Boston, you’re not Boring

Let me tell you something about Boston –  Not once, ever when I have been there, has anything even remotely normal happened to me – and that was certainly true this go around.  As a matter of fact, I’d have to say that Boston kicked it up a notch this time – putting the icing on the cake when the fire alarm went off in my hotel way, way too early in the morning and we had to evacuate, and then popped a little cherry on top when my flight got delayed and turned the trip into a big of a rush, now that I’m here in Baltimore. I love Boston a lot, but it is not screwing around when it decides to be interesting, I’ll tell you that for free.

Wanna see? Sure you do.  Here’s the seemingly normal Boston crowd. bostonleft 2014-03-14 bostonright 2014-03-14

It all seems pretty normal, if you call what I’m doing on this book tour anything remotely normal, but it’s not normal. See this? This is Michelle. These are her first socks.

michelle1stsocks2ndproject 2014-03-14

Seems normal, doesn’t it? SURE  IT DOES. Until you find out that they might be her first socks, but they’re also her second project.  Ever. That’s not normal.

Also not normal was the wonder that was Susan.

susan1stsockbutone 2014-03-14

Susan walked up and said it was her first sock, and I looked at it, and the thing is perfect.  Totally perfect. It’s got complex cables, it’s the right size, there’s not a mistake on it, it looks like a 1000th sock. I was totally flipped out until I realized there’s only one. That’s a little more normal.

This is Deborah. She was pretty normal, and it was her birthday.

debarahbirthday 2014-03-14

She was pretty normal until she handed me a challah that she’d baked, and I remembered that last time she and her husband brought me butter tarts, and I started to wonder if they’re normal after all.  I’m not objecting, in any case.

Betsy isn’t normal either, in the best possible way.  The last time I was in Boston, Betsy came and showed us this:

betsyypatricklasttime 2014-03-14

It was a picture of her nephew Patrick recovering from brain cancer. She’d started trying to help by starting up PatPat’s Hats. Last night she came to do three things. 1) get a book. 2) tell me that you guys have made a tremendous difference to her cause and (drumroll please)

betsyppatricknow 2014-03-14

Show me a picture of Patrick, now five years old and healthy.  Happily for Patrick, and sadly for a lot of kids who get cancer, that’s not normal, but I think we would all love it if it were.  (You can do some other nice knitter stuff to help raise awareness of pediatric cancer here. It’s underfunded.)

Last but not least:

thenuns 2014-03-14

Everyone’s favourite Knitting Nuns. The sisters of the Holy Nativity Convent.  (They’re a self supporting convent, which I think is just so cool. There’s candles and stuff, but Mother Macrina makes amazing batts and roving.) I know a lot of us dream of making things for a living, and here they are. Getting it done. It’s lovely. The nuns brought me some beautiful soup, bread and pudding, and it was delicious and meant I got to skip two restaurant meals. (Plus, Mother Seraphima gave me Dr. Who stitch markers. That’s a cool nun.)

Finally,  something not normal happened right at the end.  I was ready to leave, and the bookstore events lady asked me if I would like to sign the men’s bathroom wall.  Apparently they let authors do this (but they’ve never asked me before.)

bathroomselfie 2014-03-14

I signed between Sue Monk Kidd and Wally Lamb.  It wasn’t normal.








63 thoughts on “Boston, you’re not Boring

  1. Either I’m first or there a problem with the comments section. Looks like everyone had a great time in boston and Baltimore. You would have an even better time in Cincinnati! I’ll let you sign the bathroom wall, too. And, I’ll bring you homemade bread. Tell your publisher.

  2. For those who often wonder, yep, they’re my kind of nuns — Greek (Eastern) Orthodox — and they are supremely awesome.

    You’re lucky to have been fed by them, Steph.

  3. Boston is never boring and neither are you, dear Stephanie! Thank you for writing to us all through your tour! I received notice today that a copy of your book is finally on its way to me~can’t wait to read it!
    Wishing you continued safe journey, friendly followers, and fine fare from your fans.
    If you haven’t figured it out yet, we think you’re a treasure!
    Linda B
    (NJ, USA)

  4. Thank you!!! Thank you for letting us laugh in the middle of a mundane week!! And thank you for going some is us the honor of the shout out .. Aunt Betsy (celebrating her birthday knowing her nephew is 2 years cancer free!!!! )

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I live vicariously in your zany life. I got your books on Nook. Wish there was a way to get an autograph on that! You rock, Stephanie.

    • It was so great seeing you! True to my word, the girls I was there with helped me learn to knit this past weekend and I’m doing ok at it. I’m looking at interchangable cable needles now… 🙂

  6. I am so excited for you and your tour, but even more excited that you will be in Texas in two weeks at DFW Fiber Fest. Signed the wall in the men’s room. Pretty cool.

  7. I’ve been to Boston once and it was not “normal” for me either….or maybe that’s because I was three months pregnant with Little Man at the time. Either way, hoooray for Boston!

  8. After seeing your for the first time in California while vacationing with my mom in ’11, seeing you last year for “Your Brain on Knitting” and for the third time this past Wednesday, I have to say I would travel over an hour (or across the country any time to hear you speak. Good Job!

  9. Your nuns are my nuns too, my son was fascinated with the parcels addressed to a convent. I’ll show him your photo and then he can see that they are really real (as opposed to mum’s imaginary friends)

  10. one of my kids wrote their name on the wall once.
    I made them wash it off.
    That is a cool bathroom. Maybe I could pull off that look – “Hey, friends, come sign my bathroom….” 🙂

  11. Are you up to date on the weather back home? Not normal. Melty slush today, freezing again tomorrow (and perhaps forever). I looked at a calendar today and it said “First day of Spring” next week. No, not normal. We are going bonkers here.

  12. Boston Bathroom Graffiti???? What about the Women’s Bathroom???? I know there are a lot of reasons to speed up the trip in the women’s bathroom but we need something to read while we wait!

      • Those departing employees might leave some interesting reading! Just finished Wally Lamb’s latest… very good as usual.

      • Your name on the bathroom wall. You’ve made it! It’s like the being on the cover of the Rolling Stone!
        Happy for Patrick-YEAAAAA!
        I’m going to have to look up the nuns. I thought Presbyteria was just kidding.

  13. I’m late in life to be realizing this but, I think normal is greatly over rated. All the “not normal” things that have happened to you sound pretty neat to me.

  14. I am glad that Boston was a good time for you. It always is for your audience. I have had the pleasure of attending your talks twice but, alas, we missed this stop on your book tour. Several of our group were ill this week so we were forced to stay home. Hopefully we will catch up with you at another stop on the tour.

  15. I’m so sad that I had to miss your reading (working at my LYS facilitating Sweater Support Group), but so excited that Michelle got to show you her Foot Ovens. Did she tell you that she just learned to knit in January? We think she might be a prodigy.

  16. I don’t wan’t to harsh your mellow, but does the invitation to sign the men’s room walls mean the women’s room walls are reserved for the likes of P.D. James, Elmore Leonard, &/or winners of Nobel or Pulitzer prizes?

    Hope you signed at eye level above a urinal, and included part of a knitting pattern. Can just imagine some guy thinking “What the h*ll does ‘k2, p2, you’ mean??? And how do I contact this Stephanie for a good time?!?!?”

  17. What else isn’t normal is posting in the evening so people who can’t sleep in on a Saturday morning get compensation.

    And no need to specify the denomination– of course the nuns fed you. They’re Greek!

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  19. What? So all the knitting women don’t get to see your signature on the wall? Let’s take over the men’s room! (Or, the men could use it as a way to impress his lady friends. “You’ll never guess whose signature I saw today.” And the ladies swoon and think he is a god.)

  20. I made socks … well, a sock 🙂 for my first (finished) project. It definitely wasn’t perfect, but it looked pretty good. It was in worsted weight (looks like Michelle’s are too), but I wasn’t adventurous enough to try two colors. It wasn’t until my fifth pair that I added another color.

    • My first sock was a worsted-weight single, too. It wasn’t worth replicating. It did, however, start my life-long antipathy to dpns. When I discovered the magic loop my knitting life was transformed, and now socks are one of my favorite projects.

  21. Thanks for being a wicked pissah awesome author. Everyone at my knit night who wasn’t able to make it was very jealous. It is delightful to know that you are as funny in person as you are on the page. Thanks for coming to Boston.

  22. We really need you to come visit us in Devon, UK.
    Spring is here.:-)

    Re mental tornado. I too am a fact dispenser!

  23. Signing your name (in the gents) next to Wally Lamb and Sue Monk Kid…how cool is that?! Almost as cool as Patrick, aged five. How wonderful to get an update!

  24. I was soooo excited to see the picture of the nuns! Mother Seraphima sometimes orders alpaca/silk from my yarn company, Cedar Hill Farm Company, on Etsy. I always get a kick out of how she pays with the convent credit card! LOL.

  25. Thank you for a night of laughter! You are a gifted storyteller. And thank you for the kind words about my first, single sock.

  26. First, so HAPPY to see Patrick doing so well! You are right, it’s not the norm for kids with brain cancer. It has one of the lowest survival rates yet research for pediatric brain cancer is dismally underfunded. The bulk of any research being done is paid for through fundraising. This is true for all of childhood cancer research! Which is why the Gold Ribbon Craft project exists.
    Rav group here:

    Second: THANK-YOU, STEPHANIE, FOR LINKING TO MY BLOG for the Gold Ribbon Craft project!!!!! I am editing a pattern ebook to be published this September with knit and crochet patterns, centred on the theme of gold {the colour for childhood cancer awareness} to raise funds and awareness for childhood cancer. 21 designers from around the world have donated their time and talents and submitted about 30 patterns for this ebook. We are looking for any tech editors out there willing to help out. Please contact me.

    We are also running an awareness campaign and are looking for knitters/crocheters to make hats which will be sent to celebs to share a photo of themselves in the hat on social media this september. We could use donations of gold/yellow yarn in sock and worsted weight.

    Thank-you for helping to spread the word, Yarn Harlot!

  27. Curse our New England weather — we had a plan to drive down from Maine, but dire predictions of wind, rain, sleet, snow, and everything in between led to more safety-oriented life choices. Someday … someday!

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