Thursday, April 30, 2020

Not Quite Undead: In Which Count Sockula Has a Ball...

...Or maybe a cake. Muahahaaa. 

For some reason Count Sockula has gone self-striping yarn cake crazy and dragged out nearly all of them in my extensive collection. Then in a frantic burst of energy I crocheted four new shawls.

This one is done with Premiere Sweet Roll, in Cheesecake, Spearmint and Butterscotch.


The tumbled one in warm colors is a Caron Cake. 
Adapted from a knitting pattern, this shawl is meant to work up fast. It's worked back and forth as a square, from the center out, BUT with one open side, so it drapes like a cape. (Count Sockula and capes just go together.)

Count Sockula's Stitch of Choice for these shawls is the Extended Single Crochet (esc): start as if to make a regular SC: pull up loop, yo, pull through one lp on hk, yo, pull through both loops on hk.

This creates a soft airy stitch, almost like thick lace, especially if you're using BIG hooks, such as K/10. Or all the way up through P. You know...the higher 'alphabet' hooks. Haven't had the courage yet to try a Q.

But you could work the entire shawl in sc, esc, hdc, or really any stitch.

This pattern is a multiple of 4, plus 2 (counting the ch-1 turning stitch for sc or esc).

There are five increases (one at each 'point' of the square). Start on 17 stitches. With one increase at each open end of the square, there will be three stitches between increases.

Work one row of sc without increasing: 17 sts.

Now switch to Extended Single Crochet. The end increase is two esc, every OTHER row. The 'inside' increase is esc, ch 2, esc, all in the same stitch.

Each 'leg' of the square should be the same size/number of stitches between increase points.

This sounds far more complicated than it actually is, so just keep working and trying it on until it's as big as you want.  It will make a mini-shawl or an enormous drapey thing.  Your choice.

Some brands I have used:

Bernat Pop: 5 colors in each cake. Acrylic, thick, soft, and lofty. About 5 oz. Tends to run thick and thin where it shouldn’t.

Premier Sweet Roll: 3 colors. Tighter, sleeker. Bouncy. About 5 oz.

Caron Cakes: 5 colors. Hairy like a werewolf! Good loft, with some wool content. About 7 oz.

Lion Brand Mandala: 6 colors. Hairiest of all, but hard and thin, a #3 as opposed to the #4 of the others. A starving werewolf? Nice colors, though. About 5 oz.

This has been mentioned in many other places: Both the Bernat and Sweet Roll were riddled with KNOTS, tying one color to the next, or else really cheap-looking, badly-done Russian Joins (Good thing I learned how to do my own Russian joins), forcing Count Sockula to cut and join many times.

(Another approach is to work up three big granny squares of the same size, then stitch them together, one in the middle, one on opposite ends of the middle square, to form a giant triangle. It was a 70s thing.)

One of any above cakes will make a small shawl. If it's Caron it will make a larger size. Two cakes will make an enormous one. It's fun and fast. You might have time now. Carry on.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Night Vision: In Which We Post Another Fanfic

Disclaimer: Kenshin does not own the Yuu Yuu Hakusho characters (they are the property of Togashi Yoshihiro et al), and does not make any money from said characters. Don't sue.
What Kenshin does own, however, are all the original characters in this work. Any attempt to "borrow" these characters will be met with the katana, or worse.
The events in Idiot Beloved take place shortly after the Dark Tournament; Firebird Sweet directly follows that timeline. This story is set many, many years after that.
Title: Night Vision
Author: JaganshiKenshin
Genre: General
Rating: K
Summary: A foggy, lonely night, and someone is stalking Hiei.
A/N: Set many years after the Dark Tournament, this story's one of Hiei's shortest, and as close as Hiei will ever come to experiencing 'angst.'
Thanks for reading this, and Hiei appreciates your reviews!
"It's rude to hide your aura."
Night Vision
Night falls early in November.
The chill Tokyo air smelt of death, soaking into Hiei's bones. It was a place in which to hide, to forget every blessing ever bestowed, bleak as an endless desert.
Compact and muscled, with bristling black hair, and not exactly human, Hiei trudged a lesser downtown avenue.
A few stores were still open, throwing swaths of light onto the pavement, but no one was buying.
Luminous fog hung in curtains that kept passersby hidden, and though no one was in sight now, Hiei knew was being hunted. And I'm too tired for a fight, too down.
Yet when footsteps echoed behind him, he ducked down a cross street, sliding from self-pity to Yellow Alert in an eyeblink
Read The Rest:

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Mystery Ink 25: In Which We Desperately Play Catch-Up

Dr. Inkenstein has gone on a ledge and is using....

Clairefontaine paper without a net!


The paper towel flower shows bright turquoise as well as muted slate and bilberry. I like it.

This is a really, really nice ink. I didn't see sheen, though....maybe I'm looking at it wrong, or my nib isn't wide enough.

The sheen DID show up later, on Kokuyo Campus Notebook paper.  As the ink dried and concentrated in the little Dollar Demonstrator, the sheen thickened.

Turns out, this is Dr. Inkenstein's first-ever Robert Oster Ink: Carbon Fire.  It's really reallyreally nice. And many thanks to AZK for carrying on the Mysterious Inkage.

Mysteriously Exploded: In Which It Looks Like A Crime Scene

Dr. Inkenstein had a sad....for this edition of Mystery Ink arrived in a pitiful condition. Some had leaked, due to atmospheric pressures or some such.  Food gloves are my friend!

A nice burgundy-looking ink:


There was ink to mop up, so I did my usual paper towel 'flower.' Does there appear to be a sort of neon-pink halo here?

This was an ink Dr. I had never heard of, much less used before.  And I liked it so much I bought a bottle.

5280 Vineyard Burgundy.  Still to be found on Fleabay.  Under eight bucks.  Supply your own label.  It's part of the fun.

MI 22: In Which Agent Smith Appears

Over at FPG, the Mysteries continue.  (Thanks, Scooby, for letting me try 22.) It was late when I got the sample, the loaded pen didn't want to write, so I let it sit overnight in hopes that it would be an easier start the next day.


The paper-towel chroma went down flat, but when dry, it developed a fascinating, chalky, gun-blue center.


Test it on other papers and it appeared a much lighter gray when applied to Staples Bagasse.  Hmm.  And, the revelation.

Ink: Montblanc 90 Years Permanent Gray.  Now Unobtainium.   

What fun! 

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Walking To Siberia: A Yuu Yuu Hakusho Fanfic

Disclaimer: Kenshin does not own the Yuu Yuu Hakusho characters (they are the property of Togashi Yoshihiro et al), and makes no money from said characters.
What Kenshin does own, however, are all the original characters in this work. Any attempt to "borrow" these characters will be met with the katana, or worse.
Idiot Beloved takes place shortly after the Dark Tournament; Firebird Sweet directly follows.
Title: Walking To Siberia
Author: JaganshiKenshin
Genre: General
Rating: K+/PG-13
Summary: Why is Hiei on a tiger to "Siberia?"
A/N: As always, thanks for your reviews and faves.
"Come to the summit if you want her back alive!"
Walking to Siberia
'He who rides the tiger cannot easily dismount.'
Said someone or other, somewhere. Hiei realized this was true; the great beast's powerful shoulders shifted beneath his clutching knees with each step. To dismount before they reached the summit could prove fatal.
Shafts of light pierced the dense forest, igniting the tiger's fur to gold. A Siberian with flaring ruff, the beast dwarfed the narrow trail. On either side loomed pine, fir, larch, and spruce, heavy with resin, glistening with dew.
"Are we there yet?" The tiger spoke in a semi-comical whine. For a wild creature just given his freedom, the tiger seemed lazy and ungrateful.
"No." A pine branch smacked Hiei's face. "Siberia's at the top of this hill."
Except that this was Montana, and the hill was a mountain.
Hiei was compact, tough, a born fighter with bristling black hair decorated by a white halo, and, though he could pass for human easily enough, he was not. He was a youkai, with powers some might see as magic.
'With great freedom comes great responsibility.' Who had said that one? On this particular day, Hiei had more responsibility than he wanted, and if he let himself dwell on what had brought him here-
This was different from riding a horse, closer to the ground, the back long and dangerously flexible. Horses might stomp, bite, and toss you, but they weren't equipped with fangs like butcher knives and claws like grappling hooks.
It all started with that miserable crow.
Which was actually a jaki-one of those small youkai that often act as messengers. It had startled Hiei as he strolled the grounds of the Kidd's California estate. This jaki very much resembled a crow, if you ignored the three yellow eyes lined up in a row above its blood-red beak.
Alighting on a branch just beyond Hiei's reach, the creature delivered an imperative: "We have your Firebird. If you want to see her alive again, come to the summit riding a tiger."

Monday, December 3, 2018

MI # 21: In Which Dr. Inkenstein Has The Gall

Dr. I does not know what to make of this Iron Gall ink yet...but loaded a Safari and plunged 'write' in. 

In the vial and the chroma, it's a cerise/fuschia color. But it dries dark. I believe it will flow better once it settles in to the pen.


Not very complex flower chroma, but interesting in that it retains the brighter color element:


The ink was very unhappy when Dr. Inkenstein wrote to a pen pal using Clairefontaine paper. It writes better on Rhodia Ice. Which hardly even makes sense.

In any case, I love doing Mystery Inks; this one turned out to be Platinum Lavender Black. Thanks, Scooby!