I still have lots of yarn involved WIPs to share, no worries, but tonight I want to share a rare thing-an almost finished drawing.
Artists are like writers, we are never (or very rarely) satisfied with a piece. Read a writer’s blog and you’ll get it. It’s a constant feeling of inadequacy (“that other guy draws/paints/shades/etc waaay better than me”), second guessing, and sheer terror when Sharpies (or any other permanent ink) are involved. I love to draw so much, especially sketching and coloring things to make them look…I dunno…tattoo-ey…like bold colors and simple lines and deep shadows. Traditional tattoo art is neat stuff. It’s really something to make something come alive on the page with just pencils and ink (see the writing comparison? Writers can make whole worlds out of words alone.) I love it when I can capture someone’s look and features in as few lines as possible.
Anyway, My bffs and my BFF have always encouraged me to draw. I have about 34 sketch pads, a set of Prismacolor markers, Prismacolor colored pencils (even the skin tone set -drool-), countless freaking pencils and erasers, and even a nice little kit for watercolor sketching on the go. Ergo, I am prepared, I really don’t have a decent excuse. I have sketchbooks that are older than my house. I should probably use them, right? And those skin tone pencils. Seriously. -drool-
But I’m terrified of it. I need the practice (or do I?), most of all I need the confidence to just go with it and not worry so much. I read a neat article about a graduation speech Joss* Whedon gave at Somewhere University and the main point was that we are better when we change. Our personalities should constantly change, we should accept when we are wrong, and try to see things in other people’s eyes. Don’t be afraid to be imperfect.
So I drew something tonight and I’m over the moon about it. Bffs gave me a blank play mat** for Magic the Gathering for Christmas, in the hopes I would draw something cool on it. I knew it was a mat when I opened the package (it was rolled up in a nice tube) but was confused when I didn’t see anything but horrifying whiteness when I unrolled it…no dragon? no angel? Nope. Uh oh. “Now you can draw something cool on there, that would be cooler than any of the other designs.” is pretty much what they said. Oof.
But no! (cue the internal dialog, which I will spare you of) I will not worry. I sketched a black lotus*** right away, when they were here. Partly to show them how I appreciated the gift and partly to get my ass in gear about it. (I am a high ranking official in the Court of Procrastination). I liked it a lot, and today I got the chance to color it in. I am using Sharpies (regular, I tried the fabric ones but they bled a lot more and weren’t as crisp) and a blue highlighter of unknown origin. It’s really cool, and I’m not afraid to say that. I plan on putting each of my regular MtG team on there as a representative of each color in the game. That will be me: white/plains, BFF:green/forest, deltafine:blue/water, MAB:red/fire, and RVXB3: black/doom. W has offered to draw me a dalek on there, so I’m totally taking him up on that tomorrow. I’ll ask him nicely to draw the Doctor on there too. ;-)

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almost there! I would have finished it but it needs to dry. I was getting marks on my hand and woe unto me if I smudge it.

I’ll post the finished version asap. Now I just need to get back into sketching people.

*the article about Joss: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/05/29/joss-whedon-2013-wesleyan-commencement-address/
**Magic the Gathering is that geeky nerdy card game you may have heard about. We’re nuts for it. The play mats are a lot like huge mouse pads. They are nice and smooth and make it easier to handle all the cards in play.
***Black Lotus card: http://gatherer.wizards.com/pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=600
It’s very rare and super cool. I just like drawing lotuses mostly and the colors are great. Part of what makes MtG such a fun game is the amazing artwork featured on each card. Deltafine even made a chainmaille bracelt based on it; it’s my favorite one.

Isn’t it neat? Doesn’t it look like a tattoo? :-)

Happy Halloween!! October is the best. Colorful scenery, crisp air, candy, and spooky stuff. Who could ask for more? We have glow in the dark bouncy balls to give out along with candy this year, yessss!
Dracula Shawl:
This is from one of Woolgirls’s wonderful yarn clubs. I think I got it last year (or before), but just now got the ambition to start it. I blame fall’s approach. This time of year I just want a hot cup of coffee, lace, scarves, and a good book, preferably a scary one, so why not revisit a classic?
(The pattern is written for beads, and I got 30g of Japanese Rocaille size 8 in shiny blood red. Adding beads is a lot more fun than I expected.) It is from Susanna IC. The yarn club is fun because I don’t have to buy a year’s worth, I can get one or as many kits as I want. This kit came with the pattern, exclusively dyed yarn (Madelinetosh lace no less), a nest blood drop inspired stitch marker, a shawl pin, and a little tin with Drac on it. I ordered a Edgar Alan Poe themed one this year, I hope it’s in the mail today!
Funny thing about the beads: I foolishly didn’t have the pattern notes when I shopped for the beads, so I bought three times as many as I actually needed. Sigh. Knitter problems. I guess now I have lots of sparkles for future projects…I love how sparkly the beads are. This will be a big shawl, more of a wrap.

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See the super cool bracelet in there? It’s a stitch counter bracelet- an abacus to wear to count how many rows I’ve done. Penny made it for me out of a couple old bracelets I had. Remember the gemstone/rock bracelets from 1998? I had like 12 of those because they went on sale when I worked at Hastings. Through some glitch or twist of fate, the computer rang them up as 1¢ each with my employee discount. Scoooore! My faces were the hematite and labradorite, the ones now on the abacus bracelet. :-) I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Penny makes the coolest stuff.
I keep this project in a neat basket that a friend gave me. (I love it, Janel!) I was playing with the camera and tried to make the photo all artsy for you.

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Happy haunting!

I know. I know. I have a lot of these. Playing with yarn keeps me from snacking and is an excellent way to relax whilst a young one runs around like a beast.

Totoro Mittens
I love that movie. These are stranded knitted mittens with two colors of yarn at once. I’m getting better at getting my tension right so the colors look nice and the darker color doesn’t show through. It’s easier for me to use thicker weight yarn and make something I’ll use. (I made a purse/little bag once that is awesome but I never use it…I should dig it out). Anyway, both skeins are Lion Brand Wool-Ease. It is a wool blend that is machine washable, woot! The pattern is from brella, her pattern page says “Totoros are the shy forest spirits portrayed in Hayao Miyazaki’s Japanese animated film My Neighbor Totoro. There’s a big one with an umbrella, two little ones, and a bunch of dust bunnies (or soot sprites) who like to swirl out of dark corners. I wanted to capture all of these elements on mittens, which in the Norwegian tradition are wonderful surfaces for intricate stranded knitting designs.” These will be so cute and toasty! I really like them and will probably make more mittens like this.

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Left palm
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Back

Its funny to see them come to life! Since the yarn is thicker they are stitching up very quickly. Once I tried using double points it went even faster.

Tunisian Crochet Ten Stitch Blanket
I just started this last week. Sometimes I get the urge to crochet. This promised to use up some stash yarn and have a cozy blanket. The pattern is from Dedri Uyswho writes a very cool blog. She has done two to three versions of this blanket. It does indeed burn through stash yarn and is indeed very quick to do and addictive! It’s only ten stitches around, worked in a spiral. I’m using a size 9 hook, which is bigfer than recommended for the yarn individually but it makes the blanky drape better (ie: flop around instead of act like a board) and tunisian stitches are tighter. I plan on using purple and white once that skein of blue is finally gone. The middle yarn is cotton and the other stuff is unknown acrylic. It is nice and soft and should be nice and warm. The corners are too fun to stitch!
Tunisian crochet differed from regular crochet in that it is almost a blend of both knitting and crochet. You pick up stitches like knitting, then crochet them back across. I love the texture.

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Hope you are enjoying these. :-)

This one a day idea is pretty good…I get more posts out and I never run out of things to post about if I use WIPs, hahaha!
Part 3) Kai Socks
Pattern is Kai-Mei I by Cookie A in her book, Sock Innovations. She is another sock designer I adore. The pattern I beautiful. It is tricky though, with all that business in the gusset (of all places), but so so pretty! It’s a little hard to make out in the photo but the lace is nice. I think the color way and pattern fit perfectly. The picture of the sock knit up (on the tag) makes it look like a pint of Guiness. :-) I started this one last year and work on it now and then.
The yarn bowl is Cthulu Yarn Bowl by Peri Charlifu. We see him every year at Bubonicoin and his work is amazing.

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I placed the yarn up so you can see the color way, but here is how it looks when it’s in the bowl. *sigh* I have the bowl on a shelf in the front room so I see it everyday. <_3br>

The stitch markers are form etsy, and are based on Dr Who. The theme is The Doctor and Rose. :-D The little key is to the TARDIS, naturally. The needles are Knit Picks. They are probably my favorite needles, which is unfortunate since I’m taking so long knitting these up…

2014-1-25: I frogged it. It was too much work and not as fun as it should have been, meaning it wasn’t fun at all. I started a new pattern with this yarn though, called Supernatural and it’s fun to knit it while watching the show. :-) Pics soon.