December 15, 2010


It is D-day.  Delivery day.  The day I send my manuscript to my editor.  This day is always a day that I am very worried.  If you have never sent in a book, then you might like to know what sorts of things a writer worries about on D-day.  (If you are a writer, feel free to add to the list.)

1. I worry that maybe the book is bad.  Terrible. Maybe I only think it's good because I've been writing it for so long that it's a queer little pet now, and I probably can't see it for what it is.  It's like those people who have a really obnoxious little dog and they think it's the most charming little beast in the world,  even while it humps your pillows and pees in the potted ficus in the living room.

2. There could be something wrong with the word counter thingie on my computer and as a result, I am going to get a letter from my editor at 4:00 saying that they'll need the other 10 000 words before 5:00.

3. My editor is new to me.  I haven't met her or worked with her yet, but I'm pretty sure she hates me and thinks my work is lame.

4. Maybe she's incompetent, and I'm going to send her this book, and it will be terrible and she won't notice it's terrible and it will just get published and I'll be humiliated.  (That has to happen, because there are some really, really bad books out there, and they got past an author who thought it was great and an editor who agreed.)

5. It could happen that I'll send her the manuscript, but it will be blank because computers are stupid.  Then my computer will crash and so will the one at home I have it backed up on, and the whole book will be gone.

6. Maybe every piece of hatemail I've ever gotten is the only true stuff that's ever been written to me.  Maybe I am out of my mind thinking that I'm a writer and I should go back to all the stuff I did before.

7. Maybe it's going to be fine.

8. I probably used the wrong font and that's going to ruin everything, and by everything I mean my whole life.  Your life will stay the same.

9. The Editor is going to ask me to revise every single word. 

10. The Editor is not going to ask me to revise every single word, which could either means that #4 is completely and totally true or that the book is fine and there will be no way to tell, even after an entire bottle of wine and three hours sobbing to my husband about how being a writer is really, really complicated and unpredictable.

11. I put the essays in the wrong order.  The book was totally fine until last night at 1am, when I rearranged two of them and destroyed the entire integrity of the book which is now a slag heap of human brain waste. 

12.  At book tours for the rest of my life, someone will come up to me and ask me why those essays are in that order and I'll have no explanation. 

13. Somewhere in the more than 60 000 words, there is a factual error. It will not be discovered until the most important book review of my career. The whole review will be about that error, and how the funniest thing about my humour book is that I'm an idiot who made this error and actually sent the manuscript in anyway.  Ha Ha.

14. The book will be so bad that revision won't even be possible, and I'll never be asked to write another one.

15. The book will be good enough that they ask me to write another one, and this whole thing will start all over again.

Posted by Stephanie at December 15, 2010 1:50 PM

I expect it will be # 15. Can't wait to read it!

Posted by: Karen in CT at December 15, 2010 1:53 PM

#15 is quite likely.

Posted by: Kelly at December 15, 2010 1:53 PM

Good for you! Another project off your desk. Yippy. Enjoy.

Posted by: Jane at December 15, 2010 1:56 PM

I'm not quite sure that it is possible that a NY Times Best-selling author who writes an award winning blog is suddenly going to turn out a book that isn't worth the paper it is printed on.

Go knit something wonderful until you hear back from the editor. It will make you feel like you're accomplishing something even if it doesn't make the response come back any quicker.

Posted by: Genie at December 15, 2010 1:57 PM

Number 7 definitely. Also number 15. I say this because I've read/listened to your others so I consider myself a competent judge. And I'm bossy and opinionated.

Posted by: Betsy at December 15, 2010 1:57 PM

Can't understand why people would send you hate mail.

Posted by: Andrea in Kansas at December 15, 2010 1:59 PM

Sounds about what goes through my head during finals week.

Posted by: Krista at December 15, 2010 1:59 PM

take a deep breath! there are bad writers out there--you're not one of them. there are bad editors out there--you'll be able to tell.

most of all, congratulations for making your deadline. it's miraculous.

Posted by: ecentipede at December 15, 2010 1:59 PM

I, too, vote for 7 and 15. You - and your books - are funny, smart, insightful, and delightful.

Posted by: Rebecca Duncan at December 15, 2010 2:01 PM

Even if it is the worst thing you ever wrote, it will still be great because you are a very talented writer. You make me laugh on a daily basis. Congratulations on completing your book. Celebrate the accomplishment and let the rest work itself out because it really is out of your hands now.

Posted by: Theresa at December 15, 2010 2:02 PM

You've captured the feeling quite well ... but I have one more to add.

16. My book will be really horrible but no one will want to hurt my feelings so they won't tell me and will feel awkward and avoid me so not only did I write a terrible book but I'm going to lose all of my friends as well.

Posted by: Jeannie at December 15, 2010 2:04 PM

Oh dear.... I was stressed over a 10,000 thesis. I can't imagine 6 of those stacked together. I suspect now might be a good time for tea... or a hot whiskey?

Posted by: eimearee at December 15, 2010 2:05 PM

Either way I will buy it and I am pretty sure I won't be alone! There will be something in it that is wonderful!

Posted by: Joanie Helgeson at December 15, 2010 2:05 PM

Relax -- it will be fine! Your other books have been great. Your blog is great. The workshops you teach and organize are great. It'll all good. Now -- go knit!

Posted by: NancyKnots at December 15, 2010 2:06 PM

CELEBRATE!! Grab some super soft luxury yarn to knit (or cuddle with) at tea time. Knit in garter and exhale.

Posted by: KatherineR at December 15, 2010 2:08 PM

It will be another good book and many,many copies will be sold to people that will enjoy reading it - the entire point after all (other than making a living, of course). Now go enjoy your holidays and your lovely family.

Posted by: Lisa at December 15, 2010 2:09 PM

I know you didn't write this post so we'd all tell you how much we love you, but I'm going to add to the list of people who:

A) think your books and your blog are wonderfully funny and sometimes very touching.
B) don't understand how you can get hate mail
C) can't wait to read this new book! Can you share the title with us, or doesn't it have one yet?

P.S. I linked to you on Rav yesterday. It's really more of a love than hate thing, honest! ;) What I really hate is not having enough hours in the day. I think my knitting group is going to do a Paul Atwell KAL in January, though.

Posted by: Connie B. in OH at December 15, 2010 2:10 PM

Hmm, that's a lot of stuff to worry about. Glad I'm not a writer.

Posted by: Annie at December 15, 2010 2:12 PM

It will be ok. I promise.

Posted by: Emma at December 15, 2010 2:12 PM

Don't even think about it! Of course it's going to be terrific. Everything you write is. Even what you might conceive of as bad is always great to the rest of us.

What I'm hung up on is number six. It really has me disturbed. How could anyone write you hate mail? You're the person we all want as our next door neighbor. May they (those writers) step into a deep sinkhole of bad smelling yarn and never be heard from again! (A prayer to the Gods of Yarn and All Things Related.)

Posted by: KarenJ at December 15, 2010 2:12 PM

Hate mail! Flippin' ek, there must be some very strange folk to be sending you hate mail. Looking forward to the book - may be your worries be over soon, although it was fun reading them!

Posted by: Terri (terdotty on rav) at December 15, 2010 2:13 PM

I predict #16: New editor will fall on ground in a swoon, clutching your perfectly-worded, uncannily-accurate, beautifully-fonted Sistine Chapel Ceiling of a book. When s/he gets up, they will call you, remarking in hushed tones how awesome you are. You will then take it stride, get some yarn, and knit a bit. Because that's how you roll. CONGRATULATIONS yet again on another wonderful book that I can't wait to buy!

Posted by: Erin Cathcart at December 15, 2010 2:14 PM

See, and I thought you'd be all frantic and crazy and panicky today. Now you can cross this off the to-do list, and get on with the frantic and crazy and panicky that is Christmas ;)

Posted by: conk at December 15, 2010 2:14 PM

The book is going to be fantastic, I'm sure. I can't wait for it to come out so I can get a copy. Enjoy your time with Tina & knit on those socks.

Posted by: Sabrina F at December 15, 2010 2:14 PM

No; no; no; no; no; no; yes; no; no; #4 is still no; no; no; no; no; yes.

Have a cup of tea with a lot of Screech in it and some chocolate and go knit something. It'll be *fine.* Or at least survivable. ;)

Posted by: MonicaPDX at December 15, 2010 2:14 PM

Definately #15, can't wait to add it to the collection of my new favourite author/mentor and source of inspiration. Way to go girl.

Posted by: Jennifer Rider at December 15, 2010 2:15 PM

Congratulations on completion of another successful soon to be NY Times Best Seller book! Enjoy the next few hours catching up on the sock queue. Well done - come back to NYC for a book signing. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Love the tree.

Posted by: Loretta at December 15, 2010 2:15 PM

Just know that even if it is a huge pile of shit we will all buy one, because knitters are if anything but supportive. We will even encourage a new book and perhaps point out where you could improve. We love you and I'm planning on making it to as many signing as I can and buying about 7 copies for friends that don't know you yet.

Posted by: Christian Stoll at December 15, 2010 2:16 PM

Funny & modest, ha! Read & believe these comments above. You are awesome and your words brighten my day!

Posted by: stephanie at December 15, 2010 2:18 PM

Hugs! And hey, once it's off to The Editor, it's gotta be beer o'clock, right?

Posted by: Michelle Fobbs at December 15, 2010 2:18 PM

Don't Panic. Breathe Deep. We thought the last few were good enough to shell out cash for. I'm sure this one will live up to our rather confused set of standards.

Posted by: stephanie at December 15, 2010 2:18 PM

I love them all so far, and I'll buy this one too. I'm sure it will be great.

Posted by: Nancy at December 15, 2010 2:20 PM

Skip all that and go right to the happy dance celebrating that it is on its way! Now, go buy some yarn. Don't knit anything from the stash, don't knit anything "required" by the season, get something that makes you completely happy.

Posted by: Michelle at December 15, 2010 2:23 PM

It is wonderful! We will love it! You bring joy, laughter and peace to all of us every time your fingers hit the keyboard. Relax and enjoy the deadline passing and the holiday coming.

Posted by: Donna at December 15, 2010 2:24 PM

Oh sweetie- your are a great writer. Count up all the words written in your blog- bet there's more than 10,000. And they are funny and true and sad and true. I for one can't wait for the book.

Posted by: Deb. at December 15, 2010 2:24 PM

i am sure the book will be great but who would send hate mail? don't tell me there are anti-knitters out there that plot to destroy all the DPN's and wool in the world? maybe it's all the crocheters you dis or lovers of acrylc? now you have to do a blog on it and clear up the mystery.

Posted by: Mary at December 15, 2010 2:24 PM

Deep breath!! All will be fine. Can't wait!

Posted by: lydia at December 15, 2010 2:25 PM


On the font front, my publisher printed my second book entirely in green ink. This was, in fact, mentioned with disbelief in an important review.

No, I haven't been asked to write another.

Instead of writing, I have devoted my life since then to cooking, and plan to open a restaurant sometime in the next few months.

Posted by: Marina Stern at December 15, 2010 2:25 PM

Dude! Why aren't you leaping around the house? Submission is done! HOORAY!

Posted by: carol at December 15, 2010 2:28 PM

You forget the one where your manuscript contains a dormant but lethal virus that will destroy your computer, any computer it's back up on, as well as the publisher's and the editor's, and any other computer on the same network. Not only will you have no manuscript, but your publisher and your editor will sue you for destroying their entire network and all other manuscripts on their computers. See, you don't let your doomsday imagination fly high (or low) enough... :)

Posted by: Manon at December 15, 2010 2:29 PM

Yes yes yes with #7 & #15. :) But I do love the rest, too. I second the deep breath advice, but don't forget the part where you exhale. (Can't wait to read the next book!!)

Posted by: adiel at December 15, 2010 2:29 PM

I have so many problems with #6 that I can't even read further.

Posted by: Adrienne Martini at December 15, 2010 2:30 PM

This too shall pass. All shall be well. Can't wait to read it.

Posted by: trish at December 15, 2010 2:31 PM

The book will be great just like the other ones. I can't wait to add it to my collection, and hopefully you will visit Denver to promote it.

Posted by: shelle at December 15, 2010 2:32 PM

If there were bets involved, I'd put all of my money on #15.

Posted by: Betty at December 15, 2010 2:32 PM

Thank you for being out there in the world and being willing (and able) to put together a list like this. Every one of us, about so many, many things, could apply these. Brilliant.

I'm betting on #15. I know I'm standing in line to buy (and read) this one, and the next!

Posted by: Shelda at December 15, 2010 2:33 PM

there's also the possibility that while you weren't looking, tina messed with it in some way as a practical joke.
just something to think about.

Posted by: Steven A. at December 15, 2010 2:36 PM

I love your writing, but then I'm probably no judge of writing and basically incompetent. The only things that I've ever written are accreditation reports (and I think pretty much the same scary thoughts) but I'd like to one day be a "real writer" like you.

HEY! Be nice to you and only say nice things, even if you don't mean them at the time.

Posted by: Pat at December 15, 2010 2:37 PM

Print that baby out, do it old school so if there is a catastrophic problem your words and stories are safe. JK Rowling did it, so can you. Call it cheap insurance. With that done, I can't wait to see you on book tour. Will you be at the Maker's Fair in California in May?

Posted by: sue b at December 15, 2010 2:37 PM

16. Now you have no excuse for not knitting 5.5 pairs of socks by Christmas.

Posted by: ElizabethD at December 15, 2010 2:39 PM

RE: #6. Everything I say is true. I am a very picky, persnickety person. You are an awesome writer.

(Probably didn't help your D-Day worries, but it had to be said.)

Posted by: joanna at December 15, 2010 2:39 PM

Congratulations on your HUGE accomplishment.

The only manuscript (so far) that I've submitted was sent to the editor via FedEx. I worried that, if the book was horrible, it would be delivered directly to her doorstep, then subsequently burned at a 'horrible writer cleansing ritual' of some sort. If the manuscript was brilliant, I feared that I had written the wrong name, address, city and country on the waybill and that it would land in the lap of someone completely unknown who would then go on to publish my baby, turn it into a Hollywood get the idea. Neither happened, of course, and I'm still happily writing, and learning how to knit.

You inspire...keep it up and celebrate.

Posted by: Ellen at December 15, 2010 2:41 PM

I'm putting my yarn on #15. Although the thought of #5 is heart-stopping terror.

Posted by: PepperReed at December 15, 2010 2:41 PM

I hope that this allows you to have some peace and wonderful family time over the Christmas holiday. Now I hope you can take some time to knit and drink some tea and relax. If you do a book tour and head down my way, I definitely hope to get to meet you. Merry Christmas.

Posted by: Kim in VA at December 15, 2010 2:44 PM

Have a beer. All will be well.

And I am working on an idea to coincide with the trip to Texas that Jamie the Wonder Publicist will organize. Details to follow at some point.

Posted by: Austin Val at December 15, 2010 2:44 PM

Before knitting, I would have said the only way through this stage is a mug of coffee with some good whiskey in it, and maybe something involving chocolate, plus the chance to burble on and on like a maniac to writer friends who'd understand completely. Now, I'd add some mindless knitting to that mix, something easy and relaxing that would allow you to drink your whiskey and grab a chocolate cookie without too much fear of frogging.

Actually, this stage reminds me of transition, during labour. That "almost there but oh god now I feel out of control and want this to be over but I can't do anything about it now the whole thing is out of my control and all I can do is hang on for the ride aaaaiiiieee" stage. Just keep breathing, you'll be fine. And I can't wait to see the baby!

Posted by: Lene (not that one) at December 15, 2010 2:45 PM

Never mind what the clock says - it's beer o'clock! Congratulations, keep 7 & 15 and ditch the rest into the angst annihilator :>)

Posted by: Ann at December 15, 2010 2:46 PM

I vote for #15!! It will be great :)

Posted by: MelissaW at December 15, 2010 2:47 PM

As someone who wears an editorial hat from time to time, I loved this post! I also sent it to my dear friend whose work I edit. Font changes and rearranging essays are the pits!

But you really should be writing. You should especially write another calendar so my mom will know what to get me for my 2012 calendar. We're still looking for something for this year. It's not all your fault, of course, so we're blaming the publisher for not putting you on salary to do a knitting calendar on a yearly basis.

Posted by: Carolyn in MN at December 15, 2010 2:49 PM

i look forward to reading anything you write and so do tons of other people, ok? so, stop worrying. its #15.

Posted by: april at December 15, 2010 2:52 PM

Congratulations Stephanie. Every birth is difficult. You're doing great!

Posted by: Kelley Green at December 15, 2010 2:52 PM

Congratulations! I'm sure the book will be worry too much. :)

Posted by: Kelly at December 15, 2010 2:52 PM

Dude. Pour yourself a whiskey. You totally made it! It's going to be some kind of awesome, we're ALL going to buy it and now you can enjoy your Christmas with one more thing crossed off your list. Be proud!

Posted by: Melissa at December 15, 2010 2:53 PM

You are absolutely doing what you should be doing, and that's writing. I can't wait to read the latest effort you put forth.

Posted by: rudee at December 15, 2010 2:54 PM

Wow, so the angst doesn't wear off, even after several bestsellers, years of blogging, and hundreds of adoring fans? That's kind of depressing for those of us just starting out and hoping to calm down once we get used to the whole scene.

Posted by: Cara Stein at December 15, 2010 2:55 PM

We love you Stephanie. And we love your writing so much we would probably be thrilled to read your grocery list. Seriously. Have a beer and indulge in some decadent knitting - you have earned it!

Posted by: J. at December 15, 2010 2:57 PM

And your fans anxiously await :)

Posted by: Abigail at December 15, 2010 2:57 PM

How could anyone send you hate mail? That's like sending hate mail to kittens (well, except you can read, and have opposable thumbs, and a lot less fur). Dude, go turn on "I will survive", sing and dance and celebrate! You made it; it's all over. Done. Finito. And I'm sure your editor likes you, or at least respects you- how could s/he not? You are funny, fantastic, and a humanitarian- look how much money you've raised for knitters without borders. Believe it or not, you are an accomplished woman.
Now, put up your feet, go crack a beer, and be proud of what you've done. : )

Posted by: AmandaB at December 15, 2010 2:57 PM

Dude, you rock. The end.

Posted by: Deb at December 15, 2010 2:57 PM

What about #16? "The book will be delightful, and not only will my publisher ask me to write another book but also people will bring me beers and peculiar little hand-knitted gifts at signings." Because my money's on that one.

Posted by: Andrew at December 15, 2010 2:58 PM

Or the editor could send it back and ask for revisions before Christmas... ; - )

Posted by: Alan at December 15, 2010 3:00 PM

Don't worry - it will be great. Your fans can't wait! I'd go with the commentor that suggested a whiskey!

Posted by: Pam from Kansas at December 15, 2010 3:00 PM

And yet... the sun will come up tomorrow, and the stars tonight... I say celebrate. Ya done good!

Posted by: Sue J at December 15, 2010 3:01 PM

You do realize this last blog is a book in itself...

Posted by: LouAnn at December 15, 2010 3:03 PM

If the book is as funny as this post, you have nothing to worry about. (Hint: yes, this post is funny.)

Posted by: Riin at December 15, 2010 3:03 PM

I NEED this book, as I don't have a calendar for 2011.
I WANT this book, because I do like your insights, writing, humour and values.

I HAVE full confidence that DDay, today, will prove a pinnacle of book submissions. People will say, wow, do you remember 15 December 2010 when Stephanie really hung the star on the moon?

Hugs and well done on this book - it's true I really need it! xxx

Posted by: cookknitwine at December 15, 2010 3:05 PM

I personally cannot wait to read it. To me it's like having the best of your blog all at one time and any time I want to read it. Thank you!

No. 15 should, can and probably will happen, and we'll be all the richer for it (minus all the book and yarn money you encourage us to spend...) :D

Posted by: Daniele at December 15, 2010 3:06 PM

I do this with every project I create. I start off knowing it is going to be amazing, and wonderful. Then partway along, I know that it is awful, abhorrent, the most abysmal piece of detritus that has ever existed, and nobody in their right mind would ever go near it. And as it's finished, I'm halfway between the two extremes - it's lovely, it's awful. I have a poncho waiting for delivery to a sweet girl for Christmas, and I'm hoping they'll love it and am so ashamed for having made it... Everyone else who's seen it likes it, and I'll have to trust them. :)

Posted by: sylrayj at December 15, 2010 3:07 PM

And what kind of sadist makes a book deadline ten days before Christmas?! Have they never read your blog during December? There's knitting to do, people! I also forgot to say congratulations for making the deadline and still being able to string so many coherent words together.

Posted by: Connie B. in OH at December 15, 2010 3:07 PM

My guess is that all will be well! Besides - I'll buy one. That should give you enough profit for at least one cold beer.

Posted by: Liz in Missouri at December 15, 2010 3:08 PM

I got all your books for Christmas last year (bless my husband!) and I've loved every word. I can't wait for this next one. Congratulations!!

Posted by: Jennifer at December 15, 2010 3:08 PM

Breathe, girl, breathe! It will be fine! All your books are great - I have every one and reread them whenever I want a lift.

Posted by: Denise at December 15, 2010 3:09 PM

You are an amazing writer. You inspired me to learn how to knit and you've inspired me to do better in my own writing. I'm sure it's really #15.

Posted by: haley at December 15, 2010 3:10 PM

Congratulations - now you can focus on the new impossible deadline: Christmas knitting! Bwahahaha. Or relax. Whatever works.

Posted by: Natalie at December 15, 2010 3:11 PM

I have 5 words for you: New York Times Best Seller!
Is it out yet? I need to read it. And dude? You haven't even noticed we only have 10 days left till Christmas. (just helping)

Posted by: cls at December 15, 2010 3:11 PM

#7 is where it's at. Everything really IS probably going to be fine.

And as for #5, go look at We use it at our house, and there's nothing like an off-site, automatic backup for $5/month. It's the only reason I didn't completely flip out when my iMac went dead a week ago. (It's okay now--I just needed a new outlet on my UPS (uninterruptible power supply).) I'm not affiliated with Backblaze; I just love the security and affordability and the fact that I don't have to think about it at all.

Hang in there!

Posted by: Annalea at December 15, 2010 3:11 PM

I am very sure you can count on #15 happening. Your books are always great!

Posted by: AngelD at December 15, 2010 3:11 PM

It'll be fine. #15 all the way! (Congratulations. Now go enjoy the holidays.)

Posted by: Patty at December 15, 2010 3:12 PM

For our sake, I hope it's number 15.

Posted by: twelvedaysold at December 15, 2010 3:12 PM

I think you are a wonderful writer--I've read all of your books (more than once). As a knitter, I get you. As a writer, I look up to you.

I can't wait to read it!

Posted by: Kelly H at December 15, 2010 3:14 PM

Sorry, kid. Much as it might keep the universe balanced for you to finally write a crappy, dull book, it's not going to happen, because your writing is 80% the way your brain is wired and there's not a thing on God's green earth you can do about that. It's the way you think, it's the way you talk. Hardwired.

The bad news is that the other 20% is the part that's no fun at all, the craft, the revision. Unfortunately, since you're a skilled writer/anal-retentive perfectionist, this is 80% of your work, and it's no fun. (Are we following the math, here?) Send the bastard off. Drink champagne from now till Friday morning. Good job. We're proud of you. (And of Tina for providing sanctuary.) Breathe.

Posted by: rams at December 15, 2010 3:15 PM

Who wouldn't get a bit emotional when a big project comes to an end? You can write, so it will be fine, and will probably even be profitable!

Posted by: Anita at December 15, 2010 3:17 PM

Poor Harlot. I think strong liquor is in order. Also, if anyone knows where I can buy an angst annihilator, please let me know. I'd like one and a lot of people I know could use one for Christmas.

Posted by: Sara at December 15, 2010 3:18 PM

The best part is, now you can put it out of your mind completely and KNIT! It's out of your hands! What can you worry about productively? What IS in your hands, of course, which no doubt is knitting. 10 days until Christmas, is that even possible?

Can't wait to read it!

Posted by: Maggie at December 15, 2010 3:21 PM

I can hardly wait to read it! I know it will be wonderful! Congratulations. Now that it is completed, you can enjoy the holidays, unless, of course, your knitting drives you nuts!

Posted by: Marji at December 15, 2010 3:23 PM

Congratulations. I can't wait to read it. And I'm hoping for #15.♦

Posted by: Emily at December 15, 2010 3:24 PM

Well, at least a book won't hump your ficus and pee on your pillow. Or whatever.

Posted by: Lisa at December 15, 2010 3:25 PM

Congratulations on getting the book submitted. I'm sure it is all your fears that contribute to making you such a good writer, since you think about these things before putting keystrokes to screen.

Concerning hate mail, it is an unfortunate sideline of success that there will always be bitter, unfulfilled, twisted, jealous individuals whose sole joy in life is to bully others who have the success they don't. I'm sorry you have been the target of these individuals, but please, don't believe their poisonous spew.

You have a large contingent of friends (another source of jealousy, no doubt) and fans who love your work, and enjoy sharing your life. Thank you for continuing to do so in the face of ugly hate mail.

Posted by: Milissa at December 15, 2010 3:26 PM

All of this is so, so familiar. I've thought these things about every single book I've handed in to my editors. I've woken up in a cold sweat on numerous consecutive nights about a statement I made that contradicts the general accepted view of something, panicking about being torn apart for it... and no one's ever mentioned it.

You can write. I enjoy your books. You make me love fibre arts more and more, and laugh at myself for my obsessions and weirdities. All shall be all manner of well.

And seriously, a deadline ten days before Christmas? My horrible deadline month was always November. I hated having to hand things in in November; it's dark and cold and damp and miserable and energy-sapping. But December? That's just criminal, and cuts into your gift knitting time.

Tell your book it is mighty and send it in. Then crack open a bottle of wine or three, and roll around in some BFL/tussah combed top or lovely fluffy art batts. You deserve it.

Posted by: Autumn at December 15, 2010 3:28 PM

I've been a lurker on your blog for a long time, but I've never commented before. I read every posting eagerly and am working my way through the archives. BECAUSE ...I own and have read all your books, and have re-read them, and get frustrated at the end because there is nothing new of yours to read but the blog. Lovely though it is, it is not as satisfying as a properly published book. (The knitting pics help a lot!) Hurry--send it in so I can have another Harlot book to read!

Posted by: Kristi at December 15, 2010 3:29 PM

It will all be fine. Can't rule out no. 15 though...

I still can't believe anyone would send you hate mail! They're completely wrong of course.

Posted by: Kate at December 15, 2010 3:29 PM

You've got it turned in! Now it's time to turn the brain off for a bit.

You probably need to go buy some yarn. That will fix everything.

Posted by: Morwynne at December 15, 2010 3:30 PM

I vote for #15.

And anyone who sends you hate mail is just sad and wrong. When I grow up I want to write as well as you do and be as gracious about the nutters out there.

Posted by: Crabbygal at December 15, 2010 3:32 PM

OK, Steph, speaking as one writer to another: I always worried about the typos that would end up making me look like a racist. And lo, on my most recent book, after five count 'em five revisions, an associate of my editor's pointed out that many African-Americans (presumably African-Canadians too) would consider my TITLE to be racist.

I kid you not.

All titles in future will be approved by this associate, cause clearly I don't know what in hell I'm doing.

I will point out for clarity's sake that I'm writing a children's book about slaves, so race is actually a big part of the story. I'm not in any way trying to say that your knitting is racist.

i will say, the nightmares ring true.

Posted by: Kim Bradley at December 15, 2010 3:32 PM

I'm an aspiring writer and can't wait to reach that stage. (I'm still at the "OMG what if I submit and nobody likes me? OMG what if I submit and they like me and demand a new book in 1/3 of the time it took me to write the last one?" stage of the neurosis.) There must be something wrong with me. I think it comes with the territory. ;-)

Posted by: wonderer at December 15, 2010 3:34 PM

At least you don't have footnotes! Here's another nightmare scenario, from the academic side:

16. When I was checking the footnotes, I made one teensy, tiny mistake near the beginning and now every single footnote is wrong, and not only will I be getting endless angry emails from irate grad students who can't find my references, but I will get sued by outraged scholars because my messed-up footnotes falsely linked them to racist, sexist sentiments that they never expressed.

Posted by: vpurl at December 15, 2010 3:37 PM

If the book is anything like today's post, it's freakin' HILARIOUS. And of course it is. (Does the fact that eight zillion of us have pre-ordered the book make you feel any better?)

Posted by: Violet at December 15, 2010 3:41 PM

Breathe... deep and often.....

Posted by: sherry at December 15, 2010 3:42 PM

I'm thinking it's the last one :)
But I sympathize. If it's any consolation, many many of us can't wait to read it!

Posted by: susan at December 15, 2010 3:47 PM

THere is a brand new little hobby store in town, with high end crafts and hobby supplies, and YARN! Good yarn, too! They have a bunch of books (including Barbara Walker treasuries), and they have been given to understand that EZ and YOU are missing! That you are coming out with a new book, soon, and I want to go by it in the new tiny, local shop! I think they will be carrying your books shortly ;-)

Posted by: Colleen at December 15, 2010 3:47 PM

I bet it's #15. Luckily for the readers!

Posted by: heather at December 15, 2010 3:47 PM

Either way, IT'S DONE. Celebrate!

Posted by: Leta at December 15, 2010 3:49 PM

I say pop open a beer! You've earned it!

Posted by: Becky at December 15, 2010 3:51 PM

I have already pre-ordered your book. I have every confidence that this book will be just as good, just as entertaining as your previous ones. But, I do also realize pressure and stress can make one--in this case, you--think and believe unreal situations. As suggested by others have some relaxing hot tea, a bubble bath maybe and knit with some of your favorite yarns. I--make that we--believe in you.

Posted by: Deborah at December 15, 2010 3:52 PM

#16 (one of many): The book is so fabulous it sets new sales records, thus upping the ante for the NEXT book you write.

(The curse of success.)

Posted by: Barb at December 15, 2010 3:53 PM

Congrats and Merry Christmas!

Posted by: MicheleinMaine at December 15, 2010 3:54 PM

Definitely #15!!!

Hooray for being finished with this stage!!!

Posted by: ashpags at December 15, 2010 3:55 PM

Ok, lots of great comments about how awesome your book will be. I agree but I'm stuck on the hate mail comment. Do you really get it and if so, please post some because I imagine it's rather amusing??At least it'd amuse me because it's not mine and I can't imagine sending you hate mail, you seem quite delightful and pleasant. So, I need proof. Thanks. ;)

Posted by: Jonalynn at December 15, 2010 3:56 PM

I love each and every single one of your books and I will love this next one. Congrats and have a wonderful holiday!

Posted by: Loki at December 15, 2010 3:57 PM

It will be #15, #16 and #17. A winner in all counts. It's nice, though, to see that an award winning, world-wide popular writer gets cold feet and agony problems like all of us peons who are out here hanging on your every word.

Posted by: Connie Peterson at December 15, 2010 3:58 PM

Now it's time to move on to other things, like 5.5 socks for next Saturday and the December sock club socks to keep Presbytera quiet.

Posted by: Leta at December 15, 2010 3:59 PM

Oh Yarn Harlot...I think you are prepping yourself for the worst just so you won't be let down.

I am sure that this book is just a side-splitting funny as all of your other books.

Have a glass of wine, put on a pair of those fabulous socks you knit recently, and enjoy the mental break.

Posted by: Nathalie at December 15, 2010 3:59 PM

I have had a very hard two years, and some days the only thing I look forward to is a blog post from you...yes, I curse you when I think you are getting lazy and not posting enough (the book is obviously not an excuse...hello!) I would read anything you but out there, and your publisher would be stupid (not to mention cursed by all of us loyals) not to publish you! Have some wine and enjoy the holidays!

Posted by: SweatPeaJenny at December 15, 2010 4:00 PM

Steph, I wouldn't be sitting on the floor in laughter from falling off my chair if you weren't funny! It's going to be a HUGE success! Best wishes.

How are the socks coming?

Posted by: Kathy at December 15, 2010 4:01 PM

My grandparents appreciate your attempts to talk me out of being a writer and getting a Real Job. But it won't work, I tell you! Never!! Bwaaaa-ha-ha-ha!

In other news, I'm looking forward to your new book. :)

Posted by: julie at December 15, 2010 4:02 PM

The only thing I can think of that is going to be wrong with your book is that, once again, your book tour will not include I-O-W-A.

I know, I know: flog meet dead horse. I like to call it optimistic tenacity.

Posted by: roggey at December 15, 2010 4:02 PM

It will be funny, it will be moving, it will be a delight to the readers, it will sell like hotcakes, you will probably do it again, and it will actually be worth it, once you have 12 hours sleep, breakfast, and a pair of socks under your belt. Congratulations!

Posted by: Jody O at December 15, 2010 4:02 PM

There, there, now. You are a wonderful writer, a good person, a great mom, and a fabulous knitter! Everything will be alright. Go get some of your favorite adult beverage (or whatever is within arm's reach) take a deep breath, and relax!
We all love you!

Posted by: Melodye at December 15, 2010 4:04 PM

It will be fabulous and I can hardly wait.

I'm a technical writer with deadlines on multiple documents, all of which are sneaking up closer and closer. Yipes! I feel like printing this post and taking it to status meetings with me. My clients are wonderful, but haven't a clue what hard work writing really is.

Have a wonderful time in Portland. Hopefully there's a break in the storms.

Posted by: Cynthia in Seattle at December 15, 2010 4:05 PM

Thanks, Stephanie.
I'm printing this and putting it up over my desk.

Also, thank you for your bravery in putting up with the nasty side effects (both real & 'imagined') & continuing to write books we all cherish.

Posted by: Dennine at December 15, 2010 4:05 PM

I am so glad your new book is done. I keep reading the others over and over again. The binding is beginning to suffer. Is it too soon to get in the line at the bookstore for my copy of the new book? :)

Posted by: patsy at December 15, 2010 4:05 PM

No matter what happens to the book next, you are free of it for awhile - free to knit on those lovely chocolate socks. You can be sure of socks, not words you write - that's the way writing just is, dang it. Besides, who can write sucky stuff when they wear/make such beautiful knitted wonders!

Posted by: lynne at December 15, 2010 4:06 PM

it will be great. go knit! :)

Posted by: PattiHN at December 15, 2010 4:09 PM

As someone who edits books for a living, this was interesting to read. heh. It's nice to know the editors aren't the only completely neurotic ones ;)

Posted by: Cheryl at December 15, 2010 4:11 PM

Christmas is the time for miracles, so it will have to be #7.

Posted by: Diane in IN at December 15, 2010 4:11 PM

I vote 7 AND 15. More importantly, when does it come out so we can read it?!!!

Posted by: Pauline at December 15, 2010 4:12 PM

Congratulations for that project and stress complete. Add no new stressors till after New Years. Let the celebrations begin!
Mele Kalikimaka a ha'ole makahiki hou!

Posted by: laura in hawaii at December 15, 2010 4:13 PM

I'm a writer too... and frankly, I don't let sentiments like No. 7 and 15 creep into my psyche for at least ten days.
With a deadline that fresh in my memory the last thing I wan't to think about is more writing.

Posted by: longhand at December 15, 2010 4:14 PM

Being free of the deadline is the best gift you could have given yourself. GO CELEBRATE!!!

Posted by: honeysuckleblue at December 15, 2010 4:14 PM

Do books get submitted on paper, or digitally these days?

Whichever, I'm sure yours is terrific!

Posted by: Ann Hefenieder at December 15, 2010 4:16 PM

You left out one very real possibility: the book will be fine--or better than fine--and you'll have to hit the road and do hundreds of book signings. If I remember correctly, you have some serious stage fright, and if the book is the mega-best-seller you deserve, you're going to be doing some heavy-duty public speaking, possibly even to a bunch of mocking non-knitting TV interviewers instead of just us adoring fans.

Posted by: Kathy In Georgia at December 15, 2010 4:17 PM

You're in good company, it seems: Dorothy Parker famously said "I hate writing. I love having written." I look very forward to your new book.

Posted by: regina at December 15, 2010 4:19 PM

I just sent in my book, and it's even a revision (it's a lab manual), and I checked it and everything, but I heard from the publisher/editor lady that it's missing graphics in two major places. How did I miss that? But it's fixed - no harm done. I'm sure you're more together than I am - you pretty much have to be ;)

Posted by: Meredith at December 15, 2010 4:19 PM

So congratulations! As an editor and a knitter, let me say the following: (1) stop obsessing; (2) open a bottle of the bubbly; and (3) go enhance your stash. You'll feel lots better soon.

Posted by: mkg at December 15, 2010 4:20 PM

I'm currently waiting on my Master's thesis to be accepted, so I know just how anxious you feel! In fact, I think I'm more anxious now! Eek!

Posted by: Rachel at December 15, 2010 4:23 PM

Lovelovelovelove. I've had, I think, every one of those worries when handing in a manuscript. Honestly can't think of anything to add. The first time I turned in a manuscript, I honestly spent all of my time waiting for my editor to call and tell me that the book I'd handed in was really not what they were expecting, and would I mind terribly redoing it? In three months?

(A friend of mine had that happen, actually. So it's not a completely random freak-out thought.)

In the end, they printed it, and the print run sold out in two weeks. So good things really can happen after the turn-in :-)

Posted by: Hillary Manton Lodge at December 15, 2010 4:25 PM

#7 and 15, absolutely! And you're coming to Fort Lauderdale for a book signing RIGHT??!!

Posted by: Michelle at December 15, 2010 4:26 PM

I have a writer friend who sends out "beta" copies to some of his friends (the ones willing to be critical when it counts) 2 weeks before the book is due at the editor (I know, he's OCDC but he's written a LOT of books, good ones). Everyone is asked to evaluate the book on the grand scale: if there's a story line or theme, does it travel nicely through from front to end or does it knock you out of the story at some point and why does it do that for you. Just an idea. I'm sure your book will be wonderful and I'll just have to add it to my collection of Harlot tomes.

Posted by: april z at December 15, 2010 4:27 PM

Just remember that it's the editor's job to find mistakes (also remember that mistakes are unintentional, errors are arrogant!) so the true burden is on your editor. She should be the one sweating now, so take a deep breath, forget about it (kind of like when your kids submit their college applications and have to wait months for decision letters) and enjoy your family, friends and knitting. Merry Christmas...P.S. Were you eating hummus at CPR and didn't tell us?

Posted by: Judy at December 15, 2010 4:28 PM

Meeting the deadline:
Success and RELIEF for you, and (hopefully) more frequent blog posts for me to read!

Posted by: Fae at December 15, 2010 4:31 PM

I think I just heard a similar list from my daughter who is waiting to deliver her first baby. She's got a month to go and the bruiser is weighing in at 4500 grams. She sounded just like you!

Posted by: Susan at December 15, 2010 4:33 PM


Posted by: Mary at December 15, 2010 4:36 PM

This means another book tour! Maybe I'll get to flash my camera in your face and blind you again. How many times does that happen to you? Congratulations on the book.

Posted by: Janet A at December 15, 2010 4:38 PM

I agree with Andrew's #16" "The book will be delightful, and not only will my publisher ask me to write another book but also people will bring me beers and peculiar little hand-knitted gifts at signings."

I almost pre-ordered your book, but decided I'd rather buy a copy at whatever local store is sponsoring the signing I attend - somewhere close to Kalamazoo, I hope!!!!

Posted by: Robin at December 15, 2010 4:39 PM

Don't worry, it can't possible be worse than "Cast Off" (and I still bought that one and read it cover to cover and kept it on the shelf!). Have some chocolate.

Posted by: Bonnie at December 15, 2010 4:41 PM

Don't worry, it can't possibly be worse than "Cast Off" (and I still bought that one and read it cover to cover and kept it on the shelf!). Have some chocolate.

Posted by: Bonnie at December 15, 2010 4:42 PM

Keep calm and cast on ; )

Posted by: Pat S at December 15, 2010 4:42 PM

I love your honesty and that you have the same angst that I have, just about doing normal stuff.

Posted by: Mary Jo at December 15, 2010 4:43 PM

well, since the worst i can say about ANY of your writing is "oh, its sort of like the other book..." and i still like it. i say it will be fine

Posted by: kirsten at December 15, 2010 4:45 PM

How did I miss the news that there's no calendar!? I hadn't looked for it, but I was expecting it to be in my stocking!

Posted by: tanya at December 15, 2010 4:46 PM

No. 15 for sure. I hope the book tour brings you to Ann Arbor, Michigan again. Honestly, opening your blog is like opening a letter from a friend. I love our visits. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Posted by: Kathleen at December 15, 2010 4:46 PM

I agree with the above, it sounds like finals week in college. I say, have a beer or wine... or both and relax. You are a talented writer, whose humor brought me through some incredibly challenging times in the last 2 years. Cheers Stephanie!

Posted by: Laurisa at December 15, 2010 4:50 PM

You have lots of people reading your blog everday and even going through and re reading archives. We love you. So I am positive your new book will be as entertaining and lovely as the last. And at least a book can't pee in the potted plants. This is always a bonus.

Posted by: Sarah at December 15, 2010 4:54 PM

I hate to say it, but if you still feel all that after all this time and all your success... there's no hope for any of us. And oddly, I mean that as a compliment.

Posted by: Candice Hope at December 15, 2010 4:55 PM

And then it's off and away and a relief and all the things that were wonderful about it start coming back to you. Breathe.

Posted by: AlisonH at December 15, 2010 4:55 PM


You are a fabulous writer and in inspired knitter. In the last month two people have told me they want to learn how to knit socks and asked me for a recommendation. Both times I told them to get your book and follow your basic sock recipe. I didn't even have to think about it. You are funny, informative and just obsessed enough with knitting. I thoroughly enjoy reading your work, and I know they will as well.

With affection,


Posted by: Sarah in Phoenix at December 15, 2010 5:00 PM get hate mail? What the hell for? Forward them to me. I'll handle it. It might involve calling in some favors from some fellas I know, but we don't have to discuss it. Just send the little charmers on over. ;)

Posted by: Cassia Z at December 15, 2010 5:04 PM

I say, #15 for sure and as someone who finally succeeded in "winning" NaNoWriMo 2010, I can hardly wait to be in the D-Day position! Angst included. What wonderful angst to have.

That said, if you happen to see this among the three million comments, may I ask what software you use when writing? Are you a Scrivener fan (like I am) or are you happy with Word or the like? Just curious.

Posted by: Jeanne B. at December 15, 2010 5:06 PM

16.) None of the above is even remotely true. I either haven't had enough sleep, coffee, wine or a combination of all three to be a judge of my own work at the moment. It's really perfectly fine and I am worrying myself sick over nothing.

Let's go with 16. Okay? Get some sleep, coffee, wine or all three if needed. I have found that most the horrible things that I worry (read obsess) over almost never actually happen. That's a good thing? Right?

Posted by: deb sheets at December 15, 2010 5:17 PM

Hi Stephanie,

I'm a knitter, a longtime lurker, and an editor. Let me reassure you that all good editors stare at the ceiling some nights because they're worried that the author they're working with won't like their work! Most of us work very hard to create an easy and nurturing relationship with an author and want very much to make their words shine and sparkle. Just let all that editor-anxiety go!

I'd bribe a publisher with some really fancy yarn if I thought it would help me get one of your manuscripts!

Kate, who loves your blog

Posted by: Kate Babbitt at December 15, 2010 5:18 PM

I know it will be great, and I am going to buy it. Enjoy the holidays.

Posted by: marilyn at December 15, 2010 5:18 PM

What's the book about--I mean other than knitting;)

Posted by: Laura at December 15, 2010 5:19 PM

#7 and, fortunately for me, #15

I've been thinking about your 5.5 sock issue for the last couple of days and, with 10 days 'til Christmas, a couple more days at Tina's, and a whole flight back, I'm confident you'll make it.

Posted by: Rebekah at December 15, 2010 5:24 PM

Well, of course I'm looking forward to your book, it will be great....but I'm really excited about the Sock Summit planning you and Tina will be doing. Can hardly wait!! We'll see you there.

Posted by: Donna at December 15, 2010 5:30 PM

I just got thanked for turning on the librarian at the school I work at, to your blog. She thought you were very funny. YOU ROCK!!!!!!!

P.S. She should know great writing.

Posted by: Cindi at December 15, 2010 5:31 PM

I'm a writer too, and I have all the same anxieties and fears that you do. #7 and # 15 will happen. The rest won't.
Now send off your manuscript, pour yourself a drink, and enjoy Christmas with your family and friends.

Posted by: Risa at December 15, 2010 5:32 PM

Deep breath. Smile. Think about Christmas and loved ones. Oh - and by the way - it's #15.

Posted by: Pat at December 15, 2010 5:39 PM

None of that matters. I will buy the book because I love your blog. On a daily basis, you make me laugh, cry and knit more challenging things. I've bought every one of your books to support what you do. The fact that each one has been brilliant is just gravy. And a good clue that this one will be brilliant, too. Fear not and pour yourself another glass in celebration.

Posted by: Gail at December 15, 2010 5:42 PM


The editor will love you. Sales will soar. Soon enough you'll be facing the dreaded "book tour." Wondering what day it is and what city you're visiting.

Relax, soak up the holidays with some inspirational knitting & crack a cold one.

(and, if the editor doesn't love it, the root cause lies on her lack of knitting knowledge. And, your fans will besiege her with angry emails. I'd rather be you than her.)

Happy knitting!

Posted by: jd collins at December 15, 2010 5:42 PM

Breathe, darling girl, breathe.

Posted by: Barbara in Seattle at December 15, 2010 5:43 PM

I'm sure the book will be fine, we will love it, and many, many copies will sell of it. Enjoy the non-deadline writing time!

Posted by: kelly at December 15, 2010 5:44 PM

When I sent in a manuscript to an academic journal this had been a long time since the previous one and now everything is online. I totally stressed. I finally submitted it and the associate editor had skimmed through it and rejected it within 30 minutes because (1) it wasn't double spaced (duh) and (2) there were gridlines in the graphs and gridlines were not allowed. Panic and humiliation! So I fixed those things and resubmitted. Made me very humble I must say. It got published a couple of weeks ago - after reviews by anonymous experts. And then she told me to cut it 30%. Sigh. I did, of course.
Your book will be great. I have them all. And used Knitting Rules in my special topics fiber course. Maybe I can use the new one next time?

Posted by: Carrie in northern NY at December 15, 2010 5:49 PM

I believe it will be #4 and #15. You do great work! But there is that perfectionist thing you have going so I'm attributing all the other numbers to that. Here in the South (of the USA) we'd call you a worry wart!

Posted by: Jo at December 15, 2010 5:49 PM

Numbers 7 and 15 will prevail. :) Until then, tuck up with some knitting of your choice and your favorite beverage. I'm sure it will be fine! We will all love it, add it to our YH collections, that sit alongside our EZ collections, our Franklin collections and our Kaffe collections, and we'll all live happily ever after. That includes you. I'm anxious to see this new book! There's a place reserved for it on my night table shelf.

Posted by: samm at December 15, 2010 5:50 PM

You had that day too? :-)

Posted by: Severin at December 15, 2010 5:53 PM

Or my personal favorite, "somehow this whole endevour is going to expose me as the fraud I feel like for getting paid to do this."

Posted by: Kim at December 15, 2010 5:54 PM

it sounds kinda like when you are expecting your first baby and for months you fret that "it" might not be beautiful (but it always is) and maybe no one will have the heart to tell!

Posted by: christine m. east of toronto at December 15, 2010 5:55 PM

You'll be fine. Really! You will.

And we will love your new book. And you for writing it for us to enjoy.

Posted by: Connie at December 15, 2010 5:55 PM

The big fear is that you will have missed an error in a technical and beutiful diagram....which, once you DO see it, on the printed page, you can see nothing else, good, bad, or indifferent. This is sad. It takes a while to get over the fixation on the one glitch in an otherwise admirable work.

Posted by: skeindalous at December 15, 2010 5:55 PM

p.s. I LOVE your writing!! And I am certain your book will be a complete success!!

Posted by: Kim at December 15, 2010 6:00 PM

Dear Ms. Pearl McPhee, I have never been a name dropper (and working for a Governor can make one a name dropper) until I drove up to Pittsburgh PA to one of your book signings, was smitten, and saved up for one of your retreats (unable to get to SS09) in Pt. Ludlow (Knot Hysteria II)-yep, I'm that Heather. Now, I drop your name into any conversation at all, knitting related or no. "Oh, that reminds me, did I tell you what a wonder instructor SPM is?" "She is authentic and funny" "Oh I practically ate dinner with her one night" (she sat briefly at my table while I ate dinner). "Of course I have all her book personally signed", etc. etc. Which is all a way of saying that I will buy anything you write and am always secretly funding the next Harlot related fun I can be it book, Summit, Retreat, pattern, yarn, etc. We all truly do wish you were our neighbor and Lettuce Knit was our LYS.

Posted by: Heather in WV at December 15, 2010 6:01 PM

Heck, I'm just impressed that you know how to spell ficus. I can't even keep one alive, let alone spell it. (Well, NOW I can.)

I spent quite a long time obsessing about a period I missed in a proof, and it was an annual report, so not anything like a creative work. Being a perfectionist bites.

Go have some wine. Really.

Posted by: Carol at December 15, 2010 6:02 PM

Congratulations on finishing! Next time (as I'm sure #15 is true) plan your deadline for any month but December!!!

Posted by: JRtheKnitter at December 15, 2010 6:23 PM

We're all praying it's #15 that holds truest of all...

Posted by: Tamara at December 15, 2010 6:28 PM

I'm right there with you.

Posted by: Presbytera at December 15, 2010 6:31 PM

And also? The December socks have contacted me privately, suggesting that I should monitor the blog closely on the evening of the 31st. They say there's a good chance that something Highly Entertaining will happen. They're a little uppity and full of themselves. (Which is obviously premature, since they're not even socks yet.)

Posted by: Presbytera at December 15, 2010 6:38 PM

Theresa at 2:02 said it all - " really is out of your hands now"

Relax and enjoy those around you. Happy Holidays!

Posted by: Deb at December 15, 2010 6:41 PM

I'm sure that it's going to be totally fine, and I can't wait to read it (just like probably everyone else who has commented). We all hope that #15 is true, too. Relax and enjoy your knitting now! The book is done!

Posted by: Ewesual Thing at December 15, 2010 6:51 PM

or just maybe your book will be totally awesome and you'll be hearing news reports of book stores being swamped and mobbed (much worse than they could ever dream of it being for black Friday) and there were lots of yarn thefts as sneaky squirrels went around stealing fleece and wool from die hard knitters and fans of yours who ended up camping outside of the bookstores for days on end waiting for that first box to be opened and the poor employee got trampled in the chaos as we fans just HAD TO HAVE the book... The ensuing chaos will be worse than a 1/2 off sale on some gorgeous alpaca/malabrigo/Shetland wool because the poor yarn store's going out of business.

Sometimes everything comes together how it's supposed to and you can influence a new generation of knitters (including my 2 boys who just started last week).

Posted by: NY_Phoenix at December 15, 2010 6:55 PM

Oh, boy, do I know how you feel. I've been there done that...wait, in fact, I'm still there. My book hasn't been published yet.
You want me to the crazy dance. I can do the crazy dance.
1)Someone evil who preys on innocent emerging authors will steal my work.
2)My writing will be so bad that the publishing house will not only sue me but also blacklist me--no publishing house will ever publish any of my work, ever.
3)They didn't really want to publish me. It's all an elaborate plan to make me look like a fool.
4)Or horror upon horrors, my book will be so good that everyone will love it. They'll all love it so much that I'll be famours. I'll famous and never be able to hide in my cozy little hole again. And that would be really bad because I love my cozy little hole.
Oh, yes, we writers can create drama.
Good luck with your book, Stephanie--believe in happy endings, they happen all the time.

Posted by: Leanne at December 15, 2010 7:06 PM

Ah, Stephanie. Determined as always to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and give us a chuckle while doing so.

As for #3, send your editor a link to this comments page. She will note how many times "preorder" appears. I just pre-ordered. There is no faster way to an editor's heart. And she's probably a nice person to begin with.

Reality lies between #9 and #10. Your book is important enough that they will give you a good copyeditor. A good copyeditor does not trash, rewrite, or ignore your work. He or she will strengthen and clarify your voice, and when you read the result you'll say, of course, that's exactly what I meant to say.

As for #13, accept right here and now that there is going to be at least one error. Probably a typo. There always is. (In my work, anyway.) When you see it, simply exclaim, "Aha! I found you, you little bastard!" And then sit back and watch how the quality of your life suddenly and dramatically... doesn't change at all. Truly. Not. Important.

By the time #15 happens, life will have given you enough new material. Though perhaps it's best not to think about that just now.


Posted by: Carolyn in NH at December 15, 2010 7:11 PM

I agree that #16 will be the case. Can't wait to read your new book. Congratulations!

Posted by: Donna at December 15, 2010 7:15 PM

#594 You've written the Harry Potter of knitting books and are on your way to becoming so rich and famous that you can retire to a castle in Scotland with Joe and do nothing but knit cashmere for the rest of your life.

Posted by: Juti at December 15, 2010 7:16 PM

Remember that mitten you knit up and thought it was a mistake yet everyone loved it as is? This is the same thing. Just on a grander scale. Now take a deep breath , say a prayer to the yarn gods and pick some christmas knitting. The next bridge cannot be crossed with this book til it is presented to you. ;)

Posted by: kristal at December 15, 2010 7:16 PM

In my book, D-day = Donut Day.

Posted by: Meg at December 15, 2010 7:28 PM

I loved your last book. This one will be great.

Posted by: Lesley at December 15, 2010 7:29 PM

I sure enjoy reading your blog. You are a writer, a knitter (of course by that I mean "Knitter") and really funny. You brighten up my days and I thank you.

My advice: drink lots of beer, knit, enjoy the holidays and forget you ever wrote a book. If your new editor calls hang up on her.

PS. You do back-up on a USB drive or DVD don't you? Right? 'Cause that's just sane.

Posted by: Diane at December 15, 2010 7:35 PM

Ditto, who would send you hate mail? Knitters are an absolute good! Maybe the letters are from sheep who are extremely bitter at having been sheared or something?

Posted by: Laura at December 15, 2010 7:39 PM

It sounds a lot like:
A. Giving birth
C. Menopause

Take your pick! I'm sure your book will be delightful. I haven't read anything of yours yet that wasn't inspiring!

Posted by: Kristin at December 15, 2010 7:40 PM

It sounds a lot like:
A. Giving birth
C. Menopause

Take your pick! I'm sure your book will be delightful. I haven't read anything of yours yet that wasn't inspiring!

Posted by: Kristin at December 15, 2010 7:41 PM

It's most assuredly #15. And #16. Lots of D-days await you.

Posted by: Deb at December 15, 2010 7:41 PM

I'm sending off my first book in a little over a week, and my fear is that they'll send me back the manuscript saying, "sorry, don't know what we were thinking signing a contract for THAT book".

Posted by: Lisa at December 15, 2010 7:41 PM

I'm predicting that Nos. 7 and 15 will happen.

Posted by: Sharon in Michigan at December 15, 2010 7:43 PM

Wait, wait, wait. Did you say "essays?" Yay! Who cares what order they're in!? It'll be fine, just fine. Re-laaaaax.

Posted by: madmad at December 15, 2010 8:00 PM

Unfortunately, I have to agree with all of the people who say it's #15. We're not done with your stuff yet. Why do you think we're all reading your blog?! You're simply delightful. (#1, case in point. Not saying that about your book. I just can't stop laughing about that one. I'm going to tell my husband as soon as he gets home. I think #1 can also apply to some people's children. Certainly not mine.)

Posted by: KathyC at December 15, 2010 8:01 PM

I meant your essays are always great, so it wouldn't matter if they were out of order. (Just in case that wasn't clear. I've already had a couple glasses of wine. Book group with 10-year-old boys will do that to you...)

Posted by: madmad at December 15, 2010 8:01 PM

Or, possibly, all of the above can, in a writer's universe, be true at the same time. Luckily, it's Christmas and you can't indulge in worrying for too long. So you'll have to drop this subject and move to the next priority in just a few minutes.

See? Tis the Season to be Fickle. Next worry?

Posted by: Maureen J at December 15, 2010 8:04 PM


It will be great! Don't worry! I can't wait to read it!


Posted by: Emily Stopper at December 15, 2010 8:10 PM

You get hate mail?!

I once wrote a really involved magazine article on spec after the magazine had approved the topic. The rejection letter said the topic wasn't right for the magazine. Really?

I'm sure your manuscript is great. Can't wait for it to become a book!

Posted by: Kelly at December 15, 2010 8:17 PM

Since you asked, here's something else not to worry about, lol:

Years ago, I wrote several critical essays on literature that were part of a prestigious (read: expensive) five-volume set. They were fine in manuscript. They were fine in galley proofs. When the books were printed, one essay was definitely NOT fine...several crucial paragraphs were somehow left out and the piece read as though it had been written by a not-very-bright chimp. *Sigh*. If it had been my only contribution to that project, I would probably still be weeping.

On a cheerier note -- congratulations on getting the new book off your desk and into the world! And have fun with your Chrismas knitting.

Posted by: Christine at December 15, 2010 8:30 PM

Well hooray for making yet another deadline! They bite, but your writing doesn't, so don't worry about it.

And as for those hatemailers ...

Posted by: Voie de Vie at December 15, 2010 8:30 PM

You get hate mail?

Posted by: Leslie at December 15, 2010 8:33 PM

I hope it all works out well. None of my fictional stuff has been published, and when i see the amount of drek that does i wonder why i haven't been passed the kool-aid?

For my day job, i get to write dry, technical stuff, so at least i'm writing and getting paid for it and all that. Oh, and yes, i feel like that with my deadlines. In my line of work, i have the added bonus of where i write things for other companies, get a response of "yes, we thought that was final, too, but we have some changes we need you to make..." Never mind that they've been sitting on the piece for 2 or 3 years and expect me to drop everything to mollify them. And have total recall about the project.

Please pass the kool-aid.

Posted by: megan at December 15, 2010 8:34 PM

As many others have mentioned, i'm hoping for #15 myself. Can't wait for the newest book to come out.

Posted by: Tina at December 15, 2010 8:38 PM

I bet it's #15!! Congrats on finishing!!!

Posted by: Heather P at December 15, 2010 8:39 PM

you left out your daughter just blogged tot he world that instead of staying in Chile for 8 months she is never coming back!
stay calm and cast on

Posted by: Robyn Josephs at December 15, 2010 8:54 PM

As Presbytera has hinted, delusion seems to be turning into dementia and hysteria.

Just to fuel the fire -- 'cause I'm evil that way -- I'll bet #17 will happen: The Editor finds one pattern is truly impossible to knit with the instructions given, Chapter 3 is obscene when read backwards, parts of Chapter 5 are illegal in Moosylvania, all yarns mentioned have been recalled because they're toxic to Wookies, and the whole thing offends The Editor's religious beliefs. The Editor will make you go to The Principal's Office, where this will go into YOUR PERMANENT RECORD, which will follow you the rest of your life.

Go have a stiff drink and breathe into a paper bag until you calm down!

Posted by: Anonymous, too at December 15, 2010 8:54 PM

All of your books have been great. You would have to seriously work at it to make a bad book. I can't wait till it's available. Enjoy the holidays you deserve it!!!!

Posted by: Pat at December 15, 2010 8:59 PM

Yes, I agree, #7 and #15. And I expect to go out and buy it anyway.

Posted by: Laura at December 15, 2010 9:06 PM

Can't wait to read it. Congratulations on getting the manuscript out.

Posted by: Jennifer at December 15, 2010 9:17 PM

16. When I talk about the humor in my novel during the book tour, it will be a surprise to my editor and readers.

17. My publisher is going to make me give back my advance.

Posted by: Robin Allen at December 15, 2010 9:18 PM


Be proud of your act of creation. As with any birth, there will be moments when the offspring amaze you - and others when it(they!) should. Can't predict. That's the joy.

Have a glass of wine - or two.
Well done!

Posted by: Cath at December 15, 2010 9:37 PM

#15. And don't worry, I pre-ordered - and if I pre-ordered, so did thousands of other people. We'll read anything you write because we are totally charmed by your wit and wisdom.
Merry Christmas!

Posted by: CurliSu at December 15, 2010 9:51 PM

Love your books AND your blog. It will be just as perfect as the others! Can't wait!

Posted by: Carole at December 15, 2010 10:00 PM

we love you.... we love you... we love you! just keep doing what you're doing!

Posted by: yarngal1077 at December 15, 2010 10:00 PM

#7 and #15. It will be good. You are a wonderful writer. I've gone back to the beginning of your blogging and am currently laughing my way through 2006! When I'm done, I may do it again.

Relax. Breathe deeply. It *will* be fine. No, it will be GREAT.

Posted by: cocokat at December 15, 2010 10:33 PM

I'm so sure that your new book is wonderful, it is at the top of my birthday wish list!

Posted by: Lydia at December 15, 2010 10:34 PM

Have already pre-ordered my copy for my birthday. I think that they are going to be around the same time.

Your book will be wonderful, my birthday..not so much..

Posted by: Val at December 15, 2010 10:37 PM

I can only imagine how stressful and frightening it is to submit a book. There are so many of us out here who love what you write, and we have read your writing for years. I know that whether there are some revisions or none, that what you wrote will be fun to read. Lot's of love to you!

Posted by: craftydabbler at December 15, 2010 10:37 PM

I'm sure your book will be fine and I'll buy it as I have done all your other ones. You have your latest one backed up on a removable storage disk, right? You can even back it up on several disks if it makes you feel more comfortable. Never just rely on a computer. Just buy a pack of those disks.

Posted by: Bonnie at December 15, 2010 10:39 PM

I'm certain it will be #15, but if you'd like to be completely reassured about Number 5, I'll happily act as a backup for you, feel free to email it to me as well. No charge, really, just willing to do my bit.

Posted by: Amanda Page at December 15, 2010 10:42 PM

I, for one, have had your book-to-be in my Amazon cart ever since your publisher sent them enough info to have it on file.

I imagine I'm not the only one. Expect another best-seller.

Too bad Santa won't get his hands on one for my stocking this year.

PS: My husband is super-anal about computer back-ups. Once a week, he backs up our main computer on a drive we have hidden in the house. Once every two months, he does a double back up of all of our computers (don't ask how many) on two separate zip drives that we keep in our bank safety deposit box. It may be overkill, but we're covered in case the house burns down.

Posted by: Jamie at December 15, 2010 10:56 PM

When I finished my PhD and was about to send my thesis to an online publisher and get multiple copies of it bound for the school library, I had similar moments of panic. I proofread and re-proofread and re-re-proofread. Eight months later, I was checking some things and noticed that on page 1 I had written "blah blah blah (Smith, 1988; Jones 1999; INSERT SOME REFERENCES IN HERE)" and never bothered to remove the block caps note to self. Yeah. Not buried deep in some chapter that no-one will ever read. Smack dab in the middle of page 1. (The good news is that there will only be about 10 people who ever read any of my masterpiece. The other good news is yours will be great!)

Posted by: Norma at December 15, 2010 11:05 PM

Here's a true thing. Reading your description of how a sock is knitted - all the parts of a sock, and how they make sense and go together - is the reason why I am today a Knitter, instead of just someone who knows how to knit. You, my friend, are a Writer. It's all good.

Posted by: Jocelyn at December 15, 2010 11:35 PM

The book HAS to get published. It's been on my Amazon wishlist for almost 18 months!

Posted by: GeniaKnitz in PDX, once again to be home to the SS! at December 15, 2010 11:41 PM

I'm going to tell you something that is a real eyeopener. If you look at the response to your blog, books and other work with an objective mind, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Therefore, your anxious thoughts are NOT TO BE TRUSTED.

Posted by: Margaret at December 15, 2010 11:46 PM

Oh, and then there was the education journal I once edited that had an article on freshman enthusiasm, which phrase was also the running head. Except on one page, where it had been replaced by the words "Irishman Enthusiasm."
Lots of angst, but luckily we had kept all backup, so were able to prove that it was the PRINTER who made the change!
(Just one more thing for you to worry about! Proofread all running heads!)

Posted by: GeniaKnitz at December 15, 2010 11:51 PM

All I can say is, I wouldn't want to be in your shoes. Being a writer and spilling your soul (or your humor) to the world takes GUTS, girl!

Posted by: Michelle at December 15, 2010 11:53 PM

You forgot: "The editor to whom I entrust the eagle-eyed location of minor usage errors and wee grammatical flubs, will rely on a computer usage-checker instead, and the book will get printed anyway, and English teachers who knit and buy my books will perpetually show up at book signings with books marked in red ink to point out badly placed "it's," dangling participles and split infinitives. On the other hand, I may be able to save a certain amount of face by declaring that the dangling participles are literary UFOs."

Posted by: Dez at December 15, 2010 11:54 PM

One more thing -- have a Valium ( you can almost buy them over the counter in Canada, can't you), and a stout glass of Screech. This is an occasion that calls for Screech.

Posted by: Dez at December 15, 2010 11:55 PM

Can't live with deadlines and can't live without them, it's part of a writer's life, and when I think about it, a regular person's life, too. You got the job done, early, too, so now, it's time to let go, (not easy, but necessary). If changes need to be made, you will make them, and like the many other comments, the things the writer worries about go unnoticed by the readers. Congratulations! Anxiety is totally normal, but so is glee! Happy Christmas to you and your family. Is Sam returning from the land of the polar bears?

Eve from Carlisle

Posted by: Eve Linn at December 16, 2010 12:11 AM

My boss writes wine books. One year a subeditor changed 'flor', which is a winemaking term about sherry (Google will tell you everything!) to 'floor'. Another year the typesetter decided that certain versions of 'and' should be made into ampersands, but forgot that there are loads of other words just like this and turned a lot of people into '&drew'. I have been caught out calling a certain subeditor 'the hyphen bitch'. Just remember that only editors are bad. Authors are fabulous!

Posted by: Paula at December 16, 2010 12:24 AM

Stephanie, I can't wait to buy your new book. I have all confidence in you and am delighted to know we will have another treasure to add to the library. Nobody ever said giving birth was easy, whether to a book or a baby. Thank you.

Posted by: Buckshot at December 16, 2010 12:45 AM

Oh dear. I get it, and I'm not even as far along in the whole writing thing as you are. I, too, sent my ms to an editor. Then I went to karate. The two events are related.

Posted by: tiah at December 16, 2010 1:54 AM

I have not written a book, but I am awaiting completion of the final formatting on my master's thesis. Since submitting it to the formatting service offered by my university I have become convinced that the whole 18k words are probably gibberish.

I am currently re-reading one of your books, and I look forward to seeing your new creation!

Posted by: RosemaryRiveter at December 16, 2010 2:22 AM

We can pre-order?!?!? How'd I miss *that*?!? I've been waiting - so VERY patiently! - for your next book!

Okay, hun - apparently, a Pep Talk is in order. Your books are hil-AR-ious, girl. I go into withdrawal if I can't get to the blog fairly frequently for my YH-Fix. I keep wishing you would just publish your whole blog in one humongous book so I can use it as a wonderful pick-me-up when I'm feeling sorry for myself. Then, every year or so, we could get add-ons :-). No, seriously, if you did that...I'd buy it in a heartbeat. I've also read, and re-read, every one of your books (I have them all) several times. You're more funny than ANY comedian out there because you're REAL. You don't even have to try to be funny - I think you were just borned-ed that way :-).

For those of ya'll who don't remember the horrific hate mail Stephanie got, believe me...the person who sent it was Seriously. Totally. Disturbed. I'm not easily freaked, but it was very, very scary just to read this person's vitriol against her (I accidently found the person's blog while looking for someone else's...and no, I wasn't looking for it - I hate that kind of stuff!). It was so vile, so personal, that I found myself hoping Stephanie could afford a bodyguard, and (literally) praying for her safety :-(. So, yeah. There are some majorly twisted whackos out there. I think the person was truly *sick* with jealousy over Stephanie's success and - probably most of all - the widespread and very great affection we all have for her. 'nuff about still makes my skin crawl.

Back to happy thoughts: Stephanie, your book will be, I KNOW (as do the rest of us), a perfectly wonderful success and I can hardly wait for it to come out! Now, go drink a few beers, knit a few rounds on your socks and then collapse in a well-earned rest!

Posted by: Connie at December 16, 2010 2:29 AM

...and one more thing! What the hell is "Screech"?!? I just gotta know.

Posted by: Connie at December 16, 2010 2:56 AM


Posted by: Heather at December 16, 2010 3:06 AM

#13 - oh, I know that feeling. Actually, all of these ring true - just substitute tax for knitting.

Posted by: Anne at December 16, 2010 5:09 AM

It will be fine, I have exactly the same panics every time I publish something, usually combined with screaming nightmares about somehow managing to write a whole page using exactly the same words as someone I've never heard of thus opening me up to the plagiarism demons. Of course its never that bad, the editor comes back with a few useful comments, you then manage to miss at least three spelling errors in the final read through, it gets published, and life goes on.

Posted by: Sally at December 16, 2010 5:36 AM

Congrats! Put up your feet, open a beer, and knit a little somethin'-somethin'!

Posted by: Lisa H. at December 16, 2010 6:04 AM

Re: #5

Back your document up in at least 3 places including burning the file to a DVD. Apparently data storage people say that no data truly "exists" unless it's backed up in at least 3 places and your third method of storage should be at least 500m (or similar) away from the other 2 in case of fire!

Moral of this story, backup your book on a DVD and go bury it in a tupperware box in the garden ;-)

Posted by: Liz at December 16, 2010 6:11 AM

congratulations!!!!!!!! I'm sure it's great and I can't wait to read it. Now, I hope you had a huge glass of wine the minute you send it in.

Posted by: Elizabeth at December 16, 2010 6:47 AM

As an editor, I'm sad you're afraid of yours! We're there to make each work the best it can be. I always think of myself as a partner to my authors. Maybe your new editor will be your new BFF???

Posted by: Marta at December 16, 2010 7:07 AM

This is why writer's drink.

Posted by: Anne in South Dakota at December 16, 2010 7:08 AM

Oh, Stephanie, there's no reason for so much writer's angst. This book, like all the others, will be enjoyed by us, your readers, and will no doubt many new ones. It might help to go look in your mirror and tell yourself some affirmative truths, such as:
1-I am already a successful writer of (is it 7?) published books, all of which sold well.
2-I have a devoted following already - most or all of whom will want to buy this book.
3-I am a good person, wife, mother, friend, knitter, designer, etc. ad infinitim.
You are loved. It's gonna be fine.

Posted by: Shawlwoman at December 16, 2010 7:23 AM

Oh, and let me share this from my favorite college professor, Dr. Henry Smorinsky, may his tribe increase. He told me this after I asked him for the _nth time about my grade on a final. "The ones who worry most are those who least need to do so." I got a fabulous grade on that paper, btw.

Posted by: Shawlwoman at December 16, 2010 7:34 AM

This reminds me of the age-old question, "Are you a process knitter or a product knitter?" In this case, "are you a process writer or a product writer?"

I'm someone whom (or should that be "who?") everyone in my life sees as rather nutty about knitting - your books help me feel (somewhat) normal. Keep writing (after taking a well-deserved break to catch up on your knitting)!

Posted by: Cate at December 16, 2010 7:42 AM

Stephanie, I may be repeating something because, frankly, I haven't read all the comments, but, as for the computer crashing, put it on a cd before you send it, or even better, buy an external hard drive and back up your entire content regularly. That way you can have one less worry.

Posted by: Kathryn at December 16, 2010 8:17 AM

You shoosh! We all love your writting or we wouldn't read the blog and all the other books. You are a successful writer and the knitting community wouldn't be the same without you. <3

Posted by: Kelly at December 16, 2010 8:23 AM

I am feeling blessed that I've never sent a manuscript off to a publisher. What angst! We all love your writing, and read every chance we get! You're a fine writer. Trust us!

Posted by: Ann at December 16, 2010 8:34 AM

You may return to your regularly scheduled programming (ahem, knitting). Well done!!

Posted by: Jo-Anne at December 16, 2010 8:35 AM

I have enjoyed everyone of your books! Relax, have a beer or a cup of tea, it will be good, trust me.

Posted by: carol at December 16, 2010 8:37 AM

I thought of you the other day as I stood over the trash and darned my sock ala Yarn Harlot. Today I can only imagine what other gems you have in store for us.

Posted by: Suzanne at December 16, 2010 8:45 AM

Your post is the product of too much caffeine. Or maybe not enough?

Posted by: Iris at December 16, 2010 9:08 AM

As an avid fan of your books, I just have to say THANK YOU for going through all that stress to continue supplying your readers with the cheer your essays bring to us. I really appreciate your hard work, especially on a bad day when I know reading a few pages will put a smile on my face. Can't wait for the new book!!

Posted by: Mandi at December 16, 2010 9:10 AM

Judging from your previous volumes, I'm with #15!

Posted by: Ruth in NJ at December 16, 2010 9:28 AM

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! If the writing quality in the book is anything like the previous books or your have no worries. You give me a smile with every blog post and I pull out your books whenever I need a lift. Unless you've had some sort of total personality change, my bet is that it will be terrific ( and so #15, of course, is in play).

Posted by: Nancy at December 16, 2010 9:45 AM

For more than 25 years I have made a living as a freelance editor. You describe quite accurately my range of emotions every time I send a finished edited project off to the publisher. Editors suffer too. Does that help? I suspect I'll get back to my knitting.

Posted by: Anna at December 16, 2010 10:13 AM

You poor thing! I'm glad what creativity I have does not move me to write books.
I see in your tweets you are NOT writing a book and still getting used to it. Very cool.

Posted by: Gail at December 16, 2010 10:18 AM

I love the term "slag heap." Even your worries make me laugh out loud. With humour, not derision, you know.

It will be GREAT, and I can not WAIT!

Posted by: Michele at December 16, 2010 10:43 AM

Congrats on finishing it. That is terrific.

And good luck with the new editor. I have to think that is terrifying for any writer. An editor can have a big impact on the finished work. And a good one can make all the difference. I hope the editor is at least familiar with knitting...but I know that is often not the case.

(I work in publishing so I understand the importance of the author/editor relationship. Though I am not in either area. I do data work & some desktop publishing. So luckily I only have the end results.)

Posted by: Michele / akasha at December 16, 2010 10:50 AM

Breathe. Breathe again. Breathe some more. All will be well. We love you, Steph xx

Posted by: Jools Smith at December 16, 2010 10:53 AM

Stephanie, I am sure your book is great as is, and I for one cannot wait to read it! And thanks so much for the cowl pattern ... I am waiting for yarn I ordered to knit one for my niece!

Posted by: Anne at December 16, 2010 11:02 AM

It will be fine. Have some chocolate and wine. Or since it's December, how about some Screech? Now how much Christmas knitting is left? More Screech?

Seriously, it'll be fine. And inquiring minds want to know roughly when it is due out.

Screech, wine and chocolate or coffee?

Posted by: Lori at December 16, 2010 11:12 AM

16. It will all be ok!

I second the recommendation to eat chocolate.

Posted by: Wendolene at December 16, 2010 11:21 AM

As a reader of all your previouse books, I am sure it will be more fun for me and countless others who laugh and truly appreciate the wacky and wonderful way you write. :)

Posted by: linda in oregon at December 16, 2010 11:37 AM

I bet on 7 and 15.

Have I been on Ravelry too much? Looking for your love button to cleek.

Posted by: maddy in sc at December 16, 2010 11:40 AM

Trying to envision a scenario that would inspire me to send Steph hate mail. (Hmmm, difficult since I've read enough of her writing to know what I'm getting into so it would clearly my own damn fault.) 1) Wet pants laughing which shorts out massage chair and results in electrocution-related trip to the emergency room. 2) Recall particularly funny Steph comment during romantic moment, unfortunate timing of snickering results in divorce. 3) Get engrossed reading Steph's book and fail to notice that house has caught fire; house burns down around me and includes the complete destruction of my beloved stash.
I'd like to note that in spite of publically acknowledging my awareness of the risks, you WON'T be keeping me away from the new book!

Posted by: Babs at December 16, 2010 12:05 PM

I can hear a drumroll of great anticipation (or maybe it's thousands of knitters tapping their needles) -- BRING IT! Can't WAIT to read your new book.

Posted by: Kathe at December 16, 2010 12:06 PM

Um, Stephanie:

If your editor (or you) have any doubt about the terrific following you enjoy, send her this page of accolades. Better yet, if she gives you any grief, tie her to her office chair and read them to her.

That'll do it.

Posted by: jdcollins at December 16, 2010 12:19 PM

take some deep breaths. Your fans will love it because you wrote it and new fans will wonder how they haven't read all your other books and will run out to buy the whole set.
Also drink some wine.

Posted by: Robin F. at December 16, 2010 12:25 PM

I'll bet it'll be wonderful, and I can't wait to read it!

Posted by: Nancy FP in Ferndale at December 16, 2010 12:52 PM

Congratulations on the finish! I've pre-ordered the book and based on the other books of yours I'm willing to bet it is going to be another enjoyable read.

Posted by: Kimberly at December 16, 2010 1:06 PM

At times like these (I'm not a writer, but I have similar, yet different moments in my life) I find it's best to select a very expensive lace weight and cast on some rediculously beautiful lace project, and work on that till you drop. Add wine only if necessary. (ps, we're all pretty sure it's #15, and we can't ALL be wrong!)

Posted by: patti at December 16, 2010 1:20 PM

As a writer, I totally relate.

I've only tech edited books, but I used to write articles and a monthly column. I went through similar feelings with each submission.

Heck, I used to worry about the tech edits, too.

I don't think it ever goes away. From my observation of fellow writers, it seems to get worse the more successful a writer becomes.

That's the bad news. The good news: This sort of crazy, obcessive worrying is often what makes a writer better than the rest. It's part of the plan.

The best news is that you are an outstanding writer, and there is no way that your submission isn't all it is meant to be.

I can hardly wait to read your new book! Congratulations on reaching your deadline.

Lee a/k/a one of those people with an obnoxious little dog

Posted by: Lee Bernstein at December 16, 2010 1:21 PM

If you have any doubts, check the Amazon site if you can for the number of pre-orders already posted--your fans eagerly await, and have already ponied up the bucks for, your newest addition to our knitting humor shelves. This is a huge accomplishment, so relax with Tina (even though you're working there, too), finish up all your Christmas knitting (yes, it _will_ happen)--and try to get your publisher to develop a more realistic sense of deadlines for the next one! Best, randomknitter

Posted by: randmknitter at December 16, 2010 1:30 PM

Best advertising ever!
You know I've got to read it after all that honesty. love, a wanna-be writer

Posted by: bj from LaColline at December 16, 2010 1:35 PM

See . . . if you'd let me edit it first, you could be sending it to you "editor" with absolute confidence! Yeah!! But I am impressed that you made your deadline--nice job, girlie!! Can't wait to read it (assuming, of course, that it gets published---just kidding!!) Oooo . . . I'm so mean, aren't I??? I'm sure it's perfect, your editor is perfect, and the reviews will be fantastic! Again . . . can't wait to read it! xoxo

Posted by: Grandmatutu (Mary) at December 16, 2010 1:41 PM

There, there, dear. If it's a real stinkaroony rest assured that WE will never tell you. Like a true family, we'll buy it, read it, and tell you straight to your face that is is simply divine.

Does that make you feel any better? >:-)

Posted by: Hilarie at December 16, 2010 1:55 PM

16. The deadline is no coincidence - this whole thing has been a set up from the beginning so They (editors, publishers, etc) could share it and all have a good laugh at their holiday party.

(No, really, I'm sure it's fine. That's just what my brain would tell me.)

Have another glass of wine. :)

Posted by: Louise at December 16, 2010 2:06 PM

my manuscript writer (not yet published) sent his book off to an editor yesterday. he keeps fiddling with it. I think he probably thinks all but 7 and 15 apply to his. I'm trying to get him distracted. :) Congrats and now you can knit like the wind. Or sleep.

Posted by: kathy at December 16, 2010 2:16 PM

Just in case you hadn't figured it out from the comments, we have faith in you. I know that there is absolutely no point in telling you to turn your brain off, because mine would be telling me very similar things were I in the same situation.

More celebratory wine is called for.

Posted by: barbinvic at December 16, 2010 2:57 PM

Yes, I am a writer
Yes to all those things, especially 14 and 15.

Posted by: Evalyn at December 16, 2010 3:29 PM

Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat ad infinitum. Relax. I know you might think it is impossible, but give it a try. We will wait a couple of weeks before we start asking when the next book will be out.(Hehehe) just joking!!! If we all love your books, who cares what anyone else thinks? Even though I am sure it will be wonderful. I've never read a disappointing word yet! Of yours, I mean.

Posted by: Jena at December 16, 2010 3:58 PM

I wrote a book once (for my PhD). 6 people read it (my committee). No one bought it (I had to pay for the copy for the University Library). You're already way ahead. Isn't your book already #1 for pre-order or some such thing? It will be as soon as it goes up, if the prior 306 comments are any indication.
Also, sometimes I read the essays out of order. Sorry.
How are your socks? I think I'm going to go home and knit on some socks now...

Posted by: Su1282 at December 16, 2010 4:18 PM

You receive hatemail? How terrible. To anyone who hates you: don't read the books and blog. Shouldn't that solve their problem?

Posted by: Ladona at December 16, 2010 4:41 PM

Definitely 15, no doubt in my mind

Posted by: Beth at December 16, 2010 4:48 PM

I try so hard to not think that there are really, truly hideous books out there. Instead, I charitably (sometimes) try to think that there are books out there that are just not right for me.

Sometimes it even works.

Your book is a #15 to be sure!

Posted by: Seanna Lea at December 16, 2010 4:52 PM

Just to let you know I donate $200 USD to Knitters Without Borders the other day.

Posted by: Lucy at December 16, 2010 4:59 PM

Aack! As my sister frequently tells me, "Just breathe!"

Posted by: Lori on Little Traverse Bay at December 16, 2010 5:16 PM

The book will be fine. Just like they always are. Chin up.

On a side note, ficuses? fici? are poisonous to dogs. The more you know...

Posted by: Jason at December 16, 2010 5:35 PM

Yup, you're a writer all right.

Posted by: Rob at December 16, 2010 5:49 PM

I had all of those thoughts when I put my first pattern online. I totally sympathize. Not to worry! It will be great, everyone will love it, and afterward there will be drinking.

Posted by: Lucia at December 16, 2010 6:03 PM

Of course you get hate mail, Sweety. My Momma always said that if everything is easy and everybody likes you, then you're doing it wrong. The trick is to check their criticism through your personal filter(mine happens to be the Catholic Church, you have your own), and if it goes through your filter ok, then let it roll off(my Dad would have said "like water off a duck's back"). I'm guessing most people shoot off their mouths, then it's too late to save face. Keep on making us laugh and doing what you love and forget the naysayers. :)

Posted by: Gini at December 16, 2010 6:13 PM

How many times has 1 through 14 actually happened?
Step 1 - Pull your panties up and be a big girl about whatever happens.
Looking forwards to reading your next book whether it's good, bad or ugly.

Posted by: Jennifer at December 16, 2010 6:35 PM

I'm an editor, book designer and oft-time writer in my other-after-wage-work life. You will be fine. The book will be fine. Don't stop drinking.

Posted by: Brenda at December 16, 2010 6:52 PM

well, there might be one other tiny thing
(The only thing I can think of that is going to be wrong with your book is that, once again, your book tour will not include I-O-W-A.
I know, I know: flog meet dead horse. I like to call it optimistic tenacity.
Posted by: roggey at December 15, 2010 4:02 PM )
The other tiny thing? Edmonton Alberta Canada will probably not make the list either. And that is sad. But your book will come to Edmonton, and i know of over 100 people who will buy it for themselves, and buy more copies to give to other people .... so, we will be content with that - for now!
p.s. Roggey - thanks for the great phrase!!!

Posted by: Jenni in Edmonton at December 16, 2010 7:23 PM

Hear me -- I am an editor! The book will be fine -- you are not an idiot or they would have stopped you after the first book -- if the essays are in the wrong order the editor will catch it, ditto the possible inaccurate fact lurking somewhere (probably a figment of your imagination). If anything goes wrong you can blame it on the editor (many authors do, ask me how I know).
Go back and finish that nice bottle of wine in peace and tranquillity and enjoy Christmas with your family!

Posted by: Lindsey (London) at December 16, 2010 7:24 PM

aww... for the record: I love you and your books. This is a real, factual statement in no way induced by love of knitting (since I am not very good at that, though I just finished my first sock thanks to you and knitting rules!). Your writing is what made me want to start knitting. I know, right? Why read about knitting humor before you know how to knit? Well, being a bookstore person, that's just how I roll. Thanks for everything Stephanie, including following me on Twitter ;) That made me smile.

Posted by: Meghan Mulkerin at December 16, 2010 7:54 PM

16. But I'll still have my blog and those people love what I write, so it's all good!

Posted by: Terry at December 16, 2010 8:44 PM

I can't wait to read it! I love your essays, have all the prior books and read them every so often. Can't wait to add the new one to the collection. So relax, you made the deadline, the book will be great, and now you can enjoy your time stressing out over finishing your holiday knitting :)

Posted by: Jen D at December 16, 2010 8:49 PM

Fear and insecurity can do a number on our psyche.

I'm glad you wrote the book, and I look forward to reading it!

Posted by: Brenda at December 16, 2010 9:43 PM

I'm so glad it's done because maybe you'll come near me and I can see you on a book tour! And I am completely sure our political, religious, and food values are not the same, yet I find you witty, insightful and delightful. I can't imagine how your book could be anything other than stellar: I've read and enjoyed the others so much. In fact, I bought one as a pick-me-up on the way home from the cancer doc, so your writing is even good medicine :)

Posted by: Ness522 at December 16, 2010 9:45 PM

Ya Hoo I'm glad you got it done and can now enjoy some time off and the Christmas get togethers with family and friends. Well deserved break. Can hardly wait to get my hands and eyes on your new one.

Posted by: JoanH at December 16, 2010 10:05 PM

I know I'll love it----but as a yarn shop owner, I am trying to figure out what to replace your calendar with on my counter!!! My customers LOVE reading your calendar.....

Love your books and I have all of them! Please do another calendar next year.....

Posted by: Dianne at December 16, 2010 10:38 PM

ah...another book of your thoughts that I can buy. yeah! Our knit-sisters group had holiday dinner the other night - with wooly gift exchange. When your book was pulled out of a bag we all went 'oooooooooh', as we all know your books are 100% wooly and life resources - to be kept forever.

Posted by: cecelia at December 16, 2010 11:42 PM

It seems as if your self-imposed sock club was a success - are you planning to do it again for 2011?

Posted by: Lisa at December 17, 2010 12:42 AM

Needed: Yoga, Bath and wine...

Posted by: Liz at December 17, 2010 3:36 AM

OMG - I thought you'd be OVER all that by now!! Just write it, they will buy!!!

Posted by: Sharon in Surrey at December 17, 2010 3:46 AM

Is it bad if I think all these things about everything I work on? Oh, ahem, never mind about me...
You sound completely normal to me. Possibly slightly obsessive, but could a completely non-obsessive person finish a 60,000 work book on deadline? Love your flaws, work them and make them strengths. I find slightly obsessive is really usefull a lot of the time.

PS I thought authors never sent books in on deadline, give yourself some (lots of...) credit.

Posted by: Don B at December 17, 2010 6:35 AM

Somehow it all sounds suspiciously like having a baby.....

Posted by: Jeannine at December 17, 2010 6:43 AM

#15. Definitely #15. I'm just hoping it will be in print soon!

Posted by: Ruth F in Pgh. at December 17, 2010 9:06 AM

It's encouraging to me that someone as clearly amazing as yourself experiences this kind of self-doubt. It makes my dreams seem possible! I can't wait to get my hands on this book! You're an incredible writer and you're unbelievably funny. My husband doesn't get how I can laugh so hard when reading a knitting blog. Or how I can vividly remember posts that you wrote years ago, like when your dishwasher was acting up and when Sir Washie (RIP) died.

Posted by: Sara at December 17, 2010 9:09 AM

I'm going to go with the #7 and #15 combo. Also, I can't wait till it's in print and we can read it.

Posted by: Hannah at December 17, 2010 9:15 AM

Knit and drink and let it go. Keep breathing! All will be fine!

Posted by: Ashley at December 17, 2010 9:18 AM

The intent is always evident in the results, Stephanie, just remember that. How could it not be wonderful?

Have and wonderful, warm, wooly holiday season and get some sleep.

Posted by: Linda at December 17, 2010 9:20 AM

I swear, there are times I wish you could post every single day just because you crack me up so bad. Your book is going to be wonderful as far as I'm concerned, and if you think nobody else will have you, you can always come to north Florida and talk to us knitters about it. We love you here!

How *do* we get a hold of you for a book tour? I remember you used to have a link on the right hand side of your page. Oh wait, I'll go see if it's back up there.

Posted by: madonnaearth at December 17, 2010 10:22 AM

Your loyal followers can't wait to read your genius! Now breath and enjoy the holiday! :)

Posted by: Amanda M at December 17, 2010 10:50 AM

You know all of us loyal devotees will think it is wonderful, go to sleep, stop thinking about it.

Posted by: Jane George at December 17, 2010 12:20 PM

I will buy this book just like I have bought all your other books, they make me laugh, they make me cry, and they are all dogeared from me reading them over and over.
So I vote for #15.
And you are the reason I now knit socks after being afraid of all those pointy sticks.
Thank you!!!

Posted by: Darlene at December 17, 2010 12:27 PM

A Facebook friend of mine, published many, many times, said: "Any writer who doesn't think thoughts like these isn't really a writer. And the thoughts never end, even after publication. But here's one that always troubles me: Has someone else come up with a substantially similar idea to mine, done it better, and will have it published a month before mine comes out?" Stephanie, that is one thing YOU do NOT have to worry about!

Posted by: Lesley at December 17, 2010 1:19 PM

From one writer to another...

Your manuscript will be fine.
You will be fine.
Good job you on making it to the finish line on time.
Now go have a glass of wine! ;)


Posted by: Nay at December 17, 2010 1:43 PM

Amazon has your book available for pre-order!!!! And it says available May 2011!!!! "All Wound Up" , I love the title!!!

Posted by: Ruth F in Pgh at December 17, 2010 2:12 PM

you get hatemail? from what asylum are these folks from?

Posted by: e at December 17, 2010 2:44 PM


Posted by: Lorraine Smith at December 17, 2010 3:49 PM

Aww, I'm sure it will be brilliant, just like your other books. :) I can't wait to read it!!

Posted by: Kathyg at December 17, 2010 3:56 PM

why in the world would anyone send you hate mail? That is just crazy. Your books are always a delight - your blog makes me laugh - what in the world could some fool come up with to send a mean email? I only wish I could knit and write half as good as you

Posted by: Sandra at December 17, 2010 4:03 PM

Ooh....another book done! I looked it up on Amazon the other day - not quite available for pre-order (seeing as it is now with your editor) but definitely on there!

Time to exhale - grab yourself some lace or something warm and chunky and a glass of mulled wine. Whatever will best soothe your writer's soul.

Totally agree about writer's going through all of the above feelings when sending their work out into the world. It's scary! But also a side effect of being a writer.

Merry Christmas to you and yours. :)

Posted by: Gwen at December 17, 2010 4:04 PM

The only thing you left out of the OMG list was:
The possibility that the manuscript will get lost and when I go to my computer to retrieve the backup, there will be a storm going on several miles away and my house will be struck by a lightning bolt which will travel through my supposedly grounded wiring and go into my supposedly grounded battery backup system and fry the computer, causing me to lose the entire hard drive and the extra copy of the book will be gone for all eternity. Sadly, that IS a possibility -- it actually happened to me. I sobbed for, IF that happens, sob for days, drink LOTS of beer and then hope you can find enough of your notes to do a reasonable re-write...on your NEW computer. However, we will be optimistic that all will go well and the faithful readers will be able to soon dance joyously to buy it! Congrats on finishing another one!! Now, if only I can find MY notes....

Posted by: Peri Urvek at December 17, 2010 8:16 PM

Steph, I've been reading your stuff since you used to post on the knitlist. I can pretty much guarantee that they'll be at least one essay which will make me tear up, and another which will make me pee my pants laughing, and one I'll insist on reading to my husband because you get it and he doesn't.

I'm looking forward to it :) Thanks for the early christmas present, even if I won't get it until easter.

Posted by: Mary Peed at December 18, 2010 11:39 AM

It will be great just like the others! When will it be in the stores? I think it will be a just because gift to myself!!

Posted by: Louise at December 18, 2010 12:29 PM

As someone said quite early on, I can't imagine why someone would send you hate mail. I personally love you, and between random funny quotes and stories and the occasionally youtube video, I'm gradually converting my non-knitting family members.

Posted by: Rachel at December 18, 2010 12:43 PM

We're knitters. You've helped organize us into a force to be reckoned with and we've got your back. We love and understand you because you love and understand us, and you say the things we wish we could say. No matter what order you put it in, we'll get it. Now you should relax and enjoy Christmas! (And SS11 planning - I cannot wait for it!!! I'm so excited you're doing it again.)

Posted by: Jen at December 18, 2010 3:45 PM

#7 and #15. definitely.

Posted by: Kathy at December 18, 2010 5:33 PM

All your knitting readers are checking and Barnes and Noble to see if we can pre-order the book.

Posted by: Leslie F at December 18, 2010 10:14 PM

Deep breaths. "In with the good air and out with the bad air."

Posted by: Debbie at December 19, 2010 8:12 AM

on an unrelated note, i have to say your "Unorginal Hat" pattern has saved my arse this Christmas. I've knocked out five of them already. They are just the gratifying thing to knock out while battling menopause and a cold: big fluffy wool, big needles, and a fun pattern. thank u so much!

Posted by: Kristy at December 19, 2010 8:59 PM

The fear that the entire bottle of wine you polished off at 1:30am has nothing to do with the fact your right eye is twitching uncontrollably and you can swear you hit copy and paste twice on page 42. Or was it a

Posted by: Laura at December 20, 2010 12:30 PM

A slag heap of human brain waste? I am ready to buy your book based on that phrase!!!!!

Posted by: Patty Johnson at December 23, 2010 2:39 AM