Showing Off My Socks!

September 30, 2016

Today, I got to show off my new gray and purple pussy willow socks. I was sitting outside of my early class (please do not ask about this class today), knitting my current socks so I could get to the heel flap. We all know I love the heel flap, right? The periscope look comes next and I can entertain my classmates(which we may just need in the next few weeks). My former professor walks by, sees me knitting and says hello. She told me in her English Literature class that if she could teach and knit, she would. I don’t blame her. I’m an avid note-taker, or I might knit more during class. However, I put away the travel knitting before class so I can take notes.

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The view of this sock I showed my former prof today…in my really bright shoes.

It wasn’t until I got home from multiple errands that I realized my socks were on backwards;-). Remember me discussing the right and left footed socks. I failed to pay attention this morning. Apparently, so did everyone else. My former professor also told me about the pair she was working on at home, but I didn’t get more details, because I was explaining why I was still knitting this cabled sock I’ve been working on for some time.

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Current Progress on the purple socks with cable…

But I got to row 16 of 17 of the repeat before the heel flap in classes today, so I came home to knit row 17, double check sizes(because I do not follow knitting patterns and knitting directions well, especially as I get close to the heel). It’s almost as if the needles and yarn take on a direction of their own(or they have in the past).  So, as I got closer, I knit the set-up round. Then I began the heel flap.

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Back view of current progress on the Knot Socks by Nancy Bush

I like the heel flap, but I want to race through it. I wanted to finish it tonight so I could turn the heel on Sunday. However, I have a quilt show to see and help clean up after(it worked best with my schedule). I also have a paper to write, a short one on Oedipus, the King. I need to focus. However, I want my sock done, and somewhere in there I need to get some sewing done on my quilt. It’s not all going to happen this week, I’m aware of that. I think I’ll get about half of this heel done, the paper, the quilt show, some sewing and perhaps some progress on the home knit  socks.

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Suprise visit while I knit. This is the closest Scamp (on my lap and there first) has ever gotten to Maeve.

I did get them on the new needles, which also meant tinking back two rows. That was no easy feat with cables, but I figured it out. Now I need to follow that chart immaculately. I suspect I’m only knitting one pair of these socks. For now, let me get the photos ready and get back to working on the paper.

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Another Busy Week…

September 23, 2016

I wish I could say I hit the knitting harder this week. In retrospect, I probably did. I don’t feel like I got much done. However, I did some shopping. Shopping makes up for lack of progress, right? Right! So, let’s see where the pendulum falls…

I’ll be honest, I expected to be bored in my Literary Analysis class. “You’ve been doing this for years, since high school, you just didn’t know it.)” So working through the likely familiar steps would be boring. Now, we are doing literary maps (that are meant to prove we read the book) and coloring in a writing intensive class. We’re finally getting to some writing this week. I’d rather submit five to ten pages a week on the steps or a book review, than do a literary map, which is a memory tool at best. For once, I’d almost rather be bored.

I’d rather find my own allusions and figure out how to do each of these steps, not try to guess which detail (or how many unnecessary details) will prove to the instructor (who is too busy to keep the book’s characters straight) I read the book. I’m explaining the book to my fellow students, who she has thoroughly confused. Today, my literary map was “too big.” Though it was written in print by the instructor, that we could “feel free to up-size,” if our creativity demands it. When have you guys ever seen me take on something small?

Okay, enough about the pissy instructor who managed to piss me off all week. Let’s get back to the knitting. Here’s the purple sock. I’m getting closer to the heel. But it’s the fourth week of classes, I wanted to be knitting the heel flap.

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My current progress on the take me to class sock…

And now for the kind of sad, but fun part. I stopped progress on the cherry dream Terpander socks this week. They were being knit on Addi Turbo Rockets in size 2. The pattern was designed for size 1. Since I have a small bend in one of the needles which the shopkeeper became aware of, I likely cannot exchange the size 2’s for size 1. The toe is looking a bit big already. So, I need to downsize. Funny thing, Dear James was just asking me what would happen if I did this as he left for work this evening…I launched into some of the “knit-ese” I can share with you guys.

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The brand new knitting needles that will make this Terpander pattern all that it was meant to be…(Dear James claims he won’t understand…Just something else for me to show him later)

First, let’s start with what I like about the Addi Turbo Rockets in size 2. They are smooth. When I am knitting a simple knit and purl pattern, they’ll fly. I may mean that literally. So, what would I improve? In flying, while cabling, I have to be very careful and very firm with all needles so not to drop yarn or stitches. I’ve been constantly wary of dropping stitches as I knit on my more relaxed mornings. I’m not a mindful or relaxed knitter. I knit to relieve tensions of days like today. Since I didn’t have much money to go buy another set of Addi Turbo Rockets in size 1, well, maybe I did, but I wanted to try something else, I went to Knit Picks, and decided to try their needles.

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I have a plan…stay tuned, we know how plans work…;-)

I bought their fixed circular needles in 40”(which the pattern requires in Majestic Wood. My boyfriend has already dubbed them black. I also bought two new skeins of yarn.I haven’t decided which pattern I want to knit with these colors…check this out.

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I’m developing a plan, and may need more needles. These are entirely me, but likely my winter knits this year…I see myself as booked with knitting, classes and quilting this fall.

I’m torn between the Half-Stranded Socks by Anna Zilboorg or the Stealth Argyles by Eunny Jang. Both require two colors, both are beautiful in their own right. So, do I want stripes that sometimes look like diamonds or do I want beautiful curvy reversed socks…(they sound so fun). Both patterns are included in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class.

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Squib helping me with the quilting…mostly inspecting, but he’s not above running off with cool, small toys…that are not “cat toys,” whatever-that-means.

It’s been a crazy week. I’m still not sure how I survived. I still don’t feel like I have a routine, and I’ve been running over half of the week. I added a workout to my Monday and Wednesday afternoon. I work Monday night, so I meant to bring my uniform with me. I left it at home, hanging there in my closet. As I drove home just before 5:00 rush hour traffic to pick it up, I realized I left my work shoes at my boyfriend’s house. It made for one of those Manic Mondays. Not to mention the homework I was becoming aware needed to get done.

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Here they are! My Pussy-Willow socks made to match one of my favorite shirts…

Tuesday came and went with aplomb…it was like a repeat of Monday, only worse. I woke up late, arrived at class late and somehow remembered that I needed my laptop. I hoped to resolve some program issues I’ve been having with a log-in code for class. The material has been provided elsewhere for now, but I had to pay for it to be provided here. The code should work, it doesn’t. So, between classes, I went to get my laptop, switch bags and locked my car.

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Trying to photograph the side detail…I may need help with this…

In class, there were no plug-ins. Nor were there any plug-ins in the hall outside. I don’t like giving up class time for this anyways. I need plug-ins because the battery is dying, and it’s just not worth the price to fix it. Do you see this having a negative effect on my knitting time. After class, I went to take the useless laptop back to my car. I had locked my backpack in there, with my books in it. I realized then I had locked my keys in my car.

There is good news, however. I pay for roadside assistance. I always have and likely always will-for days like this. I called my boyfriend to look up the number, and alert him in case I needed him to get the spare key. I called roadside assistance and they arrived in about ten to fifteen minutes, then opened my passenger in about 45 seconds. It took him longer to remove the tool than it did to unlock me. My keys were in my backseat next to the backpack, thank goodness.

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Here’s what they look like from the inside view…(still an easy pattern, just quite detailed).

Then I high-tailed it to my niece’s and nephew’s school for their track meet. I got there in time to catch my niece running her race. It was kind of cool. Then I came home to do homework. It’s not hard homework, but I’ve had a crazy week and I want to do something that’s just more fun than read books I don’t love. I have attempted some knitting, only to get myself in a bit of a bind with the terpander pattern. I knit one of the cables the wrong direction! Drat! Now I have to tink. I may also need smaller needles for this. It is giving me an idea.

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The sock that has my Psych Graduate Assistant requesting a sweater…If I knit instead of study, I could make this work out…(I don’t knit that fast, better study.)

Next, I worked on a couple more rows between my two classes today after I did a fair amount of reading in the book. This one is a good book, but a slow pace and a detective novel where I’m struggling to see the dilemma and the over-arching case and theme do not seem directly related to the main character. Yet, she’s almost the glue that holds them together, and the better detective. However, I still only have a little progress on these socks. I can hope for a little more next week, but I think I just gave myself more sewing to do. We’ll have to see.

Today was easier. I got through the workout yesterday and only have medium stiffness when I sit for too long. I also took my aunt shopping yesterday. Today, I checked the weather, and said, sixty-four degrees Fahrenheit, eh? I can wear my hand-knit socks today. Yes, I saw that it was likely to reach seventy three degrees Fahrenheit as well…I ignored that and put on my socks and the pretty shirt that matches them. Enjoy my pictures of my feet, as well as the socks on them. It was worth it for a bit of foot sweat. (It wasn’t near as much as work where I sweat to pieces in black socks and shoes). So, I promise, I didn’t kill my Pussy Willow socks made with the continuum yarn from String Theory Color Works.

 

The Crafter’s Conundrum…

September 9, 2016

…to knit or to read…? Oh, dear. Perhaps that is the question after all. I know the simple answer…books on tape. I’m somewhat a fan. I do a fair amount of driving, so I can manage this, some of the time. However, I’m in school, so the question might be better posed as to study or to knit? Time is needed for both. So, how much? And, before you offer that helpful suggestion of books on tape again(which I do enjoy to some extent), let me remind you not all of the books are available on tape. Also, I’m not generally an auditory learner–I NEED to take notes if I’m listening, which means I’m writing instead of knitting then, too.

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Tonight’s helper is Scamp. I swear I was reading The Odyssey for class right before I took this…Briannag is snuggling a pillow in the background.

Now, I have devised some solutions for this, but it’s not a perfect world. Let’s go over what I have so far. Knitting travels to class with me. I commute and parking becomes a bear of a challenge each semester. So, I get to class quite early and have time to knit a couple of rows before class. Remember, two rows at a time will get you there…it just takes the entire semester.

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Another favorite pasttime…(I quilt, too.) But this is some knitting I could be doing.

I also usually set aside an evening a week where I take an hour to knit, guilt free. One must take a break from a psychology text after all, or at the end of a “Book” in The Odyssey. But this week was short on knitting time for one reason or another. There was a holiday(I’d rather just finish Monday on Monday instead of half of Monday on Tuesday, or skipping it altogether). Holidays throw me off. The time off is needed, but that’s when I attend a quilt retreat, or reduce the job load.

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My one allowed “belated” birthday present, because J.D. Robb doesn’t publish the week of my birthday(it’s in early August, in case you wish to assist with the petition).

Alas, I’m working on both patterns, and had some time set aside for each, but I didn’t get very far with either of them…. This week may be more of the same…allow me to show you my choices:-)…”Squeee….!” is involved. Sorry, but it the autographed copy of the original book, on both of them…and then there’s the knitting. Alas, I’m in the middle of (okay, two-thirds through) another engaging book with one and a half books left in the series. You can guess what I’m doing tonight, after I put down The Odyssey for the final time this evening(hopefully through another “Book”).

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Nothing gets a true Squeee! like this….look at these….ah, now to wait for the third in the trilogy to come out. The In Death book will be started very soon.

And yes, I will be looking into obtaining The Odyssey and Virgil’s Aeneid on tape, if nothing else then for reinforcements. However, the Developmental Psychology text has no tape, nor does Lisa Sandlin’s _The Do-Right_. I’ll come back to that one when I’m done mapping and analyzing it. (If you really desire to know if you should pick it up–though I think there was a reference to the detectives in The Girl Who Played With Fire, though it takes place in the south of the U.S.). It’s an interesting read, and a bit strange, but I admit that I’m curious to see how the main character carries out her dilemma.

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This week’s single sock progress…I may have gotten more done on the two at a time socks….
In the meantime, I need to get some of these school books on tape, so I can get more knitting done-that, or get to class earlier.

More of each sock…

September 2, 2016

I have a plan. I usually have a plan. Plans are good as they often keep things from going awry…. So, I’ve been told. I’ve also been told plans themselves go awry. Yes, I thought of the Of Mice and Men quote here, by John Steinbeck but it’s said to be attributed to Robert Burns as well. I got tired thinking about it.

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Smooshy socks…feel like a million bucks for far less…

Allow me to explain, I’ve just started two English classes and a Developmental Psychology class this semester. Everything I write just about must be attributed. I’ve heard “Cite your sources,” in so many ways this week, I could likely write another paper or at least a cutesy document about how to say it. If I get tired enough, I’ll put it into a cute little rhyme.

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Putzer, demanding I put down the crafts and provide a full-body massage.

I’ve been a different sort of tired this week, as I fell ill Wednesday and it’s still trying to kick my butt. It seems to be just a stomach bug, but it wears me out quite fast. In addition, dear James is home ill as well. I get more accomplished when he’s not here, usually. This week, I found myself working in twenty minute increments and needing to refresh my brain somehow afterwards. I still got some notes finished, but I hate getting sick when I have homework to do.

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Zeus, getting snuggled off the couch by Briannag…it’s her spot.

Alas, I still got some knitting time in before classes or some mornings when I felt as if I could focus. I figured out I couldn’t focus when I started on row two of the cabling on the smooshy socks. Now let me talk about this yarn. You can see I got the toes knit and began the pattern(well, you can kind of see that). I learned frogging things in these socks are a real PITA (pain in the arse). I forged on after frogging and got to the second row, which I attempted to knit on one my sick mornings. I think it was yesterday. I don’t think I realized yet I was sick. Otherwise, I’d have known better.

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Scamp and Squib performing a favorite past time…they’re leaving the yarn alone, for now…

Let me go back to the yarn. This yarn is so soft I want to knit with it. I feel like I’m stroking my favorite velvet teddy bear from childhood. I didn’t have a velvet teddy bear in childhood, but if I did, these socks are what it would have felt like. I will be finding a way to get more of this yarn in the future. In addition, I will be finding patterns that work on dpns for this future yarn.

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Maeve, long ago helping me with the knitting…

In the meantime, I’m working on the third sock of four, in which I have to make a decision. There’s a bonus to knitting a repetitive pattern multiple times. You begin to memorize it. This is good and bad, as my row counter is diagonal hash marks on the side of the chart. One of the tougher parts of this sock, besides tracking how many times I’ve knit or purled or both, is marking the pattern. If you’ve read previous blog entries, you might begin to notice a theme. So far, I’m on the second repeat of this sock–about halfway done with this leg, and I’ve kept up the markings.

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Horrible photo of this one, but you can see what it will be above…

I hope next week goes a little smoother with no more stomach bugs so I can get back to my side job as well as the regular job and get some more socks knit and a couple more books read, for school and personally. Next week, ask me about the books.