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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…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.

 

…not once, but twice, Dear James got me some new needles.

 

  • Chiaogoo Red Lace Steel Circulars 40"  - 1
  • This could get exciting;-) He’s so good to me;-)

 

In the meantime, I’m playing “Are we there yet?” with the sock pattern, and hoping for the best for making two pair so large…I just may cast on a second sock shortly…but that will take some work and another gift finished and marked off the books before that happens.

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Need to work on settings…those are supposed to be green and purple…looks blue in this light…Perhaps as we knit on…p.s. one set of the new needles are covered.

I’ve also gotten this lovely large pair of knitting needles in size 10 (which are substituted for a size 9, because I’m a tight knitter). Since I have them, and I took the time to wind the skeins the hard way(the skiff is hiding, and the skeins weren’t sure they’d work with it anyways), I went ahead to cast on the Indian Cross Scarf by Marci Richardson from 101 Designer One Skein Wonders. It’s an interesting pattern requiring 216 stitches to be cast-on…This is probably the definition of love…in case you were wondering.

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Still…casting on 216 stitches is a lot of love…

“It’s only a few rows,” she told me. The first time I looked at the pattern, I thought it was twelve rows…anyone can put up with this, I thought. Then I read the pattern. Wait, you want me to knit 4 rows before I begin the pattern…okay, not bad. But that makes sixteen rows. Then I read the pattern…after row 12, it says “repeat rows 1-12 one more time.” It’ll be fun they said…but that’s 28 rows total. Then I read rows 1 and 2…you want me to do what?!?…I get to wrap the stitch three times every other stitch…in the next row, I get to drop it…This should be fun, she thought…see why I’ve spent so much time quilting. Alas, maybe it will knit up easier than it looks. It’s a lovely scarf, but I suspect it’s going to be a challenge to knit up…

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Almost there…just a couple more rows…then, more knitting;-)

So, while I knit up three more rows and work towards a needle change, I also got another pair of needles in a surprise shopping experience…yes, I’m broke…but dear James and I have a tacitly quiet agreement, and he’s given approval. If I put something in his amazon.com cart for a reasonable price…he checks out before he notices it and buys it for me…So, when I need new knitting needles (that week, not that day), I simply click on the pair to add them to his cart, and let him surprise me with them. I like this system. One day, I’ll remember to add a second set of rechargeable batteries for the camera;-).

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Getting to the heel of the matter;-)

In exchange, I promise to occasionally make him a tasty bacon covered meatloaf surprise on my nights off or other tasty dishes he likes. I earned those knitting needles this week, really.  It was a good meatloaf…and photos are not possible as it was a little too good to wait to take photos…Now to bag up the chicken soup for when I get sick.

 

…I should be knitting. I’ve spent a lot of time quilting of late. I’ve also been studying my tush off to get through finals. I think it was worth it, though I missed a perfect semester by one A-. At least it was in the most challenging class. I even got a 100% on my last test in my Learning & Memory class (which was a pretty cool class). Now I wish I could remember what it was all about.

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I do think the heel is a bit wonky…but i’m hoping that is because of the needle set-up, not due to knitting failure…that would break my heart.

But I drowned those memories with a celebratory bottle of Chianti, and yes, I offered to share. However, I’ve made it back from quilt retreats and I’m not taking classes so far this summer…so I finally get to knit again. Yeah!

The dogs and cats enjoy this as the knitting takes up less of my lap than studying did. They feel less neglected when they get to “help” me knit. I’ve even got some neat photos of the sock I’ve been working on. Usually, I only get cat help as Briannag watches. This week, Briannag had to try to help…not sure if she was trying to eat the yarn or kick it all of my lap as she climbed on. She’s technically NOT a lap dog. (Don’t tell her that.)

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Latest progress on the stealth argyle sock…I’ll try to get some angles to show these off soon…

I will admit small concern that I’d feel like the leg was taking forever ask I knit this toe-up. I fear that will be true, but only because the leg is 14”…if she goes all the way. I may cry mercy earlier. However, the leg repeats are going about as quickly as the foot, if not quicker…but we’ll see if you need to remind me of that in 3-6”. In the meantime, I have to finish one or two more quilts and get some knitting done in the evenings to feel like I’m making progress.

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

*Pattern is Stealth Argyles by Eunny Jang in Sock Knitting: Master Class by Ann Budd. I am not a master. I just don’t know enough to know better;-).

 

 

Allow me to explain this situation…

Busy month

I have an insane graduate student instructor. Graduate students are supposed to be a little bit insane. I mean, those classes make your undergrad look like busy work. But when you add teaching and a touch (or about 1000% control freak and finger puppets on a thirty minute presentation of why she hates Freud) you get one of the craziest experiences ever, like open book open note weekly quizzes that don’t always match the reading and a Term Paper due April 1st at 5PM. This was not an April Fool’s. And yes, the same April fool’s day that housed Easter. I’m not a huge celebrator of Easter myself, but my family is, and I missed it because of this darned paper.

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Trying on the sock to see if I am ready for the increase…this lighting did not come out as well as I wished…

About the Conference

I also had a literacy conference to attend mid-month, which changed my sleep schedule from overnights to bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at eight a.m. I was too exhausted that night to even consider going down to the hotel bar Granite City (which had a great titled beer: Barn-Raising Irish Red; as if it were named for me). I considered knitting, but only brought the needles, not the pattern for the stealth argyles by Eunny Jang. Oops. I considered tying a quilt, but didn’t have the scissors to tie off more, so I tried sleeping and found the scissors as I was packing up the hotel room at those odd morning hours I don’t do. I also met a fellow knitter there who is from Midland, a town about 25 miles from me. I was so excited to chat about knitting, even though literacy is one of my first loves as well.

But I got some decent pictures…it was too cloudy for great ones…and Mackinaw is coming, I promise.

The view of the river from my hotel room…and yes, that’s Canada over there. I’ll spare you the traffic photos…for now.

In addition, I saw a certainly well-meaning post by someone in the blog world I greatly respect. I will be happy to be half as good as she is when I grow-up. Knit wise, professionally and blog wise…in addition to creatively. I will just say the post mentioned something I happen to do, and mostly because I do not have a budget to do it differently. But it hit home, so I will be looking into better options…mostly because she is right and I’m hoping to improve your knitting experience.

Lost And Found or Meeting Fellow Knitters

Yes, there was knitting this week, and great luck…which may be inspiring something even crazier. Let’s talk about that luck. After submitting the crazy term paper (due before the end of the term), I began studying for my Learning and Memory class. I also felt worn-out from a frenzied week of extra, semi-planned class work–which meant a cold was coming on. I do not have time to be sick this semester! So, I went to my class Tuesday afternoon, taking my knitting bag with me–like a good knitter. Later, in my classes, I thought I’d left my knitting bag in the car, and didn’t give it much thought. I did have a cold or other bug sneaking up on me.

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I must admit, I like this set-up for photos better…at least I got something accomplished at the hotel…

The next morning, I woke up early for a meeting and found an email in my inbox about a small sewing bag left outside of the room I have class in. If you can describe what’s in it, you can have it back. I thought: No,it’s not mine. I left mine in my car. But, wait…I don’t remember bringing my knitting bag out of the car. Maybe I did leave it behind at class. I then replied to the email with the laundry list of yarns and the type of needles, as these aren’t just any needles, and we confirmed it was my bag. I thanked her profusely as I’ve been working on this sock all semester.

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And here’s what the top of the foot looks like…It’s going to be an adventure to photograph this to show off the argyles. I may have to call in help;-)

She offered to teach me magic loop, and I thanked her heartily, but I’d already done it and didn’t love or hate it. Though we had a nice convo about knitting. I’ll have to stop in to show her these socks when I’m done. In the meantime, I’m finding a way to label each of my knitting bags, so it will only take a phone call to return it to me if I get sick while studying for a test again. In the meantime, I won’t show you photos of a half done heel, but I will say,

“Happy Knitting!”