Chop chop.

My grandparents used to say that to hurry us. “Chop, chop darling”. It means “hurry up” or “move along”. I heard it a lot. I never really wondered about the origin of the phrase until today, but was suddenly possessed of a desperate need to know after I typed it. (That’s the book deadline talking. I’m actually sort of proud of my brains ability to protect me from the truth with this remarkable denial. No matter how much book remains to be dealt with, my brain is shielding me from the horrible details by making me look stuff up. Very nice.)

I’m going to whip through this today, get all caught up and go pack for NYC this weekend. Chop chop.

1. I am an idiot.

Yesterday, I was clearly off my game. A list of errors?

Bobbie, who I said was from Wyoming, but then realized my error and changed it to Montana? She’s from Wyoming.

(The other knitters that I said were from Wyoming and then Montana? Really Montana (Although they gave me a gift that was Yellowstone stuff, so I thought it must be where Yellowstone Park is. Turns out there’s a river. (Note to self: take better notes on tour in case your laptop blows up and you have to wait so long to post that your memory fails you.) I linked the lovely Marlene to Kate’s blog. (I also linked Kate to Kate…so I guess I got one of them right.) Marlene’s correct link is here. Other than trashing the pictures and mangling the second half, did I screw anything else up? (Perennial grammatical errors excused?) Right. Moving along.

2. I still knit.

Shropshire shawl among the morning glories, which I’m loving madly, all the more for knowing that the frost will take them any day.


I’m geared to do seven repeats of the leaves on this shawl, then evaluate. If it measures my wingspan along the top edge, I’ll stop and add my lace bit along the bottom. (Still haven’t worked out how that’s going to work, but I’ll worry about that later. Maybe it will be easy.) I’m on the seventh repeat now and it’s pretty clear that seven isn’t big enough, but denial ain’t just a river in Egypt, so I’m still thinking it could work out.

The gansey? Just a taste.


I finished knitting the body up to the ends of the gussets, and now I’ve divided the work into front and back and I’m knitting flat. I’ll go into more detail later, but essentially it’s big, brown/grey and slow moving.

3. The MacBook can stay. Photoshop has to start running right though. I’m going to re-install it, and if it still doesn’t work I’m going to break the software CDs into a thousand little pieces with my teeth. I shall use pliers if I can’t get them small enough to mask my pain.

4. Los Altos was a fantastic event.


The sock and a lime. A lime growing on a tree. Outside. California is so surprising.

I admit that when I heard how many knitters Hollis at Full Thread Ahead was expecting…I got worried. More than 300 knitters? That can’t go well. I sweated all the way there. I shouldn’t have. Hollis and her team (including a concierge) had the most startlingly well put together event of all time. From Hollis running contests for the knitters who were waiting, to the kids running gopher for her, to the “Zones” for signing, (just like seating on an airplane) they seriously had it going on. To round out the whole thing, the knitters in California, together with Full Thread Ahead even raised $850 for Knitters Without Borders. Good times, good times.

The knitters?



Let’s see if I can get it right today. (Much of my handwriting from towards the end of that day is unintelligible to me. This could be tricky. Also, some of the photos are…well. Bad. I’m not posting them. If I took your picture and it’s not here? Thank me later.)

First there was Makaela.


Makaela was the first of the California knitters to give me a California washcloth. (My United States washcloth collection is really coming along.)


This is Cookie and her buddy Kristi. Together they write This Blog. Cookie is the knitter who designed the brilliant Poto-mato-whatsis socks. (She also pointed out that I didn’t finish mine. I would have felt bad, but it turns out she didn’t finish hers either! Burn.


It’s Nathania! There are two things you need to know about her. 1. It is impossible to take a bad picture of her. 2. She’s opening her own yarn shop. (That’s it baby. Live the dream.)


Louise from Minnesota who was there with Margaret.


Dee from Berkeley (Professional commenter.)


The lovely and charming Alison Hyde.


Jeni, and look Julia…she’s got ARRRGGYLES.


Emy came to show me the way of the dress Birkenstock. (Be still my beating heart. A birkie for high class events. My mother will be thrilled.) She brought her S&B, Abigail, Seltsame, more, more more.)

Esmerel and her amazing Peacock shawl…


(That one is SO on the to do list.)


This is Kathleen. See what she’s wearing? It’s her Knitting Olympics project. A beaded jacket (lined beautifully) knit out of the finest wool, the most stunning beads and wee butterflies.


To answer the inevitable question, No. She did not knit it in sixteen days. Breathe. Kathleen now admits that thinking it could be done in that amount of time was sheer folly.


Moshknits! Hostess of the podcast by the same name. A treat to meet her.

There were more. So many. Beadlizard. Jennie, Aija, Amelia

Jenipurr (travelling with a pack) Abigail, Cindy….The knitters just kept coming. (It actually seemed endless at one point.)

The Minions of The Pointy Sticks.


(Wish I’d thought of that name.)

There was Kristin (Who brought me a fabulous knitting languages book. I will be unstoppable now.) Molly, The AmpuT, There were Canadians. (The passed the test. If you are a Canadian living in the States and we meet? Ask me about the test. Americans can’t do it. It’s weird.) It wend on and on, and I have doubtless missed many knitters, but I can link no longer. I do think though, that it’s worth noting that this whole thing moves me completely.

It’s not that this many people would turn up (although that’s pretty moving) it’s that this…insanity, the sheer numbers of knitters welling up in spots like this speaks to something way cooler than a knitting book. It represents a community, and to see such a diverse crowd of people hanging out together happily, when all they have in common is knitting…It’s moving. I bet a whole bunch of these people have disparate political and religious views, different cultures, different languages, and the whole thing just works out. Nobody has ever sucker punched somebody at one of these things. We have yarn in common and I’ll be darned, it’s enough.

I’m off now, I was going to do Eau Claire before I left for NYC for tomorrows event in Brooklyn (details here) and Saturday at the Knit Out and Knitty City (That’s a stitch n’ bitch, not a talk) but I’ve run out of time. (The linking really takes it out of a knitter.) If you see me on the weekend, be gentle with me. I’m a little dodgy around the edges.

159 thoughts on “Chop chop.

  1. Enjoy Eau Claire – eat some cheese for me! When you’re in the mood for great Iowa vegetables and soy products, you know where to find me… I’m just sayin’.

  2. Thank YOU! The event in Los Altos was great fun and even staying until 9:30 was a drop in the bucket. We were surrounded by yarn, after all!

  3. Love the “Dress Birkies!” Once I discovered that Birkenstock makes “fancy dress-up shoes” (or at least, dressy in my opinion), my comfy shoe-wearing life was complete. Oh, if only they’d had those for my wedding! Mom vetoed the Arizonas I wanted to wear, even though my dress would’ve covered them up (mostly).

  4. It was so great to see you again, in Los Altos. Good luck with the rest of the tour and I’ll see you at Rhinebeck! BTW, will you be playin’ Blogger Bingo with the rest of us nutters?

  5. Still gotta get you to that Aquarium in Monterey, though. It was wonderful to see you. And that shawl I’m wearing? Can I brag? I’d started it Monday…

  6. Yes, all we have in common is yarn and it’s enough. I know for a fact that I’m not the only blogger who has publicly stated that knitting gets me out of the house, into the world, interacting with people. Before knitting, I still went out and walked aimlessly through streets, galleries, festivals, etc., but I never spoke to anyone. Now… it’s better.

  7. I’m so happy to see your new computer is mostly working for you now, I love the photos. If you are forced to destroy the Photoshop disk try microwaving it to make it break up easier.

  8. It was GREAT to see you in Los Altos! It was well worth being part of the huge (but fun) knitterly crowd. I just wish I hadn’t been such a dork when trying to speak to you. I’m not normally like that. Really. (I swear.) Mostly.

  9. I have a burning question – ok it may have been asked before but I haven’t seen it answered. The Sock – is it always the same one that you travel with? Or do you take any sock-in-progress? Does it ever get finished?
    And have you thought about coming to New Zealand? We have your books here. I have one. Even for a holiday?

  10. You are a very funny lady when you’re avoiding The Book—-
    I’ll worry about that later. Maybe it will be easy.
    I’ll be darned, it’s enough.
    Punny, too!!!
    Still still still and sort of patiently waiting for Eau Claire……

  11. Did the bottle of my husband’s best brown ale make its way to your hands? I apologize for not staying but I had company that flew in from Phoenix for my birthday as a surprise. Inconvenient but a nice surprise just the same. I thoroughly enjoyed your visit and I love your books. Please keep them coming.

  12. Thanks so much for the talk in Los Altos! Contrary to what you may think, you are, in fact, totally cool. Unless being uncool is your goal, in which case you excel smashingly! As for the lime trees, I don’t get this whole “citrus growing outside” thing either. There’s a lemon tree that hangs over into our backyard. It freaks me out. At least I know, in the event of an earthshaking event, I can still make Tabouli in the garden.

  13. I think you should take a jaunt up to Alaska. We have the cutest little knitting store here in Juneau and we would all love to come to one of these neat sounding events that you keep blogging about.

  14. I used to live in SF, your pics, so your this entry made me nostolgic. And, I do live in NYC, but won’t be there when you are (fine for you, but HUGE disappointment for me).
    I LOVE your shopshire.
    Your posts always make me laugh. Thanks.

  15. As one of the staffers at Full Thread Ahead, I just wanted to say that it was a total blast for us, too. So many knitters together for a social event (and some stash enhancement ), so many cool projects, and knitters showing other knitters new techniques or admiring something neat, it was a fantastic night. Bound together by yarn, YAY!
    I am glad your hand didn’t fall off. At a probable average of 2 books per person, that was possibly over 600 “Stephanie Pearl-McPhee”‘s you penned in 4.5 hours.

  16. When knitters gather all other things fly out the window…no more religion,political stuff and so on….Just people doing thier bliss….hmmmmm, perhaps we should insist our world leaders be knitters!!! Looks like CA was a blast! I do miss it! (In AZ now)…glad you back on track Steph!

  17. The photo of the lace and morning glories, just took my breath away, it was terrible hard to convince my eyes they needed to read words, not stare a hole into the monitor at the lace and beautiful blue.
    I’m thinking, as is every knitter in the world, as soon as absolutely everyone takes up knitting, spinning.(or if they can’t actually do it at least become a bit obsessed with it)…world peace. I’m liking that taste of gansey….beautiful knitters, beautiful knitting. Chop,chop…yep, heard that from me da my whole childhood.
    Have a great weekend!

  18. Glad to see you’ve managed to save the pictures as jpgs this time. ..though I would have happily converted them for you again. 🙂

  19. I can’t tell you how much I love those Birks – not only are the straps sparkly, but the footbeds have little silver sparkles in the cork. 🙂

  20. Love the Chop Chop! I tell my boys that all the time. When we were moving to Virginia from Seattle a couple of years ago, we actually had to run for our plane. I was pushing the little one in the stroller and yelling at Angus (The Older): “CHOP CHOP!” His response cracks me up to this day: “I am CHOPPING Mom-Mom! I am CHOPPING!”
    Also, being an American married to a Canadian I wonder if I could pass the test. Maybe, maybe not- don’t think I would want the humiliation of failing. Or the ridicule.

  21. It was awesome meeting you in Los Altos! The public outing of my SSS, it burns!!! I hope you had a tenth the fun that we did. I love reading about the signings and seeing so many pictures of knitters everywhere.
    And you’re absolutely right about Nathania. She’s so damn photogenic!

  22. I think that computers are muggles and they just do not understand. I saw you in SLC. My husband even came (bonus points). The best thing he said all night. “I guess that is not that weird the you have 5 projects going on at once.” Light dawn on marble skull…

  23. I’m so glad to hear your Pomo-whatchacallit socks aren’t done. Mine aren’t either. I like to say it’s cause I’m trying really hard to raise two girls under two. The sad truth is that I managed to knit most of a woman’s aran sweater and an entire child’s pseudo-gansey since the wee one came along. I actually did the cast on for the second sock but when I realized I had cast on with the unsnipped tail of the first sock rather than with the new ball of yarn….well, I cursed a little, ripped it out and stuffed the works of it into a grocery bag and stowed it behind my knitting chair. Mature, huh?

  24. It is simple; 300 people showed up because you only came to one spot in the entire Bay Area! We are plentiful and well dispersed here; we need multiple Harlotishness to satisfy us all. Please come back to see us again.

  25. KT, you couldn’t. It’s not your fault. I was raised in Detroit when the fourth possible TV channel was Windsor (that’s where we got our Popeye of an afternoon.) Use(d) Canadian coins all the time — my mother was shocked a few years ago that they’re not accepted in California. I know about Tim Horton’s, Canadian Tire and chesterfields. My ears were flapping as she prepared to administer the test. Canadians are puzzled but can answer immediately. We can’t. You had to be there.

  26. I love the morning glories! I’ll have to ask you about the test if you ever come back to Alexandria, VA. Though obviously not in this leg of the tour… but maybe next time??

  27. I’ve lived in California all my life. Doesn’t everyone have a citrus tree in their backyard?
    Gorgeous shawl, by the way.

  28. I must say, I am intrigued by this “test”. 🙂
    The morning glories are absolutely beautiful alongside your knitting. Wonderful pics.

  29. What an absolutely breathtaking photo of the morning glories.
    300 knitters. In one place. Amazing. Makes me thinke we need a shirt made up like the old magazines used to do for the kids…where they’d hide images inside others….have knitters hidden inside various elements of an every day scene, where you really have to look to see them…have them /everywhere/ and have the caption say “We are everywhere”
    I am completely loving the geurnsey. I can’t wait to see it completed! Putting me of the mind to actually finish spinning this 7 pounds of BFL and make one with it. I haven’t spun in way too long. *hangs head in shame*
    Socks have kinda been holding me hostage…they do have a bit more advantage in the pointy bits over your standard circular/straights knitting. Makes one pay a wee bit more attention when they get aggressive like this, you understand.

  30. Don’t break the CD’s…use them as glitzy coasters!!!
    Love the morning glories. I also have them and did a blog entry about them as well 🙂
    I am SOOOOOOOO sorry I won’t be there to see you in New York City. It is the day we are leaving on our (much needed) vacation. I look forward to reading your blog entry from NYC.
    Have a great time!

  31. California is surprising, isn’t it? When I lived there (for a brief sojourn of three years) I never quite got over the shock and amazement of seeing flowers blooming in February.
    On the other hand, my fiance, a native Californian, was equally shocked when he encountered his first New England winter. “You know,” he said to me with amazement and horror, “if you didn’t wear the right clothes out in this weather, YOU COULD DIE!”
    This was a profound revelation for him. I’m glad he figured that out, though.
    Happy travels, Stephanie! Love the shawl!

  32. My kids, who weren’t raised in Canada, but spend summers in Toronto hassle me (a Canadian) about Canadiana all the time. Allegedly, there’s one question Canada Customs asks at the border, and if you can answer it, they know instantly you’re Canadian. Wonder if it’s the same as your quiz? The suspense is killing me. Hope you’re going to Stitches in Baltimore, and you can quiz me there.
    My husband always swears that we breeze through the border when I’m knitting–one more benefit to this fantastic sport.

  33. Wonderful pictures! I think Minnesota Louise HAS to be related to my Minnesota Momma! It’s possible, her family is full of knitters. (my family, too obviously, I just don’t know them all yet)

  34. I have a lime tree, outside, and I live in New Zealand (in the temperate south, not the subtropical north)! They seem to grow fairly well in pots in sheltered, sunny spaces. Perhaps it’s possible to grow them in Canada too. It doesn’t yield many limes, I must admit, but it’s pretty and the limes taste incredible.
    I have pink Birkies. In summer I live in them!

  35. congrats on the macbook(there’s one in our future, so I’m glad to hear good stuff about it), the gansey progress, and the latest gorgeous lace shawl! I will be at the S&B at Knitty City! can’t wait!

  36. If the test is about converting temperature from F to C, all 300 of us would have failed.
    Thanks for bringing your show on the road! Loved it!

  37. Los Altos was lovely. The weather was great – I didn’t think to wear sun screen. The knitters and the store were fantastic. And you were your usual gracious, funny self. And I was inarticulate. Through your blog, I have discovered new yarn, fantastic patterns and a lovely community of people. I wouldn’t have know about Fleece Artist which got knit into Olympic thrummed socks. And I am about to embark on real lace. And you included my dear friend Dee in the pictures. Thanks.

  38. you mean i might actually be able to cross paths ? how in earth did i miss your “brooklyn appearance” notice? must think of ways to bribe husband. gifts of balls yarn probably won’t help *him* … 😉

  39. Gee, thanks for the pic of Alison Hyde. She’s been a regular commentor on knit lists, and I feel like I know a lot about her. Never set eyes on her before, though. Neat to “meet” someone like that.

  40. “When you eat your Smarties,
    Do you eat the red ones last?
    Do you suck them very slowly,
    Or crunch them very fast?
    Eat that candy-coated chocolate,
    But tell me when I ask,
    When you eat your Smarties,
    Do you eat the red ones last?”
    We passed the test.
    It was great to visiting ex-pat friends in San Jose during your visit to Full Thread. Not only did I enjoy your talk, but I won camel yarn. Wahoo on being from Saskatchewan.

  41. Ah. Chop-chop. I use that a lot, but I’m not sure where I picked it up. Now I know where it comes from!
    Birkenstock also makes SHOES, actual honest-to-goodness shoes. Boots too! All very stylish! They are called Birkenstock Footprints and the unfortunate thing is that so far, I can’t find where to buy them in Canada. I can order them online from Germany. All the Birk sandal-lovers out there need to start requesting the shoes so we can get them easily in North America!
    Love the tour descriptions!

  42. It was awesome to meet you during the signing- I was trying very hard to play it cool and not be the star-struck (or should that be yarn-struck) fan. Sorry for…cheering.
    IMHO, the Knitting Olympics was a natural fit for MIT-ers and techie types. 1) Knitting involves lots of math. 2) Knitting so things turn out the way you want is all about engineering. 3) The Knitting Olympics involves taking on a crazy task with an impossible deadline and not sleeping much.

  43. Definition of frustrating – someone you’d love to meet comes to your town (in this case, Brooklyn) on the Jewish Sabbath.
    Ah, well.

  44. That beaded jacket is fabulous! Really really FABULOUS!
    Your shawl is looking lovely and that’s a great photo of it with the flowers. 🙂
    Also, the proper way to dispose of an evil Photoshop CD is to send it to me. 😉 I’ll take care of it properly, I promise. Hehe.
    I hope your trip goes well. I really really wish your tour would bring you anywhere even remotely close to me though! 🙁 *goes off to pout*

  45. My wonderful husband, who does Mac tech support, helped someone who had a Photoshop problem with her new Mac. He did everything that was suggested on an Adobe support page he found.
    This is what he says about it:
    “Here’s the Adobe Knowledgebase article I used to fix Photoshop problems. These suggestions do not appear to necessarily have anything at all to do with the problem, and yet when I went through them all, Photoshop settled down. I think the one that really did the trick was deleting printer configurations and then adding them again.”
    Here’s the URL:
    He doesn’t know which action fixed the problem, but now Photoshop does work. Good luck!

  46. It was wonderful to meet you in Los Altos. Considering I was tired as a Zone 3 signee, I can’t imagine how exhausted you were after we were all done w/you.
    Glad you got back safely and online.

  47. I am SO looking forward to seeing you on Sunday! However, you won’t remember me at all because I’ll be one of those who’ll be too nervous to say anything.
    A day with knitters sounds so wonderful. I swear, no one around here gets me.

  48. There’s the next book right there: Yarn in Common. It may be the one title not already taken by the blogs and the many many lovely yarn stores. I do think there’s a book in the diversity of knitting, and Deb St*ller hasn’t doe it yet.

  49. I took my mom, a muggle, to the Full Thread Ahead event. She thinks she might “take up the sport!” (her words!)!
    We have won again (insert evil laugh here!)
    Knitters taking over the world one muggle at a time . . . he he he he

  50. 1. Shropshire shawl, I’m in love with it. I want to make that.
    2. Dress Birkies? Who knew? I’m in love with those, too.
    3. Morning glories? Around here they’re considered invasive weeds. I love them anyway.

  51. Honestly, I don’t know how you do it. Raise kids, knit, spin, write, tour, and blog it all. How do you do it?
    Beautiful morning glories, one of my favorite flowers.

  52. My grandparents and my mother (and now I do too) say “chop chop, charlie” to hustle people along, particularly children, particularly when you’re trying to get out of the house. I am glad that someone else has used one of our weird expressions. We have others. They are weird.
    My sock needs a little lime.

  53. Thanks so much for coming to Los Altos! It was pretty amazing to be part of a gang o’ 300+ knitters and hearing you speak. Thanks for sharing. When are you coming back??
    P.S. The entrelac sock has since been ripped out and is now being reknit. I am on a quest to regain my entrelac mojo.

  54. My mother used to say “chop chop” to us kids all the time. Somehow I changed that to “chop suey on Louie.” Not sure who Louie is or how he got in there, but it does make the my kids laugh as we race around.
    I loved seeing you in Los Altos! Thanks a lot for coming and good luck on the rest of your tour.

  55. i know you wont answer
    but do you think you will ever make a trip to delaware?
    there is a cool little LYS called stitches with style – the people are fabulous.
    and we have a borders and a barnes and noble and all sorts of other book stores….

  56. It was great standing next to you for 3 hours and shoot photos. I mean it. I may not want to take another photo for a while, but I had a blast. I am really glad you enjoyed it too, 900 (I think you averaged 3 books for knitter) signatures at all.

  57. Oi! Did I hear correctly.. there is a rumour you will be at Rhinebeck? That would just make it complete! Mwah haha! I’m a square.. snarf!

  58. Yay! My life is complete now! I’ve got a linky to my bloggy from Stephanie. (yes, I admit, I don’t have much of a life)
    The gansey is looking FAB! Maybe one day I’ll make one for my hub…maybe…

  59. All these knitters, with diverse backgrounds and lives; now we know it is possible… Peace through knitting. That bears repeating, Peace through knitting.

  60. My friend passed the Canadian test…hee hee. I sure wish I had a video of that one…glad you had a great time is Los Altos. We loved coming to see you!

  61. Will the book tour ever come to New Zealand? You’d like it here- we have citrus fruit growing everywhere, great beer, the world’s best chocolate makers (yes, really!) and we have more sheep than people – ten sheep each, if you shared them out. That’s a lot of wool!
    New Zealand = the Ultimate Stash. How can you possibly resist?

  62. Thanks so much for coming to California…..and check out the celeb photos on my blog and on….
    You are Sooooo lucky to have your photo taken with Cpurl!

  63. For what it’s worth, the most amusing method of CD destruction I’ve found is putting them in the microwave! You can turn AOL CDs into art in seconds!

  64. Stephanie: step *away* from the Photoshop. The Photoshop is not nice and does not play well with others. And the learning curve for using Photoshop is really, really steep. Trust me here. Great program if you’re a graphics artist, lousy one if you’re a regular person. I’d recommend Adobe Elements – easy to use and much, much cheaper.

  65. I remember the first trip to CA on which I got to make it out of a hotel to my cyber-sib Grace’s 3-plex. Her front patio has lemon and lime trees. With fruit. Not to mention the place is surrounded by free-range ficus trees that are ghu knows how old, and *huge*. Yeah, very strange feeling seeing that. Up here in Portland we may have roses blooming in January every year, and gigantic rhododendrons and azaleas, but no citrus!
    The Shropshire, morning glories, and Joe’s gansey are all looking fantastic! Ditto the report. Love all dem knitters!

  66. I hope you are not too done for by the time I get to meet you at Knitty City! Right now I am channeling you as I knit desperately on a blankie for my new nephew. The goal is to have it finished before I get to Boston tomorrow. Only 10 blocks and a border to go. The gansey is looking great!

  67. what is it with all the blogs getting songs in my head today… First a mention of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang had me singing “oh you chitty chitty bang bang , pretty chitty bang bang we love you…” all morning, then I read RoseByAny and got “525,600 minutes” stuck in my head, and now I’ll be singing “Chop Chop” by burlap to cashmere all night long… well I guess I should be thankful it takes me off of musical theater songs… “But they’re still chopping our tongues for a song…yeah yeah they’re singing…Chop Chop, tongue tongue, thats where we’re from…”

  68. I’m glad you liked California… I’d meant to send my sock-in-progress along with Jenipurr to meet your travelling sock… but I didn’t get the chance.
    What, you mean that other people don’t have oranges and lemons in their backyards? How do they live?
    We pay for it by having no snow.

  69. My ‘pack’ and I had a wonderful time driving down to see you. I think it’s safe to say that in the eyes of knitters, at least (and hey, there’s apparently 50 million of us, right?) you are *definitely* cool.

  70. Waaaaahaaaaahaaaaa! I was supposed to be there in Los Altos. I even made reservations for three of my knitpals. One by one, my pals bailed on me. The night before the event, I realized that at 11 days post abdominal hysterectomy, I just wasn’t up to the 40-minute drive down, the sitting around for a couple of hours before you spoke, etc. Sigh. Oh well. Glad it went well.

  71. Knitting Languages book? A book so one can knit like the UN (only much more efficiently; and with resolutions that actually come to fruition)?
    Please link. Please list. Please…do tell. In the language of your choice. Babblefish awaits.
    Re NY: so near, yet to far. I am only two hours away, but promised elsewhere. I hope the weather clears up; but I promise, even if the air is still a wee soggy, the atmoshere will be bright and warm.
    And remember the NY breweries. Sounds like you might need a tall one.

  72. The morning glories are fabulous! They set off the shawl perfectly. If you ever come to Northeast Ohio I’ll be there.

  73. Help! The knit-out is SUNDAY. Not Saturday. Saturday night is when you’ll be at B & N and I’ll be there too (and it will be at the end of Shabbat, after dark…)
    See you tomorrow!

  74. you are just incredible! really you are.just think of all the knit-love you have generated and all you have brought us in the past few years! what an inspiration.
    the shropshire shawl is breathtaking from what little i can see of it (please maybe show a big picture next time?? please?). i know you said something in its early inception about coming from mariane kinzel—are you reinventing as you go, or doing it straight from her pattern?
    sorry for all the questions—it’s my lace whore talking . . .

  75. I go to Florida in December. Everything is green, not white, and you can go into an orange grove and pick your own orange, right off the tree. This fascinates me.

  76. You sound so very frayed at the edges. I do hope you get some rest, it’s no good to go around in a daze. *smile* And I’m sorry I missed you back in Utah, I moved before I ever saw you.
    In fact, I dreamt that you were hanging out with Alton Brown (the only other “celeb” I ever missed thanks to a stupid move) and I only ever heard about it and I felt so disappointed.
    Crazy what dreams do.

  77. The test. Don’t tell me, it’s something about a double double.
    I’ve heard that the Canada Customs test to see if you’re from Toronto is to ask what the phone number for Pizza Pizza is.

  78. Ooooh, so close yet so far. I’m going to be in Brooklyn tomorrow but during the afternoon and down in Bay Ridge. Razzafrackin’ family parties!! I’d much rather spend the time listening to you go on and on about knitting than hang out with my family. They say things like “Can’t you just buy socks?” Philistines!
    Darn! Maybe I’ll make it to Rhinebeck this year.

  79. I’m a Canadian living in the States and want to know what the test is! I’m hoping I would pass…
    Also, your comments about “Chop chop” are timely because lately I’ve been telling my six-year-old to “Make it snappy” and he finally admitted to me today that he had no idea what that meant, which would explain why he wasn’t speeding up.

  80. See you tomorrow. I’m dragging my parents along (although I think they are more excited than they will admit!) What a great birthday present to myself. 🙂

  81. Thank you so much for the whole day. I don’t get to meet people much, especially other knitters, and since I just moved and have school I haven’t had any time to knit. But when you came to Los Altos I had almost an entire day of no studying and all knitting. I finally finished my mom’s socks! It was great to have people to talk to and the only time I felt shy was meeting you (not that you’re intimidating or anything, I’m just really shy) Thanks again!

  82. First, thank you for Los Altos. Second, did you try the Essensia yet? It’s only made in the smaller than small town I live in. We’re sorry the chocolate melted, but we have WAY more than 65 days of summer — more like six MONTHS — and we see triple digits (fahrenheit, you understand). Third, Photoshop is REALLY easy once you remember that every time you save a file, go to Save As and then change the format. JPEG is the universal photo saving format. You can’t go wrong with JPEG. Don’t know what it means, but trust me — I’ve done TIFF and PSD and a bunch of others. I was the yearbook adviser at my high school for nine years. That’s right. Teenagers. All day. Every day. Hormone City. High Drama. I am now hiding in the library.

  83. Can’t wait to see you tomorr…tonight in Brooklyn! And if you want to dump Photoshop, there’s an open source (read: FREE) program called The Gimp 2.0 that is easier to use and is, well, FREE! I’d be happy to show you…

  84. It was well worth the trip to see you in California. I really enjoyed your talk and you are cool don’t listen to the teenagers. Now when you come to Minnesota let me know and I will be glad to show you around.

  85. I can’t help but notice all the cities in the US you visit…please come to baltimore, maryland. I’m sure you already know baltimore is the host of stiches east in november which should be good incentive to come. There is a very large barnes and noble in the inner harbor which could hold many knitters.

  86. *sigh* Just seeing “Eau Claire” on your blog makes me happy. I miss home!
    I’m hoping someone gave you good cheese, and perhaps a Leinie’s.

  87. We loved seeing you in Los Altos. I brought my recently de-muggled mother who had never heard of you (!!) or read a blog (!!!). She is now fully converted.
    I was “Hi my blog is nonexistent but my name is Elizabeth”, but am now starting a blog. After all, if you can be a shy person masquerading as an outgoing person, then so can I.

  88. Glad to see that the MacBook is working and that you are underway with the book. One word of caution–be sure to back up very often as you reach the end… I bought a brand new MacBook last month and had it for only 2 weeks when it black screened ie nothing, black, all is lost–Apparently apple is having this problem with their mac books. I sent it back and they are putting in a brand new logic board–all the brains. I’m sure this won’t happen to you–but please back up so you don’t hit that final crunch and zip! Happy apple-ing!

  89. Not to toot one’s own horn, but I have what I’ve been told is the cure for any sort of frayed edge. I’m trying like mad to make it to B&N tonight, but in the event that I can’t be there — like, say, a giant flaming rock falls on our apartment — I will definitely bring with me to Knit-Out/Knitty City Day tomorrow. In the meantime, that tapping noise you hear is the sound of my doing the anticipatory Happy Dance.
    Incidentally, your morning glories are stunning.

  90. “…before I left for NYC for tomorrow’s event in Brooklyn (details here) and Saturday at the Knit Out and Knitty City (That’s a stitch n’ bitch, not a talk…”
    Dear Heart,
    You’ve been travelling too much. You posted on Friday, Sept. 15. That meant that the *tomorrow* to which you referred would be the 16th, and also the *Saturday*…I do hope you have safe travels and that your mind/body/spirit don’t spin totally out of control before you get home!!!
    Marg in Calgary

  91. Some helpful geek advice – forget photoshop all together and just do you your blog photos using iphoto. You can export them to any size you want and the editting tools in there are sufficient for blogging purposes. It also saves you a step, I assume you are importing them in there from the camera anyway.
    If you need any help let me know!

  92. Chop chop. My grandpa used to say it to me, my mom still says it to me, and *gasp*…I now say it to my own munchkin…and I didn’t even know the origin! I thought it had to do with chopping piles of wood, and hurry it up will ya’?! Because we’re freezing (the generations hail from Boston).
    Yes, the power of a group of knitters is amazing. But you’re pretty amazing, too. Just the wave of your hand and a mention of my name on your blog and the hits quadruple LOL. We need to get you a magic wand. Maybe it would magnify it. I shudder to think if the power LOL.
    Clearly you already have a secret ball, though…because I don’t ever remember telling you about my blog or anythign. I only just babbled on nervously because I was humbled in your presence and also felt bad for keeping you awake so long! Thanks for coming and signing… it was so great to be there and to see you.

  93. The Shropshire Shawl looks amazing. Is it a new pattern you are working on? I have googled “Shropshire Shawl” but did not come up with anything as beatifull as the small snapets I’ve seen in your blog.

  94. You just gave me a heart attack by making me think I’d missed your talk in Brooklyn! The jet lag catching up with you, making you think that the Brooklyn talk was on Friday and the Knit Out today? Now that the heart attack has passed – can’t wait to see you tonight!

  95. I think that having a passionate attatchment to yarn is a strange enough occurence that it would be enough to unite anyone. It’s like having a third eye–if you had one and then met someone else with one, too, wouldn’t that be enough to push aside all of your differeneces?

  96. Okay so this doesn’t actually have to do with anything in your blog entry today, but I’m sort of at that point of being so excited that I’m shouting from the roof-tops. I have learned how to spin (on a spindle) and started knitting an actual item from my handspun yarn today!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have only been at this spinning stuff for less than a week! tee hee hee!!!!!!!!

  97. The morning glories are lovely! Your knitting projects photograph so well with nature…much more appealing than on a sofa, bed or piece of floor. I wasn’t able to drive over to Eau Claire from the Twin Cities, but I have a great idea. You have done talks in a church, bookstores, parking lots, knitting stores and other venues. How about a good Irish pub in a Minneapolis/St.Paul suburb? Lots of knitters, across the street from a yarn shop and beer would create a good setting…very friendly and relaxed with loud laughter at all your funny remarks. Let me know if you want to pursue it!

  98. The photo of the shawl in the morning glories is scrumptious. Actually, one day you could just use complately made up names and locales of all kinds of people in photos. Just do it on purpose rather than by accident, it might be fun or the universe might come to a halt with so many people having an identity crises all at once. But then, knit for an hour and bring everything back to rights.
    Your tour looks like it was lots of fun for everyone concerned.

  99. Ok, am I the only one who is alarmed by the threats of harm to the Photoshop CDs???? Steph, I’m packin’ my laptop and will gladly take you out to dinner and give you a quick tutorial on photo editing with Photoshop — it’s really not all that bad! Looking forward to the knit out and meeting you in person! Travel safe! Sue

  100. Damn you and your fancy new camera/laptop, now I want to knit the Peacock too.
    My mother STILL says “chop chop” to hurry people up.

  101. It was SO cool meeting you tonight — so cool that I forgot to give you the stitch markers I made for you! I’m so mad I am having trouble spelling. Can I mail them to you?

  102. Please, I’m trying to track down that lovely peacock shawl! Is it the Peacock Feathers Shawl by Fiddlesticks? I think it looks the same, but I can’t quite tell…

  103. Oh No! I had no idea you were going to be in Wisconsin! Come on down to Madison! It’s a good 3 hours from Eau Claire, though. :/

  104. I’m absolutely dieing of curiosity? What’s the test? And are you going to be doing a talk in Ottawa anytime in the near future?
    Kate from Ottawa

  105. Oh, be still, my beating heart! To be remembered *and* photographed by The Yarn Harlot is almost too much goodness to bear. My moment of immortality!
    Los Altos was so cool, and, of course, so are you. Be patient with the teens; they can’t really help it. They’re awash with hormones and are in the process of a messy divorce – after all, growing up is really like divorcing your parents. Like most divorces, it gets rough at times (like, nearly always). My daughter is now 21 and is most civilized. There is hope!
    I’m glad you were at least “whelmed”, but not “over”, by the turnout of knitters in Los Altos. I was bloody amazed. What a sea of wool-crazed folk, men as well as women. There was so much love, peace and good-feeling that it ought to have tilted the prevailing political mess. Peace through knitting has a nice ring, doesn’t it?
    Looking forward to the next bookbookbook and its tour. Keep coming to northern California and we’ll keep turning up!

  106. Hi Stephanie – I just wanted to say I really really enjoyed seeing you in Los Altos – you were great! 🙂 I’m just sorry I couldn’t stay and actually meet you. Please come back to the Bay Area on the next book tour! 🙂
    Beautiful morning glories – while we do have lots of lemons and oranges and limes most of the year here, morning glories are very rare 🙂

  107. My daughter, Chelsea, and I came from Toms River, NJ, to see you in Brooklyn last night. We got off at the wrong subway stop, walked miles–or at least it seemed it, skipped dinner and sat and knit until you arrived. It was totally worth it! You’re hilarious, kind and a wonderful author. Thanks for letting us take a photo with you with our socks!
    P.S. Even the muggles we came with thought you were “cool”!

  108. Ok, you have Photoshop on an Intel Core Duo machine. That explains it. You need RAM to run Photoshop without it acting funny. That is, if you did not buy RAM when you bought your computer, you really should get some. It uses extra RAM to convert everything to Universal. The Photoshop isn’t written to be compatible with Intel chips yet, and one of your processors has to work to translate while the other executes applications. What helps speed this along is RAM. I would get a 1gb chip (NOT FROM APPLE, they are too pricey! try ) and see if that doesn’t fix it. It’s worth every penny. My Core Duo iMac was very “quirky” till I got another gig of RAM, and now it’s more what I’d call “speedy.” It helps a ton.

  109. I had a wonderful time listening to your talk in Los Altos. I was just sad that I had to rush out because my baby was no longer into hanging around with knitters. He was also mad that I woudln’t let him pull needles off of the racks at the back of the store. I’m tempted to believe that is a good sign for his future as a knitter. 😉
    There’s a picture of you and said baby on my blog:

  110. Ram Wools is in Winnipeg. And they say you’ve been here before, so you should definitely come back. Definitely.

  111. Chop-Chop! My mother user to always say that to us kids to get us to hurry it along. I haven’t heard that in years!
    Best of luck with the book deadline – we’re all waiting for it! 🙂

  112. Back at home for a while now eh? I’m with Kelly up there in the comments about having a party after the gansey is done.
    But knowing you, finnishing it would be done during the party.
    Oh I think you should get joe to come to the party too, just cause it’s his gansey, or is it coming out smaller and is now your gansey?
    You need a new warm swearter right?

  113. I didn’t post my photos of you, either. Something about 10:00 p.m. after a long day…
    So, is book number 5 going to be The Sport of Knitting???
    Mom melted with happiness when I gave her her set of your books.

  114. this weekend, i had a flash: Stephanie P-M, teaching Stuart MacLean to knit on the Vinyl Café–
    (for those not familiar, Stuart M. is kind of like a canadian Garrison Keillor, except a little less weird. i mean ‘weird’ in the best possible way, of course.)
    convinced that knitting would make good radio,

  115. another fun term to look up the origination of is ’86 it’ speakeasy time, really, google it 🙂

  116. Oh gods…I wish I could have been there…but congrats, Steph–you’re navigating the blogosphere very nimbly on your new ‘ware… (And the lace is looking stunning… maybe blocking could make that wingspan thing really happen… you think? No, no… let’s not walk that tragic road…give it up and do 2 more repeats…)

  117. Chop chop here was often accopanied by a couple of quick hand claps by my mum. Hurry up!
    Golly you are gettign to see some fab places and no wonder you are frazzled!

  118. Cute Birks – but consider the impact a quick dash of bright nail polish makes for open-toed shoes. It makes even the tiredest feet happier! Maybe its a southern thing…

  119. Well, just to be different, my folks said the phonetic equivalent of “juldi jao.” (Anyone have good Hindi out there?) My dad was in India during the war and picked it up and it was a shock and a delight to hear it (well, at least “juldi”) in both Ghandi and Gunga Din.

  120. I had great fun at the Los Altos event, too. I was in line behind Kathleen of the beaded jacket. The darn thing was hypnotizing.
    And I was going to answer the question about California hockey fans and forgot. So here it is. In my experience, no one except my best friend expects me to justify my hockey loving ways (she teases; I nicely keep my mouth shut about her anime obsession) when it comes to the Sharks. But when I say I also am a fan of a club level team from a college I never went to I get weird looks. So I guess it depends on one’s proximity to professional teams in this state. I happen to be very near one…where I get weird looks for knitting during intermissions.

  121. Chop, chop, that was really interesting! I always suspected that this phrase stems from chinese (I studied Chinese at university and spend some years there) but could never make the right connections. Thank you Stephanie for finding out. Also that item is not knitting related it prooves that we are a clever bunch and that you can learn interesting things from knitters 😉
    All the best for your new book!
    Ute from Germany

  122. Hello from Belgium
    When I saw all those knitters sitting happily outdoors in the Californian sun,with a broad smile on their faces … first thing thant sprung to my mind was the song by Melanie “BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE”
    When we’ll finally manage to find the money to visit our friends in Quebec and the Yarn Harlot is still touring around by then … I’LL BE THERE TOO !!!
    For now I’ll keep on reading the fantastic tales on the Harlot site
    Christel (a happy novice knitter)

  123. It was great to see you in Los Altos (much better than Berkeley).
    I do hope you got yourself some good beer when you got home. As for me, I went home from the event and the husband and I finished off the last of the Upper Canada Lager we had brought home with us last month.

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