The more things stay the same

Sorry for the delay in getting this report of events up.. .I was sorting through it yesterday morning, when suddenly I got a hold of myself and realized that I was spending my last day in London (and my only really “free” day blogging. I immediately snapped my laptop shut and left the hotel room. I love you guys… but there’s just no way you win in an arm wrestle with London. Now I’m getting Saturday up today (waiting to go to the airport) and I’ll write up yesterday while I’m in the airport waiting for my flight, and then I’ll be caught up in real time. (Ditching the blog yesterday was totally worth it.)

For all of my astonishment over the last few days, as I stagger through London working and looking (and trying to get out of working so I can look) gasping with stupefaction at how different everything is…Saturday I discovered what exactly is the same here. The same as it has been everywhere so far… The Knitters.

I was really freaked out Saturday, pacing around in a little curtained room off to the side, listening to the room fill and generally figuring what I had to change in my life to make sure this never happened again – that’s a plan I always make, right before I walk on stage… and this time I think I was totally extra flipped out because people had paid to see me, and somehow even though they hadn’t paid me- that was making me feel an extra burden of responsibility to them and to Gerard and Craig and the publisher -everybody who did have a stake in it, and the whole thing was making me feel ill. I was just about at the peak of my breakdown, when out of nowhere – in bounds a fast moving beautiful woman with an Irish accent, the smilingest eyes I’ve ever seen (I mean it. I dare you not to think that all is contained in her is happiness, adventure and intellect the minute that you look into them) and she scoops me up in this big hug. (Two – actually – I’ve got one to give to Rachel H.) …

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and she’s Celtic Memory Jo (which I should have suspected, having seen her on her blog, and enjoyed a peripheral, albeit vague cross continent relationship, but memory always fails me while I’m scared.) who has simply (and thankfully) muscled her way backstage saying “Oh, they’d have trouble keeping me out”… and somehow, that just broke the ice on the thing. Once I saw her and understood that really, the audience was just more Jo – and knitters like Jo, knitters that I really already knew on some level… I reverted to my normal (reasonably manageable level of abject horror, and decided to go out there. It was a moment that I’ll owe Jo thanks for as long as I live – and likely Rachel too.. since I suspect that she’s the one that harnessed that. Behold. (Some of – because there are way, way more than this…by a lot.) The knitters of the London (and The rest of Engand, and Belgium, and Ireland, and Scotland, and France, and Germany, and The Netherlands, and Italy.. and … well. They were from all over.)

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Other than a microphone incident (which scared the snot out of me in a tremendous feedback thing – heck of a start really) it was great. I did what I do, which was fine, and they knitters did what they do… which was spectacular. There were some babies, and you know how I like me the babies, this is Ella and her Seth, and Jennie and Marianne (Click to embiggen small knitters) and a very enthusiastic young knitter.. Catriona, 10 years old.

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There was the First Sock Brigade: Charlie (who is making a baby to go in those socks) Saira, Sarah, Helen, Bec, Erin, Suzi, Sarah, Mandie, Lynn (double qualifying with both a first toe up and a first top down), Gabrielle, Kayla, and Jenny.

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I met Jenny, who brought a photo of her knitting daughter who couldn’t come

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That’s Jenny, showing off her first sock (and first baby Theo).

Jane turned up bearing socks made of yarn she won in one of the KWB draws…

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Speaking of KWB, Natalie from the Yarn Yard turned up..

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you should pop over to her site and see what she was up to on behalf of MSF UK. (Aug 20 entry). She’s a nice lady, I tell you that. Jeni from Fyberspates had one long sock….

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The other leg was bare.

There were knitters bearing washcloths. (I don’t care what some people have to say about the washcloth. I believe it can be a vehicle for the highest form of art.) This is Liz and Ann, Michelle, Diane, Claudia, Alex and Sophia,

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and Alex also had a little knitted Dalek.

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(What? It’s London. There practically HAD to be one.)

Anna double qualified with a pair of first socks – and a washcloth.

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She was also wearing a Hey Teach, and hers had buttons and everything.

This is Kat (sorry, she’s less blurry in real life) and I laughed because after about 30 minutes at iknit day, she’d resorted to pinning a note to herself to head off inquires.

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It reads “YES. It’s Kauni”

This is David and Alison, and David was one of the best sports ever.

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That day was his 37th birthday, and Alison, overwhelmed with the thrill of Iknit day, had bought her tickets really fast, without thinking about the date at all – and David, who happens to be a non-knitter, found himself celebrating his birthday amongst knitters and a lot of yarn.

Finally,

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The Dutch Knitters, a force to be reckoned with… all three wearing the finest examples of lace and littering iknit day with Stroop Wafels (which happen to be very yummy.) There was a ton more to this day, not the least of which was what looked like awesome workshops and shopping – and I have regrets that I missed that. I had interviews right up until it was time for me to talk, and then I talked, and then I signed until all the yarn was packed up and put away, so I missed all the shopping, and didn’t get to meet the fabulous Sasha Kagan or Jane Sowerby, or Erika Knight... but such are the perils of tours, and really, it was a ton of fun to see what other people were buying and admire their scores and imagine what was there to be had – and if I had to choose between meeting knitters and shopping for yarn….

I’ll take the knitters.

164 thoughts on “The more things stay the same

  1. Glad you had someone to help you overcome your fears. Me, I get scared sitting at a table talking to a group of Girl Scouts. You’re brave, very brave!
    Happy flying!

  2. It was fabulous. I really don’t know how you think of what to say to such a massive queue of people. Thank you for such an enjoyable afternoon. Ps. Please come back soon!

  3. You know you posted this twice?
    So nice to see the London / everywhere knitters! I used to knit with Liz and Anne of the dishcloth when I lived in Cambridge!

  4. thank you for sharing your wonderful adventures w/ the rest of us. Did you ever manage to procure some buttons??

  5. You made a wonderful weekend in London all the more special. It was fantastic to meet you along with my bump..(the baby not the husband!)…we will bring the bump to meet you next time you’re over here!
    I want to thank you for making such a journey to come see us over here. It was an event not to be missed and your talk left me with plenty to think about and a retort for “Oh I wish I had time to knit!”
    Hope we see you again very soon, safe journey home xx

  6. Thank you for coming! It was a great day and such a thrill to see you in London! Marianne and I are honoured to be featured in this place – she was really a lot more impressed than she looks in the picture πŸ™‚ Hope you enjoyed your last day in London – your earlier post really made me think about how we take it for granted and how maternity leave is a good opportunity to explore more than I usually do…

  7. Thank you for making an already amazing day truly outstanding!
    I still haven’t finished my first cardigan (the Hey Teach! that you inspired), but I’m getting closer every day.

  8. Thank you so much for coming to visit us. I had the best day – I think the feedback of the mic scared the audience as much as it scared you – it was LOUD.
    Safe journey home and I’ve so told my husband we’re off to Canada on holiday next year.

  9. I’m the wally who confessed to you that I’d only ever knitted a scarf before in my life, and I want you to know that, since Saturday, I have started knitting a pair of bootees and a hat, and I’ve just been and bought the wool for a sweater. Loving it! You’ve inspired me! It was a total and utter pleasure to listen to you on Saturday. Thank you.
    Excuse me now – I must get back to my knitting!

  10. I’d choose knitters, too. Especially if you were among them.
    I love you.
    Thanks for coming to see us, your journey and time are very much appreciated.
    mwah
    Gxx

  11. Wow, I am impressed that you’d choose knitters over yarn πŸ˜‰ Looking forward to your next post, have a safe flight home and come back soon!

  12. We loved you as much in person as we do online! Thanks for trekking all the way to London to include us in your knitting universe… Please come back soon!

  13. Stephanie the thing that was really cool as beans was that the MSF website in the UK is only about four months old and it has been awash with knitters for the last fortnight.
    I spoke to the web person there and he said that knitters have formed the third highest group of visitors in the last week. I asked if there were knitters in the office where he works and he said “Mmmmm, don’t think so…” and then he came back an hour later and said that Lucy, the Director of Communications for MSF UK was a knitter !!!
    I bet that will be one person who brings a whole new meaning to “Emergency Knitting”. She was going to try and come to meet you but was called away to Poland urgently (as I’m sure happens often when you have a job like that).
    Knitters really are fantastic people… ALL of them.
    Natalie

  14. You so made the right decision. We are happy to read your blog anytime. Go enjoy London whilst you can.
    Freakiest thing ever I can spot myself on your picture. Yes I know I was there; but it’s still wierd….
    Thanks again.

  15. I think that’s Cassandra in the hey teach with the buttons, socks and washcloth, she’s a blog friend who I met for the first time Saturday! (Sorry for the correction) Your not the only one who didn’t buy yarn, all I bought was your book, dare I say I have enough yarn…and I spin too, and just wasn’t tempted! Safe journey home from me and the mouse!

  16. What? Cosmopolitan world capital over blogging? What were you thinking? Seriously, I never doubted that it would go well. You put a knitter in every one of those seats. Whither next?
    YES, NAG.

  17. Thank you so much for coming to speak to us – and thank you for letting us know that you do find it terrifying – it doesn’t show at all.
    Squeak – that’s me on your blog!
    Please do come back – perhaps you could make it to Cambridge – obviously there are some people around here who need their ideas straightening out…
    (Oh, and I *should* have been knitting on the bus rather than reading – a rather nasty fight broke out nearby and I was quite shaken by it – too much intellectual input going on already…)

  18. Sounds like you had a great day. I’m pretty sure I had a better one, though. You got London, but I got a niece. She’s adorable and PROUDLY wears knit hats. ^_^

  19. I’m still on a high from Saturday, to be in a hall filled with so many liked minded people actually knitting and listening to your talk was wonderful. Glad you enjoyed London and please come back soon.

  20. What a great day, loved your talk it had me in stitches! Your Norah Gaughan Manon looked lovely! Come back to Old Blighty soon!

  21. Fantastic! What a lovely bunch of folks – and so glad you closed up the computer and went out to play. (It’s just more blog-fodder anyway, right?!)
    And I hate to show my ignorance, but what is a Dalek?

  22. Hi Stephanie,
    Just wanted to say thank you for the mention and for posting the picture of Natalie and friends in their MSF t-shirts. I am not a knitter but you are a bit of a legend at MSF and would loved to have met you, but friends were having a wedding (so selfish). The web site which Natalie is doing such a good job of promoting is at http://www.msf.org.uk in case any of your UK readers are interested…
    Thanks again, Pete, web editor, MSF UK

  23. Just imagine meeting all those knitters!! I really wish we could have all been there too-but wait we were!! You brought back wonderful memories of London to me as well. I swear I have identical pictures of some of those sites you’ve been posting over the last few days. It’s been absolutely great to read the blog. (I even got up early to read it and comment before 200 other souls do so!)Thanks for sharing it all with us.

  24. I started my first sock ever this week..I’ve been knitting for fifty years at least. I cannot believe how much fun I am having! Why didn’t you tell me? Oh, you did…
    I took your pattern to the yarn shop because I just couldn’t believe what I was reading. They said just keep going..magical! I turned the heel. Yea!! Thank you for making me smile each day and remember why we all love to knit!
    Please come back to Maryland soon. I loved you in Annapolis. (Remember the look on people’s faces when they got off of the escalator and saw all of the knitters?)
    xoxosusan

  25. Congratulations on surviving the talk and visit! Now just come home and deal with Canada. Do you think the fact that the government was dissolved when you were gone was a coincidence?

  26. Dear Stephanie,
    Thankyou so much for coming over, how can anyone say that knittting is not fun?! I haven’t enjoyed myself so much in ages! Glad you enjoyed London.

  27. Very cool recap – and kudos to Rachel H and Jo for easing your anxiety – good on them!
    Your descriptions make me want to go along next year as your bodyguard/assistant. Please?
    Oh, and nice way of handling the issue we talked about over dinner.

  28. Thank you Stephanie, it was absolutely amazing!
    It was worth going from Sweden for this, and I would do it again, I loved listening to you!

  29. It was such a great day and I am sooo happy that my sock made it onto the blog! Is it a bit much that I’ve even shown the sock the computer screen to show him how famous he is??

  30. I’ve imagined attending one of your talks, as none have been close enough for me to come in person yet. But your blog brings me in and gives me a taste of the joy.
    It is a special thing, to enjoy and be proud of one’s country. (Loved hearing about the Canada Gate.) Don’t lose that. I am an American knitter who loves to see our own historic places and learn more about the people who helped us get where we are. And though I would never want to live anywhere else but here, I do enjoy learning about the wonder of other countries through your camera and your writing.
    Thank you so much for sharing with us.
    ~ Dar

  31. I’m glad you enjoyed meeting us as much as we enjoyed meeting you because that was one long loooooooong line! Thank you for coming such a long way to speak to us; it was the highlight of Iknit day and I hope you enjoyed the beer.

  32. I have just showed the picture of myself in the audience to my colleagues who are suitably impresed. Stephanie, the talk was great, you didn’t look nervous at all. It was definitly a success as my non-knitting friend went back to the main hall and bought a pattern. Result!

  33. wow, so good you posted twice!! Glad you liked London, I learnt more from you about my capital city than I did on my last visit. Wish I could have been there

  34. Wow! It takes my breath away, the London whirlwind you’re in! Thanks so much for the link to Celtic Memory Yarns. I’m going explore that one for sure. Visiting London has been on my wish list for awhile now, and you’re experiences have just given it a firmer hold on the list. Catch your breath and keep on going!

  35. Do you ever consider doing a book tour or iKnit or (insert knitty-type event here) in the Antipodes? they ask wistfully. Way way WAY too much fun going on up in the Northern Hemisphere! I sat here on Saturday reading your (AWESOME) travelblog and wishing that it were possible to just up sticks and grab a flight to London and get me some of the fun weekend you were all having.
    I second the motion that you write a book on Places The Sock Has Been!
    Safe trip home.

  36. It was great meeting you on Saturday, and part of a fabulous day; hope you had a great Sunday and a good flight back!
    Can’t help smiling at the items laid out in front of the first row of the audience; where there are many bags, there are knitters…

  37. No one would ever know you are nervous before a talk-you seem so confident . And I know you are very brave because you went to London by yourself-I almost pee myself thinking about it.
    Your wonderful sense of humor about yourself shows us all that you are just one of us-not some hoity toity “I am the Queen of Knitting-you may now bow” type of “celebrity”. Yes, you are a real celebrity!!!

  38. Hey, that’s my husband in the background of the “Diane” photo! He was wearing his “Faithful Robot Companion” t-shirt, in honour of his volunteering to come along to carry everything (he’s a muggle, but really enjoyed your talk).
    Pity you didn’t get to go around the stalls. Maybe you should write that into your contract “Must tour stalls before talking”?
    Hope you have a really good rest when you get home to Canada. And, once again, thank you for a wonderful day.
    – Pam

  39. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for coming to London! It was so great to hear you talk and to meet you. Your book kept me company fo the lang train journey back to Devon. Please come back again next year!

  40. I am delighted to see you mentioned another non-knitting male who was dragged along to see you on a milestone date (i.e. his birthday) I was there on our wedding anniversary, and I am so glad I was. Being married to a fanatical knitter (bordering on the obsessed) I found your talk extremely funny and I pretty much understood all the knitting terms that were used.
    Perhaps a ‘Stephanie Pearl Mcphee appreciation society for non knitting males’ (or how about SPASM for short) is in order. Do arrange to come back soon “SPASM” will be waiting.

  41. Had a wonderful day , and it was so lovely to hear you speak instead of imagining a voice as I read you entertaining blog. Had a giggle after the book signing when one of the Dutch knitters came up to my friend Karen(we were the Scottish knitters group) and mentioned she had seen her at the Iknit shop the night before – and thought she was YOU! hehehe – if you ever need a look a like stand in you know where to come!
    Hope you made it too Libertys – if not , another excuse to come back.
    Please come again – Mhairi

  42. Darling girl, it was a delight to see you! (Hope you’re keeping that other hug somewhere safe and warm for Rachel H).
    Forget going home. Forget the entirely predictable crises occurring in your absence. Come right over here to West Cork (ok, so you’ll need a raincoat and rubber boots) and we’ll go round a few country pubs and have pints of Irish stout and slices of thickly buttered brown soda bread and defiantly knit in public (houses).

  43. That has to be one of the best birthdays ever. Not only did I get to hear your great talk, but I get my picture on the blog too. Although it was a slightly unexpected birthday present, I really enjoyed my day. Come back soon. I think that “SPASM” is a great idea, and I will definitely join (although I think the name thing may need further work!).
    PS My wife Alison was so excited to meet you.

  44. Stephanie, you were wonderful on saturday – it was a real honour to hear all your funny writings and observations actually coming from you in person! I was the one who braved coming up to you at the end and thanking you for inspiring me to knit a Bohus. Unfortunately my Britishness prevented me from doing the unthinkable and queue-jumping afterwards and I really had to dash away so I missed getting my book signed… But the pleasure of actually meeting you more than makes up for that. Please come back next year!! And have a safe, repetative-task-filled journey back.

  45. You go to all the best places. πŸ™‚
    I wish for you that you not continually wake up at 5 AM for days and days after re-crossing the Atlantic.

  46. You know, Jo is like a distant aunt that I love but rarely talk with. I’m so glad she was there because she seems like an extension of myself. Big hugs, warm smiles, and know that no matter where you are, you are home among knitters.

  47. They got to hear you and shop at the same event? I am ever so jealous. I am glad you got your priorities straight and saw as much of London as you could. My son had a chance to go on a school trip for a long weekend some years ago, and if one is going to fly all that way, one ought to make it as worthwhile as possible. He was in seventh grade then so all that youthful energy made for quite an action packed trip – workshops at the Globe Theatre, and other amazing things. No yarn though.
    Another knitter friend of mine says they visited a store called “Dutton’s Buttons” many years ago, but on further consideration she realized it was in York.
    I hope you get to go back, and I hope you get to bring your own entourage next time (Pick me! Pick me!).

  48. Oh my! What a fantastic day! Thank you so much for coming over. My little girl will be so pleased that she managed to squeeze the right half of her body into your photograph of Cassandra!

  49. Well Samuel Johnson said it best–When you are tired of London, you are tired of life.
    Its is wonderful city–so home like–so different-both at once.
    Sound like a great trip (makes me wish i, too had gone to London!)

  50. I loved reading about your trip to London, and I am so glad your talk went well. The thing I am most tickled by in this post though, is the knitted dalek. That really is a capper for a vicarious trip to London for me.

  51. Looks like a good time. Next time you go to England, take me with you.
    My husband liked the Dalek.

  52. Thank you so much for coming to London. I think Saturday converted me from a knitter to a Knitter.
    Did you realise you had several members of the University of Cambridge in your audience, by the way? I promise, we may not have been involved in the study, but we know all about emergency knitting (as does everyone in my office, as I’m never without mine).

  53. It was great to hear your talk and meet you. You didn’t look nervous! I had a brilliant day there with my non-knitting husband who was pleasantly surprised that he enjoyed the day too. Thanks for coming all the way to London.

  54. Cheers for Celtic Jo! I feel like we now have a three-way connection. Jo and I have chatted back and forth over time.
    Looks like you were a smashing success. Congratulations!

  55. Sounds like a great time. πŸ™‚ I’ve really been enjoying your accounts (and pictures!) of London, with some measure of envy. I’m definitely an Anglophile at heart.
    And…is there a pattern for that Dalek? >.>

  56. This has been such a wonderful few days to live the London adventures with you. My niece just moved from the US to the London area–even though she’s a non-knitter, I want her to read these posts to see all the wonder there is there (and maybe to see the wonder of knitting, too!) Thanks for taking us on the journey!

  57. A quick thank you from me too – the day was great and meeting you was just the best, best bit. The queue for the book signing was the longest I had ever seen in my life, and throughout you were smiling and nice even though you must have been so tired and putting up with people like me who were too overwhelmed to speak coherently and whose camera batteries died at the crucial picture-taking moment (yes, that was me, near the end of the queue with the little blue book and the buttons). In fact, meeting all those wonderful knitters proudly wearing and displaying their beautiful garments was, well – truly inspiring.
    Come back and see us again soon. Bring the family. Stay a month.

  58. It was so great to hear your talk and to realise that knitters aren’t a demographic. I guess that makes us a genuine collection of individuals. It was actually a real pleasure to tour the stalls before your talk ALL BY MYSELF and realise I could stop and chat to absolutely everyone or no-one at all and both would be equally fine. I can’t think of any other environment where that would be true.
    I’m glad you found the nerve to go out by yourself and admire our city. I love it too and I live here. I hope you had a good flight home and just enough jet lag to gain some sympathy.
    X x x

  59. Stephanie you can buy stroopwafels in Ontario too. The best ones are ‘Double Dutch’ brand made in Norwich ON. You should be able to find them in a huge city like TO. They taste best when nuked in the micro for about 12 seconds πŸ™‚

  60. so glad that the beautiful Celtic knitter got back to see you, and reminded you that everyone there would be delighted to see you πŸ™‚
    Just remember, there are some of us who are even more shy than you, and end up stuttering in silence like a fish when unexpectedly introduced to you (heh heh.. yeah, err that would have been me.. ahem..)
    Great that London welcomed you so warmly.

  61. Stephanie, what I wanted to say on Saturday (instead of stupidly grinning and nodding mutely while you signed my friend’s book), is that it is because of your influence that I now knit lace and spin. It is such a huge part of my life now and I hold you personally responsible! In a good way. So thank you for that, and thank you for coming to London!

  62. I really enjoyed hearing you speak on saturday and have been thinking about some of the interesting issues you raised. I love the idea that knitting can be such a positive experience for so many people. My boyfriend wanted to know if you knew of the opposite – have there been cases of knitting addictions?!
    I think I also owe you an apology – I was one of the four hyped up crazy women who waved at you from Pizza Express – a great day + gin&tonic is a powerful combination!

  63. I’m glad you passed up blogging for London. I’d feel bad if you missed out on such a wonderful opportunity. Plus now you’ll have more to tell us about!
    ps. I’ve heard from other bloggers that your speach was wonderful.

  64. I wasn’t able to queue to speak to you, so I will say thanks here. Thanks for coming and speaking to us.

  65. Of course Jo fixed it. We should let her and Rachel loose in the middle east and by the end of an afternoon everyone will be sharing tea and stories and laughing together.

  66. Thank you for coming all that way to talk to us. I now realise that you must have the constitution of an ox because I don’t think you had so much as a ten minute break between 2pm and 7pm. There I go, trying to mother you again.
    I just spotted myself in the background to a dishcloth, thank heaven I wasn’t doing anything untoward.

  67. So far, I have burbled at my Father, my boss, my ex-boyfriend, and a good friend I’ve never actually met, about Saturday.
    Bless them all, they have responded intelligently and gracefully. I must be lucky.
    ~x~

  68. Thanks for coming to London and thanks for spending so long signing and meeting people! You very kindly signed my calendar (on my birthday page!) and fondled some yarn I’d bought. (I’m sorry you didn’t get to shop). I was so flustered I forgot to show you that I was wearing my Lenores in your honour – bet you’re quite glad about that!
    I’m going to try and recruit my husband to SPASM – I think it’ll catch on!

  69. glad you had a wonderful trip, and discovered what daleks do in downtime between world dominations :). when do we get a peak at the shawl?

  70. Hi Stephanie: I did the weekend to end breast cancer walk. On Sunday as we left to do the last part of the walk, a walker was at the starting line sitting knitting a sock! I yelled I wished I’d have seen you last nigh! I always wanted to learn how to knit socks! She said I would have taught you! We both agreed to do it at nexy year’s walk!
    Just thought I’d share this with you!
    Kathy

  71. Our train got stuck in floods on the way home but luckily we survived the trauma as we had our ’emergency knitting’ with us. We had a fantastic day, and seriously, now that you love my shop (!) I’d really like to send you some KSH so let me know an address. Thank you and hope you had a great trip.

  72. Ah, but what if you had to choose between knitters and shopping for buttons in an actual real London button shop?
    *sigh* My husband has been to London at least once for work. Maybe twice. I’ve never been, for any reason. Vicarious living can take one only so far.

  73. Well, in that case – I am very glad that Jo managed to talk her way past me!
    (I was worried about letting her through – as I wasn’t sure that having a press photo snapped before you walked on stage was going to help with any pre-talk nerves! However, she was firmly insistent that it had all been pre-arranged…!)
    Thank you again for a great talk and also, for being so generous with your time and good humour during the 3+ hour book signing afterwards.
    Safe journey home!

  74. Kat’s Kauni shawl is beautiful — any chance of pointing us toward the pattern? I’ve been looking for a pattern for my fisrt venture with Kauni, and that looks perfect.

  75. Mmmm…Stroop Wafels. I haven’t had those in way too long! Thanks for sharing your trip with us!

  76. Stroopwafels, lekker! (yummy in my tummy!)
    Congratulations on another big success. And thank you for all the lovely pictures of your London wanderings.

  77. One of the nicest things about you Stephanie, is how much you really admire/like other knitters. Isn’t it amazing how many talented ‘knitfolk’ are in the world? We are all so lucky to be able to see and experience this ‘knitting planet’ through your eyes. Thanks again for all your hard work to make this happen for all of us.

  78. Yes, I think a book about the adventures of a travelling shawl/sock/sweater and the knitter who creates them would be in order.
    Your travelling posts are fantastic! But then around here we pretty much think all of your posts are fantastic!
    I think you should have a rest for a week or so, and then start writing your next book. LOL
    Well, we can’t help it that you’re such an awesome writer and we love your books!
    Keep up the good work spreading the love of wool and all things knitterly!

  79. Thank you so much for overcoming your (perfectly natural) fears and coming to see the many and varied knitters of the UK! You were absolutely wonderful and my boyfriend had to listen vary patiently while I explained neuro-plasticity and why knitting during episodes of CSI prevents me from becoming traumatised!
    Seeing London through your eyes has made me re-evaluate this soggy, grey, and brilliant city.
    Come back soon!

  80. Thanks for coming to the UK and talking to us all. Everyone has been saying what a great day it was and I wholeheartedly agree! πŸ™‚

  81. You were fab, i laughed so hard at some points during your talk that i thought i wouldn’t stop. Oh and thanks to you the girls i was with have given me a new nickname, Kimmie(for sure). It’s cool, i kind of like it, thanks. Safe trip home.

  82. It was a pleasure meeting you and hearing you talk. Thank you for coming over to London so that we could all join in the fun of showing off first socks, washclothes and babies. Hope you come back again another time.

  83. So glad you have had the opportunity to cross the pond and enjoy London AND the knitters. When I saw the photos of the knitters with your sock in front, my firt thought was that now those knitters have seen themselves framed by the sock, just as they’ve seen countless Americans and a considerable amount of Canadians. I’ve been to a couple of your talks, seen you at various venues, and enjoy reading your take on the events I’ve attended….I know these knitters will enjoy joining the YH posse.

  84. Stroop wafels…..lekker! (yummy!) You can buy them at the grocery store ( I find ’em at Food Basics ).
    The sugar content doesn’t do much for the hips but they sure make your soul happy!
    Think I’ll nip over to the kitchen and get one….
    Glad you had a great time!

  85. You met my Kat! Well, not exactly MY Kat… Did you know that I met her in Russia while on my around the world trip back in 2005. And she wasn’t even a knitter then. Shh. Don’t tell. She’s now quite stunning with the yarn, eh?

  86. Thank you for the monumental talk you gave us Saturday. I for one am truly grateful to have had the chance to hear the wisdom! I was at the end of that 3-hour meeting queue. Bless your dear heart for your never-ending patience. We all sort of assumed that you’d have had a kind of private view of the stalls before the day got going. I am so sorry you didn’t get to look around. If we all sent you one ball each of the cracksilk haze, you’d have a way around your little addiction at a price you could better afford. Count me in for one any time you like!
    YOU ARE FABULOUS. A good journey home.

  87. Thank you for your wonderful talk, my friend Cehzzle and I laffed our sock off. I came upto you with my flowery walking stick, big lass with Amazon parrot sock in hand, and said to you “Wicked colours eh”? We had a little chat and I’m so grateful to you for letting me have a piccy with you, it was so thrilling to be actually stood next to THE FAMOUS YARN HARLOT HERSELF, wow wot a fantastic couple of photos. I’m so glad you enjoyed iKnit, my friends Chezzle and Ruth came from up North to see you and boy it was worth the pain , rain and travelling. We will go to the ends of the Earth to see you babe, cos you’re worth it. London can be quite hot in summer, did you go on the Tube??? Its so hot and stuffy down there. I will have treasured memories of actually seeing you and your beautiful manon , mine is gonna be in red, thanks for the positive comment. Happy landings back home. Will you come up North to Yorkshire next year??? I’m dying for you to see the beautiful scenery, Yorkshire has it all. So sorry it rained for you so much here that’s England for you.

  88. Thank you so much – I really enjoyed your talk, and then meeting you afterwards. But I was a bit more starstruck than I expected to be! My daughter was gobsmacked – she says that’s the most reserved she’s ever seen me.
    And you are a dynamo – how you stay so cheery and upbeat after a speech and then a long booksigning queue is beyond me!

  89. I had a wonderful time at I Knit Day and really enjoyed your talk. This was my first time at a big knitting event and the friendliness of everyone really blew me away.
    Enjoy your TausenschΓΆn sock yarn and I hope you come back to our time zone soon!

  90. Wow…it is weird, weird, WEIRD to see people you know in person on The Harlots Blog, lol. I even emailed Liz today about something. And that Yarn Yard person…I’ve sat in her kitchen.
    I guess this means you are an actual real person then, Stephanie???? πŸ˜‰

  91. I had a wonderful day – thank you so much for coming over to talk to us. Your audience pic with me on it shows me taking a picture of you, taking a picture of me, taking a picture of you ……… I hope you are going to come back soon (when I also hope it will be a little less wet).

  92. Ok, that looks like one of your most fun events! Everyone in the pictures looks like they are not only smiling, but laughing. πŸ™‚ Great fun!

  93. Eeek… I’m on your blog with my teeny tiny UK washcloth! Thanks again for coming and inspiring us all by reminding us quite why we do this thing called knitting. I’m really glad you like London, maybe next year (hint hint) you’ll have chance to see some more places (we do good beer up North…) Must also say a huuuuge thanks to Gerard, Craig and everyone else who made it such a fabulous and special day. xxx

  94. Thanks for posting the photo of Jane. I read her blog, and this was almost like seeing the great post she did about you, but from the opposite direction.
    Between the two of you, it was almost like being there!
    Thanks!

  95. Well, you came, you saw (and happily, so did we!), and you most definitely conquered! What a fantastic day I had – from that first mighty boom that shook the rafters I laughed a lot (but only where I was meant to, honest) and I learned a lot, and I came away high on knitting fumes – and I’m still babbling on about it to anyone who will listen! I saw people wearing clothing I could actually name (including a charming little Manon which I think I might have seen somewhere before…) and was impressed by the deft fingers knitting everywhere I looked. I did take out my knitting to absorb the vibes but put it away when a cute little 10 week old chap brought his Mum to sit next to me. Didn’t think he deserved poking with a pointy stick after that displaying such dedication to the craft! And as if that wasn’t enough now you’ve introduced me to a charming new blog – really it’s too kind!
    Really glad you got an extra day in London – you deserved it. And I’m tickled pink you liked the chocolate! Best wishes for a safe knitting-filled trip home, please come again any time.

  96. When you had come off stage after your brilliant talk you may have wondered who was standing behind you lifting up the back of your Manon jacket and wondering what in ….was going on. It was me – I’m doing Manon, and the pattern says to crochet/chainstitch over the seam in the peplum. I didn’t think it looked right in the photo – though of course I bow to the superior skills of Norah every time – and I was looking to see what you had done. You hadn’t done the chain stitch thingy either….you had a beautfilly-executed seam. That will do for me too!
    Please come back next year!

  97. Sounds like you had a GREaT time! Someday I’ll get to vacation over across the pond.
    Good grief Girl! How do you keep all those names straight and with the right picture????

  98. I second the request for a Dalek pattern. And the thanks for the London visit. Now, Iowa is a great place, too.

  99. How incredibly exciting to see a photo of myself on the Yarn Harlot’s blog! That’s me with the be-buttoned Hey Teach and the washcloth and the socks. However, as much as I like the name Anna (it is truly lovely), I’m a Cassandra and have been for 39 years.
    By the way, thanks for a great talk!

  100. Wow – looks like you had a great time! And what a difference – when visiting the US, or when in Canada, you might get people from different states and provinces, but it must be wild getting people from so many different countries!! Also – I love the yellow washcloth with the blue crowns. The dalek and the kauni – you must have had such a good time. Did you tell the little babies how lucky they are to be born in England – they get to live there?! It has been so much fun following along with you on this adventure – thank you for sharing! have a safe trip home –

  101. Your talk was great and thank you so much for signing books for so, so long – I met you towards the end of that queue which was about long after 6pm . The MacGvyer retreat thing is still making me laugh…

  102. I wish I could have been there. I hope you come back to this side of the world soon. You know if you ever want to visit Brittany then you’re welcome to come and stay. Yes, I know you’ve never met me but hey…it’s worth a try πŸ™‚

  103. They make stroop waffels in Canada too! I’m originally from a very Dutch-heavy area of Ontario, and they make them right down from my house.
    http://www.schepsbakeries.com/
    That’s the website if you want to try some. They are the most delicious things ever, especially warmed up with vanilla ice cream.

  104. bravo to every one
    so many patterns and yarn and fun
    i am in florida usa its lovely
    seeing and meeting so many knitters
    from across the pond and all over
    the world
    thank you for going and shareing

  105. Good idea…blowing off the blog to enjoy your last day in London. It looks like a great group of knitters. It doesn’t matter where you make your home, if you’ve got yarn and needles, or even if you just wish you had yarn and needles, you belong.

  106. How many times can I thank you for taking us along? What a great event!! Just wish I could’ve been there too…

  107. So glad you enjoyed the trip over here, sorry about the weather…I am so glad I braved the floods to travel down from Scotland, I haven’t had so much fun in ages (well, yarn-related fun anyway heh heh) I’m sure I can see myself on the third row back too! Squee! Sadly I never got my book, apparently the publisher had gone haywire, so I devoted the money towards my new swift and winder instead (which I guessed you’d be ok with), I guess the book will have to wait now until the publication date! As it happened, I probably would never have been able to wait long enough to get it signed, I had a train to catch and St. Pancras at 5pm was the first opportunity for a square meal all day – us greedy knitters had noshed all the sandwiches in the cafe! The publisher wasn’t the only one a bit freaked, the poor staff in the coffee shop downstairs were looking decidedly frazzled and slightly scared by about 4pm…apparently they weren’t expecting so many people πŸ™‚ ah, the power of knitters. My mum was totally impressed by my speech about neuroplasticity, theta brainwaves and the knitting connection, so thanks for that. Even the boyfriend was mildly interested and amused by the comments I passed on about why there aren’t more male straight knitters…It was so great to be able to just chat to random people and know you’re on the same wavelength. I even chatted to a lady on the Tube which is unheard of πŸ™‚

  108. Steph, you were awesome. At one point I took a moment to watch myself sitting in a hall, knitting on my sock whilst all around others were busy knitting too as we listened and laughed and loved every moment. Surreal and amazing. Thank you so much for travelling the thousands of miles to visit us, I feel very privileged to have been there.
    And travel writing ? Definitely. Bill Bryson needs some decent competition. The world’s your lobster.

  109. Oh, you got Stroopwafels, I’m so jealous. My sister in law is Dutch and she brings them back from trips once in a while. Tip: if you can, put one in the microwave for about 20 seconds, just long enough for it to get warm and mooshy. Heaven!

  110. And the knitters prefer you, too! Thank you for sharing your adventures. Although sharing a bottle of something would be appreciated, as well…

  111. Thank you for a wonderful hour and a half of laughter.
    It went too fast, and I’m sorry I chickened out of queueing up to meet you.
    But in hindsight I’m relieved we didn’t as the train took three times as long to get home due to works on the line.
    My non knitting friend who came with me, because she had enjoyed your book learnt to knit on the train home. I think I have her hooked, aided and abetted by all the good info you dished out on the health benefits of knitting.
    Many thanks, next time you’re over I hav ea spare bedroom, en suite and can offer you local trips to Kenilworth Castle, Warwick Castle and Stratford.

  112. Oh, I really like Kat’s pattern – I have some chocolate/caramel/amber Kauni that needs a pattern and that one’s perfect!
    Huge audience, good job getting the bravery up.

  113. I met Jo of CelticMemoryYarns when she was in Southern California. I couldn’t get away to meet her because I had already committed to spinning at our House of Ireland in Balboa Park that Sunday (on St. Patrick’s Day weekend) so she came to me! What a lovely person she is! I’m glad you got to meet each other.

  114. Stroopwafels are the most delicious thing to ever happen to the Netherlands. The Belgians try to compete, but their stroopwafels are not nearly as good.
    The one time I happened to be in a yarn store in the Netherlands I didn’t realize where I was, and no yarn was obtained. It was a crying shame. (My mother was obtaining a new needlepoint hoop because hers broke on the plane).
    Have a safe flight!

  115. I spent most of the day working on the Knitting & Crochet Guild stand and was so pleased when someone offered to cover for me so that I could get to hear your talk – I literally ran from the stand only to realise that I’d forgotten my hearing aid, my camera and the extra batteries for both! What I heard I enjoyed.
    I was one of the last in the queue and could barely string two words together – I’m also the very damp person you helped spot a cab for – I do hope you found somewhere good to eat after all of that!

  116. A pink Dalek! That’s the most amazing knitted Dalek I’ve seen – and I’ve seen a lot of knitted Daleks. I may just have to knit mine in pink. That was a good pink. Kind of a grownup pink.

  117. Well, you’ve done it again, Stephanie. I’m all choked up reading the Yarn Harlot blog.
    I’m an ancient programmer, who was involved in implementing an early online system that predated this internet, in the 80’s, which revealed instantly what a certain kind of person would do, given the ability to reach a wide audience anonymously. You know what kind of person I’m talking about, and what despicable things they thought of. I despaired of the new world.
    But then, I discovered the Harlot, and the worldwide community that has coalesced around you (and yarn, it must be said). I look up there at the top where the MSF donations are nearing a half a million dollars(!!!), and look at the pictures of knitting audiences around the world, now, and it’s so … touching. We all have so much in common. It really is one safe place on the Internet, where people are decent and happy, and there are babies, and lots of laughter, and many, many knitters, and yarn.
    Aw, nuts, my glasses are fogging up and the merino’s getting soggy.

  118. thanks so much for coming to London and making the day so special. I really enjoyed your talk and bought far to much beautiful yarn. hope to see you again next year!

  119. You were brilliant – I’m telling everyone about what I have in common with monks! And I don’t mind telling you that you completely made my month. Thanks.

  120. After reading this,I had a drop at the corner of my eyes…
    Then reading Maureen’s comment (at 9:45) made that drop fall down, two others appear, and a smile rise up at the corner of my mouth.
    A big hug to both of you.

  121. Screeee! (sounds of bats falling from the ceiling, wings covering their ears in self-defence)
    A knitted dalek! (I know – there were loads of other lovely knitted items too.)
    That is so cool and even though I am a rampant beginner, I have to work out how to make one myself. Unfortunately I found out about the London event far too late to be able to attend it (I live in Germany), but hopefully if I keep my beady eye out, the date for the next one will be announced early enough for me to make Plans TM. Stephanie, you are much loved, so please don’t worry if there are loads of your fans waiting to hear you talk. We just have individual bodies, is all.

  122. What a fun trip! I’m jealous because I have only been to London once and I would love to go back. As I was reading and looking at the pictures, it impressed me that you really can’t tell where in the world you are just by pictures. We are all really the same. Isn’t it great that knitters understand this? It’s too bad all the world leaders aren’t smart enough to realize this too.
    Debbie

  123. You obviously had every knitter within the UK at your gig! When we were there, we were very unique indeed. The center of the knitting universe in terms of designers and wonderful sheep/wool and very few knitting shops or knitters that we could find.

  124. Stephanie, looks like your trip was a smashing success! It is amazing that for all the differences in people (language, location, education, looks…) we are all basically the same. We’re people. Simple as that. I’m glad you came to that realization before you spoke, even if it was just ..moments.. before you went on. I’m also glad that you got to see London. It is a fabulous city (wish I could live there myself) and I’m jealous that they have an iKnit day… a whole day…just to knit? Did I get it right? That’s the purpose? Anyway – GREAT JOB!!! You are always fantastic to listen to.

  125. I feel foolish not to have understood the Dalek reference… I think my brain wasn’t working yesterday. I did watch Dr. Who religiously for years, too!

  126. Great turn out but I would expect nothing less. I would faint if I had to stand up in front of that many people. You’re a brave and many talented woman.

  127. I am glad you had a wonderful trip! I would have given pinky finger to be there (I need the thumbs for knitting!)
    It was great reading about the experience as I vicariously experienced it through my friend that I have yet to meet – Jane in London =)
    Now I can say I know someone who’s knitting was in the Yarn Harlot’s hands =P

  128. Thanks so much for a brilliant talk – it exceeded my expectations, which I didn’t think was possible! Nice to see some international knitter bonding going on in the comments – maybe it’s time to start twinning knitting groups, and having international exchanges? Though if I’m honest, this is partly because I’ve heard how many yarn shops Toronto has! Come back to the UK soon!

  129. Thanks ever so much for a wonderful time on Saturday. I was so excited to meet you, I went a bit shy πŸ™‚ but you were so bright and lovely that I couldn’t have imagined you feeling shy at all.

  130. Thanks for sharing London with us. I have always always wanted to go to London, and it is really cool to have you share your experience with us. I just hope that if I ever go, I have a few days to wander…

  131. I was enchanted with Alex’s Knitted Dalek! I’m a huge Dr. Who fan from childhood. Seeing that picture brightened my day. Thank you πŸ™‚

  132. I get so tickled at your awe of the sights and sounds. I do the very same thing – wondering if I am really grown up enough to be overseas. I have traveled twice recently to Ghent, Belgium (for my job) and toured the city all by myself. (I found a yarn shop and a button shop – ha ha ha) Second trip, I found the spinning shop. Alas, it was closed.
    My traveling alone tip: I brought a new journal with me and wrote down everything that I would have said to my travel companion, if I’d had one. Reading it later, I found I’d captured all the little things that are easy to forget to tell family and friends.

  133. Stephanie, you were great! Yes, you looked a little scared at first, but once you knew we’d blog you before calling for help if you fainted, I think you knew you were with friends πŸ˜‰ It was great to hear you speak and thanks for the Q&A too – that was quite unexpected.
    I’m glad you’ve enjoyed our city so much. We tend to pretend to be blase about it, rather than actually are. But you’ve seen things and talked about places I feel I should know and don’t so thank you for putting it in another light. When it’s dark and grimy it’s good to know it still has glamour!
    Next time you come back, why don’t you persuade the publishers that you need an entourage and bring the family – I’m sure they’d love it too!!

  134. Hi Stephanie – just to second the person who said it was good to be reminded why London is wonderful. It has been a wet old summer and it’s great to see it in another light. I’ve been reminding myself to really look for the last few days which has been very cheering.
    My sister and I (I feel like the Queen, saying that!) really enjoyed your talk at IKnit, and you having your piccie taken with her husband’s wedding socks made her honeymoon!
    You were the main topic of conversation at my knitting group yesterday, and your grace in the face of a 3 hour book signing and the fact you had something to say to everyone was a source of awe and wonder πŸ™‚
    Come back soon!

  135. I absolutely loved London while I was there a couple of years ago, not least of all due to half a free train ticket and lodging. I did a bus tour to Dover also, where I learned that Canadians and the Australians take tea. I miss tea. Hope you had a proper tea time!

  136. I always forget when I haven’t read your blog in a while the sheer numbers of comments you get. I just wanted to say I hope the Dutch knitters left you with enough stroopwafels to take home with you. The kind you get on this side of the ocean aren’t nearly as good as the real Dutch ones. And if they did give you some stroopwafels to take home, try sitting one on top of a steaming cup of tea or coffee and letting the heat soften up the caramely stuff inside. Yummy.

  137. Back from holidays and first thing I did was to check your London report! That’s my mum, Jenny, holding a photo of me – Ellie, not Jenny! πŸ™‚ – and my First Baby Mojo Theo. Also a pathetic 3″ of sock…
    Loved reading about it all, and am still open-mouthed in awe at the Dalek!

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