Happy Halloween

That title is a bit misleading, since this entry isn’t really about Halloween, but about the vest thing still. I do wish you a Happy Halloween though. Since someone will ask though, I’ll just do it now. Amanda (19) has not shared her costume plan with me this year. She might not be dressing up. Sam (14) is being a ballerina… a plan that was in serious jeopardy last night when we couldn’t make the criss-crossy ribbons on her legs stay up. I was thinking about sewing them to the tights when my brilliant husband came up with the idea of replacing the ribbons with hockey tape. The tape looks like ribbon and really stays up. We don’t know how we’ll get it off… but it really stays up. Meg (17) is doing a pairs costume with her friend Madeleine. Maddy is being the Mad Hatter and Meg is the White Rabbit. There was some consideration last night of Meg’s idea that she should stuff her shirt where her belly is to look pregnant, since the White Rabbit is “Late for a very important date” and she thought it would double the joke. (Get it? Late? The White Rabbit is “late”?) Meg thought this hysterical. I, being her mother, was torn between how actually funny that is (which is quite) and how not funny it would be (which is not at all.)

Moving along. Questions from yesterday.

Bethany H asks:

I’m probably not the first to suggest this, but perhaps did you read it to be 19.75 to the shoulders, and it might have been to the armholes?

Good guess, but no, and I even suggested it to myself, since that would be a reasonable explanation. There are two measurements given. One to the armholes and one to the shoulders. Would have been a pretty sweet catch if that was it though.

Melissa (and a whole bunch of you) inquire:

I hate to ask the stupid question, but I’m going to anyway. Is it possible that this is an American pattern and that the numbers are given in inches? That would make a bit more sense I think.

It is an American pattern, and it is in inches – but so is my knitting. I think it’s pretty hard, especially when you get into several inches or centimetres to confuse them. Check this out.


That’s the vest front (reworked) and next to it is a tape measure at 19.75 inches, and a tape measure at 19.75 centimetres. I like to think (although I have surprised myself more than a few times) that the difference between those is so radical that if I were knitting in cm when it should be inches that I really shouldn’t get too far.

Mel says:

Actually, it looks like it would work well as a cropped vest. Does the pattern not show it on a model to demonstrate the intended look?

Yup. Right here. I didn’t see that as particularly cropped when I first looked at it, but as Andrea pointed out, those look like 3/4 length sleeves, and even they are longer than the vest. I should have looked more carefully. (Or, as I pointed out yesterday, maybe I could have read the pattern where the length was clearly stated. Dumbass.)

Deb says:

Maybe it is supposed to be one of those weird Only Covers To The Bottom Of The Boobs vests that you wear a button down shirt under? And then you have like 14 inches of the shirt hanging out from under it. Like those teeny tiny Jackets That Are Really Shrugs things.

Like this?

Totally possible. Myself, I have a middle aged middle and there is zero chance that I would be caught dead in something that accentuated or highlighted the exact size and location of either my breasts or my middle, but it’s possible that the designer is hotter than me. (Likely – actually.)

Laurie wants to know:


and Diane seconds the motion with:


You can tell from the ALL CAPS REQUEST that they are seriously smitten. Mairi is wearing ‘Kilronan’ from Alice Starmore’s Celtic Collection, which is, as Mairi herself noted in the comments, one of the only Alice Starmore books still in print and available.

In the end, I’ve fixed the problem with the vest being to short for my taste by ripping back to the armholes, working another repeat of the diamonds, and I’m over it. I think it’s going to be the right length now – and if it isn’t it won’t matter, since I shall simply snip it up and eat it out of fury. I don’t mind making mistakes in knitting as long as they are worth something, you know? Like if you’re learning something new and you screw up – or you took a chance trying to figure a way out of a knitting problem, or you’re designing and the learning curve has a couple of bumps on the way to perfection. All of that is fine with me. As long as the error yields something, I can suck it up. It’s the stupid bonehead stuff where you knew better, weren’t paying attention and had to pull back and re-knit something you knew darn well was wrong and are now suffering the consequences of only your own stupidity that just makes me furious to the point of seething purple rage.


Anyway. I started the back of the thing. I’m going to go knit. There’s a bucket of Halloween chocolate here that’s destined to take the edge right off of this.

A Cautionary Tale

Today’s knitting lesson is brought to you by the letter


For Denial.

So, I’m knitting that vest. Knitting along, minding my own business, churning out the yardage, and when I get to the armholes, this little voice in the back of my head says “Don’t you think it’s a little short for your taste?” I’ve learned (sort of) not to ignore that voice, so I say “Well, maybe, yeah”, and I break out the pattern and the tape measure. I’m knitting the medium. I’m sort of short, but I like things a little long and I have accessories out the front that knitted things need to accommodate, so medium usually suits me fine. The pattern says 10.75 inches is the length for the medium, and that’s what I have, but my inner knitter (who knows lot more than my outer one) says “that’s not going to cut it” and I listened. I decided to use the length for the XXL. Awesome. That’s got to be plenty long enough… right?

I keep knitting. The next time I think “that looks a little short” is when I’m done the front. The finished piece is to be 18.75 inches for the medium, but I’m still using the XXL for length, so I keep trucking until I’ve got that length, 19.75. I measure, remeasure, measure it lying down and hanging up, and in the end I can’t shut that voice up, so I add a couple more centimetres. I now have a vest that’s the XXL length plus a bit, and that’s just got to be good enough, so I ignore the voice (“that looks a little short“) and cast off.

I start the back. I take blog pictures (“don’t you think that’s a little short?“) and I fold it up (“I think that’s too short”) and take it to knit night. At knit night, I pull out my knitting and lay the finished front nearby. Several people look at it and admire it, squeeze the cushy cormo yarn and compliment the colour, but they are a polite crew, and nobody says much else – with the exception of one knitter who asked if it was a cropped vest, but said nothing more when I said No. (The inner voice wondered why she said that, but my outer self blocked it.) I looked it over again. I thought about it some more. Finally (“DON’T YOU THINK THAT’S A LITTLE SHORT?”) I smoothed it over my leg, then held it up to my front, and turned to the knitters and said “Do you think this is a little short?”

Molly, sitting across from me, has this look flash across her face for an instant, and the look said “Holy cow am I ever glad she’s ready to talk about this” and she answers so fast that I know that she really means it.

Yes. Yes. That’s too short. Totally too short. That vest is not long enough, it is too short. Totally.

“Really?” I say, feeling the first knowledge that a big rip is in my future, and everyone agrees. Really. Too short. I’m still dwelling in the land of denial though, so I defend it – and I confide that it can’t be too short, because I measured, I checked the pattern, and I knit the XXL for length. Several knitters stare at me. XXL? That’s the XXL?

Thus began a campaign to bring me out from the land of denial and try to match the vest with reality.

Here it is on a knitter who’s an XL – not even the XXL it’s the length for.


Here it is on a knitter who’s a large. (Better.)


Here it is on a knitter who’s a medium (that’s me.)


Here it is on a knitter who’s a small.


The width is fine. Drea, the XL, might need a little more room, and Mairi, the large, is a pretty skinny large, so she needs less width, but the point here is that it isn’t enough length for any of the sizes – unless it’s meant to be a cropped vest, or a vest that comes to just above the waist, in which case a couple of us are going to be alright.

My point isn’t that the pattern is wrong. It may or may not be, depending on what the designer intended, I mean, for all we know, that’s the length it’s meant to be… and it’s a pretty easy fix to get it to fit the way I want. I’ll rip back to the divide for the front and do another repeat of the diamonds, which will make it long enough for me easily. The point is that the whole thing is my fault, because the length for this vest is clearly stated on the pattern… which I thought was too short, which then seemed too short in the knitting, which I then could see was too short when I held it up to myself, which I then KNIT ANYWAY, even though I know I like my stuff longer than that.

Sigh. Denial. Baby Elwood wants you to know…


It ain’t just a river in Egypt.

Drive by random

1. I wasn’t going to blog today because Denny asked me for some yarn and I said “no problem” but it turns out that to find it, I totally have to “go deep” into one of the stash closets and I sort of made a big mess that I was going to clean up instead of blogging.

2. Screw that.

3. I’m knitting a vest out of the really, really beautiful Alice Field cormo (Foxhill) that I got at Rhinebeck and am helpless in the face of.


It’s the Diamond Rain Vest from Purlescence Yarns. I can’t seem to find a link to it right now, but I bought mine off Ravelry.

4. The front is done.

5. I turned on the furnace. I know it’s early, but it snowed for the second time last night and dudes, it was just too cold. (Also, since the game ends when the temperature drops below zero or it snows, and both of those things happened last week and I didn’t cave in until it happened again this week? I won anyway.)

6. It was too cold to spin, on account of my feet kept getting numb.

7. Since I turned on the heat, I have a whole other bobbin of the polwarth spun.


8. This appears to have made no perceptible difference in the amount of the polwarth in the bag.


9. The colours are more accurate in the top picture.

10. Anybody want to clean up a big yarn mess?

Oatmeal On a Cold Morning

That’s what this new scarf is like. Like a bowl of steaming hot-before it starts to cool down and turn into glue, perfectly right oatmeal with brown sugar and milk on top and maybe raisins. (Maybe not. I’m 40 years old and still not sure of my position on raisins.)


I cast on for this scarf on Thursday night and it was done by Saturday and for one of the first times ever I was sad to be done with a project. Usually, by the time something is finished, especially something simple, I’m done. Way done. I’m either bored and ready to do something else, or sick of it because it’s just gone on too long and I can hear the siren call of other yarns, or I’m just excited to have it finished and have moved entirely past loving it as a process and am ready to see it as a product…


Not this time. I feel like I could have knit this forever and ever and ever, and I’d say that 80% of that was the yarn. The other 20% likely represents the brain cells I haven’t grown back after the last tour, and the fact that I wasn’t feeling well at all this weekend, and was therefore very, very easily amused, even by a simple 2X2 rib. I re-watched part of the Thorn Birds too, while I churned away on this, and do not even start to diss that miniseries. I love it. It’s a work of art and an epic. Also it has a young Richard Chamberlain as Father Ralph De Bricassart and forbidden love and Meggie Cleary in the ashes of roses dress, and a rampaging wild boar, and thousands of sheep. What more could you ask for? What more could you want?



Sorry. Back to the yarn. I got this yarn as an extremely good present years ago on a visit to Kalamazoo and it’s been haunting me a little bit since then. It was love at first sight, and I’ve been waiting to knit it. It’s Marr Haven Merino Rambouillet – Mule Spun yarn, and I think it’s quite possibly one of the cushiest rides I’ve been on in a long while. It’s lofty, it’s bouncy, it’s dense without being heavy and fluffy without seeming fragile. It’s still got some of the lanolin in it so it really smells right, like it came from a sheep and it’s rustic like whole grain bread is. I loved this yarn so much that I was asked by several people to kindly refrain from asking people to squeeze it. (I forgot that not all non-knitters think it’s fun to play with balls of yarn, although we all agree that asking people if they would like to squeeze your balls is always funny, and is only compounded when they say things like “wow, those balls are softer than I thought they would be” or heaven forbid “bigger”.)

I loved this yarn so much that I actually thought of ordering more as soon as I finished, which cracked me up a bit because the point of this scarf was stash busting, not test driving, and if knitting two skeins lands you ten more you’re sort of defeating the purpose… you know?


Marr Haven scarf. 1.5 skeins of Marr Haven Worsted Weight yarn in Medium Grey and Natural. 6mm needles. 28 stitches in 2×2 rib, slipping the first stitch of every row.

When that was done I cast on for a vest, but more about that tomorrow. Tuesdays are for spinning.

(See how everything falls into place when I’m home?)

PS. While I was in Jacksonville I met a knitter named Renee doing her thesis on knitting. (I bet some of you who were there remember her.) She needs volunteers to fill in her survey so that she can validate her theories. If you have a minute, can I ask you to help her out here? It’s interesting work, and good for all of us.

A True Story

This was the scene last night, as all my nearest and dearest gathered together in an overwhelmed Indian restaurant last night. I had all my family, all Joe’s family, some dear friends.




I had wine.


I had a corsage. (Thanks to Denny and Rachel H.)



I had a wonderful time, and was feted and celebrated by all those who love me, and I tried not to be to uncomfortable with it. I have a hard time accepting praise, and I don’t like people to make direct eye contact with my accomplishments. I don’t know why this is, but I do know that it’s something I need to work on. To that end, I have something to tell you. It happened on October 10th, and I haven’t properly told the world. (I know. I told you I have a hard time.) I’ve told a few people. I even practised telling people at a book signing, but it didn’t make me any more comfortable with it – and as a matter of fact, telling it only made me more embarrassed, which only made me more worried, which only made me more resolved to keep it (bizarrely) to myself. Then last night, I saw that my accomplishments mean something to more people than just me. That it pleases my mother, and my husband and all those who love me to acknowledge these things, and I decided to tell you – especially since I have all of you to thank for it.





I know. Pretty stunning. Really pretty stunning. It was right there, right at the bottom of the list of the New York Times Bestsellers. It was #32 (which is not the absolute bottom but is very, very close.) and it’s not on there anymore, but it almost doesn’t matter. For one glorious, shining week my book was on the New York Times Bestsellers list. The best part? The best part is that it’s a little like (I imagine) winning an Academy Award. For the rest of their life, that actor is introduced as “Academy Award winning actor insertnamehere”. It’s a title granted to them for their whole career… and being on the NYT Best Sellers list is the same. For the rest of my life, I will be introduced as “New York Times Best Selling Author Stephanie Pearl-McPhee”, and that, my friends sounds like a whole lot of awesome.

Thanks to every single one of you who made this possible for me. It feels weird, but good, and I am grateful to you beyond words.

Frenzy of Intention

I have a wicked case of startitis. I want to knit or spin absolutely everything in this house. If I were not restraining myself, I would have cast on 549 things since I got back home. I get startitis like everybody else, but dudes, this is a wicked case. This case is so bad that it is paired with knitting delusion… you know the kind? Where not only do you want to knit all of these things, but you are actually willing to lie to yourself about how long knitting takes in order to rationalize your plans? I’m saying phrases like “whip up a vest” and “knock off a pair of slippers” (that’s the cold talking. It snowed here day before last.) and my casually developing interest in scarves this season last night turned into a full on frenzy of intention as I realized I was planning to make three of the things by Saturday. This Saturday. This being Thursday, I’ve talked myself into something resembling sanity on that one. I never, ever, ever get startitis this badly, and I’m tempted to go back into my own archives and see if it’s a normal by-product of knit related travel. I suspect it is.. since here is the rest of my theory on what’s got me itching to knit.

1. Restraint. I believe that I am now suffering the whiplash effect of only having a couple of knitting projects with me for weeks and weeks. Limited to one or two projects at a time (even though that didn’t bother me much as I lived it) I now want millions as compensation.

2. Size. For weeks now I have had only little bitty projects with me because if you are bugging out of a hotel room like a MASH unit every morning and carrying everything you have with you every where you go, you would start taking your “small underwear” on trips too. Every gram counts, so it’s been little, light projects for me.

I knit some mittens.


Basic mittens (pattern is just the “here is how you make mittens” lecture from my Nana that I’ve had in my head since I was seven.) Yarn is a “rare gem” (one of a kind) from Blue Moon in STR Heavyweight. Took about a half a skein. Size 3.5mm needles.

The mittens were given to Tina instantly on their finishing. (She thinks I’m generous, but really, it was all about the suitcase. No way was I going to truck around Heavyweight mittens.) I then turned my attention to these:


A quick and plain pair of plain vanilla socks (made with a short row heel, because I was really grooving on the stripes.) Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Sock with the romantic colour name of “HS04 -Taos”.

These were pressed into service (that’s hotel room carpet I’m standing on) and a crappy pair of commercial socks went into the hotel garbage. Then I started another sock…


STR lightweight in Basan. See? Little projects, and all those little projects together seem to have come together in an overwhelming urge to cast on sweaters.

3. Temptation. There is no need to go into the sordid details, but suffice it to say that I came home from both SOAR and Rhinebeck with some new best friends of the yarn variety. Everything I got was very, very nice, and I want very, very much to knit with it. I am showing a little self control, but in an impulsive move, I have already started spinning this beautiful Polwarth (I think this is a great breed.) from Francine at Rovings.


I swear, the next time I see her I think I’m going to yell “Get thee behind me Satan!” since I had no sooner finished explaining to Rachel H. that I was absolutely not going to make any big purchases when I saw this and rather helplessly forked over my card. I’d try to lie to you and say that I don’t know what happened, but I do. I saw Cheryl’s beautiful (Ok. She only has the yarn there, but trust me, the sweater is a winner) handspun February Lady, and then I saw this beautiful roving and the sky opened and a bolt of lightning hit me, I saw how 2 + 2 could in this case make 46, and whammo, I was buying a huge bag of fluff before I even had my coat off.


That happened a lot. I’m sort of not sorry either, because it brings me to Startitis cause #4.

4. Inspiration. I’ve just spent weeks in the company of other knitters and spinners and damn. Are you all clever. Really clever. Hugely clever. So clever that there’s just no way that I can possibly not want to be all of you. Every time that I saw a brilliant sweater or a cozy scarf or a gossamer shawl or funky socks or a wicked hat or your one of a kind handspun or your colourwork mittens or your felted bag or tiny socks or Sanquhar gloves….. every single time, it was all I could do not to want to rush home right that minute and try to make what you all did, and I think that’s the biggest thing going on here. Every single day for the last several weeks, I’ve seen a couple of hundred of real life knitting accomplishments walking around, and it just makes everything seem so possible.

I have been influenced and inspired by the company of knitters, and when I grow up, I want to be all of you.

Apparently, all at once.

Whew and then some

Dudes. That was a bit much. There really isn’t ever going to be enough time to talk about everything that has happened since Thursday, and I’m officially giving up. I’ve been sitting here thinking (in as much as I am capable of thought, so entirely tired am I) of how to weave the last several days into a reasonable story, and it just won’t come together – so I’m not even going to try. I’m just going to toss it out there and let it be out there.


Somewhat caffeinated (but not enough, by now there could never be enough) I arrive in Jacksonville and am stunned to discover that this is where the warm went. I check into my room at the hotel and lie face down on the bed until it’s time to get up and go see the Jacksonville knitters. (Note to self. Interesting that this is where the warm is and that there are still this many knitters here. Proof of knitting’s appeal. These people do not need to be warm and are knitting anyway.)





I see cute babies and young knitters, this is Samina (from the comments) and Pete, and Kathy and Sam and Sydney and Channing (who is so totally an Annabelle – if you’ve read the new book. I’m surprised the picture of her isn’t totally blurry – this is a fast moving kid.)


There were first sock knitters aplenty, like Mary, Sara, Chris, and Lori. (You will note that there appears to be a Jacksonville outbreak of tiny sock disease.)


Kimber made signs, and lots of knitters signed one of them and I got to take it home! ( That’s Tricia helping her hold them.)


Corrina felt badly that her friends Kathy and Chris couldn’t come. So she brought them (sort of.)


Carol brought me a washcloth, and Nikki brought Erin’s washcloth. (Gotta love that team playing.)


and Patti brought me a picture of the baptism gown that she knit in only two weeks. TWO Weeks. Boggles the mind when knitters pull of this crazy stuff.


I did not ask her what those two weeks were like. We all know.

It was a great stop, and Kathe and her crew did a great job.


I make my way to Philadelphia, where Juno picks me up at the airport, and then we had salad (bought danskos, which makes me very happy because I have been wanting some) and began the 2.5 hour drive to Rhinebeck.

Six hours later, after several navigational mishaps, traffic that we shall never speak of again and an entirely bizarre experience or ten – during which it became really, really clear that we were on a voyage of the damned….

We arrived at Rhinebeck.

Saturday/ Sunday:

I revel in the glory that is Rhinebeck, and bring you back pictures. They are bad pictures mostly, but I was very tired and the wool fumes are dangerous and influence my skills. They are also very bad pictures, because although I deeply regret being forced to admit that I am this sort of person, I have lost the piece of paper on which I wrote the names of some of these people, and had I not met hundreds of knitters in the last little while I might stand a chance at remembering their names, but I have met hundreds of knitters and it was Rhinebeck and I am that sort of person and I am very, very sorry. Kindly identify yourself if you see yourself… will you? I beg a thousand pardons.

Click to embiggen the smaller ones.



Baa, baa, Jess, Maryse.

This is Karen (man.. I think it was Karen. If you’re not Karen I feel really bad.) Karen (or she I’m calling Karen) is showing me her first, second, third and fifth pairs of socks. Her family is wearing them.


I think that picture is so charming that I want to bake that whole family banana bread or something.


Socks. Washcloths. Knitter fun.


Lettuce Knit Megan and my boy Elwood. (I love that baby. )


Kellee yucks it up, Ms Toomuchwool puts it away…



With that, I journeyed back to Juno’s… lay face down on the bed until I had a flight home, and made my family squash like a good mum.

Back on track.

I think I’ll knit something.

A coffee story

Dateline: Thursday October 16th.

Location: an airport. I think it was Boston, but it’s not like it matters.

Time: Early. More early than I can properly be held accountable for.

Scene one: I get to the Airport. I default to base type and after passing though security (where I am smart enough not to buy a coffee before security that they will only take away from me at security because liquids are bad) I begin a search for coffee.

Scene two: I congratulate myself for not being even a little rude of violent before now, even though coffee is the link to life, and I haven’t had one. (The lines are long at security and I did them coffeeless. This makes me double proud- especially when someone in airport line sees the Canadian flag on my suitcase and takes the time out of their own busy line waiting to tell me that I live in a socialist hell that is doomed to failure. I somehow managed, yay verily though I was COFFEELESS, to thank them for taking the time to share.

Scene three: I buy a coffee at the wee coffee wicket, beaming broadly at the girl.

Scene four: Juggling my stuff, I attempt to throw away some garbage. Due to extreme book tour induced exhaustion, I let loose wrong hand over garbage bin, and throw away coffee purchased mere moments ago. (I also let go passport and ticket, but only retrieve same from bin, deciding that coffee can be repurchased from wicket. Endure stares of random strangers who see me digging in the bin. Smile at them.

Scene five: return to wicket. Purchase more coffee. Decide to visit the loo, because I am still afraid of airplane bathrooms (having heard bizarre urban myths about awful outcomes) and place coffee on toilet paper dispenser while doing what one might do in the loo.

Scene six: Leave loo after washing hands, and return to boarding area of airport. Realize coffee was left in loo. Decide that picking up coffee from dispenser after committing ones own ablutions is not so gross, but retrieving coffee after stranger may have committed same is revolting beyond all reason. Do not return to loo to get coffee, but acknowledge loss and go back to coffee wicket.

Scene seven: purchase another coffee from astonished clerk who clearly wonders what the hell I am doing with all the coffee. Explain vaguely about coffee in garbage and loo. Fail to make sense. Return to boarding area with coffee.

Scene eight: Hear flight called. Realize coffee is barrier to effective boarding, considering knitting that is taking up hand space. Pitch coffee in bin and report to gate.

Scene nine: Misheard, apparently. Flight not boarding. Coffee wasted. Return to seat – coffeeless and in despair.

Scene ten: spend 20 minutes trying to figure out if I can return to coffee clerk to buy fourth coffee in 25 minutes without looking like raving whackjob.

Scene eleven: Decide damage to reputation worth coffee. Return to wicket, buy fourth cup. Avoid direct eye contact with clerk who clearly thinks I have taken all leave of my senses and am coffee guzzling maniac. Resolve not to submit expense report for clearly reckless coffee purchases. Pay cash. Leave no paper trail.

Scene twelve: return to seat with fourth coffee. Sit down. Pick up knitting. Embrace coffee. Hold tenderly in hands while waiting for black coffee to cool enough for actual drinking.

Scene thirteen: Celebrate moment of perfect temperature and then, mere seconds later, feel pang of horrendous bad timing when flight is actually called.

Scene fourteen: Weep, as fourth undrunk coffee is pitched in bin. Board flight. Decide humanity is almost beyond redemption and that I have picked wrong career. Writing not as romantic as previously imagined. Spend time in queue imagining jobs that have coffee maker installed at location.

Scene fifteen: Resolve, somewhere over Washington, while attempting to drink bizarre brown water that United calls coffee… that human focus on caffeine is not yet even remotely civilized.

Scene sixteen: Alternately knit, weep and sleep on plane – all involuntarily.

Boston Briefly

For the first time on this tour, I can tell you that I am well and properly tired. Wiped. Out. Almost incoherent. I would have blogged sooner today but I decided to have a little lie down when I got to Jacksonville (Today’s flights, Boston- Washington, Washington Jacksonville) in order to stand a chance at doing anything other than drooling at tonight’s event. I’ve not got much knitting to show you either, since a huge symptom of my fatigue is that I’m no longer knitting on flights, but just holding my knitting while I drift in and out of sleep and drink endless cups of coffee, and when I came in from the Boston gig last night, all I did was pack my things, gaze wistfully at a beer, and my knitting, and fall asleep without touching either. That means that all I’ve got to show you is the only thing I’ve done without falling asleep in the last 24 hours, and that was meet Boston knitters. Behold.



I’m afraid you’re going to get the short version (though it was a hugely entertaining evening) because I’ve only got a few minutes before I have to go to the Jacksonville event. (It’s all running together now. I can feel that I’m going to screw something up soon. Maybe this blog post. We’ll see.) Boston was all about celebrating firsts.

First socks (Emily, Martha, Jess, Amanda, Courtney)



First knitter I’ve ever met who knit herself a David Tennant. (That would be Alexis.)


First handspun colourwork hat for Rena


First baby (I think) for Jessica (that’s pretty little Cordelia)


First cables for Lily,


First finished Christmas present for Amber


First time I’ve ever seen anybody figure out how to represent a bell changeringing chart into a cables


(That’s Asher and Mira – changeringers themselves – they call the pattern Cambridge Major.)

First project in the round for Tabitha, at the tender age of 9


Finally, this is Heather.


She dyes the Eye of Jupiter yarn, and she thinks that knitting a single sock to protest the lack of new episodes for BSG is the best idea ever. So we’re doing it. Jumping on Rebecca’s train and knitting protest socks. More later. I’ve got 4 minutes to get to the lobby.

PS. Last night Kimberly brought me a pizza, knowing that room service would be over by the time I got back there, and that it would be all meated up anyway.


I almost kissed her full on the mouth. Best Stalker ever.

2 minutes. Gak.

A Brooklyn Sidewalk

Last night I arrived in NYC at about 4:45, and boogied over to Brooklyn, ( That took an hour. There are a lot of cars in Brooklyn) checked into my hotel, googled where the bookstore was and was thrilled to discover that I was only 5 blocks away from where I needed to be. Partly I was thrilled because it was close and I didn’t have a lot of time to get there, but mostly I was happy because it meant that I got to walk in Brooklyn, which is something I love. I love walking anywhere, but walking in cities is something that I love best of all. I went out and walked up 5th street, past all the walkups and row houses, all with the window boxes and granite… the sidewalks are old and cracked, and I love every inch of them. I walked past a school, with kids playing in a playground outside, I walked past restaurants and little coffee places. I admired fire escapes, which I think are hopelessly romantic. I walked past the hundreds of different kinds of things and people in Brooklyn, and by the time I got to the bookstore I was in a great mood, and this is what I found.





If you look closely at the second one, you’ll see my buddy Danny from Toronto, who surprised me by turning up here, which is double weird, because I just saw him at SOAR in a whole other place. That boy gets around. The group was my favourite sort, small, eclectic and funny. Here’s a couple of highlights.


Here’s Kerry, with a great big wall hanging/ pillow project. I’m only showing you a small part of it, but it was huge and gorgeous. When she’s done, she’ll have FIVE OF HER CHRISTMAS PRESENTS DONE. (I told her we don’t need her kind hanging around these parts. Overachiever. It’s October for crying out loud. What’s she trying to do? Take all the sport out of it with her planning ahead thing?)


This is Amanda, showing off her first sleeves. (snork.)


Meet Joelle, charming as all get out, and beaming away with her 2nd pair of socks. (Yeah, I know. Not first socks. She was that charming.)


Jennifer wants to say hi to her mom Anita.


Eileen made a washcloth….

Carissa made a……


Guy monster thingie. Very cute.

This here though… this is Rebecca and she is holding an Eye of Jupiter sock.


She is holding just one because she refuses to knit the other until the second half of the fourth season of Battlestar Galactica is released from whatever holding tank the sci-fi channel has it in. While I support the cause (Geeks unite! Deliver my BSG to me! I will wait no longer for tales of Starbuck and the delay in knowing the final cylon model is frankly…. inhumane. Just saying.) I have to wonder at how effective her plan might be. I’m not sure how much the sci-fi channel cares that Rebecca will not knit the second sock until they comply… but it’s good that she’s taking a stand. I salute her.. and may poke around in my stash for my Eye of Jupiter yarn too. Maybe they won’t be able to ignore the clear cry for help that is two unfinished socks that still aren’t a pair.

Stand taken, books signed, knitters adored, I slipped of back into the night, had dinner with a friend, and tripped back down the Brooklyn sidewalk, on a beautiful early autumn night, fallen leaves between me and the sidewalk, with the big full moon shining down on me. It was awesome.

Today I’m in Boston – and I’ll see some of you here, tonight. (Tomorrow is Jacksonville, Florida, and Saturday SUNDAY (I think I’m a little tired) is 10:45 at Rhinebeck (just a signing, with all of the other authors there – not a talk.) See you there?

PS. Today is the last day of voting for the Bloggers Choice awards, and it’s possible that I’m currently being beaten by a guy who writes a blog about radio controlled things, and while I’m sure it’s a really good blog and I really wouldn’t mind being beaten by another knitter…. well. Never mind. All I’m trying to say is that it’s the last day, and if you think I deserve it, I’d love your vote. (I’m sure the radio guy would love it too…. you know. If you roll that way.)