Pictures and Words

On this day of the year, nine years ago, I sat at our family computer and stared at a blank page for a good long time, then looked up at Ken and said "What now?" 

"Blog" he said. "Just start. See what happens." I did. I wrote my first blog entry. It took hours. I had trouble putting a picture in, and I needed a lot of help. Ken had set this blog up as a present for me, and although there are a multitude of reasons why Ken is a fine and fabulous friend, he deserves to be sainted for what he did to make the blog go over the rather sharp curve of my learning over the next few months years.

I had no idea what I was doing, and I don’t just mean the computer part. Back then, everyone was a blogger.  I wanted a blog so that I could be part of the huge knit-blogging community – man, it looked like so much fun.  I was right about that. It is fun – but it has turned out to be so much more.  It has been the gateway to all of you, and the amazing impact you’ve had on my life. It’s made me a better writer, and definitely a better photographer. (I cringe at those early pictures.) It has brought no end of incredible people and experiences into my life and my career, and I honestly can’t imagine not doing it – and what, and who my life would be missing if I hadn’t ever done it at all. It has been a remarkable trip, and remains the best gift anyone has ever given me. Beyond all that, and that is so much, it is more.

Some families have photo albums. We do too – and framed pictures of us on the walls. The girls at different ages, Hank as a tiny baby.  Our parents, our siblings, trips.  The one thing missing is pictures of me. There are so few, compared to the millions I take of everyone else.  I’ve started trying to fix it over the last few years. Handing over the camera to other people in the family, asking them to try and get me in a picture or two, or trying to buck the urge to shimmy out of every picture the minute the camera comes out.  I hate it.  I hate how I look and the strange way my nose is, and my glasses, and I’m heavier than I wish I was and I always look so clumsy and awkward to myself.  It’s like when you hear your own voice recorded, and it’s always strange? Everyone thinks "I sound like that? That’s what you’re all hearing?"  I’m forever seeing pictures of myself and thinking "I look like that? I am walking around and that’s how I look?" It’s enough to make you avoid it forever, but the truth is that when I flip through those albums, it is like the children have a ghost mother.  Especially when they were little. There are so many pictures of them, hundreds of Erin and Hank, and me? I’m the nowhere mum. 

I’m not comfortable with this. I’m not comfortable with my absence in those pictures, and I’m not comfortable with being in the pictures either, but I am trying, because while I am never, ever going to wish there were more pictures of me… I bet my grandchildren or great-grandchildren will.  I love the pictures I have of my Grammy.  I miss her, and I wish I had more. It helps me remember the smell of her and the sound of her and what she thought and did.  It helps me hold onto who she was, even though she has been gone for so long.

I realized this morning though, as I celebrated nine years of blogging by flipping through my own archives, that I am not the Nowhere Mum. 

I am here.   I wrote it all down, and so many of our family stories are here, and when my daughters or granddaughters want to think about who I was and try to remember how I smelled or what I thought about them, or what I thought about when they were growing up, they won’t have just a few pictures of their awkward and clumsy mum.

They will have this.

Happy Anniversary Blog. Thanks for nine years. I wouldn’t have written it without all of you here to read it.

Thank you.  For everything.

349 thoughts on “Pictures and Words

  1. Thank you! For sharing! Love hearing all about your family–still hoping you’ll start a parenting blog too:)

  2. Congratulations and happy anniversary. For what it’s worth, your archives are one of my “happy places”. When I’m having a crappy day, I just pick a month and disappear into another world for a few minutes. It’s like having an instant reset button for me. (Hope that doesn’t sound too stalkery–I’m sane–really.)

  3. And we are all so happy that you blog…and write…and knit…and share your knitting….and put pictures up….and speak in front of us….and if that’s a picture of your grammy in the two piece suit?? amazing! and you look just like her. xox

  4. Happy Anniversary! I love to read your blog even though I haven’t in 5 years progressed beyond being a beginner knitter. I love the stories, the humor and the common sense! Thank you, and here’s to many more good years to come!

  5. Happy Blogaversary! Love the picture of your grandmother, and now I see who you look like. Not your Mom (who I know from your blog!) but your Grammy! What a hoot she looks like, too. I hope this blog continues for many many years–and I hope there is some way to save a blog for all time, so that your great-great grandkids will know what you were all about.

  6. I’m the same about photos – so much so that my family arranged for me to have a professional photo shoot so my kids know what I look like! Thank YOU for the last nine years – it has been a delight!

  7. Happy Anniversary. I got to know you about one year into your bloglife. You have helped me gain confindence in my knitting and given me lots of laughs as you talked about your family, career and yes, all things wool and knitting.
    I had the pleasure of meeting you at a booksigning and holding the ball of yarn to your traveling sock. I own all of your books and have bought a calendar or two.
    Thank you, dear internet friend, hope you continue to do this for many more years to come!

  8. Happy anniversary. And thank you for all the therapy. You changed my life and I bet I’m not the only one. You and your blog ROCK.

  9. And you wonder why your daughter wants to be like you? You are an inspiration! Happy anniversary, I am happy I found you, even though you have no idea who I am and never will :)

  10. Happy anniversary to us! We are the lucky ones who benefit from your wisdom, humour and advice. You’ve changed a lot of semi-knitters into total addicts (yep that’s me), and I can’t thank you enough for the confidence you given me to plunge in and try stuff. And please stop being so down on how you look in pictures – you’re lovely, inside and out!

  11. Happy Anniversary. I look forward everyday to your entries. I get great inspiration on many levels from your sharing. But today, I was touched by your fond memories of Grammy. Recently, I found the same face cream my Nanny used. I am so excited to have her scent back with me. Keep up the great work and know we are always waiting and listening!

  12. Happy 9th anniversary. Seeing that you put up a new post is always a day brightener for me.
    My favorite blog post? I think it was the post in which you described locking yourself out of your house in the morning (before coffee, I think) and needing to go to Meg’s school to borrow Meg’s house key and finally getting home and inside, ready to photograph your mittens FO only to realize that you knit two rights… or was it two lefts? Hilarious but so real life.
    I look forward to reading at least 9 + 9 + 9 more eyars of posts. Thank you for all of your writing! Sue

  13. This made me teary. I understand about hating pictures of oneself. Even my photogenic friends aren’t in love with being in front of the camera, they are just less in hate with it. So, at events, and outings with friends, I feel the same way (not mom though). The friend who doesn’t exist, because there is no visual record I was there.

  14. Happy Anniversary and thank you so much for sharing your knitting, writing, family and so much more with us. I’ve learned so much from reading your blog. You’ve been an “enabler” to me on more than one occasion – but it’s OK! I hope you keep blogging for many more years.

  15. I have enjoyed reading and learning from you over the past 4 or 5 years since I found your blog and I continue to look forward to each and every post! I admit, I check frequently each day for a new post.
    Happy Anniversary Yarn Harlot and Great Job Stephanie! Well Done, Well Said.

  16. If that pictures is your grandmother, you have her eyes. Nice, kind eyes with a bit of mischief.
    I started mine in 2008. The years have flown by. I completely understand about the community, though. So many wonderful people all over the world and the chance to share with them is amazing.
    Thank you for sharing your life with us.

  17. A very happy anniversary to you &your blog. I love it. read all the time and I’m always disappointed when a new one isn’t there. you make me laugh out loud when I’m alone. I feel like I know you. you give me courage to knit. I just love you
    all the best to you and your wonderful family.

  18. As everyone is saying, thank YOU. For inspiring me with your humor, knitting mistakes and amazing victories, your family, your persistence and insistence on making the world a better place. I’m a more persistent writer and a much, much better knitter because of you. Thank you!

  19. You are fabulous. I have enjoyed you and your writing and adventures for a few years now. Thanks for rekindling my love of good fiber. It isn’t just for breakfast anymore!
    May you enjoy many more years doing what you love and we love in return.

  20. Thank you for keeping up the blog all these years.
    Thank you for introducing me to people who have become, if not face-to-face friends, at least virtual friends beyond your blog.
    Thank you for normalizing my inability to knit intricate lace items and being a dufuss about it.
    Thank you, for all the posts that led to impulse purchases that turned out to be fabulous gifts.
    Most of all, thank you for being you.
    Happy blogoversary!

  21. Wow, nine years! Congratulations and thanks for so much information and fun. Here’s to the next nine years…. I’ve only been blogging for two years, but already my life is so different.

  22. Happy 9th, Stephanie! Can’t thank you enough for sharing your life with us. It’s been grand and I hope you continue blogging for many years to come. You are awesome!

  23. Happy Blogiversary and here’s to at least 9 more years of your wonderful (virtual) voice (and I heard your real voice when you came to Denver- not strange at all!).

  24. Your blog was my gateway drug into the world of crafty blogging and all the resources and wonderfulness that is on the internet. I’ve followed your links for patterns, yarns, suppliers, other bloggers and websites, gifts and charities. If the Yarn Harlot says its worth a look, I believe. Thank you for being such an honest and hilarious writer. I read dozens of blogs on all subjects and yours is my favorite year after year. I appreciate all your time and effort and miss the days when you aren’t posting, though I know you get to have a life with non-blogging days. This reader thinks you are beautiful inside and out. Your work is pretty amazing too.

  25. Congratulations! I always look forward to your wise and thoughtful words. Thank you for sharing and inspiring and reassuring so often.

  26. Oh, lovely Steph ! You and the blog! Since I started reading blogs a couple of years ago I have developed favourites (like everyone I suppose)and you are on my fave fave list which I check daily, just to see. Love the humour and the wisdom and of course the knitting tips. Its a weird relationship, the blogger and the blog reader, but the reader really feels as if the blogger is their friend, and laughs and cries and prays with them. Thanks for all your time and effort, we love it ! x

  27. The blog is and will be forever a wonderful gift to your children and grandchildren (should they arrive). I SO understand the cringe when the camera comes out. I used to see pictures of myself and think all of the things you mentioned. (because I am much more attractive than those photos indicate….) But, over the past few years my husband has taken over ownership of the camera on our various trips and family events. As a result, I am in many of the photos. It has helped me to make peace with how I really look, helped me to stand up straight (occasionally), helped me to get a decent haircut, which I truly needed and to like myself a bit more, based on what I, apparently, look like. I recommend it. Remember, we all love you so there must be a great deal to love.

  28. Happy Anniversary!!! Here’s to many more years of blogging.
    Suggestion – back all of the entries/graphics/pictures up somewhere if you’ve not done so already. Put the backup somewhere super safe. That way, should (fates forbid) something happen, you have all of it safely tucked away for the family.

  29. Thanks for sharing your life with us. Your funny, lighthearted stories have helped me get though some of the darkest times of my life. You just make people laugh, a most noble pursuit. Thanks.
    Got any special ideas for the tenth year? I think that’s like what, Cashmere.

  30. You have been an inspiration to me professionally and personally. Thanks for all the years, all of the words, and all of the photos. Thanks for looking at life, the good stuff and the bad, with grace and humor and realism.

  31. Happy 9th! Do you get a skein for every year or does it grow exponentially? And please thank Ken for encouraging you, I look forward to every entry you make. Thank you!!

  32. thanks for writing. Thanks to this blog, I’ve had the opportunity to meet you, and RacheH, and become (dare I hope?) friends. Your blog is in turn funny, informative, heartstring pulling, sensitive and so many other things. Through it I have become a regular donor to Doctors WIthout Borders, and the Bike Rally. I can think of no better reason for you to keep writing than to inform more people about these things.
    But the vegetarian thing? Sorry. I’ll cook veggie for you any time you come by, but I can’t do it myself…

  33. Happy blogiversary! Thank you for sharing your knitting and bits of your life with us. You are the single consistent blog that I read and have appreciated so very much the ups and downs that you have shared. You’ve really made me understand that it’s okay to have mistakes (design elements) and that I don’t have to be perfect, either as a knitter or as a person, since no one else seems to be either.
    You are appreciated more than you can even imagine! Wishing you blessings and many more years of blogging!

  34. I can’t believe you have been writing this blog for 9 years. I have been reading it all along. You now have 12 months to figure out what to do to mark that 10 year anniversary next year:) I know many others have said it but it never hurts to say it again, thank you for writing and inspiring so many of us about knitting and MSF and more. I forgive you too for making your one and only book tour stop in Halifax at one of the very few times in the last 10 years that I have been away from home.

  35. When I first heard about blogs I could not imagine why anyone would want to read them. Then I read yours. Count me as a fan and regular reader of your blog. By the way, I still only read less than 10 blogs. Only yours is checked everyday.

  36. This entry has made me think of this article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/allison-tate/mom-pictures-with-kids_b_1926073.html
    and also all the old photos of children with their mothers under a blanket, holding them so that they’ll be still enough for the long exposure time it took, when photos were still young.
    I think that perhaps there is a groundswell of women who are becoming more willing to be photographed so that their children and other loved ones will be able to look back on their history, and I can only see it as a good thing. I don’t want to have cause to say, “Oh yeah, I remember that time, but where is a photo of mom? I can’t remember how she looked then.”
    Happy 9th anniversary. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

  37. I’ve always wondered if you read all the comments to your blog posts – there are so many that you’d probably do nothing but read them if you tried to keep up to date. Reading your post today (brilliant Grandma photo, BTW! I’d always be posing for photos if I looked like she does in a bikini) inspired me to look back at your first post – from years before I started reading the blog, or come to think of it, started knitting. (Hence my lack of interest in knitting blogs.) Anyway, I have two things to say. Yes, you definitely have got a LOT better at photographing knitting. (In your defence, digital cameras have also got a lot better over these 9 years.) And, have you reread the comments for your first post recently? There are only 19 of them. Several are by you, in response. And the last three are spam – the last one just says “free sex”. How things have changed! Anyway, looking forward to many more years of the Yarn Harlot blog. Yours is, without a doubt, my all-time favourite website. Happy anniversary!

  38. Happy Blogiversary! I’m so happy that you have continued to write because you don’t know how many days reading your blog has been the bright spot in my workday. And I’ve learned so much about knitting reading about things you did wrong and how you fixed it. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one making stupid mistakes.
    And I know what you mean about being the photographer all the time. I really enjoy photographing my friends and family, but I’ve wanted to change my Facebook profile photo and where are the fun photos of me? I’m working on getting others to take photos of me too.
    Here’s to another year of blogging. I wish you many more.
    Cheers!

  39. Thank YOU! I’ve been here for most of this, watching, reading, enjoying, admiring. Sometimes talking! To you! It’s all been such a good experience. Really, thank YOU.

  40. Aw, Stephanie, what would we do without you? You are to me what EZ was to you. Truly. (I just got one of EZ’s books – have yet to sit down and enjoy it tho).
    I started knitting in 2005 and came across your first book – it helped me to not be uptight and to relax into my new obsession. I couldn’t get to a computer fast enough when I realized you had a blog, and I’ve been reading ever since. And then, OMG, when you came to a yarn shop near my house, I was counting down the days! I told friends, ‘No, sorry, I’m busy, gonna go listen to yarn humor and knit.’ Of course, they don’t mock now that they’ve got yarny stuff to keep warm.
    Thanks for sharing your life with us. And tell Ken thanks for being the genius that got you up and running. :)

  41. Thank YOU for inviting us into your life. Many crappy days have been cheered up by reading you blog, and I look forward to new posts every day. Cheers from KY! :-)

  42. You have changed my life and the life of so many others with your wonderful insights into knitting,fiber arts, family, kids, the world in general, and you have done it with grace, beauty and wisdom. We are all more than a snapshot frozen in time, we are the sum of so many things that twine together and make us shine! Happy Anniversary!

  43. “She’s a real Nowhere Mum…”
    (Seriously, though? Thanks, Stephanie. I love you. And I’m not kidding even a little bit.)

  44. Thank you for blogging. Reading your books and then your blog turned me into a Knitter, a Raveler, a spinner, a weaver and (most recently) someone who seeks out raw fleece to wash, prep, spin and knit. I am excited every time I see a new post.

  45. Thank you, Stephanie. You are one of the reasons I started a blog of my own. You help me keep going even when the going gets tough, because you keep going when the going gets tough. So, thank you, and congratulations on your blogiversary!

  46. Happy Blogday!!! May you have many, many more (besides, what would we do with the world you show us!?) And that Grammy pic is Fantastic — all happy and relaxed — you look like her, even if you don’t think you do.

  47. Happy Blog Day, and may there be many more anniversaries! You throw huge armloads of fun and wit and kindness and insight in the world with this blog, and we who benefit from that receive it with gratitude. I sure hope you get even a fraction of that back from us…

  48. Happy Blogiversary! Your blog has made me laugh on days when I didn’t think it would even be possible to smile. It has encouraged me on days I needed to be scraped off the floor. It has been an inspiration in my knitting life. And it has been a joy to watch you document your knitting and family over the last nine years. Thank you for the gift of your writing, and I am happy you have realized it is a gift you have given yourself as well as your readers.

  49. I feel like we should all knit Ken some socks for getting you started and doing his “make blog go” thing for the first few years. Thanks for putting so much of yourself into this blog. I’ve learned a great deal here.

  50. Happy Blogivesary! As I started to read your post, I thought, “Oh, No! She’s saying good-bye and moving on to other things.” Imagine my relief at learning that you will still be here to encourage, entertain, and enlighten us.
    Thank you for everything. I hope that you will be with us for at least another 9 years.

  51. Thank you right back. You’ve inspired me as a knitter and as a mum. And thanks to Ken for “making the blog go!”

  52. My sister and I are huge fans; we started reading after I bought your first book at a yarn shop. Reading your blog is often the highlight of my day. Thank you so much for writing and sharing your family stories with us. You have a remarkable gift.

  53. Such a beautiful, poignant post. Thank you for sharing your life & glimpses into your family & your humor & your good common sense & your dedication to helping humankind with all of us. I think you are this knitting generation’s EZ, and I’m thankful for your what you do.

  54. I will echo the other sentiments..THANK-YOU for the humor, for the sharing and for the enabling. I don’t believe I would be a knitter if not for you..I would be someone that knows how to knit, but I would not be a knitter – it gave me a whole new universe – THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU.

  55. As we comment back, we let you know that you are so much more to us, too, than just a blog and funny stories. You pave the way for many of us and we are so very grateful.
    Happy Blogiversary!

  56. Happy anniversary! I enjoy and look forward to your blog every day! Thank you for writing so often. I also started my own blog so I could be just like the “Yarn Harlot!” It was very exciting for me to meet you at Vogue Chicago last year and I treasure the picture I have with you!

  57. Happy Blogiversary… I must have discovered you shortly after you started, though it seemed like you had been doing it for a long time when I started reading. I love your blog, you are the only blog I consistently have read, I share your stories with my husband and friends. You make many people laugh and think. Thank you for you!

  58. Congratulations and Happy Anniversary! I’m so glad you decided to blog. You make my world a happier place.

  59. You are absolutely right about it all being here in the blog,BUT, photos are an important visual record of history. Get in those pictures!

  60. <3 <3 <3
    Thank you for all that you have shared. Looking forward to the next 9 years and more!

  61. Congrats on your 9th Blogoversary!!! :) You’ve done an amazing job and I love reading your stories, learning new things, laughing, crying, crying because I’m laughing so hard, you get the point. :) You are well loved, respected & admired for your sharp wit, intimate sharing of your life and your family. THANK YOU STEPH!!!
    (Hopefully next year at Rhinebeck I may finally get to meet you!!!!) :)

  62. Happy Anniversary! Your grammy must have been quite a gal, with a pose like that! :) I can see the family resemblance, too.
    I’m glad The Blog has been a good experience for you (and that your girls will have those memories), but you’ve also been good to us. Most entries evoke some kind of emotion from me: gasps when looking at the lace ripped back, oohs and aahs at the beautiful knitting you produce, smiles over family stories, and very often laughter. Laughter over Mr. Washie, mistakes in knitting, dealing with the kids, etc. After all these years, the blog feels like a letter from a friend. So, thanks for giving *us* a gift, too!

  63. well, we have sort of been thinking the same thing. i, too, will celebrate the 9th anniversary of my blog, which has been quiet for a while. motherhood and working occupy most of my time these days…but, i am knitting again just might post about it again. i still remember the day that i was walking up madison avenue in nyc and noticed you coming down the street. you noticed me too, or actually, my baby girl who was bundled in the stroller. at first we didnt know why we knew each other…and then, it hit us, two bloggers who had never met but nonetheless recognized each other on the street. i recently told my daughter, now 9, this story. she found it quite amusing and now tells it to me as if she remembers it first hand. and, better still, she is so happy that my blog is there, even if it it has been silent for a while.
    happy blogaversary. hope to see you randomly (or not) in nyc again soo.
    elisabeth
    aka curlsandpurlsnyc

  64. I don’t know you, yet I feel like I know you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, humor, life, and family with countless knitters.

  65. Happy Anniversary!! Thank you for sharing your knitting, family and adventures with us. I look forward to each blog post and, if I am having a bad day, reading a post or two or three makes it better.

  66. Love your blog..it’s one of the first things I catch up when I am back from the wilderness. I second the idea of backing up your writings in the present format. Recently one of the well know pictures sites decided to re-invent their site by getting rid of the album format and captions…Now my 8,000 some pictures are scrambled with no captions/albums…12 years of pictures ruined. Of course I have backups of my pictures but not the format or titles. My trust is lost for sure.

  67. I never post but I just had to say “Thanks for sharing your life and knitting.” I, for one, appreciate your candor and humor. Now, on to the next 9 years!!

  68. Oh Steph, I love this.
    Not to be weird, but I actually spent the last eight-or-so months reading all the way back through your archives. I have a weird about of downtime at work and needed something fun to read, and here you were. I watched your family grow in reverse, and it has been a true pleasure and privilege to get to know you all in this way.
    Your blog will be such a treat for your family to look back on. I just hope you have it well and truly backed up somewhere so it’ll be around for future generations.

  69. Happy Blogiversary, & as I say each year – thank you for letting us into your lives. Your blog certainly enriches mine.

  70. And thank YOU, Stephanie Pearl McPhee, for making me laugh (I have shared the laughter on Facebook) and for making me think and for speaking your proud opinions (some I share) Thanks for your pictures. I bet your family gets hellos from knitters all over the place, I know if I ever see one of your girls in my neck of the woods, I’ll be saying HI!
    Thanks for your knitting tips and pictures and ideas and links (I have checked out many lovely yarn shop via your links)
    It’s a dull week when you don’t blog, I find it’s something I check for nearly every day (no pressure!)so…thanks for doing such a great job! Looking forward to the next nine years!

  71. Awww, sniff. I started knitting and found your blog only two months ago but both have become my favorite things. You have inspired me to really push myself and keep at the “boring parts” of sweaters…. Thanks for doing what you’re doing, because you’re truly fantastic. Your Grammy looks like she was a fun lady by the way!
    Cheers from Gabriola!

  72. I like that this post comes right after the story about your daughter wanting a matching hat. Happy Anniversary. You really should have a picture of the two of you in your matching hats.

  73. Happy Anniversary Stephanie. Thank you for making me laugh, cry, get involved to help others, learn more history, push my knitting to higher levels….
    I also can’t believe you feel the same about photographs of yourself. A friend just sent me a pic and I am horrified at my appearance. I should post the pic on the treadmill and never skip a day exercising!
    Thank you for sharing your world and humor.

  74. Thank YOU for sharing your knitting projects, experiences, challenges, & triumphs. There have been so many times that I’ve taken on projects just a bit beyond my level of skill, seeing that they might actually be possible for me to complete, and even successfully. My knitting competency has grown so very much, largely due to your influence.
    It has been a joy to watch your family grow up. The Very Best to you and yours.

  75. Happy anniversary. I hope you know what a pleasure it is to read your blog. Here’s to the next 9 years.

  76. Happy Anniversary, Stephanie! Can’t believe that you have been a part of my life that long :-) Thank you!

  77. so much to say in reply, yet… there really are no words, only <3 (love)

  78. Happy 9th Anniversary! I just recently found your blog from one of your books that was given to me as a gift. And what a gift!! I have been knitting on and off for about thirty years (my grandmother taught me too!) – pretty basic stuff – and I am now in full trottle mode. I got way back into it about a year ago and never looked back. Everybody in my family got on my case, until they all got gifts for Christmas. Your blog and books are so inspirational, motivational, and entertaining (the essay about Mothers’ Day just sent me over the edge with laughter). Thank you so much for all that you do – I hope to take a class with you someday. Keep up the wonderful work that you do!

  79. how different would our lives be without you?
    love that picture!
    happy bloggaversary

  80. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY BLOG!!!!!!
    And thank you, Stephanie, for writing it. You and the blog have made me the knitter I am today.

  81. Thank YOU!!! As funny as it sounds, reading your blog has been like wrapping up in snuggly wool blanket (with nice cables). Your family, your knitting, and your “voice” are awesome and I am happy to know you, even if we’ve never met.

  82. Congrats on your 9 years of blogging… Your stories have been a joy to read, laugh right out loud with, and at times get teary-eyed over. Many thanks to you and your family.

  83. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!
    And thank you for all that you have given us-the encouragement, the laughter, the tears-everything. You have given us so much through this blog, through your willingness to put yourself out there for strangers to read. Thank you for that.

  84. Happy Anniversary, and I have really enjoyed your sharing.
    Models and TV personalities spend their full day achieving “their look”. Be happy with who you are. Yeah, given our druthers, most of us would lose a few pounds, have the perfect hairdo, and modulate our voices. Think how BORING this would be.
    And keep getting in the picture! Because your family to be is going to want to know how you looked…as well as what you did.

  85. Happy Anniversary! I go to your blog every morning and am so happy when I see you’ve writing that day.
    Thanks so much for being there!

  86. Thanks for the inspiration, the validation, and the fun – I didn’t actually know about your blog until last year, but have all of your books, love the blog, laughed and cried through the bike rally, and love your family, your art, your humor, your tweets,… Yeah, it’s a little disturbing how much your words and outlook mean to me. I hope I covered my burbling devotion sufficiently when I got to attend the mawata class at Verb – I tried so hard to be cool and grown-up about it. Thank you for all you do, and please keep doing it!

  87. Happy Anniversary. Thanks for your openness and kindness and quirkyness and creativity and common sense and stamina. Let’s meet back here after 9 more years!

  88. Wow! Nine years! I’m so glad you blog. Your books and this blog have given me so much, laughter and tears and permission to become a Knitter! Thank you Stephanie, for sharing as you do. Love you!

  89. I’d give Ken a hug if I could so maybe you can give him a great big hug from all of us in thanks for helping give us the gift of you and the blog. Thanks Ken!!! And once again — we can never say it enough — thank you Stephanie.
    P.S. It may be way too cold but it just emphasizes how we love the warmth of wool. Keep warm.

  90. Having been an on-again-off-again knitter for most of my life, it was the discovery of your blog a few years ago that exposed me to a whole world that I didn’t know existed. I am now an on-again knitter with no off-switch. Thank you for the joy that knitting has brought me, and for the delight of being a faithful reader of your blog.

  91. I’ve been reading your blog and books for many years now. You’ve helped me through some bad days by making me smile. I’m a better person and a better Knitter because of you. (Thanks to you I now refer to myself as a Knitter with a capital K.) Keep up the great work. Happy Anniversary!

  92. There are very few people I’d ever want to swap lives with, even for a day or two (OK, I wouldn’t mind trying out JK Rowling, but that has a lot to do with gaining access to her coffers if I’m honest), but sometimes I think….how about fitting the skin of an all-round entertainer, greeter of babies, mother to three fine girls, endurance cyclist, furnace warrior, public speaker, Joe-lover, Ken-BFF, charity fund-raiser, earning an income with your passion…quite takes your breath away when you put it like that, doesn’t it?!
    I may never be able to inhabit your world, but I very much enjoy reading about it. Thank you for finding the time, energy and good humour to keep us entertained, informed and up-to-date. I hope that you enjoy reading the comments at least half us much as we enjoy reading your words!

  93. Happy 9th blogiversary! Thank you so much for such a wonderful blog – I check your site every day and can’t thank you enough for sharing all your stories, knitting love and parenting tips. :-) All the very best to you. :-)

  94. Yea – what they said! And I love that pic of your grandma. She’d probably kill you tho for posting it! :)
    Thanks for being here.

  95. Well, I just found your blog today, fairly new to knitting too. From the comments it sounds like this is an exciting place to be. I look forward to discovering your new and old blog posts. I too started a blog in 2009 mind you, for a trip my husband and I took on two motorcycles across the country for 4 and a half months. No, I’m not crazy, just HAD to get out of a rut. It was life changing. It still is.
    and now I’m learning to knit and spin at the ripe old age of 61.
    Happy Anniversary to you, and many more years of needle clacking and all the other things you do that bring you joy.

  96. Stephanie, you have been an inspiration to me since I found your blog. I started one this year so I could talk about my knitting, and to have something to show my grandchildren. I too have shunned having my picture taken, and haven’t kept a diary except when life was so terrible I that would write; but noone will ever read that.
    Life is now busy and good, and for some reason blogging is very satisfying. Thank you for all you do, teach, write and are.
    Happy Blogaversary, and many Happy Returns!

  97. Stephanie:
    I, too, want to add my congratulations and appreciation for your nine years of blogging, offering humor and inspiration to all of us. Also, want to thank Ken for getting you set up to entertain the masses.
    Keep up the great work and we will all continue to read, learn and enjoy.
    Kathy

  98. Thank YOU!! and Happy anniversary. So many times you express, and very well I must say, the things that I think and that I thought that I was the only one. Really, someone else thinks that their voice sounds strange? Please keep blogging.

  99. To add my voice to the multitudes, Happy Blogiversary, Steph’, and thanks for being here for all of us…you make a difference to us, too!

  100. Happy Anniversary Stephanie! THank you for sharing your life and your family’s lives with us. I have learned so much from you and best of all you make me laugh. Something sorely needed these days. You are the best!

  101. Everyone feels that way about pictures of themselves. In no small part because we are reversed from the way we are used to seeing ourselves (in a mirror). Try looking at a photograph of yourself in a mirror, it might not look as weird to you.
    Happy Blogiversary- Thanks for bringing us along.

  102. Happy anniversary! Thanks for keeping going – when I started knitting, your blog (and Grumperina’s) inspired me, helped me, and motivated to carry on through the stages when my projects looked nothing like they were meant to.

  103. You’ll have a new picture of Grammy every time you look in the mirror, because you look just like her.
    Thank YOU for the blog, for telling us about the yarny community out there, for suggesting projects and outlining your struggles. I’m a much better knitter as a result of reading you and knitbloggers everywhere. Mwah!

  104. Happy 9th anniversary of the blog…how I wish there was a “better” word substitute for blog! I’ll wish you another 9 years +. If I’m still here in 9 years I’ll be 81…

  105. Happy anniversary! I am always so happy when I see a new entry from you. You inspired me to start knitting again, but, even more importantly, you remind me to take joy in the small things in life – even when those small things seem like giant obstacles.

  106. Happy Anniversary!
    Thank you for sharing your insight, knowledge, humour, and family! To many more writing years to come.

  107. Happy anniversary! I’d never thought about my blog as a way to make up for not being in many of my daughter’s pictures, but dang. Thank you.

  108. Stephanie, I am so grateful my daughter put me on to your blog. You are funny, clever, sometimes outrageous, inspirational and so much more. Your blogs add sunshine to my days. So happy anniversary and thank you. Long may you be be able to continue.

  109. And again you made me think. It never occurred to me that I was short changing my children by never being photographed. In my family, I’m the one with the skills so I’m the one taking the pictures. I’ll have to work on changing that. Happy Anniversary.

  110. Thank you for sharing your adventures large and small with us. I’m sorry not to have met you for real, because I have certainly enjoyed getting to know you a little bit through your writing!

  111. I just wanted to add mine to the chorus of thanks – I love to read your blog, I’m always happy when I see there’s a new post, there’s always wit and humour and wisdom and wool. And despite the lurkers like me who read and take enjoyment and give nothing back, you carry on, generously sharing. So, unlurking for once; thank you.

  112. Happy Blog Anniversary, Steph! I think I’ve read every blog word you’ve written and all of your books…and I love to see what you’re going to write next…and I share it with friends.
    When my DH died and all I could do was knit and cry, your blog reminded me I could still laugh and enjoy life.
    So…we readers may have changed your life, but you have also changed ours with your infectious humour, your wit, and your generous spirit.
    Thank you.

  113. When I discovered your blog I backed up and read it from the beginning. I’ve recommended it to non-knitters just because I thought it was a fascinating look at a woman reinventing herself (and you’re pretty darn funny too.) It’s a better day when I find you’ve posted and how the heck did you manage to convince me to knit socks and now shawls..shawls? me? seriously? what the heck? how can i have one done one in progress + 2 more planned when I swore upside down and sideways that they were not of interest. Congratulations, keep up the good work.

  114. I feel so fortunate to have discovered your blog a couple years ago when I took up knitting after a 17 year hiatus. Your blog is the only one I read, and I check it everyday. Seeing a new entry is like unwrapping a little gift; it totally makes my day. Happry Anniversary, and THANK YOU.

  115. Happy blog-a-versary!
    And I read a recent article about a mom who realized she was never in the picture. And how her kids would never look back and think, “look at my overweight mom with bags under her eyes.” They’ll think, “There’s another picture of my mom I have to cherish.” It does make one think.

  116. Thank you…thank you! You are the one blog I read daily. (Not trying to pressure you, but you give me a laugh on some days when I need it.) Happy 9th!

  117. No, thank YOU, Stephanie! We’ve all read your posts and said, “Oh, that’s so me!” We’ve smiled with joy, cried, cringed and laughed until we’ve cried along with you for the past 9 years! Thanks for sharing your life with us, and I look forward to many more years!

  118. Congratulations, Miss Harlot! It was nice to hear about the wonderful records of your family this blog has preserved!

  119. Happy Anniversary to you Steph, it’s been a great journey and you should be proud of it! I am not fond of my photos either but you definately have one thing I don’t, since I don’t blog, you have captured your heart, love and personality for all your family members to keep and cherish when you are no longer here. I hope that day is far away but you have the blog as a great legacy for everyone to hold dear. Pictures can only say so much but you have blessed us for 9 years, thank you!

  120. Happy, Happy Blogversary. Thank you for sharing so much with us. I’m also glad that this window into your life has helped you put together a livelihood that makes you and your loving readers pretty darn happy.
    You are right – your blog is your portrait album for your family. What a legacy to leave them!

  121. Happy Blogiversary! I know what you mean about not being in pictures because the same is true here. I never thought, as you did, that my kids would have my blog as a reminder of our lives. So glad you pointed that out but I will make it a point to take more photos for them and their children.

  122. I agree – my own blog has become an awesome repository of all sorts of little things that have happened over the past 6 years, things we would have completely forgotten had I not written them down to share with others. I hope my kids, when they are grown, will enjoy reading through it.

  123. Thanks for the giggles, the belly laughs and the tears. My favourite one is the multiple coffee one in the airport. Priceless!

  124. Happy blogiversary! You have brightened my day more times than I can count, and I am grateful for every word. Thank YOU!

  125. Happy Blogiversary! Love following your life and knitting adventures. You are not the invisible mom at all :*)

  126. I have a photo of the two of us on my screen saver that I treasure — from your visit to Minneapolis last fall. I think you look FABULOUS and only wish I could send you a copy, but can’t see a way to attach one here. I remember you weren’t feeling well that week, but you delivered in your own inimitable style and I’ll close by saying that meeting you was the highlight of my year! Happy anniversary, Stephanie, and many thanks for all the laughs and tips and moral support you have been to so many of us over the years. Long may you knit!

  127. Thank you for all the amazing posts, knitterly and otherwise. Happy Anniversary!

  128. Toally enjoy your blog. It sometimes inspires me to try different things. I’m happy to hear you enjoy your blog so much. I have to say sometimes I feel like a stalker, peeking in on your life, so I’m glad to hear you enjoy sharing.
    Thank you.
    P.S First discovered you when reading Knitting Rules and nearly peed my pants laughing.

  129. Thank you for nine years of brightening my day.The biggest laugh (I laugh and smile — and sometimes get misty-eyed — at most of your posts) you gave me is when you wrote that the hat you knit made your head look like a penis. It still makes me giggle when I think about it.

  130. Your words really resonate. Your blog will endure and has helped make you a part of all of our lives. Thanks for sharing.

  131. Happy anniversary, and thank you so much, I second everything everyone else has said, so I won’t take up your time repeating it all. I look forward to many more wonderful posts, they make my day!

  132. Happy anniversary, Yarn Harlot. I’ve been reading every post for 3 or 4 years but may not have commented before. I love your writing, your work, your family (biological and online), and your heart.
    I’ve knitted a few simple washcloths and probably learned a few bad habits, but with big changes ahead for me in 2013, I’m hereby committing to take a real knitting class in the coming year. Then maybe, someday, I’ll be able to comment with some authority.
    Knit on.

  133. As a member of The Blog, I thank you. For sharing your stories. For challenging us to think and share and grow. For making me smile, and laugh out loud on really crummy days, and for being able to so eloquently capture so much of what being a mom is all about. Happy Anniversary!!

  134. Happy birthday, blog! And congratulations on 9 years of writing to us all — it’s so appreciated!

  135. I love the picture of your grammy! I wish I had a picture of my grammy that looks just like this one! Isn’t it cool how unself-conscious people were at that time?

  136. I have followed you from the beginning. I love your blog, books and tours! Happy 9 year Anniversary and many hope and wishes for more.

  137. Wow, I can really see the family resemblance in that photo! What a great picture. She looks like a free spirit.
    Congratulations on the anniversary :)

  138. No, really – I need to thank you. For spending the time to share the up’s and (sometimes) downs of your life with all of us. I think I speak for everyone here when I say that you’ve many a time made me laugh, occasionally have made me teary, and have brought smiles to the worst of days.
    Beautiful post. Happy anniversary. Here’s to nine more! =)

  139. Happy anniversary! I discovered your blog about 2 years ago and have been a faithful follower ever since – though this is the first time commenting. Thanks for your insight, your humour, and especially thank you for your annual gifts for knitters.

  140. Happy Anniversary! I am so glad Ken gave you this gift all those years ago. You’ve been an inspiration.

  141. I called my gram grammy too. Love your blog and I am a better knitter because you. Thanks.
    Teri

  142. Happy Blogiversary! I often have to remind myself of the same thing. My kids won’t have many pictures of me because I’m the one taking them. I’ll just hope they have strong enough memories to know how I looked even after I’m gone.

  143. Thank you, as well. Can we have a story about your grandmother, because with a pose like that in the photo, I want to know more about her.

  144. Isn’t it amazing how different we are, and yet how much the same. Yours is one of the few blogs I check almost every day. If I miss a few days, I go back and catch up in the proper order. I love the way you write. You strike a chord for me almost every time you sit down and talk with us.
    Here’s to many more years of conversations about life, and maybe a few more pictures (of both of us!).

  145. I can see your happy direct comfortably tilted personality in your Grammy’s photo. Thank you for Stephanie Grammy.
    When I was a kid, I thought my mom never did anything with us, she was never in the pictures!

  146. Just another note of thanks for all that you share and the ways that you inspire – as a knitter, as a mum, and as a person who cares about this planet and its inhabitants.

  147. Congratulations on 9 years of blogging! May there be many, many more years of Yarn Harlotry and blogging to come!
    P.S.: You really don’t photograph all that badly. If you did, the publishers wouldn’t have put your picture on your book covers. Besides, Joe and your mum think you’re beautiful and that’s what counts, right?

  148. Thanks for all of your hard work here over the years.
    You have indeed made a difference and an impact in many ways.
    Congratulations on the anniversary!

  149. Thank you! For laughter, for giving us so much yarny knowledge, for sharing your life and family with us. Thank you!

  150. Happy 9th Anniversary! Thanks for sharing so much of your life with the rest of us ~ I always look forward to reading your blog. It’s the first thing I look for each morning when I sit down at my computer!

  151. I just went back to read those early posts–classic!!! Your blog is only one month younger than my oldest child. And what a cutie Sam was at age 10.
    Hooray for 9 years–thanks for all the posts!

  152. Happy Anniversary!! Thank you for being you, for sharing and making me laugh, and so much more!!

  153. Happy Blogoversary! Thank you so much for sharing your stories. Your warmth, humour the ability to laugh at your own foibles are inspiring & comforting.
    Thank you for doing everything you do. I look forward to reading your blog every week.
    Thank you to Ken for helping you get starting :)
    Cheers ! I say to you from chilly Calgary with a fortifying glass of red . I hope you are celebrating in a similar fashion while staying warm.

  154. Your Grammy looks like someone who didn’t take herself too seriously. Cig in one hand, wearing a 70′ish bikini, posed in an un-lady-like pose with an “I’m comfortable with myself” look on her face. I bet she was a ton of fun to be around!
    What a great pic. What a great blog. What an amazing family we’ve had the pleasure of getting to know. Please don’t take yourself too seriously – let the camera into your life and relax and there will be great pics of you for your kids and grandkids to love one day in the distant future.

  155. thank YOU, Stephanie. It’s been a great ride and I’m looking forward to what’s next.

  156. Thank YOU, Steph! This has been and continues to be a wonderful ride! ;)
    Keeping mom in the picture is a tough one; i’m working on it myself. It’s reassuring to know that you, who are so often photographed by strangers (myself included) struggle with it also. Cheers!

  157. Has it only been nine years? I have read and loved your blog since it started, thank you for so many laughs, patterns, yarns and a few tears. I wondered why Wurm had made the top 20 patterns on Ravelry, then saw that you had blogged about it and a hat for your daughter. Do you realize how influential you are to the knitting community? Take pride in what you do, it is a good thing. Cheers, Cheryl.

  158. Congrats on 9 yrs! Reading your blog is a part of my day I always look forward to. After the dishes are done, my 3 kids are in bed, laundry, and all the other daily activities in my house are under control, I sit down, open my laptop, and breathe in your blog. Thank you for taking the time to share your life with all of us.

  159. Happy Anniversary! Nearly nine years ago I was stuck in a house with two small babies, one of them very new, and miserable with post natal depression. I found your blog because I loved knitting and thought I was alone in that (how wrong was I?!) and I’ve been with you ever since. We even met once when I travelled to Rheinbeck (I live in NZ) – my babies have grown huge and can knit too now, I have changed countries, careers and houses; you’re not nowhere – you’re here and have been all along. Thank you.

  160. Any day where there is a new YH post is a good day. Keep writing! In capturing the personal, you speak to the universal — to all of us out here just trying to get through another day. You make it easier.

  161. Thank you so much, Stephanie, for sharing the last nine years of your life with us! I know it’s been hard at times – and harder at others – but you are a fantastic influence and inspiration to so many of us. Thank you, and thanks also to Joe, Megan, Samantha and Amanda… not only for supporting you, but for allowing us a glimpse into your family as well as your knitting!

  162. Happy Birthday,Blog…and right back atcha, Steph.
    Surely you have some idea of the pleasure you have brought to so many. You have been friend, teacher, therapist (by virtue of all those “Aha!” moments of connection and clarity), and inspiration. Many, many thanks…and many more blog entries for as long as it makes you happy…And I get the photo thing, too…I recently asked DH if we were in danger of the grandchildren sometime in the future lamenting, “Hey, does anybody remember what Nana looked like? I forget…” I hate having my photo taken, too, but posterity demands it :-) Maybe they’ll always see me in their hats and sweaters…Thank you again for the past nine years of friendship, for that’s what it feels like.

  163. It’s funny to read what you wrote, “I always look so clumsy and awkward to myself” because the only time I met you in person was at Madrona maybe four years ago, and my first impression, before I even knew who I was looking at, was how graceful and fluid and natural you looked. You were standing central focus in a group of people who were pelting you with questions, and the whole time you were looking them all in the eye and answering both cleverly & coherently, and the whole time YOU WERE KNITTING WITHOUT EVEN LOOKING AT WHAT YOU WERE KNITTING. This is the sort of thing that still photos, or the mirror, can never capture. But your family knows this well, I bet. Steph in motion is a beautiful object. You have to take our word for it.

  164. Happy Anniversary Stephanie! This blog is a daily reminder that I can do anything. Many years ago I was a new knitter and stuck making scarves. You came to speak at the bookstore I worked at and I was incredibly excited. We started talking about knitting and I said I could never make a sock with those tiny tiny stitches. You handed me your sock and said “You’re going to see how easy it is right now and if you want you can knit socks.” I knit some stitches and it was easy and I’ve knit countless pairs since. Thank you for all the help, the inspiration and the wisdom.

  165. Go you! You are terrific- not awkward at all. You make my life better for the enjoyment I get from reading and you’ve never even met me. Thank you for continuing to add more joy to the world!

  166. I believe that the Blog would agree that you are a very present mom. You are also a very talented Blog teacher, writer and friend to each of us.
    Love and Congratulations for nine wonderful, roller coaster years!

  167. Forgot to mention in my earlier post, I hate having my picture taken too – I definitely feel past my prime.
    But when getting a passport, the girl taking my picture said, ‘Hey, in 10 years you’re gonna love this picture!’ Which made me laugh out loud. Yep, in 10 years, all of us will look back at present day’s pictures and think, ‘Man, I looked so much more fabulous back then!’ :)

  168. I’m glad you’re getting in the picture. I don’t have any pictures of me and my Mum except one professional portrait I had done when she was in the nursing home. I was the same way (hated pictures of myself) but after Mum died I did a 365 days of self portraits on Flickr and it was a way to De-senisitize myself … to myself.
    I’m glad you appreciate the importance of getting in the damn picture. :) And Happy Anniversary.

  169. Happy Anniversary and thank you for getting traction on that learning curve to reach escape velocity. I have learned about knitting and so much more.

  170. So wonderful! Happy anniversary, you’ve brought me a lot of laughter and pleasure with your blog, and I’ve learned a ton! I always say that one of the things I love so much about knitting is that no matter how good you are, there’s always more to learn. Over the years I’ve been amazed by how much you know, and yet you always find something new to write about, proving my point. :-)
    Your Knitting Rules book goes with me every time I travel, and all the people who have been recipients of socks knit by me using your recipe should probably also thank you!

  171. Happy Anniversary! Thanks for sharing your life, insights, successes, and challenges. If the woman in the black and white photo is your grandmother, you are truly blessed to resemble her. What a dynamic portrait!

  172. The thanks goes to you for your part in creating a worldwide knitting community! I live and work in Kuwait and even here the knitting community thrives. Your writing, sharing, modeling, encouraging, teaching, and blogging have helped the community of knitters become stronger, more vibrant, more fun, more diverse, and more knowledgeable. For that I am grateful. Thank you. Salam wa sa’aadah Linda

  173. Happy 9th to you, to me, to all of us! Thanks for so generously sharing your life, and your great writing with us. BTW, your grammy looks like quite a gal!

  174. Knitting Rules was the second knitting book I read when I taught myself to knit. I picked it because I just liked the picture of you on the cover. I would be a very different knitter if I had never read that book. Thanks!

  175. Only recently did I find your blog and am ever so happy I did. Your writing style makes me feel we are chatting in person, your knitting projects are inspirational, and, like others have said, you have helped encourage me to be persistent. Thank you for your wonderful blog. Happy Anniversary!

  176. Is it only nine years? Honestly? Steph, I feel like you have been a part. Of my life for much longer…..like since I was a little kid. I can and do relate to your experiences with kids (little ones) and kids (growing up and leaving the nest) and kids (borrowed like Hank and Lou and the baby whose mother knows your Mum.)
    Ihave loved your blog and loved reading about your daily life, fights with the squirrels, your sorrow for dear, departed, Sir Washie….. And thanks for introducing me to so many of your friends, too. I’d really be lonely if I hadn’t met so many of them….Juno, Rachel H, Glenna, Lene to name just a few….. And all the wonderful folks at MSF….. And I would be a more limited knitter if I had never read about and searched out Briar Rose, STR, and so many other wonderful yarn companies you steered me to…and all the patterns you mentioned that excited me and kept me coming back…..
    And I would surely have missed knowing that I should alway get dressed before I leave a hotel room, even for a second…. And that a truck needs to be handled carefully or it may get lodged between buildings…. And that it is possible to recover from a serious mis-cabling, with judicious use od a crochet hook for repairs. thanks for the laughs, the ideas, and the lovely picture of Grammy. I’ve loved being along for the ride.
    Seriously? Only nine years? I could swear it’s been a whole lifetime that we’ve been friends.
    Barbara M. In NH

  177. Happy, happy blogiversary! May your stitches be many and the tinking rare. I really enjoy your wit and wisdom.

  178. You’ve created a community of people who are better for having read what you have to say and who want to live up to the best that you expect in us–while reminding us to have a good laugh and get over ourselves when we’re too wound up. Thank you!

  179. Nine years already? It’s just zoomed by. You started blogging about the time I started knitting, and you’ve helped me grow into a pretty good knitter. I learned not to take it too seriously (even when I was doing virtually nothing else but that and gardening.) I learned that even when I have to frog the whole thing, hey, I’m still getting to knit. I learned that free-range squirrels are a fiber fiend’s mortal enemy, and the best-laid traps can go seriously awry. I’ve cried over the one sock, laughed at Joe stuck in the truck, watched your daughters become young accomplished beautiful women, and Hank become a young man.
    Steph, I know I’m one of thousands who love what you’ve shared with us, and thanks to Ken for making it for you. Happy blogiversary to you, with LED sheep and perfect row gauge on top!

  180. Stephanie, Thank you! I learned to knit because I stumbled onto your blog about 7 years ago and found your enthusiasm for knitting and wool contagious. All these years later, my friends and family know me as a “knitter,” my second bedroom
    is a “fiber studio” because that’s how big the stash is and I share my joy by teaching knitting classes. I’m also learning to spin. I can’t imagine my life without knitting and my community of knitting friends. And I feel that I owe So so much of it to you and your blog. Thank you, thank you.

  181. You’re welcome! You’re welcome that I and many others like myself exist to love you so.
    But in return, thank *you.* I’ve read every single post you’ve ever written on here (though, admittedly, I have yet to buy your books – silly me), and I think you’re wonderful, amazing, funny, and very, very real. Sharing your trials along with your tribulations makes whatever blogger-reader relationship we have that much better, because I know there’s a REAL person on the other side of that screen. Fortunately, it’s a real person who is wicked funny and charming to boot.
    I’m really grateful you have this blog. It’s been a joy to read and share with you. Thank you.

  182. Happy 9th Anniversary! And thank you so much for allowing all of us this glimpse of your life through the window as it were. I started knitting partly because of the influence of a life-long friend, and a lot because I picked up “Knitting Rules” off the shelf at the library I worked at. Your words gave me the confidence to press on, keep learning the skill sets I needed and I have been knitting socks, amongst other things, for nearly 3 years now.

  183. Congratulations on your 9 years of blogging. Your writing is such a treat – you hit the right spots in every knitter’s (and mother’s) heart I think. I read and re-read your books as well, and as matter of fact, “Things I Learned From Knitting” is back on my nightstand again right now. It still makes me laugh out loud at points, and nod in agreement often. You have a gift and are generous to share it with us, your readers. Thank you.

  184. We all owe a GREAT BIG THANKYOU to Ken! Our lives would be so much emptier without your blog. Ken – THANK YOU.
    As for you – we love your blogging, love your books, love your pictures – love you. Thanks for sharing yourself and your family with us in all the ways you do.

  185. Congratulations and Happy Anniversary! I just realized as I read your post that I started reading your blog shortly after you started it. What a riot! For the record I was such a newbie knitter and all, that for some reason it never occurred to me that you were a newbie blogger. I guess I was just in awe of your knitting skills, which only increased the first time I saw you knit in person. Thank you for all the laughs over the last 9 years. I’ll forgive you for nearly drowning me on more than one occasion. I would be drinking my morning coffee and reading your blog when something would strike me as so funny that I would inhale my coffee and just about choke to death! Thanks for all the knitting encouragement and support. I’m not sure if you did it intentionally but every time you posted about projects that didn’t work, visits to the frog pond, silly mistakes that you made or lying gauge swatches you encouraged me to keep knitting. It was ok to have assorted calamities, flops, screw ups and just plan bad ideas when knitting. After all, if it happened to the Yarn Harlot who is light years ahead of me in knitting skills, then it must just be part of knitting. It’s ok to rip that stupid scarf apart for the 5th time. Thanks in part to you I’ve continued knitting and really enjoy it. I might be the slowest knitter on the planet, but I am a happy knitter. So Happy Anniversary! Thank you and thank Ken. I hope that you have many, many more years of blogging to come (and the occasional visit to the Frog Pond. I really need the encouragement!)

  186. Thank you for the inspiration, the honesty, the pointing toward great patterns and tools, and the hilarious stories. I am currently carrying around in a Tom Bihn bag a Color Affection shawl in the making. These came from this blog and are just the latest signs of your presence in my life. Thank you.

  187. Good morning Stephanie! Of course, congrats on a wonderful anniversary. I’m thrilled to have been here with you and thank you! But i also want to comment on the amazing!!!! picture of your grandma. From that picture, i feel i sort of knew her too. Just goes to show the power of one picture if it’s the right one! All the best…. and here’s to many many more.

  188. Its all been said…thank you for your wit, humor and charm, your ability to be my “happy place” on “those” days, for giving me confidence in my knitting. I too was very close to my Granny,and miss her. And no I am not a flake, but I hear her “talk” to me in my head, with her expressions, with her wit and kindness. And like you, I am always the picture takerer…maybe its a Mom thing. Happy 9th!

  189. You’ve touched so very many with this blog and your books and articles and we’ve all come to know you and laugh and cry and live our lives with you and your life.
    Thank you, Stephanie, and happy anniversary.

  190. I wonder if youll read this? I went looking for your first ever blog post in october last year. I was starting another new blog ive had that many over the past 7years and never stick with them. I hope i stick with my new one as now im sad at all those photos ive blogged and lost over time. Ohwell happy 9th blog anniversary.

  191. Thank you for your spirit and loving way you view life. I have come late to your blog, only a year or so, but look forward to it as I do my morning coffee. I hear you about pictures of self but you are on the correct path to adding more. Love the picture of your glamorous grandmother. Cheers.

  192. I can’t even tell you what an inspiration you’ve been. I first stumbled upon your writing when I was living down in New Orleans. A friend of mine said “I know you’re a knitter and I thought you might enjoy this”. She handed me Free Range Knitting. I was homesick at the time and immediately recognized your uniquely Torontonian voice. I’ve been stalking you ever since :)

  193. Like everyone else…I love your blog….Happy Anniversary! Boy do you ever resemble your granny.
    Blessings!

  194. Congratulations! It has been a privilege to read all the stories of your family and adventures. And your knittting~inspirational! When you write about boldly going where no pattern has gone before, it gives me the confidence to make changes in my knitting so it truly becomes “my” knitting.
    Happy Blogversary!

  195. Happy Anniversary! As many others have said, your blog brightens my day, encourages me to try new things, and allows me to confirm that all of us have stories to tell and people to listen.

  196. Happy bloggy anniversary! I see you in your Grammy’s eyes.
    Thank you for keeping it going all these years for our information and entertainment!

  197. We have all loved coming along on this ride with you, believe me. It just keeps getting better and better. Happy Anniversary…and, you DO look just like your grammy, isn’t that wonderful? She is fabulous!

  198. Awwww. And thank you for taking the plunge and writing about all your adventures, big and small. You got me into sock knitting, mystery lace KALs, and Ravelry. And cranberry sauce. For those in my family who like cranberry sauce your recipe is our favorite now.

  199. I ditto everything from EvelynU at 2:31pm particularly, plus everyone else. Happy Anniversary!

  200. I have to agree with Karen (third post) that your blog is one of the “happy places” I visit. Thank you for your time, your wit, your thoughts on so many issues, and for sharing your knitting triumphs and woes with all of us. It’s always an adventure.

  201. I love your blog. It is a true log of these last 9 years of your life. Thank you for sharing, I feel we are hugging buddies and everyday knitting friends.

  202. Happy anniversary! I came to your blog late (only about 4-5 years ago), but as mentioned above, it is a “happy place” in my morning skip through the blogosphere. It has also inspired me to start the occasional project and take on some things I might not have — right now it’s a Zimmerman baby surprise sweater for my cousin’s daughter’s upcoming baby. Thanks for sharing your life and times with us.

  203. Wow, how fast 9 years has flown by! I, like everyone else, love reading about your knitting adventures. Your blog was what inspired me to start my own blogging. Not nearly as good as yours; but I try! Happy blog anniversary!!

  204. Dude! Your gramma totally ROCKS! Mine wore house dresses but she worked when it wasn’t cool and she even said s*#t, a few times as she got older. (totally shocked the s*#t outta us grandchildren!) I love your writing, your knitting and I can tell (230 plus comments as of this minute) that I’m not the only one. Congrats!

  205. Sharing your life with fellow knitters, spinners and bloggers is such a great gift. I have favorite moments (the multi coffee at the airport comes to mind) and have either shared them with friends and family and reaping the reward of hearing them all laugh – or sharing the link to your blog and let them enjoy it all to themselves. Thank you so very much!!!

  206. Oh, Steph, you have no idea how important your blog and books have become to all of us here. I check every morning to see if there’s something funny to join you in snickering about. On some days you’re the only funny thing I read, hear or say. I couldn’t do without your blog and I’m looking forward to another 9 years – minimum!

  207. Here’s a thought (inspired by Colleen at 4:06 and Robin at 7:20.) There must be hundreds of pictures of Stephanie out there in the knitting universe. What if everyone who has a cherished shot of or with the harlot forwarded a copy on to her? Her virtual photo album for the past nine years would be an amazing thing indeed. Stephanie, is there an e-mail address these pictures could be sent to? Obviously we don’t want to swamp your day to day working address.

  208. I’ve been making an effort to appear on more pictures with my son, as well. He’s still a baby but I don’t have close to as many pictures as I would like. I, too, don’t particularly like having my picture taken… but you know what? My husband and my son love me and they kind of have to look at me everyday. =D I want my son to have pictures of us, so when he is older he can go through our scrapbooks and reminisce about our family life.
    This is the article that made me get over my dislike of having my picture taken (at least showed me that it is not just about me and what I look like… it is about the memories).
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/allison-tate/mom-pictures-with-kids_b_1926073.html
    I cried when I read it, because it gave me perspective.
    Happy blogging anniversary (from a quiet fan)!!!

  209. Happy blogiversary! Thank you for bringing us so many years of joy through your blogging, your stories and your writing. Thanks for sharing.

  210. Happy Anniversary, Ms. Harlot! Thanks for all the inspiration, entertainment, stories silly and moving and everything in between. Here’s to another 9 years!

  211. Happy Anniversary to you and this blog! Thank you for the laughter and the tears and the knitting/parenting self-recognition and the work you’ve done on so behalf of the knitting community. The fund-raising (bike tours, MSF), the new word (kinnearing), a few books, a few events (Sock Summit, Knot Hysteria, Sock Camp), the patterns you’ve created and/or publicized: all these are proof that you are a force to be reckoned with.
    May you spend many more years blogging!

  212. As a Solitary (a knitter without knitting peeps), thank you for putting these pieces if yourself out into the world, so that I know there are other people out there, just as excited by yarn.

  213. Happy Anniversary and congratulations, Stephanie. And thank you – for being a huge part of that magic when sticks and string turn into something beautiful…a process, a community.

  214. I don’t know if you’ll make it all the way down to my comments, but you should know the following have occurred because of your blog contributions over the years:
    - you have made me a much better knitter
    - you have made me a better mom
    - you have made me think about world issues through a different lens on occasion
    - you have reminded me time and again to appreciate what I have in my life, including your blog!
    - you have given me hours of entertainment, a bucketful of wisdom, some terrific laughs and more than a few tears
    - you have made me a sock knitter!
    - you have given me recipes for new veggie dishes
    - you have reminded me of the tenderness and fleeting beauty of newborn babies
    YOU HAVE MADE ME A BETTER PERSON.
    So…it pains me to see you write about how you don’t like the way your nose looks or your hair won’t behave. The entire world around you realizes what a special person you are and sees you for the beautiful person you are.
    Repeat after me– you are beautiful!
    And I will continue to look for you at local Toronto knitting events to remind you!
    Thank you for your gift of the blog!
    Robin

  215. I second everything that Robin just said so beautifully. But I have to admit that I have not (yet) become a sock knitter. I have sock knitterly aspirations and lots of sock yarn, so there’s still hope!
    Thanks so much for the blog, and for all the wit and wisdom you share with us.

  216. You may thank your blog. We, however, thank you. Thanks for all the information, laughs (and even some tears), thanks for sharing, for being there. Thanks and best wishes for many more years of same…….

  217. Happy Anniversary and thank you for allowing us to become part of your family and for becoming part of each of ours.

  218. Happy ninth Anniversary! May there be many more. Thank you for allowing us into your life. And for the inspiration, laughs, patterns, cute babies….

  219. Happy Anniversary! Even if I have to echo everyone else here: thank you for sharing your life with us! Although I came late to this community (only about 2 month ago), I already feel like you’re one of my best friends, who happens to be knitting. You share so much of you and your life – even when you “only” talk craft, it’s amazing! Thank you! I’m looking forward to the next 9 years with the Yarnharlo!

  220. You are the only other person I “know” who had a “Grammy”. Cheeres to Grammys, and to 9 years of blogging.

  221. Happy anniversary!
    And do learn not to shy away from the camera. (You’re pretty, silly!) My mother does and her daughters have few nice photos of her as a consequence. As soon as you react negatively to a camera, you look way worse than usual! Just smile at the camera as though you were looking at the people you love–because you are.

  222. Happy Blog-iversary!!
    I’m still working through all of your old posts, and (although I can agree with the pictures, but weren’t we all like that?) I am highly entertained and informed. You have left behind an amazing legacy for everyone, my dear, and especially for your friends and family and daughters.
    Congratulations! Keep up the AMAZING work. I always look forward to new posts, and as I wait for those, I will continue to read the old. :)
    Have an amazing and lovely day!
    Katie =^..^=

  223. Congratulations! Great picture, BTW – you favor your Grammy. I imagine she would be slightly embarrassed, yet thrilled to see all that you’ve done and shared these past years. Make sure your grands and great grands have the ability, someday, to pay tribute to you in the same loving way. Thank you for all that you do, and thank you Ken!
    Namaste, Knitsiam (aka Bonnie)

  224. I hear you. i hear every word. I too am a bit of a Nowhere mum. There aren’t enough photos and I’m trying to fix it too (my daughter is 17). I am bigger than I’d like to be, I don’t like my extra chin, my bust is too big and I feel heavy and clumsy beside my girlie friends, but you know what, we are goddesses, and goddesses and amazing. You are beautiful and amazing and all the fantastic little quirks, well, they make you you. Don’t ever change. xxx

  225. A picture is worth a thousand words – but where would we be without words?
    Words… ah, beautiful, wonderful words! Thanks for nine years of words. And here’s to many more!

  226. Wonderful post! You get to a certain age when you realize that there should be a photo or two for your family to choose from when they’re putting your obituary in the paper.

  227. Was teaching and driving icy roads and missed this. Picture me as the little guy at the end of the parade sweeping up … the confetti. And saving all of it. Thank goodness, thank Ken. Happy anniversary for all of us.

  228. I’ve been perusing your very early posts–I love that your “voice” has stayed the same. Not sure when I first started reading your blog, but I count myself lucky to have met you and learned from you. Keep up the good work! Please?!
    I even have a photo of your besocked foot next to mine–at the Imagine mosaic in NYC. OK, weird stuff done..
    Take care. ;-)

  229. I am new to your blog, but have read/listened to all your books. Thank YOU for making me a better knitter and for all the laughs along the way.

  230. what a great gift to us all the blog has been, thanks for sharing your voice with us…
    ps – -love your wurm hat share, and how quickly whatever you post trends on Ravelry!

  231. Happy blog-a-versary to you and to all of us. We are a community in large part to you. I eat lunch with you every day. I marvel at how your girls and Hank and Lou have grown. I was thrilled when you and Joe got married. I can’t believe that Joe puts up with you attaching large wet knit items to your bed with hundreds of pins [my husband is very patient, but he would draw the line at that]. I am constantly amazed at both the quality and quantity of your knitting.
    I have read all of your books. I was absolutely delighted to take the mawata class from you at WEBS.
    Thank you for enriching my life. And thanks to Ken for getting the blog started. I’m glad you continue to enjoy doing this because I would really miss your wit and wisdom if you stopped.
    Happy Anniversary and many, many more!

  232. Air. Coffee. Wool. Stephanie. Chocolate. All the necessities of life. Not necessarily in that order! Thank you for breathing life into our world.

  233. Happy Anniversary – like alot of others, I only “discovered” you less than a year ago. In that short time, I’ve read all your books and put your blog on my favorites list to check every day or so. Thanks for the laughs, the pathos and the wonderful family stories! (p.s. I taught a bunch of women at my office to knit. Two of them are gangbusters at it and one has tried things I would never have attempted. Spreading the knitting love is amazing! Thanks for the inspiration.)

  234. I remember when you started… :) Congrats on your 9 year blogiversary and many happy returns of the day!
    The picture thing I totally get. A couple years ago I heard a woman who was talking about self esteem and viewing yourself in a positive manner. She said that, because she was fat, she’d removed herself from pictures and picture opportunities. And that it was like she was trying to remove herself from her life. And that people in the future wouldn’t care that she was fat, they’d just want to know what she looked like. It was a revelation to me. I’m uncomfortable looking at pictures of myself, but I love looking at pictures of my relatives when they were young. We’ve set up a family facebook page for sharing of pictures and stories and information recently, and my thing about scanning in all the old pictures has come in handy and prompted some wonderful stories about great aunt’s and uncles and my grandparents. That’s what I want for my grandchildren. So I’m getting in the pictures, dammit, a little discomfort for lifetimes of stories.

  235. thank YOU, Steph, for sharing your life these past 9 years. thanks to Ken for setting you up and the family for participating as models and story fodder.
    i’m glad you feel that way about pictures of everyone being so important. none of us look the way we would in our mind’s eye, but that’s ok, because people love us and care for us just the same.
    happy blogiversary! here’s to another 9 years (if you can and want to!)!!

  236. Happy blogiversary, Stephanie! Your blog has made such a difference in my life — living in a small rural town in Manitoba I often felt that I was the lone knitter (other than the grannies that knit!) Having this window into the outside knitting world has brought me so many resources and ideas. Thank you for sharing your life with the rest of us. All the best.

  237. I can so relate to this! My mother hated having her picture taken. She was beautiful when young and hated how she looked as she aged (which was beautiful too!) I have very, very few pictures of her, and some are of her turning her back and leaving the shot. So though I’m not crazy about how I’m aging, either, I started putting my avatar on my online sites (a bold move!) and asking family to include me in pictures, when normally I’m the photographer. I want to be “present” in the future!

  238. Happy Blogoversary, Darling. Where would any of us be without you? You’ve brought the knitting universe into my life over the past nine years, and I and my knitting…and my writing…are richer for it.

  239. Thank you for the Blog, Stephanie! I don’t know other knitters in real life. I can totally relate to your knitting stories, especially when things don’t work out too well. You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to keep on keeping on.

  240. Congratulations on 9 years!!! I know just what you mean about photos. My nephews have a ghost aunt. I have taken on the role of family historian just so I won’t have to be in photos, but like you I am trying to let someone else take pictures of me occasionally. Anyhow, it is hard and requires constant choices to be brave and vulnerable. Good for you for stepping outside your comfort zone for the younger generations!!
    Thank you for blogging. The last few years have been a tough go for my family and me, and so many times your posts and books make me laugh. Someday, if I can ever come to see you on a book tour in Dallas, I would love to Kinnear you. :)

  241. Congratulations! Have been reading Yarnharlot for most of the nine years, have all your books. Knitting Rules still my all time fave. I share you with all my friends (even non knitters), we love your wisdom & sense of humour.

  242. Happy Anniversary! I just recently stumbled across your blog (in the last year.. time all runs together on me, hard to keep up..) and love reading it. I have also enjoyed several of your books :) Thank you for sharing your time, talent, and wonderful sense of humour with us!

  243. The only blog I read on a regular basis. I check every day just in case you decide to sneak in a weekend post. I love that you model civil discourse while being true to your values. On top of that your blog is warm, witty, and informative.

  244. Happy Blogiversary!!
    Adding my thanks to the chorus – you’re about 10 years ahead of me in parenting, lightyears ahead in knitting, and I’ve learned so much from you in both areas. I love how you share your family and life with us, The Blog.
    Regarding pictures, remember what Amy said about Rory, about how someone ‘becomes’ so beautiful when you love them – that is what your family and friends (and The Blog) see; not your nose, or your hair, or the not-barbie figure. They see Mum, or Steph, or our beloved Harlot. And that is beautiful.
    Blessings to you and yours, and many happy returns of your Blogiversary!

  245. Stephanie I just want you to know how much I have enjoyed reading your blog over the years. I check every day so I can get my Yarn Harlot fix for the day. Started reading your blog when my sister-in-law was dying of ovarian cancer. You helped me get though that!! I LOVE your blog and your books too.

  246. Late to the party, can’t add anything that has not been already said so just a quick and very heartfelt..
    Happy Anniversary and Thank you!!!!

  247. Made me teary too because you said that the blog has brought us to you. Of course, we feel the opposite. You have made us so much richer. Thanks for continuing to do this all these years and thanks for your great books too. We like our Harlot fix like another said!

  248. I am late chiming in (blame exam peariod in university) so there isn’t much I can add to all what was said above…except that when I found your blog and I’ve read it all the way through several year worth of posts (that was around 2007, or 2008 took me a week or two reading in my downtimes at work) I was sorry to be catching up when I did… Now, I can’t read new stuff anytime I want, I have to wait for it…like everybody else. Happy Blogiversary!

  249. Happy anniversary, Stephanie. You started something for yourself and it’s turned into so much more. Thank you for your words, your thoughts and your patterns! Here’s to many more years of blog posts.

  250. How lovely – whenever your children want more of you or whenever your future generations want to know about the minutiae of your life and the big things they just come here or too your archive – hope you have it backed up and backed up and offsite! ;)

  251. I know I’m late. It feels like I’m constantly trying to catch up on something lately. Happy Blogiversary! We’re SO happy you decided to share so much with us all these years.

  252. Hint for Ken’s next gift: get the blog published into a book. There are services out there that will do it, and it’s a wonderful way to have a hard copy. :o)

  253. I also hate to see pictures of myself and I’m usually the one behind the camera. But my mom once told me that she made a decision not to hide from the camera because someday she won’t be here and we’ll want to see pictures! That was generous of her, I think, and letting someone “see” your thoughts is incredibly generous of you, too. But let yourself be in front of the camera once in awhile, too. Your family doesn’t need a ton of photos, but a few will give them a lot of pleasure.

  254. That’s a side of blogging I had never thought about before. How beautiful.
    I wish I could look as relaxed as your grandmother in pictures. Maybe if I make that pose? (At least the picture of me falling down would be funny. Someday.)

  255. This. Yes. It’s the only reason I don’t jump out of pictures. If I die early, I want my daughter to have pictures of me and her doing the things we do. I want my descendants to look at the pictures and wonder things about me. Do I want to look at them? Absolutely not. Will I listen to a recording of my voice, ever, if I can help it? No way. But I don’t think anyone wants to be the Nowhere Mum. And for that, for our babies, we grit our teeth and grin when we see a camera pointing in our direction.

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