The End of an Era…

May 2, 2019

The sock is still in the works. And now it’s taken to falling off the needles at almost regular intervals. I think I need better needles, or some school-age complaining terms.

In the meantime, it’s a bittersweet day. I just attended my last final exam, in which the coursework was all turned in last week, and I did my reading last week. So, I was attending mostly for the food and to hear a few people read their own work. It’s also a requirement of the class.

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Back of the sock…

This was for poetry class. We’re a bit sentimental as it is. Some of our students were published in Third Wednesday this year, too; which was very exciting for them.  However, my instructor recalled one of my more belabored poems which nearly opened me up and laid me bare. And he mentioned how graduation is a special moment, and it all hits you at once.

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Front of the sock…

I get it. It started earlier this week, as it has all been bittersweet. But today, it reared its head even more, and every little thing left me wanting to cry. This degree is twenty-five years in the making, essentially, rather than a standard four, five, or ten years. It is quite special to me. And my last moments was that of an instructor praising my work. This is part of what I hoped for in returning to school four (or five) years ago. It still leaves its own sense of loss that I cannot explain. I want to be excited about the future, but everything is up in the air.

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Front of the sock in the right shade of green…yes, these are the same sock.

I want to be glad I’m not, but I’m looking for ways back in through graduate school and possibly teaching others to do what I’ve done, or better. In the meantime, I may get a little more time for knitting or quilting…but I have to work and hope other things work out as well. Wish me luck and until next week,

Happy Knitting!

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Over the Heel…

March 24, 2019

 

011Over the heel and through the leg…

I finally knit the heel. Then I thought, try on that sock. I’m glad I did, the first heel I knit (since this type of short row heel was confusing for me) was two inches too long! I did a lot of frogging with that discovery, and re-knit the heel as best I could. This one fits. Yeah. I’m now into the leg, which I thought would be more of a bear.

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Bring the pattern around the back…

The leg is laid out on four needles, and I have to tug those second and third stitches often to prevent ladders, but I think the layout makes more sense than the top of the foot knitting did. It’s at least easier to follow, for me. Until next time,

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This needle layout makes sense to me! It’s becoming fun again. 

The knitting is still complicated, but fun. The pattern is Toe-Up Travelers by Ann Budd and can be found on ravelry.com or in Sock Knitting: Master Class.

Happy Knitting!

 

Or perhaps half of the fun is accomplishment…And don’t ask me tonight about changing the pattern. I think the fatigue of a bug has left me addle-pated. Read on to find out what I mean…I hope. 010

Almost finished…one more row…then the next set…Toe Up Travelers by Ann Budd

 

I enjoy every moment knitting and snuck some in time class knitting this week on a particularly complicated row. To be honest, I started the row just before class and didn’t finish it before class started. So, in the midst of taking notes, I had a complicated row of cabling and knitting through the back loop six times. Half of the fun is getting there, which I’m working on now.

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Forgive the shadow…What would this sock look like if I inverted the pattern?

The other half of the fun is the sense of accomplishment from getting there. I got within one row of finishing the repeat this afternoon. However, class was cancelled and I felt simply worn out. I came home and decided to try to nap. Not only did I find I could sleep, I found myself going hot/cold. I really don’t like getting sick. So I took most of the night off, and slept, and sewed and worked on a little homework.

 

However, serious concentration is out the window, so that last row is debatable if I should get to it or not. Part of me says I could do it, part of me says read a book and go to bed. Okay, okay; you talked me into it. Mostly, because if I let it wait, I won’t get to take the photo I want. Instead, I just went ahead and knit up that last row, and voila! I’m one-third of the way done with the foot.

 

However, as I look at this pattern, I want to knit the second part of this round upside-down and turn this repeated triangle of meandering twisted stitches into a diamond…This could get interesting to see…Stay tuned, folks. 

Complicating Things

January 4, 2019

The shawl is progressing normally…to the point that if I take another photo before we get any further, you’ll wonder if I’m reusing last week’s photos. I’m making progress, and plan to take it to school to knit before classes. In the meantime, I thought I had better make some progress to knit these socks. They’re going to take on a life of their own, and since they’re far more complicated than what I’m used to, and I like complicated.

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Toe-Up Travelers by Ann Budd…she loves complicated patterns, but can you blame her?

In the meantime, I thought I’d better get some solid knitting in before classes start. Knitting in public invites conversation, and with these socks, there is no talking to me during the knitting. I’m going to get good at ignoring dear James. I guess I’d better keep that shawl nearby if I wish to talk to others while I knit. Until next time, Happy Knitting!

New Cast-Ons…

December 20, 2018

Who doesn’t love a new cast on?

The beginning of my new shawl…with Briannag’s help for modeling. (If I let her wear it, she might decide it is hers.

I needed something new after the post classes slump and having time on my hands (in which I should put down the needles and clean at some point, but that’s not why we are here). I did two cast-ons. I frogged the 216 stitch sweater vest with various sets of stitches throughout and opted for a simpler shawl. I’ve based mine off of a couple of free patterns and am hoping for the best, but I’m just knitting as I go along increasing on the same side of either row. Currently, this is my television and chatting with others knitting.

Beginning pattern work on the new sock

I also cast on a “Twisted Stitch” sock. This sock is in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class. It’s lovely, but this one will likely only be knit at home. This chart is pretty intense and requires concentration. It won’t be easily memorized for some time. But check these out…Now I must find some comedy or a good podcast (because the television went out last night at the height of Christmas movie season and we won’t have it playing shows or movies until Sunday, likely).

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Beginning of the toe, when things begin to straighten out

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

1/3 of the Leg is Done…

November 8, 2018

I’ve made it one-third of the way through the leg part of the sock this week. I finished two full repeats of the pattern and have actually begun on the third one today. Honestly, I am supposed to be studying, writing a research paper and working on a “case” in Excel. I hope I didn’t share too much of my headache with you. I just want to go to sleep this week, but I have meetings and other fun events.

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Current Progress of the knitting and an indoor fountain at our University Center
I do get the bonus of listening to Central Michigan’s marching band practice, and I can see their practice field from the University Library, so I can watch them practice as well. It’s more fascinating to watch the color guard practice as the poor marching band is mostly stationary, blowing into metal tubes to make some great noise. It makes me want to stop and wander outside to watch them…Then I remember the temperature is too cold.

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Better shot of the fountain and more even shot of the knitting…

In fact, I need to start asking around for some cool photo ops inside campus buildings or find a nice spot in my home to turn into a photoscape…I’ve almost got an idea….We’ll see what comes of it, as fall is here and winter seems to be on its tail this year. For now, I have four more repeats to knit with these socks, then I can start the heel. But before I get to all that, I should probably get back to the research.

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Close up of this week’s knitting. I can’t wait until these socks are done…perhaps next week I’ll include a photo of the shirt I wish to wear them with.

Until next time, Happy knitting!

Semi-Well Traveled Knitting

October 18, 2018

It’s official. My knitting has not been to more parts of campus than I have. I didn’t know that was possible until the unthinkable happened last week. On Thursday, I was sure I grabbed my knitting bag for class. When I got to class, no knitting. No biggie, it should be in my car. When I got to my car…I either found it and took it into the Library and University Center with me, or I dropped it the night before…I don’t think I stopped at either place the night before. But I got home later that night, remembered that I couldn’t find my knitting, and went searching for it.

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sunset shadows at one of my favorite brooks…

It was, of course, nowhere to be found. Friday morning, I called the building lost and found where I have class on Thursdays, in case I left it in class or in the hallway outside of class. I even drove back to the class area to check the bathrooms the next day. I still could not find it and it was not yet logged on the CMU Police and Public Services as found. I thought about calling them for it, but looked through my car again, and checked the likely spots. I was somewhat beginning to worry, but three inches of knitted wool does not have much value to a thief.

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Far more shadows than I realized…but there’s my lovely socks

I had to wait out the weekend, and I remembered on Monday to look again. I went to the lost and found where I have class. The lady was very nice, but my knitting had been turned in over the weekend.  I checked lost and found on campus for my knitting when I got home that evening. There was a red, white, and blue bag listed as found. I emailed them listing the contents of the bag, not remembering what was left in it. On Tuesday morning when I left for campus, they had not emailed me back. Right after class, I drove to the Campus Police and Public Services building and asked about it…It was there and awaiting my pick up. After a minor search there, mostly for people that were already there, I was reunited with my knitting. I’ve only been able to finish the row I was working on since then, but I’m glad to have it back.

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I knew I should have taken that photo earlier, but I wanted to get the transition portion done. 

I feel like I’ve been waiting forever for burgundy socks. I want to keep knitting them, but homework must be done, too. In the meantime, I’d better get some pretty pictures of the knitting and get back to the homework. Until next time, Happy knitting!

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I’m not sure there is a better study break out there…Better photos in light next week…

 

The Cuff Is Almost Done!

October 4, 2018

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The trees are beginning to turn here…

I wanted the cuff to be done today so I could start the next section of the pattern. Unless I start on it right now, I will not be able to make that happen. I have behaved (somewhat) and worked on homework for the last three hours. Making sure quotes are correctly attributed can leave me feeling a bit off…so a break is deserved. However, that break is likely going to be in the form of reading, for another class.

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I couldn’t resist the balancing rock…I didn’t do this, but I did nestle that tiny one in the top. It looks like a slightly grumpy rock with eyelashes…

In the meantime, you guys are here for the sock knitting. I think I’ve finally figured out the cuff pattern. I only have one more row of each to finish before I begin the slightly more complicated actual leg pattern. It’s more complicated in that it adds in yarn overs and simple knit two togethers or slip, slip, knit stitches. It’s easier in that I’ll have less groupings of threes, less knit two together and knit the first stitch again then slip both off. I got worn out just thinking about it. The pattern is Ann Budd’s own Mock Cables and Lace.

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Did you ever notice that on some trees, the tops turn first?

I also do not have to knit through the back loop anymore. This may be a good thing, but now I have to remember how to knit…kidding…there was some standard knitting in these twelve rows. Next time, nevermind…unless I fall in love with a pattern, there won’t be a next time. However, once I got used to this cuff, I almost started enjoying it. It’s easier to enjoy when I’m knitting alone, but I was knitting before class, and made a fellow student laugh when I suggested I needed to teach the instructor not to talk to me while knitting. I’m not sure this instructor is trainable though…at least he’s fair, so far.

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There are still a few flowers on campus

Alas, back to the knitting. I’m still waiting on the tatami yarn and hoping it comes in soon. I’m also planning to work on repairs as it gets chillier, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to do them. Until next time, Happy knitting!DSCN4127

Update! Do you see this? I had a bit of wait time before and during the reading tonight (which was quite entertaining). I got the next two rows done and can start on the beginning of the pattern next time I pick these up.

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.

 

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!