…is harder than it looks. I can say this. This is the second time I’ve truly attempted knitting a lace pattern from a chart. The first time I knit the pattern entirely upside-down. I don’t think it mattered much, those socks still came out looking reasonably good, just not perfect. But they are lace-work.

002Maeve, snuggling in while I knit

006Squib, inspecting the knitting as well as my lap

This is the second attempt to knit lace. I happen to be using black yarn. I’ve learned that you start from the bottom. As I knit row four across and began on row five with less kitten help, but more puppy help, I wondered if I was knitting this chart correctly. The author went easy on me, making every other row a knit across row. It reads like a palindrome.

008

Briannag, re-claiming her couch spot

The heart I’m knitting into the socks does not. It’s close, but there’s a stitch to the left or right of center from time to time. I do not know if I am knitting the heart in the correct order. I don’t know if I can find this out, even if I look up the blog. Excuse me while I pop over here to check.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/blackhearted

I cannot tell from the pattern. The good news is that it doesn’t matter. So long as I remain consistent, I should get a good heart shape in my black socks. Photographing these hearts may prove to be another matter, and that took over my thoughts as I knit more rows of the pattern. I’m wondering what I have that contrasts with black yarn without stretching the work yet to utilize to show off the lace work I’m not sure I’m completing correctly.

020

One of the hearts I so diligently knit tonight

Alas, one day, I may learn to master lace-knitting, perhaps. For now, I’ll master keeping the kitties and puppies out of the yarn. It may become easier to master the lace-knitting charts, however. Now, I must decide if I will place more hearts along the leg, or if I shall leave the leg in stockinette stitch.

010Scamp joined me again shortly after I picked up the knitting once again.

Advertisements

“Scamp! @)($#$*(&@!” I will not repeat those words in this polite company. I took a photograph of where the skein ended up…this time. Too many dishes needed to be done in the area where the actually knitted sock ruffle landed…. Though Zeus might find it fibrous, and he would likely try to eat it, especially if Briannag showed any interest. Mom would be concerned about two dogs and angry about her knitting all at the same time.

001Where the skein of yarn ended up, with the squiggly part being that which was stretched about fifteen feet in cat-play.

Let me explain the yarn trajectory. The knitting bag, where I try to keep my knitting is in a chair by the outside window. Which sits perpendicular to the couch a few feet away. The skein of yarn landed on the couch, the ruffle of sock and the knitting needles traveled over the back of the couch, beyond the table behind the couch past the “dining area” and beyond the freezer and landed in the dog’s dish just beyond the freezer as the cat dropped the knitting with the yelling I won’t repeat in polite company, and continued down the basement stairs, where she’s pretty sure I can’t reach her.

After all, there’s an obstacle course of a baby gate to the basement, that any cat can scale, but the humans don’t often. Okay, okay, we’ve never scaled it, but we do know how to disable it.

So I gave into my curiosity and decided to check for the pink yarn I could not find, to see if it found a similar fate the black yarn project might have had if not for me catching said kitten in the act. I removed the baby gate–by this time, Scamp had forgotten I’d yelled at her, as the yarn was tucked safely back in the bag. I turned on the light and headed downstairs, into the dark. I came back up to turn on the other light and headed back to the dark. Just my luck, we get to change a lightbulb when we change the litter boxes this weekend. I searched out the flashlight, which ended up being in plain sight on the larger table after I tried the one with dying batteries we play games with the cats with(to reward them for not stealing my yarn, for example).

004Silly Scamp, playing with Zeus’ beloved, bedraggled tennis ball.

As I searched the basement, Scamp showed me and told me all about her hidey-spaces, I checked some unlikely ones, and finally came around to under the stairs, where the skein of pink yarn was resting, undisturbed as if Scamp meant to keep it there. In Scamp’s defense, Squib is just as likely to have done this, but today, Scamp was caught with the black sock knitting project red-handed, complete with the “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Mom,” look.

013

The lost yarn, in need of a good tape-dusting, but otherwise unharmed.

Now, I have to remove the cat hair and dust from the yarn. I’m hoping some simple scotch tape works well. Though its currently hidden in my boot box, with the lid snugly in place, as Scamp was already eye-balling the yarn for a repeat trip. My Dear James, chuckled at this entire episode as he suggested knitting bags that zip shut. I’m afraid the entire bag will disappear next.

010The knit ruffle Naughty Scamp dropped in the dog food dish, empty-thankfully.

Alas, in my defense…five rows of straight stockinette stitch were knit this week. I decided not to rib for simplicity’s sake, but I can talk about that next week as I discuss the next five rows and the implementation of the heart chart…perhaps. Right now, I’m vacillating between laughing my tush off at the cats and investigating industrial strength knitting packaging the cats will likely find a way to run off with as well.

*Note: Squib has learned the sound of the camera turning on, and currently refuses to be photographed in association with the yarn-capades in which he and Scamp partake.

To Rib Or Not To Rib…

February 13, 2015

…was the planned title of this blog. However, I caught the local bug from work or my dear James, who may not be forgiven so easily. So, it’s becoming, To sleep, or not to sleep…there really is no question, however.

Okay, the bad Shakespeare puns are out of the way, and I did get some knitting accomplished this week. I also did not have much help from kittens or puppies. They are adorable, and cute, but it took the knitting to a kitten and puppy free land, my own home; where I contemplated extra credit for the mean teacher’s mean first quiz, intended for the entire class to bomb it. I’m not over it, but I don’t think you want to hear about instructors tricking you because they can. I don’t mind making the student meet one half-way. I should have studied better, but this quiz was designed to be bombed. “Everyone does it,” she says.

011Last week’s progress

Alas, I said I wouldn’t complain, I think. Instead let me tell you about the knitting. I got through the second reduction row, and the knitting became easier. There are only sixty-four stockinette stitches to knit. I’m hoping these aren’t too small, I usually knit seventy to seventy-two, but I suspect they’ll simply be snug. I can use snug, I think. Once I reduced to sixty-four stitches, counting every row, some of them twice; I read the instructions once again, and realized I needed five more rows of stockinette stitch to complete the ruffle stitches. I think she’s working in one inch sections, but I got them finished, with enough light to see each stitch against the pale green knitting needles.

  001This week’s ruffle

Once I completed the five rows, the choice became to rib or not to rib. Did I mention I was coming down with something. This is not when I want to make decisions about patterns. I’d like it done for me. I haven’t thought about the structure of the sock if I rib or not. The pattern author says it will not be seen, since it is black. I am inclined to believe her. So, if it doesn’t lend any structural support to the upcoming hearts, should I even bother. In addition, while I may rib for an inch, or until I’m ready to add the hearts, I have to switch to stockinette stitch a couple of rows before I add the hearts.

002

A slightly different angle (for those of you new to knitting with black yarn, note the contrast and the light are very helpful tools)
Now, I do not mind a little sock adventure and will be creating some of my own later, but just how much adventure do I desire? I’m already knitting one black sock, with a cream colored foot to come. I also have to knit a second version of this, so one thing is clear. I better make my decisions firmly and take good notes. I still have yet to decide, as some days, my brain chooses the “glutton for punishment” option. Some days, I refuse any other option. I hope I choose to put the knitting down that day. For now, I may return to bed and hope I can sleep.

To the rest of you lucky enough to feel well today, may your valentine’s day be not-so black-hearted and you find some joy in the day, whether with friends, or in holding anti-valentine’s day parties as they did in Debbie Macomber’s book Twenty Wishes. Speaking of books, my brand-new, spiffy, signed hard cover of J.D. Robb’s Obsession in Death arrived Tuesday. You know where to find me, when I’m not sleeping off whatever I contracted that relegates me to the chicken noodle soup, Wheat Thins and applesauce diet. If you are suffering similar, I wish you a speedy recovery, and will share the applesauce, but apparently not the Wheat Thins.

Sadly, there was no knitting this week. I took it home one day to hopefully get some extra time and became inundated with homework while finishing recovering from a cold. I meant to get to it. I meant to remember it. I left it where I can not get to it at this time; at least, not without a bunch of extra effort.

Instead, I’m going to content myself with the notion that I got other, necessary errands taken care of this week, and most of my homework done, and most of the quizzes and tests went well. Most of them. I’m still figuring out one of the classes, but I got a very low grade for me, and I’m an A student, so I’m hoping the rest of the class did as poorly as I did. I don’t wish any of them well, but its far easier to convince a teacher it’s not your study habits when the whole class does poorly. Alas, Medical Terminology, I may grow to love to hate you and suck up a low grade. I hope this trend does not continue.

002

Med Term notecards…with Zeus’ help.

I did get a chicken roasted this evening, and I have been scooting cats off of books and notecards and dogs off of my lap all week when I wasn’t furiously studying note cards for brand names and generic names of twenty of the top 200 drugs prescribed in the U.S.A. I did amaze myself at the mnemonics I came up with to remember these, such as Methyl and Prenihad a date at the Concerta; see to ADHD…Which read is methylprenidate (Concerta), a C-II(controlled substance of the highest level allowed to be prescribed in the U.S.) to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). It’s a mouthful, but it makes it fun and it sticks with you better. Well, it did for this quiz, anyhow.

In other news, since I was lacking photos of me doing homework, which are by no means exciting, I found these gems for the crocheters out there….My aunt Maryal needed a gift idea for my dear James, and I presented her with a few skeins of camouflage yarn that had been passed down to me a few years ago. I asked her to make him an afghan out of them, as I was still busy knitting socks and would be going to school. The said afghan has her own additions to it and is photographed below.

006 002

Dog tested, Cat approved…or vise versa.

Alas, there was no knitting, as there is a proper snow(you’re welcome to come visit to see) which makes me want to move south. Kentucky is not far enough, this year. I think they still have snow as well. I’m thinking the tropics, really. There has not been sewing, but I may see to that relatively secret birthday gift shortly, and I really need to return to the super-secret birthday gift as well. More about that as well. Please excuse me as real-life intervened this week and sacked the knitting for now. I will get some done this coming week, before my first, signed new release of book #40, Obsession in Death arrives in the mail, and I become entirely obsessed with my favorite detective and her hot, handsome, and thoughtful husband.

http://ttpbooks.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=TTPB&Screen=PROD&Product_Code=1aOBSESSION

Get yours here;-)

Also on my current reading list, when I’m in bed not-knitting, is Sarah MacLean’s Never Judge a Lady By Her Cover. I love the Rules of Scoundrels series and how it interacts with her 9,10, 11 series…for lack of a better take.

http://www.sarahmaclean.net/the-rules-of-scoundrels/

or here….don’t scroll all the way down until you’ve read the first three books in the series. Trust me;-)

If you wish for a different, more fun take on historical romance where you will fall into the story, this is the series for you. Get it, you won’t be disappointed. See you next week, when perhaps I’ve started on the hearts of the black-hearted socks, finally.