Atlanta charm

I’m writing from a cab, headed for the airport to go home, so even though my heart just leaps thinking that I’ve survived and tonight I sleep in my own bed, pretend I’m still on the road..I’ve got two more events to tell you about.

I arrived in Atlanta totally wiped out an a smidge on the cranky side. I found the bathroom and teetered in. I was standing there, waiting for my turn and all I could think was “Who does this? Who lives this way? I have got to be the only human being in the world this tired and worn out from travelling in the name of knit” when the door to the stall in front of me opened, and I just started to laugh.


Vicky Howell. Seriously. What are the odds? If I hadn’t gone to the bathroom right then, if she hadn’t gone right then, if the person in the next stall had been a little quicker…totally bizarre. We stood and laughed about how crazy this whole flying around for knitting thing is, we confused the living daylights out of some poor women by photographing each other right there, and we parted. She for North Carolina and then Webs, and me for Atlanta and then Virginia.

It was a bizarre moment. Totally. If I didn’t have this picture I would think that I had hallucinated it.

Leaving Vicky and the airport, I staggered up to the hotel and met this fine gentleman.


Anthony. Anthony should be, if he is not yet, the poster dude for the famous Southern Hospitality, which is really saying something, because the south OWNs hospitality. Don’t let his work face fool you either. This is the real Anthony.


He was charming, gracious, welcoming and restored my faith in all of humanity, which is quite a feat, considering that I have been in so many airports, which really seems to bring out the worst in people. The ladies from Knitch who dropped by the hotel were just as entirely smitten with him. He defines elegant charm my friends…defines it. Restored by Anthony’s existence…I meant to blog but fell asleep, and when I woke up, it was time to wash airport off me, and go to Knitch.

I can’t say enough about this store. Kim, the owner is a lovely gal, who’s sensible and kind nature is only topped by her organizational skills and good thinking. Knitch went whole hog on this bad boy, and were rewarded with the attendance of 700 or so of their knitterly kin, and while their are few people who can handle that with grace (Steve and Kathy over at Webs managed too) it’s a big job keeping that many knitters rolling along, and she did a grand job.

Behold. The knitters of Atlanta! (and surrounding areas.)




Terrifying. En masse they flipped me right out, but individually? Well. They flipped me out, but in a good way.

Adding to the general madness was the fact that it was International Talk Like a Pirate day, which I did, but only briefly. (It’s hard to maintain. I don’t know how the pirates did it.)

Heather and Arden. (You know my fondness for very young pre-knitters.)


Angie, Jill, Marsha. Sara,


and Cindy (sporting her 1st sock version 5.0), Holly, with a particularly sad first sock (that poor little white thing), Nina, Samira (her first three..none finished) and Michelle,


In the “go big or go home” department, Deborah knit these knee highs.


Aimee, ARRRRR.


Jane and JP and were celebrating their birthdays,



and Jane even wore the scarf she made out of my handspun that she won in Claudia’s auction. Very snazzy.

Courtney, who designed and screened me a tee shirt that Joe is going to laugh about for weeks.


It says “Squirrel Killa”

Ashley, ARRRR!


Mary and Lydia, with washcloths.


(I am going to have one weird collection when we are done.

Gracious hat lady and wonderful hats.


Meagan ARRRR!


and finally, the whole team of staff and volunteers who kept the whole thing from going off the rails. If you’re ever in town, give them a visit. Knitch has a zen corner you can sit in. You wanna go.


For now…dudes. I’m home. I am so happy.

106 thoughts on “Atlanta charm

  1. obviously, I’ve got to expand my traveling. I’ve bought at the yarn shop in the French Quarter, but otherwise missed the South. Thanks for cheerful prose in the face of airports.

  2. Don’t cha just lurve Atlanta! All those “ya’ll”s thrown in there! Guess we’ve got to get busy in TX!!!! As for Vickie in the bathroom….it truly is a small, small world! If you have me ordering yarn from the Netherlands, and trying to read things in Norwegian, how large could it actually be? Oh…was that Brenda walking down the hall? πŸ™‚

  3. I love that Southern smile! And I was looking all over the crowd shots for my sister Anne–I sent her, she’s gotta be there somewhere, even if she doesn’t knit. Yet.

    I thought you were fidgeting with the camera and then stood on the chair to get a better angle.
    and I know I asked you to sign my book Evil Science Chick, but you can call me Regan πŸ™‚

  5. It was great seeing you! And for those of you interested, Aimee (Yarrrrn) can be found at and she’s having a fundraiser right now for the Lupus Walk. She’s giving away a ton of prizes to those who donate, including a signed copy of Casts Off! Every $5 donated gets you an entry!
    Sorry, Stephanie. I didn’t want to use your blog to advertise it but you missed linking to Aimee’s blog so this is me, being a friend. =)

  6. Welcome back. The question is…were you gone long enough that you missed your kids? That’s how I judge it. Of course, mine are young yet, I can only leave them for about 3 – 4 hours, then I miss them. Bless their little hearts.

  7. Regan, she was obviously getting a picture of you. I even took the picture of her taking a picture of you πŸ™‚
    Glad you enjoyed what bit of Atlanta you saw & that you got a taste of that gentlemanly southern charm.

  8. Hooray for home! Glad the South treated you well, and we hope you’ll come again. And seriously, Vicky Howell in the ladies room? Oddness.

  9. my knitting buds and i are hoping you’ll come sample hoosier hospitality in indianapolis one of these books — er, days. we have cool lyss (that’s the plural, isn’t it?) and several big (chain) bookstores.
    and we have LOTS of knitters, most of whom also are your book and/or blog readers, judging by the ones i’ve met.
    ellen in indy

  10. Until you said you were glad to be home, I had a moment there where I thought you might be crossing paths or sharing airports with Mr. Beth. Who I hope would recognize you if he saw you. I know the kids would: Colleen refers to you as “Mom’s friend with the green socks.” Those step-outs will never truly go away.

  11. How did I miss talk like a pirate day?
    I loved the knitter skull and cross bones, or rather needles. Very clever.
    Welcome home from the road girl. Wash off the airport dust, order in pizza (veggie of course), have a cool one and breathe….

  12. Presbytera speaks sooth: sleep, gentle harlot, sleep. Glad the South treated you well. Still want to have a word w/the wonder publicist who is running you ragged though. Gracious, child, you should be able to sleep/breathe/rest/relax/enjoy while on the road!
    Greetings from north central Florida!

  13. Your posts from on the road are endlessly entertaining. You seem to have a gift for finding the humor and the happy ending in the chaos surrounding your book tour. It makes me tired just reading it.

  14. Thanks for coming to the South. We enjoyed spending the evening with you. Who says it’s too hot to knit here?!
    PS: I have achieved knitting immortality. My sad sock immortalized on the Harlot blog!

  15. We had soooooooo much fun with you in Atlanta! My cousin Vicki and I drove down from Chattanooga and met up with her friend (and now my friend) Corinth. We had a blast knitting together and chatting with other knitters. Your speech was wonderful and it was great to meet you and talk for a few minutes. Three cheers for the Knitch staff, who obviously worked very hard to prepare for and stage a memorable evening. Enjoy a well-deserved rest, Stephanie!

  16. YEAH!! I see my pal Debbie (Gotta Knit) in the last photo. I wish I could have been there too. And no, no gitch or coffee syrup… πŸ˜‰ Though if you ever were in Rhode Island, I promise you a fabulous time in nautical Newport and restaurant-filled Providence!
    Bunny hugs,

  17. Just an FYI. Today, my physical therapist told me, “You are the fourth knitter I’ve seen with a tendinitis this month! What’s with you knitters? You don’t know when to stop!”
    After you get some rest, maybe you could use your Power and Influence to remind us knitters that we are not Knitting Machines, and that yes, we can injure ourselves when we become Women Who Knit Too Much. (Like me.) Believe it or not, it’s shoulder injuries, not just wrists and hands and fingers and spines.

  18. Glad to see your handspun in its knitted-up gorgeousity. I wanted it, but I’m glad to see it wound up in a good home.
    Get some sleep, and have a lovely weekend. You’ve earned it.

  19. I love your on-the-road blogs. You are so much better at it than I would ever be.
    Oh, I want one of those YARRRN shirts!!! where did Aimee get it?

  20. Welcome home! I hope you’re snoozing in your own bed. Honestly, I don’t know how you do all the traveling, but I am so glad you do!!!!
    All the squirrely antics are cracking me up. πŸ™‚

  21. The VH sighting at ATL — unbelievable!
    I caught the end of your appearance in northern VA last night, and I was surprised by one thing: YOUR VOICE.
    Folks, the Harlot does not have a sweet, lyrical voice that drips with all that is good in the world.
    As befits her name, Harlot has a whiskey-and-cigarettes voice — the kind of voice that makes you think of a worldly Lauren Bacall — the kind of voice that makes you think, “This woman is having a hell of a good time, and I should get to know her!”
    I’m reading the blog now with a whole new level of appreciation and insight!

  22. I had my baby 2 weeks ago and so alas i couldn’t come see you this week in Atlanta, I was so sad!! I think a new baby is worth it though πŸ™‚ lol

  23. welcome home. i hope you are being cossetted, fΓͺted and appreciated by those you love. i’ve gotta know. did jayme earn her socks with this tour? and also…. just how does one go about booking an audience with the Harlot? πŸ™‚

  24. Actually the woman with in the tie dye shirt with the knee highs is me, Deborah.
    I enjoyed your talk so much. I laughed during the entire evening and then I got sad because my sister, Wilma, was unable to make it. She is not a knitter but she loves your books and blogs. She substitues beads and wire for needles and yarn and understand every word. When we plan shopping trip she makes sure that yarns are always on the shopping list.

  25. It was an honor to hold your “travel sock.” Also awesome meeting you. I have never laughed so much in my life. You really “get it.” No knitters around here, so nice to hear someone that understands.
    Glad you’re home safe and sound.
    Sheri in Georgia

  26. now that the child is home with wonderous
    tales as yet to be told –we wish you
    a fond well done dear child you did good

  27. Your spot-on sense of humor is wonderful. I cannot remember the last time I laughed that hard! We are all soooooo grateful that you decided to include Atlanta in your tour.
    Ya’ll come back now ya hear!

  28. I just moved away from Atlanta or I would have been there with my copy of Casts Off! So sorry to have missed it. Knitch was my LYS, and Meagan (ARRR) was my co-worker! Looks like a fine time was had by all!!!

  29. Oh my. I MUST find myself one of those t-shirts before next Talk Like a Pirate Day! The YARRRRRRN one is awesome, but as my husband points out, the one with the skull-and-scissors-crossbones is more subtle. Must. Have. Both.

  30. We were all so happy to have you visit us, and hope you’ll come back real soon – and stay lots longer. You haven’t knit until you’ve attended Knit Night at Knitch!

  31. You were GREAT! The B & B was just crawling with knitters. I can’t tell you how strange it was to get up the next am, saunter down to breakfast and then engage in circular knitting chit-chat with a group of total strangers!
    That just does not happen.
    I think your hair is fabulous btw.

  32. Congrats on making it back in one piece. Enjoy sleeping in your own bed, drinking your own coffee, knitting on your own couch. And if at all possible, take Sat. off ~ no deadlines, no cleaning, no nuthin’.

  33. God I miss Georgia! Lived there for 3 months in college – Atlanta is awesome and they do OWN hospitality! And how freaky is that about seeing Vicki Howell?!?! Awesome. Just Awesome. I bet after sleeping you will take a look for Mr. Squirrel and rub it in that you have so many on your side! Bring it on Squirrel.

  34. I cannot tell you how pissed I am not to have been there in Atlanta listening to you talk. Sounds like you and the knitters had a great time…without me… Oh well. Someday.

  35. It looks like Knitch even managed to get you a beer. Good on ’em.
    Thanks for the photo of Jane’s scarf from your handspun. And thanks to Jane for wearing it when the weather was probably not scarf-worthy yet. I had wondered what that yarn would look like knit up. Looks great on her.

  36. VH coming out of the stall *in front of you*, no less-ROFLMAO! Anthony-wonderful! Having a certain kindred feeling with Cindy and Samira–that would be me. (The 4 measly rows you held up in Portland? Halfway down to the toe, at least. I’m knitting other stuff too. [g] Not including my *first* two socks, at the moment…) Pirate T-shirt–fantastic, and dammit, I totally forgot TLAPD! Jane–wonderful job with your handspun. Squirrel Killa Tee–WIN! I wants one, I do. Courtney, are you going to start selling?
    Being the time that it is now, I sincerely hope you’re soundly zonked in your own bed. Welcome home! (Regardless of whatever state said home was in. Who cares? You’re home!)

  37. Two brushes with fame for me:
    When I was in graduate school, I once had a public bathroom encounter with Toni Morrison, who later won the Nobel prize for literature…
    Then one time we drove to the NYS sheep and wool fest and we get to the parking lot where they wave you into the spot and who gets out of the car right next to us, but one Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, all the way from Toronto? This was pre any books she ever wrote..:)

  38. Only 60 comments? I don’t usually get here before 200.
    Vickie Howell, how utterly amazing was that? And how cool. Peers where you least expect it, when you feel there isn’t a peer in the world. I’m happy that happened, for you both.
    And 700 knitters… your truth-telling authenticity is a magnetic force. It’s good for everyone: you, knitters, and I think as far as good vibes/karma go, for the non-knitting world as well. Be yourself, be loved, be a force to be reckoned with. You go, grrl!
    Love ya.

  39. Home is always a good place to be. Have a good home, especially when your children drive you insane.

  40. Hey, Killa, is Minneapolis on your list again soon? All booked up by the time I heard about it. Or Winnipeg? From where I live in northern Minnesota I can get to either one! Didja pay the ransom yet?
    Nancy in N MN

  41. I was traveling for work this week and while I was in the airport a) I looked for you (even though I was in going from SF to Dallas-ie no where near you) and b) I thought “how does the Yarn Harlot do this over and over? It must suck” So thumbs up to you. You’re allowed to be a little cranky.

  42. Thanks for coming!!! I had so much fun. My knitting gals and I declared Sept. 19 as a national knitting holiday and therefore started celebrating at 11am. I loved your speech and since I have the book on CD, I can relive it anytime in my car and make people wonder why I laugh so hysterically! And thanks for singing the “cowboy song” to me – you are awesome. Come back sometime soon.

  43. Wow! I love being an armchair traveller with you – especially as I don’t have to get up at 3.00 a.m. to catch a plane.
    Rest well,
    Janet Mf up North

  44. My goodness, that bathroom moment was amazing; the knitterly universe at work. I hope you get to sleep sleep sleep. Thank you for sharing yourself – thank you for your family for sharig you.

  45. Stephanie: Tell the “wonder publicist” about the well-known saying: “A signing tour is the fastest way to kill yourself without using drugs or alcohol.” Remind/inform her about Janis Joplin, too.
    I like the Yarrrnnn t-shirt slightly better than the skull-and-scissors; it’s more specifically about knitting. The other one could be for any art that involved cutting something.

  46. Notice that last shot… there’s beer on the table.
    Cause nothing is smarter than lushing up woman with sharp pointy sticks.

  47. Isn’t returning home at the end of a trip the best? There’s nothing like sleeping in your own bed.
    Now, to interrupt the blog comment for a shameless self-promotion…I’m running a little contest to help my friend Nikki in a picture book competition. She’s creating an original illustration and I’m giving away some fibery goodness. If you have the time, could you help spread the word on your blog? I’d so appreciate it. Nikki is such an incredible artist, You would so appreciate her talent! I’m sure that we knitters can sway the votes toward Nikki!

  48. I spent years as a contractor waking up in all sorts of new cities and strange hotels…there is nothing quite like coming home or the comfort of one’s own bed. We loved you in VA. Wished somehow you could have stayed longer for a yarn crawl, dinner or a beer, but I understand the pull of home at the last stop. Come again Steph!
    Angela, I’d love to help. What can we do? “Where is Nikki” and how do we vote…assuming of course that is what you are asking for!

  49. Whereas I, as blogbitch in residence, would like, as politely and sweetly as possible, to nip the undoubtedly generous impulse to hijack Stephanie’s blog for other purposes. I’m certain that the motives of each person who tries it are loving and generous, but it is being loving and generous with a vehicle someone else has created — that is, it is like plastering Stephanie’s living room with posters for your cause. Please — however noble the cause, it’s exploiting Stephanie’s popularity for other purposes. Bad form. Thanks.

  50. Rams, my aspiration is to one day be as polite and sweet as you when delivering a rebuke. But I’m not there yet.

  51. hello fellow lovers of all things knit. i have a request. can anyone tell me about the rhinebeck festival in october? i keep hearing whisperings of it, yet know not of it first hand. are there any bus tours from toronto to this event? or from kingston to said mecca? please, let me know!

  52. Anthony had me laughing thru the rest of your post.
    You always meet the nicest people. And the knitters aren’t bad either! AARRRGHHHH!!!

  53. Perhaps Canadians have trouble maintaining pirate speak because they are trained very young to say the wrong letter. Eh? Instead of Arrrrrr. Okay, bad joke. Being serious, I really enjoy your blog. It is a highlight of my day to read it. I hope someday, Jamie the wonder publicist will have you travel back to Syracuse (not too far away!) Perhaps she can book you into our version of the (gloriously restored) Pantages Theater! The Landmark theater here is it’s twin.
    I’d come in the time it takes to grab my knitting bag.

  54. It must be great to be home – but I have to confess I love reading your travel stories, and hearing about all the knitters you’ve met along the way. Your next book, maybe…? πŸ™‚ Oh, and also? It’s hilarious that you and Vicky Howell ran into each other in the loo. Love that picture; must go see if she’s posted its counterpart!
    When do we get to hear about Virginia? My home state! (You weren’t in my bit of it, but there you were. Hope you found it lovely and inviting!)

  55. Thanks for (finally) coming to Atlanta! I think Jamie deserves socks just for scheduling you here. I had to cut a business trip short to make it to the event in time, although I used ‘personal business’ as an excuse; I don’t think my boss would understand the true reason. The staff at Knitch outdid themselves on this event – it was superbly organized, down to the homemade chocolate chip cookies. I’m a little surprised you didn’t mention that Knitch has it’s very own blend of coffee – gotta love a place that not only provides coffee but has it’s own brand. I hope you can come back to Atlanta again!

  56. Wow, thanks for putting our picture up! (The baby’s name is actually Aidan, but that’s OK.) It was great to meet you. Enjoy your well-deserved sleep.

  57. Congratulations on surviving another grueling tour. Home is always nice… even when it’s infested with squirrels. Too freaky about you and Vicky Howell running into each other in the bathroom. Talk about cosmic fibers becoming entwined. Cheers!

  58. I cannot freaking believe the Vicky Howell story. I love that you’ve got complimentary pics on your blogs.
    Welcome home! Rest up. Come to Austin. πŸ™‚

  59. Oh, I soo wanted to be there..I’m an hour and a half from Atlanta, but I haven’t been there in 10 months..Hope you get all rested up!

  60. You and Vickie Howell are lucky I wasn’t in that bathroom. It would’ve been like the Beatles at Shea Stadium. My shrieking would have echoed through those stalls for days.

  61. Yep, it looks like another successful day in the life of the Yarn Harlot, and that whole bathroom incident is just…well, weird. Glad you’re home now, relax for a while Squirrel Killa.

  62. Hmmmm… The Knitch people have t-shirts. D’you suppose they were inspired by some rowdy knitters in Halifax?
    (Every time I work at my LYS and a customer mentions your visit here, I say, “Yeah, I was with the rowdy bunch” and they say, “I know” in this way that makes me somewhat proud of the way we KOLers so accurately represented ourselves!)

  63. For all those who find the Vicki-Stephanie bathroom meetup in ATL airport unbelievable, freaky, etc.:
    When I lived in Richmond, Va., about 30 yrs ago, the saying went like this: “I don’t know whether I’m going to heaven or hell, but I know I’ll have to transfer in Atlanta!”
    That said, it’s still a hilarious bit of synchro-knit-city (groan).

  64. Thank you for coming to ATL. Our group literally spent the whole day knitting/drinking/laughing waiting for the event to begin. And then you spoke and it was fantastic! Sorry I was a bit of a gob-smacked goob that could only mutter “you rock!” as you signed my book and took a pic with us. Your graciousness definitely fits with Southern hospitality….how you continued to smile/chat/be personal with hundreds of us was awe-inspiring.
    Glad your home safe and loved. Hope you get to do some knitting and get settled back into your world.

  65. It was totally worth the 5 hour round trip. I even made new knitblogger friends that I can meet up with now. I’m so glad that you came down South!

  66. Thank you so much for coming to Atlanta! My husband and I are the non-knitters, but we ARE the enablers to our yarn addict daughter, lol. I do, however find myself utterly fascinated by spinning. I’m already investigating spinning classes at my local yarn shop. Thank you for feeding my desire in the fibre arts!

  67. So glad you liked Atlanta. So glad you like Knitch. My favorite LYS.
    I was up in the balcony, in the back, trying to take pictures. But they all came out too dark or too blurry.
    You were great, funny, and I loved how there were 700 kindred spirits.
    Y’all come back now!

  68. Thanks for coming to visit us, Stephanie! It was great fun and so nice to hear a talk where I knew the speaker wouldn’t be offended if I knit during the whole thing! πŸ˜‰ If you come back to Atlanta, try to talk Jamie into scheduling it in the Spring…it’s just beautiful here when everything blooms. But be sure to take your allergy medicine of choice before you get here. Maybe then I will get there in time to get a book-signing ticket rather than being stuck in traffic for an hour and a half and running in 5 minutes before your talk!!!! (I was lurking behind Jill with my pair of first socks =)

  69. Okay–Anthony made me feel better just looking at the picture! So glad you’re home…remember “take off your shoes and make fists with your feet!”

  70. I was led to your site because I am looking for a spinning class in Central Florida. I live just off I-4 between Orlando and Tampa. Can’t figure why they would call class in riding a d– bike a spinning class–can you help?

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