Knitting in Public…

April 27, 2017

…while making short progress. I did it! I got the darned paper done. It might even be a good paper. I hope it’s a good paper. I constantly feel as if my grade is suffering in this class. I often feel like my grades are suffering (especially if I don’t have a cushy, solid A that lets me fail the final exam and still obtain a B in the class). Alas, I hope it’s enough to get me a better grade, but I likely won’t know until I take the final anyways, so I’llst have to wait and see. Yes, Finals week is coming up. So, what’s a girl to do?

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Look, look, it’s almost a periscope!

She takes her knitting to the pub to wait for friends to share a couple of beers and enjoy some karaoke(How does one spell Karaoke?). My former sister-in-law got up and sang. I haven’t found a good song that matches my voice since I got up and tried Martina McBride’s “When God Fearing Women Get the Blues,” while I did a stint in the Navy. (This song doesn’t even come close to matching my voice or style, by the way). There shouldn’t have been enough beers in my system then and there weren’t enough beers in my system now to get up and give a song a memorably bad rendition of singing. We’ve considered Toby Keith to match my voice, but I don’t really listen to country much, and there are only a few of his I would be okay with doing. I may have to get up and do classic rock, one of the ones where people are guaranteed to join you in the singing.

I’m willing to perform, the singing voice is another matter. I’ve heard it can be trained, I’m just not sure how that’s going to work;-).

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The front view and right side up!

However, I ran into work friends, and figured out which ones were chatty and which were downright affectionate with a couple of beers in them. I also made some memories with my friends(who are both former sisters-in-law–they divorced my brothers, not me;-)). So, I finally got to the part where I get to turn the heel(I might even get that part done today if I keep at it), and I snuck in two more rows of the Terpander socks this week.

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The back view, upside down…(yes I know there are rotation buttons, but I’m going between kindle and laptop, so forgive the technical difficulties, Please;-)).

So, progress has been made, but I really need to get back to the studying I’ve neglected in favor of progress;-) and nights out with friends where I knit to the heel turn (while waiting, I might add).

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Now to pick up stitches and get on with this bad girl, just in time for summer;-)…
Now, for the update. I did get some studying done, but I had time before class and diligently worked on the heel turn, simply choosing to move my knitting bag very carefully since the stitches would be straddling two needles the entire time. I got it finished this evening with only a few more minutes of effort and I still have time to study that chapter and review the next over the week…Wish me luck on finals and summer classes(possibly).  We’ll find out whether I’m studying or knitting and quilting and working on a book this summer.

It was inevitable, wasn’t it? My toe nails are long and my yarn was split…or a stitch wasn’t knit perfectly…and I’m not gentle with anything…It takes a great deal of energy for me to be gentle with things…I usually aim for durable. But a few socks have formed holes in them. Some are due to inexperience with the patterns, but some are due to simple wear and tear…and perhaps the way I hold my feet/walk. But two of my favorite pair of socks had holes in them. Since I was busy preparing for the quilt retreat, I have not had much time for sewing or knitting. However, this morning, I had an extra half hour…I found one of my eggs on  or near my bunny shelf…I’ll get you a pic of the shelf perhaps next week…and I decided to darn that sock.

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Back side of the Terpander socks…I made some progress this week, but I won’t feel like I’m almost done until I’m in the last repeat or I’m learning to love the rib stitch again….

Instead of mimicking my ex-husband who would stand there and point meaningfully at the the sock, and firmly state, “Darn sock,” (sometimes with a playful grumble); I stuffed the bigger of the eggs in the sock, and proceeded to pick up some stitches beneath the area to be patched. I then chose seven stitches to pick-up and knit and set to knitting.

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Terpander socks…they’re coming along, slow but sure…(excuse the photography please…)

I admit, there were two weird parts of knitting this sock…(knitting around an egg was the least of them…it really did make it easier to pick up the stitches….the weird things were 1) knitting flat on a sock…I think I had to remember how to purl, seriously; and 2) picking up knitting two together to seal the sides of the patch without stitching.

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You almost can’t tell…but it could be the photography…up close and personal, it’s noticeable…however, my feet haven’t noticed, and they were warm and cozy today;-).

The patch took me a little over a half hour, I blame inexperience and picking and k2t for this…as well as the grafting kitchener stitch at bind-off, in which the unexpected happened. However, I got the socks done in time to wear them to class today…even if they are not perfect. My feet have not noticed…I suspect that’s the important part.

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Completed Owl hat with violet eyes…

As for the rest of the knitting…It’s done! It’s done…eyes sewn on and all….See! Sorry I forgot to get a pic of the friend I knit it for wearing it. I’ll steal a facebook photo of hers later(with permission, mostly) and share it when you least expect it and need a pick me up.

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Knot Socks…row 6 of 20…11 rows and counting until heel section…

In the meantime, here’s the slow progress on the other socks I’m working on…and now to find the green yarn for the vanilla latte socks and get some darning done as well as quilting this weekend. May your weekend be as fun as mine, half as fun if you are not attending a retreat…(there may be another–tips were good this week;-)).

Another Busy Week…

March 24, 2017

I feel as if I need an acronym for that phrase….ABW doesn’t suit though….and WTF is over-used. Alas, there is not enough time for knitting especially when one holds two study sessions at the library rather than staying home and using the gab time(as there was gabbing) to knit. However, I helped a classmate deliver a recitation better, after a rousing rendition of “My Husband Discovers Poetry,” by Diane Lockward; we actually settled down to study…speaking of which–let’s see how I did on the test I was supposed to be studying for. I’ll be right back…here’s a photo of a project I’m not yet finished with…

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Lovely Owl Hat with Lovely Caspian Knitting Needles from Knitpicks.com (Just needs the eyes sewn on and the top finished)

Isn’t it cute. I love this Owl hat and I’m close to the goal of half done. I can get to half-done in the morning, right? I can already just knit away for these twenty-one rows, then I can start decreasing. I hope to finish this, so that winter seems to fade into Spring quicker. Spring is supposed to be here, but it can’t decide whether to be cold or warm now….I just want real Spring, not some weird mix of “What is this crap?” However, I live in MIchigan, Michigan loves to mix up weather patterns. I’d probably give Michigan a “C” in weather, some years, I’d just fail it.  Alas, said grade for the English class isn’t in yet. I’ll just have to wait to find out. In the meantime, let’s talk about knitting…shall we?

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Over the halfway hill, one and a half repeats of the (48 row) pattern to go…then 1×1 rib (unless I change the rib)

The Owl hat(above), has slightly cut into the circular sock knitting time for these lovely “Terpander” socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class book. I love the pattern, but they are not the easiest to knit. Though I am coming up to the easiest section to work on. There will be some tough choices made tomorrow morning, when I’ll be telling myself “I should be studying.” I still have a Psych Statistics test Monday, an Abnormal Psych test Tuesday…and a paper due Tuesday or next Tuesday, depending on my motivation for extra credit. I could use the points, sort of.

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The back of these socks…(Horrid photo, forgive me. I’ll work to get a better one next week).

However, in the midst of knitting the “Knot” Socks by Nancy Bush also in the aforementioned book, I found my knitting time interrupted by extra credit for the Abnormal Psych class–which test will be a plethora of personality disorders that aren’t well covered by the book or the instructor. Come next Thursday, there will be much knitting and some quilting…and homework or studying, as I’ll have to get ahead on homework for the quilt retreat in early April.

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Ah, Progress….kind of…One and a half (or so) repeats until I start the heel.

I’m thinking of sneaking in a second retreat this spring. I’ll keep you posted. Meanwhile, I have to brace for Poker Tournaments and lots of hours with my beloved books. Next week, ask me about the mysteries I picked up this week. (And remind me of that other paper that will come due soon, please? And gently, because I’m not sure I truly want to be reminded). Until I can get back to some solid knitting, prepare yourself for more two or three rows a week photos…except the owl hat, I just need to get the owl hat done.

In Defense of DPNs…

March 10, 2017

I feel I have a need to defend my dpns this week. They are my favorite “in the round” needle. They are used for most of my projects. I can say I have used two circulars and one long circular to knit socks. I have not yet used a 9” circular to knit a sock. I’m not sure if I cherish the idea of learning a new heel, but I will, when the opportunity presents itself. I see the 9” circular needle used and it looks simple enough.

However, this week, I received the yarn to knit the Owl Hat by Julie Measures could not find my size 8 dpns. They are likely attached to a UFO, I think I even know which one, but they won’t show their hiding place until I’m nearly finished with this hat. I can almost promise this….I have to wonder if Scamp made off with the project…she has absconded with the yarn and stashed it  in the basement in the past. It’s possible. I may venture down there this week to check.

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See, I know how to use circular needles….

In the meantime, my dear James volunteered to get up early and go to the local yarn store to pick me up a pricey pair of size 8 dpns. I sent him in with exact instructions and the color of yarn I was knitting with. They were out of all of the size 8s in dpns…except a black pair with silver tips, he told me when he called me at his house from the store. I didn’t think about it then, but my friend picked brown yarn. Counting stitches on black needles was going to be difficult. I asked for anything else. I did not look up the needles until after the phone call.

The problem was only one part the store was out of needles, except for the likelihood that she still had Karbonz in stock. I’ve heard very good things about Karbonz…However, they still had a black shaft which would make counting brown stitches difficult, they also cost money. I wanted a ten dollar pair of needles, as these were a replacement.

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This one, the problem is not the needles so much, as the complicated pattern….It’s on both sides now…(more about repeating things four times at once next week…).

The second part of the problem was that the proprietor did not simply tell dear James when the other dpns would be in(likely next week), it was that she tried to sell him circulars for me to knit the hat on. I’ve read patterns for one circular, and in the last rows, you have to switch to dpns anyways, if you are using one circular. I don’t want to switch needles…if I need to use dpns, I may as well use dpns.

In her ingenious suggestion, she offered up two circulars, which don’t require the switch. I have two problems with using two circulars….perhaps three. 1) Cost-these are a replacement pair of needles. I don’t want to drop the money for two sets of needles when one will do. 2) Cats. Most of you know we have cats. The cats love two circulars, therefore, Mom doesn’t. I have knit socks on two circulars and the cats have been more willing to help than ever. 3) I get confused which needle I’m knitting on and pull one entirely out of the socks…usually while knitting all of them onto one needle. The cats love this game. Mom, not so much.

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I haven’t mentioned this yet…my Little, Mariah and I made this for an auction to support Big Brothers, Big Sisters Wednesday night at 7 at the Doherty Hotel in Clare, MI….Come bid on it;-).

So, I defend my position that I want dpns. They’re familiar and comfortable and the only hanging strings for the cats to “help” with are yarn. They’ve almost grown up enough not to eat the yarn. They may never be grown up enough to not eat the plastic and nickel needles(that let stitches slide off like no one’s business). I like my dpns.

In defense of circulars, they have their place. Some people swear by them….likely those without cats, or those who learned on them (and perhaps don’t know better). You are less likely to drop a stitch (unless your yarn loves to drop stitches), but when you drop one stitch, you might drop the entire project. As a result of dropping fewer stitches overall, they might travel a little better. However, you can use point protectors or rubber bands(the small ones for dental work or hair) to keep stitches on your needles when you travel. In the end, I prefer dpns and am not ashamed to admit it.

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My beloved dpns….not perfect, just preferred by this knitter…. You are free to make your own knitting choices! (yes, I wish the color showed better…perhaps next week).

Someone once told me you could work two different patterns on the front and back of the sock with circulars….I do that well with dpns and only occasionally need place markers for this. I used more place markers to knit the heel of my toe-up on circular Terpander pattern than I have for any other socks I’ve knit lately.

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Progress on the Murder Mystery Quilt 2017. I was behind so I didn’t get my February clue and now I need more of the middle fabric for March’s block…Did someone say more “Shopping!” ?

In the meantime, there was progress, and the dpns are still easier for me. Yes, I learned/taught myself on dpns using silver’s sock knitting tutorial and an adventurous spirit. I did order the Caspian dpns from Knitpicks.com, as well as more yarn. I’ll tell you all about it next week. It’s supposed to be here by Saturday. Also, please note that I prefer to fully support my local yarn store, and will for future purchases of yarn. For needles, I think I will seek other options at this time. It would be different if I were entirely a novice…perhaps, but I’m not.

Arrrgggghhh! Ladders!

February 10, 2017

That’s right, you heard me, ladders have formed in this sock….and I’m at a loss. I’m working on the “Terpander” pattern in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class book and I began the first heel this weekend. As I finished it, I realized the weight of the socks had caused ladders to form. I was warned, but not told how to correct them. I even went to Silver’s Sock Knitting tutorial and looked them up. Nothing about ladders there either. I thought I’d mostly gotten beyond ladders. But since you are only knitting on one side at a time, it’s difficult to prevent the ladders.

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Not that I wish to show you my ladders, but I’ll get a better pic of them later, so you can see that I’m certainly not perfect. Luckily, these are for my feet, but this Smooshy yarn deserves better.

So, Now I’m left wondering one of two things: Should I try to re-knit the heel or should I simply forge on and hope for the best when I join the two rounds? Choices, choices. Perhaps I’ll ask at knitting paradise. There are many sock knitters there. Someone may have some good ideas.

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1 heel finished, forgive the terrible photos…I’ll try to re-take and edit, once I finish some studying tonight.

In addition, I’m working to keep off the naughty bench this week. My youngest niece’s birthday is this upcoming Thursday and her gift isn’t done. I thought I had two more rounds left, but it turns out I have three. So I knit like a madwoman before classes today–then I committed a cardinal sin. I put the knitting down mid-row. (Gasp). More wine, anyone?

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These are the re-knit item…with two full more rounds and six rows of knit 5, purl 5…because some rules are really meant to be broken….I really am getting there…just hope I get there in time;-).

I messed up and I think it’s best to rip out this row and re-knit it. Plus, class was starting and I needed to pay attention and write. It gets rather difficult to write notes and knit at the same time…. I probably shouldn’t admit how I know that… but you guys can imagine with me, right.

Well, I should get back to studying for my exams. It feels as if that’s all I’ve been doing this week and Putzer seconds, but I have attempted progress on a quilt…after studying…in which I should know better. Those darned rules about knitting or sewing(even on a machine) while tired, are rules for a reason, and this time it wasn’t to break them (in which I thought I performed far better than last time). Alas, my latest dilemma is recorded on a new blog(when I should have been studying, but really needed a break). It’s called Quilting Journeys and is over here at Quilting Journeys..

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Can you believe this is backwards…and technically sideways as well…the purple goes inside on the triangles and the green print goes outside and down the middle…(never sew tired is not a rule that’s meant to be broken).

Enjoy the view while you can. We’ll see where these journeys take us. In the meantime, let’s hope my studying journeys take me to an A on the exams (All three of them, over two days–my instructors have found the key to true evil).

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Murder Mystery Quilt January Block 1 done: From Tiny Seeds.

However, evil instructors aside…I managed to finish my Murder Mystery Block #1 for a Mystery quilt combined with a murder mystery I signed up for.  I wish I would have gone a little darker on the center portion ( did have a darker green), but I’m working with it and hoping it comes out well. Now, to get back to studying…and work on the February blocks when I’m not exhausted from the books I have to explore.

…or never found in the first place…. It sounds as if it may be time to organize things… but if you know me, you know how lofty a goal that really is…especially in the craft room. I can see it now…(p.s. no photos of the unorganized craft room, sorry).

I go to put away the beige linen I was going to make a pantsuit with, and find the ribbon I was going to edge it with or the pattern… and I’m off. Or, maybe I get that put away, and find another fabric I had plans for, only the one that matches it is on the scrapbook desk, which I mean to clean off…so I take off another fabric or two and find that one, and now I have another project to start…or, more likely, I find a card I was going to finish for a friend who likely needs it, and I start getting out my scrapbook stuff…I have an open surface nearby, right? No, uh…perhaps I should clean some more. Nah, I’ll just move this stuff and work on this card….(and they tell me I don’t have ADD.)  When it comes to organizing, I don’t know what else to call it.

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Literally current progress on my my current project…circular needles have a mind of their own.

However, I can remember a lot of numbers, add them up quickly and do odd math problems(at least multiplication in my head). My job requires it, as well as remember most of about a zillion rules a night(three nights a week.) Note to self, it is not a good idea to study statistics while dealing Poker. There is no brain break in that set up. Poker is a lot of rules, and a lot of statistics happening right in front of you. Statistics is still in the easy part, and my brain was still fried. The Nature of Language book is going with me to work now, trust me on this.

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I don’t normally stop mid-row(ever!), but those blasted fairies are holding my place markers hostage. Ideas, anyone?

So, what did I lose and how did I lose it, (and we’re hopefully not talking about my marbles-I simply quit trying to replace them)?  First, it was the place markers I need to knit the heels of my two at a time toe-up really pretty Smooshy and cushy bright pink yarn. I had them. I set them somewhere I’d remember them, or put them back where I found them. They have successfully disappeared again. The fairies aren’t willing to make a trade, apparently either. I think they’re onto or don’t understand what I mean when I suggest I can offer them shiny jump rings for ring toss. Or they took those long before they stole away with my place markers…so the socks are in limbo.

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Projects half done….okay, mostly done….I admit, I ran out of pink yarn(and it’s acrylic so I refused to buy more…now I need to figure out the collar).  Pattern here on ABC Knitting Patterns. I did not love knitting these…and the pattern on the arm is a bit confusing. But they look nice, if you don’t run out of yarn.

Then I was planning to start this cowl I designed. It’s going to be so pretty…and once my youngest niece’s birthday gift is done, I can…except I’ve lost the size 8 set of knitting needles I wish to design it on. I’m thinking of buying a circular set….I may have to look up some pattern suggestions for knitting this on circulars though. I thought I’d found them when I uncovered a PHD (project half done) in the chair and realized, much like my cleaning above, I should just sew the snaps on these and sew up the seams and gift these dresses already. But I pulled the needles out, and realized they’re another set of size 4 needles. Does anyone remember what I used the size 8’s on last? I still have no idea where they made off to.

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The other current project, that I don’t dare stop mid-row…I need to have this one done soon…these are on ravelry.com and quite fun to knit as well. I did make an adjustment, as I dislike K1, P1…so I made the cuffs K5, P5 to keep elasticity and create a neat effect going into the horseshoe.

I’d say that’s all, but I’m likely forgetting something (like which pattern I last used the size 8 needles on). In the meantime, I’m going to pour a glass of wine, do some homework and get back to knitting the birthday gift. I’m also giving myself a break, as it’s been a tough week here with a funeral for my dear James’ dad. I didn’t know him as well, but I certainly grieved for the loss of a bond that meant the world to dear James. It wasn’t entirely unexpected, but Bill Sr. still passed over far quicker than any of us could imagine. I did get some decent knitting time in this week, as well as somewhat caught up on homework.

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The close-up view of some of the horse-shoe pattern. I’ll get better photos of it next week, as there’s another section I wish to show off.

I almost forgot about poor Briannag. The night we came home from the funeral and family gathering, we found she had a puffy ear. It was hard to tell at first, as her ear is normally half folded in one way or another, but she got a visit to the vet where he called it a hematoma and ordered surgery. She came through fine, but they’re keeping her one more night to save us the clean up…(for which I’m kind of thankful). She will be home bright and early in the morning. There will be extra Kong treats in the morning.

Briannag is our brindle Pittie who loves to inspect my yarn, model my socks and dearly hopes I’m knitting something for her. She’s not the most careful with soft toys, especially when little brother Zeus(the brown boxer) helps her with them.

Fortunately for myself, tips were good last week (dear James usually makes a little more, working full time and overseeing our skills) and our taxes have been filed, because pricey vet bills aren’t always easy to cover.  In the meantime, if anyone is in cahoots with my fairies, please let them know I’d like the place markers back…I only need a few of them. Thanks. Or I may just have to go search out the jump rings and the jewelry supplies and hope I don’t make my own too heavy…I’m beginning to see a theme here;-). More wine, friends, or tea if you prefer?

Too Many Rules…

January 19, 2017

…or too many patterns. Nah, there’s no such thing as too many patterns.

I may have broken my own rule. After all, rules were made to be broken, right? Fortunately, I haven’t broken the rule irreparably…or have I? I have two supposed “adult” rules, and I’ve broken both of them in the past few weeks. I blame James for one. I only have myself and clever marketing for the second…I believe. Besides, blame doesn’t un-break the rules, or get things done. Please allow me to explain.

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Cabled Headband…which is the inspiration for only half of these weeks works in progress…

Rule #1: Do not begin three more projects before finishing the first project. This usually translates to one project on the needles and one project on the sewing table at a time…usually. Lately, the socks I’ve been knitting have been complicated. I only knit them on Sunday mornings when I have spare time. I’m making good progress, but I decided to knit some mittens as a travel project and a gift. They didn’t work out so well, so I ended up frogging them. Then dear James bought me a “project” for Christmas. Once I replaced the hat/mitten/scarf yarn with yarn I could and would knit with, I went in search of patterns.

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(The finished cabled headband…really, I meant to smile, but I hate taking selfies…;-).)

Yes, you heard me right, I spent a few hours on ravelry.com…who doesnt’. I finally found a cabled headband http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/cabled-headband-26 pattern I liked and was hoping to find a matching cowl. I didn’t. I found similar ones, but I found none that work with me, so I’m left to making it up as I go along.

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The current cowl I’m currently working on…I’m hoping it will work with me…but only two more repeats.)

I was scared of the making of it. I really was, but it can’t be that hard, right? You heard me…and yes, we all know I should know better. Thankfully(so far), I do not know better. Instead, I came across that knitting journal I bought sometime last year and told you I’d tell you what I thought of it. What did I think? I didn’t think much of it until I started trying to work out this beast. This cowl shall remain nick-named the beast until it is finished. This week, I have two attempts and almost a graph/chart or pattern worked out. I want to leave options semi-open to make it your own. I like making something my own when possible.

Not near as easy as I thought it would be to write the pattern, I hope it’s more fun to knit…it shouldn’t be as hard as it looks. It was harder figuring out how to set it up…I think.

So, what did I do? It’s pretty simple, in theory, and hopefully in knitting. Explaining it visually or on paper is another matter. Part of me wants to say just do it, and you may have to, if you wish to make this cowl. I don’t think I’m doing the impossible, but we all know knitting can become mind-boggling at times. *If you do try to knit up this pattern as shown here, please give me credit for it…If you find any mistakes you cannot work through, or we cannot work through together, please message me. We’ll work something out. (It is knit in the round, please take that into consideration as you knit the cowl).

So, how does creating a new cowl break my rules….I already have another cowl on the needles, with a pair of socks and one sock beginning to think it’s suffering from second sock syndrome. Something needs to get knit, but I wish to test this pattern. In addition, I’m thinking about a shawl and I can’t find my size 8 dpns to knit the cowl up with, so I may end up doing this pattern on size 7s. Choices, choices…. Patterns, patterns….(And don’t ask me about the quilts).

Waiting on instructions on the quilt on the right, and may need to scale back projects some soon…or at least make a rule to do my homework first….

Yes, that is plural. I have Jessica’s No-longer Secret fantasy quilt to finish tweaking, I have just subscribed to a murder mystery quilt… a charity quilt waiting for Sunday afternoon(my morning), and  I have begun a mystery quilt for my quilt guild that will become a chair warmer/quilt for my nieces to sleep under at my home, it may be time for a second blog. In the meantime, I have to go clarify questions about the fabric and get the photos of my current works…since I have broken my own rules about the number of projects I can juggle.

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Squib, helping me with my homework…so much for planning;-)

As for rule #2…I no longer feel like discussing it. Actually, it’s “Nothing comes into my home that doesn’t have a home, but that requires some more shelves. I’m not sure how the projects fit…but the sewing table feels crowded right now. Can I have some more wine, please?

No, I didn’t throw a huge fit on the naughty bench, not yet anyway. I actually enjoyed my knitting/quilting time there… Allow me to explain.

There is this beast of a quilt…it’s semi-secret and only twin size, but it’s an original design that’s mostly hand-sewn and three years in the works. Since three years is long enough and there will be a great reveal next week, I haven’t knit but two rows this week, and I had to rip one of them out…two steps forward, one step back, right?

So, I’ve spent all of my spare time sewing this quilt and creating the border and getting the quilt top in place…And I need more hexies! And I need another hexy! And I need another inch or two here. I’ve discovered I’m a creative designer with tons of love and a boyfriend who scales back my eye for color, thank goodness. I must give him credit in the letter I’m yet to write and print off…because I’m also all about tough quilt love. I promise. If it is to become a dog bed, it will be returned. If it is found on the floor, it gets one opportunity to be picked up or it will be returned. I can find another tweak it needs(as it still needs some tweaking) and store it in my closet or hang it on a wall.

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Lizzie’s “Masterpiece” #1…Yes, she worked on two of them…

Don’t get me wrong. It’s meant to be used and loved, but with respect–and more than one would give a blanket. It’s also under contract, as I have to show it at shows and retreats. But the top is nearly done and my fingers might be a touch sore, though I sewed my own leather thimble and discovered I love this thing. I decided I’m gifting it as is for Christmas and allowing the recipient some say in the batting and backing, as well as the quilting. I’m certain  (and hopeful) that she will be quite surprised.

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If you look closely, you can make out Stars…the top row says “made of”

I also plan to finish the damn mittens that I’m still halfway through the one hand of…(I really expected to achieve full Wonder Woman status this week and get to halfway through the second mitten). But I only received a $25.00 gift card to the J-store  (Jo-ann Fabrics, for those not in the know)….that helped obtain some Christmas gifts at the last minute(both on sale as well).

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The finished gingerbread square created by Jessica and myself…such a cute courtyard for the love kisses(they were the last two, and I left them for my niece).

But I also had to test my wonder woman status this week and work on Gingerbread houses with my sister-in-law, nieces, and Little: Mariah. It was a good night, and I kept my youngest niece overnight and then made Magic Bars and No-bake cookies with Lizzie–which leads to nap time.

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The other side of the mittens that did not knit themselves this week…

My brain hasn’t registered my schedule much of this week, I was up at 8AM on Wednesday and 6:45 AM on Thursday. AGGHHHH! I’m normally not up before noon, and noon is early. I still work overnights. I’ve worked through most of it, but I needed a nap (which I don’t normally do) mid-day to work around getting up over five hours early, perhaps six full hours early. I don’t even have class this week. Alas, it’s not helping the knitting and I’m not going to knit as much when I’m ready to fall asleep…. I can sew better tired, so long as I’m not on the machine, and double checking my work.

There may be some more knitting tonight…I’ve accomplished two more rows for a total of three this week, however…I still have hexies to create and stitch in, as well as a border to assemble…and now real life must intervene and call me back to work for the weekend….alas….wish me luck. Next week, there will be a reveal…

 

Mitten Continuance

December 16, 2016

What can I say….the big gifting day is ten days away…I’m almost half done with the first mitten. Hear me out….classes are done, grades are in–they’re respectable, but not my best work…well, except for the developmental psychology class. That was good work, or a 4.0. The rest, I received an A- in, or 3.7. I was surprised by one of the A-’s as I expected a B at highest, but our last quiz replaced a bad grade on a damned literary map (that likely doesn’t belong in a college classroom), so I consider that A- almost a bonus. But I got used to the 4.0 average I was working my butt off for in school, so forgive me if this feels a bit deflated. Alas, I must respect that it is still decent progress.

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Squib, cuddling while I knit…at least he doesn’t grade my knitting….just the yarn quality, sometimes

Moving on, I’m busting my butt on the semi-secret fantasy quilt. I’ve sewn in most of my free time and have over half of the border done as well as the cornerstones. I’m making progress…but I feel like it’s never enough. I’m hoping to get this top done before the 25th. I did catch a break today as my sister-in-law and I had gingerbread house-making planned, but she wasn’t ready as I headed off to learn my final grade in my frustrating class(see above, I hope that rant is over).dscn1630

Side 1 of the mitten…I think this is the bottom side, since it’s for the right hand…

I came home and sewed some clouds and worked out where the fabrics need to go to make more clouds. Then I considered the flowers….I need more flowers….I always need more of one or the other, but I made good progress and just have to keep working. I also snuck in a row or two on the mittens while I got some laundry done this evening. However, I also have to cook this week(projects or not….if I wanna eat, I gotta cook-drat).

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Side 2 of the mitten….It’s coming along, but I better return to knitting. I’m hoping it turns out better than it looks on the needles, but I think it will be fun in the end.

Then, as I watched the first half of the season finale of Project Runway, I finished dinner and knit the next row…which got me close to half way done with the chart. Since I have the cuff knit, I might be over halfway done, but I also have to knit a thumb in there…That could get interesting.

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Maeve, snuggling on mom while I knit… right on the yarn and covering the pattern…she’s a pro at interrupting the knitting process….

Now, allow me to tell you about my “Oh, crap!” moment. I’m not sure if it was yesterday as I snuck in some evening knitting time, but it must have been, because I barely arrived at class on time this morning(class was meeting early due to the final exam schedule). I started the left mitten, I’ve knit everything for the left mitten…do you catch my drift…then I looked at the chart pattern and realized I was knitting the chart for the right mitten! “You’ve got to be kidding me,” is likely the nice version of what I was thinking.

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Squibby doesn’t get the ‘What was I thinking?’ thing….he just tests it and sees what happens….I need to be more like Squibby…

Instead of continuing to swear about my luck, I calmly turned the pattern over, saw where I should be. Then I looked at the first page, and saw my salvation: Right mitten: Work same as left mitten. Thank goodness! I may have done a little jig in my chair…minding the knitting needles (and any other pins and needles) of course. I hesitate to celebrate further this week as I hope to make much more progress before I feel comfortable with the gifting.

…Famous last words…Sure, I can get a pair of stranded color-work mittens done by Christmas. Mittens are easier than socks, right? Granted, I did realize I did not have enough time to knit another pair of socks for Christmas…but mittens, why not.

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Mittens are easy, right?

So, I thought when I saw the cute, sweet stranded color-work pattern with a chart. I can do this. Mittens knit up faster than socks, right? Of course they do. I’ll have some time once I finish my classes, right? I can get them done by Christmas, no problem…says every crafter with good intentions each year…Do we ever really learn?

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Apparently, I do not learn well…at least when it comes to crafting…

I still have a semi-secret quilt top to sew, work and now these darned mittens. The designer is likely very creative, I got them here at Ravelry.com. They’re cute. And I’m finally using the recycled denim yarn that only took me eleven hours or so to untangle as I wound it. I’m glad I took the eleven hours, though I could have been working on a paper during that time.

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Squib, checking my inventory…

Alas, I have one more paper to go, and it’s a reasonably easy revision. But how does a modern woman interpret Medea? (Yes, I’m open to suggestions; I’ll figure out how to give credit later). In the meantime, I’ve been working on them and knitting up little black starbursts in the cloud colored denim before class at school and during extracurricular lectures. I made some progress, but if you know me, you know charts are not my strength…especially when I’m in company.

The lecture was on Neil Gaiman by Dr. Joseph Sommers: “It’s Neil Gaiman’s World, I Just Work In It.” I feel I must confess that I have never read Neil Gaiman(gasp!)–it’s not that I haven’t wanted to, but it hasn’t come up in my repertoire of historical romance and mystery/suspense. I think I need to remedy this…Do you think that will keep Santa from dropping coal in my stocking?

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Scamp, arranging her book nest…

I enjoyed the lecture, as did Dear James-who got to go with me and we made a short evening of it, because I had an exam today. It’s done. I now have to decide if I wish to sell this text book on Amazon. But that has nothing to do with mittens. In my defense, I was finishing the cuff of the mitten at the lecture. Now, I’ve attached color two and am working stranded color-work, that has some sort of design to it, I’m sure. “The left mitten features half of the proverb, with a floral Gotland motif, and the right mitten features the second half of the proverb with an abstract star motif, “The left mitten features half of the proverb, with a floral Gotland motif, and the right mitten features the second half of the proverb with an abstract star motif.” (Bujold).

It shall be interesting…I’m no longer sure if it’s faster than cabling…. We’ll save the “What was I thinking?” part for next week, as you may hear about these….

Oh, dear…then I read the note about using a larger needle size for those with larger hands…tune in next week to hear about the fix…(Or ripping and tearing I have no time for…perhaps I’ll buy the man a Neil Gaiman book, I hope tips are good, so if you go gamble, remember your dealer has to purchase gifts too).