I am not exactly a morning person

Last night, I set my alarm for 4:15am, and then went back and changed it to 4:30 because the extra 15 minutes gave me a sliver of a will to live, and I thought that rushing a little in the morning would be better. I have no way to explain to you why I did this, because I recognize that I’m not a morning person and while I am capable of rushing in the morning, I’m not really capable of doing it without weeping softly as I do it, and that’s exactly what I did this morning. The car came for me at 5:15, and I was on my way to the airport in the beginnings of a massive storm, peering into the darkness, and wondering how long it would hold off, if my flight would be delayed, if I would meet Clara on time in Denver to join up for the flight to Austin, and if I have any of the right clothes for Austin (I don’t. You can take a gal out of the winter, but you can’t take the winter out of the gal.)

Now I’m at the airport, wondering sort of absently why there are so many people here (storm) drinking (another) cup of coffee, wondering why I keep booking flights that in my soul I feel are a human rights violation, and casting on for a hat. Sam’s lost hers again, and while I feel like there should be consequences for this many lost hats, I don’t feel like those consequences should include frostbite, so… another hat it is. (She’s not getting another Wurm though. Too much knitting for a hat-loser.  I suggested she whip out the needles herself if she was getting particular, and all of a sudden she was a paragon of flexibility. She’ll get what I knit, and she’ll like it.)

So I was sitting here, feeling exactly zero positive things – this is how much I am not a morning person, and I was glumly pulling out the hat stuff, and casting on, and then I had to rip it out because apparently I can’t to a lick of math before at least 8am, and this lady walks by, and she says “Are you KNITTING?!” (You could actually hear the interrobang,  if you’re wondering.)  I look up, sort of prepared to cheerfully make my way through another conversation about the archaic and bizarre nature of my occupation, and how she didn’t think anyone did that anymore, and how she heard knitting was making a comeback, or how I must have a lot of patience, or any of the other stereotypical and untrue stuff that people say to me in airports… and I sigh a little, gird myself and say “Yup.”

This lady’s face lights up like a Christmas tree, and she says “It looks so fun! All I’m going to do on my flight is watch a stupid movie.”

“I’m going to watch a stupid movie and make a hat.” I tell her, suddenly feeling much better. Productive, even. Like my day has a purpose, even though I’m in a stinking airport at dawn.

“Lucky duck” she says, and off she goes.

I bet she’s a morning person. (Thanks, lady.)

125 thoughts on “I am not exactly a morning person

  1. Stephanie, I enjoy your writing style so much! I read a lot of blogs where the writers are trying sooo hard to be clever, but seriously, ending a joke with “That is all.” does not make it any wittier. Anyway, you’re hilarious (‘paragon of flexibility’, lol), thanks for the smiles 🙂

  2. In an ironic turn of events, your blog is often part of the embarrassingly lengthy waking-up process that is my morning (and probably lots of other people’s, as well) – so next time you’re having a morning like this one, you can think, “I’m going to watch a stupid movie, make a hat, and let my blog improve the grumpy mornings of hundreds of people.” And then you can take a really self-satisfied sip of coffee.

    Hope you have a blast in Austin!

  3. Great story for my morning. Got in early to work, anticipating dreadful drive, but it looks like it’s going to hit about the time I head home. Safe travels. Glad she made you smile.

  4. It was so wonderful to wake up to your blog this morning. I’m leaving on a few 7am flights soon. I ship everything before I go so I have lots of things in my carry on to keep myself occupied while waiting. I love to wait in airports, hospitals, doctors offices….knitting, complicated dot-to-dot book, crossword puzzles, reading book, special snacks…
    Have a great flight!

  5. I read your blog and never leave comments, but had to this time. What a delightful way to salvage your morning! I’m so glad that she came by to give you a lift! Happy, safe travels to you…say hi to my husband if you pass him in the airport in Austin..he’ll be there catching a flight this afternoon!

  6. Your story takes me back to my own knitting epiphany. I had knitted in previous lives (college, babies) but gave it up during the years of school, sports and music lessons for the children plus my own job. About 15 years ago, I was waiting for a delayed flight in the Tallahassee airport when I saw a woman knitting and I thought, “I wish I was knitting.” When I got to my destination and had a couple of hours between meetings I searched out a local yarn shop. I bought yarn and needles and immediately cast on for a scarf. The rest, you know, is history, as my Ravelry page will attest to.

  7. Now, that’s was I call “pay it forward”… she did it to you, and so you did it to us by sharing your story.

    Now, we can all pay it forward to someone else… morning person or not, now that there’s a grin on our face!

  8. I feel your morning pain. My daughters had 5 am swim practices for 4 years. They finally stopped competing and the older one is now a lifeguard. She has two morning shifts that start at – you guessed it – 5 am…..I really can’t wait until she can drive herself!

    Happy travelling – I knit in airports and on planes too. There really should be a special section in the plane so that all the knitters can hang out together!

    • Yes! I always knit at airports and in planes, literally all over the world. Many times, we knitters find each other, kind of like homing pigeons. But wouldn’t it be nice if there was a special section that we could all sit together. Knitting group in the air!

  9. I would love it if you’d reinstate the “appearances/events” page. The blog sidebar’s been empty for years so all I know about where I might hear you speak or take a class is … uh, the travel blog entries.

  10. The fact that you know what an interrobang is – just one of the reasons I love your blog! (side note – I always thought ‘Interrobang’ would be a great name for a band)
    Good luck with the hat knitting. I don’t know what pattern you chose, but I just finished the Antler hat by Tin Can Knits for my husband, and I highly recommend any of their patterns for speedy, yet fetching, headwear.

  11. I looked up “interrobang.” I had no idea that !? was a real form of punctuation, let alone its name. My life (or at least my grammar) is a little bit better this morning 🙂

    (Also, good luck with the travel. And finding good travel coffee.)

  12. I once consigned my older son to a year of Walgreens hats as purgatory for losing the hats I made for him. The next year we came up with the solution of making them brightly colored, with his name worked in fair isle, so we could find them in lost and found more easily. There’s still a lot of hat loss in our house, so they totally get basic ones now.

  13. I overhead a woman, taking a sock class, say “I wish I could knit on my flight.” DUH! So many still believe their needles won’t be allowed! I’ve had my tweezers taken, (fear of having their eyebrows removed?) but never my knitting!

    • This conversation is like a record going around and around. Someone says you can take your needles. Another reports how the knitting was ripped off the needles. So for some travellers it is not quite as straight forward as all that.
      Fortunately, I only have cause to fly Air New Zealand and they have a written policy that knitting needles and crotchet hooks are allowed. I still use caution and carry on only my less expensive ones though, just in case I meet up with someone who is having a bad day at the office.

  14. YH, I salute you! To have changed out of your jammies and gone to the airport at such an early hour takes a special kind of fortitude. At that hour, I would have been making Godzilla seem like a wuss! (Early birds are only good for breakfast, IMHO.)

    Have a safe trip, and enjoy whatever hijinks you and Clara get into. Keep Austin weird (and knit some moose antlers on Sam’s hat).

  15. Is what you’ll be doing in Austin an event open to the public by any chance? My daughter is there and would definitely want to attend!

  16. I’ve had many things taken from me by the tsa. Things I knew if I had thought would not be allowed but having to use them for work on a near daily basis, never thought about removing from my purse. They also found my ring full of store rewards tags when I couldn’t the day before.

    I have a feeling all of us knitters have an Achilles heel with yarn. Mine happens to be not being able to keep the numbers of yds per oz separate from the yds per g and not getting enough or getting way too much (but it’s never enough to make anything useful it seems).

    Thanks Stephanie for fun. You always brighten my day. And when you don’t have a post, I go back and re-read earlier ones.

  17. I love that lady’s comment. Usually when someone asks me if I’m knitting when I’m at an airport or on a plane, it’s usually followed up by some question of how I managed to get past security with my very dangerous merino and sock needles.

  18. Your winter attire may not be so far off. We have family in Corpus Cristi and Houston, both of which are only in the low 50’s right now…..Austin is likely to be a bit cool even to the Northerners. Downright frigid if you are a Texan. My sister-in-law and I laugh often about our different concepts of “cold”. Be warm and have a lovely time!

  19. Stephanie, just so you know — it is cool in Austin today. (We consider the 40s downright cold, but I know you don’t!) A sweater will feel really good until about 3:00. Enjoy Texas!

  20. Lucky Duck indeed! I hope that woman picks up needles and starts knitting herself, because it’s one of the best ways to pass the time on a flight.

    Secondly, I’m at work when I read your blog entries, and I can’t knit here (because, sadly, I’m supposed to be working). I will have to live vicariously through you. So knit, and knit happy. And perhaps Sam needs a little leash on this next hat that will connect to mitts or her coat or something so that she does not lose another hat.

  21. Considering yesterday’s weather in Austin, you might be more prepared than you think…and then again you might be on your way to a glorious warm spring. February in central Texas, you neve know.

  22. ::sigh:: And she has no idea who you are. None.

    I would have been fangirling a bit (like I did on Sunday when I met Clara Parkes, Sivia Harding, and Jasmin & Gigi of Knitmore Girls all in one fell swoop – seriously, Clara was signing books and the rest of us were in line by each other).

  23. That is *so* awesome!! And thank you, your post has totally given me a much needed boost during a very stressful work day! Safe travels!!

  24. SIGH! Mornings…I hates ’em. Sunrises should only be seen from the wrong side (i.e., stay up all night!).

    Enjoy your good luck, and say “Hullo” to Clara for me!

  25. I was hoping this post ended with Steph and the lady discovering they were on the same flight and sitting right next to each other, and that Steph spent the flight teaching the other lady to knit. I suppose it maybe did happen and we just haven’t heard about it yet…

    And count me as another who is a word geek and a proofreader to boot and still had never heard of an interrobang, and now love that it exists and that I know about it!

  26. So, very entertaining story (as usual) and then I got to the last line. That pulled a chuckle out of me! Yes, she must be a morning person! You should probably add to your packing a little bag with cheap (give-a-way) needles and a skein of yarn on your trips. This could be your bag to teach someone in the airport/on the plane. They could merrily go on their way a new knitter. Now that would be fun. I bet she would have loved it!

  27. That lady needs to get together with the subway lady from way back when: “Sh*!t girl, I can do that!.” One of my all time favorite Yarn Harlot stories.

  28. Even for a morning person, 4:30 isn’t….that’s still night, IMO, so you can be forgiven for early lost-the-will-to-live-ness.
    Knitting on my lunch break at work today, my boss came and spoke to me about work and totally blanked the knitting! must have been an invisible sock!

  29. Oh how cool. Hugs to that woman, whoever she is, and may she find herself a Knitter with a capital K very very soon. I would run after her with a skein of cashmere if I could in thanks for her making your day so much better. Have a great trip!

  30. Awww, you aren’t twins anymore?

    Also I thought of you yesterday. There was a woman knitting on the train ride home and I was trying to see what she was working on and I’m pretty sure it was Noro yarn. But I was very tired and anti-social and just couldn’t bring myself to start a conversation with a stranger, even one who had beautiful wool. So…hopefully she didn’t think I was stalking her.

  31. It’s always great when one person just gets it. Too often I get the same kind of remarks, and I just shake my head. They don’t understand the keen pleasure of string and stick.

  32. Are you not a morning person, or are you a No-People-Before-Caffeine type of person? I need at least an hour and a good cuppa before I can people. I can’t imagine waking up, then running out the door and having to make polite noises at the appropriate times before I’ve had a peaceful cup of coffee and some ‘me time’. Especially the TSA. You are a wonder.

  33. Reread your blog from the start (again) for my January gift to me. The result is that I started a Wurm hat for my girl last week. You’re right. It is a lot of knitting. If she loses it, I’m not knitting another. As a nearly 14 YO and a fledgling knitter, she can make her own next time if she wants another!

  34. So as a fellow non morning person I have booked a flight out of Denver at 7am. The shuttle which I was trying to book said it would pick me up at 4am. For some reason I haven’t been able to get myself to book that yet. Pretty sure that sleeping is a total waste of time that night.

  35. Knit after dinner at a visit with a guest priest. He looked at me while I worked on a sweater and drank wine. I just know what he was saying in his head. “Is she KNITTING?”

  36. Hi,
    I’ve always wondered what to say to fellow knitters in this situation: “Those socks look great!” and “I’m a knitter too!” both sound a little more cheesy / chipper than I am. What do you wish people would say to you, or what do you say? Thanks!

  37. Lucky duck indeed! 🙂

    I have to say that I started reading your post fearful that you would discover at the airport that your knitting (or some portion thereof) was still in your hotel room. I’m very happy to be wrong!

  38. I have all of your books and 3 of Clara’s.
    Distressingly, our 2 local libraries keep asking if I mean Finlandia when I try to reserve Knitlandia.
    Maybe I need to buy the book and then donate it to the library, since we’re trying to downsize and aren’t supposed to be accumulating more books. :o(

    • Sadly, in my city, at least, donating knitting (or other) books to the library means that they go into the fund-raising book sale, not into the collection. So one lucky person gets a bargain, rather than multiple knitters getting to check it out. That gives me a sad.

      • Both of our wonderful local libraries have terrific knitting collections; I expect they just don’t have Knitlandia yet. They have saved me a ton of money, and from having yet more paper stacked up on every flat surface.

  39. You are lucky indeed. Security at the Cozumel airport confiscated my sock needles yesterday so I couldn’t knit all the way home. Oh, and we were delayed 2 hours waiting for the Toronto plane to arrive late due to the same snowstorm. It’s time for some new DPNs after 44 years with my beloved size 12s.

  40. Not only would I have reset my alarm clock to a later time, I would have made liberal use of the snooze button. I just read this to my hubby, who is an annoying morning person of the worst sort, and he got quite a laugh out of it – we can both totally relate! Hope you are having safe travels and enjoying some sunshine somewhere…

  41. My sons live in Austin. Yep, you can take the Midwestern mom out of Iowa but, you can’t take the Midwestern look off of the mom. I always appear like I’m dressed for 26 degrees and/or that I’ve just crawled out of a groundhog’s hole into the sunlight.

  42. Yep, I have a hat loser. Fortunately, I love to knit hats. Chose a different pattern every time- or at least alter the stitch pattern. It gives ma a chance to try new stitches without too much commitment. Make hats out of “extra” yarn when I can. If I have to buy yarn to make him a hat, though, I try to find the least expensive yarn that is still nice and soft. I love knitting for my son because he always appreciates and WEARS what I make. He just can’t seem to hold onto them…

  43. Heh nice.

    Also, this sentence:

    “I suggested she whip out the needles herself if she was getting particular, and all of a sudden she was a paragon of flexibility.”


  44. I just flew from Israel to New York. As I sat at the airport waiting for my midnight flight, some lady said “Do they let you do that on the flight?” You know I hate it when someone says that as people regularly carry things that can be used to hurt someone…like a pen or pencil or even their belt but I would sure like something snappy to say in return. Anyhow, the flight was so crowded that I really only knitted at the airport and tried to doze the 12 hours it took.

  45. I feel your pain. I work 13 hours every Sun/Mon between two jobs & walk to work when the moon is still very high in the sky. It should be illegal to wake up before the sun rises, lol. But what a sweet comment! Hopefully she’ll go home & try knitting. I’m sure she’ll kick herself when she finds your picture on the cover of Knitting Rules! 😉

  46. Am I the first to admit that I had to look up the definition of Interrobang? Now I’m saying Thank You for adding to my vocabulary. I’m not a morning person either, but I’m married to one…. works in my favor on the weekends when he likes to cook breakfast.

  47. I cast on for a sock once while sitting in the gate waiting for a flight at OMFG in the morning, too. It had two heels in it. I was so sleep-deprived that it almost escaped me before I realized what I had done and frogged it.

    NEVER book a flight at buttcrack in the morning. Physics doesn’t work at that hour, and it could fall out of the sky.

  48. The interrobang has been my favorite punctuation since I read about it in “My Weekly Reader” in the 1960’s. Unfortunately, I haven’t used it since the days of typewriters, since computer keyboards don’t let you type a question mark, backspace, and type an exclamation point.

  49. I expect to see you here (although I don’t visit like I used to or comment anymore (except for this one)), but I didn’t expect to see you unpacking a tiny bag of knitting tools on my Facebook feed a minute ago. It was both surreal and delightful at the same time.

  50. 1. the loss of a hat means that someone else now has one. Their head is warm as should be your heart.
    2. Daughter will be happy with anything, but why is she not knitting her own when she has the appropriate genes to do it?
    3. You are a masochist. I booked an early morning flight once, had to be out of the house by 5:15 (I was the driver) to get to the airport car park in time for a wee early flight. NEVER gonna happen again….
    4. Fly out the night before. yes, added expense but then you can … SLEEP IN… cherish that mantra on your next trip…say it over and over…
    Sorry I cannot make it to Austin. Let me know when you want to come to Atlanta, and stay for a day or two in the Guest Bedroom….and I’ll give you the key to the stash room….

    • If you follow her on Instagram you can get hints. For example, she’s posted pix of herself in snow, and Ken had his 50th birthday complete with 50 candles on his cake. Just quick photos with a sentence, but checking there helps relieve the anxiety.

  51. I love that response!
    I just got home from a trip that took 30+ hours in transit EACH WAY. I knitted my way through lots of movies and TV shows (almost caught up on Scandal!). I sort of felt sorry for all the people with no knitting.

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