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;-)).

Too Many Rules…

January 19, 2017

…or too many patterns. Nah, there’s no such thing as too many patterns.

I may have broken my own rule. After all, rules were made to be broken, right? Fortunately, I haven’t broken the rule irreparably…or have I? I have two supposed “adult” rules, and I’ve broken both of them in the past few weeks. I blame James for one. I only have myself and clever marketing for the second…I believe. Besides, blame doesn’t un-break the rules, or get things done. Please allow me to explain.

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Cabled Headband…which is the inspiration for only half of these weeks works in progress…

Rule #1: Do not begin three more projects before finishing the first project. This usually translates to one project on the needles and one project on the sewing table at a time…usually. Lately, the socks I’ve been knitting have been complicated. I only knit them on Sunday mornings when I have spare time. I’m making good progress, but I decided to knit some mittens as a travel project and a gift. They didn’t work out so well, so I ended up frogging them. Then dear James bought me a “project” for Christmas. Once I replaced the hat/mitten/scarf yarn with yarn I could and would knit with, I went in search of patterns.

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(The finished cabled headband…really, I meant to smile, but I hate taking selfies…;-).)

Yes, you heard me right, I spent a few hours on ravelry.com…who doesnt’. I finally found a cabled headband http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/cabled-headband-26 pattern I liked and was hoping to find a matching cowl. I didn’t. I found similar ones, but I found none that work with me, so I’m left to making it up as I go along.

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The current cowl I’m currently working on…I’m hoping it will work with me…but only two more repeats.)

I was scared of the making of it. I really was, but it can’t be that hard, right? You heard me…and yes, we all know I should know better. Thankfully(so far), I do not know better. Instead, I came across that knitting journal I bought sometime last year and told you I’d tell you what I thought of it. What did I think? I didn’t think much of it until I started trying to work out this beast. This cowl shall remain nick-named the beast until it is finished. This week, I have two attempts and almost a graph/chart or pattern worked out. I want to leave options semi-open to make it your own. I like making something my own when possible.

Not near as easy as I thought it would be to write the pattern, I hope it’s more fun to knit…it shouldn’t be as hard as it looks. It was harder figuring out how to set it up…I think.

So, what did I do? It’s pretty simple, in theory, and hopefully in knitting. Explaining it visually or on paper is another matter. Part of me wants to say just do it, and you may have to, if you wish to make this cowl. I don’t think I’m doing the impossible, but we all know knitting can become mind-boggling at times. *If you do try to knit up this pattern as shown here, please give me credit for it…If you find any mistakes you cannot work through, or we cannot work through together, please message me. We’ll work something out. (It is knit in the round, please take that into consideration as you knit the cowl).

So, how does creating a new cowl break my rules….I already have another cowl on the needles, with a pair of socks and one sock beginning to think it’s suffering from second sock syndrome. Something needs to get knit, but I wish to test this pattern. In addition, I’m thinking about a shawl and I can’t find my size 8 dpns to knit the cowl up with, so I may end up doing this pattern on size 7s. Choices, choices…. Patterns, patterns….(And don’t ask me about the quilts).

Waiting on instructions on the quilt on the right, and may need to scale back projects some soon…or at least make a rule to do my homework first….

Yes, that is plural. I have Jessica’s No-longer Secret fantasy quilt to finish tweaking, I have just subscribed to a murder mystery quilt… a charity quilt waiting for Sunday afternoon(my morning), and  I have begun a mystery quilt for my quilt guild that will become a chair warmer/quilt for my nieces to sleep under at my home, it may be time for a second blog. In the meantime, I have to go clarify questions about the fabric and get the photos of my current works…since I have broken my own rules about the number of projects I can juggle.

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Squib, helping me with my homework…so much for planning;-)

As for rule #2…I no longer feel like discussing it. Actually, it’s “Nothing comes into my home that doesn’t have a home, but that requires some more shelves. I’m not sure how the projects fit…but the sewing table feels crowded right now. Can I have some more wine, please?

Keeping it simple really is an art form. I’ve never been good at this, and this week, perhaps you’ll see why, just not in photos…perhaps in the lack thereof…(I kid, of course…I still have pets…).

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Putzer, reminding me I wouldn’t need a cabled headband if I stayed home and gave him his two-handed, full-body massage.

I’ve started a new semester and meandered into slightly new areas of knitting…it seems I’m going to be knitting legwarmers soon…explanation to come, I promise. So, I told you all about the yarn issues and I haven’t touched that blasted cowl since…though I had a slight brainstorm on making the fifteen to sixteen stitch manageable, in that I reduce one of the knit stitches. I’m not sure if I wish to keep knitting, it or if I already frogged it for the needles. I think I frogged it, which works for me too…though I might be able to get leg warmers out of this yarn.

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I still have one skein, should I try it?

Allow me to explain, I was invited to go shoe-shopping with my nieces this evening….after resolving a mis-text about tying shoes (rather than trying them on), I was able to meet with my (ex, I guess)-sister-in-law and nieces to go shoe shopping. The youngest, who had the shoe-tying issue, wanted to shop. The oldest, knew which boots she wanted and which leg warmers looked coolest with them. When the cashier told us they were “buy one, get one50% off, ” I said I might have to have her wait and split the bill. However, we were at a lower end store, and my feet require “good” shoes, i.e. Naturalizer, usually. Turns out, it was the acrylic leg warmers that were on sale.

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Excuse the pet-hair covered fleece, it’s her current security blanket when mom isn’t here….we’ll find out if she tries to steal the leg-warmer yarn when I get it…

Of course, thinking of the cabled headband I was still finishing, and the cabled cowl I’m borrowing from two or three designs to complete soon, I spoke up: “You know, you could talk to your aunt about leg warmers,” and I pointed out to Jessica, (the eldest), that she stays away from all things yarn because she’s allergic to wool…lower end shop (Payless–for you Americans), the leg warmers were acrylic. Lizzie, the younger-stepped right up and said, “Purple. And Pink.” I think I know what that kid is getting for her birthday in February, and began plotting my ravelry search for patterns.

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“Cuz we know what always happens next…” (Trick Pony song…”Just What I Need,”)…in the meantime, this simple cabled headband pattern is knitting up really well…. I actually want to block it. I can’t wait to see the next parts of it.

After another hint or two, and a fiver ($5.00) slid to the niece who walked out with not one, but two sets of leg-warmers, she hinted that she wanted a pink-and-white candy cane stripe. I Since she may be allergic to wool, I have to knit with sock-monkey yarn. I was already kicking around buying some Deborah Norville Serenity Chunky yarn. For the youngest, I may have a use for the millefiori yarn, since she has no issues with wool…speaking of the youngest, I may have to get a photo of her feet in the new socks soon. I may start carrying the camera and spare batteries wherever I go.

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Terpander socks…I’m onto a new repeat, but I haven’t made much more progress this week…I’ve been focusing on cables and a mystery quilt(more about that next week…).

As you can guess, we have no photos of the ideas and no one wants to see the math I’m thinking of to knit this spelled out on paper, if you do, just write out your own calculations and report back on how thrilling they are, please…for the sake of those of us who don’t love math. Speaking of which, I should be doing statistics. But as I contemplated my Ravelry search, I said, you know, I just need a gauge swatch and a circumference, right? Hang onto your hats, ladies and gentleman, it’s gonna be a wild ride.

 

Mitten Continuance

December 16, 2016

What can I say….the big gifting day is ten days away…I’m almost half done with the first mitten. Hear me out….classes are done, grades are in–they’re respectable, but not my best work…well, except for the developmental psychology class. That was good work, or a 4.0. The rest, I received an A- in, or 3.7. I was surprised by one of the A-’s as I expected a B at highest, but our last quiz replaced a bad grade on a damned literary map (that likely doesn’t belong in a college classroom), so I consider that A- almost a bonus. But I got used to the 4.0 average I was working my butt off for in school, so forgive me if this feels a bit deflated. Alas, I must respect that it is still decent progress.

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Squib, cuddling while I knit…at least he doesn’t grade my knitting….just the yarn quality, sometimes

Moving on, I’m busting my butt on the semi-secret fantasy quilt. I’ve sewn in most of my free time and have over half of the border done as well as the cornerstones. I’m making progress…but I feel like it’s never enough. I’m hoping to get this top done before the 25th. I did catch a break today as my sister-in-law and I had gingerbread house-making planned, but she wasn’t ready as I headed off to learn my final grade in my frustrating class(see above, I hope that rant is over).dscn1630

Side 1 of the mitten…I think this is the bottom side, since it’s for the right hand…

I came home and sewed some clouds and worked out where the fabrics need to go to make more clouds. Then I considered the flowers….I need more flowers….I always need more of one or the other, but I made good progress and just have to keep working. I also snuck in a row or two on the mittens while I got some laundry done this evening. However, I also have to cook this week(projects or not….if I wanna eat, I gotta cook-drat).

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Side 2 of the mitten….It’s coming along, but I better return to knitting. I’m hoping it turns out better than it looks on the needles, but I think it will be fun in the end.

Then, as I watched the first half of the season finale of Project Runway, I finished dinner and knit the next row…which got me close to half way done with the chart. Since I have the cuff knit, I might be over halfway done, but I also have to knit a thumb in there…That could get interesting.

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Maeve, snuggling on mom while I knit… right on the yarn and covering the pattern…she’s a pro at interrupting the knitting process….

Now, allow me to tell you about my “Oh, crap!” moment. I’m not sure if it was yesterday as I snuck in some evening knitting time, but it must have been, because I barely arrived at class on time this morning(class was meeting early due to the final exam schedule). I started the left mitten, I’ve knit everything for the left mitten…do you catch my drift…then I looked at the chart pattern and realized I was knitting the chart for the right mitten! “You’ve got to be kidding me,” is likely the nice version of what I was thinking.

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Squibby doesn’t get the ‘What was I thinking?’ thing….he just tests it and sees what happens….I need to be more like Squibby…

Instead of continuing to swear about my luck, I calmly turned the pattern over, saw where I should be. Then I looked at the first page, and saw my salvation: Right mitten: Work same as left mitten. Thank goodness! I may have done a little jig in my chair…minding the knitting needles (and any other pins and needles) of course. I hesitate to celebrate further this week as I hope to make much more progress before I feel comfortable with the gifting.

They’re off the needles and they’re close enough to gift. I must have increased a stitch or two somewhere though, because when I counted the stitches while preparing to decrease the toes, I had seventy-eight stitches instead of seventy-six…So I simply performed an extra decrease for perhaps an extra round.  At this point, I really can’t tell. I don’t think the recipient will be able to tell either. She’s not yet an experienced knitter, and it matters how they feel on the feet. I have pics of the finished pair, but they won’t see feet until Christmas. I also have to keep secret about; and hope I’m clever enough to set her off track if she guesses.

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The finished socks…I hope the recipient has a great purple shirt to wear with them, or brown or blue…Perhaps I should tell her mother;-)

In the meantime, I need to think of a creative way to gift-wrap these and present them. This is one of my favorite parts of Christmas. Okay, okay, I got the reminder. Happy Thanksgiving! I hoped to put this up earlier anyway but was distracted by food comas, surprise Orange Cranberry Sauce and catching up on TV shows. In part, I was half to blame for this. So let me go back and say, I hope your food and family gathering were as enjoyable as mine.

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The backs of these socks…see the ribbing…I’m now wishing that was the toughest part, but for me, it was cabling while talking to classmates…

Now, let’s get the tree up and move on to wrapping gifts…Wait, I still have to knit and sew some, crap. The tree will have to wait till Sunday, with my little. (Thanks for the great idea, guys!). I sewed more hexies into the hexy background I thought I’d had big enough. I feel like I’m always saying two more inches. So, with the quilting stuff, I’m always going two more inches, with the knitting stuff I feel like I’m going just keep decreasing…

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Scamp claiming my yarn bag…she likely thinks to try to escape with the yarn if I leave it open…she’ll wait for me.

Allow me to explain why my other title for this was going to be “Always Decreasing.” I started with seventy-eight stitches at the toes instead of seventy-six. I think I simply added in the two extra decreases and decreased three at even intervals that round instead of one. It was the simplest way. Then I decreased six stitches on the next round, as I thought I was supposed to do. I was either talking to others, paying attention to the previous class letting out, or distracted somehow. It was not lost on me that I couldn’t knit straight knitting with a couple of decreases correctly. So I counted my stitches and still had to decrease in the next round. I figured out where I thought it happened, or close, and simply added one decrease in the next round. After a couple of rounds of this, I thought, maybe I should just decrease three every round.

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The latest project…it’s simple at least…I have not decided if I’m going to squeeze in another pair of socks or not. I don’t have much time. And i need to find a way to show the blue of this better. The colorway is cloud. I’ll tell you about it next week.

I didn’t. It gets a little tense if I try this, I know. And I would be doing that soon enough. Out of the twelve rounds, two or three did not have decreases that weren’t supposed to be. But how many of you counted where my decreases happened anyways. They look good, and as long as they are comfortable on her feet is all that matters. And now there is a different color in a different pattern on these needles for a bit, as I have another gift to finish, in addition to the quilt top. Oh boy, it’s gonna be a busy December. Anyone wanna come over, ignore the sewing scrap mess and clutter and have some wine as we knit?

I’m Starting The Toes…

November 18, 2016

…and I done did it….but on a positive note, the new knit picks needles have arrived. I hope to knit the cerise Terpander socks soon…I promise. In the meantime, allow me to pour another glass of wine, some for you too, I hope. Now, I shall tell you the story of my knitting, with a few other things tossed in, because a girl isn’t supposed to live on knitting alone, is she? Oh, wait, that was bread I wasn’t only supposed to live on.

So, the juice is this; I’ve gone and done it. I’ve dried my hand-knit wool socks, most of them; in the dryer, with medium heat.  I already push it by washing them in a machine, (gasp!). A girl has only so much time to knit, quilt, and study. So, this week I forgot to pull my socks out of the wash as the wash was placed in the dryer.

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Do you see the difference? Oy and vey….oh dear, what did I do? Wait, they still fit, yeah!

I think they did shrink a little, but in the past I have knit my socks a little on the big side. So, once I stopped freaking out about having dried my socks, I tried them on. I found they still fit. Thank goodness! No, I do not plan to continue this trend, and I fear the socks will shrink too small for my feet, but for now, I can only blame stress. I just finished one exam and have two papers due a day apart next week.

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Scamp, Helping me with writing this blog. I get similar issues with homework.

Count them, yes, I said two papers. I should be writing them right now. However, most of my hand-knit socks have been returned to their drying mesh and I’m giving into my guilty pleasure of catching Project Runway for the week. I try to be a good girl, I’m just not very good at it.

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Scamp, Helping me Work on this…did I mention Project Runway?

So, let’s sneak back to the papers I should be writing. One of them is suppposed to be an analysis of a book I do not relate to well using feminist criticism. One of them is on Euripide’s Medea. I’m not sure how you can get farther apart. One woman is rebuilding her life after having killed a man who was raping her. The other killed her children to spite her husband, but in a time when children were raised to go to war in certain communities. Alas, let’s get back to the knitting and quilting, for the moment. I cannot wait until next Tuesday, when both papers will be submitted and hopefully done. In the meantime, hang onto your hats, kids; It could be a wild ride.

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Maeve, helping me work as well….the nut…my girls love to snuggle or interrupt homework…

Since I often knit before or between classes, I do have some good news for you: I’m at the toes. Really! I’m knitting the toes. I could finish these socks next week, though I still have to study for my Psychology and work to catch up in Masterpieces of Ancient Literature. The Literary Analysis class could get interesting but should get a little easier, if she doesn’t kill my paper before she gets the concepts in it.

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Toes….toes…really, I’m at the toes!

So, back to the toes. I start decreasing next. Now, I just have to remember to get photos of the finished sock on the recipients’ feet when I gift them to her. And the quilt is making progress too…but I may have to create another blog page for that;-). Wish me luck guys, I think finals might be easy compared to this week! dscn1510

Two socks, almost matching…perhaps we’ll talk about that next week, but close enough to pass and hopefully, gift;-).

That’s right. I still should be revising a paper, but most of the rest of my homework is done tonight. However, some of it was at the sacrifice of knitting, until Project Runway came on tonight. It’s my guilty pleasure. Currently, I have the television sound muted so I can focus on work. Music may be required. But let’s get back to the knitting.

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Squib getting snugly while I knit.

I had a measly four more rows completed, and I haven’t touched the pretty pink cashmere socks as I don’t have replacement needles from Knit Picks yet. Would you like to hear about it? I’m sure you would. I finally broke down and called them this evening. I don’t care for making cold calls, so I set them up as an exchange for “other” reasons, because every time I remembered I needed to handle this, it was pretty late at night. I do still work overnights. When I chose broken on their online site, they directed me to a phone number. I don’t like phone numbers. I just don’t. I’m the customer. It’s after ten p.m. No one should have to stay up to re-send me needles after ten p.m. That’s what email is for, right? (Yes, I provided them with this suggestion.)

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Maeve, helping with the knitting…or claiming the bag as hers….

Alas, I broke down tonight after losing not one, but two RMA forms that I had not taped onto a padded envelope and called them just before a normal person’s dinnertime. They were quite nice, confirmed my address and told me the new needles would be sent to me right away. Of course, there’s no mail for Veteran’s day as well. No, I’m not knitting the troops anything. I’m still working on Christmas gifts here. (Shh…the munchkins are hopefully busy with their own projects). Though, my youngest niece has joined facebook. I may have to get super-duper secret with certain projects. For now, what they don’t know won’t hurt them;-).

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I promise, I inserted the second lifeline…it just doesn’t show in this photo.

So, I had four tiny little rows and it was looking like it might be three weeks before I get to the toes instead of two. I’ve been working on my applique quilt and the semi-secret fantasy quilt this week. Photos of one will be included. But let me get back to these four measly rows–this is exactly how my week has been going… and I have a ton of papers to write. Alas, the knitting, I sat down to watch Project Runway on time tonight instead of during its re-run, and since I wasn’t trying to do homework or anything serious, I picked up my knitting and began row five, then I continued on, and as it came to an end I was knitting row 11 and deciding I should insert a lifeline.

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Current progress–side view…Soon there will be toes;-).

I’ve gotten decent at lifelines, though they take time that I could be knitting, however, they are life savers. I’m sold. I also got to watch The Project Runway Financial Start-up where investors who know the business listen to pitches from entrepreneurs trying to break into the fashion industry. Then I completed row twelve and decided it was okay to go back to homework. Though one of my Graduate Assistant’s in Psychology was asking me if this was going to be the longest sock ever, because it was taking me so long to knit. I’ll refrain from including the “clever” joke he attempted–this is the same one who wants a sweater;-)…I’ll be lucky to have the sock done by Christmas at this rate.

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Current progress on block 1 of the Summertime Sampler by Erica Krapow…except no black fabric;-). And I’m learning about placement…

Alas, I did get some knitting done, and I re-sewed a leaf or two on the quilt…So, I hope you enjoy, perhaps I’ll have better news next week. After all, I’m looking forward to seeing a live performance of A Chorus Line, the musical this weekend. May your weekend be restful and full of knitting.

Remembering Lifelines…

October 14, 2016

…or How Many Angel Kisses are Allowed?

I think you have an idea by now that I am not a perfect knitter. Ambitious, absolutely; Frustrated, sometimes; Perfect will not happen in this lifetime. But I try to roll with what I’ve heard dubbed “Angel Kisses.” One or two in a pattern, I can live with, sometimes one or two in a repeat. However, this week, I got to row three of the repeat and realized that not only was there an error in row one of the chart, but that I was knitting row thirteen from memory, not row three. Then I found something else wrong, and stopped crafting for the day–any other crafting I’d done that day had gone to the dogs, as well. I think it was Monday or Tuesday. I’ve since lost track.

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Briannag is still waiting for me to make her something special…(she will rip it apart, so I have to be in a specially giving mood, and curious to see how long it will last).

So, brave soul that I am (in other words, fool who knit without lifelines), I threaded some old pink yarn onto an embroidery needle, then attempted to pick up each stitch three or four rows below the needles. Talk about adventure, though this was the easy part, trust me. I likely got about three quarters of the stitches….(are you in stitches yet?). It was a sight to see. Then I gently frogged the yarn back a couple of rows. When I got to the lifeline, I moved to one needle at a time and began following the yarn to thread on as many stitches as possible. Dear James is likely grateful I did this between classes.

I finally got most of the stitches back on…have I learned my lesson yet? Well, kind of;-). I meant to put a lifeline in…I really did. I meant to research the best way to as well. But I had homework. I really did. I had a chapter to finish for Psychology. I can’t get behind on my homework. And I had knitting to catch up on(since I would be re-knitting at least three rows. I wasn’t sure I’d get back to the ripping point this week.

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Ripped and knit with forward progress…but I need to get the lifeline in…likely more than one;-).

But I was blessed with distraction, because at some point, you do get worn out reading! Say it isn’t so, you say…well, when it’s psychology and ancient literature…and the short story you just read for the Literary Analysis class pisses you off because it didn’t tell the story of how they got back together; it simply implies that they did, I think. Well, that’s when a girl gets some good knitting time in, and I re-knit the old rows and got some new ones accomplished.

It’s also been a good week for crafting, though a might expensive–yet cheaper than the alternatives. Allow me to explain. I joined a quilt guild about a year ago and have joined their applique group. I’ve done an applique bookwrap quilt and have some applique going into my Semi-Super-Secret-Fantasy-Quilt…which is for someone who might read this blog, so I have to keep pictures of it mysterious and not-defined well. (Sorry!) However, I’m beginning one I can show you.

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Scamp, inspecting my choices for applique work. If I leave it here, it will become hers.

The applique group decided primarily on a Summertime Sampler of Wool Applique by Erica Kaprow…which has multiple ramifications….Wool being the first of them. I had bought and bragged about a yard and a half of black olive merino wool (for trousers). It’s beautiful, and I unwrapped it today, unfolded it and prepared to iron…then I looked again. (A photo cannot do it justice). But as I looked again, I realized I just couldn’t cut this into tiny little squares to make a wall-hanging quilt. I needed to check the size of the squares, and it’s a good thing I did. But as I drew the designs on freezer paper last night, cut them out and pressed them on, I also looked at how to make the quilt block.

The author of the pattern gave me a great idea. She stated that she finds most or all of her black wool often in thrift shops in the form of wool skirts. I know where the thrift shop is and they’re open when I finish class. So I went wool shopping again. I found gray wool trousers I can take in a little. I found a black twill skirt I can copy for the wool skirt I now plan to make in black. I found a couple of organizing tools and trinkets…. I found a cute skirt that was simply acrylic and so didn’t make the cut…. I also don’t wear many skirts. But I still needed wool to consider for the background of this quilt. I finally made my way to menswear, since I wasn’t willing to cut the trousers that were just a bit big. And I’m not sure when I’ll get to making this new skirt, or if I’ll try for a sheath dress out of it. So, as I found the menswear…I still lamented the number of suit coats with polyester in them, but I found two that would work.

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(I’m aware its not all black. But I like it, and I should have enough wool for $5.00U.S.) These are the materials for the first block…Perhaps I’ll start a monthly blog of this, since it is a block of the month club…

Here is where I exercised restraint. I chose the one that would work better. I brought it home. I ripped out the seam tonight and now will have to homework at work. I double-checked the pattern when I got home and realized I needed 9 ¼ inch blocks, not 8 ½ inch. Luckily, I think this suit coat can do it…there may be some creative piecing, but nothing too major. The sleeves might even have enough fabric with the sides to make the border…Otherwise, I might be talked into finding or creating strips out of other wool I have floating around. But that’s another story.

Really quick before I head home to craft, and do some homework…I did work on the other pair of socks some this week, and I think I got to easier rows, but I did not get any photos of them. Next week I’ll have something prettier to show you. In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed the pets inspection of the new (to me) wool. I thought of keeping it at my home, but realized that just wouldn’t work for this one. If I make a wool skirt or dress, I may have to change out of it before I visit all the pets though. I’d present a picture here, but I haven’t thought of a way to show off it’s true beauty as it deserves. Happy knitting, my friends!