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A List

1. It’s been six weeks since my miscarriage. I am 100% healthy and feeling pretty good in general. Thank you everyone for your sympathies. Even if I wasn’t in the headspace to talk too much, it really meant a lot to hear from you.

2. This summer has been nothing but change. On top of the above, my husband and I are both working outside the home. The only other time this has happened in our entire relationship was while I was pregnant Felix, who is now in daycare. It’s a huge transition that we’re all still wrapping our heads around.

3. Because of all this change and upheaval, my attention span has been short. The only thing that I have spent any significant time on has been my novel.

4. I started my fourth big revision to my original Nanowrimo story last week. I’ve come to the conclusion that my method for writing novels is the most arduous and slow that there is–you know, besides not writing at all.

5. Once I gave myself permission to write and rewrite and let anything happen in my universe that I wanted to, I might have got carried away doing just that. I explored every nook and cranny, and it got me up to almost 140,000 words. That’s way too long!

6. Cutting 50,000 to 60,000 words sounds like a big job. That’s a whole Nanowrimo! But so far, I am having a blast revising it down, keeping on subject, keeping just to what’s important. That was the valuable part of all that exploration over the last few months.

7. I miss blogging.

8. My knitting and fiber arts have been all over the place. I have only finished one project since April: a toy giraffe for Athrun for his birthday.

9. I’ve been posting knitting photos to instagram and twitter. I’m tinydinostudios on both.

10. Have you seen what they’re doing on etsy right now? They are running a crowd-sourcing pilot program, and it’s awesome. I was wanting this exact thing the entire time my shop was open to allow me to buy a whole clip of wool and send it to the mill. Ah well. I’ll pass the love along.

11. I was lucky enough to stumble upon the campaign for Sarah Welch Pottery before it was over and will have a new ceramic travel mug headed my way in a couple of months. It’s worth the wait, I’ll drink my coffee iced out of glass until then.

12. Yes, I am enough of a coffee snob that I don’t like plastic or stainless coffee mugs. One retains old rancid coffee flavor. One makes the coffee taste like metal. No, I am not delusional. It’s really there.

13. I just finished a honking long book–about 1000 pages–and I don’t know what to read next. Any suggestions?

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Fun with Self-Portraits

I am back at work after 1 1/2 days home sick. Obviously I brought my new computer to play with over my lunch hour. No webcams on the work computer. I was surprised this morning to flip the switch in my office and have the lights flip on immediately and brilliantly. My office is pretty much the storm shelter, and had been unbelievably dim since I started working there.

This is what it used to be like
No joke, I was working by the light of my computer most days.

Now I have plenty of light so I can do all of the important things!
That’s some aloft in Daisy for the Tule sweater. I love me some fuzzy mohair. (Really, the yarn is for casting on during the 15 minutes I have to wait for the kiddo to get out of school. I could knit at work, but I would have to figure out how to type and answer the phone with my eyes.)

But, since I was out with a little tummy bug the last few days, I have a lot of catching up to do.

Happy knitting, friends.

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I seem to have a thing for orange

New mitten. New mug.

So far, the mitten is singular, though I hope to make it mittens by the end of the weekend. The pattern is Snapdragon flip-tops by Ysolda Teague. (Yarn is Cascade220 Heathers) I have been playing around with the idea of patterning the cuff of mittens instead of the hand for awhile now. Then, of course, I looked through my patterns and realized these were very similar to the image in my brain with the bonus of a new way to do flip-tops! I do enjoy my mittens.

The mug I snagged at Target last night. There were only two orange ones left, and adopting them seemed the proper thing to do.

It’s finally winter here. So at 7am, it is dark and cold and my photograph is horribly lit. Thankfully, the brilliance of orange seems to be able to withstand the test of dim artificial light and pre-coffee photography.

Happy Saturday!

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Free Pattern: Owl Coffee Cozy

Looking for a quick stocking stuffer idea? Know people who really love coffee? This knit coffee cozies are quick and cute. I love home made coffee cozies. These cozies are insulating, cute, and reusable. They are also a great way to use up left over yarn, taking only about 50 yards to complete each one.

Owl Coffee Cozy Pattern

Materials– about 50 yards worsted weight yarn (one skein of my Pteranodon yarn would make a set of four, for instance.)

Gauge– 22 stitches wide by 28 stitches tall in 4 inches done in k2, p1 rib pattern

Needles– one set US 9/5.5mm double pointed needles

Tools– cable needle
darning needle
six small buttons (optional)
sewing needle and thread (optional)

Pattern Key
BO — bind off
CO — cast on
C4B— slip two stitches onto cable needle, hold in back, knit next two stitches, then knit from cable needle
C4F— slip two stitches onto cable needle, hold in front, knit next two stitches, then knit from cable needle

CO 36 stitches, dividing evenly over DPNs being careful not to twist. (I like to do 12 stitches over three needles)
Rounds 1-4: K2, P1 around
Rounds 5-7: K8, P4 around
Round 8: C4B, C4F, P4 around
Rounds 9-15: K8, P4 around
Round 16: C4B, C4F, P4 around
Rounds 17-22: K8, P4 around
Round 23: C4b, C4F, P4 around
Rounds 24-26: K2, P1 around
BO in rib pattern

You can use as is, or for more fun, sew six small buttons on for eyes.

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Since I opened my etsy shop last week, I have been distracted. I have been attempting to distract myself from the fact that I have not yet made any sales, which I kind of expected at this point, though that doesn’t make me feel any less disappointed. You see, I had dreams of selling my whole inventory in the first twenty minutes because I am such a yarn-dyeing genius. Of course, I was prepared for other possibilities . . . like having tons of people love Dino Carnage

But nobody buying it requesting a sweater’s worth of it (That might have been a hint. It’s mostly brown, I promise).

I have also been trying to distract myself from my day job–which is becoming less and less ideal every morning when my alarm goes off hours before sunrise. Sunday morning, I woke up at 4, checked the clock, and the familiar thought of “OK, I have a little while to sleep yet” lingered as I closed my eyes again. Then I remembered that it was Sunday, and that Athrun willing, I could sleep to the late, late hour of 6:45. I actually squealed a little bit in excitement and promptly fell back into a blissful slumber.

One of the ways I have been distracting myself from the day job (besides the shop) is to start slowly easing myself into freelancing (writing). It terrifies me. As my lovely sister, Audrey said a couple of weeks ago, “Whoever thought it was a good idea to have to make authors pro-active? We’re hermits.” (It might not be a direct quotation, but you get the idea. My problem is that I have hardly been taking the time to write anything at all. It’s a lot of pressure to sit down to write something that you are going to sell. So, I have signed up for something I only feel so-so about. The plus side is that it has already given me the incentive to write a little blurb about Little Women, which I just re-finished for the first time since I was 10. The down side is that there is a lot of SEO stuff involved. Though, if I ever want to show up on google, I suppose it is not bad to know. It doesn’t keep me from feeling just a tiny bit hack-ish. Basically, I write and get fractions of pennies every time somebody stops by and takes a look at my articles. So if you go take a look at my writing, you are helping me make money. I have made $.05 so far, so you know, things are going well. You can find my author page here. It’s an experiment. We’ll see how long it lasts.

In fibery news, I have something special in line for the store. I am working on getting some proper graphics made by an actual designer. When that’s done, I am planning a grand opening sale. The terms are yet to be determined, but I don’t sell anything after that, you are going to be seeing a lot of yarn pimping. At least you have been warned.

This yarn is my new favorite.