Keeping it simple really is an art form. I’ve never been good at this, and this week, perhaps you’ll see why, just not in photos…perhaps in the lack thereof…(I kid, of course…I still have pets…).

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Putzer, reminding me I wouldn’t need a cabled headband if I stayed home and gave him his two-handed, full-body massage.

I’ve started a new semester and meandered into slightly new areas of knitting…it seems I’m going to be knitting legwarmers soon…explanation to come, I promise. So, I told you all about the yarn issues and I haven’t touched that blasted cowl since…though I had a slight brainstorm on making the fifteen to sixteen stitch manageable, in that I reduce one of the knit stitches. I’m not sure if I wish to keep knitting, it or if I already frogged it for the needles. I think I frogged it, which works for me too…though I might be able to get leg warmers out of this yarn.

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I still have one skein, should I try it?

Allow me to explain, I was invited to go shoe-shopping with my nieces this evening….after resolving a mis-text about tying shoes (rather than trying them on), I was able to meet with my (ex, I guess)-sister-in-law and nieces to go shoe shopping. The youngest, who had the shoe-tying issue, wanted to shop. The oldest, knew which boots she wanted and which leg warmers looked coolest with them. When the cashier told us they were “buy one, get one50% off, ” I said I might have to have her wait and split the bill. However, we were at a lower end store, and my feet require “good” shoes, i.e. Naturalizer, usually. Turns out, it was the acrylic leg warmers that were on sale.

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Excuse the pet-hair covered fleece, it’s her current security blanket when mom isn’t here….we’ll find out if she tries to steal the leg-warmer yarn when I get it…

Of course, thinking of the cabled headband I was still finishing, and the cabled cowl I’m borrowing from two or three designs to complete soon, I spoke up: “You know, you could talk to your aunt about leg warmers,” and I pointed out to Jessica, (the eldest), that she stays away from all things yarn because she’s allergic to wool…lower end shop (Payless–for you Americans), the leg warmers were acrylic. Lizzie, the younger-stepped right up and said, “Purple. And Pink.” I think I know what that kid is getting for her birthday in February, and began plotting my ravelry search for patterns.

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“Cuz we know what always happens next…” (Trick Pony song…”Just What I Need,”)…in the meantime, this simple cabled headband pattern is knitting up really well…. I actually want to block it. I can’t wait to see the next parts of it.

After another hint or two, and a fiver ($5.00) slid to the niece who walked out with not one, but two sets of leg-warmers, she hinted that she wanted a pink-and-white candy cane stripe. I Since she may be allergic to wool, I have to knit with sock-monkey yarn. I was already kicking around buying some Deborah Norville Serenity Chunky yarn. For the youngest, I may have a use for the millefiori yarn, since she has no issues with wool…speaking of the youngest, I may have to get a photo of her feet in the new socks soon. I may start carrying the camera and spare batteries wherever I go.

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Terpander socks…I’m onto a new repeat, but I haven’t made much more progress this week…I’ve been focusing on cables and a mystery quilt(more about that next week…).

As you can guess, we have no photos of the ideas and no one wants to see the math I’m thinking of to knit this spelled out on paper, if you do, just write out your own calculations and report back on how thrilling they are, please…for the sake of those of us who don’t love math. Speaking of which, I should be doing statistics. But as I contemplated my Ravelry search, I said, you know, I just need a gauge swatch and a circumference, right? Hang onto your hats, ladies and gentleman, it’s gonna be a wild ride.

 

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…has caught on with me;-)….It’s real. I’m doing it.

It started last week(or the week before at Hunter’s while I waiting for my sister-in-law); I took my knitting to class. I’ve taken my knitting to class everyday. I don’t have a lot of reading for this class right now, but I will have loads later, I suspect. However, I still get to class early and I knit a row or two. Sometimes, I get three rows in…other days like today run away from me and I get only one or two rows in…but it’s coming…just wait.

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Mascots at the game-7th inning stretch singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,”

I had a busy final move day today. I unloaded much that isn’t needed anymore and I had some help unloading some of it. It is a load off my shoulders. I’m done, I can focus on the move-in. But in the interest of doing things my little enjoys, I took her an hour and a half away to a West Michigan WhiteCaps game. (To my Grand Rapids friends, I’m sorry I stayed so quiet about this, but you guys like to drink–which is frowned upon with my little). We had a good time and saw a poorly called, poorly played game of baseball. The players were doing what they were supposed to-mostly, perhaps the other team was just better. But there was one call, at least, where I asked if the ref went to Bowling Green. It wasn’t college ball…but maybe he was from Bowling Green(somewhere in Indiana).

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Please don’t look closely at my hair, I’m in the middle of a move-out of one home, now to set up another.

However, Mariah enjoyed herself, and we splurged on Burger King, sugar and hot dogs as well as a tie-dye ball we didn’t stay long enough to get signed. As she gets older and we pick a team she likes better, perhaps we’ll stay that late. She was ready to leave by 9:30…and the little turn around in the ballpark left me needing that extra few minutes to get her home. (And yes, friends, she turned into a pumpkin, but I had to resist getting a picture-she pulled her foot off my dashboard before I got her home–darn it.) She also woke up ten minutes before I got her home. No sleeping pics of the Little sleeping on the way home.

However, this blog is about knitting, not driving a sleepy 11 year old home. I took the knitting with me, of course, and let Mariah take her first photo on my new camera with only so much instruction of how to hold it. I do have a picture of this one;-)

I also have a picture of where the knitting has gotten too (or will by the time I post this).

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Current progress…I think I’m at six or seven repeats of 9…class resumes Tuesday;-)…

I also knit at home, but I’m getting far more done while waiting for class or a tow truck–goodbye old truck, I won’t miss you. You cost me too much money-it sounds like an ex-husband…(No, the ex-husband cost me less or made his own money, most of the time).

Alas, this is a knitting blog….I keep having to remind myself tonight, but this is also a journey…and my journey tonight took me to places I knit in public. No photos of class knitting–sorry…oh, there’s a story there. Hold on. But I have been knitting in public.

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During a ballgame…I did get to watch Kirk Gibson’s son play some tonight, on the Detroit Tiger’s apparent farm team.

So the class story–we have guest lecturers this week-who have no problem letting us out early(and for once I don’t feel cheated out of my education–we’ll discuss that later). Today’s guest lecturer was talking to us about writing intros…without realizing it, I’ve probably been writing Introductions for a while now, informally-but still an intro. We had an in class writing assignment and I chose to persuade that knitting is a great tool for mindfulness(which I’m supposed to be looking into;-)). The guest lecturer reviewed them on break, and mentioned that she, too, was a knitter and they had a group that met at Hunter’s Ale House on Thursday nights.

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Getting there…in size and shape;-)…I think. Perhaps I need to do more knitting in public while waiting. Imagine the progress…I may need to cast on some vanilla socks…(so I’ll need some really fun yarn;-)).

Well, I was busy tonight, but I learned we have a knitting group only twenty minutes away where they serve Right Brain Lavender Ale(try it, please). A pint, a glass, some knitting, some girl talk, and just what the doctor ordered. No wonder the waitress didn’t bat an eyelash when I stopped in with my knitting a couple weeks ago to meet my sister-in-law after a rough day of work(which is also on my “prescription tablet,” along with quilt retreats).

What on earth do I mean? (if you choose to care). I was tested for ADHD a couple weeks ago, and learned I have symptoms but do not have ADHD, not even the inattentive type. It is much more likely that I have had anxiety, but between knitting and quilting and scrapbooking–as well as the blogging and working in front of people often, I do not qualify for anxiety either. This is supposed to be good news, but the tapes I’ve been playing in my head are over five years old and need to be changed. So, they said, get out there and socialize some. I guess I am, so long as I can take the knitting along.

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Squib, always ready to help me knit…though not such a public kitten…

Perhaps next week I’ll discuss the shoppel question….Schoppel Wolle Zauberball

I’m  currently using string theory colorworks, so I was confused, but I must meet this german wool. I’m part german after all, I just focus on the Irish side, mostly. Schoppel wolle zauberball

To Study Or To Knit…

January 22, 2016

…is not a choice I ever want to have to make. But sacrifices must be made. However, I’m also quilting. Perhaps I’ll get more time for that next week.002

Briannag, snuggling while I’m knitting.

I was going to read those ten pages tonight. They’re only ten pages. Over the weekend, I’ll read the stories and write the critiques, honestly yet nicely, like I’m supposed to. I hope the stories are good. I also have to write a two page story about a character that’s fun to write about. How on earth am I going to stop at two pages? Most of you are familiar with my work. I do that a minimum of twice weekly, if not more. I might join Nano in April, just because I’m in a creative writing class, so I’ll get off my butt and write the ten-minute play. But mine’s due first. It might be due before the class is over. We’ll have to see.

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Scamp, helping me knit…or at least inspecting the knitting needles…

This has been a week of adjustment and indecision. I still wish to move, but the right place isn’t coming along. My home hasn’t been right for some time either. I’m not sure how much less I’ll make as my schedule changes either. This could be rough. I have backup plans, but this could still be rough.

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Current cabling progress…I didn’t want to stop at half-way, but I’ve spent enough time not studying tonight…

In the meantime, sure, you’re studying Beowulf and Creative Writing, which sound great, but what about the knitting. It hasn’t entirely fallen by the wayside. I can study after the blog is written and my shower is finished, right? Perhaps I can study while cooking a meal for the next two days of ten hour shifts at work. After all, I strive to be Wonder Woman, right? Don’t we all. She did make it into my fiction piece this week, along with some butt-shaking(not twerking, I promise) and Monsieur Reliant…but that might be another blog. I hope there’s enough surprise factor. I have to finish this story one day. I’m at the killer’s frustration at not completing the third murder. I may need to utilize p.m.s. to finish this story.

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Current progress-side view…not my favorite view, but here it is…one day, this will be a sock…

So, let’s see my needles…I have two projects going. I only finished ten more rows(I think), of the chart pattern for the cable knit socks. I can do more Sunday night, and perhaps Monday night, when I’m getting more studying done as well. However, I’ve cast on an ear warmer from some of my handspun yarn I received for Christmas. This one’s for dear James, so I really need to measure his ear and the back of the neck to finish it. But I’ve been making progress between classes. So, knitting hasn’t fallen entirely to the wayside.

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The ear covering…only 18 stitches across, so I can knit this between classes…

This is a very simple pattern. I’ve pretty much worked it myself after looking at other possibilities. It’s easy to knit while waiting for class once I’ve eaten lunch. I’ve enjoyed it, and the next one is mine, and to be knit a little shorter with a little cabling worked in. I can’t wait to get started on it and show you.

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Dear James’ Ear warmer…perhaps I’ll get a photo of it on him. I’ll have to block this.

OH! I almost forgot to tell you: I’ve had a sock-monkey commissioned in gray and pink. It’s for a friend, so I’m doing it mostly as a favor and simply charging for the yarn. It’s in the mail tonight. I looked at Jo-ann’s and they didn’t have the main gray in the yarn I needed. I ordered it online, but I will share it with you as it doesn’t have to be kept super-secret. It’s for my little’s relative. It’s also been a couple of years since I’ve knit a sock-monkey, so I won’t feel as if I am only knitting socks all the time. It will also be easy to take to class, which is another factor I’m going to love about it. I can’t wait to get the yarn, start on it and share it with you guys. In the meantime, enjoy the half-chart progress I’ve managed to complete this week.

…like maybe teaching my 11 year old niece to knit socks…, um…sound off, teach her to knit socks, leg warmers or just knit them for her?

020The fairy house in its almost complete status…It’s never fully completed, but it has been turned in.

Allow me to explain: I’m in a connection phase of my life. To help others I care about find something they enjoy, I’ve started finding “projects” we could work together on. My brother just experienced a very foolish year of his life. During this time, he moved in with my dad. When he returned to his wife, my dad felt bereft. This was about the time I found this fairy house project at the Michigan Renaissance Festival. I was intrigued, and being a project seeker and a wee bit of a fixer, I suggested it to him. We set off to work on it. I have a few photos from the project as well.

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Fairy Garden the night before we drove it to Holly to enter it in the Michigan Renaissance Festival competition.

I’ve also heard fewer complaints about my dad feeling bereft, and he had something in which to look forward to each week as well as provide input and suggestions. Okay, armchair psychology aside, it was a good project. It achieved the goal. Yeah, me.

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The Gnome who wouldn’t go…each time I took him with me to include him in the fairy garden, I found him chillin’ in my car.

In the meantime, I finished my black-hearted, two-toned socks I adapted from Ariel’s pattern. I’d better finish that post on http://www.ravelry.com as well. I’m on there as dragontearsoflove if anyone wishes to add me. But let’s fast-forward a bit to the fairy house drop off for entry in the Michigan Renaissance Festival competition. I will plug the voting later. The trip there was mostly uneventful as my brother drove our fairy houses/gardens to the festival office and we only had minor snags finding the office. On the way home, my 11 year old niece who had tagged along saw me knitting the scalloped border of my rose rib socks as featured in Sock knitting: Master Class,  by Ann Budd.

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See, who can tell? In addition, this looks easy enough for an awesome aunt to complete, right? 

She then proceeded to ask me to knit her knee-high socks. I considered it for a moment as I hoped I was getting my stitching right and hoping I didn’t have to rip it out… Who notices three stitches off in the first round anyways?  So, I thought about it, and almost immediately suggested I buy her the yarn and the knitting needles and teach her to knit them. She likes this idea, some. We talked about it, and she thought maybe it was something else to do when she had nothing else to do. She still hasn’t finished sewing the binding on her bookwrap quilt yet, which her mother can help her with.

Now, we enter a couple of conundrums. 1) I admit it, I’m a yarn snob (this will never be an inexpensive hobby). 2) I do not live with this child, so she would have to visit to make progress. 3) Her mother crochets and cannot help her with this. 4) I only knit socks on dpns and am not certain these are the best tools to teach an 11 year old how to knit. The good news is, I’m willing to learn circulars and try two at a time. The bad news is, I’d have to knit them with her to work out any issues. And I’m still an intermediate knitter with a sense of adventure at best.

009Current progress on the socks…I love my dpn’s, but will there be a time I prefer circulars?

The way I see it, I have three options: 1) knit her the knee-high socks she requested(she does have rather skinny legs and feet still and it could be a simple pattern. 2) teach her to knit using dpns, my most familiar tool. 3) learn to knit socks on circulars and teach her to knit using circulars and making two socks at a time (I’ve been told it is quicker and you do get both done at once).

I love the option to get connection time with my niece, but it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve knit for her. In addition, she often welcomes my knit projects.  But, I have some decisions to make; what do you guys think?