The Crafter’s Conundrum…

September 9, 2016

…to knit or to read…? Oh, dear. Perhaps that is the question after all. I know the simple answer…books on tape. I’m somewhat a fan. I do a fair amount of driving, so I can manage this, some of the time. However, I’m in school, so the question might be better posed as to study or to knit? Time is needed for both. So, how much? And, before you offer that helpful suggestion of books on tape again(which I do enjoy to some extent), let me remind you not all of the books are available on tape. Also, I’m not generally an auditory learner–I NEED to take notes if I’m listening, which means I’m writing instead of knitting then, too.

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Tonight’s helper is Scamp. I swear I was reading The Odyssey for class right before I took this…Briannag is snuggling a pillow in the background.

Now, I have devised some solutions for this, but it’s not a perfect world. Let’s go over what I have so far. Knitting travels to class with me. I commute and parking becomes a bear of a challenge each semester. So, I get to class quite early and have time to knit a couple of rows before class. Remember, two rows at a time will get you there…it just takes the entire semester.

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Another favorite pasttime…(I quilt, too.) But this is some knitting I could be doing.

I also usually set aside an evening a week where I take an hour to knit, guilt free. One must take a break from a psychology text after all, or at the end of a “Book” in The Odyssey. But this week was short on knitting time for one reason or another. There was a holiday(I’d rather just finish Monday on Monday instead of half of Monday on Tuesday, or skipping it altogether). Holidays throw me off. The time off is needed, but that’s when I attend a quilt retreat, or reduce the job load.

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My one allowed “belated” birthday present, because J.D. Robb doesn’t publish the week of my birthday(it’s in early August, in case you wish to assist with the petition).

Alas, I’m working on both patterns, and had some time set aside for each, but I didn’t get very far with either of them…. This week may be more of the same…allow me to show you my choices:-)…”Squeee….!” is involved. Sorry, but it the autographed copy of the original book, on both of them…and then there’s the knitting. Alas, I’m in the middle of (okay, two-thirds through) another engaging book with one and a half books left in the series. You can guess what I’m doing tonight, after I put down The Odyssey for the final time this evening(hopefully through another “Book”).

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Nothing gets a true Squeee! like this….look at these….ah, now to wait for the third in the trilogy to come out. The In Death book will be started very soon.

And yes, I will be looking into obtaining The Odyssey and Virgil’s Aeneid on tape, if nothing else then for reinforcements. However, the Developmental Psychology text has no tape, nor does Lisa Sandlin’s _The Do-Right_. I’ll come back to that one when I’m done mapping and analyzing it. (If you really desire to know if you should pick it up–though I think there was a reference to the detectives in The Girl Who Played With Fire, though it takes place in the south of the U.S.). It’s an interesting read, and a bit strange, but I admit that I’m curious to see how the main character carries out her dilemma.

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This week’s single sock progress…I may have gotten more done on the two at a time socks….
In the meantime, I need to get some of these school books on tape, so I can get more knitting done-that, or get to class earlier.

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More of each sock…

September 2, 2016

I have a plan. I usually have a plan. Plans are good as they often keep things from going awry…. So, I’ve been told. I’ve also been told plans themselves go awry. Yes, I thought of the Of Mice and Men quote here, by John Steinbeck but it’s said to be attributed to Robert Burns as well. I got tired thinking about it.

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Smooshy socks…feel like a million bucks for far less…

Allow me to explain, I’ve just started two English classes and a Developmental Psychology class this semester. Everything I write just about must be attributed. I’ve heard “Cite your sources,” in so many ways this week, I could likely write another paper or at least a cutesy document about how to say it. If I get tired enough, I’ll put it into a cute little rhyme.

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Putzer, demanding I put down the crafts and provide a full-body massage.

I’ve been a different sort of tired this week, as I fell ill Wednesday and it’s still trying to kick my butt. It seems to be just a stomach bug, but it wears me out quite fast. In addition, dear James is home ill as well. I get more accomplished when he’s not here, usually. This week, I found myself working in twenty minute increments and needing to refresh my brain somehow afterwards. I still got some notes finished, but I hate getting sick when I have homework to do.

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Zeus, getting snuggled off the couch by Briannag…it’s her spot.

Alas, I still got some knitting time in before classes or some mornings when I felt as if I could focus. I figured out I couldn’t focus when I started on row two of the cabling on the smooshy socks. Now let me talk about this yarn. You can see I got the toes knit and began the pattern(well, you can kind of see that). I learned frogging things in these socks are a real PITA (pain in the arse). I forged on after frogging and got to the second row, which I attempted to knit on one my sick mornings. I think it was yesterday. I don’t think I realized yet I was sick. Otherwise, I’d have known better.

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Scamp and Squib performing a favorite past time…they’re leaving the yarn alone, for now…

Let me go back to the yarn. This yarn is so soft I want to knit with it. I feel like I’m stroking my favorite velvet teddy bear from childhood. I didn’t have a velvet teddy bear in childhood, but if I did, these socks are what it would have felt like. I will be finding a way to get more of this yarn in the future. In addition, I will be finding patterns that work on dpns for this future yarn.

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Maeve, long ago helping me with the knitting…

In the meantime, I’m working on the third sock of four, in which I have to make a decision. There’s a bonus to knitting a repetitive pattern multiple times. You begin to memorize it. This is good and bad, as my row counter is diagonal hash marks on the side of the chart. One of the tougher parts of this sock, besides tracking how many times I’ve knit or purled or both, is marking the pattern. If you’ve read previous blog entries, you might begin to notice a theme. So far, I’m on the second repeat of this sock–about halfway done with this leg, and I’ve kept up the markings.

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Horrible photo of this one, but you can see what it will be above…

I hope next week goes a little smoother with no more stomach bugs so I can get back to my side job as well as the regular job and get some more socks knit and a couple more books read, for school and personally. Next week, ask me about the books.

Hard-Knitting Socks…

August 5, 2016

or…Heel-to-Toe And Back Again…thankfully, not as far as last time.

So, it was a small amount of ripping…or tinking this week…but I may be working my way to experienced-level tinking. (As soon as I think I’ve got it, I manage to screw something up.)

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How the sock look before I knit the first heel attempt…

I started working the heel turn on two circulars, and soon after had a toe…or some sort of appendage wrap that wasn’t meant to go on my heel, perhaps a duck bill. Sorry friends, no pictures of this, even though it was funny enough for a photo. You’ll have to use your imagination…I swear, next time, there will be pics…but there’s only so much evidence you want floating around the internet;-). DSCN1025

Squib only looks like he’s here for snuggles…

I tinked back to somewhere close (I hope), re-read the pattern when I was less tired (I hope), and made it work for me. This has been one difficult sock. The pattern is well-written, it just requires much attention to detail. I miss cabling. Cabling is so much easier. And for me, dpns are easier as well! I know those can be fightin’ words, but I like my heels on my dpns. They’re easy and comfortable, and I don’t have to go find silver. Though I love Silver’s Sock Knitting Classes and really should utilize her more when using a new or different approach.

Okay, that’s the knitting part, I’m currently a third of the way through the heel work. Let’s hope this stays reasonable and moves back into the regular pattern soon. The good news–class is over. I no longer have to be told how to write by someone else. I no longer have to submit to “You didn’t pay attention to MLA standards” when it was an upload error, not a paper writing error, and if you’d accepted a hard-copy, you’d have seen that. Okay, more wine please…I should be done knitting for the night anyhow. The cats and dogs are demanding my attention.

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In a matter of seconds, Squib will be attacking the extra needle length. However, if I get out the camera, he tends to disappear…

Though I have a leftover story from last week that I forgot to mention. My nieces do tend to make for cuter stories. I’ll come back to them. For last week, I dropped my car off to have it’s traction system checked out last Monday night into Tuesday morning. Of course, I didn’t sleep to my normal time, having my car in the hands of my mechanic–I’ve been highly scarred from previous vehicles. However, when I called the mechanic to check on my car, they told me they’d traced it back to a broken wire.

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Mama, come love me…I might even want a ride in the car…but, aren’t you done on that computer yet?  I want to be loved.

I asked if it was a ten dollar wire or a two-hundred dollar wire. He said they’d have a definite answer for me in thirty minutes. At least he didn’t tell me that was the million dollar question. So, forty-five minutes later(and I refrained from calling again), he told me it was a–wait for it, wait for it…a “left-front pigtail.” I nearly fell out of my writing chair laughing at the term. I resisted the urge to ask him if that was a technical term. I should have–and it probably is. Alas, the left-front pigtail only cost me $125.00 or so, and the end repairs with an oil change came to somewhere close to the $250 I had planned for the tune-up and oil-change. All in all, not a bad day for car repairs.  Anything in the $250.00 range is a gift from the car repair world in my book.

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The socks that need to be hard-wearing for all the tinking I’ve done…

This week, I need to return to these hard-knitting socks(that aren’t that hard, but require attention to detail), to hope they are hard-wearing socks, too. After all the time I spent ripping them out and re-knitting areas, they’re getting worn every time I wear something that matches. Here they are in their current glory.

Oops…I forgot to tell you the latest story about my nieces…I’ll update you next week. For now, they’ve started a secondary Word of the Day subscription and today’s word was scrumptious…I’m wondering what Jessica was cooking up;-).

A little over two years ago, when I taught preschool, I got a twenty-five minute break during the day, usually during nap-time. I was working on the pink rose ribs pattern I planned to wear with my shirts and favorite jackets for sub-teaching. But in those twenty-five minutes, with a complex pattern, I often only knit two-rows. A week or two ago with only 56 stitches, I would have told you I could get five rows of simple knitting and a couple of yarn overs in one or two of the rows done in that time. Now, I’m up to 78 stitches, I believe (I’d better count again) and working the pattern a little more slowly.

I’ve also had my oldest niece over to help me set-up my house. She’d rather cook than organize, but she had to earn a surprise jacket (for Halloween) that I bought her last time I had her visit. I took her “window” shopping. Somehow, she forgot the window part, and what we thought was a jacket on clearance for $3.00 was on clearance for $10.00. I quietly double-checked the price tag, which said $10.00 and paid the bill. I even had a lady across the line offer to put in the dollar she thought I was short for it. I wasn’t, it was just more than I was expecting. But the cashier had just received change from the back that was $1.00 off. It turned out to be a fun night at quilt guild, pot luck and all…and she designed a quilt to create–though she’s not ready to start on it, and I want her to get started already.

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Briannag, looking for love in all the couch places…will you love me, mom? I don’t get homework.

So, back to knitting, which I didn’t get to much of, as I was seeing to my oldest niece. She’s 14, but you still have to check in from time to time…and sometimes, you have to pull their nose out of the book so they can earn that jacket. (Sorry, no pic of the jacket…though it was all black and rather cool and goes perfectly with her planned Halloween costume).

 

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Squib, protesting my dedication to schoolwork, or requesting to play with the knitting…one can never be sure with this cat…

Now, I’m outside of class, or just allowed in class with less than 20 minutes to spare, and I’m knitting before class. It’s part of my relaxation plan during classes–especially this class. There has been no clear communication about assignments or requirements, just re-iterations of things that weren’t very clear to begin with. I get that English is not her first language, I also get that when all of your groups ask the same question, you have failed to clarify the assignment.

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Three of five I have to read and summarize this weekend to create an intro for a phantom paper…I don’t mind doing the work, but if we’re going to write a paper, let’s just write a paper. And if we’re working on summaries and sources, please make your assignment fit your goal…(Topic: History of Arts Education(Music) in K-12(primary school).

Okay, enough complaints about class, I say–looking at the stack of papers I have to review for main points and summarize in an introduction…have I lost you yet? I was nearly lost, myself. Not to mention that our sources must come from the year 2000 or later (as if no research before 2000 is viable) for our topic, it likely is. Alas, let’s go back to arts I pay for myself…I think I’m almost to the heel turn. I’d better check again…In the meantime, I hope you enjoy your knitting. DSCN0930

The easiest way to compare…Yessir, I’m almost there…Now to count stitches…soon.

 

…That’s right, moving day came Tuesday. I spent my weekend packing, sorting and preparing to donate…while working and begging work to leave early(thankfully other part-timers want hours). I also spent my weekend being charked by a dog…(I normally don’t go for made up terms, but Briannag is giving a low bark from the couch that dad calls a chuff…there’s just enough pitch in this one to call it a bark…so its a chark). She looks lonely and pathetic but doesn’t even want an ear scratch. If I move to the couch, which I likely will at some point, she’ll move to her “end,” if she’s really in the mood to share the couch and sit and watch me knit. If I’m not knitting, she might try to lay across my lap.

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The puppy who doesn’t have a Mama on the couch with her… so unloved…

She did this to me last night as I knit the first repeat of actual pattern on this sock. I think I’ve managed six rows this week. Considering I’m moving and still have a former duplex to clean out and clean up, I consider that impressive. I still need a light bulb for the lamp I put in the living room yesterday. I moved in Tuesday and slept there that night. In addition, I need to check the futon stats and find out if I’m shelling out cash for a new one. Oy and vey, I didn’t forget how expensive moving is (That’s a lot of money that could have been spent on yarn!), but I’m in a more comfortable and better laid-out apartment with no stairs.

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Actual knitting progress for the week…see, there was some knitting…

I also have a dishwasher and washing machine and dryer in the apartment! That’s so nice, and everything is on one floor(and I got a downstairs apartment.) I like to keep moving, but my knees are getting too old for upstairs. I did consider taking pictures, but everything is so white or beige in a new apartment, that I decided to wait until I’m more set-up. Then you guys can see a little of my simple apartment life I’ll wish I had moved into years ago. But there’s a time for everything, right…

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And tonight, besides the knitting, is a time for strawberry shortcake. I don’t normally post food, but I shopped hungry tonight and mostly behaved myself…but the $0.99 pint of blueberries did me in, and strawberries were 3#/$5.00…then the yellow sponge cake made its way into my cart (shh…I wasn’t making biscuits and berries, no matter how fast the biscuits claim to be. I’ll do that next week). Then I went back for the whipped cream and left the store before I bought the Twinkies or chocolate chip cookies that would have been almost as tasty.

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Summer night’s move-in dessert special…it was worth every bit of it…

The strawberry shortcake is a summer treat for me, and I had the yellow sponge cake cups as a kid. I never really cared for angel food cake, though it’s oft loved-I’ll have to try making one fresh, uh, uh…there’s that elusive someday, right? Yeah, someday, someday I’ll get to it. For now, put what you like under your berries. I did update it with blueberries, though I admit to sneaking some of the fat ones.

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Fierce Protector of the lawn…but just throw him a ball and watch him fetch…

In the meantime, I need to get that moving task done so I can go back to studying for a few weeks and knitting. And I may have to quiet a noisy dog yelling at the neighbors for walking by his yard…He’s already an old man–he just doesn’t need the cane, yet…If he had one, he’d be shaking it.

Spring Break Progress

March 11, 2016

Don’t get me wrong, I made good progress on the knitting this week. I’d simply hoped for more. Now, before I forget to mention it, the sock monkey I gifted last week was much enjoyed. I hear the name is still up for debate, but I allowed the recipient to be told the name by the mysterious monkey featured in In Pieces….

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Scamp, helping me make progress on the sock…two and a half repeats or so here…

I’ve re-discovered I’m not good at planning for arbitrary things, like time for a recall to be fixed or certain shopping excursions. Okay, the shopping was fun, and had a time limit in itself, but that was for quilting–not for knitting. We did make it to two area shops to search out quilt fabric I’ll have to share with you soon. I was hoping for a little more adventure, but I like to offer Mariah choices. We only bought fabric for Mariah, and none for me. It felt only a little unfair. I will survive, I had purchased fabric the week before. And the car didn’t take near as long to repair the recall as I thought it might. Though I did get to visit with a nice puppy named Max that day.

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Squib, inspecting my progress…Briannag sleeping after ensuring mom is in her rightful place on the couch…

So, about that Spring Break…or time to get ahead in my world–of what, I’m never certain. I tried to get ahead in bills, which meant sub teaching and working my sleep schedule around, which isn’t easy and left less time for knitting than I had thought. I’d rather be knitting, but knitting doesn’t pay the bills yet. (A girl can hope, right?).

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Putzer would love for the knitting to pay the bills…

So, I taught classes two days during my normal off time. Which got in the way a bit of some of my other goals–I planned to make more progress on homework. I made progress, but again, less than I’d hoped to make. There is good news, in that Spring Break isn’t technically over until Monday morning at 7:30AM(when I will be sound asleep awaiting an 11:30AM archery class).

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Briannag would love for knitting to pay my bills as well…

I still have time to get some more knitting and homework in, but we have plans to visit James’ sister for a concert pretty early this Sunday. In addition, I’ll have to make sure the standard homework is complete. It will be, but I feel as if I could have made better progress there as well. Some days, I guess you just have to work with the time you are given.

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Travel knitting…It seems just the moccasin toe requires the four place markers…but this sock shall be an adventure…

In the meantime, I’m heading to bed shortly to re-work my schedule for overnight work instead of getting up before sunrise again(which should be listed under criminal activity in my world).

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Current progress on the sock…Three full repeats done. 17 more rows, then I can turn the heel flap.

I’d hoped to be at the heel flap by Sunday night, for some simple knitting during the second half of the semester…We’ll see how things go;-). Sticking this one out for now, as I know it will come. I just wanted better progress to share this week. A girl cannot do it all, however; at least not all the time.

 

In Pieces…

March 4, 2016

Sometimes, projects have to go to pieces before they can come together…

I forgot to photograph the sock monkey in pieces, so you’ll have to use former photos and your imagination. It’s not like we don’t have good imaginations around here, I expect.

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Okay, not all the pieces…I just don’t have the hat and scarf here.

I knit and I knit, on Thursday night, on Sunday at the band concert; where I got in trouble with my brother for talking with my niece during warm-ups. See if I show up early again. My niece was planning to do my hair like Katara, an anime character she loves. I can’t wear it for work, as it doesn’t pull it back enough; but I could wear it through the band concert to satisfy her. She was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to come over early. I was busy picking up my little to take her to the band concert, and just waking up myself.

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My dad with his new (and likely) favorite shirt…

I also had my dad’s birthday party this week. It was quite fun. He enjoyed his shirt enough to suggest he might buy more. I only bought them at JCPenney, but he normally shops at less expensive stores(by quite a margin), so I haven’t told him where I got it. It was also on clearance, and they’re now out of his size. He’ll have to live with that one, for now. The birthday dinner is done, the food was even pretty good, though dear James took some extra swigs of my beer.

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Zeus and Briannag “guarding” my knitting…or holding my spot, perhaps…

Alas, I move back to the band concert Sunday where I worked the scarf in a tube for most of the warm-ups and the sixth grade and middle school concert. Then I worried at how much yarn I would have, so I ripped the scarf tube out(almost ruthlessly)…I didn’t even mind–this is how I know it’s not a sock pattern. I hate ripping stitches out of socks, and I continued knitting the scarf flat. Yes, I still remember how to knit flat, yeah me. My little, Mariah, was a bit restless, so I let her wind the yarn and hold it for me as I knit, after 1 simple reminder that grandma wouldn’t like it if I brought her home when the concert was supposed to start.

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David, my nephew, playing one of his many instruments in preparation of Festival.

That night, after dropping Mariah off, I considered the Scamp Letters blog, and decided to do homework over knitting. Monday night I worked. Tuesday brought classes and more homework. I believe I finished knitting the scarf Wednesday afternoon, when I feared I’d lost an ear. It was only twenty minutes of knitting, really, about an inch. But I was already low on thread and this needed to be done and sewn by next Sunday.

So, Wednesday after class and a nap, I came home and found the ear in the bottom of the bag and started piecing it together. I laid out the tail and two arms as well as the two ears, and the scarf and hat on the arm of my couch, and I started piecing it together. Last Sunday, I worried that it would be late, as March was fast approaching, but I had a week to spare I discovered this week.

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Squib is interested in the current progress of the knitting, or chewing on something for fun…

As I’m switching gears in classes–from fiction to poetry, from medieval writings to renaissance and preparing to write papers for two of my classes, I really felt as if everything was in pieces. Then I learned of the undergraduate certification for Creative Writing, and Tuesday, when my prof returned my near perfect exam, she asked me about Graduate school. I’m seriously considering it, since she provided that cost may be covered with an Assistance program offered where I teach classes in exchange for my tuition. I just have to work in work as well, but that means I’ll be willing to teach later classes, most of the time;-). Or perhaps I’ll have an easier job I can schedule around.

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The sock monkey is finished, ready to be boxed and delivered.

I earned a recommendation for it, at least. They may not pay me as well, but it will be more fulfilling with less stress. I’m hoping it works out for the best. Now, I just have to find pieces of writing to submit.

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The “I really didn’t break a rule” for class knitting…(the sock monkey is off the needles).

Now, however, I have sewn a sock monkey, and nearly broken a rule–but not really. I cast on the toe of another sock today. I’m hoping it travels easier than the pair I am currently working on. However, I am officially on Spring Break now and plan to spend some time getting much knitting done on these socks. At least, I’ll be knitting when I’m not doing homework. I still need to consider an approach to one of my papers, so it will be less busy, but more about taking care of the things that get overlooked while I’m in school, like knitting as much of these socks as I can manage each night. Tonight, so far, I have managed about an inch…only seven more to go until the heel flap.

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Current progress on the second sock, showing the pattern; I’d better get back to knitting;-).

 

To Study Or To Knit…

January 22, 2016

…is not a choice I ever want to have to make. But sacrifices must be made. However, I’m also quilting. Perhaps I’ll get more time for that next week.002

Briannag, snuggling while I’m knitting.

I was going to read those ten pages tonight. They’re only ten pages. Over the weekend, I’ll read the stories and write the critiques, honestly yet nicely, like I’m supposed to. I hope the stories are good. I also have to write a two page story about a character that’s fun to write about. How on earth am I going to stop at two pages? Most of you are familiar with my work. I do that a minimum of twice weekly, if not more. I might join Nano in April, just because I’m in a creative writing class, so I’ll get off my butt and write the ten-minute play. But mine’s due first. It might be due before the class is over. We’ll have to see.

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Scamp, helping me knit…or at least inspecting the knitting needles…

This has been a week of adjustment and indecision. I still wish to move, but the right place isn’t coming along. My home hasn’t been right for some time either. I’m not sure how much less I’ll make as my schedule changes either. This could be rough. I have backup plans, but this could still be rough.

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Current cabling progress…I didn’t want to stop at half-way, but I’ve spent enough time not studying tonight…

In the meantime, sure, you’re studying Beowulf and Creative Writing, which sound great, but what about the knitting. It hasn’t entirely fallen by the wayside. I can study after the blog is written and my shower is finished, right? Perhaps I can study while cooking a meal for the next two days of ten hour shifts at work. After all, I strive to be Wonder Woman, right? Don’t we all. She did make it into my fiction piece this week, along with some butt-shaking(not twerking, I promise) and Monsieur Reliant…but that might be another blog. I hope there’s enough surprise factor. I have to finish this story one day. I’m at the killer’s frustration at not completing the third murder. I may need to utilize p.m.s. to finish this story.

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Current progress-side view…not my favorite view, but here it is…one day, this will be a sock…

So, let’s see my needles…I have two projects going. I only finished ten more rows(I think), of the chart pattern for the cable knit socks. I can do more Sunday night, and perhaps Monday night, when I’m getting more studying done as well. However, I’ve cast on an ear warmer from some of my handspun yarn I received for Christmas. This one’s for dear James, so I really need to measure his ear and the back of the neck to finish it. But I’ve been making progress between classes. So, knitting hasn’t fallen entirely to the wayside.

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The ear covering…only 18 stitches across, so I can knit this between classes…

This is a very simple pattern. I’ve pretty much worked it myself after looking at other possibilities. It’s easy to knit while waiting for class once I’ve eaten lunch. I’ve enjoyed it, and the next one is mine, and to be knit a little shorter with a little cabling worked in. I can’t wait to get started on it and show you.

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Dear James’ Ear warmer…perhaps I’ll get a photo of it on him. I’ll have to block this.

OH! I almost forgot to tell you: I’ve had a sock-monkey commissioned in gray and pink. It’s for a friend, so I’m doing it mostly as a favor and simply charging for the yarn. It’s in the mail tonight. I looked at Jo-ann’s and they didn’t have the main gray in the yarn I needed. I ordered it online, but I will share it with you as it doesn’t have to be kept super-secret. It’s for my little’s relative. It’s also been a couple of years since I’ve knit a sock-monkey, so I won’t feel as if I am only knitting socks all the time. It will also be easy to take to class, which is another factor I’m going to love about it. I can’t wait to get the yarn, start on it and share it with you guys. In the meantime, enjoy the half-chart progress I’ve managed to complete this week.

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Scamp, comfy and ready to nap on the couch

Dear Scamp,

I’m about to make dinner tonight. What are you doing?

Love, Mom

Dear Mom,

I’m sleeping. Bri’s in Dad’s spot. I have her spot on the couch. We’re comfy.

Love, Scamp *yawns big

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Briannag, sleeping in Dad’s spot…

Dear Scamp,

I’ll let you sleep while I make Mac and Cheese. I just needed Dad’s help with draining the noodles. They spilled all over the sink. Sorry you had to hear that. Wait, where is the measuring cup I was going to have Dad clean out when he was done helping with the noodles?

Love, Mom

Dear Mom,

Got any more dishes that you need cleaned out. The measuring cup had some good stuff in it. Is that dinner? I can’t wait.

Licks and Kisses, Zeus

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Zeus, cleaning out the sauce pan

Dear Zeus,

Where is that measuring cup? I left it in the stock pot for a reason.

Love, Mom

Dear Mom,

What’s a measuring cup? Heck, is that the stock pot? Is it clean, let me check.

Licks and Kisses, Zeus

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Zeus, double-checking the sauce pan…the stock pot must be clean…

*Mom double checks the stock pot and surrounding kitchen area…

Dear Zeus,

Where did you leave the measuring cup? That’s a good measuring cup. I need to wash it. Did you really carry it off?

Love (shaking my head), Mom

Dear Mom,

I don’t know what you mean. I like the cheesy stuff in the dishes you let me lick out.

Licks and Kisses, Zeus

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*Walks into living room, then hallway, and finally the bedroom. Ta Da! One can only wonder what games they really play…

Dear Zeus,

We have to have a talk. I know we let you bring the kong in here, but the good measuring cups are NOT supposed to leave the kitchen.

Love, Mom

Dear Mom,

What is this cup you speak of? Do you have more cheesy stuff?

Licks and Kisses, Zeus

*Mom sighs

Dear Zeus,

We’ll talk about the cup next time I let you clean it off. In the meantime, I’m holding these utensils(wooden spoon and whisk) so you do not run off with them. (We might not see them in the same condition, ever.) Now, I need to do dishes and get this Macaroni and Cheese in the oven.

Love, Mom

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Mac and Cheese ready for the oven

Dear Mom,

Can I have some? I’m waiting good, right where I’m supposed to be. See, I’m not in the kitchen. Putzer wants some, too. I’ll share if you tell me I have to.

Licks and Kisses, Zeus

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Mac and Cheese, cooked and melty…yum, now to cover this to keep the darned cat out of it…

Dear Zeus,

We’ll see about letting you lick off the plate when I’m done. You guys are all spoiled. Remind me to cover the mac and cheese to keep Putzer out when I’m not looking.

Love, Mom

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Putzer, checking Zeus’ work…

Dear Mom,

What’s remind? I just want food and snuggles.

Licks and Kisses, Zeus

Breaking My Own Rules…

August 21, 2015

…because some days you must, right?

I’m knitting the second sock of a pair. I began this sock pattern a little over a year ago, I believe. You guys are so patient with me. Thank you. I decided to look back to this time last year, and I must have gotten this sock confused with another sock I was knitting at a time when I was teaching more school…. I thought this was the sock that I could knit only two rows at a time on…I’ll have to check for that blog.

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Briannag may be snuggling my bag, or protecting it from Scamp…or just claiming it as hers. She hasn’t figured out you need opposable thumbs to knit, however.

I looked back to a year ago, and my post was called Following My Own Rules. I have to laugh at myself for this one…I was beginning the super-secret fantasy quilt about a year ago, and it was so new and I was so enthusiastic, I created a rule. I’ve also created another rule(one that I usually stick to a little better), that I had to finish one project before I knit another.

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Squib getting curious about knitting and planning to cuddle for a few moments

This week, as I read over the previous blog, I realize just how I’ve broken most of my rules, and yet managed to make things work with a certain amount of diligence. I can be disciplined, but days like today, d-words go out the window to play in the rain, except for dammit, when the ssk on the last row doesn’t want to work, and the dogs who try to cuddle me or protect my knitting, I think. I hope.

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Zeus, snuggling until mom takes the photo…In my defense, it’s a little easier to knit without an 80lb. dog sitting across your lap.

Today feels scattered, and when you have key-lime(sort-of) cheesecake for your second breakfast, you kind of learn to expect scattered if you’re me. Okay, you don’t think much of it, but you see the cause and effect after. However, I still made progress. But let’s compare the changes…

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Current Sock Progress…the little rules just might work…

A year ago, I was working on the rose rib knit socks #1 and beginning a super-secret fantasy quilt that I still have not finished. It was a goal to have this quilt done by Christmas…maybe this Christmas….perhaps in time to submit to a contest…one never knows with these things. A year ago, I devised a rule that I would complete one entire repeat of a pattern round before I sewed on the quilt.

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Maeve, snuggling on mom while she knits, she lasted the longest, but she usually does.

In the meantime, Scamp ran off with my skein of pink and orange variegated yarn to knit this pattern with, and so I switched off and knit the black-hearted socks. I have completed a pair of socks at least. Scamp has not fully attacked the sewing, or perhaps the thread is cheap enough (or was) that I just buy another spool, because hand sewing quilts well takes a lot of thread. I also furthered the quilt design some.

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Repeat 6 of 9 on the second sock…

Progress report…with one pair of socks knit in the meantime, I am about the same place on the second sock that I was on the first about this time last year. I just completed repeat 6 of 9, which I mentioned specifically in one of my blogs. However, I’ve relaxed the rules a bit. I’ve allowed myself to sew the hexies that are part of the background quilt, so long as I do knit a pattern repeat on two of my nights off. I still sew at work instead of knit.

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One of the smaller projects in between…

I have also completed smaller projects in between. I have knit my dad a log-cabin style book wrap quilt I was able to present him for father’s day, once I remembered to bring the gift with me. I have also speedily quilted a tote-bag for my aunt that I need to sew the handles on and hand it off so she can use it with the pride only an aunt can muster for a handmade gift. It even looks good, too.

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Really, almost shameful…it’s almost finished. Perhaps I should make another “rule,” just not on a day I’m managing to break so many…

Either way, I’m still excited to see where this journey takes me, and I cannot wait to finish these socks to enjoy on a chilly fall day of hot cocoa or showing my feet to small fries to entertain them at the end of the day. I’m often seeking new converts for knitting or sewing. Don’t even ask me about how much time I spent searching fabric dying processes on the internet tonight….I told you I was a wee bit scattered today;-)

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…while I still managed to make progress;-)