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!

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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.

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.

How Not to Complicate Things: 1) Do what the pattern says. 2) Buy the needles. 3) Do not say “No” to more yarn. I haven’t exactly fallen down the rabbit hole this week, but I have inspected their den’s quite well, and usually come up with yarn or fabric or Squishy Mail!

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I think I love this yarn…now to pair it with cream or buy a small amount of gray?

Squishy Mail

I don’t even recall who to blame…I think it’s Midnight Knitter, who hosts the “Yarn, Books and Roses” blog. I was catching up last week, and she mentioned her Mixology shawl and in Mixology Finale with all of it’s colors. One of those colors was called Dubrovnik, by Madelinetosh. Since Dubrovnik, Croatia was my first port in the Navy and where I first experienced Beef Carpaccio (Car-patch-y-Oh), I was off to find this yarn. And I did. And then I clicked buy before I could second-guess myself or ask if my budget was playing nice this week. It’s not, but we made room for new yarn. It arrived today! So, excuse me while I squish this skein!

 

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I mean, who wouldn’t be petting and squishing right now…

Complicating Matters

Okay, I’m back from my squishing and petting excursion, but not for long. As I knit on the Stealth Argyle pattern by Eunny Jang, I realized I was getting near the needle change part. The needle change has me quite anxious. These socks are supposed to end up 14” tall…Do they know I have man calves? Apparently not, I may have to see how far I can get.

DSCN3432Please ignore those toes…it got a little warm for knit socks today.

So, I stopped at the local yarn store to buy needles (and ended up with more yarn, but that’s next week’s post as I was a bad bunny and didn’t get photos of the other yarn. I’ll post that next week, perhaps after I get more needles…So, I buy the size 3 Cubics by Knitter’s Pride. I’m starting to love the Cubics, and I’ve been careful not to break these yet…The dog can be a little hard on knitting needles.

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Is there enough yarn? We’ll find out…

I’m still not sure I will go to the full 14 inches on this sock. To be honest, it scares the daylights out of me. So, last night, I got out the knitting scale. I have only about 35-38 grams of yarn on the sock so far, and I have plenty of yarn (so the scale tells me) to knit these up as the pattern says. But I left the numbers at home with the scale and the newest yarn. So, I’m currently in a position to ‘just do what the pattern says.’ Most of you knit, you know how hard this is;-).

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The backside of this sock…

Yet, here I am, weighing yarn, determining if these socks should be fraternal or identical twins and thinking about starting the second sock before I finish the first…I mean, I can rewind the ball, right? (See why I stay in school so much…I don’t have time to consider these options when I’m in school). So, to wind again or not to wind again…and I have enough needles to pull it off; At least in size 2’s.

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I’m loving this low-immersion dye fabric as well…It makes a good backdrop with my pansies;-).

 

Alas, in the meantime, I’m thinking identical twins with opposing cuffs (out of necessity and preference), but we’ll see what story the yarn will tell in the end. In the meantime…don’t you love the low-immersion dye fabric background. (Yes, when money smooths out, I’ve found a potential new hobby, which will likely include yarn…no, I’m not starting a new blog for it). In the meantime, I’ll leave you to enjoy the photos and get photos of the latest yarn haul for next time…when I discover just how complicated these socks will really be. Until then, Happy Knitting!

…don’t believe me, check the quilting blog I posted last night. It seems to be a theme this week. Then, I decided I needed to get some sock yarn for repairs, and some nylon for reinforcement at my local yarn shop. Do I really have to tell you what happened? Of course I do! I’ve got pictures…DSCN3137

AS if you didn’t already guess…but this is what happened;-).

I walked into the shop with a green sock and a gray sock that are beloved and need repair. I found the reinforcement yarn to match the gray. I considered the green yarn for the repair, and I only needed one skein. Then there was a skein of multi-color yarn I’d used for another favorite pair of socks–which I managed to wear a repairable hole into as well. So, into my caring arms it went.

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I’ve been missing wearing these, they go with everything.

Then the shop owner got off the phone. And the trouble began. She’s not a good influence on me. She complemented the green yarn, and said how it’d make a great pair of socks. I almost wish I’d bought a contrast skein, but instead I picked up another 50g skein knowing I’d only need a few yards, so I may as well make socks. Perhaps I’ll find some fun contrasts to play with it later.

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These also go with a lot of my shirts and I was lucky to find a close match…

Then as she checked out another lady, I hear, “There’s a signature yarn on the table. I think there’s some sock yarn left.” She knows my name…she said, “sock yarn.” And to the table I went, and peeked into the basket, and there it was…Apple Orchard for Apple Tree Lane. It’s exclusive…and it’s pretty…and it’s mine. See…I don’t even know what pattern to knit with it, but it’s mine.

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Such a lovely green…I need more green socks.

And while I’ve been considering what pattern to knit and wanting to get back to knitting my own socks…I’ve nearly finished the C.C. Copycat Beanie hat. I’m so glad, I was getting bored with the pattern. It was only fourteen rows and three repeats…but six rows of purling and four rows of 1×1 rib in one pattern is just uncalled for. Someone hand me something with a bit of challenge to it…that I like. Alas, it’s nearly done…and I’m torn about the pom-pom…I’ll ask the gift giver and let you know next week.

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Then, and then…it’s piece d’resistance. Signature yarn for some lovely socks…

Now to find the right pattern for these babies. It’s a lovely little rabbit hole…come join me. Until next time, Happy Knitting!