255. Finding Community in the Things You Love: Elyse Interviews Super Karen from the Knit One, Geek Two Podcast

Elyse and Sarah interview Super Karen, librarian, knitter, romance reader, and co-host of the Knit One, Geek Two Podcast. We talk about childhood fandoms, and the fandoms we love currently, like geek culture, knitting, and romance. We discuss gate keeping, internal snobbery, and the welcoming joy of finding people who love what you love, and are eager to talk with you about it. We also talk about Rhinebeck, and there’s some mild geeking out about knitting, knitting things that are geeky, and geeky knitting. Plus, we learn what Rhinebeck sweaters and cosplay might have in common. Bonus: you’ll hear Elyse’s embarrassing comic book shopping story.

Warning: mention of baby vomit and poo.

Read the transcript

↓ Press Play


Here are the books we discuss in this podcast:

Knitters, take cover, because here come links!

And! The RWA Signing! July 29, 2017, from 3:00 – 5:00pm! 

Hundreds of romance authors in one place, and all proceeds of book sales go to literacy organizations. Some of your favorite authors are likely to be there, like Alyssa Cole, Tessa Dare, Courtney Milan, Julie James, Cecilia Tan, Beverly Jenkins, and Jill Shalvis. And, for the first time, I’ll be signing, too – yay!

The signing is at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort in Pacific Hall. Saturday, July 29th from 3-5pm. And if you come and find me (I’m in the Ws and we have all the A/C) and mention the podcast, I have a special sticker for you – if you’d like one.

Get all the details at:  https://www.rwa.org/literacy.

If you like the podcast, you can subscribe to our feed, or find us at iTunes. You can also find us at PodcastPickle and on Stitcher, too. We also have a cool page for the podcast on iTunes.

More ways to sponsor:

Sponsor us through Patreon! (What is Patreon?)

What did you think of today’s episode? Got ideas? Suggestions? You can talk to us on the blog entries for the podcast or talk to us on Facebook if that’s where you hang out online. You can email us at sbjpodcast@gmail.com or you can call and leave us a message at our Google voice number: 201-371-3272. Please don’t forget to give us a name and where you’re calling from so we can work your message into an upcoming podcast.

Thanks for listening!

This Episode’s Music

Our music is provided each week by Sassy Outwater, whom you can find on Twitter @SassyOutwater.

This is from Caravan Palace, and the track is called “Dramophone.”

You can find their two album set with Caravan Palace and Panic on Amazon and iTunes.

And you can learn more about Caravan Palace on Facebook, and on their website.

Transcript

Click to view the transcript

[music]

Sarah Wendell: Hello, and welcome to episode number 255 of Smart Podcast, Trashy Books. I’m Sarah Wendell from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, and this is a podcast that is all about romance fiction, the women who read and write it and do many other awesome things. Today we have an episode that is all about all of those awesome things. Elyse and I interview SuperKaren, who is a librarian, knitter, romance reader, and the co-host of the Knit 1 Geek 2 podcast. We talk about childhood fandoms, the fandoms we love currently, like geek culture, knitting, and romance. We discuss gatekeeping, internal snobbery, and the welcoming joy of finding people who love what you love and are eager to talk with you about it. We also talk about Rhinebeck, and there’s some mild geeking out about knitting, knitting things that are geeky, and also geeky knitting. Plus, we learn what Rhinebeck sweaters and cosplay have in common. And we have a bonus embarrassing story from Elyse’s trip to a comic book when she was young. I should warn you that there is some mention of baby vomit and poo and a special appearance from Zeb, who barks at the UPS delivery truck.

All of the books and television shows and movies and things that we discuss are in the podcast entry at smartbitchestrashybooks.com/podcast. I will also have links to many of – I’m very sorry in advance for all of the knitters listening – all of the places where you can buy yarn. They mention a lot, and they all have cute names, and all the yarn is cute with names and adorable colors, and I’m really sorry in advance, knitters. This is going to be a dangerous podcast for you.

And speaking of the opposite of dangerous – well, no, actually, this is also kind of dangerous, but the good kind; both of these are the good kind – if you are going to be in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday, July 29th, Romance Writers of America is going to be hosting their annual “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing. Why is this potentially dangerous? ‘Cause there’re going to be hundreds of romance authors in one place, and all of the proceeds go to literacy organizations, and some of your favorite authors will be there. Currently listed as signing: Alyssa Cole, Tessa Dare, Courtney Milan, Julie James, Cecilia Tan, Beverly Jenkins, Jill Shalvis, and for the first time I will also be signing. Yay! So excited! So the signing is at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort in Pacific Hall, Saturday, July 29, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., and if you come find me – I’m in the Ws, ‘cause my last name is Wendell and I like air conditioning – come mention the podcast and introduce yourself. I have stickers for you if you would like to have one. You can get all of the details at rwa.org/literacy. That’s R-W-A dot O-R-G slash literacy.

The music you’re listening to is provided by Sassy Outwater. I will have information at the end of the podcast as to who this is and how you can acquire all of this fine, funky tunage for your very own self.

And we also have an iTunes page!

Zeb: Woof!

Sarah: Zeb wants you to know about the iTunes page in particular.

Zeb: Woof.

Sarah: Yes, it’s true! iTunes.com/DBSA: you can find recent episodes and the books that we talk about and also links to all of those eBooks in the iBooks store. It’s super cool.

And one last thing before we get started: we are ridiculous close to hitting the Patreon goal to start commissioning transcripts for older episodes, and I am so excited about that! Thank you so much! If you have a look at patreon.com/SmartBitches, you can make a monthly pledge of one dollar a month, and it makes a massive, helpful difference in, like I said, transcript, transcribbing – transcribbing! Transcrib-b-bing? Transcribbling. Transcribing. Yes, that! Exactly that – transcribing all of the older episodes in our archives, some of which go back to 2009, and transcriptions are important!

Moreover, if you’re supporting the show by leaving a review, telling a friend, or subscribing to the show on whatever you use to listen to podcasts, you are most excellent. Thank you so much for hanging out with me each week to talk about random awesome things, all centered around romance!

And now, without any further delay, on with the podcast!

[music]

Sarah: So, Elyse really wanted to talk with you about all the things you like, including romance, books, geek culture, knitting – like, she has so many questions she wants to ask you, and I have a couple too.

SuperKaren: Okay.

Sarah: So, okay, first thing I want to ask, though, is if you would please introduce yourself – this is the only awkward part – introduce yourself and talk about who you are and what you do.

Karen: Okay. I’m Karen, also known as SuperKaren, and –

Sarah: Awesome!

Karen: [Laughs] That is my official podcast nickname. I am, well, I’m now the acquisitions technician at my library system.

Sarah: Ooh, that’s –

Karen: I’ve been working in the library for quite a while.

Sarah: – that’s powerful.

Karen: Yeah, so I control the books – well, technically, I, I’m the one who places the orders; I’m not the one who decides what to order – yeah, for a public library system in the Niagara region of Ontario. And I’m also a knitter, spinner, beginning weaver, and also podcaster. I co-host the Knit 1 Geek 2 podcast, which is basically knitting, geeky stuff, and anything else we feel like talking about, ‘cause it’s our podcast and we get to say what we want.

Sarah: That is sort of the best, that is the best part of having a podcast, right?

Karen: Yeah! It’s basically like, you know, anything else we feel like talking about, we’re just going to talk about, and people can deal. [Laughs]

Sarah: Yeah, pretty much. That’s how I roll. I always figure, all right, I’m super interested in this one person, and I really want to talk to them. Probably no one else is interested, and then those are the episodes where I have comments: oh, my gosh, this was so neat! I’ve been thinking about this, and this is great! I’m like, oh, I’m not alone! You’re never alone on the Internet, ever.

Karen: Oh, no. That’s one of the best things about the Internet. You can always find people that are interested in whatever you are interested in.

Sarah: It is so true. And you’re also a romance reader, right?

Karen: Oh, yes. I have been a romance reader for quite a few years now. I think almost, like, ten years now, and also a Smart Bitches, Trashy Books reader for about the same length of time.

Sarah: Oh, thank you! That’s lovely.

Karen: I am one of these, these sneaky readers that, like, doesn’t comment much.

Sarah: That’s most of the readers! I’m, I always tell people who are starting out with blogging, do not ever judge the efficacy and the reach of your site by the number of comments, because most people read and do not comment. I mean, I read and don’t comment on places, so, you know –

Karen: Oh, yeah.

Sarah: – who am I to complain?

Elyse: Yes, Sarah has to lie to me about the number of podcast listeners we have. It’s five, by the way –

Karen: [Laughs]

Elyse: – and we’re just, we’re just saying that it’s five.

Sarah: With Karen, that means six. Counting you, Karen, that was –

Elyse: Yes, now, now we’re, now we’re up to six.

Sarah: I mean, we know who they are; it’s not a big audience. Otherwise, Elyse would never come on the show again.

Elyse: No, I wouldn’t. So, I actually found your podcast through Sarah, which was super cool. I was sitting on the floor of the Atlanta International Airport charging my phone and dry-swallowing Xanax because I have terrible, terrible flight anxiety, and Sarah messaged to me and is like, oh, I found this podcast, you should check it out, so I downloaded it and listened to it on my flight home in kind of like a Xanax-induced haze while –

Karen: [Laughs]

Elyse: So I will say that you and Maggie are very, very soothing to listen to when you’re having panic, panic attacks and, like, periodically just randomly grabbing the guy’s arm next to you every time we hit turbulence, so. I just have to own up to when I fly, like, I’m going to be in your space, and I apologize, sir, but –

Karen: Well, I’m glad we were able to help, though part of me is like, I wonder if this is the best way to listen to us or the worst way to listen us, hopped up on Xanax?

Elyse: You know, like, a little of column A, a little of column B, why not, right? But, no, the podcast really, really resonated with me because you guys are into things that I’m into, which is like a lot of geek culture, obviously, knitting and fiber arts, you’re a reader, you’re a romance reader, and, you know, we’re talking about how on the Internet you’re never alone. Well, these are all things that I was into back in my analog, childhood, pre-Internet days –

Karen: Mm-hmm.

Elyse: – and it was very lonely, right, because it was not a cool thing, and now with the Internet you have places like Ravelry, like Smart Bitches, where you find your people and you realize that it is a cool thing, that lots and lots of people are actually into this thing that previously I thought was really nerdy and I should be embarrassed by.

Karen: Oh, yeah, definitely. I mean, I wasn’t really into a lot of the things I’m into now, actually, when I was a kid, but I was definitely one of those kids. I definitely loved to read way more than anyone else in my class/school and really into certain things, like I was a huge Titanic buff when I was twelve, well before the movie came out.

Elyse: So, wait –

Karen: Acts as both, as explanation and as defense.

Elyse: But how did you, so how did you get into Titanic before the movie? Were you just, like –

Karen: I actually, well, because I liked reading so much and because I was a super big nerd, I spent a fair amount of time in our school library, and I was just looking around the library and saw a book; it was actually the book by Dr. Robert Ballard, who was the head of the expedition that found the wreck of the Titanic

Elyse: Oh?

Karen: – and it was about, had something about the history and about the exploration finding it, and I just saw it and thought, like, oh, that looks interesting! Yoink, pulled it off the shelf, and, like, from there on, I was a huge Titanic nerd, but of course, like, nobody else that I knew was into this. So it was a big thing when we finally got the Internet in 1998, finding other people who were interested in the same things that I was, and I wasn’t just that one weird kid.

Elyse: Oh, totally. I was super into Star Wars growing up, so I probably watched the movies when I was in, I would say, like, late elementary school, and then I started watching Star Trek on TV, and that was, like, my huge, dark, embarrassing, middle-school secret, that I was, like, a Trekkie, and I haven’t, I haven’t gotten back into it. I think I kind of fell away from it when, like, Buffy the Vampire Slayer came out, because that ate up all of my squee, but, yeah.

Karen: [Laughs]

Elyse: Like, there was, there were no fanfic forums; there was no one to talk to about it. You had to, like –

Karen: Oh, yeah.

Elyse: You had to keep it on the DL.

Karen: Yeah, and, like, I realized much later, after I’d gotten on the Internet and found places where people were writing fanfic that, like, even when I was, I’d started, like, writing stories and stuff when I was pretty young, and, like, even when I was, like, eight or nine, I would, like, write little stories about, like, whatever the characters were in my favorite TV shows or whatever like that. I didn’t know that fanfic was a thing at that time, and it was only much later when I got on the Internet it’s like, oh! There are other people that do this, and there are places where you can read all this stuff! Excuse me while I deep dive into, like, the old school X-Files fanfiction archives.

Elyse: Oh, my God, all of the hotels that they stayed in that mysteriously just had one room with one bed left?

Karen: [Laughs]

Elyse: There were no, there were no other hotel rooms, just this one.

Karen: Yep, just the one. Big conference in town; we only have one – and half the time it’s the honeymoon suite.

Elyse: Yes, exactly. Now, I remember being – did you ever watch Lois & Clark when it was on?

Karen: I didn’t, but I know friends of mine definitely were huge Lois & Clark fans.

Elyse: They just jumped right on it, and, like, the second episode was like, oh, well, you guys got to stay undercover in the honeymoon suite. Like, there were fanfic writers in that room. So –

Karen: [Laughs]

Elyse: – so, yeah, the Internet has definitely changed, well, it changed things for me, and I think it’s part of the reason that geek culture is way more accepted now, because you, you are part of a community, and it makes it seem more cool, I guess, or at least more, more socially acceptable.

Karen: Yeah, I mean, you can definitely feel more open to admitting that you enjoy certain things when you know there are many more people that actually do enjoy the same thing, even in real life, when you, most of the people you know on, are on the Internet, because you start to sort of get that feeling like, oh, maybe there are more people in my real life that are actually into this, or –

Elyse: Right.

Karen: – at the very least, you have that sort of backup of, like, I am not the only person that enjoys this. I can admit that I enjoy these things and can sort of take ownership of that.

Elyse: So one of the things that I wanted to talk about on this podcast is, even though there’s generally more acceptance of these things, when you look at, well, I guess they’d be, like, my three big interests, which would be knitting, reading romance, and geek culture –

Karen: Mm-hmm.

Elyse: – these are things that when oriented towards women, women still totally have to justify their interest in.

Karen: Mm-hmm.

Elyse: Right, so, like, knitting is associated with grandmas. We, we could write a thesis on the whole romance novel thing, and we probably have on the website –

Karen: [Laughs]

Elyse: – and then you have this whole idea of not being, like, a true nerd – so it went from don’t be a nerd at all to now, as a woman, you’re a fake nerd. You don’t have nerd credentials, because –

Karen: Oh, yeah.

Elyse: – you know, you can’t go see Wonder Woman and be like, oh, I really loved that movie, without some idiot being like, oh, yeah, well, have you been reading the comics since the day you were born, and you, did you have your lunch box in 1962? And also – and it’s like, Jesus Christ, I just said I like the movie, okay?

Karen: Yeah, and also that assumption that, like, you haven’t been doing that, ‘cause I’ve seen a number of women, especially with the Wonder Woman movies and with the, the Marvel movies where, like, dudes have been like, well, have you been reading, like, all of them since the beginning of time? Or have you read this issue, have you read this issue? And there are women who, actually, yes, have been reading the comics since they were children, but there is that sort of assumption that, because they are female, that they haven’t been, that they’re just getting into it because of the movies. Not that getting into it, into – gah – not that getting into it because of the movies is a problem, because I got into comics and into the Marvel movies because of the movies.

Elyse: So I have to share my comic book story with you guys. Back when I was a geeky teenager and there wasn’t, like, the Internet, we had one comic book store in town, and that was also where, like, all the tabletop gaming and stuff happened? And I would have them hold comic books for me. At the time I was super into, like, all the Top Cow comics, like Witchblade and The Darkness and stuff like that, and because I didn’t drive, my mom would take me to the comic book store to pick up my comics. So she’s, like, wandering around the comic book store while I’m paying for my comics, like, super awkward and uncomfortable, the only woman in there, and my mom wanders into the back and is just, like, Elyse, did you know there are pornographic comics? Look at this! This says, this says only over eighteen – oh, look at this! And I was just like, oh, my God, I want to die.

[Laughter]

Elyse: So, to put it in perspective, my mom is, like, super sex positive, and she was a nurse, and, like, nothing was off the table, and my friends were mortified by her all the time, so she’s, like, flipping through adult bondage comics in the back of the store, laughing, and all of the guys in there look like they want – like, they don’t know what to do. They all want the floor to swallow them up and just take them now.

Karen: Oh, my God, this is the best!

[Laughter]

Elyse: I still have bags and bags of my old comic books in the basement that I can’t bring myself to get rid of, and they’re all in pretty crappy shape, too, so it’s not like, it’s not like they have any, any real value anymore, but – but, yeah, no, I, I was into all those super-geeky things and felt very isolated.

Karen: Mm-hmm. Well, especially ‘cause sometimes in communities – and it especially boggles my mind in the geek community – there is that sort of gatekeeping aspect. Like, you have to have seen certain things or read certain things or done certain things or have to have been involved in it a certain amount of time for you to be a real fan. But the thing is, like, most of the people who are in that community at some point have felt out of place because of their enjoyment of this thing, and they’re really just perpetuating that with new people, and it’s like, why wouldn’t you, why wouldn’t you want new people to come in and to be able to, like, show all these new people the amazing things that are part of whatever you’re interested in? Like, have you read this comic, have you read these comics? Oh, I’ve read a couple. Oh, my God, you need to read this! And then shove the comics in their hands. And have that more fun, positive experience of, like, sharing things with people, rather than being like, well, then you’re not a true fan or –

Sarah: And it also shows, it also shows insecurity versus confidence.

Karen: Mm-hmm.

Sarah: You would think, like my experience with romance and with other forms of crafting – I don’t knit, but I do cross-stitch – the welcome that I receive in those communities is, oh, there’s more! There’s another person! You are welcome. Come in here! What do you like? I like that too; here are recommendations. And it’s all a sort of collaborative group confidence and welcoming –

Karen: Mm-hmm.

Sarah: – whereas when you get that gatekeeping response, it’s all insecurity: well, your experience is not as much as mine, so I’m still the authority, and you can’t come in because I said so, and it’s just perpetuating of insecurity instead of confidence and welcome.

Elyse: I don’t know why, but there, I think, a lot of times is this idea that if women enjoy something or make it part of their culture, it has to be taking away from someone else’s, right?

Karen: Yeah.

Elyse: Like, there’s, it’s the only, there’s only so much pie argument, right, where it, it’s, it’s not pie. We can all enjoy it, and we’re not going to run out at any point.

Karen: Yeah, and it’s one thing that I’ve noticed, like, reading Smart Bitches and seeing at least what I’ve seen of the romance community is, the romance community does seem to be a little bit more inviting and more inclusive of, like, various things. I’ve noticed that, like, if you look at comments about other genres that are made by people who, say, really enjoy mystery or really enjoy sci-fi or fantasy, a lot of people, some people in those communities will still be like, but at least it’s not romance, like romance is the bottom of the barrel.

Elyse: Yep.

Karen: Whereas in the romance community, there are many more people who are more open to the other, to other genres, who enjoy, like, either romance and sci-fi or just enjoy, you know, who also enjoy science fiction or mystery or things, so it’s, it’s like they, they actually learned from their experience as a romance novel reader!

Sarah: It, it, it is interesting because when you have things like geek culture, crafting culture, especially crafting around, that’s centered around women, things like romance, which are not only read by and produced by, but about women, and center on women’s emotional and sexual experiences, all of those things are, as you put it, well, that’s the very lowest of the low, because they’re all –

Karen: Mm-hmm.

Sarah: – gendered and coded as female.

Karen: Yeah, and there are some times when certain things – I’m thinking specifically of knitting here – like, half the time, when people are writing articles about knitting for the – well, the knitting community, some, some parts of the knitting community call them the muggles, the non-knitting people, the people who don’t understand it –

Sarah: [Laughs]

Karen: – for the average person, we’ll say – they will mention almost defensively, like, oh, but, you know, in the Middle Ages, you know, the people that ran all the knitting guilds were men and, like, you know, and sailors used to do this on ships and stuff.

Sarah: This is –

Karen: So, like –

Sarah: – long ago, this was cool. [Laughs]

Karen: Yeah. But also saying that, like, you know, well, at one time, dudes used to do it, so therefore, you know –

Sarah: Ergo –

Karen: – yeah! – therefore it has more value than you think.

Elyse: Once upon a time, dudes knit warmers for their penises, and it was legit!

Karen: [Laughs]

Sarah: Yes! And they used the right stitch so that it fit every single time!

Elyse: I don’t –

Sarah: You know what? That reminds me of press coverage of the romance genre, because there’s often, especially around Valentine’s Day, press coverage about romance, because oh, it’s Valentine’s Day! We’ve got to write about those books with the kissing and the fucking in them and the, and the boobs on the cover? We’ve got to write about those. And you get one of two predominant perspectives from the border of the real, the rest of the world and the romance community. Sometimes it’s the journalist or writer who says, oh, my God, I just went into Romance Land, and you will not believe how crazy those people are! Here are some quotes out of context, and they all just write about boners, and this is the word they use. Here’s a reference to Fabio, thank you very much. And then you have the people who go into the community and come out, and they’re like, y’all do not understand what you are missing! I am staying over here; this is great!

And I imagine that’s also true for knitting coverage, because you have the, oh, we have to talk about knitting, ‘cause knitting is in the news. And you have the, the people who approach the fluency of the knitting community – ‘cause it’s, it’s a language; like, it’s a very specific language and a very specific code – and you, and you have people who approach that from the outside, and they’re like, oh, this is seriously intense and kind of cool and, hey, I want to wear that, can you teach me how to make it? And then you have the people who are like, yeah, it’s a bunch of ladies, and they’re all weird, and, you know, dudes used to do it, knit for their boners, ‘kay, thanks, bye.

Elyse: There’s, like, a very superficial view of the knitting community, and that’s the view of, like, I know old ladies go to Jo-Ann Fabrics and make baby blankets, right. That’s the superficial view, and then when you get online, you realize that it’s actually this community of really independent artists. You’ve got indie dyers and people who produce wool, and you’ve got Ravelry, you’ve got pattern designers. Like, the knitting community on Instagram is crazy, because obviously knitting is a very visual thing. So, you know, you can get really deep into it, and it’s, it is, it’s very artistic, and there are different, you know, different levels of – there’s, like, a hierarchy there. There’s a hierarchy for knitwear designers; there’s a hierarchy for indie dyers; there’s, like, the, the stuff that’s really, really coveted and hard to come across. And it’s this whole world that people don’t know exist, and part of me wants everyone to come over, ‘cause it’s super cool, and the other part of me, I get that gatekeeper attitude, but more like, don’t come crap up this really good thing we’ve got going on here.

Karen: Yeah. And I mean, in the knitting community, it’s sort of like, I seem sort of in, in the middle between, like, romance community and geek community where, like, I think in, in general, like, the, the knitting community does tend to be more, I think, inclusive, like encouraging people to, to knit and stuff like that, though they do have their hierarchies as well. Like, there is the whole yarn snob thing –

Elyse: Right.

Karen: – where basically, like, certain types of yarn or certain, certain vendors are seen as more worthy or more prestigious than others, namely, like, people sometimes look down on, like, oh, you’re knitting that with Walmart yarn?

Elyse: Right.

Karen: You know, like, acrylic, and as much as I admit, I hate acrylic, and at least when I’m buying for myself, I am a yarn snob. You know, there is definitely a place in knitting for the very expensive merino/cashmere blend that feels like angels’ pubes on your hands?

Sarah: [Laughs]

Karen: And there is a place – [laughs] – there is a place for the acrylic as well, especially when you’re, like, knitting for babies –

Elyse: Oh, yeah!

Karen: – or for pets or something where that thing needs to go in the washer every other day –

Elyse: Right.

Karen: – and come out looking just fine.

Elyse: There was this –

Sarah: Two things, two quick things: one, is it just me, or does stuff made of acrylic, the way that the acrylic rubs against itself, does it make your teeth hurt, or is that just me?

Elyse: Nope, it does.

Karen: Nope.

Sarah: It, it, I don’t know what it is, but some-, somewhere deep in my teeth, when acrylic fibers rub against each other, it makes this squeak, and my whole mouth hurts, and I can’t, I just cannot. This, what you were saying reminded me so much of everyone who talks about dead-tree books versus eBooks –

[Laughter]

Sarah: – and what you read on, and what’re you doing, and how dare you, and do you shop at this place? I’m like, yep, yep, yep, yep. Yep, yep, yep. [Laughs] Elyse, what were you going to say?

Elyse: I was going to say, there was a, a knitting book I reviewed, and they had all these baby patterns made out of, like, super-expensive, high-end, natural fibers, and I’m thinking, like, babies –

Karen: Oh, Lord.

Elyse: – babies shit and pee all the time. Right, like –

Sarah: Mine did.

Elyse: Right.

Karen: [Laughs]

Sarah: We had reflux; we had barf everywhere.

Elyse: Like, I’m pretty sure it was like, you know, it was like handspun, camel fiber, baby legwarmers, and you’re like, what the fuck were you thinking?

[Laughter]

Sarah: One time – both my sons had reflux – one time my older son was in the baby swing, because the baby swing will keep the baby chill for, like, you know, long enough to make dinner, and he managed to time his reflux vomit with the forward swing of the swing, and I swear to you, it cleared eighteen feet and hit me, and I was in the next room. So I am not putting anything handmade baby – [laughs] – handmade, camel fiber, oh, my gosh.

Elyse: Yeah, there’s, there can definitely be some snobbery, and, like, there are even, I think, kind of cults of personality that develop around certain dyers and –

Karen: Oh, yeah.

Elyse: – certain designers that can get to be a little bit over the top too. But for the most part, it is a really welcoming community, because it’s a group of predominantly women who really enjoy this thing, and if you also enjoy this thing, there’s always room to talk about it.

Karen: Yeah, and it seems like amongst the, the knitting community there are, again, like I said, there are the hierarchies, and there is sometimes some sort of snobbery, but, I mean, a lot of knitters, from what I’ve seen, are also always very willing to help someone learn if they’re interested in learning to knit. If they aren’t, it’s just because, but I thought I was going to get time to knit tonight at knit night! [Laughs]

Elyse: Right.

Karen: But there’s also, there can be, maybe sometimes be a little snobbery when it comes to, like, again, teaching people. I have heard stories – I’ve never actually seen this, but I have heard stories from people about, like, people who get very offended when someone else is knitting or learning to knit in a slightly different way than that person does. Like, in knitting, basically, you can, you can hold the yarn in your left hand or your right hand, and there are some people that are really divided on which one they think it should be, or, you know, there are a few various ways of, like, making different stitches, and I have heard stories about people who, you know, had someone come up to them and be like, you’re doing that wrong! And it’s like, as long as you’re making a fabric, you’re not doing it wrong.

Elyse: Right.

Karen: Thankfully, at least, like I said, these are all things that I’ve heard, so I don’t know if this is something that has changed in the knitting community over years, and it’s just something that has kind of died out, but I like to think it is.

Elyse: Well, and I think, actually, some of how you learn to knit and the way you knit is based on where you learned, like geographically.

Karen: Oh, yeah.

Elyse: And so now that there is more of an Internet-based community and you have people from all over the world, you know, there’s some variation just based on where you’re from. Like, I learned to knit from a German woman, so I knit Continental style, because that was –

Karen: Mm-hmm.

Elyse: -how she learned how to knit, and a lot of the people who I know around here who knit, they, they knit, you know, English style, or throwing, because that’s way, way more common, at least in the United States. So I think, yeah, some of it’s, some of it’s geography based, too.

Karen: Yeah, I mean, there was, a few years ago at the library, one of the March break programs I did was, it was called “Knitting with a Buddy.” So basically, it would be a, a child, like, over, you know, six or seven there with someone who was over, like, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, so a lot of times it was, like, a kid and their mom. We had some kids and their dads too, though, and they would sort of, I’d teach them both sort of how to knit, and often in the, the adults’ cases, it was more like a refresher, because often they had learned or had, someone had tried to show them when they were younger. And one of the really interesting things is that a few times I did it, we had people from very different cultural backgrounds there, including people who were from, like, the Middle East or, again, someone who learned, who was originally from Germany and stuff like that, and so often they’d be like, well, I learned to do it this way, and they’d show me how, and so I got to see, like, okay, yeah, you do it the Continental method, that’s perfectly fine, or someone who else does it, what’s called, like, Eastern crossed knitting, and so I was able to see, like, all these different variations of, like, how these people did it based on where they were from. And there’s, there’re different variations in, like, how you knit based on, or especially how you knit different types of items, like socks or things like that, based on where you’re from as well. So I think one of the really cool things about the Internet is now that we have this way of seeing all these different methods of doing this and all these different techniques for making things, you can find the one that fits you best, and you can also just sort of experiment with all sorts of different ones or see how various cultures do their, their specific kind of knitting.

Elyse: Yeah, I mean, I’m very, I’m very glad I learned to knit Continental style just because it involves less hand and arm motion, and –

Karen: Hmm.

Elyse: – with my fibro, I tend to have a lot of pain in my hands, so I, I have to be careful of, like, repetitive stress issues, but I’ve seen a lot of classes around here now specifically for people with arthritis in their hands teaching them how to knit Continental style just because you use, like, a small range of motion for what you’re doing.

Karen: Mm-hmm.

Elyse: Oh, so I was reading this book – sorry – so part of this podcast came from the fact that I was reading this book called Knit One, Girl Two? And it is –

Karen: Which I just finished. [Laughs]

Elyse: Okay, so what did you think?

Karen: I really enjoyed it! I actually was sort of surprised when the end came. I thought it felt – like, I was sort of expecting, like, almost expecting there to be a few more pages, but then I sort of realized, no, okay, this is, you know, okay, maybe it’s not like the same sort of huge, dramatic arc that other book, that other stories have, and as a shorter story, it works really well; I really enjoyed it. Especially –

Elyse: Yeah.

Karen: – it’s probably the, the knitting romance novel I have enjoyed most that I have read, and I’ve read quite a few!

Elyse: I felt like it was very light on conflict, but for where –

Karen: Mm-hmm.

Elyse: – I was that day, I was totally fine with the worst conflict being the fact that the cat got into the pigment, and I was pretty, I was pretty stressed when the cat got into the pigment, I’m not going to lie. It was like, nooo!

Karen: Same!

Elyse: But there’s the, the line in the book where she talks about the fact that knitting is devalued because it’s associated with desexualized women, so grandmothers and pregnant women, and I had this, like, holy shit! moment, because –

Rich: [Coughs]

Elyse: – sorry, my husband’s coughing in the background – I had this holy shit moment where I was like, I’ve kind of been thinking that, but I haven’t really ever put the pieces together, and I told Sarah this story about one time I was knitting in the breakroom at work, and a male manager came in and said, oh, are you expecting? And for a minute I was like, you have the two thoughts: one, you can’t say that to me, and two, do I look pregnant? Like, where are you getting this from? And I realized he assumed that I must be knitting for a baby, because why else would I be sitting in the breakroom knitting on my break? And it’s, it’s so true and kind of upsetting that, you know, things that are associated with women’s fertility or the lack of fertility, that weights in terms of its, its value.

Karen: Yeah. And I have had very similar experiences, especially because I’m a plus size, so people, like, probably already look at me and wonder if I’m pregnant anyway? Nope, I’m just fat! [Laughs]

Elyse: Well, and there’s that moment, like, that’s a great question to ask me while I have something sharp in my hand.

Karen: [Laughs]

Elyse: Right? Like, come here so I can stab you.

Karen: Well, especial-, I usually use circular needles, too, so I can either stab you, or I can use them as a garrote.

Sarah: Has there been a series of murder mysteries with the murders committed by knitting implements?

Elyse: There needs to be!

Karen: I think P. D. James did actually use a knitting needle in one of her books.

Sarah: A knitting needle? ‘Cause I’m thinking –

Elyse: I –

Sarah: – I could do some radical shit with a cross-stitch hoop.

Elyse: Right?! We need, we need, like –

[Laughter]

Sarah: Oh, yeah, I could –

Karen: Oh, yeah.

Elyse: – I want a crafting assassin.

Sarah: A craft assassin?

Elyse: Yes, like –

Sarah: Somewhere someone listening to this is like, why doesn’t that exist?

Karen: [Laughs]

Elyse: That would be amazing; like, double-pointed needle to the, the, the jugular. We could, oh, this could be good.

Karen: This could be really good.

Elyse: They’re getting –

Karen: My brain is suddenly going with all these ideas!

Elyse: Right. But you’re going to have to use the acrylic to strangle people, ‘cause natural fibers will break. But our –

Karen: Oh, they’re not touching, they are not touching my hand-dyed merino.

Elyse: [Laughs] Don’t you dare get blood on my merino yarn!

Sarah: But the part where merino wool does not hold odor and does, and is very wicking could factor into potential evidence collection. Like, you want to wear that so you stay cool when you’re running from the cops.

Elyse: This needs –

Sarah: And then you can wash it in the sink, and it’ll dry by morning, so you can wash away all the evidence, and then, you know – I mean, the blood’ll remain, but maybe there’s a special wash you can use for that.

Elyse: I’m sure there is!

Sarah: I mean, I know Woolite does some miraculous shit.

Karen: Well, it probably depends, the drying by morning part would probably depend on where you live, because I think my sweaters take, like, good two days to dry. [Laughs]

Sarah: Yes. But all of my, all of my travel clothing that I wear when I’m traveling for a really long time and I don’t have access to laundry, but I don’t want to lug a big suitcase, all of that is merino wool.

Karen: Oh, yeah, that’s the, like, the commercial, the very thin sort of commercial merino stuff?

Sarah: Very fine, yes.

Karen: I’m thinking more of, like, my hand-knit sweaters.

Elyse: It would be very warm –

Elyse and Karen: Yeah.

Sarah: We could, we could co-write and sell this pretty easily, I’m pretty sure: The Craft Assassin.

Elyse: I’m very excited now, that we, that we’re doing this.

[Laughter]

Elyse: I just made an executive decision, and it’s happening.

Sarah: Well, I don’t read a lot of mysteries, so I’m going to be terrible at this.

[Laughter]

Elyse: Oh, man, oh. But even when we, when we talk about it, like, a lot of cozy mysteries are associated with crafting, right?

Karen: Oh, yeah.

Elyse: Which I’m, I’m trying to kind of put my head around it, because it’s like, well, it’s a cozy mystery, so there’s not a lot of blood, but someone’s still being murdered, so what – I haven’t unpacked that yet.

Sarah: Cozies usually center around a, a female-centered or a female-coded community, so it’s either crafting, cupcakes, bookstore, by the beach, teashop, coffee shop, needlecraft, needlepoint – I mean, if you, if you look at the names of the different cozy mystery series, you’ll be hungry and need to go to the yarn store. They’re very suggestive. [Laughs]

Karen: Yeah, and there are, there are at least, I can think of at least two or three different cozy mystery series specifically about knitting –

Sarah: Mm-hmm.

Karen: – now. And I think that also kind of fits in with the –

Sarah: Quilting!

Karen: – yeah – fits in with that, that idea of, like, something that desexualized women do, because also the, you know, cozy mysteries generally also don’t get into, like, the dirtier parts of life?

Elyse: Oh, oh, I was going to tell you that I just bought my first pair of Killarney Sock Twins from bluish brick because of your podcast specifically.

Karen: Ooh, yes, The Blue Brick.

Sarah: You’re going to have to explain what that means, ‘cause all of those words made no sense to me.

Elyse: So there is a Canadian yarn company called The Blue Brick, and they make –

Karen: I actually have the, the website up right now; I can copy and paste the link.

Elyse: They make –

Sarah: Oh, thank you!

Elyse: – ombré yarns, right, where it, you go slowly from one color to another, but they make specific, they make, like, little twin sets so that you can make matching ombré socks.

Karen: Yeah, you can either get it in one sort of big long skein –

Sarah: Mm-hmm.

Karen: – so, say if you were doing a big project like a shawl or a scarf or something like that, or for the, the sock-weight yarn, the thinner yarn, you can also get it in the two skeins so that you can, so that each one will match, basically.

Sarah: Okay, that’s cool!

Elyse: Ombré yarn is very, very cool. I love ombré yarn.

Karen: Yeah, it’s real pretty. She was actually at a, a fiber, well, not a fiber festival, a craft festival near me last weekend, and I had to try, try real hard just to buy one skein, ‘cause her stuff is real pretty! [Laughs]

Elyse: I’m pretty much addicted to sock yarns and, like, fingering-weight yarns –

Karen: Mm-hmm.

Elyse: – because the colors are so much fun. Have you heard of, have you had any Nerd Girl Yarns?

Karen: I have heard of them; I have not tried it.

Elyse: I really like their Bounce & Stomps, Bounce & Stomp sock yarn, and I love that everything, all of their, their colorways are inspired by geeky things. So, like, I have Mother of Dragons and –

Karen: Oh, yeah.

Elyse: – some of the fun is going onto their website, and some of the geeky references are fairly obscure, so even just trying to figure out, okay, what, what is that name of that colorway a reference to?

Karen: Oh, yeah. It’s definitely a similar thing with another one of my favorite indie dyers, Indigo Dragonfly?

Elyse: Mm-hmm?

Karen: Who is from the Haliburton region of Ontario, and a lot of her colorway names, her husband picks a lot of the colorway names, and a lot of them are very geeky, or even just, like, puns or plays on words. Like, one I’m thinking of right now, I got one, I think the first one of hers I got was, it was black and red and a little bit of, like, orange-y sort of in it? And it was called Goth to a Flame.

Elyse: Oh –

Sarah: [Laughs]

Elyse: That’s awesome.

Karen: Like you, I am a sucker for sock-weight, or fingering-weight yarns, especially indie-dyed fingering-weight yarns. Which is another huge thing that the Internet especially has done for, I mean, both publishing and for knitting is that it’s that much easier for people to sort of cut out the, the middleman sort of part of it. They can sell their yarns on their own website; they can dye whatever they want and sell it through Etsy or on their own website. People can publish, can write and publish whatever they want on Amazon, and so you get a lot of these smaller sort of businesses catering to these sort of smaller, like, niche markets, and sometimes they become much bigger markets. Like, I mean, it was quite a few years ago that, like, the whole indie-dyed fingering-weight yarn sort of, kind of exploded in the knitting community, possibly because it’s, one skein of it, you can make a lot of different things from. You can do gloves, hats, scarf, small shawl, that sort of thing, so you have enough to make something and enough where you don’t necessarily need to plan what you want to make, hence my entire stash.

Sarah: [Laughs]

Elyse: Oh, yeah, it’s, it’s a problem. It’s definitely a problem here in Chez Elyse, but I keep telling my husband that, like, if the zombie apocalypse happens, I have a marketable skill here, because –

Karen: [Laughs]

Elyse: – we’re not going to have mass-produced socks anymore, right. So really, I am just stockpiling for the worst-case scenario.

Karen: Oh, yeah! Plus, I mean, I live in Canada. It’s, it’s insulation. 

Elyse: Exactly. It’s, it’s very cold in Wisconsin too. Sarah’s down in the swamp, so –

Sarah: It’s very swampy today.

Elyse: Yes.

Sarah: It’s, like, 90 and humid.

Elyse: And I think it’s interesting, you know, the idea that now, with the Internet, there can be more independent, independently published books, and there can be more indie yarn dyers, because it gives women who weren’t necessarily recognized by the, the corporate culture around the thing that they’re interested in an opportunity to really thrive, and there have been some really incredible success stories too.

Karen: Yeah, there are, I mean, there are certain things in the knitting community, either certain bloggers or certain, you know, dyers or things like that which have become, I guess you could call them, like, household names –

Elyse: Mm-hmm.

Karen: – in the knitting community, like, for anyone who is actually, you know, on the Internet and sort of paying attention to the knitting community, you know, like, in the, what was it, oh, yeah, it was Knit One, Girl Two, the heroine has that yarn club, and when she wakes up there’s all of a sudden, like, three hundred people who have joined her yarn club, and she’s immediately wondering –

Elyse: Right.

Karen: – if the Yarn Harlot or Franklin Habit found about her yarn club and retweeted it, because, especially the Yarn Harlot, it’s very similar to that sort of Oprah Effect –

Elyse: Right.

Karen: – that you had, like, years ago where, like, Oprah would mention a thing, and the, whatever the company was that was selling it or something would just be deluged with orders and messages, you know, within twenty-four hours. It’s very much the same with the Yarn Harlot, and that just comes from her basically starting a knitting blog like fifteen years ago.

Elyse: And I think there’s a lot of, like, the romance community can be very welcoming and very giving, and I think the, the knitting community is very similar.

Karen: I notice that too, both with, especially with romance and with knitting, but also sometimes with, with geeky stuff as well. Like, I’ve seen a lot of people say and even, you know, I myself started reading romance specifically, you know, because they were going through a difficult time and they found those stories, especially the ones where they are guaranteed a happy ending, to be comforting and reassuring, and the same thing, I’ve seen a lot of people say the same thing with knitting. When it comes to, either people say who have, like, anxiety disorders or who, again, who are just going through a rough time, you know, they find knitting to be comforting and relaxing.

Sarah: Elyse, you wanted to ask about Rhinebeck. [Laughs]

Elyse: Yes, I do, and I, and I don’t even know if you want to put in the podcast, ‘cause it’s purely for selfish reasons.

Karen: [Laughs]

Elyse: So –

Karen: Well, if, I mean, I was actually thinking Rhinebeck I can actually – I often compare Rhinebeck to Comic Con. They are very similar, and I’m sure in some ways, I was thinking, I’m sure in some ways they are the, similar to, like, RT or RWA, especially in the sense that, like, you are finally amongst a group of your people. These people understand me; they are all interested in the same thing that I am.

Elyse: So Rhinebeck is actually the, it’s, what, the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival –

Karen: Yeah.

Elyse: – officially, but it’s in Rhinebeck, so it’s called Rhinebeck, and it’s held once a year, and I bought tickets this year. I bought –

Karen: Yay!

Elyse: – I bought a hotel and plane tickets, and I’m very, very excited to go, and would you compare it to – we’ve, we’ve talked a lot about RT being very much a, you can go by yourself, because you will find your people, and this is, like, a very safe, welcoming space. Would you say Rhinebeck is similar to that?

Karen: Oh, hell, yes. [Laughs] It’s, I mean, the first year that I went to Rhinebeck, I actually didn’t know any, at first I didn’t know anyone else who was going, and I had just sorted decided, like, oh! Hey! Rhinebeck is not actually that far, and I can take the train there. I could actually go. So I was originally, my original plan was that I would stay in a hotel room by myself, and then I just sort of mentioned on Twitter or on the – and it helps that I have a podcast – sort of mentioned, like, hey, the only hotels I can really find are, you know, across the Hudson River from where Rhinebeck is in the town of Kingston, New York. Would anyone be willing to give me a ride to the festival in return for, like, yarn or gas money or both? And a few people were like, yeah, sure! Including, like, people when I was like, well, does anyone actually have, like, a hotel room they’d be willing to split or a house they’d be willing to split? Because I was looking at hotel costs, and especially when you factor in the Canadian dollar, it was getting expensive, and that’s how I met, like, in person and really got to know the people now that I go to Rhinebeck with, who are in Brooklyn and now are, they are some of my biggest friends, and part of the reason I am going this year is because I want to see them. [Laughs]

Elyse: Yep.

Karen: So you can definitely go and find other people who are interested in the same things, and it’s really easy to, to start talking to people. I mean, they have two meetups at the festival. There’s the, the meetup for, organized by Ravelry, the online sort of knitting website and – well, knitting, crochet, other fiber arts website – and, so there’s a huge meetup there, and, like, often when people are at Rhinebeck, they knit sweaters –

Elyse: Mm-hmm.

Karen: – or other things to wear to Rhinebeck, so the easiest way to start up a conversation with someone is be like, ooh! I really like your sweater or your shawl or whatever, and then sort of get talking to them. Then there’s also the podcaster meetup, which is right after the Ravelry meetup on the Saturday of the weekend, so, like, if you listen to podcasts and stuff, the podcasters will be there, other fans of the podcasts will be there.

Elyse: Yeah, I booked, so the plan this year is hopefully to bring my mom, and we’re kind of – who is a knitter – we’re kind of waiting on her having surgery, so we don’t know if that’s going to fall too close to Rhinebeck, so I did wind up booking a hotel in Kingston, just because when she’s there, she’s probably going to be in a wheelchair, and so accessibility was a concern –

Karen: Hmm!

Elyse: – but, you know, I was looking around; there’s a lot of Airbnb options and people on, like, Ravelry, they’ve got a Rhinebeck thread looking for roommates or housemates, so they’re, the lodging was surprisingly inexpensive, I thought.

Karen: Mm-hmm. Especially if you are in a situation where you can, like, share with other people, and – the last few years, friends and I, we have done the Airbnb option, just because it is really nice to finish a day at the fair and go back to an actual house where you can make dinner and relax in a living room and, and that’s really part of the whole experience, too, for me now, is, is not just the, the going to the fair and, and the hundreds of vendors – I think there’s, like, over two hundred vendors there – and the shopping part of it, but also just the, like, being around other knitters and being in our house with other knitters and just relaxing. You know, a few times what we’ve done is we’ve had, like, we’ve gone to the barn where they have, like, individual farms which, like, have, like, cheeses and meats and, like, all sort s of, like, olives and pickles and all sorts of other little nibbly things, and we’ve gotten a bunch of that and gotten some, like, couple baguettes and stuff and just gone back to the house and put it all out on table in the living room, fire in the fireplace, and just relaxed, and it’s, it’s a really nice atmosphere for –

Elyse: I want to be there right now.

Karen: [Laughs] Same! Same. Basically, I go to Rhinebeck, and the rest of the year is how much longer is it till Rhinebeck?

Elyse: I’m counting down the days –

Karen: [Laughs] Same.

Elyse: – until October, and I have to probably knit a Rhinebeck sweater before I go. We’ll see if that actually happens.

Karen: Oh, yes. And it’s, it’s not mandatory, but it does help the experience, and, and, like I said, you know, I compare it to, I have compared it to Comic Con, and the Rhinebeck sweater is kind of like cosplay. It’s basically the thing that you do that gives you a little bit of a challenge running up to it –

Elyse: Right.

Karen: – and that also gives you more of a story.

Elyse: So, like, people will come up to you and, and talk to you –

Karen: Yeah.

Elyse: – about your sweater, just like they would if you were dressed up like a certain character. And I’ve seen –

Karen: Yeah.

Elyse: – like, a lot of Instagrams where people will take photos of people in their sweaters, like, look at how cool this, this garment is that this person made.

Karen: Yeah, or you have, like, you’ll find a, pictures of people who are all wearing the, who all made the same pattern and have found each other at one of the meetups and, and takes a picture, you know, as I’m sure, like, with RT as well. Like, it’s that feeling of being around people who enjoy the same thing that you do and that understand you – [laughs] – in the –

Elyse: Yeah, there’s a common, there’s a common language there that –

Karen: Mm-hmm.

Elyse: – you can share that I think makes conversation easier. Like, I’m very much an introvert, so it’s not –

Karen: Same!

Elyse: – not comfortable for me to walk up to people I don’t know and just start talking to them, but at RT, I don’t have that problem. I feel very relaxed in that environment.

Sarah: So can I ask you, Karen, if there’s a romance that you’re reading that you’d like to recommend?

Karen: One of the ones that I have been reading recently, and I’m, I’m holding off on reading the second one in the series, is the one that Elyse reviewed a few weeks ago. The Erin Nicholas series that starts with, I’ve read Completely Yours, which is the first one in the, I can’t remember the name of the series right now – the Opposites Attract series, that was it – and I am holding off on reading the second one, Forever Mine, because the third one is not out yet, and I, I really want – [laughs] – I really want the third one to be out! No pressure though. And basically, I, I love that it’s a series about women who are geeky and who do have relationships, especially in the first one I’m thinking of, where their geekiness is part of who they are, and it’s not something they apologize for. I mean, the heroine in the first book, Completely Yours, mentions that at one point in her life she sort of tried to tone it down because she didn’t think that, or it didn’t seem like her, her significant other at the time really approved of it or understood it, and after that relationship broke up, she sort of decided, like, no! I am going to let my geek flag fly. [Laughs] I don’t care; I’m going to be who I’m going to be. And even when the, the hero in that first book does not understand her geekiness, you know, she never apologizes for it.

Elyse: That’s very much the second book too, where it’s, in the second book, the heroine is a cosplayer and into, you know, geek culture and superheroes, and that is very much, this is a part of my life, and you can, you know, be cool with that, but this is who I am. I’m not going to apologize; I’m not going to be embarrassed by it. And in that book, his daughter’s actually very much into those things as well –

Karen: Mm-hmm.

Elyse: – and she helps him connect with his daughter kind of through that shared language in the geek community or the shared interest in, like, a certain movie series or TV series.

Karen: Yeah, and I think she makes a really good, makes really good points in it too about how online relationships or, like, especially online friendships and communities can be as real as ones that you make in real life. You know, again for those reasons, like we mentioned, it’s like, all of a sudden you find people that are interested in the same things you are, and you realize you are not alone. And so that, that those relationships can be as strong as ones you make in real life.

And other than that, though, I’ve been reading, maybe because of that whole, like, wanting to escape real life sort of thing the last few months, I have sort of been reading a lot of, like, Regency romance, which I used to be more always contemporary, a little historical, and now it seems to have flipped. I’ve just been, I’ve just read Meredith Duran’s A Lady’s Code of Misconduct, and part of that plot involves a hero with amnesia, because I am a sucker for amnesia stories.

Elyse: I don’t think I’ve read hero amnesia before. I’ve read heroine amnesia, I’ve read Pregnesia, but I don’t think I’ve read hero amnesia.

Karen: [Laughs] There is, it’s actually fairly rare, at least as far as I know, and if anyone has recommendations, please post them!

Elyse: There was one by, I’m trying to think, I think it’s Teresa Medeiros? But I, it was like her take on Sleeping Beauty. It was a Regency where he, I want to say he gets conked on the head and he wakes up, and this woman pretends that he’s her fiancé so that she doesn’t have to marry someone else, but I cannot remember the title of the book. I will find it, and we will add it to the show notes.

Karen: Ooh, I will have to read that one. ‘Cause this one is, is somewhat similar; it does involve that sort of, like, While You Were Sleeping kind of thing, but part of what, the things I enjoyed about it is kind, I kind of enjoy especially when the hero has amnesia and in cases where, you know, the hero, before he is attacked by people who are trying to stop him – he’s basically an up-and-coming, like, politician in the, the British House of Commons, and some people are trying to keep him from succeeding – but before that, he is, he’s such a jerk! He is the worst! And then it’s a sort of thing where after he has the, you know, the romance novel/movie head injury, which –

Elyse: Right.

Karen: – provides amnesia but has few other – [laughs] 

Elyse: No, you’re not going to – right, you have a horrible concussion, but without, like, the whole copious vomiting thing.

Karen: Yeah.

Elyse: You’re fine otherwise.

Karen: Yeah. In this case, he basically forgets the last few years of his life. He also, it’s also interesting, he does have some sort of, like, short-term memory loss and stuff about, like, you know, when he’s walking around various, like, buildings he’ll forget where he is? So there are a couple other effects of it, but one of the main ones is that, it’s that sort of thing of, of the Past Him, before he got this deep into politics and before certain things happened in his life which made him more of an asshole, basically, that Past Him is now thrust into his modern-day life and looking at who he has become and being, like, who is this person? Why am I such a, why does everyone think I am such an asshole? And realizing, you know, that maybe the person he has become is not who he should be.

Elyse: Right.

Karen: So it’s not just the heroine’s presence that makes him decide to be a different person; it’s, it’s this new perspective on who he is now.

Elyse: It’s not just the magic vagina.

Karen: No.

Elyse: That’s important.

Karen: [Laughs] It’s very important. Though of course the magic vagina does end up helping.

Elyse: Well, of course, yeah. I mean, it has to play a role. I understand that.

[music]

Sarah: And that is all for this week’s episode. I want to thank Elyse and Karen for hanging out with me. If you’re looking for all of the links to the, to the yarn stores and the Ravelry group and all of the things that we talked about, head on over to smartbitchestrashybooks.com/podcast, and I’ll even include a video so you can learn how to knit Continental style, which actually looks kind of cool.

The music you’re listening to is provided by Sassy Outwater. This is Caravan Palace. This track is called “Dramophone,” and it is – you guessed it! – from their two-album set including Caravan Palace and Panic, which you can find on Amazon, iTunes, and you can find Caravan Palace on Facebook and on their website.

Again, I would like to tell you to please come to the RWA signing in Orlando because it’s going to be so cool! Saturday, July 29th, in the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort in Pacific Hall, Saturday, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., July 29th. You should come because there’s going to be hundreds of romance writers all in one place, and they want to meet you. Yes! And all of the proceeds from the books that you buy, because it’s hard to avoid, all go to literacy organizations, so you meet your favorite authors, you buy some favorite books, and then the money that you spend goes to benefit helping other people learn to read. How rad, right? You can get all of the details at rwa.org/literacy, and if you come find me – I’ll be in the Ws – mention the podcast, say hi, introduce yourself, I have a sticker for you, because I kind of love stickers. I never got over that whole sticker thing from, you know, like, first and second grade? Were, were stickers big with – stickers were huge with me. Sticker, I had, like, a photo album that was just stickers. I don’t even know where it is. I never took them off the paper to put them on things, like, you know, what you do with a sticker? I never did that part. Started doing that when I was older; now my car’s covered with stickers, but I never lost the complete love of all things sticker, so I have them, and you can come get one. Go to rwa.org/literacy for all the details on the signing and the complete list of authors who will be there.

If you’ve had a look at our Patreon page, patreon.com/SmartBitches, I am deeply thankful, because we are so close to hitting our goal, it is sort of ridiculous, and I’m, well, chair-bouncingly excited and controlling myself, ‘cause if I bounce in my chair, it, it disrupts the recording. You can make a pledge of a dollar a month, two dollars, three dollars, whatever, and you will be helping me make the show more gooder, commission transcripts for older episodes, and give garlicknitter the work-, workout of a lifetime as she uses her foot pedal to get through all those old episodes. And if you have subscribed or told a friend or left a review on whatever software you use to listen to podcasts, thank you so much! As I mentioned last week, we have surpassed a million downloads, and that’s largely because of you telling other people, hey, this show is really cool! So thank you for that! I am deeply honored.

If you would like to send me an email – maybe you’d like to tell me about your favorite sticker book, because I know I’m not alone in this – you can email me at sbjpodcast@gmail.com, or if that’s not going to stick in your memory, Sarah, S-A-R-A-H, at smartbitchestrashybooks.com [sarah@smartbitchestrashybooks.com] also gets to the same place, which would be me and my inbox on my computer. Tell me all the things! Ask for a book recommendation! Tell me about a book you liked, or tell me about your favorite sticker. I can tell you all about my favorite stickers. Actually, I’ll tell you in person if you come see me at the RWA signing. I will have, like, five of my favorite stickers there – the ones that I designed for the site mostly, because they’re so great!

But in the meantime, on behalf of Karen and Elyse and myself and Orville, who is sleeping and not trying to get into the sound box – thank you, buddy – we hope you have a great weekend with the very best of reading. See you next week!

[sassy music]

This podcast transcript was handcrafted with meticulous skill by Garlic Knitter. Many thanks.

Powered by WPeMatico

eBay