half-assed knit blog
half-assed knit blog
half-assed knit blog

FO: Brainmonster

Aww yeah.


It should have been up earlier this week, but I have a real excuse this time, which is that I’ve been sick. Okay, we all know that I’m sick, but this time I mean in the medical sense. But hey, not even a whole week late, go me!

It’s been re-christened “brainmonster” because “monster hat” is just not a name. There is a story to this name, but it’s so dreadfully boring that I refuse to tell it.


Pattern: Brainmonster
Yarn: KnitPicks Wool of the Andes in Amber Heather, 1 skein; Patons Classic Wool in Winter White, much much less than 1 skein
Needles: US 7

Oy. The long tale of the monster hat, where do I begin? Something like a year ago, I saw this hat on a LiveJournal community. Not this hat, but a hat with teeth and eyes and earflaps. I had to have one. But there was no pattern! No problem, said I, I’ll just make one up. So I did. The one I saw had knitted eyes instead of my googlies, and the teeth were a bit different I think, but I can’t take any credit for the idea; I stuck pretty close to the one I saw.

I had no intention of writing up a pattern, since it wasn’t really my concept, but I posted my finished hat on LJ and people went nuts over it, and I started to think I may as well write it up. People wanted to make it, so I may as well save them the trouble of figuring out a pattern when I had a perfectly good one in my head.

Except I didn’t know how to write a pattern then, so I didn’t. By the time I came back to it, months later, I totally couldn’t remember what I had did. And so I made Brainmonster II and this time wrote everything the fuck down. Hooray! We have pattern!


I actually figured out how to make stockinette teeth that don’t curl. (Answer: slip stitch edging and centered double decreases.) And the earflaps are muuuuch nicer than they were on the first version. I think this is a pretty solid monstery hatty pattern.

When I took the googly eyes out of their package, I saw this:


Okay, I understand why there are warning labels on everything. I do. But you’re really supposed to keep giant googly eyes out of the reach of children? Who is going to use giant googly eyes besides children and moderately insane adults who make monster hats? Giant googly eyes are for children! They belong in the reach of children! Perhaps the warning is there because they’re coated with lead paint, like all children’s toys (apparently).

Now here’s the other reason I put off posting the pattern. Yeah, I was sick, but not so sick that I couldn’t finish the hat, and photograph the hat, and write up most of the pattern. But I needed some action shots of the hat. Oh, hell.

Sweaters are easy, I just chop my head off. Hats require visible heads. I DO NOT PHOTOGRAPH WELL. And when I say that, I don’t mean “ugh, I’m not very photogenic”. What I mean is “I am so completely un-photogenic that any picture of me resembles a retarded monkey, will scare children, will also scare adults, will also scare me and prompt me to walk around with a paper bag over my head for several weeks”. Which is actually unnecessary because I look perfectly normal in person. It’s just photos. Fucking evil photos from my fucking evil camera that won’t be satisfied with simple phantom backfat but has to ruin my face too.

I’m not bitter.

I sucked it up and took two separate photoshoots, and was rewarded with a whole bunch of retarded monkey pictures, and posted a couple of the least horrifying ones with the pattern, because I’ve gotta post something. But ugh. I need to find other people to model my knits, I think.

And because I love my readers, you all deserve to see me look like a fool, so here is the obligatory “OH MY GOD IT’S EATING MY HEAD” shot. (Which is not on the pattern page, for what I hope are obvious reasons.)


Hee hee hee.

Okay, that’s quite enough of that. Go forth and make monster hats! You know you want brain-eating creatures on your head.

The Dumb

I have, once again, run out of mindless knitting.

There was the Knotted Openwork Scarf, but it’s done. And I’m too lazy to photograph it and make its FO post. Photographing scarves is hard. That should be said in a “math is hard” talking Barbie type voice. Except math isn’t hard. I heart math. But photographing scarves is hard, because they’re all long and skinny and don’t suit a 4:3 aspect ratio. Also, lazy. Lazy lazy lazy. I have the dumb, people, I HAVE THE DUMB. Listen to the cat macro, for it is wise.

And then there was this.


So there was this time, back in university, when I was sitting in a really boring lecture. The kind where the professor reads the textbook to you in broken English and you pour coffee down your throat and desperately try to stay awake, long ago having given up on actually learning anything. And I was doodling, instead of taking notes. I was doodling a word in giant bubble letters. The word was this:


And so the guy sitting behind me peeks at my notebook, cracks up, taps me on the shoulder and says “can I borrow your notes?” Snerk.

The point to this non-story is that I am the type of person who will doodle BULLSHIT when I should be learning things, and will doodle MONSTER HAT when I should be knitting things, and will even draw pictures of monster hats when I already have a finished monster hat to work from and have absolutely no reason to sketch one out.

But I did knit the main head bit of Monster Hat II. Because it was mindless. I even wrote down the way I did the decreases. I even finished it while slightly drunk. I suspect I’ll lose any badass-drunken-knitting cred by mentioning that I was slightly drunk from sparkling wine. Oh, shush. It’s yummy.

Now it’s time to figure out how to knit teeth that don’t curl (no stockinette!) and don’t look like congealed ass (no garter stitch!). Noooo. Can’t brain. Dumb. So on to other things.

My library finally got Fitted Knits in and I picked up my on-hold copy today. I borrowed it to make the ubiquitous Back to School Vest. It looks like a lovely mindless knit, except that I haven’t figured out what yarn I want to use. Yarn angst! But the book is full of other yummy patterns, and the textured tunic caught my eye.


I thought about the naughty Fake-astanje Cardigan. I thought about how much I loathe it. Wouldn’t it be satisfying to frog the bastard (AGAIN) and attempt to make it into something cuter (AGAIN)? A quick photoshopping later…


Hmm. I don’t know. It might work, it might not, it’s hard to tell.

I’d have to rewrite the pattern a bit. Not only because it’s written for thicker yarn, but because, if I’m reading the pattern and schematic correctly, there is no waist shaping. Whaaaat? Okay, what kind of trickery did they pull on the sweater in the picture? If you turned that model around, would there be seventeen clothespins yanking the sweater into a fake fake fakey fake super-fitted shape? I think there would be!

Are you kidding me, pattern? You have the dumb, pattern. Oh god. The dumb is contagious. The pattern caught the dumb from me. If you’re reading this, you might catch the dumb from me too. Run away! Run away from the dumb!

I have an evil plan.

I’ve decided what to do about the monster hat. I’m going to rewrite the pattern completely – instead of trying to match my hat exactly – and then test-knit the new version. Because the only thing better than owning one ridiculous head-eating monster is owning two ridiculous head-eating monsters.

Of course I have no yarn. Some stasher I am. I rummaged through my yarn bin and the only appropriate thing I found was a gold-ish ball of Elann’s Highland Wool. Thing is, I’m not sure 109 yards is enough for a hat with earflaps and i-cord ties, and if I buy another ball I’ll have to place an Elann order, and if I place an Elann order, I will buy EVERYTHING.

I have to go to Michaels to get some giant googly eyes, so I suppose I’ll just pick up a ball of Patons Classic Wool. Yes. Must be good. *twitch*

Maddy is almost done. Its pattern is, um, not.


Fifi is nowhere close to being almost done, possibly because I’ve been ignoring it and it stubbornly refuses to knit itself. But I’ve at least split the sleeves off and started the body.


My ball of Royal Bamboo has spontaneously sprouted a mouth (not pictured), and is using said mouth to yell at me for not knitting with it yet. But I have promised myself that I won’t start anything new until Maddy is done. No bamboo headband, no Monster Hat II: Electric Cliché-a-loo, no doing evil Diamond Mesh Lace type things to that skein of Mini Maiden in the yarn bin. I will be good. I will be good.

P.S. I fail at being good. It’s Sunday and I ordered yarn again. I only spent $25, and got something I’ve wanted for a long time, so I don’t feel too guilty, but – what is it about Sundays? I wonder if I can set my computer to block all yarn shops on Sundays.

I’m not saying what I bought, because it should make for some lovely yarn pr0n when it arrives.

(Half) Asses and Monsters and Beer, Oh My!


Monsters are a problem. Sometimes they eat your head, and sometimes they refuse to be written up into a pattern. Right now I would happily let this particular monster gnaw on my brains for awhile if it would just tell me how the hell the decreases on the top of its head work.

I am having waaaay more trouble than I should with mentally dissecting that hat. I’d only been knitting a few months when I made it, so I couldn’t have done anything too wacky. I know how to read my knitting – usually – but this durn hat critter thing seems to melt into an amorphous yarn blob whenever I try to pick out the stitches I used. Graaah. Monsters.

I added my first pattern to Ravelry today – the Vicious Gnauga Backpack, naturally – and it’s all very odd. Pattern source, asked the form, and I filled in “Half-Assed Patterns”. And cackled. If I ever get my shit together on this whole designing thing, I will really have to come up with a better name than Half-Assed Patterns. I mean, it doesn’t exactly fill a prospective knitter with confidence.

Oh well, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Which will likely not be for a very long time, if I’m currently being foiled by a little red monster. Not even a complicated design, but a hat with eyes and teeth. How embarrassing.

And if when I conquer the monster hat, next in line to be written up is Maddy. Ask me how I’m going to turn this mess into a pattern…


The correct answer is: BEER.

Don’t tell me that’s not an answer. It’s totally an answer.

In which I fail to grasp the concept of summer knitting

The Fake-astanje Cardigan continues to practically knit itself. I’m wondering whether it might be worth actually writing up a pattern for.


And the waist detail…

… which was completely pulled out of my ass, proving that there is no point in my pre-planning a pattern because I’m just going to change it at whim halfway through anyway.

Now I’m at the spot where I switch to black lace, and running into problems, of course, because the project was going suspiciously smoothly so far. (Well, if you don’t count frogging the entire body of the first attempt.) I swatched the modified Half-Opened Seeds lace and it is so not going to work, because a) it looks like poo and b) it is a bitch and a half to knit, and making myself annoyed and angry while holding sharp, pointy, metal objects seems like a bad idea.

So it’s on hold until I find a suitable lace pattern. Sigh. Maybe I’ll start the silk thing. Or maybe I’ll finally write up a pattern for this:


Because wool monster hats are exactly what everybody wants for the summer, right?