Thursday Sock-Along: My First Sock

IMG_3446If I had to guess, I’d say I’ve been knitting for around 15 years or so. I’m not the greatest knitter, nor am I the most knowledgeable knitter. And I’m certainly not the most adventurous knitter. The projects I’ve attempted have been wraps, afghans, scarves, and dishcloths. I’ve stayed put in my comfort zone, which evidently equates to only knitting things that are square or rectangular. I haven’t ventured too much into the realm of apparel…unless you count the sweater I made for my dog a couple of years ago.

I did attempt socks once many years ago when I was a fairly new knitter. It was my first experience using DPNs. Shortly after the cast on, I decided it would be my last experience using DPNs. However, I didn’t want to give up on sock knitting entirely. About a week ago I went on an internet search for an easy sock pattern for beginners and found  Easy Peasy Socks, a pattern that called for worsted weight yarn.


I went through my stash and found this skein of Big Twist. I picked it simply because I had enough yards, not for the quality of the fiber. After reading through the pattern, I felt like I needed a visual on how to start, so I immediately went to YouTube and found Very Pink Knits series of how-to videos. Her instructions were pretty straight forward and it took me no time at all to get started. I quickly got through the cuff, started the heel flap, and then turned the heel.


I got a little nervous about picking up stitches for the gusset, and I’ll admit it was not my favorite part of the sock, but I managed to get it done. Now I’m working on the foot and hopefully by next Thursday I will have at least one completed sock.

Oh, in case you’re interested, here’s a list of the videos I’m using to help with my sock:

The pattern discussed in the videos is slightly different than the one I’m using, but I think it can be purchased via her website.

Paula from Spin a Yarn was kind enough to invite me to join in on the Thursday sock party that she has with a few other bloggers. Be sure to check out Paula’s sock post as well as Hannah of unsophisticated+jejune, Alex of alexand knits, and Katherine of Fiber and Sustenance to see where their sock adventures have taken them.


A Reading Challenge

reading glasses, kindle, ebooks, to be read

Lately, I’ve been busier than usual. A few months ago I made the decision to go back to school. My current “career” has turned into nothing more than a dead-end job. Earning a living as a novelist is my dream, but realistically that doesn’t happen overnight, and most writers do have day jobs. Since my day job currently sucks, a change needed to happen and going back to school was the only answer. And even though this is a good thing, it has cut into my creative time.

Writing is on the back burner for the time being, and my grand plan to make a dent in my To Be Read pile has come to a screeching halt. I haven’t read too may books so far this year, and with under six months left in 2016, I wonder if all hope is lost with my reading goals. Maybe. Maybe not.

I think this might call for a challenge. It’ll serve as motivation to cross some books off my ever-growing To Be Read pile. Twelve books from now until the end of the year sounds like a good number. Enough to where I’ll need to put forth some effort, but still an achievable goal.

The following list is my 2016 To Be Read Challenge:

1. The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory
2. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe
3. Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner
4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
5. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
6. The Beach House by Georgia Bockoven
7. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
8. True Colors by Kristin Hannah
9. The Sparrow Sisters by Ellen Herrick
10. Whisper Beach by Shelley Noble
11. The Four Seasons by Mary Alice Monroe
12. Silver Girl by Elin Hilderbrand

For the rest of the year I will be working my way through this list of books. Feel free to join in and read these along with me or create your own rest-of-2016 reading challenge.



The First Draft

Time For A Little Refocusing On February 24th, I started writing the first draft of my first novel. This isn’t the first time I’ve started the first draft of my so-called first novel. I’ve developed–and perfected–a start/stop method of writing, where I plan and plan and plan, then after spending waayyyy too much time in the planning phase, I will finally take the plunge and start writing the opening scene.

During the summer, I wrote three or four opening scenes and decided they sucked. I went back to my outline and delved a little deeper, and again got too comfortable staying in the planning phase. Then I got to thinking about what exactly was stifling my progress. Why the hell can’t I just sit down and start writing? Why can’t I get it right???

I reminded myself that I’m a novel-writing newbie. It’s not going to be easy. But realizing that wasn’t enough to get me writing that first scene again. So I turned to my Kindle copy of Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird and read the chapters entitled Shitty First Drafts and Perfectionism. I read them over several times, highlighting things that really resonated with me, such as

Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts.

The first draft is the down draft–you just get it down. The second draft is the up draft–you fix it up.

Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft.

That last statement was my Aha moment. My pursuit of perfectionism was holding me back from starting the first draft. I kept starting and stopping because what I was writing was not perfect.

From that moment I said screw it. Enough with the planning. Enough with the stalling and waiting for perfect prose to flow through my fingers. I’m going to write the shittiest first draft ever written.

So I sat down that day and I started typing, and believe it or not the story started to flow. It’s clunky and full of holes, but I let go of trying to be perfect and allowed my self to start writing my shitty draft, which I will continue to work on until I reach the end.