Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

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Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee at Maker Faire (San Mateo, 2008)
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee at Maker Faire (San Mateo, 2008)
BornStephanie Anne Pearl-McPhee
(1968-06-14) June 14, 1968 (age 53)
Pen nameThe Yarn Harlot
OccupationWriter, blogger, doula

Stephanie Anne Pearl-McPhee (a.k.a. The Yarn Harlot; born June 14, 1968) is a writer, knitter, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), and doula living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Pearl-McPhee's grandmother, a professional knitter, taught her to knit when she was four years old.[1] She has three daughters and one grandson.[1] Her husband, Joe, is a record producer.[2]


Tricoteuses sans Frontières (Knitters without Borders) logo.

Pearl-McPhee has contributed articles and patterns to knitting magazines such as Cast On, Interweave Knits, Knitty, Stranded, and Spin-Off. She also contributed a chapter to the book Knitlit Too. In addition, she has written eight books on knitting.

She has been described as a knitting humourist.[3]

One of Pearl-McPhee's best known works is her blog, which also carries the moniker "The Yarn Harlot".[4] In 2004, she founded Tricoteuses sans Frontières (Knitters without Borders), a group dedicated to raising money for the non-profit Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders). As of the 6th anniversary of Pearl-McPhee's blog (January 2010), they have contributed over $1,000,000 CAD to MSF/DWB.[5]

Pearl-McPhee has protested against cuts to library services.[6]

In 2006, she started the 2006 Knitting Olympics, a competition for knitters to start and finish one challenging project during the timeframe of the 2006 Winter Olympics. Over 4,000 knitters worldwide participated.[1]

Pearl-McPhee often makes personal appearances at conventions, book stores and other craft-related events where she shares her view of life and knitting with fellow crafters.

Pearl-McPhee originated the word kinnear on August 2, 2007, on her blog.[7] Now cited in the Urban Dictionary and in The New York Times' 2007 Word in Review,[8] it is defined as "kinnear v. To take a candid photograph surreptitiously, especially by holding the camera low and out of the line of sight." Kinnearing was originated when she attempted to take a picture of Greg Kinnear at an airport while on her way to Boston, MA.[2] When Kinnear learned of this, he started to try kinnearing others, including his Flash of Genius costar, Alan Alda.[9] He showed his attempts on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, where, in the same interview, he declared that Pearl-McPhee is "the Michael Jordan of knitting."


  • Knitlit Too (contributor), 2004 (ISBN 1400051495)
  • At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much, 2005 (ISBN 1580175899)
  • Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter – Hard Cover version
  • Knitting Rules!: The Yarn Harlot's Bag of Knitting Tricks, 2006 (ISBN 1580178340)
  • Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off: The Yarn Harlot's Guide to the Land of Knitting, 2007 (ISBN 9781580176583)
  • Things I Learned from Knitting (Whether I Wanted To or Not), 2008 (ISBN 9781603420624)
  • Free-Range Knitter: The Yarn Harlot Writes Again, 2008 (ISBN 0740769472)
  • Pearl-McPhee, Stephanie (2005). Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter. Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Pub. p. 180. ISBN 0-7407-5037-2. Retrieved December 2, 2010.
  • Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter – Paperback version
  • All Wound Up, 2011 (ISBN 0740797573)


  1. ^ a b c Cunningham, Greta (May 13, 2008). "The 'yarn harlot' leads a knitting revolution". Minnesota Public Radio (MPR). Retrieved April 28, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Kelly, Cathal (March 10, 2009). "Let's hear it for Kinnearing". The Star. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  3. ^ Mercier, Stephanie (October 2, 2016). "What's so funny about wool?". CBC. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  4. ^ "Yarn Harlot". Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  5. ^ Yarn Harlot: six
  6. ^ Alcoba, Natalie (March 28, 2012). "Celebrity knitter and best-selling author Stephanie Pearl-McPhee cheers on striking library workers". National Post. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  7. ^ Yarn Harlot: I was Kinnearing
  8. ^ Barrett, Grant (December 23, 2007). "All We Are Saying". The New York Times.
  9. ^ "Flash of Genius (2008) - IMDb".

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