I was excited today. I got through the heel turn and began the gusset. I even think I figured out what the pattern meant as I re-knit the stitches I’d already knit that round. The round begins at the side of the leg instead of the back of the leg, so I had to bring it back around once I knit the heel flap and turn, but I made it through the short rows, and made it to the gusset. See?

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I think this periscope look is my favorite part;-).

Alas, I was feeling pretty good. With this done and classes finishing up Wednesday, I can likely get this done as a Christmas gift. I’m not even sure when our Christmas family gathering will be, but I need it done in time, just in case. I also plan to take it to my aunt’s the week after finals to work on it there…I’m hoping to reach the toes there, but I will be basting Jessica’s quilt to take with me to quilt when I cannot sleep until three or four in the morning, or when I am up at five a.m. because I went to bed at midnight or 1AM. Switching schedules will not be easy, but it shall be worth it.

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What a periscope looks like from the inside;-).

I’m also excited to soon get back to sock repairs for myself so I can wear more knit socks. I need to pick up some nylon to reinforce some repairs over the next week(read–after payday). But then the guilt stepped in, tonight. I haven’t knit a stitch on a hat that was for a friend’s grandmother. Her grandma passed on, and I wondered if she’d let me knit it for me, but she planned to pay for it and do the right thing, and even after several hints, she decided to gift it to her daughter. I’m hoping she didn’t plan this for a Christmas gift. I didn’t promise it then, but she’s singing my praises about how cheerful I am to my boyfriend at work tonight(I’m not there), and I’m feeling like I should be making a little more progress on this, so it’s going with me to visit my aunt as well.

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Close up of a periscope knit sock inside view…

Alas, shifting from Finals’ stress to holiday stress…when do I just let go. In the meantime, I plan to have a little fun with the holidays and host a Christmas book exchange party next week. That reminds me, I’d better make some edits and give people a better idea what to expect. More info on that next week, as I’ll be full of a new book I’ve never read, or an old favorite to re-read. There will be a hot cocoa bar and treats.

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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.

So, I hear there’s a concept called balance. I’ve yet to come close to mastering it. This week is seeming like a roller coaster ride, and I have more to come. The challenge is not taking everyone with me, and knowing when to tell my friends I need them to jump on.

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One of my favorite knitting helpers, deciding I should snuggle her rather than read poetry.

Let me explain the low, slow climb to the top. My cat was diagnosed with bone cancer this week. I thought it was an abscess or tooth infection. A couple of shots…a vet bill, and it would be fine. I missed class, bought a scale and soft food instead…and came home to snuggle my cat. She is my snuggle kitty too…She’d let me knit her a sling and attach herself to me permanently, so long as I didn’t jump around or up and down too much. Beware the knitting ideas we knitter’s come up with when the going gets tough.

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Full length view…isn’t there a magic knitting formula…that whatever one knits, it works?

In the meantime, I’ve been making short headway on the socks while I’m waiting for circular knitting needles to arrive in the mail. Then I get to knit a kickin’ hat pattern(that’s written in Russian, of course…because I can, and it’s kickin’). I’m getting excited to start it.

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So close, yet so far…

Unfortunately…I know, I promised we were done with those sorts of words…but I just tried to try on this sock…it’s too small…I’m not sure it will fit over my heel. I’m wondering if it will fit my niece, and if I can get it done in time for Christmas (or if it will be a birthday gift). The good news is I wasn’t in love with this yarn. I think Lizzie will like it better. The bad news is, I finally got the pattern close to what I wanted it to be…only I need it on bigger needles if it’s to be for me.

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Backside of the too small sock…

I’m debating If I will knit this pair of socks for myself again, or if I will simply gift these and move on…part of this decision will depend on how much yarn I have left and how excited I get to knit other patterns…for now, I will be finishing this sock, and repairing the cuff…Drat!

Alas, one sock almost down, one classmate encouraged to knit (I hope she listens…1 poem equals 1 row of knitting), and we move on to the next pattern which i hope is big enough…but it starts out toe-up, which will be a bit easier to work with…though I love my dpns still.

One is done…

October 6, 2017

..but the pattern was in English and one I’ve knit before. That’s not cheating, is it?

I had grand plans. I was going to make a sufficient dent in the homework and get my knitting blog written. I stayed home tonight as the homework workload started to feel heavy. Then there was the cat…who either does not like poetry homework or she is attempting to learn by osmosis. One of my poems was about the cat sitting upon my homework. I think I have to do a total tongue-in-cheek poem about a cat sitting upon my homework in place of the dog eating my homework. The first poem was almost in letter form. We’ll see how the next draft comes out. It wants to be there.

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But I got so caught up in writing about the cat sitting upon my homework, and Project Runway drama(and they are spooning in extra drama this season, and frustrating me once again), that I almost forgot I had to update my progress on this blog. I will admit, there has been much walking and knitting lately…I’m not taking photos of that, as it’s one more thing I’d have to take to class. However, I have been working on the cabled headband as much as possible. I even got it finished and did the three needle bind-off on it. It is done!

 

It is not Ta-da because as I knit at the Renaissance Festival this weekend, I noticed some errors. However, I gave it the boyfriend test–he only noticed the dent where the cables are supposed to be. I’m calling the ridges grips. It’s done. This one is for free and a kindness gift brought on because I respect a friend and it is for a mutual friend’s grandmother. There is a small part of me saying “Frog it and start again.” Tonight, I am employing the “Done is better than perfect philosophy.” Forgive my imperfections…if it’s an issue, I’ll tell you all about the poem next week.

 

 

 

I had grand plans. I was going to make a sufficient dent in the homework and get my knitting blog written. I stayed home tonight as the homework workload started to feel heavy. Then there was the cat…who either does not like poetry homework or she is attempting to learn by osmosis. One of my poems was about the cat sitting upon my homework. I think I have to do a total tongue-in-cheek poem about a cat sitting upon my homework in place of the dog eating my homework. The first poem was almost in letter form. We’ll see how the next draft comes out. It wants to be there.

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Still showing the good side of the headband…

But I got so caught up in writing about the cat sitting upon my homework, and Project Runway drama(and they are spooning in extra drama this season, and frustrating me once again), that I almost forgot I had to update my progress on this blog. I will admit, there has been much walking and knitting lately…I’m not taking photos of that, as it’s one more thing I’d have to take to class. However, I have been working on the cabled headband as much as possible. I even got it finished and did the three needle bind-off on it. It is done!

 

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In case you ever wanted to see the wrong side of the cables…

It is not Ta-da because as I knit at the Renaissance Festival this weekend, I noticed some errors. However, I gave it the boyfriend test–he only noticed the dent where the cables are supposed to be. I’m calling the ridges grips. It’s done. This one is for free and a kindness gift brought on because I respect a friend and it is for a mutual friend’s grandmother. There is a small part of me saying “Frog it and start again.” Tonight, I am employing the “Done is better than perfect philosophy.” Forgive my imperfections…if it’s an issue, I’ll tell you all about the poem next week.

I did get some knitting done on my socks…but not much, as the headband took over. I’m curious though how many more repeats I have to the toes. I like toes. It means I’m almost done with a sock. Unless I’m knitting on circulars…but those aren’t just on the back-burner, they’re shelved, or dropped behind the stove somewhere until I get these hats done. I may even have to get some Christmas gifts in there somewhere. (I swear I’m starting the next set of Christmas gifts in January–crap, did I say that last year, too?)

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Sock progress…at least this pair is for me…

Alas, back to studying psychology and writing bad poetry…though the prof seemed to enjoy the poem about meter I wrote that begins “I hate meter.” Perhaps I’ll put some up for you guys. But for now, I’m fixing the title for that one and submitting it to the Central Review and any and all poetry contests to obtain money for school.  Wish me luck. In the meantime, happy knitting!

 

 

I Love A Challenge…

September 21, 2017

…and if a project isn’t challenging enough, apparently I can make it a challenge without too much effort. Imagine that. Let me explain…or in American-ese: Hold my beer and watch this…no drinking it…I’m gonna need it.

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Those first weeks when your sock is a tiny dream of a toe…

Someone I highly respect at work asked me about knitting a hat for a co-worker’s grandmother to keep her head warm. I knit with wool and will not knit with acrylic. My first question: Is she okay with wools/animal danders? If she has allergies, I need to find a new fiber-I was thinking bamboo or silk blends, which I may still look into. Apparently, Judy’s grandma is not allergic as the ONLY answer I get to this question is, “She likes soft stuff.” Who doesn’t? I asked if she had allergies.

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The knit side doesn’t want to show off yet… These will be the Stealth Argyle socks by Eunny Jang in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class

Alas, an overly easy client is tougher than a picky one sometimes. The next question: what colors does she like? I got the answer of pinks and purples. Sounds easy enough…but it’s not, because I don’t know if she means carnation, fuchsia or heathered or if she means indigo, lavender, or heathered…I’m probably going with what’s available as I’m buying the yarn…but…I’d like to know she likes it before I buy the yarn. I’m considering sending pictures and links and hope they do the yarn justice.

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Current Progress on Slip-N-Slide socks by Chrissy Gardiner in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class

In the meantime, if pleasing an overly-easy client is tough enough, I was searching for patterns on ravelry.com. I found a gorgeous hat that I won’t get bored with. Let me get a sip of my beer. Now hang on, while I go over how fun this is…Hold my beer again please;-). The pattern, by Tatyana Rovenskaya is called Hat-Gray Fields. If the name doesn’t give it away, perhaps the link will…Okay, okay, I’ll tell you: The pattern is in Russian.

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Current back progress on class knitting…

A sane knitter, not asking you to hold her beer (while checking over her shoulder that you haven’t taken too large a sip tax), would find another hat, right? What does a not so sane knitter do at 2:30AM when she should be reading psychology articles about gender differences in anger? She says, “Ooh…Russian…I can translate this…” thinking darn it Mrs. Ovenhouse and Mr. Toodzio…How dare you teach me not to fear Russian translations. It’s only a page or two. It’s only a knitting chart…Right. (it’s okay to stop laughing now, wouldn’t want you to spill my beer).

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Beer was not really involved at 2:30AM(though that’s not how you’ll re-tell the story), but lack of sleep and homework procrastination are just as powerful of motivators…and now…I’m going to need a sip…Please return it. I know it’s good.

Two hours later between a google translator and a Russian dictionary, I haven’t made much headway…about a quarter of the pattern. In my defense, I was not writing things down. Once I went towards bed with a Russian dictionary I had suddenly relocated, I began writing things down. I made some headway…but only about half. As I put the tools of translation away, and set the pattern aside for the night, I thought, my school has Russian classes…perhaps I’ll find a Russian teacher who knits…perhaps I can tutor Russian for a student and they can help me translate this…Checked today, I don’t see any Russian classes this year. I’m going to have to brush up on my Russian and bring it to this school.

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Terpander socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class for those that missed it last week. Why knit vanilla socks when one can complicate matters and add an adult beverage?

Sure, I could find another pattern, but where is the fun in that? Besides, I might not have met the Vogue International Knitting Terms page. It’s worth a look, and I must research needle sizes to make sure I guess right. Now, I must start memorizing a performance of literature, and writing an Introduction for Psychology…thank goodness the poetry comes easy. Anyone think there’s a poem in there? In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed the post and the photos of my current works in progress.

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;-).

Knitting at Quilt Week

August 17, 2017

It was here again…and I love it.I learned some secrets and showed off my knitting, to smiles, grins and compliments…and perhaps a few who wished they’d thought to bring theirs. I love Quilt Week. I look forward to it all year and begin making plans six months in advance. As soon as I know the dates, and six months prior comes along, I ask for the dates off if I need them. I got to be there for two days this year. I may aim for longer next year, or a closer hotel and taking a class(it might hurt my pocket book less…okay, it won’t, but I can dream until the tuition bill is due, right)?

DSCN2500Making decent re-progress on the Slip-N-Slide sock by Chrissy Gardiner found in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class

Alas, I told you there was knitting. There was knitting in Flannagan’s Pub on Wednesday night as I waited for Fish and Chips and chose a Mountain Town Brewing Company Train Wreck to drink. (I like my beers tall, dark and rich, just like my men–yes, there’s a bad joke in there). After I ordered the beer, and didn’t hand it off to someone else (yes, another waitress tried to give it away…perhaps they don’t think knitters are in need of libation)…I thought I should have ordered a Guinness. The Train Wreck was good, and just might be symbolic…(thankfully, not of this week’s knitting). I made some progress.

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Then while I was waiting on demonstrations and listening to them, more to rest my feet(though you learn some interesting things about the quilt world this way), I knit. I knit my socks like an old pro. There are few, if any mistakes, there are no glaring pattern issues (hopefully) to be discovered next week. There are simply four and a half out of six repeats of the cuff in which these socks are knitting up better than before. (The Terpander has to wait a week, but I should be able to make a little more progress soon).

If you wish to know more about Quilt Week, pop over to the Quilting Journeys page and enjoy my post there.

…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.