One of my favorite knitting phrases is “I’m halfway there.” The project starts to take shape and really look like what it’s supposed to become in this half. In addition, I know the end of any monotonous rows will come…I can hope. When you’ve cast on 216 stitches, you keep wondering if you’re ever truly close to halfway or if you need to count all the way to three-quarters of the way there.

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Beginning of the crossover stitches…this is what happens when you begin to knit, wrap the needle three times, complete the stitch and drop the elongated stitch in the next round.

But I like still having something to knit, while seeing it take shape. I like finishing and casting on a new project…but there’s a sense of sadness in finishing…even with the Ta-da moment. There’s a nice since of new as you steady the needles in the beginning. But the real magic happens at the halfway point…the design takes shape, the pattern shows through and you feel as if you are creating something special. Considering the number of stitches you put into each piece, you are creating a labor of love.

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This is how it looks once you cross four stitches over the other four stitches (yes, you are counting to 8 27 times), then knit them…it is a pretty effect

This week’s labor of love is pretty simple, a little fun, but not my style. It’s crossing over elongated stitches to make a great pattern called the Indian Cross Scarf. I did figure out what I was doing, and the knitting became smoother and easier after that, but it’s just not my thing. I’d almost rather cable across a total of 144 stitches any day. But I’m enjoying making this for a friend and wondering what in the 101 Designer One Skein Wonders, edited by Judith Durant I shall knit next.

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Half-way there on the Indian Cross Scarf…

I’m considering felted bowls or some matching hat, scarves and mitten/gloves patterns. Oddly, there aren’t many matching patterns out there. I’m a little surprised at that, but then, I haven’t taken the time to simply sit down and actually work out and design a pattern to create my own matching hat, gloves and scarf set. (Gloves may mean mittens, I’m undecided on knitting fingers yet.)

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This is another angle of what half way there looks like. It is turning into a lovely scarf.

In the meantime, on those stealth argyle socks, I’ve begun to make the toes for the second sock and can knit up to the size 3 needle point. Then I have to measure yarn and divide and hope for the best.

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…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.

 

This week was the beginning of repair season…and back to the band concert…as well as two exams, versus the normal one exam per week. I’m always feeling behind right now…and am, but it’s also the beginning of Spring Break and I’m a bit studied out.

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foot of the knitted sock…I think I nearly doubled this sock in size this week.

So, let’s start with the fun stuff…a two hour long band concert. Festival is coming  (I have to check that term with my Dear James every year), and is technically done, I believe…or will be by the time you get to this post, likely. So, guest judges are invited, and the band’s performance is critiqued. This year, the band instructor decided to have the critiques done in the band room as the next band played, and she separated the high school concert band from the jazz band, so they didn’t miss performance. It was a reasonably decent compromise, as parents (and sometimes aunts) don’t wish to be at a band concert until 7PM, when it starts at 4PM.

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I can’t wait to show you what it does, and find ways to photograph those Stealth Argyles by Eunny Jang from Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class.

So, What’s a doting girl to do for a planned hour and a half of band concert…my niece was in the third of four performances…and the band instructor told us she was aiming for 5:30 PM. I couldn’t do homework, and you guys all know knitting is portable. So, the socks came out, and I worked with the lower lighting, and made progress.

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They look lovely when done…now to find an intricate pattern for this green;-).

Then on Monday, I forgot nearly everything I planned to work on, except for the green Vanilla Latte socks I haven’t been able to wear for some time. I’m getting tired of shuffling pinks, so I cut off the new green yarn, and began darning the sock. Over half way through, I found the darning egg that’s usually in my bag;-). Yes, two exams in a week tend to throw me off. But I got the socks repaired, and test-wore them today. I couldn’t tell they had been repaired. I decided that was a success. So, here’s the picture…if you can’t tell where I fixed them, why should I?

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And a gratuitous picture of my feet once again…It’s been too long since I’ve had to photograph my feet;-).

As for the rest, I have to finish gifts by next week. So, I’m keeping up on the knitted socks, and working on quilting a gift (It’s only a table runner…I hope I’m not sewing on the binding Tuesday night when I arrive). Alas, I’m doing research this week and taking the knitting with me to my aunt’s house for a short visit. I’ll fill you in next Thursday when I return. Perhaps I’ll get back to some other repairs for some favorite socks. In the meantime, I’m going to have another drink, and quilt some more while making some tasty treats. Until next time, Happy Knitting!

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P.S. The hat is done…but that’s another story. If you like it, I’ll help you find the pattern;-).

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!

But I can do the twist! I began a knit hat for a friend, after frogging the Russian pattern. I’ll come back to the Russian Bobble Hat translation one day, when I have more time. For now, this is the requested pattern, since the person I’m making this hat for still wants it…Darn it. Alas, I finally got a satisfactory cast on…or mostly so, and started knitting in a 1 x 1 twisted rib stitch. It’s going on forever.

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I really don’t like rib stitches to begin with…the twist is prettier but not helping me love this stitch.

I have never intentionally twisted a stitch before, and I was concerned about an upcoming twisted stitch sock pattern. I cannot say I have never twisted a stitch, but it is fascinating to do so intentionally. I’m not sure if I like it or not. I feel as if I need to knit a stockinette row just to remember how to knit properly.

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See these babies…they’re gorgeous, but they’re some big girls (only when put next to size 2, though…perhaps it’s all about perspective.

Now, back to the big part. When I knit socks, I usually knit on size 2 needles, occasionally I need to use a size 3. I’ve used 4’s for the sock monkey. Then I got out the circs for this hat. I just wasn’t feeling it. I don’t love circular needles. I struggle to knit well with them as I’m used to dpns and I have to switch to dpns at the end anyways. So, I put them on my caspian dpns size 8. I feel almost as if I’m knitting with pencils from kindergarten. (It’s not quite that bad…maybe it is).

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Knitting mash up, just so you can see the differences. I hope the bigger needles help this hat knit up fast…

These things are huge. I decided to do a side by side comparison so you get it…Look at this difference. I’m used to knitting with these itty bitty things that get lost easily, so I’m always on the lookout for where my needles are. Then I switch to these big bold babies. I do love the feel of them, but my, oh my, are they big. Of course, I’m going to go back to the two’s at some point, and wonder where my needles went! Does anyone else have this problem?

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The socks miss me….and my feet miss new socks…better get back to studying and knitting.

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

 

So, the Slip-N-Slide socks didn’t go over as well for my niece as I hoped…they were tight on her too. I’m trying to re-knit the cuff of the tighter one and pull off a snug fit. She loved them, but I have no photos of them on her feet, as it was a challenge. I’m not sure what to do here…I have enough to re-knit these, but I want to move on to knitting my own socks. We’ll have to see which works better.

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As you can see, Lizzie loves the socks…however, I still have some work to do…

In the mean-time, I did sneak in some toe-up knitting on the stealth argyles that will travel with me, and let me tell you about my yarn gifts for Christmas…Now, I have to figure out exactly what I’m going to knit with them…The first one(because I open my stocking first, was ten skeins of knit picks Wool of the Andes in Amethyst Heather. My boyfriend was hoping I could make a sweater with it. I’m looking at the Innsmouth Bodice on ravelry.com or getting five or six more skeins to make a true sweater. If you have any great sweater style tops to go with this, I might be open to suggestion.

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Jessica’s quilt-matching pillow case….It won an “awesome,” which is high praise in teenage land.

I also received five skeins of the chroma color way..and.I’m torn here. It would make a great Dragon Wings shawl, but my boyfriend bought it for me to make a hat, scarf and mittens with…do I do what he wished, show him what it could be, or hope for a big money miracle to buy more yarn to make that dragonwings shawl and later the find your fade shawl.

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Jessica really enjoyed her gifts….

I don’t dare tell him the status of my stash yarn…but he enjoys building my stash..I like this process…now, I just have to put a nudge on so I can get yarn that doesn’t require more yarn and more needles to knit these wonderful gifts…Shh…I promise, I’m not complaining…but I need to get back to knitting, and instead, I’m stuck working most of this week.

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Lizzie loved her Godzilla necklace and earrings.

Wish me luck, I’ll be sharing. I will try to remember to take pictures of the stash yarn as I work far too many hours this week…Bear with me, guys…I’m trying to keep up with the all-night gamblers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Week

November 23, 2017

It’s Thanksgiving on Thursday this week. This means a short class week for me, but a normal work week. We gather with friends and family and eat too much of everything. There will be knitting as well. I cast on a Twisted Yarn Christmas tree just to have mindless knitting throughout the day. I will also need to pick out a poem to memorize soon, and may merge it with another I’m supposed to be memorizing and creating a presentation about.

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I’ve made some progress on the socks…probably more than I think…but it feels like very little this week. It’s been a busy week of more forgetfulness and sometimes of rather important events. If it’s not part of my routine this week, it just wasn’t happening, unless it replaces something I’d forgotten last week.

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I hope the tips I’m getting for this help. I still need to knit and quilt, but both have been slowing down as the homework stack grows. When can I get back to serious knitting…I want these ol’ socks over the heel by the time I get to break so I can knock them out and focus on the hat i haven’t touched this past two weeks. I may work in some time for that Sunday afternoon. In the meantime, if you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope it was more than you thought it would be, and in a good way. If you don’t, Happy Knitting until your next festivities;-).

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Dropping the Ball…

November 17, 2017

…not the yarn…thankfully…

…not literally, thankfully, as this yarn would likely roll everywhere…But it’s been a heck of a week, missed important appointments, meltdowns over assignments…work for assignments always feels off or late…but has been somehow good enough to get me by. I’m appreciative of my instructor’s flexibility at this point.

However, the knitting continues…although with my crazy week, I got nothing done on the hat and will need to return to it one day…maybe. In the meantime, I’m still finding time to knit between classes, when I’m not memorizing poems for performances…I became a fluid tree for about two seconds today…but none of the trees I represented were truly fluid…though they dance in the winds of a pale sea-green breeze. There are no pictures of this performance, and I’m okay with that…

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Scamp, inspecting my knitting bag for goodies to run off with…

Okay, okay, I performed “For C.W.B.” by Elizabeth Bishop.  There are tree lines, and statements of beginning a life together and mention of a stork. I ensured it was presented rather sensually. Only one person thought it was too much…the instructor did not. In fact, when the tree branches swayed in that pale sea-green breeze I saw their smile…which just encouraged me.

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Backside of current sock with first sock for comparison….I was getting more color play on the second sock for a bit…

Now, let me get back to the knitting. There was some…I mentioned on a sock knitting facebook post that I just about had my pattern memorized, but still carried it with me just in case. So, I looked at my pattern and said, “Oh, I’m knitting row 12, it goes like this…” and proceeded to knit it half wrong. I simply worked my bridge stitch early. It is supposed to be in row 13.  Previously, I think I worked it late…so now I have slightly wonky bridge stitches…see if you can find them.

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Front side of the second socks…with back side for comparison…enjoy… 

Yes, I know the stripes are off..I’m going with it. Sometimes, socks get to be wonky. I hope you enjoy them…as well as the recipient, so I’d better get back to knitting. I will say, to some extent, I can knit and rehearse lines if I do so carefully, but then I will end up with socks that veer off course more than I do.

I Made It to the Retreat!

October 26, 2017

But it’s more expensive than I expected!

I had an unexpected turn of events last week. My quilt retreat roomies cancelled! For various reasons, they couldn’t make it…most of them had good reasons…one couldn’t get the days off work, pssshhh….she needs a new job. Another couldn’t get time, but had had a rough year of illness. So I considered not coming, for half a second. Then I decided to ask for other roomies…

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Shh…don’t tell…this is tomorrow’s challenge photo…

There’s good news, and bad news…and that line is almost too tired to keep using.

My roomies cancelled last night. I didn’t know until I got here…anyone want to come to Mackinac City for the weekend? You can knit all you want too…we’ll tell them you’re going to knit a quilt one day. Who cares if that’s really called an afghan…wait…I have a ton of acrylic yarn around the house…and I feel an idea taking shape…I should have brought the newsprint.

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Awesome color view of the Bridge at night…who doesn’t want to see this view?

Alas…if you wish to join me, I’ll clean off the second bed…the good news, I’ve got a room with two beds to myself…all to myself. No worries about roomies! I miss the roomies I’m used to. I’m missing the connection with them already. However, I’ll just have to make some new friends and enjoy the weekend of sewing and knitting(and shh…I should do some homework, too–though I like to have homework done when I get here). But back to it…

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Psst…don’t tell…I didn’t mind knitting the 2×2 rib stitch…

I’ve been working on the Hat Gray Fields by Tatiana Rovenskaya this week. I’ve made it to the increase row…which took an extra hour or two of translating from Russian to English…because she was specific. It made sense, once I worked around the translation, but I’m glad I looked it more than once. I thought I was supposed to purl around. Instead…I was supposed to add a stitch every ten or eleven stitches, but between the ribs, not in the middle…(I hope). It’s done…I’ve begun the pattern.

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Current Knitting Progress…literally…

 

The photo here is a rare mid row photo…I’m getting better at checking where I’m at, and well…I was interrupted during the second repeat of the chart (which is just a wee bit complicated), and it was before class when I reminded of a quiz which I’d totally forgotten. Thankfully, it was an easy quiz, but sometime later I’ll have to finish off this row(in the midst of quilting) and learn this pattern before it returns to public.

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Knitting while waiting for friends…including my chicken scratch translation of this pattern…wish me luck…

I’ve been a wee bit naughty with the second sock of the Slip-N-Slide pattern, as I haven’t cast it on yet. I’ve been focused on this hat, and I should get to the cast on of this sock this weekend, as I can take that to my nieces band concert(which I should simply ink in for the next five years(I think) that it’s right after this quilt retreat every time). Wish me luck arriving on time…must leave by noon on Sunday;-)…drat! (With the price I’m paying…I should get a free day! Who can join me?)

…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.