Three Things

1. I haven’t started Lou’s sweater. I bought yarn for it at Madrona, which turns out to have been stupid (except for the part where it’s ridiculously nice yarn) because I had so much on the go at Madrona that I ended up not starting it anyway.  That meant that when I got home I had the yarn that I was originally going to make him a sweater with – the yarn I forgot, but then I didn’t like it anymore because I’d bought new better yarn.  I was going to use the old yarn because using the new yarn made me feel disloyal, but then I remembered the name of this blog and stopped worrying.

Somewhere in there Joe noticed I was agonizing over the thing and reminded me that he’d bought Lou a very nice present while I was away, and suggested I let myself off the hook, and I almost did too. Normally I wouldn’t consider it, but I something happened at Madrona (See #2) and I thought I had better things to knit. Today I’ve reconsidered and I’m going to cast on shortly and bash this thing out.  He’s a little guy, it’s nice yarn and I like knitting a lot.   It will be done in three minutes.

2. In about two weeks (See #3) my new book comes out, and I am leaving on a book tour.  I have a love/hate relationship with book tours. I really, really love meeting you all, and I really love that I’ve got a publisher who supports my work that way, and really, really glad to have a job that I love as much as I love this one.  The hate part is just about the pressure of the travel (a plane every day) and how hard it is for me to look nice for a crowd every day.  I own one bra and two pairs of winter shoes (if you don’t count winter boots, and I don’t, because they’re about frostbite, not fashion) and hardly any clothes and coming up with 12 outfits that all fit into one suitcase and still let me carry as much yarn as I really need to is something I worry about at night.  I should really just buy what I need, but I hate everything in the shops and I hate shopping and so…. here I am, standing in the marketplace at Madrona, and I’ve pretty much decided to buy nothing – on account of I have to go shopping for clothes so I won’t be wearing jeans with a hole and a ratty old tee shirt that says “Newfie girls kick arse” on it at every stop I make on the tour…. when all of a sudden I have this amazing idea.  I’m standing at the Habu booth, and I realized that I didn’t have to buy clothes.  I could MAKE clothes.  I’d knit them all.  Win – win.  I get clothes, I get to knit, I don’t have to go shopping – the second that crossed my mind I was done. I did a rather extraordinary (for me) amount of damage – and apparently what I’m wearing on this tour is an Asymmetric Vest, a funky scarf out of merino and copper (or maybe merino and stainless steel – I got them BOTH.)  A linen version of Adrian (trust me, it’s cool – way cooler than it looks in those pictures) and three pairs of stripy socks – all of which I momentarily believed I could knit in two weeks. Apparently the part of me that wants to buy yarn is willing to rationalize whatever it has to, and apparently that part of me also doesn’t care if I have pants.

3. The book. Below please find listed the cities and dates that the publisher has chosen for me. The tour starts in the west, and then I work my way home.  I hope you’ll be able to come – and I hope that if you decided to buy the book, that you buy it from a bookstore if you can.  This book is a little different from the others I’ve written. I started this book a few years ago (books take a long time) when my Uncle Tupp was still well.  I was casting about for what  I might write next and Tupp was holding one of my previous titles.  He looked at it, and then he looked at me and said “You know Steph, I’m sure you’re a good writer. I just wish you had a book where I got all the jokes – so I could tell.”

That moment, this book was born, and it’s sad for me that Tupp didn’t live to see it.   For the first time, my mum will read the whole book without asking what intarsia is, and why it’s funny. (Try explaining that almost nothing about intarsia is funny unless it’s happening to someone else. Otherwise it’s deadly serious.) My brother might actually read it instead of telling me he’s read it to protect my feelings. (I think that’s very sweet by the way, and have resisted the urge to quiz him so I don’t blow his cover for either of us.) The new book is called The Amazing Thing About the Way It Goes: Stories of Tidiness, Self-Esteem and Other Things I gave Up On…and It’s a book for everyone – with stories about the dentist and cleaning and parenting and this unbelievable skunk who was under my porch and … I can’t say there’s no knitting, because the word is in there really quite an abnormal amount (I can’t stop being someone who tries to normalize the presence of knitting and knitters) but this book is approachable for knitters and the non-knitting alike, and I’m so proud and happy about it, and I can’t wait. (Sort of. Part of me wants to wait for another year.)  This is a book you can give your sister – or your dad, or your friend who doesn’t knit who has never understood why you thought I was even a little funny.  Up until now, I’ve written about people who were knitters – and all knitters are people, but not all people are knitters (yet) and this is just a little something to dip my toes in another area of the bookstore. This book won’t be in the knitting section, it will go into humour, next to David Sedaris and Erma Bombeck and … I’m a little scared I think.  It’s not hard to write a really funny book in the knitting section.  The cable charts and hat patterns I’ve been competing with aren’t exactly written to be hilarious – but this little step out into the big world?

It makes me glad I think the next one will be about knitting. Please join me if you can, and you know.  Bring your sister. She’ll get all the jokes.

Tuesday, March 4 – Portland
7:00 p.m.
Powell’s at Cedar Hills Crossing 

Wednesday, March 5 – Seattle
7:00 p.m.
Third Place Books
17171 Bothell Way NE

Thursday, March 6 – San Francisco
7:00 p.m.
Books Inc., Opera Plaza
601 Van Ness, San Francisco, CA  94102

Saturday, March 8 – Tempe
7:00 p.m.
Changing Hands
6428 S. McClintock Dr. Tempe, AZ 85283

Monday, March 10 – Denver
7:30 p.m.
Tattered Cover Highlands Ranch
9315 Dorchester Street, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129

Tuesday, March 11 – St. Louis
7:00 p.m.
Left Bank Books
321 North Tenth Street, St. Louis, MO  63101

Wednesday, March 12 – Boston
7:00 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith
279 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446

Friday, March 14 – Baltimore (Owings Mills)
7:00 p.m.
Barnes and Noble, 1819 Reisterstown Road. Baltimore, MD 21208

Saturday, March 15 – Philadelphia (Exton)
3:00 p.m.
Barnes and Noble, 301 Main Street, Exton, PA 19341