Monday, December 31, 2012

On The Eve of Insanity

It's New Year's Eve, just 3 hours away from 2013............and I'm beginning to think that 365 ornaments in one year might be a bit deranged.  Or a lot.  Perhaps completely and totally.  So I thought a bit of prep work might be in order.  If one is going crazy, one should prepare for it.

First up, rounding up all my Christmas books for ideas.  When I first dreamed up this daft scheme of mine, I thought I would spend the months leading up to it making a nice list of all the ornaments I wanted to make, which books the pattern or idea was in, and making myself a little index.  Yeah--there were some good drugs involved.  You have probably already guessed how many ornaments are recorded in my handy little index......

Yep--none.  Today I did at least sort through the sewing room looking for Christmas books, and got them all together in one shelf:
and the part of me that wasn't relieved that they would all fit in one shelf is dreading that there are a bunch I haven't found.  If there are, maybe I'll ignore them until April.  This seems enough to be getting on with.  

In my most panicky mode, I cut out a few mitten ornaments to give myself a head start:
and 4 similar ornaments almost felt a bit Stepford until I remembered the part about needing 365 ornaments.  There may be some mitten mania shortly.....

I also thought I would play around with my new thread project but with a bigger piece of fabric:

wishing I'd discovered this idea before starting on the buying ban and being unable to buy more see-through stabilizer.  As it turns out,
I just finished off the silver thread as well, so it won't really matter.  I still have the gold to play with
 but I will never again be so insane as to do this on a piece of fabric longer than 12 inches on any given side.  It'd just too cumbersome to try to keep the thread in place AND stitch it down AND get it covered evenly.  I'm happy with the results, though, and since it is going to be the only large piece ever, I think I'll make a project bag out of it.  Like maybe one to hold cutout felt mittens......?

Sunday, December 30, 2012

9!

Okay--I'm delusional most of the time, but even I'm thinking I won't finish four sweaters, 6 placemats, 6 WIPs, or 9 clothing items before Tuesday, but
I have finished one last "12!"

I have done SO little sewing this year that it felt good to cut out, embroider, and finish a project--even if it was as simple as a few gift bags.  I finished something and there's a bit less fabric in the sewing room.  That feels good.  Shocking, of course, but good.  Now if I can just sew a great deal, knit a great deal, and buy absolutely nothing, next year the sewing room could even look good enough for some pictures...........

Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 to 2013 Transition

 So, the year of the 12 12s is ending, and there's no way I'm going to make all 12.  There is, however,
 a slight chance that I could knock off at least one more "12."  These 2 brought me to 6 bags for the year, and I have 5 more red felt bags in progress,
 which would frustratingly bring me to 11 bags.  Luckily, I found this:
which is a box full of half-finished bags, most of which are waiting for handles.  So if I can locate the white felt, make some handles, I think I can get there.  Of course, what I am dying to do is to get cracking on the 365 ornaments, especially after Andy gave me this for Christmas:
13 ornament designs for my embroidery machine.  The cool colors you see are from doing appliqué with the designs, which I haven't done before but the instructions seem pretty thorough, so you can guess what I'll be doing on January 1!

I also started a new baby sweater, 
to have a small, non-complicated project to work on when the pain meds are a bit too strong for the mohair shawl, which I'm showing rather surprising dedication toward.  I'm usually pretty flaky with mohair, but maybe masochism is one of the side effects of pain meds?  If I had known that, I might have lined up some fair isle as well....................

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Crafting Christmas

Since we're going to be together a while, Andy and I borrowed an idea from friends of ours to do "themes" for Christmas gifts.  Some years we've done cooking as the theme, but for the last 2-3 years we've made "Hobbies" the theme because it's just so much fun for us.  Andy does woodworking, so every year I make a trip to our local wood working store to pick out interesting wood to give him, which sounds a lot like giving someone coal, but is exciting for wood crafters.  He bought a lathe a few years ago, so since then I've bought him some pen kits and wood for turning.  Because of all my ongoing back issues, we have just taken a slow week, so he finally got the chance to make a couple of the pen kits I gave him two years ago.  The first one (a fountain pen) he was tremendously pleased with.  The second,
also a fountain pen, he said had some mistakes.  Being no idiot, I pounced on it.  I don't care at all about the spot on the finish--to me it is BEAUTIFUL.  I'm trying hard NOT to hope he makes a mistake with some of the wood I got him this year.....

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Little Apocalyptic Knitting

Nothing says "I don't believe the world is ending" like lace knitting:
and nothing says "I almost wish it HAD" than working with mohair, but it makes such lovely things, and what better time to work with mohair than when one has Valium?  I mean, really....

I am having a little knitter ADD (if that isn't a redundancy) now that I've reached the 20,000 mark, and can't figure out what to do next--which is how the mohair shawl came out of the WIP basket.  It's going to be WELL into next year before I even use up the first ball of yarn on it, but it actually felt good to work on a WIP and not care about yardage.  Then, of course, I came back to myself, so:
I made a little bell ornament for the Holiday Music stash-dash, which I think took about 20 yards of Red Heart acrylic.  It turns out that it's more difficult to get out of "high maniac" phase than I thought, so there may be another ornament or two or even a hat before the end of the year while I bounce back and forth between my insane desire to knit up stash and my insane desire to be focused on anything BUT using up stash.  I swear, it seems like there should be something in the middle, but.............

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Not-The -End-Of-The-World Day!

Did anyone actually know people who believed the world would end today?
And why is it that I strongly suspect that the only people who honestly believed the Mayans correctly predicted the end of the world for today were the people least likely to know who the Mayans actually were?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Holiday Music Stash-Dash

11 days left in the year, and here's where I'm at on the Holiday Music Stash-dash.  I'm thinking 6,000 yards in 2 months was completely insane, don't you?:


**A. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - knit something small (less than 6 inches or thereabout) - mitten ornaments**
**B. Frosty the Snowman - knit a snowman of some sort or something with a snowman on it - Mr. Flurry**
C. Toyland - make the toy of your choice
**D. My Favorite Things - make “warm woolen mittens” in your choice of yarn and size. Mini mittens do count - mitten ornaments**
E. Here Comes Santa Claus - knit a Santa or something with Santa on it
F. A Marshmallow World - spin the fiber of your choice
G. Silver Bells - make a bell or something with a bell motif
H. Jingle Bells - make something (such as an ornament or stocking or whatever) that can have jingle bells attached to it
**I. Blue Christmas - make something blue - blue cable sweater**
**J. White Christmas - make something white - Mr. Flurry**
**K. Oh Tannenbaum (O Christmas Tree) - make an ornament to hang on the tree, or alternatively make a tree - embroidered lace ornament, mitten ornament**
**L. We Three Kings - finish 3 WIPS or finish 3 items if you don’t have any WIPs**
M. Joy to the World - finish your oldest WIP
**N. Christmas in Killarney - make something green - green chemo cap**
O. Nuttin’ for Christmas - make Grumpy, the Lump of Coal
**P. What Child is This? - make something for a baby or child - blue cable sweater**
**Q. Twas the Night Before Christmas - make a Christmas stocking, stocking ornament, or socks - socks**
**R. Christmas Shoes - make a pair of slippers, booties, or socks - Magic Stripe socks**
S. I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas - make a hippopotamus or other toy
**T. Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer - make something red - red chemo cap
U. Good King Wenceslas - make a crown or hat - red chemo cap**
**V. Deck the Halls - make a decoration - Mr. Flurry**
**W. It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year - make your favorite pattern - brioche scarf**
X. Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel - finish eight WIPS or 8 items if you don’t have WIPs
Y. Twelve Days of Christmas - finish twelve WIPS or 12 items if you don’t have WIPs
Z. Ring Out, Wild Bells - finish ALL your WIPS

Bonus Challenge: Knit 6,000 yards of yarn in any way you would like: 3487

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Drum Roll Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Finished socks:
for 330 yards, and finished but unstuffed Mr. Flurry:
who will get his eyes when he gets his stuffing, and maybe some scarf fringe--haven't decided on that part--for another 393 yards according to someone else's yardage estimates, but which seems about right, so.........

I have just crossed the 20,000 yard mark for the year!!!!!!!!!!

If only that were a sizable dent in my stash.............

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Proud Moment

As I prepare for my sixth year of Cold Sheeping, I am just tickled to death at how widespread the term "cold sheeping" is in the knitting world now.  I didn't start the Cold Sheeping thread in the Ravelry Stashdown group until I was starting my second year of cold sheeping, so the thread will be in it's 5th year, and the Stashdown group is one of the 10 most active threads on Ravelry with more than 4300 members, and the Cold Sheeping thread is always either THE most active or second most active thread each year.  It's become so popular, in fact, that one of our members spun off and started a Cold Sheeping group on Ravelry and now it's made it to Facebook.  I love the online knitting community, and to have contributed anything, even something so simple as a term, is just thrilling.  It's like I've been able to give something back to a world that has been so welcoming and menat so much to me.  I've made so many friends through knitting blogs and Ravelry and it's been just so overwhelmingly positive that it just made my day when Maria mention she'd run across the term on Facebook.  In my own little way, I've contributed something to the knitting world at large.

Which almost makes up for the fact that I still have a whopping-big yarn stash after all this Cold Sheeping...........

Monday, December 17, 2012

Ahem........

Have you ever had to explain to anyone--perhaps the person you live with--that the really loud "YES!!!!!" resounding through the house was because you proved you are not a robot on the very first try?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

19,360!

We have a finished scarf!!!!!!!!!!!
It's not blocked, but it's done and I now need only 640 yards in the next 15 days!  Thank heavens for this:
The second Magic Stripe sock is past the heel and I'm working the gusset.  I'll still need another 300 yards when I finish the socks, but I'll be closer!!!!  And then when THOSE 300 yards are done.........I can obsess about something else!

Like maybe......
I have NO idea what the ornaments are going to look like, but I had so much fun with the thread/stippling adventure that I had to try it again today.  This time I used more blue hues:
which I thought turned out well--or was at least fun.  So much fun, in fact, that:
I had to do another.  This is my favorite version so far.  I can't wait until I'm totally off the pain pills so I can clarify whether or not this really looks good or if there are more side effects than I thought.  Maybe it's just distracting right now because I'm really close to 20,000 yards and that means my inner child is on the lookout for ANYTHING so long as it isn't knitting.  640 yards to go, and I am starting to weaken.  I even tidied the sewing room yesterday!  Not that it looks like it, but before the thread projects there was a brief period of time when one could see part of the sewing room table.  Not now, of course, but it was a great 5 minutes.  That might explain why, instead of helping, Theo opted to start the vigil for Santa today:
which is way cuter than the sewing table anyway.............

Saturday, December 15, 2012

While There Has Been No Blogging,

there has been crafting.  The brioche scarf is almost done:
as is a 440-yard ball of lace weight yarn in one of my favorite color ways of all time.  The second sock is at the heel turning, and I'm beginning to think I'm going to make it to 20,000 yards of yarn for the year after all.  WHOO HOO!!!!

I've been resting and exercising mostly, but today I did venture into the sewing room for a bit.  As a break from movies, books, and audio books, I've been watching "Sewing With Nancy" videos online.  It's been nice, as I've gotten new ideas for sewing and ornaments for next year, though the unfortunate side effect is a "wish list" at Nancy's Notions of over $100.  I suppose if one is going to make a living having a show on PBS, one probably has to have a sideline income and one that you can integrate with your show is really clever, but thank heavens for the buying ban!

I decided to experiment with a technique she called a "pizza" because, while I didn't like the way hers looked, I thought it could be the basis for an interesting ornament or two, so I dug out a scrap of blue plush fabric left over from the winter pillows,
and my most well-traveled thread:
This began as my thread stash when I decided to take up sewing again about 8 years ago.  At the time, I thought I'd just do a few things around the house, so bought a little $100 sewing machine, picked up fabric, and stocked up on the Coats and Clark thread I'd used when I learned to sew as a child.  All fine and good until it turned out that I loved sewing!  This was a bigger shock to me than  anyone, because I despised it as a child.  I took sewing 4-H for a couple years, and hated almost every minute of it.  I quit and for years would not even sew a button back on or hem pants.  But I'd bought a house, just ended a 5-year relationship, and was looking for something new to do.  I wore out the poor little machine, and decided to look into a really nice machine.  It turns out that what I got first--the Husqvarna Scandinavia 400--as more of an expensive machine than a nice one, but luckily I figured this out quickly, and they let me trade it in on a better model--Jeeves.

When I bought the Husqvarna, I discovered 2 things:
     1.  When faced with a machine that can do all sorts of things you don't know how to do, it's so intimidating that one might temporarily be stumped as to what to actually DO with all this new technology, and
     2.  The fastest way to jam up a nice machine is to give it Coats and Clark thread.

Nothing against Coats and Clark.  I've been told that it's wound the opposite direction as threads in Europe, and since my machines are European, it created jams, and that could very well be the case.  The "jamming" part certainly was.  A friend of mine in New Jersey had her mother's old sewing machine, so I packed up all my C&C thread and sent it to her.  This worked great until she also decided to upgrade her machine, at which time she couldn't use it either but I had acquired a serger and the Bernina mechanical machine, so she sent it all back plus what she had added to it.  So, I have a big box of inexpensive thread to play with.  SCORE!

The "pizza" technique is basically to cover a piece of fabric with thread, trim, scrap material, or whatever takes your fancy, then cover it with water soluble stabilizer:
and stitch over it with transparent thread.   Nancy used a roller foot, which I thought I had, but either can't find or don't have.  Mine wasn't nearly as lumpy as hers, so at first I just used a regular foot and a zig-zag, and all my little almost-empty bobbins:
I'm still missing the majority of my empty bobbin stash after the remodel, so it was nice to free up some bobbins to use until I finish unpacking.

Zig-zagging was fine, but a bit dull,
not to mention leaving big gaps that would take me forever to fill in, so I decided I might as well learn some more new things, so I dug out my quilting kit:
which I got on a promotion where the kit was cheaper than buying the walking foot separately, but I've never used the other feet.  In one of the episodes, Nancy had talked about the uses of "stippling," so after figuring which foot one "stipples" with,
as well as figuring out how to attach it to the machine, and set about becoming the world's worst "stippler:"
Thank heavens I didn't try THIS on a quilt yet.  It did work nicely to fill in any gaps I thought I might have missed, so tonight it was time for the big test!  A soak in the sink to wash away the stabilizer, and:
The actual version is more of a cross between the two pictures, but I actually sort of like it.  I'll use this as a basis for an ornament, with perhaps some blue and silver trim.  I have a second piece to do, which might be the back of this one if it turns out remotely similar, or I might have two sort of long, skinny ornaments.  We'll see.  If nothing else, I got to spend some time creating a HUGE thread snarl on purpose, so that was incredibly exciting.  As a knitter, that's a difficult concept to grasp.  Still, a fun new thing to learn.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Things I'm Celebrating Tonight

*  One finished sock!
(which looks a bit odd, but does actually fit)

*  Sport weight sock yarn!

*  No Valium needed since last night!

*  The invention of Valium (since it really was needed last night)

*  Having NOT done anything stupid which would set my recovery back

*  Being on a spending ban while laid up and bored with access to the internet

*  That we never feed our cats tuna
or anything else that results in a sidekick with bad breath.

*  Theo leaving his "get well" gifts on the floor rather than bringing them onto the bed

*  All the get-well gifts from Theo thus far have been dead

*  Having a hobby like knitting that I can do to entice myself to rest my back muscles--probably preventing me from going completely and utterly bonkers.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Progress!

I spend most my days knitting right now.  This would be a more enjoyable state of affairs if it wasn't because my back is fried, but as weird as it sounds (considering I've spent most of the day laying flat), I think I'm finally on the mend.

What I have is called "sacroiliac joint dysfunction."  I'd provide a link to something helpful if I could, but while it is the first thing I've ever looked up on Web MD that didn't say death was likely or even eminent, I don't recognize anything they describe.  In layman's terms (and thank heavens I was referred to a specialist who speaks Layman fluently), this is the most common cause of back pain for women.  If you look at your pelvic bones (which is sort of impossible, I realize, so maybe visualizing the bones would be better) there's not really anything to hold them in place except muscle.  Because women often have children, our pelvic bones are designed to be more prone to movement.  It makes sense for childbirth, but doesn't always work for the rest of life.  They think that my problem probably dates back to my surgery 3 years ago, because it would be the best chance to have lost my core muscles, which would be the only thing holding my hips where they were supposed to be (which is contrary to the general female opinion that hips are SO wide that NOTHING could change them).  What happens is your pelvic bone (the big plate looking one that you can sort of feel) moves a bit, and your muscles very nicely compensate.  "Want to be here?  Fine!  We'll adjust accordingly," they cry.  Then it moves a bit more, and again--because they are just out to please--your muscles adjust again.  "More turning?  Even better!  We'll make it happen!"  This little routine goes on for a while, until either the turning is caught and stopped (smarter folks than me) or it goes all the way to the point where it can't go any farther, it has now made one leg shorter than the other, the little tiny gap that is supposed to be in your back has been squashed, and you take up fainting (the option I chose) and landing in the ER in crossword puzzle pjs.  For mild cases, there seems to be a belt that can hold your hip in place.  For severe cases, there are scary surgeries.  For people like me in the middle, there is physical therapy.

I landed back in physical therapy this fall because I got my hip twisted back out of place this summer, then with all the stuff with my father and work, I didn't get back to the doctor for help until October.  By then I had managed to irritate the daylights out of my back muscles by exercising them while I was all out of whack.  One of the things the therapist I saw this time has tried to do (besides teach me "moderation"--I love her optimism) is to change some of the exercises to blend them in to real life a bit more for me.  This all makes sense, of course, but at least some of the new exercises seem dependent on me actually practicing moderation.  This of the woman who WALKS so aggressively that I threw out my darn hip walking to my car in the PT office's parking lot.  I try.  I really, honestly try, but if I truly understood "moderation" I wouldn't have 46,000 yards of lace weight yarn in the house.  I think the change she made to one of the exercises would work for most of the population, but my back has been getting more and more sore, which is worrying since there is technically nothing wrong with my back.  It's not my back's fault that it hurts when it gets squashed by my wonky hip.  I think the rest of me would hurt if squashed as well.  But it seems to have reached the end of it's rope last week, when I had done all my other exercises then decided to try the hard one again.  OH MY.  If you haven't experienced it, a back that has finally reached it's limit can swell quite substantially for a spot that looks completely devoid of muscle in the first place.  I'd have almost be impressed if it hadn't hurt so much.

I've been icing my back as much as I can stand, have been resting for several days--and REALLY resting, not just the sort of "not-really-doing-anything-of-the-kind" resting one would expect from me, and the muscles have calmed down a great deal.  In the mean time, I have gone back to the versions of the exercises from last year--just the ones at the very beginning--and have been building up muscle strength slowly and gently.  While it may sound daft to announce that I'm making anything even remotely resembling progress while I'm spending days flat on my back with regular icing events, I really feel like I finally am rebuilding the muscle strength to stabilize my hip and put an end to this once and for all.  And, how could I possibly not be getting better with my get-well kitty in constant attendance?
He makes it a bit hard to knit (or play on Ravelry, as you see in the picture), but he's very firm about REST.  He's ambivalent about knitting unless he gets to play with the yarn, but there's even been some amazing sock progress:
I had hoped to try pool walking again today, but Theo found my lack of "moderation" completely appalling:
so I decided to wait a few days.  Who am I to question Get Well Kitty?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

1079.35 To Go!

There is a finished Fun Fur scarf:
I almost added another yarn to it to double the yardage (awesome suggestion, Gaidig!), but couldn't think of anything cool to put with it that I could find without lifting bins, so plain it is.  Nothing like a little back strain making crafting decisions for one.

Because I ran out of the nonscary pain pills while Andy was gone, I resorted to the massive dizzy/sleepy ones, so the socks got a LOT of attention:
and are now ready for the finishing end weaving AND gave me "all used up" Ravelry stash entry number seventy.  There may be a party at 100. 

The chemo cap was finished a couple days ago, but seems to have not earned a picture yet, but it's done, and I need 1079.35 yards of yarn by the end of the year to reach 20,000.  Meet new project number one:
Magic Stripe plain socks with size 3 needles and sport weight yarn.  When they're done, another stash entry will be gone AND 330 yards of yarn will be used up, and I'll have some very warm wool socks to boot.

New project number two:
is another brioche scarf on size 8 needles, which will use 440 yards of yarn, but come nowhere CLOSE to using up my stash of this yarn.  I adore this colorway, and there was a mishap several years ago when it was being discontinued, so let's just say that I won't be running out of this particular yarn anytime in the near future.  Maybe not even this decade.  I think most of my favorite yarns get discontinued, but luckily I don't generally see it.  I know all my fabric is discontinued--having learned that the hard way with Andy's pajama debacle.  Not that they don't need new stock--I appreciate that--but why the clerk is immediately on the phone to the factory as soon as I've purchased just a quarter yard too little of the fabric is a bit of a mystery.  Really, even the Knitting Gods aren't usually THAT cruel.  They usually wait until I've had the yarn in my stash for at least a year before wiping it entirely off the face of the earth.  I have a sporting chance then--especially if my stash ever gets down to a reasonable knit-as-it-comes-in level.  IF..........................

Friday, December 7, 2012

18,667!

The good news:  I've made some great yardage progress in the last few days.

The bad news:  This has been achieved because my back hurts and knitting is one of the few things I can do while laying on ice packs.

The good news:  I think I've figured out why my back muscles keep getting inflamed and swelling.

The bad news:  I found this out the hard way.

The good news:  Once my back feels better, I think the hip/back progress will be steady and this whole mess will soon be a thing of the past

The bad news:  That doesn't help me right now

The good news:  I have an amazing store of pain pills that DO help me right now

The bad news:  The pills also make me tired, dizzy, and slightly nauseous

The good news:  I have a simple sock project I can do while tired, dizzy, and nauseous.

The bad news:  The sock involves size 1 needles, which make very slow progress.

The good news:  I'm just a sock leg away from crossing the 19,000 mark!

The bad news:  I might fall asleep before then

The good news:  The ice pack I'm laying on will probably keep me awake to knit at least until it warms up

The bad news:  It's winter and I'm laying on an ice pack.  I may never be warm again

The good news is:  This would make it a great time to knit wool socks

The bad news is:  The current socks aren't made of wool

The good news:  All of this is temporary, and thanks to the drugs, I may not remember any of it.............

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Desperate Yardage Sprint

I have no idea why this matters so much to me, but if I am ever to knit 20,000 yards in one year, this is it.  I am so close, but in order to get there I still have to have one of my best yardage months, which I explain in order to somewhat justify this:
It's the Running of the Fun Fur!!!!!!!!!!!  One of the Christmas parties I will be attending is a Secret Santa gift exchange involving things we already own.  Personally, I'd probably just wrap up the Fun Fur as a gift at this point, but I am trying to encourage my friends to knit--not provide them with justifiable reason to run screaming from the room.  So, scarf it is.  Would two be overkill?

Of course, being me, what I really wanted to make were ornaments, but the pattern doesn't state yardage used, and my original thought was to keep making these
until I used up the skein, which was only 100 yards.  But after making this yesterday, the skein wasn't looking depleted enough for this to seem like a good idea any longer, so today I dug out some festive red, made a big knot at the 5 yard mark, then did safety-pin increments of every yard for this little baby:
to discover they use about 20 yards of worsted weight yarn.  Aside from one ornament that I'd guessed and listed as 10 yards, I haven't listed any of the other 8 knitted ornaments from this year as part of my stash usage.  Well--it's December and I'm desperate, so presto!  Another 170 yards used up for the stash tally.  So--down to 1658.35 yards to go!!!!!!!

Really--I've just totally lost it by this point, but at least there is medication involved, so recovery may be possible.............

Monday, December 3, 2012

But It Wasn't The Drugs!

So yesterday, I was thrilled to use up the first ball of yarn on the new yellow sweater,
but it just seemed really WIDE.  "Impossible!" I kept telling myself.  I had checked gauge very, VERY carefully because I've been on pain pills all weekend and was being very careful to double-check anything I was doing.  The TOTAL circumference of the sweater for a medium should be 41 inches.  Maybe a little bigger than I'd like, but doable.  So I measured.  MY sweater would end up 45 inches around.  ???????

Just on a whim, I decided to check the pattern.  The required gauge was 25 stitches to 4.5 inches in the chevron pattern stitch.  Fine, that's what I had.  Then the pattern calls for 127 stitches cast on.  Now I'm on drugs, but I have a calculator.  By my figures:

127 stitches divided by 25 stitches is 5.08. If you multiply that by the 4.5 inch gauge, that makes each piece 22.86 inches, for a sweater circumference of anyone getting the correct gauge 45.72 inches!

No one else on Ravelry has made this sweater, so it probably wasn't the best one to pick when medications are involved, and since the ONLY other things I have relied on the pattern for was also flawed (the pattern says to knit 1 stitch on each edge to get the pattern centered, and you have to knit FOUR), I am frogging this and cheerfully shredding the pattern.  So...
it's chemo cap time!!!!  I know the pattern works, it uses yarn quickly, and it's even green yarn so it will count for one of my holiday basket items. 

Really, would it be too hard for yarn COMPANIES (Lion Brand) to at least do a superficial math check of their patterns if they can't be bothered to do any test knits?  I can't be the only person in the world trying to knit while recovering from an injury.  I think it will be faster to design my own sweater, but thankfully I have the sense to wait until a drug-free day for that particular adventure..........