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I have decided that it’s Friday. Have you?

Here’s what I’ve been

Listening to (If I could only listen to one artist for the rest of my life, it would be Tom Waits. No question.)





Oscar in the sunlight
This picture has nothing to do with anything, except that kitties are nice.

So I’m wearing my Hourglass pullover today. Yes, to work (Jennifer–I swear I’m putting on a lab coat every time I walk into the lab, even though it makes me feel pretentious). I’m going to the Nutcracker later with the blub and his parents. One must look presentable at the ballet, you know. Anyway, I’m really starting to think I should frog this sweater. It started out too tight, but now it has relaxed into too short. It also squishes my boobs down like a sports bra, while showing my tummy just a little. I always wear a shirt underneath so there’s no belly button peepage, but still.

Don’t. Like. It.

So, there is a decision to be made. Should I

a) frog it and rekint using the same yarn;

b) leave this one, but knit another in a different yarn;

c) frog this one, and reknit in another yarn (and use this yarn for something else);

d) forget the whole thing, and just wear this one occasionally and be pissy.

Before you chime in with your opinion, there are a few things you should know:

a) I knit this sweater out of Noro Cash Iroha. I don’t have any more of this, excepting one partial ball, because I gave away my extra skein in my blog contest. I would most likely need more than that, and could probably not find one in the same dyelot.

b) I’m going to be getting a bag of Shibui sock yarn in Mulberry sometime after Xmas*, which knits up to a worsted gauge held double. If I used it to make another Hourglass, it would look very similar to the first in color (but not with the pretty tonal variegation that Shibui yarn has). OR I could get a different color. I’ve been kind of eyeing the peacock-y blue. I know I look good in burgundy-purple shades. I’m not so sure about greenish-blues. I was originally thinking about knitting another Wicked out of it, but making the long-sleeved cardigan version (although I just saw this one today, and I’m digging it, too). But do I really want to knit the same sweater twice? Well, I *did* really enjoy it the first time. And this one would be different. I must admit that I liked knitting Wicked better than the HGP, but that might have been a yarn issue.

c) This sweater *is* really pretty. But I just get so peeved every time I wear it! I could be so much better, dammit! Grr! But it WAS my first sweater ever, so maybe I should cut myself a little slack.

d) is completely unrelated–do I use too many commas?

Arrugh! I’m normally so frickin decisive, but that trait is somehow escaping me here.

Help me, O Blog Readers! You’re my only hope.

*I know it’s a lot of money for a sweater, but I’m getting a tremendous deal on the yarn. I’m sorry, but I can’t share it. I really wish I could.

And that word is “truth.”

Carry on.

Oopsie #1–I forgot Friday was Friday. I don’t mean in the general sense, I mean that last Friday I forgot it was Friday. So I’m doing the Friday stuff today. Which is Monday. I don’t want anyone to get confused here.

Here’s what I’ve been

Watching (did you know that Terry Jones wrote the screenplay? I didn’t.)

(another Chrestomanci book–yay!)


Listening to

The blub has a rule–I’m not allowed to listen to Christmas music in the house before Thanksgiving. But now I can listen with all my might. I am happy.

Oopsie #2 has a longer windup.

I did finish Odessa. Unfortunately, it’s really hard to take a picture of yourself wearing a hat that doesn’t involve some serious acrobatics or bathroom mirrors. Plus, the blub hasn’t been home during daylight hours lately, so I haven’t been able to get a modeled shot. So this will not be the full Odessa post. But I can give a little sneaky peek, can’t I?

blocking odessa

That’s a blocking shot. I got a bit impatient waiting for this hat to dry in my cold back room, so I set up a spiffy drying apparatus.

drying apparatus

That’s our woodstove on the left, and the hat laid out on a chair on the right. Miraculously, no cats decided that it would make a great bed. For awhile, I had the hat on top of the woodstove, on a towel. But then I smelled something funny.


Tee hee! Oopsie #2! Thank goodness the hat was fine. It turned out just a wee bit snug on me. I hope my SIL doesn’t have gargantu-head. I don’t remember her head being overly large, but it’s so hard to tell just by looking at someone, you know?

Here’s the other thing I’ve been working on.

mystery project

Can you tell what it is?

Probably. :) I hope to get it done by the end of the week. It’s durn cute though, huh?

Have a nice Cyber Monday. Try to get a little work done today.

Well, yes. I took a little hiatus from my Christmas knitting to make myself these.

Thuja mitts

So sue me.

Pattern: Thuja-inspired fingerless gloves, by Carrie (aka irishgirlieKnits)
Yarn: STR mediumweight in Henpecked, waaaay less than one skein (1.9 oz, to be exact).
For: me! Duh.
Needle: US 2 (the smaller 2)
Begun: November 16
Finished: November 21
Mods: Carrie’s pattern called for STR heavyweight, but since I have hands approximately the size of a seven-year-old, I used the mediumweight instead. Plus, that’s what I had in my stash that matched my coat. I knitted the size L, but it worked out perfectly. I also added ribbing at the top. The curling edge was cuter, but the way it made a lump on my palm bugged me. So, rip rip, knit knit, my aren’t these mitts the shit?

thuja mitt left

I really, really like the way they turned out. Thanks for the great pattern, Carrie! They are super cute and they went really fast. I have enough yarn left over to make a pair of socks if I want. I think that it might instead end up as a hat and mitten set for Baby J. Which I will knit after Christmas.

Anyway, I heart them.

thuja mitts happy

Can you tell?

Besides knitting these over this past weekend, I had the opportunity to meet up with Macoco from Craft Pirate. Yay! But being a bad blogger, I didn’t even take my camera with me. Boo. We met up at Knit Stop in Indianapolis. All I can say is–whoa! If you live around here and haven’t been there lately, please go. They had doubled their space (and inventory!) since I had been there last year. Yarn up to the ceiling! I had to climb up a ladder to get this stuff down.

sublime yarn

It’s Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk Aran, in granite. I got it to make Odessa for my SIL. The pattern called for DK weight yarn, but I got this instead. Silly me, it didn’t even register that it says ARAN right there on the label. I blame the yarn fumes. I think Macoco will back me up on this. That store was overpowering! Plus I got there five minutes before they closed, and thought I should hurry. I don’t know why I thought that, because the women in the shop were in no way shape or form rushing me out of there. In fact, Macoco and her friend were sitting in the back with the owner, knitting and chatting away for about a half hour after they were officially closed. Very nice people at Knit Stop. Plus they have cute dogs. Macoco and her friend and I went over to the Barnes and Noble across the street after that, and knitted for a bit. It was very nice, and wonderful to meet them.

Oh, hat. Right. I figured I could change the pattern a bit to fit my gauge. It should work out fine. Plus I got these nice beads to go in it.

odessa swatch

I cannot stress how nice this yarn is. So soft, with a beautiful sheen. And super sproingy! I was having a ball knitting beads into the swatch, until I realized that the more beads I put in the swatch, the more I would have to string onto the yarn later. Hence the abrupt end of the beads there. I used a short piece of small gauge wire, folded in half to string the beads, in case you’re interested. About half the beads didn’t fit on my big yarn, but I got enough on in the end. So happily knitting away on this one.

After that: only two gifts to go! Wish me luck.

That is, my newest (almost) FO. AFO? Anyway, props to you if you know the poem from whence the title was inspired.

So since I don’t have my lovely FO pictures to show yet, you get swatch pictures instead. Yipee!

fair isle test swatch

Actually, this is a big Yipee! moment for me. That swatch up ‘a yonder? Them there’s my first fair-isle. EVER.

Not too bad, eh? Here’s the back.

fair isle test swatch back

Er, what you can see if it, that is. I (of course!) did it in the round, then cut the joining back yarn. Then I wrapped the edges with duct tape so it wouldn’t unravel. In retrospect, I guess I should have maybe cut the tape a bit narrower. Oh well. You can still kind of see my floats. And they’re nice floats! They float my boat.

The swatch is made from KnitPicks Telemark, in cream and garnet heather. Pretty! I like the new heathers. It is my practice for the Christmas in Tallinn stockings, from Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush. I will have Christmas stockings this year! Well, I hope. Lord willing and the creek don’t rise (or the cat don’t eat). One for me and one for the blub. His will be like the linked picture (white on red) and mine will be the opposite, red on white. Isn’t that so precious? I just want to hurl.

I’m quite proud of myself, dammit. I think I did some spanking good fair-isling for the first time. It’s a bit tight, but I think I’ll go up a needle size for the actual stockings. Swatching, I used a three. That’s a bit weeny, for the yarn. But it doesn’t really matter, because no one’s going to be wearing these stockings. How smart am I for doing that? I’m just making something that I’ll get out year after year after year and in ten years time when I’m the Queen Master of Fair-Isle, I will look at them and wrinkle my nose because they suck so hard. But that’s then, this is now. Now I’m happy!

Have a great (American) Thanksgiving, everybody! I’m only making pie (and going to my MIL’s house for dinner), so I’m looking forward to a long serene morning, in front of a fire and with my knitting needles and wool. Bliss.

Well, the morning has just slipped away. Nevertheless it’s Friday, and here’s what I’ve been


Reading (this audiobook seriously kicked ass!)


Listening to

And from last week!

Watching (el blubbo loved this one)

(yes, again. I missed Amelia.)

Listening to

Whew. So many links. I’m all a-twitter!

Have a good weekend, everybody! I hope to make a large dent in the remaining Christmas knitting with mine.

So I’ve got two Christmas presents done, and I’m almost done with a third.

scholar collar

It looks all innocent, like a simple garter stitch scarf, doesn’t it? Ha ha! It is not! It is a Scholar Collar!

Well, it will be a Scholar Collar, once I get the button on. The Scholar Collar is beautiful in its simplicity–a garter stitch scarf that wraps around and buttons in the front, like an ascot. (Well, kind of. Ascots don’t button, but they’re sometimes held in place with a dapper pin.) I’m making this for my FIL for Christmas.

I started this out of my walnut dyed yarn. I showed it before, remember? But although it’s a very beautiful color and it was knitting up so nicely, I frogged it. My FIL’s favoritest color in the whole world is red. So I wanted to make his scarf red. The walnut one was very nice and all, but I want to make him something that he absolutely loves, not just something that he likes a lot. So I ordered some new yarn.

The lovely and wonderful yarn I got instead is this Morehouse Farm Merino Bulky. It’s very nice and sproingy–kind of like knitting with a sponge! (Well, the yarn is spongy. It’s not like knitting with sponges for needles. That wouldn’t be nice at all.) I ordered the burgundy color, and I was actually quite disappointed when this appeared on my doorstep.

pre dye skein

I mean, I guess that’s burgundy. But it’s not really what I was expecting. It’s kind of pinkish-grey burgundy, not the snapping dark red that I wanted. So I overdyed it.

new color

This is really, really close to the color is actually is. And it’s perfect! I do heart it so. A lovely, bright and dark snapping red! Yay!

Just for reference, here’s a bit of the old yarn on top of the new color.

old color on new color

Quite different, isn’t it? I also tried out this new ‘pour’ method when I did the overdye, so some of the original color peeps through. Not too much, but just enough to be interesting. I think that it’s the first time ever that a dye job has come out exactly how I wanted it to. I’m very, very happy with the results.

I’ve actually gotten much more done on the scarf since I snapped the above picture over the weekend. I’m up to the point where I have to make the buttonhole, where I’ve had to come to a screeching halt. Why? I don’t have the button(s) yet.

So my FIL studies Goethe. He’s one of those silly academic types. ;) So I thought it would be really cool if I got Goethe buttons to go on his Scholar Collar. Well, it was easier said (thought?) than done. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find buttons with Goethe’s image on them? Let me fill you in–it’s hard. But I did manage to find these on ebay:

goethe's farewell to frederique buttons

I know it’s kind of fuzzy, but it’s an image of Goethe up on a horse saying goodbye to his first love. According to my MIL (whom I asked about their authenticity before I bought them), Goethe left her behind when he went away to university, but without telling her he wasn’t coming back. Nice. Well, whatever. Beggars can’t be choosers, I guess. So I got them in the mail and everything was hunky dory until I needed them for a buttonhole size reference.

Um, I can’t find them.

I swear I put them on my desk when I first got them. The problem is, my desk is a cluttered mess. I about ripped the whole thing to pieces when the buttons weren’t where I thought I had left them, but to no avail. I think they are lost (and think they may have had some feline intervention in that respect, if you know what I mean). In all honestly, I think they might have been too small anyway. They are 9/16″ buttons, which probably would have gotten totally lost in the big bulky stitches. Sigh. So I looked around on ebay again and found this:

goethe coin

It’s a German coin, with Goethe’s image on the front. It’s exactly what I was looking for in a button–Goethe’s profile. Plus it’s clean-looking, you can actually tell it’s Goethe, and it doesn’t have that icky connotation of Goethe being an asshat about it. It’s a little bigger than a quarter, or so the seller told me. I don’t have it in hand yet.

But the problem: it’s a coin!

I figure I can make it into a button somehow, and it’s large enough that I’ll only need one button, instead of two buttons like on the original Scholar Collar. I’ve gotten this idea in my head that I can glue it into some kind of bezel-type thingie, preferably with a border around the edges so it doesn’t look so much like a coin. The only thing I can find so far it this (scroll down, it’s the gold one right after the doll buttons). I think that it might work, but it definitely isn’t ideal. I’m going to ask a woodworking friend of mine if he can make a nice one out of wood. Until then, I’m clean out of ideas. Anyone out there have any?

Holy schnikes, that was a long post. Sorry. Chocolate and starry things to you if you made it to the end. And buttons. Lots and lots of nice buttons. :)

Two Christmas presents: el finito!

stripy hat

Fintio thing one: The Stripy Blub Hat
Pattern: Erm…visually based on the stripy hat from Itty Bitty Hats, shaping is from that strange Elfin Hat, IK Fall 07
Yarn: Malabrigo worsted, in five colors–I probably have enough left to make four more hats.
Begun: October something or other. Late October. I thought having a blog would help me keep track of these things. Apparently not.
Finished: November 9, 2007
Recipient: the blub

Oh, I do like this hat. I think Nels will wet his pants when he opens this. He is a Large Fan of Silly Hats. I think this one may even cross the border into Very Silly. Regardless, he will be pleased.

delicato mitts

Finito thing two: Delicato mitts
Pattern: Delicato mitts, by Anne Hanson
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in charcoal, one skein (with big leftovers!)
Begun: Sigh. See above.
Finished: November 9, 2007
Recipient: my lovely SIL

These were fun, although I did suffer a bit from Second Mitt Syndrome. But whatever, they’re done. Two Christmasy things off my list, yay! And I’ve cast on for a third, but that’ll wait until later. Don’t want to overwhelm you. It might cause seizures.

For those who care: sorry I did not do the Friday stuff this past Friday. I was on my couch with an icky cold, and my at-home internet access leaves much to be desired. But I got so much knitting done! And I’m pretty much better now, so yays all around. I think I’ll do a double dose this coming Friday, to make up for it, m’kay?

Next time: the Scholar Collar! Yay!

So remember last Friday when I was all grumpy? Yes. Well, that day I decided to do a little retail therapy to cheer myself up. I cashed in my gift certificate for Spritely Goods, and I got the yarn Monday (holy quick shipping, batman!). I wanted to take some nice pictures of my yarn so I could share my heavenly bounty. But I was late at work last night, then running late this morning and forgot my camera.

So I scanned it instead.

malabrigo scan

Malabrigo laceweight in lettuce. Yes, it’s as soft as everyone says.

Malachite II scan

Spritely Goods
handpainted superwash merino in Fey. The color is called Malachite II. Isn’t it just loverly? I had a really hard time choosing a colorway. I’m so glad I chose this one. The color in the picture (on SG’s website) is really spot on, at least on my monitor. My scan is a little off. I tried to fix it, but didn’t do a very good job. I do not posses the mad computer skillz.

The great thing about bringing the yarn to work with me is that I can reach down and squeeze it whenever I’m feeling in need of a lift. Maybe I should start keeping yarn here all the time….

So remember the post a couple of days ago, when I listed all the Christmas projects I was going to knit? Yeah. You’d think, wouldn’t you, that I would actually be working on those.

Nope. I cast on for a sweater. Guess which one.

CPH cablies

Yepolas. I was so smitten with weezalana’s Central Park Hoodie that I needed to make my own.

cph back

There’s the back. I am knitting this in pieces because I want to add pockets along the side seams. I figured the easiest way to do this would just be to sew them in as I seam up the sweater. I am also most likely not going to knit the hood, since I fear I will be short on yarn (me? no way!). I only have ten skeins of this Debbie Bliss Aran Tweed, which translates to 1090 yards. Supposedly I need 1098 yards to make the smallest size. I am making this size, but I was also planning on doing some increases around the boobal area so we don’t have any pesky gapping. Besides, I’m also quite taken with Lien’s version which has no hood. So there we are. Only time will tell what happens.

In my own defense, I have been working on some Christmas gifts. Case in point, the stripy blub hat.

the stripy blub hat

All Malabrigo, baby. He’s going to love me for this one (er, more than he already does I mean). It will be pointy. It will be silly. He will be most happy.

But! Because it’s a super-secret gifty type thing, I can’t knit it when he’s around. I’ve also stopped progress on this:

walnut yarn scholar collar

The Scholar Collar, made from that walnut dyed yarn. It’s not that I don’t like it–I think it’s working up beautifully. It’s just that I think my FIL would like it better in a different color. So I ordered some burgundy Bulky Merino from Morehouse Farm Merino, which hasn’t arrived yet. This scarf has since been sitting around, lonely and dejected. I can’t bear to rip it out because it’s so pretty, but I can’t think who to give it to, either. So it lingers. Poor scarf.

AND, in case you thought it migrated to Africa or something, here’s the state of the Cobblestone pullover.

Cobblestone sleeve

Yeah, remember that? Ahem. I got up to the armpits and stopped some time ago. Again in my own defense, I’ve been waiting around for some new dpns to arrive to start the sleeves, since the yarn is kind of sticky and all I had in that size were some bamboo ones. Not. Gonna. Cut it. So I did pick it up again. And then I put it down because I wanted to work on my sweater.

Yup, I’m a horrible person. I might as well embrace it.

Contact me

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