Want To See All Of Time And Space?

Yesterday, my friend and I took a trip to visit the TARDIS.

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Look at how majestic it is!!!

Best. Day. Ever. *heavy breathing*

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My friend and I were tethered to each other for a while, but it wasn’t too bad. That scarf is long enough to allow us to wander off a decent distance–the Doctor could use this to keep companions from wandering off. ūüėČ

We spent at least an hour taking photos and geeking out with Mike, the man who built the TARDIS. He designed it as a bus stop for his grandson–there’s a space heater inside, and the bus driver knows that when the light on top is turned on, then he’s inside waiting for the bus. How ridiculously awesome is that?!?! He has a facebook page–I think it’s called the Beloit TARDIS. I haven’t checked it out yet, so I’ll have to do that soon. He was telling us about how he’s currently working on a Dalek and that he wants to eventually add a Weeping Angel, too. *squeals* He also wants to put up a projector on his front lawn and show Doctor Who episodes during the summer. He doesn’t have immediate plans for that yet, but it’s something he’s looking forward to.

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Yep. My scarf is long enough to wrap around the TARDIS. How awesome is that?!?!

My friend has not seen Doctor Who (a travesty, I know), but she was having a blast–the energy of our conversation was contagious. Even though she wasn’t able to follow everything we were saying (she knows a few things from conversations with me), she loved how openly passionate we were when we were talking about the show. Mike shared stories about some of the people who have stopped by, and the common denominator is the genuine joy and enthusiasm that’s expressed by everyone who pulls up. He loved my scarf and encourages others to dress up for photos.

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I was so excited that my friend actually managed to get photos of me holding my new sign upside down followed by photos of me laughing as I fixed it. That sign was actually a gift–Mike had an assortment of them laying out in the drive that he had recently painted, and he told me to pick one out. It says, “we’re all stories in the end.”

I had a fantastic time! I plan on going back at some point–I’d love to get a winter photo in my scarf with the snow on the TARDIS. How amazing would that be?

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Yarn, Yarn, Yarn!

Have I mentioned there’s a yarn discovery tour going on in my area? No? ¬†Well there is, which means I’ve been buying more yarn. Yay! I should also mention that this is my first time participating in one of these events, and I am loving it! This year, there are 15 shops on the tour, 3 of which are less than an hour from me. Those are the ones I’ve visited so far. Since there are only a few days left in the tour, I probably won’t make it to all of them before the last day of the tour, but that doesn’t mean I won’t stop by in the future.

I’m a regular in the one store–I live less than 10 minutes away. That’s how I found out about the tour. I hadn’t even known these things existed. Apparently, some areas call them yarn crawls–that phrase conjures the image of zombie women crawling on all fours reaching out for balls of yarn that continue rolling ever so slightly out of reach. No idea why that’s the image I get when I hear “yarn crawl,” but that’s what I see. I like “yarn discovery tour” better.

Now, on to the yarns! While I’m frequently purchasing yarn from my local shop, I had to make a purchase during the tour to get a stamp. I found some yarn for Christmas projects–a scrumptious blend of alpaca and merino in a navy blue and a bright blue.

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It was first time visiting the other 2 shops. I made it my goal to purchase yarn that is not available at the shop closest to me. The first of the 2 shops (and the one second closest to me) had a lot of brand overlap, so I had to look a little harder to find something not available to me in my shop. I can say that, compared to my shop, this shop had a more shawl pins and button options. After a fair amount of browsing, I finally settled on this vibrant superfine alpaca. I picked it because of the color–I can’t get enough of it!

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The third shop was a lovely surprise–most of the yarns available there are a local brand yarn! These yarns are unique to the shop; you can only purchase them from this shop! How awesome is that?!? I think she offers them through her website, but I’m not certain. Anyway, I had the worst time deciding, and I finally picked a gorgeous BFL yarn in an explosion of colors. I have every intention of returning to her shop for more yarn in the future–I had a briliant image of an ombr√© shawl or poncho using 4 colors she has there.

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This yarn isn’t one of her brand yarns, but none of the other shops I’ve been to so far offer BFL yarn. This was my first time feeling BFL yarn–it’s softer than I expected!

I have some patterns in mind for these already, so I’ll be sharing them once I get started!

The TARDIS and a Rose

I have a few exciting things going on. First, I just finished crocheting a beautiful birthday present for a relative–one of my cousins commissioned it from me. I won’t share a picture yet because I don’t want the recipient (whose birthday is in November) to accidentally stumble upon this. All I will say is that it is gorgeous!

Second, one of my close friends found a TARDIS on some guy’s front lawn while working (she mows lawns for a landscaping company). She told me that, the next time we hang out, we’ll have to go check it out.

I immediately imagined how the events of that day would unfold. We’d meet up and drive over to this guy’s house. I’d be wearing my scarf along with that crazed fangirl look, wide eyes and an almost unnaturally wide, toothy grin. We’d arrive, I’d stumble out of the vehicle, and I’d run up to his door, probably tripping over my scarf once or twice along the way (think Bilbo Baggins “I’m going on an adventure!”). I imagine I’d ring the door bell and knock on the door, while radiating excitement as I waited for him to respond. Once he did, I would ask if I were allowed to take pictures with the TARDIS. In my head, I’d be hoping I’d ask in a calm and mature tone, but it would probably come out sounding like “CANITAKEPICTURESWITHYOURTARDISPLEASE?!?!?!?!?” In every scenario I’ve imagined, I’ve been granted that permission, and it has made my day.

Well, my friend sent me a picture of this handsome blue box, and wouldn’t you know there’s a sign next to it. It not only grants me permission to take pictures, it also requests that I also sign a guestbook.¬†Yesssss!!!

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I’m moderately certain my friend took this picture on her phone. She has given me permission to share it here. ūüôā

Isn’t it magnificent? I seriously cannot wait to see it in person!!! Obviously, I will have pictures from the visit, and I will be wearing my scarf!

And now, a Rose.

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This beauty blossomed while I was dog watching in the owner’s garden, so it was a week or two ago. It had been a bud the entire time I was there, and there had been two long-lasting storms during my stay. It stormed on my first night there and my last night. On my last morning, I took the dogs outside, and I saw she had finally opened up. It was the perfect day for her to wake.

The TARDIS and a Rose.

Celebrate: Two Completed Projects!

I’m ecstatic! I’ve accomplished quite a bit since my last post. I’ve made progress on my¬†Rose Garden Shawl–I’ve officially finished with the main body, and I have the first row of the border done! Progress is slow for this one, but I’m getting there.

I’ve also completed 2 projects! Both come from free patterns available on Rescued Paw Designs. I crocheted the¬†Andy Cowl¬†using 1 skein of Malabrigo Rasta and the¬†Victoria Button Scarf¬†using 1 skein of an alpaca/tencel blend from a local alpaca farm. Mind you, neither of these 2 projects were projects I already had started. I began and completed both of these after I posted¬†this post¬†a few days ago, which means I still have those other projects I’m working on.

So, here’s what I did. For the Andy Cowl, I was a teeny bit worried because I wasn’t sure if I’d have enough yarn for the project. Malabrigo Rasta has approximately 90 yards–the yarn used in the pattern consisted of 92 yards. I wasn’t sure how much yarn was used in the original, so I wasn’t sure if I’d have to adjust the pattern if I ended up not having enough.

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As David is no longer at my disposal as my model, I enlisted the talents of this fluffy, Valentine’s Day Bear.

Turns out, I had more than enough yarn for this cowl. I actually added a few more rows so I could use up as much of the yarn as possible, which made my cowl a little wider. I didn’t add any buttons, though. I didn’t have any on hand I wanted to use, and I’m quite fond of how my cowl looks without buttons.

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I picked out the alpaca/tencel blend because I figured it’d be perfect for the Victoria Button Scarf. It’s 150 yards in a color I’m calling Stormy Seas. There are a variety of deep, shimmery blues with the slightest hint of white every so often.

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I knew I’d have more than enough yarn for this scarf and when I saw how easy the repeat was, I just kept going until I ran out of yarn. I didn’t put any buttons on this one either. I guess it’s a personal preference. Although both the Andy Cowl and Victoria Button Scarf look great with buttons.

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To close, the obsevations I made while dog watching over the weekend have showed me that there is nothing is more threatening than a frog in the pool.

Carpet Petting and a David Bust

Now, I¬†know you’re wondering about that title–how could you not be? That’s the point, right?

Well, on the rare occasion I go to Lowe’s (either on my own or with someone else), I gravitate toward the gardening section. Usually, I don’t inform the person I’m with that I’m wandering off–I just do. I catch a glimpse of green out of the corner of my eye, and I’m gone. Once I arrive, I walk up and down every isle feeling the leaves on all the plants, smelling the flowers, then smelling the leaves on the plants without flowers.

It just so happened that the other day my mother asked me if I wanted to join her on her trip to Lowe’s to pick out a new light for the kitchen. Of course! So, we get there, and she tells me we aren’t going to be there long enough for me to wander through the plants. Apparently, she already had a light picked out–we were going in to grab it and check out. Know how the Doctor says, “don’t wander off?” I wandered off to the carpeting section.

I touched every carpet sample in every color and each time the fibers of a different piece met with my fingers, I giggled. I imagine I got some strange looks from the guys working there; however, I can’t say for sure because I was too absorbed in petting every carpet.

On a different note, I made an error in¬†this post. If I remember correctly, I said I was working on 3 different projects: a dragon using crochet thread, a shawl using alpaca/tencel lace weight yarn, and a scarf using alpaca yarn I purchased at the fair from a local alpaca farm. I forgot about my¬†Rose Garden Shawl! That means I actually had 4 projects in progress, but I’m proud to say I’m now down to 3! Check out my completed alpaca scarf!

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It was 88 degres and humid today.

Today was such a lovely day, so bright and sunny! I just had to take pictures outside! Although, I managed to snap these when the sun snuck behind some clouds. I don’t have a bust or a dress form yet to display my work for photo purposes yet, so I figured I’d make do with lawn furniture.

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Obviously, this chair was cold and needed to be bundled up.

I should mention that I have been dog sitting for the last few days, and these photos were taken at the owner’s house. The garden at the house has a variety of vibrant blooms, many of which attract butterflies and hummingbirds (in addition to the charming bumblebees and hard-working honeybees)!

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I figured these 3 pictures would be enough. They came out well enough. It wasn’t until a few hours later when I remembered there’s a bust in one of the rooms of the house. I call it the David because that statue is the first thing I think of whenever I see the bust, even though it doesn’t actually look like the real thing. He doesn’t look quite symmetrical (his eyes are wonky, like one is starting to melt down his face). Anyway, he had no way of objecting to posing with this awesome accessory, so I dressed him up!

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Look how glamorous I am as I gaze awkwardly over my shoulder.

My next thought was to crochet a hat while I’m here so I could dress him up some more–we’ll see what happens tomorrow. The dogs don’t really like when I crochet, and they make sure I know it. They seem to think that my yarn is a toy to be played with–as soon as I get it out, I have 2 noses climbing on my lap trying to figure out what this new thing is. Soon after that, they’re trying to take it from me. When it comes to me and my yarn, I am Gollum, and yarn is my Preciousss.

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Check me out ladies and gents!

It’s a Crochet Day!

Those who know me know that it’s not uncommon for me to have several projects going at once–I do it because I need variety. Repeating the same stitch and looking at the same color for extended periods can become tedious, so I break it up (although, there are some days when I have no trouble spending hours on the same projects).

Right now, I have 3 projects going. The first one is a shawl, and I’m using a beautiful, pale blue lace weight alpaca/tencel yarn that my grandmother purchased for me from a craft fair. I started this project after the yarn sat in my yarn drawer for almost 8 months. This is one of those instances where, since the yarn was not purchased with a pattern in mind, a perfect pattern must be found for the yarn. Once I found it I got to work, and I plan on sharing some photos when it’s finished.

My second project is a crochet dragon using size 10 crochet thread. This one is slow going–there are so many details, and I have to attach as I go (otherwise I won’t know what the pieces are, although I guess I could label them). I think I’ve spent close to 8 hours on it, and I’m still only finishing details on the head.

My third project is a chevron scarf. The pattern was created by The Stitchin’ Mommy and can be found¬†here. This is my first chevron crochet project. I think they look cool but until yesterday, I hadn’t tried one. As I mentioned¬†in my previous post, there was a tent at the fair selling yarn from a local alpaca farm, and I purchased some yarn from them. The yarn transitions from a bright red to a vibrant green. When I bought it, the hank was twisted so that the red and green were touching–it reminded me of Christmas. What I noticed (but didn’t immediately pay attention to), was that there’s a bit of orange and a bit of yellow.

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See how the red fades into orange then meets the faded green (which appears yellowish) before transitioning to green? Then it repeats! I know it sounds silly, but watching the repeat as I crochet thrills me–red, orange, yellow, green, yellow, orange, red! I no longer see Christmas when I look at it. I think of a flower bouquet or even something tropical.

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Fair Days and New Yarn!

I’ve spent the last few days at the fair, and I’m considering going back tomorrow. I know there are people who will tell me I’m missing out, but I haven’t eaten any fair food this year–I haven’t even gotten a lemonade shake. I recognize the appeal, but I haven’t had the desire. Anyway, it’s more important to me to see my entries on display and to pet the animals (I am the person who sticks her fingers in the the chicken and rabbit cages to pet them even though there are warning signs saying not to).

This year, I entered 7 items: 2 photos (neither of which got a ribbon) and 5 crocheted items (4 of which ribboned). I crocheted a border around a fleece scarf. It looks cool but didn’t ribbon. Someone crocheted an edge around a pair of baby socks, and they came out beautifully! Those socks got the blue ribbon in that category. The beret I entered got an honorable mention, and my plush octopus toy got a white ribbon. I also entered a shawl and my Doctor Who Scarf, both of which were awarded red ribbons!

I am thrilled about the items I entered this year, not because of the awards (although I’m not complaining that I received some) but because they’re the creations I’m most proud of this year. I wouldn’t have cared if I hadn’t been awarded anything because these are my projects–all that matters is I be proud of my work.

And now…YARN!!! I’ve been on a bit of a yarn binge. I purchased some gorgeous yarn from a local alpaca farm; they have a tent at the fair. I purchased a natural milk chocolate brown yarn with bronze sparkle in it and a dyed yarn with red, orange, and green. Both of them are super soft (they are alpaca), and I can’t wait to crochet with them! I also¬†purchased some beautiful, hand-spun merino yarn from a woman who sells her yarn at the fair. It transitions from stormy blue and grey to a muted red and brown–the colors remind me of storm clouds rolling in as the sun is setting. So beautiful! I don’t have pictures of these yarns right now, but I hope to soon!

The yarn I do have pictures of is yarn I’ve recently ordered off of¬†etsy. The first shop I ordered from is¬†Alice in Stitches Arts. I ordered 2 yarns from this shop–one is a¬†yak/silk blend, and the other is a¬†camel/silk blend. I’ve been wanting to crochet using yak and camel for a while now, and I’ve spent some time looking for something for a reasonable price. I’ve found camel and yak fiber for a decent price, but I currently do not have a spinning wheel. I do have a drop spindle, but I feel that yak and camel are too luxurious to spin on a drop spindle, not to mention my spindling skills are not proficient enough yet. I need to practice more before I spin either of those fibers.

So, I found these two blends. I should mention that the shop does have 100% camel yarn and 100% yak yarn. I chose not to purchase these options for a few reasons. First, the beautiful cream color of the yak/silk blend is not an option in the 100% yak yarn, which is only available in chocolate brown. While that color looks scrumptious, the natural cream would work better for me (dark brown makes me look washed out). I also wanted the sheen that silk provides. Check them out!

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Yak/silk yarn

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Camel/silk yarn

I got my other yarn from¬†Robin J. Edmundson‘s etsy shop. It’s hand-dyed 100% silk, and the color is called¬†Aurora. It’s absolutely stunning! I cannot wait to crochet with it!

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Rose Garden Shawl

As I anxiously await the start of the local fair (the first day is Wednesday), I’ll be sharing the progress of a project I’ve been working on periodically for several months now. I stumbled upon the pattern quite some time ago and knew I had to make it. It’s called the¬†Atlantic Lace Shawl, and it was created by the talented Esther. She describes in her post where she got the idea for the pattern and in addition to including the written pattern in the post, she also has pdf files available for it.

The shawl is gorgeous, and I went to my local yarn store right after I discovered it. At that point, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to use similar colors or if I wanted to go a completely different route. For a while, I tried different shades of blue–blues are my favorite followed closely by purples. I tried finding combinations in both those color groups (even tried blue and yellow), but none of them were satisfying the image I wanted (even though I didn’t actually know what it was I was looking for). So, I decided to try something different–I decided to intentionally look for colors I don’t normally go for, and that is how I found exactly what I wanted: green and pink.

Calmly sitting on one of the shelves was a soothing, grass green and a feminine, pale pink from Cascade Yarns in just the right amount–I couldn’t believe how lucky I was. The yarn is the Ultra Pima Fine 100% cotton. The body of the shawl is being worked up in the green, and the border will be pink. Because of my color choices, I call my shawl a rose garden shawl because it reminds me of soft pink roses surrounded by their striking green leaves. Note: I am not renaming nor claiming the pattern as my own simply because I used colors that differ from the ones used in the original pattern.

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I bought the yarn and started the shawl with the intention of having it completed in time for spring. Obviously, that didn’t happen–some other projects wiggled in, projects with “deadlines.” By “deadlines,” I mean that I had to have them completed in time for a holiday or as a gift. I’ve been working on the Atlantic Lace Shawl a little bit at a time since January, I think (may have been February). Anyway, I’m thrilled to say that I just finished row 84 today! Yay! Only a few more rows of the green, and I’ll be starting the border!

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Days 11-14: Doctor Who Scarf Progress

I shall begin by saying that today is technically Day 16. So, why doesn’t that match the title? We’ve spent the last few days switching to a new internet service provider. In all honesty, I’m not bothered if I have to go completely without internet for a few days, and this transition did leave me with 24 hours of absolutely no connection. Rather than ramble about that, let’s get to the real reason I’m sharing this: my scarf progress.

I got a lot done on Day 11–I spent close to 8 hours total on it. Mind you, this was spread out over about 12 hours, so I had a fair amount of break time in there, but it was definitely more progress than I had made on¬†Day 10¬†(I barely managed to fit in 3 hours that day). So here’s Day 11’s progress photo.

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Day 12 was another productive day–I spent around 6 hours on it then.

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Day 13 was tough–I had approximately 10 hours of crochet work left (not including weaving in the ends and adding the tassels), and I woke up determined to finish it on that day. I hit a snag: my left hand–the hand that guides my yarn while holding my project–started feeling strained, so I borrowed my mom’s compression glove. I noticed a lack of circulation to my fingers but no help to my hand (although it’s probable the glove is supposed to be worn to prevent strain, not ease what I already have). While I got a lot done on this day, I was not able to finish my scarf because I had to take frequent breaks (I was at the point where I couldn’t do more than 5 rows without stopping for a few minutes).

It had also been my original intention to share a post on Day 13; however, I decided I’d hold off on it to give my hand some reprieve. This is where I was at the end of Day 13.

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It’s Day 14, and I had less than 4 hours of crocheting left (yay!). After that, weaving in the ends took about 2 hours, which is my least favorite part–it’s not uncommon for me to complete several crochet projects and then have a “weaving party,” in which I do nothing but weave in ends on however many projects I have. Then the tassels. I officially completed it on this day, but I didn’t take a photo because I wanted a photo wearing it (it was dark when I finished it, and the lighting in our house isn’t great, so I wanted a picture outside). That’s why my post title stops at Day 14. Day 15 was the day I got a photo, and it’s also the day we switched¬†internet services. We didn’t have a connection until today, which is Day 16. Today I also had to drop it off at the fair.

 

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Imagine standing outside in sunny, slightly humid, 80+ degree weather in a scarf designed for a giant. I will confidently say that my scarf is significantly longer than the original. Is that an issue? Hardly. All it means is¬†there’s more scarf for scarf for me!!!

I am in love with it–I put it on immediately after I finished. Complete fan girl moment. My hands were shaking, I was breathing heavy, and I started doing a happy dance while also squealing. The household was asleep during this. I am also the only Whovian in our house. My attempts at conversion continue to fail (I offered to name our home network either Gallifrey or¬†Raxacoricofallapatorius, but neither of those went over well).¬†On a side note, they love the scarf and think it’s beautiful. The fair volunteers (retired grandmothers) who were collecting and categorizing the projects were in love with it, too. They said it’d be perfect to bundle up in if our winter’s really cold. My mother also suggested wrapping me in it like a mummy. At least the uninitiated I’ve encountered recognize and accept it as a functional and attractive accessory.

 

 

Days 8-10: Doctor Who Scarf Progress

My scarf is coming along wonderfully–I passed the half-way mark on Day 8! Yay! I had 55% completed after the time I put in that day. Here’s Day 8’s picture progress.

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Unfortunately, I didn’t get around to even putting in half an hour on Day 9.

Day 10 progress has been interesting. My scarf is 62% complete! I’ve having some trouble with the scarf percentage tracker right now, so I’m unable to include the percentage image. Also, I have been watching Jessica Jones while working on my scarf. I started watching it last week, and I finished it this evening.

I would first like to mention that I never imagined I could genuinely fear a character portrayed by David Tennant. I’m keeping this post spoiler-free (even though the show has been out for a little while now), so I won’t elaborate there. Those of you who’ve seen it–you know what I’m talking about. Now, I find that I end up categorizing antagonists into 3 groups: those who have an allure, those who make a decent villain, and those who exemplify what I most fear. Rather than get carried away here, I’ll write a villains post in the future to expand upon my statement. Right now, I’ll state that David Tennant as¬†Kilgrave falls into that third group for me.

Now, here’s the part I find interesting. Most of the time, my multi-tasking skills are functional when I crochet–I’m able to do so while also watching whatever show I have on, and it runs smoothly. Now if there’s a fight scene, it’s not uncommon for me to stop crocheting while allowing the fast-paced events to distract me. While watching Jessica Jones, I discovered something new. A particularly violent encounter was unfolding in her apartment, and I crocheted through it. What was different was I was crocheting¬†vigorously. Usually, my crocheting is calm and even. Once in a while, I “speed crochet,” which is where I crochet faster than normal while maintaining a relaxed fluidity. This was not speed crochet–this was a violent exaggeration of crochet. I was so involved in the scene that the way I crochet reflected that. I imagine it looking completely ridiculous–I’m not even able to come up with something to compare it to right now.

I think that’s enough rambling for now. Here’s what I accomplished on Day 10.

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