I’ve been designing all night and all day, with pencil-smudged graph paper and eraser crumbs scattered all over. (Literally. Designed the night away!)
Finally decided to buy Stitchmastery. After reviewing several different knitting chart editing programs, I selected Stitchmastery. Knitty officially uses Stitchmastery for all their charting needs, so I figured that was a pretty good endorsement.
So far, it’s looking to be a excellent investment, if one is interested in designing knit charts. And since I’ve apparently caught the knit-lace-shawl-designing bug, it’s looking like I’ll be using it a fair amount. It has a lot of great features — one of my favorites is the stitch validation: it tracks how many stitches are consumed and produced by each row and compares it to the previous and following rows. And if they don’t match, the program warns you so that you can double check your chart! It saves so much time from doing that by hand.
Another feature I love is that it automatically generates written instructions based on the charts, including condensing information into repeats. I’m still exploring all the aspects of the program, but it seems to be pretty great so far. Hopefully, it will pay for itself… I have plans in the works! (Unfortunately, can’t say much about them, but fingers crossed.)
Four days into 2016, and it’s time for the obligatory New Year post, albeit a little late.
I haven’t done as much reflecting on 2015 as I probably should. It’s nice to have the blog to go back through older posts to see what I was up to throughout the year. Definitely more motivation to try to keep the blog updated more regularly.
This year, according to the blog (not a comprehensive review):
- Around the start of the year (technically in the December of the previous year), I finished making the squares for the Cabled Afghan Knit-Along. I have yet to sew these squares together into the blanket. Eeesh.
- Also at the start of the year, I cast on for making the Featherweight Cardigan. I have yet to finish this project. (I’m already sensing a theme here…)
- I created a digital drawing that I converted into an embroidery piece. I did finish the embroidery, but did not document it here. And, really, the piece needs a good ironing and still needs to be framed. Continuing the “not quite finished” trend…
- I needlefelted a penguin — first and only needlefelting project so far. I enjoyed needlefelting, might try it again in the future. The penguin suffered a sad fate, when the cats decided that he was their toy and has since then been chewed to bits.
- I successfully completed A Month of Letters Challenge and International Correspondence Writing Month in February! I plan to try to do this again this year.
- I started, and abandoned 30 Days of Lists. I partially did not finish this challenge because the lists were becoming increasingly more personal and I did not want to revisit or share some of these memories publicly.
- I got back into needle tatting; I started making a pair of needle tatted barefoot sandals, making all the pieces, but not assembling them. All the parts are somewhere in the apartment… Also, a needle tatted choker that was started, and turned into an unfinished project.
- I started my Fleegle heel socks, working toe-up. I made each sock until they reached about mid-calf, before realizing that I probably need to undo them a bit and add calf increases, if I want to keep knitting them taller. Another unfinished project.
- I GOT KITTENS! Which, have increasingly hampered my ability to make things, as they like to get into nonsense and wander across whatever I am working on.
- The kittens also chewed a hole in the Mirkwood Shawl, the complicated beaded lace shawl that I started in June, with the hope of finishing it in time to wear to my sister’s wedding in September. While I made a great amount of progress, the kitten-chewed-hole caused the project to get derailed and did not finish in time. It is still languishing in my project drawer, waiting for me to pick it back up and finish it.
- I completed Drawlloween 2015, making a tiny-tiny drawing for each daily prompt.
- I finally finished my Les Misérables wrap; it is tremendously long and I wore it several times before the weather warmed up too much to warrant wearing it. Now that the weather is getting more wintery, perhaps I will have more opportunity to wear it!
- I did some gift-making, which I was unable to document, as they were to be surprises for the recipients. Now that gift-giving season is over, I can showcase them. Woo.
So, in reviewing the year, lots of making: knitting, crochet, embroidery/cross-stitch, drawing, letter-writing, calligraphy, general crafting and DIY. I am finding that I do like starting projects, but often run into issues finishing them.
Hence, my “resolutions” for 2016:
- make time to work on projects.
- finish the projects that are waiting to be completed.
- update the blog more often!
- actually do the courses that I’ve purchased from Craftsy, Skillshare, and Creativebug.
Those are pretty much my goals for every year. Make more things. *wink*
Crossing fingers for luck with a potential opportunity!
I haven’t made an update in two weeks or so, because I didn’t have any good images of progress on my various projects. And a post without pictures is truly not as exciting.
So, quickly whipped together this image to prompt me to post. I haven’t really devoted much (read: any) time to actually digitizing my calligraphy, past shooting a quick iPhone image. (Which I honestly ought to spend a little more time making sure that it is lit well, and… you know, actually in focus! Hah.) It was interesting seeing what I could pull together in just a few minutes, testing out a few techniques I’d seen. Not sure I actually like the colors of the end result, but…
Anyway — making good progress on Mirkwood Shawl. Pictures to come, when I remember to actually document it. Progress is slow, and it’s nice to have companions in this KAL journey to commiserate about confusing parts and the numerous lace charts. I’m about a third of the way through Chart 1 (which starts after setting up all the inner borders). It’s hard to judge precisely how far in the pattern I am, since each row has more stitches than the previous. So, even if I could say I am __ rows in a pattern consisting of __ rows, it’s not a good method to evaluate how much more there is to go. We’ll just say that it will go on and on until it is done.
Which will hopefully be before September (I’m sure it will!) because I plan to wear it to my sister’s wedding.
So, I had another drawing rattling around in my brain.
This is not it.
But, it’s what came out, so I went with it. In-progress screenshot (meep!) since trying to get used to sharing those. Might work on it more later on. (click image for full-size)
And eventually get back to the one that’s calling to me.
And now, with color.
Perhaps more later, if I continue to play with her.
I usually hate sharing works-in-progress (unless they are crafts-related, like knitting or embroidery).
When I was in school, my video instructor exempted me from having to show my works-in-progress; at the time, I was very grateful, since I hated showing my work before I had reached the point of “completion” (art is never really “complete”.. it just reaches a point where you’re satisfied enough to stop tweaking it to perfection), but ultimately it was a disservice in terms of when I entered the “working world” and had to keep clients up-to-date on projects. I am still very reluctant to share incomplete works, but I figure that’s a good thing to try to get over.
So, screenshot of latest thing I am working on:
She had been floating around in my brain (hah, floating.. accidental pun) for the last week or so. Not sure why. I suppose this mermaid is born of the ache of longing and waiting and dreams, and enduring.
I remember Aubli + I had, at one point, years ago, discussed the original story of The Little Mermaid, where after her transformation, each step felt like walking on sharp knives, and the excruciating pain suffered with each movement. And oh, how the prince loved to watch her dance. So she would. And at the end, her sisters trading their long hair for a knife to kill the prince and drip his blood on her feet so she could stay human; and refusing, she dissolved into seafoam and light.
There was another mermaid story, actually written by Aubli in 2004, that also has had a place in my brain since then:
once there lived a mermaid who was inexplicably born into the middle of a desert. the spirits of the desert were baffled at it, and did not know what it was, but waited to see what it would do. and the mermaid did not know what she was either, but she dreamed of oceans and seas and great expanses of water.
she told the spirits of the desert about her dreams, and the spirits replied, “this is a wasteful thing to dream of. a place where the entire ground is covered with water? you are an extravagant and wanton creature.” but still they watched it, to see what it would do.
as time went by, the mermaid’s fins grew dry and wilted, and she began to cry, because this is a reflex of mermaids. left in an barren place they cry themselves rivers upon which they escape to the sea. the mermaid did not know this, but she cried nonetheless, and the water began to puddle around her.
the spirits of the desert are always thirsty, and at this they drew closer. but when they drank the water and felt its taste they drew back in surprise.
“this water is salty, and salty water is worse than no water at all! now we are thirstier than before… what a horrible creature you are, to make such a thing!”
and the spirits whispered to the winds and the sands, and the mermaid’s tears soaked into the ground and evaporated into the air, and were soon gone completely.
and so the mermaid lay there, and her tail grew dry and scaly, and writhed weakly upon the sand. and she wondered why, try as she might, she never seemed to get anywhere at all.
but every so often, deserts have flash floods.
and that is all…
more old things.. a quick digital doodle from last October.