Friday, March 20, 2009

Yarny Surprises

It's been a tough week- my cold was still in full snot-production mode (inelegant description, I know, but apt), and the deadline for going over The Big Book of Socks page proofs was barreling down on me like a racehorse. Checking page proofs is never fun, in fact it may be the most miserable part of being published. Well, no, having strangers stop at my house unannounced, with their handwritten manuscripts in hand, asking me to #1 read their "books", #2 recommend them to my agent, #3 get them published, with the unvoiced #4 that if I don't do it, I am somehow turning my back on the public, is the most miserable part. But checking page proofs ranks right up there with dental appointments that involve needles (which I have on Monday).

Think about it- there are 75 patterns in TBBoS- almost every one has multiple sizes, and a majority are sized from toddler through adult (some through adult Men), which means that each pattern has a minimum of 10 measurements, and many have over 20. Each one of those measurements is a potential typo/error/omission disaster (1/4 is not the same as ¾, anywhere, but especially so in the knitting world). Add to that, the fact that 10 books into the game, I know without a doubt, that I am a wretched proofer. I can look at the same mistake 30 times and still not see it until the ink hits the page (by which time, it's too late).

So this week was tough- mind numbing and exhausting. The upside is seeing those words and pictures together on the printed page for the first time (wow, this is going to be a beautiful book!), and knowing that this thing that I worked harder on than any of my other books, is going into good hands. The proofs are ready to go back to my editor today, and I'm free to think about something else(besides the fact that my cheekbones hurt- damn sinuses).

So what am I thinking about? The surprise in this morning's mail.

Pat and Chris, from Decadent Fibers (link on the right, in Stash Enhancers), are dyers. They've supplied fantastic yarns for designs in I Heart Felt, the cover design of The Prayer Shawl Companion, some of the socks in TBBoS, and roving for a project I have in an upcoming Interweave book project (not sure if I can announce that yet, so I'll hold off) (aha, the listing is up on Amazon: All New Homespun Handknit: 25 Small Projects to Knit With Handspun Yarn- , out Sept 1, which is the debut day of TBBoS- woohoo!)(I designed, spun, and knit a pair of self-striping socks for the book). I love their yarns- beautifully hand-dyed in gorgeous colors (and colorways), high quality, the kind of yarn you want to sleep in. And this morning, I got a box of new yarns and colorways from them. When I was whining about the miserable aspects of this job, I forgot to mention that there are many more perks. This is one of them: Surprise yarn. In the Mail. When I wasn't expecting it. When I was kind of tired and cranky.

So here's the booty: 2 large skeins of Crème Brulee (worsted weight, 50% merino, 30% silk, 20% mohair, 490 yds. 8 oz), one the most beautiful light sagey greens, the other in woodland colors of teal, browns, and dark sage green (so soft, so beautiful), 2 large skeins of Cookie Dough (worsted weight, 80% merino blend, 20% mohair, 490 yds, 8 oz), one in pinky reds with orange, one in darker reds; 2 skeins of Marshmallow (sport/dk weight 80% alpaca, 20% merino, 315 yds, 4 oz- I used this blend in my project for 101 Luxury One-Skein Wonders, which I forgot to mention above), one purples, one burgundy/maroon. And topping the treasures, a 1lb hand dyed Jelly Roll Batt- it's 90% Corriedale, 10% mohair, and it looks like a summer day at the lake- greens and browns along one edge, fading blues throughout the rest. It's a huge batt, and it could be wet felted into a fantastic piece of fabric, but I think I'll spin it a little heavier than my usual single, and make worsted weight yarn from it.

I happen to be free at the moment, so I see some wonderful design-playing in the near future. What a perfect way to end a tough week!


Mary Keenan said...

Okay, checking the pattern for just one item in 3 sizes is killing me right now, so I can't even comprehend what you're going through. But I can definitely see how that particular haul of bonus yarny goodness gave you a lift! I had to go straight to the webby source when I saw the picture and definitely need to get my hands on some Marshmallow when I can commit to a colour.

Geek Knitter said...

Wow, that'll cheer you right up, won't it?

Fríða said...

OMG! how perfectly gorgeous! I can totally see how that might outweigh some of the more difficult aspects of your work.
best wishes from Iceland

Van Insurance said...

I always thought "Hooterville" referred to the train's whistle. Oh, well, I was very young.