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Happy New Year!

Our long New Year weekend turned out to be full of surprises! The first surprise was that our new to us piano fit in the back of the Jeep with the back seats folded down. The second was that pianos are much lighter than I had imagined. Don’t get me wrong, this sucker isn’t light, but I was able to pick up one end by myself when we were finally positioning it. We ended up moving almost every last piece of furniture in our living room and bedroom so that we could make a new home for this piano. It was a ton of work but we got it done.

While moving things, we discovered the need to pick up a few small items at Lowe’s and I decided it was finally time to take the plunge and make myself a PVC niddy noddy. I went on Pinterest and used this website for a pattern. I have never cut PVC before so that was an experience. We have a tube cutter and it worked nicely. I do not have very strong hands, so it took a while but I got all the pieces cut and put together. It didn’t help much that I was sitting in the floor cutting so the dogs felt that they needed to be loved on, but I got it done! My next project will be a yarn swift. I will likely make a matching PVC swift but I would love to make a wooden one. That would require purchasing tools to make it so I feel like making a PVC one first may be a good idea. After that I will probably be purchasing a ball winder.

I used my new niddy noddy to split a hank of yarn in two so I can do a pair of socks for Dustin two at a time. It worked nicely. I will cast them on tonight probably. 

New Year. New piano. New house arrangement. New yarn accessories. Not a bad start for 2018. Let’s keep the new coming! 

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Christmas Knitting

I feel like people assume that handmade items are cheap and ugly. The popular thing in the last few years is the ugly Christmas sweater. Many of them are not very attractive for anyone who doesn’t still get gifts from Santa and some are truly hideous. Most are not the handknit pullovers of the past, but store bought sweatshirts and sweaters that adorn yuletide party goers, but it still hurts my heart a bit to see my craft of choice portrayed in such a light. 

I do not knit ugly Christmas sweaters, and I am very particular who I will knit a gift for. If I feel that an item will not be used or appreciated, I will not spend the time choosing a project, picking the yarn, and the hours upon hours knitting every single stitch. This year I did decide to knit a gift. My boyfriend’s dad has asked a few times for a pair of handknit socks. Normally I don’t knit socks as a gift because they are small and I don’t feel like most people get excited over a pair of socks, but since he spends a significant amount of time outdoors, I thought warm feet would be nice. Working full time and having a busy schedule, time to knit can be scarce. Let me tell you I got down to the wire on this gift. I managed to finish them at 4AM Christmas morning. Just hours to spare until his parents came to visit, but I completed them! I haven’t stayed up that late in ages and don’t plan on it again for a long time. 

Christmas even I received a text with a picture that they fit. I hope he truly enjoys them. If I decide to knit anything for Christmas next year, if it isn’t complete before Thanksgiving, it won’t be given. Maybe. 

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SUP boarding and knitting

I have a new goal in life. I want to go to Tahiti and find a nice spot with a good view and sit down on a sup board and knit. Until I can make it to Tahiti, I will take Lake Desoto since it is a mile from my house. I am itching to knit. Time has been so limited lately with this crazy move, being in school full time, and having my hubby so far away, that every last second has been devoted to either moving and all that entails, school work, or my kid. Now that we are moved, I need to check out the LYS. I also need to plan a home for my yarn. I haven’t decided yet where it will live. It is a hard decision since I have so much room!

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Life changes

Things have been kind of crazy for me lately. Unfortunately that means that I haven’t been making much time for knitting. I have done a little cross stitching here and there, but mostly I have been keeping busy with other things.

First, I was a crazy person and decided that in my first semester back to school, I was going to take 5 classes. Not my smartest move ever. All but one of my classes is online so I can work on them as I have time throughout the day, which lately has been been less often than I had anticipated, but more on that later. I have my little guy in mother’s day out twice a week, which has been helpful, but 5 classes is still 5 classes.

My dear husband’s work decided that the very first week that I had school that they wanted him to go down and train in Hot Springs for the week, which meant that I had all the responsibilities of being in school and more or less taking care of the kiddo by myself, minus Wednesday evening when my mom watches him while I am in class. So basically it turned out that this wasn’t a training deal, but more of a job interview. He came home on Friday and they told him that he needed to be back down there the following Tuesday (the day after Labor Day) to be the new sales manager for that branch. Yay! On one hand we are very excited for this move and for the promotion, but on the other hand, living in two places and having to juggle full time school and having a kid isn’t easy. If I had known that this was going to be happening this soon, I would have taken less of a load, but I know I can do it.

Like I said, we are very excited for the move. We got a townhouse in the village that is huge and I think will fit us so well. I am ready to be down there and settled. Have I mentioned that I am going to school full time, have a kid, and am alone in packing and everything? I am sorry to complain, but I am having a rough day and am so ready to be with my husband more than just on the weekends.

Today is a really hard day for me. Back in March, my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He has been going through chemo since then and it has definitely taken its toll on him. A few weeks ago, he was hospitalized because they thought he had pneumonia, but it turns out he had internal bleeding. They gave him a blood transfusion, which wasn’t his first one, and won’t be his last either. They finally did an EGD last night and found that the internal bleeding is caused by a lesion in his stomach that they can not fix and is only getting worse. Hubby and I went and sat up in ICU with him for a while today. I wish more than anything that I didn’t have be home for school and I could sit with my daddy all night long. I wish I could make this better or easier for him or something but there isn’t anything that I can do. The hospital is too far away for me to be able to spend much time up there, because I can’t leave my kiddo all the time.

While at the hospital today, I got a lot of cross stitching done, though. I don’t have any knitting that I felt like working on. I just finished a Tardis and am now working on a Dumbledore by weelittlestitches for my stepson for Christmas. The Tardis is for me.

So it may be a while before I have any more knitting to post, sadly. I am itching to do some knits for Halloween, but at this point, it is not a priority.

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The gauge didn’t lie

I rarely do a gauge swatch. I understand the importance of them but I am usually right on gauge so I don’t waste time with a swatch. I wanted to knit a particular pair of socks, however I only have the next size up of needle so I decided to spend some quality time with a gauge swatch. The thing about gauge swatches is, you can’t fudge them very well so when you know that you are a stitch larger, you have to listen to the swatch or it doesn’t do you a bit of good. I speak from very recent experience. I knew it was off but I thought maybe it wasn’t that far off so I could get by with it. Guess who is going to be frogging her sock that is made for a giant. Luckily I was only a couple of inches into it so there isn’t a lot of progress lost.

I want to talk for just a moment about the pattern that I was knitting before I realized my mistake. I chose the My Cup of Tea Socks for this project because I really liked the crocus pattern on the front. I did a twisted german cast on, which is one of my favorites because it is sturdy but has a lot of stretch to it and leaves a nice edge. The ribbing is different. I have mixed feelings about it. It isn’t a K1 P1 or K2 P2 or anything like that but a weird combination of the two. I think that it is that way so that the patterning on the front wouldn’t look strange. Sometimes when you have ribbing followed by patterning directly underneath, it can make things look a little out of shape. Either way, it made the ribbing slightly more difficult because I actually had to look at my knitting. I only made it through the ribbing and one full pattern repeat before I accepted the fact that this sock was going to be huge, but the pattern isn’t horribly difficult. The back of the sock is in St st and the front has a pattern which is basically 12 stitches forward and then backward. Since I didn’t get to the heel, I don’t know for sure, but it looked a little strange. I probably would have substituted the heel for like an afterthought heel or something. I will likely knit this pattern again at a later time with either a lighter yarn or the correct size needles.

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The time factor

Things have gotten interesting the last few weeks. I have started watching a little girl during the day while her mom works. She is almost 5 and is an awesome little girl. She’s energetic to say the least, but we have fun. I don’t trust her around my knitting yet. She loves doing art, but I am afraid that my knitting will end up being part of that so for now, it stays hidden. I’m going to let her play with some of my acrylic yarn soon, but I’m waiting until things are a little more settled. We’ve been trying to find balance in everything and, while we aren’t there yet, we are getting there. I’m pretty pooped by the time I get dinner done, basic chores and all that so knitting has not been progressing well. I have managed a few rows on my socks while sitting sideways in my chair and having the back between us! Lol! And I’ve finished another inch or so on the sweater for DH. I’m almost to the shaping! I’m going to go work on that now. I’m going to try to start getting up early in the mornings and get more time for me.

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Operation Sock Drawer Begins

My sock drawer is a very sad sock drawer. I have three pairs of knitted socks and one of those belongs to my darling husband. I am ashamed of myself! Thanks the The Knitmore Girls and mentioning #operationsockdrawer in their podcast. These ladies are such wonderful enablers. If you haven’t given them a listen, check out their podcast. I suggest starting with Episode 247 because I believe that is their first mention of operation sock drawer (side note, I mistyped mention and it autocorrected to merino! Ha!). I love wearing hand knit socks. I used to have another pair that I received in a swap, but I don’t know where the other pair went to. I really want to take the 52 pair plunge. That would ensure that the whole family has plenty of socks to wear, but realistically I am more likely to complete 12 pairs in the next year. I have 3 pairs of socks worth of sock yarn in my stash so we will see how far I get. I see so many socks out there that I love and I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations on an Etsy shop or two, that I could pick up some pretty hand dyed and/or hand spun sock yarn. I have pictured my current sock stash and the socks I cast on yesterday.

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