Knitting a Tenth Doctor Doll

IMAG0524(Tenth Doctor in Yarn, having Soft Adventures through Yarn Space & Knitted Time?)

I can’t crochet.

Most people I meet say that when it comes to knitting or crochet, you only get one. You can’t have both dang it, no matter how many times you successfully make a chain only to howl in frustration as you cannot make that braid into anything other than a knotted up mess to be tossed with great enthusiasm across the room. I ust wanted to make cute Doctor Who dolls!

I was trying to create a magic loop. I keep thinking if I watch enough videos and I try hard enough that someday I will pick up the skill of crochet. I love the patterns. I love how fast they are and I love how many tiny dolls can be made in literal minutes. I want that. Knit takes days. Knit takes years. Crochet is fast.

I never made that magic loop.

I watched a video fourteen times in a row. I tried. I cursed. I tried again. I cursed some more. In a fit of rage, I threw everything against the wall and gave up. I just wanted to make tiny dolls. My frustration was real. So I gave up on crochet and turned to my only skill: Knitting.

Guess what? Knitting has its own form of the magic loop which I failed to master as well. But I am stubborn. If I can’t do it the right way, I’ll just make it up as I go along. So a month after the hook incident, I was sitting in front of the PC looking at cute crochet dolls, and some knit dolls of the Eleventh and Tenth Doctor. They were fantastic and I wanted them. But there were no patterns.

Fine. I was willing to buy a pattern but it wasn’t on offer. But my knitting skills had been growing and I decided if I can’t but a pattern: I’ll make a pattern. Or wing it. Yes, I’d wing it. I had DPN (double pointed needles) and enough stubbornness for days. I also for some reason had a ton of ecru yarn that could pass for pale people skin. So I took the needles, cast on a few stitches and by increasing and decreasing, in no time at all, I had a head and shoulders. Flush with success, I stopped because my hands looked like claws and my eyes were crossed.

IMAG0525(Oh so mitten-y mitten hands!)

The next day after work, I worked out how to leave arm holes by switching to two needles and knitting each side flat before going back to knitting in the round. The legs were made by separating the stitches into left, middle, and right. Legs became tubes and shoes were created by switching yarn color and adding stitches in the front to get a shoe-ish shape. When the legs were done, I made arms.  I didn’t count any of the stitches until after, so I am sure one leg is longer than the other. And I had no idea how to make hands, so my hands are sort of mock mittens that I used the ends that needed to be weaved in to shape them into more mitten-ish mittens.

IMAG0523(Cream Chucks, complete with Blue Star and Red Seaming because it’s all in the floss.)

I did manage to learn a seam that was invisible for when I pieced together the Doctor’s jacket. Also, I insanely hand pinstriped him for no good reason. I just wanted to see if it could be done. The blue is too cyan. When I make my second one, I am switching to a medium blue. The tie, however, is an actual tie. I knitted it and had my friend Chris tie it for me. He even knew what knot the Doctor wears… so authentic as heck.

Brown button eyes, embroidered smile and a painstaking process of making doll hair from yarn ensued. Dayna upstairs helped me make and style it. But it’s a bit floppy but nice and messy. It’s all in details and that mad twinkle in his eyes anyhow.

IMAG0520(Relaxing between adventures on my messy bed that is too red for good photos.)

Eventually, I am going to add eyebrows. I keep saying that and I keep not doing it. But I think he looks like he’s having fun. That hair though…

I still can’t crochet but I don’t think I care anymore. I’ll just wing it in knit. Also, immediately after finishing the Doctor, I started right in on a Rose Tyler. I’m a sucker for love and the Doctor needs a hand to hold.

Details/Materials: 

-I used size 5 DPN (double pointed needles)
-All the yarn was Red Heart. I doubled the yarn to make sure the weave was tight enough for stuffing.
-Two brown buttons were used for the Doc’s eyes.
-Felt embroidered with a blue star was used for shoes.
-Metal snap for his jacket
-Red embroidery floss

He’s a big boy and stands over a foot high, and is perfect for cuddling.

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Chapter 1 Slowly Plugging Along…And Randomness

The writing continues…oh…so…slowly. The dialogue is fun and very silly. I still need to add some background stuff and flesh out the sites and sounds but it is happening. It might take an all day marathon of Matt Smith tomorrow to brush up on the banter but I think I can suffer through that. It did lead me to web searching a few little gems of the old show and some of those wonderful webisodes Moffat likes so much. It’s all research I tells ya. I also bought another Doctor Who Book to read (more research,) new Wii cables (Inky the Guinea Pig ate the old ones,) and a Jackson Pearce novel because she is brilliant.

Jackson Pearce is  also wonderfully friendly and responds to tweets directed at her, near her or around her. I’ve talked to her about things like: Sleepy Hollow the TV show and whether or not Abby and Crane will end up together and Amazon mix ups. It reminds me that I want to be as accessible to my readers when I am as published as she is. She also does clever videos online. I hate the sound of my voice so…maybe, maybe not. Ok, tangent over. But there was a point. Ohe yes there was: follow me on Twitter… @1fuzzymonster — I will respond to you because I have nothing better to do with my time. (That’s a lie. I am very busy making ebook covers on fiverr and searching for gainful employ. Hire me and I will work for money. But I watch General Hospital every day and I check Twitter when Sonny Corinthos is on. Sorry Maurice Bernard, you are amazing but your character is so….1993.)

This week I have promised myself to get back on the writing horse. I have an unfinished short story. I have at least 3 novels in need of rewrites and edits and my Doctor Who Book. I also apparently made some money in royalties from Amazon for some books I self published. Unfortunately I can’t remember what email address I used. Go to work that one out this week. I was thinking of adding more to that… If you want to read a good one I wrote with Drew Pepin, check out Circles. It’s only 99 cents and it’s not that long…It’s also super violent. Ha, I am usually less gory and more silly/supernatural but this was a great collaboration with a great writer and friend.

I will hopefully hit you guys back later in the week with some good news on the job front, the freelance writing front and on whether or not a person can go mad watching the same few seasons of Doctor Who over and over again (ask my BF and he’ll say, ‘yes.’)

Feel free to hit me up about writing in the comments. Also if you have a self published book and you want me to interview you for this super random blog of mine, drop me a line. I love to pick other writers’ brains. Mmm brains.

It is Begun….

Outline is finished! 

After my lovely interview with the incredibly talented and congenial Charlie Daye, I thought I might kick my own ass into gear. So I actually sat down a few days ago and worked out what was wrong with my outline: Predictable. So I added some more conflict and changed out who the baddies are and bam, completed outline.

Today is the important one though, because I have actually written the opening gambit of my novel. I have a working title (it is terrible) and an opening gambit (which is passable so far…) and I am super excited to get to the part with the Doctor. He is, after all, the fun part. I’m very excited. Of course this means my Writer’s Block is also very excited. My Writer’s Block likes to get into my head and stop me from writing by making me worry about unrelated things. Currently it is busy worrying about an uncompleted (and maybe impossible) art project I have due for tomorrow. It’s making me mental. But I’m going to keep on being proud of my opening gambit and try to focus on being excited.

My step plan is working in so far as I have done the first couple steps:

1. Come up with an idea(s)
2. Add some subplots
3. Complete Outine

Next is: Write 3 Chapters. 

Wish me luck… In the meantime maybe I’ll haunt some other authors and get the lowdown on how they do it. Stay tuned all.

Creative Procrastination?

You would think this outline is the manuscript by how slowly it is coming together. Tonight I managed to get chapters 5-7 down. I think that this is a cause for jubilation. But it almost didn’t happen.

I wrote out chapter 5 and got stuck by the need to procrastinate. But! I decided to procrastinate by writing a short story. Yep. So does it really count as procrastination if I was in fact writing and being creative? Well yes. Mostly because I was avoiding writing by doing other writing. But it did get me started on a nice science fiction story. Once I finish and polish it, I’ll submit it. If/when it gets accepted, it will build my street cred, right? Then when I go to the BBC with my novel, I will be a recently published author. See how I BS this? See how even now I could be outlining more chapters and resort to blogging to avoid it?

I fear organization. I fear it. But only creatively.

I have some interviews with other writers coming up. I’m excited to suck the writing knowledge from their marrow and make it my own. Mwaha ha ha ha. So there’s that to look forward to. Okay, enough… gotta get the outline done. The dang book is only 13-14 chapters and I’m at 7, the halfway mark.

Outlines Are Boring!

I just got rejected… from a job interview. My story is still sitting in the received bin over at Analog, no worries there. But the job thing was a bummer. I like to eat food when I’m writing. But it’s going to be okay because I have started outlining my Doctor Who novel. 

The ideas all came flooding out of me one night when I was bored. I scribbled in red ink all over my sketchbook. There are diagrams and one sentence ideas plus some ridiculous sketches and things that will definitely be used against me when my boyfriend tries to have me committed (oh yeah, that’s happening in my future.) Two hours later, I had triumphantly crafted my five sentence back of the book blurb to show friends. I sent it out to 3 of my friends. 2 were very excited and said they would be honored to read my sample chapters (whenever I got them written, that is.) I asked the third one if he would read it and he said, “I don’t know.” 2 outta 3 ain’t bad.

After that I stalled out for two days. I had some subplots to think about. I wasn’t writing anything but I was busily inventing the planet and the aliens and the ideas and the themes. I just kept rejecting the subplots as too obvious. But after a while I just said, “Let that develop as you write or we’re never going to get anywhere!!!!” My sudden outburst startled my guinea pigs and knocked the crippled one over. (I am so sorry, Screwball.) And subplots were had by all! Plus bananas were also had by all.

Now it was time for the outline. Boy oh boy did I avoid that for a few days. I cleaned a bit. Played with guinea pigs. Did a job interview. Did a follow up job interview. Went drinking, hoping I was celebrating getting the job. Went shopping and got jeans with a gift card. went to another party…and so on. A few days passed and I got to today. Yep: Rejection Day. In an email. Bummer. I frantically applied to a bunch of jobs and panting, decided what the hell? I started the Outline

So far it is a flimsy thing, filled with only 2 and a half chapters. But it is BEGUN! There’s no turning back now. Only problem is: Oh my God, is it boring to write an outline! I know some people thrive on all this structure but I may as well be an anarchist for how much I abhor organizing a novel. But I researched some templates and I will plug away until this thing is done. Because then I get to write 3 chapters. That will be fun. I can already hear the Doctor’s voice in my head telling me what jokes to add and little bits of scientific data about the planet I’m on… Frankly he’s driving me nuts.

Destiny!

I am a huge Doctor Who fan. I’ve grown up with the show. It is a big part of my personality, it is so ingrained. Just ask anyone who has tried to perpetuate an injustice near me. I will stand up and try to fight it… I’ve lost a job over it and quit a few more because of it. So it is only natural that I aspire to write Doctor Who Novels.

No, I do not want to put myself in the books. No, I do not want to live out some ‘it should have eneded this way’ fantasies. Yes, I do want to write a solid piece of awesome science fiction. To that end-that’s terrible. Whos says, ‘to that end?’ No one.- I have started working on my novel.

I went to the BBC and read the guidelines: (http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/classic/books/guidelines.shtml) It was enlightening and hilarious. I really enjoyed reading it. The guidelines were basically, ‘No idiots, please.’ I think if all submission guidelines were written like the Doctor Who guidelines, Twilight may have been averted.

Then I made a page of themes and plots. I did those in red ink because it was more dramatic and I had lost all my other pens… Out of all the ideas, I chose 2 and smushed them together. I then secured my test audience (two of them anyway, waiting on the third.) Tomorrow: Subplots.

Oh, I also had another article accepted on textbroker… But my story at Analog is still marked as recieved. Will it never switch to read? Stay tuned for more writing fun as it happens…

Slowly plugging away…

Published! Finally figured out textbroker. Managed to pick and accept an article. Wrote it (on organic chia seeds, no less) and submitted it. It was a bit annoying because the rules are so specific. Certain number of words, then keywords and then it gets angry if there are too many of the keyword… Can you tell I am a huge lover of rules? Anyhow I did follow all those lovely little instructions and Bob’s your uncle they accepted it.

I was paid $4.50. But here’s the thing: no idea who the client is or was or where my article went or if my name is even attached to it. Funny thing textbroker. But yay! I am a published author again. Even submitted a second article on Uncle Grandpa. (People who are not on drugs: Uncle Grandpa is a cartoon that I imagine will eventually make everyone insane.) 

Now it is time to start looking at my nanowrime novel and work it into something useable… Since I am still listed as ‘recieved’ on Analog it may also be time to write another short story and try Asimov. I love a good sci-fi. Plus I owe one of my oldest and best(est! Hee hee) of friends a Christmas story. Yes! So much writing to do.

And with that I am off to find out what a ‘jammy dodger’ is… thanks a lot Doctor Who…