Monday, October 17, 2005

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.--C.S. Lewis

In the long run, Rhinebeck was really about getting together with your friends.

And buying fiber.

And losing your digital camera yesterday. Don't ask how I did this.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

All I can say is, I haven't been so pissed off at myself in years. So check out Joe's blog or Franklin's for pictures. Because I ain't got any.

The Real Deal
I'm almost too tired to write about Rhinebeck. But I will because I'm looking at two bags of fiber and remembering how much fun it was.

John and I got up to the hotel late Friday night. It was fucking pouring. A two and a half-hour trip took four hours. And when John dropped me off at the fairgrounds at 10 a.m., it was still coming down.

I hate umbrellas. Hate them. They are encumbrances to the nth degree. However, I do own a small one and I was wearing the Estonian scarf that needed protection (Field of Flowers shawl was safely packed in my bag). So as I stood waiting for Kathy and Selma with umbrella up (who of course went to the other gate just like last year), I was rescued by Joe and Franklin and off we went, soon to find K & S and somewhat later, Lisa and Carol.

This was the first time that we've all been together in one place--Carol and Selma had not met and none of us had met Franklin. Talk about a murder of ravens or a habit of nuns or a bottle of Scotch. What a motley crew. So we shopped and shopped and talked and lost some people and found them again. And the weather cleared up. O happy day.

As soon as I regain the use of a digital camera, I will take pictures of what I bought. But here's the list, since I just sent it to Loopy, along with my slightly edited comments to her:

  • 8 ozs. of cormo for laceweight spinning. Bought this at Skaya, which is Galeva what's-her-name. She's a trip and a half. But has wonderful stuff. I did not buy any of her laceweight. But I want to see if she's on the internet. Gotta get the laceweight whorl and bobbins before I do this so it'll be a while.
  • 2 lbs. of this incredibly dyed 44% wool/44% mohair/12% llama and 2 lbs. dyed wool and alpaca from the same people who did the SN, Tintagel Farm.
  • 1 lb. of Corriedale dyed, from the same people I bought Elly's Wensleydale from last year. They didn't have any Romney or Wensleydale this year. No biggie. It will make a nice vest or possibly weft--I'm kinda thinking weft at this point.
  • 4 ozs. of Merino/tercel to screw around with. I want to see what the big fuss is with the tercel.
  • 5 silk caps, dyed in blue and magenta. Very strange coloring but it might work. The caps were $4 a piece. How could I resist?
  • A pair of curved Ashford carders. Didn't see any others. Didn't buy the combs--they were no-name and I figured I'd wait on the combs.
  • 5 lbs. of the most gorgeous white Lincoln fleece. Just spectacular. Beautiful crimp, very, very clean, no bad cuts. I had to have it. Gulp. Now I'll have to wash all this shit and card it. I'm carding this sucker even if it takes me a year. And it will, at least. Ultimately I want to do some dyeing, which is why I bought so much of the Lincoln. At least 2 lbs. of it will go for dyeing experiments, I figure. The Lincoln was $5/lb. Can't beat that.

So that's the haul.

I'd like to say that I thoroughly enjoyed meeting all of the readers who stopped me to chat. I was going to take pictures and make a note of names, but forget doing that. That wasn't happening. It's a strange feeling to be recognized. Very strange. But very nice, indeed. And as I said to many people, I appreciate your reading my blog. Always. I have the best readers, hands down.

And Now For Something Completely Different

OK, in a Pythonesque way, I managed to make my announcement at Rhinebeck to everyone but not at the same time, of course. Getting that bunch to shut the fuck up for one minute is a Promethean feat.

So here's the announcement I made to them in fits and starts and that I'm making to you in one swell foop.

My book is becoming a reality. Shut Up, I'm Counting: Commonsense Knitting for Uncommon Knitters. Written by me and illustrated by Franklin Habit. Publication date: March 2006.

I am now halfway through the manuscript. Estimated pages: 120. Each chapter is me talking about a particular facet of knitting, from cast-ons to Fair Isle to books to finishing to fucking up and fixing it to my recipe for apple pie. No, strike the last one. You don't get that recipe.

No designs. I'm saving those for another project, which I am developing concurrently and which I will announce later in the year. However, I am truly thrilled and honored that Franklin has agreed to illustrate the book. We had discussed this in secret prior to meeting this weekend. I knew his drawings were perfect for my writing style. Once I met him in person, there was no question that the two of us will make fabulous collaborators.

How am I doing this? Well, having years of experience in publishing helps a lot. And starting your own publishing company helps even more. In the next few weeks, my publishing company, Ravel'd Sleave Press, will become incorporated. So this venture is not just to publish my own book but hopefully to publish other quality fiber books in the future. And the emphasis will be on quality, for sure. I'm working on the web design for the company now. Another thing I know how to do, thanks to my work at The Chubb Institute.

One of the reasons I had been avoiding writing a book was because there are so many knitting books out there. And I will not write just for the sake of throwing some crap onto a page. If you're going to buy it, it has to have value to you. Not just to me.

It's going to be a good book. I'm very happy with it so far. And I'm my biggest critic. So we'll see, eh?

Writing is a rare and handy thing to do. And I love to do it. See ya, corporate America. Eat shit and die.

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