HOLY SHIT! I want to make ten of these. Maybe not ten. But damn. Damn. Damn.
I’m done with the tripping jaguar afghan except for the blocking (and the bragging, of course), which I will do tomorrow. I haven’t spread it completely out, but I feel like it’s amazing.
I took the left over yarn and started a baby blanket for a friend and I must say that one thing that makes me proud is that, though the baby blanket will be lovely–because it’s a lovely yarn–I don’t think it quite has the wow of the tripping jaguar afghan. So, it’s not just the yarn that makes the afghan, it’s also picking the right thing to do with the yarn. And the perfect thing to do with self-striping yarn, it turns out, are squares.
So, good for me!
I finished piecing the afghan together last night and I’m into the border. I’ll be able to block it this weekend! I’m pleased with both how light it is and how warm. I guess that’s wool for you.
It’s really beautiful. I am pleased. Anyway, pictures when it’s done.
I got the potato salad made, but then I went to the state museum with the Butcher, his girlfriend, and her kids, which was much more fun than vacuuming. I did finish the squares on the tripping jaguar afghan and I’ve begun putting them together. I am really, really pleased. It’s really gorgeous and I can’t wait to see it finished.
I need to make potato salad, clean the bathroom, and vacuum. I really want to finish this afghan.
Can it all happen?
I doubt it. I have a lot left of the afghan. But I’m close enough to taste the end.
Yes, I’m tasting my afghan. What of it?
I had to lay out the tripping jaguar afghan to motivate myself into believing that it is close and that it will eventually be done. I just have fourteen more squares to do. I think it’s really amazing looking. I’m not blocking the individual squares before I sew them together. I may regret that, but I figure the seams will help pull the squares square in the end. Plus, I have a spot I can dry the afghan–the bed covered in towels. I don’t have a good place to block 63 individual squares. Well, except the bed. But, damn it, I’m not blocking the same square twice!!!
Anyway, I’m pleased with how this is going. It reminds me of some modernist artist’s work, but I can’t place who. I was thinking Klimt but I looked through his gallery and no, that’s definitely not it.
I think my favorite thing about this color scheme is that it looks like the colors metals become as they oxidize. Some scientist is going to look at this and go–copper, iron, brass, etc.
I haven’t said much about the afghan, but it’s coming along. I’m doing it seven squares across, nine squares down. I have four sets of seven done. This weekend, when I finished up my third set, I said to myself, wow, the afghan is 1/3 done. And last night, when I finished up the fourth set, I thought, in three-and-a-half squares, I’ll be halfway done. So, it feels like it’s going quickly. Kind of, anyway.
You’ll be proud to know that I’m tucking my ends as I go, so there won’t be the usual moaning about all the ends I have to tuck at the end of all these squares. I can’t wait to see how it comes together. But the corners are so weird that I’m kind of wondering if I should block the squares before putting them together. And that makes me kind of want to gouge out my eyes. But it is a wool blend. It would take to blocking very well. Still, man, you know I’d rather wait until the end, when I have the seams to help pull everything into the right shape and size.
I can return to the tripping jaguar afghan. I really love it. It might be a little muted for the room it’s going in, but it’s wool, so it’s a winter afghan. I think people are allowed to curl up under something warm and dark during the winter.
I finished a very rough outline of the end of Ashland, which was helpful in that I realized I had in my head the wrong person doing the incredibly stupid thing. I also realized I kind of have a vestigial husband and I either need to bring him into the action or cut him loose. Also, I definitely have a kid who needs to go. Not be murdered or anything. Just, his parents need to be childless. And I have a couple of other kids who probably need to be a little younger. Plus, probably some neighbors need to be nosier.
But all that can be fixed.
The dog and I had a really nice walk this morning. The orange cat joined us coming and going, though he was smart enough to stay out of the road. Every time the cat walks with us, I think, isn’t it weird that cats, so vicious, so ruthless, were never used as animals of war? And then the cat, for no reason, decides to walk between my legs and almost trips me and I see why they were excluded from the armed forces.
I feel like this is the kind of afghan you would find while exploring in a remote jungle and stumbling across an ancient terraced pyramid. You drink something bitter. You throw up. You start to trip.. You wrap yourself in this afghan, but it’s not clear to you if the afghan is part of the vision or if it is the only real thing left in the Universe. A jaguar is also tripping. His vision is of a never-ending Grateful Dead concert where you meet William Shakespeare and he offers to tell you the secrets of life. You agree and he leans in and whispers something that, when you wake, has slipped out of your head. You still have the afghan.
The cats are coming in the house in shifts, I guess so that they’re able to rest while the black dog gets hissed at non-stop. Sonnyboy has been eating the black dog’s food like he’s some kid of metaphor for Western Imperialism, but this morning, the black dog, who doesn’t normally eat breakfast, ate Sonnyboy’s breakfast.
The Return to Hill House afghan lived through the wash! It’s sitting in the dryer as we speak, and I’ll have to go take it out here in a second and declare the afghan either a success or a failure.
I finished a chapter in Ashland that makes me wonder if my book is about to include ghost fucking and, indeed, if ghost fucking would be considered a type of haunting or, instead, a very specific type of possession.
Whoa, I just did a test square to see how it was going to work. I love it.
Sorry things have been so light here. I’m just working on the Return to Hill House afghan and stealing alone time when I can to work on Ashland. Since my alone time is usually for blogging, well, obviously, blogging’s getting neglected a little.
I’ve started tucking ends on the Return to Hill House afghan and I’m already noticing that the squares lie a lot flatter than they did on the first afghan. Also, I really like how the middle looks. It’s a subtle difference, but the squares have small gaps. The small gap in the middle just goes along with it.
So, here’s what chagrins me. Why would you construct a square in a way that falls apart in the wash if constructing it with a knot at the start looks better and lays better and won’t fall apart (knock on wood)?
Yesterday, I had a lovely lunch with friends, then I wrote a chapter for Ashland that just went exactly how I wanted it to. No doubting, no stopping to check Twitter, no getting up to clean the bathroom. Just me, that screen, and all the words I wanted to get out.
I also finished all the Return to Hill House squares. Now on to the end-tucking. I’m listening to the audio book of A Head Full of Ghosts as I work on the afghan and it’s terrific. The voice actor they have reading it is just amazing. And I’m definitely picking up on things that I didn’t give enough weight to when reading. I’m especially starting to wonder about the younger daughter’s stomach problems and her sleeping in her clothes.
I just really want Ashland to be good enough to get published. Or eye-catching enough, or something. And I really want to figure out how to make that happen. So, I’m studying.
It’s tough going on Ashland at the moment. Or maybe has been all along. I’m surprised to find myself second-guessing everything and having to remind myself that this is just a rough first draft of a form I have never tried before. But I’m worried my POV character is not very interesting. But then I also kind of feel like, let’s get the blocks of the plot in place and make sure that works, before we worry about fixing things that can be fixed on edit.
I am closer to the end of the Return to Hill House afghan. I have, by my reckoning, thirteen squares left. Because who’s not looking forward to getting an afghan in July?
Also, it’s official, official. F&SF bought my story and announced it.
It’s done. I have to wash it. Not just for the sake of this afghan, but because I can’t do the Return to Hill House afghan unless I know this modified beginning works. But man, not tonight.
I have a cool, weird thing early tomorrow, so I spent my evening listening to podcasts and working on the afghan and very shortly going to bed. I have all the octagons together. I am beginning to place the squares. Here’s what I know. Each octagon has, wait for it, eight spines. Eight places where there’s one stitch on top of another all the way to the outside of the octagon, no funny business, no fucking around. Those spines are not all straight, because the first stitch on the ring slides pretty dramatically, but they will eventually work their way straight because the first stitch on the ring slides pretty dramatically AND each octagon is connected to at least two, usually four, other octagons. Those four short seams set in place the top ends of the spines and, more importantly, pull on them, eventually pulling them straight. But, I think, because the seams are so short, they don’t give the afghan the strong skeleton it would otherwise have. The afghan doesn’t pull all its weight at the seams. It pulls on those octagons.
The little squares seem to take some of the force off the octagons. It’s still holier than I’m used to, but I think it will look okay.