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knitting, writing

Published

 

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I’ve had my first pattern published in the Fall/Winter 2014 issue of knit.purl magazine! (Formerly knit.wear.) Super exciting! I found out in March and kept the secret all year, with the idea of dropping a copy of the magazine on the table at my knit night and prancing around the room. The surprise was ruined, however. First when the patterns started showing up in people’s pattern highlights at the beginning of September, and then for good when the Yarnery put the magazine out for sale before the official publication date. I’m trying to pretend I’m not as upset about that as I was, so let’s move along.

The Equation Cowl (60 faves) (13 queues) (not that I’m counting) was first designed with at scrumptious skein of Anzula Cricket I bought on a visit to Michelle in Florida. I wrote up the pattern and then sat on it for two years, too anxious to actually do anything with it. After a few friends test knit it for me, I finally bullied myself into submitting it in January, and they sent me contracts in March! Two hundred fifty bucks and eternal bragging rights. (I bet you know which excites me more.)

angst, Bucket, depression, writing

Eight Weeks Later

Michael says that every time he logs on to check the status of our server, he gets all sad again. I can’t believe it’s been eight weeks. So here is something silly:

IMG_1236Teakettle water tower, spotted in Lindstrom, MN, on a leaf-peeping drive.

~~~

We’re recovering as well as can be expected, and things have been otherwise pretty quiet. We took our annual Autumn pilgrimage to CoMo, saw mom’s new place, and met a couple of delicious babies. Work is still good. I finished several knit projects, including Michael’s behemoth, and met the goals for my Year of the Stash. I’m not feeling terribly interesting tonight, but I did want to move the sadness off the top, and I have a small interesting thing to share in lieu of actual events.

When I was visiting my mom last month, she brought this out for me to take home:

1981

It was kind of neat to look through, though I’d taken several stabs at it throughout my elementary school years, so it’s hard to get any cohesive sense of identity. The main thing that caught my attention – and by caught my attention I mean got me choked up with horror – was a section near the end with a couple of pages headed “I Like to Write Stories.” My handwriting wasn’t up to the task at the time, so I dictated the story and Mom wrote it down for me.

Once upon a time there was 3 kittens and they lost their mittens and their mother said you may not have any pie tonight if you don’t find them then the kids said they fell into the water down deep where the fish live. We will go get them if we can swim down deep with you.

So their mommy said that they could swim down deep where the fish were but be sure to bring some gold fish and your mittens so they went down themselves and the goldfish were shining a little sunlight there mommies and daddies were real worried because they thought they would blind their eyes. They could see very well so they caught the goldfish in their little bag and then they got their mittens. They swam back up and went home.They had some pie and then they went to bed.

When they went to sleep they had a bad dream with alligators and dragons. They had dreams of deep deep deep deep water and they could not swim and they drowned. They could not swim back up. They heard a real scary sounds. They tried to swim back up but it was no use.

When they woke up they started crying. Their mommy and daddy came and said it was just a dream and the kittens said no no there are real dragons and alligators under you. Then they were always scared of their dreams, even happy dreams. Stories made them scared so they scream in their sleep and when they woke up. But screaming hurt everyone’s ears in the house. The end. THE END.

I was four and a half.  What the fuck. I’ve been freaked out about stories and dreams for over thirty goddamned years. I can’t decide what disturbs me more, the idea of my mom calmly writing that down as such fear comes out of her baby’s mouth, or the fact that when she read it last month she thought it was cute.

BRB, gotta go figure out how to time travel and hug my little self.

 

job, knitting, Michael, writing

Job Mojo, Knitting, and a Book

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This is the test-knit sweater-in-progress, piled up all stealthy-like to keep the pattern a secret until Bex has it published.  I’m about an hour from being done with the body, and will start the sleeves tomorrow.

It’s a big sweater, knit in sock weight, and is mostly the only thing I’m working on now.  Okay, I did knit a couple of puffs last week, and there were a couple of days when I blacked out and came to with a new project on the needles, but other than that, it’s been all sweater, all the time.

At least, it has been since Thursday.  Up to that point, I was spending a significant portion of each day working on my NaNoWriMo novel.  I’m thrilled that I finished it, and am kind of tiptoeing around the possibility that it might be the first draft of something good.  I’m giving it a week or two away before I go back and start editing.

Michael’s been great about it.  He was terribly supportive through the whole thing, keeping me supplied with chocolate and ample free time, meeting me in coffeeshops after work, buying pizza for dinner when the word count was slim.  He took me to Trader Joes the day I finished and bought us a bottle of champagne to celebrate.  I cried a few tears of happiness in the car on the way home that night; the only other time I’ve done that was during our wedding ceremony.  He’s now sparing no opportunity to brag about me to anyone he can: “My wife wrote a book!” may have to be inscribed on his tombstone.

He impressed the ladies at knitting tonight by darning a couple of socks like it was no big thing.  One of them was mine, and many exclamations to his awesomeness were offered.  (Of course, a few minutes later everyone was hating him for not knowing the pain of a sunburn, but such are the ups and downs of a social life.)

More important, he has a job interview tomorrow at three.  It’s for a great position in a company that is making a positive difference, it’s good money, work he’s good at and enjoys, right on the bus line – I haven’t seen him this excited in a long time.  I have a good feeling about this, and any mojo you can spare around three o’clock would be extra-appreciated.

autumn, friendship, Michael, writing

Melancholia

photo by Michael

And I think that’s all she wrote for this autumn.  There are only a few days in the foreseeable future that will see us above forty degrees – I ordered a pair of slippers and a couple more pair of tights during a particularly cold evening this past weekend.  I think I’m going to repurpose some of my sweater yarn into leg- and arm-warmers just to be on the safe side.  This apartment gets cold, yo.

I’m worried about the temperature’s effect on my sister – she’s hoping to come visit for Thanksgiving, and someone who thinks 68 degrees is “cold” might go into shock coming up here from Florida in November.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed for plane tickets to stay at the price they are for a few more days, though; I really need some time with people I’m close to.  I’ve met quite a few really great people up here, but nothing is sticking yet.   Michael can only fulfill so much of my ravenous need for people, after all.  (Poor guy, he tries so hard.)

His contract has been extended for another year and he gets a bonus check early next month, so we’re going to drive down to Columbia for New Year’s.  I just want to roll around in my friends and absorb them transdermally.  I would probably need to get them to sign some sort of release for that, though.

I still miss everyone, and more than I was prepared for.  I can’t stop thinking about that entry I wrote about finding my tribe last year.  There’s something so melancholy about recognizing the happiest time of your life and realizing that you left it behind under your own power.

Ah, short days, you are so conducive to gloom.  At least the long nights give me time to write without Sun Guilt.  I’m keeping pace with my word count on NaNoWriMo, though it seems that what I thought would be the prologue of the book is going  to be the book in its entirety – at least I’ll have stuff for a sequel, if I want to keep going after this.  Heh.

I’ve also been doing a lot of Ravelry-related writing.  I roped a new friend into helping me start a Twin Cities Rav group, as there wasn’t one for the cities as a whole, only for a bunch of discrete shops and clubs.  Posting is light so far, but we’re up to 108 members in just under three days, so I’m hopeful it can be as much of a resource here as CoMo Stitch was in Columbia.

I’m going to go make some tea and think about today’s batch of words.

blogging, knitting, writing

Progress and Maintenance

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Afternoon sunshine on my puff yarns distracted me from writing, yesterday.  I had to get a picture before the light changed, then I went back and broke fifteen thousand words on my novel.  This was a bad month for my neck to choose to go out on me, but I’m limping along, making it work.

~~~

One of my anti-spam plugins was slowing down site loading time to a ridiculous degree; even I was sick of waiting twenty seconds for it to load, I can’t imagine how you guys felt.  So we disabled that plugin and enabled a couple of others, and I’ve since been drowning in spam comments.  I know that something from Nica and something from Jen got stuck in the queue for a while; if anyone else has commented and it disappeared, please repost!  I haven’t (intentionally) deleted anything that wasn’t trying to sell me p0rn, V1@gr@, or, for some reason, C0rningw@re.

Poking around at the problem this evening, I discovered that the custom captcha list y’all helped me populate back in 2006 has somehow disappeared, and it had repopulated itself with three- and four-letter words; perhaps making the spambots lives a little easier?  I repopulated the list tonight; if you have any other words you’d like to see on the rotation, just let me know.

In other Reasons Why I Suck news, I’ve fallen terribly behind on comments.  Again.  As soon as I hit “publish” on this entry, I’ll start remedying that.

knitting, winter, writing

Heximadness

I’m not sure how far out of Ravelry The Beekeeper’s Quilt has spread, but it’s certainly part of my life now.

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I keep my little bag with me at all times, holding two sets of circs and a hunk of stuffing.  I have 24 puffs that live in a crystal bowl on display in the living room.  Also on display are glass canisters of miniskeins and scraps that will someday become puffs in their own right.  I traded some yarn for a couple of puffs at Monday knitting.  I’ve made miniskeins of my own, from some frogged projects, and sent out seven packages on Wednesday, sharing thirteen minis with other hexicrazed knitters.

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I don’t have a lot of puffs yet, but I’m not in a hurry.  This is a long-term project.  The Scandinavian Socks are also still in progress, but I’m mad at them, so they don’t get their own picture.  By all rights I should have 1.5 socks finished, but the first one just fits too weird to leave it as it is, so when I finish the second, I’m going to have to frog half of the first.  We aren’t friends right now.

Blackberry Back

Blackberry (Leaves) Cabled Cardigan is proceeding well also.  I was stuck in a black hole for a few days, but broke out this afternoon and should start the shoulder shaping tomorrow.  (That color line isn’t really visible to the naked eye; blame my crappy camera phone.)

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I think I’m officially ready for winter, now.  As ready as I’m going to be.  All of the woolens have had a bath, I have waterproof boots and a few varieties of coat, and we put the down comforter on the bed tonight.  I’m lusting after this duvet cover (damn you, Pinterest), but we’re saving for Kindle Fires for Yule, so I’m not going to spend the money.

Doing a little more pre-work for NaNoWriMo today, I think I wrung from my brain the beginnings of a plot.  It’s not what I thought I’d be working on, and not the most original idea in the world, but I’m excited.  Tea and feathers, wool and sweaters, a return to writing and some fledgling friendships shall see me through this winter.  Is what I’m telling myself.

Apartment, friendship, writing

Doing Things

I spent much of the afternoon reading No Plot? No Problem! and have been inspired to take the plunge into NaNoWriMo.  I always thought I’d write for a living, but sometime in my early twenties, I got scared and left it behind.  Like I said earlier on G+,

The only way I’m going to be able to make it through NaNoWriMo is to give what I write permission to be bad. More than a decade of writer’s block has stemmed, I think, from my need to “get it right the first time,” and it’s time to leave that behind.

Don’t get me wrong, I hope what I write next month is good, and I’ll do what I can to make it so, but for me, quality is not the point of this exercise. I’m going to flush 50,000 words through my brain to clean out the pipes, to prove to myself that I can put those words on paper. A craftsman has to make some crappy furniture before he can turn out a masterpiece.

Then we will see what December may bring.

So, I’m excited.  I’ve started taking notes on the process, and trying to line up some co-writers and cheerleaders.  If you’re at all interested in playing along, let me know, and we can nag each other about our word counts next month.

***

We’ve been completely unpacked and moved in to the apartment for nearly a month now.  The books are organized, art is up on the walls, various objets are d’arting on every available flat surface, but I still haven’t settled the stash.

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When I started packing around this time last year, I crammed most of the things from my studio into the bins meant to hold my stash.  So beyond yarn, those clear boxes are holding books, patterns, notions, tools, office supplies, and probably a wide assortment of things I’ve forgotten about.  I thought I was looking forward to pulling it all out and reveling in the bounty, but for the last two weeks it’s been the main thing on my daily agenda, and it keeps getting put off.  I can think of several explanations for this phenomenon, none of which make me very happy.  So I declare here that I’m fucking doing it tomorrow, my brain can just shut up and let me enjoy something, dammit.

***

Knitting persists, though I hardly have to tell you that.  The Blackberry Cabled Cardigan and the Scandinavian Socks continue their slow selves; to relieve the pressure, I throw in a hexapuff every now and then.

Photo on 2011-09-30 at 22.30 #2

I ordered another Phat Fiber box to supplement the hex-yarn; the bugger took nearly a month to get to me (I’d forgotten to change our PayPal address when we left Missouri and it somehow got forwarded to my mom, who then sent it to our first apartment in the ghetto).  It was lighter on the swag than the two boxes I had before, but supplemented my hex-stash nicely.

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I skeined up some leftovers from my own stash to trade, in order to get a wider variety of yarns, and they’ve been mostly snatched up already.

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I still have a few of “C” left, if you’re looking to swap!

***

Today I heard from a friend I’ve been worrying about a lot.  Things seem to be going better for her, though she is (understandably) not loquacious on the subject.  It’s hard for me to ask for mojo for a friend without identifying them, but if you have any spare, send it to me and I’ll send it to her.