With a New Lightness

Monday, right after I posted, I jumped in the car and drove for Midland. It’s not too far, and within a few hours I was on the ferry to Christian Island. (I have given myself two life points because for the first time ever, I backed onto the tiny ferry myself. (When I run the world there all ferries will be the kind you drive onto, and drive off of. Who makes a ferry with only one gate?) I landed, drove off – and I was there.

(Christian Island is Beausoleil First Nation land. All the signs reflect that. Noogbisan does seem like a lot to yell in an emergency though.)

Fifteen minutes later, I had my feet in Georgian Bay. Ten minutes later than that, I was swimming past the drop-off (because I am not a chicken like my sister) and then  I set up my office,

and worked for a bit (yeah, I can see I need to clean my screen)  then we watched the sun set, and had a great sleep. It was beautiful, and that was good, because the next day…

Rain. Rain and rain and freezing cold, and wind like you wouldn’t believe and that made it easy to sit down at my laptop, finish the book.  It was a little sad not to be able to go out and enjoy the lake – because I really, really love swimming in the lake, but at least the weather  made the out of doors easy to resist. I worked and worked, and then all of a sudden, it was done. The book was all finished. I had no internet, so I couldn’t send it in, but I hit save, and then backed it up to a thumbdrive (in case my computer exploded) and then I put the thumbdrive in the car – and the laptop in the cottage, so that if the car exploded or the cottage burned down I would still have a copy.

Then we had dinner and played 47 hands of Rummy. That was it. I’ve always thought that when I finish a book, there should be something that happens. It should trigger fireworks or a 21 gun salute or something, something more than a bunch of hands of Rummy on a rainy day. (I didn’t even win. My sister was KILLING IT. She won practically every hand. I don’t know how she does it.)  Yesterday the weather was a bit better, but still too cold and windy to swim. I set up the tent to make sure I had all the pieces, and to make sure that the air mattress I got fits in the tent. 


(I love that in this photo my mum appears to be looking at that tent like no sane person would sleep in it.)

I told Jen I was going to posh up the inside of our tent. We’re too old to suffer on crappy little mats, so our tent is going to have wall to wall air mattress. At least that was my plan.  It worked though. 

I can’t believe that a big air mattress is all it takes to make Jen and I think that the whole tent experience is practically the Ritz. With my wool as my witness, we are going to be sleeping right on this thing.  Once I had that checked, I folded it all up,   drove home, emailed the book in, and staggered around like a zombie until it was time for our team fundraiser on the rally.  Meg, a very nice knitter on a layover from Vancouver to Prince Edward Island (Is that right? I might be making that up) showed up for a little bit, on her way across the country.  (Isn’t that nice? Really, really nice. You can tell by looking at her that she’s nice. She’s a little blurry, which might be my photographic skills, or maybe the fact that she’s on a layover.) 

We had a wonderful time, and at the end of the night, I looked at one of the tickets for the event, and it hit me.

86 hours and counting – although that’s not right anymore, now it’s about 66 hours, and there’s still so much to do. The packing, the organizing – I need to find Pato a red dress (and as I said to him, I wonder how often I’ll write that on a post it note) I need batteries, I need a way to charge my mobile… I need camp chairs that fold to less than 32", I need a hockey bag… still so much to do… Including prizes!  While I spin out, trying to pull together the last of it, here’s gifts for you all.

Sarah, the lovely Martini Knitter, living in Switzerland, has dug deep into her stash and come up with some really lovely things she would like to share. First:

This Rowan Extra Fine Merino Dk, now it belongs to Tracie N. 
Sarah has more, in a lovely cream. (That screams baby sweater to me, but I have babies on the mind.) 

I don’t know what Judith G will make, but I bet it will be nice.
Erin SC has scored a really pretty silk/wool blend.

Stephanie L got this Rowan Pure Wool DK in Blue…

and Nancy A, got it in a navy.

Julia R will be figuring out what to do with this pretty yarn:

Katie B gets a skein of Dream in Color and a pattern to go with,

and last, but certainly not least, Judith G will be warmly embracing three balls of Rowan felted tweed.  (Great yarn.)

Three cheers for Sarah, and her miraculous stash!

Last but certainly not least, a wonderful gift from Amy Hertzog. She’s offering a copy of her new book Knit to Flatter

and this, from Amy:

"Knit to Flatter is about helping you get sweaters you love to wear. All hand knitting sweater patterns are basically ready-to-wear clothing instructions: So, anyone with a "quirk" or two (i.e. everyone) will probably have to make a few changes to get a sweater that suits them perfectly. I’ll do a personal consultation with the recipient of this gift to identify a sweater that fits their style
, and then step through all of the details (and any math) required to produce a perfectly-fitting sweater they adore."

Amy’s a friend of mine, and I can tell you that consultation is worth it’s weight in gold. I hope that Sara B enjoys it.

More tomorrow, for now, I’m off to find Pato a dress.

58 thoughts on “With a New Lightness

  1. Forgive me, but I think you’re missing a day 🙂
    That or I am, pretty sure this was posted on Thurs, July 25, not July 24 (which would have been Weds and the day of the fundraising). Congrats on the book, can’t wait to read it, and you and Jen are going to rock the Rally!

  2. Oh, Um … You’ll be POSTING a picture of Pato in that dress, right??
    Please pretty PLEASE.???

  3. Oh, Um … You’ll be POSTING a picture of Pato in that dress, right??
    Please pretty PLEASE???

  4. CONGRATULATIONS ON FINISHING THE BOOK!!! That’s wonderful, and I can’t wait to read it!

  5. Sounds like a day with a different To Do List. Mine is the same, but with purchasing a house on Wednesday next week, children back to school on Monday, youngest child having their braces put on Monday afternoon, the items on it are a little different.
    Go well. (I have no idea where you would go in TO for a red dress, but I am sure the blog will help you).

  6. Congrats on finishing the book! I’m excited to read it!
    Look up the word “Glamping” to explain you and your sister’s sudden feeling of ritzy camping. 🙂

  7. Just loved red dress day last year when all of you landed in Kingston–still have the photos on my blog and hope to get some more for this year. So envious of your cottage experience! Our family cottage was sold some years ago and now I can never go back.

  8. Well, one good thing about the rally being so close is that it is that close to being over for another year!
    For the record, I think the air mattress is pretty fancy too.

  9. Really should be fireworks when you finish a book. Glad you got a quick swim at least.
    I love that picture of your mum too. I especially love your wall to wall mattress, looks comfy and you and Jen deserve it.
    I am green with envy over the Amy H prize.
    Get some rest. Will be cheering you on from Idaho.

  10. What do you mean, finishing a book something big should happen? It happened; did you not notice? The weathergods did let it happen before the finish was reached, they made, especially for you, a nice inhouse-weather day, so you could finish your book without hastening or being deprived of swimming, one whole rainy cold day, so that you, YH, could finish your book at leisure. How nice you send it in already. Over here temps are 28/85 degrees, C/F, I do not function very well above 22 C, I have the famous summercough again, which can, once started, last for weeks. Surely I can not cycle one mile now, hav a nice ride.

  11. Hopefully this won’t be an issue for you on the ride, since I think you get up before the sun, but when I tried sleeping on an air mattress in a tent, it got SUPER HOT and I had trouble sleeping. Huge congratulations on your book!!! 🙂

  12. Mazel tov on finishing the book! Cannot wait to read it. I’ve laughed and learned my way through all your others and cannot wait to buy this one, too!
    Have a great ride..

  13. Congrats on finishing the book!!! You are right, you should be having fireworks or something to commemorate it! Now, on to the fun that is well deserved! Enjoy!!!!!!!!

  14. Hey blogger folk, Ken and Pato are still seeking donations to reach their goals!

  15. I love your work, your books and your blogs. Glad you finished the new book. Enjoy the race. Maybe we will see you in Texas again.

  16. Please, please, please explain why you have to buy Pato a dress? Do you know his size? Does he look especially good in red? Why do some of your loyal readers know about the red dress, and my middle-to-old-age mind cannot? One would think I could remember something that visual and significant.
    I think the weather should have welcomed your book into being with a good old-fashioned thunder and lightening storm.
    I envy your visit to the cabin. Growing up in New England we had various cottages/places to go during the summer, mostly in New Hampshire and Maine, but one or two on Cape Cod. Reading your blog, that cabin smell came back to me, and I realized I miss it so much.

  17. Ohhhhhhhhh! Can Amy please be my friend too? I could knit sweaters if only I could get the fit right. Good luck with the ride, we’re all pulling for youl

  18. Ok, I get that the book is finished (YEAH!!!) and you have lots of things to do before leaving on the Race but really, you admitted to your public that instead of doing all that you are SPINNING?????!!! “While I spin out, trying to pull together the last of it…”. (just kidding – I know the difference – or do I?)

  19. Yay for a finished book! I think the air mattress will look like heaven on earth after a long day on the bike, definitely Ritz level comfort!

  20. I met Amy at the first Vogue Knitting Live in New York and she was just the nicest, kindest person in a whole hotel of knitters – so I know how lucky Sara B is! Great good karma happening for this coming ride!

  21. Holy moly, lady. Today I thought I did a lot. I walked the dog twice, made a homemade pizza, knit on a sock and emptied the dryer. O yes, I cleaned up the kitchen too but after the pizza thing it needs to be cleaned again. I did not finish a book. And I am definitely not going on a bike rally. I did not set up a tent. How do you do all you do? Your mom looks more than a little like Judy Dench, whom I admire very much.

  22. I should never read the comments! Now I own a Monarch chair. I’m sure it will be amazing, but I’m such an easy sell!

  23. Congrats on finishing the book, and reaching 100%+ of your goal (Jen too). I’ve just donated to Ken, and as Trish at 5:31 noted, Pato needs a few more donations too. Good luck to all of you. Enjoy the air mattress 🙂

  24. Have you read “Misery” by Stephan King? Or seen the movie? James Caan got himself into one hot mess by celebrating the completion of a book in that one.

  25. I can’t wait to read your book! Congratulations on finishing in addition to everything else you do. The swim in the lake helped, I’m sure.

  26. Didn’t you crack open a beer when the book was done? Hear the pop of the cork when you opened a bottle of a good (tho not necessarily expensive) wine when you e-mailed the book in? Won’t you hear the whirr of the margarita blender or the churning of the cocktail shaker when the book is released? And won’t you hear the champagne cork pop when the book hits the top of the best-seller list?
    Maybe you just haven’t learned the right way to celebrate the milestones in the lives of each of your books. . .;-)!

  27. I know. I never thought I would hear myself say things like, “there’s guacamole on the ceiling”,or ” where is the lizards tail?”

  28. I know. I never thought I would hear myself say things like, “there’s guacamole on the ceiling”,or ” where is the lizards tail?”

  29. Congratulations on finishing the book! Not sure that your ride counts as the rest I would say that you deserve.
    BTW, don’t wish for roll on-roll off ferries – look up Herald of Free Enterprise to see why not.

  30. The gifts you’re distributing are lovely, but I’ve got so much in my stash (mostly mine, but some I inherited from my mother and mother-in-law) that it makes me think of fruitcake. You know, the joke about there only being one in the world and people just keep passing it around. Wouldn’t it be a riot to tag the things people get as balancing gifts, to see if they then land somewhere else?
    I’ve got some lovely stuff I know I’ll never knit. How do I send it to you or someone else who can use it in this way?

  31. Camping/sleeping hint—Take a bed sheet to place on that air mattress and you will be even happier while sleeping on that little slice of heaven!

  32. I love your huge air mattress. The last time I slept in a tent, my tent leaked (not a lot, but enough) when it rained. I was a very cold person in my sleeping bag.

  33. Eeee the book is done!!! Can’t wait to see it on the stands! It’s always exciting for me when you finish a new book (I imagine it’s exciting for all of us).

  34. Congrats on finishing! There are enough exclamation points here in the comments, it almost looks like fireworks, right?
    Also, someone I feared and respected once called me plucky for sleeping in a tent. To be fair, it was at a scientific conference in Corsica and I brought said tent and accoutrements from the US. (Is sleeping in a tent in a foreign country somehow pluckier than in your own?) Sleeping in a tent while on a 600 mile bike ride seems very plucky to me!

  35. I originally hail from Midland, and it will forever be my home. 🙂 Thankfully, my Dad still lives there so I can indeed “go home” often. I am so glad to hear you were swimming in Georgian Bay – I am so tired of all my city friends complaining about how it is eternally “too cold”!!
    Very excited for your book!!

  36. Hooray for a new book! I just started reading Free Range Knitter last night… I know, I’m a little behind.

  37. Congratulations on finishing the book! But you did leave us hanging on how you did that ten-minute swim and came out the other side with your laptop still dry. How did you do it? *ducking*

  38. Congrats and good work on finishing the book! Yeah!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNjggrxUQ78
    This might be CGI, but it’s cheesily cool and well deserved;
    there’s rainbows, and typewriters in the music! – :0
    I am so a fan of air beds in the tent;even the kids seems to appreciate them – as long as you don’t have to carry it!

  39. Congratulations on finishing the book! Was it anticlimactic because it snuck up on you? Because you weren’t in a tizzy until the very last second? (I’ve never experienced that – always procrastinate until I’m crazy.) I hope you have a fantastic ride on the Rally – comfortable, dry weather, and restful sleep. Go Jen, Go Stephanie! You Moms ROCK!

  40. The Book Finished Party Planners didn’t know you had gone away from home…there was a parade, and yarn was shot from a cannon into the cheering crowds holding their needles in the air trying to click out the rhythm to ‘We Will, We Will Rock You’, free beer flowed in every pub and scores of knitters that celebrated too hard-found wandering in the streets in half knit sweaters from cannon shot yarn, searching for the needed last skein, trying to unravel other half knit sweaters off ‘napping’ knitters…what a great time! Wish you’d been there Steph! We even knit you a crown! Wait..what?…Ohhhh…sorry…the contrasting collar does make the whole sweater…yeah, he was hot for a bass player-I would’ve knit for him too. Good times. Happy Bike Trails!

  41. The Book Finished Party Planners didn’t know you had gone away from home…there was a parade, and yarn was shot from a cannon into the cheering crowds holding their needles in the air trying to click out the rhythm to ‘We Will, We Will Rock You’, free beer flowed in every pub and scores of knitters that celebrated too hard-found wandering in the streets in half knit sweaters from cannon shot yarn, searching for the needed last skein, trying to unravel other half knit sweaters off ‘napping’ knitters…what a great time! Wish you’d been there Steph! We even knit you a crown! Wait..what?. you did what? ..Ohhhh…the contrasting collar does make the whole sweater…yeah, he was hot for a bass player-I would’ve knit for him too. Sorry about the crown/collar. I’m sure we can remedy that …bass players usually nap when the sun is up. Good times. Happy Bike Trails!

  42. Shoot. I could have made you a hockey bag, but there’s no way it would get to you in time. Maybe next year?

  43. I can remember that same feeling on my wedding day. I drove past the mall on my way to the church, and it felt so odd hat anyone should be doing something as mundane as shopping on such a special day!

  44. The last time I went camping, many years ago in Yosemite, I was driving up so I indulged myself with a full-sized inflatable twin mattress instead of a regular air mattress. And no silly sleeping bag, either, sheets and blankets, nothing but the best! I tell you, I don’t think I have slept better anywhere in my entire life. 🙂
    Have a wonderful rally, and I know you guys will be stunning in your red dresses at the finish line! (Doesn’t Pato have one left over from last year? Or was he not participating? I can’t remember.)

  45. Hope you have a great ride! I’ll look forward to reading all about it when it’s over. If I’m calculating correctly, you’ll be starting the ride just a bit before I, my husband, 7 hairless cats, and 2 greyhound dogs start our 1,400 mile drive to our new home. Like you, I will be sharing the pain with loved ones – I talked my sister into coming along to help with the driving.
    Be safe, have a great time, and enjoy that air mattress!

  46. Sometimes those air mattresses can feel really cold to sleep on! I made that mistake once, camping in summer, but I’m sure you’ll be well prepared with proper sleeping bags etc. even it it’s sunny and hot during the day

  47. Jealous of your sandy feet!
    I just want to thank Steph, Presbytera and others for your concern and thoughts for my daughter and her heart surgery. It has been rough but we should get to go home tomorrow! I didn’t get to get any of my knitting from home (we are 3 hours away), but my mom came to visit and found a yarn store so I started a squishy shawl with the Malabrigo she bought me and I’ll plan to give it to my daughter when she grows up.

Comments are closed.