No Knitting Before The GRE

August 16, 2018

I mean, I should have expected it when they said no analog watches…I still want to know which genius got caught writing his answers on an analog watch, and how tiny he tried to make them… I’d give him a licking that keeps on ticking…alas…knitting. See, lack of knitting while I wait makes me cranky. But I can’t complain, my unofficial scores are decent…by no means, outstanding…but good enough to be considered for graduate school, and likely not bad enough to have to subject myself to four more hours of no-knitting time. I get no patterns (they’re on paper and codes are hard to decipher…), but not even mindless knitting was allowed. I could have knit some on break, but break time was only ten minutes…and I’m on the heel.

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Putzer, holding down my lap and demanding snuggles as I knit…

That’s right. Lack of knitting at an officially controlled testing site (that is simply doing their job) did not prevent me from reaching the heel. If I behave and knit some more, I might be a quarter to halfway up the leg before school starts up again. Part of me hoped to be done, but I’ve been working on quilts;-).

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Putzer and Briannag helping with knitting, Briannag may just want my spot…

Alas, here’s the latest progress, as I finally got in some evening knitting time. Even after a crazy week of learning that one of my boyfriend’s cats, Squib, is diabetic (which has only required me to be supportive and make sure he has good cat food available and is not sharing with the other cats), I’ve gotten a good amount of knitting in. The cat and dear James are adjusting, and meeting with snuggle time, but it has been everyone else this week, (except Tink, who’s busy hiding from the camera or trying to sneak Squib’s diabetic food), like I said, just about everyone else wants to help me…See what I mean? This isn’t always easy folks, and I don’t just mean the Stealth Argyle pattern by Eunny Jang in Sock Knitting: Master Class that is probably one of the more challenging I have ever undertaken.

Zeus-y was here, right nearby awaiting snuggles or food to drop…perhaps he’ll get into next weeks photos…he’s not as camera curious as Briannag, and he leans more on the knitter… And now, back to turning the heel.

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

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…with my latest patterns. There’s apparently too much counting.

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Almost as good as the chat with my girlfriend…(no pictures of that event…we left only the pizza dear James bought as evidence). 

In between studies, I invited my friend (who is technically my ex-sister-in-law…but she got 100% custody of me in the divorce… is still willing to share her children with me). However, she mentioned one day that she’d like some adult girl time on a day off. Though it set me behind in studies, and I’d invited somewhat for organization, she showed up with a bag full of crochet items.

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Taken at the Fabiano Botanical Gardens on the campus of Central Michigan University.  I just love to knit and study here;-)

We did more talking than knitting or crocheting…however, we both made an attempt to work at whatever was in our bag, while holding adult conversation. Problem is: when your finally in an environment where you don’t have to censor any of your words, your attention is no longer on the knitting, right. (And I don’t have any vanilla stockings on the needles right now. I may never.)

Still the prettiest place to knit and study I know of…

I did get a few rows knit, but the yarn keeps tangling, so half of my time is spent untangling the yarns. However, I did make a little progress. I have one more inch to knit for the balls of the toes, then I can pull off the nylon reinforcer until the heel. I also attempted a cast on of the Innsmouth bodice which can be found here on ravelry.com. I am on there, if you wish to find me.

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Cast on of the Innsmouth Bodice…I’m not supposed to join in the round, but I’m going to have to double check things here. Wish me luck. 

I got the first row cast on, and need to re-count the stitches and un-confuse myself before I start. This is a great deal of division for this shawl. I still have markers left, but just barely, and no small ones… 

Until next time, Happy knitting!

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The stuff that’s making the knitting a bit tighter, so I don’t wear through these the third time I wear them;-).

So, I’m learning to loosen up my knitting, just a bit. I was a little concerned when I realized the size difference with the reinforcing nylon yarn/thread. However, it doesn’t take that much space. I think the bigger challenge will be performing a repeated kitchener stitch to create the same reinforcement in the heel and toes of the other sock I knit.

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Where I was going to hike and knit today…but this pattern was too complicated for hiking.

I like what I believe it is doing for the yarn, but I thought about doing some hiking and knitting today…okay, trail walking–not serious hiking. It would have been worth it. But I realized, I don’t have a simple pair of walking and knitting socks, and I don’t know the trails I wanted to try well enough to knit a slightly complicated pattern.

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Progress on the back, at home tonight.

This pattern is getting easier, but I still can’t talk to people and knit a pattern row. Perhaps one of my Christmas skeins will go into Vanilla Latte socks…or I will create a striping or design effect with them so I can walk and knit. However, I did get some progress done, and I’m really trying to make more progress (get one of these projects done), so I can free up some needles and not feel so guilty about them. I’ll look into what’s next and update you next time.

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Excuse the shadow…but here’s a close up of how complicated the front is…

Until then, happy knitting.

Learning To Tink/Frog

June 28, 2018

One of the toughest things I had to learn for knitting was learning to tink, frog or essentially, rip out hours of work. The term frog it comes from repeatedly saying, “rippit, rippit, rippit…” as opposed to being an acronym you can use in polite company. Tink is simply knitting backwards…and hurts as much as frogging…and let’s not talk about unravelling, because when you realize you’ve put purl stitches on the soles of the feet again, (where it’s supposed to be stockinette) you become a little unraveled, as you know you will have to unravel the yarn.

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Pretty flowers I didn’t have to work for…almost make up for tinking…almost.

It’s all fun and games until a girl discovers her best option is to Tink, or frog it. Then again, once you frog the first time, and you cry crocodile tears over the hours of work you are ripping out…you go back to knitting and hopefully have a little energy left to knit, or you come back when you do. Then you knit a better project and you smile at the work you knew you could do.

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Shh…I’m still not tinking this one…I think you’ll understand…

You’re not happy about the tinking, but you’re satisfied with that final outcome, and you get a better sock, shawl, or scarf for it. I haven’t begun the bodice yet… Since the yarn wasn’t in to finish the scarf, I worked on the socks…

The single straight needle is correct…the two forming the V, however, require the tinking.

I was talking as I worked on the socks…can you tell? It’s part of why I purled the stockinette side again. I wasn’t supposed to purl here…However, tinking gets easier each time. It still hurts, there still may be some choice phrases muttered…but I know frogging will leave me in a better place later. So, it is only a slight disappointment, and I did get to show off the socks to explain how a real darning egg worked at a living history museum this weekend.

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I wish I’d brought the knitting bag upstairs, this is a great prop to show off a darning egg…wrong colors for the 1870’s, but still a useful prop.

In the meantime…here’s the plan. I’m going to place a spare needle about four rows down…picking u as many of those stitches as possible on each side, and completely unravel back to where I set the needle in. Then, I’m going to simply re-knit the rows as they are supposed to be knit, and hope more goes right this time. I may thread lifelines through as well, to make sure I get all the stitches as I begin to re-knit my work. Luckily, I didn’t get too far into this as I knit it incorrectly. Until next time, May your knitting be frog free, unless you are knitting a frog.

 

I confess, my knitting has been slightly neglected of late, but the Iris are blooming (with no help from me, thankfully).

1) Self-imposed deadlines kill knitting time: I’m not kidding, they really do. I had planned to do more evening knitting or early morning knitting, but then I got hopeful and I had a phone call made, and then plans were made…there may be knitting in the car next week.

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These lovely Iris flowers make me happy!

2) Certain volunteer activities might infringe on knitting time. However, I promote volunteering. It not only provides needed assistance and resources to others, the interactions you get from these exchanges are priceless. I did sneak in a round of knitting in public today as well.

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The socks I snuck in one round of easy knitting for this afternoon…

3) Complicated patterns infringe on knitting time…I may start a pair of vanilla latte socks for this, where I can simply knit a pattern up without much thinking required. As long as I have to follow a constantly changing sixteen stitch repeat or a “what the heck am I doing?” row for 216 stitches…there will be limited knitting in public.

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The back of the socks…don’t you think they’ll fit in a Victorian era home;-)

But I went to the Midland Center For The Arts Heritage Park training today, and I did think that not only the knitting but the wooden needles were period for the Victorian Gothic era…now i have many new subjects to learn about…Victorian furniture, dining accessories, kitchen tools and lending libraries. You guys may not hear the end of this, and yes, some sort of knitting that can be interrupted will be going with me…Now, which skein of yarn in the stash wishes to be vanilla latte? Or, do I take an extra shift and buy more yarn? Okay, okay, I heard you…extra shift it may be, but I’m checking the stash again…I may have just the thing…but that yarn wouldn’t be period…oh, I get your drift, now.

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This knitting may be tougher to pass…but it will be quite pretty, and I will likely have a simpler pair cast on by the time I volunteer…

4) Order take-out…cooking time also imposes on knitting time…There you have it, suggestions for finding more knitting time in your day…If you go anywhere, take the knitting with you, If you create a deadline, pad it with knitting time, if you knit a complicated pattern, cast on a simple pattern that will knit up easy and quick…and finally, order the take-out…especially if every recipe you’ve ever encountered takes twice as long as you planned. In the meantime, while I interrupt my knitting to look up books about this subject, allow me to ask: What other questions do you have about a hands on history house museum of the Victorian era? Let me know so I can look up answers before I show up for my first shift.

Finally, invest in books on tape when possible. That way you can read and knit…or at least play some poetry or comedy on youtube.com(or other streaming channel), to allow you to knit or sew while you get in some other forms of entertainment and some multi-tasking, while we are at it.

Until next time, Happy knitting.

…not once, but twice, Dear James got me some new needles.

 

  • Chiaogoo Red Lace Steel Circulars 40"  - 1
  • This could get exciting;-) He’s so good to me;-)

 

In the meantime, I’m playing “Are we there yet?” with the sock pattern, and hoping for the best for making two pair so large…I just may cast on a second sock shortly…but that will take some work and another gift finished and marked off the books before that happens.

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Need to work on settings…those are supposed to be green and purple…looks blue in this light…Perhaps as we knit on…p.s. one set of the new needles are covered.

I’ve also gotten this lovely large pair of knitting needles in size 10 (which are substituted for a size 9, because I’m a tight knitter). Since I have them, and I took the time to wind the skeins the hard way(the skiff is hiding, and the skeins weren’t sure they’d work with it anyways), I went ahead to cast on the Indian Cross Scarf by Marci Richardson from 101 Designer One Skein Wonders. It’s an interesting pattern requiring 216 stitches to be cast-on…This is probably the definition of love…in case you were wondering.

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Still…casting on 216 stitches is a lot of love…

“It’s only a few rows,” she told me. The first time I looked at the pattern, I thought it was twelve rows…anyone can put up with this, I thought. Then I read the pattern. Wait, you want me to knit 4 rows before I begin the pattern…okay, not bad. But that makes sixteen rows. Then I read the pattern…after row 12, it says “repeat rows 1-12 one more time.” It’ll be fun they said…but that’s 28 rows total. Then I read rows 1 and 2…you want me to do what?!?…I get to wrap the stitch three times every other stitch…in the next row, I get to drop it…This should be fun, she thought…see why I’ve spent so much time quilting. Alas, maybe it will knit up easier than it looks. It’s a lovely scarf, but I suspect it’s going to be a challenge to knit up…

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Almost there…just a couple more rows…then, more knitting;-)

So, while I knit up three more rows and work towards a needle change, I also got another pair of needles in a surprise shopping experience…yes, I’m broke…but dear James and I have a tacitly quiet agreement, and he’s given approval. If I put something in his amazon.com cart for a reasonable price…he checks out before he notices it and buys it for me…So, when I need new knitting needles (that week, not that day), I simply click on the pair to add them to his cart, and let him surprise me with them. I like this system. One day, I’ll remember to add a second set of rechargeable batteries for the camera;-).

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Getting to the heel of the matter;-)

In exchange, I promise to occasionally make him a tasty bacon covered meatloaf surprise on my nights off or other tasty dishes he likes. I earned those knitting needles this week, really.  It was a good meatloaf…and photos are not possible as it was a little too good to wait to take photos…Now to bag up the chicken soup for when I get sick.

 

Allow me to explain this situation…

Busy month

I have an insane graduate student instructor. Graduate students are supposed to be a little bit insane. I mean, those classes make your undergrad look like busy work. But when you add teaching and a touch (or about 1000% control freak and finger puppets on a thirty minute presentation of why she hates Freud) you get one of the craziest experiences ever, like open book open note weekly quizzes that don’t always match the reading and a Term Paper due April 1st at 5PM. This was not an April Fool’s. And yes, the same April fool’s day that housed Easter. I’m not a huge celebrator of Easter myself, but my family is, and I missed it because of this darned paper.

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Trying on the sock to see if I am ready for the increase…this lighting did not come out as well as I wished…

About the Conference

I also had a literacy conference to attend mid-month, which changed my sleep schedule from overnights to bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at eight a.m. I was too exhausted that night to even consider going down to the hotel bar Granite City (which had a great titled beer: Barn-Raising Irish Red; as if it were named for me). I considered knitting, but only brought the needles, not the pattern for the stealth argyles by Eunny Jang. Oops. I considered tying a quilt, but didn’t have the scissors to tie off more, so I tried sleeping and found the scissors as I was packing up the hotel room at those odd morning hours I don’t do. I also met a fellow knitter there who is from Midland, a town about 25 miles from me. I was so excited to chat about knitting, even though literacy is one of my first loves as well.

But I got some decent pictures…it was too cloudy for great ones…and Mackinaw is coming, I promise.

The view of the river from my hotel room…and yes, that’s Canada over there. I’ll spare you the traffic photos…for now.

In addition, I saw a certainly well-meaning post by someone in the blog world I greatly respect. I will be happy to be half as good as she is when I grow-up. Knit wise, professionally and blog wise…in addition to creatively. I will just say the post mentioned something I happen to do, and mostly because I do not have a budget to do it differently. But it hit home, so I will be looking into better options…mostly because she is right and I’m hoping to improve your knitting experience.

Lost And Found or Meeting Fellow Knitters

Yes, there was knitting this week, and great luck…which may be inspiring something even crazier. Let’s talk about that luck. After submitting the crazy term paper (due before the end of the term), I began studying for my Learning and Memory class. I also felt worn-out from a frenzied week of extra, semi-planned class work–which meant a cold was coming on. I do not have time to be sick this semester! So, I went to my class Tuesday afternoon, taking my knitting bag with me–like a good knitter. Later, in my classes, I thought I’d left my knitting bag in the car, and didn’t give it much thought. I did have a cold or other bug sneaking up on me.

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I must admit, I like this set-up for photos better…at least I got something accomplished at the hotel…

The next morning, I woke up early for a meeting and found an email in my inbox about a small sewing bag left outside of the room I have class in. If you can describe what’s in it, you can have it back. I thought: No,it’s not mine. I left mine in my car. But, wait…I don’t remember bringing my knitting bag out of the car. Maybe I did leave it behind at class. I then replied to the email with the laundry list of yarns and the type of needles, as these aren’t just any needles, and we confirmed it was my bag. I thanked her profusely as I’ve been working on this sock all semester.

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And here’s what the top of the foot looks like…It’s going to be an adventure to photograph this to show off the argyles. I may have to call in help;-)

She offered to teach me magic loop, and I thanked her heartily, but I’d already done it and didn’t love or hate it. Though we had a nice convo about knitting. I’ll have to stop in to show her these socks when I’m done. In the meantime, I’m finding a way to label each of my knitting bags, so it will only take a phone call to return it to me if I get sick while studying for a test again. In the meantime, I won’t show you photos of a half done heel, but I will say,

“Happy Knitting!”

 

Picking a Good Join…

February 8, 2018

The CopyCat C.C. (Colorado Chick) Beanie  by Emily Ingrid is just over half-way done. Yeah! I’m getting there. But this weekend, likely Sunday morning…I’ll probably be looking at You-tube videos of how to do a join. I’m leaning towards a Russian Join. I’ve tried it once with a video and liked it. I tried it a second time, and missed something. So, this is only my third time joining without a knot…Weigh in fellow knitters. What is your favorite join?

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See that tiny yarn ball…I’ll be working in a join soon…Have a fave? Tell me…

Someone asked this question on the Addicted to Sock Knitting Facebook page and there was a multitude of answers. Is there a join for each type of yarn? Perhaps some research is due as well. Though I’m up to my ears in research, and about to be up to my ears in Virginia Woolf. I won’t have much time for more than a good five minute video that tells me exactly what to do…not why they love something.

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That means less progress on the Stealth Argyles sock, by Eunny Jang but it’s coming along…

So, I need to hit the books once again. I’ve made some progress on the Stealth Argyles socks by Eunny Jang in Sock Knitting: Master Class by Ann Budd. When I checked the pattern about when to start increasing for the heel, I was a little surprised, but I’m getting there…later, not sooner. The socks will come once I get this hat finished…only twenty rows until the decrease! Wish me speedy ribbing and purling, please! And feel free to chime in with your favorite join technique or good video.

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Rather nicely, too. I need to find more time for knitting…

Wonder if I can get my college books put on tape so I can listen while I drive…though it would be hard to take notes. Until next time, Happy Knitting, & Joining!

Hello fellow knitters,

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The brim of the hat…soon to be folded over…

So, for the next three months(yes, only three months left of this crazy schedule–oh, sorry, that’s my reminder), I have scheduled a possible but crazy back to back set of three classes. Is my college kind enough to put them near each other? Not on my life. So, only three more months of dashing from class to class. I usually have enough time I don’t have to run, yet…which means I can knit, but some days the schedule feels tight if I even use the bathroom. And I was taught never to pass up that particular activitiy…never mind, you’re here for the knitting.

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…As I re-learn how to work with a provisional cast-on…

We’ll blame the Sam Adams Coffee Black Porter I’m testing as I unwind and prepare to hit the books. Alas, it is much harder to walk and read, than it is to walk and knit. Trust me, I run into fewer people knitting, and one of these patterns is quite repetitive…almost thankfully. Since today was warm enough to walk without gloves and extra ear protection, just barely…I decided to attempt a photo anyways….

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It’s truly hard to knit with one hand on the camera…but here’s a mock-up…

I’m just about ready to form the brim on the This hat is the Copy Cat C.C. Beanie by Emily Ingrid available thru the link.  hat…but we’ll save that for a study break, as it’s going to take some paying attention. I won’t be walking and knitting for this part. However, I’m enjoying a simplistic, quick knit…and I now “know” how to twist a stitch…maybe I’ll be able to recognize it someday if I do so again;-).

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Latest pair of socks…yes, that will be the bottom of my foot…

I also got in some appointment knitting on the latest sock…so that foot is seeing progress as well. I’m hoping to truly catch the stealth in the Stealth Argyle sock by  Eunny Jang. I’m still working up a pattern repeat at this time. I suspect I’ll be doing two of these though.

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And now for the visual interest…I believe I’m going to love these socks!

Until next time,

Happy Knitting!