is for emptying out my brain…
Occasionally I have so much clutter just rattling around my head, I just need to dump it all out. Clean the slate, as it were. This is one of those Mondays!
I am wondering how there can be so many mosquitoes outside right now. It has been 90-gagillion degrees out for a long-ass-time, we have had scant to no rain (and the only standing water in my yard is in the bird bath and the bee bath… both of which get clean water every day.) And still… I have what feels like 12 billion mosquito bites on my ankles, arms, legs, feet… yep, every place that is not covered… is covered with bites. My itch factor is off the charts right now…
Toe Up Socks are great….until you get to that dreaded point of binding it off at the cuff. I have several stretchy bind offs in my repertoire but none of them have been perfect for this bind off. They all are flaring out at the top… ruffling a bit too much for my liking. I have ripped out three bind offs thus far and put the sock in Time Out for a bit. While said sock has been in Time Out, I have done some research on more stretchy bind offs (there are so many!) and I might have found one that might work! I have to rip this last bind off out… but then I am going to try the suspended bind off and see if that works in the round… it worked flat…but that does not always translate to binding off in the round. Send me some good binding off thoughts, please! I need to move beyond the bind off and finish Sock One!
Painting Class Three is in the books and my home work has been turned in. Gentle Readers, let me tell you, the struggle with this lesson was real. My result was not my plan…by a long shot. And so I spent the weekend practicing some of the techniques that I wanted to be different that my execution of them. Can I just say that I have yet to find my brush “sweet spot” I have a variety of brushes and have spent some $$ on them… and I am just really struggling with all.of.them. I know that this is mostly operator error… and I am trying to be gentle with myself, but by Sunday I was just so darned frustrated.
To escape all the painting frustration, I queued up the latest bits from The Summer Pause… and realized that knitting is my fishing. And so I left the painting and eased into my knitting and lost myself in the Stream of Knitting Timelessness and got the fronts completed on my Marled Sweater and, per the pattern instructions, got said sweater got washed and blocked. Shoulder seaming is on my agenda today so I can depart for Sleeve Island! Thanks to Kay for sharing this smart shoulder bind off (I will be doing a bit of practice on a swatch before I do the shoulders!)
And lest you think it was all painting and knitting… nope! I also had huge success with Peter Reinhart’s Focaccia – this is close to the recipe I used… if you are interested in trying, let me know and I will send you the percentages, times, etc. I started the dough Thursday and baked on Friday afternoon. It is a bit fiddly on the Day of Baking… but that fiddly-ness resulted in a gorgeous focaccia. Crisp crust and such tender, open, airy crumb. It was a huge success and I will be making more focaccia in the future!
And with all that… my brain has been nicely decluttered. I am savoring the quiet of the morning… and I have my usual Monday Routine beckoning me. I hope your Monday brings you a clean slate and a week full of promise!
See you all back here on Wednesday!
Sending all the good bind-off thoughts your way, for both the socks and the shoulders! I like your watercolors and think that decent brushes should help. My grandfather was a carpenter and he always said to buy the best tools you could afford. That focaccia looks amazing, and I’m sure it was delicious!
Nice de-cluttering! Wish I could help with the sock issue, but I only make cuff down. I’m enjoying seeing your painting and I really like it Kat. And, the focaccia looks so yummy…I can almost taste it through the screen. LOL Hope you have a great Monday and a fabulous week. I’m getting ready to head into conference call hell…hoping it’s a short one.
“My result was not my plan.” Ahhhh. . . that’s my constant motto when it comes to watercolor. Constant. Watercolor is absolutely Not Forgiving. And technique is Everything. It takes a lot of practice to get a feel for . . . the water, the tools, the paper. (And especially the water.) Hang in there. Keep practicing. You’re doing great. 🙂
(And that focaccia. Oh, man. That is a true work of art!)
Oh wow. That shoulder bind-off is fantastic! I’m no expert, but I usually bind off my sock cuffs with the Stretchy k2tog TBL Bind-off… and almost always end up doing it twice because I knit too loosely the first time!
I have a pair of toe up socks in time out because I don’t know how to do a good bind off! I anxiously await your results to see if you’ve found The.One. Your focaccia is gorgeous!
I have only completed one pair of toe-up socks, and that was years ago. (We won’t mention the other wips…) Was not happy with the bind off, so continued on with more cuff-down socks. 🙂
That focaccia looks AMAZING!!!
Your painting is looking good!!! It is a new skill, and I’m sure it will improve, but I am still liking what you’ve shown so far.
Feeling you on the mosquito bites. We were outside at some friends’ last weekend and all got eaten alive. It’s been years since I’ve had that many bites at once!
That focaccia looks absolutely divine! I’m not sure I’m ready for that yet, but I do want to up my bread-baking game!
I’ve only made cuff down socks, so I have no suggestion for the bind off.
I only dabbled in watercolor, but I think your paintings look great!
Your focaccia looks delicious and I might have to try that recipe. Hope you have a good week!
I’m sending all the good bind-off thoughts your way. Let us know if you find one that works. I don’t do toe-up socks because I don’t like the ruffling in the bind offs I’ve tried. I love to see your painting. It’s beautiful. I agree with Bonny, buy the best materials/tools you can afford. And that bread is a work of art.
I’m anxious to hear how the bind off works for you. I struggle with the same thing and adore toe up socks so I just live with the flaring, but I would love to know if there’s a better way. The water colors are beautiful from my perspective and I’m hoping that you’re able to find more joy and less frustration with it this week.
And that focaccia – yum! Well done!
That bread looks so good my mouth is watering