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…

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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.

Ta-Da! Hot Off The Needles…

September 14, 2017

Apparently the latest term is H HOTN! I had no idea what they meant the first few times…then someone spelled it out (Hot Off The Needles)!

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I think one of my favorite hobbies is photographing my stocking-clad feet…

I’m not even terribly acronym challenged. But I couldn’t get this one. However, it was 72F degrees today…I wear socks at 65F or less. I sometimes chance it between 65-70F, but that’s about my limit. So I was stuck wearing store bought socks today…bummer.

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Check it out…No Waste Here! That’s all the yarn that was left.

However, these babies get to be test driven as soon as it cools down, and I don’t have to work Monday, so that might be the day…I’ll have to check the weather. Are you guys checking the weather until you can wear your knit socks?

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Through the heel and over the gusset…I’ll stop there…enjoy.

In the meantime, I’ve had other decisions to make as well…the most important decision being “Which pair do I cast on next?” The choice was almost made for me though…I chose the one I certainly had the needles for. That way, I don’t have a deadline to buy another set of knitting needles, though I will soon. But I’m saving for school and a house. One day, perhaps I’ll get to be independently wealthy.

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Goes better on the second attempt…look!

So, Pipe dreams aside…I’ve made some progress on the Slip-N-Slide socks this week, and hope to keep going in the midst of writing papers and introductions to research proposals. But somewhere, I still found the time to bind these off…Next time, I may do the super stretchy bind-off as this one is a little tight on the right leg.

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I think I’m going to love these socks!

Knitting Show-and-Tell…

September 8, 2017

This week, for my Oral Interpretation of Literature class…we were tasked with bringing something to class that defines ourselves in three ways. We had some interesting presentations, such as a Minnie Mouse chapstick with a surprise inside, and some jealousy inspired presentations with soft and comfy blankets we were hoping the ladies that brought them would pass them around and let us huddle under. I was jealous wishing I had remembered to bring my own double fleece cape to keep warm, especially on this gloomy, rainy day.

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Terpander Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes in Sock Knitting: Master Class by Ann Budd

I went first. I find it easier to simply get it over with. Then I don’t have to worry about it. I don’t mind setting the standard. I don’t even mind talking in front of people anymore. I will sometimes mind the memorization that will be required. However, you’re probably curious about which of the many tenets of knitting I used to define myself, even if I do tend to fidget with the yarn as I present. I always have cards or chips in my hands anyways. The yarn is softer and more comforting to feel. Let’s get back to petting our yarn.

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I was almost wishing I had brought this knit 1, purl 1 rib with me today…It would have made my day more cheerful.

I had just finished the heel flap before I began the presentation as well. First, the yarn is soft and pliable, as I can be…after a good massage. Yes, some days I require a good massage to be pliable. Don’t we all?

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The yarn is already pliable, and thankfully, I haven’t tangled this yarn too much…

Secondly, if you push in too many needles or other things into the yarn ball, it can get tangled up. I also get tangled up if you put too much into my day or week. Sometimes, I get tangled up without much seeming provocation.

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Scamp is curious about where the bag has been…she’d be more curious about the contents if I let her(but she’s half the reason the bag has a zipper.

Thirdly, if you are patient with it and work with the yarn, you can knit it up into a beautiful pattern and yarn comes in a variety of styles of looks, so one never knows quite what they are going to get. This little blurb is not verbatim, but it’s pretty close to what I said…if you do use my words,  I simply ask  that you mention you find them here, provided you have to present a 30 second show and tell about a fun object that defines you…or you have to explain some yarn inspiration.

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I’ve forgotten how tough kitten selfies can be…and yes, Maeve got a summer hair cut this year…Putzer just likes to snuggle in…and it’s a matter of time before Briannag joins us.

Once I got home from the play Love/Sick, which was an interesting take on the lifecycle of love, marriage, divorce and death (of humans and love)…there’s poem line…I wrote the first draft of the paper due for the play, caught up on Project Runway (which I missed for the play), and finally sat down to knit the heel turn. I did not knit the heel turn earlier as I like to do so all at once, instead of leaving my knitting mid-row and figuring out where I left off later. However, as noted above, knitting does bring out the kitties…then again, two of them are demanding attention as I write.

Until next week, Happy Knitting!

 

My First Russian Join…

August 31, 2017

That’s right! I won at Yarn Chicken, sort of…I had about eight inches left after knitting this row…now, that won’t get me through the next three rows, so I’m not playing the Yarn Chicken Suicide round…instead, I’m researching and implementing a Russian Join to keep on knitting through the next three rows and dreaded rib stitch.

 

The good news…the sock is almost there. It may be ready to wear to school as soon as the temperature dips below 70 for a day, perhaps 65, these are going to be warm and soft socks. (I may even need new shoes to wear them with…but I’m saving for school and buying a house(which could take forever, or will at least feel like it).

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The Yarn Chicken win! soon to be joined…Okay, it’s joined…(I can’t believe I haven’t gotten a good photo…I was relatively excited….tomorrow…I promise).

The bad news…is almost two fold…the rib stitch, however, it will be easy enough to travel with once I get into the rhythm. The second part is I will be knitting from two sides of the same ball of yarn. I have done okay not tangling the yarn much so far. I’m worried with working out of the same ball of yarn that it will be more difficult to keep the yarn untangled.

DSCN2570The socks after knitting in the join…(Please excuse the bad lighting)…I’ll get better photos (hopefully) for this week’s post…

I’ve even debated cutting this in the middle, but I don’t wish to perform more joins than necessary…so I will probably work with the situation at hand and hope to be taking pictures of my feet sooner than later.

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Slip-N-Slide socks awaiting heel flap…there’s a three hour trip to a wedding on Sunday…

In the meantime, I’m getting ready to knit the heel flap on the Slip-N-Slide socks and will find that to be an interesting adventure as well, I suspect. Hopefully it will go as easily as the last heel flap did. In the meantime, I need to get back to reading poetry for class…and since it won’t be easy to share my research designs with you, I’ll be simply posting knitting poetry…some of it will be bad knitting poetry. But I’m among friends, right? You’re welcome to help me out… write your own small verse in the comments and perhaps, with your “clear” permission, I’ll include it in a ‘found’ poem…for fun.

A Day of Surprises

August 24, 2017

What girl doesn’t love a good surprise? (excluding my dear aunt Jane, of course)…

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Current Progress on Slip-N-Slide socks…(may have been learned quicker than original Slip-N-Slide game from my childhood…)

This week, I traveled to two towns in Michigan I’ve visited semi-frequently in my life, Charlotte and Ypsilanti. Once we made it to Ypsilanti, my aunts Maryal and Jane were treated to Burger King(their choice) and we had a great visit for the afternoon. While I visited, I did get to show off some quilt work found here. I knit a few rows today and then began looking up a Russian Join. I have not attempted it yet…but I’m thinking I need to. Perhaps I should have take a photo of the yarn tails…I didn’t, but maybe next week…I still have yarn left on one of the skeins…

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Front view…This pattern is knitting up a bit better now.

As for today, I got up and decided to knit the Terpander socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes, also in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class book.I’ve made some decent progress, see?

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Terpander socks current progress…almost there…

However, as I knit, I do feel yarn chicken coming on. I’m going to be engaging in the battle soon, and hoping to join these two skeins well. I’m glad this yarn is not multi-colored. Today, I made it to row 41 of 48. I surprised myself with knitting diligence as I said, “Am I done yet?” with each row. My limit is knitting the same repeat about three times…and I have to do four. On the fourth section of each row, I want to be done already. But they’re almost done…and then there will be the rib.

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I can’t wait to put these babies on my feet…really, I just can’t wait…

To recap, the day went well…I knit the socks, I got my final school book in the mail. The syllabus for one of my classes was opened up (which brings home that my relaxation and freedom are coming to an end). However, I’m looking forward to planning my semester, requesting my classes off and hoping my Poetry experience goes well. In the meantime, I had another surprise today.

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Jessica, one of my two favorite nieces, hamming it up for the camera…one of her passions is drama…(but we got her out of a book).

At about 6PM, my niece texted me to say, “Headed your way, bring Cops & Doughnuts.” In part, this is teenage code for “We want to see you.” However, she would not turn down Cops & Doughnuts. If I’m to come to her house, she usually texts, “Bring Pizza,” as her second part. I asked what she was coming up this way for as the trip to Ypsilanti broke most of my budget. There was a car show in town. I didn’t know, I took the back roads to see my boyfriend today. If I had used the main roads, I would have seen the main road blocked off…three to four blocks is most of our downtown.

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I like the prettiest and the special ones…and yes, we got Cops & Doughnuts tonight! Thankfully, their mom wasn’t as broke as I am…

I told them to text me when they got here…got their location and walked over to meet them. We had a good time walking around town to see the cars, picking out the girls’ dream cars…or items simply to photograph. It was a great surprise, and I had a great time. I also got some solid knitting in and hope to read the first couple of chapters before my first class on Tuesday (for the one that provided the syllabus early). Perhaps I’ll sneak in some more knitting soon as well.

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Elizabeth, practicing her photography skills…and she went to the price sticker first…

Until next week, Happy Knitting, with pleasant surprises;-). Here are a few more pieces from the car show…(no, I didn’t note the make and models of them all, but they were nice…and we had Cops & Doughnuts at their favorite parks afterwards;-).

Knitting at Quilt Week

August 17, 2017

It was here again…and I love it.I learned some secrets and showed off my knitting, to smiles, grins and compliments…and perhaps a few who wished they’d thought to bring theirs. I love Quilt Week. I look forward to it all year and begin making plans six months in advance. As soon as I know the dates, and six months prior comes along, I ask for the dates off if I need them. I got to be there for two days this year. I may aim for longer next year, or a closer hotel and taking a class(it might hurt my pocket book less…okay, it won’t, but I can dream until the tuition bill is due, right)?

DSCN2500Making decent re-progress on the Slip-N-Slide sock by Chrissy Gardiner found in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class

Alas, I told you there was knitting. There was knitting in Flannagan’s Pub on Wednesday night as I waited for Fish and Chips and chose a Mountain Town Brewing Company Train Wreck to drink. (I like my beers tall, dark and rich, just like my men–yes, there’s a bad joke in there). After I ordered the beer, and didn’t hand it off to someone else (yes, another waitress tried to give it away…perhaps they don’t think knitters are in need of libation)…I thought I should have ordered a Guinness. The Train Wreck was good, and just might be symbolic…(thankfully, not of this week’s knitting). I made some progress.

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Then while I was waiting on demonstrations and listening to them, more to rest my feet(though you learn some interesting things about the quilt world this way), I knit. I knit my socks like an old pro. There are few, if any mistakes, there are no glaring pattern issues (hopefully) to be discovered next week. There are simply four and a half out of six repeats of the cuff in which these socks are knitting up better than before. (The Terpander has to wait a week, but I should be able to make a little more progress soon).

If you wish to know more about Quilt Week, pop over to the Quilting Journeys page and enjoy my post there.

I Broke Them…Again…

August 10, 2017

Perhaps I’ve been a bit tense…perhaps wood isn’t meant to knit this pattern. I’m going with the latter. I had the new needles less than a week. I finished the row of Terpander I was working on. Then I began the next row a couple of days later, as I was unwinding from working too many days in a row…My job is mentally and somewhat emotionally exhausting, as well as near constant motion, no matter how many “breaks” they give us. So, I sat down to knit some easy rows. I was mid row, but not even decreasing when I heard the snap and realized I only had half a needle in my hand. It also broke in a different spot this time. Blast it!

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The new needles…they might clash with the hot pink/charged cherry yarn, but they should help me finish the job…

I thought about calling Knit Picks again. I’m sure they’ll replace them…but that means waiting until next week for my new needles. I’m also tired of going over this process again, when I’m nearly done with this pair of socks. It just so happens that I joined a fun facebook group called “Addicted to Sock Knitting,” and they were discussing their favorite needles there. I learned I’m not the only one who breaks wood needles. They’re pretty, but they’re breaking far too easy.

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Birthday score, with a story…maybe there will be a yarn skiff for Christmas…(at this rate, maybe I’ll have these two pair of socks knit by then…)

I ended up going with Chiaogoo circulars and they are supposed to arrive today. I likely won’t have time to use them until Sunday, but it’s still better than waiting until sometime next week for new needles to arrive. I can make progress and hopefully not break anything important.

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Current progress on the Slip-N-Slide socks…back side…I think I’m going to learn to love the lack of colorplay

In the meantime…I am carrying with me the travel knitting Slip-N-Slide socks I have restarted. I made some good progress while driving to another town, nearly two hours away to try some excellent Italian food. If you are in Grand Rapids, Michigan, come eat at Amore Trattoria Italiana and I recommend the Chef’s tasting. It’s reasonably priced and everything was excellent. I’m not sure there was anything we didn’t like. Don’t forget dessert, they’re cute, they’re often rich…but you cannot go wrong. It was the only time the waitress didn’t have a specific recommendation. She said, “Eenie, Meenie, Mienie, Moe usually works for me.” I got the three types of custards and a truffle. The hazelnut rolled truffle came with the tasting and was rich enough on its own. The Chocolate, Vanilla Bean and Raspberry Panna Cotta was also excellent. I took some to a friend to share, even in tiny portions. I will be returning to this restaurant. Dear James said he’d have the stuffed mushrooms and fennel parmesan soup to make a meal out of that alone. It was a very satisfying birthday experience.

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The front of the Slip-N-Slide socks…this pattern is getting more fun to knit…let’s hope it knits up a bit quicker now…

Then we visited with an old friend and came home to my gifts. He got me mostly quilting stuff you can find on my Quilting Journeys page. But the scale has a story…While searching for ideas for my gift, I researched yarn skiffs, scales and rotating cutting mats as well as some quilting rulers. He made some selections and decided the yarn skiff would have to wait (perhaps for Christmas, he said). Then he made his selections, checked out online and later a scale that had been left in his cart arrived. So, I have to wind my yarn the hard way, but I can know how much it ways…at least until Christmas (provided he remembers or I hint strongly enough). We’ll see how it comes out in the end…He did get me fabric, and I have plenty of stash yarn and am breaking needles at every turn right now, so more yarn was not necessary.

…perhaps week. I sat down to some knitting on Sunday and planned to get two more rows done on the Terpander socks I’ve been working on. Before I was halfway through the first half of the second sock(basically in the first of those two rows), the knitting needle broke. I scrambled for a small enough dpn to hold the stitches that were dropped and had to figure out where to hold this knitting(which was on an easy row fortunately).

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May the new needles arrive soon…I really do wish to get these off my needles so I can start another pair.

I checked the Knit Picks website and saw their customer service wasn’t open until Monday. I planned to call them Monday then and dear James took me to Jo-Ann’s to see if they had any replacement. They did not have what I needed. Drat! I did contemplate finishing them one at a time on dpns…but this pattern isn’t easily divisible into three or four needles. I considered using only two needles and knitting them flat, but I have another sock I can work on while I wait for the replacements. So, I set that aside.

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The Terpander’s I was going to make progress on this week…(excuse the rubbish photo, I’m not up to my usual stamina and the thought of driving a mile to get the better camera hurts).

I did come home with another set of dpns from Jo-ann’s, which led to the next problem. I thought it was odd that the size 1 dpns were green. I thought those were size twos. So, I matched them up with the circulars that were only here in size 1. They were size 1. If you guys are slightly detail oriented, you’ll have noticed the knitting needle for the Slip-n-Slide socks are not green but gold. I think I was knitting my socks on size 0s for sometime. I know I knit the last pair of socks with them, which might explain why they were so small…DSCN2413

Superpower…reduces back to a simple curly strand of yarn with a single good tug and lack of structure(needles)…

Tuesday night, I realized there was only one thing to do, as I removed the gold needles and watched my hours of knitting unravel in minutes. At least it wasn’t in seconds. Oddly, there was an element of satisfaction in this while I sighed and cut off the cast on that didn’t wish to unravel and started over.

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Re-beginning the Slip-N-Slide sock likely in the only place one ought to start again…it was a good flight, if only I’d realized I was getting sick.

Wednesday night, I got sick. It’s a toss up if it was alcohol induced, as I decided the perfect place to drown some knitting sorrows was at the bar with a flight of beer. I had a couple more drinks, literally two, and a few sips of my boyfriend’s fruity diesel. Not enough that I should have had the reaction I did. However, I revisited my college and short-lived former Navy days that night. The next day, I realize I’m running hot and cold. I run on chicken soup and while waiting to make a phone call in the middle of my sleep schedule, I add layers and knit a few rows on the reset sock I’d started the night before. I’m hoping I can more of the color play I wanted on the next size up needles, and I basically took off a row of knitting. We’ll soon find out.

IMG_20170803_233821But today, it’s been a chicken soup and water kind of day…hopefully tomorrow at work will go better. And maybe I’ll get some knitting done this week, but I’m working more days than I like…so we’ll see how it goes;-).

In the meantime, fellow knitters, may your knitting adventures have happy endings.

 

…on a quilt shop bus trip no less. It was the easiest traveling hand work I had.

I got up at the awfully-early in the morning 6:30AM on Tuesday. I normally go to bed at this time. Actually, an hour before. Even my boyfriend said, “What are you doing up, you have seven more minutes?” But I was heading to the next town over for a bus trip…not to find yarn, but fabric. (Sorry to disappoint, but there was knitting!) Alas, I made it earlier than expected…and my “bus-mate” suggested today was a good day to relax and take it easy. What sage advice. I might have even listened…(I heard those gasps).

So, for the first leg of the trip, I perused a magazine, the drive was only about 25 minutes. But the shop owners were so nice…I’ll post all about them on the quilting side next week. They opened early and were ready for the bus. I found some wonderful fabrics at Park Bench in Midland, MI. We even left earlier than planned, which was a surprise. The second leg of the trip was an hour and a half away, which I checked and then pulled out my knitting and finished the heel flap on my sock.

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What a lovely heel flap…and a bit fun to carry the pattern right down to the turn.

Then we reached our second stop of the day, Back Street Quilt Shop in Bad Axe, MI and our lunch stop. It was done well with some really good chicken salad croissants, grapes, baby carrots, strawberries and zucchini bread and zucchini cookies(made like a cake but formed and cooked like cookies). I skipped the bread and cookies, but heard good things about them. Lunch was simple but excellent. It felt like simple gourmet. Hungry yet? I’ll wait while you grab a snack. I have a heel to turn…. I also found some great wool and a few buttons and some embroidery thread for the wool applique to consider while I turned the heel.

Which I knit on our way to the Amish shop in Snover, MI at the corner of M-19 and Mushroom road. Mushroom road, I had to wonder if you went to the end of the road, would you find mushrooms and could you eat them. It was a simple Amish shop with some lovely fabrics. I found some to go with a charity quilt and was talked into two others by a fellow accomplished quilters…and I was still in budget. I think I got to the gusset here…the heel turn was easier than expected.

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These are knitting up a little quicker than expected…so far…I think I finally have some color play as well…

On the way back to Bay City, MI over an hour away, I continued to knit the gusset, focusing on the decreases, and we found a cute little shop overlooking the water. Stitches at the Bay was the shop, they advertised yarn, but that must have been at another location in town. I found fabric I didn’t have much in common with and had hit the budget a little hard lately. However, I found some notions I couldn’t live without and purchased a few, leaving room in my budget for the last shop.

On the way to the last shop, I pet and admired my fabrics and cotton embroidery thread, as I thought the shop was in town. After a bit, I knit one more row, but I was getting tired. The last shop, Material Mart, in Midland, MI had almost all the fabric a girl could want(just not the black with purple and pink tulips I can’t get over), and a stipulation on the discount. Not impressed, they couldn’t find the pattern I liked in the store, though it was brand new, so I suggested I could come back for it sometime…

I’m not too keen on when sometime might be. I believe in supporting local shops, but I believe they should support us as well. No other shop on this trip put a stipulation on our discounts.

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All of my lovely new finds… I’m half in love with the fat quarter bundle on the left, but it needed some purple to round it out. Browns and pinks on the right are for the charity quilt I’m working on…Orange and pink wool and buttons will go on the wool applique. 

Instead, I came home late, only a few hours after I normally get up; I ate the dinner Dear James prepared for me, and took a nap after showing Dear James the fabrics, of course. Then I went home to wash fabric and sew some blocks together. I think I was too tired to knit for the day.

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23 more rows to ribbing…I almost have a pair of socks…

The next day, I woke up at a more normal time(mid-afternoon) and went to my appointment then had my sister-in-law and nieces and little, Mariah, over for our joint summer Birthday parties. We had burgers, sweet potato chips, potato salad, and ice cream(after we let the rest digest). We also opened gifts and I let Mariah make a bead bracelet. Rain killed our park plans so I scrambled to find five chairs for my apartment(which I’ve never properly set up seating in). It was done and my sister-in-law and everyone was helpful and unconcerned about the times things would be finished or done…we had a great evening.

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Back view of the Terpander socks featured in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class.

That night, when I still couldn’t sleep, I got up and began knitting the Terpander socks again. I made it through two more rows and am officially over the half-way point of the third and final repeat…ribbing to follow. Oddly enough, I decided to unwind with a book about the mindfulness of knitting that will be talking about that dreaded upcoming rib in the next chapter I read…I better pick it up at about row twenty of twenty three so I can be reminded of the “I’m almost there,” moments, I hope.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed my progress.

Current Progress on my projects…as I’m tired, and though it wasn’t too long a shift, it was an extra shift. So progress may have been made on a wool applique project, but not so much on knitting…to the noisy demand-o-cat’s dismay. He’s yowling for attention as I type. Apparently, my hands are not giving him enough massages lately.

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Putzer, the “Demand-o-cat” claiming my sock photography pillow and his box…when he’s not yowling for a two handed full body massage.

 

Though I did get some progress done on the heel flap while I got my tire re-inflated so my car is safe to drive once again. I knit on the couch while I watched the work go in and out of the body shop…where my car will be visiting next week. We really need to address the car spa issue so I can save for a house and become the cliche of the old man with a cane, shouting, “Get off my lawn.” Co-workers and players thought it would be funnier if I imitate Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino. I’m going to need a shotgun and a mask.

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Continuing the pattern down the heel flap…hoping the colors play together more soon…though I have a little color play…

In the meantime, I did have part of an afternoon to myself to knit on the Terpander socks as well. So, the week wasn’t a bust…but the progress feels lacking. Though I only have one more row to go to put me to the halfway point of this repeat. I may push through this next week and get to the ribbing portion on Friday…but we’ll see how far I get.

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Back view of Terpander socks…will work to get better photos next week, friends.

I learned my aunt Jane is to have knee replacement surgery next Friday, and my other aunt Maryal wishes to be there. So, if I get the time off or someone to cover my shift, I’m driving three hours to sit and wait for someone to come out of surgery. I should get some knitting done while I’m there…and perhaps some wool applique, but I save some of that for work…Updates next week, when more will be known.

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Front view of Terpander socks…Almost there;-)

Both patterns Terpander by  Melissa Morgan Oakes and Slip-n-Slide socks by Chrissy Gardiner are in Ann Budd’s book Sock Knitting: Master Class and is available through Interweave publications and many book store sites.

I wanted my socks just to be a bit wonkier this week…I wanted the yarn to play over the lines more, rather than within the colorways. I’m not sure if I got exactly what I wanted, but I managed to get wonkier socks…so, the question is…do I rip out over twenty rows of stitching and try to fix it…or do I go on and try to recreate the mistake? Or, do I go on and tell myself no one will notice?

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Can you see it? I’m not telling until someone sees it…

I will probably try to recreate the mistake. Though this is the one drawback I have to dpns….I have a long ways to go before I get to recreate the mistake. So, notes must be made and yarn must be knit…and well, chuck it all….I’m working the Terpanders this week.

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Since it’s mostly on the same color yarn, it’s less noticeable…

The thing I like about circulars is if you make a mistake, it’s easy to recreate, right then and there. However, I don’t like starting easy and finishing tough. I’m am at about the 19th row of my last 48…I’m getting there…four sides at a time…but it’s work and concentration.

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Row 19 of 48…29 more rows to go….

In the meantime, I may have a surprise for you that I promised about two years ago…We’ll have to see. My former best friend told my dear James that she missed us. He then, being a good boyfriend, encouraged me to contact her. A phone call didn’t feel right. So, I sent out the feeler in a card. She sent me back updates today, and while I was taken aback, I’m not entirely surprised. Now, we’ll see if I can take things slow(NOT my strong suit, here), or if I’ve done scared her off with a proposition I’m not sure she’s ready for. I miss her to death, but if she won’t meet me in the middle, that’s her choice, and I’ll go on missing her. I hope it doesn’t come to that.

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They’re lovely…but I’m ready to put them on my feet;-).

So, I’ve made the wonky socks…and I’m working my way up the Terpander to the dreaded knit 1, purl 1 rib…that I will just make a mission to finish (due to intense hatred of the k1, p1 rib). I’ll keep at the wonky socks, once I decide whether to make the leg longer or to leave it as intended…Decision will be announced next week, as soon as I piece a couple of quilt blocks you can find on my Quilting Journeys blog:-). Happy knitting, my friends…new mitts coming soon..perhaps.DSCN2382

The backside of the four side repeat…excuse that shadow…better photos above…