…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.

…until you realize the process is taking you the better part of the year…

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Allow me to explain…I’m working on my quilt blog this week, so I don’t tell all of you about them here….I think I’m due for a blog post there as well…and I’m noticing with the others that hand-quilting is being treated as a dying art…there’s just not enough demand(or enough quilters with project distract-ability, I guess.) Don’t get me wrong, some are going on the machine. But some will have to be hand-quilted as well. Yes, I realize these will take forever, but by forever, I mean years…and it’s about the process, right….

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Unless you are knitting socks…then you wish they made quicker progress knowing that one row on these babies can take you a half hour. It’s for both socks at once, thankfully, but it’s time consuming. And then you look at your travel pair, and they’ve still got most of one more repeat to make it to the heel…so they can begin the decrease and become even easier to knit…right. Then you notice the hat, it’s supposed to be done soon, (and it’s actually moving quickly, but it’s not done yet), and you only put three rows into it last night because you were worn out from school. Then, of course, it snowed. That’s right, Old Man Winter stopped by last night, he felt missed…and that one person you are knitting the hat for, is the one person who likes winter. However, you’re going to finish it this weekend and hand it off to her, so you can return your attention to the socks and free up some needles to repair some socks you’ve apparently worn through and shouldn’t be wearing…but it’s not yet too warm for knit socks….

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See? It’s never to warm for knit socks when snow is still flying….blasted snow!

 

Now I went back and read last week’s blog. I think this will help me focus the blog a bit better. I was checking on test progress that wasn’t in yet last week. Part of me doesn’t want to talk about it. I got B’s on most of my tests. I’m told “B” is a good grade. If it is for you, that’s fine, but I’m not satisfied with less than an “A.” I haven’t been much of my life. They were high “B’s” so I’m going with I can work with them. I could have used the extra credit points, but the stress I would have put myself through to get them, as well as maybe a lower “B” in another class, just wasn’t worth it. I’ll work with them and write the best paper I can.

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Owl Hat…I’m going to have to get an outside picture…but, thirteen more rows to go…easy-peasy, right?

In the meantime, let’s get back to the fun stuff. There are socks…and whoa…I made some progress on that owl hat…Look! I also made some progress on the socks. Both pair. They’re just not where I want them. However, I still have homework to do and more knitting to get done (and to decide when I’m going to defend my parking space tonight.) I also need to get some cooking done and decide how I’m going to modify a recipe since I forgot the chicken stock….or am I going to give a frozen block of soup(perhaps mushroom or onion) a test run with chicken and turnips with a little half-and-half(I was supposed to get heavy cream)…and I didn’t get chicken stock as I didn’t check fridge, freezer, pantry or recipes before I went shopping tonight. Alas, I cook like I knit  and quilt…(and sometimes like I study). I’m lucky these are my strengths, but if I’m getting a “B” in life, then I’m doing pretty darn good. So for now, enjoy the sock photos, and I hope the snow doesn’t make you shiver too much…Next week, I’ll either be early or late, as I’m off to a quilt retreat.

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Needing new socks so I can darn the old ones (I need the knitting needles too)…

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.

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.

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…