Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Yarn is Everywhere...

On Sunday we went to the Renaissance Fair in Sterling Forest, NY. I have been there many, many times and despite the cloudy day was looking forward to dragging the Kid and her friend around, and cheering like an idiot during the joust. The bad news? Lady Marian was not riding that day, and she is out favorite. The good news?

The horses are now sporting crocheted gear! How cool is that? I want to be the person that crochets hats for the horses - how do you think I go about looking for that kind of job?

Then I saw this - a giant yarn ball where no yarn ball had been before...

Then I found these lovely ladies, spinning away and having a lovely time. The business there was Amano and they had loads of gorgeous roving, spinning supplies, and hand spun yarn. Sadly I had spent all my money on goofy stuff for the kids so didn't buy any yarn (and I am really trying to stay far away from the roving as that is starting to pile up too). The good news is, they have a web site!

How cool is it to have authentic stuff like this at a Renaissance Fair instead of more kid-sized swords and shields and synthetic lace princess hats? And I hate to be a pest, but so many of the booths that have knitted or crocheted items at these things have shawls and such made out of cheap-ass acrylic yarns - not very period at all. Brave knights did not go forth and slay muppets that their pelts should be made into ugly fake sporrans. But I digress...

In other bad news/good news moments since last I wrote (anyone sensing a theme here?), I got offered another book deal on Friday. That was the good part - the bad part is I want a few changes in the contract before I sign it, so I have to be patient and let the legal folks and my genius agent work things out. Bad for my instant gratification tendencies, but perhaps a life lesson.

And lastly - the good news? I am almost finished the last crocheted sweater that is due. The bad news? Apparently one of the publishers for items that shipped last week didn't like one of them in real life as much as they did on paper, so they cancelled it. I am somewhat disappointed, although I sort of understand why it happened. Life lessons learned, blah blah blah, but I wish I could have learned that life lesson BEFORE I spent untold hours making the garment and sizing the pattern. As I said before, I have stopped submitting new design sketches because I am so busy right now, so maybe now is a good time for this to have happened, if it had to happen at all...not that I am bitter...much...anyway...

For the rest of this week I want good news only, no bad news. Okay? So if you have anything terrible to tell me, please wait until next Monday :-)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Three down and a monkey picture!

I finally finished sweater number three - and it took me almost all of season 2 of Grey's Anatomy on DVD (including bonus features) to do it! But I was so close to deadline I forgot to take a photo - I wove in the last end, stuffed it in the box and ran to the post office to get it off in time. The book it is going into comes out in April so you will just have to wait until then. One sweater to go, and it is halfway finished.
I decided to distract you from the lack of knitting and crocheting photos by showing you the cutest balloon construction I ever did see! Is that thing amazing or what? It takes up more than half of the width of my sofa! A tropical setting with a rainbow and a monkey in a palm tree. The Kid was delighted with this - we stopped at a local burger emporium on our way home from the 975th step dancing class of the week and they just happened to have this cool balloon dude on the payroll for the night. He wouldn't even take a tip! I know sadness will abound when it pops, but it is fun in the meantime.
The yarn fairy came. As much as I have been cussing about getting all of these samples done because they were all due at about the same time, I LOVE getting new yarn to fondle as soon as it is available. Not loving everything I get, but, hey, yarn comes in boxes to my door without warning! What could be bad?

My noon appointment today cancelled,amen - I was SO not ready for it and was really going to have to tap dance so they wouldn't know I was no farther along on the book project than I was the last time I went to the office. Now I have until Monday to get some actual work done and to fake the rest. If I can keep up the current not sleeping pace for one more week I have an actual chance to get caught up with my whole life in October. Wish me luck!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Two down...

Two finished projects shipped to the publisher they are intended for. I swear that all those bright colors are not going into the same garment - not even the same publication! But they are finished and they are gone and I am happy.
Two to go - there are 10 more skeins of the cream silk, and 18 more skeins of the maroon shiny stuff - it is going to be a loooooong week of crocheting. The shiny stuff is for a book, the creamy stuff for a yarn company - both are due "as soon as humanly possible", but no later than next Monday. I have decided to lay off the design submissions for a while - I love doing this stuff, but if I don't get the knitting book written by deadline there is going to be hell to pay. And if I don't keep up with the magazine writing work (which pays better and more quickly) I will starve. I have four patterns sitting in review at various places right now, so if they get sold I will have those samples to make, and everything else is just going to have to wait until I am a little more organized about...well...everything.

I had a little unpremeditated S.E.X. on Thursday - I was waiting in the rain for an appointment that never showed up (long tedious story - I will spare you) and when I was finally convinced this was a no-go, it seemed only right and fair to stop into the nearby yarn shop. Not to buy anything of course, just to say hello, since I was so close and all. And THIS was on the clearance table.

Five glorious skeins of Dover Idena, a bulky wool/acrylic blend. Can you say
Red Scarf Project? Sure you can! Check out that link for a cool blog started by the fabulous Norma in support of the second year of this worthwhile charitable endeavor.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

How many days until Rhinebeck?

I can't wait I can't wait I can't wait......

I am SO ready to have a wooly sort of day, and the kid is counting the days too - she had a great time last year, and is anxious to get in on the madness that is Blogger Bingo!

Blog stalking, only with a legitimate purpose in mind! I am going to find some bloggers in the wild or die trying. I had to re-arrange my weekend plans about six times to free the day, but I will be there on Sunday. And if you need a hint, I suspect the Kid will be the only ten-year-old wearing an "I'm a Square" buttton....

On the textile front - I am crocheting like a madwoman, trying to make some deadlines that are next week. The good news is that the Grey's Anatomy Season 2 DVD came out, so I beelined over to Tarjay and snapped it up. The bad news is, I am almost all the way through all 27 plus hours of it and still have more crocheting to go....

Cruising away on the knitting book and have cleared most of my writing assignments for the month. I keep waiting for the calm day or two I was expecting, though, and it never quite gets here.

Back to doctor drama...

Monday, September 11, 2006

Not dead, just busy

Last week I got a phone call asking if I could help out with alterations for a fashion shoot for a magazine. A few hours of fittings turned into three days of location madness, so my whole week was shot to hell. Part of it turned out to be fun though, I get a demonic pleasure out of hacking a one-of-a-kind trillion dollar designer garment into pieces and then putting back together so the PR department doesn't know I did it. Tee hee hee....it appeals to the sneakier side of me. And of course the monster check won't be turned away when it arrives - additions to the yarn budget are always welcome.

The Kid has entered into dance hell - she is going to be on a ceili team for the regional step dancing finals in November (the Oireachtas for those of you of the Irish dance persuasion who are following along at home) and will pretty much be dancing and doing homework (and nothing else) for the next three months. Which means I will be pretty much me driving and writing checks (and nothing else) for the next three months...

Three crocheted tops to finish by next week -cluster deadlines suck.

Be well, all...

Monday, September 04, 2006

I felt the need for speed...

Subtitle: Greetings from Chez Short Attention Span... Behold Cinderella in all her princessly glory. And before anyone asks, I did not deliberately buy my dog a pink satin, maribou-trimmed dog bed. The Kid saved up her money and bought it from Build A Bear Workshop (a crack house for ten-year-old girls) intending it for her stuffed cats and dogs. Cinderella immediately decided this was much more suited to her personality than the black/tapestry bed I had gotten her several years ago, so she took it. And refuses to give it back. So it's hers now - because she is, after all, the princess.

Oh - you wanted to see knitting on the knitting blog? This is what I did this weekend, modeled of course by the fabulous BB.

We had the post-storm rain here all day Saturday, and it was cold as heck for this time of year. And yes, I was the person complaining about the heat a few weeks back so I kept my mouth shut and raided the stash. I wanted to do nothing but sit and knit during the gloomy day, but I also had a serious instant gratification jones happening, so off we go...
The mittens (yes there are two and they are not mis-shapen - I am not much of a photographer!), are the Super Mitten pattern from Weekend Knitting. Made in the child's size with 2 strands of Possum Worsted (still working through the Cherry Tree Hill grab bag stash) in Teal and Plum (or is it Eggplant?) on size 10.5 needles. They were a very quick knit and will go into the finished item box for Dulaan. I keep hearing how warm possum is - so Mongolia seems like the place it needs to be.

The two caps - one knitted and one crocheted - are for the
Knitters and Crocheters for Newborns: Caps to the Capital project. Yarn is an Unidentified Stash Dweller, patterns are from their web site, and goodness they are tiny! They want the head circumference to be between 9" and 11" because the caps are going to developing nations where smaller babies are being born. The project is being sponsored in part by Save the Children and Warm Up America, and is a huge undertaking.

Save the Children's "State of the World's Mothers, 2006" report said that one of the things that could lower infant mortality rates around the world was a simple thing like a warm cap to cover an infant's head after it was born. And all you have to do is tell a knitter or a crocheter that somebody somewhere needs warm head gear and the rest is history. I intend to do a few more out of stash yarn before the deadline (which is 1/2/07).

Speaking of URLs - All Info About Knitting has moved to its new home. Check it out
here. There are a few missing images that I know about, but if you see anything else hateful, or have any other constructive criticism, come back here and give me a shout-out please. Some new book and product reviews coming up soon, there is a stack of stuff here that needs to be looked over.

For all of you commenters on the previous post - yes that is Sugar 'n Cream (can't fool you, Trek) , and the editor did indeed choose the middle colorway ( a new one called Over the Rainbow.)

Apparently I have enough attention span for a really long blog post - thanks for sticking with me this far!