…on a quilt shop bus trip no less. It was the easiest traveling hand work I had.

I got up at the awfully-early in the morning 6:30AM on Tuesday. I normally go to bed at this time. Actually, an hour before. Even my boyfriend said, “What are you doing up, you have seven more minutes?” But I was heading to the next town over for a bus trip…not to find yarn, but fabric. (Sorry to disappoint, but there was knitting!) Alas, I made it earlier than expected…and my “bus-mate” suggested today was a good day to relax and take it easy. What sage advice. I might have even listened…(I heard those gasps).

So, for the first leg of the trip, I perused a magazine, the drive was only about 25 minutes. But the shop owners were so nice…I’ll post all about them on the quilting side next week. They opened early and were ready for the bus. I found some wonderful fabrics at Park Bench in Midland, MI. We even left earlier than planned, which was a surprise. The second leg of the trip was an hour and a half away, which I checked and then pulled out my knitting and finished the heel flap on my sock.

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What a lovely heel flap…and a bit fun to carry the pattern right down to the turn.

Then we reached our second stop of the day, Back Street Quilt Shop in Bad Axe, MI and our lunch stop. It was done well with some really good chicken salad croissants, grapes, baby carrots, strawberries and zucchini bread and zucchini cookies(made like a cake but formed and cooked like cookies). I skipped the bread and cookies, but heard good things about them. Lunch was simple but excellent. It felt like simple gourmet. Hungry yet? I’ll wait while you grab a snack. I have a heel to turn…. I also found some great wool and a few buttons and some embroidery thread for the wool applique to consider while I turned the heel.

Which I knit on our way to the Amish shop in Snover, MI at the corner of M-19 and Mushroom road. Mushroom road, I had to wonder if you went to the end of the road, would you find mushrooms and could you eat them. It was a simple Amish shop with some lovely fabrics. I found some to go with a charity quilt and was talked into two others by a fellow accomplished quilters…and I was still in budget. I think I got to the gusset here…the heel turn was easier than expected.

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These are knitting up a little quicker than expected…so far…I think I finally have some color play as well…

On the way back to Bay City, MI over an hour away, I continued to knit the gusset, focusing on the decreases, and we found a cute little shop overlooking the water. Stitches at the Bay was the shop, they advertised yarn, but that must have been at another location in town. I found fabric I didn’t have much in common with and had hit the budget a little hard lately. However, I found some notions I couldn’t live without and purchased a few, leaving room in my budget for the last shop.

On the way to the last shop, I pet and admired my fabrics and cotton embroidery thread, as I thought the shop was in town. After a bit, I knit one more row, but I was getting tired. The last shop, Material Mart, in Midland, MI had almost all the fabric a girl could want(just not the black with purple and pink tulips I can’t get over), and a stipulation on the discount. Not impressed, they couldn’t find the pattern I liked in the store, though it was brand new, so I suggested I could come back for it sometime…

I’m not too keen on when sometime might be. I believe in supporting local shops, but I believe they should support us as well. No other shop on this trip put a stipulation on our discounts.

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All of my lovely new finds… I’m half in love with the fat quarter bundle on the left, but it needed some purple to round it out. Browns and pinks on the right are for the charity quilt I’m working on…Orange and pink wool and buttons will go on the wool applique. 

Instead, I came home late, only a few hours after I normally get up; I ate the dinner Dear James prepared for me, and took a nap after showing Dear James the fabrics, of course. Then I went home to wash fabric and sew some blocks together. I think I was too tired to knit for the day.

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23 more rows to ribbing…I almost have a pair of socks…

The next day, I woke up at a more normal time(mid-afternoon) and went to my appointment then had my sister-in-law and nieces and little, Mariah, over for our joint summer Birthday parties. We had burgers, sweet potato chips, potato salad, and ice cream(after we let the rest digest). We also opened gifts and I let Mariah make a bead bracelet. Rain killed our park plans so I scrambled to find five chairs for my apartment(which I’ve never properly set up seating in). It was done and my sister-in-law and everyone was helpful and unconcerned about the times things would be finished or done…we had a great evening.

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Back view of the Terpander socks featured in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class.

That night, when I still couldn’t sleep, I got up and began knitting the Terpander socks again. I made it through two more rows and am officially over the half-way point of the third and final repeat…ribbing to follow. Oddly enough, I decided to unwind with a book about the mindfulness of knitting that will be talking about that dreaded upcoming rib in the next chapter I read…I better pick it up at about row twenty of twenty three so I can be reminded of the “I’m almost there,” moments, I hope.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed my progress.

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Current Progress on my projects…as I’m tired, and though it wasn’t too long a shift, it was an extra shift. So progress may have been made on a wool applique project, but not so much on knitting…to the noisy demand-o-cat’s dismay. He’s yowling for attention as I type. Apparently, my hands are not giving him enough massages lately.

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Putzer, the “Demand-o-cat” claiming my sock photography pillow and his box…when he’s not yowling for a two handed full body massage.

 

Though I did get some progress done on the heel flap while I got my tire re-inflated so my car is safe to drive once again. I knit on the couch while I watched the work go in and out of the body shop…where my car will be visiting next week. We really need to address the car spa issue so I can save for a house and become the cliche of the old man with a cane, shouting, “Get off my lawn.” Co-workers and players thought it would be funnier if I imitate Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino. I’m going to need a shotgun and a mask.

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Continuing the pattern down the heel flap…hoping the colors play together more soon…though I have a little color play…

In the meantime, I did have part of an afternoon to myself to knit on the Terpander socks as well. So, the week wasn’t a bust…but the progress feels lacking. Though I only have one more row to go to put me to the halfway point of this repeat. I may push through this next week and get to the ribbing portion on Friday…but we’ll see how far I get.

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Back view of Terpander socks…will work to get better photos next week, friends.

I learned my aunt Jane is to have knee replacement surgery next Friday, and my other aunt Maryal wishes to be there. So, if I get the time off or someone to cover my shift, I’m driving three hours to sit and wait for someone to come out of surgery. I should get some knitting done while I’m there…and perhaps some wool applique, but I save some of that for work…Updates next week, when more will be known.

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Front view of Terpander socks…Almost there;-)

Both patterns Terpander by  Melissa Morgan Oakes and Slip-n-Slide socks by Chrissy Gardiner are in Ann Budd’s book Sock Knitting: Master Class and is available through Interweave publications and many book store sites.

I wanted my socks just to be a bit wonkier this week…I wanted the yarn to play over the lines more, rather than within the colorways. I’m not sure if I got exactly what I wanted, but I managed to get wonkier socks…so, the question is…do I rip out over twenty rows of stitching and try to fix it…or do I go on and try to recreate the mistake? Or, do I go on and tell myself no one will notice?

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Can you see it? I’m not telling until someone sees it…

I will probably try to recreate the mistake. Though this is the one drawback I have to dpns….I have a long ways to go before I get to recreate the mistake. So, notes must be made and yarn must be knit…and well, chuck it all….I’m working the Terpanders this week.

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Since it’s mostly on the same color yarn, it’s less noticeable…

The thing I like about circulars is if you make a mistake, it’s easy to recreate, right then and there. However, I don’t like starting easy and finishing tough. I’m am at about the 19th row of my last 48…I’m getting there…four sides at a time…but it’s work and concentration.

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Row 19 of 48…29 more rows to go….

In the meantime, I may have a surprise for you that I promised about two years ago…We’ll have to see. My former best friend told my dear James that she missed us. He then, being a good boyfriend, encouraged me to contact her. A phone call didn’t feel right. So, I sent out the feeler in a card. She sent me back updates today, and while I was taken aback, I’m not entirely surprised. Now, we’ll see if I can take things slow(NOT my strong suit, here), or if I’ve done scared her off with a proposition I’m not sure she’s ready for. I miss her to death, but if she won’t meet me in the middle, that’s her choice, and I’ll go on missing her. I hope it doesn’t come to that.

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They’re lovely…but I’m ready to put them on my feet;-).

So, I’ve made the wonky socks…and I’m working my way up the Terpander to the dreaded knit 1, purl 1 rib…that I will just make a mission to finish (due to intense hatred of the k1, p1 rib). I’ll keep at the wonky socks, once I decide whether to make the leg longer or to leave it as intended…Decision will be announced next week, as soon as I piece a couple of quilt blocks you can find on my Quilting Journeys blog:-). Happy knitting, my friends…new mitts coming soon..perhaps.DSCN2382

The backside of the four side repeat…excuse that shadow…better photos above…

To those of you who write, plan, edit and continually think about what goes into your blog, I apologize. I’m a pantser (one who writes by the seat of their pants, so to speak), as we call them at campnanowrimo (part of the National Writing Month expansion). I sit down sometime on Thursday afternoon or evening and write my blog according to what’s happened that week. It’s been a heck of a week for me. Life didn’t slow down when school finished. It may have sped up…as summer tends to fly by.

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Part of my container patio garden…I could have a lot of pumpkin growing soon, and I need to separate tomatoes…though they got a late start.

However, I tried the planning thing. I sat down and wrote a mini blog post, and most of my week does not belong in a blog about knitting now, so it was going to be short. But I’ve been reminded of things that matter this week, no matter how tough or expensive it’s getting. I’ve recommitted to decisions and started listening again for those voices that matter, the one’s that look out for you, provide you with a hug and know better than you do just what you need.

I’m working on a quilt block called Grandma’s Kitchen, where we’re asked to provide a childhood memory associated with the block we’re working on…I was started thinking. Last week’s block was Kitchen Table…I thought of Fried Egg sandwiches that need just a bit of mayo. I thought of Brussels sprouts my mother thought I was weird for liking. (Grandma cooked them with butter and sugar, I ate them up and still love them, even with less sugar now.)

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Kitchen Table on left, Sticky Buns(Pineapple Upside Down Cake version) on right…

This week’s block was sticky buns, a favorite treat (this one was her breakfast treat), but it made me think of pineapple upside down cake, my grandma’s favorite kind of cake. I still love this cake, but I don’t get it often enough. As I read through the memories and the stories, I cried. I haven’t cried in some time, I’ve been busy being tough and making things work and getting things done. But I haven’t sat and just felt in some time.

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One side of the sock…perhaps I’ll get some of the wonkiness I’m looking for soon.

In the meantime, I’ve been knitting the socks I’m not sure are wonky enough. I hope to put more time into the Terpander socks by Melissa Morgan Oakes next week(as I haven’t touched them this week). However, I have been knitting the Slip-n-Slide socks by Chrissy Gardiner to see if they get any wonkier…I want them to look a little less stately. Both sock patterns are available in the book Sock Knitting: Master Class by Ann Budd available through Interweave Press.

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The second side of the sock…Again, still looking for more wonkiness…but it’s a fun sock;-)

However, I’ve been compelled to work on these quilt blocks  and get some sewing done as well, since I’m not so busy with homework. I’m going on a six month journey to reconnect with the meaning my grandmother brought to my life. She was likely the adult I was closest to growing up though my parents still attempted to raise me.  It is my grandmother I miss most and sometimes need most. Join me on this journey…Grandma didn’t knit, she just didn’t see herself as “One of those ladies who sits and knits all day.”  She watched hockey for the fights, but she loved me like no other and signed all her letters with x’s and o’s.

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The rest of my patio garden…nothing impressive, but I love my Cosmos and Calla Lilies;-)…and Begonias…just need to get some Petunias in there(which require me remembering to water them).

I think we need more of sitting with Grandma and just being in our lives, regardless if the socks are wonky enough or perfect enough or perhaps just right in the end…I hope;-).

Credit where credit is due: Thank you Pat Sloan, for beginning this process…

*The Grandma’s Kitchen sew along is designed and hosted by Pat Sloan.

Download the blocks at http://www.ilovetomakequilts.com/grandmas-kitchen-sew-along.html

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