Have yarn, will travel.

Greetings, Gentle Readers!  Thank you for your patience while I dropped off the grid.  As you can see, I've been on the road for a bit.  And yes, TSA did make me open this and explain it; thanks for asking.  They also siezed my toothpaste.  Bastards.

Last week I jetted to exotic Zionsville, Indiana, where I met the delightful and talented Pam Mourouzis, my editor at Wiley, and the equally gifted Matt Bowen, who made all the the photographs for my new book:

Backstage at the photo shoot for a How To Knit book is every bit as glamorous as you would imagine: Wind Machines, Lip Gloss, Rock Music.  Okay, I lied about the wind machines, but we did listen to music, and there was some Chap Stick.

My job at the photo shoot was to make weird little pieces of knitting which demonstrate the things I talk about on each page of the book, and to do it at lightning speed between takes.  Then Matt would shoot my hands in action, knitting on the little swatches, and showing the techniques.  And no, I did not know that I was going to be a hand model when I arrived at the shoot.  We who fail to manicure salute you.  I apologize in advance for my cuticles.

In order for Matt to shoot my hands as they would look to a person knitting, I had to sit with my body crammed under a table as tightly as possible, with my elbows propped up on a stack a of books.  Then Matt would stand behind me, with the big digital camera just about in my ear, and remind me for the ten-millionth time that I had to move my head out of the way of the shot.  Then to comply, I would lean my head over on my left shoulder as far as humanly possible, without blocking the light (a big umbrella pillowy thing on the other side of me), or dropping the stitch I was supposed to be demonstrating.  Nuthin to it.  Babies do it.

After the first day, I could not for the life of me figure out how I had strained the muscles in my hip joints.  Then we figured out that the uneven studio floor was preventing me from cramming my chair sufficiently far under the table by trapping the wheels on the chair I was in.  Duh.  And I thought the chief occupational hazard of hand modeling would be hangnails.

Muscle strain aside, I learned so much, and had such a great time.  We worked our guts out, and there were only a couple of times when I looked at my writing and asked what sort of hack would come up with such drivel.

I'm back home now, still working on the last two projects in the book, starting the 100+ swatches for its stitch dictionary (no reason to panic; I have a full 2 weeks before those are due), preparing for a weekend with the Acorn Street knitters st Suncadia Lodge, creating a new exclusive for the Madrona Winter Retreat 2012, and if I'm really lucky, doing some laundry.  I don't like my odds on that last, which is unfortunate news for my lingerie situation.  I'd really rather not have to turn anything inside out to get through this week.  Phillip starts a new job teaching night school today, which will take him out of our equation two nights a week.  Lindsay is training hard for a skating competition two weeks hence (for which I am pretty sure a costume will be required), and also has a band concert this week.  Campbell just started guitar lessons, and has no less than 3 Cub Scouts events. 

I'm writing about all this, not to complain, but as proof that it really is all going on simultaneously.  In my dotage, I know I'll look back on this time, wonder how it went by so quickly, and then question how and whether we really did cram all those things into it. 

Message to the future Me:  Yeah, all that really did happen at the same time.  No, you are not making it up.  And yes, you do deserve to be the weird old lady you have become.  Now go take a nap.  You earned it 30 years ago.