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So I’ve been feeling a bit meh lately. I think it’s the aftermath of the test knitting sock frenzy, plus the midnight wasp stand-off, plus the great sewing machine debacle. (And speaking of that? My bruise is pretty. It’s all purple and red and yellow and green. If it weren’t so gross, I’d take a picture of it.)

My point is that after the excitement of the past couple of weeks, I’m feeling a bit…let down. Bored. Ennuish. You know.

But I have finally gotten back to knitting my fall sweater.

rabid sleeve monster

Not that you can tell from my picture, but it’s the #77 Vine Lace Top Down Cardigan by SweaterBabe. It doesn’t look much like a sweater right now. In fact, it looks more like a rabid tweed monster with arms. I am almost done knitting the sleeves, though, so I can soon get back to the more interesting body.

vine cardigan sleeve

Because the body has this cute little vine lace pattern. That you can kind of see if you squint and look at it sideways. And have a lot of liquor.

vine lace sort of

See that along the left side there? Yeah. I’m hoping that blocks out a little better.

All in all, it’s been a nice sweater to knit so far. The pattern calls for Lamb’s Pride Bulky, which I can’t even be in the same room with. (I’m allergic to mohair. To me, mohair = seductive evil. So pretty! But so itchy!) So to be a good girl and stash-bust, I’m using some yarn that I’ve had hiding under the couch for quite awhile.

remaining nice yarn

It’s Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran Tweed, in dusk. It’s heavenly. Soft and squishy and tweedy and silky, all at the same time. I’m knitting the XXL size to make up for the gauge difference, and it seems to be working out okay so far. Yay for top-down sweaters.

I got the yarn ages and ages and ages ago, back when I was silly. You see, this yarn was originally meant to be a Blub Sweater. And the trouble with the blub, is that he wears his sweaters like outerwear. That is, during the winter, he wears the same one every single day.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you. But I just figured out, after I had knit a lot of this yarn into a blub-sized sweater, that there was no way this soft and pretty yarn would stand up to the blub’s special brand of abuse. So I frogged the sweater. Even though all I had left to do was finish the collar shaping and sew it up. (I hated it anyway. It was a big ploofy drop shouldered sweater-from-hell.) I ended up knitting him a Cobblestone Sweater instead, which he likes and it’s wearing pretty well so far.

So I’m really glad that I can use this yarn finally. But I have an, er, small problem. When I frogged the sweater? I just rolled it up into a ball. And because I had split-spliced the yarn together as I was knitting the blub’s sweater, this turned out to be a really really big ball.


A few really really big balls, actually. (IU basketball team signed ball included for scale.)

I have, as of this morning, used up all the Jo Sharp that remained in unknitted balls. Now I get to put these babies back into hanks, wash them and dry them to remove the kinkiness, and rewind them into balls. Grand.

Erm. Anybody else want me to test knit socks for them? Anyone?

And I heylped!

green forked sock 2

This lovely little number is These Socks Are Forked, by Kalani Craig. Which I test knit (test knitted?) for this knitting group bud o mine. So the main attraction on these socks is not the beautiful pattern (believe it or not) but the heel. The heel’s the forked part.

green forked sock forks

Can you see it? There are two sets of short rows in there. It is amazingly clever, since this then makes a heel shape that actually looks like a heel! Damn me if I didn’t take any pictures of sock without foot in it. But it curves out. Trust me. Go take off your shoes and socks and look at your heel. It doesn’t go straight up and down, does it? Nope, it curves out then back in. And this heel does that too. Nifty, eh?

But the whole sock’s just so dang pretty.

green forked sock front 2

That center column is a bunch of twisty stitches. Kalani said it’s flames coming off of columns of smoke, but I think it looks more like leaves growing off a climbing vine. I guess the fact that I knit mine in green maybe influenced that a bit.

green forked sock twisty column

And then the pattern flows beautifully into the top ribbing.

green forked sock ribbing

I knit mine in Socks that Rock lightweight, jade. Well, my ONE sock, I should say. I have to do the second one, still. But for test knitting purposes, I’ve fufilled my duty. Yay, go buy the pattern now! It’s here on Ravelry. And if you’re not on Ravelry yet (what are you, living under something large and rock-like? You only have to wait two days to get in now!), you can contact the designer of this fabulousness on her blog here.

In other-things-green news, I finished my craft room this weekend!

crafty room

Sorry for the seriously el-crapsto pictures. My camera was NOT cooperating this morning. But you get the general idea, eh?

For my birthday, El Blubbo surprised me with shelf parts. To make Shaker-type shelves. Like the ones I had in my room in Orange, that I hearted. So that’s why I painted a couple of weeks ago. And now the shelves are done and I have a lovely Den ‘O Craftiness. Yay!

crafty room 2

Good Gawd, those pictures are awful. (And the color looks so bad in them! It’s really pear green. Like the color of a Bartlett pear.) I am very happy with it. Except I’m kind of an idiot, and didn’t really think about how high up to the put shelves. The blub held them up and said, “Here?” And I said “Sure.” But see that magazine rack thing there? I actually had to cut off the top. Because it was too friggin tall to fit up there! I also misjudged how tall my sewing machine was and tried to put in up there too. Then, as I was up on a stepstool and holding the dang thing above my head, I discovered that the top bobbin was about 1/4″ too tall for the shelf. And then I had to bring the sewing machine down. Quickly. And like the complete and total moron that I am, I used my thigh to break its fall so I wouldn’t drop the blasted thing.

Do you know how much sewing machines weigh? Ow.

So now I have a gimpy leg AND a gimpy arm. (Kalani and I did the above sock photo shoot after she came with me to get a tetanus shot the other day, which I had to get because I rolled over on a wasp in my sleep last Sunday night and the stupid thing stung me. Twice. Which caused me to pass out on the bathroom floor, where I was dutifully applying Benedryl to my stings. I guess passing out’s a symptom of anaphylactic shock, so I went to the doctor the next day. And he said I don’t have a true bee allergy, but he gave me a prescription for an Epi-pen since I live so far from the hospital. And he also said that I needed a tetanus shot, since I basically got stuck twice with a dirty needle, and I hadn’t had one in 18 years. And Kalani said she needed one too, and went with me to get one since I’m kind of scared of needles. Isn’t she nice? Anyway, THE POINT is that my arm still hurts. End of story.)

Um. I’ve totally lost my train of thought. So I guess I’ll just sum up: sock pretty, go get pattern; I’m sore, I’ll go knit.

Over and out.

So this will be THE LAST unblogged-due-to-moving-back-to-Indiana-from-California-and-I-couldn’t-be-bothered-to-do-anything-for-a-week-and-a-half-project.

It’s a cowl.

cowl 2

Cuello templado.
(Which, according to the remnants of high school Spanish trundling around in my brain, means “warm neck.” I could be wrong, though. Hopefully it doesn’t mean something like “dead chicken wrapped around the neck of an aging toad.”)

Pattern: Luxe Neck Warmer from Knit 2 Together
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay 100% wool, one skein of agate, color 100
Needle: US 8

I don’t know when I started this, but I finished it August 24. I think it was after I left Orange County. But I did wind the yarn there. I know because it was in a stinky ball-that-rolls-across-the-floor-whenever-you-tug-on-it-and-then-Izzy-tries-to-eat-it-and-you-have-to-wrestle-it-away-from-him-and-keep-knitting-with-yarn-covered-in-cat-spit type thing.

manos cowl

It turned out pretty, but itchy. So not really in the spirit that the pattern was written, since it was supposed to be this sinful thing that you never want to take off. I wanted to take it off pretty much right after I put it on.


But it will come in quite handy for robbing banks.

The pattern calls for bulky-weight cashmere. I could only afford worsted-weight wool. (Hence the need to rob banks.) So I changed the stitch count from 72 to 84. That’s it. The cowl is just feather-and-fan, so it’s pretty dang simple. I cornily knit from the pattern though, because I bought the yarn from Wildfiber, and the pattern designer Mel Clark used to own Wildfiber. She doesn’t anymore; she’s gone back to New Zealand. And I have a crazy feeling that if she DID still own Wildfiber, I wouldn’t have paid $36 for a single skein of Sock Hop.

No, I’m not still bitter or anything.

But speaking of Sock Hop, I did recently score some from the original source, Crown Mountain Farms.

I got two skeins of Sunshine of Your Love,

sock hop sunshine

(Look! It’s yellow! I bought something yellow! I apologize to all who will be inconvenienced, but Hell will be freezing over soon.)

…and two skeins of Wild Horses.

sock hop wild horses 2

I love love love the Sunshine of Your Love, but I’m not so wild about Wild Horses.

(Ugh. I should be flogged for that. Sorry.)

sock hop wild horses

I dunno, it just turned out to be more orange than I expected. So I’m looking to trade it for another colorway of Sock Hop. Any takers? Leave a comment or email me at thechemgrrl AT gmail DOT com (filling in the appropriate symbol bits for those capital letters, of course). Or catch up with me at Ravelry, here.

For now I’ll be dreaming away on what to do with the Sunshiny skeins. Just plain socks? Ribbing? Cables? Laciness? Garter stitch?

Ahhh the planning, she is much of the fun.

Sorry, can’t blog today. Dead. I’ll catch up when I’ve come back to life, m’kay?

Sigh. Okay not dead. Just feel like it. Pourquoi, you ask? (You’re very worldly. You ask in French.) Because I have a jagnormous FO from this weekend.

green corner

It’s a room. It’s a lovely green room that used to be a white room. And I did it all by myself. (I’m a big girl!) I must say, I think it looks smashing.


But my body, she says ow. She says ow mightily. I had to move a lot of furniture. And you know what? If you never move furniture, you never see what lies beneath. And if you never see it, you don’t realize just how much dirt is lurking under there.

Beneath the dryer? I found a Microraptor skeleton. An important scientific find, surely, but not one you wish to scrub off your beautiful hardwood floors.

So at least that’s done. Ish. But the entire time I was painting, my next huge project taunted and jeered at me from outside.

messy garden through octagon window

The garden. She’s a mess. Ugh.

sloucy hat 3

Regardless of the look on my face, I really like it.

The Big Fat Liar hat is called the Big Fat Liar hat because it made a Big Fat Liar out of me. Anyone remember my rant about patterns and suckage and silly things in French? Yeah, I got pissy one day over the summer and denounced knitting from all patterns. And then I saw the pattern for this hat. The same day. And downloaded it. Right then. And went out and bought yarn for it. The next day. And cast on for this hat. As soon as I got home.

So yeah. I suck. But my hat doesn’t!

slouch for all seasons

Pattern: A Slouch for All Seasons, by knittingdropout (Melissa something, I forget her real name. But her knitting rocks the awsome.)
Yarn: Cascade 220 superwash, teal, uno skein-o
Needle: I bloody forget
I also forget when I started and finished this thing, but both were when I was still in Southern California. So: it was a while ago.

The only thing I changed was the ribbing. I did a twisted rib. I like twisted rib. (Because it matches my DNA. I do like things to match.) Plus I did all of the ribbing on two needle sizes smaller than the body of the hat, instead of just the cast-on this way like it says in the pattern.

twisted rib

(Do you know that it’s quite fun to play with the focal length on your camera? I do.)

The hat has the requisite slouch.

slouchy hat side

Kind of like an old person’s boob, from some angles.

slouchy hat back

(To be fair to the obviously braless hat, I was looking up.)

But it makes me quite happy.

slouchy hat 2

And while I’ve brought up that bygone pissy post, I have decided that steeking will not work with the O-wool I got at Purl. It’s not grabby enough, I think. O-well. I’ve decided that the whole Phildar pattern can eat my shorts anyhow. I got this in the mail yesterday…

image unabashedly stolen from

image unabashedly stolen from

…and I’m one smitten kitten. And my beloved O-wool now has a new purpose in life. This sweater.

(which I can’t find a picture of. But you can see here on Ravelry. But it’s the indigo playmate sweater and it is way cute. Take my word for it.)

But I think I will put some random cables on the sides. And maybe some ribbing. Or not. I’m just gonna go with it. Gotta find your own sweet spot, as sweaters go.

Oh, and speaking of sweet spots? To the person who found my blog by googling “ever had a orgasm that made you faint”–more power to ya, honey.

Do you think there’s an evolutionary reason that babies are cute? I mean, seriously–think if they weren’t. These little wobbly balls of flesh and spit up, screaming at all hours of the night, wanting to be fed constantly and crapping all over you at the slightest provocation? Yeah, they’d better be damned cute. If they weren’t, I think our species would have died out long ago, countless new generations pitched into deep ravines by crazed, sleep-deprived Cave-Moms. (Cuz you know that Cave-Dads would NOT get up in the middle of the night for the baby. No way, nohow. Thank god for the New Age Sensitive Man.)

And you know what else these cute little babies do? They make you finish up your knits for them.

alice in sweater

I mean, really. The gall.

Okay okay, so the sweater as modeled above by the precious and charming little Alice was not finished when I visited the Virginia branch of my family three weeks ago. But it is now. Dammit.

sweater bootie combo

See? I even made a pair of booties to match.

baby booties

Am I rockin this cute baby shit or what? Love the buttons.

crochet loops

I had forgotten to put in buttonholes while I was knitting the sweater. (Which incidentally was back in May. Ahem.) So I just added some crochet stuff to the edge. Wah-la. Cuteness abounds.

i heart natural light

Now I just have to mail it off before she outgrows it.


Sweater pattern is EZ’s Baby Sweater on Two Needles, aka February Baby Sweater. Yarn is Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport in Sage. Needle was size 5 (US). Rav me.

Bootie pattern is Saartje’s Booties. Yarn is ibid. Needle was size 2 (US). Rav me, too.

Oh, and speaking of crochet! And also speaking of things for babies, I finally have picked out the colors for the baby Babette.

babette colors

Yah? Is pretty? Yah. Now I just have to, um, learn to crochet. I got a copy of The Happy Hooker and made an attempt already. And it looks like…well, it doesn’t look much like crochet, let’s just leave it at that.

But hell, I’ve got plenty of time before I have to finish that. Christmas is eons away! Besides, I’m a bit obsessed with this new sock pattern I’m test knitting. The heel so kicks ass. Just wait till you see!

forked sock so far

I’ve even arsed it up already! Kalani, do I get special points for being an overachiever?

Contact me

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