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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…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!

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The stuff that’s making the knitting a bit tighter, so I don’t wear through these the third time I wear them;-).

So, I’m learning to loosen up my knitting, just a bit. I was a little concerned when I realized the size difference with the reinforcing nylon yarn/thread. However, it doesn’t take that much space. I think the bigger challenge will be performing a repeated kitchener stitch to create the same reinforcement in the heel and toes of the other sock I knit.

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Where I was going to hike and knit today…but this pattern was too complicated for hiking.

I like what I believe it is doing for the yarn, but I thought about doing some hiking and knitting today…okay, trail walking–not serious hiking. It would have been worth it. But I realized, I don’t have a simple pair of walking and knitting socks, and I don’t know the trails I wanted to try well enough to knit a slightly complicated pattern.

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Progress on the back, at home tonight.

This pattern is getting easier, but I still can’t talk to people and knit a pattern row. Perhaps one of my Christmas skeins will go into Vanilla Latte socks…or I will create a striping or design effect with them so I can walk and knit. However, I did get some progress done, and I’m really trying to make more progress (get one of these projects done), so I can free up some needles and not feel so guilty about them. I’ll look into what’s next and update you next time.

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Excuse the shadow…but here’s a close up of how complicated the front is…

Until then, 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!

 

 

 

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.

I confess, my knitting has been slightly neglected of late, but the Iris are blooming (with no help from me, thankfully).

1) Self-imposed deadlines kill knitting time: I’m not kidding, they really do. I had planned to do more evening knitting or early morning knitting, but then I got hopeful and I had a phone call made, and then plans were made…there may be knitting in the car next week.

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These lovely Iris flowers make me happy!

2) Certain volunteer activities might infringe on knitting time. However, I promote volunteering. It not only provides needed assistance and resources to others, the interactions you get from these exchanges are priceless. I did sneak in a round of knitting in public today as well.

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The socks I snuck in one round of easy knitting for this afternoon…

3) Complicated patterns infringe on knitting time…I may start a pair of vanilla latte socks for this, where I can simply knit a pattern up without much thinking required. As long as I have to follow a constantly changing sixteen stitch repeat or a “what the heck am I doing?” row for 216 stitches…there will be limited knitting in public.

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The back of the socks…don’t you think they’ll fit in a Victorian era home;-)

But I went to the Midland Center For The Arts Heritage Park training today, and I did think that not only the knitting but the wooden needles were period for the Victorian Gothic era…now i have many new subjects to learn about…Victorian furniture, dining accessories, kitchen tools and lending libraries. You guys may not hear the end of this, and yes, some sort of knitting that can be interrupted will be going with me…Now, which skein of yarn in the stash wishes to be vanilla latte? Or, do I take an extra shift and buy more yarn? Okay, okay, I heard you…extra shift it may be, but I’m checking the stash again…I may have just the thing…but that yarn wouldn’t be period…oh, I get your drift, now.

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This knitting may be tougher to pass…but it will be quite pretty, and I will likely have a simpler pair cast on by the time I volunteer…

4) Order take-out…cooking time also imposes on knitting time…There you have it, suggestions for finding more knitting time in your day…If you go anywhere, take the knitting with you, If you create a deadline, pad it with knitting time, if you knit a complicated pattern, cast on a simple pattern that will knit up easy and quick…and finally, order the take-out…especially if every recipe you’ve ever encountered takes twice as long as you planned. In the meantime, while I interrupt my knitting to look up books about this subject, allow me to ask: What other questions do you have about a hands on history house museum of the Victorian era? Let me know so I can look up answers before I show up for my first shift.

Finally, invest in books on tape when possible. That way you can read and knit…or at least play some poetry or comedy on youtube.com(or other streaming channel), to allow you to knit or sew while you get in some other forms of entertainment and some multi-tasking, while we are at it.

Until next time, Happy knitting.

…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.