I don’t know what to do with myself.

I have been knitting, but slowly. I’m working on a raglan for RoRo, knit in one piece to the armholes. I’m using Mission Falls 1824 Cotton, and about 4 different patterns. I couldn’t find one that I liked enough so I’m combining!

I guess the main pattern I’m using is Zippy from Berroco. (I’m having to alter it because I wanted a it to be knit in one piece.) But I also like the funky chevron border from another pattern–

I can’t wait to see what it looks like when it’s blocked!

I dyed the yarn myself, with Kool-Aid. I know that it’s not a good idea to dye cotton with Kool-Aid– I had to put it through the dye bath twice, but the second time it took pretty well. I’m not completely sure about the color. I think I should have probably used some kind of acid dye like the kind that was suggested to me. But the RoRo loves it, and that’s what matters.

And RoRo has become a big girl– she started Head Start this week. It almost killed me the first day, I fretted the time away until I picked her up. When I got there she was sitting up against the wall with the other kids, and I said, “Come on sweetie, we’ve got to go!” She shook her head. I said, “Aww come on, we’re going to go home and have a good time!” She shook her head. I had to carry her out, but she didn’t throw a fit or anything, thankfully. I took that as a good sign that she had enjoyed it.

So now, I have all this time between 10:00 and 2:00. The baby goes to sleep around 11 or 12, and then I have to fill the spaces myself. I assume I’ll be blogging a lot coming up soon– unless I go completely crazy and start scrubbing the house with a toothbrush.

Come to think of it, I think the house does need to be scrubbed with a toothbrush…

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Middle-Sized Monster Pattern

This is a very similar modification of the Furryness pattern. The body has the same increases and decreases, but with a bunch of extra rows thrown in for good measure. The arms and legs are slightly different– but the deedlybobs are very much improved with just a simple tweak. They are certainly easier to do and seem much more stout.

Pattern Notes: This model is made with worsted on size US 3 needles.

I made one (without taking notes, of course) with Homespun on size 6’s. On the parts where there are some 8 rows without increases or decreases, you may omit 2 or so, to make it to this same scale. Experiment with different spots to do the inc’s and dec’s, you can make something really skinny and tall, or short and squat.

You may find that the gauge is too tight. Use a gauge that is comfortable to you, but make sure it is tight enough so that the stuffing doesn’t show through.

kfb= increase by knitting into the front and back of same stitch.

Materials:

This version made with Paton’s Classic Wool (Too Teal) — any worsted should do.
Knobbles done in Lion Brand Kitchen Cotton… Sugar and Cream will work, but I am in love with Lion’s cotton. It doesn’t pill like cheaper versions.
US size 3 double-point needles, set of 4. I strongly recommend aluminum needles. Bamboo needles have a tendency to warp with the tight gauge, and the friction is terrible.
Felt circles, needle, and thread for the eye.
Small amount of yarn or embroidery for the mouth/teeth.
Fiberfill.

Body & Head (starting at the butt)

CO 6 sts. Join in the round, being careful not to twist.
Rd 1: Kfb each stitch. (12 sts)
Rd 2: k all sts.
Rd 3: Kfb each stitch. (24 sts)
Rd 4: k all sts.
Rd 5: [kfb, k1] 3 times, kfb, k2, [kfb, k1] 5 times, kfb, k4. (34 sts)
Rd 6: k all sts.
Rd 7: [kfb, k2] 3 times, kfb, k4, [kfb, k2] 5 times, kfb, k4. (44 sts)
Rds 8, 9, 10: k all sts.
Rd 11: [kfb, k3] 3 times, kfb, k6, [kfb, k3] 4 times, kfb, k8. (53 sts)
Rds 12, 13, 14: k all sts.
Rd 15: [ kfb, k4] 3 times, kfb, k8, [kfb, k4] 4 times, kfb, k8. (62 sts)
Rd 16, 17: k all sts.
Rd 18: [ssk, k4] 3 times, ssk, k8, [k2tog, k4] 4 times, k2tog, k8. (53 sts)
Rd 19: k all sts.
Rd 20: [ssk, k3] 3 times, ssk, k6, [k2tog, k3] 4 times, k2tog, k8. (44 sts)
Rds 21, 22, 23: k all sts.
Rd 24: [ssk, k2] 3 times, ssk, k4, [k2tog, k2] 4 times, k2tog, k8. ( 35 sts)
Rds 25-35: k all sts.
Rd 36: [ssk, k1] 3 times, ssk, k2, [k2tog, k1] 5 times, k2tog, k2tog, k3. (24 sts)
Rds 37-41: k all sts. Stuff body firmly.
Rd 42: ssk 4 times, k2, k2tog 4 times, k6. (16 sts)
Rds 43,44: k all sts.
Rd 45: [kfb, k1] around. (24 sts)
Rd 46: k all sts. It helps to divide sts evenly again at this point.
Rd 47: [kfb, k2] around. (32 sts)
Rds 48,49: k all sts.
Rd 50: [kfb, k3] 6 times, kfb, k7. (39 sts)
Rds 51-58: k all sts.
Rd 59: [ssk, k3] 3 times, [k2tog, k3] 3 times, k2tog, k7. (32 sts)
Rds 60-62: k all sts.
Rd 63: [ssk, k2] 4 times, k2tog, k4, [k2tog, k2] 2 times, k2tog. (24 sts)
Rd 64: k all sts.
Rd 65: [ssk, k1] 4 times, [k2tog, k1] 4 times. (16 sts.) Stuff head firmly.
Rd 66: k all sts.
Rd 67: [k2tog, k2] around. (12 sts)
Rd 68: k all sts.
Rd 69: k2tog around. [6 sts]
Break yarn, pull through remaining sts.
The front of the monster is the last few sts on the needle, where you are knitting a panel of 8 or so sts. This panel is the tummy.

Arms:

CO 9 sts, join in the round.
K 2 inches.
Then (Rd 1): k1, kfb, k to last 2 sts, kfb, k1. (11 sts)
Rd 2: k all sts.
Rd 3: k1, kfb, k to last 2 sts, kfb, k1. (13 sts)
Rd 4: k all sts.
Rd 5: k1, k2tog, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1. (11 sts)
Rds 6, 7: k all sts.
Rd 8: k2tog, 3 times, k1, k2tog twice. (6 sts)
Break yarn, pull through remaining sts.

Legs:

CO 12 sts, join in round.
K 3 inches.
Then: (Rd 1): k1, kfb, k to last 2 sts, kfb, k1. (14 sts)
Rd 2: k all sts.
Rd 3: k1, kfb twice, k to last 3 sts, kfb twice, k1. (18 sts)
Rd 4: k all sts.
Rd 5: K 1, kfb, k to last 2 sts, kfb, k1. (20 sts)
K 4 more rnds.
The middle of the foot runs between the first and last needle.
I somehow managed to pull off turning the foot inside out and doing a three needle bind off.
You may want to BO all sts and seam the bottom of the foot closed.
Or maybe you know some fancy grafting tricks. If so, use those mad skills of yours.

Knobbles:
(and yes, I am aware of how pervy this sounds to my UK friends)

CO 6 sts with kitchen cotton, leaving a tail long enough to sew onto head. Join in the round.
k 9 rnds.
Next row: [k1, kfb] 3 times. (9 sts)
k 1 rd.
Then: kfb each st. (18 sts)
Bo all sts.

Finishing:

Stuff hands and feet firmly.
Sew arms and legs onto body by catching a little v on the arm and connecting it to a v on the body. Jess Hutch, my hero, describes this much better than me; illustrated here.

As with any of my patterns, if you run into any issues, contact me by comment or by email(rupestur AT yahoo DOT com). I’d also like pictures of your monsters. Don’t forget about the monster knitalong (link in sidebar there), it may be laying a bit low for the time being but you are still very much welcome to post there. If you don’t have a LiveJournal account, email me your pictures and I can post them.

Legal blah–If you want to sell these for charity, go ahead, but I’d be much obliged if you didn’t sell them online or try to take credit.

Interconnectedness is a long word (and perhaps a non-word)

…but it seems right.

Sometimes when I pick up my needles at night, I feel connected to other people who are doing the same. I go through these motions knowing that I am not alone– these motions are being echoed across the continent, across the world. You’re stitchin’ with me, babe.

I live on a hill. I may have mentioned this. If I wanted to walk to the store, it would take 45 minutes, at best, and it would be scary. Adjacent to me is a really big mountain, and it’s stellar, it’s why I picked this spot to live, it’s why I stay here. This mountain, however, runs away into the distance as far as I can see, and my family and dear friends are on the other side. I can be there in half an hour, but I have to conserve fuel. There are days that I feel so incredibly far away from them, and I mourn. The town that is close by is inhabited by zombies, or they all think I am a monster, because no one treats me like a human when I go places here. They all cock their heads and look at me like, “So, what are you?” Sometimes I am just a transparent being. The cashiers at the grocery store continue to flirt with the bag boys, and none of them say a word to me. They just take my money.

I am thankful that I have you, other souls who I can relate to. I’ve spent a lot of time tonight reading blogs, and they have made me laugh and feel like part of something. I am especially grateful for it tonight, as I am consumed with FREAKOUT over a friend of mine who is dying. (Cancer… and he’s just lost consciousness today.)

There was a time not too long ago when I was stuck on this hill without even the internet. My babies make me smile when they’re being cute, but when they’re screaming at me for stuff they can’t possibly have all day, it gets a bit tiring. It’s so great to be connecting with people again, even if not face-to-face.

I keep a LiveJournal which is a lot more intimate than this blog. It’s mostly protected posts, and I have about 9 people on my friend’s list. It’s not exactly public. But I do want to share more with you folks, and I will try.

I will start with 7 things about me.

::1:::> I roll my own cigarettes, but no more than 2 or 3 a day.
::2:::> When it comes to art, I can either satisfy myself or others. Rarely both.
::3:::> I aspire for the title of ::BARD:: (with my own abstract definition/vision of the word.)
::4:::> I like to laugh, but I also don’t enjoy the company of people who cannot be serious.
::5:::> I’m freaked out by churches. I’m some kind of zen heathen.
::6:::> Most recent movies annoy me, with all the flashy people and drama and non-humor.
::7:::> I spend a lot of time trying to get back my roughness, crudeness, infatuation with dirt, with messiness, disorder, wildness, raw and shrill tones; at the same time, trying to crawl into an orderly Way, out of chaos and into peace.

I don’t expect I have many readers at this point, but for the few who have left comments–

Thanks and junk.