Choices Made Easier

June 14, 2018

 

Cornhole boards…nothing says summer like cornhole boards…My niece wants to bid on them at Art Reach. They are not yet finished.

How do you choose whether to knit or quilt or paint Cornhole (Bean Bag toss) boards this week? The easiest way to make this choice is to run out of yarn after a tough row, and to get a last minute email requesting the Cornhole boards be painted.

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Close up of my progress…try not to count the stitch mistakes, please. They shouldn’t be noticeable in the end.

I got my second repeat of row one  on the Indian Cross Scarf finished, and hoped I had enough yarn to finish row two and maybe row three. I was pretty sure I was going to the yarn store this week. I just finished row two for the second repeat and found I had about sixty inches of yarn left. That’s sixty inches to cover 216 stitches + 7/9 extra stitches, which I’m not redoing. I had won the yarn chicken battle, but I would not win the war. The skein is out. As for the extra stitches, this is exactly why decreases were invented. I’ll recount before I start, after I pick a good join, and divide that number by 216 to figure out how often I need to decrease to keep it even. I also have the option of finding the stitches where I knit 9 stitches into 8 and decreasing there, but I think the even decrease will be less obvious.

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Current progress on the Indian Cross Scarf.

I also decided I had only three choices for the yarn chicken loss, but they’re not great choices. I could use another yarn, but I don’t have any cotton and acrylic, and I want these yarns to look close. I could knit with an entirely contrasting yarn…but I didn’t work that in from the beginning, and it won’t provide the effect I want. The third choice is most satisfying all around: I can buy more yarn.

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Same brook, different view. Such a lovely little space.

I decided to walk into the yarn store today and get more yarn, so I could pick a join, knit this up over the weekend, I hoped, and finish this to present at quilt retreat. The yarn store was out of this yarn color and didn’t have any good substitutes since I still have close to a third of this scarf left to knit. Luckily I had kept the label and she’s ordering another skein for me.

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I can’t think of a better place to read, knit, or relax right now…at least not within driving distance.

However, in the meantime, I’ll show you some pleasant places for future knitting between appointments or after exams when I don’t wish to study. I stumbled across the mini brook in the afternoon as I decided to prep for a writing appointment, which I moved to the gazebo, fountain and now brook area of my school’s campus. In the future, I may be found knitting there…or at least sneaking some photos…I think it will change as the year goes on, I mean…Look at this beauty.

Only two boards to paint, but I had to include the horn and unicorn hair artist, Jessica, posing with her work.

I also ended up with two Cornhole boards to paint this afternoon, once I confirmed my partners in crime were willing to lend me space. I may still be a little high on spray paint fumes, but it’s worth it so far…And they’re not done. Whatever you think of them, they’re not done yet. I’ll post that in the next couple of weeks when I can get better photos of the finished boards.

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I confess, my knitting has been slightly neglected of late, but the Iris are blooming (with no help from me, thankfully).

1) Self-imposed deadlines kill knitting time: I’m not kidding, they really do. I had planned to do more evening knitting or early morning knitting, but then I got hopeful and I had a phone call made, and then plans were made…there may be knitting in the car next week.

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These lovely Iris flowers make me happy!

2) Certain volunteer activities might infringe on knitting time. However, I promote volunteering. It not only provides needed assistance and resources to others, the interactions you get from these exchanges are priceless. I did sneak in a round of knitting in public today as well.

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The socks I snuck in one round of easy knitting for this afternoon…

3) Complicated patterns infringe on knitting time…I may start a pair of vanilla latte socks for this, where I can simply knit a pattern up without much thinking required. As long as I have to follow a constantly changing sixteen stitch repeat or a “what the heck am I doing?” row for 216 stitches…there will be limited knitting in public.

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The back of the socks…don’t you think they’ll fit in a Victorian era home;-)

But I went to the Midland Center For The Arts Heritage Park training today, and I did think that not only the knitting but the wooden needles were period for the Victorian Gothic era…now i have many new subjects to learn about…Victorian furniture, dining accessories, kitchen tools and lending libraries. You guys may not hear the end of this, and yes, some sort of knitting that can be interrupted will be going with me…Now, which skein of yarn in the stash wishes to be vanilla latte? Or, do I take an extra shift and buy more yarn? Okay, okay, I heard you…extra shift it may be, but I’m checking the stash again…I may have just the thing…but that yarn wouldn’t be period…oh, I get your drift, now.

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This knitting may be tougher to pass…but it will be quite pretty, and I will likely have a simpler pair cast on by the time I volunteer…

4) Order take-out…cooking time also imposes on knitting time…There you have it, suggestions for finding more knitting time in your day…If you go anywhere, take the knitting with you, If you create a deadline, pad it with knitting time, if you knit a complicated pattern, cast on a simple pattern that will knit up easy and quick…and finally, order the take-out…especially if every recipe you’ve ever encountered takes twice as long as you planned. In the meantime, while I interrupt my knitting to look up books about this subject, allow me to ask: What other questions do you have about a hands on history house museum of the Victorian era? Let me know so I can look up answers before I show up for my first shift.

Finally, invest in books on tape when possible. That way you can read and knit…or at least play some poetry or comedy on youtube.com(or other streaming channel), to allow you to knit or sew while you get in some other forms of entertainment and some multi-tasking, while we are at it.

Until next time, Happy knitting.

I Made It to the Retreat!

October 26, 2017

But it’s more expensive than I expected!

I had an unexpected turn of events last week. My quilt retreat roomies cancelled! For various reasons, they couldn’t make it…most of them had good reasons…one couldn’t get the days off work, pssshhh….she needs a new job. Another couldn’t get time, but had had a rough year of illness. So I considered not coming, for half a second. Then I decided to ask for other roomies…

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Shh…don’t tell…this is tomorrow’s challenge photo…

There’s good news, and bad news…and that line is almost too tired to keep using.

My roomies cancelled last night. I didn’t know until I got here…anyone want to come to Mackinac City for the weekend? You can knit all you want too…we’ll tell them you’re going to knit a quilt one day. Who cares if that’s really called an afghan…wait…I have a ton of acrylic yarn around the house…and I feel an idea taking shape…I should have brought the newsprint.

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Awesome color view of the Bridge at night…who doesn’t want to see this view?

Alas…if you wish to join me, I’ll clean off the second bed…the good news, I’ve got a room with two beds to myself…all to myself. No worries about roomies! I miss the roomies I’m used to. I’m missing the connection with them already. However, I’ll just have to make some new friends and enjoy the weekend of sewing and knitting(and shh…I should do some homework, too–though I like to have homework done when I get here). But back to it…

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Psst…don’t tell…I didn’t mind knitting the 2×2 rib stitch…

I’ve been working on the Hat Gray Fields by Tatiana Rovenskaya this week. I’ve made it to the increase row…which took an extra hour or two of translating from Russian to English…because she was specific. It made sense, once I worked around the translation, but I’m glad I looked it more than once. I thought I was supposed to purl around. Instead…I was supposed to add a stitch every ten or eleven stitches, but between the ribs, not in the middle…(I hope). It’s done…I’ve begun the pattern.

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Current Knitting Progress…literally…

 

The photo here is a rare mid row photo…I’m getting better at checking where I’m at, and well…I was interrupted during the second repeat of the chart (which is just a wee bit complicated), and it was before class when I reminded of a quiz which I’d totally forgotten. Thankfully, it was an easy quiz, but sometime later I’ll have to finish off this row(in the midst of quilting) and learn this pattern before it returns to public.

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Knitting while waiting for friends…including my chicken scratch translation of this pattern…wish me luck…

I’ve been a wee bit naughty with the second sock of the Slip-N-Slide pattern, as I haven’t cast it on yet. I’ve been focused on this hat, and I should get to the cast on of this sock this weekend, as I can take that to my nieces band concert(which I should simply ink in for the next five years(I think) that it’s right after this quilt retreat every time). Wish me luck arriving on time…must leave by noon on Sunday;-)…drat! (With the price I’m paying…I should get a free day! Who can join me?)

Ta-Da! Hot Off The Needles…

September 14, 2017

Apparently the latest term is H HOTN! I had no idea what they meant the first few times…then someone spelled it out (Hot Off The Needles)!

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I think one of my favorite hobbies is photographing my stocking-clad feet…

I’m not even terribly acronym challenged. But I couldn’t get this one. However, it was 72F degrees today…I wear socks at 65F or less. I sometimes chance it between 65-70F, but that’s about my limit. So I was stuck wearing store bought socks today…bummer.

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Check it out…No Waste Here! That’s all the yarn that was left.

However, these babies get to be test driven as soon as it cools down, and I don’t have to work Monday, so that might be the day…I’ll have to check the weather. Are you guys checking the weather until you can wear your knit socks?

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Through the heel and over the gusset…I’ll stop there…enjoy.

In the meantime, I’ve had other decisions to make as well…the most important decision being “Which pair do I cast on next?” The choice was almost made for me though…I chose the one I certainly had the needles for. That way, I don’t have a deadline to buy another set of knitting needles, though I will soon. But I’m saving for school and a house. One day, perhaps I’ll get to be independently wealthy.

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Goes better on the second attempt…look!

So, Pipe dreams aside…I’ve made some progress on the Slip-N-Slide socks this week, and hope to keep going in the midst of writing papers and introductions to research proposals. But somewhere, I still found the time to bind these off…Next time, I may do the super stretchy bind-off as this one is a little tight on the right leg.

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I think I’m going to love these socks!

…on a quilt shop bus trip no less. It was the easiest traveling hand work I had.

I got up at the awfully-early in the morning 6:30AM on Tuesday. I normally go to bed at this time. Actually, an hour before. Even my boyfriend said, “What are you doing up, you have seven more minutes?” But I was heading to the next town over for a bus trip…not to find yarn, but fabric. (Sorry to disappoint, but there was knitting!) Alas, I made it earlier than expected…and my “bus-mate” suggested today was a good day to relax and take it easy. What sage advice. I might have even listened…(I heard those gasps).

So, for the first leg of the trip, I perused a magazine, the drive was only about 25 minutes. But the shop owners were so nice…I’ll post all about them on the quilting side next week. They opened early and were ready for the bus. I found some wonderful fabrics at Park Bench in Midland, MI. We even left earlier than planned, which was a surprise. The second leg of the trip was an hour and a half away, which I checked and then pulled out my knitting and finished the heel flap on my sock.

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What a lovely heel flap…and a bit fun to carry the pattern right down to the turn.

Then we reached our second stop of the day, Back Street Quilt Shop in Bad Axe, MI and our lunch stop. It was done well with some really good chicken salad croissants, grapes, baby carrots, strawberries and zucchini bread and zucchini cookies(made like a cake but formed and cooked like cookies). I skipped the bread and cookies, but heard good things about them. Lunch was simple but excellent. It felt like simple gourmet. Hungry yet? I’ll wait while you grab a snack. I have a heel to turn…. I also found some great wool and a few buttons and some embroidery thread for the wool applique to consider while I turned the heel.

Which I knit on our way to the Amish shop in Snover, MI at the corner of M-19 and Mushroom road. Mushroom road, I had to wonder if you went to the end of the road, would you find mushrooms and could you eat them. It was a simple Amish shop with some lovely fabrics. I found some to go with a charity quilt and was talked into two others by a fellow accomplished quilters…and I was still in budget. I think I got to the gusset here…the heel turn was easier than expected.

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These are knitting up a little quicker than expected…so far…I think I finally have some color play as well…

On the way back to Bay City, MI over an hour away, I continued to knit the gusset, focusing on the decreases, and we found a cute little shop overlooking the water. Stitches at the Bay was the shop, they advertised yarn, but that must have been at another location in town. I found fabric I didn’t have much in common with and had hit the budget a little hard lately. However, I found some notions I couldn’t live without and purchased a few, leaving room in my budget for the last shop.

On the way to the last shop, I pet and admired my fabrics and cotton embroidery thread, as I thought the shop was in town. After a bit, I knit one more row, but I was getting tired. The last shop, Material Mart, in Midland, MI had almost all the fabric a girl could want(just not the black with purple and pink tulips I can’t get over), and a stipulation on the discount. Not impressed, they couldn’t find the pattern I liked in the store, though it was brand new, so I suggested I could come back for it sometime…

I’m not too keen on when sometime might be. I believe in supporting local shops, but I believe they should support us as well. No other shop on this trip put a stipulation on our discounts.

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All of my lovely new finds… I’m half in love with the fat quarter bundle on the left, but it needed some purple to round it out. Browns and pinks on the right are for the charity quilt I’m working on…Orange and pink wool and buttons will go on the wool applique. 

Instead, I came home late, only a few hours after I normally get up; I ate the dinner Dear James prepared for me, and took a nap after showing Dear James the fabrics, of course. Then I went home to wash fabric and sew some blocks together. I think I was too tired to knit for the day.

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23 more rows to ribbing…I almost have a pair of socks…

The next day, I woke up at a more normal time(mid-afternoon) and went to my appointment then had my sister-in-law and nieces and little, Mariah, over for our joint summer Birthday parties. We had burgers, sweet potato chips, potato salad, and ice cream(after we let the rest digest). We also opened gifts and I let Mariah make a bead bracelet. Rain killed our park plans so I scrambled to find five chairs for my apartment(which I’ve never properly set up seating in). It was done and my sister-in-law and everyone was helpful and unconcerned about the times things would be finished or done…we had a great evening.

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Back view of the Terpander socks featured in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class.

That night, when I still couldn’t sleep, I got up and began knitting the Terpander socks again. I made it through two more rows and am officially over the half-way point of the third and final repeat…ribbing to follow. Oddly enough, I decided to unwind with a book about the mindfulness of knitting that will be talking about that dreaded upcoming rib in the next chapter I read…I better pick it up at about row twenty of twenty three so I can be reminded of the “I’m almost there,” moments, I hope.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed my progress.