Thursday, September 15, 2005

Things are looking up somewhat

Today is my dad's birthday. He's seventy! Hooray! I really, really love my dad. We made his day tonight when I got my daughter to yell, "Happy birfday Gampa!" into the phone. :) She was all stoked about it, too.

I went back to the Chapters/Indigo website today to look up the Yarn Harlot's new book, and lo and behold, the shipping information has been upgraded to '1-2 weeks'. Extremely heartening! So I phoned up my local Indigo (more stalking of the book) to see if they knew when copies would be arriving. The lady said that they had six on order. (I don't know what's with Indigo's buyers - I think they're insane to order paltry quantities like six or seven per store.) Unfortunately, she didn't know when they would be in. She recommended that I keep calling every day and, when they do come in, to place a hold.

Can you believe that? She actually instructed me to keep stalking the book. Now that is my kind of customer service person.

Moreover, the Yarn Harlot's latest touring schedule is up, and she will be making an appearance at the Creative Sewing and Needlework Festival at 1pm on October 13th. Since this is within walking distance from my office, I am so there. I will have to show up to work early, leave later than usual, and probably shun all breaks in order to make up for the length of time I will be out of the office attending the fair. But it will be worth it. I will probably enjoy the festival itself as much as the harlot speech.

I'm doubtful, however, that I will be able to make it to the October 19 evening meeting of the Downtown Knit Collective, where Harlot will be speaking. That is right smack in the middle of my 'knitting vacation' week. Getting downtown would therefore involve a lot of travel, since I will not be downtown for work, but rather in the boonie suburbs, where I live. I suspect I shall have to content myself with going to just one spot on the Harlot Bookbookbook2 Tour, and be thankful for it - after all, there are tons of folks across the continent who are nowhere near any of her tourstops.

Stornaway sweater for BIL (blue)
Lots got done on this last night while watching the incredibly bloated 2-hour finale of Canadian Idol, and today. I have now decreased the sleeve to the point where there are two fewer cable patterns to work in each row. This is a nice time-saver. Not too many more decreases to go.

Striped socks for moi
It eases my mind greatly to know that, when the subway is ridiculously crowded to the point where I cannot even put my purse down on the floor and have zero elbow room to manoeuvre a large project around, I can whip out some sock knitting.

Persian Tiles shawl for Grandma
I am getting the sick, sad feeling that this is going to be my grandfather's slipover all over again, in that I will not get the shawl done in time for the intended recipient to enjoy it. My grandmother does not seem to be doing very well following my grandfather's death. Okay, admittedly, after almost 67 years together, how could you not do poorly following your partner's death? But I'm talking 'not doing very well' as in 'seems to be getting ready to cross to the other side' as opposed to 'really really sad'. So I don't know how much time I have to make this for her. Moreover, I suspect - from a comment which made its way to me 'through the grapevine' (numerous members of my mom's family don't communicate directly, it's very frustrating) - that my grandmother is secretly hankering to have something knitted by me.

I want to make this for her before it is too late. I just don't know how to do that...without axing one or more deadline-driven projects for other people (all of which are important to me). Sigh. When did knitting get so complicated?

(Probably when all my friends started having babies willy-nilly...or when I realised that sweaters made great Christmas gifts.)

I am desperately hoping that my 'knitting vacation' week in October is so damn productive that I am able to carve out enough time to get an excellent head-start on this shawl. I may also 'turbo boost' the knitting by doubling the yarn to get bigger gauge. This would reduce the number of stitches needed to complete the project, thereby reducing the amount of time it would take to knit it. My only concern is that the bigger 'grid' would make the fair isle pattern look dumbass. But we shall see. I'll definitely be doing a swatch.

In anticipation of all this, I'm going to buy the grey alpaca for the project as soon as possible instead of sometime next year.

If only the sellers on eBay would cooperate! The yarn I want in the colour I want is, for the first time that I've seen, not up for auction (okay, there is one auction, but the grey looks a bit too beige for my purposes). I could get a half-and-half alpaca/wool blend, but I want the pure stuff for my grandma. I'll wait for the real thing. My fingers are crossed. Really, really tightly.

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