Friday, July 1, 2011

I'm Home! (if not for long)

So, I know this post is rather late, but I'm finally getting around to it. The workshop was incredible! I loved every minute of it -- okay, so I didn't care so much for the map thingy, but that's beside the point. It was only one day. My roomates and I would stay up at least until midnight, which was probably why I got a cold two days before leaving, but was worth it. There were people from all over the country. My roomates alone were from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and California. We wrote for about 6 hours every day for two weeks, except for a couple of field trips into Chicago on the weekend we had stuck in the middle.

We visited the CIA (chicago institute of art), went to an R&B concert in Millenium Park where I got soaked after playing in the faces fountain, and went to 'Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind' which is comprised of 30 plays in 60 minutes. Wonderful, without a doubt. Especially when they started throwing bacon at the chalkboard for one of the skits. I wrote a ton of poems and short stories and essays, not to mention collected a ton of material for future work. There was a sunrise workshop on the shores of Lake Michigan one morning, which I adored because I'm a sucker for anything having the slightest thing to do with the Great Lakes, and everyone else hated because we had to wake up at 4:00 am. We also listened to a ghost story told by my workshop leader, a great guy who is easily distracted.

I also was very happy after one of our trips into town because I got myself the High Kings' 'Memory Lane', their latest album. Then I proceeded to annoy my roomates by playing it several times over, since my family wasn't there. Not that I wouldn't have done it if they had been, they're just used to it. I hope you liked the pattern i published earlier, though I've actually been thinking it works better as a scarf if you don't have something to pin it in front with. Speaking of crafting, I got myself a heavely skein of black baby alpaca yarn in Chicago! No idea what I'll use it for yet, but at the moment I'm content simply to pet it.

I'm hoping I can post a link to the online magazine the workshop leaders will be putting together. It will include a couple of pieces by each of the participants, and I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else sent in. It was definitly one of those experiences I will never forget and always want to do again. It won't be the only trip I'm taking this summer, though. My whole family will be attending LEYM (Lake Erie Yearly Meeting) at the end of July, so I'll be seeing a whole lot of Quakers.

As an added bonus, it looks as if I might not be coming back right away with the rest of them. I'm currently working on an evil scheme -- er -- plan to allow a visit with my friends in Ohio! Carrie, Katelin? Tell them to batten down the hatches, I'm coming back. And Katelin knows how much chaos that caused last time. ;)

So anyway, I hope you're all doing well out there in cyberspace.

Wishing that you may never have Writer's Block,
~mari, emma, snow white, emmaline, marta, and whatever other psuedenoms i've collected over the years.

Prompt 1

I know that some of you are writers like myself, so I decided to start putting up prompts. I learned to love them at the workshop. :)

What would happen if your character were kidnapped by evil purple chihuahuas? How would they escape? What is the chihuahuas' weakness?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Jacob's Ladder Heartwarmer

I'm Here! It's the third day of the workshop, and I've been having a great time so far. My three roomates are fun, and I've already gotten some good feedback on my writing, not to mention learned how to write on demand. :/ Anyhow, I finished a new pattern for a heartwarmer in the style of the mid nineteenth century. It easily works as a scarf, too.

  • Size J hook
  • skein of worsted weight yarn
  1. ch 171, turn.
  2. dc 1 in second ch from hook. dc 1, ch 1, *dc 1, ch 1.* repeat across. dc last two stitches of row, ch 1, turn.
  3. repeat for 8 rows.
  4. dc the tenth row, then sc around edges to finish. fasten off.
I hope you like it! :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Countdown to Awsomeness

In five days I leave for a writing workshop in a town just north of Chicago, Illinois. Did I write that calmly enough? Because my goal for this post is to avoid writing in over-large letters, like this!!!!!! :D Am I succeeding?

Anyway, it's a two-week long program stuffed with writing and trips to awsome places like the CIA (chicago institute of art), and it's only a mile away from Lake Michigan! And you must know that if you have never seen, much less swam in one of the Great Lakes, then your life is sadly incomplete. I've never been to the ocean, (and know that I am lacking because of it) but the Great Lakes are the ocean without the sharks and spiny things.

So, Mom, a friend and I are heading up to chicago on saturday, and I'm sooo excited! We're staying in the dorms, with two or three roommates -- hopefully nice people. Considering that there's probably an 80% chance we'll have the same interests, I'm not too worried. I'll keep you updated, but for now I need to go through my packing list and make sure I can find everything. :D

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


     I finally finished editing Tales of a Lady Pirate! I've even created a cover for it, something I've discovered is extremly fun. Unfourtunatly, I'm beginning to think I might just have to do a thorough rewrite. There's a lot more I could add about the main character's life, and a cousin I came up with only after writing the book who I think will be really close to her. Besides, I've drawn a family tree of the family, and gave the main characters two more kids, who really should be mentioned later on. ;)
     In the real -- read off page -- world, spring is certainly in the air. There was a thunderstorm last night, and this afternoon it's been sunny and balmy. Lovely. As a bonus, I found out that my dad's old seminary is having a writing workshop in November, and we'll be going! So tell Katelin the good news, Carrie. I'm coming back to plauge you some more.
     Now that I've finished Tales of a Lady Pirate for a while, I should work on Lady of the Moon. Lady is the book that really got me started with my writing, and took me a year and a half to finish. I would love to get it published, but have to do some major editing first. That ought to keep me busy for a while, as will trying to get a pattern and make myself a civil war-era dress to go over my new hoopskirt! Then I can dress up as Nora for real. ;)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Never. Again.

So, I told you about the 3 hours a day thing? It was a total nightmare. I did not get sufficient sleep or reading time for the entire week. Two hours, I can do. Three, no. I would end up almost falling asleep at the keys with an hour left on the timer. I hated that hour! I didn't "have enough time" to finish the second day's quota. I figured, "no problem, I'll just finish it tomorrow." Obviously a bad idea from the beginning. That same hour was left over every day until the last day when I ended up doing five straight hours of writing, due to a crammed day before that. Ugh. But at least I got a lot of decent writing done. That was the only good thing that came out of it, since I was sleep deprived and on the verge of a breakdown the entire time. By the fifth day, mom was in more of a hurry for me to finish than I was. According to her, the house fell apart. Personally, I couldn't see why it would, since she just complained this afternoon because I forgot to do the dishes. Contradiction, anyone? Anyway, glad it's over. And now I know better than to try for three hours when I have anything alse going on.

Monday, April 18, 2011

New Blog!

In addition to this blog, i'm now a contributor on another writing blog! it's called Mission: Write. thought you might want to check it out!

And you probably noticed the new page up at the top. (which took me forever to figure out, by the way) i'm now posting my stories and poem on that, so check there if you need a good dose of creative nonesense! :p

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Writing Challenge

For at least the next week, I've decided to write for at least 3 hours a day if possble. I've been really lax about my writing lately, and decided it was time to tighten things up. So far, it's gone excellently! the following snippet is, unfourtunatly, not from the last couple of days' forced writing. however, it's a short story about the characters several years before the book begins. i hope you like it!


Liam ran along the docks, determined not to miss a second of the ship’s arrival. His small, bare feet pattered on the wood of the quay as he dodged sailors, merchants and the women Mam wouldn’t tell him about. He finally skidded to a stop and a grin stretched across his face as he saw the ship just coming in. he had gotten there just in time.

A gangplank thudded down a few minutes later, and sailors began carrying goods off the ship. Liam ran to help, hoping to earn a penny or two. As he scampered up onto the deck of the ship, someone suddenly stepped out in front of him. he bumped into them, hard, and almost lost his balance.

The man he had collided with bent over a little and smiled at him. Liam suddenly realised that this bearded man was the captain of the ship. He lifted his chin and snapped off a salute.

“Good morning, sir!”

“Good morning, lad. Where is your father? Is he on this ship?”

“No, sir.”

“Are you lost, then?”

“I’m at the docks, sir. How could I be lost?” Liam was confused.

The captain roared with laughter. “Well put, lad! What is your name? Is your Father a sailor?”

“No, he’s a printer, sir. But I’d like to be a sailor someday, sir! My name is Liam Gallagher, sir.”

“Would you?” the captain stroked his beard. His eyes were grey, like the sea during a storm. But they were kind. “Are you a good sailor, Liam Gallagher?”

“Yes, sir! I love to sail! Mam complains that she can’t get me away from the docks.”

“Well, let me tell you, Liam. I’m always on the lookout for good men, so in another few years you come look for Captain Hyman Weatherby and you’ll have yourself a job. How’s that sound?”

Liam couldn’t believe it. “E-excellent, sir! Thank you, sir! I’ll be the best sailor there ever was!”

Captain Weatherby laughed again and tousled Liam’s hair. “I don’t doubt that for a second, lad.” Then he gestured to the bags and boxes being brought up from the hold. “Do you think you’re strong enough to help with unloading the cargo?”

“Of course, sir! I’ve lifted heavier loads than that, sir. Thank you.” Liam hurried over to the bundles. As he went he heard someone talking to the captain.

“Do ye think the lad’s trustworthy? He could steal the coins from your very pockets, Cap’n.” Liam almost turned around to scowl at the man who dared insult him, but he heard the captain’s reply.

“No, he’s trustworthy, Evans. I could tell that much when I looked at him. And truth be told, he reminds me of my Nora.”

Liam didn’t know who Nora was, but he determined that someday, when he had joined Captain Weatherby’s crew, he would find her. And he would thank her for helping him become the best sailor in the world. For he had no doubt in his mind that that was what he would be.

© Mariel Redwood

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pamela's Lattice Prayer Shawl

This pattern is very simple and quick, since half of it's chaining. It only took me three days of dedicated work. I used Lion Brand's 'Pound of Love' baby yarn, and used about half the skein.

Pamela's Lattice Prayer Shawl
© Mariel Redwood

H hook
G hook

United States terminology.
ch - chain
sc - single crochet
dbc - double crochet

  1. Using the H hook, ch 36 or another uneven multiple of three. ch 2, turn.
  2. Dbc in third ch from hook and next two stitches. *ch 3, skip next 3 sts, 1 dbc in each of next three sts.* Continue from * to * to the end of the row. You should end up with 3 dbc at each end of the row, forming a solid border at each side of the shawl. 
  3. Repeat step two until the shawl has reached your desired length. After the first row, dbcs should only ever be in dbcs, never in the chains. 
  4. Using the G hook, sc around the edges of the shawl.
  5. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Well, i was pretty happy. I got to babysit my little cousin yesterday, and i finally learned how to knit!

Buuuuut, look what i found in my inbox this morning:

eeeeeeeew?! Okay, the webby, dreamcatcher-like thingy is moderately acceptable, other than the bad color choices and the fact that it's too big. but the others? Who's getting paid to make up these patterns?! And how much?!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My B-Day!

yesterday was my birthday, and i got some awsome new yarn! can't wait to see what i end up making with it. ;)

also, i got a copy of a painting my my fave artist, j. w. waterhouse. this one:

and i got an awsome cake, a great cd,  and played soccer with my sobs for a while. all in all, it was an awsome day!
unfortunatly, it's raining today, so no soccer for now. and my great-uncle died unexpectedly yesterday, which we didn't find out about until this morning. we're all pretty upset.


i really ought to type out some more of my patterns. maybe i'll post one of those tommorrow!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

my Blue Puffy Hat

the protest yesterday was much larger. there were a few thousand people this time, and we did manage to get inside the capitol building. dad and i saw an officer there that we recognized as someone who had given us a private tour when we came to the capital a month or so ago. he remembered us, too.  :)
unfortunately, i slipped and fell right in the mud towards the end. my own fault, due to a lack of coordination. my hand and coat ended up covered in the stuff, but my dress was spared. we ended up leaving soon after anyway. some guy was nice enough to see me fall and try to help me clean up my hand a little with his water bottle! LOL.

anyway, this is my second pattern. it's for a hat that was originally supposed to be a tam. the 'tam' turned out too small and i was sick of the project by then, so just made a wide 'brim' of sorts. it actually turned out quite nicely, and i managed to make myself a real tam a while later.

[American terminology:
SC=single crochet

with a size g hook and worsted weight yarn...

round 1.  ch two. SC 6 in the first chain. slipstitch last SC to first. - 6 st.
round 2.  SC 2 in each stitch. -12 st.
round 3.  *SC 1 in the first SC, SC 2 in the second SC*, repeat around the circle. -18
round 4:  *SC in each of the first two SC, then 2 SC in the next st.*  repeat. -24
round 5.  *SC in each of the first 3 SC, then SC 2 in the 4th SC.* repeat. -32

continue like this for another 18 rows. (this is the size i made it, you may need it bigger)

round 24.  decrease 1 every 10 stitches.
round 25-34.  SC in every stitch.
round 35. SC this round in another color of yarn as trim. you can also use a yarn needle to thread the second yarn through the stitches as decoration.

© Mariel Redwood

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Haunted Wood

dad and i went to the protests in Lansing today. unfortunately we got there just in time to catch the tail end of it, but we're going again tomorrow. should be bigger then.

another hobby of mine you'll find references to on here is my writing. i love it! so here's a poem i write a couple years ago.

o haunted wood of mine,
what secrets do you hold?
whether they be new
or yellow with time so old,
tell them unto me
o haunted wood of mine.

(c) es

hope you like it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

first post!

okay, i started this pattern to share my designs with those on the world of ravelry, but i'll post about my life too, i'm sure. because this is a pattern blog, the first post should, by rights, have my first 'published' pattern. :)

Stomach warmer
This is to help get rid of cramps, something I have a lot of trouble with. It consists of a crocheted cover and a cloth bag made out of the material of your choice. Try to avoid polyester, as I’m not sure how well it would do in the microwave. To use, pop the bag in the microwave to warm it up to a comforting temprature, then slide it back inside the cover so you don’t burn your poor belly!

Row one: With a size G hook, chain 41.
Rows two/three: Dc in second chain from hook, continue across the row.  You should end up with 40 dcs. Ch1, turn.
Row four: bdc across the row, ch 1, turn.
Row five: repeat steps 2-4.
Go on for as long as you want the cover to be wide when folded.  I did 154 rows, you can change this to meet your needs.  Slip stitch the top and one side together. Fasten off.  At the other end of the cover, make two 25 stitch chains on each flap to tie it shut with.

Rice bag:
On a piece of sturdy cloth, trace a rectangle the size of the cover.  Cut out two pieces this size, and sew them together with a wide seam allowance. Make two seams to allow for wear and tear on the thread. Fill the bag with rice and slide it inside the cover.

this is how it will look when finished: