Thursday, December 31, 2009

Many Victories

I find it amazing that I often get less rest during holidays than I do during the normal year. Because I have so much free time, I stay up even later, and then I try to get up early the next morning so that I don't waste the day. Ultimately, I wind up totally whacked out when I go back to school. I'm really going to try to keep this from happening this holiday, but I'm going to have to start fighting it now. I've stayed up obscenely late almost every night, so far.

Generally, the past day has been full of win. There was massive owning at Pictionary, and the beating of Halo 3 by Evan (and crying by me, as always).

But, best of all, was this:

That is Evan. Yes, he is crocheting.

Last night, he expressed an interest in learning how to crochet (after talking to me for quite some time about how absolutely wonderful it is) and I told him that I would teach him today. We started, of course, with the chain. Because I wanted to teach him just like I was taught, I sent him home with some acrylic and one of my hooks (no one can ever doubt that I love this boy), and instructed him to practice chaining until I see him again over Spring Break. I spent a lot of my childhood practicing the simpler stitches, and it really benefited me.

I'm extremely impressed with how quickly he grasped the concept, and how enthusiastic he is about it. I taught him both pencil (what I use) and knife hold, and he chose knife hold, for the time being. I think it will work better for him, because he has big hands. I am mega proud of him, and I can't wait to teach him more when he comes back. Ben captured the last few minutes that we spent with Evan before he left to go home again (sad face). Me and my Evil Stepmother, he and his blue acrylic starter chain: shoulder to shoulder.

These are the moments that make me remember just how wonderful my life really is.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Trucking along

I just finished winding the second skein of Imagination for my shawl, using my favorite swift (read: my knees) and my favorite ball winder (read: my hands). I sometimes toy with the idea of buying a swift/ball winder, but I really don't have the space for it in my room right now. When Ben and I have our own place, I may get one, but I really enjoy the personal feeling of winding every yard of my yarn by hand. My mind may change later.

So, today we went to Borders with Alex, Ben's brother, to pick up a book. Normally, I have a reasonable amount of restraint in bookstores. It almost makes me sad to go into them, because I want so many of the books, but I don't like to let myself buy them, because it always snowballs. We spent at least an hour browsing and enjoying the loveliness of the store.

I caved.

I've been wanting Abundance, At Knit's End, and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but the other two were spontaneous. One is about the Salem witch trials, and one is about China. I don't know much more about that last one yet, but I read a bit out of it, and it seems like it's going to be amazing. I love reading fiction that is immersed in other times and cultures. I never buy this many books at a time for no reason, but I'm really happy to have these.

I sent a message to the designer of All Tied Up, and after reading her response, I think that I'm going to tackle the seams on the shawl soon, so that I can stop thinking about them. It seems like they're looming, and every time I stop to look at my work, that's all I see. I'm going to get it done now, so that I don't get any more psyched out.

Ben and Evan, a good friend of ours who lives too far away, are beating Halo 3 on Co-Op while Evan's here for a visit. He's leaving tomorrow night, and I'm very sad to see him go. We only see him twice a year, and we're such good friends. I find it amazing how close two people can become so quickly. I only met Evan a few years ago, but I feel as if we've always known each other. I think that my favorite thing about the holidays is getting the time to see the people that you can't see any other time of year.

It has been decided today that men are like Rocket Launchers, and women are like Spartan Lasers...because they are apparently Vehicle Sniper Rifles. LOL.

Well, it looks like they're saving the final mission of Halo until the morning. It's time for a match of Extreme Pictionary. I love the holidays.

Monday, December 28, 2009

A fresh and quiet start

I've been fiddling around with all of this for a couple of days, and so I suppose it's time to make a first post. I've decided to start a new crochet and life-related blog, just for the things that I do and make for myself. Often, I have trouble starting things like this, so I'm going to kinda jump in.

For starters, here's a great photo-meme that I found on Mary Heather's (rainydaygoods on Ravelry) blog. It's particularly appropriate, because her blog is what really gave me that last nudge of inspiration to finally get my own started up again.

The Questions:

1. What is your first name? Shannon
2. What is your favorite food? Sushi
3. What high school did you go to? Chalmette
4. What is your favorite color? Crimson
5. Who is your celebrity crush? Bettie Page
6. What is your favorite drink? Water
7. Dream vacation? Montana
8. Favorite dessert? Ice Cream
9. What do you want to be when you grow up? Happy
10. What do you love most in life? Family
11. One word to describe you? Unstoppable
12. Your flickr name? Quiet Daybreak

Wow. That took longer than I thought it would, but I really like the way that it came out. It was definitely fun. Try it!

I've been working diligently on my Evil Stepmother Shawl. As of this morning, it looks like this:

It's a bit of a slow project, but the yarn (KnitPicks Imagination Handpainted Sock) is delicious, despite being like velcro once it's stitched up, and it's going to turn out really nicely. I'm using the pattern All Tied Up (Version B) It started out being made from a whole different pattern, but it was a lacy pattern, and the stitches were being obscured by the colorway. I will be using that pattern later, though, with a more solid yarn.

The construction has been very interesting. It started off with three small squares, and the original work was worked off of one of them, and the other two were added later, which you can see in the picture below. I'm going to have to go back and sew up those seams, which makes me a little nervous, because I'm kind of a perfectionist. I'm hoping that I'm not going to wind up rocking in a corner, clutching the so-close-to-completion shawl, and mumbling "I just need to get this seam lined up..."

(By the way, have a look at that absolutely perfectly round ball of yarn sitting there! I didn't even notice it until just now.)

I'm so happy that it's finally my Christmas break, and that I can sit back and (try to) relax. Although I must admit, I have trouble relaxing even when there's almost nothing for me to do. I have to have the third movement of Brahms Requiem learned 100% solid by the eleventh, when I go back to school. I've been doing a few pages every day, so it's moving along. I'm hoping that this break goes by as slowly as possible, and I'd really like to have this shawl done before I go back to school. I got KnitPicks blocking mats for my birthday, and I'm really going to enjoy using those.

I'm also going to block my Starter Cable Cowl very soon, so that I can sew on the pefect toggle that I finally found, and wear it before I miss winter entirely.

I had a good bit of trouble deciding on a name for the blog. I didn't want something that I would grow tired of, or grow out of. Ultimately, I named it for the feeling that I enjoy when I wake up early, and the house is quiet. I feel most creative at that time, and I feel like my very best ideas present themselves then. At that early hour, before the day has begun, it always feels as if anything is possible, and that I have all the time in the world to focus on my art, peacefulness, and beautiful things. I hope that this can be a place for me to harvest that feeling, so that it is not so fleeting. I also hope that having this place to write and talk about my art will help me to find this feeling more often, even when I am busy, stressed, and overwhelmed by the weight of the world.