30 August, 2007

Aaargh…

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:56 pm by rynserenity

So, school is officially back in season. I got my schedule today (which I’m actually pretty happy with!), classes actually started, and I even have homework! I’ll rant about that over on my LiveJournal, though. This is for the knitting.

Yeah, I’m still finding time to knit. School used to get out at 5:30, but we get out at 4:00 now; yay for a whole extra hour and a half of potential knitting time! Anyway, I decided that since I won’t be able to get to my LYS until Saturday, I should start a new project! This one’s semi-portable, so I can take it on BART with me, and it’s nice and mindless; just plain stockinette for most of it. I’m knitting the Folds of Function Pocket Pouch from Folk Bags: 30 Knitting Patterns From Around the World by Viki Square:

I love, Love, LOve, LOVe, LOVE this pattern! It’s so simple and elegant, yet casual, too. The shaping is also really ingenious. What I’m NOT looking forward to, however, is the 26″ of i-cord that I have to knit for the drawstring. Have I mentioned that I do not enjoy knitting i-cord? Ugh. It’s so worth it, though. I love this bag. Here’s how far I’ve come:

Sadly, I didn’t have any orange and yellow yarn in my stash, or else I would have totally knitted it in the given colours. The base colour is really more of a blue-grey then the photo shows it to be, sadly. My chosen contrast colour is a nice dark blue (also with a little grey in it) that reminds me of a sapphire if it was, y’know, an opaque colour.

As for Sagittaria? I did another repeat of Chart II, bringing the total up to five of seven. Thank god I’m almost done with this section; it’s starting to get really boring, and the rows are at the “Oh, my god, I’m going to kill someone if these bloody stitches multiply any more” stage. Sigh. Insert a picture of it looking slightly bigger, but pretty much the exact same as it did in my last post.

That’s all for tonight. I have homework to do. I’ll be back on Saturday, hopefully with more yarn, and maybe even another FO!

28 August, 2007

FO: The Pool Socks

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:03 pm by rynserenity

Victory!

Pattern: My Own (sorta)
Needles: Susan Bates US1 DPN’s (set of four, since that’s all my LYS had in that size, that I could afford)
Yarn: Pagewood Farms Hand-dyed Sock Yarn in Turquoise
Modifications: None, since this was basically my own pattern. I got the base numbers from the Basic Toe-Up Formula, then did the rest myself.

I can’t wait to cast on for my next pair!

I Was Going to Update…

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:56 pm by rynserenity

…but then school started, and my life exploded. Yeah, today was my first day back, which means a lot less knitting time. I go to an arts school, where the school day is 8:00-4:00, and I have a thirty-minute commute. At least that means lots of sock, scarf, and hat knitting! Maybe I’ll actually get my holiday knitting done in time! (crosses her fingers)

Anywho, guess what I did while I was not blogging?

I finished the Pool Socks! Formal FO in the post right above this. These socks fit really well, and the cuff stays on my feet perfectly. Since they were my first pair, there are mistakes (of course), and they are about 2″ shorter than I had originally thought they were. I still ADORE them, though. I’m really proud of myself, and I can’t wait to knit my next pair! I think I may knit Vinnland next, and maybe try Magic Loop, too. That technique has always interested me…

Also, Sagittaria has grown quite a bit since we last saw her:


(why do shawls always seem to be feminine, anyway?)

I’ve finished four out of seven repeats of Chart II! I was really surprised at how fast those first ones went, but the shawl grows by four stitches a row, so the rows are starting to get a wee bit soul-crushing. I am starting to get really sick of this stitch pattern, and can’t wait to knit the bottom border, but look at how pretty it is!

(note to self: when boyfriend is over, ask him to take pictures of the knitting. It is easier with two people.)

It really reminds me of the shawl’s namesake, Sagittaria graminea:

This pattern is still fun because it’s a challenge for me. I’ve never knit a shawl top-down before, and I love to watch how it develops and how the pattern is absorbed into the stitches as they are added. It’s all really good data for me, especially since I’d like to design my own shawl some day. Also, I’ve never knit “true” lace (patterned on both right- and wrong-side rows) before, so it was fun for me to see how that worked. I love lace!

Oh, one more thing before I go: my preferred method of place-keeping while reading a chart is a post-it. Check out the spiffy new ones my mother got me:

Froggie! Agalychnis callidryas, or the Red-Eyed Tree Frog, to be exact. That’s all for now! Hopefully, more tomorrow or Thursday. Cheers!

21 August, 2007

Wow, I So Fail at Blogging…

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:21 am by rynserenity

[ETA: I was a total dumbass, and just found the camera. Post edited to add pictures.]

“Where the hell has she been?” you’re probably all wondering. Well, the truth is… I’ve kinda fallen off of the internet for the last five or six days. In the past week, I:

*Met up with a childhood friend whom I haven’t seen in almost a year.
*Drunk more coffee than I usually do in a month.
*Played more Dungeons & Dragons that is probably healthy.
*Went to see “The Wizard of Oz” with said childhood friend.
*Saw “Stardust” (which ROCKS) with different friends.
*Knit.

See? There’s been knitting going on! The Pool Socks:

On Friday, I turned the heel, and knit a decent portion of the leg (It’s amazing how much knitting can be done when you’re sitting around pretending to be a druid with your friends), and on Sunday evening, I started knitting the ribbed portion of the leg, which means two more inches to go, and I’ve finished my first pair of socks! Exciting in only the way knitting can be! I’ve really enjoyed working on these, but I’m ready for a challenge! For my next socks, I think I’m going to knit either Monkey or Vinnland.

Sagittaria:

Sadly, the Saggitaria Shawl had to be frogged, because I got cocky and used neither lifelines nor stitch markers, made a mistake I couldn’t figure out, and gave up.

But what’s this? you all say. There’s a shawl here! That’s because I re-cast on for her last night, this time using stitch markers cut from a drinking straw (that’s what those little pink things are), and made it through the first repeat (out of seven) of Chart II. I think she’ll go a bit more smoothly this time…

This is a non-knitting project, but it still falls under the designation of “knerdy”, so it gets talked about. Remember these?

Lately, I made a pair of earrings out of 20-sided dice for a friend of mine’s birthday. She wore them to our local gaming store, and they went CRAZY for them! She talked me up to them, or something, because now they want me to make some samples up and bring them into the store! If this works out, I will be majorly happy; yay for more yarn money disposable income!

I think that’s it for now, guys. See you all later, and happy knitting!

14 August, 2007

The Gears are Turning…

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:12 pm by rynserenity

Remember in my last post, how I said I thought I would take a break from lace and knit something sweater-y?

Yeah, I so totally lied.

I’ve been swatching for an idea of a lace project that’s been floating around in my head for a while: I want to design some kind of a shawl. The thing is, I’m not sure what kind I want to do yet, so I thought I’d play around with some different stitch patterns to see what I liked. The first one was called “miniature leaves”:

Fairly basic diamond-y type shape, stockinette-based, patterned only on one side. This pattern would be nice as a kind of “filler stitch”, like for the center of a square shawl.

The second swatch is for an edging from a shawl called “Tessa’s Shawl“:

This was garter stitch-based, and “true lace”, meaning it was patterned on both the right- and wrong-side rows.This was my first time doing lace of that sort, so that was interesting. I finally learned how to make purlwise yarnovers work! Woo hoo!

I wasn’t so crazy about how this knit up, so I moved onto the next pattern, which was just called “spider”:

For some reason, the rightmost spiderweb looks kinda wonky, kinda like that study where they gave spiders drugs, eh? I’m not sure if it’s a knitting error or an instruction error, so I may go back and knit more of this one. I’m thinking this may be a good border stitch for either a circular or triangular shawl.

The last pattern I swatched for last night was called “chain”. I only knit one repeat (like I’ve been doing for the others), but I couldn’t really get a good idea of the stitch pattern:

So I knit an additional repeat:

Oh. Chain. I think this one is my favourite out of the patterns I swatched, probably because it reminds me of celtic knotwork, which is a style I’ve explored a bit in my artwork. I think I’ll use this for a border in a square shawl, if and when I design one. For now, I decided I wanted to look at other designs, and learn a bit more about various methods of shawl construction.

Yeah, that’s my cop-out way of saying “I totally cast on for a new project”. I started the Sagittaria Shawl, which is GORGEOUS, and have completed one out of seven repeats of Chart 2. This part of the shawl is somewhat mindless, but still requires me to focus a bit on the chart, which is just the kind of thing my fingers are itching for!

Don’t worry, guys. The socks are still plugging along. Unfortunately, I don’t have a current picture of the second sock, so I’ll recycle a picture of the first one to give you an idea of how much I’ve knit:

I’m a little bit further than this, maybe an inch or so, and I’m about 1.5″ away from turning the heel! Thank goodness; I’m starting to get serious Second Sock Syndrome on these! >.<

More tomorrow, I hope. Cheers!

12 August, 2007

F.O: Snowdrop Shawl

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:39 pm by rynserenity

Holy bajeebas, this thing it monstrous:

Pattern: the Snowdrop Shawl, by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Yarn: Mystery lace weight, approx. 1,300 yards
Needles: US6 Addi Turbos
Modifications: I omitted the triangle of plain stockinette at the top of the shawl, and just continued in the pattern as set.

This shawl was a dream to knit! Okay, at the end, it got a little tedious, and I was all, “Just finish the damn thing already!”, but I perservered, and boy am I glad I did! I’m going to wear the shawl tonight after my performance at Cafe Bellie, which I need to go get ready for. Eep! More tomorrow, including what’s next after the shawl, and my other WIP’s. Later, guys!

7 August, 2007

Ha-HAH!

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:45 pm by rynserenity

It’s done! It’sdoneit’sdoneit’sdone!

Look! The Snowdrop Shawl is off the needles! I finally plunked myself down in front of the TV and finished the last four border repeats, then cast off so loosely I actually gave myself a hand cramp.

Words can’t express how absolutely thrilled I am. This was a project of first for me: First big lace, first shawl, first time picking up stitches. I feel like I learned a lot about shawl construction, and can’t wait to cast on for the next one! Although, I think I may take a short break from shawls and cast on for the Tangled Yoke Cardigan from the FallĀ  ’07 IK. I love Eunny Jang‘s designs, and the cable pattern on the yoke has special meaning to me, because it’s the same design that’s on my and The Faery’s commitment rings.

Ooh! Ooh! Also! I was rooting through the stash, looking for my yarn cutter, and look what I found:

Yarn pr0n! I found 157 yards of this pretty blue-green sock-weight yarn. This would be perfect paired with some black, or maybe darker blue, yarn. Maybe the Endpaper Mitts? Hmm.

Although, I’ve had an idea for a trapezoidal shawl floating around for a bit, too… maybe I could try my hand at designing something… but there’s also that roving I just bought, I really should start spinning that… and… and…

Methinks I’m going to go have a bit of a lie-down now.

PS. Socks? What socks?

5 August, 2007

My Preciousss…

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:37 pm by rynserenity

Haha! The new Interweave Knits! I have it! Hahahaha! Look, here’s proof!

Victory! (insert more cackling here) Ooh, the patterns are so yummy! I can’t wait to cast on!

Anyway, to get to the main point of today: the yarn crawl! Some other Ravelers and I met up at the Urban Knitting studio:

My apologies to everyone; I can’t remember all your names! But it was still great. We hung around and waited for people to show up:

In the finished project vein, Sarah was wearing her beautiful finished Arietta Cardigan:

It looks amazing on her! I still really want to knit this pattern; I love mosaic knitting…

After the Urban Knitting Studio, it was a quick Muni ride over to…

Ta-dah! ArtFibres, the mecca of San Fransisco yarn stores! First, we were all hungry, so we went to get lunch:

Then went on in. ArtFibres is AMAZING. I would live there if I could. The owner is super-nice, the selection is great, and they recently lowered their prices slightly, because they sell things on cones instead of in balls. I bought a bag of the softest roving, called Miso:

I was clutching the bag to my chest and giggling maniacally (hey, it was either this or Sari Silk. Either way, both are good choices). It’s this beautiful creamy sort of caramel-y colour, and its’ got just a wee bit of a shine to it, because it’s got a %15 soy content. Wow! It spins like a dream, too:

I have a tendency to over-spin my singles, since I’m still a beginner, but this yarn stays so incredibly soft! I think it wants to be spun a wee bit thicker, to retain the fluffy quality of the roving. Mmm, spinning…

In ArtFibres, Jen was trying to figure out how much yardage she needed, so Kiwi pulled out:

Her iPhone! There was an instant crowd around her:

After ArtFibres, we decided to bypass ImagiKnits, which closed in like, twenty minutes, and head straight to NoeKnits:

The NoeKnits staff were amazingly nice, and the store was well-lit, with comfortable chairs and a good stock. Not a lot of sock yarns, but lots and lots of Noro! Also, a good Manos del Uruguay selection. Mmm, Manos… NoeKnits were also the ones who had the new Interweave Knits! We were all majorly excited. I think pretty much all of us bought a copy.

Today was such great fun! Great yarn, great company, great knitting. I started the toe for the second Pool Sock. Hopefully, the second sock will go quicker than the first! I have such Second Sock Syndrome already… le sigh.

More tomorrow, including spinning! Hoorah for new roving!

4 August, 2007

V isn’t for Vendetta…

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:01 pm by rynserenity

… it’s for “victory”! Behold, my first sock, in all its foot-hugging glory!

(apologies for the blurries. It’s a bit dark, and my flash is on the fritz).

I am so pleased with how this came out! The sock fits me perfectly, and it’s very comfortable. The yarn was a dream to work with, except right at the end, when the picot bind-off was a bit of a pain in the ass. It looks adorable, though:


And here’s a picture of the whole sock:

The leg is a bit shorter than initially anticipated, though, but I decided that I liked these as almost-anklets. The amount of ribbing was just right, which was good; I was worried that it might be a bit too much.

Hooray, my sock! I danced around the house with the sock on, giggling maniacally, and weirding out my parents. You know what I need to do now? Cast on for the next one. Mwahaha.

Tomorrow: Ye Olde Great Yarn Crawl! Pictures! Bloggers! Yarn! Exclamation points!

1 August, 2007

(Insert Maniacal Laughter Here)

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:07 pm by rynserenity

I was browsing the LYS thread on the Bay Area Knitters forum the other day, and to my surprise, I found a post about a new LYS called K2Tog that had just opened up! I thought I had known about most of the stores around me that sold yarn and yarn accessories, so when I had some errands to run around that area of town, I jumped at the chance to go check it out!

K2Tog is in a great area of town, right next to a children’s toy store and a yoga studio (Only in the Bay Area…), in a tiny little store that used to sell musical instruments, I belive. The building is well-lit and very open, much larger than it initially looks. The selection isn’t huge (probably because they’re just getting off the ground), but they have one of the biggest selections of Cascade 220 I’ve seen in a while! So many colours! The book selection is also a little slim, but their prices on everything are really good, and they even have a sale bin (empty when I got there, sadly)!

One of my favourite things was how they displayed their notions: in those big glass jars you’d see in candy stores. It was so cute! The notion selection was excellent, too: pom-pom makers, safety pins, blocking wires, cable needles, and even calculators! They also had free dog biscuits for your favourite pooch (which struck me as amusing, because there happens to be a cat that lives in the store. Her name is Bastet, and she’s a sweetie).

The other thing I really liked was the fact that they had a “swatch bar”, where you could sit down, take your pick of needle sizes and styles, and knit a swatch out of any of the yarns they had sitting out. Your swatch is then displayed next to the stock of your chosen yarn. A very cool way of involving the customers in the store!

In short, I will definitely be visiting K2Tog again. Friendly staff, good prices, a really sweet cat, and comfortable chairs? I’m sold! I can’t wait to see what the owner(s) have in store for the knitting community!

Oh, did I mention that they’re also a certified Green Business? Just makes it all the better, in my book.

PS. Yes, I’ve been knitting. I had a doctor’s appointment today, so I knit on the Pool Socks a bit (unfortunately, I didn’t have to wait very long to see the doctor), and now I’m going to go off and work on the Snowdrop for a little while. More later!