Knitting Show-and-Tell…

September 8, 2017

This week, for my Oral Interpretation of Literature class…we were tasked with bringing something to class that defines ourselves in three ways. We had some interesting presentations, such as a Minnie Mouse chapstick with a surprise inside, and some jealousy inspired presentations with soft and comfy blankets we were hoping the ladies that brought them would pass them around and let us huddle under. I was jealous wishing I had remembered to bring my own double fleece cape to keep warm, especially on this gloomy, rainy day.

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Terpander Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes in Sock Knitting: Master Class by Ann Budd

I went first. I find it easier to simply get it over with. Then I don’t have to worry about it. I don’t mind setting the standard. I don’t even mind talking in front of people anymore. I will sometimes mind the memorization that will be required. However, you’re probably curious about which of the many tenets of knitting I used to define myself, even if I do tend to fidget with the yarn as I present. I always have cards or chips in my hands anyways. The yarn is softer and more comforting to feel. Let’s get back to petting our yarn.

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I was almost wishing I had brought this knit 1, purl 1 rib with me today…It would have made my day more cheerful.

I had just finished the heel flap before I began the presentation as well. First, the yarn is soft and pliable, as I can be…after a good massage. Yes, some days I require a good massage to be pliable. Don’t we all?

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The yarn is already pliable, and thankfully, I haven’t tangled this yarn too much…

Secondly, if you push in too many needles or other things into the yarn ball, it can get tangled up. I also get tangled up if you put too much into my day or week. Sometimes, I get tangled up without much seeming provocation.

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Scamp is curious about where the bag has been…she’d be more curious about the contents if I let her(but she’s half the reason the bag has a zipper.

Thirdly, if you are patient with it and work with the yarn, you can knit it up into a beautiful pattern and yarn comes in a variety of styles of looks, so one never knows quite what they are going to get. This little blurb is not verbatim, but it’s pretty close to what I said…if you do use my words,  I simply ask  that you mention you find them here, provided you have to present a 30 second show and tell about a fun object that defines you…or you have to explain some yarn inspiration.

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I’ve forgotten how tough kitten selfies can be…and yes, Maeve got a summer hair cut this year…Putzer just likes to snuggle in…and it’s a matter of time before Briannag joins us.

Once I got home from the play Love/Sick, which was an interesting take on the lifecycle of love, marriage, divorce and death (of humans and love)…there’s poem line…I wrote the first draft of the paper due for the play, caught up on Project Runway (which I missed for the play), and finally sat down to knit the heel turn. I did not knit the heel turn earlier as I like to do so all at once, instead of leaving my knitting mid-row and figuring out where I left off later. However, as noted above, knitting does bring out the kitties…then again, two of them are demanding attention as I write.

Until next week, Happy Knitting!

 

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed my progress.

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…

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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.

What did I get done this week? More than expected actually, I think. Let me explain…mistakes first…. At the ball game, people don’t get the “I’m knitting a complicated row here, don’t talk to me,” glare really well. Perhaps they think it’s normal that I mutter to my knitting, and I do try to remain polite and not scare the kids. So, later in the week, when I picked up my socks, I noticed a problem with the last knot.

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Can you tell? I’ll be able to a little, but I think they’ll feel similar….

Then I held the internal debate, Do I leave it and pretend no one will notice? Or Do I rip it out and start again…so many rows, and I have an exam and a research paper due this week. Sounds busy, right? Well, I didn’t do quite enough studying for the exam, as I thought I needed articles for this paper. I didn’t. Alas, next time I have a better strategy. So I got a solid B on my exam…I chose not to hate it today. However, I got feedback on my first research paper, and while the bias is strong with this one…I got 58/60…That’s like 96.67% –woo-hoo…I hope the next two are just as good;-), and hopefully not as biased, but really, who thinks swearing makes one look more credible? I survived my two point hit for bias, much better than I did the B on the exam…if only I’d listened to my first instincts.

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So, the forever debate…finish them or re-do the end to make it right…

Okay, so, again, two steps forward, one step back…I’m still a few points away from that elusive A. However, on the socks, I knew I’d know, and I thought they might feel different, so I started tinking… (makes me think of old men tinkering under the hood of the car). And with tinking back a few rows comes re-knitting the pattern. Want to know what else I screwed up, the tinking. I didn’t go all the way back to the lifeline. I thought I could fudge it since the pattern lets me know where I’m at. I tinked back to row 14 of 20. Except the problem was in row 13 as well as 15.

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So glad no one is around when I knit these!

It’s firm now, I’ll take an A- on the socks. They’re staying and here’s why. I simply didn’t seem to cable row 13 at all. It only changes the pattern a little and looks like it will feel similar. However, I just knit the last row of the chart, and the guilt is stepping in…let’s see how a photo looks. I’ll post next week whether I took another step back or if I just purged forward. Besides, I’m running out of colors…okay, not really.

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We’re getting there…soon I’ll have more alone time for these babies…

Speaking of color, time to update on the Terpander socks, I got four rows done last week….I’m still not sure how this happened…and I’ll get more time to finish them soon as I had a class cancelled…and once I determined I could use the extra grant money to pay for fall classes, I said, “Yeah, Summer!”

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Decided I needed flowers this week…the shade didn’t want to show all the beauty though…I’ll have to find a better way to snap these pics…

So, it’s almost summer, which means time to plant a patio container garden. (I am not starting a container gardening blog…no matter how much “free” time I’ll have coming up…there’s knitting, sewing, quilting, writing…you get the picture, I won’t be truly “free.” Alas, the container garden is in process…check these babies out…we’ll see what I can identify. Stay posted, there’ll hopefully be more.DSCN2244 (2)

Yes, that’s German Chamomile(the tall one), Cosmos(the pink open one) drinking up sunshine, and Pansies hanging out everywhere but looking at the camera…Then there is a Begonia or two in there.  I do love Begonias.

Soon, I get to cast on another pair of socks. Perhaps I’ll set up a vote next week, perhaps I’ll surprise you;-).