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Yes, indeedy I do. I gots sleeves attached to sweater.

ariann sweater sleeves attached

So I’ve joined the sleeves and am currently working on the raglan decreases. Ariann seems to be moving pretty slowly, doesn’t she? Pity, really. I do really like the Cotton Fleece–it’s knitting up so nicely. I guess I’ve just been distractedly roaming the vivid valleys and prismatic peaks of Sock Land. Wish you were here.


appletini socks 2

That’s my Yarntini, that is. It’s been so fun knitting these that I’ve been neglecting poor Ariann. Isn’t it amazing just how entertaining it can be to watch stripes emerge? I’ve had a really hard time putting these down, so I’m just rocketing through them. Since I snapped above picture, I’ve actually finished that sock and cast on for the second. And, get this! I made the stripes match! Hey, scoff if you will–this is a new thing for me. Usually I could give two shits if my socks match. But I was oh-so-clever this time and cast on for the first sock right at the point of a color change. So I will have pretty Seussian socks that are all matchy-matchy. Chalk one up for my anal-retentive inner child.

Oh, but I didn’t mention my heel! Look at the heel!

appletini socks heel

Isn’t it so cute? It’s like a pretty little green and pink nipple right in the middle of my sock! It’s my first short-row heel and I’m quite taken with it. With how it looks, that is, not the mechanical aspect. The wrap-and-turn bits were quite a pain in the arse-bucket, but I’m so very happy that it didn’t screw up the striping that I’ll gladly endure it for the second sock. I used the technique from Sensational Knitted Socks, by the way. The original. Yeah, baby, I’m old skool.

Thanks so much everybody for your compliments and words of encouragement about the Pomatomus socks! No word from Colinette yet. I’m being patient.

That was so cheating, wasn’t it?

Here’s what I’ve been

Listening to



(not his best work, if you ask me)

In other news, I think I’ve been coerced into writing an I’m-not-happy letter to Colinette. I’ll let you know how it goes…

Which old socks?

The Pomatomus socks!

pot socks finished

Ding dong, the stupid socks are done!

Okay, it’s unfair to call them stupid. The pattern was great—Cookie did a fabulous job with both the design and the writing. In the pattern notes, she claimed that the finished sock was very stretchy. Boy, is it ever! The socks were so stretchy that the blub could wear them! He wears a 10W, and I’m a 7, bordering on narrow. Wow. I also love the texture and the complexity, and I really love how the pattern looks great in variegated yarn. There aren’t too many sock patterns out there that can claim that, as most of us well know. It is the yarn, the wonderful squishy Colinette Jitterbug yarn that I had major issues with. Well, let’s get to that in a minute—first the details!

pot socks model 1

Pattern: Pomatomus, from Knitty. Designed by the illustrious Cookie A.
Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug in Bright Charcoal. 1 skein + 20 g
Modifications: none
Began: March 4, 2007
Finished: April 21, 2007. Obviously we had some issues here. A month and a half to make a pair of socks? Without me undergoing major surgery or having to take large exams? Yeah. Issues.

Here’s the back.

pot socks back model 2

Well, issue #1 was that, whoops silly me, I didn’t look at the yardage requirements before I cast on, and so I ran out of yarn. I can’t blame that on anybody else—that was totally my bad. However, you would think, wouldn’t you, that 100 g of sock yarn is enough to make a pair of average sized women’s socks? Each skein has approximately 291 yards. That is a bit skimpy, especially when you consider what the going rate is for this yarn ($21). But, like I said, it was my fault that I didn’t check to see if I had enough before I started knitting—I just assumed I did. And we know what happens when we assume, don’t we? Luckily I was bailed out by a nice person (thanks again June!) who not only sent me extra sock yarn, but also a very cute little crochet hook that fits perfectly in my knitting pouch. Yay for knitters. If only we ruled the world…

Issue #2 was that I was out of town for a week and I couldn’t knit very much during that time. Totally unrelated to yarn.

Issue #3—there were serious, and I mean serious, knots in the skein. I think I lost count at six. I had a hellva time when I wound it on my swift. Many swear words were spoken. All of the cats ran outside, except for Buster who sat, staring at me wide-eyed through the entire procedure. It was not pretty. It slowed me a bit in the knitting, but not really noticeably. Every time I came to a knot, I snipped it and went on. I didn’t think that much of it at the time—well, I was annoyed, but the colors still seemed to match up so I didn’t get too pissed. In fact, I didn’t even notice anything until I had finished the socks, which brings us to…

Issue #4. Oy. Here is Issue #4.

pot socks diff color

I made the picture kind of big so it would be easier to see—do you see it? Look at the left sock. Let me remind you that when I ran out of yarn, it was just after the gusset decreases.

pot socks diff color circled

See it now? The green circle is where I started knitting with the extra yarn—which actually matched the original (i.e. the other foot) so well that I think it must have been from the same dyelot. BUT the red circle is where there most definitely was a BIG KNOT, which they obviously used to tie this yarn together with one from a different dyelot.

A DIFFERENT DYELOT! It looks like I have a light colored band around my ankle! Man, I’m pissed. I fully expected to have a mismatch between the skein I bought and the extra yarn that I got, but within the same skein? THAT is jenky. I am mad! Grrr.


(Clearly I’m getting through my stages of grief quickly, here–denial must have been when I was knitting. Then I jumped to anger, skipped bargaining, and slipped right into depression. Screw the acceptance.)

I loved this yarn so much. Remember? Remember how I gushed about it? I feel like I’ve been betrayed. But…I still love it. It’s so squishy and nice! Stupid Colinette! How could you screw up such a nice yarn? Arrugh! I’m so torn. I do love it, but…it was not good to me. This yarn is like a bad boyfriend. It cheated on me, stood me up, then came back with its beautiful colors and softness like flowery promises. Ack. Someone needs to write a country song about this yarn.

But did you see? They have new colors!

…clearly, I need an intervention.

Today is a beautiful day. I hope it remains that way, both here and in the rest of the world.

I have found some things lately. Good things. Good things that are small, but still welcome and wonderful.

I found this in my mailbox last night.

yarn pirate and soap

Thanks so much to Nell from Chickenknits! I entered a blog contest she was having a little while back, and won some yarn. It’s a skein of Yarn Pirate, 50/50 merino tencel in hydrangea. She also threw in a bar of her handmade honey and beeswax soap! It smells wonderful! She said I should wait a week before using it, but I don’t know if I can make it that long. I had to hide it away from the blub and his power nose, or else he’d break into it. He has a thing for handmade soaps. He listens to Deee-Lite, too. I swear he’s not gay.

Guess what else I found! Oh guess! Okay, I’ll tell you.

I found a very, very nice person. Her name is cinnamontree. She is, sadly, blogless. But happily, she has some extra Colinette Jitterbug that she’s going to send me! O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! So I can finish the Pomatomous socks! I’m chortling in my joy here.

Last thing. I found this clinging lightly to the side of the Chemistry Building this morning.

luna moth

It’s a luna moth, Actias luna. This ghostly and ethereal insect seems to make the world a more beautiful place, in its own small way.

I hope that something good finds you all today. Have a good weekend.

So here’s what I’ve been

Listening to




…ah, old favorites.

And happy birthday to my mummy!

I wish you all a happy day.

So I’ve been working on the Pomatomus socks a wee bit. Here they are as of now.

pot socks with flowers

I’ve finished just past the gusset decreases on the second sock. It is at this point that they will stay. Why?

pot socks leftover yarn

Because that’s all the yarn that’s left.



Um, anyone out there have some extra Colinette Jitterbug in Bright Charcoal? Anyone? Please?

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. 1922-2007

Things that flash though my mind upon thinking of this man’s works:

An allien with orange rubber balls for feet, running across a lake and yelling, “Skip! Skip!”

A skinny POW, limping through the shattered moonscape of a city in ill-fitting clogs, looking for some shred of decency in humanity.

In the shadow of the barn, as the sun went down.

Birds pooping in teacups.

A picture of an asshole.

“See the cat? See the cradle?”

Kurt Vonnegut was one of my favorite writers. Rest in peace, sir. You will be missed.


What a crappy day it is outside–rainly and icky and grey. Plus, I woke up late, spilled melted butter on the crotch of my favorite jeans (which will never come out and makes me look like I pissed myself), and my feet got soaked walking from the parking lot this morning. Poop on poop!

But anyway, here’s what I’ve been


Listening to



In more cheeful news, the sign-ups are open for Sockapalooza 4. Go!

Why does it seem that this stuff always happens to me?

Last week, April 1, was the official “Flash your stash” day. I did not flash my stash this day. I did try, but I ran into a small difficulty—about six inches high to be exact. As I went to dig through my stash last weekend, I learned I had an infestation. Not the kind you’re thinking, either. Mine was worse.


See those wavy lines up there? That means we’re going into the past. Oh, but not now. Now is now. Okay, now, after this next wavy line, is one week ago. Ready? Now!


I live in a really small house. Like 900 square feet small. As such, I store my stash in plastic bins that I slide under/behind furniture to keep it out of the way. So, on this merry Sunday morn, I dragged out one of the two underbed boxes out from under the futon in the back room. As I went to flip the cover off, something stopped me—a brightly colored short something. That short something had a minute foot on my hand, a tiny scowl upon its face.

Yup, it had a face. It also had eyes, ears, hair, legs, and papery thin wings attached to its little back. It looked like…a pixie.

“EEaugh!” I cried, flinging the thing off of me in disgust and leaping backwards.

“Oof!” the thing cried, landing on its back on the hard wood floor. As I stared, goggle eyed with awe, it picked itself up, glared at me again, and ceremoniously dusted itself off, beginning with its petite bare feet and ending with the iridescent wings.

I got a better look at it then. Yes, definitely a pixie. Its hair was tangled and matted, resembling tiny dreadlocks. It appeared that it had pulled it back into a makeshift ponytail with one of my rubber stitch markers. Its clothing looked….familiar. The pixie had apparently found the bag that contains my old gauge swatches and appropriated them for clothing. The tiny tube that I knitted while planning my Friday Harbor socks it had fashioned as a tube top. I recognized Lorna’s Laces, Regia silk, and Dale of Norway Baby Ull in the tubes it had stitched together to make a pair of shorts. It has also attached two Cash Iroha swatches together to make a poncho, complete with holes for its wings.

“What are you staring at?” it interjected then.

“Wha…wha…what the bloody hell are you?”

“Isn’t it obvious?” it said with disdain, “I’m a Stash Pixie!”

I buried my face in my hands, then, and rubbed vigorously. I had not been drinking that morning, nor consuming any other controlled substances.

I peered through my hands again. It was still there. Damn!

“Okay,” I said resignedly, “what exactly is a ‘Stash Pixie?’”

“I’m a guardian of your stash,” the pixie replied, “My name is Trixie.”

“Trixie…Pixie,” I repeated in disbelief.

“What’s wrong with Trixie Pixie?” Trixie ejaculated, bristling again.

“Nothing,” I sighed. “Nothing whatsoever. So what do you want, Trixie?”

“Well,” she began, all haughty and business-like, “you’re not allowed to go into your stash.”

I stared at her blankly.

“What?” I finally said.

“I’m sorry, but you can’t touch any of this yarn. You have too many unfinished projects.”

“What’s that got to do with anything?”

What’s that got to do with anything?” she repeated, putting her hands on her yarn ensconced hips and leaning forward. “That’s got everything to do with everything! You can’t just go around starting projects when you feel like it! It’s unfair to the yarn!”

Her wings began to flitter in her outrage.

“Unfair…to the yarn,” I said flatly.

“That’s right,” she said. “Just think about all of those abandoned projects that you have right now. That hat for Hanna. The purple beret…”

“I’m going to frog that,” I interrupted.

She simply raised her voice and talked over me.

“The September socks! The purple cashmere wrap!” Trixie shrilled.

“Those are fall things!” I whined.

“Yeah? Yeah? What about that sweater for Nels? You were supposed to finish that last year!

“I’m working on it,” I said sheepishly.

Trixie made a noise like a bantam pony. “Yeah, right,” she said, rolling her eyes.

“Anyway, who cares? I don’t have to defend myself to you. Besides, I knit for fun. I don’t necessarily knit to accomplish things. It’s supposed to be relaxing! And as you might notice right now, I don’t seem very relaxed, do I?!

The pixie stared at me for a beat, then clucked her tongue.

“Sorry,” she said loftily, “You’re not going in there.”

“Oh yeah? Or what? You’re going to sick your little pixie army on me?”

Trixie’s eyes narrowed, and her wee features took on a dangerous look.

“You’re afraid that the Ariann sweater won’t fit aren’t you?” she hissed, her voice low, “It seemed a little small when you held it up the other day didn’t it?”

My breath, suddenly icy, caught in my chest. There was truth in that statement.

“What are you talking about?” I said slowly.

“Nothing much,” answered the pixie, tossing her wild hair from her face. “It’s just that it took you two years to knit your hourglass sweater, didn’t it? And your gauge was a little off from the swatch you made, wasn’t it?”

“YOU were responsible for that?!” I roared, “Why, you…”

“I didn’t say I was, and I didn’t say I wasn’t,” Trixie declared, “But I’d watch my back if I were you…”

At this point I had had enough. I called the cats. With the light galloping of kitty feet, Buster the dog-cat came on the scene, but Trixie had wisely disappeared.


The next time we met, it was yesterday. I slouched sneakily into the back room, and quietly slid one of the plastic bins out from under the futon.

“Just WHAT do you think you’re doing?” came the familiar tiny voice beside my ear.

“I’m going to photograph my stash!” I yelled, “I’m not going to start anything new. Besides, I can’t do whatever I want with it! It’s my bloody yarn!”

“Is that so?” said the pixie, a dangerously calm look gracing her minute face.

“Yes, that’s so!” I cried. I was getting really pissed now.

“Hmm,” she said, “remember that Yarntini yarn you bought awhile ago? The one you’ve carefully hidden away in that special yarn box?”

“What about it?” I said warily.

“Well, IF you decide to touch your stash, I just MIGHT send it into another dimension.” As she said this, she snapped her teeny fingers and tiny sparkles appeared.

“But it’s my yarn!” I whined. “I NEED to touch it.”

“Well, I guess you’d better just work a little harder on finishing up those UFO’s. THEN you can touch it,” she answered.

“What did you say? I asked.”

“I SAID,” the pixie repeated, her little face turning a bit redder, “that you need to TRY harder!”

Try harder? TRY harder? That sounds a lot like TROD harder, doesn’t it?

squished pixie 2


Okay, so here’s my stash!

yarn color wheel

And the highlights…

close up of stash 3 brownclose up of stash 2 blue and purpleclose up of stash 4 blue and greenclose up of stash

As I gleefully touched and fondled and caressed each skein, I did make sure to check for eggs. Oh, I looked for signs of moths, too. Everything looks clean–hooray!

So what’s the moral of our story? I think that’s very obvious.

yarn color wheel 2

I need more yarn!

…but I’m putting this up today cuz I forgot to yesterday. Whoops.

Nevertheless, here’s what I’ve been

Listening to




This was one of my favorites when I was a kid. My parents still have my old copy, which I found on their bookshelf when I was at their house. It made nice nighttime reading.

…and speaking of parents, my mom went to see the Yarn Harlot when she was in Oak Brook, IL on Tuesday night. My mom’s not really a knitter (she dabbles), but she enjoyed Stephanie’s talk very much, she said. She especially liked the reference to stashes. “I understand about those!” she told me on the phone last night. No kidding she does. You should see her fabric stash. It is a thing of wonder, and of beauty. It’s always nice when we can aspire to things our parents have achieved, isn’t it?

Anyway, she got a book signed for me. Thanks, Mom!

Contact me

thechemgrrl AT gmail DOT com (you know what to do with the extras)
April 2007