I took on two full time weeks in a row, which became adventurous this week. There are some decent stories, but not many I care to share yet. Besides, while I’ve gotten little done knit-wise, I have gotten past the center and begun creating a little tail.

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Check out this little tail…isn’t it cute? 

The tail is so neat, I’m looking for opportunities to knit. (I’ve just been too tired after working all day and writing notes. I get a day off Sunday, besides a fair amount of cleaning, there will be sewing and knitting breaks. All are needed…and there may be a dinner out involved.

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My dear monkey likes to help show this off…soon, the dog will help as well, as she’d rather sit with her head on my lap and snuggle if I must knit when she needs love.

In the meantime, allow me the indulgence of one pet dog story. I give the chow mix mini-walkies each night at my boyfriend’s before returning home. One night, we decided the pit-lab mix needed to join, or at least get a potty break before I left for the evening. So, I attached the double leash and began mini-walkies…corner to corner of the yard. I was ready to take them inside, my good deed done for the night, when this dog simply stood there, looking at me, then looking down the road. If I gave her an inch, she gently tugged me a foot until she was in the street. As I gave in, (because I’m really a big softie), I thought maybe she wants to find the street light in the intersection. Checking there were no cars, I led her in that direction. She kept going, on the leash, and I wondered where she would pick to finish her business. She talked me into the whole walk, as “mini-walkies” was a foreign concept to her. (Yes, I know. I have just been ‘had’ by a dog). We’re both better for it. 

She’ll likely help me pose the shawl as it grows. Until next time, 

Happy Knitting!

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Five More Minutes…

June 21, 2019

Not five more minutes of knitting, unless I’m in that sweet spot. I’m rarely in that sweet spot right now. So, instead, I feel slightly like a petulant child who is asking “Are we there yet?” It’s this way on both of the projects, unfortunately, for me.

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Front of sock Twisted Stitch Socks by Ann Budd

In the interest of not sounding like a petulant child, I’m focusing on the positive. Sometimes, all you can say to repeats of “Are we there yet?” is “Five more minutes.” I picked up on this line while I was dealing blackjack and carnival games. If the cards went south, and they usually did, players would begin asking, “How long until your break?” After a dozen questions a night, you stop thinking and start answering, “Five more minutes.”

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Back of Twisted Stitch sock by Ann Budd…the middle of that back cable row is about five more minutes from finishing that row…

The parents get it. Anyone who has ever used this line gets it, and when they do it’s funny. A few are too drunk to get it, and in five minutes when they ask again end up saying, “You said that five minutes ago,” to which I repeat five more minutes. (If they are that drunk, explanation is often useless). Alas, I don’t wish my shawl or socks to look like drunken knitting, even if the ladders do at this point. I’m hoping they can be blocked out.

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Forgive the fuzzy picture…I’ll take this better next week, and about a quarter of the way left to knit is my five more minutes point here. 

In the meantime, here’s the latest, and may your knitting not require the response of “Five more minutes.” 

Cheating on…Socks…

December 28, 2018

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Briannag thinks I should only cheat on knitting with snuggles for herself.

It’s been shawl knitting all week. I’ve meant to work on the socks, but at home, I’m applying for jobs, thinking about things I should be doing or piecing quilts (or finding that I had not sewn all of the half-square triangles yet–the knitting equivalent of 1” of 1×1 or 2×2 ribbing is done, but you need 2”).

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2nd skein of yarn almost used, was hoping to get through it…but not bad progress.

So, the socks are complex, but the butterflies on the horse’s butt are calling (quilting again), and I’m in movie mode. Especially now that the tv is hung and working. Dear James’ TV went out last week as I planned to stay home and watch Hallmark movies. In the meantime, I’ve kept myself busy knitting this shawl, and snuggling the cat…and some fiction writing, but I’m just getting that ready for class. Perhaps next week, I’ll have made some effort on some socks. Wish me luck.

Until next time, Happy knitting!

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But who can with this new addition…this is Smokey, yet to be given her middle name, which she will go by here. (Taken once the dogs were put in the bedroom)

I should be studying has become my motto this semester. I don’t feel as if there isn’t a time when I’m not studying for the next test…all while trying to keep up with my other classes. I’d tell you “Oy and Vey,” but my boyfriend insists this phrase doesn’t suit me. He’s probably right. In the interest of genuine…”Dammit!” Okay, grumbling over (for now).

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Perhaps I snuck in more than six rows…but I haven’t been counting…maybe I should check where I start increasing…though I have a little time.

In the meantime…I think I knit four to six rows on the socks, but I did make progress on the hat…as I sit here and think, 1) I should be studying, and 2) Why did that person use dark purple highlighter in the book they sold me? There’s also writing all over the margins that I don’t need. I know I bought it used, but she said it was in Very Good condition(which I hoped meant it was used by a person who never opened it). With as many marks as I’ve found, and as dark as they are, it should have been sold as “Good.” I hate when people ruin books I’ve paid a little extra for to keep them reasonably good.

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Putzer doesn’t care that there’s a new cat in the house…so long as she doesn’t bother him…

Okay, okay…enough about school… let’s get back to the hat and cat…(and no, the cat is not in the hat–she has not been given the opportunity. I got the provisional cast on removed and the brim knit to itself and have begun the pattern work. I’m over half-way through the first repeat. Yeah! (I think). I’m currently beginning a four row rib…I’m not in a terribly happy place. And I’m thinking of knitting this hat inside out in the future. I think it might get a bit easier and develop fewer ladders, which purl stitches don’t like to snug out as I knit. However, it’s coming along…and if I keep this up and use it during morning breaks or study breaks and between classes, I just may get it knit before winter ends.

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I have no idea why I don’t knit hats in the summer…so we’re ready for winter…perhaps its to give us hope that winter will end;-).

If not, the knitting of a warm hat will herald the end of winter, right? It’s not bad, and we get a little snow each day instead of a bunch of snow on one day this year, so far…but it’s gotten cold and windy again. Now, before I start complaining about winter, as I’m overwhelmed with school…she found me…sort of.

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Briannag is a big scary dog…who just wants the new cat to like her.

I had an offer for a kitten, but couldn’t get to them in time, and they’d let you pick them up, but none were definite snugglers. Alas, they had other takers…and my girlfriend posted on Tuesday night that she needed to rehome her cat, so I messaged her, and made sure I wasn’t obligated to pick up a barn kitty. She is not yet renamed, so she’s either Smokey, kitten or the cat until we learn her personality. She’s in the running for Scamp II…but Scamp would be pissed at me for years to come if I tried that. In fact, Scamp is guarding Mama now, though she won’t snuggle. I’m told Smokey Kitten snuggles, after she gets used to the rest of the clowder and two big dogs…which is an adjustment for her.

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Scamp isn’t sure what to make of the new kitty…but she will guard Mama, just in case. (But I can’t snuggle her…)

I may have to knit these guys a blanket yet with some old and useless yarn….or they’re own shawls(only after I start mine)…but in the meantime, they like my sweaters and I’ll keep knitting hats and socks.

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Guess it’s time to make progress on these babies…

One problem with traveling knitting and car repairs, is that you may find yourself uncertain where you left that bright bag…and how anyone could miss it. The question is likely, “Whose car is it in?” My boyfriend picked me up when I needed a tow within minutes of leaving the repair shop. (It was a different issue, but these guys were lucky they were my favorite mechanics this week). However, I’m in debt for my car now, and am grateful for my knitting stash, as it will be some time before I can buy more yarn.

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…once my research proposal has been submitted…

In the meantime, I have to wait for my semi-observant friends to find my knitting bag, or return to the Library(at school, twenty minutes away), where no one has turned in such a bag yet. What gets me though, is you really can’t miss this bag. It’s bright pink. It’s not big, but it’s bright for a reason.

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Research proposal helpers…

Also makes me wonder what my youngest niece is up to…she may require a pair of socks just to return the bag…um, I can find a cute pair for six dollars, that may be workable. Let’s pray she’s not specific or I’ll be learning how fast I can knit up vanilla latte socks next week.

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What my research life has looked like this week, when not waiting for a tow truck…

I was going to show you the latest and greatest knitting I’ve been doing. I snuck some time in one evening this week(I don’t even remember which evening) to mutter over the new pattern and wonder what the heck I’m doing. It’s an experience. But it looks like it has to wait until the knitting is returned to me. And my youngest niece is too much a novice to work the pattern right, not that she would keep it. However, if it’s in her mom’s car, she may decide to practice on it.

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Pre-car adventures…my dad playing frisbee at my nephew’s graduation…

For now, I can just wait until it’s found and regale you of pictures of most of what my week looked like. The research proposal is due Friday, by midnight. I go to work at 6:00PM. It will be submitted before then, even if the dogs keep trying to help. In the meantime, my sister-in-law hasn’t seen the bag….now to ask the boyfriend to check the back of the loaner car…then to return to the library last week. I have another project to work on…but let’s see how long I can go without knitting on these socks…

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Dear James playing frisbee at my nephew’s graduation…I got in a throw or two, but had to man the camera as well…

Oh, and then there was the graduation party for my oldest nephew this week (simply high school). It’s been a busy week. But I still have photos…just not many of knitting. Then I decided to recheck my backpack…and under the research proposal documents and textbook…I found that simple but bright bag of knitting…I hope your week is far less eventful. But really, who could miss this bag, except me…(I’m hoping for better photos of the yellow next week…

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The latest knitting in the mandrake colorway by String Theory Colorworks in the Slip-n-slide pattern by Chrissie Gardner…check this out: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/slip-n-slide

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…or more green to give you a true idea of the pattern…I might play with flash when I’m not under a deadline as well…Happy Knitting, my friends. May your vehicles behave.

…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!

 

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….

…or never found in the first place…. It sounds as if it may be time to organize things… but if you know me, you know how lofty a goal that really is…especially in the craft room. I can see it now…(p.s. no photos of the unorganized craft room, sorry).

I go to put away the beige linen I was going to make a pantsuit with, and find the ribbon I was going to edge it with or the pattern… and I’m off. Or, maybe I get that put away, and find another fabric I had plans for, only the one that matches it is on the scrapbook desk, which I mean to clean off…so I take off another fabric or two and find that one, and now I have another project to start…or, more likely, I find a card I was going to finish for a friend who likely needs it, and I start getting out my scrapbook stuff…I have an open surface nearby, right? No, uh…perhaps I should clean some more. Nah, I’ll just move this stuff and work on this card….(and they tell me I don’t have ADD.)  When it comes to organizing, I don’t know what else to call it.

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Literally current progress on my my current project…circular needles have a mind of their own.

However, I can remember a lot of numbers, add them up quickly and do odd math problems(at least multiplication in my head). My job requires it, as well as remember most of about a zillion rules a night(three nights a week.) Note to self, it is not a good idea to study statistics while dealing Poker. There is no brain break in that set up. Poker is a lot of rules, and a lot of statistics happening right in front of you. Statistics is still in the easy part, and my brain was still fried. The Nature of Language book is going with me to work now, trust me on this.

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I don’t normally stop mid-row(ever!), but those blasted fairies are holding my place markers hostage. Ideas, anyone?

So, what did I lose and how did I lose it, (and we’re hopefully not talking about my marbles-I simply quit trying to replace them)?  First, it was the place markers I need to knit the heels of my two at a time toe-up really pretty Smooshy and cushy bright pink yarn. I had them. I set them somewhere I’d remember them, or put them back where I found them. They have successfully disappeared again. The fairies aren’t willing to make a trade, apparently either. I think they’re onto or don’t understand what I mean when I suggest I can offer them shiny jump rings for ring toss. Or they took those long before they stole away with my place markers…so the socks are in limbo.

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Projects half done….okay, mostly done….I admit, I ran out of pink yarn(and it’s acrylic so I refused to buy more…now I need to figure out the collar).  Pattern here on ABC Knitting Patterns. I did not love knitting these…and the pattern on the arm is a bit confusing. But they look nice, if you don’t run out of yarn.

Then I was planning to start this cowl I designed. It’s going to be so pretty…and once my youngest niece’s birthday gift is done, I can…except I’ve lost the size 8 set of knitting needles I wish to design it on. I’m thinking of buying a circular set….I may have to look up some pattern suggestions for knitting this on circulars though. I thought I’d found them when I uncovered a PHD (project half done) in the chair and realized, much like my cleaning above, I should just sew the snaps on these and sew up the seams and gift these dresses already. But I pulled the needles out, and realized they’re another set of size 4 needles. Does anyone remember what I used the size 8’s on last? I still have no idea where they made off to.

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The other current project, that I don’t dare stop mid-row…I need to have this one done soon…these are on ravelry.com and quite fun to knit as well. I did make an adjustment, as I dislike K1, P1…so I made the cuffs K5, P5 to keep elasticity and create a neat effect going into the horseshoe.

I’d say that’s all, but I’m likely forgetting something (like which pattern I last used the size 8 needles on). In the meantime, I’m going to pour a glass of wine, do some homework and get back to knitting the birthday gift. I’m also giving myself a break, as it’s been a tough week here with a funeral for my dear James’ dad. I didn’t know him as well, but I certainly grieved for the loss of a bond that meant the world to dear James. It wasn’t entirely unexpected, but Bill Sr. still passed over far quicker than any of us could imagine. I did get some decent knitting time in this week, as well as somewhat caught up on homework.

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The close-up view of some of the horse-shoe pattern. I’ll get better photos of it next week, as there’s another section I wish to show off.

I almost forgot about poor Briannag. The night we came home from the funeral and family gathering, we found she had a puffy ear. It was hard to tell at first, as her ear is normally half folded in one way or another, but she got a visit to the vet where he called it a hematoma and ordered surgery. She came through fine, but they’re keeping her one more night to save us the clean up…(for which I’m kind of thankful). She will be home bright and early in the morning. There will be extra Kong treats in the morning.

Briannag is our brindle Pittie who loves to inspect my yarn, model my socks and dearly hopes I’m knitting something for her. She’s not the most careful with soft toys, especially when little brother Zeus(the brown boxer) helps her with them.

Fortunately for myself, tips were good last week (dear James usually makes a little more, working full time and overseeing our skills) and our taxes have been filed, because pricey vet bills aren’t always easy to cover.  In the meantime, if anyone is in cahoots with my fairies, please let them know I’d like the place markers back…I only need a few of them. Thanks. Or I may just have to go search out the jump rings and the jewelry supplies and hope I don’t make my own too heavy…I’m beginning to see a theme here;-). More wine, friends, or tea if you prefer?

Must Knit Faster

December 1, 2016

The third of four socks is done, but I chose not to cast on the fourth sock. I think I will take a break from the purple for two reasons…1) I wish for a simpler pattern and 2) I need to get a gift done. I should be careful about this, as it is a Christmas gift, but I don’t have to say who the recipient is and I’m not sure they’ll guess…I hope.

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Zeus, snuggling me while I knit…

Stop me now ladies and gentlemen…we all know these are famous last words. But They’ll still be a mystery while I’m knitting them up and I likely won’t photograph them completed until both are done…P.S. I’m still not sure I can get them done in time. We’ll find out.

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Side project…I finished half a repeat and have begun the increase for the gusset.

I cast them on last week once I cast off the purple socks. I’m wishing I’d left them on the size 2 needles, but then I’d be casting on another sock before Christmas. Time does not allow. In fact…I need this gift to be done before Christmas. Hint it’s not socks; still it is knit in the round. I’ve got another inch to go on this first knit 2, purl 2 rib…I want it done. I also have to get a good amount of sewing in.

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Shh…the sewing I was talking about…yes, it’s bright.

In addition, I’m still writing another paper this weekend and revising one, perhaps two. The second revision will depend on a Monday afternoon meeting. In the meantime, wish me speedy luck with recycled denim on aluminum needles. I’m really wondering if I would be further ahead to cut this off and re-cast on the size 2 needles. Oh, the conundrums.

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.