I write stuff. Sometimes. Not very often. Also: knitting and bunnies and books. Random tangents are likely.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

WIP Wednesday - Shaelyn

I decided to put a little time into one of the larger projects in my WIP basket: Shaelyn.

The shawl is beautiful and the yarn is divine, and I really want to have this shawl. But I don't seem to be all that keen on actually knitting it. After three 22 row repeats, I realized I couldn't complete a repeat in one sitting, so it got shoved to the side in favor of instant gratification. Earlier this week I added the fourth repeat. I timed it: four and a half hours. And there are at least three more repeats to go...sigh..

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Stress Relief via Craftiness

Stab repeatedly with a very sharp needle until you have something cute...
otherwise known as needle felting.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Have I mentioned that I hate to seam?

No? Well, then. I've been remiss. Let me take a moment to say it now: I hate to seam.

Good grief - look at all the seams! 
Damn you, seams. Damn you...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

221b Baker Street, London

Look what I got in the mail today all the way from 221b Baker Street, London!

A friend who lives in London Town popped by the museum and sent me an official Sherlock badge and calling card. Now I can call him up when I'm in need of a consulting detective. ;)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

WIP Wednesday - Ornaments

My dream is to have a Christmas Tree full of handmade ornaments. I also have dreams of closets full of scarves and hats and shawls and fingerless gloves for every day of the year. Baby steps.

Last week I made a Yarn Wrapped Wreath as a sample for the Raleigh Knitting Group's Holiday Party craft:

I also made a Button Wreath. I used buttons I had on hand, so it's kind of sad looking:

I have a few more ornaments on the to-do list this year. I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

WIP Wednesday - Ninja Bun!

Ninja Bun was languishing in the WIP Basket and I decided he had to be finished this week. I need him for super secret missions, like keeping an eye out for Santa.

He has a weird parallelogram face. I don't know what's up with that. If I make more ninjas, I'll do some doctoring. I didn't have the patience for fiddling today so I just followed the instructions.

Also, frogged the Fetching. I'm pretty okay with it now since I wasn't crazy about how the cuff was rolling. Just need to find another pattern for that super soft Plymouth Yarn Suri Merino, which I've just found out has been discontinued - gasp! Why do they keep discontinuing yarns that I like? Why?

So, that's two things off the Stuff I Need to Get Done list. As a bonus, here's Goose scoping out Ninja Bun:

Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday Bunday - Motivation Fail

There's been some talk in my circle of friends lately about bunny obstacle courses. I've seen videos of these feats of legendary lagomorph prowess over my years as a bunny slave, most from areas outside the US. More recently, some fluffy obstacle course masters were featured on the Amazing Race, which I don't usually watch but had to tune in just to see the bunnies.

Here is my lame attempt at getting Goose to jump over something, which happens to be a knitting needle because those are the types of sticks I have. Clearly I need to brush up on my powers of persuasion.

(And, yes, I do have a 4x4 foot playpen in the middle of my living room because that is where Goose likes for it to be, and he throws a fit if I move it. Though he has free range of the apartment when I'm home, it's "his room" and sometimes he just likes to hang out in there.)

(And... When I told Goose he was a very smart bun, I may have been fudging the truth a bit. He's not the sharpest carrot in the garden, but he's super cute at being dumb.)

~ Meg

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

WIP Wednesday - The Basket

I'm taking a page out of my friend Tiffany's book and starting some regular weekly blog posts, the first being WIP Wednesday. I don't have anything majorly exciting on the needles at the moment, except the Christmas present that I can't talk about yet even though I'm pretty sure my sister doesn't read my blog, but that doesn't mean I don't have all kinds of WIP craziness.

My stepmom gave me this huge basket for Christmas a couple years ago. It's become the metaphorical cave for all my hibernating WIPs. And it's stuffed to the brim.

As a much needed reality check, for my first WIP Wednesday, I'm going to list everything in that basket. As a bonus, it also becomes the Stuff I Need to Get Done list. (I would add "Before I Start Any New Projects" to that title, but, really, who am I kidding?)

WIP aka Stuff I Need to Get Done:
  • Daddy & Me Field Cap - For my nephew, Kurt, but going to be frogged since I made him something else.
  • Asymmetric Cardi - Knit-along with Tiffany and Deb. Back piece, which is the biggest piece, is nearly finished but I haven't touched it in a couple months.
  • KidLin Shawl - This isn't coming out like I thought it would. I may just finish it, and either frog it or keep it depending on how much I like the finished shawl.
  • Throw Rug - Started this because I figured the best way to make my stash look smaller was to knit up all my bulky yarn. Still really love this rug, so this will get finished.
  • Newfoundland Mittens - I like these mittens, but I may frog them and use the yarn for something else. I got about six more balls of this yarn from my friend Melanie recently, so I'm thinking bigger.
  • Shaelyn - I love this shawl so much, but I got to the point where I couldn't complete a repeat in one sitting so I abandoned it in favor of instant gratification. This will be finished.
  • Loopy Lace Scarf - This is only a couple inches in. It's meant to be for my grandma, so I should probably finish it, though I kind of think she'd like a baby doll instead.
  • Ninja Bun - He's so close to being finished! I just need to suck it up and do it.
  • Clementine Shawlette - This was part of that 11 shawls in 2011 delusion I had earlier this year. Going to finish at least this one, but it so won't be before the end of the year.
  • Best Bunny - All I have left to do are the arms and legs and seam everything together. That's actually kind of a tall order. Seaming is the worst.
  • Fetching - Ran out of yarn with only a few rows left, so these just need to be frogged. :(
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Scarf - I really like this scarf so still want to do it, but given that I started it in February 2008 and haven't touched it since, I'm going to have to rip it back and start over.
  • Brr Baby Beanies - Making two of these for my nephews as birthday gifts. Almost done. I feel really bad about how late they are. :<
  • Magic Loop Two-at-a-Time Socks - Knit-along with my knitting group. Grr. But dammit, I will finish them.
  • Purple Flames Scarf - Based on a stitch pattern in the Vogue Stitchionary. I've only done a few inches, but I still like it after a year or so so I think I'll finish it.
  • Dustifur - Dust Bunny snuggly that I'm just making up as I go along. He needs ears and a tail.
And that is my WIP list. I may have a few other WIPs floating around that haven't made it into the basket. Since I don't have proper links, here are a couple pics of the purple scarf and an earless Dustifur:

And speaking of Tiffany, she supplied the basil Goose is munching in this video:

Peace, Knitting & Bunnies,
~ Meg

Friday, November 25, 2011

'Tis the Season - Holiday Movie List

'Tis the season for curling up on the couch with a blanket and hot cocoa! Add knitting for bonus points.

My must-watch list of Christmas movies:
1. Miracle on 34th Street
2. Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas
3. The Muppet Christmas Carol
4. Scrooged
5. Elf
6. Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas
7. Polar Express
8. Santa Claus: The Movie
9. It's A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie

Movies that are not "Christmas" movies but I always watch them at Christmas anyway:

10. Pride & Prejudice (BBC)
11. Sleepless in Seattle
12. When Harry Met Sally
13. Bridget Jones' Diary
14. You've Got Mail
15. Love Actually
16. Serendipity
17. Untamed Heart
18. Harry Potter Movie Marathon!

And, you can't forget to catch A Charlie Brown Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, and A Garfield Christmas!

As you can see, my December is largely spent wallowing in manufactured emotion. What's on your holiday must-watch list?

~ Meg

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Story...

...published. I haven't mentioned this before but I had a wee story published in an online literary magazine. It's a 100 word story, because that's their gimmick. Fair warning, the story starts a little something like this: "Kitty. Kitty Cat. Cat. Meow!" So... yeah. Don't go into it expecting much. ;)

Anywho, if you're so inclined, you can read it here.

Speaking of writing, I'm pitifully behind on NaNoWriMo. Current word count is 8,811 with eight days left. But, because I apparently can't sleep when normal people sleep, I'm attempting to reset my whacked internal clock by staying up all night and all day so I can go to bed at a normal time like normal people. That gives me about five middle-of-the-night hours to write deliriously on my "novel" given that I'm not really coherent enough to do anything else. Here's hoping my word count grows by leaps and bounds in the next 24 hours.

More than anything, I really just want to finish and "win" so I can get the 50% off coupon for Scrivener, because it's awesome.

~ Meg

On the Needles:
Just finished the Cover Cowl from Knit Simple Holiday 2011. Knit very quickly and happily out of Moda Dea Tweedle Dee, which is sadly discontinued. Opted to forgo the buttons in favor of pretties to hold it closed. The only pretty I have at the moment is an owl clasp my sister made for me. Note to self: must find more pretties.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Little Something Special

Looking for something unique for the special guy on your holiday shopping list? Look no further! (View at your own risk. You have been warned.)

As far as my holiday shopping goes, the fam has decided to do the drawing names thing since cash is tight these days for everyone. This year I have my sister Becky and a $50 limit. I've collected a few little things, and I am knitting something, but can't say what for sneakiness purposes.

~ Meg

NaNoWriMo Word Count: 4014

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Balcony Files - EP11022011

I wander out on my balcony at odd times in the wee hours of the night when I can't sleep, and sometimes I see things. Last night, maybe around 3am (I don't usually check the time, and instead wander around like a sleepy little zombie owl), I was standing out on my balcony and saw something...really strange.

Are you ready for it?


I thought I might have seen something sort of like a...ghost.

Now, I'm not entirely sure I believe in ghosts, and why one was wandering outside my apartment complex, I have no idea, but hear me out. Here is the view from my balcony:

See that area I boxed in red? There's a street light nearby that highlights the whole area and it's clear through to the street. It's fuzzier in the picture than if you were looking at it in person. Anyway, I was just standing there looking in that direction, when I saw a semi-transparent shadow move from the tree that's kind of alone there in the middle and drift toward the trees on the right. It was raised off the ground, and I could still see the street through it, but it was definitely some kind of darkish smear. If I had to guess, it was maybe about two feet in length but positioned at around chest height if I was standing down there with it.

After I freaked out a little bit and found my cool again, I tried standing in different places, and squinting my eyes, and all sorts of things to see if I could recreate it. But I couldn't. So it remains a mystery.

Went back to bed, only to get up about an hour later since then I couldn't sleep because I kept thinking about the ghost that lives in the Charlie Brown trees outside my building, and wondering if it would just drift inside if I opened the door. This time, no repeats of ghostly apparitions, but I did see a deer wandering in that same place. He was just walking along the roadside all alone. I've seen bunnies, the occasional fox or two, and a possum walking along the top of the tennis court fence, but that's the first time I've seen a deer. I suppose hunting season drives them out, which makes me sad. Be careful driving and keep an eye out for them, won't you?

So...anybody have any explanations to offer up for the possible ghostly thing that lives a handful of feet from my apartment? 'Cause any logical explanation would be welcome.

~ Meg

On the Needles:
One Row Lace Scarf knitted with Rozetti Polaris in the Leonids colorway. Quick, mindless knit that looks much more complicated than it is. Really digging the sparkles.

NaNoWriMo Word Count: 3397

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My favorite mug is broken.

In true you-never-really-grow-out-of-being-a-clutz fashion, I cracked my favorite mug today. For the second time. The first time, it was just a hairline crack, and so I kept using it because it was my favorite. This time, pieces have chipped off, and in true you-never-really-grow-out-of-being-a-hyponchondriac fashion, part of my brain has concocted all sorts of disasters that could befall hapless coffee drinkers from ingesting miniscule coffee mug chips, and is not allowing me to use it any longer.

The Sad Truth
 (Irrelevant yet absolutely essential tangent: I prefer the book to the musical. Unpopular opinion, I know, but there you have it.)

So, today's goal: find a new favorite coffee mug. It turns out I don't have many to choose from, which is probably why I have a few on my Christmas wishlist this year (here, here, and a NaNoWriMo mug, which no longer seems to be available - oh no!). I ultimately decided on this one:

I bought it for a buck at Michaels. But...it is rather fitting since I am embarking on my first ever National Novel Writing Month adventure! NaNoWriMo started at 12:01am today, and I managed to pound out 1700 words before going to bed last night. Only 29 days and 48,300 words to go!

I'll try to remember to let you know how it's going. My blog and I aren't often on the same page, but I'll keep trying to open the lines of communication.

~ Meg

P.S. For those of you exceedingly lazy coffee drinkers out there who can't be bothered with filling up a pot with water, and then putting in a filter, and then putting in the coffee grinds, and then pressing the on button, and then waiting for it to turn it into coffee, and then putting it all in mug, and then having to undo all that work you just did, I had an amazing discovery. That coffee-like substance in my new favorite (at least for November) mug, is Cafe Bustelo Instant Expresso, and it pretty much tastes better than anything I've ever brewed. If you add Peppermint Mocha creamer, it's as near to perfection as I have the motivation to obtain.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Resolutions? What Resolutions?

I am so, so bad. Ridiculously bad. It's August - does that freak anybody else out? - and I haven't completed a single resolution. And, on top of that, the whole stash busting thing? Let me just say in my defense that I'm pretty sure it hasn't grown any larger.

So...tonight I went through one bin of yarn and entered it all into a spreadsheet. You caught that, right? One bin. My current tally: 149 balls of yarn. I have another smaller bin, 2 large bags, a chair, a huge round basket, and two large boxes of cotton left to go through.

And I've given away yarn just to get it out of my apartment. Two balls, just today. When my awesome knitting group had a yarn swap back in January, I got rid of a whole trash bag full of yarn.

Anyway, we're planning to have another yarn swap soon, so I've started another swap bag. But it's so hard to let go. There are so many possibilities for each and every ball. What if I need that one particular ball one day? I'm really trying to be good because it's out of control. I've made a point of entering planned/possible patterns for each ball of yarn in my spreadsheet, so if I really have nothing to make with it, I should just get rid of it. It's going to take some time to come to grips with it all.

More exciting news...

I designed and knit my very own lace shawl!

Now I just need to knit it in a couple different weights because I really think the cobweb is too light, and write it up.

Also, though I haven't completed one yet doesn't mean I'm forgetting about those resolutions. When my friends Deb & Tiffany & I went out yarn shopping this weekend (bad, I know, but I only bought one ball) we decided that we're going to do a sweater knit-along:

It's the Asymetric Cardi from Knit Simple Fall 2010. Super excited for that. And it's stash busting because I have 10 balls of Lion Brand Wool-ease sitting in my stash.

Signing off for now. Final yarn tally to come.

Peace out,
~ Meg

Friday, April 22, 2011

11 Shawls in 2011

Because I like to make my life nearly impossible, I decided today that on top of my other knitting resolutions I'm also going to attempt the 11 shawls in 2011, which technically falls under stash busting, so it's all good. And, I made a list of patterns to complete with the yarn I'm going to use:

1. Chinook Scarf in Cestari DK Wool
2. Clementine Shawl in NaturallyCaron.com Spa
3. Peacock Shawlette in Knit Picks Shadow Lace
4. Albino Peacock Shawlette in Knit Picks Shimmer Lace
5. Stolen Moments in Cascade Ecological Wool
6. Snowflake in Cascade Ecological Wool
7. Summer Flies in Malabrigo Lace
8. Mezquita in Malabrigo Lace
9. Shaelyn in Alpaca DK (bought at the 2010 NC Fiber Fest)
10. Laminaria in Alpaca Sox (got 900 yard at knitting group yarn swap)
11. Montego Bay Scarf in Cherry Tree Hill Sock

The Peacock Shawlette is a test knit for the Albino Peacock Shawlette, which is for my sister's wedding. I'm combining several patterns to come up with what she wants, so I'm not entirely sure how that's all going to turn out.

So that's the plan. If only I was this organized in my non-knitting life.

I've started the Chinook, Clementine, and the Stolen Moments shawl; hoping to finish the Chinook by the end of the month so I can be entered in the April prize drawings. I'm getting a late start, but those monthly drawings are definitely incentive to keep up with it.

Here's the progress on the Chinook. I'm a little farther along now, about halfway done.

And I also finished up this little purple shawl, though it still needs to be blocked. It's actually not enough yardage to qualify for the 11 shawls in 2011, but it's still pretty. :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Channeling Calvin

We got about a foot of snow in VA over Christmas.
This was the result.
I call it: Attack of the Snow Bunnies!
Take heed, all you snowpeople out there, if you value your noses.
Some of my favorite Calvin & Hobbes strips - the mega-awesome snowmen.
Like this one.

Seriously, how cool is that?
Observe and appreciate all of Calvin's Snow Art.
Your life will be lacking and I will be sad for you until you do.
Goose prefers to enjoy the snow from inside a warm cozy house, on a warm cozy bed.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Happy 64th Birthday, David Bowie!

Love you till Tuesday! (Just kidding, David! I'll love you forever. Forever's not long at all.)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Knitting Resolutions 2011!

As promised, knitting resolutions for 2011:

1. Knit a pair of 2-at-a-time Toe-up Magic Loop me-sized socks

2. Some kind of Fair Isle project (Haven't decided if it will be a hat or fingerless gloves, though I think the hat may be easier for a first project. I could be wrong.)

3. Pound of Caring Challenge (First project on this list is a crocheted star afghan for Project Linus to use up some of the Bernat Softee Baby in my stash. Speaking of stash...)

4. Stash Busting! (There are rules - see below.)

5. Knit a wearable. (I'm hesitant on this one and am going to save it for last, possibly bumping it to 2012 if I can get away with it. I'm thinking either a vest or a shrug.)

Rules for Stash Busting

1. Pom-pom yarn doesn't count. (It's an addiction and never gets added to my stash as it's usually knitted with 24 hours.)

2. Allowed to buy yarn to make my sister's wedding shawl.

3. Allowed to use any gift certificates given to me. (Wouldn't want them to expire or get lost or anything of that sort, now would we?)

4. All gifts and personal items must be knit from stash.

5. All charity and craft fair items (charity also) must be knit from stash if at all possible. If a special yarn needs to be purchased for a special project (i.e. pumpkin hats for Duke Hospital, etc.), it must be knit immediately and not added to stash.

6. Yarn Swaps - must leave with new yarn in a quantity less than or equal to that brought to the swap.

So, that's the plan for 2011. Wish me luck!

Currently crafting: Scarf for the Special Olympics
Currently reading: An American Childhood by Annie Dillard

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Resolutions 2011!

It's that time of year again. Given that I'm a very flawed and imperfect individual, my list of resolutions is long and weighty...

1. Get organized.
2. Be more disciplined.
3. Be more active and eat more healthfully.
4. Write everyday.
5. Write an original short story or essay about...something.
6. Participate in NaNoWriMo.
7. Stash bust!
8. Knit a pair of socks.
9. Read 30 books and write reviews on each of them.
10. Post to my blog at least once a week.

Pay particular attention to that last one, as I consistently seem to fail there. As for the others, not too shabby for day 2. I wrote a 100 word story yesterday and another today, and have done a blog post (that would be this one). And I went through the stacks of mail on the table by my door and threw out all the junk mail (so much prettier over in that corner now), and am making my to-do list for tomorrow before I go to bed tonight.

As for the knitting resolutions...the socks may have to wait until later this year, but the stash busting has begun! I just finished crocheting a scarf out of some ribbon yarn that's been in my stash for years, and am going to knit the second ball up into a drop stitch scarf, I think. I may add a couple more specific knitting resolutions in a few days. We have a resolutions knitting night coming up on Wednesday, so I have to figure out the specifics by then.

Need to get on the exercise and eating more healthfully thing. On the to-do list for tomorrow: am yoga. And I have a bit of time to prepare for the NaNoWriMo, since it isn't until November. That's nine months to create some character sketches and find some kind of plot. Hmmm...thoughts to think.

So, there you have it. I'll let you know how it goes.