Friday, November 29, 2013

An Update with some Finishes

After a few days of not writing at all, I decided to finish my NaNoWriMo novel I have just under 3,000 words left. I think I can handle that. Still don't really like it but willing to finish it.

Been loving my public library lately. Glad that we go every weekend as a family. Here are my stack of writing books. Notice three Writer's Markets. I'm not looking to send anything off but the articles at the beginning sometimes have good advice. And yes, there are books there about publishing a children's book. I've been kicking some ideas around for years (about 11 years to be exact) and started to think about polishing them and perhaps sending them out next year. Who knows if that will happen but thought it can't hurt to look into it.

Knitting books. The top two need to go back to the library soon, can't renew them. 

Books I hope to read once I'm done writing this month. I finished the "Willow" graphic novel yesterday as it has to be returned to the library tomorrow. I'm looking forward to "Spike" once I complete my NaNoWriMo novel.

On the days I didn't write I finally used my sewing machine. First time since we moved here a few months ago. The little guy was in need of some bibs. I had some terrycloth leftover from making him cloths so I used those on the back and was able to make 4 bibs. I had some snaps in the stash, too. I used the Liberty Bibs pattern found here. I made two with the Superman fabric seen here before he started eating.

He likes to chew on his sippy cup.

All done eating (squash, I think). Bib worked.

And I made two with orange fabric.

This is his latest funny face. 

After having rice cereal. Bib worked.
Think I'm going to make him a few more. Wish I was making these when all my nephews and nieces were little. These would have made great gifts.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Some little finishes

You know what a pile of yarn pieces mean… I actually finished something! In this case 2 things.

First was a pair of booties for the little guy. I'd link to the pattern but I butchered it so much since the biggest size didn't fit his feet. It ended up being more of a guide to my own creation.

Lifted his pant legs to see them (and his adorable chubby legs).

Slightly better picture in better light. One stayed on well, the other he was able to get off pretty quick so I decided to add cuffs.

Ta-da. Booties that stay on!

"I think I can still get them off, Mama." 
I hope to make a few more pairs for him but I'll be experimenting with different patterns.

Also finished a little owl stuffy for a niece.

The little guy likes it too.


Back. I don't know why the picture turned. Maybe I'll turn it later. Or maybe not.

"Can I keep it, Mama?"
I might have to make a second one. 

Separated the sleeves from the body yesterday for the cardigan for me. I find it easier to make things for others when I also have something on the needles for me.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Non-Writing Wednesday

Technically I'm still doing NaNoWriMo and until today I was actually ahead of schedule with my word count. However, the past week it has been a struggle. I don't like my story. Not one bit of it. I don't like the characters. I don't like what they're doing or what's happened to them. There isn't anything I'd want to save. I started stumbling around 23,000 words last week - thus no writing Wednesday post - but refocused on the weekend telling myself to try and get to 30,000 and if I still felt the same way, I would stop. I now have over 31,000 words and I still don't like and I'm ashamed of the crappy 8,000 words I forced myself to write. I know that part of NaNoWriMo is just getting the writing out and leave the editing for later but when I think about editing I realize I want to delete the whole thing except the first half of the first sentence. So, yesterday I didn't write a single word all day. A first for this November, and it felt freeing. I wasn't forcing myself to work on something that clearly wasn't working just to say I won NaNoWriMo. I haven't written again today but I'm not deleting the story yet. You never know; I may come up with a way to save it and write another 20,000 words before the end of the month. Or maybe not. And that's okay. 
So, what have I been doing the past two days with no writing?

Finally working on some Christmas presents. I currently have 2 complete and many more on my list. I made the pieces for an owl last night. Still need to put him together.

Went through patterns and yarns again today to refocus. These are yarns for the baby. On the left are some chunky yarns for booties - they are almost done. The grey and blue are for the hat and the green is for his stocking. The green had been new but I was using it last week to make a hat for a nephew that just wasn't working. I frogged it so many times I lost count and have given up on the pattern. Now the yarn will be something different. The other yarns are from the stash.

Frogging some other projects to make a cowl as a gift. Still not sure who it will be for. Just hoping it looks good.

Slowly making progress on a mystery shawl. Last clue comes out this Friday. I'm almost done clue 1. This will be a gift for my SIL.

Doing a short cardigan for myself. Hard to see the shape here. Need to separate the sleeves from the body next.

And I couldn't resist sharing this little guy. He's figured out that sometimes I am knitting or crocheting behind him and he grabs the yarn.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Writing Wednesday

Been busy with NaNoWriMo. Above is a view of my "Stats" page. The top graph is my progress. I've been above the line everyday and have been averaging about 2,000 words a day. The lower graph is for the Ann Arbor region. Yesterday's goal was to be at 8, 333 words and I ended the day at 10,632.

Today's goal is to be at 10,000. It's nice to be ahead right now. I've mainly been writing at night once all the kids have gone to bed. It's too difficult during a weekday when it's just me and the baby. I use any spare time I get during the day to knit and think about my novel then write like crazy after the baby falls asleep at night.

It doesn't help that most daytime naps are taken in my arms or on my lap. Good thing he's cute.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Finished knits and the beginning of NaNoWriMo

Finished the Boneyard shawl that I had started on my birthday in September

Had my daughter take pictures earlier this week when the weather was nice. I used all 3 skeins that I had. Even used a crochet bind off since I actually ran out of yarn.

And the whole reason I made the shawl; to be worn on the swing on a cool evening. Here I am with my boys.

I love the little flecks of colour.

Overall I am very happy with this knit. This is the third time I've knit this pattern and would easily do it again if the need or want arose.

Had my daughter model it too.

I think everything always looks better on her than me, but this one is definitely mine. It's also great for wrapping around shoulders during late night writing.

Finished my first pair of FrankenSocks. The baby was responsible for inspecting my work. He approved. I used up 4 different colours from my stash. Very happy about that.

Still need to work on the gusset hole and cast off but loved making my first pair of toe-up socks. I have several more pairs planned. Especially after both my mom and sister requested socks for Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, I hadn't planned on making anything for anyone this year, except for my own kids. But after moving all my craft stuff a few months ago I have trouble justifying spending the money for gifts instead of making them - and we could use the room. This week I began working on a list of gifts. I've been going through my ravelry queue and bookmarks trying to decide what I can attempt to make. I hope to add a page to the blog of the list of gifts I hope to make and my progress. Right now the living room is covered in yarn and other craft stuff while I make decisions.

One gift was decided on and started. Here's just a sneak peek. I've been loving the crochet so much that I added a couple crocheted gifts to the list. Including 2 afghans. I must be crazy.

I was up til midnight last night ready to start NaNoWriMo. 

Baby was sleeping on the couch beside me.

Finished for the night/morning and I had already done my word count for the day (the goal is roughly 1,667 words a day). I added over 500 this afternoon while the baby napped bringing me to 2,269. A good start. Hopefully I can keep up this pace. Did I mention that I also joined 3 knit-alongs as well? Only one of them has a hard deadline of December 6th. One has a deadline of December 31st and the other is open ended. Only one of the projects is for me, the rest are Christmas gifts and mainly using stash yarn.

1:07am. Finished writing and was finally off to bed. With writing and gift making the next 2 months, I think I won't really sleep again until 2014.

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