Learning To Tink/Frog

June 28, 2018

One of the toughest things I had to learn for knitting was learning to tink, frog or essentially, rip out hours of work. The term frog it comes from repeatedly saying, “rippit, rippit, rippit…” as opposed to being an acronym you can use in polite company. Tink is simply knitting backwards…and hurts as much as frogging…and let’s not talk about unravelling, because when you realize you’ve put purl stitches on the soles of the feet again, (where it’s supposed to be stockinette) you become a little unraveled, as you know you will have to unravel the yarn.

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Pretty flowers I didn’t have to work for…almost make up for tinking…almost.

It’s all fun and games until a girl discovers her best option is to Tink, or frog it. Then again, once you frog the first time, and you cry crocodile tears over the hours of work you are ripping out…you go back to knitting and hopefully have a little energy left to knit, or you come back when you do. Then you knit a better project and you smile at the work you knew you could do.

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Shh…I’m still not tinking this one…I think you’ll understand…

You’re not happy about the tinking, but you’re satisfied with that final outcome, and you get a better sock, shawl, or scarf for it. I haven’t begun the bodice yet… Since the yarn wasn’t in to finish the scarf, I worked on the socks…

The single straight needle is correct…the two forming the V, however, require the tinking.

I was talking as I worked on the socks…can you tell? It’s part of why I purled the stockinette side again. I wasn’t supposed to purl here…However, tinking gets easier each time. It still hurts, there still may be some choice phrases muttered…but I know frogging will leave me in a better place later. So, it is only a slight disappointment, and I did get to show off the socks to explain how a real darning egg worked at a living history museum this weekend.

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I wish I’d brought the knitting bag upstairs, this is a great prop to show off a darning egg…wrong colors for the 1870’s, but still a useful prop.

In the meantime…here’s the plan. I’m going to place a spare needle about four rows down…picking u as many of those stitches as possible on each side, and completely unravel back to where I set the needle in. Then, I’m going to simply re-knit the rows as they are supposed to be knit, and hope more goes right this time. I may thread lifelines through as well, to make sure I get all the stitches as I begin to re-knit my work. Luckily, I didn’t get too far into this as I knit it incorrectly. Until next time, May your knitting be frog free, unless you are knitting a frog.

 

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I went to a quilt retreat and didn’t get any knitting done this week. I also have a ton of reading and homework. Yeah. However, I came across a sentiment I can still discuss with you this week. We were discussing quilting, and while a beginner class, or a parent or grandparent teaching a child to quilt on an easy, straight-lined pattern, there are two of us in this small group that are self-taught quilters. We came the conclusion that one thing we love about being self-taught is that you often don’t know enough to know better.

Ah, the tools of an avid beginner…I knew nothing…and yet…I feared little…

This can get you in trouble…but it can get you great results without someone saying, “No, you have to do it this way.” I’ve decided learning to knit on your own is similar. No one told me I had to only knit across in garter stitch. That is good. I get bored easily.

Watch for the improvement…the green were more interesting than the purple, and better (having learned better)

No one told me I had to knit one direction, turn it and purl the other direction in stockinette stitch. That is good. I get bored, well…yeah, easily. No one told me anything. I looked at stitches and patterns and decided I needed something a little challenging. I promise, I didn’t start with a cable needle in my hand, nor even dpns. I began with the flat knitting aluminum needles from goodwill with stoppers on one end and Caron Simply Soft acrylic yarn in a burgundy tone.

 

Meeting that pain of ripping out your work to create something more beautiful.

No one had to tell me to yarn over or how…I think most of us figure that out on our own…we just have to told what it’s called. I did have to figure out how to decrease after including all of my yarn overs in my first knit since I was ten years old. I used pictures in a greatly detailed small book I found at the J-store. I then learned how to increase, which comes easily.

Though not everything I knit comes out as planned, many of them turn out beautifully.

Then, I learned to decrease, out of necessity. When a panel that could become a blanket goes from 33 stitches to 51 stitches, or even as many as 80, if I recall correctly, one must learn to decrease. I didn’t rip out stitches until I was on my second or third pair of socks. It was one of these two pair…alas…I’ve since moved on and conquered many projects, mostly because no one was there to tell me it was hard, and if someone on Knitting Paradise said it was hard, someone said there was nothing to fear. That fearlessness has taken me on many journeys which I get to share with you. Until next time, Happy Knitting!

 

 

 

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.

…not once, but twice, Dear James got me some new needles.

 

  • Chiaogoo Red Lace Steel Circulars 40"  - 1
  • This could get exciting;-) He’s so good to me;-)

 

In the meantime, I’m playing “Are we there yet?” with the sock pattern, and hoping for the best for making two pair so large…I just may cast on a second sock shortly…but that will take some work and another gift finished and marked off the books before that happens.

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Need to work on settings…those are supposed to be green and purple…looks blue in this light…Perhaps as we knit on…p.s. one set of the new needles are covered.

I’ve also gotten this lovely large pair of knitting needles in size 10 (which are substituted for a size 9, because I’m a tight knitter). Since I have them, and I took the time to wind the skeins the hard way(the skiff is hiding, and the skeins weren’t sure they’d work with it anyways), I went ahead to cast on the Indian Cross Scarf by Marci Richardson from 101 Designer One Skein Wonders. It’s an interesting pattern requiring 216 stitches to be cast-on…This is probably the definition of love…in case you were wondering.

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Still…casting on 216 stitches is a lot of love…

“It’s only a few rows,” she told me. The first time I looked at the pattern, I thought it was twelve rows…anyone can put up with this, I thought. Then I read the pattern. Wait, you want me to knit 4 rows before I begin the pattern…okay, not bad. But that makes sixteen rows. Then I read the pattern…after row 12, it says “repeat rows 1-12 one more time.” It’ll be fun they said…but that’s 28 rows total. Then I read rows 1 and 2…you want me to do what?!?…I get to wrap the stitch three times every other stitch…in the next row, I get to drop it…This should be fun, she thought…see why I’ve spent so much time quilting. Alas, maybe it will knit up easier than it looks. It’s a lovely scarf, but I suspect it’s going to be a challenge to knit up…

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Almost there…just a couple more rows…then, more knitting;-)

So, while I knit up three more rows and work towards a needle change, I also got another pair of needles in a surprise shopping experience…yes, I’m broke…but dear James and I have a tacitly quiet agreement, and he’s given approval. If I put something in his amazon.com cart for a reasonable price…he checks out before he notices it and buys it for me…So, when I need new knitting needles (that week, not that day), I simply click on the pair to add them to his cart, and let him surprise me with them. I like this system. One day, I’ll remember to add a second set of rechargeable batteries for the camera;-).

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Getting to the heel of the matter;-)

In exchange, I promise to occasionally make him a tasty bacon covered meatloaf surprise on my nights off or other tasty dishes he likes. I earned those knitting needles this week, really.  It was a good meatloaf…and photos are not possible as it was a little too good to wait to take photos…Now to bag up the chicken soup for when I get sick.

 

How Not to Complicate Things: 1) Do what the pattern says. 2) Buy the needles. 3) Do not say “No” to more yarn. I haven’t exactly fallen down the rabbit hole this week, but I have inspected their den’s quite well, and usually come up with yarn or fabric or Squishy Mail!

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I think I love this yarn…now to pair it with cream or buy a small amount of gray?

Squishy Mail

I don’t even recall who to blame…I think it’s Midnight Knitter, who hosts the “Yarn, Books and Roses” blog. I was catching up last week, and she mentioned her Mixology shawl and in Mixology Finale with all of it’s colors. One of those colors was called Dubrovnik, by Madelinetosh. Since Dubrovnik, Croatia was my first port in the Navy and where I first experienced Beef Carpaccio (Car-patch-y-Oh), I was off to find this yarn. And I did. And then I clicked buy before I could second-guess myself or ask if my budget was playing nice this week. It’s not, but we made room for new yarn. It arrived today! So, excuse me while I squish this skein!

 

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I mean, who wouldn’t be petting and squishing right now…

Complicating Matters

Okay, I’m back from my squishing and petting excursion, but not for long. As I knit on the Stealth Argyle pattern by Eunny Jang, I realized I was getting near the needle change part. The needle change has me quite anxious. These socks are supposed to end up 14” tall…Do they know I have man calves? Apparently not, I may have to see how far I can get.

DSCN3432Please ignore those toes…it got a little warm for knit socks today.

So, I stopped at the local yarn store to buy needles (and ended up with more yarn, but that’s next week’s post as I was a bad bunny and didn’t get photos of the other yarn. I’ll post that next week, perhaps after I get more needles…So, I buy the size 3 Cubics by Knitter’s Pride. I’m starting to love the Cubics, and I’ve been careful not to break these yet…The dog can be a little hard on knitting needles.

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Is there enough yarn? We’ll find out…

I’m still not sure I will go to the full 14 inches on this sock. To be honest, it scares the daylights out of me. So, last night, I got out the knitting scale. I have only about 35-38 grams of yarn on the sock so far, and I have plenty of yarn (so the scale tells me) to knit these up as the pattern says. But I left the numbers at home with the scale and the newest yarn. So, I’m currently in a position to ‘just do what the pattern says.’ Most of you knit, you know how hard this is;-).

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The backside of this sock…

Yet, here I am, weighing yarn, determining if these socks should be fraternal or identical twins and thinking about starting the second sock before I finish the first…I mean, I can rewind the ball, right? (See why I stay in school so much…I don’t have time to consider these options when I’m in school). So, to wind again or not to wind again…and I have enough needles to pull it off; At least in size 2’s.

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I’m loving this low-immersion dye fabric as well…It makes a good backdrop with my pansies;-).

 

Alas, in the meantime, I’m thinking identical twins with opposing cuffs (out of necessity and preference), but we’ll see what story the yarn will tell in the end. In the meantime…don’t you love the low-immersion dye fabric background. (Yes, when money smooths out, I’ve found a potential new hobby, which will likely include yarn…no, I’m not starting a new blog for it). In the meantime, I’ll leave you to enjoy the photos and get photos of the latest yarn haul for next time…when I discover just how complicated these socks will really be. Until then, Happy Knitting!

…I should be knitting. I’ve spent a lot of time quilting of late. I’ve also been studying my tush off to get through finals. I think it was worth it, though I missed a perfect semester by one A-. At least it was in the most challenging class. I even got a 100% on my last test in my Learning & Memory class (which was a pretty cool class). Now I wish I could remember what it was all about.

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I do think the heel is a bit wonky…but i’m hoping that is because of the needle set-up, not due to knitting failure…that would break my heart.

But I drowned those memories with a celebratory bottle of Chianti, and yes, I offered to share. However, I’ve made it back from quilt retreats and I’m not taking classes so far this summer…so I finally get to knit again. Yeah!

The dogs and cats enjoy this as the knitting takes up less of my lap than studying did. They feel less neglected when they get to “help” me knit. I’ve even got some neat photos of the sock I’ve been working on. Usually, I only get cat help as Briannag watches. This week, Briannag had to try to help…not sure if she was trying to eat the yarn or kick it all of my lap as she climbed on. She’s technically NOT a lap dog. (Don’t tell her that.)

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Latest progress on the stealth argyle sock…I’ll try to get some angles to show these off soon…

I will admit small concern that I’d feel like the leg was taking forever ask I knit this toe-up. I fear that will be true, but only because the leg is 14”…if she goes all the way. I may cry mercy earlier. However, the leg repeats are going about as quickly as the foot, if not quicker…but we’ll see if you need to remind me of that in 3-6”. In the meantime, I have to finish one or two more quilts and get some knitting done in the evenings to feel like I’m making progress.

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

*Pattern is Stealth Argyles by Eunny Jang in Sock Knitting: Master Class by Ann Budd. I am not a master. I just don’t know enough to know better;-).

 

 

…don’t believe me, check the quilting blog I posted last night. It seems to be a theme this week. Then, I decided I needed to get some sock yarn for repairs, and some nylon for reinforcement at my local yarn shop. Do I really have to tell you what happened? Of course I do! I’ve got pictures…DSCN3137

AS if you didn’t already guess…but this is what happened;-).

I walked into the shop with a green sock and a gray sock that are beloved and need repair. I found the reinforcement yarn to match the gray. I considered the green yarn for the repair, and I only needed one skein. Then there was a skein of multi-color yarn I’d used for another favorite pair of socks–which I managed to wear a repairable hole into as well. So, into my caring arms it went.

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I’ve been missing wearing these, they go with everything.

Then the shop owner got off the phone. And the trouble began. She’s not a good influence on me. She complemented the green yarn, and said how it’d make a great pair of socks. I almost wish I’d bought a contrast skein, but instead I picked up another 50g skein knowing I’d only need a few yards, so I may as well make socks. Perhaps I’ll find some fun contrasts to play with it later.

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These also go with a lot of my shirts and I was lucky to find a close match…

Then as she checked out another lady, I hear, “There’s a signature yarn on the table. I think there’s some sock yarn left.” She knows my name…she said, “sock yarn.” And to the table I went, and peeked into the basket, and there it was…Apple Orchard for Apple Tree Lane. It’s exclusive…and it’s pretty…and it’s mine. See…I don’t even know what pattern to knit with it, but it’s mine.

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Such a lovely green…I need more green socks.

And while I’ve been considering what pattern to knit and wanting to get back to knitting my own socks…I’ve nearly finished the C.C. Copycat Beanie hat. I’m so glad, I was getting bored with the pattern. It was only fourteen rows and three repeats…but six rows of purling and four rows of 1×1 rib in one pattern is just uncalled for. Someone hand me something with a bit of challenge to it…that I like. Alas, it’s nearly done…and I’m torn about the pom-pom…I’ll ask the gift giver and let you know next week.

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Then, and then…it’s piece d’resistance. Signature yarn for some lovely socks…

Now to find the right pattern for these babies. It’s a lovely little rabbit hole…come join me. Until next time, Happy Knitting!

 

Picking a Good Join…

February 8, 2018

The CopyCat C.C. (Colorado Chick) Beanie  by Emily Ingrid is just over half-way done. Yeah! I’m getting there. But this weekend, likely Sunday morning…I’ll probably be looking at You-tube videos of how to do a join. I’m leaning towards a Russian Join. I’ve tried it once with a video and liked it. I tried it a second time, and missed something. So, this is only my third time joining without a knot…Weigh in fellow knitters. What is your favorite join?

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See that tiny yarn ball…I’ll be working in a join soon…Have a fave? Tell me…

Someone asked this question on the Addicted to Sock Knitting Facebook page and there was a multitude of answers. Is there a join for each type of yarn? Perhaps some research is due as well. Though I’m up to my ears in research, and about to be up to my ears in Virginia Woolf. I won’t have much time for more than a good five minute video that tells me exactly what to do…not why they love something.

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That means less progress on the Stealth Argyles sock, by Eunny Jang but it’s coming along…

So, I need to hit the books once again. I’ve made some progress on the Stealth Argyles socks by Eunny Jang in Sock Knitting: Master Class by Ann Budd. When I checked the pattern about when to start increasing for the heel, I was a little surprised, but I’m getting there…later, not sooner. The socks will come once I get this hat finished…only twenty rows until the decrease! Wish me speedy ribbing and purling, please! And feel free to chime in with your favorite join technique or good video.

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Rather nicely, too. I need to find more time for knitting…

Wonder if I can get my college books put on tape so I can listen while I drive…though it would be hard to take notes. Until next time, Happy Knitting, & Joining!

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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.

Bring On the Toes…

December 21, 2017

That’s right, I’m at the toes…I may have four disappointing rows of stockinette stitch(I’ll find out when I recheck the pattern,) but I hit my goal to be at the toes tonight, so I can get these knit up by the weekend…I know, I know…get back to the needles.

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Do you see these babies;-)…they’re ready for toes!

I found the painting I thought I’d misplaced…my boyfriend knew where it was, which is good–because I don’t have time to make another…and while it would likely be better, I wouldn’t feel that way, until it was done. Instead, I would stress. But I’m feeling pretty good today, for two reasons.

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Almost there, can’t wait to gift these babies…Fraternal twins…

I got one gift finished this afternoon, and while I wish I’d done it a little better, and if I’d known how my week was going to turn out, I’d have focused on this one more. Alas, that’s not how it goes around here…but, but, back to the knitting…and some tears…I picked up Maeve’s ashes yesterday, and received a paw print they didn’t tell me about. It was sweet, as I watched six other people bring their mostly healthy and still alive pets to the vet and pretended to be okay. I’m not, I nearly lost it while running my errands, but we’re each allowed a little crazy (or normal grieving) at yuletide, right? I bake a little when grieving…here’s some of last night’s haul.

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Oatmeal cherry chip cookies…scream now if you really, really need these…perhaps I can message a recipe. Though I will need to send some to a fudge gifting friend.

Okay, okay, back to the knitting…so the emotional roller coaster of this week will be complete…

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We’re almost there. I think my favorite part is the gifting;-). (except for when I get to put them on my feet;-)).

See what I mean. Now I have to go knit the toes, and get these done in time to gift and hope her feet still fit them. Afterwards, which socks do I focus on? (Yes, I remember I need to get back to the hat for a friend, and I will), but do I go for the stealth argyle in teal and purple or create mock cables with burgundy and black…which matches a favorite shirt;-)? Decisions, decisions…but enjoy the gifting process this year, and the family that chooses to be with you. Happy Holidays…and to those who think I should say different, I say, “If your holidays aren’t holy, you’re doing them wrong.”