Semi-Well Traveled Knitting

October 18, 2018

It’s official. My knitting has not been to more parts of campus than I have. I didn’t know that was possible until the unthinkable happened last week. On Thursday, I was sure I grabbed my knitting bag for class. When I got to class, no knitting. No biggie, it should be in my car. When I got to my car…I either found it and took it into the Library and University Center with me, or I dropped it the night before…I don’t think I stopped at either place the night before. But I got home later that night, remembered that I couldn’t find my knitting, and went searching for it.

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sunset shadows at one of my favorite brooks…

It was, of course, nowhere to be found. Friday morning, I called the building lost and found where I have class on Thursdays, in case I left it in class or in the hallway outside of class. I even drove back to the class area to check the bathrooms the next day. I still could not find it and it was not yet logged on the CMU Police and Public Services as found. I thought about calling them for it, but looked through my car again, and checked the likely spots. I was somewhat beginning to worry, but three inches of knitted wool does not have much value to a thief.

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Far more shadows than I realized…but there’s my lovely socks

I had to wait out the weekend, and I remembered on Monday to look again. I went to the lost and found where I have class. The lady was very nice, but my knitting had been turned in over the weekend.  I checked lost and found on campus for my knitting when I got home that evening. There was a red, white, and blue bag listed as found. I emailed them listing the contents of the bag, not remembering what was left in it. On Tuesday morning when I left for campus, they had not emailed me back. Right after class, I drove to the Campus Police and Public Services building and asked about it…It was there and awaiting my pick up. After a minor search there, mostly for people that were already there, I was reunited with my knitting. I’ve only been able to finish the row I was working on since then, but I’m glad to have it back.

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I knew I should have taken that photo earlier, but I wanted to get the transition portion done. 

I feel like I’ve been waiting forever for burgundy socks. I want to keep knitting them, but homework must be done, too. In the meantime, I’d better get some pretty pictures of the knitting and get back to the homework. Until next time, Happy knitting!

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I’m not sure there is a better study break out there…Better photos in light next week…

 

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The Cuff Is Almost Done!

October 4, 2018

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The trees are beginning to turn here…

I wanted the cuff to be done today so I could start the next section of the pattern. Unless I start on it right now, I will not be able to make that happen. I have behaved (somewhat) and worked on homework for the last three hours. Making sure quotes are correctly attributed can leave me feeling a bit off…so a break is deserved. However, that break is likely going to be in the form of reading, for another class.

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I couldn’t resist the balancing rock…I didn’t do this, but I did nestle that tiny one in the top. It looks like a slightly grumpy rock with eyelashes…

In the meantime, you guys are here for the sock knitting. I think I’ve finally figured out the cuff pattern. I only have one more row of each to finish before I begin the slightly more complicated actual leg pattern. It’s more complicated in that it adds in yarn overs and simple knit two togethers or slip, slip, knit stitches. It’s easier in that I’ll have less groupings of threes, less knit two together and knit the first stitch again then slip both off. I got worn out just thinking about it. The pattern is Ann Budd’s own Mock Cables and Lace.

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Did you ever notice that on some trees, the tops turn first?

I also do not have to knit through the back loop anymore. This may be a good thing, but now I have to remember how to knit…kidding…there was some standard knitting in these twelve rows. Next time, nevermind…unless I fall in love with a pattern, there won’t be a next time. However, once I got used to this cuff, I almost started enjoying it. It’s easier to enjoy when I’m knitting alone, but I was knitting before class, and made a fellow student laugh when I suggested I needed to teach the instructor not to talk to me while knitting. I’m not sure this instructor is trainable though…at least he’s fair, so far.

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There are still a few flowers on campus

Alas, back to the knitting. I’m still waiting on the tatami yarn and hoping it comes in soon. I’m also planning to work on repairs as it gets chillier, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to do them. Until next time, Happy knitting!DSCN4127

Update! Do you see this? I had a bit of wait time before and during the reading tonight (which was quite entertaining). I got the next two rows done and can start on the beginning of the pattern next time I pick these up.

Ta-Da! They really are, finally, off the needles. However, they are far from being done! Most of my brilliant ideas happened when I began to knit sock 2, or after some experience. I did finish the teal, and left about 5” of yarn to sew up an imperfectly cast on toes…I have a feeling I may be adding purple to the toes…but we’ll find out if I ever actually finish these. It’s tempting to drop the bag in the pile on the table and leave it.

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Front view of the socks…

I know, I know, Finish it, already. In my defense, I took the tapestry and chenille needles (to reinforce heel and toes on sock #1) to class and then left them in my car. (I really don’t know how that happened), so I started playing with the new cast on. If you look at the photos of the bottom of the feet, the second sock may look more dense (Not sure my camera is that good, though.)

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Back view…it may be hard to tell which is one or two…

I decided touching up would wait as it just got cool enough to start wearing wool socks again. Ah, yes, Fall, or Autumn, season of repairs and reflecting…it is arriving soon. I had to catch one last glimpse of summer though.

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Late summer flowers, so cute (and I don’t care if they’re weeds…they weren’t weeded out)

In the meantime, I decided to cast on my next pair of socks and to start knitting “Mock Cables and Lace” by Ann Budd, fresh out of Sock Knitting: Master Class. I’m two full rows in, three with the cast-on, and I realized, I’m not sure how to set up two at a time, cuff down socks on circular needles. When I see a 40” circular needle used, I expect to knit two at a time. Once I get them cast on correctly or set up to work with me…I’ll be fine to follow the pattern(I hope). In the meantime, I have to find the DVD or hit Youtube videos really hard until someone who has done this before explains it to me;-).

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I still need to finish this babyit would be nice to do before Quilt retreat…

Alas, I may also hope to find the Tatami cotton blend yarn back in stock, or may have to find a substitute brand and knit dish rags out of the new skein when it comes in, as October is coming;-), and I want those attached strings, finished and cut off, this time;-).

 

Knitting at Quilt Week

August 23, 2018

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Current progress on the sock before I headed home tonight…These are in my best friend’s front yard.

Of course, I was busy taking pictures of quilts, not knitting. Though knitting does break the ice to begin conversations. The socks currently look like socks. I love that. However, do to all the conversations, there are more errors than I wish to admit to… I did pick up some useful quilt tips…I’m surprised I didn’t think of a chalk line before…but I have no tips for knitting a complicated pattern while talking to others, except: take a simpler pattern.

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More of the sock before I left Grand Rapids tonight, I think I forgot to turn the frog back around…

I have no idea of the errors. I’m not looking or counting. Currently, my head is full of quilting…and possibilities. Some days, I feel as if I could use this sort of retreat for fiber minded friends. Perhaps I need to find myself a fiber festival. (But that’s one more thing the budget will be mean about, while I sit here and wonder which path I will be following next). Alas, for now, I’ll pet my fabric, knit another row, pour a glass of wine, and call it a day. In the meantime, Happy Knitting… and may your travel patterns be simple.

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Putzer’s new digs.

Of course, sometimes things change while I’m away. Putzer is normally content to sleep on the lap desk below us, but in the past two and a half days, he convinced dear James (dad, to him, or head bill payer), to gift him a new Cat Bed. I do not believe he has shared said bed since it was set up.

I went to a quilt retreat and didn’t get any knitting done this week. I also have a ton of reading and homework. Yeah. However, I came across a sentiment I can still discuss with you this week. We were discussing quilting, and while a beginner class, or a parent or grandparent teaching a child to quilt on an easy, straight-lined pattern, there are two of us in this small group that are self-taught quilters. We came the conclusion that one thing we love about being self-taught is that you often don’t know enough to know better.

Ah, the tools of an avid beginner…I knew nothing…and yet…I feared little…

This can get you in trouble…but it can get you great results without someone saying, “No, you have to do it this way.” I’ve decided learning to knit on your own is similar. No one told me I had to only knit across in garter stitch. That is good. I get bored easily.

Watch for the improvement…the green were more interesting than the purple, and better (having learned better)

No one told me I had to knit one direction, turn it and purl the other direction in stockinette stitch. That is good. I get bored, well…yeah, easily. No one told me anything. I looked at stitches and patterns and decided I needed something a little challenging. I promise, I didn’t start with a cable needle in my hand, nor even dpns. I began with the flat knitting aluminum needles from goodwill with stoppers on one end and Caron Simply Soft acrylic yarn in a burgundy tone.

 

Meeting that pain of ripping out your work to create something more beautiful.

No one had to tell me to yarn over or how…I think most of us figure that out on our own…we just have to told what it’s called. I did have to figure out how to decrease after including all of my yarn overs in my first knit since I was ten years old. I used pictures in a greatly detailed small book I found at the J-store. I then learned how to increase, which comes easily.

Though not everything I knit comes out as planned, many of them turn out beautifully.

Then, I learned to decrease, out of necessity. When a panel that could become a blanket goes from 33 stitches to 51 stitches, or even as many as 80, if I recall correctly, one must learn to decrease. I didn’t rip out stitches until I was on my second or third pair of socks. It was one of these two pair…alas…I’ve since moved on and conquered many projects, mostly because no one was there to tell me it was hard, and if someone on Knitting Paradise said it was hard, someone said there was nothing to fear. That fearlessness has taken me on many journeys which I get to share with you. Until next time, Happy Knitting!

 

 

 

One of my favorite knitting phrases is “I’m halfway there.” The project starts to take shape and really look like what it’s supposed to become in this half. In addition, I know the end of any monotonous rows will come…I can hope. When you’ve cast on 216 stitches, you keep wondering if you’re ever truly close to halfway or if you need to count all the way to three-quarters of the way there.

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Beginning of the crossover stitches…this is what happens when you begin to knit, wrap the needle three times, complete the stitch and drop the elongated stitch in the next round.

But I like still having something to knit, while seeing it take shape. I like finishing and casting on a new project…but there’s a sense of sadness in finishing…even with the Ta-da moment. There’s a nice since of new as you steady the needles in the beginning. But the real magic happens at the halfway point…the design takes shape, the pattern shows through and you feel as if you are creating something special. Considering the number of stitches you put into each piece, you are creating a labor of love.

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This is how it looks once you cross four stitches over the other four stitches (yes, you are counting to 8 27 times), then knit them…it is a pretty effect

This week’s labor of love is pretty simple, a little fun, but not my style. It’s crossing over elongated stitches to make a great pattern called the Indian Cross Scarf. I did figure out what I was doing, and the knitting became smoother and easier after that, but it’s just not my thing. I’d almost rather cable across a total of 144 stitches any day. But I’m enjoying making this for a friend and wondering what in the 101 Designer One Skein Wonders, edited by Judith Durant I shall knit next.

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Half-way there on the Indian Cross Scarf…

I’m considering felted bowls or some matching hat, scarves and mitten/gloves patterns. Oddly, there aren’t many matching patterns out there. I’m a little surprised at that, but then, I haven’t taken the time to simply sit down and actually work out and design a pattern to create my own matching hat, gloves and scarf set. (Gloves may mean mittens, I’m undecided on knitting fingers yet.)

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This is another angle of what half way there looks like. It is turning into a lovely scarf.

In the meantime, on those stealth argyle socks, I’ve begun to make the toes for the second sock and can knit up to the size 3 needle point. Then I have to measure yarn and divide and hope for the best.

…not once, but twice, Dear James got me some new needles.

 

  • Chiaogoo Red Lace Steel Circulars 40"  - 1
  • This could get exciting;-) He’s so good to me;-)

 

In the meantime, I’m playing “Are we there yet?” with the sock pattern, and hoping for the best for making two pair so large…I just may cast on a second sock shortly…but that will take some work and another gift finished and marked off the books before that happens.

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Need to work on settings…those are supposed to be green and purple…looks blue in this light…Perhaps as we knit on…p.s. one set of the new needles are covered.

I’ve also gotten this lovely large pair of knitting needles in size 10 (which are substituted for a size 9, because I’m a tight knitter). Since I have them, and I took the time to wind the skeins the hard way(the skiff is hiding, and the skeins weren’t sure they’d work with it anyways), I went ahead to cast on the Indian Cross Scarf by Marci Richardson from 101 Designer One Skein Wonders. It’s an interesting pattern requiring 216 stitches to be cast-on…This is probably the definition of love…in case you were wondering.

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Still…casting on 216 stitches is a lot of love…

“It’s only a few rows,” she told me. The first time I looked at the pattern, I thought it was twelve rows…anyone can put up with this, I thought. Then I read the pattern. Wait, you want me to knit 4 rows before I begin the pattern…okay, not bad. But that makes sixteen rows. Then I read the pattern…after row 12, it says “repeat rows 1-12 one more time.” It’ll be fun they said…but that’s 28 rows total. Then I read rows 1 and 2…you want me to do what?!?…I get to wrap the stitch three times every other stitch…in the next row, I get to drop it…This should be fun, she thought…see why I’ve spent so much time quilting. Alas, maybe it will knit up easier than it looks. It’s a lovely scarf, but I suspect it’s going to be a challenge to knit up…

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Almost there…just a couple more rows…then, more knitting;-)

So, while I knit up three more rows and work towards a needle change, I also got another pair of needles in a surprise shopping experience…yes, I’m broke…but dear James and I have a tacitly quiet agreement, and he’s given approval. If I put something in his amazon.com cart for a reasonable price…he checks out before he notices it and buys it for me…So, when I need new knitting needles (that week, not that day), I simply click on the pair to add them to his cart, and let him surprise me with them. I like this system. One day, I’ll remember to add a second set of rechargeable batteries for the camera;-).

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Getting to the heel of the matter;-)

In exchange, I promise to occasionally make him a tasty bacon covered meatloaf surprise on my nights off or other tasty dishes he likes. I earned those knitting needles this week, really.  It was a good meatloaf…and photos are not possible as it was a little too good to wait to take photos…Now to bag up the chicken soup for when I get sick.

 

Picking a Good Join…

February 8, 2018

The CopyCat C.C. (Colorado Chick) Beanie  by Emily Ingrid is just over half-way done. Yeah! I’m getting there. But this weekend, likely Sunday morning…I’ll probably be looking at You-tube videos of how to do a join. I’m leaning towards a Russian Join. I’ve tried it once with a video and liked it. I tried it a second time, and missed something. So, this is only my third time joining without a knot…Weigh in fellow knitters. What is your favorite join?

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See that tiny yarn ball…I’ll be working in a join soon…Have a fave? Tell me…

Someone asked this question on the Addicted to Sock Knitting Facebook page and there was a multitude of answers. Is there a join for each type of yarn? Perhaps some research is due as well. Though I’m up to my ears in research, and about to be up to my ears in Virginia Woolf. I won’t have much time for more than a good five minute video that tells me exactly what to do…not why they love something.

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That means less progress on the Stealth Argyles sock, by Eunny Jang but it’s coming along…

So, I need to hit the books once again. I’ve made some progress on the Stealth Argyles socks by Eunny Jang in Sock Knitting: Master Class by Ann Budd. When I checked the pattern about when to start increasing for the heel, I was a little surprised, but I’m getting there…later, not sooner. The socks will come once I get this hat finished…only twenty rows until the decrease! Wish me speedy ribbing and purling, please! And feel free to chime in with your favorite join technique or good video.

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Rather nicely, too. I need to find more time for knitting…

Wonder if I can get my college books put on tape so I can listen while I drive…though it would be hard to take notes. Until next time, Happy Knitting, & Joining!

Bring On the Toes…

December 21, 2017

That’s right, I’m at the toes…I may have four disappointing rows of stockinette stitch(I’ll find out when I recheck the pattern,) but I hit my goal to be at the toes tonight, so I can get these knit up by the weekend…I know, I know…get back to the needles.

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Do you see these babies;-)…they’re ready for toes!

I found the painting I thought I’d misplaced…my boyfriend knew where it was, which is good–because I don’t have time to make another…and while it would likely be better, I wouldn’t feel that way, until it was done. Instead, I would stress. But I’m feeling pretty good today, for two reasons.

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Almost there, can’t wait to gift these babies…Fraternal twins…

I got one gift finished this afternoon, and while I wish I’d done it a little better, and if I’d known how my week was going to turn out, I’d have focused on this one more. Alas, that’s not how it goes around here…but, but, back to the knitting…and some tears…I picked up Maeve’s ashes yesterday, and received a paw print they didn’t tell me about. It was sweet, as I watched six other people bring their mostly healthy and still alive pets to the vet and pretended to be okay. I’m not, I nearly lost it while running my errands, but we’re each allowed a little crazy (or normal grieving) at yuletide, right? I bake a little when grieving…here’s some of last night’s haul.

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Oatmeal cherry chip cookies…scream now if you really, really need these…perhaps I can message a recipe. Though I will need to send some to a fudge gifting friend.

Okay, okay, back to the knitting…so the emotional roller coaster of this week will be complete…

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We’re almost there. I think my favorite part is the gifting;-). (except for when I get to put them on my feet;-)).

See what I mean. Now I have to go knit the toes, and get these done in time to gift and hope her feet still fit them. Afterwards, which socks do I focus on? (Yes, I remember I need to get back to the hat for a friend, and I will), but do I go for the stealth argyle in teal and purple or create mock cables with burgundy and black…which matches a favorite shirt;-)? Decisions, decisions…but enjoy the gifting process this year, and the family that chooses to be with you. Happy Holidays…and to those who think I should say different, I say, “If your holidays aren’t holy, you’re doing them wrong.”

 

Dropping the Ball…

November 17, 2017

…not the yarn…thankfully…

…not literally, thankfully, as this yarn would likely roll everywhere…But it’s been a heck of a week, missed important appointments, meltdowns over assignments…work for assignments always feels off or late…but has been somehow good enough to get me by. I’m appreciative of my instructor’s flexibility at this point.

However, the knitting continues…although with my crazy week, I got nothing done on the hat and will need to return to it one day…maybe. In the meantime, I’m still finding time to knit between classes, when I’m not memorizing poems for performances…I became a fluid tree for about two seconds today…but none of the trees I represented were truly fluid…though they dance in the winds of a pale sea-green breeze. There are no pictures of this performance, and I’m okay with that…

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Scamp, inspecting my knitting bag for goodies to run off with…

Okay, okay, I performed “For C.W.B.” by Elizabeth Bishop.  There are tree lines, and statements of beginning a life together and mention of a stork. I ensured it was presented rather sensually. Only one person thought it was too much…the instructor did not. In fact, when the tree branches swayed in that pale sea-green breeze I saw their smile…which just encouraged me.

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Backside of current sock with first sock for comparison….I was getting more color play on the second sock for a bit…

Now, let me get back to the knitting. There was some…I mentioned on a sock knitting facebook post that I just about had my pattern memorized, but still carried it with me just in case. So, I looked at my pattern and said, “Oh, I’m knitting row 12, it goes like this…” and proceeded to knit it half wrong. I simply worked my bridge stitch early. It is supposed to be in row 13.  Previously, I think I worked it late…so now I have slightly wonky bridge stitches…see if you can find them.

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Front side of the second socks…with back side for comparison…enjoy… 

Yes, I know the stripes are off..I’m going with it. Sometimes, socks get to be wonky. I hope you enjoy them…as well as the recipient, so I’d better get back to knitting. I will say, to some extent, I can knit and rehearse lines if I do so carefully, but then I will end up with socks that veer off course more than I do.