Sunday, April 29, 2012

What I've Been Up To: 4 Finished Projects

Upon finishing my Mario Granny Square Rug, I decided to tie up some loose ends (heh.) with some other unfinished projects that had been looming about about for the last few weeks (or even months) before starting even ANOTHER big project. There is still a doily sitting in my Box of Estranged projects, but hey, no one really needs to know about that.

These are just a few noteworthy projects I've made recently. I've linked to the ones I can, but a couple of them are from either magazines or books (both of which I've mentioned).

1. Archipelago Handwarmers 


Okay, so they're actually called Ravenna Mitts, but the colors I chose were 'low tide' and 'sand', and since I happened to be making them to the tune-age of the Chrono Cross OST, well, the name just fit. I used some bamboo yarn I had gotten on sale at Michael's, and it ended up being (I think) just under 100 yards total. I've worn these a few times when typing (or crocheting, even), and I have to say that they're very lovely!

2. Cafe Wristers

 These were a project in the most recent issue of Crochet Today magazine, and I literally started making them within 5 minutes of seeing them. I didn't even flip all the way through the magazine before I had my yarn and hook out. This color was a skein of Caron Simply Soft I bought back in December because I had a gift certificate to Jo Ann fabrics and I thought "IT'S SOFT. AND BLUE." Since it was lying around anyway, I decided to use it. I wish I had gone with something a *little* different, since I use so many blues, but the wristers came out nicely nonetheless.

If you happen to have this issue of Crochet Today, or have just managed to stumble upon the pattern, my only suggestion is to make the ties quite a bit longer. I couldn't make a bow, I could only tie them once, and I'm sad to miss an opportunity for a cute wrist bow T^T


I've been reading Tarot for a handful of years now, and after buying my 3rd deck of Tarot cards almost 2 years ago, I was sad that they didn't really have a place to belong. My other decks stay in wooden boxes, but my newest deck was just wrapped in shoddy fabric. When I found the pattern for this, I decided to, once again, use some random yarn I had bought because of a gift card, and once again I thought. "OH. SHINY. BLUE.", and thus, this bag was born. I love the color, and it's a silk/bamboo yarn, so it's incredibly soft, and I'm certain my tarot cards are very warm and happy in there. As I recall, I didn't have to make even the slightest change to this pattern, and my cards fit perfectly. On top of that, it's super easy, pretty much just single and double crochets alternating. Love it.

4. Misty Taupe Broomstick Lace Hat



This was my first broomstick lace project, and also my first project from Kristin Omdahl's "Crochet So Fine". The band was supposed to be a sort of 'faux cable', but my skills are clearly not up to par with the book, so I alternated fpdc and bpdc to make a ribbed pattern. It's not as elegant as the book, but I'm happy with it.

I used a size 3 bamboo yarn infused with aloe, and I want to rub this hat on my face forever. The texture of the broomstick lace is not only amazing to the touch, but also keeps the head surprisingly warm. I was also pleasantly surprised at just how easy broomstick lace actually is. Wouldn't mind playing around with broomstick lace on other projects at some point.

As of right now, I'm just about halfway done with another huge project, it's a Doily Wrap, also from Kristin Omdahl's "Crochet So Fine", and I can't wait to share it with you guys...although probably not for another few weeks! The first few parts have taken me about a week, and I spent almost the entirety of today trying to figure out how to put all of them together via a very stressful session of trial and error. In the end, I managed to get it together, and I think it's going to look very nice when it's done :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Granny Square Super Mario Mushroom Rug

I have certainly been lax with posting my projects lately, aside from writing, but don't think it's because I haven't been doing anything. I don't know if it's worth me posting every little thing that comes off my crochet hooks, but maybe I should be? Hm...maybe I'll have a "what I've been up to" post in the near future...

*Ahem!* Anyway, I am not here to bore you with miscellaneous nonsense, I'm here to tell you about the biggest project I've made so far: 158 4" granny squares sewn together to make a 5' x 5' Mushroom Rug!

Photobucket The rug came to be one day when our (expensive) store-bought rug was giving us a lot of trouble, as it was catching all of my long-haired cat's hair, but our vacuum didn't work on it for some reason. We rolled it up and threw it in the basement, and I decided to take on the task of making one.

After scouring Ravelry for literally hours over the next few days for the perfect rug, I saw the pattern for this, looked at Gabe, laughed, and said "We could just have a Mario Mushroom rug."

His reply?

"Yes! Do it!"

We made a deal that he would buy the yarn, and I would make it, which I think worked out really well for both of us, and I ABSOLUTELY love the way it turned out. I've actually recently gone on a bit of a spree looking for other pixel patterns to make smaller rugs and pillows out of! Hopefully those will come to be sometime in the near future.

I can't wait to make more pixel art! But until then, I hope you guys enjoy this one :)


You can get an idea of the size of it by looking into my (only slightly) cluttered living room. Also, say hi to my cat, Walter!    

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Writing Scripts Vs. Novels

So, like I mentioned in my last entry, for the first time ever, I was going to participate in Script Frenzy (A Challenge to write a 100 Page Screen Play in the 30 days of April), and managed to get all 100 pages written by today, the 8th.

We all know how much I love stats

Now, I DID find it easier than NaNoWriMo (The challenge to write 50,000 words in a month), but keep in mind that I have off of work from April 1st - 10th, so having no work, or any other real obligations, writing for 4 - 5 hours a day was nothing to sneeze at.

Anyway, as I was writing this, I was thinking about the differences between writing a novel, and writing a screenplay. If you have written both, let me know what you think, and if you're thinking about writing one at some point here are some of my humble thoughts and opinions.

Pros of Writing a Novel:

- It's familiar. In school, when you wrote stories, you used the same format, but on a larger scale. You know how to use quotation marks, and when to start paragraphs, you also get to start and end chapters the way books do, and you know how to do that, because you have read a book. It is comforting and familiar

- It's descriptive. I love, LOVE describing things. I love using flowery language to describe something beautiful, and I love writing for pages on end about how someone feels about something else. In a script, you get to say "She has blond hair", which is something I could spend a paragraph writing about.

- It's something you can share. You can send your friends and family a finished novel, and it will essentially be complete. Reading a screenplay is fine, but it is not even close to the same thing as watching a movie.

- It's easier to 'get published'. Nowadays, anybody can get published (On things such as a Kindle, etc), and with being able to sell your novel for $0.99 a copy, if only 100 people 'buy' it, you've already made a good chunk of change. From there, you can certainly get your novel published by a publishing company if it gets enough publicity through a Kindle.

- It's good for your vocabulary. If you don't wanna say "Jane said, Jane said, Jane said" every other line for 200 pages, you're going to look into a thesaurus, and you're going to learn a lot of new words.

Pros of Writing a Screenplay

- It's just easier. No longer do you have to decide if someone tittered, chattered giggled or laughed, because you will write "JANE LAUGHS" and that's the end of that. How is it said? Doesn't matter. You write:

I don't like you.
 And that's the end of that. No modifiers of descriptions. Based on context, these things are implied. 

- It's shorter. The margins for dialogue are HUGE. I believe there is 3" of margin on both the right and left sides of dialogue, so writing through a page takes significantly less time than writing a page of a novel. Sometimes my brain works faster than I can type, but with a screenplay, it can definitely keep up.

- It's not descriptive. While I love writing out some flowery, or gorey, details, there's something raw and satisfying about writing "JOHN'S HEAD EXPLODES", and then being done with it, moving on to reactions and effects of John's Head explosion. The pacing moves quickly, and you can just go go go.

- A lesson in subtlely. In a script, you can't explain a characters thoughts, and even if you can, you certainly can't go on for pages and pages about his/her thoughts on life and 'everything that's been going on lately'. You have to learn to write out facial expressions, and subtle phrases, and certain keywords. For someone who is generally rather oblivious, this was a good exercise for not only my writing, but also my life.

Cons of Novel Writing:
Tendency to ramble. When you have pages to fill, there is a good chance you're going to write some nonsense, and you're going to get a little bored. When you're in the middle of a scene and just want to get out of it, it's really hard to write your way out of it, because as I said, you have to describe feeling and locations and people. In a script, if you want to write your way out of something, it's as easy as "AND THEN JOHN FALLS DOWN".

- It's descriptive. I don't know how much more I can express my love-hate relationship with vivid descriptions

- Grammar. I love grammar, I do. But sometimes when you're writing a paragraph about someone talking about what someone else said as a question to a cousin's sister's gets a little confusing. There is almost 0 grammar in a script, and I like being able to just push past these things

Cons of Script Writing:
- Pacing. One of the biggest pros I have for script writing is the ability to move along at lighting fast speed, but even still, things can move TOO quickly, and make for some awkward scenes if you read over them and see that they'd only be a minute and a half on the big screen.
- It's not descriptive. ....

- A lack of insight. As nice as it is to not delve deep into the mind of a character, sometimes it's kind of nice to write out: '"I never liked him, not after he shot my mother. Even if I don't tell people about it, it's on my mind everyday..." Jane thought', to just really drive a point home. Or to write out thoughts that give a third dimension to a character.

All in all, if I had to choose, I don't know which one I would pick. I've written three novels, and one screenplay, and I learned so much from myself from both, I think it depends on what you're writing. Some things can never be movies, and some things can never be books, I think it's up to you to decide which medium it would be better as.