…perhaps when I’m not talking to others. I should be taking a quiz, or beginning dinner right about now. I’m in college. I often need to be doing something else. So, how do I do it? I have to make a choice.

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My nieces and nephews pretending to be camera shy;-).

I have to choose to make time to knit. I know I’m going to play on facebook, or quilt, or knit, and sometimes, I’m going to have to take a walk, and spend some actual time with my boyfriend and talking to him, not just shushing him while I concentrate on sudoku games. And some weeks, the fourth of July holiday is thrown in and you visit with your family for a bit.

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Drama Llama Lizzie, hiding from her own Drama…

Somedays, adding in work, that is a lot to juggle. I spent most of my breaks studying for a quiz today, and I need to take that quiz tonight, but I got in one row of knitting while I watched a little tv and chatted with dear James. I did also tink back four rows, maybe five from last week, and went a little farther than I planned to, but all is working out now, so far. I have some wonky thread to work with for a bit. But it should knit up fine.

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Sock progress with pre-curled yarn for stitches…

I’ve been told some won’t use this wonky yarn, but I need to, as there will be pieces left when I’m done with these socks. I’m also told you can soak the yarn, but these were knit and purl stitches before, I think they’re just pre-formed. I’ll have more issues with the tangling of yarn, than I likely will with the curvy, sporty yarn. They’ll come, just slowly for the next few weeks.

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They’re still pretending to ignore me…had I said cheeseburger, they would have run for dinner…

Until Next Time,

Happy Knitting

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I’m sitting here tonight thinking on the knitting I haven’t gotten to yet this week, and wondering just how much progress I can make on my sock before I need to write up and publish my blog. Maeve chooses this moment to take advantage of my open lap and hops in for a snuggle. Maeve loves snuggles. Briannag has been bugging from the couch for snuggles every time I cursed the book quiz I need to finish before the regularly scheduled class time next week.

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The current amount of progress….this is just a sock to be, the cuteness is below;-)

It has been a week of ups and downs, the ups were not always enough to compensate the downs, but only if I dwell on each day separately. I do not have class so early next Wednesday that I need to change my sleep schedule from overnights to days; however, we also miss out on a review, and the instructor is providing a book based exam. I have cursed anything book based in the entire class. It’s often confusing at best. However, I’m focusing more on the ups, and listening to Bon Jovi’s song “Have a Nice Day” as I contemplate my week.

The biggest up was dinner with my oldest niece at Bob Evans-nothing fancy, but she’d never been there. Part of our goal is to go places she’s never been. We’re considering finding the best burger served at each place we dine at and are keeping a commemorative journal of our dinners. She even told me she wants to be a food critic when she grows up, amongst her twelve other jobs she may or may not be able to accomplish via freelance work. It was a great dinner. (Phones were not present at this event, except to make a quick note to pick up a journal, which we did). Photos were not taken either.

In the meantime, how far do you think I can get? I promise to get photos too.

001Scamp’s immediate nosedive into the knitting bag…

Now, I retrieved my knitting bag from its home in the chair, where it is tied shut to keep curious kittens out of it. This is a requirement, as you’ll notice Scamp immediately made a nose-dive into the bag when I set it on the edge of the couch and placed my pillow in its proper back-supporting position.

Once I snapped the photograph and shooed Scamp out of the knitting bag, I began cursing at the sixteen dropped stitches I needed to pick up. Diligently, and patiently, I slipped them back on the needle one at a time. I resisted the urge to overwork the knitting using two needles. Some days, I feel I’ve become quite good at returning stitches to their rightful needles so that I may continue my work.

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Putzer inspecting the sock

005     Squib not letting Putzer hog the sock to himself

Then I set about the business of knitting, and does long fibrous strands moving across needles create an interesting diversion for the most discernible curious creature. The couch suddenly became full of furry felines, wondering if mom would let them play with some of the yarn she only gets out on those special days.

011I do mean full; Zeus takes up nearly half the couch on his own

Then I continued to knit and purl and created uneven eyelets to connect the two socks, and decreased the one extra stitch I’d managed to pick up, likely before I dropped the sixteen cream colored stitches. The extra stitch was on the black yarn side of things.  However, I knit away, and while I hoped to get two inches of progress in, I think I got closer to one and a half. I didn’t measure before I started though, so I can’t be certain. We can only guess if I have room for before and after shots, or if you are so inclined to check last weeks blog. In the meantime, while I won’t be finishing this sock in the next week, I will be diligently continuing to knit it.

012Briannag, or Miss Whiny about attention, boycotting the knitting. It takes up too many of mom’s hands…

I’m hoping it provides some sanity in the cursing of the book exam. Its said to be open book, but I have experience with this book, open book is as much of a curse as closed book with poor wording. Alas, I have made progress with the sock, and I had a great time at dinner with my niece. Those will be my focal points this week. After all, once you get past the periscope, its all simply perspective. For the rest of it, I’ll enjoy a glass of wine and take the semi-immortal Bon Jovi words of the world getting in my face to heart and say “Have a nice day!” I sometimes wonder if they substitute other words for nice.

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Briannag joining the party after she smells the wine mom poured…

Where have I gone? What have I been doing? I admit it, the knitting has suffered a small hiatus. I think I’ve averaged four rows a week out of sheer gumption. So, what has kept me from knitting beyond a new job and a schedule change? A quilted bookwrap I’ve been sewing by hand…

The bookwrap has gone everywhere with me this spring and summer and visited the ball parks, the new job, the short but frequent breaks…you name it, I’ve taken it, except out to dinner. Because, like knitting, sewing and food do not get along. Now to explain a little more about this bookwrap, because no one wants to just hear a simple description of black and white text info. I will include pictures below.

I saw this pattern in a magazine, and I thought it was neat. But I thought the hexagon too simple and I’d promised a friend a hand-made item this year. And well, I’m looking into making quilts for my nieces. I decided I would see how much work this would really take. I requested her favorite color-purple, and she liked octopi…let the adventure begin.

I began to cut and shape and draw the octopus after studying those with top-hats and a monocle. My friend has always enjoyed quirky creations. I began to cut fabric and sandwich layers and decided on a quilting pattern. I began deciding on a wave pattern, since the character was on octopus and the background was a purple batik with bright blues and yellows and pinks running through it. It almost reminds me of the deep ocean where this octopus would likely dwell.

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It took a little time to quilt, and I didn’t have to baste much, if any, as the finished quilt was 17”x9”. The project traveled well with a small circular frame in which the waves began to look like octopus arms, and so, I essentially quilted an octopus on this quilt, who was tipping his hat, and reading a book. It felt appropriate.

Once I finished the quilting, I cut out and pressed under the seems of the octopus, and I proceeded to applique him using a whip stitch. It was a first attempt, and I was jumping in both feet first. Later, when I researched sewing the binding, I realized I could have made a blind stitchch work. I considered a ladder stitch, which I often use for closing pillows and blankets, but I went with the whip stitch. We’ll say it looks like his tentacles for the most part. 001

Now, I have an octopus sewn on, with facial characteristics, tipping his hat–though my niece, Jessica outspokenly states he should be wearing the hat. There is no room for said octopus to wear the hat, but she’s 13, and that’s her only complaint. The octopus is also reading a bright turquoise book with yellow flannel pages. I’m happy with it, though its not total greatness, the recipient shall enjoy it….Now I just have to get it to her before she encounters these pictures on the internet;-)

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I am still knitting and will have to keep at this sock. I am one-third of the way done with the first leg and suspect if I devote a little time to this sock each day off, it will progress once again. I’ll take sewing/quilting to work as its easier to accomplish on short breaks and some of my other quilting projects have to stay secret. I may write down my musings and translate them to blog fodder later, after Christmas;-). Scamp will still help me some. She has throughout this process, but I photographed the quilted book wrap at the park today where I held my birthday party.

Procrastiknitting…

April 11, 2019

Has two meanings…writing poetry when you might be knitting is one of them.Avoiding knitting mistakes, so you don’t have to work out cabling errors is another. I may have fallen into both categories this week. So, I began knitting to avoid necessary homework…I should know better. I don’t. I’m not sure any of us really know better, even when we should.

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Scamp, showing off latest repair effort

I missed a purl stitch in the pattern…so I began procrastinating the fix. However, I finally took time to fix it. Tomorrow’s break knitting in Middle School (Spanish and Art), should be fun, provided it’s not first or second hour and they ask me to work for someone else. However, I’m now smart enough to say extra work. (Yes, partly because it’s hard to say, “No.”). In the meantime, this row is fixed and finished while watch Project Runway re-runs (and I thought Project Runway was over).

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Tink showing off the latest cable knitting

Alas, I have to read for classes and catch another play–the hardship! I want to know how it ends, which is a good sign for A Raisin in the Sun, partly because I may know how Macbeth ends already (even if I don’t remember it–part of me doesn’t care). In the meantime, here’s the procrasti-knitting.DSCN4717

Tink, helping me show off my knitting.

Until next time,

Happy Knitting!

 

A Little At a Time…

April 4, 2019

I’ve gotten a few more rows done this week, and part of me cannot wait until school is out to finish this sock and it’s mate. I did revisit some socks I finished last semester. I still need to weave in ends and tie off holes. Shh…I’ll get to them…just not on this gentle Thursday. I did inspect them again and try them on my feet. The heels fit funny. I may have to re-knit my stealth argyles…I may sew them as blister protector cushions. Who knows.

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Back view…shh…I’m fixing the ladders.

In the meantime, I did get a little knitting done as I waited for events and class to start this week, and on break while substitute teaching. Yeah. I did have to judge if I had time to start the next row. I didn’t. I ended up starting that next row while waiting for a fun poetry reading. The poet had done well at Slam Poetry previously. Her performance style showed. It was a good reading, and here’s my current progress.

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Front view of this complicated sock. It’s a fun knit, but it requires concentration.

I might be doing vanilla socks for my next pair.

A Little at a Time

March 28, 2019

Every day or night this week has had something extra thrown in…quilt guild, readings and a play, job interview/hiring process and creating more questions than I go along…not to mention assignments. This means there is not as much time for knitting as I would like, and yet, sometimes there’s a little here and a little there. So, I still got a little bit knit during the play–only a little as I have to write about said play; while I took a deep breath waiting for class to start and sometimes at home after an event to finish off a row.

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Current Progress on the Toe-Up Travelers by Ann Budd.

I will say, one thing about knitting over four needles is that it is easy to get to a stopping point when I’m interrupted, as long as I note where I was and which needle I was knitting when I stopped. It is pretty obvious and I try to stop in the middle. Alas, my current progress above as I watch Project Runway and submit tonight’s homework.

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Scamp inspecting the Toe-Up Travelers by Ann Budd.

Until next time,

Happy Knitting!

Over the Heel…

March 24, 2019

 

011Over the heel and through the leg…

I finally knit the heel. Then I thought, try on that sock. I’m glad I did, the first heel I knit (since this type of short row heel was confusing for me) was two inches too long! I did a lot of frogging with that discovery, and re-knit the heel as best I could. This one fits. Yeah. I’m now into the leg, which I thought would be more of a bear.

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Bring the pattern around the back…

The leg is laid out on four needles, and I have to tug those second and third stitches often to prevent ladders, but I think the layout makes more sense than the top of the foot knitting did. It’s at least easier to follow, for me. Until next time,

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This needle layout makes sense to me! It’s becoming fun again. 

The knitting is still complicated, but fun. The pattern is Toe-Up Travelers by Ann Budd and can be found on ravelry.com or in Sock Knitting: Master Class.

Happy Knitting!

 

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Our new trouble-maker…Furball (for now).

I promised last week to set aside some time each day to knit this heel. I did, but not the time I expected. Instead, Sunday night, we had a new addition in the form of an energetic two-year old Chow-chow mix. Apparently, she’s mixed with cat (yes, I’m jesting, I think). She does not come when she’s called, which we will work on She’s nervous in the car when she runs out of the house, which we will work on. And she refuses to eat canned food, which we will let slide. We’re out of our element here.

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The top half of this sock…part of me can’t wait until this heel is turned.

We’re used to bigger, lazier dogs, that are dogs, and are food motivated. Or we’re used to dogs who act like you’re asking too much when you scoot her off of your favorite couch pillow. She’s cat-like, in that she only wants your attention when you ignore her or are trying to get things done. (and she will not come back when she’s called–in part this is a two-year old dog. In part this is big pain in the arse.) So, she was named Fireball when we got her, and we’re in the process of changing it to simply Furball. After her latest trek out of the house to romp around the neighborhood for nearly an hour at a balmy 21 degrees F (at least it isn’t 9 degrees today), you can replace Fur with your favorite choice phrase. Mine just might start with an S.

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Speaking of that Big S. Here’s Scamp…who also goes by the nick name for Furball sometimes, tonight, she’s behaving (or pretending to).

So, Tuesday night, after two days of introduction, I had brought my knitting over, and sat on dear James couch knitting, or trying to. I remember why I knit alone. Every time I tried to make a stitch, I had a dog start to snuggle me and place her large paw on my arm so that I essentially could not knit. I did get her maneuvered and accomplished some knitting, but I’m not certain how much.

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The heel looks a little better from the back.

It doesn’t help that I don’t think I love this heel pattern. I don’t love doing any heels toe-up, and I like this method less than most. There seems to be a lot of unnecessary yarn-overing, unless one has very large heels. My heels tend to run small, and I am not paying for any heel pattern. So, the search is on, and here come small heels in the back stretch…I’ll let you know as I knit which ones I might like…or I will move to doing each and every pattern cuff down with an eye of partridge heel flap (then decide on how to turn it). Until next week, happy knitting and may your dog be better behaved than our new addition. (p.s. She will not stay still for photos, either, again…cat-like). However, the cat has decided she will simply snuggle me for now, since I’ve been “neglecting” her lately. (Really, she’s been sleeping when I’ve headed home, but that’s severe neglect in the cat world). In the meantime, hopefully I’ll get the heel turned this weekend and the dog adventures will settle down for a bit.

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Serious neglect, I’m telling you. Scamp needs some loving…never mind my knitting goals.

Almost Spring Break…

February 28, 2019

Yes, Finally. It is almost spring break, so one would think I’d be doing homework instead of knitting. But we all need breaks…and I still get to class early to knit sometimes.

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Almost ready for the heel, then comes the semi-scary leg.

I am halfway through the third repeat on the sock. I need to set aside time each day to make progress when I’m more awake. Deadlines were yesterday or today, with the exception of one mid-term that I’m likely tackling in the morning.

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Bottom of the foot…if you can’t see it, I’m not telling.

I set some goals for Spring Break and we’ll see how many of them I hit. Tonight, I’m simply doing mindless knitting. I’m even showing progress so I can see how this thing grows in increments.

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Shawl progress…the latest in mindless knitting.

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

Three Skeins in, seven to go…onward to the fourth.

I have finally knit through the third skein of yarn. I had to count the remaining hanks of yarn to be certain. It’s simple, I can watch my favorite tv shows while I knit this. It’s also growing. I should measure it tonight to track how far I’ll go with hanks four and five. I have ten skeins of yarn to use in this. I’m debating about stopping after four and decreasing with four more skeins and making something matching or some border details in this, but I haven’t decided where exactly I might go with this.

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Can you believe it? I’ll try to get a spread photo on my sewing table over the weekend…I’ve got a wing;-).

I’ve also knit through the second repeat of the first sock and have moved onto the third. I should be able to knit the heel over spring break if I’m good. However, I have a fair amount of school work to do, and I may be seeking further gainful employment. It has been a challenge, but I should be more gainfully employed next week. Fingers crossed. But you guys would rather see the sock, right?

 

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Progress on the sock, Two repeats of the chart down…one more to get to the heel.

Enjoy your gratuitous knitting photos. I hope yours goes as well or better (one day, I’ll learn not to knit when tired, but that explanation may be for next week). Until next time, Happy Knitting!

I’ve barely had time for knitting. Okay, really, I’ve been applying to graduate schools, and this knitting is more complicated than applying for graduate schools allows. I had a meeting with my success coach Monday because I was overwhelmed with the grad school application process. Then I looked at my knitting chart, and said, “Nope. My brain is already fried.” DSCN4450

Some of these patterns are just too mind-boggling for the tired brain. Alas, I’m loving this sock… it is never boring.

Then the rest of my week happened. For a moment, we had an affordable vet bill, and a reprieve for our dear Zeusy. But liver problems prove a difficult foe, and he still wasn’t eating after 24-36 hours on the pill, so my dear James gave up his best friend this week. Zeus will be missed, but he’s playing in that great big dog park in the sky, and dear James’ dad is probably throwing all the balls the dog wants (or that dog park in the sky has automatic ball and squirrel launchers that look and smell like your human. I mean, who knows what kind of heaven a dog gets, but it involves throwing the ball. Trust me.

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Zeusy and Maeve…two of our best snugglers… They are both missed.

Later in the week, I got a couple of rows done, when I wasn’t busy making up for snow days (doing far more work than I would have in class, but I’m glad they kept us safe). Then I came home to knit on the shawl for a bit tonight, and am almost finished with the third skein of yarn…In the next row or two (or four), I will be researching joins and joining yarn for the next skein. I’m getting closer to the turning point…I may or may not just continue through the fifth skein…I might knit a border instead. We shall see.

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The in-progress shawl… that shall bring us spring…I hope. I realize you do wish for me to knit faster.

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

Compliments and Curiosities

January 31, 2019

Explains my last week. This week, nothing got done as everything was closed. So, I caught up on homework, Graduate School Applications, small personal matters, and quilting.

However, last week, when I got busier than busy (as everyone thinks I have a spare hour, really), I found two things happening.

Let’s revisit Tuesday first. I took my shawl to quilt guild. It’s simple knitting, and the weather was only bad, not horrible. So I got to chat with Jan, who was presenting and had a great trunk show. But others noticed my “mindless” knitting. The knitting is mindless in that I can knit while chatting with others.

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So, this is what ‘even stitching’ looks like. I never gave it a thought…in fact, I wish I’d followed the pattern more closely.

One of my fellow quilters (and likely knitters)  commented on my even stitching. (I never gave it any thought, it is pretty even, isn’t it?). Alas, that’s just the shawl, in which I admit I have no idea what I’m doing.

Also, Thursday of last week, I was waiting for an appointment, and took my socks. I was working on them when an 8-10 year old boy asked about them. I think he’d been grounded from his phone and he forgot a book or toy. His buddy wasn’t there yet, so my complicated socks happened to be the most interesting thing in the room. I was happy to explain the stitches as I waited for my own appointment.

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The latest on the complicated socks…we’ll see what happens between now and next week (hopefully).

Here’s the progress, so far. (Classes have been mostly cancelled this week, so knitting has been light, but here’s the current progress).

Or perhaps half of the fun is accomplishment…And don’t ask me tonight about changing the pattern. I think the fatigue of a bug has left me addle-pated. Read on to find out what I mean…I hope. 010

Almost finished…one more row…then the next set…Toe Up Travelers by Ann Budd

 

I enjoy every moment knitting and snuck some in time class knitting this week on a particularly complicated row. To be honest, I started the row just before class and didn’t finish it before class started. So, in the midst of taking notes, I had a complicated row of cabling and knitting through the back loop six times. Half of the fun is getting there, which I’m working on now.

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Forgive the shadow…What would this sock look like if I inverted the pattern?

The other half of the fun is the sense of accomplishment from getting there. I got within one row of finishing the repeat this afternoon. However, class was cancelled and I felt simply worn out. I came home and decided to try to nap. Not only did I find I could sleep, I found myself going hot/cold. I really don’t like getting sick. So I took most of the night off, and slept, and sewed and worked on a little homework.

 

However, serious concentration is out the window, so that last row is debatable if I should get to it or not. Part of me says I could do it, part of me says read a book and go to bed. Okay, okay; you talked me into it. Mostly, because if I let it wait, I won’t get to take the photo I want. Instead, I just went ahead and knit up that last row, and voila! I’m one-third of the way done with the foot.

 

However, as I look at this pattern, I want to knit the second part of this round upside-down and turn this repeated triangle of meandering twisted stitches into a diamond…This could get interesting to see…Stay tuned, folks.