Sunday, April 6, 2014

Works in progress.

Welcome to April. It's only day 6, and it's already been kind of a crazy month.

For starters, you'll be glad to know (I hope) that I have indeed started on Scorched Earth in earnest. As of right now, I'm more than 12,000 words into the first draft, which is ahead of where I need to be today. (I find it's a good practice during any NaNo event to write ahead when the opportunity arises. It's insurance against the inevitable days when real life gets between me and my work-in-progress.) I'm hoping to finish before the end of the month. Let's see if the writing gods cooperate.

Also, thanks to a follow-fest yesterday at Indies Unlimited (and a bit of gentle nagging from K.S. Brooks), I've joined Wattpad. The first draft of the first chapter of Scorched Earth is now posted there. It's slightly revised and lengthened from the back-of-the-book sample in Undertow; feel free to click through and read the new version, and leave me a note to let me know if you think I'm on the right track.

I got a nice surprise yesterday, when Carol Wyer featured me in a new thing on her blog called "Have You Read...?" I really appreciated her thinking of me.

But there's more than one kind of work-in-progress in my life. And since I can't say much more about the new book, I thought I'd fill out this blog post with some pictures of my knitting.

I finished the Celestarium shawl a couple of weeks ago. Here's a shot of it while it was being blocked. The little whitish dots scattered about are beads, and the whole thing is a re-creation (in yarn and beads, yet) of the night sky as seen from the North Pole. I did not chart this myself, thank you very much -- I found the pattern on Ravelry, and I only agreed to do it because my daughter Amy was leading a knit-along for the project for the yarn store where she works. And it turns out I've got a couple of places to wear it this spring.

Once that was out of the way, I started tearing through some other projects. The pattern for the shawl on the right is called New Edge. I've dubbed mine the New Edge Alpenglow because the colors look a little like sunrise in the mountains, when the sun is hitting the snowy peaks and turning them pink and purple, but the valleys are still in shadow. That's my story, anyway. (Side note: This shawl is only supposed to have 4 wedges. I didn't realize that the pattern started at the top edge; if I had, I would have begun knitting with the purple yarn. By the time I figured out my mistake, I was already into the second wedge of the shawl. Instead of frogging the whole thing and starting over, I decided to add a small extra section of the multicolor variegated yarn at the bottom, which in this picture is at the top. Hence, the knitter's motto: "It's not a mistake -- it's a design element!")

The New Edge Alpenglow took me only four days to knit -- which meant I then needed to find another project. Luckily, Amy gave me a skein of yarn for Yule. So I used it to cast on for a shawl called the Canyonlands. It's still a work-in-progress, as you can see at left. The top part of the shawl is garter stitch and the bottom edge is a seriously textured knit-purl design that's meant to mimic the flowy sandstone formations in the Southwest. You can't see it as well in this picture as I'd hoped, but there are traveling curves throughout, and the bottom edge will be wavy when it's done. I'll post a pic of the final result, if I ever get it done. This border is taking way longer to knit than the top part did. (Side note: Typically, knitting patterns put all the shaping stitches on the right side of the work. This one, however, has just as much shaping on the wrong side. You've never lived 'til you've had to do a slip-slip-purl stitch; I didn't know my wrist could bend that way....)

So that's a preview of my April in a nutshell: Whatever free time Camp NaNo doesn't suck up, the bottom edge of the Canyonlands shawl will.

(For the yarn geeks: I used Dragonfly Fibers Djinni Sock in Solstice for the Celestarium; Dragonfly Fibers Djinni Sock in Rocky Top for the Canyonlands; and Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend in Purples and Stellar for the New Edge. More details on my Ravelry project page, if you care.)

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These moments of progressive blogginess have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell.
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