…on a quilt shop bus trip no less. It was the easiest traveling hand work I had.

I got up at the awfully-early in the morning 6:30AM on Tuesday. I normally go to bed at this time. Actually, an hour before. Even my boyfriend said, “What are you doing up, you have seven more minutes?” But I was heading to the next town over for a bus trip…not to find yarn, but fabric. (Sorry to disappoint, but there was knitting!) Alas, I made it earlier than expected…and my “bus-mate” suggested today was a good day to relax and take it easy. What sage advice. I might have even listened…(I heard those gasps).

So, for the first leg of the trip, I perused a magazine, the drive was only about 25 minutes. But the shop owners were so nice…I’ll post all about them on the quilting side next week. They opened early and were ready for the bus. I found some wonderful fabrics at Park Bench in Midland, MI. We even left earlier than planned, which was a surprise. The second leg of the trip was an hour and a half away, which I checked and then pulled out my knitting and finished the heel flap on my sock.

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What a lovely heel flap…and a bit fun to carry the pattern right down to the turn.

Then we reached our second stop of the day, Back Street Quilt Shop in Bad Axe, MI and our lunch stop. It was done well with some really good chicken salad croissants, grapes, baby carrots, strawberries and zucchini bread and zucchini cookies(made like a cake but formed and cooked like cookies). I skipped the bread and cookies, but heard good things about them. Lunch was simple but excellent. It felt like simple gourmet. Hungry yet? I’ll wait while you grab a snack. I have a heel to turn…. I also found some great wool and a few buttons and some embroidery thread for the wool applique to consider while I turned the heel.

Which I knit on our way to the Amish shop in Snover, MI at the corner of M-19 and Mushroom road. Mushroom road, I had to wonder if you went to the end of the road, would you find mushrooms and could you eat them. It was a simple Amish shop with some lovely fabrics. I found some to go with a charity quilt and was talked into two others by a fellow accomplished quilters…and I was still in budget. I think I got to the gusset here…the heel turn was easier than expected.

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These are knitting up a little quicker than expected…so far…I think I finally have some color play as well…

On the way back to Bay City, MI over an hour away, I continued to knit the gusset, focusing on the decreases, and we found a cute little shop overlooking the water. Stitches at the Bay was the shop, they advertised yarn, but that must have been at another location in town. I found fabric I didn’t have much in common with and had hit the budget a little hard lately. However, I found some notions I couldn’t live without and purchased a few, leaving room in my budget for the last shop.

On the way to the last shop, I pet and admired my fabrics and cotton embroidery thread, as I thought the shop was in town. After a bit, I knit one more row, but I was getting tired. The last shop, Material Mart, in Midland, MI had almost all the fabric a girl could want(just not the black with purple and pink tulips I can’t get over), and a stipulation on the discount. Not impressed, they couldn’t find the pattern I liked in the store, though it was brand new, so I suggested I could come back for it sometime…

I’m not too keen on when sometime might be. I believe in supporting local shops, but I believe they should support us as well. No other shop on this trip put a stipulation on our discounts.

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All of my lovely new finds… I’m half in love with the fat quarter bundle on the left, but it needed some purple to round it out. Browns and pinks on the right are for the charity quilt I’m working on…Orange and pink wool and buttons will go on the wool applique. 

Instead, I came home late, only a few hours after I normally get up; I ate the dinner Dear James prepared for me, and took a nap after showing Dear James the fabrics, of course. Then I went home to wash fabric and sew some blocks together. I think I was too tired to knit for the day.

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23 more rows to ribbing…I almost have a pair of socks…

The next day, I woke up at a more normal time(mid-afternoon) and went to my appointment then had my sister-in-law and nieces and little, Mariah, over for our joint summer Birthday parties. We had burgers, sweet potato chips, potato salad, and ice cream(after we let the rest digest). We also opened gifts and I let Mariah make a bead bracelet. Rain killed our park plans so I scrambled to find five chairs for my apartment(which I’ve never properly set up seating in). It was done and my sister-in-law and everyone was helpful and unconcerned about the times things would be finished or done…we had a great evening.

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Back view of the Terpander socks featured in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class.

That night, when I still couldn’t sleep, I got up and began knitting the Terpander socks again. I made it through two more rows and am officially over the half-way point of the third and final repeat…ribbing to follow. Oddly enough, I decided to unwind with a book about the mindfulness of knitting that will be talking about that dreaded upcoming rib in the next chapter I read…I better pick it up at about row twenty of twenty three so I can be reminded of the “I’m almost there,” moments, I hope.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed my progress.

Actually, I lost: Here’s the take from last week, Friday evening, I think…

The struggle is real…. See, I still have six more rows of forty stitches…. They’re almost done. I want them done on time(they will be), but I may run out of yarn in the meantime. At least on this roll…. I have some left from the other roll, and I will have to decide the best way to attach it(and hope it looks reasonable, but I think it’s gonna be close).

Back to the present…

It was close…so close, I technically lost. Luckily I did have some on the other roll and the blend doesn’t look too bad…I don’t think Lizzie noticed. She was mostly happy with the result and the warming birthday gift–though next time, I’ll have to make them bigger and let her hand them down to a mini-me. In the meantime, she’s got warm legs and a new purse and I’ve cast on the second sock….

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Cast on of new, but familiar purple socks….This is keeping my sanity hanging by a….nah….probably not after this week…

Yes, my purple socks are no longer suffering from second sock syndrome. I almost cast on the cowl I could use some days this February, but it’s been an exhausting week and I wanted something familiar. In addition, it was about time. Besides, I may be moving on to a hat this week for a friend, if she remembers the yarn. I’m half tempted to go pick out yarn for her and just make it. We’ll see what happens.

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Squib, snuggling a favorite sweater that I hope will one day match the Terpander socks I don’t have an updated photo of….

As for the pretty pink Terpander socks, I sought out advice on http://www.knittingparadise.com and was told my ladders(once I got a good enough photo of them) looked just fine. I’ve yet to start the second heel as it’s been a busy and stressful week. I’ve made it through three exams in two days and somehow still found energy to write this blog tonight….

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Current progress on the second sock…

I probably just need sleep, but there was Valentine’s day this week and my dear James treated me to dinner, and(I forgot to get the photo), not one book, but two–he really does know the way to my heart and keeping me up past my bedtime. And yes, it is the signed, hardcover first edition of Echoes in Death by J.D. Robb and it’s just as gripping as the others in the series. I love this series.

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Because if I took J.D. Robb to class, I wouldn’t get any studying done, at least, not until I finished the book. I might not even leave when class was done…

In the meantime, I’d better keep up on next week’s homework, and hope the article I have to choose from some specific type of journal with a specific type of format….but clear as mud to me is finally a correct one and I can get the summary done. Perhaps we should just have to read academic journals and keep a record of summaries of one of their articles as they are published–sounds like a better exercise than finding articles on any topic you want, only to repeatedly hear, “Not that one.” Alas, such are the woes of an undergrad…back to knitting and reading, right after I accomplish some more homework so I don’t have to do it all on Sunday.

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How the fairies hid my place markers from me…they don’t have to work very hard at this, you see….

“And, why did she take photos of the place markers?” Why, yes. Yes I did. The fairies finally returned them.

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For now, they’re safely tucked into the pocket of my knitting bag. I wonder how long that will last….

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.

 

Mitten Continuance

December 16, 2016

What can I say….the big gifting day is ten days away…I’m almost half done with the first mitten. Hear me out….classes are done, grades are in–they’re respectable, but not my best work…well, except for the developmental psychology class. That was good work, or a 4.0. The rest, I received an A- in, or 3.7. I was surprised by one of the A-’s as I expected a B at highest, but our last quiz replaced a bad grade on a damned literary map (that likely doesn’t belong in a college classroom), so I consider that A- almost a bonus. But I got used to the 4.0 average I was working my butt off for in school, so forgive me if this feels a bit deflated. Alas, I must respect that it is still decent progress.

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Squib, cuddling while I knit…at least he doesn’t grade my knitting….just the yarn quality, sometimes

Moving on, I’m busting my butt on the semi-secret fantasy quilt. I’ve sewn in most of my free time and have over half of the border done as well as the cornerstones. I’m making progress…but I feel like it’s never enough. I’m hoping to get this top done before the 25th. I did catch a break today as my sister-in-law and I had gingerbread house-making planned, but she wasn’t ready as I headed off to learn my final grade in my frustrating class(see above, I hope that rant is over).dscn1630

Side 1 of the mitten…I think this is the bottom side, since it’s for the right hand…

I came home and sewed some clouds and worked out where the fabrics need to go to make more clouds. Then I considered the flowers….I need more flowers….I always need more of one or the other, but I made good progress and just have to keep working. I also snuck in a row or two on the mittens while I got some laundry done this evening. However, I also have to cook this week(projects or not….if I wanna eat, I gotta cook-drat).

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Side 2 of the mitten….It’s coming along, but I better return to knitting. I’m hoping it turns out better than it looks on the needles, but I think it will be fun in the end.

Then, as I watched the first half of the season finale of Project Runway, I finished dinner and knit the next row…which got me close to half way done with the chart. Since I have the cuff knit, I might be over halfway done, but I also have to knit a thumb in there…That could get interesting.

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Maeve, snuggling on mom while I knit… right on the yarn and covering the pattern…she’s a pro at interrupting the knitting process….

Now, allow me to tell you about my “Oh, crap!” moment. I’m not sure if it was yesterday as I snuck in some evening knitting time, but it must have been, because I barely arrived at class on time this morning(class was meeting early due to the final exam schedule). I started the left mitten, I’ve knit everything for the left mitten…do you catch my drift…then I looked at the chart pattern and realized I was knitting the chart for the right mitten! “You’ve got to be kidding me,” is likely the nice version of what I was thinking.

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Squibby doesn’t get the ‘What was I thinking?’ thing….he just tests it and sees what happens….I need to be more like Squibby…

Instead of continuing to swear about my luck, I calmly turned the pattern over, saw where I should be. Then I looked at the first page, and saw my salvation: Right mitten: Work same as left mitten. Thank goodness! I may have done a little jig in my chair…minding the knitting needles (and any other pins and needles) of course. I hesitate to celebrate further this week as I hope to make much more progress before I feel comfortable with the gifting.

I’m Starting The Toes…

November 18, 2016

…and I done did it….but on a positive note, the new knit picks needles have arrived. I hope to knit the cerise Terpander socks soon…I promise. In the meantime, allow me to pour another glass of wine, some for you too, I hope. Now, I shall tell you the story of my knitting, with a few other things tossed in, because a girl isn’t supposed to live on knitting alone, is she? Oh, wait, that was bread I wasn’t only supposed to live on.

So, the juice is this; I’ve gone and done it. I’ve dried my hand-knit wool socks, most of them; in the dryer, with medium heat.  I already push it by washing them in a machine, (gasp!). A girl has only so much time to knit, quilt, and study. So, this week I forgot to pull my socks out of the wash as the wash was placed in the dryer.

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Do you see the difference? Oy and vey….oh dear, what did I do? Wait, they still fit, yeah!

I think they did shrink a little, but in the past I have knit my socks a little on the big side. So, once I stopped freaking out about having dried my socks, I tried them on. I found they still fit. Thank goodness! No, I do not plan to continue this trend, and I fear the socks will shrink too small for my feet, but for now, I can only blame stress. I just finished one exam and have two papers due a day apart next week.

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Scamp, Helping me with writing this blog. I get similar issues with homework.

Count them, yes, I said two papers. I should be writing them right now. However, most of my hand-knit socks have been returned to their drying mesh and I’m giving into my guilty pleasure of catching Project Runway for the week. I try to be a good girl, I’m just not very good at it.

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Scamp, Helping me Work on this…did I mention Project Runway?

So, let’s sneak back to the papers I should be writing. One of them is suppposed to be an analysis of a book I do not relate to well using feminist criticism. One of them is on Euripide’s Medea. I’m not sure how you can get farther apart. One woman is rebuilding her life after having killed a man who was raping her. The other killed her children to spite her husband, but in a time when children were raised to go to war in certain communities. Alas, let’s get back to the knitting and quilting, for the moment. I cannot wait until next Tuesday, when both papers will be submitted and hopefully done. In the meantime, hang onto your hats, kids; It could be a wild ride.

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Maeve, helping me work as well….the nut…my girls love to snuggle or interrupt homework…

Since I often knit before or between classes, I do have some good news for you: I’m at the toes. Really! I’m knitting the toes. I could finish these socks next week, though I still have to study for my Psychology and work to catch up in Masterpieces of Ancient Literature. The Literary Analysis class could get interesting but should get a little easier, if she doesn’t kill my paper before she gets the concepts in it.

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Toes….toes…really, I’m at the toes!

So, back to the toes. I start decreasing next. Now, I just have to remember to get photos of the finished sock on the recipients’ feet when I gift them to her. And the quilt is making progress too…but I may have to create another blog page for that;-). Wish me luck guys, I think finals might be easy compared to this week! dscn1510

Two socks, almost matching…perhaps we’ll talk about that next week, but close enough to pass and hopefully, gift;-).

In Pieces…

March 4, 2016

Sometimes, projects have to go to pieces before they can come together…

I forgot to photograph the sock monkey in pieces, so you’ll have to use former photos and your imagination. It’s not like we don’t have good imaginations around here, I expect.

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Okay, not all the pieces…I just don’t have the hat and scarf here.

I knit and I knit, on Thursday night, on Sunday at the band concert; where I got in trouble with my brother for talking with my niece during warm-ups. See if I show up early again. My niece was planning to do my hair like Katara, an anime character she loves. I can’t wear it for work, as it doesn’t pull it back enough; but I could wear it through the band concert to satisfy her. She was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to come over early. I was busy picking up my little to take her to the band concert, and just waking up myself.

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My dad with his new (and likely) favorite shirt…

I also had my dad’s birthday party this week. It was quite fun. He enjoyed his shirt enough to suggest he might buy more. I only bought them at JCPenney, but he normally shops at less expensive stores(by quite a margin), so I haven’t told him where I got it. It was also on clearance, and they’re now out of his size. He’ll have to live with that one, for now. The birthday dinner is done, the food was even pretty good, though dear James took some extra swigs of my beer.

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Zeus and Briannag “guarding” my knitting…or holding my spot, perhaps…

Alas, I move back to the band concert Sunday where I worked the scarf in a tube for most of the warm-ups and the sixth grade and middle school concert. Then I worried at how much yarn I would have, so I ripped the scarf tube out(almost ruthlessly)…I didn’t even mind–this is how I know it’s not a sock pattern. I hate ripping stitches out of socks, and I continued knitting the scarf flat. Yes, I still remember how to knit flat, yeah me. My little, Mariah, was a bit restless, so I let her wind the yarn and hold it for me as I knit, after 1 simple reminder that grandma wouldn’t like it if I brought her home when the concert was supposed to start.

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David, my nephew, playing one of his many instruments in preparation of Festival.

That night, after dropping Mariah off, I considered the Scamp Letters blog, and decided to do homework over knitting. Monday night I worked. Tuesday brought classes and more homework. I believe I finished knitting the scarf Wednesday afternoon, when I feared I’d lost an ear. It was only twenty minutes of knitting, really, about an inch. But I was already low on thread and this needed to be done and sewn by next Sunday.

So, Wednesday after class and a nap, I came home and found the ear in the bottom of the bag and started piecing it together. I laid out the tail and two arms as well as the two ears, and the scarf and hat on the arm of my couch, and I started piecing it together. Last Sunday, I worried that it would be late, as March was fast approaching, but I had a week to spare I discovered this week.

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Squib is interested in the current progress of the knitting, or chewing on something for fun…

As I’m switching gears in classes–from fiction to poetry, from medieval writings to renaissance and preparing to write papers for two of my classes, I really felt as if everything was in pieces. Then I learned of the undergraduate certification for Creative Writing, and Tuesday, when my prof returned my near perfect exam, she asked me about Graduate school. I’m seriously considering it, since she provided that cost may be covered with an Assistance program offered where I teach classes in exchange for my tuition. I just have to work in work as well, but that means I’ll be willing to teach later classes, most of the time;-). Or perhaps I’ll have an easier job I can schedule around.

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The sock monkey is finished, ready to be boxed and delivered.

I earned a recommendation for it, at least. They may not pay me as well, but it will be more fulfilling with less stress. I’m hoping it works out for the best. Now, I just have to find pieces of writing to submit.

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The “I really didn’t break a rule” for class knitting…(the sock monkey is off the needles).

Now, however, I have sewn a sock monkey, and nearly broken a rule–but not really. I cast on the toe of another sock today. I’m hoping it travels easier than the pair I am currently working on. However, I am officially on Spring Break now and plan to spend some time getting much knitting done on these socks. At least, I’ll be knitting when I’m not doing homework. I still need to consider an approach to one of my papers, so it will be less busy, but more about taking care of the things that get overlooked while I’m in school, like knitting as much of these socks as I can manage each night. Tonight, so far, I have managed about an inch…only seven more to go until the heel flap.

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Current progress on the second sock, showing the pattern; I’d better get back to knitting;-).

 

…perhaps it’s the energy of expectations for a new year; perhaps it’s all that time spent inside drinking hot tea to soothe your cranky throat. Oh, heck with it, by the time I get to writing down the blog, I’m on to the wine. This is especially true if I’m taking on all that I can handle and more.

I’m going back to school, hopefully for an accounting degree-but that’s another story. I’ve started a new, slightly complicated knitting project, and I still have to sew down the underbelly of a mama horse. The horse will come, and is much easier than it sounds, but it’s not crossed off so it’s still on the list of things I haven’t done today. Part of me wants to be done.

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Knit 1, Purl 1 rib stitch…I forgot to complain about this. The longest consistent stitch in this pattern is knit 5. Focus, focus, focus…(what a girl gets for desiring a challenge…) Knot socks by Nancy Bush in Sock Knitting: Master Class by Ann Budd

I’ve started studying for classes and hope some of the classes go better than the books promise. I’ve become quite the book critic since I’ve returned to college. I have a How to Study class I have to take due to extenuating circumstances and misunderstandings. It’s partly my own fault, but I don’t like one of the books and feel as if I needed this as well as “How to apply for Scholarships” as an English requirement in my junior year of high school. Alas, that could be another blog, but I should get back to studying before I attempt any more.

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The purple yarn, that is one or two shades above black…it is knitting up pretty, but I need new glasses soon…

Allow me to segue to the knitting we came here to discuss. I got this pretty purple and brown and blue yarn that is one shade above black from Dear James for Christmas. One day, I will train him to buy the yarn I want. I do not want to take all the mystery out of it and make him a list, however. I told the shop owner I trust him. I foolishly thought he was paying attention as he wandered through the shop asking questions about sweater yarn while I was shopping the sock yarn. I also suggested it should match one of my sweaters/shirts I wear often. (I’d better pay more attention to what I wear between Thanksgiving and Christmas next year.) I’ve offered to teach this man to knit many times this Christmas season (fortunately, he hasn’t taken me up on it yet).

So, I got out the beautiful, purple(not black) yarn, and began to pick out a pattern for it. I was hoping for openwork, but couldn’t find the right one for this yarn, and decided on cabling. Perhaps if I make a pair of socks it has to be really cold to wear, he’ll consider buying me pastels next year. A girl can dream, right?

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(*Ack..horrid photo)…In Dear James’ defense, he did try to match a turtleneck I wear frequently.

Right, got it. Make the list or give him a sweater to take with him, maybe even the outfit. Better yet, my new year’s pay is in next week, I’m making a stop at the yarn shop. Okay, that’s settled. So, we’re down to a couple of patterns and I choose the one I think is prettier. I’ve found a wee problem with the pretty patterns. There’s nothing vanilla about them and classes start Tuesday for me.

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7 inches…to be or not to be…enough…here goes hours of knitting time;-)

I’ve made good progress and have knit a repeat each night this week, before I go back to school and studies take over my nights. I didn’t even stop for photos until I got to the heel flap. Yes, I made it to the heel flap. I work the next two nights and will focus on the sewing as it’s far easier to walk away from at work. I may get some more knit Sunday or Monday night, but I hope I haven’t hit a major snafu. When I got to the heel flap, the pattern tells me I should be at 8 ½ inches. I’m at 7 inches. I’m hoping my 76 stitches are enough to go around my foot when I’m done with this sock.

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Vanilla Latte socks that would be easy to knit between classes;-)

Part of me wants to check the gauge and is debating starting over(I’d only be ripping out a few thousand stitches and finding bigger needles). Part of me wants to cast on the black yarn (okay, you can laugh at me now) for a pair of Vanilla Latte socks I can do from memory to create a second pair of work socks big enough for comfort and gift the ruffled black-hearted socks to my niece for band concerts. Part of me wonders if I’ve totally gone bonkers. Then I reach for my wine and decide to figure it out later. Though I’ve noted the vanilla latte socks just might travel well for in-between class in case I’m ever caught up on my school work…or my brain refuses to function in a studying capacity.

Also, I did receive the knitter’s graph paper journal from: http://www.fringesupplyco.com/product/knitters-graph-paper-journal (where I purchased it) or the designer’s website: http://rowanmorrison.com/products/knitters-graph-paper-journal

I’m slightly disappointed that it is soft cover, but it is a good cardstock soft cover. I’d like a hard cover option, as I’m not gentle on many things. I like the information presented, especially as I sometimes have to educate a non-knitter on knitting information. I believe I like the paper, but I have not put it to the test yet as I have an idea for a design, but it is still percolating, and I didn’t want to rip out my pretty(not black) Christmas stocking yarn three or four times as I tried to make open work butterflies work on socks. I may sneak it in my bag with some colored pencils and doodle one day when my brain refuses to accept any further knowledge. I will keep you updated.

New Year…Short New Post

January 1, 2016

Happy New Year! I hope your 2016 is better than your 2015;-).

 

I had promised photos of some super-secret gifts. I have gifted them, but hours are long and many this week and time off is short and highly limited this week. The good news is, though I didn’t quite get the knitting colors I wanted, I got new sock yarn that I just adore(even if my feet may sweat a little in it) and my needles are no longer naked.

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Some of my stocking stuffers…now I have to go pattern searching in the New Year…The darkest sock yarn is getting cabled…

The quilt did not get finished, but I’m back to making progress. The fuzzy dice are done, and I used brass thumb tacks for the pips on the dice. I believe I got some decent pics of this one.

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David’s fuzzy dice. Though he’s concerned about the stability of the tacks, he did try to test them on Lizzie’s ear…

However, I do not have pictures of Lizzie’s happy feet, but her first word when she saw her socks was “Pretty.” I’m glad she enjoyed them. I hope she continues to enjoy her hand-knitted socks.

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My Christmas tree, with the mini Christmas tree, which hid the soda in which I used the box to wrap marimba mallets (tightly wound yarn balls with a stick-I could make a fortune if I had more patience), fuzzy dice and a spare can of soda to add weight.

And my baby brother(don’t tell anyone I still call him that;-)), enjoyed his “t-shirt” re-created as a worded painting. It’s not by any means a masterpiece, nor is it stenciled, but it is a gift hand-made, that he can enjoy every day and made from the heart. That for me, is more Christmas than I see when giving semi-personal gifts bought at the store.

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“My t-shirt,” says John (a.k.a. baby brother;-))…oops, there I go again.

Though I admit, I bought Jessica’s gifts, but she’s highly into baking. I bought her baking supplies and put them into tins. She conned dear James into leaving the pan with the seven-layer or magic bars in it because she could return it with cookies in it. (It wasn’t like I didn’t give her four tins that would work for this!). But kids have their own methods of craftiness.

This week, I’ve been nearly as exhausted as last week. I still got knitting done, and I made a 2+ hour drive to take my Aunt Maryal to visit my Aunt Jane. It was a perfect day to wake early and drive to get some heart-warming dinner at Bob Evans. We had a good visit and got to chat and catch up. Since I don’t spend many day-time hours awake, I enjoyed the evening visit.

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Squib, helping me knit…

Now, about the knitting…I did get some done, and with fewer errors than last week, thankfully. I was much more careful about knitting when tired. I can work on the quilt or the jeans when tired. I finally got around to starting to update my jeans in the hopes of keeping them around longer…and a floral patch deserves some embroidery, right? Only, I’m not a huge fan of embroidery. I suspect crochet vines and flowers would be faster, but I do not know how to crochet. Instead, I’m embroidering. I will simply make some time for it each night, and listen to Dear James pout that his fix wasn’t good enough. I suppose I should tell him I’ve been planning this embroidery the whole time.

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Now, I just have to match some of my shirts;-). Or embroider some shirts to match. This may take some time. I’m not starting an embroidery blog, however. I still have cooking and quilting to focus on. In the meantime, as I do find time for knitting, I ponder the next color I will choose as soon as I begin searching out my next skeins of yarn. I have a favorite shirt in gray and purple paisley on black. I do enjoy this shirt and I thought it would be nice to have more socks that match my shirts. I may be buying some lavender and grey heather style socks soon. I like these colors and I think they’d be nice to knit up. I also think they’d match another favorite sweater.

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Putzer, demanding his massage as I knit…

I’m knitting Lizzie’s socks as I ponder the colors of the next pair, and as I reach the 7” point, it occurs to me that if I’d followed directions, I’d be halfway done with this sock. Honestly, though, they are going together quite well…and I need to determine which pattern to knit these new socks in. These are the thoughts that go through my mind, when I’m not cursing the pattern or ripping out stitches.

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Current Progress on this sock…(almost half-way done with this one…)

It has been a week for ripping out stitches(one of the reasons for the smaller amount of errors). If I catch the errors in that row, I frog (rip-it, rip-it, rip-it…yes, knitters are often punny), back to the errors and re-knit. If I do not catch the errors in that row, there is no true idea of how many rows I screwed up, and I call them angel kisses. Who doesn’t like angel kisses?

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Maeve, snuggling while I knit…

In the midst of frogging, and a relatively busy social calendar, I decided I also need another project on the needles. There are two reasons for this. I wish to have another Christmas gift knit by Christmas, and I decided it would be great to have something relatively easy or mindless on the needles that only requires me to knit and purl. So, I’m breaking the rules, as my nephew is sixteen and has just begun driving. He didn’t want me to knit him anything. However, a car evens the playing field, with some minor issues…

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My new yarn…nothing drool worthy, but still better than Red Heart…(see what I mean about mindless;-)? Leave it to me…)