Knitting at Quilt Week

August 17, 2017

It was here again…and I love it.I learned some secrets and showed off my knitting, to smiles, grins and compliments…and perhaps a few who wished they’d thought to bring theirs. I love Quilt Week. I look forward to it all year and begin making plans six months in advance. As soon as I know the dates, and six months prior comes along, I ask for the dates off if I need them. I got to be there for two days this year. I may aim for longer next year, or a closer hotel and taking a class(it might hurt my pocket book less…okay, it won’t, but I can dream until the tuition bill is due, right)?

DSCN2500Making decent re-progress on the Slip-N-Slide sock by Chrissy Gardiner found in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class

Alas, I told you there was knitting. There was knitting in Flannagan’s Pub on Wednesday night as I waited for Fish and Chips and chose a Mountain Town Brewing Company Train Wreck to drink. (I like my beers tall, dark and rich, just like my men–yes, there’s a bad joke in there). After I ordered the beer, and didn’t hand it off to someone else (yes, another waitress tried to give it away…perhaps they don’t think knitters are in need of libation)…I thought I should have ordered a Guinness. The Train Wreck was good, and just might be symbolic…(thankfully, not of this week’s knitting). I made some progress.

DSCN2501

Then while I was waiting on demonstrations and listening to them, more to rest my feet(though you learn some interesting things about the quilt world this way), I knit. I knit my socks like an old pro. There are few, if any mistakes, there are no glaring pattern issues (hopefully) to be discovered next week. There are simply four and a half out of six repeats of the cuff in which these socks are knitting up better than before. (The Terpander has to wait a week, but I should be able to make a little more progress soon).

If you wish to know more about Quilt Week, pop over to the Quilting Journeys page and enjoy my post there.

I Broke Them…Again…

August 10, 2017

Perhaps I’ve been a bit tense…perhaps wood isn’t meant to knit this pattern. I’m going with the latter. I had the new needles less than a week. I finished the row of Terpander I was working on. Then I began the next row a couple of days later, as I was unwinding from working too many days in a row…My job is mentally and somewhat emotionally exhausting, as well as near constant motion, no matter how many “breaks” they give us. So, I sat down to knit some easy rows. I was mid row, but not even decreasing when I heard the snap and realized I only had half a needle in my hand. It also broke in a different spot this time. Blast it!

DSCN2447

The new needles…they might clash with the hot pink/charged cherry yarn, but they should help me finish the job…

I thought about calling Knit Picks again. I’m sure they’ll replace them…but that means waiting until next week for my new needles. I’m also tired of going over this process again, when I’m nearly done with this pair of socks. It just so happens that I joined a fun facebook group called “Addicted to Sock Knitting,” and they were discussing their favorite needles there. I learned I’m not the only one who breaks wood needles. They’re pretty, but they’re breaking far too easy.

DSCN2438

Birthday score, with a story…maybe there will be a yarn skiff for Christmas…(at this rate, maybe I’ll have these two pair of socks knit by then…)

I ended up going with Chiaogoo circulars and they are supposed to arrive today. I likely won’t have time to use them until Sunday, but it’s still better than waiting until sometime next week for new needles to arrive. I can make progress and hopefully not break anything important.

DSCN2445

Current progress on the Slip-N-Slide socks…back side…I think I’m going to learn to love the lack of colorplay

In the meantime…I am carrying with me the travel knitting Slip-N-Slide socks I have restarted. I made some good progress while driving to another town, nearly two hours away to try some excellent Italian food. If you are in Grand Rapids, Michigan, come eat at Amore Trattoria Italiana and I recommend the Chef’s tasting. It’s reasonably priced and everything was excellent. I’m not sure there was anything we didn’t like. Don’t forget dessert, they’re cute, they’re often rich…but you cannot go wrong. It was the only time the waitress didn’t have a specific recommendation. She said, “Eenie, Meenie, Mienie, Moe usually works for me.” I got the three types of custards and a truffle. The hazelnut rolled truffle came with the tasting and was rich enough on its own. The Chocolate, Vanilla Bean and Raspberry Panna Cotta was also excellent. I took some to a friend to share, even in tiny portions. I will be returning to this restaurant. Dear James said he’d have the stuffed mushrooms and fennel parmesan soup to make a meal out of that alone. It was a very satisfying birthday experience.

DSCN2444

The front of the Slip-N-Slide socks…this pattern is getting more fun to knit…let’s hope it knits up a bit quicker now…

Then we visited with an old friend and came home to my gifts. He got me mostly quilting stuff you can find on my Quilting Journeys page. But the scale has a story…While searching for ideas for my gift, I researched yarn skiffs, scales and rotating cutting mats as well as some quilting rulers. He made some selections and decided the yarn skiff would have to wait (perhaps for Christmas, he said). Then he made his selections, checked out online and later a scale that had been left in his cart arrived. So, I have to wind my yarn the hard way, but I can know how much it ways…at least until Christmas (provided he remembers or I hint strongly enough). We’ll see how it comes out in the end…He did get me fabric, and I have plenty of stash yarn and am breaking needles at every turn right now, so more yarn was not necessary.

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.

DSCN2326

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.

DSCN2397

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.

DSCN2395

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.

DSCN2394

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.

I wanted my socks just to be a bit wonkier this week…I wanted the yarn to play over the lines more, rather than within the colorways. I’m not sure if I got exactly what I wanted, but I managed to get wonkier socks…so, the question is…do I rip out over twenty rows of stitching and try to fix it…or do I go on and try to recreate the mistake? Or, do I go on and tell myself no one will notice?

DSCN2378

Can you see it? I’m not telling until someone sees it…

I will probably try to recreate the mistake. Though this is the one drawback I have to dpns….I have a long ways to go before I get to recreate the mistake. So, notes must be made and yarn must be knit…and well, chuck it all….I’m working the Terpanders this week.

DSCN2379

Since it’s mostly on the same color yarn, it’s less noticeable…

The thing I like about circulars is if you make a mistake, it’s easy to recreate, right then and there. However, I don’t like starting easy and finishing tough. I’m am at about the 19th row of my last 48…I’m getting there…four sides at a time…but it’s work and concentration.

DSCN2381

Row 19 of 48…29 more rows to go….

In the meantime, I may have a surprise for you that I promised about two years ago…We’ll have to see. My former best friend told my dear James that she missed us. He then, being a good boyfriend, encouraged me to contact her. A phone call didn’t feel right. So, I sent out the feeler in a card. She sent me back updates today, and while I was taken aback, I’m not entirely surprised. Now, we’ll see if I can take things slow(NOT my strong suit, here), or if I’ve done scared her off with a proposition I’m not sure she’s ready for. I miss her to death, but if she won’t meet me in the middle, that’s her choice, and I’ll go on missing her. I hope it doesn’t come to that.

DSCN2380

They’re lovely…but I’m ready to put them on my feet;-).

So, I’ve made the wonky socks…and I’m working my way up the Terpander to the dreaded knit 1, purl 1 rib…that I will just make a mission to finish (due to intense hatred of the k1, p1 rib). I’ll keep at the wonky socks, once I decide whether to make the leg longer or to leave it as intended…Decision will be announced next week, as soon as I piece a couple of quilt blocks you can find on my Quilting Journeys blog:-). Happy knitting, my friends…new mitts coming soon..perhaps.DSCN2382

The backside of the four side repeat…excuse that shadow…better photos above…

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.

DSCN2328

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.

DSCN2327

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.

DSCN2326

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.

DSCN2323

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…

DSCN2325

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.

…until I actually tried them on…

But they’re finally done! And off the needles…and they’re not going back on until I finish two more pair of socks. Here’s why: While I love purple, this pattern has been knit by me four times. Four times is generally my limit. However, the sock is a little snug on my foot. So, sometime in the fall it’s likely going to revisit these needles and obtain an extension. I have plenty of yarn left(that I was planning to make the base for another pair of socks to come, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens in the meantime. I should still have plenty left over.

DSCN2272

You can see where they’re just a little tight…

However, I have not cast on the next pair yet. I picked them out, and I’m going with the simplest challenge possible. Simplest in that it uses one pair of needles and yarn I have on hand. So, next week you’ll get to meet the Slip-n-Slide socks by Chrissy Gardiner. These, too, are from Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class book.

DSCN2271

But they’re finally shown on someone’s feet.

I’m using String Theory colorworks yarn in the Mandrake color way and hoping for some fun playfulness in this combination of pattern and sock yarn. In the meantime, I need to get back to the books and write a research proposal and figure out some Bridge stitches and Small Smock and Large Smock stitches to name a few of the new stitches I will be working.

DSCN2273

I still love these colors…I’m going to love wearing them with my purple turtleneck… And, the pillowcase was hand-made by my dear Aunt Maryal…she couldn’t have picked a better style….

Let’s hope I’m still in love with this idea next week once I get started;-). Until then, fellow knitters, May your knitting be frog free and your tangles be few.

There was really knitting. There was also studying and sadness-some related to the studying, some related to life events. I wrote up a “Pre-blog” post earlier this week when I needed a break, as grief is a beast that rears it’s ugly head eight years later as you are heading straight for finals week. I refuse to wallow, however, but I did allow myself a good cry on Sunday as I realized it was part of the funk I’ve been feeling/pushing aside lately. My mother passed away after complications due to a stroke(and generally being unhealthy) eight years ago this past weekend.

I’d finally gained formal acceptance into the motherless daughter club, only to find I wasn’t sure I wanted it. Well meaning friends and acquaintances said things like, “When my mother passed, I realized I could no longer call her to ask for a recipe.” They meant well, but I haven’t had that since my grandma passed on in my twenties. I learned to make my own recipes or use those handy books I collect to collect dust on my shelves. In the meantime, Let me just say, I’m avoiding most stores for the next two weeks, and I’ll make through dinner with dear James’ mom like a peach. It just won’t feel easy until it’s half over.

IMG_20170427_220103

Alas, progress report. I know you guys come here for the knitting. In the meantime, thanks for listening about my mom. Some days are harder than others. Same with knitting, right? Dear James has been instructed not to talk to me if he comes over and finds me working on these babies:-).

Terpander Socks (I hope these aren’t the photos I shared last week, I’ll get better ones to put up…right now I need to relax and take a true break).

IMG_20170427_220103

Almost makes me miss my dpns…but look!

IMG_20170505_013722

I got the heel turn done and formed this little cup, then I began the periscope of shaping the gusset. I’m ¾ of the way through the first repeat of the pattern as well. I love a little freedom, even if I have extra homework to start as I should be finished. But I got 100% on my Research Methods quiz! So, that’s my happy thought of the day.

IMG_20170505_013734

And tonight, I got to see my nephew play two characters in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. The kids did a good job with it. I had a good time watching it. In the meantime, my dear knitters, keep those needles flying!

Trying Too Hard…

April 13, 2017

It dawned on me this week, after completing a quilt top and beginning another, and printing off directions for the next block of the 2017 Murder Mystery Quilt (come look over here,) that I had considerably neglected my knitting.

DSCN2046

This sock says…”Get back to reality…”

What’s a poor girl (who should be studying her Abnormal Psych book) to do? Why, knit, of course! I started out knitting my knot socks this morning–only three more rows until the heel. I can make this! After 2 rows, reality set in…(after all, I only complete 1-2 rows a day at school), and I realized I may not wish to set up a heel row as my instructor is handing out language tasks at the beginning of class. I decided to set it aside.

DSCN2040

This sock said, “Go ahead, it’s still ‘sweater weather.”

Then I remembered some darning I needed to complete. So, I got out the socks to darn and the matching yarn, and began darning. This patch was a bit bigger than the last one. I’d waited too long and worn a hole in the ball of the foot. (sorry, no pictures of the hole I covered, but it wasn’t as big as the patch. But I finished it this morning, even if I only had bigger needles to work with and I made these socks wearable until I manage to finish a hole in the second foot. Part of me is certain it’s only a matter of time. It’s still cool enough to wear knit socks. I’m taking full advantage of this pretty “sweater weather.”

DSCN2042

This sock said, “Books, what books…I’m too pretty to be ignored over books.”

Once I finished the darning, I should have set the knitting aside and begun reading Chapter 15 of Abnormal Psychology. How many of you want to bet I did just that? …Any takers? None, not one…. Good, keep your money for yarn then. I picked up my Smooshy Dream yarn in charged cherry. I decided to knit the next row where I got to cable five times over 36 stitches. This is a beautiful pattern, I can’t not knit it. I finished the cable row in time to pack up, comb my hair, check my mail, and go to class….

DSCN2043

This side of the sock said, “See, see what I mean?”

Did I do that? What do you think? Hint–I usually knit two rows of this pattern when I knit it, whether I should be studying or not. The second row is all knit and purl with no cables. So this should knit right up, correct? But this takes a minute or three(or more than the ten you have to finish when you are knitting two socks at a time on circular needles.Of course, I continued knitting, right up to the time I had to leave. Then I had to hurry up and put  away the knitting, the book I never opened and get my lunch…it goes on…but now I have no tea…and no knitting; with 38 full minutes between classes to eat lunch, and perhaps, study.

Update: I did actually study…now I just need to finish the photos to share with you. Perhaps I’ll behave better tomorrow…. Who’s starting the pool? (Not that I encourage gambling much, but once in a while, there needs to be a pool of something started).  Sorry, forgot about the bunny shelf photo…perhaps I’ll get it for next week…If I remember in the midst of tests and papers… Alas, Happy Easter!(or however you celebrate your holidays;-).