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Steadfast Love
I'd walk a 1000 miles, just for you.
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Accio brain!
If you'd like to order a custom, tailored to you, hand knit item then please feel free to check Shadow's Knit Knacks for examples of my work and either contact me through the customer request link there or directly at: ShadowsKnits @ Gmail.com

Originally posted: Feb 9, 2012

Current Yarn Requests:

  1. Open


  1. Matching hat - Fairy Defense

  2. Fingerless gloves in laceweight

  3. Cabled Glove design

  4. Leafy shawl, varigated greens

  5. Stack of Books scarf

Waiting On Customer:Read more...Collapse )

Dreamcatcher Orders:Read more...Collapse )

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, comments, concerns.

Completed Yarn Orders:
2012 -
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2013Collapse )

Tierney L - Toirneach Kilt Socks - Jan 20, 2014
Heather - Loki & Thor - Apr 3, 2014
sorchawench - Rainbow Gloves - May 28, 2014

Sometimes we need the chance to get things off our chest while knowing that we won't be judged. Sometimes we need to talk to somebody just to get things straight in our own head. Sometimes we just want to share a thought with somebody.

Here's your chance.

Comments are screened and anonymous posting is allowed. Tell the box anything you need to get off your chest or out of your head. If it's something you want to discuss further, leave a way of contacting you.

Secrets come here to die. What's posted here is simply between you and I. I won't even contact you about it unless you ask me to.

The Confessional Box is now open.
7th-Feb-2017 03:36 pm - Silence in the Dark [depression, life, lj idol s10, pain]
It’s too much. My brain can’t handle it.

That’s the only explanation that I can come up with. My brain keeps shutting down, blanking out. Either somebody will direct something toward me or something deep in the recesses of my darkened thought paths will spark and I realize I was stalled.

There’s just too much.

There’s the current political climate and all the fear that goes along with that, particularly when I see people who hate all that their office stands for being put in positions of leadership. There’s fear of being a woman in this world. There’s fear of what happens when all the good laws are being dismantled and trashed.

There’s the lack of money to do anything to better my situation. I can’t get interviews so I can’t get a job that pays more. I can’t take less because … I really don’t know how the hell we’re paying bills as it is. I can’t function in our 290ish square feet of home. I’m drowning in things and stuff. I have plans to make things from the supplies I have (and thus get it out of our space) but there’s so much stuff just … there. Which, if I say something then there’s hurt feelings. Yes, you cleaned a shelf and that’s helpful. But it doesn’t change that there’s still laundry to put away and a pile of dirty clothing plus a pile of fabric and two cubbies of stuff that needs to be sorted through so it will stop oozing thready goodness onto the floor for the cat to roll in. It doesn’t change that I don’t have a bathtub to soak away my pain in. It doesn’t help that I don’t have a kitchen to create in. I'm still stuck with a shower stall and a crockpot / microwave combo … and no room to add anything else.

There’s grief, so much damn grief. I don’t dare allow myself to feel the grief. I’ll never stop crying. Two beloved animals and two family members gone in eight months. Two of those lives I could see the end of, it was expected that eventually after a long life it would happen. Two of those were lives cut tragically short. I’m going to work to keep my mind busy during the day, to give me ways to clamp down the urge to cry. But it’s exhausting. By the time I get home I’m wrung out and limp. I look around at the clutter and the sheer amount of plans … and my brain goes dark. I sink into it.

The dark is so comforting. There’s nothingness. There’s quiet. Sometimes there’s Borderlands or hours of digital shows streaming. There’s nothing to require me to think, to feel, to process.

I nudge myself. There’s twitter, which is all political, on purpose. There’s facebook, a mix of politics, silly, friends, and family. I poke at both, trying to muster up the energy to care, to be active, to do something. It’s too much, overwhelming in the amount of feelings and fear. So I turn back to Instagram, my stream of yarn, delicious looking deserts, and rainbow hair pictures. It was my happy place. Now it’s just my this hurts less place. I close my mouth, no comments uttered.

I’ll come up out of these dark depths at some point. But right now it’s taking everything I have just to keep my head above water. If I open my mouth I just might drown.

*This is not intended as a cry for attention or help. I'm just a writer with a prompt working through some stuff, as you do.*
3rd-Feb-2017 03:57 pm - In Memory of Talesia [death, loss, miss kid]
I met her when she was five.

I accidently messed up her 7th birthday party when her father and I were driving back to Houston and ended up getting rear ended.

The road to us being friends was not an easy one. I was the new person in her father's life and rules were changing. But over time we bridged that gap.

I remember the nights of painting her nails, teaching her about makeup, talking about books. I remember her sitting beside me to play Star Wars The Old Republic, I moved the character but she made all the speech choices. She got frustrated with not being great at moving so this was how we managed. I just wanted to see the story line and she loved making the choices.

I remember her being so concerned that she drop the petels just so when she was flower girl when I wed her father.

I remember taking her to plays and concerts at Miller Outdoor Theater. She thought it was silly, until the band would start. She loved the cover band that performed Pink Floyd and asked to hear more like that. She loved The Beatles alongside Tiao Cruz. She would play I Love Rock and Roll on Guitar Hero over and over and when Dynamite came on in the car it was an instant dance party.

She begged me over and over at our first anime convention to go play the sword fighting game. I refused on the grounds that I was the only parent type figure there and if she accidently got hurt I'd absolutely never hear the end of it. Thankfully her father was finally able to join us. She was dressed as a fairy so I sent her out there minus the wings, shoes, and tiara. She was an instant favorite as the crowd cheered for her to destroy her father. A year later a boy came out of the comic store and was simply beside himself because he recognized her from that night. He couldn't stop talking about how awesome she was in the ring. Naturally we took her to the park so she could fight more.

She had no fear.

When I started working conventions and was in charge of the volunteers she was one of the first to sign up. Naturally I gave her things to do that others thought she couldn't really do. It quickly became clear that if she had something to tell you it was from me because she could run through the hotel far faster than I could. Also, she had confidence to spare. There was an incident where we had to evacuate the vendor room. She was stationed at the door to make sure only vendors were allowed back in once we were given the all clear. A large biker looking type tried to enter. She told him he couldn't. He started to walk past her and she grabbed his arm. "HEY!! I SAID you couldn't enter yet!" She had no clue there was a security guard that had just walked up behind her but she was certainly ready to try and stop him.

She was creative and curious. We loved going to the museums. She read books by the ton and wrote incredible stories. She wanted to learn how to knit because I did it. She was also a fantastic knit model. She joined the writing contest that I'd been participating in for several years and I was so proud that everything was simply her. I did no editing, she stood on her own, and made a good showing. All of her work is still public, lee_hawk. She made jewelry and drew. She had so many interests and so many choices.

This was the last picture I took of her as a knit model.

She was sad but accepting when I divorced her father and later moved out. She was very happy that I found Jon. I was thrilled that she came to my wedding last July.

There was so much I didn't know, so much I missed because we didn't talk as much. This beautiful, creative, brilliant girl is gone, her life ended by her own hand. I am so lost. There were plans, once we had our own place, for her to spend a night or two. That never happened. So much lost because she couldn't see a way past her own pain. I do not blame her. I can only mourn the loss of opportunities, the moments we can't have.

I know that right now though she is no longer in pain. I'm sure she's surrounded by all the kittens and puppies and rabbits. Every animal was her favorite and I'm certain they are all there with her, comforting her and welcoming her.

I will miss her until I see her again.

In loving memory of Talesia Lee Vaughan Byrd.
Born 3-27-2001, Died 2-1-2017.
Always loved. Never to be forgotten.
I feel like this week has been about stepping back. I started the heels on my socks but I need to pull them out and begain again as it's not as clean as it could be. This wrist warmer had about 20 rows pulled out last night as I'd gone wrong somewhere with the counting. It's much better now. There's still a bit of laddering between the needles, no matter how much I try to fix it. So .. I've decided it's just going to be a design element.


Princeps' Fury by Jim Butcher. I can't leave this world and while I want to rocket to the end and see how everything settles ... I also want it to last quite a bit longer.
30th-Jan-2017 08:33 pm - Past and Present [family, lj idol s10]
Mother Wolf
I always knew I was different.

The other kids had mothers and fathers, or one of the two. I had my great granparents.

I knew they loved me. But I knew others didn't think I should be there. I knew family members thought my great grandparents shouldn't take me on as a responsibility. It was then I didn't feel that I belonged.

My first serious boyfriend capitalized on that. He told me how much I didn't fit in. He made sure I knew I didn't belong. He slowly seperated me from those I called friend. And then he took from me the hope of ever having a family of my own, a family where I belonged.

My first husband had family but they fought, if they bothered to talk at all. His sister showed up at our house in the dead of night and demanded my wedding rings because we were a month behind on the loan. He knew we were more than a month behind on the house note because he handled all the money. He shrugged and told me to hand them over to her. I cried for a month and the hate for him slowly seeped deeper into my soul. I didn't belong here either.

My second husband had a family but his ex wife talked to them more than he did. When his mother passed I realized I was seen as the interloper. I couldn't be his wife, she was still his wife in their eyes, even though she'd asked for the divorce. I didn't even bother fighting. I insulated myself from the hurt and did all I could to keep the hurt contained. Eventually I left there too, hoping that some day the little girl I'd spent 5 years helping to raise wouldn't forget me. I don't really hear from her much these days though.

My Jon, my current and last husband, has a family. They are very much a family, there for each other. We live with several of them until we can get our own things sorted out. Earlier this month his grandmother passed away. I stepped back, feeling that I didn't belong. I supported him but I did all I could to give them their last moments with her rather than taking that time for myself. When I went down to the waiting room to tell his mother that she should be in there more than I should be she enfolded me in a hug. Later, as they cleaned out her room they offered me some of her fabric and sewing supplies. I was overwhelmed with emotion. I didn't deserve that. But they assured me that they'd already taken what they wanted and I was welcome to it as I'd use it.

I'm not the same faith they are but they don't treat me as an outcast. Some of my family is on facebook but we don't talk much. I chat with my sister. I occasionally miss the closeness I thought we shared back when my great grandparents were alive. But I also realize that Jon's family completely accepts me as I am, non-conformist, purple haired, pagan worshiper, and slightly crazy girl that I am. I'm thankful that we had our wedding when we did and so much of his family was able to make it.

This is not the world I came from. This, however, is the world I'm accepted in.
23rd-Jan-2017 12:39 am - Everyday Magic [knitting, lj idol s10]
I like creating little bits of magic with sticks and string. And it is magic. I go from a string to a wearable thing that is soft and warm and pretty.

I love lace because it's a scrunched up mess and it doesn't look very pretty at all. But I get it wet and stretch it out and, bam! Magic. I can create pictures and delicate things with my sticks and string. I can play with color and stitches to get the shape I want. I can make tiny little pieces and put them together to make whole new, complete things.

But the thing that is absolute magic every time is the sock. I can start from the toes or from the calf. I can knit in a spiral or wedges, or lengthwise. I've even knit them on a bias. But no matter how you look at it the part that just astounds me every single time is the heel. You're knitting in a tube, then you knit a little flap. Then, you start knitting little rows that start just past the center of that flap. The rows slowly gain a stitch on each side, one at a time. Once you finally have used up all the stitches you have turned the heel and created a little cup that, if done correctly, snugs around your heel like a wooly hug.

I very much love the little bits of magic I create. It makes me feel magical because it all starts the same, sticks and string.

Wait, did you expect to read about a time I turned heel and became the bad guy? Nah, I'm pretty up front about not particularly caring about most people and basically being out for myself. Besides, I've already written about that. *wink*
I had just enough lace weight to give these gloves a try. Somewhere, on this row or the last patterned row I messed up. Of course I figured this out while quickly losing light and traveling 70mph down the freeway to our camping event on Friday. So they got set aside until I have time to look at them and figure it out.

And since those aren't time sensitive ... I started on a project that is on a deadline. A friend asked if I could make a bunny for her nephew. Knit up a cute toy? Yes! So far I've started the legs and the back. It made a lot more sense once I figured out that I have to make two.

I've also been zooming through the stripy socks. Now that I have a plan for the remains I think I'll bind off at the end of this color. I think that plus making the heel from the lighter colors will balance them and then I'll have plenty for my blanket.


Cursor's Fury by Jim Butcher. I really love that I have all these and can just fly through them one after the other. I'm really enjoying the story and the pacing, plus the little twists the story takes is keeping me very entertained.
11th-Jan-2017 03:42 pm - Fear is not Love [lj idol s10]
I once thought that if I loved somebody enough they wouldn’t hurt me anymore. If I proved myself then the fists, the kicks, and the hateful words would stop. Nothing was good enough so I ran.

I once thought that if I loved a different somebody enough then I’d be enough for him. If I did enough then I’d be the only girl he wanted. I was never good enough so I ran.

I once thought that if I loved a different somebody enough that I could make it work. If I was that ray of sunshine and joy that he’d move past his anger, his rage, his depression. I could never be happy enough so I ran.

When this somebody told me he loved me I didn’t feel the familiar creep of fear. I looked into his eyes and saw only naked honesty. I saw raw feelings and uncluttered truth.

He tells me daily that he loves me. There’s no motive behind it other than it being what he feels. Fear has ruled my life for so long. Sometimes I would forget that there’s a life out there without the fear motivating every move, every decision.

I used to love because I feared. I was afraid of getting beat, of being left, of not being good enough. Fear is no longer the heart of my love. I love now because he is wholly mine. I love because he believes me to be good enough. I love because he loves me and wants only me. Love is now a two way street.

I will never love out of fear again.
4th-Jan-2017 02:49 pm - Aiming the Arrow [dagorhir, lj idol s10]
First rule of archery in Dagorhir: Learn to run.

Nobody wants to get hit in the face. However, that’s the best place to target. Opposing players are far less likely to mistake your hit for a bump with a teammate’s shield if they’re popped in the face with an arrow. Targeting the arms is great and all but it’s not a sure shot. Aim for center mass or face.

Also run.

Because they chase you. Many players will run an archer down to save other members on their own team. Some players just hate archers on principle. So, run, run fast, and stay with a teammate who can defend you should it be needed.

Once you get the running part down work on aiming. Aiming should be more important but when you’re on the field, in the thick of battle, chaos around you, sometimes the most important thing is simply getting away.

Running just requires legs. Aiming requires a bit of predictamancy and bluff. Don’t point your arrow at what you want to hit. Point it at the person paying the most attention to you. You’ll want to be back behind the line because you need to see more than just the person you are pretending to hit. That’s right, pretending.

If they see the arrow coming they’re just going to dodge or block with a shield.

You want to aim for the shot that will be, not the shot you see. You make it appear that you’re aiming one place but really, you’re just watching for that one person who’s not paying attention. They’ll look away at the sword wielding person bearing down on them. Or the shield protecting the other archer will lower in distraction just enough as they respond to a different threat. You swing your bow around and let fly. You have to aim for where their face will be, not where it is now.

 If not, be ready to run.
First off, these needles! I got the Hiya Hiya interchangable set for Christmas and I've already knit two hats, a shirt, and a bootie on them. They are so incredibly wonderful. Smoother than any I've worked with before and the joins, oh so lovely and swively. Anyhow, this scrap of garter stitch will become the second bootie of the set and I'll likely see it done before the day is out. And no, none of these baby things are for me, a friend is due this month.

I've also made a lot of headway on the stripy socks. For the first time I've switched to a size 0 for the ribbing. Hopefully this will fix the stretchiness that happens at some point during the day. I need to pull the yarn for the heel but I think these will be done fairly soon if we keep up with movie and game nights.

No pictures because it's all black duck cloth. But I have cut out 4 tabards for friends for the event coming up on the 13th. I also have grey linen for a double thick tunic for another friend. So much to get done before then.


Academ's Fury by Jim Butcher. I'm very glad I have several of these on my kindle and I'm finally making time for them. I'm quite enjoying the adventures of Tavi and his friends. I very much want to see what happens to their home.
3rd-Jan-2017 11:23 am - New Years Weekend [new year, weekend report]
Friday was my attempt to escape from work early. Basically, it came down to making sure we had all the uploads done which meant I went around and bugged everybody to turn crap in. You know … same thing I do every day of the week.

Saturday we were rather lazy but finally got moving and headed over to Z’s. We played board games and watched the ball drop. The little Z had a couple glitter poppers so it looked like a unicorn had been slaughtered on the patio. So much glitter. There were also kisses from the hubby at midnight.

Sunday was fighting though I declined to participate. Apparently, I slept wrong and messed up my knee and my back so I sat out and watched. With an event coming up in just 2 weeks I want to give it time to settle down. Speaking of the event I have a lot to sew for it and need to get off my butt to get it done. Nearly all the fabric is prepped though, so that’s a bonus.

Monday I had the day off while Jon went to work. I slept in so late, it was ridiculous. We cuddled on the couch and finished up a couple of shows we’ve been catching up on. I also finished knitting a newborn shirt and 1 bootie. I’ll do the other probably tonight after I get some fabric time in.

It was a good start to the new year, catching up on things, games, time with friends, and finishing projects. I look forward to this being the theme of 2017.
31st-Dec-2016 10:59 am - Year of Crafting
Elisa Shawl – Knitting, Self
Green Tabbard – Sewing, Jon
Ballband Dishcloth – Knitting, Self
Mitered Dishcloth – Knitting, Self

Lafrowda Dishcloth – Knitting, Self
Single Crochet Dishcloth – Crochet, Self
Target Dishcloth – Crochet, Self
Black Tunic – Sewing, Holmes
Spiral Dishcloth – Crochet, Self
2 Cable Beanie – Knitting, Self
Pretty Chilly – Knitting, Self
Black Tunic – Sewing, Jon
Brown Tabard – Sewing, Jon
Green Tabard – Sewing, Gift (Riddari)

Spiral Cowl – Knitting, Self
Gummy Stripes – Knitting, Self

Green / Brown Tabard – Sewing, Gift (Lycus)
Green / Brown Tabard – Sewing, Gift (Toan)
Brown Linen Tunic – Sewing, Jon
Brown Dress – Sewing, Self

In & Out Socks – Knitting, Self

Toesies – Knitting, Self
Ax Cover – Sewing, Jon

Worsted Weight Socks – Knitting, Commission (Kelli T)
Twilight Rose Beanie – Knitting, Gift (Anna)
Swirl Hat – Knitting, Gift (Bruce)

Make-up Cloth – Knitting, Self
Bruce Socks – Knitting, Gift (Bruce)
Ember’s Tunic – Sewing, Commission (Ember)
Antiphon’s Tunic – Sewing, Commission (Antiphon)
Smocked Sweater – Knitting, Gift (Anna)

Smocked & Awed – Knitting, Gift (Anna)
Toddler Sweater – Knitting, Gift (Bruce)
Green Facecloth – Knitting, Self
Purple Tabard – Sewing, Commission (Aries)
Circle Cloth – Knitting, Self
Facecloth x7 – Knitting, Self
Green & Brown Mini Square – Sewing, Self

Dyed Green Tunic – Sewing, Jon
Team Headband – Knitting, Gift (Valinor)
Wizard Stripe Socks – Knitting, Self
Forest Hood – Knitting Self

Age of Brass and Steam Shawl – Knitting, Gift (Batsy)
Latu Hat – Knitting, Gift (Ember)
Black Knit Hat – Knitting, Jon
2 Color Heart Hat – Knitting, Gift (Ariel)
Newborn Heart Hat – Knitting, Gift (Ariel)

The last few sewing projects are not documented as photobucket is refusing to let me upload, it keeps throwing me back to the log in screen. There's also a couple gifts that I haven't posted finished posts for as I don't want to spoil the surprise. And the last couple will be part of a larger post once I finish the rest of the set that I have planned.

I finished a total of 53 projects this year.

35 were Knitting
03 were Crochet
15 were Sewing

Further break down of these:
27 were for me
07 were for Jon
11 were gifts
08 were commissions
31st-Dec-2016 10:07 am - Books of 2016 [reading, year in review]
1/6/2016 Code Breakers: Alpha By Colin F. Barnes 264
1/7/2016 Tortured Souls: The Legend of Primordium By Clive Barker 88
1/11/2016 Hero for Hire: Eno the Thracian 1 By C.B. Pratt 298
1/14/2016 Due Justice By Diane Capri 318
1/20/2016 1929: Book 1 By M. L. Gardner 465
1/25/2016 Sower of Dreams: God's Dreams 1 By Debra Holland 308
2/5/2016 Sympathy for the Devil By Tim Pratt 500
2/10/2016 The Use: Changing Magic 1 By D. L. Carter 400
2/15/2016 A King Ensnared: Stewart Chronicles 1 By J. R. Tomlin 244
2/20/2016 The Serpent in the Glass: Tale of Thomas Farrell 1 By D. M. Andres 234
2/22/2016 Architects of Destiny: Cadicle 1 By Amy DuBoff 168
2/24/2016 The Key of Kilenya: Kilenya 1 By Andrea Pearson 302
2/26/2016 Reap: Harvest Saga 1 By Casey L. Bond 270
3/2/2016 Nefertiti's Heart: Artiface Hunters 1 By A. W. Exley 301
3/6/2016 Becoming Human: Exilon 5 1 By Eliza Green 355
3/8/2016 Stone Guardian: Entwined Realms 1 By Danielle Monsch 382
3/11/2016 Love Beyond Time: Morna's Legacy 1 By Bethany Claire 277
3/12/2016 Ludwika: A Polish Woman's Struggle to Survive in Nazi Germany By Christoph Fischer 253
3/12/2016 C. S. Lewis: A Life Inspired By Christopher Gordon 132
3/16/2016 Uneasy Spirits: Victorian San Francisco Mystery By M. Louisa Locke 390
3/28/2016 Rage Against the Night By Various 426
4/3/2016 Unhappenings By Edward Aubry 370
4/9/2016 Harbored Secrets By Marie F Martin 370
4/13/2016 Asylum - 13 Tales of Terror By Matt Drabble 260
4/25/2016 Beyond Wall: Books 1 & 2 By Lucas Bale 423
4/30/2016 Gods and Monsters By V. R. Christensen 512
5/5/2016 A Cry of Honor: Sorcerer's Ring 4 By Morgan Rice 236
5/15/2016 Lionheart: A Novel of Richard I By Martha Rofheart 497
5/24/2016 Cold Fear By Rick Mofina 448
6/1/2016 Amid the Shadows By Michael C. Grumley 313
6/7/2016 A Vow of Glory: Sorcerer's Ring 5 By Morgan Rice 210
6/9/2016 Skeletons in the Closet: Laundry Hag 1 By Jennifer L. Hart 242
6/14/2016 The Witch of Napoli By Michael Schmicker 350
6/16/2016 The Bitches of Everafter: Everafter 1 By Barbra Annino 265
6/18/2016 Klan: Killing America By Ken Rossignol 290
6/29/2016 The Red Mohawk By Anonymous 244
7/3/2016 Colony of the Lost By Derek Cavignano 314
7/8/2016 Witches of Bourbon Street: Jade Calhoun 1 By Deanna Chase 262
7/13/2016 Namaste By Sean Platt, et al 312
7/18/2016 The Lost Centurion: Immortals 1 By Monica La Porta 201
7/23/2016 Quinn Checks In: Liam Quinn Mysteries 1 By L. H. Thomson 215
7/31/2016 Where Darkness Dwells By Glen Krisch 321
8/6/2016 Quite Contrary By Richard Roberts 318
8/11/2016 Wrecked By Elle Casey 436
8/13/2016 Magic of Thieves: Legends of Dimmingwood 1 By C. Greenwood 191
8/20/2016 Among Wolves: Children of the Mountain 1 By R. A. Hakok 291
8/27/2016 Beat Slay Love By Thalia Filbert 274
9/1/2016 Drinking from a Bitter Cup By Angela Jackson-Brown 298
9/3/2016 The Tea Plantation By Nicola Italia 304
9/14/2016 Push Not the River: Poland Trilogy 1 By James Conroyd Martin 556
9/21/2016 House of Rejoicing: The Book of Coming Forth by Day 1 By Libbie Hawker 476
9/27/2016 A Hidden Fire: Elemental Mysteries 1 By Elizabeth Hunter 321
9/28/2016 Any Witch Way You Can: Wicked Witches of the Midwest 1 By Amanda M. Lee 318
9/30/2016 The Recruiter By Dan Ames 383
10/5/2016 Perception: Perception Trilogy 1 By Lee Strauss 313
10/8/2016 Rise of the Dragons: Kings & Sorcerers 1 By Morgan Rice 228
10/11/2016 Changes: Randall Lee 1 By Charles Colyott 282
10/15/2016 Sold Out: Nick Woods 1 By Stan R. Mitchell 284
10/19/2016 C is for Cthulhu By Jason Ciaramella 27
10/21/2016 Gretel By Christopher Coleman 356
10/26/2016 Anomaly Flats By Clayton Smith 269
10/29/2016 Tales from a Lost Town: Uncanny Chronicles 1 By Gregory Miller 154
11/4/2016 Darkness in the Valley: Uncanny Chronicles 2 By Gregory Miller 450
11/8/2016 Shades of Gray By Jessica James 468
11/12/2016 Esper Files By Egan Brass 217
11/18/2016 Krinos By T. L. Smith 157
11/22/2016 Slave, Warrior, Queen: Of Crowns and Glory 1 By Morgan Rice 250
11/30/2016 Wolves of the Northern Rift: Magic & Machinery 1 By Jon Messenger 303
12/6/2016 Mythology 101: Mythology 1 By Jody Lynn Nye 317
12/22/2016 Furies of Calderon: Codex Alera 1 By Jim Butcher 460

Total Books read: 70
Total Pages read: 21,731

30th-Dec-2016 11:24 am - Year End Finishes [knitting]

I finished up a few things that haven't been documented yet. There'll be another post in Jan about gift finishes as I don't want to ruin surprises that haven't been given yet.

First up is this hood I made myself.

I've already used it, the one day it was quite cold when we had practice. I didn't fight that day so I'm still not sure how that will work out but it did cut down on the cold on my ears. Plus this paired with my shawl was great around my neck.

I'm still not sure about the short rows in the back but I suspect I did something wrong and after a wash or two they'll smooth out.

Pattern: Friend of the Forest Hood by Gretchen Tracy
Project: Ravelry

I also finished up another set of stripy socks.

I always love my stripy socks. These ended up with the heel placed perfectly and I used them for heel placement on the next set.

Project: Ravelry

Lastly I have a hat for the hubby. He wanted a hat he could wear while fighting, for those colder days. So standard acrylic it is!

He's a very simple guy so it was a super fast knit. Plus I can throw it in the wash after he spends 4 hours sword fighting and it's soaked. Win!

Pattern: Knit Hat by Kathy North
Project: Ravelry
27th-Dec-2016 04:14 pm - Walking over Graves [lj idol s10]
I shiver mightily and gasp as he closes the door behind him. The cold air swirls through the room like a living being.

“Possum walk over your grave?”

I give him a look. “First of all, it’s goose, not possum.” I grab my blanket from the couch. “Second of all, it’s freezing outside and you have it way too cold in here.”

I stop by the thermostat and turn it up by 5 degrees. 60 really is too cold when it’s below 40 outside.

“Besides, I’m going to be cremated anyhow. So no grave to walk over. Now, come to bed and help me warm up.”

I disappear into the bedroom. He is not far behind.
27th-Dec-2016 03:54 pm - Tasty Feelings [food, lj idol s10]
Between the ages of 16 and 19 I’m pretty sure I ate enough tacos to feed a small third world country. Not only is it at the top of my favorite foods list but it was comfort.

D figured out the comfort part early on.

He struck me for some guy smiling at me? He bought me tacos. He raped me because he could? More tacos. He kicked me in the kidneys and stomach for being late on my cycle? Tacos.

For years I’ve struggled with my relationship to food. Happy? Sad? Tired? Food’s the answer for all of it.

I started seeing food differently when I married. Well, more specifically, when my first husband screwed us over on the house note and we nearly lost the house. I had known things were tight because one month the water would get turned off. Another month it was the electricity. It was still a revelation when we got the call that the house was about to be repossessed, the week of Christmas. I suddenly saw food as energy and, in some ways, a waste. I cut back on it as much as I could just to keep the house. I lost 20 pounds that year.

There have been times over the years since then that I have still eaten my feelings. In a way, I did this past weekend. I’ve been carefully counting the calories and watching everything I put in my mouth. Did I earn it? Was it within my limits? It was making me so sad. I missed the days when my 2nd husband and I would splurge a bit and hit up a buffet or a fancy place. We’d spend the meal talking about the tastes, the flavors, the texture. We had love affairs with food at those times. So for Christmas I gave myself permission to have all the grief bacon, or happy cookies, or unwinding crown that I wanted.

Luckily for my waistline we didn’t have a lot of food in the house.

My relationship with food will always be in flux.

Jon knows the powers of tacos, or the new number one – sushi, when it comes to cheering up his Shadow.

Yeah, even after all that tacos are still my comfort food. Because I have the power to choose and I choose to remember the times Nanny and I would sneak out of the house after Grandad went to bed to get late night tacos. I choose to remember the conspiratorial smiles we’d share. That’s always better than remembering the horrors that came later.
27th-Dec-2016 02:10 pm - Cold Calm [abuse, fear, lj idol s10]
It was good that my hair was up in a bun. I could feel the heat of the burner. I had turned it off only moments before. His enraged face was only a breath away from mine. His hand pressed to my chest, bending me backward over the stove.

I don’t remember what I said. I don’t remember the match that set him aflame. I can remember the heat of the burner radiating up to my neck. I can remember being grateful that my super long hair was not singeing, because that’d be harder to hide. I remember thinking with the cold part of my brain how far to push to get him to let go.

I remember the fridge tilting up on its feet when he slammed me into it. I remember the feel of his hands on my throat when he pinned me to the wall.

I never remember what I said to create those fires. I only remember the calm descending, the calculating on what to say to get him to let go. I didn’t cry though. That would have only encouraged him.

“She was never abused, if she was she wouldn’t fight back, she’d cry and apologize. She wouldn’t do it again.”

You were my family. I thought you’d have my back better than that. I never thought you’d stand with my abuser.

I guess you forgot about the times he drove me into panic attacks and couldn’t pull me out of them. I guess you forgot about having to come upstairs and talk your sobbing granddaughter out of her own brain. I know you weren’t there when he grabbed my ponytail and threw me into a corner, I fell apart, like a puppet with cut strings. You didn’t see the times Nox climbed into my lap to rescue her mother and bring her mind back to reality.

I couldn’t predict the sang-froid. I couldn’t predict the panic attacks. I could only use the cold calm when it manifested.

Like the time he shoved me at the top of the stairs. His mistake was that he was at the top of the stairs and I was on the landing. It took him at least 2 steps before he regained his balance. He snarled “how dare you”. I calmly replied that next time he wouldn’t catch himself and I walked away. That earned me a day of peace and wary distancing on his part.
27th-Dec-2016 01:22 pm - Copycat, Conform, Contort [lj idol s10]
I grew up watching The Flintsones, Leave it to Beaver, All in the Family. There were many others but a lot of them had the standard stay-at-home wife.

I wanted to be the housewife. I wanted to get married, have a house, have kids, take care of my husband. I wanted that dream.

Then I found MASH. Loretta Swit, who played  Major Margaret "Hotlips" Houlihan, always captivated me. I watched that show over and over as it ran reruns at 11pm on PBS. Shortly after, I found Voyager, and met Captain Janeway,probably my first geek girl touchstone.

I loved how both were strong and independent. They’d both entered men’s worlds, military, command. They conformed to the strictures of the job, but they bent them where needed. In some ways they excelled at conforming. In others, they did what they had to.

In junior high I joined band. We learned about working together, about blending together, about conforming to the beat. Naturally I stuck with band in high school and one upped it by also joining JROTC. Uniforms for both, marching in formation for both, competitions on how well we could conform in both. I even joined the color guard and the girls drill team in JROTC.

I became the invisible girl. I conformed so well that I blended into the background, unseen. I heard of inspections before they were announced. I knew what needed fine tuning before the reports were finalized. I graduated and got a job because that’s what you do. I parlayed that invisibleness into being a fantastic assistant. Once more I knew of issues before my team and could warn them about changes or manager appearances.

I turned 35 this year. I’ve done what I’m supposed to do, conformed, every step of the way. I got a job. I bought a car. I got married. I bought a house. I started over, twice now. I’ve worked hard and done everything like I was supposed to. I’ve got nothing to show for it.

I spent over 5 years without a job because I trusted my ex when he said I didn’t need one, (I needed to stay home and take care of his daughter). I spent almost two years without a car because that same ex took care of my car (so well that it blew up). Because I’d spent so long out of a job it was hard to get back into it. When I divorced I didn’t make enough to get by.

More and more I feel the chains of conformity chafing. I don’t want to blend in anymore. Working hard has gotten me in a 300 sq ft box and one car for 2 adults. I conformed. I did what I was supposed to. My car is gone, my house gone long before that.

I want purple hair. I want tattoos. I want to be a little wild. And yet … I still want those things that lore tells me only conformity gets me – a well paying job that I don’t hate, a house where I have room, a car of my very own, and the ability to just pay the bills when they come in, no juggling.

Jantelagen, you have failed me but I know not where else to turn.
27th-Dec-2016 10:59 am - Christmas Weekend [holiday, weekend report]
It was a good holiday weekend.

I was released from work early on Friday so Jon picked me up and we headed home. We went through the gifts and decided what needed bags and what could be wrapped.

Saturday we went out to pick up one last present and get the bags I needed for presents. I played a some on Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze while Jon napped. Then we attempted to treat ourselves a bit with dinner from Denny’s. I swear practically all the places on the east side have the worst service. It wasn’t that busy, so even though they had just 2 people out on the floor, with the manager joining them later, I still don’t see why it took 40 minutes to ask us for our drinks Since it took forever to get our food we cut our planned light looking way down, didn’t even bother to leave the neighborhood.

Sunday we debated on going to practice but ended up not. We opened the presents between the adults as Christmas is apparently being celebrated on Thursday due to kid visitation. Thanks to Asian’s help I got Jon the teardrop shield he’s been asking for. However due to not thinking about it we ordered a right handed shield and he’s left handed. Whoops!

The highlights of my presents was a 6ft wooden bow from Jon, it’ll be gorgeous when I stain it, a Leaf from my mother in law, a Sephora gc from Jon’s brother and fiancé, and the ultimate in knitting needles, a Hiya Hiya interchangeable set from my daddy. Oh man, those are awesome! I’ve already knit two newborn hats with them, so smooth and slick, non twisted cords, and perfect points on the tips. I might be in love.

Monday Jon worked but I was off. I slept in and intended to do some cleaning that’s very much needed so I can locate the sewing space on the table. But he got home and we spent most of the day on the couch after that. Jon’s been sick since Thursday of last week, he thinks food poisoning. I ate at the same buffet but no fried foods, only sushi, and I haven’t had a problem. So it was a quiet holiday, with a lot of naps for him.
I found some acrylic yarn in basic black and hubby asked for a hat that he could wear at fighter practice when it's cooler out. He has an alpaca hat but that's not good for getting all sweaty. So, non felting thing in the works. Most of this was done last night at a gaming session.

Thanks to Rogue One and some down time before starting the hat I got more done on the stripy socks. I finally have a 0 needle so I can give the tighter ribbing a shot on these.

I've been playing a bit of Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze but I've also been watching Jon play while I knit and catch up on other things.

Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher. I'm really glad I have the next few books of this on my kindle. I really want to see what happens with everybody and I'm nearly done with this book.
Friday night we went to see Rogue One because neither of us could possibly wait any longer. It was everything I wanted it to be. Though I suspect I'm the type of fan girl that so long as they don't destroy my story I will be happy.

I was happy with the number of new characters and the return of old. I didn't feel that they needed to have more girls just to fill a quota, the story felt right. I was happy with the CGI. I knew how it was going to end because I've seen A New Hope a few times. The how was the question and I felt it was answered in a way that made me happy.

More Star Wars please.

Saturday Jon had to go to work for a bit but when he returned it was a snuggly day on the couch. Eventually we got around to doing stuff. I managed to finish a hat for a friend as well as block out a super soft stripy shawl for another friend. Then we got all prettied up and went to a christmas party of friends. We both had a lot of fun, I ate a bit too much and drank enough to feel it, but not too much.

Sunday, despite it being colder than *insert your own euphamism* we still went to practice. I layered up as best as I could but really, we're not ready for that type of cold in fighting clothes. Once the guys started fighting they were stripping things off because they warmed up. I stood out there with them for 3 hours. I didn't want to fight since my hands were already screaming and I find that on smaller fields I get hit in the hands more. Pass. Instead I heralded and called the fights for the fighters. I finally had to go sit in the car to warm up when my hand started burning, despite being gloved. Though I was only there for about 45 minutes before everybody called it quits. So I at least lasted most of the 4 hours. Then we went to House of Pies for foods because that was the closest that had soup and hot chocolate. Mmmmm, faster warmth.

Tonight I need to stash dive and figure out what to knit next. Which might mean figuring out how much yarn I have left over from a couple projects. Really makes we wish I had a line counter.
16th-Dec-2016 08:35 am - Smocking [knitting]
Spring Showers
I had a lot of this yarn and I knew I wanted to make something for the niece that would work for the crazy seasons we have here in Texas. This dress / tunic was perfect.

She thought it was pretty awesome that it's a dress now but when she gets bigger it'll be a top. I love the look of the smocking.

Of course, I still had a ton of yarn left over so I also made a hat for her. She was super excited when she saw that it matched her dress.

And I still can't get over the prettiness of the stitches.

Pattern: Smocked Sweater by Tia Stanfield
Pattern: Smocked and Awed by Alison Shuman
Project Pages: Sweater & Hat
Yarn: Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn in Toasted Almond
14th-Dec-2016 06:30 am - WIP Wednesday: Quick Progress [knitting, reading, wip]
Nox - Standing
This yarn is so soft and petable. But I couldn't think of a thing that I wanted to do with it for me. However I have a friend that I know will love it, plus she looks good in lighter colors and I don't. Maybe it'll actually be cool enough for her to wear it once it's finished. It's a simple 4 row repeat that I've already memorized and I'm zipping through it. Kitty has absconded with the tag and it's the only one I hadn't put into the Ravelry stash, so other than knowing it's a blend of alpaca and merino I have no idea what yarn it is.

Thanks to a full day of gaming the stripy socks are zooming along as well. I put in the lifeline for the afterthought heel and now they're long enough, just barely, to stuff the yarn into the toes. I'm all set to catch a movie this weekend.

I haven't done much other than knit and catch up on tv. I have been reading in bits here and there though.

Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher. It's one of those great books that everybody says you should read and I just never got around to it. I finally rotated through to it on the kindle and I'm really enjoying it. I can't wait to see where the series goes.
13th-Dec-2016 08:01 pm - Opening the Strike Zone [dagorhir, lj idol s10]
Pen / Sword
I don’t want to get hit. I suppose that’s true for most people.

Yet my hobby is getting hit. Well, actually it’s hitting other people but reality is that I get hit a lot because I’m still learning.

It’s probably not where you’d expect to find somebody dealing with PTSD from getting hit and chronic pain, but there I am. Dealing with it one swing at a time and trying not to flinch.

A technique that many of us use is a feint. It can be used for misdirection to distract or set up another shot. It can also be used to reclaim some space and gain some breathing room. A feint makes the other person shift focus. Unless they’re like me. If they’re like me they flinch and back up. Either way the attacker gets a larger strike zone.

I like feints. I’m not very good at them though. I think I die more from attempting to feint more than anything else. But I’m slowly learning. Each practice brings a little more progress, even if I don’t feel it at the time. I’ve been fighting for over two years at this point. It’s frustrating sometimes to feel like I just picked up my sword and shield yesterday. There is progress though.

Feint high, swing low.

I’ve actually “killed” a few people with that. So naturally it’s time to start trying to up my game. I want to feint high, step forward, swing for the waist, and spin away. In my head it’s magical. In reality I feint, open up the shot, step forward, swing, and either freeze or step back. There’s no spin. And then I die because my brain is struggling between where I expected to be and where I actually am and I don’t see the strike zone.

I’ll keep trying though. At least I’m getting better at not flinching quite as often when I see the feint. Gotta keep those strike zones defended.
Sometimes we need the chance to get things off our chest while knowing that we won't be judged. Sometimes we need to talk to somebody just to get things straight in our own head. Sometimes we just want to share a thought with somebody.

Here's your chance.

Comments are screened and anonymous posting is allowed. Tell the box anything you need to get off your chest or out of your head. If it's something you want to discuss further, leave a way of contacting you.

Secrets come here to die. What's posted here is simply between you and I. I won't even contact you about it unless you ask me to.

The Confessional Box is now open.

It was a very, very good weekend. I’m super sleepy today from all the busy but totally worth it.

Apparently, nobody’s could surprise Jon for his birthday, ever. Well, thanks to the help of Asian and Z I managed to do just that. Asian did the scouting for me and we located Legendary Villains at a local store. He placed it on hold and Saturday I told Jon we were going to the game store “because I felt like it”. We drove out to Humble and wondered around the store a bit before I surprised him with the game. Then, to kill a little time since we were a bit early we stopped by Wal-mart. He thought the game was the end of the surprises. Though he was quite suspicious when I offered to drive after Wal-mart. However, he was fairly happy to sit in the passenger seat and look through his game. Though he did keep trying to sneak peeks at my phone.

He finally figured out where we were headed once we hit 290 but that was okay at that point. He was still surprised by extra friends being at Z’s house as he thought it was going to be just Z. Asian showed up later with a cookie cake (Jon’s favorite) and more friends. We played the new Legendary Villains, then a D&D game, then Legendary Villains again, then Legendary Firefly, and Mansions of Madness. I got a ton of knitting done on my new stripy socks and Jon had a fantastic time with all the games.

Huge win! Wife points!

Sunday we met up with other friends at Old Town Spring and wiped out most of our holiday purchasing. It was wonderful to see people I hadn’t been able to catch up with all year and I always love Old Town Spring and the little shops. After dinner, we were wiped out so we were glad to see home again.

It was a very enjoyable weekend with a lot of happiness. I’m thrilled I could give Jon such a good day as an early birthday present.
9th-Dec-2016 09:19 am - Washcoths Bonanza [knitting]

I had just enough of this purple cotton to make a small washcloth. Or so I thought.

But the missing corner doesn't really matter. See, the size is perfect for a make up cloth and it's the exact amount of scrubby that I need to take my make up off but leave my skin.

I found some green cotton. Surely this is enough to do a small washcloth. I'll even go down two needle sizes to be sure.

Nope. But it's still good. Still a perfectly serviceable washcloth.

Then I found the last of the multicolor cotton I used for the niece last Christmas. There's a ton of this I thought. I'll make a full sized washcloth.

Yep, plenty. It's a little wonky because while watching tv on the last 5 rows I some how managed to pick up a dpn that was 2 sizes smaller than what I had been using through the rest of the wash cloth. But it was just one. You'd think I'd have noticed at some point that they were not the same ... or one was salmon colored and the other red. But nope. Meh, washcloth. It works as intended and lives in my bathroom. Nobody will care.

And I still had plenty of that yarn left over. Surely this is enough to do a small makeup cloth. In fact, I had so much left over that I just kept making them, 7 times.

One of these days I might be better at eye balling the amount left over but in the meanwhile I have plenty of make up removers. Unless I find more random bits of cotton. Then I'm sure I'll need more.

7th-Dec-2016 11:23 pm - Unexpected Wish List [wishlist]

Hiya Hiya Interchangable Needle Set - $160
I have an interchangeable set. But this is a dream set. No kinks in the cables where they connect to the needles, sharp points for all manner of knitting magic, and smooooth steel needles for speedier knitting. Plus it has a purple case! And adorable panda stoppers! I was planning on putting a different set on here as I've heard so very much about it but I happened across this one and it's so much better.

Headset with Microphone - $40
The kitty mad a snack of my headphone cord and while it has not yet failed ... I don't see it lasting much longer. This has the preferred USB connection. I use the headphones a lot to watch tv on my laptop but I'm also hoping to use it more gaming now that I have a laptop again, thus the microphone

Flex, The Flux, Fix by </a></a>theferrett - $7 each
Books that I've desperately been wanting to buy but stuff seems to always come up. I would dearly love to have copies of these. I love reading his work and want to have even more at my fingertips for perusal.

Arrows - $40+
I love shooting people in the face. Don't worry, we take the tips off and put on a lot of foam to make them safe. But face shots are simply the best. Archery in Dag is one of the more expensive options, between the cost of a good bow and arrows that have to be built up and replaced more than swords (usually) it just takes more. Currently I have no arrows that are just for me. These would be perfect, distinctive enough on the field that I could easily find them and quickly be ready to shoot more people in their faces.

Damask - $5
This is supposed to be a self indulgence knit as a reward for getting a better job. I bought the yarn back when I was hired on at the current job but despite the low cost it just kept getting put to the side. So the yarn languishes in the drawer waiting for the day I finally have no reason to put it off. The amount of lace involved in this is a bit intimidating but I covet the finished piece. I'm ShadowByrd on Ravelry, so you know who to send it to.

Sylvi + Yarn x 18 - $140+
I've been in deep love / lust with this coat since I saw it the first time. I keep going back to it and hoping. The biggest roadblock has been that I would need so much yarn to make it. To be fair, it's a very long coat and I'm not a super tiny girl. I finally settled on Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky in Aurora Heather because they're good quality, it should stand up to a lot of wear, and it's super wash. I have neither room nor inclination to hand wash and lay out flat to dry for such a large project. However I'd need 18 skeins of the yarn and that's just ... a lot. And yarn has to be bought all at once or the colors are all off and you get odd stripes when you knit large projects up.

Fighting Boots - $70
I love my super lightweight sneakers that I wear now. However, I know there are woods battles that I'd like to do and some of the camping locations have a lot of rocks. I simply need more on my feet than the thin soles those have. These are durable, good traction (I really don't want to eat concrete, dirt, or rocks at any point, thanks), great ankle support, and easily adjustable in tightness. I love laces but I love the ease of a zipper even more.

All the Sewing Feet - $22
I want to try so many things. I have so many ideas. Not only is this a ton of options but it's a handy case for them all too. Storage for the win. Plus these are pretty much universal so when I finally upgrade my sewing machine to a super fancy one with special stitches and embroidery I'll still be able to use them.

The Colette Sewing Handbook - $23
This was buried in a box of sewing stuff that through upheaval and miscommunication was left out in the weather for several months, including during a big rainy season. It was quite ruined and now that I'm looking at more clothing and trying to figure things out I really miss it. I had marked several things to try and well ... I'd like the book back if possible.

400 Knitting Stitches - $14
This was in that same box and my brain wants to play with stitches and see how some things would work.

Mastering Color Knitting - $20
Same deal. I did a few things out of this book and I loved how it was put together, how it explained why certain colors went in specific places, and even why it was necessary to hold colors in particular ways through the entirety of your project. It's super helpful.

Colette Pattern 1013 - $20
I have the fabric for this. It too was in that box. I kept waiting for the deluge of fighting stuff to slow and then for the desire to wear pretty things to return. I think I could look pretty in this particular dress. And once I make it the first time ... I can play more with fabrics and patterns and ... oh so many choices.

Sewaholic Pattern 1204 - $18
Yet another loss to that poor box. And there are again so many choices for this. Particularly with me trying to update my wardrobe a bit I could try so many things with the mix and match-ability of this pattern.

So there you have it, a gifting wish list. It's late because I wasn't going to do it and then it was kinda talked about so I figured why not. I've been mentally putting things off and choosing to not want things because there were other, more pressing things that were needed. But these are a few of the things that keep floating in the back of my head as "I want that". I am on Amazon if you want, things from there will ship directly to me if they're from my list there, which several of these are. The list there is a bit overwhelming as it's a place to throw things, lately a ton of clothing, that I want, that I will buy 'some' day. I'm also not picky if it gets here after the big day because well, 1. I'm late and 2. Surprise packages in the mail are always amazing.

7th-Dec-2016 06:30 am - WIP Wednesday: Shawl Restart [knitting, reading, wip]
Spring Showers
As of yesterday this shawl was finished. At least in terms of the knitting portion, bound off but ends not tucked in. But I looked at just how much yarn I had left over and decided I could certainly get another section in before binding off again. So I popped it in the freezer for a couple hours and then ripped back 4 rows. The original knitting went so fast I'm sure it'll be finished again quite soon. Of course it helped that due to sickness I didn't leave the house for 2 days but it'll still be fast.

I also cast on for the next pair of stripy socks. I've already finished up the toe increases so it's smooth sailing to the heel. In this picture you can see how I get the stripes to always match up.

Due to the sick I haven't put forth any sewing or gaming progress. But I'm happily caught up on nearly all the shows I was behind on. So .. progress of a sort.

Mythology 101 by Jody Lynn Nye. I'm nearly done with this and I've really enjoyed it. Hopefully I can get more of her books. 
5th-Dec-2016 12:47 pm - Sick Weekend [sick, weekend report]
Friday I called in sick. I'd been sick to some degree all week and I was simpy so over it. Friday was the first day I'd taken as sick in the whole time I'm been here. Every other time off has been planned in advance and all due to dagorhir.

It was well worth it though. I slept in until after 10. Then I camped out on the couch with the kitty, caught up on lots of tv, did quite a bit of knitting, and took a whole bunch of naps. That's pretty much my Saturday too.

Sunday practice was canceled due to the rain. However we still ventured outside. Dragon's Lair opened up a store in North Houston and I really wanted to stop by. Not only did we check out the new store but we were able to demo a couple of games and plotting with the Asian finally progressed. I'm looking forward to the culmination of that but can't tell yet, still a secret.

I'm back at work today and thankfully things are quiet. I feel like there are things I want / need to do but they keep slipping out of grasp / mind. I blame the cold ... (and having too much to do).
2nd-Dec-2016 12:25 pm - Swirl Hat [knitting]
I had just a little bit of this yarn left over. I thought I might have just enough for a hat left over. Turns out I had just enough for a small hat for a not quite 2 year old.

He was having a cranky day when I brought the hat in but apparently he calmed down a bit after. He's even gone and grabbed the hat for his momma to put on him.

I love the spiral of colors at the top. It was a fun, quick knit. I might have to add some stitches and do another one.

Pattern: Swirl Hat by Mandy Harrington
Yarn: Lion Brand Sock Ease
Project: Ravelry
1st-Dec-2016 08:51 am - My Crazy Half [friends, lj idol s10]
Me: "I swear to gods I'm going to shoot you in the face!"
Him: "You need to find Jesus!"
Me: “Shut your whole freaking face!”
Him: “Vaccines cause autism!”
Me: “Oh my god! I hate you so much!”
Him: “You can go die in a fire bitch!”
Me: “You first assface!”

You know, most people would think we hate each other. Unless they look and see that we’re grinning manically and barely holding back the laughter.

I have stymied a coworker by calling this friend my Gay Straight Best Friend. His girlfriend was one of my bridesmaids. But when I have indecision about color, or want to talk fashion and patterns, or drape of a fabric? I totes hit him up. Though, my husband killed him at our wedding. You know that moment when they ask if there are any objections? Ninja’s attacked, intent on stopping the wedding, led by my Asian. There was a fight, two of the ninjas backed down but my Asian didn’t. Good thing those swords are foam, otherwise it could have been quite awkward.

I also get lots of looks when I call the same friend My Asian. We were at a fighting event and one of our teammates who isn’t local to us and doesn’t know us mentioned to me how good “that guy in the green” was with the bow. “You mean my Asian?” The poor guy didn’t know how to respond and did that fish face, open mouthed gape for a second. “Uh, uh, I…”
Me: “Asian!”
Him: :spins dramatically around and glares at me: “Whatchu want!?”
Me: “He said you were really good with the bow.”
Him: Yay!!

We call each other horrible things. He sends me bug mating habits. I send him crazy historical finds or articles. We have a plan for how to defeat the telepathic albino penguins that will invade when we begin researching more on Antarctica and digging below the ice. When my fuzzy dog children, (one 16 years the other 6 months), passed earlier this year he said nothing, just held his arms out and let me sob on his shoulder. When I am overwhelmed with stupid at work we devise torture plans together. I can message him at midnight and he meets my crazy with his own.

He's that one friend. The one that completely gets me and knows the depths of my crazy. He’s the one that knows the dark corners of my mind and tells me it’ll be okay. He’s the one that sends me silly shit when he knows the doom patrol are being particularly loud. I don’t know what I’d do without my hateful, judgey, catty bitch of a best friend. When I take over the world he’s going to be my ultimate right hand man.

Dead Asian.jpg
30th-Nov-2016 06:30 am - WIP Wednesday: Simple Things [knitting, reading, wip]
I just started this shawl so it's super tiny. It's a very basic pattern, The Age of Brass and Steam, but so far it makes me happy. I'm struggling a bit with the yarn as it's a loosely spun single ply but I think it'll look awesome in this uncomplicated pattern and the upcoming color changes will be pretty.

Speaking of color changes I found another tiny bit of the same colorway that I started the blanket in. I knew it existed, since I used two balls to make the socks but I wasn't sure where it'd gotten off to. I added that in and kept the colors lined up and then added in the scraps from the most recent stripy sock finish. I'm a tad annoyed that a couple of the colors lined up the way they did but I'll get over it. Once several more colors are added I doubt it will really be noticeable. I have the next pair of yarn balls wound up and ready to cast on but I haven't started them yet. I should soon though, in case we have any surprise movie time that's not at home.


Wolves of the Northern Rift by Jon Messenger. I'm enjoying this so I'm torn between wanting to devour it and wanting to take it slow.
28th-Nov-2016 01:31 pm - Thanksgiving Weekend [holidays, weekend wrapup]
I fell off the journaling wagon, what with lack of computer and depression, and general feeling that there was a lack of interest. Maybe getting back to it will help a bit though.

We had a good Thanksgiving, mostly quiet. Jon’s family always goes to a family friend’s house and eats. I hoping that when we get our own place I can start up a Foundling Thanksgiving so I can cook a lot and get leftovers. That’s really the best part, turkey sandwiches the next day and reheated stuffing and giblet gravy. The flavors are so much better. I’m sure I’ve backslid a bit on the diet in the last week but I tried to not worry about it too much.

Friday I had the day off, though poor Jon had to work. I once more added purple to my hair and was once again disappointed. I’d bought the new Splat Midnight that’s specially formulated for brunette hair and doesn’t require bleaching. Previously I’ve used Splat, no bleach and had fairly good results. I was thinking that Jon didn’t put enough of the dye on my hair last weekend so I used nearly the whole bottle as ¾ still remained. After letting it sit for well over an hour I rinsed and was very sad. Not even the few white hairs on top of my head picked up the color. I’m going to write a polite letter of disappoint to Splat and see if they have any suggestions.

Saturday was a Zoo Adventure with Rabbitt and Norin. That zoo membership has more than paid for itself at this point. We caught Pokemons and several great pictures. Rabbitt even got video of the prehistoric looking stork flying. I was super exhausted when I got myself home though and passed out on the couch for a couple of hours. I convinced Jon to take me to dinner as I didn’t want to order for delivery, do drive through, or stand in line to order food. He refused to do a grocery run though as I was falling asleep over my enchilada. Probably a good call on his part.

Sunday was practice of course. It was a good practice though I clearly wasn’t recovered from the previous day as after a crazy flex job to keep from being bowled over followed by a baseball swing to my ankle my feet cramped up and didn’t want to support me anymore. I still ended up with several bruises to my legs so I do have proof that I was out there for a bit. There was also misadventures with Asian locking his keys in his car and working out a way to get him home to get the spare and then back to get his car.

Today I’m back at work and really wishing I was not. At least tonight I have left over enchilada to go home to and I can make the crock pot chicken and dumplings I want for the rest of the week. My go to comfort food is chicken and dumplings, in a close second place tie is won ton or egg drop soup. Asian says this makes me a white frosted yellow cake. That’s why he’s my bestie; he gets me.
23rd-Nov-2016 06:30 am - WIP Wednesday: Too Much [gaming, knitting, reading, sewing, wip]
I'm equally overwhelmed with how much I have in progress and very much wanting to cast on new things. Of course, the things I want to cast on are sweaters so I'd have to buy yarn. Meanwhile, I know I shouldn't buy yarn right now (despite indulging in the current KnitPicks Felici restock). Okay, I know I most certainly should not buy sweater quantities of yarn right now. On the plus side, I'm close to finishing a couple things.

I have the stripey socks that are missing one heel and weaving in the ends. I'm also considering taking out the last color change and rebinding off. On the one hand, maybe a tad tight will help keep them up, also I don't want to do it, on the other hand, they're a tad tight and that might be uncomfortable later.

I'm also close to finished on the hood that I've been working on. I have increases for the one side done which leaves the other side, sewing the top, and the edging. With the weather finally changing it will be a nice addition to the fighting garb.

With another pair of stripy socks nearing completion I have more stripy yarn to add to the blanket. Plus I found a bit of leftover from the last set while I was cleaning out a bag to store the in progress headbands in. So I'm adding that before adding in the newest set. At least it's already joined and wound into a ball to add in as soon as I finish up this bit.

The quilt square for Harley and Joker is still sitting there mocking me. I have 2 of the 4 squares sewn. I need to recalculate my half square triangles for the other 2 squares. I keep freezing up on that because while it's just fabric, if I'm wrong then it's wasted time, if not fabric.

I also need to pull out the black duckcloth and cut the pieces for my new overdress. That also means I'd need to pull out the table and iron it all though and I'm not ready to deal with that much room being taken up by a table right now

I'm spending a lot of time either catching up on tv shows or sinking time into Lego The Force Awakens. One of them gives me some knitting time also, so that's a bit helpful.

Wolves of the Northern Rift by Jon Messenger. I haven't a clue what this is about. It's just next in the list as I finished another book today. So I cracked this one open today, read perhaps 3 lines and we'll see what's next.
Sometimes struggle is good, it invigorates and reaffirms the life within.

I don’t think I remember what that struggle feels like.

For months it’s been dark here.

I struggle to find the light. I struggle to find the motivation. I struggle to breathe at times.

Work has been problematic. I struggle to feel useful. It’s heavily implied that I’m not working enough, despite several co workers routinely taking breaks to play basketball with a trash can and nerf ball. When I tell the bosses about tech problems I am dismissed and told to stop looking for excuses to not do my job. One of my job titles is IT for the office. The doom patrol in my head tells me I’m nowhere near as smart as I’ve previously been told. It tells me I’m an imposter and I don’t deserve to have better, to be in charge of things, to move out of the lowest position in the office.

I’ve been looking for another job but the only responses I’ve been getting are scam jobs. I struggle to feel like I have value when day after day I get rejection notices, if I get anything at all. The doom patrol has to speak up then. It can’t let a chance go by to tell me that I’m under qualified and unskilled, that nobody sees me as an asset. I am positive that I bring nothing to the table.

Home is tiny and cramped. I feel like my brain is jumbled and running at triple time. There’s a huge list of craft things I want to do. Most get scrapped because either I’m missing things to complete it and it’s not worth bothering over or I’d have to dig through the piles of stuff to find all the pieces and then clear off space … it’s a hassle. I’m already exhausted and this is beyond overwhelming. I feel like I’m spinning in place, too many projects half started, too many in my head. I want to make things, to relax, to sell and supplement our income but the doom patrol sees this as futile. My creative ideas are stupid, nobody’s going to buy any of the ideas, my implementation is stupid, and really all I’m doing is wasting time, money, and energy. I’d be better off huddling under the blankets and praying that it’ll all just end.

I struggle to get up, to get dressed, to feel happiness. I feel like a wretch because I got married less than 3 months ago. I should be happy. He’s doing everything he can to make things better for me, to remind me that he loves me, no matter what. The doom patrol in my head keeps blocking it all out. I feel like I’m failing him. We’re going to counseling. So far the only suggestion to come out of it is to get a better job so we can move, so I have room, so I can wear clothing that’s not 15 years old. How do I do that when I can’t get people to call me back? Meanwhile I’m quite convinced that the pretty words he tells me are just lip service. He’s rather tired of me being broken, of me needing extra reassurance, of me spinning out of control when things don’t work out the way I thought they would and I have to make adjustments to my projects. The doom patrol tells me he doesn’t want to spend time with me, no matter how much time he spends with me. They tell me he puts on headphones for his games to shut me out even though I know it’s to keep me from being bothered by the sounds of his games.

There are moments where I think I might be able to see the light again and then it all comes crashing in on me once more. I try to wear the mask. I’m not Eeyore and I fear rejection, isolation. I’ve already had one friend stop talking to me when I admitted that I didn’t know what he could help with because I just wanted to stop existing. No worries though, mustering up the wherewithal to do anything about it is too much of a struggle. The doom patrol makes sure to remind me that there’s no point even bothering as when I tried years before I didn’t even do that right. The doom patrol is on top of everything, they make sure I know my place.

Some need a struggle to feel alive. This struggle of constantly fighting the doom patrol is wearing me down. Soon I will be nothing. I struggle to hold back the tears and fears; I hope they, or I, disappear.


18th-Nov-2016 06:30 am - Twilight Rose Beanie
This started out as a hat for me. Sadly it was a wee bit too short to be comfortable and I really didn't feel up to ripping back to add in another repeat. Turns out, I also didn't have enough yarn to do that anyhow. Luckily there's a tiny girl child that loves when I knit things for her.

Look at that smile. I'd just told her that because it fit she could have it.

I tried to get a clear shot of the detail but, alas, this particular 5 year old doesn't sit still very well. So it's a wee bit blurry.

Pattern: Twilight Rose Beanie by Gretchen Tracy
Yarn: Berocco Comfort DK Solids
Project Page: Ravelry
11th-Nov-2016 09:32 am - 80's Throwback [knitting]
A friend saw that I had 2 skeins of this yarn in my stash and I was looking to get rid of them. She loved the colors and said it reminded her of Stranger Things. She also said that I should sit myself down and watch it because I'd probably love it.

I plopped myself down and cast on for these for her while the 1st episode started playing. I bound off the last stitch about 5 minutes before the end of the season finale. She was so spot on. That was an incredible show and these colors fit in perfectly with it. Stranger Things had everything I loved about horror in the 80's. And now we have a favorite show we share and a pair of socks to warm her feet in those perfectly 80's colors.

I confess, these are not the finished socks. After these pictures I noticed that they were a bit short and she'd mentioned she wanted them a bit looser. So I unpicked the toe and added some stripes. I didn't get pictures of that before I mailed them off but she says they fit perfectly and that's what matters.

Pattern: Worsted Weight Socks by Cheryl Worswick
Yarn: Kroy Socks in Burnished Sierra Stripes
Project page: Ravelry

I even had enough left over to make some tiny socks for the little nephew.

Pattern: Mostly winged, but notes are on the Rav page.
Project Page: Ravelry
Nox - Standing
Sometimes we need the chance to get things off our chest while knowing that we won't be judged. Sometimes we need to talk to somebody just to get things straight in our own head. Sometimes we just want to share a thought with somebody.

Here's your chance.

Comments are screened and anonymous posting is allowed. Tell the box anything you need to get off your chest or out of your head. If it's something you want to discuss further, leave a way of contacting you.

Secrets come here to die. What's posted here is simply between you and I. I won't even contact you about it unless you ask me to.

The Confessional Box is now open.
4th-Nov-2016 06:30 am - In & Out Plus Toetsies
"Something old, something new,
Something borrowed, something blue"

I have often ignored traditions for various things, or created my own. But this one, I wanted to keep this one. And while my dress was quite blue in various places I had something else in mind. I had a skein of Cascade Yarns Heritage, color royal, in my stash for a bit. It was the perfect color.

First I started with a project that had nothing to do with the wedding.

I loved this pattern. I'm one closer to finishing Knit. Sock. Love by Cookie A. I love when the feet are complimentary. They're a little more snug than I normally go for but delightfully so.

As always the pattern was easy to follow and fairly quick to knit up. They were also a lovely distraction from the wedding / honeymoon planning.

Pattern: In & Out by Cookie A.

Then came the real reason I wanted this yarn. I knew which shoes I'd be wearing for the wedding, some platform mary janes that I adore. They have little skulls on the straps. Nothing else was as perfect as these for me. I wanted some tiny little socks to wear with them, a little added cushion but not visible. I have several of the no show socks for heels but I wanted to make these myself.

I think I did the heel a bit short as they wanted to slip off almost instantly but they were still good for the wedding and provided the needed cushion, at least for the ceremony. I kicked the heels off and wore a pair of black keds for the pictures and reception.

Pattern: Toetsies by ela m.
I've a few projects on the needles at the moment First up is a hood that I'm making to wear for fighting. With the cooler weather coming up it'll be welcome. The yarn is Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn in Coffee. I think my flash is acting up as the color is not coming up right no matter what I do. The yarn is super soft and I think I'm going to love it.

I have moved my stripy socks to travel knitting to work on at work at the hood is a bit too large to easily carry around. I have made a bit of progress on these. I need to pull out the yarn and snip off the yarn that I'm going to use for the heels so I can not think about it and just knit until my yarn runs out.

I also have the yarn for some headbands to wear while fighting. I'm going to make them double sided, so we can easily see who's on which team. I'll start those tonight though, so hopefully pictures next week

I did a thing! The points came out better than I expected since it's been a while since doing my last piecing. But it's a start to several mini pieces I have in mind. The second set of fabrics are for that next one I have sketched out I just need to sit down and cut things out.

I finished Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians, review to come soonish. I think Book of Unwritten Tales is up next, plus something smaller and lighter as I think that one is fairly story intensive.


Darkness in the Valley: An Uncanny Dossier by Gregory Miller. I finished the first in this series and just had to snatch up the second book. This one is more one cohesive narrative than the previous one. Though it's still told from several viewpoints and so has the same feel.
31st-Oct-2016 07:09 pm - LJ Idol
I'm in. Let's see how long this lasts.
Platform: Steam/PC
Controls: Keyboard & Mousepad
Acquired: I purchased.
Oh ugh. I only managed a mere 46 minutes and I kinda want those minutes back.
The premise is making choices for your people as they age and continuing through their kids. Maybe there's a payoff at the end and it goes somewhere. The game play is conducted through a roulette wheel type thing. You earn coins to spend toward skills and as your skills advance you are given friends / neighbors to help out (but they take some of your coins).
The setting is ancient Egypt, the fertile crescent. There's crocodiles at the bottom of the wheel and if you don't spend coins carefully to advance your people evenly they fall backward into the crocs. You are supposed to earn enough special coins to create relics which advance your time period.
It didn't feel like gameplay, it felt like bad gambling. I'm sure there's a background algorithm to decide what gives you coins and how many but it never specified.
This was an incredibly boring game, thus the short play time. This is not a game I'd recommend to anybody unless you just have a thing for a wheel spinning or stories about ancient Egypt.
Rating: 1/5  
28th-Oct-2016 06:30 am - Gummy Stripes [knitting]
I kinda don't know what to do if I don't have a pair of stripy socks on the needles. I may not always work on them but I like to always have them for those moments when my hands need to do stuff but my brain needs to focus on something else or when we manage to hit the cinema for a date night.

All the interest for these is in the color changes. I feel like each pair fits just a tiny bit better, as I refine exactly what I want. I've got some US 0's on the way for the ribbing for future pairs, hopefully that'll make them stay up just a tiny bit better.

It makes my little OCD heart sing to get the stripes to match up so nicely. I suspect I'll have fits if I ever try to sew a patterned fabric into clothing.
The first bit of yarn I could grab out of the bin was some more kitchen cotton and I need more cloths for removing my makeup so there we go. It's not my favorite and I'm itching to do something else but my order for the needles I'd need was canceled since they ran out of stock. Gotta fill the time.

I did a thing. I also messed up the math somehow while doing the thing. I know how I'll fix it but I also need to figure out where my math went wrong. Luckily my best friend is aces with numbers and is looking at it.


Anomaly Flats by Clayton Smith. This has a very Lovecraftian / Welcome to Night Vale feel to it, with stronger language. I've enjoyed it though.
21st-Oct-2016 06:30 am - Handspun Cowl [knitting]
This is a dream completion.

This fiber is one of the first fibers I bought, it was the first one that grabbed me, gorgeous in all my favorite colors.

It was the one I set aside until I was good enough. I finally got over that. I wasn't what I'd had in mind as "good enough" when I decided to sit down and spin this treat. But I was better than I was and I wanted to reward myself with some rich colors flowing through my fingers and transforming.

Jon helped me name it, Dunes at Dusk. It's beautiful and incredibly soft. It's far better than I had in mind as what I'd create if I were "good enough". Now it was time to plan what it'd become. While I loved having it around and simply enjoying petting it ... I wanted to fully make use of it. Enter a basic pattern for a cowl.

I wanted a pattern that would truly show off that yarn and let it be the star. A cute picot edge adds just the right amount of interest.

I'm so glad I didn't wait until I was "good enough". It's one of my very favorite pieces that I've finished.
I can't believe I'm almost done with this sweater! I have a few more decrease rounds and then the ribbing for the neck. So close to being done!

Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians is eating my brain in the very best of ways. I can't wait to finish it and tell you all about it.


Gretel by Christopher Coleman. I see the bones of the fairy tale but I'm not sure where it's going just yet, the story is too new. 
14th-Oct-2016 06:30 am - Great Sewing Catch Up [sewing]

I finished a lot of things while on my hiatus. There was so much to do and it was easier to put my head down and just sew it all. I have more on my list of stuff to sew but let's get caught up on what I finished earlier this year.

There were a lot of tabbards.

There were several tunics

There was a dress

And there was an ax cover

The last set of tunics is a pair that I'm particularly proud of. I used a new way to put on a different type of trim and I calculated perfectly for the curves of my beautiful friend. They were both very happy with the feel of the lighterweight linen and said it was fantastic on the field, no binding at all when swinging weapons around. The ax cover was also an interesting bit, as it was completely off the normal weapon cover shape, particularly with the beard. I had to do a bit of hand sewing in that spot. 
This has gone really fast! The body is all done and, despite some issues getting the sleeves started, they're now on the needles and ready to zoom along. This is the first bottom up sweater with sleeves that I've done so I'm excited to see how it comes together.

I have a plot that I'm hatching, and hopefully it'll work out like I have in mind. If so then I can add a new thing to my skill set and inventory.

Oh gosh! Im super in love with Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians! It's bouncy and peppy, the art is lovely, and I want to play more and more!


Sold Out by Stan R. Mitchell. I do like the occasional military based story. I just started this yesterday and things are already moving. I like a story that is quick to action.
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