Monday, November 30, 2009

the happy dance is being done

I never really doubted that I could crank out a 50,000 word novel in a month but there were many times when I felt pretty lost in the middle of it. I pushed my own creative limits choosing subjects that are on the outskirts of my comfort zone - a male main character and a fairy god mother. It was fun getting to know them although there were times when I felt like we were treading water in some fairly boring territory. What's good about the deadline is that you have to push on whether or not you like what you're writing at the moment. It would otherwise be tempting to stop and wait for some bolt of inspiration that might not ever come. What this proves to me yet again, is that mountains can be climbed. Given our lives, completing a novel like this is nearly impossible, but I have the support of a great husband and a little cheering section in the form of two little girls who like to fall asleep on the bed next to me while I write.

My other lesson is this - that sometimes you just don't know where you are going until you get there. You may feel lost and like you are never going to arrive at a destination and then suddenly you are there and all the pieces make sense. That's how I felt at the end of the book. I felt for much of it that I was just wandering aimlessly, trying to force the story in some direction, but it didn't entirely make sense until the end when it all came together.

Now what happens? I hope that I go back and edit this and smooth out the rough parts and turn it into something that might actually amuse and interest someone other than my mother, who is obligated to love anything I write.

My husband and family will be happy to have my attention back and just in time for Christmas. We've started the shopping and I've even started the knitting believe it or not! I have a scarf finished and half a crocodile. I love a deadline as much as the next person, but I'm not going to go over board. I want to finish the croc and make two scarves. If there's time, I'll add in a pair of half mits for my God daughter. I'm hoping that since they're in stores everywhere, she'll consider them fashionable instead of just an oddity.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

amazing pompoms

I found a great quick-arts-and-crafts fix that can not only use up stash, but also make for cute floral arrangements, wreaths or package toppers: pompom flowers.
This one was made from using a tutorial at Blue Bird's Blog. The link will take you to her pompom wreath and off that is the tutorial for making great pompoms. I've tried several methods, including store bought plastic templates and this was the first time I was actually pleased with the result.
These could be almost as much fun as googly eyes.

Monday, November 16, 2009

garter stitch fabulous

My friend Allison found this pattern last year. At first when she described it to me, I got confused and knit the stripes vertically. It came out really cool but with a bus load of ends to weave in. Plus, the stripes took forever. Okay, not really because I did finish that hat - it just seemed like the project was endless.
After that, I got it in my head that I'd like to try the original pattern only in all pinks instead of the multi-colors in the pattern. I had a bunch of pink scraps and it's for a little girl who loves pink. The original pattern is much faster and still way cool. The flowers are crocheted with buttons sewn in the middle.
The only "problem" is thay my girls like it so much that they want one too but I used up most of my pink scraps! I think it's too funny that I might actually go and purchase yarn to make a hat that's so great for using up bits of stash.
The knitting has slowed down around here this month since I've once again taken up the Nanowrimo challenge to write a novel in a month. This one is about a low level ad exec living a completely boring life and the flawed fairy god mother sent to save him. Sometimes what I write makes even me laugh some of it I'm sure is the most boring prose ever. So far, however, I want to see how it turns out badly enough to keep writing.

Saturday, November 07, 2009


Is it possible to get a tight enough hat band using a three and one ribbing - ie knitting three stitches and purling 1? I'm trying to figure out if I
a. have too many stitches
b. need smaller needles or
c. need to give up on the idea of a 3-1 ribbing since it won't ever be tight enough.

I actually undid three hours of knitting because the hat was on track to be too loose. As much as it troubled me to frog, I knew it would bother me every time I wore the hat - if I ever wore it - if I didn't. Besides, the fair aisle I was trying out wasn't showing up as much as I would have liked anyway.

Maybe I should swatch? Now that's just a radical thought!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Angel Made Me Do It

I gave up dressing for Halloween years before had kids. Nothing against it, just too self conscious really. But when the sweet blue eyed wonder turned those sweet blue eyes on me and asked if I would please, please be a devil for her angel, how could I resist?

The problem was that the devil wasn't as popular this year as say Kate Gosselin. Then she got sick and I thought I was off the hook. Then she had a miraculous recovery. I had less than a day and no time to run around in search of a costume. Thankfully, I've been hovering on the blogs of some creative people, who must have sent out some creative fairy dust or something. As I was in the target, it suddenly occurred to me that I had all I needed for a costume right there in the little girl's stocking aisle. Cut off the legs for a tail, sew horns on what's left. I even made half-mits out of what I didn't use for the tail. (They were absconded by a little trick or treater by the time this pic was taken.) Now if I had truly thought ahead, I could have knit my horns, but that would have been asking for just a little too much planning on my part!

The wings and halo are from Jo Ann Fabrics. The dress is a nightgown that almost wasn't. I bought the fabric during an optimistic fit of high hopes. As always, my sense of what can be accomplished in a given period of time is far removed what can actually be accomplished in that given period of time. Adding to the fun, we could only find the sleeve portion of the pattern my mom loaned me. Thankfully, I'm just crazy enough to have tried pattern making so I was able to piece together the rest. According to my little angel, it is "exactly" what she had in mind. As you can see, it's about perfect for chasing Luke Skywalker around the park.

As an aside - I noticed that Target was selling a large selection of half mits. Nothing as good as what we make, of course, but at least they are growing in popularity making that a potentially great (and easy) gift.