Friday, July 28, 2006

Feckless Friday

1. I've caught the bug. Mason-Dixon "warshcloths". I was at Michael's yesterday, and Sugar & Cream was on sale for $1 a ball! Who could resist?

I love the funky colors, and though it's squished on the needles, I think it will turn out fine. It's also quick, easy and mindless -- perfect for on the desk knitting (or on the phone with a difficult client knitting).

2. Sox. Red. Sox. Red Sox sox!

My partner in crime is from Boston. Sorry, Bah-stan, where she p-ah-ks her c-ah. She loves the Red Sox, and her birthday is in September. I've even ordered the "B" symbol to sew on the top! I predict I'll have to buy her a box of Depends 'cause she'll pee when she opens the gift.

3. Chimpanzees! I had the most wonderful experience recently. Friends of Jack spent some time here:

And helped take care of:

The head caretaker, Stany Nywandi, is visiting here before he goes to a Chimp Conference in Florida. Picture it -- chimps in suits around a conference room table. Bananas everywhere!


is a wonderful man who, with his wife, escaped from some serious fighting in Africa. He was separated from his wife and children (4) for some time -- they actually had to hide in the jungle -- but now are reunited. He is also caring for his brother's 3 children, as his brother suffers from AIDS.

Jack is exploring the possibility of writing a book about Stany's experiences, and might go to Uganda in the fall -- maybe for several months. As for me, I've already ordered some cotton yarn (Crayon by Knitpicks) to knit log-cabin kid blankets for his kids. I know, it's Africa. But he says it gets cool in the evenings. And what kid wouldn't want a cozy, fluffy blanket!

That's all for now -- it's Friday afternoon and I'm the only loser in the office. Hence the title of the post. Time to go knit!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

An Embarassment of Riches

So I never realized how bad it had gotten until yesterday.

Jack and I have had the pleasure of visitors for the past few days -- his son's in-laws from Colorado. Wonderful, down to earth people who live in a cabin they built together north of Fort Collins. And Janet's a knitter!

The first night, they stayed with us at the cottage. Last night, we were back at the homestead, and Janet asked to see my stash. I then realized that I was out of control. Cabinets. Drawers. Plastic bins. Wicker baskets full! Stash everywhere.

As her eyes got wider and wider (granted, she and her husband live in a very small cabin -- 12 x 16 with a loft), I realized my stash would fill their entire living space. Gulp.

And we didn't even open the bins.

So what's the solution? A yarn diet? I hate diets. Makes me want what I can't have even more. And besides, diets don't apply when you're on vacation or out of town, and I'll be going to NYC next week and North Carolina in mid-August.

A fast? Cold turkey? Stay away from yarn stores? But what about the internet? (I am now breaking out in a cold sweat). For Christmas, my daughter bought me Yarn Harlot's second book, inscribing it: "Mom -- Learn from her and don't let this happen to you." So far, I haven't resorted to YH's hints of stashing yarn in the freezer, or in the sleeves of coats in the back of the closet. But I'm close, darn close.

And of course, last week when I was visiting my octagenarian aunt (see, visiting), my sister and I went to a yarn store. And I found just the right color for a new pair of soxs for my friend's birthday.

Diet, schm-iet. Hey! I could keep some here at the office! Filing cabinets! Back of the desk drawers! We even have an attic!!!!

OMG. If anyone knows of a 12 Step Program for us yarn-a-holics ...

ps At this most recent visit to the out of town store, I saw the most amazing thing -- knitting needles that light up. They have tiny batteries -- like watch battery size -- and clear tips. Since I don't like long straight needles, I passed them by, but damn I wish I'd thought of the idea and patented it! Hmmm, maybe waterproof for in the tub are next! Or an attachment to the steering wheel so you can drive and knit ...

Saturday, July 22, 2006

When It Rains

... it pours, just like today. Buckets since early morning. It's good, though, finally cooling off. Perfect day for a nap, too -- if I can swing it.

Lots to report. First, a FO!

Yarn: King Tut 100% cotton

Pattern: Semi-taken from "Creative Knitting" Garter Ridge Cardi from this Spring. I eliminated the ridges, made the edging a different color, and opted for 3/4 length sleeves.

The scoop: The yarn is very soft and slinky. Splits a bit, but I used Addi Turbos and it worked out fine. I'm not happy with the back neck -- picking up, not breaking up is hard to do. I fiddled with it, too much, and have decided to live with it instead of rip. I love the buttons and, true to form, have absolutely nothing in my wardrobe to match the color.

And this is what happens when cats are left alone all day, and you leave a skein of yarn draped around the back of a chair, mid-winding.

Hmmmm, who to suspect?

I made more jam -- black raspberries that are abundant on our property.

And finally, meet the newest member of the family. As yet un-named.

My son Jon got an early birthday present from his dad. He's 12 weeks old, and cute as a pudgy little bug, and lives with Jon at his Dad's house. When I went over to see him, the little tyke was already chewing on the television remote.

I can't wait until he meets his big step-sister Alice.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Why I Am Insane

... or, the top ten reasons why I do Assigned Counsel cases:

10. I love being asked by my client if he/she should "hire a real lawyer."

9. I enjoy being referred to as a "free lawyer", even by judges.

8. I have no better things to do with my time than sit through hours of testimony on why a sexual predator is a "good parent" who has never been seen acting "weird."

7. I'm happy when the County I live in decides to cut travel time from the budget, so attorneys can't bill for the time it takes to go to and from widely spaced courthouses for cases no one else will take.

6. I like being paid less than half my rate for retained clients. Really, I do.

5. I like being accused of being a racist by my own client. And sexist.

4. I also enjoy running up and down the courthouse stairs, having been assigned 7 cases in the morning, and a similar number for the afternoon calendar, and having both Judges want me in their courtroom at the same time. The deputies love it too.

3. I'm happy I can no longer eat in a number of restaurants in town, as if certain Respondents knew I was one of the customers, I'm sure I'd get surprises in my food.

2. I really like the carbon-less vouchers we have to fill out in order to get paid, and all the detail the county wants.

1. and ... in spite of the above, my mother taught me everyone deserves a fair break, so to all of you assigned counsel clients out there, come look at my diploma, my grade point average, my crappy Jeep that needs new carrier bearings, my waning bank account and my credit card balances. And thank my mother for keeping me going (may she rest in peace).

whew. Now I can get back to work.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Moose feet

Who would think that these little socks wouldn't fit a one-year old?

Well, they don't. Here, as Exhibit A, are his feet:

And here is the one-year old, in all his cuteness.

Granted, I haven't seen him for over a year, but I thought, hmmm, I'll knit him cool socks, size 'em for 18 months, and be in the clear. Oh me of little faith! Anyway, he's my pal Anna's baby -- all 30 pounds of Ethan! His eye's are Mom's, but the rest of him is Dad -- 6'2" tall. We had a great time, and I'm now planning something in, say, a size 16 for Christmas!

It's supposed to hit record hot temperatures today. In the words of Elvira Gultch, aka Wicked Witch of the West, I'm melting ..............

Friday, July 14, 2006

It's hot and it IS Friday

Still hot. Steamy. Sultry. (Anyone remember "Throw Mama from the Train" with Billy Crystal and Danny DeVito?) But, it's Friday and only one more court appearance to go. I hate living for the weekends, but it seems like that's all I do lately. Most nights, like last, I make it home with barely enough energy to feed the cats. I watched a marginal DVD about Horatio Hornblower (okay, so the library was running low), and went to bed around 10. It feels like I have no life during the week. And people wonder why I've told all my kids NOT to be lawyers!

Knitting update -- I started the English pattern, diving right in without a swatch. The good news was that the gauge was fine. The bad news was my translation of millimeters to inches. I cast on for the first size -- usually okay for me -- and it could have fit Barbie. Then I remember what happened when I went to Ireland and tried on clothes. My usual 8-10 was a struggle to get over my shoulders. The nice salesperson explained that the sizing was different, so I shouldn't immediately crash diet. I didn't think Guiness was that fattening!

So I ripped, and started again, now with a bigger size. I love the color, and the feel of the yarn -- very soft. Though like cotton, the ply tends to split. So I have to be careful it doesn't get "loopy", and I'm using Addi turbos with blunter tips. The lace pattern is easy to remember, so it should go pretty fast.

And just for fun, here's a photo I scanned of my parents at the beach -- 1940 when they were still dating. I love the "Lucy" kerchief and her "real woman" thighs!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

It's hot and it's not Friday

It must be the heat. I bought this Knitting magazine from England, and am going to try a pattern.

Mind you, I never quite got the metric system. They tried in junior high school (which shows how old I am – now it’s middle school), and it didn’t stick. But I love the pattern! And who knew there would be language issues -- yarn forward = yarn over, for example. And tension? No thanks, I get enough of that at work (hee hee).

And I got this neat yarn at Michael’s.

I usually don’t knit with anything acrylic, but this is Lion Brand Microspun, and it was only $3.99 skein, and I needed only 4. And the color is terrific! They call it mango, but I say it's coral.

Swatching has already begun.

The Rhode Island trip was wonderful. Liz’s apartment was nice (cleaner than mine would have been at age 21 – just ask my older sister!), we went to the beach, the RISD art museum, shopping, and to the movies. The highlight was watching Lizzie put away all of my Aunt Louise’s kitchenware, including her old, dented canister set.

I have many memories of good times and great food in auntie’s kitchen, and it makes me feel good to know that the tradition will continue.

Of course, I found a yarn store. In addition to sock yarn (unphotographed as of yet), I bought a bag! Ten bucks!

Which leads me to, bags in general. Am I the only knitter with a bag obsession? Maybe it’s not just a knitterly trait, either. I have briefcases. Brief-bags. Messenger bags. Tote bags. I just can’t resist buying new bags, even used-new bags at thrift stores. I counted. Big mistake. Including the obligatory lawyer-briefcases, and one trial case, I have a grand total of NINETEEN BAGS. Not purses, mind you (or pocketbooks as my Grandmother would call them). No, 19 bags – canvas, tapestry, cotton, leather, straw … you name it, I have it. And I always buy more. Of course, it makes it easier to hide UFOs in – they don’t stare at you like when they’re lurking on the couch, in baskets, or next to the bed. I can’t hear their guilt-inducing whines , “Finish me! No, me first, not the shawl. Not the sweater. Me me me!” when they’re pushed down into their canvas prisons. Oh, did I mention the “bag within a bag” syndrome? Little bags – with zippers, with drawstrings. You know, for socks in progress, needles, odds and ends. Those don’t count in the final tally.

When I die, bag me.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Back from Rhode Island

... and exhausted from the drive. It was a nice trip; went to the beach, walked around the city, found a .... YARN store (hee hee). I bought some lovely Schaefer lace, and will post photos tomorrow, as well as some cool sock yarn. It was too hot and sticky to do much knitting though, as Lizzie's apartment was not air conditioned.

snooze time ...

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


So for today's first post, Blogger said it didn't post. So I did another one. Same deal. I check when I get home -- two posts!

Sorry for the double reading.

Relaxing Fireworks -- an oxymoron?

Happy Anniversary !

And what makes this card especially great, is that Jack and I bought the same one from two different stores, for each other! Karma. I also got roses. He got a toolbox.

All in all, it was a great anniversary weekend. Independence Day! hee hee. Went to the lake:

Not too much rain, but some clouds. Rode my new bike around it, had a cook-out, watched fireworks.

Jack dug 4 postholes for the deck:

And I started Hourglass. I love the yarn -- all silky and wooly at the same time. I'm doing seed stitch instead of hems -- who needs the extra bulk around those hips -- and I think it will be great.

Tomorrow, after Court, I leave on a road trip to Rhode Island. Lizzie is there (oldest kid) and she has been forewarned that we must visit ALL the yarn stores in Providence. Poor 15 year old son will simply have to tolerate ...

Romance and more ...

And what is this? Why, an anniversary card! And guess what? We got each other the very same card. Bought at 2 different places. Made me feel good! I think I'll frame it.

So for the loooong weekend (not too long, as I had a torturous trial
Monday afternoon in Court), I/we:

1. Enjoyed the lake.

A little rain, some clouds, but mostly nice.

2. Dug 4 postholes for the new deck -- Jack, not me! (sweaty photos to follow)

3. Knit on the Hourglass Sweater, with this yummy yarn. I decided to vary from the pattern a tad, by doing seed stitch edges. So far, so good.

I love the feel of this -- silky and wooly at the same time.

4. Made this wacky pin holder from a piece of felted thrift store sweater. I kept dropping the pins in and out of the little plastic box, so ...

I have a bunch of squares I'm going to sew together for a blanket, like the one in "Intriguing Knits", and this was a scrap. Works for me!

5: Enjoyed my roses:

Tomorrow, right after Court, I'm leaving for Rhode Island to visit oldest kid. Lizzie has already been warned that we must visit all yarn stores in Providence, and she's up for the challenge. Hope to have treasures to show when I get back!