Summer WIP Frogging

Apparently, I’m driven to eliminate languishing WIPs and destash my hoard of yarn. Why, I don’t know but it appears to be happening and I’m being quite cut throat, where before I was quite sentimental about my Works In Progress.

 

My listing:

 

Blodeuwedd The Hat for me
Little Boy Blue Blanket (Loading…45%)
Cosmos Doily Madness: Doily Three (Loading…95%)
Child-bearer’s Cardigan (Frogged)
Boba Fett Amigurumi Doll
Rose Doily #804
Bigger on the Inside Shawl
Gloves for myself
Villimarjatar Shawl (Frogged)
Large Pineapple Doily (Loading…50%)
Monster Slippers for Valerie
Volunteer Scarves
Volunteer Baby Hats (Loading…5%)
Cardigan of the Progenitor (Loading…16%)
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Hobbes – Yay! (Loading…53%)

 

If you’re wondering why I’m making five Hobbes dolls, it is due to the fact of a promissory backlog. I promised four people Hobbes dolls as gifts and figured there was no time like the present when, on hearing that the Pharmacy Delivery Driver’s birthday was upcoming, the Maternal Parental begged me to make him a Hobbes doll in appreciation. She actually pleaded with me to put aside the work I was doing on her cardigan and get working on the Hobbes doll as soon as possible.

 

So, knowing that I had this backlog growing, I figured I’d eliminate them all at once. I’m currently 53% completed with this task. At this point, I can do this pattern in my sleep, which is good because I have been falling asleep at the desk while working.

 

Onto Villimarjatar. I initially tried to make this shawl in a sock yarn. Until I saw an episode of Fruity Knitting where Romi Hill was interviewed, I was fully prepared to knit eight hundred yards into my shawl using said yarn despite being unhappy with the look of my progress. Let’s hope that the new yarn I’ll be using works more effectively.

 

The reclaimed sock yarn will be going into two projects. One cake will go into the Syncopation socks. The other cake will join my first attempt at Doublefun socks. I’ve been looking forward to making the Doublefun pattern for some time now. Some of the remainder may go into my take on the Find Your Fade shawl. We’ll see.

 

Into the destashing, one of my relatives has decided to rekindle her knitting skills and was fully prepared to go up to Joann’s to buy supplies with which to do so. I just couldn’t allow that seeing as I’ve got all this yarn and all these needles that hardly get use. So, I made her up a box that will, hopefully, make her happy.

 

What made me happy was, on seeing the depth and breadth of the box, the Maternal Parental decided that she wanted a batch of yarn as well. I really hope she means it this time. If they both keep at it, I’ll give them the more expensive yarns once I’ve fully divested of the less costly product. More people need to be knitting, crocheting, and weaving. That’s my philosophy.

 

My other philosophy is that, shock and awe, I’m moving away from acrylic. The more I work with wool and other natural fibers, the more I want to. Also, there is the environment to consider. Wool and natural fibers are…natural and biodegradable. As much as I like being the Empress of Economy, acrylic costs the environment in the long run even if it saves me money in the short term. So, in future, if I do buy acrylic yarn, it’ll most likely be a colorful wig project someone commissioned me for. Which is to say…not very likely.

 

About the only other thing on my RADAR is a story idea creeping on the periphery of my conscious thoughts. I dream it just fine but when I wake, the dream is gone from my mind like someone erased it. I’m determined to bang something out on this keyboard over the next few days. So, one way or another, something is getting into my OO.o Writer.

 

Until the next time, have a safe and fantastic journey around the Sun. Take care, my friends. Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

Random Sunday Updates

Hello Everyone. It has been some time since I last posted here. I have been, admittedly, a bit busy, of late. Instead of focusing on Facebook and goofing off online, I’ve been focusing on myself and developing my potential for future application in the meatspace. I’ll just run through a few of the highlights here, shall I?

 

OK Cupid

 

I have finally gone through on the longstanding promise of deleting my OK Cupid account. The site just stopped being fun. When it first started, there were all kinds of bells and whistles to make you want to stay on the site for hours. Now, it’s more and more like the other sites. On top of that, the avalanche of crude messages I received should have been enough to make me leave a lot sooner than a few weeks ago. Had it not been for the deluge of bad messages, I might have connected with a truly wonderful person I exchanged e-mails with in 2010 a lot sooner than recently. It’s a long story, possibly for another time and another post. Suffice it to say, I haven’t been this blissfully happy in quite some time.

 

The Departure of the Protégé

 

My Knitting and Crocheting Protégé is moving out of state in a few weeks. Not like I got a chance to do more than get him fitted out in hooks and a few needle sets. I had plans for so much more but now, if we both have the time, it’ll have to be long distance and via Skype or something.

 

This leaves a vacancy for a Protégé in my life. I’m going to attempt to recruit the Maternal Parental for the role. She’s been showing an interest in the hook set I bought her years ago. Perhaps we could spend quality time together crocheting and knitting? Who knows? It would be a nice thing to have happen.

 

The Fitness

 

Up through to the present day, I’ve been focused on improving my health through diet and exercise. I’ve finally managed to make headway on this front. I’ve lost thirty-two pounds and several inches thus far. I’m now in smaller clothing, which is nice. I even managed to fit a dress I bought in 2011 that I was barely able to fit then. It’s loose on me now. My routine is pretty brutal during the week and much more forgiving during the weekends (to give my body a chance to rest). I’m hoping that I can maintain this level of activity for a while before ramping things up again for the next phase of fitness. A highlight was when I got in over 100,000 steps this past week.

 

The Container Gardens

 

The plants keep growing. After all, they’re living entities. Specifically the Mega Cherry Tomato in the Aerogarden. Since I last posted, some of the tomatoes have ripened and some have been harvested. They’re very tasty too.

 

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In addition to the tomatoes growing amazingly well, I have an inflorescence in my house. One of my Snake plants has decided to put up a flower spike.

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The Comestibles

 

Aside from the above pictured tomatoes, I had something of a treat a few weeks ago. A dear relative gifted half a bushel of the most delectable Maryland Peaches to the Maternal Parental and I. Below is an example Peach.

 

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So, of course, I had to make Peach Pie. It was practically a requirement that I do this in the name of Science, Asgard, and Loki. It may not have won the Great British Baking Show with its looks but it sure was tasty. *grin*

 

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The Culling

 

In recent weeks, I’ve finally done the Mega Culling I’ve threatened to do for a while now. My books, my precious books. Some of them are up for grabs now. Some have already been re-homed. I hope they give many years of enjoyment to their new Humans.

 

A before and after of my bookcase:

 

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More books may be culled. The decision hasn’t been finalized yet.

 

 

The Old School Gaming

 

Ten years ago, I bought a six in one gaming set from Amazon, it includes a set of dominoes, a deck of cards, a Chess/Checkers board with pieces for both games, a Cribbage set, and a Backgammon set.

 

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I had bought this with the intention of spending quality time with people but, sadly, no one wanted to play. It’s all video games now. So, I’m going to teach myself to play these games, find video games for them, and play by myself. Then, when that glistening, shining moment arises where someone asks the $64,000.00 question of “Do you know how to play…” I’ll be able to say, “Yep”.

 

The Crafting

 

Finally, I can update the world, nay, Multiverse on the progress of these damned socks. The Rainstorm II Socks are Finished. Complete. Finito. My proof.

 

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It only took me from 19 February 2015 until 25 September 2016 to get them completed. As I stated previously on Instagram, this is not acceptable. The next pair of socks I start get finished within a month or I don’t get to keep them. Instead, they’ll go to the nearest Mens 9.5/Womens 11/43cm shoe size wearing person I can find. My knitting is fast enough to have finished these socks within a week of starting them, if not sooner. That’s with ample breaks to rest my finger from the brass needlepoint of my circular needles (Magic Loop knitting). Just because I was able to put it down repeatedly didn’t mean that I should have.

 

Anyway, onto the socks themselves. They’re very toasty warm and deliciously soft on my feet. The yarn was a dream to knit with and I’m really looking forward to making more socks in the other colorways of this yarn, which is Stroll Hand Painted from Knit Picks. The pattern is called Misti Sock Family and the pattern designer’s name is Kate Atherley.

 

Once I completed the socks, I decided to work on a crochet project for someone very dear to me. It’s something I’m presently working on actually. Once completed, it’ll be the second Amigurumi Adipose Baby I’ll have made but the first I’ve made in wool. Let me just say that, but for my cheap nature, if I could afford to work in wool all the time, I would. This project has been nothing short of luxurious on my hands. The wool was actually his request, so I thank him for requesting it. This pattern is called the Amigurumi Adipose and the pattern designer is Jennifer Christensen.

 

This is as far as I’ve gotten:

 

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All I have left to do is crocheting, stuffing, and attaching the feet before weaving in the ends. I hope to get this done in an hour or two.

 

NaNoWriMo 2016

 

I will be participating in National Novel Writing Month 2016. I have no idea what I’m going to write as of today. I suppose this makes me a “Pantser” until I come up with an idea? I still haven’t finished the novel from last year. Some day…

 

This year, I’m going to be a lot more basic with my characters, background, and storyline. I want to finish something tangible by the deadline. What I have from last year is okay, it’s just a lot of writing with more writing to come. I need something that’s going to be less War and Peace and more quick and easy read. It is October now. I really need to get myself in gear.

 

Okay, I think that’s it. My stomach is rumbling and I have a workout to get in, so have a fantastic day.

Peppers and Socks and Herbs…

Oh My!

An abundance of Sweet Pickle Organic Pepper seedlings. I relented and put them under the light hood of the Aerogarden of Serendipity as I’d been threatening to do for weeks now. I’ve noticed vast improvement in the short time they’ve been under the lights. This is the third day and they’re already a nice, dark green color and all straightening up.

2016-06-11 21.18.09

 

I’m going to give them a few more inches to grow before I mercilessly cut the very tips from them. Bwhahahahaha. No seriously, it’s a good way to get an abundant harvest of peppers out of a plant. It causes the plant to take on a compact, bushy habit and produce more flowers. More flowers (if they’re pollinated) equals more fruit. At least, I hope it gives me fruit.

 

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My progress on the socks. I’m about one quarter of the way through knitting the feet. Over the past month, I haven’t been able to touch this project owing to so much stress and grief but, lately, I’ve been doing pretty well at it. When I finish this, I’ll make another attempt at the Boba Fett amigurumi figurine before (hopefully) moving back to the Maternal Parental’s crocheted cardigan.

The Project list at present:

  • João’s Hello Kitty Hat (Completed)
  • Blodeuwedd The Hat for me
  • Little Boy Blue Blanket
  • Shimmer Stole
  • Handschuhe Times Two: Bruce’s Gloves
  • Cosmos Doily Madness: Doily Three
  • Rainstorm II Socks (Loading…)
  • Child-bearer’s Cardigan
  • Boba Fett Amigurumi Doll (Loading…Daylight hours)
  • Baby Groot
  • Rose Doily #804
  • Be a Friend/Have a Heart Shawl(Completed)
  • In Love With Color Throw
  • Bigger on the Inside Shawl
  • Gloves for myself
  • A scarf for myself
  • Villimarjatar Shawl
  • Large Pineapple Doily
  • Monster Slippers for Valerie

 

One more picture and then I’m going to go read my book. Right now, I’m reading Darwin’s Origin of Species. Anyway, this is a pre-cutting picture of the Aerogarden of Serendipity taken 30 May 2016.

 

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As you can see, this is a forest of basil. I’ve cut it back but it is only a matter of time before it grows back to wacky proportions.

 

 

I think, in future, I’m going to grow just about anything but the Gourmet Herb garden. I love growing Peppers and Tomatoes, so perhaps I should try those out a bit more?

 

Thanks for reading. Have a fantastic day.

Shining Brightly In The Dark

A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.

–Madeleine L’Engle

 

So, I have the beginnings of a book. It is nowhere near completion and I have more than the 50,000 words required for NaNoWriMo thus far. I validated on the 22nd of November. I’m dedicated to following this one through. This is the longest string of words I’ve put together in my life and it’s coherent. It’s solid. It’s pretty good actually. At least, I think so. As soon as I’m further along, I’ll update the PDF file and pass it along to my friend for his perusal.

 

One of my SOs asked me when it was going to be completed. I admit to being a bit peeved at the rush on the timetable. It’s not like there’s a deadline for me to write this. This book is for my own personal accomplishment in writing. As it stands, I am writing as quickly as I possibly can, as much as I can. For example, my plan is to do 6,500 words today, tomorrow, and Tuesday before giving myself a much needed break on Wednesday. I haven’t been sleeping like I should or doing things I normally would be doing in place of the writing. I’ve never felt this way before. It’s like something has smashed inside of me and opened the floodgates on the innate ability I have to write things. I love it. This feeling is exhilarating.

 

Waiting in the background for this novel to be completed are several projects and another story I need to write a continuation on. I wrote a story in 2006 and finally posted it to Adult-FanFiction and Literotica a little over a month ago with the title Unintentional Advances. The chief complaint about it has been that I didn’t flesh out one of the characters enough and that I didn’t give a less ambiguous ending. My intention with the story was mainly to write from the one character’s perspective, but I concur that more could have been said about the other character, so a revisit is warranted. The ambiguous ending was intended to give the reader a chance to make up their own story (hopefully a nice one) for the two characters but, apparently, everyone wants me to write it out. I’m up to it. I just need to get back into the characters. I laid them to rest in 2006 when I wrote the story and only dusted it off to edit for publishing and give it a title (Thanks, Brandon, for your help with the title).

 

On the project front, I have an unfinished Hobbes head staring at me with its Darice button eyes. It’s for my friend on the occasion of his birthday in less than a month’s time. I also still have socks, a doily, a stole, a blanket, a Boba Fett, and a sweater to make. In addition to this, December is supposed to be the month I start the In Love With Color throw. I also, still, haven’t made my winter gear. So, I’m going to be quite busy over the next few weeks.

 

At some point during all of this, I may do a vlog. A long vlog too. Not a short, update on the Aerogarden or anything but a proper scripted vlog featuring things.

 

For now though, I need tea. Lots and lots of tea. Later.

Consequential Clicking

Who would have thought that clicking the Add Friend button on Social Media could be so difficult? I’ve been semi-compulsively hovering my mouse over that button on my sister’s profile page for the better part of two months now. I haven’t seen her in person since 2003 and I haven’t talked with her since 2004. I’m just hoping that the subterfuge I use to keep my identity secret doesn’t dissuade her from adding me to her friends list.

 

In other clicking, I’m back to the Rainstorm II socks. I’ve set a deadline of this weekend to be at or near completion and, for a change, I’m not laughing about this. I actually think I can achieve this goal with the proper application of hard work. I’m trying to build up a bunch of little achievements so I feel good enough about myself that I might actually successfully complete NaNoWriMo.

 

Onto still more clicking, I’ve been tapping away at the keyboard with a tentative story idea. Now all that remains is to flesh out the backstory, characters, outline and any other fluff and filler that might be required for this story to come to fruition.

 

Still more clicking, bear with me. I’ve been…what does one call “window shopping” when one is not in a brick and mortar environment? Anyway, I’ve been looking at clothing. I’m down to one pair of pants, no thanks to the Maternal Parental bogarting my pants from me. So, I’m going to get her and myself new pants before I put barbed wire and such between her and my new stuff.

 

Funny thing is, I would never have known Amazon had these pants had I not logged into my old K-Mart account. When I first bought these pants, I got them from the latter and had fully intended on going back for more. Since that time, they’ve stopped selling the ones I bought. Lucky for me, Amazon and a host of other merchants now sell them for cheapish prices.

 

In other news, I’ve finally made my friend’s son the bear I promised.

 

This makes the third bear of this pattern I’ve made. I’m resting this pattern for a bit while I go do other things. I’ll come back to it eventually but, for right now, I want to finish up other projects that are long overdue or calling to me like an resounding echo.

 

About the only other thing happening in my life right now is the fact that I’ve lost five pounds. Now, it’s just a matter of keeping it off.

 

Take care, Peoples of the Sun.

How I Lost My Fear of Crafting, Part Three

This is the final installment of the trilogy of how I lost my fear of crafting. Enjoy!

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Slowly but surely, I began to increase my knitting skills. Over time I mastered stitch after stitch, until the challenges were intermediate to advanced. I discovered many different learning media from Knit and Crochet Today (Later called Knit and Crochet Now), to DVDs available in the library and even videos on YouTube that all taught how to knit in easy to follow instructions. I was hooked from that moment on but, by then, a new fire was burning inside of me. I started seeing things on Crocheting and knew I had to learn how to do that as well.

 

Thankfully, I had resources from which to learn by this point. I bought a crochet hook set for myself and checked books out of the library on the subject. I eyed Drew Emborsky’s and Robin Chachula’s techniques like a hawk as I watched, what was then, my favorite knitting and crocheting television program. Yet, try as I might, I just couldn’t seem to pick it up initially. Unlike knitting, I didn’t do it until my fingers bled, but I did try hard. However, something inside me just couldn’t pick up the craft of crocheting.

 

So, thinking a class might help, I signed up for the first crocheting class I saw online at the Woman’s Industrial Exchange. I tried very hard through my nervousness but only managed a mostly through the back loops scrap of crocheted fabric. I needed something more in depth and searched online for another free class. Thankfully, the Baltimore Free School had classes available for learning to crochet. One class schedule in particular offered a month’s worth of classes and I jumped at the opportunity.

 

On 10 October 2009, I walked through the dark streets of Baltimore to the Free School’s class site. It was a pleasant night and a not so bad neighborhood but I was still cautious of my surroundings because of my history. I made it to the class site in one piece and was welcomed by a large class of men and women who were all interested in learning the art of crocheting. The teacher was a nice woman named Lissah Dee and she was instrumental in my learning to crochet finally. Through watching her and studying her stitch key, I was finally able to pick up the correct method of crocheting.

 

I immediately went home with this skill and practiced until I got the hang of it. By this point, I had a marginal yarn stash, so I took out some royal blue yarn and, eventually, made a soap cozy/scrubbing thing. This was my first completed crocheted project and I was very proud. I sent an e-mail to Lissah Dee and told her what I had done and she was very encouraging. Regretfully, I didn’t go to any of the other classes due to Bipolar downswing, but I credit this class with teaching me to crochet.

 

After I did this first project, I went back to watching Knit and Crochet Today and watched Drew Emborsky making the Blushing Grannies Afghan. I wanted to make a blanket and it seemed a good place to start to learn flat crocheting of motifs. At first, I really messed up but, after the third try, I finally got it right. Ultimately, I didn’t make that particular project but it did set me onto the path of making Five By Five – Crazy First Blanket and other motif containing projects. Over time, my allegiance switched from Knit and Crochet Now to Knitting Daily circa Series 100 – 1100 due to my appetite for knitting and crocheting needing more of a challenge.

 

As of today, I am successfully able to knit and crochet with minimal issues. I have even learned, via YouTube, to read patterns and charts.

 

The End. Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

I Finished It!!!!! Finally…

You’ll just have to take my word for it that I’ve completed Kathleen’s Coffee Table Topper. I was so tired at the end of all that single crocheting that I printed postage without thinking to take a picture of the finished doily. Hopefully, when it all gets to its forever home, my friend will take a picture which I will then share with you.

 

I am so tired right now. I crocheted the entire night to get the doily finished in time for my deadline of the 17th. Now that I’ve got this completed, I can move on to another in the long list of projects I’m doing. My finger and thumb are too tired from crocheting with that 1.65mm hook right now, so I think I’ll knit for a while or until my hands get tired from that. I’ve got quite a backlog of things to make too. Bruce’s Gloves (remember those?) are sitting here on my desk, crying. So are my socks. The wedding/anniversary gift doilies will be my very next crocheted project.

 

First, though, I’m going to get some sleep. Later, Earthlings! Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow