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;-).

 

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Playing Yarn Chicken…

September 13, 2018

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I love these purple and white and pink petunias.

We all do it! We’ve most all been there…If you haven’t, you’ll likely join us soon. And technically, I won the battle, but lost the war. Technically, I got through these final two rows with the teal. Technically, I was supposed to get through about a dozen more rows, at least half of them teal. That didn’t work. I was supposed to finish on row 4 or 32 of 56. I was on row 44. Technically, I lost the war of the rows…(sorry, pun was not intentional). However, following directions has never really been my strong suit.

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Do you see that short string of teal yarn…

So, my socks are very closely connected with about ten inches of yarn between them after knitting the final teal rows. I’m about to cut the string and knit some more. However, let’s recall the upside of losing this war….I still have the socks. I still will finish a warm pair of knit socks, (likely before the cold weather sets in). I just have to knit the ribbing. It’s recommended to knit 1, purl 1 on this pattern…I’m thinking of modifying the ribbing…I’m undecided at this point, but if it proves too annoying, I may knit 4, purl 4. It’s just easier.

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What a lovely place to knit…and showcase these socks;-)

In addition…I’m supposed to finish with color A (teal), and knit the ribbing with color A (teal), but I’m all out of teal. Which made the decision for me…I have one more row of purple after this evening and then I get to start the ribbing. We’ll see if this takes me one week or two;-), but these babies should be off the needles soon.

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I still love these purple petunias;-)

May all of your knitting lead to sooner than later ta-da moments!

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;-)

Back To School

August 30, 2018

…or DSCN4030.JPG It’s not lost on me that stories could be created from a lone sock laying around on a college campus…

what do you say when your instructor asks you what kind of medieval torture device you are holding in your hand? Knitting needles, of course…He’s never seen more than two needles…poor bloke. Alas, today, he met my favorite wooden needles…then he asked me if I ever stabbed anyone, and I had to admit, that it’s a risk for my boyfriend if they get left on the couch, by accident, course. (It may have been more honesty than he was prepared for today…but he claims you can ask him anything.)

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This ledge with these pretty flowers are right across from the library, and it was warmer than the bench…

Alas, I’m still at the stage of classes where I can work on knitting before class, instead of trying to catch up on the latest reading…the catching up part will come later. The second sock is going much quicker this past two weeks I’ve had some spare time to actually just knit. Now, if I had fewer campus involvements, my homework might be done too…

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Apparently, fall is in the air here…

Nevermind, I’m still working on catching up to the first sock, and am looking forward to the day when they match, though I’ve become aware that patches will be either purple or gray as I will most likely have no green yarn left. I’ll show you how much I have to work in once I get to that last row of green…but there isn’t much left now. We’ll see how it goes. In the meantime, I have reading to do, and socks to knit.

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And yes, I’m curious what your single sock and medieval torture devices story would be if I left this behind (which I likely wouldn’t).

Until next time,

Happy Knitting!

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!

…with my latest patterns. There’s apparently too much counting.

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Almost as good as the chat with my girlfriend…(no pictures of that event…we left only the pizza dear James bought as evidence). 

In between studies, I invited my friend (who is technically my ex-sister-in-law…but she got 100% custody of me in the divorce… is still willing to share her children with me). However, she mentioned one day that she’d like some adult girl time on a day off. Though it set me behind in studies, and I’d invited somewhat for organization, she showed up with a bag full of crochet items.

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Taken at the Fabiano Botanical Gardens on the campus of Central Michigan University.  I just love to knit and study here;-)

We did more talking than knitting or crocheting…however, we both made an attempt to work at whatever was in our bag, while holding adult conversation. Problem is: when your finally in an environment where you don’t have to censor any of your words, your attention is no longer on the knitting, right. (And I don’t have any vanilla stockings on the needles right now. I may never.)

Still the prettiest place to knit and study I know of…

I did get a few rows knit, but the yarn keeps tangling, so half of my time is spent untangling the yarns. However, I did make a little progress. I have one more inch to knit for the balls of the toes, then I can pull off the nylon reinforcer until the heel. I also attempted a cast on of the Innsmouth bodice which can be found here on ravelry.com. I am on there, if you wish to find me.

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Cast on of the Innsmouth Bodice…I’m not supposed to join in the round, but I’m going to have to double check things here. Wish me luck. 

I got the first row cast on, and need to re-count the stitches and un-confuse myself before I start. This is a great deal of division for this shawl. I still have markers left, but just barely, and no small ones… 

Until next time, Happy knitting!

…perhaps when I’m not talking to others. I should be taking a quiz, or beginning dinner right about now. I’m in college. I often need to be doing something else. So, how do I do it? I have to make a choice.

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My nieces and nephews pretending to be camera shy;-).

I have to choose to make time to knit. I know I’m going to play on facebook, or quilt, or knit, and sometimes, I’m going to have to take a walk, and spend some actual time with my boyfriend and talking to him, not just shushing him while I concentrate on sudoku games. And some weeks, the fourth of July holiday is thrown in and you visit with your family for a bit.

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Drama Llama Lizzie, hiding from her own Drama…

Somedays, adding in work, that is a lot to juggle. I spent most of my breaks studying for a quiz today, and I need to take that quiz tonight, but I got in one row of knitting while I watched a little tv and chatted with dear James. I did also tink back four rows, maybe five from last week, and went a little farther than I planned to, but all is working out now, so far. I have some wonky thread to work with for a bit. But it should knit up fine.

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Sock progress with pre-curled yarn for stitches…

I’ve been told some won’t use this wonky yarn, but I need to, as there will be pieces left when I’m done with these socks. I’m also told you can soak the yarn, but these were knit and purl stitches before, I think they’re just pre-formed. I’ll have more issues with the tangling of yarn, than I likely will with the curvy, sporty yarn. They’ll come, just slowly for the next few weeks.

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They’re still pretending to ignore me…had I said cheeseburger, they would have run for dinner…

Until Next Time,

Happy Knitting

Learning To Tink/Frog

June 28, 2018

One of the toughest things I had to learn for knitting was learning to tink, frog or essentially, rip out hours of work. The term frog it comes from repeatedly saying, “rippit, rippit, rippit…” as opposed to being an acronym you can use in polite company. Tink is simply knitting backwards…and hurts as much as frogging…and let’s not talk about unravelling, because when you realize you’ve put purl stitches on the soles of the feet again, (where it’s supposed to be stockinette) you become a little unraveled, as you know you will have to unravel the yarn.

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Pretty flowers I didn’t have to work for…almost make up for tinking…almost.

It’s all fun and games until a girl discovers her best option is to Tink, or frog it. Then again, once you frog the first time, and you cry crocodile tears over the hours of work you are ripping out…you go back to knitting and hopefully have a little energy left to knit, or you come back when you do. Then you knit a better project and you smile at the work you knew you could do.

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Shh…I’m still not tinking this one…I think you’ll understand…

You’re not happy about the tinking, but you’re satisfied with that final outcome, and you get a better sock, shawl, or scarf for it. I haven’t begun the bodice yet… Since the yarn wasn’t in to finish the scarf, I worked on the socks…

The single straight needle is correct…the two forming the V, however, require the tinking.

I was talking as I worked on the socks…can you tell? It’s part of why I purled the stockinette side again. I wasn’t supposed to purl here…However, tinking gets easier each time. It still hurts, there still may be some choice phrases muttered…but I know frogging will leave me in a better place later. So, it is only a slight disappointment, and I did get to show off the socks to explain how a real darning egg worked at a living history museum this weekend.

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I wish I’d brought the knitting bag upstairs, this is a great prop to show off a darning egg…wrong colors for the 1870’s, but still a useful prop.

In the meantime…here’s the plan. I’m going to place a spare needle about four rows down…picking u as many of those stitches as possible on each side, and completely unravel back to where I set the needle in. Then, I’m going to simply re-knit the rows as they are supposed to be knit, and hope more goes right this time. I may thread lifelines through as well, to make sure I get all the stitches as I begin to re-knit my work. Luckily, I didn’t get too far into this as I knit it incorrectly. Until next time, May your knitting be frog free, unless you are knitting a frog.

 

I went to a quilt retreat and didn’t get any knitting done this week. I also have a ton of reading and homework. Yeah. However, I came across a sentiment I can still discuss with you this week. We were discussing quilting, and while a beginner class, or a parent or grandparent teaching a child to quilt on an easy, straight-lined pattern, there are two of us in this small group that are self-taught quilters. We came the conclusion that one thing we love about being self-taught is that you often don’t know enough to know better.

Ah, the tools of an avid beginner…I knew nothing…and yet…I feared little…

This can get you in trouble…but it can get you great results without someone saying, “No, you have to do it this way.” I’ve decided learning to knit on your own is similar. No one told me I had to only knit across in garter stitch. That is good. I get bored easily.

Watch for the improvement…the green were more interesting than the purple, and better (having learned better)

No one told me I had to knit one direction, turn it and purl the other direction in stockinette stitch. That is good. I get bored, well…yeah, easily. No one told me anything. I looked at stitches and patterns and decided I needed something a little challenging. I promise, I didn’t start with a cable needle in my hand, nor even dpns. I began with the flat knitting aluminum needles from goodwill with stoppers on one end and Caron Simply Soft acrylic yarn in a burgundy tone.

 

Meeting that pain of ripping out your work to create something more beautiful.

No one had to tell me to yarn over or how…I think most of us figure that out on our own…we just have to told what it’s called. I did have to figure out how to decrease after including all of my yarn overs in my first knit since I was ten years old. I used pictures in a greatly detailed small book I found at the J-store. I then learned how to increase, which comes easily.

Though not everything I knit comes out as planned, many of them turn out beautifully.

Then, I learned to decrease, out of necessity. When a panel that could become a blanket goes from 33 stitches to 51 stitches, or even as many as 80, if I recall correctly, one must learn to decrease. I didn’t rip out stitches until I was on my second or third pair of socks. It was one of these two pair…alas…I’ve since moved on and conquered many projects, mostly because no one was there to tell me it was hard, and if someone on Knitting Paradise said it was hard, someone said there was nothing to fear. That fearlessness has taken me on many journeys which I get to share with you. Until next time, Happy Knitting!