Category Archives: Yarn Harlot

Harlotted IRL

I discovered that my real-world Not-So Local Yarn Store (NSLYS) had been ‘crashed’ by the Yarn Harlot.

There is a phenomenon online, where someone with a relatively low bandwidth (pipe to the internet) is happily posting away and their blog/article/story gets noticed and posted about on a geek site called Slashdot. Bazillions of geeks come to see the story and, Fwa-DOINK, their pipe gets clogged, their site is inaccessible and they are deemed to have been “Slashdotted“.

I have recently noticed this happening with some frequency whenever the Yarn Harlot mentions another knitting site (or blog). She innocently says, for example, “Heathen Housewife wants your odds and ends of sock yarn” and, Fwa-DOINK, poor Shelly’s site buckles under the weight of a billion knitters descending upon it.

I have coined (I think) a new term for this:

Harlotted: adj., to have your site overloaded after a mention by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee in her blog.

Anyhoo, recently Stephanie posted pictures of her pre and post-felting Fiber Trends clogs.
Hundreds of readers commented, many to say they had made the clogs too, and how great they were. The rest promptly went off, as I did, and ‘Googled’ for the pattern.

If they were like me, they clicked on the top Google hit for stores stocking the pattern, Noble Knits.

I ordered and promptly rushed out to buy some yarn, anticipating having the pattern in my hands in a few days.

I waited.

And waited.

And, after a week I emailed.

And waited some more.

Then I discovered that Noble Knits is right here in my own backyard (well, not literally. I have a very small and hilly backyard…) so I strapped the children into the car and took a cruise to find it.

I found it and it looked lovely…and closed.

I went back a couple of days later, asked for the pattern and mentioned that I had ordered it online too a week and a half earlier, but was too impatient to wait.

“It’s the strangest thing,” said the proprietress, all perplexed. “Out of nowhere we got hundreds of orders for those things. Then we were out of stock and the publisher was out of stock and there was a trade show going on, so we just got our new shipment yesterday. But I don’t understand what happened…”

“Ha!” I laughed. “I know exactly what happened!”

I explained that she had been Harlotted, and advised her to watch the blog to see what Stephanie is talking about, and stock up accordingly. This is, after all, a woman who can inspire knitters to donate $150,000 to charity within a few short weeks.

Steph, you are a force to be reckoned with!


Because I am a dedicated disciple of the Yarn Harlot (and because the Heathen Housewife had already planted the seed) I have ordered the pattern for the Fiber Trends felted clogs.

Since I ordered it online, I was lured into Michael’s by Husband (who is, whoo-hoo, going through another crafty phase himself) where I found wool, yes real feltable wool. This was almost unprecedented in my experience, so i bought a bunch, not even knowing if it was the right weight. But I’ve never let that stop me…

(Is this why I have so many UFOs, I ask myself?)

The postal delay (what, no pattern download? What is this, the Dark Ages?) has forced me to sit around and fondle the wool, then wind it into balls, then cast on and knit a tension square. So I suppose that’s a good thing. I’m usually much too impatient.

(Again, we ponder the number of UFOs in the closet).

Anyhoo, after waiting until daylight to take a picture and (wonder of wonders) remembering to write down the guage, I have thrown my little square into the washer with gay abandon (and a bunch of towels).

Both me and my sister know about how wool can felt (still feeling guilty, F?) so I’m waiting to see what comes out.

And yes, I have an old top-loader (inherited from the people who lived in my house before me for 20 years) so I should be golden.

Addicted Again

I had a little reaction to the Knitting Olympics. It was similar to my reaction to anything that becomes an obligation. I didn’t want to knit anymore.

Oh, and my hands were sore.

Now that a couple of weeks have passed I’m back to squeezing my knitting in around other jobs like looking after my boys….


I can’t tell you how much I want, this afternoon, to go to see the Yarn Harlot. She’s coming to a bookstore not quite near me.

I want to go and buy a Tricoteuses Sans Frontiers badge; hear her talk “aboot” her adventures so far; and knit in her audience. It’s quite odd, this fangirl urge that I’m almost giving in to. I must be getting old because I don’t care about trying to be cool. I just want to go and be a fan. I think it would be a lot of fun. With two hours’ travelling time.

If it wasn’t for the fact that I have visitors coming on Friday and a guestroom full of things that will make it rather difficult for them to find their bed, I would be there in a flash. I’m feeling an unaccountable sense of responsibility. And fear of justified nagging about same from the husband. Pah.


A week of being sneezed and coughed on by snotty little boys has finally caught up with me and I have a stinker of a cold. Everything hurts. Added to which I think the tiny needles are creating hand problems.

Whine, whine, whine. I know.

In sock news, I got fed up with untangling the yarn and needles every time I picked it up, so I’ve moved on to working on one sock at a time. I’ve marked the row where I left off working on both, so that I can count and make both sock feet the same size. Hopefully…

Things are going much faster now. Except for the aches and pains and whining…Drugs are my friend.

Slacking For Snowmen

I confess I have made very little progress on my project today, but there were snowmen to be built.

Since I have an almost-three year old and this has been only our second big snow this winter, I feel that Snowmom has to be my other event. So I’m a biathlete (now, why does that sound naughty?).

Must try the toe-up socks on Husband to see if they fit before I proceed any further.

Check in tomorrow to see if I’ve been to frogland with so many other members of the SockTeamUSA, or whether I’ve managed to stay out of the pond…

Snow For The Winter Olympics

Originally uploaded by jwordsmith.

Look, it’s obligingly snowing here, just to make it feel extra-winter-Olympicky.

I tried to get my 11-month old to model the socks-in-progress, but the window frame was much more cooperative (and showed off our lovely snowscape, to boot).

I’m making good progress on the Husband Socks. Assuming they fit him…Will try them on him again before I go too much further.

The Knitsanity Begins

Due to some confusion about when I was supposed to start (and the fact that NBC presented their coverage as if they Olympics were starting at 8pm EST, which was odd, really, since I KNOW that’s 2AM in Turin) I lost a whole five hours and the feeling of solidarity of starting with thousands of East Coast knitters.

Ah well, not to worry. The Husband Socks are on two circular needles. I’m afraid I’m knitting them in craft store acrylic because my nice superwash wool didn’t arrive, but honestly he’s so hard on socks that I’m sure they’ll be OK.

So far I’ve increased from the toes to probably the ball of the foot and begun a 2×2 ribbing. Photos will follow.

In the ‘elevate your craft’ bit, I think I’ve finally got the hang of knitting two socks at once without getting into a hopeless tangle. Yay!

Knitting Olympics

Oh no! Not another blog.

Oh yes. I’m afraid so.

This one is begun in honour of the first Knitting Olympics and the insanity that is my joining it. I’m sparing the spare readership of my writing blog the tedium of hearing me rant about knitting. Instead I’m sharing my obsession here, perhaps with other members of my USA Sock Knitting team.

(Incidentally, I feel a bit of a fraud joining the USA team when my citizenship application is not even in yet, but hey, I live here, I pay taxes here and I say No Taxation without Sock-Knitting Representation!)

Go Sock-Knitters!