Putting one sock in front of the other

I think the last time I was this tired, I had a newborn. You will have to forgive me for being a bad blogger and not keeping it together on the posting front, but every time I get more than 20 minutes in one place where I don’t have a job to do, I opt for sleep or food. (Mostly sleep.) Opportunities to blog present themselves in 10 minute intervals (like now, I have 10 minutes before I need to go do an interview) and while I ususally find time to blog in airports while I wait for planes, this morning something came over me and I just ….knit. It was grand. I had a whole hour (you can’t really sleep in an airport) and I watched “Boston Legal” on my laptop and knit. Very restorative, though I have developed a disturbing crush on William Shatner. (It’s probably the exhaustion talking.)

The last time I wrote I had left New Orleans and gotten on a plane or two and headed for Texas. Houston, to be exact, and upon my arrival I (slept) and then staggered off to a spectacular event put together by Eve and Shelley, the fine owners of Twisted Yarns, which is in my humble opinion, a very, very nice yarn shop.


(I bought yarn. I have developed very high resistance to yarn shops – largely promoted by the knowledge that anything I buy I will have to carry for days in a suitcase that’s plenty heavy already. Even so, when that rare beast, a yarn shop that seems to be stocked according to my personal taste appears…I am helpless.) On my way to the yarn shop, having squandered all 2 of my precious sightseeing hours on sleep and basic hygiene, I saw these guys.



Freaky, eh? Who are these little guys? I tried to get a sock picture with them, but they startle easily and are very quick, and I think they were slightly alarmed by all of the sock brandishing. “Slightly alarmed” also describes the hotel staff, watching me sneak ever so quietly and slowly around their garden, camera and sock aloft. I’ve never seen anything like them. The bottom guy had a big red thing that he could blow up under his neck. Totally weird, and worth the trip just to see them.

(Whoops. My 10 minutes are up. I’ll try again when I get back.

Ok. I’m back. Quick but terrifying tv interview where I was attacked wholesale in a makeup booth by a woman who put scary tv makeup on me and then sighed and said ” and WHAT will we do with your HAIR!” and then came at me with aerosol hairspray out of freakin’ nowhere. There was no time to defend myself at all. My hair is immobile now, and sadly, still frizzy. I could have told her there was no point if she had given me time. )

Where was I? Right. Houston.



The event was in a high school next to the store and I had a pretty good time, once I settled in. I had a seriously good time back at the store after the time of my trial. This is Gus and Hannah.


Gus is a serious baby, and is almost unique in the world in that my considerable baby charming skills meant nothing to him. He was totally immune. He liked me, he looked at me intently, but nothing i did…not “ahhh – boo!” (which is very funny to most babies) nor my exceedingly baby amusing fish imitation…nor the big gun…pretending to eat his leg, coaxed a smile out of him. Stoneface. Dude should take up poker. (You know. When he can hold cards.) Witnesses will agree that I went to tremendous lengths, but he is immune.

I found the youngest knitter of the evening,


Tonie, 10 years old and a perfectly competent knitter. We should all be so solid.

Dolores may have had some trouble with gauge:


but prefers to say that “everything is bigger in Texas”. (I love that knitterly denial let her make a pair.)

Zari is knitting an anatomically correct fair isle cuttlefish, which she, naturally is calling “the cuddlefish”. He still needs a siphon and some tentacles.


(No. I didn’t ask her why. Sometimes it’s better not to. )

Teri wants to help me get over my spider thing:


so she made a spider washcloth. (Also soap with plastic spiders imbedded in it. I know where she’s going with it, but even the thought of rubbing pretend spiders on my skin gives me the heebies. Much inner work to be done, apparently.

Freida went the traditional state shape direction….


while Lynn ann made me one with the lone star, and no, I didn’t tell her it was a tremendous co-incidence that Texas was shaped like a star. (I had already gotten the tip off from Freida.)


Cheasty represented for the non-knitters who like me even though they don’t really get all the jokes…


David represented for the male knitters wearing utilikilts and hand knit hose.


(There are more of them than you think)

Amanda proved that my sock recipe works. This is her first sock.


Sara was no end of interesting.


See her hat? She wanted to make a hat with a firm round brim, so she disected an idea organizer and got the plastic ring out if it. Good thinking, eh? She’s also wearing a pretty nifty lace bolero. Now, me and lace boleros are pretty heavy with the “not so much” but I loved the way that the pattern she used handled colour changes.

The thing is knit with three strands of laceweight, and the colours shift by swapping out one of those strands at a time. The first section would be purple/purple/purple, then purple/purple/red, then purple/red/ red……see how that would create the shift? Very cool. The bolero is the The bolero is the Merging Colors Feather & Fan Bolero, in the Caribbean Sunset colorway, from Candace Eisner Strick. (There are tons of cool things on that link) and if you hang out at Sara’s blog, (which I really suggest, should you enjoy tech stuff about knitting) I bet you’ll see the hat pattern up as a freebee sometime soon.

Finally, last but certainly not least,


our Houston hat lady, Emily. (She sells European sock yarn here. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya.)

All in all, a very good time in Texas, I’d love to go back, especially with more time to investigate, though those strange little lizard guys were a high point. There’s nothing like that at home.

PS. I know someone will ask. The yarn I fell for was Jojoland’s Harmony. It’s a laceweight. A very nice all wool effort that changes colour in long swathes…like Noro or the Kauni yarn.


I love it but have no idea what I’ll do with it, maybe this, but really, for this price for 800m/880 yards?


Who cares.

160 thoughts on “Putting one sock in front of the other

  1. For a moment there I thought the hotel staff had inflatable necks. Oops, never mind. I would have bought that yarn too. In fact if you bought only one skein you exhibited remarkable restraint.

  2. Wouldn’t you know, I am going to be in Houston in one week for work. Missed you again (I have also missed you narrowly in Phoenix and Petaluma. Life is unfair.) But I love Twisted Yarns- went there last time I was in Houston and its a great shop and I don’t blame you for falling down, especially for that beautiful lace weight. Hope you get to go home soon!

  3. Ummm, you are in Houston. Did no one warn you that you are *supposed* to have big, inflexible hair in Houston? LOL or was that only in the 80’s?

  4. Love the wool link – especially as the Canadian dollar is AT PAR for the first time in thirty years! Woo Hoo.

  5. Oh! That yarn made me gasp a little, out loud, at my desk. I do not blame you in the slightest for your fall. πŸ™‚

  6. I grew up in Houston/all around TX, and to me those lizards were just a part of life – I’d look up and often hanging on the window screen would be a lizard, blowing his red bubble to attract the lady lizards πŸ˜‰ This is my first time posting – love your writing!

  7. Those are anoles and gekos. They are actually quite harmless. The males stick out the dewlap (red thing under their necks) to attrack mates or to warn you that you are to close and they want to scare you.
    While I cannot speak for everyone, I must say that I enjoyed the evening and will never look at my stash (my kittens) quite the same again.
    I hope the squirrel made it home safely and will not steal any more stuff from you…..
    When you come again, give us more time and we will take to you to a local brewery…..beer and knitting…..who knew….

  8. Oh, you were so close to my hometown where I stalked, and caught, many of those silly lizards as a child. Did one of them change colors for you as well? They act kind of like chameleons, depending on what they are sitting on!
    I lived in Houston for many years as well, but hail from a town not so far away called Texas City. You wouldn’t have liked it there, though, as it is a refinery town. Can you say “What’s that smell?!”
    Thanks for sharing your trip there as it has been several years since I’ve been home!

  9. If the chameleon was showing you his “blanket”, then he was flirting with you. Smart lizard. I missed you last night in Atlanta but have to hoard my leave for hip surgery. Husband has already asked “what yarn will you be packing?” which he learned from this blog. Smart husband.
    Any chance of you ever swinging through Florida…after you get some sleep….maybe next year?

  10. Those little guys on the trees are anoles. Brown ones from what i see. The red thingie is a throat flap. If he was showing it to you he was trying to tough. They also do this thing that looks like they are doing push ups. It is all for show. My Hubby has a green anole and a brown one. The brown ones are prettier (if that is possible for a lizard)
    I love the yarn BTW.

  11. The lizard in the top picture looks like the little blue-belly lizards we have in California. I only see them when it’s hot. My brother used to catch them when we were kids.

  12. It was good to have you here in the great state of Texas. I can’t wait til sock camp. Hope your last day is fun and you have a nice weekend at home.

  13. Delores should send her socks to her favorite NBA player. I bet even his mama didn’t love him enough to knit him a gigantic pair of socks and that they’d be his first pair of handknits.

  14. The thought of you in the chair, and the hairdresser and the can of hairspray – I almost lost it. Good luck getting the hairspray out.
    And that jojoland yarn – never seen it before but now I’m very intrigued….

  15. Lizards are well worth chasing with a camera. Better yet, if you chase them without the camera you can catch them and look at them very closely before setting them free again (or maybe that’s just me).
    I hope you’re getting some sleep somewhere right now! Or have you cast on with that beautiful yarn? (BTW, and on the topic of casting on, you should know that it is due to you that I have cast on for Kauni. Talk about falling down hard!)

  16. I’m almost done with a pair of socks made out of the Harmony. The color change is beautiful. I got it for $6.50, was impossible to resist.

  17. I had some of the Jojoland Rhythym which I used to make two blankets with huge mitered squares. I have some pictures of one on my blog right now & will probably have more of the other blanket soon – I’m knitting the borders right now, also in Rhythym. Anyhow, it gives you an idea of how their yarn will work up.

  18. I just got a twang of homesickness from reading your blog! I am originally from Austin, but I now reside in Chicago. We had those little anole guys everywhere back home, not so much in the great state of Illinois.

  19. Another cool thing about anoles–their tails can break off and grow back. So never pick one up by its tail, because that sucker will snap right off in your hand.
    A young friend once described the throat thing as “the lizard was blowing bubble gum.”

  20. I’ve got some jo-joland sockyarn… I’m just holding it for the day when the world breaks my heart and it’s me and my sock yarn trying to rebuild the universe as it should be.

  21. I want to see the knitter-guy’s kilt hose!! What’s up with that? You’re in the vicinity of a gorgeous guy in a Utilikilt and we don’t get to see LEGS?!
    πŸ˜‰ teehee!

  22. No lizards in Canada? Whodathunkit?
    I recently fell victim to the Jojoland Harmony, myself. Don’t know what I’m going to do with it, but I couldn’t resist!

  23. I am soooooo with you on the spiders. I appreciate their importance in getting rid of other unpleasant creepy crawlies, but I would rather they stay far far away from me. I vacuum up any I find in my apartment.

  24. Brown anoles . . . aka new world chameleons. The one with the throat thing was indeed male and he was trying to scare or seduce you with that charming little display.
    My first anole/lizard was Liz . . . an illegal immigrant who snuck into the Walmart at SquareOne on a ficus benjamina. The ones I “have” now live on the passionflower vine outside my front door and they’re all named Spike.

  25. I’d be afraid of the spider soap. Even though they are plastic, I’d still be afraid they would “come alive” if I touched them. Nice thought, though. πŸ™‚
    I think at least one of the lizzards is a gekko. We have them here in Phoenix. They like to eat crickets, so they are our friends. I wouldn’t touch them, but I’m not afraid of them like spiders.
    Also, I love that yarn. I have some of it too…amazing yardage for the price, same colourway, too. I haven’t figure out what to do with mine either, but I bought two skeins of Lacy Lamb in a soft pink to go along with it in the hopes of combining the two.

  26. Well you may have problems showering with spiders, but one of those cute little lizards you are so fascinated with decided to shower with me one day. I had about the same freak out as you did with the “spider”. They are good guys to have around eat lots of bugs, etc, just not in showers.
    Loved seeing you in N.O.L.A. Come back and visit us again- and give me another excuse to play hooky from 3 boy mommyhood and visit my sis. Loved your comments about the city.

  27. Anoles….that’s what I learned to call them in science class. But while I was growing up (in South Carolina) we always called them skinks. They’re pretty plentiful in the south, and are funny little color-changing critters. Austin Val is quite right about the tails, though. You have to catch them by their little lizard bodies or you are left with a squirming tail and no skink, which is pretty gross.

  28. Horray! Lizards! One of my favorite things about the southern US. I went to college in Houston and have spent the last two years living in North Carolina… and I never get sick of seeing lizards in the wild.
    (And snakes! I saw my first copperhead two weeks ago, which was pretty cool. Snakes are another thing I love about the shouthern US, but I’m betting more people get excited over seeing lizards.)

  29. I am using JoJoLand for the Forest Path Stole. You can see it on my blog. It’s amazing how the color blocks fall in it.
    Love the lizards. Although, around here, we just usually see the blue tail skinks. Not so much the Jurassic Park kind with that neck thing. Yeah I know, so technical.

  30. Steph, if you make that stole bet it will go thru your wedding ring (mine does!)Jojolands yarn is yummy but oh so fine!
    regards Alison (in Aust)

  31. oof, skinks! The little lizards that you seem to love were EVERYWHERE in my childhood. They are pretty but they are poisonous to cats and dogs if they try to nibble, annnnd… their tails fall off at the first sign of any threat. Creepy and squirmy. (Don’t tell anyone, but I love their little red throats, too. They make good use of those in the spring.. ahem ahem.)
    The Harmony yarn is lovely!

  32. There are wee lizards in Hawaii..I saw and photo’d in May and was thrilled.
    Have you tried the Got 2 Be line of products for your hair? There is a curl spray that is NOT crunchy!!! Its in a lime green spray bottle with a blue top. I use it and its the first curl control/enhancer that I have ever found that works. And is not gross and crunchy (yay)or oily. Just if you’re interested. Not that you are not perfect as you are.

  33. My daughter and I both got a kick out of the spider story. Here is my big bug scare:
    The first time I stayed in a hotel in the deep South (Columbus, Georgia to be exact) I stepped into the shower, turned on the water… and a COCKROACH as big as a terrier crawled up out of the drain. I leaped out of the shower and ran out of the room and into the hallway before I remembered I didn’t have so much as a sock on! Lucky for me, it was 7 am and a maid was in the hallway with a cart full of linens. She grabbed a towel for me to wrap up in, and my father returned from getting coffee and took care of the roach for me. No one warned me they grew bugs that big in Georgia!

  34. The bugs were definitely out in force that night. Those lizards do us all a great service by devouring them, albeit a little slowly.
    It was beyond fantastic to see you again! I really hope your agent finds you a gig in Austin or – dare I say it – San Antonio – sometime soon.

  35. I find it strangely comforting that you suffer low resistance in some yarn shops. It makes me so much more human, instead of like some kind of yarn weirdo.
    Besides it’s really very nice yarn and a super price. Now how much did they have left, and do they mail order?

  36. If you took a blog vacation, we’d all still be here when you get back, you know. Call in the guest bloggers and get some rest!
    What is an idea organizer? It’s not that I have no ideas…I’m just horribly disorganized. My daughter wants to be a witch for Halloween. I was fixin’ to make a felted witch hat but was a little turned off by the floppy brims. This seems like the perfect solution.

  37. Anoles (lizards) and Big Hair. Yep, you’re in Houston. Enjoy. It’s like a whole new planet, but they’re nice.

  38. Ok, in my sleep-deprived state (a 2 year old with ear infections is NO FUN!) I totally thought you were saying that one of the hotel staff had the big red thing under his neck!!! I had to read it 3 times before I got that it was the lizard. I think I’m in need of yarn therapy….

  39. Speaking as someone who made my husband a quilted giant squid for our last anniversary, I totally get the knitted cuttlefish.
    Great yarn. I wonder whether they do mail order…

  40. Here in Florida we are filthy with the lizards. We even have a regular that hangs out near our kitchen window that we’ve named… Rick.
    My dog chases them (they’re faster) every day on our walks… they’re fun to have around and good luck, I’ve heard.
    We hypothesize that the poufy throats are some sort of dominant male thing?!

  41. I so share the fear of spider thing!! We allow my hubby to kill them so he can fulfill his “manly” role in our house of females!! I have to say, Spider soap would freak me out so completely I would need to share it with the circular file and then calm myself with some nice soft yarn!

  42. I laughed so hard in Houston at your event, that I thought my drink would come out my nose! In trying to retell some of your stories to my (muggle) husband, he chuckled at me and said, “you sound like me when I try telling you about the newest duck call.”
    The first thing I picked up and petted in Twisted Yarns was that same ball of yarn in the picture…

  43. oh how I miss the chameleons and their complex head bobbing-neck throbbing mating rituals. We don’t have many in NC, not like we did in FL.
    mmmmmmm….laceweight yarn. have you touched the malabrigo laceweight???? I should have let you touch the Fiesta Baby Boom sock last night in Atlanta, but I didn’t want to take any more of your time. There was a long line of VERY NICE knitters behind us. (but seriously, this baby boom is like squoooooshy x 5 billion!!!)

  44. Honey, I wish you had gotten a pic of the actual utilikilt – those things are awesome (but sooooo expensive!) However, I admire a man who will wear one – and let me tell you, the men who have ’em love ’em!

  45. I always laugh when people from out of town make such a big deal about our lizards. But, I guess that they are cool, if you’ve never seen one before…
    When are you coming to the Tampa Bay Area? Lots of knitters. Come in the winter, much better weather!

  46. Oh, boy. Jamie The Wonder Publicist better get you some sleep — quick — because I tell you what. The Shatner-crush? Very bad sign. So very, very bad.

  47. Lizards! How darned cool. Now I want to know what kind they are. Thanks for your trip reports once again, it is so fun to read about knitters in different cities. I would have fallen for that laceweight too. I hope you manage to get some rest and relaxation along the way!

  48. I’m so glad you came to Houston! It was wonderful to see you in person. Some of our lizards are very cool – the bright green ones turn brown when they become angry, and sometimes they bite. They like sugar water, though, and will fall asleep when their bellies are stroked. (We love lizards at my house. They are friends. They eat the plentiful Texas mosquitoes)
    Anyway – I was so excited! It is really kind of you to meet all of us knitters throughout the continent, talk to us and sign our books. (But doesn’t that gal’s Venezia pullover from IK make you want to weep with envy?) Kudos to you, Steph, and once this tour winds down, enjoy some restful knitting.

  49. Cute lizards! Yegawds on the hairspray; what, your hair would change *that* much under TV lights if not sprayed? Now I’m having flashes of an animation of your hair doing a Transformer thing, LOL. And Gus must just be a natural deadpan. He may have a future in comedy. πŸ˜‰ (Is the fish imitation the same as the puffin face?)
    I second Renee the Sequel–ok, that sounds a tad redundant, LOL. It’s about her suggestion, not her, of course; there can only be one Renee the Sequel. But guest bloggers and more sleep while touring sound good to me, especially at the end of a year. It’s not like we’re gonna go anywhere, y’know, and we’d prefer you in an uncollapsed state! Or province.

  50. You did good! I bought Jojoland Harmony at the Quarter Stitch in NOLA, where Dez took you, for $16/skein! I was ripped off big time! Needless to say, I won’t be spending more there.
    By the way, I used it to knit my MS3.

  51. I so enjoyed meeting you last night – you were warm, human and very funny – I love laughing til I have tears coming down! ….and I didn’t get to read your New Orleans post til this morning and it made me tear up, too – what a gift you have to get at just that “thing” that invokes the place…after only a few hours there. I’ve never been to New Orleans, but your description made me think maybe I should go. Thank you!

  52. Twisted Yarns is the best! That’s my favorite place to shop when I’m in H-town. I’m glad that your Houston trip went well. Good luck making it through the rest of the tour!!! =)

  53. Please reassure me that reality has struck and you realize that the whole William Shatner thing is from shear exhaustion…I’m begging!

  54. If you’re “newborn tired,” then Jayme shouldn’t get the socks. Sorry. Not acceptable.
    (And Rams? My intentions are entirely noble. Nothing and no one could make those tiny socks fit my feet.)

  55. Anoles! I love anoles! My mother’s yard and garage are filthy with them (the lizards seem to move into the garage in winter, the clever things) and they’re so cute! And yeah, the throat thing was likely his way of telling you to back off.
    I always loved it when they would hang out on the house cause then they’d be pink! (our house had pinkish bricks)

  56. I can not wait until I can see you in person, I keep missing all your events some how (I live in Oregon), but I love these re-caps, make me feel like I’m in on the fun!

  57. Stephanie – I hate to mention it but did you mean to miss Talk Like A Pirate Day yesterday? (Someone mentioned it at Back to School Night last night at school and I told them, no, they had to be wrong becuase you would have said something……
    But then i checked and it indeed was 9/19. Argghh…….

  58. Anole is pronounced (so far as I have ever heard) Ah-NO-lee. Just for saying. We also have those in Arizona and they are better than the “horny toads” (just lizards with delightful names) who shoot blood at you from their eyeballs when you get to close to them.

  59. Thanks so much for posting during this long book tour. Glad to read you are getting fed and some sleep. I truly appreciate your efforts at blogging and keeping your minions informed in the exhaustion of 5 day 5 city book tour.

  60. I gotta say, I think lizards are way cuter than William Shatner. Because lizards are adorable, and William Shatner? Not so much.

  61. Yesterday’s New Orleans blog was very moving. Thank you for giving that disaster such a wonderful human perspective. How can they still ignore it??
    I think the lizard things may be skinks. At least they are like something called that I saw in Florida.
    A crush on William Shatner?? Dude, you are spending way too much time in airports….

  62. Why can’t I find myself a dude in hand knit hose and a kilt? You meet the coolest people. Maybe I should become your lackey and follow you everywhere you go, picking up shoes, draping you in towels and warding off hairspraying maniacs.
    Another cheer for the dollar at par! You’re a lucky dog to be trolling the US yarn stores at such a time – does customs give you a hassle or do they just wave you through as a weirdo when you start inventorying your stash?

  63. I love the mental image of chasing down anoles, (previously id’d by many a commenter) with socks in progress in one hand, digital camera in the other. The anoles are (literally) thick on the ground here in Miami. Despite being everywhere however, I have yet to get one to hold still for a photo with a sock!

  64. Okay, you can have William Shatner, as long as you leave James Spader alone….
    I have to agree with… someone up above me…. I don’t think Jayme is earning those socks if you’re this tired! :0)

  65. Dude, you’ve got a crush on Elder Statesman(or puffy) Shatner. Not young sexy skinny Capt. Kirk Shatner or Stylin’ 80’s T.J. Hooker Shatner. That’s going boldly where no Harlot has gone before!

  66. Your knitterly public seems to be unanimous on BOTH the lizards (cute) and William Shatner (not so much)! I’m depressed that the one time I was in Houston I saw lots of big hair and the interior of a truly soul-deadening mall (I was at a conference) but no lizards and definitely no gorgeous jojoland yarn. Seems to me Jaime should still get the socks…

  67. My kid bought a pair – anoles, I mean – at King Richard’s Fair in Carver,MA. Within 24 hours I’d spent $100 on an anole habitat with basking rock, astro-turf flooring, and live crickets. They made for interesting pets. Butch, the boy lizard, was always in a big hurry to run away. Liz, the girl, was quiet, tame, and sat on one’s hand happily. Kinda cool, if you don’t mind feeding live baby crickets to small live lizards every week.

  68. Thanks so much for linking to Sara’s blog. I used to check in there but haven’t recently and see there’s lots of good stuff to catch up on.

  69. I grew up in Florida, so I am very familiar with the lizards. (You should see the babies. SO cute. They come from eggs about the size of a pea.) I went to a pet shop in Virginia once, and saw them for sale. I do not remember the price, but I laughed and laughed to see the lizards I could catch at home any day of the year, in a pet shop.

  70. I’m not sure what’s so unusual about lizards. Doesn’t everyone have them on their fence/tree/wall/bathroom floor?
    I actually used to be squeamish about them, until I got a cat. The idea of having to clean up a barfed-up dead lizard motivates me strongly to capture a nice, clean, living lizard and get it out of the house ASAP.

  71. Oh, you’re making me homesick! My immediate family lives in Spring (which is where your talk was, not actually Houston). That high school? It was my middle school when I lived there. Not only are the anoles way cool, but were the tree frogs singing at night? It took me ages to get used to falling asleep without tree frog song … and the idea of a (very attractive) male knitter in a Utilikilt in Spring just makes me quiver.

  72. Lizards? Spiders? Washcloths? Who ARE you people. There was a man. In a utilikilt. Who knit his own kilt hose.
    After clicking onto his blog (Dude – you had to provide a link, didn’t ya?), I might just have to go have a lay down. Roller derby fan? Modelling those kilt hose?
    Um. How far away is Houston?

  73. Lizards are the best thing about the south. I’ve been here two years, and still can’t get over lizards running around my porch.
    Also, hair stuff? If you can find a Sally Beauty, “Noodlehead” is great stuff. They make shampoo, conditioner, and goop, in both spray and creme forms depending on your need for defrizzing, and the strength of your curliness.

  74. It was great having you here with us in Houston! We had such a great time. All that healthy laughter! Hope you get some rest soon.
    You are welcome back here anytime – maybe next time we would have more time to show you around town!
    I loved the New Orleans blog

  75. Yeah, anoles. I remember growing up with anoles. If you grab them right, they’ll open their mouths and you can clip them onto your ears like earings and they’ll hang on. I remember it cracked me up when I first saw anoles for sale in the Petco up here in Boston. It’s like giving someone money for rocks.

  76. I was yearning in your general direction from Austin. (And dude, the big hair thing is DALLAS. Houston has smaller hair but bigger trucks. And yarn stores, apparently.) I loved the serious baby–I had one of those myself. We always said that my older daughter had the best deadpan of any of us.
    I sure wish I could have heard you speak.
    And your N. O. post will stay with me for a long time. Thank you.

  77. 1. I heart lizards, and Stephanie, I’m so glad you do too. We *are* lousy with lizards down here…and that’s a good thing.
    2. I am only too thrilled that Twisted Yarns hosted the whole thing. It really is an awesome store!
    3. Have you tried the Brown Paper Chocolate yet? πŸ™‚
    4. Pardon the shameless self-promotion, but anyone who wants to see another “action shot” of the kilt hose *and* the Utilikilt, and has already swooned at the wearer’s own photos, might want to check out my blog…for a photo from the Houstonian he happened to sit next to during the talk. πŸ˜€ There may also be some gushing. About Stephanie too. πŸ˜‰
    Thanks so much for coming back to Texas…and for making it my home turf this time! My money is on Fort Worth for your next visit – which is best in November…just saying.

  78. Anoles & geckos. (Yes, as in the Geico gecko.) They’re all over the southern US. We had some as pets when I was in college. They eat lots of bugs, so they are very good things to have around.

  79. My husband and I attended your presentation in Houston. We had a great time. I think my husband may now have a little more insight into the mind of a knitter. Today while we were with my daughter at her yarn shop in Katy, another suburb of Houston, my husband actually allowed our granddaughter Rachel (age 7) to teach him to knit. Really!!!! And he bought some yarn to knit the Guidepost Basic Sweater. You may have forced him to renounce his membership in CHOKE.

  80. Big wind resistant hair in Texas? You should have fit right in or you would have if that cliche were true. Is it?
    800m for just under 9 bucks is a steal! I would have bought it too. I also would have no idea what to do with it, but it would have come home with me anyway.
    Cute lizards too. It would be nice to see one of those things not in an terrarium.

  81. er, those lizards? a variety of anole. Totally harmless. Quite cute when they’re bright green and poofing out their ruby necks to bring the gals a-running. But, really, be glad Plum Texan and I didn’t mention the hee-yooge wasp like thing hanging around the light outside the yarn shop door. I don’t think you’d ever want to come back to Texas had you seen it…

  82. Isn’t it amazing how many hair stylists don’t know how to handle curly hair?
    I have to agree that enough fatigue to lead to a crush on William Shatner has to disqualify The Wonder Publicist from receiving the socks.

  83. We have those little lizards here SA, Tx, they are harmless. They have even come in the house while a door has been open for a few minutes. We just scoop them to the door and put them back outside.
    Love all the knitting interest in Houston. πŸ™‚

  84. Slowly but surely the men in my family are being educated – My son came with me to see you in Austin, and my husband actually asked to be allowed to come along the other night when you were in Houston –
    (he often reads your blog and usually asks me what you had to say in the latest posting) –
    We enjoyed you so much – it’s ok to rest now –

  85. you had a man in a kilt and you didn’t get a FULL LENGTH PICTURE!?!?!?!? sigh. what am i going to do with you?
    and that jojoland stuff is gawgeous. if we ever get down to visit my brother-in-law & his wife, i may have to make a side trip to houston.

  86. what i wanted to say…while vacationing in canada last week i took the handspun off the wheel, dipped it in the lake and hung it in a tree to dry.. my daughter(for whom i spun the bunny-buffa-mallow yarn)squeeked…you are not going to hang my yarn in a tree for those crazed canadian squirrels to abscond with…..
    what i said ….uhhh…. hi…. thank you …. uhhh…
    sigh… thanks for a a great evening (virginia) even though i had to rip out three times coz i laughing and nodding too much!!! kathy of the sweet peas

  87. Your talk was so great! I wish all the academic talks I go to could be so good.
    Re: hair, somebody mentioned Noodlehead. That’s what I use, I just shake my hair out after my shower and spread it on lightly. The humidity helps my hair be a little curlier, but otherwise I think our hair is pretty similar.
    It was so nice to meet you! Love, Liz (the one in the Venezia)

  88. I found Jojoland at Stitches West. In a fit of weakness I purchased 4 balls of their yarn. Just a warning, whatever you do, don’t go to their website… there are too many color choices, with your choice of laceweight, fingering and worsted. How can you stop yourself!?

  89. Oh, I’m sorry to hear of your makeup mishaps in Texas. Next time you come to New York, contact me and I’d be happy to do your makeup for appearances – I’ve worked several of the news shows here, and I can definitely do “TV ready but not scary” makeup. And can also recommend a few sane hairdressers. Some with naturally curly hair, so they get it. You know how it is ;>

  90. Oh, didn’t I tell you it’s a fine shop? I tried to get my brother and his wife to bring you life sustaining/ book signing arm strengthening beer but they had “other commitments”. (some people’s priorities are totally skewed)
    Congrats on making it through this leg of the tour!
    Now go drink.

  91. I also bought a few skeins of that JoJoLand online, just for the colors, and was thrilled with the softness when it arrived. Can’t wait to see what you make with it.

  92. I have that yarn! Makes wonderful socks DH likes the muted non girly colors. I also doubled it and made a felted purse. Have a drink on me…you are awesome!

  93. A. I think the “hair spray galore” thing is a Texas thing. Late former governor Ann Richards and writer Molly Ivins both commented on it, along with the fact that most Texan females and quite a few males have “good hair”. Not being into hair products, I wouldn’t know. (although I am a “native daughter of Texas” and have a right to wear a Stetson any time I feel like it, according to a certificate in my possession, I have not actually lived there since I was one year old… a very long time ago… a major portion of a century ago.)
    B. Those little lizards are the cutest things! I have stalked their Eastern cousins on the Outer Banks, where they are exceedingly vocal when they puff up that big red throat pocket and start screaming sweet nothings at all the lady lizards in range.

  94. Texas is Lizardville. We have anole lizards all over our yard. And these little teeny geckos that get in the house. I spend a bit too much time in the summer running around the house putting cups over the geckos and then sliding a piece of paper under the cup so I can put them outside. You can’t pick them up, because their tails fall off (and keep wriggling around on the floor in order to distract predators). They eat mosquitoes, so I want as many of them as possible (the mosquitoes are still winning).

  95. Wow, what a great time we all had, thank you (and Twisted Yarns) sooo much for coming to Houston! My face was hurting from smiling and laughing so much! I brought my friend, who is a brand spanking new knitter, and she is so glad to be a part of this “creepy sub-culture” (is that what you said someone called it?)
    I won two skeins of the Melody Jojoland that night, am trying to find the perfect project on Ravelry. (As it will always be something that reminds me of the time I got to meet you, I don’t want to put it on my feet and wear holes in it, so probably a wrap of some sort.)
    I got a really great picture of you… I’ll send you the link. πŸ™‚
    Go home and rest!

  96. Remember how you talked to me on the phone because I couldn’t come because I had a geology test? Well, I got my score back last night. Out of a potential 125 points, I made. . . (drumroll!) 126. I rock. (pun completely intended)

  97. We have those lizards in our yard, we call them dinosaur lizards and they creep me out. Much prefer the sweet slow green ones. Gorgeous yarn!

  98. It was wonderful to meet you. Thank you for such a fun filled, knitting filled evening.
    I left Twisted Yarns around 10, this is germane to the story, I promise. I live in NW Houston, about 15 miles from the shop. Because I live in one of the less densely populated areas of the city, we have all sorts of wonderful creatures living in and around our house. When I arrived home from seeing you, it was just late enough in the evening that the geckos were out in full force on my garage. There were about 40 different little geckos on my garage. It is really an amazing little ecosystem in my yard. There are teeny tiny geckos, medium sized geckos and very large geckos. As I pulled in, to the driveway and said “hello” to the boys; yes I talk to them; I felt that was the perfect ending to a perfect evening of laughter and knitting. Get some rest!

  99. Those lizards are definitely anoles. I am proud to say that I managed to catch a few in my lifetime. They live in the southeastern U.S. from SE Virginia to TX, and seem to be the most abundant in Florida, where a sea of them seems to part when you walk down the street. My shrubs in New Orleans were full of them. Cute little buggers. If you have the time for some educational videos on them, look up “Anole Alley” on YouTube — the woman films the critters in her yard in Alabama, and narrates with a very lovely southern accent. It’s fascinating!

  100. Steph, my friend, go to Ravelry, LOL cats group, and LOL lizards, you can see one of the dozens that live on my front porch.

  101. Spider washcloth and soap – so appropriate for the approaching Halloweed season! And you’ve developed a crush on Captain Kirk? *giggles* My co-workers (who dislike Trek, for some odd reason) think he’s pretty funny in Boston Legal – playing down to his ‘reputation’ if you will.
    And ooh, another yarn I like. And the pattern is cool too — I don’t usually like shawls, but that one . . .

  102. I keep telling you to come to Florida! Those lizards are everywhere! A dozen must run out of my way each morning as I get into my car. The William Shatner thing, I’m not at all sure about, but I love the yarn. Get some sleep!

  103. We always had anoles in the house growing up. We had one that lived for years in the curtain in our living room. He liked to sleep there in the sun, and he was very efficient on keeping that particular spot free from flies. (There’s no better fly swatter in the world!)
    It was also popular at school to wear a lizard on your shirt as a pin. The lizard would wear a little harness attached to a small leash attached to the pin. He could crawl around your shoulder all day and made for interesting jewelry. (Having one crawl around your shoulder isn’t as disgusting as it sounds.)
    What is disgusting is having one crawl across your dining room table and through your bowl of cereal one morning on a trip to Puerto Rico.

  104. I have that same jojoland yarn and I love it too. I recognised it before I read what it was. I have 10 balls of it that I look at and hug from time to time. Each time I go to use it I chicken out in case I waste it.

  105. I’ve been ogling that JoJoland over at Little Knits. Now that it has you in its clutches so to speak, it that much more enticing. On the other hand…William Shatner? Euuuuw…methinks you really do need a good night’s sleep.

  106. The lizard is probably the Green Anole, commonly called the American Chameleon because it can change from green to brown.
    The red thingie on its throat is a “dewlap.” It’s a guy thing. They probably display it to attract females. (C’mon, admit it, you were a bit attracted to ’em, weren’t you? Of course, it works better on female chameleons.)
    My brother used to study and collect chameleons. That’s how I know about dewlaps.
    When we began going to Florida a few years ago with our little boy, we spotted these lizards all over the place. I wanted him to like them, not fear them, so I told him that spotting a lizard each day brings you good luck. Now, when we go to Florida, we always hope to see a lizard in the early morning so we’re ensured of good luck all day.
    What’s not to like?

  107. Actually, the little boy I mention up there? His father is my husband, not my brother, as it may sound. hee

  108. My friend and I had looked forward to seeing you for a month. I was going to bring delicious local beer. But we both had lousy days and decided we needed to have a glass of wine first. As we cheered each other up, we decided to have another…
    Sorry we missed you! Please come to Houston again soon!

  109. I almost went, but I live in college station. so. yeah, its a long drive, and I’m a grad student. and incredibly lazy. (thus making it difficult to be a grad student, but we’re ignoring that)
    Those are lizards. You catch them, and they try to bite you (but they’re little and it doesn’t hurt), so you can hang them from your ears like earrings. Unless you’re gross, and have them bite your tongue. That is, if you’re 7. Or, you know, bored.
    Also, it occurred to me, I have been there before, and now really wish I had gone.

  110. Hi Yarnharlot – I can’t believe it but I recently went on a vacation to Destin Beach, Florida with my family (3 daughters and we live in Toronto – see the similarity?) and I picked out the EXACT same laceweight and colour that you did. A tad spooky. I love it too!

  111. Laceweight….. *drooooooooooooooooool*
    Seriously O Harlot – if you want to chase lizards up trees, sock in hand – Come to Australia!!
    You can do that here and no one will worry!!!

  112. You know – looking at all these pictures of all these knitters from all these cities…makes me realize that I would LOVE to have a good chinwag and cuppa and finger sandwiches with the WHOLE LOT! Every conceivable sort of human being imaginable, but two things connect us all: the smiles and the knitting. Handsome community, I must say.

  113. I would have been stalking the lizards too. I’ve been known to stalk bumblebees and butterflies all over garden stores.
    The spider soap would get a scream out of me I think. I find most creepy-crawlies fascinating, but spiders completly freak me out. Full on phobia, I realize it’s irrational, but that doesn’t really help. (one crawled across the inside of my windshield the other day, I almost crashed my car. Had to pull over until it crawled over towards the door at which point I could spray it out of the car with my bug spray)

  114. I hope to hell you’re going to let us see a picture of the tv makeup job….if you were accosted before your east coast talk it couldn’t have been too awful. I have an informant who mentioned nothing about pancake make-up OR hair that doesn’t move.
    Hrmmmmmm I am concerned about the Captain Kirk thing though.

  115. Never has there been a clearer cry for help than an admission of a William Shatner crush. I worry for you.
    And my name is on that record of adults who find the fish-face amusing. Right under Rams.

  116. Steph, it was so awesome to see you at the Borders at Bailey’s Crossroads (VA) last night! Now I have the strangest compulsion to buy yarn….
    You looked SOOOOOOOOO tired! I hope you get a chance to get some sleep.

  117. Ah, those lizards bring back fond memories of living in South Florida for three years for graduate school. Coming from the northern part of the US, where the cold winters usually kill off the insects, it was a tad disconcering to find these in my house. I would try to capture them and release them outside – until someone told me they eat the bugs. And I’d rather have these cute little fellas around than spiders or palmetto bugs! Until I lived in the South, I didn’t even realize they made cockroach traps that big (close to 5 inches in diameter)! UGH! Gives me the heebie jeebies just thinking about those nasty bugs.

  118. Eee! I love the yarn. I would have fallen too, and bought more than one to boot.
    (Umm, and yeah, the Shatner thing makes me sad. You are too good for him.)

  119. I just want to tell you that you did not squander your sightseeing time by napping. There really isn’t much to see in Houston. Twisted Yarns would have been the highlight of your day even if you wandered around downtown. Although if you ever get there on a Saturday, the St. Arnold brewery tour is definitely fun.

  120. There are several of those lizards that live in my back yard. They like to hang out on the screen of my bedroom window.
    I understand your facination they are cool. Not as cool as you of course, but cool none the less.

  121. I’m so glad you liked Twisted Yarns; I knew it would be the perfect venue for you to visit. I’m glad you found the Jojoland there too – good stuff!
    Next time you return to Houston, I would be glad to offer to drive you around town so you can see more sights. As you said, a car is essential.
    I’ll let you know when the podcast is live, either this weekend or first part of next week.

  122. I can’t decide if I am more in love with William Shatner or James Spader. I was thrilled when James won the emmy! Neither is particularly “hunky” but to me their wit and charm make me swoon!!!!!!!!! And they are actually in my age group-William even older-which almost never happens on TV.
    Denis Leary (Rescue Me-on FX ) also does it for me!! Does that make me sluty?? I always wanted to be thought sluty if only for a moment.

  123. Ha ha! When I moved to “the south” two years ago, those little lizards captivated my attention as well. But I’ve gotten over it as they are everywhere.
    The only way to make them stay put, I’ve found, is to stay away. Don’t get so close and maybe they will stay put long enough for a photo!

  124. Can I shamelessly bribe you with a few balls of JoJoLand Melody (delicious sock yarn) to put Lincoln,Nebraska on the map for the next book tour? I’ve got 10 of the same colorway in my stash thanks to eBay, and I’m happy to share!
    I missed you in Wichita, much to my dismay, thanks to an essay paper that was due and the 8 hour round-trip drive would have killed all the time needed to write the silly thing.
    And if the sock yarn isn’t enough, the Lincoln Knitters have cute babies for you to play with.

  125. I had four of those “immune” babies and they all have broken out of it to be as silly and giggly as they can be. I tried to tell people at the time it was no use, but they were so sure that they would be the ones able to get that baby to smile. Nope.
    I’m so glad it was you and not me in Houston. I feel about lizards the way you feel about spiders. Probably the only thing I don’t miss about my native state! The only thing that kept me from passing out at the sight of them was the sure knowledge that, if I did, they would certainly run up my pants leg or something equally terrifying.

  126. I heartily beg to differ that there is plenty to see in Houston and local environs…even aside from traffic and heat and yuck. Like great shopping and funky arty districts and unbelievable food options, several yarn shops and a whack of knitters and a few great hideaways in which to knit.
    It may not be every inch a beautiful tourist paradise, but it can be interesting and exciting…with the right tour guides, of course. Stephanie, should you return, I’m sure the Central Houston Stitch ‘n’ Bitch members would be thrilled to show you the good stuff!

  127. I CAN’T Believe you were in HOUSTON! I LIVE here, and I didn’t know you were coming, or I would have come up to see you. ACK. I was out of town later in the week, with a bunch of fiber friends to a gathering we call Art Camp, our 18th annual gathering in the country to make art, bead, knit paint yarns, and ALL THAT. Sigh. I would have loved to turn out and see you. I thought you said you were on your way to Atlanta from NOLA. BTW I thought your post from NOLA was one of the most touching and eloquent things I have seen written about NOLA since Katrina.
    thanks for having the soul of a poet – as well as being a blogger and writer.
    Nancy in HOUSTON

  128. I somehow missed this post the other day — weird work week!
    Today’s Herpetology Lesson:
    The lizard(s) in question are neither geckoes, chameleons, swifts nor skinks, each of which is an entirely different genus. They are Anoles (anolis carolinensis) and they range throughout the southeastern United States. They are usually green but can turn brown at a moment’s notice. The throat fan is displayed by the male, who shows off his red throat and does push-ups to attract females.
    The brown anole (anolis sagrei) is brown all the time and is found only in Florida, nearby vacation-destination islands and pet shops.
    Oh, and they eat spiders, among other things.
    They are dears. I love them.

  129. That yarn! Yep, I’m hooked too. Saw 880 yds in one tidy ball for less than $10 and had to have it too. I have two different colorways. Its sneaky though. I have one that’s red/grey-green on the outide. Picked out a nice lacey shawl for it and what comes out of the middle of it? Lilac! Yep, there’s a few more color surprises in there. Have fun with it!
    Oh, and the lizards are American Anole lizards if they are the same as in Florida. All over the south the ground moves with them. Cats love “playing” with them too. Only thing I miss a bit from FL. The only thing.

  130. I’ve never thought about a utilikilt in the context of knitting. My coworkers who have never seen me in a dress would probably question my identity if it weren’t for those lovely pockets for needles, yarn and knitting notions. Hmmmmm.

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