…Or “No Bats, ever.”

I made progress this week. The heel of my purple sock was my travel knitting, as it was the simpler pattern. However, while I knit at the beginning of my Wednesday afternoon class, I had to begin with a caveat. “If I begin swearing,” I said as I picked up a dropped stitch, “It is directly related to the knitting.


Current Progress on the heel flap…

My instructor, a professor replied, “If I begin swearing, it is because I looked outside again.” She was right, Wednesday was a crappy day full of snow and sleet. While she didn’t keep us for only ten minutes, she did let us go after an hour to brave the drive home.

After a harrowing drive home, in which I took the back roads due to too darned many cars on the highway, I stopped off at the grocery store in my town to get eggs, milk, and toilet paper. I also got fuel. It was nasty out there, but the next day proved to be nastier. I then trekked home and only went out for a book to study from over the weekend to the library three blocks away.


Scamp, inspecting “her” new toys…

Once home and settled in, I put the milk to work and made hot chocolate. Then I did my homework. I couldn’t rely on school being cancelled. I’m in University, and they have an unwritten rule (I think the President scribes this in blood, really), that the University will only close once every five years, maximum. It closed last month, and it took two tries to close after our late February winter storm. Thankfully, my classes are all in the afternoon. (We won’t count archery at this time).


Knitting I wasn’t getting to at school today…

But there was some knitting this week. At first, I thought I might be too busy doing homework. I also left my knitting in the car today, and didn’t realize it until I went home for it this evening. I did not get to knit between classes today. I also forgot the book I wanted to read, so I reviewed study guides on my boyfriend’s Kindle Fire–once I got it connected to the internet at school.


Scamp, wondering why I didn’t just hand her the cables in the first place…see her perch on my knitting bag?

Alas, I digress, once again… So, knitting did happen. It was even easier than I thought. I’m getting used to the dangling needles, and tracing the circular to figure out which needle I should be knitting with. It’s even forming the pattern in a way I didn’t expect. I knit the same repeat of five rows every time, but I increase three stitches each time, so it moves the “hole” a little to the left each time you repeat. I’m now halfway to the heel through the repeats to get to the heel.

As I began the repeats tonight, I found my prediction that the cats would love this process came true. Scamp absolutely loved this process. She barely listened to my “No’s” through the first few of them. It was the unintended absolutely not NO! that she chose to listen to.


Scamp, ignoring mom’s normal “No’s”

Dear James stayed home from work this evening due to not feeling well. (Hope I stay healthy, but he needed to– so homework productivity went down some, and knitting productivity is slightly up.) He was searching puppies on the internet while I was knitting and telling Scamp “No,” more than once. Then he said something to the effect of “I’m guessing that’s not going to happen.” I was curious, so I asked. He’d moved on to searching out areas of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to visit, then started to consider a ferry to Wisconsin. Then he mentioned the Wisconsin Bat Caves…

To which I said a hearty and firm “NO!” and lost my cat assistant, when I simply expressed absolutely no desire to visit bats, ever…I will hike any waterfall I can find, most likely–enough water brought along or not. I will not seek out bats in any habitat. They visit my home far too often. I do not like bats. I will never like bats…However, I’m knitting in peace now, well, somewhat. I’m still worked up over bats. (For your sakes-and mine, I’m not posting the link. You’ll just have to look it up.)


A short time later, Putzer came to commiserate, or seeking a massage–probably the latter, but I enjoyed his commiseration as well.


Squib…pretending he’s behaving with my knitting needles…Briannag sleeping as she is Not Going Outside Today At All! No, Thank you, Mom.

Some time later, after I’d gotten some dinner and resumed my knitting, Squib decided to check things out. He, however, chose to be grown up about it, this time. He snuggled in next to me and let me continue about my knitting…though earlier he’d been playing foolish kitty when attacking Putzer’s tail. Perhaps he was a bit worn out. DSCN0322

See…I need to highlight the pattern details next time…I think they’re easier to see above.

Do you ever just forge ahead when you have no idea what you are doing or getting yourself into?

This week has been a lot of writing, and a little knitting. I did get out of work way too early last Friday night, and have some time to knit the next seven rows up to the heel flap. Then I botched the set-up row and had to tink back eighteen stitches. It would be bad, but twelve of the eighteen stitches were knit 1, purl 1. The other six stitches were purl 2, knit 2, purl 2…I was a flicking, tinking fool. After a few stitches, I did figure out to simply hold the yarn above the work and work with it that way.


Heel Flap, I have made some progress, despite the flicking involved.

That was the easy mistake. The other “issue”, since I have two pair of socks going at once right now, I’m hoping is just as simple of a fix. I did mention I tend to get in over my head from time to time, right? Allow me to provide you backstory…I was sent some sock yarn in acrylic in a knitting swap gift a couple of years ago. Having wanted to knit socks, I forged ahead and attempted to follow the advice of those who have gone before. The best advice came in two forms: One-Pull the first two or three stitches on each needle to avoid ladders; Two: Visit Silver’s sock knitting class online.


My very first, still wonky pair of socks…only worn when I’m getting out of them in a couple of hours.

Silver has been quite helpful to this over-eager knitter in the past. The knit 2, purl 2 ribbing pattern still leaves a little to be desired on my first pair of socks, but I did it. Now, for a little secret. I dislike knitting the same pattern twice. With dpns, I simply do it to complete the set because I want the sock. $20.00 a pair encourages a girl to knit. As I forged on, I added purls; Then I added yarn overs and created lace work. Then I worked on creatures, where I sucked up knitting the same pattern over and over again. Then I added cables. But I had yet to venture off of my trusty dpns.


Another knitting creation mentioned in the back story, created entirely on dpns…


But I fell in love with the patterns in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class. I am still pretty much an intermediate knitter. I may just now be moving into advanced. I am not, by any means a Master. I did not let that one tiny word stop me. After all, it’s just a word, right? Right, except when it assumes you’ve played with more than one style or are smart enough to look up how-to knit a style before you attempt to knit it. Does this girl do that? (Yeah, yeah, go ahead and laugh).


The moccasin toe increase, before it was turned. (Those straight brown and black dpns are the ones Dear James bought me for Christmas 2014–with black and cream yarn…oh, dearie my.)

Don’t get me wrong, these socks started out simple enough on two dpns with four markers, creating a moccasin toe. I got used to where and when for the increases and went at it. Then I got to work a few rows even and remove the markers. I had no idea why, but the pattern said to, so I did. Then I shifted the stitches and was simply amazed. Now I do need to re-read the pattern, But I’m pretty sure it did not tell me one key detail. (It’s probably a detail they assumed I knew.) As I re-read the pattern…it tells me to cast onto two circular 24” needles. I guess I’d better go buy two circular 24” needles, as I have one long circular needle right now.

So, do you wish to see my folly? Of course you do! I have knit about 3 ½” of sock from the toe up on flat needles. I was hoping this would be my easier traveling project. It’s looking like I’m better off with the cable knit socks right now. I need to make progress on this sock anyways.


Isn’t this the coolest toe? I may like this set-up after all…though I’m sure more folly’s will follow.

In this pattern’s defense I will say first; so much for reading the pattern from start to finish. Second, I’m glad it doesn’t utilize dpns at this time. I feel almost better about it. I will knit the cherry yarn with these later, after I bind off and stitch the toe of my purple socks.


I love my trusty dpns…see;-). Progress is being made;-).

I’m still hesitant about circular knitting of socks. I think it will alleviate ladders, but this method allows for floppy needles I suspect the cats are going to love. I also never got why people knit on circulars if they just have to switch to dpns to finish off the project.

In the meantime, when I get ready to cast on the second sock, I’ll have to decide if I’m going to repeat this mistake or create my own new follies on circular needles. They will happen, stay tuned.011

Ah, my Rose Rib socks from sock knitting master class…simple, easy, open work socks…I miss the days;-). Maeve (left) and Briannag love to snuggle me as I knit.

Spring Break Progress

March 11, 2016

Don’t get me wrong, I made good progress on the knitting this week. I’d simply hoped for more. Now, before I forget to mention it, the sock monkey I gifted last week was much enjoyed. I hear the name is still up for debate, but I allowed the recipient to be told the name by the mysterious monkey featured in In Pieces….


Scamp, helping me make progress on the sock…two and a half repeats or so here…

I’ve re-discovered I’m not good at planning for arbitrary things, like time for a recall to be fixed or certain shopping excursions. Okay, the shopping was fun, and had a time limit in itself, but that was for quilting–not for knitting. We did make it to two area shops to search out quilt fabric I’ll have to share with you soon. I was hoping for a little more adventure, but I like to offer Mariah choices. We only bought fabric for Mariah, and none for me. It felt only a little unfair. I will survive, I had purchased fabric the week before. And the car didn’t take near as long to repair the recall as I thought it might. Though I did get to visit with a nice puppy named Max that day.


Squib, inspecting my progress…Briannag sleeping after ensuring mom is in her rightful place on the couch…

So, about that Spring Break…or time to get ahead in my world–of what, I’m never certain. I tried to get ahead in bills, which meant sub teaching and working my sleep schedule around, which isn’t easy and left less time for knitting than I had thought. I’d rather be knitting, but knitting doesn’t pay the bills yet. (A girl can hope, right?).


Putzer would love for the knitting to pay the bills…

So, I taught classes two days during my normal off time. Which got in the way a bit of some of my other goals–I planned to make more progress on homework. I made progress, but again, less than I’d hoped to make. There is good news, in that Spring Break isn’t technically over until Monday morning at 7:30AM(when I will be sound asleep awaiting an 11:30AM archery class).


Briannag would love for knitting to pay my bills as well…

I still have time to get some more knitting and homework in, but we have plans to visit James’ sister for a concert pretty early this Sunday. In addition, I’ll have to make sure the standard homework is complete. It will be, but I feel as if I could have made better progress there as well. Some days, I guess you just have to work with the time you are given.


Travel knitting…It seems just the moccasin toe requires the four place markers…but this sock shall be an adventure…

In the meantime, I’m heading to bed shortly to re-work my schedule for overnight work instead of getting up before sunrise again(which should be listed under criminal activity in my world).


Current progress on the sock…Three full repeats done. 17 more rows, then I can turn the heel flap.

I’d hoped to be at the heel flap by Sunday night, for some simple knitting during the second half of the semester…We’ll see how things go;-). Sticking this one out for now, as I know it will come. I just wanted better progress to share this week. A girl cannot do it all, however; at least not all the time.


In Pieces…

March 4, 2016

Sometimes, projects have to go to pieces before they can come together…

I forgot to photograph the sock monkey in pieces, so you’ll have to use former photos and your imagination. It’s not like we don’t have good imaginations around here, I expect.


Okay, not all the pieces…I just don’t have the hat and scarf here.

I knit and I knit, on Thursday night, on Sunday at the band concert; where I got in trouble with my brother for talking with my niece during warm-ups. See if I show up early again. My niece was planning to do my hair like Katara, an anime character she loves. I can’t wear it for work, as it doesn’t pull it back enough; but I could wear it through the band concert to satisfy her. She was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to come over early. I was busy picking up my little to take her to the band concert, and just waking up myself.


My dad with his new (and likely) favorite shirt…

I also had my dad’s birthday party this week. It was quite fun. He enjoyed his shirt enough to suggest he might buy more. I only bought them at JCPenney, but he normally shops at less expensive stores(by quite a margin), so I haven’t told him where I got it. It was also on clearance, and they’re now out of his size. He’ll have to live with that one, for now. The birthday dinner is done, the food was even pretty good, though dear James took some extra swigs of my beer.


Zeus and Briannag “guarding” my knitting…or holding my spot, perhaps…

Alas, I move back to the band concert Sunday where I worked the scarf in a tube for most of the warm-ups and the sixth grade and middle school concert. Then I worried at how much yarn I would have, so I ripped the scarf tube out(almost ruthlessly)…I didn’t even mind–this is how I know it’s not a sock pattern. I hate ripping stitches out of socks, and I continued knitting the scarf flat. Yes, I still remember how to knit flat, yeah me. My little, Mariah, was a bit restless, so I let her wind the yarn and hold it for me as I knit, after 1 simple reminder that grandma wouldn’t like it if I brought her home when the concert was supposed to start.


David, my nephew, playing one of his many instruments in preparation of Festival.

That night, after dropping Mariah off, I considered the Scamp Letters blog, and decided to do homework over knitting. Monday night I worked. Tuesday brought classes and more homework. I believe I finished knitting the scarf Wednesday afternoon, when I feared I’d lost an ear. It was only twenty minutes of knitting, really, about an inch. But I was already low on thread and this needed to be done and sewn by next Sunday.

So, Wednesday after class and a nap, I came home and found the ear in the bottom of the bag and started piecing it together. I laid out the tail and two arms as well as the two ears, and the scarf and hat on the arm of my couch, and I started piecing it together. Last Sunday, I worried that it would be late, as March was fast approaching, but I had a week to spare I discovered this week.


Squib is interested in the current progress of the knitting, or chewing on something for fun…

As I’m switching gears in classes–from fiction to poetry, from medieval writings to renaissance and preparing to write papers for two of my classes, I really felt as if everything was in pieces. Then I learned of the undergraduate certification for Creative Writing, and Tuesday, when my prof returned my near perfect exam, she asked me about Graduate school. I’m seriously considering it, since she provided that cost may be covered with an Assistance program offered where I teach classes in exchange for my tuition. I just have to work in work as well, but that means I’ll be willing to teach later classes, most of the time;-). Or perhaps I’ll have an easier job I can schedule around.


The sock monkey is finished, ready to be boxed and delivered.

I earned a recommendation for it, at least. They may not pay me as well, but it will be more fulfilling with less stress. I’m hoping it works out for the best. Now, I just have to find pieces of writing to submit.


The “I really didn’t break a rule” for class knitting…(the sock monkey is off the needles).

Now, however, I have sewn a sock monkey, and nearly broken a rule–but not really. I cast on the toe of another sock today. I’m hoping it travels easier than the pair I am currently working on. However, I am officially on Spring Break now and plan to spend some time getting much knitting done on these socks. At least, I’ll be knitting when I’m not doing homework. I still need to consider an approach to one of my papers, so it will be less busy, but more about taking care of the things that get overlooked while I’m in school, like knitting as much of these socks as I can manage each night. Tonight, so far, I have managed about an inch…only seven more to go until the heel flap.


Current progress on the second sock, showing the pattern; I’d better get back to knitting;-).