Early this morning, I got up, made some coffee and sat down to knit and listen to myself on the radio. Well, I can’t make the radio here pick up any FM, so I listened to the radio on the internet, and sat here and knit. Me and the deer.


I told everyone to listen at 7:30, but it turns out that the news is on at 7:30, so I got everyone up 5 minutes earlier than they needed to, which made me feel really guilty, since it’s the weekend and everything. I sat here listening to the news and suddenly realized that my interview was going to follow an item about how the Ontario Government is increasing colorectal cancer testing. In my anxiety ridden state, I started to wonder about how that was going to influence how people thought of me, or knitting. The closer it got to my interview time the more all I could think was “Stop saying rectum! Stop talking about rectums!” I felt awful, and then they said that colorectal cancer is the 2nd leading sort of cancer in Ontario and then I felt much worse because I suddenly realized that all this rectum-colonoscopy talk was clearly life and death and it obviously needs to be mentioned, and probably people are dying because lots of people, not just me, sit around thinking “Stop talking about rectums!” and then, well. It’s not good.

Then I started to worry that after this important item about this important thing, that I was going to sound flip and silly. I began to wonder if people would think I was callous, rambling on and on about knitting when there were people dying. I tried to remember if I’d mentioned colorectal screening. I was pretty sure I hadn’t, although I did think I’d said “arse”. That might help. I cursed. Why hadn’t anyone told me on Thursday morning that there was going to be this news item (I had, in my aforementioned anxiety, forgotten the nature- or even the definition of “news”) I could have at least said something about rectums. I could have suggested knitting to cope with the stress of an impending colonoscopy. Now here I was, going to be all flip and giggly about stupid things.

Giggly? Oh man. I had probably laughed too much, and my laugh is awful. I sound like a horse and I laugh at my own jokes. For crying out loud, this is why I’m a writer. Nobody can hear me laugh. This was going to be disastrous. At least it’s not the newspaper, I thought to myself as my world descended a notch deeper on the freakout scale. At least I can’t be misquoted on the radio. I began to plan how long I could stay here in the woods. Until the outrage over my giggly cancer mocking interview died down at least. Until the publicist stopped hunting me like a wild dog in a sheep pen, until the children could go back to school. I wondered how long it would be before anyone at the CBC would speak to me again. £’∞§!!! I’d probably blown any chance I ever had of charming Rick Mercer at a party. Not that we go to the same parties, but we might have, if I hadn’t of screwed up the entire interview and laughed in the face of COLORECTAL CANCER. What kind of a person am I! What was I thinking! I can’t go on the radio, I can barely get up a road with sled of red wine. Does red wine cause colorectal cancer. Damn. Should I get one one of the screening tests? Can you knit during a colonoscopy? Was there any point in saving myself now that I had offended all of Canada and made everyone hate me, humiliated my children and ended my career with one interview on the CBC?

I started to feel sort of sweaty, and I knit and knit, faster and faster and suddenly they had stopped talking about rectums, and for a second, I thought maybe they would cancel it themselves. That maybe Karen Gordon was sitting in the studio right that minute, listening to the cancer thing and thinking “Holy crap. I can’t put this on now” and then before I could call her and say “Don’t do it, don’t air that interview. I’ve had a moment of remarkable clarity and I can see now that I’m an insensitive raving lunatic.” It was on.

I think it was ok…although I did laugh too much, but I think not so much that I can’t go home. I don’t think I offended any major groups, but I suppose I’ll have to wait to see if the email starts. I have to tell you though, that I’ve totally remembered why I don’t listen to myself on the radio. Raving lunatic. Check.

169 thoughts on “Radiogaga

  1. I didn’t hear it either because, while I was awake, I apparently have the memory capacity of a flea and didn’t remember until well after 7:30. Oh, and as a writer, I totally get the laughing-radio hysteria. I’m sure it was great!

  2. Darn, sorry I missed it. Was up but totally forgot.
    I guess if you feel that way about the radio there’ll be no chance of a podcast then eh?!

  3. Time to let the quiet of the woods seep in and take away the anxiety of urban life and radio interviews. And how is the gauge on the item you were knitting during all of this?!?
    Still envious of your locale right now – and of all the snow you have. A pain to travel through, but so fun to play in. We are in the midst of a Duluth almost-spring: barely above freezing during the day, so the snow melts; well-below freezing at night, so all that water turns to glare ice. Great for getting the sap to run in the trees, dangerous to human navigation, especially for those of us living on the hillsides.
    Plowed out yet?

  4. Chill out. Everyone hates the way they sound when they hear themselves.
    I’ve heard you on podcast and you sound just fine. And have a cute accent. : )

  5. Well,(ominous music), you have reminded me in time. I’m out here in SK, waiting. But the news is still on. Does it reassure you to know there is no mention of rectums on the SK news?
    Well drat, the mind twist necessary to figure out just when I can expect to hear you here is beyond me.
    I will just leave the radio on and hope you will come on some time or other.

  6. I think the timing seems pretty good!
    Serious medical piece followed by serious hobby piece. And the radio station knows what they are doing! It can’t ALL be bad news!
    Is there anywhere online we can listen to it? Your laugh sounds like it would be really fun and contagious!

  7. Can’t EVEN hear you out here in KS, and I think the power of the scary things of the woods took over your psyche this a.m. …. I LOVED listening to your voice @ Wichita, KS last year, and so regret we can’t get the interview here πŸ™‚
    You were responsible for the HAPPY things on the airwaves this a.m., to cheer everyone up after the downer of the cancer talk on the news!
    Enjoy another of your “Walden” escapes!

  8. It’ll alllllll be ooooooookayyyyyy.
    I must say that until you mentioned it, I had not drawn any associations between the colo-rectal cancer testing and your mention of the word “arse”. In fact, the news was at least a welcome diversion from all the chatter about Toronto parking ticketing that they’ve been doing almost 24-7 this week!

  9. So I sit down this morning with a cup of coffee to see if you survived the picking up of provisions from snowbanks, and I’m soon laughing out loud. As if you didn’t see it coming from somewhere around the world, here is a connection between colorectal cancer and knitting (If, on the off chance you might need such a story. Hey, it so could happen.)
    Yes, I knit and had such disease. No, you cannot knit through a colonoscopy – they give you lots of happy drugs. BUT, you can knit through all of the crap leading to surgery, doctor’s appointments, post surgery hospital stays, follow-up visits etc. And when you’re done you can have a huge knitted afgan to keep you warm and cosy. Oh, and I forget to mention, you can have your sanity, too. But only if you knit!

  10. You are *such* a dork.
    Only a dork would worry about whether or not a piece on colo-rectal cancer would affect how people thing of knitters, or you in general.
    And I guess that’s one more reason why we love you. You are a dork, just like us, and you aren’t afraid to show it.
    I hope I can find this as a podcast.

  11. I slept in, so ashamed for my sleeping. I had planned on getting up and making blueberry oatmeal muffins, but instead I slept. Perhaps the teenager is influencing and making me sleep. So now I’m checking CBC to see if I can catch it in another time zone πŸ™‚

  12. Look at it this way. You have so many readers and through this media you have helped spread the word how important this health problem is and proper testing is a must! You have caused many people to “think.” Thank you so much.

  13. Wow, out there in wintery solitude, your mind was OUT of control! We need laughter and knitting AND health information both!
    You could inspire people to knit teeny intestines and wear them on lapels to remind people to get colonoscopies, or something.
    Knit on!

  14. Look at it this way, if there was one knitter out there, waiting for your interview and listening to the piece on colo-rectal cancer, and was prompted to get a colonoscopy, you could have saved life!

  15. I’ll go Joyce Laurie one better — obviously it your dooooty to get a colonoscopy and urge your minions to do likewise. If nothing else, imagine how baffled the number-crunchers would be when the statistics for that year were viewed in the grand scheme of things — “Anomalous dip in incidence in colo-rectal cancer; correlates to incidence of tent worms in Montana, knitting interview on CBC and dust storm on Jupiter. Overall we feel the tent worms have the greatest likelihood of being the precipitating factor…”

  16. Not for nothing….but I knit for an hour prior to going in for the Big C. Thankfully I was at the deep end of conscious sedation during and could only hope to dream about knitting =).

  17. I’ll try to catch the interview on the internet here in Chicago. I’d rather knit than deal with colorectal cancer, trust me I know…pour some more wine and enjoy the snow.

  18. People were probably relieved when you came on and weren’t continuing the discussion of colorectal cancer (an important topic…little heavy for 7:30 am)

  19. I actually have to agree that if more knitters tuned in a bit early and heard the medical discussion, you might have saved a life. It’s actually pretty serious stuff and the testing is relatively easy. When you get a little closer to 50, this will mean more to you.

  20. Stephanie-
    I can answer one, um, burning question here. No, you cannot knit during a colonoscopy. You are drugged to the gills and sleep right through it. They even caution you not to sign any papers or do anything important afterwards because of the possible effects of the anaethesia.
    The mother of one of my friends, when Hilary went to pick her up afterwards, announced happily that she wanted to go out for sticky buns! (I nearly wet my pants when I heard that.) Then they went shoe shopping. The next morning her mother called her in a huff, There are shoes in the back of my car! Why did you leave me alone during the colonoscopy so that you could go shoe shopping by yourself? Mom, go look in your checkbook.
    Whereas I wasn’t fuddled afterwards, but before, from not having anything to eat for 16 hours and having been very thoroughly emptied the day before. When they wheeled me into the room where they do the test, and arranged me on my side with my bum to the fore, as it were, the doctor came in all gowned and gloved and wearing a plastic face mask! I don’t like to think to hard about why that was required. He asked me if I was ready, and just as they started to put me under, I asked him if he didn’t think he ought to at least take me out to dinner first.

  21. No matter how serious, please don’t ask us to have colorectal screenings and email you in place of donating to TSF. I’d really hate to see a bum pictured on your sidebar with a little counter beneath it, with the caption “Knitters Undergoing Colorectal Screening” – and a goal of like 50,000…. πŸ˜›
    Hope you’ve gathered all of your supplies. πŸ™‚

  22. Very funny.
    I love knitting while listening to the radio. It’s better than podcasts, to me, because there’s no pressure, no sense of “Oh I must sit here till this is finished.” I was sitting one evening listening to npr and knitting while hubby was reading a book and I thought, wow, this could be 1928 or 1948. Made me happy.

  23. Here’s a positive word on colonoscopies: I had one because it’s that time of my life (over 50). Believe me the anticipation was worse than the reality. The Happy Drugs are fabulous! I woke up rested & feeling fine! And knowing I had it done has totally lifted a subconscious burden that I hadn’t realized was so heavy.

  24. I suppose I should feel terribly sorry for you and your freakout this morning but you just write about it so beautifully that I’m in stiches. I laughed out loud reading that. Although I know how that can be, since I freak out similarly myself. Just keep knitting, and writing about it and you’ll do fine and make the world a better place πŸ™‚

  25. Reminds me of a joke, where the punchline is:
    …rectum, hell, it killed him.
    (Wrecked him, hell it killed him.) I guess if you have to ‘splain it, it ain’t really funny.
    I’m just sitting here, chortling to myself…

  26. Heard you this a.m. You were great! Thanks for reminding the world that knitting is a joyful,creative and therapeutic activity!

  27. Yesterday Kate and I were at a mall restaurant for a little mid-afternoon pick-me-up of chocolate and coffee. I was knitting because the service was appalling and playing with pointy sticks and wool was soothing my severe annoyance. The waiter (finally) appeared to take our payment (something he’d insisted only he could do several long minutes earlier).
    He saw my knitting and said his mother knitted her whole life. Then, as he cashed us out with the tips in his pocket, he continued. She’d died of lung cancer after not smoking her whole life, and during her last two painful years she pulled out every stitch of everything she still had that she’d ever knitted.
    You never know how cancer and knitting might go together. Either that or he was just trying to redeem himself and boost his tip. Is that too cynical?

  28. Got up early this morning. Heard you while I was grooming the dogs. I left the radio on in the bedroom when I went downstairs to turn on the one there. Hubbie came down, heard the radio and said “oh, you already know” and went back to bed. I asked him later if he listened to any of the interview. He said “Russell Crowe doesn’t knit”. I am afraid I didn’t even realize that the discussion was about rectums before your spot.

  29. Thank you so much for making me laugh again and again. I love your humor and your great outlook on various aspects of life.

  30. Aw, I’m sure it was *great*.
    It’s just the deer and their mind-trick games. Maybe it’s revenge for not being able to break into the wine you abandoned?

  31. Well it really depends on the type of colonscopy you’re going in for. Can you knit while lying on your side while some doctor looks up your pooper w/ a camera? It’s very, very uncomfortable. I cried. There was no anaethesia. If you’re having a more serious one where they really want to explore, they’ll do a conscious sedation where you’re alert, but pretty doped up.
    Is there a pattern out there for a knitted rectum? There probably is. If not maybe you can make one for your next book to ease your guilt about being so flip and silly in the face of colorectal cancer.

  32. I have been lurking for months. I LOVE reading your blog. I don’t knit but hope to. You keep me inspired. ….. I must share with you a pet peeve though. In your last post you wrote “the reason is because”. This is redundant. The correct English is the reason is….. or such and such is because.
    Thank you for letting me share this. I love your writing.

  33. Are you kidding me?! Your laugh is my favorite part of your interviews! When you interviewed with Lion Brand’s Yarn Craft I was completely beside myself with hysterics. It made me a podcast listener for sure.

  34. OOOh. I sincerely had good intentions to get up way early and listen to you… but good intentions and not setting my alarm clock pretty much cancel each other right out. If you get a copy, would you please post it on your site so we can all admire what a flaming lunatic you are?

  35. This might be my favorite post in a long time, only because that is totally how neurotic I am and it feels really nice to know I’m not alone.
    Maybe you could do a charity for colorectal cancer…although I imagine that ribbon pin would be a really ugly color.

  36. It was great, I was up, knitting and drinking coffee and then your interview came on.
    I definitely agree with the “patience because I knit”. Having yarn in my hands has saved many people from a much deserved smack or blast of snarkiness.

  37. Don’t worry so much, dear YarnHarlot. People switch gears quickly and most likely did not curse you because of your non-cancer-concerned gigglyness.

  38. Speaking as the mother of a son that died of cancer, I can assure you cancer patients and their families need a good laugh as often as they can get one. So don’t worry about it. It’s not as if you were talking about knitting spoof rectums out of fun fur, after all.
    But come to think of it, a friend of mine who has breast cancer is knitting boobies for lactation consultants to use in talks. So, you know….lol

  39. I don’t know if you can knit during a colonoscopy, but I knit during my allergy test. There I was, lying on my stomach, naked from the waist up, working on my sock while they pricked my back and put allergens on me. Then the nurse went and brought another nurse in just to make her look at my sock. Um, yeah, hi.
    I’m really impressed you’ve got the deer knitting now.

  40. “Can you knit during a colonoscopy?”
    I don’t think so, but I knitted right up until the moment that they wheeled me into the procedure room. I even took my knitting with me as the nurse said “you might have a few minutes before they start”. Of course, moments after that, the happy drugs were coursing through my veins. I hate to see what I would have knitted if I had been able to pick up my sticks…..
    Wish I have remembered about your radio spot and gotten MY tush out of bed to hear it! I am sure it was wonderful!

  41. One of my knitting buddies has stage 4 colon cancer. Nan loves to laugh. And you know what she does to distract herself? She knits socks for her sister, and watches Elizabeth Zimmerman on DVD. And drinks red wine. You did fine, I’m sure.
    Can I listen to “Fresh Air” On the internet here in the states? I’ll bet I can…Until you mentioned Karen Gordon the other day, I thought Terry Gross WAS “Fresh Air”, ignorant AmeriCentric person that I am. πŸ˜‰
    keep on laughin’, AND purlin’!

  42. Honey I’m sure you were fine.
    Even if I don’t listen to Canadian radio and I’m practically deaf as a door nail.
    (Ducking the dpns aiming for my head right now. :-))

  43. I listened. Not only did I listen, I dashed to the computer clad in my PJ’s at an ungodly hour of the morning, BEFORE DRINKING COFFEE.
    My husband informs me that, only now, is he starting to appreciate the depths of my obsession.
    (P.S. It was worth waking up for.)

  44. Okay…big mistake to take a sip of coffee right before reading “Stop saying rectum! Stop talking about rectums!”
    You make me laugh.
    Thank you!

  45. Ha ha! I just looked at the website to see if I could find your “Fresh Air” interview. It appears we’ll be able to hear it tomorrow, probably, as you can listen to past shows. Coolness.
    Anyway, the “ha ha” part: When I popped over there I got really exicted because there was a little postage stamp size picture of a woman with curly hair, and I thought “look! Stephanie is on the front page even!” And then I looked closer…It was Frances McDormand as “Miss pettigrew.” It was the hair…I assure you! πŸ™‚

  46. Bet if you’d used a good bit of worsted yarn plied around itself a few times, you would have gotten that sled up safely.
    Your laugh isn’t bad. Mine is like a donkey’s bray and just as loud. People just walking in a door who haven’t even laid eyes on me yet, know that I’m there when they heard it.

  47. I worked for a colorectal surgeon for two years. It was a trip. As far as I can tell they, and most of the patients, have a good sense of humour. You have to, if your life is all about ass. But not in a good way. There is a song that CBC pulls out occasionally, something about colo-rectal surgeons toiling in the dark…and it gets worse from there.
    On a less flip note, love the knitting.
    On an even less flip note, has anyone noticed that talking about CBC defaults to radio. If your are talking about CBC TV, it is always qualified as CBC-TV, while the radio is just CBC. What does that say about the quality of the TV or the radio?

  48. Am I the only one that was up at 6? I listened to the whole show and wanted to scream every time Ms Gordon discussed your upcoming spot. She felt obliged to say that even though the thought of interviewing a knitter sounds dull honestly this woman is really interesting and funny. ARRRRGGGHHHHH. Anyways you sounded fine, came across as witty, sophisticated and intelligent and I don’t recall any giggling What threw me was your voice, it sounded totally different than what I had cooked up in my mind but isn’t that always the way. The colorectal thing, dude you were listening to the news it was no big deal that you followed it.

  49. Just so you know… The raving lunatic thing is part of your charm πŸ™‚ That’s one reason (of MANY) that we all like you so much!!!
    The knitting is gorgeous, by the way. I absolutely love that color.
    And how did you get the deer to knit with you? πŸ˜‰

  50. I’m envying you in your hideaway. But I have a question. I’m not finding the Urban Aran pattern anywhere. I reeeeeeallllly want to knit that-yeah-yeah,. Got any ideas? thanks

  51. Is there any way to hear it? I tried to track it down – CBC is not user-friendly for past shows.

  52. Well, your post had me laughing out loud. Hopefully they archive the interview so the sleepy-headed and/or forgetful amongst us can listen later.
    As others have mentioned, no, you can’t knit during a colonoscopy. I was young for getting one, but had some symptoms and an aunt with colon cancer, so there you go. I’d much rather go through a screening test, no matter how wretched the prep (and it was–I prepped until I puked, literally) than treatment for cancer. I read that a colonoscopy is the most reliable screening test for catching any cancer before it starts. My happy drugs left me conscious enough to ask the doctor, when he came in, “You went through how many years of med school? Why on earth did you pick THIS specialty?” before they gave me more and I was out.

  53. NO red wine does not cause colon cancer-red wine is good for you in many ways ,but most importantly, it releases those wonderful endorfens that let us relax and not care so much that the cat just puked on the clean laundry,the son forgot his lunch(again) and that gas costs more than fresh lobster flown in from Boston.
    And, no you can’t knit during the actual colonoscopy(you are out cold and don’t remember a thing)but you can knit while you are waiting and again right after as you eat the cinnamon toast they bring you to munch on. The smell of the toast was so reassuring.
    It actually is a very easy procedure to endure-the prep is the worst, but you can knit as you sit on the pot. I made a sock during the prep,preop and the postop. No big deal-can’t even tell you had one when it is over if you get my drift…..
    I just had a vision of George Constanza from Seinfeld in the episode of the book in the bathroom.giggle…….

  54. “I tried to remember if I’d mentioned colorectal screening. I was pretty sure I hadn’t, although I did think I’d said “arse”. That might help.”
    and that is why i love you so!

  55. I’m sure nobody made the connection but you, and now all those knitters who tuned in to hear your interview know a lot more about colorectal cancer than they used to. You did a good thing, even if you didn’t mean to.
    By the way, the famous colorectal cancer song was done by Bowser and Blue, not only a great comedy singing act but Ontarians as well.
    PS: I’m so jealous of all the people who posted that they were drugged for their colonoscopy. All I got was enough joy juice to drop my blood pressure three points, and I was definitely entirely awake through the whole procedure. It was fast and not that bad at all.

  56. If you could knit during your procedure (which you can’t because you’ve got lots of good drugs wafting in your brain), you’d only get a row done. The procedure is very quick; about 10-15 min on a slow day. As for the ‘Colo-Rectal Cancer’ mentions, it IS Colo-Rectal Awareness Week! Bet ya didn’t know that! The hospital where I work had tables set up in the lobby with lots of preventative information, even colo-rectal surgeons to answer any questions. Thanks for doing your (unintentional) part and promoting Colo-Rectal Cancer Awareness!
    Barb, RN

  57. As the wife of a man with rectal cancer, I say, laughter is the best medicine! It is a crazy embarrassing kind of cancer to have and you just have to accept that it has its funny side.

  58. just drink lots of water get plenty of fiber
    do not take hormones do not breathe the air
    walk many miles sit quiet and omm omm omm
    if you do not get in to a fatal accident
    or the elevator cables do not snap on
    you way down from the operating romm
    you will be just fine-
    i have had breast cancer and fainting
    in a dressing room and breaking myself
    means beware you just never know or
    trying to find any thing in walmart

  59. Perhaps someone with colorectal cancer hear your interview and was uplifted for a moment with the chance to hear something happy? Just a thought–you know, silver lining and all. I’m guessing for you this would be the equivalent of when I have to videotape and critique my teaching. I look like a bird on speed because I have this ridiculous arm thing going on. It’s quite painful. Not to worry, you’ll survive to do another radio interview after the angst with this one wears off.
    Enjoy the woods.

  60. Stephanie, I’ll try to catch your interview online–hope they post it.
    I’m sure your listeners didn’t make any connection between the news item on colonoscopies and your interview. With all the streams of information that come at us from every direction, I think we’re accustomed to just recognizing them as, “Oh, here’s the next thing.”
    Re: the lifesaving potential of hearing the colonoscopy piece before your interview, I think it’s real and you should be glad they ran it when they did, because a lot of new listeners would have tuned in just to hear you.
    Though I live in the U.S., I am fortunate enough to have medical insurance that covers routine screenings after the age of 50. If I’d had to pay the full cost, no doubt I would have put it off until I thought I was “really” at risk, say around age 65, and maybe not then. If I hadn’t begun around age 50, the doctors wouldn’t have found the precancerous polyps (twice in 11 years) and removed them. You can be sure I will continue to be screened regularly.
    So I would say to people who have insurance, what are you waiting for? and to people who don’t have insurance and think they can’t afford it, get screened anyway, because you can’t afford not to.
    I am appalled to hear that people are still undergoing this procedure with no anesthesia or insufficient anesthesia. There is no excuse for the doctors to use outmoded sedation (and if they’re behind the times on anesthesia, they may also be behind on the newest research). There are anesthetics available that put you to sleep instantly and allow you to wake up reasonably clear-headed as soon as they turn it off. True, the prep is not fun, but it’s a lot better than surgery and chemo.
    Please pardon if my tone is preachy–I can’t think of how to make this subject amusing and light-hearted, and felt I needed to talk about it.

  61. Meggles – It’s in the Paton’s Street Smart booklet with the Must Have Cardigan.

  62. um, there are a lot of decaffinated brands on the market that taste just as good as the real thing. i’m just saying.

  63. Is there a way to listen to the interview here in the states after the fact?
    I am in Florida now.

  64. Ok, although I went to’s website, and found Fresh Air, I couldn’t find a Listen Again function–that’s what BBC 7 calls it, anyway.
    Does anyone know the direct spot on the site to which one should go? pamela or anybody?
    Mind you, I did get good recipes for garam masala and the famed Canadian Butter Tarts that I’d read about…now where did I read about them? πŸ˜‰
    Maybe the deer will resent the fact that they couldn’t get into the wine less if you left out a tray of butter tarts for them?

  65. After my 50million year check-up this week, I concur with “reb” above, you absolutely cannot knit during a colonoscopy!
    Although I was asleep at 7:35 this morning, I’m sure you did a great job, and relieved the stress of many people thinking about having to have one of “those”.

  66. I think that laughter after a serious news piece is a good thing. Besides, how many knitters have used knitting to get them through crises, deaths in the family, etc?
    If I don’t eat soon enough in the morning, I get the same way you did this morning–my mind races, I worry about all kinds of things I can do nothing about, and I exhaust myself. Maybe some protein instead of caffeine would be a good idea . . . Support those overworked adrenals of yours. ;o)
    I’m sure you were great–nobody likes the sound of their own voice once it’s recorded (well, nobody normal, at least!).

  67. Being alone out in the wilderness must foster a certain amount of paranoia, but omigosh what a fun read! I was just glad to wake up and find a new post. After Thursday’s last and none on Friday, I was afraid something tragic might have happened on the way down to retrieve the last of your supplies!

  68. It sounds like there’s rather a range of degrees of sedation during a colonoscopy, but I was completely out during mine. One of those disconcerting “missing time” moments–I went from lying on my side in the exam room to waking up in the recovery room with no sensation of time passing in the middle.
    I *did* do an awful lot of knitting during the nasty process of … er … “flushing myself out” the evening before, though, as well as in the waiting room before the test.

  69. Well, you didn’t get *me* up early, since I woke up around 1:40 am PDT, so it was my ‘mid-morning’ when your interview came on. And I’d been listening to the previous half-hour on the internet feed anyway, so no biggie on the colorectal cancer stuff. Besides, you said “arse” twice, so yeah, you did manage a good tie-in.
    And you sounded fantastic. You were making a point about not all of us being grannies, weren’t you? Which you did quite nicely, along with mention of knitting only using two pieces of code, how it helps develop patience, and how mistakes can be fixed much more easily than in other situations. Personally, I love your laugh. It makes me giggle along with you. This is a bad thing? No. On top of all that, you even sounded more together than Karen Gordon did; a couple of her questions were rather fragmented. Maybe because you were amusing her. πŸ˜‰ Good job!

  70. If you want a chance to go to the same party as Rick Mercer, he’ll be up here in Inuvik this June for the petroleum show πŸ™‚ Just sayin’ πŸ™‚
    And you definitely can’t knit during a colonoscopy, they knock you out. You don’t even feel like knitting 24 hours prior to it either due to the horrible prep you need to do (and then the next day you’re suffering from lack of sleep, dehydration and a painful IV).
    I took my knitting with me because I had a 3Β½ hour wait at the hospital before I had it done but I was in NO mood to knit. All I wanted was sleep and some food (and the damn IV out of my hand).

  71. How perfect. I’m at the age at which the pundits tell you a thinking person has already scheduled the colonoscopy. So yesterday I finally put on my big-girl pants and called to do that. The receptionist asked, ‘did your primary care provider refer you? did your primary care provider suggest this? are you having problems? Why do you want this?’ Me: ‘I READ, ok? I get my mammograms, I take my vitamins….I don’t actually WANT a colonoscopy.’ Hmmmm. Access to care can be complicated for many layered reasons more subtle than those revealed by Michael Moore. I am going to knit for a while and remind myself that I need to not be dissuaded by a confused receptionist, even though any small excuse to continue to put this off sounds decent. It’s true. Your comments on your blog were not only delightfully funny; also another little nudge toward personal responsibility!

  72. Hey, I talk about rectums all the time. Pretty much nonstop.
    But then, I have a five-year-old.

  73. And now you’ll spend the day shoveling snow, making a trip or two to retrieve stuff, and cogitating before you sit down to write an essay or two for the book. Will you use ‘arse’ more, substitute rectum, or work colonoscopies into the writing?
    Apparently, you have yet to go through the prep. The procedure is a snap after that. Unless you have a family history, you have ten years before you need to schedule one.
    I didn’t have a long enough wait before my colonoscopy to get my knitting out, but I’d arranged downtime that day and the next for plenty since I had the full-blown, knock-me-out version. I’m a wussy former nurse so know how to play the angles.
    Most of my medical knitting in the last couple of years has been while waiting for my husband to be seen in the ER or having a proceedure. I’d think colonoscopies would lend themselves better to knitting humor than kidney stones. Something like don’t knit a stitch pattern with a long repeat while going through the day-before cleansing prep. You’ll need to put the knitting down a lot.
    There was some stuff in the news this week about gene markers and survival rates for colon cancer, FYI. Or do you want to spend your seclusion week learning more than you ever wanted to know about your colon?

  74. You would only be considered a raving lunatic if you were trying to convince the deer to have a colonoscopy.

  75. Too funny! My first job had me doing NOAA Weaher Radio. I sounded like a 12 year old. No one likes their own voice. Stephanie, you are a great speaker in person! I saw you in Anchorage last summer. (Please come back to Alaska when you have a chance and visit Fairbanks.) Just last night I repeated what you said about knitters, donations and understanding that one small act repeated over and over can create something beautiful (or something like that) You are not flip and silly!!! Well, maybe you are, but you are also profound and inspitational and not just for the knitting. Take a look at the Knitters Without Boarders total the next time you are worried about rectums.
    My sister sent me this.
    very silly and fun.

  76. I just checked the CBC site. They don’t appear to podcast Fresh Air. But yesterday’s Listener’s Choice repeat podcast was one on a woman who used cancer humor to get through the illness of a family member.

  77. Nita at 9:59 – gosh, a new use for i-cord – tiny symbolic colons. But all the colors are taken by other “ribbon”-wearing causes, you’d have to have a written tag.

  78. I am sitting across the kitchen from my husband as I am reading this post and the tears of laughter are rolling down my face. You are TOO much! Thanks for the great stories.

  79. You’re forgetting one of the best things one can do when one has an awful illness like colorectal cancer: laugh! Laughter is healing, and even if it doesn’t make the sickness go away, it sure makes the time pass better when one is sick (we laughed a lot when my grandmother was dying of colon cancer and it was good). So, in fact, rather than being seen as one who is callous, etc., etc., you could be seen as a healer!

  80. After reading all the comments, it amazes me how many of your blog readers actually managed to get “happy juice” for their colonoscopies. I had my first one about 5 years ago. Here in the colonies (grin) we don’t have socialized medicine, but we do have freakin’ penny-pinching HMOs. My HMO doesn’t believe drugs are necessary for a little procedure like this. They said I would experience “mild discomfort”. HAH!! The good news? I passed and don’t have to go back for another 10 years. Then I’m DEMANDING the happy juice.

  81. I checked the CBC last night and it seemed like “FreshAir” was going to be on FM which I then
    listened to at 7:30 but various tangos etc. were being played. I then switched to AM and probably
    missed about 4 minutes of your interview. Actually
    I don’t recall that you laughed at all, but if you did, you should realize that you have an infectious laugh. And when we “catch” your laugh and we laugh too, it’s a gift we can all enjoy.
    It was an interesting interview with many facets and parts to it, which was really stimulating that early in the morning. Congratulations!!
    (and, by the way, evict those censors in your head, unless they’re paying rent, in which case, collect the rent but don’t listen to them. They are no fun at all!!)
    Marlyce, in Windsor, Ontario

  82. You were amazing. I was lying in bed not wanting to get up because of a horrible headache and by the time you were done it was almost gone. So there- a headache cure.
    I laughed when you talked about us knitters needing knitting to teach us to be calm- can’t just sit and do nothing for sure.
    My dental hygenist lost a needle on a car trip last year and was so desperate, bought some skewers so she could finish her sock.
    I’m one of theose knitting Nana’s and hope I never stop.

  83. Trade you your nervousness for my meet the mother of my future daughter in law. We will both have done just fine by the time it’s all over.

  84. Missed it, slept right through, I’ll have to search.
    Did you really say arse? or was that just paranoia setting in?

  85. Pretty sure you can’t knit your way through a colonoscopy. Seems they want to be the only ones with anything resembling a pointy object while they are tending to you, for obvious reasons. Now, off to go look for that interview on the net, since I live in the States.

  86. People usually sleep through a colonoscopy, so I don’t think knitting is an option. It would help reduce the tension the night before, though. πŸ™‚

  87. Glad you got to the cabin with the “most” important stuff!!!! Have a great week up there with the deer

  88. Check out Dave Barry, humor columnist at the Miami (Florida) Herald newspaper, for his observations on having a colonoscopy. A roaringly funny column with a serious message, it will have anyone who has ever had a colonoscopy crying with laughter. You can still find it on-line at the Miami Herald’s website–the column was orginally printed in February of this year.
    While sitting on my toilet for the hundredth time this past January while doing my cleaning out preparations,for my first colonoscopy, and knitting while doing so, I came to the realization that while I wasn’t fortunate enough to be socializing at a Stitch ‘N Bitch right then, I was having my own personal
    Shit ‘N Knit. Nuf said.

  89. does anyone know how to find this interview on the internet to listen to it? would appreciate any tech help you can provide! went to already, but to no avail! thanks!

  90. Hey, The Captain, I laughed out loud when I read your alternative to Stitch ‘N Bitch!! Stephanie, just wanted to let you know I pre-ordered your book at, so now you have to finish writing it. Boy, Amazon doesn’t waste any time promoting your book; the manuscript isn’t even finished, and they’re taking orders. Have fun, and I hope the snow plow comes through for you in time for Joe to pick you up.

  91. I was watching Martha Stewart the other day because, while flipping past, I heard ‘knitting’.
    She should have had you on, Steph. I don’t know that she understands the difference between knitting and ‘fiber crafts’ as she spent the hour talking about crochet and then making little felt animals. Very weird… even tho everyone in the audience was knitting.
    I sent her an email telling her she should have you on the next knitting show.
    If I’d have known how much you were going to freak out about a radio interview, tho, I’d have never done that to you. So if you get a call from Martha Stewart, I’m very sorry.

  92. I’m wondering if some in the comments above are confusing a sigmoidoscopy with a colonoscopy. You’re awake during a sigmoidoscopy, but asleep during a colonoscopy (at least that’s the way they do it here in Texas).
    I’m a prime example of why people should have colonoscopies once they reach age 50 (or earlier if there is family history of colon cancer). I had no symptoms whatsoever and no family history, but my PCP discovered, during a routine annual physical, that I was bleeding internally. I had a sigmoidoscopy, then a colonoscopy, which revealed pre-cancerous polyps that were removed, and I have to have colonoscopies every three years for the rest of my life.
    Colonoscopies are painless; one minute the doctor and his assistants are joking with you in the procedure room, and the next minute you’re in a recovery room with a nurse asking if you would like to get dressed so that you can go home. You have no memory of anything in between, and you feel great. It’s as easy as that. For the rest of the day you’re not allowed to drive (as you might not remember that there are other cars on the street, or your way home!), you’re not allowed to cook (as you might forget that you left a burner on), and Stephanie, you probably shouldn’t have any radio interviews (as you might forget that you’re not supposed to say “arse”!).
    Mary G. in Texas

  93. LOL!!! a million times over! I’m back online after being sidelined by the flu and all the laughs were sorely needed. Thanks everyone (especially The Captain!). Stephanie, I hope the plow shows up soon. Wish I could have heard the interview.

  94. I had to stand right next to the radio to hear because my kids get up quite early and well, that CBC Fresh Air Gordon woman is a somewhat incompetent newby substitute host and completely flying by the seat of her pants so that’s why we didn’t get anything out of you more than “knitting is interesting, yes nanas knit and no knitting is not boring”. I wanted to hear amusing stories about knitting during TSA security screening, hair vs. humidity, packed out wacked out book tour events, lost pants and the ever present wool closet.
    The real Fresh Air host wouldn’t have batted an eye at a knitter. He’s basically talked to everyone in the entire country at some point. Tom Allen’s been on the air for 100 years in that early early time slot. Next time hold out for the professional. I’m mulling over my complaint to CBC Radio. That interviewer needs a lesson in background research. You sounded great though especially when you said ‘arse’ the first time. Hah.

  95. Stephanie, you were charming, as usual. I was listening to you while I was preparing for my classical guitar lesson (53 years old and studying for less than a year!)and I liked the part in the interview where you pointed out that beginners generally suck at anything they do – even knitting. We need to persevere to get better. So true.

  96. I would have SO listened, if I’d remembered to write it down on the calendar. And then, of course, remembered to look at the calendar early in the morning before my second cup of coffee. I’m sure you were just fine. Better than fine. And with the number of people who read your blog, you have also done a great service for colo-rectal screening and cancer screening in general. You Did Good. Now back to the knitting (ooops – writing……).

  97. You were terrific this morning, I missed the colonoscopy piece. I was interested to hear your comment about the demographics of a knitter…that there weren’t any. Its nice to know that we are all part of this sometimes secret society that undermines everything that people are lead to believe. Knitters are proof that we can still make our own stuff, its not really that hard, some knitters actually can make their own yarn and some knitters can raise the sheep/alpaca/bunny that makes the fibre that makes the yarn.
    Thank you for giving us the recognition we deserve!

  98. No, you can’t knit during a colonoscopy. They give you this sedative that makes you relax (REALLY relax) and when they are done you have NO idea what they did and everyone is nice and you feel so happy and relaxed and wouldn’t mind at all if they did it again only give you that really nice stuff that makes you SOOO relaxed, so NO, you do NOT want to knit because it would probably come out looking like sorta psychedelic…

  99. Stephanie, did you notice that in all that writing about rectums you neglected to describe to your dear readers the beautiful WIP in your picture?

  100. Is this going to be available as a podcast for those of us in the States who missed it?? I’ve looked all over the website and can’t find it. Of course, that probably means it’s a big red and white button at the top of the page. The internet scares me.

  101. I was pretty sure I hadn’t, although I did think I’d said “arse”. That might help.
    Steph, steph, steph…I was having a really, really shitty week (can I say that on your blog?) and this one stmt of the whole blog piece sent me into gales of much needed laughter and insight.
    Thank you for being you babe

  102. Don’t worry Stephanie. I laughed all through my wedding ceremony. I still suprised my husband didn’t just walk away then.

  103. I do not have Colorectal Cancer, but I do have a raging case of Crohns Disease. Same department.
    Trust me, when I am desperately ill and even hospitalized, after I am done with the parade of doctors discussing my Colon and my Rectum with me, the only thing I want to do (other than sleep) is knit.
    Rock on Sister!

  104. No, you can’t knit during a colonoscopy; they knock you out for it. But you can knit before, and you can knit some more after the nap you take once you get home. And knitting is wonderfully calming while you’re drinking the bug juice that cleans you out so that they can perform the procedure. Just remember that if you find yourself being sick at both ends, to fling the knitting far out of harm’s way.

  105. Man, I wish I would have gotten my arse out of bed (but it would have been at 6:30, not happening) to listen to you! I bet you were fantastic πŸ™‚

  106. Oh, Steph, you always make me laugh… and sometimes cry, too.
    Today you were inadvertently so on-topic for me with your comments about colorectal cancer. My cousin Andrew, now 30, has been living with colorectal cancer for the past three years. When he was diagnosed at age 27, he was given three months or less to live.
    Our brave, strong guy is still fighting the good fight, after almost 40 rounds of chemotherapy. Although he’s not yet cancer-free, he’s about to embark on a 140-mile hike along the Appalachian trail to mark the three-year anniversary of his diagnosis and to raise funds for the Colon Cancer Alliance.
    He’s put together a website, at to help raise awareness and spread information about screening and symptoms. It also tells some of the story of his difficult journey. But Steph, I bet with your ramblings you’ve reached so many more people and done even more to raise awareness and bring the issue to people’s minds.
    So thanks, even though it wasn’t your goal, for helping get the word out. If you read this, please think some good thoughts for Andrew and wish him luck on his journey.

  107. Heh. You loon.
    I’ve never been on the radio, although I’ve done a podcast. I’ve never listened to it. I am pretty sure I sound like a drunk hamster.

  108. I can tell you from experience that you cannot knit during a colonoscopy. Maybe during a sigmoidoscopy but you’re lying on one of your arms so your knitting will be be kind of wonky.

  109. When I was “doing” chemo for BC a couple of years ago it was ONLY knitting, knitters, yarn chit-chat that was worth working on. MY DH was a dear, but it was knitting that helped me move forward. EVERYBIT as important as rectums and arses.

  110. Whoops – Fresh Air is hosted now Jeff Goodes not Tim Allen, apparently I’m 100 years old and flying by the seat of my pants too. Didn’t do my research! She’s also on this AM blanking out on live air, giving out the wrong information and laughing at nothing. Fun Times! Too bad you aren’t on every morning!

  111. Well, I remember why you write. Because you’re writing is hysterical. So please, keep on writing. And I’m sure your interview was fine, although I’d rather crawl into a hole than hear myself on the radio. Eeek.

  112. I know this has nothing to do about the blog you wrote, but I just wanted to know if you wore the socks with all the leaves out anywhere yet. Or if you found a creative way to wear them. Just curious.

  113. Tell me you didn’t attempt such feats without large amounts of coffee, wine, or a net! πŸ™‚
    No matter how it went, I bet people were squirming a lot less during your interview than during the colon cancer one–that should count for something!

  114. I think you are exactly what people would enjoy after hearing about colorectal cancer. Laughter and info on a lovely craft that can take the mind off the unpleasant stuff. So glad that you did the interview………..and honey, no you can’t knit during a colonoscopy πŸ™‚

  115. Paranoia. Plain and simple. My take is that most people LIKE to have their radio topics mixed between the ultra-serious and the not-so-ultra-serious. You did fine, I’m sure.

  116. Just for the sake of clarity, they don’t actually knock you out. You’re given a hyper-relaxer and that thingy (nurses? help me out here?) which is an amnesiac — you forget what happened (see above post about shoe shopping) even though you were awake. And you keep forgetting for the next hour. Creeped my husband right out, like his life was being erased behind him — but much safer than general anaesthesia.

  117. Just think, someone who got up early to hear you might have heard the colorectal cancer screening thing and had a colonoscopy because of it. You may have saved a life!

  118. I think “stop talking about rectums” should be a new catch phrase. I should knit a pair of panties with “stop talking about rectums” along the band….. heehee. Thanks for the laugh! IT was a long day at work, I really needed it. =^)

  119. Maybe the title for this post should have been Radiocaca.
    Didn’t know there was an Urban Dictionary for slang. I just looked up caca (to make sure I wasn’t crazy) and look what I found! Made me laugh.
    Oh – I didn’t meant to say your interview was caca – just the part BEFORE your interview was about that end of things. πŸ™‚

  120. Yikes – hearing yourself on the radio is really scary. Who does everyone else have nice voices and your own is really scary and shrill? Oh, I wish I knew, because then I’d change mine for someone elses, someone who never appears on the radio and hence doesn’t have to listen to themselves!
    As for the rectum thing and the red wine. I reckon red wine is good for every disease – including rectum ones.

  121. Radio Ga Ga! One of my FAVORITE Queen songs!! Have a great Sunday! I enjoyed you very much when you were in Wichita, Ks. And, it was so cool you said the moms of small kiddo’s could cut in line if we needed to rush home! That was sweet! I did have a wee one at home with dad and he gets mighty anxious that he can’t nurse the little fellow! πŸ˜‰

  122. It is good that people talk about colo-rectal cancer and screening. We all need to be more aware of it and the screening for it. I ended up having my colonoscopy after a routine female exam found something. ( I had no symptoms and am under age 50.) Knitting allows me to find my center now as I deal with colo-rectal cancer and its treatments. If you can’t laugh about it sometimes what can you do. Just go on being who and what you are.

  123. Okay…if nothing else, all of the comments from folks who’ve had their drains snaked are making me feel not so alone… and I tried to knit during the aforementioned drain-snaking…I got in a couple of rows while I was waiting for my husband to come pick me up, but once they put that loopy-mint-flavored-wonderland-tab under my tongue, there really wasn’t much point in holding the needles… I wish I could have heard your interview…and I’m sure your laugh would have made the drain-snaking far more tolerable. (If nothing else, if I’d heard ANYONE laughing during the prep session the day before, I probably would have been a happier camper!)

  124. Hey Steph, I’m taking a break here at work during a 7pm to 7am shift at the hospital. I read your blog to get my mind off the people here who are stressing over the impending colonoscopies and such. Thanks. Maybe I should have spent my 30 minutes knitting instead. You did make me smile.

  125. Ahh, I missed your interview. At that time I would have been on the train coming back from a day trip to Seoul. I’m sure your inerview was great though :o).

  126. I did what I always do in the morning, turn on the cbc and listen in half-sleep for a few minutes. It totally surprised me to hear your voice (sleepy brain didn’t remember that you told us you’d be on the radio).
    You sounded great. I giggled when you said arse.
    You may have recruited another knitter (the host) and for me at least all those knitting lessons you spoke of came in mighty handy when Dad had colorectal cancer.
    Those lessons will also be mighty handy when we all get colonoscopies too.
    Can’t wait to read your book.

  127. The doctors give colonoscopy patients drugs which relax and give them short term amnesia so although I don’t remember my test, I’m pretty sure I was too out of it to knit. But then you are the Yarn Harlot. You can do anything as you proved last week in getting to the cabin with brawn and brain. If anyone can knit through a colonoscopy, you can!

  128. DARN! I have to write a story for my class so I can’t take time right now to read all the comments (that’ll be my next tea break) BUT — GOOD NEWS, WORLD: There is available, NOW, (and here in the States it’s covered by insurance) a “virtual colonoscopy”! It’s like an MRI, sort of — you still have to deal with the yucchy cleaning-out part (sorry, to those of Delicate Sensibilities) but it takes about 20 min. and requires NO ANAESTHETIC!! When you’re done you can go back to work or go home (I’d vote for home even if you feel fine; the indiginity of the whole idea earns you a day off). But other than having your tubes inflated like circus balloons, which makes for an interesting afternoon, it really is not bad!! And it IS a good idea, ladies and gentleman, sad but true. And you can’t knit during as you’re still lying on your side, but you can knit afters for sure, and it’s very short. Just sayin’. My tea break’s over; I’m going to see if I can hear the radio program on the website. (Plans are being made for your visit here next month, by the way…….)

  129. Still hoping someone can find the podcast so the rest of us can hear Stephanie say “arse.”

  130. I am reading an entertaining knitting blog and find myself wondering if the plural would actually be, ‘recta’. Can one get more anal than that?

  131. Ohyeah, being out in the woods all alone means monkey mind on overdrive! Perhaps they heard you say “arse” and decided on a theme for the morning?

  132. Hey! I’m knitting myself the Must Have Cardigan from that same book. Your Must Have Cardigan inspired me. πŸ™‚ I also like the way you’re splitting the front of the Urban Aran so it can be a cardigan.
    When you’re in Carmel, IN on April 29, I highly recommend you try the Romano’s Macaroni Grill (google it) for outstanding Italian food. They serve the chianti by the tumblerful and the pasta dishes are awesome. They even have a ‘create your own entree’ pasta menu.

  133. is it bad to be relieved that some one has odder and more intense anxiety attacks than I do? Some how I feel a bit less odd for worrying about things.

  134. How perfect is the timing on this. I just had a colonoscopy last week! I can tell you that, no, you cannot knit during it. Fortunately, they knock you out completely (at least they do here, thank the Lord!). However, the Fair Isle that you do when you think the anesthesia has worn off, but really it hasn’t is very interesting. I only had to rip out three rows. πŸ™‚

  135. Loved the interview… and after reading your blog for years, I was shocked (shocked!) to hear your voice. Don’t take this the wrong way, but you sounded so grounded and …. well.. calm! Your writing voice is much more manic. Now I have to reconcile the voice I assign to you when I read your blog with your real voice, but what a pleasant surprise πŸ™‚

  136. I don’t believe you can knit during a colonoscopy, but you can get hours of knitting done during your husband’s colonoscopy. I did. (Everything was fine.)

  137. I’m listening to your radio interview right now on the web and I think you have a really nice voice. And a great laugh!

  138. I never get up that early, sadly. I am a slug-abed. You, however, are a strong, fit, knitting, blogging, giggling wonder. I am impressed that you would sit in the woods and be concerned about your public caring about whether you seemed uncaring because you didn’t mention colo-rectal screening.
    Tell you what–go have a c-r scan and write about it in the blog and we will all feel proud of you. Your blog today probably will inspire someone to get screened and you may save a life or two.Have the c-r scan, write about it and probably save several….

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