Archive for October, 2011

Happy Halloween!

So, today is All Hallow’s Eve, when we dress up in costumes and enjoy going out to ask for candy. I worked hard all month on making my costume. A few people have confused me with a kitty, but that’s the chance you take when you go the unconventional route of being a silver fox.

A Siberian - or Silver FoxI love foxes!

These guys purr!

I looked at pictures online and… I actually did a fairly decent job in emulating their appearance. I’ve got a gray shirt and a gray hat with black ears. I’ve got a gray tail… although, now I see I could have used my black one after all. I’ll have to remember that next time. It frees me up to make my crocheted tail into a plushie. I also have black pants and shoes and black mitts, for their black legs. My sister was kind enough to give me a black nose.

So, my friends, did you dress up for Halloween? Did you go the traditional route of a princess or a pirate or a vampire? Did you have fun and come up with something of your own creation?

I’ma make a Mini Snape

I wrote up a pattern for a little doll. I’m really pleased with how it came out. It worked up fairly quickly, once I actually sat down and worked on it. It was eight inches tall with the sport weight yarn I used. Using worsted weight would have made it taller. I mean to do that when I make my ugly doll.

The question was… what do I do with the blank little doll body I now have? Well, the simple answer is to make a doll out of it. I’ve decided, in honor of joining a Hogwarts group on Ravelry, to make a little Snape doll from it. I’ll make a very, very simple robe from my black yarn. I found a tutorial a while ago on how to make doll hair, so I’ll used that for him. I’ll embroider a face (black eyes, black brows, red lips). Then, as a finishing touch, I’ll practice my color work by making a Slytherin scarf for him to wear. Severus Snape was always my favorite Hogwarts character.

What?! Snow?!

For the second time this week, the weather forecasters are predicting a snow storm to hit our area. I’m dearly – dearly – hoping it will be like the one on Thursday was. They predicted about an inch of slushy wet snow. We got that – but the roads were clear the entire time. God willing, we’ll have the lower end of their prediction of 1-3 inches during the day. I can handle there only being an inch when we reach 3:00 this afternoon. I won’t be scared or upset if there’s only a couple inches as we leave at 6:00 this evening. That would be doable and not scary. The road crews will be able to keep up with that and we’ll have clear sailing.

Overnight, we’ll have to put our cars onto the even side of the street. It’s mildly annoying, but I can understand it. It helps the crews get around to clean everything. If we get home at 7:00 and the roads are just starting to be covered… I can live with that.

Oh, look! A cover!

After searching through image sites and trolling through the NaNo boards – after nearly asking three different people to create covers for me and deciding against it… I finally have a cover for my upcoming NaNo. I’m not sure if I’ll keep it or redo it later in the month. However, I have it.

NaNo 2011 Cover ImageMy Novel Cover, at least at the moment.

It’s the little things

Insomnia is a perennial problem for me. Anytime I’m stressed about anything, I have trouble sleeping. Usually, it’s a matter of staying asleep. Falling asleep isn’t difficult. However, once I wake up, my mind goes to the thing that’s worrying me and I can’t go back to sleep.

That’s what happened this morning at 2:30. I woke up and my mind immediately turned to my October Mystery Cloth. I laid there in bed and thought, “The bottom border isn’t there. I didn’t put it on… I missed those rows. I can’t give it as a gift looking like it does. I’ll just keep it.”

The problem was… I didn’t want to keep it. I wanted to give it as a gift. That’s part of the reason I made it. So then, I started thinking about how I might be able to fix it. I remembered that I’d used the crochet cast-on for it. That meant, I could undo it and pick up the stitches and get those “first” six rows on.

I sighed and figured that was the solution. I would be able to sleep. No dice… then, I worried if I’d actually be able to do it. Could I get it done in time? I gave up and turned on the light by my bed. I gathered the cloth and my needles and pulled out my cast on row. I picked up the stitches and put the first row on. Now, I could sleep!

I looked at the clock… 3:30 am. We had to get up in an hour anyway. At that point… I just did the last five rows. I bound off while I drank my coffee. Now, I will have a full day of work, then dinner, then Crochet and Knitting at the church, then my parents are coming over so I can help them with something on my computer… I’m going to be a tired puppy when I go to bed tonight. Tired… but happy! My cloth is done and it looks beautiful. I just wish I hadn’t lost those two hours of sleep!

Is it still fantasy?

With NaNoWriMo coming up fast, there are people trying to figure out what genre they are. It’s one of those things that happens every year. It’s one of the reasons the Fantasy subforum there has a thread called, “Is My Story Fantasy?”

One topic that comes up every year is the subject of magic. People always wonder if they need to have magic in their story in order to be writing fantasy. The short answer is no. It’s one aspect of many fantasy novels, but it’s not a requirement of the genre.

This year, though, there seem to be many of these threads cropping up. Do I need romance? (No!) Do I need war? (No!) Do I need… “dragons, elves, magic, mythical creatures, etc.”? Well… Jeez! It depends what’s hiding under that “et cetera”.

The only requirement of fantasy as a genre is some element of the “unreal”. Whether that element is a dragon terrorizing your village or a wizard hurling fireballs or a gryphon making its nest on the main character’s barn or faeries trooping down the block or talking cats or singing, dancing toasters… if it’s not something we encounter in the real world, you are writing fantasy.

Ultimately, though, the main goal is to write a novel – whatever the genre. There’s no law that says that you can’t go into a subforum unless you’re writing that genre. Go where you want. Write what you want. Leave it to your eventual publisher (or agent) to decide what genre you fit into.

A fox or a cat?

I recently finished putting together my crocheted fox hat. I was really proud of it and pleased with how it came out. I’ve worn it all over the place. However, people keep seeing it and thinking it’s a cat hat.

Now, yeah… cats are more popular than foxes and I didn’t go with the normal “red body, black ears” of your typical fox – opting for more of a silver fox coloring. However, cats don’t typically have dark ears with white fluffy fur in them. All the cats I know of have matching hair inside and outside of their ears.

Someone suggested that I fold the ears a bit – make them less open – so they would greater resemble fox ears. That might work. I really had trouble placing the ears, though… I don’t really want to take them off and try to get them back on again a third time. I guess I’ll play it by… well, ear. If I have enough time to mess with the ears before Halloween, I’ll do so. Otherwise, they’ll remain as they are.

Oh, hey! It’s almost done!

I suppose it makes sense, seeing as it’s nearing the end of the month. However, it came as a surprise to me when I realized just how close I am to finishing the scarf I’m making for Heidi. I have four more rounds and then the bind off round. I’m really pleased with how the scarf looks and I’m sure Heidi will love it. Kim asked me if I planned to make another and my response was, “Ah haha! NO!” It was a learning experience for me and I love the results. However, I am planning to move on to other patterns. I might do another infinity scarf, just not this one. I may change my mind later, though. Who knows?

I’m also making amazing progress on my mystery cloth. I’m about sixteen rows from the end. If I can finish the scarf tonight, I can begin bringing the cloth with me to work and finish it up by the weekend without any problems. Then, I’ll put orange or black ribbon around the two Halloween cloths and tuck them in a Halloween bag and give them to my secret pal as a Halloween present.

My mitts… well, I’m not too worried about finishing them by Monday. I’m going to be alone for a good portion of Saturday with nothing to do. I’ll finish my mitts then – maybe my doll too. Who knows?

Korknisser for everyone!

So, I have been trying to figure out what I can make for everyone for Christmas. My sister is planning on making everyone simple crochet bracelets. Well… everyone except for me. She already gave me one (so I could wear it to the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival). I’m sure there will be other gifts for our parents and each other. However, she’s going to make one for our aunts and for Mom.

I found a very cute pattern for little elves made from corks. It was, originally, written in… I think Norwegian. Google translate says the name means “cork goblins”, but I think of them more like elves or gnomes. I’d knit their hats and “sweaters”.

It looks like a simple enough pattern. I’ve also got so many corks (between Mom, my aunt and the folks at my church), that I could have an army of them. My hope is that they will work up so quickly that I can use up the corks and get the army of cork elves dispersed at Christmas time.

Festival of Praise

For the last few weeks, we’ve been preparing for a special event that’s going to be held at my church. This is the fourth year that our… I think it’s just the district… has celebrated the Festival of Praise. However, it’s the first year that I’ll be participating. Basically, choirs from all over the area are going to perform. Each choir has prepared one or two pieces. Then, all the choirs will join together to sing a few pieces as a group.

A good part of me excited by the idea. I haven’t participated in something like this since the Junior Choir Festivals I was in as a child. They were always fun and exciting. Another part of me is very disappointed. The festival is set for the first Saturday of November. That’s the first weekend, when we all meet-up for our first write-in and… I’ll be missing it.

We should be done by 5:30, so says the director. Hopefully, there will be some meet-up that’s close to home that I can attend. I’ll definitely need some sort of write-in. We’ll be gathering to rehearse at 1 PM and… well, we won’t get done until 5:30. That’s a good portion of the afternoon, right there. On the plus side, it won’t be far away. My church is within walking distance of my home.