Monday, December 2, 2013


Okay guys, update your bookmarks. Knotmagick is now located here. Starting Wednesday that's where you'll find all future posts.

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Green Bar

I hit it. The mythical green bar. And I even got it two days early.

I'm not done yet. Still a couple of chapters left to go before I validate.

I started the process of moving the blog last night, but it's not going very well. Something about DNS pages that I can't access, and my blogger address belonging "to another user." Who is me. But apparently Wordpress doesn't understand that and I can't figure out how to clear it up. But 11pm is really not the time to be worrying about that. It's a recipe for disaster. Suffice to say that I'm fighting with not just Google now, but also Wordpress. I just want a blog that works. Is that so much to ask?

I hope that those in the US had a good Thanksgiving, full of good food and companionship. I did actual baking for mine. From scratch. Which I don't think has happened...ever. And it turned out surprisingly well. I think I might go have seconds to celebrate my success.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Knitting This Week

Woot! I've got two more finished objects!

Fingerless gloves for Missouri

Another gifty-item. Yes, it was made
from the leftover yarn above.
(For now, that's all you get, since it's a present for someone who might be reading this.)

 Originally, I was going to crochet the gloves so that they would get done faster, but that plan failed. It's been so long since I crocheted with any regularity that I was not even remotely happy with the results. The fit was wrong, the fabric was too dense, and my gauge changed from one to the next so while one mitt was almost too tight, the other was far too big. So I tore them out and put them on a circular needle. Anymore, if I have to make two of something I always make it two at a time on a circular needle, just to make sure they're identical.

Now that I've got those off of the needles, it's time to get back to the samples I'm making for CENSORED. I picked up some great yarn a couple of weeks ago when there was a Nano write in held just a few doors down from my favorite yarn shop, but once I got home I realized that it was far too thin. Once I have the funds, I'll go back and grab a second skein of each color so that I can hold it double.

Since most of the CENSORED projects aren't great for taking to and from work, I also pulled some socks out of hibernation. These have been languishing for a couple of weeks while I tried to knock out a few other small projects:

These are made from the toe up, using Serenity Garden--it's actually the same yarn as the fingerless gloves, but a different colorway. I've also got this yarn in pinks and browns; I love working with it.

I made these as a tube, then marked where I wanted the heel to be. Using DPNs, I tore out the provisional stitches and put in an afterthought heel. Now I'm just going to keep knitting until I run out of yarn, and I should have some nice high socks--I'm hoping for knee high, but we'll see.

The downside to all of this productivity is that I had to put the London Calling cardigan back on hold, and after I finally got the new circular needles that I needed for it! Very frustrating. But, it'll still be there after the holidays when I hope to get back to it. Since it's mostly small pieces left now, those will become my knitting to-go once the socks are done.

Just a heads up: after fighting with Blogger for the past two weeks, I've made the decision to change my host. Sometime either this week or next, I'll be moving the whole thing over to Wordpress. URLs will change, and things will look a bit different. I'm not sure how or if the archives will be effected, but I'll let you know so that you can update your bookmarks. Please be patient with me and cross your fingers that I don't accidentally bring the whole thing crashing down!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Nano Progress

I blame Nanowrimo for the semi-erratic blog schedule. I've been shooting for 2,000 words a day. I haven't made it every day, but most days. If I don't think that I can hit 2k, then I go for the 1,667 that the website lists as a goal, and if I'm really not feeling it then I do whatever the number under the "you need to write this many words to finish on time" heading. Usually by the time I've hit that number, I'm on a roll and it isn't too hard to keep the momentum going long enough to reach one of the higher goals.

I haven't managed to take one of the typewriters out to a write in yet. I keep trying to, and it hasn't worked out yet. It doesn't help that the character I'm working with right now seems to be the only one who doesn't like to be written on the typewriter.

The goal of Nanowrimo is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I suspect, however, that this story won't wrap up until around the 70,000 marker. Last year I made the mistake of stopping after I hit 50k, and that story remains unfinished on my hard drive. I want to keep this one going beyond December 1, keep it rolling until it's actually done this time. If I'm lucky, it'll be finished before Christmas.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Promises Fulfilled

In case you were wondering, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries lived up to and exceeded expectations. I managed to watch the entire series over the course of four days, and while I would love for there to be a second season, I'm okay with the way things ended; it was very tidy even if there is still room for the story to grow. For those who don't have Netflix or aren't big television fans--the series was based on a series of books. I've got the first volume requested at the library and will let you know how it goes.

The other promise fulfilled this week would be my mitts for Missouri:

She asked for these a couple of weeks ago. After a couple of setbacks, I cranked most of them out this week, which means that it is time to start in on my Holiday knitting. Thankfully, that's just two small projects. Hopefully they'll be done quickly!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Love Letter from Woodstock

P.S. I decided to go with Louis, after Louis Armstrong, because this typer has soul.

P.P.S. I've written a few pages with Louis now, and after about page three the ribbon randomly reversed direction and started advancing correctly. No idea what triggered the change, I can only assume that in my blind fumbling of the gears, trying to figure out what was broken I accidentally nudged something back into place.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Pass, Fail, Promise: Period Drama

While I've mostly been avoiding television because of Nano, I did take a break to watch a few things on Netflix this week. Shockingly, all were period dramas from different countries.

Pass: Populaire
Country of Origin: France
Rating: A-
Okay, so we're talking about a French movie set in 1959 that centers around typewriters? Yep, I'm all over that. :D

I've had this one saved since I first saw the movie poster. I believe it just popped up on Netflix this week, and I happened to see a brief post on the costumes on one of the fashion blogs I follow.

I desperately loved this movie, and the only thing stopping it from getting an A+ was the use of tropes; certain scenes were a little cliched and predictable, but overall this was an adorable film, and very sweet. And if it doesn't make you want to pull out the typewriter and punch out your entire Nanowrimo word count in one sitting, there's something wrong with you. Add to it an adorable main character, gorgeous costumes, and beautifully decorated sets, and you've got a winner.

Fail: The Great Gatsby
Country of Origin: USA
Rating: C
This movie is beautiful. The costumes are fabulous, the sets are grand, and the CG is colorful and detailed, effecting the brilliant, over the top atmosphere of the 1920s in New York, and the acting is spot on.

The problem with Gatsby, in my opinion, lies squarely with the source material. We read this when I was in high school, and I remember as three weeks of extreme torture culminating in two days of watching the film in class. The high point of which was that it didn't last as long as the book did, aided by the fact that our teacher was so sick of it that she kept fast forwarding through the slow bits. Leonardo di Caprio does an excellent job of portraying Gatsby's aloof, narcassistic, selfish nature, while Tobey Maguire is every inch Nick Carraway's dull, lifeless character, doing little more than watching from the background, always invited along though he really doesn't add anything to the story itself.

I could go on for days about the failings of Gatsby, but I'll refrain since the fault lies with Fitzgerald and not Hollywood for once. The characters are completely unlikeable, the story itself is warped and nonsensical. It's not the actor's fault that their characters are all flat and irredeemably egocentric, and in fact they portray it perfectly. It is primarly due to that skill and the visual elements that I ranked this movie as high as I did.

Oh, and don't get me started on the music. It's primarily rap and hip-hop, which was jarring and out of place.

Promise: Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries
Country of Origin: Australia
Rating: A
Another Netflix newcomer, Miss Fisher is set in Melborne in the 1920s. I've only watched the first episode so far, but it definitely has potential, ranking right up with the Bletchely Circle in terms of intrigue.

With witty diaglogue and a setting that is completely new to me at least, I was drawn in from the first. By the end of her first episode, I do think that it is safe to say that Miss Fisher is the first lady detective to come in with a bang (and yes, for those who have seen it, the pun is intended).

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Anticipation and a Half

If all goes well, I'll be hitting the 50% marker on my Nano draft this afternoon when I get off of work. I thought about forcing myself to write the 4,000 necessary words all in one go last night, but then my Amazon package arrived, including two books that I've been dying to get my hands on for the past month. The timing was perfect, since I finished my last read before I left work yesterday (and no, the third book in the Virals series did not disappoint. It's left me clamoring for another book, but it looks like I'll be waiting at least a year for it. In the mean time, I'll be downloading the companion short story once I get my next paycheck).

House of Hades has been all over Tumblr since it's release last month, and I've been actively trying to avoid spoilers, with little success. But now my copy is here. I might not come up for air until it's done!

Another thing that arrived yesterday that I've been looking forward to is my Netflix of the Great Gatsby--the new one. I'll be watching that on our big screen, rather than on the laptop like I usually do. Even if the story sucks as much as I remember, it should be stunning to watch. I can always put it on mute, right?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Finished Objects!

It's been a while since I had any of these, isn't it?

First up, I made another Charlotte. For this one, I used a different yarn and a smaller needle size for a slightly different fit. These photos were taken before blocking. Once it's dry, I'll get some nicer pics that I can add to the pattern page on Ravelry:

(FYI, the Charlotte pattern is on sale for 50% off on Ravelry right now. You can also download through the patterns tab above, but I'm not sure if that link will reflect the discount or not.)

Yesterday, I spent all day writing and knitting and sewing. Missouri requested a rice cozy, and I found the perfect fabric for it at Joann's. No pictures of that yet, but I also finished this, a replacement for my favorite flamingo tote bag that is sadly falling apart:

The inside of the bag, complete with interior pocket. The lining fabric comes
from a box of vintage skirts that I was given last year.

I also made a couple of other little goodies, which will be going off to my partner for a swap I'm doing, but I don't want to post photos just yet--I will once she gets her package, just in case she decides to pop by the blog.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Things I've learned about Nano this week

1. The first 500 words are the hardest, at least for me. But once I get past that, get the ball rolling, it just becomes easier.

2. Cats are terrible at taking dictation.

3. If I can't have Storyist, then Scrivener is a passable substitute.

4. I can't write and watch TV anymore. And writing with music is now a distraction as well. When did I get so old that I can only concentrate on one task at a time?

5. I Write Like is highly addictive. And when it tells me that I write like an author I dislike, it gives me motivation to up my word count and change up my dialogue and writing style to try to get a different response.

6. I've forgotten what sleep is.