Monday, March 23, 2009


I apologize for nearly three weeks of silence out there. I don't know if it was midterm fever or what, but March has meant being up to my ears in something at all times.
  • I submitted three essays to contests this month, with one more to go, and it needs the most work.
  • My grandmother passed away a couple weeks ago.
  • I took in a stray kitty only to find out he had FIV and had to be put down.
  • I submitted an essay a little over a week ago to be workshopped today and have another due in two weeks.
  • I have a big presentation Thursday in my craft class.
  • This last week was spring break but I lost most of it to errands, family issues, and to driving up to Phoenix to spend the day with my mom. I say "lost" just meaning that it wasn't productive. There was a lot of fun, too, though.
  • I haven't had any time to crochet outside of my weekly group, and since I spend most of that helping my girlfriends, I really haven't been producing at all.
This last crochet circle, I managed to get a couple inches of a scarf done, and it's highly portable, so I'm hoping after March wraps up, I'll be able to take it around and work on it more. I liked the stitch so much, I redesigned the front of a top I've been working on for a while. I made myself work on it while I watched a movie over the weekend. Unfortunately, I doubt I'll get to pick it up again until crochet circle on Thursday.

The hat is also languishing. I think I added one to two rows a week this month, so it's in the home stretch if - and this is a big IF - the crown works out. If not, I'm likely just going to frog it back to there and make a slouchy cap out of it. Which will be cute, but not what I was intending. Know that feeling?

I hope to be better about blogging in the next few weeks, but it's also the worst part of the semester, so I can't make any promises. For now, off to work on my astronomy homework!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Epic Fail

Well, maybe epic fail is an exaggeration.

I did work on the skirt, to the point of neglecting my school work (ssshhh, don't tell), and I finished it, but alas, there were two problems. One, it's too snug right below the hips (odd, I think) and the area right below the front zipper bunches. Here's a picture of the latter problem:

It's more obvious when I have it on, of course, but I didn't have time for a good shot of that. I know one thing I did wrong that is partly to blame, and I have a theory that part of the problem is also the cut of the pants. In the meantime, I wanted to update that it didn't work out, but that I did try. I took a lot of really nice, detailed shots and notes about the process, so I'll put together a series of blog posts on that for later in the week. (I have a strangely busy next few days, but my Thursday class is canceled, so I'll be back then.) I also have an idea of how to redeem the project.

The hat, on the other hand, is still a WIP. I just didn't have time for both, but hopefully an update will be coming soon on that as well.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


This was originally written for a private blog with some writers who signed up for Wardrobe Refashion.

In the crafting community, especially knitblogs, there's a term for a phenomenon we've all experienced, that inability to keep going after you've started a project, especially the tendency to start and start and start lots of projects and never finish anything. It's called startitis.

I've recently been working on - in my writing life - a project I'm fairly sure I won't be workshopping this semester, and yet, despite all the other work I should be doing, I'm still working on it. In the meantime, my research paper and my craft presentation are idling, nearly unbegun. I've got startphobia for the work I should be doing, except it isn't really a fear but a lack of desire, an aversion. I'm not blocked, I just don't want to work on them.

In my crafting life, however, I'm experiencing a definite case of block or the inability to start. I have a pants-to-skirt conversion project planned. In fact, I have two pairs of slacks I want to do this to eventually, but one moreso than the other. And yet, I can't seem to get started.

I blame it a little bit on my setup - my sewing machine is in our disaster of a laundry room and inaccessible on three sides by my housemate's mess, on the other side by my own crafting things. But the issue is also a heavy dose of laziness. I could have worked on the skirt either of the last two mornings. I've been telling my other blog [that's you!] this project was next in the queue for weeks, but I haven't started it.

In the meantime, I have a crochet cap design I've been fiddling with. While I think I've got it down with only a few more rounds to go, after redoing the crown a couple times, I started a new hat yesterday rather than finish the first - startitis at its worst.

So, as works best with my writing, I'm giving myself a deadline. I want to wear this skirt and the prototype cap to the Big Bad Voodoo Daddy concert at the Rialto Theatre on Thursday, so I must finish them both this week. I'll forgive myself if either doesn't fit, or if the cap still needs tweaking, but I have to at least try, and Tuesday will be my big chunk of time at home for the skirt.

Nonetheless, this whole diatribe is indicative of my crafting practice, whether it be crafting an essay, or a photography project, or a design, or a crochet or sewing project: I love to start things, I love to get hit by an idea and run with it, I love to finish things (though I never feel my written work is finished as magically as a craft project), and I even love the work while I'm doing it. But I am often tempted away from one project by another, or driven to start four or five new things only to find myself coming back to an old, neglected project that has to be backed up and almost started over, not just resumed.

In some writing circles, for instance the world of NaNoWriMo, people are divided into two major work styles: pantsers and plotters. Those who fly through a project by the seat of their pants never knowing where it will take them and those who plan (plot) everything out in advance. I'm trying to learn, in life, to be more of a pantser, but I still need a certain amount of structure to keep me finishing, well, anything really. To divide us into these two types seems not to take into account how we start and stop, pick up and put down, shelve, marinate, sprint, and birth our projects.

The best laid plans...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lost Wallet Found

Just wanted to let you all know that my wallet was returned a couple of days later - with everything still in it! - to the library reference desk. I guess either I left it somewhere or someone got squeamish about having taken it? Either way, it's back, which makes my life easier. Thanks, Universe!

Crochet update: My group is getting together tonight, where I'll be either proceeding with the hat or trying to pick up another WIP I put down for too long. I'm hoping to be able to get some more done in the next few days, but for now - to class!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Weekend thrown all outta whack

All my plans for yesterday and today have gotten thrown askew. I intended to work hard yesterday before some evening plans with friends but instead spent the day hunting for my lost wallet and retracing my steps from the day before. So far - to no avail.

As you know, I'd also hoped to refashion those pants this morning, but alas, I'm wallet hunting until I find it (or have to leave at noon), and because of girly V-Day plans and a lot of Monday homework, I likely won't have time fir the pants until next weekend. With any luck I can finish the hat (v 2.0) and see if this tweak worked in the next couple days.

Hope you're having an excellent weekend. Happy <3 Day!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Inheritance part 2

This is not a new inheritance, but a recently reacquired goodie. I received some more of my stuff over the holiday break, including my piano, almost-the-last of my crafting supplies, and the sewing machine I did really inherit when my grandmother passed.

(She apparently had quite a few. When my mother came to visit a couple days ago, she didn't know I'd gotten mine back, and so she offered me "one of the extras" she now has!)

I haven't used the machine in a few years, but I have a project in the works. I have a pair of pants that aren't long enough. I'm planning to convert them into a skirt. I may do it this weekend, but I'm not sure yet. I'll photo document the whole thing both for this blog and for Wardrobe Refashion. If you've never heard of the Refashion pledge, you should check it out and consider signing up. Two friends and I will be taking the pledge when it opens this weekend (the 15th). My second project may be a lined bag, with granny square exterior, for etsy, but I'm not committed to it yet.

Next time, the cap!