Toronto- Reports are beginning to emerge that may indicate that local knitblogger “Yarn Harlot” (we believe that may be an assumed name) has finally snapped.

The recent overwhelming realization that the vast majority of knitbloggers are incredibly decent, generous and kind (combined with the tragic loss of her daughter’s infant Tamagotchi) had her in an emotionally fragile state to begin with, but this mornings wrangling with HTML in order to provide a new page for the blog appears to have put her right over the freaking edge. (We also have suggestions that Rams suggestion yesterday in the comments that the Harlot stop writing thank you notes may have caused some sort of Canadian politeness short circuit. Rumour would have it that the Harlot was writing thank you notes when she got the directive from Rams to stop thanking people (or risk,…what was that threat? BITING?), which made the Harlot very grateful to Rams for such sensitivity, and that made her want to thank Rams, which was forbidden. The inability to thank someone for trying to relieve her of thank you notes and its resultant unfulfilled thankfulness may have sent the Harlot into some sort of feedback loop and resultant meltdown.)

When asked for a comment her blog-god buddy Ken said “I don’t know what happened. She phoned me and sounded sort of, well…crazy. I couldn’t even tell if she was laughing or crying. Something about how she only tried to add a tiny little button and now the “whole blog was !@#$%^&!! broken”. I did what I could to calm her, but it was all I could do to get her to stop gibbering and clicking on “refresh”. I fixed what I could…but I can’t even begin to imagine what she was thinking. I mean…she was pointing images to a local drive. I can’t talk about this anymore. She’s already chewed up half my day.”

Ken indicated that despite the profound damage the Harlot had done to her own blog code while apparently trying to “upload” something…he had managed to reconstruct the brand new Knitters Without Borders Homepage for the KWB button to link to. He concluded by saying that he wonders if the Harlot was simply suffering some sort of seizure. “The tally in the sidebar is all she talks about. All the donations? I think she just got too happy“.

This reporter began to suspect a plot when she confirmed that Jean may have played a role in bringing on these dangerous levels of happiness by donating an incredible hank of handspun yarn to the Knitters Without Borders reward pot. Jean has details of this on her blog, where The Harlot may have shamelessly lifted this picture from.


Not just any handspun…but the flagship handspun from her own blog….where, not coincidentally, this reporter discovered completely intact HTML code. Suspicious?

Only one sighting of the Harlot herself has been made since several witnesses confirmed her extremely odd behaviour at the stitch and bitch at Lettuce Knit on Wednesday evening. “You wouldn’t have believed it,” said one incredulous knitter..” she was here for hours and she didn’t buy anything. Nothing. Not even a magazine. We couldn’t believe it. She just kept muttering about needs and wants. Then she left. She didn’t even have any knitted stuff on…In January? It was really weird. Do you think she’s ok?”

While this non-yarn buying behaviour is highly suspicious, we continue to hold out hope that the Harlot is merely experiencing an uncharacteristic period of focus and self control. Since the Harlot has never before exhibited either of these characteristics, it is too soon to tell if it is a sign that she has become crazier than Cher claiming that she doesn’t like sparkles. This reporter gained access to the harlot home last evening and after digging through the rubble found the following mitten part on the table.


This mitten appears normal enough…but among the things overheard in the wool strewn house was a concern that the Harlot believes that the pattern on the hand is “too low contrast” and may need to be re-knit. Somewhat reassuring is that the Harlot may have been able to let go of her obsession with stripy palms and knit some sort of little diamond action on this one.


This reporter also overheard a discussion between the Harlot and a man she called “Joe” (though he may also use an alias) and some smaller people, who were all trying to figure out a way to deal with the decrepit Christmas tree in the living room. There was significant resistance to the Harlots suggestion that perhaps one of them could carry it outside for compost pickup. There may be some hope for the Harlot….as she did reject Joe’s alternate idea that perhaps they could just keep vacuuming up fallen needles from under the tree all year. According to “Joe” the tree would eventually simply disappear.

The Harlot’s response? “You know dude, thank goodness I work here, or you people would be exhausted.”

54 thoughts on “Newsflash

  1. The mitten is lovely! It doesn’t need more contrast at all!
    Enjoy the focus and self-control while they last…

  2. Stephanie, I think you’ll find, if you can bring yourself to keep knitting and get more of the pattern done, that there is enough contrast. Pull up the picture on your monitor and lean waaaayy back, and you’ll see it better. I promise this is not a dastardly trick on my part to make you do much more work and then rip out anyway.
    What I’m really worried about is the disappearance of the letters on the right side of today’s blog entry (on the main page, not this comment page). I know you’re throwing everything you’ve got into Lene’s Christmas present, but this time I think you’ve finally gone too far.
    And hey — you never told us what wonderfully lucky larger-pawed person got those beautiful green and white mittens with the red and black cuffs. We lived those mittens — we need to know! Unless, of course, they were for Russian Christmas and won’t be bestowed until today. . .

  3. I understand the drive to thank everyone but, really, its ok 🙂 We know you’re grateful–you wouldn’t be so happy if you werent–and thats enough for everyone.

  4. Poor, poor harlot. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend. In other words-the mitten is gorgeous.

  5. Hee! I like Teresa’s comment. Diamonds are indeed a girl’s best friend. Unless you’re Cher. Because sequins will, apparently, do in a pinch. But the diamonds on the palm sound like they’ll be fabulous. Don’t stress too much. Embrace the zen and just let it flow.
    Yeah, I know. Not possible. 😀

  6. Do I spy little upside down fleur d’ lis? Tres adorable! Get that fire hazard Christmas tree out of the house for cryin’ out loud, there’s wool in there!

  7. I’ll donate some handspun too… I’ll spin something up this weekend and send you a picture Monday.
    By the way, did you ever get rid of the teethmarks on Lene’s gift?

  8. The Harlot has not gone over the edge, the rest of humanity might have though. The mittens are absolutely perfect the way they are. Just the right amount of contrast. Thank you for your inspiring selflessness and humour.

  9. Steph- just the thought that the Harlot would knit a thank you mitten is thanks enough for anyone. We all know that hand knitted thanks are much more sincere than hand written, and your hand knitted thanks are on display every day on your blog.
    PS- I thought the “reporter” had given you a new nickname (Harl) ’til I realized that you had removed letters to give us a little intellectual stimulation while we read the blog today. (That’s why the letters are missing right?) 🙂
    PS again- Have you thought about putting KWB logo items on sale at Cafe Press? I know I’d buy a KWB t-shirt or mug, esp if the money was going to DWB/MSF. Just a thought.

  10. Harlot, those mittens are LOVELY, please don’t rip and repeat…
    I have a favor to ask all in Harlotville (but not the Harlot, please, I don’t want to put your sanity more at risk)…. If you have a moment would you mind hopping over to the blog I have with my bestest (albeit dorky) friend in the whole wide world and leaving my little E a comment?
    This is not a shameless plug for attention. My poor best friend (again the bestest friend on the planet) is feeling the winter blahs and I think heaps of wellwishes etc (esp so close to her wedding anniversary 1/22 and birthday 1/24) would really help her out.
    Thank you thank you thank you.

  11. FYI – Heard on NPR this morning, the US Congress has gotten on the band wagon and donations for Tsunami relief can be included on your 2004 tax return.
    Ditto what Tish said about knitted items and Cafe Press.
    My mother learned to knit this year. She is still at the wonky garter stitch scarf stage and I was lucky enough to receive one as a gift this Christmas. It’s the best present I got. The amount of effort and love that went into it’s construction make it priceless to me.
    Kat (the other one)

  12. I like the mitten to!! Dont you dare rip it out. 😀
    In other news, the knit swap is growing!

  13. Hi, It’s Carma’s friend, E. Thank you for all your comments. They are so wonderful. But, Carma, I am so going to kick your butt.

  14. Stop complaining about the mitten and finish it, I think. Er, I mean at your own pace and relaxedly.
    Do we get to vote on what we want you to do when the total gets to 25 thousand?

  15. DON’T rip out those palms – I love them! I think there’s plenty of contrast there… just knit a few more rows and you’ll see.

  16. Super diamond pattern. That’s the best so far.
    If we need to bring in a negotiator to talk the Harlot down, let us know. This can be arranged.

  17. Ditto what Tish wrote. You could wear a KWB t-shirt on your book tour… Who knows how much more you’d be able to raise. You’re incredible!

  18. Stepahnie, a suggestion for your next self photo when donations hit either $25,000 or more – you shoveling snow wearing, no not naked, but shorts and a halter top! I mentioned your blog to another Canadian friend who lives in Quebec and suggested that he read Monday’s entry about MSF. This was his suggestion. He felt that you should at least have some cloths on when you shovel snow.

  19. To continue with the Dr. Evil voice:
    Where in a creation is Lene going to wear that thing?
    And don’t rip the mitts! The diamonds will work. Trust us.

  20. I just wanted to add that I will be donating to a local (Tulsa area) cause called Filling the Void rather than DWB for now. The local, smaller, more direct charities are being overlooked for the larger, more televised needs – leaving the charities with tighter budgets and less helping ability than normal for this time of year. I will donate to DWB at a later time, when people begin forgetting (they will) that there was a tragedy and therefore no longer donate.

  21. The mitts are perfect, and ditto on the CafePress duds – can’t believe others thought of that today, too… “great minds,” or synchronicity, and all that jazz!
    And I prescribe a cool washcloth on the head, and some of that Screech (my husband brought some back after visiting his Canadian clients… do you guys *really* drink that stuff?)

  22. Thank you for the thank you note–I was shocked when it came in just 5 minutes after I sent you my email! Hopefully that means that you have wrangled some help in your humanitarian quest.

  23. I love the diamond action. I think that the mitten is lovely, and the subtle contrast gives the mitt a softer, more thankful look.
    No shoveling snow in your skivvies (which is what shorts and a tank are this time of year). That’s just too mean. Maybe you should celebrate 25 by gettin rid of the tree. Maybe the Harlot’s FAMILY should celebrate by getting rid of the tree while their long-suffering, hard-working mother watches with feet up and mitten (or Screech) in hand.
    Which means, of course, that we all have to step up so that Stephanie can get rid of that tree…

  24. Okay, I donated, but one of my LYSes is having a 20% off the whole store sale, with a 30% off table! How could I resist that!?
    Now I feel like I should donate more, but then I’ll just buy more. I am hopeless.

  25. That’s a nice addition to the prize pool! I think the mittens look spectacular!!! Diamonds sound perfect for the hand palmy part.

  26. Almost $30K by 9:30 Friday night?
    Wow! My gast is completely flabbered! Instead of nude dancing why don’t you live really dangerously and Latvian braid in public?
    I haven’t been buying yarn but have hit the Disney store a couple times. For some reason I NEED a Grumpy shirt! Plus I’ve gotten a few stuffed thingys for Easter giving.
    Will be making another donation next payday.

  27. Stephanie, the US government should hire you to get rid of our decifit.
    Are you putting alkaline or lithium battteries in Lene’s gift. Rechargables might be nice…..

  28. I LOVE the palms!
    Don’t change a thing! They’re gorgeous, perfect, wonderful (etc.).

  29. Just a late night thought:
    Does GWB know about the outpouring of funds from the “commoners” of the world?
    We have really put his personal donation of $10,000 to shame.
    At the back of my mind however is the thought that as government bean-counters see the funds provided by individuals, a light bulb will go on in their heads and higher taxes will follow.
    I haven’t donated yet – but I didn’t *need* a Tim Horton’s fix again today.

  30. You didn’t need to send a thank you note. But thanks!
    My condolences on the loss of the infant Tamagotchi.

  31. Mitten…gorgeous. Will look great on me. *evil grin*
    Harlot…gorgeous. A little loopy, but gorgeous. Nothing makes a person more beautiful than helping others.
    MSF Total…gorgeous!!!

  32. STATEMENT OF THE OBVIOUS: When you donate through MSF Canadian site, the donation is in Canadian dollars, even if you are reading the English text. My brain is obviously not functioning this week.

  33. Hey, not to pull attention away from an incredibly important subject, but Harlot’s book can be pre-ordered now. You can either reserve it at Amazon or at Powells if you are more of an independent bookstore kind of person.
    Back to our regularly scheduled good works…

  34. Well, I went and got a copy of Latvian Mittens. The first one is on the needles as I type…yet I find my mind wandering…can I apply this all to a hat? Hmmmm, oops, better watch what I’m doing. What do you think?

  35. I just saw our Ben on CBC Newsworld talking about MSF, but only caught the tail-end of the interview. Anyone who sees them airing it again this evening (or ever) please let us know!

  36. Look up Harlot’s book on Underneath the product description, it says “customers interested in this title may also be interested in these titles…”
    Daily OM Meditation
    Learn Relaxing Meditation
    The 7 Great Prayers
    Does anyone else find this amazingly amusing, or have I merely consumed too much Leinenkugel’s(brewed exclusively in Chippewa Falls Wisconsin–and I’ve toured the brewery) Big Butt Doppelbock?
    Celebrate Elvis’ birthday(ok it’s DH birthday too)–consume a libation of your choice.

  37. Ten minutes past midnight and they’re going to show Ben’s interview again after a commercial!

  38. So having finally caught up with the CBC interview, I can report that although Ben did a great job on camera, he forgot somehow to mention the Harlotteers on national television.

  39. Stopped by on Sunday night though I knew there wouldn’t be a new entry, but boy was there an update. Over 35.000! That’s incredible. I really can’t believe the response to Stephanie’s post.
    On another note, bookbookbook can be preordered on the British Amazon too. I know, I did. 🙂

  40. (formerly the other ken)
    I am floored by how much people have donated! And also humbled by how it compares to my meager contribution! Knitters are awesome.

  41. *WHOO*!! I just saw the new total and let out a shriek that brought all the beings in the house running to see if I was OK (four cats and the Hubster).
    ohmyohmyohmy. you folks ROCK, and I’m going to have to either go have a little lie down or perhaps have some chocolate. Or both.
    You people are just amazing. My little donation is humbled, but also honoured to be joined by so many others.
    I’m going to light a candle in honour of all of you rockin’ folks. May the good you have done return upon you a hundred fold.

  42. Hey Steph. Thanks for your e.mail – you really didn’t need to but it was lovely to receive it. I’m proud to join the ranks of the TSF and can’t believe the current total. Over $35,000! It’s a truly amazing thing.

  43. Dear Yarnharlot, it seems as though you’re as stubborn as you’re canadian!
    I relly didn’t need a thank-you-note from you, seeing your dancing nekkid in the streets was enough *laughs* So stop stressing about thank-you notes and ENJOY that so many people appreciate your thoughts and will to do well for others.
    Lene c

  44. Gorgeous mittens (I wish I could do stuff that complicated, but I am doing well to remember 24 rows of lace pattern at all)!
    I have made my contribution this morning (when I finally had a bank statement thingie to look at), so raise the tally another $35!

  45. Wow!!! What a wonderful group of knitters that have united under the Harlot’s banner! The word ‘generous’ is an understatement. Steph, thanks for the good work. Thanks for the thank you note. Looking forward to your book.
    Still dreaming of the ‘Dragon Mittens.’ Is the pattern in your book?

  46. I have it on great authority that the bookbookbookbookbook will also be available here, at greater profit to the Harlot herself… she’s just wading through thank you notes and donations right now… We’ve got three more months till it’s officially available, so keep her wading (at least in donations) for now and we’ll order later….

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