Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Comic Lives

Connor and I have been reading "The Road Back To You" together. It is a book about the Enneagram. What's the Enneagram you ask? It is a system of 9 personalities. The theory is that in childhood you develop one particular type to help you cope with life's difficulties. Here is a list if you want to have a look.

It's been clear that Connor is a solid 9. He is easy-going, peaceful, but also can get lost going to a place he has been to a hundred times. We've had a harder time pegging me. First I thought I was a 3 (The Achiever). Then Mum read the book and thought I was a 4 (The Individualist)... then Connor got ahead of me and thought I was a 1 (The Reformer, but also The Perfectionist). I think Connor might be right. I read the chapter on the 1 hesitantly. (I didn't want to be a 1.) Guys, I think I'm a 1. I have trouble putting work out into the world unless it is perfect. In some areas that is great, like with writing knitting patterns. In other arenas this is terrible, like with the daily comic.

I don't want to reveal something that is less than perfect and this comic is just that. The lines aren't perfectly formed, the lettering is not all even, and I am not perfectly confident that it will be well received. I do think the stories are good, though... so there is that. So, even though I have not got all the comics up, I think it is time share that the daily comic site is up.  I'm not quite brave enough to post the announcement up on any of my other social media locations this time. This will just be between us, here on the blog. The site is called Audry Without An E and can be found at

The site is still being tweaked, but thanks to Connor, it is largely where I hoped to have it. In the long term I hope to have a comic strip post once a day, although the strip will be from exactly a year ago. As of this writing, we have posted July, August, September, and a wee bit of October of 2015.

It's no small job. I've had to scan 160+ pages, clean up the lettering in areas where it was illegible (which takes a silly amount of time to do), then cut up and format each strip. In the original form, there are 4 strips per page, but for the online version, I have to break them down to one strip per page. After all that, I hand the strips over to Connor and he uploads them, titles them, adds tags, and makes sure they post to the correct date. Last night we sat together for three hours just to get 34 strips up.

Currently, I have processed strips through mid-February 2016, but there are still so many more to do. I'm not quite half way done even after spending every spare moment I've had in the last month. I guess what I'm saying is that it is a really big job and I really could use some positive feedback.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

No Moss On This Rolling Stone

It's been another busy week at the Bear Ears household. Connor and I have been working hard to get the daily comic site up and running. It's been quite a job, but we have split up responsibilities and are making lots of progress. One of the things we successfully managed to do was get the banner to line up correctly on the site. (It was a feat, I assure you.) I'm not sure when we will be ready to show everything off, but I think that this year will be the year I finally have a daily comic website.
I've only been talking about having a daily comic website since 2010...

Of course that is not all that has been going on. This past weekend we celebrated a friend's birthday. We hiked, picnicked, and painted. I hadn't touched my gouache paints since last July. It's silly really, but I had painted a hideous painting, lost my confidence, then switched to watercolor because I couldn't bare to try with gouache again. Well, this time around I decided that I wasn't going to tape the edges to make it nice, I was just going to paint and if it was ugly, it was ugly. It ended up turning out quite nice, so I'm a bit sad that I didn't make the edges nice and straight.
I decided to paint a smaller composition rather than a whole landscape. I think that helped me from being too overwhelmed to try again.

I've also managed to finish my Haleakala Socks that have been on the needles since January. It's funny, when I cast them on I immediately didn't feel like knitting them because I just wanted to knit good old vanilla socks. What finally got them knit was the fact that I wanted to wear them. Of course it is too hot to wear them now, but they are ready for when the weather cools again.

I have also woven another scarf. I think woven scarves are going to be a constant theme in the blog for a while: I'm clearly obsessed. When I took the class in February with Deborah Jarchow, she talked about how she could do a scarf in an evening. I thought that was crazy talk, but on my third scarf, I was able to do it in an evening. I was sore afterwards, so I might not try to do that again...

So, what projects could I possibly be working on now? Well, my The Big O socks are moving along quite well. The first sock practically knit itself and now I'm on to the second. I did have to get creative with the heel. I didn't want to lose the lovely color progression that was going down the leg, so I took some yarn from the other end of the sock blank to knit in a heel flap.

I've also cast on another sock. This pattern is called Peeta Socks and I'm using Abstract Fiber O'Keefe in the Alfalfa color way. The pattern is heavily charted, so I haven't gotten too far since all my brain cells are being used on the comic website. It's still nice to have a slightly more complicated pattern on the needles.

I've already mentioned scarf weaving, but I couldn't end a post without showing off what I've got on the loom now. I'm using the yarn I bought at The Black Squirrel: Spun Right Round's Merino Worsted in Holy Crow. I'd seen 783Nora's Cosmic Wonder Dust Scarf on ravelry and knew I wanted to weave a scarf with speckled yarn. Mine is a bit different because I'm using worsted weight and she used fingering, but it is still looking pretty neat.

Whew! I can't believe all that got worked on in the last week. I've been highly productive and I hope I can keep it up. Despite the great momentum, that little voice in the back of your head that tells you that you aren't good enough has moved from being an occasional thought to a constant, loud shout. I've been drowning it out by listening to the Your Creative Push podcast. I highly recommend it. If you don't know where to start, I quite liked episode 203 and 220.

Does anyone else have any strategies to keep that "your not good enough" voice at bay?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

I Must Be A Kitten Because I Love To Play With Yarn

It's been a tough week. I've been diligently editing comic pages, but am so very far away from being complete. In an effort to make it feel like I've made some progress, I've made a giant check list where I get to add lots of check marks. It has helped a bit.
As I've been slogging through the comics, it's become increasingly important to balance the work with play, and play I have. So much so, that I've managed to finish off another woven scarf.
Warp: Doespins sock in Paua. Weft: Verdant Gryphon Mithril in Green Water Snake.

I've also completed my latest pair of vanilla socks. It's amazing how the stitches add up when knitting in the car.
Opal's Der Kleine Prinz in Die Rose Der Kleine Prinzen color way

As a reward, I've cast on a new vanilla sock. This time I'm using the sock blank I bought a few posts back. I've never used a sock blank before, but I'm already addicted. Look how pretty the colors are!
Gale's Art Single Sock Blank in The Big O color way 

At the rate I'm going, I'll have another pair of socks off the needles in no time.

Has anyone else been playing with new-to-you yarn? Is there any I should try?

Friday, May 12, 2017

Little Bit Of Everything

It didn't take long for me to put a new project on the loom. I don't know when the spell will break, but weaving scarves has become quite addicting. I spent just one evening working on this particular scarf and found that I had woven half of it! 
Warp: Doespins sock in Paua. Weft: Verdant Gryphon Mithril in Green Water Snake.

Even though weaving is my new best friend, I haven't neglected my first love: knitting. I finally finished the test knit I was working on. I wish I could show the fantastic patterning that goes along the side of each sock, but for now I'll have to hide it until the pattern is released. Once that happens, I'll be happy to show off the socks in all their glory.
Yarn: Canon Hand Dyes Charles Sock in Etude 120

I'm also pleased to say that I am on the second sock in both my vanilla pair and my Haleakalas. Once these babies are done, I'll be out of projects on the needles. But with all sorts of fun new sock yarn to play with, it will be hard to choose what to cast on next! 
Left sock yarn: Der Kleine Prinz in Die Rose Der Kleine Prinzen. Right sock yarn: Malabrigo Sock in Pocion.

I have another project that I haven't been able to show much progress on, even though there is lots going on behind the scenes. I've finished up the embroidery sample for my USA travel patch quilt. There have been lots of decisions to make like: What kind of thread should I use? If I use the six-strand thread, how many of those six strands should I use? Which stitch would look best for the outline? Which stitch would work best for the numbers? And on and on and on. I've done the sample on linen, but the front of the quilt is going to be a cream-colored cotton, so the colors reflect what is going on the quilt. If I was doing it on linen, I would use colors that had higher contrast.

If that wasn't enough, I've signed up to take some classes at my local junior college in the fall. (Accounting and watercolors) I've also been working hard to format all my daily comics to put on the web. Connor has kindly been assisting me with the website side of things, so hopefully we will have the first few up soon.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Yarn Fumes Are Strong At The Black Squirrel

Sigh... so I can't even go one post without buying more yarn. Connor and I had a lovely day out and decided to swing by a new-to-me yarn shop called The Black Squirrel. (I know, I know... usually shops with yarn have a funny name in regards to wool. Don't be fooled: there is a significant amount of yarn to be had in this shop.) The proprietor, Chase, had been an indie dyer herself, so she has decided to stock indie dyers in her shop.
Do I have a picture of the shop? No. I was overcome by yarn fumes. You just get to see pictures of my new acquisitions instead.

I'm going to need a scapegoat for my lack of self-control around yarn, so Woollen Wild, this is your fault. You made those gorgeous Wheatly Socks, so I just had to get a skein of Spun Right Round's Bug Jar. They had it... but then there were so many other skeins that I was tempted by.

There were two skeins of Spun Right Round's Merino Worsted in Holy Crow. Normally I could resist worsted weight yarn, and I would have if they had a skein of Holy Crow in sock weight. But then I thought to myself.... I could weave it. Do you see what I did right there? I bought yarn for weaving. I took up weaving to get rid of stash... not to increase it!

Then there was a skein of Nox Yarn in the color way She's Filled With Secrets. Could I have walked  away from it? Maybe if it wasn't sock weight and didn't have such a cool name.

So there you have it, I just shouldn't be allowed to go into a yarn shop if I plan on not buying anymore yarn, especially a shop as neat as Black Squirrel Fabrics.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

All My Sock Yarn... Mostly

In my last post I talked about going through my stash for the annual moth check and to see what I had. While I do have a few sweater quantities, my stash is pretty much made up of sock yarn. It is my kryptonite. I love everything about it: the color, the fact that you can get a fancy skein because it is only one, the small amount of space it takes up. Well, about the small amount of space it takes up... when you multiply "one more sock skein" a bunch of times you get this.
Self striping and variegated on the left, solids on the right

What I've learned is that I really have equal love for all colors.... but I might want to knit up some of the orange island so the other colors don't start getting jealous. Also, I think I only have one pair of socks with orange in it.

In the interest of full disclosure, this is not all of my sock yarn. After I took the first picture, I found a few more skeins squirreled away here and there. But it really is the majority of it.
I hid this bin of sin inside my yarn trunk. I was wondering where the Regia had gone off to.

What was the real purpose of going through my sock yarn? Well, while the motivation should be to make sure I am moth free (I am!), or to destash some skeins that aren't "me" anymore (I did), what I really was trying to do was figure out what I might want to weave next. I had to commandeer Connor's yarn basket so that I could have a new weaving basket. Look at all that possibility! I'm excited.
Clearly all this yarn was just waiting for me to learn a new skill so I could make them look even more attractive in finished projects

Now the question is, what will I put on the loom first?

If anyone else has gone through/ goes through their stash, I'd love to see pictures. Does anyone else have a sock skein addiction like me? Do you find that your stash leans a certain way color-wise or do you have equal love for all colors?
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