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Well, I haven’t posted in a while, and I don’t really want to go into detail on this because it just…I don’t know. But anyways, friend and I set up a table at the Aki Con 2012 Artist Alley this past weekend. I managed to about break even regarding my share of the table and part of my prints cost. That was fine. People, including the attendees, volunteers, AA coordinator, fellow AA artists, cosplayers, etc? Fantastic. You guys rock. ^^

What wasn’t great? Well, I won’t reiterate what others have said so much, but suffice it to say that I’m extremely unimpressed with how the convention administrators have handled this. There’s an entire Tumblr (at least one) dedicated to the various legitimate complaints that people have had with this year’s Aki Con, and the feedback thread was still going strong at 24 solid pages of posts before it was locked.

If you’d like to read through and form your own opinion:

Feedback thread - http://www.akiconforum.org/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=853

(Although the forum is currently under maintenance, so you can’t view the thread. :/)

Tumblr - http://goddamnitakicon.tumblr.com/

Because as it turns out, a full quarter at school is quite a load. (That and I seem to never have a camera on me.) I’ll be posting occasionally, but expect this to pick up more after March or June, depending on how Spring quarter goes.

Happy knitting, spinning, crocheting, fiber-ing, or whatever it is you do and love. ^^

Several points, because it’s the beginning of the quarter and homework has started tracking mud through gaming and knitting paradise.

1) Man, being back in school after six months is weird, but strangely familiar.

2) Flu sucks.

3) Bronchitis sucks more.

4) Leaving a blog alone for a month feels like an eternity, and I have the sudden urge to give it chocolates and profusely apologize for abandoning it by its poor, lonely, picture-starved self.

5) Pictures! I’ve done some stuff and dang it, it’s pretty. (Another time, though.)

6) Spinning is amazing,and hopefully I’ll get a picture of my new toy when it comes in.

7) Anyone know how to stain/paint/finish wood to be durable and awesome?

8) Lace is a jerk.

9) I should doodle representations of yarn weights. Now that I think about it.

10) I think I’ll go do that now.

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Well, probably. See, I didn’t actually finish my stuff on time last year, and I actually piled more on my plate THIS year. (Okay, I’ve improved with my knitting, but still. You’d think more realistic goals would be in the cards this year). In any case, I can’t actually give some magic guide for all of us rushing to make gifts for those we love out of many, many tiny little stitches, but I can say what I’m doing or attempting in order to get some kind of hope for finishing.

1) Make a list. Yeah, I know, it sucks. I’m one of those horribly disorganized people, and I’m betting some of you out there are as well. But get a list together so you know what you’re doing, and can line up all the yarn and works-in-progress and get a handle on what to do next.

2) (optional) Cry your tear ducts dry, if your pile of works in progress is that bad. I sympathize.

3) Next, put a deadline on all your projects. Some things can be left until after the relevant holiday if you won’t have a chance to see that person and gift it, some will need to be done earlier. This will also help you…

4) Prioritize your projects. Some gifts may well be more important than others. Honestly. This is also when you can use the information of approximate time and yarn needed to complete project, how much you like or hate it, the deadline for it, and other factors like what projects would you make if you only had time to make half of them.

If you’re having trouble cutting it down like that, think about it this way. Your time is like a form of currency. If all your gifts cost $500, and you only have $200, you’ll have to find a way to get your purchases within $200 instead of $500. Some things may be cut, or not as spiffy, or sourced from elsewhere, or require a bit of deal-hunting. But unless you get more money, it’ll have to be done.

5) Set a daily goal. I currently have calculated what I have to do to finish 5% of a project, and have that marked on all my projects on Ravelry. I try to do about 10% a day, used on one project or split between two, and often try to do more than that.

6) On another note, use Ravelry, it’s amazing. I have a widget on my blog on the side over there: ——->

that means I can mark what percent of a project I’ve done on my projects list on Ravelry, and see the progress on my blog in addition to on my account. Progress bars can be motivating, not to mention their inherent awesomeness.

7) Knitting-wise, this will depend on your style, but you’ll want to switch between projects. You can stick to one project at a time, but I slow down the longer I knit on one thing. If you switch it up after making good progress, you can get work done on several projects faster than with one at a time, and have different projects for different times and situations.

8) Knit everywhere you can. I knit in public often, which includes at lunch, at home while reading, on the bus, and pretty much everywhere. If you only knit at home, that’s fine too, but set aside some time to yourself for knitting, maybe before bed or while talking (depending on the project).

9) Gifts are gifts because you want to give them, not because they’re an obligation. Yeah, that’s from an advice column. But I agree.

10) Don’t stress. While almost impossible to avoid for many of us, gift-making and gift-giving shouldn’t be stressful (see above). It’s time for the holidays, getting out of school, seeing family, snow, endless Christmas carols in the malls (ugh), celebrating the end of this year, and jumping straight into the next with hopes for what the new year will bring.Whatever you do for this time of year, make it great, and make it with love.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have about 1500 yards of yarn to blitz through. Luck to all.

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(Because it’s December and it totally counts as winter now.)

1. Thin gloves can help keep your hands warm while giving you enough dexterity to knit.

2. If you’re like me and thin gloves still aren’t thin enough, fingerless mitts. They do actually help, although you’ll still need something to warm your fingers when they eventually get cold. That said?

3. Take a break every once in a while and stick your hands in your pockets.

4. Preferably with hand warmers.

5. Avoid non-insultating fibers like cotton, bamboo, etc. unless the yarn is really darn warm. (I’m looking at you, angora and cashmere.)

6. Spin! Yup, you heard right. Soft merino and other fluff is warm against hands, and you get more yarn out of it later!

7. Use non-metal needles. Those suckers cool flesh down quickly.

8. Do not get wet. It sucks. Walking the dog while it’s raining and cold? Forget knitting. (Not to mention the yarn drags on the needles and everything. Not pleasant.)

9. Distract yourself. Knit with a lot of attention to the knitting. Hum. Sing. Drag someone out and chat with (or at) them. If you focus on the cold, it’ll be colder.

10. Teach someone else to knit! Then you can share and revel in the flesh-eating cold that devours both of your fingers slowly, and together!

Luck to all those knitting outside, and may your knits be warm and wonderful this cold season.

New domain! (Don’t worry, going to my original URL will redirect you automatically. ^^) I panicked for a bit, but it went well in the end, and this’ll help me transition to a custom website if needed, later.

But aside from that…it was, a while ago, sunny here. Exactly the kind of weather I needed that day for a pick-me-up. Even if it was bitterly cold.

Asideaside from that, the designer’s challenge for November ended yesterday, and I’d encourage you guys to check out the entries this month. Many of the entries are spectacular, and there are a lot. ^^

And yes, I did actually finish November’s challenge. ^^

Summer Skies - Rolled

Summer Skies - Laid Out

Summer Skies - Hung

Summer Skies - Tree

Loving this scarf, even if it is cotton and not very warm in November. It should work well for a little accessory, though. ^^ (Comment or poke me if you want me to make the pattern, I have a few small revisions to make but I’m curious as to whether there’s any interest in it.