Tuesday, October 30, 2007

sweetened carrot, urgent deadline

Feeling guilty for your compliments on my goal reaching last post. Soon as I posted, my great intentions were interrupted by my real life . Books remain only partially kept. Which the accountants among you know is like being a little bit pregnant. Incentive yarn waits temptingly.

To help me keep my eyes on the prize, and since the knitting gods put me right by an excellent button store, I heaped a little sugar on my reward cast-on.
Do you love these as much as I do? Despite knowing that one of my sons offered this with a passing glance: " oh- pig noses carved from horn. Cool...I guess. "

Meanwhile my knitting attention turned to an impending meeting at the book publisher this Friday. On Sunday I was idly wondering what I would wear when the big red revolving siren in my brain went off : these are marketing and promotion folk! I need to make an impression as a presentable, fibery, knitterly , interesting kind of person, one that you'd want to chat with after the book comes out. I'm OK with the chat. I have all kinds of interesting tales to tell. But what to wear? I need to wear something from the book, duh!

So here's a challenge. It is too early in the season to wear a wool hat without looking a little crazy , the only finished sweater sample I have here is a heavy jacket a size too small for me, and there is
no way I can crank out any of the other sweaters or vests this week. Don't even have the authentic yarns on hand. But! The unbelievably luxurious handspun alpaca from Victory Ranch I brought home from New Mexico, and the shawl pattern from that chapter. Perfect. Settled on the shawl , one with some lace, but worsted weight, so I have hope of getting it done. Not enough yardage to make the full flowing length as shown in the book - hopefully enough for a large wrappish shawl.
If you've read this blog for a while - or have peeked at my Ravelry projects - have you noted a distinct lack of lace? Yeah. And that would be why I knit to row 31 three times before I got it right and was able to keep going. I'm tootling along, glancing fearfully at the dwindling ball of fiber. Geometry being what it is, the triangle is swallowing so much yarn per row now that my bowling ball of yarn is speeding through the produce department: it's cabbage sized ! no it's a grapefruit, then an orange, an apple and presently heading into kiwi. Why oh why didn't I wind off the fringe yarn first?

My schedule isn't leaving me much knitting time . Yesterday afternoon the stress of worrying that I 'll go to a meeting with a luxuriously dorky handknit alpaca neckerchief prompted me to call the ranch and ask them to overnight one more skein. At Victory Ranch the handspun is made by one alpaca each, I mean if you buy a skein, it has the name of the animal it came from, and is only spun from that one fleece. I called and asked if they had more of Laurel. They do! It'll be here Thursday. I'll be the one sitting on MetroNorth Friday morning, using the 1 hour 50 minute train ride to attach fringe. That ought keep people out of the seat next to me! Maybe I'll wear shiny shoes to distract.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

gittin'er done

Lately I've been feeling like the guy you hire to do work on your house. When the job is 98% done , he just stops coming by, and there's this one little piece of trim that hasn't been put back up, and you just can't believe that it is left like that. For weeks. You know what I mean.

This week I couldn't stand it any longer. I -whheeeeee!- knit and cast off the button bands for the Cutaway I started almost 2 years ago, it's been near the finish line for a while now. I can't bear to bore you with unblocked unseamed sweater pieces, but I am just rarin' to block & sew.

Earlier today, I uploaded the last two teeny remaining images for my book cover - I know, can you imagine I left out something so critical as the center square of the cover?- to PotterCraft. That felt good. Anti-climactic, but good.

Then I dug into my most unfavorite, much procrastinated upon task, bookkeeping. I need a carrot on the end of the mind-numbing-number- entering-category-checking stick for this one , so I went out and purchased yarn - lovely Araucania Nature Wool Bulky in what I think is the third color from the top on the little card from that link but mine is deeper in its hand-dyedness, with less variegation in tones. I am allowed to cast on a frivolous Juliet sweater for myself as soon as the books are kept. Or....whenver I can rationalize casting on sooner.

Monday, October 15, 2007

consider yourself warned

You know how when you first started blogging, you were excited about having all these people, more like pretend people because no on actually knew about your blog, to talk to about knitting? Then it dawned that you were not getting much knitting done anymore because you were blogging about knitting? Or reading blogs about knitting? Or thinking about blogging about knitting?

OK, now take that and supersize it geometrically when you get on Ravelry. oh. my. I lost last week. I can't stop clicking onto that site, there is something so gratifying about logging in projects and queuing up a wish list. Nerdy, but gratifying. Not to mention peeking in on all the groups. Is there a group for people who lurk about on knitting subculture groups they don't belong in? Oh, wait, let me just click over there and check....

ps. my Ravelry name is SheShootsSheep . I can't come up with anymore aliases!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

dear norma

*I was going to send this as a private note to Norma, but then decided to be an opportunist, now it's a a blog post, come read along

Well how're things up there? I've been meaning to tell you about the Really Big Red Scarf To-Do that you didn't take my advice and call in sick to attend, the Orphan Foundation of America Congressional Care Package Event in Washington two weeks ago. It was awesome. I mean it. From the moment I had my all-access-I-am-cool Senate pass slapped on and headed up to our room just to the left (thank God, politically speaking, how could I be to the right of the senate??) of the Senate Chambers it was a blur of activity . The OFA folks did a smashing job setting up a display of things that go into a care package, for my Photo-Op Corner, highlighted of course by some very beautiful hand knit red scarves.
And Norma, they are just gaw-jus this year! I was more or less pinned there for the whole event, as the Photo part of the Op; the Op part was a rushing stream of Senators,"quick, do my photo, where's a student, I'm the senator from Alaska , I'm getting called for a vote in just a few seconds" , US Reps and other Very Important Folks who came to pose stuffing a care package with an honest-to-goodness OFA college student. These photos will go out to media in their home states , spreading the word that kids who are in college but have no families need support!
Two students and two OFA staffers who run the Red Scarf program from the office.

It was a fine group of college kids there too.
Here're the students on a tour of the rotunda , later in the day.

Just like last year when we did a little PR trip to visit OFA kids in New Hampshire together (remember that ? On the Freakin Coldest Day of the whole winter?) , the students were heartbreakingly, genuinely, touched by having us knit them scarves.

Anyway, Norma, the red scarf fund is doing you proud, as are the knitters. I was told that "some of Norma's People" would be there, and honestly, I kind of thought of that as Norma's Knitting Army, and expected a pack of folks to walk in with big sashes across their chests, wielding needles. How crazy is that?

Anyway, wish you were there. Next year in DC!
And to all of you reading along, send in your scarves this week! You can have a couple of extra days but don't go too far.

your faithful correspondent,

An aside: If you are reading this and saw me there in the corner taking photos maniacally, I just want to say I know my hair looked bad and I've done something about the bangs since then. I like to shoot sheep, not look like them, really.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

file this under: ain't technology grand?!

See this?
It's my book! 160 pages, 219 great big image files and so many hours of my life, all in that tiny little thingy in my palm.

And see this?

The tiny little thingy above just arrived at the publisher this morning . Yet you can already pre-order. Amazing!
• • • • • • • • • •
Also amazing: how hard it was for me to sit in my office for a solid week of doing all the final computer work on the images. I am simply not a sit still indoors person. What saved me was listening as I worked, to hours & hours of brilliant backdated podcasts, from This American Life, Cast On and Its a Purl, Man. Thanks Ira, Brenda and Guido, my virtual heroes, for keeping me in my seat.