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Wednesday it is again, yes? These things been doing I have:


Listening to

Reading, reading, reading, reading, and reading.

I hate those new covers. Ick.

Happy Wednesday!

dishcloth on wheelbarrow 3

O lovely dishcloth
Thou art so fun to knit
In thy multihued splendor
Thou scrubeth the pots
But leave no mark upon their vulnerable surface
Almost like
Thou understands their tough defenselessness
My eyes light upon thee
And perceive bliss
I could gaze upon thy textural symphony for hours
And never become tired
Of thy simplistic grace
If only our troubled world
Could be more like thee

Whoa—poetry of sheer Vogon proportions. Of course we need the photo collection to accompany it.

dishcloth on wheelbarrow 2dishcloth on wheelbarrow 1dishcloth on rail

In case you’re keeping track, that’s one dishcloth. I suppose I’m waxing so (ahem) poetic about it because it’s been so simple, so fun, so addicting to knit.

I’m seeing a quite a contrast here.

dino left side 5 26

That’s Steggy! That piece of stretched out knitting is his left side. Now I have to knit his right side. Those are seamed together. Then I will knit his four legs, which are seamed together. Then comes the top of his feet, which are knit separately from the bottom of his feet, which are seamed together. Then his scales, which are knit in two pieces each, then seamed together. The spikes are also knit flat, then seamed together. The little foot claws are knit flat, then seamed together. Oh I forgot! The “head gusset” is also knit separately, then seamed together with the other two sides of the head.

Are you getting the general message here? If not, I will translate for you: the Patons company wishes to know if the KnitPicks needles are sharp enough to actually pierce the human heart. I’m betting yes, and I’m also betting that I will attempt to find out at least once.

Okay, let’s take a step back, here. Are all these seams really necessary? I understand that many people subscribe to the “seams give a knitted object structure” argument, and I can see the point, to a certain extent. But come on, Patons! There are almost as many seams as knitted stitches in this thing! Oh, and did I mention that there’s no schematic for sewing it together in the end? It says, and I quote directly, “Join body pieces together, starting from lower jaw line and down neck, continue along tummy, leaving a small opening, then around tail, joining head gusset with top part of head.”

That’s it.

I’m thinking that’s a little on the vague side. Yes, I’m sure I can figure it out when I’ve got all the pieces in hand, but I think just a teensy little picture would help a lot, without adding much length to the pattern. It would also aid tremendously if someone wanted to, say, knit both body pieces together so they could eliminate one of approximately 10,000 seams. That’s strictly hypothetical, of course.

Ach. Oh well. I’ve started it their way and I guess I’ll finish it their way. I haven’t found any more errors in the pattern after those first three, which is heartening.

But all those seams! Oh my gosh. I think I need lay down.

Oh, in case anybody still wants to knit this thing, the only source I’ve found for the booklet is here. Knock yourself out.

And so it begins.

I’ve been the very fortunate recipient of some good swaps lately. This came in the mail yesterday.

dimly lit socks that rock

Poorly lit but wonderful just the same. Silke Socks that Rock! My first! I traded with a fellow knittyboarder for some other sock yarn. I still can’t believe she didn’t want this. I was a tad, er, excited when I opened this package yesterday. Much to the blub’s amusement, I, um…ran around in circles in the yard.

It’s the little things.

This week, I also scored this:

dino book rar

The much sought after Patons Dinosaur book! It came all the way from New Zealand. Thanks, KiwiKoz! I sent her some Kool-Aid, KnitPicks bare, and some stitch markers for it. Great trade.

Anyway, I’m uber psyched about this, because a certain nephew’s birthday is rapidly approaching, and this nephew in question is nuts about dinos. I’m making him this one.

steg photo


Isn’t that awesome? Doesn’t it just make you want to jump up and down and squeal? Well, maybe it’s just me. I hemmed and hawed about which yarn to use for this, as the called for yarn can’t be gotten here (Patons Totem 8 ply–my web search only returned results from Austrialia). I wanted something easy care, that would stand up to lots of little boy hugging and playing. I swatched with CotLin (too stiff!) and LionBrand MicroSpun (too acrylic!), but finally settled on KnitPick Essential (just right!). It’s smaller than the called for yarn, but I kind of wanted that. These dinos turn out rather large.

finished dinos with kid

Horrible sweater wearing child included for scale.

If knitted as written, Steggy here will end up being about 12 inches high. That's pretty big. I think mine will be about 9ish, which seems a more comfortable, huggable size. However, other things with this pattern need monkeying with.

Did you see Steggy in the kid photo? No you didn't. That's because they hid it in the back.

stegs in back

(I know you are all jealous of my mad photo editing skillz. I try not to let it go to my head.)

That thing must really look like crap when it's done. Look at the pointy back protruding things (what the hell are those called? fins? scales? what?)! They're all falling over and stuff. Steggy probably doesn't stand up by himself either. I haven't decided if that's an issue for me or not, but the fin thing certainly is.

So I will be doing this: knitting the body out of the smaller gauge sock yarn, to give it a little more stiffness and keep it from getting too big. I'm going to use regular wool for the spiky things, then felt them. Hopefully then they won't get all floppy. Or as floppy. I know I’m tempting fate here, as I am not heeding the warning on the pattern.

knitting caveat

So if this thing turns out all wonky, I will have no one to blame but myself. Thanks, Patons. Glad to see you’ve got my back.

This is as far as I’ve gotten in one night.

dino so far 5 25

It starts at the tail, if you couldn’t figure that out.

So I’m on row 55 (of 196—yes they have written most of them out) and I’ve already found three errors. I have a feeling this will be a project of epic proportions.

Gargantuan proportions! Monster proportions!

Dinosaur proportions?

Wish me luck…

Bugger and blast! I’ve been tagged for the 7 random things meme. Gee, thanks loads Erica.

In case you have been stuck in an underground vault for the past month or so, here’s what this thing is about, verbatim from Erica’s blog:

Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those who are tagged need to write on their own blog those 7 facts as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven other people and list their names on your blog. Then you leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and to read your blog.

So here goes:

1. I don’t like memes. Okay, that’s kind of a lie. I like it when other people do them. Sometimes, if they don’t do them too often. It’s kind of fun to learn random things about the people whose blogs you read (did that sentence make grammar sense? Whatever). I sure as hell don’t want to do them, though. I want to talk about knitting!

2. Knitting fact: I learned to knit from a Norwegian woman when I was 19. She taught me combined knitting, but with throwing. I’ve been told that’s really unusual. Is it? I do mostly western knitting now, still with throwing. I can’t pick for the life of me. Every once in awhile I try again, but then get lazy and go back to doing it the old way.

3. I don’t like roller coasters. Why would I pay someone to make me feel like I’m going to puke?

4. I came to Indiana University (where I still am) to study folklore. That’s right, folklore. It’s the best school in the world for that. Somehow, in a series of events that I still do not fully comprehend, I am now in grad school for chemistry. The past is fuzzy, I try not to dwell on it.

5. I followed the Grateful Dead on their last spring and summer tour. It was a great time, but again: fuzzy.

6. I won all kinds of awards for writing when I was a little kid. I still have the story that won Young Authors when I was in fourth grade (Watts: the life story of a light bulb) and the book of poems I wrote when I was in second and third grade. Here’s a sample:

Hello, hello, goodbye, goodbye
The day has gone, sigh, sigh
And night will be passing by
Hello, hello, goodbye, goodbye

Hey, don’t judge. I was seven.

7. My very favoritest time of year is late summer. August, specifically. That’s my month: I was born in August, and I was married in August. That’s when all of my favorite flowers are blooming (zinnias, cosmos, tithonia), my garden is producing the most, and the world just feels right. It’s a happy time.

Satisfied? Can we get back to our regularly scheduled blogging now? Cuz it’s Wednesday, and we all know what that means…(try to contain yourselves).

Here’s what I’ve been

Listening to




A very disturbing movie that. Really good, but disturbing. It’s pretty violent and definitely NOT for kids. You are warned. There were some really good sweaters in that movie though. Did you notice?

Oh, crap, I have to tag somebody else for the meme. Um, okay. All of you that read this blog and never say anything (and I know there are a fair number of you—Wordpress automatically gives blog stats everyday), all of you silent ones, consider yourself tagged. You’d better do it! I’ll be checking.


Don’t take pictures at dawn. They look like poo.

appletini socks done

See? Poo.

At least they match! Ha! Take that gods of…um, un-matchyness!

I’m not even going to bother with the specs. They’re socks. I made them with Yarntini self-striping in appletini. Whatever.

I’ve been feeling a little…apathetic lately. Can you tell? I don’t know if my knitting mojo is AWOL or just on crack. Look what I’ve been doing:


No, your eyes do not deceive you. They’re dishcloths. The cotton kind. Now, if you know me, you know that I HATE knitting with cotton. And to knit dishcloths? Um, no. Sorry. Try somewhere else. But you know what?

(glances over both shoulders)

They’re really FUN! And useful! I washed out two iron skillets yesterday, and for once I cleaned them how the blub keeps telling me to (which I usually ignore)—I didn’t use soap, and I didn’t scrub! I just gave them a few swipes and they miraculously came clean! Wow, huh? Who knew that enlightenment could be reached through dishcloth cotton? And come in so many pretty colors?

In other knitting news, I’ve been doing some major waffling on my Sockapalooza socks. Bleah! I don’t know…I think I might make some Monkeys. It seems, though, that everyone is making Monkeys. I know that’s no reason not to, but I want to have a little bit of originality! But it seems like it would be a perfect match, because my gauge is 8 sts/in, and I know my sock pal likes Cookie’s patterns. I thought about knitting one of the new patterns, but my yarn has some tonal variation (I’m using the red Fleece Artist, remember that?), and I think those would look best in very solid yarn. So…all roads point to Monkey right now. Anybody have a better idea? Let loose if you do, I’d love to hear it.

In the meantime I’ll be scouring the stores for colors of Sugar n’ Crème I haven’t tried yet…

Well, not yet anyway.

So I’ve been AWOL–out of town then sick. I don’t even have a real post today. I did finish some things (gasp!) but haven’t had time to take pictures yet. Hopefully I’ll be able to do that soon, but until then you get the generic Wednesday post. Enjoy.

Here’s what I’ve been




Listening to.

I also just realized that yesterday was my little brother’s birthday and I forgot to call him! Ack!

Don’t you just love it when finished knits appear out of nowhere?

anthropologie bolero

Poof! It’s the anthropologie caplet from Peony Knits!

Sorry about keeping you in the dark, bloggy-friends, but it really only took me one day.


Pattern: stated above
Yarn: Patagonia Nature Cotton, color 209, 2 skeins
Modifications: In the pattern, you’re supposed to do the YO increases on the purl side (which is the right side). I didn’t like that, so I switched them over to the knit side. I’m going to wear it knit side out, too. I think mine looks better that way. Um, I think that was it, as far as changes go. I really don’t remember.

I do like the feel of the Nature Cotton. If you’ve never seen it before, it’s an unmercerized thick-and-thin cotton. Very, very soft. It probably won’t wear very well, though. It’s so soft that it feels, well, weak. I’d love to use this to make some stuff for my nieces and nephews, but it would probably fall apart in three minutes. The owner of my LYS used it to make socks. Can you believe that? I can’t imagine them lasting more than about five wearings.

I got this pin to hold it closed at the top. Yes, I’m banking on the fact that the picture of the cat won’t be so blurry in person. Please don’t alert me to what is probably the reality.

Oops! It’s Wednesday!

Here’s what I’ve been




Listening to.

Is that last one a cheat?

After ripping and re-knitting that dumb heel no less than four times, I have said uncle, thrown in the towel, waved the white flag, and abdicated my throne as matchy-matchy heel queen. In other words, I gave up. Here’s the fricking thing:

appletini sock heels

Pretty close, I’ll admit. However, the more eagle-eyed among you may notice that I’m approximately one row off. Whatever. I don’t care anymore. I’ve traveled down the OCD road waaaaaaaay longer than I’m comfortable with. This is what I’ve got. I’m resignedly happy with it.

Bleah. I don’t want to do that ever again.

In other news, the bluebirds have finally laid (lain?) their first clutch,

five bluebird eggs

and the irises have started to bloom.


No mushrooms, though. I think I give up on those, too.

Are you guys getting sick of this? I might stop doing it. Anyhoo…

Here’s what I’ve been

Listening to,




It’s been a good week for me, as far as this stuff is concerned!

I heard the Puppini Sisters on NPR yesterday and immediately had to find their stuff on the web and download it. They’re kind of like a modern-day Andrews Sisters. The song I heard on the radio was a cover of Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive. Awesome.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn–I thought I read this as a kid, but didn’t remember it at all. So I checked out the book on tape from the library a bit ago. I think it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. Ever. And I’ve read a lot, so that’s saying something. The book ended as I was pulling into the parking lot yesterday morning, and I sat in my car and cried for five full minutes—partially because the ending was so sad, partially because it was so happy, and partially because I had finished this book and couldn’t read it for the first time ever again. So if you’ve never read this, do yourself a favor and go pick it up. You won’t regret it.

Oklahoma! This was the one with Hugh Jackman. He can sing! Who knew? It was really good, especially that part where he runs around without his shirt on for a bit. “Sure, honey, you go to bed! I’m just going to watch this one part again, okay?” Heh.

Wow, I’m certainly verbose today. Sorry.

Hey, I heard from Colinette! But only to say that they got my letter, they were sorry, and that they were forwarding it along to the US distributor. So that translates to: still waiting. I’ll post my letter, the first letter, and whatever correspondence may be coming all at once. K?

Happy Wednesday!

Kermit sure knows how to sing the blues, doesn’t he? I too, am feeling blue. Columbine Blossom blue.

frogged sweater

I had to. I just had to. I’ve messed up the raglan decreases beyond fixing, and almost beyond recognition. As a knitter who wishes to hold her head up high, I was obliged to rip that crappy work out. So I’m back to where I joined the arms to the body. Honestly, I don’t know when this thing is going to be finished. I’m kind of feeling hurt by it. I think it may need to simmer in the UFO pile for a bit before I pick it up again.

So it goes.

I’ve also ripped out the heel of the second appletini sock three times now. At what price matching socks, eh? I love the heel of the first one so much that I want the second to look just like it. The problem is, I can’t remember exactly where I started the heel on the first one. Hence, trial and error, trial and error (with the larger equilibrium arrow pointing toward the error part). On the bright side, I don’t need the short row heel directions anymore. I’ve sure got that down pat.

Ribbit ribbit ribbit. I’m with ya, Kermy my man. I’m with ya.

Contact me

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