…lack of knitting, that’s what! (It’s hard to not complain when you are not knitting!)…

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Current progress on the sock (that I hadn’t knit all week).

Allow me to explain…Friday and Saturday I work…little knitting happens on workdays, unless I knit in the wee hours of the morning. I try not to knit tired. Sunday, I packed for a quilt retreat, got the laundry done and planted plants with my Little, Mariah, and coached her on painting  the second coat….and studied…I was trying to be a good girl. Monday, I drove two hours north to one of the prettiest bridges in the world, the Mighty Mac…also known as the Mackinac (pronounced Mack-in-aw) Bridge, set up my sewing space, and proceeded to pull out my niece’s quilt–because it just needed to get done. I also put in time to finish the current chapter I was reading for homework. Go Me, so I thought.016

The view from our Hotel Window…it doesn’t get much better than this…(For the record, Missing puppies and kitties and Dear James or not; NO, I didn’t want to come home!)

Tuesday, I sewed and sew-cialized(socialized for those who need help with sewing puns), and cooked dinner in a new way. Dinner came out good. I even made enough progress to finally show the quilt at show and tell on Tuesday night. June(the leader of the group) told us to get our machines smokin’ for the remainder of the night. My machine then took exception(it had been working on puttering through embroidery stitches much of the day), and required a few clean outs….I think I managed not to swear out loud. I also took the time to buy a pattern and some fabric to make it(and enough for leftovers as there was a sale).

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(I missed these big guys…who are waiting patiently for a Kong(tm) treat.)

Wednesday, I got up too early after staying up late on Tuesday(our last night together) to sew on the charmed twister bag and got through the second side panel. Then I needed to play with “DecorBond” (brand name for really stiff interfacing). Then I remembered my inability to follow patterns, directions and rules in general. So I packed it up, and toured Mackinaw city for a bit, failed to find another fabric shop(which may have saved my budget, but I found puppy stuff–so maybe not). I came home wanting a nap, and to play with the new computer…except the new block of the month and chapter were out for my Murder Mystery Quilt 2017 hosted by Deborah Christy Moebes.  So, tried to install my printer…it didn’t go well. After attempt number two, I gave up and went to my sister-in-law’s for a bonfire with herself and my nieces. I probably should have gone to bed for a nap(but naps throw off my schedule and are tougher to pull off than they sound). I had a beer and took a breather.

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I think they got more treats than we did(well, kind of….Zeus-y finally gets to catch a squirrel;-)…

And still, no knitting. I have little excuse too. I had it with me. When I was talking to my sewing friends, I could have pulled out my knitting at any time and added a row or two(the worst that would happen is I’d put the cables in the wrong places–nothing I haven’t done before.

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Briannag loves her Kong(tm) treat!

So, my excuseless self came home Wednesday night to finish the studying I should have done on Tuesday, and attempt the practice exam I had scheduled for today at 3:00PM. I did terrible on the practice exam, so I decided I’d better review some more, as I worked and hoped to sort out the financial aid to keep this stress loop going. (Mainly because I want to finish sooner than later). So far, the school cash flow looks only rocky for the next two years instead of like tough or insurmountable mountains I haven’t yet learned how to climb.

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Zeus-y loves his Kong(tm) treat too…

Alas, I got though the exam today (with an “A”), did not get to bring home the other computer as planned and decided that part of the problem this week was not enough knitting. So, I sat down tonight, and said studying can wait a bit(it was going to anyways), and decided to knit a few rows. Here’s to the end of The first foot repeat and moving on to the second…we’re getting there…just not as quickly as I’d like;-). In the meantime, I even remembered the lifeline…see;-)…

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I even learned how to use “Backlighting” on my camera…we’ll call that productive enough for today.

200 Posts

P.S. How exciting! Apparently this is post 200!

 

Knitting in Public…

April 27, 2017

…while making short progress. I did it! I got the darned paper done. It might even be a good paper. I hope it’s a good paper. I constantly feel as if my grade is suffering in this class. I often feel like my grades are suffering (especially if I don’t have a cushy, solid A that lets me fail the final exam and still obtain a B in the class). Alas, I hope it’s enough to get me a better grade, but I likely won’t know until I take the final anyways, so I’llst have to wait and see. Yes, Finals week is coming up. So, what’s a girl to do?

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Look, look, it’s almost a periscope!

She takes her knitting to the pub to wait for friends to share a couple of beers and enjoy some karaoke(How does one spell Karaoke?). My former sister-in-law got up and sang. I haven’t found a good song that matches my voice since I got up and tried Martina McBride’s “When God Fearing Women Get the Blues,” while I did a stint in the Navy. (This song doesn’t even come close to matching my voice or style, by the way). There shouldn’t have been enough beers in my system then and there weren’t enough beers in my system now to get up and give a song a memorably bad rendition of singing. We’ve considered Toby Keith to match my voice, but I don’t really listen to country much, and there are only a few of his I would be okay with doing. I may have to get up and do classic rock, one of the ones where people are guaranteed to join you in the singing.

I’m willing to perform, the singing voice is another matter. I’ve heard it can be trained, I’m just not sure how that’s going to work;-).

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The front view and right side up!

However, I ran into work friends, and figured out which ones were chatty and which were downright affectionate with a couple of beers in them. I also made some memories with my friends(who are both former sisters-in-law–they divorced my brothers, not me;-)). So, I finally got to the part where I get to turn the heel(I might even get that part done today if I keep at it), and I snuck in two more rows of the Terpander socks this week.

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The back view, upside down…(yes I know there are rotation buttons, but I’m going between kindle and laptop, so forgive the technical difficulties, Please;-)).

So, progress has been made, but I really need to get back to the studying I’ve neglected in favor of progress;-) and nights out with friends where I knit to the heel turn (while waiting, I might add).

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Now to pick up stitches and get on with this bad girl, just in time for summer;-)…
Now, for the update. I did get some studying done, but I had time before class and diligently worked on the heel turn, simply choosing to move my knitting bag very carefully since the stitches would be straddling two needles the entire time. I got it finished this evening with only a few more minutes of effort and I still have time to study that chapter and review the next over the week…Wish me luck on finals and summer classes(possibly).  We’ll find out whether I’m studying or knitting and quilting and working on a book this summer.

Another Busy Week…

September 23, 2016

I wish I could say I hit the knitting harder this week. In retrospect, I probably did. I don’t feel like I got much done. However, I did some shopping. Shopping makes up for lack of progress, right? Right! So, let’s see where the pendulum falls…

I’ll be honest, I expected to be bored in my Literary Analysis class. “You’ve been doing this for years, since high school, you just didn’t know it.)” So working through the likely familiar steps would be boring. Now, we are doing literary maps (that are meant to prove we read the book) and coloring in a writing intensive class. We’re finally getting to some writing this week. I’d rather submit five to ten pages a week on the steps or a book review, than do a literary map, which is a memory tool at best. For once, I’d almost rather be bored.

I’d rather find my own allusions and figure out how to do each of these steps, not try to guess which detail (or how many unnecessary details) will prove to the instructor (who is too busy to keep the book’s characters straight) I read the book. I’m explaining the book to my fellow students, who she has thoroughly confused. Today, my literary map was “too big.” Though it was written in print by the instructor, that we could “feel free to up-size,” if our creativity demands it. When have you guys ever seen me take on something small?

Okay, enough about the pissy instructor who managed to piss me off all week. Let’s get back to the knitting. Here’s the purple sock. I’m getting closer to the heel. But it’s the fourth week of classes, I wanted to be knitting the heel flap.

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My current progress on the take me to class sock…

And now for the kind of sad, but fun part. I stopped progress on the cherry dream Terpander socks this week. They were being knit on Addi Turbo Rockets in size 2. The pattern was designed for size 1. Since I have a small bend in one of the needles which the shopkeeper became aware of, I likely cannot exchange the size 2’s for size 1. The toe is looking a bit big already. So, I need to downsize. Funny thing, Dear James was just asking me what would happen if I did this as he left for work this evening…I launched into some of the “knit-ese” I can share with you guys.

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The brand new knitting needles that will make this Terpander pattern all that it was meant to be…(Dear James claims he won’t understand…Just something else for me to show him later)

First, let’s start with what I like about the Addi Turbo Rockets in size 2. They are smooth. When I am knitting a simple knit and purl pattern, they’ll fly. I may mean that literally. So, what would I improve? In flying, while cabling, I have to be very careful and very firm with all needles so not to drop yarn or stitches. I’ve been constantly wary of dropping stitches as I knit on my more relaxed mornings. I’m not a mindful or relaxed knitter. I knit to relieve tensions of days like today. Since I didn’t have much money to go buy another set of Addi Turbo Rockets in size 1, well, maybe I did, but I wanted to try something else, I went to Knit Picks, and decided to try their needles.

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I have a plan…stay tuned, we know how plans work…;-)

I bought their fixed circular needles in 40”(which the pattern requires in Majestic Wood. My boyfriend has already dubbed them black. I also bought two new skeins of yarn.I haven’t decided which pattern I want to knit with these colors…check this out.

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I’m developing a plan, and may need more needles. These are entirely me, but likely my winter knits this year…I see myself as booked with knitting, classes and quilting this fall.

I’m torn between the Half-Stranded Socks by Anna Zilboorg or the Stealth Argyles by Eunny Jang. Both require two colors, both are beautiful in their own right. So, do I want stripes that sometimes look like diamonds or do I want beautiful curvy reversed socks…(they sound so fun). Both patterns are included in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class.

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Squib helping me with the quilting…mostly inspecting, but he’s not above running off with cool, small toys…that are not “cat toys,” whatever-that-means.

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.

I should be studying.  I should be getting that reading done. It’s about Euthanasia. I don’t entirely disagree with the concept, but I do not blanketly support it, either. It’s for a Philosophy class about Moral Problems. It’s interesting, but not entirely my cup of tea–especially when it’s time for wine.

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The cat, absorbing ethics by osmosis…though he’s recently tried to take credit for my book–or he just wants to collaborate on a storyline…

This week, it’s time for wine. The good stuff…or another glass of something. I may even move onto the hard stuff…but I do have class tomorrow, followed by work. I no longer wish to think.  So, allow me to come to the fun stuff.  Ah, the fun stuff, the mishap I’m still not quite sure how it all happened.

I was knitting my second sock last week as I came to the toe. I was quite excited to get to the toe as it means  I’m nearly done and this baby can come off the needles, ready to start the next soon…or so I thought.  I set down my needles and picked up the pattern. Where it says to knit the next four rounds, I had these 2 cute notes: dec 2.  Yes, I’d written it twice.

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Both socks, almost finished and off the needles…or half of two pair…hmm…

I counted my stitches. I had the 76 stitches I needed. I held sock 1 up against sock 2, and wouldn’t you know it, sock 1 was bigger!  Four stitches bigger. I checked my notes. I checked my blog posts. I searched and searched, and nowhere did I tell myself to knit in four more stitches each round all the way down the foot.

Oh, dear. Now I was at a dilemma. I realized after some searching, that since the size 1 needles made this pair so small and it felt a little tight, I must have stopped decreasing early on the gusset to make up 80 stitches in a round instead of 76. You’d think a girl would learn to take notes. I take notes in almost every other aspect of my life. I even took the decrease 2 notes on the pattern. I just wish I’d taken notes when I decided not to decrease.

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If you look closely, you can see the bigger one peeking out from the smaller one…

I’d settle for, “Hey, Dummy, you have wide feet, make the sock a little wider, say 4 stitches.” I can’t even ask you guys why you didn’t stop me, because its not in the blog. Oh, how I wished I’d blogged about it. Someone would have caught it.

Now I have a bigger dilemma, continue on with two different size socks, rip-out and re-knit…or go buy more purple, brown and blue variegated yarn and knit up two more socks…one for me, one for my diminutive 11 year old niece as part of a Christmas gift…

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Here’s the latest (terrible photo, sorry) on a much easier sock to knit. It may be time to cast on some vanilla latte socks…

Oh, the choices. The last idea holds some appeal. (Wondering if I can get even close to the previous dye lot). But I’m ready to move onto another pattern. I’m going to focus on the gray and dark purple colorway this week.  Next week, perhaps I’ll have bought more yarn…we shall have to see…

Wish me luck with these darned purple socks…yes, you may have a laugh with me on this one. My aunt already did–though she pointed out that once they’re inside my shoe, no one will know. However, I think my feet will feel the difference.

Feel free to weigh in fellow knitters…What would you do in this predicament?

Gussets and Daydreams

November 20, 2015

That sounded better in my head….but that may be the wine talking.

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Some days, the knitting is easier without help from Briannag…

It’s a busy time of year. I normally have Thursdays off. Tonight I worked six hours. I had a good table, and my favorite table for most of the night(shh…don’t tell my superiors, please). They don’t think my job should have too many fun elements…though I have to make BlackJack look fun, even when I’m the one with BlackJack…alas, let’s talk about yarn. Life is better when you have time for yarn.

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Almost can’t tell I’ve broken my own rules;-)

I’ve semi-broken one of my own rules this week, but it’s working for me, so far. I haven’t knit the entire repeat of the cable knitting pattern rounds. I’ve stopped at various intervals of knitting. I’m not even attempting to pick it up tonight. I’m too tired. But as I knit this week, I reflected on two things. I reflected on finishing the sock and the layout of the cable knit pattern. I hope the travel section is lining up. I’m also gifting this to a child who may or may not get the concept of a left and right sock. This pattern has a definite left and right sock.

But it was my youngest niece’s first choice. My oldest niece is the one who believes that socks have a left inclination and a right inclination. If you listen closely, you’ll learn she truly believes this. If you agree with her, this pattern was made just for you. I’m working on the right sock, and must remember that as I work…If Lizzie doesn’t, well, that’s her problem.

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I hope these match more of Lizzie’s clothing…but blue’s semi-neutral, right?

I said two reflections, correct? The other is, what next? I’ve been thinking, as I knit once again what I’ve knit before, I keep thinking my next pair of socks must match more of my clothing. Though I think I want lavender and gray colors. I have a lavendar sweater, and a lavender paisley print shirt with black pink and gray, and a fair amount of shirts these socks will match.

I also have some burgundy and black as well as some cream colored sweaters. I think some burgundy and cream socks would go really well with these. I think I need a trip to the local yarn store….now I just need this check with the extra hours of the extra work day, I would have only agreed to under great duress….though this week was close. In the meantime, I’m due for a trip, so don’t be surprised to hear about more yarn soon…. Well, once I obtain some foam cubes and begin that hand-made camo toned yarn.

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Current prgoress…hoping for the best…but we’re getting there…

If it’s not one yarn, it’s another. In the meantime, I need to cook up some steaks for dinner, (such a hardship, when use what you have means cook up those old steaks, that don’t remain freezer-burned once you sear them well)…Alas, wish me knitting luck and great finds for new yarn…and well, french market pattern or something more interesting?

This week, I’ve been nearly as exhausted as last week. I still got knitting done, and I made a 2+ hour drive to take my Aunt Maryal to visit my Aunt Jane. It was a perfect day to wake early and drive to get some heart-warming dinner at Bob Evans. We had a good visit and got to chat and catch up. Since I don’t spend many day-time hours awake, I enjoyed the evening visit.

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Squib, helping me knit…

Now, about the knitting…I did get some done, and with fewer errors than last week, thankfully. I was much more careful about knitting when tired. I can work on the quilt or the jeans when tired. I finally got around to starting to update my jeans in the hopes of keeping them around longer…and a floral patch deserves some embroidery, right? Only, I’m not a huge fan of embroidery. I suspect crochet vines and flowers would be faster, but I do not know how to crochet. Instead, I’m embroidering. I will simply make some time for it each night, and listen to Dear James pout that his fix wasn’t good enough. I suppose I should tell him I’ve been planning this embroidery the whole time.

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Now, I just have to match some of my shirts;-). Or embroider some shirts to match. This may take some time. I’m not starting an embroidery blog, however. I still have cooking and quilting to focus on. In the meantime, as I do find time for knitting, I ponder the next color I will choose as soon as I begin searching out my next skeins of yarn. I have a favorite shirt in gray and purple paisley on black. I do enjoy this shirt and I thought it would be nice to have more socks that match my shirts. I may be buying some lavender and grey heather style socks soon. I like these colors and I think they’d be nice to knit up. I also think they’d match another favorite sweater.

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Putzer, demanding his massage as I knit…

I’m knitting Lizzie’s socks as I ponder the colors of the next pair, and as I reach the 7” point, it occurs to me that if I’d followed directions, I’d be halfway done with this sock. Honestly, though, they are going together quite well…and I need to determine which pattern to knit these new socks in. These are the thoughts that go through my mind, when I’m not cursing the pattern or ripping out stitches.

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Current Progress on this sock…(almost half-way done with this one…)

It has been a week for ripping out stitches(one of the reasons for the smaller amount of errors). If I catch the errors in that row, I frog (rip-it, rip-it, rip-it…yes, knitters are often punny), back to the errors and re-knit. If I do not catch the errors in that row, there is no true idea of how many rows I screwed up, and I call them angel kisses. Who doesn’t like angel kisses?

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Maeve, snuggling while I knit…

In the midst of frogging, and a relatively busy social calendar, I decided I also need another project on the needles. There are two reasons for this. I wish to have another Christmas gift knit by Christmas, and I decided it would be great to have something relatively easy or mindless on the needles that only requires me to knit and purl. So, I’m breaking the rules, as my nephew is sixteen and has just begun driving. He didn’t want me to knit him anything. However, a car evens the playing field, with some minor issues…

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My new yarn…nothing drool worthy, but still better than Red Heart…(see what I mean about mindless;-)? Leave it to me…)

Before I begin, yes it’s pronounced Mackinaw and spelled Mackinac…one must love their French, you have to figure out which half of the word to swallow. I’d rather have the fudge, and there was fudge.

015The Bridge as viewed from Mackinac City (south of the bridge). I wish you could have joined us.

I promise, there was knitting…in fact, there has been more knitting this week than I normally accomplish in a month. I think it’s the pressure of the intention as well as the cabling patterns. The cabling patterns encourage me to keep going. Why? I never thought you’d ask. Because it’s easier to finish on the last round of the section than to figure out just where I was when I left off, especially if I forget to mark a row. I do that often enough.

I found myself with some time on my hands this week when I wasn’t driving up to the bridge with my boyfriend, aunt and two dogs. I’ll tell you all about it in a moment, I promise. It does make for an interesting trip. When I got home, tired and exhausted, I think I made some dinner(or whatever meal we were on) and then sat down to knit. I got one more cable section done, and met the traveling rows.

006Ducks at Mackinac…on Lake Michigan…see, and James’ took the dogs a short distance away before he let them try to catch one (they didn’t, they’re working dogs, not hunting dogs).

I didn’t know you could make cables travel. But I like travel. I even tolerate it well in cabling. This was a surprise. I felt as if there was a lot going on with these socks. I called this pattern more complicated than a craps game while I was in the midst of it this week. My dear James insisted it wasn’t. He doesn’t know knitting, but he does know craps. And surprisingly, he’s only heard a small amount of swearing from me this week. Most of the time I was able to pay attention to what I was supposed to be doing.

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Once the dogs got settled down, they were settled…well, mostly…the squirrels seemed to know better up here…

Just as you can only travel one mile at a time(we’re talking driving here, not flying), you can only knit one or two stitches at a time. No one has talked me into knitting 3 together yet, but I expect the day will come. There will likely be cussing that day, perhaps I should ease up on the tension first;-)…But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

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Looks like I’ve completed four sections of cable and traveling, with Maeve’s help.

Speaking of bridges, we went to see the bridge of bridges this weekend. We did not cross. My aunt simply wanted photos of the bridge, and some Mackinac Island Fudge. If you go to Mackniac and do not come back with fudge…well, just turn your car around, and go right back up there and wait for the shop to open. Do not quibble about price, just pick a flavor or three and pay the fee. Trust me, this is tradition. Even Michiganders follow this rule to the letter. I’ve yet to hear of anyone leaving without fudge, nor do I care to. It is a grave sin to leave without the best fudge I’ve ever had.

And photos should happen, but those can be photo-shopped or bought on postcards. You weren’t really in Mackinac until you come back with fudge. We have both photos and fudge, and I’m happy to share. In fact, let me find a clean spot of kitchen. Okay, okay, so we need to clean the kitchen…I found the lap desk. See, there’s fudge…and isn’t it a little slice of heaven.

004The fudge my dad is begging for…I told him perhaps for Father’s day…

It’s so much a little slice of heaven that it, well…. Actually, I must confess, it brings out the devil in me(just a little bit).  Upon announcing my return and posting photos on facebook Sunday night, my dad promptly demanded requested fudge. He didn’t go, and he’s still pouting that I have run over like the dutiful daughter he hoped I’d become and deliver him a slab of his favorite kind of fudge. And yes, you can buy it online, but you do not get the fresh lake air or the ducks or the bridge in the background…or this time of year– the colors of the trees. It’s an experience, and best shared.

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Oh, there was knitting…Christmas is only nine more Fridays away…and now onto the heel flap

Now, back to the knitting. And there was knitting…I managed a cable section each night for three out of four nights. Phew…the third night, I felt sick and I still tried to sew a dress. I had too many deadlines, and may have squeezed too much into this week. But life is meant to be lived, these socks are meant to be cabled and bridges must be visited in order to get more fudge while we have the time to share these adventures. I hope I have time, and I’m certain my seventy-one year old aunt has time, but it wore her out, and I think we might make this some sort of tradition.

009Ducks, Maryal and the bridge…right before we went to get fudge, and dinner…
Did I mention I’m big on tradition? If not, perhaps you know me well enough by now…and if you don’t, I’m sure you’ll soon figure it out. Now, give me one more moment to mention dinner. Dear James asked the young lady at the fudge shop for a dinner recommendation for burgers and beer. They recommended Keyhole Bar & Grill. It made for a good burger in a friendly atmosphere. We had a great trip!