Saturday, September 29, 2007

Dollars & Sense

Back on the subject of US vs Canadian prices for books and magazines. Well they are starting to pay attention to us though I’m not sure anything has actually happened yet. Read this from the US point of view. Still doesn’t answer the question of where I can complain to someone who can actually do something about it! And there’s this from the CDN point of view. I support booksellers who are trying to fix the disparity but they need to complain more loudly! I do bring the subject up every time I purchase a book or magazine these days. Just so they know I’m aware of the problem. I have to let them know that I’m getting to the end of “what the market will bear”. If our dollar remains strong, I’m still happy to pay 10% over the US price but more than that is usury and somebody needs to stop making big money on it. I might have to re-think what I really want and stop purchasing so many titles.

So to take advantage of our healthy dollar vs the euro, I decided to order a book from a shop in Germany. Anyway, it seems to be the only place that carries it. This is an Estonian lace knitting book “Pitsilised Koekirjad” by Leili Reimann that has totally amazing patterns which are all graphed, thank goodness because there are no English translations. I got great service from Martina and recommend her online shop if you need anything knitterly that isn’t available in North America. I did freak out when the automated shopping cart added over 16 euros to my bill for postage when the book only cost 15.50 euros! However after emailing Martina she explained that for something like one book, she needed to adjust the postage manually and it would only be 5 euros. Whew! The total comes to just under $30 Canadian which is quite reasonable. Now I await its delivery. We’ll see how long it takes! For a nibble of the very tasty lace in this book, have a peek at Fluffbuff’s blog post. Note that she links to a PDF of the symbol translations which will be very handy. Indispensable actually. And here’s the blog where Mary is posting all the samples her group has knitted to date. OK call me lace obsessed. But they’re so pretty! More when my book arrives.

Meanwhile, I’ve been knitting away on my Icelandic Lace Shawl. It’s coming along but I’m still not sure whether I like the colour order I chose or not. It sparked it up a bit when I put in some of my orange though! It’s kind of dull without it. No photos today because it’s raining and dark. I’m beginning to feel as if the original designer of this shawl just made it up as she went along and then tried to write it down. It just feels kind of patchworked, like “Maybe after I finish this section of reversed stockinette, I should switch to a lace pattern. Now which one fits the number of stitches I have? And maybe I should change colours at the same time. Oops it isn’t quite long enough. Perhaps I should pick up the bottom edge and add some more lace?” Just like that. I’m hoping when I’m done that the original beauty that attracted me to this pattern will still be there in spite of all my messing with yarns and colours. Because I’m not doing it over again! Even though I’m sure I have enough yarn left over to make another shawl from scratch. Yes I got a little carried away with the spinning...

Tomorrow I’m off to help a dear friend jury a Christmas craft show. I’ve done this before but I’ve been promised that the UberJeweler won’t be there participating this time. This is a woman with talent and an incredible ego to match who runs happily in her high heeled shoes over every one else’s opinions. She has already got an automatic entry herself of course. But when she is on the jury it becomes totally her show because she has the only taste that matters. “What do you mean? You actually like that stuff? Ha-ha-ha!” Translation: “You are totally uncool and have no idea what you’re talking about because I know it all. And you don’t.” The strongest will gets blown into tatters by her scorn. The weird thing is that she doesn’t mean to be unkind. At least I don’t think so. It just never enters her head that you might be right and she wrong. She’s a force of nature, like a hurricane. It’s exhausting to be in the same room. Anyway without her there, the hardest part for me is that there is a limited amount of tables available and probably 3 times that number applying for them. Some lovely people have to be rejected. It’s difficult to look them in the eye and hand their items back. It’s like saying that their child is ugly and isn’t allowed to play with others. I’m sure a lot of the craftspeople take it that personally too. It usually has nothing to do with the quality of their work. Just that it wasn’t appropriate or there were already too many similar things. And my huge salary for enduring all this angst? A free lunch. I told you I was doing this for a dear friend, didn’t I?

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