I Should Be…Studying…

November 29, 2014

…but I’m not. I do have a final research paper due. It’s only three to five pages I have to write. I’m usually pretty good at writing. It’s due Monday in class. I do not feel as if I have enough research done yet. I probably do. I feel as if I should be working on it and being productive. However, this blog was already pre-empted by Thanksgiving and I’ve known about this paper since September. I’ve even worked on it since then. I’m just not done, so I might feel as if I should be completing it.

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The humble beginnings…

But that is life. I was being productive this week by beginning to knit the sock monkey in blue and bright pink yarn. It looks much better for a nine year old girl. My ten year old niece looked at the yarn pairing and said, “I love it!” I’m on the right track. As I went to pick up my license plate to put on my new used car, I sat and visited with my sister in law and nieces and knit up a leg.

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The original foot with 24 stitches

As I rode in the car to Thanksgiving, I knit up the other leg on the two hour journey. I didn’t start until a half hour in. I have two legs done, and I got to the sewing part as we got turned around. I didn’t have a darning needle with me. I set it aside and visited with family, and wanted to go to sleep, but it was daylight, and there was too much activity to go to sleep. Plus, I don’t get to see James’ family very often. I wanted to make the most of it.

Once we returned home, I focused on the final paper and the studying for it. While I was at work last night and this morning, I continued researching early herbal medicine and what our ancients would plant in their gardens to keep their families healthy and just in case they got a cold or a flu.

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Two legs, 18 stitches in the round as this yarn knits up bigger…

I have decided to allow myself time to post this blog, and make some headway with knitting. The school work will be there when I finish this shortened post, and the knitting did get done. However, I have officially switched projects until this one is done.  Now I just have to remember to stuff the legs before I move on too far;-).

Wish me luck on the final paper, please, but I hope I don’t really need luck;-).

Note: The pictures are now up;-). My dear James worked his magic with my camera and a corner of an envelope. He must have dug deeper than I did. Thank you to the kind-hearted camera repair blog at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkEfnF6zVxc or http://camerarepair.blogspot.com/2007… Both of these posts were quite helpful in figuring out what was going on with my camera so I didn’t have to replace it. I greatly appreciate the assist!

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Crunch Time….or almost

November 21, 2014

I hope its not just beginning, but its been crunch time all week this week. I had class on both of my days off. I had a math test this evening I didn’t feel ready for, then I went to work and did more math. My poor brain is fried. I didn’t even study at work tonight. I sewed. As I sewed this super secret fantasy gift that won’t be done in time, I recalled my oldest niece’s birthday is coming up and I need to work out a birthday gift or a different Christmas gift for her. I only have one of them.

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…the beginning…

I also have not completed any knitting tonight. I’m car shopping. I’m working on an out of class surprise interview assignment with a write up of what we learned. My brain simply needed a break after a math test and dealing poker, which I have not been doing on a regular basis. Pot Limit Omaha takes more math than my calculations class. So, all I want to do tonight is sit back and not think.

But I have to work out gifts, and it became too late to call my sister-in-law and make gifting plans for my niece. As I started thinking about the artsy possibilities, and there are a few dozen, thankfully.  Now to make them affordable, as my niece would rather receive a tablet or some other electronic extravagance I can’t afford and she should work to obtain.

Back to practical gifts, the ones I’m making time to make. I’ve decided tonight I would begin my little’s Christmas gift since I knit a few stitches in the round, and the toughest decision I have to make is when to switch the yarn colors and whether to knot and weave in or carry them along the side. I think I’ll carry them along the side. It sounds easier, doesn’t it?005

foot and toes….not going to be small, should I decrease the stitches…

As for the hat and scarf to go with the sock monkey pieces I’ll start, I’ll decide on those colors later. I think I have a nice bright pink or green my little, Mariah will like. It can remain a surprise, since the sock monkey is staying in blue stripes…

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I’m just not sure, it’s nice, but it’s not 9 year old “I love it” nice…

…There’s only one problem, after beginning the knitting, I don’t like the color combination! It just doesn’t say little girl, or even big girl. It says simple and somber, or perhaps studious boy. I need some hot pink or lime green, stat! Oy and Vey…I think Tuesday or Wednesday is the earliest I can fix this, if I don’t have something good in my stash….Wish me luck!

I feel as if I should feel accomplished, but I do not. Instead, I am looking at the sock as I knit the foot, and it really begins to look like a sock, and I wonder if I’ll be able to recreate my mistake. It was an intentional mistake, I decided to do so and continued with it for somewhere between 32 and 40 rows. I’m not changing it now. However, when you knit one sock at a time, if a mistake is noticeable enough, you feel compelled to repeat it.

The good news is, I may have options. But first, what is the mistake? Because, if you haven’t knit this pattern, or read the blog about my mistake, you may have no idea there is a mistake, or a different pattern interpretation. Perhaps its just my interpretation, though I’m not sure this sock pattern was ever meant to be compared to abstract art, which is much more open to interpretation. So, back to my take on why I did this pattern a little different.

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Along the sides of the sock, the pattern is meant to be offset by two purl stitches. However, as I decreased my stitches while I knit the gusset, I noticed the purls didn’t line up with the pattern on my needles. Loathe to rip out somewhere between 72 and 104 stitch rows, and re-knit and re-decrease, I decided just to work with the existing structure of the sock and move the pattern over two stitches.

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As I knit my second set of eight rows this week, yes, two sets of eight rows–which is why I should feel accomplished–I realized that I will have the challenge of remembering this at the half-way point of the second sock, and working with that pattern structure. Or will I set up the structure so someone, like my twelve year old niece can detect a left sock and a right sock if they were so inclined. I’ve never been, but apparently my niece is.

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Ready to measure soon;-)...

Perhaps I’ll knit my darling niece some asymmetrical cable socks one day. In the meantime, I’ll wonder what the kitties are up to while I knit, until near the end, when they decide I’ve paid far too much attention to this pattern and no longer need it. However, Scamp has been playing camera shy, and has one of those looks about her. I’m not sure what she’s planning to attack, but there is challenge in her eyes. In the meantime, Maeve is content to cuddle. And I will be lucky to recreate my pattern re-interpretation well.

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Scamp, pretending she is not interested in the knitting…tonight.

Making Time To Knit

November 7, 2014

Phew…what a week! Sunday night, I got a math quiz score I never wanted to see, ever. I’m getting an A in this class, and I can’t even stretch it or squeeze it to make it okay. It was NOT OK. My poor James suffered the brunt of my disappointment and cursing as I dug in for a Sunday night of doing all the problems provided in the chapter. He also got to put up with me losing it over wrong answers in the back of the book as I checked my work. One of the answers is one I’ve had to memorize for my current job, and I pay often when I’m dealing Black Jack. I knew the answer. I know math books have errors in them. I just hate it when they do. In addition, about ten problems later, the answer to the problem I needed was the same as the next answer. I was back to spitting mad and not gonna take it anymore. Poor James.

011Perhaps I should have been knitting a sock.

Moving on, I had a podiatrist appointment Tuesday afternoon, requiring daylight activity. So, I drove to the podiatrist that afternoon, and ended up with a shot in the foot that made me want to kick things, but there was a needle in my foot. Somehow, rationality prevailed, barely. Then my foot was taped up by the nurse, and I was told to keep the dressing dry for three days. Note to self: next time, shower before you go to the podiatrist. I then voted and went to class. Finally, I came home to do some more homework, and somewhere in there, I decided to teach second grade on Wednesday, in order to partially make up for taking Tuesday off.

Where’s the knitting you say? I promise, I got to it. See, it really has been a long week. Once I got a nap, I made some lunch/dinner of red beans and rice so James would have some food. Then I saran wrapped my foot and ankle, and secured the wrap with intertwined hair ties and tucked cotton pads in the edge to keep as much water out as possible; it worked. I was relieved to have clean hair once again, not to mention the rest of me. Since you don’t want to know any more, let me get back to my week. 

001Looks like it’s Squib’s turn to help mom knit.    

Thursday came, and with it the class of the ill-fated quiz. I had questions left and right for the instructor. I decided I was asking for two of everything example. She brought in a different math book, with some real life applications, like why two cups of oatmeal with a cup of water does not make three cups, but makes about 2 and a quarter cups of oatmeal. I can relate to oatmeal, I like oatmeal. I confirmed the title, author and edition of the book and decided I would purchase it.

Side note here: I’m getting an A in this class. I get math. I miss little details here and there, but I know math. Some days, I have to teach this stuff. And unless I know I don’t know it, like trigonometry, I teach it to the best of my ability. And the examples of algebra are enough to walk me through it and remember what I have previously accomplished in high school and college. Now, add a little chemistry in there, and apparently I’m lost. Though I get scientific concepts. Part of the issue was the book, part of it was likely the instruction. I’ll even give that ten percent is attention to detail. The whole class had a rough time; rough enough the quiz ended up being thrown out. Thank goodness.

004Zeus, snuggling in while I knit…

So, I came home from math class with a sense of relief and less confusion, a plan for the next computerized quiz, as well as a plan to purchase a book in the morning when my check is deposited. I finished the quiz, made Cribbic (Chicken rice broccoli cheddar casserole) I was planning on to use the chicken, and decided to make time to knit. I began with row one of eight, and decided some days I just need this. I need the repetitive action of a reasonably laid out pattern that isn’t terribly hard to follow, and the yarn in my fingers. I enjoy the curious kitties as Squib decides to inspect the point protectors and Zeus climbs up to settle between me and the knitting. I enjoy Scamp resting next to my knitting bag in row seven of eight as Squib climbs on the computer desk to sneak the recipes I left there and play with them.

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Squib where he shouldn’t be; Scamp sleeping next to my knitting

I thought this was a two way street, Scamp. Squib keeps you entertained while I knit; you keep Squib entertained. Scamp decided she’d rather nap. I decided to finish this section of knitting, so I didn’t have to remember beyond 70 stitches which row I was working on. After knitting 560 stitches, I remind myself: I knit, I design quilts, I’m buying the better math book, I can get this. And I decide it’s okay to relax tonight. I have a busy enough time coming up over the next month. I’ll have to make time to knit even more then, as the repetitive action and the yarn sliding through my fingers certainly helps me calm down. And that can be as important as getting work done.

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Ahh…progress can be relaxation…