Likely not. No one ever told me she was a knitter…but if she was, would she lose all sixty-four stitches as she’s about an inch from finishing the foot so she can begin the toe? I somehow doubt it. She’d probably have a super-secret method of returning the stitches to the needles. Perhaps just put in a life-line, which i have not started using yet. I probably should use a life-line, those little contrasting pieces of thread that mark places and minimize damage.

001

Putzer, guarding my knitting bag, with attitude…He deserves a massage for his efforts, after all.

I sat down and let the dog snuggle in next to me, as he does sometimes while I knit. Except when I picked up the knitting needles, all of the stitches slid off. Oh, the horror! ALL 64 stitches were now exposed to the elements-air, cats, dogs, me! I needed to get these stitches back on the needles, 5 minutes ago. I hoped not to lose any of the stitches, but I did lose about eight of the cream colored stitches. Oy, and vey…or other sentence enhancing words of your choice. I had many of them. I also include “Don’t talk to me,” and “Go away,” for my Dear James, who was in a chatty mood that evening. The poor guy, he took it so well when I pulled out both tonight, in no uncertain terms. I work every night he does this week. I also wanted these socks done and ready for work this week. It also looked doable…before the socks came off the needles. I wasn’t even at the toes yet.

004

Getting there, just beginning the toe of the sock…(after the recovery)

I spent a stressful twenty minutes placing the stitches back on the needles, in a near silent home, and the poor dog lay on the floor waiting for Mom(with the big, deep, in charge voice) to relax. Once I got the stitches back on the needles, I started knitting and let James know that he could once again chat with me.

009

I never really knit alone…it’s just that some company is sometimes quieter than others…

Now, a while back, I admitted that I sometimes like to knit alone, especially when I’m at a tough part of the pattern or a spot that requires concentration. Dear James was home and was in the mood to chat. He even kinda wanted me to chat with him. This is a good thing that I wish to encourage, usually, especially if he’s playing video games. Except when I’m knitting, and I’m close to the toe, and ready to finish that blasted sock…and soon, I get to put away the black yarn until the next pair. And, well, I just placed all sixty-four stitches back on the needles.

012

There is hope, ahead. I still made it through…chatty phase and all…

We worked through his chatty phase and the dropped stitches, and I began the excitement of re-joining the socks in the round and finishing the cream colored toe. So, just how did I make my socks so unique? Well, I’m good at finding challenges. Sometimes, I make them work. This time, I knit and purl the socks almost if they were flat, and every three to four rows, usually, I joined the two yarns.

014

Trying them on, with Briannag’s help…she thinks my feet and towel/blanket are comfy

This join was accomplished by inserting the needle into the first stitch of the cream or the last stitch and wrapping both colors of yarn around the needle, then pulling through, leaving a two-color, two-stranded stitch that I worked as one in the next row. I tried to get good photos of my feet, and the happy ones showing how they will look for work. I do have a cream colored stripe on the top of my foot that does show slightly above my shoes, but my work pants should be long enough to cover it. Besides, we’ll just test how much they’re looking during one of our busy weeks;-).

017

See, I’m never really alone with my socks. Zeus must see what the fuss is all about.

This pair is happily now off the needles. I’m going back to pink yarn soon and debating about what the next pair of black socks will look like. I will talk more about the foot test next week.      023

What my feet will look like as I go to work this Thursday evening…’Course I’ll be wearing black slacks instead of shorts.

When I began writing Knitting Journeys, I was quite excited, because there’s always something new going on in the knitting world. In addition, I’m only an intermediate knitter, though semi-fearless at that. I thought, I’ll never want for a topic to write about. Famous last words, I tell ya.

008

Scamp, checking in to help me search for a new cat toy, or a stitch marker-to the rest of the world…

I’m knitting the foot of the second sock. I’ve been here. I’ve done that. I’m doing it again. How many of you want to read about that? Not I! Screams the voices in my head. But my knitting provided special insight for me this evening as I prepared to knit…gasp…a lost stitch marker. There is a brave  (good euphemism for stupid-somedays) part of me saying, “Go ahead, the sock is at the foot, I don’t need the stitch marker. It’s well-enough divided.

007

Squib’s help, If you look closely in the upper right hand corner, you’ll see it could be well enough divided…

The smarter side of me is laughing her butt off, saying, find the stitch marker before you continue. You will be uttering even more phrases like famous last words if you don’t. I’m sure some of you have been there before. Let’s toast to a shared chuckle here.

004

Maeve, seizing her opportunity to comfort Mom in her knitting distress…

As I searched for the currently elusive stitch marker, Maeve saw her opportunity and planted herself upon my chest for cuddling. I know they’re rough photos, but Dear James is stuck at work while I knit, manage pets and cameras all by myself. Of course, the stitch marker would pick the tired night of the busy week to disappear.

007

Squib, helping me relax after I began utilizing some of his favorite toys…

I had my nieces this week, and gave up a fair amount of sleep to spend time with them. Though, my youngest niece saw through me when I set her to work on my scrap-booking, in which she did a great job. I’ll have to thank her when we get to working on the fairy garden with my dad. But it was the time spent that matters, not the sleep I might have missed.

006

Zeus and Squib in position to help me knit…

Today was also Dear James’ mother’s birthday. He remembered to call her without any input from me. I was still wiped from watching a friends kids this morning(the middle of my normal night) while she had a meeting she needed to attend. Again, it’s the little things. James remembered to call his mother. I remembered to get a nap once the kids were dropped off. A grandmother offered to let me borrow her granddaughter if I felt the need for a while(words of a loving, but worn out grandma-I know that feeling).  And somewhere between the couch, the dog, a couple of cats, and perhaps my jeans lies a sneaky little stitch marker that helps keep my knitting manageable, just as naps keep my busy life manageable as well.

005

Squib thinks the knitting needles still make good chew toys…

Now, excuse me while I search out that little thing I need to continue knitting with sanity and reflect on some of the best advice ever given regarding knitting, and perhaps life. It’s the little things, like stitch markers, and some quality time, as well as naps, that keep life going. Would you care to help me find the stitch marker?

005

Some of the pet traffic I must work through to find the stitch marker.

Thanks for your help. It somehow fell down beneath the couch cushion. I had to remove enough creatures to find it, and then I replaced it and resumed knitting. The gusset is coming along, but always takes a little longer than I like, especially since I’m no longer knitting solidly in the round.

018Look, I found the stitch marker! It is now in it’s rightful place.

For the intents and purposes of this blog, the sock is done. The dog has once again reclaimed my knitting spot, and I just need to sew up the toe. Sewing the toe is the easy part. Weaving in ends is a little tougher. But I’ll get it.

The toe may be my favorite part of the sock.  It means you’re almost done, and the end is in sight. However, it also means one of two things–either you get to put the socks on your feet for work tomorrow night, or you get to put another sock on the needles. In my case, I get to put another sock on the needles.   Allow me to rephrase that, I get to put another black sock on the needles. Thanks, dear.

017The trying on process…the eyelets aren’t entirely planned, but they’ll provide some useful ventilation.

Alas, let me talk about this sock before I start dreading a black ruffle on the next sock. Do you see my anxiety. “The only way out is through,” said Robert Frost. I shall simply knit. Which is what I did tonight, amidst an array of help except for the sleeping Putzer and mostly sleeping  Zeus.

016     See, my pretty black sock…is almost ready for the toe to begin.

Let me get back to the sock, the kitties will come. They always do.  I sat down tonight and began by measuring the sock on my foot. I love that newly knit sock feel. I still love that hand knit sock feel. The stitches hug your foot so soft and sweet, you consider walking around with the knitting needles still attached.  Then you take one step and remember why this isn’t a good idea. Sometimes, you don’t even get to the first step.

At this point, I was close to my baby toe disappearing, so I knit one more dual-toned row, then I changed to entirely cream colored yarn for the toe I want. I knit in the round for a couple of rounds, then I decided to choose my toe. I was almost giddy that I’d started on it. I had puppy and Maeve help at this time, as you shall see.

020

My trusty lap warmer, Maeve.

Before I officially started on the toe, I had to choose which toe to knit. I have knit the wedge toe, and the star toe. I decided on the star toe again. The wedge toe may be easier, sometimes. But I like the look of the star toe, and I’ve had no issues with the tip as I may have been concerned about before. Also, I only have to string the yarn through the six remaining stitches with a darning needle, tie a knot and weave in the ends.  With the wedge toe, I’d have about sixteen stitches still on my needles, or more, and would need to perform the kitchener stitch along them. Sometimes I enjoy it. Sometimes, I’d rather be just about done.

018

Scamp, scrutinizing my work, wondering why hands are not on her…

Tonight was a get it done night. Once I started on the toe, and made it through the first six rounds, I simply kept knitting. The first six rounds are the toughest, perhaps the first ten, as you decrease once every three rounds. However, you decrease six stitches each time you knit a decrease row. Once you get through a few of these, you have fewer stitches on the needle and each row takes less time.  I like that part. Sometimes, I downright love that part.

025Squib, making sure my legs do not get cold as he snuggles in for a nap…

As I knit this toe, the motivation to be done increases with each row. It simply knits itself along and makes you want to finish up, because there are six less stitches in each decrease. In addition, once I got past row ten or twelve, I began decreasing every other row. It’s kind of amazing to watch a sock from, knowing you could wear it with your half knit pair of pink colorful rose rib socks. My justification is that my thirteen year old niece informs me life is too short to match socks.  However, she believes there is a left foot sock and a right foot sock….Perhaps, I should stick to wearing finished pairs, for now.

028See, it’s ready to come off the needles and be stitched right up in a jiffy;-)

Happy Knitting, my friends. In addition, I received confirmation that I received a 4.0 grade point average, or the best a girl can get, especially while working and attending school. I deserve to finish this sock now, and begin the next.

Eyelets on the Foot

April 10, 2015

No knitting was accomplished this week. None, nada, zilch. It’s almost disappointing. But it’s been a busy week of quizzes(semi-hearty ones) and papers and recuperation. I’ll get to the recuperation first.

020

Maeve snuggling with me for comfort…I can’t blame her for not getting knitting done, she usually behaves

I’m not normally sick as often as I have been this winter into spring season. However, as I was getting over a light cold, with a nasty cough, I needed a TB test. And just after I began improving from that cough, I needed a Tetanus shot, complete with diphtheria for treatment against whooping cough. So, now I’m fighting off another cough. All of them light, none of them allowing me to sleep as much as I need to recuperate. Alas, I’m working on recuperation still and due to the studying required, I have not knit a single stitch this week.

As for the quizzes and the paper, they weren’t hard, but I’ll attribute that to the time I put in studying, as opposed to very accurate study guides.  But that’s enough about my studies, let’s get back to the knitting I haven’t done. I hinted at purling these socks and eyelets last week, now allow me to tell you about them.

011One attempt at photographing the eyelets I’m creating

Since I’m knitting the gusset and the foot of the sock in two colors, I’ve been creative with the design.  For the first time since I began knitting socks, I am purling every other row. As a result of the purling after knitting a row, I have two sections of sock that must be combined. I could combine these socks through a mattress or kitchener stitch after they’re knit, or I could attempt to carry the yarn along the needles. However, the knit together combination to create an eyelet is what I chose. It’s working for me.

010

A glaring attempt to show you the eyelets…

I decided to knit the two strands of yarn together. I do sometimes knit two together to create the stitch to make the eyelet. At other times, when it doesn’t line up with the knit two together stitch, I knit the second strand with the last stitch of the other color. This stitch does create a hole in the sock, but I see it as an air vent, and know that my lacy socks are more comfortable for wear in the spring and fall as well as simply in the winter.

006   A slightly better attempt…it will be interesting to watch these eyelets form…

For now, I will likely have cream-bottomed black socks I will wear to work all year. I’m told work is colder in the summer than in the winter…. Wish me luck.

021

Maeve’s still snuggly; I’ll have to make more progress next week.

Tonight, I sat down with my knitting with the sole intention of turning the heel. My friends had gone to bed, likely. I still had homework to do. Dinner was done, and I’d had a glass of wine. I decided to knit before I tackled the homework. I knit the heel turn in cream colored yarn. That was likely the easy part, except the did I finish it off right, but sock heels and gussets can be forgiving. If they weren’t, I doubt we’d start planning the next pair as we were knitting the challenges of the current pair.

002

The heel is turned, the periscope is formed…

Once I knit the heel turn, I got to begin decreasing the gusset. This is a bit of a challenge as the top half of the sock and heel flap are black. The bottom half of the sock and heel flap are cream. Decisions needed to be made so I could keep this black on the top half and cream on the bottom half. I think I’ve worked out a mostly happy medium, but I’m not entirely sure yet. You’ll see it in the pictures. It is impossible to miss.

003

Front view of the periscope and cream-ribbon

The cuteness comes in puppy form, as one of the times I set the knitting aside to check the broccoli I decided needed to be added to dinner, the dog curled up next to the knitting. I’m not sure if he’s guarding the knitting or if he’s telling me its time to put it away to cuddle…. At least he doesn’t try to eat the yarn.

046

Zeus, guarding the yarn, while stealing my pillow…

Alas, I’m at a reasonable place and will have a few interestingly worked eyelet combinations to keep my bi-colored socks knit in the round while knitting and purling each yarn color to make this work. The good news is, the decreases only happen on the knit sides. Sometimes, I think its easier to follow this way. If I were any more tired, I’d probably be further lost, wondering if I remembered the decrease.  I think I’m just going to take photos and show you at this point. 006

The eyelets created by knitting and purling two colors of yarn in the round