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It’s not often that I’ll put YouTube videos up here, but I couldn’t resist this one.

Oh gawd, my ovaries. They’re going to explode.

Hoo doggies, do things get wild at Chez Chemgrrl on Saturday nights. Last night, we played Scrabble.

This is no happy little low-key game, mind you. Nope. Around here, we play cut-throat Scrabble. At least the blub does. And to keep myself from getting completely tromped by him, I’ve had to start getting nasty, too.

Don’t have a word to reach that triple word score square? Block it. Think you know where your opponent is going to play next? Put a word there first. Preferably a lame and crappy word too, just so it pisses off the other person. Gloating is also highly recommended.

Playing this way is not how I was raised. But compromise is the key thing in a marriage, so I’ve learned to be a complete bitch on the Scrabble board.

The blub usually still beats me anyway. And this never fails to piss me off, since I always have way better words.

Some of the ones I played last night: MELEE, GNOMES, TROOPS (actually, I didn’t think that one was so great, but the blub thought it was brilliant), JOT, OVA, QI, and TAXA. (Which he challenged me on, ha! It is a real word, it’s the plural of taxon, which is the word for a collective name of a biological organism, like in family, genus, species, blah blah blah. Yay for reading Biology textbooks.)

I also played the word POTEND, which isn’t a real word. I didn’t really think that it was; I was pretty sure I was confusing it with PORTEND. But I didn’t have an R, plus the spot I stuck it in was sandwiched between two across words that were one space apart. So there was a P, a space, then a T. Sweat droplets the size of small children were running down my face when I plopped that one down, but the blub just rubbed his chin and said, “Potend. Hmm, good word.” Whew! (Then after the game I looked it up and laughed at him.)

Some of his words? BIDET, LURK, QUEST, which fell on both a double letter score (for the Q, which is worth 10 points) and a double word score. He got something like 46 points for that one word. He dropped ZEN on a triple word score. 36 points, ouch. He also did this thing where he put down three letters directly under three more, so he got the points for an across word and three down words. The letters were so pedestrian that I don’t even remember what they were, but it ended up being on another double word score square, so he got another 30-something points. Gah!

So yeah, he kicked my ass. Again.

HOWever, I must enter evidence in my defense. I was knitting this.

noro swatch

Well, I couldn’t have knitted either of my sooper-sekrit projecks! Both require paying attention (don’t want to stick a tassel in the wrong place), so I had to knit something that didn’t require any thought. What better than a swatch of the ferociously fabulous Noro Kochoran I just got?

Bought from a fellow Raveler for a song, enabled by inspired by turtlegirl’s Lady Eleanor wrap. It’s bunny! And silk! And Noro!

stack o noro

And pretty.

I didn’t really have a goal for this yarn when I bought it. Vaguely I thought of knitting a Lady E too. But honestly, the idea of knitting something very long and rectangular is about appealing to me right now as sticking dpns through my eyeballs then squeezing lemons into the open wounds.

But while trolling Ravelry yesterday, I did notice that a certain sweater that I’ve long had in my queue just happens to call for aran weight yarn. Which Kochoran just happens to be. I also just happen to be headoverheelsandmanyotherbodyparts in love with this version, which is all beautiful and stripy. And Kochoran is all beautiful and stripy. And it takes about 900 yards to make. I just happen to have about 1050 yards. And my gauge just happens to be spot friggin on.

I have Christmas presents to finish, dammit! I am getting close. Seekrit projeck #1 is half finished as of this morning, and I’m past the 75% mark for seekrit projeck #2. But still.

Must not cast on for Mrs. Darcy.
Must not cast on for Mrs. Darcy.
Must not cast on for Mrs. Darcy.

So I’m knitting the Xxxxxxx Xxxxx Xxxxx for Xxxxxxx for Christmas. I’m getting along pretty well, don’t you think?


I love the yarn I’m using. It’s di.Ve’ Zenith in Xxxxxx Xxxx, which I got from WEBS. So soft! So squishy! So splitty! I still love it though. But the splittiness is a pain in the ass when it comes to doing the xxxxxx.

Wanna see a close-up?


Pretty, eh? I think Xxxxxxx will really like it. And I’m more than half done! Yay!


Secret knitting sucks, no? I’m cursing the day I ever gave my family my blog address.

Ravelry’s still sacred, though.

Here is my standing-in-line-waiting-to-vote sock before I went in my polling place:


And here it is after:


Yeah, it didn’t even leave my purse. No line! At all! It was in and out in approximately six minutes. (And not even a cigarette after.) From what they’ve been saying on the radio, you’d think that anarchy was about to descend on the greater Bloomington area. I did go a little bit later, at about 9:30. But sheesh! Way to make a big deal out of nothing.

Campus is a bit crazy, though.


There are balloons and chalked messages on about every flat surface and people everywhere with clipboards and buttons and maps to the local polling places. The lower set up of festivity up there bonked me on the head as I walked past. They’re so enthusiastic, those young voters! Supposedly there’s a guy around from MSNBC too, interviewing people on campus. Indiana’s not usually important as far as elections go, but this year it might actually go blue. That hasn’t happened since something like 1964, apparently.

But if one more person asks me if I voted yet, I swear I’m gonna go buckwheat. Read the sticker, for Pete’s sake!

Life can seriously slap you in the face sometimes.

Take last Monday. It’s finally getting cool out, and the blub’s been complaining of his cold head in the mornings.

Time to pull the knits out.

Now normally, this is a happy time of year for me. I get to wear wool again, yay! And the first part of this ritual was very enjoyable. I got the plastic tubs of coats and hats and scarves and sweaters down from the attic. The blub and I even went through the winterwear and got rid of some of his old stuff, which lit me up with joy because getting rid of stuff is something he is really not good at. And when you live in a 900 sq ft house with slanted walls and no closets, this gets to be a big deal.

So I spent a happy hour, throwing scarves upon scarves upon scarves on the Goodwill pile. (Seriously, he had about ten. How many scarves can a person possibly wear?) Then I went to unpack my winter sweaters.

Now, I just want to take a moment to say that I do not store the handknit sweaters up in the attic. It’s actually over the garage, not the house, and it can get a bit dank up there during the summer. It’s humid here. ‘Nuff said. And now I am very very very glad that I keep this policy. Because I found something not-so-happy when I opened up the sweater box.

A mouse had gotten in there.

sweater horror

Some disgusting little rodent had used my sweaters as a summer abode. And ripped up my very favorite sweater. A small-gauge angora/wool blend with a huge cowl-neck. And it had sentimental value to me too, since it was the sweater I wore to my Grandma’s funeral. It didn’t make me sad, as you might think. Instead it made me think of her, so I really loved to wear it. And now it’s in tatters with mouse poo and pee all over it.

It got a few others, too.

sweater horror too

This was my second favorite sweater. I might be able to fix this one. There’s only one hole, and it’s in the hood.

lovely vintage skirt horror

It also got this fabulous vintage skirt. Totally destroyed. It got two other sweaters too, ones that I cared less about. So now I’m down a total of four winter sweaters. And one skirt.

&*%$* mice. I’m so setting traps up in the attic next year. And not the nice catch-and-release ones that I normally use, either. Total vendetta time.

So once I got past scheming about little mousy deaths, I had to go shopping. I need some more sweaters.

Has anyone been sweater shopping lately? Holy crap! Retail sweaters suck!

A lot of my problem is that I don’t particularly like the fashions out right now. It’s like the retail industry is out to make everyone look a) like a time-traveler from 1984 and b) pregnant. How else would you explain something like this? Or this? And what is with all these bulky knits with short sleeves? I love how the website describes it as “a long, tall silhouette.” Um no, it’s more like a four-year-old-wearing-mummy’s-vest silhouette.

And on the rare occasion I found something I did like (that wasn’t crazy-expensive), I was appalled at that little content tag. “Seventy bucks for an acrylic sweater?!” I yelled in the middle of American Eagle.

(I left right after that, and I swear it had nothing to do with the nasty looks I was getting from the sales staff.)

Dammit, I want wool! Wool! Isn’t that kind of the point of sweaters? And the thing that really chaffs my ass is that I can think of about ten sweaters that I love right now. And where did I find them? Ravelry.

Like this Monon. This beautiful cardigan, made from the knitter’s own handspun. This fabulous Mrs. Darcy. Baby cables and big ones, too. Silken scabbard, although I would worry about the increasing size of the cables making my butt look big. Indigo playmate, which I have the yarn for. I also heart this one, and I recently learned that Stephanie Japel put the sweater I’ve been lusting over for years, her big brown cardigan, into Glam Knits.

I also saw a beautiful color of Paton’s classic merino about two weeks ago at Michaels. It was on sale for $3.99/skein. So I could make that last sweater for about…$30.

I did end up getting some good deals at Goodwill. Three sweaters and a pair of (really cute!) shoes for $17. And I got this at Target. (Even though the blub says I look like an old lady trying to look chic in it. He can go screw. I like it.) So that will tide me over for a bit. I am also actually knitting a sweater right now, but have put it aside for Christmas knits.

But when those are done? Sweaters and socks, baby. Sweaters and socks.

Contact me

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