13 May, 2008

It’s Dead, Jim

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:48 pm by rynserenity

Dang, why is it so hard to come up with creative names for blog posts? Meh. Well, you’ll get the title when you see what I did over my weekend. I had mildly injured my wrist on Friday and had to take the weekend off from knitting and painting, so I decided maybe it was time to finally block the Sun Ray Shawl (scroll down). After a little research on Ravelry, I came up with a few articles on using a hot iron to “kill” the arcrylic to block it and give it a better drape. So, I got out my iron:

pinned out the shawl:

Soaked an old pillowcase in water and spread it over the shawl:

And got to work:

(Note: blogging while ironing is extremely dangerous, and should only be attempted by a seasoned blogging professional. Don’t try this at home)

I used a hot iron, no steam, and ran it over the fabric until the pillowcase was completely dry, then let the shawl sit until it was cool to the touch, and it was dry, stopping every once in a while to admire the great texture of the undulating lace:

Unfortunately, it didn’t work as well as I had hoped it did. When I unpinned it, the fabric curled up a little bit again, and it shrank pretty substantially. When I try this again, I’m running it through the washing machine first, then pinning it out and ironing it. Hopefully, that’ll do it.

Now that my wrist is all better, it’s back to knitting for me! I’m approaching the end of the right sleeve of the Sunrise Circle; I’m hoping to finish it either tomorrow or Thursday. Looks like there’ll be an FO by the end of the week!

Also, while I was in a crafty mood, I made these:

Talk about recycled art! These were made from the side of a Peet’s cup, which always have the neatest designs on them. Hmm, maybe a bracelet to match? I have a collection of these cups sitting around…


7 May, 2008

FO: Calorimetry

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:38 pm by rynserenity

Pattern: Calorimetry from Knitty Winter 2006

Yarn: Crystal Palace Yarns Taos, colourway forgotten (I’ll just call it Electric Peacock for now)

Needles: US 6 Knit Picks Options

Modifications? Yes, but very minor. I just went down two needle sizes, from a US 8 to a US 6, in order to get it to fit my head more snugly.

This is the perfect pattern for a Californian! In my part of the state, you can almost always use a little something to cover up your head during the brisk mornings. And it’s small enough to get crammed into a purse when it does finally (I hope) warm up. I’ll definitely knit this again!

Pictures Again!

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:48 pm by rynserenity

Whew! It’s so good to have the camera back. I felt so awful about blogging with no pictures (Come on, I know that’s why you guys look at the website), but a blogger’s got to do what a blogger’s got to do, right? It’s such a relief to show you what things look like on my end. So, anyway, now that my blog’s in colour again, I can show you the pictures from Color: A Fiber Festival:

The event was fairly small, as you can see, but it was a gorgeous day! Knitters and spinners
everywhere: stretched out on the lawn, camped out on the stairs, spinning in doorways and corners. I even
got a few sock pictures! From left to right is one of the lovely ladies from A Verb for Keeping Warm/Tactile and the talented woman behind all the Tweed Chicken excitement (I’m so sorry ladies, I’ve forgotten your names!):

Now, onto the meat of the post. As I said before, I’m nearly done with the knitting portion of the Sunrise Circle. Here’s a nice picture of the left sleeve and back, loosely pinned so you get a general idea of the shapes:

The sleeves are larger than expected. Blocking this sucker is going to be exciting. I’m thinking of blocking the two sleeves on top of each other, to make them really symmetrical, but then the wool won’t dry, and that’s just all kinds of bad. Hmm. Looks like it’s the couch for me again later this week!

Since all my projects are a little… long term at the moment (jacket, shawl, socks), I needed something quick and easy. Enter Calorimetry:

This baby was done in two days! It’s finals week at school, so this went by lightening-fast. See the entry above for FO and details.

I finally have a little down time at home, so I’ll try to get some better pictures of Dem Fischer Sin Fru pinned out a little bit. I really want you to be able to see the beautiful patterns! More on that later. Tengo un examen de español que necesito para estudiar.

As for this guy?

Best. T-shirt. EVER.

30 April, 2008

Up in the Sky! It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane!

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:18 pm by rynserenity

No, it’s a blog post! Hey there, ladies and gents. I’m afraid that this won’t be a very interesting post, because my camera has gone on vacation with my dad, and won’t be back until Saturday. I don’t want to go that long without blogging (I need my fix, man!), so you get a slimmed-down post today. On the knitting front:

*I’ve finished the left sleeve of Sunrise Circle and am almost to the raglan/front shaping on the right sleeve. This pattern is so quick (because it’s knit with worsted weight wool, I suspect) and the shaping is fairly intuitive once you get it down. It’s just a lot of counting, which Ms. OCD here happens to like.

*The Monkey socks would have been finished… except I frakked up and knit a few too many repeats on both legs. We are taking a break from each other while I work out my frustration on something else.

*The something else: A few months ago, I bought a skein of Crystal Palace’s “Taos” in a great purple-y green/yellow colour, which is quickly becoming a Calorimetry, one of my most favourite patterns EVER. It’s the perfect last-minute gift, and it’s incredibly practical for the Bay Area. We’re at that point in our weather cycle where you get one day of hope for warm weather, and then it’s cold for the rest of the week. A head wrap is just the thing to chase away the wind!

*Dem Fischer Sin Fru continues to grow, but at a very, very slow rate. I’m nearly done with Chart 3, and the realization that I am only halfway finished, and that this monster is going to double in size, is just a little soul-crushing. I might have to cast on for something smaller to take the edge off. I’m trying to be lace-monogomous, really!

On the social knitting front, I went to Color: A Fiber Festival on Saturday and had a serious blast! The knitters and spinners were really nice, and I got some good sock pictures, not to mention some sweet loot: a skein of Kid Mohair in “Superfood” from A Verb for Keeping Warm, and a t-shirt with a drawing of a spinning wheel on it from the same vendor (this one. Seriously, if you’re a spinner, you need this t-shirt). I almost got some tussah silk roving in the most gorgeous electric blue colour, but alas, I was seriously out of money. I’d like to, you know, eat lunch some time this week, and I’d rather spin silk than eat it!

That’s all for now, folks. I’m hoping that the next post will have lots of lovely pictures for you!

25 April, 2008

Day of Silence

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:25 am by rynserenity

In the United States, today is National Day of Silence. Across the country today, students from different schools will be taking temporary vows of silence in support of the thousands of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender teens who can’t speak out for fear of physical and emotional violence. In honor of the day, here is a piece of writing that’s been circulating the web for a while. I thought I’d repost it today

I am the mother who is not allowed to even visit the children I bore, nursed, and raised. The court says I am an unfit mother because I now live with another woman.

I am the boy who never finished high school, because I got called a fag everyday

I am the kicked out of her home because I confided in my mother that I am a lesbian.

I am the man working the streets because nobody will hire a transsexual woman.

I am the sister who holds her gay brother tight through the painful, tear-filled nights.

We are the parents who buried our daughter long before her time.

I am the man who died alone in the hospital because they would not let my partner of twenty-seven years into the room.

I am the foster child who wakes up with nightmares of being taken away from the two fathers who are the only loving family I have ever had. I wish they could adopt me.

I am not one of the lucky ones. I killed myself just weeks before graduating high school. It was simply too much to bear.

We are the couple who had the realtor hang up on us when she found out we wanted to rent a one-bedroom for two men.

I am the person who never knows which bathroom I should use if I want to avoid getting the management called on me.

I am the domestic-violence survivor who found the support system grow suddenly cold and distant when they found out my abusive partner is also a woman.

I am the domestic-violence survivor who has no support system to turn to because I am male.

I am the father who has never hugged his son because I grew up afraid to show affection to other men.

I am the home-economics teacher who always wanted to teach gym until someone told me that only lesbians do that.

I am the woman who died when the EMTs stopped treating me as soon as they realized I was transsexual.

I am the person who feels guilty because I think I could be a much better person if I didnt have to always deal with society hating me.

I am the man who stopped attending church, not because I don’t believe, but because they closed their doors to my kind.

I am a warrior for my country serving proud, but can’t be my true self because gays aren’t allowed in the military.

I am the person who has to hide what this world needs most, love.

I am the person ashamed to tell my own friends I’m a lesbian, because they constantly make fun of them.

I am the woman who isn’t sure what she is. I am the who is rejected by her “best friends” because of a less-than-conventional crush.

I am the boy tied to a fence, beaten to a pulp and left to die because two straight men wanted to “teach me a lesson.”

13 April, 2008

And Now Back to Your (Ir)Regularly Scheduled Knitting

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:27 pm by rynserenity

Heh heh. Apparently, I just fail at being able to post on a regular basis. My only excuse is a lethal combination of end-of-the-semester craziness (all of my teachers decided, “Quick! This is our last chance to assign them massive amounts of homework!) and pure laziness. I hang my needles in shame.

I may be lazy, but at least I can’t sit still, so you know there’s been knitting. Remember in my last post when I talked about the Sunrise Circle Jacket? Well, I kinda sorta finished the back. In three days. Here it is in all its glory:

(my camera does strange things to stockinette texture. The fabric is not all swirly like that.)

I did only the roughest of jobs at pinning it out, as it is 88 degrees in the shade here, and I am an absolute wuss when it comes to the heat. Thank the gods for nice cool lace knitting! I keep looking at the raglan seams and thinking, “Are they supposed to be this long?” Then I double-check the directions, measure everything (yes, I swatched. Obsessively), and roughly try it on by draping it over me. It looks and feels correct, so on I go. I’m most of the way through the left sleeve:

(I am too lazy to pin this one right now. It’s just too hot.)

and I am totally enthralled by the construction. On one side, you do the decreases for the raglan, and on the other you do the increases for the front, and it all just sort of blooms out of the underarm. It’s like fracking magic. Here’s a close-up:

Have I mentioned how much I love, love, love the KnitPicks Options needles? They are so smooth and light in my hands, it’s like knitting with air! The cool metal isn’t so slippery that everything falls off, providing just a little bit of grab needed for making good progress on a project. The cable join is really smooth, although I have yet to put it up to the ultimate test (lace knitting) yet. I look forward to that.

Today, I drove up to Davis to visit the college there (and to hang out with my good friend Elisa, who’s a Bio major there), so that was a good two hours of car knitting. Out come the Monos Locos, of course!

There are 11-12 repeats on each leg, and I’m starting to get closer to the end. I think it’s time to separate that one big skein into two littler ones. I’ll do that tonight whilst watching more “Battlestar Galactica” (of which I have become Teh Addicted).

And now, I am off to get a glass of iced tea and work on The Fisherman’s Wife. Sunrise Circle will have to wait until the sun goes down.

8 April, 2008

The Painter

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:39 pm by rynserenity

So… I got tagged. For a meme. Again. But it was a fun one; I have no regrets.

1. Put Your iTunes, Windows Media Player, ETC on Shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
4. Put any comments in brackets after the song name.
5.Put this on your journal/blog.

1.If someone says, “Is this okay?” You say?
Numb– Linkin Park (haha)

2.How would you describe yourself?
Broken– Evanescence

3.What do you like in a girl?
Allegro Molto– Camille Saint-Saëns

4.How do you feel today?
The Ghost of You– My Chemical Romance

5.What is your life’s purpose?
Dirrty– Christina Aguilera (hah!)

6.What is your motto?
The Tenth Key– Luciftias

7.What do your friends think of you?
All Alone– Gorillaz

8.What do you think of your parents?
No More– 3LW (so not true, luckily)

9.What do you think about very often?
Give Me Novacaine– Green Day

10.What is 2 + 2?
So Cold– Breaking Benjamin

11.What do you think of your best friends?
Baby Got Back– Sir Mix-a-Lot (there are no words for this…)

12.What do you think of the person you like?
City of Blinding Lights– U2

13.What is your life story?
Perfect Time of Day– Howie Day

14.What do you want to be when you grow up?
Baby Boy– Beyoncé (snark, snark, snark)

15.What do you think of when you see the person you like?
Single Soldier– The Kinship

16.What will you dance to at your wedding?
To Know My Enemy– Hans Zimmer

17.What will they play at your funeral?
Firefly–Breaking Benjamin (oddly appropriate)

18.What is your hobby/interest?
Tell That Mick He Just Made My List of Things To Do Today– Fall Out Boy

19.What is your biggest fear?
Malioumba (flying man)- Cirque de Soleil

20.What is your biggest secret?
Liberti Fatali– Nobuo Uematsu, Final Fantasy VIII

21.What do you think of your friends?
November Has Come– Gorillaz

22.What will you post this as?
The Painter– Neil Young

On another note, I so can’t figure out this new layout of WordPress. There’s more gadgets then I’m used to; argh, where’s the post button?! Oh, there it is. Please excuse the learning curve. And I call myself a nerd…

1 April, 2008

What Happens in Vegas… pt. Deaux

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:29 pm by rynserenity

Gods dangit, guys. My internet connection is being really buggy again, and the computer’s just sluggish (I think it needs a good, hard… defrag. Hehehe). It’s taking forever to upload these guys. I’ll let the computer run overnight, and post the pictures into this entry during my study period at school tomorrow. D’oh!

Okay, everything’s working again. I’m on the school’s network, so I need to keep this short, but here it is, at last: Ryn’s Adventure in Las Vegas!

Sadly, I was only able to take one sock picture (It was either inconvenient to take it out, or I forgot), but at least it was at a sufficiently tourist-y location: The Hoover Dam.

Oh lordy, the water in the dam looked good. It is hot in Las Vegas! Keep in mind that where I’m from, the temperature rarely gets about 80 degrees, and even then, it’s considered a heat wave. Out here, it hit eighty repeatedly, and even spiked into the high nineties. This makes for NOT a happy knitter. Blech.

Other highlights of the trip include seeing the Master Chief at Madame Toussaud’s:

(For those who don’t know, the Master Chief is a character in the video game Halo)

Eating teeny tiny carrot cakes at Jean-Filippe Patisserie in the Bellagio:

Seeing people polishing the plants in the same hotel:

Playing “Dr. Who” pinball at the pinball hall of fame:

And seeing the fountains at the Belaggio:

(I have had a secret obsession with these fountains since I saw “Ocean’s 11” a few years back)

Other great (but photoless) moments include: Seeing Spamalot! at the Wynn, driving through the Middle of the Freaking Desert, watching people hand out flyers for hookers call girls to random people, and having an Easter egg hunt in our hotel room. Great times were had by all. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go to my Illustration class. Ta, all!

31 March, 2008

What Happens in Vegas…

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 pm by rynserenity

… stays in Vegas, right?

Wrong. Not if you’re a knitblogger, that is. Behold, for the Knerdy Knitter has returned from her week of sin (not really)! My plane flew in very, very late on Thursday, I slept through most of Friday, and spent this past weekend being ridiculously busy; I had so many errands to run! I’ll post a full travel report tomorrow (when the camera comes back from my dad’s warehouse, where he was photographing some storage stuff for Craigslist), but for now, here’s a picture-less rundown of the current knitting projects:

*The Monos Locos are cruising along nicely. I knit on the plane both ways, and on a very long drive through The Middle of Freaking Nowhere, and got a bit done on them! They each have about ten repeats on the leg portion, and there’s still a bit of delicious alpaca goodness left.
*As suspected, my order from KnitPicks did indeed arrive on the day that I left for Vegas. Want to know what was inside? A set of their Options(!)  needles with the aluminum tips, a sweater’s worth of Wool of the Andes in “Tidepool Heather”, a sweater’s worth of Merino Style in “Asparagus”, and two balls of their sock yarn Felici in the colourway “Martinique”. Oh, yes, there was yarn splurging, and it felt good! The WOtA is becoming a Sunrise Circle Jacket (I’m halfway through the raglan decreases for the back already), and the Merino Style will become a Tangled Yoke Cardigan (I heart Eunny Jang!).
*Dem Fischer Sin Fru iscoming along, too. It was my “knit in the room” project, and I managed to get halfway through Clue 3. The rows are getting long, long, loooong now! It’s still a fun engaging pattern, though, and so beautiful! I can’t wait to see it blocked.

You think that’s crazy? Wait until you see what knit-worthy souvenirs I bought in Las Vegas!

19 March, 2008

Yarn Magnet

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:47 pm by rynserenity

So, apparently, the universe has decided that I’m going to start attracting yarn. Mind you, there are most certainly worse things in the world to be than a yarn magnet, but I am still young and still live with my parents. Not a whole lot of space here. Although, that may explain all the sock yarn…

Anywho, I’m lazing around on Sunday when who should call? AntChris, of guest-blogging fame. She says she found some free yarn, and would I be interested in the stuff she didn’t want? Heck yes, I am! So, she brought it over, and this is what I got:

Better pictures later, as I’m really sleepy and have to go to school tomorrow. Trust me, there’s a lot of good yarn in there.

In terms of actual knitting, the Monos Locos are coming along nicely:

I’ve done four repeats on each leg so far, and I’m basically planning on knitting until I’m almost out of yarn, then doing the twisted rib cuff for maybe an inch or so. I love, love, love these socks! The colours make me want to dance. In fact, I have been moved to dancing. We are a very strange breed, us knitters.

Which reminds me, I finally got the chance to check out Knitting Without Tears from my local library. Wow! I can see why so many knitters love EZ! I will definitely need to try and get my hands on a copy of this book. I love her percentage system for sweaters! It could easily be converted into a cardigan, a turtleneck could be added… there are so many possibilities! In my mind, I am already scheming away at the idea of a jacket/coat sort of thing. I’ve been wanting to dip my toes into stranded knitting for a bit, maybe some mosaic-esque patterning? Oooh, maybe I could convert Arietta into a seamless sweater?

But that’s all brainstorming for another day. I have to go pack for my flight on Saturday; I like to have lots of time to decide what knitting to bring. (Oh, did I mention that I’m going on vacation next week? Since it’s spring break, my family and I are packing up and flying to sunny Las Vegas for a week! Guest-blogging will have to be arranged. Hmmm… hey AntChris, you learned to knit recently! Wanna guest-blog again?)

PS. Dem Fischer Sin Fru is making good progress. I finished Clue 2 tonight, and will most likely start Clue 3 on the plane to Las Vegas this weekend. Insert picture of it looking slightly bigger here.

PPS. My order from KnitPicks still hasn’t arrived. I have the sneaking suspicion that it will get here the day I leave for vacation.

PPPS. I have Murphy’s Law.

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