Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 2

So I burned through day 1 of NaNo, and I'm feeling fairly good about that. I have a lot, a LOT of rambly biographical stuff for my MC Clyde, and I've gotten him to the point where he meet-cutes my other MC, Paul, and I have discovered that they have truly excellent banter together. It's going better than I could have hoped.

BUT!!! At this point, after doing 6K yesterday I'm very much slowed today, and I'm trying to get to 1667 but it's taking longer now that I actually have to think about conversation and such.
and it's really starting to bother me that I don't have a title. this is not good. I'm worrying about things coming up, like how to transition from random meeting to working partnership to something like friendship and then insane scientific discovery. Maybe I should plan to get THAT, which is the most important thing, really, in the entire plot, done in the next....I don't know, 3K? I'd hate to have a fifth of the book gone by before the driving action occurs, but....meeeeh...maybe that'll work? Although I plan when this is done to cut most of Clyde's background or at least trim it into something not rambling and crazy anyway, so that'll take it down to a manageable size and then the discovery will be earlier. Okay. That works.

Still need a title though. When this was just an idea for a graphic novel I was calling it "Elite Syncopations" after a Joplin piece, but that really doesn't work well, I think. we'll see.

UPDATE 4:20 pm: I'm distracted by googling 19th century prosthetic limbs, since I want to get a good idea of what Paul's working with and what could potentially be created for him later in the story. And I found THIS THING, which is pretty much the most awesome/horrifying steamy looking piece of metal gorgeousness I have ever seen.  UNF.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Last-Minute NaNo jitters.

So, two and a half hours to go until I can start writing my....gay musical steampunk buddy road adventure supernatural novel, and I'm feeling antsy. I don't feel like I've prepared enough, and at the same time I've made a concerted effort to keep my mind open and allow the characters to take on a life of their own, etc. I have the vaguest idea of an outline, but the idea for this story has been in my head for a couple years, so it's fairly defined. I'm a little worried that because I already know these characters and their situations well, I'm going to run out of story. All the pep talks on the NaNo site, and all the forums I've read talk about just continuing to plug away until inspiration comes back, and at some magical point the story will just start to GO, and go in unexpected directions, and I'm getting neurotic about that and trying to make sure that happens, and oh god I'm a such a perfectionist control freak.

I really don't know if I'm going to make it past...three days. I can barely write 500 words in one sitting, how the heck am I supposed to do 1667 a day?
But! I've got a loose sort of reward system. If I reach my wordcount I can work on one of my knitting projects. And if I do EXTRA well on my wordcount for the day I can watch an episode of Deadwood, since I didn't get a chance to watch the discs I have from netflix before today. And hopefully that will work?
In any case, I don't expect that I'll get much sleep tonight. I will spend my last hours of freedom watching anime. As it should be!

Monday, October 11, 2010

What. WHAT.

I have gone off the deep end. I am going to go completely insane. This is now absolutely certain.

I have signed up for NaNoWriMo. Every year I think about it, like "oh, wouldn't that be crazy/great if I could do that" but every year I talk myself out of it. No more! I am going to try to write 50,000 words of awful unorganized nonsense in a month, and I will do my level best to turn off my inner perfectionist that normally keeps me from writing anything longer than three pages.

....This is going to be really, really difficult. Oh god, WHAT HAVE I DONE?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Drop-Stitch Scarf Pattern

While I'm busting my stash, I decided to try my hand at making-it-up-as-I-go-along knitting and see if I could get a pattern out of it. And lo! something easy, fast, and really pretty, and I've found a great use for this random bargain bin yarn. It alternates large and small drop rows with large and small garter bands to produce a nice drapey, stretchy fabric with just the right amount of sparkle for an evening accessory. :)

Yarn: 1 ball Crystal Palace Yarns "Shimmer" 85% acrylic 14% nylon 90yrds/50gr in Indigo
Needles: US 10 1/2
Gauge: 16 sts/21 rows = 4" in stockinette st, but let's be honest here, it's a scarf. This isn't terribly important.
Finished size: 55" long, 3 1/2" wide

Cast on 14 sts: I prefer long-tail for a stretchy edge

Knit 2 rows in garter stitch
Row 3: *K1, YO, YO*, repeat until last st, K1
Row 4: *K1, drop YO loops*, repeat until last st, K1
Knit 4 rows garter stitch
Row 9: *K1, YO*, repeat until last st, K1
Row 10: *K1, drop YO loop*, repeat until last st, K1

Repeat Rows 1-10 until scarf is desired length, BO loosely. Add fringe if desired.

And I made it in about 3 hours. It probably would have gone faster if my fingers weren't freezing off. XD
Note: I used acrylic needles for this project since the yarn is fairly slippery tape-style, and this helped keep everything in place while dropping stitches.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Kitchen Witchery!

Or, No One Is Hiring Anywhere And I Have Got To Make Use Of These Leftovers To Save Money:

Today, I'm making soup stock. Yesterday Em and I got a delicious dinner at the Vietnamese restaurant down the street (called, of course, Vietnam Restaurant), and because I decided to branch out from my usual meat roll vermicelli and try their duck I was left with a lot of, well, duck bones. And gristle, and skin with tons and tons of delicious duck fat. Also, Em didn't finish her vegetables. So I'm making soup stock today, and it smells HEAVENLY.
Not sure what I'm going to do with it at the moment, though I do have some leftover sauce and thin slices of barbecued pork and a ton of rice, so I'm thinking some sort of....Risotto/pilaf/jambalaya/what-have-you.

ETA: This is freaking delicious. Here's a halfassed recipe so I can remember for next time.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Knit-a-longs are fun!

But I knit way, way too fast. XD I feel a little bad that I've got this honking great shawl already and the rows take forever and some people haven't even started theirs yet. :/ this is the Supernatural summer KAL/CAL/WAL where we fill the lonely weeks until season 6 with knitting, and try and stave off withdrawal by watching some of our favorite episodes. Since I'm new to the fandom and watched all of SPN in about two months, the withdrawal is hitting me hard and I've already broken down and started watching Dark Angel just because Jensen (tiny tiny baby Jensen with bad hair!) is in the second season. woe is me.

However, I kind of want to finish this shawl before next week, since I'll be moving, and the fewer WIPs to worry about, the better.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Why I Have a Staggeringly Low Opinion of Diana Gabaldon

Congrats, Diana, you're the second woman to go on my list of Authors Who Just Plain Suck. You and Stephenie Meyer have something to celebrate! Sisters are doing it for themselves!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Washcloths, or Why I'm Slowly Losing My Mind

So, over the past year I've done a lot of knitting that I never thought I'd do. I thought I'd graduated from the scarf-knitting stage, whining about how boring and repetitive and flat and lifeless they are, only to discover Estonian lace (reminder: I really need to get working on Triinu again), which makes scarves one of the most challenging things I have on my needles at the moment.

I swore up and down that I would never, ever, not in my life become one of those crazy people who knits socks. Because it's silly and pointless to knit something you can buy so cheaply and they're all complicated with the heels and the toes and stuff and sock knitters seem to all be certifiably insane. Cue last week, when I finished my second pair of socks and have a third about halfway done (two at once magic loop, no less!), and I'm haranguing mom and kara to join me on the sock bandwagon. Surely, socks are the most addictive branch of the knitting tree. I don't know why. but they're just magic. The Baudelaire socks, in addition to being fancy and challenging, also remind me of me new favorite children's book series, A Series of Unfortunate Events. There's also a pattern called Snicket Socks, and you know I'll be working on that soon.

And now, NOW, I'm getting really excited about things I used to think were totally boring and ridiculous: WASHCLOTHS. I blame Mason-Dixon Knitting and that totally sweet brick-like color pattern. (hey, who knew slipped stiches could be useful and not a horrible mistake?) I also blame the genius behind the "Exfoliate!!" Dalek washcloth, which I made in one sitting that required me to stay up until about 1 in the morning making crazy little bobbles. I'll have to make a TARDIS one to match. The next washcloths I make are going to be Supernatural-inspired Winchester Washcloths. I used to think that knitting a boring old square with some sort of squashed-looking design on it in boring old knit and purl stitches was...utterly useless, but that was before I knew I could make boring old squares with "bitch" and "jerk" written on them.

The conclusion that ought to be drawn from this blog is that Fandom Will Get Me To Knit Anything. wooohooooo

Monday, March 29, 2010

River Cottage foraging and Kitchen Witchery

Walking to and from work in the spring affords me a lovely opportunity to see plants as they grow and flower and bear fruit, and ever since reading the River Cottage Cookbook I've looked at the assortment of greenery in the tree lawns in my neighborhood and seen not weeds, but food. There's a ton of wild strawberry plants scattered around that are going to be delicious later on, and today's walk home supplied the fixings for lunch. I discovered (hooraaaaaay) that I started my period today, and I grabbed a handful of young dandelion leaves to brew into a tea to relieve the bloating. it's fairly mild but tasty.

There's a TON of chives growing around here, which is awesome, because I pretty much never need to bu chives again. I gathered a goodly bunch and chopped them to put into tuna salad. YUM.

Tonight I want to do something for the full moon, and since it's also Passover I'll do something unleavened. I've been wanting to make hoe cakes for a while. mmmmmm hoe cakes. perhaps with beans and..um...salad. I don't know.

ETA: took a hot bath with rose petals and some crushed aspirin. Cramps are now gone. SCORE.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Learning! It never stops!

Fun Fact: I knit Continental, because it is so fast. I learned to purl continental as well, because I could never figure out how to purl english-style, and also because it is so fast.

My continental purling is also super loose, and makes my stitches look like...well, crap. Exhibit A would be the floppy, giant pieces of that frumpy cardigan.

I now realize that all that trauma could have been avoided had I just taken the time to figure out english purling, because when I do it that way, the stitches are tight and even and look totally professional. d'oh.

In Conclusion: Thank you mom, I learned something new from you! Speed is not always everything, and maybe now pieced garments will no longer be anathema to me.

In actual project news, I've washed and blocked my swatch for the ravelympics mittens, and I hope the gauge turned out right because I definitely don't have any smaller needles. eek

Monday, January 25, 2010


This is the first time I have properly washed and blocked a lace scarf (the Juliet being my first lace scarf), and after leaving it unblocked and soft and cushy for months I finally got up the courage to bite the bullet and do it.

Here is a before pic:

I have learned several things:
1) This silk gets incredibly stinky when wet. Hopefully the smell will dissipate when it dries, good lord.

2) There are never enough pins, not in the entire world.

3) No-one will be able to iron shirts in the morning.

4) Despite not being wool, this pattern still opens up LIKE CRAZY.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

WIP Roundup

Okay. This is just madness. I have a psychological inability to finish knitting projects within a reasonable amount of time. Here's a list:

Raha Scarf: I need to weave the ends in, wash and block, and mail to Emily. This was supposed to be done like a YEAR ago. shame!

St. James Sweater: Technically this is finished, since I sewed a ribbon into the collar (for maximum stability and awesomeness) and wore it on christmas eve. But! I still need to wash it and block it, which I'm totally afraid of since it fits so well as is. ah me. And I need a decent picture of the sweater in action.

Triinu Scarf: I haven't worked on this in a while, mainly due to holiday madness, but it's such a complicated pattern that I need absolute quiet in order to focus. So I don't see this one being finished any time soon. I have about six or seven inches of scarf done. it's gorgeous, and I love doing the lacework and working with that yarn, it's just so intensive. a rainy day project. :)

Socks: no more progress since tuesday, I still have a couple inches of ribbing to go on sock #2. But I brought it in today to work on during my break.

And because I just needed something new in my life, I've started a Ballband Dishcloth, as featured in Mason-Dixon Knitting and a million other places. I love the pattern, it looks way more sophisticated than it is, and the colors just make me alert and excited. Although when I'm madly chugging away at near-midnight, the color combo of deep magenta and seafoam green can get a little too hot, and my eyes are really tired this morning. smaaart.

In addition to all this there's several other finished projects that don't have photos up on ravelry and I feel like a slacker. this will get done! ...Eventually!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Knit Night strikes again!

I am much improved in my knitting-while-talking prowess, or perhaps just while doing things like K2P2 rib, because I finished Sock #1 during tonight's get-together. Hooray! and it fits perfectly! I'm thinking duplicate stitch to reinforce the heel.

Now I have about three inches of ribbing to go on Sock #2 and I will be FINISHED. Omg. I have ventured into the abyss, and it is awesome. But I have a million other things I want to do before I tackle another, more fancier pair of socks. But still. I feel accomplished.

Friday, January 8, 2010


I have ventured into the abyss. Toe-up socks using Wendy Johnson's recipe here, only I'm using a figure-8 cast-on because I have some familiarity with that method from top-down hats, and that provisional cast-on stuff weirds me out a little. I started yesterday mid-afternoon, and so far I've got Sock 1 up to the ankle, and I'm about an inch or so past the toe of Sock 2, and I'll do the ribbing when they're both mostly done to make sure I have enough yarn. I stayed up until about 1:30 trying to figure out the short-row heel, and I finally found a tutorial online that had nice big pictures and used continental method. (woohoo!)

These socks are so comfy. The heel is a little weak, and the next pair of sock I do will be reinforced...but this is my first effort! I feel good about it! And they fit perfectly, and I always love when that happens with my knitting.

photos to come later, once I get them off mom's camera. ^_^

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy New Year!

The Christmas Knitting fizzled out, which was not entirely unexpected, given how much of a ridiculous procrastinator I am, and also because I spent the holidays with a cold (since like Thanksgiving) and haven't felt like knitting, and I'm really only now getting over the congestion to the point where I feel like I can consume dairy products again without horrible consequences. ...Not that that has anything to do with knitting.

the point is: I finished the cowl, which is lovely, but Ronnie's hat came out WAY too huge, even for his giant head, and that took enough time that I couldn't do fingerless gloves for Jenny. meeeh. I'll either keep the cowl for myself or save it for next year, and I think the hat will be frogged and started over at some point. I did manage to make some snazzy and adorable knitted ball ornaments for John and Jenny, since they have a tree but few ornaments, and two cats. Super cute. Those were accomplished while blazing through seasons 1 and 2.0 of Battlestar Galatica with dad. hahaha! (And of course in my haste I forgot to take pictures of the ornaments, so I will have to make more to show on Ravelry. heh)

the main point of this post, however, is that my comrades at work have started an official staff reading contest for the year, and I'll be contributing my reads at UCPL Book Challenge, and probably posting more extensive reviews here. ^_^

Right now I need to finish: The Child Thief, Jenny's book, The Austere Academy, and I started reading A Study in Scarlet but I might hold off on that until I get the nice massive shiny Annotated Sherlock Holmes novels. (yes, I loved the movie and I plan on reading like all the stories, if possible. I am crazy.) I already have volume 2 of the short stories at home, and I picked up a crappy copy from children's dept. that has the first two novels in it, so that'll hold me over for now.
My thoughts so far: This is such a wonderful style, and so easy to read and not horrible like...Dickens. It's going to be fun. Poor crippled Watson.