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Look! Projects! Posting! Wow, eh?


I haz finished some socks.

Love cabin socks (rav me, baby)
Pattern: Log cabin socks, from Handknit Holidays
Yarn: STR heavyweight, Lover’s Leap
Needle: US 5
Started: January 20
Finished: February 23
Mods: Nein!

In case you were wondering, the love cabin is where you sit in a lovely chair and knit lovely things with lovely yarn. (I certainly hope you didn’t think it was anything else you pervy people coughcoughweezcough.) So this yarn and these socks were lovely candidates for the love cabin. I got the lovely yarn ages ago, when I visited the lovely Carrie, aka Irishgirlieknits, in her lovely home of lovely wherever the hell that was northern California. (Forgive me, it was a whirlwind trip.) She took me to the infamous (and lovely) Purlescence, and I done got yarn. Lovely.


Bet you didn’t know that feet could do this. Ouch.

I didn’t change a dang thing in this pattern, and knit the women’s size. Which is kind of funny, considering that the called for yarn is Rowan Cork, which is a bulky weight, and I subbed a sport weight. No worries, it worked fine. Lovely.

IzzersCats are so hard to impress, you know?

I did carry the cable pattern down the heel, although I’m not sure it was the bestest idea ever for socks that I’ll be wearing with shoes. It’s a mite uncomfortable. Plus I’m worried that the cables will wear out pretty fast from all the rubbing. Yes, I know that’s why these are supposedly lounging around the socks house, but really, who does that? Anyway, the cable is pretty. Lovely, even.


The omigod hot pink of these was a little hard to get an accurate picture of, but you get the idea. It was such a cheery color, used to get me through the evil hateful dreary month of February that is the patron saint of desperate and sun-hungry knitters around these parts. Worked pretty dang well, even if it did take me another whole month to get around to posting them.

In other news, I’m frantically knitting a shawl to wear to my little brother’s wedding, which is in 25 days. It’s Haruni, which is lovely and beautiful and here on Ravelry, or here on flickr. I only have six rows left, but they have ~ 500 stitches each, so going is of the slow variety. Plus I’m worried about running out of yarn. AND on a deadline. Fun, eh? Stayed tuned for that blog post, which at the rate I’m going will probably be up by sometime mid-November.

TTFN, dearies.

This blog post is brought to you by other people. No, really. I didn’t knit anything I’m about to show you. Neat trick, eh?

To begin the story, we must hearken back. To…um. When the hell are we hearkening back to? Not sure. Let’s start with July, at least I remember that one.

My in-laws, who have been married 50 years come December, had a party this past July. (So people, especially the grandkids, could come during their vacations.) It was a lovely time, but the most lovely thing was that I learned something Very Nice. My FIL’s sister, Tanta Renata, knits. A lot. I hadn’t known this before, and my MIL told her that I knit. So as you maybe can imagine, we had much to discuss.

I found out she loves Nancy Bush. With a very unholy passion. (Can you blame her?) We talked about TONS of stuff: stashing, socks, nupps, Estonian knitting, just to name a few. This last thing is also very important to Renata. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but my FIL is German. But he was actually born in Tartu, Estonia. I’m not sure if Renata was born there too, but she was certainly loves those Estonian knits. So much so that she knit my FIL a pair of socks, “sometime a long time ago,” she said. “He never wore them. He probably threw them away.” I kind of doubted it, and I told her so. Nels got his pack-rattage tendencies from somewhere, after all. But Renata didn’t agree. “He didn’t appreciate them. Be grateful you have someone who appreciates your knitting,” she said, smiling at Nels. He had already pulled up his pant leg to show her the handknitted wool socks he was wearing in the July heat.

Renata left the next day, unfortunately. I wish we had had more time to talk. She lives in Albuquerque too, so I don’t see her often. But she did mention how happy she was to have someone to inherit all her knitting supplies. (She’s around 80, and seems not squeamish about such things.)

About a week after she left, I decided I needed to know what happened to these socks. So I asked my MIL if she remembered them. “Oh yes!” she said. “Peter still has them! Do you want to see?” And she ran upstairs to get them.

Hell, I thought, that was easy.

And then she gave them to me. Yes, really.

Estonian socks

My FIL never wears them, she said. His feet get too hot. But goldang, they are in beautiful condition. I wonder if he wore them even once.

I’m sorry I don’t know what the pattern is. Renata said they were an Estonian pattern, and I think she knit them while she was still living in Germany, many years ago. They are certainly not superwash wool. But I love the details. Especially the twisted stitches down the heel flap, and the broken ribbing that runs along the sides of the foot.


The little purl ridge after the ribbing is also a nice touch.

ribbing and tops

I’m not too familiar with Estonian knitting, so I don’t know how traditional the fair-isle pattern is. It’s pretty, though.


And since I’m curious like that, I flipped the sock inside out to see the floats. I’m a bit ashamed of this, because it always feels a bit like I’m peering into the knitter’s underwear drawer. But look at this underwear!

the flip side


She finished the sock off with a star toe.

star toe

Just lovely. And the best thing? They fit Nels!

They fit!

He didn’t want to take them off after I took this picture. But I made him. I’m so afraid he’s going to wear them out! I’m thinking of weaving some nylon thread into the heel, so it lasts a bit longer. It’s just knit plain, no slipped stitches or ribbing or anything. Anyway, he pouted. I told him they had to be hand-washed, but he didn’t care. Watch him chuck them into the washing machine. Gaa.

I haven’t told Renata yet that we found the socks. I think I’ll just send her a copy of that last picture. That would be a nice surprise, yes? Blast from the socky past. Yay.

So there’s that.

The next thing is not old, but it IS also Estonian. My FIL is a retired professor, but he still does these speaking tours from time to time. This past spring, he and my MIL went to Estonia to give a lecture or two because his very famous book had been translated into Estonian. (I don’t know how many languages that it’s been translated into now. I think it’s around 20 or so.) This is what they brought back for me.

Estonian yarn

240 grams of light fingering/heavy lace weight yarn. In Estonia’s national colors. It’s kind of scratchy but smells very sheepy so I like it. I don’t know how many yards it is. A lot. Enough for a nice stole. For Renata, maybe? I think she would like that.

I didn’t know it at the time, but that wasn’t the only thing they brought back from Estonia for me. I got the other on my birthday.

more stole

A handknitted stole! For me! My MIL said she got both yarn and stole at this outdoor market thingie in Tartu. Pretty! But kind of hard to capture on camera.

even more stolestole

That’s the general idea. It shifts colors, kind of like Noro. But it’s not. This yarn is also very sheepy and kind of scratchy. But I will wear it anyway. It’s nice to know that that quality extends beyond my own knits. I think a bath in some wool wash will do it some good.

So yay, I had a happy birthday despite the auspicious beginning. Thanks to everyone for all the nice birthday wishes! And I would also like to say a very special thank you for this last thing, which was a package I received shortly after my birthday. It wasn’t really a birthday present. It was more like a “hey cheer the hell up” present. And it didn’t cheer me up so much as made me laugh so hard I almost wet my pants. That’s cheerful, yes?

Anyhoodle, it was sent to me by the lovely and most wonderous Weeza. The things inside the package are a bit beyond description, but for simplicity’s sake I will call them “socks.” She suggested that I use them to make some sock monsters, and they will make the most kick assingly awesome sock monsters on the face of the planet. I couldn’t think of a better way to thank her than to make a happy sock dance video. Which I accidentally filmed upside down. I thought I could flip it over later, but it seems I can’t. I’ve decided this adds to its charm. So here you go, Weez. A very happy thank you video, very charming and containing cat for scale.

(Sorry for craptastic quality. I need to turn up the resolution on my phone camera thingy.)

This summer has been so fricking nice.

fence and meadow

So much so that I’ve wanted to do little else but sit on my porch and watch the creek flow by, the hummingbirds dive-bomb each other, and my beer glass slowly grow empty. There has been some knitting. A bit. A smidge. But all mindless. And honestly, not really that much of it. Two pairs of socks in the past, er, couple of months. One pair for Nels, and one for me.

The blub pair:

happy feets o the blub

Dude’s Funky Socks, Also with Dutch Heel
Pattern: Gentleman’s Plain Winter Sock with Dutch Heel, by Nancy Bush from Knitting Vintage Socks (rav)
Yarn: Schoeller + Stahl Limbo Superwash #2539 (rainbowy bits) and Cascade 220 Superwash (solid teal bits)
Needle: US 3 and 4
Start to finish: July 5 to 12

Not much to say about these, really. They are awesome, I think that about sums it up.

gentleman's winter stockings

I made them not match on purpose, cuz I felt like it.

blub socks stripies

I added some random stripies, but the stripies the yarn did by itself were pretty nice.

dutch heels

I did make the heels match, and I did do the Dutch heel. It was interesting to step away from my heel flap heel for once. Refreshing, even.

I finished knitting these super-fast. (Well. The fact that the yarn is worsted weight kinda helped.) It was totally unintentional, but they were finished on the blub’s birthday so I wrapped him up and gave them to him. Bonus birthday present. He was quite pleased. So much so that he wore them that day. Worsted weight socks. In July. Mild summer or not, that’s pretty hard-core. I guess he just loves me. Or loves handknit socks. Either. Both.

Pair two: the me pair!

beer and the socks

Gettin’ lucky socks
Pattern: Um. Gentleman’s Plain Winter Sock with Dutch Heel, by Nancy Bush from Knitting Vintage Socks (rav)
Yarn: Crown Mountain Farms Sock Hop, 2 skeins of Say a Little Prayer
Needle: US 3
Start to finish: July 13 to 31

Yes, these are the same pattern as the ones I knit for Nels. I guess I just liked knitting them. Called the gettin’ lucky socks because the color reminds me of Good Luck Bear.

(BTW, while playing with Care Bears with my best friend Stacey was the first time I used the word ‘dick’ in a sentence.* We were seven. We laughed and laughed! Ah, childhood.)

Is there anything else to say here? The awesome was screaming to continue. I let it.

sock hop toesies

Didn’t do the Dutch heel here (I guess I can only take so much refreshing at once) but that was about the only difference.

socks and flowershappy socksIzzy and the socks

And. Um. Yeah, that’s it. About the only other thing I’ve been doing (besides working and wishing I was home on my porch) is gardeny type stuff. And taking lots of pictures of gardeny type stuff. Lots.

Indiana musk melonnasturtium in the gardenblack eyed susansbeans!Queen Anne's lace and fenceFunny looking beanmatersconeflowers in the sun

Yep. Lots!

Sigh. My porch is so nice. I wish you all could come over and sit with me and knit. But speaking of that, I have to go now. I have to go sit on a porch (not mine) and drink martinis and knit with The Best Knitting Group Ever (TM). Wanna come?

*For the curious: Stacey was playing with Wish Bear, who was a girl bear, and she made her say, “I have to go powder my nose.” So I felt I should make my bear go to the bathroom, too. The trouble was, I was playing with Love-A-Lot bear, who was a boy bear. My seven-year-old mind worked feverishly. What the heck did boys say when they had to go to the bathroom? Coming up with nothing, I blurted out, “I have to go polish my dick!” And then, as you might imagine, hilarity ensued.

happy peeking toesies

Hey baby…

what's that?

…do those socks go all the way up?

they're tall

No. Only about halfway.

orata socks

Ta da!

My orata socks. (Rav me!)
Pattern: Not!
Yarn: Crown Mountain Farms Sock Hop, Sunshine of your love colorway, 2 skeins
Needle: US 3
Started: February 6
Finished: March 13

Okay, so. How did I knit these? I started at the toes. Cast on. Figure eight. (I do like that one.)

los toes

I knit some. Feather and fan. Then I got to the heel. Forked it.

the heel

heel--action shot

Knit the leg for a bit. And then, because I still had tons of yarn, I kept going. And going and going.

I had to put some (apparently very large) calf increases in there. Did.

calves of Bellville

Knit some ribbing, and cast off.

the sadness of sag


And now we do the dance of joy!

I think I'll dance a jigor point my toes all pretty-likeor perhaps do an oomph-pa-pa dance

Okay, so maybe it was a bit more complicated than that.

Wait, was it? Not really. The only slightly tricksy bit was doing the calf increases in pattern. Which I kind of winged, but it turned out pretty nice. I think.

ze calf

Kalani said I should write up the pattern, but I am Not A Fan Of Writing Up My Patterns. (Milanese lace much?) But being the wonderful and compromising person that I am, I wrote down how I did the increases on the second sock. Er, that I had to figure out again since I didn’t write it down when I did it on the first sock. No matter. Twas simple.

So you know how feather and fan in the round goes, yes? About like so, depending on how many stitches you have:

Row 1: k
Row 2: k
Row 3: (k2tog) 2x, (yo k1) 4x, (k2tog) 2x
Row 4: p

So I had 48 stitches on my needles. (Although please don’t ask me what my gauge was. I knit socks toe-up so I don’t have to figure out my stinkin’ gauge.) I used dpns. Four of them. The up parts (the yos) were in the middle of each needle, and the down parts (the k2tog parts) were on the ends. All of my increases happened every fourth row, on that Row 3 hey-this-is-the-exciting-bit row, between repeats. And they went a little something like this:

Increase row 1: (at the back of the sock) (duh) yo, m1, yo
Increase row 2: (remember it only happens every fourth row!) m1, k3, m1
Increase row 3: (k1, yo) 3x, k2
Increase row 4: k2, (yo, k1) 3x, yo, k2

And uh, yeah. That was it. At the end of the sequence, I had increased 12 stitches. I knit the next Row 3 normally, then did the increase sequence once more. Viola. Sock that fits.

calf close up

Well, mostly. I only knit about an inch of ribbing because I ran out of yarn. I do wish I could have made the ribbing a bit longer, because they slide town a tiny bit, as evidenced in the pictures above. Not too bad, though.

As for the amount of yarn left over, I had about a yard left of each skein, give or take. And I would have taken a picture of that, but. Um. After that last picture? Something bad happened.

I dropped my camera. Onto a cement step.

Nels (who is getting a lot better at taking pictures, don’t you think?) had been shooting for me, and was handing me the camera to look at what he had gotten so far. I grabbed it, but neither of us realized that the strap was looped around his hand. My nice Pentax digital SLR slipped from my grasp at about the same time that the strap worked itself free of Nels’. Crunch.

Actually, it’s not THAT bad. The camera body itself sustained no damage. But the lens? Not so much.

So yeah, I need a new lens. So until then…. Well, until then nothing. Go look at my sock pictures again! Gosh aren’t they pretty?

But I’ve gotten some lovely sock yarn lately, so let’s make today a Yarn Pron Friday, shall we?

Malabrigo sock in Impressionist sky

Malabrigo sock. Impressionist sky. So very very pretty. It was from ChickenKnits! I won one of her (many) blog contests. I’m trying to decide what this is going to be, since I seem to be sock-obsessed lately. (Go look at my Ravelry queue, especially pages five and six if you don’t believe me.) I’m thinking maybe Django for these. But I dunno yet.

I forget what this is

I had to call home and get the blub out of bed to tell me what this is. Cause I kept forgetting to look. But–da da da da! Mystery solved! It’s Hand Painted Knitting Yarns Donegal Sock! In Daphne. I got it at Loopy Yarns when I was in Chicago about two weeks back. (The new site for the store is lovely.) The very nice sales lady assured me it would wear like iron. Plus it’s handpainted and tweedy. How rock awesome is that? I’m thinking the Lakehouse socks for this one, since my last attempt at them failed miserably. They looked like this.

cheery yellow sock

But now they look like this.

f&f is pretty in handspun

Because I ripped them out and started a different sock. I really like the Lakehouse socks, but with my larger gauge the increase rate for the instep was just too fast. And I’m too lazy to figure out what it should be. So it went bye-bye. But I’m quite happy with how the yarn (Crown Mountain Farms Sock Hop in Sunshine of Your Love) re-entered the world.

fiery orata socks

The stitch pattern is a simple feather-and-fan. So I’m calling them my orata socks.

my socks match the fire!

Isn’t it cool how they match the fire? I really like the way they’re working up. I chucked a forked heel a-la Kalani Craig in there too, so maybe I should be calling them my knitting group socks. The heel is a most excellent match for these socks. I tried them on after I finished knitting it and…foomph. Perfect. Fit. It’s like God’s Own Chosen Heel. I felt like Cinderella trying on that glass slipper. Faboo.

I’m actually up to where I would normally start the top ribbing, but I have a ton of yarn left. And a whole other ball for the second sock. So I’m kinda thinking knee socks. Maybe. Perhaps. It’s conceivable. (Believable.)

In other knitting news, both my of current WIP sweaters have gone to beddy-bye la la land. Yep. Buried them deep. That would be this one.

the never ending sweaterrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Which is almost done. I’m on the bottom ribbing for a top-down sweater for purgatory’s sake. All I have to do is finish that, then knit the collar and pockets. But…meh. I’m tired of it. Besides, think how happy I’ll be in the fall when I pull it out and finish it in two days! Um, yeah. That’s what I keep telling myself.

The other sweater never even saw the light of the blog. But it’s an aran-weight angora blend. I don’t think I’ll be wanting to work on that when it’s above 50 F or so. So they both go TTFN.

But I am pulling out two card carrying members of the ghost-of-sweaters-past to take their place.

Sweater A: the top-down hourglass. The one in sock yarn.

top down HG

Doubled sock yarn. I’m actually a bit farther than that, but not by much. According to Ravelry, I started this on February 11, 2008. So I guess it’s due.

Sweater B is even older. Anyone remember this one?

ariann sweater sleeves attached

And what became of it?

frogged sweater

Yeah, it’s Ariann. Out of frustration, I shoved this in a sack almost two years ago. Hmm. Time to give it a second chance, yes? Getting it back on the needles is going to be a titch hairy. But then I just have to knit the yoke and it’s done. Yay.

And speaking of done things, did I mention here that I sold a freelance article awhile back? Well, I did. Now that’s done too. Super-yay with big piles of zipper on top! And even more yay for the paycheck. :)

I’m out of the house! With an internet connection! Wahooooooo!

Sorry. I love my house, but I’m so very happy to be somewhere else than there right now. Because I didn’t have a choice but to be there for the past two days. I was going a bit mental.

Okay, so that’s kind of a lie. Like in most of the Midwest, it snowed here on Tuesday. About…5 inches? I don’t know. But I decided to stay home and work that day. I live about 12 miles outside of town, between two state forests. It does get a bit icky on our rural gravel roads sometimes, and my car doesn’t have all-wheel drive. (The blub’s does.) Besides, I had a bunch of computer work to do, and it was supposed to sleet in the afternoon. That meant I might have problems getting home. So I stayed put. Made some tea. Put my feet up.

It was cozy, that first day. I did get a couple pretty good shots of Izzy (for you, Huan-Hua).

IzzersMore Izzers

He looks all sweet an innocent in that picture. Do not be fooled. That was right after this.

I also saw a furry creature that was quite unexpected. While sitting on the couch a bit earlier, I happened to look up just in time to see a big fluffy tail disappear into the woods in the front yard. I didn’t get a very good look–it was either a fox or a coyote. Seeing a coyote during the day would have been really weird–they’re nocturnal. In fact, I’ve only ever seen one in the five years I’ve lived out there. But I’ve never seen a fox by our house either. So I was perplexed.

But after another 20 minutes or so, I had my answer. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a bright orange thing jump down into the creek that runs under our front porch. I sprinted for my camera. And this is what I got.

this is how far away I was

Sorry for the total crap shot. That was from inside the house, obviously. I blew it up, but it’s a bit out of focus (he was moving pretty darn fast).

running foxy

I managed to get one other shot, equally as crappy.


That’s the enlarged shot. Here’s the original.

Then I opened the front door reallllllllllllly slowly, but the fox heard me. And man! All I saw was an orange streak, up and over the ridge. Gone. Pretty cool though, huh?

The rest of the day passed uneventfully. I shoveled the porch, which didn’t take me too long. I finished my work. I knitted a bit. And I went to bed, actually looking forward to going to work the next day.


I got woken up at 5:30 the next morning by the ringing of the telephone. It was the front of the house manager at the restaurant where the blub works. Was Nels coming to pick her up? Well, how the bloody hell should I know? Would I call him and ask him? Listen lady, I was *&$@^ asleep before you called, even though you have been told NOT TO CALL THE HOUSE LOOKING FOR HIM. Here’s his damn cell number. YOU call him. Oh, okay, she says. And I hang up. ARRRUGH!

And of course I can’t fall asleep again. So when the phone rang a second time, thirty minutes later, I wasn’t too pissed. It was the blub.

“Uh, sweetie? Stay home today.”

“What? Why? I don’t have anymore work to do. I have to go in.”

“No. Stay home.”

He then told me that it took him 50 minutes to make the 20 minute drive into town. And he said he didn’t want to drive in those conditions again. Ever. And this guy is a professional driver–he used to drive semis for a living. He also told me that they weren’t opening the restaurant today, but he wasn’t coming home. He was essentially stuck in town.

I hung up the phone. Lay there for about 5 minutes. Then I got up. I drank tea and listened to NPR until the sun came up. And then I realized how much snow we actually had. I would like to point out that the local news guy on the radio said total accumulation was, and I quote, “Anywhere from four to seven inches.”

this much snow

My ass.

Apparently, it was so bad out there that Indiana University actually canceled classes. The last time they did this? 1978. So I was stuck. At home. For the second day in a row.

I didn’t even try to work. I had finished about all I could do without a high-speed internet connection anyway. (I have dial-up.) The worst thing was that I kept picking up on my neighbor’s wireless signal, which surprised me since he’s a fair bit down the road. But I couldn’t get in because it’s password protected. Bastard.

I started a new sock.

cheery yellow sock

They’re called the Lakehouse socks. And yes, I’m actually knitting something yellow. (It kind of looked like hell had frozen over anyway.) No, I’m not finished with the Sweater of Doom yet. I couldn’t take it anymore! I’m at the point where I keep thinking I need to knit only one more inch. Then I try it on again. And it needs another inch! So I gave up on it for the day. But here’s how far I am.

the never ending sweaterrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Please forgive crap picture. It was dark outside.

I also did a bit of swatching.


Heh heh heh. Anyone care to guess what that’s for?

After a bit, I put on my coat and went outside. I shoveled the porch again, which took a lot longer than the day before.

really snowy

Compare with foxy picture above. That’s a lot of snow.

I took a bit of a walk. I found the trail that Izzy had made earlier that morning.

trial of the Izzers

He had come in completely coated in snow, which he proceeded to shake off all over the front room. But I could hardly get pissed. He does love to play in the snow.

The road, which actually got plowed at about 10 am.

snowy woods

That red thing is my neighbor’s garbage can. How picturesque.

hummingbird feeder

Maybe it’s time to take the hummingbird feeders down for the winter?

Then I decided to shovel the walk beside the garage. I got as far as the driveway, then stopped. I stood there a bit, gazing at the 14 inches of snow covering the expanse of gravel. Because I had just realized that if I didn’t remove all that snow, I wasn’t going anywhere the next day.


So I got started. I dug and dug for about an hour. Then gave up and went inside. Has some more tea. Gazed longingly at the toe of my new sock. Then put my coat on and went back out.

Fortunately, the blub came home when I was about half done. And he helped me finish. Also fortunately, he showed up before I got to that bit where the plow and pushed the snow to the side of the road. Because it was about up to my waist. And partially ice.

Then we (yay!) went inside. Within moments of cracking a beer, Nels was out.

the blub is wiped

The poor blub had spent most of his morning shoveling snow from the sidewalk/parking lot/road outside the restaurant. Then he came home and helped me shovel some more. Plus two hair-raising road trips. He was a bit tired. We had pancakes for dinner and went to bed at 8:30.

snow on snow

Today, I hurt. And the roads are still a mess. Parking this morning was a joke. (Only the bottom half of each parking spot was plowed. Um.) But I’m at work, so I guess I better get to it. Because it’s supposed to snow again tonight, and tomorrow I might be stuck at home again. With my knitting. And no work to do.

God forbid. :)

Or is it, when you have a cold, knit feverishly?

Yes, I think that’s it.


Marlene (Rav it! Love it!)
Pattern: Marlene by Cookie A. from knit 1 fall/winter 2008
Yarn: Hazel Knits Artisan sock, pacific, one skein with oodles left over
Needle: US 2, 2.75 mm
Started: December 30, 2008
Finished: January 10, 2009
For: my precious tootsies
Mods: not a single one

So I had a cold last weekend. Not wanting to do much, I grabbed my knitting and hunkered down on the couch.

And then, I didn’t get up again.

Marlenes flat

Until I had some socks.

Oh, and what socks they were! Perfect in every way! The yarn! The pattern! The finished product! They make me want to…to…

She’s going to tell! (She’s going to tell)
She’s going to tell! (She’s going to tell)
She’s going to tell! (She’s going to tell)

…all right, all right. No singing. But poetry!

Oh Marlene, Marlene.
You are my queen.
Your shade of perfect blue-y green
Sets off your twisted rib so keen
My love for you sits in my spleen
I want to knit you again and ageen
Oh Marlene
My sweet Marlene

Wow, BAD poetry. Never mind, look at the socks.

Marlenes flexy toe

So the start and finish dates up there are a bit misleading. I did technically start these on December 30. But that was beginning these on a 1, getting through the ribbing, thinking maybe it seemed a bit stiff, swatching with 2s, then ripping it out and starting over. Then I knit the ribbing and part of the first pattern repeat, and put them down again.

Then I picked them up and finished both socks in five days. I’m telling you. Love.

Marlenes whee swing

They’re a typical Cookie A. pattern, with all of the twisted ribbing. Which I heart. She even made it go all the way to the toes.

Marlene toe

And down the heel flap.

Marlenes heel kind of

(That’s the best picture I could get, sorry. El blubbo wasn’t home-o.)

And the yarn is FABULOUS. It’s a lot like Lorna’s, but with a tighter twist. So hopefully it’ll wear better than Lorna’s, which gets pilly way too fast in my opinion. But the Hazel knits is so so soft, and has beautiful crisp stitch definition. I wish I had gotten more. So I guess I’ll just have to come back out there, right Carrie? Say yes. Because LOOK at this.

Marlenes zee arty shot

Yes. Yes. A thousand times, yes.

I followed the pattern exactly with these, and they are most wonderful. (Although there is an error–it says to knit the toe plain, but the picture clearly has the ribbed toe. And the errata says, and I quote “‘Shape the toe’ can be worked continuation of the ribbing as shown or in St st as written.” Gee, thanks.)

I mean seriously, there is nothing I don’t love about these socks. Look how perfect they are with my mary janes!

Marlenes in shoes

(Ignore gross floor–that’s in the lab. No ten second rule around here.)

See how perfectly the last repeat lines up with the toe of my shoe? A match made in heaven. These socks were a hugemongous fabulous win in my book. Go knit them. Now. That is an order.

So that whirlwind romance with Marlene made me do a crazy thing–pull my Monkeys back out of hibernation. (Holy crap that was a long time ago.) Will the love last? Too soon to tell…

I knit things. Here are some things that I have knit.

red robot legs

That is Senor Red Robot. He is destined to be Nephew E’s sixth birthday present. I’m trying to finish the kids’ projects before I leave for SoCal, so then the blub can just wrap and give. Nephew E’s birthday is in late June. He is about robot-aged now, wouldn’t you think? Of course it’s the Robot from the Jess Hutchinson booklet. It has intarsia on it. I don’t like intarsia much. It can get hairy.

red robot back

Especially if one refuses to use those bobbin thingies.

Don’t fret–I’ve got that all sorted out now. Senor Robot is actually done. I took that picture a few days ago. He just needs eyes. Then the sewing of the head, then the antenna. I’ll probably finish tonight. I hope so, since I got yarn today to make Niece E’s birthday present. (Her b-day is two weeks later. My SIL actually had the same due date with both of them. One came early. One came late.) I’m making her an Otto, and I think the yarn I got (Henry’s Attic Inca cotton, yes that color) will be super cool. On a stick. I’m excited about that. But really, anything would be better than casting on for the second one of these:

blub sock

I have christened these the “Kill Me With Death” socks. That is a VERY good name for them. Agagagagag they are SO BORING TO KNIT. They are for the blub socks–that picture up there is me doing the modeling, but they are uber-stretchy. They do fit him. He tried them on. He also liked them very much, which is so much the worse for him. He excitedly asked, “When are they going to be done?” I said, “Christmas.” And he thought I was kidding. Oy. Poor man.

The pattern is the slipped stitch rib from Sensational Knitted Socks (the first). The yarn is Lorna’s Laces shepherd sport, in jeans. The knitting is akin to watching paint dry. So it’s good that I have other things to distract me.

Like this! I’m trying to narrow down what yarn/projects I’m taking with me to SoCal. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

1. Green silk for Large Rectangle in Leaf and Trellis pattern
from Victorian Lace Today
2. Sea silk for Boing! (exclamation point is imperative there)
3. Fratello kit–birthday socks for the blub
4. DK weight Zephyr that I have dyed for the ubiquitous Clapotis
5. Cotton Fleece for Tubey
6. Cotton Fleece for Green Gable
7. STR lightweight for that dang sock pattern I’ve been meaning to write up for ages now. I need to re-do it, hence the re-knitting.

That’s all I’ve got right now. Is that enough? Eeek, I’d hate to run out of things to do! Although there are a lot of yarn stores around where I’ll be, so I probably don’t have to worry about that. Oh yeah, and I got some Kureyon Sock today while I was picking up that Inca Cotton. So pretty! So maybe socks out of that, too. Although I have seen some fabulous shawls and things on Ravelry out of that, so maybe lace instead. (Like this! Isn’t that gorgeous?) But it seems like I’m already taking a lot of things for lace. But lace is fun! Besides, did I mention that the blub and I are driving out there? Dude, that’s about three days in the car. That’s a lot of knitting.

So yeah, I have some deciding to do. I’m also hungry and tired and I have to pee. (Yes, you wanted to know that.) So I’m going home now. Maybe the answer will just magically float into my sleeping brain tonight.

Yeah, and maybe monkeys will fly outta my butt, too.

See ya.

(all together now)

Think I’ll take a picture from my front porch!

Okay, that doesn’t really fit in with the lyrics, but it’s true so I thought I’d say it.

view from porch

Standing on my porch, looking south.

And this is what I see as I look down.


I gots new shoeses! They are Dankso Giselles, and I heart them. I’m wearing them with my Jaywalkers today, which are pre-blog. (They date all the way back to about 2 P.B., I think. Ancient!) The yarn is Lorna’s Laces shepherd sock, lucky stripe, in case anyone is interested. And they are a tad too big in the ankle so they tend to slide south, but I don’t care. They are cheery and nice.

And speaking of socks, I thought I’d preview my first foray into my summertime lacy anklet series.

lacy anklets that are more done

That’s the first one. I’ve been working on it for a small while, now. It’s going slowly. I have done much frogging. But the yarn is holding up most fabulously to all of the rippage. I’m using STR sock candy in cherries jubilee for these. I love this yarn. Sadly, you can’t really get it anymore, except in a Baby Surprise kit from BMFA. I got it in a swap on Ravelry. I’m trying to see if I can get a pair of anklets out of only one skein–I think I’m doing pretty well so far, but I’ll keep you updated. And yes, I will be writing up the pattern when I’m done. I’m even taking notes as I go! Erm, in my head, I mean. But aren’t they cute? I think so. I also think they’ll look smashing with my new shoes. You can Rav these socks here, but it doesn’t say much yet. Just about what I said here.

So I am in a wonderful mood today. Redbuds and fun new shoes and sockies help, but that’s not really why. The REAL reason that I’m so happy is this: I’m done. The semester is OVER! Graded the finals yesterday, sat down and cut grades with my boss this morning, and he is entering them into the system right now. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! No more whiney students! No more pissy boss! (Well, pissy about the class, that is. I’m sure he’ll still be pissy about other stuff.) I will have time to do my own work now! Can I get a Woo-hoo? Hell, I’ll give myself one. WOOOOOOO-HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Whew. That felt great.

Hey! It’s Friday! Did you know that?

Here’s what I’ve been

Reading (It was kind of cute, but I thought the ending sucked.)

Watching (Pretty good–the little girl who played Paikea was awesome!)


Listening to. In my head. This has a story.

THE STORY: So I mentioned that I graded exams yesterday, right? Right. Well, there was this one kid who apparently didn’t study so much for the final. He left a note to that effect on the first page of his exam. He then went on to say, since he didn’t know most of the answers, that he was going to “Rickroll it” instead. So he did. Every time he didn’t know an answer, he wrote down one line from that bloody song. The result? It’s stuck in my head. It won’t go away. Arrugh! Thanks a lot, kid. Needless to say, he DID NOT get any points for those questions. I do tend to give points for amusing and creative answers. Like the girl on the last exam on the question about pi acceptors and pi donors in ligand field theory. She drew pictures of a guy in a chef hat holding a pie (the pi donor) and another guy holding a knife and fork (the pi acceptor). I gave her two points for that. Out of six. I do value a good sense of humor.

Um, I think that’s all I’ve got for today. Graduation is this weekend, so I think I’ll stay the hell out of town. In fact–I’m taking a day off. No working for me this Sunday. Yay! I intend to have a fabulous weekend, and I wish you all the same. Toodles.

It’s cold and icky and snowy out there today. Yes, again. What the hell happened to the lovely spring-like 65 ºF is was last weekend? As a nod to the cold, I’m wearing my Lace Leaf pullover today–you know, the one I made out of Malabrigo Chunky? It’s gotten pretty pilly. I was working happily at my computer this morning when it slowly began to drive me insane. At some point, I decided I couldn’t take it anymore, so I pulled out a disposable razor from my drawer and started shaving away at it. (Everybody does keep disposable razors in their office drawers, right? In case of a shaving emergency. I have deodorant, too.) I had gotten my left sleeve done, and was working on the armpit when my boss unexpectedly walked into my office. Um, did I mention that I was still *wearing* the sweater? Yes. So he stops dead in his tracks, his mouth drops open, and he turns and walks back out. I haven’t seen him since. But I did finish shaving the rest of my sweater, and I must say it does look spiffing!

So. I knit some socks.

Sunni's socks

Socks fer Sunni part deux (Rav link)
Pattern: Mad Color Weave, by Tina Lorin
Yarn: Bellamoden superwash merino sport, color Fahrenheit 451
Needle: US 3 dpns
Started: Feb 10
Finished: March 1
For: Sunni, as per name of socks
Mods: heel flap instead of whatever the hell the pattern said

So these are part deux because I first started the Aquafina socks with this yarn.

(Okay, they were NOT called the Aquafina socks. Apparently that’s the name of a bottled water company. I can’t remember their bloody name, nor can I find the pattern in Ravelry. I had put them in my queue, then hit “cast on” when the time was right. Then they went wrong and I deleted them, but of course they didn’t go back in my queue and I didn’t have them favorited. And now for the life or me, I can’t find them–ARRUGH! They were a slipped stitch pattern, in a front block and a back block, supposedly to make variegated yarns not pool. Does anybody know what I’m talking about?)

***Apparently they are called the Aquaphobia socks. Not Aquafina. Hey, anyone could have made that mistake. Right? Anyway, thanks Chelsea!***

Cleansing breath.

So the socks did not work in this aforementioned other pattern. So I ripped them out and started the Mad Color Weave socks instead. Now I’m thinking that maybe this wasn’t the best pattern for this yarn, either. The cabled pattern looks pretty chaotic. You have to look kinda close to even see it.

Sunni's socks cable pattern

Don’t stare too long. They might induce seizures.

I must admit that I didn’t really like knitting these. Not because of the yarn, it was soft and squishy and pretty and nice. It was the pattern I didn’t care for. And I can’t put my finger on why. They just weren’t particularly…fun. But I muscled through and finished them because they were for Sunni’s birthday, which rapidly came and went. I did finish the first sock in time, which I wrapped up and gave to her, and she unwrapped and tried on and promptly gave it back to me. It did fit, so that was good. Then I finished the second. Now they’re both done. Yay.

So, mods. I completely ignored the heel directions on this pattern, and just inserted my “hey I’m lazy” regular heel-flap heel. I do think it fits the best, plus it’s committed to memory so there you go. You also were supposed to carry the twisted stitch pattern from the top down the side of the heel flap, but I thought that might be uncomfortable so I didn’t. I also arsed up the second sock by knitting a one-purl stitch gutter between the top and the foot instead of the two-purl stitch gutter like I was supposed to. Whoops. I didn’t notice until I was well into the foot, and you can’t really tell anyway. Sunni you don’t mind, do you? They are still cuddly and comfy. I swear.

So now I have to pop these in the mail, since Sunni had the gall to move to Arizona. I mean, just because someone drops your dream job in your lap doesn’t mean you can just up and move halfway across the bloody country, leaving all your nice friends who knit you socks and mittens and things behind. I mean really, how rude.

I’m just being sarcastic, of course! As usual. Sunni knows I’m uber-happy for her, but I already miss her terribly. I just walked into the lab to check something, and it’s snowing sideways out there. You hearing this, Sunni? See what you’re missing?


Oh yeah, it’s Friday. Here’s what I’ve been


Watching (Makes me cry. Every. Single. Time.)


Listening to

Criminy, that was a lost post for a Friday, eh? Sorry. Well, let me make it just a bit longer. Next week is spring break. Yaaaaay! Not that I’m going anywhere, but I get a week off of whiny students. AND this weekend they’re doing some kind of water main work in the building so all the water’s getting turned off. Including the sinks and the toilets and the sprinkler system. So we’re not supposed to enter the building unless “it’s absolutely necessary.” So I get a whole weekend off from lab work! Big YAAAAAAAY! More knitting time for me!

See ya. :)

Contact me

thechemgrrl AT gmail DOT com (you know what to do with the extras)
June 2021