Too Many Knots…

January 27, 2017

Or…the dawning of the age of …homework and study…

Sorry, unless you really play with homework and study, it doesn’t match the correct term, but it is my life right now, mostly.

Amidst however many projects I listed last week, and likely one or two more added this week, as well as a consideration for one to be frogged, as there is likely a halfway point in the yarn….I started some legwarmers. I should keep them on the down low, but I’m hoping the recipient isn’t following….I’ll be watching closely to see if she likes this on facebook. Mom thought she;d love them when she saw the yarn and beginning pattern work. I hope we’re right. I almost asked her outright, but decided to remain covert for now. Her birthday comes sooner than I like. Okay, okay, back to the projects. Let me show you what I’m about to frog…

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I’ll show you the full thing before I frog it….but it needs to be a scarf or mitts…that work with the colorway of the yarn….this is almost halfway and the yarn reverses.

I’ve come to a realization, that frogging is a part of knitting…and since I taught my eleven year old little that seam-ripping has to happen in sewing, fit thrown throughout and all; I’ve decided I’ve done enough frogging to accept it as part of knitting. If I don’t love it, or it isn’t gifted, I’m frogging it.

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Shh…don’t tell…though it’s hard to see the pattern, isn’t it?

On the quilt side…I’ve checked my mailbox everyday, and now pink thread has arrived. So, the applique quilt I forgot to mention last week is not getting done. I could sew green, but I’m not in the mood for green. It’s January, for a couple more days, I need pink on purple or blue….or whatever color that bird will be.

 

However, I received the rest of the instructions for the mystery quilt, and decided what will become of it…It involves a chair and to an extent, my nieces…that story belongs in a quilt blog I’m kicking around, as soon as I finish studying Abnormal Psychology….which isn’t happening until May 4th or 5th, I believe. Yes, yes, I know…I asked for this…but at least I’m not giving speeches about blind dates…though it sounded fun.

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Can’t be compared to a blind date much, except they’re a bit tough to navigate and require concentration…

Ah, blind dates, allow me to explain; My dear nephew, David is taking college courses in high school-the lucky duck. So, I bought his mom a gift card to a famous coffee shop, well, dear James did on Thanksgiving, and Momma Michelle thanked me for it today, as she’d used it almost exactly as I hoped. I hoped she would take one of her kids out for coffee and use it for connection. She had the best time taking David out for coffee and hearing about how he described a blind date. Since he’d never been on a blind date, he took blind literally. I’ll let you use your imagination here. (I’m not even sure he knew how good he was, as he also told us the best one was the first one, who pulled teddy bear.)

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The cat’s idea that I should be petting her, instead of studying….Abnormal Psych terms, here I come…

So, I’m guilty…I had an exam today and got nothing knit, except the gift part, which needs to get done quick, but it a relatively simple pattern…if only the yarn would quit knotting. You heard me, this darned yarn is still knotting. I knit fourteen rows, perhaps I’ve gotten a little further, but not more than twenty…likely not more than sixteen, and I have a knot to sort out, after it’s been wound. It was an easy knot to sort out, but I’m not happy with this yarn at all. I will not knit with it again, even if the recipient falls in love with these darned things. May these skeins be used up soon;-).

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The offending project…May the 4th be with me, either way…

P.S. One should not watch the World Poker Tour while studying Abnormal Psychology, especially when they’re down to three players. (That’s almost when it gets good;-)).

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Too Many Rules…

January 19, 2017

…or too many patterns. Nah, there’s no such thing as too many patterns.

I may have broken my own rule. After all, rules were made to be broken, right? Fortunately, I haven’t broken the rule irreparably…or have I? I have two supposed “adult” rules, and I’ve broken both of them in the past few weeks. I blame James for one. I only have myself and clever marketing for the second…I believe. Besides, blame doesn’t un-break the rules, or get things done. Please allow me to explain.

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Cabled Headband…which is the inspiration for only half of these weeks works in progress…

Rule #1: Do not begin three more projects before finishing the first project. This usually translates to one project on the needles and one project on the sewing table at a time…usually. Lately, the socks I’ve been knitting have been complicated. I only knit them on Sunday mornings when I have spare time. I’m making good progress, but I decided to knit some mittens as a travel project and a gift. They didn’t work out so well, so I ended up frogging them. Then dear James bought me a “project” for Christmas. Once I replaced the hat/mitten/scarf yarn with yarn I could and would knit with, I went in search of patterns.

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(The finished cabled headband…really, I meant to smile, but I hate taking selfies…;-).)

Yes, you heard me right, I spent a few hours on ravelry.com…who doesnt’. I finally found a cabled headband http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/cabled-headband-26 pattern I liked and was hoping to find a matching cowl. I didn’t. I found similar ones, but I found none that work with me, so I’m left to making it up as I go along.

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The current cowl I’m currently working on…I’m hoping it will work with me…but only two more repeats.)

I was scared of the making of it. I really was, but it can’t be that hard, right? You heard me…and yes, we all know I should know better. Thankfully(so far), I do not know better. Instead, I came across that knitting journal I bought sometime last year and told you I’d tell you what I thought of it. What did I think? I didn’t think much of it until I started trying to work out this beast. This cowl shall remain nick-named the beast until it is finished. This week, I have two attempts and almost a graph/chart or pattern worked out. I want to leave options semi-open to make it your own. I like making something my own when possible.

Not near as easy as I thought it would be to write the pattern, I hope it’s more fun to knit…it shouldn’t be as hard as it looks. It was harder figuring out how to set it up…I think.

So, what did I do? It’s pretty simple, in theory, and hopefully in knitting. Explaining it visually or on paper is another matter. Part of me wants to say just do it, and you may have to, if you wish to make this cowl. I don’t think I’m doing the impossible, but we all know knitting can become mind-boggling at times. *If you do try to knit up this pattern as shown here, please give me credit for it…If you find any mistakes you cannot work through, or we cannot work through together, please message me. We’ll work something out. (It is knit in the round, please take that into consideration as you knit the cowl).

So, how does creating a new cowl break my rules….I already have another cowl on the needles, with a pair of socks and one sock beginning to think it’s suffering from second sock syndrome. Something needs to get knit, but I wish to test this pattern. In addition, I’m thinking about a shawl and I can’t find my size 8 dpns to knit the cowl up with, so I may end up doing this pattern on size 7s. Choices, choices…. Patterns, patterns….(And don’t ask me about the quilts).

Waiting on instructions on the quilt on the right, and may need to scale back projects some soon…or at least make a rule to do my homework first….

Yes, that is plural. I have Jessica’s No-longer Secret fantasy quilt to finish tweaking, I have just subscribed to a murder mystery quilt… a charity quilt waiting for Sunday afternoon(my morning), and  I have begun a mystery quilt for my quilt guild that will become a chair warmer/quilt for my nieces to sleep under at my home, it may be time for a second blog. In the meantime, I have to go clarify questions about the fabric and get the photos of my current works…since I have broken my own rules about the number of projects I can juggle.

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Squib, helping me with my homework…so much for planning;-)

As for rule #2…I no longer feel like discussing it. Actually, it’s “Nothing comes into my home that doesn’t have a home, but that requires some more shelves. I’m not sure how the projects fit…but the sewing table feels crowded right now. Can I have some more wine, please?

Keeping it simple really is an art form. I’ve never been good at this, and this week, perhaps you’ll see why, just not in photos…perhaps in the lack thereof…(I kid, of course…I still have pets…).

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Putzer, reminding me I wouldn’t need a cabled headband if I stayed home and gave him his two-handed, full-body massage.

I’ve started a new semester and meandered into slightly new areas of knitting…it seems I’m going to be knitting legwarmers soon…explanation to come, I promise. So, I told you all about the yarn issues and I haven’t touched that blasted cowl since…though I had a slight brainstorm on making the fifteen to sixteen stitch manageable, in that I reduce one of the knit stitches. I’m not sure if I wish to keep knitting, it or if I already frogged it for the needles. I think I frogged it, which works for me too…though I might be able to get leg warmers out of this yarn.

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I still have one skein, should I try it?

Allow me to explain, I was invited to go shoe-shopping with my nieces this evening….after resolving a mis-text about tying shoes (rather than trying them on), I was able to meet with my (ex, I guess)-sister-in-law and nieces to go shoe shopping. The youngest, who had the shoe-tying issue, wanted to shop. The oldest, knew which boots she wanted and which leg warmers looked coolest with them. When the cashier told us they were “buy one, get one50% off, ” I said I might have to have her wait and split the bill. However, we were at a lower end store, and my feet require “good” shoes, i.e. Naturalizer, usually. Turns out, it was the acrylic leg warmers that were on sale.

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Excuse the pet-hair covered fleece, it’s her current security blanket when mom isn’t here….we’ll find out if she tries to steal the leg-warmer yarn when I get it…

Of course, thinking of the cabled headband I was still finishing, and the cabled cowl I’m borrowing from two or three designs to complete soon, I spoke up: “You know, you could talk to your aunt about leg warmers,” and I pointed out to Jessica, (the eldest), that she stays away from all things yarn because she’s allergic to wool…lower end shop (Payless–for you Americans), the leg warmers were acrylic. Lizzie, the younger-stepped right up and said, “Purple. And Pink.” I think I know what that kid is getting for her birthday in February, and began plotting my ravelry search for patterns.

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“Cuz we know what always happens next…” (Trick Pony song…”Just What I Need,”)…in the meantime, this simple cabled headband pattern is knitting up really well…. I actually want to block it. I can’t wait to see the next parts of it.

After another hint or two, and a fiver ($5.00) slid to the niece who walked out with not one, but two sets of leg-warmers, she hinted that she wanted a pink-and-white candy cane stripe. I Since she may be allergic to wool, I have to knit with sock-monkey yarn. I was already kicking around buying some Deborah Norville Serenity Chunky yarn. For the youngest, I may have a use for the millefiori yarn, since she has no issues with wool…speaking of the youngest, I may have to get a photo of her feet in the new socks soon. I may start carrying the camera and spare batteries wherever I go.

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Terpander socks…I’m onto a new repeat, but I haven’t made much more progress this week…I’ve been focusing on cables and a mystery quilt(more about that next week…).

As you can guess, we have no photos of the ideas and no one wants to see the math I’m thinking of to knit this spelled out on paper, if you do, just write out your own calculations and report back on how thrilling they are, please…for the sake of those of us who don’t love math. Speaking of which, I should be doing statistics. But as I contemplated my Ravelry search, I said, you know, I just need a gauge swatch and a circumference, right? Hang onto your hats, ladies and gentleman, it’s gonna be a wild ride.

 

To Frog or Not To Frog…

January 5, 2017

What a silly question! Of course I’m frogging…and likely frogging some more, UGH.

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Not a love match…if anyone wishes, I have a spare skein I’d pop in the mail….

Allow me to explain, and pour the wine. I think we’ll need it;-). So, my dear James bought me sock yarn and a project yarn as a stocking stuffer. I’ve used the sock yarn before and have loved it, and am saving it for another pair of socks to come. However, the project yarn is a nice description of the yarn. He bought me this: Millefiori that I mentioned last week. I knit ten rounds to find three yarn barfs and two knots. Since I simply started knitting, I still have a skein to work with, but at the second knot and third yarn barf, I was quite frustrated. Then the cowl I was trying to knit had an issue of switching from a fifteen stitch repeat to a sixteen stitch repeat….I was done at that point…I will turn this yarn into something really simple down the road…I had to frog. I even frogged the entire thing today.

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My new pick of yarn…working on a simple cabled headband here….using a pattern found on ravelry.

I exchanged the other two skeins of yarn at the yarn shop for three skeins of Liberty Wool worsted weight yarn that includes alpaca wool. I also liked the color way being a bit more muted. It’s still pink and purple but these colors lend themselves to the gray side of the scale, instead of the brights side of the scale. I like them. I hope dear James approves, as I felt terrible actually exchanging a gift. I’m going to have to use lists or train him how to buy yarn….or we may just have to go with one of the Boyd’s bears he likes to get me holding a darned gift card, which will allow me to purchase pattern books I desire as well. This will require planning.

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The mittens are simply leaving much to be desired…perhaps its the knitter, but I’d rather be cabling than knitting words and weird “star” and “earth” patterns, I think…

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I really have no idea what I’m knitting…back to cables, where I know when I’ve screwed up, even if it is five to ten rounds later;-)…they’re still easier.

However, I’m also considering frogging the mittens I’ve been working on forever. The fit isn’t great. They’re not me. They might be Lizzie, but you can’t read the words. Besides, I bought the yarn to make something for my dad. I think they’re getting frogged as dear James bought me mitten yarn, and while I exchanged it, the Liberty wool I bought is much softer and so far, easier to work with…see what I’ve started. This one is just a headband, but I’m planning to work out a matching cowl, and then some gloves or mitts that fit;-), and are me…

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The Terpander socks from Sock Knitting: Master Class by Ann Budd, I’m loving these little beasts, even if I’m not loving one long circular needle.

Now, for the piece d’ resistance. The terpander socks have met the top of the chart…or the second half of the repeat is finished. I think I will be knitting a heel in about ten more rounds….there seems to be a theme of ten rounds running through my knitting, but I’m fresh out of tequila I’m afraid…However, I’m very excited to get to the heel of these socks. It’s new, I’ve never knit a toe-up heel before and I’m dreadfully curious to do so. I may be visiting Silver at http://www.cometosilver.com/socks/ very soon. I owe her much of my sock-knitting education not mastered by trial-and-error, or how to fix a problem after you’ve made it. Sometimes it pays to get help ahead of time.

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The back of the socks…soon they’ll look like the front as well…but I have to get the heel knit first…

However, I had to frog a row on one of the terpander socks this week, as I realized when I got back to sock “A” (I think), that I had continued the yarn all the way across instead of picking up, but with knitting a toe and 45 or so rounds of chart, one row of joined socks, caught early, is doing pretty good. I’ve even gotten almost good enough at this repeat to handle it with dear James in the room. (It does help if I make sure he has a kindle or some sort of entertainment as I knit this, however.) In the meantime, look at these beauties;-)…

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It is neat to try them on as I go, but my nephew was so much better at photographing his feet at four than I will ever be…