I Do Finish Things…

March 21, 2020

I Do Finish Things…

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…every once in a white. Are you done laughing? It’s off the needles. It only needs to have the ends woven in, and maybe get some blocking. Right now, I’m not sure it needs it as it feels ready to wear.

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I was looking at shawls after classes ended last December, and I had an influx of downtime after finals. There is the post-exam relief, then the surge of “Now, what? I should be studying.” So, I hunkered down, decided this bodice i loved was not going to happen with this yarn, and started searching out shawls in December, 2018. In the midst of the Christmas season, I could not justify the expense of the most recommended shawl I had seen. 

However. I looked at the make-up and design of a few shawls, and said, I can do this. I then started with three stitches, as they all started with three stitches, and continually increased a stitch per row on most of the rows until I used five skeins of yarn. This reason was two-fold. I had ten skeins of yarn to use. My shawl could not be more than that. Secondly, I often didn’t remember how often many shawls increased, but knew I wanted this one to be longer in the back as well as keeping my shoulders warm. I’m a cya girl…and if you don’t like the term (insert arse above;-)). This shawl was designed to cover my arse. 

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Once I got to five skeins, over the course of a year, in which those around me estimated a five year completion time, I began the decreases and worked out how I would do them. They are not perfectly consistent, but no one is examining the decreases that closely. Once I get the ends woven in, I likely won’t be able to find what was what. The other beauty of this shawl, being an equilateral triangle for the most part (I have not yet measured it), is that I can just toss it on and not worry about which end is which. 

Now, the temps just need to rise above the rather chilly high of 35 this afternoon, so I can rock this shawl in pretty spring and fall evenings. In the meantime, the cats are happy to help me nap with it. Until next time, Happy Knitting. 

P.S. To see what it looks like on me, see my facebook page, Letters and Journeys.

…like Leafy Washcloths by Megan Goodacre and Pumpking dishcloths (a KnitPicks pattern designed by Teresa Gregorio). These are both fun patterns to knit, and I have the leafy washcloth pattern memorized, including where I add my stabilizer rows (that do not stabilize much). With the fun I’ve had knitting these up, I may have to make more…or search out Santa dishcloths…or trees. We’ll see what the searches yield. 

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Some of my fall fun washcloths…I’m already making more!

I was also asked to knit bowl covers that measure a little bigger than the pumpkins. Now I have to find the right yarn for the coolest knit pattern I found. I think it’s going to be an adventure, but she’s worth it. She almost kept the pumpkin for the bowl cover, but it sold and quicker than expected. 

DSCN5074Aren’t those pumpkins on the right side just lovely? The yellow leaves also went to a good home.

During the search, I found some easter egg dishcloths in knit…and downloaded the pattern to my kindle. I have a summer pattern for the special request and can’t wait to see what else I’ve found. I’ve also made a smidgen of progress on the shawl, I might be on skein eight soon. I’ll get a better photo when it does and hopefully we get a full two days of sunshine in a row to take photos. (It’s now snowing, but it’s Halloween, so it’s almost expected in Michigan). Until next time, Happy Knitting!

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That pretty blue and purple leaf lace cloth became a gift with another requested…and I might put more of that stripey pink to work…we’ll have to see.

A Little At a Time…

April 4, 2019

I’ve gotten a few more rows done this week, and part of me cannot wait until school is out to finish this sock and it’s mate. I did revisit some socks I finished last semester. I still need to weave in ends and tie off holes. Shh…I’ll get to them…just not on this gentle Thursday. I did inspect them again and try them on my feet. The heels fit funny. I may have to re-knit my stealth argyles…I may sew them as blister protector cushions. Who knows.

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Back view…shh…I’m fixing the ladders.

In the meantime, I did get a little knitting done as I waited for events and class to start this week, and on break while substitute teaching. Yeah. I did have to judge if I had time to start the next row. I didn’t. I ended up starting that next row while waiting for a fun poetry reading. The poet had done well at Slam Poetry previously. Her performance style showed. It was a good reading, and here’s my current progress.

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Front view of this complicated sock. It’s a fun knit, but it requires concentration.

I might be doing vanilla socks for my next pair.

Three Skeins in, seven to go…onward to the fourth.

I have finally knit through the third skein of yarn. I had to count the remaining hanks of yarn to be certain. It’s simple, I can watch my favorite tv shows while I knit this. It’s also growing. I should measure it tonight to track how far I’ll go with hanks four and five. I have ten skeins of yarn to use in this. I’m debating about stopping after four and decreasing with four more skeins and making something matching or some border details in this, but I haven’t decided where exactly I might go with this.

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Can you believe it? I’ll try to get a spread photo on my sewing table over the weekend…I’ve got a wing;-).

I’ve also knit through the second repeat of the first sock and have moved onto the third. I should be able to knit the heel over spring break if I’m good. However, I have a fair amount of school work to do, and I may be seeking further gainful employment. It has been a challenge, but I should be more gainfully employed next week. Fingers crossed. But you guys would rather see the sock, right?

 

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Progress on the sock, Two repeats of the chart down…one more to get to the heel.

Enjoy your gratuitous knitting photos. I hope yours goes as well or better (one day, I’ll learn not to knit when tired, but that explanation may be for next week). Until next time, Happy Knitting!

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!

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!

…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.

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.