This bothered me a little when Robyn sent out the tour schedule to all the contributing designers and I saw my name at the very bottom of the bunch. As a kid I was used to being closer to the front. As the oldest child of three, I went through everything first. Isn’t it true that the first-born is always the test subject for developing parenting skills? At least I made sure I was at the dinner table ahead of my brothers because they would have inhaled all the food had I not staked out my share.
In school, before my nearsightedness was discovered and I got my first pair of glasses in third grade, I was inclined to sit closer to the blackboard so I could see it. Somehow I turned into one of the geeks-with-glasses (House Magoo) who congregated at the front of the class. I would often peer longingly at the cool underachievers hunkered down at the back of the room and wished I could hide back there, too. I really didn’t need to be so close to the teacher that I could see the lint on his or her lapels. Whether we students were sorted in alphabetical order or by height, either way I found myself toward the beginning of every line, or seated near the front of the room, or in the first row of every class picture, or standing on the floor in front of the chorus risers and the rest of the second alto section.
I wanted to ask Robyn why I had to be last. I held my tongue, but I wondered about that. Ellen Gormley, whose blog GoCrochet was the next-to-last tour stop yesterday says we are here either because we are the anchors (which is a typically sweet thing for Ellen to say) or because our designs use the most balls of yarn (not true). In a book of projects aimed at giving “budget-conscious crocheters the tools to make the most of their yarn stashes”, bloated yarn requirements win nothing but the booby prize.
I crocheted both of the book samples myself and I assure you that, with the exception of the long tunic version in the largest size (2XL/3XL), Spa Shawl Top can be made with 3 to 5 skeins of yarn. That’s considerable yarn economy for a full, loose fitting adult garment. The key contributing factors are the open lace stitch and the great yardage in each skein of silky NaturallyCaron.com Spa. It’s the yarn I talked about last post, possessing a special Z-twist which not only helps the tall loose lace stitches hang together but keeps them looking good.
Once I got my copy of Simply Crochet and realized that my design Spa Shawl Top was the last one in the book, I felt pretty stupid. Naturally I am last because IT is last. So I’m good with being here today unless I start obsessing over why my design ended up being the last one in the book. Hey, I guess I finally made it to the back of the classroom with the cool kids, huh? Astoundingly, I have been included in a class made up entirely of cool kids.
Honestly, we were not told who-all the other contributors would be, not at the beginning. Publishers insist we harbor deep secrets for way too long. So when the list of designer names was at last revealed, it was brilliant, representing today’s best and brightest crochet talent. I am pleased to admit I actually know most of them, count many among them as friends, owe at least a few of them drinks (or chocolate cake), swap yarn and war stories with a couple, but mercifully don’t owe any of them money.
Here’s the complete blog tour schedule FYI, in case you haven’t been along for the entire ride and want to rewind.
Simply Crochet Countdown to Fun Schedule:
1 Ball or Less
Dec 1 Iced Ascot by Rebecca Velasquez
Dec 2 Flapper Hat by Margaret Hubert
Dec 3 Billows of Baubles Scarf by Sheryl Means
Dec 4 Twist Cowl Wrap by Linda Permann
Dec 5 Mystic Cuff by Robyn Chachula
Dec 6 Emma Lace Scarf by Simona Merchant-Dest
Dec 7 Diamonds and Lace Hat by Linda Permann
Dec 8 Neck Lattice by Vashti Braha
3 Balls or Fewer
Dec 9 Botan Placemats by Marlaina Bird
Dec 10 Tapestry Basket by Carol Ventura,
Dec 11 Blooming Beauty Purse by Tracie Barrett
Dec 12 Nedburt Puppet by Robyn Chachula
Dec 13 Natalie Shrug by Megan Granholm
Dec 14 Giselle Vest by Simona Merchant-Dest
Dec 15 Sidney Cardigan by Robyn Chachula
Dec 16 Annabel Shawl by Kristin Omdahl
5 Balls or Fewer
Dec 17 Tallula Baby Top by Marlaina Bird
Dec 18 Amelia Cardigan by Julia Vaconsin
Dec 19 Float Vest, Float Cardigan by Robyn Chachula
Dec 20 Linked Jacket by Robyn Chachula
Dec 21 Dots and Dashes Blanket by Ellen Gormley
Dec 22 Spa Shawl Top, Spa Shawl Tunic by Doris Chan
Not everybody gets why I’d work on a book authored by somebody else. I showed the book to my mom and had a hard time explaining why Robyn Chachula’s name is on the cover and not mine. The major reason I agreed to contribute to Simply Crochet is because of Robyn. I adore her, and not just because she is shorter than I am and her glasses are even thicker than mine (just kidding, Robyn). She’s a total dynamo, as scathingly focused as a laser when she needs to be, yet goofy otherwise. I can’t imagine how she manages to juggle her awesome career with home and family (hey, CJ!).
In fact, Robyn is so good at getting her friends to work with her that I signed on to do a design for the next book, Unexpected Afghans: Innovative Crochet Designs with Traditional Techniques by Robyn Chachula, coming in June 2012, available for pre-order. Yes, I briefly wandered over to the dark side and designed an afghan. No, I can’t talk about it yet. And, with any luck I will not be the last stop on that tour!
So, to sum up nearly a month of blog tour fun, Simply Crochet is now available both in paperback hard copy and as a downloadable e-book. Please check out this beautiful collection of designs and thanks for following the bouncing blog ball to this final stop. I know everybody is busy right now with the holidays, but if you take a few seconds to make a comment on this blog post, you’ll be entered to win a free download of the e-book from Interweave Press. Consider it a last-minute gift to yourself. Deadline for entries is midnight Eastern Time, Christmas Day, Sunday 25 December. Don’t bother sucking up to me in your comment (unless you really really want to), because it won’t make any difference. I’ll choose one commenter totally at random and announce the winner here on Monday.
Best of luck and Happy Holidays!