Philadelphia and a scarf

I’m Canadian, and I’ve always lived here, and I’m a product of the Canadian school system. This means that most of the history I learned in school was Canadian history, and there is much that I don’t know about American history. (I have forgiven myself for not knowing much American history, because I think that after all this travel I have likely got more American information under my belt than most Americans have Canadian history.) What I do have, or what I did learn, is all of the Big Things. The American Revolution, The Declaration of Independence, the Liberty Bell, Betsey Ross… and so much of all of that, my tiny vault of American History, is housed in Philadelphia that just being in this city makes me feel like I’m in a really historic and interesting place…which, of course, I am.


I love city hall. (I especially love the clock tower and the way it looks like the source of the Batsignal.)


I really, really love the way that every time I say how much I love that bat, that Juno exclaims “IT’S AN EAGLE”. (For the record, I know it’s an eagle, but you can’t deny it’s very bat-esque from that angle.) I was in town to go to the Philadelphia Book Fair, and despite the rain (that was a total bummer) and the difficulty getting to the event (a bunch of roads were closed) Philly knitters showed up with glowing enthusiasm.


It was actually sort of fun to watch, which is always is when knitters mix with the non-knitting in droves. The talk was in this space, but the signing was upstairs in a hall, and as knitters do have a flocking instinct, they gathered en masse. I can’t be the only knitter there who loved people wandering by and looking at us and trying to figure out what was going on. Here’s what was going on. Knitters filling the lobby, hoisting socks aloft, taking pictures, showing each other sweaters and shawls, publicly squeezing balls and skeins…we were inexplicable in the face of the rest of the book fair. Young knitters, William (11) and Diana, who was double qualifying at 9 years of age by also bringing her first socks, and Brianna, who showed up without her sidekick Leah.


Knitters with babies, like Stacy with Zane, Amy with Abigail (but that’s her daddy) and Katie with wee Aoife.


There was the first sock brigade: Julie, Laura, Jennifer, Maryanne, Carly and (although I sense a certain shame) Juno.



For those who follow her blog, the picture of Juno knitting a sock is going to be particularly vindicating, as she has always claimed not to be a sock knitter. Doesn’t enjoy socks, doesn’t like knitting on small needles, doesn’t think its fun and doesn’t want to discuss (again) how it would grow on her to knit something that fussy that you just then shove in your shoes. Ms. Too Much Wool and I have been working on her for some time, and it was indeed Ms. TMW that I emailed on Saturday night with the date and time that our little Juno finally turned her first heel and uttered the words “Okay. I can see why people might enjoy this.” Sniff. It was touching. (Note to Ms. TMW. She has been assimilated. Resistance was indeed futile, admittedly took longer than expected, but futile.)

This here is Amy, who popped by to hold the sock and talk knitting before graduating from Penn in the afternoon.


Sue came. You might remember Sue from last year, when she showed up with her yellow and red striped “sock of shame”…. and this year felt compelled to bring me a sock with human dimensions, just to prove she’d gotten the hang.


It was a glorious day (rain notwithstanding) and I had a wonderful time. Philadelphia is awesome.


All the time I was there, and for a little while last week, I’ve been working on a little project to sub in for socks. I needed something easy to carry around, small and simple…something that was as fun to work as a sock without being a sock (since I was sick of socks) and a quick and pretty scarf fit the bill. I wanted to use this gorgeous yarn I got from Posh in Denver, and though the yarn came with a pattern, it wasn’t quit what I had in mind.


This was. This is 180 yards (179, really, since I had about a yard left when I was done) of Ivy silky fingering weight 50/50 wool/silk, from Caya Colour Yarn in Colorado. (I can’t find a link for them…anyone?)


It’s a very pretty colour called “sandstone sage” and I worked a really simple feather and fan pattern over it. I was going to write up the pattern, but discovered that except for the addition of three selvedge stitches on each side, I have managed to invent the “Two Weeknights With Warrick” scarf from Karin’s blog.


Pretty, pretty. It’s unblocked here, and that’s how I’m leaving it. Very nice, and Karin named the pursuit aptly, since it did work up in just a few sessions and a plane ride. I might just make another one.

109 thoughts on “Philadelphia and a scarf

  1. Ahhhh I wish I could have seen you. I’m in Philly, visiting a college daughter, driving around for hours trying to find a place to park, etc. Pretty scarf, too.

  2. I’m actually happy to hear that people from Canada don’t learn much about US History. Because I felt extremely stupid, when a coworker, who hails from Alberta, was celebrating Canada Day and I said “Really? who did they gain Independence from?”

  3. I did that with some discontinued Noro once…it’s convinced me that Feather and Fan is really a basic magic formula, handed down through the millennium, because nothing could be plainer, simpler, or more profoundly pretty! (So, is that it? Are you done for a bit? Do you really get to settle in for some sleep and writing and some sweater knitting?)

  4. Love the scarf. I have a lace scarf lingering on the needles somewhere… this might inspire me to pick it back up!

  5. batsignal – you are too funny! pictures too of new knitting. makes my monday πŸ™‚

  6. WOW, I have never been this low in the comment section!
    Can’t wait for you to come back to Chicago!

  7. You were a hoot and I’m extremely glad I braved the flood and the traffic to be there. Not to mention that getting me out of the house and to an event by noon on a Sunday is no mean feat, one only accomplished by something truly noteworthy.
    I hope you and Juno enjoyed the Dogfish Head and that it didn’t knock you on your collective asses/arses.

  8. I love the beatific smile on Juno’s face. Is it the smile of a knitter enjoying what she’s knitting, or the smile of the friend who has accepted that she will be gently but publically mocked?
    (Anyway, she looks great. πŸ™‚

  9. Oh pretty! And you are probably right about the American/Canadian History thing. Everything I know about Canada’s history I learned at the CN Tower.

  10. Glad you liked Philly! That’s my hometown! (Of course, I now live in Brooklyn, but i do have a fondness for Philly) Were you at the library? I know that space well since i grew up nearby and spent many hours there as a middle and high school student.

  11. Don’t you love how the Liberty Bell is now ensconced in what amounts to a glass and brick bunker, protected by security guards searching your bags, etc.? Not very free, is it? Last time I saw it, 20 years ago, it was pretty much out in the open. Pretty sad commentary on what’s happened in this country over the past decade…

  12. It totally does look like a bat. I think Ben Franklin would be proud of that as well.
    I think you know way more about us Americans than we do about you Canandians, and you should glow your little Harlotta self all bright about it.

  13. It totally looks like the batsignal’s origin. I think Ben Franklin and co. would totally love that too.
    As far as US history, we are sure, as fellow knitters that you know way more than we do about us than we do about our friends to the north. Glow proud about it, my little Harlotta.

  14. So glad that you loved our wonderful city! I love our city hall too. Thank you for the fantastic talk — so funny even my boyfriend laughed. He now feels that he’s seen into my psyche in a way he never has before.

  15. I am so impressed that you know some US history, because I know very little Canadian but then there are some Americans that also do not know any American history. I am planning on using your logic for helping my 17 and 19 year old daughters at de cluttering their rooms. Best wishes and I hope Joe is fully mobile soon. cecilia

  16. ROFLMAO at the bat signal comment. I will now never be able to look at City Hall at night without chuckling. *grin*
    Glad you enjoyed the city in spite of the lovely, changable weather.

  17. The clock tower DOES look like the Bat Signal, but in downtown Nashville we have the original Bat Building! The BellSouth Tower’s roofline and twin broadcast towers look just like Batman’s helmet/mask! Loved seeing you when you were here! Y’all come back now, y’hear?

  18. Ah, those babies — the fish-face must have been working this time.
    And Ann at 3:36, there’s also the possibility that Juno’s smile is related to the glass in the foreground…

  19. I think this is where you would normally find the yarn:

  20. I think this is where you would normally find the yarn:

  21. Oh and I loooooooooooooove the scarf. That yarn looks positively scrumptious!

  22. Thanks for coming to Philly! Your talk was fantastic and so much fun.
    Last time I was at the Library I saw Norman Mailer speak – I liked your talk more.

  23. It was so nice to meet you yesterday!! Thank you for blessing us with your Witterly Knitsdom!
    The boys and I had a great time, and my younger son has been running around all day telling everyone that he met the Best Knitter in the World (he’s very, very impressed)!!!

  24. I just want to know if Sue ever knit the second sock of shame. Also, maybe Juno is just filling in for the sock continuum while you are off socks for a bit. Keep us posted.

  25. Oh, Juno is a goner, and you may count on me to do my share to further the good cause. Hey, the day I met her – and you, and Ms. TMW – she was buying a sock kit, wasn’t she. I for one won’t rest until she finishes knitting it up and slavers for the next one. Her desire for The Nine Tailors is already a matter of public record, you know.
    She is ours.
    To the Bat-cave!

  26. I don’t actually know Juno, but I have to wonder if her ‘beatific smile’ is due more to the half-empty glass in front of her … Cosmo, no? :^)

  27. I hope you took the time to see a little of the sights. At least to see the Liberty Bell. My daughter lives in Philidelphia and they love to take the train to downtown and just wander. When I was there last, there was a woman sitting in the museum spinning wool on a drop spindle. I think I spent more time with her than the declaration of independence.

  28. How could that not be a bat? (Don’t hit me, Juno.)
    So far I’ve fallen back on feather & fan twice when I needed an easy sock pattern. It’s just so… easy. Or maybe I’m easy. Would that be working your side of the street?

  29. The ‘Feather and Fan’ knit over a scarf is so effective, and I’ve found it travels well, too – I knit mine during a teaching conference in Hobart (Tasmania) and I wear it all the time now!
    I do like bats, though! We need a Harlot-signal of some description in Australia to get you over here, I think…

  30. Beautiful scarf and a wonderful city. And the eagle? From that angle, it does look like a bat. I’m going to make that scarf. Maybe I’ll use my camel in a rich yellow/green with such beautiful shine to it-thanks for the link.

  31. Nine years old and already knitting socks?? I’m impressed.
    You didn’t happen to see Hilja again, did you? The young spinner who was there last time? She’s impressive, too.

  32. We learned on our honeymoon (in Nova Scotia) that we know next to *nothing* about Canadian history, even that which relates directly to us in New England. It was sad, really.

  33. Definitely a bat. And if I’d known that it was Juno’s first sock, I’d have ragged her a bit more before going off and ordering some of the gorgeous yarn she’s using. heh.

  34. spooky….. I’ve just started an almost-identical feather-and-fan scarf with 180 yds of fingering weight wool/silk mix that I’ve spun…. was debating whether to continue – not sure it looked right – but yours is obviously a good omen – I will carry on!

  35. As a Brit married to a Canadian, I know nothing much about American history either. That’s in spite of several very good friends in California. What exactly is the importance of Philadelphia? What are the essentials I need to know?
    Help someone please…
    PS I love the scarf. Even a newish knitter like me should be able to make one of those – shouldn’t I???

  36. Thanks for coming to Philly, I really enjoyed your talk and surprisingly (not to me, but definitely to him) my non-knitting husband enjoyed it as well!

  37. Love the scarf! Looks like it should be a Christmas present and then that’s one present you won’t be knitting Christmas eve!!!

  38. I have a feeling the Canadian history is a little less bloody. Was watching “Bowling for Columbine” last night and do Canadians really keep their home unlocked? It was part of the movie and totally blew my mind.
    Oh wait. Suppose you really can’t answer that one can you? What if you really and truly had a stalker? Course that just could be being American and full of the nightly news of FEAR.
    Lovely scarf!

  39. philly is fine our founding fathers
    are an interesting mix
    the scarf is a pattern i have
    used over and over-it makes
    lovely long stoles long and wide
    with a lovely drape
    have you ever knitted a snood
    i can think backwards to wearing
    snoods and lovely ones something
    new to make can be quite lovely
    for night times-something new to do
    hope joe will be fine

  40. You “might just make another one”? Uh-oh, I smell a jag brewing. If it does indeed appear, surround yourself with other projects and chant quietly, “I only have so many people I can give these scarves to… I only have so many epople I can give these scarves to…” πŸ™‚

  41. “I have forgiven myself for not knowing much American history, because I think that after all this travel I have likely got more American information under my belt than most Americans have Canadian history.”
    And as my husband says, if the American military were poised ready to attack Canada, they would all be staring at each other in bewilderment, wondering where exactly Alberta, or Quebec, or Montreal are. Our Canadian geography is equally pathetic.

  42. I too am in love with the feather and fan patterns. It’s sort of my go to thing when I want something a little more than stockinette. Let’s see, not that I’m counting, but right now I have an alpaca stole, an angora sweater with f&f inserts in the arms, and socks, all in feather and fan. At least the socks are done.

  43. glad you had a good time in my hometown. sorry I could not join you at the library.
    for cathyS – “What exactly is the importance of Philadelphia? What are the essentials I need to know?” philadelphia is the home of the declaration of independence (from england) and the constitution of the united states (based on the english magna carta). without representatives of the 13 original colonies (now states) meeting here in secret to discuss independence, there would be no USA. the first zoo, library, hospital, and fire company in the new country all began in my city.
    and I must admit that we americans are not well versed in canadian history. hell, some of us know nothing about our own country’s history (a bloody disgrace!).
    come back and visit any time!

  44. All 3 of my kids studied Canada in 6th grade. Geography, history & all! Through them I even know where Ninuvet is (maybe not the spelling). Maybe it’s being semi-close to Canada living in Oregon?!
    Ooooooooo…scarf…pretty-pretty! Must knit one!! Soon!!!

  45. I had a thought about your likely upcoming battles with the Squirrel Thief. On top of your very cunning metal fleece cage, have you thought about putting out dryer lint?? I’m sure with all those folks living in the house there must be BUCKETS of the stuff. Why not distract him with that?? Play to his weakness?

  46. Don’t let them kid you–it IS the bat signal and we’re going to flash it for help if we end up with ANOTHER Republican president after 8 YEARS of Georgy Junior!!!! We expect you Canadians to respond en masse, because we will have clearly lost our collective mind entirely!!!

  47. Wow, you certainly have absorbed some American history there. The only thing I know about Canada comes from reading your blog/books and Michael Moore’s movie “Canadian Bacon” (if you haven’t seen that, go rent it. it’s wicked funny…) Your blog entry also kinda reminded me of a scene from the Simpsons. They are all at the dinner table and Homer asks how everyone’s day was. They all say awful for various reasons, and Marge, who has been substitute teaching for Bart’s class, replies, “Awful! It took the children 45 minutes to locate Canada on the map!”. I can see that happening too.
    God I wish I could have seen you. You never come down to Florida! Come on, we have Disney World! When is you’re next tour?

  48. Thanks so much for braving the weather to come and entertain us near-Philly-types. It was a huge amount of fun.
    While I was buying your book in the lobby before hand, I asked the young woman serving me if the auditorium was open yet.
    “Oh yes,” she said. “There are a bunch of them down there already. Knitting…”
    Hope you enjoyed the Yeungling and that Joe enjoys the Phillies bottle-cooler (esp since the Blue Jays beat us the night before your talk!)

  49. You are one amazing woman! Wonderful Husband is actually properly in awe of your blessing his sock (my first toe-up, short-row heel sock that I’ve ripped back 3 times b/c short-row heels are a pain in the tookis). I look forward to the look on my sister’s face when I gift her with a signed copy of your latest book. And…I’ll continue to be inspired by you so I can be a “fearless knitter”. But now, I’m off for more “theta-surfing”.

  50. I had a consulting job once that took me to Philly every week for a year. I NEVER knew that was an eagle and not a bat. Good grief – every time I saw City Hall I thought of George Clooney as Batman. Maybe that wasn’t such a bad mistake…
    I confess to being a idiot about Canadian history, but I do know that today is Victoria Day. When I lived in upstate NY, this meant it was the weekend to go to Toronto and shop. And drink beer.

  51. I wish I had seen you in Philly. I was having a ball with 10 of my college nursing school classmates in Delaware. My experience with Canadian/american geography is with a baby sitter from Kitchener, Ontario who nearly had a panic attack when I asked her to help my 4 yr old son put together a puzzle of the US where each state was a separate piece. It suddenly dawned on me that if I were asked to put a similar puzzle of Canada together, I would STILL be working on it!(He is 28 now.) So I finished the puzzle and she schooled me on the Canadian provinces.

  52. It was great fun meeting you and all the other knitters in our area on Sunday! Check out my blog for the photos we took!

  53. Very pretty scarf. Very pretty photo of the Love sculpture. Congratulations Amy! Graduation and Harlot on the same day. yowza.

  54. Coincidence? I started an “Old Shale” – feather and fan – scarf today with a sale bin Fleece Artist remnant. It needs more width. I like your addition on the edges and may just try that. Lovely scarf.

  55. Oh, I shrieked with joy when you called it the bat signal!! I said the same thing, and was roundly ridiculed by my transplanted-Chicagoan Philly friends who took themselves MUCH too seriously at the time.
    NYAH! Only they don’t knit, and won’t be reading this, but still. I feel better. Also, I don’t knit socks either. Maybe Juno was just being polite? Time will tell.

  56. Also, you are entirely correct about (99% of) Americans knowing nothing about Canadian history. I took a Canadian Politics course in college (long live R. Barry Farrell at NU!) and I was enchanted by how different and exotic it was, and how many good ideas are just a few degrees north of us – but completely unacknowledged by us.
    Pity, really. Back to yarn…

  57. Thanks for coming to see us in Philly! I didn’t stick around for Barbara Walters, but I bet your crowd was ten times more fun!

  58. This post made me homesick and a little teary.
    I’ve lived in Micigan for going on 9 years now but the Philadelphia area is still home to me. I’d move back in a minute…but I’d have to figure out how to take the shop with me.

  59. Did I read that right? Sick of socks, who are you and what have you done with the real Stepanie? Where is the Pod?

  60. I was in Denver for business in March and went to Posh. Lovely little shop. I even managed to get my nonknitting coworker to indulge my obsession long enough to come with me to the shop. That little favor soon became a huge one when the cab driver stopped next to a lake in town, pointed towards it and said, “See that over there? That’s where 2040 Tennyson is. I don’t think that’s the address you want.” A quick call to information, and then the shop, revealed my number dyslexia and after 20 minutes in the cab for what should have been a 10 minute drive, we arrived at 4020 Tennyson, Posh’s address.

  61. O. M. Goodness.
    It IS the bat signal! Cool.
    Such a pretty, pretty scarf as well.
    Hope the house and Joe are improving to the satisfaction of all.

  62. You may have gotten Juno, but it’s only made me recommit to my own not-sock-knitting… and I was on the verge. But now that Juno’s fallen, I totally can’t give in. Someone has to hold the line.
    She does kinda look like she’s having fun with it though.

  63. Ahhhhh. I so wanted to come see you at the Book Fair, but I was embroiled in Apartment Packing Hell and just couldn’t get away. Nevertheless, I am beyond stoked to hear that you liked Philadelphia so well. It is where both of my parents were born and raised, where I went to kindergarten, where I moved briefly after college, where I met my husband and where I married him. Even though I was born and raised 200-or-so miles to the north, in the Poconos, I always considered Phila to be home. I still do, even after 20 years of living in New York.
    Ermmm…no real point to my nattering on here, except to say that I just love Philadelphia and I’m thrilled that you had a good time. (And I love that you love City Hall. I love it, too. Our marriage license is on file there. πŸ™‚

  64. I asked the hubby what he saw atop city hall, and he agreed it was Batman- I agree! Philadelphia is a lovely city, I enjoyed it in eigth grade and wish to visit again.

  65. I love Philly, too, since I grew up just outside of it. Gotta love the accent! (Hope you managed to get a soft pretzel–love them.) Well, to balance things a bit, the husband and I were in Victoria this past week, and we picked up a volume of Canadian history that we have vowed to read before our next planned trip north (Halifax and St. John) in June 2009. We are Canadian wannabes in the worst way, so we thought we’d better back it up with some actual knowledge.

  66. Sadly I had family obligations and didn’t get to see you again. Thanks for the props on our city though. think it’s a little under rated smooshed between NYC and DC. I just love it here, its hard to imagine being anyplace else!

  67. I’ve never been to Philadelphia either…but gee, I may have to go just to see the bat signal {grin}
    In case anyone’s wondering, *I* have made a few scarves in “feather and fan” (or “old shale”, which name I like better, no idea why) and if *I* and do it……..believe me YOU can!
    I’ve succumbed; I have a sock on the needles. For me. I’m having a toque-free month.

  68. My, that scarf is lovely! The colors are beautiful and it looks like it was fun to knit. I have to tell you though, I just can’t shake the feeling that the universe is totally out of whack. There has to be something seriously misaligned in the cosmos. I mean, THE HARLOT IS SICK OF SOCKS!!!! OMG!!! This doesn’t bode well for the rest of us mere knitting mortals. It’s scary. You don’t think your sock sickness is contagious do you? What if this malady spreads?? What’s next? Will Cat Bordhi get sick of knitting socks too?? What about Nancy Bush? Can this happen to the rest of us? I think I’m starting to feel panicky. Maybe I’m catching it. I always have a hard time finishing the second sock, maybe I’m getting it too. What if I have it!?! What about my stash!?! Please say that this is only a brief sock vacation. A partial eclipse of the sock or something similar. Maybe this was inevitable. Maybe this was the only way the universe could be set up so Juno would knit socks. Ok, I’m calming down a bit now. For now. I’ll just figure that Juno’s getting the whole sock thing is the reason for your lack of sock enthusiasm. Happy non-sock knitting. Hope that you have a great non-sock vacation. (Please don’t stay away too long. It’s scary!)

  69. Absolutely gorgeous scarf! Looks like it was much fun to make too. Beautiful first sock Juno! We knew you could do it.

  70. I work in Phila (live in NJ) and walk through history every day. I see all these folks walking down cobblestoned streets and wonder if they make any connection to the events that brought them to where we are today. Probably not. That City Hall with the bat signal is the largest masonry building in the world. It’s kind of amazing when you think of what all that brick must weigh…..

  71. Pretty scarf-the pattern reminds me of a scarf pattern from Alice Starmore that I made a few years ago-it was really,really long so when I finished I felt like you wilh socks lately!
    I too, am ignorant of much of Canadian history. I have been up the east coast and loved,loved the towns on Lake Huron-very quaint and like time had stood still since the 50’s. No fast food places or Walmarts(hooray) and lots of B & B’s to stay in. My best friend growing up moved to Toronto in the late sixties so I have been there once or twice. All in all, if there is a Canadian side to an American attraction,the Canadian side is much nicer! Canadian side flowers-American side t-shirt shops. I always think Canada is the kinder,gentlier place-what the USA might be if we put in the effort and insisted on some class.
    Canada also has great yarn companies–maybe that is due to the more Northern climate.
    And I always laugh when I hear Warren Zevon’s hockey song. May he rest in peace.

  72. Stephanie, I really enjoyed meeting you, and I hope you enjoyed the chocolate covered pretzels! The perpetual Manos continues – it’s amazing how much gets done on the bus, during car rides, and at book group where I’m no longer the only one knitting!

  73. It’s too much I just blocked the same scarf as you yesterday…Nice to know we are in sync…

  74. I’ve always wanted to go to Philadelphia but being a southern girl, it’s been way too far away. Your pics made me want to go more. And, really, let’s face it. After your travels you probably know more American history than a good number of Americans! (I do know Oh Canada – after having a large number of extroverted Canadian roommates and colleagues!)

  75. I love Philadelphia. My kids really want to go there, especially after seeing National Treasure. (Good movie, if you haven’t watched it).

  76. Hi Stephanie! I’ve been reading forever, but haven’t commented yet — been far too shy/dorky/whatever. I was at your talk on Sunday, and loved it so completely. Your encouragement that we’re fairly awesome people for being knitters was exactly what I needed just then πŸ™‚
    (I was the girl who asked you how to trick a friend into becoming a knitter, if you can remember anything from a surely-mad day. Gorgeous socks will be futzed with to fit him, and then the plan will officially go into action. Mwahaha.)
    Glad you liked our city — we loved you here!

  77. I was there on Sunday, rain and all. And it was a wonderful time. In fact, it was one of the most enjoyable events I’ve been to at the Free Library, and I’ve seen some prize-winning poets and writers the past few years.
    Briefly: we howled with laughter, many of us while knitting away…
    Anyone who has a chance to hear Stephanie’s talk on this book tour owes it to herself (or himself) to get yourself there… non-knitters included.

  78. The scarf is also known as the Gigi scarf that is sold as a kit by Morehouse Farm.
    Sorry to have missed you during your visit to Philly. Weather was awful.

  79. What sort of sock savers does Ms. Harlot have on the end of those needles in the latest brace of traveling sock pictures? I’ve squinted at them, but I still can’t make it out.

  80. Ooh! I can answer Emily’s question! Those are called “Stitchkeepers by Rollie” and here’s a website:
    They are the coolest thing ever, but they’re one of those “smack yourself in the forehead, why didn’t you think of that?” things. And they really work… except for when they’re in the bottom of a backpack that’s getting jostled a lot as the line is moving towards the Harlot’s booksigning table. (The good thing is that I did find them and the stray needle before I got much further!)
    Thanks for coming to Philly, Stephanie! Glad you liked the city and the whoopie pies I brought you from central PA!

  81. I love the color of your scarf! I tend to stay away from pastels, and thusly would have overlooked this colorway.
    Thanks for making me re-think using lighter colors!!
    P.S. I’ll remember that when I spill some sort of beverage on somethink I knit up that’s pastel.. Never fails when I’m wearing light colors!

  82. Sigh.
    Dear Yarn Harlot, you started out so well by commenting on why you are more knowledgable about Canadian history than American history…and then you had to go and ruin it by indulging in the obligatory Canadian slam on Americans. Growing up in an area of the United States where we actually didn’t get American television stations — you guessed it, I grew up watching two channels of television directly from Canada — I saw this type of slam again and again and I always found myself wondering why Canadian feel it necessary to pat themselves on the back for knowing more about America than Americans allegedly know about Canada. Is it an inferiority complex? Is it outraged indignation because Canada exists in the shadow cast by the United States? Maybe you can explain for me why the sole reason for worthy self-forgiveness is a comparison of yourself to a stereotypical generalization of Americans when you had already stated a much more reasonable basis for that forgiveness: the lack of exposure to American history in the Canadian educational system.
    I am sad, Stephanie, that you felt it necessary to engage in a little bit of American-bashing. Nevertheless, it is your right to make potentially offensive comments in your blog. Likewise, it is my right to refuse you future royalties from my American paycheck.

  83. Cybi at 2:04 pm: WHAT is your problem? Never mind, I don’t want to know. Goodbye! We won’t miss you. Don’t let the virtual door hit your arse on the way out.

  84. I hate to admit it, but I don’t know ANYTHING about Canadian history. It’s shameful. I do love all things Canadian (beer! and knitters (too many to name!) and writers (Margaret Atwood and yourself), so I really need to rectify that. Be the atypical American I know I can be.

  85. We don’t learn Canadian history in the US so why should you know US history? Geography is something else entirely. This morning I gave my assistant a package to mail to Toronto. A little while ago I got a call from the mail room informing me that she had used a domestic airbill instead of the international one. Thinking it was a mistake, I told her she needed to use the international airbill. She responded in surprise, “Toronto?” Scary.

  86. By the way, I had never noticed that eagle-cum-bat over the clock. I have lived in this city for all 26 years of my life. What do you think I thought when I looked up at it the other night, coming up the stairs across the street?
    Yep. We totally have a batsignal. Awesome — I love seeing my city through others’ eyes.

  87. Thank you for posting that picture of Juno knitting a sock. When she posted on her blog about it the other day I nearly fainted. Thank you for showing her the light (I tried. Really.). πŸ˜‰

  88. Oh dear… that does look extraordinarily like the bat signal! I’ll have to include that in future tours of Philadelphia that I take visiting friends on.
    As for the history thing… I grew up in Thailand.. so I know next to nothing of neither Canadian or American history other than the bare minimum that we touched in.. I think maybe it was a single chapter in our textbook for both the countries combined? Mighta been more – but I hated history classes so I know I paid no attention!
    Thanks for coming to Philly though – your talk not only had me laughing but also definitely left me thinking about a lot of things. Especially about going into Theta – something I’ve known about and consciously done for years.. but I’ve somehow never connected it with my knitting! And I’m still all giggly that you liked my shawl. Was all inspired and went home and cast on another – this time in handspun!

  89. We had such a good time at your appearance in Philly, thanks for coming to see us! I have noticed a definite up-tick in the number of times my friends and I have uttered or emailed the word “Dude” in the last few days and giggle each time. I am hoping that you will post the text of your talk when the tour is done, I think I can use your info on theta states to justify my ever growing stash πŸ™‚
    the Degenerknitters

  90. Oh, Stephanie. Isn’t it grand to revisit your yarn stash and know you had (and still have) great taste when you acquired it, and would probably buy it today if you saw it. Thank G-d you know it is there, all safe and sound. I will never have enough life left to knit the stuff I have. End of story. I store everything in plastic bags and buy those herbal bags of stuff and throw a few in with each grouping. Half of my stash is in plastic bins (3 of them). The other half are in plastic bags by type of yarn/project. This development is only a recent one, because in January, I needed to look for certain lace yarn (Jaggerspun Zephyr-color midnight) to start a KAL of the Civil War Shawl (don’t Google it if you are not yet ready to do this project-knitting the most gobolicious shawl ever). I needed help lifting the bins, since I acquired the yarn 3 years ago and did not know where I would find it. I said, “You may not say a word about what you are about to see – no comments – no estimates of cost – no words that I can make out. Swear.” He agreed. So, because I decided he would obey (I live dangerously and have red hair which is generally on fire warning those who watch that what lies beneath should stay beneath) I made my husband stand with plastic bags to receive my tossed yarn He did swear. We looked and I threw into the bags, and when we were finished, and I had lace yarn in hand, we had to rearrange and put everything back. Since he was not permitted to say anything about the quantity, he was heard to say, as he walked away shaking his head, “This is a sickness.”
    A lesson learned. That diagnosis was free and therefore better than the one I would have received from an analyst. Free is always better. More money for yarn.
    Sharon T.
    Houston, Texas

  91. I love the yarn and your scarf is very beautiful too. You are so clever!!! But thing is what do you do with all these socks, scarves, jumpers etc that you knit??? Do you sell em in your shop???? I think it would be a good idea to flog em on yer blog or web cos I’m first in the queue to get your luverly sockies.

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