30 April, 2007

R.I.P Kurt Vonnegut

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:02 pm by rynserenity

We inturrupt your normal blog content today to honor a great, honorable man. On 11 April, Kurt Vonnegut left this world at the ripe old age of 84, to go on to the “next great adventure”, and leaving behind a remarkable legacy. One of my favourite quotes of all time was said by him: “The only difference between Bush and Hitler was that Hitler was elected.” Brilliant man.

And so, in memorium, I will be reading The Sirens of Titan, which is a brilliant little book that I picked up used quite some time ago and have been meaning to read. I think I’ll just leave you with his famous commencement speech, delivered to the class of 1997:

“Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’97:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.”

Rest in peace, you crazy, brilliant man…

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29 April, 2007

I’m Back, Baby!

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:28 pm by rynserenity

After spending the weekend out of the house, it’s good to be back. I had a great time this weekend, seeing friends (and boyfriend’s friends), getting a hell of a lot of knitting done, and… sleeping. I’m serious, I’ve been asleep for most of today. Well, more like cat-napping. I’ll be awake for a few hours, then sleep for an hour or two, wake up again, go back to sleep. Later, rinse, repeat. Anyway, knitting updates!

I got a lot of work in on the Snowdrop, modeled by the lovely Jaques Cousteau the Wonder-Cephalopod:

He suffers with such dignity.

Have I mentioned how much I still love this pattern? Even though it gets a little repetative (no pun intended), I am still loving it. Hoorah for OCD. Let’s see, I got three more repeats done on Saturday, which makes the body of the shawl… 73% complete. Hot damn! I can’t wait to start on the edging.

The Cabled Headband continues to grow:

Close-up shot:

The lighting in my living room sucks. I really should stop photographing stuff on my couch. Anywho, remember that I was having a problem with the purl sections rippling? Well, I discovered the problem was solved when I taught myself to cable without a cable needle. I learned how because I kind of had to. I lost my cable needle. You wanna know what I was using as a cable needle?

Yeah. A circular. I need more sleep. Gonna go do that.

PS. I also got a new hat, and for some reason, the picture shows up sideways, no matter what I do never mind. I fixed it:

26 April, 2007

Life is Good…

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:04 pm by rynserenity

Man, I have just been rediculously happy for the past few days. Not that I’m complaining or anything, it’s just a little bizarre. I’m normally a content person, but I don’t really swing one way or the other. I’m just sorta neutral on life. But lately, I’ve just been, “wow, my life is great! I am having the most fabulous day every!” I’m a little weirded out. Stupid horomones…

Anyway, to furthur improve my good mood, the camera is back at home, and I present you with WIP pictures:

I have been making great progress on the Cabled Headband.

Standard detail/close-up shot. I think I may be addicted to cables now. And lace. I think I have to find a pattern with cables and lace now…

As I said yesterday, it’s literally all downhill from here. I finished the main increases and am now knitting the main part that covers the forehead. I am taking extra special care with this part, since it’s the part that will actually be prominantly displayed. The knitting was lightly pinned to my couch for this photo, but it naturally has a slight curve to it. Do you guys think this is normal? I’m really not sure.

Also, I’ve been noticing some slight puckering around my cable crosses lately. I thought maybe I was knitting too tightly, so I frogged the last cross and re-knit it, purposly keeping my stitches very lax. And yet, still with the puckering. I did notice that it evens out with slight stretching, which will happen naturally when I wear it, so I’m not too worried. Anyway, onto the next mood-enlightening project:

Since the Snowdrop is not really any noticably bigger, I present to you an “action shot”. This is where I do the majority of my knitting, since that’s where the best lighting is, and I’m close to the kitchen (I like to have something to munch on while I knit). My mother took this shot right as I was beginning a row, so it doesn’t look too terribly impressive, but trust me, this sucker is getting really big. Immediately after the picture was taken, I got sucked into the knitting vortex, and promptly finished another repeat. If I’m lucky, I might get two repeats done tonight! Hurrah! As of right now, the body of the shawl is now 69% complete!

I know, not much of a leap from yesterday, but I’m hoping to get some serious knitting time in this weekend. Man, this shawl rocks so much. I am still loving every minute of this pattern, even though I rarely need to look at the chart any more. I can’t wait to knit the border, and then block. I love blocking lace, like pretty much every other lace knitter out there. I love watching the pattern bloom and grow, I love bending wool to my will, and I love how fiddly all those little pins are.

See, I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and I get an immense feeling of satisfaction when I get something blocked out so that it is exactly straight, and exactly to the pattern’s specified dimensions. It’s almost like a little high for me. And then I notice that my curtains are crooked, and it’s onto the next thing, but that’s another entry for another day. I’ll be away from my computer (and the camera) for a few days, so expect the next entry on Sunday (hopefully). I’m going to go knit on my Snowdrop Shawl some more.

25 April, 2007

Mmm, Tolkien…

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:49 pm by rynserenity

Yes, a nerdy post. When I logged into Gmail this morning, there was an e-mail from Barnes & Noble informing me about a new book by J.R.R. Tolkien– who is, in my opinion, one of the greatest writers every– entitled Children of Hurin. Now, I am a huge Tolkien fan. I’ve read the Lord of the Rings so many times my copies are falling apart. I read The Simarillion, actually finished it, and enjoyed every minute of it. I am majorly excited about this book. Apparently, Tolkien never had a chance to finish it, so his son Christopher finished it, and it’s been published! I am so happy I could dance! Well, I did, but that’s a whole other story…

Anywho, I feel some celebratory knitting must happen! Anyone got some ideas for a vaguely Tolkien-esque pattern? I’m totally drawing a blank on this one. The closest I can think of would be this skirt, which looks semi-Elvish to me. Any thoughts?

Also, to keep with the “knitter” part of “knerdy knitter”, insert a picture of the Snowdrop looking roughly the same. Since I only work on it in the evening, and this thing is getting fairly huge, I can average about one full repeat a night, which is about four rows. Four rather long rows… but the end seems to be in sight! I’ve completed 35 repeats, out of a total of an estimated 52. I’m more than halfway there! In fact, lemme get my calculator, I am 67% done with the body of the shawl! Huzzah!

Also, insert picture of the headband looking quite a bit longer. Apologies for the lack of pictures; it would seem that my father took the camera into the office today (we own our own business) and forgot to bring it home. Hopefully, pictures tomorrow! As for the headband, I’ve finished all the required increases, so I just need to knit the main part for the forehead, and then it’s all downhill from there! Literally.

That’s all for now! Until next time, good knitters. I bid you all goodnight.

23 April, 2007

Current WIPs

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:57 pm by rynserenity

Every good knitblog should have lots of pictures, right? So, here we go with what’s currently on the needles:

This, my dear knitting friends, is my current large project. Ignore the paper in the lefthand side; it’s a Dungeons & Dragons character sheet (for a kick-ass Half-Elf Ranger, if you must know). This blog is called “The Knerdy Knitter” for a reason, you know…

Obligatory close-up shot. Mmm, lace… Yes, this project is, in fact, the “Snowdrop Shawl”, by none other than the fabulous Yarn Harlot, who can be credited as the inspiration for starting this blog. She once commented on a young knitter she saw, and wrote, “Someone get this girl a blog and a camera.” I took it as a challenge, so I got myself a blog (I already had a camera), and set up shop. I figured there weren’t nearly enough teenage knitters with blogs out there already, so I set off to prove myself. Well, that and to prove to my gaming group that knitting CAN be knerdy nerdy…

Since this project is too big to take on public transit (I commute to school), here is my “travel project”:

My apologies for the horrible lighting of my living room. Anyways, this is the beginnings of the “Cabled Ski Headband” from One Skein Wonders: 101 Yarn Shop Favourites, which is an awesome book. I’m not biased just because my LYS has a featured pattern, no… As of right now, I love this pattern. It’s my first attempt at cabling, and I think it’s coming out pretty well for a first attempt. Luckily, this is the part of the headband that goes at the back of the neck, so nobody will see my crappy beginnings. I had a few rough starts with the *&^%($! provisional cast-on (another first for me), but after that, things were going smoothly. This is a really cleverly-designed pattern, I think; the provisional cast-on is grafted together with the end to form a seamless, comfortable join, and the band is gradually increased for maximum forehead coverage. It’s a fun, quick pattern. I might have to make one for a friend whose birthday is coming up in a few days…

Does anyone else notice a recurring white theme here? This worries me… at least both yarns were cheap. The laceweight is nearly 3,000 meters of 100% MERINO. You read that right. Merino. Guess how much it was? $15. For all of it. I had to sit down for a minute when I read the tag. The yarn for the headband was some generic soft arcrylic I picked up at my local thrift store. It had no label, so I have no idea what it is. I like the way it looks, and it’s soft, so it’s all good. I am not particularly a yarn snob. When you’re a sophmore at an art school, you can’t afford to be.

Well, that’s all I’m working on as of now! Once the headband’s finished, I’m thinking of starting something for summer. Possibly some sort of lacy tanktop. Methinks The Faery would like that… 😉

Hello, World!

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:03 am by rynserenity

Hello, all! Welcome to my little corner of the interweb. I’m relatively new to this whole “knitblogging” thing, but I thought I’d give it a shot. My first attempt failed miserably, because I had originally used Squarespace, and discovered that I could not afford a membership, as I am a poor art student without a credit card or Paypal. Yes, that’s right; a student. I’m sixteen, I knit, and I love it. I admit it, and I’m proud of it. 🙂

Anywho, here’s hoping that this attempt goes a wee bit smoother, and that I actually remember to update on a consistant basis. Let’s start things out with some pictures, shall we?

This.. is me. The Knerdy Knitter in all her glory. The picture’s a wee bit outdated, but it’s one of the best ones I can find as of right now.

This is Diva, the most neurotic Miniature Dachshund ever, who seems hell-bend on crawling into my lap every time I sit down to knit, especially if the project in question is particularly delicate… or white. Stupid affectionate animals… She has a brother, Louie, but he pretty much leaves me alone. I think he might be afraid of the needles, poor thing…

And lastly, the other member of this “blog family”. This is my darling boyfriend, whom I will simply refer to as “The Faery”, to preserve what little dignity he may have left after this. I may call on him to model the current work-in-progress. He likes the camera and is very silly (He’s an actor. What can I say?), so expect wackiness to abound, which is just the way we like it here in Chez Knerdy. No, he’s not normally that suave-looking. He was dressed up for a formal meal we had recently. I think he looks tres sexy, non? But I’m biased… 😉

Well, I do believe that’s it for my first post! Who knows what’s to come. I’m looking forward to maintaining this blog and maybe even meeting more teenage knitters! Who knows what we can accomplish?