It’s been a while… sorry. I had a medical emergency at the beginning of May that kept me from knitting for a while, and last week I just plumb forgot (oops!).
When I was able to knit and spin again, I promptly got busy.
I picked up a mixed bag of fiber and had it made into a batt at The Twisted Purl, then got to work spinning it into this gorgeous yarn that I’m calling Ocean Summer. Finally finished spinning and plying it this past week – got two hanks only because my drop spindle ran out of room – and it’s now in my Etsy shop.
Remember the cami sweater thing I posted about at the beginning of the month that I’m knitting for The Twisted Purl? I finally finished the front piece and am now halfway through the back.
Once that’s done, I’ll have to block and sew the two pieces together before finally knitting the straps on it. It’s knit up in an interesting yarn – a blend of linen, wool, and alpaca. What’s interesting about this yarn is that while it feels a little rough as I knit with it, it’s much softer both in the ball and in the knitted product. I can’t wait to see it finished.
I’ve also been test knitting and crocheting some patterns for designers on Ravelry, including this lovely shawlette:
It’s a pattern by Emily O’Brien, called Ambrosian Shawl. (7/2 Update: The pattern is now available on Ravelry.) It was designed to show off that skein of hand painted yarn in your stash, and I just happened to have a skein that I had dyed at a yarn-dying class a couple weekends ago. So, what perfect timing!
I’ve only made a little progress in my Reyna shawl this week. (But I’ve definitely reached the point where I need a longer circular needle. )
I never did get a picture of the project I’m knitting for The Twisted Purl last week. I’m still on the front piece of the bodice, but I imagine I’ll be done with that one by next week. The yarn is really nice to work with, too.
And like I mentioned last year, I participate in a worldwide Christmas stocking swap every year. Even though sign ups haven’t opened yet (and they won’t till June), I’m already getting a head start on a stocking! After all, it’s May. Time to start your Christmas knitting.
This one may or may not go to my swap partner… Oh wait, we’re not supposed to post pictures of our swap stockings till our partners have received them… Oops… 🤣 Guess I’m making something else for whoever it is.
Excited to share the latest addition to my Etsy shop: Owl Stitch Markers! I told you they were coming! https://etsy.me/2HzHXvj
I just can’t not work on more than three projects at once! Utterly impossible.
I bought a skein of ONline Supersocke 4-fach Bambus Color yarn from The Twisted Purl on Friday and I just couldn’t decide what to make with it.
Okay… so it took me about a day to decide. Not a pair of socks, but another Reyna shawl!
Everybody I’ve shown this WIP to today loves how it’s striping up. Me too! 😀
I’m also knitting up another shop sample, a cami sweater in a soft linen/wool/alpaca blend. I like how this yarn is knitting up.
I started learning how to make stitch markers a few years ago, but I quit after a while. Well, this weekend I was inspired to get back to work on some more!
All these darling beads just begged me to turn them into stitch markers! They’re coming to my Etsy shop soon.
One more WIP! (That I’m sharing at least, haha)
The Twisted Purl has hosted a mystery Knit-along this last month, a shawl knit from HiKoo’s Concentric yarn, a deliciously soft baby alpaca yarn. It has four unplied strands that gradually change through four colors. We have the last section to knit up on Thursday. I’m excited to see what’s in store!
I mean, look at that! Isn’t it gorgeous? The browns just spoke to me when I saw them at the shop, so I had to get that color.
Well, week two of Camp NaNoWriMo ended up following the dreaded “Week Two Blues”. I just struggled writing. But I think that’s partly my own fault because I didn’t plan the story enough. I know bits and pieces of ideas to the story I chose to work on, once I set “If the Shoe Fits” aside to properly plan that, but it’s only until today’s writing session that I’m getting a little bit of a shock to where this story is gonna go. The teen son in this story has made a decision that has shocked and frightened his father, and the father now has to absorb that and rescue his son before the plan totally backfires, while trying not to kill the man that helped his son come up with this plan.
Hoping week three will surprise me and help me catch up on my word count and the story.
**Potential spoilers ahead**
I’d heard Brandon Sanderson mention this series in several episodes of the Writing Excuses podcast. So I had to see if my local library had them. I was excited to see that they did! And that ALL of the books were actually on the shelf! (Naturally, I grabbed the entire series – the first two books one day; then, when I saw that my brother just devoured those first two, I went and got the other three.)
This book was hilariously oddball. Twelve-year-old Alcatraz Smedry has an unusual talent for breaking things. We first see him as he burns down his foster family’s kitchen… by accident. He receives an unusual birthday present, an “inheritance” from his parents – a bag of sand. Then he meets his grandfather, who tells him just how amazingly special, and rare, Al’s Talent (yes, with a capital “T”) really is. When that bag of sand is stolen (which is also special) Alcatraz and his grandfather, along with a small team, infiltrate the Librarians’ headquarters – the city’s largest library.
The series is told from the point of view of an adult Alcatraz, and we frequently see this older self interject comments – that frequently seem random, but given the rest of the story, it fits right in – before going right back to the story. He tells us that this work is published in the Hushlands (controlled by the Librarians) as a work of fantasy, but as an autobiography in the Free Kingdom lands (not Librarian-controlled), partly to show that Alcatraz is not really a good person that everybody seems to think he is.
I’ve read the first two books in the series (book two review to come later) and I cannot wait to see how the rest of this silly series goes!
If you’re looking for a middle grade fantasy (urban fantasy, maybe?) with lots of humor, then this series just might be for you.
S. C. Stokes warns readers at the beginning of A Coronation of Kings that the novel ahead will have little to no downtime, and held true to that. I actually had to set it down a few times just to let myself breathe a little. (And in fact, I had to let a day or two go by before picking it back up again…) But I enjoyed every page of this book. The descriptions of the weapons and armor and battle show that he did his research in preparation for writing this series. I’m ready for the next book!
Despite the feel of no downtime, or maybe because of that, we still get to see some character growth for Tristan Listar and his twin brother, separated at birth for protection. There’s a little magic, a lot of mayhem, betrayal, plots by power-hungry rulers, a looming deadline and a danger from outside their world.
Who likes epic fantasy? This might be a book for you. It’s the first book in the A Kingdom Divided trilogy.
Word Count Total: 10,521
Well, this week started off pretty shaky for me in writing for Camp NaNoWriMo. I hadn’t taken the time to plot out my original loosely-based-on-Cinderella-with-YA-scifi/fantasy story idea or do any sort of planning for it beyond a few notes for my main character’s bio. So, I chose to work on another story already in progress (yep, I’m being a NaNo Rebel this time, for the first time in all my NaNoWriMo experience) while I plan out what I am calling “If the Shoe Fits”, based on a title I found in the NaNoWriMo adoptables forum. (Seriously, check that forum out if you’re looking for inspiration!)
To help me plan “If The Shoe Fits”, I’ve signed up for Holly Lisle’s “Creat a Character Clinic” online class. She leads you through what she calls a “Shadow Room Exercise” to help you discover a character and their story. When I did this exercise, I was expecting to work on my female main character (currently called Finn). But the character that entered the room was completely different – a man, an officer in his world’s military, carrying a secret that he knows needs to be shared but also knows that telling the secret will be seen as a betrayal – even though he sees that, in a way, “they” have already betrayed him. Now, who the heck is this guy, and what is his place in this story? Or is this even the right story for him? I probably won’t know until I progress a little further in the class. But I’m intrigued.
The new Camp NaNoWriMo story, A Place of Memory, is moving along partly how I expected, but I was also surprised at one scene I wrote that contains a very important revelation for my main character, a secret that was locked away from him for fourteen years. And now he has to deal with that knowledge, how it changes the relationship between him and the person who kept this secret, and how it’s going to affect his future actions and mission.
I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again, that word sprints – trying to write as much as possible in a set amount of time – is always a huge help in moving my stories forward. Even if it’s only a couple hundred words or so (say, if I’m writing for 30 minutes), it’s more than I had before. And after all, I don’t always have to keep everything I write. But I’ll save a good chunk of that for the editing process.
How’s your writing progressing this week? Are you participating in Camp NaNo? Comment below with any of your thoughts.