New Pathways…

September 6, 2018

…Casting on…Mock Cables and Lace…on the wrong size needles.

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Size 2 dpn…which ravelry claimed was okay…it’s not quite…unless I wish to live dangerously…

As I catch up to the first sock in the stealth argyle pattern, I am making plans to knit another pair of socks. I just can’t take the first and second sock trade-off to class much…But I found out today I may have to. I pulled out this beautiful burgundy and black yarn, and plan to knit it before class, working on the Stealth Argyles at home on relaxed mornings. (I’ll find one, somewhere). I just haven’t decided which one yet. And right now, I’m cutting out a quilt, slowly.

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Excuse the view…Scamp doesn’t pose well until she’s pissed off. Also, it’s still summer, even though the teachers have given up on it.

So, today…I took two skeins of wildfoote yarn to campus, and stopped at the library on my way to class and checked ravelry.com for info. The notes someone left said they were knit on size 2 needles, so I decided to cast on with size two. I aimed for 72 stitches since that is what most patterns cast on…however, I was aware there are many that cast on only 64 stitches. Then I got home tonight and found the book.

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Slightly better viewpoint…I’m almost there…and then four rows and switch…

I had size 2 and 3 dpns. I cast-on with size 2 and should have used size 3 circular needles. (I don’t have size 3 circular needles yet.) Then again, I also only cast on 72, instead of 74. This is the easiest fix of all. Payday is tomorrow, yeah! I can purchase the circular needles in the morning and look at what else is needed. However, I can also set these up to knit on bamboo or steel dpns. We’ll have to see.

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…as green (teal) will be my limiting factor…and Scamp will not stay still while helping me knit…but the heels and toes took all the teal.

So, the photos show the progress…and I’ll hope to make these socks all look good and get some of them done before winter hits, though I’m happy to wear my current inventory as cool weather finally visits us. Until next time: Happy knitting!DSCN4048

Perhaps, I’ll just work on reinforcing these for winter before class…and those are my #2 40″ circs…so I only need the size 3 needles. We’ll see what I come up with next week…I bet you can guess;-)

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Knitting at Quilt Week

August 23, 2018

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Current progress on the sock before I headed home tonight…These are in my best friend’s front yard.

Of course, I was busy taking pictures of quilts, not knitting. Though knitting does break the ice to begin conversations. The socks currently look like socks. I love that. However, do to all the conversations, there are more errors than I wish to admit to… I did pick up some useful quilt tips…I’m surprised I didn’t think of a chalk line before…but I have no tips for knitting a complicated pattern while talking to others, except: take a simpler pattern.

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More of the sock before I left Grand Rapids tonight, I think I forgot to turn the frog back around…

I have no idea of the errors. I’m not looking or counting. Currently, my head is full of quilting…and possibilities. Some days, I feel as if I could use this sort of retreat for fiber minded friends. Perhaps I need to find myself a fiber festival. (But that’s one more thing the budget will be mean about, while I sit here and wonder which path I will be following next). Alas, for now, I’ll pet my fabric, knit another row, pour a glass of wine, and call it a day. In the meantime, Happy Knitting… and may your travel patterns be simple.

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Putzer’s new digs.

Of course, sometimes things change while I’m away. Putzer is normally content to sleep on the lap desk below us, but in the past two and a half days, he convinced dear James (dad, to him, or head bill payer), to gift him a new Cat Bed. I do not believe he has shared said bed since it was set up.

No Knitting Before The GRE

August 16, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

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But who can with this new addition…this is Smokey, yet to be given her middle name, which she will go by here. (Taken once the dogs were put in the bedroom)

I should be studying has become my motto this semester. I don’t feel as if there isn’t a time when I’m not studying for the next test…all while trying to keep up with my other classes. I’d tell you “Oy and Vey,” but my boyfriend insists this phrase doesn’t suit me. He’s probably right. In the interest of genuine…”Dammit!” Okay, grumbling over (for now).

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Perhaps I snuck in more than six rows…but I haven’t been counting…maybe I should check where I start increasing…though I have a little time.

In the meantime…I think I knit four to six rows on the socks, but I did make progress on the hat…as I sit here and think, 1) I should be studying, and 2) Why did that person use dark purple highlighter in the book they sold me? There’s also writing all over the margins that I don’t need. I know I bought it used, but she said it was in Very Good condition(which I hoped meant it was used by a person who never opened it). With as many marks as I’ve found, and as dark as they are, it should have been sold as “Good.” I hate when people ruin books I’ve paid a little extra for to keep them reasonably good.

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Putzer doesn’t care that there’s a new cat in the house…so long as she doesn’t bother him…

Okay, okay…enough about school… let’s get back to the hat and cat…(and no, the cat is not in the hat–she has not been given the opportunity. I got the provisional cast on removed and the brim knit to itself and have begun the pattern work. I’m over half-way through the first repeat. Yeah! (I think). I’m currently beginning a four row rib…I’m not in a terribly happy place. And I’m thinking of knitting this hat inside out in the future. I think it might get a bit easier and develop fewer ladders, which purl stitches don’t like to snug out as I knit. However, it’s coming along…and if I keep this up and use it during morning breaks or study breaks and between classes, I just may get it knit before winter ends.

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I have no idea why I don’t knit hats in the summer…so we’re ready for winter…perhaps its to give us hope that winter will end;-).

If not, the knitting of a warm hat will herald the end of winter, right? It’s not bad, and we get a little snow each day instead of a bunch of snow on one day this year, so far…but it’s gotten cold and windy again. Now, before I start complaining about winter, as I’m overwhelmed with school…she found me…sort of.

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Briannag is a big scary dog…who just wants the new cat to like her.

I had an offer for a kitten, but couldn’t get to them in time, and they’d let you pick them up, but none were definite snugglers. Alas, they had other takers…and my girlfriend posted on Tuesday night that she needed to rehome her cat, so I messaged her, and made sure I wasn’t obligated to pick up a barn kitty. She is not yet renamed, so she’s either Smokey, kitten or the cat until we learn her personality. She’s in the running for Scamp II…but Scamp would be pissed at me for years to come if I tried that. In fact, Scamp is guarding Mama now, though she won’t snuggle. I’m told Smokey Kitten snuggles, after she gets used to the rest of the clowder and two big dogs…which is an adjustment for her.

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Scamp isn’t sure what to make of the new kitty…but she will guard Mama, just in case. (But I can’t snuggle her…)

I may have to knit these guys a blanket yet with some old and useless yarn….or they’re own shawls(only after I start mine)…but in the meantime, they like my sweaters and I’ll keep knitting hats and socks.

Dropping the Ball…

November 17, 2017

…not the yarn…thankfully…

…not literally, thankfully, as this yarn would likely roll everywhere…But it’s been a heck of a week, missed important appointments, meltdowns over assignments…work for assignments always feels off or late…but has been somehow good enough to get me by. I’m appreciative of my instructor’s flexibility at this point.

However, the knitting continues…although with my crazy week, I got nothing done on the hat and will need to return to it one day…maybe. In the meantime, I’m still finding time to knit between classes, when I’m not memorizing poems for performances…I became a fluid tree for about two seconds today…but none of the trees I represented were truly fluid…though they dance in the winds of a pale sea-green breeze. There are no pictures of this performance, and I’m okay with that…

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Scamp, inspecting my knitting bag for goodies to run off with…

Okay, okay, I performed “For C.W.B.” by Elizabeth Bishop.  There are tree lines, and statements of beginning a life together and mention of a stork. I ensured it was presented rather sensually. Only one person thought it was too much…the instructor did not. In fact, when the tree branches swayed in that pale sea-green breeze I saw their smile…which just encouraged me.

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Backside of current sock with first sock for comparison….I was getting more color play on the second sock for a bit…

Now, let me get back to the knitting. There was some…I mentioned on a sock knitting facebook post that I just about had my pattern memorized, but still carried it with me just in case. So, I looked at my pattern and said, “Oh, I’m knitting row 12, it goes like this…” and proceeded to knit it half wrong. I simply worked my bridge stitch early. It is supposed to be in row 13.  Previously, I think I worked it late…so now I have slightly wonky bridge stitches…see if you can find them.

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Front side of the second socks…with back side for comparison…enjoy… 

Yes, I know the stripes are off..I’m going with it. Sometimes, socks get to be wonky. I hope you enjoy them…as well as the recipient, so I’d better get back to knitting. I will say, to some extent, I can knit and rehearse lines if I do so carefully, but then I will end up with socks that veer off course more than I do.

Simple, but effective…

November 10, 2017

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Sock progress this week…it’s been considerable…

It’s been quite a week, and I’m skipping the details, as they’re not mine to tell. I’m not sure how much I got done on the hat this week, but I think there may have been progress. However, the proud moments involve the sock. I’ve been taking it to classes and for studies…and a musical. Spring Awakening is quite a musical…my favorite moment involved a fellow theater-goer. We got to a risque scene in the play and the lights abruptly go on for what I recognize as intermission…and the young man next to me says, “What?!” I looked at him and assured him, “There’s more.”

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Scamp thinks this is her knitting bag…or there are treasures in here she can run off with…I caught her in time…

In the meantime, I need to get back to knitting, quilting and schoolwork…ugh…If you want to know what a psychological study looks like, send me a message. Otherwise, I need to get to bed, and compile data and…never mind…my brain needs a rest. Enjoy my baby kitten(not so much anymore) Scamp, trying to claim the knitting bag…I think she wants to learn to knit.

So, I hear there’s a concept called balance. I’ve yet to come close to mastering it. This week is seeming like a roller coaster ride, and I have more to come. The challenge is not taking everyone with me, and knowing when to tell my friends I need them to jump on.

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One of my favorite knitting helpers, deciding I should snuggle her rather than read poetry.

Let me explain the low, slow climb to the top. My cat was diagnosed with bone cancer this week. I thought it was an abscess or tooth infection. A couple of shots…a vet bill, and it would be fine. I missed class, bought a scale and soft food instead…and came home to snuggle my cat. She is my snuggle kitty too…She’d let me knit her a sling and attach herself to me permanently, so long as I didn’t jump around or up and down too much. Beware the knitting ideas we knitter’s come up with when the going gets tough.

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Full length view…isn’t there a magic knitting formula…that whatever one knits, it works?

In the meantime, I’ve been making short headway on the socks while I’m waiting for circular knitting needles to arrive in the mail. Then I get to knit a kickin’ hat pattern(that’s written in Russian, of course…because I can, and it’s kickin’). I’m getting excited to start it.

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So close, yet so far…

Unfortunately…I know, I promised we were done with those sorts of words…but I just tried to try on this sock…it’s too small…I’m not sure it will fit over my heel. I’m wondering if it will fit my niece, and if I can get it done in time for Christmas (or if it will be a birthday gift). The good news is I wasn’t in love with this yarn. I think Lizzie will like it better. The bad news is, I finally got the pattern close to what I wanted it to be…only I need it on bigger needles if it’s to be for me.

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Backside of the too small sock…

I’m debating If I will knit this pair of socks for myself again, or if I will simply gift these and move on…part of this decision will depend on how much yarn I have left and how excited I get to knit other patterns…for now, I will be finishing this sock, and repairing the cuff…Drat!

Alas, one sock almost down, one classmate encouraged to knit (I hope she listens…1 poem equals 1 row of knitting), and we move on to the next pattern which i hope is big enough…but it starts out toe-up, which will be a bit easier to work with…though I love my dpns still.

I Love A Challenge…

September 21, 2017

…and if a project isn’t challenging enough, apparently I can make it a challenge without too much effort. Imagine that. Let me explain…or in American-ese: Hold my beer and watch this…no drinking it…I’m gonna need it.

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Those first weeks when your sock is a tiny dream of a toe…

Someone I highly respect at work asked me about knitting a hat for a co-worker’s grandmother to keep her head warm. I knit with wool and will not knit with acrylic. My first question: Is she okay with wools/animal danders? If she has allergies, I need to find a new fiber-I was thinking bamboo or silk blends, which I may still look into. Apparently, Judy’s grandma is not allergic as the ONLY answer I get to this question is, “She likes soft stuff.” Who doesn’t? I asked if she had allergies.

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The knit side doesn’t want to show off yet… These will be the Stealth Argyle socks by Eunny Jang in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class

Alas, an overly easy client is tougher than a picky one sometimes. The next question: what colors does she like? I got the answer of pinks and purples. Sounds easy enough…but it’s not, because I don’t know if she means carnation, fuchsia or heathered or if she means indigo, lavender, or heathered…I’m probably going with what’s available as I’m buying the yarn…but…I’d like to know she likes it before I buy the yarn. I’m considering sending pictures and links and hope they do the yarn justice.

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Current Progress on Slip-N-Slide socks by Chrissy Gardiner in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class

In the meantime, if pleasing an overly-easy client is tough enough, I was searching for patterns on ravelry.com. I found a gorgeous hat that I won’t get bored with. Let me get a sip of my beer. Now hang on, while I go over how fun this is…Hold my beer again please;-). The pattern, by Tatyana Rovenskaya is called Hat-Gray Fields. If the name doesn’t give it away, perhaps the link will…Okay, okay, I’ll tell you: The pattern is in Russian.

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Current back progress on class knitting…

A sane knitter, not asking you to hold her beer (while checking over her shoulder that you haven’t taken too large a sip tax), would find another hat, right? What does a not so sane knitter do at 2:30AM when she should be reading psychology articles about gender differences in anger? She says, “Ooh…Russian…I can translate this…” thinking darn it Mrs. Ovenhouse and Mr. Toodzio…How dare you teach me not to fear Russian translations. It’s only a page or two. It’s only a knitting chart…Right. (it’s okay to stop laughing now, wouldn’t want you to spill my beer).

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Beer was not really involved at 2:30AM(though that’s not how you’ll re-tell the story), but lack of sleep and homework procrastination are just as powerful of motivators…and now…I’m going to need a sip…Please return it. I know it’s good.

Two hours later between a google translator and a Russian dictionary, I haven’t made much headway…about a quarter of the pattern. In my defense, I was not writing things down. Once I went towards bed with a Russian dictionary I had suddenly relocated, I began writing things down. I made some headway…but only about half. As I put the tools of translation away, and set the pattern aside for the night, I thought, my school has Russian classes…perhaps I’ll find a Russian teacher who knits…perhaps I can tutor Russian for a student and they can help me translate this…Checked today, I don’t see any Russian classes this year. I’m going to have to brush up on my Russian and bring it to this school.

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Terpander socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class for those that missed it last week. Why knit vanilla socks when one can complicate matters and add an adult beverage?

Sure, I could find another pattern, but where is the fun in that? Besides, I might not have met the Vogue International Knitting Terms page. It’s worth a look, and I must research needle sizes to make sure I guess right. Now, I must start memorizing a performance of literature, and writing an Introduction for Psychology…thank goodness the poetry comes easy. Anyone think there’s a poem in there? In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed the post and the photos of my current works in progress.

Knitting Show-and-Tell…

September 8, 2017

This week, for my Oral Interpretation of Literature class…we were tasked with bringing something to class that defines ourselves in three ways. We had some interesting presentations, such as a Minnie Mouse chapstick with a surprise inside, and some jealousy inspired presentations with soft and comfy blankets we were hoping the ladies that brought them would pass them around and let us huddle under. I was jealous wishing I had remembered to bring my own double fleece cape to keep warm, especially on this gloomy, rainy day.

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Terpander Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes in Sock Knitting: Master Class by Ann Budd

I went first. I find it easier to simply get it over with. Then I don’t have to worry about it. I don’t mind setting the standard. I don’t even mind talking in front of people anymore. I will sometimes mind the memorization that will be required. However, you’re probably curious about which of the many tenets of knitting I used to define myself, even if I do tend to fidget with the yarn as I present. I always have cards or chips in my hands anyways. The yarn is softer and more comforting to feel. Let’s get back to petting our yarn.

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I was almost wishing I had brought this knit 1, purl 1 rib with me today…It would have made my day more cheerful.

I had just finished the heel flap before I began the presentation as well. First, the yarn is soft and pliable, as I can be…after a good massage. Yes, some days I require a good massage to be pliable. Don’t we all?

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The yarn is already pliable, and thankfully, I haven’t tangled this yarn too much…

Secondly, if you push in too many needles or other things into the yarn ball, it can get tangled up. I also get tangled up if you put too much into my day or week. Sometimes, I get tangled up without much seeming provocation.

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Scamp is curious about where the bag has been…she’d be more curious about the contents if I let her(but she’s half the reason the bag has a zipper.

Thirdly, if you are patient with it and work with the yarn, you can knit it up into a beautiful pattern and yarn comes in a variety of styles of looks, so one never knows quite what they are going to get. This little blurb is not verbatim, but it’s pretty close to what I said…if you do use my words,  I simply ask  that you mention you find them here, provided you have to present a 30 second show and tell about a fun object that defines you…or you have to explain some yarn inspiration.

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I’ve forgotten how tough kitten selfies can be…and yes, Maeve got a summer hair cut this year…Putzer just likes to snuggle in…and it’s a matter of time before Briannag joins us.

Once I got home from the play Love/Sick, which was an interesting take on the lifecycle of love, marriage, divorce and death (of humans and love)…there’s poem line…I wrote the first draft of the paper due for the play, caught up on Project Runway (which I missed for the play), and finally sat down to knit the heel turn. I did not knit the heel turn earlier as I like to do so all at once, instead of leaving my knitting mid-row and figuring out where I left off later. However, as noted above, knitting does bring out the kitties…then again, two of them are demanding attention as I write.

Until next week, Happy Knitting!

 

Class ended. I got an A-, though I got an A on the research proposal. I’m quite pleased with that grade;-). I wish it had been an A, but I can’t be perfect all of the time.

However, when class ends, the social schedule opens up. I needed this and I needed the break…but I look back on this week, recall the floods that happened Thursday night into Friday morning in neighboring towns(thank goodness) that washed out roads and stalled out cars.

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The front of the Terpander Socks…I got two rows completed Monday before I gave up and napped…I hope they’re right…

It has been a crazy weather week, and us Michiganders who think nothing beats us…who think, it’s only 6-8” of snow…it’s still not a full foot, we can keep going…have learned a lesson about rain. En mass, in force, water is a force to be reckoned with, and some roads will take months to repair, no matter how much we need them. Some of them have spans that would make the Dukes of Hazard detour. It’s been a rough week. I drove my sister-in-law to work Friday and loaned her my car to get home providing that she pick me up after work. She managed to make it on her own Saturday and Sunday, thankfully.

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Back side of the latest “Two rounds at a time” socks…or Terpander

Then I dutifully got sick Monday. I even called in to work. I made it in through two days of flooding. I wasn’t going to keep going in not feeling well. I felt most guilty about not getting knitting or quilting done. I tried…but I could not concentrate. So I read and slept the day away. Tuesday, I felt just well enough to make a potluck treat and make it to a Quilt Guild Pot Luck meeting. I had fun, saw some lovely quilts and received feedback on a charity quilt I made. It needs more ties…but that stories on the Quilting Journeys page.

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Putzer is enjoying the high-life as he’s hi-jacked my knitting photo pillow…He thinks I owe him a two-handed full-body massage as well…

Wednesday…Tie-dye party. I wish I’d pulled out my camera, but I was trying not to get the dye all over me…trust me, this is a specialty I have to work around…but I had more quilting to do.  So, I didn’t want to play remove dye all night…though lotion, followed by rubbing alcohol, followed by lotion helped a lot. (I’m boycotting dishes right now…it’s my week off). So, what’s this got to do with knitting…apparently, it’s what I was thinking I’d get to, while I did other plans.

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I really wanted to be further along…

Tonight, I was going to knit, and I got to it…but first I had to take my dad his father’s day gift…(my nephew held a graduation party on Father’s day, so we decided he would wait till this week, due to our schedules). Then my niece demanded I and/ or invited me to join her at a carnival at work…right away. I made her wait, but she was not partaking in the tie-dye party last night, so I went to spend some time with her. I took the knitting, but it’s hard to knit these patterns at a carnival (and it was getting dark out). I know, excuses, excuses…

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But, it’s knitting up nice…I just hope the yarns start inter-playing more as I knit on…they should, or I will have to re-think this sock…

So, I came home to make food and knit. And I completed one more round of rows, which I began Tuesday, I think. I have such high hopes for this yarn…I’m hoping the next round will take this sock to the more fun place I think it will go. In the meantime, here it is…check them out.