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Steadfast Love
I'd walk a 1000 miles, just for you.
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24th-May-2017 09:19 pm - A Dark Invitation [fiction]
Spring
Hilde pauses. Her hand is a whisper away from the velvet soft golden petals. She sits back on her heels and looks up at the displaced.

"This isn't the answer, is it?"

The displaced's mouth works, gaping like a fish, and a mournful call quietly escapes.

"This is the wrong location, isn't it?" Hilde looks to the oncewolves. "You herd people here, don't you? To this clearing."

The oncewolves all bow their heads, a couple whine

"And they naturally believe the pretty grove and the impossibly lush flower is the right one. But it's not, it's the wrong location, isn't it?"

Hilde's eyes widen and she claps her hands to her mouth. She hurriedly scoots back from the flower. Fear fills her eyes. She whispers to herself.

"What would have happened?"

She looks up at the displaced and repeats herself. Anger is taking over once again and the steel in her voice makes the displaced float backward a little. The displaced folds in on itself, seeming to crouch before Hilde. The withered lips move, as though trying to speak. A low moan comes out. Hilde leans forward, listening more intently. In the ghostly rush of air she can almost make out a word.

"Eaten? Are you saying that I would have been eaten?"

The displaced nods sadly. It reaches out, skeletal fingers catching a wisp of Hilde's golden hair; darker than Tiane's. It then points to the flower. Hilde puzzles this over for a moment, idly caressing the lock of hair the displaced had touched.

"The flower, it looks an awful lot like Tiane's hair. Do you mean that is Tiane?"

The displaced shakes its head and frustration furrows its brow. It tries to speak again. The voice is slightly stronger, clearer, but still hollow sounding.

"Gone, through."

"Look, there's no way she's gone through the flower. That's not how things work"

The displaced grimaces and motions to itself and the oncewolves arrayed around them. Hilde looks around, pondering.

"I guess you have a point. This place is not how things work and yet, here we are." She sighs. "Well, is there another place? Another flower perhaps?"

The displaced shrugs. Hilde chews on her lip.

"What about a place you don't go, or can't go." She looks to the oncewolves. "Is there somewhere that you always avoid?"

Her answer is in several whines and a couple of eyes hidden behind fuzzy paws. She looks up at the displaced who hesitates before nodding.

"Can you take me there? Please? It's my daughter, my only remaining child." A tear escapes and trails down Hilde's cheek. "Please?"

The lead oncewolf noses her hand. The displaced beckons to her. Hilde stands and follows. The displaced and the lead oncewolf lead her from the clearing, the rest of the pack following close behind. She is led on a long twisting path through the forest. After many twists and turns and what feels like hours, they finally enter another clearing. This clearing is dark and shadowy, the air almost feels oily against Hilde's skin.

"Very well done, you have outsmarted my creatures." The voice is omnipresent, coming from the very air around her. Hilde turns, looking for the source.

"Where's my child?"

"She's," the voice pauses, as though pondering, "elsewhere."

"Bring her back, we'll leave and you'll never see us again."

The voice chuckles and the hair on the back of Hilde's neck stands on end. The oncewolves press close to her.

"I have an... invitation for you. Here, accept this flower, a peace offering as it were."

A flower blooms in the air before Hilde. The petals are lush, a deep black that reminds her of the moonless night sky. Iridescent blues and purples gleam in the velvety black. Hilde reaches it for it unthinkingly. The displaced gently pulls her back, the thin fingers pressing against her arm. Hilde shakes her head, her eyes wide. How could she have almost? She nods at the displaced.

"What is the price of this?" She demands.

"Why, only that you join me, rule over the forest with me." The voice drops in timber, almost soothingly. "We could be quite the formidable team you know."

"I have no need for that, I only want my daughter back."

"Oh Hilde," the voice cajoles, "naturally you'd get your daughter back too."

Hidle's breath catches. How does it know her name? Fear skitters over her nerve endings and goosebumps prickle her skin. The displaced tugs on her arm again.

"Traap, musn't."

Hilde pauses. Is the displaced getting stronger? It was much easier to understand that time. And is the body filling out from the gaunt shell? Hilde shakes her head. 'No time for this' she thinks to herself.

"No deal. I want only my daughter."

"Woman! Do not think to displease me!" The flower before is shredded in a gust of wind, the petals whirling madly before dropping to the forest floor. "I"ll have what I want!"

"Not from me, you won't. Mark my words creature, I'll have my daughter back and we'll see the end of you." Hilde turns and strides from the clearing, brushing aside branches that attempt to block her path.

The displaced looks around nervously and then quickly follows Hilde. The oncewolves trail in their wake.
Spring
Tiane studies the glowing orb in her lap. There's no writing, no marks, nothing to guide her. She wrinkles her nose as she thinks, almost wiggling it like a rabbit. She places both hands on the orb and closes her eyes in concentration. She sits quietly, focusing, for several moments. A smile sneaks onto her lips as she rotates her hands in opposite directions and slowly pulls them apart. The orb appears to be gelatinous and stretches until she is holding an orb and balancing another in her lap.

"How, how do you know all these things?" Bry asks quietly from beside her. Tiane shrugs.

"I don't know. I just, I think really hard about what people could use, what could help them, and then I know the right way to make it happen."

"Your first thoughts are for everybody else. What, I mean, where," Bry pauses in confusion as his words tumble over each other in his head."I guess I really mean why?"

Tiane hands the second orb off to one of the women waiting and watches as she places it in their slowly expanding perimeter.

"I guess it's a habit, it's really the only thing I've ever known. When Ma had all the littles we had to work together to get them all taken care of, to bring the crops in on time, and to keep the farm running as it should. If we work together then we get so much more done."

"Had the littles?"

"Yeah, I had two sisters and a brother, all younger. But the fever," Tiane bows her head, her hair falling to cover her face. "The fever took them. That's why I went into the forest. If I can't bring them back then maybe I can at least prevent another from the pain my mother suffered while watching them waste away." Tiane brushes a tear away and rubs the moisture into her pant leg.

"I guess, thinking of her, knowing how she raised me, and doing for others makes me feel like the distance between us is less. I mean, I have no idea how far apart we are but helping makes me feel like she's here beside me, you know?"

Bry nods thoughtfully.

"I think I do. You're lucky to have that kind of family. Not many do."

"Then it's even more important to share." Tiane takes a moment to create another orb clone. "We should see if there's some way to build shelters."

"But, there's no weather to shelter from here," Bry furrows his brows as he thinks it through.

"Perhaps, but it'll remind us of home, of what we're searching for." Tiane smiles and hands him the newest orb. "We have to close that distance so we can return home."

Bry nods and smiles. "That we do."
7th-May-2017 08:52 pm - A Mother's Faith [fiction, lj idol s10]
Spring

Hilde pauses before the arch. She raises her hand and presses her palm to the stone. She bows her head. Her lips move; whispered words slipping from them like raindrops in a storm.


She raises her head, wiping tears from her eyes. Unconsciously she wipes her damp fingers on the cold stone. She steps through and into the dim forest.


Unlike any who have come before her, Hilde does not sneak or rush. She simply presses forward, one step at a time.


There is a crashing through the underbrush and a oncewolf leaps onto the path before her. He growls, his eyes narrow. His legs tense as he prepares to leap at Hilde.


She gives him a stern glare.


"No, sit," she commands.


The oncewolf falters, confusing showing in his shifting body language. His ears perk while a snarl also raises his lip.


"Sit."


The oncewolf whines but he sits. Hilde approaches him, her hand out, palm down. The oncewolf's nose twitches and he snuffles at her. A small whine escapes him.


"That's right, you're a good boy, aren't you?" Hilde scratches behind his ears. "That's right, you don't want to attack, you just want to be friends."


Hilde stands back up and looks around.


"I"m sure you have more friends around here. If we come across them they can join too. Come along." She motions for the oncewolf to join her. He falls in behind her, occasionally growling softly and then looking guilty.


By the time Hilde finds her way to the center of the forest the whole pack of wolves is following her, tamer, calmer. Hilde gasps as she catches sight of the golden flower in the center of the clearing. The golden honey petals are an exact match for Tiane's hair. After years of raising Tiane, brushing her hair, watching the light bounce off it, Hilde can mistake it for nothing else. She begins to step into the clearing.


Across from her a displaced appears. With a ghostly trill, it rushes toward her. As one, the pack behind her reacts, growling and leaping forward to stand between her and the displaced.


"Stop!" Hilde's voice is clear and ringing. The oncewolves and the displaced stop and look at her, almost quizzically.


"Nevermind this rivalry or what have you. I'm not here for that nor am I interested in it." She looks to the oncewolves. "You don't really want to fight the displaced."


The wolves cock their heads, a few looking down to the ground.


"And you don't really want to fight the oncewolves." She addresses the displaced. "I'd be willing to bet that you just want to go back to who you were, before all this."


The displaced seems to deflate. A shadow of sadness passes over it's features.


"Right, then let's see if we can fix the situation for all of us then."


Hilde nudges her way through the pack of oncewolves and strides to the flower. The displaced and the oncewolves gather around her in a circle.


Hilde reaches for the flower.

27th-Apr-2017 02:45 pm - Enough to Spare [fiction, lj idol s10]
Spring
Tiane stares at the glowing rock before her for what has to have been hours. Finally, she can no longer stand the silence.

“So, have you guys tried to move this rock, or break it apart to spread out the light?”

Everybody around her looks at each other in confusion. Eyebrows are raised quizzically and they confer in murmurs too low for her to make out. At last Bry speaks up.

“Why would we do that? There’s nothing here. Grag wandered forever before he found the light. And each of us wandered through the dark before we were drawn here.”

Tiane stares at him. Suddenly the realization strikes her like a thunderclap. Her eyes widen in shock.

“Are you saying that you’ve just been sitting here? Doing nothing? All this time?!” She stands as her voice raises at the end. She sweeps her arms around her.

“Why haven’t you tried to find a way back home?”

Bry looks at her like she’s perhaps a little slow.

“Because there’s nothing in the dark. It’s just dark. Wasn’t that made perfectly clear to you as you were being drawn to the light?”

“You were brave enough, or curious enough, or desperate enough to venture into the forest in the hope of changing everything in your life and when you get here you just sit down and wait for somebody else to do something?”

“It’s like I told you, Grag wondered forever. He found nothing. As each new person joins us we share what we know of this place and what’s happened where we came from. There’s nothing but dark here. There’s nothing to explore.”

Tiane narrows her eyes and glares at Bry.

“Fine then, if you won’t do something then I will.”

She leans forward, her hand stretching out to the glowing beacon before her. The light is neither hot nor cold.

“Tiane! No!” Bry lunges at her, reaching for her hand but stopping short as her palm lands on the beacon.

“But,” he stutters.

“It’s fine. In fact,” she reaches forward with her other hand and picks the beacon up, “it’s lighter than it looks.” She hefts it experimentally as she rises. It really is deceptive in looks and weights very little. The weight almost reminds her of the other kids, when they were babies, newly born and tiny.

“Look!” A voice in the crowd exclaims. Tiane and Bry both look down. The crowd around them murmurs excitedly.

The ground where the beacon was sitting is now growing a rich, lush moss. Tiane kneels down, balancing the beacon on her hip, and brushes her fingers over the moss. It’s slightly cool to the touch and springy. She pulls some up and it’s instantly regrown. Tiane laughs and puts the beacon down by her feet. She pulls more and more; the moss regrows each time. Finally, she has enough to fashion a smallish pallet of soft moss to rest on. She looks up and scans the crowd before speaking.

“This should go to Grag, he’s been here the longest.”

“No child, you should have it, you found it. You didn’t give up like we did.” Grag answers.

“Nonsense. It doesn’t matter who finds the answer, as long as it is shared freely with all who share the problem. There’s plenty of moss, and hope, to go around.”

Quietly, humbled, the group begins to work together, gathering moss and making pallets for each other.
18th-Apr-2017 08:21 pm - Patchwork Repairs [fiction, lj idol s10]
Mother Wolf
"Tiane! Why aren't you up yet?"

Hilde knocks at Tiane's door; the door creeks open under her knuckles.

Tiane's bed is perfectly made. The room is empty. Hilde checks the hook by the door but Tiane's bag is gone. She goes to the front porch and calls to Lars out in the field.

Lars looks up as his wife's voice reaches him. With a swipe of his sleeve to his face he drops the hoe and heads over to her. Concern creases Hilde's face.

"Have you seen Tiane this morning? Is she in the field with you?"

"No, come to think of it I haven't seen her all morning."

Hilde's fingers clutch at her dress coller.

"Go check the barn." Call it mother's intuition or call it a gut feeling but it's plain that Hilde knows something is amis on their small farm. She spins around and heads back to Tiane's room. No, no, no tattoos a beat in her brain.


She bursts into the room. Her eyes wildly bounce from corner to corner, hoping against hope that she somehow overlooked Tiane. But no, there, on the desk, is a book. They aren't good with words but the book is a family prize. Hilde's breath catches as she sees it's open to the map of the area. Tiane's favorite ring is sitting where the forest is.

Hilde squawks a cry, before the sound is cut off by the fear choking her. Tears overfill her eyes and her hand trembles as she reaches for the ring. She can't bear to pick it up. Her fingers barely brush it.

Lars arrives in the doorway. The sight of his wife so distraught alarms him and he rushes to her side.

"Hilde!"

As he pulls her close she sees the book and the ring. His arms tighten around Hilde reflexively. She leans into him before stiffening and pulling away. She beats at his chest with her fists.

"This is your fault!! You and those fool stories you insisted on telling her!"

"Now Hilde,"

"Don't now Hilde me!!" She punches harder, surprising him. He takes a step back.

Hilde covers her eyes with her hands for a second. She squares her shoulders and brushes past him. Confused Lars follows her to their room where she grabs her own traveling bag and begins shoving things into it.

"What are you doing?"

"I'm going to save our daughter."

"Hilde, please, I'll go,"

"No, you've done enough. Just, take care of the crops and animals while I'm gone."

A tear slips from her eye. She sets her jaw and dashes it away before turning her back on Lars. Her heart trembles as she strides away from their home. It hadn't always been like this. But after the loss of three other children, her poor heart just couldn’t take the idea of losing Tiane. There was no patch big enough to fix her heart if that happened.
Spring
Huh ... wonder if that counts all the comments made by journals deleted since the comments were left.




#mylivejournal #lj18 #happybirthday

10th-Apr-2017 06:33 pm - Hope in the Dark [fiction, lj idol s10]
Spring
Tiane can feel the wind rushing past her so despite the pitch black she can tell that she is falling. It’s interminable with no sense of time. She starts to stretch out her hands and feet, to feel if there is anything around her. Then she realizes that if there is something she is likely to break something given the apparent speed of the breeze through her hair. She opens and closs her eyes; no difference. Finally, she curls into as compact of a ball as she could manage.



Many, many breaths later she comes to rest on a surface. She lands gently, as though somebody is placing her. The wind is gone but the dark remains. She turns and turns but can tell no difference from one direction versus any other.



“Hello!” Tiane calls out. There is no echo. The sound of her voice has no weight.



Am I dead? Is this the afterlife? She muses to herself.



With a shrug, she randomly picks a direction and begins walking. She has no way of verifying that she is moving, other than her legs moving. The darkness is all encompassing. There is an absence of feeling though, no fear, no predatory eyes, no hope.



Along with seeing nothing, Tiane feels nothing other than the surface under her feet. Hunger nor thirst gnaws at her and fatigue does not appear to be affecting her as she walks. She begans counting her steps, simply to have something to hold on to. She is well over five thousand when she sees it.



It is a pinpoint of light, solid, non-flickering. She names it hope and begins jogging toward it.



She begins her count again but keeps losing track and guessing at where she’d left off. It is several hundred steps before she can see any appreciable increase in size. Tiane considers slowing to a walk but her breathing still comes easy. Whatever this place is it is not expending any of her resourses.



Eventually, after what feels like eons, she can make out more of the beacon. There are shapes around it, some even move. Tiane slows and carefully draws closer. The shapes are not giant rocks or predators as she first thought. They are humans, all gathered around the beacon. The ground under the beacon is black.



“Hello?” Tiane tentatively questions.

Several of the people turn toward her. One stands and approaches her. He is about her age but his clothing is quite old, nothing she can remember seeing in her time. He smiles and waves her toward the light.



“Hello, come closer to the light, no sense in staying there in the black.”



Tiane approaches and takes a seat between two who shuffle aside to make room for her. The light does not flicker nor give off heat. It simply lights the area around it, about 5 feet out in all directions. There the darkness takes over again.



“What is this place?”



The guy shrugs. “It’s the Nothing. Nothing happens, nothing changes, other than the occasional new person who failed to gain hope above.”



“So, you’ve all,” Tiane looks around her at the many faces now lit by the beacon. She swallows hard. “You’ve all tried to pick the flower at the center of Abandoned Hope?”



“Is that the name of the forest now? It’s had so many names through the years. I’m Bry by the way. And yes, we’ve all entered the forest trying to reach the flower. And we’ve all failed.” Bry sighs and settles back down next to the light.



“I’m Tiane. If nothing happens then do we just sit here?”



“No reason to explore out from the light. It’s the only thing in this whole accursed place. They say, no, never mind.”



“What? Please tell me.”



“Nothing, just a campfire tale. Nothing’ll ever come of it.”



“Please?”



Bry sighs and then shrugs.



“There’s a myth that one day somebody will actually manage to evade the oncewolves and displaced and pluck the flower from the center of the forest. It goes that then we’ll all be restored to the living world. It’ll never happen though, those that do manage to make it to the flower end up fighting. Once blood is shed in the forest it’s a lost cause.”



“You’ve given up hope then.”



“You will too, eventually. Grag over there is the oldest of us, been here the longest. It was summer of year 5 when he tried. Hundreds of years had passed before I tried, and hundreds more have passed since.”



“No, I won’t give up hope. Without hope life is pointless.”



“This is not life,” Bry replies emphatically.



“I will still hold hope close,” Tiane resolves.
31st-Mar-2017 09:28 am - Super Fast Headband [dagorhir, kntting]
Spring
One of my fighting guys requested a headband. Well ... it took me far longer than I'd like to admit to sit down and knit it but the knitting took only a handful of tv episodes.



The pattern is super simple. I start with one stitch and increase every other row until I have 5-7 stitches, knit it to length, decrease every other row. Also I slip the first stitch of the row to make the sides neater.

Project page: Ravelry.
Mother Wolf
Knitting:
The blanket has grown a bit, the sections aren't feeling impossible yet but I can tell the difference. Now if I could just remember consistently when I'm supposed to do the yarn over row. I always catch it about 2-4 sections in. Luckily it's an easy fix.


Sewing:
The plan is to start cutting the fabric for an altered version of this overdress. I'd like to have it done by this Saturday since we have an event and I'd like pretty, plus my current overdress is in need of alterations and repairs.



Thought, because I want a new overdress I need a new rank device. And now that we have an embroidery machine I have a better chance of creating what we want So .. I designed a thing!! It needs a little cleaning up of threads but I'm still pretty stoked about it.



Reading:



The Last Paradise by Antonio Garrido. I only just started it yesterday so I'm not very far but it's interesting and based in a time period I enjoy reading about.

However! I just finished Nora and Kettle by Lauren Nicolle Taylor and ... wow! It's a broken girl and broken boy story, and at times it feels a touch slow moving. But the story was just so compelling and wonderful that I didn't care. I felt that I had plenty of time to learn each of the main characters before they meet each other and then we're shown how they both grow brave. I loved the writing and the story itself. I'd certainly recommend this to pretty much anybody

28th-Mar-2017 02:28 pm - Hidden Hope [fiction, lj idol s10]
Rainforest
Tiane’s legs pump furiously under her like pistons. The cold, dark forest closes around her like a dark presence. She can almost taste the malevolence in her gasping breaths. Her chest is tight, aching with strain as she struggles to draw in more air to feed her starving muscles.

She pivots around a tree. Her foot lands in a pile of leaves and skids out from beneath her. She hits the ground hard, all her weight on her hip. She grimaces in pain, clamping her teeth down to stifle the cry that is almost wrenched from her. She opens her eyes to begin righting herself. Poised above her, glistening with wet and poison are the screaming thorns. They hang scarcely a breath from her skin. The sap they secrete bubbles on the tips.

A oncewolf howls in the forest, the pack has not given up their pursuit. Fresh meat is always a priority for these twisted creatures and Tiane has certainly had their attention since she passed below the heavy stone arch hours ago. She involuntarily jerks at the reminder of the pack.

Carefully she edges out from under the screaming thorns. She hears her father telling her about them, about the crippling pain they cause if even a drop of the poison gets into her mouth or eyes. Deities forfend the thorns actually piercing her skin. The oncewolves tearing and rending her apart while her screams filled the air would be a much better fate than the days of blinding pain of that thorn prick.

She snorts to herself as she eases away and rises, limping on the aching hip. She should have listened to her father more, should have stayed away from Abandoned Hope Forest. She was crazy to have ever thought she was the one that could succeed where so many had failed. She brushes her golden hair back from her eyes and looks for the path.

A warbling call rises up from somewhere, close. It is answered by the howl of a oncewolf. Tiane’s eyes grow wide as she realizes that the oncewolves have been joined by the displaced. Well, not joined, they never work together, but they’re both tracking her. She will be their chew toy, caught in the middle, if they find her. She lurches into a hobbled run, careful to avoid the screaming thorns.

This was a mistake. She knows this now. She’s just another failure and her mother will cry bitter tears over the loss of her child. Tears well in the corners of her eyes, mingling with her sweat as it runs down her cheek. She stumbles a bit as she corners on another tree, a huge loon flower blooming behind it. The petals are heavy with the thick powder coating them. A sniff of this powder will give you visions and hallucinations for hours. It was once a highly-valued trade item, but the forest has claimed them and made it too dangerous to harvest. This one could easily provide hours of escape for her whole village.

But there, just past it, she can see the clearing. The green of the grass is a brilliant emerald green; a sharp contract to the dark trees towering around it. The rich red flower grows in the center, it’s petals the ruby of fresh blood. The air is almost crystalline around it, shimmery and sparkly with hope.

Tiane turns her head away from the loon flower and takes a deep breath. She carefully edges past the powder heavy flora blocking most of the path. The oncewolves howls grow closer, the trilling of the displaced bouncing off them. Tiane struggles to hold her breath and not disturb the powder. Time is certainly not her friend here but she doesn’t dare to make a mistake this close to her goal. Finally past it, she rushes to the clearing.

Across the clearing a displaced bursts from the trees and orientates on her. Its skin has lost its color, soaking up the hate and sorrow of the forest. It is ashen and yellow in turns. Its eyes are sunken in, haunted by what it used to be, the life it once had. The limbs are gaunt, barely bones held together by tendons stretched tight. The trill it releases at seeing its prey sends icy fingers tip tapping down Tiane’s spine.

Tiane sprints forward, toward this hellish creature that she’ll become should it close on her. She must get to the flower before then. Behind her the lead oncewolf crashes though the forest, closing in on her fast. The three speed toward the center at a speed that promises a spectacular crash. Tiane drops to her knees and slides. Her hand is stretching out, reaching for the flower and the hope it promises. Her fingers brush the petals, soft as crushed velvet. The oncewolf snaps his jaws shut on her ankle and yanks her back.

“Noooooo!” A sob is ripped from her throat as she is pulled from her goal. She kicks, once, twice, finally landing a solid kick on the oncewolf’s muzzle. It yelps as it releases her. She crawls forward, once more in reach. Her hand closes on the stem. Agonizing pain sears through her scalp as the displaced rakes its fingers through her hair, dragging her toward itself for the killing blow.

The flower is sucked through her hand and into the ground. The green of the clearing is following it, like water through a funnel. Ignoring the displaced Tiane lurches forward, blood from multiple cuts streams down her face, as she tries to dig up the flower. Blood patters around her hands as she loses chunks of hair to the claws of the displaced. The green is gone and the dark of the forest is quickly following.

So close, she was so close.

Sobbing and bleeding she collapses, her fist pounding the ground. She is sucked into the whirlpool too, face first so the crying is quickly cut off. The displaced and the oncewolf back off, each eyeing the other warily. As they warily creep backward a green tendril sprouts where the ruby flower grew. The flower quickly grows and blooms, its petals a rich honey color, golden with promise. A deep chuckle rumbles through the forest.

There is hope deep in this forest but none have managed to avoid the forest’s minions to free it. They have only managed to feed the forest and strengthen it with their blood and tears.

The Golden Flower by fromfairyland
22nd-Mar-2017 06:30 am - WIP Wednesday: Unending Yarn [knitting, reading, wip]
Spring
Knitting:
I'm hard at work on 2 blankets. The sock blanket is progressing at work because it's small and I haven't gotten around to finding a bag for the baby blanket. I just keep putting up on the shelf at night so Hestia kitteh can't get to it. She's been quite a pain getting up to my alpacas and pulling those down as it is. But! There's progress on the baby blanket, a lot!



While the blanket itself is not all that interesting, not a ton of color and not a difficult or changing pattern .. I'm interested in the yarn. That little squiggle of yarn to the side is the last of the first ball of yarn. For several times around now I keep telling myself it'll run out soon. Yet I keep getting another round and another round. I suspect this is neverending yarn. The waiting ball will be the second. I have 4 or 5 others waiting. This blanket just might end up epic.

Reading:



Diary of the Displaced Books 1-3 by Glynn James. An interdimensinal traveller chasing after an evil monster but with the small problem of having lost a lot of his memory. I'm nearly done with book 3 and I've quite enjoyed it. If this doesn't tell me how the evil is defeated I'll have to be on the lookout for more of the story because I really want to know.
17th-Mar-2017 03:17 pm - Angry and Sweaty [dagorhir, lj idol s10]
Spring
He walked on to the field like he knew everything there was to know about our game. It was his first time playing. We’d explained the rules, just like we do with everybody else. If you get hit in the arm or leg it’s no longer useable, two limbs gone and you’re dead. A hit to the chest or back is instant death. A projectile follows the same rules, with the addition of being allowed to aim for your head, also instant death.

But he was special. Without ever throwing a shot he knew he was the very best on the field and he was going to school us all.

He wore a black, armored, motorcycle shirt. His stringy hair hung limp in the 90 plus degree heat. He smirked at his friend as they lined up with everybody. They were clearly the best around. What did these weirdos in their medieval period clothing know anyway?

The herald called lay on and I pulled my arrow back. I grinned to myself, this was simply too perfect. I aimed and released the arrow. I watched as it flew almost perfectly across the field and landed squarely on his mouth. His eyes flashed with anger and he made to charge at me. The herald laughed a bit.

“Dude, you’re dead, shot to the face. Go sit down.”

He complied but I knew it was only a matter of time. Sure enough, two fights later he came charging around the field to come in behind me. I turned into his teammates so they’d kill me instead of him. He still made a wild leap, his sword swinging even as I called dead. It landed hard against my skull and I shook the stars from my eyes. I sat out for a few rounds, electing to take pictures while I calmed down.

“We’re good, right?” He seemed almost worried as he asked.

“It’s not me you have to worry about, it’s them.” I waved back at the rest of the group fighting.

The new guy hadn’t taken any hits, unless you swung nearly as hard as you could. That’s not the point of our game. Our game is honor. If I hit you, you take it. If you don’t take it then you’re not playing fair. I’m not down with hitting hard because I can’t generate that much force. I prefer to fight those who are honorable.

Later he sparred one on one with a few of the guys, including my husband. He would get hit, say ow, and attempt to keep using that limb or not take his death. So, he got hit harder. The only way to get them to stop hitting so hard is to take the hits and stop pretending to be invincible.

Normally I’d try to retain people, have them come back so we have more people to fight. I’m not sorry he hasn’t been back though. Some people just can’t be helped.

He left that day salty in more ways than one.

17th-Mar-2017 11:18 am - Tiny Baby Set [knitting]
Mother Wolf
When I heard that a friend was expecting a baby I instantly thought of the baby yarn sitting in my stash and knew I could make a few things from it. Gifts for friends + using up the stash = double win!

First up was a tiny hat:


This knit up so fast and cute that I had to do another one, naturally.



i love the colorwork and the corrugated ribbing, even if it's not a stretchy as normal ribbing. It's freaking adorable. But at this point I had a whole lot of yarn left over and I was about done with hats. No matter how cute they are.

So I found a tiny shirt.



This was an absolute delight to knit and it happened so fast! It's so tiny and cute.

And yet ... I still had yarn left over. Not a lot though. Tiny feetses! Those need covering too! So booties it was!



Finally! The set was complete and all the yarn was gone! I think it's such a cute little collection of baby things, either together or on their own.

Patterns: 2 Hearts Newborn Hat by Kelly Forster, BQ Baby Tee by Sabra Morse, Seamless Baby Booties by Becky Rudella
Yarn: Vanna's Choice in Beige and Pink
Project Pages: Hat, Hat, Shirt, Booties
15th-Mar-2017 06:30 am - WIP Wednesday: Baby Blanket [knitting, reading, wip]
Mother Wolf
Knitting:
I still have my stripy socks, and the sock blanket, and the color work gloves ... however a friend is expecting a baby in August so naturally I had to drop (nearly) everything to do up a baby blanket for them. I'm using some of the yarn from Talesia's stash that I found in her boxes. I still miss her dearly .. but passing along something she loved in a way to wrap another in love feels fitting.



I don't feel like getting out the posterboard and turning on all the lights so you get a phone pic from my lap. That's also why there's no pictures of the progress on other pictures. I'm curled up under a fuzzy blanket and don't wanna move.

Reading:



Diary of the Displaced: Books 1-3 by Glynn James. I've blazed through book 1 and started book 2. It's an interesting story, though not one I think I'd pursue had I not had the chance to get the first 3. Again, I'm in a weird headspace so no idea.

As a reminder I'm offering charting work as well as my standard sewing and knitting commissions, as per my post yesterday. 
Mask
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.
14th-Mar-2017 10:21 am - Service Offered: Charting Patterns [knitting]
Spring
I know we all can read or chart our own patterns. However, if you don't have the time or simply don't wish to be bothered with it, let me know!

Free patterns only, unless you want to purchase a pattern for my use, in addition to the cost of charting. I'd absolutely hate for any designer feel that I was getting their paid patterns for free.

Here's an example of my most recent work:

17103756_10154864177076352_679081168530651910_n

Format will be Microsoft excel so easy to open with Google docs or Open Office. Benefits for colorwork include seeing the stitches laid out before you, in knitting reading order, all repeats listed, with increasing and decreasing notes, plus the ability to hide completed rows. I have not yet done lacework in color, but that is likely the next thing for me to figure out. Though I can do a chart of the symbols, if that's needed.

2 colors: $5; 3 colors: $8

More than that and we can work it out. And of course I'm always willing to knit on commission, particularly small things. Anything I can do to earn a bit more at the moment is up for discussion.
10th-Mar-2017 01:23 pm - Last Year's Finishes [knitting]
Spring

There were a couple things I finished last year but didn't share here because they were waiting for gifting. Mid January our friends got together for our gift exchange.

One of my friends gifted me this gorgeous purple and green yarn to see if I could do anything with it. I happened to come across a picture of this exact colorway in The Age of Brass and Steam shawl and knew it was perfect.



I had so much yarn left over when I bound off that I did a bit of math. I picked out the bind off and added in another half section of the first part and all of the second part before binding off again. I absolutely love how the stripes work beautifully with this pattern. Plus it's super soft and snuggly.



Pattern: Age of Brass and Steam
Yarn: Red heart Unforgettable in Dragonfly
Project: Ravelry

In one of my stash rummmages I turned up this lovely alpaca yarn in a cream color that I knew I wanted to work with but it's not particularly a color that I wear often. However ... I have a another friend that looks amazing in this shade. So after finding out that she would like either a hat or gloves equally I decided on a hat so I could use up as much of the yarn as possible.



it worked out fantastically as it's a great use of the yarn, it's warm and cozy, and she loves it. Also, it's stunning on her. She'll be getting a lot more knit gifts as I have lots of odds in colors that aren't my style but are perfect for her.

Pattern: Latu
Yarn: Unknown natural Alpaca (the cat stole the ball band)
Project: Ravelry

9th-Mar-2017 03:18 pm - Blue Peace [dagorhir, lj idol s10, vacation]
Overlaping
The blue hour crept in while we relaxed after a full day of fighting. We were taking turns at the showers and lounging in camp chairs around the fire.

The battlefield that day had been hectic with hundreds of fighters doing all they could to win for their side. My world had narrowed to grabbing the next arrow and lining up my target. I had ducked and dodged behind friendly fighters as enemy archers targeted me. Several shield men protected spears and glaives as they tried to break the shield wall in front of the castle. They also protected archers as they could.

But now the fighting was done for the day. Adjacent camps were raucous at times but within our own walls, peace reigned. Some of our compatriots were dressing for the fancy dress ball that was to be held that night. Jon and I walked up the hill to find food for the evening. We also poked through vendor stalls, admiring and wishing, assuring each other of “someday”. There was no shortage of shinies and pretties that we could have frittered our money away on but we were good and only spent it on food, mostly.

The blue blush of the fading sun was losing ground to the deep night, the lush darkness slowly pushing out the twilight. By the time we regrouped with our friends the blue was barely an echo. It slowly slipped away as we walked around the lake and explored the many paths winding through the woods and other camps. There were circles of cacophony: dancing, drinking, and drumming, illuminated with flickering flames

But we were drawn elsewhere. There were pocket of silence so deep you could feel it pressing into your skin, beckoning you deeper into the natural embrace of the trees surrounding you. The sky was filled with stars, like diamonds scattered across soft linen.

This is where I return when I can’t anymore. When day to day life is overwhelming and I need a break. I’m back in the woods, my husband’s hand in mine. The dark is complete, the trees too dense to allow the moonlight to filter through. Fireflies are flitting to and fro around us in a dance known only to them. It’s a magical moment, heralded by the setting of the sun. It’s my oasis of calm in the bedlam of the normal world.

In only 99 days I'll be able to return.

Spring
Knitting:
I'm kinda creating again. Mostly I'm starting things and losing steam or finishing things and not being happy with them. I don't know that I'm getting past the grief or coping any better .. maybe I'm just hiding behind a giant mask, it's hard to tell. Anyhow, I am actually a bit happy with the gloves I'm working on. Specially since I charted out the pattern in excel with notes for when the thumb begins and when the hand is done. The chart doesn't match up from side a to side b so the number were quickly going to be off. Plus with it being in excel I can hide the rows I've already done.



I've also started new stripy socks, which means the previous socks are finished. Though I didn't do enough of the leg and not only do I have a ton of yarn left over, they're shorter than I'd like. Plus I went down a size for ribbing and forgot to go back up a size to bind off, so they're a tad too tight. I'll pull it out and redo the binding.



I thought about re-connecting the yarn and making the socks longer .. .but then I'm not sure the stripes would line up just so and apparently that bothers me more than I expected it too. It makes sense after all, that's why I'm so careful to start the exactly in the same spot. Just means I have more to add to the blanket.



Gaming:

I've been spending a lot of time in Borderlands, mostly on the hunter, he's finally up to level 21. I wanted to punch things so I started a bezerker the other night and he's level 7 or 8 now. Though I know sniper will always be my favorite of any character.

Reading:



The Night Bird by Brian Freeman. I've been reading a bit more, it's easier to insert myself into a different world. I've liked this one, the way the author strings the words together and the pictures he paints with them.
Rainforest
In some ways it looks like I’m all better, no grief pain, all smiles.

Sure, if you want to pick select moments.

Truth of the matter though … it’s a pain that lingers. It crops up in unexpected ways. It blindsides me, even when I expect it.

The night of the super bowl, a mere handful of days after the fresh wound of loss, I found myself in the middle of Bucky’s crying over a chocolate covered strawberry. I don’t cry in public. But these were my Mother’s Day gift from Miss Kid over the years because they were my favorite. I saw her, standing in front of me, that smile of pure joy as she handed me the plastic container. I heard her voice as she chirped Happy Mother’s Day Shadow! I remembered all the times she proudly told any who’d listen that I was her step mother and I was the very best step mother ever. My husband held me as I cried in the middle of Bucky’s. And then he bought me a chocolate covered strawberry.

Two nights ago, I was at Miss Kid’s father’s, helping him go through boxes, clean out some of my stuff, and go through her things. He slid a purple box over to me and I just looked at him. We both knew what was in it. I took a deep breath and braced myself before opening the box to reveal her toys. That deep breath wooshed out in a sob as I remembered her playing with them, spread out on the living room floor. It’s not fair!

But those are just the moments when I’m overwhelmed with it. The pain is always within, always pricking at my heart with it’s sharp barbs.

A couple weeks ago I went out camping with 5 friends. It was beautiful, quiet, full of laughter, and comradery. You’d think so far removed from home it wouldn’t hurt. As I looked out over this amazing vista I couldn’t help but think about how Miss Kid would have loved the rocks below and climbing all over them, peeking in on the tiny creatures that call it home.


I felt the breeze teasing my hair and remembered how it always made her laugh to see the wind playing with my long hair. I saw the kids leaping and crawling over the falls and remembered how much she loved to climb, how fearless she was.

That night, at the campfire, I shed a few quiet tears as I thought of how she’d not be able to sit around a campfire with friends anymore, telling stories, and eating smores.

The next day at the falls I determined that I’d do more of this, more living, more experiencing, because Miss Kid no longer could. I would store up these memories and laughter and send them to her through the ether. I would live where she could not and hopefully she will receive these thought bombs of happiness and beauty to ease her.

Take a hike? Yes, I will.
Mask
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]
Mask
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]
Blue
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.
Spring
Knitting:
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.



Reading:



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]
Believe
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*
Mask
Knitting:
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.



Reading:



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]
Believe
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]
Rainforest
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.
Spring
Knitting:
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.



Sewing:
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.

Reading:



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]
Spring
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
Rainforest
January:
Elisa Shawl – Knitting, Self
Green Tabbard – Sewing, Jon
Ballband Dishcloth – Knitting, Self
Mitered Dishcloth – Knitting, Self


February:
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)

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

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

May:
In & Out Socks – Knitting, Self

June:
Toesies – Knitting, Self
Ax Cover – Sewing, Jon

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

September:
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)

October:
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

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

December:
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]
Spring
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]
Spring

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]
Mask
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]
Overlaping
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]
Blue
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]
Fears
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]
Overlaping
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.
Mask
Knitting:
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.
Rainforest
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.
Spring
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.
Spring
Oooof.

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]
Rainforest

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]
Mask

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]
Rainforest
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).
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