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

FO: Coachella

A week of procrastination and a bottle of Fray Check later, here it is!


Pattern: Coachella
Size: XS (hee hee hee)
Yarn: Romni Wools Pure Silk in colour 12551, 3 balls
Needles: US 9 and US 7


That is me, being a pattern-following sheep. And I love it! Not that I’m going to stop modifying every pattern in sight, or stop saying “fuck the pattern, I’m just gonna improvise it”. It’s just a nice break, is all. It’s especially nice when the pattern only requires 400 yards or so of yarn, and a few days of obsessive knitting. And it’s really especially nice when the FO turns out to be pretty damn hot.

Even the phantom backfat has left me alone; no doubt it has found a new target to stalk. Keep an eye on your cameras, folks, your back could be next. CONSTANT VIGILANCE!


Look ma, no backfat!

So yes, there were mods, little ones.

· There was knitting the whole thing a size too small. I highly recommend this, as long as your yarn can stand a bit of stretching. I always have trouble with knits fitting at the bust but being too loose around the waist. Why, I have no idea, because I have neither a giant bust nor a tiny waist. But with this top’s unusual construction, going a size down meant it fit at the waist, fit at the bust, and the neck drape was perfect – tantalizingly low, but not quite “HAY EVERYBODY, SEE MY TITS?” low. Now if you do this, and happen to have hips, you will need…

· Added hip increases. Now, there is an awesome song by Deirdre Flint, called The Boob Fairy. It contains these lines:

Though the hip fairy came two times
And the thigh fairy came three
The boob fairy never came for me

I hear ya, sister. I think I am going to have to take out a restraining order against the hip and thigh fairies, because they won’t leave me alone.

The pattern calls for 3 sets of increases. I did 6 sets. Yes, that’s right, that’s almost 3 inches of extra hip. Because my hips are giant. They are giant hips. You will probably not need 3 extra sets, but maybe 1 or 2. Unless you have giant hips. Like my giant hips. Then go for 3. Because giant hips require DOUBLING THE FREAKING NUMBER OF INCREASES. I’m not bitter.

· I also left out the waist decreases, mostly because it was only a half-inch decrease for the XS size, and since it was already a size too small I figured there was no need to make it smaller. Worked out fine, but I imagine it would be best to leave them in for larger sizes, where it’s more than a half-inch difference.

I’ve noticed that the top wants to slide down enough to show my bra. It was still a little damp when I tried it on, so I’m hoping it will be a bit lighter and less influenced by gravity when it’s completely dry. If not, I’ll probably have to break out the (dun dun DUN) backless-bra-conversion straps. Or pick up stitches along the armholes and make ’em smaller, but I like the way they look now, so I’ll probably go the torture-bra route.

The yarn is still delicious. I am a silk whore, I think. What can I say, I love shiny things.


Who knew that a knit top could qualify as club wear?

FO: Vicious Gnauga Backpack

It’s done!


Pattern: my own, I am sloooowly writing it up here’s the pattern link, finally
Yarn: 2 balls Bernat Softee Chunky in Black, 4 balls Phentex Fashion Nine in Black, small amount of Patons Classic Wool in Winter White
Needles: size 11, size 6

The monster is the Vicious Gnauga from Kingdom of Loathing.

Isn’t it cute? And mean-looking? And fuzzy and cute? Clearly it had to be made into a knitted backpack. It’s only logical.


I had plenty more sewing mishaps while finishing it, of course. I CANNOT SEW FOR CRAP. I really can’t. I used to be able to, but I guess I’ve forgotten how. Plus, you try to sew things to thick furry fabric where you can’t see what you’re doing because the fur eats up your stitches. You’ll probably do better than me, but that doesn’t take much.

I sewed the straps on crooked, I sewed the pocket on (crooked) and in the process accidentally stitched the straps down to the middle of the bag. I know, right?

The stupid, stupid pocket that is now not sewed to the straps:

The stupid, stupid straps that are now not sewed to the pocket, and the relatively non-stupid drawstring:
IMG_4129.JPG IMG_4132.JPG

And yeah, slowly writing up the pattern. I finished this on Friday evening, I had the whole weekend to write up the pattern before I blogged the FO, and I didn’t. I put the “half” in “half-assed”. (I also put the “ass” in “half-assed”, thanks to both my sewing “skills” and my ample posterior.) But it will be written up, and posted, and if you decide to make one I really hope you are better at sewing than I am. Which, again, won’t take much.

What’s in the bag?

Why, it’s a whole crapload of Rowan Calmer! Yum.

Now that yarn is for a project that will require no sewing whatsoever. Hurrah!

FO: Mohair Minisweater Monstrosity

I might still mess around with the button placement, but the mohair monster is pretty much done.


Pattern: Buttony Sweater (very, very modified)
Size: Hell if I know. Small?
Yarn: Fleece Artist Country Mohair, 1 skein (EVIL YARN OF EVIL!!!), colour unknown, since they’re not marked. I would guess Indian Summer or Mahogany or maybe Origin.
Needles: Size 10

(A rare picture in which I have a head…)
(… and in which I look like I want to violently murder the camera. Now you know why I cut my head out of FO pics.)

I clearly modified the living crap out of this pattern, so let’s talk about that, shall we?

I did some gauge math, since the Cursed Mohair of Evil was bulkier than the suggested yarn. Since it’s a top-down raglan, I only had to do math to figure out how many stitches to cast on.

I also moved the button band a bit closer to the center. So the original pattern has section divides of 5, 13, 32, 13, 33. Mine were 10, 10, 25, 10, 20. I only know this because I happened to write it down. Do you really think I can remember these things?

I decided to make the sleeves ribbed so that they’d be very fitted. Who wants baggy cap sleeves? Not me. They’re done in 2×2 ribbing, to “match” the collar and bottom.

And then, there is the obvious “short sleeved minisweater” vs “long sleeved normal sweater”, and… yeah. 200 metres of yarn, people, what was I supposed to do? You think I’m going to buy another skein of $30 Cursed Mohair? That is beyond slight yarn-masochism, all the way to yarn-related self-hatred. Teeny tiny minisweater it was, and I used every last bit of that yarn. This is how much was left over:


(And the other thing in that picture? That would be one knitting session’s worth of shedding. Every single time I worked on this… thing… I got a pile of hair like that. Because this yarn sheds. Did I mention the shedding? I think maybe I might have.)

Anyway, all I did was bind off the sleeve stitches at the point where you’d usually slip them onto scrap yarn, and then join the fronts and back on the following row, casting on a few extra stitches at each underarm.


It came out pretty cute. Didn’t it? Despite the yarn. Oh, the yarn. It sure is beautiful, isn’t it? Fleece Artist yarns always are. Not going to dispute that, and I will still gladly give other Fleece Artist yarns a try, because I’ve heard wonderful things about them.


I think that should make my feelings on the yarn quite clear. Luckily, it’s discontinued (gee, I wonder why), so you probably won’t run into it often.

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I told you I’d conquer you, you Evil Cursed Mohair From Hell. MUHAHAHAHAHA!

FO: Soul-Eating Lelah



It’s done, it’s done, it’s fucking DONE. And it fits, and it’s adorable, and now I’m going to take a very long nap.

Pattern: Lelah
Size: I sort of followed the Large instructions, but my gauge was way tighter so it’s more like a Small
Yarn: Rowan Calmer in 469 (I dunno, that’s what the ball band says), every last bit of 3 skeins
Needles: size 7

As you may know, Lelah ate my soul.
See this entry.
And this one.
Aaaand this one.

Why? I don’t know. I will offer this word of advice: if you look at the pattern, it gives instructions for a medium and a large, and also instructions on how to measure yourself and create your own size. Use the latter instructions. Decide how big you want the bottom to be, and how big you want the top to be, and check your gauge, and then the pattern tells you where to decrease and blah blah blah. I think doing that will save your soul from being devoured.


Anyway, my main mods were messing around with gauge (GRAAAAH!), and not decreasing for the top part because I didn’t want it to stretch too much and go see-through. My only other mod was adding an extra few repeats of the lace pattern to make it a bit longer. So this is the closest I’ve come to actually following a pattern in quite some time.

Hey, and I think I figured out what causes the weird back-wrinkle. It’s something to do with my strapless bra, because it wasn’t wrinkling nearly as much with a regular bra. It figures.


Strapless bras are the devil, folks.

I’m very, very glad it’s done, and it really is a damn cute top, and surprisingly wearable, given that I don’t really have a tube top body. So now that the ordeal is over, I will stop whining, and be happy that I have a lovely FO.

Okay, okay, I will stop whining about this particular project. I mean, let’s be realistic.

FO: Rusted Root

It’s done! And it’s a bit too big. But not big enough to redo it. And hopefully not big enough to look frumpy.


Pattern: Rusted Root
Size: SmallMedium (yeah, read on…)
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Terracotta Canyon, 3 skeins (with a fair bit of the third skein left over)
Needles: size 6

I have a disease. Why don’t we call it screw-with-the-pattern-itis. I can’t not modify a pattern. I tried to be good with this one. I said, I’m changing the lace to a cable and that’s IT, I obey the pattern after that. Obviously that was an exercise in futility.

First, the cable.

I didn’t want to have to wear a shirt underneath it, so the lace had to go. I used a banana tree cable pattern and I found it here. Of course, in that pattern it’s worked bottom-up and flat, and Rusted Root is worked top-down and in the round. Ohnoes!

Apparently other people want to try the banana tree cable mod, because eleventy million people PM’d me on Craftster to ask how to deal with that issue (okay, three people), and here’s how:

1. Ignore the written directions and print out the cable chart.
2. Turn the chart upside down.
(3. Profit!)

That’s it. And if you don’t know how to read a cable chart – neither do I! Turns out they’re very intuitive. Who knew?


Second, the amazing disappearing poofy sleeves (and how to coax them back into existence).

Everyone on Craftster was losing the poofy sleeves, and the poofy sleeves were my favourite thing about this pattern, so hell if I was letting them disappear.

What I did was cast on for the medium, and kept following the medium instructions until row 36, then switched to the small instructions. This meant I ended up with a wider neckline and more sleeve increases than the small. I had to do a little bit of number-crunching when I got to the sleeve decreases, since all the stitch counts were slightly off. This also made the body 4 stitches larger than the small.

I have a theory about why the poof goes away – there are two “tiers” of sleeve increase amounts (on row 8) between six sizes. (XS and S get 5 sets of increases, M, L, XL, XXL get 6 sets.) I think only the smallest size of each tier gets the right increases-to-total-size ratio… I mean, if you’re adding the same amount of stitches to a little sleeve and a big sleeve, it’s going to be more noticeable on the little sleeve, right? So if you’re knitting a size other than the extra small or the medium, you’re probably going to lose some poof and might want to mess with the increases.


Other mods:

– I added hip increases. Because I have giant hips. After the waist decreases, I worked even for a couple of inches and then mirrored the decreases.

– I did a crazy weird bindoff on the neckline… knit the two knits together and purled the purls. Because the neckline was curling. Like crazy. Like, no amount of blocking will fix this kind of crazy. If you try this, be careful – it makes the neckline very tight, so make sure you can get it over your head. It fixed the curling, though!

– I purled all the other bindoffs instead of binding off in the rib pattern.

– I added a couple rows of ribbing to the sleeves. If I remembered why, I’d tell you, but I don’t.

– I snuck in some decreases on the sleeves right before the ribbing, because they were a bit too big (side effect of my size-fuckery, I think).

I… think that’s all of them. I am proud of subduing my inner control-freak who wanted to change half the k2togs to SSKs so they’d be mirrored (and seriously, nobody would have ever noticed the difference, so shut up, inner control-freak).

rustedroot1.jpg rustedroot3.jpg

A note on Cotton Fleece… I mostly liked it. It has a nice sheen and it’s pleasant to knit up; the wool content probably helps. It’s a bit splitty, but not horribly so, and there were no knots in any of the skeins (a few pulled-out threads, though). And it’s pretty soft.

The only thing is… IT DOES NOT DRY. EVER.

I laid the damn top out on towels to dry for TWO THREE DAYS, and it was still damp. Then I got sick of waiting and chucked it in the dryer, on low, for about 25 minutes. (I did check the interwebs first to reassure myself that the dryer wouldn’t do anything bad to the yarn, and it didn’t.) Still slightly damp. Are you kidding me, yarn?

But I’d use it again. And I’d knit Rusted Root again… half a size smaller… and with even more mods! Muhahahahaha! I will never be cured!


Instant Gratification Scarf


I don’t know if I’d even call this a pattern. It’s too simple to be a pattern.

This is a really, really quick scarf (hence the name) that is perfect for big crazy thick-and-thin yarn, when you want to show off the texture and make the most of a small amount of yarn. Drop-stitch patterns really make a little yarn go a long way.


[snip – pattern moved here]


The resulting scarf looks the same one both sides, has a bit more structure to it than a regular drop stitch scarf, and is surprisingly cozy (especially if you use MMMMalabrigo, yum).

Blurry mirror pic with matching Calorimetry!
(Sorry. :P I am a lazy, lazy photographer.)


FO: Eyelet Headwrap

For some reason, I got it into my head that I wanted to participate in a knitting challenge over at Craftster. The challenge was to knit something but spend $10 or less on materials. This appealed to my poor ass, but I didn’t know what the hell to make.

So I was wandering around Zellers, and saw this bag of stick-on googly eyes, and that was it. I had to knit something and stick googly eyes on it. There was no other option.

I was excited… but it was, like, March 23rd, and the challenge deadline was the end of March, and I am the slowest knitter in the universe. Still, it got finished in time, and of course didn’t win anything, and I learned a few lessons from the experience:

Lesson 1: Do not participate in a knitting challenge just for the sake of participating in a knitting challenge.

Lesson 2: Knitting within a very small time limit is NO FUN.

Lesson 3: Googly eyes are awesome. (I already knew this, but it’s always good to reinforce this lesson.)


I was trying to copy the diagonal eyelet pattern I saw here. I don’t think I guessed the pattern exactly right, but I came pretty close.

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Yarn: Bernat Cool Crochet in Crisp White, less than 1 ball
Needles: size 5


(I am guessing at this, because I didn’t write it down. Because I suck.)

CO 22 sts.

Work a few rows of garter stitch.

Repeat these two rows until the piece is long enough:
1: k3, *yo, k2tog, k3* 3 times, yo, k2tog, k2
2: k3, p to last 3 sts, k3

Work a few more rows of garter stitch, BO.

I attached the eyes with little metal snaps, since I don’t like sticking things to my knitting. This means they’re removable, if I want the headwrap to be cute instead of vaguely creepy. But why would I want that?