Six More Stitches!

June 27, 2019

I knit in public this Saturday while volunteering…maybe instead of a day, we should have a day of the week…or make it an everyday habit. I was knitting my shawl because it is all garter stitch with an increase at the beginning of the first row or an increase at the end of the second row. It’s even easy to tell, because sometimes a girl needs an easy knit, even if it takes forever.

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Shawl pattern is inspired by each of those I could find…but is, essentially, mine.

 I promised a company I would create and photograph some quilt blocks if they accepted my work (I left it up to the reviewing committee and they accepted it!). It’s for a magazine, for a July issue and it’s a Canadian press magazine. So, it’s either digital or Canadians have their own sense of time. When I made the promise, I expected I’d have a couple of weeks to months to finish the blocks and photograph them. I have five days. 

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Five days to make seven blocks, okay two really are done…but I only intended to make three with a working copier (on my printer) and time to construct them, plan and hopefully have money for fabric. I may have to make a whole darn quilt…this publication better take me places… Alas, I’d better get back to paper piecing, but today I made progress on my shawl while interrupting my block assembly progress. (I did get the blocks done, in time to share them and my publishing story with my quilt guild too). 

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Pattern is Toe-Up Travelers by Ann Budd in Sock Knitting: Master Class

A fellow volunteer is a knitter. She asked about my shawl, but I’m at the long part, so a row takes some time (it can be interrupted though). I’d been knitting furiously to show her the end of the increase row, and as she was about to leave, I look down and knit the seventh stitch to the end, so I feverishly declare “Six more stitches, I’m knitting as fast as I can.” We did have a good chat about knitting, and will forever have something to discuss when I review my notes better and volunteer there in the future.

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Lovely bottomside and backside of Toe-Up Travelers from Sock Knitting: Master Class.

In addition, I did get some progress done on the socks, and need to change the needles in just one more row…Now, can I find my camera? (It’s not in my hand like my phone was earlier when I was searching for it)…but the dog needs some love first.

Until next time, Happy Knitting

Five More Minutes…

June 21, 2019

Not five more minutes of knitting, unless I’m in that sweet spot. I’m rarely in that sweet spot right now. So, instead, I feel slightly like a petulant child who is asking “Are we there yet?” It’s this way on both of the projects, unfortunately, for me.

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Front of sock Twisted Stitch Socks by Ann Budd

In the interest of not sounding like a petulant child, I’m focusing on the positive. Sometimes, all you can say to repeats of “Are we there yet?” is “Five more minutes.” I picked up on this line while I was dealing blackjack and carnival games. If the cards went south, and they usually did, players would begin asking, “How long until your break?” After a dozen questions a night, you stop thinking and start answering, “Five more minutes.”

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Back of Twisted Stitch sock by Ann Budd…the middle of that back cable row is about five more minutes from finishing that row…

The parents get it. Anyone who has ever used this line gets it, and when they do it’s funny. A few are too drunk to get it, and in five minutes when they ask again end up saying, “You said that five minutes ago,” to which I repeat five more minutes. (If they are that drunk, explanation is often useless). Alas, I don’t wish my shawl or socks to look like drunken knitting, even if the ladders do at this point. I’m hoping they can be blocked out.

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Forgive the fuzzy picture…I’ll take this better next week, and about a quarter of the way left to knit is my five more minutes point here. 

In the meantime, here’s the latest, and may your knitting not require the response of “Five more minutes.” 

New Pathways…

September 6, 2018

…Casting on…Mock Cables and Lace…on the wrong size needles.

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Size 2 dpn…which ravelry claimed was okay…it’s not quite…unless I wish to live dangerously…

As I catch up to the first sock in the stealth argyle pattern, I am making plans to knit another pair of socks. I just can’t take the first and second sock trade-off to class much…But I found out today I may have to. I pulled out this beautiful burgundy and black yarn, and plan to knit it before class, working on the Stealth Argyles at home on relaxed mornings. (I’ll find one, somewhere). I just haven’t decided which one yet. And right now, I’m cutting out a quilt, slowly.

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Excuse the view…Scamp doesn’t pose well until she’s pissed off. Also, it’s still summer, even though the teachers have given up on it.

So, today…I took two skeins of wildfoote yarn to campus, and stopped at the library on my way to class and checked ravelry.com for info. The notes someone left said they were knit on size 2 needles, so I decided to cast on with size two. I aimed for 72 stitches since that is what most patterns cast on…however, I was aware there are many that cast on only 64 stitches. Then I got home tonight and found the book.

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Slightly better viewpoint…I’m almost there…and then four rows and switch…

I had size 2 and 3 dpns. I cast-on with size 2 and should have used size 3 circular needles. (I don’t have size 3 circular needles yet.) Then again, I also only cast on 72, instead of 74. This is the easiest fix of all. Payday is tomorrow, yeah! I can purchase the circular needles in the morning and look at what else is needed. However, I can also set these up to knit on bamboo or steel dpns. We’ll have to see.

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…as green (teal) will be my limiting factor…and Scamp will not stay still while helping me knit…but the heels and toes took all the teal.

So, the photos show the progress…and I’ll hope to make these socks all look good and get some of them done before winter hits, though I’m happy to wear my current inventory as cool weather finally visits us. Until next time: Happy knitting!DSCN4048

Perhaps, I’ll just work on reinforcing these for winter before class…and those are my #2 40″ circs…so I only need the size 3 needles. We’ll see what I come up with next week…I bet you can guess;-)

Knitting While Scheduling…

November 3, 2017

…in my world almost means less time for knitting. Unless you schedule that in too. How do I explain? Two weeks ago, my instructor said, “You seem stressed. Why don’t your turn your study into an online study?” I said, “I’ve already prepared for the traditional method.” Him: “Look into making it an online study.” I felt my stress(which was high,) go through the roof. I didn’t know how to tell him changing this in the middle of class was not a good idea. I tried, I really tried. He wasn’t having it. So, I went on one of those newfangled survey websites and set up an online survey. I put it in the system…I went live…and nothing. No data, though I had a subject. Maybe it takes time I thought? So I looked into it…How long should it take? Finally, I contacted said participant through email. She couldn’t get to the survey.

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Current progress on the Grayfields hat…part of me cannot wait to see how it knits up.

I contacted the instructor, who thought I should visit him in class (while I still believed things were going well and I was collecting data, like he told us to do). Long story short…study was reverted to traditional method, and now I’m playing the timeslots/book a room game. The rooms get booked for an hour or two at a time. The students show up for a ten to twenty minute experiment…a simple one…no real cruelty here, promise…except the frightful weather they sometimes have to traipse across campus through. Scheduling fun…and I can only carry so many books. So, what’s lightweight and simple to carry: Knitting! Can you believe it? .All that to tell you I was knitting before my study tonight…but the second sock is cast on and the first two rows are knit.

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Second sock cast on…we up and running…these are probably a Christmas gift…

I’m calling that progress…because I also made progress on the winter Gray Fields hat …at least I think I have…If you know any Russian knitters, send them my way (via internet, of course). Otherwise, I’m continuing with this pattern as I interpret it. But I have made pretty good progress on the hat as well…the pattern rows cover 126 stitches, feel like they take forever and are complicated…but the knit rows work up pretty quickly…after I note my progress…it’s almost like knitting two socks at once, but that was 144 stitches….I’m going to need an attention grabber if ever I attempt an afghan or a shawl…or some tricks….In the meantime…feast your eyes on these and hope my scheduling goes better this week.

 

One is done…

October 6, 2017

..but the pattern was in English and one I’ve knit before. That’s not cheating, is it?

I had grand plans. I was going to make a sufficient dent in the homework and get my knitting blog written. I stayed home tonight as the homework workload started to feel heavy. Then there was the cat…who either does not like poetry homework or she is attempting to learn by osmosis. One of my poems was about the cat sitting upon my homework. I think I have to do a total tongue-in-cheek poem about a cat sitting upon my homework in place of the dog eating my homework. The first poem was almost in letter form. We’ll see how the next draft comes out. It wants to be there.

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But I got so caught up in writing about the cat sitting upon my homework, and Project Runway drama(and they are spooning in extra drama this season, and frustrating me once again), that I almost forgot I had to update my progress on this blog. I will admit, there has been much walking and knitting lately…I’m not taking photos of that, as it’s one more thing I’d have to take to class. However, I have been working on the cabled headband as much as possible. I even got it finished and did the three needle bind-off on it. It is done!

 

It is not Ta-da because as I knit at the Renaissance Festival this weekend, I noticed some errors. However, I gave it the boyfriend test–he only noticed the dent where the cables are supposed to be. I’m calling the ridges grips. It’s done. This one is for free and a kindness gift brought on because I respect a friend and it is for a mutual friend’s grandmother. There is a small part of me saying “Frog it and start again.” Tonight, I am employing the “Done is better than perfect philosophy.” Forgive my imperfections…if it’s an issue, I’ll tell you all about the poem next week.

 

 

 

I had grand plans. I was going to make a sufficient dent in the homework and get my knitting blog written. I stayed home tonight as the homework workload started to feel heavy. Then there was the cat…who either does not like poetry homework or she is attempting to learn by osmosis. One of my poems was about the cat sitting upon my homework. I think I have to do a total tongue-in-cheek poem about a cat sitting upon my homework in place of the dog eating my homework. The first poem was almost in letter form. We’ll see how the next draft comes out. It wants to be there.

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Still showing the good side of the headband…

But I got so caught up in writing about the cat sitting upon my homework, and Project Runway drama(and they are spooning in extra drama this season, and frustrating me once again), that I almost forgot I had to update my progress on this blog. I will admit, there has been much walking and knitting lately…I’m not taking photos of that, as it’s one more thing I’d have to take to class. However, I have been working on the cabled headband as much as possible. I even got it finished and did the three needle bind-off on it. It is done!

 

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In case you ever wanted to see the wrong side of the cables…

It is not Ta-da because as I knit at the Renaissance Festival this weekend, I noticed some errors. However, I gave it the boyfriend test–he only noticed the dent where the cables are supposed to be. I’m calling the ridges grips. It’s done. This one is for free and a kindness gift brought on because I respect a friend and it is for a mutual friend’s grandmother. There is a small part of me saying “Frog it and start again.” Tonight, I am employing the “Done is better than perfect philosophy.” Forgive my imperfections…if it’s an issue, I’ll tell you all about the poem next week.

I did get some knitting done on my socks…but not much, as the headband took over. I’m curious though how many more repeats I have to the toes. I like toes. It means I’m almost done with a sock. Unless I’m knitting on circulars…but those aren’t just on the back-burner, they’re shelved, or dropped behind the stove somewhere until I get these hats done. I may even have to get some Christmas gifts in there somewhere. (I swear I’m starting the next set of Christmas gifts in January–crap, did I say that last year, too?)

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Sock progress…at least this pair is for me…

Alas, back to studying psychology and writing bad poetry…though the prof seemed to enjoy the poem about meter I wrote that begins “I hate meter.” Perhaps I’ll put some up for you guys. But for now, I’m fixing the title for that one and submitting it to the Central Review and any and all poetry contests to obtain money for school.  Wish me luck. In the meantime, happy knitting!

 

 

Socks and Poetry…

September 28, 2017

…mostly socks…or was it poetry? This week there was not poetry about socks…much. Perhaps there should be more poetry about knitting. There was a line in the ode to purple I wrote. The instructor enjoyed it as it was unexpected that purple saturates the sock yarn. I”m not sure the line sounds poetic even…unless you are a poet or a knitter. Alas, this week, I’m not working on purple socks…Though I almost miss them.

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“Purple saturates the yarn, hugging my feet in thousands of tiny stitches…” Also, in my defense…the Hemp purple was inspiration for a revised draft of the purple poem.

I’ve been working on socks, a cabled headband and plan to finish translating the hat pattern from Russian as soon as the school workload shows a small break. I have no idea what that term really means, but perhaps I’ll sneak one soon…When I’m not busy with other things.

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Cabled Headband beginning….1 cable worked…

I did not get much time to knit this weekend as my social time was spent driving my Little to Mackinac. I love to visit. We made it a quick visit, and still had dinner, but I still did all the driving. It was a beautiful drive and visit…it always is. I was hoping for a little more fall color, but fall is arriving a month late, and it has been hotter than blazes around here.

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Current Progress on Slip-N-Slide socks…it feels small but I’m making progress.

Speaking of heat…there was a poetry reading tonight, which I attended. The author read a poem about fall…hoping to do a fall dance, similar to a rain dance. I’m hoping it worked. Don’t get me wrong, I’m in no hurry to see winter, but I am ready to wear my knit socks and get some more done.

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Side view of Slip-N-Slide socks thank goodness for meetings today.

Now, it’s time to take stock and make plans for next week, because this girl still needs to hit the books.

I Love A Challenge…

September 21, 2017

…and if a project isn’t challenging enough, apparently I can make it a challenge without too much effort. Imagine that. Let me explain…or in American-ese: Hold my beer and watch this…no drinking it…I’m gonna need it.

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Those first weeks when your sock is a tiny dream of a toe…

Someone I highly respect at work asked me about knitting a hat for a co-worker’s grandmother to keep her head warm. I knit with wool and will not knit with acrylic. My first question: Is she okay with wools/animal danders? If she has allergies, I need to find a new fiber-I was thinking bamboo or silk blends, which I may still look into. Apparently, Judy’s grandma is not allergic as the ONLY answer I get to this question is, “She likes soft stuff.” Who doesn’t? I asked if she had allergies.

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The knit side doesn’t want to show off yet… These will be the Stealth Argyle socks by Eunny Jang in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class

Alas, an overly easy client is tougher than a picky one sometimes. The next question: what colors does she like? I got the answer of pinks and purples. Sounds easy enough…but it’s not, because I don’t know if she means carnation, fuchsia or heathered or if she means indigo, lavender, or heathered…I’m probably going with what’s available as I’m buying the yarn…but…I’d like to know she likes it before I buy the yarn. I’m considering sending pictures and links and hope they do the yarn justice.

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Current Progress on Slip-N-Slide socks by Chrissy Gardiner in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class

In the meantime, if pleasing an overly-easy client is tough enough, I was searching for patterns on ravelry.com. I found a gorgeous hat that I won’t get bored with. Let me get a sip of my beer. Now hang on, while I go over how fun this is…Hold my beer again please;-). The pattern, by Tatyana Rovenskaya is called Hat-Gray Fields. If the name doesn’t give it away, perhaps the link will…Okay, okay, I’ll tell you: The pattern is in Russian.

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Current back progress on class knitting…

A sane knitter, not asking you to hold her beer (while checking over her shoulder that you haven’t taken too large a sip tax), would find another hat, right? What does a not so sane knitter do at 2:30AM when she should be reading psychology articles about gender differences in anger? She says, “Ooh…Russian…I can translate this…” thinking darn it Mrs. Ovenhouse and Mr. Toodzio…How dare you teach me not to fear Russian translations. It’s only a page or two. It’s only a knitting chart…Right. (it’s okay to stop laughing now, wouldn’t want you to spill my beer).

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Beer was not really involved at 2:30AM(though that’s not how you’ll re-tell the story), but lack of sleep and homework procrastination are just as powerful of motivators…and now…I’m going to need a sip…Please return it. I know it’s good.

Two hours later between a google translator and a Russian dictionary, I haven’t made much headway…about a quarter of the pattern. In my defense, I was not writing things down. Once I went towards bed with a Russian dictionary I had suddenly relocated, I began writing things down. I made some headway…but only about half. As I put the tools of translation away, and set the pattern aside for the night, I thought, my school has Russian classes…perhaps I’ll find a Russian teacher who knits…perhaps I can tutor Russian for a student and they can help me translate this…Checked today, I don’t see any Russian classes this year. I’m going to have to brush up on my Russian and bring it to this school.

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Terpander socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class for those that missed it last week. Why knit vanilla socks when one can complicate matters and add an adult beverage?

Sure, I could find another pattern, but where is the fun in that? Besides, I might not have met the Vogue International Knitting Terms page. It’s worth a look, and I must research needle sizes to make sure I guess right. Now, I must start memorizing a performance of literature, and writing an Introduction for Psychology…thank goodness the poetry comes easy. Anyone think there’s a poem in there? In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed the post and the photos of my current works in progress.

Ta-Da! Hot Off The Needles…

September 14, 2017

Apparently the latest term is H HOTN! I had no idea what they meant the first few times…then someone spelled it out (Hot Off The Needles)!

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I think one of my favorite hobbies is photographing my stocking-clad feet…

I’m not even terribly acronym challenged. But I couldn’t get this one. However, it was 72F degrees today…I wear socks at 65F or less. I sometimes chance it between 65-70F, but that’s about my limit. So I was stuck wearing store bought socks today…bummer.

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Check it out…No Waste Here! That’s all the yarn that was left.

However, these babies get to be test driven as soon as it cools down, and I don’t have to work Monday, so that might be the day…I’ll have to check the weather. Are you guys checking the weather until you can wear your knit socks?

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Through the heel and over the gusset…I’ll stop there…enjoy.

In the meantime, I’ve had other decisions to make as well…the most important decision being “Which pair do I cast on next?” The choice was almost made for me though…I chose the one I certainly had the needles for. That way, I don’t have a deadline to buy another set of knitting needles, though I will soon. But I’m saving for school and a house. One day, perhaps I’ll get to be independently wealthy.

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Goes better on the second attempt…look!

So, Pipe dreams aside…I’ve made some progress on the Slip-N-Slide socks this week, and hope to keep going in the midst of writing papers and introductions to research proposals. But somewhere, I still found the time to bind these off…Next time, I may do the super stretchy bind-off as this one is a little tight on the right leg.

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I think I’m going to love these socks!

A Day of Surprises

August 24, 2017

What girl doesn’t love a good surprise? (excluding my dear aunt Jane, of course)…

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Current Progress on Slip-N-Slide socks…(may have been learned quicker than original Slip-N-Slide game from my childhood…)

This week, I traveled to two towns in Michigan I’ve visited semi-frequently in my life, Charlotte and Ypsilanti. Once we made it to Ypsilanti, my aunts Maryal and Jane were treated to Burger King(their choice) and we had a great visit for the afternoon. While I visited, I did get to show off some quilt work found here. I knit a few rows today and then began looking up a Russian Join. I have not attempted it yet…but I’m thinking I need to. Perhaps I should have take a photo of the yarn tails…I didn’t, but maybe next week…I still have yarn left on one of the skeins…

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Front view…This pattern is knitting up a bit better now.

As for today, I got up and decided to knit the Terpander socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes, also in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class book.I’ve made some decent progress, see?

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Terpander socks current progress…almost there…

However, as I knit, I do feel yarn chicken coming on. I’m going to be engaging in the battle soon, and hoping to join these two skeins well. I’m glad this yarn is not multi-colored. Today, I made it to row 41 of 48. I surprised myself with knitting diligence as I said, “Am I done yet?” with each row. My limit is knitting the same repeat about three times…and I have to do four. On the fourth section of each row, I want to be done already. But they’re almost done…and then there will be the rib.

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I can’t wait to put these babies on my feet…really, I just can’t wait…

To recap, the day went well…I knit the socks, I got my final school book in the mail. The syllabus for one of my classes was opened up (which brings home that my relaxation and freedom are coming to an end). However, I’m looking forward to planning my semester, requesting my classes off and hoping my Poetry experience goes well. In the meantime, I had another surprise today.

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Jessica, one of my two favorite nieces, hamming it up for the camera…one of her passions is drama…(but we got her out of a book).

At about 6PM, my niece texted me to say, “Headed your way, bring Cops & Doughnuts.” In part, this is teenage code for “We want to see you.” However, she would not turn down Cops & Doughnuts. If I’m to come to her house, she usually texts, “Bring Pizza,” as her second part. I asked what she was coming up this way for as the trip to Ypsilanti broke most of my budget. There was a car show in town. I didn’t know, I took the back roads to see my boyfriend today. If I had used the main roads, I would have seen the main road blocked off…three to four blocks is most of our downtown.

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I like the prettiest and the special ones…and yes, we got Cops & Doughnuts tonight! Thankfully, their mom wasn’t as broke as I am…

I told them to text me when they got here…got their location and walked over to meet them. We had a good time walking around town to see the cars, picking out the girls’ dream cars…or items simply to photograph. It was a great surprise, and I had a great time. I also got some solid knitting in and hope to read the first couple of chapters before my first class on Tuesday (for the one that provided the syllabus early). Perhaps I’ll sneak in some more knitting soon as well.

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Elizabeth, practicing her photography skills…and she went to the price sticker first…

Until next week, Happy Knitting, with pleasant surprises;-). Here are a few more pieces from the car show…(no, I didn’t note the make and models of them all, but they were nice…and we had Cops & Doughnuts at their favorite parks afterwards;-).

…perhaps week. I sat down to some knitting on Sunday and planned to get two more rows done on the Terpander socks I’ve been working on. Before I was halfway through the first half of the second sock(basically in the first of those two rows), the knitting needle broke. I scrambled for a small enough dpn to hold the stitches that were dropped and had to figure out where to hold this knitting(which was on an easy row fortunately).

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May the new needles arrive soon…I really do wish to get these off my needles so I can start another pair.

I checked the Knit Picks website and saw their customer service wasn’t open until Monday. I planned to call them Monday then and dear James took me to Jo-Ann’s to see if they had any replacement. They did not have what I needed. Drat! I did contemplate finishing them one at a time on dpns…but this pattern isn’t easily divisible into three or four needles. I considered using only two needles and knitting them flat, but I have another sock I can work on while I wait for the replacements. So, I set that aside.

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The Terpander’s I was going to make progress on this week…(excuse the rubbish photo, I’m not up to my usual stamina and the thought of driving a mile to get the better camera hurts).

I did come home with another set of dpns from Jo-ann’s, which led to the next problem. I thought it was odd that the size 1 dpns were green. I thought those were size twos. So, I matched them up with the circulars that were only here in size 1. They were size 1. If you guys are slightly detail oriented, you’ll have noticed the knitting needle for the Slip-n-Slide socks are not green but gold. I think I was knitting my socks on size 0s for sometime. I know I knit the last pair of socks with them, which might explain why they were so small…DSCN2413

Superpower…reduces back to a simple curly strand of yarn with a single good tug and lack of structure(needles)…

Tuesday night, I realized there was only one thing to do, as I removed the gold needles and watched my hours of knitting unravel in minutes. At least it wasn’t in seconds. Oddly, there was an element of satisfaction in this while I sighed and cut off the cast on that didn’t wish to unravel and started over.

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Re-beginning the Slip-N-Slide sock likely in the only place one ought to start again…it was a good flight, if only I’d realized I was getting sick.

Wednesday night, I got sick. It’s a toss up if it was alcohol induced, as I decided the perfect place to drown some knitting sorrows was at the bar with a flight of beer. I had a couple more drinks, literally two, and a few sips of my boyfriend’s fruity diesel. Not enough that I should have had the reaction I did. However, I revisited my college and short-lived former Navy days that night. The next day, I realize I’m running hot and cold. I run on chicken soup and while waiting to make a phone call in the middle of my sleep schedule, I add layers and knit a few rows on the reset sock I’d started the night before. I’m hoping I can more of the color play I wanted on the next size up needles, and I basically took off a row of knitting. We’ll soon find out.

IMG_20170803_233821But today, it’s been a chicken soup and water kind of day…hopefully tomorrow at work will go better. And maybe I’ll get some knitting done this week, but I’m working more days than I like…so we’ll see how it goes;-).

In the meantime, fellow knitters, may your knitting adventures have happy endings.