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You may or may not have noticed, but I haven’t really been blogging much lately.

Yeah, I know what I said before. I’ve been busy. Yup, this is true. But that book review is done and printed (it was in Science a few weeks back, squee). And although I have been working a lot more lately, I haven’t been so busy that I couldn’t blog.

So here’s the real issue: el mojo is el gone-o.

And the funny thing? It’s not just the blogging. It’s the knitting, too. I’ve barely been doing it.

I don’t know what the deal is. In the past when this has happened, I’ve knit some dishcloths or something like that, then I wanted to pick my needles back up again. This time? No dice. The only thing I’ve really been knitting is this.


They are squares. They are for a blanket. They are neat.

I saw a Gee’s Bend quilt in the paper a few months ago that was fantastically rock awesome. And I said, I wonder if I can knit that? So I am. Not replicating it exactly, more knitting a blanket inspired by it. I also managed to buy and trade for enough Karabella Aurora 8 worsted weight to make a good sized throw (for really not that much money). It’s squishily delicious and a dream to knit. But I find I’m not really picking it up that often. Just don’t feel like it. It’s a sad and strange state of affairs for me.

I guess I’ll get over it eventually. But I’m slowly slowly making new squares. Oh, also! I’m still looking for single balls of Aurora 8 in bright colors if anyone has any they want to trade or sell. Here’s my trade page on Ravelry. I’m also thinking it’s time to cull the stash, so I might be open to sell/trade stuff NOT on my trade pages. I dunno, try me.

I have been playing in some dirt. I finally got some flowers planted on the front porch.

celosia planter

potted portulacahanging portulaca

That’s just some of them. I think it looks nice. I like it.

The garden is also doing well. It’s been hot as shit and humid as, well, water. It’s also been quite rainy at night, which is just about ideal tomato weather. And they look fantastic. Unfortunately, so do the weeds, which have about reached critical mass. I’ve decided that this doesn’t really bother me–they tend to be in the paths, not in the beds. I can live with that. But only up to a point. When it cools down a bit, like it’s supposed to later this week, I may forgo pulling for taking them down with the weed whacker.

In other news, Kelpie’s still hanging in there.


But she gets a little worse every day. I find myself thinking that I might soon have to make a really hard decision. I’d really rather not think about that.

So instead I’m daydreaming about toy patterns. One of my verygoodbestest friends had a baby awhile back (she named her Stella, is that cute or what?) and this baby needs a knitted toy. I have a few ideas, but I’d love to get some weird suggestions from my weird readers. I’m seriously considering a dangercrafts monster, but I could be swayed. Leave your idea in the comments and I’ll love you forever.

K, bye bye now.

Once upon a time, in a land far far away, there was a maiden. And this maiden had some Yarn.

rowan summer tweed

The maiden was not so fond of this Yarn, which was called Ye Olde Rowan Summer Tweede. Long ago, she had been told by an wicked yarn store owner that it would be a great substitute for Annie Modesitt’s lovely corset tank top, which is knit in Artyarns Regal Silk. A more practiced knitter would have immediately seen through this ploy, and laughed in the face of the wicked, wicked yarn store lady. Our fair maiden was NOT experienced at this point, and she bought six (!) skeins of the stuff. And so she trip-trapped back to her cottage-in-the-woods, prepared for many hours of knitting happiness.

Dear readers, you can probably guess what happened next.

After many hours of swatching, washing, re-swatching, washing, hoping and praying, the maiden was forced to admit defeat.

“Fie!” she cried as she flung the Yarn away from her. “A pox on you, ye monsterous Summer Tweede! I curse your lack of drape! I curse your non-elasticity! I curse your complete failure to give me my required gauge!”

Newborn blanket corner

But most of all, our fair maiden cursed the sly and duplicitous yarn store owner, and vowed never to heed the advice of that forked tongue again. (By the way, this same yarn store owner had also asked the maiden to give her a copy of the corset pattern, because “they had run out at the store, and wanted to sell some more.” Needless to say, the maiden refused most haughtily. Can you believe that shit?)

And lo, she banished the Yarn to the deepest, farthest corners of her stash, so she would never have to look on the beastly stuff again.

At one point, our maiden even swapped away the Yarn. However, the yarn she received in return was very much not to her taste, and the friendly Fairy Godmother who swapped with her was gracious enough to reverse it. So the Yarn returned to lurk in the stash once again, and was not seen for many an age.

Then one day, our maiden Remembered Something.

She remembered that day that a certain wee babe came into her life. She also remembered a promise she made on this day, that this babe would have a blanket, and this blanket would be made by the maiden’s own hands. Then our maiden realized that the first anniversary of the babe’s arrival was fast approaching, and that she had better get cracking on this blanket knitting crap.

Blankie with flowers

The maiden had planned on making a Babette for the babe, but this Wasn’t Working Out. An evil witch must have cursed the maiden with Crochet Clutsiness (there is no other explanation). So our maiden gave it up as a bad job. But then she remembered again! Remembered a lovely pattern she had seen in the Good Witch Ysolda‘s latest book, Whimsical Little Knits, the Hap Blanket. It was simple and pure, and thus perfect for the wee babe.

And our maiden’s mind also turned to the Yarn. Yes, it had done her wrong in the past. But wasn’t it also simple and pure? And beautiful as well? And did it also not contain any wooly bits? The wee babe’s skin was very delicate after all, and prone to itchy rashes (poor babe).

After a quick test with the Yarn and a box of matches (no flammables on babe’s bed!), it was perceived adequate. And thus the knitting was begun!

Luckily for our fair maiden, she began the knitting far earlier than was necessary. For when the town crier announced that the babe’s 1st birthday party would be held approximately one month early, our maiden lost not one night of sleep. Ye Blankie was done.

Newborn blanket

(The wee babe’s daddy was called away by His Lordship the Captain’s army, and had to leave before babe’s actual birthday. He’ll be gone for half a year. Please wish him godspeed on a safe journey home.)

The celebration of the babe’s birth was most satisfactory. Much cake was smeared onto the babe’s face. And hair. And eyebrows.

Happy cake baby

And there was much rejoicing.

Wee babe was cleaned up before presentation of the blankie, but the fair maiden was glad she gave babe’s mommy washing instructions, sewn right to said blankie. Mommies of three wee babes and a husband far away don’t have time to remember that type of shit.

Directions and love

And then the moment came.

Lady AliceAlice and Mom and blankie

And they all lived happily ever after.

Alice with the blankie

The End.

Newborn Blanket, one year late
Pattern: Hap Blanket, by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Rowan Summer Tweed, 3 skeins cotton bud, 1.5 skeins oat
Needle: US 9
Started: April 22
Finished: June 2
Mods: didn’t do stripes in garter stitch part, smaller yarn and smaller needle (finished size was ~30 inches square)
For: Lady Alice Catherine on the occasion of her first birthday, which much much much much much much love

Contact me

thechemgrrl AT gmail DOT com (you know what to do with the extras)
June 2009