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Kind of big quake here, 5.8, about 15 miles from where I am. But I’m okay! In the newsroom–this place is going nuts. Gotta run.

capistrano beach

Seeing as I’ll be buggering off soon (less than two weeks left in California), I thought I should get my white ass to the beach.

leg and sock

So I did, Sunday afternoon. I also took along my very white leg, and my sock.

sailboats

And spent my time looking up at the pretty rolling waves,

me so shapely

and looking back down at my sock. (I had no idea my calves were so curvy!)

clouds!

I saw actual clouds! But no rain.

the sockie so far

I got all the way through the heel! Start to turn.

seagull at the beach

It was lovely, it was tranquil. My mind wandered. I experienced knitter’s Zen. I was one with the ocean! With my knitting! With the whole world!

Until I finished the heel, went to pick up the gusset stitches with the variegated strand, and saw this.

well, crap

It is rare that words fail me. But I could only think of one.

fuck

Member when I got a new niece? Member? Member?

Well, now I have a friend for her.

hello dolly

Dolly! aka Puddin’ aka Pud
Pattern: Dolly, from Jess Hutchinson’s toy booklet
Yarn: Cascade 220 superwash, chocolate, walnut heather, and berry pink (mmm…sounds tasty!)
Needle: KP Options, US 5
Begun: July 18
Finished: July 20
For: ACK!

The blub and I recently realized that my new niece’s initials were a…c…k, so she will hereby be referred to as ACK! With the exclamation mark. You know, kind of like Berroco Love It! Just not the same without it. Ya know?

america's sweetheart

Anyway, Dolly. Holy crap, don’t you just want to eat her up? She is so so so cute. I named her already–Pud. That’s short for Puddin’. Because her head kind of reminded me of chocolate pudding. And because she’s sweet and squishy.

she's so flexible

And flexible! She can do the splits both ways.

lickety split

Pud was so fun to knit. And quick, too! Two nights of The Life Aquatic and The Daily Show and some Eddie Izzard on YouTube were all it took. (pssst…I’m kinda getting hooked on the whole TV on the internet thing, especially the Daily Show. I’ll actually miss that when I go home in a few weeks. Don’t tell the blub, okay?)

action pud

I didn’t change a thing from the pattern. Nothing. No thing. Oh well, I didn’t put a nose on her. And I sewed on felt circles instead of using safety eyes. And I didn’t do the crochet around the edges of the dress, since I don’t have any contrasting yarn I like. But besides those minor adjustments, I didn’t change a thing.

pud 1

Pud is about 6.5 inches long from the tips of her toes to the top of her little roundy head. And arm to arm is also 6.5 inches. Hey, she’s proportionate! Weird. The pattern says Dolly should be 9.5 inches tall, so apparently my gauge was a little tighter. Who cares, I heart Pud the way she is.

rockstar

And she’s a bit of a ham, in case you couldn’t tell.

My niece is half Filipino. I wanted to make her a doll that would look like her, hence the walnut heather. I think it’s a bit dark, but it was either walnut heather or…pink. So there you go. Anway, I think little ACK! will like Pud.

pud loves oswald

If Oswald and I can give her up, that is. Oof. Gonna be hard.

Lookit! I made a scarf! How timely!

scarfy 5

Random Ridges Scarf (aka Scarfy)
Pattern: de la derrière
Yarn: that fabulous Manos silk blend that I got from Purl, 2 skeins of magenta
Needle: KP options, US 8
Started: June 26
Finished: July 5
For: me, of course. Silly.
Rav it!

Ah, garter stitch. Does anything rival its simplicity, its beauty? I wanted something lovely and beautiful that would show off this yarn. I also wanted something brainless to knit after I finished my Clapotis, since I was coming home every night simply wasted in the thinking department. Seriously, I think I missed the turn to get back to my house here in the OC about four times in one week. Brain-dead. Yes, that about says it.

scarfy 6

So Scarfy was born. Actually, Scarfy was really born in a dark movie theater while I was watching Wall-E. (Cute! But it didn’t seem to pack the same punch as other Pixar films, although I can’t put my finger on why.) I had started out doing an all-garter stitch scarf, then got bored with it and began throwing weird knit and purl patterns into the mix. Then I went to the movies and knit another big block of garter stitch. I looked at my handiwork on the way out, and decided that blocks of garter stitch and stockinette stitch were the way to go. So I snipped and ripped out the beginning, and knit the rest in my random garter ridges.

scarfy 4

BUT I did make sure to keep the edge stitch in garter stitch. Because we don’t like that pesky rolling that stockinette does, do we? Scarfy lays nice and flat.

scarfy 3

Want to make your own? Just cast on mumblewumble stitches, then knit in garter for a bit, switch to stockinette for as long as you like (keeping 1 stitch on each edge in garter), then switch back to garter when you feel like it. Use up two full skeins of the Manos, then cast off. Voila! A scarfy to call your own. Finished measurements are mumble by wumble.

scarfy 1

Yeah, I forgot to measure it. I also forgot to write down how many stitches I cast on. (Although I do know it was somewhere between 25 and 30. I think it was 27, which makes sense for me since 27 is 9 times 3, which makes it a happy number, because it’s all about threes. Yes, I think of such things while I’m casting on for projects. Shut up!) This forgetting is somewhat of a problem, since I can’t just look at it and figure it out. Why? Well, the eagle-eyed among you may have noticed where the Scarfy photo shoot took place. That purple fence? Surrounds my garden. At home. In Indiana.

ETA: Scarfy is 5 5/8 in wide and 73 in long. I cast on 27 stitches. Therefore my gauge was 4.8 stitches per inch. Give or take.

scarfy 2

Yeppers, I went home this weekend! Saturday was the blub’s birthday, and I couldn’t let him pass that momentous occasion without little ‘ol me. (He turned 42! He is the answer to life, the universe, and everything!) So I flew home. Also, he didn’t know I was coming. So it was a birthday surprise! He was very surprised, too. The house was a wreck. But it was still very very nice to be home, even if it was only for two and a half days. I flew back this morning, and lemme tell ya that was hard. But, I’ve only a month left here, so I’m keeping my chin up. Anyway, I took Scarfy home with me and left her there. So if you really want finished measurements, I can ask Blubbster to get them. I can’t see him counting stitches, though. There’s only so much you can ask of a man.

(There’s only so much you can ask of me, too. I was planning on having the blub take a picture of me in the scarf, but it was So. Friggin. Muggy. When I took my camera outside to get those shots? My lens fogged up. Twice. So there was no way in hell I was putting that glorious wool-and-silk concoction around my neck. So the fence will just have to do. It does look fabulous on, take my word for it.)

I did some other things when I was home, too.

tower o yarn cakes

Oh yes I did. I carted eight skeins of O-wool balance home in my suitcase and wound them up when I got there. Oh how I had missed my ballwinder and swift.

I also grabbed my thesaurus off of my desk. I cannot tell you how much I’ve missed this little book. Now I’m overjoyed to have it back. Charmed! Delighted! Elated! Euphoric! Jubilant! Rapturous! Thrilled! Tickled Pink!

I also visited my stash. And now I have this little friend to keep me company.

electric sock

Koigu knee socks. Oh yesssssssss. I’ve wedded the purplue with some KPPM I’ve had in my stash for ages. And dammit, I think they look smashing together. I’m just doing one row stripes of each. It’s quite convenient that I like it so much, as I started these socks here, with only the dimmest memory of what the variegated Koigu looked like. But then I fetched it from home and hot damn! Love it. The buzzing business of the stripes and the bright colors (and the fact that they will be knee socks) keeps reminding me of the Electric Company. Plus, I just watched the Goonies recently, so every time I pick these up, I hear Sloth’s voice in my head going, “Hey you guuuuuys!” So that’s what they’re called. The “Hey you guys!” socks.

I’d better get me some groovy roller skates. Right quick!

My cell phone made a little jangly whooping noise as I walked into work this morning. And indeed, the happy sound was a herald of joy–it was alerting me to a new picture message from my older brother. In the picture was a brand new baby girl.

Alice Catherine came storming into world this morning like a woman with an agenda. My sister-in-law started having contractions around nine, and delivered just after ten. I think we should expect great things from this child. She doesn’t screw around, that’s for sure.

But why shit? Alice being born healthy and quick delivery for my SIL are certainly not shit. This is shit.

sweater not done

That would be one cute little not finished sweater. Oh, but it’s so close, you say. It won’t take any time at all, you say.

sleeve not done

Hmm, maybe I should listen to you because I think you might be right. But I’ve been putting off finishing this thing for so long that it feels like a monumental task hovering cutely over my head.

armpit not done

I have to sew up the remaining sleeve and the armpits. And then sew on snaps. I got those popper thingies so my SIL could get little Alice in and out of this lickety split. I even have the matching thread all set to go. But I think I’m going to get buttons too, to sew on the top of the placket. So it will look like there are buttons, but with no pesky buttoning and unbuttoning for my SIL. Sneaky, eh? I wish I could say that I planned it that way all along, instead of just forgetting to put in buttonholes. Ah well.

I’m also downright cranky because I got sent home early from work today. Apparently, it was for my own good, but that doesn’t mean I’m any less pissed off about it. Let me ‘splain.

I’ve been working on this big story for two days now. I finished it (I thought) this morning and then sent it to my editor. (This is my hardassed editor, by the way. I have two editors. One is very laid back. The other is…not.) What happened next was bloody and painful and too long to relate here. The gist is, I have to do the whole thing over. But he told me to leave because he said my brain is tired and I’ve been working on it for too long and I just need to go home and not think about it until tomorrow morning.

Fine.

I must say I handled it pretty well. I packed up my stuff, turned off my computer, and walked out the door. Then I proceeded to kick the shit out of my rear bumper for a solid five minutes.

Did I say solid? Ouch.

No permanent harm done, though. Yes, I’m mad. In fact, I’m really really mad. But I’m even madder because I know he’s right, and my story sucks, and it needs to be totally re-worked. But I’m so sick of the fucking thing right now that I want to defenestrate my computer. Defenestrating my editor might help a little bit, too.

So fine. I will forget the story until tomorrow. I will go shop for cute buttons. I think something with Beatrix Potter bunnies on it might be appropriate. I will then go buy new sandals, just because I feel like it. I will also try to find a copy of Knitting From the Top, since I’ve decided to go commando on the Gilet Asymetrique.

I looked at the pattern. It’s in French, and while I might still take you guys up on the lovely offers of help with that silly language, I’ve decided I don’t like the construction. It’s in pieces, and I don’t like seaming. It’s knit flat, and I don’t like purling. So I decided, fuck it. I’m gonna do it my way.

So I’m going to knit a top-down raglan that looks like that pattern. And you know what? I’m going to do it with steeks. Ha! Take that, Phildar.

Am I being crazy? Maybe. But crazy can kiss my ass. I’m getting tired of following patterns, anyway. It might be time to strike out on my own for a little while.

Happy Birthday, Baby Alice. May you grow up to be a badass that doesn’t take crap from anybody.

Anyone out there speak French? I took Spanish as a wee high school student, so my French is unfortunately limited to telling Pierre I’m a small cabbage. I’m in desperate need because I have a sudden, powerful, and inconsolable urge to knit this.

And the pattern’s in French. Darn you, Phildar!

Anyone willing to help with a translation? I’ll make you cookies! Yummy cookies.

Contact me

thechemgrrl AT gmail DOT com (you know what to do with the extras)
July 2008
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