Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li

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The World is Melting

For most of the last week we've had snow. Thick snow, heavy, wet spring snow, and for a full day and a half it lay nearly a foot thick everywhere. Jet and I had a blast going out and sledding and building snow men, because the usual Colorado snow falls when it's so cold the stuff is powder dry and can't pack worth a darn.

Yesterday, the temperatures got into the 60's, and everything was melting.

We went out walking in the afternoon and the sound of dripping, running water was everywhere. It was absolutely wonderful! All the grass has gone green, and the local weather report says that Longmont is even with its annual average of precipitation for the first time in a few years, and the state as a whole now has 75% of its usual snow pack, so we'll actually have some water this summer, unlike the last few years, which have had unusually warm springs.

One of the things John and I have been doing every night has been watching Person of Interest. The whole premise of the very smart engineer partnering up with a very dangerous ex-government killer might have been a little too close to my heart. *laughs* But I love what they've done and how they've done it, and it's very very smart about what modern day surveillance can do especially for someone who knows what they are doing. It's amazing watching the correlations pile up in to the equivalent of evidence.

I am enjoying it greatly, and Kathy, my sister, pointed it out to me. I especially do love the dog. *laughs*

And I saw a blog entry by Jennifer Cruise where she was contemplating the structure of television shows in much the same way I was. That each episode is a complete story unto itself, but before very long, there's a larger arc that shows up and has to be explored properly for the series to make sense. Novels can be thought of as the longer arcs and the idea of having something resolved with every chapter just seems more satisfying. It's cool to see why cliffhangers are a cheap trick. *laughs* I've been guilty of them enough times I now know why I need to give them up.

Doing more about really being engaged with the characters and wanting to see what they decide next and how they resolve the next issue, whatever it might be, seems to be where I really want to be going with my stories. It's also really cool reading and seeing the success of Scalzi's Human Division serial, and entertaining thoughts about the idea that publishing serials may be back...

It might also be that I'm at the end of Twin Souls, and I'm about to dive into helping out with the very last of Winter War as well, and I'm looking for an interesting kind of help with endings. Most TV series do not end well or prettily or even satisfactorily. And beginning my own novels it's nice having the end in mind, even if I want to explore how to get there.

Jet also, tonight, wanted to watch Rango, and it's a fun, mildly surreal movie (Johnny Depp, it had to be a little surreal, no?), but the moment that made it for me was Timothy Oliphant being The Spirit of the West. *laughs* Loved that and some of the message in there.

So... on with the pictures of Things.

watercolor of Longs Peak
The first is the painting I did after a bike ride to Golden Ponds here in Longmont. It's on actual, standard watercolor paper, instead of the unsized stuff I've always used. And I actually used a pencil and sketched things, first, to get the perspective and ratios down right before adding color.

It was really funny to pack everything into a nylon backpack and take it out to a picnic bench. There were two young, very technically geeky men playing Go on the table opposite me, and I listened to their banter as I started applying colors. I really had an interesting time with the reflections of things in the water, as I really wanted to try a particular technique I'd seen in the past.

It's very tight, very controlled, compared to nearly all the other art I've ever done, but it was very satisfying to just sit in the sunshine and see what it was I was trying to capture and having the time and the light and the means to do it. Time flew by both of the times I went to do this, and for the second sitting, two different people that I've known from around town stopped by the table. First to greet me and then compliment me on the painting! *laughs* I guess I'm better known around here than I thought. Or maybe I just hang out with a lot of people who like to walk or bike around town, because I was sitting by one of the main paths through town along the St. Vrain River.

I need to go out and paint real things more often.

Stained Glass Socks
These art nouveau-ish socks are the Stained Glass socks from Cat Bordhi's Personal Footprints for Insouciant Sock Knitters. The technique Cat has in this book is quite intriguing for me. You actually start with a cutout model of the foot you're knitting for, and you get it by tracing the foot out on cardboard and cutting it out and using it to fit the sock as you go. So there are nearly no hard numbers for anything.

I love that, because it can be made to fit any kind of yarn and any kind of foot. It's toe-up, so one can use every last bit of yarn if one wishes, and it's more of an afterthought ankle than heel. *laughs* I'd go into more detail, but I'd recommend getting the book as so many of the designs are so beautiful! This was done with my handspun, a tough and strong Corridale that I overspun at a slightly finer weight than I usually do for socks. I actually decided to buy a set of the Kollage Square knitting needles in a size US 1 because I knew that I had this yarn to deal with. :-)

I now love the square needles, and I have a few other sock yarns that could benefit from the tighter mesh. And these sock fit perfectly, it's like they are molded about my foot, and are fine in my boots for long hikes.

Of course, now I'm working on a European style cowl, using fingering yarn and size 8 needles and modifying a feather and fan lace to fit the number of stitches I probably need. *laughs* Yes. I'll write up the pattern and should probably post it on Ravelry, finally. I really have wanted to publish more patterns on Ravelry now that they're being amazingly good at making them available and sortable by tags.
Tags: knitting, movie, painting, technology, weather, writing

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