31 May, 2007

Wake Me Up Before You Go-go…

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:17 pm by rynserenity

I have been so incredibly tired this week, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why. It’s like this weird, end-of-the-year fatigue that hits me during the last few weeks of school, despite the fact that we’re not really doing anything work-wise. Maybe it’s all the built-up stress of the year finally having a chance to release itself, and it’s hitting all at once. I don’t know.

One thing I do know, however, is that fatigue makes for lots of great knitting time! I’ve been flopped on the couch with the director’s commentary from Firefly playing, so I don’t have to pay too much attention to what’s going on in the show (because I’ve seen every episode of Firefly at least twice, some more than that (*cough*”Shindig”*cough*)), and I can just focus on Ziggy:

What you see here, my friends, is just under two and one-half repeats of the chart. The pattern itself is extremely easy, but the decreases change from k2tog to ssk (sometimes in the same row), and the sl1-k2tog-psso to k3tog, quite frequently, so you’ve got to keep an eye on the chart, or you might find that your zigs are suddenly zagging (wow, that sounds kind of dirty…).

I am still loving this yarn, and praying that I have enough for a scarf. I may have to scurry down to Stash and see if they still have any of the same dye lot left, because I am extremely paranoid about running out. If I don’t, then I’ll just have to figure out what to do with an extra skein of Melange. [sarcasm]Oh no whatever shall I do?[/sarcasm]

I’m taking a foreign film class at school, and since I suffer from a chronic inability to sit still, I needed something to occupy my hands that didn’t require a chart, so I’ve been plugging away at Shifting Sands. I am 87%  complete, which means a total of 83 repeats completed. Holy %*@$! How’d that happen? Apparently, I knit extremely quickly if I have nothing else to do…

Anywho, I’m running out of places to drape the thing while I photograph it, so I had to get creative:

Yes, that’s my ceiling fan. On one hand, I discovered that I need to add “dust the fan blades” to my “things to do” list:

On the other hand, I discovered that this stitch pattern makes for a great dust cloth (no offense to the lovely Grumperina, designer of this pattern)! The dust came out easily with a little spritz from my handy-dandy water-filled spray bottle.

And, of course, I just now had to realize that Shifting Sands will grow during blocking, which means that I may not have to knit the full 95 repeats. Woo-hoo!

Although I may just do it anyway, because I’m neurotic enough that I freak out when the plans change, even if they’re good plans. Someone pass me the black tea…

PS. Since I will be out of the house (Friday is gaming night, so I’ll be up all knight night pretending to be a druid and kicking ass), here’s this week’s Eye Candy Friday, a day early:

I’m not sure what it is, but it’s pretty! See you guys Saturday (or Sunday, if I’m really a space cadet)!

29 May, 2007

Look! Knitting! (and a meme)

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:22 pm by rynserenity

So, I’m feeling much better, compared to how I was feeling yesterday. My mother let me sleep in, and after waking up at about 10:00 this morning, I attempted to eat again, and everything stayed down. I went to school, and I seem to be doing much better, except I’m still extremely tired.

So, like I said yesterday, I’ve been knitting, but slowly, since I’d knit a few rows, fall asleep for ten minutes, knit a few rows, fall asleep in the middle of a row, wake up, rip out three rows, etc. If you remember back to last Thursday, I ended up frogging the Kelp Leaves scarf and cast on for Ziggy, from MagKnits. I’ve done about a repeat and a half:

Mmm, double yarnovers. This lace is basic stockinette, patterned only on one side, but the wrong side has you knitting into each loop of the double yarnover, which took some interesting needle acrobatics until I got it down:

(Finally! A fairly colour-accurate picture of the yarn!) I think it looks very pretty. I may have to experiment with double yarnovers a bit more…
Also, the chart for Ziggy is tiny, so I had to enlarge it in Photoshop:

But that made it a wee bit blurry, so I had to ink over all the symbols with my trusty 0.05mm Micron pen (Yay for being an artist/knitter/geek!), and that made everything much clearer.

That’s about all I’ve done knitting-wise for the past few days, so I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon and fill out the “Five Weird Things About Me” meme:

1. I am ambidextrous. I can do nearly everything with both hands, but for things like writing and drawing, I am usually a lefty. Surprisingly enough, I knit right-handed.

2. I have double-jointed shoulder blades. This really freaked out my bellydance teacher when she first saw me do that stretch where you hook your hands together behind your back.

3. I am completely obsessed with infectious diseases. Smallpox, Ebola, Marburg, the Flu; I love them all. The Hot Zone, despite being over-dramatized, is one of my favourite books. This also freaks a lot of people out.

4. I have a deep-seated loathing of shoes. I hate wearing them, and try to do so as little as possible. If I have to wear shoes, then I’m usually in sandals. I was very upset when I found out that my school has a “no open-toed shoes” policy.

5. Possibly due to the fact that I can be extremely Obsessive-Compulsive, and possibly because I’m just eccentric, all the books on my bookshelf are not only organized by genre, they are also alphabetized.

Since I don’t think anyone really reads this blog yet, and a lot of bloggers have filled this out already, I’ll cross-post this to my LiveJournal, and I can tag people there. Until next time, dear knitters!

28 May, 2007

Uuuuuurgh…

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:23 pm by rynserenity

Just got back from the ‘con.

I am sick. I have some sort of awful stomach bug. I am knitting, but it’s slow going, because I keep falling asleep in the middle of a row and having to rip it out because I lost my place in the chart.

I am also coming down off of a three-day caffine high (I work tech at conventions, so we have to stay up throughout all hours of the night).

Happy Memorial Day to the Americans reading this. Real post when I can keep solid food down.

24 May, 2007

Argh! Packing!

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:50 pm by rynserenity

 Or, “Watch Ryn be extremely neurotic– with pictures!”

So, I’ve been rushing around like a sheep about to be shorn (I was going to use the “chicken” metaphor, but I thought a wooly one might be more appropriate), trying to pack all my things for BayCon this weekend. BayCon, for those not in the know, is this big science-fiction/fantasy/gaming/general knerdy nerdiness convention down near where I live. It’s four whole days of geek paradise! Unfortunately, this means I’ll be away from the blog until Monday afternoon, so I won’t get to blog until then, unless I get lucky and some nice geek loans me their laptop.

So anyway, I’d happily finished my packing:

and was about to zip up my suitcase, when I realized that something was horribly wrong:

That’s right, dear knitters. My suitcase wouldn’t close! Even pushing on it didn’t help. Then I remembered:

My suitcase is expandable.

So I expanded the expanding part thingummy, and all was well in the world:

Until I realized: I’d forgotten to pack any knitting! So I unzipped it again, and was about to toss in my mother’s Kelp Leaves scarf, when I took a closer look at the pattern:

See that nice, neat, distinctive stem on the right-hand side? Guess what? There isn’t one on the left-hand side. I was very, very puzzled as to why this could be, so I ripped and re-knit the damn thing about three times when I finally accepted that it was most likely a chart error, and showed the thing to my mother. She agreed that it looked “wonky”, as she put it, so we spent a while looking through my pattern surplus (that’s really the right word for it, I assure you), and she selected Ziggy from the February ’06 MagKnits.

Sigh. Frogging. Well, at least I’ll have something to do on the long, long, long BART ride down the the convention…

See you all Monday! Hopefully with some progress.

PS. Still plugging away on Shifting Sands. I’ve gotten 66 repeats done, which means that I am 69% complete. Yay!

22 May, 2007

There’s Leaves, I Swear!

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:22 pm by rynserenity

I’ve been chugging along on my mother’s Kelp Leaves scarf, and at first I thought I was doing something wrong, but then I saw the leaves!

(scarf shown here with the Spring ’07 IK, which I finally got into my hot little hands a week ago) Can’t see the leaves? Here’s a close-up:

I’ve finished an entire repeat plus a few rows, and while the right side is coming out nearly perfectly, for some reason, the left side looks like it’s coming out a bit wonky. I’m going to knit on it for a bit so I can see what’s up with the “stem” on that side.

Also, I am almost certain that there is a chart error, but I think I may have fixed it. I found where the wandering stitch belongs, and have incorporated my own correction into my mental pattern notes (there’s a lot of those, by the way). I’m quite proud of myself. Also, I think I may have developed an addiction to Blue Sky Alpaca‘s yarns. It’s so soft! I just can’t put it down. I am seriously contemplating using it for my next piece of summer knitting:

Yup, the Clementine Shawlette from the Spring ’07 IK, except I’m not going to knit those weird doohickeys at the end. I see their function, and think they’re very clever; I just don’t want them on my shawl. I may end up just knitting it as a straight rectangle, but I like the idea of the sloping edges, too. I’ll have to see how it goes when I swatch with it. Yes, I am actually contemplating knitting it in orange, but a really pale lavender is tempting, too. *plot plot scheme scheme* I think I’m going to go turn on my fan and knit on the crack scarf some more.

PS. I’m still working on Shifting Sands, too, a little at a time. I finished another two repeats today, which puts it at 65% complete. Yay for progress!

21 May, 2007

Ryn’s Adventures in Pattern Mods

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:13 pm by rynserenity

So, I finally got to cast on for my mother’s birthday present today! Hurrah! Since this was my first time modifying a pattern, I decided that it’d be a good time to do some math:

And a close-up of my “detailed” pattern schematic, complete with blurry, illegible handwriting:

Lovely, isn’t it? Not as lovely as the Melange, though.

The skein, unwound, ready to being its’ new life as a regular ball of yarn.

The skein as a regular ball of yarn (is it just me, or does that look awfully small? I only have three balls of this stuff… gulp). The colour still refuses to photograph accurately. It’s not nearly that shade of electric blue, I assure you. Think the colour of the sky on a warm, cloudless day, then add in a few little green flecks.

The beginning of the Lace Leaf Wrap Scarf, which my mom has nicknamed the Kelp Scarf, due to its’ colour. I think it’s cute, so I think it’ll stay for now. There’s leaves in there. I hope…

But I digress. This yarn is such a joy to knit with! It is buttery soft, slides over the needles nearly effortlessly (but doesn’t slide off. You know what I mean), and– get this– doesn’t split. It’s great lace yarn!

So anyway, what I figured out is that I need enough stitches to to a 6-stitch-wide border of seed stitch on either side, and 21 stitches for the pattern itself, so I cast on 33 stitches. I knit happily for a few rows before realizing I had a wandering extra stitch. I’m thinking of ripping this back and casting on enough to put a little stockinette border on the other side (there’s one on the right-hand side, but not the left), to see if that’ll balance out the weird wandering stitch. But first, because I’m a glutton for punishment, I’m going to knit on it some more the way it is, to see if it’ll fix itself, or if it’s just a chart error. More later. I’m going to fortify my nerves make myself some tea.

PS. As of Wednesday, The Knerdy Knitter will be one month old! Hurrah! Time to go join some webrings… 🙂

20 May, 2007

Jeez, I’ve Been Busy…

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:23 pm by rynserenity

Whew! In the past four days, this is the first chance I’ve gotten to really sit down at the computer! Why is it that the end of the school year is always the busiest? I mean, really; I’ve got, what, three weeks left of school? And they’re heaping work on us like it’s mid-semester. Whew! I’ll be glad for summer vacation.

Anywho, I have managed to sneak in knitting time (keeps me sane, and from becoming too neurotic), and Shifting Sands has really grown!

See? I had to drape quite a ways across my studio desk (specially cleaned for this photo. My desk is never that clean. Ever. I’m an artist and a nerd, remember?) I had a lot of free time during STAR testing, what can I say? Anywho, the scarf’s 60 repeats long now, making it an estimated 63% complete. Woo hoo for fast knits! Out of curiosity, I draped it around my neck to check the length, and I’m very pleased with the progress:

Yeah, a bit uneven, but it still demonstrates the length fairly well. It’s definately plugging along. I’m really glad that this scarf’s almost done, because I finally secured the yarn for my mother’s birthday present (which I still need to work out the modifications for)!

Voila! Three delicious skeins of Blue Sky Alpaca’s Melange. This stuff is so fabulously delicious, and at only $9 a skein, it’s decadantly within my price range. I’ve been keeping a skein of it next to my bed, so I can pick it up and fondle it every now and then. I think the Faery’s starting to get a wee bit jealous… 😉 I can’t wait to start knitting with this stuff, but I won’t have the time to cast on until tomorrow, I hope *crosses fingers*. Since my mother’s birthday is in three weeks, I’ve really gotta get cracking on this project, so Shifting Sands and the Snowdrop are going to have to go on hold for a bit. I’ll try and keep the photos interesting by including “blog fodder” like pets and signifigant others. Coming up next time: Ryn’s Adventures in Pattern Modifying, or “why the $&%@^! aren’t I getting the right gauge?” or “Gods, I hope I have enough of this yarn,” depending on my luck. See you all tomorrow (if my homework doesn’t eat me)!

15 May, 2007

Puuuuurple Rain…

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:08 pm by rynserenity

Yeah, I’m on a song lyrics kick. I had an audition for a musical today, so I have an excuse. Things have taken a turn for the purple here in Chez Knerdy, as evidenced by my beautiful orchid, which apparently exploded when I wasn’t looking:

That’s just one of the monstrous blooms that are threatening to take over my office/studio:

Beautiful, aren’t they? The look so innocent, all shoved into the corner next to my bookcase, but I assure you, the minute I turned off the camera, they sprung forth again to obsure the bottom third or so of my bookcase, so I am no longer sure if I own either a dictionary or a thesaurus. This makes me very sad, because I love my dictionary (I know; neeeeeeerdy, but that’s the name of the blog for you!).

So, ignoring the orchid-y doom looming behind me, this week is STAR testing at my school. The STAR test is the standardized test that Californian public schools are forced to subject administer to their students. I always finish my tests with like, an hour to spare, so here’s how I’ve been spending my time:

Well, this and reading the newest Artemis Fowl book… Anyway, what you see here is a very large chunk of Shifting Sands, complete with half-gone skein of yarn (don’t ask why it’s in two balls like that. I’ll give you a hint: it involves my cat) and current yarn bag, AKA my regular purse. Since you all know how much I love percents and progress schematics, I decided to do a little math. I looked closely at the knitted fabric and determined how much “one repeat” really was:

then I measured out one foot, and counted out how many pattern repeats that equaled. Since I want my scarf to be approximately five feet long or so, I took that number and multiplied it by five:

1 foot = 19 pattern repeats
19 pattern repeats x 5 = 95 pattern repeats

So far, I have completed a total of 43 repeats, so we just use some simple math:

43 repeats / 95 repeats = 0.45
0.45 x 100 = 45% complete!

See, guys? Math is useful outside of school!

In other news, the Snowdrop is still growing:

and I made an exciting discovery:

The Shawl is almost a Wedding Ring Shawl! Well, it would be, if I was married, so I used my commitment ring instead. It almost fit all the way through mine, but I’ll try it with The Faery’s to see if it passes through his (his fingers are quite a bit wider than mine are).

Also, I reworked my calculations on the Shawl, and I think the end may be closer than I originally thought! See, in the original pattern, the Yarn Harlot has you work a plain stockinette triangle in the top of the pattern, but I decided to omit that.

So, I figured out how many “snowdrops” I would need to have in the row before preparing to cast off, which I figured to be about 25. With one extra repeat thrown in as the pattern calls for, that equals out to 51 repeats. At the moment, I have just finished the 47th repeat, which puts me at… *insert drumroll here*… 92% complete with the body of the shawl! Hallelujah! The end is near! Don’t get me wrong, I love this pattern, but the rows are so. damn. long. And, in true Harlot fashion, I have my eye on a few other beautiful shawls, like Spanish Dancer from knitty, and the Kiri shawl (yeah, jumping on the bandwagon a bit late, but I’m cool with that) by Polly Outhwaite of All Tangled Up. I’m going to go knit and scheme now. Mwahahahaha…

13 May, 2007

Le Jour de la Mère

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:54 pm by rynserenity

I hope all of you have had wonderful days with your mothers if they are still with you. Mine was simply sublime. We took my mother out to lunch, then had ice cream at Fenton’s, which is an old-fashioned ice cream parlor, complete with those awesome glass dishes and servers will those funny little paper hats. It rocks, and the ice cream is enough to give you diabetes, but it is so worth it. The Pagan Alliance Festival was a blast, too! The weather was great, the company was fabulous, and the sunburns… well, they certainly stand out, too. I got a great little pendant with the Faery Star on it:

But I’ve been knitting, too! Since we last saw it, Shifting Sands continues to grow:

Wow! This pattern’s moving along pretty quickly. I may end up giving it to my Spanish teacher, because she was admiring it, and won’t be teaching again at my school next year, sadly. Here it is again, with a ruler for comparison:

Your eyes do not deceive you; the scarf is indeed almost two feet long already. I like my scarves to be nice and long-ish, so I’ll probably make it a good 4.5-5 feet with fringe. Mmm, fringe…

Also, still making progress on the Snowdrop, albeit much more slowly, since I haven’t been around to knit very much. I plan on knitting on it later today, but for now, I think I’m just going to curl up with a book and digest the ice cream a bit. Until later, my dears.

10 May, 2007

The only thing keeping me sane…

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:31 pm by rynserenity

Here’s how I relax after finishing a final:

This picture was actually taken of me at complete random by… my Biology teacher. He brings his digital camera to school sometimes, and I noticed him taking some pictures of me and my knitting, so I asked him to transfer them to my laptop via my flash drive. This was the best one, I think. See? People do get the whole “can you photograph my knitting for my blog” thing!

So, as you can see, I’ve been making good progress on the Shifting Sands scarf while I wait for the my mom to pick the yarn for her birthday present this weekend. Here it is, in all it’s beautiful, textured glory:

Yes, that’s a ruler next to the scarf. It is now officially more than a foot long. I’ve had a lot of free time on my hands lately, and I expect more to come soon, because STAR testing is next week. Mwahahaha.

I love the way this scarf feels as it’s knitting up. It’s wonderfully soft and sproingy, with just enough structural integrety to stand up to even the most biting winds (not that we get a lot of that here in the Bay Area). The colour, however, is such a bitch to photograph accurately. At least I finally got it to stop coming out as denim blue (how the *@$&%! does that happen?).

Ah, well. At least the Snowdrop has been making progress. I got two more repeats done on Tuesday night, which makes the shawl body roughly 79% complete! W00t, I say. W00t! And now, I do believe I have some knitting and some fresh cinnamon bread calling my name. Good night, gentle knitters!

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