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.

Simple, but effective…

November 10, 2017

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Sock progress this week…it’s been considerable…

It’s been quite a week, and I’m skipping the details, as they’re not mine to tell. I’m not sure how much I got done on the hat this week, but I think there may have been progress. However, the proud moments involve the sock. I’ve been taking it to classes and for studies…and a musical. Spring Awakening is quite a musical…my favorite moment involved a fellow theater-goer. We got to a risque scene in the play and the lights abruptly go on for what I recognize as intermission…and the young man next to me says, “What?!” I looked at him and assured him, “There’s more.”

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Scamp thinks this is her knitting bag…or there are treasures in here she can run off with…I caught her in time…

In the meantime, I need to get back to knitting, quilting and schoolwork…ugh…If you want to know what a psychological study looks like, send me a message. Otherwise, I need to get to bed, and compile data and…never mind…my brain needs a rest. Enjoy my baby kitten(not so much anymore) Scamp, trying to claim the knitting bag…I think she wants to learn to knit.

A Day of Surprises

August 24, 2017

What girl doesn’t love a good surprise? (excluding my dear aunt Jane, of course)…

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Current Progress on Slip-N-Slide socks…(may have been learned quicker than original Slip-N-Slide game from my childhood…)

This week, I traveled to two towns in Michigan I’ve visited semi-frequently in my life, Charlotte and Ypsilanti. Once we made it to Ypsilanti, my aunts Maryal and Jane were treated to Burger King(their choice) and we had a great visit for the afternoon. While I visited, I did get to show off some quilt work found here. I knit a few rows today and then began looking up a Russian Join. I have not attempted it yet…but I’m thinking I need to. Perhaps I should have take a photo of the yarn tails…I didn’t, but maybe next week…I still have yarn left on one of the skeins…

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Front view…This pattern is knitting up a bit better now.

As for today, I got up and decided to knit the Terpander socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes, also in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class book.I’ve made some decent progress, see?

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Terpander socks current progress…almost there…

However, as I knit, I do feel yarn chicken coming on. I’m going to be engaging in the battle soon, and hoping to join these two skeins well. I’m glad this yarn is not multi-colored. Today, I made it to row 41 of 48. I surprised myself with knitting diligence as I said, “Am I done yet?” with each row. My limit is knitting the same repeat about three times…and I have to do four. On the fourth section of each row, I want to be done already. But they’re almost done…and then there will be the rib.

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I can’t wait to put these babies on my feet…really, I just can’t wait…

To recap, the day went well…I knit the socks, I got my final school book in the mail. The syllabus for one of my classes was opened up (which brings home that my relaxation and freedom are coming to an end). However, I’m looking forward to planning my semester, requesting my classes off and hoping my Poetry experience goes well. In the meantime, I had another surprise today.

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Jessica, one of my two favorite nieces, hamming it up for the camera…one of her passions is drama…(but we got her out of a book).

At about 6PM, my niece texted me to say, “Headed your way, bring Cops & Doughnuts.” In part, this is teenage code for “We want to see you.” However, she would not turn down Cops & Doughnuts. If I’m to come to her house, she usually texts, “Bring Pizza,” as her second part. I asked what she was coming up this way for as the trip to Ypsilanti broke most of my budget. There was a car show in town. I didn’t know, I took the back roads to see my boyfriend today. If I had used the main roads, I would have seen the main road blocked off…three to four blocks is most of our downtown.

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I like the prettiest and the special ones…and yes, we got Cops & Doughnuts tonight! Thankfully, their mom wasn’t as broke as I am…

I told them to text me when they got here…got their location and walked over to meet them. We had a good time walking around town to see the cars, picking out the girls’ dream cars…or items simply to photograph. It was a great surprise, and I had a great time. I also got some solid knitting in and hope to read the first couple of chapters before my first class on Tuesday (for the one that provided the syllabus early). Perhaps I’ll sneak in some more knitting soon as well.

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Elizabeth, practicing her photography skills…and she went to the price sticker first…

Until next week, Happy Knitting, with pleasant surprises;-). Here are a few more pieces from the car show…(no, I didn’t note the make and models of them all, but they were nice…and we had Cops & Doughnuts at their favorite parks afterwards;-).

…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.

Current Progress on my projects…as I’m tired, and though it wasn’t too long a shift, it was an extra shift. So progress may have been made on a wool applique project, but not so much on knitting…to the noisy demand-o-cat’s dismay. He’s yowling for attention as I type. Apparently, my hands are not giving him enough massages lately.

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Putzer, the “Demand-o-cat” claiming my sock photography pillow and his box…when he’s not yowling for a two handed full body massage.

 

Though I did get some progress done on the heel flap while I got my tire re-inflated so my car is safe to drive once again. I knit on the couch while I watched the work go in and out of the body shop…where my car will be visiting next week. We really need to address the car spa issue so I can save for a house and become the cliche of the old man with a cane, shouting, “Get off my lawn.” Co-workers and players thought it would be funnier if I imitate Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino. I’m going to need a shotgun and a mask.

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Continuing the pattern down the heel flap…hoping the colors play together more soon…though I have a little color play…

In the meantime, I did have part of an afternoon to myself to knit on the Terpander socks as well. So, the week wasn’t a bust…but the progress feels lacking. Though I only have one more row to go to put me to the halfway point of this repeat. I may push through this next week and get to the ribbing portion on Friday…but we’ll see how far I get.

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Back view of Terpander socks…will work to get better photos next week, friends.

I learned my aunt Jane is to have knee replacement surgery next Friday, and my other aunt Maryal wishes to be there. So, if I get the time off or someone to cover my shift, I’m driving three hours to sit and wait for someone to come out of surgery. I should get some knitting done while I’m there…and perhaps some wool applique, but I save some of that for work…Updates next week, when more will be known.

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Front view of Terpander socks…Almost there;-)

Both patterns Terpander by  Melissa Morgan Oakes and Slip-n-Slide socks by Chrissy Gardiner are in Ann Budd’s book Sock Knitting: Master Class and is available through Interweave publications and many book store sites.

I wanted my socks just to be a bit wonkier this week…I wanted the yarn to play over the lines more, rather than within the colorways. I’m not sure if I got exactly what I wanted, but I managed to get wonkier socks…so, the question is…do I rip out over twenty rows of stitching and try to fix it…or do I go on and try to recreate the mistake? Or, do I go on and tell myself no one will notice?

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Can you see it? I’m not telling until someone sees it…

I will probably try to recreate the mistake. Though this is the one drawback I have to dpns….I have a long ways to go before I get to recreate the mistake. So, notes must be made and yarn must be knit…and well, chuck it all….I’m working the Terpanders this week.

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Since it’s mostly on the same color yarn, it’s less noticeable…

The thing I like about circulars is if you make a mistake, it’s easy to recreate, right then and there. However, I don’t like starting easy and finishing tough. I’m am at about the 19th row of my last 48…I’m getting there…four sides at a time…but it’s work and concentration.

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Row 19 of 48…29 more rows to go….

In the meantime, I may have a surprise for you that I promised about two years ago…We’ll have to see. My former best friend told my dear James that she missed us. He then, being a good boyfriend, encouraged me to contact her. A phone call didn’t feel right. So, I sent out the feeler in a card. She sent me back updates today, and while I was taken aback, I’m not entirely surprised. Now, we’ll see if I can take things slow(NOT my strong suit, here), or if I’ve done scared her off with a proposition I’m not sure she’s ready for. I miss her to death, but if she won’t meet me in the middle, that’s her choice, and I’ll go on missing her. I hope it doesn’t come to that.

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They’re lovely…but I’m ready to put them on my feet;-).

So, I’ve made the wonky socks…and I’m working my way up the Terpander to the dreaded knit 1, purl 1 rib…that I will just make a mission to finish (due to intense hatred of the k1, p1 rib). I’ll keep at the wonky socks, once I decide whether to make the leg longer or to leave it as intended…Decision will be announced next week, as soon as I piece a couple of quilt blocks you can find on my Quilting Journeys blog:-). Happy knitting, my friends…new mitts coming soon..perhaps.DSCN2382

The backside of the four side repeat…excuse that shadow…better photos above…

Graduation Excitement!

May 26, 2017

…with knitting in Public!

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The back of his graduation cap, with my dad in the background…How could I not love this kid?

My nephew graduated high school tonight! For those of you with or on the PhD. track…I know, it’s only the first step. But it is a large first step. And I’m a very proud aunt! So, Brace yourself, Effie! There will be commencement photos. In part, it’s been 17 short years in the making. In part, it’s been nearly half a lifetime (I was a little over 17 when he was born…by years, not months…). I’ve been there for band concerts (just last Sunday), plays (had one last week)…and the Nerf birthday party in which this kid asked everyone he knew for Nerf guns or darts, etc… Admittedly, it was a fun birthday party, and when your Nerf gun runs out of ammo, you just might find your arm works just as well….He could still host a Nerf party if he wanted, and supply most, if not all of us with Nerf guns…(and I’d still end up using my arms at some point).

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He’s not bored, just really tired, & likely,excited about graduation as well…

Ah, the memories, as I have a beer in his honor(after the ceremony) and wish I’d remembered to bring my Jeans home…I did get some knitting done, because as we know, commencement ceremonies have long speeches and processes. The kids made it interesting, as did some of the adults. One teacher was convinced we were all watching him…I was knitting a row as he spoke and almost called out, “I promise, we’re not ALL watching you…” but I attempted to behave (I’ve no freakin’ idea why).

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The sock is really coming along(I’ll be hoping for a cold day in June;-)

I did complete another repeat of this sock this week as I finished the last three rounds of the repeat and I got a lifeline installed at the Commencement Ceremony…then I had to actually stop to take photos. I wish I would have had a better seat for a Jazz Band photo, but I got most of them. Why should you care about the photo…well…They played “FreeBird,” and they rocked it. I saw this Sunday in Band Concert as well(we have some rockin’ band concerts). These are some pretty cool kids, and they leave a tough act to follow.

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Terpander socks are coming along…One more row until I start the last 48 rows (plus the 1-1/2″ or ribbing at the top).

So, I’m going to sit here and knit, and wonder how/if I have enough money to knit my youngest niece a shirt that looks like one I picked up at a local thrift shop(because I wasn’t wearing jeans to this, and the slacks that fit me don’t match the shirt I wore and left at my former sister-in-law’s home when I changed for the ceremony. I’m not a selfie fan….and my nephew was tired of photos by the time we got to me taking one with him…(I should have said too darned bad, but I respected his wishes). So, we’ll see what I can pull out of my hat in the next hour or so, and share some knitting photos as well…cuz we’re really here for the knitting, right?

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Backside of the Terpander socks… we’re making progress…really.

And now, here it is…I’ve made good progress on the Terpander socks and the Knot socks….but now i think I have to contemplate making a sweater vest or two…My niece ordered hers in purple or rainbow…how fun does rainbow sound? It looks like a http://www.ravelry.com search is in order (as well as a trip to the yarn store after I pay for my summer term.) Which reminds me, I’d better get back to studying…and finding some research participants;-) .

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Bottom hem of the shirt I picked up today…the one my niece wants in purple or rainbow…um, Lizzie, you’re lucky I love you…I have to pick up this kid’s knitting lessons over the summer I think.

 

 

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.

Shh…don’t tell. I haven’t worked on the Terpander pattern all week. I may have to make that up in the morning. Instead, it turned into a crazy, busy week, with assignments that didn’t go well and a strong realization that I need to do something different. I’m still knitting, and there were knitting in public opportunities, but Sunday night was intense, to put it mildly.

So, Monday, James and I went to the humane society to walk a dog. We left without the dog…I’m not sure that happens. I don’t walk dogs here on a regular basis as I don’t have a farm with unlimited income. I’m still considering the dog. I almost decided to go right back for her, but she wasn’t classified as senior, and the humane society has gotten very particular about what dog would be right for us. We do have a good number of cats…but we have two dogs from breeds not great with cats, and they have come to realize the cats are in charge, they’re just allowed to share the furniture.

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The charmed twister bag I thought I was making progress on…until I re-read the directions…

Alas, I do not have a new dog, which might be an excuse for not getting much knitting done. However, I also had a test this week, which is the real reason I didn’t make much progress on my socks. (At least that one holds up till Wednesday morning. Then there was this charmed twister bag pattern…and the little twister tool…and progress was made on the bag.

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Up Close and Personal (exclusive) with the heel flap…see those color variations….I do love this yarn;-)

I was still working on the knot socks before classes and between classes….I just didn’t get much time for them this week. I decided I needed to be more social and reach out to friends. I still haven’t gotten into the group that knits at a local pub. I may have to start visiting there more.

Perhaps that will help with the progress. However, you’d be proud of me ladies and gents. I met up with a friend at a local pub called The Cabin, and had some delicious pizza. When she told me she’d be there in five minutes, I finished my calendar entries and went inside to wait.

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The whole thing so far…(lifelines I haven’t removed yet and all)

I wasn’t sure if she meant five minutes, ten or twenty, so I took my yarn inside to knit while I waited on her. She’s used to seeing me with the yarn bag as I often knit until the start of class. We had a good visit, I tried a new beer, Curmudgeon, though it wasn’t curmudgeonly at all, but I can’t think of a better name for it off hand. Then again, perhaps it was, because it’s like it’s that old imposing guy who’s really a big teddy bear underneath. It is beer with molasses, but not as sickeningly sweet as the honey blood orange blend, so what more could I ask? Aside from a taller glass. It was 9.8% alcohol, so it came in a cute little six ounce mini-pilsner glass. I get it, but I was a little surprised.

Then again, curmudgeonly types may be best in small doses. The beer was good. It was worth every tiny ounce;-). The knitting progress was one row as Crystal was prompt. Sorry about the lack of knitting in public photos…one day I’ll remember to drag my friends into this fun. ) Then I set the knitting aside and dove into  Cheesy bread sticks and Italian Veggie Pizza and forgot my troubles for a bit. Some days, there’s nothing like a bit of beer and pizza with a friend, even if it moves your study time into your knitting time.