Bournemouth Cardigan, a scarf and half a glove pair….

Tags

, , , , ,

As we near the end of the year I have two knitting related things to write about. They are the Bournemouth Cardigan, and a 2×2 ribbed scarf.

Earlier this year I agreed to make a cardigan for someone as they had given me something really special and handmade. I asked them a few times what they would like and they settled on a cardigan. Next came the colour – black. I tried to change his mind on it, but no, black was what was required, so black it was that I had made.

Obviously, because the cardigan is black it’s hard to take a decent photo, but here it is:

It only took about a month to make – which was great as I wasn’t sure exactly how long I was going to sink into it. I started on the arms as they make great tension checkers, and then went to the body. I was originally going to make the biggest size available, but it looked to be coming out quite big so changed my mind and went for a size smaller. Now though… I not 100 per cent convinced that it is going to fit. We shall see.

Yarn used was Hayfield Bonus Aran with wool. I’ve used this for lots of projects in the past and I thought it has held up well over the years. I would definitely use it again. I estimated that I would need 3 balls of this yarn though, each at 400g each, and used just 1 and half! So…….. now I have lots of yarn left that I’m not entirely sure I will use.

My next project was a basic 2×2 ribbed scarf. I put a 3 stitch i-cord border on each side as well. The key thing on this project was to keep it simple to show off the colours. The yarn itself was King Cole Riot in DK weight. The yarn was a present for my birthday or Christmas last year I think from my parents. It was really nice to work with and I would definitely use it again. With the remains I am thinking of making some sort of baby related clothing for my niece, although what I don’t know.

I did start another project just a few days ago but decided this morning that it wasn’t going to work. To be fair it was a disaster of my own making as I changed the needle type that I was using half way through – I think it would still not have been particularly good had I used the original needles throughout. But here’s the picture:

I wanted a new set of gloves as Alex managed to felt ones that I had before out of the same yarn. (He denies that this was something of his own doing, but he was the one that put the washing on and hadn’t checked that there was some of my woollens going in). Never mind, I will keep browsing the patterns on Ravelry to find the perfect pair of new gloves….

Advertisements

I was looking on the internet for the NaBlo website, and apparently that doesn’t exist anymore? Huh, I thought it was a super popular. Show’s that I am most definitely behind on the times. Perhaps I won’t complete the challenge myself as the month goes on – I still don’t have a super amount to say, not really.

I reached target on NaNo today – I fully planned a whole day of writing and getting ahead, but I *really* wanted to get some knitting done. I’m glad I did get some knitting done as I managed to finish the main body of my cardigan, which just leaves the ribbing and the pockets to do. I will sew the ends that I already have in, and seam the underarms before picking up the rib stitches I think. Delays the next part but also speeds up the ending. It’s only been 3 weeks since I started it I think, so this progress makes me happy.

As for the NaNo? I’m sort of thinking of bowing out already. Not because I can’t do it, but because my brain just isn’t focusing on it. I’m finding it hard to get any alone time at the moment, which is making it hard to focus on my writing. I’ve been trying to ‘plug in’ as such – listening to my music through my headphones, but for some reason the wireless ones are carrying an interruption if I happen to click the mouse anywhere.

I think I will give it a few more days and see how I feel about it, and see if I can continue. I have an early shift tomorrow, then a late shift so could potentially get out a decent about of words… let’s see how this goes.

In which tiredness is a thing and so is work

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

I am so tired today. I don’t know why, except maybe that because I am having such vivid dreams at the moment it’s making me tired. Life itself isn’t perhaps the best as there’s a lot of ‘Real Life’ stuff to deal with, and all I crave is some alone time with my knitting needles. You guys don’t really need to know about that sort of thing though, so I thought I would talk more about writing.

I got into writing at quite a young age. When I was in my first year of secondary school that was when I first started writing. I can’t remember why, but I remember the story contained my classmates, a rich holiday that wasn’t so good and a trip to a deserted island that had all sorts of traps in, like quick sand and spike pits. I killed off a few of my classmates that way to. Especially the ones that were two faced, said they liked me when they didn’t.

Not long after my friend and I started getting into fandoms. There was this viral email that had this big list of silly items on it, and we challenged each other to get as many as possible into a fanfic. I wrote mine on the X-Files, on this piece of A4 paper that I folded up into my pencil case so that the teachers had no idea what it was. The whole thing had fallen apart by the end of the year, but it was wonderfully silly that it brings a smile to my face when I think about it.

My very first fanfiction that I put on the web was an awful Harry Potter one, crossed with all things, Devil May Cry and Charmed. So, so stupid. Yes, it still exists as I don’t see the point in taking it down – it’s part of my history, and no matter how embarrassing it is, it reminds me how far that I have journeyed in the world of writing. The very last fanfiction I wrote I still get reviews and likes for and questions about when I am going to finish it – in all honesty? Never. But you never, maybe I’ll get back there someday.

I started NaNoWriMo in 2007. I didn’t win that first year, but it was a valuable experience. I enjoyed the story that I told, and it’s one that if I ever thought that I would develop into something that was worth pushing for publishing, it would be that. 11 years is a long time to be involved in a project like this. In that time I have missed 3 attempts. 2008 – I was just too busy with university work, and holding down an actual job, 2012 – I was too busy knitting my very first jumper that I just didn’t want to stop, and 2016 – my Nanna died, I just couldn’t bring myself to write. I did make an attempt though, but my heart just wasn’t in it.

None of the stories that I’ve written, except that first as mentioned, are what I would consider any where near interesting enough to publish. I feel like all my stories are told with one voice, with nothing to particularly distinguish them. Last year I wrote my very first *ahem* romance scene. Not that it was much good mind, something like: write of experience. I’m not good with romance.

None of my NaNo’s – expect maybe one – have a completed storyline. I’ve always got to that 50,000 word mark, and just a little more, and had enough of it. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll be a NaNo Rebel and pick one of those stories up and get to the finish line of the novel rather than just the word count.

So yeah, in a brief less than 700 word blog entry that’s my writing life. Would I like to get published? Perhaps one day. When I could dedicate the time enough in the world to a solid story and actually finish one would be good.

Writing

Tags

, , , ,

Today has definitely been a day of writing. I managed to catch up from my word count yesterday, going from 5,188/50,000 to 9,186/50,000. I may still even write some more before I go to bed tonight. What I love about this – a 4,000 word day – is that whilst I intended to catch up my word count, I wasn’t intending to surpass it. I know I haven’t surpassed it by much, and if I don’t write any more this evening it’s still only something 900 words to write in the morning before work that makes it like a sneeze on the page.

I’ve enjoyed my writing today. I also got some knitting in which was really important for me today. I didn’t want to spend my whole day writing, I wanted to get some of the knitting done as well. A part of me was also going to cast on the scarf that will also be a present as part of this craft exchange that I’ve done. I don’t just knit for anyone, so it’s important for me to get these projects done. In relation to the cardigan, I am nearly at the end of the main body, then after that it’s pockets and ribbing. It’s not much in the long term, so hopefully won’t take long either.

Whilst I’ve been writing today I’ve been watching my brother play Red Dead Redemption 2. It’s a great game. He got it on release day and every time he loads it up I am taken away by how visually stunning the game it. To be fair, even the first one (second, I guess if you’re being pedantic) has aged very well.

I guess that’s all for tonight? I think I definitely need to come up with some blogging topics to keep this fresh for the rest of the month…

In which little is done to help catch up

Tags

, , , , , , ,

I was really hoping to get out more words today for the NaNo train but to be perfectly honest I am exhausted. Exhausted for many reasons, most I won’t go into, but mainly because I had that late night last night, and then worked today. The shift I did today was one of those that took up the whole day, so I have lost it and had no time to write. (And then, to be fair, when I did come to write I started playing a game on my phone rather than actually writing). The game is called 2020, and is available through the Facebook Messenger games, if anyone was particularly interested.

I did however write enough to get me over the 5,000 words mark. My aim for tomorrow is to write and to try and get ahead of the graph and get in good shape for the week. My previous NaNo experience has taught me that I dislike writing everyday if it expends the time I can give to my other hobbies. So the plan should be to have a few days ahead of the graph, ahead of myself and the target so that I can have those off days and knit, read, sleep – something that isn’t the NaNo train.

I know it’s only one month of the year, but the only way I can explain it is if you were to exercise every day and not have a rest day you’ll crash sooner than if you had the rest day. I am sure that makes sense somewhere along the way.

My story itself isn’t turning out to be what I wanted/assumed it would be. This year I’ve gone into the novel with a vague plan with what was to happen, however I’m finding it hard to find my footing with it. Suddenly I have conspiracies everywhere in what was suppose to be a sort of Star Trek tribute book. Definitely got a ‘dark side of the Federation’ feel to it. I am also trying to ensure that I mention nothing Star Trek-y in it, it’s not a fanfiction, or something like that.

It was actually inspired by a dream I had a little while ago… hopefully if I can play catch up tomorrow and try and get ahead of that graph a little I can feel the story more and see what happens. I don’t know though. Before I had that dream I was planning on writing a series of short stories, so maybe if my idea doesn’t pan out I can fall back on that?

Who knows what will happen,

Happy writing!

Kialtho

Remember, Remember, the Fifth of November…

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

… Gunpowder, treason and plot.

Alright, so admittedly it is not November 5th today, however, my home town did our annual fireworks display this evening and it was spectacular to say the least. Every year they tend to outdo themselves in comparison to the previous year and it is just phenomenal.

It’s become a tradition to congregate at my mum and dads house, sort some food for the people coming over – whether that is friends, family, partners – whatever – and then go and watch the procession. Local schools and businesses enter floats, and there’s a competition for best dressed float, best costumes and all sorts of other things.

There’s a fare over the fields where the Guy’s are located, with little rides and stalls. The Guy’s themselves are usually pretty darn amazing, and we’ve actually been internationally recognised for the effigies that we burn. This year it was Boris Johnson, but previous years have included Donald Trump, the Fifa dude that was indicted for corruption… I think David Cameron made an appearance. Basically celebrities and public figures who have made some what of a tit of themselves in the summer lead up to the event. Boris Johnson is a knob, so definitely glad he was a Guy. They stand 10 feet tall as well, so it’s not like they’re small and well hidden!

The fireworks were excellent – I think that they were setting them off to Queen music but I couldn’t make it out where we were standing (as we don’t go into the field, we can see them straight outside Mum’s house). The finale was just amazing.

A Day in the Life…

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

Whilst it is only November 2nd, I am thinking forwards and wondering what topics I am going to fill my month up writing about. It could be something as simple as my day – sometimes they are good, sometimes they are bad – something abstract, books, games, knitting, favourite colours, favourite music, at this point in time I don’t entirely know.

Today, however, I think I will write about my day. It’s been a good day, overall I think, except for the part where I definitely spent too much money. My partner and I went to Lakeside today so that he could get himself some new work jeans. I was the driver today, which suits me because my driving is definitely better than his.

Surprisingly we found some jeans for him in the first shop we went into. For Alex, this is a near miracle because he is… frustrating when it comes to shopping. If he reads this he’ll be mock offended then laugh about it because it’s so true. He loves to go around a million different shops and then usually end up in the first shop and the first item that he’s looked at.

Note: I hate shopping. Except yarn shopping.

We went into the main shopping centre and had a look around there as well. I got some new bras [oooo exciting, not] and a few things ready for Christmas but aside from that the shops all felt very uninspiring!

On the way home from Lakeside we decided we weren’t quite ready to go home so we ended up at Bedgebury Pinetum. It’s a lovely place to go and walk around. I took some photos on my DSLR, but I haven’t looked at them yet – if they’re any good I may share some with you all.

On the way home from *that* I decided to stop by the local pop up yarn shop and get me some pretties, because I may have spent far more money than I should have done today but I wanted to feel actually rewarded for it. I’m sure someone out there can relate!

I end this blog post on 4110/50,000 with an aim to get to 5,000 this evening. Wish me luck!

November, November…

Tags

, , , , , ,

It’s that time of year again when the words start to flow and a novel is written. National Novel Writing Month has formed a huge part of my lift for the last 10 years – this year brings me into year 11 of participating in this crazy train of novel writing. I was hesitant about whether I was going to participate this year, for no reason other than I am not sure what sort of time I can realistically dedicate to writing the novel.

I started writing today, and you know what? I know it’s not the end of the world if I don’t get to the end of the 50,000, but I am going to give it a shot.

I also plan to try and write a blog entry every day as well as part of the National Blog Posting Month – something that I’ve only done a couple of times. They may not be long, or detailed, but it’s something that I would like to try.

I’ve been out of practice of blogging just lately. I write about the books I read, and the knits that I’ve completed, but I’ve definitely scaled back what I’ve been writing about just recently. It will be nice to get into the writing again that’s for sure. This is my main blog – I have another one that I don’t really want to advertise as such, not that I write there much either. Writing is cathartic, and helps get things in order. Now that Facebook doesn’t allow automatic sharing either it means that perhaps I can be a bit more freer in what I write about here? I was sharing to Facebook to share my knits, but it also meant that I wrote less freely about the things that perhaps I would have done prior.

I don’t know. All I know is that I feel the urge to write this November, and perhaps if I don’t complete one challenge, then hopefully I will be able to complete the other.

I end this blog at 1,883/50,000.

Watch this space.

Kialtho

Waking Gods (Themis Files #2) – Sylvain Neuvel

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

This is one of those books, much like most of the books that I have read this year in all honesty, that has taken far too long to read. I think I started it back in June or July time. I read the first half super quickly, probably in about a week or so… and then it went on hold for a long time. I’m not sure what happened, but it did. I managed to pick it up again this week and finish the remainder of the book. Please remember in reading this that this is the second in a series and as such there maybe some spoilers ahead, more so for the first book than the second, but yeah, you’ve been warned.

Synopsis (GoodReads):

As a child, Rose Franklin made an astonishing discovery: a giant metallic hand, buried deep within the earth. As an adult, she’s dedicated her brilliant scientific career to solving the mystery that began that fateful day: Why was a titanic robot of unknown origin buried in pieces around the world? Years of investigation have produced intriguing answers—and even more perplexing questions. But the truth is closer than ever before when a second robot, more massive than the first, materializes and lashes out with deadly force.

Now humankind faces a nightmare invasion scenario made real, as more colossal machines touch down across the globe. But Rose and her team at the Earth Defense Corps refuse to surrender. They can turn the tide if they can unlock the last secrets of an advanced alien technology. The greatest weapon humanity wields is knowledge in a do-or-die battle to inherit the Earth . . . and maybe even the stars.

This book took the action up a notch from the first one. There was definitely a lot more action in this one than in the previous as we travelled from scientific intrigue to alien war. The first book was much about finding and assembling Themis, and the fallout when the rest of the world found out. About creating the EDC and about how and what Themis would do for the planet. The second was about the coming of the Martians… oh wait, sorry… wrong book. The second book was about the coming of the aliens that would become the harbinger of doom for the whole planet.

There were a lot of questions answered from the first book such as just who is the narrator – this man of power and influence who could organise and be involved with so many people from so many organisations. Who this new Rose Franklin is, what Alyssa’s research led to. And just what did the aliens want?

Alright so let’s just say that so much happens in this book, yet at the same time because of the narration style it feels like we’re a bit removed from it happening. Millions of people are killed and it’s told in a very matter of fact way that you don’t necessarily feel the horror of a very vast amount of people being wiped out in approximately 20 minutes flat. Some of the main characters meet rather sticky ends but again you don’t really feel the impact of that as you would in the same way if you were reading a first or third person narration. But it works here. A few times I did have to question myself as to what had just happened, but it does work.

Was it as good as the first?

I would say yes, it was. The narration style is unique, and whilst sometimes it makes it hard to read any tonal differentiation in the characters, it tells the story and it is surprisingly vivid too. My favourite character didn’t make it to the end, but I’m okay with that. She did good. I liked the new characters introduced and hopefully will get to see more fo them in the next book – which I’ve picked up straight away and hopefully really won’t take me quite so long to read.

As a quick aside: I think the other thing that I’ve perhaps found hard to focus on in this one is the time scales that things happen in. In the first I think it happened over the course of many years. This one picks up I think 10? years after the first one and then is resolved over a few days… I think. I’ve definitely found this aspect the hardest to keep up with.

The ending though to this super intense invasion… I did think it was a bit silly. But I’ll let you read that out for yourselves.

Have you read ‘Waking Gods’? If so, what did you think? What did you think of the first one?

Happy reading!

Kialtho

Watermelon Baby Cardigan

Tags

, , , , , ,

Sometimes it amazes me how long – or little – time can be given to a project. My Fade shawl took me 3 months or so from beginning to end – and admittedly there was a huge heatwave during that time, but I don’t remember taking much of a break from the knitting. Since then I have completed two more projects – one that I wrote about in my previous blog (the baby berry hat), and this one, the Watermelon Baby Cardigan. I know that they are baby knits, and as such don’t take quite so long to make, but it’s still nice to have completed a couple of projects in a short amount of time.

This whole year has been a bit of a strange one in terms of my knitting anyway – from the funk that I was in at the beginning of the year that seemed to take me a long time to recover from, which seems silly now that I am looking back on it. I needed some good wins this year, and I definitely feel that I have got them. One of them is this cute cardigan because I wasn’t sure how it was going to go when I first cast it on.

The pattern is available for free on Ravelry, which is even better especially as it really is just a cute little knit.

I think it only took about two or three days to knit, of a few hours each day. I choose yarn from my stash which was cool as I thought I was going to need to buy some more yarn for it. I was originally going to use some sparkly yarn like I did for the little hat, but when I saw I had stash colours, especially all the same yarn brand as well, I went for them. I am really glad that I did as I love the outcome. The yarn is the Women’s Institute yarn from Hobbycraft (surprise surprise, this is my more or less go to yarn at the moment), and I know that I’ve used this before but the stitch definition is just wonderful. I distracted myself as I was knitting away by how nicely the stitches were coming out.

I have bought some cute Hello Kitty buttons to go on this as well, but my needles appear to be too big… I’m going to have to dig out some of the sewing needles that I’ve used for either actual sewing/the sewing machine or the cross stitch ones. I think even the cross stitch sewing needles are still going to be too big! I should have perhaps thought that part through!

I think my only concern with this one is that I haven’t made the arms loose enough, but hopefully it should be okay for a small while!

All I need to do now is get my butt in gear and get the few items that I want to send ready so that I can send my knits across the Atlantic to their new home.

As I type that I can safely say that I have made a good start on the next project too. I agreed to make a family member a black cardigan and they gave me some really awesome hand made stuff, including handmade, hand turned wooden bowls and a hand made pen! I am one and a half sleeves into this project, and my tension is completely off but I’ve totally (I think) compensated for that fact by changing what size I am going to make. I’d post a picture of it so far… but it’s just black! I’ll write about the whole thing, and have photos, when it’s complete. The first sleeve took about 2 days to make, so hopefully the second sleeve won’t take so long either.