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March 17, 2011

Thursday's Books: Knitted Lace, Warm Knits Cool Gifts, and Cables Untangled

This week of freebie books has been fun, can't believe it's already Thursday! Today I'm giving away two new titles and one tried-and-true:

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The Art of Knitted Lace: With Complete Lace How-to and Dozens of Patterns featuring patterns by Kristin Omdahl, Lisa Llloyd, Annie Modesitt, Phoenix Bess, Berta Karapetyan, and Melissa Matthay

Warm Knits, Cool Gifts: Celebrate the Love of Knitting and Family with more than 35 Charming Designs by Sally Melville

Cables Untangled: An Exploration of Cable Knitting by Melissa Leapman (NOTE: The version I'm giving away today is the hardcover original, not the paperback in the amazon.com link)

The first two books mentioned are fairly new releases. The cables book is a classic, this is the hardcover version. All three books will go to one winner. Much love to Potter Craft for the books and for the general awesomeness that is the Potter Craft world.

RULES
To be eligible to win, post a comment in the comment section of this entry. Comments will close tomorrow. Winner(s) chosen at random and notified by email. Good luck!

NOTE
If you want to win you need to include a valid email address with your comment. IF you do not want your email address to show up beneath your comment name, you must enter some web address in the URL field. This is internet tomfoolery! I'm sorry I am bad with the code. Anyway, you can just type http://www.crazyauntpurl.com in the URL if you want.

ALSO!
If you don't want this book but still want to comment by all means please do, but let me know you aren't interested OR just leave off your email address.

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LET'S CHITCHAT

Polished nails
I stopped polishing my nails when I stopped getting acrylics. About four years ago I had beautiful fake Southern-girl acrylic nails, oh I loved them. One day I went for a fill and something went very, very wrong. Within days my beautiful long nails turned icky colors reminiscent of the bayou swamps of my youth. NOT GOOD.

Mostly I was terrified of my fingers falling off since typing is my life. I woke up in a panic one night wondering how on earth I would type if all my fingers rotted off and the next day I returned to the shop crying and freaking out and made them remove the acrylics (and it HURT) and I never went back. It took months for all that crap to grow out but my fingers did not fall off as you probably guessed. Drama queen that I am.

Now I just keep my nails clipped very short and plain. But last week something came over me and I painted my nails. This week I even bought new nail polish, a garish and quite awful race-car yellow color that I rather like. Something about having polished nails makes me feel girlier, in a good way. (Though not good enough to take a picture of my stubby man hands and post that on the internet, so it seems.) Where do you stand on the nail polish situation?

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Pawdua says, "I know you don't like to speak in public but too bad you couldn't go to all the Stitches and have a meet the author class and get paid. Then all your blog fans could meet you."

Hi Pawdua! I am really quite terrible at public speaking, and also don't leave the house much, but if that combo is intriguing to you AND if you're local you are in luck! I am doing two back-to-back events in one weekend next month which is almost unheard of with me. The first is Friday, April 8th at the RT Convention (my friend Rachael and I are doing a panel together) and on Saturday, April 9th I'll be at Literary Orange for a memoir panel. I think my session starts at 1 p.m. and there will be some chitchat time at the end.

Hope to see you there. I'm extra-rusty from doing no publicity for over a year so Lord only knows what ridiculous things will exit from my mouth. Fun for the whole family! If the whole family is over 18...

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Courtney asked, "What happens to all of your finished knitting projects? Do you wear them or give them away? I love the act of knitting but often find that after I've finished I just store it away (or give it away). Do you find the same?"

Hi Courtney. Like you, I give away most of the stuff I knit or pack it away in a drawer. I really love the activity of knitting but unless I move to Siberia I will never be able to wear most of this stuff. I enjoy giving gifts so it works out. I do keep my handknit Noro gloves in my purse, though, because sometimes my hands get cold and they are by far the best thing I've ever knit. They make me happy just to look at them.

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Rebecca asked, "Have you been to Michael Levine's lately? Now that I'm not living in LA, I so miss that store!"

You know, I haven't been to the garment district in a long time but I still have some fabric here at home from my last trip to Michael Levine's! My sofa pillows are looking a little on the tragic side, so maybe I should give them new slipcovers for spring. I'll keep you posted.

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Kim wrote, "I just finished a book I thought you might like: The Magician's Assistant. Have you read this? It talks a lot about L.A. You would probably be more familiar with some of the places than I was."

Kim, that book is one of the best novels I have ever read. I LOVED IT. (I wrote about it here.) I could feel the main character's love of this city, and I thought the story itself was a page-turner.

Here's a funny tidbit, your comment made me think of this. So, as most of you know I'm writing my first fiction book and fiction is a whole new world for me, nothing at all like memoir or essay writing. When I initially dreamed up the plot I didn't understand how much more difficult it is to make up a story than just put a funny spin on some real-life thing that happened. ANYWAY. My main character is Southern but she relocates midway through the book. When I first sketched out the bones of the plot I thought she should move to Boston. Boston. A city I have never even visited once in my lifetime.

It's one thing to make up a fictional realm and populate it with your creativity, but it is a whole 'nother ball of wax to write a fiction story set in a real city. One afternoon I remember thinking, "Hmmm, my Boston looks an awful lot like the Valley."

That was the moment I put down the winesack and grew some common sense and now my character relocates to Sherman Oaks. Seriously. What was I thinking?

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Donna writes, "I have only been knitting for a year and love it. I was hoping your blog would be more of a knitting blog."

Well, Donna, I really hear you on this one. I was hoping my blog would be more of a Gets-Married-To-Al-Gore blog. Failing that, I would have settled for a blog about moving to Paris and becoming a taller and sexier version of me who is also a spy. As you can imagine, I am as disappointed as you are. Luckily tomorrow is a new day and anything could happen!

Like you, when I first started knitting I was just on fire with it and I wanted to read all about knitting and mostly I wanted to talk all about it. I think I have calmed down considerably in this area. I do still knit, though, and one day I plan to write a rockin' entrelac tutorial so don't give up on me altogether. Plus if I marry Al Gore you can read about our hot eco-love. And that may involve hot eco-yarns. Because I am creative that way.

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Judy wrote, "I have noticed that your writing style has become wonderfully relaxed over the past few months. You no longer seem so frantic."

That is perhaps the nicest thing I have heard in ages. Thank you! I do feel less frantic and crazed and anxious. Things are different and stressful in new ways now, but in general I feel happier.

I never want to go back to that version of me, the one who can't sleep or breathe or enjoy anything. That's not living. I used to get so tied up in knots just from the smallest things, I was wound up tighter than a sprocket. The littlest thing made me feel defeated or angry -- a snarky note, missing the bus, someone cutting me off on the 101.

Now I don't really get all that riled up anymore. Yesterday I was in traffic and there was a lady next to me honking and gesturing and carrying on because I had the nerve to merge onto the freeway. In the past I was that crazy lady so I had mad compassion for her, I kind of stalled on the on-ramp shoulder so she could get ahead of me because clearly she was having a bad day. Then I turned my radio up real loud and thanked God I'm not frantic like that anymore. I still have my crazy stuff but it's a better version of crazy.

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Well, that's it for today folks. You have all been really good sports with Giveaway Week and I thank you. Tomorrow is the last day! I will post a full list of the winners on Saturday because it's taking some time to hear back from everyone and also get my act together. And I know you've already donated where you can with all the stress and anxiety in the world, so I wish I had 6000 copies of everything to give to all ya'll, free books for all. I was thinking that this morning when I woke up. So! I have decided that if I ever become rich I'm just going to have a day where every single person gets a free book. Let's hope this happens and that it somehow involves Al Gore and me having eco-love in Paris. And in the fantasy I am taller. And everyone gets a free knitting book. Wouldn't that be lovely? Yay for having lofty aspirations!

Finally, a little behind-the-scenes peek:

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I AM DOING SOME DECORATING, OK?

Posted by laurie at March 17, 2011 8:30 AM