Monday, 5 August 2013

The trouble with outlandish names

Now, this is something I've been ruminating on recently (ruminating... never used that word before...). My attention was brought to it by, of all things, eating chocolate. How, you ask? The answer is simple. Lindt and quiche. Got you more confused, have I? I'll explain. These two words are ones that my high school history teacher rather memorably (to me at least) mispronounced. Here's how.

The first (although I mentioned it second) is quiche. My teacher told us an anecdote about how she had been at school, and it had been on the menu. "Oh," she had said, "What's kwi-chee?" A rather harmless anecdote, I think you'll agree. Now, let's move onto the second. In school one day we were discussing chocolate (don't ask me why; I don't remember. Just accept that we were amazing). And my teacher, bless her, said "I like those Lie-in-d chocolates."

These things may seem to you rather trivial, and they are. But let me get to my point. You see, no matter how simple a pronunciation may seem to you, there is always someone who will pronounce it differently.

The English language has thousands of different letter combinations, each of them culminating in different pronunciations. Is it bass (mass) or bass (lace)? Are you producing the produce? How must it be pronounced? This is rather delightfully demonstrated in a deliciously evil poem available here which even a native English speaker has difficulty saying in one go.

And when you've taken that into consideration, there is the matter of nationality of accent. The English language is a minefield for the creation of made-up words.

So, what to do? One thing NOT to do is to put a pronunciation guide in the back of the book, like in Eragon. By the time a reader has gotten to it, they have their own ideas about pronunciation. Trust me, I know. I spent an entire book pronouncing Gil'ead (GILL-ee-id) as Gil-eed and Uru'baen (OO-roo-bane) as OO-roo-bah-en. Not to mention Ajihad, whose name is supposed to be pronounced AH-zhi-hod. And then there's Tronjheim (TRONJ-heem) which I pronounced with a German inflection of TRONJ-hi-m (rhymes with bye).

My biggest tip if you're worried about your names not being pronounced properly is to show it to people and get them to say it. If you're not happy with how they're pronouncing it, either include a pronunciation guide at the beginning of your book, or change it. As for me, I'll just stick to normal names. And who knows? You may not even care about people mispronouncing your names.

That's all folks. I'll post again later.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Getting writing time out of bus trips (without putting pen to paper)

Now, please don't take any of this the wrong way. I am not a stalker. I am certainly a normal person. But, there is something which I do sometimes to help with description. Description, I find, is the part of my writing which I leave out the most. I think of my characters as just people, regardless of what they look like. Now, while this may be a very inclusive outlook on life, it does not make for as immersive an experience as I would like.

So, what to do if your characters all look the same? Just look around you. When I am on the bus, sometimes I will surreptitiously look at the people around me and think about how I would describe them. What does their hair look like? How would I bring to life that particular set of features on paper? Here, for example, is a man who regularly takes the same bus as I do:

He was a tall man; not particularly heavily built but with enough bulk to be noticeable. He had his eyes closed, and his eyelashes and lips were almost feminine in contrast to the rough stubble which covered his chin. He did not, however, look effeminate. On the contrary, his features combined in a face which looked astonishingly manly.

Hardly the best of descriptions, I know. The difference, however, is that I would never have come up with something like that all on my own. If it were me, I would have simply made up a man. But what is a man without a few curious features. And don't stop there. Try to imagine what kind of job they do. Are they unemployed? Married? A lawyer? A doctor? What is their personality like? The beauty with this is that they can be whatever you want them to be. Such as:

He spent most of his days at the university, leaving early and coming back late. He did not enjoy the commute; in fact he spent most of those times trying to sleep on the bus, with his music in his ears and trying to ignore the movement of the bus.

And that, I believe, is all I have to say on the topic. Try it guys, just try not to let anyone see you staring. They probably won't comment, but you'll be forever marked as the strange person as the bus. Though if you're like me, you were probably already strange to begin with. Bye!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

The Pen Name: A Discussion

Okay, I know it's been a long time... there are reasons for that. Stupid, pathetic reasons, which are really just excuses. I'm sorry. I've been neglecting my online presence. So, first up, an update. I've been participating in this year's July Camp NaNoWriMo, and I'm well on my way to completing it. As well as that, I'm knitting a Dalek Lace Shawl, which shall also be finished soon. I'm quite excited about both. The last thing which is taking my time is Minecraft, which if I'm honest I never should really have started. But it is such a wonderful outlet for creativity, even for someone who can't draw a straight line.

Now that that's dealt with, on to the actual article. I recently searched, with the help of the NaNoWriMo forums, for a pen name. In two days I had a response, and lo and behold, I now have a pen name. Hannah Laurent. Has a nice ring, doesn't it? It's an amalgam of my first and middle names, swapped. If I ever publish, hopefully it will be under that name.

Of course, why the need for a pen name? I decided a long time ago that my full name was not suitable as a pen name. It comprises of a first and a middle name, plus a ridiculously long hyphenated last name. Those do not make up for the most pronounceable of names, so I was keen to make up something new. Nor did I want to simply chop out my middle name and the last part of my surname, because it sounds bland and uninteresting. Laura Berger. Can you imagine that on the spine of a book? I thought so. But then, maybe I'm being harsh to myself. After all, when Ian Fleming began to write his famous series of books, he picked the name James Bond because he thought it was exceptionally boring. We all know how that turned out.

Then of course, there's the recent news about J.K. Rowling writing under a pen name in order to avoid the stigma which followed her on publication of A Casual Vacancy. Rowling, of course, already writes under a pen name, albeit one not too different from her real name. In this case, I applaud her. She is, I believe, a very competent writer, whether you like her latest books or not. And when I find people putting them down simply because there is no magic or wand waving, I find it very sad indeed.

So, what about pen names?

I find that a pen name will be the mask I wear to sell books; a fake veneer for my very introverted self to hide behind. Even though publishing is the least personal medium of expressing oneself, perhaps I can distance myself from bad reviews if it's not actually my name. Probably not. But I can hope so, anyway. I guess, in the end, it completely depends on your circumstances. Perhaps you are a published children's author who wants to be taken seriously with adult fiction, or you want to keep your sinful writing from the people you know. Perhaps, like me, your own name is just too boring. A pen name, in any case, is a very flexible thing which can be adapted to any circumstance. It can be sexy, serious, mysterious; whatever you want it to be. Therein lies its power.

I hope you enjoyed that disjointed series of thoughts; I promise to return with some more structured material within the week. If I don't, feel free to leave a comment to smack me on the head. Wishing you a very lovely day,

Sunday, 5 May 2013

7 Writing Tips to keep the words flowing

Writers' block. We've all experienced it, all lamented the inopportune arrival of it. Some deny its existence, call it a mere temporary setback. But whether you like to think of them as slow patches, or if you simply do not have any ideas, you need a way of dealing with this. Here are my tips. You do not need to use all of these to conquer writers' block; in fact it would be better you only use one or two. Find the method that works best for you and put it into practice.

  1. Soldier on. Write more words, even if they're painful and you hate them. You can come back and edit them later.
  2. Try skimming slightly over the section you're writing. Give bare details where an entire paragraph would be preferable. Don't give the how or the why if it's not important and you can't think of it. These things can be added later.
  3. Add a plot point. If things are never going to work out or if your story has reached a stalemate, make something happen! It doesn't need to be explicitly related to the overall plot line, and it certainly doesn't need to resolve the story; but it can serve to push your characters in the right direction.
  4. Write ahead. Use with caution. You can skip the section you're on, but beware that it might create structural issues in your story if the part you're on is important.
  5. Make a summary. If you know what's going to happen but can't bring yourself to write it yet, write a summary of that part (as detailed as you can make it) and move on. This is a viable alternative to option 4 if skipping it might cause issues.
  6. Write something else. Spend a little time doing a short story. The time away might cause you to forget things about your story, but let's face it, you've forgotten half of it already, right? Writing another project might help you put the issue into perspective.
  7. Find a human guinea pig. Find someone whose ideas are very similar to yours, like a sister or a best friend. Tell them the issues you're having and have a discussion with them about how to resolve it. They might see things you've missed, and they're also great to bounce ideas off.
Hope you enjoyed those pearls of writing wisdom. May writers' block never hinder your path, and happy writing to you.

Monday, 29 April 2013

River's Gloves - Knitting Pattern

I made these as an accompaniment to the River's Diary pattern I posted not long ago. Subtle Doctor Who references are embroidered on the back of the hand. The cuff is modeled on River's Diary, with sixteen panels encircling the wrist. This is meant to be the first in a slate of Doctor Who inspired glove patterns, so stay tuned for more.


CO 30 sts and arrange evenly onto 3 needles. Join in the round, being careful not to twist. Now, follow either the chart or the written instructions.


Round 1-2: k all
Round 3: [k2, p13] twice
Round 4: [k2, p1, k11, p1] twice

Round 5: [k2, p1, k1, p9, k1, p1] twice
Round 6: [k2, p1, k1, p1, k3, p1, k3, p1, k1, p1] twice
Round 7-9: As round 6 (3 rounds)

Repeat rounds 5-9 three more times, until you have sixteen panels.

Round 25: [k2, p1, k1, p9, k1, p1] twice
Round 26: [k2, p1, k11, p1] twice
Round 27: [k2, p13] twice

Round 1-2: K all
Round 3: k15, place marker, m1, k2, m1, place marker, k to end (32)
Round 4-6: k all (3 rounds)
Round 7: k15, slip marker, m1, k to marker, m1, slip marker, k to end (34)

Repeat rounds 4-7 twice more, until you have 38 stitches on your needles.

Round 16-23: k all (8 rounds)
Round 24: k to first marker, remove marker, k1, place next 8 sts on holder, k1, remove marker, k to end.
Round 25-35: k all (10 rounds)
Round 36: p all

BO loosely

Pick up the stitches on your holder and join in the yarn.
Round 1: k8, pick up and k 2 sts.
Round 2-7: k all (6 rounds)
Round 8: p all

BO loosely

Weave in the ends, making sure to close up any holes around the thumb. Take a length of white yarn and a tapestry needle and embroider words on the back of the glove. On one glove, put the words ‘Hello sweetie XO’. On the other, put ‘Spoilers’. Weave in these ends to the white yarn on the inside of the glove. Voila, you’re done!

As always, I do have a PDF version of the pattern. Happy knitting!

Sunday, 28 April 2013

The Master Writing Tip

There was something I forgot to tell you guys two posts ago. It's something I forgot that I needed to follow, but has been driven home by last night spent procrastinating. It's something I don't really have trouble with, but others of you might not like. It's the perfect way to find some time in the evenings to put fingers to keyboards or pens to paper. It's simple. Three words.

Stop watching TV.

Now, I don't mean stop watching TV period. You can still turn it on once a week to watch your favourite show. But turning the box on every single night leaves you zero hours to do work on your novel. This is something I learned by accident when I participated in NaNoWriMo and very quickly gave up on this pastime. It's possible, trust me, and you don't really lose anything.

Anyway, TV is for unimaginative people. What's wrong with sitting down and reading a book. Do you need to watch reruns of QI? Is it imperative that you see this cooking show, though you may never look at or think about the recipes ever again? I think not. So put some time aside, and leave the box in its corner. Your inner writer will thank you for it.

Friday, 26 April 2013

River's Diary Knitting Pattern

First off, a disclaimer. I do not own this pattern. It was thought up by hells456 and never charted, so I did in service to the Whovian community and so that I can knit it up myself. It hasn't been tested yet, because I have other projects to finish, but there shouldn't be too many bugs. It's a very simple pattern. A worsted weight yarn should do the trick (I'm really just guessing here. Take care to adjust your needle size and gauge for whatever you're making a cover for). Here's what I'm basing it off:

OK then, now that that's cleared up, on to the pattern itself. I have it in three versions. The first is a knitting chart for those who abhor written patterns. Then I have instructions for working a flat panel. Finally, I have written in-the-round instructions for a no-seaming version of the pattern. Here goes:


Following the chart, knit first the first 6 rows, then rows 7-22 four times, and finally rows 23-30.

Grey: purl on RS, knit on WS
White: knit on RS, purl on WS

Written Instructions - flat panel:
CO 38 sts. Starting with a knit row, work 5 rows in stockinette stitch.
Row 6 (WS): [p2, k16] twice, p2.

Row 7 (RS): [k2, p1, k14, p1] twice, k2.
Row 8 (WS): [p2, k1, p14, k1] twice, p2.
Row 9: [k2, p1, k2, p10, k2, p1] twice, k2.
Row 10: [p2, k1, p2, k1, p8, k1, p2, k1] twice, p2.
Row 11: [k2, p1, k2, p1, k8, p1, k2, p1] twice, k2.
Repeat rows 10 and 11 five more times.
Row 22 (WS): [p2, k1, p2, k10, p2, k1] twice, p2.

Repeat rows 7-22 three more times, until you have eight panels.

Row 23 (RS): [k2, p1, k14, p1] twice, k2.
Row 24 (WS): [p2, k1, p14, k1] twice, p2.
Row 25: [k2, p16] twice, k2.
Row 26: k all.

Work the last four rows in stockinette stitch. BO all sts. Make two of these.
Seaming: place the right sides of the panels facing one another and sew the two long edges and one short edge together. Turn inside out and you’re done!

Written Instructions - in the round:
Using a sock cast on, CO 38 pairs of sts (76). Begin working in the round. Starting with a knit row, work 5 rounds in stockinette stitch.
Round 6: [k2, p16] twice, k4, [k2, p16] twice, k2.

Round 7: [k2, p1, k14, p1] twice, k4, [k2, p1, k14, p1] twice, k2.
Round 8: Work as round 7.
Round 9: [k2, p1, k2, p10, k2, p1] twice, k4, [k2, p1, k2, p10, k2, p1] twice, k2.
Round 10: [k2, p1, k2, p1, k8, p1, k2, p1] twice, k4, [k2, p1, k2, p1, k8, p1, k2, p1] twice, k2.
Round 11: Work as round 10.
Repeat rounds 10 and 11 five more times.
Round 22: Work as round 9.

Repeat rounds 7-22 three more times, until you have sixteen panels.

Round 23-24: work as round 7.
Round 25: work as round 6.
Round 26-30: k all (5 rounds).

BO all sts.

Happy knitting, Whovians. I also have a PDF version of the pattern available, if you want to save it on your computer. May the Doctor some day fly you away.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Eight Writing Tips

I've been slack, I know. University and all that. When you are at uni, you quickly learn to prioritise things. I'm sad to say my priorities run this way: uni>novel>blog. Sorry. Anyways, here's another post so I don't feel like a total slacker. I've gotten to thinking about what makes people good writers, having recently entered a writing competition and reaching the end of my novel. So, here are my thoughts on the matter, in the form of writing tips.

  1. Finish things. This is the first on the list because it also happens to be the most difficult to follow. Are you one of those people who has thousands of incomplete novels sitting on their hard drive? Pick one you like, and complete it.
  2. No editing allowed. Yes, half of what you write will be rubbish the first time around, but write it anyway. As someone once said, 'you can't edit what you haven't written'.
  3. Go with gut instinct. You may be the most meticulous planner in the universe, but if you come up with a plot twist while you're writing, implement it, for heaven's sake! Always be open to changes to your original plot. It can only be made better by your edits.
  4. Develop your writing style. By this, I mean you shouldn't try to copy other people's writing. It will sound shallow. Write things; small things, silly things, stupid things, until you are comfortable with the way your words come out.
  5. Set yourself a daily target. Writing a little every day can have a more positive impact on your quality of writing and your writing habits than anything else. Make yourself a spreadsheet if you like to track your progress. Remember, every little bit that you write contributes to your novel.
  6. Be realistic. A novel is not written in one sitting. Hell, even a short story takes lots of editing. Keep in mind that it won't appear over night.
  7. Read a lot. I'll tell you a little secret about inspiration. Inspiration comes from all of the little things you've read and done and experienced, mushed up in your brain and spat back out as original ideas.
  8. Have fun! This is the most important thing. If you're not writing because you're enjoying it, your writing will have no soul.
This is all I can think of at the moment. I may update this list later when I have time. Until then, happy writing! May your fingers never falter.

Friday, 8 March 2013

A Fantasy Serial - Chapter 2

It's been forever, I know. Blame it on the fact that uni has started and I have been flat out. My writing speed has even decreased, by more than half. So yeah, I'm feeling the strain. But I'm also feeling a little guilty for neglecting this blog, and so I feel I need to post now. So here is the next installment in my fantasy serial, which I feel has been particularly neglected. Enjoy!

Those days I desperately wanted to fall in love. I wanted it all; the joy and tenderness of a first kiss, the feeling of a heart ready to burst with gladness. The giddy sensation of reciprocation, knowing someone loved you back perhaps even more than you loved them. I wanted to marry, have children, and wake up every day next to the person I cared for. These were the desires that most filled my heart, their presence filling me with longing. So it came as a shock to me when I realised that the first man to stir feelings within me was the one who had robbed me that night.

I only realised later, when I re-examined the events of that evening. The soft touch of those dark hands had made me shiver, but with desire rather than fear. So too had my breath caught in my throat, and my pulse quickened. My mind had been too fogged with confusion to read the signs properly, but I had read enough to realise that I was attracted to him. I knew also with enough certainty that we would probably never meet again.

It hurt to think that a possible lover had come and gone so quickly, but I was certain that someday soon I would find someone else. I put the events of that night out of my head, and continued with my existence. Parties, gatherings, all served to keep me entertained, but every time I saw thick black hair it pulled me back to that moment. The more I struggled to keep him out, the more I thought about it.

I constructed a little fantasy around him. In my head, I called him Nathan. We would see one another behind my aunt’s back, meeting at the spot where he had ambushed me. He would take me to the secret lair where he stored all of his stolen treasures, and we would kiss passionately until I had to go. Oh, how I ached for that fantasy. It made my heart bleed to know that it had slipped away.

I took to wandering the streets at night, reminiscing and fantasising. I always carried a knife since I had been robbed, but I didn’t know if it would help or even if I would be strong enough to use it. But I carried it anyway, lending myself some extra courage by feeling its handle concealed in the folds of my dress. But always within me I carried the vain hope that one day soon, chocolate coloured hands would close around my mouth once more. It was stupid and self-destructive, but I wanted it. So I kept walking the streets, regardless of the danger.

It was on one such night that I found myself walking in a place I had never been before. The moon shone brightly on the cobblestones, and though I was lost, I found myself enchanted by the sight. I was on the edge of the city, where the river met the sea. This was the working part of town, where the poor slept. There, floating on the surface of the water, was a single rose. I reached for it carefully, trying to keep my fingers dry. I fingered the petals carefully, feeling their softness. As I did, a single petal fell.

“What have you done?” There was a shout from the darkness. It was a voice I recognised, though the tone left me fearful instead of relieved. This was the dark-skinned thief, and he was angry for some reason.
He came up behind me, and I spun around. His face was terrifyingly angry, and I cringed away. He grabbed me roughly by the arm and I tried to pull away. His grip was too strong, and I found myself being led somewhere. My hand found the hilt of my knife, but I didn’t pull it out. As stupid as it sounded, I was curious to know what I’d done to deserve such wrath, and I didn’t want to risk hurting my dark fantasy. So I let myself be led into the unknown, feeling strangely exhilarated.

I could only hope I didn’t regret it later.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

My New Shawl

Of which I am dang proud, so here's a picture.

The pattern is frozen leaves, which can be found here. Although, it really doesn't hurt to have the reworked charts on hand, as can be found here (you need a Ravelry account). But that's beside the point. What I really want to talk about is the similarities between knitting a shawl and writing a novel, as occured to me when I finished my shawl. They really are quite striking.

Step 1: The Beginning
You've decided what you want to knit/write, and set about your task with speed and dedication. The intial work passes quickly, leaving you wondering how quickly you'll have it finished. You start daydreaming on how it will look/read once it's finished.

Step 2: The Dreaded Middle
As the stitches/words rack up, things start moving slower. You realise that it is going to take longer than you thought, and maybe turn out quite differently than you expected. At this point you may take some time out from your project and pursue something else, promising you'll return to it. This is the stage at which your work is in the most peril of remaining a work-in-progress forever.

Step 3: Completion
You find that as your work nears the end, you become more and more excited. You speed up your progress as you near the end, vowing to have it finished soon. Finally you knit/write that final stitch/word. The End!

Step 4: Or maybe not...
Before you can say that you've completed it, you need to turn this...

...into this.

And that takes work. You want to show it off, but first it has to be perfect. So, on to the blocking/editing. Most of the work is done, but there are a few tweaks that need to be implemented. Finally, now you can wear/read it!

And that is why you need to think of your novels as lace shawls. You wouldn't leave a half knitted shawl lying around, would you? I know I wouldn't (as demonstrated by my completion of this masterpiece). Just think of your work as a bunch of yarn lying in your room, taking up space and screaming at you to finish it. It needs to be dealt with, so deal with it.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Keeping Track

Now, if there's something I am, it's an excel nutcase. I use it to keep track of everything, from uni timetable to writing. Incidentally, it is the last one I am interested in today. There are several spreadsheets available online to do with tracking your writing achievements/goals. Since I am so particular, I didn't like any of them. So, being the person I am, I decided to make my own. And here they are!

The NaNoWriMo Spreadsheet
This one is to track your progress both during NaNoWriMo and to help you set a goal for subsequent months. Simply plug in your wordcount for the day and your goal for the given month, and the spreadsheet will do the rest for you. For continuing projects, there is the existing wordcount box, which lets you plug in the words you already have so as not to mess up the average words per day box or the 'Daily Goal' column.

The Writing Log
This one is for those who don't need a goal, or who can't be bothered to write every day. Plug in the date in dd/mm/yyyy format and your total wordcount, and watch the percentages climb. You can customise the daily wordcount goal, but it won't affect any other part of the spreadsheet. Your total wordcount goal is just a point of reference and a way to calculate the percentages, giving you something to shoot for.

A couple more things before I go and actually do some writing. Please do not mess with the formulae unless you know what you are doing. Otherwise excel could have a spaz attack and spit out error messages. If you find any errors (the spreadsheets haven't been tested by anyone other than myself) please let me know and I will fix them. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Infodumps: The Fact Sheet

Now, I know the words 'infodump' and 'fact sheet' are scary, but stay with me at least for a little while. These ugly babies need to be dealt with wether you like it or not, so let's get started.

What is an infodump?
An infodump is a chunk of text where the author attempts to explain/justify their plot developments through long passages of rationalisation. These will often contain overly complex scientific or supernatural phenomena which strain the boundaries of plausability. They should not happen.

Why shouldn't it happen?
There are a couple of reasons why infodumps should not exist. The first is that if you have a plausible and well crafted plot line, there should be no need for infodumps. If you are adding infodumps it may be a sign that you are trying to push the plot in a direction it shouldn't go. The next is that there are really simple things you can do to avoid the need for an infodump, as explained below.

What can I do about it?
  1. Show don't tell. This is the simplest and most straightforward way of avoiding an infodump. If there's something you want to explain about an event, write a flashback or a diary extract or something.
  2. Your characters should not be know-it-alls. What this means is that if there is a concept you want to explain, have you characters discover said concept instead of having it handed to them on a platter by an all-knowing being or having the characters explain it to the readers. Not only will your readers understand the concept better than with an infodump, but your characters get to feel smug about having found something out. Double win!
  3. Let the story go where it will. If there's a concept earlier in the book which doesn't fit with what you're writing now, either bin it or write something which fits with what you already have. That way you don't need any infodumps to fix your convoluted plotline, and you aren't sending your readers to sleep.
The worst kind of infodump.
This is so annoying it needs a section all on its own. There is a certain kind of infodump which trumps all others. For the sake of categorisation, I'm calling it the series infodump. It's that block of text you get at the beginning (and sometimes throughout) the continuation of a series of books, explaining the events which happened previously. It's often written as such a short synopsis of what happened in previous novels as to be no use whatsoever to the person reading.

How to fix it? Screw the people who haven't read the last book, and I mean that seriously. If they didn't put the time or effort in to do so, they cannot expect you to sum it all up in a few paragraphs. Think of it as tuning in half way through a conversation. You may miss some things, but you'll pick up on stuff fairly quickly. By all means refer to events in previous novels, but do not go out of your way to explain them. If they want to know what happened, they can just read the book they skipped.

Now I hope you take at least some of that on board. There is absolutely no reason for an infodump, and I hope never to see one again. Unfortunately that probably won't be the case. Even the best writers end up with infodumps. Take Vampire Academy, for example. The constant restatement of events (the series infodump) turns an otherwise thoroughly enjoyable series into a cringe-fest worthy of a sit-com. And that, my friends, is nothing if not a damn shame.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

NaNoWriMo Wristers: Knitting Pattern

Hey there, I thought it was time for another post. This time something I knitted for my sister for christmas. I still need to make myself a pair, but for the moment may I present: NaNoWristers! These are the perfect way to show of your proud NaNo win (or participation) on your wrist.

Pretty cool huh? And not that difficult if you know how to double knit.

One ball fingering weight yarn in purple
One ball fingering weight yarn in white
(or you can mix it up, whatever colour you like)

One set double pointed needles or a circular needle.
Extra dpns for binding off.

A small amount of scrap yarn.

Gauge is not imporant, just make sure it's small.

Using this method, cast on 39 pairs of stitches in the round, then knit one more row. If you don't like that cast on, simply cast on and knit three rows in the round. Make sure your colours are the right way around, remember that the reverse side will show mirror writing.

Begin knitting the pattern using the charts below. Since I am a dpn user I like to draw a line on my chart where each needle starts and ends. This helps me to keep track of my work. Once you've finished knitting the chart, knit three more rows.

Take a strand of the main 'background' colour you are using, and cut it leaving an end at least three times the length of your wrister. Using extra dpns, divide your stitches ont two needles, separating your colours. Then, graft your stitches together.  Knitty has a wonderful page on it here. You're done, rejoice. Now you just need to make a second one.

You can mix and match these charts as much as you like, which is why I have included charts for the numbers 0-9. These can be squished up further if necessary. Note the space at the end of each chart. This is there so that the words don't run into one another. Whatever you do, don't forget the space!

That's all for now! Happy knitting.