Last stop on the train

You know how when you travel, all you can think about is home and everyone there and how much you miss them, then you walk through the door and the kids are fighting and the house is a mess and you think “This is what I was missing? Was I out of my mind?” Not this time. Sure, the house is trashed and the daughters are engaged in a perennial argument about clothing possession, and I can’t tell you how badly we need a trip to the grocery store (I suspect that if the Wanigan box were not delivered without anyone doing anything, they would all be dead) and I don’t know what they have against the vacuum (you could make a whole new cat out of the dust buffalo roaming the dining room) …but for the most part, I am still so glad to see them…and near as I can tell, although with teenagers it’s tremendously complex…I think they missed me. I certainly feel appreciated by Joe. I’m hoping the general gratitude they all have lasts long enough for me to finish the book before the spell breaks.

Now, imagine if you will, that I am not home, that I am back in Virginia, and that I am still doing that part of my job.

I made my way from Atlanta, Georgia to Bailey’s Crossroads, Virginia, which is right smack next door to Washington DC. (That’s the Federal City, sort of like Vatican City. It’s it’s own whole place. ) My hotel was close to the event, rather than DC, but I had an interview there so I got to have a bit of a poke around. (Especially since I was lost, briefly.) It’s a beautiful city, and there is something spectacular everywhere you look, but it’s very hard to get close to all the really interesting stuff. (Like the White House, or the President. Pity. There are some questions I would like to ask him. ) Many, many things have fancy eagles on them:


(This is another city where I have to be extra aware of poles and trees because the architecture you are looking “up” at puts you at risk of a nasty bonking.) I also saw the Pentagon, though it’s really hard to get at too.


In real life it is bigger. Much bigger. Huge in fact. (Interesting facts I learned from my cab driver (I checked. He’s right about this stuff.) 23 000 people work there, it was built on a swamp/dump/wasteland in only 16 months, and it has twice as many bathrooms and drinking fountains as it needs because when it was built in 1941, Virginia required separated facilities for “coloured” and “white” personnel.)

That evening, after rewashing my hair to get the alarming amount of hairspray out of it, I turned up at the Borders and what should I find?





Knitters. The place was filthy with ’em. (The staff was right freaked.) Knitters in general, and knitters in specific.

Felicia and Brooklyn


Laverne knit my Tiptoe socks


The first sock brigade: Meghan, Laverne, Susan, Dale, Jaclyn, Lori, Becca, Jeni, Lee, Mazhalai, Meghan (another one) and finally Jo, with her 1st socks, version 3.0.




Sharon outdid herself in the Bad First Sock Department:


Seriously, the worst first sock ever. Sharon is competing at the Olympic level. Luckily, she recovered on the second pair, demonstrating that no matter how badly that first pair went,


You can totally live to knit another day.

Speaking of competing at the Olympic level, Johann knit this in just about 16 days for the olympics.


Amanda made a Virginia Washcloth, Gillian came up with “Virginia is for knitters” and Jane knit me one with a crab on it to be Maryland. (Maryland is not crab shaped. It’s another symbolic thing.)


This is Mum Tamara, her baby Annabelle and her 3 and a half year old son Edison.


Brace yourselves….


Edison brought his knitting. (All together now… Awwww…)

Betsy and Ken were celebrating their 32 years of marriage.


This is Crazy Lanae. (I’m pretty flipped out to meet her.) She brought me Black Sheep Ale, and conquered sock modelling right there.


and I completed my set of Rainey sister meetings, since this is Sally.


Michael turned up, Author of Knitting With Balls


Dawn rocked it out with her yarn based tattoo


Marseille knits tiny, tiny things…


Our Esteemed hat lady, Claire.


and finally, Daniel, who ran the gig for Borders, and I think everyone there will agree was totally Captain Charisma.


When all was said and done I went to grab a pint with Eunny, MamaE and a few others, where, after the fantastic evening, I swear to you that I think I managed to Kinnear Barry Gibb.


What he was doing in that place, I cannot say, but I have witnesses.

128 thoughts on “Last stop on the train

  1. I’m so hoping the rumour of your appearance in New Jersey is not just that. I’m off to Australia for 3 weeks, and will be bringing back some Aussie goodies (including TimTams) to bring with me.
    My sister and I are the same way. We miss each other dreadfully being a world away from each other, and when we’re been in the same house for 3 days regardless of being apart for 3 years, fighting ensues.

  2. It is good that you’re back home. You need the break from the frantic to get bored with reality, again!
    Happy Knitting/writing!

  3. “Pity. There are some questions I would like to ask him.” You crack me up! =) I’m pretty much in awe of Edison. He’s awesome! I’m glad the family didn’t starve while you were gone. Good luck finishing the book! =)

  4. Keep kinnearing – doing good!!! Wow, even in Tx we only have dustbunnies – I can’t imagine a dust buffalo!

  5. So sorry I missed your visit to my neck of the woods. I was stuck planning and executing a 2nd grade “mixer” of all things. Come back soon!

  6. Stephanie, your speech was lovely! Thanks for coming to Virginia.
    –Laura, one of the first-sock-brigade (though I think Laverne might have to become my knitting alias)

  7. Did Sharon’s sock have 2 heels?! Ouch. Speaking of socks, I guess the reason you knit so many is so your family can go a loooong time between washings. They have so many clothes that they don’t need to do laundry.

  8. Virginia’s slogan was, Virginia is for lovers. Maryland came up in response with, Maryland is for crabs. Meantime, Sharon’s sock looks fine to me; she just shaped it to be comfortable for a hermit crab to hide out in. Or maybe two, to fit the Virginia side of the slogan. Cool.

  9. thank you so much for such a wonderful evening. your wit and humor officially converted one of my non knitting friends into a knitter- she’s wild to learn. πŸ™‚ nobody ever claimed that bamboo dpn, so my soon-to-be obsessed-with-knitting friend kept it as a reminder of a great evening.
    love, that lady with the bright pink hair,

  10. Barry Gibb, eh? Now I’ll have Bee Gees songs in my head all night. Incidentally, that was the first concert I ever went to, when I was 9.

  11. Welcome home, and now try to have some peace…. tell the girls to lay off for a bit …. Next time you come to LA, skip it and come to _Santa_Barbrara_. There’s even a nearby alpaca farm. Not to mention a guest room! Sure wish I didn’t have to miss the LA thing.

  12. Way to freak the muggles, Bailey’s Crossroads! (and environs.) Edison? Awwwwwwwww! Hurray for Sharon for the great sock comeback! And man, would I *love* to see you ask the current White House…seatwarmer…some very pointed questions indeed. Wouldn’t it be fun to turn the tables and interview him? On live TV? [veg] Oh, the hilarity!
    Enjoy being home, dust buffalo and all! And take some naps. You totally deserve them, and no doubt need ’em!

  13. I was SO disappointed that I had to miss the VA event. I made sure I was off work that day, my dad lives 15 minutes from there so I was going to stay the night with him (to prevent a late night drive home), and I cast on a new project.
    Then the pipe that sticks out of the wall in my laundry room sprang a leak. And guess what? randomly cinching parts of the pipe with a wrench made it worse. So…3 hours thursday morning and $575 later…I realized I couldn’t go see the harlot. And I was completely looking forward to it too!!!
    It’s a conspiracy, I tell you.

  14. What a wonderful trip you’ve had, despite the frantic pace. Hope you enjoyed it half as much as your fans.
    Thank you so much for “dust buffalo”. I’ve always wondered what they are called when they far surpass the sprightly, airy “dust bunny” stage. Can dust buffaloes be carded and spun??? The only use I can think of for them. Any suggestions? I have a large house and a whole herd.
    Enjoy your “at home” time. Soon as you finish the new book, you know, it’ll be off and running again. We, your fans, can’t wait and look forward to ever more book tours.

  15. I’m about to abandon man, job and three kids for ten days with my friend in Hong Kong. I’m likely to come home and find they’ve been dressed in pyjamas since I left and survived on just toast and beans. I don’t suppose you can get vitamin deficiencies in just ten days. Can you?
    I love your travelogues. I hope that is what’s in the next book!

  16. I “heart” kinnearing! It makes me smile! Congrats on returning home to the fold and enjoy the brief respite before they catch on to your relaxed mood and pounce yelling “Moooooom!!”

  17. The last time I was in DC, my cabbie also told me all abou tthe Pentagon.
    Do you think they take a class?
    Glad to hear all about your grand whirlwind; glad to know your feet are back on the ground!

  18. Stephanie,
    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE come back back to DC (meaning the MARYLAND side of DC as well as the VA side). We are awash with knitters here in DC itself and Maryland, and are desperate to have you here!
    Inducement: we have wonderful yarn shops (seriously).
    Politics & Prose, on Connecticut Ave. (in Wash.DC proper) is our best indie bookstore for author talks.It’s famous for them. All the big guns go there…which includes you.
    If you need a really big sponser, the Borders at White Flint Mall (Rockville, MD), or the Barnes & Noble (Bethesda, MD)(which are all considered part of DC), have tons of space and are easy for everyone to get to.
    Have your wonder publicist include them on your next trip. You will count knitters by the hundreds, literally.
    We’re looking forward to your next visit, and maybe another travelling sock!

  19. I thought you’d be still catching up on sleep & family! Thanks for continuing to make me laugh. I enjoy your prose, your knitting, and hearing about your escapades. Come back to the Finger Lakes sometime!

  20. I want a Wanigan!
    In fact, wouldn’t the whole world be a better place if everyone had a Wanigan?
    Huh– maybe we should send a Wanigan box to the president . . . it couldn’t hurt. Maybe it would change his attitude on a few things. . .

  21. Barry F’n Gibb?!?! He will ruin you! (Sorry, Sat Night Live reference.) I just said on Friday that my dramatic voice is taking the form of Barry Gibb. So the world should be nervous.
    I’m glad you made it home & had such a lovely, albeit wham-bam-tour-the-land, trip! Wichita enjoyed you thoroughly, and we hope you can come to Kansas City on the next go-round. Because there will be another book! Yay!

  22. ‘I certainly feel appreciated by Joe’. After your email from the road, I couldn’t help but laugh at that.

  23. Great to meet you. Yes, do come into DC next time, especially in the spring.
    And no — I’m not tall! My sister is, but not me. It’s all a trick of the angle.

  24. Thanks so much for coming to Virginia. We loved seeing you. Just last night a friend asked my buddy Felicia why she knit a onesie for her baby Brooklyn since they sell perfectly good ones. It sent Felicia and I right back to what you said the other night about peoples comments about knitting socks and we nearly fell over laughing.

  25. twice as many foutains and potties as needed? really? finally; a government mistake which does some good.

  26. So glad you are home. Hint to Joe: cleaning service the day before you arrive. He’ll most likely get all the appreciation, and really you deserve to come home to a clean house!

  27. I work my ass off to get ready for a trip so that I can relax. When I come home I have to work twice as hard to get the house back in order. It almost makes the trip not worth it. I said ALMOST…..I can so relate!!!!

  28. My dear Harlotta – we loved you in the state that is for lovers (VA) and would certainly cross over to crabs (MD) or DC to see you again. I think I’d be willing to cover a few states on a road trip if you made it into Delaware or Jersey even. I think we’d need a charter bus. That way we can all keep knitting, since I suspect I could drum up company.
    The Borders staff, largely male I might add, did look at us all as you might while trying to figure out if we were a group of non-poisonous garter snakes (which, of course, we are…;-) or Rattlers. Or looking at the side of the road trying to figure out why the cop has that car pulled over, since the driver looks harmless and there is no evidence of a crash. They were as Steph says, freaked, but in a quiet “who knew?” kinda way. Daniel was almost as fab as the Harlot. He was kind, charming, personable…and brought a hat knitted for him 30 years ago. A friend named Sarah made it for him, and I suspect it may actually make it onto his head (it was lovely) while he clears the snow off the driveway. There were lots of us of all ages, sizes, ethnic groups and hair colors (Tonks does win. Her hair is Highlighter pink, and it works on her) I met someone who I know from ANOTHER knitting site (not as cool or unexpected as Vickie H in the ATL bathroom, but I’m just greedy…haven’t made it to Harlot status)
    The Harlot is a lovely girl (I am a few years older and a little taller…I can say girl) with a wicked fast wit even worn out from many cities. The Borders knitting wranglers were caught listening and laughing. The friends and family of knitters were caught with “their listening faces on” (elementary school…gotta get outta there) and enjoying it. I did meet members of CHOKE in the line for coffee between the talk and the signing. They were nice, but they had no idea either…
    Thank you again for coming, Steph. In the area of humor, I only enjoy Robin Williams this much and I’m not sure he knows how to knit.

  29. Ok, so I’m usually jealous of your stash, your knitting skills, your humour, your excuses for knitting rather than doing other things (though I do poach those).
    Now I’m jealous of your wanigan.
    We’re in early spring here, the seedlings are still very small and delicate, even the (give-in-and-bought-from-stores) plants are not not ready. Don’t tease me with your harvestable vegetables, delivered to your door!

  30. You have a service that delivers fresh organic vggies to your house? I am sooooo jealous. Your cab driver may have been right about the Pentagon having twice as many bathrooms and drinking fountains as it needs but the reason would not be that, when it was built in 1941, Virginia required separated facilities for “coloured” and “white” personnel. All Federal Buildings are on federal land, no matter where they are located, & are not subject to local law (altho they may choose to follow it they are not required to). Before I retired, I worked for the federal government in a building owned by the federal government (in Chicago). On a few occasions over the 25 years I worked there, fellow employees committed crimes for which the Chicago PD wanted to arrest them. In order to do so, they had to contact the Federal Protective Service (the federal equivalent of a PD) who would then accompany them into the building & arrest the individual who would then be turned over to the CPD. It is possible, however, that the armed forces followed local requirements in 1941 because they did not wish to offend the locals but they were not required to. Or just because they wanted to – the armed forces were still largely segregated in WWII.

  31. When I walked in to the Borders at 7 p.m., I overheard one of the store employees near the front door saying to another:
    “They’re all over there doing their thing!” and wiggling his fingers in front of him.
    Your demonstration of Irish cottage knitting/production knitting on your sock was humbling. Ah, the difference between professional and hobbyist!
    The bacon of the month club link, for those who are interested:
    I had a blast — it was a great evening. Thanks for coming!

  32. It was so good to see you, Stephanie! I was the “enthusiastic crocheter.” For the record, I knit, too, but had a couple of crochet items with deadlines (sort of). One of which was the hat I made for the event, started the night before and finished there. Made with mill-end gray acrylic yarn. Sorry.
    I love the pictures of us I posted on my blog. Hard to believe we didn’t coordinate our wardrobes!
    Knit on!

  33. Steph, you are the best!! Your charming wit is matched by none. Thank you for coming to our part of the world. Although Melinda, you can put my name down for that charter bus if the Harlot stops in Jersey!

  34. Your house is “trashed” when the people who live there tie a safety line to their waists before they enter so they can find their way back out. If they forget, well, they may just have to learn to hunt the buffalo for survival!

  35. Thanks for leaving your family to come to Seattle! I’m the 9 month pregnant lady who gave you a CD that you’re daughters will probably like.
    Here are some They Might Be Giants Lyrics I thought you would find fitting:
    At the end of the tour
    When the road disappears
    If there’s any more people around
    When the tour runs aground
    And if you’re still around
    Then we’ll meet at the end of the tour
    The engagements are booked through the end of the world
    So we’ll meet at the end of the tour
    And we’re never gonna tour again
    No, we’re never gonna tour again
    Full song here:

  36. Dear Stephanie, See how popular you are!!! Soooo many Knitters!!!
    Please, please could you do a youtube video showing your Irish Cottage Knitting?!?!? We would love to see how you do that!
    Glad you got home all in one piece!!!

  37. Donna, even though buildings on Federal land don’t have to defer to local law, at the time the Pentagon was built, the military itself was still segregated, and local support staff (secretaries, etc.) simply would not have gone to work without segregated facilities. So, in effect, they “had” to build superfluous facilities, even though they are immune to local law. They had to defer both to the segregated military and to the local expectations.
    On the bright side, as divisive as American politics are today, we might soon need separate facilities for Democrats and Republicans.
    You’ll find ME in the bathroom with the greywater system and recycled toilet paper.

  38. “a nasty bonking” in the UK would not have a connection to architecture unless you were staring up at the ceiling and seeing onate plasterwork/cornices whilst thinking of England, Wales or Scotland πŸ™‚
    If said architecture was on a fault-line and the earth kiterally moved for you, THEN it could mean “bad bonking” too.
    Of course, I really knew that such a paragon of knitterly-goodness such as yourself couldn’t have meant what us UK folks might think.

  39. Wow… I wish my building had less than three stories, the Wanigan looks awesome! I used to get the “Good Food Box” when I lived in a college dorm, but you have to order a minimum number of boxes at once to get that. Sigh, I’ll have to keep buying my produce a little at a time!

  40. Thanks for the Wanigan link…they will no doubt be inundated with new Toronto area business, and should therefore be giving you a signing bonus, or at the very least, a big discount. And, of course, adding “yarn harlot” to the drop down list of “where did you learn about Wanigan?”
    Welcome home.

  41. Do you know, Stephanie, that if you try to explain kinnearing to anyone who doesn’t read your blog, (shame on them!) muggle or knitter, they look at you like you’ve completely lost all your dpns. I tried. And laughed wildly at the whole thing as I explained how you kinneared the Greg, and then I realized the glazed look and the other look of concern likely meant that if I kept it up, the guys with the huggy coats would soon arrive! Yikes! And it’s so funny! And such a great word to say, kinnearing. Ah well, people here get it. :O)

  42. You sound exausted! Get some rest and renew! I loved your blog about New Orleans, I think you hit just exactly the right note. My husband works for a company that is headquarted from the big easy and he went there for training in December after Katrina. He was so sad as to the condition of the city. Hey Stephanie, I have a favor to ask, can you check out my blog and tell me what you think of some designs I came up with? I have just finished a couple of patterns and posted the photos to share with anyone who is interested, but I’m inviting you to take a look and let me know what you think. My blog is I would really appreciate it. I know you have gobs of time to do this…

  43. I’m not much of a traveller, having a pretty deep Taproot, but it’s true, one’s own bed-and-bath are always the best. I hope you get to sleep for days and have breakfast in bed! Wanigan, huh? Talk about heavenly…. I thought I was the only one with vast herds of Dust Buffalo; I now seem to have dustkittens too. Thought I saw kittens under the kitchen table, but no–just sheddings from Evangeline & Lilliane (I should be horrified, right?) And SAY! Did I see that there was *another girl named “Dale”* to see you??? I stand astonished! And lastly – talk about a keen Sense of Anticipation: there’s ANOTHER book in the works???

  44. I love Edison’s knitting! Did he really knit it? I have a 3 1/2 year old whom I’ve promised to teach to knit when she turns 4. It’s mainly for my sanity, though. Anyone have luck teaching them younger?
    Anyway, it sounds like your Virginia stop was as exciting as Atlanta (where I saw you). And my son is now nicknamed “Arden.” πŸ™‚

  45. Uh, yes, Virginia was segregated. My father went to segregated schools back in the day and in 1973–, around the time my mom taught there, the Alexandria, VA schools were FINALLY desegregated. Oh, and in “back in the way things were?” My father learned to drive in the Pentagon parking lot, when it was entirely accessible for teenage driving shenanigans… and before 2001, you could wander right up to the gates outside of the White House and look in or go visit the public parts of the Capitol…at least, that’s what I did as a kid. Yup, the Harlot has now visited my hometown! Bailey’s Crossroads is right down the road from Falls Church, VA! Glad to hear your home. Thanks for checking out the U.S. Capitol and environs…from a loveable Virginian.

  46. OOps…that would be “Glad to hear you are (or you’re) home.” How embarrassing that I did that. I’m a writer and former English teacher, too. Ooops.

  47. Thanks for the latest installment of ‘Knit and Run with Stephanie.’ As I’ve mentioned before, it’s a lot of fun to travel with you to places I myself have never been, and vicariously meet so many cool knitters.
    I haven’t been to Washington, DC before, and though I can think of questions I would like to ask the President (or his wife), I am quite sure my questions would be in a different tone than many of your posters. However, precisely because we live in this country of freedom, we are all free to say what we think, and comment on our leaders in whatever way we please, respectfully or not.
    Hope you catch up on your rest, and can bring your own brand of balance back into the chaos of your home!
    ~ Dar

  48. Stephanie, thanks so much for coming to mid-Atlantic region, at long last. It was such a kick to hear you speak. You have the deadpan delivery of an experienced stand-up comedienne, which makes your words really come to life, and I think the muggles of the world don’t know what they’re missing.
    I was so happy to meet you, get my books signed and get a picture with you — thanks for being such a gracious guest in our fair state. I’m so glad you got to hang with Eunny et al., after such a late night of book signing. Here’s hoping that after a few drinks, you guys offered to teach that BeeGee how to knit! πŸ™‚

  49. I’m sitting here brainstorming ways that you could trick Joe and the girls into thinking you’re still out on tour — just long enough to finish the book. So far, my best idea is for you to set up camp down in the basement. Since nobody else goes near Mr. Washie, you’d have a pretty good chance of being left alone.

  50. I love how Edison brought his knitting. My daughter is about his size, and has taken up knitting lately, mostly by nicking my dpn:s and some sock yarn, making a huge knot and claiming she’s making bed socks for herself.

  51. Barry Gibb?!? Hmmm. Speaking of other people named Barry from the 70s: Barry Manilow. Have you seen a pic of him lately? That is one scary Barry.

  52. I feel a bit bad asking, as you are only just home to spend time with your family…
    …but, at risk of asking you to put yourself through the hotels, flights and strange cities mill again (so soon): when do you plan to bring your travelling sock to Europe – when will you come visit us knitters in London?!
    I suspect that we might be able to do a decent job of representing and it would be very cool to hear you speak in person!

  53. Holy crapcycle! That is a very large crowd. My hat’s off to you for having the confidence and courage to repeatedly stand up in front of strangers and speak (I’d rather cut off a digit than talk to more than 5 people at a time). Then again, you are quite witty. Enjoy some time at home with your family.

  54. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever heart DC compared to Vatican City before. I can’t say why, but that really cracks me up.
    Another vote to try and get you to come to Kansas City sometime (we are mostly in Missouri did you know?), would love to meet you! I tried to make it to Wichita, but no luck.

  55. Thanks everyone for the kind comments about the sock. Stephanie’s picture is actually kind to the quasimodo sock. Actually, in person the sock appears to have 3 heels.
    In the sock’s defense, it was made to go over my son’s cast when he had a broken ankle. Since I’ve never seen a pattern for a cast sock I just kept knitting and trying it on him. Without a cast it looks really pathetic. But thanks to the miracles of ribbing when stretched out by the honking huge cast it looked pretty good.
    The second pair turned out pretty wearable despite having one heel ribbed and the other one in stockinette (apparently I can read the same pattern twice and get two different results).
    The third pair is on the needles and I’m hoping for great strides forward.
    Thanks so much for coming Stephanie. It was a great night out and my crocheting friend and I are finally going to make time for me to teach her to knit.
    Kudos to Jayme for whatever she did with Borders. They suddenly got very organized and moved the event to a larger area of the store.

  56. Ask him a few questions, huh? Like, “What are you thinking?” Or, “Are you out of your freaking mind?” Or maybe, “Are you a TOTAL idiot, or just an idiot?” Not that I have strong feelings about our brainless, I mean fearless, leader.

  57. Thanks for coming to the mid-Atlantic! I’m glad I was able to make it. I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats. πŸ™‚ And I met some fabulous local knitters, too!
    Sarah, there with Lara, in the dreamcatcher medallion cardigan

  58. I can’t help but think that after you’ve been to a book store their ‘Knitting Section’ probably improves greatly πŸ˜‰
    Also, could you finaggle one of those internet guys you have to change the setting so I can actually see your whole post in my google reader. It’s a small kindness but I would appreciate it greatly as I usually have at least on small person in my lap and clicking is still at a minimum. The only reason I can type now is that they are trying to kill each other in the living room πŸ˜‰
    Love and Laughter,

  59. Socks and beer are so happy together. . . It was wonderful to meet face to face, and I’m so glad you had a chance to see some of the beauty DC has on display. Next time you’re in town, beg, borrow, or steal some time and/or transportation so you have a chance to see the textile museum. It’s wonderful.

    Come back to Utah sometime…you were a gas last summer :O)

  61. It was such a pleasure to meet you! Thanks again for coming to visit us in VA, and I/we hope you can come again soon!

  62. I’ve been in the Pentagon. From the inside, it just looks like hallways. The truly impressive part, in my opinion, is the quilts. A bunch of people made them after 9/11 and they are very beautiful and moving. So that was me, in the Pentagon, with a bunch of law students led by a very sharp military guy on our way to see Donald Rumsfield (yeah, I know, I rolled my eyes an appropriate amount of times)–“Um, can we slow down so I can get a better look at the piecing on these quilts?”

  63. I so wanted to be there… Had asked off work and everything, but then stuff came up and I had to work anyway.
    So glad you liked the Capital. I think the reason they don’t let people too close to the president, is because he’d have to answer a LOT of questions.
    Glad you’re home. Come back to visit soon!

  64. I know this is totally bad and wrong, and I mean no harm by it, but I totally have a crush on Little Edison. (Yes, I like younger men. Not usually THAT young, but…)

  65. You were fabulous at Borders–your comic timing and delivery are incredible. And your stamina. Let the record show that you didn’t get out of there till nearly midnight (I can vouch for this as the second to last person in line, card number 157) and you still were able to muster the energy to go out for a pint? And in Northern Virginia where practically everyplace locks down by about 10? Wow. No wonder you’re tired.
    Have a great rest and may the writing flow easily. I hope your new book is about CHOKE.

  66. Never ever thought I’d have the pleasure of seeing a Balll-joint-doll on your blog. I love them too. Your site is awesome, glad you had a good time πŸ™‚

  67. So you think the miles and miles of the Pentagon hallways have twice as many bathrooms as necessary? Wanna bet there’s STILL a line outside the ladies’ room?

  68. Edison grabbed my heart…awwwww. Know what? This is astounding that we look forward to and are never disappointed at the hundreds (at each signing and only limited to hundreds by the fact that you have a life to live and can’t stay on the road permanently) of knitters with joyful smiles and sparkling eyes thrilled by the presence of Yarn Harlot. BTW, I am almost finished with my first chil’s sweater and I am simply floating with happy. ME – knitting πŸ™‚
    Thank you Yarn Harlot!

  69. Thanks so much for coming to Virginia! It was great and inspired me to try knitting (again). I’m a crocheter, but went home and pulled out the needles! Enjoying listening to your audiobook on my dreadful commute too.

  70. I wasn’t there in person, but my daughter Laura (a.k.a. Laverne) had you hold the sock she’s making for me, so I’ll always feel the Yarn Harlot mojo when I wear that pair of socks some day!! If you ever hit Columbus, OH, I’ll be there!

  71. Wow. Is it just me – or are the crowds getting larger each time? At this rate, if you kept touring, in a year or two you could fill a stadium. Wait. With enough advance notice, and ride-sharing, your readers could probably figure out how to do that now!
    Ahh, Edison is so cute – his mum must be so proud. And I love Johann’s knitting — anybody know a pattern for that?

  72. Thanks so much for the memories. Reading your books again and again with your voice in my head will be so much fun. Your comedic talents and timing are so good. You could do standup on any subject you chose. We are just very lucky that you came to VA and did it for us!
    –The real Laverne who can’t believe that you never saw your tiptoe socks knit by anyone else! Thanks again.

  73. Thanks for coming so close to North Carolina. If you ever get booked in Raleigh, I can promise a lot of knitters. I drove up to DC and came to see you with my sister-in-law, Lora. We loved meeting you and I think she’s converted. Be it ever so messy, there’s no place like home.

  74. That little Edison was darling! WoW, now that you’ve been in DC (the political cespool of our “great” nation. . . “where’s our health care plan?”–not that I’m bitter or anything) you really need to come back to the midwest (Wisconsin perhaps???).

  75. First it was lust for William Shatner, now it’s excitement over Kinnearing Barry Gibb. You need a rest, dear. Truly.

  76. Barry Gibb. Uh huh. Surrrrrre it was. πŸ˜‰
    Glad you liked DC. It *is* a beautiful city. When the Capitol was built, they set an ordinance stating that no building could be built taller, so no towering skyscrapers. The end result is a very European looking city…lots of great old architecture that stands on its own without being overpowered. All that green space, too. That Olmstead really knew what he was doing. (Except for the traffic circles. He was obviously flippin’ drunk when he drew those in…)

  77. Olmstead? What about that Frenchman who walked out and beloved Benjamin Banniker (whose grandfather was African and/but whose grandmother was Irish. Mother? Somebody help me here…)who was able to reconstruct the plan from having seen it once. (Maybe that accounts for those roundabouts…)

  78. Right you are, Rams. L’Enfant is to be blamed for the traffic pattern. Figures, non? Even back then, they were trying to screw us over πŸ˜‰

  79. Thanks for coming to VA, Stephanie! We had all been waiting and hoping so long and you were everything any of us could have wanted… and more. My non-knitter hubby was laughing so hard that tears were running down his face, even though he probably only got about 2/3 of the jokes. (He’s not quite ready to learn yet, but I’ll wear him down eventually.) Thanks for sharing an evening with us, I know I won’t forget it anytime soon. Knitterly love, Jaclyn (of the first sock brigade).

  80. You know, darlin’, someday you’re going to come to my neck of the woods and I’m gonna Kinnear you on my blog… and then I’m gonna laugh for weeks!!! Looks like a fabulous time… and someday, I too may sport a knitting tattoo… (I need to get the one for my last baby done first:-)

  81. Yeah! I’m glad you came within driving distance of my house. You were amusing and entertaining and super gracious with the millions of us who wanted your attention. So THANK YOU!!!
    I was the Anne wearing the brown alpaca shawl that you asked me if it was from Folk Shawls. I said no, it was my own design but after a little research I realized that the lace pattern I used IS in Folk Shawls on the Scottish Highland Triange shawl. *face palm* You totally know your knitting books way too well. πŸ™‚ Anyway, the OCD part of me just HAD to tell you that since neither of us were incorrect.
    Thanks again for coming to Virginia!

  82. I was in the back for the beginning and end of your visit, as sprite listened, laughed, and hurriedly finished her roll-brim hat for the collection.
    Even as a squib, I enjoyed the description of the non-believers. Lemme tell ‘ya: living with a knitter teaches you a lot about respecting the knitter – a whole lot.
    Thanks for coming! And next time, definitely stop and talk in DC, proper. We don’t bite – really, we don’t!

  83. Do you happen to know what yarn Laverne used for her tiptoe socks? I have been wanting to make them for a long time but can’t find good substitutes for the Regia 4 fadig (since that’s not available)?
    Thanks much!!

  84. Oh, I can so sympathize with coming home to that… I left mine alone for the DAY yesterday, and came home to the announcement that “We played Nintendo for TEN HOURS!” And while unsupervised this morning, the hub decided that peanuts would be a fine breakfast for the five year old.
    I’m starting to panic that I’ll be on a four-day business trip next week.

  85. Wow! Just reading your blog entries made me tired. I feel for you. On one hand, we all want to see you and get to know you personally (which is impossible, but we still dream), on the other hand all this travelling is exhausting. I hope you get a break and some time to yourself to concentrate on your next book, which I, of course, will buy. πŸ™‚ Glad you’re home.

  86. I just wanted to say how much I truly enjoyed hearing you speak & meeting you at Borders/VA. My face actually hurt from smiling & laughing so much. (I’m still smiling/chuckling to myself often, as I recall things that you said, & my daughter’s starting to worry about me!) Experiencing the feeling of knitting community *live* that evening was something else! And while there’s no denying that you’re short in physical stature (sorry!) – especially when you stepped up to the mike after Daniel’s introduction, you stand quite tall in ways that count more in the measure of a person. (I’ve made a list…)
    Anyway, thank you *so* much for visiting our corner of the world.- I look forward to your next book & tour, but get some rest first!
    …Susan of the 1st sock brigade, the Ziplock bags, & the Reston SnB group

  87. Oh Wow. Thank you so so much for coming to see us in VA. I too got lost (briefly) in DC on my way home to MD, but that’s easy to do in DC and why I don’t drive it if I can help it.
    My brain forgot the bit about my first sock how I had to cast it on three times–the first time I was knitting it inside out, the second I did something else screwy, and the third time I got it right-ish.
    The sock you saw me working on at your talk? I realized when I got home that I was doing “make one” wrong (slow learner? That’s me) and had to rip it out again–that means I knit it a third time. So, for me, third time’s the sock! *grin*
    Please do consider Baltimore, Maryland for your book tours as well as the DC area–there are plenty of knitters between the two cities to keep you on one place for more than one night.

  88. I wish I could travel as much as you do, it seems really fun and exciting getting to go to so many places. I’ve been in the US for all but 3 years of my life (that I spent in Canada) and I still haven’t seen all 48 main states yet. =(

  89. It’s always interesting to hear how others perceive our city. I guess there are a lot of eagles around, and lots of large statues of men on horses. Did you see any of those?
    I’ll be in Toronto this weekend, and I’m looking forward to seeing all there is to see there. I hear its a beautiful city, and the yarn shops are to die for. I can’t wait.

  90. Hi!
    DC was laid out by a gentleman whose last name was l’Enfant. I THINK his first name was Pierre.
    He was not trying to play dirty tricks on us. The French (at that time) had a high regard for the US because of our fight for independence. So, he laid out DC just like Paris!
    If you think the French hate us, you need to check out another part of France. In Evereux, they hate EVERYBODY. In Paris, they’re rude, whether they like you or not. Along the English Channel, they adore Americans.
    I’m the one who knitted the coat in the photo. I’ve gone back and put tags (blue coat) on all the posts on my blog ( that I can find with info on it. More photos from Stephanie’s visit to VA will be posted “real soon now” and I’ll take some more detail photos of the coat and put them up.
    If enough people pester me, I could be persuaded to write instructions (maybe).

  91. One more comment on the “plan” for DC. It was actually based on the plan for the palace of Versailles, but with the Capitol (the people’s house) in the place of the chateau.
    Read it in a Smithsonian Magazine once, which I wish I had “liberated” from the waiting room where it was languishing.
    French teacher into history and architecture! (and knitting, of course! I DO have a picture of me doing the Mme DeFarge thing in the Place de la Concorde in Paris)

  92. Rams – L’Enfant is indeed responsible for the circle of his name and all the blessed, bloody others. The state named, numbered and lettered streets make sense, and follow a pattern (as knitters, this we understand) The CIRCLES are like big spots of dropped stitches that you have to follow around until you find a stitch you recognize to pick up.
    And just a teeny little (democratic)reminder for all of those who think some “W” is “our” president…the popular vote didn’t elect him when he ran against Gore, and probably not Kerry either (after two elections with W as a choice, it was all I could do to show up at the polls, but I did…so I’m truly not sure about that one). The electoral college gets to ignore what “we the people of the United States” color in on our little ballot dots. (any questions he would be asked if we did get close enough would be just a little too much for him, so it is a moot point)
    I have a bumpersticker and my daughter has a t-shirt that says “Knitters against Bush…don’t unravel our rights.” Said darling daughter has worn said shirt to her high school, because she is brave even though she figured the first time she would get static and all kind of “grandma” and other CHOKEy comments about it. I told her, being her Mama and much older and wiser, that the shrub would be all she heard about.
    Not a CHOKEy comment heard. Just horror that she doesn’t support himself, the prez. It’s hard being a blue knitter in a red yarn state. “…the president. Pity” That it is, Steph. We’re ready for an anti-CHOKE candidate πŸ˜‰

  93. Are you sure about that?
    I lived outside Paris, and it’s laid out the same as DC.
    I’ve been to Versailles, and that has no similarity I could see to DC or Paris.
    Are you sure?

  94. Capitol = the chateau
    Pennsylvania Avenue = the view through the garden from the Hall of Mirrors
    White House = one of the Trianons
    It’s the reason for the roundabouts and such. They are standing for the circles and avenues in the “hunting park” part of Versailles.
    at least that’s what the premise of the story in Smithsonian was.

  95. So glad you liked our capital city. My husband grew up there, born in 1939 on the 4th of July. For years he thought all the fireworks were for him! I’d also like to ask the current president a few questions, but it might end up in a lot of yelling, on both parts!! I’m so glad you met Michael of Knitting with Balls. He was at Knitting Camp with me this summer and he is a good soul and good knitter!

  96. OH you effing ROCK! BARRY GIBB!!! πŸ˜‰
    (Wonder the differential on the time it takes to get “Kinneared” into Webster’s, eh?)

  97. I work with Laverne, and the yarn she used for the “Tip Toe” socks was Panda Cotton. We were the first ones at the store on Thursday and really enjoyed the whole experience. Steph, you are great!

  98. Barry Gibb eh? I guess the more you travel the more likely you are to run into celebrities…of a type.
    Vickie Howell, Greg Kinnear, Margaret Atwood and now Barry Gibb. Who will be next?

  99. It was great meeting you at the Baileys Borders in VA, especially after the crap day that I had. You might not remember me…I’m the first time Sub. Teacher whose cell phone was stolen by her students. Anywho, thanks for the advice on closing that funky hole at the heel of the sock, that really worried me. Also, I was so glad that you were on Knitty Gritty making socks because the book I had wasn’t clear on the heel flap and turning the heel. If it wasn’t for you, my socks wouldn’t have been good enough for a House Elf:) So, now you are permanently on my DVR for when ever I need a video reference for sock help! πŸ™‚ THANKS A YARN BUNCH!!!:)

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