This week has been a trainwreck. A giant tangle of complete crap that just keeps getting worse. Nothing terrible has happened, nobody is sick and another pet hasn’t shuffled of their mortal coil, but everything else that can go wrong has, and at this point I think it’s starting to be a bit of a joke, and I think it’s on me. I won’t go into the gory details, but I think it’s safe to say that I overextended myself a little (right now the voice of my inner monologue is screaming “YA THINK?!) Two days ago I forgot to go to a appointment entirely, despite looking forward to it, putting it on my calendar and having an alarm set, and this morning Joe got up early and headed across town and reported for an appointment that’s tomorrow. We’re scrambled. Nothing’s working. For example, the Advent Tree is pretty much a disaster. I have four ornaments made, which is a very far cry from the two a day I was going to pound out, and apparently I completely hallucinated the red felt numbers I would swear to you I saw at the craft store, because when I went back to get them, not only were they gone, the clerk said that they’d never, ever had anything like them in the shop. (I feel like she was totally gaslighting me.) In any case, now I’m embroidering the numbers on, and that slowed me down a lot, especially since I was busy trying to fix the washing machine and we have to do something about the eavestroughs.
The four ornaments that I do have are charming, beyond charming, and I feel sure the rest will um…. be there when I get back? Hell. I don’t know. It will be fine. I’m not going to panic early. It’s the 13th. There’s time to get it together, and I feel like it’s more important to get myself together, and then everything else will slide into place from there.
I’m writing this from the Vancouver Airport, on my way to Port Ludlow and the November Retreat, and even though it’s a working weekend, I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to it. The setting is so nice, the knitters so nice, and it’s a great place to refocus, sort yourself out and get back on track- and it’s hard not to feel like things are in great shape with a fireplace in your hotel room. The five hour flight here was the least busy thing I’ve done in weeks. I tried to knit, but I fell asleep – I picked the nicest thing to knit on while I travel and get the retreat done… perfect, simple, comforting knitting, that even I can’t screw up, even in my current cursed state. It’s amazing yarn, for starters. I came across it when I was in Vancouver for Knit City. There was a nice booth, with pretty yarn, and a couple of striped shawls hanging there. There was some super nice self striping sock yarns, and I was totally charmed by the colours. Then I started talking to the proprietors, and then they told me about the shawls.
It’s self striping shawl yarn. Yes – I know, that sounds dumb, why would shawls need a different kind of self striping yarns? Well, it’s like this. If you’re using a regular stripey yarn, and you’re knitting a top down shawl, one where the rows get 4 stitches longer with every right ride row, then when you start the shawl you’ll have short rows and big stripes, but as things go on, then you get stripes that are narrower and narrower as you keep going. This yarn? This yarn has stripes that get longer and longer. She (she being Catherine – at least I’m pretty sure her name was Catherine, of Caterpillargreen Yarns) has done the math to make sure that the stripes stay the same width all the way through your shawl.
I KNOW. She told me that, and I looked at all the lovely skeins, and then I pretty much gave her all my money. Just like that. Aside from the great dye job, the base is pretty easy to love. 70% merino, 20% cashmere, and 10% nylon, cozy, pretty, clever, it’s a ton of fun to knit, and it’s totally not this yarns fault that I fell asleep on the plane. I don’t really have a pattern for this – although I based my plan on Laura Chau’s Simple Yet Effective Shawl. I wanted something simple (yet effective) and her idea of alternating garter and stockinette was perfect, and I’m not even paying attention to what I do. If the yarn is grey, I knit every row, and when it changes to a colour, I do stockinette. Done. Absolutely, brilliantly gorgeous, perfect for my current state. Comforting, warm, fun and going to go by really fast, I think. This weekend it should just run in the background, like a perfect soundtrack in a great movie.
(PS. I know that I could have looked at Laura’s pattern, and figured it out myself, and not bought the pattern, but I don’t think that’s very nice. I looked at that shawl, thought “Good idea!” and she’s the one who had that idea, so she gets the money. I have strong feelings about paying for patterns – even if I don’t need the pattern, I needed the inspiration, and that’s worth something too.)
(PPS. Something unbelievable has happened, and My latest book is nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award in Humour. There is absolutely no chance my book is winning against the books it’s up against – mostly because two really different things happen if Neil Patrick Harris asks twitter to vote for him, or if I do (He has 11 million followers- which is pretty fair, because, well. He’s Neil Patrick Harris) but also because those are some very, very funny books, written by very, very funny people. Still – there’s a chance you like my book better, so I’ll ask. Please consider voting for my book if you liked it. Thank you.)
(PPPS. Taking pictures of knitting in the Air Canada Lounge totally draws attention.)