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

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

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

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

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

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So close, yet so far…

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

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Backside of the too small sock…

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

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

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Socks and Poetry…

September 28, 2017

…mostly socks…or was it poetry? This week there was not poetry about socks…much. Perhaps there should be more poetry about knitting. There was a line in the ode to purple I wrote. The instructor enjoyed it as it was unexpected that purple saturates the sock yarn. I”m not sure the line sounds poetic even…unless you are a poet or a knitter. Alas, this week, I’m not working on purple socks…Though I almost miss them.

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“Purple saturates the yarn, hugging my feet in thousands of tiny stitches…” Also, in my defense…the Hemp purple was inspiration for a revised draft of the purple poem.

I’ve been working on socks, a cabled headband and plan to finish translating the hat pattern from Russian as soon as the school workload shows a small break. I have no idea what that term really means, but perhaps I’ll sneak one soon…When I’m not busy with other things.

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Cabled Headband beginning….1 cable worked…

I did not get much time to knit this weekend as my social time was spent driving my Little to Mackinac. I love to visit. We made it a quick visit, and still had dinner, but I still did all the driving. It was a beautiful drive and visit…it always is. I was hoping for a little more fall color, but fall is arriving a month late, and it has been hotter than blazes around here.

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Current Progress on Slip-N-Slide socks…it feels small but I’m making progress.

Speaking of heat…there was a poetry reading tonight, which I attended. The author read a poem about fall…hoping to do a fall dance, similar to a rain dance. I’m hoping it worked. Don’t get me wrong, I’m in no hurry to see winter, but I am ready to wear my knit socks and get some more done.

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Side view of Slip-N-Slide socks thank goodness for meetings today.

Now, it’s time to take stock and make plans for next week, because this girl still needs to hit the books.

I Love A Challenge…

September 21, 2017

…and if a project isn’t challenging enough, apparently I can make it a challenge without too much effort. Imagine that. Let me explain…or in American-ese: Hold my beer and watch this…no drinking it…I’m gonna need it.

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Those first weeks when your sock is a tiny dream of a toe…

Someone I highly respect at work asked me about knitting a hat for a co-worker’s grandmother to keep her head warm. I knit with wool and will not knit with acrylic. My first question: Is she okay with wools/animal danders? If she has allergies, I need to find a new fiber-I was thinking bamboo or silk blends, which I may still look into. Apparently, Judy’s grandma is not allergic as the ONLY answer I get to this question is, “She likes soft stuff.” Who doesn’t? I asked if she had allergies.

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The knit side doesn’t want to show off yet… These will be the Stealth Argyle socks by Eunny Jang in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class

Alas, an overly easy client is tougher than a picky one sometimes. The next question: what colors does she like? I got the answer of pinks and purples. Sounds easy enough…but it’s not, because I don’t know if she means carnation, fuchsia or heathered or if she means indigo, lavender, or heathered…I’m probably going with what’s available as I’m buying the yarn…but…I’d like to know she likes it before I buy the yarn. I’m considering sending pictures and links and hope they do the yarn justice.

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Current Progress on Slip-N-Slide socks by Chrissy Gardiner in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class

In the meantime, if pleasing an overly-easy client is tough enough, I was searching for patterns on ravelry.com. I found a gorgeous hat that I won’t get bored with. Let me get a sip of my beer. Now hang on, while I go over how fun this is…Hold my beer again please;-). The pattern, by Tatyana Rovenskaya is called Hat-Gray Fields. If the name doesn’t give it away, perhaps the link will…Okay, okay, I’ll tell you: The pattern is in Russian.

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Current back progress on class knitting…

A sane knitter, not asking you to hold her beer (while checking over her shoulder that you haven’t taken too large a sip tax), would find another hat, right? What does a not so sane knitter do at 2:30AM when she should be reading psychology articles about gender differences in anger? She says, “Ooh…Russian…I can translate this…” thinking darn it Mrs. Ovenhouse and Mr. Toodzio…How dare you teach me not to fear Russian translations. It’s only a page or two. It’s only a knitting chart…Right. (it’s okay to stop laughing now, wouldn’t want you to spill my beer).

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Beer was not really involved at 2:30AM(though that’s not how you’ll re-tell the story), but lack of sleep and homework procrastination are just as powerful of motivators…and now…I’m going to need a sip…Please return it. I know it’s good.

Two hours later between a google translator and a Russian dictionary, I haven’t made much headway…about a quarter of the pattern. In my defense, I was not writing things down. Once I went towards bed with a Russian dictionary I had suddenly relocated, I began writing things down. I made some headway…but only about half. As I put the tools of translation away, and set the pattern aside for the night, I thought, my school has Russian classes…perhaps I’ll find a Russian teacher who knits…perhaps I can tutor Russian for a student and they can help me translate this…Checked today, I don’t see any Russian classes this year. I’m going to have to brush up on my Russian and bring it to this school.

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Terpander socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class for those that missed it last week. Why knit vanilla socks when one can complicate matters and add an adult beverage?

Sure, I could find another pattern, but where is the fun in that? Besides, I might not have met the Vogue International Knitting Terms page. It’s worth a look, and I must research needle sizes to make sure I guess right. Now, I must start memorizing a performance of literature, and writing an Introduction for Psychology…thank goodness the poetry comes easy. Anyone think there’s a poem in there? In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed the post and the photos of my current works in progress.

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!

My First Russian Join…

August 31, 2017

That’s right! I won at Yarn Chicken, sort of…I had about eight inches left after knitting this row…now, that won’t get me through the next three rows, so I’m not playing the Yarn Chicken Suicide round…instead, I’m researching and implementing a Russian Join to keep on knitting through the next three rows and dreaded rib stitch.

 

The good news…the sock is almost there. It may be ready to wear to school as soon as the temperature dips below 70 for a day, perhaps 65, these are going to be warm and soft socks. (I may even need new shoes to wear them with…but I’m saving for school and buying a house(which could take forever, or will at least feel like it).

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The Yarn Chicken win! soon to be joined…Okay, it’s joined…(I can’t believe I haven’t gotten a good photo…I was relatively excited….tomorrow…I promise).

The bad news…is almost two fold…the rib stitch, however, it will be easy enough to travel with once I get into the rhythm. The second part is I will be knitting from two sides of the same ball of yarn. I have done okay not tangling the yarn much so far. I’m worried with working out of the same ball of yarn that it will be more difficult to keep the yarn untangled.

DSCN2570The socks after knitting in the join…(Please excuse the bad lighting)…I’ll get better photos (hopefully) for this week’s post…

I’ve even debated cutting this in the middle, but I don’t wish to perform more joins than necessary…so I will probably work with the situation at hand and hope to be taking pictures of my feet sooner than later.

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Slip-N-Slide socks awaiting heel flap…there’s a three hour trip to a wedding on Sunday…

In the meantime, I’m getting ready to knit the heel flap on the Slip-N-Slide socks and will find that to be an interesting adventure as well, I suspect. Hopefully it will go as easily as the last heel flap did. In the meantime, I need to get back to reading poetry for class…and since it won’t be easy to share my research designs with you, I’ll be simply posting knitting poetry…some of it will be bad knitting poetry. But I’m among friends, right? You’re welcome to help me out… write your own small verse in the comments and perhaps, with your “clear” permission, I’ll include it in a ‘found’ poem…for fun.

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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Front view of Terpander socks…Almost there;-)

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

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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I really wanted to be further along…

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

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

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