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.)

Sock Woman

It’s a bird, it’s a plane… it’s Sock Woman!

She hides in the most unlikely of places, amongst the detritus of a University student.

She only comes out in the wee hours of the night, when the roommates are asleep and reruns of the Bachelor are on.

No one knows if she is real, or if she is just a midterm-crazed student with a bad case of “just one more row” syndrome.

The doings of Sock Woman

Last night she paid a visit to the third house on the left. She left the evidence of her progress strewn among genetics assignments and grocery lists.

She finished the heel flap. Turned the heel. Most of the gusset.

Only you can guess when and where Sock Woman will strike again.

Thanksgiving Blues

Today is one of those days where we must come back to reality. Everyone I know is in a down mood… I think it’s the lack of turkey and family. We’ve all come back to the reality that is midterms, lack of sleep, and stress.

For me, it’s not that bad. I have this weekend at home to look forward to, and only one midterm this week. I’ll have a decent amount of knitting time, and I hope to get these socks off the ground. The sweater is going to have to go on another hiatus for the time being, while the Christmas knitting consumes me.

Since I’ve exhausted my supply of television shows to watch at the present time, I’ve taken to listening to audiobooks while I knit. I’m loving it so far… It’s intellectually stimulating, and you don’t have to look at anything but your knitting while you do so. I can get these audiobooks free from my library at home online. It’s great for me, since it’s completely free and allows me to continue to utilize my library privileges while I’m here at school. I got completely sick of the library while I worked there this summer, but I’ve been away long enough that I’m craving books again.

To make matters worse, my boyfriend and I have been working our way through the Harry Potter movie series, and now all I want to do is go and read the books again. It’s actually quite difficult to choose between reading and knitting during my down time sometimes. I love the audiobooks; this way, I don’t have to choose.

Leftovers!

I’ve been staving off the Thanksgiving Blues with leftovers… Above was tonight’s meal. My mom came by yesterday to drop off some food. I love holidays that involve leftovers!

Now, time for some knitting and a cup of tea. I’ll get to that school work eventually.

Meant to be

I’m beginning to wonder if this sweater is meant to be.

After a long shopping session on Saturday, I finally picked out my yarn and bought 15 skeins of it. I shared photos yesterday. So, I started to work on my gauge. I didn’t get the recommended gauge, of course (because really, who does?).

I went to look for bigger needles. Did I have the next size up? Of course not. That would be too simple. So I decided to try to get gauge with two needle sizes up.

I was still half an inch off, and it was beginning to look like lace, since the needles were way too big for the yarn. Clearly I needed to get some thicker yarn.

So, off I went to the yarn store, bulging bag of yarn in tow. I walked up to the store, to find the door locked. Lovely. This yarn wasn’t meant to be.

This morning it was raining, so I didn’t get to ride the horses. Instead, I got ready for work early and went to the yarn store beforehand. I got the old yarn returned, and went to look for some different stuff. I found a colour I liked, but do you think they had enough? Of course not. But, after some careful sleuthing, we found enough in the same die lot!

The replacement yarn is Paton’s Shetland Chunky in Soft Teal. I’m excited to start on it. I’m really hoping that I can use my size 8’s, because they are the only wooden needles I own, and I’m rather fond of the wooden needles for chunkier stuff.

One of these days I will actually cast on for this silly sweater.

The Multiple Uses of Knitting Needles

Things I have learned about knitting in the past year:

1. If you tell your boyfriend you knit, he’s going to want a pair of socks. Ensure that you explain the Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater so that he doesn’t ask for a sweater.

2. Knitting needles double as head scratchers, cat toys, and pointers.

3. Knitting while attempting to cuddle with another person is exceedingly difficult. I have become a pro.

4. Taking up the entire couch with a pattern, various needles, and balls of yarn, is unacceptable when living in a house of 5.

5. Put away all yarn bits when you have a cat.

6. Having scissors stashed in multiple locations is a good idea. You can never find them when you need them.

7. Printing multiple patterns and leaving them around the house doesn’t make the knitting go faster.

8. The bag of yarn that your mother bought 3 years ago in a fit of nostalgia is off limits. You can, however, retrieve the needles that she’s hoarding, as long as there is nothing on them yet.

9. Do not bring knitting on long car rides if you have the horse with you. Your knitting will end up smelling like horse by the end of the trip.

10. Car attendants at the airport parking service tend to leave knitting alone as long as it is well hidden. No missing needles were reported.

11. No matter how much you prod your mother to show you how to use the sewing machine, the needles rolls aren’t going to get done unless you sit there and figure it out yourself.

In the public eye

I’m a closet knitter. I tend not to knit in public places, and I don’t knit in front of anyone except my family, my boyfriend, and my very close friends.

I haven’t always been this way. I remember when I was younger, and just starting out, I would bring my knitting with me everywhere I went. I was probably around 10-12 at the time. I will never forget someone looking at me a little funny in a waiting room once, then another lady saying “She’s knitting… What is she, a grandma?” And from then on… The knitting stayed in the bag.

Then I went to highschool. I had to be very careful about knitting. Anything I made and wore in public had to be extra-cool. I made mittens in grade 11 that were red and white houndstooth pattern (I still wear them regularly) and I remember some of my classmates ooh-ing and ahh-ing over them. Inevitably, the “where did you get them” question came up… I told them I made the mittens. There were looks of confusion, but in the presence of knitted items that they clearly approved of, they were decently supportive. None-the-less, I maintained my knitting in secret status.

Since I’ve moved away to University, my perception has changed a little, but I’m still a closet knitter. Am I afraid to show people that I am successful at an age-old craft? That if all of the clothing production in the world shut down one day, I would still be warm? That instead of sitting on the couch and eating a bag of chips every night, I sit on the couch and make socks? I’m more productive than the average human, that’s for sure. And there are millions of knitters in the world. Without knitters, during World War I and World War II, our soldiers’ feet and hands would have frozen solid. (I can’t scientifically back that up, but I’ve always thought the propaganda about knitting for the soldiers and supporting the war effort was pretty cool).

I think that if I brought the knitting everywhere I needed to go, I would get a lot more done. How often to I have a weird 10 minute wait for something? Could have been knitting. Lineup at the gym? Could have been knitting. Waiting for a class to start? Could have been knitting. Bus ride home? Could have been knitting. You get the picture.

I carted my super-scary-pattern-sock-knitting around with me yesterday, and I have before and after pictures to show just how much work you can get done.

Heel and gussets done; just a big mess of stitch holders, needles, and cut yarn

After an hour break at work, and a movie last night, part of the foot is complete!

See what I mean? Progress, by using all available time, public or no.

(Since you’re wondering, these are Hat Heel Socks in Paton’s Kroy Sock yarn. I’ll have to check the colourway.)

Listopia

It’s Monday. It’s a list.

1. My job is so incredibly boring that I am practically dying as I sit here. I have exactly 9 shifts left (not including the one I’m doing right now) and the end of it can’t come fast enough. Even though that means no more paycheck.

2. I had yesterday off (thankfully) and I think I knit about 20 rows total. I did read half of a 500+ page book though.

3. I have 27/101 things done on the list. What is going on here.

4. My stats page looks like the Sahara Desert. No one wants to come and read about my slow knitting progress anymore, I suppose. Give it two weeks until I’m back at school and then I will be a lot more interesting.

5. It’s starting to feel like fall outside. This makes me insanely excited. I just want to drink tea and knit things.

6. I think I’m addicted to Twitter.

7. Even though it’s sunny outside at the moment, I still just want to lay on the couch.

8. Is it irresponsible to start dreaming about Christmas yet?

9. People who have kittens make me insanely jealous. I want one, but I know that it’s a bad idea. My house for school is pet friendly, but… My parents are dead against it as well. Hmm…

10. There really isn’t a #10. I just wanted to make a nicely rounded out list.

There you have it…. A disorganized and random list of my thoughts. I’ll be back when I can come up with something interesting to write about.