With Finality

Today I am the bearer of bad news for all of my readers – I am closing down “thetravellingsock”. It has been a great experience, but the time has come to close the doors on this blog.

I’ve enjoyed my blogging experience thus far, but I haven’t been blogging properly for the last couple of weeks, due to school work. As I finished midterms on Saturday, I realized that I hadn’t missed the blog that much. Though I enjoy reading others’ blogs, I am missing the spark that used to be the driving force behind this one.

I want to thank all of the faithful readers who have been reading since the beginning, and also those that pop by once in a while.

I will be finishing the sweater in due time, but it won’t be for a while yet. Until then, I will remain, your tireless sock knitter.

Thank you so much for the ride; I’ve had lots of fun and I hope you have too!

–thetravellingsock

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The Studying Sock

Studying + Knitting

That’s the detritus of a university student/knitter who has a biochemistry midterm in two days…

A very learned sock

The revelation that I can knit and study at the same time has led to a lot of progress on my Dad’s socks. I dread to think what will happen when I get to the toe.

The mittens!

The mittens, on the other hand, have taken more of a backseat role. I have definitely been working on them (onto the left hand chart!) but they are nowhere near as close to completion as I had hoped. I work on them when I take my big study breaks, and they’re coming along slowly. I love the parts that I’ve done so far, but I can’t wait to start seeing the flower motif take shape!

The studying/sock knitting is going to continue until next Saturday when I have my last midterm, in genetics. Only 3 more to go… Biochem, equine science, and genetics, then I’m free of midterms! I’m just hoping that the sock knitting will last until then. Who knows, I could be done all of my Christmas knitting by next weekend!

 

 

A Breakthrough

Folks, there’s been a breakthrough.

I can knit and read at the same time. Nothing major, just plain old stockinette stitch. Still, that’s good enough for me.

I made this discovery at around 8:50 pm last night, and that’s all that got me through my studying for the rest of the evening. The needles kept me awake as I read through my biochem notes. My midterm is on Saturday, and I’ve been studying as much as I can for it.

Plain old stockinette, you ask? But of course! I have a pair of plain vanilla socks on the go for my Dad for Christmas. Perfect for studying. When I get to the toe, I’ll just have to put them aside and see if my brain is advanced enough to do some k1, p1 on my sweater. Can’t be too difficult. I feel as if I’m going to have an enormous repertoire of knitted things to blog about soon. That’s good, since I made a trip to a craft store on Saturday on my way home. I bought two new skeins of yarn that have yet to be introduced to the blog. They don’t fit in the yarn bin, so I guess I had better get going!

Added bonus? Knitting while studying actually makes me want to study.

(I’m aware that my mittens are far too complicated to work on while I’m studying. I’ve moved my expectations for finishing back a little bit… I’m not even finished the cuff yet.)

Rainy Day Mittens

That’s what my new obsession is… My mittens. As I mentioned in Friday’s post, the pattern is Chrysanthemums, and boy is it a challenging pattern. The cuff was the most challenging… A picot edge, but done in such a strange way. It took me a good hour just to get the entire cuff done. Go have a look at the pattern if you don’t believe me.

The good news is, they’re looking great so far. The bad news is, I haven’t worked on anything else since last Thursday. Tonight I’m planning to do some work on my Dad’s Christmas socks, then a little on the mittens before I go to bed.

I’m completely and utterly in love with these mittens. Despite the fact I have to use spell check every time I try to write their name, they are wonderful. I’ve been dreaming of wearing them since I cast on, and I have unrealistic notions in my head about finishing them in time to wear this coming weekend.

My brain seems to have forgotten that I’m right in the middle of midterms.

My new mittens!

I’ve been trying to knit with the two colours more efficiently. I haven’t done much colourwork, so I’ve been trying not to let go of each colour as I need the other. It’s been difficult… At first, I tried having one colour in each hand, but the one in my left always had uneven tension. I’ve now got a system worked out where I hold them both in my right hand, and then just use a different position on my finger for each strand.

A closeup of the cuff

It’s been a learning experience, and I’m sure it will be more of one before these mittens are done. I just hope my infatuation lasts to see them through!

Adventuring 2.0

I thought I was going adventuring a few weeks ago… That day has nothing on today.

After my midterm (which went very well, thanks for asking. I know the dairy cow life cycle inside and out), I hopped on a downtown bus and crossed something off the 101 Things list that I’ve been wanting to do for a while. I visited my local yarn store.

To say I was overwhelmed and delighted is an understatement. I have never seen so much high quality yarn in my life! Unfortunately, most of it cost more than my weekly grocery budget, but it was amazing.

I’ve never seen alpaca before, and I can’t believe what I was missing out on all these years! I wanted to go and buy all of it… The only problem I have with it (other than expense of course) is that it isn’t washable. What I would give for washable alpaca. Probably my first born child.

The lady working was wonderfully helpful and nice. She said that lots of young people come to their knit nights. My roommate crochets, so she said she would love to come with me sometime. I’m feeling a new ritual coming on…

I showed the lady the pattern I wanted to knit in order to feed my mitten obsession… She blanched and said “Wow, you’re brave”. That doesn’t sound too promising for my first go round with the stranded mitten patterns, but we’ll see how it goes.

Yes, that means I caved, and got mitten yarn. My hands have been cold all week, and it’s not cold enough yet to dig out my real mittens.

The yarn is Naturally Baby Haven, made in New Zealand. It’s 100% superwash merino. I’ve got colours #314 and #315. The pattern I’m planning on making is Chrysanthemum. That’s the plan anyway… We’ll see how long it takes me to get frustrated with all of the colourwork.

Yarn and pumpkins!

I also got some cute yarn ball stitch markers. I’m going to do a row of the sweater just so I can use them!

After my trip to the yarn store, I hopped on a bus and headed to the mall. I really needed a new travel mug, since mine was getting worn out. I picked one up from my favourite tea store – David’s Tea. They sell the greatest loose leaf teas, and that’s where my old travel mug came from. I invested in a sleek glass traveller… Great for someone who loves tea as much as I do! I also couldn’t resist buying their newest kind of tea, called “Stormy Night”, which includes vanilla, chocolate, coconut, and cinnamon. It sounds delicious and I can’t wait to try it!

My haul from David’s Tea!

It was quite the adventure. I’m going home tomorrow, and as usual, my biggest conundrum is what knitting to bring! Will it be the mittens, which require gauge and focus; the socks, which are great mindless knitting; or the big sweater, which hasn’t been getting any love lately?

Only time will tell. Either way, I’ll be going home with tea and yarn… Some of my favourite things.

These Socks Are Killing Me

I swear. This is the fourth time that I’ve ripped them out. This time, it was because I didn’t have the right size. Apparently, my father has extra-large, extra-wide feet… According to this pattern anyway.

I am beyond frustration, but these socks will be finished. They are coming with me this weekend, and I’ll finally get them going properly. No more ripping out, no more re-casting on.

I don’t know if I’ve ever done this much frogging on something so small and simple. I guess there’s a first time for everything! I’ll be glad when they are finished and I can start something else.

Now, back to packing. I thought I had everything in the two bags I brought, but it turns out that I forgot to throw in the knitting. I don’t know where I’m going to put it, but I’ll find a place. I’m sure of it.

I probably won’t be able to post until Tuesday, so until then, enjoy the weekend. For all of my Canadian readers, happy Thanksgiving!

The Smell of Flowers

Sometimes, things don’t go as planned. Like socks, for instance.

Those socks are out to get me. I swear. This morning, after finishing some of the cable section of the leg, I realized that using self-striping yarn for cabled socks isn’t too intelligent. I couldn’t see the cables at all. The sock pattern is really beautiful, and I didn’t want it to go to waste.

So what’s a girl to do? The only thing she could in a situation like this. We had a breakup. I ripped them back, completely and utterly. I’m planning to use that pattern for some yarn that I have for my brother for Christmas.

I re-wound the yarn and did a little gauge, and I’m planning to cast on for some vanilla socks for this wonderful yarn. I hope my dad doesn’t mind. Somehow, I don’t think he’ll notice too much.

In other news, movies and sweater-knitting nights are my favourite.

The sweater!

There it is (although apparently it turned out blurry). I’ve got 9 inches done so far! I love working with the yarn… It’s my favourite kind for a reason. It’s squishy and warm. I can’t wait for this thing to be a sweater. The pattern is just mindless enough for me to get really into a movie and yet still stay awake.

I love it.

As a result, I’m totally undecided as to what to bring home this weekend in terms of knitting. It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, which means a long weekend. I’m actually going to Toronto to compete at the National level with Pony Club. I’m excited, though not as excited as last year. That was my first year and we travelled to Calgary. I got to go to Spruce Meadows, and it was definitely a very cool experience. This year it’s a little closer to home, but I’m sure it will be a lot of fun. I’ll be heading home for Monday and most of Tuesday. I’m glad – I miss my family and of course my horses.

This begs the question… What to bring with me? I won’t have time to knit while I’m at Nationals, but I will have time when I’m at home. I’ve actually been thinking about it for about a week! You can tell where my priorities are…

Now. If you’ll excuse me, I have to go and do some studying for Nationals this weekend. There may be knitting. But most of all, there will be the smell of flowers.

Flowers from my boyfriend, just because. He’s the best.