Hello Pets, and sorry for the absence. Life right now has a strange feel – all chaos and disorder, and to be completely honest, it’s my least favourite kind of chaos and disorder – which is to say that it’s mostly other peoples. I’m pretty okay with the monkey wrenches I throw into my own life, with work, family, travel and commitments, and I love having a busy, fast paced life – but apparently only when I choose it. The last week or so I wake up in the morning, imagine a tidy little plan, mentally make a list of all the things that will be accomplished or set to rights that day, and then watch it all come undone as the needs of others come to bear. Nothing is terrible – no great tragedy has befallen anyone, we are all well – but there have been a lot of surprises- some good, some great, some no-so-great and all destined to shake the ever-loving daylights out of any plans I had.

In the face of all that I retreated, trying to settle things down and restore a little order. I haven’t found that sense of order yet, but somewhere in there I remembered that floating through the wildness untethered isn’t my best thing either – so I’m back. If you’re one of the lovelies who’s emailed to make sure I’m not dead in a ditch, thank you. It’s sweet of you to worry, and here I am, a little the worse for wear, sure to be more present.

So, what I have I been up to? Well, we had a lovely retreat at Port Ludlow (and it turns out there’s room for the June one, if you’re interested, details to follow- or send an email) and then I came home, and then I went to several events for Joe, and then I did some stuff for my kids, and then I tried and failed to find a tidy house under the layer of “I’ll get to that later” that has settled over the place, and then I got on my bike and rode the first training ride of the season. Well, it wasn’t technically the first one, it was the third, but I was away for the first two, and so it was my first. It went okay, but my arse apparently remembers nothing from last year, and I cursed my way up all the hills, and have been reminded of my flaws each time I’ve sat down since then. (Luckily, I haven’t been sitting much, which has reduced the amount of secondary swearing.)

This week began with an intention to get it all together, and here I am on Tuesday and together, it is not. (It turns out that my ability to get other people’s scenes together is much less than the skills I have around my own stuff. Who knew?) The roving I was going to spin today sits on a chair waiting for me patiently…

rovingdown 2016-04-19

The almost finished pair of socks I’m knitting are tossed on a table…

alsmostdonesocks2 2016-04-19

Although I did finish a cowl, and I do love it…

newcowl 2016-04-19

and it does match my spring coat – and it is indeed spring… So that’s something… isn’t it?

Yours from the wild side,


109 thoughts on “Swimming

  1. So glad to know that you’re ok! Thank you for posting today. It’s my birthday and you made it complete! In the interest of good organizational vibes, I had to touch the folder. ‘Hope it helps!

  2. I think it’s at least partly seasonal
    The weather warms up, and we all think “yay!” but at the same time we aren’t quite finished with our winter to-do lists.
    Throw in a few kids and a couple of unexpected events, and it all goes out the window.

    I’m glad you’re not in a ditch. 🙂

  3. Gosh. What you said. I am looking for the calm that comes from starting a new knitting project, but I would like to avoid the subsequent stress that comes from cataloging my WIPS. Good luck with the restoration of order; I’ll be over here beavering away at it, too.

  4. Glad you are back. Didn’t post “I’m worried about you” message because I didn’t want to be a pest, but I missed you.

    Remember, order is way overrated….

    • Ditto on the not wanting to be a pest thing, but still getting concerned.

      Lovely to have you back, Steph, and very glad it wasn’t via the afore-mentioned ditch. Lovely new scarf to match the summer coat. Your “I don’t know how to accessorise” comments may not be accepted so readily anymore!

  5. That cowl is splendid with the coat. Well done. I am one who has been concerned about your well-being, and I am glad to know you are well.

    • Agreed! I love the way you used the yarn from the Heartlands shopping to accessorize your spring coat. I already see a new one (cowl, that is) in my future.
      Bettye (new to your blog)

  6. As they say, life’s what happens while you’re busy making plans. Sorry that things have been somewhat discombobulated lately, and hope all is well with you and yours (and the dust buffaloes).

    The cowl is great, but I understand Dick Tracy is looking for his trench coat. . .

  7. Never apologize for being busy! Good luck regaining order, I’m sorry about your sore bum, and your cowl is gorgeous!

  8. Well…here’s to calm and order restored.
    The cowl is stunning, coat is wow; that entire pix is a keeper.
    Also, shiny blue guitar? You have the best things in your home!
    take care

  9. Great to know you are ok, not in a ditch or worse! I love the way your cowl looks on you, and am so glad to see your post. As far as the rest goes, you will prevail.

  10. There really is no way to control the chaos that is not ours, despite our best efforts. So glad that you are on your way back to some sense of normalcy…take that with a grain of salt. You have been missed.

  11. So happy you’re ok and at least you’re walking upright, that’s good news. And remember, things could always be worse.
    Love the cowl and the yellow coat.

  12. I’m not sure exactly how she meant it, but for Christmas my daughter gave me a fridge magnet that says “Whenever you feel yourself being drawn into other people’s issues, repeat to yourself, ‘not my business, not my monkeys'”. When it comes to family, it never seems to work though, does it?

  13. Well. I kinda didn’t notice you were gone. Because the same kind of things have happened here. Nothing bad. But nothing went according to plan. Hope we are both back on track. At least I hope I will be soon.

    Love the cowl–especially with that coat!

  14. Yes you were missed by many. Hope you continue to breath while trying to do all those things on your list and help others. Cowl is gorgeous, great color combination. I am so impressed that you have accessories that match. Mine are much more hit and miss.

  15. I’m delighted to hear you aren’t “dead in a ditch”. I just figured you were winding down the Blog and walking away with nary a look over your shoulder cuz you’ve had enough of us. You know.. just like, forget it man, I’m done with the bestselling author racket.
    Then I got a grip and just worried you were dead in a ditch.

  16. Regarding the homework for the KITH workshop “The Fix Is In” I used a skein of Kraemer’s worsted in orange. For the contrasting color I bought Kraemer’s blue worsted, because I knew that when class was over, I could make a Chameleon Ilini scarf. I’m more than half done. Now, if I knew any Ilini(s) I’d have someone to send it to.

    • I am an Illini in California (Class of ’85) BSEE. I make most baby gifts in orange and blue these days as I promote (my kids would say ‘push’) UI-UC to everyone. I think everyone needs Illini gear

      • Our daughter is just graduating from there in ChemE. I like the blue-and-orange theme. We live in Ohio and she’ll be starting a job with Eli Lilly in Indianapolis, so I’m entirely uncertain about where her loyalties will lie! But I am in the process of knitting her an orange cowl – and I let her pick the color.

  17. Stephanie, your eyes in that picture look almost as tired as mine – or maybe (again like me) you have a genetic predisposition for dark circles and puffiness. I hope you’re able to sleep, what with all that’s going on. If it’s any comfort, I’ve got major issues in my life right now, and I’m not sharing ’em with you. Nope. (Not that you were offering or anything.)

    Beautiful cowl, though I’d be more inclined to call that coat gold rather than yellow (maybe it’s the picture as it appears on my computer), But the cowl matches it beautifully in either case.

  18. Whew! Been holding my breath to hear that all is well. “Frantic” is tiresome but manageable, so please carry on! So glad you`re back with us. 🙂

  19. Nice to see you back Stephanie. Oh I know the feeling of all the sore muscle when back on the bike after an absence. Love the cowl I have a short rain jacket that colour too and I love it. Today in South Yorkshire England Spring has sprung it has been lovely but apparently don’t pack away the woolies as winter is due for a comeback at the weekend. Oh well summer around the corner. Jackie

  20. It must really be some disorder if the sock knitting is waiting for you!

    I love the cowl, and agree with your other peeps that the coat/cowl picture is a keeper.

    And housework…seriously, is that ever really done while you are alive? Especially if you are the main (only) one trying to maintain an orderly house?

  21. Wondered where you were, but didn’t think you were dead in a ditch. (You’re too resourceful for that.) You wear a lot of hats, and we at the blog know that sometimes we must take a back burner to your actual life.
    The cowl is amazeballs. I hesitate on making cowls because I’m never sure how to wear them. Just loop it around, or wrap it, or jam it into the edges of your coat? Great work, as usual.

  22. That is, indeed, something. Give yourself a pat on the back.
    I’m thrilled that you’re not dead in a ditch. Personally, I just figured that with the Bike Rally and a busy job and a family life you were overwhelmed, but, meh, that’s kinda boring. Your worries are way more interesting. Next time I’ll worry that you were out for a walk while knitting, an RCMP dude was trotting by on it’s horse when it stumbled and fell over, and you had to fend it off with only your Signature DPNs to protect you.
    Shit, now I feel bad for an imaginary horse being impaled in the shoulder by a sharp DPN. Not to mention for your probably strained wrist, if not an outright broken arm…
    Let’s stick with reality, then.

  23. Phew. The winter didn’t swallow you up! I love your spring coat ensemble – it is beautiful! Remember to take a bit of time for yourself – other people’s life drama and chaos can be a rough go for the support staff if said people. Happy Knitting, and cycling, and spinning 🙂

  24. Take one soon to be 85 year old father, one 78 year old stepmom you are meeting for the first time, one husband and wife renewing marriage vows after 31 years, in a ceremony put together in 10 minutes by an 80 year old priest who LOVES to talk, and you get one of the wildest Sunday mornings I have had in more than 30 years!!
    Wild days keep you young…right?


  25. That looks like the cowl on (off) the busted needles way back when you were on many airplanes in a row. Glad it got rescued and finished and boy does it look great with your coat.

    As for the ditch — I keep checking in on Instagram. I figure as long as photos keep happening you must be posting them, and by inference, still alive.

    Off I go as I click the Car!

  26. Hey lady,,,you are for sure a normal person with things popping up now and then to make you life like ours!! We really understand fully but still your absent is very missed!! Thanks and love the yarn you put aside to spin next. Its beautiful and thanks for all the years of your blog!!! Have a great rest of the week and shake off the bad stuff!!

  27. Ever so glad you weren’t in a ditch! Life does have a way of throwing curveballs into the best laid plans, doesn’t I? Glad to see you back at it, and love the cowl!

  28. Where are life’s pause and slow-motion controls when we need them? Best wishes for better and calmer days in the very near future.

  29. Great cowl! Fab to have you back! I always blame disorder on that whole tendency of the universe towards disorder thing. How can can you fight the universe? Hang in there!!

  30. Usually I’m doing what you’ve been doing, scurrying around tidying up other people’s messes but for the last 2 weeks I’ve been piled up on the couch with my broken left ankle iced and on pillows. Other people are scurrying around doing what I usually do and I am beyond glad that I ever learned to knit because as soon as the bat-signal went out after I fell, people have been running errands, doing laundry, picking up and returning library books, dredging up yarn and needles, and generally helping my semi-invalid husband keep us clean and fed. I love knitters.

    I’m glad you’re back, Steph. I didn’t think you were in a ditch, I thought you had registered at Port Ludlow under an assumed name and were knee-deep in excellent yarn, good coffee, and fine wine sitting in front of a roaring fire. Well, that’s where I’d have been if I hadn’t fallen on the ice on April 1st. Not my favorite April Fool’s prank.

  31. I read Melissa’s post from a ways up the page and thought to myself….I actually seriously have wondered if the Yarn Harlot is indeed becoming weary of the whole blog experience. I came to the game late and so I had to go back and read from the beginning to the present, (of course) and there are way fewer posts now compared to the beginning. So yeah, I wondered. Glad she put that worry to rest because I find her writings very unique and would miss them. Better a few than none!

        • The blog-which is actually Stephanie in reality-would be irreplaceable. This blog offers so much. A community of people who get IT. Opportunities to be a part of good causes. And of course the enjoyment of reading her musings. Yep, irreplaceable.

  32. Dear Harlot,

    Love the cowl–would like to hear more. But most important, so glad you’re not in ditch (literal; sounds as if there was a bit of metaphorical ditch there). Like others, I was getting a bit concerned. Courage!

  33. Happy Spring, even if it involves a coat? It’s suddenly spring here in Central Coast California..went from gloomy and cold to 83F and we’re sweltering! No coats in sight!
    The cowl does look like the cloissiene mittens…love the earth tones with the goldeney orangey coat…almost butterscotch on my cell.
    I empathize with the scattered feeling. My husband had a surprise CABG in the very month I planned to spend all my non-work hours studying for a Critical Care Board exam (Pharmacist)…that’s not happening very effectively at all. Thank goodness for my Double Vision blanket in MadTosh sock and Netflix…one square a day keeping me sane.
    Hope things fall into place soon…organize a cabinet..work on your socks…small successes when we can’t fix the big picture soothe the soul.

  34. Hard to believe that a spring coat is a real thing, much less a cowl would not send you to the ER for heat exhaustion. You ought to come south where the fauna is perking and up and the cowl can be used as an air filter for the pollen.

  35. While I would never ever email and ask “where u been girl?”, I do get a bit antsy after day 5 and no update 😉
    Then I start creeping your Instagram and Twitter, not sure how either of those things work, but proof you’re still alive!
    Hope things settle down for you in the next few days.

  36. The cowl is lovely. As is the blue guitar. This from the woman who until teal objects started following her home, would have sworn on a stack of empty Nutella jars that she hated loathed and despised blue.

  37. “Life fight now has a strange feel…”

    So did you mean to type that or was it supposed to be “Life right now …” and your subconscious took over? Seriously, I was beginning to wonder about you, and I’m glad to hear nothing bad has happened to you or yours.

  38. So glad you’re back. Your universe sounds somewhat tilted, for which I send all possible good wishes. Just know that your post has taken some of the tilt out of mine, just by appearing. See, you get to take care of all of us, too! Thank you.

  39. A friend said the other, particularly chaotic, day :” I’m having an April” I asked and she said- nothing goes right in April. And yup, she is right. So, have a April….it’s almost May!

  40. You were definitely missed. I’m sure many of us checked in several times a day, wondering what’s happened to you, hoping everything is OK. Life will always have its ups and downs along the way. Glad to hear no ditches involved. Welcome back!!

  41. It’s like that here, too. I haven’t slowed down for two weeks and can’t shake the feeling that I’ve forgotten something really big and urgent that must be done by a deadline I can’t remember. Must. Knit.

  42. Oh, Thank Goodness you’really back.I was having “separation anxiety” or whatever it’s called. Really I thought you were slowly breaking up with us here on The Blog. So glad we’re all still together, makes things for us a little brighter once again. Isn’t it nice to be so missed?

  43. I hope you post a photo of that fibre “all spun out!” I spin a bit, mostly with fleece from my girls though, and have looked at those hand painted lumps of loveliness without ever buying one. I stand in front of them, overcome by the fumes, and shockingly walk away.

    I have very little resistance to yarn fumes. Thus I remain in disbelief that my stash doesn’t house at least one. The only “before and after” photos I’ve seen are yours, and I’ve consistently been confused, in my mind, at the unexpected results.

    So I stand there, mind whirling, and leave…in a sweat, frantic and with a headache. Damn the fumes anyway.

    I’m relieved that you, and yours, are safe and healthy:)

  44. Was that a typo? “Life fight now….” – if it is a typo I think your insides are trying to tell you something!
    Breathe, concentrate on the good things and this, too, shall pass.
    Thank you for the Blog.

  45. It would seem that our universes are quite parallel as I too have been dealing with the chaos of others. Hang in there friend. This too shall pass and hopefully we can have a cuppa and laugh about it later. Love from AK

  46. Stephanie,
    I am glad that everything seems to be okay. Life always messes with plans no matter how careful you are. It was good to see you enjoying yourself at your husband’s events.
    best of luck.

  47. I always marvel at your ability to handle your normal hectic schedule, so I can’t even imagine how busy you must have been! I hope that your coming up for air now means things are calming down.

  48. 1. Long live empty ditches!
    2. Brilliant cowl!
    3. Sympathies to your aching nether regions!
    4. Sympathy to the rest of you for stressful times — at the moment I am trying to clean the kitchen for Passover plus do final bits of bureaucracy for PhD (due entirely to the slowness of others) so I hear you indeed … sometimes muttering ‘This too shall pass’ like a mantra helps ….
    5. So glad to have you back!!
    6. Hurrah for spring! Once I get out of the kitchen I intend to enjoy it ….

  49. The cowl IS gorgeous, and though spring is definitely here, I wore my handknit scarf this morning. As for the rest, hang in there, and take care of yourself.

  50. A bit random, but I’ve been thinking that you’re doing an exceptional job dressing yourself. You’re going to have to stop saying Erin is the stylish one or that you need your Mum to dress you. I first noticed when you were in Mexico and more recently when I joined Instagram and have been treated to your photos there. (Likely because I started making an effort to dress myself better about that time.) You’re outfits are quite stylish, but even more they’ve been flattering and show off how lovely you are. Case in point, that cheerful spring coat and cowl look fantastic.

  51. The cowl is perfection! Love the color combination for your coat! Since there’s not pattern referenced, I’m sensing a new pattern release in the very near future that will greatly resemble said cowl. Can’t wait. And it will go perfectly with your mitten pattern.
    Sigh. It is bike season already…of course it is..it’s sloggy and wet and cold followed by unannounced heat tempered by bike bones bruises. I admire your passion and commitment.
    Keep sharing…you’re close to shaming me into at least a solidarity stroll.

  52. Well, I was pretty sure you weren’t dead, just crazy busy! However looking at how beautifully that cowl accessorizes the coat, I am surprised that all the other chaos didn’t simply slink away, totally intimidated by your very ‘together’ look. (Okay, life’s not like that. But wouldn’t it be nice if a great accessory had that power?)

    Happy spring!

  53. I missed you and I was getting a bit concerned. I’m usually a silent lurker but just wanted to let you know I’m glad you’re back and not in a ditch. Love the cowl and the socks. Great colors!

  54. There should be a “like” button for all these posts. I second all the good wishes. Mayhem never lasts forever, and thank goodness for knitting! Take care.

  55. I was definitely going through blog withdrawal, but now you’re back to posting – yeah! You generously share so much of yourself with us for which I am grateful. I can’t knit currently due to my tendonitis flaring so reading about other people’s knitting is the next best thing. Your cowl is a stunner! Well done!

  56. I really love that cowl on you, with the coat. You have achieved that elusive sophisticated fashion groove that you’ve been known to chase.
    I finally put my finger on one thing, among many, (sorry, I know you cringe at adoration, but there it is), that I love about your blog.
    There is a honest recognition regarding housework, the second, or third, job that women live. It is always there in the background needing to be done before we can get anything “real” done. (Tongue in cheek, as sometimes it is far from before in this house, and actually at this moment as I type).
    Men, if you are reading this and DO take this second job on, kudos to you and ignore this comment. You cool.

  57. Yes, some sort of a “like” or “thumbs up” would greatly relate how many of us are so glad to see you are okay without your having to read my dribble! May the fairy god mother watching over you put everything right!

  58. Here’s hoping things sort themselves out soon. And you made my day with the concept of “seondary swearing”–you don’t know what your life is missing until you find it. (Usually on a knitting blog.)

  59. Glad you are well aside from the untidiness. Things will smooth out again soon, I’m sure. They always do, right? I love the concept of “secondary swearing” — made me laugh and gave me a new term to use when my mouth slips into foul mode, which it does more than I care to admit! I love your cowl and spring coat! How I wish I could wear those colors and not look like I have the plague! Looks beautiful on you! Might have to make a cowl like it in different colors.

  60. Thinking of you yesterday, as I know you are a Prince fan. We are so sad here in Minnesota to have lost this incredible musician.

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