31 January, 2008

FO: Evangeline

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:28 pm by rynserenity

So warm!

Pattern: Evangeline from the January 2008 Magknits
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted, scrounged from the depths of The Stash.
Needles: Crystal palace US 7 circulars (knit using Magic Loop)
Modifications: None. I knit the elbow-length version, because wrist-length gloves irritate me.

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Appreciating the Craft

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:22 pm by rynserenity

(“the craft”, as in knitting, not “the Craft”, as in Paganism/Wicca, although I am a practicing Pagan.)

It has been Very Cold here in Berkeley. Like, I can see my breath in the freaking car cold. Thank goodness I knit, or I would have lost the feeling in my fingers about a week ago. I’m sitting at the computer, and I am wearing my newly-finished Evangeline Gloves (F.O. above), a pair of hand-knit socks, and a hat. I am quite warm, and my family is quite warm. My mother is, I believe, wearing her birthday scarf from last year.

Winter is the time of the year when our craft is appreciated the most, I think. People have a real, genuine need for warm, wooly objects, and us knitters are the ones to supply them. Because a sweater from Target/K-mart/what have you is not nearly as warm as a hand-knit sweater. Partially because it’s usually thicker, and better constructed. And then there’s the love. Oh, yes, the love. Feel it, you must. Hmmmm… (so says Knitterly Yoda. C’mon, you know the little green dude knits. It’s fairly obvious.)

ANYway, back to the original point. Winter is not only the time when I’m appreciated for my skills (not those skills. Only The Faery appreciates those), but it also includes the birthdays of some of my very favourite people, including the illustrious AntChris, who was kind enough to guest-blog for me whilst I was away in Hawaii for two weeks. Last Tuesday, she celebrated an undisclosed number of years, as it was her birthday. I won’t be posting a picture of her, partially because I sadly have no good pictures of her, and she’s a bit more protective of her internet identity than I am.

Happy birthday, Chrissie. May the year be good to you (and I hope you finish that scarf soon. It’s very pretty), you silly Swedish Aquarius, you.

26 January, 2008

Emotional… Knitting?

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:41 pm by rynserenity

Sorry I’ve been gone (and haven’t posted an FO for the Argosy scarf), guys. This week’s been crazy busy. I had a big deadline for my Illustration class, and I got a wicked nasty cold that zapped me of my ability to do much besides drag myself to school and knit. I was also introduced to the wonderful world of dietary restrictions this week, which has made me fairly cranky. I have this lovely little chart that’s taped up in my kitchen, detailing what’s “allowed”, “eaten with caution”, and “restricted”. I was rather upset to discover that all nuts were on the list. One of my favourite comfort foods is marzipan, which is a sweet almond paste that can be molded into little shapes, or put inside chocolate bars. I coped with this realization by lying on the sofa and pouting a bit whilst doing this:

Yup, that’s three repeats of the Sun Ray Shawl. Since it’s knit top-down, I couldn’t really get a clear picture of exactly how big it was, so I shoved it onto some waste yarn and stretched it out my couch a bit. Looks a bit Faroese-esque, no? It’s not, I assure you. See?

I pinned it out a bit to see the lace pattern open up a bit, since it does get a bit, er, repetitive after a while. What I saw was certainly enough to lift my spirits:

Sun Ray Shawl, indeed. Just imagine how pretty this would look if it was beaded…

I’ve also been working on the Jaywalkers, but work on them has stalled a bit because they’re shoved into my school bag, and I’m kind of avoiding that area of the house because I have a paper to write that I don’t wanna. I turned the heel while at our weekly Dungeons and Dragons game last week, and there’s about 1″ of leg after that, as you can see:

Work on these has also been put on hold by the fact that it is wicked cold in the Bay Area (note to all the Canadians: shut up. I’m Californian, so 40 degrees fahrenheit is cold to me. Don’t you mock me), and I am in dire need of some fingerless gloves so I can knit on the train and not get frostbite. Apparently when I’m pissed off about something, I knit really, really quickly:

Seen here are is one almost-complete glove in a pair of Evangeline’s Gloves, from the newest Magknits. I saw these and thought they were the cutest things, and that they would give me an opportunity to practice Magic Loop (I own US 7 circulars, but no DPN’s, and I was impatient). I just have to knit the thumb:

and this glove’s done! I cast on for these Wednesday night; I finished them Friday night. Talk about stress knitting!

Tune in tomorrow when our heroine writes about her adventures of the three-day weekend. Hint: it involves lots of this

and these:

See you tomorrow!

14 January, 2008

PS. The Scarf Wasn’t Dry…

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:47 pm by rynserenity

(see previous entry)

Yep, I slept on the floor. It was pretty comfy, actually. See, I have this really uber-squishy comforter that I absolutely adore (hypoallergenic, too, since I have a string of health issues that are not related to nerdiness or knitting), so I cocooned up into that and fell asleep cozily.

The scarf was dry when I woke up.
I was not amused.

Anywho, we’re watching “El Laberinto del Fauno“, AKA “Pan’s labyrinth” in my Spanish class, which means I don’t really need to look up to read the subtitles (I’m semi-fluent in Spanish, and I’ve seen the movie three times), so I got quite a bit done on the second Jaywalker:

I’m just about an inch away from the heel turn, which means I’m nearly 75% done with the pair! Don’t believe me that they are fraternal, not identical, socks?

Yeah. They’re off by about half a pattern repeat. That’s going to drive me crazy.

On the less colourful side, since I finished Argosy (FO tomorrow, with potential “guest model”), I cast on for another shawl:

This is the crumpled beginnings of a “Sun Ray Shawl” (pattern from Elann.com), about 1.5 chart repeats out of five, in some mystery worsted-weight yarn that I had bought from the Depot of Creative Reuse for about $1.50 (there used to be two skeins. I’m not sure where the other one went). It felts, so I know it’s at least partially wool, meaning it will block. I hope.

This is a nice, easy pattern, which will hopefully aid into a smooth transition to the Spring Shawl Surprise, which started two weeks ago. I’m purposefully not keeping up with the clues this time, and taking it at my own pace. The shawl is turning out beautifully, though! I figure that the Sun Ray will be done in another week or so (if I don’t get impatient), and then I’ll cast on for SSS.

You know what the real kick in the arse is? The place I go for SAT tutoring (which is making me miss my regular Stitch ‘n’ Bitch, another sore point) is right across form K2Tog, one of my favourite LYS’s. Bummer.

13 January, 2008

Time Management

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:43 pm by rynserenity

Aagh. My computer has been slower than a snail on Sudafed today (hooray, alliteration), and it’s really starting to bug the hell out of me. I start to type, get about five or six words down (in my computer’s defense, I type really fast), and it kinda locks up for a minute or two. Totally crazy-making when you have Chemistry homework due second period the next day. This is, apparently, Exhibit A in the case that I need to manage my time better. This is Exhibit B:

I gleefully cast off for my Argosy scarf this morning, but between yoga, a dachshund who kept harassing my cat, and the SAT Book of Doom, I didn’t block the thing until 4:30 this afternoon. It is now 9:30, the scarf is still on my bed, and I have to get up for school at 6:30 in the morning tomorrow. This is starting to look like a problem. If the scarf isn’t dry now, then I will have to sleep here:

In a big nest of my cast-off blankets and comforters– and Jaques Custeau the Wonder-Cephalopod– on my floor (please ignore the pile of laundry in the background. That is, says my mother, exhibit C. Sue me, I’m a teenager). It’s going to suck having to get up tomorrow morning.

(Looking at this picture, I was just totally reminded of that one Gary Larson cartoon that features a postman saying something to his wife about “getting into a nest of weiner dogs”. Hah.)

12 January, 2008

Storms, SAT’s… SOS!

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:05 pm by rynserenity

Please pardon my temporary absence from the blog. Our area was hit by a massive crazy storm over the past week, and while my power didn’t actually go out (the lights flickered a bunch, though), my internet connection and my phone line has been extremely unreliable for the past few days. This was the view out my window last Saturday:

And this was what the trees across the street looked like:

Yeah, the wind was blowing that hard. I couldn’t get a clear picture of the trees. It was crazy. Luckily, the weather has settled down, and my connection is back to being mostly reliable. Dinner has been made, there are brownies in the oven, and there has been lots of knitting progress (hey, if I can’t blog, I might as well have something to blog about when I get back):


The astute (or… not) among you will notice that in the above photo, Argosy is draped across the Big Blue Book of Doom. The SAT’s are in freaking MARCH. I’ve been taking a lot of deep breaths and reviewing my Pre-Calculus notes. The following conversation happened in Barnes & Noble, when I was buying the damn thing:

Store Guy (who was giving me “the look” until he realized what book I was trying to buy): Aaah, the SAT’s. Don’t worry, you’ll do fine.
Me: Yeah, I guess so. Any advice for the test?
Store Guy: Relax, and don’t panic. The worst part is that it’s just a long test.
Me: People keep telling me that, but I’m panicking anyway.
Store Guy: Yeah, there’s really no way to avoid that.

Stupid Store Guy. Grumble, grumble. On the plus side, I’m almost done with Argosy! With a scarf like that, man, I’m bound to totally ace the SAT’s (for the non-US residents, the SAT’s are the tests you take when you’re a Junior/Senior in High School. How well you do on these tests can affect what colleges you get into, since they send your scores to all the colleges you apply to. It’s terribly nerve-wracking. Do you guys have tests like these in Canada? If not, when can I emigrate?). I love Noro, and I love this design. I’ll have to make the Argosy Shawl eventually.

Also, I started the second Jaywalker:

These socks will not be identical. I am trying not to let this bother me. They are for someone other than me, so hopefully that will help that twitch in my right eyebrow subside.

Ooooh, the timer just went off. Time to go get me some brownies!

PS. I am just a little bit terrified of the SAT prep book. I have this ridiculous notion that it is going to like, eat me in my sleep, or something. Someone please save me.

3 January, 2008

FO: Short Row Rib Scarf

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:19 pm by rynserenity

I just can’t help myself, I feel so chic and suave in this scarf:

Pattern: Short Row Rib Scarf, from Magknits Winter 2005
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay 100% wool, in the colourway Canyon.
Needles: US 11 circulars
Modifications: I only knit about 17 repeats, instead of the pattern’s 20, since I had less yarn and slightly thicker needles. I with I had had enough for fringe, but then the scarf would have been shorter than I would have liked (normally, I like my scarves looooong.)

Of Curry and Chestnuts…

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:14 pm by rynserenity

Yeah, I bet you’re curious now, because of the post title. There’s actually an amusing story, and it goes something like this:

I was at Pegasus & Pendragon, my favourite local bookstore, buying a calender (don’t you judge me. It’s cheaper to buy a calender when it’s been the new year for a few days already), when I spotted a cookbook on Asian noodles. Now, I have an affinity for cooking, and the book was only $6, so I snatched it up, and promptly went to the grocery store to get some fresh ingredients for dinner that night. I managed to get everything on my list but the last item: water chestnuts. They carried them at Safeway but were all out, Lucky’s didn’t sell them, and Giovanni’s (a tiny local grocery store) didn’t have them, either. Defeated, I went home to sulk boil pasta, and finish the first Jaywalker:


(Sock not shown on foot because they are a gift to someone who has smaller feet than me. I only hope that they fit her, because the sizing is based on an inconspicuous glance at her shoe size.)

I achieved a sense of smug satisfaction upon seeing the adorable little stripes in the ribbing at the top of the leg:

Then, for reasons not blog-worthy, I had to run down to the drugstore to pick up a few items. This being a Long’s, they have a section devoted to various imperishable food products, so I decide to get a bag of potato chips for our D&D game tomorrow. What do I find?

WATER CHESTNUTS.

I admit, there was a very un-ladylike moment where I clutched the can to my breast, held it aloft, and cackled madly. I think I now have some sort of file with the Long’s security people. I returned home victorious, made my curry noodles (they were delicious), and cast on a new project as a reward:


(The colours are much more muted in real life. Except for that stripe of acid green– that one’s right on.)

This not-so-clear picture is of the beginnings of my very own Argosy. The Noro Kureyon is really fun to work with, because it’s kind of springy, but fairly tightly-spun, so the stitches have a bit of a natural bias. The way they do the colour changes is really clever, too, I think. Great yarn. I may be going to Article Pract on Saturday, and I hear rumor they have some of the new Kureyon Sock yarn…

Also? Look what I finished:

And look how much yarn I had left:

Yeah. That was a really scary moment, there. Talk about extreme knitting. I think I’m going to go knit on my other scarf now.