Among my people

Last night was wonderful. The launch was great, the people were smashing the knitting was brilliant (Theirs, not mine..) and an all round a good time was had by all, even me…though my standards are low. (I just want to get through the talking without throwing up.)

My most sincere thanks to everyone who came out to show their support. I am very grateful.

For years I’ve been taking heat from the family (both extended and immediate) about perhaps having a little too much on the go at Christmas time. (This is perhaps an understatement. We shall gloss over it.) Last night I was afforded a rare opportunity for illustration.

I pointed out to the attendees that my entire family was present. Joe, the girls, my mum, Ian, Ali, Erin, the in-laws….and that they think I’m out of my mind. (Again, largely an understatement, again we shall gloss over.) I asked all the knitters in the room to stand. (This alone straightened out some misconceptions.) I asked anyone who was knitting for Christmas to stay standing. Then I asked anyone who was going to be in a bit of a pinch to stay standing….

finally, I asked that anyone who knew that they could never finish what they were already making on time, but had just added another project to the list despite that, to stay standing.


Yo. Peeps.

I felt quite vindicated and normalized. Look how many of the knitters are going to experience “IT”. Very reassuring. My mum pointed out later that proving that all of your friends are lunatics does not prove that you are not one…but I care nothing for her logic. The point was (and I do have one) that last night, people determined to express their love in wool outnumbered the members of my family who have suggested I am whacked, and I have a photo to prove it.

While I don’t ususally do meme’s, Scout tagged me with one I quite like and it fits in with what I’ll be doing today. Today I have no book to write, no launch to fuss for, no speech to prepare, no interviews to do, no plane to catch…today I am officially on vacation and will be remaining in largely this spot until Christmas.


I’m so ready.

82 thoughts on “Among my people

  1. Wow, I’m first!! That NEVER happens!
    But I have to ask, I’m new to the bloging stuff,
    What’s a meme??? And yes that spot does look just fine! (however I shall have to substitue crochet hooks for this pointed stick things! LOL)
    S’s Mom

  2. Of course we* knew all this, but vindication is always nice.
    *your fellow knitting loonies, er, fanatics, er, enthusiasts

  3. Okay, now that I’ve read the post, I will say, Congratulations on your book launch, and sorry for that first comment. I got a little, um, excited.
    And I used to do that creative-Christmas thing, but my aunt still hasn’t gotten her quilt from last year. This year, all I’m making is two little tiny pairs of mittens (and a matching scarf, if there’s enough yarn). I SWEAR I can get that done and mailed in time.
    Your knitting spot looks wonderfully cozy, and I LOVE that you have extra needles and yarn available for visiting knitters. True hospitality.

  4. I’ve gotten over the urge to do the Christmas knitting frenzy. I knit stuff for people all year-round and give them the gift when it’s finished. Then at Christmas, I donate to Afghans for Afghans, Heifer International and Proliteracy Worldwide in their honor. This is included in their holiday card and mailed to them. At Christmas, I knit for me.
    Yes. I realize by writing this confession, Harlot, that you no longer like me. (At least until the holiday season is over…)

  5. I have been franctically knitting on a prayer shawl (Christmas present) for an 18 year old who has had a very difficult year with the breakup of her parents. I accompanied her and her mother as they looked at a house last weekend. The room that will potentially be this teenager’s room was very, very nice. However, her first words were “I will definatley have to repaint this room. I hate lavender!”. Hmmm, the shawl that I WAS going to give her was the exact same shade. So she now gets a “mall store” gift certificate and my Auntie in Iowa will get a lovely, lavender prayer shawl. No pressure here!

  6. That spot looks remarkably clean and tidy. Did fairies visit while you were out at the launch? I like the sunshine coming in the window, too.

  7. Wait, where’s the liquor?
    Congrats on a great book launch. At least you know you are not alone in your lunacy, even if your family thinks different.
    Seriously-is it under the couch?

  8. Stephanie, your favorite corner of the world looks marvelous. I am sure you are enjoying it today. Is that a wireless hotspot there?
    Re. the goat problem. Doug (you met him last night) wonders if perhaps you have solved the gardener’s perpetual problem of how to keep rodents out of the garden. (That is if the blasted squirrel didn’t make off with the spun yarn.)
    The book launch was terrific, you were very funny, your hair looked marvelous, and the dinner afterwards was a hoot. Thanks for letting me tag along.

  9. Congratulations! I wish I could have been there (essay on neo-pagans rituals kept me home not to mention the 6 hours train trip to Toronto.. althought that would have meant 12 hours of knitting advancement….)
    I must tell you I absolutly adore your knitting basket for yarn and needles for guests knitters! so very cute and charming.
    Enjoy the day off, and if you ever get bored you could chart your snowflakes shawl for us ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. I like your mom’s logic. However, as one of your friends, I would have been standing too. So maybe she’s right after all.

  11. Every time someone walks past my office, I throw the sock knitting under my desk. I’ve got about 5 gifts to finish for the holidays. Oh hell, I might as well be honest – I’ve pretty much got all of my gifts to finish for the holidays.
    I’m pretending to make work related phone calls while I knit and eat the first of the Christmas chocolate that was delivered to our office. I’ve got heart palpitations and the sweats.
    What’s that number again?

  12. Misery loves company? Lunatics running the asylum? I don’t know but I agree with Mum. And I’m only knitting one thing for Christmas and it’s more than 2/3 done. I’m just bragging. . . err. . . saying.
    Your knitting spot looks perfect. I love the yellow walls and the sunshine. I hope you have a wonderful time and enjoy IT.

  13. Oooh, Stephanie VW’s on to something here. After I finish writing this stupid brief I could knit in my office. Genius. I so knew knitters were smart! Anyway. Your launch party looks fabulous and you’re not a lunatic. I’m sure because if you are then I must be one too and I’m not at all comfortable with that. Your knitting spot looks super comfy and welcoming. Enjoy your “vacation.”

  14. So for the next few weeks you will move only from couch to spinning chair and back again, competing with the cat for the best spot. The suspicious tidiness will last what, a day?

  15. I swear this Christmas knitting lunacy is spreading! I only had one more knitting project to finish (though I have a huge cross-stitching project to get done, but we won’t mention that) and what do I do? Buy more wool on ebay to make more presents. Think it will arrive in time for me to make said presents? ๐Ÿ™‚
    Enjoy your time off!

  16. I had such a great time last night. You come across just as entertaining and witty in person as you do in your blog.
    Glad I had the chance to talk with you – even though I make everything sound dirty!
    Ha ha ha. I loved that comment – you made my night.

  17. When I imagine myself at the launch, I’m still standing after all the “stay standing if’s”.
    You make your visitors knit for you?! Why haven’t I thought of that?!

  18. There is a curiously un-IT-like neatness around your knitting spot. The cat looks confused.
    Glad you had a great time last night! Sorry I missed you.

  19. Congrats on the launch! Consider me standing . . . do I have to keep standing until I’m done? I think my legs would get tired some time in March.
    Your last post reminds me of a song. Have you ever heard “Sheep Go to Heaven” by Cake? I believe Cake shares your feelings about goats. Check it out if you have a chance.
    -Becca in Chicago

  20. Yay!!! I’m not alone!! I’m telling everybody who thinks I’m whacko to go read this, and thank you Stephanie for the laugh!
    Talked to my mom on the phone yesterday and she made a big deal of how she was at the stage of getting rid of things and downsizing and she didn’t need any more things and certainly not any more clothes. Oh, thanks, Mom, I’ll just throw that laceweight out the window since you don’t know about it anyway…

  21. I might be in the group of knitters who has too much knitting to do before Christmas and thus will not get it all done. I hope not though.

  22. Ahem. It is 17 days til Christmas, and I have FIVE hats left to start, two to finish, and a mitten. Plus a scarf for a birthday gift the 20th. IT will not happen, even if I am bringing my Christmas knitting to work…
    What I mean to say is Steph, I’m still standing.

  23. Perfect pic of your best vacation spot ever… the only problem was the cat… I know from experience that the only place that cat will be happy is on your lap, playing with his, I mean your, wool…

  24. Congrats! But what about details of the after party?? ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Your knitting spot looks very cozy. It’s amazing how many blogs I’ve been to today (including mine) are featuring knitting spots… ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. I really enjoyed your talk last night. (I was one of Elizabeth’s “herd”) I kept going oh gawd, this sounds *exactly* like last Christmas. (incidentally my first Christmas as a knitter when I had little warning what I was getting myself into) This year I’ve planned much less ambitious ideas, so hopefully all will be sane.

  26. OK, so I tried frantically to knit for family members and loved ones last year and well made a mess of it. This year I decided that I will make things and at the end of the making things whoever doesnt have a gift assigned to them is getting a gift card. So far down the count i have two finished projects, plus the giftees are from warm climates so they may not appreciate it as much. Plus, 13 people in my house…13!!! I have no ambitions to knit for all of them.
    P.S. about the goat fleece. Febreeze the heck out of it. If it can eliminate the stinky boy odor from my little brothers room (i dont know why but boys are stinky) it can kill a goat stench.

  27. Yay you, Steph!
    Not that I believe the “vacation” thing for even one tiny moment, y’know. Unless you call self-imposed knitting deadlines, that attempt to deal with your inbox (sorry about my part in that. Really sorry…) and the whole laundry thing (my laundry pile currently stands about five inches taller than me. Does that mean I win?) and a variety of other nonvacation things by the undeserved name of “Vacation”. Not to mention blogging… …you’re surly not giving up blogging until then…
    (and let’s not get into the stagefright thing; I have just been informed that I’m not just putting out a bleepin’ CD, I’m also doing a video interview with the artist I’m covering… …interview to be recorded at a live concert. Elephants in the stomach, much?)

  28. Yup – count me among the standing (I’ll be the one with the twitch over her left eye every time I count out the number of hours I need to finish everything and the actual number of hours left. It’s not pretty). As far as the sanity question, I have a great quote from Rita Mae Brwon over my desk:
    “The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends – if they’re ok, then it’s you”.
    In my life, it’s me.
    Sorry I missed last night – Husband is going to be making it up to me for a very long time…

  29. Your knitting spot is so clean. I’m assuming you’re only at phase 2 then right?
    I just sorta envisioned yarn everywhere (like at my house).

  30. Yah for vacation! Vacation at Christmas? Isn’t that a nonsequiter? Now I don’t suppose anyone in your immediate family knows what it means to shop Christmas Eve? Or have to go to the store for ‘just one thing’? Or to be frantic while preparing to go somewhere (like to school)? AH ha! See, we all are frantic, just in different venues!

  31. In the photo of those with too much to knit I love the fact most are clutching their knitting, except the lady closest to the camera. Yep, she’s so under the pump that she is grabbing every possible moment she can for knitting…

  32. If the next tour date is before Christmas, ask for courtesy rows from the peeps who are still sitting. They need to experience “IT”.

  33. I’m thinking the “boutique of needles and yarn for visiting knitters” is really another way to hide stash. “No, honey, those aren’t for me. Those are in case someone comes to visit and didn’t bring their knitting” (like that would happen!). It’s brilliant!

  34. Awwwww, I feel so special! People who never do memes are doing mine. That space looks so perfect. IT does look awfully neat and tidy. Maybe the next meme should be, “Show us your messiest craft spot! No cleaning allowed!” Ha.
    Thanks again.

  35. Can you please help those of us who are new to this blogging thing vis-a-vis all the ‘slang’expressions? What the heck is “meme”?

  36. Yep, I’m planning on casting on at least one project tonight…maybe more…have to go yarn crawling a bit. Steph, your corner is so neat and tidy; mine is heaped fairly high with books, patterns, balls of yarn, needles, roving, bobbins, etc. It’s actually starting to move on its own with no help from either the cats or the dog! Should I be concerned about this?

  37. I will be starting new Christmas Gift projects until Christmas eve, and likely none will be done. I learned long ago to buy backup gifts when I see them. That doesn’t stop me. The joy of Christmas is in the hope and joy of bringing joy to someone else and I always get far too carried away. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  38. The new knitting subgroup, TSS (Those Still Standing.) Even though I’ve got two-thirds each of two second socks (the math’s beyond me,) five feet of a six foot scarf and the spinning (what? so I rebuked you? How do you think I knew it was A Bad Thing?) to add another six inches to another scarf, I am wholeheartedly cursing the mailman who STILL hasn’t brought the yarn for the Mobious scarf. Maybe winding — just winding, shut up — that Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn would make me feel better.
    TSS. I’m in.

  39. ok, so I really didn’t have anything to say here (other than the fact that I have to agree with your mother – proving your friends are lunatics just further implicates yourself – believe me I know this from experience)
    Anyway – found your blog the other day and have been enjoying reading the archives and wanted to let you know that…

  40. I love the new book! I’m almost finished reading it. I liked the first one, but I’m preferring the essay format of this one (you alluded to wanting the first book to be more like this, I think and you were right: it works better).
    Congratulations, may the only gifts you can’t finish because of “IT” be ones for people who you’ve already finished a gift for.

  41. I totally didn’t just start two pairs of socks with tons of other stuff looming over me and I so DO have some idea what I’m doing because I’ve SO knit a sock before.
    Man, I’m in trouble.
    Better go do my homework, I forgot to study for the big science quiz tomorrow (gulp).

  42. ooh! ooh! I have that calendar! I’m glad it’s a perpetual because when I get to a day I like I stick with it for about a week…

  43. Stephanie, I think you are hilarious, and you often make me laugh out loud. Thank you. I was compelled to tell you that from your descriptions, I was envisioning your house as a friendly wreck – kind of like the Weasleys house from Harry Potter, but it is actually quite tidy! You’ve been pulling our legs. And now I feel rather like I should go clean my own house.
    Good luck with the holiday knitting, if anyone can do it, you can.

  44. And look! They’re ALL wearing clothing — not a naked person in the lot!
    I’m glad it went well last night. Congrats on a great book and a great party.
    You can’t fool me…that bouquet of needles is just so anyone who happens to visit can help you with your Christmas knitting. I’ll bet even the mail carrier avoids your house this time of the year, in fear that (s)he’ll be dragged in and forced to knit.

  45. Oh my god! We have the exact same chair! It’s the best knitting chair ever. Mine was in the attic of my house when I bought it. That chair and the yarn store in walking distance were signs from above that I belonged in this house.
    Congrats on managing not to embarass yourself at the launch, and on proving that you aren’t the “only one” out there.

  46. Ok, so I jokingly posted about this on my blog today, but I have to ask: have you ever knitted with dog or cat hair? Cause I am seriously befuddled. On the one hand it’s such a wacky idea it just might be worth checking out… but on the other hand, it’s such a wacky idea!

  47. Wish I could have been there, and I’d be still standing, too. Congrats on the launch, and good luck with all the Christmas knitting! On the other hand, the Dales for the twins can wait a bit – unless you’re making them in a size 0 months or something that you’re afraid they’ll outgrow immediately. Prioritize, then rationalize. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (not that I’m just working on the 2nd sock for a pair I can’t wait to wear or anything when I owe my kids a sweater… it’s more like when you’re on an airplane and they say to put your own oxygen mask on first. I knit better when I’ve got warm feet.)

  48. Congratulations on the book launch! Sorry I had to sneek out early and miss the last part of your story.
    And I’m completely in denial about finishing this shawl for my mother. It’s not quite 1/2 finished, with only another 30 inches to go on 3.5mm needles. No problem! I’ll finish it this weekend, or maybe xmas day, or, well, for easter! Yes! It will be her Easter gift!

  49. Your knitting spot looks loverly, Steph. Mine is anywhere I can find. The driver’s seat of my car with the seat heater on (to keep my tush toasty), is one of my favs (strange, I know). My Xmas knitting is in hand (I think). One pair of socks done; one eight rows from completion; two or three pairs undone (depends on how many I really want to do); and one undone pair of gloves – likely to be cast on tonight after the sock is done. My 14 year-old has been bugging me for socks for Christmas, but his birthday is in January, so socks are in order for his birthday. Ya know, I think I may actually knit a sweater soon.

  50. I started my projects last weekend. Finish sweater that I started last year (two sleeves and a yoke, cut up the center, knit bands, place buttons), scarf for mom (2/3 done in two days-sharing knitting time with sleeves), gloves for mom (40% finished), Rogue for Meg (hahahahahahaha), various hats and gloves for Erin, Meg, Gillin, my brother. There was a thought for socks, but I might rethink them. Socks for hubby can wait until Valentine’s Day, and if it gets really bad, my mom’s birthday is the 30th. Gives me five extra days. I’d still be standing.

  51. I’m going to still be standing this time next year. I almost jumped up and down when I found out that 2 people I’m knitting socks for won’t be able to make it for Christmas Day and I’ll have 2 or 3 extra days to get their socks done. Love your favorite spot.

  52. No wonder you crank out so much knitting – look at that lovely, bright knitting place! And yes, I agree with another commenter, I envisioned a much different scene based on all your comments. You’re just putting us on, is that it? Maybe I could get as much knitting done if I had a nice spot like that in which to do it! Regarding your family – they may think you’re wacked but they’re not complaining about all those nice handknit gifts now, are they?

  53. I’m standing too…dang, if we have to be on our feet like this, couldn’t somebody bring around coffee?

  54. Dear Harlot,
    As you sit in your cozy knitting spot today, enjoying your coffee(s) and your knitting and the view outside your window that you told Margene last week that you missed, please remember us poor slobs who have to trudge to work in this mess, and will be desperately sneaking knitting in while on conference calls and lunch breaks. Because we’ll be thinking of you and grumbling about the fact you probably brought this on by saying you missed it.
    And try not to laugh too hard. It’ll make it difficult to see the stitches.
    Popsicle Girl

  55. conference calls; pick up lines at your kids school; doctor, denist, waiting rooms of all kinds; anytime you can get your 19 year old to drive; weight watchers meetings; kid’s school concerts……ALL excellent places to Xmas (or any kind) of knitting. I’m almost sad (not really) to not be flying during the holidays for the opportunity for more knitting time.
    My hubby is flying to Washington, DC in January. I tried to convince him to take up sock knitting for the duration of his flights – he gave me the strangest look! I didn’t think the request was all that unusual!

  56. See, the thing that muggles don’t understand is that sometimes we achieve those goals or we come so darn close we know that pushing ourselves isn’t a bad thing. It just means we achieve olympic proportions of knitting.
    It kind of gives you a high doesn’t it? Maybe that is another reason we do this. For the adrenaline rush. More eXtreme knitting dude!

  57. Can I just say that “Yo. Peeps.” made me laugh so hard that the coworker to my right (& the only male in my office) is starting to once again question my sanity?
    But then I read the whole post to him and he laughed appropriately.
    Now… off to knit so I can get these presents in the mail (must start only gift knitting for those that live closer).

  58. You mean I’m supposed to have already cast on for all of my holiday knitting by now?
    uh oh.
    I think that means I may have a time crunch looming before me. Hmmm…. better think about that.

  59. Yes, still standing. I still have yarn I need to ORDER for Christmas knitting. I did buy an extra book for an emergency substitution. That doesn’t speak well for my confidence, I guess. What was that number again?

  60. Steph,
    Sorry I missed your talk. I was busy salsa dancing with a VERY attractive young man. ๐Ÿ™‚ I had a feeling you’d forgive me if you knew.
    Try to ENJOY your Chrismas knitting experience.

  61. Hi, glad to hear the news on the finished manuscript. Oh, but there are a couple of things I’ve been waiting on for an update. (1) Who won the heating contest this year? My kids have asked me twice, what day did the Yarn Harlot finally turn on her heat? and(2) Is the silk corset going to happen after Christmas? Mine’s on hold.

  62. WTG! Stephanie. Enjoy the Frantic christmas rush-holiday. Your spinning/knitting area does look incredibly neat. Mine looks nothing like that. LOL. As far as the goat goes, have you tried or has anyone mentioned Vinegar. Just plain white vinegar? It does smell of vinegar, but the cool thing is, that i have found that when the vinegar smell goes away, so do other oders. I have used it on pet urine stains, and do use it when i wash raw fibers. It also is a great alternative to fabric softner. I love cleaning with it, and have learned all this off the internet. Just a thought……….

  63. I spun and knit a hat of dog hair one year. It was before Fabreze so I soaked it (outside) in ivory flakes for several weeks before I could do anything with it. But since I knit the hat for the dog’s owner, I guess she didn’t mind.
    I love your books and your blog. I don’t like to say it, but I only have 2 projects to finish before Christmas, but I’d really like to be working on the project I started yesterday for myself.

  64. I guess I should be frightened knowing that I’m actually in that pic of the people still standing… but I’m not ๐Ÿ˜‰
    So what stage is it when you’ve accepted that you’re not going to get something finished (or it’s highly unlikely) but you’re still doing it, though not rushed? Hmmm… 4.5 maybe? *g*

  65. That couldn’t possibly be your knitting spot. I see no piles of yarn or half done projects sticking out of boxes and bags. Especially this time of year. My knitting spot looks like a yarn shopped puked all over it right about now.

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