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.

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I had conquered socks on double pointed needles. Since I was not going out to buy two circular needles in a size one or two, and I did not have any yarn I wished to make more socks with, I was in need of a new sort of project. I went wandering and looking; considering…a scarf; a sweater? I wasn’t sure I was ready to learn to knit cables yet. I’m told its not difficult, but I didn’t have as much desire. However, I’d heard about doll making from acquaintances in the Clare County Arts Council but found the classes too expensive and the dolls were not child friendly. I have two nieces who were turning 8 and 10 at this time, and I wanted to make them something special.

After searching the local library, I found a great book called McCall’s Big Book of Soft Toys and Dolls. This book is also available on http://www.amazon.com for about $6.00, give or take a few coins and shipping. Within, were a number of knit or crocheted dolls(as well as fun toys), some of which were crocheted into their clothes. I decided I didn’t want clothes knit/crocheted on and found a pattern with human looking dolls. The right shades of yarn had been gifted to me after my boyfriend’s grandmother passed on earlier that year. This pattern was even on straight needles.
I set to work making the Island sisters, though they didn’t look so Island/Hawaiian when I was done. I made two of them, which was interesting as I was knitting front sides and back sides. Now, I wish I had taken photos of these dolls before I shipped them off to my dear nieces in Florida for Christmas. This often happens at the last possible moment, unless I’m focusing on only gift and become ruthlessly organized the month before. I rarely become ruthlessly organized.

This photo is close, but mine were knit without the bathing suit and cap and more of a waistline (which I found kind of impressive). I hope to update this post with real photos soon.

(That said, If my brother is kind and loving, and hopefully entertained by my signature, “Your loving, teaching, know-it-all sister,” then I may be able to get photos for this blog. Note to self…must take more photos. Somehow, no one ever thought they’d hear me say those words.)

Back to the dolls…which I knit them one at a time. Then I used the extra yarn tied to my knot to sew the dolls together. Having grafted with my toe on the sock, I did attempt grafting the seams of these dolls together. I think it looked better in the end.

All went well, until I realized I made mistakes at the shin/leg of the dolls. Some of them I knit shorter than others…but knit patterns can be forgiving, as well as nieces who can’t read knitting patterns yet (and likely wouldn’t, if they could). I also bought the nieces off with some stash yarn for their crochet practice. After I sewed/grafted the knit dolls together, I stuffed them. Then I began to sew in eyes and a smile/smirk. The smirks suited my nieces, just a tad. Then I got to the challenge of adding hair. I’m not the best at adding hair, and decided to sew it on. Once I got the sections of hair sewn on, as uneven as they turned out(Hey, I’m not perfect here, I just try to be), I gave them another hair cut and tried to sew dresses for them. That’s another adventure. At this point, I’m hoping my sister-in-law with her mathematical eye for detail, fixed the hair shortly after their arrival. If she didn’t, she has my permission to re-set the hair now;-).

All in all, they enjoyed the dolls which went with a story I’d been writing for them. Perhaps I’ll return to the storyline soon. After all, Beach season will be returning…and these dolls can at least be washed.

Above: My inspiration for much of my knitting: My beautiful nieces, Jessica and Elizabeth in sunny Florida. I did create the dolls to look like them in that Jessica’s had dark blond/almost brown hair, and Lizzie’s had sunny yellow blond hair as she describes it. I do wish I had had time to sew them dresses…perhaps I will finish that this weekend, and debate about making them swimsuits for the beach season.

Now you’ve seen it in print…I’ve admitted I’m not perfect. I will have friends and relatives framing this quote for years to come…providing they come read this too…next…we’ll see how the yarn knits up…