Dropping the Ball…

November 17, 2017

…not the yarn…thankfully…

…not literally, thankfully, as this yarn would likely roll everywhere…But it’s been a heck of a week, missed important appointments, meltdowns over assignments…work for assignments always feels off or late…but has been somehow good enough to get me by. I’m appreciative of my instructor’s flexibility at this point.

However, the knitting continues…although with my crazy week, I got nothing done on the hat and will need to return to it one day…maybe. In the meantime, I’m still finding time to knit between classes, when I’m not memorizing poems for performances…I became a fluid tree for about two seconds today…but none of the trees I represented were truly fluid…though they dance in the winds of a pale sea-green breeze. There are no pictures of this performance, and I’m okay with that…

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Scamp, inspecting my knitting bag for goodies to run off with…

Okay, okay, I performed “For C.W.B.” by Elizabeth Bishop.  There are tree lines, and statements of beginning a life together and mention of a stork. I ensured it was presented rather sensually. Only one person thought it was too much…the instructor did not. In fact, when the tree branches swayed in that pale sea-green breeze I saw their smile…which just encouraged me.

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Backside of current sock with first sock for comparison….I was getting more color play on the second sock for a bit…

Now, let me get back to the knitting. There was some…I mentioned on a sock knitting facebook post that I just about had my pattern memorized, but still carried it with me just in case. So, I looked at my pattern and said, “Oh, I’m knitting row 12, it goes like this…” and proceeded to knit it half wrong. I simply worked my bridge stitch early. It is supposed to be in row 13.  Previously, I think I worked it late…so now I have slightly wonky bridge stitches…see if you can find them.

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Front side of the second socks…with back side for comparison…enjoy… 

Yes, I know the stripes are off..I’m going with it. Sometimes, socks get to be wonky. I hope you enjoy them…as well as the recipient, so I’d better get back to knitting. I will say, to some extent, I can knit and rehearse lines if I do so carefully, but then I will end up with socks that veer off course more than I do.

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Simple, but effective…

November 10, 2017

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Sock progress this week…it’s been considerable…

It’s been quite a week, and I’m skipping the details, as they’re not mine to tell. I’m not sure how much I got done on the hat this week, but I think there may have been progress. However, the proud moments involve the sock. I’ve been taking it to classes and for studies…and a musical. Spring Awakening is quite a musical…my favorite moment involved a fellow theater-goer. We got to a risque scene in the play and the lights abruptly go on for what I recognize as intermission…and the young man next to me says, “What?!” I looked at him and assured him, “There’s more.”

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Scamp thinks this is her knitting bag…or there are treasures in here she can run off with…I caught her in time…

In the meantime, I need to get back to knitting, quilting and schoolwork…ugh…If you want to know what a psychological study looks like, send me a message. Otherwise, I need to get to bed, and compile data and…never mind…my brain needs a rest. Enjoy my baby kitten(not so much anymore) Scamp, trying to claim the knitting bag…I think she wants to learn to knit.

So, I hear there’s a concept called balance. I’ve yet to come close to mastering it. This week is seeming like a roller coaster ride, and I have more to come. The challenge is not taking everyone with me, and knowing when to tell my friends I need them to jump on.

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One of my favorite knitting helpers, deciding I should snuggle her rather than read poetry.

Let me explain the low, slow climb to the top. My cat was diagnosed with bone cancer this week. I thought it was an abscess or tooth infection. A couple of shots…a vet bill, and it would be fine. I missed class, bought a scale and soft food instead…and came home to snuggle my cat. She is my snuggle kitty too…She’d let me knit her a sling and attach herself to me permanently, so long as I didn’t jump around or up and down too much. Beware the knitting ideas we knitter’s come up with when the going gets tough.

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Full length view…isn’t there a magic knitting formula…that whatever one knits, it works?

In the meantime, I’ve been making short headway on the socks while I’m waiting for circular knitting needles to arrive in the mail. Then I get to knit a kickin’ hat pattern(that’s written in Russian, of course…because I can, and it’s kickin’). I’m getting excited to start it.

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So close, yet so far…

Unfortunately…I know, I promised we were done with those sorts of words…but I just tried to try on this sock…it’s too small…I’m not sure it will fit over my heel. I’m wondering if it will fit my niece, and if I can get it done in time for Christmas (or if it will be a birthday gift). The good news is I wasn’t in love with this yarn. I think Lizzie will like it better. The bad news is, I finally got the pattern close to what I wanted it to be…only I need it on bigger needles if it’s to be for me.

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Backside of the too small sock…

I’m debating If I will knit this pair of socks for myself again, or if I will simply gift these and move on…part of this decision will depend on how much yarn I have left and how excited I get to knit other patterns…for now, I will be finishing this sock, and repairing the cuff…Drat!

Alas, one sock almost down, one classmate encouraged to knit (I hope she listens…1 poem equals 1 row of knitting), and we move on to the next pattern which i hope is big enough…but it starts out toe-up, which will be a bit easier to work with…though I love my dpns still.

One is done…

October 6, 2017

..but the pattern was in English and one I’ve knit before. That’s not cheating, is it?

I had grand plans. I was going to make a sufficient dent in the homework and get my knitting blog written. I stayed home tonight as the homework workload started to feel heavy. Then there was the cat…who either does not like poetry homework or she is attempting to learn by osmosis. One of my poems was about the cat sitting upon my homework. I think I have to do a total tongue-in-cheek poem about a cat sitting upon my homework in place of the dog eating my homework. The first poem was almost in letter form. We’ll see how the next draft comes out. It wants to be there.

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But I got so caught up in writing about the cat sitting upon my homework, and Project Runway drama(and they are spooning in extra drama this season, and frustrating me once again), that I almost forgot I had to update my progress on this blog. I will admit, there has been much walking and knitting lately…I’m not taking photos of that, as it’s one more thing I’d have to take to class. However, I have been working on the cabled headband as much as possible. I even got it finished and did the three needle bind-off on it. It is done!

 

It is not Ta-da because as I knit at the Renaissance Festival this weekend, I noticed some errors. However, I gave it the boyfriend test–he only noticed the dent where the cables are supposed to be. I’m calling the ridges grips. It’s done. This one is for free and a kindness gift brought on because I respect a friend and it is for a mutual friend’s grandmother. There is a small part of me saying “Frog it and start again.” Tonight, I am employing the “Done is better than perfect philosophy.” Forgive my imperfections…if it’s an issue, I’ll tell you all about the poem next week.

 

 

 

I had grand plans. I was going to make a sufficient dent in the homework and get my knitting blog written. I stayed home tonight as the homework workload started to feel heavy. Then there was the cat…who either does not like poetry homework or she is attempting to learn by osmosis. One of my poems was about the cat sitting upon my homework. I think I have to do a total tongue-in-cheek poem about a cat sitting upon my homework in place of the dog eating my homework. The first poem was almost in letter form. We’ll see how the next draft comes out. It wants to be there.

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Still showing the good side of the headband…

But I got so caught up in writing about the cat sitting upon my homework, and Project Runway drama(and they are spooning in extra drama this season, and frustrating me once again), that I almost forgot I had to update my progress on this blog. I will admit, there has been much walking and knitting lately…I’m not taking photos of that, as it’s one more thing I’d have to take to class. However, I have been working on the cabled headband as much as possible. I even got it finished and did the three needle bind-off on it. It is done!

 

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In case you ever wanted to see the wrong side of the cables…

It is not Ta-da because as I knit at the Renaissance Festival this weekend, I noticed some errors. However, I gave it the boyfriend test–he only noticed the dent where the cables are supposed to be. I’m calling the ridges grips. It’s done. This one is for free and a kindness gift brought on because I respect a friend and it is for a mutual friend’s grandmother. There is a small part of me saying “Frog it and start again.” Tonight, I am employing the “Done is better than perfect philosophy.” Forgive my imperfections…if it’s an issue, I’ll tell you all about the poem next week.

I did get some knitting done on my socks…but not much, as the headband took over. I’m curious though how many more repeats I have to the toes. I like toes. It means I’m almost done with a sock. Unless I’m knitting on circulars…but those aren’t just on the back-burner, they’re shelved, or dropped behind the stove somewhere until I get these hats done. I may even have to get some Christmas gifts in there somewhere. (I swear I’m starting the next set of Christmas gifts in January–crap, did I say that last year, too?)

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Sock progress…at least this pair is for me…

Alas, back to studying psychology and writing bad poetry…though the prof seemed to enjoy the poem about meter I wrote that begins “I hate meter.” Perhaps I’ll put some up for you guys. But for now, I’m fixing the title for that one and submitting it to the Central Review and any and all poetry contests to obtain money for school.  Wish me luck. In the meantime, happy knitting!

 

 

Knitting Show-and-Tell…

September 8, 2017

This week, for my Oral Interpretation of Literature class…we were tasked with bringing something to class that defines ourselves in three ways. We had some interesting presentations, such as a Minnie Mouse chapstick with a surprise inside, and some jealousy inspired presentations with soft and comfy blankets we were hoping the ladies that brought them would pass them around and let us huddle under. I was jealous wishing I had remembered to bring my own double fleece cape to keep warm, especially on this gloomy, rainy day.

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Terpander Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes in Sock Knitting: Master Class by Ann Budd

I went first. I find it easier to simply get it over with. Then I don’t have to worry about it. I don’t mind setting the standard. I don’t even mind talking in front of people anymore. I will sometimes mind the memorization that will be required. However, you’re probably curious about which of the many tenets of knitting I used to define myself, even if I do tend to fidget with the yarn as I present. I always have cards or chips in my hands anyways. The yarn is softer and more comforting to feel. Let’s get back to petting our yarn.

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I was almost wishing I had brought this knit 1, purl 1 rib with me today…It would have made my day more cheerful.

I had just finished the heel flap before I began the presentation as well. First, the yarn is soft and pliable, as I can be…after a good massage. Yes, some days I require a good massage to be pliable. Don’t we all?

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The yarn is already pliable, and thankfully, I haven’t tangled this yarn too much…

Secondly, if you push in too many needles or other things into the yarn ball, it can get tangled up. I also get tangled up if you put too much into my day or week. Sometimes, I get tangled up without much seeming provocation.

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Scamp is curious about where the bag has been…she’d be more curious about the contents if I let her(but she’s half the reason the bag has a zipper.

Thirdly, if you are patient with it and work with the yarn, you can knit it up into a beautiful pattern and yarn comes in a variety of styles of looks, so one never knows quite what they are going to get. This little blurb is not verbatim, but it’s pretty close to what I said…if you do use my words,  I simply ask  that you mention you find them here, provided you have to present a 30 second show and tell about a fun object that defines you…or you have to explain some yarn inspiration.

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I’ve forgotten how tough kitten selfies can be…and yes, Maeve got a summer hair cut this year…Putzer just likes to snuggle in…and it’s a matter of time before Briannag joins us.

Once I got home from the play Love/Sick, which was an interesting take on the lifecycle of love, marriage, divorce and death (of humans and love)…there’s poem line…I wrote the first draft of the paper due for the play, caught up on Project Runway (which I missed for the play), and finally sat down to knit the heel turn. I did not knit the heel turn earlier as I like to do so all at once, instead of leaving my knitting mid-row and figuring out where I left off later. However, as noted above, knitting does bring out the kitties…then again, two of them are demanding attention as I write.

Until next week, Happy Knitting!

 

Current Progress on my projects…as I’m tired, and though it wasn’t too long a shift, it was an extra shift. So progress may have been made on a wool applique project, but not so much on knitting…to the noisy demand-o-cat’s dismay. He’s yowling for attention as I type. Apparently, my hands are not giving him enough massages lately.

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Putzer, the “Demand-o-cat” claiming my sock photography pillow and his box…when he’s not yowling for a two handed full body massage.

 

Though I did get some progress done on the heel flap while I got my tire re-inflated so my car is safe to drive once again. I knit on the couch while I watched the work go in and out of the body shop…where my car will be visiting next week. We really need to address the car spa issue so I can save for a house and become the cliche of the old man with a cane, shouting, “Get off my lawn.” Co-workers and players thought it would be funnier if I imitate Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino. I’m going to need a shotgun and a mask.

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Continuing the pattern down the heel flap…hoping the colors play together more soon…though I have a little color play…

In the meantime, I did have part of an afternoon to myself to knit on the Terpander socks as well. So, the week wasn’t a bust…but the progress feels lacking. Though I only have one more row to go to put me to the halfway point of this repeat. I may push through this next week and get to the ribbing portion on Friday…but we’ll see how far I get.

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Back view of Terpander socks…will work to get better photos next week, friends.

I learned my aunt Jane is to have knee replacement surgery next Friday, and my other aunt Maryal wishes to be there. So, if I get the time off or someone to cover my shift, I’m driving three hours to sit and wait for someone to come out of surgery. I should get some knitting done while I’m there…and perhaps some wool applique, but I save some of that for work…Updates next week, when more will be known.

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Front view of Terpander socks…Almost there;-)

Both patterns Terpander by  Melissa Morgan Oakes and Slip-n-Slide socks by Chrissy Gardiner are in Ann Budd’s book Sock Knitting: Master Class and is available through Interweave publications and many book store sites.

Class ended. I got an A-, though I got an A on the research proposal. I’m quite pleased with that grade;-). I wish it had been an A, but I can’t be perfect all of the time.

However, when class ends, the social schedule opens up. I needed this and I needed the break…but I look back on this week, recall the floods that happened Thursday night into Friday morning in neighboring towns(thank goodness) that washed out roads and stalled out cars.

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The front of the Terpander Socks…I got two rows completed Monday before I gave up and napped…I hope they’re right…

It has been a crazy weather week, and us Michiganders who think nothing beats us…who think, it’s only 6-8” of snow…it’s still not a full foot, we can keep going…have learned a lesson about rain. En mass, in force, water is a force to be reckoned with, and some roads will take months to repair, no matter how much we need them. Some of them have spans that would make the Dukes of Hazard detour. It’s been a rough week. I drove my sister-in-law to work Friday and loaned her my car to get home providing that she pick me up after work. She managed to make it on her own Saturday and Sunday, thankfully.

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Back side of the latest “Two rounds at a time” socks…or Terpander

Then I dutifully got sick Monday. I even called in to work. I made it in through two days of flooding. I wasn’t going to keep going in not feeling well. I felt most guilty about not getting knitting or quilting done. I tried…but I could not concentrate. So I read and slept the day away. Tuesday, I felt just well enough to make a potluck treat and make it to a Quilt Guild Pot Luck meeting. I had fun, saw some lovely quilts and received feedback on a charity quilt I made. It needs more ties…but that stories on the Quilting Journeys page.

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Putzer is enjoying the high-life as he’s hi-jacked my knitting photo pillow…He thinks I owe him a two-handed full-body massage as well…

Wednesday…Tie-dye party. I wish I’d pulled out my camera, but I was trying not to get the dye all over me…trust me, this is a specialty I have to work around…but I had more quilting to do.  So, I didn’t want to play remove dye all night…though lotion, followed by rubbing alcohol, followed by lotion helped a lot. (I’m boycotting dishes right now…it’s my week off). So, what’s this got to do with knitting…apparently, it’s what I was thinking I’d get to, while I did other plans.

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I really wanted to be further along…

Tonight, I was going to knit, and I got to it…but first I had to take my dad his father’s day gift…(my nephew held a graduation party on Father’s day, so we decided he would wait till this week, due to our schedules). Then my niece demanded I and/ or invited me to join her at a carnival at work…right away. I made her wait, but she was not partaking in the tie-dye party last night, so I went to spend some time with her. I took the knitting, but it’s hard to knit these patterns at a carnival (and it was getting dark out). I know, excuses, excuses…

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But, it’s knitting up nice…I just hope the yarns start inter-playing more as I knit on…they should, or I will have to re-think this sock…

So, I came home to make food and knit. And I completed one more round of rows, which I began Tuesday, I think. I have such high hopes for this yarn…I’m hoping the next round will take this sock to the more fun place I think it will go. In the meantime, here it is…check them out.

Lifelines and the Mail…

February 24, 2017

I think I’m growing up knit-wise…I actually willing inserted a lifeline in this sock….before I screwed it up….I forgot my undershirt today, but I remembered I needed lifelines. No judgement, right:-).

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(A previous photo, before I learned about lifelines…next week, I promise). See all that yarn, that’s how it all began…with help from Putzer, Briannag is on deck, and Zeus-y is napping through the game;-)

So, I finished row 20, and showed off my other sock in class(that I need to remember to match,) and I got one-quarter of the leg done(or thereabouts). I remembered the lifeline, and forgot the photo….let’s see what I have so far.

However, I checked my mail this morning, as I’ve been waiting on books for almost a full week…(I have to give them a couple of days to start arriving), and our postal service believes they get President’s day off. I didn’t, but they did–I called unfairness, but I did want my test results. With an injured ankle, I still wanted to know how I did, so I paid for parking and hoped the ankle would heal.

Okay, I did well on the test and the results were posted before the weekend, but the school perfectionist in me wanted to know which questions I got wrong. The instructor did not disappoint. Unfortunately, the incorrectly keyed problem did not help me; however, finding the error in the statistics test probably did.

003How it all began….Zeus-y must help….

Alas, the next question is: How do you make a reading knitter or knitting reader happy? You deliver those knitting books by mail, that she’s checked for nearly every day–including President’s day, because she forgot there was no mail on President’s day….. Discussion of said President’s over–no politics beyond days off belong on my blog. But my knitting books arrive-because I don’t have enough irons in the fire  as it is.

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My mailbox gifts today…the postman may be forgiven….Prepare to be charmed.

So, the highlight of my day(perhaps my week), was the receipt of these books before I went to class this morning. In case I kept the books too small, I have picked Knitting on the Road: Sock Patterns for the Traveling Knitter, by Nancy Bush. I’m working on her Knot Socks now. I also picked Zen and the Art of Knitting. By Bernadette Murphy. This looks like a fascinating read. I also received a non-knitting book–The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff. I’m prepared to be charmed.

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They beauty of working a pattern four times….I can re-use pictures when I didn’t just go re-take the….(minus the lifeline I was bragging about).

So, I finished one repeat of the chart, inserted a lifeline and received some books in the mail this week. I’m also onto the heel flap of the second Terpander sock. (No photo of that either, as I was slacking today).
I hope your week to come will be as charmed as mine…and if mine isn’t charmed, it’s because of an exam, not the knitting….

Actually, I lost: Here’s the take from last week, Friday evening, I think…

The struggle is real…. See, I still have six more rows of forty stitches…. They’re almost done. I want them done on time(they will be), but I may run out of yarn in the meantime. At least on this roll…. I have some left from the other roll, and I will have to decide the best way to attach it(and hope it looks reasonable, but I think it’s gonna be close).

Back to the present…

It was close…so close, I technically lost. Luckily I did have some on the other roll and the blend doesn’t look too bad…I don’t think Lizzie noticed. She was mostly happy with the result and the warming birthday gift–though next time, I’ll have to make them bigger and let her hand them down to a mini-me. In the meantime, she’s got warm legs and a new purse and I’ve cast on the second sock….

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Cast on of new, but familiar purple socks….This is keeping my sanity hanging by a….nah….probably not after this week…

Yes, my purple socks are no longer suffering from second sock syndrome. I almost cast on the cowl I could use some days this February, but it’s been an exhausting week and I wanted something familiar. In addition, it was about time. Besides, I may be moving on to a hat this week for a friend, if she remembers the yarn. I’m half tempted to go pick out yarn for her and just make it. We’ll see what happens.

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Squib, snuggling a favorite sweater that I hope will one day match the Terpander socks I don’t have an updated photo of….

As for the pretty pink Terpander socks, I sought out advice on http://www.knittingparadise.com and was told my ladders(once I got a good enough photo of them) looked just fine. I’ve yet to start the second heel as it’s been a busy and stressful week. I’ve made it through three exams in two days and somehow still found energy to write this blog tonight….

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Current progress on the second sock…

I probably just need sleep, but there was Valentine’s day this week and my dear James treated me to dinner, and(I forgot to get the photo), not one book, but two–he really does know the way to my heart and keeping me up past my bedtime. And yes, it is the signed, hardcover first edition of Echoes in Death by J.D. Robb and it’s just as gripping as the others in the series. I love this series.

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Because if I took J.D. Robb to class, I wouldn’t get any studying done, at least, not until I finished the book. I might not even leave when class was done…

In the meantime, I’d better keep up on next week’s homework, and hope the article I have to choose from some specific type of journal with a specific type of format….but clear as mud to me is finally a correct one and I can get the summary done. Perhaps we should just have to read academic journals and keep a record of summaries of one of their articles as they are published–sounds like a better exercise than finding articles on any topic you want, only to repeatedly hear, “Not that one.” Alas, such are the woes of an undergrad…back to knitting and reading, right after I accomplish some more homework so I don’t have to do it all on Sunday.

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How the fairies hid my place markers from me…they don’t have to work very hard at this, you see….

“And, why did she take photos of the place markers?” Why, yes. Yes I did. The fairies finally returned them.

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For now, they’re safely tucked into the pocket of my knitting bag. I wonder how long that will last….

Too Many Knots…

January 27, 2017

Or…the dawning of the age of …homework and study…

Sorry, unless you really play with homework and study, it doesn’t match the correct term, but it is my life right now, mostly.

Amidst however many projects I listed last week, and likely one or two more added this week, as well as a consideration for one to be frogged, as there is likely a halfway point in the yarn….I started some legwarmers. I should keep them on the down low, but I’m hoping the recipient isn’t following….I’ll be watching closely to see if she likes this on facebook. Mom thought she;d love them when she saw the yarn and beginning pattern work. I hope we’re right. I almost asked her outright, but decided to remain covert for now. Her birthday comes sooner than I like. Okay, okay, back to the projects. Let me show you what I’m about to frog…

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I’ll show you the full thing before I frog it….but it needs to be a scarf or mitts…that work with the colorway of the yarn….this is almost halfway and the yarn reverses.

I’ve come to a realization, that frogging is a part of knitting…and since I taught my eleven year old little that seam-ripping has to happen in sewing, fit thrown throughout and all; I’ve decided I’ve done enough frogging to accept it as part of knitting. If I don’t love it, or it isn’t gifted, I’m frogging it.

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Shh…don’t tell…though it’s hard to see the pattern, isn’t it?

On the quilt side…I’ve checked my mailbox everyday, and now pink thread has arrived. So, the applique quilt I forgot to mention last week is not getting done. I could sew green, but I’m not in the mood for green. It’s January, for a couple more days, I need pink on purple or blue….or whatever color that bird will be.

 

However, I received the rest of the instructions for the mystery quilt, and decided what will become of it…It involves a chair and to an extent, my nieces…that story belongs in a quilt blog I’m kicking around, as soon as I finish studying Abnormal Psychology….which isn’t happening until May 4th or 5th, I believe. Yes, yes, I know…I asked for this…but at least I’m not giving speeches about blind dates…though it sounded fun.

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Can’t be compared to a blind date much, except they’re a bit tough to navigate and require concentration…

Ah, blind dates, allow me to explain; My dear nephew, David is taking college courses in high school-the lucky duck. So, I bought his mom a gift card to a famous coffee shop, well, dear James did on Thanksgiving, and Momma Michelle thanked me for it today, as she’d used it almost exactly as I hoped. I hoped she would take one of her kids out for coffee and use it for connection. She had the best time taking David out for coffee and hearing about how he described a blind date. Since he’d never been on a blind date, he took blind literally. I’ll let you use your imagination here. (I’m not even sure he knew how good he was, as he also told us the best one was the first one, who pulled teddy bear.)

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The cat’s idea that I should be petting her, instead of studying….Abnormal Psych terms, here I come…

So, I’m guilty…I had an exam today and got nothing knit, except the gift part, which needs to get done quick, but it a relatively simple pattern…if only the yarn would quit knotting. You heard me, this darned yarn is still knotting. I knit fourteen rows, perhaps I’ve gotten a little further, but not more than twenty…likely not more than sixteen, and I have a knot to sort out, after it’s been wound. It was an easy knot to sort out, but I’m not happy with this yarn at all. I will not knit with it again, even if the recipient falls in love with these darned things. May these skeins be used up soon;-).

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The offending project…May the 4th be with me, either way…

P.S. One should not watch the World Poker Tour while studying Abnormal Psychology, especially when they’re down to three players. (That’s almost when it gets good;-)).