Even though we have not yet celebrated my birthday here Chez KL, I am still feeling quite spoilt this week. I've gotten some really fun and unexpected packages in the mail, which I always enjoy; there's something to be said for surprises, I think.
Rachel sent me some books, which is always fun for me; I love to read, and I love to see what other people find interesting and worth passing on in their reading. I'm almost all the way through the book that made her start her book-sending spree, and I have to agree with her that it is a wonderful book, very hard to put down. I've already recommended it to another friend who is in a book club that focuses on books not written in English (it's translated from Afrikaans). It's about a part of the world, and a time in history, that I know very little about, with characters who become more interesting and rich as the book goes on. It's also about many of the topics I care about: the environment, labor, the relationship between mankind and other animals, stewardship.
Really good. Really, really good. Also, apparently, out of print and therefore not that easily gotten. I'm so glad Rachel found it for me, though! The other two books look equally intriguing, and I'll be sure to report on them as I get to them, one by one, to make them last.
And on Thursday, I came home to find a truly unexpected package from New Zealand. When I opened it up, lo and behold, inside was the first installment of the Vintage Purls summer sock club, sent to me courtesy of my friend Stella, who truly spoils me sometimes. Its arrival was nothing short of serendipitous. I'd been dithering over my decision not to join the Rockin' Sock Club this year, wondering whether I shouldn't after all, as I do like getting packages of yarn in the mail; I'd also just spent an entire evening at my LYS really wanting to find something purple to knit -- I'm rather craving purple for reasons which are not entirely clear to me -- and not feeling inspired. And then this came in the mail.
Look at that. It's a sock club, and that yarn (it's hard to see, because it's very gray here today and the light isn't good) is the most gorgeous shade of pale grey/lavender you ever did see. And those socks have beads knitted into them (and we all know how I've been feeling about beads lately). And it came with chocolate (mmm...) and really fun post-it notes (thus fulfilling my love of office supplies). Everything I could ever want, in one small package. I'm dying to cast on.
But I'm also trying to get a few things off the needles. I've reached a good resting place with the babushka, having finished the main body and the first skein of yarn simultaneously.
All that's left now is to pick up umpteen billion stitches along the bottom edge, and then to knit the little lace ruffle edging. I'm still not sure how I feel about the construction of this one, but I do know that I'm going to love wearing it; with the seed stitch, this feels like a particularly luxurious sort of silk/cashmere thermal underwear, you know? I'm wishing it were done so I could wear it now, as it's gotten chilly and wet again, but I think I'll set it aside for a moment. I'd like to finish the unbloggable project (close, so close), and then swatch for the sweater I'm knitting during the Olympics, and I really want to knit those socks up there; I miss having socks OTN, it seems like it's past time. So the ruffle may wait a little bit, we'll see.
I've also made progress on the paper I'm struggling with. After working on it all day yesterday, I managed to go from 9,000 words to 9,600 words. Not progress, alas, in the direction of the desired 8,000 words. After a walk with Rick, though (I find that walking really seems to get the blood moving in the right direction), during which I blathered about the paper and he listened, it suddenly occurred to me that I might be able to make my argument quite nicely (and more neatly) if I delete one of the sections. Now I'm down to 7600 words, which should leave me plenty of room to neaten up the transitions and overarching lines of argument and to finish the references. I hope. We'll see...
In the meantime, I've had a lovely Saturday. Two friends took me out for brunch and a pedicure today for my birthday, which was exactly what I needed. This afternoon, in fact very soon now, we're going to hear Older Daughter play violin in a school concert, and then home for a birthday dinner and chocolate cake and, I hope, some knitting. This seems like the right way to spend a weekend.