Tag Archives: yarn harlot

Toronto Briefly

Last week I went on a last-minute business trip. I was filling in for a colleague who wasn’t able to attend a quick two-day conference in that most glamorous of cities, Toronto. Some people refer to it as home of Leaf Nation, but we 51 million knitters know that Toronto is home to the the one and only “Yarn Harlot“, Ms. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. Or as Greg Kinnear says, the “Michael Jordan of Knitting”.

I flew from Boston and arrived in Toronto. While waiting in the taxi line at the airport in Toronto, I spied a thin woman with sort of “wild” hair rummaging through her bags. She was kneeling right beside me. My eyes keyed on the wavy hair, then the glasses. Oh my God! It was her!! The Yarn Harlot, right beside me! What were the odds??!! I carefully maneuvered my cellphone camera and Kinneared her.

Well, okay. I Kinneared her bag.

But turns out it wasn’t HER bag. I know this because after I “surreptitiously positioned my camera low and out of her line of sight”, I pressed the photo button and the flash went off. Ooopsy! Turns out, it was getting dark in the taxi line, and I’d forgotten about the automatic flash.

The woman turned and looked at me kind of funny. One look at her face and I realized she was not the Yarn Harlot. I did what any good Kinnearing photographer would do. I acted all shocked and surprised. Whoa! Isn’t that weird that my camera phone just flashed!! Darn technology, must have hit a button wrong! Silly me!

Thankfully a taxi pulled up to the curb and I made my escape.

The next evening, after a day of meetings, I headed back to the hotel, and Googled my way to the Harlot’s favorite yarn shop, Lettuce Knit. It was only a few miles from my hotel. Jackpot! And it was Wednesday. The shop usually closes by 5pm, but on Wednesday it stays open late. Luck was again on my side. Maybe another chance to see her! (And another opportunity to use exclamation points in my blog. Yippee!!!)

With directions from the concierge, including input from the two bellman in the hotel lobby, off I went. Soon, I was standing in Lettuce Knit, probably standing in the same spot the Harlot had stood.

Isn’t the internet wonderful? Leading me to this sweet little yarn shop that I never would have found on my own? It was tiny, but filled to the brim with delicious yarns. Bins and bins of Socks that Rock. Hanks of Koigu overflowing from the shelves. In an instant the yarn fast that I’d been on for the past few months ended. I had a credit card in my purse, the U.S. / Canadian exchange rate be damned, I bought yarn. I couldn’t help myself. It is Socks that Rock, in the Lettuce Knit colorway.

This little shopping spree was most certainly the highlight of my brief trip to lovely Toronto. And although I kept my eyes open for a Yarn Harlot sighting throughout my visit, it was only while waiting on my flight back to Boston that I learned of Stephanie’s whereabouts. As luck would have it, while I was in Toronto, she was in Boston. Oh the irony.

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Goofballs Unite

My copy arrived about a week or so ago, the Saturday before I left for San Jose. I planned to read it on the plane.

But, because I have absolutely zero self-control, I read it all in one sitting, the day before my trip. Which meant I had to buy another book for my trip. (Am I the only one out there who is seduced time and time again by the crisp new books at the Hudson News stores in local airports?)

The book was funny and sad, and more like a letter from a good friend than a self-help, knitting book, but we all knew it would be wonderful, right? I loved the part about texting the guy at the hardware store. Brilliant.

Here’s the part where world’s collide. I was having lunch with my boss, the president of the company. His wife, a former librarian, is working part-time at a book store. He was telling me how she’s really enjoying it, and I said something about how my perfect job would be working at either a book store or a yarn store. More specifically, I told him that either of those would be a perfect part-time job, after I retire, because, you know, right now I work for his company, and that is of course the absolute perfect job, how could it not be?? [Apologies for the excessive italics]

So he says, “Oh, you knit? Do you know the Yarn Harlot?” I just about fell out of my chair. Turns out his wife is also a knitter and she is a big fan. So instead of just saying yes and smiling politely, I start exclaiming, “Does she read Crazy Aunt Purl?? She is great, she just released her first book and I read it in one day, and it was really good…” That’s when his eyes glazed over and he changed the subject.

This is way I’ll never be a big important executive. I cannot contain my inner goofball.

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