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Sep. 10th, 2009


Why do I do this to myself?

I started the day with a virus, a headache, and what seemed to me to be a very manageable to-do list. It has a dozen items on it (one of which was to text someone, two of which were to call people, so they really don't count), a third of which pertained to the commission I'm doing. A third (more like half) have to do with school stuff, which MUST get done before tomorrow.

I'm working on the first item on the list right now.

What have I been doing? Well, being sick, I slept a lot. I finally got up the motivation to take a shower, then stayed in there for much longer than would be considered normal. I also have been reading the archives of the Yarn Harlot's blog. This is something I can do while knitting, and can sorta do while weaving in ends. Fortunately, one item on the to-do list is to weave in the ends on my commission. Nothing on the lists needs to be knit. I was supposed to take pictures of the ends-woven-in commission while it was still light out. Unfortunately, it's dark now at 8pm, but at least I can console myself with the fact that it was overcast all day anyway and not conducive to picture-taking.

I would also like to note that updating my livejournal is not on the to-do list.

Why do I have such a harsh to-do list mentality today? Mostly (aside from strict deadlines) my lists are more of guides to which direction I should curve my day toward. Well, not today. Tomorrow the beau and I are hittin' the road to the state of my birth to witness our friend's conversion to Judaism. :) So, tomorrow = awesome, and to be prepared for that, I have to do at least 1/3 of my schoolwork before we leave. To compound this, Saturday morning will find us at a Bat Mitzvah, so I can't put any of this stuff off to Saturday! Also? Because we are masochists, the beau and I are hoping to throw a lil vacation day in there on Sunday; plans are minimal right now, but we may be on yet another short road trip.

I'm now halfway done with one thing on the list.

HA! I have now also sent the text. The phone calls I needed to make are symbiotic. The one I have to make first (to financial aid) has to be done before 5pm, so that will be made in the morning, to be immediately followed by the second (to my advisor). The text is in reference to yet another thing that must be done tomorrow morning (and is really pissing me off). Ah, and I have heard back and it is NOT something that will be done tomorrow. Anger. I am definitely angry now. But moving on.

Ends are woven in. Time for classwork. And maybe some Excedrin.

P.S. My surprise order I hinted about in August came in on the 8th. I need to upload pictures and devote an entire entry to squee-ing over the darn thing.

P.P.S. I got a package today, and was totally confused until I opened it and realized I'd ordered yarn last week. Gorgeous gorgeous yarn. Yes, more yarn. I will have to take pictures and update at another time. This stuff is all the softest awesomest ever...and I can't wait to get started with it, but I will deprive myself for a while. :( Too many other projects in the works.

Sep. 4th, 2009


So that's what all that dizziness has been about...

So, yesterday, on the insistence of the beau and his mom...I went to their doctor, because he's good and not a jerk like my regular doctor (ok, "regular" as in the walk-in clinic I could go to when I didn't have insurance, which also turned out to be the local office where my last job sent Workers Comp cases. So I went back there solely because I had to, and since I was already in the system after the WC nonsense). So Dr. Joe is awesome and he teased me when he walked in the room that he's never seen me without something yarn-related in my hands (he's part of my beau's parents havurah, so he's only seen me at gatherings. BTW he's also a friggin amazing cook and made some tasty vegan vittles for this past years' seder). It took about 30 seconds of humorously rapid-fire questions and another 30 seconds of looking in my ears for him to announce "You are congested. VERRRRRRRRY Congested. On a scale of 1 to 10, you're at a 9.5." Ouch. He then explained that I have some nasty allergies and a virus that's hit on top of that. The allergies have caused a thickening in my eardrums that is causing hearing loss, and I then commented "so that's why I've been dizzy and been getting all those headaches!" He nodded with empathy.

EARDRUM THICKENING. Hmmm...I remember when I actually went to the doctor (the last one) back in April, when I FINALLY cleared up my health insurance fiasco at work (That was such crap. I could rant about that for pages, but I will spare my poor journal that rant). I was all stuffed up, sore throat, all that fun stuff. Allergies were mentioned then, as well, and I was told to come back for ASTHMA testing when I got over my cold/virus. I wasn't well again before I was laid off, so I've never gotten allergy OR asthma tested. When I specifically questioned the doctor about pain in my inner ears and dizziness, I was told I "looked fine." When I mentioned this to Dr. Joe, he said, "you were brushed off, right?" when I nodded, he said, "well, don't worry, we'll take care of that now." What I'm concerned about is that this could have already caused permanent hearing loss. My family seems to be pretty susceptible to inner ear problems; I think all of the kids in my generation had ear tubes (I may not have; I was a healthier baby. My sister was constantly sick though. I started getting sick regularly AFTER my first brush with Pneumonia). My sister even missed half of her Junior year of HS because she was hit with such a bad virus that she temporarily lost 90% of her hearing. She can hear now, but not to a normal level. :/ So, anyway, I'm heading back in the next week or two (when the congestion clears up) for allergy testing. I'll be talking to him about asthma testing, also, but when he listened to my breathing he told me my lungs sounded good, which, to be honest, is the first time ANYONE has said that to me since I was eleven. So, lungs=better, ears=worse.

Oh, right, knitting journal. So, with dizziness/headaches an issue, long stints on the compy are not good, and usually end with me popping excedrin and laying down for a while. So, lots of knitting instead! Unfortunately, the lessened compy time has caused me to fall behind in school, though I contacted my professors and they have been very understanding. Hopefully I'll be caught up by the end of this weekend, as I'm able to do more schoolwork as I mend. Anyway, in knitting news, I have started on the fingerless mitts commission, and I'm happy as a clam working with the Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted again. This stuff is heavenly. I'm so enamored of this, I'm worried when I actually start knitting with my Malabrigo. I know I'm making something for me...I just worry that once I start knitting with it, I won't be able to leave a yarn store without bags full of it. I mean, with the LL yarn, I spent the better portion of an hour going back and forth between some skeins of the LLSW and yarn I had projects in mind for. The colors weren't my favorites. BUT IT WAS ON SALE! I didn't buy any either!!! Luckily for my wallet, I said no, I'm not gonna take colors I won't use, even at 25% off. I still have mixed feelings about that, especially after buying more at full price, though in a luscious color!!! I better be careful about hitting princeton again in the near future. ;)

So, as I was saying about the long stints on the compy, it's about that time. The head is doing the throbby thing, and, even after a day and a half of a very structured Mucinex regimen, I haven't hit the "draining" phase. Time to step away from the glowy box, or more accurately, take the laptop off my lap while I'm in bed. I slept for over most of the day, not actually getting up and doing anything productive, like eating and hygiene-maintaining tasks until after 4pm. o.O Who knows if I will find sleep during dark hours tonight. I hope!!

Sep. 2nd, 2009


Smartypants September

After the FO parade that was the end of August, I was happy to see September 1st arrive so I could cast on a new project - YAY! So, I decided, amongst the quick knits that are sure to happen this month, that I may as well start the entrelac afghan I promised Sue...
Last Hanukkah.
Ooops. Well! I cast on today, on my new(well, I got them months ago, but haven't used 'em till now) Susan Bates Silverado (? I think that's what they're called...where'd I put that case...)size 9 circ. It has a nice flexible cable reminiscent of the KnitPicks Options cable or the Inox Express. And let me be honest a moment here about needles: Yes, I'm a needle snob, probably more than I am a yarn snob (I actually love a good Caron Simply Soft project) and j'adore Addi's, absolutely. But in bigger sizes? Inox all the way. I inherited a single size 11 (I think?) Inox express nickel plated, and I pretty much want to marry that little sucker. But I digress.

I cast on 228 sts (deciding that since each base triangle was approx. 3" if 12 sts. wide, and I'll probably be edging the thing, I'd stop one repeat shy of 5' wide. Actually the thing will probably be wider than 5' since each triangle on the bias is a lil more than 3".) and I started across to make my base triangles. I realize this will be the part that takes me the longest, setting everything up and getting used to the pace of entrelac again. After three triangles of fidgeting between English and Continental knitting, flipping the whole pile back and forth between rows every 2 seconds...I thought to myself about backward knitting, and how most people end up learning for entrelac or short rows. So...being me...instead of looking up a video on how to do this, I just purled a stitch, paying attention to needle insertion and wrap direction, then turned it around so that the right side was facing me again, and tried to duplicate the motions, picturing the other side as I did it (I'm quite visual/tactile). You want to know a secret? Shhhh....IT'S EASY. I was shocked. I remembered watching a video on youtube like a million years ago and being baffled. It's like the person doing it wanted us to be confused so that their little backward-knitting society wouldn't be infiltrated by normies. This wasn't the FIRST time I was inspired to make a youtube knitting video, but this may be the technique that pushes me to actually do it. As I was whipping through the next few base triangles, I was thinking to myself how I had already wanted to draw up lesson plans for advanced knitting courses to teach at AC Moore or area LYS's...one of them being entrelac...now I could slip backward knitting into the course! That would be SWEET!

So I felt like a smartypants. I need to list out all the techniques I've learned, the ones I feel I've fully mastered, and the ones I have yet to learn. I'm a list person...it's good for me to see my progress in list form. I just gotta say, if something this seemingly hard to wrap one's head around is actually not that bad...bring on the steeks!

Sad news on the package front, though. Apparently Amazon likes to play with my emotions and is telling me that the items I ordered on August 27th, which have already shipped, mind you, are not due to arrive this week. The big item (that I'm most excited about!) is due to arrive first, on the 8th. The rest anytime between then and the TWENTY FIRST. Now, I'm sorry. I sell books on Amazon, too. When I get an order, it tells me I have to get it in the mail within 48 hours. And I do! I know it doesn't take over three weeks to ship within the continental US! And the freakin package that's due on the 8th is coming UPS! A tracking number was provided, and it showed up as scanned into the facility for shipping on saturday (the same day as my Birds-n-yarn package, mind you). Now, why would it take NINE DAYS after that to arrive, praytell? I've had issues ordering gifts from Amazon before...taking a month to arrive. Now I know why my Amazon feedback is full of people amazed at how quick the shipping was. BEE-ZAAAAR, I tell you. Hmph. Frustrated. Now I will have to take pics of my yarn haul minus the other fun parts, and get going on the fingerless gloves for my custom order.

Other exciting news in the lilypad - I had a repeat buyer order four more sets of hairpins from me (she previously purchased 5 sets in another order). The sale came through just a few hours ago. Yay! To the post office tomorrow! I'm trying to decide what kind of special gifts I wanna include with this babies:

I may throw in another set of hairpins, but I may be UBER nice and include something yarnie! Ain't I sweet?

Oh, this sale reminds me that I need to get in on another business card swap. I don't go on the forums anymore (I learned that ends up only increasing sales to other sellers, and the promo threads are just annoying), but I may have to hop on for a swap-a-roo. Or, I could just message my etsy pals that I actually have had contact with and like. That would, y'know...make sense...

Aug. 31st, 2009



I pulled out the Beau's Argyle sock to see if I could hoist it upon the pile of FO's I've been cranking out with enviable speed (or, fever-induced vigor). HA, no. I did get a few rows done, and noticed I made a mistake about 8 rows back that I'm not going to fix (instead, it is becoming a design element, thankyouverymuch). Well, the boy is coming to whisk me away to a park to see if the cooler weather and some fresh air will help the illness wane. I definitely don't have time to finish the sock before then. I mean, he knows they exist; I already gave him the one, but if I slowly work on it in front of him and he sees me struggling with it at all, he'll feel horribly guilty. I think just the 9 strands of yarn I'm working with would be enough to push him over into guilt mode.

In happy news, Birds-n-yarn made my yarn fix a reality today. When my other package arrives, the photo shoot will commence! I am very pleased with my purchase...very pleased. ::pets yarn::

Done and Done.

I wish I had the patience right now to take and upload pics so that my short spurt posts wouldn't be so boring. Anywho, the advantage to having too upset a stomach to lie down w/o feeling like hurling is that you can finish projects. That's right, 3am saw another FO: The Seastar Hat.
Edited to add:
Seastar Hat Side

Maybe between doing ALL the work I need to do for school (by Tuesday midnight) tomorrow, I can make some headway on Ben's second sock. Not sure I can whip out another FO in the next 20 hrs, but who knows. I wasn't expecting to get these done, either!

Oh, and I got an email confirming shipment of packages! When I checked tracking, at least one box showed itself to be in Jersey as of yesterday!!! I promise, dear blog (sans readers as you may be), that I will post pics of my haul whenever they arrive, and post like crazy. I mean, I need to get the pics on the computer anyway, and I owe EVERYONE pics from allllll summer long.

Also: More of a note to self. I now have in my arsenal a matching set of fingerless mitts and hat...and yarn left over. Plenty of the two greens, and enough blue for accents. I'm thinking maybe doing Susie's Reading mitts, using the blue for CO/BO, and the darker green for the purl and lace parts (I've seen some projects on ravelry that added accent color this way and I liked the look!). If I still have enough let over after that, I can reverse the colors on a second pair.

It is very clear how much I'm itching to cast on a new project (or five). Tuesday. Tomorrow! I think I'll have at least 3 new WIP's on the needles by the end of the day on Sept. 1st!

Aug. 30th, 2009



What is that, you say? Another FO? No..TWO more?

Why, yes. The Phoenix Feathers and its twin, the Phoenix Feathers II...both complete. Awesome. They were also already complimented. Good, good. It's amazing what two episodes of Family Guy and an episode of Futurama can do.
Like the colors...

Now I'm back to watching Bobby Flay try to make dumplings. Maybe I'll actually have another FO report tomorrow. Here's hoping!

Dare I say...FO!?

Originally uploaded by Knit n Frog
Why...yes! Not just a FO...but WOVEN IN ENDS! I'll give you a moment to pick your jaw up. Yes, me, the one who has projects that have been finished for months whose ends are not woven in...I finished and wove in ends on fair isle gloves in light fingering weight yarn. :D I guess the whole being sick thing keeps me from having project ADD, since in order to flit between projects, I'd have to GET UP AND GO GET THEM. And that would require energy and movement.

Not sure the seastar hat will be done by tomorrow. It's not a speedy knit, nor necessarily slow-going. I just think, since I'm making it up as I go along, the crown decreases may take some time. We'll see. Hm.


Five hours into the second-to-last day of the month. Solidly awake with a nasty stomachache/fever/chills/headache/thing. It's been fun, let me tell you. Anyway, my deliriousness wasn't allowing for coherent discussions on my class boards, so I put them off for another day (I'm good at that). Instead, I didn't move from bed till after 1pm, and when I dragged my protesting achy carcass downstairs to the couch, I brought the "mindless" Sugar Calico Cat socks with me, which were done other than grafting the heels. I decided to rip back the cuffs I had done (on yarn that was WAY too bulky for size 1's) and re-knit them after splitting the ultra-splitty MicroSpun yarn into a three-strand yarn instead of a six-strand yarn. They came out pretty good, other than having to knot all of my ends (I NEVER knot! Well, only with acrylics, but only when I really have to. With socks I really had no choice, they're gonna be abused). I also randomly noticed several hours (of bad TV) later, that one, no, TWO heel stitches on one of the socks had dropped and were unraveling. WHAAAAAAAAAAAT!? So I fixed that. They're now a COMPLETE FO. Most of my FO's are actually unusable due to the ends not being woven in, but these are alllllll done.
Sugar Socks

Another project I wrapped up today (with a lot of ripping) was the interestingly-sized Viking Helmet. I was improvising the whole thing, but the horns were giving me trouble. Since they're structural, I decided to do the horns in crochet and stuff 'em with polyfil. It took three rippings and one viewing of "Woodstock" somethingorother documentary on the History channel to get them right, though not necessarily exactly the same! I think I sewed them on wonkily, as well, but I let it slide. I blame the fever for the lapse in perfectionism.

I think I've mentioned on here before that I judge myself pretty harshly based on how much I whittle down my WIP list by the end of each month. I don't know why I hold myself to monthly deadlines (regardless of when the ACTUAL deadline is). I also keep track of how many projects I've completed yearly. I figured I'd get more lax about this when I joined Ravelry, but I haven't been able to get all my projects up (there are so many). Also my latest camera ROCKS, but has crappy required software, which won't let me see the thumbnails before I decide which pics to copy to my hard drive. So...with an 8G card, this tends to make it take for-frickin-ever to upload pics, so I constantly put that off. Thus, most of my newest projects on Ravelry have no pics up, or have crappy cell phone pics that I txted to Flickr.

It's on my list of things to do to add the pics I've already taken to ravelry, and to take pics of the projects I have yet to photograph. I also have it on that to-do list to email my gift recipients and request modeled photographs, or for me to do a modeled photo shoot with them, since I'm compiling a set of photographs for a portfolio book. Of course, paying my bills, doing homework, and getting groceries are all higher on that list. ;)

So, looking over my WIP list for August (I can't believe in less than 48 hours it will be September. INCONCEIVABLE!), without casting on anything new, it looks like only one more project could get done this month: The Seastar Hat, to match the completed Seastar Mitts. Why only this hat? The other WIP's include: The Waving Chevron Scrap Scarf, which will be an ongoing scrap-eater. The Phoenix Feathers scarf - okay, this could get done, but I planned on casting on a second from the third ball of this redonculous yarn, knitting to the same length as what I have so far, and then knitting the rest of both of them simultaneously from either end of the second ball (I'm all precise like that. Sometimes). I mean, technically it could be just deemed "done." It's a friggin novelty yarn scarf. I've been whipping up a bunch of Instant Gratification scarves as novelty yarn stash-busters, to have on-hand as holiday gifts (particularly for those gift-giving occasions that sneak up on you and you need a gift for the host of a party that you weren't prepared to give a gift to. Relatives of friends/boyfriends also fall in this category of non-personal but still handmade and cute gifts). The Palindrome scarf has been worked on in-between other projects; it's been slightly backburnered as two birthdays and a housewarming all hit within a week. I actually don't have a mindless "movie" knit on the needles right now, since I finished up the Calico socks. Tuesday, I keep telling myself. I can cast on a new pair of socks on Tuesday. so, on we go up the list; the Pop Tab thing, also backburnered for the time being. Maybe until after the holidays. GASP! I know! We'll see, when I do my Holiday Gifts post (which I have to wait till I go thru my box-o-gifts at Gram's and catalog it properly. I also have two tabs open in firefox right now with shopping carts full of gifts, just waiting for me to hit "check out" and throw in my CC#. I hesitated several times already and have lost out on a couple of clearance items that are now out of stock, but clearly they were not meant to be. But these two right now are the Hard Rock Cafe and the Disney Store. So random for me to be shopping at these two places, mostly for the same people, too. Adult people. Who are almost 30. We care not. Anywho...after I catalog that box-o-gifts and I see what I actually already have for people, THEN I will decide what I will make for who. And if I don't have a ton of holiday knitting left undone, I may be able to treat myself to some pop tab experimentation (that sounds so groovy, man).

So, other than those projects,the Emu Stole is a long haul project that I have backburnered time and time again, yes the portability issue. I can't remember if I blathered on about that on here, or in my pen-and-paper knitting journal, but yeah. I can't drag the entire Best of Knitters Shawls and Scarves book with me plus thousands of yards of laceweight and my happy-to-slide off the needles active project. I delegated it to "TV/Movie-watching" status, yet I rarely grab it in those times of need. Often a small project that's close to completion fills in then. The last two projects, technically could also be done in this time. Okay, the last two ACTIVE projects. First is the Nautical Skully mitts. Technically, they're done. I could deem them FO's and call it a day. But the fingers are all wrong, and I plan to frog them (on both hands) and reknit them. I could definitely do that in a day. This may happen. Or it could be another year before I touch them again. I hope not, they came out really rad. The last project is the second argyle sock for Ben. If I just sat down with it and pounded through the chart, I could have that done in a day, too. I finished the argyle on the first sock in one afternoon (After ripping my first attempt from the night before). After that, the heel is solid and the foot is plain stockinette. Doable, but easily ignored. Other than these things, the only bits left on my WIP's are hibernating projects, like my Wobbly Hoodie, and the Uncle Argyle scarf, then projects that just need to be lined (Punk Rock Backpack, Acorn, Skylla) and the recycled bags bag, which hurts my hands after working on it for too long. I should probably keep that sucker in a basket next to the bed, and do one row each night before bed, and here and there whenever the urge hits. Then maybe I wouldn't have dangling WIP's from 2005.

Aug. 27th, 2009


Man, do I love custom orders...

Originally uploaded by Knit n Frog
I really really do. I've had people laugh and think I was being sarcastic, but that's not the case. I love making something to someone's exact specs and having them love it. I mean, that's most of the point of handmade items, right? That you can tweak a design to make it custom-fit and precisely "yours."

So, the custom order that came in is for a pair of fingerless gloves like my Black Watch Royal Regiment gloves (per the pic), only with a longer wrist. Yay! This yarn is like buttah. I certainly will not complain about whipping up a pair of fingerless gloves in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted. I was honest and up-front with the buyer about the cost of the yarn, and therefore the resulting cost of the gloves, and she was lovely and agreeable about the whole thing. Yay! So, I placed my order with Birds n Yarn ...and of course, since I was buying yarn, I had to snag a few skeins for myself!!

I love the worsted Lorna's Laces, but I've never tried any of their other yarns. So I scooped up the Shepherd Sock in Bee Stripe to make myself something uber nerdy and Hufflepuff-y:

I also snagged the "Jungle Stripe" colorway:

And since I was already there, and I have never used Cherry Tree Hill yarns, either, I swiped Supersock Select in Peacock:

...and Sockittome in Fall Moody Blues

(Looks like I got the last skein of the Peacock, too! YESSS!)

So...I'm happy with these purchases; most of my online yarn shopping has been done on etsy before this. I've had some really awesome luck and some less than stellar experiences, but mostly I'm pleased and will buy yarn on etsy again. I'm thinking, though, that the yarn fast will be self-imposed again after this, other than yarn I'd need for holiday gifts. Though if I can't find suitable yarn in my stash for a gift for someone...maybe I should reconsider what I'm making. I have a quite a stash. I think the yarn "diet" (which turned into a fast) for the first half of 2009 was highly successful, but led to binging. I need to let myself buy ONE skein of yarn as a "souvenir" when I'm traveling, instead of treating a trip to a vacation yarn shop as an excuse to go crazy. Mostly I've been good, but I've been broke so I had to be. My several recent yarn store visits ended with me only buying things that were on sale. I do *TRY* to be good. Special occasions, like going to an alpaca farm...i mean, come ON. I'm going to buy alpaca yarn from a farm where I'm meeting the animals the yarn came from. Of COURSE! Maybe I don't need to buy 5 skeins, though............(not that I TOTALLY did that for my birthday. Nope. Okay I definitely did).

So. I'm excited for yarns to come. And, knowing me, they'll sit in the stash and I'll look at them and go "ooooo, pretty" every so often. Maybe I'll use one, other than the commission yarn. I do need to work through the stash from forever ago...

I convinced my beau to convince me not to cast on a new project, even if it's something I will start soon, because I have enough to work on as it is. Viking helmet? Still not done. When I get the horns all figured out, it will be done in a matter of hours. It's just that finagling that I'm putting off. The half-dozen other projects in various states of completion...if I just pounded through them from "most done" down to "least done"...I could probably get a majority of them done by 9/1. Since I judge myself based on completed projects on a monthly basis, this could be a very good thing for me!

Aug. 26th, 2009


Who needs sleep? You're never gonna get it!

Nautical Skullies
Originally uploaded by Knit n Frog
Okay, so as I pulled up this pic of the first skully mitt, I JUST noticed that I didn't do the band of diamonds before the skulls on the second. I seriously AM sleep-deprived! I've had them next to each other, modeled, everything...did not notice once. Well, the second skully mitt was done in less than 24 hrs up to the fingers...so comparable to what this pic shows. I tried working the fingers in doubleknit instead of in the round on my tiny addi DPN's (I LOVE them!). They're awfully tight, and I messed up the middle finger, so I'm gonna rip them back and correct them. What I am NOT going to do is rip back and correct that diamond band. No way am I ripping back fair isle on size 2's and starting over. I didn't make these with an intended recipient, and if anyone wants to bitch about a handknit gift they can stuff it anyway!! HA!

Well, the thumb on the second is perfect, and long. The fingers I made too short. The fingers on the first glove are a bit wonky, too (the thumb is beyond repair due to the "way too many stitches" issue, but the fit is good and I don't think my fudging looks bad). As I was knitting the second glove's thumb I started thinking about ripping the fingers back on both, and just finishing them as mitts, not half-fingers, and just sewing between the fingers to create finger pockets. I will have to let the idea marinate.

Next, I need to figure out the stupid horns on my stupid viking helmet. Okay, it's actually pretty cool; I just wish it would magically complete itself in my sleep. This is one of those projects that is NOT about the process for me. Even though I technically designed the thing; I'm not thrilled with it and don't see the need to keep adjusting the pattern or anything. It's a weird size for a weird gift, and after that I doubt I'll make another one ever again (unless the recipient wants one in his own size).

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