That’s right. I still should be revising a paper, but most of the rest of my homework is done tonight. However, some of it was at the sacrifice of knitting, until Project Runway came on tonight. It’s my guilty pleasure. Currently, I have the television sound muted so I can focus on work. Music may be required. But let’s get back to the knitting.

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Squib getting snugly while I knit.

I had a measly four more rows completed, and I haven’t touched the pretty pink cashmere socks as I don’t have replacement needles from Knit Picks yet. Would you like to hear about it? I’m sure you would. I finally broke down and called them this evening. I don’t care for making cold calls, so I set them up as an exchange for “other” reasons, because every time I remembered I needed to handle this, it was pretty late at night. I do still work overnights. When I chose broken on their online site, they directed me to a phone number. I don’t like phone numbers. I just don’t. I’m the customer. It’s after ten p.m. No one should have to stay up to re-send me needles after ten p.m. That’s what email is for, right? (Yes, I provided them with this suggestion.)

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Maeve, helping with the knitting…or claiming the bag as hers….

Alas, I broke down tonight after losing not one, but two RMA forms that I had not taped onto a padded envelope and called them just before a normal person’s dinnertime. They were quite nice, confirmed my address and told me the new needles would be sent to me right away. Of course, there’s no mail for Veteran’s day as well. No, I’m not knitting the troops anything. I’m still working on Christmas gifts here. (Shh…the munchkins are hopefully busy with their own projects). Though, my youngest niece has joined facebook. I may have to get super-duper secret with certain projects. For now, what they don’t know won’t hurt them;-).

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I promise, I inserted the second lifeline…it just doesn’t show in this photo.

So, I had four tiny little rows and it was looking like it might be three weeks before I get to the toes instead of two. I’ve been working on my applique quilt and the semi-secret fantasy quilt this week. Photos of one will be included. But let me get back to these four measly rows–this is exactly how my week has been going… and I have a ton of papers to write. Alas, the knitting, I sat down to watch Project Runway on time tonight instead of during its re-run, and since I wasn’t trying to do homework or anything serious, I picked up my knitting and began row five, then I continued on, and as it came to an end I was knitting row 11 and deciding I should insert a lifeline.

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Current progress–side view…Soon there will be toes;-).

I’ve gotten decent at lifelines, though they take time that I could be knitting, however, they are life savers. I’m sold. I also got to watch The Project Runway Financial Start-up where investors who know the business listen to pitches from entrepreneurs trying to break into the fashion industry. Then I completed row twelve and decided it was okay to go back to homework. Though one of my Graduate Assistant’s in Psychology was asking me if this was going to be the longest sock ever, because it was taking me so long to knit. I’ll refrain from including the “clever” joke he attempted–this is the same one who wants a sweater;-)…I’ll be lucky to have the sock done by Christmas at this rate.

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Current progress on block 1 of the Summertime Sampler by Erica Krapow…except no black fabric;-). And I’m learning about placement…

Alas, I did get some knitting done, and I re-sewed a leaf or two on the quilt…So, I hope you enjoy, perhaps I’ll have better news next week. After all, I’m looking forward to seeing a live performance of A Chorus Line, the musical this weekend. May your weekend be restful and full of knitting.

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Early Halloween Activities

October 21, 2016

This week, I actually accomplished a good amount of knitting, but I also worked in some Halloween activity with my little as well. We went to a haunted house that is not at scary…Not at all. I’m not scared, repeated the 8-11 year old boy who just isn’t scared by the haunted house. (I didn’t get his name).  That is, until the guide sneaks behind a panel as you’re going on about not being scared, and jumps out at you unexpectedly. The effect: “I almost peed my pants.” Made my Tuesday night, especially since I’m a helper, and I’ve taught, and I realize what it takes to keep a big group of kids happy for more than five minutes, even when they’re all supposed to be working on something (but you have limited supplies)…like inflatable ghost balloons and decorating pumpkins, abstractly.

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My second favorite part of the socks…the periscope look. My favorite part is sewing up the toe (Nevermind, it’s wearing them–but these are for a gift.)

I don’t think I got a single photo of the ghost balloon, but you’re welcome to click the link above. If you’d rather jump in both feet first, don’t say I didn’t warn ya;-). You take a water bottle, cap off and pour in one-half cup of vinegar. Then you take a funnel, cap the bottom with the white balloon, and fill the balloon with one tablespoon of baking soda….Oh, oh, oh…you draw a ghost face on the balloon first…with a sharpie of some sort (preferably not the smelly one we used). So, now that you have a ghost face balloon with baking soda added, and a water bottle of vinegar, you are almost there….Most of you can likely see where this is going, right? Oh, you didn’t do this as a kid? Drat…well, stick with me, it gets more fun. Now, you take your parts, and slowly put them together…first you put just the band of the balloon(the end you tie), on the water bottle lip/edge/mouth(whatever you wish to call it today). Then you pinch the area you will tie off. Next, you slowly let the baking soda fall into the vinegar and watch your balloon inflate.

Where was this idea when we were huffing our lungs out blowing up balloons for birthday parties? My mother refused to pay for helium, even when it became semi-affordable. Alas, there was knitting, I promise. However, I have to make an extra trip to get photos…drat. There was also applique, and I might be able to get photos here…pending the camera….

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See, it looks like a cross between a periscope and an alien face!

In the meantime, I need to check dinner–chicken parmigiana, made lighter (I think–though its mostly the way I’ve always made it…perhaps I just bake more), and get some progress shots of the socks…

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My latest applique Quilt…It will pop soon, I promise…Not that I want it to literally pop…but…

The socks are coming along well…I’m starting to get excited (at least for the purple ones)…for the pink ones, I’m not quite ambivalent, but I’m cautiously excited, so perhaps I am. I’m ambivalent in that I love seeing and quantifying progress…but as I get closer to the heel, I realize I’m going to have to do four cable row repeats instead of two with two knit repeats….Have I lost ya, yet?

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The toe-up Terpander socks….the other side is simply knit right now…though I get to start bringing the cables in Sunday(I’m not likely touching these before Sunday).

Allow me to explain. I’m working from the toe up, and the foot is generally easier to knit as the bottom is knit only. This pattern, when it gets to the ankle and leg is a cable all the way around creating an eight stitch rib on each side. The rib is the easiest part of this pattern. There may come a time when these socks become solely holiday socks, so I can focus entirely on the cable patterns. They get a little intense. But in the meantime, I shall enjoy the knitting of the feet.

 

Remembering Lifelines…

October 14, 2016

…or How Many Angel Kisses are Allowed?

I think you have an idea by now that I am not a perfect knitter. Ambitious, absolutely; Frustrated, sometimes; Perfect will not happen in this lifetime. But I try to roll with what I’ve heard dubbed “Angel Kisses.” One or two in a pattern, I can live with, sometimes one or two in a repeat. However, this week, I got to row three of the repeat and realized that not only was there an error in row one of the chart, but that I was knitting row thirteen from memory, not row three. Then I found something else wrong, and stopped crafting for the day–any other crafting I’d done that day had gone to the dogs, as well. I think it was Monday or Tuesday. I’ve since lost track.

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Briannag is still waiting for me to make her something special…(she will rip it apart, so I have to be in a specially giving mood, and curious to see how long it will last).

So, brave soul that I am (in other words, fool who knit without lifelines), I threaded some old pink yarn onto an embroidery needle, then attempted to pick up each stitch three or four rows below the needles. Talk about adventure, though this was the easy part, trust me. I likely got about three quarters of the stitches….(are you in stitches yet?). It was a sight to see. Then I gently frogged the yarn back a couple of rows. When I got to the lifeline, I moved to one needle at a time and began following the yarn to thread on as many stitches as possible. Dear James is likely grateful I did this between classes.

I finally got most of the stitches back on…have I learned my lesson yet? Well, kind of;-). I meant to put a lifeline in…I really did. I meant to research the best way to as well. But I had homework. I really did. I had a chapter to finish for Psychology. I can’t get behind on my homework. And I had knitting to catch up on(since I would be re-knitting at least three rows. I wasn’t sure I’d get back to the ripping point this week.

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Ripped and knit with forward progress…but I need to get the lifeline in…likely more than one;-).

But I was blessed with distraction, because at some point, you do get worn out reading! Say it isn’t so, you say…well, when it’s psychology and ancient literature…and the short story you just read for the Literary Analysis class pisses you off because it didn’t tell the story of how they got back together; it simply implies that they did, I think. Well, that’s when a girl gets some good knitting time in, and I re-knit the old rows and got some new ones accomplished.

It’s also been a good week for crafting, though a might expensive–yet cheaper than the alternatives. Allow me to explain. I joined a quilt guild about a year ago and have joined their applique group. I’ve done an applique bookwrap quilt and have some applique going into my Semi-Super-Secret-Fantasy-Quilt…which is for someone who might read this blog, so I have to keep pictures of it mysterious and not-defined well. (Sorry!) However, I’m beginning one I can show you.

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Scamp, inspecting my choices for applique work. If I leave it here, it will become hers.

The applique group decided primarily on a Summertime Sampler of Wool Applique by Erica Kaprow…which has multiple ramifications….Wool being the first of them. I had bought and bragged about a yard and a half of black olive merino wool (for trousers). It’s beautiful, and I unwrapped it today, unfolded it and prepared to iron…then I looked again. (A photo cannot do it justice). But as I looked again, I realized I just couldn’t cut this into tiny little squares to make a wall-hanging quilt. I needed to check the size of the squares, and it’s a good thing I did. But as I drew the designs on freezer paper last night, cut them out and pressed them on, I also looked at how to make the quilt block.

The author of the pattern gave me a great idea. She stated that she finds most or all of her black wool often in thrift shops in the form of wool skirts. I know where the thrift shop is and they’re open when I finish class. So I went wool shopping again. I found gray wool trousers I can take in a little. I found a black twill skirt I can copy for the wool skirt I now plan to make in black. I found a couple of organizing tools and trinkets…. I found a cute skirt that was simply acrylic and so didn’t make the cut…. I also don’t wear many skirts. But I still needed wool to consider for the background of this quilt. I finally made my way to menswear, since I wasn’t willing to cut the trousers that were just a bit big. And I’m not sure when I’ll get to making this new skirt, or if I’ll try for a sheath dress out of it. So, as I found the menswear…I still lamented the number of suit coats with polyester in them, but I found two that would work.

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(I’m aware its not all black. But I like it, and I should have enough wool for $5.00U.S.) These are the materials for the first block…Perhaps I’ll start a monthly blog of this, since it is a block of the month club…

Here is where I exercised restraint. I chose the one that would work better. I brought it home. I ripped out the seam tonight and now will have to homework at work. I double-checked the pattern when I got home and realized I needed 9 ¼ inch blocks, not 8 ½ inch. Luckily, I think this suit coat can do it…there may be some creative piecing, but nothing too major. The sleeves might even have enough fabric with the sides to make the border…Otherwise, I might be talked into finding or creating strips out of other wool I have floating around. But that’s another story.

Really quick before I head home to craft, and do some homework…I did work on the other pair of socks some this week, and I think I got to easier rows, but I did not get any photos of them. Next week I’ll have something prettier to show you. In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed the pets inspection of the new (to me) wool. I thought of keeping it at my home, but realized that just wouldn’t work for this one. If I make a wool skirt or dress, I may have to change out of it before I visit all the pets though. I’d present a picture here, but I haven’t thought of a way to show off it’s true beauty as it deserves. Happy knitting, my friends!