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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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;-).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

…I keep a spare set in a bag, just in case. I simply forget where I store it often.

Last week, or the week before, I’d entirely lost my marbles. This week, it seems I was on the track to finding them, once I opted out of needing them. I looked at the training I was going through, which required a serious time commitment as well as invading on important plans I had in place for months. I still went through with the plans, trying to schedule around them, but to little avail. In the end, I decided my best friend’s birthday and my sanity(in part) were more important.

   008Briannag, taking over mama’s knitting spot, reminding me she looks just like the socks I’m knitting…

I drove the hour and a half from work after my tenth day of reporting for training, to Grand Rapids, MI to visit my best friend and deliver her a birthday gift.  I’ve had to only hint at this gift on the off-chance she read this blog. Now I can finally tell you what it is: socks!

It sounds unexciting, unless you’ve worn hand knit socks. In addition, I did not knit her a pair of socks, as it takes long enough for me to knit each pair I get to wear. Someday, I will move into the world of knitting for others. Just not this year. Alas, I bought her a sock loom and took my little into the little world of wonder that is my local yarn store and we picked out some bright pink sock yarn. Photos shown below.

002Andrea with her sock loom and yarn (the good stuff).

Taking my little into the yarn store was an education in itself. She wanted to touch everything. I may have a future knitter on my hands. Yeah! The sock loom may be another education in itself. I’ve tried to show her how to knit with dpns, and she just doesn’t get it. I also considered showing her circulars, but she just doesn’t get the basic knit stitch. It works easier on a loom with a hook for her. Now she’s getting used to a smaller scale yarn.

005See that face, Andrea has wanted a sock loom forever…

I’m sure she’ll make some beautiful socks. I can’t wait to see how they turn out, either. In the meantime, I’ve been working on my second sock for the black-hearted socks. The heel is turned(and yes, I was mostly alone when I knit it), and I am now attempting to recall how I joined the two colors in the previous sock I knit. I’d better do some checking.

010Current progress on the sock, and proof I still have a couple of my marbles…some days;-).

This next week will be a busy one with a semi-private birthday party for my little, Mariah and myself, to which my nieces are invited. I will also have my nieces overnight. Later in the week I will be helping a friend by watching her four kids while she attends a daytime meeting. But this doesn’t begin to cover the fun I’ll have working on the fairy garden with my dad and sister-in-law and likely, my nieces, the following week. However, as I was gathering supplies for the fairy garden we’ll be creating, I found a bag of marbles I could have used last week! At least, I’ve found my marbles for the time being.

I received a message this evening as I was watching my nieces and nephews. A friend of mine was having a rough time and needed help, but was unlikely to reach out to me though I’ve told her she could. I decided to give it a try once I got home this evening. At first I heard nothing from her, as I only have her info on social media.

011

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It’s done! It’s Done! Phew! Almost in time, the green and brown is the inside, the blues are the outside…I decided to keep the embroidery simple.

We went to high school together and have only somewhat kept in contact over the years, but some days, the best thing that can happen is that you have someone to listen to when you need them.  I think I helped her, though I could do nothing for her financially or to change her situation, she went to bed feeling better and like she could do what needs to be done tomorrow. Sometimes, that’s more important than what actually happens tomorrow, as it is a new day.

008Scamp helping while mom’s trying to keep the project a secret…

So, after my tough week of training 4 hours a day and working longer than usual shifts on training days–oh, if they would have done this unpaid training two weeks ago when we were all getting sent home early….but they didn’t. My practical test didn’t go as well as I expected and I felt deflated. However, I’d made my nephew a promise of guitar lessons, and learned my goodwill guitar was useful as wall art only. It was turning out to be a downright disappointing day.

013My Dad is into smiley faces…

But there were good parts that happened too. I ran behind in errands, so I offered to take my nieces to my dad’s to drop off the super-secret father’s day gift I finally finished. I forgot it on Tuesday when I was supposed to drop it off and left it on the couch in my backpack which has been my constant companion this week, except for Tuesday, when it sat on my couch with my training notes as well.  My dear James and I bought my dad a six pack of various ales with entertaining names and presented them to him Tuesday afternoon, since we had arrived with coffee for ourselves. My dad does not drink coffee, but I simply could not go in empty-handed.

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Scamp, curious about the strings on the bookwrap quilt…

But I finished the bookwrap quilt, and tonight, I remembered my backpack and my guitar and the father’s day gift. I still forgot the camera. I felt accomplished for finally finishing this gift, and for remembering it.  Later that night, after returning the munchkins home, I came home to open the airways to chat with a friend. Her situation made mine look downright simple. I didn’t ask permission to to discuss her situation, but she’s fallen on hard times, that involve more than not doing well on a test because you have an extra half-hour to over-think a process since each person going through the process takes longer than expected.

001Maeve, snuggling while mom knits

Tonight, after all that was done, and I chatted with my dear James, I picked up my knitting, in which I had knit half of the heel flap in black. While knitting the black section of the heel, due to focusing on the pattern and seeing the stitches, I instructed dear James not to talk to me while I worked through this eye of partridge stitch. Tonight, I switched to cream and noticed how much easier it is to see the stitches and to see how much easier it is to track stitches with contrast. While black yarn is difficult to knit with, I will have a beautiful sock that I should be able to wear to work when I’m finished. In addition, I’m told summer is cold in there, so I better start knitting faster. That may be easier with half the yarn in lighter contrast.

004Sock Progress, this week

Some days, you see only the top half of the sock, and see the dark difficult stitches in which someone  included lacy holes to make little heart patterns. Other days, you get to see both yarns and know it wasn’t as difficult the entire way. While I still have to turn the heel at some point soon, I also know  it will be easier knitting with the cream colored yarn. The dark, difficult part of this is not entirely behind me, but is getting easier to work with as we add more light.That’s part of the joy of the knitting journey each sock takes.

Sleeping on the Job

June 12, 2015

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Squib, snuggling while mom knits…

Most of us get in trouble for sleeping on the job, unless it’s written into the contract. With the kitties and puppies, it just may be. Yes, I get it, 80# dogs are not supposed to be called puppies, but they are always going to be puppies to us…trust me on this.

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Briannag and Zeus sleeping while I knit

So, tonight, I sat down to knit my lace repeat thinking about sharing upcoming birthday or father’s day gifts. I decided if I dish before I gift, then it’s the one time the recipients will load this up to check it out, and only one of the gifts is knitting related…I’ll save that for when I really need something else to talk about.

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Maeve, snuggling in while mom knits, right on top of the knitting bag…

Tonight, I sat down to knit, then realized the younger and more exuberant of the two was up to something he shouldn’t be in the kitchen. While working through the correction on that, and telling him that every surface of the kitchen was “MINE,” I had to shoo Briannag off of my knitting bag. She was climbing upon the couch right where I’d left the knitting bag. Talk about distractive efforts, especially as Zeus decided he should run into the bedroom after each good, firm, command.  I hope we’re making progress…I think he thought last nights homemade chili powder smelled good.

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Putzer laying on the crocheted afghan my aunt made for dear James…

Once the dogs and I came to terms, I sat down to knit. I knit away on the lace chart as I have over the last two weeks, trying to keep things going according to the chart. While I knit, I noticed Briannag asleep on the other corner of the couch.  Squib decided to join us as well. Maeve was next to me in her favorite spot on the couch. Later I realized she was curled up on top of the knitting bag. Leave it to my cats to find the oddest places to sleep. Putzer was curled in the chair on one of his favorite spots, and Scamp was off on the floor.

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Zeus, looking for some snuggles while mom knits…

After a bit, Zeus decided to check that Mom had indeed forgiven him and curled up next to her on the couch while stepping too close to Squib for comfort. Snuggling sounded really nice. Scamp woke up from her napping spot on the floor and sought mom out while giving her cooing meow to check that I was still here, I think. She’s the only cat I think I’ve had that coos and meows to tell you she is awake.

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Scamp, seeking out mom to check on knitting progress…

Oh, wow, is this a knitting blog. There isn’t much to tell knitting wise, and I’m thankful for the kitties and puppies sleeping through most of it, as the photos will show you. There is progress on the sock, which would have been much more challenging with more interruptions.

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Squib, checking my knitting progress, since Zeus woke him…

So, for this week, I’ll simply leave you with a log of sleeping pets and show you the progress on the knitting. Enjoy.  And, yes, that is cat hair likely found in my socks. I’ll never be able to claim my knits come from a pet free home.

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Sock progress, see…told ya I made progress;-)

I created a second blog, called Scamp Letters, a little bit ago. I publish this blog early Monday morning, before I go to bed. This knitting blog is published on Thursday nights, or early Friday mornings. At first, I thought it was convenient as it was the end of the week, or the beginning of my work week. But I had the blog before I had the overnight, weekend job. My dear James, however, has had an overnight job working from Wednesday through Saturday for much of our relationship.

008The truly completed sock, sewn toe and all…

During this past week, as I finished classes and tackled projects that lay on the back-burner, I realized there may be more of a reason that I knit and blog more on Thursday nights, or Friday mornings. Usually, Dear James isn’t here. In addition, the plethora of pets we have behave marginally better for only one authority at a time.

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Maeve, offering/requesting comfort while I knit…perhaps also scheming for a skein of yarn…

I was casting on my sock on Monday night, finally expressing some of my feelings about black yarn, and utilizing sites like knitting paradise and ravelry to show Dear James that I was not the only person who hesitated a great deal before knitting with black yarn. He dared inform me we have “good” lighting. I kindly informed him the lighting was only adequate, and that was after we put up a second lamp. Alas, I got the yarn cast on, and the first row knit, which took much longer than I expected, likely, in part due to company.

005Briannag, et al…helping me knit the decreases I mentioned…

Tuesday night, as he went to a role-playing gaming group he is part of, I planned to tackle some knitting before he got home. He came home a bit earlier than I expected, and the internet had run away with my knitting plans. I didn’t get started until after he got home. I invited him to play video games as soon as he walked in the door. I don’t always open with this invite. Once we got settled, I pulled out the knitting and began to knit the rounds and decrease the stitches. Aside from taking longer than I expected (once again), to knit each round of about 256 stitches and decrease to 128 stitches, with a few extra knit in, things were going well.

002

Scamp, offering her assistance or critique…Okay, she’s waiting for her banned yarn toys.

Occasionally a cat would come visit or a dog would need to be put outside. Dear James even helps with the dogs. With the cats, I simply hope they not eat the yarn, or run off with it. As I knit the round of 128 stitches to prepare for the next decrease in the ruffle cuff, I informed Dear James that I would like to desktop computer back. I don’t trust using the laptop on the couch, you will soon see why.

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Zeus snuggling with Dear James, and Briannag claiming my knitting spot…

As I knit this round, about half-way through, Dear James returned to the couch, to be followed by not one, but two, yes, two–eighty pound dogs. Both dogs needed to be on our laps or in snuggling spots, knitting be damned. They got booted from the couch before I got the picture. Well, the less stubborn of the two found a bone on the floor. Then the oldest cat, Putzer decided four human hands had nothing better to do than massage him. Dear James was already reading on his Kindle.

Putzer, the cat, wasn’t as obtrusive as the dogs, however, he can get obnoxious about his demands, uh, requests… Next, Maeve decided my knitting bag made a good pillow, especially since mom had most of the pointy needles in her hand. I went from knitting with the occasional Squib rub down(and Squib is usually content to be petted between needles unless he is trying to eat them), to trying to knit around four animals. Somehow, we got the animals situated and I managed to finish the last leg of my knitting of 128 stitches…though I think the last 42 stitches took as long as the first 86.

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Scamp asks: Just what does it take to get a skein of yarn from Mom?

On Thursday nights, dear James is at work and I’m home all-night, and usually pick times in which the curious kitties and pernicious puppies have settled down, at least until Squib or Scamp decide the yarn will make a great toy. This particular evening however, Briannag turned around to find a spot between mom and dad on the couch, and she deftly batted the yarn straight off my lap onto the middle of the floor. Scamp and Squib must have been napping, as no one attempted to run off with it before I picked it up and slid it back in the knitting bag. Now, here’s hoping the stitches stay on the needles till the next time I pull out the knitting.

In addition, friends, this dear man wants another dog….Is anyone donating another couch? We need another couch to make room for the dogs. And for all of you who do not allow your dogs on the furniture, I get it…but my dear stubborn James decided they get to be comfy as they are the equivalent of his kids and more spoiled than any kids he might’ve had would likely be. Then I get the joy of teaching a new puppy not to play with the yarn or knitting needles. My apologies if the furry felines and clawed canines take over the second sock journey I’m knitting this month or so.

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Thursday night’s progress…though the rounds of 64 stitches are much easier than the previous decreases…

Until I get to the lace parts.

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.

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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.

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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.

I’m sitting here tonight thinking on the knitting I haven’t gotten to yet this week, and wondering just how much progress I can make on my sock before I need to write up and publish my blog. Maeve chooses this moment to take advantage of my open lap and hops in for a snuggle. Maeve loves snuggles. Briannag has been bugging from the couch for snuggles every time I cursed the book quiz I need to finish before the regularly scheduled class time next week.

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The current amount of progress….this is just a sock to be, the cuteness is below;-)

It has been a week of ups and downs, the ups were not always enough to compensate the downs, but only if I dwell on each day separately. I do not have class so early next Wednesday that I need to change my sleep schedule from overnights to days; however, we also miss out on a review, and the instructor is providing a book based exam. I have cursed anything book based in the entire class. It’s often confusing at best. However, I’m focusing more on the ups, and listening to Bon Jovi’s song “Have a Nice Day” as I contemplate my week.

The biggest up was dinner with my oldest niece at Bob Evans-nothing fancy, but she’d never been there. Part of our goal is to go places she’s never been. We’re considering finding the best burger served at each place we dine at and are keeping a commemorative journal of our dinners. She even told me she wants to be a food critic when she grows up, amongst her twelve other jobs she may or may not be able to accomplish via freelance work. It was a great dinner. (Phones were not present at this event, except to make a quick note to pick up a journal, which we did). Photos were not taken either.

In the meantime, how far do you think I can get? I promise to get photos too.

001Scamp’s immediate nosedive into the knitting bag…

Now, I retrieved my knitting bag from its home in the chair, where it is tied shut to keep curious kittens out of it. This is a requirement, as you’ll notice Scamp immediately made a nose-dive into the bag when I set it on the edge of the couch and placed my pillow in its proper back-supporting position.

Once I snapped the photograph and shooed Scamp out of the knitting bag, I began cursing at the sixteen dropped stitches I needed to pick up. Diligently, and patiently, I slipped them back on the needle one at a time. I resisted the urge to overwork the knitting using two needles. Some days, I feel I’ve become quite good at returning stitches to their rightful needles so that I may continue my work.

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Putzer inspecting the sock

005     Squib not letting Putzer hog the sock to himself

Then I set about the business of knitting, and does long fibrous strands moving across needles create an interesting diversion for the most discernible curious creature. The couch suddenly became full of furry felines, wondering if mom would let them play with some of the yarn she only gets out on those special days.

011I do mean full; Zeus takes up nearly half the couch on his own

Then I continued to knit and purl and created uneven eyelets to connect the two socks, and decreased the one extra stitch I’d managed to pick up, likely before I dropped the sixteen cream colored stitches. The extra stitch was on the black yarn side of things.  However, I knit away, and while I hoped to get two inches of progress in, I think I got closer to one and a half. I didn’t measure before I started though, so I can’t be certain. We can only guess if I have room for before and after shots, or if you are so inclined to check last weeks blog. In the meantime, while I won’t be finishing this sock in the next week, I will be diligently continuing to knit it.

012Briannag, or Miss Whiny about attention, boycotting the knitting. It takes up too many of mom’s hands…

I’m hoping it provides some sanity in the cursing of the book exam. Its said to be open book, but I have experience with this book, open book is as much of a curse as closed book with poor wording. Alas, I have made progress with the sock, and I had a great time at dinner with my niece. Those will be my focal points this week. After all, once you get past the periscope, its all simply perspective. For the rest of it, I’ll enjoy a glass of wine and take the semi-immortal Bon Jovi words of the world getting in my face to heart and say “Have a nice day!” I sometimes wonder if they substitute other words for nice.

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Briannag joining the party after she smells the wine mom poured…

Third Time’s The Charm

March 13, 2015

This week was Spring Break…a traditional week off of classes to give students a break with no homework. It was a nice break, though I spent it visiting my aunt, knitting, researching and writing a paper. So much for less work, but it might explain why I have one A and two slightly disappointing A- grades. I know, I know…I should be proud. I am, but I know I can do better. I have only eight more weeks to prove it and prepare for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam. I don’t have to take the exam in eight more weeks, but I will be taking it as soon as I can manage it. I will still have clinicals, which may make knitting a challenge, but I will make time. I  kind of like this pattern.

006

Third set of hearts done, ready to move onto the heel.

I like this pattern, so far, enough that I’ve knit the third and final set of hearts on the leg, which now measures six and a half inches. I’m happy with the length and am ready to begin the heel. Yeah! I think. The good news is, I now have Tuesdays off. The bad news is, I still have class on Wednesday morning. I may have to compromise on making time for the heel. I need to set up a new method of memorizing drug brand names and their generic names as well as what they treat. I really sometimes wish we had a more hands-on lab for this last semester, but that’s stitches already ripped out. Not that I have to rip any stitches out. I’m not being that much of a perfectionist right now.

Now, I get to pick a heel. Note: This is an intermediate to advanced pattern when it comes to the heel. Charts are already intermediate, but can be figured out with a couple of questions. But the directions simply state pick a heel. There is no mention of lining up stitches on the needles, so the top of foot stitches are all on one needle. I’m grateful I recall the need for this step.

001Difficult to see Squib, but the light pink triangle in the background, just behind the pattern is his ear. Just before I got out the camera, his paw was on the pattern, trying to keep the yarn for himself. He’s getting camera savvy, I say.

The heel choices are the usual suspects: Slip Stitch Rib, Stockinette, and Eye of Partridge. I will be debating about this until I sit down to knit it. I’ve knit both the Slip Stitch heel and the Stockinette heel. I’ve wanted to knit the Eye of Partridge heel since I learned it was an option. I haven’t been quite brave enough or sure it would work with the sock. In addition, its a black sock, it won’t show.

I haven’t forgotten that I’m switching colors, but that decision will come with this as well, and I’ll likely be two-stranded through much of the heel and gusset process. I will want the entire bottom to end up cream colored. However, I want only the black to show out of my shoes. I have not decided on the best way to make this happen. I’m truly considering switching off colors about halfway down the heel and picking up the stitches in black for most of the gussets. Then switching to cream after that point. It shall be an interesting sock as I knit.

005

A better picture of all three hearts knit into the leg of the sock.

Since it is an interesting sock, I will have to take excellent notes as I finish it, critter help or not. Wish me luck and determination as well as a little time.

I decided during my crazy-busy week of mid-terms and laundry and stress from schedule changes, I decided to give in tonight and do nothing related to studying. I do mean nothing, with the exception of checking my grades. I typed up some previous writing for a story I like to work on. I photographed the cats reclaiming my work chair. I photographed the dog when she tried to turn a stocking stuffer gift into a puppy toy. Then I sat down to finish planning the spacing for the next set of lace hearts. It seems that when your brain is fried after midterms, or even during, one just isn’t enough.

005Squib, guarding the yarn(so he says) during a break…

I thought I’d worked out spacing for eight rows in between the sixteen row hearts. Only there may be two problems. I like to anchor my work, which I discovered after row sixteen this evening, and I missed the mark, I believe. In addition, I may have forgotten to mark a row as I was knitting the “eight” spacer rows. I may now have ten spacer rows.

I have yet to decide if two sets of hearts will be enough or if I will attempt to recreate this spacing(which I will have to do on the second sock as well) or if I knit in the round for a few more inches. I currently have three and a half inches of leg, and the pattern calls for six inches. I’ve debated if I’m going to knit one more spacer and one more set of hearts, or if I wish to attempt two more sets of hearts. Then again, I suspect this sock will look cute enough with only two sets of hearts.

006

Squib, checking out the work I’m really doing, since I’m not petting him.

Why make it harder than it needs to be? Because I like challenge. Because if there is a challenge, something pulls me back to push through it. If I simply knit in the round for two and a half more inches, I will have to make getting to the heel flap the goal, and decide how to knit this set-up, as there will be a distinctive choice. So, for next week, I may have to decide between more open lace work hearts and faster method to the heel.

009

The second set of hearts worked into the sock…I hope this fits;-)
If I choose more hearts, I have to figure out an amount close to what I knit before for the spacers. Ah, the choices knitting brings us. Perhaps I will design my own sock one day. However, I will not be going to class when that happens. Wish me luck with this (black)hearted sock and the next.