If you're not knitting, the terrorists win

(My mostly on-topic ramblings about knitting. And life in general. My life in specific.)

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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle aged mother of 2 grown children and wife to a man who doesn't seem to mind my almost heroin-like yarn addiction. I spend my time writing, knitting, and generally stressing out.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Mitten Knittin'

Ha ha! I'm so clever. I knew you'd enjoy that title.

So, I've got 1 1/2 skeins of the Bernat Softee left over. That's just enough for a pair of bulky knit mittens, like Kate Gilbert's Gifted. I like this Gifted pattern because 1) it's bulky yarn and big needles, so it knits super, super fast; 2) it's a pretty adaptable pattern that you can incorporate pattern stitches or colorwork into very easily, making it easy to knit a matched set; and 3) it's pretty much the same pattern I learned when I first learned to make mittens 33 years ago. Not the same, but it's pretty much the same construction.

I thought about picking up the seed stitch pattern from the cowl and carrying it over to the mittens, but I don't think it will work. A seed stitch cuff would be nice, but seed stitch doesn't tend to pull in like ribbing, and you really want your mitten cuffs to pull in to keep out the cold, right? So I ended up knitting these in plain 1X1 ribbing.

I thought about making the hand portion of the mitten in seed stitch, but that's kind of a weird texture over the palm. So, I just started knitting in plain stockinette. But then, I thought, "I wonder what the purl side would look like as the right side?"

And you know, it did look pretty good. It mimicked the seed stitch, not exactly, but enough to remind you of it. I really considered turning the mitten this way, right up until the thumb. But then, I decided I like the smooth side of the stockinette better, even if it doesn't match in any way except color.

Like I said, this knits fast. This is the end of the half skein. I might have enough after the second mitten to make a headband.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

FO: Seed Stitch Cowl

Yes, I know poor Leia is waiting for hands and a mouth. I probably should finish her, since there's so little left to do on her. But you know what? I'm tired of knitting with those teeny #1 needles. I want to knit with some bulky yarn and big needles.

So this is my Seed Stitch Cowl. I love the colors in this yarn, but didn't want them to pool in weird ways on the cowl. So I chose a highly textured stitch pattern to break it up a little. It still pooled some, but not in an obnoxious way. I didn't even notice the pooling until I took this photo.

This is roughly 1 1/2 skeins of Bernat Softee Chunky in Southwest Ombre. Knit up super fast, partially because of the Super Bulky guage and partially because I really needed a knitting fix. I get like that sometimes. I call it "irri-knit-tated". (When you are irritated because you're not knitting.) When that happens... I knit pretty speedily--wrapping the yarn, stabbing with the needles...

Hm. That looks a little psycho, all typed out like that. Forget I said anything.

Anyway, I feel a little more able to face the #1 needles now.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Destashing, Yarn Dieting, And Other Myths

I keep seeing all these articles about destashing and only not buying new yarn until you've used X amount of yarn from your stash and getting rid of all the yarn you haven't used in a year. I've got to say, these things are like applied physics to me--I understand the individual words that are being used and I recognize the sentence structure. However, I struggle with the meaning.

Now, this may be an unpopular view, but I like my stash. All of it. I like the cheap stuff and the expensive stuff. I like the stuff I bought years ago and forgot all about. And, regardless of whether or not I'm going to use my stash any time soon, I don't feel like I need to get rid of any of it just because I have it.

It's not hoarding. I don't have mountainous piles of yarn, blocking us from carrying on with our daily lives. It's not wasteful. If I can't afford to buy yarn, I don't. No child of mine--no one within my direct area of influence--has ever gone without anything so I could buy yarn. It's not overly self-indulgent. Well, okay. Maybe it is that. But I'm perfect in every other way, so that's not really a glaring character defect.

Do I knit with my stash? Yes. Absolutely. It's very gratifying to see a new pattern and think "Oh yay! I've got just the yarn for that!"

Do I sometimes buy yarn without a particular project in mind? Sure. Especially if it's on sale.

Do I have more yarn than I could ever possibly use in my lifetime? Maybe. But I plan to live a long time. So, we'll see.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


When I was a kid, growing up in Darwin's Waiting Room, I played outside a lot. Most kids did. That was back in the days before cell phones and Xbox and The Internet. Jeez, we had a black and white TV at my house. (One TV!) Anyway, I played outside a lot, especially in the summertime. And, any time it was warm enough, I went barefoot.

Just on a side note, I prefer to be barefoot, even now. And, at the very least, sockless. That's why I don't knit and wear sock. I really don't like the feel of socks on my feet. I'm a heathen at heart.

Where was I? Oh yes. Barefoot all summer. And, as much as I loved it, that had its pitfalls. Like stepping in a yard bomb left by one of my cats. Or the time I damn near cut my big toe off, stepping on a large piece of broken glass in the creek. Or all that tar and asphalt that stuck to the bottom of my feet when you walked in the road.

Or, and this is my point here, any number of times I stepped on bees. One early childhood memory I have, in fact, involves sitting on a chimney block (It looked like this. Imagine it's on its side, though.)

and jumping down, right onto a bee with my bare foot. My mom used a home remedy of wet cigarette tobacco band-aided onto the sting to draw the venom out. That really works, btw. It's just probably not a good idea to put cigarette tobacco on children. But, you know, nobody knew that back then.

Even when my kids were little, 20 years ago, there were enough bees that they've stepped on a few. I rubbed antipersperant onto the area, which also works very well. Probably not a good idea to put antipersperant on kids' feet, either, but we didn't know that back then. Also, I'm pretty sure it's better than tobacco.

These day, though, you could flood your backyard with barefoot toddlers all summer long without the pressure of worrying about what hazardous chemical you were going to poison your kid with. And that is apparently a thing all over. It's called Colony Collapse Disorder and it basically means all the bees are dying off.

Now, no bees would mean carefree barefoot rambling. But it would also mean no pollination. No pollination means no food. I'm sure you know what that means.

But, never fear. There is a plan. Check out these robobees!

These little robots are being designed to pollinate! Yay! Saved by robots!

And you know what else? I'm not seeing any stingers on these things!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Wild Kingdom

There were three hawks outside my window today as I was working. Three giant hawks.

They were flying, mostly. But then, every so often, they would all three dive down to the ground together. I couldn't see that they were after anything, but they must have been, right? I don't know a lot about birds, so I just assume they were hunting. (Do hawks hunt in packs?) But maybe it was some kind of mating thing. Not a threesome, but a competition for the third bird's affection. Get your mind out of the gutter, people!

Anyway, I didn't get any pictures because 1) it was so freakin' bright out, with all the snow and 2) they kept flying back up into the sky and the slowest iPhone in the world couldn't get the camera open in time. I did get a picture of Achilles. He enjoyed watching the whole thing.

I didn't see that the hawks got anything, but then later, I worried about Odysseus. He's outside, rememeber? I've been very worried about him with all this cold and snow. I bought him that fancy house to live in, but he doesn't care for it at all. And he can't get in under the house the way he used to because of the energy saving stuff we put on in the summer.

I noticed his tracks in the snow lead to my car, which is NOT a good place for a cat to be. Trust me. We had outdoor cats when I was growing up (because we lived in the country) and I have lost several cats that way. I do NOT want him to be there. What I would like is for him to come and live in my garage (since he is feral and would not do well with my indoor cats).

The garage would be warm and safe and I could keep the predators away from him. Notice I said predators, plural. That's because I have begun to notice coyotes in the neighborhood.

But, since Odysseus will not let me get very close to him, I will have to devise a plan.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Poor Leia

Look at her. She's fat. That's not a bad thing, Leia. Don't get me wrong. I know we all have different body shapes. And that's okay.

But you've also got a weird face. And no hands. Life has really dealt you lemons, babe. I'm going to try and finish you up to be a little better looking.

But I can't promise anything.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Since I Had The #1 DPNs Out Already...

I was going to try the Christmas Ornament again, but I decided to do something a bit more whimsical instead.

So I cast on for Her Knitted Worshipfulness, a Princess Leia stuffy. This is small, and I will be adding a hanging cord to it so it can be used as a Christmas decoration.

A nerdy, nerdy Christmas decoration.

This is the head, sans hair buns. I think the body will go quicker, as it is one color and there's no twisting of colors on the backside. (Which was a PITA on tiny dpns, let me tell you.)

Friday, January 24, 2014

FO: Just Around The Corner Scarf

Yay! So here is the Just Around the Corner Scarf from Year of Scarves.

This is knitted using two skeins of Loops & Threads Charisma in Lakeside. (Rather than work the color changes with three different yarns, as Susan does in her example.) Each of these squares is begun by picking up and knitting along the top of the last one.

Well, not the first square. But all the others.

Achilles likes this scarf so much much, he decided to photobomb me. And a good thing, too. The color is much truer in this picture.

I think this scarf would go very fast if I were feeling myself. Bulky yarn, big needles. I might try this later, too. I have one more skein of this color yarn. What should I do? Hat? Headband? Something that carries that mitered square theme through it.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

On Exhibitionists

Do you remember me telling you about my exhibitionist neighbors? They have no curtains in their house. At all. Even on the bathroom window.

Yeah, I told you about them. Only... these are new neighbors. And they don't have curtains either.

I know. I know. You're saying "But Patwoman. What if that house is one of those houses that just aren't made for curtains? Maybe the interior has a streamlined, industrial look?" Well, I might go for that excuse, if I hadn't seen the inside of this house. It is completely traditional, except for the lack of curtains. The people who lived there before these last two owners had curtains. The people who lived there before them had curtains.

But the last people who lived there decided, I guess, to not use curtains, blinds, or any sort of window covering--even though they lived there for 2 years. And these people have been there over a year--and still no curtains! I've seen them in their living room, their dining room, their upstairs bathroom (and believe me, that is NOT what you want to see first thing in the morning!), and dressing in their bedroom.

Now, lest you think I spend my time voyeuristically peeking at the neighbors, let me tell you that all of these windows face my dining room and my front door. It is impossible not to get an eyeful. I used to leave my dining room curtains open to get sun in that room during the day. But no more. The curtains are closed.

Listen, I was talking with someone about the scene in "Meet Bill" where Bill and a friend spy on his wife through the window as she's undressing. My friend said, "Who changes clothes in front of a front-facing window?"

I know.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Another Frog

What is it with me these days? Seems like I'm frogging more stuff than I'm actually knitting!

Like this:

It was going to be a Christmas ornament cover. The pattern called for #5 dpns and worsted or dk weight. Normally, I would go down to #3. But I couldn't find #3s quickly (and I have no attention span on this cough medicine) so I grabbed the #1 needles. And I cast on, using the 48 stitches called for in the pattern for a dk weight yarn, since I'd decided to use this crochet cotton.

Now, if anything, this thing should be too small. But no. I dropped a 2" ornament straight through it without any obstruction. Too big.

I'm ripping it out and I might reknit this later. I like the look of the crochet thread and the smaller needle. I just have to reduce the number of stitches.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

When A Yarn Doesn't Want To Be Anything

...except frogged... Well, then there's nothing to do but frog it.

I bought this yarn several years ago when it was on sale super cheap. This was in the era of the fun fur scarf and I thought it would be interesting to hold this yarn together with another yarn and make a thick/thin fun fur-type scarf. But I could never really make it work.

So, now flash forward to me sick at home, with nothing that really holds my attention. And I look through one of drawers of yarn and find a few skeins of this Patons Voodoo in a deep Ruby color. Oh yeah. I say to myself. I could concentrate enough to do a novelty yarn garter stitch scarf!

So I tried. I grabbed a complementary color yarn and cast onto #17s. (Those are some of the sparkly needles, btw.)

All I can say is blech. That is the ugliest thing I think I've ever knitted. And I've knitted some uggos. The #17s, despite its large guage is just not quite large enough. The thick tufts of fur on this yarn are just all bunched up like--bunched up tufts of fur.

So I ripped it out and cast on with #35s. That out to get some air into those stitches, right?

It did. But it's still... blech. So, I ripped it out.

Then I cruised Ravelry a bit to see if anyone had made anything out of this yarn. I mean, there are 5000 members of Ravelry, right? Surely someone has successfully made something from this. Well, there are over 80 projects--scarves mainly, but also hats, pillows, and jackets. The ones that looked the best used the Voodoo on its own.

So I tried that.

And this looks the best of all. But it's still pretty awful. I've frogged it out and replaced the yarn in the bottom of the drawer where I found it. Someday I will find something to do with this yarn.

But that day is not today.

Monday, January 20, 2014

New Year Goals

Can it be that I've blown my New Year's Goals already? Good God, Lemon. It's only halfway through the first month.

1) Clean out my closet. Nope. Have not even started. I did think about it a few times, during my cold-medicine-induced sleepless nights. But, I also sometimes think about exercising, so...

2) Read a book a month. Nope. No concentration because of the cough medicine, remember? I barely concentrate long enough to read the dosage instructions on the bottle. BTW, if you're going to give the medicine in teaspoon dosage then you should include teaspoon markings on the little cup you send. I shouldn't have to go to the internet to figure out 2 teaspoons = 10 ml on your cup. I'm sick, remember?

3) Write 500 words a week. Again, I thought about it. I actually did think about a really scary story that I was really excited to write. But, you know, I was home alone and all hopped up on Codeine. I started to get a little scared myself.

4) Make healthy choices. Well, my healthy choice right now is to breathe without coughing. That would be nice. As far as diet, I've been eating basically a liquid diet all month. And exercise--hey, taking a shower wears me out these days.

As far as my crafty goals?

Finish UFOs. Nope.

Learn Viking Knitting. Nope.

Crochet more. Does using a crochet hook to pick up stitches and put them on the knitting needle count? If so, then, yeah.

Crochet with steel hooks. Nope.

Learn Hairpin Lace. Nope.

Wire wrap cabochans. Nope.

Learn arm knitting. Yeah! Yeah, I did that one! I didn't like the effect and ripped it out immediately, but yeah, I learned how to do it!

So, for the record, almost 3 weeks into 2014, my goals are 1 for 11. Nailed it!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Scarf Is Just Around The Corner

I queued up a scarf to knit from Susan Huxley's Year of Scarves. But, as you can guess, the codeine in my cough syrup is not being my friend.

I notice that every now and then, I just kind of... space out.

Anyway, it's a great scarf, with mitered squares that are joined as you go. It would probably take me an evening to knit, if I cold keep my mind on it and stay awake.

I'll be sharing that with you soon.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

If Life Were Only As Simple As My Dog Thinks It Is

My dog is funny. She's old, and doesn't move around very quickly most of the time. But there are a couple of things that get her moving.

The water dish. She loves getting fresh water in her dish. She always has, ever since she was a puppy. I don't know why. It's not like she's ever been deprived and dehydrated. But she does this "water dance" every time you pick up the dish and take it to the faucet for her.

The snow. She's not a fan of the cold. And she won't go into the grass if it's wet with rain or dew. But she loves the snow. She likes to walk around in it, sniff it, watch it. Nobody but little kids and Gengen like snow that much.

Visits from M. Okay, that's a legitimately good thing. Everyone likes a visit from M. But Gengen follows M around and talks to her. There's only one other thing that comes through that door that my dog gets that excited about--pizza. Nothing like the pizza delivery guy coming to the door to make her go apeshit.

M came over the other day and brought a pizza with her. I'm pretty sure Gengen almost had a brain hemmorhage from joy.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Whatever Happened To Beanie Babies?

Remember those? M had a whole bunch of them. I remember how we would always have to get the newest collectible as soon as it came out. We put those little tag protectors on them and put the beanies on the shelf. (Except for Snip. Snip was actually played with. We still have him somewhere.)

Anyway, I was thinking about Beanie Babies because I used to knit little dresses for Snip. Of course, now it occurs to me that he was a boy cat and that might have done some lasting psychological damage to his beanie brain, but it can't be helped now. I also knit dresses and sweaters for Barbie, but I probably knit more things for Snip.

You don't see Beanie Babies any more. And people don't knit dresses for them either, I guess. Heck, you don't even see many Barbie knitted patterns any more. And, if any toy would wear hand knits, it would be Barbie. She's very fashion-conscious.

Of course, Barbie wouldn't actually knit her own sweaters and dresses. She is much too flakey to stick with a hobby for that long. (Seriously. She can't even settle on a career. What are you this week, Barbie? A pilot? A teacher? A vet? A scuba diver? An astronaut? A rock star?)

Barbie could maybe have the patience to knit a scarf. And she would be very vocal about the fact that she knit it herself. Then she would buy all her other hand knits at upscale trendy shops like Anthropologie. And she would just let everyone assume that was her handiwork, too.

Barbie's like that.

...Or, you know. That could just be the cold medicine talking.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


I've been restless lately. Probably because I've been sick and haven't been out of the house in a long time. (Except to go to the doctor's office.) I can't seem to focus on anything for very long, but I seem to be interested (at least initially) in doing a lot of things.

Like, today. I was sitting in the lving room, under my blanket, with the vaporizer blowing mist all around and I thought "Hm. I wonder what's in that drawer?"

And look what I found! This is a set of knitting needles that T put in my stocking several years ago. They're all plastic and I don't normally knit with plastic needles, so I put them in this drawer to use as spares. But I forgot about them. So it's a really fun surprise to find this set.

And they're sparkly!

The only bad thing about these needles is that I can't really read the size numbers on the heads. But that's what needle guages are for, right? And here's a secret: I'm so blind lately that I can't read the size numbers on any of my needles without my glasses. Ha!

I'm going to find something to knit with these.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Been Watching Old Dark Shadows Episodes

You know, my mom used to watch Dark Shadows when I was a kid. I remember watching it, too, even though I was very young. Then, later, when T & I were first married, one of the television stations played the series every morning and I watched a lot of it then. And, of course, I read all the novels and saw the TV movies when they were on.

Still, it's been a while. So, I was delighted to find the series on Xfinity online. And, since I've been sick, I've been watching it.

Now, I've said it before: This was not High Art. But it was still a pretty good gothic story. And I'm sure it must have been very challenging for the writers to write something that potentially had no end, but was still engaging to the audience. They had to deal with a pretty large cast of characters (maybe not so large compared to True Blood, but still pretty large for most normal shows) and keep people interested in those characters. So, good job, writers.

However, I do find some of the dialogue pretty hilarious. Barnabus Collins is such a bad guy in these early episodes, and no one sees it.

Vicky: So you'll be living in the old house?
Barnabus: Yes.... Living...

Elizabeth: I'm sure you have plans.
Barnabus: Yes. I have a great many... plans.

And they even notice it. Several times a character comments that "Barnabus has a really odd way of speaking." or "His choice of words are so strange." And at one point, Victoria Winters even says "It's as if his words have another, secret meaning that only he knows."

But then, they just blow it off. "He's from Europe."

This series is so much fun. I really wish Tim Burton had kept the flavor of the original when he did that train wreck travesty movie last year. That movie was so horrible...

But, if you can see beyond the poor production quality of a live soap opera from the 60s, the original Dark Shadows is worth watching.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Another Cowl Started And Finished

I went ahead and started another cowl. This one is for me. It goes with the Reflective Rachelle Earwarmer. I knit it with the same Red Heart Reflective yarn, and I tried to pick up the pattern of the headband with it.

Here's what I did:


1 Skein Red Heart Reflective
#6 circular needles (Note: I used 8's because of my loose knitting style)
Gauge = 3.25 st = 1"

Cast on 70 stitches and join in the round.
Begin working pattern:
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Knit
Row 3: Purl
Row 4: Knit
Row 5: Purl

Repeat these five rows until desired length is achieved. Mine is about 8" tall.
Knit one row and bind off in Knit stitch. Weave in ends.

This is a nice, dense cowl, that matches the earwarmer perfectly. I'm sure I'm going to get a lot of use out of it, as soon as I am breathing well enough to go outside.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

I am starting to get my voice back! Huzzah! Now, I'm not going to be winning any yodeling contests, but I can actually communicate with other humans now! Whoo-hoo! I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel that is my dire illness these last 8 days.

EIGHT DAYS!!! That's how long this thing has kicked my ass!

This headband is also a light at the end of the tunnel. Or, rather, it will reflect any light that happens to be shining at it (from the end of a tunnel or from elsewhere, I guess). I bought two skeins of this Red Heart Reflective yarn at Joann right before I got sick. Yes, it was the same shopping trip as the one where I loaded up on Saturate. I can't help it. All yarn was 25% off and I was weak.

Anyway, this yarn has a reflective thread running through it. So, I thought, "You know, I'd like to start taking a walk every now and then. I should make myself some reflective accessories so I don't get run over by any of the crazy old people in my neighborhood who really shouldn't be driving or the people who don't even live in my neighborhood, but cut through anyway like it's their personal shortcut, and go 50 mph down streets with kids and dogs and old people out on them without a care in the world."

And then I thought, "Wait. What if the reflective accessory just makes me easier to see, and so a better target?" But that was a crazy thought.

Anyway, this is the Rachelle Chunky Ear Warmer from Valerie Baber. It's a modified garter stitch with a sewn on button tab. Very quick knit. It probably takes longer to pick out a button than it does to knit.

Here were my choices, btw. A plain blue button or a blue button with silver to play off the reflective strand.

Ultimately, I decided to go with this one. I like that the color is very close to the color of the yarn. But the thing I like the best is how the horizontal lines mimic the the horizontal lines of the garter stitch.

I've got a skein an a half of this yarn left. I think I might make a cowl to go along with this headband. That ought to keep me visible on the road, right?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

FO: Non-Airy, Non Alpaca Cowl

So what do you suppose goes through a person's mind when they choose a pattern called Airy Alpaca Cowl? Maybe, "I think I'll make this with a non-alpaca yarn?" or "I think I'll make this with a yarn that isn't quite so light and airy, but is still bulky guage?" Yeah. Both of those things, probably.

Or, I could just be a little lightheaded from all the coughing and the lack of sleep. But I decided to make the Airy Alpaca Cowl with a bulky, non-alpaca yarn.

It actually looks really good, I think. This is my last skein of Premier Yarns Saturate (I wish I'd bought more when it was on sale! Love this yarn!) and this colorway is Clematis. I thought that was fitting, since the lace twists on the front of the cowl look a little like a flower.

This knit up super-quick on #8 needles. I'm still not feeling well, but the pattern was pretty easy and I had no trouble following it, even in my addled state of mind.

The lace is a nice focal point, and the double seed stitch adds a lot of texture. But I also like the twisted rib stitch on top and bottom. It gives it a very defined look. If I'd had more of this yarn, I'd make some matching fingerless gloves, using double seed for the body and that twisted rib on the cuffs and edge. But, I actually knitted only five rounds of twisted rib at top and bottom (instead of the 6 the pattern called for) so the 92 yards of Saturate would make this pattern (which calls for 100 yards). That strategy worked, but I had only a yard or two left after binding off.

Still, this is pretty and I will give it to Bre, I think, since R tells me she is sick too. (I'm not taking the blame for making her sick, though.)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

FO: River Deeper?

This pattern goes fast. Even as bad as I feel, it's still knitting up super fast. And this yarn is made for it, I'm telling you.

This is the River Deep, Mountain High cowl pattern again. And I'm using Premier Yarns Saturate again, this time in Jasper. It's a lovely purple/pink/grey mix that is just going to look stunning with M's blonde hair.

Yes, I'm giving this one to M. She gets the bulk of my knitted items, as you know. But this past year, I got very busy and didn't get a whole lot of things knitted. Now, as bad as that is for her--not getting more than two or three new scarves in a season--it's worse for me! Because you know, she appreciates the knitting way more than anyone else does. So I always like to make her stuff.

So this will be waiting for her, on her next visit. I've told her she should probably keep her distance from me for the next few days, since I seemed to have developed some sort of Ebola virus. I've already infected T. But M has just started her new job. I don't want to make her sick enough to miss work.

Because, believe me, this bug/virus/thing is kicking my ass.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Another River, Another Start

Still feeling bad. Still no voice. But at least I can knit, eh?

The River Deep, Mountain High pattern is just so pretty, especially with the Saturate yarn that I had to make another. Let me tell you, this turns out so nice, I'm recommending it for a great knitted gift. I'd like to put this away and save it for a Christmas gift, but I don't think I'm going to do that.

This is about half of the cowl, knitted in practically no time on #10.5s. (I think I told you #10 before, but these are actually 10.5.) You can see this skein looks like it's going fast. The pattern uses all but about 2 yards of the skein and I had enough the last time I knit this with the same yarn, so I'll probably have enough now. Right?

Thursday, January 09, 2014

FO: Cowl

Not the test knit shrug. But that's coming.

This is the River Deep, Mountain High Cowl. It's a very simple pattern, that--paired with a lovely color-change yarn--looks very impressive. It's a bulky-weight guage, knit in the round on #10 needles, so it goes very quickly. I did this in about three hours, but remember I don't feel well, so I'm off my game. You could probably do it in two.

The yarn is Premier Yarns Saturate in Redwood. I've had my eye on this yarn for a while, but have resisted buying more yarn when I already have so much. Oh, who am I kidding? I was waiting for it to go on sale. Which it did, right after the New Year. Luckily--or maybe not so lucky for the ol' purse--I was able to hit that sale before the snow and before I got sick.

Trust me. I bought more.

This cowl is for me, but I like the pattern so much I think I will make one for M, too. Still feeling crappy and I have no voice, but I'm beginning to think I might live.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Day 3: Patwoman Enters Another Layer Of Hell

I know you're concerned about me, so I'm going to keep giving you updates until I actually do turn into a zombie. Then, who knows?

See this? This is what it feels like every time I attempt to swallow. Luckily, I have decided not to take any more of the maniac juice cough syrup, even if that means I just eventually cough my lungs right outside my body. If that happens, I will probably not update you.

Still, I'm a little clearer, brain-wise, so I decided to do a little knitting. I pulled out that Homespun we talked about before (I did find it. Surprise!) and cast on to do a test knit. This is a shrug/shawl and it's knitting pretty quickly so far. It's basic garter stitch, but has an interesting construction.

Garter stitch is just fine for my state of mind right now. I'm clear, but I don't have a lot of patience. So, I probably don't want to attempt any difficult lace or cables, but knit-every-row, I can do. Almost done with this, in fact. Once I get it finished--and I don't look like I walked off the set of a George Romero flick--I will post some pix.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Still Sick, But Productive At Least

I broke down and started taking some cough medicine today. You know I don't do that because it seriously effs me up. I have such a sensitivity to the dextromethorphan that's in every cough medicine on the market that I really hesitate to take it. And the other ingredient in most stuff--guaifenesin--affects me hard, too.

But, damn it. I can't sleep because of this cough.

But now I can't sleep because of the jittery-hilarious-moodswinging-crash the medicine gives me. Funfunfun.

I started to read a book in the middle of the night about a girl with a matchmaking cat who saves the life of her undercover cop boyfriend. Maybe it's the cough medicine making it hard to follow, but when she got a call from Ellen DeGeneres to be on the show, I had to give up. That will probably not be the book a month I read for January.

I, of course, know better than to try and write anything while I'm tripping balls like this. Once I sobered up and read what I'd written, I'd probably be so ashamed of my ramblings that I'd just... What was I saying again?

Oh yeah. So I decided to dig through my yarn stash and find some Homespun (that I know is in there) so I can do a test knit for one of the designers in the Holiday group. And I can also organize a bit while I'm at it. Because that's what you want to do when you're whacked out--put things in a logical order.

I'm really glad I work from home, or can work from home, most days. I am not fit for human company right now.

Monday, January 06, 2014

A Good Day To Stay In

It's cold. It's so so cold my snowman wanted to come in and warm up.

It's so cold the cryogenics lab called and asked if I could store some overflow for them.

It's so cold the Jack Frost looked at my yard and said "Dayum, hon!"

It's so cold atoms and molecules are beginning to lose their energy and slow down. (That's a little science humor for you, there.)

But seriously. It's cold. Like -11/-45 windchill. And there's so much snow, a piece of my tree fell down. That's a piece of what's left of the tree that fell down a few years ago under a heavy snow. Hm. Maybe I just have some defective trees? Can't handle a little snow.

And I'm sick. I either have the flu from hell or else I'm Patient Zero and the Zombiepocalypse has started. I feel so bad, I kind of hope it's the Zombiepocalypse.

Taking a nap now.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Snow Day

Wow. Whatever Indiana did to piss off Mother Nature, we need to stop doing that.

Thirteen and a half inches of snow. Look at my back yard.

Look at my front yard.

Look at poor T, shovelling away.

All these pictures were taken hours ago. It has been snowing--hard--nonstop. Too dark to take pictures now, but the total snowfall so far is about 13.5 inches.

I've been at home, knitting and watching On Demand all day.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

FO: Loopy Cowl

One of my goals for this year is to experiment with arm knitting. Yeah, it's faddy and hipstery. But I saw this video from Red Heart and I thought, "Well, that scarf looks very clever. Doesn't it?" and "Hey, that's kinda cool to make a scarf in five minutes."

Now, Mikey uses Red Heart Fizzle in his video, but I used Swerve in Barbados, which I like the look of a little better. So I tried arm knitting it, according the video. It's an easy technique, and knits really fast, that's for sure. This probably really would make a scarf in about five minutes, once you got the hang of it. The problem is, I didn't really like the way this turned out.

The stitches are just so loose and enlongated. (And, you know, I don't think it's because I have abnormally large arms or anything. I don't, just so you know.) It just seems so much less like a scarf and more like just wrapping loops of yarn around your neck.

So I frogged it out and tried it with some #35 needles.

But this yarn is too much, even for needles that size. It just looks like a big bunch of knotted blech. So I ripped that one out, too.

The pattern on the label of the Swerve (and there's a video on Youtube for it, too) tells you how to finger loop it. You're basically chaining it with your fingers. But that seems like it would have the same issue as the arm knitting. So I picked up my #50s. And that, my dear Goldilocks, turned out to be just right.

I know this needle looks like the white 35, but it actually is the grey 50. Trust me.

I cast on three stitches and just worked garter stitch until the yarn ran out. There's about 11 yards in a skein, so it goes pretty quickly. I ended up with a pretty short scarf. I probably could've used another skein of this if I'd wanted to do a long scarf. But, intead of a long scarf, I just seamed both ends together and made a cowl out of it.

I like the look of this. I like the color, the texture, the size, and shape of it. And, it took about 20 minutes to knit, once I cast on to the 50s.

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