Thursday, February 02, 2012

My Apologies

I have gone to a new blog. Basically, it's exactly the same, but new. To visit it: Thank you for putting up with this extreme inconvenience! From now on, you can pretty much ignore this blog... kind of...

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Art of Felting

Say you had something you'd knit out of 100% wool, and you had knit too loose or you just weren't happy with it. Or you had made it with original the original intention to felt it. And then, imagine you had no idea how to felt.

To put it simply, felting is shrinking your knitted or crocheted pieces of fabric. Don't confuse it with needle felting, which is a different thing entirely.

I made a bag a few months ago, out of some wool yarn I had spun. I must say, my knitting has improved since then. The bag was loose and the stitches uneven.

My mother had knit a headband out of purple and grey yarn she had spun and plied. It was too big.

We decided to give felting a go. We had no idea how to felt. So we looked it up in the most obvious of places: the Internet.

Having found a sufficient amount of information, we got ready what we needed.

A bucket. We used a smallish white plastic bucket, which easily fit our two things.

Hot water. Originally, we just filled it with warmish water from the sink, but we also boiled some and added it in.

A spoon. We used a nice, long handled wooden spoon.

We put in our two items of woolly consistence into the bucket of warmish water from the sink. We stirred with the wooden spoon. When the water was boiling, we dumped out the warm water and added the boiling water. We kept on stirring.

After a while of stirring, we found that the stitches were getting closer together and fuzzy.

My Mom's headband, instead of shrinking, became very very long. It was interesting. It hasn't yet shrunk back to a good size for headwear. I suspect a lack of balance in the Force.

However, my bag continued to shrink and get awesome. I can't help it, I guess I'm just good at this sort of thing.

Isn't it cute? I'm very pleased with it. I put it on a towel and shaped it to the shape I wanted, and stuck a couple of pins around the edges just for good measure.

Well, this fiber extravaganza went well! For me, anyway... Hopefully, Mom's headband will fix itself... If not, well, we'll think of something!

Felting is fun and easy. We stirred it for probably about 30-40 minutes. If you're not too worried about ruining your project, go for it! You might want to practice on a couple of swatches first, though.

I look forward to future felted projects! I'll post pictures of the bag when It's dry and I've added a couple of touches to it. Like a clasp.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Congrats, Nanowrimo Participant!

While I did finish Nanowrimo in the appointed month, November, I didn't finish the actual novel until a couple days ago. Hey, it's still quite an accomplishment: an 83,000 word book in three months?

One of the winner's goodies is a lovely certificate, and I didn't feel right printing it out before I finished my novel. But now I've finished it, I've got my beautiful, albeit black and white, winner's certificate pinned on my wall.

Congratulations me! And, with Two novels stored on my hard drive, and more coming, I depart to do my chores.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Teenage Years

The age of thirteen is upon me, as of yesterday. Thirteen solid years of brilliance, plus one day. Two days.

After Christmas, Big Bend, and Izzy & Chris's engagement (to make a long story short, they got engaged a week or so ago. Very exciting), I was just like, I'm sick of celebrating.

Okay, not really sick of celebration. But I definitely didn't want a big party like last year. Okay, last year wasn't big by most people's standards. But this year, I wanted an even smaller celebratory event.

The answer? i Fratelli's. Eating out; an almost foreign activity in my family. But with two of our family in the restaurant business, and the wishes of a low-key birthday, it was an excellent answer. Rose and Joan Dougherty attended the outing, making us a party of twelve. We had good fun, showing off our bad manners. Thank heavens we had a more private part of the restaurant.

When we had eaten more than we should have, we departed the place of Italian cuisine and went home for cake and presents.

Ah, presents. The best way of acquiring more stuff. Don't we love 'em?

On the table, there sat my wonderful batch of gifts, from people all over the house, and two from people from the house next door.

A spectacular show of flying tissue paper, knotted ribbons, and most importantly, presents. So much stuff! Chocolate, Harry Potter books, jewelry, an external hard drive, baseball cards (for the secret fan hidden deep within me), and gel pens being among the stuff. Thank you again to all the wonderful, wealthy friends who contributed to my stash of treasures!

I said earlier that we went home for cake and presents. I lied. We didn't have cake. Instead, we had ice cream sundaes, equally good for all lovers of ice cream! And what better a way to have sundaes than with chocolate sauce, hardshell, mini m&ms, Reeces Pieces, chopped up Ghiridelli chocolate chips, gummy bears, caramel sauce, chocolate and caramel popcorn, and sprinkles?

Happy Birthday to me!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

It's the Thought That Counts.

150? Was I serious? Scrambling to complete that unrealistic goal would have been boring to say the least for my few followers. But even if I haven't even gotten to 100 posts in the last two years, that's not to say I haven't been writing, as any of you will know from my, albeit infrequent, posts.

It's a total coincidence that I'm writing on the second anniversary of To Live A Life, by the way.

I started the first day of 2012 in the car. On the way home from Big Bend. I can't say I was sad to leave.

Two days after Christmas, that same car trip took place in reverse. At 6:00 in the morning (actually, it was 6:45 a.m.) nine of our family and Christopher Joseph piled into the rented 15 passenger van and set off to the wilderness. David and Nathan were the fortunate family members who got to stay home. Fortunate in my opinion.

Most people slept in the car. I tried. But I've never been able to sleep much in cars, so as soon it got light, I was writing and listening to Artemis Fowl on my magical orange iPod.

We spent the first freezing night in Big bend in the Cottonwood campgrounds, and it was beautiful. Even though we neglected to put up our tent and there was no protection from evil wild things, I managed to get a little bit of sleep.

I being an excessively indoors person, almost everything I say about Big Bend will come out negative. So I'll skip the next couple of days when everybody was hiking up in the mountains except for me, Mom, and Dad. We stayed in the Basin camp, going on day hikes and stuff.

The backpackers came back on the 30th, and on New Year's Eve, all ten of us went to Santa Elena Canyon.

Santa Elena was the all time best part of Big Bend. It was beautiful, cool, everybody was there, we had tons of fun, and the name is spectacular. Santa Elena. Pure brilliance.

Santa Elena ruled out all the bad stuff in Big Bend. It gave me loads of great ideas for writing. And again, the name just makes me happy.

On New Year's Day, we, as I mentioned before, drove home. But before that, we stopped at the Hot Springs. It was very nice, though I only stuck my feet in the naturally hot water.

Then we were home. And waiting for me on the table, all taped up in a cardboard box, were the two new series of Doctor Who I ordered the day before we left. I love them.

Happy New Year? I hope so.