Compliments and Curiosities

January 31, 2019

Explains my last week. This week, nothing got done as everything was closed. So, I caught up on homework, Graduate School Applications, small personal matters, and quilting.

However, last week, when I got busier than busy (as everyone thinks I have a spare hour, really), I found two things happening.

Let’s revisit Tuesday first. I took my shawl to quilt guild. It’s simple knitting, and the weather was only bad, not horrible. So I got to chat with Jan, who was presenting and had a great trunk show. But others noticed my “mindless” knitting. The knitting is mindless in that I can knit while chatting with others.

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So, this is what ‘even stitching’ looks like. I never gave it a thought…in fact, I wish I’d followed the pattern more closely.

One of my fellow quilters (and likely knitters)  commented on my even stitching. (I never gave it any thought, it is pretty even, isn’t it?). Alas, that’s just the shawl, in which I admit I have no idea what I’m doing.

Also, Thursday of last week, I was waiting for an appointment, and took my socks. I was working on them when an 8-10 year old boy asked about them. I think he’d been grounded from his phone and he forgot a book or toy. His buddy wasn’t there yet, so my complicated socks happened to be the most interesting thing in the room. I was happy to explain the stitches as I waited for my own appointment.

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The latest on the complicated socks…we’ll see what happens between now and next week (hopefully).

Here’s the progress, so far. (Classes have been mostly cancelled this week, so knitting has been light, but here’s the current progress).

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Or perhaps half of the fun is accomplishment…And don’t ask me tonight about changing the pattern. I think the fatigue of a bug has left me addle-pated. Read on to find out what I mean…I hope. 010

Almost finished…one more row…then the next set…Toe Up Travelers by Ann Budd

 

I enjoy every moment knitting and snuck some in time class knitting this week on a particularly complicated row. To be honest, I started the row just before class and didn’t finish it before class started. So, in the midst of taking notes, I had a complicated row of cabling and knitting through the back loop six times. Half of the fun is getting there, which I’m working on now.

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Forgive the shadow…What would this sock look like if I inverted the pattern?

The other half of the fun is the sense of accomplishment from getting there. I got within one row of finishing the repeat this afternoon. However, class was cancelled and I felt simply worn out. I came home and decided to try to nap. Not only did I find I could sleep, I found myself going hot/cold. I really don’t like getting sick. So I took most of the night off, and slept, and sewed and worked on a little homework.

 

However, serious concentration is out the window, so that last row is debatable if I should get to it or not. Part of me says I could do it, part of me says read a book and go to bed. Okay, okay; you talked me into it. Mostly, because if I let it wait, I won’t get to take the photo I want. Instead, I just went ahead and knit up that last row, and voila! I’m one-third of the way done with the foot.

 

However, as I look at this pattern, I want to knit the second part of this round upside-down and turn this repeated triangle of meandering twisted stitches into a diamond…This could get interesting to see…Stay tuned, folks. 

Complicating Things

January 4, 2019

The shawl is progressing normally…to the point that if I take another photo before we get any further, you’ll wonder if I’m reusing last week’s photos. I’m making progress, and plan to take it to school to knit before classes. In the meantime, I thought I had better make some progress to knit these socks. They’re going to take on a life of their own, and since they’re far more complicated than what I’m used to, and I like complicated.

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Toe-Up Travelers by Ann Budd…she loves complicated patterns, but can you blame her?

In the meantime, I thought I’d better get some solid knitting in before classes start. Knitting in public invites conversation, and with these socks, there is no talking to me during the knitting. I’m going to get good at ignoring dear James. I guess I’d better keep that shawl nearby if I wish to talk to others while I knit. Until next time, Happy Knitting!

New Cast-Ons…

December 20, 2018

Who doesn’t love a new cast on?

The beginning of my new shawl…with Briannag’s help for modeling. (If I let her wear it, she might decide it is hers.

I needed something new after the post classes slump and having time on my hands (in which I should put down the needles and clean at some point, but that’s not why we are here). I did two cast-ons. I frogged the 216 stitch sweater vest with various sets of stitches throughout and opted for a simpler shawl. I’ve based mine off of a couple of free patterns and am hoping for the best, but I’m just knitting as I go along increasing on the same side of either row. Currently, this is my television and chatting with others knitting.

Beginning pattern work on the new sock

I also cast on a “Twisted Stitch” sock. This sock is in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class. It’s lovely, but this one will likely only be knit at home. This chart is pretty intense and requires concentration. It won’t be easily memorized for some time. But check these out…Now I must find some comedy or a good podcast (because the television went out last night at the height of Christmas movie season and we won’t have it playing shows or movies until Sunday, likely).

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Beginning of the toe, when things begin to straighten out

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

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;-).

 

Playing Yarn Chicken…

September 13, 2018

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I love these purple and white and pink petunias.

We all do it! We’ve most all been there…If you haven’t, you’ll likely join us soon. And technically, I won the battle, but lost the war. Technically, I got through these final two rows with the teal. Technically, I was supposed to get through about a dozen more rows, at least half of them teal. That didn’t work. I was supposed to finish on row 4 or 32 of 56. I was on row 44. Technically, I lost the war of the rows…(sorry, pun was not intentional). However, following directions has never really been my strong suit.

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Do you see that short string of teal yarn…

So, my socks are very closely connected with about ten inches of yarn between them after knitting the final teal rows. I’m about to cut the string and knit some more. However, let’s recall the upside of losing this war….I still have the socks. I still will finish a warm pair of knit socks, (likely before the cold weather sets in). I just have to knit the ribbing. It’s recommended to knit 1, purl 1 on this pattern…I’m thinking of modifying the ribbing…I’m undecided at this point, but if it proves too annoying, I may knit 4, purl 4. It’s just easier.

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What a lovely place to knit…and showcase these socks;-)

In addition…I’m supposed to finish with color A (teal), and knit the ribbing with color A (teal), but I’m all out of teal. Which made the decision for me…I have one more row of purple after this evening and then I get to start the ribbing. We’ll see if this takes me one week or two;-), but these babies should be off the needles soon.

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I still love these purple petunias;-)

May all of your knitting lead to sooner than later ta-da moments!

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;-)

Back To School

August 30, 2018

…or DSCN4030.JPG It’s not lost on me that stories could be created from a lone sock laying around on a college campus…

what do you say when your instructor asks you what kind of medieval torture device you are holding in your hand? Knitting needles, of course…He’s never seen more than two needles…poor bloke. Alas, today, he met my favorite wooden needles…then he asked me if I ever stabbed anyone, and I had to admit, that it’s a risk for my boyfriend if they get left on the couch, by accident, course. (It may have been more honesty than he was prepared for today…but he claims you can ask him anything.)

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This ledge with these pretty flowers are right across from the library, and it was warmer than the bench…

Alas, I’m still at the stage of classes where I can work on knitting before class, instead of trying to catch up on the latest reading…the catching up part will come later. The second sock is going much quicker this past two weeks I’ve had some spare time to actually just knit. Now, if I had fewer campus involvements, my homework might be done too…

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Apparently, fall is in the air here…

Nevermind, I’m still working on catching up to the first sock, and am looking forward to the day when they match, though I’ve become aware that patches will be either purple or gray as I will most likely have no green yarn left. I’ll show you how much I have to work in once I get to that last row of green…but there isn’t much left now. We’ll see how it goes. In the meantime, I have reading to do, and socks to knit.

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And yes, I’m curious what your single sock and medieval torture devices story would be if I left this behind (which I likely wouldn’t).

Until next time,

Happy Knitting!

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.

No Knitting Before The GRE

August 16, 2018

I mean, I should have expected it when they said no analog watches…I still want to know which genius got caught writing his answers on an analog watch, and how tiny he tried to make them… I’d give him a licking that keeps on ticking…alas…knitting. See, lack of knitting while I wait makes me cranky. But I can’t complain, my unofficial scores are decent…by no means, outstanding…but good enough to be considered for graduate school, and likely not bad enough to have to subject myself to four more hours of no-knitting time. I get no patterns (they’re on paper and codes are hard to decipher…), but not even mindless knitting was allowed. I could have knit some on break, but break time was only ten minutes…and I’m on the heel.

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Putzer, holding down my lap and demanding snuggles as I knit…

That’s right. Lack of knitting at an officially controlled testing site (that is simply doing their job) did not prevent me from reaching the heel. If I behave and knit some more, I might be a quarter to halfway up the leg before school starts up again. Part of me hoped to be done, but I’ve been working on quilts;-).

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Putzer and Briannag helping with knitting, Briannag may just want my spot…

Alas, here’s the latest progress, as I finally got in some evening knitting time. Even after a crazy week of learning that one of my boyfriend’s cats, Squib, is diabetic (which has only required me to be supportive and make sure he has good cat food available and is not sharing with the other cats), I’ve gotten a good amount of knitting in. The cat and dear James are adjusting, and meeting with snuggle time, but it has been everyone else this week, (except Tink, who’s busy hiding from the camera or trying to sneak Squib’s diabetic food), like I said, just about everyone else wants to help me…See what I mean? This isn’t always easy folks, and I don’t just mean the Stealth Argyle pattern by Eunny Jang in Sock Knitting: Master Class that is probably one of the more challenging I have ever undertaken.

Zeus-y was here, right nearby awaiting snuggles or food to drop…perhaps he’ll get into next weeks photos…he’s not as camera curious as Briannag, and he leans more on the knitter… And now, back to turning the heel.

Until next time, Happy Knitting!