Wednesday, March 19, 2008


That's a combination of yawning and crocheting, because I'm tired and I love the craft. Mrs. B. was talking about other blogs and how they have themes, and I've actually been reading knitting and crocheting blogs for a few years now. I don't follow any particular ones obsessively, because that's creepy when you don't know the people, but a lot of people post patterns that they have created, and don't charge for them! People also post updates on how their projects are going, and then people leave comments when they need help. A particularly cool design of a knitting blog had the names of the projects on the side and a status bar, much like when a webpage is loading, that said what percentage of the afghan or sweater or whatever was completed. Pretty innovative, huh?

Right now I'm crocheting a pair of hobo (fingerless) gloves. Someone in my calc class asked me to make them for him. My standard answer for when people ask me that is 'only if you bring the yarn,' because I'm pretty busy and probably wouldn't have time, but at the same time I don't want to say no. He's the first person to ever actually bring the yarn, and gloves are pretty quick, so I might as well make them. The pattern I'm using is I've changed it a little bit, so the fingers aren't convertible. I also didn't turn the first four rows of the main part of the glove, so it makes a little stripe. The yarn I'm using is a standard four-ply worsted in a charcoal gray. It was given to me with no label, but it looks like Caron or something basic. I've finished all of the first glove except the thumb, and have done three or four rows of the cuff of the second glove. This pattern is very straightforward and easy to understand, which is nice.

Also lately I have been experimenting with amigurumi, the Japanese art of crocheting small, cartoonlike animals. I discovered this art in a book I found at work, and thought the author had made it up. ( My mom told me that she knitted a panda when she was in high school, and apparently it really didn't turn out very recognizable. She warned me that I might get frustrated, but so far I'm very happy with the results! I've made a turquoise robin and a gray mouse, and have yet to sew together my lime green and yellow dodo bird. The fun part about the amigurumi animals is that they are really quick and use up scrap yarn. I have three huge Rubbermaid containers full of yarn, but most of it is in too small of a quantity to be useable. Next I'm going to make a cake from this website ( but I can't decide which one... thoughts? They all look so appetizing, it makes me almost want to cook instead of crochet.

I've also been meaning for some time to make a binary scarf. I found the pattern on It's black and has green 1's and 0's in random patterns like a computer screen. The only issue is the fact that it's make on pretty small double pointed needles. The rounds are huge and it looks like it would take forever! I also don't have any sets of five dpns, just sets of four, and only in sizes 1-5 (yikes!) leftover from when my mom knitted socks and a baptismal gown out of some really shimmery white baby yarn. This is going on my list of things to make this summer, when I no longer have homework or other things that need to be done. People keep telling me that the summer is going to feel really nice because I won't have a ton of demanding activities anymore.

Also on my list for this summer is to stop making green things and to start making maroon and gold things, starting with a simple striped scarf, and probably a hat and mittens too. If I'm really patient, and yarn goes very on sale, I might crochet a granny square afghan too. The granny square ones that are made all in one piece, instead of a bunch of little squares sewed together, go really fast and are really easy to get even.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I actually found where the sidewalk ended once, it was in front of my grandparents' house

Touched By an Angel

We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.

Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love's light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.
Maya Angelou

2. I chose this poem because I think it gets its point across without being excessively flowery or forcefully artistic. I memorized it last year for the APAL love poem assignment. Maya Angelou tells it like it is, instead of tries to make it sound like she's an accomplished poet (even though she is).

3. The title of this poem refers to the fact that love is like an angel. In the Bible, angels have always been the bringers of good news, the ones who party with the souls in Heaven, etc. This poem contains many biblical references, such as love's "high holy temple." The title also suggests that the speaker has already fallen in love and is describing it.

4. I've already pointed out the allusions to the Bible, but Angelou's poem contains other poetic devices, not because she "used" them, but because they came naturally. Love is personified a few times, when the speaker says "love...sets us free" and "love... comes into sight to liberate us into life". Also the metaphors "shells of loneliness" and "chains of fear" help paint a better picture of what the speaker is feeling. A shell of loneliness reminds the reader of an animal that recoils into its lonely shell to avoid pain, and a chain of fear depicts how fear can actually hold someone back. The poetic devices create a stronger and more realistic message for the reader.

5. The tone of this piece changes throughout the poem. In the beginning, the tone is a bit hopeless and depressed, as if nothing can fix the horrible problems except love, but love is unattainable. Beginning with the line "Yet if we are bold," the tone changes to be more optimistic. As it turns out, love actually can change the course of one's life.

Friday, March 7, 2008

It's snowing!!!

2. Describe myself as a writer... When I write, I'm not really that artistic. I just write what needs to be said, and I don't go out of my way to make it super fancy. Sure, occasionally you'll find similes and things in stuff I've written, but that's because I feel like it belongs there, not because someone told me to write something good. My writing sounds like me. It's usually more polished than when I speak, but it still sounds like I'm talking. I don't know if that's supposed to be a good thing or a bad thing. I love reading books, but lately I've been having trouble finding good things to read. Right now I'm reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows for the second time. Her writing is interesting to me because of the level of detail it contains. I am a very detail-oriented person, and love to notice the little things in people's writing. As far of writing outside of school is concerned, I used to try to write more than I do now. In middle school, I attended the Young Author's Conference held at Bethel, at it was really inspiring, but lately my writing has been mostly limited to email. I am also one of the official bloggers for the robotics team ( The topics that intrigue me the most are the ones that are important to the writer, because often those become the most well-written pieces. I also think it's really fun to rewrite classic stories, like fairy tales, from a different point of view.

3. It always seems to start like this: I'm all wrapped up in myself, tongue-tied, and twisted. Someone runs their fingers through my lush mohair, and takes me for a wild ride. I weave in and out, over and under, and around the same blue metal countless times. I watch myself grow, longer and longer. A part of me falls, and tries to escape, but an outside force brings me back, pulls me into shape, and all is right again. The part of me that is tangled shrinks, but the new me continues to burst forth, and I feel like I can stretch for miles. It's a wonderful, liberating feeling. The rhythmic swish-click, swish-click keeps time to my evolution. Time to relax, unwind. Traveling from place to place, sneaking in some rows whenever possible, I soon discover that my transformation is complete. A quick snip and part of me is stowed away, still tangled, confused, with problems that could be worked out another day. The rest of me, however, feels light and free. I get to keep someone warm, will all of my knots now gone.

(This is the yarn's view when crocheting a scarf. Some of the things it feels are connected to how I feel while I'm crocheting.)