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I was saving this pattern for closing to the end, because I figured it would be a straightforward and non-problematic knit. I moved it up the list though, with the whole “having to knit a lot per week” problem. And it turned out that this WAS a straightforward and non-problematic knit. I love when a plan falls together 🙂

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I learned a few interesting things during the creation of this square. First, I got the chance to practice the Navajo knitting technique, which I had been wanting to try for some time. Downside is that I worked through an entire skein of Lucy Neatby’s wonderful Celestial Merino in under three hours. That’s always slightly depressing — it’s one of those yarns that you want to keep just for giggles. The upside is that I was able to take this wonderfully fine yarn and bulk it up to the right weight for my squares.

Second, I realized after I had finished this square, that I have very few bright yarns in my stash. I should fix this. I don’t know when I became so neutral and monochrome. It’s a little depressing and sad.

Third is that Richard Branson is slightly crazy and extraordinarily strange and somewhat brilliant. It’s amazing what you learn on Netflix.

Movie: TEDTalks: Icons; TEDTalks: Chew On This / Beverage: Pepsi / Snack: Less of a snack and more like dinner, specifically leftover pepperoni pizza

Two squares in one week isn’t bad, but I still have a lot of catching up to do.

 

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I like this square. It was a fairly simple knit, and I had the whole pattern memorized within the first repeat. I also did some self-back-patting on the decision to use a variegated yarn for this square. I think the colour changes worked well with this pattern, much better than a solid colour would have. Overall — quite pleased.

Movie: Freakonomics / Beverage: Iced Tea / Snack: Grapes. Lots of grapes.

I’m still trying to play catch up with my squares, but this was a relatively quick and easy pattern to muddle my way through.

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There are a couple of rows that ere off in this — I couldn’t keep track of which part of the four-row repeat I was on — but the great thing about this pattern is that the mistakes just blend into the background to become unnoticeable. I think the choice of a variegated wool helped with that. Over all, this was done through a couple of lunches and a one-hour power knit before I lost the light yesterday afternoon. Highly successful.

I’m going to try — TRY! — to make it through another square this week. I might get at least halfway done. That would work for me.

Movie: No movies, but did watch a couple of TV shows and a soap opera / Beverage: Coffee with caramel / Snack: None — got my calories from my coffee 🙂

Okay, it’s possible that I’ve fallen quite a bit behind on my knitting schedule. But I have a really great excuse! And it doesn’t involve a dog eating my homework!!

I threw my back out. I wish I could say that it was done while training for a marathon or some other equally athletic endeavour, but the truth is that I tripped on a pair of boots on my way out my front door, and there was some falling and some twisting and some popping and then some pain. After a few days of pain and then a trip to the doctor and another trip to a physiotherapist, I found out that I had dislocated the left side of my T3 and T4 vertebrae.

my back....well, not MY back

For those of you who, like me, are not doctors, here’s some medical info: your vertebrae are sitting in such a way that they’re almost double-jointed. Think of it like they’re sitting in a cup. If you stand straight or lean backward, the bottom of the vertebrae move in the cup to the front of your body. If you lean forward, the vertebrae move back. I dislocated the side that goes to the back. Basically I was fine if I was standing or laying straight, but as soon as my body started to lean forward, the cup was broken and wasn’t being supported correctly. If you think that this sounds painful then believe me — you would be correct! Thankfully my physio guru is also trained in spinal manipulation, and she was able to pop the bones back into place. After a few weeks of stretching and medical attention, I’m finally able to move around normally again.

How does this affect my knitting you ask? I couldn’t sit. I could lay down fine, and walking around was no problem, but sitting on anything — a chair, the couch, my car, etc — was excruciatingly painful. I must admit that I tried knitting while standing and found myself slouching, which caused pain. Don’t even get me started on the “knitting while laying down” exercise. Suffice to say, I went for three whole weeks without knitting a stitch.

So, here we are at the end of the second week of March, and I’m three weeks behind in my squares. I’ve decided not to call an end to my goal. Instead we’ll refer to this as a slight gap in time. I’m going to aim to have four squares done by the end of next week. That should catch me up.

Unfortunately, I think I do have to say that I utterly failed in my monthly project resolution. Nothing was ever STARTED on my socks. It’s sad, really. I am still going to make them, as I’m determined to make my first pair of socks. But it’s going to have to be on my own schedule rather than something set.

After last week’s cable nightmare/triumph, I needed something quick and easy to work on this week. It doesn’t get much easier than a basic rib pattern.

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Of course, this wouldn’t be one of my projects unless something went wrong. In this particular case, it was a overestimation regarding the amount of fig coloured wool I had left. Instead of a 9×9 square, I have a 9×7-inch square. That said, there does seem to be a little bit of stretch to the wool, so I might be able to pull out the dimensions a little when I block it.

Quick, painless, and relatively thoughtless. Exactly what I needed this week.

I failed in my goal. My plan was to knit one square per week, and this particular square took a week and a few days. It wasn’t because of the difficulty of the project itself, although cabling does tend to take a little longer than straight knitting. I lost my focus and got caught up in other things — some good (a book I couldn’t put down), and some not-so-good (work, work, and more work) — and all of these things combined to create a missed deadline.

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So does this mean that I’m giving up? Hell to the No! This is a minor setback, but I still have a finished square that I am proud of and that I think turned out great, and that’s the important thing. This week’s square will be slightly less complicated, and in a month or two or three it will be like this week never happened.

Movie: Too many to keep track of / Beverage: Hot Chocolate / Snack: Caramilk Bars

I am the Queen of Procrastination. I have my own little lazy island where I put things off because I just can’t be bothered. This week, my knitting is suffering as a result.

Typically, I have my weekly square done by Monday. It’s now Wednesday and I’m about…..a third of the way through? It’s also the 8th of the month and I have yet to even cast on to my monthly project. Apparently I think the socks are going to make themselves.

In all fairness, it’s not that I don’t <i>want</i> to knit. I’ve been working a lot at the office and by the time I get home at the end of the day I’m tired and my eyes hurt and I have to make dinner and clean the bathroom and do laundry and the dog ate my homework and etc, etc, etc.

Yeah, I’m not buying it either.

I guess I need some inspiration. Or a good swift kick in the ass. Whichever comes first and requires little effort on my part.

self entrapment

It’s possible that I’ve set myself up for failure.

Okay, no, it’s definite. I’m in over my head.

Now, I’m not saying that I’m giving up. I’m not made for quitting. But I think I need to reorganize my approach to this. Maybe this pattern was just a little too much for a beginning sock knitter.

Thankfully, I have very helpful friends. One in particular was kind enough to lend me a book that should give me some guidance on the whole “two circular needles at once” thing. Because I’m really having a hard time getting it. I’m going to take some time this weekend, do a couple of practice runs, maybe even try an easy starter pair of socks. Then I’ll go back to my Quirky Socks and give them another shot.

comfort knitting

Most knitters/crocheters will tell you that there is nothing more comforting than a handmade scarf, all warm and soft and made with care. There’s a group of knitters just outside of Pittsburgh that would agree with that sentiment, and they’re doing what they can to pass along some comfort to women who need it.

When a woman seeks safety at an area domestic violence shelter, she is given a small token of comfort in the form of a scarf on that first night, thanks to a quiet good Samaritan in Forest Hills.

“It is given in those first few days as a sign of comfort and support from other women—to celebrate her taking that difficult first step, to just let her know that other women are supporting her, and prayers and love have been knitted into every stitch,” founder Barb Kochuba said. “This is something that resonates.”

[…]With continuous donations throughout the first year, which she is now completing, a total of 2,027 knitted items have been donated to six different shelters in the area. Comfort Scarves regularly produces 80 scarves a month with the help of knitters all over the world.

Each package comes with an individual, one of a kind, handmade scarf, along with a note that describes the beauty of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly, encouraging the woman to move forward in her life. The note also tells each woman about the Comfort Scarves community—ensuring her that she is not alone.

“It takes a lot to make that step,” she said. “Most of these women have never received a handmade gift.”

Anyone looking to contribute to this project should contact the Comfort Scarves of Southern Pennsylvania group.

My 2012 Project Resolution is all about trying something new. I’ve been knitting for well over a decade, and I’ve never made a pair of socks before. No time to start like the present! My February 2012 project is going to be a pair of Quirky Socks.

This project is almost completely gifted. True story. The pattern is from a magazine that my sister gave me for Christmas. The yarn is from my recently acquired gift stash — four skeins of Cascade Eco+ bulky yarn in two colours. And I bought the DPNs using a gift card that I had been given. I love knitting projects that require very little in the way of money!

I’m making a few alterations to the pattern, specifically in regards to the weight of the yarn. The pattern calls for a worsted weight yarn, but I think the bulkier Cascade yarn might work with my foot size (I have big feet). We’ll give it a shot and see. Worst thing that happens is I take them apart and start again. Name one knitter who’s never had to do that before 😉


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