The Needle Arts Studio

Hello from ROCK CITY!!

So you probably thought I’d never fly again after LAST weekend, but LOOK! Here I am in DETROIT! With Shay Pendray!

We’re taping a segment on the Needle Arts Studio, a PBS program that reaches 60 MILLION households in the US and Canada.

Here’s me and Shay on set:

Stef_and_Shay The yarn we’re fondling is the new Cash Vero from Cascade yarns. It’s a blend of Cashmere, Merino, and Microfiber, so it’s soft and shiny and economical at the same time. You can pretty much sub it for anything you’d use 220 for. The ball band wants you to use a bigger needle, but I think I’ll be using it in worsted situations.

I’m going to be updating this post today with more photos, but want to get this posted! I neglected to post right away about the book fair, and now the photos are on the other computer…

The trip started out like any normal trip that I go on alone…very very iPod-zone out and knit…THEN. In Dallas. I’m in line to get on the plane and am approached by a gorgeous blond woman who seems to know my name! Guess WHO! Tina Whitmore of KnitWhits!! You’ve seen her work on her own site, at Stitch Diva, and all over the country in yarn shops. Tina and I rode to the Inn together and had dinner and dished until 10 pm. (Then I had to go finish my project!)

Tina on TV:
don't kill me, Tina!

This morning, we all got up to go to the studio, and who’s in the lobby? KRISTIN NICHOLAS! She’s published EVERYWHERE, and you probably recognize her work by its use of color. She has a new book coming out (I got a sneak peek at the projects but swore not to post photos, so I didn’t take any.) Her projects are colorful and playful and when she laid them out on the table, every single one of us was over there swarming her. She’s amazing. And just generally really awesome to talk to. She’s got a BLOG! YAY! (She also has her own yarn line and the colors are just gorgeous. Deep and rich.

Kristin, Shay, Me:

I also met the Chicks with Sticks! These ladies are so much fun! The projects they showed use crochet in situations where we’ve gotten used to using knitting, like the potato-chip scarves and even in felting. Their work is very brightly colored and fun. Loved meeting them! I heard that they’ve even sold their knitting kits on QVC! Now *that’s* national coverage!

Lisa Daniels of Big Sky Luxury Yarns and Muench Yarns was there to do three segments. She was showcasing the “Touch Me” chenille with wool core that I used in my Spring 07 Knitscene pattern. Really enjoyed meeting her.

Heather from Monsterbubbles was there. She cross-stitches on alternative surfaces. She sells kits for jewelry and art wall hangings that use window screen as the base for the stitching, instead of cloth. These are so gorgeous, funky, and modern. I really like them. You should check out her site gallery.

Group Photo:
L to R: The Chicks, Heather, Me, Tina, Kristin, Lisa, and the really sweet Borgello needlepoint woman.

PS: Tina’s saying, “We’re suddenly all scrunching down.” and we were. We were. lol.

Bluegrass Festival of KNITTING


Me and Jessica signing(photo courtesy of lotus knits)

Was this ever a fun thing to do!
On Saturday, we (me, my editor Jessica Gordon, several charming women who work on the Writers Digest books, and our publicist Greg Hatfield) went to Lexington, Kentucky for the Bluegrass Festival of Books.

When we arrived at the convention center, we were met by show organizer Rachael Ray, the person who invited me to be on the discussion panel. She led us to the table, where we were met by Diane MacDonald and Jane Homeyer, the owners of Magpie Yarns (Because the Yarn Harlot already posted, I borrowed the link from her.) These women are so amazing, as soon as we all got there they started taking a coffee order! AMAZING hostesstes.

On one side of me was Susan Anderson, author if Itty Bitty Hats (which I’m sad that I forgot to ask her to sign.) Itty Bitty Hats is a really sweet and innovative collection of baby hats. On my other side was Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle! I’m just starting my copy, but after meeting Ann and hearing her speak and spending time with her…I know that I will learn a lot from this book. On Susan’s other side was Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, author of (ok, I know you already know.) :)

So after we all signed books a while, it was time for the knitting panel. Susan, Ann, and I were on the panel, and my editor Jessica was the moderator. It was really interesting to hear from the other knitters, and in-person get their perspectives on knitting and what it means to them. Susan is one of Wisconsin’s leading entrepreneurs, and Ann has written like 7 novels, so I was the noob in the room of experts!

After the panel, the Magpie Mavens invited all of us knitting people to lunch! So we all piled into the minivan and went to a restaurant downtown. I’m secretly glad that the food took so long to arrive to the table, so that I could talk to everyone longer. We were discussing things like the slang words that you can and can’t say in different countries, and blogging of course, and book-writing, and traveling…I’m so lucky to have had the chance to talk with these women. It was really, really great. I can’t say enough about how fun that lunch was.

After lunch, I signed a few more books and we went home at 5. I totally had to miss the Yarn Harlot’s talk, but I had a lot of fun meeting people at the table. (Who am I kidding, while the Harlot was speaking, every knitter in the building but me and Ann were in the lecture hall.)

I met a lot of really fun knitters when Stephanie was done, though!! I’ll post photos when I get home from Rock City, I promise!

As much as I would LOVE to do more over-the-internet knitting help and teaching, I’m just not able to spend the time that it would take to do it really well. If you’re a new knitter and looking for help, check out

There are videos for casting on, binding off, knitting, purling, increasing, decreasing…every basic thing you’ll need to know to knit most patterns.

To get to the videos, click on the tab labeled ‘basic techniques’ or ‘advanced techniques’ and then click through the links in the blue/purple bar at the top.

There are also forums and discussion where you can post questions about specific patterns that you’re working on. You may even find that there are other people working on the same project who have figured out the exact thing you’re having trouble with.

Airport HELL

I have been stuck in AIRPORT HELL for TWO DAYS!

On the way home from Cincinnati, I was supposed to have a 1 hour layover in Houston that turned into TWO DAYS of waiting around.

I arrived in Houston at about 12:30 on Sunday, found my gate, and sat there waiting to board. They kept doing that half-hour delay, half-hour delay that they do sot hat you can’t leave to get lunch or do anything. All around me, flights were being canceled or delayed…the whole Continental Express gate area was completely full of all the people waiting for delayed flights.

I tried to re-book onto another airline, but they refused to it because the flight wasn’t officially canceled. I finally boarded a plane at 9:30 pm. It did take off, but we had to turn back around and land because the fuel gauge wasn’t working properly. So they finally did cancel that one, and I was given a hotel room and booked on the next flight out of Houston…at 7:00 PM on Monday. I again requested to be booked onto another airline… I have a job and had a Monday deadline for several things, and needed to get back.

They had re-routed at least 3 airplanes full of El Paso (my destination) people, and so they would have had me flying back out to NY, then into Phoenix, then into El Paso. And it would have been 7:00 by that time anyway. So I grudgingly accepted and went out to find my shuttle to the hotel. The shuttle never arrived, because it was after 11:30 pm. I had just missed the last one. So I had to take a taxi and pay for it myself. (I was reimbursed later.)

So, I get out to the hotel, and it was sleepable, so I crashed right away. The next morning, I got up and got dressed and went over to the mall (they had a T-mobile shop, and could charge my phone). I had the cables to all my electronics in my checked bag, which apparently DID leave Houston without me, so I had no internet, no phone, no phone NUMBERS and no way to reach anyone.


I went over to the airport and checked on my flight, it was still on the schedule, but I went around and sat at the other El Paso flights anyway, trying to get on an earlier one standby. THEN…they canceled the 7pm flight! I was re-booked onto the 9:20 and given $12 in food vouchers. I finally got to my house at about 12am.