Thursday, February 28, 2013

Yarn To Dye For

That's a pun that's been used countless times. Don't think I'm original or clever when you read it, because I definitely got it from somewhere else. I just can't remember where. I think it might be the name of an Etsy shop.

But it is relevant in this occasion, because I recently dyed some yarn that is absolutely heavenly.
These are the 6 miniskeins that I just dyed about half an hour ago. I was so excited about them that I couldn't wait for them to dry before taking pictures. It was definitely the best dyeing experience I've had. Unfortunately, these miniskeins are not for my use but for someone else's... more on that in a later post. 

I'm happier with the way this rainbow of minis turned out than with my previous batch, because the colors are so much brighter and more vibrant. Instead of painting this batch, I put water, vinegar, and one miniskein in a 2 cup measuring cup, then put several drops of food coloring in. I put a sheet of plastic wrap over the measuring cup and put it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, until the water was clear. 

Most of them are almost completely solid, but the green as you can see is a little more variegated (the blue looks variegated but that's just the light). For that one, I experimented by just dropping in some blue, some green, and some yellow, and not mixing the colors up at all. For the most part, it just turned green, but there are lots of different shades of green, and a couple fragments of yellow and blue. 

While we're on the topic of green, I'll show you the other yarn I dyed recently:
This is actually the yarn I spun out of the Persephone roving I dyed back in December. Once I spun it up, I wasn't very happy with the lack of color in the yarn, so I decided to overdye it. I painted this one, and the colors are clearly much less vibrant than the miniskeins above. But I still love it, and am so much happier than with the yarn before I re-dyed it. I'm going to have to knit something springy out of this, a beret or a pair of fingerless gloves. 



Wednesday, February 27, 2013

WIP Wednesday: New Tech

So, since the computer is in use, I'm trying my hand at blogging on an iPhone. My mom's, not mine (meaning that I don't have one). We'll have to see how the whole formatting thing does, because I've never blogged on an iPhone with pictures included in a post.

But I do have pictures today, because its WIPW and I have to share my progress on my Holden Shawlette. As I've been saying in the last couple of posts, I've started the lace section, and I'm already halfway done with it. Which means I'm almost done with the shawl. If I keep going at the rate I'm going, I'll be blocking it by Sunday.

There's supposed to be a progress picture right there, but due to the fact I'm using a blogging app I don think it'll appear at the end of the post, or it'll appear at be beginning. So I'll have to edit that later.

But, as you should be able to see, I've made good progress and its coming along beautifully. I had to go to the 2nd skein of yarn a few rows back, and I must be using some of the yarn I spun at the beginning because it's noticeably thicker than the rest of the yarn. But I don't think anybody will be able to tell once it's been blocked.

And that's it for me today. Here's hoping this app hasn't made mincemeat out of my blog post.

Edit: There you see, I knew the iPhone would get the picture in the wrong place! But all is fixed now. 

If Bruce Wayne Could Knit...

If Bruce Wayne could knit, he would open an Etsy shop and sell these shawls, and I would buy one for you. Unfortunately, he's too busy saving Gotham, so I made you one instead. 

I knit this shawl for my sister (the same one I knit the hat for) for Christmas. It was inspired by 
Wa na na na na na na na Bat Shawl!, but I made it into a rectangular shawl and designed a couple of charts myself. As the original pattern suggests, I used Knitpicks Gloss Fingering, but I need about three and a half skeins.

I started the shawl in late August and finished it in late November. Of course, a lot of that time was taken up with various other projects, and I think I knit about two thirds or more of it in the last two weeks of November.

I have to say, I'm really proud of this shawl. I think it's the first big lace project I've done (excluding my Holden Shawlette), and I will forever look upon it with the memories of working on it into the late hours of the night and early hours of the morning, whenever the recipient wasn't around. 

One of my favorite things about it is the edging, which is mostly invisible because the edge curls up. But I'm still happy with it, and it's a nice detail if you happen to notice it. 
I designed a chart for a tiny Batman symbol as shown in The Dark Knight Rises:
I'll be compiling the pattern for the shawl from the infinite amount of notes I took, and hopefully it'll be ready in the next few days. And, of course, I'll be back later today with some pictures of my Holden Shawlette. I'm almost halfway done with the lace section, but I want to do a little more before I take pictures. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Long Time Ago...

Back in early November, I knit a hat for my sister Becca's birthday. She picked out the pattern and the yarn, and I had it knit up almost in time for her birthday on the 4th. I meant to blog about this, but as some of you may recall, November was the month when I was writing a novel, and I barely took the time to blog.
The pattern I used was Cranberry Sauce, and it was incredibly easy and quick. I used Loops & Threads Charisma in the colorway Charcoal, and I think it used slightly less than one skein. 

I think it was one of the first cable projects I did- but then, I haven't done many. Becca was very happy with it, and so was my other sister, Mary Margaret. I made her one for Christmas, but unfortunately have no photographic evidence to prove this. 

On a more current note, I finally got to the lace section in my Holden Shawlette. I'm hoping to work on it a bit more tonight and tomorrow before I take pictures and blog about it for WIP Wednesday. So far the lace has been much more interesting than the stockinette, and I've already made one mistake! A record I'm sure. (Don't worry- I fixed it without too much trouble.)



The Hobbit Didn't Win?

I know, I know, this post is about two days late. Let's just say that the computer has been in use the last two nights. Forgive and forget, eh? (Or you could be slightly cooler and say, 'I will never forgive, and I will never forget.' I won't hold it against you if you want to be like Thorin or Mordred.)

So, the 85th Academy Awards were on Sunday. Which means, I was sitting in front of the TV from 4:30 till 11. Thankfully I had my knitting with me.

I always look forward to watching the Oscars, or at least, I have for the last three years or so. I love seeing all the pretty (or not so pretty) dresses, harshly judging the host, and groaning as the same commercial is shown over and over again. There are always a few categories that have a movie that I want to win, and often times it does.

This year's Oscars was great. I ate chocolate, was delighted when Anne Hathaway won Best Supporting Actress for her role in Les Mis, and wasn't at all surprised that Argo won Best Picture (after all, the newspaper's will win/should win column the morning of is usually correct in their predictions). But what I was surprised -and even angry- about, was that The Hobbit, and Unexpected Journey didn't win Best Hair and Makeup.

Don't think I wanted it to win just because I wanted The Hobbit to win something. I really did want it to win because it seriously deserved Best Hair and Makeup. Look at this thing I found... link. It shows all the characters before and after makeup, and after looking at it, it's impossible not to think they should've won Best Hair and Makeup.

So there you have it. My rant about the Oscars 2013. Apart from the Hobbit's loss, I'm very happy about the whole thing.

But if The Desolation of Smaug doesn't win Best Hair and Makeup....

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Photography

I don't pretend to be a good photographer. Heck, I don't even pretend to be a photographer. Most of the pictures I take only turn out half decent because of my camera. Sometimes my camera does and exceptional job and gives me a twice decent picture.
This evening, I was sitting in the front yard writing and suddenly I looked up and saw the tree branches silhouetted against the blue sky, the setting sun casting a golden glow over everything. And I thought that it would make a great picture, so I grabbed the camera and took a few quick shots. The above one is my favorite. 

Sometimes, like today, photography seems like something I could pursue. But most of the time, I say, leave it to those who don't have a stronger ambition to become a best selling author. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

FO Friday: Waffles

When I woke up this morning, one of the first things I thought was, 'It's Friday and I don't have any finished objects to share. What will I do? 

Never fear, my dear followers. I took time out of my day to work on a quick knit just so I would have something to satisfy your longing for a new post over here at To Live A Life. I sacrificed at least four hours of my precious time and my only reward is your delight. 
Okay, I got a brand new pair of fingerless gloves, too. But that's an unimportant variable in this equation. 

I sort of followed a pattern that I've wanted to knit for a long time: Waffle Stitch Fingerless Gloves. I say 'sort of' because I only took one quick glance at the pattern and did my best to commit it to memory before casting on. They were so simple and I was modifying the pattern anyway, I thought, 'what's the need to waste ink on printing out this PDF?'

Of course, this backfired and my gloves are far from identical to the ones I'd have gotten if I'd followed the pattern to the letter. Firstly, my gauge was way off, but thankfully I decided to shrink the pattern down anyway so I'd have a tighter fit and that turned out okay. Then I couldn't remember how many rows of what I was supposed to do, so I just improvised and it still turned out okay. 

All in all, I'm very happy with the way these fingerless gloves came out, especially since they only took a few hours to knit up. But I still consider it a great deed of selflessness on my part to fulfill your love of my blog. 

(Wow, this has really been full of self-acclaim, hasn't it?) 


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Still Learning

It's amazing how you can have a hobby- take knitting- that you think you know everything about. You already know so much that you can't possibly learn more things. And then, you find another few hundred tricks and techniques you have yet to discover.

A couple of days ago I discovered the amazing Picot Bind-off. Or rather, I discovered how painstakingly easy it is. I needed to know the technique before I bound off for my Holden Shawlette (of course, that's not gonna happen any time soon, because I'm not even to the lace section yet) and I thought I may as well learn it.

I looked at a couple of videos on Youtube and picked up my knitting needles. An hour later, I was blocking a little notions bag I had made to practice the method.
It was simple to make and actually pretty boring until I got to the bind off. I'm using it to hold my stitch markers, until I make a more visually attractive one, at any rate. But it served its purpose as a way to learn the Picot Bind-off. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

WIPs and Books: Tom Sawyer

I'm borrowing this idea from a blog I ardently follow, Crafts from the Cwtch. Almost every Wednesday, the author discusses her works in progress as well as what books she's reading.

This afternoon I checked the audiobook of Tom Sawyer out from the library, and settled down with my knitting needles and yarn to give it a try. It's not my first introduction to Mark Twain; I read his Joan of Arc a year or two ago and loved it, for the most part. But I needed something besides Artemis Fowl to listen to and Tom Sawyer looked (and is proving to be) enjoyable.

I listened to it for about an hour before dinner, while I finished my Instant Gratification Scarf I started on Monday. I could easily have finished it Monday night or Tuesday, but I was too busy spinning to knit at all yesterday.

But now it's done, and not exactly worthy of being called a WIP anymore, but I'll still include it as one so it can fit into this post.

It probably took me a total of 3 and a half hours to knit. Again, I used US15 needles and Knitpicks Full Circle Bulky held double throughout. It's really, really long; I'll be able to wear it as pictured above looped once loosely or wrapped two or three times around. It's very soft and cosy, and I hope we'll have some more cold days so I can wear it before next November. 
This is the third or fourth pattern to be started with this yarn; I just couldn't find the right pattern for it. But this turned out perfectly! 



Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Spinning Silk

Today I found awaiting me on the table some new fiber to play with. It was from the wonderful woman who gave my mom and I our Schact Matchless spinning wheel. In the mix of fiber were 3 beautiful silk hankies.
They're about five grams each I think, for a total of half an ounce of silk. I spun the one in the bottom right corner this afternoon:
It was so much fun to spin, and so soft. I spun a very fine yarn, probably lace weight, and got about 30 yards out of it. I can't wait to start the next one. 

While 15 grams won't give me a lot of yardage, I can't complain; there was also 1 pound (!) of 100% silk and 1 pound of a wool/silk blend, so I'll have lots of joyful spinning to keep me busy in the next few months. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Finishing and Starting

About an hour and a half ago, I was on the computer checking my email and whatnot, and then I saw what time it was and thought, 'I guess I better finish that fox so I can blog about it before midnight.'

I was actually almost done; I just had a few (dozen) ends to weave in. But I wove those ends in, and then, as a reward, I started a new project. But first, photos of my mini-fox collar:
The pattern, Mr Fox Stole My Heart & Mini-Fox, is easy to follow and very easy. I had a bit of trouble getting the eyes to work right, but I got it in the end. I still have to round up some magnets so he doesn't fall off whenever I wear him, but I doubt I'll be wearing him much anyway so there's no hurry. 

And now for my most recent WIP....
I started an Instant-Gratification Scarf, using Knitpicks Full Circle Bulky in the colorway Mocha. They aren't joking when they say instant gratification; I was only working on the scarf for about and hour and it's already about 40 inches long. Of course, the fact that I'm using Bulky weight yarn held double and US size 15 needles helps. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Rambling

I was going to finish my Mini-fox today and blog about that, but then I didn't finish it. I'm almost done, just the face to finish and the feet to finish and the ears to make and a couple of ends to weave in, but it's too late to finish it and then blog about it.

But I also didn't do anything else blog-worthy today. I killed off all of my pieces in a chess game, I started two scrapbook pages with my best friend, and I did my sister's friend's (who also happens to be my best friend's sister) hair to look like Fili from the Hobbit.

I cleaned the microwave, I filled the dog's water dish, and I wasted a lot of time on Ravelry. I ate breakfast, I ate lunch, and I ate supper.

And, of course, I watched the last episode of Downton Abbey, season 3 and almost left the room crying (there were definitely tears in my eyes).

The problem with these things where you try and blog every day for a month, is when you don't have anything to blog about your readers (few as they may be) suffer. So, if you've read this far hoping for something worth reading, I've nothing to say but sorry. I'll be back tomorrow with a (hopefully) finished fox.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Friday, February 15, 2013

FO Friday: DIY Braided Bracelet


I spent the most part of this evening working on this little braided bracelet. It started out being a never ending magical braid, but in the end I had to admit that I wasn't making any magical infinity bracelet, and settled on a little stockinette bit thing at the back. But I did graft the ends together, so it's completely seamless. 

Tomorrow I'm going to make another one and take some in progress pictures so I can get together a pattern for it. But tonight, you'll have to do with the story of its inspiration. 

I got my first watch (actually it was my second, but let's just say it was my first so I don't have to tell the story behind my actual first watch) when I was into Lord of the Rings a couple of years ago. I searched the jewelry section of Target for the perfect watch that had a Middle Earth-esque band. I finally found one that was made of braided leather. I loved it, and wore it until the band snapped in two. 

If I'm perfectly honest with you, the connection  between that braided band and this braided bracelet didn't occur to me until after I'd finished the bracelet. But I had to fill this post with something, didn't I?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

WIP... Thursday?

I realize I'm a little late for Work in Progress Wednesday, and that this project really doesn't qualify for WIPW because I only started it this afternoon. But as I said in my last post, I was unable to write last night, and besides, I didn't have any new WIPs I could share. 

I'm knitting Mr. Fox Stole My Heart & Mini-Fox, by Tiny Owl Knits. I'm making the mini-fox collar, and I doubt I will ever wear it outside of my bedroom because in all likelihood, my sisters would kill me for wearing a fox around my neck. 

But I'm knitting one anyway, and I'm making it with turquoise yarn because he's an arctic fox. Were he real, he would live in Antarctica or Alaska or something and be freezing in his lil' fur coat (I'm using cotton yarn so he really wouldn't be able to keep warm), and so he would be blue. So my color choice is really very practical and realistic. 

I am having an incredible amount of fun with this little guy. I have another 9 inches of straight stockinette stitch before I get to do anything interesting though, so we'll see if I'm still as enthusiastic once I've finished with all that. I'm really looking forward to knitting the head, though. That probably won't be TV knitting. 

Bye for now! I think I'll go watch Merlin or something to ease the boredom of 9 inches of stockinette... 

p.s. So I just realized that I got a Thor valentines day card this morning, and it's Thursday, a.k.a. Thor's Day... I got a Thor valentine's day card on Thor's Day!

Happy Valentines Day!

Last night at dinner, my sister Becca gave us her little speech about Valentines Day- and why she decided to celebrate it with vim and vigor this year. We were all very happy about this, because it meant she was getting us all Valentines.

I woke up to this at my designated place at the table- an Avengers Valentine and chocolate truffles. The entire family got Valentines from Becca, including some featuring Justin Bieber. I love those days when you have chocolate for breakfast :). 

By the way- sorry about not posting yesterday! I had every intention to, but then someone was using the computer and I wanted to go to bed, so I'll make it up by posting twice today... better late than never! 

♥ xoxo ♥

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Geeky Emails

13 email conversations between my friend Rose and I, with the subject titles of each of the dwarves. As you can see, some of them have been going on for longer than others (i.e. Kili and Bofur), but they're all genuine conversations. 

It's totally nerdy but kind of satisfying to see all the dwarves listed in my inbox. We'll see how long we can keep up with replying to thirteen emails almost every time one of us checks our email. 

And- notice the mountain background of my inbox? I like to think of those ones as the Misty Mountains. There's another one that's a solitary peak, and I call that one the Lonely Mountain. Every segment of my life seems to have some trace of Middle Earth or the Whoniverse in it. (There's even a reference to Artemis Fowl in one of the above emails.)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Bookish Things


When I first started writing my current novel, The Pandora, back in July, it was going to be a 18,000 word fairy tale about a box that gets stolen, a Princess and her fiancĂ© who have to get it back, and a sorceress/ movie star who reluctantly helped.  It was fun to write and the plot was actually pretty good. 

It's now turning into a full length novel, with the original protagonist completely deleted from the story, as well as her fiancĂ©. In fact, only two things have remained the same: a box still gets stolen, and the thief is still a genius named Casey Kragnaugh (pronounced crag-naw, apparently). 

It's the novel I tried and failed to write in November, and the novel I'm still trying to write now. It's all there, the plot, the characters, every single inch of the story. Everything but the words. I've edited this novel more than any of my others and I haven't even finished the first draft. 

So I've made it my goal to finish it by Easter Sunday, March 31st. Telling people about this goal will probably make it easier for me to meet it, so wish me luck as I depart into the world of The Pandora. 

Don't worry, my avid readers. You'll still be getting daily posts for the rest of February. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Project Bag

Most hexipuffers (lingo for people working on the Beekeeper's Quilt) have a sweet little project bag for their hexagons. They are generally bought for an enormous amount of money on Etsy, and I often find myself quite jealous.

But now I have my very own, and all I had have to pay is several hairdos. That's how it works when you have a sister who can't do her own hair.

Isn't it adorable? It's actually completely lopsided, but you can't very well tell in this photograph. I actually can't very well tell in real life, but Mary Margaret wasn't satisfied so she gave it to me. 
It's the perfect size for a couple of mini skeins and my needles. Unfortunately the 7 inch dpn I use for the three-needle bind off doesn't fit, so I'll have to get some 4 or 5 inch ones. 

Fellow beekeepers, I understand how jealous you are of my new project bag. If you don't have one already, I'm sure you will one day. Even if it isn't as good as mine. 


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Ynys Afallon Cowl

Yns Afallon is Welsh for Avalon. And it's what I've finally decided to call my Entrelac Cowl.
The pattern has been a long time coming, but it's here at last. 

Ynys Afallon is a loosely knit cowl that uses the entrelac technique and has a panel of seed stitch diamonds down the center. 

Materials:
110 yards of Bulky Weight Yarn such as KnitPicks Biggo (110yards/100meters, 100gms, 50% Superwash Merino, 50% Nylon)
US15 (10mm) needles

Friday, February 8, 2013

Beorn

I am knitting my first sweater. I'm following the pattern Oh My Bear! by Tiny Owl Knits. I started on February first but I didn't have the right needle size so my gauge was off, so I put it on hold till I got the right size. I started again yesterday, and I'm about 13 rows into the colorwork chart. I am loving this project, but the intarsia knitting gets incredibly tangled every single row. And I'm pretty sure my gauge is off for the bear face, but it'll all end up all right and if it doesn't, then I can rip it out and start again. 

I'm obviously going to name mine Beorn, for the giant person in The Hobbit who turns into a bear. Another thing I misremembered from the book, I thought Beorn was Radagast and that Beorn lived in Mirkwood. I was so confused. 

That's it for me tonight- I have to get to bed. Knowing me, that'll happen in an hour or so and not right now, but I'm not going to spend that time writing a novella of a post. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Jewelry for Knitting Needles

Stitch markers are an essential tool in knitting. Some people use jump rings, some people use scraps of yarn tied in loops, and some people use these fancy, beaded, dangly markers they buy on Etsy. I personally prefer to just use yarn tied in loops; it doesn't cost anything and it doesn't get in the way of my knitting. But I thought I'd give these dangly things a try. 

I bought beading wire, crimp tubes, and two different kinds of beads at Michael's. I followed the instructions from here. Each one took me about five minutes to make and I don't actually know what it's like to knit with them. But it doesn't matter if I don't like them, because I'm going to give a bunch of them away anyway. 

However, I'll soon find out whether I like them or not. Also at Michael's I bought some super bulky wool that's going to become the face on my Oh My Bear! sweater. I'm using KnitPicks Brava (it's 100% acrylic but at least it's soft) for the main color in the colorway Umber Heather. I actually cast on on February first, but I didn't have the right needle size and my gauge was off, so I had to rip back a bunch today, but now I'm on track with the right needle size and I can't wait to get to the color work. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Productiveness

I've had a very productive day. I did three lessons of geometry (two of which were supposed to be done on Monday and Tuesday; but I couldn't do them then because I was busy doing Friday and Saturday's geometry), all my other schoolwork, got some knitting done, watched Arsenic and Old Lace, and dyed 7 mini skeins.

The highlight was definitely dyeing the mini skeins.
Only 6 are pictured here, and the colors aren't completely accurate, but I wanted to take some pictures before I started knitting hexiflats out of them. I'm giving all of them colorways, and I'm naming the colorways nerdy names, so from left to right: The Shire, Mirkwood, Wibbly-Wobbly Timey-Wimey, Rainbow Pumpkin Pie (not nerdy, but my sister insisted. It's actually a rose color but it shows up brown in the picture), Smaug, and The Shire 2. There's also a bright red one that wasn't quite dry so I couldn't twist it up.

Beekeepers (not actual beekeepers, but knitters who are making a beekeeper's quilt), I highly recommend this. What I did was buy a 100gm hank of bare KnitPick's Palette. I'm winding it into 30 yard mini skeins and dyeing them with food coloring. It's super cheap and it's possibly the most rewarding thing in the world. 

I think my favorites are Mirkwood and Smaug:
Smaug is actually more like a short-striping yarn with half coral and half yellow-orange/white. It's the first one I dyed and I love it. 

I was really trying to get a Mirkwood-like yarn here. Mirkwood is described in The Hobbit as dark, with a few patches of sunshine every once and a while that grow more and more infrequent as the forest grows deeper. I managed to get a murky gray-green, a few bits of brown, and some greenish-blue, but I don't think I'll really be able to get proper dark colors without black dye. 

While watching Arsenic and Old Lace, I knit a hexiflat in The Shire 2. As I had the lights off I couldn't see how it was turning out until the movie was over. I was gleeful at the result. 
Another terrible picture, sorry. The blues are more sky-colored, the oranges are lighter and brigher, and those brown stripes are actually pink. 


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Pre-Valentines Decorations

Wow, I just realized that I've done pretty much no knitting posts this month. That's surprising, and also soon to be remedied.
I made this little chain of hearts a couple of weeks ago, actually, using this pattern. I think I have six or seven in total, all strung up on a little crochet chain. Each one takes about ten minutes to make and the pattern is really easy to memorize. I'm considering making about a hundred more in the next ten days and showering the table with them on Valentine's day. 

Not that my family celebrated Valentine's day much. We used to get plastic cups filled with candy hearts every year, but not anymore. I think we usually forget it's the fourteenth and move onto the next day. But it'll be nice to have a little decoration like this on my bookshelf. Unfortunately, once I put it up it'll probably stay up till next year or longer (seriously. we only took our Christmas tree down today).

I grafted the ends of the first few, but I didn't like the look of that so I did what the pattern said, and that turned out much better and was easier. I used Red Heart yarn (I hate the stuff but it's good for things like this) and US7 needles. 

Wishing you a happy Valentine's day now, 'cause I'll probably forget on the actual day. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Doctor Who: Dark Horizons

This is the third and best Doctor Who novel I've read yet. J.T. Colgan didn't overdo the Doctor and she didn't manage to create a totally stupid monster. I enjoyed reading it, the characters were well developed and stayed true to their personalities, and it occasionally made me laugh. It helps that one of the main characters thinks the Doctor is Loki for the entire book. 

It takes place on the tip of what will one day be Scotland, with lots of friendly people who aren't too fond of the vikings that attack them every so often. It also takes place on a boat full of vikings and one Nordic princess, who is being taken to her wedding to the revolting king of some place. But that's only until the boat is consumed in fire... while it's floating in the middle of the ocean. Most of the crew are killed, but those who are not- the Princess included- definitely want to know about the fire that burned on water, and about the mysterious man in a bow tie who rescued them. 

But the fire doesn't stop at the water. It soon travels to people, using their minds until they burn up. The Doctor isn't sure what to do about all that, so he does the usual thing, talks to the alien and asks them what they think they're doing. 

With the help of Princess Freydis and her unlikely boyfriend, the viking Henrik, The Doctor talks to the underwater-dwelling, shape-shifting alien called the Arill and, after a few more deaths, figures out how to defeat it. And everybody (except the people who died and their families) lives happily ever after. 

★★★☆☆

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Whole Year

Didn't I say sometime that I would try and get 200 posts completed by the time this blog's one year anniversary came up? Well, I almost made it, and almost is better than... not almost. But that's okay, because December was a pretty busy month and I think I would have had to write more than 31 posts in January to meet my goal.

How has my blog changed over the course of 12 months? Quite a lot, in many different ways. Firstly, I've discovered the use of cameras. There was a time in this blog when a photograph was so rare that there was an entire category devoted to posts with photos in them. And I suppose I started knitting and spinning more in June/ July, because in the first few months there were very few posts about the fiber arts.

Also, looking through the archives, I can see monthly themes developing: in May, June, and July, I loved doing people's hair, drawing superheroes, and reading. In September/ October, I started to get into Merlin and I got more advanced in my knitting skills and yarn tastes.

Keeping a blog and looking back at past entries can really make you despise your past self. If I were to step into the Tardis right now and go back to one year ago, I would probably be extremely annoyed by the obnoxious little brat I used to be. And I'll probably say the exact same thing in another year.

So I guess this blog will just keep on improving. My writing will get better with practice, my photography skills will sharpen, and I'll get even better at knitting. The only way to get better is to not stop.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Full of Ideas

For my 13th birthday, my aunt and uncle gave me a notebook that has, in the last twelve months, become home to possibly hundreds of ideas. It's been my go-to place whenever I have an idea for a book or an image comes into my mind that I have to describe immediately. You could find bits and pieces of short stories that never saw the keyboard, snippets of dialogue I've used in my books, and random thoughts and ramblings from my never ending flow of ideas.

I had some fun with the camera, photographing different bits of different pages, comparing my handwriting over the months. It's all extremely messy, so I feel fine sharing a couple of my innermost ideas:
This is a bit of In Saint Helen's, the book I wrote in the June session of Camp Nanowrimo. I started it about five times in this journal, and all of the beginnings are relatively similar but at the same time are very different. 

Just an idea for a book that I'm not saying any more about. It'll probably never get written because the plot never got very far in my head, but maybe one day...

A snippet from a book I have yet to write. Once the whole thing is down on paper, though, I can tell you it's going to be amazing. 

This is more of the beginning of In Saint Helen's, describing the house the main characters live in at Christmas time. I actually based the exterior decorations off of those on my own home. There's an awful lot of real life in my stories.

This was just a funny idea that came into my head, pretty stupid but I thought it was amusing. The entire thing is:
"You can call a popsicle flavored ice, yes?" said the salesman. "But flavoring the ice is costly- meaning that it costs money, not that it's expensive. So this is my new product. I call it Flavor Lice."

He brandished a long ice cube on a stick. 

"What do you think?" he said.

"Flavor lice?" I replied, slightly disgusted. 

"Yes, it's a play on the words 'less' and 'ice.'"

"Makes me think I'm eating vermin."

Not really worth putting into a story, not really worth reading, but I rather liked it just the same. 

I had a include a little bit of the King Arthur legend in The Pandora, what with it taking place in the Middle Ages and all. This idea isn't actually going to make it into the Pandora, but it was a good tribute to Merlin.

From the short story I talked about a while ago. I started it on paper but quickly went to the computer with a slightly different plot in mind. 

So there's a little peek inside my head. My mind is busy, illegible, and sometimes rather insane when it comes to writing. But sometime, years from now, after I become a best-selling author and when I'm buried in my grave, someone will dig up this journal and publish it. A.T. Lowery's Journal of Ideas.