Contrasting Colors No More

November 29, 2018

It’s a little sad, but I may have a second opportunity…and this recipient just may be worth a little more cost in the yarn. But first, I have some exciting news: I am being published in The Central Review, Central Michigan University’s undergraduate literary journal! It is one simple poem entitled, “My dear Exploder (Yes, I Meant to Say Exploder),” and the release party is tomorrow night at 6PM. I’m excited and may make this short, because I still need to practice my delivery on this poem, and figure out where I’m stopping and starting and where to pause and if the tempo changes. Okay, time to take a deep breath. I can rehearse the reading later.

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My photo for the publishing op part of the Central Review publication.

In the meantime, I’m working on the Indian Cross Scarf, because I gave up on the yarn company bringing in the right color green. I settled for a lighter color blend and do not love the lack of contrast. Wendy, the recipient, however thinks it looks just fine.  So, I will continue knitting and see how it comes out and if I have enough lavendar, or if I will return for more lavender, some turquoise or a darker purple to bring the contrast back and play with variegated colors. In the end, whether things go well, I think I’ll have a lovely scarf. Tell me what you think, ladies and gents. Until next time,

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The current progress on the Indian Cross Scarf from One Skein Wonders (they measure skeins differently).

Happy Knitting

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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;-).

 

Choices Made Easier

June 14, 2018

 

Cornhole boards…nothing says summer like cornhole boards…My niece wants to bid on them at Art Reach. They are not yet finished.

How do you choose whether to knit or quilt or paint Cornhole (Bean Bag toss) boards this week? The easiest way to make this choice is to run out of yarn after a tough row, and to get a last minute email requesting the Cornhole boards be painted.

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Close up of my progress…try not to count the stitch mistakes, please. They shouldn’t be noticeable in the end.

I got my second repeat of row one  on the Indian Cross Scarf finished, and hoped I had enough yarn to finish row two and maybe row three. I was pretty sure I was going to the yarn store this week. I just finished row two for the second repeat and found I had about sixty inches of yarn left. That’s sixty inches to cover 216 stitches + 7/9 extra stitches, which I’m not redoing. I had won the yarn chicken battle, but I would not win the war. The skein is out. As for the extra stitches, this is exactly why decreases were invented. I’ll recount before I start, after I pick a good join, and divide that number by 216 to figure out how often I need to decrease to keep it even. I also have the option of finding the stitches where I knit 9 stitches into 8 and decreasing there, but I think the even decrease will be less obvious.

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Current progress on the Indian Cross Scarf.

I also decided I had only three choices for the yarn chicken loss, but they’re not great choices. I could use another yarn, but I don’t have any cotton and acrylic, and I want these yarns to look close. I could knit with an entirely contrasting yarn…but I didn’t work that in from the beginning, and it won’t provide the effect I want. The third choice is most satisfying all around: I can buy more yarn.

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Same brook, different view. Such a lovely little space.

I decided to walk into the yarn store today and get more yarn, so I could pick a join, knit this up over the weekend, I hoped, and finish this to present at quilt retreat. The yarn store was out of this yarn color and didn’t have any good substitutes since I still have close to a third of this scarf left to knit. Luckily I had kept the label and she’s ordering another skein for me.

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I can’t think of a better place to read, knit, or relax right now…at least not within driving distance.

However, in the meantime, I’ll show you some pleasant places for future knitting between appointments or after exams when I don’t wish to study. I stumbled across the mini brook in the afternoon as I decided to prep for a writing appointment, which I moved to the gazebo, fountain and now brook area of my school’s campus. In the future, I may be found knitting there…or at least sneaking some photos…I think it will change as the year goes on, I mean…Look at this beauty.

Only two boards to paint, but I had to include the horn and unicorn hair artist, Jessica, posing with her work.

I also ended up with two Cornhole boards to paint this afternoon, once I confirmed my partners in crime were willing to lend me space. I may still be a little high on spray paint fumes, but it’s worth it so far…And they’re not done. Whatever you think of them, they’re not done yet. I’ll post that in the next couple of weeks when I can get better photos of the finished boards.

One of my favorite knitting phrases is “I’m halfway there.” The project starts to take shape and really look like what it’s supposed to become in this half. In addition, I know the end of any monotonous rows will come…I can hope. When you’ve cast on 216 stitches, you keep wondering if you’re ever truly close to halfway or if you need to count all the way to three-quarters of the way there.

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Beginning of the crossover stitches…this is what happens when you begin to knit, wrap the needle three times, complete the stitch and drop the elongated stitch in the next round.

But I like still having something to knit, while seeing it take shape. I like finishing and casting on a new project…but there’s a sense of sadness in finishing…even with the Ta-da moment. There’s a nice since of new as you steady the needles in the beginning. But the real magic happens at the halfway point…the design takes shape, the pattern shows through and you feel as if you are creating something special. Considering the number of stitches you put into each piece, you are creating a labor of love.

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This is how it looks once you cross four stitches over the other four stitches (yes, you are counting to 8 27 times), then knit them…it is a pretty effect

This week’s labor of love is pretty simple, a little fun, but not my style. It’s crossing over elongated stitches to make a great pattern called the Indian Cross Scarf. I did figure out what I was doing, and the knitting became smoother and easier after that, but it’s just not my thing. I’d almost rather cable across a total of 144 stitches any day. But I’m enjoying making this for a friend and wondering what in the 101 Designer One Skein Wonders, edited by Judith Durant I shall knit next.

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Half-way there on the Indian Cross Scarf…

I’m considering felted bowls or some matching hat, scarves and mitten/gloves patterns. Oddly, there aren’t many matching patterns out there. I’m a little surprised at that, but then, I haven’t taken the time to simply sit down and actually work out and design a pattern to create my own matching hat, gloves and scarf set. (Gloves may mean mittens, I’m undecided on knitting fingers yet.)

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This is another angle of what half way there looks like. It is turning into a lovely scarf.

In the meantime, on those stealth argyle socks, I’ve begun to make the toes for the second sock and can knit up to the size 3 needle point. Then I have to measure yarn and divide and hope for the best.