A Staggering Event of Heartbreaking Frogging

Dear Connie, remember Sake?  Heavily patterned Cookie A sock that, while beautiful, had a fatal flaw.

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It didn’t fit.  The picture above is the result of quite a lot of tugging and stretching and yanking.  But there was one cable that wrapped around the instep and ankle and WOULD NOT BUDGE.  The yarn, SweetGeorgia Yarns Tough Love Sock, was too beautiful to waste on a pair of socks that were never going to be fully operational.  So I frogged it.

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It wasn’t easy, but this article helped with the how-to.  I unpicked the kitchener at the toe and wrapped it around a glass as it unraveled – just for starters.2014-10-22 17.54.19

Then I wrapped it loosely around a tissue box and tied it in 4 places to keep it from tangling.2014-10-22 17.56.23

A quick bath in some Soak…2014-10-22 21.30.25

…and quite a few days drying on this hotel coat hanger.2014-10-25 15.28.04Now that it’s dry, I’ll ball it back up.  I think I’ll substitute my previously-planned Dream in Color Everlasting with this more tonal yarn for the Knot Socks we’ll be starting next.  It will show off the pattern nicely, I think.

In other news, I’m coming home soon.  The days can’t go fast enough.

Love, Lindsay

Edited to Add:

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Of course, I was remiss in not including this photo of our major frog-a-thon and the ensuing shenanigans.

Finished! Wrap-round Jacket

Dear Connie,

Done at last!  I’ve been speeding through this cardigan because a) I wanted to wear it, and b) I get to go home soon (!!!!) and I wanted it to be finished before I left.

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Pattern: Drops 118-19 Wrap-round jacket

Yarn: Berroco Lago in Black

Needle: US 9

The yarn is lovely, soft, and breathable, although seaming was kind of a bear.  I cut it pretty close on yardage.  What I was left with could have comprised a foot of yarn, if it had all been in one piece.

There were some wrong turns in the finishing process.  Namely, I sewed one of the i-cord ties to the bottom corner instead of the middle where it belonged.  When I tried to unravel it to move it, I ended up unraveling the cast on edge instead!  All this with next to no yarn left.  It was pretty nerve-racking.

But it’s done now, and was comfy, cute and flattering.  Now I resume the slog towards finishing the last of the Christmas knitting.  Wish me luck!

Love, Lindsay

Knitting that’s not socks

Dear Lindsay,

As I mentioned in last week’s post, I have a baby gift with a deadline, so I’m not knitting socks at the moment, but I am knitting. It’s my favorite baby sweater pattern, the Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann. I’m well into the amorphous blob stage at the moment, and it’s a quick project, so just another evening or two of knitting time, and then a search for buttons for this, and if I have enough yarn left over, a matching hat. Piece o’ cake to finish by November 2.

2014-10-20 12.25.20It’s pretty eye-searingly neon, so only click to embiggen the picture if you’re wearing sunglasses. Otherwise you might burn your retinas. Me, I love it, and the baby’s mama also loves bright colors, so it works out well for all of us. In case you’re wondering what the yarn is, so you can avoid it, it’s Neon Now by Plymouth in the imaginatively named colorway “3.”  I actually purchased a different fluorescent neon yarn with this project in mind on our last yarn crawl (what a lovely day that was), but the colorway turned out to be too wrong when the baby turned out to not be a girl. That’s just more yarn for socks for me, right?

I want there to be another paragraph here that I can start with, “In other news,” but there’s really not all that much other news. I’m working on writing the same paper I was working on last week (the articles that I’m using for my research are really dense and scientific, so it takes a fair amount of time for me to get the information out of them and into layman-like terms; this is for an English Composition class after all, not chemistry).  It’s raining a lot now. It gets dark much earlier than it did in the summer, and so I have to get used to going out into the world when it’s dark now if I want to leave the house after work, which I occasionally do. I’m watching and enjoying more new TV shows than I thought I would for this fall (Marry Me is particularly funny, the pilot had me in tears from laughing so hard). The Seahawks are not winning as much as I would like. Oh, and I miss you on Sunday mornings (and other times, but especially then). I suspect that will continue to be the case.

Meanwhile, the research that I spoke of earlier continues to refuse to do itself. Can’t wait to see what you’ve been working on (knitting wise).

Love,

Connie

A postscript to Monday Funday

Dear Lindsay,

SNL really is a snoozefest this year, except for Weekend Update (and Hozier was on this week; quite lovely live). It must be something in the writer’s room, because the cast is, by and large, doing a good job with what they have to work with, but GIGO, right? This is my way of saying that I had some knitting time last night.

Anyway, as you can see, I finally finished the Rose Ribs, and I’m so glad to have them in my sock drawer. They turned out really well.

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Project Specs
Pattern: Rose Ribs by Evelyn A. Clark
Source: Sock Knitting Master Class (AKA the book from which we are knitting along)
Yarn: KnitPicks Bare fingering, which was custom dyed for me by my friend Kiersten
Needle: US 1 (the small 1), 2.25 mm
Time Taken: In terms of the calendar 3-1/2 months. In terms of knitting time, I’m thinking about 25-30 hours, maybe less.

I actually have a BSJ to make, and the deadline is rapidly approaching, and then I’ll dive into the Knot Socks (or maybe I’ll go crazy and work on more than 1 project at a time).

Can’t wait to see what you’re working on next.

Love,

Connie

Monday Funday

Well progress has been made. I knitted 3 more repeats on the foot of the sock yesterday, and now I have 3 more to do plus the toe. I might have finished, but I felt like I was bringing some bad mojo to the Seahawks, and I know it’s completely irrational, but when it comes to sports, I can be superstitious.

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Anyway, the sock is within spitting distance of being done, and I’ve finally completed and submitted a task for school (it felt like it been a while, and it has been 42 days since I did a paper, because my last 2 classes were proctored exams). Today was the first half of Composition II in which I shall write a 10-15 page paper on the health benefits of drinking coffee (there are a lot). For the first task, it was thesis statement and annotated bibliography. For the second part, I get to take out the annotations, use the sources I’ve found, and write my paper. It’s actually going pretty well, and since I’m passionate about my love of coffee, it’s not difficult to spend time with it.

We went to see Gone Girl this afternoon. I must say that Gillian Flynn adapted her novel to the screen well, which is making me wonder what the adaptation of Dark Places is going to be like (apparently it’s not coming out here until sometime next year). There were a few details from the book that I would have liked to have seen in the movie, but it was 2:29 long as it is (don’t have a lot to drink before you see it), and it would have been really butt-numbing if it were any longer.  It felt like we may have been the only people in the theater this afternoon who had read the book, because everyone else around us registered their surprise quite vocally when the plot twisted. Maybe movie theaters should have special, closed off, sections for those of us who have already read the book before we see a movie that could be soundproofed from those who aren’t in the know. Does that seem like a workable plan? Maybe special matinee shows would be in order. I believe it’s an idea whose time has come.

Anyway, I’m going to close this out now. Think I’ll pick up the sock and see how much knitting I can get done while watching Saturday Night Live on Hulu. I imagine a fair bit; this season, so far, the funniest (and kind of only funny) part of the show is Weekend Update. The rest has been a snoozefest; I think it might be in a down season.

Miss you.

Love,

Connie

The Wins and Losses of Typhoon Vongfong

Dear Connie,

Holy.  Shit.  I did a lot of knitting this weekend.

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I finished the back of this sweater; I am currently speeding up the right front.

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I finished this little guy.  I named him Dudley, but I have no doubt Leah will name him something far more inventive…like Dragon.  For the duration of the weekend, I would parade him in front of the camera during Facetime and make him roar, and Leah would laugh hysterically.  That felt really good.

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I finished Nantucket Red.  To correct the problem with the sleeves I mentioned last week, I ended up tearing it out at the seam, ripping the sleeve back to before the sleeve cap, and re-writing it to suit an actual human being’s arm.  I added my mods to my Rav page.  For finishing – the buttons are at home in the states, and I may end up taking it in a little around the waist line, but otherwise I am quite pleased.

In “other than quite pleased” news, please observe the socks below.

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As you may have noticed, the sock on the left is about a half an inch taller in the leg than the sock on the right.  This is not an optical illusion; I am just careless.  Since discovering this error I have torn the unfinished sock back to before the heel.  I think it would have bothered me too much to leave as-is.

In other news, Vongfong has passed over us with minimal damage.  Not much to report there, actually.  Pretty much every building on Okinawa is a concrete fortress; we are built to last here.

Miss you!

Love, Lindsay

A week full of frustration

Dear Lindsay,

I have no knitting to show for my efforts this week. None at all. I’m exactly where I was last Monday in knitting terms. School has been a rough go this week as the first topic I chose for my research paper, as it turns out, is unsupported by the kind of data and sources that are required, so I have to either change my topic or change my thesis statement. I’m ambivalent about both options, and about the topic I chose first, which means I’m likely going to choose a new topic. For both of the projects that I’m stuck on, part of the problem is that they tell me that the subjects I choose should be related to the career I hope to have once I have my degree. Since I’m not entirely sure what direction I plan to take this degree in, other than one that leads me out of the house, I feel sort of rootless when it comes to picking topics. Literally every time I thought about knitting this week I was either working and really not able to do it or overwhelmed by a feeling that I should be sitting where I am now trying to work on school. Also, hot flashes are back with a vengeance which makes the prospect of handling wool less than appealing. I am super bummed that that I did not achieve my knitting goals this week. That’s never my favorite thing to have to report.

On the upside, I am enjoying my new job. Psychiatric work is really interesting, and it’s been a couple of weeks since I had to listen to a physician describe the interior of a colon, which is a huge plus. I’m still building speed and getting used to all the idiosyncrasies of the platform while simultaneously biting my tongue about some of the inefficiencies and ways that things could be done better. Anytime I have to take my hands off the keyboard and put them on the mouse to perform a function, it makes me just insane with rage, but I’m dealing with it.

Meanwhile, I’m sure you’re counting down the days until you are back with your family and until you have enough towels available so that you can properly block a sweater. Hard to believe that a hotel in Okinawa would not have enough towels in the room for you to perform your blocking properly; don’t they know that knitting happens on TDYs?

Love,

Connie