Look at this! I found all of this in the Closet of Stuff and the Basket of Things. Think about adding a dozen or two wee little stitches patterns to my collection and that adds up to a lot of stitching to be done, besides what I posted last week.
(Whee!)

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It just didn't stop. I kept pulling out another, and another, and oh look there's one under that other one...
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All the kits I have left, plus some cool patterns I collected over the years.

I’m not kidding, I have 24+ wee little stitches patterns. I’ve stitched a lot of them, but I have 12+ left I’d love to get to eventually, and I still want to buy a couple more! ;-) First step is admitting I have a problem…ok maybe not a “problem”, maybe just a favorite hobby of awesomeness. B-)

I only work a little on these one at a time, remember. This one is in my project bag at the moment though, I’ve been working on it a lot. The good part about starting so many things at once is that I usually finish them all at once too, and that is an incredible feeling. Knitter high? Yessss….
Juicy Top
Found this in Crochet Today July/August 2013. Shannon Mullet-Bowlsby is one of my favorite designers of all time so I searched three or four stores for this magazine before I found it in a bookstore. Go figure. I went with the original colors for the shirt which surprises me, but I think it will look cute. It’s an easy pattern to veg out with. Very zen. It was super exciting when I got to the stripes!
I really never thought I would wear something like this, but SMB designs clothing for any size and shape, so I’m sure it will look nice. It seems that crochet can lend itself to a lot of unflattering shirts, but I think those are just the ones that get publicity. There are lots of pretty crochet shirts too, I just had to look harder!
I’m using Lion Brand Microspun and what I think is Red Heart Luster Sheen (I lost the ball band/label). The bright colors are so cool!
I stress about sizing a lot beacuse the last (well, ok, ALL) of the sweaters I made were not the right size. I measured about 6 times for this one, and came to the conclusion that I don’t have to start over (nopenopenope not happening) but I am in between their sizes. So…I decided I may add some color on the sides as a vertical stripe. Cool! We’ll see how much of each I have left but I’d love to have a pink strip on one side and orange on the other. :-)
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I have big plans for next month. I’m going to finish my Bat Shawl while watching the Olympics. All that’s left is the border but I need to concentrate on it, so February is all about finishing that stupid shawl.

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!