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.

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Simple, but effective…

November 10, 2017

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Sock progress this week…it’s been considerable…

It’s been quite a week, and I’m skipping the details, as they’re not mine to tell. I’m not sure how much I got done on the hat this week, but I think there may have been progress. However, the proud moments involve the sock. I’ve been taking it to classes and for studies…and a musical. Spring Awakening is quite a musical…my favorite moment involved a fellow theater-goer. We got to a risque scene in the play and the lights abruptly go on for what I recognize as intermission…and the young man next to me says, “What?!” I looked at him and assured him, “There’s more.”

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Scamp thinks this is her knitting bag…or there are treasures in here she can run off with…I caught her in time…

In the meantime, I need to get back to knitting, quilting and schoolwork…ugh…If you want to know what a psychological study looks like, send me a message. Otherwise, I need to get to bed, and compile data and…never mind…my brain needs a rest. Enjoy my baby kitten(not so much anymore) Scamp, trying to claim the knitting bag…I think she wants to learn to knit.

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 of Those Weeks…

October 19, 2017

Maybe I angered the knitting fairies…I’m not sure how, but I must have committed some grave error there. Today, I forgot all my knitting, so my extra time at school was spent setting up social events (mostly for end of semester) and reading poetry..mostly good poetry today. I also had a kind of fun assignment in which I was to pick out five events that were poetic beauty. You guys know what I picked…I’ll share them:-).

  1. That one red tree in the midst of the still green trees, like only one person got the memo that it was fall and you were to wear your fall colors.
  2. Juxtaposition on gold leaves against a brick building, in which we are reminded it’s fall and there is time to reflect before winter sets in, stark and unforgiving.
  3. A hot bath, a good book, and your favorite beverage…if this needs to be explained, try it.
  4. Hand knit socks-like 10,000 little hugs for your feet.
  5. Listening to Elizabeth Bishop discussing her friendship with Marianne Moore, specifically a trip to the circus, in Efforts of Affection while I was sewing. Check it out…you’ll want to hear the whole thing, but if you are truly pressed for time, skip to the Circus part, at 9:00 in. I really recommend the entire video.

Okay, guys, here’s the part that could cost me…I told my Oral Interpretation of Literature Instructor to trust me and assigned him this homework…I know that could work against me, but he seems to have a sense of humor. The poetry instructor would have simply said “snaps” or “Bravo!”

Ready to knit the toes…(I’m actually almost done with the toes…)

Since I forgot both knitting bags today, I was knitting-less-GASP! The horror! Good thing I asked for a book of Elizabeth Bishop’s poems so I had something to read between classes, that was somewhat class related. I had text books too…but who wants to read those between classes. Somedays I have to. I also used the time to plan out a survey for my psych class. But it was fascinating to read more of Elizabeth Bishop’s poetry.

However, I think reading poetry may have been my (glad to do it) penance for angering the sock fairies. I cannot find my Terpander socks that I finished up only a month ago. It was too warm to wear them when I finished them. So I set them aside until it was cool enough to wear them. Problem is: I cannot remember where that aside is, or the knitting fairies thought they were a gift. I’m going to have to find these, but they are currently behaving in a quite elusive manner.

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Has anyone seen these socks? Can’t recall where I stored them!

In the meantime, I have about seven more rows on this sock…then i get to do another cast-on. If anyone has seen my lovely socks, please let me know;-). I miss them.

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Maeve’s idea of how much poetry I get to read…

Update on Maeve: she’s hanging in there. I just hope she’s comfortable, but she’s never suggested otherwise, and if she’s in enough discomfort, she lets me know. In the meantime, I’m keeping her snuggled and comfortable, and hoping she doesn’t demand my socks.

So, I hear there’s a concept called balance. I’ve yet to come close to mastering it. This week is seeming like a roller coaster ride, and I have more to come. The challenge is not taking everyone with me, and knowing when to tell my friends I need them to jump on.

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One of my favorite knitting helpers, deciding I should snuggle her rather than read poetry.

Let me explain the low, slow climb to the top. My cat was diagnosed with bone cancer this week. I thought it was an abscess or tooth infection. A couple of shots…a vet bill, and it would be fine. I missed class, bought a scale and soft food instead…and came home to snuggle my cat. She is my snuggle kitty too…She’d let me knit her a sling and attach herself to me permanently, so long as I didn’t jump around or up and down too much. Beware the knitting ideas we knitter’s come up with when the going gets tough.

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Full length view…isn’t there a magic knitting formula…that whatever one knits, it works?

In the meantime, I’ve been making short headway on the socks while I’m waiting for circular knitting needles to arrive in the mail. Then I get to knit a kickin’ hat pattern(that’s written in Russian, of course…because I can, and it’s kickin’). I’m getting excited to start it.

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So close, yet so far…

Unfortunately…I know, I promised we were done with those sorts of words…but I just tried to try on this sock…it’s too small…I’m not sure it will fit over my heel. I’m wondering if it will fit my niece, and if I can get it done in time for Christmas (or if it will be a birthday gift). The good news is I wasn’t in love with this yarn. I think Lizzie will like it better. The bad news is, I finally got the pattern close to what I wanted it to be…only I need it on bigger needles if it’s to be for me.

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Backside of the too small sock…

I’m debating If I will knit this pair of socks for myself again, or if I will simply gift these and move on…part of this decision will depend on how much yarn I have left and how excited I get to knit other patterns…for now, I will be finishing this sock, and repairing the cuff…Drat!

Alas, one sock almost down, one classmate encouraged to knit (I hope she listens…1 poem equals 1 row of knitting), and we move on to the next pattern which i hope is big enough…but it starts out toe-up, which will be a bit easier to work with…though I love my dpns still.

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!

Knitting Show-and-Tell…

September 8, 2017

This week, for my Oral Interpretation of Literature class…we were tasked with bringing something to class that defines ourselves in three ways. We had some interesting presentations, such as a Minnie Mouse chapstick with a surprise inside, and some jealousy inspired presentations with soft and comfy blankets we were hoping the ladies that brought them would pass them around and let us huddle under. I was jealous wishing I had remembered to bring my own double fleece cape to keep warm, especially on this gloomy, rainy day.

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Terpander Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes in Sock Knitting: Master Class by Ann Budd

I went first. I find it easier to simply get it over with. Then I don’t have to worry about it. I don’t mind setting the standard. I don’t even mind talking in front of people anymore. I will sometimes mind the memorization that will be required. However, you’re probably curious about which of the many tenets of knitting I used to define myself, even if I do tend to fidget with the yarn as I present. I always have cards or chips in my hands anyways. The yarn is softer and more comforting to feel. Let’s get back to petting our yarn.

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I was almost wishing I had brought this knit 1, purl 1 rib with me today…It would have made my day more cheerful.

I had just finished the heel flap before I began the presentation as well. First, the yarn is soft and pliable, as I can be…after a good massage. Yes, some days I require a good massage to be pliable. Don’t we all?

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The yarn is already pliable, and thankfully, I haven’t tangled this yarn too much…

Secondly, if you push in too many needles or other things into the yarn ball, it can get tangled up. I also get tangled up if you put too much into my day or week. Sometimes, I get tangled up without much seeming provocation.

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Scamp is curious about where the bag has been…she’d be more curious about the contents if I let her(but she’s half the reason the bag has a zipper.

Thirdly, if you are patient with it and work with the yarn, you can knit it up into a beautiful pattern and yarn comes in a variety of styles of looks, so one never knows quite what they are going to get. This little blurb is not verbatim, but it’s pretty close to what I said…if you do use my words,  I simply ask  that you mention you find them here, provided you have to present a 30 second show and tell about a fun object that defines you…or you have to explain some yarn inspiration.

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I’ve forgotten how tough kitten selfies can be…and yes, Maeve got a summer hair cut this year…Putzer just likes to snuggle in…and it’s a matter of time before Briannag joins us.

Once I got home from the play Love/Sick, which was an interesting take on the lifecycle of love, marriage, divorce and death (of humans and love)…there’s poem line…I wrote the first draft of the paper due for the play, caught up on Project Runway (which I missed for the play), and finally sat down to knit the heel turn. I did not knit the heel turn earlier as I like to do so all at once, instead of leaving my knitting mid-row and figuring out where I left off later. However, as noted above, knitting does bring out the kitties…then again, two of them are demanding attention as I write.

Until next week, Happy Knitting!

 

My First Russian Join…

August 31, 2017

That’s right! I won at Yarn Chicken, sort of…I had about eight inches left after knitting this row…now, that won’t get me through the next three rows, so I’m not playing the Yarn Chicken Suicide round…instead, I’m researching and implementing a Russian Join to keep on knitting through the next three rows and dreaded rib stitch.

 

The good news…the sock is almost there. It may be ready to wear to school as soon as the temperature dips below 70 for a day, perhaps 65, these are going to be warm and soft socks. (I may even need new shoes to wear them with…but I’m saving for school and buying a house(which could take forever, or will at least feel like it).

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The Yarn Chicken win! soon to be joined…Okay, it’s joined…(I can’t believe I haven’t gotten a good photo…I was relatively excited….tomorrow…I promise).

The bad news…is almost two fold…the rib stitch, however, it will be easy enough to travel with once I get into the rhythm. The second part is I will be knitting from two sides of the same ball of yarn. I have done okay not tangling the yarn much so far. I’m worried with working out of the same ball of yarn that it will be more difficult to keep the yarn untangled.

DSCN2570The socks after knitting in the join…(Please excuse the bad lighting)…I’ll get better photos (hopefully) for this week’s post…

I’ve even debated cutting this in the middle, but I don’t wish to perform more joins than necessary…so I will probably work with the situation at hand and hope to be taking pictures of my feet sooner than later.

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Slip-N-Slide socks awaiting heel flap…there’s a three hour trip to a wedding on Sunday…

In the meantime, I’m getting ready to knit the heel flap on the Slip-N-Slide socks and will find that to be an interesting adventure as well, I suspect. Hopefully it will go as easily as the last heel flap did. In the meantime, I need to get back to reading poetry for class…and since it won’t be easy to share my research designs with you, I’ll be simply posting knitting poetry…some of it will be bad knitting poetry. But I’m among friends, right? You’re welcome to help me out… write your own small verse in the comments and perhaps, with your “clear” permission, I’ll include it in a ‘found’ poem…for fun.