…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.

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Too Many Knots…

January 27, 2017

Or…the dawning of the age of …homework and study…

Sorry, unless you really play with homework and study, it doesn’t match the correct term, but it is my life right now, mostly.

Amidst however many projects I listed last week, and likely one or two more added this week, as well as a consideration for one to be frogged, as there is likely a halfway point in the yarn….I started some legwarmers. I should keep them on the down low, but I’m hoping the recipient isn’t following….I’ll be watching closely to see if she likes this on facebook. Mom thought she;d love them when she saw the yarn and beginning pattern work. I hope we’re right. I almost asked her outright, but decided to remain covert for now. Her birthday comes sooner than I like. Okay, okay, back to the projects. Let me show you what I’m about to frog…

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I’ll show you the full thing before I frog it….but it needs to be a scarf or mitts…that work with the colorway of the yarn….this is almost halfway and the yarn reverses.

I’ve come to a realization, that frogging is a part of knitting…and since I taught my eleven year old little that seam-ripping has to happen in sewing, fit thrown throughout and all; I’ve decided I’ve done enough frogging to accept it as part of knitting. If I don’t love it, or it isn’t gifted, I’m frogging it.

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Shh…don’t tell…though it’s hard to see the pattern, isn’t it?

On the quilt side…I’ve checked my mailbox everyday, and now pink thread has arrived. So, the applique quilt I forgot to mention last week is not getting done. I could sew green, but I’m not in the mood for green. It’s January, for a couple more days, I need pink on purple or blue….or whatever color that bird will be.

 

However, I received the rest of the instructions for the mystery quilt, and decided what will become of it…It involves a chair and to an extent, my nieces…that story belongs in a quilt blog I’m kicking around, as soon as I finish studying Abnormal Psychology….which isn’t happening until May 4th or 5th, I believe. Yes, yes, I know…I asked for this…but at least I’m not giving speeches about blind dates…though it sounded fun.

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Can’t be compared to a blind date much, except they’re a bit tough to navigate and require concentration…

Ah, blind dates, allow me to explain; My dear nephew, David is taking college courses in high school-the lucky duck. So, I bought his mom a gift card to a famous coffee shop, well, dear James did on Thanksgiving, and Momma Michelle thanked me for it today, as she’d used it almost exactly as I hoped. I hoped she would take one of her kids out for coffee and use it for connection. She had the best time taking David out for coffee and hearing about how he described a blind date. Since he’d never been on a blind date, he took blind literally. I’ll let you use your imagination here. (I’m not even sure he knew how good he was, as he also told us the best one was the first one, who pulled teddy bear.)

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The cat’s idea that I should be petting her, instead of studying….Abnormal Psych terms, here I come…

So, I’m guilty…I had an exam today and got nothing knit, except the gift part, which needs to get done quick, but it a relatively simple pattern…if only the yarn would quit knotting. You heard me, this darned yarn is still knotting. I knit fourteen rows, perhaps I’ve gotten a little further, but not more than twenty…likely not more than sixteen, and I have a knot to sort out, after it’s been wound. It was an easy knot to sort out, but I’m not happy with this yarn at all. I will not knit with it again, even if the recipient falls in love with these darned things. May these skeins be used up soon;-).

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The offending project…May the 4th be with me, either way…

P.S. One should not watch the World Poker Tour while studying Abnormal Psychology, especially when they’re down to three players. (That’s almost when it gets good;-)).

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;-).

Hello friends, another crazy week has passed with only one more to go…for this class. I have decided I will not take a three week class again. I should have taken the online version. I’ve been busy with two jobs, three hours of class a day, a paper and an exam. I made it through each of them, but in a regular class, you either get a breather for a second, or an easier set-up for the next section, usually. In a three week class, you are thanking whatever powers that be that the instructor didn’t assign a third reading to make up for the reading you didn’t get to last night, due to studying for the final.

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Current progress on the sock…about an inch, I think…But one inch at a time, right;-)

Am I not making sense? My apologies. The (likely) A.D.D. is kicking in because I have not been able to plan a thing with this instructor. (Testing is forthcoming) There’s a time for pantsing–usually in writing and often in blogs. In three week classes, if I don’t have everything written in ink, at some point it will all fall apart. I thought it already had, but my brain is ready for a serious defrag at this point. One more week to go. Here’s hoping I either read the selection before class without throwing the book against the wall, or that he quizzes on the one I have read.

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My oldest nephew, the cynical one on the right… in Jazz Band playing Bass Guitar…(I swear this kid has done nearly everything I wished I had in high school)

In the meantime, I was caught up on my reading on Sunday night for laundry, and didn’t have the paper with me(thank goodness). I got a few rows knit while we did laundry. After the exam today, I got a couple more rows done, though I hoped for more. I knew better. I’ve started taking my time with tests, reading them twice to make sure I understand the question. I cannot afford not to. I still want to keep up the four point oh. I hope I can, but it’s highly uncertain at this point, and over half the rest of the points will be due next week.

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(My youngest niece just beginning her career in band. I can’t wait to see what unfolds)

Oh, dear. So, now major trips to the yarn store, though I did score some cool dish scrubbies and wine glasses…Oh, let me show you the wine glasses….

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Look at these rustic beauties…it must be the birch…I believe only fallen wood is used. I’m not a mason jar girl, but you give them birch handles and I’m all over it. These are about to become retreat wine glasses;-). I’m afraid the dog will sneeze on them at home…really, it’s a thing.

And I purchased a couple of potholders when I asked dear James if he had a color preference and he said no, so I checked if he wanted them to match one of the scrubbies, to which he didn’t care either…. He was likely busy making my lunch, then, so I can’t complain too much about his lack of input. Though I don’t remember how I worded the question, his answer was “Yes,” which meant bring home whatever you pick out…If he burns them….I may kick him…ah, heck, one of us will burn them…it’s only a matter of time. Good thing they’re affordable. I hope he likes them.

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New scrubbies and pot-holders I am not able to crochet…and the crochet adds sturdiness…so, things I didn’t have to knit, and I paid asking price;-).
Now, let me get some rest before the Highland Festival for which I snuck in Saturday night off. More about that next week, I hope…though I will be in the throes of studying for a final exam and review…One more week…one more week until more yarn…and some quilting…Say it with me guys…I think I’m losing it;-)

I should be studying.  I should be getting that reading done. It’s about Euthanasia. I don’t entirely disagree with the concept, but I do not blanketly support it, either. It’s for a Philosophy class about Moral Problems. It’s interesting, but not entirely my cup of tea–especially when it’s time for wine.

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The cat, absorbing ethics by osmosis…though he’s recently tried to take credit for my book–or he just wants to collaborate on a storyline…

This week, it’s time for wine. The good stuff…or another glass of something. I may even move onto the hard stuff…but I do have class tomorrow, followed by work. I no longer wish to think.  So, allow me to come to the fun stuff.  Ah, the fun stuff, the mishap I’m still not quite sure how it all happened.

I was knitting my second sock last week as I came to the toe. I was quite excited to get to the toe as it means  I’m nearly done and this baby can come off the needles, ready to start the next soon…or so I thought.  I set down my needles and picked up the pattern. Where it says to knit the next four rounds, I had these 2 cute notes: dec 2.  Yes, I’d written it twice.

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Both socks, almost finished and off the needles…or half of two pair…hmm…

I counted my stitches. I had the 76 stitches I needed. I held sock 1 up against sock 2, and wouldn’t you know it, sock 1 was bigger!  Four stitches bigger. I checked my notes. I checked my blog posts. I searched and searched, and nowhere did I tell myself to knit in four more stitches each round all the way down the foot.

Oh, dear. Now I was at a dilemma. I realized after some searching, that since the size 1 needles made this pair so small and it felt a little tight, I must have stopped decreasing early on the gusset to make up 80 stitches in a round instead of 76. You’d think a girl would learn to take notes. I take notes in almost every other aspect of my life. I even took the decrease 2 notes on the pattern. I just wish I’d taken notes when I decided not to decrease.

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If you look closely, you can see the bigger one peeking out from the smaller one…

I’d settle for, “Hey, Dummy, you have wide feet, make the sock a little wider, say 4 stitches.” I can’t even ask you guys why you didn’t stop me, because its not in the blog. Oh, how I wished I’d blogged about it. Someone would have caught it.

Now I have a bigger dilemma, continue on with two different size socks, rip-out and re-knit…or go buy more purple, brown and blue variegated yarn and knit up two more socks…one for me, one for my diminutive 11 year old niece as part of a Christmas gift…

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Here’s the latest (terrible photo, sorry) on a much easier sock to knit. It may be time to cast on some vanilla latte socks…

Oh, the choices. The last idea holds some appeal. (Wondering if I can get even close to the previous dye lot). But I’m ready to move onto another pattern. I’m going to focus on the gray and dark purple colorway this week.  Next week, perhaps I’ll have bought more yarn…we shall have to see…

Wish me luck with these darned purple socks…yes, you may have a laugh with me on this one. My aunt already did–though she pointed out that once they’re inside my shoe, no one will know. However, I think my feet will feel the difference.

Feel free to weigh in fellow knitters…What would you do in this predicament?

Looking for Progress

January 29, 2016

Progress is quite slow on most of the knitting this week. It will continue to be slow on the socks, though they are knitting up to be quite refined. I finished the second half of the chart repeat tonight and am playing the game of “How long until I get to the toe?”

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Still working towards the toes…

Progress is quite slow on most of the knitting this week. It will continue to be slow on the socks, though they are knitting up to be quite refined. I finished the second half of the chart repeat tonight and am playing the game of “How long until I get to the toe?”

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Tonight’s helpers…

My money will be wagered on not before Spring Break(sometime in March, here).

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Mariah’s sock monkey, as inspected by Briannag

Allow me to explain…there was this stocking, full of hand spun wool…and that provided an adventure(more details of the frog puddle soon). Then there was an actual commission of another, wait for it–I promise it’s not a sock, really–it’s a sock monkey. My Little’s grandmother recalled that I knit Mariah a sock monkey for a gift some time ago while she was helping said youngin’ clean her room. The next thing I knew, I was commissioned to create a sock monkey by March. Um, I still have to do homework, too.

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Sock Monkey on Briannag…with Scamp and Squib…

The sock monkeys are not hard, but did take about three weeks to knit up previously. Here’s hoping I work a little faster with experience, and I will be taking parts of this monkey to class…Photos of yarn to come-it did finally arrive. Though it’s simple acrylic, I had to get the colors shipped. Jo-Ann Fabrics was out of the gray. I was kind of disappointed, but I did get to check the Pink Candy colorway I wanted and I liked it, so I had them shipped together. I can’t wait to show you, because it’s not stash yarn until it’s been used.

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The new Sock Monkey colors…

Now, allow me to get back to this pretty wool yarn that landed in my stocking, then created a small frog puddle. I decided to knit my dear James an ear warmer. I even decided to knit his before mine, though he’s currently wearing every hat he owns except the one I knit for him. If that’s not love, it’s some form of insanity, I think. Let’s call it love, this week. It’s also dedication-but I’m American, dedication may be a symptom of mental illness. That’s for another week as I’ve digressed.

I decide to knit dear James an ear warmer. I measure his head. i decide on a simple stockinette stitch since it’s a variegated yarn. I do vary the stitches near the ear on each side to make sure to cover them. He also wanted a thinner forehead band. I take the knitting to class and I knit when I have spare time between classes.

There’s only one problem with this plan. I don’t have dear James’ head there to wrap the ear warmer around. So, I knit on and on in stockinette stitch. And I knit on and on.

Then I brought the ear warmer and dear James’ head together. Perhaps I should have taken a photo of this, but I did not. Sorry, dear friends. Alas, the twelve stitch strip went down past his right ear, when measuring from just behind the left. So, I put the ear warmer back on his head, pulled the knitting needle out of the section I’d increased to sixteen stitches (horrified gasps are expected) and inserted the needle back in the ear warmer a little above his ear and ripped vigorously, and carefully. (We’re working with wool, after all).

Then I quickly went about the business of increasing to eighteen stitches for the ear section, and asked how thick or narrow he wanted the back section. Since I’d started with fourteen stitches, I expected to return to fourteen stitches, once I finished the ear section.

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Current ear warmer progress. I think I’ve knit a fair amount of the rip-pitting frog pond

I don’t know if it became easier or harder, but this dear man(who was not stabbed with the knitting needle in this process), asked for a thicker back half of the ear warmer. So, I’m sticking with the eighteen stitch rows and will decrease when I get closer to the other ear, then I will join and hopefully be done. Famous last words, right? Perhaps those words are “Pictures to follow.”

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Current Sock Progress….Still wanting to meet the toe…

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.

To Peek Or Not to Peek…

December 25, 2015

…just might be the question of the night;-)

The Christmas gifts are mostly wrapped and done. I have one more to finish and wrap, but it involves paint and shellac(the spray kind), and it will be done in time. I may have to thank my brother and sister-in-law for moving our Christmas family gathering this year. I had less craziness involved in completing the gifts. I’m much happier with them when I can look at it and say, “This is closer to what I wanted.” I really wanted perfection, but that would require months, not weeks….

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The Christmas tree is getting full of gifts…there’s a couple more to go under it, and perhaps next week I can show you my creations.

Alas, they are getting done and mostly wrapped, and the gift pile beneath my tree is growing. I’m not sure how I’m going to fit some of these gifts beneath it until I get to deliver them. Then the directing may begin. Though it would be fun to see this gift I can’t fully explain opened both ways. I may just let the teen figure it out for himself. He’ll have his own ideas anyways.

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Scamp is convinced these are her toys…

And the nieces are set up to be opened how they wish. Now, if I could just find the treats meant to go with them. I have the candy canes, but I got some other items and am not sure where I put them…I may have another search on my hands. In the meantime, this is a knitting blog…

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Scamp likes to play with the ribbon before she peeks…

But my needles are all naked right now, and I want to cast on and start a new black (shh…don’t tell dear James) sock that fits better, and I might still tonight. But then I have to get some knitting graph paper and design an arm sock set for a friend of a friend. This could get interesting. I was impressed my knitting journeys took me to fair isle. I didn’t expect them to take me to custom arm sock design. This could get interesting. Now to figure out which journal I need. I promise, you will hear about whether I like it or not. I picked out this one:  http://www.fringesupplyco.com/product/knitters-graph-paper-journal

I hope I didn’t ruin a Christmas gift, but I suspect he bought me yarn and he said something was a set and I could get the rest of it after Christmas…it’s curious, because he tells me it’s not needles. I know where it is, I could check the packages. It’s tempting, but I won’t. It’s not that I don’t enjoy being naughty, I just learned many years ago that I don’t like ruining the surprise.

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Scamp and Squib Inspecting the gifts, and their box…

When I was ten, (please forgive me if I’ve told this story before), my little brother woke me quietly at 2AM. We snuck down the stairs, and peeked at the Christmas gifts, which were only covered with a blanket. My brother woke me to help because I had a knack for putting things back exactly the way they were. So, we peeked, and I found mine and looked. It was fun, and made a great story about what I did on Christmas vacation. And I would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for that meddling teacher, Mr. Sauve(Saw-vey, not shampoo). He kept our essays, and returned them to our parents at conferences in February.

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Squib is pro-peeking…

I was mad at him for a month. We didn’t get into too much trouble, but our cover was blown, because it made a better story than I watched tv, fought with my brothers and waited for school to start back up where the rules were consistent and we frequently busy, except when I finished my classwork before everyone else, except for writing. I would have written all day if they’d let me. Alas, the stocking soon took over for my favorite tradition, and I remember having to “act surprised” at my gifts, though I already knew what they were. After that, I decided just to wait and see what the gifts were. That way, I wouldn’t get anymore essays returned to my parents that I didn’t ever want them to see or know about. (Though it does make for a fun story now. At least I think so).