You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2008.

You know men. They only have one thing on their minds.

Socks. Handknit socks. So of course the blub needed socks for Christmas. That was seekrit projeck number two.

xmas socks 2

When I was discussing my dad’s scarf with Nels, I brought up the idea of the DNA scarf.

“I don’t think that’s really him,” he said. “But I want one!”

I had made el blubbo a very nice cashmere scarf for Christmas a couple of years ago, which he hearts, so I’m not about to replace that. But socks are his favorite article of clothing. So why not DNA socks? I asked myself.

Why not indeed? I answered.

What yarn should I use? I continued.

How about that nice In the Navy STR heavyweight that I got in a swap last year? I suggested.

Excellent idea! I answered.

I used a size 4 needle, and the DNA cable chart (pdf!) from this scarf. The cable is 20 stitches across. I needed about 48 stitches, so I put the DNA cable on the front and back, with a four stitch stockinette band between each cable. And it wasn’t until I finished the heel turn on the first one that I realized they were too narrow.

xmas socks me in them

Um, they fit *me*. Not that this is such a big deal. The blub has pretty skinny ankles. However, his feet are jagnormously wide. Like could bridge the river Kwai wide. So Steps were needed. Here were the ones that I took:

1. Much swearing

2. Burying socks in the bottom of my knitting basket and refusing to talk to them for a day

3. Pulling socks out and looking at them again

4. Realizing that I can turn the st st parts into ribbing if I just drop one stitch all the way back to the beginning and picking it up as a purl

5. Trying to do this from the heel turn, then realizing the stitch I need to drop is the one from which I picked up the gusset stitches

6. More swearing

7. Ripping out the entire heel and dropping the right stitch, then picking a purl back up

8. Doing the same thing on the other side, then realizing I had dropped the wrong stitch

9. Dropping that stitch again, picking it back up as a knit, then dropping the right stitch and picking it back up as a purl

10. Looking at my new and improved ribbed sock and realizing that it’s still pretty narrow and not particularly stretchy

11. Ignoring this and blindly knitting forward

A step or two more that I needed, maybe?

I compensated for the lack of stretchiness in the leg by making the foot ludicrously stretchy. I knitted a twisted rib gusset, then carried the ribbing along the side of the foot all the way to the toe. It *is* super stretchy, plus it looks kind of neat. Yes?

xmas socks gusset

So flash forward to Christmas Day. Blub opens socks. Blub doesn’t get that they are DNA socks. So I give him some hints. See the major and minor groove? Blub looks blank. See the base pairs? Still nothing. They are DNA socks, I shout. Blub then exclaims mightily to the heavens that they are the coolest socks ever and tries to put them on.

They don’t fit.

Well, that’s sort of a lie. They are fine, perfect even, once he gets them on. But he breaks a sweat wrestling them onto his tootsies.

xmas socks

They will stretch out, I assure him.

They will stretch out? he asks.

They will stretch out, I repeat.

And all is good. Merry effing Christmas.

Yessiree bob, it’s time to unveil those sneaky Christmas knits.

Seekrit projeck numero uno was for my Dad. And no, it wasn’t a thong. It was a very nice and sproingy scarf. I just hope now he throws away that ratty old scarf I made him about four years ago, that pilled and rolled and generally looked like a maroon piece of shit hanging about his neck. This one’s much better looking. As you can see, he was super duper happy with it.

Dad with scarf

That charming young man in the background is my little brother. Yes ladies, he’s single.

The pattern is the Triumph Cable Scarf by SmarieK, and I used the most fantastically wonderifous yarn in the whole universe to knit it. It’s di.Ve’ Zenith, and it’s squishtastic. It’s also cheaptastic—I got it at WEBS for $3.99 a ball, and now because of their year-end sale, it’s even cheaper. I wish I could afford to go buy several sweaters’ worth, because I LURVE this stuff. It’s a cabled twelve-ply, and it’s round and plump and very, very soft. Supposedly, according to the vast Ravelry/internet research I did, it also doesn’t pill. That was a must for this scarf—I don’t want it looking like grey poo in two months, like the last one. Oh yeah, and it’s superwash too, so he won’t accidentally felt it. Yay for that.


I liked the pattern, although I did want to gouge out my eyes after knitting it for awhile. But I always want to do that when I knit long straight scarves, so you can take that how you will. The only mod I made to the pattern was to add an i-cord edging to both ends. It looks more finished that way, I think. Yes?

scarf end

One last thing. It grew. Before blocking, it was a compact and perfect five feet. (That’s using every inch of four balls of the Zenith, 480 yards.) After blocking? Six and a half. Yikes, dude. It also kind of stretched out width-wise. I was a bit bummed, since it was so squishy and thick before blocking. I suppose I could have foreseen that if I had, I don’t know, blocked my swatch. But why on earth would I want to do a thing like that?

Anyway, prognosis WIN. Dad happy. Me happy.

And speaking of me happy, I also got some lovely candy in my stocking for Christmas!

candy in my stocking

Sock Candy
, that is. Black, er, orange gold.

Weezalana sent this to me, isn’t she sweet? She knows I lovecravecovet the difficult to find Blue Moon Fiber Arts sock candy, so she sent me some. I was good and waited until Christmas to open it. And squee! It was prettier than I thought it was going to be. Thank you uber oodles, Weez! This almost makes up for that fun fur I gave you that time, don’tcha think?

Unveiling of seekrit projeck number two next time. The DNA socks. Oy vey.

Yup, that says it all. I, for one, am having lots of fun playing with short people and eating way too much sugar.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

love, chemgrrl

undoing wicked 002

Recognize that sweater? No? Then let me give you a hint.

Yep, I’m ripping out my Wicked. I rarely wear the thing, but last week I actually pulled it off the sweater shelf and wore it to school.

Then I was reminded why I never wear the thing.

It’s too short. It’s too wide. And the neckline could probably accommodate at least six more people, a small child, and a ferret.

But other than all those annoying little details, I really like it. Cuteness factor? Check. Yarn love? Totally off-scale. (Blue Moon Fiber Arts Twisted–the stuff that dreams are made of. And nice sweaters.)

So I decided I needed a do-over.

undoing wicked 004

Bye-bye old, ill-fitting Wicked! Hello to new, more negative ease and longer length and smaller-than-the-national-debt neckline Wicked.

undoing wicked 006

(Okay, that’s still the old one. But I had one more picture.)

I’m actually not finished ripping the old one out yet. I got up to the armpits, then realized, “Hey, it might have been a good idea to rip out the sleeves first, since they’re knitting from the top down. Yes, genius-girl?”

So yeah. That’s still waiting to happen. Sitting on my swift too, since I want to wash the yarn before I re-knit with it. No gauge issues allowed here, no sir! Wicked part deux is going to be bloody perfect. Because I say so.

In other news, I’ve finally finished all my coursework for that Science Writing class I’ve been taking. Yaaaaay! I can have a life again! Well, the sort of half-life that grad students have. But I can actually knit in the evenings again, woo-hoo! I do still have to try to package one story to sell (and get paid real money for, woot), but that’s it. And that’s not happening until after Christmas.

And speaking of Christmas, seekrit projeck numero dos is finished! Yay again! Take a gander here on Ravelry, iffen you feel so inclined. The object in question still needs to be blocked, so I need to figure out how to do that in stealth-mode. Then I will take some not-so-crappy pictures. But yay, all Xmas knitting is done!

Next: I cast on for a sweater. Tonight, perhaps. So exciting, no?

Hey, remember those nifty green socks that I test knit for my friend Kalani a little while back? The pattern is on sale!

green forked sock twisty column

It’s $5.50 during the month of December! (It’s normally $5.95.) So if you’re interested in the pattern, or just a new type of heel turn, go get it while the getting’s good. Here.

In other news, guess what I finished! Super squee! Now I’m just trying to keep myself from starting two more Christmas presents.

Someone stop me, okay?

Contact me

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