Like watching paint dry (exactly)

Ken’s sweater is all done, but for the making up, and the neckband. Honestly, I can point at a million projects of my youth and tell you that the number one thing that stood between me and greatness back then was laziness and a lack of patience.  Everything I’ve ever made that was just exactly as I’d hoped, everything that’s a 10/10 is that way because I resisted some urge to take a short cut, and so as is proper, all the parts of Ken’s sweater have been blocked before the making up. Everything goes together so much nicer when this step happens first, so I’ve been walking by them since yesterday morning. I keep walking by and giving them a pat and waiting for them to be dry. They are not, and I’m not sure the constant patting is making a difference but I intend to keep it up. At best it’s got to be helping the air circulate.

While I’m waiting I’ve been pounding out a pair of mittens from the handspun – I settled on Signal Hill because it was so well suited to four colours and because I’ve knit on top of that hill more than once, and it’s nice to remember. (If we are ever travellers again, you should go there directly.) I’ve got one done, it’s a pretty fast knit, and I am grooving pretty hard on the 70s vibe these have.  I really like them…

they remind me of tile in my grammy’s bathroom when I was growing up. (They went perfectly with the avocado green bathtub and I don’t care what you say, that was cool.)

One to go- though I thought I might wind up spinning today, but after a few minutes of reflection I can tell you that I am hereby reaffirming that the rule is that I will spin when it rains – not when it (*&%Cing SNOWS.  (Let us pause and reflect here that while May snow is technically legal in Canada, it seems like a bloody insult when we’ve already got a pandemic and murder hornets. This plot is overwritten.) I decided to ignore the snow, which is the way that my mother taught me to handle rudeness.

Moving along, I also fixed a pair of Cameron’s socks – he’s got a pretty good sock drawer rocking these days, and he and I can’t be the only ones who think so, because he went into his sock drawer a while ago and found that three pairs of handknit socks had been thoroughly munched. He returned them to me for rehab, and I’ve started making my way through the repairs. (What the hell there is still snow.)

The first pair I tackled had the simplest damage – just the heels had been chomped, so I picked up stitches round the heel –

Snipped it off.. (relax, it’s not that bad)

and knit new heels,

then dumped them off on Cameron’s porch.  Many thanks to the gentleman for helping me out with finished object photos – who knew that physical distancing would mean that he’d have to rise to the challenge of photographing his own feet. He did really well for a rookie.  (There are two more pairs to go, I expect him to get better with each.)

I’ve fixed the next pair, and this time I took videos of how I was doing it – talking a bit about the process, and that brings me to the next thing, and it’s a thing I feel a bit awkward about, though as I talk it through with Joe and friends (mostly friends who are also textile teachers) I’m starting to come around.   I have figured out (although my natural optimism really did slow this process down a lot) that it is going to be a long time before I can go back to work – before most knitting teachers and public speakers can go back to work. Starting with the problem at it’s most basic, the border is closed, and any way you slice it I think it will be a long time before the it opens again, and even if it does, I think it’s going to be quite a few months before travel based teaching to groups is safe, easy or fun.

I thought about “virtual” teaching, I know some other teachers are trying it, but it doesn’t seem like my jam, and so I’m going to try my own thing, even though I am not completely sure what that thing will be. To that end, I’ve started a Patreon. If you’re not familiar, it’s a platform where artists (that’s me) connect with people who like what they do (maybe that’s you) and you pay X money per month (man the Canadian in me hates this money talk) and I provide some of what I make for you. (So awkward.) The traditional set-up is that some people pay $, and they get a certain amount of content, and then other people pay $$ and they get more, and then other people pay $$$ and they get even more.

I don’t know about you, but inequity feels super wrong to me right now (ok most of the time) when some people have money just because they’re lucky and other people are broke because they happened to have the wrong job at the start of this and I don’t think that if a roll of the dice happened to mean that you’ve got more than someone else you should necessarily get more than someone else and yes, my little socialist Canadian heart is beating hard here) so I’ve decided that while I will do a Patreon, there is only going to be one tier, and that everyone gets all the same content at that tier.  There is an option to pay more if you feel like it or you’re Bill Gates (in which case lay it on me sir I will spread it around) but I’ve settled on a price low enough that I hope it’s as accessible as it can be while still being worth my work. It’s $6 a month. I’ve decided to keep the price low so that I can keep production values… um, similar. (I have a lot to learn about video editing, for a start.)

I want to be totally transparent here – I don’t know what is going to happen over there.  I know I’ll do some tutorials, convert what of my class material works in that video format, which means that at least once a month I’ll teach you something (or try to, most of you are pretty skilled) and I think that $6 is pretty reasonable for a mini-class or tutorial. I’m also thinking about some audio stuff – I’ve got an unemployed audio guy sitting right here (pantless) so maybe some story telling would be cool, or maybe I’ll take advantage of how many very neat people I know, and try introducing you to them. Maybe I’ll do something else – I don’t know. I can’t promise I’ll do anything in particular but I will produce some forms of entertainment overt there on the regular, and more than that, I promise that if I include another maker in an offering, I’ll compensate them properly. There’s lots of teachers hurting, and there’s got to be a way to help some of them with my platform, so I’ll try to do that.

What I can promise is that this blog is going nowhere. This is blog is my home life, who I am and my connection to the broader community and I can’t live without it.  The Patreon is work – a replacement for what I did when I was on the road, and so you can expect things to stay pretty much the same here – you don’t have to sign up for the Patreon to stay in touch with me any more than you had to sign up for a class before.

I don’t know if this is the right thing to do. It’s been a hard slog over the last several weeks figuring out what my work is going to look like, how I’ll make ends meet, and I’m just so grateful that Joe and I have savings and resources to pad things while we get through this, I know some of you don’t, and my heart is so with you.  This is a hard time for so many, even if it is not snowing where you are.

I love all of you, and I hope you’re safe.

195 thoughts on “Like watching paint dry (exactly)

    • The socks picture was Cameron. O Pantsless One is Joe. A delightful Newfie! Greetings and Salutations…! ; )

  1. It is absolutely the right thing to do. In fact, a bunch of us, myself included, have asked for it. The price is more than fair. Some of us who are a little luckier than others might consider sponsoring someone less lucky.

    • This is exactly what I was thinking. I’d like to sponsor some scholarships (I don’t know what the right word is, and I was in the 26th grade, so I’m going with what I’m comfortable with) for other people.

      I guess probably the right place to talk about scholarships is Ravelry? I dunno. People chime in, tell me good ideas. 🙂

  2. Awesome! I’ve already subscribed! I am so inspired by how creative people have gotten about figuring out how to re-jig their businesses. Look forward to your first post!

  3. Wohoo ! SOOOO excited (picture woman in pajama pants hopping from foot to foot) I’m all signed up !

  4. I like the idea. It seems the sensible thing to do, and being Canadian we are fairly sensible about such things. LOL I’m in! Thank you.
    s

  5. I’ve learned several new media platforms over the last few weeks so another one is kinda like a new pattern. Challenge accepted. You forgot the plague of locusts hitting Africa and the once ever 30+years earthquake. And… Another snow bomb heading straight at… sorry, you.
    I am grateful to be able this time around to help support my community, my inspiration sources, and the karmic unknown folks how hopefully will eventually pass it along.

  6. Are you kidding?! You are nervous about this? I would have paid money to have seen you that time you were at the book store in the Annapolis Mall some 13 years or so ago – I just missed you. The only other time I saw you was when you were on Knitty Gritty with Vicki Howell and you were superb! Can’t wait to finally get to see you teach – you’re a natural and your humor is the best!

    • Wow! I thought I was the only one who remembered the KnittyGritty episode! That turned out to be the BEST free advice I ever got about shaping sock heels to accommodate instep height and made every pair of socks I’ve made since possible.

  7. Signed up. I have been getting immeasurable enjoyment from your blog for…. dang. Its been over a decade now. For free. And now I’ll get little classes too? Totally a win-win.

  8. I have an unemployed video guy in my house who would like to build up his resume a bit. Let me know if you decide you’d like some help. Also, i like the idea of sponsoring another person who might find $6 uncomfortable right now.

  9. I’m signed up and, despite your Canadian sensibilities around money conversations, I’m so glad you’re doing this. Absolutely a win-win here. I’m also on board for sponsoring someone you may run across who could use a little help or knitterly joy. Best email to reach me on is sball@kw.com I see stuff there faster than my rivendalefarms email.
    Oh – and love you right back.

  10. HI Steph – you sound like your old self here and I cracked up about pantless Joe! good for you for starting a Patreon. You need to find a way to work and get paid. And FYI I also have a project blocking and like you I keep patting it and it also isn’t dry yet. Love the mittens.
    Also I’m in Minnesota USA and we’re supposed to get snow this weekend. So not right, but also not unheard of here either. Summer is coming, fear not!

  11. I snickered at the first picture. I thought the sleeves were some sort of old fashioned leggings! HAHA! I’m in California, and I have a 25 cent bet that we’ll have snow before the month is out. (Can’t break the bank, don’t ya know?)

    About Joe being pantless; I saw a headline the other day of some newscaster being pantless while filming from home. Notice, be careful of the camera angle!

    About Patreon…you’ll do great! You have so many followers and people who love you. Maybe a drop-in Joe will help??!!

  12. Of course I signed up. Don’t feel shy. You give value. I would always pay to see you in person and had the privilege to do that once. But now, we can’t see anyone in person. At least I can’t, as I do home hemo for a very vulnerable 95 year old husband with end stage renal disease. For me, this the best treat in weeks!

  13. I joined at a little more than $6. I hope it helps. I am fortunate to still be working, though I still need to watch my expenses. I couldn’t not do this, however. Thank you for giving me the opportunity.
    All the best to y’all in the coming months.

  14. I’m in. It’s snowing here too (northeast PA) and the wind is howling. So any new distractions are a plus….

  15. It’s a brilliant idea and I’m going to sign up.Thank you so much for making it one tier. My family is extremely fortunate because my husband is still working. Your patreon price allows me to keep supporting my local food pantry and to thank you for all the years of enjoyment you’ve given my friends and I. I can’t wait to see what you do next. Thank you!

  16. Have signed up at once and am looking forward to whatever you will be posting – Stephanie, you could read the phone book backwards and you would still be entertaining, enlightening and wonderful! — And Ken’s sweater will definitely dry faster by getting a friendly pat from time to time. Have a lovely weekend!

  17. $6 per month is not much to pay for all of the enjoyment your blog has given me over the years. Thank you.

  18. You starting a patreon is the most exciting thing that has happened around here for at least 8 weeks, so I say go for it!

  19. I absolutely love your idea of doing Patreon – I’ve never been over there but you’re totally the incentive that will make me try signing up! I’ve always wanted to take one of your classes or retreats and never had the means – this is a terrible time we’re going through but you just added a big ray of sunshine (incidentally, I live in North Carolina, in the US, and it’s slated to start snowing here in about half an hour… I feel your pain!).

  20. I just signed up for Patreon. I went to a class of yours years ago in Dorchester, Ma. I retired and moved to Maine now. I love reading your blog and look every day to see if you have added to it. Thanks for sharing your life. It helps uplift during tough times. As you know life goes on both the awful and the great during this pandemic.

  21. I’m surprised you haven’t done something like this Patreon thing before, and wish you all the luck in the world with it.

    The mitten looks good, but it doesn’t remind me of the avocado green bathtub my family had. Instead, it reminds me of the Brady Bunch’s kitchen — all that burnt orange!

    Don’t let Joe shovel the snow until he puts some pants on. (And wouldn’t you know it, I had to “touch the Pants” to post!)

  22. I’m quite excited about joining your Patreon, I’ve often thought I’d love to take a class from you, but can’t imagine being able to afford (in money, time or logistics) to ever go to a retreat. On the other hand, $6 a month, from home (perhaps pause-able when my little ones kids urgently need food/drink/emergency help assembling LEGOs), is totally manageable

  23. I have been reading your blog from almost the time you started writing it. I have laughed (so hard sometimes lol) and cried with you, watched you do such amazing and inspiring things. I have become such a better knitter, spinner…….person because of you. I know I can say for the masses, we love you and are so grateful there’s a way we can finally help you personally for all you have done for us.

  24. I live in west Texas. The chances that I will ever get to take a class with you are zero to none. So $6 for an online class is very exciting. I will be there.

  25. Well we can’t have Joe panties all the time ,winter is coming back .
    So will sign up so you can take him shopping for even sweats.
    Snowed in Saskatchewan also today!

  26. I live in New Zealand and was never really likely to go to any of your venues. You have cheered me up countless number of times and I feel you and your family are an important part of my life. I have just signed up and very excited. Good things can come out of this unholy mess the world is in. (the thought of Joe Pantless in Toronto helped cinch the deal!) Blessings to you both. Sephanie, you sound so much like your old self. You are sending so much needed positive energy into this crazy world ( and all it took was a Global Pandemic!!!!).

  27. This was one of the very few times I’ve walked up to my husband and kids and said “This. This is a thing I want. This is the price and I want it”
    Felt good.
    So thank you. Because frankly being in New Zealand its not as if I was going to get to an event you’re at any time soon!

  28. It’s great to see how you mend socks, I’ve wondered before how long a hand knit pair lasts, what you do to look after them etc. Would love to see more on that

    • If you have enough of them, a very long time!

      I have amassed over a dozen pairs, I wear them daily in the winter/spring and autumn and have only had to darn one pair (no nylon in them!) ever.

      And – yay “touch the foot”

  29. All signed up & looking forward to it! For those of us too far away ever to be able to attend your classes in person this is very cool. Plus, I am using your spirit of enterprise as a life lesson for my tender teens. Double win!

  30. I love the idea. I do take exception with one little thing though. Yes some people are out of work because of this awful thing going on. Hopefully they are able to get help from the government, their families or charities that work hard to help during tragedy. I don’t think I’m “Lucky” to have some available money because I’ve worked really super hard to get where I am. While we are working we are also considered essential and take a bit higher risk than some. Perhaps I am extra sensitive right now however, as a writer And someone I am sure knows that words can cause damage I’d like you to consider how belittling the use of lucky was in this instance.

    • Hi Gail – I certainly don’t mean to offend, but let’s turn your words around a little bit? Let’s take two hardworking people who have done everything right and worked really super hard to get where they are. Let’s say one works for the bank, managing a team of people who run the banks infrastructure, been there for years, worked their way up from the very beginning. The other person owns their own business – let’s say (just as an example) that it’s a large recording studio, and they started with two pieces of equipment in their garage and have worked really super hard to get where they are, and now employ a group of well educated people who also work crazy super hard. The pandemic comes along and despite both these people working hard to be where they are, one of them still has their job, the bank is still open (mostly giving loans to the second person) and they are busier than ever. In fact, last week they got a bonus.
      The other person has had their business closed but still has to pay crazy commercial rent and overhead and trying to help their employees support their families- if they manage to get through this without a bankruptcy they’ll certainly face a crippling amount of debt to pay off, and it will have financial repercussions for years to come.

      While I respect the hard work that got a lot of people to a good place right now, this situation has had a very different effect on different industries. If we say that it’s not luck, then I think what we’re saying is that anyone in the second group didn’t work hard enough, and I know that’s not true. Right?

      • I understand and agree with your point of view. I guess it is luck when you consider what is essential or not. We are fortunate to be considered essential and still working. We are a small business with 12 employees that we are able to to keep working from home.
        We also feel strongly about helping our friends and neighbors who are less lucky. Our town we relies almost exclusively on tourism. Currently there is a roadblock keeping everyone out. Many businesses have closed permanently. It’s difficult for a lot of the town that works in the service industry to try and support the town. The cost of living is very high and many people work 2 or more jobs. They don’t live paycheck to paycheck, they live shift to shift.
        Thanks for sharing your point of view.

    • Hi Gail,

      I’m an academic. I’ve studied literally for decades to get my degrees (part time PhD while I supported myself with other work). I routinely work every weekend and evening, and I’ve been fortunate enough to be employed as a casual lecturer and tutor – underpaid in terms of the hours that I put in, but enough to cover my mortgage and bills with a bit left over for wool and patterns. With COVID-19 not only my university but my entire industry has vanished and I’ve been told that there will be no more casuals hired at any of the universities I’ve worked for for the forseeable future. I don’t know how I’ll keep the roof over my head, and at the moment, much as I’d like to support Stephanie, $6 isn’t available for non essentials. I can honestly say that I’ve worked as hard as it’s possible to work. So, yes, I think it’s mostly a matter of luck that some people still have an income and others don’t. And I really do appreciate that for some that income comes with what would normally be an unacceptable level of risk – including my sister who’s a nurse and my friends who are teachers. Hard work isn’t what makes the difference here, though.

  31. Don’t be nervous! I’ve followed you for years but would have never been able to take one of your classes (if you ever came to Austria, I’d totally be in, though), so I”m truly excited for whatever is going to happen over there. I’m absolutely certain it will be awesome.

  32. Sounds a great idea. Brilliant that your teaching will spread to those of us too far away to be able to come to any of your classes. Good luck, and thanks 🙂

  33. What about reading some of your short stories online? I’ve always loved your books, re-read them often 🙂

  34. I’m wondering about all that snow. I’m in the part of the country that is famously degraded as an armpit by the rest of the country (Winnipeg) and (so far) no May snow for us although it did get down to almost zero last night, so I’m wondering how even all those American places are getting snow. Congratulations on your Patreon it looks like you’re going to do well with it.

  35. Is there any way to just make a donation? I enjoy your blog, but I don’t need any extra material – sciatica has put paid to my knitting at present.

  36. I will never criticize anyone for trying to follow a different path to make a living right now, if it works good on ya, if not Hopefully, you’ll get SOMETHING back out of it. I’m one of the lucky ones who’s job moved to my living room, and exploded like the bomb hit it. (Mind you I don’t get paid more now that it keeps me up nights, but I get paid.) I have nothing but respect and empathy for anyone who is trying to soldier on, however they do it. Good luck and Godspeed.

  37. This is a brilliant idea! I just signed up and cannot wait for the first installment. Good on ya for thinking of this.

  38. I am so excited for this. I have followed your blog for years – laughing, crying and learning. I feel like (as others have said many times over) you are a friend. You have a very good and kind heart. I keep hearing and reading during this time “Be Kind” and Steph you nailed it! Look what you have started – people are offering to pay for others so all can partake. You are an amazing person and I know this will be a fun experience for all of us. Can’t wait – thank you

  39. I’m in! Looking forward to learning new things with you!
    Your blog and books have given me joy for years. Stephanie. You be you and you’ll rock this.

  40. Steph,

    Too bad you didn’t film the picking-up-stiches-and-reknitting-heels for Cameron’s socks because I have a favourite pair of my sister’s which needs fixing and would’ve been a great Mother’s Day Present tomorrow.

    Also, wouldn’t it be fun if you interviewed/had tutorials from Denys, Rams and Presbyteria? We’ve been loving their comments for years. It would be great fun to get the chance to know them a little better…

    Please don’t feel squeemish, btw, let me add my echo of everyone who has said that this will be a super opportunity to give back to you for all that you’ve done for us over the years. What I want to know is….

    How do I buy you a (Ontario Craft) beer? ; )

    • Oh, oh–yes please!!!! Esp if you can get some visual on those–it would be awesome to actually be able to PICTURE these friendly legends we’ve all heard from/about for years….

  41. I signed up for your Patreon last night. My family has been fortunate so far in that we are healthy and have jobs, so this is the least I can do to support someone who I truly care about (and your family.) You have provided us with knitting help, inspiration, laughs, cries, and everything in between for years. You are a treasure.

  42. I know how hard it is to talk about money, but we all need it to get by, and I know how much you depend on your teaching and other in-person engagements. Good for you for starting a Patreon! I hope that it helps you get through this uncertain time.

  43. Stephanie – here’s to you! I just signed up and look forward to being part of this phase of your journey.

  44. Wonderful idea. I heard you speak once when you happened to be where I was, but I can’t afford to travel to knitting classes, so I’ve never been to one and thought I never would. Six bucks to have one at home? I can’t think of a better deal.

  45. ❤️ I am so thrilled you are willing to share your gifts this way. As someone who could never see you or take a class from you in person, being unable to travel, I am so excited for this virtual opportunity to do so. My story is too long, but the short version that applies here is that discovering your blog is the reason I am a knitter and have a knitting life, which is my lifeline for continuing existence. Thank you for giving this a go.

  46. Signed up for patreon like a shot. Being able to finally repay you for all the joy and learning you’ve given me sounds like a blast.

  47. Done and done! I think it’s a wise business decision and I am delighted to support your efforts (and also Franklin Habit’s work). We are in uncharted waters and the only way forward is to experiment. Happy to be part of it!

  48. Um, you might have mentioned that that’s $6 in US money, which I didn’t expect, you being Canadian and all.

    • Patreon is a site/company based in the US, so probably no option to charge in CAD or other currencies, but yeah, might be worth a clarifying note.

    • Perhaps you could edit your blog to indicate it’s $6 in USD? I thought the same thing once I got to Patreon and it started talking about foreign exchange fees.

  49. Maybe you should consider allowing people who subscribe to ask you for advice on something knitting related. You can then make a video responding to that query… targeted tutorials 🙂

  50. Patting sweaters totally helps them dry. I’m sure of it.

    I’m sure I’m not the first to suggest it, but if you have new content on in you just now (and I can see how you wouldn’t), and your audio guy can manage it without putting his pantlessness in jeopardy, I can’t be the only one thinking AUDIOBOOKS! I’ve loved your two audible books and people can buy them without any contact, which surely makes so much sense these days. I have your books too, but I don’t read much. I can read and knit, but I can’t read and mother, so I listen way more than I read now.

    • Just to be super clear, I meant paid-for content, on audible or similar. Not included in your Patreon Plan (which I also think is a great idea)

  51. Just signed up, I’m so glad you’re doing this!

    And if you can figure out a way for those of us who can to sponsor someone else who has been hard hit by this situation, I would love to sponsor someone.

  52. After reading your blog for years, and your books, signing up was the least I could do. Thank you for doing this. I enjoyed taking classes with you in Dallas and I’m looking forward to the Patreon content. Wishing you lots of good fortune in this endeavor.

  53. Subscribed, thank you for this, now meaning those of us the other side of the pond get the benefit of your teaching. Fabulous as ever.

  54. Considering how much I’ve gotten from your blog and books over the years, I felt it was to my own advantage to insure that I get even more. After all, at 73 how much more joy can I expect while sitting down? Really looking forward to whatever you choose to treat us to.

  55. I stopped in the middle of reading your post to go to Patreon and subscribe. Then I had to come back so I could finish the post. Thank you for setting this up and being willing to try a new “thing” that will benefit both you and those who SO MUCH love hearing from you. Your minimal pricing helps us all – thank you for that as well. Hang in there and hug Joe for us too (pantless or not, LOL) We appreciate you!

  56. One – i LOVE those rainbow socks (I am far from the point of CUTTING knitting with any sense of confidence it will all go right in the end 🙂 )
    Two- I’m so excited for the online thing. Sounds fab and the pricing and your reasoning behind it are so fair and beautiful See you there!

  57. I’m in! I’ve enjoyed your blog for years and am happy to have a chance to help.
    And now for just $6 a month I am a patron of the arts!

  58. I see that many of us are willing to sponsor another knitter. I too have had that impulse. If we simply throw it open, opportunists will simply claim all the spots. That’s not what we want. I suggest that each person who is willing to sponsor someone should signal some specific person of their willingness. Perhaps we call that person the RAK coordinator. Anyone who is aware of someone who would benefit from this, but cannot afford it, should send that person’s contact info to the RAK coordinator. The coordinator matches the donor to the recipient anonymously. I haven’t thought about this, but expect that fewer rules are best. I trust the Blog to be fair-minded and sensitive to all the issues potentially raised here. If this idea finds traction, I am able to be an RAK coordinator. Love to hear from you.

  59. I’m so glad you’ve started a Patreon page. I’ve been following your blog for-practically-ever, and was often a bit envious when you talked about the various retreats and gatherings where you’ve taught, because I couldn’t even begin to afford to attend them. Even on my budget, I can squeeze out $6/month for whatever teaching you’re inclined to share. Thank you!

  60. I’ve been lucky enough to take classes from you, have enjoyed your blog and books for years and I’m over the moon excited about the Patreon. I’m all signed up!

  61. What a perfect idea! I signed up at Patreon and added little extra for where ever it is needed.

    Bravo Ken’s sweater. Nothing like following the ‘good’ voice in my head to end up with a serene piece of knitting.

  62. I always wished I could attend one of your retreats but they were too far away and too expensive. I’m so happy you are doing Patreon. Joining your Patreon page was an absolute must for me. The price is right for this Senion Citizen who is on a fixed income and I’m looking forward to whatever content you decide to include.

  63. I knew you’d get here eventually (virtual teaching). I’m a teacher, both online and in a classroom, and I have just one thing to pass on to you: teaching online is not the same, it never will be, but if you’re clever about what you do, you create something new and worthy while you accomplish your goal of passing on a skill. You might have to experiment and change things around and try new stuff, but that’s part of the fun!

  64. Wonderful! We get to give back to you. You have been more than generous sharing your skills and your life. Thanks for everything and your wonderful Canadian socialist heart. Your blog has been a source of hope and fresh air countless times.

  65. Three inches of snow here in Maine today. Signing up for Patreon is the perfect reward to myself for not loosing my $#!^ over this.

  66. Count me in! I am lucky, yes lucky, enough to be retired with a decent fixed income (I.e. can afford yarn periodically). So the timing of the pandemic has not hit me as hard in the material sense as it has others. I try to buy my yarn from small dyers to help where I can, so this Patreon thing sounds perfect. (But I loved the long, apologetic, very Canadian explanation!). Love you too and whoever said “Pantless in Toronto” should be a movie has a great idea. Yours in Yarn, Helen in Boise

  67. Thank you, Stephanie! I’ve already learned so much from you via The Blog, and I look forward to learning more!

  68. Lessons from The Yarn Harlot? Are you kidding? Just signed up – my very first Patreon signup! Thanks for this opportunity.

  69. Happy to sign up! As others have said, thank you for giving us the opportunity to pay you back for all the wonderful writing and life lessons you’ve given us through the years. The Blog can now love you in a tangible way. Long-distance hugs to you and Pantless Joe.

  70. If it’s possible to do with whatever contracts you have with your publishers, I would love if you would do readings of your books. I have an audio book of one of your books and I will tell you that when I was having a really hard time with anxiety that audiobook was a lifesaver. I am sure I am not the only one who finds listening to you talk about knitting very calming.

  71. For content on your Patreon, might you consider showing us how to embroider on mittens similar to the pair you made not so long ago? I’d love to learn that!

  72. Just signed up for the Patreon, happily. I’ve been reading this blog for a long time — 12 years? Longer? All your girls were still at home when I started — and this is my first comment. I just wanted to say that I would love to do a knitalong with you via the Patreon. I know a lot of us are lonely, including me, and it feels like a way to connect with someone I know and care about — you — and with other friendly people on a common activity. I know a lot of knitters already have knitalongs, but I don’t, and couldn’t we all use more connection right now? Perhaps your friends could contribute patterns. At any rate, I’m excited to see what this new adventure will bring!

  73. I’m so excited, and I rushed to sign up!

    i read an article recently, about how this pandemic has made the world so much more accessible in some ways – like broadway shows broadcast on YouTube, and conferences a single mother couldn’t hope to attend in person being offered virtually and she could totally attend while the baby napped, etc. And I was thinking that I’d absolutely pay money to attend one of your classes virtually (and other’s as well, I’ve listened to several keynote speakers who’d I’d be happy to listen to many times).

    So while this wasn’t quite what I was thinking (and I know nothing about this platform so I don’t know what to expect), I think it’s absolutely wonderful. You can share whatever strikes your fancy and there are so many of us who’d be happy to learn.

  74. I will have to think about signing up for your Patron circle, though I love your writing and love feeling connected to you through the Blog. The only income in our household is Social Security X 2, along term disability about to run out, and a small retirement check. And I would like to support other artists I love (Franklin for one), so will have to see if a budget can be established. I think I can cancel a magazine or another subscription.

  75. Yep, I’m signed up. You didn’t think I’d pass up a way to support my not-so-local Harlot, did you?

  76. I am delighted by the move. I live in Australia and therefore don’t have the option of attending a class or retreat in person, so this way I get to learn from you online!
    Very excited!!!

  77. I’m going to sign up, if only because I’m an Aussie and it’s probably the only way I will ever get to take a class with you.

  78. So, some interviews that somehow combine music and knitting would be exceptional. Doesn’t Joe know Charlie Sexton? I remember him fondly from my youth in 1980s Texas. I suppose it’s too much to hope that he’s taken up sock knitting…

  79. I didn’t even finish reading the post before I went and joined, because I’ve been waiting to do so since you talked about it on YouTube the other day!

  80. I didn’t even have to think about it. I signed up right away! I can’t wait to see what you do with this new space!

  81. I am a faithful Yarn Harlot fan and have longed to take one of your workshops. Unfortunately, I can’t afford to, so being able to learn from you for only $6/month is a wonderful gift. Thank you, thank you for making this available to all knitters.

  82. For years I have been reading and enjoying your blog and feeling slightly guilty that all that enjoyment was free and I wasn’t contributing anything . I did see you in London once many years ago but now you’ve given us the chance to contribute on a regular basis so thank you Steph!

  83. This Patreon idea is wonderful, but no one here seems to be concerned about Cameron’s socks. It seems he might have some unwanted and squashable interlopers in his sock drawer. Perhaps he needs to put wooly items in Rubbermaid containers, and get some mothballs. I do love his rainbow socks.

    • I gave a sigh of relief that Stephanie was repairing the socks. In one of her books she mentioned that she doesn’t darn socks, but it turns out she does much, much better than darning. I darn. If I can spend 20 hours knitting a pair of socks, I can spend 20 minutes darning the toe.

  84. Since I’ve never been in a position to take one of your classes, I welcome the chance to do so through Patreon. And, since you have a pantsless audio man hanging around, maybe he could make it magically happen that we could hear you read your own work. I have all your books, and it would make Sleeve Island go so much more quickly. Just saying.

  85. I’d be super excited to watch you do some spinning. I haven’t clue one where to begin, but really want to learn.

  86. Best of luck with the Patreon- learning to use a new system always takes a little doing. Would you consider reading some of your books? I’d love audio copies, even just of a few chapters…

  87. Hi sounds interested would be great if had a cross section of skill levels lots of people stuck at home who are learning new things at this time. Also would be awesome if no swearing so many podcasts are spoilt by this, we were taught that swearing was unnecessary better words could be found or that the person was seeking attention. I know it’s mainstream now but it doesn’t make it any more pleasant. All the best with the launch of what will be a very successful extension to your teaching platforms all the best Grace
    Ps I would sign up if above is the standard

  88. I am 658 miles south of Toronto where we expect May to have flowers, not blooming, but in bloom, and winter bed covers washed and put away and to wear big hats and watch the greatest two minutes in sports (Kentucky Derby). But we find that the buds are just starting to come forth, the beds are still laden with covers, the Derby pie will have to wait until September, and we had frost! on May 9th! The plot is indeed, overwritten.

  89. Fabulous idea. Oddly enough, a post or two ago, I was thinking: “ooh, she could do tutorials or something”, and now there’s this. This has to be one of the few Very Good Things to come out of the pandemic. Splendid. Can’t wait. Sign me up.

  90. Just by the way, and I don’t know if this makes it better or worse, but we’ve had weeks of glorious spring weather during lockdown. Here in the UK. Day after day of sunshine. Lovely for those with gardens, hell for those stuck in high rise buildings with no outside space.

  91. I think you have never liked the idea of commercial advertising on your blog however this might be the time to reconsider. I don’t believe any of your readers would be unhappy.
    Are you prohibited from putting the rest of your books on Audible? If not Joe seems like the perfect person toward this idea.
    I’d like to make a beginner request for your Patreon segments. How to knit the perfect thumbs on the mittens you have in your pictures. Mine do not look like those, ever.
    Finally, will there be a bike rally this year?

    • Stephanie, I just want to say, that you have saved me. Your generosity of spirit, you kindness and resilience, your thoughts about inequity and teaching have given me hope in a dark time. I read you religiously, not because I knit a ton, but because you give me hope.

      Thank you

  92. From sunny Australia – I am certainly in. No idea where the future is going and in the past there was no way I could attend your classes – regardless of $$$$. I follow quite a few things on Patreon and I think you will find your feet quickly and you will wonder why you didnt do this years ago. thank you. I have no idea exchange rate but this works out to be abut two cups of coffee a month for me….. I think that is way fair and who knows, I might become a way faster knitter and I know that I will become a way bigger fan that I already am. Brilliant !!!!

  93. A Patreon sounds awesome! I was teaching knitting at a LYS as a supplement to stay at home parenting before the pandemic and my second child hit (both at the same time, interestingly), and I have been wondering what to do about that. Hope this format works well for you…would that we all had an audio guy in house to help figure out this brave new world.

  94. This is a great idea ! Now people who live on the other side of the world (like me) get the chance to get a lesson from you ! I would never be able to come to one of your classes, but I am really considering to pay for this ! I love this !

  95. I’ve never been able to afford a trip to attend classes or one of your talks so I am on board for your Patreon. I’m a long-time knitter and “Kitting Rules” is my bible. I’ve learned so much from that and I’m looking forward to learning more

  96. OK, after a few days of grumbling to myself, I’ve decided to lean into learning another platform (please, Patreon, be obviously easy to use) and signed up. (Note, I am NOT grumbling about the prospect of the content, I know it’s you and I’ll get more than my money’s worth, and if you’re having fun learning, we will, too.) (Remember when you were learning to ride your bike and knocked yourself off while that lady was watching? That was hilarious, but taught us a lot about falling down and getting back up and trying again.) So… I’m with ya. Patreon, here we come!
    Man, I love those striped socks Cam made. And the mittens are awesome, too.

  97. Even if the Patreon sucks (it won’t), thank you for giving us a way to support you directly.

    Your books, and this blog, got me through some rough times, and I try to support the Bike Rally as much as I can, and donate where I can to causes you point me too, but I am happy to help support you, so you can keep doing what you do and be there, even if you don’t know it, for the next person.

  98. Stephanie, you are a treasure! I am EAGER to spend $6 a month to get to spend more time with you. And to hear your voice? And meet your friends? And learn your techniques? PRECIOUS!
    I, too, don’t like to talk about money, but I am fortunate that our home business continues to run at only 15-20% loss. We are so fortunate to be flexible in ways that some others are not. Whether by the luck of birth, life path, career interest, or other intangible quality, I am pleased to be able to subscribe and give a bit extra. I certainly agree that those who are hurting financially do not deserve to be in that position; thus my own relative security can only be called luck or grace. Wishing peace and blessings to you and to all as we try to find a new healthy normal.

  99. Scrolled thru comments. The question that hasn’t been asked is “ will you be wearing a bra?” . Seriously, this is brilliant look forward to it. Hope all of us signing up don’t crash their server.

  100. I joined immediately, and especially because you are trying something new and awkward (and real). Keep doing you.

  101. Hi Stephanie, this is a terrific idea and I’ve signed up. In the past when I’ve read about you teaching at knitting retreats I’ve always felt a little envious because they are so far away from the UK. Now I think I will get a little of that experience through Patreon. No pressure, take your time we are all learning how to do stuff during these crazy times. Good luck xxx

  102. In my dreams, your Patreon includes a podcast in which you chat about your woolly adventures (or anything), talk with your woolly friends (or anyone!) and do Q and A (knitting, spinning, cycling, deadlifting, snow, anything…). just some thoughts. I know whatever you come up with will be enjoyable and interesting.

    As to feeling awkward, I totally get it. But just think about the content you enjoy. Aren’t you glad it exists? That’s how we feel about you. Thank you and best of luck with your new Patreon!

  103. I live in Alaska and remember a miserable “summer” when it flaked up to 2 inches MID JUNE. I feel your pain.
    I am so excited about your Patreon and it’s affordability and single tier. I’ve always wanted to go to one of your workshops and flying anywhere from here is costly so I don’t get to go. Now I finally get to workshop with you! Just think of the monthly bit of money as each of us taking you out for coffee IRL. (And Joe (in pants), Ken, Cameron, the girls and partners, other family-all the folks that have been a bit o the blog.)
    And thank you for sticking with The Blog. So many social platforms require you to sign up just to review content via their site. It’s almost impossible to find some people online unless “you’re a member”…I think of it as the digital country club.
    Patreon is different because I’m paying for a workshop.
    I’m really excited about this new adventure. Thank you for trying it out. I don’t care about it being professional…I’m sitting and having coffee with you while we knit and getting to learn a trick or three. I think that’s pretty much everyone’s mindset. Happy to be there with you.

  104. Seeing the gray almost-sweater, i thought of the grey gansey. Did it ever get finished? Eaten by moths? Stolen by aliens?

    • I agree. All anxious to support until I went to sign up and saw that it was US funds. Personally I have great issue with having to pay for Canadian good or services in US funds. I have avoided supporting a few great CDN Indie dyers when the pricing shows in US currency.. I am going to have to think this through to see if I can drive off my moral-highway to support Patreon.

  105. I’m in as soon as pay day hits! I don’t really know how to knit (I get the fundamentals but I’m a hooker) but I am all about supporting an artist!

  106. Hooray! Right now (as of today) I am blessed to have income and able to spend some on what others may consider “extras.” Thank you for keeping the blog. Thank you for sharing. Whenever you begin long explanations I hold my breath until you say that you are keeping the blog. Perhaps in the future (and I can’t believe that I am becoming on of “those people” who tell you what to do) you could do as I do with my phone calls to my brothers. After we say hello, we say, “everything is ok.” That way I can start breathing again. Reassure us at the beginning that you are keeping the blog and then I can read and breathe.

  107. I have read most of the comments looking for an answer to my problem. When I tried to sign up, I was told my email was already associated with another Patreon account. As I only use one email, I’m wondering what to do.

    • Same here. Login to Patreon and you should be able to add Stephanie. Worked for me, once I figured that out.

  108. Thank you for a generous heart. I have read your blog for many years and have always benefited from your wisdom and kindness.

  109. Just went over to Patron and joined on. Could not figure out how to post a suggestion over there for some mitten tutorials. Winter is coming. Thank you for thinking of patron. I am happy to support the yarn harlot and look forward to what ever it is you decide to post. M.

  110. I predict your Patreon will be a huge success for work in these difficult times.

    I am sad that there has been zero noise about the rally. Is it also on hiatus or was it outright cancelled for this year?

  111. I agree with the ambition to try Patreon. It will be successful I’m sure!
    On another needle, those mittens match the sofa perfectly!! Love it.

  112. I like the idea of classes via Patreon. I think that might be the only way I could afford one of your knitting retreats, when you add in travel, food and lodging. Would you consider a Patreon retreat?

  113. This is the right thing to do, definitely. I’m kind of done with going to conventions, etc., but I do need guidance and I’d love a one-stop shop. I’ll be signing up.

  114. What a fabulous idea! I can’t believe I’m so late to the party. I have thoroughly loved your classes (and have taken a few more than once) and book readings. I will make it to a Strungalong retreat someday… But for now this Patreon idea is fabulous and a totally appropriate way to help support yourself and your family (though I can understand is difficult to discuss). I trust your integrity and know the content will be fabulous! Can’t wait to see what you post!

  115. It’s. About. Time.

    Seriously. I’ve lived close enough to Canada my entire life to be apologetic by association, so I understand the aversion to money talk. But getting paid for what you can do (and in this case, do phenomenally well) is good business and personal acumen.

    Besides, The Blog is ever at the ready to pick up your palanquin and support you in whatever direction your generous heart wishes to travel. Well, metaphorically for now, anyway.

  116. PLEASE do tutorials on lever knitting.. After you taught me at Squam, I couldn’t find any tutorials, so I made my own and posted them on You Tube free . Folks seemed to like them.. but they got lost when I lost a gmail account.. and Im not sure I could re do them since lever knitting is now ingrained in my brain…and my hands.. and Im not sure I remember the steps to learning it…

  117. Snow in May is absolutely ridiculous, I agree! I told Mother Nature that she could stop, we get that she is mad, she can stop slamming the freaking doors.

    The knitting looks fab, love the mittens and sock repair! I hope Cameron got rid of whatever is eating his socks, though!

    As for Patreon, that is brilliant of you! And sharing it with other teachers is even more so. I don’t know what all you wonderful teachers can do right now, this is a good start at moving forward.

    This truly can’t go on like this forever, but I think it will seem like it…

  118. What an excellent idea! It allows those of us who don’t live anywhere near where you normally go to also get in on some Stephanie… (I, for one, would like a close look at your knitting technique… I’ve seen video of it before and it’s mesmerizing. If you could break it down a bit? Or slow it down? That would be cool)

    I’m glad you figured out a way to work during this… my job requires me to go into people’s houses and businesses and work on their computers… I’ve set it up so some of them can bring their computers to me, but many of my clients are snowbirds or run businesses that run on tourism, and those jobs just aren’t going to happen this year.

    My son is a chef, and the restaurant he works is only open during the tourist season. He talked to his boss, and at this point, of her normal 10 staff, she’s only hiring 3 of her waitstaff back to “handle the ice cream” … he’s been applying elsewhere, but most of the restaurants are either closed or running at minimum staffing. (My other 2 kids are “essential” which is infinitely scarier for a mom. The oldest works at the hospital and I haven’t seen her in a couple months, tho we talk several times a week. The other works in a grocery store and with all the idiots fighting about their “rights” not to wear masks, his job is more dangerous than my daughter who does check-in and insurance for the ER.)
    In any case, I’m signing up… and good luck… I’ve got a friend who has been making a pretty decent income on Pateon doing recipes, how-tos and just being his charming self… it can be done…hang in there.

  119. Well before I view any of your content, I will have to prepare… because when you spoke here in Ft Wayne, I almost wet my pants listening to your stories… so… just saying…

  120. Dear Steph. That is more than reasonable. Many of us here feel like family as well, and you will get a lot of support, I am sure. You are a treasure to all. Thinking of you in Vermont, and sending love. Kathleen

  121. Patreon is a brilliant idea and I’m very excited to look forward to it! Can you also include some bits about fiber prep and spinning? And I would love to hear any stories Joe has about growing up in Newfoundland. When I was a grad student in Wildlife studies, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland were my favorite haunts – such great bird migration, so much wildlife, and the people! I fell in love with Canada on my first trip and have never gotten my heart back. I remember the small group of us pulling up at a diner in Nova Scotia late one night – this was in the 80’s, and we were pretty road-weary, unkempt, and probably didn’t smell too good, either. Just as we reached for the door the lights started to flick off. 🙁 Then someone inside saw us, waved us in, and they turned the lights back on. Those lovely people made us the best meal I’ve ever had or ever expect to have – hot coffee, eggs, pancakes, bacon. They were curious about our work and told us about a couple of campgrounds, which turned out to be wonderful finds. No stranger anywhere could have been asked for better hospitality. I’d love to hear stories from both of you and your friends about Canada. I’m in.

  122. I love this idea, and am so happy to have the opportunity to support your work. I’ve wanted to take classes with you for at least the last decade, but could never afford to go to a retreat. This is SO exciting for me! Not to mention that I’m anxious to give back to you a little bit of the goodness that you’ve given me through your blog, your instagram, and your books over the years. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without you!

  123. Dear Steph,
    I have been reading And very much enjoying your blog for a couple of years now. In the last few weeks I have been thinking of you, Meg and her husband almost all the time trying to find comforting or at least wise words to write to you. I couldn’t think of anything besides: if meg ever wants to be in touch with somebody who has had a very similar experience I am there. Sometimes it is even easier when it is someone you don’t know, far away in Germany. I bow my head before Meg and I bow my head before you!

  124. I’m so excited!! I’m going to go check it out right now! What a great idea! I listen to podcasts all of the time so would love to have one of yours in my list!

  125. Honestly, as a yoga studio owner/teacher, I feel your angst…. I’m so happy to hear about Patreon and thank you for making the $$ what you did! In fact, it’s kind of the only way I’d be able to take a class from you, which may be the case for a lot of us blog fans! Thank you for being who you are and bringing all of us in to your family.

  126. As someone who can not afford to travel to any of your workshops this is brilliant! Happy to support you on Patreon, especially after years of enjoying your blog and books. Thx for all that you do.

  127. I’ve followed you on this blog for years, after bumping into you in person one day at NETA Spa in Maine and really enjoying what you had to say as guest speaker that year. We’ve lost parents together. I’ve encouraged you on your bike tour, cried, laughed and learned with you. And now for the cost of one Starbucks coffee each month, I’ll support you in your newest business venture. I have faith in you. A pandemic isn’t going to keep you down. Me neither.

  128. Super happy to support this endeavor. Love the idea of supporting your business as it grows in a different direction and the possibility of throwing some support in the direction of other makers as well in these difficult times is a wonderful bonus. Will sign up right away.

  129. Thank-you! I think this is exactly the thing to do in this weird time. It gives us, your fans and supporters, a way to help you since you have been help and inspiration to us for years. So again, thank-you and I am so happy to be able to support this.

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