msmcknittington
17 December 2008 @ 12:33 am
Gots it from [livejournal.com profile] devikat.

Meme: Go to urbandictionary.com and type your answers to the following into the search bar.

Memage )

In conclusion, Urban Dictionary is not the place for me, as I believe it to be mostly updated by antisemites.
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msmcknittington
13 December 2008 @ 09:52 pm
The State of the Doily )

This doily will not end! It only takes me about five minutes to work from one wheat ear motif to the next, but there are 12 of them, so it takes me at least an hour to do a round. So. Excruciatingly. Slow. I'm on round 19 of 24, so I'm very close to being finished.

It's so big, too. The pattern called for size 30 thread, and I think I grabbed size 20 instead. Meep! Mom and I are trying to figure out what the hell I can block this one, because I think it's going to be close to 20 inches in diameter once it's starched and stretched.

Isn't it pretty, though? I wish I liked decorating with doilies, because I'd make myself one. I'm thinking about adapting the wheat and grape motif for straight crochet to put on a petticoat hem. Because wouldn't that be amazing and lovely and ostentatious?

Also, my order from Elann arrived today. I feel dumb for taking pictures of yarn from freakin' Elann -- it's not like it's super special or droolworthy or anything -- but I'm so excited about my new yarn.

New yarn! )

The pink and the black sport weight is for reknitting those bicolor mitts I made in worsted weight. They are just too chunky for me to be satisfied with. They should be more delicate, and the sports weight should be light enough to do that, without taking forever to knit.

The burgundy is for my Butterfly dress. Oh, yay for laceweight! It's so soft and lovely that I want to cast on for a shawl or something right now. But no. I will wait until I can visit it the library and get the pattern (because buying the book that dress is in would result in me buying more yarn), and then I will make the pretty, pretty dress (once I figure out how to modify it to make it look best on me).
 
 
Current Music: The Railway House -- Patrick Wolf
 
 
msmcknittington
09 December 2008 @ 12:37 am
Step 1: Put your music player on shuffle.
Step 2: Post the first line (unless the first line reveals the song title) from the first 25 songs that play, no matter how embarrassing.
Step 3: Strike through the songs when someone guesses both artist and song title correctly.


Um, so I could guess none of the ones that [livejournal.com profile] cigarettes214 posted, but I'm a little brainfried. And who doesn't love a meme when you're all hopped up on cold medicine and hot chocolate?

As always, if I can't understand what the hell these people are singing, I'm not putting it down. Also, if I didn't like song. I'm a rebel, Dottie!

1. Doing everything by heart
2. Can't explain all the feelings you're making me feeeEEEl
3. Go on and close the curtains, because all we need is candlelight
Save Tonight -- Eagle Eye Cherry
4. You're a song written by the hands of god
5. Suerte que en el sur hayas nacido y que burlemos las distancias
6. Hey, baby, tell me what we're gonna do
7. Every step of the way we walk the line
8. We are for today
9. Anyone who's ever had a heart
10. Inside the labyrinth walls
11. It's the season of grace coming out of the void
Atheist Christmas Carol -- Vienna Teng
12. Well, I saw you with your hands above your head, spinning around, trying not to look down
13. In this proud land we grew up strong
Don't Give Up -- Peter Gabriel/Kate Bush
14. Now, don't just walk away, pretending everything's OK
15. When we were young, we pledged allegiance very morning of our lives
16. My latest sun is sinking fast
17. Now you are here, again beside me
Finale -- Les Miserables
18. A certain maid I know is so afraid her beau will never ask her, Will you name the day?
19. Let me take you down
Strawberry Fields Forever -- Beatles
20. Marie douceur c'est ainsi que tu me surnommes
21. In the town where I was born, lived a man who sailed the sea
Yellow Submarine -- The Beatles
22. We're only human, baby
23. A figure dressed in the finest attire that money can buy
Kidding -- Imogen Heap
24. Say, when you're alone, it's better because nobody knows you
25. All the time, I'm finding ways to make things fall in line

NOTE: One of these songs is only listed because I memorized it in French. Because the song is just that awesome, that's why.
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Current Music: The Libertine -- Patrick Wolf
 
 
msmcknittington
06 December 2008 @ 02:30 am
1) I never actually got to my yarn therapy last night, because I couldn't make up my mind. I have some sportweight yarn in my cart to re-knit those black mitts with the double ruffle at the wrist, but that's a "business purchase". *snort* I've decided that I'd like to knit the Butterfly Dress by Jennie Atkinson*, only not in kid mohair, because mohair makes me want to rip my skin off when I wear it. It's that itchy. So, I'm thinking Peruvian Baby Lace Merino from Elann, because it's merino and baby alpaca and therefore soft. It also won't shed as badly as mohair.

The only issue is that I can't pick a color. I'm leaning toward 1418 Merlot, 1297 Admiral Blue, or 0419 Dark Chocolate. I really like the teal used on the Knitpicks site, but my wardrobe has a serious teal overload right now. Does anyone want to weigh in on this and guide my hand? The only colors I'm really opposed to are the Banana Cream and Cafe Au Lait, because they're really close to the same color as my skin.

2) I started the doily for my grandma's Christmas present tonight. (Yes, I gave her a doily last year, but the woman loves doilies! She used to crochet them, but her eyes aren't good enough anymore to do it.) It's the one at the bottom of this page, the Wheat and Grape Doily.

Here's its current state )

3) Agh! Celt's Vintage Crochet closed! From the Rav thread:

Due to personel problems and my whole site being sold on ebay by a bunch of money grubbers, I have decided to close Celt’s Vintage Crochet. I spent hundreds a year in fees and thousands buying vintage books in an attempt to preserve all the wonderful vintage patterns out there. Too bad some people are more interested in making a buck off someone else’s site then in saving these precious patterns. Thank you to all those who supported me in this project..you are most appreciated. Celty


That's really sad. There were literally hundreds of vintage crochet patterns there, in the public domain, and now they're gone because jerks had to go and sell them and piss her off. Fortunately, the site is still available on Web Archive for a bit, so take a look and download anything you'd like to crochet from there in case it disappears again.

*Didn't I start off looking for DK yarn to knit some fair isle? I seriously love fair isle knitting, but I guess I love lace more? Or maybe I'm feeling really body positive right now and I'm longing for spring. I think that last one's most likely.
**I'm semi-embarrassed to admit I loved it, though I really think that Layla should have ended up with Warren Peace. Really. Vastly more appealing than what's-his-face.
 
 
Current Music: Because the Night Belongs to Lovers -- Natalie Merchant
 
 
msmcknittington
02 December 2008 @ 12:10 pm
1. Put your music player on shuffle
2. The first lines of twenty songs = a poem; the first line of the twenty-first song is the title

Ganked from [livejournal.com profile] michellek.

My addendum to these is that if it's instrumental or in a language I can't speak, then I get to skip it. Because what do you do? Write [violins]?

Eclectic musical taste means a good time! )

Well, they're words. And they are in stanzas. And they make sense after a fashion, but there's not much narrative structure.
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msmcknittington
I just wrote the wedding night scene. It's awesome. Not because they're having sex all over the place, but because the wedding guests sweep them from the great hall up to the master bedroom, and then the single male guests demand Margarethe's garters, because that's a thing that never actually happened in the middle ages, but I will perpetuate myths if I want to, meh*.

Anyway, the crowd is all, "We wants the garteressesssss," and Luc is all, "You shall not pass! Begone from here!" because his new wife is all freaked out because she's been plunged from the convent into the midst of this ravening crowd, who want her underwearohmigod. And Luc is all protective and finally not a stiff back proper gentleman, thank god. Prior to this, he had about all the personality of a dishrag with a picture of a knight stamped on it.

It is probably the most "romance novel" thing to happen in my story. May there be no bodice ripping to top it.

Must scurry like a little mouse and WRITE MOAR!

*Please don't hurt me for my ahistoricity.
 
 
msmcknittington
30 November 2008 @ 10:21 pm
I am totally stress eating my way through my last few thousand words with pickles and diet pop. And crudites and Catalina dressing!

In related news, crudites is a way better word for raw vegetables than raw vegetables. Which is why I use it all the time. Crudites, crudites, crudites. Crudités, crudités, crudités. See, the spell checker in Firefox totally thinks that the é is pretentious, because it doesn't recognize that spelling.

In further related news, the knights in my novel have become these sort of terribly crude frat boys. Whenever I need the heroine to feel frustrated or distanced from the hero, the knights show up and fart and burp their way into her ire. Like, I just wrote this:

[Context: Their manor house is all beat up and in pieces, the only bedrooms that are really liveable are their bedroom and the soldiers' barracks, and the hero's parents have just shown up for an unexpected visit. So, ring the doom bells, her in-laws are on her stoop.]

"We cannot put your mother in the barracks. Your father perhaps would not find it such a hardship, but we cannot house a countess with those . . ."

"Those what?" he asked.

"Those men you call knights!" she practically shouted, gesturing toward them.

Luc looked at them and saw what she was on about. The men were currently engaged in a game of . . . well, he was not sure what, but he supposed it could be called wrestling, though a less astute observer might assume they were beating each other.


I have been spending way too much time with my brothers and their friends, who are not knights, but who do stuff like that all the time. So, they'll be talking to each other, one of them will fart, the other one will fart louder, and it spontaneously turns into a brawl -- only they're laughing.

I think I gave up any pretense that I'm writing a romance novel about five thousand words ago, and it's now more of a Judd Apatow film set in the middle ages.

My despair, she is deep! My sense of humor, she is weird! I think I'm a little punch drunk.
 
 
Current Music: Tristan -- Patrick Wolf
 
 
msmcknittington
28 November 2008 @ 09:38 pm
Adopt one today!

Click my dragon! Click it!

Now is the time when we dance! Sshhprockets!

If it's a boy, I'm going to name him Ivo. If it's a girl, I'm going to call her Agharad. Because Angharad is totally a lady dragon name. I don't even know I get to name the dragon, but those are the names I will call it by, regardless.

Now click the egg so my dragon doesn't die! I love little Angharad already. Or Ivo.
 
 
Current Music: Wandering Stars -- Portishead
 
 
msmcknittington
27 November 2008 @ 04:28 pm
Your rainbow is shaded violet.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

What is says about you: You are a creative person. You appreciate beauty and craftsmanship. You are patient and will keep trying to understand something until you've mastered it.

Find the colors of your rainbow at spacefem.com.






That's totes me, except they forgot to mention that part about how I'm impatient to master something. But patient with other people . . . hmm.
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msmcknittington
21 November 2008 @ 09:52 pm
I was going through my 1920s costume bookmarks to find something for a post in [livejournal.com profile] steamfashion and I ran across something I had forgotten I bookmarked.

Prepare yourself for gasping, folks.

Voila!

Seriously. Is that not gorgeous?

The text says it's beaded netting, but the pictures show pretty clearly that it's not netting. It's some sort of coarse cotton or loosely woven cotton gauze stuff. AND IT'S GORGEOUS. Wow. I think my costume to-do list for Costume Con might just have gotten bigger. Except for that part where I have the opposite of a 1920s figure. I don't think I can squash any part of my body enough for that silhouette.

Now, this one might be a better silhouette for me. I would also like to point out that the measurements on that extant item are very close to my own. Very close. Like, it would gap across the chest, but it would be really big at the waist. Never mind, I checked the measurements again, and apparently the waist is 40 inches, not 50 as I previously thought. Ten inches over the actual waist measurement isn't too weird for a 1920s dress.

I also keep finding things bookmarked like this cracked out hat. Why the hell did I bookmark that? Was there a point at which I said to myself, "Oh, that is so pretty, self! You would be the prettiest acid flashback ever in that hat!" And this. Was I on an ugly flowers kick or something?

ETA: Speaking of a good shape for curvy girls: Early 1920s wrap dress. How cute is that?
 
 
Current Music: Dani California -- Vitamin String Quartet
 
 
msmcknittington
18 November 2008 @ 08:19 pm
Just a quick FYI for my friends out there in internet land:

If you are making twice-baked potatoes for dinner, no matter how much your brain says, "Oh, this will be tasty," do NOT put paprika in them. As delicious as ground sweet red pepper is, it will only turn your mashed potatoes pink, which is just really bizarre in a mashed potato.

I just hope that everybody else will eat them. I know they're safe, but they're also PINK.
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msmcknittington
17 November 2008 @ 02:33 am
AGH.  
So, going over what I wrote today, I have on major observation:

When the hell did I start rewriting Cinderella/Beauty and the Beast?

Summary of events: Margarethe's mother dies when she is very little. Her father remarries to Lady Mairwen* and Mairwen sends her away to a place where she works in the kitchen garden. Her father arranges her marriage to a guy she imagines as beastly but whom she eventually falls in love with. And then, and THEN! Because Margarethe had been in the nunnery for so long with no funding for clothes or anything, she comes to them in a shabby brown cotte, and Mairwen gives her a cast-off gown of hers, which is ripped and frayed all to hell and back. A good fairy servant at the manor tells Margarethe not to worry about it, because she and the other good fairies and mice servants will mend it good as new. Only they make it better than it was before.

I know I keep saying that romances have to be fairy tales to some extent, but I didn't mean it that literally, folks.

*The overwhelming winner in the poll.
 
 
Current Music: Another Bites the Dust -- Vitamin String Quartet Tribute to Queen
 
 
msmcknittington
16 November 2008 @ 02:34 am
Which name do you guys prefer as a replacement for Lady Maisry's name? Given that Maisry appears to be from the 18th century and Scottish, I don't want to use it in 13th century Wales.

I'd really prefer it if I could find something that still sounded pretty but actually meant "horrible person with a black heart", but girls don't tend to get named things like that.

So, the two choices I've discovered are sound-alikes, but Welsh. They might not be 13th century or even medieval, but they're a heck of a lot closer than Maisry and also avoid that whole "Isn't that a ballad?" thing.

Mairwen -- Combination of Welsh form of Mary (Mair) with gwen, which means "white, fair, blessed". I guess it could mean anything from "blessed virgin" to "white sea of bitterness", so there's a range of meanings there.

Meinwen -- Means "slender and white", from the Welsh main, meaning "slender", and gwen. I'm sort of imagining Lady not-Maisry as a sort of cross between Lady Macbeth and Galadriel from Lord of the Rings. Ambitious and social climbing, but tall and slender and fair. Also a mega-bitch.

[Poll #1298278]
 
 
msmcknittington
15 November 2008 @ 11:41 pm
Somebody in one of the Yuletide comms linked to this, and it is so perfect for me I feel like the person who made was communing with my spirit.

Write or Die: Dr. Wicked's Writing Lab

Basically, it's an application where you have to constantly write or there are repercussions. To quote the guy who made it:

Write or Die is a web application that encourages writing by punishing the tendency to avoid writing. Start typing in the box. As long as you keep typing, you're fine, but once you stop typing, you have a grace period of a certain number of seconds and then there are consequences. . . .

A tangible consequence is more effective than an intangible reward. . . .

The idea is to separate the writing process and the editing process as much as possible. . . .

This is aimed at anyone who wants to get writing done. It requires only that you recognize your own tendency towards self-sabotage and be willing to do something about it. If you're sick of saccharine writing advice that no one could honestly follow and you want a real method to getting work done.


Um, hello, writing difficulties! Just don't try to use it while eating dinner, because your dinner will go cold.
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Current Music: Another Bites the Dust -- Vitamin String Quartet Tribute to Queen
 
 
msmcknittington
15 November 2008 @ 09:53 pm
First things first: [livejournal.com profile] koshka_the_cat, I got the taffeta the other day in the mail and it is MAGIC! It's draped on my dummy like a plastron right now, and I cannot wait to finish NaNo and start sewing. (After I make my little cousin's steeple hennin for Christmas, of course!) There will be pictures.

Next things next:

I've decided that I can't read anymore about Welsh/English history, because it just makes me feel bad for having the hero of my novel be English and the heroine be Welsh. I mean, how the hell can you fall in love with someone who is the oppressor of your people? Who have been oppressed since long before you were born?

It really just means that Not-Luc has to be the most amazing man to ever walk this earth, but also realistically flawed and thoroughly medieval. But not too alpha male, because alpha males leave me feeling kind of icky. And he can't be too touchy-feely, because then he's a girl walking about in a man-suit*.

That's not what I intend to write about here, though. All this reading about oppressed Wales has got me thinking about how political I am. Except I've suddenly decided I don't want to go into too much soul-searching right now, so short version:

Oppression of people is wrong. I kind of feel like I'm writing a story where a slave falls in love with her owner in the antebellum South. I believe in democracy. Bowing to nobles/royalty at SCA events makes me slightly uncomfortable, because I realize that the system that the group is based upon comes from a system of government that's based on divine right and warfare, and I'm not big on either of those things. You guys, I am too liberal for the SCA. (And, yeah, I'm probably being a trifle too serious about it, but still.)

What I need is a reenactment organization that focuses on the lives of non-nobles. There's another thing that makes me uncomfortable: the classism and sexism inherent in a lot of history and historical research. But nobody wants to play at being oppressed.

I think the reasons I'm having so much trouble with this is that a large part of me is idealist, and I want my writing to reflect that, but then there's also a large part of me that is a realist, and kind of sneers at the idealism. I can't bend to the "fantasy" part of literature, because fantasy is by its nature unrealistic, but I really, really want this thing I'm working on to be both realistic and have a happy ending with decisive resolution. Unfortunately, comedies must have happy endings, the villains must be punished, and the problems must be resolved. There can't be any plot "hangnails" bumming around to irritate the reader. And realism, by its nature, is inconsistent and irritating. Unpleasant. It points out the disadvantages of a situation.

Can individuals overcome social boundaries? Overcome them happily?

You guys. Perfectionists shouldn't do anything.

OK, writing for word count now. I swear!

*Dude. Please don't anyone start the "sensitive men are still real men" argument with me. I'm writing a romance novel, here, and . . . agh. I am brain-melty enough right now. Let's just say that I'm trying to write something medieval that doesn't offend my modern sensibilities overmuch, OK? This novel is just not the right forum for that argument.
 
 
Current Music: The Gypsy King -- Patrick Wolf
 
 
msmcknittington
12 November 2008 @ 07:47 pm
If you saw ME in a police car, what would you think I got arrested for? Answer me, then if you want, post to your own journal and see how many crimes you get accused of.


Everybody on my friends list is doing this, but I have no idea what to tell all of you. So, I'm going to say that you all would be tossed in a cop car after yelling at some kids for kicking puppies, which made their parents really mad, because those puppies needed kicking, so they called the cops and lied and said that you were enticing their children with candy.

It was a total frame up.
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Current Music: Lover, You Should Have Come Over -- Jeff Buckley
 
 
msmcknittington
12 November 2008 @ 05:58 am
I'm going out to do chores in an hour, but I want to break 14,000 words before I do. (It's not a habit; it's cool.)

My quandary of the morning:

Is "St. George's blessed ballsack" too graphic a curse for romantic fiction?

Because the likelihood of me using this are really high. I can only say "odso!" so many times, folks. And "corpus christe" screams "city in Texas" anymore.

I need more antiquated swears.
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msmcknittington
12 November 2008 @ 12:32 am
So, I kinda spent a lot of my writing time tonight doing something data entry-ish, and it was incredibly soothing. Like, there was no pressure to follow a plot or characterization, and I just go to type. I enjoyed it. But then it got boring.

I think I might be eerily OK with a data entry job.

And now I'm going to write 500 more words so I can break 13,000 words. I'm guessing this is going to take me a half an hour. And tomorrow afternoon, all I'm going to do is do laundry and type, because I have to work on Thursday and Friday, and will probably not be motivated enough to write those days.

Ha ha. I've no idea if I'll hit 50,000 words or not. Probably not.
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Current Music: Another Bites the Dust -- Vitamin String Quartet Tribute to Queen
 
 
msmcknittington
10 November 2008 @ 01:25 am
For reasons I'm not sure of, I have just arranged it so my heroine's stepmother started rumors that she is either horribly deformed or a witch while the heroine was locked away tight in the convent. And that is why they sent her away!

What should it be though? Witch or clubfoot? Missing an arm? Horrible lazy eye? Or should I go in the other direction and have her say that the heroine started having holy visions?

I'm not sure why Lady Maisry would do any of this, though.

Oh, yes. Because Lady Maisry is Teh Evol, who only cares about Teh Moneys.

And she totally needs a new name. "Lady Maisry" is a Scottish folk ballad, and I don't think it goes back any further than to the 18th century.

Also, Rhys WELSH GUY (that'd be the heroine's father, who has actually been named Rhys ap Owain now) is apparently a really neglectful landlord, because he takes all his tenants crops and sells them before they get a chance to, so they don't have any money. And then he doesn't put any money back into the land/buildings, so they're all rundown. The hero is SHOCKED by this, because it's bad form. He would never do it.

The only problem is that I'm not sure if that kind of feudalism happened in 13th century Wales or not. I know I've read that feudalism never really took hold in Wales like it did in England and France.
 
 
Current Music: We Are the Champions -- Vitamin String Quartet Tribute to Queen
 
 
msmcknittington
So, I've got an hour and a half to get out 1500 words, which I think might be doable. Unfortunately, I no longer have malted milk balls, which really did work well as a motivator. Apparently getting me to sit down and write is exactly like potty-training a toddler. Only I generally don't go running out into the living room with my pants down, screaming, "I wrote! I wrote on the 'puter! Gimme candy!"

You guys know how I arranged all those medieval-ish songs to put me in a medieval-ish mood? Well, apparently what puts me in a medieval-ish mood is Patrick Wolf and the Vitamin String Quartet covering Red Hot Chili Peppers. I am not even joking. I cranked out 2000 words last night, listening to that. I wrote about nuns.

There is something about "Dani California" and "Tristan" that just does not say "nuns" to me.

Whatever! I'm not going to question it. I'm just going to crank it and make like a monkey with a typewriter.

I'm also trying this thing where I write longhand on the cheapest paper I can find, because what I write on there doesn't count at all. I can illustrate a scene with stick figures, and it doesn't matter. I'm just writing. It's about breaking expectations and getting out of the habit of always writing with a certain pen on a certain kind of paper or needing a computer to get the thoughts out. By changing your environment, it's supposed to make you less fearful of what you're tossing up on the page. In theory. I might just feel silly for writing a romance novel in a notepad that features an anthropomorphic bear wearing a shirt but no pants on the cover. Writing that in blue scrapbooking pen, no less. I'm shaking it up!

AND! FURTHERMORE! I've been outlining a scene that happens way in the future of where I'm writing right now, and I cannot get the lines that Benedick speaks to Claudio in "Much Ado About Nothing" when the former confronts the latter about Hero's death. Something like, "You have wronged a fair and gentle lady," except I can't find that scene in my version of the play. Maybe it's just in the Kenneth Branagh version, because it is his delivery on it that's stuck in my head.
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Current Music: Good Advice -- Matson Jones