The good news: I got more sock yarn for Christmas. The bad news: I got more sock yarn for Christmas. Dear James, if you reading this, skip the bad news part;-). Sock yarn is a good thing. I even received yarn in colors appropriate for the work dress code, so I may make truly white/cream footed socks with black from the ankle up, or a little lower. I haven’t fully worked out the pattern. I was going to try this with cotton yarn, as I’ll be working on two colors at a time, and I know what I want.

I have to wear black socks at work. My feet really do not do well in black socks. I don’t even want to discuss what I pay for the white bottomed black socks I bought for the job. It’s still somewhat cheaper than knitting socks, usually, but they’re in the ball park. They are comfy and cushy and even a bit on the supportive side. I like all these features.

003

The actual yarn gift I received for Christmas.

However, when I took the job, I thought I’d like to knit my own work socks. They’ll be ten thousand little hugs of love for my feet while I’m standing on them listening to blackjack players hope to win a hand, or sitting at a really long table trying to reach chips poker players forget to move past the wing tips and complain about their cards. I would like to be able to slip into my happy “I have hand-knit socks on,” place. I might even mention it on the table.

005

Another view of the actual yarn with which I get to knit some socks.

Now I have a good size skein of cream and a good size skein of black yarn in alpaca that I need to design into wearable socks for my job. I haven’t touched the pink socks in the rose rib pattern since I started the sock monkey. I should, but I have a bookwrap quilt to finish and a tote bag to sew up.

I think I’m getting to the something’s gotta give point, as my deadline was moved up. Now I have to figure if I’m going to make the bookwrap quilt less ambitious or if I’m going to make the tote bag less ambitious, hit the sewing machine or scrap one of the gifts altogether. I could save the bookwrap quilt for a birthday gift, but I have to keep it a secret longer…(I better start writing that blog.)002 003 005 006

Squib and Scamp inspecting the Christmas gifts…The tan snow man wrap holds a beer brewery in a box for dear James, and the colorful Santa wrap contains a small batch wine making kit for me. We had a good Christmas;-)

Alas, I should be sewing tonight, as I still have to finish a quilt block since I left the thread at home. Fortunately, Squib didn’t run off with the roly-poly spool of thread. Maybe it was a good thing I got out of work earlier than expected. Wish me luck completing these projects. I’ll update soon.

Advertisements

Yes, the sock monkey is finished. I think it is the fifth one I’ve knit-thankfully not this year. And I made it through the part where I forgot the pattern creator wasn’t good at reduction math. The theory was close, but the numbers were off. I simply added another row of reduction and don’t think it was noticed too much.

It has been a productive couple of days off for me. I nearly completed one block of the log cabin book wrap quilt. And I made homemade from scratch cranberry sauce last night. I also got some Christmas cards mailed, finally. Now I need to finish the second batch.

I made some double chocolate chip cookies Earlier this week, I put my tree up (finally), and tonight I got it trimmed with lights. It looks pretty. I did not take any pictures. Perhaps for next week…though I may have to decide to post my blog early. I also hear the Chinese (sort of) Chicken and Persimmon Sauce sizzling on the stove. Better get up and check that. Oh, and there’s my tea, in the (gasp) microwave. I haven’t bought my dear James a nice electric tea kettle. I haven’t figured out how to make it a good gift for him….hmmm….perhaps I need the help of a friend here;-).

Alas, oh yes, I wrapped gifts earlier. Phew, I should be exhausted. And I sewed a muzzle and ears and hat and scarf on the sock monkey. I sewed his/her arms and tail on earlier this week. It was easier than I remembered.  Let’s get that tea as I tell you about it…Chamomile with Lavender or Passion tea, dearie?

Now, let’s get back to the finishing touches on the sock monkey. I knit the hat and scarf before I finished the muzzle and ears. Since I was using a thinner yarn, I stuck with the patterns standard measurements on both. They seem to work. Then I began knitting the muzzle with the chunky yarn. Perhaps next time, I’ll use an even different yarn. However, I knit the muzzle with the regular number of stitches. It looked a little big.

001

Front view of the yet to be named finished knit sock-style creation.

Then I forgot to work out some math and change the ears. So they were knit at the regular size as well. Then I needed to sew everything shut…except the hat. Let me explain. At the end of the knitting is the sewing. The scarf gets sewn shut at the ends. The ears get sewn shut once complete. The hat is not sewn shut. I simply sew it on with the option of removing it. But I do make a pom-pom for it. Dear James thought the pom-pom was a little big…bless his heart. He’s not making this monkey.

Alas, I digress, I had to sew all these parts shut, and since I knit the muzzle a wee-bit oversize, I decided to sew it shut to make up for the overage. I think it worked. And monkeys have a noticeable muzzle, right? In the end, I think it looked okay. I even got the dogs to help me model the dear monkey. He models better with pet help.

005

Zeus ignoring the sock monkey he’s modeling.

Speaking of the dear pets, I will say, Scamp and Squib have been reasonably good about not getting into my yarn of late. It may be due to James leaving open a night-stand drawer to hold his kindle with a little red yarn he once practiced with to attempt to learn to knit. He has not made another attempt.

     Dear Scamp and Squib,

          Could one of you explain to me why I found red yarn in a cute little pile next to the scratching post? It wasn’t   

      intended for you either. It is also no longer where I set it on the desk…Hmmm….

     Love, Mom

008

Scamp pretending she’s not ready to run off with the sock monkey while Squib is occupied with his nap. Briannag is the puppy model for the yet to be named creation.

Dear Mom,

           Don’t recall how that happened. Perhaps one of the other creatures in the house helped.

     Love, Scamp

     P.S. Squib is otherwise occupied, but this is our story and we’re sticking to it.

Then Ace of Cakes just raised the bar on the double chocolate chip cookies with nuts I forgot to bring back with me. If I had, I’d offer you a cookie. But someone made bacon chocolate chip cookies. I have got to figure that recipe out.
Back to the sock monkey one last time, she is also officially wrapped and ready to head off to my little next week. I assume its a girl, as well, you see, don’t you. And my little is a girl.

013

Briannag, resigned to the modelling job, while wishing I’d make her something knit to chew on…It would take her thirty seconds to ruin a minimum of thirty minutes of work…

I’m getting excited. I feel as if I’m almost there. I’m halfway through the tail, and monkeys do not have much hair. Maeve is snuggled on my lap, as I think about the sewing left to do. Scamp has been trying to chew the arm strings that will attach them to be body. Squib still thinks the needles are there to clean his teeth, or the yarn to be his ribbon.

001Earlier this week, when I should have been studying. Zeus snuggling while I knit.

I still have half a tail, a muzzle, a hat and a scarf to knit. Each of these plus the arms must be sewn on. It’s almost there, yet there’s so much work left to finish. The cat’s insistent, “Mom, your hands have been on the knitting too long. Pet me.”

002

Squib curling up with the latest project.

Scamp and squib bat at the yarn and needles to get my attention. Squib even fell asleep near the project earlier, frustrating the dog who cannot chuff him off no matter how she tries. Zeus finds a spot to curl up and wait, but has helped himself to my lap as the monkey’s not important to finish. Finally, I have no more studying to do, and must now finish Christmas gift making. I hope I didn’t bite off more than I can chew, but I usually do.

007Scamp inspecting the knitting. She needs no encouragement.

In the meantime, I need to finish this tail and muzzle, so I can sew pieces on while I’m on break tomorrow night, or perhaps I will finish the scarf and hat as they’re less complicated then the whole monkey. I get excited and discouraged at the same time. Won’t this tail knit faster, it’s only nine stitches. But I’m still alternating yarn and I need seven inches instead of six and a half…we’ll get close.

At least I don’t have to stuff this tail. Now I need to remember how to do the muzzle, and hope it goes together lickity split. But I’m getting there, one stitch, one row at a time…I think;-)

006  See, no encouragement. Scamp, however, gets away with taking things one arm at a time…

I can’t remember who started the geek humor this time, I think my dear James came home with stories about his gaming session. But I might have shared something I found online around the same time.  The he dared a look at me and suggested that he doesn’t get into knitting because there’s little  humor in it. After searching for blunt instruments he wisely keeps out of my reach, mostly, I looked him in the eye and said, “I’m shaping a sock-monkey butt this week.” He laughed and replied to the effect of “Point taken,” or “Fair enough.” Sometimes our humor may is juvenile, but its certainly there.

 003

The tush in question, knit much like the heel of a sock

I really did knit and shape a sock monkey butt. The legs are done. Once I got home and found the darning needle, I sewed them together and put the stitches on needles. Then I proceeded to knit the rounds. Next, I began the short rows to make the bottom half of the tush. I mean, really, can you read this with a straight face? I challenge you!

004

The front view, with less humor, but certainly packed with bright stripes.

Once the short rows were where they needed to be, I began to work in the wrap and turn stitches, then I began knitting up to the waist and body and worked in another pink stripe. Now, I will begin the body and knit to the neck, then finish the head, hoping I have enough pink yarn to get me to through the arms. No worries, I’ll be sewing the armpits and will attempt to refrain from armpit jokes, unless I’m still in the throes of finals week, then all juvenile humor doubles in humor value.

001

Working up to the body, and prepping for a tail I’m wondering if I’ll get to stripe, or if I’ll have to get creative.

I hope you enjoyed this smile today, I did. Now to go finish cooking the chicken thighs with turmeric, cumin and garlic that I set out. I meant to marinate it, but studying took over my life for a few days, as well as appointments. I’ll be back to semi-normal soon, I hope….then it’s Christmas and family gatherings. I’d better brush up on juvenile humor to get me through;-)