25 July 2010

creative process

I've been writing again. I go through periods, where the stories and the characters insist on being written, though I sit down at least once a week and try to do some writing, regardless of inspiration. I've been writing a lot more this last week. I feel like I'm moving out of my darker moods to somewhere else, and being in this in-between stage has made me want to write. I've been revising, filling in parts that I hadn't written yet in one story, and working on another I'd barely started just to explore the characters. That one isn't terribly good, but the characters just won't go away.

But the longing to write something solid hit me tonight. I was listening to some music and I realized, that, although in much of what I write, I make my characters unhappy on their journey, I do bring them to happy endings. But the endings I admire and find satisfying when I read are not by necessity happy ones. I love happy endings, I do, but when an author chooses the happy ending over the better one, I am disappointed. I was unaccountably annoyed with the end of the Harry Potter series, for example. When I watched Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog for the first time, I was stunned by the ending. It was the better ending, so, although I was sad that Penny died, I liked the story all the more for its tragic ending. I loved Sunshine because so much was left unresolved at the end.

There's a story I was playing around with a few months ago, and I had a beginning, an end, and a decent idea of the middle. But I really had several endings, and I didn't know which one to choose, and was dreadfully afraid that I wouldn't choose the best one. I thought of writing them all. I started on the happy ending. Looking it over tonight, I realized that the better ending is the less happy one. It makes more sense, for one thing. So now I have a beginning, and an end, and I have to fill in the middle. But it feels right. It feels better than it did when I started with the other ending. This is the story it wants to be.

18 July 2010

I finished the Peacock Tail and Leaf Scarf a few days ago (no pictures yet) and started on the Ballet Camisole. After some swatching, I learned that I needed to use the needles that were in use on the scarf for the camisole, so I spent all my knitting time working on the scarf and finally finished it. It is lovely, although I screwed up a little bit on the edging. The Kauni yarn I used shifted from red to darker red and back to the lighter red, etc. Since it had looked like the centre of the ball was the lighter red, I thought I'd be fine knitting both edgings from the lighter red on the outside. Sadly, the very centre was actually the darker red, so it looks a little off. Not enough to make me want to unravel and fix it, but enough that I've learned my lesson for next time. I ended up with a total of 33 repeats. Next shawl on the list is the Miralda Shawl, from the same book. I also want to do Madli's Shawl with some pink laceweight I found at the thrift store (definitely some type of animal fibre, based on the burn test--think it might be a wool blended with alpaca or some other fluffy-type fibre). That one will be a Christmas gift, I think, although I like the pattern enough to knit another for myself sometime.

The Ballet Camisole is knit from the bottom up, in one piece until the armholes. I'm a little over half-way through the waist-shaping decreases right now. I don't usually enjoy knitting stockinette in the round, especially with solid coloured yarn, but this isn't so bad. The next couple sweater projects on the list use worsted-weight, but since this sport-weight one isn't so hard, I might give a fingering-weight sweater a try sometime, too. I have promised to knit J. an Aran sweater this winter (yes, he specifically requested it, I shouldn't be invoking the sweater curse), so a fingering weight sweater for me may have to wait until next summer.

Other news...we went hiking with some friends yesterday. I couldn't move very well last night after that and was pretty out of it earlier today. It was fun but exhausting. And with that, good night.

06 July 2010

I'm currently making very good progress on a scarf/wrap, and not-so-good progress on a pair of socks. I also cast on for my lovely angora sweater, but I doubt I'll be spending much time on it for a few weeks. It is very warm, and there's a summer top I want to knit and wear before the summer is over.

The scarf is the Peacock Tail and Leaf Scarf from Knitted Lace of Estonia. It's a fairly easy ten-row repeat, so I have the main chart for the pattern memorized. I've modified it slightly (can't seem to help myself), and instead of working nupps in the centre of the leaves, I'm putting on beads with a crochet hook. I'm somewhere around 15 or 16 repeats of the main chart. The pattern calls for 32, but I will do less, or more, depending on when the yarn runs out. I've knit the edging for the end already, so I just have to make sure there's enough left to graft it on.

The socks are a pattern I've planned to knit for a long time, and in a colourway I love. But the lace is so much fun that I've barely been working on the socks. Since it's supposed to hit 30 tomorrow, I don't really feel the need to work on wool socks.

Which is, of course, why I'm going to start a summer top. I'm using the Ballet Camisole pattern, because it's pretty and simple. I might add cap sleeves, but I'll have to see how it looks first without them. The yarn I'm going to use is Berroco NaturLin. I wanted to get it in a shade of dark pink they call "beetroot" but since 88 Stitches was out of that colour, I got "cinnamon" instead, which is one of the many shades of brown that I like (yes, much of my clothing is brown). It really does look like cinnamon, though. I think I might cast on tonight.