Five More Minutes…

June 21, 2019

Not five more minutes of knitting, unless I’m in that sweet spot. I’m rarely in that sweet spot right now. So, instead, I feel slightly like a petulant child who is asking “Are we there yet?” It’s this way on both of the projects, unfortunately, for me.

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Front of sock Twisted Stitch Socks by Ann Budd

In the interest of not sounding like a petulant child, I’m focusing on the positive. Sometimes, all you can say to repeats of “Are we there yet?” is “Five more minutes.” I picked up on this line while I was dealing blackjack and carnival games. If the cards went south, and they usually did, players would begin asking, “How long until your break?” After a dozen questions a night, you stop thinking and start answering, “Five more minutes.”

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Back of Twisted Stitch sock by Ann Budd…the middle of that back cable row is about five more minutes from finishing that row…

The parents get it. Anyone who has ever used this line gets it, and when they do it’s funny. A few are too drunk to get it, and in five minutes when they ask again end up saying, “You said that five minutes ago,” to which I repeat five more minutes. (If they are that drunk, explanation is often useless). Alas, I don’t wish my shawl or socks to look like drunken knitting, even if the ladders do at this point. I’m hoping they can be blocked out.

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Forgive the fuzzy picture…I’ll take this better next week, and about a quarter of the way left to knit is my five more minutes point here. 

In the meantime, here’s the latest, and may your knitting not require the response of “Five more minutes.” 

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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. 

Cheating on…Socks…

December 28, 2018

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Briannag thinks I should only cheat on knitting with snuggles for herself.

It’s been shawl knitting all week. I’ve meant to work on the socks, but at home, I’m applying for jobs, thinking about things I should be doing or piecing quilts (or finding that I had not sewn all of the half-square triangles yet–the knitting equivalent of 1” of 1×1 or 2×2 ribbing is done, but you need 2”).

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2nd skein of yarn almost used, was hoping to get through it…but not bad progress.

So, the socks are complex, but the butterflies on the horse’s butt are calling (quilting again), and I’m in movie mode. Especially now that the tv is hung and working. Dear James’ TV went out last week as I planned to stay home and watch Hallmark movies. In the meantime, I’ve kept myself busy knitting this shawl, and snuggling the cat…and some fiction writing, but I’m just getting that ready for class. Perhaps next week, I’ll have made some effort on some socks. Wish me luck.

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!

I don’t know if I have the hookups…All the Mackinaw City photos are on my phone. I obtained a new phone Tuesday so I can talk to people I need to in the way they communicate. Apparently, email and text messaging are now outdated. Who knew? Alas, my batteries on my camera also died. So, I fortunately figured out how to take photos on my phone, almost right after I turned it on and figured out how to call with it. I realize calling is outdated too, but sometimes, you have to have a real, truly old-fashioned conversation. If you’re lucky that will clarify things. Alas, there was some knitting.

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The drained brook…reveals its secrets to creating a lovely stream…The little guy in the bottom right corner will be back in a moment.

Mostly before classes…progress has been made. I’m through the first repeat and nearly half-way through the second. I took these photos earlier this afternoon when I needed a break from studying, and found time to continue knitting this evening as I went to a poetry reading by Eva Christina Zeller. This may have been the most fascinating poetry reading ever, as she read her poems in German, and Mr. Robert Fanning, Associate Professor of Creative Writing and Poetry at Central Michigan University, read her poems in English. You can read more about Robert Fanning here.

Flowers holding onto life as I continue to knit warm socks…

Forgive me, if I start writing poetry about knitting, or quilting, or crutch club…but that’s another class…and crutch club is soccer for kids who need crutches…It was begun at a camp like no other, Bay Cliff Health Camp, A Place Apart, where I have also knit. They can tell you about it far better than I can, though I’ve worked there twice and dream of going back to visit often…to work or play, I’m never sure. But I’m supposed to be here about the knitting. So I shall tell you of today’s finds, and warn you the photos will be coming inside soon–there’s a distinct chill in the air.

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How cool is this…That special painted rock simply made my day…that and hearing some good poetry being read well. My day is complete.

Today, as I approached my bubbling brook to obtain an inspiring photo of my work, I noticed the brook had been drained. It was a bit disappointing, as it’s a sure sign of freezing temperatures, yet it was neat to see the rock layers of the brook. As I took my photo with the flowers still holding on to life even in this chilly fall, I noticed a colorful structure on one of the other rocks and found some fun angles to take photos of my knitting there as well, once I realized the colorful structure was a fun painted rock. It so brightened my day to see this rock, and I simply decided I needed to pass this on to cheer up others who need it. Until next time, Happy Knitting!

 

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.

…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!