I know. Not likely to happen in my lifetime.)

  133. How absolutely perfect, right down to the name of the yarn! I hope Commander Hatfield reads this blog post and finds out; I have a feeling he’d be extra impressed at that detail. Good thing you accepted the photo, you would have kicked yourself later if you hadn’t.

  134. I love this on so many levels!! Cmdr. Hadfield makes me SO PROUD to be Canadian – I thought his pictures from space were some of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen! And he’s held a sock from the YARN HARLOT!!!!! If I ever get to meet either of you, I might ask you to hold my sock for a picture…. I’m such a dork…. Thanks for making my day!

  135. I am proud to say just looking at the first photo I knew it was Commander Hadfield and hoped that he sang the Space Oddity song for you!!!

  136. I’m sharing this with my 11- and 10-year-old sons, who both embrace their dorkiness, but are entering middle school and all that entails. They need as many cool dork role models as I can find to show them. And your Dark Side of the Moon yarn made my day – my co-workers are wondering why I’m laughing. Perfect.

  137. SQUEEEEE!!! He is so SO AWESOME!! yay!

    I followed him on Twitter and my youngest niece, who was maybe 6 or so at the time (and a little fuzzy on the Twitter concept) asked me every time she saw me “if my astronaut friend had posted any new pictures” !!!!

    Those pictures and his social media presence did so much to introduce the science and beauty of this world to a very young generation.

  138. He is so the right person for crushes. If you ever saw any interviews with his parents/family he is the nicest, most level-headed person you could know.

  139. He signed it “Let’s Knit In Space”?! OMG, I want to cry! Did he think that up himself, or did you ask him to write that? (and if he thought it up himself, ..uh, is he single?)

  140. I’ve been crushing on Chris Hadfield for a while now. But seeing his version of holding the sock makes my crush even worse. What a class act!

  141. Amazing, amazing, amazing, amazing.

    Also, it’s awesome that he’s cool for all the stuff he’s done that’s actually impressive, and related to hard work and perseverance and things like that.

    I like how he signed the picture.

  142. EVERY single thing about this is AWESOME. And starting a new sock with “Dark Side of the Moon” was completely, without doubt, the most appropriate and thoughtful thing to do. What he wrote on the picture is fantastic!

  143. that 2nd picture? with his great smile? who wouldn’t have a crush! and what he wrote on the picture? “Lets knit in space” YES!!! what a great post, and how lucky you were to meet him, I was just wondering where you met him ?

  144. I was lucky enough to meet Commander Hatfield when my husband, youngest son and I heard him speak. When he discovered that my son was in the Aviation program at Seneca College training to be a commercial pilot, he was so encouraging, he spent many minutes discussing his career path from Sarnia to joining NASA. That was before he became the Canadian internet hero we know today, love the photos of him holding the “Dark Side of the Moon” sock!

  145. Did you consider that his schoolmates at one time or another might have considered him a dork, being interested is space and science. He probably understands dorks an lot better than Kardasians would (who ever that are)

  146. It was kismet… I am just speechless with the amazing rightness of the whole episode! Except you SHOULD have told him the name of the yarn.

  147. I just have to tell you: you could write about a plain old potato and make it sound great, and funny… but your post about this terrific man was just wonderful. There was so much great stuff, not just about “Chris” (who really is a special man), and how much fun you had meeting him but also your take on what and who should really be important to our kids and why….well, it just made my day! I think I may put your picture on my refrigerator!!

  148. For sure, he’s the type of person we want our young folk to get behind and celebrate!! Totally with you on that.

  149. I reacted the same way, unexpectedly, when I met an astronaut. All I could think was “he has been in space, how cool is that?” I love that you started the new sock with the Pink Floyd inspired yarn.

  150. O.M.G…..SQUEEEEEEEEE!!!!! That is just so COOL. Really, *really* cool….just wow.

    Oh dear, now I can’t decide who is the coolest Canadian you’ve had hold the sock. As you pointed out, Chris Hadfield is in a very exclusive club of awesome, but Gordon Pinsent was Babar.

    Tough choice, dude.

  151. 2 of the most interesting people in one room. Both of you are extremely talented in your own field. I wish I could have been there.

  152. I see that he’s wearing a University of Waterloo sweatshirt… that’s my hometown. Did he go there? Maybe sometime in the 1980’s? Meet a lovely British lady studying Anthro… IS HE MY DAD??!

    Probably not. I bear too much resemblance to some other guy calling himself Dad 😉 but hey… for a second there…

  153. Holy cow! Chris Hadfield shared your post on Facebook. I let out a fangirl scree in the office and freaked a few people out when I saw it. Lovely post – and I’m glad you held it together. I love that he represents hard work, education, and more hard work to get to a big and awesome goal.

  154. I think every woman in Canada has a crush on Cmdr. Hadfield. If he ever spoke to me, I think I would just stare and babble, and stare. I heard him speak in Edmonton – my crush was bigger than ever …..

  155. Tell you what, Steph– I neglected to check your website yesterday,so I found out about this encounter, not from you, but from HIM. He tweeted about it; looked like he had a great time meeting you. You made him laugh.

    100 points, Steph.

  156. I just made my dorky, smart, funny, scientifically-minded and sweet 11-year-old son read your post. I’ve already told him that smart, kind and dorky beats cute, nasty and pointless, but it’s so nice to have someone else say it for a change! He actually said “Yay!” when he read all the stuff about Commander Hadfield doing experiments in space for kids and the like. Score one for positive people in the human race.

  157. Loved this – and yes, he is a really nice guy…always has been and most likely always will be.
    (He was in space 3 times)

  158. Totally a regular reader of your blog but today I happened to be scrolling through my facebook feed and came across a post by Col. Chris Hadfield, who I follow (and I’m not even Canadian!) because I love the concepts of humans going beyond our reach, and there on my news feed, my favorite Canadian astronaut is posting a link to my favorite knitter (Canadian or otherwise) and my worlds just collided in a supernova of dorkiness (which autocorrect wanted to change to “darkness” go figure.). 🙂 This makes me all kinds of happy today.

  159. OK this whole thing is so cool and I think your intentional yarn choice is brilliant. I totally get everything you’re saying. Pretty is nice but smart is awesome and earns far more appreciation from me. He seems like a truly nice guy with a great sense of humor (the sock photos) who knows how to make a sock look good (not that yours are ever anything less than good).
    Many years ago, I had the honor of meeting astronaut Story Musgrave at an event. I even got to ask him a question which I think was actually an intelligent one. I got an autographed photo from him and had the foresight to get one for each of my three children, one of whom was just a baby at the time. It still stands out as a truly special encounter for me. Those men and women are truly rock stars!

  160. Totally crush worthy and it makes me happy that you two amazing people had a moment together. I am super proud he’s wearing a UW hoodie and teaching at my alma mater, just down the road from me. I keep hoping to bump into him at the grocery store. I’m not a sock knitter but I will start a pair just to have them on hand in case we meet over broccoli.

  161. Beautiful sock, nice man, good sense of humor. A good sense of humor is important if you are going to spend 6 months talking to the same few people. Don’t worry, dork is good.
    Julie in San Diego where it’s 72 F, breezy and just lovely. Knitting Harumi on the porch in Baah dark purple sock yarn with a ton of silver beads added to the pattern. Coming out great.

  162. Love the yarn name for such an occasion. Also glad to know I’m not the only one who feels that way about the Kardashians.

  163. I love all of your posts, but this is probably one of my favorite posts ever. Celebrating science AND knitting – 2 of my very favorite things…(Cue ‘Sound of Music’ song.)

  164. Kind of amazing.
    (And did you know that one of the last women to live on Space Station was a quilter? And she quilted in Space? Karen Nyberg is her name if you ever run into her.)

  165. I met him at a book signing a few months ago, and desperately wish I’d had the presence of mind to ask him to hold my knitting, but I was too busy living fourth-grade me’s ultimate fantasy of meeting an astronaut, and adult me was pretty well left out of the equation. He seems like a genuinely phenomenally nice guy, I’m so glad you got to meet him!

  166. I’ve been reading your blog for at least 8 years, maybe longer. Once, when you came to Calgary (shortly after the time you were locked out of your hotel room wearing nothing but your bra and cowgirl panties), we had a beer and you taught me how to do a wrap and turn on your sock -in-progress. You’ve inspired my knitting and I absolutely admire the heck out of you for all of the amazing good that you do in this world.
    Col. Hadfield is an incredible human, and I’m so wildly jealous that you met him and that he held your sock! Everything you say about him, every syllable, is absolutely true. The man is likely made of humble pie, but has single handedly done more to make being smart, working hard, and loving science cool than anyone else in the history of ever.

  167. I was smiling through that whole post, and I was happy to see the footnotes, because that meant it didn’t have to end. And you know what else? The last line is the best. 🙂

  168. Liked and respected him before and now… he has a whole universe of knitters who think he is awesome. Loved everyone of his sock poses. How could you not giggle and cheer. Kudos to you for staying your charming and ever so cool fun self in the presence of a great man.

    P.S. His YouTube videos are great!

  169. And he’s posted a link to this, on his Facebook page! Steph, Chris Hadfield is a fan of yours! OMG I am so jealous of you!

  170. OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!
    I don’t mind at all that we have the same crush-just goes to show we are women of exceptional quality and taste.
    What impresses me most about “our Chris”is his human-ness: this is a mere mortal whose job thrust him into the limelight and he chooses those opportunities to share life lessons, humour and encouragement. Then I read his book. The man is a poet. And he is the best example of the very best in all of us when it comes together in one person. And his wife is a close second.
    Thank you for allowing us to share your weak kneed moment and yes, the sock pics are exactly what I would expect from him.
    (Really-how can you NOT adore him? I wonder if he has a single brother? )

  171. Not only a wonderful Canadian celebrity – but also one from my home town!!! Chris is a terrific role model and walks his talk – I can’t think of someone more worthy to have a crush on 🙂 (Totally giggled when I saw the sock – you rock Steph)

  172. THIS, dear Stephanie, is why You are my knitting Hero! Your grace, your style, your wit, your ability to think quickly and get that Dark Side of the Moon out and get it on the needles quickly! Brilliant, fabulous. Thank you for sharing an amazing encounter with those of us leading mundane lives.

  173. I just wanted to say thanks for this blog. I have become a total Dr.Who/Sherlock fangirl, (who loves Prince and Pink Floyd too.) How cool is it that not only did he take one picture but, many of them! I don’t normally post on blogs but, just had to say thanks for spreading joy to all of us knitters in the yarniverse. You make me smile and take me out of me and my medical issues. I have just had my 4th biopsy (after already having breast cancer in 2011) and surgical tumor removal a week ago. I am still awaiting a second tumor board session on my ex-tumor and the last biopsy result. Knitting and seeing someone you can crush on (as an “adult”) allows me to be silly and get through really scary stuff. (I am the “Portland” Mom who’s daughter played her flute for you. She says, hi and wants you to know she made almost made Nationals for her Speech and Debate team in her freshman year. We can not wait to see you again when your next book comes out. I think, pray and light a strawberry lemonade candle for you and yours. And, now that candle will remind me that no matter how old you get you can still be a teenage fangirl no matter your age.
    Hugs, Jody and Katie

  174. I met him at a conference last year having listened to his amazing talk about what its like to be Chris Hadfield in space and what he has learnt from his experiences. This is exactly how I felt – he was so charming, and I was completely smitten … I now avidly follow NASA and Chris on everything. I’m 51 now, and still hold out some hope … I’d fight you for him! 🙂

  175. I’ve admired the guy for years. He’s so cool, has done such amazing stuff, but is so self-effacing too and as you say, it’s the way he shares his experiences and encourages people to get switched onto science that is so fantastic. He’s the kind of guy you wish could be your brother or your uncle, because you know he would be such fun to spend time with. Good job Steph 🙂

  176. I can honestly say I have never had a rock star crush until I handed my book to Col. Chris Hadfield at the bookstore in Huntington Beach, CA and was tongue-tied. I wanted to tell him how much I loved all the sharing he did while he was in the ISS – especially the photos on Facebook (I’m a photographer) stressing the lack of borders from Space… Loved them!!! But when I was in front of him I actually blithered.. And as I walked away after having my picture taken with him, with my signed book, I totally forgot my purse, I was so thrilled – they had to come after me… and then I turned back around to the 2 guys I’d been sitting with during his talk – (his intelligence and sense of humor is so awesome!!) – and then in line with, and I let out a little scream! I felt just like the girls at a Beatles concert! I was gaga!!! It took until I was 60 to have that experience – but there I was!!! My picture of me with Col Hadfield was my profile pic for quite awhile – I am seriously grinning my head off in it! What a great person to have that experience about!!!!! And I’m not at all jealous that all these others have the same type of crush on him!!! I’m thrilled!!! Thanks for the post!!

  177. Love everything about this, including the fact he has posted a link to your blog on his Facebook page. Please tell me you will be sending him the socks when they are done 🙂

  178. Good for you! That is so awesome … And I know exactly how you feel. I have a one degree of separation from Neal DeGrasse Tyson because he was a friend of my younger sister’s and I just feel so fortunate to have had the chance to meet and chat with him (even if it was at her Memorial Service, which he hosted). These are moments to cherish.

  179. I am smiling. Your post was the best way to start my day. I think the dorks in life should be celebrated too. You amaze me. Thanks for all you do.

  180. So so cool!…For some reason I got emotional reading this…strong, smart and geeky women are the best models for girls. My science loving, dancing, cello playing, Dr. Who obsessed, beautiful 14 yo daughter would recognize me and her Dad in this post. Rock on Steph!

  181. The post was so adult and made so much sense, celebrity not always equal with a person’s worth and one should always look further and then you ended with the yarn choice………….that’s why we love you. You keep it real.

  182. Super cool! You so should have told him the name of the yarn, he would have loved it! lol. My brother teaches physics & astronomy at Marc Garneau SS and has met Marc Garneau several times. He is still star struck with that and wears his jacket with all kinds of NASA patches on it every time. I hear ya dork lady. It’s in us all. Guys like that love stuff like this. It lets them know that other people are very in touch with what they do. Yes, he is a rarity, and yes we should be so so proud that he is Canadian. He is ours & we love him! Cherish your moment. 🙂

  183. Woohoooo! I am a ferociously dorky knitter and raging space geek, so this makes me aaaaaallllll sorts of happy! Astronauts are the best sort of celebrities, as a rule. 🙂 I’ve met several over the last few years, thanks to NASAtweetups/ NASA Socials and a CSA Tweetup (everybody should go!) and they’ve all been super great! I haven’t met Commander Hadfield [yet] but he seems to be an especially excellent person and I will definitely fangirl all over the place (quietly) when I do finally gt to meet him!

  184. Actually…I think this might be one of the coolest things ever. I’d be really excited if I got to meet an astronaut.

    I used to work in retail outside of Atlanta, GA and we would frequently have some of the big names in the music industry turn up on our store. I remember vividly having to scold cashiers, who were crowding around a then famous rapper trying to get an autograph, that the gentleman was just another customer attempting to conduct his personal business and to stop pestering him. He and his wife (a former member of a 90s girl group) thanked me for treating them like ‘regular people.’ So many people seem to forget that celebrities are just people.

  185. I am glad words didn’t fail you. And so thrilled for you. People who make science come to life are a truly special breed. And it’s totally sweet that you picked that yarn for the sock for him to hold.

  186. This is rad! But, for me, the question is: are you going to send him the socks??? I bet he would love them and honestly, if you’re going to be super famous, a handmade sock made from Darkside of the Moon would be pretty much the coolest gift ever. No pressure, of course ;-). But, it would be cool. 🙂

  187. Best. Post. Ever.

    His book, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life On Earth, is simply amazing. I am so proud he is Canadian.

  188. Quite simply the sweetest tribute to a man I have ever read. You go! And so totally agree with the Kardashian comment – what the heck and how and why and for crying out loud, really, why does anyone care about them?!?!?!!!!!

  189. Pingback: Chris Hadfield Still Wearing his X-33, and There's a Yarn Called "Dark Side of the Moon"

  190. You totally should have told him about the yarn!

    This is one of your best stories. Thanks for sharing in that wonderful way you do.


  191. I agree with you, Steph. I think we really do need to get behind the smart rather than the “lowest common denominator” for popular. Nice people rather than twerkers (is this right) should be held up as role models.

    You are a lucky one for getting the pictures. They are fabulous!

    I have a feeling you are right about him. Trust your gut instinct. He probably is a nice man. He looks like a nice man. Or at the very least someone taught him at an early age how to put on a good face in the light of some really bizarre things that might come his way. I think holding knitting is one of the better slightly odd requests. He probably gets a lot more requests for things less savory than we want to imagine.

  192. Oh WOW! I’m sorry but that totally beats Obama as the coolest person ever to hold a sock! My biggest girl (aged 4) is addicted to the videos he filmed in space and when we took her to meet him at a book signing in Oxford she was utterly overcome and hid behind our legs. My little Elma though, she had a whale of a time looking at a picture of a cookie floating down the space station – it definitely confirmed my opinion that he’s one of the good guys!

  193. Oh Wow what an amazing blog post! I would be Star Struck too! He has to be a great guy, he’s a total natural posing with the sock knitting!

  194. I just caught up with the last 3 blog entries. Thanks so much for writing. Your blog and books are a good thing.

    Congrat’s on keeping your cool with Commander Hadfield. That’s Chris to his friends.

  195. I love everything about this post! Thank you for sharing your amazing experience and for reminding us all that there’s nothing wrong with doing things that are dorky.

  196. Total squee, and my favorite part with all of those fabulous pictures? He’s not intimidated by wool, and doesn’t appear to have lost a stitch with all of his posing with “the” sock. Whoever gets that pair for the holidays is totally getting an extra bonus.

  197. Oh I so totally understand! I worked at a local NASA center in Education, and the astronauts on the shuttle and ISS would come by to thank the workers who created their missions and give a talk. I would be a giddy school girl every time they did! They are so intelligent and yet so NICE. And they truly deserve their celebrity! You go girl!

  198. I look forward to all your posts but this might be a favourite. Thank you for championing someone who deserves it in this world of “personalities” !

  199. Didn’t “The Artist Formerly Known” criticize “the cruelties involved in wool production” in his “Rave Un2the Joy Fantastic” album notes? Maybe “U 2” need to talk? …

  200. Pingback: Friday Favourites #2 | Inês vs. the Wool

  201. I’m not going to go on and on about each individual way that you’ve said all the right things. Just know it’s the best thing I’ve read in so long, and I smiled, then for some reason started crying because I was so touched. With your dorkyness (?) and the Commander’s good-natured spirit.

    I seem to do that more the older I get! Thanks for a great article.

  202. I just love this post. Plain and simple. Love.

    Sent it to my non-knitting, space station and astronaut loving friend. She will totally geek out (dork out?) right along with the knitty rest of us. 🙂

  203. You know what the coolest thing ever is – I’ve been reading your blog and books for so long that I feel like we are sort of long distance, comfy friends. I so appreciate you and your writing! And here you’ve met one of my crushes. The amazing, wonderful Commander Hadfield and I’m oddly thrilled and over the moon that a sort of friend got to meet my hero!! I am SO happy for you!

  204. And in a great coincidence, yesterday we went to the Air & Space Museum for our anniversary (I so understand and live silliness, too), and I got to meet and visit briefly with an astronaut who went on 4 shuttle missions, did 3 spacewalks, and helped build the ISS, Tom Jones. I didn’t get a chance to ask him about Chris Hadfield, unfortunately. But I sure thought about Chris as I looked at the shuttle there (even though it’s not one of the ones he flew). He made space cool again in a way I hadn’t felt since I was growing up and we were going to the moon. And my daughter finally understood why I’ve loved the space program since the very first time I saw a manned launch (on our fuzzy black & white TV. I think kids today are feeling that same excitement, and I really hope it leads to a Mars landing in my lifetime!

  205. Only someone as brilliant and funny as you could combine a passion for knitting and hero worship, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post even though I’m another American who unfortunately has no idea who this charming astronaut is, although any man willing to pose with a hand knit sock is a hero of mine.

    • You should look him up on YouTube – but set a time limit first. It’s spectacularly easy to lose a morning listening to him explain stuff in space

  206. This is awesome! You are awesome, Chris is awesome, and finally, the final touch of the wool? That is awesome 🙂

  207. Two of the people I would most like to spend the afternoon with in one place. Your pictures made me feel like I was there with you. Thank you!

  208. I absolutely, totally adore that you started a new sock, because you wanted Commander Hadfield to be holding a sock with the colourway Dark Side of the Moon!!!!

  209. I always read your posts too late to feel like my comment has anything to offer the hundreds that are already there – and maybe this has already been said – but I read you because in addition to the knitting I really appreciate your thoughts on parenting. You help me be a better parent. Love Hadfield but your comments on crushes were even better. (I love a good crush though! you just have to keep it in perspective!)

    thanks for everything Steph.

  210. I loved this post! And now I love him too, since I didn’t know all that about him, AND he totally embraced the holding the sock for a picture thing. You totally should have told him the yarn color name!

  211. Re: the Pingbacks

    1. Finding out that some poeple stalk what wristwatches people are wearing, and then blog about it, makes me feel refreshingly normal and mainstream.

    2. OMG – the link to the Latviwn mitten shop, farther down the page from the Cdr. Hadfield reference – FABULOUS!!

  212. Dark Side of the Moon? Are you serious? That’s awesome!

    I haven’t chimed in for a while because I don’t have internet at home at the moment and hardly ever go anywhere to use a computer, which is a giant pain, but I did have to chime in on this one.

    I’m sure Commander Hadfield is everything you describe and more, but I think what speaks volumes is your reaction. I think that lovely people bring out the loveliness in others and while I’m completely blown away by his not only “holding” a sock but, oh man! POSING with it, I think that how you handled it all tells the blog what they already know – that you are a really, really lovely person who thinks and feels and behaves in a way most of us would like to think we would in those same circumstances. Convoluted sentence; but I hope you know what I mean. And the message? You bet, we need a knitter in space! In an age where presidents and prime ministers have come out in public with their knitting habit, how long can it be until astronauts and scientists embrace the knit? LOVE it!

  213. Awesomest. Post. Ever. In Blog. History.

    Now anyone who meets YOU can say there are two degrees of separation between [him/her] and Chris Hadfield!

    Before I fall over, I must go take some nitro now.

  214. O M G, I bought the same yarn as Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. I am so freaking happy right now I can barely stand it.

  215. Geek, nerd, dork….who cares. You got to talk to a real space man. I love it so much. Thank you for sharing Stephanie. I always take time to read your blog. I find wonderful tips, patterns, ideas and stories that make my life pleasant. Thank you.

  216. Commander Hatfield sounds like a terrific guy, and I think it’s great that you got to meet him and he held your sock (and obviously had fun with it.) But the best part? That you started the sock with Dark Side of the Moon yarn. That is so you. And so perfect.

  217. You do realise you absolutely MUST send him some hand knit socks now, right? I’m sure he would really appreciate them. I’m guessing your knitter autopilot got his size figured out.

  218. Commander Chris has begun daily live posts on Periscope. And you can ask him questions and he answers them! I am getting my hadfield fix regularly now.

  219. I think anyone who is attracted to men would be insane not to have a crush on this man! I went to a book signing today and he is handsome, smart, hard-working and funny. Plus, come on, Space Oddity. And squeee, he answered my question! He is an outstanding citizen of the world! And cute!

  220. Oh, I love this so much. Thank you for making my week with this post. I’ve been grinning from ear to ear reading it. Also, that is the prettiest yarn…

  221. I have gone through and read every entry to the blog because a) they are funny and b) I have extreme periods of down time at work and can’t knit. They won’t allow it (I know, I know). I must say though, this has been my favorite. He looks so adorable with your sock and doing fun things with it. You can tell he’s a nice person.

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