…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?

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…all week long. I didn’t want to go to work. (some days, that’s a given). I usually enjoy my job once I’m there, but it eats a lot of energy and builds a good deal of nervous energy I have to release, on my poor boyfriend who’s worked there longer than I have, and could likely narrate my stories for me… In addition, even on days off, I simply didn’t want to get out of bed. And I had to pick up my license for the next year, only it wasn’t in. It’s been a big case of the Mondays all week, or rather throughout my weekend. I have to return Friday night. I don’t entirely mind, but part of me expects my inner child to scream, “I don’t wanna!” as I get out of bed in the morning. I won’t be totally surprised when it does happen.

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Some of the glittered fairy houses, painted entirely by my Little, Mariah.

However, I still got things accomplished this week. We made progress on the fairy garden, mostly sorting out what it could be and where we wanted things. Then we left instructions for my brother to do some cuttings to make it a recessed fairy garden. I decided to use a ¼” piece of board as the base and was talked into giving it a sort of frame. I’m debating (and wondering if I’ll get talked into) adding a bottom portion and filling it with dirt, but keeping the mostly octagon(circular shape). My Little, Mariah, and my nieces have put forth effort into this fairy garden as well as my dad and sister-in-law. My brother gets stuck cutting out holes and trimming the square board to meet the circular rim and framing it into a hexagon. I’ll post pics when we’re done. I didn’t think to take any of the garden today, and will wish I had later.

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Lizzie, as a Minion, posing with a fairy house she glittered (please excuse the simple paint work, Lizzie will still be proud to be a Minion)

Though, the directions are readable to me, and hopefully most others who work on the project. Once we get the holes in, we can start adding plants into them and re-polyurethane the fairy houses we painted and glittered and turn it into a delightful retreats for fairies.

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Putzer, checking my progress…

You are right, this has nothing to do with knitting. I remembered to knit on my socks sometime on Monday or Tuesday night. I skipped Wednesday night, as I’ve been writing every day I haven’t worked and some days when I’ve had a short shift. It is camp nanowrimo after all. This is a website that hosts month long writing goals for aspiring novelists every July, April and November. I have been in school for the last two. I’m enjoying participating in this one. I am also rarely bored.

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See, I really have been knitting…I promise.

Speaking of bored, however, I may have gone slightly overboard on the plants, but hey, I now get to plant petunias in my flower bed(and it’s in need of some brightening up). The rest of the plants will mostly go in the garden…though I do need a cute little climbing vine that may have to put up with some rough conditions to grow out of a birdhouse window. But, what better way to say “Fairy Garden” than with climbing vines?

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Current progress on the socks…and another view of the joining of the two colors

Alas, I promise, there will be a little more knitting, and a little more progress on the socks. But no, I’m still not close to finishing them. I must knit more, when I’m not writing, or including most of my family in building fairy gardens…Okay, okay, there is a reward at the end, in that if we get it delivered in time for the deadline, we get two free tickets to the renaissance festival. There is a first, second and third place prize, which they haven’t informed us what that is. However, as I told my little and meant it: The fairy garden is a reward in itself as it can be returned to us when the faire is over, and we can store it or remake it for next spring. My sister-in-law added, unless we score an outfit, in which case the reward will come out even. I really must get her that crochet bodice pattern for the two of us, and some good sweater or sock yarn. Alas, I have to pay the bills first…but imagine the possibilities!

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Putzer, getting a closer look as an official knitting inspector…He works for a simple two-handed massage.