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September 16, 2012

Knitting Pattern: Coversheet Cowl

by babelglyph — Categories: Homepage Posts1 Comment

Early last winter, I fell in love with the knitting maneuver known as twisted drop stitch. Unlike traditional drop-stitch patterns, you don’t collect stitches, THEN drop them – you actually drop each stitch automatically as a part of the normal maneuver. Unlike standard knitting, it has extra stretch, length, and bounce. (And more holes, admittedly. It’s actually a mesh.)  I discovered the stitch from the Instant Gratification Scarf . When I tried it out in a hat and realized that stockinette Twisted Drop Stitch looked almost completely different, I had to knit a cowl. And what better test for a cowl pattern than plain old Red Heart Super Saver? If it can look good in RHSS, it can look good in anything.

Rainbow cowls are serious business.

Coversheet Cowl

Materials:

  • 220-ish yards of worsted weight yarn. I used Red Heart Super Saver because I had it, but you can use almost anything. Just adjust the stitch count and needle size!
  • one 24-inch (60 cm) circular needle, size US 9 (5.5 mm)
  • stitch marker
  • darning needle

Gauge:

Not critical, and hard to measure in the twisted drop stitch pattern. If pressed, I’d say aim for 16 stitches over 4 inches. But don’t worry about it so long as you like how it drapes!

Instructions:

Cast on 99 stitches. Place marker and join to work in the round. (Be careful not to twist your stitches when you join them!)

Knit 1 row.

Continue in Twisted Drop Stitch (see below for tutorial) for 10 inches, or until almost out of yarn.

Knit 1 row.

Bind off knitwise using Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-off. Weave in your ends.

—-

How to do the Twisted Drop Stitch

In writing: Insert your working needle into the next stitch as if to knit. Wrap the yarn once, counterclockwise (from the back to the front), around BOTH needles. Wrap the yarn once more counterclockwise around the working needle only, like you would knit normally. Pull the last loop through the next stitch and the first loop as if they were one stitch. You end up with one longer, twisted stitch. Repeat!

With pictures:

Twisted Drop Stitch: Step 1

Insert your working needle into the next stitch as if to knit.

Twisted Drop Stitch: Step 2

Wrap the yarn once, counterclockwise (from the back to the front), around BOTH needles.

Twisted Drop Stitch: Step 3

Wrap the yarn once more counterclockwise around the working needle only, like you would knit normally.

Twisted Drop Stitch: Step 4

Pull the last loop through the next stitch and the first loop as if they were one stitch.

Twisted Drop Stitch: Step 5

No, the rest of this is not in twisted drop stitch...it's actually in daisy stitch.

You end up with one longer, twisted stitch.

And that’s it! Really, that’s it. This stitch pattern is fun to use for planned pooling, like my rainbow-y cowl, but be careful to maintain the same stitch tension the whole way through. There’s a stripe on mine where I temporarily forgot what I was doing and interrupted the perfect stripes…let that be a lesson to you!

Life is short. Keep knitting!

Oh…and the name? Twisted drop stitch, abbreviated, is TDS. This reminds me of TPS reports, which reminds me of Office Space…You see, we’re putting the new coversheets on all TPS reports now before they go out. Gotta have your coversheet on your TPS report.

March 3, 2012

Things I’ve Been Up To

by babelglyph — Categories: Homepage PostsNo Comments

It’s been quite a long time since I’ve posted anything new. I still have some extra Callette making-of stuff to post (when I remember), and possibly a couple small patterns. (I’m working on some crochet coasters right now and I think I’ve finally got one that I like!)

Other than that…mostly schoolwork. I’m in my last term of college right now and it’s crunch time. I should be writing papers instead of this post, but once I get this off my chest I’m getting back to work on that.

So what else have I been doing?

-Knitting. (This probably goes without saying.) I’m working on a couple shawls and have a few projects that aren’t too far from being done. Nothing of my own design, though.
-Crocheting (gasp). I’m making a crochet shawl and the aforementioned coasters. Pics when I have time and daylight.
-Planning a cosplay. (Finally!) It’s been years since I did a proper character cosplay, and I’m finally doing another one for Anime North this year. It’ll be none other than Erza Scarlet from Fairy Tail – my first time wearing armor, yay! I’ve got boots and a wig on order, and I’ve got someone I know who’s making me the armor. (Definitely the most important piece.) I’ll be wearing the basic anime-version Heart Kreuz armor, for those who know the series.
- Writing. Admittedly not much in the past couple months, but I’ve got a fair amount planned on my little novel project. I ended up writing it for my fiction course last fall.
- Handspinning. I love my spindle. I don’t spin as much as I’d like, but I do love it when I do it.
- Cooking! With much success, too. Not as often as I’d like, but I’ve been able to do a couple recipes from my Pinterest Delicious board and that makes me happy.
- Drinking tea. Lots and lots of tea.
- Being sick…well, not that sick, but I was officially diagnosed with asthma last fall and I’ve been learning to both know my symptoms and prevent them. I’m getting used to it, but it’s hard to do it on top of everything else.
- Buying way too much on ModCloth…um, yeah. I’d say I shouldn’t have ever found that site, but then I wouldn’t have pretty dresses for graduation. :) The weather is so variable around here that I need options.
- Catching up on TV – current shows include Glee, RuPaul’s Drag Race, 30 Rock and Grimm. I’m planning on trying Once Upon a Time next, and then re-watching Fairy Tail so I’ll actually remember how to act like Erza for the con.

And…I think that’s really about it. I’m hoping to post more after graduation, when I will have free time. (Ha!)

Oh wait – two more (important) things:

1. I’ve got a job in the university’s K-12 school, in the K-4 library. It’s nothing glamorous–mostly just shelving and paperwork and other dull-but-necessary tasks–but I really enjoy it. And it’s wonderful for experience of how libraries actually work, of course.
2. Oh…and I got into library school. I applied to the University of Illinois and the University of Toronto, and I was accepted to both. I haven’t yet decided – that waits on funding. But I’m looking forward to transitioning from my general undergraduate education to my library-focused grad school. Exciting! :D

October 3, 2011

The Making of Callette, Part 1

by babelglyph — Categories: Homepage Posts4 Comments

I found a few photos I saved of the process of developing and writing up the Callette pattern recently.

Click to see it larger, although if you still can't read my handwriting I can't help that...

The top-left is a quick diagram to myself of what I’d imagined and how it might actually relate to a real-life object. Comparing it to the finished product, I’d say I managed to get it just about right. I did some math, but I don’t remember if that actually ended up being relevant or not…sorry! (Although looking at this again from the perspective of my Shopcraft course this term, I did a pretty good technical drawing. Then again, it’s for personal reference, so I already know what it is and what it’s for.) The bottom half? That’s a chart…because I had no idea how charts worked. Yes, I really did chart out every row, with “K” for knit and “P” for purl. The decrease also changed from here to the FO – this shows two single decreases, while the FO has one double decrease in the center of each feather. That said, charting it out like this really helped me to visualize how it would work in practice. It still took some more finessing, though.

Pardon the crappy desk and nice keyboard in the photo...

And here we have the first test-knit feathers – note the error in the ridge on the first one. I had originally charted one more row of CC before I realized that it would interrupt the ridge. I had to test-knit to figure this out…none of these feathers ended up surviving, by the way, and I never intended them to actually work as a finished object. In fact, if you look where the needle disappears on the left side of the photo – only two strands of yarn. I’d always intended for it to be intarsia, but I started knitting my sample test before I divided my balls up to get a better idea of how it would actually work. That’s part of why this looks puckery. Of course, if you’ve seen any of the WIP photos of Callette, you will know that it looks a bit wibbly until it’s blocked out – but I just like to think of it as a newly-hatched griffin wing until it’s done. ;)

Part 2 will come with info about actually knitting it (and how intarsia needs math) and the first round of submission photos! No idea when, but it will.

September 21, 2011

It’s Finally Here!

by babelglyph — Categories: Homepage PostsNo Comments

My knitting pattern, a shawl/wrap designed after Callette from Diana Wynne Jones’s Dark Lord of Derkholm books, is finally out! It’s featured in the Deep Fall 2011 issue of Knitty.

This picture is probably my favorite. I'm glad Knitty thought so, too.

Check out the pattern page and maybe knit one of your own!

August 17, 2011

More Mini Reviews

by babelglyph — Categories: Homepage PostsNo Comments

First of all, I updated my sales post of manga and anime to reflect what’s been sold. It’s also a little easier to read now, and includes a link to my current eBay listings. :)

Last time, I indicated that I would be reading the following:

The rest of Avalon High: Coronation
Princess and the Snowbird
Heist Society by Ally Carter (Playaway edition!)
More Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter (as soon as I can get #2 back from my mom, that is)
Hopefully Ouran 15

Did I actually read those? Sort of!

Gallagher Girls #2-4 (Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy, Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover, and Only the Good Spy Young) by Ally Carter: I admit, I was skeptical of how much I remembered liking this series when I re-read the first one. It was just a little too typical – girl meets boy, girl has secret identity, secret identity causes problems in relationship. Been there, done that, even if it WAS a particularly nice example. But then…it keeps going. And things get more interesting. And can I just say that I want the next one out already even if the title is rather lame? (I mean, really, Out of Sight, Out of Time?)

Heist Society by Ally Carter: I’m trying. I just can’t quite get into this one – it’s a little too “sigh, my life is NOT PERFECT and I WISH IT WERE” wistful for me. That said, I am enjoying the plot, just not really the characterizations. I’ll probably pick this one up again when I need to do something away from the computer but keep my hands busy. It makes for good knitting and packing-boxes listening.

Ouran High School Host Club 15-16: SWEET JESUS THE NEXT ONE ISN’T OUT UNTIL DECEMBER?!! Nooooo! I have to know what happens now…I mean, things are actually happening! And progressing! I mean, there was GRADUATION!! Holy crap y’all, this is like inverse Fruits Basket – instead of slowing down around volume 12, it picked up. Fast. And it’s still hilarious, cute, and heartwarming at the same time.

Generation Dead, Kiss of Life and Passing Strange by Daniel Waters: I adore these books, and the first two were re-reads. The third one, though, was my first time reading it and I was teary-eyed several times. I don’t usually get super-emotional over books, but Passing Strange hit kind of close to home for me. It has intrigue, drama, and frank realism (despite the zombies!) that I just can’t resist. Well, that works for the first two, too – these are books that I cannot recommend enough. Try the first from your local library, and let me know how you like it. Don’t stress over the cheesy covers. They’re worth it on the inside.

Peeled by Joan Bauer: Okay, I actually read this one before last post, but I couldn’t remember the title or author at the time. That said, despite feeling a little bit dated with the use of print newspapers, I really love this story. It’s inspirational and positive without being gooshy or trite, and it encourages good journalism habits no matter the format. I like this book, a lot, and I’d recommend it to any teen thinking of a career in journalism simply as a fun read.  Or, well, lots of people really, but that’s probably the main category of person that I’d start with.

Finally, last but not least, I finished Avalon High: Coronation. It was not worth the free that I paid for it, and that makes me so very, very sad. I think I liked it less than the Disney Channel movie they made of the original book. I’m sorry, Meg Cabot! I tried. It just didn’t work.

Up next:

Zombie Blondes
Zombies vs Unicorns
The Mediator #1 by Meg Cabot
One of our Thursdays is Missing by Jasper Fforde
Princess and the Snowbird (yep, still haven’t read it)
Heist Society (still working on it)
Never Sit Down in a Hoopskirt (and Other Things I Learned in Southern Belle Hell)
Scarlett Fever
by Maureen Johnson

August 1, 2011

Quick Book Reviews

by babelglyph — Categories: Homepage PostsNo Comments

I’ve been reading a lot more lately, and trying to keep up with keeping TRACK of what I read.

So here’s what I’ve been going through…

Manga:

Maid-sama 5-6: turns out I’d actually already read volume 5, but I ended up selling my extra copy to Amazon for a profit. Volume 6 was REALLY good though. I love the drama and how it’s not overplayed, but there’s definitely tension. Aoi-chan is a great character with some genuine emotional confusion – I adore characters with gender conflicts. I really do. I think I identify with them a little.

Ouran High School Host Club 12-14: oh my goodness, yes. Please give me more now. I can’t believe I got so far behind on this fantastic series – Unlike a bunch of other long-running shojo manga, this one has DEVELOPMENTS. and CONFESSIONS. and comparisons of character back to the beginning. The more I read, the more I want. This series continues to grow in both depth and hilarity.

Library Wars 3: This one’s not as deep or interesting as Ouran or Maid-Sama but I still want to read more. I don’t think the setting and the story mesh quite as well as they should – but I wonder sometimes if that’s more due to the translation/localization than something else. I’m really not sure. I still want to read it, but I haven’t decided if I want to buy more or not.

Avalon High: Coronation 1: oh dear, a Meg Cabot book that I don’t like for once. I can’t decide if it’s the somewhat-contrived plot (“but wait, there’s more – Will/Arthur must BELIEVE IN HIMSELF or else dooooom” + Big Bad comes back) or the strange art (manga-toned and formatted, but Western style of drawing) that bugs me about this series, but I’m glad I didn’t buy it. The first volume had barely any action in it, just buildup. I’m halfway through the second now.

Books:

Gallagher Girls volume 1 (I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You) by Ally Carter: Cute! Fun! Great premise! A few issues (the “oh my gosh”es REALLY got on my nerves this re-read and I think they did the first time too) don’t stop this from being worthwhile. I doubt I’ll be buying more than the two I already own, but I look forward to reading the rest of the series. They’re fun.

Kitty, Kitty by Michele Jaffe: Um, yes. Just YES. For one, she gets the voices just right – no one sounds too ridiculous (except for the ones who are supposed to) for the world. I think it’s possibly also the only book I’ve read where I really feel bad for the protagonist when she’s in a pretty awesome situation – I mean really, Venice? for free? In high school? Sounds GREAT. Except it isn’t for her, and I get that. Jaffe really pulls off the “it would be great, but…” stuff that makes a character believable. Plus, the story is just ridiculous, and she can write some really great twist endings. LOVE it.

On my list of reading/to be read:

The rest of Avalon High: Coronation
Princess and the Snowbird
Heist Society by Ally Carter (Playaway edition!)
More Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter (as soon as I can get #2 back from my mom, that is)
Hopefully Ouran 15

July 22, 2011

Etsy Shop Update!

by babelglyph — Categories: Homepage PostsNo Comments
three handknit dice bags for Etsy

Brand-new handknit dice bags for just about $5 each!

Just finished listing these on my Etsy store, Knight in Knit Armor, and I figured I’d update.

Sorry for the downtime (if anyone even tried to get here other than me!) as the hosting had server issues and I was lazy getting the IP updated. Whoops…

June 18, 2011

Manga and Anime DVDs for Sale

by babelglyph — Categories: Homepage Posts1 Comment

Prices start at roughly $5 a volume, but I will gladly give discounts the more you buy. Some are more expensive than others, just ask. :) Shipping wouldn’t be more than $5 unless you bought pretty much all of them.

Some of my manga is available on eBay HERE! I’m willing to split mixed-series lots but would prefer to sell single-series bundles as a set.

Popular/Well-Known Series:

Black Cat: 1-16 (MINUS 3 and 4), excellent condition for the later volumes, some of the earlier ones have wear. Insides good.
D.N. Angel: 1-9, 11. Very good condition considering the age of the books – some shelf wear, and the first volumes (up to about 4 or 5) have the top and bottom edges of the spines sealed with clear tape. Not visible unless you look very closely and it protects the spines from getting ragged like paperbacks do.
InuYasha: 1-6. Very good condition. Some minor shelf wear.
Fushigi Yugi: 1-8. Excellent condition. Volume 5 has a small dent on the back of the volume at the bottom edge. Seems to be a factory defect.
Venus Versus Virus: 1-4, like-new condition. volume 4 has a factory wrinkle on the bottom of the spine.
Paradise Kiss: 1-5 (complete!). Very good condition. Some wear at the top and bottom spine edges of a couple volumes. The tops only of the first three volumes are yellowed, with the first being the worst of the five.
Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei: 1-2. Like new condition.

Lesser-Known Series:

La Potrait de Petite Cossette: 1-2. (complete) Horror/psychological thriller manga. Painting comes to life and talks to lonely-ish 20-something guy. Disturbing in an awesome way. I love it but I’m too afraid to ever read it again. As such, the books are in like-new condition.
Gate Keepers: 1-2. High school students (mostly girls) can open interdimensional “gates” to draw power to fight extraterrestrial invaders. Plus, giant robots. I like the anime better, but the manga is different. Very good condition.

One-offs and single-volume entries:

Line (one-off): Super-creepy story about getting calls about impending deaths, and the decisions to try and save them or not. Some sticker residue on the back cover. Very good condition.

I-Doll (vol. 1): Four troublemaking students are punished by working together to form…a rock band? A little more dramatic than it sounds, actually. Like-new condition and the second volume is on Amazon.

Original English Language manga:

Japan Ai: (one-off) Like-new condition.
Fool’s Gold: 1-2. Very good condition.
Bad Kitty: Catnipped: 1. Very good condition.

Anime DVDs:

All of these have both dubbed and subbed versions on the discs.

Eureka 7, 1-2: volume 1 is like-new, volume 2 is still in the shrink-wrap and brand new.
.hack//sign: 1.
.hack//legend of the twilight: 1.
Chobits: 1. (missing the Chii mini-poster inside last I checked, sorry.)

I also have three of the Tokyopop translated Slayers novels (1-3) in great condition. I have some of the Full Metal Panic novels as well but I won’t part with those unless the price is right.

If you’re interested in any of these, email me at babelglyph@gmail.com – if you know someone who might be interested, have them email me too, or comment here. I’ll be putting things up on eBay sooner rather than later, but I can hold stuff if you’re not sure.

SOLD:

Dramacon: 2-3. Vol. 2 is very good, vol. 3 is like new condition.
Sorcerers & Secretaries: 1-2 (complete) Very good condition.
Megatokyo 1-5: Fair condition. Volume 5 is in better condition than otherwise.
Kamikaze Girls (one-off): The unlikely friendship of a frilly-dress-wearing Lolita girl and a motorcycle-riding girl gang member. Heartwarming and hilarious. Pages are yellowed, so it’s only in good condition.
Zombie Fairy (one-off): Boy brings antique coffin to TV show to get it appraised. Coffin contains 600-year-old corpse which then reanimates. Hilarity and magic fighting ensue. Like new condition.
Ultimate Venus: 1-2. High school girl is whisked into a world of society intrigue when her mother dies and her estranged (yet rich) grandmother steps in. The story of her transformation into A Lady, but also personal struggle etc. Also fairly comedic. Vol. 1 is like-new condition, vol. 2 has a crease on the cover but is in good condition overall.
Pearl Pink: 1-4. (complete) A super-cute story about a girl with a famous mother who falls in love with the son of her mom’s talent agent. There are a lot of interesting characters and twists that make this not always your typical shojo. The 4 volumes are in like-new condition.
Fall in Love Like a Comic: 1-2. (complete) Kind of cute story about a girl who is secretly a manga artist and falls in love. Typical fluffy shojo story, but it’s only two volumes, so it’s still cute. Like-new condition.
train_man: densha otoko: [VIZ edition by Hidenori Hara] 1-3 (complete). Good condition. Some shelf wear on volumes 1 and 2, and it seems to have been printed on rather cheap paper that has yellowed a little bit throughout the books.
Densha Otoko: [CMX edition by Hitori Nakano and Wataru Watanabe] 1-3 (complete). Like new condition.
Mammotte Shugogetten: 1-2, but omnibus editions, so really more like 1-4 or even 1-6. Strange harem story with various guardians mailed to a guy by his eccentric dad. The character interactions really make this one – it’s not nearly as cookie-cutter as other ones I’ve tried. Very good condition.

DS Games for Sale

by babelglyph — Categories: Homepage PostsNo Comments

Right now I’m not going to be looking through any of my PS2 or Wii games since I haven’t played most of those enough to justify getting rid of them just yet. However…

Here are the DS games I’m planning on parting with:

Kirby Squeak Squad – $25 (apparently it’s out of print)
Kirby SuperStar Ultra – $20
Cooking Mama – $11
Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box – $15
Brain Age *possibly* – $8
Tetris DS *possibly* – $18

I also have the Metroid Prime Hunters demo cart from the original DS release, free if I ship you anything within the next few months. :)

Games will come with their original cases and manuals where possible. Tetris, Layton and Kirby Squeak Squad all have cases for sure and I will try to find the other ones before mailing. I based my pricing on Amazon.com’s used games section, so if you think something’s unfair, let me know. Email me or comment here if you’re interested in buying – babelglyph@gmail.com .

And if you didn’t see it, I have another note listing the anime and manga I’m going to be getting rid of – everything on this list and the other will be sold on eBay if not claimed soon. :) I can hold things for a little bit, too. If you know someone who’s looking for one of these games, tell them to email me.

June 5, 2011

(no title)

by babelglyph — Categories: Homepage PostsNo Comments

My thoughts on YA books, as captured through Twitter. The Lost Angeles Review of Books has a good article responding to the #yasaves hashtag and the original inspiration for it- I won’t deign to give the original Wall Street Journal a linkback here.

In case you (for some reason) don’t know, I want to be a librarian. I will probably end up being a YA librarian, as these are my favorite books and the librarians I had in middle school and high school ended up being wonderful role models for me. The subject of YA books, and why they are so important as a genre, is a personal one for me.

So, direct from my Twitter account (and reordered for clarity), here it is:

babelglyph Mimi Hanyu
YA books inspire me, intrigue me, influence me and infect me. They are my port in a storm, if that port is Chicago and Vegas in one #yasaves
10 minutes ago

I believe it’s important to write about *everything* in YA books so that kids can learn about stuff safely and explore new thoughts #yasaves
9 minutes ago

YA books need to have dark stuff so kids who are too scared/depressed to talk about their own darkness have somewhere to turn. #yasaves
9 minutes ago

YA books are that vital turning point from sheltered learning to open learning. If not in books, *where*? #yasaves @wsj
7 minutes ago

Plus, YA books don’t get too bogged down in overarching messages and preaching about life. It’s about concepts, not *lessons* #YAsaves @wsj
5 minutes ago

Why do people want teenagers to not learn about the darkness in the world, and then expect college students to be responsible? #yasaves @wsj
4 minutes ago

Two more #yasaves tweets for now: YA books are my favorite to read. They aren’t trying to be High Literature, they’re just stories. @wsj
1 minute ago

And the stories that we read and love and read again are the most important ones to learn from, no matter what they contain. #yasaves @wsj
40 seconds ago

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