Sunday, December 8, 2013

Knitting sprints.

I'm beginning to realize that I attack every big task the same way I cope with National Novel Writing Month.

As alert readers of this blog know, NaNoWriMo participants aim to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. The recommended way to do it -- both to get yourself in the habit of writing regularly and to keep from falling hopelessly behind (or perceiving that you've fallen hopelessly behind) -- is to write 1,667 words a day, give or take. However, that hardly ever works out for me. Either I write way more per day than I need and finish well before the month-end deadline, or I take several days off during the week and then write like the wind on the weekends. So for me, NaNoWriMo is less like a marathon and more like a sprint, or series of sprints.

Now, however, NaNo is over and Yule is looming. That gives me thirteen days, as of today, to finish all the holiday knitting. Aieee.

I don't want to give anything away, in case the various recipients are reading this post. But I spent a lot of this weekend sprinting through those knitting projects, and I can report that I've made good progress. The projects for the book club members are done, and I've put a significant dent in the shawl I'm making for my daughter Kat. I can talk about it here because it's not a surprise -- she told me which pattern she wanted me to use and has been watching me knit it for her. It's the Dragonwheel, which I posted about here earlier this year. The one I made for myself turned out really well. I guess I never shared a picture of it, so I'll rectify that right now. I've been calling it my "Dragonblood."

Kat picked out a green-and-brown variegated yarn for her Dragonwheel. The color is called "Mushroom Hunting." Isn't that a great name?

In addition to all that, I'm working on two projects for myself. I mentioned the blue blazer several weeks back; I've finished the back for it. I'm also making a Spectra, which is a shawl or scarf designed by Stephen West. Here's a picture of Mr. West with his version (I'm sure the picture is copyrighted and I hope he doesn't sue me for using it here...). Mine will have a slightly lighter gray for the edging, but instead of being an intelligent person and buying a single skein of self-striping yarn for the inset colors, I had to buy four different little skeins of yarn. There are 87 inset panels in the original; to make it even (because the gods know it must be even...), I'm going to do 88 panels, or 22 of each color. I started working on the final color this weekend. With any luck, I'll finish the whole thing by New Year's. And then I can pick up the blazer project again.

And edit Undertow.

And maybe I'll start another shawl. My daughter Amy is leading a knit-along for the Celestarium shawl at the local yarn shop where she works. It's a circular shawl that features a map of the night sky, with the positions of the constellations marked with beads. Cool idea, huh? I might just have to make one of my own.

***
In case you missed it, Crosswind is making the rounds of the blogosphere. The book has already received great reviews from Big Al's Books and Pals and at Now is Gone, and I'm thrilled beyond words about that. 

In addition, it's featured this weekend at Terri Giuliano Long's blog as a stop on her USA Literary Road Trip. And I got to break the fourth wall (it's a theater term) and have coffee with Sue, Tess and Darrell in a post at Kriss Morton's Cabin Goddess blog.

This week, Crosswind is featured at Indies Unlimited on Monday -- hey, that's tomorrow! -- and at Girl Who Reads on Wednesday. I'll post the links at the usual places.

I guess I'll do some more knitting. Have a great week, everyone.
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